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Nearing the end of week 6 - and almost Hallowe'en!

Kio

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Hard to believe almost 6 weeks gone since surgery!  It feels like it happened yesterday.  But here I am - done with all my "special" diet periods and into my permanent Stage 4 as of yesterday!  Not that I've actually eaten anything reserved for Stage 4 yet - I'm still mostly eating the same old stuff.  Chicken (dark meat because it's easier), cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese... I've started eating cottage cheese with fruit in it, so that's something!  And the occasional protein bar, though it takes me two separate meals to eat just one.  Plus, they're almost not worth the trouble - Sadie (the doggo) likes them better than I do, and she is a dedicated beggar.  (Same with the cheese, really...)

Some things reserved for Stage 4 include steak, ground beef... basically any meat that isn't chicken, and all shellfish.  Other things like pasta, doughy bread, rice, are not precisely forbidden, but not encouraged.  And I'm planning to avoid all of them anyway.  (Funny story:  Leah had cheese and whole wheat crackers yesterday for her very nutritious dinner.  After she was done there was like, a crumb of cracker with a bit of cheese on it on her plate, and I very daringly ate it.  I felt ready to join a biker gang after that - I was living dangerously!  That cracker crumb was my first solely carb food since surgery.)

What I'm actually looking forward to - what I'm going to try tonight - is a meal consisting of more than one food item.  A friend is coming over this evening, and she's making Indian butter chicken; we are supplying broccoli.  I'm going to eat at least one tiny broccoli crown alongside the chicken if it kills me.  I know it's a weird thing to be craving, but broccoli was a staple in my pre-op weight loss plan, and I really miss it!  Plus, fiber.  Fiber is good!

In other news, I'm doing pretty well here in month two.  I'm just a week or so in, and I've lost 8 lbs (down to 273 \o/).  I've been doing a ton of walking - in fact, yesterday I totally overdid it:

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I know that can't compete with what some of you people are doing, but that is definitely the longest time and distance I've been on my feet since I was like... ten.  I was inspired by my new sneakers, which arrived at around 2pm - they're Scarpa approach sneakers, and they feel awesome - they're so comfortable!  Definitely the best walking shoes I've ever owned.  (Link: https://www.amazon.com/Scarpa-Womens-Crux-Approach-Shoe/dp/B00S1GWK5S.  They're a little hot pink, nothing to be done about it, but I still found them worth it.  Leah has had a pair for a year now and she loves hers too.) :) 

One thing that is becoming harder and harder for me to deal with is not knowing whether I'll have dumping syndrome.  I just really want to know!  I'm not sure why I'm obsessing about this; maybe I just want to know if it's a crutch I can lean on if/when head hunger gets the best of me.  But the only way to test it out is to eat something with sugar, and I don't even know how much sugar I would need to eat, and what if that triggered a craving?  I don't want to risk it.  But I want to know!  Ugh.  Curiosity kills the Kio, they say - right?  ;) 

Beyond that curiosity, I haven't had any trouble resisting things that are bad for me.  Mostly I'm just trying to get in enough protein each day.  In spite of an interesting meal where I ate 5.3 oz of cottage cheese (my guess is I ate it so slowly part of it had digested before I finished), I still have trouble getting in more than 2-3 oz of food at a time normally.  I can't handle the shakes anymore - they're just gross, far too sweet and I'm so sick of them I can't stand it, plus they are now hit or miss in terms of whether they stay down or come back up. That means I'm forced into many small meals throughout the day to get what I need without getting "full".  2 oz of yogurt here, 2 oz of cottage cheese there, an egg over here... half a protein bar over there....  And in between I have to drink, drink, drink to get my water in.  So with all that going on, plus three calcium chews a day... I feel like I am constantly putting something in my stomach.  It would be awesome if some of it could be a vegetable now and then... but I know the pouch will loosen up a bit eventually and I'll be able to eat them eventually!  (If you all knew me before surgery, you'd laugh at me mourning vegetables... so not the type!)  

In non-weight loss news, I've also been doing a lot of decorating, and pre-decorating, for Hallowe'en.  Hallowe'en is kind of a big deal around my house!  It's not even about food - it's 100% about putting on a good show for the kids in the neighborhood.  Every year I make window decorations for all the front windows (6 of them) and the front door.  This year I'm also doing the back doors (2 french doors) and carving a pumpkin.  And we're having a potluck for a bunch of friends on Saturday, so I need everything done by then, and it all needs to look as good inside as it does outside. So there's a LOT to do. 

I'll close this out with a sample of this year's lower front windows - the only ones I've done so far:

Outside: 

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Inside: 

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I'm particularly fond of the spider. And I kind of like the inside better than the outside for this one.  :) 

 



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I made crockpot chicken tikka masala when I was at the same stage you are and it really made me feel normal for a couple meals, and not so much like a patient, I guess.  Over the course of a week and a half or so, I ate most of it as my husband is not a fan.  Hopefully it will work well for you too and of course, your broccoli!

I haven't eaten more sugar than what is in a Kind bar, which I think is 6 grams, but I'm just assuming I would dump if I ate more.  Sounds too unpleasant to test out to me.  And I'm with you, I don't want to trigger cravings!

That was some walk you went on - congrats on that!!  

Sounds like you live in a fun neighborhood - cute decorations : )

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The butter chicken was awesome - I ate two small pieces, each about the size of my thumb, and a single piece of broccoli.  So, mission accomplished, and I don't feel overstuffed.  It's still baffling to me how I can do that while my friends are eating a bowl of broccoli and a bowl of chicken with rice - and they finish first!  But I feel totally satisfied.  It's just weird.  Good, but weird.  :) 

I I would absolutely love chicken tikka masala from the crockpot - would you be willing to share the recipe?  I tried some from our usual Indian place, thinking what used to make one meal for me would make four - but the chicken was too tough and I ended up throwing the whole thing away.  If I can make it in the crockpot that won't be an issue - though I will have to fight Leah off, as she IS a fan!

Kind bars are still a little beyond me - I feel like they'd be too hard to eat - but I've been eating Quest protein bars.  They're good and easy to kind of smush to liquid with my teeth.  

Glad you like the decorations!  The neighborhood is great - lots of families with kids in trick-or-treating age, so we have a pretty steady run of visitors on Hallowe'en.  It's a blast!  

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Congrats on getting through your food stages and double congratulations on doing so much walking. An hour and a half is fabulous. It just gets easier and more comfortable as the weight comes off, so if you establish the habit now, you can enjoy it later :) 

I find Indian food to be great for both it's stewed softness and spicy flavors - I feel satisfied with a small amount because of the strong taste. I have some great recipes but they definitely involve a trip to the Indian grocery and lots of ingredients, so not for the faint of heart.

I love your decorations - very cute. It must be nice to have a fun group of neighbors to entertain with that!

Edited by Jen581791

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Lovely post. Enjoy the broc. My version of that is asparagus, we are always eating roasted asparagus in our house. Lo cal, at least some fiber. 

Don't even think about comparisons to others, we all have our own Paths. It is AWESOME if you are walking an hour and a half. FWIW if you commit to that kind of time going forward as what you should devote to yourself, as your aerobic capacity and speed and (all the other things) improve you will be in GREAT shape. I think it was was the Wired series, on people that lost weight and did not regain, which highlighted the fact that they all exercised 90 minutes or more a day. I so very much wish that when I was  younger I had paid more attention to my health and well being and ... as part of that... devoted that kind of time to my (exercise) health. Greeks: Sound mind in a sound body. So doing this is insurance against the dreaded weight regain.

Good luck with this next stage! 

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7 hours ago, Kio said:

The butter chicken was awesome - I ate two small pieces, each about the size of my thumb, and a single piece of broccoli.  So, mission accomplished, and I don't feel overstuffed.  It's still baffling to me how I can do that while my friends are eating a bowl of broccoli and a bowl of chicken with rice - and they finish first!  But I feel totally satisfied.  It's just weird.  Good, but weird.  :) 

I I would absolutely love chicken tikka masala from the crockpot - would you be willing to share the recipe?  I tried some from our usual Indian place, thinking what used to make one meal for me would make four - but the chicken was too tough and I ended up throwing the whole thing away.  If I can make it in the crockpot that won't be an issue - though I will have to fight Leah off, as she IS a fan!

I know what you mean about the meal sizes.  It is so odd - I was eating out with my brother recently, eating my tiny bites and he lifted this massive forkful of food up to take a bite and my internal reaction was "Oh no, no, no!" as if he was in danger.  He did manage to survive that big bite - whew!  Another time I was eating with my husband and some friends, probably my first dinner post-surgery at a friend's house.  She knew about my surgery and had asked what was okay to serve, so the meal was just fine for me but a few minutes into the meal I looked up from my plate to find all three of them looking at me with completely cleared plates.  I still had at least half of my tiny dinner left to go.  I said, "Well, you might want to pour yourselves some more wine because I think we're going to be here awhile!"

Here is the link to the chicken tikka recipe:  http://www.smells-like-home.com/2011/11/slow-cooker-chicken-tikka-masala/  I think it is pretty easy to make and takes a few spices and other special ingredients but not quite as many as some Indian recipes.  It is very eatable texture-wise for after WLS.  The last time I made it I typed the recipe into My Fitness Pal, using 2.2 lbs of chicken thighs and .5 c of unflavored keifer instead of the heavy cream because that is what I had on hand.  The rest of the recipe was as written and it made 20 half cup servings.  156 calories, 6 gr fat, 7 gr carbs, 14 gr protein, 1 gr sugar per serving.  I just eat it on its own with a little spoonful of yogurt on top.  I served it once with Indian spiced riced cauliflower, something was a little off about the cauliflower, but I liked the concept so I will try it again.  I hope it works for you :)

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I love your Halloween decorations. We get 600-800 trick-or-treaters at my house every year, so we go all out with all kinds of projectors, giant talking pumpkins, a life-size talking/singing witch, etc. Lots of AtmosFearFX products. Happy Halloween! It's quickly becoming my favorite holiday.

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1 hour ago, Carina said:

Whaaaaa? :o

That was EXACTLY my reaction!!! Holy cow, that's a lot of trick or treaters!!!! 

My last US Halloween, I was new in an apartment complex with not a lot of kids, but in an area with quite a few, so I patted myself on the back for thinking ahead and getting enough candy for like 50 kids. 

We got zero trick or treaters. 

Guess who ate the candy.

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@Kio have fun at your party tomorrow. Love your creative window scenes. I'm not big on Halloweenbut love fall so I love to decorate for fall. We did our kitchen and dining room over recently and did them grey, white and Aqua/teal...it was darned hard to find fall decorations to go with that (tho I love teal and aqua with orange, they don't make many decorations that). 

Abotu the dumping. I debate in my mind if id want to know or not. It almost would keep me on the straight and narrow more if I did NOT know. I had my gallbladder out laparoscopically 20 yrs ago. I chose when to so it and I chose a few days before Christmas. Just before surgery the dr was talking to me and I said "whatever you do please do not cut me open this close to Christmas!" (Which is always a possibility.). When I woke up, I asked "was I cut?" And I was told no. When she came in to see me, she said "don't be alarmed if you see a marker on your stomach. We lost a stone from your gallbladder and I chased it all the way down to the pancreas and lost it. I almost cut you opened to find it but I kept thinking about how you asked me not to do that so I left it in there"  The issue was that the stone could block the pancreatic duct and give me one big attack until it hopefully passed. So she recommended I was careful with what I ate so I wouldn't encourage the attack. So although i had gone almost two years since I was diagnosed with gallbladder disease after my first attack, and it was because I avoided every food possible to warrant an attack. Having heard that news about the missing stone in my pancreas, I was very nervous about having one more big bad attack (and if it didn't pass, I'd need emergency surgery) SO I ate like a saint for months to avoid that. My point is (yes, my ramblings have a point) that if I knew I would not have an attack, I would have been glad to eat whatever I wanted but I was careful out of fear that it would trigger an attack. If you knew you wouldn't dump, you might be less diligent at avoiding sugar. So, maybe not knowing is a gift...like a blessing in disguise keeping you faithful to a diet consisting of very little sugars. Just a thought. 

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On 10/19/2017 at 11:41 PM, Jen581791 said:

Congrats on getting through your food stages and double congratulations on doing so much walking. An hour and a half is fabulous. It just gets easier and more comfortable as the weight comes off, so if you establish the habit now, you can enjoy it later :) 

I find Indian food to be great for both it's stewed softness and spicy flavors - I feel satisfied with a small amount because of the strong taste. I have some great recipes but they definitely involve a trip to the Indian grocery and lots of ingredients, so not for the faint of heart.

I love your decorations - very cute. It must be nice to have a fun group of neighbors to entertain with that!

It is super fun. :)  Making the decorations is one of my favorite things!  It takes some effort, but it's actually super easy to do, and everybody is so impressed when they're all up.  

I'm walking my little heart out!  I find it hard to walk two days in a row, probably because I'm so new to it and my muscles are building up from like... nothing.  But I'm trying to do a long walk day, then a short easy walk day, then a long one again.  Every now and then I take a day off if my legs feel too noodly - but only rarely!

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On 10/20/2017 at 3:27 AM, BurgundyBoy said:

Lovely post. Enjoy the broc. My version of that is asparagus, we are always eating roasted asparagus in our house. Lo cal, at least some fiber. 

Don't even think about comparisons to others, we all have our own Paths. It is AWESOME if you are walking an hour and a half. FWIW if you commit to that kind of time going forward as what you should devote to yourself, as your aerobic capacity and speed and (all the other things) improve you will be in GREAT shape. I think it was was the Wired series, on people that lost weight and did not regain, which highlighted the fact that they all exercised 90 minutes or more a day. I so very much wish that when I was  younger I had paid more attention to my health and well being and ... as part of that... devoted that kind of time to my (exercise) health. Greeks: Sound mind in a sound body. So doing this is insurance against the dreaded weight regain.

Good luck with this next stage! 

Thanks!  I'm going to post about it later today, some new food adventures.  ;) The walking is uuuusually not an hour and a half - most of that was uphill, so it took me longer.  But I'm working my way up to doing that more and more often.  I've been so immobile - practically disabled - for so long, my muscles have been non-existent.  It's awesome to feel my legs getting stronger (and muscles appearing!) so I'm trying to push myself without breaking myself.  I'd like to do that same walk again, only without a dog yanking me along like a puppet!  If I can start to do that a few times a week, my legs will be tip top shape in no time!

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On 10/20/2017 at 6:58 AM, Gretta said:

I love your Halloween decorations. We get 600-800 trick-or-treaters at my house every year, so we go all out with all kinds of projectors, giant talking pumpkins, a life-size talking/singing witch, etc. Lots of AtmosFearFX products. Happy Halloween! It's quickly becoming my favorite holiday.

!!!  So many!!!  When I say a steady stream, I mean we get probably thirty to forty kids - say 15-20 groups - over the course of the night!  Sounds like you never get to sit down on Hallowe'en!  

And now I am totally going to look at AtmosFearFX.  =D  Thanks for the tip!

On 10/20/2017 at 9:23 AM, Jen581791 said:

That was EXACTLY my reaction!!! Holy cow, that's a lot of trick or treaters!!!! 

My last US Halloween, I was new in an apartment complex with not a lot of kids, but in an area with quite a few, so I patted myself on the back for thinking ahead and getting enough candy for like 50 kids. 

We got zero trick or treaters. 

Guess who ate the candy.

Yeah, I know how THAT goes. I'm hoping I won't be so tempted this year by the candy - I'm still close enough to surgery that I'm not cocky, at least not yet.  I don't want to risk it!

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On 10/20/2017 at 6:21 AM, kayak19 said:

Here is the link to the chicken tikka recipe:  http://www.smells-like-home.com/2011/11/slow-cooker-chicken-tikka-masala/  I think it is pretty easy to make and takes a few spices and other special ingredients but not quite as many as some Indian recipes.  It is very eatable texture-wise for after WLS.  The last time I made it I typed the recipe into My Fitness Pal, using 2.2 lbs of chicken thighs and .5 c of unflavored keifer instead of the heavy cream because that is what I had on hand.  The rest of the recipe was as written and it made 20 half cup servings.  156 calories, 6 gr fat, 7 gr carbs, 14 gr protein, 1 gr sugar per serving.  I just eat it on its own with a little spoonful of yogurt on top.  I served it once with Indian spiced riced cauliflower, something was a little off about the cauliflower, but I liked the concept so I will try it again.  I hope it works for you :)

Oh, thanks!  I'm totally making that tonight, I think.  I have pretty much everything I need (except the tupperware for storing it!) and it looks delicious!

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On 10/20/2017 at 1:48 PM, delilas said:

Love your progress and your halloween decor! I thought our house was busy with 100 or so trick or treaters each year, I can't imagine more than that!

Thank you!  Last night we added more - carved a jack o' lantern, turned the front door into half a giant evil pumpkin... and tonight we're adding some tentacles upstairs!

I can't even imagine getting as many as Gretta - I thought we were busy with 50 or so!!

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On 10/20/2017 at 10:40 PM, CJireh said:

My point is (yes, my ramblings have a point) that if I knew I would not have an attack, I would have been glad to eat whatever I wanted but I was careful out of fear that it would trigger an attack. If you knew you wouldn't dump, you might be less diligent at avoiding sugar. So, maybe not knowing is a gift...like a blessing in disguise keeping you faithful to a diet consisting of very little sugars. Just a thought. 

That's a good thought, too - and I'm so impressed with your ability to avoid an attack for so long!  I think I would have been petrified of that, too!

I just go back and forth on testing the reaction, but I doubt I actually will.  For one thing, I don't know how much sugar it would take to make it happen.  If I eat like, a piece of candy or something... and then don't dump... would I be tempted to eat MORE to see if I dump if I eat more???  Where would it stop?

For another, I'm sure I'll slip up eventually - and find out, one way or another.  There's no real need to rush it.  It's not like my quality of life is being altered by not knowing.  So I'm just going to buck up and endure the uncertainty - and eat a lot of protein!

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