Friday, February 26, 2010

Aw, shucks...

Did you ever have a nightmare about getting caught doing something?  I call them shame-dreams.  They are the kind where you are caught doing something you aren't supposed to be doing by the one person who can really bust you for it.  When I was 12, it was me chewing a HUGE mouthful of bubblegum in the mall and then I turn around and run right into my orthodontist.  When I was 15, it was me using foul language, showing off to my friends, and getting caught by my favorite teacher.

Well, that's the sort of thing that actually happened today. Sort of.  Only it wasn't a dream...

There I am, minding my own business, doing some food shopping, and I hear someone calling my name.  I turned around and it is my Kaiser Permanente Wellness Representative.  You know, the person that our insurance company sends to my company to lecture and force us help us get our employees healthy. 

Echoes of my old shame-dreams...I'm loading up on food in the store and I get spotted by the Wellness Representative.  It's the bubblegum all over again.  So I say "hello" and on instinct, I quickly look down in my cart to see how humiliated I'm going to be by the poor food-choices in my basket.  Only there aren't any.  Salsa, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken breast, whole wheat breadcrumbs, greek yogurt, and unsweetened almond milk.  That's it.  No stacks of frozen pizzas, no gooey chocolates, no croissants, no abundance of pre-packaged pseudo-healthy crap.  I couldn't believe it.  What are the chances that a nutrition expert will actually catch you in the act of making decent choices?!

And better yet, when I told her I had recently had weight loss surgery, she said, "I can tell!  You look great!  You're glowing and everything."  That's right people.  Apparently I glow.  Who knew?  Maybe it's the 50+ lbs I've lost.  Or maybe I'm just relieved that I dodged a potentially embarrassing situation.  Or that I am actually proud, instead of hiding in shame.

So she and I chatted for a bit, and when I strode away, I realized I'm feeling pretty good about myself.  Good enough to celebrate with a big ol' mouthful of sugar free bubble gum.  In your face, Dr. Katz!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pouchie likes! (and Pouchie doesn't like)

If I asked you what your favorite food is, you'd be able to answer, right?  Well, weight loss surgery changes all of that.  Now, I have to take Pouchie into account whenever I answer that question, and Pouchie and I occasionally disagree.  Here are some of her likes and dislikes so far:

Pouchie Likes
Sugar-free Jello, especially cheesecake flavor, with some vanilla protein powder mixed in
SPORTea (click to check it out--it is phenomenally good with no sweetener and it's got great stuff in it)
Crystal Lite raspberry lemonade
Sugar-free popsicles (NOT the "No Sugar Added" popsicles...see below)
Homemade pot roast, pureed (looks like Alpo, tastes like heaven)

Pouchie Dislikes
Items that appear to be appropriate but aren't, such as "No Sugar Added" popsicles and Almond Milk that is sweetened with sugar instead of Splenda, even though the boxes look the same (Damn Marketing Ploy)
Ground beef
Refried beans

On the fence, still, are scrambled eggs and peanut butter.  I'm pulling for them to move into the Likes column!

I think of Oprah, and her "One thing I know for sure."  Well, things that I would have turned my nose up at before surgery (like cottage cheese pancakes) are now delectable.  And yummy standbys that I've loved since childhood are no longer yummy, or edible, or on the plan.  It leaves me with a sense of discombobulation, of unease, of being a stranger with this new body.  One thing for sure is that nothing is sure when it comes to post op eating.  Wait.  I guess that that is the one thing, right?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

You gotta try this...

I heart Eggface!  She is an amazing blogger who has lost a bijillion pounds since having WLS (weight loss surgery), and is keeping it off by following and blogging about a healthy diet.  Better yet, she posts all of her amazing recipes (great for both surgery patients and their waist-conscious friends and family) and is a great source of answers to the eternal question, "What's for dinner?"

Just yesterday, I made her recipe for pot roast.  It made the most amazing gravy, and it was even simple enough for me to make!  I've seen a lot of pot roast recipes, and I've never seen one like this...easy, inexpensive, and the Best Gravy Ever.  Please follow this link to see her original post (you will need to scroll down to the recipe):  Eggface's Awesome Pot Roast (click here to see her original post)

My guest thought it was great, and I got a wonderful protein that was easily pureed for Pouchie to enjoy.  It may have looked like dog food, but it tasted like AWESOME.

So please, go check out her fabulousness at The World According to Eggface.  Do it right now, and get yourself entered into her giveaway for a bento box (which is this super-cool looking lunchbox):
On second thought, I want to win, so forget that part.  I don't need the competition.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Great Gurgully Wergully!

Remember when you were in school and your stomach would start to growl?  And how you would get all mortified and embarrassed, with people laughing?

Yea.  That's what the Gurgully Wergullys are.  And I got em.  BAD.  I guess it's normal after weight loss surgery, so I've been pretty nonchalant about it.  Until I scared the cat right off my lap.  It's THAT LOUD.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wow! I RULE!

Tomorrow is my 4-week surgiversary, so naturally I had my 3-week nutrition class.*  Now prepare yourself for me to gloat on how awesome I am:

1.  I have lost almost 50 lbs since my pre-op appointment.  That's right.  "The Biggest Loser" can cover THAT in syrup and shove it down their pie-holes!**  The week of ice-chips and the Valentine's Day ER trip for a stricture may have something to do with the fact that I lost more weight than anyone else in the class--including the men.  But I'm takin' credit for it!

2.  Even though I feel as thought I don't know what I'm doing post-surgery, I knew way more than anyone else in the nutrition class (except, of course, the nutritionist).  I knew all the answers to the questions she asked us, and I knew most of the answers to the questions that the other patient's asked.  I even was able to give tips on how to make a hot protein shake (like a cappucino or hot chocolate) without having it get gritty (hint: it involves making a slurry).  I guess I'm getting better at this than I realized.

3.  I parked far away from the office and walked there, without my supplemental oxygen.  By myself.  Uphill.  In snow (well, melted snow, but you get the idea).

4.  I had plans to go shopping after the class, but I had already drank all the water I had brought and I hadn't had protein in about 3 hours.  So I had to decide:  go shopping and pay for it later because I'm dehydrated and hungy?  or do what I should and go home and take care of myself.  Now, if you knew me before, you would know that I would jump on that shopping trip like Kathy Griffin on a Gay Pride float.***  I would have paid for it later by being really sick, but I've always been more about fun than consequences.  This time, however, I made the smart decision and actually went home to take care of myself.

5.  I decided my reward for all the proceeding fabulousness was to use my Borders gift card from Christmas and blow all $25 on an array of useless but beautiful magazines (which I love!).  I didn't even consider a food reward (which has always been my go-to).  So I'm heading out there later this evening.

Folks, in our society, we are very rarely allowed to toot our own horns.  I know that women especially are taught not to brag because it is unlady-like.  And I generally feel like I should keep my big mouth shut because of these unwritten rules.  But I have to say that it feels really good to have things going well at this point.  So here I am unashamedly (yet metaphorically) leaning my head out the window and yelling "TOOT TOOT" at the top of my lungs. 

Go me!

*Math portions of this post brought to you by the letter C, as in the grade I got in math class in 7th grade.
**Writer of this blog does not espouse any sort of forced or involuntary pie-hole-shoving, whether or not it is covered in syrup.
***...not that there's anything wrong with that.  I love me some Kathy Griffin.  And Gay Pride.  Please don't be offended by my similes.

Monday, February 15, 2010

(Insert Olympic theme song here)

Dum, dum, da dum dum de dum
Dum dum da dum, dum dum dum dadeda da dum...

Yes, that is exactly right.  It's OLYMPIC time again. 

I love the olympics.  I don't know if it's the pagentry, the song, the competition, or the NBC "showcase" of the high-ranking atheletes, but that song gets me going.

So, of course, I start thinking about how I'm in my own, Weight Loss Olympics.  I can't decide if having the surgery is akin to taking steroids or if it's more like getting to train at high altitude, but regardless of how I'm getting my "leg up" on the competition, it's still a long grueling road.  I hope I get a shiny medal at the end. 

And I think I'm focusing a little like an Olympic athlete has to--focus on what you have to do today, but keep your eye on the goal at the end.  For me, I'm tracking all my protein, water, and vitamins on a daily basis and just trying to make the mark.  But I have to keep reminding myself that I'm doing this to affect how I'm going to feel 6 months or 6 years from now--healthy and happy.

Maybe I'll even take up skiing.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bad Pouchie! No! No!

My Pouchie is supposed to be my best friend when it comes to weight loss and better health.  My Pouchie is trying to betray me.

Apparently I have a stomach stricture, and get to have an outpatient hospital visit tomorrow to get Pouchie loosened up enough to let things through.  This is the same issue I had in the hospital, and when I called my surgeon this afternoon to find out if it was a problem that my stomach wouldn't empty his replay was, "Yeah, I'm not surprised." (??!!)  I guess he and Pouchie met during the surgery and he could tell that she didn't like to share her bounty with my intestines (no, they don't have a cute name yet).

Oh, and I also have a string coming out.  That's right.  Not a stitch.  A STRING.  Like a piece of twine.  Poking out of one of the holes in my belly.  Even worse, it's healed into my skin so I now have a perma-string sticking out of me.  I guess I can consider it an adornment, and dye or fringe it for special occasions.  But damn!  First Pouchie betrays me by acting up, and now I have Stringy entering into the mix.  I will never be lonely now.

Creepy, right?  Ya, that's how I feel.  And it's all IN MY BELLY.

I think I should take some oxycodone and call it a night. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My letter to Michelle Obama

 Dear Ms. Obama:

I've heard a lot in the news about your desire to campaign against childhood obesity, and I feel compelled to tell you my personal story.

You see, I've been overweight my whole life, including the childhood years that you are most concerned about.  My final straw was reaching almost 350 lbs (at 5'5"), and I had gastric bypass surgery on 1/21/10 to try and gain control over my life and reclaim my health.  So I applaud your idea to ensure children have access and encouragement to eat healthy food and get more exercise.

My concern, however, rests with the idea of "eliminating childhood obesity," and the unintended repercussions of this focus.  Imagine being 12 years old and overweight, bombarded with images of models who are size 2 at every turn, frustrated by not finding clothes in your size, teased and humiliated by peers and society as a whole for being fat, and now the First Lady starts a campaign focusing on obesity.  Might you feel more judged and singled out?  Might others be more willing to judge you harshly for your size?  Might you feel more of a social stigma than you already do? 

Our culture enacts a tremendous penalty on people who are overweight, and a focus on losing weight simply reinforces those penalties.  It focuses on what is wrong with a child, and how to "fix it", instead of focusing on how each and every child can take control of their health regardless of their current size or shape.

Please consider re-evaluating this message.  Emphasize that children should eat more healthfully, and should have positive forms of physical movement, rather than focusing on fat children.  By encouraging good eating and exercise habits regardless of a child's current weight, children, their parents, educators and health care professionals can work on a positive message that doesn't create judgement or engender feelings of shame. 

I wish you the best of luck, and I truly do applaud your efforts in affecting change.  I only ask that you consider the emotional and psychological impact of your campaign, and that you carefully tailor your message to enact the most positive form of change.

Thank you for listening,


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

32 lbs lost, just shy of 2 weeks out!

I still can't believe that when I type it.  I've lost 32 lbs.  My feet are skinny.  I have a hint of a jawline. I can stand for more than 3 minutes without severe hip/back pain.  I can breathe better.

I can't wait to see what other changes another 32 lbs will make!

I just hope it won't take another week of nothing but ice chips in the hospital to find out.