high blood pressure

A year has come and gone

and I am now down 43 pounds.  I have been on another plateau of sorts for a while, but it is ok.  I have finally figured out that this is going to be a long journey and although I may stick around at a number a while, I won’t be there for ever.  I am officially off ALL meds with the exception of my allergy tablet that I take nightly.   My gynecologist was very happy about the weight loss at my yearly check up.   I started out wearing a TIGHT size 20 jeans.  I am now in a 12-14 depending on the maker and the cut.  (yay!)    I want to get down to at least a 10.

Some questions that I have been asked recently that I thought you might like to see the answers to:

1. Was it worth it?   Unequivocally YES.  I would do it again tomorrow.  I know that 43 lbs is not the huge amount of weight that I had hoped to lose by this time, but it is still a significant amount of weight.  I have SO much more energy now, and to be honest am saving a TON of money on not only food but also on medicine co payments every month!  It took me 15 years to gain to over 250 lbs, so I suppose that taking a couple of years to get rid of it isn’t such a bad deal.

2. Is it easy?  NO – I still struggle every day with the head hunger.  I am getting better – I think my mind is finally accepting that bread, potatoes, rice and other assorted starches will not be tolerated.  I know pretty much the things that I probably will never eat again.  And it’s ok.  I am finding things that take the place of those foods and I’m healthier for the substitutions.

3. Will I ever have the band removed?  NO, the only thing that could convince me to remove it is if something goes horribly wrong – which I do NOT expect to ever happen.  This baby will be in there until the end.

4. Do you still have problems with the band?  Yes and no.  The problems I have are from not listening to my body.  IF I try to eat in a hurry, too early in the day, don’t chew properly, or eat things that I know good and well won’t go down, I end up in the bathroom.

My band is as tight as my MD will allow.  I have 9.5 cc in a 11 cc band.  I did this for a couple of reasons.  The major one being that  I push the limits with what I can eat.  This is my way of keeping myself from eating the starches and carbs.  With the band this tight, they will NOT go through.  If I order chicken fingers, I have to pick the breading off or I can’t eat them.   So now I just get grilled chicken and I’m good.   When I hit goal weight I *may* have a tiny bit taken out, but I don’t expect to make any changes for a long time.

If YOU have any questions – please comment or email them to me at tricia.gilliland@gmail.com and I’ll try to post the answers here.

My journey so far in photos – yes I realize nearly every one is me riding.  Evidently that is the only time anyone can take a photo of me cause I usually run from the camera!  LOL

Sept 2011

Oct 2011

Jan 23, 2012

March 11, 2012

May 2012

August 2012

Sept 30, 2012

sept 30 2012

Oct 3, 2012


November 11, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Dec 9, 2012

Categories: bariatric, celebrate, cooking, diabetes, diet, food, healthy, high blood pressure, impatient, journal, lap band, life, musings, Obesity, personal, protein, realize band, struggle, stubborn, thoughts, weight loss | 2 Comments


What a difference this fill has made!!!  I am down 10 lbs in 1 week. At this rate, I’ll be skinny in no time!  LOL

I know it’s not healthy to loose this fast, so no lectures, ok?  But it sure is nice to be surprised pleasantly every time I step on the scales.  I am eating literally next to nothing.  I just -am-not-hungry- , and that’s a GREAT thing.  🙂   I AM drinking Ensure protein shakes – milk chocolate please, and they are quite tasty.  Still getting my vitamins every morning, so I think I’m doing ok.   I have lost 33% of the weight I want to lose.  1/3 of the way there!!!!  Whoop!

I go back in September, and *may* or may not let them take some out.  Probably not.  LOL   It is SO nice to be finally going in the right direction again.  I was all but ready to give up.   Won’t make it in time to wear a bikini this summer, but maybe next (YEAH RIGHT!!  LOL).

OH YEAH – almost forgot to tell you this – I am 100% off blood pressure meds – YEE HAW!  That’s $90 in my pocket a month that I’m not spending on meds!  cha ching!  Camping money, tack money, and later on NEW WARDROBE money!!  For now I’ll just wear everything baggy.

Came back to add this.  I promised when I started this blog to tell it all – good, bad and ugly.  Well the bad/ugly side of my current situation is that I’m having to learn HOW to eat and drink all over yet again.  I MUST take teeny bits of food or liquid in at a time.   I came inside yesterday and was very thirsty and forgot about the tightness of the band.  Turned up an Orange Vitamin water (my favorite drink of all time) and chugged it.  Instantaneous eject is all I am going to say.  It had to go somewhere and it couldn’t go down fast enough so it came back up.  Out my nose, mouth and it even felt like it was coming out my ears!  LOL  Not really, but it was pretty explosive.    As long as I take my time and lots of it, everything is ok, but the second I try to eat like I have for 43 years, the band says “Hey sister, you AIN’T eating like that anymore” and rejects whatever I’m trying to cram down my gullet…..  That can be painful and unpleasant.

BUT, I knew it wasn’t going to be all roses, sunshine and fairy farts when I signed up for this.


Looking back over the past 8 months, I only have one regret and that is not being more adamant at the Dr office that I wanted more fluid.   I let them sort of guide me because I thought they ‘knew best’.  I have come to realize that this band is NOT a one size/fill fits all and that *I* know how I feel and am the one who lives with this band every day, not the people in the Dr office.

So now I’m HAPPY again.  I’m back on my path.

Categories: bariatric, healthy, high blood pressure, impatient, journal, lap band, life, Obesity, personal, protein, realize band, struggle, stubborn, thoughts | 2 Comments

It’s been a month

Since I’ve been here.  I’ve been in a bit of a funk diet wise.  Yes, I’m still eating healthy for the most part and with the days being longer, I’m getting a good bit more exercise.  Most nights I get home from work and don’t even go in the house until almost dark.  I’ve been riding the horses and camping a lot – all of which leaves almost NO down time to blog or read or even surf the internet much any more.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I sat down to just watch a TV show!  lol

On the weight loss front, I was at a stand still for 3 weeks.  Didn’t go up or down by even a half pound.  It was extremely frustrating.  Then when I quit stressing about it, I dropped 4 lbs in 2 days.  Yes that’s right between this past Friday morning and Sunday morning I dropped 4.  Yes I got on and off and on and off that scale (which mocks me mercilessly), it said the same thing every time.  I even drug hubby in and made him get on just to be SURE that it wasn’t broken.  (digital scale) It’s not broken, it’s telling the truth!  🙂

And hubby it seems has dropped from a 36 inch waist down to a 32 in two months.   *sigh*  It is just NOT fair!!

I am starting to see the weight loss in little areas that are completely unexpected.  When riding Saturday, it felt like my riding boots were flopping around on my feet.  I am down a full pants size and wearing things that I haven’t worn in a long time.  Looks like both hubby and I will need a new wardrobe soon!



Me and Dusty tackling the rock fields last Saturday at the Walls of Jericho




me and Patches at Bankhead National Forest – 03/31/12



Feb 26  Bankhead












Categories: bariatric, diet, exercise, healthy, high blood pressure, hypertension, impatient, journal, lap band, life, musings, Obesity, personal, realize band, struggle, stubborn, thoughts, weight loss | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Oh dear….

I haven’t been here in like forever…..  I apologize for my lack of participation in the cyber blogging/writing world.  Life has been extremely busy for me and sometimes I honestly expect to meet myself coming around a corner!

The good news is that since my last visit to Dr Schmitt’s office on Feb 6, I have lost a total of 8 lbs.  Not too shabby I suppose.  I have been REALLY trying to eat right.  So I guess it is working.  I begged the nurse to give me just a little more fluid but she said if it ain’t broke she isn’t fixing it…….  grrrrrrr……  I’m gonna have to work a LOT harder if I’m going to get into a shorts or swimsuit body by summer.    *sigh*   I guess the best things in life are worth working for, eh?

I am eating a lot more fruit and raw veggies.  I haven’t had beef in – well I don’t remember the last time I had beef – I have been substituting ground turkey for ground beef in our veggie soup.  I have been eating chicken, and an occasional egg, sometimes a little fish or shrimp.  I had fish tacos at a local restaurant a few weeks back and LOVED LOVED LOVED them.   I am not eating bread any more with the exception of some cracker things called Wasa bread.  One or two of those a day is satisfying my carb craving.  Lunch every day is a green salad with cubed grilled chicken and fruit.  Oh yeah, I’ve been eating blue berries every day too.  I expect any morning to get up and see my skin turning Smurf blue!

The bad news is that I’ve now lost enough that my underwear is starting to sag on me and I go around pulling up my jeans.  It is terribly irritating, and I can’t ever think to put a belt on.  Of course I could get some thongs and be in style with my pants drooping past my butt!


Errrr, maybe NOT!!!!!


It won’t be long and I’ll be looking for another size smaller clothes – I guess that’s a good thing, lol


Anyway, peace love and healthy living to you all!



Categories: atkins, bariatric, diet, exercise, healthy, high blood pressure, impatient, journal, lap band, life, musings, Obesity, personal, realize band, struggle, stubborn, thoughts, weight loss | 4 Comments

Stress and comfort food

I’ve spent the past 20 hours or so at the hospital with my Mom who we believe had a mini stroke.  In the past 24 hours, I haven’t eaten exactly the best of foods.  Hospital cafeteria food is ‘ok’ I guess, although not too much flavor there.  I didn’t keep my liquid intake up because of the issue of having to go down the hall to use a bathroom – nothing like going to the toilet when you can hear everything through paper thin walls…..   When I got home this evening to take a nap and rest, I was craving pasta big time.  Made a pasta salad and basically ate until I was almost sick feeling.  It was SO good.  I don’t allow myself pasta often, in fact almost never these days.  Hopefully that will settle my nerves and comfort me for a long time.

In an hour or so I’ll be off to bed for hopefully a restful night of sleep.  Tomorrow I’ll go to work for a couple of hours and then back to the hospital to take back the bedside vigil.  My Mom is one of my reasons I am on this journey.  I don’t want to reach her age and be in the same physical shape.  She is a diabetic and refuses to take the medication.  She is very obese and can’t/won’t lose the weight.  She has become very sedentary over the past couple of years.  And I am terrified for her.  I just hope that this will be a wake up call and she will open her eyes to see that her lifestyle is shortening her life by years……

Categories: atkins, bariatric, diabetes, healthy, high blood pressure, hypertension, journal, lap band, life, musings, Obesity, realize band, struggle, thoughts | Leave a comment

Very interesting video

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Back on Track

Climbed back on the scales this morning just to see if the super limited carb thing is working – AND – it is.  Whew! I am now back on track.  My current weight is 235, .5 lb lower than I was when I gained back.  Pardon me for just a minute while I do a happy dance…….



So here we go, I found my path again and you better believe that I’ll be keeping my eyes open so I don’t loose it again.

Categories: bariatric, diet, high blood pressure, hypertension, Obesity, personal, struggle | Leave a comment

Let me introduce you

To this hateful creature who lives with me.  It actually resides in my bedroom and mockingly laughs at me and my weight every time I pass by.  I must be a glutton for punishment because after being banished to my husband’s workshop for the summer, I relented and let it come back inside for the winter.  It has taken back up where it left off last spring.   I hear it whisper my name all over the house, followed by a snicker, especially when I am on the sofa watching tv….  It is taunting me.  It says that I can not defeat it.  It says that I will always be overweight and can NEVER last more than a few minutes working with it.  It says that I may as well give up and use it for a laundry hanger because I will NEVER EVER wear it out.

Well let me tell you one thing right now, I am going to wear this thing out.  In all my years I have never been able to do that to any of the assorted pieces of work out equipment we have owned – and there have been a LOT of them – but this one shall be the first.    My legs may scream at me every time I even pass by, but they will adjust.  My lungs may beg for mercy, but they will expand and be better.  My heart will rejoice because she knows I’m doing this for her.

Usually about 5 minutes is all I can stand.  Terrible, I know.  But tonight I slapped it around and went for 20 minutes.  I pushed through the pain and kept my heart rate at about 125.   Probably not great in the scheme of exercise and training, but it’s a start.   I’m off now to the shower and then research a bit about cardio and see if I can figure out where I should be shooting for.  My ultimate goal one day in the distant future is to start running again.  I ran while in school and even competed a little in grade school in the longer races.   I guess time will tell.

All I can say is the machine is shut up for now.  Not even a peep since I got done.   Maybe if I’m nice and wipe some of the dust off from the summer in the shop it will be a bit nicer.    I doubt it…….


How about helping me pick out a name for this machine?  I was thinking Satan, but you know, I don’t really want to call something in my bedroom right BESIDE where I sleep Satan!

Categories: bariatric, diet, exercise, high blood pressure, hypertension, Obesity, personal, struggle, weight loss | 2 Comments

What I ate today

7:55 am

Atkins Advantage Cafe Caramel Shake 11 0z. –  160 cal, 9 g fat, 3 g carb, 15 g protein


10 am

Propel zero kiwi strawberry water – no values


12:30 pm

2 grilled chicken fingers from Giovanni’s – Calories: 100, Fat: 2g, Carbs: 0g, Protein: 21g

1 cup assorted green salad  9 cal, .13 g fat, 1.76 g carb, .4 g protein

2 tbsp ranch dressing  90 cal, 7 g fat, 2 g carb, 1 g protein

Very filling – actually a little too much (burp)


4 pm

Kraft Jalapeno string cheese  80 cal, 5 g fat, 1 g carb, 1 g protein

5:20 pm

Roasted chicken from walmart  Calories: 160, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 0g, Protein: 17g

1 cup romaine salad  9 cal, .13 g fat, 1.76 g carb, .4 g protein

1 boiled egg  Calories: 60, Fat: 4g, Carbs: 0g, Protein: 6g

2 tbsp ranch dressing  90 cal, 7 g fat, 2 g carb, 1 g protein


At 7 pm I’ll have another big bottle of water and work on it until bed time.

Grand Totals

Calories – 758

Fat – 44.26

Carbs – 11.52

Protein – 62.8


Ended up with a lot more fat than I intended.  Will need to find a low carb/low fat dressing, but I’m pretty happy with how I did today. I’m still not getting enough water, it is SO hard when the weather is cold.

Categories: bariatric, diet, food, high blood pressure, hypertension, lap band, Obesity, personal, struggle, weight loss | Leave a comment

My husband doesn’t understand

Why I was freaking out over the weight gain.  His comment was – well you’re not restricted right now, so of course you’re going to gain weight if you eat.   Personally I think it’s his stomach doing the talking because I told him that I’m not going to cook stuff that I don’t need to be eating again.   Since Friday I had been cooking for him again and he’s not happy to be sort of fending for himself again.   But you know what, it’s not going to kill him! On the other hand, more snide remarks like that one and I won’t be responsible for what I do to him.  Just kidding….  Not really.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about why the pounds fell off so quickly while on the liquid diet, but quit once I started eating.  Researching on the internet, I found some information about this thing called Ketosis.  Basically it is when you deprive your body of carbs so instead of having fuel that you eat to burn, it starts burning fat.  I am pretty sure that for a little while there I was in ketosis and once I ate some carb loaded food, my body switched gears and went back the other way to preservation mode.  After all, I had made it think for 3 weeks that it was starving.  Leave it to me to get lost on the weight loss highway – lol.   For the period of liquid diet, I was loading up on protein, not much carbs or fat, and I think that’s the key that I’m looking for.

I’m going to quit flip flopping around and choose an eating plan that I hope will get me back to that sweet spot where I’m not starving, but will be losing weight.  After reading ALL day and all evening yesterday about the different plans, I’m going to start out with the Atkins philosophy.   Ultra low carbs for now to get my body back into Ketosis and back onto the path that I want to be on.   I will start out for one week being REALLY super strict on the carbs.  Of course this will take some rearranging of my cube that I’m so desperately trying to get back inside.

Just a little tweaking

1200 calories or less a day – preferably less

25 grams of fat or less a day

60 grams of protein  a day

10 grams of carbs or less per day  oh how I miss you Bread

64 oz of liquid a day

1 hour of exercise a day

I started drawing up a cube on AutoCad with all the numbers on the sides (can you tell I was bored yesterday?), and then ended up quitting.  I may go back this morning and finish it and post it.  I’m studying AutoCad at work right now while we are slow.  The aircraft industry sort of slows down at the end of the year. (the repair part – not the actual travel part)

Started off my day with an Atkins Cafe Caramel Shake – mmmmm.   It’s really good.

Almost forgot- I got out and walked in the cow pasture last night for almost an hour.  I intended to walk the full hour, but Chris was putting out hay and the cows invaded the barn and I had to get them out of the way.  By the time I got them out of the pasture at the house and back into their own pasture it was full dark.  Bummer.   But I suppose I could count that as exercise too, because I was running around waving my arms yelling at them.    Yeah, that was exercise so I walked for 45 min, jogged/ran for 15 minutes.    Yaayyy me – lol.

It will be nasty out this afternoon so it will be the dreaded elliptical tonight.   UGH

Hope you all have a fantastic day.

Categories: bariatric, diet, food, high blood pressure, hypertension, Obesity, personal, struggle, weight loss | Leave a comment

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