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Apprehensive/Hopeful

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The Food & Exercise Journal

I had been drifting off course for the last couple of weeks, since I started eating solids, really. I can eat so little (about 1/3 cup) it just didn't seem to matter what I ate or what frequency.   Now, this site: http://goodnightsurgical.com/doc/Sleeve_Gastrectomy_Guide.pdf has helped me understand (be convinced) why the rules are necessary. We are training now for life after sleeve restriction. By year 3, I guess, my sleeve should accommodate 1-1 1/2 C food; and if I don't have my lifestyle nailed down, I could end up obese again. So, I started recording in my food journal in earnest. I am putting liquids and protein first. I am exercising. Well, I don't exactly have a "routine" yet, but I just did some yardwork.   I am reading Denise Austin's Shrink your Female Fat Zones, and I am getting excited about walking. I ordered a pedometer so I can increase (eventually) to 10,000 steps/day. Most people walk 2,000-3,000 steps/day.   Today I decided to put self-care first in my life. I'm 46 years old, you might think I would have adhered to this wisdom by now. But no, I keep forgetting. And it takes time to take care of my body; it just does. Maybe several hours a day. That puts a whole different spin on my perspective about using/wasting time.

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

Settling In

Motivation, anyone? I haven't been walking or doing any kind of exercise (excepting yardwork.) I want to want to do it.   I am really surprised at how little I can eat. I've gotten a lot better about not eating when I start getting close to full. Overeating is just too painful. I am wondering how it could ever be possible not to lose weight eating so little. I guess time will teach me that. I've been losing about 2 lbs/week for the last couple of weeks. I am very happy with that rate. It is just perfect. My expectation is that the slower I go, the easier it will be on my body, the better my skin tone will be, and I'll lose more fat as opposed to muscle.   I am 18 lbs down and my clothes are looser, but I'm still wearing the same size.

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

Ok . . . Well, I'm Eating.

I haven't had any trouble at all with anything except once when I ate too much too fast and well, you know.   I am still drinking my Juven, my protein shakes, Powerade. But I've started solids, too. I feel so much better with some food that sticks with me for a bit. Right now it seems impossible that I wouldn't lose weight no matter what I do (almost) because I am able to eat so little.   I won't be bingeing, that's for sure. I don't have cravings, except possibly for meat. That goes with my cycle, I think, with ovulation and menses.   I had some cheese on Triscuits last night without difficulty. I do notice that if I wait to stop until I feel "full" then I become overfull. Not sure how to check that. Once I start eating I want to keep going. I have been doing really well with throwing out food I don't finish. Before the sleeve, for most of my life, I felt all food served had to be eaten or saved for later. It's a little funny that my kids won't eat leftovers. They know it's ok to leave food on their plates once they're finished eating.   Well, I am keeping up with my 10 minute walks twice daily, pretty much. I can't really see the benefit, but this is something I "decided" to do and I am going to stick with it.   I'm still getting bouts of extreme tiredness; but I had that before surgery. I have intentionally foregone relying on caffeine. It is a last resort now, not a daily necessity. Somehow, I just don't want to have to have it and I guess I'm hoping that eventually I'll be all right on my own. I don't know why this dogged thought persists, but it does.   I've had no trouble whatsoever letting go of soft drinks. I drink coffee occasionally and then only one cup.   I'm definitely losing from the top. lol oh well.

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

Hungry. Hungry. All The Time Hungry.

I'm hungry. I'm full AND hungry? I can't tell. I had a nightmare about being hungry and the too long, wait forever long, wait in a restaurant for of all things a hamburger and fries. What?! In the dream I got so mad at my husband for tipping the waitstaff I almost walked home!! WOW.   That's some heavy emoting. I find protein shakes taste better after they've chilled in the fridge. The get more dissolved, smoother, and tastier. Better too with the colder flavor.   I don't want to eat as often as my stomach calls for it. I feel like a dog on a chain. But if I put off eating -- in my case, I'm still drinking -- I just feel more hungry, more panicked.   So, that's where I'm at. I'm looking forward to eating when I can consume foods with higher calorie density.   I am well aware that I am in the period of forming new habits so I am trying not to sabotage myself. For example, my dad gave me some baby back ribs (frozen) and I keep thinking about putting them in the oven because I know that would do the trick -- fatty meat = being satiated. But I leave them in the freezer because it's not time for meat, yet. (much less pork ribs, lol)   So I am just going day-by-day. Committing to one day at a time on liquids. Making my protein shakes thicker, hoping that will do the trick. Other liquids, like cream of chix, hardly seem worth the bother because I am suddenly hungry within an hour afterwards. Yet I find the warmth soothing; so I guess I'll keep on with the soups.   I didn't think I was going to be hungry all the time. In fact, I thought just the opposite. But I guess . . . whatever . . . body knows best. I'm complaining but really, truly, things are going great. I'm not sick. I've got the sleeve! And so on...   Say a quick prayer for me, if you can.

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

Day 11 Post Op

"Released" 7, almost 7 1/2, pounds in the last week. WOW. So happy. Same size clothes but they aren't binding.   Odwalla "Superfood" single serving . . . NASTY. And it is mostly carbs. Oh well, I tried it, I bought it (on sale, thank goodness), and I am going to DRINK it! Maybe not first thing in the morning though, lol.   I find myself getting HUNGRY. I panic when I'm hungry, always have, not sure why. We went to Chili's last night and I asked for a cup of potato soup to be served as appetizer. No soup. Finally, I said, I need my soup [underline] now! I tolerated the soup well although it was rich and had some solid toppings. About 6 oz I'd guess. I was comfortably full. I like that feeling.   Right now I am drinking Lean Shake 25, a GNC product, banana. It's good. Light, almost watery. I'm beginning to appreciate the watery taste more as I'm learning I can tolerate more of it at one time. When I'm trying for liquids and proteins, that's a very good thing.   I am grateful I can get my drinks down. My heart goes out to all of you who are transitioning and hurting in the process.   I find myself talking about overeating, food addiction, etc. in the past tense. It's a good feeling, like I've closed the chapter on that part of my life. I feel stronger when I think of it as "over."   My first week of full liquids ends this Wednesday, then one more week of full liquids, then purees. ( I really did kind of lapse last night with the soup but I had to. I squished the potato chunks up before eating them.) It feels like a long time ahead of me on liquids and semi-solids, but I'm going to try not to think of it. Counting pre-op, it's been 21 days on liquids (who'd a thunk I'd ever do that); so, I am 2/3 through it. That makes the ten days remaining seem shorter.   Still getting out more and still needing lots of sleep. Not 100% on my walking, but doing pretty good.   I'm going to look online at some of the aps for monitoring self-behavior. For some people, for instance, getting a pedometer is a big incentive for taking more steps. Not sure how that could work psychologically; but apparently, for some people seeing the higher number of steps motivates them, especially if they're part of a group comparing numbers. No harm in trying it myself, I guess, if I ever get [another] pedometer. Maybe I'll head to eBay now . . . lol.   Have a great day, Sleevers. I'm so glad you're here for me. It is amazing how helpful it is to be with people who understand.

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

Day 8 Post Op . . . The Thrill Is Gone

I am not feeling euphoric anymore. In fact, I've experienced some tiredness that can only be relieved by long naps. I know I'm still better mentally, however, because I WANT to do things; but I'm just having to rest in between. It feels like now I am settling in for the long-term effort of making this surgery part of a successful lifestyle change.   My incisions look great and the itching is subsiding. I've not had a problem with liquid intake; I judge this by light urine color. Getting the protein is a little harder because it fills me up quicker. I tend to want to drink 10 oz and then lay down; and when I do that . . . sharp pain, then Pepcid AC & Tylenol.   I guess this is going to cure my habit of napping after eating.   Well, today I tried Isopure Zero Carb strawberries and cream. It is light without being watery; and tasty without being overly strong. It has 50 g protein for 210 calories. I am anticipating that when I begin trying to lose weight in earnest, this product is going to be a lifesaver. Right now I am just considering myself in the process of healing, staying on liquids, and not considering weight loss a current goal. Of course, I can't wait to weigh on Monday and I hope to see a loss. I think I will because my bra (which usually is overly tight) feels comfortable now.   Something I found interesting: Starbucks Doubleshot Energy White Chocolate 15 oz "fortified energy coffee drink" has 11 g protein and (only) 210 calories. I thought that was pretty cool. Who knew?

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

Thumbs Down To Muscle Milk Strawberries And Cream Single Serving

I paid $3.79 for that Muscle Milk; so, by golly, I choked that protein DOWN. lol   Shopping today I started making healthier choices for my family. Not rice cakes, exactly, but better quality food which I thought would be healthier than chips and cookies. Cost money to eat a little better, it does. But it's so worth it. I am so glad I am able to exert this gentle influence on their eating habits. This is what I bought for them for snacks: lightly salted, dry-roasted peanuts, honey-roasted peanuts, trail mix (yes, with m&m's), beef jerky, whole wheat muffins, ww bagels, 1% milk instead of 2%. Fruit & juice, but that's not new. I realize this isn't ringing the bell for best nutrition, but it's much better than what they have been eating.   I'm encouraging my 15-year-old to drink protein in the morning if he's going to skip breakfast. Both of my kids have been skipping breakfast, even though it is served at school and they have a charge account.   I've missed a couple of evening walking sessions because of exhaustion and taking naps. I realize that may sound lame (no pun intended) but it's true nonetheless. I am not going to "push through" any more than I have to. I don't want to make myself sick with overexertion; mostly, I feel this way because I can't handle the mental stress that goes with being soooo tired. If I get too tired, I will freak out. That is my experience.   Even so, I'm doing more than I have in recent years.   Good night, fellow sleevers!

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

Thumbs Up To 100% Casein Protein, Gnc Pro Performance, Choc Pb

Just had my first post surgery protein shake. A day or so ago, my husband and I went to GNC and stocked up on different types of protein powder. Different brands, flavors, some no-sugar-added, some fast release, some slow release, some "meal replacement" powders which include fiber.   The GNC guy said casein is a slow-release protein.   This particular brand I tried today makes a thick mixture with water. I like that. Pre-op I was drinking Amp Extreme 60 (very tasty!) which mixed thin with water and slightly thicker with water. I like the feel of more body in the drink.   So powders are different, and I'm glad I bought a variety to try.   Been faithful with my two 10-minute daily walks: one right after I wake up and one after dinner. I got the 10-min regular schedule idea from <The Expert's Guide to WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY by Garth Davis, MD.> Good Book.   I feel fortunate not to have any problems drinking. This would be a lot harder, otherwise. Prayers and thoughts to all those out there whose stomachs aren't as accommodating as mine. Hopefully, you'll get more tolerance with time.

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

5 Days Post Op

I've decided to weigh only on Mondays. That way I can measure progress without tormenting myself over fluctuations.   Tomorrow I'll start all liquids. Looking forward to yogurt in the morning.   Made chicken stock tonight. Haven't done that in a while!   Got through the whole day without a nap. Really tired out, though, in early evening.   I'm taking Juven (wound healing powder) twice daily per my sister's instructions. She's a registered dietitian at a hospital. Taking these expensive vitamins she gave me: Juice Plus, which she says work better than regular vitamins. They're gummies and I love having something to chew. Even the yucky flavor tastes good; at least it's different for the palate. I'm taking regular multivitamin, per sister, twice daily. Continuing antibiotic for UI.   Haven't had any trouble taking my psych meds. Take them all at once without discomfort.   Reading Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength: Willpower. It's not a motivational type book in the cheerleader sense. It talks about -- so far -- practical things like impulse control being affected by glucose uptake. That made 6 small meals a day make more sense to me. It's been a very interesting read, and I glad I shelled out the 16 bucks for it. I believe there are things I can do, easy things, which will make lifestyle change less difficult. It's really everything you ever heard but it explains the why part, which makes the healthy habits more of a "will do" than a "should do."   I can't believe how quickly my incisions are healing. Except for one, they are all thin lines, the smaller ones even being a little hard to see.   Taking it day by day. Not going to compromise on shoes anymore. I had bought a pair of tennis shoes 1/2 size too small because they were on sale and I had a coupon; but they squished my toes together and now the thrift store is going to get a like new pair of tennies.   Kind of tired, but I really enjoy blogging.

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

My Trip To Mexico

Tuesday evening: Doctor's wife picked us up from airport. Gave the doctor his cashier's check. He answered my questions about surgery. Doctor's wife took us to hospital. Signed permission docs. Answered medical questionnaire with on-call doctor and then again with nurses.   Wednesday: Hooked up to IV. Visits and questions from various doctors: on-call hospital doctor, cardiologist, anesthesiologist. Pee in a cup. Blood draw. Chest x-ray. More doctor visits about the results and what to expect. Several hours later, I went to surgery, which took took 38 minutes. Woke up from anesthesia about one hour after return to room. Excruciating pain between my breasts; I didn't know there was an incision there. I jumped up and started walking, thinking it was gas pain. Asked for pain medicine but they thought it was too soon after surgery. Got a shot that lasted about an hour. Got a morphine shot that took the edge off the pain, but it still hurt too much too sleep. Got some sleeping medication and finally . . . relief.   Thursday: Continue on IV. Turned out I had a bladder infection and they were treating that as well. My stomach is bruised and swollen. Looks like someone stabbed me several times. Except for the chest pain, which was much lessened, there wasn't any pain. I was getting regular pain medication thru IV and also on request. No nausea ( I was getting nausea medicine, too.) Walking. Spirometer. Nurses coming and going, putting stuff in the IV. More doctor visits. Long visit with the surgeon. Last night at the hospital.   Friday: Checked out around noon Went to another facility to get "leak test." I could see the barium on the monitor passing through my tiny stomach. Pass. Now I can have clear liquids! Doctor's wife took us to hotel and gave us jellos, juices, waters, and Gatorades. Walked to restaurant and had fish soup broth. I couldn't believe how good I felt: not just physically but mentally. I wasn't hungry and I wasn't obsessing about food. My sister was afraid I was going to go manic on her because "it always starts" with my feeling good.   Patient coordinator picked us up from hotel around 5:30 pm and we went shopping, to Caesar's restaurant (home of the famous salad, which "smelled" good lol,) then casino. Lost ten dollars on slots I couldn't understand. Went to Walmart.   Saturday: Weather was fine. Sunny. Spent time by the pool! Coordinator picked us up and took us to restaurant that served excellent broth. Yum. Went to pharmacy to buy stuff I can't get without a Rx in the States. Got our legs waxed (Sister and me, not the coordinator!) More shopping, this time in a strip mall. People watching. Last night at the hotel. Had dinner in hotel with coordinator.   Sunday: Check out. Doctor's wife picked us up. On US side we stopped at outlet mall where I found some good deals at Old Navy. Then to airport where I spent MONEY on some liquids. I didn't want to take a chance on not having nourishment. Long flight home. Husband and daughter picked us up at airport. So glad to be home!!   Post-trip: feel great, no pain, only restrictions are no lifting & shower only. Wounds are already closed. Using triple antibiotic to keep them soft to lessen scarring.   Walking ten minutes morning and evening. Looking forward to Wednesday when I can have a protein shake!

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

3 Days Post Op

I am so glad it's done!! I can't believe how good I feel. I love not being hungry. Loooovvvvvve it.   I had a pretty easy time of it except the night after surgery I had some terrible pain right between my breasts, kind of at the top of my abdomen.   I assumed it was gas but it wasn't. I felt better after a morphine shot and med to sleep.   And now no pain at all! Yay   Dr Kelly's having a special in Oct. $5200.   After that new bookings will be 5700.   If anyone's interested their coordinator's (Omar Acosta) number is 619-395-5347.   I want to write a detailed summary of everything that's happened but I'm too tired tonight.   Goodnight Sleevers!

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

Day 5 Pre-Op

Today I had kind of a large supper -- by recent standards -- of salad and fish. I've been reading about salad being disagreeable after WLS, so I wanted to eat it while I still could.   Seemed so slow while I've been waiting for my surgery; now, seems it's approaching quickly. Today is Thurs. I'll start liquids Sunday; fly to Tijuana Tuesday; have the surgery Weds.   A week from now, I'll have my sleeve. Excited. Scared.   We bought a lawn mower so I've been mowing for exercise. It's funny, I feel so tired just walking around; but when I'm doing something, I don't feel as fatigued.

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

Day 3 Pre-Op

The first day, I was so hungry. Now, I am not hungry at all.   I like AMP cookies and cream.

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

Day 2 Pre-Op

This morning I cut a ** in half and gave it to the dogs. I'd been obsessing on it since the night before. Once the temptation was gone physically, it went away mentally as well.   I went to Luby's today thinking I could get some good food there -- especially greens and sf jello -- and was disappointed. I was also surprised that I was feeling full after 1/2 chix breast; and though it was hard to pass up, I ate it without the skin.   I slept a lot today. I've been drinking decaffeinated or no-caffeine tea before bed to relax.   I think I'll make some sf jello now to have tomorrow!

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

Day 1 Pre-Op

I had a very nice supper last night with family. Everyone prayed for me when the meal was blessed.   It was a grand finale of the old days and my dad outdid himself.   Today I had my first protein shake. I'm so relieved it quenched my hunger. I am going to make it through this day, and beyond that, I'm not going to wonder.   Caffeine hasn't been the huge withdrawal I expected. I don't know yet if that's God's grace or just a delayed onset.   I am eager for the surgery to be done and over with. Still 10 days away.

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

Last Day Before Pre-Op Begins

Tonight my father is preparing a special meal for me, my last. I am really looking forward to it. Yesterday was the last day for diet coke and another favorite food. I am gearing up mentally and feel able to go forward.   It is not the food itself I fear but the panic I may feel when there's no way to modulate my feelings with excess. Then I read here about people's experiences and am reassured that what I am setting out to do is not impossible and my reasons for pursuing this are valid, despite the financial cost.   Yesterday I asked my son about how he felt about our spending this money on my surgery instead of his (tonsils.) He asked if I meant did he think I was putting myself ahead of him. I guess I had been afraid to ask directly. He said, no.   Because of my BMI (35) I have been given a list of guidelines for pre-op (this far out; I still have to do liquids 3 days before surgery) rather than a strict regimen of protein shakes & 1 high protein meal per day, which is what my sister did.   My sister has been so kind to me, buying ready-made shakes, vitamins, and other things that will make my journey easier. Budget-wise, as soon as I am able to eat solids, I'll be having some egg white omelettes probably rather than egg white mix. I really haven''t thought that far ahead, how I am going to be able to afford protein shakes for 3 mos. or longer. I am vaguely counting on saving money by not spending it on junk and restaurants.   I am very fortunate to have my sister do this before me. Plus she is extremely knowledgeable about the requirements to stay healthy and she can guide me.   I am feeling more confident about being able to wean off caffeine for the time necessary. I can't get out of bed and motivated to do anything without caffeine & for that reason, I was planning to disregard advice and try to circumvent the requirement by using caffeine strips, which dissolve in the mouth, instead of ingesting it through the stomach. My dad got so put out with me for planning to use caffeine when I've been told not to; he felt I would jeopardize the surgery and possibly my life. So I am coming to terms with the issue. I bought several boxes of caffeine strips at the dollar store pre-conversation with Dad, so I plan to use those pre-op only to the extent of weaning myself. I am hoping that if I use only what I need to "get up" then day-by-day I will use less.   I have a very famine-what-if-I-don't-have-enough outlook, so that is why I went overboard on my purchase. I thought it might not be available for me later as I had a hard time finding the store which sold it.   I also take a fistful of psychiatric drugs daily and I have no idea how I am going to be able to tolerate those after surgery. I didn't tell my psychiatrist about the surgery because I didn't want them to discontinue the near-free care I've been receiving since '94.   Well, time to get ready to go to my dad's.

sheila2050

sheila2050

 

Pre-Pre-Op

Today and tomorrow are the last days I will be able to eat whatever I want. My surgery is 9/26 and I should have started pre-op on the 12th, but I mistakenly had my mind set on ten days' pre-op so I am sticking with that. The psychological willingness to do this seems very fragile to me; i.e., not the surgery itself, but my part in changing my lifestyle.   I am a compulsive overeater, addicted to food, seeking comfort. I don't see how surgery is going to change that; yet it is a last ditch effort. I quit drinking; I quit smoking; I don't want to die addicted to food. I don't like being a slave to it. I want to get out from under this addiction, and that is the hopeful goal of my surgery.   I know that once established healthy habits become the norm and preference; at least that's my past experience with it.   So, there's all that. I am counting on prayer to pick up the difference between what I can do and what I must do. That's how I got through drinking and smoking withdrawal, which can be and were for me lengthy and torturous. Or, you could just say, I was a mess, felt like I was losing my mind. God got me through it ODAAT.   But I have a family . . . and spending this money on sleeve surgery instead of having my son's tonsils removed or a down payment on a new truck my husband truly needs for work seems terribly selfish.   We are hoping that once I have the surgery I will lead the family into better eating habits. No junk for me, none for you. My son has issues with his weight and while he's too old for me to dictate, we hope that healthier foods at home will help him.   So, it;s all about me. Of course, I look forward to the hoped for personal evolution weight loss can bring--new energy, ambition, freedom of movement, clothing, desire to go out, dress up, etc. I particularly miss yoga and hope that I will find joy in that again.   If you read this and want to comment, please do. I wouldn't write it here if I didn't want to share how I feel.

sheila2050

sheila2050

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