Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Weigh Day Tuesday

Weighed in today and was down another of couple pounds, thankfully, to 210. It sure does seem to be peeling off slowly. That makes it 62+ pounds from my all-time high of 273, and 46 pounds since my surgery Dec. 27.

I'm not complaining. Slow but sure is good. And every time I think I'm stalled FOREVER, then I drop a couple of pounds.

Feels like I'm moving in slow motion sometimes. S'OK. Hope my skin is keeping up. 

An electrical wire on a pole by my next-door neighbor's house exploded with a cascade of sparks a couple of hours ago and apparently knocked a bunch of the neighborhood including darlin' daughter, but not me, out of power. Left a live wire out in the street for awhile. OG+E guys are still out there working. Love those guys. Everybody in the neighborhood reacted by gathering on one of the popular porches and drinking wine after we were sure things were taken care of. Was worried that the stuff would catch my neighbor's house on fire.

Must run off to cross the river aka hitting the rack.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Making It Manageable: Eating Out

Three weeks after my Dec. 27 gastric sleeve surgery, my mother had her 87th birthday and we usually take her to dinner at someplace nice like Legend's Restaurant in Norman, Okla.

But I was just off my two-week liquid diet and on to the next stage, affectionately called "mushies."Those are things like scrambled eggs, cottage cheese and tuna fish salad without veggies.

I never told my mother I was having surgery, just that I had been dieting. I made sure I didn't sit next to her and played with my grilled salmon throughout the meal. It worked.

It took me awhile to get the hang of eating out in restaurants, but it was something I really wanted to get to, partly because I like the social, communal aspect of eating out in good restaurants with people I love. I also have done a bit of food writing, which I really enjoy. Dietician Steph Moore at WeightWise told me eventually I'd be able to take bites of everything and anything, although at three and a half months out, I'm not there yet.

Seared Tuna Salad from Full Moon Sushi, Norman, Okla.
The phase of eating I'm on now is mostly protein and veggies, with occasional fruit. I avoid bread, rice, pasta, etc., although occasionally I've had a bite. And I make sure I always get my oil in, because I know it's so important for my skin, cell walls, hair, regularity, etc.

One of the first times I ate out, I didn't order anything to drink and everybody at the table and the wait staff were puzzled by that. And the more I refused anything to drink, the more my well-meaning family pressed, which I found odd. I learned to order water or whatever and drink it up until the meal comes. I haven't had that problem since.

My favorite thing to order is probably main-dish salads. Today at lunch, I met my daughter Kat and her boyfriend at Full Moon Sushi in Norman, Okla., one of my favorite restaurants -- not just because the food is darn good, but the wait staff and ownership is so warm and welcoming. Trouble is, that I'm not eating my beloved sushi because I'm not eating rice and I'm not up to eating sashimi yet. Sashimi is the raw fish served by itself without rice. I turned to their bistro items they offer usually for people who don't like sushi. Turns out their bistro lunch and dinner menu was a quietly tasty secret hiding on the front of their menu.

I ordered Full Moon's Seared Tuna Salad -- sushi-grade tuna crusted with white-and-black sesame seeds, about a tablespoon of lime créme fraîche which is sort of similar to sour cream, asparagus and the cutest little crunchy wonton nest in the middle. All for $8.99.

My other favorite off the bistro menu is their seared scallops, served with creme fraiche and balsalmic drizzles, veggies and risotto, (which I didn't get), for $12.99. I've also had their beef tenderloin ($12.99,) the best buy on a tender beef dish in town. 

I think if you order carefully, you can eat almost anywhere. Restaurants are generally happy to accommodate your request to not have potatoes or risotto on your plate, and put salad dressing or sauces on the side so you can control how much you get. 

One safe thing to order has been grilled or baked salmon. I've tolerated shrimp including ceviché well, except for a too-buttery scampi that kind of made me gag one time.

I always was a fast eater that I attribute to growing up with two hungry younger brothers. Eat it or you might not get to. My dad used to say, "Eat, eat, eat," loudly at the table urging us not to piddle with our food. He was a dentist who came home for my then-stay-at-home mother's wonderful, hearty lunches and we'd walk home and back from grade school to have lunch together as a family. People don't do that anymore.

But echoes of those great lunches and dinners and my family's cooking (we all turned into pretty decent cooks) can get me in trouble now. I carry nausea medicine, Promethazine, in my purse just in case of emergencies.

Yesterday, I was having lunch on an outdoor patio restaurant in lovely weather with my little mom and think I ate my grilled salmon wedge salad too fast because I was stressing. And the nausea came rushing over me. I stifled it, but was concerned I might get sick in front of my mother and she'd be upset. I went digging through my purse and put the nausea medicine on my wrist under the table and started rubbing my wrists together quickly. My mother just looked at me like I was nuts. But it passed and she let it go. I have to remember -- I had major surgery. I'm still healing.

Go-to items as far as fast food are KFC's grilled chicken and taco salads without sour cream at most restaurants. Main-dish salads are available at most fast-food and sit-down restaurants and they're lifesavers. Like I mentioned before, order the dressing on the side. I should probably note I really try hard not to eat fast food, but sometimes it's tough to avoid it when you're on the road, which I am a lot.

It's all doable if we make good choices.

Hooray, 60 pounds total gone, from my formerly 273-pound frame. Forty-four pounds since Dec. 27 surgery. 


Mars, Venus and Guys On Diets Make Me Crazy

Guys on diets have this reputation of whipping off those pounds like they're on fast forward.

My darlin' 6'2" hubby was in the States a couple of weeks ago for a two-week visit and packed on a few pounds quickly. We have/had this bad habit of treating those visits like vacations -- eating too much, drinking too much, exercising not enough. He edged up back to 219.

I really thought about posting a picture of us, but I'm thinking he probably wouldn't like that. 

And I'd dropped a few more pounds to 214 while he was here, so I mentioned that I was NEVER going to weigh more than he did ever again. To put this in perspective, I'm 5'6", so 214 looks a whole lot different on me than it does on him. But I'm looking a whole lot better, after topping out at 273 pounds.

You know the old never say "never." Sigh.

He went back overseas April 3, and since then has dropped NINE POUNDS in 16 days, and e-mails me that he now weighs 210. I've dropped another couple of pounds, so I'm in at 212.4 -- a total of 60 pounds lost since this adventure started. You can do the math on hubby's weight and mine. I'm still over his weight for the time being.

Well, that's just not right.

But I'm not done yet, and I'm thinking he is, so next time I shoot my mouth off like that I'll be right. I probably jumped the gun a little.

Reminding myself that I'm in it for the long haul.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

60 Pounds Gone and I've Been Busy

Just when I was getting down about hitting yet another plateau, I hit the scale dry and unpainted this morning for Tuesday Weigh Day, and found I'd crossed the 60-pound loss mark. While I'm happy to have peeled off a couple more pounds, I'm so grateful for life and my loved ones.

The remnants of two mobile homes pulverized in Woodward.
I've been busy the past few days and it's not going to let up this week. Sunday morning, I got a call from a major New York newspaper asking if I'd string for them in Woodward, Okla., where they had severe tornado damage overnight. It was about a three-hour drive, and I was out the door in about 45 minutes -- laptop, iPad, iPhone, tape recorder and notepad in hand.

Here's a pic I snapped with my iPhone of some of the worst damage at Woodward's Hideaway Mobile Home Park. (I did have a professional photographer with me, and his pictures are more riveting than this.) This is the pulverized remnants of two mobile homes, and I'm posting it for my friends who live in mobile homes. Please, PLEASE don't ever try to shelter during a tornado warning in a mobile home. It just isn't worth it. As you can see, there is a heap where one home was. The other one is on top of another heap two homes to the left of my snapshot. All six fatalities occurred in this park, where the sirens didn't go off because apparently the tornado had already knocked out the power. I'd also urge my friends to go out and get a battery-operated weather radio, which might have saved some of these lives.

There are also many stories of survival in this mobile home park, set on top of a beautiful hill looking out over verdant (for now) green pastures. An 18-year-old girl, eight-months pregnant, was found under the rubble of another home, rushed to the hospital and now she and her baby are doing fine.

Off to master gardener class for me, but life is good and we are all lucky to have this day.



Friday, April 13, 2012

Rockin' and Rollin' -- not in the weight loss sense

Tonight we had tornadoes skipping across Norman, Okla., my home town and where I was at the moment.

Big circulation over the city and of course, I decided it was a good idea for my curmudgeonly kitty The Viv, rescue dog Lucy and I to hit our modest basement.

It was probably a good idea because as it turns out the tornado skipped across the town, coming down maybe a half-mile away from my beloved renovated airplane bungalow in the old part of town. So far, it appears no one was hurt badly. Hope it stays that way.

OK, I go back to my sleeve. I've hustled down those rickety basement stairs before -- Oklahoma City's meteorologists have a hair trigger for sending you to the hidey hole. But last spring and about 50-60 pounds heavier, let's just say that negotiating those stairs with kitty crate in hand and trying to coerce the shy rescue dog was so much more difficult.

I'm hearing all the helicopters hover overhead looking for all the tornado damage in my neighborhood.

Just one little NSV (non-sleeve victory) to chalk up.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Disclaimer, Disclaimer on Blog Ads

Just a note to my friends.

Although I added Google AdSense to my blog, I don't pick which ads are shown. I think I can block some of the ones I don't necessarily like and I'm working on going up that learning curve so I can do that.

But in the meantime, I don't endorse any bariatric surgery program except the one I have experience with and that's WeightWise. 

My advice is if you are interested in gastric surgery, go on the various online forums and read the comments. If you want to inquire about certain surgeons, you can join VerticalSleeveTalk.com for free and there's a section of the forum that deals with that. 

Thanks and onward,

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Magnificent Morels and Making a Goal

Morel mushrooms
Fresh and fabulous morel mushrooms are in season for just a couple of weeks a year, and my hubby and I were driving by the Earth organic food store and there was their little chalkboard out by the street with fresh morels scrawled on it. We made it a point to go back and get some.

Morels are expensive, but worth it -- and particularly good with beef. Hubby picked up a couple of ribeyes to throw on the barbee and we were good to go. I sauteed up the morels in a bit of olive oil, red wine and garlic and we served them on the side along with mashed cauliflower. Another hubby-seal-of-approval for the morels. Always good news.

Here's a great website on how to clean them along with a couple of recipes, mushroom-appreciation.com

I had a sub-goal of getting down to 215 by Easter and made it a day early, so I'm finally off my horrid three-week plateau. So that's 41 pounds off since my gastric sleeve surgery Dec. 27, 2011, and about 58 total since my all-time high weight of 273.

Morels in garlic, olive oil and red wine reduction
Had a great 3 month checkup with Dr. Gregory Walton's office WeightWise. Was so fun to see everybody and for them to see the new and improved me. I'm thinking watching their patients get healthier has to be a whole lot of fun. Great job if you can get it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Baba Ghanoush -- Eggplant Goodness

Baba Ghanoush
Today was my day to help with refreshments for my Master Gardener class and I brought some of my favorite homemade, low-fat Baba Ghanoush, a Lebanese dip of eggplanty and herby goodness, which seemed popular with my fellow master gardening interns. I was concerned that the ranch-style, mayonnaise-based dip that usually comes with the grocery store's veggie tray couldn't be left out all day during the class, so this was perfect.

Baba Ghanoush is another one of those recipes that, with the exception of the time it takes to roast your eggplant, is light years better when you make it fresh and it is so fast to make. It's always a good sign when you get asked for the recipe, so here 'tis.

1 large eggplant or several small eggplants
1 minced garlic clove
Juice from half a small lemon
1/2 t. lemon zest
1 T. tahini (sesame paste)
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 t. ground cumin
1 T. fresh parsley and more to garnish
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Poke holes in the eggplant with a fork about an inch apart. Roast the eggplant for 35 minutes, remove from oven and let cool completely, then remove stem and peel. Alternatively you could also use your grill and cook it until the flesh is tender and skin has turned brown.  My method of choice is roasting because of the rich, smokey flavor it imparts to the eggplant.

In a food processor, put the eggplant flesh, garlic clove, lemon juice, lemon zest, tahini, olive oil, cumin and parsley. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with extra parsley. Serve with vegetables or pita chips.

Today was my weekly Weigh Day, and I'm still stuck, stuck, stuck in a stall at 217 pounds, with 55 pounds gone. But I know staying the course will eventually get it going again. Hoping I'll make it to my goal of 215 by Easter Sunday. ;-)


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Just When I Thought Only a Handful of My Friends Were Reading My Blog ...

... I was messing with my blog's design element trying to figure out how to add labels and clicked on "Stats."


In the order of frequency, I've had visitors from the United States (of course,) Russia, Canada, Germany, Australia, Nigeria, United Kingdon, India, Argentina and Brazil. And they're in the thousands.

I am humbled. Thanks to everybody for reading and caring. I no longer feel like I'm writing into the black hole of blogging since my Dec. 27, 2011, gastric sleeve surgery.

If I could still turn a cartwheel, I would. Instead, maybe I'll just invent a recipe or two.


No April Foolin' -- Marvelous Melting Woman

It's "Measuring Up or Down Day" -- the first of the month -- and I was excited to see bigger differences this time -- and that's no April Fools joke. Haven't been losing pounds the past two or three weeks or so, but I've been losing inches like crazy.

I especially love that I've lost 5.5 inches off my rather round backside and 4 inches off my waist. My Size 18 jeans are getting too loose now -- hooray!

April 1, 2012
Bust w/o bra: 42", -1"
Waist: 39", -4"
Hips: 45", -5.5"
Neck: 15", -1.5"
Upper right arm: 15", -1"
Thigh: 27", -3.25"
Right Calf: 17", -.75"

March 1, 2012
Bust: 42.5", - 0.5"
Waist: 41.5", -1.5"
Hips: 49", -1.5"
Upper Right Arm: 15.5", -0.5"
Neck: 15.5", -0.75"
Thigh: 30", -0.25"
Right Calf: 17.5", -0.25"

Jan. 20, 2012 (The first time I measured after my Dec. 27, 2011, gastric sleeve surgery.)
Bust w/bra: 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"

I remember back in the days when I had a 25-inch waist and 35-inch hips. Of course, that was in my 20s and the old lean-and-mean beauty pageant days. I have to wonder if I really want to have a 25-inch waist again. Heck, that's smaller than my thigh is right now. Kind of amazing to think about how small 25 inches is.

I was about to report on how well the MyPlate app was working on my iPhone and then parts of it stopped working: the food and exercise lists won't access and it won't let me re-sync with the server. It will let me add foods, but I'd better know the calorie count, etc., or too bad.

I've e-mailed LiveStrong about it and hopefully it will get fixed soon. I do like the app and I'm not sorry (yet) that I paid $2.99 for it. We'll see.