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Thursday, March 28

The Full Moon Talking


The Full Moon and other Nonsense
Ten Things Thursday:

1.       When I was in “Astronomy 101” in college, we had to do a research paper on the astronomical topic of our choice. I chose to do my paper on The Full Moon Effect. You know, where everyone goes apeshit every 28 days. If a computer with a disk drive still existed I could pull that assignment up and confirm why everyone is acting so fucked-up this week. It would also require me to find those damn disks somewhere under my bed in a wheeled plastic storage container. Instead I’ll just say that I’ve noticed some crazy shit go down in the past couple of days. Be aware, its real folks. (But not a werewolf….ba dum chink)

2.       This week the kids and I have been on Spring Break. This is about the time I am REALLY glad that I got that teaching degree. Say what you will. Best. Career. Ever.

3.       I didn’t lose a goddamned pound this week. That seems to be a popular trend on my online forum at www.lapbandtalk.com; we are separated in forums by banding month. All the other March Bandsters are complaining of the same thing…still on our mashie and air molecule diet and the scale is frozen in time. There are a few ways to reconcile this.

4.      Bought a new scale this week on Amazon. ( http://www.amazon.com/EatSmart-Precision-Digital-Bathroom-Technology/dp/B001KXZ808/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364522162&sr=8-1&keywords=eatsmart+scale) First I googled “most accurate home bathroom scale” and was brought to a page from Good Housekeeping magazine where the institute did one of those research trials. The best scale is from a company called Eat Smart and was about 30 bucks. Out with the old, in with the new!

5.      Or it could be my diet. I did cheat and eat one cheese-it, three fries, five club crackers, and one Junior Mint this week. I know, all of those decadent items add up to about 31 calories, but I can’t help but feel guilty. In retrospect, cheating on a diet used to mean eating a secret snickers bar in the car when you said you were just running out for milk. Now it’s hiding one crunchy Cheeto under my damn tongue until it dissolves enough for me to swallow it.

6.       Most likely my problem is that my body is saying, “Hey! I noticed that you have been on a 650 calorie a day diet for six weeks! Congrats! Since this must be the new trend we’ll just go with it and say it’s normal!” Kidding, my body doesn’t talk. But realistically, my metabolism is trying to find its way amongst the paranormal activity which now resides inside.

7.       But no joke, food is always on my body’s mind. Currently, I am trying to pretend I don’t notice my son making a design with liquid cheese on a cracker. Okay, so maybe it’s not cheese. Who cares about that, that shit is tasty.

8.       Went to my support group meeting like a good girl on Monday and it was a pretty positive. I really like the nutritionist leader, and there are some other ladies in there that seem to be a good time. You know, ladies I would like to go get a beer with. But won’t, because we just had weight loss surgery for Christ’s sake. Camaraderie is very important though, I have always thought that there is something to say about being with people who are LIKE YOU. So hopefully group will continue to go well, and we can learn from each other, and maybe go out for a diet, decaffeinated iced-tea together someday as friends.

9.       And speaking of my friends, they are amazing. I was able to hang out with some really good friends while home this week and am always reminded of how lucky I am to have some wonderful women in my life.  Everyone is from different walks of life but we all share the same understanding and caring for each other. One of life’s blessings is girlfriends  =)

10.   ENJOY YOUR EASTER!!! HALLELUIA, HE IS RISEN! (Read #10 on Sunday.)
                   10.a. (The full moon got me.)

Monday, March 25

Transitions


Today I have been banded for three weeks. It’s kinda crazy to just go about your day, thinking on and off that there is an appliance in your body. I can’t feel it of course, but if I press on my large scar I can feel the port and it reminds me that it really is in there. Because I am still not eating whole foods, I don’t have textbook restriction, but something does tell me I am done eating and that is a very weird feeling to have. It’s kind of like the feeling that you have to burp, but you don’t, it’s just an indicator that you are done with your meal. My stomach isn’t really full, which used to be the old way I knew (or believed) I was done eating, but I am also not hungry. Not hungry is what we are supposed to aim for when we eat, not the full feeling many of us use as our hard stop. This is a huge TRANSITION of thinking  for an overeater. I mean, you spend your whole life thinking that you can keep gettin’ it in until you can’t walk, plus a few extra bites if your pants are unbuttoned, and then just like that you chose to install a saline donut in your body and a hiccup is your indicator that you have eaten plenty. It’s practically sci-fi.

I am still on puree diet for three more weeks, and week one went better than expected actually. I invested in canned chicken and tuna, canned vegetables (because they are already cooked and soft), Greek yogurt, Egg beaters, light mayo and sour cream, and cottage cheese. You know, all the foods I ate when I was on Weight Watchers. The kicker is I was always STARVING on Weight Watchers and now, I am NOT HUNGRY when I am done eating my cup of mashed madness. Again, let me be clear that I am also not full, just no longer hungry….I’m pretty sure they call that satisfied which has never been in my vocabulary until now. Having joined Weight Watchers every New Years Day for 20 years,  hunger  was always my biggest beef with the program, and was torture. I am in no way discrediting the program, I still think it is the healthiest and most effective commercial weight loss plan available but clearly it wasn’t cutting it for me. We all know the definition of insanity is doing the same behavior over and over again and expecting different results, so I’m glad I had the balls to kick that points addiction to the curb.

My purees have ranged from tuna and mushrooms, chicken and refried beans, egg beaters and spinach, to my favorite so far, a puree of a WHOLE meatball and a slice of grilled eggplant. Sure, the food looks pretty nasty once my Magic Bullet has gotten to it, but it’s still MUCH better than a chicken soup flavored protein shake. I’m still only ranging about 500-800 calories a day which is pretty damn criminal when you look at it on MyFitnessPal, but it’s not terrible. Just as with my month on shakes, it’s DOABLE. That’s all any of us can hope for.

In other news, I had to run to Wal-Mart and buy some TRANSITION pants.  I am between sizes, where my work pants are baggy as hell, but my next size down is still giving me a muffin top which isn’t good for anybody. Luckily, I was able to score four pairs of pants for about 60 bucks, all of which will do the trick until it’s time to buy capris which incidentally I should be wearing TODAY on my first day of Spring Break but Chicago like many other areas of the US is schizophrenic and it’s goddamned freezing.  The silver lining on this frigid-ass cloud hopefully is that the delayed warm weather will just give me that much more time to slim down for the spring styles I’m looking forward to.

Tonight is my support group meeting at the Hospital with my nutritionist. It will be weird but exciting to be on the other side of the table now, not just there because it’s required to get the procedure, but to be someone who can answer questions for the newbies. I am a teacher after all, I hope that I can become a Post-Op liaison (without annoying the shit out of the group leader) to not only keep myself motivated but also to encourage and help others.

Happy Spring Break everyone….LET’S TRANSITION TO SPRING ALREADY!!!!

Sunday, March 17

St. Puree Day!!


I am not Irish.

In fact, the only thing I have in common with the Irish is being a paper Catholic, appreciating liquor, and the enjoyment of getting Lucky.  All that said, on St. Paddy’s Day it is a commonly accepted belief that EVERYONE is Irish. Therefore,  if I’m Irish today, then who am I to not honor the patron Saint of Corned Beef and Cabbage and do a little jig.

Friday I saw my surgeon for my first post-op appointment and everything went great. My incisions look wonderful (as far as the aesthetics of incisions go), my weight loss is right on par, and my energy is up and running. I was then cleared (for Monday tomorrow, but  I’m calling that a technicality) to go ahead and start my Phase 2 Puree Diet. This diet is full food, just has to be pureed to a consistency of applesauce.  If the thought of four weeks of baby food makes you want to gag, imagine 4 WEEKS of protein shakes. The baby food phase looks about like being able to go to the Brazilian Buffet pro bono.

I am a firm believer that the only way to properly enjoy Irish food is in the form of a Reuben sandwich. This has been one of my favorite delicacies for a long time and my staple order at Irish Pub’s far and wide. Alas, taking a bite of a Reuben sandwich is not in my near future so I thought for my first puree today, in honor of my Irish “heritiage, I would make a Reuben Puree. Here is what I mixed.

½ c. Nonfat Greek Yogurt

4 slices Budding Corned Beef

2 T. Kraut

2 T. Nonfat Thousand Island Dressing

2 Rye Chips crushed.

 

(Whole Recipe: 165 Cals /21 Carbs /12g. Protien………………..1/2 c. portion: 82 cals / 10.5 Carbs / 6g Protien)

 

In the Magic Bullet it went and my first puree was created. It made almost a cup of food, so I had to dish it into two ½ cup containers and saved one. I ate a few bites of my portioned distribution and decided to nuke it for 20 seconds. BIG IMPROVEMENT. Also,  it was then I realized I forgot the Swiss cheese. Damn it. Could have used less yogurt and thrown in a Laughing Cow Lite Original Creamy Swiss.

As I am halfway through my noshing, here is my food review thus far:

I feel like I’m eating goddamned dip. If I had some cocktail ryes this would be the boss of all Reuben dips,  but since I am eating it with a dessert spoon, I am starting to get that about done feeling.  Also, the kraut and relish from the salad dressing is giving it a tart flavor that is making me want to chug some ice water but the Bariatric diet calls for NO DRINKING during meals and until 30 MINUTES AFTER. Liquid will cause the food you just ate to flush through the hourglass thus completely defeating the purpose of the band.

 

Consensus? For all intents and purposes of weight loss surgery it was a win. Plus, just by purchasing the minimal amount of ingredients, with as much as I can eat at one sitting, there may be reason for more deconstructed Reuben Puree in the next month while I am in Phase 2.

 

Either way…………….Kiss me, I’m Irish today!!


Wednesday, March 13

35 and ALIVE!


Today is my 35th birthday.  There are so many truths I have been able to establish in that short time and at the same time, so much I have yet to figure out. This birthday is nothing short of a miracle, as all birthdays are, I am happy to be healthy and alive, to have a beautiful family, to have a warm stable home, to have food and transportation, and to have so much support from family and friends. All that being said, I would like to propose a toast (roast?) to myself for a few things….
(I had all of about 4 spoonfuls of this shake and it was FABULOUS.)

1.       I am 35 and not at my goal weight. I was at my goal weight when I turned 30 vowing myself to never be overweight again, but we all see how that balloon popped.  But I am here. I am banded, and I am loosing again, and I have a second chance.  That’s all that matters today.  No Day But Today. (RENT is still my fav. Musical and always will be. End of story.)

2.       I am so lucky to have my friends and co-workers and a job that I love at a time when people are either working in jobs they hate or still eating their Mama’s spaghetti for dinner every night at home because they can’t find a job and move out. This month I am going to get pink slipped, and that’s stressful for anyone, but you know what, whatever happens (and of course I hope for a re-hire) it will be okay. If God wants me to keep influencing the youth of my community with the beautiful aesthetics of music then he will. If he wants me to follow my plan B and become a 911 dispatcher, he will shine the light there.

3.       I am so happy on this day that I got paid early because there is no school on Friday. Not only did I get paid on my birthday, but also I am home from work still “recovering” from my surgery a week and a half ago and therefore have the day off. So while the substitute was teaching my plans, I was able to go to the outlet mall. I dominated the Coach store today. God bless the USA.

4.       TWO of my facebook friends had babies today! On MY birthday! I hope those babies are as lucky as I have been in life. Even having a birthday on an “unlucky” number such as 13, has been pretty lucky. I’ve had my fair share of shit go down, but overall I can’t complain. I have always had what I needed, or been able to get what I needed. I have travelled to many different places. I graduated college and got a double major in BA and MRS. Yes, I have been MORE than lucky.

5.       As I type I am watching the white smoke! Not at home of course, I don’t roll like that, I mean the white smoke at the Vatican. A new Pope!! As a paper Catholic this is a very exciting event to happen. A new Pope on my birthday and as I watch the crowds and chaos in St. Peter’s square I remember how rich in beauty that place is. I haven’t been in years, but I remember the sense of peace that filled you as you walked amongst the other travelers and Nuns.  As open-minded and liberal as I am, I am still proud of my heritage and the rich traditions which are founded in my family’s homeland. I also remember having to buy a pair of nylon pants from a vagabond for 10 bucks because you couldn’t wear shorts in the church, but that is neither here nor there.

So Happy Birthday to me, and to everyone else who’s birthday is today.  Have some cake for me while I sip on my shake. Blow out your candles and make a wish. And I hope your dreams come true.

Friday, March 8

TGIF!


I Made it to Friday…

I can’t believe that it’s Friday. Friday equals five days post-op and I am still here alive and well and drinking shakes.  My body is starting to feel back to normal, and all of the operative after-effects are finally starting to wear off, I can sleep on my side again, and wear a bra, and put my socks on =) The downside though, because there always is, with starting to feel so good is that my appetite is back…and it’s not for liquid chocolate protein.

Of course, I can’t have food right now. I am on liquid for 9 more days, then progress to purees for three more weeks. I can’t even sneak in a bite when no one is looking because it could land me back in the hospital and even I am not stupid enough to roll that dice. When they put your band in, your stomach and surrounding organs are put under stress, I mean, imagine minding your own business and then suddenly having a noose around your neck, you wouldn’t be happy either. The purpose of the post-op liquid diet then is to allow the stomach to get used to its new shape (picture a water bottle that becomes an hour glass) and to allow the swelling and air pressure from surgery to go down.  I chose to do this very drastic thing to my body and I knew what I was getting into.

That being said…..

I am starting to crave REAL food. Nothing crazy, but a nice gooey grilled cheese sandwich would be nice. Or an English Muffin with butter.  Or McDonald’s.

How sad is it that you can’t even drive a mile in any direction without being faced with your nemesis out the passenger side window. How dark the con of man. I sympathize with the addict trying to detox from drugs who can’t pass a corner without seeing a dealer. Don’t get me wrong, I knew when I made this decision that my days of scarfing down a large-sized extra value meal were over, and that no one, me or anyone else should be eating like that in the first place. But… half of a cheeseburger would be nice. Or a snack wrap. Or one of those new fish bites (hey! It’s a Filet o’ Fish without a bun, I’m being carb-concious here!!)

But this too shall pass, and for the record I am proud to say I have already survived my first encounter drinking a protein shake while my family sat ‘round the table enjoying finger-lengthed French cut potatoes fried to the perfect golden hue and then sprinkled with the perfect equation of salt and sugar to make them addicting. SURVIVED. I’M A SURVIVOR.  I almost heard Beyonce’ singing in the background.
Every time I look at my belly with its 6 teeny-tiny scars, I remind myself that I really did this. As much of a miracle worker my anesthesiologist was to knock me out of reality, it really happened. My eye is on the prize, and as you can see from MyFitnessPlan progress, I am starting to really drop pounds. My body feels lighter, I have great energy, my skin looks better, and my clothes are becoming looser.  My kids in their partial understanding are proud of me, I can tell without them saying so. That in its own is enough for me.

Tuesday, March 5

Band Day


Yesterday was the big day. It is still so surreal to me that I now have an implant in my stomach,  and I’m not gonna lie, I am continuously thinking, WHAT DID I DO??

Then I remind myself that I waited one year for this. I remind myself that during that year while I took too far advantage of overeating and fast food stops, I was miserable with my ugly plus-size fashions and body size that made life so uncomfortable.  Yes…this is what I have been waiting for.

Yesterday went pretty smoothly. They had a hard time getting my IV in because I was so dehydrated, but all the needle sticks didn’t bother me, the whole experience as a whole was what was almost too much to bear. My first real put-to-sleep surgery and it was an elective one no less.  Luckily, I only had one crying spell and it’s always difficult to tell the nurses that I am not in pain, that I have anxiety, but once I got held back together I was good to go.

After waking up from surgery I had a lot of sleepiness and nausea during the first day. Today, my abdomen is swollen and sore, but I haven’t had any real pain. Today I am supposed to walk the halls and hopefully will be going home later tonight, so we’ll see.

I am also crazily overwhelmed by all of the well wishes and prayers that have outpoured from my facebook page and phone texts. We take advantage sometimes all the real friendships we have when it seems like we are only surrounded by web-friends. It is humbling how people really are there for you when you need them.
No turning back now!