Dec 24, 2018
My Goal for 2019 is to return to OH and do better at managing my health. I've lost 120lbs by 'accident' without putting the concentrated effort into it as I am now capable of doing.
This year will include reducing and/or eliminating sugar from my diet AND adding deliberate physical activity (now that I'm able to move... amazing what 120 pound lose will do that way).
Happy Holiday Greetinds from Ottawa.
Aug 07, 2017
I have been blessed with having home support for a few years now. Every two weeks I get my laundry, bathroom and kitchen cleaned and the rest of the apartment is tidied, dusted, vacuumed and floors washed. To qualify for this precious social support service one must be in pretty bad shape - both physically and financially.
To give you an idea of 'pre-surgery' I would help as much as I could - strip the bedding, gather the laundry together, take things off the floor, etc. I could barely walk, only able to stand for 30 seconds and even sitting to fold laundry or to cut veggies for supper I would get winded, out of breath.
About 5 weeks ago (at 6 wks post-op) my 'girl' resigned to start her own business. You go gurl!
The company she worked for hasn't replaced her yet (at least not for me despite contacting them). I now need to bring it to the attention of the social services folks as it is unacceptable to leave a client hanging like this for so long.
In the mean time, I have slowly been trying to do bits of the housework on my own. Here's what I have discovered:
- Folding warm, clean clothes is equally soothing and satisfying AND a great mini workout. It no longer winds me!
- Making the tub and sink along with their fixtures sparkle is amazingly satisfying and rewarding. Rewarding because I do it much better than my 'girl' ever did, she never made them shine.
- Cleaning the oven, despite being a disgusting mess of goopy, smelly slime and an exercise in contortionism is equally frustrating and satisfying. It took me two days and was a bigger job than I ever imagined it would be. I will not be doing it again any time soon... yet I did it! I CLEANED MY OVEN! Big job = Big satisfaction.
- Sweeping the floor is a lot easier than I ever imagined. OH, wait, I can stand long enough to do it, I can bend to use the dustpan. I no longer 'need' to walk through scattered cat litter (they are a little too vigorous in their burying efforts).
- Washing dishes by hand. OMG is there anything better. I pull up the tall stool, sit and wash all the dishes in the warm soapy water. I practice my brain skills in maximizing the clean water - start with the cleanest dishes and work to the dirty ones. We even have a dishwasher and yet I still wash everything that is left out on the counter. I remember 25 years ago I made a deal with myself... If I washed the dishes I would reward myself by turning the TV off (weird I know but it was a motivator for me back then). Now doing the dishes is a reward in and of itself.
- Washing the floor. I didn't just grab the mop and swipe it over the floor, no I bent over, I used a broom head (essentially a soft version of a bristle brush) and I WASHED the floor. It was cleaner than it had been since moving in (2.5 years ago). I used the mop to swab up the dirty water AFTER scrubbing. I washed the floor by hand. Granted it wasn't on my knees and scrubbing forever like we did back in the 'good ole days'... the chemicals and floor coatings make that unnecessary now. What a rush to see a shine on the floor. I practiced what my mother taught me about starting as far from your exit as possible and work towards the door so you don't have to walk over the wet floor.
Written at 11 weeks post-op.
Aug 06, 2017
I'm really struggling with my old behaviours and with finding stuff I can eat. The only things that seem to sit well in my new tummy are carbs. I have found haddock and pork seem to be the best of the options. I'm getting tired of throwing up everything new I try.
I think I'll take the being sick over the dumping syndrome I've heard so much about. At least mine is over in a minute or two at most.
I'm barely losing any weight because I'm needing my insulin to manage the carbs which are both doing nothing for my weight loss and for my nutritional needs.
I so wanted to stick to a diet for mild ketosis and I still think that's my best option but until I can eat 'real' protein I'm stuck. Or at least I feel that way.
Woo Hoo, Broke the 300lbs Barrier
Jul 30, 2017
I have been 'stalled' for 3 weeks! And now finally the needle is moving again.
I think I'd been, in part, afraid of crossing that stupid, arbitrary 300lbs line. I've had so many incredible NSVs that the number isn't my primary focus, but as far as milestones go, this is a big one!
(sorry for the quickie, other things to do, places to be, people to see)
MISSING: Mr. Funky Chicken
Jul 26, 2017
MISSING: Mr. Funky Chicken
So my dear old friend Mr. Funky Chicken is missing. Well missing is the wrong word, its more like he's avoiding me. He visits but won't stay. If you should happen to come across Mr. FC please, please tell him I'm concerned and missing him.
Oh, Funky Chicken when will you come back to me and stay??? Why have you forsaken me? I miss you. I'm lost without you. I'm struggling to know what to do with Mr Moo and Mr Pot Belly. Why are you making me try new recipes? Why are you testing my new stomach so harshly?
I have tried chicken three times since being able to eat meat again (pureed included), I'm now 9 weeks out. Each time I throw it right back up even with as little as just one bite. I love chicken. I love home made rotisserie chicken, wings, thighs, drumsticks, and breasts. I love it in soup, pies, stews, casseroles and sauces. I love it fried, baked, boiled, roasted and grilled... I'll take my chicken any way you wanna serve it to me. Well, maybe not raw, but if it's cooked I'll eat it... (okay, not fried, not any l longer, so stop nit-picking, a.k.a judging now).
When you eat your Mr. Chicken, please think of me and send a little message out in to the universe to make it so MY Mr. Funky Chicken can return to my life.
Thank you for your support. I hope to renew this relationship and given the chance I promise to make it stronger and healthier than it ever was... all I need is My Mr. Funky Chicken back.
Calorie Counting vs. Portion Control
Jul 11, 2017
I started down the calorie counting road and quickly messed myself up... how many were from protein, fat, carbs??? how much fibre??? How many should I have? What about the salt? What about the percent of calories from each macro-nutrient?
THIS IS NOT how I want to live my life. I'd become so focused on all the numbers, including the scale twice a day that I'd lost focus on everything else. I forgot to take my medications and vitamins, stopped getting exercise (to be fair I've been sick with a very bad cold for 5 days). All my time was spent obsessing about numbers and meal planning and old 'dieting' thoughts.
I stopped. I saw the dietician yesterday (first visit post-op at 7 weeks, which is standard for all patients at this center). She said I could reasonably expect to eat close to one cup per meal (total). Half of it to be protein, a quarter each of carbs and veggie. They stress eating a fruit too, but what they mean by fruit is a portion of an apple, banana, orange, or quarter cup of berries, etc.
Turns out my struggle is not the calories or the macro nutrient division (what percent of total calories should each one be) or any other 'number', it is knowing an appropriate serving size. I'd gotten so used to thinking a mountain of food was 'normal' and that what I ate at fast food stores or restaurants was a 'normal' serving.
Now post-operatively I'm really looking at the labels and realizing my 'helpings' have been totally out of whack with healthy.
I've begun to measure (weigh) as much of my food and liquid as I can. At first I thought it was to be sure I ate enough of everything which put more pressure on me to be 'perfect', to 'follow the diet' - mentalities of shame and judgement, let alone eating past being satiated. I now realize it is only to keep my portions appropriate. I can't eat that whole cup of food, at least not yet, and I don't fret about it... now I know I haven't eaten too much!
Seems a bit silly but the shift in perspective has enabled be to be empowered instead of shamed or judged. It has opened me up to a world free from dieting and number crunching to a simple weigh or measure and document. I am now open to journalling because it is another tool to figure out what isn't working. That shift is the result of now seeing a journal as a record instead of as a document to incriminate me.
I know I can put write my meal was steak, potato and beans with blueberries and not need to log the weights and measures because they are standard. Half a cup of meat is about 2 ounces (60 g) of protein. Quarter cup of potato is about 7-8g carbs. Its soo easy.
Now have to learn the new portions sizes (for my smaller stomach not for normal people) for other things like peanut butter and hummus.
Eventually I'll be able to write 'pb and apple' and know I have a standard measure for it as well.
Calorie counting, number crunching, scale abuse all feed the disfunctional mentality of dieting, conformity and in a way opression through shame, guild and judgment. Weighing or measuring is a means of having consistent portions and the freedom to know that with healthy choices you can't help but live a healthier life, one in which you are free to explore your greater self worth and confidence.
Calorie counting, etc is slavery. Weights and measures (with journaling) is freedom.
As always, these comments are my personal insights and discoveries not facts or direction to anyone else. I welome your thoughts and comments.
Stall and slowed loss
Jul 11, 2017
I struggled with nausea for about 10 days near the end of my first month so eating was next to impossible. I lost 30ish pounds!!! Now for the last 13 days I've not lost anything, in fact I'm up a pound.
I've heard folks talk about an early 'stall' and am assuming this is one of them. I'm not worried about it, I'm doing everything as close to right as I can manage and know in the long run I can't help but lose weight.
There are a few things I keep reminding myself of:
a) I was getting minimal calories the first two weeks after surgery which meant significant loss (even if it didn't say so on the scale at the time due to the water retention component of the inflammation)
b) Losing 10% of 370 lbs = 37 lbs, now losing 10% of 305 = 30.5 lbs. Soon, losing 10% of 250 = 25... The more we lose the less we need to lose to make significant health changes (that come with each 10%).
c) I did this for health benefits not to reach a certain number. I've lost a total of roughly 17% of my starting weight - and man are the changes ever noticeable.
d) I'm now eating real food with real calories, carbs and fat. AND the nausea is gone so I can actually eat now. I'd have been surprised if I'd lost much in the last couple of weeks.
Even with the surgery my team has told me more than a 4 pound loss per week is too much (for me - someone still weighing 450lbs it might be a different number).
I'll keep doing what I'm doing and work on my discipline for sleep hygeine and exercise. I hold myself in love and compassion practicing patience, persistance and perseverance (thank you Beth Bianca).
I have a cold, now what?
Jul 07, 2017
Thanks for stopping by. I have my first cold since I quit smoking two years ago, and more importantly my first since surgery (6 wks ago).
This cold comes with head-ache, ear-ache, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and general body pain. It actually sounds more like a flu bug than it does a cold. I should check my temperature, I don't think I have a fever.
Now Normally I'd turn into my normal 'suckie-sick persona' and whine the whole time that "I'm dying". And truthfully the only thing stopping me is my temporary lack of an audience. Don't worry I'm not asking you to stand in for me, I promise I'll keep the whining in check.
HOWEVER, I am very worried that I've barely managed to get half my protein in for the last two days. I am struggling to swallow anything (including my meds).
The only thing I know to do when I'm sick is fluids, applesauce and rest. I guess I just answered my own question before I could ask it... 'how do I get my protein?' - go back to a full liquid diet! Duh!
K, I'm off to try a cup of tea, decaf of course. Have a great day!
Jul 03, 2017
Of all the stuggles and adjustments we may have post-operatively I wasn't expecting to have "trouble" sleeping.
The first full month I used my wedge pillow to sleep at an angle. It helped with the pain and nausea. The pain stopped at about 3.5 wks, the nausea more like at week 4 (with an adjustment to my medication).
So about a week ago I put the wedge pillow away. Sorry, let me correct myself. I stopped using the wedge pillow; the damned thing is so big and oddly shaped I haven't found a place to put it. So for now its a dust collector on top of my dresser.
Pre-surgery I slept with an entire family of pillows... a big one between my knees, a flat one under my feet, a barley husk pillow for my head, a small flat pillow for my arm (to make the safetly rail a bit more comfortable) AND another one I used like a teddy bear to snuggle (support my tummy).
Now I try to sleep in my old comfy ways, with my old dust mite infested pillows. I can't. I can't get comfy in those positions any more.
I'm assuming its the 60 plus pounds I've lost, the new shape of my body, the way my tits flop now... The old stand-by positions don't work. I don't need the 'teddy bear' pillow any longer. In fact, I've realized I NEVER needed it to support my 'tummy'. I used it to keep myself from popping my elbow joints and cutting off the circulation in my arms. They were too fat to tuck into my body.
As an aside, my wedding band is fitting and spinning on my finger; I can fold my legs right under me (kneeling for example); I can hold a pen for a long period of time. ALL because the 'fat pads' near those joints have shrunk considerably. LOL, it won't be long now before the base of my fingers will be SMALLER than the joint meaning I can start wearing other rings too. While on the topic of jewelry, I have had to put my old medic-alert bracelet away. It slips off without any help but gravity. (I need a new one to refect the new anatomy anyway). Oh, and I have feet, ankles and shins free of edema (excessive swelling). I have skinny ankles again.
Right, back to sleeping. I guess all I want to say is I wasn't expecting to find new ways (positions) of sleeping. I might just have to retire some of my pillows. I know my wife would like that!
Blurp vs Vomit
Jun 27, 2017
In the past, as in before surgery I would have said a blurp was a hiccup/burp with a hint of acid reflux. NOW I define it as a throwing up. Yes, Blurp is the new 1.4-syllable word for post operative vomitting.
Remember the old days when you'd get the cold sweats, the excess saliva and that oh-so-subtle urge to RUN to the bathroom only to spend the next 5 minutes with your head in the toilet? Well that can still happen post op as I have experienced when the whole house was sick with a bug for a couple of days.
The new vomit is sudden, unexpected and you're lucky to grab a plate, a garbage can, a napkin or cup before you Blurp and its over.
Yeah, that's it. Blurp. No dry heaves, no sweat, no running... its just 'over and done with' before you even know its coming. For me I've discovered this new body function is the result of eating something my new tummy, or more specifically, my still healing staple line isn't ready to handle.
Last night it was the 49 grams of super moist chicken breast, it was good, really good... Blurp. Although I did heave a bit with that one. My tummy isn't ready for 'whole chicken' meat yet.
On the upside, it was a quick and easy guide to whether or not I'd chewed my food well.
WARNING: Blurping in the livingroom in front of family or company can be very disconcerting... for everyone. Just sayin'!