Some days are easier than others…

I started out my day this morning with hot yoga practice at 5:30 am.  I took a couple of days off and boy did I feel it.  My muscles felt tight, I didn’t feel as flexible and at times it felt like the heat was blowing right on my face.  I did the best I could – some days showing up is half the battle.  For me, I think I shouldn’t take more than one day off at a time.  The same thing happened last week when I took two days off in a row.

I’m having a hard time concentrating at work today as well.  It seems like I’m in a funk.  I don’t know why.  I just feel tired and a little lazy.  At least I got my exercise in and I have plans to go for a walk later this afternoon…maybe that will clear this haze I seem to be in.

I just enjoyed a great breakfast morning…it was my usual egg with a diced Jimmy Dean turkey sausage pattie and topped with cheese.  Today, I felt like having a little more, so I added about 1/8 of a bagel with some cream cheese.  I used to love sitting down to a huge bagel store bagel – you know the ones…they are the size of a hubcap.  I could eat one or two bagels in one sitting along with a cup of strong coffee.  I can’t begin to imagine the calorie content in that, but I suspect it’s well over 500.  So, I enjoyed a part of a bagel with some cream cheese and it hit the spot.  I can’t drink my coffee while enjoying it, but I’ll save that for later.  (The omelet looks big in the picture, but I promise it’s one egg…it was very thin before I folded it over!)
IMG_1485I took a picture of myself over the weekend as I do fairly often.  I like to look at the progress pictures.  Sometimes it feels like I’m looking at someone else when I see my “before” pictures.  It’s strange, too, that my husband says he doesn’t remember me looking like that.  Weird.  So, here’s me on “decision day” 08/21/13 and this weekend, 09/14/14 at 10 months post-op…
Photo on 8-20-13 at 12.17 PM09-14-14

A day in the life…

Prior to surgery, I often wondered what a day in the life of a weight loss surgery was like.  Here is what my day consisted of yesterday…I guess this is a typical Saturday for me.

I woke up at 5:30 am…ugh – why so early on a Saturday?!?!  I think my body is getting used to the 4:30 am wake up call since I’ve been doing the 5:30 am Hot Yoga classes during the week (more on that in tomorrow’s post).  I enjoyed a wonderfully strong cup of coffee (one of my weaknesses…I do drink it with Half & Half and agave…no judgements, please), read the paper and caught up with my on-line support group.

I ate a protein bar on the way to Hot Yoga.  I usually have 1/2 of a protein shake made with coconut milk to help replace the electrolytes lost during class, but I didn’t have time.  Class was amazing!  I feel so energized after.  When I got home I had a 1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt topped with some Honey Nut Cheerios (not the greatest choice, I would have preferred granola, but I didn’t have any) and 1/3 of a banana.
breakfast

The hubs and I went to the Farmers Market where we wandered around sipping coffee and people watching.  After scoping out the choices we decided on sweet corn and onions and he stopped at the bakery kiosk where he picked up some sweet rolls for he and my son.  I admit, I had a few bites of the cheese danish and OMG, it was wonderful!

When we got home, I made myself a breakfast for lunch.  A Jimmy Dean Turkey sausage patty and an egg topped with cheese.  This is usually my breakfast every day.  It’s got tons of protein.
lunch

After lunch we went to my son’s baseball game.  I had another cup of coffee (I’m identifying a behavior here…too much coffee, too many empty calories!).  I ate some peanuts and a protein bar at the game.  (I ate way too many peanuts…I wasn’t hungry, it’s a nervous reaction – again, another behavior I need to address!).

We went out to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings – I had some chips with queso dip as an appetizer.  Dinner was one chicken tender with Buffalo sauce and some blue cheese dressing.  (It still amazes me how little I eat when I have dense protein like chicken or beef.)

I was a great day with lots of family time, exercise, great coffee and good food.  I still enjoy good food, I just don’t eat a lot of it.  That cheese danish was amazing, but I didn’t want more than couple of bites – I know that if I had more, I wouldn’t feel good.

I read something once that said thin people subconsciously think about how they are going to physically feel after they eat something.  That was foreign to me because I am an emotional eater – I wanted something I was eating to make me feel better emotionally.  That has changed.  I now go through that thought process of “How am I going to feel after I eat that?”  I am often surprised at how I can go thru that process and change my mind on what to eat.

Have a great week, everyone!
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On my plate…Chicken Fajitas

I love Mexican food.  I love tacos, fajitas, chips and queso dip.  I love it all.  I don’t eat it very often, mostly because of the tortillas.  The other night I really wanted Mexican food, so I improvised a little.

I purchased some pre-made chicken strips – I don’t buy them often, but I knew the week was going to be hectic and I like to have them ready for busy days.  I also had some leftover grilled veggies (onions and red and orange bell peppers).  I heated up a couple of ounces of the chicken and about 1/4 cup of the grilled veggies.  I topped with some cheddar cheese, guacamole, salsa and sour cream.

I was in heaven!!!!!!  It was quick, easy and most of all delicious!  Who says you need a tortilla?
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On my plate…Chicken wings and baked beans!

I haven’t done an “On my plate” entry for a while…My diet right now is pretty boring; certainly nothing to blog about.  I tend to eat a lot of the same foods every day – breakfast is usually a scrambled egg topped with cheddar cheese and a Jimmy Dean turkey sausage patty.  If I want something different for breakfast, it’s usually a protein shake with some berries or a protein-fortified oatmeal (www.mybariatricpantry.com).  Lunch is almost always some deli meat with cheese or a pizza made with a Carb Balance tortilla shell (my favorite is BBQ chicken – spread some BBQ sauce over a Carb Balance tortilla shell, top with diced chicken breast and mozzarella cheese; bake at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes until the bottom is crispy and the cheese is melted and golden brown).  Dinner is usually chicken or steak and a couple of bites of veggie.  Pretty boring…

So I thought I would post a picture of a recent dinner of mine.  My husband has been experimenting with making chicken wings on the grill.  OMG – they are awesome.  I was able to eat three wings with a tablespoon of Blue Cheese and about 3 tablespoons of baked beans (we use Bush’s baked beans and add some bacons ends that we get from the butcher, then add some heat with Tiger Sauce and Crystal).  My mouth is watering just thinking about it!  It’s hard to believe that I was stuffed after eating that little amount of food.  I was completely satisfied!
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I have been feeling like I need to cook lately – I wonder what that’s about?  Maybe it is the need to feed my family – to nurture them?  Maybe subconsciously I’m bored with my diet and I need a change?  Who knows.  I know it’s time to cook because my husband said, “I want your spaghetti sauce; we haven’t had that in a long time.”  It’s actually been since before surgery about 8 months ago…So, starting next week, I am making it a goal to try at least one new recipe every week.  I love cooking and I do miss it.  It has just seemed silly to spend two hours making a meal to only eat a few bites.  I know that isn’t a good way to think about it, but that’s how I have felt up ‘till now.  Maybe next week’s first recipe / cooking experience will be spaghetti sauce!

Weigh-in – Week 10…50 pounds and a trip to the Hibachi Grill!

Starting weight (08/20/13):              256.0
Pre-op weight (11/12/13):               238.2
Today’s weight (01/25/14):             205.6

Total weight loss:                            50.4 pounds
Weight loss since surgery:            32.6 pounds
Last week’s loss:                               3.2 pounds

50 pounds…
50 pounds from my highest weight – UNBELIEVABLE.  50 pounds since 08/21/13 when I stood on the doctor’s office scale and saw 256.6 and cried.  I have never lost 50 pounds before; this feels amazing and somewhat surreal.  I have 56 more to go, which seems a little daunting as I write that number.

So many things have happened during this journey – I’ve celebrated successes and I have cried at perceived failures.  I have consumed more than 200 protein shakes and logged over 170 miles since my surgery date of 11/14/13.

I have learned a lot about my family and me.  I have learned that I get cranky and lash out when I feel out of control, specifically when it comes to food.  I have also learned that my family is very resilient to my lashing out.

I have found that I like going to the gym and getting in a good workout.  I feel better after a workout and more clear-headed.  I like challenging myself on those days where I don’t feel like going or try to come up with an excuse to not go.

I know the next 56 pounds is not going to be easy.  I need to continue sticking to my plan, exercising regularly (including the weight training that I haven’t started yet – I don’t know what my aversion is…), and keep my head straight.  I have said it before – the mental/emotional part of this journey is the hardest part.

The Hibachi Grill
A new hibachi grill opened in town and we thought it would be fun to take my son because he has never been to one before.

I was nervous – scared, really.  I knew that I wouldn’t eat much – more like I knew I couldn’t eat much.  It bothered me that I was pay $17 for a plate of food when I’m going to eat about 10 bites and have to stop.  Then I questioned myself…Can you stop at those 10 bites?  What happens if you don’t?

We had a great time.  It was so fun watching my son eat sushi for the first time and seeing my husband show him how to eat it.  I had a great time watching my son’s reaction when the chef made a volcano out of an onion, then set it on fire.
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Everything was delicious.  Our meal consisted of a salad, egg drop soup, fried rice, noodles, vegetables and noodles.  I can’t imagine how much I would have eaten before surgery, but here’s what was left on my plate after I was done.  Here’s my plate AFTER I was done eating!
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Afterwards, my son wanted to go to Cold Stone Creamery.  OMG, I could demolish a medium-sized Founder’s Favorite all by myself before surgery.  I took four bites of my husbands, making the perfect bite each time…a little piece of brownie, some nuts, chocolate, and ice cream.  I was completely satisfied.  I think I probably had about 1-2 tablespoons of ice cream – amazing!

While an evening like this won’t happen very often, it was a great night with my family with lots of laughing (we put our chopsticks in our mouths making us look like walruses), smiling and a had a great dinner.  It was a nice way to celebrate 50 pounds.

 

On my plate…McButterpants Pepperoni Pizza and Eating out Mexican style!

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I have really missed pizza since my surgery.  Pizza is a meal my family has always enjoyed, usually on a Friday night.  So, I’ve been looking for a way to make my pizza and eat it, too.  I liked the flavor of my ricotta bake, but that’s more of a lasagna type of a meal, so I continued to search – and I found it!  This recipe uses a Mission Whole Wheat Carb Balance tortilla shell as the crust – it makes a thin crispy crust pizza and you can make it your own by adding different kinds of toppings.

Here’s what I did:
1 Mission Carb Balance tortilla shell  (I used the fajita size)
Pizza sauce
Turkey pepperoni
Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Placee tortilla shell on a baking sheet or stone.
Spread pizza sauce on shell.
Top with turkey pepperoni and cheese.
Bake at 400 for about 8 minutes or until the shell is crunchy and the cheese is melty.

At four weeks post-op, I can eat ½ of a “pizza”.

Just like “real” pizza, you can add any kind of toppings you want.  Be mindful of the foods that are on your doctor or nutritionist’s approved food lists. We also tried a BBQ chicken version – in place of the pizza sauce, use BBQ Sauce (I used Buffalo Wild Wings Honey BBQ) and I used shredded chicken instead of pepperoni.  That was a delicious treat.

Mexican food
Another thing I’ve missed since surgery is eating out.  We don’t eat out a lot, but sometimes it’s nice just to go out and have someone else prepare your meal for you.  The other night we were a little busy and we decided to eat out.  I wanted Mexican food, so we decided on Café Rio.  It’s not a fancy place by any stretch of the imagination, but we were a little pressed for time and needed something quick (quick and bariatric surgery do not necessarily go hand-in-hand).

I ordered the Taco Meal.  I had a weird internal debate – their option is one taco or three.  Old habits die hard…I was actually considering the 3 taco meal to ensure I had enough – that was my “old” brain talking.  So I ordered the One Taco Meal – my taco consisted of a shell, shredded chicken and cheese.  I told them I didn’t want lettuce (not approved yet), but I did want salsa.  I ordered beans, but no rice (again, not approved).  I ate the insides of the taco and a little bit of the shell (newly approved).  I turned on my Eat Slower app after I realized I was eating faster than normal and felt a little pain in my tummy. I laughed when I saw the bites I was taking…It looked like this:  a tiny piece of shell (maybe 1/4″ X 1/4″ topped with a tiny piece of chicken and cheese with a little sour cream and one bean.  Oh how times have changed!

I hope everyone has a great week!  Please feel free to add comments or questions if you like.  I always love hearing from you guys!

On my plate…McButterpants’ Not Friday Night Pizza (Ricotta-Pizza Bake)

One of my favorite blogs is The World According to Egg Face.  She has such great outlook on life and she has great recipes.

For this recipe I took her basic Baked Ricotta recipe and made it my own.  I really have wanted pizza lately – pizza is my family’s go-to meal on Friday nights.  Now that I can’t have pizza and the family still wants theirs, I wanted to see if I could make something that tastes a little like pizza and make me feel somewhat “normal”.  This recipe will make 5 pieces of 3 ounces each – you can make them smaller.  At a little over 3 weeks post-op, I’m able to eat about ¾ of one – my husband’s limit was 3 of these, he really liked them!

Ricotta Bake #2Ricotta Bake #1

RICOTTA-PIZZA BAKE  or  MCBUTTERPANTS’ NOT FRIDAY NIGHT PIZZA
8 ounces of Ricotta Cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (I used Weber Garlic & Herb)
Pinch of salt & pepper
Pizza sauce
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
10 slices of turkey pepperoni, sliced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Spray pan with cooking spray.
Mix the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, seasoning, salt and pepper and place in the mini-loaf pan (5 loaves of 3 ounces each, if you like)
Spread pizza sauce over the mixture.
Top each with mozzarella cheese and turkey pepperoni
Bake at 450 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until cheese is nicely browned on top.
Enjoy!!!!

I calculated each loaf to have about 190 calories, 16 grams of protein and 6 carbs.

You can freeze what you don’t eat the first day and warm up.  I really don’t like microwaved food, so I heated my left-overs up in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.