December 26, 2010

Christmas party photo

As promised, a photo in my new party dress, taken 12/23/10.

Merry Christmas everyone!

December 15, 2010

10 Month Report

Today it has been 10 months since my surgery, and I continue to be really happy with my VSG. I had a very long stall, but still lost 6 pounds for the month and am very satisfied with that. I can now wear the size 12 jeans that I bought, as long as I don't need to actually breathe or bend or sit down whilst I wear them. But soon they will be MINE!

Month to month, I don't see a lot of changes anymore, and am starting to think about what it might be like to be working on maintaining a steady weight. I still have 15-20 pounds that I would like to lose before working on maintaining, but we'll see what my body has in mind before worrying about it!

Wanted to give a shout out to my friend Liz in Vancouver who has lost 50 pounds and celebrated with a donation to the food bank. Her picture is below ... well done Liz!!!


And here is a picture of me taken this morning ... looking forward to X-Mas this year - have a new (little!) black dress to wear to our friend's party - pictures will appear here soon!

December 12, 2010

Props to Eggface!

A head's up to all of my caffeine craving and protein pushing WLS friends ...

Shelly over at theworldaccordingtoeggface.com is having a fabulous Click giveaway for X-Mas - one week left to enter at http://theworldaccordingtoeggface.blogspot.com/2010/12/merry-clickmas-giveaway.html

As for me, I will be checking out her recipe for chocolate protein truffles!

December 4, 2010

For my surgery peeps: Stalls and Tips & Tricks

Recently I posted on OH about how I deal with stalls - and I have them often, the most recent for 3 freaking weeks. Perhaps my thoughts on how to manage stalls without going completely crazy will be useful to some of my readers:

I stall alot and I know how frustrating it is! My method of coping includes the following:

1) I weigh every day, but during this phase of weight loss, I don't record my little water weight gains on my spreadsheet - I just note whenever the scale has dropped by a pound. (As I approach maintenance, or if I see that I am actually maintaining any weight gains, I will change my approach.) I don't bother measuring fractions of a pound, though my scale shows them - just mark it off every time I lose a pound. Since I track this in Excel, I can see that my rate of loss has been pretty steady, even with all of the stalls that I have had.

2) Since pre-op, I have tracked my measurements on a spreadsheet and I note every month how many inches I lost that month as well as cumulatively - I almost always am losing some inches even when stalling. (And technically, it's not really a stall if I am losing inches - a stall is no weight loss and no size decrease for a month or more. That hasn't yet happened to me.)

3) I have taken monthly photos in my skivvies - front, rear and side views. I have compiled these into a word document showing the progression in each view from pre-op to the present. I refer to this when I start to think that I might not be successful - because actually I can see in the photos that I already AM successful.

4) Every month I revisit the goals that I set for myself pre-op and add new goals and check off the ones that I have achieved. NONE of these is a number on a scale and the only size goal I had was to be able to wear normal size clothing in a size 14 or less. The rest of the goals have to do with either:

HEALTH  (i.e. normal blood pressure without meds, normal blood sugar, no more sleep apnea, nor more stress incontinence, no more arthritis pain in knees, etc)

LIFESTYLE (i.e. making good food choices 90% of the time, being physically active, taking my supplements, drinking my water)

APPEARANCE - because I am vain! (i.e. looking good in a sweater dress, wearing skinny jeans with boots, having just one chin, rediscovering my collarbone and cheekbones, enjoying being curvy and proportionate)

or

ABILITY TO PARTICIPATE IN AND ENJOY LIFE (i.e. can go canoeing, horseback riding, hiking, swimming with my daughter and family, no longer struggle to walk up stairs or hills, can paint my own toenails, wrap a bath towel all around, walk the mall in heels without pain, enjoy exercise, cross my legs comfortably etc...)

I remind myself that I had this surgery not to achieve some abstract number on a scale, but to achieve all of the functional goals I have listed above. This helps me to not get too depressed when I stall - though honestly I, like most of the rest of us, ALWAYS wonder if "this is it"  and if I am done losing weight.

For me at almost 9 months out and within 20 lbs of my goal, I am realizing that I actually could be content at my current weight, even if I don't ever lose another pound. It was harder earlier when I was further from my goal.


P.S. A couple observations I have made that might be useful to new VSGers:

I have looked at my food tracking etc during stalls - and I can't see a single time where what I have been eating (I do eat about the same all the time, with occasional treats) has made a bit of difference in terms of when I stall and when the stall ends (my recent 3 week stall ended the day after I ate 5-6 Christmas cookies - go figure!) Just follow your plan in terms of protein, liquids, carbs, calories and your body will lose weight - the rate at which you lose is very individual, but unless you have a severely compromised metabolism, it is near impossible to gain at 800-1000 calories / day. (And in the early months I often didn't even reach 800 calories a day.)

The fabulous losses you see in your first couple months - where the scale is moving every day or two - will not continue! We get a bit addicted to that positive feedback and get depressed when we lose just a couple pounds a week. The scale is a cruel mistress! Step away if it is making you too depressed or obsessive!

A couple of pounds a week is a LOT! I lose on average 6-8 pounds a month and this has seemed SOOOO SLOOOOW at times. It all adds up though and at almost 10 months out I am down 101 pounds. I just purchased 100 pounds of food for the Food Bank and that is a helluva lotta weight!

Everybody has different strategies for staying on track in terms of their eating plan. Lots of folks abstain entirely from anything that isn't a protein or a veg. This didn't really appeal to me, so for me I have five rules:

1) Protein first - I can have anything to eat that I want, IF I eat at least 2 ounces of solid protein first. This usually helps me either not feel like eating the treat, or limits the amount of it that I CAN eat.

2) Prioritize liquids. I find that if I get dehydrated I often feel hungry instead of thirsty. So I mix up my drinks at the beginning of each day and pack them with me when I leave the house, then make sure one is always to hand so that I am drinking all day long.

3) The 90/10 rule: 90% of what I eat is according to my plan - the other 10% can be whatever I want. (I relax this a bit when I am pms-ing and during the holidays! - maybe 80/20 )

4) Plan meals and pack lunches. I write out the dinner menus and my plan for breakfasts and lunches before I shop every week. I find that if the path of least resistance is something healthy (i.e. I have already made up a batch of chicken salad that is sitting in the fridge) then I am likely to make healthy choices. I make sure to buy cheese sticks, sliced turkey etc so that I can throw together fast and easy lunches etc. - If I have to go out for lunch I often end up choosing something less healthy, so it is better for me to plan ahead and pack leftovers or chicken salad or something else in advance. I also keep almonds, cans of tuna salad and protein in my desk. Finally, I keep a few legal treats in the house - my homemade protein balls, eggface's protein donuts etc. so that I can have a cookie-ish or cake-like item pretty much guilt-free.)

5) Keep trigger foods out of the house. I am way too lazy to go out to the store if I am having a craving, but if the object of my desire is sitting on the kitchen counter -well all bets are off! (HELLO Christmas cookies!)

Here is what 100 pounds looks like!

This week I purchased 100 pounds of food (protein items like canned tuna, chicken, salmon, peanut butter, beef chili etc) for the food bank, to honor having lost 100 pounds from my high weight. Here is what 100 pounds of food looks like:

It is really hard to imagine carrying all of that weight around with me every single day of my life - no wonder I feel so much better!

This week also was the start of Hanukah - and I really wanted to make some potato latkes, as I usually do - but I also didn't want to eat greasy potato stomach bombs. The solution I came up with? Cauliflower latkes!

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup instant mashed potatoes
3 eggs
1/2 onion, chopped finely
Salt and Pepper

Instructions

Cut the cauliflower into florets and place in microwave safe dish with 1/4 c of water - cover and microwave on high for 7 minutes, or until tender

Add the chopped onion to the bowl with the cauliflower and mash roughly - leave some chunks, you don't want it too smooth.


Let cool a bit then add the 3 eggs, beaten and salt and pepper


Heat some peanut oil in a saute or fry pan over medium high heat and fry 1/4 cup scoops of the mix, flattening slightly after you dump them into the pan.. Cook until well browned, flip, cook the other side until browned, then remove to a plate covered with several layers of paper towels.



Keep warm in 150 degree oven while you finish frying the remainder of the batter.

Serve with applesauce and sour cream.

I don't know the total carb count for these, but the potatoes are the carbiest part of the recipe and 1/4 cup has a total of 19 carbs. I served this with pot roast and could only eat 2 pancakes (recipe made 16), so I wasn't too worried about overindulging in carbohydrates!


For dessert, since my new nonstick donut pan arrived in the mail this week, I made a batch of protein donuts, (recipe from theworldaccordingtoeggface.com) , and they actually are very delicious and useful to have in the freezer for a quick and legal treat when the Christmas Cookies start calling my name...