Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bittersweet NSV

Today, as I was getting ready for my first post-surgery training session, it suddenly hit me how easy it was to put my shoes on. Now that's a great non-scale victory!

At the same time, it made me really sad that it was ever hard to put my shoes on. I used to sit on the ottoman at the end of the bed - kinda sideways. Then had to change positions to put the other shoe on.

It makes me realize how much the weight can creep up on you. You gradually buy bigger pants. You start to move differently to accommodate for extra pounds. You blame the dryer for your clothes shrinking or your aging for the aches and pains. It's subtle but it's happening and suddenly your whole life is affected by your weight. I realized that I've been accepting all along something that's completely unacceptable to me. Being able to bend over is not optional. I just isn't.

Y'all know I have the worlds best yoga teacher and she said something that's always stuck with me which was "We all have a choice as to how much we want to be able to move in our 40s 50s 60s and beyond." She's totally right.

God willing, I will never again struggle to put on my shoes.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Mix Tape

Weekend Wrap Up
Anyone else have a strangely short weekend?!?

Saturday the weather was gross and I woke up with a new injury - sciatic nerve? Ouch! I was totally out for the day. Laying on the couch watching 18 hours of HGTV. It was fine when I was laying down, fine when I was standing up but anything in between was so painful it made me dizzy! I did some research, some hot and cold therapy and I will eventually see the chiropractor - once I clear that with the surgeon. Apparently my weakened abs and lots of walking are the cause and it can be fixed.

I have to admit, I was in a little bit of a bad mood because I couldn't sit around and eat all day. I've decided I'm going to apply a little yoga thought process when things like that come up - recognizing it, acknowledging it and moving on. 

The day ended with a devastating and horrible tragedy on my recorded season finale Downton Abbey. I'm completely obsessed with that show. Hey, at least it's on PBS and not trashy!

Sunday was suddenly spring! I got out of bed slowly hoping the dose of liquid Lortab I had before bed had rid me of the pain - it was still there but much better. I was ready for my first trip back to yoga! I took the restorative class which was super easy and it felt GREAT. The best part? This was the first time I could really tell how much of a difference 30 pounds makes. I can lay on my back and bring my knees to my chest without the giant inner tube around my belly. There's still plenty there but what a huge difference.

Because that class probably burned less calories than I would have burned doing projects at home, I set out for a walk after a quick lunch. Our little village here on the East side is very walkable and totally explodes when then weather gets nice. Everyone is walking, biking and filling up all the patios at restaurants and bars, eating and drinking. I did 4 miles taking in all the sights and smells - cupcakes, beer, burgers, doughnuts, pizza. It really didn't bother me - I felt strong and I felt proud. I saw a few people I know and already people are freaking out when they see me. It's pretty sweet.

This seems to be and extended track on this weeks mix tape but I'll end it by saying I couldn't find my cart at the grocery store because it's unrecognizable as mine. If it weren't for the blue cans of Heinz beans from the British section, I might not have found it.

Tales from the Gym
Spring lasted one day and it's back to the indoors today. Because I still have 3 gym memberships (this is an issue that needs to be dealt with) I chose to go to the CleanCloseCheapGym. I couldn't face another hour walking on the treadmill so I decided 45 minutes on the elliptical might be good for the old sciatic nerve. It was a good workout - boring but at least house hunters was on and it was close captioned so I could still listen to music. It was great until the parking lot.

Wedged up next to my car is a giant banged up maroon Tahoe sized thing. My side mirror was touching it. In it, a large woman stuffing her face with fries. She was backed in so I was looking straight at her and there was no way I could get in my car. She was not acknowledging me at all but finally got her to roll her window down. I told her to move - she was way over the line and I couldn't get into my car. She looks and says "yes you can" I say in return, "I just had abdominal surgery and can't move like that to get in". What does she do?? She shrugs her shoulders and ROLLS THE WINDOW BACK UP. (I swear I'm not making this $#!+ up people). I should have called the cops but instead I got in the other side of my car, slid across (because I'm skinnier now, so there you big fat french fry eater), flipped her off and drove away.

I love how I solve one problem with my total yogi mindset and the other with sheer ridiculousness. That my friends is the beauty of me :)

Settling in
I feel like I'm finally back to a routine that's as normal as it gets around here. Most of the time I feel like I never had surgery except during a meal of course or if I take a sip of water that's too big. I'm cooking more than ever - which has benefited my husband as well. He's down 10 pounds! Mostly from portion control and not eating out. I feel great when we cook a full week of healthy meals that both of us can enjoy. We have so much left over these days that his lunches are always taken care of and sometimes the neighbors even get fed!

If you lived through this one and care for more, I will be doing my one month update on Friday. I see the surgeon on Thursday and I'm hoping to end my current stall before then. I will also be seeing my trainer and getting my measurements done so stay tuned!

Have a happy, healthy week everyone!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday weigh in

Not so exciting this week kids. We might have to plan a non-scale activity for this particular Friday every month. Because boys read my blog, we're not going to talk about periods.

Here are the stats:
Jan 14 - Start of liquid diet - 250
Jan 29 - Surgery weight - 237
Feb 8 - 231
Feb 15 - 222
Feb 22 - 220

2 pounds lost this week. 30 pounds total. I will totally take that - especially on a week where I normally gain 5.  I'm super close to the two-teens which is the lowest I've ever gotten on this blog.

Some non-scale victories to share:
  • I have logged into My Fitness Pal and and tracked every single thing I've eaten for the last 15 days in a row
  • I have at least a dozen pair of pants to get rid of
  • Suddenly I can walk swinging my arms freely at my side instead of them hitting side fat
  • I have walked an hour every single day this week -through cold weather, rain, cramps and all my other usual excuses
  • I have zero cravings, drinking a ton of water and feel constantly satisfied.
  • I have not had alcohol in (or a cupcake) 5 weeks
  • My new stomach doesn't love coffee so I've become a tea drinker. English breakfast in the morning, green in the afternoon. It's rather civilized :)
Next Thursday is my one month follow up already! I'm planning on posting some progress pictures, measurements and maybe even another video post.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday mix tape

Saturday - Tales from the Y 
(This could become a weekly column unless I quit going there which I want to do every time I go.)
Saturday was a busy day involving a trip out of town for a film festival. I had a huge blister from walking 4 miles on Friday and I had a toe issue from not getting a pedicure for over a month so there was no way I was going to be able to do a big walk. Being the no-excuses workout chick I have become, I decided to go to the pool when it opened in the vain hope of it not being busy. I got showered and in a lane before anyone else and then the guy I now call "big fat water walker" walked in along with his other "pool buddies". He was loud and obnoxious and made a point to yell "sorry John you missed out on your favorite lane today" and "shoulda got here earlier huh?" And then we did this another dozen times during my workout.  He walked. In a lane. Slow as dirt. Talking. I got about 30 minutes in then left.

I love swimming so much. I wish I could find a pool where nobody else went. Or at least lane sharing wasn't allowed.

Sunday - more toe issue
Sunday I couldn't do anything. Could barely walk. If I had gotten a pedicure this wouldn't be a problem and I was seriously mad at myself about it but I did have surgery and couldn't drive for a while etc. etc. This was the first day since I left the hospital where I got no exercise. I also got a really bad nights sleep because of it. Seriously hurt that much. 

Monday - relief!
God bless the older, very zen Vietnamese woman at the nail salon. I called this morning, got in right away and she said "I fix you." And she did. And it only hurt a little. I swore to her that I will never go more than two weeks without a pedicure. I am completely cured and the bonus is my feet look great. I wouldn't have got my signature "Chick Flick Cherry" OPI color if I had gone to the podiatrist :)

I can't wait to get out and walk again today!

Quickie surgery update
I'm still feeling ridiculously awesome. Have tried a few new foods and nothing has caused any problems. It's hard to explain but some things just work and some things just don't work. If it doesn't work it doesn't make me sick at all - it just kind of sits there.

So far my new stomach loves:
ground chicken
ground pork
greek yogurt
sweet potato
mashed potato
vegetarian refried beans

My new stomach does not like:
pot roast
water on an empty stomach

As you can see most things have been really sucessful. I'm still amazed at how great everything tastes. I can't decide if that's from surgery or just because I haven't eaten anything in so long :)

Have a happy, healthy week everyone!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Weigh in

It's such a nice change to look forward to posting my results!

So far I have lost 28 pounds!!!!!
(that's 2 stone for my British friends and family - I've never understood that system - why would you want to measure weight in 14 pound chunks? Math is involved as well.)

Here are the stats:
Jan 14 - Start of liquid diet - 250
Jan 29 - Surgery weight - 237
Feb 8 - 231
Feb 15 - 222

9 pounds this week?!?! Crazy isn't it? Finally something is working - I feel like my life has been saved.

I'm still incredibly satisfied and rarely hungry. There was a couple of times I would have like a piece of valentines day candy but instead I and had 2 oz of salmon and an ounce of garlic mashed potatoes. Everything tastes extra delicious these days and I often joke with my mom about something my grandfather used to say "my stomach is full but my mouth is still hungry!"

Right now I'm eating about 3 oz of food at a time. I track everything religiously on My Fitness Pal so I know I'm getting in my 80-90 grams of protein. It's a lot of protein to squeeze in such a few ounces of food but It's doable and it's not really that hard. I eat between 500-600 calories and it's steadily going up as I'm able to eat a little more. I believe my goal is around 800.

Walking had become a part of my every day routine. I do 45 minutes to an hour every single day NO EXCUSES. I like to be outside so I've been scheduling it around the weather - early morning is best but it's nice to wait until noon or so for it to warm up a little. Funny, in a few short months I'll be out before sunrise trying to beat the heat!

Hope y'all have a great weekend. Thanks as always for the great support!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Mix Tape

BEEEEEAAAAUTIFUL weekend here in the ATL. I even got a good bit of sun sitting outside watching our "adopted son" play in a soccer tournament. (Adopted son is the son of a wonderful friend of mine - I figure if you're going to "adopt" a kid, he might as well be a 16 year old good looking star goal keeper. All we have to do is cheer him on, and then his mother drives him home and has to deal with his stinky clothes and teenage craziness.)

I haven't stopped walking since the day after I got home from the hospital. It's been doing me a lot of good in many ways! I changed the battery in my heart rate monitor all by myself (don't tell the people at Polar - they want you to send it in and pay $20 - and believe me they put the fear of God into you about doing it yourself and voiding the warranty) now I can be sure I'm staying around the 130s which is no problem on the uphill parts but I have to work a little harder on the downhills to keep it up there.

I was working my way up to a 4 miler and completed that goal on Sunday.  4.17 miles actually! Long workouts are a blessing on the weekend. When you're not out eating and drinking there's so much more time for that kinda thing :)

This morning it was pouring rain and because I diligently checked the weather last night, I knew it was going to be nasty out and planned a 7am treadmill walk. I know myself and I know that if I didn't just get up and go to the gym it would never happen. I walked a boring 5k in an hour but now it's done and I feel pretty righteous about that. Tomorrow I may try the pool but then we have the dilemma of the fancy gym vs. the less than fancy Y. Fancy gym is a 30 minute drive. The Y is 3 minutes away but once I saw someone spit in the pool - I haven't been the same since. Oh and don't get me started on lane sharing (shudder). 

Soccer tournament Saturday started with my first meal in a restaurant since surgery. I wasn't worried because we were going to a breakfast place which makes eating out at this stage pretty easy.  I had half an egg with cheese and half a chicken sausage. I even googled the highest protein cheese and chose the best out of 10 choices even though it was probably a quarter of an ounce that I ate :) I'm happy to say it was a complete success. It wasn't weird, the server didn't get offended that I only ate half my egg. It was just normal. And enjoyable. And satisfying. It's amazing to me how much more you can enjoy the people around you and the good conversation when you aren't obsessing about food. Everyone at my table ate healthy but I was still surrounded by mountains of french toast and it didn't bother me in the slightest.

Have y'all used My Fitness Pal yet?? I've been using to track every single thing I eat and all my exercise and it's been extremely helpful. I can easily see that I'm increasing my calories every day and getting in my high protein requirement. Yesterday I finally made it into the 600s which is good since I'm burning about 400-500 and feel like I really need some food for fuel.

I'm gearing up for a busy work week now that I'm 100% recovered and everybody knows it. I must end this extra long mix tape and earn some money to pay the bills! Have a happy, healthy week everyone!

Friday, February 8, 2013

First Friday weigh in

Happy Friday!

I'm thrilled to say that I'm about 97% back to normal and 19 pounds lighter! I was 250 pounds on the first day of my liquid diet and I weighed in this morning at 231. That's about a size already and I even had to move my car seat up an inch.

Oh and just because I post my weight on Fridays doesn't mean I don't peek at the scale during the's a horrible habit and I must stop.

Wednesday I had my one week post-op visit with my amazing surgeon (Dr. McDreamy as he's known around here) who was thrilled with my progress and moved me on to soft foods! Hooray!!

Shelley you might remember these little fiesta dishes which are now the perfect size for me :)
Never in my life has a scrambled egg tasted so good. I ate about half and was absolutely stuffed. Suddenly life is full of options again!! I made 4 oz of chicken salad with greek yogurt and have eaten that for 3 days. Last night was an ounce of pork in the food processor and an ounce of mashed potatoes. It was like Thanksgiving. A couple tablespoons of sweet potato or 3 ounces of cottage cheese is heavenly! I knew I would be limited to a certain amount of food by the nature of the surgery but I never expected the fully satisfied feeling.

Walking has been interesting. I'm not used to moving so slow and I kinda feel like the crazy guy (it's not his fault he's crazy he got hit by a bus) in the neighborhood who just walks around aimlessly jamming out to his iPod. The upside is I see more interesting things in the neighborhood when I'm walking vs running where I'm only focused on trying not to die :) I've helped old ladies, rescued dogs that got loose, criticized many landscape designs and said hi to many random strangers. Today I did 2.5 miles and once we do another 1.5 with the dogs this evening it will be 4 miles. I'm good with that and will keep increasing my distance - especially on the weekend. I also intend to get back in the pool next week to mix it up. I miss my yoga and my trainer but I will be back the minute I'm allowed!

Have a great weekend everyone. I'll be over here putting all kinds of things in the food processor.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday mix tape - FAQ edition

How are you feeling?
Here I am less than a week after my surgery and I feel AWESOME. I owe that to my amazing surgeon and his staff as well as my incredible support system here at home.

I'm back to work (well right after this post anyway). Luckily back to work for me means sitting at my desk vs. sitting on the couch. If I had to go to an office I'm sure I would have at least taken a few more days off.

I've been taking my pain meds only before bed and getting a good 12 hours sleep. Every day I wake up excited because I feel so remarkably better.

What are you doing and when can you exercise?

Anyone who knows me knows the hardest part of this has been sitting still. I walked the first day home to end of the street which was less than 1/4 mile round trip. Yesterday we made it just over a mile. I will gradually increase my walking distance every day until I can add my other activities back in - probably at the 6 week mark.

I never thought I'd ever have anyone tell me to cut back on my cardio but my surgeon wants me walking at around 130 bpm heart rate along with yoga and weightlifting. Spin will be limited to once a week. When I hit my goal weight (more on that later) I can run and spin and do whatever I want but during this massive weight loss phase, burning fat vs. muscle is key.

What are you eating?
Right now I'm still on clear liquids. That includes protein shakes. Nothing tastes bad and I'm able to get it all in. No nausea or pain whatsoever. When I'm getting full my nose runs and it feels like I need to burp. I hear horror stories about people not being able to eat anything at all or being nauseous all the time. I can't imagine!

If I can eat a scrambled egg on Wednesday morning before my 1 week follow up I can move on to soft foods. I cannot wait for that egg. Yes, I'm hungry but I think that's natural for someone who hasn't had anything but liquids in 3 weeks.

Any regrets?
I've had a few "wtf have I done" moments but they were fleeting and mostly during some obscene food commercial. Luckily I'm not laying around watching TV as much anymore! I'll never understand why Superbowl is such a junk food extravaganza!?!?

How much have you lost?
15 pounds in 3 weeks!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Better every day

My first meal, flowers from fabulous friends and a Bari Bear from my surgeon which totally made my hospital stay!
Hi all. I'm happy to say that recovery is going really well. So well that I had to call the dietician to make sure it was okay that I was drinking a little more than than they thought I would. I still like all my protein shakes, diluted apple juice and popsicles are a total treat. Not a single second of nausea -  my new stomach lets me know I've had enough when it feels like big burp building up.

My incisions are so tiny and they are definitely starting to heal because they are tight and itchy.

I thought this would be so much harder but it's not. What's hard is sitting still and not exercising. I walked to the end of the street yesterday and hope to go a little farther today though it's freezing out. Anything that tenses up my abs is tiring but again getting better every day.

I'm definitely ready for some soft food since this is my 3rd week of liquids. The thought of the egg I can eat on Wednesday makes me able to get through this final week. My sister has made me some homemade miso soup which I'm looking forward to for "dinner" tonight. Not too much longer to go.

Going out for the first time tomorrow for a support group. Crys has so nicely offered to go way out of her way to get me there. This is a great group full extremely successful people and a few athletes. It's wonderful to have so much support from them and I've made a few great friends in the process.

I will be weighing in on Fridays in an attempt to not let the scale rule my life. Today I was excatly the same as I was the day I went into the hospital - 238. That means I'm finally got rid of about 6 pounds of fluid they pumped into me in the hospital. That also means I'm already 12 pounds lighter than the day I first saw the surgeon. My trainer will also be doing my measurements once a month which will hopefully get me through the plateaus.

Thank you so much for all the well wishes! It really helps!!!