Friday, November 30, 2012

One Year - Almost There

I've been thinking about what I would post on my one-year surgical anniversary for a week or so now - it's a big milestone, so it seems like it should be something profound. But honestly? I don't have anything that momentous to say.

I'm squarely in my surgeon's goal range for me; they said 166-190, and I'm at 178. I want to get down to about 150, so I still have a little ways to go. I'm getting close to where I wanted to be in clothing (single digit sizes), I'm in a 14 for pants/dresses, and a ladies large or medium for tops. The 14 for pants is primarily about the belly hang - I'm a bit baggy in the butt, so without it I'd be in at least a 12 if not a 10.

I'll definitely need the plastic surgery to be super comfortable about how I look - the arm droop is crazy, and the belly has to go. I'll probably have my thighs done, and definitely need the boobs put back into place. If I haven't gone broke after all of that, I'll probably get my chin done, and maybe the eyes (I have a slight bag underneath). Saying all that feels very vain, but the excess is very telling that I used to be fat, and honestly isn't attractive. The Man and I did discuss this pre-op, so we have been prepared to make the expense.

I haven't taken my standard monthly photos yet, but I do have some to share. The Man and I flew to New Orleans on Thanksgiving day and spent 5 nights there - a trip just for the two of us. We had an amazing time, ate some incredible meals, and did miles and miles of walking.

It was our first flight post-op, and I giggled like a schoolgirl every time we took our seats, because I no longer needed a seatbelt extender, and the tray table would come down and slide all the way toward me with room to spare - even on the regional jet!







Finally, I bought a pair of boots recently - still needed wide calf, I'm not sure I'll ever escape that - I built them up when I was younger, and they're still nice and defined. I bought a sweater dress to wear with them, and felt pretty darned confident in it. You can see the belly hang a bit, but I don't think it was super prominent. (Ignore the shirt on the floor in the hotel room picture).





I wore that to Emeril's, and we walked there and back from our hotel. A great evening!

There's been a lot that's happened this year, but the fact that I've lost an average sized person in the 160lb I no longer carry still rather boggles my mind. The never ending ass fistula has been a bummer, but I can't say it was directly caused by my WLS experience (a post later this weekend will give an update on that situation). I've definitely gained confidence, I feel far sexier, and it's starting to sink in that I'm the same size or smaller than a lot of other people out there in the world - not anywhere near being the biggest woman in the room any more, and that's still a brain boggle!

All said and done - this was the best thing I've done for myself, and I wish I'd done it 10 years ago or more. It's never too late to change, and the positive impact it's had will benefit me for the rest of my life.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Oh, the indignity

This morning was fun. No, really, very fun. After waiting for two weeks to hear from my surgeon about what kind of scans or xrays he wanted to do (and finally hearing back only after nagging his nurse via voice ail), I was scheduled for a fistulogram bright and early at 8:30am. I arrive on time despite horrible signage for the radiology department, which had you go in through the cancer center - yeah, not an image that was fun. When they finally call me back to get me registered, the clerk starts frowning quite a bit - they can't find the orders from my doctor. Really? I was supposed to be in and out, and back in my home office before 11am when I had a meeting scheduled, plus my team in India would be monitoring a mainframe delete package.

Finally, the manage to get my surgeon's office on the phone and get the orders faxed over - I don't get called back until about 10:15, far later than my scheduled 9am procedure time. So a fistulogram is this: they take a tiny tube and insert it into the external opening of the fistula, shoot contrast solution into it, and then take xrays. The only mildly interesting part of this was that the radiologist looked at things on a monitor I could see before he took the xray snapshots. I have a very interesting pelvic bone.

Anyway - I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of pain of that going into the fistula - which was still there in all its glory, though the bit that actually connected to the rectum is currently nearly microscopic in size. The radiologist then decided he wanted to put more contrast directly into my rectum to make sure I didn't have additional tracts anywhere. So basically I got a contrast enema. That was as fun as it sounded. Nothing extra visible, I get sent to the restroom and then they take one final film after I got rid of much of that contrast, and then I was able to head home - unfortunately now bleeding from the renewed larger opening. Of course I picked today to wear my pretty new undies too. Oxyclean, please work.

So, waiting now for the radiologist report to make it's way to my surgeon, and then hear back from them. I'm pretty sure I'm going to seek a second opinion from Wake Forest before doing any additional surgery - I want whatever is done next to be the LAST on this. Good grief, been dealing with this for 7 months now.

Tonight is my WLS support group meeting, but I'm oozy enough and my back hurts that I just don't wanna go. I'm curled up in the recliner now, and hoping to feel better soon. The Man is going to go get dinner later so I won't have to cook. He's a keeper.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Belated 11-month post-op stats and pics

October was a rough month. Third surgery on the fistula of doom, confirmation that the third surgery really had done nothing for it, and a promise of an MRI or other scan of the radiologist's choice to see what the fuck else is going on in there, because honestly - any future surgery on this needs to be the last.

I've been annoyed that I can't exercise during this period - doing so irritates the fistula opening making everything worse - loss this month was minimal. I know I'm getting down to my last 20-30 pounds before plastics and that it will be slower, but I think I'm rightly annoyed that so much of the last 6 months has been in the shadows of this stupid ass problem (sigh).

But, I did have the Man take some 11-month photos, since we missed the 10-month ones. I go back and forth between thinking these are awesome (look! Pretty flat below the boobs!) to horrible (oh god, look at that belly hang shoved into the front of my jeans). Blergh.







Stats:


Current Loss Total Loss
Chest41-1.5-17
Waist38-1.5-15
Hips45-3.5-16.25
Thigh19.750-8.5
Calf15-2-7.3
Bicep14.5-.5-5.75


And can't forget the weight totals:
Beginning weight338
Weight at surgery304
Current weight183.2
Total loss155


I need to watch my consumption carefully as I wait for final word on what we're doing next to the fistula of doom, but also the Man and I are flying to New Orleans for Thanksgiving (just the 2 of us). We have reservations at some pretty awesome dining spots, and so far at least in email the chefs/managers have been very accommodating to the idea of a small portion for me. We'll see how it works out.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I Just Can't Stop Talking About My Ass

Ugh. Seriously? It's been 16 days now, and while my ooze issues have gotten significantly better, I suddenly have a serious case of constipation - which has made the ooze worse, because nothing else wants to move. I've had plenty of Colace today, and if things don't get moving, I think I'm going to end up with some Miralax tomorrow because, damn, this is uncomfortable.

I made my first recipe with butternut squash tonight, and unfortunately it was a flop. It was a puree of the squash, carrots, and some onion, all simmered in some orange juice. That was pureed and finished off with about 1.5 tbsp of maple syrup. It was too sweet for my taste - but there was some note in there that was just a bit off. Neither the Man nor I could identify it, but we didn't care for it at all. I still have half the squash that I cut into disks and have frozen in a Food Saver bag, maybe I'll try a simple butternut squash soup instead.

Nothing much else exciting going on - can't exercise until I see the surgeon again in about a week, catching up on school work, and starting my next knitting project.

I just want to poop.

This post brought to you by Another Episode of TMI on the Internet.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mussels and Recovery

Yes, mussels, not muscles. Before my surgery the Man and I went out to our favorite Italian place, and he had the linguini with mussels in a garlic white wine sauce. I've been afraid of mussels since an experience at the Pike Place Market in Seattle back in 1990 where I got a mouth full of still bearded mussel (shiver). However, I've been open to trying things again lately so I asked for one, and it was quite good!

He took me grocery shopping on Saturday since I was still taking Vicodin, and the fishmonger had bags of fresh mussels available. We brought one home and tonight I made my own version of mussels in white wine garlic sauce over a bit of thin spaghetti (far more pasta for him than me). They might have come out just a touch overdone, but they were still good and not rubbery at all.



Regular pasta is not something I can eat easily - nor do I really want to get in the habit of it - it's a high glycemic index carb and very caloric for how much you eat. Besides, it tends to kind of clump in your stomach and that makes it hard for me to digest it (and can lead to serious tummy aches).

But it did give me a nice tasty bit of pasta with parmesan and herbs and the lovely fragrance of the garlic and wine.

I'm recovering OK - still oozing, still using the chux pads in bed and on the recliner, though I have for the last 2 days worked from my regular office desk and chair with just a towel folded up several times on the seat. Not as comfortable as it was pre-op, but I'm getting there - haven't had a Vicodin today at all, so I'm hoping that may have been the end of that. Now to just stop the oozing and we'll be good (it can continue for 2-3 weeks and not be considered unusual).

So - starting to eat more normally (beyond the soups and yogurts I was having the first 4-5 days post-op), and feeling about 75% better - still a ways to go, but I'm getting there.

Oh - and I wore an Old Navy medium long sleeved tee the other day. Holy crap!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Surgery - Round 3

I had my third operation on Thursday to try and eradicate this fistula I've had going since May. Recovery this time has been a lot harder than the second round which I'm hoping is an indication that it's actually going to work, where the second one didn't.

If you want the gory details - I had a GORE BIO-A fistula plug inserted. Seeing the pictures on the product site were a little shiver inducing, but hopefully this one will be it - my surgeon said that it was "better" than the product typically stocked by the hospital, so he special ordered it for my procedure.

Thursday was definitely an interesting day - in the outpatient surgery area there are about 16 little alcoves along each side of a hallway - you're only separated from the hall by a curtain. A woman across the hall from me was being questioned by her nurse about her procedure (something they do to make sure everything matches up), and as miserable as I've been with this - sometimes little things you run into make you appreciate what you have. It turns out she was in her mid-30s and was there for a double mastectomy on top of removal of her ovaries and tubes. Yikes.

The surgery itself went well - the surgeon said that the infection had fully overtaken the fistula tract again (not surprising, given the amount of discharge I had been having), but he cleaned it out again and put in the BIO-A plug. I go back to see him in 3 weeks.

My post-op nurse seemed pretty interested in getting me out of there quickly - which I didn't necessarily mind, but I wasn't as clear of the anesthesia as I probably should have been. We went home and tucked me in bed - about 3 hours later I went to the bathroom to try and urinate. I don't know if everyone else experiences this, but it seems like the muscles used to allow urination really have to be kind of told what to do after a surgery like this - it takes concentration, and a bit of "effort" to allow things to relax and get flowing. So I did - several times - to empty my bladder, while the Man was standing just outside chatting with me. Suddenly, I started feeling a little wobbly - and just said "Help, I need help." He took my hands, and tried to guide me to the bed - and the next thing I know, I wake up thinking I'm laying in bed. Except I realize I'm not - my head is resting against the bed mattress, but I'm propped up on one arm and otherwise sprawled out on the floor. The Man helped me up and guided me into bed - I asked him to get my wrist blood pressure cuff - we put it on, and yeah - I was at 88/47 - just a little low. He said I'd been out for 5 to 6 seconds, which is not insignificant for an episode like that.

I have been having low-ish blood pressures for the last month or so - I've had some dizziness on elevation changes like standing up from sitting, or getting out of bed. None-the-less, this scared me enough that I asked the Man to take me to the ER to be checked out.

I had this odd phase for about an hour where my arms and legs were shaking, but not because I was cold. They took a series of blood pressure readings - laying down, sitting up, standing up, etc. The first series I had the dizziness and they were pretty low (under 100/60). They gave me some fluids, put me on a heart monitor, and drew some blood to check all of that. Took about 3 hours to get the blood results back - at which point my anesthesia had totally worn off, and I'd missed the time for when I could have taken vicodin and the pain was really ramping up.

They came back and did another series of BP readings which were slightly better - and finally gave me a percocet and decided that what happened was a vasovagal response brought on by still having some anesthesia on board, the history of low-ish blood pressure, and exerting some effort to urinate.

Not very satisfying - especially since I was worried about it happening again, but they sent us home after about 5 hours.

I've been on the vicodin pretty much every 4 hours since we got back - and draining enough that I've had to use chux pads to protect our mattress and my recliner. So much fun (really - super fun. really.)

I'm thankful that I have Monday off as an Evil Banker since it's Columbus Day, it's been a bit easier to sit for longer periods in the recliner, but any activity up and about in the house has really kicked in the pain. I suspect I'll be working from the recliner for the rest of the week, as I can't see my ass putting up with my Aero chair for 8 hours at a time.

I'm trying to keep my fluids up, though the best I've done is 40oz. Protein has been a struggle too - I probably ought to just have a shake while the Man is at work and let him feed me when he gets home, which I may consider for tomorrow.

No exercise until my 3-week follow-up appointment, which while frustrating, I'm willing to do if it means this thing will actually heal!!

Hopefully by next weekend I'll feel like cooking again, and have a little more to say here than "damn, my ass hurts and I'm still oozing like crazy."

So that ends today's issue of Too Much Information on the Internet.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Anxiety - I Don't Need You

The ass incision has been mean to me again - I've resorted to diaper cream to keep the skin irritation around it in check. I changed my mind one what I wanted the surgeon to do - the rubber band treatment just seems overwhelming, 6-8 weeks of weekly visits to have it adjusted - where a visit to his office takes at least 2.5 hours in the middle of the day. My work is flexible, but that's just ... ugh. So I called them yesterday and asked that they use the "better" version of the plug they used last time, and I'm really hoping that it takes care of things this time. The rubber band, or worse - the cut through the sphincter muscle leaving me incontinent for 6 weeks until they can go back and sew up the muscle - aren't attractive at all.

I had my first Macro Economics exam last night, I won't know my score until the test window closes tomorrow night at 11pm, so Thursday morning for me, since that's way past my bed time. I think I did pretty good, but we'll have to see.

My anxiety has started creeping up a bit with work - the project I'm working on is going well, but some unforeseen situations at the corporate level have led to a lock-down on any systems changes for over a week now - it's scheduled to be lifted Monday morning. A couple of my installs have been delayed because of it, and I'm concerned that additional unexpected change control periods will come up, crowding an already narrow window to get all of my installs done before the year-end code freeze. The SVP I'm working with reviewed my install schedule today and wanted to make sure I had back-up dates for each of them (a bit of a misunderstanding on my part from a previous conversation with him), and pointed out how close to the year-end freeze a couple of the dates were. Those are very reasonable observations, and I have to keep reminding myself that comments such as those about my work or my plans are not negative criticism - as in he's unhappy with me - but observations meant to help me succeed. In response, I've pushed on my team a bit to deliver two of the projects a week earlier than scheduled so that we have that extra week leeway in install scheduling - we'll see if they push back too much on that in the morning.

I've been feeling the anxiety physically during the day, to the point I'm considering taking a half dose of my meds in the morning (vs the one dose I've been taking at night) - the usual prescription is twice a day, but the full dose makes me sleepy, so I've been avoiding the morning one - maybe not such a good idea for now.

Thursday I have my bi-monthly Emergency Management Advisory Council meeting - I'm the outgoing chair of the group, though I have been accepted for a second 3-year term. I'll do that in the mid-afternoon, then in the evening my WLS program is having an open house in their new offices away from the main Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center campus. That open house is in place of the usual support group meeting, but it will still be good for me to go.

I think I just need to get past the first few installs of the batch we're working on to feel better about the whole situation. I've definitely got some things for my "lessons learned" review - mostly about how doing things for the first time always takes longer than you anticipate, and particularly at the Bank, getting systems access to things takes time, and is never as easy as it seems. Also I need to be a bit more proactive in obtaining the help I need in new situations - I let the learning curve be a couple weeks longer than it should have been.  I think the SVP will appreciate those self-observations, and I hope that my assignment will still be considered a success.

Blergh. OK - Everything will be fine, constructive suggestions are good, not bad. Breathe in, breathe out.

My Meals

Breakfast
  •  3/4 cup Kashi Go Lean! cereal
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
Lunch
  • Salad composed of 1.5 cups romaine, 1.75oz left over beef tenderloin, a pinch of slivered almonds, 1 roma tomato, 2 radishes, and 1 tbsp Ken's Healthy Options Peppercorn & Parmesan dressing
Snack
  • 1/2 oz low-sodium cashews
Dinner
  • 2.5oz pork cutlet
  • less than 1/4 cup green beans with parmesan, shallots, wine, and a touch of cream
Planned Snack
  •  Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bar - raspberry
Exercise - Increased the intensity on the treadmill by increasing the incline to 1.5% - 45 minutes, 3mph, 318 calories burned

Water - 60 oz

Daily Totals  781 calories, 39.6g fat, 56.2g carbohydrates, 25.4g sugars, 60.5g protein

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What's For Dinner? Shrimp and Andouille in Creole Mustard Cream

The infamous ass incision is giving me a bit of trouble today, so I passed on another ride on Mabel. I did however, get out to get my grocery shopping done while the Man continued to work on the dining room floor. Though we rent, we've been here for years and don't intend on going anywhere for at least 2 or 3 more years. The dining room carpet was really ratty - it wasn't the best before we arrived, and the cats had honestly roughed it up some. So we decided to put down laminate wood flooring. I'll take pictures when it's done, but it looks awesome - he just has the moulding and transition between the dining room and the kitchen (which has linoleum on it) to go. It was an expense we were willing to take on to have a nice floor - and the landlord will get a bit of a bonus when we move out.

I don't know if I've mentioned, but we're going to New Orleans for a short holiday over the Thanksgiving weekend. In preparation, I've been wanting to try out some cajun and creole flavors, which guided my choice of dinner tonight. I modified the recipe heavily - as I know I'm sensitive to "heat" (vs. spice). I used just a dusting of cajun dry spice, and about half the suggested creole mustard. I added two tablespoons of heavy cream to the sauce at the end.

It was also a night to experiment with red bell peppers - I've always "not liked" peppers, but decided that I needed to try them again. Turns out I was pleasantly surprised! They were very sweet, and not at all mushy. I'll definitely be including their vitamin rich goodness in more recipes from now on.



My Meals

Breakfast
  • 3/4 cup Kashi Go Lean! cereal
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
Lunch
  • Salad composed of 1.5 cups romaine, 1 roma tomato, 2 radishes, 1/2 oz   low-fat mexican blend cheese, 2.6 oz left over mojo marinated chicken, 1 tbsp chipotle ranch dressing
Snack
  • 1/2 oz cashews
Dinner
Water - 60 oz

Daily Totals: 911 calories, 41.9g fat, 70.3g carbohydrates, 18.2g sugars, 74.4g protein


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Salad Fail - Applebees, I'm Talking To You

We all know that chain restaurant food is hardly the most nutritious option around, but while some offerings looking healthy, they are deceptively full of calories and fat. 

Now I will be the first to admit that I should have asked for dressing on the side - but I've had this salad in the past, and it's not like it's slathered in ranch or other creamy/fatty dressing, so I didn't really think about it. I ordered Applebee's Grilled Oriental Chicken Salad in a half portion. Since it has almonds and a few other things in it, I figured I was in for about 400 calories, but no. I came home and looked up the nutritional information and was rather startled - the half portion as served came to a whopping 690 calories with 41g of fat. Holy Hannah. If I'd ordered with dressing on the side, the salad alone would have been a more reasonable 340 calories with 10g of fat. More than half the calories in that dish were from dressing. Ugh.

Looking at the rest of the nutritional information for Applebee's menu is positively shameful. The regular portion of the crispy Oriental chicken salad? 1390 calories. Even if you were eating a "standard" 2000 calorie a day mean plan, that's over 2/3 of your daily calories, on a fucking salad.

Don't even get me started on their pasta dishes, where all but two are well over 1000 calories each. The rest of the menu is just as bad. Portion size, of course, is one of the issues - but most people don't bat an eyelash at ordering just about anything on the menu - and as a result, consume in one meal the better part of the standard caloric intake for an entire day.

Now Applebee's certainly isn't the only one offending in this manner, various articles have been published about the worst offenders in national chain restaurant meals, but this seriously makes me rethink my ability to order something and have even a part of it fit in with my eating plan.

Someone at the company is mindful of their social media presence, as I got a response in short order to my tweet venting at my lunch salad taking up 4/5ths of my daily calories, and that I should have ordered dressing on the side. It wasn't a satisfying response (and I'm trying to shake off a feeling of condescension) but I suppose at least they're listening.


Blergh. I'm not going to go without dinner, even though I've met my calorie intake goal for the day, but this just leaves me so disappointed. I'll definitely think long and hard about all that comes in a dish next time.

My Meals

Breakfast
  •  1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean! cereal
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
Lunch
  • Half portion Applebee's Grilled Oriental Chicken Salad
Dinner (planned)
  • 3 oz beef tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup steamed vegetables
Water - 60 oz

Exercise - 38 minutes bicycling, 6.25 miles, 316 calories burned

Daily Totals: - 1083 calories, 53.4g fat, 93.1g carbohydrates, 17.6g sugars, 67g protein



Friday, September 21, 2012

What's For Dinner? Mojo Chicken Tacos

It's Friday! I had a long day of meetings today, but it went well - the team I'm leading is going to get the development done by a date I'm happy with, and it gives me enough room to get all the approvals and installations done before we have a year-end lock-down on code changes. Yay!

I'm still a bit frustrated in the afternoons - while a lot of post-op RNY patients eat 5-6 small meals in a day, I find that trying to divide 800-900 calories into that many segments leaves me feeling unsatisfied all of the time, so I generally stick to 3 meals, sometimes with a snack. The hardest part is that my breakfast is typically 150 calories, and then I'll exercise on my lunch hour, before I have lunch. Given that my exercise sessions burn 300-400 calories, I'm really in deficit until I eat again - and sometimes just barely get back on the positive side. Then I go through the afternoon feeling under-fueled and hungry (in my new experience of hungry) until dinner. I don't want to slow down the weight loss, so I'm sticking with the nutritionist's edict of that 800-900 calories, but I wish I could find a better balance.

Tonight's dinner doesn't have any pictures to go with it, but it was just the thing. I marinated two boneless skinless chicken breasts in a "Mojo" marinade (found in the Mexican foods section of my local Food Lion), and then cooked them on my counter-top grill. I made taco shells from small yellow corn tortillas friend in just a bit of vegetable oil (the 8 shells absorbed maybe 2 tsp oil all together), and served them with diced avocado, tomato, lettuce, 2% mexican blend cheese, sour cream, and taco sauce. YUM.Turns out my little black cat Kara liked the mojo marinade too, as we found her up on the counter nomming on some of the left-over chicken.

Tomorrow morning I have a date with Mabel on the greenway - looking forward to it!

My Meals

Breakfast
  • 3/4 cup Kashi Go Lean! cereal
  • 1/3 cup whole milk 
Lunch
  •  3 left over Norwegian meatballs 
  • 1/3 cup egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • half serving of meatball gravy
Snack 
  • a medium carrot
Dinner 
  •  3 tacos made with 3 oz shredded mojo marinated chicken, approx 25g avocado, diced tomato, 1/8 cup shredded 2% mexican blend cheese, 1 tbsp sour cream, and a sprinkle of lettuce and taco sauce
Water - 60 oz

Exercise - Jillian Michaels "No More Trouble Spots" toning DVD - 55 minutes, 296 calories burned.

Daily Totals 905 calories, 33.9g fat, 91.1g carbohydrates, 19.1g sugars, 67.4g protein

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What's For Dinner? Shrimp with Corn and Basil

Ugh, what a week. Yesterday I went into the office to work with a group managed by an SVP that's one of my informal mentors at work. She's awesome, and her team's pretty cool too. One of the team members is a young man I started out with at the Bank, and his wife is expecting. They were having a baby shower for them at the same time. Now normally I avoid baby showers like the plague - originally I had declined to attend, and sent some money along for the group gift. But then, when I went to Charlotte last week for that Town Hall meeting, Danni invited me to come work with them, so I no longer had a good reason not to attend. I made it through mostly because it was so low key - pot luck, and presents, no extra games or silliness.

When I went, I wore my most recent clothing acquisition - a pair of size 14 Old Navy skinny jeans, and a women's size large long-sleeved tee shirt. I have to admit, with my hair curled and a light bit of makeup, I actually believed I looked kind of hot. I was looking in the mirror when I got home and actually saw small hollows below my cheekbones - holy heck! When I told the Man about it, he laughed, and poked me in the clavicle, saying he could see those bones too. It's starting, at times, to sink in that I really am thinner now especially if I didn't have the extra droopy parts.

Tomorrow I have a string of meetings all morning - the first to make sure my new work project is on track to deliver before the year-end code lock down, then learning a new process with a team mate, and then another on the new project to get a portion of it approved by the application owner. Definitely looking forward to the weekend, though it will be busy with homework for my macroeconomics course but I'll definitely be making time for at least one ride on Mabel.



My Meals

Breakfast
  • 3/4 cup Kashi Go Lean! Cereal
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
Lunch
  • left over Mu Shu Pork w/1 wrapper and hoisin sauce 
Snack
  • Sargento Light String Cheese
Dinner
Planned Snack
  • Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt bar - raspberry
Water - 60 oz

Exercise - treadmill, increased the speed to 3mph and walked the full 45 minutes, 299 calories burned.

Daily Totals: 856 calories, 34g fat, 80.6g carbohydrates, 19.5g sugars, 66.4g protein

 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I Want To Ride My Bicycle!!! Introducing Mabel

I finally bought my bicycle on Friday. I've named her Mabel, and I got to take her out for our first ride today. When I did a short test-ride at the bike shop, I was rather hilariously shaky on it - hard to imagine looking at me that I had been on an amateur racing team in high school. But then again, that was over 25 years ago.






Mabel's definitely not a racing bike, but I didn't want one. A good 95% of the streets here have no shoulder, and given my low confidence level in traffic thanks to being hit by a truck (or rather hitting a truck) when riding back in my racing days, I knew any riding I'd be doing would be on greenways and other off-road (but not mountain biking) situations.

I started rather small, and went to the Muddy Creek Greenway, a few miles down the road from my house. The trail length is officially 2.91 miles long - though there's a bit more paved through a private housing community up at the northern end, so I'd estimate probably 3.1 miles total.


I parked at the southern parking lot, rode north, then all the way back down south, and turned around back to the car making the full circuit. Despite being shaky at slow speeds, and not very confident on sharp turns, I had a BLAST. I could feel what I used to love about riding - the wind in my hair (under my helmet), the beautiful scenery, and nice deep lung-fulls of air on a cool, damp morning.

This trail has half a dozen or so bird houses along the path, and someone has painted them in vibrant colors.








My 6.2 mile ride took 41 minutes, and according to my heart rate monitor I burned 332 calories, with an average heart rate of 142 and a max of 160. Oh, and I did it wearing one of the Man's tshirts (Colonel Mustard in the library with a wrench!) - a victory in and of itself, and it was a bit big to boot!

  I did bring it home with a bit of muddy water in a line up my back - it had been raining overnight and earlier in the morning, so there was some standing water in a couple places across the trail. I went grocery shopping that way - too bad if someone couldn't figure out I'd been exercising, I didn't care!


I'll visit this trail again - it's a good length for me right now, and will let me get my confidence up to visit more populous areas or longer trails.




My Meals

Breakfast

  • Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
  • Sargento Light String Cheese
Lunch
  • 1 serving Chicken and Farro salad
  • 1 slice rye toast w/.5 tsp butter
Dinner
  • 2 oz garlic rosemary marinated lamb loin chop
  • 100g mashed red potato (a little bit of cream and butter)
  • 2 medium carrots, steamed, then glazed with a tiny bit of maple syrup 

Water - 40oz (bad Annie)

Exercise - Cycling! 332 calories

Daily Totals - 861 calories, 32g fat, 94.2g carbohydrates, 27.7g sugars, 54.1g protein

 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

New foods: Farro

I know I've been absent for a few days - the end of the week was tiring for me - and I spent most of yesterday feeling sorry for myself - until I was folding laundry and decided to try on one of the Man's tshirts (size L) - and it FIT. Holy crap.

See, my nutritionist claimed the other day that my ideal weight is 107.5 lbs. I laughed, loudly. According to the charts I refer to (on MyFoodDiary.com), 107 is the very bottom of the "thin frame" range for my height. I'm not thin framed. Not in a million years. I'm at least medium, if not broad. But being a little tough on myself, if we say medium, then the range they give is 116-129, and if we did go up to broad, it would be 126-143.  My personal goal right now is 150 by weight loss alone - after plastics, getting to 143 or lower is completely reasonable. As I get closer to 150, I've considered pushing myself down to 140 by weight loss, but we'll see how it goes.

Part of yesterday's blues was in trying to make a grocery list - as much as I love my mini tuna melts and chicken on salad, I need a bit of variety. One of the recipes I found used farro, a protein-rich grain. Since regular pasta and white rice is fairly nutritionally bereft, I decided to give it a shot - and I was immediately in love. It will definitely become part of my food options. It's chewy, nutty, and just plain good. I modified the salad to reduce the amount of oil in the vinaigrette, and I skipped the goat cheese.

For dinner, I was a bit ambitious and tried an onion, cheese, and bacon tart that I'd been eying for a while - I did modify the recipe to fit into some mini tart pans that I have, and it was rich enough that I could only eat half of one - but the Man happily slurped up the other half of mine. It's too rich to be anything but a very occasional treat, but damn, it was good.

My meals: 

Breakfast
  • 3/4 cup Kashi Go Lean! cereal
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
Lunch
Snack
  • Sargento Light String Cheese
Dinner
Water - 40 oz (need more!)

Daily Totals: 803 calories, 35.7g fat, 57g carbohydrates, 10.4g sugars, 70.7g protein 

Monday, September 3, 2012

What's For Dinner? Lentil Tacos

Being an evil banker, I had Labor Day off - the sad thing is, that even on a third day off I don't feel rested or reinvigorated. But it has been a fairly busy weekend - lots of studying, both for the CAPM exam, and for my micro and macro economics classes.

For dinner tonight I made tacos - beef for the Man, but I wanted to give lentils another try. I made some a couple months ago, but didn't use enough water and they came out too hard. This time, thanks to my friend @minniehopeless , I used plenty of water and they were nice and tender. The addition of taco seasoning (packaged, I am lazy), they carried plenty of flavor.

I've never been one of those people that believe substitutes taste "exactly the same!" - like some people claim shredded zucchini or spaghetti squash tastes "just like pasta!" But as I told them man as I was eating them, it's not that  they tasted just like the ground beef, it was that I didn't really notice the difference - the seasoning was there, and the toppings were delicious - and they were a nice, plant based protein - much less fat than the ground beef.

I did exercise the luxury of making my own taco shells. My favorite tortilla brand Mission has yellow corn tortillas that are just 80 calories for two of them and they are made without lard. Far fewer calories than packaged taco shells, even when you consider the oil absorbed when I pan fry and shape them.

We had tomatoes, sour cream, 2% Mexican 4-cheese blend, shredded lettuce, and taco sauce to top everything off. Definitely scratched my Mexican food itch!

Not looking forward to tomorrow - I have my repeat CT scan in the morning, and have to drink 2 pretty big bottles of contrast solution - it's "mochachino" flavor, hopefully it won't be disgusting. I'm not sure my fistula is fully healed, so I'm wondering how helpful this will be, but hopefully the lymph node they didn't like will have calmed down - otherwise, I suspect I'll be seeing a specialist to rule out any nasty problems. Not sure when I'll get results - hopefully by the end of the week.

My Meals

Breakfast
  • 1 cup Kashi Go Lean! cereal
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
Lunch
  • Mini tuna melts
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli
  • 1 tsp butter
Snack
  • Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
Dinner
  • 1/3 cup organic French green lentils - seasoned with commercial taco seasoning
  • 3 yellow corn tortillas shaped into shells with about 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 oz 2% Mexican 4-cheese blend
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • lettuce, tomatoes, taco sauce
Planned Snack
  • Yasso Frozen Greek yogurt bar - raspberry
Water - 60 oz

Exercise - Biggest Loser PowerSculpt DVD Level 2 - increased weights to 4lb each, 259 calories burned, Avg HR 123, Max HR 151, definitely felt the increased intensity

Daily Totals: 923 calories, 29.7g fat, 122.1g carbohydrates, 41.8g sugars, 60.3g protein

 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Great Salmon Experiment

I've mentioned before that I'm seafood challenged. Today I was determined to find a fish recipe that I could feel good about trying. I had some limits on what to make simply by what is available at my local market. Typically my local Harris Teeter carries tilapia, mahi mahi, snapper, salmon, catfish, and a few other items. I tried tilapia a few months ago, and really didn't care for it. We've had catfish several times, but it just wasn't exciting to me.

I saw a recipe for teriyaki salmon, and that got me intrigued. I love teriyaki. I figured that even if the salmon turned out to be not my favorite taste, that the teriyaki would at least let me get my protein in for the night.



A second achievement today was with my workout. The treadmill had decided that the belt needed to be lubed - so we ordered some appropriate oil and the Man got that done up for me yesterday. I started my workout as usual, but realized that somehow my DVD player repeated the Battlestar Galactica episode that I had watched the last time - about 8 minutes in. So I stopped, got the next DVD in, and started up again. I didn't want to stop in the middle of an episode, so I vowed to continue through the end of it - making about a 10 minute longer than normal workout. I also wanted to get at least 5 minutes of jogging in. I also knew that I wanted to work up to several intervals of 5 minute jogging in the larger workout before doing more than 5 minutes at a time. Well - today I managed 7.5 minutes total! I was very excited - and it felt good, though I think my thighs are going to be complaining tomorrow - maybe some preventative Tylenol tonight will help.

My Meals

Breakfast
  • 3/4 cup Kashi Go Lean! cereal 
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
Lunch
  • Salad with: 3 oz roast chicken breast, 1.5 cups romaine, 3 radishes, 1.5 oz pickled beets, 2 tbsp Ken's Lite Ranch
Dinner
  • 2.8 oz serving Salmon Teriyaki
  • 1 cup steamed carrots and snap peas
  • 1/3 cup white rice
  • 1 tsp butter
Planned Snack
  • Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt - raspberry
Water - 60 oz

Exercise - Treadmill, 54 minutes total, 7.5 minutes jogging 3.7 mph,   46.5 minutes walking 2.7 mph 1% incline, 425 calories burned, Avg HR 139, Max HR 177.

Daily Totals: 902 calories, 25.4g fat, 103.9g carbohydrates, 52.2g sugars, 71.3g protein


Friday, August 31, 2012

What's For Lunch? Mini Tuna Melts

Today's food choices don't bring anything new, though having 2 "seafood" meals in one day is a record for me. One of my favorite things years ago was the tuna melt sandwich at Toastie's Cafe in Pacific Grove, CA. I'd frequently go there for a meal after my midnight shift at 911 and if I didn't order breakfast, I'd get the tuna melt. Amazing sourdough bread, just the right amount of mayo moisture in the tuna, a good sharp cheddar, and sometimes with a nice ripe tomato slice. It was heaven.

Post-op I can't have a full sandwich, and un-toasted bread is even harder. So I started making miniature tuna melts on some multigrain cracker chips. I use chunk albacore tuna (water pack) in a 5 oz can, 2 tsp light mayonaisse, between .5 and 1 oz sharp cheddar, and the chips are Wheat Thins Toasted Chips - Multigrain. The eat more like a cracker than a "chip" - and are pretty reasonable in the nutritional information - baked, so they're not greasy. Half the tuna mixture will fit on 5 or 6 chips. Pop them under the broiler for about 2 minutes until the cheese gets bubbly, and I have a pretty good substitute for my old favorite sandwich.

They don't look quite so neon orange as they do in this picture, but they're quite yummy!


I did discover, much to my amusement this evening, that my youngest kitten likes the sauce on my Shrimp with Cashews. He licked my leftovers clean! Left the shrimp, but enjoyed the sauce. Silly kitties.

My meals: 

Breakfast
  • 3/4 cup Kashi Go Lean! cereal
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
Lunch
  • Mini tuna melts
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, 2 radishes, a sprinkle of pepitas, 1 tbsp Ken's Lite Ranch dressing
Snack
  • Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
Dinner
Planned Snack
  • Yasso Frozen Greek yogurt bar - raspberry
Water - 64 oz

 Exercise - Biggest Loser PowerSculpt Level 2 - 40 minutes, 227 calories burned

Daily Totals: 896 calories, 32.3g fat, 106.8g carbohydrates, 55g sugars, 58.1g protein

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

9 months Post-Op - Update and Pics

Today is 9 months since my roux-en-y surgery - so much has changed, and though I still have a way to go, I'm absolutely loving how things are turning out.

I got a hair past 10 pounds down this month, happy to see that up in the double digit range again. I think with being cleared for exercise, I should be able to keep that pace over the next few months. I'm soooo close to hitting the top of my surgeon's goal range for me - they said I should end up at 166-190, and today I'm 194.6. I think 166 is still too high, I want to get down to at least 150, though I'm considering changing that goal to 140. We'll see as I get closer.

I decided to keep with last month's decision to do the photos in my workout clothes - might be able to see a little more of the changes this way.



I'm noticing some wrinkly-ness on my legs, which I don't like - people have had skin removed on their thighs after WLS, but I'm hoping that continued toning will help take care of that. The arms, clearly, are going to need skin removal - there's not enough toning in the world that will get rid of that. But - need to get down to my goal weight and stabilize for a bit before I can consider that (and after we answer the question of whether we can do IVF - if that's a yes, then plastics will be even later down the horizon).


So here's the stats.


Current Loss Total Loss
Chest42.5-2-15.5
Waist39.5-2.5-13.5
Hips48.5-.5-12.75
Thigh19.75-1.75-8.5
Calf170-5.3
Bicep15-.5-5.25


And can't forget the weight totals:
Beginning weight338
Weight at surgery304
Current weight194.6
Total loss144

Monday, August 27, 2012

What's For Dinner? Chicken Marsala and Parsnip Gratin

So I have decided that I'm going to take the CAPM exam again - I have to do it quickly, my year runs out on September 12, but I'll see if I can't get that scheduled right after I post this.

Today's dinner is one of those meals that at first glance, one might think - Yikes, cream! The amount actually consumed in my servings is pretty darned small. Will I eat these dishes every night? No - but I'm not afraid of planning for them in my day or week.

I modified the chicken marsala recipe a bit - I don't care for mushrooms so those were left out, and I used only 1 tbsp butter as a result. I had about 1/3 of the sauce (half recipe to begin with), which is how I counted the calories.

The parsnip gratin had proportionately about half the nuts called for, but the rest was sized down to fit my little 4 inch baking dish (4 servings).



My Meals

Breakfast
  • Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
  • Sargento Light String Cheese
Lunch
  • Mini tuna melts: 2.5 oz albacore tuna, 1 tsp light mayo, 1/2 oz cheddar cheese, 5 Wheat Thins toasted chips- multigrain
  • 1 cup green salad, 1 radish,  tbsp Ken's Healthy Options Honey French dressing
Snack
  • 6 whole cashews
Dinner
Planned Snack
  • Yasso Frozen Greek yogurt bar - raspberry
 Water - 60 oz

Exercise - Biggest Loser PowerSculpt DVD - Level 2 - 40 minutes, Avg HR 114, Max HR 144, 221 calories burned

Daily Totals: 895 calories, 39.8g fat, 70.0g carbohydrates, 36.2g sugars, 62.8g protein


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Failure, Birthdays, and Sadness

It's been a bit of a rough weekend. I drove to Charlotte yesterday morning to take the Certified Associate in Project Management exam (CAPM) from the Project Management Institute. It's not a requirement for my job, but since it's part of what I'm doing, having the formal recognition of those skills would be nice. It's also an introduction to the larger Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, which I would be eligible for with about another 1000 hours of project experience.

I first took the exam last October, shortly after finishing my MBA program (and the project management elective within that). I failed - a complete shock to me, I was deficient in half of the 12 knowledge areas. I put it aside as I had my WLS coming up in November, and I finally just now got around to studying again to retake the exam. You have a total of three chances to pass the exam in the year after which you first register.

Well, I failed again. I was somewhat surprised, in that the practice tests I was taking were of passing marks - not fantastic, but passing. This time I failed five of the knowledge areas. I don't do failure well, and that I had to drive home nearly 2 hours after doing so didn't improve my mood at all.

Part of the issue, I think, is not so much the hows of project management, but the PMI terminology. Do they call this activity "estimate costs" or "estimate budget" ? Both answers might be on a question, but only one is correct.

I only have until September 12 to retake the exam if I choose to do so (for another $150) without having to pay another registration fee to the PMI. So now I need to quickly decide if I just need to make a mass of flash cards and have at it, or to give up on it. I know the fees previously paid are a sunk cost, but it really irks me to think of spending that much without any results. But I'd be even more pissed if I take it a third time and fail again.

I just don't know what to do quite yet.

Today was also a difficult day, in that it is Baby J's 3rd birthday. The realization that she's been gone longer than she was here now has been tough (she was 15 months old when she was moved). I can only imagine how cute she is now, her smile and laugh are still in such sharp focus. The day brings not the wracking, sobbing pain of the early times, but still a deep, heavy, melancholic sadness. Part of me still wants to write that book, but the other part still hurts so bad when I think of the things that went on, that I'm not sure I should put myself through reliving  it all mentally.

I know that the family that (most likely) ended up adopting her live on the other side of town. It is unlikely that we would run into each other at the grocery store - but the Mall, or Home Depot or some other places would still be possible. I can't help myself from scanning the crowds or looking closer when I see a dark, curly haired toddler. The Man says he watches the customers at his store too - though it would not be a logical place for that family to shop based on where they live. I don't think either of us will ever get over it. Whether we'll have a human (rather than feline) family of our own remains to be seen - I'm trying not to be too hopeful, to avoid additional pain, but I'm not completely ready to give up on the idea, and can only hope that my surgeon will allow me to make the reproductive endocrinologist (RE) consult after my 1 year follow-up appointment. I'm hoping to be at the bottom of their goal range by then, so the weight will have all come off.

For now, I work - I study in my new masters program (did I mention? Accepted at Georgia Southern's MS in Applied Economics program), and I try not to think too hard about it all.

I hate failure.

My Meals

Breakfast
  • 3/4 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch! Honey Almond Flax
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
Lunch
  • Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
  • Sargento Light String Cheese
Snack
Dinner
  • 3 oz NY strip steak
  • 1/3 cup green beans
  • .5 tsp butter
  • salad of 1 cup lettuce, 1/4 cup tomatoes, 3 radishes, 1/2 oz pepitas, 1 tbsp Ken's buttermilk ranch dressing
Water - 40 oz

Daily Totals: 946 calories, 45.8g fat, 88.6g carbohydrates, 29.3g sugars, 54.6g protein

Friday, August 24, 2012

What's For Dinner? Recipe: Pork Medallions with Maple Mustard Glaze

Today was really odd. Yesterday I had been feeling kind of run over and thankfully I woke up feeling better. I got a late start on breakfast - work issues grabbed my attention at first. By the time I went to eat, I was pretty hungry. Usually anything very "solid" as my first meal of the day is a disaster - it feels like rocks landing roughly in my stomach. But leftovers in the fridge sounded really good - so I ended up having half my hamburger patty from the night before, a bit of corn, and rather astoundingly, about 1/2 cup of fettucini alfredo from dinner out with the Man and his step daughter the night before that. Carb overload? Breakfast ended up being a full half of my calories for the day. I did indeed feel the extra carbs, I was a little shaky by the time my lunch break rolled around. I was determined to work of the extra though, so I hit the treadmill downstairs.

Not looking forward to tomorrow - I have to get up fairly early and drive to Charlotte (about 2 hours)  to take the Project Management Institute's CAPM exam (Certified Associate in Project Management). I've been studying like crazy, and my practice tests still aren't really where I want them, though I'm scoring in a range where I'll allegedly pass, as long as I don't totally tank in one subject area.

I'll be heading to bed early tonight to get a good night's sleep.

My Meals

Breakfast
  • 2.2 oz hamburger patty
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup fettucini alfredo
Lunch
  • Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
  • 6 almonds 
Dinner


Planned Snack
  • Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt bar - raspberry
Exercise - 45 minutes total on treadmill - 41 minutes walking at 2.7 mph 1% incline, 4 minutes jogging 3.7 mph 0% incline. 369 calories burned, Avg heart rate 137, Max heart rate 183.

Water - 60 oz

Daily Totals: 830 calories, 32.1g fat, 84.3g carbohydrates, 37.4g sugars, 47.3g protein (not enough!)

Recipe: Pork Medallions with Maple Mustard Glaze

Maple and mustard are not an entirely unusual flavor combination, but the simple preparation here has no unnecessary extras.

  • 6 oz pork tenderloin, sliced into 1 oz pieces
  • roughly 1/2 cup all purpose flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1.5 tbsp country dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup


Heat oil in large skillet until shimmering. Dredge pork medallions lightly in flour mixture, add to pan. Cook approximately 3 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove from pan.

Deglaze pan with wine, letting it almost completely evaporate. Add mustard and maple syrup, whisking to combine. Cook until thickened into glaze consistency. Serve over medallions.



Nutritional information: 226 calories, 7.2g fat, 16.4g carbohydrates, 11.9g sugars, 16.1g protein

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cleared for Exercise!

Woohoo! Had my 2 week post-op follow-up with the surgeon today, and he was pleased with how things looked to be healing. I told him the oozing had dropped considerably, though there was still some. He said there was really just a pinhole opening left, and he actually snipped the external stitch (there was also one internally) that hadn't dissolved yet. I go back in a month for hopefully a final follow-up. I learned something interesting, in that most fistulas dig through tissue very close to the surface of the skin, so usually a surgeon will just split it open, clean it out, pack it, and stitch it up. Mine was fairly rare in that it dug deep internally, and actually went through muscle tissue - which of course they didn't want to just randomly slice through my gluteus maximus which would cause some significant recover issues. So they used the internal plug that helps absorb any left over infection. He did warn that the plug is not as reliable at totally clearing a problem as the full incision to open it up, but given it's position it was the best choice. So I'll go back in a month and hopefully all will be clear. I have a repeat CT scan early in September, and hopefully that odd looking lymph node they found in the ER before my very first treatment of the abscess back in May will scan normally.

So - he was happy enough with my healing that he cleared me to start exercising again! Yay! (Who'd have thought I'd say that this time last year?)

Today and tomorrow the Man's former step-daughter is visiting, we went out to dinner at the hibachi place across the street. I ate my protein, and about 1/3 a cup of the fried rice. I was a good girl!

My Meals: 

Breakfast 
  • Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
  • Sargento Light String Cheese
Lunch
  • Salad made with 2.6 oz roast chicken breast, 1.5 cups romaine lettuce, 1 roma tomato, 2 radishes, 1/2 oz pepitas, 1 tbsp Ken's Healthy Options Peppercorn and Parmesan dressing
Dinner
  • 3 oz filet mignon
  • 1/3 cup fried rice
Planned Snack
  • Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt bar - raspberry
Water - 60 oz

Daily Totals: 732 calories, 27.2g fat, 53.4g carbohydrates, 27.9g sugars, 70.1g protein

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cooking with Protein Additives

One of the things I knew I would miss in post-op eating was some of my favorite soup recipes. Even if they have some meat in them, the protein levels for a meal are pretty small. I'd been looking for some sort of neutral protein powder I might be able to add to them, and the product Any Whey from Optimum Nutrition was suggested. It claims to be formulated for cooking - use in baked goods or in soups, sauces, etc.

Tonight I gave it a try - I made a chicken soup, which on it's own had 18g of protein, but with a scoop of Any Whey added to my serving, it gave me an additional 17g. Had this been my potato leek soup or some other veggie based soup, that would be the bulk of the protein not derived from chicken or beef stock.

My first mistake was trying to stir it into the soup after I'd put it in my bowl - it clumped horribly. So next I took about 1/4 cup of water and dissolved it that way, then poured it into a fresh bowl of the soup. It made the broth a bit more opaque, but did seem to mix in well.

The product itself has a slight vanilla scent to it, and I could taste a slight vanilla/milky flavor, but that became less pronounced as I ate.

Verdict? It's OK. I won't be adding it to everything I make - but to fortify a veggie-based soup? Probably.

The rest of my day was a little screwy - I woke up about 2 am with a pinched nerve or something in my shoulder - terrible pain, couldn't raise it up much. Took some pain killers and ended up sleeping until about 9:45 am. Getting up late always tends to screw up my eating plan.  I had a bit of left overs - but super solid food tends to be hard on my stomach first thing in the morning.

My Meals: 

Breakfast
  • 1/2 serving meatballs in red wine gravy
  • 1/2 serving mini cauliflower cheese gratin
Lunch
  • Dannon Light & Fit caramel delight
Dinner
  • 1 serving chicken, noodle, and veggie soup 
  • 1 scoop Any Whey protein powder
  • 4 small slices toasted asiago filone with butter
Planned Snack
  • Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bar  - raspberry
Water - 40 oz

Daily Totals: 868 calories, 28.7g fat, 88.4g carbohydrates, 30g sugars, 63.9g protein

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What's For Dinner? Shrimp with Cashews

I spent some time this morning looking for another shrimp recipe - and came across Cashew Shrimp with water chestnuts. I've had cashew chicken from chinese take out, but never shrimp. This recipe used a ton of oil to flash fry things, so I knew I'd need to change it up some. My version is linked from my dinner meal.

Overall, I'll call it a great success!

My Meals: 

Breakfast: 
  • Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
  • Sargento Light String Cheese
Lunch
  • mini tuna melts: 2.5 oz albacore tuna, 1 tsp light mayo, 5 Wheat Thins toasted chips - multigrain, 1/2 oz shredded cheddar cheese
Snack 
  • 8 low-sodium almonds
  • 2 small slices asiago filone w/1 tsp butter
Dinner

Water: 60 oz

Daily Totals: 839 calories, 37.1g fat, 72.2g carbohydrates, 23.5g sugars, 59.6g protein

Recipe: Shrimp with Cashews

Adapted from a Food Network recipe, this dish works well as filling for lettuce wraps, saving the high-glycemic calories of a more traditional white rice accompaniment.

  • 5 oz peeled and deveined shrimp - fresh or frozen, patted dry
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, peeled of outer fibers, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced water chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 oz cashew halves
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp corn starch
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil

Heat 1 tsp oil in non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Saute cashews for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Add carrots, celery, water chestnuts and peas to pan, saute 2-3 minutes until peas are warmed through. Set vegetables aside in a small bowl.



Add remaining 1 tsp vegetable oil to pan, which will heat quickly. Add shrimp, sprinkle with salt and pepper, saute until shrimp just turn pink, then remove from pan.

Chop shrimp into approx 1/2 inch pieces (4 pieces per shrimp for 31-40ct size).

Combine broth, oyster sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, and corn starch in small bowl stirring until corn starch is dissolved. Add to pan - liquid will evaporate and thicken quickly. Add vegetables, cashews, and chopped shrimp back to pan, stirring just long enough to combine with sauce.



Serve with butter or bibb lettuce leaves, top with hoisin sauce as desired.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutritional Information (via MyFoodDiary.com): 357 calories, 17.3g fat, 28.6g carbohydrates, 5.8g dietary fiber, 9.3g sugars, 23.8g protein

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bread - How You Tempt Me

Bread - I loved it. A good artisan loaf, real butter, and happiness. Pre-op, I could really put it away - room temp, warmed, french toast, you name it, I loved it. Sourdough in particular, but nearly anything - just no fruit-type inclusions (no raisins, cranberries, etc).

Post-op, bread is something I can have only in very limited quantities for a few reasons: it's generally got a high glycemic index and high in calories for it's size, so it's not the best nutritional choice for me, and bread when eaten tends to ball up and stick in your stomach - something that's not pleasant with my current stomach configuration.

But every now and again, I can have just a little bit - luckily the physical limitations I have place a real damper on any excessive cravings.

The Man, if I haven't mentioned, bakes for a regional super market chain called Harris Teeter. He rarely brings any of his product home anymore, but today he showed up with an asiago cheese filone (larger than a baguette, but not a full sized loaf), and a tub of Kerrygold irish butter. They had been sampling that at the store today, and he'd nommed on some for lunch, and decided he wanted more. Oh man. He'd sliced it at the shop into 24 little pieces - I had the very heel end and one slice. The Kerrygold butter is extra rich compared to US made butter products, and is just delicious - but I certainly didn't need much more than the lightest of spread.

The rest of the dinner was a bit lazy - the last batch of the meatballs in red wine gravy out of the freezer, a bit of penne, and for me a small salad.

My Meals

Breakfast
  • Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
  • Sargento Light String Cheese
Lunch
  • 3 oz roast chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup smashed red potatoes
  • 1/2 cup french cut green beans
  • 2 tbsp chicken gravy
Snack
  • 1 whole carrot
Dinner
  • 1 serving meatballs in red wine gravy
  • 1/4 cup Barilla Pasta Plus - penne
  • 1.5 slices asiago filone
  • 1 tsp Kerrygold butter
Water - 60 oz

Daily Totals: 816 calories, 34.8g fat, 59g carbohydrates, 16.3g sugars, 61.1g protein 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Double Takes and Ego Strokes

So my sort-of boss got into town today - I used to actually report to him, but with a reorganization that was done in the spring, I still do the same work, but technically I have a different manager. But we still call him "boss". Anyway, Dean was coming into town and I hadn't seen him since we met up for lunch in October when I was driving back from Rhinebeck, NY and stopped for lunch with him and a couple coworkers in Newark, DE.

He'd had a preview of what I look like now since I've sent him a few update pictures, but no one else that works in the large office complex over in Greensboro had. I hadn't seen many of these people in 2 or 3 years. Of course lots of people have come and go over that time, the line of business I worked in employs about 200 people. But plenty have been there for years and will continue to be there for years to come.

I admit I was quite tickled when I walked down the main hallways and people moving about in the half-height cube areas would stop, then lean forward or back to get a good look at me, and then shriek. Hearing "you look fabulous!" over and over never got old! Coming right on the heels of the Old Navy victory and onederland, it's been a pretty awesome week so far.

Dean, my team mate Kendra, and I all went out to lunch. I swear, I'll never learn that restaurants think a main dish salad has to be bigger than a turkey platter. This sucker was huge - and if I'd had the capacity to keep it until later in the afternoon to bring home, I could have eaten off of it for at least 3 meals, if not 4. It was an Asian chicken salad - the vinaigrette was fairly oil-heavy, so I'm going to have to count some extra calories for that - it slipped my mind to ask for it on the side.

Back at the office we spent some time catching up with the people who still work there - technically they're our "customers" now - as my group develops in-house applications that help improve their work flow. Not a lot of work got done for the afternoon, but it was very nice to have a little relief from the isolation that working from home can bring. Not that I want that 40-mile one-way commute every day again, but a single afternoon was enjoyable.

I'm trying to mix up my breakfast choices a bit - yesterday and today I had some Kashi Go Lean Crunch! cereal - something that was a bit too "heavy" a few months ago on a morning stomach, but is going over better now. I think the next box will be just the plain Go Lean! A little lighter on calories since it doesn't have nuts/clusters in it.

Oh - and a new 12-inch cast iron skillet makes a fantastic meat mallet. Really.

My Meals 

Breakfast
  • 3/4 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch! Honey Almond Flax cereal
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
Lunch
  • 1/3 of an Asian Chicken salad - lettuce, green onions, tomato, won-ton strips, grilled chicken - approx 3 ounces, with a sesame ginger vinaigrette
Dinner

Planned Snack
  • Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt bar - raspberry
Water  - 60oz

Daily Totals: 909 calories, 34.8g fat, 92.2g carbohydrates, 35.4g sugars, 67.7g protein

Monday, August 13, 2012

ONEDERLAND!

It's here - one of the major milestones in any WLS post-op's life - losing enough weight to dip below 200 pounds into the one-hundreds. That, my friends, was this morning.


While I still have ~50 pounds to go, this is huge for me. Combined with the Old Navy victory of yesterday, it's starting to be a very good week!!

My Meals

Breakfast
  • 3/4 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
Lunch
  •  1.5 oz rotisserie chicken salad
  • 5 Wheat Thins Toasted Chips - multigrain
  • salad of romaine, 2 radishes, 1 roma tomato, 1/3 oz pepitas, 1 tbsp Ken's Healthy Options Parmesan and Peppercorn dressing
Snack
  • Sargento Light String Cheese
Dinner
  • 3 oz roast chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp pan gravy
  • 1/3 cup smashed red potatoes (made with a little butter and cream)
  • 1/3 cup peas
  • 1 tsp butter
Water - 50oz

Daily Totals: 828 calories, 37.5g fat, 71.8g carbohydrates, 23g sugars, 57.5g protein

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Adventures and Disbelief in Shopping

I've been avoiding looking for new jeans because I had been trouble finding anything that really fit. At my heaviest, I wore "fat Mom jeans" - elastic, high-waisted pull on pants, just happened to be made in denim. I'd been hanging onto my last pair of size 16 of those, but they were really starting to hang off my ass. About 4 months post-op I had tried on some regular "zip jeans" at Catherine's (plus size store, not quite as "youthful" as Lane Bryant), and failed horribly to find something that even approached wearable.

Granted, I've now lost quite a bit more, but when I mentioned to some friends on Twitter that I was going to head to the mall today to find some jeans at Lane Bryant, one of them strongly urged me to look at Old Navy instead. I said no, that I wasn't small enough to do that yet, that I anticipated I'd need a 16/18 or so. She insisted that (at least at her nearby store) that they carried sizes like that regularly, and they had lots of fit options. I was skeptical, but decided to check them out first at the mall (after making sure our mall actually had one).

I walked in and felt like a complete imposter - a dodged a clerk who offered to help me find choose a size/fit of jeans, and looked around timidly. 

They have 3 basic fit options: fairly straight, thinner waist with larger thighs, and a more rounded figure. I forget which of the last two corresponded with the one I chose at first (Flirt is what they called it), but I tried on the 18 - and while it zipped, I had a big gap at the small of my back, and they weren't any better about all the extra material under my butt than my current jeans. I tried the 16, but it was too small. I put the 18s back on and stepped out of my fitting room to ask the opinion of the "fitologist" Deena - who was just perky and helping anyone who looked unsure of their choices. She took one look at that gap and got on the radio and asked one of the floor people to bring back the "sweetheart" fit in a 16 and 18.

I took those back to my dressing room, and for shits and giggles decided to try the 16 first. Holy CRAP, it fit! A little room under the butt, but not hanging at all. The waistline was lower than my normal by what feels like about 4 inches, but that's the style today in non-"mom jeans".

I cried.

I know I'd bought my graduation dresses at Dillards - a "normal" store, but I hadn't imagined shopping somewhere like Old Navy, that didn't have a special "fat girl" section, just stuff on the rack all mixed together.

The kicker? $19 jeans! I was beaming as I left the place. With still about 50 pounds to go, it seems like a goal of size 8 (maybe 6 after plastics) really isn't that outrageous. I'd settle for a 10, but single digits would make me crazy happy.

I spent yesterday without any pain killers, and the same today. I was a tad sore after my shopping expedition; I'd done grocery shopping first, came back and unloaded, then went out to the mall, then over to Bed Bath & Beyond for a cast iron skillet, and finally to the specialty grocer that carries my frozen greek yogurt bars. 

I'm going to start work in my desk chair and see if I can last all day - I am much more productive there than in the recliner, but I am still very thankful that I have that option if necessary.

My Meals: 

Breakfast
  •  Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
Lunch

  • 2 oz prepared rotisserie chicken salad (chicken, mayo, celery, onion)
  • 6 Wheat Thins Toasted Crackers - multi grain
Snack
  • Sargento Light String Cheese
Dinner


Planned Snack: Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt bar - raspberry

Water - 60 oz

Daily Totals: 602 calories, 22.3g fat, 54.2g carbohydrates, 27g sugars, 48.9g protein

I'm seriously under on protein, and low on calories as well. I'll definitely have the yogurt bar before bed, but I don't think there's much more I can do today. I've had a few too many 50g protein days, so I really need to watch that - I don't want to start losing my hair and of course as I get back into exercising again, I really need it to not lose muscle. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Amazing Spacial Properties of Salad

So we all know post-op WLS patients can't each much at one time. Our stomachs are the size of an egg, and while they expand a little bit when we eat, it's nothing on the scale of what happens in a normal stomach (or even more in what happens in an obese person's stomach).

That said, I still constantly boggle at the apparent amount of salad I can eat at one sitting. Dinner tonight was a 2.6 oz hamburger patty and 1/2 cup of left over herbed corn couscous. I'm full, I can feel it. But for lunch - I ate this:

Well - apparently I can't show you because the photo file is corrupt (really?).

But - it was 1.5 cups of romaine, half a cup of red cabbage, a carrot, 1/3 oz of slivered almonds, and 2.6 oz of left over sirloin steak dressed with Olde Cape Cod Sesame Ginger non-fat dressing. It looks huge - fills a large soup bowl.

So how can I manage that when I eat so little of anything else?

The Man and I can only come up with the idea that salad "crunches down" into a smaller volume when eaten, and other more solid foods just get pulled apart and tenderized when you chew.

It's a mystery.

My Meals

Breakfast
  •  Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
  • Sargento light string cheese
Lunch
  • Salad composed of: 
  • 1.5 cups romaine
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage
  • 1 carrot - sliced
  • 1/3 oz slivered almonds
  • 2.6 oz top sirloin
  • 2 tbsp Olde Cape Cod Toasted Sesame Soy & Ginger Non-Fat dressing
Dinner
  • 2.6 oz hamburger patty with red onions
  • 1/2 cup left over herbed corn couscous from last night
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Baby Ray's bbq sauce
Water - 60 oz

Daily Totals: 871 calories, 32.4g fat, 91.9g carbohydrates, 32.9g sugars, 59.2g protein

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What's For Dinner? Bacon-Wrapped Turkey and Herbed Corn Couscous

Day two of back to work, and I decided to just start in the recliner. I didn't have to take any pain meds in the middle of the night, which was good, though the daytime ones are still making me feel fairly disconnected/dizzy.

I am getting my water back up to where it should be, which is good. Very tired though, so I'm likely to have an early bath and then bed.

Oh - I started to make lunch today - flipped on our counter-top grill and went out to get the mail while it heated up. I came back in and there were no lights on the front - then I noticed there wasn't a clock showing on the microwave, and I opened the fridge and the light was out. Great, seems like a fuse flipped. I went down to the box and didn't see anything wrong, so I switched and used the stove to cook my hamburger, and gave up on the idea of some left over broccoli to accompany it since I couldn't nuke it to reheat it. The Man got home about 90 minutes later and found the breaker that had tripped and got us back up and running. At least now I know which one that circuit is on, so I don't fear resetting the wrong things. 

I'm out of the frozen greek yogurt bars - I may have another regular yogurt before bed to get up to 60g protein, but I'm not feeling like it at the moment.



My Meals

Breakfast
  • Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
  • Sargento light string cheese
Lunch
  • 2.7 oz hamburger patty with minced red onion
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Baby Ray's bbq sauce
Dinner
 Water - 60oz

Daily Totals: 670 calories, 27.7g fat, 49.4g carbohydrates, 18.5g sugars, 55.8g protein

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Post-Op Fistulotomy Day One

I planned to take today off work to recover from surgery yesterday and I'm glad I did. I'm primarily just tired for an overall "how do you feel", though of course there is pain at the surgical site. Hydrocodone is handling that pretty well, but of course that makes me a bit fuzzy.

This afternoon I noticed I felt a bit warm, and my legs were actually feeling a sweaty, so I took my temp and I'm running a low fever of 100.0F. The surgeon said to call in 24/7 if it got over 101F, so we'll be watching that closely through the night.

I've not gotten nearly enough water today - which I'm sure isn't helping, but I'm working on it.

Unless things really tank with the fever, I will be getting up and working tomorrow morning - thankfully I have the refuge of the laptop and recliner should my desk chair prove to be too uncomfortable.

My Meals

Breakfast 
  • Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
  • Sargento Light String Cheese
Lunch
  • mini tuna melts: 2.5 oz albacore tuna, .5 oz cheddar, 1 tsp mayo, 6 wheat thins toasted chips - multigrain
Dinner
  • 2.5oz teriyaki beef (sauce made of mirin, soy, beef broth, honey, ginger, and garlic)
  • 1/2 cup steamed snow peas
  • 1/4 cup jasmine rice
Water - 30 oz

Daily Totals: 592 calories, 24g fat, 40.2g carbohydrates, 13.7g sugars, 54.3g protein

Monday, August 6, 2012

Surgery Day

Today was the day - the follow-up surgery to why my incision from the original rectal abscess surgery wasn't healing. The doctor suspected I might have a fistula (internal pocket of infection) that had connected to the incision site and was draining from there. I was getting a little worried, as after I saw him and the surgery was scheduled (for 4 weeks later), that the oozing had let up a bit. I had visions of getting put under anesthesia and being brought right back out and having him say that there was nothing more he could do.

I was told to report at 10:15, and we got there right on time. Nearly 2 hours of sit in a consult room and have various people come in and out and ask for information, take vitals, etc. Finally got taken back to the pre-op area about 11:30, waited for more visits - anesthesia, my surgeon, and then got my IV started, etc. It was nearly 1pm by the time I was actually wheeled back to the OR.

I next became aware of time and place at about 2:45 in the first recovery room. Pain wasn't too bad, maxed out at about a 6 before they got the Dilaudid on board. Surgeon stopped by very briefly and said he did find a fistula, that it was very deep behind muscle, so they didn't want to cut through that, and put a plug in it that will eventually dissolve.

After about an hour in initial recovery, they moved me into post-op monitoring, gave me peanut butter crackers to eat so I could take a Percocet and allowed the Man to come back. He told me the surgeon told him the fistula was 5 inches long/deep and contained a very nasty infection. Lovely! I was given IV Cipro and Flagyl, and sent home with prescriptions for an oral round of both antibiotics (plus some hydrocodone for pain management).

Finally, at a little before 5pm, I was discharged. We dropped the prescriptions off at the pharmacy on the way home, and the Man went out a little while later to pick them up.

I'm definitely feeling spacy as is usually the case on Percocet/hydrocodone, and I can tell I'll definitely be hurting for a few days. I scheduled tomorrow off as well, and again I'm thankful I work from home, so if I'm not up to par on Wednesday I can work from my recliner if needed.

I truly hope that this finally ends the saga of the never ending oozing ass incision. I just want to be able to sit normally, exercise without worrying about angering it, and stop having my clothes stick to me. Not  much to ask, is it?