Overdue 4 month VSG progress update and reacquainting with an old friend

It’s been OVER four months since my Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy and I am a bad blogger for not updating sooner.  I feel like I am currently experiencing 5671275 “WTF’S” per hour:) This time of year is a really busy time for me in my work life.  I don’t have a whole lot of stress in my professional life, but when it comes to months May through July, I am a little over the edge.  BUT- even through the busy times, this year has differed from years past and I’ll tell you why.

In the past, I’d sit down at my computer with a drink and a snack and work until wee hours of the night prepared for my late-July deadline.  Sometimes I’d eat dinner at my desk.  Sometimes I’d not eat at all.  It just depends on how busy I am.  Right now, I am preparing for the deadline and do not feel the need to mindlessly eat and drink while I work.  I find I get up from my desk more to move around…where in years past, I’d sit so long my back and behind would be sore.  My right arm would be so tense from using the mouse and my shoulder would lock up because I had not gotten up to loosen it up.  This year I feel very different, and I mean that in the best way possible.

My mind feels healthy and so does the rest of me:)

I’ve mentioned before that my VSG journey has been pretty much non-eventful with no complications.  I’ve also mentioned before that my progress is MUCH slower than I think other WLS patients experience.  To date, I am about 45 pounds down since mid-February when I started my pre-op, liver shrinking diet. Don’t get me wrong. I am HAPPY to have lost 45 pounds!  I am more than half way to my goal.  I think we generally think that if someone has WLS, we expect huge weight loss numbers in record time.  Lots of people do experience that.  I am just not one of them.  LOL.

As I lose weight, lots of things are happening.  Good things.  I have explored a new area of my closet for smaller clothes! I am no longer in “plus” size clothes, though I probably have a few items of that size because they are comfortable.  But generally, I am in Missy sizes now.  Even my feet are changing…my shoes don’t fit the same anymore, but not so much that I can’t wear them.  It’s just weird.  Good weird. Due to the vitamins I take, my hair, skin and nails are all pretty healthy.  I am moving more fluidly, and more confidently. I can’t say I LIKE ALL the activities I do at the gym, but I find myself choosing more adventurous classes than my typical DREADmill routine.  I find myself sleeping better, eating less, and moving more.  And most importantly, I am remembering what health and fitness feels like.  I still have a long way to go.  But I feel like I have really accomplished a lot these last four months.  Somebody asked me if I am proud of myself.  I wouldn’t say proud…I’d say pleased with my progress.  I’ll be proud when I reach my goal.  I am hoping I reach it by my December birthday.

With weight loss surgery comes some not so fun things, too.  I mentioned having healthy hair- and it is healthy, but I am losing it like crazy.  VSG patients typically lose hair between months 3-9.  When it didn’t happen at 3 months, I figured it wouldn’t happen.  Was I ever wrong!  Now I can really sympathize with my sister and cousin, who both experienced hair loss during their journeys.  It is a good thing I have ridiculously thick hair because it’s working in my favor during this loss stage.  And since I am losing it, I shouldn’t color it.  If you know me in real life, you know that Miss Clairol and I are BFF’s.  I’ve been coloring my hair since I was 13.  My first gray hair appeared and subsequently was dyed when I was 22.  I am 60% gray.  I color every 3 weeks.  Can’t do that now for fear of losing even more.  So…I reckon I’m just gonna go Au Naturale!   Can’t say as I like this.

Then there’s the loss of things we as women really don’t wanna lose.  I gave away 2 brand new Victoria’s Secret bras to my sister, who is already well-endowed.  I did not get those genes.  Teresa got all the boob genes! LOL.

I’ve shared some of the good and not so good.  But I am pretty excited to share with you one of the better things to happen in my post-VSG life. I have reacquainted myself with an unlikely former friend.  And that friend is Sobriety.

At least one of you reading, who knows me and my relationship with beer, has already assumed I am drunk as I type:)   I assure you, I am not.  

Weight Loss Patients are encouraged NOT to drink for at least a year after surgery.  Some will tell you it is because there’s a dependency transfer.  People who are addicted to eating large quantities/bad types of FOOD are food addicts, right?  Well, since our tummies are so small, we cannot ingest those big quantities and bad foods will likely make us sick.  So the food addiction gets transferred to alcohol in SOME patients. (That is not the case for me)

Another reason is that some of our organs, like the liver, are traumatized after WLS and need time to recover.  Adding alcohol to an already-small-as-a-banana-stomach and a traumatized liver may result in damage to those organs. I have not found this to be harmful to me personally, although my doctor did recently say my liver enzyme counts were slightly elevated.  it could be due to medication, though and nothing to do with alcohol.  I would say I have 2 glasses of wine or a cocktail one night a week.  And 2 will do me just fine.  That’s my new limit. Anything more than that will leave me with a splitting headache the next morning. AND alcohol slows down the loss process, in my opinion, so I don’t have much.

In real life, you know that I LOVED beer.  I loved beer like I can’t even describe.  And I live near 4-5 breweries.  My husband and I loved to spend an afternoon tasting different kinds of beers.  He’s an IPA guy.  I am a Hefeweizen kinda girl.  or I was:)  Beer is a no-no due to the carbonation and the carbs.  I was prepared for this when I decided to have the surgery.  so far it has not been hard to comply.  I did have a tiny taste of a blueberry blonde ale a few days ago.  A little taste was heavenly!

Admittedly, I am kinda digging this stage of my journey.  I know my limits now.  That doesn’t mean I won’t test the limits now and again as my body changes.  Don’t worry, my Hot Tub Mermaids, I’ll still be able to have cocktails with you on the beach! I just have to sip them a little slower than usual! But I don’t think I will ever revert back to the frequency of drinking like before.  I have not missed the next-morning headaches or sluggishness.  I have embraced the clarity I feel.  My to-do’s get DONE.  I say all of this now, but my work deadline is coming up and I may just say the hell with it all and drink a bottle of vodka.

LOL.  No, I won’t. For real- I feel strong, and healthy. And I love that so many people in my life, whether we’ve met in the weight loss community, or we’ve been friends for years, the outpouring of support I’ve received has been nothing short of amazing.  If you’re considering WLS and need some guidance, I would love to tell you more about it, and if I am not one to help, there’s a whole WLS community out there that is incredibly helpful.

Thank you so much for coming by to read my little update.  Four months into the journey and it’s not been that difficult.  Who knew I could live without beer or carbohydrates in general?  Who would have ever thought?!?

There’s some crazy stuff happening in our world right now.  Sometimes it is hard to find the silver linings….sometimes it is hard to recognize our blessings.  If you can’t find a blessing….go be one<3

 

XOXOX,

DMG

Advertisements

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!

File Apr 13, 8 05 38 PM
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!

File Apr 13, 8 14 24 PM

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

2 Weeks Post Op: Weigh-In Wednesday (posted on a Friday!)

Hello!

Well, I survived the first 2 weeks after Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.  YAY!  It’s been challenging but in a good way.  Wednesday I had my 2 week check-up with Bariatric office.  Turns out I’ve been a good girl. I’m down about 10 pounds from the surgery and an additional 10 since I started the 2 week pre-op diet, for a total of 20 pounds.  That’s really not a big change from the last time I posted in terms of pounds lost.  At first, I was upset about not having lost more, and considered myself to be a slow loser.  Even when I was at it with traditional weight loss, I was a slow loser and I think that’s not going to change.  I have to fight for every ounce, every pound.  I read about all the remarkable stories from the support forums I belong to and was hoping for bigger numbers, but I must keep reminding myself that everyone is different.  My body is adjusting to a new stomach.  And, the only exercise I am allowed to do right now is walk.  I just know when I am cleared for more than walking, and my food options expand more, I will have great success!  I just need to be patient, which is not a virtue I possess. 20 pounds since this time last month is awesome.  I’m claiming it, saying thanks for it, and shutting up about it:)

During my check-up, of course I asked about returning to the gym.  Unfortunately the gym is a no-no right now. They want me to wait another 1-2 weeks before I do anything more than walk.  The incisions have healed wonderfully on the outside.  We just want to make sure I don’t do too much with my core muscles so that they heal just as nicely on the inside.  I try to walk 2-4 miles a day and they say that is quite enough at this stage.  The doctor also mentioned that she wouldn’t be surprised if at some point I experience some fatigue.  I think she jinxed me! Up until yesterday I had been feeling great with a lot of energy. Yesterday and today I have felt really depleted of energy and very, very tired.  My sister reminded me that I am living on very few calories and burning all that I eat and then some.  Today I am making sure I get all my protein and water in.  Yesterday I was able to get ALMOST to the protein and water goal.  I think that’s why I felt run down.  Maybe a little dehydrated and not enough food.  Today I am trying harder.

I went back to work IN my office Tuesday of this week to meet my teammates, who traveled to Morrisville from our Greensboro office.  I loved seeing all the faces of my co-workers.  Everyone is so supportive and excited for me about this journey.  And truth is, I miss them.  I’ve worked there for almost 10 years.  We are a tightly knit bunch and I miss seeing their faces! I’ll keep going back as I feel better.  I find I eat less when I am away from home, so I am going to be in the office more.

So, for anyone considering this journey, you know we do things in stages as far as food and exercise goes.  The instructions vary from physicians, but at this stage, VSG patients are generally on a diet of pureed foods combined with the liquid diet from weeks 1-2.  Now that I am entering week 3, I have eaten egg salad that I prepare myself and make it more of a whipped texture as opposed to chunks.  Yogurt (which I am learning my new stomach does not particularly care for!), Hummus, Sugar Free Pudding (I put unflavored protein  powder in mine to make sure I meet the 60 gram/per day goal).  I am eating pureed soups and putting small crackers in it.  I CAN eat tuna salad, chicken salad and such, but just haven’t tried it yet.  Next week I get to eat scrambled eggs and most things that are fork tender.  More cooked veggies like green beans and squash, flaky fish, etc.  I am excited about those options!

Next week I go for my nutrition class.  I had a class prior to surgery.  This upcoming class is where we receive instructions for solid foods since we’re eating semi-solids now.  If we eat the wrong things at this point, we could do some damage. I am looking forward to this transition. By this time next month (6 weeks out total) I should be able to eat all meats, veggies, poultry, etc that are low carb options. I can finally eat out with my family and make smart decisions while doing so.  And by then, I will be back at the gym and I simply cannot wait!

This period of time has been strange. Not in a bad way, though. Just different.  Since I started the pre-op diet a month ago, I’ve been pretty much a homebody due to the dietary restrictions.  I never realized how much time I was spending with food and drinks until I couldn’t do it anymore.  It’s been a very relaxed time for me.  I am sure the busy-ness of life will return soon enough.  For right now, it’s a time of taking care of me.  I kinda dig it. I miss the social aspect of things.  Miss seeing familiar faces that I was accustomed to seeing on a weekly basis.  I’ll see them soon, I tell myself- and to just enjoy the downtime and the healing process I am in right now.

So that’s it! Nothing really exciting to tell other than I am pain free, am able to drink more liquids without pain and my body is recognizing when I am hungry and when I am full.  My family is still wonderfully supportive.  I’ve got absolutely NO complaints except that damn Taco Bell Quesalupa commercial! I swear they are going to drive me INSANE! I don’t watch television all that much, but when I do, they air that commercial 5x a night!

Wednesdays are my Weigh-In days.  I will try to post on those days.  Maybe on April 2, I will post a progress picture to see if the changes are visible.  If you are reading, and you’re in the stage I am in, or around it, please feel free to post your comments and progress pictures! I would love to see them.

As always, thank you for reading and following my journey!
XOXO

Dawn

 

 

My Weight Loss Surgery Journey: Pre-Op week 2. Can’t say I am looking forward to this…

Hi Friends!

A week from tomorrow, my VSG (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy) is goin’down! I am so flippin’ excited for this to happen…but not so excited about the final stage I have to complete before surgery.  It’s a doozie.  LOL.

So, for the past week, in an effort to keep shrinkin’ my liver as the doctor prescribed,  I’ve eaten only protein shakes 2x a day and  one  lean/green meal per day.  I also could have 2 healthy ketogenx snacks or stuff like a cheese stick, veggies, etc.  I ate out a couple of times and had a green salad with grilled chicken and vinaigrette dressing.  Not too terrible.  It’s very much the way I should have eaten all along, but didn’t.  One of those meals was with a terrific friend at my favorite pub.  Was definitely great seeing her, and definitely weird sitting in my favorite pub on a Sunday afternoon eating a SALAD and having water instead of beer!

During this past week, I HAVE been a little hangry at times.  You know…Hangry= hungry and Angry at the same time?! But in those cases, I’d have  small snack or have a couple of glasses of water to make me feel full.  I’ve tried to keep busy to keep my mind off food.  So, all in all, this past week didn’t really suck.  I’ve lost nearly 6 pounds this week, so there’s the silver lining in this week!

I ain’t even gonna lie.  This week is so gonna suck.  Here’s what I can eat this week:

IMG_0314

This lone bag of vanilla flavored protein powder is my new BFF for a WEEK. Five times a day.  NO FOOD.  Just liquid. Sigh…

I can use sugar free sweeteners like SF kool aid packets or drops like Mio in it to give it different flavors.  My sweet mama bought me some SF syrups in various flavors like Chocolate, Smores, Belgian Sugar Cookie, etc to make it tolerable for a week.

So, tonight is my last night of real food for a long time.  My husband is going to take me to dinner (YAY!).  I will get a healthy meal that I can actually CHEW for the last time until about the 3rd week in March.  After bariatric surgery, patients are on a liquid diet for about 2-3 weeks.  We can have protein shakes, broths, SF jello, SF Popsicles.  Around the third week is generally where we introduce our new, much smaller tummies to foods again. Like yogurts, puddings, applesauce, etc. This portion of the diet doesn’t suck so bad because I won’t be hungry.  Fun fact: the part of my stomach that is removed is also the part that has the hormones that tell my brain that I am hungry.  I won’t feel hungry AFTER surgery, but I am betting this upcoming week and until March 2nd I am gonna be one hangry bitch.

SO. My plan is to keep busy, busy, busy! Go to the gym…go see friends….go walk outside with my dogs…clean my house….just get out of the house so I don’t think about food.  And of course, on my outings, make sure I take my trusty shaker bottle with me to mix me up some protein shakes! If you have ideas on how to keep me busy, you just name it.  I have a lot of time to keep myself busy. I  will sleep as much as I can to avoid being awake to think about food:)

When my teenager says something is not fun, or she didn’t enjoy something, she’ll say, “Mom, that was not “lit”. That means it was horrid and she isn’t going again or doing again.  This stage isn’t gonna be lit!  But even though this stage will suck, it is still for the betterment of my health and I am gonna stick to it.  I see the bigger picture. I am still feeling strong and undeterred!

Through this journey, it has become so clear to me how much as a society, we place so much emphasis on FOOD.  Someone gets married= we go to a reception and eat/drink.  Somebody dies, we immediately take a casserole to their home. (nothing wrong with that!!) We meet up with friends, and we meet for lunch/dinner with drinks.  Everything we  do is about food. We go for coffee…ice cream…we go to the movies and gorge on over-sized sodas and popcorn.  Whether we are celebrating or commiserating, we incorporate food into each event.  That will surely be a struggle for me later, when I choose foods that apply to my new low carb lifestyle.

But I have an idea on how to celebrate with food.  For each pound I lose, I am going to donate a pound of food to a food pantry or food bank in my area.  For my local folks reading, if you volunteer at such a place, let me know! It will be a while before I get a good bunch of foods together, but I do plan on donating.  So, if I lose 80 pounds, a shelter/food kitchen/food bank is gonna get 80 pounds of food!  I think this is a much better way for me to celebrate with food as opposed to actually eating it!  So far, I have about 6 pounds to start off with! That’s like 6 boxes of 1 pound pasta. When I put it in a visual perspective, it seems like a lot.  I hope it’s a lot and benefits a lot of needy people/families! Not sure where I am gonna store all this food.  Maybe I’ll start an area in the garage and build from there.  SO exciting to share food in a different way!

As always, thanks for reading.  I hope you’ll continue to follow me on my exciting journey to a happy, healthy me.

Be Blessed,

Dawn

 

 

 

Making sure this thang still works!

hi. I’m a bad blogger. I’ve kinda been in hiding. But I’m gearing up to tear it up again! I’m on the hunt for this girl…

20140420-213937.jpg

I was well on my way in December 2012. Lost my courage for reasons that are really stupid. I fell into a huge depression for reasons that are not stupid, but the way I dealt with it was really awful. I self sabotaged myself into a 30 pound gain since last June. 30 pounds = 3 jeans sizes. 3 dress sizes. But more importantly, it equates to a disappointment I find hard to articulate.

But I’m finding the strength again. My physical injuries are about 75% healed. My mental state is much better. Not gonna lie- I’m still struggling but I’m always gonna struggle with weight.

My plan is obviously to regain control of my eating, drink less alcohol and more water- and be the active woman I loved being. And- I’m staying OFF THE SCALE for a while. I beat myself up over that damn number. It has to stop being about the number and should be about my strength and fitness. Being strong is the best feeling! That’s what I’m after! More weight training! I want to eventually lift heavy weights once my left shoulder and arm heal. I want to return to boxing❤️

And I WILL.

Today wasn’t the best example of a great diet. Tomorrow is a new chance to get it right – hopefully I can walk tomorrow…7 miles on my bike. Plus 45 minutes of Shaun T’s Rockin Body video… Until tomorrow!

Thanks for reading – glad to have you share this journey with me!
Xo
dawn

“against my better judgement”

hi:)
My half marathon is in 26 days. TWENTY SIX DAYS, I tell ya! And unfortunately, I am not prepared. But I am still doing it! Read on. I will explain.
A lot of my facebook friends, neighbors, co-workers and family have asked about the status of my weight loss journey, and my participation in the Tobacco Road Half Marathon next month. So I thought I’d write it up- share it, and hope that it answers those questions.

I finally went to have my elbow injury and old Achilles injury looked at. The pain in my elbow was getting to be unbearable. Imagine grabbing a drink at a drive through window, Even to lift OUNCES would send sharp shooting pain into my elbow and sometimes, I’d drop stuff. It was affecting nearly everything. I stopped boxing, stopped Body Combat and Body Pump- even using the arm things on the elliptical would hurt!

The Achilles gets no rest because well- quite honestly, I am stubborn, and if I can’t do the fun fitness activities, I could at least walk/run, right?

NOT.SO.MUCH.

How about I have something called Haglund’s deformity on my heel. They call it “pump bump” because many women get that pointy looking thing from wearing high heels. I assure you that was NOT the case with me:) LOL. Lots of women get it from running on an incline. BINGO! DING< DING< DING! That’s probably what did it.
If you wanna know what it is all about, here’s the wikipedia version of it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haglund’s_deformity

In addition to this bump on the heel, I have a bone spur. Fun times, huh? It is not impacting me so much that I cannot walk and it doesn’t really bother me so much right now. But as I get older, and if it continues to bother me, they recommend surgery.
Oh.hell.NO.

My doctor says this race is against his better judgement because I haven’t properly trained. AND I have this injury. 13.1 miles is a ‘lil too far in his opinion. And in any other case, I would agree with them. But- this race is more than 13.1 miles. It’s for my daughter. My T1D rockstar!
You can read more about that here:

http://www2.jdrf.org/goto/dmgraham

She puts her body through SO MUCH. All T1D’s do. It’s all for her. I can do this. It’s gonna hurt. I know it is. But she fuels my passion to push myself to do this. Every day is a struggle for her. I can struggle for a day for HER.

Moving on- back to the elbow thingy.
Dr. Wonderful gave me a cortisone shot in my elbow and prescribed 6 weeks of physical therapy. I’ll  admit- I am really skeptical about stuff like that. I immediately doubted that a little stretching and exercise would alleviate the pain in my elbow…Which turned out NOT to be an elbow thing! It is actually a neck injury and that muscle is some kinda JACKED UP! But with various muscle manipulation, exercises and some fun procedure they call dry needling- I am ALMOST as good as new!

I have never been so glad to do even a modified push up in my life. I did 30 today in the PT’s office.
We do exercises with resistance bands to build strength in my shoulder, elbow and arm. Right now, I love my physical therapist about as much as I love JESUS. He has really helped me feel so much better! I am not done with PT yet. We are working strength right now and then we will work on…..
you guessed it- striking! punching! Praise BE! I am gonna get to go back to boxing in the immediate future!!!!

In other news- if you were not already aware, I stopped boxing/kickboxing due to said injury last May.
Subsequently, the combination of stopping my favorite activity PLUS losing my way in my fitness trek has cost me about a 25 pound gain. I got very lazy.  Very fast.

Yes, friends….25 pounds is about 2 jeans sizes and I am not a happy girl. I am currently on the “lose as much weight as possible in the next 26 days so I don’t have to haul ALL that ass across the finish line” diet and fitness plan! But I will continue long past finishing the race. I know what it feels like to feel strong and proud of myself.

I know how I feel right now ain’t a happy feeling.

I have been so incredibly hard on myself. The things I say to myself in my mind and to my reflection are horrible. I wouldn’t say those things to an enemy, if I had any, so why do I say that sh*t to myself?! I KNOW that happiness and beauty are not defined by a number on a scale. But part of feeling strong and healthy, and beautiful IS defined in part about how we feel about ourselves. I loved that feeling last summer and I MUST strive to make my way back there.
Plus, if I don’t. I have a closet full of clothes that are too tight right now…and I am determined not to buy new stuff.

I think I need y’all to physically come to my house and drag my ass to the gym more.  Really, I think that’s what it’s gonna take to get myself moving like I used to!

So, I am still doing the race. I have to do it. I committed to it. The team I am running with are all JDRF supporters. They’ll be running. I’ll be walking/jogging/skipping/dancing or even crawling across the finish line. It’s important to me.
If you’re a friend reading, I would so love to have your support in whatever way you would like to participate- whether it’s a donation, if it’s running or walking with my team…or even if it’s a high five as I hurl myself over the finish line, I would love to see friendly faces there for my girl. Even a prayer for my daughter- or for me that I don’t further injure myself, which is my fear- and is very, very possible.  I could be doing so much more damage- but am willing to take the risk.  I’ll keep doing the stretches and exercises that “PT /almost-Jesus”  wants me to do.
I am so proud of how Haley’s handled her diagnosis, which has almost been two years! I want to show her how proud I am of her:)

Part of making her proud of me is to stop beating myself up about this gain and be kind to myself. I am not showing her how to properly deal with mistakes and disappointments by shaming myself. Picking myself up after admitting to setback, and then kicking it’s ASS is a much better way to show her a strong, confident, smart Mama. Gonna turn my setback into a comeback and be as healthy as I was.

She and her sister make me want to be better. So no more of the nasty talk to the mirror. More kindness to myself and realizing I am human…realizing that the scale does not define me.

Thank you for reading:) I will have another post soon about Haley’s progress as a T1D. We had our 90 day checkup yesterday that woke us up and is steering us in the best direction. I will write more about it later:)

In the meantime, I hope to see you on race day!

Kindly,
DMG

pity party officially OVER!

The pity party is officially over. Yeah- I gained weight. Yeah – it sucks! But I’m not gonna stay down about it. Gonna get mad as hell at it, lose what I gained and a couple more pounds. I don’t like whiney me! Sassy me is so much better! Off to find my sexiest boots and kick ass!

20130911-223105.jpg

Stuff I like.

Lots of folks ask me about my favorite fitness activities, products, gym stuff. Here’s my favorite gym-go-to! the AMT can be used like a stairstepper, an elliptical, and- when you put all of your effort into it, including using the arm pedals, and really lean forward into the machine, it simulates a full on run without the impact on your knees and ankles. If I stay on this for an hour, I usually burn 700+ calories. It works almost every muscle in the body! It’s a butt blaster for sure. Give it a try if your gym has these! A little awkward at first, but is so worth it.

My favorite piece of gym equipment.
My favorite piece of gym equipment.