Friday, November 30, 2012

Last night...

Last night, I dreamed that I had gained six pounds before my next weigh in—and it made me horribly depressed when I woke up. Next week is an off week where we are supposed to schedule our first nutritionist appointment (which I’ve already had and scheduled my second one), so our next weigh in/class isn’t until December 11.  A lot of people in class LOVE missing weeks—I don’t. I need that anticipated scale visit to keep me on track. I KNOW me, and out of sight equals out of mind—and gives me leave to eat whatever.
With two holiday parties on the horizon next week (office potluck on Thursday, and Company party on Friday), I know that it will be a challenge to lose weight, even though I do plan to maintain. I’m already slightly bummed because I gained a pound at the last weigh in (although I’m chalking that up to hormones and water retention).
My weekend plans include making a big pot of my “Everything but the kitchen sink” Turkey chili, practicing my knitting (a lovely knitting coworker suggested that I get some real knitting needles and #4 yarn, and is going to show me how to get from row 1 to row 2), and trying to NOT eat everything around me.
Every week at class, we are required to fill out a form for the insurance company. It has our identifying information, along with our current week weight, and then we have to fill out questions about what challenges we faced and what success we had. It also has us list our goals for the following week. I might try to do that here when I think about it.
My challenges this week: lunch with coworkers, missing my mom so much it hurts, and not enough sleep. 
My accomplishments: not using retail therapy to make myself feel better, eating my yogurt every day, and getting half of my walks done (weather and coworker distractions prevented the other half).
Happy Friday. I hope your week has been better than mine.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In the never ending quest for information

As you will learn if you continue to read me, I am a researcher. I want to know anything and everything about whatever it is that I'm interested in 

So don't be shocked that when I started the Bariatric process, I embraced it fully, and I spend alot of time reading blogs of other people who have gone ahead of me--those who have forged the path for me, and for those to follow me--on a quest for a healthier life. 

One of the more recent blog discoveries is The World According to Egg Face.  

This girl ROCKS.  I know that I'm not having the same type of surgery (I am going to be a Lap-Bander as opposed to her RNY), but I am EMBRACING her advice--and especially her recipes.  Some of them I want to try now--they sound THAT good. 

So, Egg Face, I bow at your skinny RNY feet, and beseech you to choose me to win your latest give away of awesome post surgical things that I can totally begin using now! :)

How to eat out and not blow it

This is the make- up class from when Sandy hit, and everything was closed. We basically learned how to read a menu and stay within our calorie budgets when eating out. This has been a challenge for me recently, as I just really started eating out again after having taken about a three week hiatus from it.
It all started with dinner last Friday night at Bertucci’s, where I split some small plates and shared a pitcher of Sangria with two friends. Followed by lunch at Chili’s on Monday where I packed in 400 calories for a bowl of soup alone, along with another 400 for salad with blue cheese dressing. (In my defense, Chilis has the BEST blue cheese dressing I’ve ever tasted). Today was lunch out at Panera, where I made some better choices with the Vegetable Pesto soup (instead of broccoli cheese—savings of 100 calories), and ½ of the Asiago Roast Beef Sandwich (at 360 calories) total calories—460 for that—plus another 100 or so for the deadly bread and butter.  And then I ate a Christmas tree cookie. A whopping 430 calories! That’s almost as much as my ENTIRE LUNCH was!
I know WHAT to eat when I go out—but it’s SO HARD. I’ll admit this—I am a SUCKER for bread, especially paired with butter. Bread and rice and pasta are my downfalls.  At home, I eat basmati brown rice. At home I eat Fiber One whole grain bread. At home, I use Smart Balance. When I go out to lunch or dinner—it seems that ALL. BETS.ARE.OFF. And I make poor choices like I did today—poor in eating the bread and butter and cookie.  The rest of my lunch was actually relatively good and within my allotment of calories. Now dinner will be less filling to make up for the cookie indiscretion.  I can’t escape the bread—it’s everywhere. I just need to learn how to say no to it.
Extra motivation: I gained a pound at my weigh in yesterday. So I need to get back into the soup and walking lunch that has helped me recently. No class next week, so maybe I’ll just write something anyways.
Ciao—and I don’t mean ‘chow’! J

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pick the Pink!

This past week, pre-Turkey day class was about recipe substitution.  As a plus sized girl who grew up in a house with a mom who was always on a weight loss plan of some sort (weight watchers, medically supervised shakes, slim fast shakes, etc), there are a lot of things that I grew up doing that I thought were “normal” in the context of food. Case in point:  using a mix of ricotta and cottage cheese in Lasagna.  Using Sweet-n-Low and red wine vinegar as salad dressing. Using Sweet-n-Low with mayonnaise and skim milk as coleslaw dressing.  I thought these were NORMAL! And I still do, since that’s what I grew up watching my mom do, and in turn, learning them from her.  Is it any wonder that I shun the blue and yellow artificial sweeteners and only go for pink?
The majority of the class was spent modifying recipes.  The class leader this week was my nutritionist (the one that I have met with once and will meet with once more before the end of this process).  She is very nice, and it was a change from the other class leaders.
She handed out regular full of fat recipes for us to review, and then we discussed how to make them healthier.  And all of the suggestions that were made were all things that I currently already do! I don’t fry eggplant for eggplant parmesan. I already bake it! I already use reduced fat cheeses and turkey in my lasagna (and it is delicious). If I do get the hankering for fettuccini alfredo, I already do use low fat cream cheese and skim milk instead of cream! Or better yet, a small scoop of the Philadelphia cooking cream is really good, too. But don’t think I cook like this all the time—because I don’t. (Most of my week night meals are bags of frozen stir fry veggies from Trader Joes, Tyson grilled chicken breast strips, frozen cooked shrimp, and microwave rice and veggies from Birdseye. I only cook heavy things like this on weekends when I have tons of down time).
Even though the boyfriend and I didn’t do Thanksgiving this year—yes, we shunned cooking a turkey and all the trimmings—I still feel like I’ve gained weight.  Maybe because it’s time for a visit from my aunt flow, and I’m feeling all bloated and stuff--or it could be the entire pot of corn cake that I made and ate over the course of 4 days—but it will be interesting to see if I gained or if I continued to lose after this week. I've also slacked on my exercise--none on Thursday, or Sunday.
As of last week weigh in (where I lost another 4 lbs), I was down 14 lbs from when the class started on September 11. Yes, it’s not as much as it should be—I should have been losing 2lbs a week—but it’s much more than I thought I could do! The first few weeks I struggled with fluctuating—but the past three weeks I’ve lost consistently (5lbs, 3.5 lbs, 4 lbs) I just hope to keep moving the scale down. My goal was to lose 40 pounds before my scheduled surgery—because as it’s explained, the more you lose before surgery, the more you will lose in the long run—because during the first year after surgery—you will lose about 75% of your desired goal—so the lower your starting weight, the closer to your end goal you can get within a year.
So today is Monday, and during the week, I am awesome at sticking to plan, eating at regular times, and being a great diet person.  (Well, I was until lunch today when I went with my coworkers to Chilis and ate a bowl of Enchilada soup at 400cals, a salad w/blue cheese dressing at 410 cals, and some chips/salsa that I'm estimating at around 300cals). Weekends(and weekday holidays) seem to be my weak points.
Weigh in is tomorrow night.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I have inched down another pound or two—but I’m also not going to get discouraged if I didn’t.  Every day is a new day to make healthy decisions!
I hope that all of you are making your own healthy decisions and finding your way on this journey, also.

On a side note, I think alot of people have dropped out of the class.  There has been no sightings of Amber, Half-n-Half, Dundalk, and a slew of others who never made the postings earlier in the year.  At this point, I'm beginning to think that I'm the ONLY person in my class who hasn't missed a single day. Go me!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I fell into a burning ring of fire....

This is technically week 9, but week 8 was canceled due to bad weather.  So instead of talking about portion control, we talked about eating and triggers that cause us to eat. At weigh in, I had lost 5 lbs from hacking out my lungs for the two weeks previous. Go me! J
Okay, not really go me because being sick is MISERABLE.  The only good thing is that I can’t smell or taste a lot of things—so it takes away my desire to sit and eat.
This class was taught by Chipmunk, and I have to say, she actually did make some really good points about triggers and eating that I’m going to share here.
We all know that you should be eating breakfast, and try to have at least three meals per day—although three smaller meals with 2 or 3 small low calorie snacks thrown in is also acceptable. I try to adhere to that formula, as it works the best for me.  Keeps me from being RAVENOUS when I get home.
One of my BBF’s tends to go all day and not eat anything—and then when she finally does stop to eat, she’s downing a whole days worth of calories for dinner.  She wanted to know why she wasn’t losing weight, because she’s not going over the calories. And Chipmunk had a GREAT response!
She said that you need to think of your body as wood stove and the fire as your metabolism.  To keep your fire going, you need to feed it wood during the day.  If you wait all day without feeding the fire, and then shove a ton of wood on it, the fire won’t do well because it’s burned down, and it can’t burn up all that wood at once—it takes time for the fire to restart.  But if you keep your fire fed, and throw a log on every few hours, the fire maintains itself. So to keep your metabolism going, you should eat every few hours. If you wait all day and then eat 2,000 calories at once—your metabolism will be sluggish and can’t get around to burning off those calories like it could if you had them earlier in the day.  I really took this with me when I walked out—it was a great analogy and I think that my BBF has taken this to heart, as she’s making more of an effort to eat during the day. And I think that it will pay off for her, since her eating will keep her body from thinking it’s starving.
One thing during the trigger class that really kind of bugged me was that a lot of people in my class seem to think that having bariatric surgery is a ‘magic bullet’. I think that they think if they have the surgery, they will get magically thin without having to worry about what they eat, or making the life style changes needed to maintain their new life. In fact, during the class, Now asked the instructor why does it matter about eating habits, because once she has the surgery and her stomach is tiny, she can’t eat as much, and if she eats too much she will throw up and that will train her to not overeat.  Does anyone see the issue with that train of thought?

Monday, November 12, 2012


On week 7, we had a visit from a sleep disorder doctor to tell us how important sleep is to weight loss, and overall health. Of course, the first thing he talked about was sleep apnea, and that pretty much all of us need a sleep study done. No.I.don’t.

Why is it that everyone seems to assume that if you’re overweight, you have sleep apnea and need to have a machine to breath for you at night? I feel that it’s unfairly stereotyping heavy people, but I digress.  Just for the record, I do not have sleep apnea. I do have jacked up sinuses due to year round allergies which does cause me to snore sometimes—but my boyfriend says that I do not have apnea. So there.
The funniest moment of the night came when the largest woman in our class (who does walk with a cane), who was just put onto sleep machine (or as I call it, the ‘snooter snotter’) asked about what to do with the machine it when she had “company” over.  The doctor, of course, was like, “well, keep your bedroom door closed.” To which she replied, “I actually meant BEDROOM company.”  The look on the doctors’ face was priceless!
Hey Sleep Doctor—just because we are overweight doesn’t mean that we don’t get our groove on! Most of us actually do have spouses or partners who love us no matter WHAT the scale might say—and yes, we do like to ‘hit’ it. 
And of course Dundalk had to make the class all about herself, and talk about her issues of almost dying EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT. due to her sleep apnea, but it’s not been diagnosed by a doctor, and she’s not on a machine to help her. She really did hijack the class—and the funny part is—EVERYONE (and not just me and my two BBF’s) notice it, and we ALL sigh and roll our eyes when she talks. I like my classmates more and more as I get to know them and their personalities.
So that was it on sleep.  I know sleep is important—but I can’t help it that all the good TV shows don’t come on until 10pm!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sweating with the Oldies (Literally!)

This is the post that I should have written for week six--I'm just three weeks late. Hey, don't judge. I'm getting caught up! :)
Sweating with the oldies (literally).

Okay, I am not the youngest person in the bariatric class. I am not the oldest. I fall somewhere almost smack dab in the middle of the age bracket.
Before now (okay, like 4 years ago), I used to work out ALL.THE.TIME. I walked 2+ miles a day TO the gym and back.  Yes, I WALKED to the gym and back, where I would do cardio classes or weight training, or both, for one or two hours a night. Now I’m big and lazy—but I like to think I still have it.
During week six, we had a visit from a trainer. He basically came in and did an aerobics class. I forgot to wear workout clothes, but I did have on tennis shoes.  Thank. God.
Personally, I think that the training was a good idea, but I think it was FAR TOO ADVANCED for the majority of the class.  Please keep in mind that about 50% of the class is older, most walk with canes or ride scooters, and take up an entire bench for themselves.  They can barely walk, must less get up and dance. This session was like the sessions that I used to take at the gym—full of grapevines, lunges, and all sorts of other aerobic moves that I’m blanking on now. I was DYING, but I think I did pretty good to keep up like I did. However, most of them sat on their benches and clapped and moved their sarms since that was the most they could do.
I remember when I was a kid, watching Richard Simmons on TV, and there was one of his success stories—about a woman who couldn’t walk or get off the couch—and he helped her—and in the beginning, all she could do was clap. And Richard Simmons had her clap her exercise.  Because clapping was all she could do—and clapping was better than no exercise at all.
I’ve been reading a blog by a woman who has a goal of losing 300lbs. It’s called  I started at the beginning, and I read every single post that she’s written since she started her journey. And she talks about how, in the beginning after her gastric sleeve surgery, she could only walk for 30 seconds.  30. Seconds.  And how every day, she increased it just a little. It’s a miraculous journey that she’s on—and she’s not done yet! I can walk for far longer than 30 seconds.  5 years ago, I did a 10k (walking it), but I did it! And I finished it—and I wasn’t the last one to finish either. I walked 6.2 miles in exactly 2 hours. Could I do that right now? Probably not in two hours—but I’m sure I could walk 6.2 miles.
The point is, it doesn’t matter how out of shape you are, or how much you weigh. The point is that you are making a choice to change your life. And that choice to change your life starts with the choices you make now.  So start with baby steps—walking 30 seconds if that’s all you can. Even if you can only clap your hands—it’s something. And something is always better than nothing!
I still have week 7 (importance of sleep) to write about, week 8 was canceled due to the hurricane, and then I’ll write about week 9 (behavior modification).  Week 8 will be made up in December. Stay tuned for more awesomeness. I have a really great insite from class last night that I want to share. Look for that in the week 9 post!