I Am So Hungry!

My NUT (nutritionist) has me on a new, new, NEW eating plan – said to make me lose 15 lbs. in one month. I think I touched on it during my last post. So this fantabulous new plan is as follows: Drink 3 protein shakes per day/or eat 3 protein bars per day (from a given list). Eat up to 7 oz. totally lean protein twice a day. Eat 3 cups of vegetables from a prescribed list per day. No dairy, no CHEESE, no sugar, etc. I drink between 12-14 glasses of water per day. OMG. I am officially dying!

Yes, I know that this is pretty close to what I will be eating once I am post-op, so I should just get used to it. According to my logging, I am generally getting in 800 calories per day, which again – is at the upper end of what I will be getting in per day after surgery.

I just feel like a whiney butt. I’m not even craving anything in particular. I just want to eat mass quantities of something. Something easy to prepare. Like a grab and go. I already miss having my plate or bowl loaded up with something. I know that’s just head hunger, and not true hunger. So it’s good I’m working on this before surgery, right?

My friend is having her VSG surgery on Monday. AAAHHH! I’m so excited for her! And, my surgery is officially less than 2 months away. Double AAAAHHHH!! I’m so excited for me! Lol.

A while back for Administrative Professionals Day, I was given $50 to Amazon by my bosses. That gift card has been burning a hole in my pocket. I have been stalking different items on Amazon ever since – sometimes putting them in my Cart, other times just reading reviews over and over, etc. I finally decided that I wanted to get a Fitbit pedometer. I have researched the heck out of the 3 varities available for weeks now.

Here they are:
Fitbit Zip – small, quarter sized pedometer. Comes in fun colors. Wirelessly transmits data to your cell phone/computer for tracking purposes. Counts steps and distance, yada yada. Has replaceable battery. Basic. $49.95
Fitbit One – a rectangular pedometer, larger than the Zip. Comes in black or maroon. Does what the Zip does, but also tracks your sleep when you wear it on your wrist with a strap. Has an altameter, so counts stairs climbed. Rechargeable battery. $89.95
Fitbit Flex – a thin plastic bracelet pedometer. Comes in a few colors. Does what the One does, but is also waterproof. Does not count stairs climbed. You wear it 24/7, so no messing with taking it out and wearing it under sleep band. Newest model. Rechargable battery. $99.95

So I debated back and forth what I wanted. Granted, my Gift card only is for $50.00, so I could really only afford the Zip. Plus, do I really need to track my sleep? I guess the things I really like about the Flex are that I don’t have to worry about where to clip it on, worrying about potentially losing it, since it stays on my wrist. However, the reviews of this new Flex say that it’s tracking is less reliable than the other two kinds.

My decision? Get the Fitbit Zip in Hot Pink. Yay! Also got some safety clips for the pedometer so hopefully I won’t lose it. There are tons of horror stories of people forgetting it is clipped to their clothes and washing their pedometer. Guess what – it dies when you do that.

So the pedometer arrives tomorrow (Friday). I’ll be walking all around this weekend trying to get my steps up!

My first WLS Support Group & A New Eating Plan

Hi All!

Wow, it feels like forever since I last blogged!

So I have two things to blog about: My first WLS Support Group experience and a new eating plan.

Saturday morning I went to my first weight loss surgery support group at my surgeon’s office. About 25 people were there – half pre-op and half post-op. It was led by the NUT, Rebecca. So first of all, I mis-read the time and get there a freaking hour and fifteen minutes early. So I go to Starbucks and have my first ever Cafe Mocha, which I’m sure had like 400 calories. The upside is that I was buzzed on the caffeine and sugar, so I was wayyyyy more talkative at the group.

So the group started and people were asking the standard nutrition questions (when can I eat Special K again, how do people eat their eggs, can I drink sparkling water, etc.). Then there’s this guy who is like one week post-op with his sleeve, and he’s asking questions like “when can I eat at burger king again?”. Uhhh, hello? BK made you fat. It’s not healthy. Plus, you have a brand, spanking new sleeve, and you need to be eating pureed stuff. Baby steps, people. Argh.

What was strange was that people were asking questions or talking about eating stuff with their new sleeves, and they are all talking about eating carbs. Lots of carbs. Like spaghetti (eat just a little) or bread (toast it really well). I guess I’m just used to the forums on Obesity Help, where people are SUPER ANTI-CARB. But it was a strange thing to listen to. And the NUT was supportive! I guess she has to make sure patients are compliant and happy, and can stick to the program, but this is why at my surgeon’s office, most patients only lose 60% EWL.

What REALLY ticked me off, was that the NUT served a snack at the meeting. Pasta. P-A-Freaking-Pasta. This new brand (Dreamfield or something). She went on and on about how scientists have created this new way to shape a carb molecule, which makes it un-digestable and so instead of having the 41 carbs on the label per serving, 36 are un-digestable and so each serving of pasta is 5 carbs. So have TONS! It’s good for you!!! O-M-G! Now, maybe this science stuff is true, but I am like – WTF is going on? So everyone digs in to this pasta, which also has cheese cubes, and some oily dressing. Everyone is just super excited. Am I the only one sitting there going, uhhh – focus on protein people. Seriously??

I left with a couple of emails from the more sensible people who are about 2 weeks post-op. That was good. But I just felt it was an overall strange experience.

While I was there, I had a quick meeting with the NUT about my progress. She wants me to lose 15 lbs. this month. OMG! So now I’m on a different eating plan, based on protein shakes, lean meats, and vegetables. No dairy. That’s a killer for me – I love cheese and greek yogurt! So this is a change for me and I’ve started it today. I can still have my coffee in the morning, which is good. And I’m looking forward to dinner so I can chew something. That’s the part I’m not looking forward to on my pre-op liquid diet. I really like chewing. Oh, well.

We didn’t get to the store this weekend cause we had Andrew’s birthday party (which was at an outdoor park. and it poured rain. and was windy. and 50 degrees. but the kids had fun. not the adults. oh, well). I decided to have pizza with the kids and also to have cake. That was fair – didn’t taste all that great. And now it’s on to this new eating plan! So dinner tonight will be some type of protein that I pull out of the freezer. At least I think I have some veggies in the fridge, too. Tonight is my late night at work, so we’ll see when I get home!

My hubby needs to hurry up and eat all of the leftover cake that’s in my kitchen. Maybe I’ll send it with him to school.

Mean Girls

Jeez, did I have a bad day yesterday.

At first, it was a good day, since it was Administrative Professional’s Day. I got a card and a $15 gift card to Panera (hmm, salad? from a professor I barely know. That was strange, but sweet. So I’m dropping hints to my bosses and everything. Nicely, though, I might ad. So then it’s lunchtime and my bosses have had a lunch meeting for the three of them (yes, I have 3 bosses) on their calendar for quite some time. They get ready to leave and then say “Surprise! You’re going with us. Happy Admin Professionals Day!!”. I was so shocked and surprised!!!! We went to a favorite nearby restaurant of mine for lunch. It was very lovely and I had a bunless veggie burger with zucchini instead of fries. All quite nice. Then they got a HUGE slice of carrot cake, with amazing icing, and I had a little sliver. The three of them made me box up the dessert and take it back home “for my kids”. Then they gave me a card and a $50 gift card to Amazon. YAY! Man, how I can spend money on Amazon. Wow, it is so easy!

So I get back to work and am very happy and in a good mood. I decide to go up to the 6th floor to speak to someone in Finance about an issue, then stop to see a “friend”/co-worker who we’ll call Rhonda and say hi. She is amazed by my haircut! (Side note: I got a haircut. Took off 7 inches. Hair is now a little below chin length) She says “Oh, you look so much better!!” Okay, thanks for that sort of compliment. Then she starts going on and on about me getting bangs and not using a headband (like I was) and how it looks so much better like this, like this, or like that. Then she starts yapping about makeup and how I don’t wear any and that is causing me not to be assimilated into the culture here with other women. I was told that women need to wear makeup and that until I do, I’ll be on the “outside”. OMG. Superficial much? Whatever.

I go back to my office suite and tell another “friend”/co-worker who we’ll call Michele (who happens to be in the same lunch group with me and Rhonda) about it. Michele laughs and says Rhonda was well meaning, and is like a mom to people, but that I should take her seriously. Then Michele says “You know, your hair does make you look much younger.” I’m thinking, okay I’m 33 so maybe I look like I’m in my 20’s? I guess that is a compliment. Then Michele says “Ever since you started, we have all talked about how OLD you look. Like 50’s old. You should wear makeup – it would help you not look so OLD. We were all shocked when we learned you were in your 30’s and had young kids. Who would have thought?”

OMG, I was so offended. Are these people that superficial? They want “friends” who are just like them and act like them and aren’t different? Damn. Maybe it’s a Texas transplant thing. Maybe people in Ohio care more about impressing others with makeup. Maybe it’s a generational thing, since I’m younger than they are (they are in their 60’s). Hell if I know. I can SORT of see it could be a professionalism thing, cause we are a Business college and need to make good impressions on people.. But professionalism to me is how you carry yourself, how you dress, poise, character, etc. Not makeup or hairstyles.

Women shouldn’t be forced into wearing makeup, either by their bosses (unless it’s required for the job, like performers or something) or their coworkers. What am I supposed to do – go buy a bunch of makeup and wear it to impress my coworkers? Oohh, we can all secretly judge each other about who has the best cardigan. PLEASE!

So I went home, had a good cry, skipped dinner, exercised, and ate the rest of the carrot cake. Just wonderful.

(For anyone who cares, the reason I don’t wear makeup is: 1) my husband prefers me without makeup, 2) I am always rubbing my eyes and it would get messy, 3) I drink like a fish out of waterbottles all day long and don’t want to have to reapply lip stuff all day and 4) makeup can get expensive. And 5) I don’t think I need it. So THERE.

Today I met privately with Michele and told her she hurt my feelings with her comments yesterday and that I found it superficial and sad. I told her that I prefer not to wear makeup and I’m not going to start now, just to impress her and other coworkers. I said that she should judge her friends by substance and not their appearances. She got very contrite and was visibly upset. She apologized over and over and agreed that she was superficial and begged me to accept her apology. Then she asked for a hug. I feel better that I got that off my chest. But I still feel a little awkward.

On the weight loss side, I’ve lost a few more pounds and been doing very well in my eating (aside from the carrot cake). I don’t know if I mentioned this in a previous post, but I’ve purchased a workbook that is designed for people who are recovering from weight loss surgery and helps you journal your emotions during the process. I think that will be helpful. I’ve read a couple more books by women who have lost a bunch of weight either naturally or through surgery and they range from good to…really sucky. I am reading all I can from my library, but some of the newer books aren’t there yet, so it’s off to Amazon we go…

So yeah, I’ve started exercising some. Only at home and preferrably not in front of my husband (who politely tries to read when I’m doing it, but I’m sure he looks up at the big thumps and whams and eyes my rolls). I’m on Day 3 now and only feeling the tiniest bit sore. I’m taking it nice and slow because my knee is stil soooo painful. Pain sucks.

Big News!!!

I am officially scheduled for surgery! Monday, July 8, 2013 at 8:45am. WOO-HOO!!!!!!!!!

I can’t believe it! I had called the surgery scheduler over a week ago and had not heard back (was making me worried) and today she called and said she was just back from vacation. No apology. WTF? Oh, well. So I paid the $500 deposit and BAM got the surgery date. The date is still flexible, too – so if I need to push it back a few weeks for any reason (work or other), I can. Yay!

I go to the Pre-surgery/nutrition class on Thursday, June 6 from 11:00am-3:00pm at my surgeon’s office. We do pre-admit paperwork and I guess talk about stuff. “What is a calorie?” I dunno exactly. But I’m excited!

So the last few days/week have been fine. I got down in the dumps for a day there just cause I felt a sudden, frantic pressure to measure up to those around me who are losing all of this weight on weight watchers/Atkins/post-surgery/etc. But I called my NUT and she calmed me down and said if I don’t lose lots of weight prior to surgery, it’s okay. I was restricting myself on the diet sooo much that I was driving myself crazy.

So now I am just back to a regular low-carb diet, with some fruit thrown in to keep me sane/happy. Right now I am loving my snack every day of 7 oz of Fage 2% Greek Yogurt with some chopped strawberries or blueberries thrown in. YUM!

This last week, with the Boston Marathon bombing and the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas have really hit me hard. All day I just cannot wait to go home and see my kids. I continue to pray for all those who were injured/killed. I’m sure most of the country feels the same way I do.

Now back to planning my son’s 6th birthday party in early May. He is having a Batman theme. All of these little matching cups and plates and accessories are just too cute!!!

Birthday Weekend Update

Wow, what a weekend!

So on Saturday (my birthday), I spent the day with the hubs and kids and just had fun.
I was going to go to a weight loss support group (my surgeon offers them on the 1st Saturday of each month), but…my husband talked me out of it. I don’t want to get into details, but let’s just say that I deflated like a balloon and decided not to go. I’m pretty upset with myself for not going, and I WILL go to the next one in May.

Saturday night, Grandma watched the kids and the hubs and I went to Trio’s for dinner. So this was a celebratory birthday dinner/food funeral. On the way there, I talked about having just a salad (cobb salad I think I had planned) for dinner and the hubs talked me out of it! ARGH! He said I should really “enjoy” the meal and go for something that I won’t likely get again. So we did get my favorite goat cheese appetizer and that was heavenly. I also splurged and got their unsweetened tea, which is a lovely peach flavor. For the meal, I decided to get their Mexican Flatbread. It was like a rectangular thin, super thin, crisp, pizza with some chicken, black beans, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, cheese and a tiny bit of corn. It was cut into wedges. I ate most of it, but left 1/3 of it on the plate. Yay! For dessert (ARGH, hubs said we should get dessert so I would have something to blow a candle out with) we had their bread pudding. Now, I’ve never really had bread pudding before. But I figured that I won’t be eating much of bread ANYTHING after surgery, so we went for it. They put a nice pink candle in there and lit it and I blew it out, then we split the dessert. It was okay, but I wouldn’t like, think of ordering it again. I am so glad that I ate, partook in the food, but did NOT leave feeling stuffed. I was comfortably full. YAY!

After the meal, we went to Crate and Barrel and I had THE BEST TIME! I had been doing research on little dishes: bowls, plates, cups, tiny silverware, that I can use after surgery when my food sizes become 1 tablespoon or ¼ cup. Some nice, pretty dishes that “cheer me up”, that’s the wrong phrase, but you know, make me feel more positively about eating such small portions.
So I had done research on Amazon, Sur la table, other stores and shops, etc. and Crate and Barrel had, BY FAR, the largest selection of pretty, small dishes. Like appetizer plates and bowls. So here’s what I got.

4 of each of these:




OMG, I am soooo excited. They are all darling and make me smile. The green plate is like 4 inches square, the blueberry cup holds 5 oz., the blueberry plate is 5 inches across, and the tulip bowl holds 5 oz. And I got everything for like $45.00, which is pretty inexpensive.

Then we went to Trader Joe’s for some frozen protein, Target for socks for the kids, ToysRUs for a toy for my son, then…we ran out of places to go! We looked at each other and were like…Uh…now what? So we went home and the kids were still awake so we put them to bed.

Sunday, I took the kids to Target to exchange the socks for the kids (since when do my kids have super-sized feet?) and ended up walking out of the store $167.00 later. WHEW! It was fun and exhausting.
For lunch, I had food funeral #2 at Popeyes and got a Spicy Chicken PoBoy and a small red beans and rice. OMG, heavenly. I will definitely miss that place for sure.

Later that day, my in-laws, brothers in law, and sister in law and her kids went to dinner for a family birthday dinner for me at Buckhead’s/Food funeral #3. We had a great time, aside from the big group of people next to us who were hooting and hollering and whooping it up for some reason (and no, there was not a baseball or basketball game on then). I had what I had planned, some rolls w/whipped cinnamon butter, fried green tomatoes w/ spicy mustard, queso w/ chips, and a grilled chicken salad. Well, the chicken had buffalo sauce on it. And blue cheese dressing. And THEN, they surprised me with a sundae. I’m pleased to say that I only had a few bites of the sundae and gave the rest to my mother in law and husband.
It was a good dinner and again, I left full, but not stuffed. Small steps are progress, people!!!

My parents sent me cash (since I’m turning 33, they each sent me $33.00), plus my uncle did as well. My husband gave me each of the 2-disc extended edition Twilight series movies. Yay!! Hello, surgery recuperation! My kids gave me hugs and birthday wishes. From my mother-in-law, she reimbursed me for a majority of the surgery supplies I bought previously. I made out like a bandit!

So Monday came and it’s back to normal with my protein drinks and turkey pepperoni. Today I’m having these 100 calorie pouches of ready-made Tuna Salad from Starkist. They’re pretty good – not too mayo-y.
Because of all of the “off plan” food, my weight went up about 4 lbs. so now I’m working like crazy to get it down again. I’m a little frustrated because 98% of the time, I keep my calories to 1200 per day and my weight refuses to come off quickly. Then I have friends who eat 1600 calories a day and their weight falls off in huge chunks. Wow, that’s a gross visual – fat chunks just cracking off and plopping on the ground. Yech!

Oh, well. It’s meant to be, that’s what it is. This is teaching me something. Maybe I’m not supposed to lose a lot of weight before surgery. Maybe I’m just supposed to use this time to really focus on getting used to the protein rich foods that I will need to eat after surgery.

I was proud this morning as I made my morning protein shake and noticed that I am scraping the bottom of the container of my protein powder. SEI Max Nutrition in Chocolate – I love you! So I had to order another barrel. Woohoo! 5 lbs. of yummy powder coming my way!

I got an email from my favorite plus size clothing store (CJ Banks) that they are having a massive 40% off sale, plus other discounts, plus free shipping, and jeez. I was on that website like a fly to…fly paper. I dunno. Anyways, so there are all of these beautiful clothes that are only like $10 per dress or $8 per shirt and I wanted to buy tons of them in smaller sizes for after the surgery, but I didn’t. It’s my fears of not losing the weight after surgery. What if I don’t get dramatically smaller and I will have wasted all of this money on clothes that STILL don’t fit? Or the less important worry, what if I buy Fall sweaters in size whatever, and then when Fall comes, I’m not wearing that size?
Oh, well.

I still have this lingering doubt, like – maybe if I just eat really healthy and eat fruits and vegetables and stuff, I can get thin on my own. But then I remember the times I’ve tried and how my tummy always seems to want mass quantities, so a “serving” is never a serving for me. U-G-H.

One downer note. On Obesity Help this morning, I read a post by my favorite veteran who had made a list of things that veterans HATE reading on the forum/message boards. Basically, it was a huge list and out of that list, I think I would probably post each of those questions at least once. So then it hit me, maybe I’m not as prepared as I thought? I know that’s not true, rather it’s just insecurity.
Yes, I know what to eat 2 weeks after surgery and I will be following my plan, but I’ll still be insecure about it and need reassurance. Maybe these questions are annoying, but hearing 10 people chime in with “Yes, that happened to me and I overcame it and now I’m fine” really goes a long way psychologically. Major surgery is scary and people need reassurance. We don’t all get that reassurance just through our surgeon’s office. Maybe one day I’ll be a vet and get annoyed by all of these repetitive questions. Until then though, these vets need to suck it up and let people like me ask away!

Eyes Wide Open….and Looking

So today has been “one of those days” and it’s not even noon.

This morning I forgot to have my morning protein shake. I was rushing around and playing with my daughter and I just plain forgot. So I get to work and I’m starving. I must have sat here for like 20 minutes wondering “Why am I hungry? That is so strange! Hmm” before it dawned on me that I didn’t eat breakfast. So then I have my lunch protein shake for breakfast, which means for lunch I had my snack of 2 mini Babybel Light cheeses and 34 turkey pepperoni. So with all of that nonsense, I forgot to have my mid-morning coffee, so I just had it after lunch and the whole day’s eating is just crazy.
So now I have nothing to eat until dinner, which won’t be until 7:30pm tonight because I have to stay late at work. U-G-H!

I notice that my co-worker is eating peeps. I want them. Then I go upstairs to make a copy and see Random Student #1 eating a huge bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos. I want them, too. On the way back downstairs I see Random Student # 2 & 3 eating slices of ooey-gooey pizza. You can tell it tastes good as they are moaning in excitement. SO. NOT. COOL. It’s strange though – I don’t really have cravings for specific things. I do have cravings for quantity. I want huge plates full of stuff. I don’t care what it is. So usually, it ends up being plain broccoli.

On the positive side, I’ve lost another 2 lbs. Yay! I have a weigh in Monday morning at 8AM and I am determined to lose at least 3 lbs. before then. The problem with that goal? My birthday is Saturday and my hubby is taking me out to dinner at my favorite restaurant that night, plus I have a family birthday party at my other favorite restaurant on Sunday. So by Monday morning, I will be all shades of swollen and retaining water like crazy? Why??? Because I picked those 2 restaurants as places where I’m having food funerals.

I’m a crazy person!!!

So on Saturday night we are going to Trio’s and I will be sharing the Goat Cheese appetizer w/ field green salad, and then having the Cobb Salad with ranch for dinner. No dessert.
Sunday night we are going to Buckhead’s and I will have the Queso w/ Chips and Fried Green Tomatoes w/ spicy mustard for appetizers, followed by their amazing House Salad w/ Blue Cheese dressing for dinner. No dessert.

And then I will weigh 30 lbs. more than what I weigh now. HA! But that’s how you feel when you spend your days drinking protein shakes, eating lean turkey pepperoni, and measuring out how many cherry tomatoes are in a serving (5, people. Only 5).

I did marginally well over the past Easter weekend and while I ate some candy, it wasn’t horrible. Last night I gave the rest of my Easter candy to my kids. They looked up at me with crazy, sugar fueled eyes and thanked me profusely.

One thing I am spending a lot of time doing is reading and re-reading a Post-Op (After surgery) eating plan and recuperating instructions document. It was created by a famous doctor in this type of surgery and I just managed to get my hands on it. Woo-hoo!!! It is far stricter than my doctor’s plan, and after seeing the results of this other doctor’s plan, I am so on board! People who follow that plan lose WAY more weight than on other plans. But when I say “it is strict”, I mean S-T-R-I-C-T! Like, I think you have to even blink a certain number of times per day or something, lol.
I printed out this plan and had my hubby read it. He did a great job of following up with questions and conversation afterwards, which made me feel much better. I also gave the plan to my mother-in-law and my parents, but I don’t think they have read it yet.

It’s strange, but I am so excited for this surgery. Like, most people don’t understand how you can be looking forward to being cut open and 90% of a working organ being taken out. But I am just thrilled that I am getting the opportunity to fork over a crazy amount of cash, get cut open, then be on a strict eating plan for the rest of my life. Woo-hoo! And I’m not even on any drugs!
Well, that’s not exactly true. I’m on 4 drugs currently. A mild one (that I am slowly decreasing) for depression, one for anxiety (that I am decreasing starting in May), one for sleeping troubles (if I need it), and birth control.

Funny thing, that birth control. Apparently after surgery, when losing weight super quick, women get incredibly fertile and can get pregnant by just a look. HA! But it is a real concern, because a newly sleeved woman is NOT in any physical shape to have a healthy pregnancy. Women are supposed to use 2 forms of birth control for the first year after surgery. We’re done with having kids and I have had “the talk” with my hubby about him having a vasectomy, but he is still “considering the procedure”. He likes the procedure as birth control, and his manliness is not being threatened, but he is still a little unsure about the whole procedure.

HELLO???? His is a 20 minute, 2 snip procedure and then he gets a bag of frozen peas over his groin for a day. And gets to wear tight underwear for a week. No hot tubs.
In contrast, I’m having major surgery and getting most of an organ removed. And then I can’t eat normally like, forever. Plus I’ve had 2 nose surgeries, 1 neck surgery, 1 kidney surgery, and 2 caesarian sections.

But I understand that he is anxious because 1) this is his first ever surgery and 2) it’s being performed on a part of his anatomy that he prefers not to show people who have scalpels or other instruments. It’s a hard life.

So my eating plan is going okay. I’m drinking 12 glasses of water daily, which is good. I’m getting used to peeing all of the time. And the kids are happy and healthy. Well, mostly happy. Andrew doesn’t like it when I tell him what to do – which is all the time! I knew it would be difficult with me being an Aries (ram) and him being a Taurus (bull) but jeez! Everyone tells me though, that I need to be firm and lay down the law/rules now, as it is so much easier when they are young then when they are like 10 or entering the (shudders) pre-teen years!

A final curiosity…I had not realized how many food places I had subscribed to by email. Abuelo’s, Sherri’s Berries, Perkins, Yagoot, Pillsbury, McDonalds, Garrett Popcorn, etc. Every day it seems like I am unsubscribing from another food place. I figure, I’m eating better now and will be until surgery, then I’m really going to be eating better and not need/be able to eat popcorn, greasy fast food, heavy Mexican food, berries w/ seeds, etc. So I’m getting rid of all of them! Woohoo! Liberation!

I am now, though, subscribed to a lot of protein shake places, bariatric surgery products, and weight loss surgery (WLS) blogs, so I guess it’s a trade off.

I sure love reading and participating in Obesity Help. Check it out sometime. Click on the “Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy” forum in the Forums section and look for posts like “9 months out…with pictures!” Seeing these amazing women (some men, but mostly women) document for the camera how they looked months ago and now is just wonderful. It fills me with such pride. Pride for them, that they have really “worked their sleeves” to the fullest. Pride for myself because I am going to be joining them in this journey. And hope. Hope most of all. This is really possible!! We just need to take the leap of faith that is called surgery. (And then work out butts off for the rest of our life with eating right and exercising!)

Surgery Supplies & Joining a Gym

The day of my surgery seems to be getting closer by the minute. Sure, it’s barely April and my surgery is in July, but it feels close to me. But it’s like, April is almost here, then it’s May, then June and that’s my last month with a normal stomach! Seems like it will be here very soon!

So….we did our taxes and got a little refund and I bought some things. Spent some money. Yep, I went a little crazy buying stuff. My husband and I had a “talk” last night, pretty much he begged me to stop going crazy! I mean, I bought surgery supplies from Amazon (like a pill splitter, a pill crusher, some little hot plate/mug warmers to keep food warm, 2 oz food freezer safe containers, an ADORABLE turquoise ice cream maker to make protein ice cream a la Eggface’s recipes, etc.) Then I bought some more protein bars from Bariwise, some Torani syrups for protein drinks, a new bathing suit from Lane Bryant, pool shoes for aquatics classes from Zappos, a new top and shorts nightgown set for the hospital (apparently you don’t want to bring an actual nightgown because they are always checking on your incisions and stuff and they’ll be looking at your underwear in a gown) from Lane Bryant, a lightweight knee length robe for the hospital and home from JC Pennys, some workout tops from JC Pennys, two types of protein coffee that I want to try, etc. OMG! Do I need all of this stuff? Probably not, but it is all stuff that I’ve read on people’s blogs that was helpful in their surgery journey and stuff that I thought I would “need” to have.

My weight loss is going okay. I’ve lost 23 lbs. now. Not tremendous, but I think I’m really on a great plan, and I’m comfortable with it, which is really important. My knee is still killing me and so I haven’t been working out, but I want to try to do some of my Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds videos this weekend and see how my knee does.

I really wanted to join a gym recently, here’s how that went: So I did a lot of research about gyms in the area and what kind of equipment they had, if they had a pool, what their aerobics classes are like, what times they are, and of course, prices. So I went to visit some local gyms, including Curves, Victory Lady, Urban Active, the Recreation Center at my University, the former Bally’s which is now Red’s or something, and the local hospital Mercy HealthPlex Western Hills. Most places didn’t have a pool and doing water aerobics classes is something I really want to do. I think it’ll be good for my knee as well as after surgery, exercising with low impact stuff.

So having a pool really narrowed down the bunch, to only the University Rec Center, Red’s and the HealthPlex. I toured Red’s and it was okay. Some equipment, a pool, nothing exciting but nothing scary either. Just a plain old gym. The aerobics classes and water aerobics classes schedules were okay, but not a lot were available in the times I’d be able to work out (after work at 5:30pm or on the weekend). I briefly toured the UC Rec Center, and every single person working out was a beautiful, tight bodied college student. All the girls had shiny hair with bouncy ponytails. The guys were all magazine gorgeous. I am sooo over that place. No way would I work out there. I would be a fish out of water.

I went to the HealthPlex and O.M.G.!!!!!!!!! It was sooooo beautiful! They have a crazy beautiful building, which looks new and shiny on the outside and inside. They have a very full water aerobics and regular aerobics schedule, with plenty of classes in my time slots. They have a spa attached where you can pay extra for massages. They have gorgeous locker rooms with lots of supplies provided, great showers, a regular pool and a warmer “therapy” pool, a hot tub, dry sauna, wet sauna, etc. It was heaven.
The down side? The price, of course!!! My university Rec Center is $36.66/month. Red’s is $25.00/month. The amazing, beautiful, fully stocked HealthPlex is $64.00/month. So yeah….expensive.

Talked with the hubby about it and after that conversation, I decided not to join anything right now. After the surgery, I really want to join the HealthPlex. It has everything that I need and the people are all normal – some thin, some overweight, some really obese like me. There are teens working out there alongside 40somethings, alongside grandmothers.

Right now I really don’t have a lot of extra free time, since I’m working full-time, taking some self-improvement classes, have obligations on weekends, etc. My hubby felt like adding in hours more of exercise per week would negatively impact the family (i.e. spending time with the kids). I understand his point completely, but don’t I have to be healthy and happy and take care of myself first so that I can be around to take care of others? Oh, well.

In June, my self-improvement classes will end and so will my weekend obligations, so that will free up time. And then surgery in July!!!

Even though I’ve only lost 23 lbs. people are already saying that “Well, you’ve lost that weight by yourself, so you really don’t need surgery!” to me. ARGH! Look at the statistics of people being able to lose tons of weight on their own, plus keeping it off for months and years. UGH. So not feasible. I need the surgery so I can have that tool or weapon in my arsenal.

I have to lose 40 lbs. to not get the full one-month liquid diet. So I’ve lost 23 lbs., but 10 of those were a weight gain ABOVE what I weighed at the surgeon’s office. SO in their eyes, I’ve only lost 13 lbs. U-G-H!!! I feel like I can’t win! But I am just going to try my hardest and see how it works out. If I lose the 40 lbs. then I only have to do a 2 week liquid diet.

Right now with my eating plan, I eat under 1,000 calories a day. On rare occasions, I eat 1,200. That might be too low, but I am eating a lot of things that I will be eating post-op, like no carbs, no soda, no sugar, etc. It’s getting really easy for me. Yay!

So this weekend is Easter, so we are going over to my sister-in-law’s house on Sunday. We are all bringing things: ham, salad, mashed potatoes, etc. I’m bringing a lightened up deviled eggs recipe, some sliced onions/tomatoes/lettuce for ham sandwiches, and I’m gonna make some chocolate cookies w/ frosting to get the stuff OUT OF MY HOUSE! We got these free coupons for cake mix and frosting and I was like, Seriously, God? Seriously? So I figure I’ll make cookies out of it and give ‘em all to my sister-in-law and let her and her family eat all of them. Problem solved!

I’ve been looking at and re-doing my “food funerals”. I’ve really pared down the list and honestly, I don’t even feel like going to one restaurant. I’m doing really well with my eating plan and my desire to eat those old “favorite” foods is like disappearing.

For my birthday though, which is next weekend, we are going to Buckhead’s, where I will have that food funeral, so that’s at least one. So I’ll get their yummy house salad and my favorite blue cheese dressing (homemade), some fried green tomatoes with spicy mustard sauce, and some chips and queso (my favorite). That’s what I grew up on in Texas – chips and queso. There are so many kinds of queso, yellow or white, thick or thin, really spicy or mild, chunky or smooth, I’ve kind of become quite a connoisseur. My 2ndfavorite is to dip French fries in queso. Hello, calories!!!

But no cake and ice cream for my birthday. Instead, I want to have a fruit display similar to what Eggface had for St. Patrick’s Day, where you make a rainbow out of red strawberries, orange mandarin orange slices, yellow pineapple chunks, green grapes, blue blueberries, and purple blackberries. It looks too cute online. I can’t wait, since I really don’t eat that much fruit right now!

Happy Easter everybody!