Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nine weeks -- really??? How did that happen?

Wow! I feel like I'm on fast forward.

How did nine weeks go by so fast?

I'm feeling great. I'm at 225 and have lost 31 pounds since Dec. 27, 2011, surgery, and 48 pounds since I started my adventure last summer. I feel like I'm losing inches faster than pounds, although I'll check that out and record it on Thursday, March 1.

Weight loss has slowed to a crawl in the past three weeks, but I have confidence that it will go back to a maximum healthy weight rate of about 2 pounds a week. But I've only lost two pounds in three weeks.

My face and waist are changing. I'll post pictures sometime soon. I know my husband has surreptiously taken lots of "fat before" pictures (although he was just trying to snap a picture of me -- and I need to post those. I just wasn't ready to do that until I actually had the surgery and was a little ways out from it.

I want to up my cardio and strength training (sorry Dr. G -- yes, I want to do more strength training.)

I also plan to start doing some videos to record my journey and I'll put those up here too. Maybe I'll even flex for my darlin' hubby's entertainment.

I wish I'd started doing that earlier, but to tell the truth I had so little confidence in myself that I wanted to wait until I knew this would work and I wouldn't let my husband or one of my best friends talk me out of it in the first place. Sigh. Fortunately, at least one of those folks became one of my biggest cheerleaders. Love them all anyway.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

App-ealing Tracking

My weight loss has slowed a lot and I decided I should start tracking my food and drinks with my iPhone and/or iPad to make sure I'm staying in the parameters of the recommended program.

I decided to try two apps.

One is MyFitnessPal, a free app I heard about on Vertical Sleeve Talk, and the other is LiveStrong MyPlate, which is $2.99 and an app my darlin' daughter has been having good luck in assisting her resolve to lose weight. This week, her weight dipped below 200 -- 198 pounds -- for the first time in a couple of years. I'm so proud of her for sticking with it.

The plan is to try the two apps side-by-side and see how I like them both.

So far, it appears that the Live Strong MyPlate has nicer graphics, but initially they seem very similar in function. MyPlate gave me 1,305 calories daily and MyFitnessPal gave me 1,200 calories daily with exactly the same information about current weight, amount of exercise, age, etc.

We'll see how they both work and I'll report back in a week or so.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Eight Week Weigh-In

Today, I notched my eight week "anniversary" since my Dec. 27 gastric sleeve surgery and there's good and bad news.

It's Tuesday Weigh Day and I'm stuck, stuck, stuck. I remind myself that I've lost 29 pounds since my surgery weight of 256, and 46 pounds total since June when I first attended a bariatric seminar. That's the good news.

But trouble is that last Tuesday, I was at 227. The week before, I was at 228. Here 's how it 's been going:
Dec. 27: 256
Jan. 2: 251
Jan. 7: 244
Jan. 14: 238
Jan. 28: 235
Feb. 1: 233
Feb. 7: 228
Feb. 14: 227
Feb. 21: 227

I know it's typical to hit a stall when you start "real" foods at four weeks. I'd lost 21 pounds in the first month -- understandable with the liquid diet for two weeks and then soft foods for two weeks -- and then it's been eight pounds in the four weeks since then.

I know two pounds a week average is a healthy pace, but only one pound in two weeks is a tad discouraging. Rationally, I know I'm not eating all that much so the weight loss will resume. Giving myself a pep talk.

Part of it is in my head, because I was almost in free fall the first three weeks. It will get better I know, because I'm trying so hard to do the right things including diet choices and exercise.

For example, yesterday evening, the cast of a stage show I'm performing with had dinner before the show prepared by one of the cast members: a pasta dish with salad and garlicky buttery bread (which always smells fantastic.) I brought boiled eggs to nosh on and a couple of low-cal drinks. That worked just fine. Tonight, the cast dinner is enchiladas and I think I'll just eat before I go to the theatre.

I think I'll make that low-carb Shepherd's Pie recipe for tonight's supper that super-dietician Steph gave me. I may doctor the recipe a little bit. We'll see. If it's good, I'll post it in the next day or two.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Flying High ... or Low

I knew I should have measured when I had my Dec. 27 gastric sleeve surgery, or even better, when I was at my all-time high weight of 273.

I attended a conference in New Orleans in early October and remember my airline seatbelt was extended all the way out to the buckle. If I'd had to ask for an extender, that would have ranked as another one of those humiliating final straw kinds-of-things.

I flew to Houston earlier this week to meet hubby and serendipitously had the perfect Valentine's Day meal with him. More on that later.

But the fun part was either American Airlines has longer seatbelts than Delta, or I've lost a whole lot total around my tummy -- about a whopping seven inches. The best part was that I felt so much better.

The other interesting thing was that we had the perfect meal for a recent bariatric surgery patient like myself — Spanish tapas, which translates to the "little dishes of Spain," at Oporto CafĂ© in the West Loop of Houston. Tapas are family style and you order several of them -- we got four for the two of us. The good thing was that I got to try a bite of everything we ordered, and hubby happily ate the rest. We had reservations for late because we didn't know what time my plane would arrive and how long it would take to get there, but they worked us in early. Just a great night. You can check out the dinner menu here.

And last Tuesday aka Weigh Day, I'd taken off another pound to 227. Always good news.



Monday, February 13, 2012

Size Matters -- 22 to 16

I had such an incredible shopping trip to Lane Bryant today.

I've been pinning the waist up on my size 22 jeans and they're pretty much falling off. But I just didn't want to invest in more jeans yet -- until my friend Sue grabbed the loose material on the back of them last week and told me it was time.

After perusing Lane Bryant, I took two pairs of jeans to the dressing room. One was a 20 and one was an 18. I was so shocked when the 18 fit. That's two sizes down and I guess I just wasn't expecting it.

But what was even more incredible was when I tried on a pair of black pants and I was into size 16s. OK ... had to get those too.

I'm rockin' and rollin' ... can't wait to get on the scales in the morning!!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Shrimpy is Not Short -- Shrimp Salad Recipe

... on flavor.

Hubby got in Saturday morning from West Africa and I was so glad to see him. He didn't even seem surprised over the weight loss since he was here about three weeks ago, and seemed to embrace it (so to speak.)

Last night, we sat in front of the fire and enjoyed each other's company along with some cocktail shrimp. OK, he had some cocktail shrimp and I held off for the main course -- my maiden voyage back into the world of filet mignon.

The sad part was -- darn it -- because it was windy and cold outside, I chose to panfry those little filet babies and overcooked them a bit. Still, they tasted pretty darn good, even cooked medium instead of medium rare. I made mashed cauliflower with my homemade beef broth for a side and used an immersion blender to puree it. Hubby LOVED them. But reminder to self: if you're going to throw in some chopped chives from your container gardening, don't add them until you've pureed unless you want the mashed cauliflower to have a "lovely" green tint. Fortunately, it didn't bother hubby. Mashed cauliflower basic recipe is in previous post.

Today for lunch, there was about a cup of the cocktail shrimp left, so I decided to make lunch for us with those. I didn't have enough celery, so I added some toasted pine nuts for crunch and that turned out to be a great idea. Even though I ate only about a fourth of it, hubby cleaned the bowl -- always a good recommendation. Here's my concoction:

Shrimp Salad
1 c. cocktail shrimp -- cooked, peeled and cut into about 1/4 to 1/3-inch pieces.
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/3 c. chopped celery
2 T. pine nuts, toasted
4 T. light mayonnaise
1 T. Paul Prudhomme's Magic Seasoning "Seafood Magic"

Chop shrimp and egg and put in small bowl. Add chopped celery. Spray skillet with cooking spray and toast pine nuts until golden. Add to bowl with seasoning. Add light mayo to other ingredients and stir until wet. Serve with bread for hubby to make sandwich, large lettuce leaves for the lower calorie version.



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hunger averted?

Today was my six-week check-up with my friends at WeightWise aka my surgeon Dr. Gregory Walton's office. Things are going great guns: good weight loss, feeling good, looking better every day and only a few tiny bumps.

Steph, WeightWise's awesome dietician (and I'm not just saying that because she'll probably read this,) said I actually need to EAT MORE at my three main meals, because I have been getting hungry mostly in the late afternoons and later in the evenings. Ummmmm, what?? Really??

The key is, though, that I have to take smaller bites, chew them well and more slooooowwwwwwllllllllyyyyyy. Does she know I grew up with brothers who would basically eat everything in site if you didn't get there first.? Sigh. OK, I worked on eating slower at lunch today and I'll be a work in progress for awhile. But work I will, because I'd rather work at it than be hungry. I promise.

The small bumps I've incurred haven't been much. Had some fatigue for the first three to four weeks. A couple of bouts with nausea over things like the twice-daily, fruity, chewable multi-vitamins that make you pucker. I switched to capsules for a couple of weeks and that helped. My body didn't like it when I added veggies at four weeks, but it settle down after about a week of integrating the veggies.

I started back on yoga twice weekly for an hour at three weeks out with my yoga trainer Thomas Thompson. And I started my cardio back at four weeks out, and have worked back up to 30 minutes on the stationary bicycle and 12 minutes on the treadmill, even with rotten ol' knees. Am increasing treadmill times, so I can walk farther when I need to.

Speaking of veggies, my new favorite veg is mashed cauliflower. It doesn't taste like cauliflower (really it doesn't) and it is an excellent substitute for the mouth feel of mashed potatoes. Have tried several recipes for them, but this is the best – from the Paleo Comfort Cookbook. I was so shocked when I actually liked them, but these are yummy.

Mashed Cauliflower
1 head fresh cauliflower
1 c. chicken stock
1/4 t. fresh cracked pepper
2 large cloves garlic, crushed

Cut cauliflower head into small chunks of the florets and stem.

Place ingredients in a medium saucepan or Dutch oven and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium and cover, allowing to cook for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and easily mashed with a fork. It may need more stock if dry or liquid can be poured off and reserved if too much.

Place cooked cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor or blender with a small amount of leftover broth, or leave in pot and use immersion blender. Cauliflower can be mashed manually, but it will not be as smooth as with a food processor. Add some of the reserved broth if necessary or additional chicken broth.



Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Time for New Jeans

"Give 'em up," my friend Sue said tonight at Gridiron rehearsal, tugging at the baggy back of my pinned-up jeans. "Those jeans are way too baggy."

I'd been pinning them up, trying to limp them past a couple or three sizes. But these were the jeans I was wearing at 273, my all time high.

Darn if she isn't right. I wore out the two pairs of jeans that came before these two pairs and so I guess I'm going to have to spring for some transitional jeans. Burns me to have to buy interim clothes when I'm just going to be out of them soon enough. I think I'll go get them after my dental appointment in the morning.

Actually, I'm ecstatic to have this problem. Last week I was in a stall. This week I was in free fall.

It's Tuesday, Weigh Day, and this morning I weighed in at 228, down 28 pounds since my Dec. 27 gastric sleeve surgery and 45 pounds since the adventure started. It was a six-pound week, after last week being a no-pound week. Wow.

Today is also my six week "anniversary," and my physician Dr. Gregory Walton will allow me to take a regular bath and not just a shower. It's time to try out my bath pillow my friend Janet gave me for Christmas. And I can do strength training if I want and just about anything else except eat a few things like hard-to-digest celery and artichokes. I'm excited.



Saturday, February 4, 2012

Feeling a Little Crabby - Crabby Cherry Tomatoes

Today I'm going to a baby shower for my Gridiron buddies Megan and Kianoosh. We're all bringing finger food and I wanted to do something that was light and healthy.

The solution was to use some sort of veggies as the vehicle instead of chips and I decided to stuff cherry tomatoes with crab salad. This was inspired by a recipe from Hors D'Oeuvres by Eric Treuille and Victoria Blashford Snell. I used dill instead of tarragon because there wasn't any fresh tarragon at the grocery store. And I lightened it up with light mayonnaise instead of regular mayonnaise. I also added some seasoned salt from my collection of seasoned salts from Native Roots.

I thought it was appropriate since lots of people are looking for healthy game food for the Super Bowl tomorrow. Although I don't have a dog in that hunt, I think I'm going to have to root for the Patriots because of Oklahoman Wes Welker.

Here's my recipe:

Crabby Cherry Tomatoes

20 cherry tomatoes
1 6 oz. can of lump crabmeat
4-5 T. light mayonnaise
1 T. country dijon mustard
1 T. fresh dill, chopped
1/2 t. seasoned salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper

Cut the top off the cherry tomatoes opposite from the stem side, and clean the seeds out with a teaspoon. Turn tomatoes upside down on a paper towel while you make the crab salad.

Mix the crabmeat, mayonnaise, mustard, dill, salt and pepper together gently, then stuff crab salad into each cherry tomato. Top with the slice you cut off in the beginning.