LilySlim - Weight loss

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Already

Guess what??  WLS does not take away the psychological components of binge- and over-eating. And it hit me super hard at Christmas. I've done some pretty clean eating since then, not counting restaurant meals (choices can often be limited--I'm looking forward to more cooking and eating at home), but yesterday I was a food-craving nutcase.

My husband had gone up to the central valley to get the last of our things out of storage--we just ran out of room even with a 16-foot bobtail truck and a seatless mini-van--so I was bouncing around yesterday at odds as to what to do with myself (the night before I had done a lot more unpacking, tub emptying, and cleaned out my dresser with old clothes, in good condition, to be donated, somewhere. I'd like to give to a battered woman's shelter); a whole day with no one making demands and nothing that urgently needed doing and a big snowstorm on the way, and so I just stayed in my pajamas and stayed home, playing with the cats, surfing online via phone, and reading a book on my Kindle.

And then the food mindgames started. I had forgotten I had purchased a roll of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls (the Cinnabon kind) recently because I was just going to give in to the damn Cinnabon craving, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.

So I started looking for something, anything interesting to eat. I found a mini-Kit-Kat that my husband had brought home from work, and a quarter-sized piece of Dove dark chocolate. I ate them both. I kept nibbling at other things to keep from eating the cinnamon rolls, and which needed to be baked.

I ate a bunch of crap I didn't need nor want in order to keep away from those fucking rolls. UGH. I should've just eaten them.

I'm at a Burger King right now sucking up their free Wi-Fi and guess what they sell here, all soft, gooey, warm and cinnamon-ey?  Yep. Cinnabon buns. So I got one. I let it sit for a while and continued to think about it. It cooled off. I ate it. It didn't taste that good cold. I wish I hadn't eaten it. I'm going to pay for it with gas, cramps, bloating, and the shits later. It wasn't worth it.

I feel like a failure as a WLS post-op, but at the same time I know that I went a long time without binging or even having the intensity of thoughts I'm having now. But I'm going to have to carb detox, which takes about 3 days, and then go back to the protein, fat, under 50 carbs a day I had been doing. I'm close to breaking into the 100s. I haven't weighed that little since high school, and that was after losing 30 pounds on Weight Watchers (my step-mother and I joined together when I was sixteen). I wonder if part of me is afraid to hit that number. I already look at all the saggy skin on my body--particularly my ass, which seems to have settled, in pleats, at the tops of my thighs--and yes, I've seen much, much worse cases of excess skin--and it makes me want to cry. Decades of being over 300 lbs have done this to me. And yes, I did it to myself, but the science to obesity is so much more complex than what we ever realized, and how food addiction is as bad as any heroin addiction, so there's no sense in pointing blame now. If anything, all the diets and up and down weights I experienced over the years contributed to me having metabolic syndrome, and my body held onto every damn pound as long as possible before letting it go, and I could never break 300 lbs on my own just dieting.

I belong to a really nice group on Facebook of DSer's that has minimal to no pettiness or assholery, and then I joined a binge eater support group also, and discovered that in addition to the drama, I don't really feel like the people there "get" what it means to be post-WLS and a binge eater, and I don't feel that the support I need is really there. I may leave that group.

I haven't started walking again, yet. Frankly, my anxiety is high and I don't like leaving the house by myself. I'll go if it's important, like to the DMV on Monday (more on that later), but it's anxiety and I know it. While I was in SoCal at Christmas I forgot my anti-depressant and anti-anxiety meds (but not my vitamins! LOL), and now is about the time when the half life wears off and the mood changes. I'll be all right in a few days, but now I'm really down. All I can do is wait it out. More Cinnabon isn't going to hurt. My stomach already feels like I swallowed a slowly inflating balloon. (#@!*&)

Well, Happy New Year, and may your eating plan, whatever it may be, make you happy and fulfilled.

Next year: May it be better than the last.

Cheers

Saturday, December 27, 2014

"...Cookies All the Way!"

So I overindulged my pre-planned, thought-out indulgence on Christmas Day.

My name is Jules. I am a food addict.

I cannot control myself around baked goods, period, the end.

I ate a boatload of cookies on Christmas Day--cookies I purchased at the store because we never made cookies on Christmas Eve like we'd planned on.

Shortbread, gingersnap (the chewy kind), and a small fruitcake. I like fruitcake. I don't know how many I ate, too many to count, plus a sliver of pecan pie and half of an apple strudel.

And some white chocolate peppermint bark.

The painful diarrhea started about three am. The gas, bloating, and cramps kept me up for hours in-between two-hour shit intervals.

I totally deserve it.

I did it to myself.

I lost control.

There is no such thing as "a few cookies." There is only "many cookies." I literally could not stop. I kept shoving them in. Oh yeah, I also had some Hershey's chocolate bells (like kisses only bell-shaped). I remember thinking, "You're really overdoing it." And then telling myself to "STFU."

I remembered why I was  morbidly obese, nearly super morbidly obese, for most of my life. I don't have an "OFF" switch when it comes to sugar and carbs. My tiny stomach held as many cookies as I could shove in. I should not have been able to hold the amount of food I ate over the course of the day, but I never felt full. Just like when I was obese.

I'm back on the protein, fat and less than 50 carbs per day wagon, but it's hard. I want carbs. I want them every minute of every day. Is this what drug or alcohol addiction feels like?

Eating them has made things worse. The obsession is amped up.

It was a mistake.

One I intend to learn from.

I just can't start. Don't even take one step onto the sugar-carb highway. You go from zero to 80 in five seconds flat. You. Cannot. Eat. Sugar/Carbs. You just can't.

I am a sugar/carb addict.

I have lost 113 pounds in nine months. NINE. MONTHS. I no longer have diabetes or high blood pressure. I can walk and stand for long periods of time. This is how I want to be, not the other way.

But the carbs. They call to me.

I won't listen. Lalalalalalala!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

MERRY CARBMAS!!


Wishing you and yours a happy holiday. May it find you surrounded with the comfort of family, pets, and friends, safe and warm, full of nutritious food, and snug in your bed at night. May peace and joy descend upon us at least this one day.

Peace and blessings,

Sparkly Jules

***
I spent most of the day at my in-laws struggling not to stuff every carb, of which there are many, into my mouth. I finally broke down about an hour ago and had a piece of apple strudel with some cottage cheese (balance??). My stomach is gurgling and me and my new BFF will be spending lots of time together in the near future. *ahem* Rhymes with "moilet." But it's just one day and I've dropped sixteen pounds in the last two weeks and my labs are good. I'm so good about vitamins that I brought those to my in-laws and forgot my prescription meds. LOL Two days won't kill me (and hopefully I won't kill anyone else without my anti-anxiety meds. LOL uh, yeah.)

We're human. Rather than beat myself up, I've decided to indulge, this evening and tomorrow. Of course, what I consider an indulgence now versus pre-DS is massive--say, one apple strudel versus the whole container of a dozen. KnowhatI'msayin'? Big difference. Prime rib and shrimp for dinner tomorrow, and that will fill me up for the most part. But maybe a piece of pie later. We'll see.

So eat, drink, and be merry, for Friday we die[t].

Cheers!


Merry Healthmas!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Labwork

I had labwork done in the middle of November, and I finally got a copy for myself on Thursday. My new PCP had called to tell me that everything "looked good," but that my "B6 and B12 are high." I'm not supplementing, so I'm not sure why they are high or what it means. Researching it on my phone (the only net access I have at home right now) has proven difficult. Regardless. I have a copy and I scanned in all four pages and sent it over to my DS surgeon yesterday.

Everything does look great.

My cholesteral has gone from 210 to 103. I told my mom and she said, "You're kidding? And you eat all that meat!"

I know, right?  My body burns protein for fuel followed by excess fat., which I also malabsorb due to the shortening of the small intestines. So it doesn't impact my cholesterol (that's the short version).

My protein is on the low end of normal so I'll amp up my protein a little bit. I've been eating a lot of eggs. Basically eggs every day for breakfast for the last two weeks.

My Vitamin A test has not come in yet, so I need to follow up on that.

Iron, Vitamin D, E, K, you name it, they're all good. And this is nine months plus post-surgery. I am extremely diligent about vitamins.

I take a Bariatric Advantage chewable multi designed for DSers (and why I may have too much B6/12); a LabCorps 50K dry Vitamin D, daily; a Proferrin ES Heme Iron Polypeptide (based on surgeons instructions) of 10.5 mg, twice daily; Calcium Citrate,  I've been trying different brands, but right now Mother's Brand citrus-flavored chewable, 1,000 mg, twice a day divided; BiOtin 10,000 mcg once a day (and not with coffee. Ahem. Just learned that this week, so it's now a nightime vit instead of an am, now.); and....that's it.

If anything changes, and I'll have labs again in February, I'll change my routine, but now it seems to be that everything is working. Or unless my surgeon makes a recommendation.

I feel great, my blood glucose is normal, and I have a lot of energy. Other than my ankle hurting and possible arthritis developing in my hands and ankle (I'm getting x-rays on Monday to confirm or rule out), I feel fabulous. It's sick how good I feel. *fingerscrossed* *don'tjinxyourselfjules* :-P

I haven't done a lot of what I call "intentional exercise" because I've been doing so much stuff around the house and circuits of Target getting stuff to both set up housekeeping and Christmas shop. And I always forget something. Also, I just wanted to rest my ankle. It's doing better now and I think I'll start walking down the dirt road that goes by our new house--it's .7 miles to the paved road, so 1.4 miles there and back. If my ankle doesn't bother me too much, maybe I'll do it twice. :D

***
So here it is, the holidays nearly upon us and over, and I am planning what things I would like to "splurge" on for Christmas. I'm making a SF cheesecake for everyone (and me), and I promised to help my MIL make cookies, so maybe a bite or two of dough, but I definitely want some pumpkin pie--that was really good at Thanksgiving.

So essentially, I'll be having tastes of Christmas stuff, except for the pumpkin pie (although it will be a very small piece--my MIL is making prime rib as she does every Christmas. That's perfect for me. No sides, thank you!), but hopefully it won't make me too sick, i.e., gas, bloating, the runs, because the day after Christmas we are coming home--only some much family dysfunction can be handled at once. Plus my mother's growing dementia and her drama...*sigh*

This is probably the first time I've ever really wanted the holidays to just be over. Usually I enjoy it a great deal--the lights, ornaments, tree, decorations, candles, baking, family, cards, friends--but this year? I'm ready to put it in my rear view mirror. It feels...forced. Intentional gaiety and joy feels uncomfortable, like too tight pants (not a problem I have now, but a great metaphor.). Sigh.

Ready to move on with my life, whatever that may look like; it's still taking shape in my mind.

***

PS:  Cheesecake Update

I tried one more slice, this time with SF Hershey's syrup (I use for coffee mochas), and a ton of whipped cream...and it was just...bleah. Like eating a brick of cream cheese only not as good. So it went into the bin. Too bad. What a waste. So I'll have to find a SF sweetener alternative besides Truvia baking mix because it just baked out completely and it didn't taste sweet at all. I guess I'll try Sucralose (Splenda), even though I try to keep away from it and Sweet 'N Low based on my surgeon's advice, but sometimes? A girl just needs some damn cheesecake, no matter what it's made of. Am I right?

Friday, December 19, 2014

I Lost 14 Lbs in a Week

The last time that happened it was because I had the flu and it was all body fluids weight.

So let's revisit:  Two weeks ago I had gone up nearly eight pounds. I buckled down with protein and fat and did NOT eat the Cinnabon roll that I had been craving...and that I would have had to drive to a mall to find anyway...and then guess what else? Ladies, you know what I'm talking about: It was the week before my period. Yeah, my doctors can't believe that at 52 I'm as regular as a clock, either. I'm not enjoying it and plan on seeing a GYN in the new year to make. it. stop. Thirty-nine years of menstruation is enough already. Seriously.

So I'm going to guess I gained water weight, and then due to buckling down I lost the gained pounds plus six more. I'm inching towards the 100s. I haven't seen those numbers since high school. Seriously.

My skin looks like hell, everwhere, but I admit to enjoying being a size L on top and an XL on the bottom (18). I still have a lot of fat on my belly, but that's not surprising considering I had diabetes for sixteen years. It'll be the last to go. Whatever. I'm fine where I am right now, really. I don't care if I lose another pound.

As for plastic surgery, the only things I would consider it for are my arms if they are super flappy and a rash or worse sets in--and I'm not at that point--and if my belly ends up lying on my pubic bone. That's it. No body or boob lifts. I'm at the age where this stuff is starting to go anyway and I wouldn't have had plastic surgery on them if I had stayed obese. Sort of like I have a lot of grey hair, now. I'm still coloring it, but flirting with letting it grow out in its natural color--maybe when I'm closer to 60. Damn. It's not that far away, either. But my quality of life is so so so much better, and as an active diabetic with out-of-control diabetes (and a food addiction), I figured I wouldn't make it out of my 60s alive. Now I have a shot at living longer.

Well, Christmas is nearly here and I'm just not in the spirit this year. I guess all the tsuris of the last six months, the surgery, the moving, the family dysfunction, etc., and I still don't feel settled. I'm going to be spending the next three days at home (alone, I hope. I plan to send my teacher husband who is on break out into the world to go run jump and play so I can finish unpacking. Yes, I am that controlling.).

I wish I could see my nieces this year, but it's just not in the cards. I miss them a lot. I just put their Christmas box in the mail about an hour ago. Nothing huge, a couple tops, a book, two handmade clay pins that I picked up in Laguna Beach when I was there last month with my MIL, and my sister's birthday presents. Uh, yeah, her birthday is in August. So, yeah, I hate going to the post office to stand in line. :-)

I have one more book to order for them but I'll have to do it online; the bookstore itself was sold out.

I'm having a SF Vanilla Latte at Mickey D's, the only thing that I'll really have here outside of an iced tea. (Their food is gross. I quit eating it in 2002 after reading FAST FOOD NATION. You should, too.)

Cheers

Thursday, December 11, 2014

In the Immortal Words of Jesse Pinkman...

"Later, bitches!!"

I lost the seven gained pounds and lost one extra pound.

*grin*

How? By being diligent. Protein, protein, protein, fat, fat, carbs as low as possible.

I had oily diarrhea from too much bacon yesterday--I am a little touchy with too much fat--so I won't be doing that again (a pound of bacon in one day, not all at once, but throughout the day). Live and learn.

Here's what I had for breakfast today:


Two eggs scrambled with 1/4 of a smoked beef sausage (like Polska Kielbasa, which I love), chopped, a handful of cheddar cheese, salsa on the side, coffee with half and half.

Num.


Gotta have it spicy. I grew up with spicy food, and after my diabetes diagnoses the craving for spicey increased, and it hasn't abated by having this surgery. If anything, I need it spicey to keep it interesting because I eat a lot of the same thing over and over again. Uh, yeah.

So yeah, take that bitches. :-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Melissa's Famous Cheesecake (Low Carb)

So I made Melissa's cheesecake yesterday. I meant to get a snap of it but I forgot. Sue me. :-P  But here is my opinion of it based on the one mouthful I had last night before bed (I was too full from dinner to actually have a slice even several hours later):

Melissa's Famous Cheesecake

It's good. I mean...really, really good. But I do have one thing that I would do differently next time, and because there will be a next time: more sweetener, in my case, Truvia baking mix. I added 1/3 of a cup and the cheesecake barely tastes sweet at all. It tastes more savory and like cream cheese than anything else. That is disappointing, but it won't stop me from eating it. I did taste it before I put it in the oven, and I found it moderately sweet, which was fine; however, after baking, it is not sweet at all. Hello! I'm having cheesecake because I want something sweet...so depending on what sweetener you use, it could "bake out", and basically have no taste. Too bad. Now I know for next time, though.

Here is the nutrition info from Melissa's website:

  1. 292 Calories, 29 grams Fat, 2.5 Net Carbs & 6.5 grams Protein per serving (per mini cheesecake--what fits inside a cupcake wrapper).


I'm thinking of making either a chocolate or pumpkin one for Christmas Day.

What are you doing to cope with holiday goodie abundance this year?

*** Update 12 11 14***

Here's a picture of the cheesecake. Yes, it burned on top because I had to make it on a small convection oven I have. The real oven in our new place either doesn't work or is so complex with buttons and gadgets that I can't figure it out. Landlady was no help, either, but one way or another, it's getting resolved. Maybe after the craziness of the holidays is over.

I ate a piece last night with some whipped cream and....it tasted like cream cheese. Do I throw the whole thing out and start over? That's a lot of wasted food, but it just doesn't taste sweet. Ugh. Recommendations? Thoughts? Thanks.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Weight Gain / Food Mindgames

I gained seven pounds in less than a week. A chill ran down my back when I saw those numbers on the scale.

I think I know what happened.

I was at my in-laws over the weekend and with my mom on Sunday and I ate all my meals out. I ate too many carbs. In the past I’ve eaten a few carbs, like pizza, and still lost weight (one slice), but as I am about to reach the eight-month post-surgical mark, my weight loss is slowing down. I need to be more diligent and more mindful now than ever before, particularly as I approach the 100 lbs lost mark.

So we came home Sunday night (oh yeah—we found a place. Well, my husband got a job and then we found a place. We’ve been here a week and it’s a mess LOL), and went straight to the grocery store and bought foods to eat and prepare at home. I’m currently munching on some bacon I purchased last night. We went back to the store so that I could get the items needed to make a low-carb cheesecake. I’ve really been jonesing for the carbs. Stress combined with hormones is always the “fix it with food/carbs” trigger for me. I resisted, for the most part, although I did have some carbs I shouldn’t have thinking that it would be “OK” because I’d had them in the past (pizza crust, bbq beans, tortilla chips with salsa).

The last two days have found me eating cleanly, nearly no carbs (I need to get back to MyFitnessPal to track my protein, fat, and carbs, but we have no net access here at home. UGH. Working on it.) Yesterday I got up and weighed myself—down two pounds. This morning I got up, stepped on the scale, down an additional three pounds. So five of the seven are gone. Hopefully in a few days I’ll be back at 218 and then can move forward toward that 200 lb mark.

Again, this is not about appearance—because honestly, I think I look like hell—but about health. This is about being healthy. My goal was to be under 200 lbs. My surgeon says I should fall in the 150-175 lb category. I think that might be too much weight, but we’ll see.

In the "old days?" I'd get on the scale, see the weight gain, and quit getting on the scale--what I didn't know ostrich head in the stand action. No longer. Now I see a gain and I kick into action. I like that better.

Oh—also? Had carb-fallout diarrhea all day yesterday. That was fun. NOT. Today was just a normal, regular poop. If you’re a DSer, you know how wonderful this is. Especially since it probably means I’ll only go the one time today instead of the 15 I did yesterday while I was out going to appointments and sucking up WiFi at Starbucks. *ahem* Not fun.

Oh, and this is strange:  For the last five years or so the thought of eating an avocado made me wrinkle up my nose and say “yuck.” For whatever reason, over the last month or so that taste has been coming back and I actually had some guacamole last week at a restaurant. It was delicious. So I purchased some avocados the other night to make my own guacamole at home. I make it kind of on the fly—lemon juice, salt and pepper, some ranch dressing, some salsa (I like Pace), then mix it all up. I’m also going to make some cheese “crackers”, which are made by melting little piles of cheese in the oven until they are crisp like a cracker. You get that crunch you crave for a cracker but it’s all protein. I love that. I hope they’re not hard to make.

I’m going to make cheesecake now; I’ll let you know how it turns out. If it’s any good, I’ll put up a link to the recipe.

Cheers.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Eating Clean When You Want to Binge / Holidays

I've been doing very well eating clean the last few weeks, for the most part. But that out-of-control binge-eater inside of me still wants to eat too much and the wrong thing.

I could've used a big pile of chocolate yesterday. And today.

I'd love a piece of pumpkin pie.

Peanut butter cookies sound good, too.

Aww hell, I just want to shove some sugary goodness in my mouth to comfort myself because I'm stressed and anxious. I mean, that always worked in the past...right?

Uh, yeah. I ate myself right into Type II diabetes, HBP, achy joints and back yada yada yada.

Eating like that does not work for me. Or anyone.

So how do I resist? How am I able to maintain "control" now? What is the difference?

First, the difference is...sometimes I do indulge. But not to the degree I did before DS surgery. Chocolate? One or two squares and I'm good, not the whole bar (and I mean the big size, not the fun or regular size, the big ones).

The biggest thing for me is not just a smaller stomach, that is only part of it, no, the big deal for me are the change in bowel habits, the bloating, the gas. It's literally pain that keeps me eating clean 85% (90%?) of the time.

Shitting my pants, even a tiny bit, is not fun. Diarrhea every few miles or every few minutes (especially when not at home) is both uncomfortable and embarrassing. And the smell? Would kill an orc, I mean it. It's bad.

So I pause before putting that thing in my mouth--what will this do to me? And most of the time I either don't eat it, or I have just a taste. And by a taste I mean whatever will fit on the end of my finger. And I savor it, I enjoy it. I don't just shove it in to make room for more because that big void inside of me needs filling. Sigh.

But that part of me--the binge eater--she's there, not too far below the surface. I have to remind myself to slow down when I'm eating something, particularly if its delicious, like the cheese covered baked cod we had for dinner tonight. Really good. But I had to slow down...no one is going to take it away from you, J. Take your time. Put your fork down. Look around. Engage others in conversation. Your fish will still be there.

And it was.

So I'm continually learning new habits and new tricks to remain focused on clean eating. Having coffee every day makes a huge difference. It's so yummy and seems like such a forbidden treat, and I really enjoy it especially knowing it's not forbidden, especially if made with half and half or HWC (heavy whipping cream).

So there are tricks I play on myself, small occasional indulgences, and the desire to feel good, but ultimately, I do what I do for my health. That's what this whole big deal was about to begin with--being healthy, living longer, doing more.

I am that person now. And I want to stay that way.

Thanksgiving day is going to see an indulgence in a small slice of pumpkin pie, heavy on the whipped cream, but otherwise protein, protein, a bite of stuffing, a bite of sweet potato, and done. I can't afford to be sick on Friday--I have a long drive ahead of me.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. What's on your dinner table? Care to share your tips for clean eating / not bingeing? Leave them in the comments.



Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Hair

So most WLS patients will have hair loss starting about 4 months post surgery. Mine started in July, big long strings of it, coming out in my hands in the shower, so just about right on target. Unfortunately I didn't have a lot of hair to start with. I'd had a very stressful job in 1994 and it started falling out in great big bunches and never really came back. Then health problem after health problem, weight gain, diabetes, blah blah blah, and I had thin hair.

Well, it started growing back, so I have these hairs about 4 inches long sticking up from the formerly empty spaces of my scalp, and they like to stick straight up, and which makes my hair look fuzzy. Also, my existing hair is fuzzy.

Sigh.

I've had to do this elaborate hair comb-over "system" so that both strangers and I don't look through my thin hair to my scalp. And I've tried a lot of products over the summer and through the fall to try and have a semi-normal looking hairstyle, and this is what's working for me right now:

1. Treseme' Hydrating Shampoo.

Normally I steer clear of hydrating shampoos because I have an oily scalp. Previously if I were to use a hydrating shampoo, by the end of the day, I had a limp, greasy blob lying on my head. Ewww, gross. But for my frizzy, thin hair? It's working just fine.

Notice that it is a sample size. I don't buy full-size products anymore until I try them out. I've given away or chucked more haircare products than I care to think about.

2. Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Conditioner

This is the shizzit. Not only does it do everything it says it will do on the bottle, but it smells like apricots, one of my favorite smells in the world. I may upgrade to a full-size bottle when this sample-size runs out.



3. Garnier Fructis De-Constructed Move It Manipulating Gel


I originally purchased this because I liked the scent--black fig. Fig is one of my favorite scents--perfume, candles, whatever, I love the smell. As it turns out, this not only smells good, but it is hair glue for reals. I put it on my hair, smoosh it around, and it is not going anywhere. Period. Because my hair is so fine, and thin, I quit blow drying it years ago. It just burns my hair and makes it fuzzy. So I let my hair air dry and then I run a brush through it and my style stays in place. It's fabulous. I recommend it highly. If you want to change up your look later, just wet it and restyle it and it will stay in the new style. I follow up with a little hair spray and I'm good for all but the highest Santa Ana winds.

4. My Secret Weapon:  Frizz-Ease Serum, Extra Strength



None of the above would work without starting with Frizz-Ease as soon as I get out of the shower. I wrap my hair in a towel and let the towel soak up some moisture while I do my face (freshener and moisturizer with serum). And then, even though on the back it clearly says, "do not use more than one pump," my hair requires two pumps of serum, even though there's not much of it, what's there is snarly and defiant. So this is the first thing I put on after getting out of the shower after washing and conditioning. The best $7- I ever spent on my hair. I'd pay double, even triple, to get the benefit of this serum. My hair would be in a ponytail 24/7 without this product.

So that's it. That's my ritual. I wash my hair every 2 - 3 days depending on how sweaty both me and my scalp have been, and other than hairspray, I just wet a brush, drag it through my hair in the morning, and let it dry, and I'm good to go for another day. Easy peasy. I hope those short hairs keep growing. I wish they'd grow faster, but if wishes were horses...

What's your favorite hair product?

Oh yes: I also take 5,000 mcg of BiOtin daily, and have been since January. I can't tell if it helps or not, but it's a sublingual melt in strawberry lemonade flavor and it tastes good so I keep taking it.

Cheers.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Surgeon Says I Look Great

I think I just look tired. And wrinkled. Tired and wrinkled.  And pale. Tired, wrinkled, and pale. But I do feel great, so there's that. (Taken right after surgeon follow-up appointment, still high on his "you look great" comment. That wore right off as soon as I saw these selfies. Wowza. :p )




Monday, November 17, 2014

Follow-up Visit With Surgeon Today

This was my three months since my last appointment followup. My doctor, whom I LURVE, walked into the room, paused, said "Wow. You look great."
"I do?" I said.
"Yeah, you look great. How do you feel?"
"I feel great." I said.
"222 lbs. When is the last time you weighed that?" I had to think about it. "That long?" he said, laughing.
"Twenty-three," I said. "The year I went to Europe."
"Long time," he said.

We chatted about my life, vitamins, any problems (none), anything unusual (nothing), how far I can walk now, etc. and etc. and then I mentioned my hernia: "It's getting bigger," I said.

"Stand up,"  he said and nodded toward the zipper of my jeans.

I stood, unbuttoned my ever-looser jeans only to discover my fly was already down. Awesome.

He apologized for his cold hands but that he'd "just washed them," and he cupped the lump above my bellybuttonlike it was a baby. He pressed and prodded and nodded his head. "Six months," he said, meaning that's when I could consider repair. "It's uncomfortable," I said.
"Uh huh," he said. "And then you can consider what you you want to do with whatever is going on down below," meaning the panni, or deflated belly fat that is turning into just hanging skin. Still quite a bit of fat there, but it's deflating like a balloon with a slow leak.
"Snip snip" I said. "Cut it off."
He nodded his head. "We'll see." I agreed.
He then added, "You should end up somewhere around 175-150 lbs."
"Do you think so? I'd be happy to be under 200 lbs."
"Yes, no doubt."
That caught me off guard. I don't know if I want to be that thin, honestly. I don't mind being a L / XL. I could lose some more gut, but overall, I'm comfortable in this body.

We shook hands, he headed out, I wished him a good holiday season, and headed out to schedule my next appointment, in six months, and chat with the gals at the front desk before I left. I was there in total about 30 minutes. I didn't get to read one gossip mag. :-P

He's such a nice man and his staff is also kind and compassionate. It's always a pleasure to visit with them all, even if it's for something as utilitarian as a surgery follow-up.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Over _That_

The explosive diarrhea, that is.

I'm not sure what caused that on Monday, but driving across Orange County California I had to stop three times before I shit my pants. And a lot.

I'd been eating pretty cleanly, so I'm not sure what caused that, but I really could have done without it. Something I hate did not aree with me, however, but I don't know what it could have been.

I continue to lose weight, I'm losing about 1 lb a week, but my clothes are loosening up so I'm going to guess that I'm shrinking and maybe gaining muscle without losing a lot of weight. That's my guess anyway.

On top I can wear anything from a L to an XXL, including a size 14, depending on the cut of the clothing. On the bottom, I'm just not sure. I have a size XL warm jammy bottoms, just got a pair of sweatpant-style cargo pants in winter white ($10- of a KOHL's for Veteran's Day, so originally $45- pants, on sale for $10-, with coupon I got them for $10- LOL), and they are an XL and a tiny bit snug around the gut, but they otherwise fit. I don't know what number size that is, but it was pretty shocking and a bit thrilling. I can wear tunic tops over them until I lose the gut (if I ever do).

My bra size has gone from a 46DDD to a 40DD. Of course, I practically have to roll them around a pencil before I shove them in the cups to get them in there--snort--so I still have a little boobage, even if they are wrinkled and feel like a partially deflated balloon. I'm 52, who really gives a crap whether my boobs feel full or not, or look smooth or wrinkled or not? It's just start of the process of staying alive.

I saw my new doctor with our new insurance yesterday, and she renewed several prescriptions, gave me some 800 mg prescription Motrin for the nightime, early-morning wakey-up-ey bone pain, and today I didn't wake up before dawn with pain. So fingers crossed that it wasn't a fluke. It's bad--it feels like someone hit me with a bat and that the bone might be broken--and having broken my ankle 2 1/2 years ago, I know what that feels like. So I hope this will do the trick, long term.

She also ordered labs based on a list I gave her that my DS surgeon keeps up on his practice's website--she ordered them all and a stool test, which I have yet to do.

We'll see how the tests come out. I've been diligent with my vitamins and supplements, but as you know if you are a DS-er, that may not mean anything. Your mileage may vary (ymmv). *fingerscrossed*

I feel great (mostly--not today. Today I'm tired), I walk a lot. I walked five miles on the beach cliffs in Huntington Beach last Sunday. Nearly to the pier and back to where my car was parked. I was tired, but I did it anyway. My feelings were only slightly hurt when a silver-haired bald senior puffing and huffing passed me on the left--I'm new to exercise, he might have been doing it for a while. Plus, my ankle starts to hurt if I overdo it too much, even with the brace.

I'd REALLY like a bicycle. I've got my eye on one at Kmart. I'm thinking of putting it on layaway. ;-)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I Love Walks

Having some really cute new workout clothes doesn't hurt, either. :-P

I woke up Saturday morning at 8:30 am, waaaaay earlier than I do normally, but as I mentioned I have been having bone pain at night that has been waking me up. Saturday was no different.

I got up, groaned, made coffee, drank it, surfed Facebook on my phone, and then *DOIH*, decided this glorious first fall-feeling day of the season was designed to be out and about in, so I changed into my cool walking pants, matching tank, trainers, and my now giant on me USC hoodie--there was an actual chill in the air, and headed out. I had no particular direction I was going, I just wanted to be out.

It was awesome.


I actually found a red fall leaf, I think it was a maple of some kind. Gorgeous.


I walked and walked and walked and it felt SO good. I brought only my cell phone and a KIND nut bar (gawd are those good and good for you--recommended by my DS surgeon, so talk to him about it if you don't agree.); but I knew there were several places along the way to get a drink or, I dunno, a coffee *grin*

I walked until I hit a T-intersection, so I whipped out my phone and opened the Google maps app and discovered that if I went south about three blocks, I would run across an organic store I liked in a strip mall with...a coffee cafe!

So I headed over there.

I found the coffee place, ordered a coffee, all their coffee was organic and "for here" orders are served in a large cup with a saucer--nice--too bad the coffee was just "meh." I ate my KIND bar, not because I was hungry, but because I needed the fuel.

I took off my jacket and just sat for a while and enjoyed being out and by myself.

After about 30 minutes, I bussed my table and made use of the bathroom where I took these photos. Like a lot of WLS / DS patients, I take a lot of selfies because I'm still trying to translate what I look like now versus seven months ago. It's not quite there, yet, and my image frequently catches me off guard.

Also? I want more workout clothes. :-)



A lot of my "gut" is actually hernia. Oh well.



My exercise and otherwise "Go To" bra these days is the Genie bra--it's like a short tank top that's super tight and stretchy. I love it. The new bras I bought in June area already too big and uncomfortable to wear as they ride up in the back no matter how many times I tug on them. So that's on the agenda soon.

After this, I put my USC hoodie back on, headed over to the organic grocery store, bought a handful of things including a bouquet of fall flowers, and headed back. According to my GPS/Google maps, it was 1.8 miles from the grocery store and then 1.8 back, but I got lost by several blocks, so I'm going to go ahead and round this out to 4 miles. Awesome. Unbelievable. I would never have been able to do this seven months ago even if Zombies were chasing me. Seriously.

On the down side, my poor ankle couldn't handle it and it started giving me quite a bit of pain before I made it all the way back.  I iced it, took some Advil, neither of which helped, so I got an ankle brace which helps quite a bit. I took yesterday off walking to give it a chance to rest, but I'm ready to get back out there tomorrow. We shall see. I may need to stay around 2 miles until it feels better.

But man...that was a lot of fun.

I'm still undecided as to how I feel about all the male attention I am receiving out in public. It's weird to have this happening in my life again (like in my teens and 20s). I'm not looking for attention, I'm just trying to feel good and enjoy myself.

If you read my other blog, head on over there for some great pics of a walk I took at the Bolsa Chica Wetlands. Cheers.

Oh, as a comparison? Here is a picture of me taken in July 2009 at Arches National Park in Utah at 325 lbs. I really wanted to walk up that hill to the arch, but couldn't. I hope I get another opportunity to go there.

Friday, October 24, 2014

PMS and Food Addiction

Two nights ago, I was stuffing food into my mouth like the Taliban was at the door. Crunchy Cheet-ohs, an ice cream sandwich, cheese, jalapeno poppers (SO good), Swanson's meat lasagna...stuff I don't ordinarily eat, and WAY too much of it. I knew I would pay the price.

And so I did.

I couldn't sleep that night. I was uncomfortable, bloated, my body ached all over. I started with the trips to the toilet about 6 am. That went on about 4 hours. Painful, crampy, uncomfortable trips to the bathroom. And need I say foul smelling? (A hallmark of the DS.) I stayed in bed until 3 pm trying to catch up on some sleep and feel well enough to haul my ass out of bed. It was still a struggle.

Yesterday I did fine, I had a couple of moments but still managed to mostly maintain, and then last night, started my period. Yup. I am almost 52-fucking-years-old and still menstruating. When is this shit going to go away already. Not only that, but it's like a clock, regular as shit. I think 40 years of this crap is enough, don't you? Mother nature, you listening?

As soon as I get my insurance sorted out, I'm getting a thermal ablation. I'm SO over this, seriously.

So I'm going to go with PMS food cravings for $1000, Alex. *snort*  Ya think?

I didn't even think about it. Other than being long and heavy, my periods have basically given me no trouble since shortly after I left my teens. I do get clumsy in the day or two before, and I have noticed food cravings, also, but I really wasn't thinking about it on Wednesday. I felt stressed, anxious, afraid, like my heart my explode in my chest, and I knew I was using food to comfort myself (and which mostly didn't work, except for the ice cream *grin*). I felt out of control. Feelings became actions.

But it makes sense. So I need to make sure to pay more attention to the calender when I have these weird food cravings and know that I can fight them with exercise, distractions, and better food choices. The knowing makes it easier to fight instead of just flailing against unseen enemies in the dark.

My weight hasn't changed in a week or so, but my clothes are still getting loose, so we'll see. I'm going to go eat my "enchiladas in a bowl" for break/lunch. Basically ground beef with Las Palmas mild enchilada sauce (my favorite), cheese, sour cream. Yum. Then a walk.

Monday, October 20, 2014

My Hernia

I first felt a lump behind and above my bellybutton about two months after surgery. The doctor looked at it and said not to worry about because if, indeed, I had a hernia, it would help me get a tummy tuck down the road. No big deal. I figured I'd get an apron, and I seem on the way to that.

In June, I had an MRI to look for metastatic ocular melanoma in the abdomen, specifically the liver, and the radiologists noted that it appeared that I probably had an inguinal hernia. Yeah, no surprise there.

Well...it's gotten bigger. A LOT bigger. And it's starting to hurt. It's a sharp pain, it gurgles sometimes, and if I eat to much it can hurt a great deal. Last night it almost felt like a strangulation. I won't be able to wait two years to get this puppy fixed--I'm thinking it's going to need to be sooner.

January 1, unless something changes, I will be going into the CalOptima program that is administered by state Medi-Cal (the basic, which I have, straight Medi-Cal), and I can be on a network such as Blue Cross or United. The paperwork is about two inches thick and will take some time to go through, so I'm thinking sometime in the early part of 2015 or the spring I'll be having a hernia repair. We'll see. I see my surgeon in early November so we can talk about it then.

But it's huge, it hurts, and when I look down I feel like I'm looking over a basketball--I look pregnant. here's a picture I took two nights ago before I got in the shower:

 That big round thing just below my cell phone camera in my hand (black square), is the hernia. I would look a lot slimmer if I didn't have it. Appearance doesn't mean as much to me as the pain and discomfort--that really sucks.

So does the thinning hair. Bleh.

Just click your heels, turn around, and keep repeating, Jules, "I don't have diabetes. I don't have diabetes. I don't have diabetes."

Monday, October 13, 2014

Doing Good

I love my exercise pants. They feel so great when walking--they are snug, stay put, and keep me from jiggling, all good. :-)

I'm staying with a friend and I took her dog for a long walk Saturday night. I don't know who was walking who, really, but we both had a good time. I didn't get out last night because I was out with my friend and her family, and tonight we have something to do, and it's just too hot in the daytime--over 90 F. I hope tomorrow night.

My eating is mostly okay, although the choices are limited due to my limited cash flow. Mostly cheese, yogurt, and nuts.

I haven't weighed myself in a few days, so I don't know what it is.

The contrast in how I eat versus what other people eat has been very stark since I've been here. The dramatic changes I've implemented as a result of the DS surgery to stay alive and healthy are definitely highlighted. I do it without thinking now--and hallelujah. That was the whole point, after all. :-)

So hanging in there, nothing new to report. New jeans are getting loose (new in June).

Hope you're well, too.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Exercise

I walked 2.5 miles today up and down hills. I had my new workout pants on, a college T-shirt that was always too small, another college that I attended on my ball cap, my iPod, and a bottle of water. And here is the strange part about the whole experience:

I enjoyed it.

My body craves exercise.

I felt great, even after my iPod died halfway. (Amy Winehouse is awesome for walking, IMHO, also.)

Tomorrow I'm going to take a different route but about the same distance.

I'm a little sore, but in a good way.

I can't wait to get back out there.


That lump on the bottom right is my boob, not a fat roll. :D

Minus 84 pounds. I'm still struggling to wrap my brain around it.



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cow Flop

Call me Gassy.

Sometimes I feel like these morning DS poops are like giant cow poops--I sit down, it flops out, it smells, I flush, wash, and move on.

Today was especially bad.

All my fault.

We're "out of town," which is kind of a misnomer because we're in the area we're going to be living in. My husband got a job on the (gorgeous) central coast of California and we're staying at a hotel while we look for a place...and which is not going well.

We have a mini fridge in our room, and I've got it stocked with cheese, cottage cheese, HwC, yogurt, and water. I also have some nuts and a bag of spicy chipotle beef jerky. During the daytime, while he's at work, I have my snacks and meals covered. At night, we generally go out for a hot meal.

Last night my husband came in from work, hungry and agitated, and insisted he wanted to go to Hometown Buffet. We found one and drove over there. I didn't really want to go there, but figured I'd have a nice big piece of prime rib with horseradish sauce.

Instead, I thoughtlessly and mindlessly...no, that's not true. I acted with intention and choice. I made bad choices and I knew I was making bad choices but I just said "fuck it." I had cornbread with butter, I had a spoonful of barbecued beans, broccoli salad with bacon, four bites of Caesar salad, prime rib, a chicken wing, a piece of fish with tartar sauce, Bourbon chicken, and a small piece of coconut pie.

I didn't eat anywhere near what I used to eat and what put me at 351 pounds--I can't eat large quantities--but I ate quite a bit of the wrong thing. And I knew it. Food addiction is insidious.

I told my husband, "I'll be shitting all day tomorow."

I had a bloated stomach and gas all night. The smell of nasty gas actually woke me up. I crapped so much when I got up, I didn't think the toilet would flush, honestly.

Fortunately, this happens rarely anymore. Addiction recovery is a lifelong, frequently daily, sometimes minute-by-minute process. Fortunately, the DS offers consequences, serious consequences, that make it easier for me--not easy, easiER--to make good choice, improve my health, my outlook, and how I feel. And why I chose it.

I make no excuses. I made the choices, I live with the consequences. Sometimes knowing they are there is not enough--sometimes I need to experience them. Clearly.

But man...last night was a long and painful one.

I'm putting on my exercise pants and going for a long walk.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Fat is Good For You...

I'd suspected this since my father had a triple bypass in 2000 and the day of surgery--preceded by an angiogram--his cholesterol was 135: Low normal.

I also had success with the Atkins diet in 2003 and felt really good.

When I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1994 (I think), I was encouraged to eat low fat. I changed from ground beef to ground turkey, and started using canola margarine, but otherwise did not change my fat eating, but I did radically change my carb eating.

Take a look for yourself.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/06/opinion/teicholz-fear-of-dietary-fat-melting/

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Restless Night

I slept badly last night.

My feet hurt. The diabetic neuropathy is actually worse now post-diabetes post-DS surgery than when I actually had diabetes. I'm also out of amitryptilene, that I used to treat the pain. I've been trying to find a doctor under our new plan, Medi-Cal (Medicaid in other states), but not a lot of doctors take it. Also, we haven't received our medical ID cards. *urgh*

My butt hurts when I sit too much. Or sometimes for no reason. Like last night.

My right arm has been hurting in the early mornings, waking me up. It feels like a bone bruise, bone pain, and my shoulder, arm bone between shoulder and elbow, and wrist throb with pain. This has been going on for over a month and is spreading and getting worse. I don't know what it is. No position alleviates the pain. I've slept through thunderstorms and fire engines with sirens, so when I say that pain woke me up, it's got to be bad. I also have a low pain tolerance, but still. Pain should not be waking me up.

Then I had bloating, gas, and gas pains. I ate four bites of buttered bread at Denny's--a bite out of each half slice, just where the butter was. I also had hummus and 1/4 of a fresh, warm pita bread at dinner last night at a Greek/Lebanese cafe. (I had a Fatoush salad with grilled beef, side of garlic sauce. I ate it in two different meals.)

That caused the bloating and gas pain. I guess. I didn't eat anything else different and I've had hummus before with no ill effect.

I woke up early feeling unrested and I have big dark circles under my eyes. I wonder if that's a permanent condition now...?

On Sunday, I feel like I pooped my brains out. I went four times by dinnertime, and the amount of poop that came out of me was amazing. I feel like I lost 10 pounds in just poop. Un. Be. Lievable.
R also had bathroom issues (he has irritable bowel), so we were synched with our bathroom needs that day.

Yesterday not too much, although I've already gone twice today.

I want to lounch around in bed today, but I've got a lot to do and my ass hurts. I'm going to go for a walk and see if that helps with the pain. Plus, it's gorgeous here and I really should get out and about.

Laters.

One Coping Mechanism

I love baked goods. I'll take a cheese Danish over a piece of candy or chocolate any day. That is my weakness. One of the ways I cope with the overwhelming images that we are bombarded with on all forms of food media from billboards to Twitter, is by remembering this: They are trying to sell me something. And not just that, but I've noticed that most grocery stores put their baked goods right by the entrance! Impulse buy? Here I am!!

I have a very black/white view of social justice, and I have boycotted a number of places, for years, if I believe they have behaved badly in some way against an innocent person or groups of persons. There is no gray area in my mind. You're either ethical or you're not. For instance, I quit buying SHELL gasoline after the  execution/murder of Ken Saro WiWa in 1995. I will never buy anything from them--not a car wash, not gas, not a candy bar, EVER--for their abominable treatment of the Ogoni people resulting in the death of that brilliant man.

I was deeply impacted by Ken Schlosser's book Fast Food Nation, which I read in 2002. I quit eating at McDonald's for good (with a few exceptions when I had no other choices like while traveling), and most other fast food places--at least those with poor food handling practices, slaughterhouse practices, employment practices, ad infinitum.

So when I feel the overwhelming fingers of marketing trying to massage my addiction, I rebel. Oh hell no, you are not going to talk me into eating some crap that is bad for me, even if I didn't have WLS or had diabetes--you are selling a product without thought or regard for the effect that product will have on your consuming public, and I, for one, am not going to fall for it.

Righteous anger keeps me away from most of the bad stuff. I have more of a struggle at privately owned places that make from scratch, chemical free products. That's a little more difficult.The best thing I can do is to just keep out of those places and eat the protein first--I usually don't have room for anything else after that.

Whatever works and what I can live with. The less processed foods and chemicals that go into my body, the happier I am and better I feel. Win/win.

***
Additionally, I was going through a bag of my clothes to sell, and I found a blouse that my husband's mother gave me. It's a lovely sheer blouse over a cotton tank with paisley and lovely beading. It fit my upper body perfectly, was a bit snug over my hips, but did fit.

It was a size 14. Holy crap.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Some New Photos

I took these today with my new Android phone from Verizon--and which I love. Great phone--so I took these this afternoon with the new phone. These are the best of the shots. I enjoy taking selfies because it helps me understand how my appearance has changed in just six months. I've been tired all day, and I've got some big dark circles under my eyes, but hopefully they won't stick around (more protein!). So here they are...





Cheesecake Queen - With an Update

It's my thing now, man.  High protein, 0 sugar, low carbs. Oh yell yeah.

So I made one tonight based on the recipe I posted a few days ago with a few exceptions:

No HWC--instead I used 8 ounces of sour cream, full fat.

I put all the vanilla, 2 tbsp, right into the cream cheese mixture after I had beaten it.

1 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice

I mixed after each addition and added the cup of Stevia in by 1/3rds, mixed, then added the next third and so on.

The result?

A much thicker texture, creamier and more flavorful. This might be it.

Also, based on a request by my hubs, I baked the crust (1 cup graham cracker crumbs, 4 tbsp butter melted, 1 tsp stevia) at 400F for about 20 minutes. It came out very dark but it smells fab. After it cooled I put the cream cheese mixture onto it and popped it in the fridge. I haven't had any yet, but I'll let you know. The beaters were mighty good, I'm here to tell you. :D

***

Okay, clearly finding the prefect cheesecake is a journey.

The above turned out great in taste, but the texture is very gluey. Like what you'd imagine beaten cream cheese would look and feel like.

I did like the crunchy crust, however. That can stay.

So I think I'm looking at baking a cheesecake instead of going the no-bake route. This basically means eggs and time in an oven. At my in-laws, I do have access to an oven. If we end up staying at the weekly motel longterm (and would I? With cats? Not fair to them, me thinks.). I would not have oven access.

I guess I'll keep experimenting until I find one I like. I'm not the best recipe-creator. I can modify an existing recipe, but macing one up out of whole cloth? Not so good at.:-)

Onward.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Transference

I am a recovering food addict. Now that I've had the weight loss surgery, the DS, that makes it harder for me to binge eat (ha! as if.), and eating off target foods can cause GI distress in the form of either the runs or constipation, the former sometimes immediately.

I don't smoke, quit in 2006.

I don't drink, doctor's orders. I had a fatty liver, and liver enzymes are elevated for the first year or so post-DS, so I want it to heal as much as possible--I had hepatitis in 1984, Non/A, Non/B, there was no C then, but I've been tested and I don't have any of those three (I believe there is hepatitis up to K in the alphabet, now), so I've always had to keep an eye on my liver.  Once my early 20s passed, I basically only drink on holidays or hot days (Margaritas). So taking two years off to let my liver heal is really not a big deal. I'm grateful as hell it will heal.

I'm married, eight years next month, so sport-fucking is out as an addiction. Yes, it really is.

Crying is difficult, near impossible, because I take Prozac for depression and it suppresses most tears.

But I recently caught myself going down the slippery slope of shopping addiction. It's easy to rationalize because I need new, smaller clothes, since dropping 80 pounds (officially, today). And then earrings on clearance, shower gel, blah blah blah. I've been spending money we don't have.

I don't have an income. My husband gets unemployment after being laid off from his teaching job in June, and it's not a lot. Staying with my in-laws means we don't pay rent, but we couldn't afford to live here regardless, job or not job. Rents are through the roof in the OC. $1,000 will get you a room in a house or apartment, sharing a bathroom. I am not making this up. I wouldn't be living at my in-laws if it were true.

But I have been buying stuff on clearance at Target. I have a Target RED card. It's attached to my bank account, but it has a float time of 48 hours and I can get cash back on it if necessary, like, I don't know, losing my mind after being frustrated by my in-laws for weeks and weeks and heading out either in a car or on foot...? Uh, yeah.

A $100- spent at Target can break our budget for the month. I've bought t-shirts, tops, earrings on clearance, makeup, shower gel, nail polish...cheap shit, but a lot of it. And with my RED card I get an additional 5% off!  *rolleyes*

Yesterday I gave my RED card to my husband. I have no other credit cards, for the same reason. So last night I was so frustrated, so upset, so needing time alone and away from my in-laws and everyone else, that I walked out of the garage holding a dress I am selling on eBay, a pair of R's business slacks, a NOOK reader, and an 18" ruler. I was wearing a sleeveless maxi dress over my nightgown, I had on flip flops and no bra. I walked out of the garage and just kept on walking. I made it about 1.5 miles away at the big intersection and where there is a Starbucks. I read on my Nook, emailed my husband, who showed up about 90 minutes later with my purse and a bra.

And know what? The exercise was awesome. I wanted to keep going but I had nowhere to go and wasn't sure I could make it home in the flip flops.

I want to exercise. It's fun. I like it. It feels good. I want to do more of it. Need to do more of it. It reminds me of being again when moving was effortless and my body responded.

So I'm going to try and transfer my shopping addiction to exercise. I think it will work.

Of course, I'd like some cute exercise clothes and some black, hot pink, and purple tennis shoes.  LOL  Maybe when I start working. ;-P

Monday, September 22, 2014

Unwell

I took my mom out yesterday for lunch to the Macaroni Grill. She'd always wanted to go there and was thrilled. I had the lasagna bolognese--high protein and low carbs. I had about four normal bites and was full dammit! and for dinner I had Hawaiian bbq, beef, for dinner, some macaroni salad (with tuna!), a piece of homemade low carb sf cheesecake, and went to bed.

 Ive had the shits all day with accompanying stomach cramps. Ugh.

I also didn't eat enough. I just did MFP and I only had 60g of protein yesterday. Diarrhea doesn't make sense. Shrug.

 So I'm "taking the day off", staying in bed (between runs to the bathroom), napping and reading. Considering that pre-DS I had "days off" (in bed days) at least twice a week, one in six months is a VAST improvement.

I'm also protein loading--cheese, nuts, a Kind bar. I'll have some meat later on. Things went smoothly for six months...I hope this is not a preview of things to come. *fingerscrossed*

Sunday, September 21, 2014

No Bake, SF, Low Carb Cheesecake

Meh.

I don't think I'll make it again. It wasn't the recipe I originally wanted to make, but I searched everywhere for it and I couldn't find it, so I made this one as it sounded good.  My comments/changes are in red. Here's the recipe:

CRUST
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 tbs butter, melted and slightly cooled

You can skip the crust, of course, but it's not cheesecake to me without the graham cracker crust and the amount of carbs in a serving is really, really low. Also, next time? I will bake the crust first.

 FILLING
3, 8 oz bricks of full fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla
1 cup Stevia, or to taste

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp Stevia

DIRECTIONS

Mix graham cracker crumbs with butter, press into a 9x11 pan, a 9" springform pan, a square pan, whatever you have and works for you. I actually used an oblong casserole dish. Set aside.

Whip HWC with vanilla; refrigerate

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add lemon, mix until blended. Add vanilla, mix until blended. Add Stevia, mix well until blended with electric mixer. I started with 1/2 a cup, then another 1/4 of a cup, and ended up using the whole cup. Your tastes may vary.

Fold in whipped cream (easier said than done). I folded and folded and still had big lumps of cream cheese. I ended up stirring with a big spoon.

Pour over your graham cracker crust, cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate four hours or overnight.

I put it in the fridge at 3:30pm and served it up around 10pm. It got rave reviews from my hubs, BIL, MIL, and FIL had a couple of bites.

I thought the cream cheese mixture before the addition of the whipped cream was much better tasting and denser than with the added whipped cream. If I make this again, I'll leave that bit out and put the whipped cream on top. It tasted more like cheesecake mousse to me. Not that that is bad, I just wanted something denser like a traditional cheesecake. Perhaps I can make a traditional cheesecake, with eggs (protein!), and Stevia. That could work. We'll see how motivated I am. This definitely took the edge off the cheesecake craving, but it was good, not fabulous. I want fabulous.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

*&^%#

So on Thursday, I had a muffin at Mimi's, lemon poppyseed along with all the protein and a lot of walking, yesterday I upped my protein to 115, fat to 80, and carbs 43, and I have GAINED 1.6 pounds. Fuck me.

Sigh.

***
2:00am

Here are my MFP totals for today. Better, mostly because I had a small sirlon steak, medium, with bleu cheese dressing at Norm's, a SoCal 24-hour diner fave. We got something called "The Trio", and we share it:  Sirloin steak (6 oz), 4 fried shrimp, 3 chicken tenders, baked potato, soup, salad. I had the steak and three fried shrimp, my DH had the chicken, potato, and salad. I ate all the meat (chicken and polish sausage) out of the gumbo. DH also ate both rolls and butter.

I feel bloated, my stomach is swollen, and I feel "backed up." Bleh.

Tomorrow is my mom's birthday, I'm taking her to lunch wherever she wants to go or Macaroni Grill if she'll let me surprise her.


Totals 1,893 60 120 132 2,403 21
Your Daily Goal 3,000 38 267 113 2,300 59
Remaining 1,107 -22 147 -19 -103 38

Calories Carbs Fat Protein Sodium Sugar

































































Thursday, September 18, 2014

Weight Loss Slowdown

Is it possible...that I'm not eating enough protein? Since August 22nd, I've lost just 4 lbs. I don't understand why. I do not eat rice or pasta; two or three times a week I may have 1/2 a slice of toast (wheat or rye) with butter with over easy eggs, but any other carbs are negligible such as in nuts, cottage cheese, HWC, fruit two or three times a week, and so on. What do you think?

Here are my numbers for today. Please weigh in with your thoughts (yes, pun intended *grin* ):

Totals 1,323 53 87 89 2,586 27
Your Daily Goal 3,000 38 267 113 2,300 59
Remaining 1,677 -15 180 24 -286 32

Calories Carbs Fat Protein Sodium Sugar









Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pictures September 16, 2014

Taken about an hour ago in the guest room, where we've been staying, at my in-laws:

Sans flash, in shadow...


In the light, taken by R from a sitting position. It's been very hot and humid here, and it's making my hair frizzy. Uck.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pumpkin Muffin Fallout

Well, it was inevitable, but almost worth it. I pooped more than my normal once a day in the am today; I had gas off and on; and I had stomach cramps for most of the day. AWESOME. I opted to roll the dice and take my chances, and that's the price.

I was back on target today with heavy protein and breve coffee and iced coffee, but I felt as if I couldn't fit enough food in, almost as if my poor colon was taking up all the room from yesterday, knowhatImsayin'? Just out of room.

The muffin was awesome though.

***

We just got home after a five hour drive, not including a stop for dinner, and my now bony ass is sore and tired. We looked at some rentals today, from the outside, no one returned our calls or emails to look at the inside and the big complex we were interested in had no vacancies ergo no units for us to even look at.

Sigh.

I hate house hunting.

Tired.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How's My Weight?

Offically? Like, step-on-a-scale weight? I have NO idea. I've not been on a scale in over a week (?), I think.

But my size 2X, $10- Kmart special capris that I bought in June are sliding off my hips. I could fit a baby inside the pants, I'm serious.

My hernia is showing more...I can really see it. I'm not worried about it, though.

I'll weigh on Saturday morning when I have access to my scale, which at the moment lives in our van because we've been staying with my husband's parents for the last few months (me on and off from June to August, more permanently since August. I'm ready to GO.), and we're out of town at the moment and won't be home until late tomorrow night.

My husband got a job, today. Amen and hallelujah!

If all goes well with no snags, hiccups, or ridiculous improbabilities, he'll be working by middle / late next week. *fingerscrossed*

So I guess I could be excused for having a pumpkin spice cream cheese muffin at Starbucks about 90 minutes ago.

Celebratory muffin?

That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Big, deep exhale. *whew*

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Closed at Last

What am I talking about? My belly-button, of course!

After I saw my surgeon on the 22nd and he cauterized it and burned off the little piece of fat that was sticking out of the bottom like a greasy little tongue, it started healing right up. Today was the first day I went without a Kotex stuck to the front of my undies over my bellybutton (to catch blood and other fluids). It's not 100% closed, but I would definitely say 99% closed.

With my six month post-surgery anniversary date coming up, it was time for it to close. I'm so glad it finally has. Woot!

***
In other news....

What looked like a weird-shaped mole that metamorphosed into what appeared to me to be a dermal melanoma today, after I gave it a squeeze because it looked weird, expelled some pus. Huh. It still looks like a weird mole only now with a hole in the center. I'm going to have a doctor look at it soon because

WE HAVE INSURANCE!!  It becomes official on Monday. We are approved for subsidized Medi-Cal until the end of the year (so there will be limits on who we will see as a lot of doctors do not accept Medi-Cal [which is Medicaid in other states]), but after that, this fall we will be able to select from a variety of subsidized health insurance such as Blue Cross, Kaiser, Aetna, and so on, and will be more like regular insuranc albeit administered by the state Medi-Cal program. Hooray!  What a huge relief. I can have my labwork done to see how my vitamin and protein levels are looking. I have a list I can print out from my surgeon's website for recommended labs and the ICD-9 (medical) codes to bill insurance for without it getting rejecting as "not covered."  Then again, insurance has changed so much, this may be irrelevant now. Whatever. Just test my damn blood, please. LOL


Saturday, September 6, 2014

DS-style Peach Cobbler

Ingredients

  • 1/2 of a fresh peach, sliced into thin slices (peel off or on, your choice)
  • Heavy Whipping Cream (HWC) to taste (I covered the slices in a cereal bowl)
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • cottage cheese 1/2 cup
  • a thumb-sized piece of cinnamon roll filched from your mother in law and torn into tiny pieces and tossed over the cottage cheese / peach mixture
Also works well with strawberries or raspberries, etc. 

Eat with a fork or spoon. Fight off your cat who has a dairy addiction. Drink the cinnamon-flavored HWC after the bowl is empty.

Yumm-y.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Gratitude List

  • DS surgery
  • my laptop
  • fast wifi
  • snuggly kitties
  • fall is on its way
  • a healthy body
  • being able to stand, walk, stretch, and move without losing my breath or becoming exhausted
  • smaller feet, more comfortable shoes
  • my sister actually emailed me recently, twice!
  • onshore breezes
  • comfortable nightgowns
  • Blue Diamond almonds--I have five flavors: wasabi / soy; honey roasted; honey roasted chipotle; salted caramel; strawberry. My fave are the honey roasted chipotle (carbs and protein are nearly identical on all the various flavors.)
  • face cream
  • iced coffee
  • hot coffee
  • whipped cream
  • SF chocolate syrup
  • Starbucks
  • Kay's Naturals protein chips
  • OUTLANDER on Starz
  • fish dinners
  • sharp cheddar
  • ham and cream cheese rollups
  • family that puts up with us
  • a nearly closed bellybutton incision
  • my nieces
  • my mom
  • Led Zeppelin on YouTube
  • loading photoshop and InDesign, CS3, on my new laptop (it's the only version I own and wasn't sure it would load. Word 2007 won't load.)
  • my dearest friend from high school
  • steaks
  • baby back ribs
  • 24 hour diners
  • quiet nights
  • poets and poetry
  • writers
  • Amazon
  • ankles full of metal that still function (can walk)
  • Greek yogurt

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Finally

After some serious and diligent work on maintaining protein, fat, and low carbs, I lost a pound since last Wednesday. Hallelujah.

I've also added more exercise to my routine. My formerly broken ankle with the two plates and ten pins can make it difficult as it did tonight. It was, and is, really hurting, but I managed to slog out a good mile before I gave up the ghost (my husband went for the car and came and picked me up.). It's hard to describe what it feels like, but a handcuff too tight around the ankle or, as was the case tonight, around my foot itself, right across the top of the foot. Ow, dammit.

Also? My back was screaming at me in agony.

I was hoping that walking could reduce these issues by making them more flexible, but it's just not happening. That doesn't mean I give up. My body craves exercise, now. I sat for a large part of the day (brunch out with my mom and hubs), and my butt was hurting. My butt really goes to sleep quickly now since there's so much of it missing. Ha!

So I've been extremely diligent about what I've eaten over the last four days, but I still want stuff. It's the comfort and entertainment that I've used most of my life. All of my adult life for sure. I want cherry pie a la mode, but, if true to form when I've given in to a craving, it won't taste as good as I expect it will.

I also know just how much marketing is aimed us to buy, buy, buy stuff we don't normally, don't want, and don't need. It's not an accident that the grocery store puts the baked goods--cake, donuts, pie, cookies, OMG--right by the entrance. It's hard not to be triggered. I trigger on food cravings visually extremely quickly. Getting them to go away takes much, much longer.

So I am resisting for all the right reasons, but it makes me sad. It makes me sad even knowing that I was sick, too heavy for my joints and bones, lethargic, miserable, and slowly dying. I know all that, and that's why I am trying so hard to stay on the right path, but it is a type of grieving over losing my playmate, my security blanket. my entertainment. I'm not going to break out of these patterns by giving in every time something becomes overwhelming. I need to focus and keep my body healthy, that's why I did this whole damn surgery in the first place. I was comfortable with my looks, but I knew I was dying one bite at a time. That's why I did this. I'd love to get another forty years out of this body. We'll see how she goes.

So it's 11:45 pm on Sunday before Labor Day, and I've entered everything into MyFitnessPal, which, now that I have the hang of it I lurve...and the exercise, and I still need 32 grams of protein. I'm at 38 g of carb leaving 12 if I want to hit 50g. We'll see. I just had four fresh strawberries, sliced by me, some Stevia, some half and half, and some whipped topping, the kind out of the tub (generic not brand name), and I'm kind of full. I added the strawberries in yesterday to quench an ice cream craving. It worked very well.

Unfortunately, along with the strawberries we purchased yesterday, I purchased a pint of heavy whipping cream (HWC), and while I was out today my MIL drank the whole fucking thing. This is on top of the four cans of whipped cream I purchased last week and had only two iced coffees topped with whipped cream this whole week--someone who is not me has a serious dairy addiction. Ahem. I told my hubs, "I can't believe she's not had a heart attack with the amount of dairy she consumes." I mean, hell, I'm a DS patient, we need a certain amount of fat every day, and I couldn't eat/drink a whole pint of HWC myself in one day!! WTF?

This after I got my BIL to quit eating my food. My MIL always says she'll replace it, but never does, and at the risk of sounding ungrateful...yes, we're staying with them free while my hubs looks for a job; they don't buy food for us we buy our own; but if they do eat some of my food? I nearly always can't afford to replace it, and that's a problem to me. I have a very specific diet and I'm having enough trouble keeping my focus on the goal and off the pastries and I can't afford to have my treats eaten by others who promise but don't replace the eaten items.

If we're still here in ten days, we're buying a mini fridge for our bedroom. I can't take much more of this. Yes, I'm grateful, it could be worse, blahdy blah...but this is not the best place for us to be. My hubs is trying, he's had 17 interviews in two months. Something's got to give, right? Right?

Fortunately, fall is on its way, my favorite season even though it still doesn't get cold enough here in SoCal for me to wear sweaters, anything is better than the high temps of summer. I'm not a fan of the heat.

I think I'll give it an hour or so and then see if I can fit in a yogurt or some ham and cheese roll ups to meet my protein goals. We'll see.

Also? On the poop patrol? Yesterday I went twice, today nothing. You just never know with this thing. I ate a lot of protein yesterday, it just didn't matter. It is what it is. :-)  So hopefully I'll go in the am, as is usual, and I'll have dropped another pound. We'll see.

Cheers.