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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hodge Podge

I'm not sure what's going to come off the tip of my fingers right now, but figured it'd been a while since I blogged so I better get something down.

It's been a quiet week around our home.  The boys are on a mission trip right now (will be home tomorrow) so we've not really done any cooking.  Interestingly enough, we've not really eaten out either.  Well, we did one night, but it could be a lot worse.  We went to J. Gumbo's for dinner last night.  I like being able to order a kid's size and tell them, "I'll need a to go cup too, please."  Plus I tell them to leave off the rice.  I had the Voodoo Chicken mixed with Creole Ratatouille.  The spicy chicken was "slightly" tamed by the ratatouille.  It was yummy!  I've got to remember to take my measuring cups though!  I'm pretty sure I didn't over eat - I'm actually wondering if I got in my full 3oz.  -shrug-  Regardless, it was tasty!

I'm still trying to avoid the scales - to limit the weight check to once a week.  It's hard though.  I want to see a number to measure my progress by, yet I know that the progress is not always going to show there.  This part of it is probably the hardest bad habit to break - obsessing over a number.  Still working on that.

I put our family's registrations for the July 4th 5K in the mail today!  My oldest daughter and g-baby and our boys will join me and my friend for this one!  CME was going to walk it too, but he's got to work on 7/3 and won't get off in time for the race on 7/4.  Kinda bummed about that, but there are a lot more walks happening. I really do hope I'm starting a new activity and habit for our family.  I want us ALL to be healthy!

I'm excited for this weekend.  We're going to be visiting family for CME's Grampa's 80th bday!  We'll get to spend a little extra time with the family which will be nice.  It will be my first road trip since surgery so figuring out how to get in all my water and protein may be a bit of a challenge.  I don't want to have to stop for potty breaks every 30 minutes!

I have to chuckle a little bit.  On more than one occasion I've had a meal with various friends.  Almost always they say something like, "I feel bad eating in front of you."  My response usually is something like, "It's okay...I'm eating too!"  I know what they mean, but it's funny.  I really don't feel like I'm missing out on food.  As a matter of fact, last Saturday after the 5K...I really did truly forget to eat lunch!  I napped which was awesome, but I forgot to eat!  I use to scoff at people when they'd say, "Oh!  I forgot to eat..."  Like yeah...right.  Who forgets to eat????  Ummm...I do.  I know I am not suppose to skip meals and it definitely wasn't intentional.  I just truly forgot - and wasn't hungry to be reminded.  I think that "don't feel hungry" part is kicking in now.  

I started removing even more clothes from my closet.  I found a couple pair of pants that I'll be able to wear for a little while, though they're already big on me.  Some of my favorite shirts are going.  Shirts hanging cause a problem...one slight wrong move (like bending over to tie a shoe or get a file from a bottom drawer) can cause those around me to see WAY more than they ever bargained for.  Neck holes are unforgiving.  Just sayin...

Had a little bit of an emotional breakdown on Tuesday night.  I got past it (by sometime Wednesday) even more determined.  More determined to win this battle.  Not just losing the weight, but getting healthy and being committed to a healthy lifestyle.  I may have had commitment issues in past (like never sticking with an exercise program or diet long term), but I have made one of the biggest commitments in my life and there's no going back.  With Christ as my Rock, there is nothing I cannot do...including this journey!!

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

Sunday, June 24, 2012

We Did It!

We did it!  The 5K went down without incident!  I had to get past my head to remember that this time 6 months ago I wouldn't have even thought about signing up for a 5K, so I shouldn't be so concerned about how "fast" (a term used VERY loosely here!) I was walking.  I did what I could do and I finished! I don't know our official time, but I know it was around one hour.  

My only "mistake" was that I drank all my water before the race started because I thought I was smarter than MD.  Figured if I'd drink it up front then I'd be well hydrated throughout.  Although I don't know the exact temp when we were walking, it was well in the mid-80s.  By mile one I was really hoping for a water station on the path.  But there wasn't one until about mile 2 ... and then again at mile 2.5 or so.  So I took some water at both stations and kept walking!  I wasn't dehydrated by the end, but know that next time (yes, there will be a next time...planning a July 4 walk!) I'll listen.  Why am I so stubborn some times??  :)  Bonus:  M and I had some great conversations as well!  Oh...and I got a t-shirt!  

Then there was Mary.  M and I had noticed Mary in the walk.  M mentioned that she wants to be like Mary when she grows up - still active and still out walking 5Ks.  We cheered Mary on as she crossed the finish line.  M told her about our earlier conversation and Mary said something to the effect that she'll be 80 in August and she walks every day.  How amazing is that?  By golly if an almost-80 year old woman can walk these 5Ks, then there is no reason I can't!

So what do I need to do before the next one?  Walk more to get prepared.  Get better walking shoes.  Walk more.  Walk more.  Walk more.  (see a pattern here?)

I'm so thankful for my friend!  For her desire to be healthy and for her prompting me to walk in this 5K.  For her heart.  I'm thankful her friendship and support!!

My official 5K racers bib!

Still smiling at the end of the race.

The front of my awesome t-shirt.

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

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I May Not Be Seeing It On the Scale, But...

...I can definitely see it here!  The bottom two pictures were taken this evening in the same jeans that I wore in my "before" pictures!  This excites me!

"Before" - notice the jeans indented in.
My arms completely tucked in my pants!!!
It may be time to go by some new (more like consignment) clothes!
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Six Weeks, a 5K and a Life Boat

Six Weeks
Went to my 6-week appointment with MD today.  Official weight loss (though the Wii still weighs me less) is 26.8# since surgery and 51.8# since January.  Blood pressure was more normal today (thinking it's due to the increase in fluids and slight increase in activity.)  Either way, it was 106/70.  I'll take it!

MD seemed satisfied that I'm still "right on target" for where I need to be.  He gave me no lectures or harsh words but basically said to keep doing what I'm doing and gradually add more exercise.  Got it.  I did tell him about my moment of stupidity from last night and he kind of smiled and said, "Well, I guess it's good to experience that once.  I bet you won't do that again!"  He's right!

Had some good conversation with RD.  I like her a lot.  We talked about adding some variety to my food intake now.  Because I'm power-packing my protein shakes, it frees up room for different things later - fruits, veggies, etc.   I asked if I should be watching calories too and her answer was no.  "I don't want this to resemble a diet at all.  Due to the restriction (portion size) the calories are going to be fine right now.  If you're eating high protein, low fat, low sugar foods, no need to look at calories at this stage...maybe a year from now, but not at this time."  I'm good with that...I was just wondering since the calories seem to vary even on my protein powders.

I go back in 6 more weeks (3 months post-op) and am hoping to do as well these next six weeks as I have so far!  (Hey! I didn't even complain about slow weight loss this time!)

I've got this friend....this friend who only God could orchestrate how our paths crossed and how we have become friends.  Anyway... she texts me the other night and long story short, we are going to walk in a 5K this Saturday!  I know it's only about 3 miles...but still!  I'm walking in a 5K!  MD reminded me today to make sure I sip water all through the walk because I can't "gulp" like others can.  He said if I wait until the end, I will be dehydrated.  Regardless, I'm stoked that I'm walking my first 5K!  I don't really care if I'm the last to cross the finish line (I'll try not to be, M!)... I'm excited that she asked me and that I am doing this!  Never would I have thought to do it this time last year...or the year before...or the year before that...  Thanks M!  I'm so glad you are in my life!!!

Life Boat
As I've mentioned before, I visit a forum for others who have had gastric bypass, gastric sleeve or lap band.  I ran across this analogy the other night and had to share it.  It really made sense to me...
"Being overweight is like being stranded in the ocean and the shore is being healthy.  This surgery is a life boat.  Even with a life boat, you still need to work at getting to the shore, but you have a great tool.  Without the life boat, the struggle is much more difficult."
So God has given me this life boat.  It is a tool to help me, but I still have to paddle to get to the shore!  I'm paddling!! I'm paddling!!!

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

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Well That Sucked!

I ate too fast again tonight.  Totally distracted and ate too fast.  The "stuck" food lasted about 30 seconds before it came back up.

That sucked.

Don't care to do that ever again!
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm Eating, Folks!

I've not done a very good job at keeping the photos uploaded of the food I've been eating.  A couple of people have even asked, "What are you eating now?"  I figured I'd take some tonight and try to catch up.

Below is an entry of what I ate one day last week.  I'm eating about 3 oz.  (1/4c + 2T) at a meal now.

Breakfast 1 poached egg & 1 wedge laughing cow cheese  (8g protein)
Mid morning - 4oz protein shake (usually with soy and PACKED with protein...like 33g!)
16.9oz bottle of water with Special K protein mix (5g protein)  (I drank a total of 68 oz that day!)
Lunch - 1/4 c grilled chicken + 2 T mandarin oranges (9g protein)
Mid afternoon - 4 oz protein shake (33g protein)
Dinner - 1/4 c chicken thigh, 1 pc asparagus, 1T instant mashed potatoes (8g protein)
Evening snack - sugar free popsicle

Twice last week, I did something stupid.  I met a friend one day and had to rush to eat and get back to work on time.  I. was. miserable.  I felt as if the food was totally backed up in my esophagus and that if I burped or coughed it would result in my entire lunch resurfacing.  Literally.  The other time I didn't rush, but I guess I wasn't paying attention and didn't realize that I was full.  I had "one more bite" of food and had the same feeling.  It's unpleasant to say the least.  But it has also made me realize that I CAN'T rush and I MUST be aware when I'm eating!  (Regardless if my precious little g-baby, Bella, is distracting me or not!!!)

Some days are better than others, but the choices I'm making are healthy now!  For example, I had very little time after work tonight before I went to a meeting.  Before, I would have just hit up a drive-thru somewhere on my way to the meeting.  Instead, tonight I had 2T of PB2, 1 string cheese and part of a fresh peach.  CME thought it was an icky combination, but it didn't bother me at all.  I got my protein and some fresh fruit!  I was pretty excited!

So yes, folks, I'm eating.  And I'm enjoying the variety!  Below are some pics of what meal time has been looking like for me lately.  (No more pureed food. I've graduated to "soft" foods.)

Pureed Creamy Chicken and 2T Cantaloupe

Variety!  Hummus, Mashed Potatoes and Crushed Pineapple

Tuna with spicy Thai sauce and a wedge of laughing cow cheese

What's left of the "cup" of chili from Zoup!  

1/4c grilled chicken & 2T mandarin oranges

Today's yummy breakfast: 1 poached egg with salsa and 1 Babybel cheese

Southwest grilled chicken and light ranch dressing.  Good lunch!
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What's in a Number?

As I've whined about previously, I've been stuck on the fact that I don't like the numbers I'm seeing on the scales.  I. want. more.  This past week I had an appointment with surgeon.  I expressed my discontent with what the scale was seeing and he smiled.  I know he's heard that before.  A LOT.  But then he said to me, "You are well within the normal range.  Stop looking at the number.  I know it's been the focus your entire life, but trust me!  You WILL lose the weight if you follow the plan.  Do you feel better?  Are your clothes getting loser?  Stop looking at the scale!  My goal is not to get you to a certain weight.  My goal is to help you get healthy."  Admittedly, that's not easy for me to do.  He's right. The number on the scales has haunted me for the majority of my life.  It's what the world focuses on when it comes to weight loss.  But it's also been almost a relief not to focus on a number.  He did also recommend I try to up my protein a bit as it may help in the loss, but he basically told me to be patient.

All that being said, I did weigh myself this morning.  Basically just over 5 weeks out from surgery and 25# down.  I guess he's right.  If I follow the plan, it WILL come off.  But more than that, a sweet friend reminded me last Sunday that God made a way for me for this surgery to happen.  I was able to keep my job which in turn meant keeping my insurance which allowed this surgery to happen.  He is faithful to finish the work He has begun in me!  He promises me that! (Phil 1:6)  This journey is not just about me.  It's about the work that God is doing in and through me.  At the end of the weight loss journey, I am confident that He has bigger and better things for me to do.  I don't know what that looks like now, but I do know that He's making it possible for me to get there!

I'm thankful for the loss of 25# since surgery and 50# since January.  I'm thankful for friends with encouraging words.  I am thankful that I can eat tasty foods from a menu (albeit small amounts).  I am thankful that God has provided me a way to pursue this surgery.  I am thankful that I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

Now on a funny note ...I found this on the forum I frequent.  It made me chuckle.  In total, I've lost a small bale of hay - or a toddler since surgery!

1 pound = a Guinea Pig
1.5 pounds = a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts
2 pounds = a rack of baby back ribs
3 pounds = an average human brain
4 pounds = an ostrich egg
5 pounds = a Chihuahua
6 pounds = a human’s skin
7.5 pounds = an average newborn
8 pounds = a human head
10 pounds= chemical additives an American consumes each year
11 pounds = an average housecat
12 pounds = a Bald Eagle
15 pounds = 10 dozen large eggs
16 pounds = a sperm whale’s brain
20 pounds = an automobile tire
23 pounds = amount of pizza an average American eats in a year
24 pounds = a 3-gallon tub of super premium ice cream
25 pounds = an average 2 year old
30 pounds = amount of cheese an average American eats in a year
33 pounds = a cinder block
36 pounds = a mid-size microwave
40 pounds = a 5-gallon bottle of water or an average human leg
44 pounds = an elephant’s heart
50 pounds = a small bale of hay
55 pounds = a 5000 BTU air conditioner
60 pounds = an elephant’s penis (yep, weights more than his heart!)
66 pounds = fats and oils an average American eats in a year
70 pounds = an Irish Setter
77 pounds = a gold brick
80 pounds = the World’s Largest Ball of Tape
90 pounds = a newborn calf
100 pounds = a 2 month old horse
111 pounds = red meat an average American eats in a year
117 pounds = an average fashion model (and she’s 5’11”)
118 pounds = the complete Encyclopedia Britannica
120 pounds = amount of trash you throw away in a month
130 pounds = a newborn giraffe
138 pounds = potatoes an average American eats in a year
140 pounds = refined sugar an average American eats in a year
144 pounds = an average adult woman (and she’s 5’4”)
150 pounds = the complete Oxford English Dictionary
187 pounds = an average adult man
200 pounds = 2 Bloodhounds

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

Saturday, June 9, 2012

It's Been 6 Months

Six months ago I began this journey.  Six months ago.  It doesn't seem like it's been that long, really.  It seems more like a month.  Yet, I'm just over a month post-op already.  Time goes by so quickly!

My last post was still a bit on the downer side, even with celebrating those 8 little words my son said to me.  Being blessed with such amazing friends, I was enlightened to some thoughts and truths that one friend shared with me this morning.  I was able to pray for some very specific things - one being against the spirit of depression that may be (probably is) around me.  Sometimes I forget to pray for some of the most important things!  I am so glad God has put incredible women in my life to remind me.  (Thanks C!)

Another realization I had this evening made me really feel kind of silly for complaining about "slow" weight loss.  I have lost the same amount of weight in the past month as I did in the first four months of the year.  It puts "slow" into perspective for me.  I needed that eye-opener.

Tonight I had CME take updated pictures.  I'm not sure if you can tell any difference since the clothes aren't the same, but here are pics from February side by side with the pics from tonight. 

Fighting like a Girl!

Hair still looks better - though many need a touch up!

I can see the difference the most in this one.

My amazing CME!

Again - humoring CME!

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

Friday, June 8, 2012

Highlight of My Week

Before I get to the highlight of my week, let me first say that I'm really trying to work through this funk I've been in.  I still can't entirely pinpoint why I've been struggling emotionally, but I know I have been.  There are still times when certain thoughts creep into my brain.  Thoughts like, "Is it really possible to fail at gastric bypass before you even get the weight off?"  or "How come I still feel hungry at times?  Aren't I suppose to feel full?  Aren't I suppose to have to be reminded to eat?"  And that's the thing...there are times I feel hunger.  Not head-hunger.  Not the "Oh wouldn't a huge slice of pizza be nice!" feeling, but where my stomach actually growls and I start to feel a little nauseated like if I don't eat, I'm going to be sick.  Granted, the amount of food that I eat fills me, but I still get hungry.  :(

The weight is not coming off as quickly as I'd like it to, but I am losing, so that is a praise.  I can tell that my clothes are starting to get loose, but the scale isn't reflecting much change in this last week.  I actually decided to avoid the scale until I have my appointment with surgeon on Monday.  I think that was affecting my mood too.  There's a Gastric Bypass Forum that I frequent.  You know, to see if I'm "close" to normal in this journey and to discuss things with others who have gone through the same surgery and emotions.  I posed a question not long ago asking how often people weigh themselves.  Overwhelmingly, the majority of people responded that they weigh every day.  There were a few that said they weighed weekly because they couldn't stand the -.2 or -.4.  I totally get that.  Those numbers burst bubbles.  Please don't get me wrong, I am grateful to be losing weight.  It just isn't "melting off" like I thought it would (or as some told me I would).  That part of it lets those negative thoughts creep in.  Almost as if I'm doing something wrong.  

Then last night, last night was the highlight of my week.  Our boys have been at Boy Scout camp all week and we joined them last night for Family Night.  Besides the fact that our oldest was selected for Boy Scouts Order of the Arrow and our youngest son's patrol placed 2nd for the week of the all the Scouts at camp, last night I shared in a moment that made my heart smile.  Our youngest hugged me and then looked up at me with his sweet (and dirty) face.  He had this look of amazement when he said, "Mom!  I can get my arms around you!"  

Those 8 little words were the highlight of my week.
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I know I've not blogged for a while.  It's partly because I've been without words to put down and partly because I've been in a funk of sorts.  The eating has gone fine over the past few days, but the emotions are still kind of all over the place.  

I had lunch with one of my best friends on Friday.  It was nice to be able to go out as "normal".  And I was proud of myself for not feeling cheated or anything like that as I ate my 3oz of chili.  Saturday evening, we attended a backyard BBQ that my boss (well, former boss now) hosted.  It was a nice evening - plenty of food and drinks for the family.  I enjoyed my tuna with a little bit of homemade guacamole mixed with it to make sure it was moist enough.  Again, I didn't really feel cheated, although the peanut butter/chocolate/cool whip dessert was tempting.  I had my protein shake with chocolate truffle protein and PB2 instead.  It worked.

I looked at my education manual again tonight and noticed that the "pureed" stage said that I could puree my own meats, but to avoid beef.  Unfortunately, I hadn't read that part of it previously.  I've had two different things that contain beef - one was the pasta e fagioli soup and the other was a beef burgundy.  I've not had any setbacks because of it (all bodily functions are still normal), but it made me frustrated that I didn't read it correctly.  I was lovingly told that I may be obsessing about it too much, but I really do want to do this right.  I. do. not. want. to. fail.

I go back to work on Wednesday.  Physically, I think I'm ready.  I know there will be a new tired that sets in after that, but it will be manageable.  Emotionally, I'm dreading it.  I'm sure it will be fine, but there are so many changes that I'm not looking forward to.  Maybe just getting back into the routine will help that.  

I've had several comments about the weight loss - how people are noticing it and such.  I still don't see it when I look in the mirror, but I am noticing it in some clothes.  I'll be 4-weeks out from surgery on Wednesday so I think I'll do another set of photos for comparison.  My mirror has lied to me for years...can't really trust it.  But side by side photos I can see.  

All-in-all, I think I'm still just tired, physically and emotionally - which I'm not doing well in overcoming.  I took a nap this afternoon/early evening, but feel like I could sleep for days (uninterrupted)!  I'm told it's normal, but its not something I'm use to.  I think this has been my biggest struggle so far.  I know God will get me through this time, even when I feel like I'm losing the battle.

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