Suffer the Consequences!!!

I am suffering today. Done by my own BAD choices. I NEED to pay attention! I NEED to remember!
 
I wanted something to snack on yesterday on the way home from hubby’s appointment. I saw what I usually buy that DOESN’T bother my pouch but I chose something different. Totally ignored the fact that I haven’t eaten it in MONTHS and the fact that the bag was way bigger that what I normally buy, my inner child WANTED it so I bought it! I ate HALF the bag of Butter Puff Corn on the way home and then FINISHED it later in the evening! After eating all that salty goodness, my mind immediately started screaming for something sweet… Did I resist? Heck NO! I went looking for something chocolate and found a Snickers Peanut Butter Squared and ate that too! This morning, I am dumping BIG TIME! Cramping, sweating, nauseous – just miserable – and it’s ALL MY FAULT!
 
I sat there berating myself, telling myself that I need to remember, that I need to make better choices and promising myself I’ll pay closer attention! Today will be a shake day for me, need to recover…
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Have your tastes changed since surgery? Mine sure have!!!

Have your tastes changed since surgery? Mine sure have!!!
 
I’ve always been an admitted sugar junkie but since surgery, sweet doesn’t appeal to me for the most part unless I listen to my head. I really want savory now. I was a salt-aholic who only used pepper when cooking, now I add pepper and ignore salt! I’ve never been a spicy fan and still have to be careful but I find myself adding a LITTLE chipotle pepper in certain things I cook.
 
Before surgery, you could not have PAID me to eat green peppers! I picked MINUSCULE pieces out of stuff before I ate it. If I made stuffed peppers, I took the meat out and left a naked pepper in the dish. Good thing hubby like naked peppers because he always ate them… I didn’t mind the flavor but hated biting into them.
 
A few months ago, I ordered a salad during one of my mystery shops and as she was adding ingredients, I told her to add a few green peppers. My inner child started screaming at me! “What are you doing? You know we hate peppers! I can’t BELIEVE you said that!!” “Make her take them OFF right now!” I shut her up by reasoning that if I didn’t like the first bite, we didn’t have to have more and headed home. Once at home, she reared back up, constantly reminding me that she was only taking ONE BITE and then I HAD to take the peppers out. I sat down to eat and I swear she was cringing, waiting for the dreaded bite to occur. I have to say that I dove into that salad like someone who had not eaten in days! I must have had 4 bites – with pepper – before she knew what hit her because all of a sudden she rose up in me and announced – “Heyyy… these are really good! Not at all what I remembered! Can we have more?”
 
I’m seriously reconsidering trying LOTS of foods that I never liked before surgery now!
 
This blog came about because I decided I wanted Stuffed Peppers for dinner tonight and I DIDN’T want to make them the way I always have – Cutting them in half, filling them and putting them into Spanish Rice and baking them in the oven – so I went to Pintrest and searched stuffed pepper and stumbled across a Mexican version that is made in the crock pot! I made my own meat mixture and set 6 full peppers into the bowl of my 6 Qt Slow Cooker, set it to HIGH because it was after 1 PM when I started for 4 hours and let it go. At 5 PM, I checked the internal temperature of the meat, it was at 165 so I turned it down to LOW and waited til my guys started smelling that goodness! It didn’t take long!
I took the SMALLEST one and ate HALF of the pepper with all of the meat. DELICIOUS!
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Sensitive Subject Time

Sensitive subject time. But first a bit of background on WHY I wrote this…
Christmas in our house means one thing – Lindor Truffles – LOTS of them. Not just for my guys but me too. Even though I KNOW they aren’t good for me…
When I first started looking at bariatric surgery, I did a TON of research and for good reason. I didn’t know a THING! Everything I read said if a bariatric patient ate/drank the “wrong things” the result was always “uncontrollable diarrhea.” While SOME react that way, not ALL do. I don’t. In the almost 2 years since my surgery, I’ve not had diarrhea once. The exact opposite in my case. Taking you off track for just a moment – before surgery, if I ate corn, I pooped like a goose for days afterward. After surgery, I THOUGHT if I ate corn, it would help with the constipation. NOPE! It made it WORSE for me… Something I still don’t understand.
Back to Lindor Truffles – we ALL get truffles for Christmas. I know if I eat 1, maybe 2 that I’ll not suffer but does that stop me? Heck NO! Once I taste that sugar-laden ball of heaven, I want MORE and MORE just like the sugar addict that I am…
What does DUMPING feel like to you? What I THOUGHT dumping was (refer to a couple of paragraphs up) is nothing compared to what it is for me. The morning after I indulged in Lindor heaven, I woke feeling really sluggish. I took my morning meds and drank my protein coffee then it was time to go to the bathroom. As I sat there, I began to feel flush, started sweating like I was going to be sick (but was not) and started feeling cramping very low in my abdomen. The urge to bear down became unbearable and even though I wasn’t constipated, it was not diarrhea either. To be honest, it was worse than being in labor for me. The cramping was horrible and just when I thought it was over, the whole thing would begin anew – wave after wave of nausea, sweating and pushing. I felt like it took me forever before I was able to stop and the rest of the day was blah. I stuck to light foods and liquids to allow my body some recovery time. I’m hoping that by writing this down, it will “cement” the memory in my stubborn brain so I DO NOT repeat it ever again because I was miserable for more than 24 hours all because I WANTED something I really knew I shouldn’t eat…
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I DID IT!!!

I have to share something positive amidst all of the negativity going around…
Hubby was terribly unsure of what to buy me for Christmas this year because my sizes have changed so drastically since RNY on March 16, 2015 so I decided to go to my favorite local store – Kmart! – and try some stuff on so I could tell him sizes, etc.
Since my darling doesn’t have a license due to epilepsy, I asked our youngest son to take Dad shopping. I thought I had ALL the bases covered. I even went to the Walmart across the road and snapped a few pics to give them more ideas!
These POOR GUYS… They get to Kmart and EVERYTHING I told them about was SOLD OUT! Zack starts calling me because he doesn’t know what else to do. Across the road they go and they started looking at Walmart. They easily found the Danskin Now tops I wanted but Z says Dad needs to find more so he sends me pics because he’s also unsure of size. I finally told them to buy what they thought would fit and if it didn’t, I’d exchange it because they were frustrated and so was I! LOL
Christmas morning I opened my gifts to find every color of top I wanted and then TWO more that they found! Perfect fit too!
Then came a box with 2 pairs of leggings in it. I was a bit taken aback when I saw that there was a pair of size 12/14 – the size I wear – and a pair of 8/10 – that I was POSITIVE were going to be too small! I know leggings are made to stretch but an 8/10??? I didn’t think so! Happy to say I was WRONG!!! They slid on like they were made just for me!
I’m in shock, but absolutely THRILLED!!!
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With Faith All Things Are Possible

My husband is a disabled veteran and a few months back, we were told about a local Veteran’s Food Pantry that he is eligible for but due to circumstances beyond our control, this was the first month we could get there.  As the wife of a veteran, I’ve gotten used to paying all of the bills at the beginning of the month when the money comes in and waiting to get groceries til they have all cleared.  The last quarter of the year is usually more difficult because of 3 holidays – 4 if you count Halloween – AND it seems like everything that CAN go wrong does, especially in December!

While I hoped 2016 was going to be different, it’s hasn’t been.  I had set aside a small amount of money to give to hubby to Christmas shop with and even asked our youngest son to drive him, as well as a few dollars to finish buying Christmas dinner with.  All we had to do was get it done.  Well, Old Man Winter and Mother Nature are on the outs again and Northwestern New York is getting the brunt of their disputes.  We’ve been dumped on for snow several days already and we’re only in the middle of the month!  The last storm that hit left almost a foot of snow in the driveway.  When hubby went out to blow snow, the tractor wouldn’t start.  He put the battery charger on the tractor thinking the cold dragged it down but it didn’t work.  He called the place where we got the tractor and was told we needed to buy a new battery.  There went ALL of the money I had set aside…  I started praying for the funds to at least get a small ham for dinner.

We got to the Veteran’s Food Pantry today and there were all these BIKERS there!  I was beginning to think we were in the wrong place then realized they were Volunteers!  We had some paperwork to fill out because we were newbies but everything seemed to run like a well-oiled machine.  A volunteer walked with us and explained how things were done.  Shelves were marked telling exactly how many of each item could be chosen.  We started with canned goods and progressed through boxed items and more.  Tucked between the shelved items and several tables piled high with different flavors of Ramen Noodles was a grocery cart with small boneless hams in it.  I saw it and immediately heard the voice of the enemy say – “Those aren’t for you.  You’ll be passed over.” – and even though I’m a practicing Christian, my heart sank.  As we neared the cart, the volunteer said – “Take a ham.” – and I nearly burst into tears right there!  I also clearly hear the voice of the Lord say – “All you have to do is have Faith in Me, I’ve got you covered.  Just keep believing!”  I also heard the Lord tell the devil that I was His and that he wasn’t going to win this time…  I heard “Just keep believing” over and over again while we were there.

Hubby needed to use the restroom so I stayed with the FOUR large bags of groceries trying to check the tears that kept threatening to spill over.  At one point, my darling husband noticed and asked me if I was going to cry.  I was honest and said I was fighting tears and started explaining as we walked out of the building.  We got to the car and I continued telling him what I’d experienced and how I was feeling.  He got quiet so I know my words had an impact on him as well

We were treated with the utmost respect, no personal questions were asked and I felt extremely blessed when we left.

Thank you Lord for the gentle reminder!

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Remembering Days Gone-by…

As I sit here eating a leftover homemade meatball with some meat sauce and a little mozzarella cheese, I think back to not so very long ago when my dish would have been piled high with the cheesy pasta bake that I made my guys for dinner tonight.

When I was stirring it up, my inner child (whom I named Missy because that was what my Gram called me when I was in trouble), started whining that she wanted a bite. I could hear her clearly – “What will ONE BITE hurt? Come on! You love it and you know it!” When I’m ALONE and she starts in, I speak to her out loud but because hubby sometimes looks at me like I’ve lost my mind, I thought better of that! LOL I ignored her and continued stirring, then put it into the oven to heat through. When it came out, she started anew but again, I ignored her. She doesn’t like being ignored and will often step up her efforts but tonight, she tried a different tactic instead. As I was making garlic bread, she whined again – “Can I at least have a piece of garlic bread then???” I looked over the pieces and answered in my best “Mom voice” – “We’ll see…”

When the bread came out of the oven, I looked it over again and found the SMALLEST, THINNEST, CRISPEST piece I could find and CUT IT IN HALF!!! It was 3 bites of Heaven and Missy shut up!

Since I’m working on maintaining instead of actively losing, I allow myself a few carbs here and there and because I KNOW that pasta physically HURTS me but I can eat a slice of toast, I ate what I knew would be better for me. That’s not to say that I’m always that good because there are some foods that I can still “mindlessly eat”. I just have to NOT buy them!!! I know my limits and seldom stray from them because I thoroughly DISLIKE feeling sick or actually being sick.

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Trying to help others…

As a former morbidly obese person  – I used to weigh 325 pounds and I’m 4’10” tall – who had RNY bariatric surgery on March 16, 2015, I’m STILL amazed by the fact that I don’t FEEL hungry – EVER!  My head tells me I should eat, my body says – WHY???

Early on, I discovered if I forget to eat, I get “foggy brained” feeling, almost like a low blood sugar – hard to concentrate, sometimes shaky, etc.  I also noticed when that happens that I hear odd noises and feel a weird sensation with every bite I take, almost like my tummy is grumbling like it used to before surgery when I was truly hungry.

Do many people know what true hunger is though?  I learned through research and experimentation when I went through a mindful eating phase called The Dallas Doctor’s Diet – where I did not eat unless I was TRULY hungry.  I honestly believe if I’d stayed with that program, I MIGHT have lost much more than the 55 pounds I did but I got bored and stopped.

That’s something about surgery, you can get bored eating the same things because they sit well in your pouch or sleeve but you CANNOT stop without undoing what you had surgery for to begin with!  Surgery isn’t a “Magic Fix” it’s a TOOL that, unless it’s utilized correctly, was a total waste of time and money.  The bariatric patients that push to get it done fast are more prone to failing than the ones who had to work for it.  I had to work hard for 4 months to EARN the surgical clearance and used that time wisely.  I called it “getting serious” and serious it was!  I started practicing eating like I’d already had the surgery way before I got it and it worked for me.  The HEAD HUNGER, the memories of beloved things from my pre-surgery days are a constant battle, one I don’t believe I can ever NOT fight because I know I don’t want to go back to the person I was.

I honestly believe if I’d listened to my old high school Health teacher and chewed every bite 30 times, I would not have had to re-learn that later.  Bariatric patients NEED to chew EVERY BITE thoroughly – to the consistency of applesauce – to allow our permanently altered systems to absorb every nutrient it can.  We need to NOT drink with meals because liquids flushes the tiny amounts of food we take in right back out.  Personally, I’ve never had an issue drinking with meals because I was raised NOT TO.  My Gram didn’t even put glasses on the table for meals because she felt we needed to EAT not drink.  My BIGGEST hurdle was/is waiting 30 minutes AFTER the last bite because as soon as the meal was over, we got a drink growing up.  I still have to look at the time and make a mental note of when I can drink or I mess that up to this day.

Another very real struggle is eating too fast.  I still find if I’m busy, I want to scarf and run and I can’t do that and feel good.  Eating too fast gives me the foamies or worse makes me vomit.

Did you know it takes your stomach 20 MINUTES to let your brain know it’s full???  Do you realize if you eat fast and don’t chew well for that same 20 minutes that you’ll be OVERFULL every single time?  Overeating is the #1 cause of obesity.  Back to the Health teacher again – I was taught that making your meal last 20 minutes was best but then got told that the entire lunch period in school was 25 minutes!  How were we supposed to make it last 20 when it sometimes took 10 minutes or longer to just get through the lines!  This may have changed since I was in school but you get the idea here.  When I first started, I bought a 3 minute egg timer and flipped it after every bite.  Paying attention to the way you feel is key to re-learning when you’re full because one bite too many after surgery will send you to the bathroom to be sick.  Use the information that your Nutritionist and Surgical team give you.  It’s there to help you succeed and to assist you in healing afterward.  Don’t try to rush the steps from liquids to soft foods to meat and beyond.  It can be harmful to that new baby tummy you have.  I still think of my pouch as a baby and will stop and think about what I’m putting in it the way I thought about feeding my own infants.  You wouldn’t give your infant a giant chunk of steak and expect them to eat it, so why are you doing that to yourself?  You wouldn’t put alcohol in a bottle and feed it to a baby, why do it to yourself.  Wait until you know what you can tolerate before jumping into something that could land you in the hospital.

 

It WILL be worth it!

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