6 weeks VSG post op: Bikes, Body Flow, and Bacon!

I can hardly believe it’s been SIX weeks since my weight loss surgery!  Time really has flown by quickly.  From previous posts, you’ve probably read that I have been frustrated because my weight loss has been really slow.  But – I’ve come to grips with it.  Losing slowly is better than not losing at all.  Since my pre-op diet mid-February, I’ve lost nearly 24 pounds.  That didn’t feel like a great number to me.  Especially because I read different forums from patients who had the surgery around the same time as me and they dropped some crazy numbers the first month.  I kept watching the scale and would always feel like I was doing something wrong because I didn’t have huge losses.  Finally, I  shoved the scale under my bed.  We are only going to see each other on Fridays! And then, back under the bed she goes!

Since my last update, I’m still going strong with exercise and food choices.  I get about 30-60 minutes of exercise in about 5x per week.  And since this week is week six- I am cleared for core exercises!  Whoohooo! So, I celebrated this next stage by stepping out of my comfort zone a little.

BIKES

Sunday my husband and I loaded up our bikes in the back of his truck and went riding along the American Tobacco Trail. The ATT is an old railroad track that is now a riding and walking trail.  It’s 22 miles long.  It is nice and wide.  parts of it are flat, and then others not so much.  The end that we entered is pretty flat.  Runners, walkers, horses, bikes, scooters and everything you can imagine use this trail.  Jason and I had long been wanting to get into biking.  He wanted to try it because when he quit smoking in January 2015, he gained a little weight.  And for me, for obvious reasons, I wanted to try biking and really lucked out recently when my sweet neighbor sold me her bike! So, I have a new-to-me bike.  That day we rode 9.25 miles without incident.  It was a gorgeous day, we were together, and we finally did what we had hoped to do for months.  Here’s a selfie from the day.  Because as you know, if there are no pictures, it didn’t happen!

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But first, let’s take a selfie!!!
I came back from that ride SOOOOOO SORE.  I mentioned to Jason that I hoped we had some frozen peas or carrots at home.  He thought I was asking so I could coordinate the veggies with our dinner.  NO! I needed the frozen veggies for an ice pack for a very delicate area…yes, it was that bad.  That night we ordered some fancy padded bike britches for our next venture on the bikes.

Because I had such a great time Sunday, I wanted to duplicate those efforts and get acclimated with my bike since it is still new to me.  Today I thought I’d ride in my neighborhood.  Friends…I didn’t even make it out of the driveway:( ON my bike, shifting gears DOWN is done with my thumb.  Shifting UP is done with my forefinger.  Unfortunately I got the 2 mixed up and tried to take off in high gear.  That did not work.

(this is kind of similar to my mixing up the gas pedal and brake during a driving lesson with my dad as a kid where I slammed his car into a building.  But no biggie.)

I lost my balance and fell smack into my driveway and messed up both knees. I cried like a baby:( Meanwhile, my 17 year old daughter was in the back yard, saw it happening and came to my rescue.  I pouted and said I was DONE with bicycling forever.  She said “OH no you are NOT! You are gonna get back up on that bike and do it AGAIN! You can do this, Mama! You just don’t have to do it today.”  It was like hearing me talk to her when she wrecked as a little girl. See evidence of said incident today.  Look at my poor knees:( I had grass in my hair, all over my back and as I am pouting at Haley, the damn cat came over thinking it was time to play.  (if you are not aware, I do not love this cat!) I am a hot mess in this picture. You’ve been warned!

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BODY FLOW

In between my new-found-but-short-lived cycling hobby, I ventured into something new Monday night.  I tried a Body Flow class at my gym.  I have enjoyed many Les Mills classes at my gym prior to my ankle injury a few years ago.  I used to love Body Combat, Body Attack and Body Pump.   Body Flow is described as simple yoga moves and embrace elements of Tai Chi and Pilates.

Simple moves my ass.

I walked into the large studio and immediately felt the urge to run like hell.  First off, there were no people of “size” in this class.  There were several women of different ages there, and one guy.  They were all very fit looking people.  Then I saw the instructor.  My goodness, she had such gorgeous, toned, HUGE muscles in her arms.  Lovely blonde hair pulled back and really elegant way about her.  She explained that the regular instructor was off that night and she was just filling in.  Lucky me.  I’d later find out that this instructor is rather advanced.

So we start. With some stretching and breathing exercises to get us loose.  Then we start with these crazy positions that have silly names. Like what the hell is a downward facing dog….I have 2 dogs. They don’t do this pose! This woman has me stretching parts of my body I didn’t know I had.  Parts of it felt really awesome, but most if it felt like hell.Especially when I had to get on the floor with my mat and get on my knees.  Even though I doubled the thickness of my mat, it was still painful on the knees.  The class started at 7:40.  I noticed about 40-45 minutes into it, that some of the class put on their shoes and left.  I wondered what happened?  Why are you leaving? I wore deodorant! And didn’t fart in the class , so I know I didn’t stink up the room or anything?!

Turns out, you can leave after the exercise portion is done and then you go onto this wonderful meditation situation.  The instructor turns the lights off and plays really mellow music for about 15 minutes.  I don’t know what her exact words were, but I remember her saying “be one with the mat.” Let go of all of your tensions.  And I did.  But then I hear….

♪Ding……♪ding….♪ ding…

I heard bells?! In  Yoga?  Is there a meal included in this class?!?!?!? Bells ringing where I am from means dinner’s ready!  But sadly, no.  There was no snack happening.  It was just part of the meditation.  Crap.  LOL.

So, I made it through the hour long class and immediately feel like my legs are jello.  One of the ladies pulled me aside, presumably because she noticed my lack of coordination.  Imagine a bull in a china shop, folks.  That’s how subtle my yoga moves are.  Michelle pulled me aside and said this instructor was one of the more advanced ones and that I should come back on a different night.  Gee.  wonder why! LOL.  I texted a couple of friends who knew I was going to try the class.  The synopsis of my experience was : I don’t think I ever want to do that shit again.  As time has passed, I WILL go back for another class, but I need the YOGA FOR DUMMIES class! And if I see that instructor again, I will listen to my internal voice that says run like hell.  Even today, 2 days after the class, my abs are KILLING ME!

BACON!

Since my surgery, I have been trying out new recipes at home.  If you know me even a little bit, you know I am not a fan of cooking. But I vowed when I had surgery that I would do a better job of cooking at home, making low-carb recipes that my family could eat along with me.  Last night’s recipe was chicken breast wrapped in sour cream and BACON!  I didn’t even think about the fact that bacon is not on my list of things to eat right now. All I was thinking is that each ingredient is low carb and I wanted to try something new.  Luckily, the bacon did NOT upset my stomach and it tasted SOOOOO good! VSG’ers have to be careful with crunchy foods at this stage, and also rubbery foods.  I simply didn’t think about it.  But I am glad it worked in my favor.  I will try it again soon!

Bubble Wrap is not on the title of this blog entry, but I swear I need some.  For my body.  For my life.  An injury happens to me every time I try something new.  When I got into kickboxing, it was tennis elbow in both arms.  With running, it was the achilles. With biking a couple of years ago, it was falling and getting a huge purple/blue/black bruise the size of my hand on the inside of my leg.  It was awful.  I am accident – prone for sure.  And I hate it.  Might really need to think about some bubble wrap for my next venture?!

Lastly, I want to show my first progress picture.  The photo quality is not great and I took the photos myself in my messy room.  The weight loss is not coming off quickly.  I got down and depressed about it until this week.  I am starting to see changes and I like where I’m going.  If I lose 10 pounds a month, that’s great.  I’ll be within my goal in 7 months.  But if I only lose 2…or 4…I still remind myself that this is a new journey.  I am doing all the right things.  It’s just taking my body a little longer to figure out what’s going on.  I am losing INCHES quicker than pounds.  I’ll take  it!

  
Thank you so much for reading.  I hope if you are on this journey, you’ll share your successes, AND your challenges.  We all learn and gain knowledge as we go about this change in our lives.

Namaste, yall! 

Dawn

 

 

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5 Week Post-Op Update!

Hello!

I’ve been wanting to update since last Wednesday, which was 4 weeks after my VSG surgery- but life happens.  The busy season for me has begun in my professional life and I’ve had my hands full at home, too.  Haley had a minor outpatient surgery 3/24.  As minor as it was, the recovery and pain she had afterward was not minor at all.  Bless…

So, at five weeks out, I am both delighted and discouraged at the same time.  Delighted because my allowable foods has increased by so much!  I am pretty much eating items from this list:

IMG_0488

I’m able to go out with my family from time to time and order something from the menu (sometimes even the kids menu!).  And I am full after about 1/4 of a cup.  That’s pretty much the standard size of a meal for a sleever at the beginning stages.  I started this journey drinking LOTS of protein shakes.  I still have one for breakfast most days since I am not a breakfast (or morning!) person. I keep some ready to drink shakes in my fridge for days when I am on the go. When I am planning my meals,  I like to have a little egg salad, chicken salad, chili,  for lunch. For dinner, it’s usually  shredded chicken or  flaky fish, and sometimes a beef recipe.    I’ve learned to make a great Ricotta Bake dish that is low carb and really delish. I’ve made cauliflower crust pizza that cures my pizza craving.  Now, it’s no Domino’s pizza, but it’ll do! I am really loving this stage and stay here until I go back to Dr. Bruce in June for my 3 month check-in.  Seems really weird to be waiting so long to see him again.  But at that time, I will probably be able to eat things like fruits, veggies, and nuts. Right now I have to avoid things with seeds or nuts.  And as sleevers must, we avoid all carbonation and high carb foods.  I dig this stage.  I have lots of options! The protein goal per day is still between 60-80 grams.  64 oz of fluid per day.  I am reaching both of those goals daily, which is an improvement.  I can remember in the first 2 weeks it was impossible for me to drink that much during the day!

Further reasons to be really pleased about this path is that I have not had any real reactions to foods as I introduce them. Some patients find they can no longer tolerate certain foods after surgery.  I’ve been able to tolerate most everything.  AND! I’ve lost 3 inches in my waist, and 2 in my hips.  YAY! My clothes are fitting a little looser now, and I’ve even raided my last year’s spring/summer wardrobe and will be able to wear some of my favorite sundresses.  If you know me, you know summer=sundresses. Not because I am a girly-girl, but because they are comfortable!

Other positives- pretty soon I will be able to do other exercises besides WALK.  Friends, I really DO like walking, but it’s getting very boring.  And I think my neighbors are probably tired of seeing me walk by their houses each night.  Sometimes I walk at night with my dog, which makes their dogs bark.  I am sure I’m their very favorite neighbor these days 🙂  When I go to the gym, I usually use the treadmill, but have started slowly using the stationary bike and elliptical.  Technically I was supposed to wait until week 6 to do those things.  But I did a few minutes at a time with no repercussions, so I will try to add a few more minutes per session.  It’s nice to feel some strength come back!

But there’s one area that I find that discourages me.  Please don’t read and construe this as me whining, because it’s not meant to be.  The dreaded scale does not show a significant loss yet.  I am stuck at about 12 pounds lost from surgery (and additional 10 from the pre-op diet).  So a total of 22.  Which is wonderful and I am thankful.   12 pounds in 5 weeks is about 2.4 pounds per week.  If you’ve read my past blog entries, you know I lost weight and a bunch of it eating 1200 calories a day and a really rigid exercise routine. PLUS, I took phentermine (boo!) at times during my prior journey for a jump start.  Back then, I would lose 2-3 pounds a week without surgery.   I need to stop comparing this journey to my past efforts. I must stop weighing myself so much and just trust that I am doing the right things.  It is difficult to see a small loss when I read about these wonderful transformations from sleevers who’ve lost crazy numbers per week.  I gotta get it out of my head.  Their journey and mine are not the same.  I wish for those huge numbers….but need to be thankful for the success I’ve had.  I did this to become healthy.  Healthy just doesn’t happen in 5 weeks.  It might take years.  The first year after WLS is where the loss really happens and I know I have plenty of time. I am just impatient and want this transformation party to get started!

Should you want to try any of the low carb recipes, you can find them on Pinterest.  This is my favorite Ricotta Bake.  So easy!

https://greatgastrectomy.wordpress.com/2010/09/18/low-carb-ricotta-bake/

That’s all I have for now.  Hopefully, by about 8 weeks, I will be able to share some progress pictures!  I can tell a difference now, but the differences probably would not be visible to others.

Thanks for reading and riding along on my VSG journey.  Your support is appreciated!

XOXOXO,

Dawn