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About this blog

In which I talk about all things gastric bypass. 

Entries in this blog

 

Eleven

Here I am, almost a year out. I'm actually posting this a couple of days after my 11 month anniversary. I've had a rough couple of weeks. I spent a week in an inpatient psych facility - voluntarily. I'm doing better now, though. I've just had a very difficult year and it finally got to me. While I was in the facility, my meds were adjusted and I got some therapy, which I will continue with, so I'm feeling hopeful.

I've been off my bike for the last two weeks, so my ride to work this morning was great and reminded me of how much I love riding! Especially as it cools off. Arkansas winters are not harsh, so I should be able to ride right through winter. I may ask some of you Yankee cyclists for tips on riding in the snow, though! 

I'm down to 152 lbs - so 2 lbs away from my personal goal. I am now 15 lbs below my surgeon's low end of the weight range they expected at a year. Slider foods are becoming an issue, but I'm aware and working on it. I'm going to ask my husband to take a photo of me soon so that I'm not just uploading bathroom selfies. Haha! But I'm down a total of 127 since the beginning of the journey, 114 since my surgery date. I'm in a size 10/medium in most clothes, down from a size 28. I was riding my bike 0 miles and now my longest ride to date is 32 miles. Feeling great!

In the last month or so, though, it seems like every time I mention my surgery to someone, they have started doing that thing again where they tell me about their cousin's wife's uncle's best friend who had surgery and got a [bowel adhesion, hideous ulcer, their guts got all twisted up, fill-in-the-blank] and now they have horrible complications, etc. I mean, I know that things can go wrong even years down the road, but I'm doing everything I can to prevent all the preventable complications and the ones that aren't preventable are so rare that if they were going to happen, they were going to happen. But it's interesting that people want to tell you this before you get surgery and after you've been successful. Ugh. 

 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

I fell down and went boom, but it all worked out...

I rode the Square 2 Square today! It was a little different than it would have been had it gone on as planned, but it was still pretty fun. About 20 miles in, I was adjusting my helmet and hit the edge of the trail weird and wrecked my bike. I mostly have a bruised ego, along with a skinned chin and knee, but my bike will need repairs. My bike was safe to ride, though, so I went ahead and rode the additional 10 miles I needed to finish. If my bike hadn't been safe to ride, I would have gotten a bike share bike and ridden that because I was FINISHING THE DANG RIDE. Haha! 

I'm pretty proud of myself. (Yes, I wore a cute dress to ride in because I'm femme af and that's how I roll. LOL) 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

10 months!

I'm 10 months out and I've lost a total of 120 lbs. The weight loss is slowing, I think, but that's totally fine. I'm at 159 now, which I never thought would happen, so I'm doing well! I'm sticking with around 1500 calories a day or so and more carbs than I was having before - largely because I need fiber. 

The ride I signed up for today was canceled because we had some intense rain overnight that flooded some of the tunnels and they can't really hold the ride and risk the liability if someone hurts themselves. However, I'm still going to ride the 30 miles this afternoon, rain or shine. I've ridden in flooded tunnels before and it's fine, just wet. They low key rescheduled for next Sunday - minus all the pit stops, etc. - and I'm going to ride that too. 

I'm still in about a size 12, though some size 10 things fit me (and some 14s, too). I'm about to have to shop for fall clothes, which will have to be from thrift stores. I'm actually thinking of doing a capsule wardrobe for fall now that I'm slowing down so much on weight loss. Things will fit me a bit longer and I'm wanting to simplify. Still mulling it over. I'll let you all know if I end up doing that. 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

General update (mostly about bikes - like I do)

I had decided a little while back that maybe I should go on more of a maintenance diet. I posted a couple of things asking about calorie intake and maintenance, etc. I had plateaued for a while and was thinking maybe 165-ish was just where I was supposed to be. So I decided to up my calories, add in some more complex carbs, and settle into my new weight. Then the weirdest thing happened - I started losing weight again! I think I was eating too few calories as I've upped my activity considerably, so my body was hanging onto the weight for dear life. I dropped about 3 lbs in the last week eating around 1500 calories a day (I had been averaging around 1000) and riding my bike a few days a week. So I'm going to stick with this "maintenance" plan and see how it goes. 

Yesterday, I rode my bike 30 miles. That's the longest ride I've been on. I'm really proud of myself! I'm going to work my way up to a 100 mile ride by this time next year. I want to ride this: http://www.thebigdambridge100.com In the meantime, I'm working up to riding the Square 2 Square ride here, which is a 30 mile ride, so I'm glad to know I can handle that. It's on September 22. My weight loss clinic has a group that is riding in it, but I'm riding on my own. I don't want to feel like I'm tied to a group - I want to be able to just go and not feel like I have to keep up with anyone else or hang back for anyone else. That's maybe a little selfish, but if I'm going to stay focused, I want to be able to focus on my own ride. 

I'm on Strava now, so that's been fun! It's been kind of interesting seeing how my speeds compare to others. I am not breaking any records, that's for sure. Haha! But there are several segments where I'm doing ok, which surprised me. I kind of see myself as a slowpoke, but I'm pretty average compared to other Strave users who ride the trail in my area. It's encouraging. Right now, though, my main concern is endurance. I didn't walk any hills yesterday - and Northwest Arkansas is pretty hilly. There were a couple of very steep, longish climbs and a few slogs (that's what I call not very steep, but LONG climbs). The ride I did yesterday was 15 miles North and then 15 miles South. On the Square 2 Square ride, the whole ride will be heading South, which will be more downhill than up, so I've been trying to challenge myself to ride a more difficult ride than the organized ride. Next weekend, I might actually do some (GASP!) hill repeats. Haha! I have noticed that hills even *look* smaller to me now. I know I can make it up the hill, I know it's not any easier really to walk it than it would be to ride it, so they're less intimidating. 

I haven't been taking full body pictures of myself much these days - I think it's mainly because there hasn't been much of a change and I only really bothered with it when I could see a difference. We're about to have work pictures done, though, so I should have a very nice "after" picture at the end of the year! I'm excited about that. I signed a release to be considered for Patient of the Week at my clinic, so we'll see if that happens. I would write a little testimonial and have my pictures up on social media, etc. Might be fun.

Anyway, that's how all of that is going. So far so good. 
 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

Stalled, but.....

I've been stalled for a while. I'm still deciding if I even care, though. I'm a couple of pounds below the low end of my surgeon's goal (he gave me a range), so any more weight loss is honestly just sugar-free icing on the sugar-free cake. Haha! The fact is that I feel awesome! I am healthy. I am active. I eat a normal amount of food - maybe a little less than others, but pretty normal. I'm out of plus size clothes. I feel really, really good. So I'm not sure if I want to mess with continuing to try to lose weight. If I lose more, that's fine. But I just don't know if I really care to keep trying.

Anyway, I'm trying to shift focus into what my body can do now and improving on that. I can't really afford a gym, nor do I have time to travel to a gym to work out, so I'm really trying to figure out how to work in some body weight exercises (and some dumbbell stuff) to my day. It's really tough. I just do not have a lot of time! But I'm going to figure it out. With all this cycling, I need to work on my core and my upper body strength. My legs are getting a hell of a workout, but I also want to build my core strength and upper body strength for improved balance and agility on the bike - not just to get toned! 

And here's a pic of the stats from my ride today. There was a bunch of NONSENSE with headwinds today that I could have done without. Also, I had never been on the north part of the Greenway before, so I got confused about where I was supposed to go and had to backtrack, so there's some weirdness on the first little bit of the map. But it was a really fun ride! I'm tired, though! 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

Work work work work work.....

I said I was going to blog daily, but that has not happened. Ha! This last week has been very intense on the work front. There is a homeless encampment on University property that has been there for a long time and the university is basically evicting somewhere around 80 people from that spot. My work has been constant crisis management and feeling a bit like a failure when I can't find everyone housing (because no one can right now - my town is totally gentrifying and and it's a nightmare for human service providers - not to mention the people who need, you know, HOUSING). Basically, work has felt like I'm in a hamster wheel - lots of work and getting nowhere. And lots of crisis and frustrated clients.

So I'm taking most of this week off. I am giving myself today to catch up with clients and do some trainings for work and then Tuesday through Friday are MINE. I'm going to be working on my house and yard and going for bike rides, mainly. My kids and husband will all be gone during the day, so I'll have the place to myself. I'm eager to see what can be accomplished with my increased energy and an entire 4 days to work on projects! As long as I don't let the Netflix monster eat my days, I'd imagine a lot can be done. 

I have noticed that I'm starting to get comfortable in my body and starting to feel more relaxed about my body's capabilities. For example, I'm more likely to take calculated risks on my bike because I have more confidence in my body's ability to recover if I take a turn a little fast. I'm more likely to walk down stairs in heels a little faster than I would have a month or two ago because I'm confident in my balance and ankle strength. This is kind of a big deal for me, as a huge reason I hated doing any kind of exercise pre-op was because I wasn't sure I wouldn't fall down or hurt myself somehow. There are still no guarantees, of course, but before there was a 50/50 chance that if I really put effort into exercise, I would seriously injure myself. I remember deciding that I would try a workout video and really trying (though not really100%) and spraining my ankle and also hurting my wrist from catching myself. Just knowing that I can literally bounce back if things don't go just right lifts a big weight (ha!) off my shoulders and allows me to try harder without so much worry. 

On Sunday, I had breakfast with someone that I went on a study abroad trip with about 4 years ago. She is a heavy person (heavier than I was) and she and I bonded a lot over being large travelers. She still travels extensively and is thinking about starting a blog about traveling as a large person. She asked a little about surgery, but she is clearly ok with being a large person and doing her thing. I think that's awesome. She told me that she was able to climb the steps of the Sacre-Coeur (tallest church in Paris), which is pretty impressive! She is very young still - I found it easier to get around at my former size when I was in my 20's, too. But I will never tell someone that they shouldn't be content in their body or suggest that they change something they're happy with. It did remind me, though, of traveling at my former size and how difficult that was for me. When I went to Rome and Florence, I couldn't go on some of the excursions where we had to climb lots of stairs and it was a real bummer to miss it. One day I'll go back, though, and climb climb climb.
 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

Today’s ride

I rode 16.52 miles today - 11.2 without stopping except to snap a quick pic of the lake - complete with some intense climbs. My ride ended in a cemetery, which is fitting for I am now dead. Lol! My legs could probably go longer, but my butt hurts so I’m done for the day. 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

More bike stuff....

I've been enjoying riding my bike (which you all know because I won't shut up about it), but my husband had been feeling kind of low about it. He used to be an avid cyclist, but got cancer 2.5 years ago, recovered, and has had issues with neuropathy from the chemo ever since. He got on some meds that are working, though, so I basically forced him to go on a ride with me. Well, not so much forced as annoyed the crap out of him and aired his tires up and put his bike in the car and.... well maybe I did force him.  ANYWAY, he did great and it was so much fun! We rode a short jaunt (about a mile and a half) from a trailhead to a local restaurant on the trail and shared some food (way more affordable for us post-op - ha!) . We waited there for a surprise storm to pass, then we rode until he wanted to turn around, which he kept going a little further and a little further because he was having fun. He tracked it and says we rode a little over 7 miles. I'm hoping he'll jump into this active lifestyle with me. I really like riding with him.

I definitely could have ridden a lot further, but today was all about him getting back on the bike. I'm going to start going for training rides soon for the Square to Square ride. My goal is to get to where I can ride 30 miles and still want to do things for the rest of the day. LOL

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

I signed up!

I signed up for a local bike ride in late September called the Square to Square ride. If you want to know where I"ll be September 22, it's here: http://fayetteville-ar.gov/1931/Square-to-Square-Bicycle-Ride 

The ride is 30 miles on very hilly roads (but that's just how it is here - haha!). We have an amazing trail system here! The Razorback Regional Greenway spans 36 miles with some offshoots that provide even more mileage (especially in Bentonville and Fayetteville - two cities that have an avid cycling scene). As many issues as we have with the Walmart corporation, they sure are generous when it comes to bikes and art! 

Anyway, I'm working on a training schedule. So far, the longest I've ridden since I started up again is about 10 miles. I will say, though, I felt like I could EASILY ride twice that. So I feel like I can fairly easily ride 30. Still, I want to make sure I can get it done in a reasonable amount of time and feeling great at the end. So I"m working on a training schedule.  After this, I want to train for a century ride! 

Also I'm turning into this guy:   

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

So close!

I’m still working toward the low end of my surgeon’s year out goal range of 167. This morning I’m at 168.  Next goal - 150. After that I will likely focus on maintenance and quit weighing outside the doctor’s office.  (The colors don’t mean anything other than I like lots of colors and I have a lot of pens and highlighters. Haha!)

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

Happy hour

Well my org had a happy hour event. I drank half a Kentucky mule and ate a wing with the skin taken off and the cheese off some cheese fries. It was tough, honestly. Those social situations where there’s communal food and an expectation to drink are weird and difficult. I did have a nice time though. My coworkers and bosses are goofballs.  Last night I went to a launch party at my weight loss clinic where they were introducing the new minimally invasive cosmetic procedures they are starting to offer. I ended up winning a $250 gift certificate that they let me use as a deposit for future work. If we put down a deposit last night, we get 20% off if we book something within the year. At the very least, I can have some laser hair removal done. Ha! But I’m going in for a consult on my arms, thighs, and neck. We’ll see what they say. It might be worth saving up for.   

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

Day one of daily blogging

Hopefully this won't just get annoying, but I'm going to try to blog about my WLS stuff every day, partially in an effort to get it out of my brain and get on with my life rather than focusing on it overly much in my day to day. I'm starting to want to move on somewhat, but I still recognize that it's a huge part of my daily experience currently. So I'm hoping that taking a few minutes to write down my thoughts about it in the morning might help. 

I've been struggling with eating more carbs than I "should" (according to my clinic's eating plan - which I honestly feel is a little on the strict side), so I've been paying closer attention to that. I'm not necessarily cutting them, but rather just trying to pay attention to when I eat them and why. The problematic ones are at night when I'm bored, so I'm taking a few steps to curb that, as well as build better overall habits. I've cut out TV watching for the next 4 weeks (for multiple reasons), so that should help. I won't be eating mindlessly in front of the laptop while binge-watching. I've also gone on a social media diet - where I only check my Facebook and Instagram once in the morning. That's more of an anxiety issue than anything else. If I can keep that in check, my anxiety goes down and I can focus a bit better on what's important. 

I'm still struggling so much with exercise. I'm riding my bike 3 days a week now for around 10 miles a day (give or take, depending on my work that day). That's awesome, but that's pretty much all the exercise I get outside of my general day to day activity. This week, I'm working on changing my sleep/wake schedule and just getting up at 5:00 a.m. After a week of that, I'll start planning exercise in the mornings. On riding days, I'll do stretching stuff. On non-riding days, I'll do strength training. I'll take Sunday as a rest day and just go for a walk then. Hopefully that will help. 

And hopefully jotting down my thoughts in the mornings will help, too.

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

I'mma brag for a minute

So today I rode my bike to work, rode to the downtown entertainment district/city hall after work to grab some dinner before a housing commission meeting, then rode to the trailhead that my husband meets me at after the meeting (actually I left early - it went REALLY long and I left at 9:30. My community is very passionate about public housing....). Anyway, all of these times I could have gotten a ride. All of these times I chose to ride instead. When I got to the trailhead, my husband wasn't there yet and instead of getting off my bike and waiting, I rode in circles in the parking lot until he got there (for about 10 minutes! He didn't get my text when I left city hall). 

ALSO, I didn't walk any hills. None. Rode up every one of them. And I live in a very hilly town. I'm going to have incredible calves! Now I just need to remember to turn on Map My Ride so that I can get that elevation counted. LOL 

And now I am thinking about riding to my morning meeting, even though it's mainly street riding (as opposed to trail riding). I rode on the street a little tonight and it went fine. But if I rode in the morning, I would have to ride on a very busy street and turn in kind of a dangerous area, so I'm still deciding. I may ride a portion and walk a portion. 


Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

I'm Overweight!

I'm not obese anymore! I'm overweight! At least according to one BMI calculator on the internet. But I'll take it! 

I'm feeling pretty good these days. Exercising more, though I really have to find stuff that's fun or I just won't do it. Riding my bike is good. So is roller skating. But so far the getting up in the morning to run or do body weight stuff just ain't happening. I HATE IT SO MUCH. I figure that instead of fighting that, I'm just going to find fun stuff that I'll actually do. Maybe one day I'll find running fun. That day will probably not be in Arkansas in July. LOL! At least there's a breeze when I ride my bike! 

Speaking of riding my bike, I did not walk up any hills today! I rode them all! That's a big deal. I've noticed my balance is way better. I used to not be able to take my hands off the bars at all or I would wobble and that's not the case anymore. My knees don't drift to the sides to make room for my belly anymore, so my cadence is better. Curves are easier to take. It's just all around better. 

And I look like this now (pardon the crappy lighting - I had my mirror in my closet this morning). Yes, I have pastel pink hair.  Also, that's a dead MacBook Air. Something my husband rescued form a trash pile. We don't just leave our computers lying around. Haha! 
 

Busy busy busy.....

I have not been on here in a while - my apologies! I took on a new project at work and I'm spending a lot of time working with people experiencing chronic homelessness, so when I'm not working I'm drained from work and can barely think. If I'm honest, my self care looks a lot like binge watching Supernatural and ignoring the real world. I see enough of the real world these days. 

A couple of weight loss updates: 

I have lost more than 100 lbs! I've lost a total of 103 so far. Things have slowed, but the chart still trends down so I'm not worried. To be honest, I would be ok if I didn't lose another pound. I mean that. But I'm eating what I need to eat and still losing, so that's fine too. 

I have some clothes that are a size 12 now. They FIT ME. That means I no longer *have* to shop the plus sizes. That is so weird to me. It's been at least 20 years since I've been in a size 12. 

I have made my peace with carbs. I eat them now. I make sure they're not crappy ones. I still don't do sugar or white bread or rice or pasta - and really have no desire to. However, I don't sweat my bits of fruit and whole wheat crackers with cheese and the occasional bit of potato. I was really freaking out about it, but I haven't had any issues losing weight as long as I keep the carbs at a reasonable level, so I'm focusing on building some sustainable, healthy habits there. 

Also -  HOLY MOLY do people flirt with me now! I can't turn around without someone striking up a conversation and asking if I'm married (I am - but my rings are too loose so I don't wear them on the right fingers) or offering to carry stuff for me or telling me they like my hair, dress, whatever. I haven't had any creepers creepin', so it's not been unpleasant. It's kinda nice to feel like I "still have it." Ha!

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

6 month appointment!

I had my 6 month appointment today and it went really well! To start, the nurse who weighs us did not recognize me at all when she came in to get me - and said so! Haha! I am down 93 lbs from my first appointment and 81 since surgery (I've had those numbers wrong - I thought I lost 14 lbs before surgery, but apparently I only lost 12. Oops!). The weight range they wanted me to be at by one year was 167-194. I've surpassed their expectations, to say the least! 

They're happy with my diet, but want me to up the protein a little. I've been getting my protein in ok, but they're concerned that since I'm just riding the line, there are days when I won't be able to get it all in. They're totally right. Currently I eat about 900-1000 calories a day. I walk most days, but I REALLY want to do more exercise. It's just been a struggle to work it into my schedule. I got some advice on how to modify workout videos so that I don't get discouraged. 

I was commended on my choices of good carbs. I don't eat tons of carbs, but I do eat them and I'm careful about them, so I got kudos for that.

And y'all. Y'ALL!!!! I painted my own toenails today!!!!! I have not been able to do that in YEARS. 

Stats:

Highest Weight: 279
Surgery Weight: 267 (apparently)
Current Weight: 186
Goal Weight: 167 (I'm adjusting it to the low end of the clinic goal for now)
Dress size: 14
Toenail color: Eternal Optimist by Essie

I'll add some pictures later! I think I'm going to have my daughter take some 6 month photos for me. 
 

Five months out

Hello! I haven't written any updates about how I'm doing in a while, so I figured I'd make a blog post. I'm down 87 lbs total - 73 lbs since my surgery date. I've lost 65% of my excess weight as defined by my clinic. I have 42 lbs to go before I'm at my personal goal weight. That's pretty exciting! My weight loss has slowed somewhat, but that's to be expected. I tend to not lose anything for a week or two and then drop a few lbs in a matter of days. 

Today I did a lot of yard work - a good 5 hours worth - and it was a completely different experience compared to last spring. I'm able to bend at the waist with no problems, my knees don't hurt, and I'm able to work longer and faster. It felt great to get so much work done and not be completely worn out. I mean, I'm pretty worn out - I'm a human, after all - but I'm not aching from head to toe. I feel like I can actually take care of the yard this season instead of letting it go because I don't have the energy. And I actually enjoyed the work! 

I also noticed something really interesting yesterday. So before, when I was much bigger, when I would talk to someone, I would stand with my belly at a comfortable distance. I am still standing with the same distance between my belly and the person, but the issue is that I'm much smaller now, so it brings my face too close. I noticed yesterday when I was talking to someone that they were starting to slowly back away. I turned into a close-talker because I lost weight! Haha! It's such a weird thing that I never would have thought about. Now that I realize it, of course, I'll adjust my habits. But it's so interesting how there are these little things we don't even think about until they pop up. 

Eating is going well. Carbs are kind of sneaking their way back in, so I'm having to be more vigilant with snacking and such. Today I indulged in some carbs (after I got my protein - don't worry!) due to the massive amount of calories I was burning. MyFitnessPal is concerned I'm not getting enough calories today and is saying I need another 900. Haha! It's amazing how prior to surgery, I would have scarfed down some ice cream as a "reward" for exercise. That's just not how I think anymore - not to mention the fact that it would be almost impossible to eat enough to get those calories in. Instead, I'm focusing on making sure I get all my fluids in and I ate a few crackers with cheese and some low-fat popcorn while I was on breaks from yard work today - as fuel. 

In adjusting to my new body, I'm learning to appreciate what it can do. I've really struggled to find regular exercise that I can work into my day, but when I am able to do something very active, I feel fantastic! So I'm not giving up on working out a workout. I just haven't found my thing yet. 

Picture time! This is an Eileen Fisher dress that I found at a thrift store right before my surgery for $5!!! I snagged it thinking if it didn't ever fit me, I could always sell it (the dang thing sold for $260 retail!). But it fits now. It's actually a little loose at an XL (about a size 16 in Eileen Fisher, which translates to about a 14 in Lane Bryant), but that's a good look for this dress. I love it! 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

Three month follow-up

So I had my 3 month follow-up appointment today and everything is pretty great! I'm down 63 lbs total by their scale, 52 lbs since surgery (66 total by mine, which is the one I go by since I weigh more often and have more reliable data here), which they consider to be about a month ahead of schedule. My blood pressure was 124/78, so they took "hypertension risk" off my chart since this is the second appointment where it's been in a good range. My heart rate was 62 bpm. I need to exercise more, but I already knew that and I'm working on it. My diet has been great, so there were no issues advancing to their stage 4 diet, where there aren't really any limitations other than stay relatively low-calorie, get my protein, avoid sugar, and keep the carbs down. Other than that, I'm free to eat what I can tolerate. I'm SO excited for salad!  I'm feeling good. My joint pain is almost nonexistent. I have a little bit of creakiness still in my knees, but it's not too bad and improving all the time. My clothes are either fitting better or falling off of me, depending on when I bought them. I can walk in heels again, though I'm still a little nervous about that so I'm not pushing it. I also need to get my rings resized! Though I may just set them aside and wait until I'm at goal weight before doing it so that I don't weaken the bands. 

Speaking of goal weight, I've set a long term goal. It's 150 lbs. That's technically still overweight according to the BMI chart, but I figure I'll have some skin left over and I've always carried more weight than I look like I'm carrying, even when at an in-range weight, so I'm giving myself an extra 8-10 lbs to work with there. That means losing a total of 129 lbs. I'm already halfway there! 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

10 weeks out

I realized today that I'm 10 weeks from my surgery date. I've lost 55 lbs total, 41 after surgery. That's an average of 4.1 lbs a week since surgery - consistently! I never could get results like that on my own. I'm thrilled with my progress! 

I'm doing well with eating, but getting pretty bored. Luckily, I found out about this place that sells mainly paleo prepared meals. Most (but not all) paleo entrees they have fit within my eating plan. They charge about $10 per meal, but because I can only eat a little at a time, one meal is about four meals for me. I can bring them home and divide them up to put in the fridge or freezer for lunches. Tonight I had Italian sausage and spaghetti squash from there that was really good! I'm also trying to find some new recipes in some cookbooks that I hope will liven things up a bit. It's about three weeks before my diet will progress again, so I just need to make it a little longer before I can have a salad.

I'm struggling with hydration - still. I'm thinking about getting one of those blinking lights that reminds you to drink water. Or I may make a hydration calendar on my phone that will make my Fitbit vibrate. I haven't decided how I'm going to do it, but I really need to get it figured out. It's going to be a serious issue if I don't. 
 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

Before/After

So here's a before photo (it's a work photo, professionally done) and an after (which is not so professional, as it was taken with my phone in a poorly lit room - ha!). I was lamenting yesterday to my husband about how I couldn't tell the difference. I can now that I've looked at this. Holy crap!     

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

I can't be trusted

To celebrate my 50 lb loss (yes! 50 lbs! I did it!), I hit the clearance rack at Target. I came home with a sequined dress, a lacy goth-y dress, a lace skirt, and a glittery skirt. I did buy a sensible black sweater dress that I can wear to work, but other than that, it was all shiny glittery lacy stuff. I guess the inner fashionista has made her way out and she can't be trusted at Target. 

But I have lost 50 lbs! I had started out with a goal weight of 185, but I shifted that to 179 - a 100 lb loss - so I'm halfway there. I'm down from a size 24 to a size 20. I'm guessing I have a couple of weeks before I can get into a size 18 - already! 

I'm going to the gym regularly, but I'm still finding my rhythm. I did cardio today and plan to do upper body tomorrow. I'm taking it pretty easy and using this time to get into the habit and trying not to get caught up in worrying about how many calories I'm burning or how much muscle I'm building. I'm just getting into the swing of things and not pressuring myself. I have to get up at 5:00 a.m. to be able to go and get everyone around in the morning, so that's been not the most fun. However, my husband started school this week - which includes a free gym membership - so he may start getting the kids up and letting me get to the gym a little later than that. I hope that works out. This 5:00 a.m. business is nonsense! 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

Six weeks out

Happy New Year! I have been busy with the holidays and haven't been on here much. Sorry about that! I figured I'd update how things are going, though.  I've lost a total of 45 lbs since I walked into the surgery clinic August 30, and 31 of those pounds were since surgery 6 weeks ago. I'm not sure at what pace I'm supposed to be losing, but I'm losing steadily, so I'm not worried. The holidays have been very difficult, both in terms of eating and in terms of the emotional difficulty my family has experienced with the loss of my sister. But it has also been a time when I have been given immense support from my family for my weight loss efforts. My mother made a small Christmas lasagna just for me, with peeled zucchini in place of the noodles. It was delicious! She also served a turkey mainly because she knew I could eat it. My husband has taken care to adjust our Christmas and New Year meals so that I can have a portion of them easily. Tonight I'll have some smoked pork loin and collard greens with mushrooms - and one single black-eyed pea (I can't have beans yet). 

I have found some foods that could prove "dangerous" for me if I'm not careful. I ate some parmesan crisps - which were a lot like crackers and SO GOOD, but they are too easy to eat too many of and they are just something I'm eating because I want crackers, so I'm probably going to set those aside for now. Cheese in general is something I find that I tolerate well, but will need to be careful with. It's higher in fat than other options, so I will sometimes eat cheese when I really could eat something higher in protein and lower in fat. I will not give up cheese (I LOVE IT SO!), but I'm trying to be careful about when I eat it and how much I eat it.  My set diet from my nutritionist/surgeon is VERY strict, but I have bent the rules a bit. I am not a fan of artificial sweeteners in general. I can tolerate sugar-free popsicles because they're tart enough that the artificial taste is overpowered, but I HAAAAATE artificially sweetened yogurt. I found Siggi's yogurt at Whole Foods, which is very lightly sweetened with agave nectar and sugar and has a little bit of fruit in it (which I'm technically not allowed yet). BUT a 5 oz container has 11 grams of sugar, about the same amount as 8 oz of milk, and 15 grams of protein - with no weird artificial sweetener aftertaste. So I'm eating it, dammit. Haha! I haven't had any issues with it and it's practically the only carbs I get in a day, so I feel pretty ok about it. The black cherry is my favorite. If The Curry Incident of '17 (which I blogged about) was dumping, then that's the only dumping episode I've had. I have not vomited. There have been a few things that didn't settle well and gave me a little digestive turmoil (just gurgling and slight pain), but nothing serious. I haven't started exercising yet because I'm still struggling to get all my fluids and protein in (the thought of a shake makes me gag a little - but I've been putting unflavored protein in Fairlife milk and that's pretty ok). BUT I got all my protein in yesterday and I'm on track to get both my protein and fluids in today, so tomorrow is when I start my workouts! SOOOOOO typical to start a workout plan on January 2. Haha! 

I hope the new year is good to all of you. I'm hoping for a much better year than our last. 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

Aaaand, that's a nope

Well, today at lunch I was in a hurry and grabbed this tuna curry thing from the natural foods store. The ingredients seemed like they'd be ok, but there were a few I hadn't tried before. It did not go well. I have been hurting for 9 hours (though it's lessened quite a bit now). I'm guessing the coconut milk was the culprit. I won't do that again! I'm planning on sticking to the stuff I know for a little while. Oof! 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77