LilySlim - Weight loss

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 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.


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.


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.