July 2021 Nutrition Update
Jul 08, 2021
It interesting that all or nothing mentality works its way into most of my decision making. Including decisions about the foods I choose to eat. A couple of weeks back I was struggling with feeling weask and fatigue. Today, I can honestly say that I feel much better.
I now actively try to keep my carb intake between 75 and 100 grams per day. This has helped immensely. I find that when my net carbs are below 75 I feel absolutely terrible. Since I am following the guidelines and simply attempting to meet the recommended nutritional values, I am not having any trouble with calorie intake. I am starting to have more of an appetite since I began doing more vigorous exercise. Something that was only made possible by upping my carbohydrates as per my nutritionist's recommendations.
Of course I've been keeping my sugar intake as low as possible but I can't help but feel the urge to purchase a nice slice of strawberry tres leches cake from the tienda down the street. Not only that, but there is a cupcake truck that will be visiting my neighborhood everyday until the 10th. It's easy to say not to cupcakes since I find they have too much icing for my taste, but the tres leches cake is something I've really had my mind on.
I will be sending an email over to my nutritionist to see what I can do about my cravings so they get satisfied without sabotaging my hard work and weight loss so far.
I have lost 14 pounds since beginning this new lifestyle on the 21st of June. I am incorporating walking--which is extremely physically taxing for me--as well as at home workouts. I went ahead and bought some shoes to walk in that will hopefully be much more comfortable than what I currently have.
In addition to my new workout regime, I am having a new issue arise. Powering my body enough for my workouts and staying hydrated.
Since I exercise in the morning, it's easy for me to get 5 cups or at least 40 ounces of lemon water down before I even eat breakfast. I like to exercise on an empty stomach but am beginning to feel like I at least need to have some fruit and a string cheese or something like a protein shake because even though I feel better, I don't feel like I am completely fueled.
I added a chewable complete Flinstone multi-vitamin (yes, the ones for kids) to my daily routine. I take it in the morning with my medication. I believe the MV has played a role in me feeling better. I definitely don't think I would be doing as well as I am if it weren't for the MV and the additional carbs because whole, lean protein sources alone weren't doing the trick.
What do you like to have when you're craving something sweet?
Feeling Weak and Tired: An Update
Jun 28, 2021
I had the opportunity to speak to my nutritionist who confirmed my suspicion that I haven't been eating enough carbohydrates. What's interesting to me is that I have been on a low carbohydrate, low sugar diet before and didn't have this feeling. I guess it's because I was eating more fat (Keto).
It's interesting how differently the body respond to different ways of eating. I upped my carbohydrates yesterday and felt better. Not 100, but better. I think consistent hitting my new carbohydrate goal with help with how I'm feeling. I've also been brainstorming ideas for meals that will help me reach that goal.
Fear has a lot to do with not hitting my carbohydrate goal. Reading the guidelines and feeling guilty for eating foods with carbohydrates. So far, the best sources for me are vegetables and sweet potatoes (they're accepted in my WLS trial diet) but I'm curious to know what I will be able to have that will keep my body nourished while not encouraging weight gain.
There's that pesky obsessive behavior again. I keep telling myself to trust the program but it doesn't stop me from weighing in daily--to be sure that I'm not gaining because I'm so afraid of not passing the weight loss trial.
Aside from fearing weight gain, I have bee concerned with focusing more on cruciferous vegetables and haven't had any starches added to my meal aside from the sweet potato the other day. I bought a book the other day called, "The Complete Bariatric Cookbook," by a registered dietation named Megan Moore on Amazon Kindle. It has a lot of meal ideas and recipes that look like they would help navigate the issue of not getting enough macronutrients. In fact, I'm inspired to make a chili dish this week that comes directly from the cookbook.
If you're having trouble with meal ideas or hitting specific macros, you may find Megan Moore's Instagram page helpful. If you aren't on Instagram, she has a website as well. Click here if you're interested. Her page has transformations, motivation, inspiration and meal and snack ideas. Always make sure the foods you are eating align with the guidelines set on your program and remember to reach out to your providers with any questions or inquiries.
Something to Evaluate
Jun 27, 2021
I wrote a blog post yesterday called "Pre-OP Diet, SAD, and Me" which talked about how I'm feeling now during my weight loss trial versus when I was eating without restriction. Yesterday, I wasn't sure if I was having cravings or simply adjusting to the sudden drop in calories because I initially felt fine. But today, I am feeling much of the same and it is concerning to me. Walking up the stairs takes most of my energy while before I'd be a little winded but I wouldn't feel like I was going to pass out.
In addition to that, I feel so tired. I've been on the brink of falling asleep ever since I got out of bed this morning. As someone who struggles with mental health issues this has made everything so much worse. I'm tempted to eat something I'm not supposed to like chicken and rice soup (I'm not permitted to eat rice) for the carbohydrates but even though I'm hungry, my body is telling me not to eat.
If you read my previous blog post you know I struggle with disordered eating. My suspicion that obsessing over passing the weight loss trial may exacerbate negative traits surrounding food and exercise. Purging leads to overeating or bingeing for me which is exactly what I don't want but the stakes are high if I do not meet the requirements to pass the trial.
I am contacting my nutritionist to discuss this. In the meanwhile, I'm going to go ahead and sit here and have a protein shake. I'm starting to think the macros aren't working for my body. I have lost a few pounds but if it means being foggy, zoned out, and so weak I nearly collapse from walking up the stairs, something must be done.
If you're reading this, let this serve as a reminder to listen to your body and reach to your providers with any problems or concerns as they arise. Monitor your blood pressure, get labs to check if everything is okay, and if your body is telling you that something isn't right (or enough) contact your providers immediately.
Please leave any tips you have in the comments.
Pre-Op Diet, SAD and ME
Jun 26, 2021
I went into low-carb, low-fat, low-sugar cold turkey. I got an email from my nutritionist detailing what to eat and what not to eat (in general terms) at night after binge eating (chugging down some marshmallow brownies drizzled in chocolate syrup). My expectations are that I lose about 10 or so pounds per month for the first few months since I've done a keto diet in the past and basically lost 16 pounds a month for the first three months without counting calories or being very mindful of fat.
Actually...I'm kind of hoping that losing monthly is the case pre-op because my weight causes immense pain on my feet (especially) and body. I can't do exercises I'm used to anymore and therefore must think outside of the box. Some days I feel like I'm at the mercy of my pain and whatever it decides I'm able to do that day.
Nevertheless, I try to get up and get steps. My house has two floors so most of the times I'll get only enough water to sate myself in the moment to have to get up and go downstairs to get more. I try to do step workouts to help strengthen my legs and raise my heart rate. I know for a fact that some exercise is better than none. And anything I can do to work my body is beneficial at this point in time. It seems to be working.
So the switch in diet has resulted in way less calories consumed. I feel tired sometimes--maybe from not getting enough carbohydrates on most days. So today, I added sweet potato to my plate. I'm interested in seeing how it works for me. My nutritionist said it's okay... I just don't want to eat extremely differently from what I need to eat after surgery.
In addition to that, I do not want to risk any weight gain. As most of you know, failure to lose or maintain weight means failing the weight loss trial. I cannot afford to do that.
The major differences in the way my body is responding to the pre-op versus SAD so far:
- I feel weird at night. This is the time of day I normally eat the most carbohydrates...
- I'm having trouble reaching my carbohydrates...
- It's super easy to go over my protein target...
- I'm eating way less than I was before...
This journey is bigger than what I'm eating and what I'm not. It's about shifting my mindset and living with intention and seeking help for issues I have with disordered eating and mental health. It's about sticking to that resolve and choosing me and self-care over things and behaviors that no longer and have never served me.
It's early on and I don't exactly feel better. But I know that this is better for me in the long run so I'm sticking with it. As a person who doesn't hate themself or feel unnattractive because they are fat, I have to say sometimes it can be tough when I think about weight loss and sticking to restrictive programs. But I'm not reducing for a look, I'm reducing to be able to actively participate in my life and be able to do the things I want to do again.
SAD is a form of rebellion for me. I only began eating poorly (on top of disordered eating) because I was angry. Angry that my healthy diet didn't stop me from getting sick. Angry that my healthy diet didn't stop me from experiencing mental health issues or at least improve them. But now, years later, I'm angry that I decided to stopped caring about what I ate. I'm angry that no one took my disordered eating seriously when I reached out for help in the past. So no, I don't feel better with this new diet, but I do feel like it's better in the long run.
Seeing the greater of the evils, I know that I can generally stick with this lifestyle. But I do fear, that my habits surrounding eating and exercise won't be healthy and sensible. I worry that I'm shifting from one extreme to the next. And so I decided to write this long blog post. I know I'm not the only one experiencing this and am not alone.
*SAD stands for Standard American Diet for those who don't know.
I apologize for any typos to all the grammar nerds out there. I'm a little frazzled and not really in the best space to sit here and proofread and edit.