Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Weigh Day and the Second Stall

It's Tuesday and I'm now five weeks out from my Dec. 27 gastric sleeve surgery. And that means it's Weigh Day. I'm still at 234, although this week I've been all over the place. On Jan. 25, I was at 234, then inexplicably on Jan. 27, I was at 236. And on Jan. 29, I hit 231. Then back up to 234. I'm shaking my head at the scale. Go figure. I'm still down 22 pounds since my surgery weight of 256, and 39 pounds since my all-time high of 273.

It's sort of anticlimatic because I hit another stall when I moved to Stage 3 foods at four weeks, which is most of the protein choices and most vegetables, except for artichokes, asparagus, celery and a few others.

I had decided not to weigh daily until I heard a story last week on NPR about a study that indicated it makes no difference if you weigh daily or weekly. When I was thin in my 20s and early 30s, I weighed daily and found it motivating. Back then, if I gained a pound or two, I'd be more careful until the scale slid back down.

I'm not sure when it changed, but it didn't change all at once. It's easy to gain weight when you do it eight or 10 pounds a year. Heck, you don't have to increase your calories by much daily to do that. I just didn't care as much about myself after my 1990 divorce, even though I dieted hard several times including a stint with the now-discredited fen-phen diet drugs that whipped about 50 pounds off. About the time I was having really good success with them, they went off the market because of heart valve problems and my weight came back on like iron filings to a magnet.

My physician Dr. Gregory Walton has me taking my blood pressure most days and logging it, and I'm hoping eventually I'll get off both of my BP meds (I'm off one.) My log also notes my weight that day, so that's how I know how much I weighed on certain days. (I'm not really a compulsive obsessive.)

I went ahead and measured today instead of tomorrow, Feb. 1, and I've lost a half-inch on my bust, an inch on my waist and an inch on my hips. All good news since I tend to pack it in below the waist. That was since Jan. 20, when I belatedly measured for the first time after surgery.

I'm sure now that I've written about it, the Second Stall will be over soon. I'm not worried. I'm keeping on doing what I've been doing and the scales will budge.



Monday, January 30, 2012

Fashion Forward

Nothing like a little mind-bending fashion to inspire my continuing weight loss regimen.

Saturday, my wonderfully artistic friend Shirley and I trekked to the Dallas Museum of Art to see "The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the catwalk to the sidewalk."

Of course, they wouldn't allow photos inside, but I was able to snap a photo of the two mannequins outside the show, with a scrawled note from Gaultier on the riser they stood on. These were only average compared to the fashions inside, and to tell the truth, even though one of the cowboy hats was made of hair, cowboy hats are sort of everywhere in Dallas.

The fashions inside were stunningly mesmerizing. The show was divided into several areas and of course, there were costumes from the Madonna Blonde Ambition Tour -- you know, the ones with the "pointy" boob corsets.

Some of our favorites were a dress made of film strips and another of ballet ribbons. Detail and workmanship were just phenomenal.

And the mannequins just about made the show. Molds were taken of models' faces and they were used as the heads of many of the mannequins. Then a 3D image was projected onto the mannequin's faces and it appeared they were almost looking right at you, talking or singing to you. Surreal and fun.

There were lots of his sketches that showed his design thoughts.

I think I may have to go back before this riveting and memorable show is over. Note: It's only showing through Feb. 12.

Tuesday, I hit my five-week mark since my Dec. 27 surgery, and it's Weigh Day.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ham and Egg Cups for Breakfast

One of my favorite breakfast meals before surgery was Ham and Egg Cups. Now that I can eat veggies, it was one of the first things I tried Wednesday.

It's another recipe I adapted to make lower fat from the Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook by Julie and Charles Mayfield.

Ham and Egg Cups (serves 12)
1/2 c. mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 c. shallots, finely chopped
12 large eggs
12 slices (lean) ham

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sauté shallots and mushrooms in skillet with butter-flavored cooking spray (instead of the butter the recipe called for.)

Coat muffin pan with olive oil spray and place ham slices in cups, cutting as necessary to make them fit. Spoon sautéed mushroom/shallot mixture into each cup.

Crack individual eggs into the ham cups.

Cook for 15-16 minutes or until edges of ham is slightly crisp and egg whites don't look runny. For large eggs, cook about 20 minutes.

Tonight, I attended the WeightWise weekly support group and feel like I'm doing really great. It seemed like the majority of people were pre-op tonight. There's a different mix of people every week. I'm going to try to make it at least once a month to help keep me on track losing.

I added veggies at my four-week mark Tuesday and have had some trouble getting my stomach to accept them. I was fine with the cooked veggies in the Ham and Egg Cups, but not so good with the slaw and lettuce around the Fish Tacos. It's a slow process. I'm thinking cooking the veggies is key right now.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Taco Time

Today, I hit my four-week mark and "graduated" to adding veggies. I've lost 39 pounds total since I started this adventure and 22 since my gastric sleeve surgery Dec. 27.

I celebrated by making a recipe I've been dying to try: Fish Tacos in a Lettuce Wrap vs. a flour tortilla, with the Best Slaw Ever and Chipotle Dipping Sauce

I adapted the recipe from the "Paleo Comfort Foods" cookbook by Julie and Charles Mayfield.

I made the sauce, marinade and slaw in 10 minute or so segments whenever I had small breaks today. Then when I got home at about 8 p.m., all I had to do was pan sauté the fish and assemble. It was worth it.

Fish Tacos
1 T. olive oil
1 t. ancho chili powder
Juice of one lime
1 t. ground cumin
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (optional) (I chose not to use it.)
1-2 pounds wild-caught fish of your choice -- mahi mahi, grouper, red snapper, cod, etc., cut into no bigger than 4-inch pieces (I used my buttery Hawaiian monchong purchased yesterday at Avalon Seafoods in Oklahoma City.)
1 T. avocado or coconut oil (I used olive oil.)
Bibb or romaine lettuce for the wraps

Combine olive oil, ancho chili powder, lime juice, cumin and jalapeño in a large bowl. Toss the fish in the marinade and let sit for 15 minutes. (I put it in a Ziplock gallon bag and refrigerated while I ran a business errand .)

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add avocado or coconut (or olive) oil.

Add the fish, cooking for about five minutes or until flaky, flipping in the middle.

Break the fish into smaller, bite-sized pieces and serve with the Tastiest Slaw Ever (below), cilantro, tomatoes and Chipotle Dipping Sauce (below).

Chipotle Dipping Sauce
1/2 c. light mayonnaise (adapted from Paleo Mayonnaise in cookbook)
1/2 c. cilantro
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 T. olive oil (I left this out)
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Juice of one lime

Combine all ingredients in a mini-blender or food processor until mixed. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Tastiest Slaw Ever
2 t. red wine vinegar
1 T. olive oil
Juice of two limes
1/2 t. garlic, minced (I grated this.)
1/8 t. black pepper
2 c. red cabbage, thinly sliced
2 c. romaine lettuce, chopped
1 mango, peeled, pitted and chopped (I didn't use.)
1 c. cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into strips (I didn't peel.)
Several small carrots grated (I added ... not in original recipe, but added for color.)

Combine vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, garlic and black pepper in a small bowl.
In large bowl, mix all other ingredients.
Mix well and pour liquid over the slaw, tossing to mix.
Cover and chill for at least one hour.

This would be great to serve family style and let everybody make their own "tacos." It was great fun, accomplished the taste delight I desired and lit up my mouth as well. (And no adverse reactions to the spices at this time. Hooray!)


Four Weeks and it Seems Like Yesterday

Just notched my four-week "anniversary," from my gastric sleeve surgery Dec. 27, and I'm down 22 pounds. Counting the weight I lost before surgery, I'm down 39 pounds. That's from my high of 273, to my surgery weight of 256, and today I'm at 234. I'm weighing in once a week.

Before you say that's too fast, it's my understanding that the first couple of months when you're on a liquid and soft foods diet and your stomach is healing, you lose faster. It will slow down, but right now, it's go, go, go.

Today I'm at Stage 3 of my diet and can add back vegetables, which will account for about a third of what I eat with two third protein and a small amount of fat/oils. I'm thrilled to be able to eat the lettuce, mache, arugula, spinach, etc., still growing in my raised beds because of the mild winter and covering them up on cold nights. I'm thinking tonight I'll make mashed cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes.

I have gotten a few questions and I'll start addressing those:

How much do I eat?

I have a regime I follow daily ... some of it is at the direction of my physician Dr. Gregory Walton and dietician Steph and some is my adaptation.

When I get up I take my meds, which include multivitamin capsules, a script to keep my stomach acids in control, B-vitamin chewable tablet and 30 mg of Cymbalta. My doc had me go off my Meloxicam, an anti-inflammatory that's hard on your stomach. Hoping I won't need it anymore when the weight comes off.

I drink a 32 oz. bottle of PowerAde Zero before breakfast, which is half of my required liquids for the day.

For breakfast, I might have a piece of turkey bacon, an egg over medium cooked with butter cooking spray and topped with a tablespoon of low-fat cheese. Then I don't have any liquids for an hour because of the "funnel effect." It would be really uncomfortable to have foods stopping up your smaller stomach and then put a bunch of liquid on top of that. I set the timer on my phone so I know when I can have liquid again.

I usually take 500 mg of calcium citrate at the conclusion of each meal in a chewable form. They're actually yummy and taste sort of like candy.

Lunch is usually something like tuna or chicken and egg salad, made with light mayo. One small can of chicken packed with water, a hard-boiled egg and a tablespoon or two of light mayo made with olive oil does it with a little custom-mixed seasoning from Native Roots' spice counter. I eat tiny bites and try to chew them 25 times.

I have my chocolate-flavored chewable iron at about 3 p.m. -- also pretty tasty and almost like having a small piece of Tootsie Roll.

For supper, I might go out to eat or cook something like fish. Softer baked fish is my best friend while my stomach is healing. A couple of nights ago, I split the Barking Fish sandwich (tuna steak with lemon caper aioli) at Interurban with my mom and just didn't eat the bun.

I take my blood pressure med at night, along with my other three multivitamin capsules. Dr. Walton took me off one of my BP meds because it's a diuretic and my BP has been a little on the high side, but not too bad.

My stomach will stretch a bit as time goes on and I will be able to eat more at a sitting.

I'm rarely hungry, thanks to the sleeve. It takes care of reducing ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger.


Monday, January 23, 2012

So Gratifying

I'm just amazed at the outpouring of support I've gotten from friends and family. You all are the best!! I am such a lucky woman.

I've gotten dozens of messages on Facebook, via e-mail and direct messages. I'm thinking it struck a chord with every person who fights their weight. And that's a whole lot of us.

I don't think I'm particularly brave or inspirational though. Reserve that for people who do really big things. Like the guy on the news tonight who lost his leg trying to protect another motorist. I'm not even remotely in that zip code.

I promised recipes and will probably be putting them up there as often as I can cook it and eat it. Only trouble is that when you cook something like a nice big red snapper fillet, you're probably going to eat it for a few days, so be patient with me.

That said, I had to go to Oklahoma City this afternoon for business, so I swung by Avalon Seafood for some fishy goodies, which are stomach-friendly these days. Went in there for some sea scallops and they were out. Darn, I had my mouth all ready for those sweet little babies. Still -- snagged some Hawaiian monchong, another whole trout only boned this time, red snapper and some beautiful salmon.

Have never tried monchong and I'm really looking forward to that. Supposed to be soft and buttery -- a fish you'd find in good sushi bars.

Tonight, I cooked the red snapper fillet and made a compound butter with softened butter, then lemon zest, lemon juice and fresh oregano mixed in with a bit of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Disclaimer here ... I'm supposed to avoid butter, but unfortunately I missed that part on my post-op directions. (I won't in the future.)

Regardless, it was good and I didn't use much of the butter. Here's what I did with it ... first I heated the broiler on my gas oven.

Take the snapper and lightly brush it with olive oil on each side. Broil it for about 2-3 minutes on each side, flipping it in between -- about 4-6 inches away from the broiler.

While the snapper is cooking, make the compound butter.

My serving was about a 2-3 oz. with probably about a teaspoon of butter. I'll be eating it for a couple of days or so. That was a tiny little dish -- about 6" diameter.

I think I'll reprise the lovely trout I cooked for my family a couple of nights ago in the next couple of days.

I know it may sound strange to be so into food. But now it's all about quality, not quantity.

When I was going through the process getting ready for surgery, I asked the WeightWise dietician Steph if I could still write food features and restaurant reviews for the Oklahoma Gazette. Those have been so much fun. And Steph looked back at me with a grin and said something like, "Of course, you can do those things. You just can't eat it all."

Good things come in small bites.



Sunday, January 22, 2012

To My Friends ...

It was an extremely hard decision to decide to be "out" about my weight loss surgery.

There are so many misconceptions about gastric sleeve surgery. It's probably the ultimate, best tool for weight loss. But on the flip side, it's not even remotely the easy way out of being obese. It's hopefully going to put years on my life. It takes a lot of work and you have to follow the program to make it work for you.

That said, I'm so happy I did this for myself. It was a bit scary to work it through my head, but I had mounting health issues -- all a result of being overweight. Sleep apnea, high blood pressure, bad knees and feet, stress incontinence. Yikes, it seemed like every time I turned around it was something else and one physician or another was lecturing me on losing weight. I had to do something to reverse things or I figured what would come next -- adult onset diabetes? Heart issues?

I've had several non-sleeve accomplishments or NSAs already from my Dec. 27, 2011, surgery by Dr. Gregory Walton of WeightWise in Edmond.

My yoga instructor Thomas noticed about a week ago that my feet were no longer puffy. My daughter Kat noticed last night that I'm getting "curvier" from the rear view and admonished me that I wouldn't be any "better" when I lose all my weight, that she liked me just fine at 273 and she won't love me any more or any less when I become thin. I love that. And I'm having to safety pin up my jeans already to keep them up.

My all-time highest weight was 273, and I'd tried about every diet under the sun and things kept getting worse and worse. That's about the equivalent of a University of Oklahoma offensive lineman. By the time I had surgery Dec. 27, I was down to 256 and today I weighed 234, dry and unpainted this morning.

My goal is to eat quality food prepared by myself or others, only a whole lot less of it. I plan to post lots of recipes here.

I created this blog in case my experience would be useful for anyone else going through similar struggles. I'm not trying to encourage any of my friends to take this step. Something like that is extremely personal and an intense decision to make. And this is a big learning curve. I'm hoping my day-to-day experiences and observations and recipes might help someone else.

Big breath. About to go public on my Facebook page. I think it's important. I have no problem with anyone sharing this link if they choose.

I'm happy to answer any questions you might have. And I appreciate your support.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

How to Do Dinner in Week Three

I cooked dinner tonight for several members of my family, and it was amazing if I say so myself.

The strategy was if I make it, I can eat it, and it's going to be good. Heck, I didn't get this body by being a bad cook.

I saw a recipe by Food Network's Anne Burrell in the Feast of Seven Fishes feature in the FN magazine last month, which featured a gorgeous red snapper over thinly sliced potatoes, kalamata olives, lots of garlic, tossed with olive oil and oregano and cooked with white wine. Simple recipe.

When I went to our city's lone fish counter, the only whole fish they had was trout and it was far smaller than the recipe called for. Got a couple of them anyway and per Anne's recipe stuffed them with thinly sliced lemons, fresh oregano and parsley and they cooked on top of the thinly sliced fingerling gold potatoes for 35 minutes.

Also made a fennel au gratin, which I took a tiny bite of but for the most part couldn't eat -- it got rave reviews. Love the way fennel goes with fish.

My daughter made a fabulous salad complete with edible flowers (pansies) to decorate and her homemade vinaigrette. Also couldn't eat it, but it sure looked good.

Only tough part was having my 87-year-old mother at dinner, who has some dementia. I haven't told her about my weight loss surgery, because I don't think she'd understand it and it might scare her. I've told her I'm dieting and avoiding bread, rice, pasta, etc., and she seems happy with that.

My daughter told me tonight she noticed I had some curves on the back side I hadn't had for awhile. Nice.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Measuring progress

After I swore to myself I'd only weigh once a week, on Tuesdays, I'm busted. But I lost a pound this morning, so who knows if the Big Stall is over. I'm really not going to weigh again until Tuesday, which is the four-week anniversary of my Dec. 27, 2011, gastric sleeve surgery.

I was thinking about how my friends get over weight loss stalls, and I did some research on techniques that have been effective for others.

Keep on keeping on. If you keep on eating and drinking the right things, you'll keep losing.

Move more. Make sure you get in 20 or 30 minutes of cardio daily, like walking the dog. If it's really cold where you are maybe try a stationary bicycle, treadmill or as one of my good friends calls it — the "ellipti-hell." In most places, there are still malls where you can do walking as well to get out of the cold.

Get in your 64 oz. of water or liquid under 15 calories per 8 ounce serving. I like to drink the ones with electrolytes and other replenishing minerals or vitamins, so I'm a big fan of PowerAde Zero, SmartWater and Propel. The best low-cal fruit drink out there is Diet V-8 Splash. I love to get the huge 32 oz. size of PowerAde Zero and sip one before breakfast and then I've already gotten in half of my liquids.

Remember if you think you're hungry, you might really be dehydrated. To determine if you are dehydrated, pinch the skin on the top of your hand and if it doesn't spring right back, you may be.

Measure yourself. You may be losing inches instead of pounds. The body is so interesting this way — your losses might be showing up with your tape measure instead of the scale. I sadly neglected to take my measurements before I started my weight loss adventure, so I'm recording them now and plan to do it on the first of every month or after I've stalled for a week or two, whichever comes first. I know I've already lost inches because my largest fat jeans are falling down, so I have them pinned up with safety pins. Hooray for that. I plan to keep doing that until they're just too embarrassing.

Here there are (taking large breath):
Bust w/bar: 43"
Waist: 43" (makes me wonder if I'm a tree trunk ... I think getting a waist back will be sublime!)
Hips: 50.5"
Neck: 16.25"
Upper right arm: 16"
Thigh: 30.25"
Right Calf: 17.75"


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Who Cares about The Big Ol' Stall?

"They" told me it would come.

All the reading I've been doing on VerticalSleeveTalk, a forum for people who have had weight loss surgery or are planning it, said it would come. And it did.

The Big Stall arrived in my third week, right on time with the mushies also known as soft foods like cottage cheese and scrambled eggs. I've been hovering around 238, give or take a pound or so for several days. That's fine. My body needs a moment to think about it and readjust itself. The good thing about reading about it first was that I wasn't surprised and I was sort of psyched about getting through it.

I have no complaints. I'm down about 18 pounds from my surgical weight Dec. 27, 2011, of 256. And down from my all-time high weight of 273 last fall by 35 pounds. I'm the magnificent melting woman and although I'm expecting my weight loss to be the greatest while on the most limited diet while my stomach heals the first couple of months.

Today is a good day. I felt great all day, had my first yoga session for the year with the amazing Thomas Thompson and my first meat (a slice of smoked turkey) without mayo accompanying it for lunch. Debating about what interesting thing I can make myself for supper. But I'm craving more deviled eggs (see yesterday) and I think I'll go for them. This time I'm going to live dangerously with smoked hot paprika from Native Roots on my deviled eggs. Woo hoo!

Just an aside, my physician Dr. Gregory Walton of WeightWise, said after the first couple of weeks that we're cleared to do almost everything we feel like doing except weight training, and that I can do in six weeks.

And Thomas, if you drop in, this is for you: "Try not. Do or do not, there is no try." — Yoda. Hoping I'm one of your "cool" friends. ;-)

I'm all done trying. Now I'm doing.



Monday, January 16, 2012

The Perfect Egg ... Discovered

I just finished up cooking a full batch of seven perfect hard-boiled eggs and turned two of them into deviled eggs for lunch.

That was thanks to darlin' daughter Kat who gave me a Cuisinart egg cooker for Christmas. It will cook seven eggs either lightly, medium or hard or three poached eggs. You've all had that grayish tint on the exterior of the yolks when they get overcooked. And then these eggs peel easily, which for me is a miracle in itself.

My hard-boiled eggs were made by mashing the two egg yolks with 1 T. of light mayonnaise, 1 t. of Dijon country-style mustard and then a tiny pinch of smoked sweet paprika on each one.

I had three halves for lunch, a nice amount for now.

In other news -- thankfully -- I haven't had the elusive, moving aches today. Hooray. I'm armed with my Tylenol if they start up again.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cupcakes du jour

You know, I really didn't even want to eat one of those sumptuous-looking Mrs. Egg cupcakes today at Gridiron rehearsal, made for our producer Bill P's birthday. But I did take a picture of them because they just looked pretty darn wonderful.

Monday is my last day on the softer mushies like scrambled eggs and tuna salad, then I move on to things like baked fish, beans, any kind of eggs (I'm thinking deviled right off.) Dreaming of what I'll make first at this next stage of soft foods. Hooray!

I'm also going to go to weighing myself once a week so I won't make myself crazy. For some odd reason, I was up a pound and a half today. I have no good reason for that, but I understand you can make yourself crazy weighing daily with all the crazy ups and downs.

Still having trouble with aches and pains -- they've moved from my back into my left hip -- go figure. Taking the edge off the pain with Tylenol. It isn't from being dehydrated because I'm doing great at that. Also not constipation and you don't need to know the details on that one. I'm thinking it's just garden-variety arthritis, because I'm off my Meloxicam because it's hard on your stomach. My stomach needs all the love it can get right now.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Achy Breaky

Today has been kind of a rough day.

Had a bad backache all day, kind of in the kidney area and it radiates down into my hip.

Finally about 4 p.m., I texted Dr. Walton and he texted me back and called. I really, REALLY like that he gives out his cell number, so you can text him or call him if you need help. So nice and so patient.

It's probably not kidney stones (hooray!) because I'd have a different, more intense kind of pain, he says. Maybe constipation -- oh boy! Take some Miralax and stay hydrated.

In the meantime, I'm coming up with five to 10 food story ideas for the food writing class I'm taking. Seems like an oxymoron to have a food writer with gastric sleeve surgery.

Made some fabulous chicken broth today with the carcass of the Roast Chicken With Two Lemons, some onions, celery, fresh rosemary from my garden and a touch of kosher salt. So much better than the canned stuff. If you make Roast Chicken With Two Lemons, make sure you do exactly what Marcella Hazan says temperature-wise, drying the chicken and starting it upside down. It's the best roasted chicken ever.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tired, But Otherwise Great

I need a nap.
I feel like the infamous song "I'm Tired" sung by the late Madeline Kahn as Lilly Von Schtupp (sp?) in "Blazing Saddles." Click on the link for your viewing enjoyment.
But I'm apparently over my stall and losing weight again, down to 238 -- from my Dec. 27 surgery weight of 256 and all-time high of 273.
Must drink some more water and maybe I'll just take that nap.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

'You're My Foodie'

Tuesday (yesterday) was our two-week diet class, and it's amazing how much more you listen when your new, improved smaller stomach has gotten your attention.

It's extremely important to get your vitamins in the appropriate way to absorb them, so I now have a schedule and am ready to work that deal.

And we went back over eating right to help our pouch heal properly. That means "mushies" this week i.e. scrambled eggs, cottage cheese and tuna/chicken/egg salad sans veggies this week. Since we aren't adding interesting things to our food yet, I won't be posting original recipes until I can eat them. Translation -- it'll be a couple of weeks.

In our diet class, our dietician and "coach" Stephanie from WeightWise called me her "foodie," and I'm going to do my best to live up to that. It was also Steph who promised that eventually I'd be able to eat just about anything, just not so much of it. The plan is that I'll still be able to do restaurant reviews and food features.

Because I won't be able to eat a whole lot, I'm planning on eating the best quality food I can.

I'm planning on dicing up some of the beautiful, best-ever Marcella Hazan's Roast Chicken with Two Lemons we made a couple of days ago for hubby to nosh on. Simplest, best recipe: chicken, salt and pepper, two small lemons. That will be supper tonight in some chicken salad. As the story goes -- in Marcella's kitchen, the nickname for that chicken recipe is Engagement Chicken, because every time they make that chicken recipe for their intended, that couple gets engaged. Funny -- last time I gave a young female friend that recipe, she got engaged. Love it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Marvelous "Mushies"

Hooray, it's "Mushie" madness. My first day of soft foods.

This morning hubby Bob and I had breakfast at The Diner in Norman, Okla., and I'm telling you scrambled eggs never tasted so good. Ordered two of them and probably got down one and a half. Rearranged the rest on my plate, which was my old trick when I was a kid so my folks wouldn't make me clean my plate.

Next time I eat out, I'll probably order some water, so the wait staff won't worry over it so much. I don't have to drink it, for goodness sake.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Almost There ... Desperately Seeking "Mushies"

Today is the last day of the liquid diet and I can hardly wait. It will be two weeks tomorrow since my gastric sleeve surgery Dec. 27.

Even though I've made friends with my decaf cappacino, bouillon and cream of mushroom soup, "mushies," as they call them, are going to be darn good. Mushies include stuff like scrambled eggs, tuna, chicken or egg salad with light mayo and no veggies, some soft cheeses.

Small confession. I rolled out the brand spankin' Cuisinart Egg Cooker my daughter gave me for Christmas and made three medium-cooked eggs and stuck them in the fridge. At lunchtime, I chopped up one of them and put a little light mayo on it and some spicy salt and ATE IT. It was DELICIOUS!! But apparently one egg is my limit because I was gurgling up some of it, albeit not badly and not in a nauseous way.

You can't have liquids for an hour after that, so I waited and had a cup of chicken broth.

Tomorrow is diet class and although I've heard it once, I'm sure it will be good to hear it again. Bob is going with me and it'll be good.

Transforming times!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Brother and Sister Sleevers

Eggman thought I must be sick.

He came to the first rehearsal for the Gridiron Show, toting fabulous-looking cupcakes made by his talented wife Mrs. Egg.

Oh my goodness, they looked so good, but it's the next to last day of my liquid post-op diet for my gastric sleeve surgery.

Egg could hardly believe I wasn't sampling a cupcake.

"I can't," I told him.

"Why? You're not sick are you?"

So I came out with my having weight loss surgery Dec. 27, and it turned out "Egg" had Roux N Y Bypass surgery and lost 120 pounds.

Then Sue P. piped up and said her sister had WLS and had done great on it.

The whole group was so supportive and my buddy Judi carried my treasurer's box to the trunk of her car (we carpooled ) and then transferred it to my trunk where it will stay until lifting is OK.

On the way to rehearsal, I commented to Judi and Ellie that I'd be a new woman for the show, which is Feb. 22, 24-25 at the Lyric Theatre. Judi said they were sure they'd like the new Carol, but they liked the old one already.

Awwwwwwww. So nice and I feel loved. And as of this morning, I've lost 15 pounds since my surgery, and a total of 32 pounds since I started this adventure. I get a checkup in the morning, and I'm excited.

Unexpected and great support -- thanks so much!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

'The Other Guy' on the Other Side of the Curtain

My husband has a story from the day after surgery Dec. 27, 2011.

Let me start at the beginning and tell you about "The Other Guy."

When I was being prepped for surgery, hubby and I could hear a guy getting prepped as well on the other side of the curtain. He and the nurse were cracking jokes, and he, his wife and the nurse were calling him "The Other Guy," a reference to HIPAA (privacy) rules that don't let you know the name of the person on the other side.

He sounded pretty funny, and after awhile, I quipped that if he was "The Other Guy," I was likely "The Other Woman." That got a laugh from them.

After surgery, we recognized his voice as he did his required laps around the wing of the hospital. I'm not sure he'd recognize me, but I think I'd recognize him. Would be fun to run into him and his wife at our support group sometime and just keep up with his progress. And I still don't know his name, but I don't have to.

The day after surgery, hubby went upstairs from the hospital to get liquid diet supplies at WeightWise. There in the lobby are jumbo-sized chairs for jumbo-sized folks.

"Other Guy" was up there too with his wife and looked over at the large chairs,. With a huge grin on his face said to his wife something like, "You know honey, some day soon, we'll both be able to fit in that chair."

Hubby got such a kick out of that, and I know it was comforting to him to see another same surgery date patient who was as happy about getting his sleeve as me.

Thanks, "Other Guy." Hope you're doing great!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hubby is My Champion

This is a message to my wonderful husband Bob.

Despite your misgivings about my surgery up until I actually had it, you have been my absolute champion and I love you for that.

You didn't gripe after the date was confirmed for Dec. 27, even though you figured we would just barely have company out of the house after Christmas.

You haven't griped about me not eating or drinking with you -- in fact -- you've educated yourself as to what I can have as my stomach heals and facilitated that.

You didn't kidnap me from the parking lot of the hospital, in spite of your fantasies. Once we were inside, you were a bit nervous, but were so supportive throughout my hospital stay.

You've never encouraged me to put anything in my mouth since surgery that could derail my progress.

You've been doing the heavy lifting, and trying to make it easier on my somewhat fatigued self.

And you made me the dueling pot of decaf coffee on the other side of the kitchen each morning, so I could have it if I wanted it.

I know you think you're responsible for my weight gain, but you never forced me or even coerced me into eating anything that put the weight on. The word "No" is in my vocabulary, and I know how to use it. I may have been having just too much fun drinking adult beverages and noshing on snacks on the back deck with your fun self while we watch the Texas, Oklahoma or Lagos sunset, but I could have had other options (which I'll now have, thank you very much.) Please, please don't blame yourself.

And thanks for loving me at 150 pounds when you met me 21 years ago -- or 256 pounds, what I weighed when I went into surgery a week ago Tuesday -- or my high of 273 pounds only a few months ago.

Let's go on all those adventures we've been dreaming about and hopefully I'll be able to keep up with those lanky, long legs of your's.

I'm a lucky woman!!!

I love you -- forever!!!

Let Me Count the Ways I've Tried ...

I think I've been on a diet my whole life and I guess that's going to continue for the rest of it. Happily, with my brand-spankin' new Gastric Sleeve, I have a tool that will help me stay on it and force the issue a bit. OK, more than a bit.

I feel like I've tried almost every diet out there and that's no exaggeration. I've tried and I've tried and I've tried and I've tried. Here's some of the ways:

• Weight Watchers: Really my favorite because it's balanced. It was always my go to diet, but I had trouble staying on it because of our lifestyle, going back and forth to visit my husband who works in West Africa. Then he comes home about every eight weeks or so and wants to be "on vacation," which translates to eating and drinking probably more than we should. Then I go see him and we do the same thing. About the time I would get momentum, it would go buh-bye out on the deck with martinis and a little smoked salmon plate.

• South Beach: Worked pretty well, but same problem as WW. Some pretty decent recipes in their cookbooks.

• Jenny Craig: I'm too good of a cook to last long on Jenny Craig. Just thought most things were tasteless and expensive.

• Nutrisystem: I lost my pregnancy weight with Nutrisystem, although I have the same problem with them. Tasteless. Then I even went on Nutrisystem for a radio station I used to work for, and I'd run into the diet police at the grocery store -- peering into my basket to see what groceries I had in there.

• Fen-Phen: Loved fen-phen in the mid-90s. Loved it! I had to be reminded to eat and lost weight like crazy. Lost about 42 pounds and then the boom (heart valve defects) came down on it and it was suddenly off the market. Sigh. Weight came back like iron filings to a magnet however.

• Diet Center: I don't remember much about this one, but it was a long time ago.

• Hypnosis and Mental Gastric Band: I think my head is just too stubborn for this, although I loved my hypnotherapist (who will remain unnamed.)

• Hypnosis and little steel balls under tape that went behind my ears: Ditto, and those steel balls were supposed to simulate acupuncture. Rub them when you were hungry and it was supposed to go away. Didn't work.

• Atkins: Worked but became bored with only eating protein. Used something similar to whip off the last five to 10 pounds for pageants in my early 20s and was very effective.

• Reynolds Clinic/Oklahoma City: started with a two-day juice fast and the doc provided thyroid drugs and some kind of uppers. Pretty balanced diet and got down to 115 pounds on this one in the late 70s, early 80s, just in time for my 10-year high school reunion.

I'm sure there were others like the Grapefruit Diet, or the Standing on Your Head Eating Sardines Diet, but they all just kind of mush together.

The gastric sleeve surgery I had Dec. 27, is the first best hope I've had in a long time that I'll get back to being fit and trim. It really is going to happen this time, and I'm so excited to be on this journey. I'm feeling very empowered.

My next goal is to dispense with weighing every day. Just too much fun right now, but I know the "Big Stall" is coming -- I've been warned -- and so probably after my two-week appointment Monday, and weigh-in, I'll go to once a week.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Here We Go

Oh me of little patience.
I'm now on Week Two of my gastric sleeve adventure and suddenly my body shifted into overdrive. Five pounds, two pounds, two pounds in the past three days.
I confess I was having these terrible doubting thoughts -- 'oh no, maybe my body might not even lose weight with weight loss surgery.'
I've just failed on so many efforts to lose weight, I had some little irrational fear that somehow my body would figure out a way to trip me up yet again.
I'm mildly fatigued, a tiny bit hungry but not bad, and yearning for that next soft food stage. Scrambled eggs will never have tasted so good when I get there next week.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Marvelous Melting Woman Debuts -- Day Six

Today, I feel like I'm bloomin' into 2012, and a lot like my magnificent amaryllis.

The scale budged in a big way when I got up this morning -- finally. It had been 256 pre-op Dec. 27, 256 post-op Dec. 27, 256, 256, 256, 256, 256 ... and this morning, it was 251. Five pounds -- hallelujah!!! My friend promised it would start moving downward and it finally has. Hooray!

It was an incredible mental boost, just when I was wearying of the liquid two-week diet you go on after gastric sleeve surgery. I'm now at the halfway point of my two week liquid diet.

The lovely amaryllis at its peak was eight blooms strong, now down to six and about to be four. But it's just been glorious to watch.

Onward ...


Sunday, January 1, 2012

When Life Hands You a Liquid Diet

... You make the best beef broth you can muster with what you have on hand.

The good part is that I had two sets of bones from our standing rib roasts for a big Christmas dinner (aka known as my last meal.) I also had fresh thyme, rosemary and sage from my garden that I made into a bouquet garni. I'm already ahead of the game.

I wanted to eat with darlin' hubby for supper, so I first made the beef broth this morning, put it in the fridge for awhile while we went to Girl With the Dragon Tattoo this afternoon (Excellent, I'd give it an A-). Then I chilled it, skimmed the fat and portioned it all out in 1 and 2 cup sizes to freeze or use in some French Onion Soup for hubby. I'll add some big ol' pieces of baguette and some gruyére cheese to the top and stick it under the broiler. I'll be having some righteously good beef broth while he partakes of the other. A decent compromise.

I was struggling emotionally a bit because I hadn't started losing yet and was stuck at my pre-op weight of 256. I'm still pretty swollen around the mid-section though and the doc took my off a high blood pressure med that is a diuretic, so I need to quit-my-bitchin'. I joined an online support group and their calm feedback is helping a lot.

Onward and downward on Day Six ...