December 31, 2010

Affirmations for 2011

I affirm that I am happy, healthy, and prosperous! I am perfect, whole, and complete, made in the image and likeness of a loving and beneficent God! I continue on my journey to lose weight with new excitement and vigor and look at each pound lost as one step closer to a healthier me! I love myself and embrace my quirks and flaws.

I no longer look to other people for my own acceptance and happiness. I recognize that I am responsible for my own happiness, today and always. I no longer seek approval from others as I recognize I don't need any. I live for myself, and through my living, I am able to provide the best me for my loved ones, family, and friends. Being the best me is of utmost importance to me, and I fervently seek: the peace within me, the balance of work and family, and the love of myself -- body and mind! And so it is!

Lo Carb Pizza - Yummy in my sleeve!

I took a stab at creating a low carb pizza after my buddy Nikki started tweeting about it. Shelly from the Eggface blog has some great recipes, but this was my take. 

December 29, 2010

Holding on to Past Resentment

Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head." - Ann Landers

This is so applicable to those of us who are on this journey to weight loss... so applicable


We all make promises to ourselves this time of year when it is popular to think about all the food you ate for the holidays, all of the booze you drank, the cigarettes (or whatever) you smoked because of guilt you felt afterwards. We make promises to lose weight, stop smoking, and be better people. Every year we set ourselves up for huge failure, and it doesn't make use better people. I include myself in this universal "we". I have made many, many "resolutions" to do better and be better. Yet, I often feel like I let myself down. The trouble is that I used standards of excellence created by other people that were never really intended to fit into my world -- no matter how hard I tried to "fit in".

December 28, 2010

How to Beat those Dreaded WLS Stalls

In my hunt for interesting reads, I found another blog of note, Living Well/Eating Well after VSG by Margo Nelson. Head on over to Margo's blog for her take on handling stalls.  This is particularly notable for all of us "sleevers" out there.

December 27, 2010


If you want great information and exhaustive independent research about bariatric vitamins, be sure to visit WLSVitagarten. This is also an excellent post from Andrea at WLS Vitagarten. oPurity

Drink Your Water

I can't sleep, so I was on CNN and I found a blog entry from Dr. Gupta about drinking water. Water is the WLS patient's best friend. Here is is!

December 24, 2010

Christmas Time is Here

To me this Christmas lacks pizzazz. I really have no Christmas spirit, and I don't know if it is because I feel really tired, or I just don't feel Christmassy this year. I think I am not getting enough protein daily and it is taking its toll on me. I have felt very tired, lethargic, achy, muscles feel like mush, and all I want to do is sleeeeep. I've been working out over the past couple of days and after taking Zumba today, for the very first time, I just feel whooped! The weeks following surgery, I felt fantastic, but that feeling soon passed and now I just feel blech.

December 20, 2010

2011 Sunday Coupon Insert Schedule

If you are a thrifty Missy, like me, you won't want to miss the 2011 Sunday Coupon Insert Schedule. Sunday Coupon Preview helps you to save more on your weekly grocery trips by giving you a preview of coupons coming out in the next Sunday's paper. Sunday Coupon Preview was created to try to bring your Sunday coupons to one place. Instead of scouring the internet to find out what coupons are going to be in your Sunday paper you can just check here!

My Incredible Talking Pouch!

Since my weight loss surgery in September, I have experienced stomach rumblings you would not believe! Pangs, growling, barking, and howling are not only things my dog does on a regular basis -- my pouch now does all of these feats as well! My doctor explained to me that since the surgery, my stomach sits higher in my chest and the gastric juices have less space in which to splosh around. I am subject to more stomach acid, burning, and general discomfort. I have a standing prescription for Nexium until the surgeon can clear me and my persnickety pouch of any post-op problems.

December 16, 2010

I Can Feel It Hangin' in My Pouch Tonight (tune by Genesis)

I'm now 2 1/2 months post-op now. I have lost 60lbs since I began my journey, but 50lbs lost just from surgery alone. I wanted to let the readers know about how I feel since my surgery. Remember, this experience is different for everyone so this is certainly my point of view.

First, even though I'm working out when I can, my muscles still feel like mush. I have always had very toned legs and calf muscles, but they have just turned to mush melon since surgery. I'm going to go and look for a nice looking super hero cape because my arms have developed the dreaded, "batwings", from the loose skin. There is also loose skin on my thighs and I NEVER thought I would see loose skin there.

December 15, 2010

Whip My Hair Sesame Style - Willow Smith Remix (I Love My Hair)

I Whip My Hair. Not WLS related, but so cute!

The Sweetest Taboo

Sade crooned about it. The holidays are full of it. I was hoping and praying, for that matter, that after my weight loss surgery, I would have a diminished desire for sweets. The craving for sweets hasn't decreased for me one iota. I really have a hard time during menstruation when the cravings hit their peak! I can kind of overcome the urges by sucking on a couple of Popsicles, but oh boy do I miss chocolate and Starbucks! My daily dose of Click! protein Mocha with Carnation Instant Breakfast comes pretty close to Starbucks, but alas, it's just not same.

Some days I don't think about the sweets, but then other days get really rough. I am hoping that this sensation will subside after a few months so I won't continue to fiend for sweets like an addict. Oh, the sweets!

Viva La Revolution

I just purchased the ebook of Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I loved this book in high school and wanted to revisit it as an adult. I'm sure I can find some correlations to my weight loss journey and my desire to be "fat free". Stay posted and check back for comments on the book.

If you have a Kindle or another type of eReader, pick up a copy for yourself!

December 14, 2010

More Students Opt out of P.E. Classes

As much as I hated it, P.E. class was probably the only exercise I received every day during the one year of high school where it was a graduation requirement.

USA Today reports more school are dropping the P.E. requirement due to waivers and budget cuts. Read on...

December 13, 2010

Christmas Click! Giveaway!

My girl Shelly from "The World According to Eggface" has done it again! She has increased her Xmas spirit and is giving away a Click! Protein CLICKtastic CLICKmas prize pack! The package's MSRP is well over $50 and is loaded with goodies:

The Prize: This CLICKtastic CLICKmas Prize Pack including:
  • 1 Tub of CLICK Espresso Protein
  • 1 bottle of Sugar Free Peppermint Torani Syrup
  • 1 CLICK Blender Bottle
  • 1 CLICK Bling Hat

You have to check out her site too and try the three new recipes she has posted. They are so yum! I <3 Click! Espresso Mocha so I'll be trying some of these recipes, especially the Frappe! Check out the World According to Eggface for more information on how to enter the drawing.

Protein is the Prescription

Protein really is the prescription for weight loss
While the low-carb diet craze taught us the importance of protein, many don't get what they need. Given that it can help prevent obesity, osteoporosis and diabetes, it's crucial to get that daily dose.

Read the story from MSNBC here

December 10, 2010

More Sabotage from Unexpected Sources

I meant to tell you that since I've been on food restriction that I've found that my own family appears to be the biggest culprit in sabotaging my efforts to be diligent to my weight loss efforts. I didn't cook for Thanksgiving, but it was really hard when my mother went to a friend's for dinner, and then brought back plates of food. Mind you, she watches her weight, and she didn't eat the food, but she kept asking me if I wanted some or she would say, "you can have a little." I find that so frustrating! Why do people in my own household want to undo the good that I am putting into place? Does anyone else experience that?

So last night, I was asked if I was going to do a big Christmas dinner -- "you know where we could have a little of this and that". I explained that "a little of this and that" turns into a lot of everything like rice and potato salad, etc. My mom then said, "but we won't have any rice... we're having macaroni and cheese!" I was like, "see, that's what I'm talking about!" They see I am trying to loose weight and are just so not bothered by that fact. Argh! That irratates me! Anyone get that from home?

Solid Foods - Finally

I'm happy to report that I am getting in more solid foods including veggies. I even had a little salad last week with a sliver of a grilled chicken breast, feta cheese, assorted greens, and balsamic vinaigrette. It was soooo good. I dln't know if it was because I hadn't had a salad in so long or if it was because the dish was THAT tasty. Who knows.

I was on vacation with my husband and son last week and we went down to Panama City Beach, FL for the week. The weather was chilly, but the beach was beautiful! It was challenging being out of my comfort zone of home to go on vacation, but luckily we had a condo and I was able to cook most of our meals and drink my protein shakes as well. I was really good with my eating and even found my way to the workout center there at the resort 3 days during my time away for an hour each time. It was nice to finally get away for something other than surgery, or a funeral.

I think my next vacay will be sans the family, though. I would like to visit Miraval in AZ some time during the spring and really work on de-stressing. I want to take some downtime from everything and enjoy a spa atmosphere, aromatherapy, and healthy eating.

This week, some of the ladies from my department went out for lunch to a Japanese Hibachi place which I used to love to eat. It was really different this time for obvious reasons, but when people see that you're not eating what you used to consume, they get worried. "Are you sure you don't want any rice? Are you going to eat your salad? Are you sure you've had enough?" I almost had to chase our cook away from the table because he'd asked me about 4 times if I wanted fried rice and I declined, and then he tried to give me some anyway! I was good! I had scallops and veggies, and they were tasty tasty!!!

I have to tell you, I don't how much longer I can hold out on buying some new pants. I'm already using a "Belly Band" to hold up my dress pants since they don't have belt loops, but my belts are all too big now, and I "lost" my pants altogether the other night when I was going upstairs to give my son a bath. My daughter was a witness to that incident and she gave me a look like, "FAIL"! I got a great laugh out of it though. I may hit the Thrift stores this weekend or at least the sales racks to see if I can find anything suitable. I'll let you know what I find!

December 7, 2010

theworldaccordingtoeggface: Sausage Pancake Bites

Shelly has made my day! I have been fantasizing of having pancakes and sausage. This recipe post is exciting!
theworldaccordingtoeggface: Sausage Pancake Bites: "I had a $1 off coupon the other day for Jimmy Dean Sausage Crumbles. I thought they looked kind of neat. If you haven't seen them already......"

December 6, 2010

Taste of Torani Holiday Giveaway

Be sure to pop over to The World According to Eggface for your chance to enter her latest giveaway -- the Prize: This totally AWESOME Prize Pack of Torani's Holiday Flavors
  • 1 bottle of Sugar Free Peppermint
  • 1 bottle of Sugar Free Gingerbread
  • 1 bottle of Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie
  • and the pièce de résistance...
  • 1 bottle of Torani's brand new Sugar Free Salted Caramel.

Also be sure to experiment with the recipes Shelly has for Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate! OMG!!! That was one of my favorite former-life Starbuck's treats. The salty taste really balances the sweetness of the over-the-top hot chocolate. And, it's perfect on a cold night with fuzzy pajamas, a good book, and a log on the fire.

Thanks Shelly for posting the contest!

December 5, 2010

Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts

This is a repost from Bypass Buddies. I thought it was well worth mentioning seeing that it is the holiday season and all.

1. Don't bother to count proteins; just assume you get enough.
2. Don't exercise; assume the reduction in food should do it.
3. Embrace temptation; eat whatever you want.
4. Don't seek support or advice from successful peers.
5. Don't celebrate your successes; simply go on to the next goal.
6. Don't drink your water.
7. Ignore your body's signals that it is full or what it can tolerate.
8. Always compare yourself to others; especially if they lose faster.
9. Don't use good stress management; use food to deal with feelings.
10. Ignore YOUR nutritionist; do what others do instead.

If you follow these 10 simple bits of advice, you too can be a WLS failure! See the original post here

December 1, 2010

Don't Eat the Scraps

I have realized in the past few weeks how much negative self-talk I have to eliminate from my life -- it's just a bunch of "chatter" going on in my head. The first is "don't waste food". While sitting with my son while he was eating lunch today that I was picking at his pizza crust. I didn't need the pizza crust. It definitely didn't feel good in my "Joey pouch", but I kept thinking, "don't waste food."

Being newly post-op there are many things I face every day that tend to undermine and defeat my weight loss success. But I realize it is up to me to fix the "self-talk" in my head and overcome my past beliefs. I think I probably will not sit with my kids as they eat since that seems to trigger my desire to "pick". It's so hard to see other people eating the foods I used to love, knowing that I shouldn't eat it and that it's not good for my pouch/sleeve.

Another thing I could do if I decide to sit with my son while he is eating is to make sure I have something to drink or some type of alternative. Preparation is always key to the WLS patient post-op. I could cut up some fruit, or have a cheese stick. Today I will commit to do something other than pick off of my son's plate. I take responsibility for my actions and provide myself an environment that is conducive to my weight loss, today!

Book Banning and Other Attacks on Our Freedom of Speech

Well readers, I have always been very passionate about reading, books, and free speech. I believe that reading is knowledge and knowledge is power, but what comes with power is responsibility.  I came across this article on Book Banning on USA and it just amazes me that through all we have sustained as a nation, the banning of books still remains a prevalent practice in our society.

Novels, classics, non-fiction, and even dictionaries are printed every day for our use and as an exercise of our first amendment right to the freedom of speech. Our founding fathers came to this country to escape religious persecution and to obtain freedom from oppression, but many people in this country do not learn from history and attempt to make everyone conform to their so called, "conservative moral values".  If we don't learn from our history we are destined to repeat it.  If you don't want your kids to read certain books, then don't allow it.  Don't attempt to repeal the rights of all americans because you don't agree with one person's opinion in a book; don't read it!

I'm stepping off my soapbox now.  Please read the story and let me know what you think. Book banning = racism.  Book banning = inequality.  Book banning = religious oppression. Book banning = sexual discrimination. 

November 30, 2010

How I Did on Thanksgiving

I've been reading a lot of posts about people eating their Thanksgiving dinner, and I have to add that I didn't make a big deal about dinner this year. I did feel bad for my family for a few minutes, and I told them I felt bad, but they were OK with it.

I had a slice of turkey, a tablespoon of green beans, a tablespoon of dressing, and scalloped potatoes. The turkey was good -- honey baked -- 'nuff said! Everything else was just okay. I ate the greenbeans, and left the other food alone. Overall I was satisfied with what I'd eaten -- not too much food, chewed to death, and paused between bites. I am still amazed by the portion size, though. I think back on what I'd consumed at Thanksgiving dinners in the past, and I really get turned off. That is something I'm going to have to work on. I have to have forgiveness for myself for the past, the present, and the future.

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

To all of my weight loss divas out there who are Pre-Op, Post-Op, or just thinking about making the change, Happy Thanksgiving to you. To all my post-op divas, remember the bariatric surgery commandments, "Thou shalt chew your food to death. Thou shalt refrain from any high fat foods; Six small meals shalt thou consume, but remember your protein to keep you fully. LOL Have a great evening!

November 24, 2010

You Are Worth It

Not original post, but saw this on Melting Mama and it inspired me. thanks Mama!

One Last Black Friday Funny

I saw this on the Black Friday Blog and had to post it.

I will not be beaten down to find the deals... the deals will find me or my email inbox... whichever is more accessible.

More Black Friday Deterence - Stay at Home and Shop

Black Friday lines -- my husband wasn't too fond of this.  He went searching for some item last year only to find there were only THREE in the whole store when about 300 people were waiting outside.  WTF!!??

Who wants to shop with that many people touching you -- not me!  I feel sorry for the people who have to clean up the store after a Black Friday mad dash!  ugh... flasback to my days of retail...yuck!

Don't Wanna Stand in Line - Forget Black Friday!

Forget black friday; deals are online now -

Thanksgiving Last Supper

A friend of mine shared this with me this morning. There is the Vegan, the Allergic to Gluten, the Strictly Kosher, "On a Cleanse", Macrobiotic, and the "Ultra-Picky Gourmet". I am wondering where the Post-op Bariatric surgery person is?

November 22, 2010

Oprah's Audience Gets the Ultimate Surprise | Lopez Tonight

Definitely NOT Raindrops on Roses...funny nonetheless. Oprah's Audience Gets the Ultimate Surprise | Lopez Tonight

More Ga. Children Turning To Weight-Loss Surgery - News Story - WSB Atlanta

I've been looking for this article. This is another must read, and another reason why we need to keep PE in schools, provide healthy food choices in school, and model positive eating and exercise habits at home for our kids! This story originally aired on Channel 2 Action News in Atlanta, GA on November 12, 2010. More Ga. Children Turning To Weight-Loss Surgery - News Story - WSB Atlanta

Well, this is new.

I hate censure! It's one thing to create a product and market it to thousands of us who are in the clutches of the vitamin mongers, but it is another to censure someone who has done research on the product, and has a dissenting opinion. Please read this post from Even if you like or dislike the product to which she is referring, it wrong to be silenced because factual information was stated with proof to back it up. We don't need that crap! Well, this is new.

What Made You Fat? and Many Other Excuses

Many years ago, I pledged a sorority and we were taught a phrase that I often use with my own family, "Excuses are the tools of the incompetent.  They build monuments of nothingness and those who specialize in them, seldom amount to anything!"  So there are millions of other women and men around that are all too familiar with this mantra.

I saw this topic on another forum and I started thinking of all of the things I remembered saying or being told of why I am or was fat.  Let me start --

November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving at Work

Thursday was our Thanksgiving celebration at work and it is always a big deal. There's loads of food and lots of people walking around, prizes being raffled, and dessert a-flowin'.  This year was just so different for me.  I am thinner -- 52 pounds down at the time of this post -- but not only that, I AM different now than I was last year.

I got in line like everyone else and got a plate of the Thanksgiving feast.  There was turkey, ham, dressing, mash, mac & cheese, green beens, and cranberry sauce; I didn't even bother with the dessert table.  I think they plates being handed out by the caterers had to have been about two pounds of food -- it was heavy.  I took the plate in both hands and looked at it, and thought, "this is a lot of food to through away."  I went to my desk since I was working on a couple of documents, and nibbled on half of a slice a ham, two green beans, and a couple of bites of white meat turkey breast.  Stick a fork in me; I was done!

November 17, 2010

Mayo Clinic Weighs in on Childhood Obesity

This is an excellent article on childhood obesity.

We do have to remember that changing behavior patterns start at home. We must be able to recognize our own ability to control behavior in order to pass good habits on to our children.  I will always remember my daughter telling me the reason she doesn't like to exercise is because she never saw me doing it.  That hit me pretty hard because I thought back to my own childhood and I never saw my mother exercising either, but she was always on my back to loose weight.  How could I lose weight when I had no one to model the tools needed for me to be successful?  

I feel like I am making important steps to become more active by incorporating exercise in my routine, eating small portions (of course), and making sure my kids are introduced to vegetables and whole grains at every meal.  These are small things that I am doing, but once I make them a habit, my kids will have this as a way of life.

3 New Weight Loss Drugs -- Yet Another Magic Pill added this story over the summer --

While I think the thought behind these drugs is admirable, I don't believe in "magic" pills.  Diet drugs can be addictive, and in the past, have been downright dangerous; Redux and Meridia come to mind.

Eva Longoria and Tony Parker Split - WTH Happened Here?

Weren't they just married, like, last week???  The couple just celebrated their third anniversary with an Adriatic cruise and they looked so happy!  This is so sad.

Eva Longoria files for divorce from Tony Parker

November 16, 2010

Faith's Vidalia Onion Dip

This would be great with some low fat crackers or veggies!


1 large Vidalia or Walla Walla onion, coarsely chopped
1 pkg. (7 oz.) 2% Milk Shredded Italian Three-Cheese Blend
1/2 cup KRAFT Light Mayo Reduced Fat Mayonnaise (I like Kraft-- not as salty as others)
1/2 cup Non-fat, plain Fage Greek Yogurt
1 Tbsp.  freshly grated Parmesan Cheese- get the good stuff
1/2 tsp. white pepper

Make It

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Mix first 4 ingredients together. Spread mixture onto bottom of 9-inch pie plate; sprinkle with Parmesan.Bake dish for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Cider-Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Almonds

Here is another Thanksgiving recipe that is pretty low in fat, and has five grams of protein!
Courtesy of Kraft Recipes

Cider-Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Almonds

November 15, 2010

Campbell's Kitchen: Halibut with Beans and Spinach

Campbell's Kitchen: Halibut with Beans and Spinach

I just saw this recipe on the Campbell's Soup site, and it is definitely full of protein, light on the fat, and even has fiber! What more would a good WLS post-op want from a meal?

November 14, 2010

Letting Go

Like so many other women with weight issues, I have been in a state of depression for years.  Some days I don't even want to get out of bed, but I keep going just so I can keep myself and my family going.  I keep up the momentum and try not to get sucked into the muck or the funk that depression can bring.  I have felt this overwhelming sadness for so long that it just became a part of me, and I never really thought of changing my point of view until a friend invited me to her church.  Now, I'd been a baptist forever, so I didn't really think church was going to make me feel any better when most of my church experience often made me feel riddled with guilt and more sad.  This church was different and by the next Sunday, I was a member. 

My Get Together or Cooking for Others after Weight Loss Surgery

I do a lot of couponing, and receive quite a few free offers from various sponsors in exchange for a review.  Sometime before my surgery, I was chosen by Pillsbury to take part in one of their "My Get Together" house parties.  The company provides you with recipes, coupons, and other compensation and you invite your friends, tidy up your place, and create some of the really simple recipes recommended for the party.

November 8, 2010

My First Post Op Recipe

I'm getting tired of omelets, frittatas, and yogurt, and I figured it was high time to start making a little solid food for myself, so I made some slow-cooker chili yesterday.  I used 2lbs of ground chuck, and sauteed some onions with it.  I drained every ounce of fat off of it that I could, and then added it to the slow cooker.  I added a can of mild rotel, an 8oz can of tomato sauce, two 8 oz cans of water, a can of pinto beans, a can of pink kidney beansand chili seasonings.  I used a chili mix and doctored it up.  I cooked my chili concoction on low all day until the house was smelling something guuud!  

I tasted my chili and it was just okay.  The meat and beans were nice and soft, but I was missing that chili "flavor".  I always cook with different spices so I looked in my cabinet for my handy dandy cumin grinder, which to my dismay was empty!  "Oh no!!!", I thought.  I found some more chili powder, but it just didn't give it that flavor that any well meaning and good tasting chili has.  Always remember to have some extra Cumin on hand when your making your chili!  I let it simmer another hour, and then dished some up for myself.  I added a dollop of Fage yogurt, and it was ready-to-eat!  It was pretty good, and went down really well, which really helped me out since my "Joey" pouch has been a little sensitive of late.

I definitely have to learn how to break my recipes into smaller portions though because since I am used to cooking for any army, I have a lot of leftovers and folks at my house don't always snap up the leftovers the way that I think they should.  I guess I have to make friends with some of the neighbors kids -- maybe they like chili??  

My next venture will be beef stew in my slow cooker or may a beef curry that's not spicy.  I'll let you know.  Try out a new recipe for your new little pouch and let me know what you come up with! 

November 4, 2010

Wow Moment Today

I was checking out a BMI calculator a few minutes ago and since I've lost 46 pounds now, I'm no longer "Morbidly Obese" only "Obese".  Whomever makes up these monikers should be shot, but I'm moving and grooving to the lower side of the scale.  The Diva is rockin' the loser's bench!  W00t!

New Resources Posted!

Please visit my "Resources" page to find a few sites with some great recipes to try!  Put something new and yummy in your pouch or sleeve! - BE, Inc. The number one bariatric website for protein, vitamins, and success.

Check Out this Site

I am always on the prowl for new recipes that I can use to satisfy my new "Joey" pouch -- as in kangaroo.  I was searching "bariatric recipes" and came across  I found this site to have some pretty decent recipes for Thanksgiving!  There are also recipes that can be used at various stages of post-op dieting.  I hope that you will give this site a look, and let me know what you think.

Another good site for post-op recipes is one I personally follow Shelley also has some great recipes, and her story of her weightloss and surgery are priceless.  Check her out and whip up some of those yummy protein shakes.  Right now my fave is the Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake.  Had some this morning and it was yummy yummy!

October 31, 2010

Celebrating through Food -- Not!

This past week I've been in celebration mode at my job for having successfully implemented a new platform for our call center. It's been such a long road and to see the fruits of my labor finally pay off has been exciting. I think any other time I would have relished the idea of celebrating with food by going out to lunch and dinner with my boss or co-workers, but since I've had weight loss surgery, what comes to mind whenever someone mentions going out for lunch or dinner is, "Oh, dinner again? yeaaaah..." I'm telling you my voice is not chocked with excitement these days post-op! I don't want to seem ungrateful, but there has to be something else.

Trepidation stems from anxiety of what I can eat, what's on the menu; is it WLS friendly? And if I tell people I can't eat something they look at me strangely or say, "well, you can have this or that." I know food was my life, but that was my past -- no looking back! So I am now on a quest to find other ways to celebrate success and good news. Maybe we can all go to a Zumba class, or a movie, or some type of team building activity. If you come up with a way to celebrate great news that doesn't involve food, please leave a comment. I would love your feedback!

October 28, 2010

Being Fat and Other People's Opinions -- Part 2

I just saw this post on Thinner Times about this nail salon owner, and I noticed that this story is from my neck of the woods in Atlanta.  Check out this story and let me know what you think!  I think this woman should be put out of business.  I get tired of spending my hard earned money at places where I feel like I am humiliated.  The nail salon owner claims that her chairs only have a weight capacity of 200lbs.  That is such a load of crap!  And if she is in business, shouldn't she have insurance on her equipment for damage?  If she doesn't she should consider getting some because overweight people aren't the only people she should charge for damaging her equipment.

We have to stop patronizing businesses that clearly don't want to serve us as a population and don't have the humanity or humility to respect us as customers or human beings.  I'll do my own nails thank you very much and save some dough!  Thank you very much.

Please view the story here:              

October 27, 2010

Being Fat and Other People's Opinions

I have been fat, obese, and morbidly obese for a large part of my life.  I have had to put up with people's comments, their taunts, and their rants on how "I" should be more healthy, or how could "I" let myself get this way, or even being laughed at when passing by a group of people.  I've felt bad about my body image for as long as I can remember, and I'm 45 years old, so it's been a long, long time.  I know what I have been up against:  pressure to be thin, poor self-image, competition, depression, and now, arthritis and joint pain.

I just finished reading a post by a blogger for Marie Claire, and I am just completely deflated. This woman remarked on an episode of "Mark and Mollie" where she apparently was turned off by the fact that two fat people were making out.  She went on to qualify his remarks by saying she was very turned off by seeing a morbidly obese person just walk across the room.  She then stated that if that person wanted to be thin, it was his/her choice -- just push away from the table.  She also compared being fat with being an alcoholic or heroine addict in that he would hate seeing some sloppy drunk or another person strung out on drugs.  I think her comments are sad, but they tend to represent the opinions of many people in our society.  Everyone values being thin and has poor self-image and this if continuously perpetuated in our society through print and television advertising, movies, etc.  

Some of her comments, I get it... but I don't appreciate her comments in a world-wide publication that only perpetuate the poor self image that women and men have of themselves.  This is really a sad state of affairs when people use this bandwagon mentality to lash out at a group of people who pay taxes, and participate in society, but as second-class citizens.  I am one of those people, and I work every day, and try to live a healthy lifestyle.  Because of one thing or another, I haven't been successful in losing weight, but I have tried.  I've had my ups and downs with this rollercoaster ride and when I decided to have Weight Loss Surgery, for me, it was really my last alternative.  I don't want to be sick; I don't want to die from a co-morbidity.  But I also don't want to hear that I am less than human because I am overweight and don't live up to someone's expectations.  

I'm getting off my soapbox now, and putting away my little picket sign, but I just thought I had to share this with you.  Here's the link to the original story.  I really hope that you ready the article and weigh in on the subject.

Trying Something New

I'm a huge fan of a certain coffee chain that offers fabulous espresso-laced smoothies, and I miss the offerings of the holidays where you'll find creamy, wonderous drinks enhanceded with mint, pumpkin, and spices.  All of these yummy things are blended well with sugar, milk, coffee, and topped off with a dollop of whipped cream.  Those were the days... but I must remind you, those were the drinks that allowed me to be where I am today.

This morning, I'm trying something new.  I added some pumpkin, and pumpkin spice, and protein to my decaf this morning, and it's not half bad.  I whooshed it in the blender for a few minutes to get a nice consistency.  I think it needs a little bit of SF sweetner like Stevia, but it really is pretty good.  You know I will go to any length to add protein to my diet so this a great way.  I've been having a protein shake for breakfast since my tummy is still a little sensitive, so for me, the shakes and the Max Protein have worked well.

Try something new today.  Add some protein to your yogurt, or try a blended drink with some protein added.  You never know what you'll end up enjoying!

October 21, 2010

Mastering the Art of Eating

I'm almost one month post-op and I have to tell you that my eating has changed dramatically.  I see and want to eat some of the foods that I used to love, but the feeling passes in an instant.  I've been looking at what I am eating for the very first time, and with a new set of eyes, and there are such overwhelming differences.

The first difference is portion size.  The pouch you get in surgery not only makes it hard for you to overeat, but it also makes it hard for you to digest foods you normally love.  The pouch only allows me to eat less that one quarter of the things I used to and that has been so hard to accept.  I see the food, and I want to eat it, but if I do take that one "extra" bite, I know I'm in a world of hurt. So now to even prevent overeating, I've taken to eating off of tea plates, out of infant feeding bowls, and using infant feeding spoons.  It helps, but what I have noticed is that I have to really take my time and chew my food.  That is a big deal for me.  I have always had a hard time taking my time in finishing a meal, so this is so new.  I have to really be in the moment and constantly remind myself to chew each bite well.  Put down my fork.  Chew some more, and then resume eating.  It's been hard!  Who knew!  Do thin people have this much trouble with eating their meals?

So this brings me to my tastebuds.  They have totally changed!  I love chocolate, and I have loved it since I was in high school, but now, I seem to like other flavors like strawberry, and vanilla.  I never would've touched strawberry or vanilla anything prior to WLS unless it was ice cream, and even then, there better be some chocolate in it!  Gimme my chocolate!  Refried beans are still a little iffy for me, and I can't stand the smell of most of the protein powders -- some ARE better than others.

It has just been amazing the differences between before and after WLS and I wanted to share my experiences.

Faith Walker

October 17, 2010

Life after the WLS and the Flu Shot

Based on my doctor's recommendation, I got a flu shot on Thursday.  Can I just say that while I didn't feel any "cold-like" symptoms that many people complain of, I feel very listless and lethargic.  I worked yesterday and gave a training class and all along, my stomach was moaning and rumbling.  The night before I went to sleep early because nothing was sitting quite right in my new pouch.  Today, I haven't even gotten out of my jammies.

I can't say this is because of the flu shot, but I have been feeling much better than this, so I hope this is a temporary thing.  I have to get back on track and exercise.  I've gotten up to a mile on the treadmill at 2.8/mph which is good for me.  One of my high school friends who had Lap Band suggested that after I lose 50 lbs, I seek out a personal trainer to help me set some goals and get me on a regimen.  I have to say that is something I need.  I am a disciplined and regimented person in most aspects of my life, and I find that if I have someone to help me along, it's helps me to be more accountable -- especially if I'm paying for it. 

Faith Walker

Keep Yer Pants On!

I'm four weeks post op and I can really see a difference in how my clothes are fitting.  I've always had a thick middle and slim hips, but all of my pants are literally falling off!  I was walking through an aisle at work the other day and almost lost my pants!  That would have been something to see!  I don't know what I am going to do because a large portion of my work wardrobe includes pants.  

Alot of people say don't go shopping, but when you have a body type that's boyish, you don't have hips for the pants to hang on, and it's just a matter of time when my pants will make their way to my ankles without my knowledge.  I must prevent that from happening!  I am thinking I may have to buy some clothing staples, mostly dresses that I can wear until I get to a size where I am comfortable.  I was thinking of dresses because they don't necessarily sag and can provide a good transition to smaller sizes without shelling out big bucks to update my wardrobe every couple of months.  I just don't know where to shop.

I've always been a Lane Bryant girl, but I would love to have a few more upscale pieces to tide me over.  It's been a long time since I shopped at Macy's and Dillards so I may look at those places.  Wish me luck!  Hopefully I won't be mooning anyone anytime soon!

Faith Walker

October 11, 2010

Apres WLS Foods Progression

In case you were wondering about the "diet plan" after WLS, here it is in a nutshell.  Before WLS, you'll typically do a liquid diet to shrink your liver.  It makes the surgery go smoother, and you lose a few pounds.  After surgery, your on a clear liquid diet for a few days, and I do mean CLEAR, water, Crystal Light, broth, bouillon, pop sickles (SF), and jello (SF).  And of course, between those yummy beverages, you're constantly sipping water... sip, sip, sip.  I say sip because your new tummy can't handle more than a sip at a time.  Gone are the times where you used to be able to chug an Dasani -- uh unh... you're in for a world of hurt.

After you've been released from the hospitals and are home for a couple of days, your doctor will clear you for a liquid diet with added protein shakes.  In my case, I have to have 80-100 grams of protein per day.  With a newly formed tummy and all, it is really hard to knock back more than a couple of ounces of the protein shakes at a time.  I find myself sipping on those two -- water in one hand, shake in the other. This stage lasts for about two weeks or until you can tolerate something a little firmer in your new pouch/sleeve.

Right now I'm in the mushy or blenderized stage where I can have foods that are cooked to mush, thinned out with broth or water, and pulverized to smitherinis.  This stage will last about two weeks and then I'll be sailing into soft foods.  After about six to eight weeks, you'll graduate to firmer foods and add fresh fruits and veggies, eventually.  Although, I have been warned about broccoli causing gas, so it may come a little later on.  I can't wait to have a salad again.

Once solid foods are back on the table, as long as your keeping your diet free of too much fat, sugar, and breads, and you are drinking your water, the weight comes off.  

Searching for New Recipes for Mushy Foods and Protein

So my quest this week is to find new ways to enjoy my protein drinks, and also to try different foods for the "blenderized meal plan" that I get to partake of for the next two weeks.   

I made some killer okra and tomato soup with chicken legs over the weekend.  I took three tablespoons of that and another tablespoon of chicken broth and blended it with my hand mixer and had that for my mushy lunch.  It was tasty!!!  I love okra!

My protein tends to be a little bland and I would love to have a way to dress it up, and disguise the taste a little.  Some of the members of the recommended International Coffees (Sugar Free of course, and then decaf) to mix with protein for a delicious drink.  I'll be trying that tomorrow and I'll let you know what I think.  I also bought some Chai tea so I'll be trying that with my vanilla Max Protein to see if that is a good fit. I can't wait to try more new things, too.

First Day Back to Work after Weight Loss Surgery

My eyes popped open around 6:00 this morning, and I didn't feel tired, or worn out which is totally unlike any other morning before I had surgery.  Most days you couldn't peel me out of bed before 7:15, but I have discovered that I'm sleeping better and have new vitality!  It's exciting!!  I get all giddy because that means that the sleep apnea that has had authority over my sleep habits for the last few years has suddenly been usurped!  The sleep bandit is on the run because there is a new sheriff in town and it's name is "Weight Loss".  Weight is telling sleep apnea to "make my day"...  It really feels good to be refreshed after laying there for 6 to 8 hours and not snoring so loudly that you call the pigs from a least two counties over!  

So I checked out the work wardrobe and one of the tops that I liked to wear that was looking a little short in the front, now just flows over my stomach.  My pants on the other hand were a different story.  I played catch with them all day.  As I walked into work with my laptop bag and purse in one hand, I had to hold my pants up with the other.  On one trip to the bathroom, I almost lost them altogether! Woo!  That would have been a sight!  

Some of my co-workers noticed I looked thinner, other people just looked at me and thought I'd changed something like my hair or makeup.  I just smiled, took in the compliments, and appreciated the attention.  It was nice.  I was nice to feel good about the skin I was in and new path in which I am headed.  Look out people!

October 10, 2010

Feeling Good -- Feeling Good

I'm still working on finding the culprit for my itchiness, but after a little Lactaid, some benedryl, and not scratching, I feel good today. My incisions are healing nicely and I'm so glad that my surgery was Lap.  I just hope these hives exit stage right, really soon; they are cramping my style!

It has been a long time since I have felt this good, and I decided to get up and hit the grocery store for two Sunday papers -- it's all about the coupons -- and then I headed to Target!!!

On my venture to Target, I walked effortlessly through the aisles with renewed strength and some extra vitality!  My head feels clear, my joints don't hurt, and I just feel really good.  While I was in the store I was able to pick up some mini ramekins as I was thinking of making a mini frittata, and I also priced a "Magic Bullet" for making shakes.  I think those things are overpriced.  For $60, I could get three blenders.  I'm including a link from Amazon here as I see it is cheaper and probably qualifies for "supersaver" shipping.  I think the price looks better, but I will keep looking for either a better price or comparable item. Remember, I'm a frugal gal and I'll search for the best price until I drop!

So I'm planning on getting out in a bit and doing some walking to take advantage of the cool, sunny day in Atlanta.  More later!

October 8, 2010

I Have the Itchies -- Oh! What to Do?

So I'm chugging along on my journey and feeling really good.  I noticed a couple of nights ago that I was itching on my stomach -- no where near my incisions, but near them.  I've been scratching like the dickens, too!  Then to top it off, this morning I noticed I had little raised bumps that added to the itching.  I'm feeling good, but gosh I'm uncomfortable; if that makes sense?

What is worse is the sensation of the itch comes from inside of the skin instead of just on top.  I have allergies to all of the environmental things, but I wondering to I have allergies to milk or milk proteins, or is this just my nerves.  I sent my doctor an email, so I'm hoping he can shed some light.  I am hoping I'm not allergic to the whey proteins, but I would welcome some other type of protein as long as it tastes good and I could absorb it.

I bought some really nasty vitamins from the Vitamin Shoppe the other day because I didn't want to have to get the bariatric vitamins.  Boy was I hurt when they were too nasty for words!  Last night I took them back because I was a good shopper and had kept my receipt, only to find out they only give store credit for "opened" returns.  Well, I had to come up with something because the store manager wasn't budging on giving me my money back.

I searched around the store for anything that looked decent, and lo and behold, to my amazement, I found some Nectar protein by Syntrax and the Click Espresso protein!  I thought, "Wow! I've struck pay dirt!"  I quickly grabbed the two containers and rushed to the checkout to make my exchange.

When I got home, I tried the Nectar protein in some water with some ice cubes.  It wasn't too bad.  I let it get a little watery and was able to tolerate it pretty well.  

This morning, I tried the Click Espresso Protein and I got a huge kick out of that!  It was good and I was sooo happy to finally find a little protein I like.  I just hope that I'm not allergic to milk now.  We'll have to see how I'm faring.

I'll keep you informed!  Smooches!

October 6, 2010

Tummy Rumblin's

I'm getting the hang of the whole "sip, sip, sip" thing, but I'm having a challenge figuring our if I'm hungry or not.  Does this typically happen to fellow WLSer's or is it only me.  I always felt like this when I was pregnant where I would eat and then feel hunger pangs about 10 minutes later.  Well... I'm not preggers so what is going on?

I feel like Hamlet, but for me it's "to eat or not to eat?" Do I raid the refrigerator for a SF Jello or pudding.  Do I opt for a protein shake to curb the sensations I'm feeling?  Or do I sip yet another mouthful of water, hoping the sensations will subside?  What to do, what to do?  Is it in my mind or is it my body telling me I need something???

October 5, 2010

Site for Tracking Weight Loss -- iPhone App too!

Rubey from the Thinnertimes forum for WLS gave me the name of a great website that can help you with keeping track of your weight loss efforts.  And you know I was like a "fat rat in a cheese factory when I found out there was an iPhone App to match!  w00t!

Click here to be taken to Fat Secret.  Come back and let me know if you signed up, I would love to find you there as a buddy.

I Admit It! I Had Buyer's Remorse

This was my first post to after my WLS.

9/31/2010 - I'm three days post-op! Today was a pretty good day. Had some pretty interesting gas pains, but I did find that walking helped a lot!

The night after surgery, I really had a case of "why did I do this?" I was in so much pain, like a mack truck rolled over me a couple of times! I must have pressed that pump for pain killer more than a dozen the first night. The pain killer didn't seem to work until I was given a nice shot of dilaudid ...OMG! who knew?

So this morning was much better! If you're having any gas pains, really the best way to get everything "moving down there" is to walk it off.

Now, if I could find some protein that I like to drink!

This was my post from this morning:

I think what exacerbated the whole thing as well was having those "pinchers" on my legs for blood clots. Every time those things would inflate, waves of pain and gas would rise in my chest. I thought I was going to have a heart attack! I couldn't wait to rip them off and once the catheter was gone... oh honey, so were the "pinchers".  I felt so much better.

The next day I was up and around really trying to move more, and I felt so much better. I didn't use the pain pump anymore and didn't feel those pains rising in my chest anymore.

The nurses didn't want to unhook me from all of the telemetry and IV fluids because after I'd circled their stations a couple of times with my "entourage" of bags, tubs, and equipment, they considered me a flight risk! Just a little laugh. They were really impressed I was actually listening to what they said about moving around.

I'm feeling better and better every day. The first day I was home, I walked .25 miles on the treadmill at a slow pace. Did that for a couple of days, just taking it easy. Today I was able to do .50 miles at a decent pace, and I was in total shock. The back pain that I felt every time I would try to walk, the same back pain that has kept me from doing more aerobic activities, was gone! I was just floored.

So I'm going to keep moving and grooving 'cuz, "Baby, I'm a star."

October 4, 2010

My Secret Lover -- Food

I'm coming clean with everyone today about my secret love affair with -- organ music  dnh dnh dnnnh! -- FOOD.  OMG!  I can't tell you what the smell of freshly baked bread does to me without being too graphic, but let's just say:  oooooooooo!  

Food has been my most dependable lover for the better part of my life.  When I'm happy, it is there for me.  When I sad or pissed off at the world, Food understands what I'm feeling and again, it is there for me.  It's been there for parties, holidays, funerals, even one time when I was fired from a job, there was food right before I was escorted out!  Food has been there for me when I thought no one else was. 

We had our secret liaisons -- a pint of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby.  Sometimes a piece of fried chicken and a biscuit, or just a Starbucks Mocha Frappiccino. At night is when our romantics would heat up.  If I was unable to sleep, I would stole away downstairs and find some unsuspecting cracker with cream cheese, or cookies, or whatever it took to satisfy my desire.  It was the taste, or texture, or "umami" that I told myself I was searching for, but only to find that once you have the "taste", it's the same the second time. 

I grew more and more to dislike myself because when I looked in the mirror, what I saw disgusted me.  As my dislike grew, the more  I took advantage of food in order to make me happy.  I took Food's kindness for weakness and I often times over indulged myself in its never waning generosity.   I ate because it was comforting and didn't think about any of the repercussions of this time-bomb of a relationship until my health began to degrade, slowly, but surely. 

One day, Food and I came to understanding and I told it that we couldn't continue our relationship as it was.  My thoughts raced!  How could I give it up, it's been so patient and good to me?  I weighed myself, and then weighed my options for a healthier lifestyle and decided our decadent liaison had to end.  I had children to raise, a husband who loved me, and I didn't want any co-morbidities to start sneaking up on me.  I had to change.  I had to end our passionate, indulgent relationship.

In ending my dependent relationship with food, I am able to recognize my "triggers" for stress or situational eating.  It has taken a long time to start recognizing these signals -- just wasn't an aha moment for me.  It was as if I started dating all over again, and I was looking for queues and body language from new paramours!  I'm looking at myself differently, and learning to love myself, differently, and in a manner I should be accustomed -- healthfully, and prayerfully.  I loved food, but I love me more!

October 1, 2010

New Beginnings

On Monday, September 27, 2010 at 7:30am, I had the large part of my stomach removed in a surgical procedure called a "Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy" (VSG).  I told to doctor to make sure to let me see the removed stomach, and he assured me that he'd take a picture.  I'm still checking my email and photobucket for clippings!

The VSG is nothing new to the world of Weight Loss Surgery (WLS), but it is something that insurance companies have just started providing coverage.  My own insurance company only started approving their patients for this procedure back in March.  It has long been considered "experimental" compared to rerouting your stomach with your bowels, or placing a plastic "band" around the entrance to the stomach.

This procedure was a personal matter for me as I got older, I began to slow down and started feeling my joints aching more.  I've been on more diets than a few -- love cabbage soup, hate the side-effects!  Here's my list of diets: Atkins, Pritikin, Slim Fast, Low Carb, Vegetarian (which I actually lost a lot of weight), NutriSystem, and the favorite standby for many, Weight Watchers.  I would recommend Weight Watcher's to everyone as the program is simple and you really don't feel deprived, but being a yo-yo dieter didn't allow me to stick with any plan for long periods.  I found that I would get derailed from the program and then lose all of the momentum I'd gained from the initial weight loss.

I seriously began thinking of WLS in November of 2009 and pursued the option vigorously in March of 2010 after speaking with my primary care physician during my annual physical.  I had been researching the different options, and during my meeting with him, I asked him if he thought I would be a good candidate for WLS.  He said yes.  I talked over my options with my husband and he thought I should pursue it.  I was off and running!