There's been a lot swirling around in my brain lately. So it's time to get some of it out. (This usually means I have no idea what's going to leave my fingertips, nor how much...this might be a long entry!)
It's funny how I (we) cook more now than I did before. I cook for dinner and the boys lunches and for special events. It seems like I'm constantly cooking. What's even funnier? I don't seem to mind! For those of you who have known me for a while, you know that's a big deal. And if you don't know, just ask CME. He jokes (though it's not really a joke) that if I had my druthers I'd eat out all the time. While that's been the case a lot, I'm actually getting to a point where I like to cook. Yes, some days I'm too tired to really put much effort into the whole thing, but I like looking for healthy ways to feed our family. Yesterday, I even made a healthier version of a Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe for the boys' Super Bowl party at church. I used light versions of cream cheese, ranch dressing and mozzarella cheese. It was still delicious, but healthier. That's the thing that I've noticed. I am consciously looking for healthier options. Yay!
Another example that I can think of is that I've run out of PB2. Next to my love of shrimp, I'm thoroughly enjoying PB2 as my go-to snack. Mix some with 1/2 a smashed banana...and oh yeah! Last week, I was going to pick some up, but the only time I could get by bariatric center was when they were at lunch so I couldn't buy any. I was bummed. Knowing that I have my 9 month check up this week, I figured I'd be able to make it until then. After all, it's just PB2, right? Wrong. I found myself a really wanting some peanut butter last week. I was at the store and figured that I'd just pick up a reduced fat peanut butter and be done with it. But you know what? A little comparison with the Reduced Fat Jif and PB2 and I just couldn't do it. 190 calories and 12g fat vs 45 calories and 1.5g of fat is a huge difference. Not everyone is going to like PB2 and not every needs to eat the stuff. But for someone who is wanting that peanut butter a few times a week, yes, the calorie/fat difference is a big deal! I can't wait until Thursday when I have my appointment just so I can bring some PB2 home!
Yesterday was a not-so-good food day for me. I started the morning by fixing an Egg Beater and a Morning Star Farms sausage patty. Granted the egg beater was the equivalent of two scrambled eggs, but I couldn't eat half of the food that was there. I was eating a scrambled egg and a MSF patty a couple of months after surgery without issue. But yesterday, I may have had one egg total, but could only get down about 1/4 (if that) of the sausage. Not sure what happened. It just wasn't going to go down. I didn't have any issues with it sticking or me eating too fast and I didn't feel full. I just felt as if I was going to hurl if I put another bite in my mouth. So I stopped.
Lunchtime I was fine with a Gorton's Grilled Fillet. Even added a little "banging shrimp sauce". No issue. By dinner time, CME was still at work and the boys were at their Super Bowl Party so I figured I'd just make a protein shake. I've started experimenting more with these...getting a little braver on my varieties. I recently discovered that the Almond Joy creamer, though it isn't the most nutritious, it does fit within my guidelines. So with that, I used vanilla protein powder, light vanilla silk, 1T creamer, 1/2 banana and 6 chunks of frozen pineapple; I was going for that piña colada taste (yes, I know banana isn't in a piña colada, but it gives the smoothie a nice consistency) and was quite pleased with the results. So pleased, in fact, that I drank all 12 ounces at one time...and within a very short time span. (Do you see the issue here?) I drank 12 ounces of a thick, nearly frozen, 33g protien shake in a short amount of time. And then it hit me. No...not dumping...sugars were still fine. But with the small amount of anything else on my stomach all day long, this was WAY too much too quickly. Foamies happened and I was miserable. Nothing came up and I'm guessing that because it was liquid that it made its way on through quicker than it would have if it had been solids. But OY! Not a pleasant experience. It was a reminder though that I am still learning and I still need to be very careful in how much I take in at one time, even if it's liquid!
I still find myself hesitant when someone compliments me and then asks me how I lost all my weight. Why am I uncomfortable saying, "I had gastric bypass surgery."? I'm not uncomfortable blogging about it. I'm not uncomfortable talking to people who know that I've had the surgery. I am uncomfortable when someone says, "You look great...how did you do it?" I literally feel a little tightening in my chest before I respond. I say it with a smile, but It feels like I'm about to bring on a whole new round of judgement from the world. I H.A.T.E. that. I wish there wasn't such a negative connotation that goes along with RNY gastric bypass surgery - but there still is. I see it on the faces of those I tell. I usually finish the conversation with, 'You know...it's the tool that God's given me that has actually worked. For that I'm thankful.' I don't know what else to say. -shrug-
I've had people ask me about all the extra skin. "So are you going to have surgery for that?" I don't mind people being curious. I don't mind those who love me and are my friends. It kind of bugs me when a random co-worker asks me. Am I selective in who I want to know what about me and my life? I suppose I am to a degree - yet here I am blogging about it. Oh the mixed emotions!!! And about that extra skin...I don't know if I'll have surgery. If there's no medical indicators as to why I'd need it (which there aren't now) then probably not. There is no way that we could afford for me to undergo a cosmetic procedure like that. And, being as honest as I can be, I wish that was different. The extra skin is mortifying some days. I expected it in my stomach - it was already droopy. I did not expect it in my legs. Arms? Yeah, figured I'd have some extra swinging skin. Didn't expect it to be as much as it is right now. But all of that is purely vanity, which I need to let go. I most definitely will take the health benefits of being half the size I was with some loose skin over the alternative! I didn't wear shorts before, won't wear them now. Didn't wear tank tops before...won't wear them now. Swimsuit? Not unless I can find some cute board shorts. -shrug- (Obviously as I'm typing this, I realized I need some prayer in this area...that I will not focus on the negatives, but focus on the work that God has done IN me. Thanks in advance...)
I realized an NSV today that I didn't even recognize as one until I was talking with the receptionist at my dentist's office. I've been going to the same dentist office since I was a kid. The receptionist is the only one I remember. I'm sure there were others, but as long as I can recall, Connie has been there. So we were talking today about my surgery, my health and such. She's trying to get weight off too. She asked me if I was where I wanted to be weight wise. I explained to her that even though MD won't give me a number that the weight charts say I could still lose another 15-20# and be at the higher end of what's considered normal. Even though I'm thinner now than I was in high school, I could still lose some weight and be healthy. I told her that right now I'm in the 150s (WHAT?!?!) and in a size 10 pants that aren't tight. And here was the unrecognized NSV... I said, "You know it's a pretty awesome feeling to not worry that my jeans will be too tight if I dry them." Jeans out of the dryer...no falling backwards on to the bed trying to get them zipped. No deep breaths and half squats to try to stretch them back out before trying again to button them. Yes, folks, for me that's an NSV!
Speaking of my dentist...He and I went to high school together (he went into practice with one of our classmates' dad...my original dentist). Recently he ran across some of my Instagram pictures and was so excited for me. Today when he saw me, I got that "one arm hug" with an "I'm so proud of you!" comment. That was a nice NSV too. :)
And a final "what not"... later next month (March) I'll be speaking at an informational meeting for bariatric center. I'm a little nervous and a little excited. I want to try to help people get past any negative thoughts they might have in general about the surgery. I want to share my story. I want to share how God has been faithful through this journey and how He is the one to be given the glory. Will you be in prayer for that talk? Will you pray that I adequately answer questions that the people there might have and at the same time be able to speak of our Amazing God and His transforming powers? I want people to see themselves as God sees them. I want them to know that they are fearfully and wonderfully made!
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14