Thursday, June 30, 2011

How Many Meals? How Many Snacks?

I follow quite a few blogs now.  I'm noticing that so many of my fellow banded bloggers are saying their Bariatric surgeons insist they only eat 3 meals per day, no snacks allowed.  Are you kidding me?  Do you guys follow that rule, really?  

I  have publicly disagreed with that logic by leaving comments on so many blogs, I felt it was time to address the issue on my own.

For the record, my surgeon and his nutrition staff suggest we eat 3 meals per day, and 2 protein snacks.  Having 2 snacks planned into your daily routine helps prevent blood sugar dips and spikes.  I agree with that wholeheartedly as I have always had problems with hypoglycemia.  If my blood sugar drops, I'm more inclined to just grab the quickest, easiest food item and shove it in my mouth to get the icky feeling to go away.  I'm not likely to pay much attention to the nutritional value of said food.  I can avoid that by having my 2 built in snacks.
The other bonus, for me at least, is that I don't feel like I'm being deprived, or on yet another diet, when I'm allowed to snack.

I read an article recently in an issue of Cooking Light which basically stated the same thing.  They went even further by stating that keeping your body fueled all day and eating 5-6 times per day helps with metabolism and maintaining energy.  I had to smile, reading that article made me feel smart (and right!).

So, I did some research today and googled "Bariatric Diet Plans" to see what I could come up with .  I found out that tons of bariatric docs actually post their post-op diet plans on line.  I even found the one from my home town hospital!  I read a bunch of them, and guess what?  Of the ones I read (and I'm sure there are others that give totally differing information), they all said we should be eating 1-3 snacks per day!  Again, yay me.  One even said..."if you're still hungry while having 2 sensible snacks per day, then you're not getting enough protein".

My point is for those of you out there who are struggling and beating yourselves up about eating between meals.  You're normal!  You're supposed to keep your body fueled, you're supposed to have snacks.  Now, I'm not saying you should polish off a bag of chips between lunch and dinner, but it stands to reason that a cheese stick or a SF pudding during your 3pm. lull just plain makes sense!

Here's some info. I stole from a WLS practice in Lexington, KY...just to further prove my point!

From St. Joseph Health System, Kentucky

Lifestyle changes and behavioral modifications, in addition to bariatric nutrition, play a major role in long-term weight loss success after surgery. Recommendations to a healthier lifestyle include:
  • Eat three meals a day and avoid skipping meals
  • Avoid nibbling and grazing between meals
  • Focus on eating lean protein and vegetables
  • Slow down and take at least 20 minutes to eat each meal
  • Chew, chew, chew! Small bites!
  • No fluid while eating or one hour after eating
  • Set a meal schedule
  • Plan snacks and meals
  • Eat out less
  • Practice mindful eating
  • Begin some form of exercise, preferably three to five times a week for 30 minutes each time
Happy snacking people!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Plateau be Gone!

I snuck in a quick weigh-in this morning and saw something shocking!  The number was different, not only different, but lower!  You know I've been STUCK at the exact same weight for weeks, so I had to get off and back on just to make sure I wasn't seeing things.

However, Saturday is my official weigh in day so I will not be documenting the new loss just yet.  I'm hoping it will hold until Saturday, or maybe be even lower.

Just a quick note to say that plateaus are not forever.  It will happen.  We just need to have patience!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weekly Weigh In and Other Stuff

Wouldn't you be frustrated if you got on the scale day after day and saw the same EXACT number, right down to the decimal, no matter what you had been doing?  Yeah, me too. 

This week my body is happy and content just hanging out where it was last week.  It's in a new comfort zone, like it or not.

So, in case you missed it last week, I'm down a total of


I've had to work 4 days this week so I've been super careful to pack a nice high protein lunch that includes a fruit and a dairy.  I've stayed away from all the junk that is readily available in the work kitchen.  I've still managed to get to the gym on 3 out of my regular 4 days, which felt great!
I sit down all day at work and I'm noticing that Phil (the band) is tight.  Maybe it's from being compressed in a sitting position all the time.  Anyway, I haven't been able to eat everything that I bring in my lunch, which is fine with me.  I've not been hungry.

In other news, since I wasn't able to make it back home for a visit this summer, one of my best friends is flying in tomorrow to see me.  We're so excited!  I love visitors.

Hubby has 4 interviews lined up in the coming weeks.  Send your positive vibes our way please!  We could use some good news.

Have a great weekend and be well!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

How Could I Forget?!

Yesterday was my 'bandiversary'.  Seriously, how could I forget that!?  I'm 10 months post-op.  I worked all day yesterday and was exhausted when I finally got home, after battling Chicago rush hour traffic for 90 minutes.  I didn't have it in me to even get on the computer, let alone write a post.

So, I'm a day late but here it is.  My weight loss to date is...


Just a .2 pound loss this week, but it's better than nothing (which is what I've been getting lately).

I had to work again today but had my hubby quickly take my monthly comparison shots before I left.  Ready for this?

August 17, 2010
June 18, 2011

I know I said 'NO MORE FARMER'S TAN' for this year, and believe me, I've tried.  However, the tops of my arms haven't seen the light of day in decades, so it's going to take some time for them to  catch up to the bottom half.  I'm working on it!

Notice the new size 12 pants are sagging a bit in the butt.  Who would have ever thought that could happen.  Not me.  I come from the Butt Family, seriously!

I know I complain about my current plateau (a lot), so that's why it's good for me, and those of you who are also struggling, to do these comparison shots.  I am reminded of how far I've come, as well as where I NEVER want to be again.

I've been meaning to mention for quite some time now that the BMI calculator states that I'm no longer 'obese'.  Of course I'm still in the overweight category but as long as I'm out of the danger zone for co-morbid conditions, I think I can live with that.  My doctor agrees.

After 10  months I can confidently say that exercise is a regular part of my daily routine.  It comes as naturally as getting out of bed and brushing my teeth.  That was a  big goal of mine, and I'm there.  

I can also say that after 10 months I have not conquered my food issues.  
My brain is still a fatty.  I still want to 'cheat', eat sweets, and still find myself wanting bigger portions.  
I usually make the right choices and follow the rules, but I wouldn't trust myself without the band.
I'm hoping that will change over time.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and Father's Day.
Be well!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I did a Little Shopping!

I've been stuck in a bit of a "Catch 22" situation as of late.  I've been getting a lot more hours at my part time job, which is great.  However, the down side to that is I have absolutely no business-casual clothes that fit me any more.  I've mentioned before that I'm on camera all day at work so I'm required to wear solid, dark colors.  My closet does not runneth over.

Hubby and I have implemented a strict lock down on our monthly spending since he's still out of work.  That means no un-necessary spending of any sort.  I've been making do with the same one or two outfits over and over and it's becoming a bit embarrassing!
I also don't want to spend a lot of money on clothes since I'm probably (God willing!) not going to be in my current size forever.

So, darling hubby cashed in some credit card points/frequent flier miles for a $25 gift card to Walmart.  Did you know you could do that?  We're never going to earn enough on that particular card for a free airline ticket, so why let the points just sit there collecting dust when Mama needs new clothes!
I know a trip to WallyWorld is not most ladies idea of great shopping, but it's the best we could do for now.

I am pleased to announce that I tried on a few pair of pants, different brands, and they were all a size 12!  I have never, and I mean NEVER been a 12 in my life.  I honestly don't remember what size I was in middle school, but I do know that I was a 16 all through high school and most of college.  There might have been a crash diet here or there that allowed me a brief stint in a 14, but for the most part I've been 16 or up.  This is definitely  new territory for me, and I like it!

So, wanna' see what I bought for my whopping $25?  My kids actually made me put on a 'fashion show' for them, and hubby of course insisted on taking pictures.  Here goes...

$12 pants, $12 shirt.  Can't beat that!  And it fits the dress code for work, so I accomplished my goal.  (I already had the shoes).

Then, because I cannot resist a clearance rack, no matter how strict the spending lock-down...I had to get this sweater.  It was only $5.

So now I can mix and match the 2 tops with the black pants and possibly get through the summer while spending less than $30!  That's a good shopping day in my book.

Have a good night everyone!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Having a Rough Day

Today marks 2 years since we lost my Mom to lung cancer.  I'm sort of surprised at how much this is affecting me today.  I'm walking around in a fog, feeling like a wet dish towel.  I wonder if this is what it feels for people who suffer from clinical depression, because I honestly had ZERO motivation to do anything today.

I've been tearing up throughout the day today.

I didn't even cry on the day she died.  She was sick for 15 months and when she finally let go and took her last breath, it was almost a relief for her to no longer be in pain.  I hated to see her suffer and felt confident she was headed to a wonderful place.  That doesn't take away from the fact that I want to pick up the phone DAILY and tell her about stuff going on in my life.

I was trying to figure out why I didn't feel this bad last year, on the one year anniversary, and then I remembered.  My entire extended family did a lung cancer walk in honor of my mom on that day.  What a great way that was to honor her, and take our minds off our grief.  The love and positive energy was amazing.  We had fun.

This year I'm hundreds of miles away from my extended family and I'm feeling it.

Mom taught me so many lessons.  She was a very practical, common sense kind of woman.  She wasn't perfect but I can tell you without a doubt that she loved her kids and grandchildren with ALL of her heart.  That's one thing we never doubted, ever.  She lived for 69 years, and that wasn't nearly enough.

My kids remember my Mom, but I wasn't sure how to address the whole 'anniversary' of when she died idea.  So I took them out for ice cream today and we talked about how Mema loved vanilla ice cream, and she would have loved to be there with us today.  My little one held up her cone to the sky and said "here you go Mema!".  God, she kills me.  Good thing I was wearing sun glasses.

I'm pretty sure my Mom would have been pissed off that I had weight loss surgery.  I'm also pretty sure that she'd be proud of me for losing more than 50 pounds.  She never got to see me at my current weight, an all time low.  She would be smiling for sure.  Seeing her die so young was one of the motivations for me to do something about my weight.  I want my kids to have me for more than 37 years.

I really didn't think I'd blog about this today.  I realized that I needed to just get it out, even if nobody reads it, at least I got it out.

Sorry for the bummer post.  I hope all you lovely readers have a great night.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I did it! Exhausted, but I Did It!

Phew, this was a long hard week.  But, now that it's over I am happy to report that I worked out (hard) 6 out of 7 days.  It's always my goal, and sometimes I get there but don't really give it my ALL.  I can honestly tell you that this week, I gave it 110%.

Well, here's my round up for the week...

Sunday:  2 Mile Run outside
Monday:  30 minute elliptical intervals (without even stopping to catch my breath!)
Tuesday:  Day of rest from exercise since I had to work.
Wednesday  :  1 hour Body Pump
Thursday:  1 Hour Combat/kick boxing
Friday:  1 hour Body Pump
Saturday:  1 hour Power Cycling

Good God I'm tired, and sore, and think I might soon need a hip replacement, but I did it!
I'm definitely seeing a change in my body.  That whore of a scale isn't budging, but I think I'm OK with that because I know what I see in the mirror, and it doesn't make me sad.  I feel fit and strong, and that's the point isn't it?

Now that I've done it and survived, and even feel good, I know I can do it again.
I hope you all had a wonderful week and got some good exercise in.
Enjoy the weekend and be well!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Why Are We So Hard on Ourselves?

Don't think I'm some sort of freak or anything, but I've checking out other chicks at the gym.  Consider it research.  You see, many of us "Bandsters" have spent most of our lives at least over weight, and probably obese.  We have spent a lifetime hating our bodies.  Therefore (and we've talked about this before) no matter how much weight we lose or how good we look, we see the flaws first.  Fluffy wrote on a similar subject today so I thought I'd go ahead and share my observations with you.

There are two particular women who I see at the gym EVERY day.  They are extremely fit.  One of them comes to the gym before AND after work.  When you look at them fully dressed you would think "Damn, she looks so good, I wish I had that body".  Then I see them in the locker room, in various stages of undress...

The one woman who comes twice a day is almost 'rail thin'.  Then she gets undressed to head to the showers and there it is.  She has a Mom Pouch.  Yup, just like any other normal woman, she has imperfections.  A protruding mommy belly, proud and prominent!  I bet she could care less.  I never see her trying to achieve a 6 pack.  She's happy, and fit.

The second woman has what one might refer to as 'back fat'.  She and I take the same classes.  She lifts way more weights than I do and kicks some serious butt in kick boxing.  The trainers know her by name.  The gym is her second home.  Still, she has a little bit of flab that hangs out over her sports bra.  Again, I don't think she cares.  She's healthy.

SO, why the heck are we so hard on ourselves?  Why do we (formerly obese) women think we have to strive for perfection?  We certainly look WAY better than we did when we started this journey, but it's never enough.  We want a six pack, smooth thighs, tight arms with no hanging skin, etc.  How about we cut ourselves some slack and try something new?  How about we try loving our new bodies and being thankful that we have accomplished so much, that we are healthy and FIT.
I earned my mom pouch by having two beautiful  babies via C-section.  Can I learn to love it, or at the very least accept it?
Are you with me ladies?  Can we change the negative thoughts into positive ones?  I know I'm going to try!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sometimes Life Gives You Lemons...

A recent turn of events has caused us to cancel our annual trip back home to visit with our family and friends.  I'm trying not to pout.  These things happen, and I figure it could always be worse.

In keeping with tradition, I'm trying to remain my happy 'susie sunshine' self and think on the bright side.  Since we had planned on being out of town for a week, I'm not scheduled to work.  I plan on making the most of my week off.  I'll be hitting the gym harder than ever.  I can go to all my favorite classes without interruption.  Maybe I'll even be able to break this darn plateau I've been sitting on for weeks.
I'm also planning a week of fun for the kiddos.  We'll be having our own mini vacation.

I'm taking those lemons life handed us and smashing the heck out of them.  This will be some good lemonade!

Now that I've been all positive, let me pout for a moment.  I'm allowed every once in a while, right? 
Today is my daughter's very last day of preschool.  This is a big deal, and we're so proud of her.  We worked hard to get her into this special preschool program to address some anxiety issues she was having.  She has grown so much, we can't believe the change in her in such a short amount of time.  Well, can you guess where I am on this special day?  Yeah, Mom of the Year is at work.  I can't tell you how much that bothers me.  Remember I've said before I'm not one of those people who enjoys being a working Mom.  I have too much guilt about being gone.  So, yesterday I got her ready, all dressed up, and took her picture a bunch of times.  I guess I figured if I couldn't be there to see her off on her last day of school, I could make the most out of the second to last day!  See, making more lemonade.

As a side note, hubby has several interviews lined up for the coming week.  He's working very hard at findinga job.  Everybody cross your fingers and wish him luck!

That's really all I have for you today. Sorry nothing band or weight loss related.  I promise more fun and interesting stuff for the week to come.
Have a fun day, and try to stay cool!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My First B.Y.O.C, a day late!

I've never participated in Drazil's weekly "BYOC" (Bring Your Own Crazy) questions before.  But, since I'm stuck at work at an unGodly hour, and it's not too busy I figure, why not!  So, here's how it goes...

It’s FRIDAY (I'm a day late so it's Saturday!) – which means it’s BYOC – Bring Your Own Crazy…around these parts. We answer a couple of questions to get to know each other better and to give our blog brains a break.

1. If you could pick any name on Earth for yourself – would you change yours and what would it be?

Hmmm, I think I like my name.  It's different, and by most people's standards, spelled wrong.  I don't know anyone else with my name which is kind of cool.
If I had to pick another name, I've always liked Stella.  I liked it for one of our girls, but since our last name also begins with 'S', I didn't think it would be the best choice.  God forbid she had a lisp and couldn't pronounce her own name!

2. If you’re a worker-outer…what time do you partake in such activities? There are SO many theories about when it’s best and not best to work out….like the morning is better since you have an empty stomach or the night is not good because you won’t be able to sleep…etc, etc. – so I’d like to hear your theories.

You all know I have to work out first thing in the morning before most normal people have opened their eyes!  I never used to be a morning person.  I started the early morning work out routine so that I could be back home before the hubby left for work.  But now it's become a habit and I find that if I don't get it out of the way early, I'll talk myself out of it.  I've also found that the early work outs give me energy throughout the rest of the day and I feel better.

3. If you drive a car – what kind is it and if you could drive any car – what would it be?

For the last few years I've had my Honda-CRV and I absolutely love it!  I wanted a kid friendly car without having to get a mini van, and it works for us.  We're a Honda family.
If I could pick something else, it would have to be after my kids are off to college and then I would choose a BMW convertible.  Way too pricey for my blood, but when my genuis children get full college scholarships, that cute little hot rod will be mine (If I can get over being cheap long enough to stomach the price tag).

4. Can you be totally honest in answering this next question and tell me what you think of tattoos? More importantly – what do you think of the people who have tattoos – specifically women?

OK, I have a tattoo.  Just one, and it's fairly small.  I think it's tasteful and meaningful.  My sister and I went together and got the same design, just before I went away to college.  I've never regretted the decision, nor have I ever wanted to get another one.  I don't mind tattoos if they're tasteful. There's a woman at my gym who has some big monstrosity on her shoulder and even though I see her several times a week, I still can't make out what it is.  To me, that's ugly.  Maybe it has great meaning to her, so I shouldn't pass judgement, but you asked what I thought!

5. Repeat question: Summarize your week in blog land and in real life.

I'm trying to remain positive but real life has been a bit of a challenge.  I've been working a lot this week since hubby still has not found a job.  I'm not one of these women who loves being a working mom, and I'm not great at it.  I feel a tremendous amount of guilt for leaving the kiddos during the day and missing out on stuff.  So, in an effort to be positive, let me say that I am so grateful that I have a job and the ability to get work hours to help support our family.  I'm happy to be able to step up when I need to.

I've also not lost any weight in about 3 weeks.  That pisses me off.  I'm only 7 pounds from where my surgeon wants me to be (initial goal) and I feel like I won't ever get there.  It's only 7 freaking pounds for Pete's sake! 

In Blog land things are pretty cool.  I've learned a lot about you lovely lady bloggers and I'm loving lots of picture updates. 

Enjoy your weekend!