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Monday, July 21, 2014

If I'm Being Completely Honest

If I'm being completely honest and transparent then I need to admit that I've let some of those bad behaviors back in my life and I need to daily surrender my addiction to God. Daily

The result of my addiction? Self-doubt, self-loathing, self-bullying and self-consciousness. Oh...and weight gain. Yup...that's happened. I've gained weight. It's not a huge amount, but 6 lbs is a big deal!

What habits have invaded my life again?  Well, here's a quick list off the top of my head:

- licking the spoon/bowl after fixing something tasty or when clearing the dinner table. 
- taking a nibble of this, a bite of that (unplanned/unconscious/unhealthy eating)
- lack of portion control
- eating too fast
- eating in the car (fast food on the go)
- lack of weighing regularly
- bread
- dessert
- chips/snacks
- taking the elevator and not the stairs
- not getting in all my water
- not walking (exercising) like I was 

So today I prayed and I asked for prayer. I have not been "cured" of my addiction like I had hoped. But that doesn't mean God isn't working in my life. For me it means He wants me to rely on Him minute by minute for every part of this. I am the branch and He is the vine...apart from Him I can do nothing. 

Friends, if you believe that weightloss surgery is the easy way out, you couldn't be more mistaken. This is hard...especially if you're addicted to food like I am.  It's a daily struggle, but one that is worth the fight! 

Before everyone gets worried about the "results" listed above, I'm at a good place. I know that the enemy wants me to believe I'm a failure. But I am not. I am redeemed. I am clay in the Potter's hand and He is Victorious!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Live Well, Evansville!

I've tried to be sensitive about posting information on my bariatric center or any of the staff.  But I've been given the thumbs up to share the blog that my awesome RD, Corey Filbert, and another dietician maintain for the hospital where I had my RNY surgery.  Again, I can't say enough positive about Corey, the other staff or the center.  I truly believe they were the exact place I was to go for this procedure.

It's a great blog and one that I'll be linking on the side.  But until I get that done, why not check them out at the link below:

Live Well Evansville
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"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach and Tomatoes

I really didn't want this blog to become a recipe blog, but then I figured if someone was wondering what a gastric bypass patient eats a few recipes here and there isn't bad.  Right?!?  (C'mon...make me feel better about posting recipes here!)

This week I've ventured out in my cooking endeavors. Found this recipe and not only was it totally delicious, it's healthy!!  Win/win!!

So thanks for understanding the recipes are for me to share some fun foods I get to enjoy!

CURRIED CHICKPEAS WITH SPINACH AND TOMATOES

(4 servings)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red jalapeño or Fresno chile, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 pound fresh flat-leaf spinach, tough stems trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 24-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • Flatbread or steamed white rice, for serving

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

1 serving contains:
  • Calories (kcal) 340
  • Fat (g) 10
  • Saturated Fat (g) 1
  • Cholesterol (mg) 0
  • Carbohydrates (g) 53
  • Dietary Fiber (g) 16
  • Total Sugars (g) 14
  • Protein (g) 15
  • Sodium (mg) 1330

PREPARATION:

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, chile, and ginger; cook until fragrant and softened, about 4 minutes. Working in batches, add spinach by the handful, tossing to wilt between additions. Cook until fully wilted and bright green, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper; reserve. 

  • Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, 5-6 minutes. Add curry powder and chili powder and cook until toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chickpeas and tomatoes with juices, squeezing tomatoes with your hand as you add, and 1/2 cup water. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until tomatoes are broken down and sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Fold in spinach purée. Serve with flatbread or steamed white rice.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Veggie Tales

I'm starting to rethink my food choices for today. Is it possible to have too many vegetables? 

Yes, they were quite delicious, but I am feeling mighty bloated right now! Oh, breakfast was normal – instant oatmeal. But after that? Morning snack included sugar snap peas and mini sweet bell peppers. Lunch was a yummy salad with spinach, carrots, green onion, cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, and a light vinaigrette dressing. Afternoon snack was my usual PB2 and banana. (That is never a bad idea!) Dinner tonight was some sautéed veggies in a garlic-infused EVOO: zucchini and yellow squash, more carrots, bell peppers, onions, garlic. That's it. 

Of course I know my protein is nearly non-existant today, but once in a while it's not a problem. A digestive system full of vegetables, however, could be an issue later. We'll see!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I like to cook...Really?!

Recently, our lives have been very busy. Travel, summer schedules, etc. I found that we were eating out a lot. And by a lot I mean almost every dinner! Lots of problems with that - not only does it impact our finances, but the choices are just not as healthy. 

In talking with CME, I told him that I actually missed cooking. Really?!! Yes! I did.  

Yesterday was my son's birthday and when he asked for spaghetti squash Pad Thai I was excited! Woo hoo! My 15-year-old requesting home cooked healthy food - that is a victory!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Road Trips

I've decided that road trips are hard for me.  Road trips by myself are even harder!  Boredom sets in and my old habit of wanting to snack my way through the drive creeps back into my brain.  

Twice in 2 weeks I traveled to the metro Detroit area (about an 8 hour drive from home).  The first trip I took my son, daughter and son-in-law.  Time passed quickly going there because we had some great Jesus talk.  I didn't find myself wanting to snack at all, actually.  The trip home?  I was tired. And part of trying to rationalize my thought was that if I ate I'd stay awake. (Silly considering a lot of times food can trigger sleepiness!) I didn't necessarily do bad (didn't buy snacks of my own); but I did have a few bites of "this or that" that found its way into my car.  

So during my solo trip, I intentionally didn't buy snacks.  Did I think about it? Yes!  And that bothers me.  I wish I could get to the point where it wasn't a constant issue in my psyche.  Even if I had brought 'healthy' snacks, which some people recommend, I would be mindlessly eating because I was bored. I don't want that bad habit to be part of my life again.  I refuse to go back to an unhealthy lifestyle!

I think I've made it clear that the weightloss surgery isn't a cure for my addiction.  Every minute of every day I must make a conscious decision to choose Jesus over food.  Do I do great every day?  No.  I've had moments of weakness that happen.  Moments when I walk by something and grab a handful and pop it in my mouth before thinking.  I've even had moments when I willfully eat something that could cause me issues - and by that I mean that it could make me want more...and more...and more.  The head-work of this process is the hardest part.  Really.  But I'm so thankful that God has opened my eyes to the path that could lead to destruction for me and I quickly stop the process.  

I know He has big plans for my life and in order for me to follow His call, I must be healthy. Being strong and not buying junk food in the gas stations is an NSV for me too! Planning for things like road trips is is a must! No exception. Pay at the pump...don't go inside.  Coffee at a drive through, not in the gas station.  Those little things make a difference for me.  I'm doing what it takes to stay healthy!  God isn't done with me yet! 


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"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Worth It

You are worth it.”  That’s the message I wanted to send last night when I spoke at bariatric center during their informational meeting.  But I’ll get to that in a moment.


First, let me say that my two-year post op appointment went glowingly well!  My weight was within a pound of where I was 6 months ago (despite still ‘fearing’ the scales); my BP 100/60; my pulse 60.  My lab work?  Fabulous.  (Okay, that’s my word, but MD said they were exactly where they needed to be.)  Cholesterol – 130; with a good mix of LDL/HDL.  I’ve had absolutely zero issues with my new stomach since surgery and because of that, MD is weaning me off Prilosec.  I thought I’d be on it forever, but he said that if there are no medical reasons to be on a medicine, then why be on it?  Of course, if I sense something changing with my body after I’m off, I’m to let him know and I can start it up again.  But until that time, why be on a med if it’s not necessary?  I like that, actually!  Plus, he’s going to have me reduce my Vitamin D to 2,000 iu from 5,000 iu.  If, in a year when I go back my Vitamin D levels are not in sync then I can increase back to 5,000.  So yes…all is well in my body!  Praise God!  


MD was pleased and said he sees no reason that I would experience any issues going forward (health wise or regaining of weight) as long as I continue with the lifestyle I’ve adapted over these past two years.  I told him… “I have no intention of going back!” 


I also met with RD for a few minutes.  Nothing new here.  She’s been great throughout this process.  Heck, all the staff has been absolutely fantastic.  I am incredibly thankful that I chose this center.  Truly!


About that informational meeting…


Each time I speak at these meetings, I get nervous beforehand.  Will I convey the right message to the people there? (Everyone is different.)  Will they understand that this process isn’t to be taken lightly?  Will I address their concerns even if they are too shy/embarrassed to ask questions?  But mainly, will God get the glory of the work He has done in me through this journey?  

With the head nods and smiles (and a couple of tears), I’m pretty confident that I connected with the people in the room at one level or another.  


I sent around pictures of me from pre-surgery as I began my talk.  (Those pictures are still hard for me to see/share.) I gave them a brief background of my life story – of being in the third grade the first time a boy said the phrase, “fatty fatty two by four…” and how that was the start of the emotional baggage I carried along with the weight for over 30 years.  Emotional baggage that is so necessary to address, come to terms with and throw out!  


I told them I remembered sitting where they were sitting and how all the information that was coming across to me sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher talking because it was more than my brain could process at the time…the procedures, the costs, the number of visits, the statistics, the fees.  And I told them that one thing I wanted them to know was though they seem overwhelming, that each person in the room was worth every penny of those fees!  I proceeded to look at various people and say directly to them… “You are worth it.”  “You are worth it.”  “YOU are worth it.”  This is was where I saw the first tears.  Not often are obese people (or people in general) told, “You are worth it!”  But that’s what I want people to know.  YOU.  ARE. WORTH.  IT.  I am worth it.  It’s hard to hear when we’ve been told otherwise for so long, but it’s even harder to believe.  


I went on to tell them that if they decide this is the procedure/time/place for them – DO NOT CHEAT.  You deserve not to cheat yourself of a healthy life any more, because YouAre. Worth. It.  


I told them how my life has changed from before to after.  I shared with them the story that goes with the picture of me on the elephant in Cambodia.  How I sought out the smallest person on our team to ride with me because I felt bad for the elephant having to carry me.  (True story!)  I told them my thoughts on being afraid to ride amusement park rides with my children…when one lady finished my sentence, “…because the bar may not go down all the way to keep them safe.”  I told them how I’d assess booths at restaurants – to which two people started laughing saying that they had JUST had that conversation while they were waiting.


I told them that I did need to have 2 units of blood in the hospital and the oh-so-embarrassing fact that there is no dignity when you pass out wearing only a hospital gown.  I told them that even with that, I don’t regret having this surgery.  I told them that for whatever reason, my journey has been complication-free and smooth.  To which one lady said, “That’s because God is your crutch.”  I thanked her for saying that and turned it around saying He is definitely been my strength.  She used the word crutch which at first seemed negative, but I see it now as who I lean on…that’s the purpose of a crutch, yes?  Regardless, I was thrilled that they heard this journey is to/for His glory!!


I warned them against the “Why haven’t I lost as much as <person on forum>?”  “Why am I not losing fast?”Why me/why not me?” trap we can easily fall in.  I shared with them the quote of “Comparison is the thief of joy.”   I told them NOT to weigh every day in the beginning but to follow the guidelines and trust the plan.  I told them that now, now I *must* weigh every 2-3 days to self-monitor.  I confessed that I didn’t weigh for a month and gained 3 pounds.  And at first I was like, “well, it’s three pounds…could have been worse.”  And then realized…OH MY GOSH!  THAT’S 36 POUNDS IN A YEAR!  (I’ve since lost those 3 pounds…praise God!)  I told them that it is a life change…totally.  The thinking MUST change.

I was able to finish up with my life boat analogy and the reminder that THEY are worth it!


Yesterday was a good day for me.  It was a time to reflect on God’s goodness through this entire process.  It was good to tell people… You are worth it!  It was good for God to remind me… I am worth it!  Yes, yesterday was a good day for me!


Pictures I shared:





Healthy me: