Tuesday, September 23, 2014

15 to 20 chews per bite, seriously? annnnd some Bucket list items

So I like looking at tips and tricks for bariatric eating. More importantly, I like for friends and family to see what I will experience so I don't look like a total freak! But really??? 15-20 chews per bite? Two minutes between bites? I knew I would have to chew more....but man. I also know that investing in some baby spoons is key for training portion size. This is what I found...

"Eat slowly.
Foods should be eaten slowly. Since most bariatric patients were fast eaters in their previous life, this can be a difficult behavior to change. Use tools such as small baby spoons and forks to help slow you down. An egg timer is a handy way of making sure that you wait two minutes between bites, which helps you stretch the meal period to the suggested 20 to 30 minutes.

Chew your food carefully.
Chewing your food carefully, perhaps up to 15-20 chews per bite, until the foods feels pureed before swallowing, will help slow you down. It is also important to chew foods well to ensure that nothing gets stuck passing through the narrowed outlet from the pouch. Failure to eat small portions, eat slowly and chew carefully can lead to vomiting, which is never considered normal."

The eating slowly, I can handle...I am not sure about this 15-20 chews per bite. That will take some getting used to. It fits right up there with not drinking 30 mins before or after eating. Grrrr

Anyhow, my appointment is on Tuesday, a week away! I am looking forward to finding out more, but not really looking forward to staying there three hours. I have questions already that I would like to ask:

  • What is the time frame after the initial appointment? 
  • What's the best way to keep my Iron up? 
  • What is the best exercise to start with while getting back into the work out groove? 
  • How long do they recommend I stay on liquid/puree/soft foods? 
  • How can I avoid the cost of the blood work and MRI? 

More Bucket list items....Wooohooooooo

#16 - It's coming close to Halloween and I can't help thinking that I will not be buying a costume this year, because A, I don't really have anywhere to wear it to, and B (more importantly) they never make anything cute over a size 16.  I CAN'T WAIT TO BUY A NORMAL SIZED COSTUME....and may start with this one....

#17 - I can't wait to see the look of surprise on faces of those I do not see often after losing weight.  Seeing someone after a major change, whether it is weight loss or just a drastic hair cut, is always fun!

 #18 - I would like to go horseback riding, either on the beach or through a jungle-type environment.  Again, most horseback riding requirements have weight limitations and I always hit the borderline number.  I don't want to have to worry about that!

#19 - This is corny, but I can't wait to wrap a regular sized bath towel around me!!!!!!  It's cold when there are gaps!

#20 - I would like to sign up for my first Warrior Dash once I am in better shape.  This looks like so much fun, but I don't want to get stuck or not be able to pull myself along.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Psych Eval? and some more Bucket List Items!

So I am less than two weeks away from my initial bariatric appointment. I am getting excited, to say the least.  I am still battling a cold, so I am hoping to be 100% be the time of the appointment, but I have been religiously taking my vitamins!!  This is a big thing for me, because when I was going through chemo I was supposed to take them and I never did.  Woot!

I have had some interesting conversations with people regarding the surgery and for the most part they are very supportive.  The common topic, however, is the psychological evaluation.  I knew from the beginning that I would have to jump this hurdle. I know there are many different reasons as to why someone has to have a pysch eval.   One reason is being able to deal with how people (old and new) treat the newly transformed you.  Men will notice you more, women may react differently.... I told my mom that I never had issues pulling men's attention...LOL. She thought I was funny. Someone told me that they knew a person that went through the surgery and their attitude changed for the worse.  I can't see myself doing this.  I will just be happy to be healthy and have more energy.

The other reason people see a psychologist is to get used to being in their new skin. Some still see themselves as overweight when they look in the mirror after losing even 100 pounds.  I think I am different in the fact that I don't think or feel like I am the size I am now.  I mean, I know I am overweight, but I don't physically FEEL or think I look 240 pounds.  Not until I go shopping for clothes, or try to sit on an airplane, or exercise...then I realize I AM that big.

I have done a good job in cutting my portion sizes and eating snacks.  I still am not getting enough water....this will be a challenge.  Not being able to drink but an ounce at a time will also be a challenge since I like to chug water when I work out.


#11 - I want to wear a two piece bathing suit that isn't a tankini!  I would prefer to wear a yellow polka dotted bikini just so I can sing the song!

#12 - Zip lining!  wooohooo Most places have a weight limit and I can do some....but I want to be able to pick which zip line I would like to do!

#13 - I want a second tattoo.  Preferably on my hip line (because I want to be able to hide it),  I have thought about trying to cover up some of my scar from my DIEP surgery, but I will have to wait and see!  I have been a huge fan of "To Thine Own Self Be True", feathers, something breast cancer related, or something in Italian. 

#14 - I have so many pairs of Gucci and Prada heels that I never wear because I mess shoes up from being too heavy or they are just hard to wear all day.  I can't WAIT to have less weight on my shoes and wear cuter ones!  PLUS....SOMEONE will owe me a pair of red Manolos when I get to 160 pounds!

#15 - I want to do a best friends photo shoot with my girls!  Since I have always be the heaviest one, by a long shot, I never wanted to do these.  I would like to hire a professional Photog and head over to Disney or some other fabulous location!  Along with my family, these ladies are my rock and support system...they keep me in line :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Continuation of the Weight Loss Bucket List

I have stuck to my vitamin regimen 100% the past week. That is big for me! Wooohooo! I have not, however, been able to go a lunch or dinner without drinking while eating.  That is going to be very hard for me.  I also have to fit one more workout in for the week.

So me beginning a weight loss bucket list sparked some conversation between me and another friend who has lost weight.  She mentioned she had wanted to do something since losing weight and it so happened to be on my list as well...

#6 - Wrap my legs around my man while being picked up (this also has a very sexual meaning, but i'm keeping this PG, hahahah)

#7 - I look forward to being able to tie or fasten my shoes without huffing and puffing for air!

#8 - I'm definitely doing a pin-up photo shoot!

#9 - I have done 5ks in the past, but I would like to train and be able to run an entire race with ease.

#10 - I can't wait to be able to buy a tennis skirt and not be afraid to wear it in public!!   :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

My journey to a healthier me...and my Weight Loss Bucket List!

I have been overweight my entire life. I'm not talking about a mere 10-20 pounds overweight or a socially acceptable size 12.  I'm talking about weighing 170 my senior year in high school. The scale slowly crept up over the past 18 years since high school. I have been MORBIDLY obese most of my adult life, meaning 100 pounds or more over the weight that doctors deem me healthy.  Losing 40-50 pounds would still not get me close to the 135 my doctor says I should weigh at my height of 5'4".

A school board weight loss program aided me in losing 20 pounds in 2009, only to pack them back on the next year, plus an extra 10. In 2012, after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I joined the gym, hired a personal trainer, and dropped 35 pounds again, just to gain it all back in 2014. Along the way I have attempted the HCG drops, Adipex, Low-Carb foods, the Atkins Diet, and any other pill you can buy. The only positive that has come out of this struggle is that I have become more active - at the gym and with different sports. With numerous attempts at yo-yo dieting under my belt, I have made the extremely informed decision to undergo bariatric surgery - more specifically, gastric bypass.

There are three options to chose from: gastric bypass, sleeve gastronomy, or lap-band.  I knew right away I did not want to do the lap band surgery.  I didn't want something foreign in my body and I did not want the frequent doctor visits to adjust the band. I seriously see doctors way too much as it is. There has been more research on the bypass procedure verses the sleeve, with similar side effects and better results, so I decided to go with the bypass surgery.

Gastric Bypass

Sleeve Gastronomy

There are people close to me that have had the procedure, some with more success than others. I understand one thing - it is not a cure all. It is merely a tool to aid in weight loss.  The work is actually harder than 5 diets combined and of course much more uncomfortable if one falls back to unhealthy habits.

My biggest worry with having the surgery is becoming anemic. While undergoing chemo, I had to have an iron infusion.  If you have ever had an infusion you know they are 6-7 hours of no fun. I have already started taking my multivitamin, Calcium with VitD, and a sub-lingual B12 pill.  I will have to take vitamins for the rest of my life.  I will boost my iron through food selection and an iron supplement. Another worry is getting used to not drinking while I eat.  I am supposed to drink 20-30 mins before and after eating.

I have also started eating smaller portions.  I will have to give up my coffee for a while, but I had to do that with my DIEP breast reconstruction, so I got this!  I have to eliminate sugar and high fat foods. Otherwise, I will become sick. I don't want to be sick... I also use bio oil on my tummy, thighs and arms to ensure better skin elasticity.

I feel I am ready to make this decision. Most people are excited for me...some don't understand or agree that I would take drastic measures. At the end of the day, it is my decision that I make for me, no one else. My goal is to lose an initial 110 pounds, develop healthy eating habits, and tone like crazy in the gym.  Most research says that bypass patients gain 10-20% of their weight back once they hit the five year mark.

My initial appointment is Sept 30th and I hear they keep me for three hours....eeek!

So the most exciting part of the post, my Weight Loss Bucket List!
I have a list of about 30 things so far that I want to do once I lose 75% of my weight (which is approximately 75 pounds). I know some things I could do now, but nothing beats doing these things with a slimmer, healthier body. I am not adding them all at once. If you have always been on the thinner side, you may have taken these simple things for granted, so please don't laugh at me. I will add some more next week ;)

#1 - I can't wait to buy clothes from any store I would like.  I have always been a fashionista trapped in a chunky girl's body. Which has made clothes buying limited. I can't wait to put together some fantastic outfits and I get to start with WINTER!

#2 - I look forward to fitting comfortably in airplane/movie/theater/arena seats without imposing on the person next to me! 

#3 - Crossing my legs...

#4 - I am going to take pole dancing lessons....which means I am hitting the gym to increase my upper body strength. 

#5 - I look forward to coming off my high blood pressure medicine.  It makes me pee a lot!