Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

24 Dates

 For Christmas I gave my husband 24 envelopes sealed and tied with string. Inside are 24 date night ideas. Two per month. Each month there are date nights of things to do around the house and date nights away from the house.  Our first envelope was "Movie Night" and included at $20 gift card to our local theater. 
We had Date 1 last night!
This is not the best picture of us but he took the "selfie" before we left. 
Of course  I look at this and notice...... 
I have collar bones! 

Side note: movie theaters need to carry snacks and drinks that weight loss patients can have! I cant have candy (sugar) or popcorn and I cannot have carbonated drinks! I had no snacks and the hubbie had popcorn and Pepsi. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Typical Day

If you read the book, "Eating for life" by Bill Phillips, you will understand that you should eat 5-6 times a day. (smaller amounts) 
The book gives amazing recipes that I starting using before VSG and everyone in my house loved the recipes! Here is an example of a typical day in meals for me. 

 6:00am     hot tea or coffee with Splenda (no sugar) 

7:00 am     Protein Shake (preferably Bariatric Advantage brand as it has so much more vitamins and minerals that our bodies need) 

10:00 am  Triple Zero yogurt or cottage cheese 

1:00pm      Fat Free Re fried Beans or Chili with light amounts of meat

4:00pm       Protein Shake

6 or 7pm     Ricotta Bake (I have to share that recipe soon) 

Somewhere in between all of this I fit in my fluid intake. I usually drink Propel or Diet Peach Tea (Lipton) or Power Aid Zero

 Anything I consume is 1/4 cup or less. 

When I started on my Pre Op Diet the first three days were awful! I was constantly hungry. After three days my hunger went away and I had to make myself drink the shakes because I didn't want anything. I lost 15 lbs in two weeks on my pre op diet. Is it possible to lose weight without surgery? Absolutely! But I know me, and I knew that if I lost a lot Id feel I could cheat here and there and ultimately I'd gain it back. VSG was the right thing for me but, I still have to eat the right things! (forever)  

I will also say that here I am 8 weeks out doing all the same things and now involving some weight training and I went four weeks without losing anything and Ive now lost a total of 41lbs. I spoke with my Nutritionist and she looked at my diet and said Im doing it all right! It is typical to have weight stalls and during these stalls our bodies are often changing in other ways (such as losing inches and not pounds) Therefor I will now start measuring regular in other areas not just on the scale. (I did measure before surgery but Ive misplaced that list so I have nothing to compare with) 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Why I havent told many friends and family

When I made the decision to speak to a local surgeon to see if I qualified for a VSG, I only talked to my husband and children about it. After my first appointment with the surgeon, I knew that should qualify for the surgery based on my comorbidities and BMI. At that time I talked to my parents and my sister about my decision. I decided that those were the only people who needed to know. I knew that there are conflicting thoughts on weight loss surgeries and I didnt want to hear everyone's opinions. I didnt want to hear all the negative stories about how they knew other people who had the surgery and either they died or they gained all their weight back. 

My insurance required things like...  a swollow test, psychiatric evaluation, chest x-rays, EKG , and 6 monthly weight check visits with a physician. It took six months to get it all done. I enjoyed the monthly visits with my surgeon as he guided me on a path of health and healthier ways to eat. 

I made a goal, then once I completed that goal, Id move to the next. My first goal was to stop drinking sodas. (specifically Dr Pepper) Once I did that, I worked on drinking more water with a goal of 64 oz a day. My surgeon also told me about the book, Eating to Live, which gives very good, healthy and easy recipes and a plan to eat 5-6 times a day (smaller meals) to get your metabolism moving. 

When I got closer to surgery I decided to tell a few more family members. Most people were good about it but I did face a few of the questions I wanted to avoid. Such as....
If you have lost some weight over the last few months, why dont you just keep doing that and not have the surgery?  Arent you afraid it will shorten your life? Then there were the stories like....  I know two people who have gained all their weight back after having surgery and then losing the weight, or, I know someone who died a year after surgery. 


I didnt want or need to hear negative stories. I have considered surgery for years and finally hit my point where I knew I needed to do something. I hit my all time highest weight and hated myself and felt miserable. 

Here I am six weeks after surgery and I still have not told many. No one at work knows what kind of surgery I had when I took 5 days off of work. My facebook friends have started asking how I lost weight. I sent private message to a few and their reaction was , "isnt that a bit extreme" and "oh, ok"  as if I took the easy way out. 


This route was anything but easy. I went through a lot of testing which cost a good amount of money. I had to begin changing the way I ate months before surgery. Surgery was not the hardest thing Ive ever been through but it was far from easy. I was sore, I vomited every time I drank anything for two days after having five incisions on my belly.  I have had to learn a new way of eating... slow. I cant drink 30 minutes before a meal or 30 minutes after. I should take 30 minutes to eat each meal and currently my stomach can only hold 1/4 cup at a time. Its a life change. I can never go back to old habits like eating a huge bowl of ice cream for dinner or drinking Dr Peppers all day. 

People can be so negative and non supportive. Dont get me wrong, many family members have been supportive but there are those out there who havent been. Im totally ok with my decision. Im glad that I had the surgery and Im still learning how my new stomach works and what I need to do to continue the weight loss. I am happy and already feel healthier and look forward to this year, the year of many more changes. 

I will decide as time goes on if I will tell others about the surgery or if I will tell them of all the other things I'm doing to lose weight... such as no soda, no sugar, no carbs, 64 oz of water and a lot of protein, and drastically smaller portions! Don't forget the exercise!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Reaching Out Beyond Our Own Walls

 For years my Uncle has been involved with a ministry to the homeless. I thought it was a great thing but didn't think twice about it. In recent months it has been on my heart to get involved but I didn't put the extra effort into it. I don't know why, because years ago I read a book titled, "Trolls and Truth" about a ministry to the homeless in Texas and it was so inspiring that I wanted to one day travel to Texas to visit their Church Under the Bridge. So, why did I put off helping a similar ministry in the town I grew up in? I don't know, but as it began to grow in my heart recently it was even stronger in my youngest daughter's heart. She started asking to help and wanted our family to do this together and so I knew it was time to step out of our comfort zone and help others.
 Saturday we drove to Durham and asked how we could help. We unloaded lots and lots of coats and placed handwritten notes inside the pockets that said, "You are loved"  We organized tables of winter clothes, hats, gloves and scarves and so much more. We set up chairs for church service. The bus drove to the homeless shelter and picked up anyone wanted to come.
 We sat among the people and enjoyed praise and worship and  a short sermon followed by passing out of Bibles, warm coats, hats and gloves and served them a hot meal.
 I watched as my youngest daughter walked up to strangers and offered them hats, gloves and scarves. Something so out of her comfort zone and yet she seemed so at peace with what she was doing.
 I watched a little girl pick up the rabbit fur coat that we donated and it was a perfect fit. She was beaming when she found it. My heart was full.
 After the service, several were given an opportunity to share songs. They were so happy to sing and to have someone listen to them.
 One of the most amazing thins was the many who came to be ministered to but offered to help in any way they could. The gentleman in the wheelchair asked for help in finding a coat that fit him better. I handed him a coat as he tried it on and it fit. He then offered to help organize or put things out for others.
 This man ate the food on his plate and returned to thank those who served him.

This post is not to "toot my own horn" and brag about what I did. This post is to ask you to reach outside your own walls and help those in need. We went to help the needy but in so many ways these people taught us and ministered to us so much more. I cant wait until next month when we can spend our day with these people again.  In the mean time, I will think about other items that I can collect that will help them and pray that God would show us the way and open doors to minister to others.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

What I Wore Wednesday

 My photo quality is not so good this week and Ive yet to figure out the best way to participate !(since I don't own a full length mirror and I just couldn't get anyone at home to take a picture of me) So, I took my own pictures in front of my shower curtain (which looks a little busy in these photos) and in the first one, you can see part of a sweet note my husband wrote me on my mirror!
 This week, I wore this pink top which was purchased at Catos. I love the lace at the bottom of the shirt. I also wore a pink shirt underneath. I cannot remember where I got the large heart necklace but its a favorite of mine.
 As I participate in this blog hop with The Pleated Poppy Blog, not only am I sharing "what I wore" but I can also see my weight loss!
 I had on gray pants that I purchased about 6 months ago (and was never able to wear! When I purchased them, they were too small but I can wear them now!
 I had pink chevron socks along with black baby doll shoes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Meatless Chili (with Lentils)

For a long time I have heard about THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF LENTILS but I confess, Ive never cooked or eaten them. Since beginning this weight loss journey, I have been looking up new and healthy recipes to try. Tonight I made Lentil Chili.

I soaked dry lentils in water over night and then cooked them on low in my crockpot all day while I was at work.  When I got home, I added a large can of tomato sauce, a can of diced tomatoes with green chilis, a chili seasoning packet and some dried onion flakes. I let it cook in the crockpot for about 20 minutes.

We ate this with a LITTLE brown rice, some cheddar cheese and a small amount of sour cream.

You must try it and don't forget to read about the BENEFITS OF LENTILS! We will be eating more of these in our house.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Ups and Downs

I'm finding there are many ups and downs on this journey I'm on (and I don't mean on the scale) This past week I went back to work after a two week Christmas break. I felt great during the Christmas break but this past week Ive been exhausted. The exhaustion increased through out the week and by Friday I felt like i could barely get through the day. I wasnt sure if it was stress, getting used to being back at work, or lack of nutrition (as my bariatric vitamins had not arrived yet and I was only taking vitamin B complex and two Flintstones a day) or if it was a combination of all of it. I couldn't wait to sleep in Saturday! When I woke up Saturday morning I had a large cold sore breakout on both top and bottom lips (worse than Ive had in years) I get them when I'm stressed, sick or in a lot of sun.   I still don't know what the cause of the exhaustion is, I'm inclined to believe its the lack of nutrition. Thankfully, my Bariatric Advantage protein shake and my vitamins arrived Friday so I'm taking in all of those which will help considerably with my nutrition. 

Its Sunday, and I'm still exhausted and do not want to go out of the house with the way my mouth looks! I'm also wondering if I need to stay home from work to get extra rest or if I should push through. 

I'm feeling a bit down. My weight has stalled for the past 4 weeks, now I'm sick and I'm super stressed about how Ill get through the summer months (since my full time job is only 10 months out of the year) I have a lot of things going through my head this weekend.

As I sit on my couch this morning I was reminded that God is in control. I must have faith and pray for guidance and have faith that he will meet our needs.

Where is the snow? I need a snow day!  I need an unexpected day off. On snow days we lay around in our PJs and I make homemade hot cocoa and usually bake. (oops! that reminds me, that our oven stopped working this weekend so there will be no baking for a good little while. At least the stove top works)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What I Wore

 Just for fun I decided to take part in the blog hop, "What I Wore" For years Ive glanced over the photos but being raised by a man, Ive never been very fashion conscious. Not to mention I always felt too fat to even try to be fashionable! Since losing nearly 40 lbs (and thats just the beginning) I feel more like paying closer attention to what I wear or what I buy.

Above: I am wearing LEGGINGS for the first time ever! I love these They are my favorite!  The boots, leggings, and shirt all came from Catos! The red scarf was a gift from a student.

Below Ive also included some of the other photos that were taken (where my youngest daughter was being a bit silly for the camera)

Check out other blogs and see what others are wearing at The Pleated Poppy. Ill be sure to do this again, and take more photos of how the way I dress (and fashion) is changing as my body changes while I lose the weight Ive always dreamed of losing.

Won Ton Nachos

Since having my VSG , I am on soft foods (being six weeks out) and need to consume a lot of protein. I also need to stay away from carbs (chips) so, an alternative to chips is won ton wrappers! 

I have been looking everywhere for them and finally found them! I placed the wrappers in my Pampered Chef brownie pan and then I added ricotta cheese, fat free refried beans, cheddar cheese, (some had a sliced jalapaneo) and I baked them until the edged of the wrappers were brown and the cheese was melted. I topped them with salsa. 

I was able to eat two (leaving a little on my plate) I felt full and satisfied.  The ricotta cheese is packed full of protein! The beans and cheese contain my needed protein as well.

My family ate some of these as well but I did make a large pan of nachos, taco meat, refried beans and cheese for them.  

*note* that is a really small plate I have my won ton nachos on. I try to use small plates because placing small amounts on a large plate looks so sad. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 Weigh In

Since I began my weight loss journey one year ago.... Ive lost 38lbs.

 I have a ways to go and I'm not giving up until I meet my goal! I will try to post updates monthly and then compare in one year to see my progress. I'm learning that photos are a MUST because many times when the scale shows no loss, you see a difference in photos. 

My struggle right now.... is getting in enough fluids. My goal is 64 ounces of fluids but currently I'm getting in about half of what I need. I work towards my goal daily and will be happy when I can meet that goal without a struggle! 

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Resolutions

Everyone makes resolutions for the new year. I stopped doing that a long time ago because I always wanted to lose weight (and never did) So I gave up. 

Last Christmas I made a decision that one way or another I would lose weight and get healthier. I had high cholesterol, was at risk for diabetes, had joint pains (knees and hips) was tired all of the time,and had sleep apnea. I was miserable with how I felt and looked. Two things happened that helped me make a change. 1) My daughter was proposed to and my first thought fat and awful I would look in the wedding photos. I didn't want to ruin her photos. 2) DNA also plays a part in how we look. 

My resolution for 2016 is....
  • to continue to lose weight and meet my weight loss goal
  • to run a 5K
  • to blog about more than weight loss
  • to be more organized
  • to find a job that I love and where I wont have to worry about having no paycheck all summer. 
  • to attend church more and live my life as a better Christian. 
  • To be active in a Homeless Ministry

This year Id like to share recipes and other fun posts... do you have any ideas? What would you like to read about? (if anyone is even reading) 

Happy New Year !!!