Just barely but I’m there. This is a term I learned from hanging out on various online forums. Onderland. That magic place when your weight starts with the number 1.
I have to say, it’s less exciting for me than for some others because I didn’t start that much above it, and only had to lose 30 lbs to get there, but it’s a nice, mini-milestone.
But here’s another way to look at it, and this does indeed excite me. Today, I have lost a third of the excess weight I need to lose. A third of the way there! Now that’s something to celebrate.
It’s also a good way to know that the surgery is working, or rather than I am working it. Once I came off the stall, I seem to have lost .4 lbs, .2 lbs, .6 lbs, but it’s still a wonderful downward trend, and I think I’ll take it!
The problem with a stall is not just the lack of weight loss at a time you expect the weight to be peeling off–although that would be bad enough. The problem with a stall is that it comes with baggage.
All those times when you thought you’d found the “perfect” diet. All those times when there were hundreds of others boasting of their success with something that you were now trying. All those times that you were filled with hope that THIS was the thing that was going to work.
All those times that you failed.
We’ve been stuck at the same weight for 11 days, and it’s very difficult to focus on the now, instead of trying to think of what this means for the future. If I focus on the now, it tells me that my body is changing, my clothes fit differently, and even at 25 lbs, people see and comment on the difference all the time.
If I try to project for the future and imagine that this is the way it will always be, then I focus on the fact that this could be another thing at which others have succeeded, but at which I seem doomed to fail. Which of us has not believed, both before and after the surgery, that we would be the ones who would be the exception to the rule? That we would be that medical marvel that simply could not lose the weight despite doing everything we were told?
That we would be that singular failure while others around us kept posting their amazing before and after pictures?
And that’s the problem with a stall. Even knowing what we do, that every day is a different adventure when sleeved, that recovery, weight loss, and changes happen seemingly overnight, we still believe that this is the time, and we are the one that will fail. A very egocentric world-view if truth be told, but justifiable given our histories.
So if you thought this journey was just about eating your protein and drinking your water and not challenging your sleeve, I’ve got news for you my friend. It’s about battling your inner demons, about having faith in the unknown, and about believing that we are not that special after all.
And in that normalcy and mediocrity is perhaps where salvation lies.
(Follow my journey and my recipes at www.sleevers.wordpress.com)
My son called for his daily chat, a time I really look forward to. He says, "How was your day?"
Well I've had a lovely day. I got to go into the office, work with a team of 6 very smart people, we all got some great thinking and work done. I was able to join them in the lunch I ordered for us, and I've extremely been productive all day. What were the first words out of my mouth in response to my son's question?
"Well, I'm still stalled."
WTH?? That's all I can think of to tell him about my day?? So he's a very insightful smarty-pants and he says to me, "Mom it was one thing to rely on the scale when you could say 'oh maybe I should cut down a bit tomorrow' and use the scale to monitor and adjust your eating habits. But really, what role does the scale play in your life now??"
For a change, I was speechless. Well he wasn't about to stop there. He carries on saying,
"Maybe you should ask yourself if it's healthy to let what you see on a scale determine your feelings of success for the day? After all you're doing what you need to, and you told me you were going to focus on process vs. the outcome. Would anything change in your process if you just threw away the scale for 3 months?"
No of course it wouldn't but can i throw away the scale for 3 months? I cannot. Why? Because maybe I'm sick in the head and I associate my self-worth with success or failure at pounds lost. Not what I do to succeed, but whether the scale says I've lost weight today.
Unlike a lot of people here, over the last few years i could NOT lose weight. I could control my calories, my cardio-vascular health, what I put in my mouth, but I couldn't control my weight. Yet I continued to judge myself by my ability to lose weight. Not by my ability to do what was healthy, but whether or not I could lose weight. I may have been sleeved, but apparently that way of judging myself still persists.
So really, if we are eating our protein, drinking our water, and exercising to the degree that we can, what role does or should the scale play in our lives when we're trying to lose weight? Should we not focus on the process, monitor the crap out of the protein and water and calories, and let the scale go off on a long hike to TImbuktoo? And can we do that? Why not?
It's been a month to the day that we were sleeved. During that time, I have lost 25 lbs, been stalled for over 10 days, learned how to chew again, realized that if I didn't set timers I'd never eat again, and today, I was sitting in a chair and suddenly picked up one leg and folded it up on top the chair leg. I did it unthinkingly, and not until it was done that I realized that before the surgery, I was in too much pain to be able to do that. Yay me!
I don't understand how this whole weight/inches/clothes things works. My bust, waist and hips are the same during the stall, I'm not losing inches. But I'm fitting into clothes that I last wore when I weighed about 20 lbs less than I do now. What sense does that make? Not a lot, I can tell you that! I don't get it, but I guess I don't have to. I just have to keep on keeping on. Meanwhile, the pile of clothes that don't fit me is growing slowly but surely.
One thing that I'm really grateful for is no RA Pain. I started my meds again but really it is under duress as a result of pressure from the doctor. I see no symptomatic reason for taking them. Had it not been for the slightly elevated levels on the blood tests, I would have refused all together. I cannot believe that I am in less pain now, at 5 week with no meds, than I was when I was taking my meds and shots! Really makes you wonder how much of RA is food/inflammation/weight related in my case. I know that's not always true, but was there a relationship for me?
Having trouble getting in all my proteins from food, and find that some days I eat close to 700-800 calories, and other days I eat 500 calories, and it all feels good.
Work is in full-swing and while I miss being able to spend hours on the forum, I also know this is the new normal. I still come here a lot to read, but other things are priorities now, as they should be.
I find myself wondering when the stall will break, and what I will be saying at 3 months when asked how much I've lost? I don't have a number in mind, I just want it to be more than 25 lbs
So, made it through the first month! I'm happy.
My husband made these wonderfully spiced sausages. If you're sick of bland food, this adds some nice flavor without being too hot.
1 lb ground chicken
1/4 c cilantro
1 tsp chopped mint
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp Thai Red curry paste
1 tbsp Asian fish sauce
2 garlic cloves finely diced
2 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp black pepper
1. Mix all ingredients together. It will be a bit sticky. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes for all flavors to meld.
2. Heat a saucepan until hot, pour in a tablespoon of oil and spread it around.
3. Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, put 1 oz sized dollops of the mixture about 2-3 inches apart. Smash them down into circles
4. In 2-3 minutes when the bottoms are brown, carefully turn over and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
5. You can either cook them all and freeze them in a ziplock baggie, or cook just what you need for meals.
6. These are very soft and they were easy for us to eat.
2 patties contain 16 gms of protein.
So before I get too far, let's just acknowledge that the problem is me. For whatever reason, I find myself really irritable, even with people I ordinarily love and adore. NOTHING is wrong in reality but man! I'm cranky! Working hard at controlling it. This is not the usual me. It's not hunger, it could be hormones from the weight loss? I don't know.
But on the positive side, hey hey! First work-related trip yesterday! I just did fine and today, put in a whole days's worth of work with no trouble. Dinner with client still to be done, but feeling good. It feels really good to be back to normal.
And very scary. While I was at home, I could control the food we had around us, meal times, shakes, etc. Now, outside in the real world, it has become abundantly clear to me how people eat around their sleeve and gain weight. I still have to make smart choices. Cake still sounds better to me than grilled chicken breast. The bread that arrived with my dinner looked like it would taste just fine rolled around in the oil and butter that accompanied it.
Everywhere I go, there is food I have decided not to eat. I mean, EVERYWHERE. I read all the vets saying how this was just a tool, and that I still had to make the right choices, and each time, I nodded my head and I thought I knew what it meant. Honestly now? I don't think I understood it until I got on this trip. There is "bad" food everywhere. I always have a choice. And I will almost always have to fight temptation to not eat the bad food.
Now that I am on real food, it's a much bigger challenge. I am measuring my food out, because if I didn't, I'm quite sure I could comfortably eat more than 1/4 of a cup of food. I understand that down the road, maybe that's okay. But this early into soft foods, I shouldn't take a chance.
So I still have to make smart choices. And I still have the limit quantities. The sleeve won't do that for me. I will have to do that for the sleeve.
It's a rude awakening and a much-needed reality check. So although I'm irritable today, I'm also grateful that I learned this lesson, and that I did that without breaking the rules.
I think this is my next big challenge now that I have healed from the surgery. So bring it!
Recipe adapted from my favorite Indian cookbook, Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries. If you love to cook and are willing to spend a little extra time to make sure everything is made fresh and authentically, this is the one to choose.
Best places to get all the spices are either whole foods, central market, or other stores that have spice bins, or an indian grocery store.
2 tbsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp whole black cloves
1/2 tsp cardomom seeds from green/white pods
2 dried bay leaves
3 dried red chiles or 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or red chile flakes (the kind you put on pizza)
1 2-3 inch piece cinnamon
1.Put all ingredients into a clean coffee grinder and grind until it's a coarse-fine powder. I use a this type of coffee grinder. Shake it about as it's being ground so all the seeds and bits get under the blades.
2. When you're finished, unplug the grinder, and turn it upside down. You want all the spice to collect into the lid so you can easily scoop it out without cutting yourself playing about around the blades.
3. Finished! Use in the palak paneer recipe I have posted as well as the chicken curry recipe.
8 oz halibut steak
1 carrot, peeled & julienned
1/2 Leek (I know, what will you do with the rest?? I will come up with a diff recipe for it) peeled & julienned
1/2 Red pepper, peeled & julienned
2 sprigs fresh tarragon or 1 tsp dried tarragon
1.5 tsp butter
1 tbsp vermouth (option)
1. Saute vegetables in 1 tsp of butter. Don't brown them, just soften
2. Place halibut on parchment paper
3. Place sauteed vegetables on top.
4. Cut up the remaining half tbsp of butter into little pats and place them over the fish and vegetables.
5. Sprinkle with vermouth if using, salt and pepper.
6. Seal parchment paper into a bundle as shown in the picture and curl up the edges
7. Put on a cookie sheet and bake in 400 degree for 15 minutes.
8. Let the fish rest for 5 minutes. Make a big deal of opening the packet on the table and inhale in the wonderful aromas.
In my house, this feed two new sleevers and a 90-year old---with leftovers! Probably feeds 2 adult sleevers and a child is my guess.
OMG my husband just made the best chicken bratwurst from scratch! If you can't tolerate pork or can't eat it for religious reasons, here's one to try. Made from The Mixer Bible, mine is a simplified version with no casing, no second grinding etc.
2.5 lbs of boneless chicken thighs ground fine at home, or make it easy on yourself and ask the butcher to grind it very fine for you
1/2 c half n half or milk (see note)sp
2.5 tsp Salt
1 tsp ground caraway seeds
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground allspice
Pinch ground nutmeg
1. Grind chicken fine. Messy! get the butcher to do this for you or just buy ground chicken. If done at home, freeze the chicken so it grinds easily
2. Add everything else and let it sit in the fridge for half an hour to meld
3. Oil your hands well, and make 3 oz patties
4. Can freeze individually at this point, or cook in a nonstick pan with a little oil about 2 mins on each side. cut into the middle to see if cooked through
5. Refrigerate extra for up to 2 days in the fridge or 2 weeks in the freezer. We're going to cook them all, and then nuke slowly when we want one.
Note: the recipe called for 1/2 c of milk but we were out and I'm lactose intolerant and really, half n half makes it softer and smoother. Sorry for the cheesy paper plate but no one wants to do dishes right now!
Makes 12 servings of 3 oz each, about 21 gms of protein each.
Bad news. I've been depressed, lethargic and feeling blah, meh, blue, and blobby for the last three days. Good news: There is absolutely NOTHING wrong IRL, so I know this is just recovery/hormones.
I don't know what the heck is wrong with my body but really, everything is going well surgery-wise. No problem with intake, protein, fluids, etc. Blood tests came back looking great.
I'm just down.
I knew this would happen, but I didn't think it would last thing long. This whole week, I've struggled to do much of anything. I lack vim and vinegar and zip and zing. Over the last 3 days, it's been more pronounced. I'm sort of slug-like right now, and I'd like the old me back please. I suspect so would my employees who aren't used to me being quite so out of it. They all know I had surgery, only one of them knows what kind.
R of course is bouncing all over the place like nothing happened, but I notice that he gets angry easily and is very sensitive these days--which is his version of depression. So we're both having to be a bit gentle with each other and cut the other some slack. He's been great about giving me room to be depressed instead of trying to talk me out of it. I'm trying to do the same for him.
I lost a pitch yesterday. I HATE HATE HATE losing. I could not have made any profit at the price they finally paid another company, so it was okay to lose it.
But what surprised me was that my body reacted immediately and badly to it. As soon as I read the email, I broke out in a cold sweat and almost passed out. No exaggeration.
I think my new tummy handles emotion/adrenaline differently. I noticed this when we tried to watch a movie right after the surgery and the rather tame thriller upset my stomach and my nervous system so badly I had to stop watching it. I think with a smaller tummy, the same rush of adrenaline doesn't feel as it used to. It's a horrible, uncomfortable, tense feeling and you want it to go away. Don't know if all adrenaline junkies have to deal with this or not, but I now know that *I* have to deal with this.
I want to kick myself in the pants and "snap out of it". I'm keeping it from getting worse, but I haven't snapped out of it yet.
Welcome to recovery, emo-style
My dad arrives from India today so I have to make something his 90-year body (and teeth) can enjoy, AND tomorrow is soft foods day for us! yay! We were told to eat meats that were out of a crockpot or pressure cooker so they were soft. So here goes.
This is massively modified from Anupy Singla's Indian Crockpot book to a) not make enough to feed the entire state of Texas and not to blow the roof off your head with her version of spice.
I'm Indian. Believe me when I tell you, this is the BEST chicken curry I have ever had and the EASIEST.
1 onion peeled & quartered
5 garlic cloves peeled
2 inches ginger root sliced roughly
2 tomatoes, quartered
I tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala, can buy ready mixed or use this recipe
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1.5 lbs of chicken, skinned
1 bag of baby spinach
1 2 inch piece cinnamon
4 green cardamom
2 whole cloves
1. In a food processor, grind together everything except the chicken and the spinach and whole spices. Make a nice, smooth paste. This may take a few minutes, be patient.
2. Put the chicken pieces in a crockpot, and pour over the yummy-smelling sauce you just made. Put in whole spices
3. Chop up the spinach and add during the last hour of cooking.
4. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 until chicken is tender.
Us Sleevers may have to eat the chicken without the sauce and eat the sauce separately.
Makes 6 servings of chicken (3 oz each, 21 gms of protein each.
Modified from Bee Yinn Low's Easy Chinese Recipes.
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Chinese black vinegar
1.5 Tbsp Chinese Rice Vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp corn starch
3 Tbsp Water
1/2 Tbs Chili Oil
4 Large eggs, beaten lightly
1. Mix and heat broth, sauces and vinegars.
2. In a small bowl, mix the corn starch and vinegars
3. When broth is boiling, slowly incorporate the cornstarch mix. Keep stirring and let it boil for a while to thicken the broth
4. Slowly pour in the eggs. Mix three times around with chopsticks. Turn off the flame, cover the pot and let the eggs cook slowly in the broth.
to increase the protein content, I really think you could put in some extra-silken soft tofu in there. It's a lot more "liquid" than yogurt, or jello, and should go down easy. If you want, put about 2-3 oz of soft tofu before adding the eggs.
Makes 5-6 cups.
Just because I understand why we plateau from time to time doesn't mean I have to like it. Which is just as well, because I do not like it.
I thought I would be really blase and nonchalant during this time of stalling because intellectually, I was prepared for it. What I'm realizing is that intellectual is the least of my problems. Isn't it always emotions that give you the highs and lows in life? How do you prepare for that?
How do you prepare for the fact that your heart and your head will clash, and that you will start to wonder if you are a freak of nature? That you are doing something wrong, hence the stall? That you were so excited about the weight coming off, and now, you're not losing any for a little bit? How do you keep the faith, that this is the thing that's going to work when every other diet you've tried has failed?
It brings back emotions and memories of all the other times I've tried whole-heartedly to lose weight by following the "latest science" and failed. Every one of those diets had oodles of testimonials of people that had made that plan work, and had lost all kinds of weight from doing it. I was the only freak of nature that couldn't lose it--or so I thought. Of course, I see from this board that there were thousands of others, equally frustrated and equally unsuccessful. But nevertheless, what worked for the vocal majority, the others did not work for me, in those cases. It brings back feelings of failure, or lack of success, of fear that nothing was ever going to work.
I suppose it is possible that the sleeve is the same for me--but I know it is not probable.
Fortunately, both R and I are stalled. If one of us was losing and the other wasn't, there would all kinds of conversation and superstitious behavior about mimic'ing exactly what the other was doing to lose the weight. Fortunately we've been spared that madness. This time. Next time it may not work like that so how are we going to get ready for that next time?
Even though I told myself there would be no second guessing, I am of course, second guessing. It's hard for my scientist-mind to not immediately attribute the stall to the fact that we were told to increase our calories and our carbs. Never mind that we were barely functional at previous levels, and that I still have be able to function and make a living, my cause-and-effect wired brain wants to know what would happen if I went back to the old calorie and carb levels?
THIS. This is what I said I would NOT do. This constant second-guessing, this "what if" scenario planning, this emotional ditch. This is what I told myself I would stay away from because I knew the "facts".
So I guess time to "man up" and do that eh? Time to put my money where my mouth was, time to feel whatever I feel, but to not allow it to influence my actions. To keep to the plan, and let go out of the outcome, you big control-freak. To look at this time as a time of growth, where you learn to let go--and still succeed.
So today, my task is the same as it was yesterday. Eat my protein, drink my water, exercise--and try to have a good, productive, love-filled day.
Wish me luck.
I feel like a different part of my brain has been activated over the last few weeks. Look at how much we all have to learn to prepare for this surgery. When was the last time you used the words "pyloric valve" in polite conversation, on a regular basis?
Eight weeks ago, I didn't realize I would be a "sleever", a "post-op" a "full liquids" stage. I was just me, loving life, my job, my husband, my kids, and reading Sci-Fi if I wanted to learn new words (China Mieville, anyone?)
Unfortunately, today I also know things like "sliders", "pre-op cheating", "slow loser", "stall", "head hunger", "weight re-gain", "falling off the wagon". And now, these words I've never used before have become imbued with emotions, with meaning--and another way to judge myself and others. Now these words are emotion-laden, and I have to work to make them rational. Now, if I'm not careful, I will categorize myself by these words and find another way in which I could be seen to have failed. For someone who is as motivated as am I by the fear of failure, now these can be new weapons.
Unless I refuse to let that happen.
Unless I say to myself and those around me, that everyday that I stick to the plan is a successful day. That everyday I veer off the plan is an opportunity presented to me to triumph the next day. That this is my new life, and I intend to live it, enjoy it, succeed at it, and let the Universe unfold the way it should.
So I will try not to throw out the old, happy life I had, and live instead by one where I can succeed or fail daily based on an outcome I may not be able to control--like when I stall, or what I lose. I can only control what I do, and that part, I know how to live by that.
Omg I just made the best lobster "bisque". I made it up as I went, hence the note below.
Half an onion sliced thin
3 cloves garlic smashed
1in ginger sliced thin and julienned
5 Campari tomatoes
1/2 head cauliflower
3 c chicken stock
2 tablespoons pesto
1 lb frozen langoustine or lobster (see note below)
Sauté onions, garlic and ginger until browned (I used ghee, you can use fat of choice or spray w Pam). Pour in chicken broth and dump everything except frozen langoustine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until veggies are tender. Put in langoustines and cook over slow heat until cooked through.
Purée soup until smooth and voila!
Note: We took out two cups of soup and puréed 6 oz of langoustines. That gives us 3 oz each or 14 gms of protein! I'm saving the rest to purée with shrimp tomorrow. If I had a recipe, I might not have so much soup left over but it's very good.
Rich, creamy, flavorful and maybe I won't have to do another protein shake tonight. I've had worse in pricey restaurants.
I got this from the "Eating well after weight loss surgery" book. I've modified for my usual shortcuts
http://www.amazon.co...t loss surgery
1 cup cauliflower steamed in microwave for 5 minutes until very soft
1/4 c onion chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 oz low fat ham (I used a little bacon)
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1 bottle clam juice
1 c evaporated fat free milk
1/2 Lb shrimp shelled, cleaned deveined
( I added paprika)
1. Spray large saucepan with cooking spray and cook onions, garlic & ham/bacon until soft and brown
2. Add lemon pepper, clam juice, evaporated milk, cauliflower and shrimp and let it come to a boil, stirring often. Cook until shrimp are pink.
3. Add salt, pepper, paprika.
4. Puree in vitamix or blender.
SOOO yummy! Tastes like a creamy bisque with potatoes, thanks to the cauliflower.
Protein: 22 gms (!!)
Fat: 1.3 gms
Carbs: 11 gms
I massively modified this recipe from http://www.amazon.co...ian slow cooker.
The original recipe calls for 2 lbs of spinach and makes so much a sleever would be eating it until they died. It's also waaaay too spicy in the original and hers is made in the crockpot. MUCH faster in pressure cooker.
1 lb fresh baby spinach
Peel where necessary and roughly chop:
-1 large yellow onion
-2 medium tomatoes
-5 cloves of garlic
-1 2 inch piece of ginger
-1 serrano or jalapeno chili
2 tablespoons ground cumin (grind in coffee grinder yourself or buy amongst mexican spices)
1 tsp or less cayenne pepper. Put less, you can add more later
2 tsp garam masala (can buy in most stores)
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp Salt
1 packet fried or fresh paneer (indian grocery store, frozen section). I will also post recipe for homemade since this is good source of vegetarian high protein.
Pressure Cooker: If making in pressure cooker, dump all ingredients except paneer together and set to high pressure for 4 mins.
Crockpot: Cook on high for 3 hours. Push the spinach down once so all gets moist.
When done, use as immersion blender and mush everything up into either a very smooth puree, or leave some bits unchopped, per your diet stage.
Gently add paneer until mixed in. Serves 6
Made up this recipe tonight by simplifying a cookbook one. Very rich mushroom flavor. Enjoy!
1 onion sliced thin
3 gloves garlic crushed
4 c mixed fresh mushrooms
1 sweet potato peeled and diced
1lb boneless skinless chicken breast
3 c Chicken Stock
Dried Oregano & thyme or Poultry Seasoning
2 c water or broth for pureeing
Simple Recipe: put all ingredients In a pot and boil until chicken is tender (medium low). Purée adding 2 additional c of broth or more.
Slightly more fidgety recipe: Sauté onions and garlic until soft and lightly caramelized. Caramelize sweet potato at the edges. Add remaining ingredients. Pressure cook for 7 mins (high) or cook on stove until chicken is tender (low-medium heat). Purée adding stock to thin as necessary. This is how I made it to get the sweetness and a richer depth of flavor from the veg, but it will taste good either way.
Makes 10 cups. Each c has 1.5 oz of chicken for 11 gms of protein.
We make soup today! Shrimp Bisque and Chicken & Mushroom, both pureed. I don't know how to shop or cook for small meals. I barely have pots in the house small enough for our new meals. I take out the cauliflower I bought. I picked the smallest one at the market. The WLS Surgery recipe calls for 1 cup for four people. That's about a fourth of the entire dang cauliflower. What am I supposed to do with the rest? The chicken soup recipe calls for 1/2 lb of chicken. I have no idea what size pot I need to cook that little chicken. I've been cooking for a family since I was 14, and here I am at 47, I can't guesstimate the right pot size for so little food.
I've been telling R he will have to stop going to Costco but I don't think he quite believed me until he saw the proportions of food we're cooking. Forget Costco, I think I may need to start buy veggies at the Salad bar instead of at the grocery!
And after all that? I eat 2 oz and R can get in 4 oz of the soup before we're too full for more!
Friends want to come visit to check on us. We start to clean the house and to cook something for them. After several hours of whirl winding around, we are SO tired that my tummy hurts. R is cranky and over-sensitive and has to go lie down after he loses it with the kids and me over nothing. The hormone thing is doing a whammy on him for sure. We give him hugs and reassure him we still love him, and then sit down to eat as a family.
I decide we will have to let our friends know we are not up for company yet. We're really, really not. At all.
We may not hurt, but we tire easily and then we get cranky. Need to tread slowly still. R and I go to lie down in our bed at 1 pm. The kids follow as does the dog. We spend the rest of the day hanging about together, all of us on our computers, chatting occasionally, resting, reading, and playing with the dog. From time to time, I get up to make food/snacks for the kids, and R gets up to make our soups.
THIS is how you recover on a Saturday after surgery my friends. Soul-food time, with no food, just love to feed your soul.
And a little soup maybe.
R is now walking 2 miles! He says he's been doing that since day 3 and I didn't even know. We're both pretty much back to normal except for the fact that we tire very easily.
We will laze about today but the food images will not leave me alone. I want to BITE into something. Anything! I spend significant portions of time thinking about food, recipes, pinning, thinking of what I will cook when I can. And I realize it's really, really, good to have this time when I cannot, in fact, eat anything.
All of us who complain about the liquid diet afterwards, it's our "break up with food" time. As with any breakup, you miss the loser, you love/hate him, but you're so glad you did it. Why did I think this would be any different? It's not. Note this. It's not any different than a breakup with a person you loved.
We got all our liquids in, we got all the protein in, but we've gotten creative about recipes. We make unjury chicken with Ramen flavoring, with taco seasoning, and today, R makes his perfect spicy tortilla soup and we eat just the broth. It has adobo chilies in it and we love it! We're not having any trouble with spice which is a relief to us.
R is struggling with a popsicle addiction. They're calling him. As soon we can do soups tomorrow, I will talk to him about throwing them out and getting his carbs via pureed veggies. We don't need to be back on sugar.
Someone said they cheated on their pre-op and I wrote a very harsh post back saying if you can't stay on your diet pre-op, how do you think you will do it post-op when cheating could mean death? We're all so focused on getting through the pre-op that we don't realize post-op liquid is even LONGER for some of us. Make no mistake about it, the post-op diet is harder.
You can't eat. You can't drink except in sips. It's weeks until you will feel normal. It's much harder. Buckle up.
Day Six (Thursday)
Since I was feeling so much better, I thought I'd be able to work today. I'm realizing that physical recover and mental alertness are NOT the same thing. I'm in a complete daze and am having so much trouble focusing. I wasted the entire morning in front of the computer doing....I have no idea what. Nothing to show for it.
Three meetings in a row took it out of me. Then I had to go to Dallas for a meeting and R offered to drive me. Well, his brain isn't working any better than mine. We were late getting out of the house due to poor decision making. We got lost on the way because we couldn't talk and drive at the same time apparently. By the time we got there, we were both stressed and late.
By the time we finished the meeting and started back home in rush hour, getting lost a couple of times--seriously it was ridiculous. I mean we have a GPS! and 2 iphones and 2 ipads and we couldn't find our way back home!--we were so tired. Again fuzzy decisioning, we decide to go to a restaurant to get a spicy drink.
We get to the restaurant and realize the drink has too much sugar. So we go to the Indian grocery and then spend an hour trying to get tins to fit together. Don't ask. Utter stupidity, but done with great concentration and dedication. At the end of this we are SO tired, that when we get home, I can't even make myself get up to take my makeup off. Both of us are bone tired.
I was not prepared for this. I just thought if we felt better, we'd be back to normal. Apparently recovery takes longer than 6 days. Who woulda thunk?
When pre-sleeved, I wondered what it was going to feel like right after the surgery. i read everything I could, but I still wanted more, more, more. I'm writing about my experiences to give back to the community that helped me prepare for this surgery. It's a very long post but hopefully it answers some questions about what we might go through, physically, mentally and emotionally.
I'm 5'6, HW 230, SW 222, CW 215.4 and I'm 47 years old.
Day of Surgery (Friday)
I find myself calm, not nervous and ready and prepared thanks to hours spent on this site. I move to a gurney where they inject me, and the next thing i know I'm waking up and there's an oxygen mask on my nose.I keep trying to take it off, and they tell me not to, that I need the oxygen. I fight it a little. Finally, I say I know I'm not supposed to take it off, but I need to breathe, I'll put it back. The doctor checks on me and sees me fighting it, and says it's okay to take it off. I tell them I'm nauseated and they give me something.
I feel so little pain that in my dream state, I keep waking up from a half-sleep thinking, Oh I have to go to surgery today. And then my brain reminds me it's already over. I can't believe it. My husband comes out of his surgery and once he is awake, I make him walk with me. We push our IVs along, marveling at how okay we feel.
I'm okay, he's not so great. He's nauseated his chest feels tight, but there's not too much pain. We walk all day in little bits. My mouth is dry but I rinse it several times, and use my chapstick. We're fine.
Night-time is not fun. Nurses in and out every two hours, injecting one or the other of us. R has really bad heartburn so I'm trying to take care of him. We get through the night.
First Day Post-Op (Saturday)
Cannot WAIT for the ice chips! such a gourmet treat! They arrive and we find we can't really eat them as we should. Two little ice chips and it feels like you have an elephant on your chest. R is worrying about shoulder and chest pain, and I assure him it's not a heart-attack, just gas pains, and keep walking. I nap a lot. He sneaks out and overdoes the walking and increases his pain. But the doc says his gut sounds better than mine, and to keep in mind that pain & symptoms don't mean a poor recovery.
I wonder how the heck we'll ever consume 64 oz of fluid.
Second Day Post Op (Sunday)
Time to go home. We get a bottle of grape juice. Yum! but again, can't imagine how I will finish that little 8 oz bottle. We drive for 12 hours today. Well, I drive. R sleeps the whole time, which is how his body recovers from anything he ever has. I'm happy to be able to do this for him. We stop in Austin to see my son, try to drink some Unjury chicken. The warm soup feels good. We sleep for an hour and I'm refreshed enough to drive home. Keep trying to drink, probably didn't even get in 16 oz this day.
That night, I force the fluids and I'm miserable. Walking up and down the hallways after a long day. I realize this is a lesson. If I ever overdo the food, this is what it's going to feel like. No bueno.
This is my "WTF did I just do?" day. Thanks to this forum, I know that's common and I let the emotions come.
Third Day Post Op (Monday)
Lots of sleeping going on but guess what? We can drink easier now! At least 38-40 oz today including a Nectar Fuzzy Navel! I'm amazed at the progress in just three days. I stop the pain pills. R is cranky and depressed today.We're arguing about stupid sh*t. I tell him it's the hormones, the trauma, the lack of calories and carbs and that it will all be okay. I do 20 mins on a stationary cycle, R walks the dog a mile.
Now my brain shifts to the big changes. Such as, if I'm not always thinking of food, what am I going to do with that spare time?
I kid you not. My existential crisis? What the hell am I going to pin on Pinterest now if not recipes?? I realize front and center food has been in my life and am so grateful we were able to get this surgery.
Fourth Day Post Op (Tuesday)
Feeling like a pro today! I forget I've had surgery and gulp. Ouch. But a shake, an unjury chicken soup, egg drop soup, 2 G-2s, and 2 popsicles! Yay me!
So of course, now that is good, I'm the weepy one today. There's nothing wrong, I just want to cry. But I don't cry easily so even though I try, I can't cry .
No pain, all good. R gets energy back. I'm not there yet and want to sleep. We go out to get something, I'm exhausted. But I do 2 ten minute sessions on the stationary bike. We try Chike with caffeine. Mistake. Feel sick.
Today I make an important decision. In the past, I've always focused on the outcome. Was I losing weight? No? Then let me change my diet AGAIN. How about now? No? So what if it's only been 4 days I better change again. This time, I will not do that. There's a plan here. 800 calories, 80 gms of protein, less than 50 of carbs, 64 oz of water, and walking/cycling. That's it. Until I hit goal, that's the plan. Focus on the plan and the results will follow. I know this from reading others' experiences. I decide to focus on my actions and let go of the outcome. Big move for a control freak
I tell R that now that I am not constantly searching for the best diet, the superfoods, the one ultimate way to lose weight, It has freed up so much psychic energy, that I'm shocked at how much of my time I had devoted to obsessing about my weight. I chose the best way for me. The time to stop looking is over. Time to start DOING.
Fifth Day Post Op (Wednesday)
Liquids not a problem. Protein not a problem. Can you believe that? It's only day 5 but we're getting all liquids in. What a change. I can NOT stay awake and sleep from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm though.
Work intrudes and I take 3 meetings over the phone. Couldn't have done that without the nap. I feel energized. We go out to run and errand and go to the grocery store to buy ingredients for soup which we will start on Saturday while the kids are home. The grocery is full of sample ladies and although I rarely ate samples, it's a different feeling when you can't. I feel different to everyone around me. I realize that I'm different from the others around me in one more new way, but it's a way that doesn't show, unlike my skin, my weight, my ethnicity. It makes me feel like I'm harboring a secret. Weird feeling.
I am happy I'll be able to cook again. I make my son an omelet with cheese, and I find I'm a little tempted but not bad. But I've had food dreams all day today. I want a grilled cheese sandwich with the crisp outer crust and the gooey cheese, I want tomato soup, I want chicken kebabs, I want, I want. I drink my shake. I will do nothing to compromise my recovery.
Sixth Day Post Op (Thursday)
The day has just started who knows what awaits, but R has lost 20 lbs in 3 weeks, and I've lost 15 lbs. Last time I lost 15 lbs it took 6 months of clean eating and walking 4 miles a day. I'll take this!
I now believe that I will lose the weight. I was sure I was going to be that freak of nature that couldn't lose it because I only lost 6 lbs on 2 weeks of pre-op, but now I believe. Today we will do our liquids, our protein, our walk/cycle and tomorrow will be a better day.
My next goal? Visualize myself thin, and be able to see myself wearing cute clothes and start pinning those on Pinterest. Not there yet.
What a difference six days can make!
It's almost getting to be a routine. Veg soup and Protein at every meal. An SF popsicle to wash down dinner. Yesterday was the first time I didn't need a nap and was alert, and productive throughout the day. The previous few days, I'd really started to worry about how I was going to work because I couldn't string two thoughts together and all I wanted was a nap.
It's funny, I'm not really hungry, but today, I want to BITE into something--or someone, when I'm feeling cranky I haven't been as cranky as I thought I would be--but I want to CHEW something.
I feel grateful that I have this opportunity to do something that seemed impossible, and win at it. It sends me into surgery with a feeling of power and control. And I need that. Being--or feeling--powerless over my weight for all these years really affects my self-image. I don't feel this helpless about anything else in my life.
Tomorrow, we drive 11 hours to go to my ex-husband's wedding reception. Then Sunday we do it all over again, except in reverse. I can't eat anything at the reception. R and I will just have to have our shakes before. He's in the kitchen, getting the "travel soups" ready.
Anyone who says this is the easy way out has no idea what they're talking about. I have a feeling i will be saying this with even more vehemence after the surgery when I'm in pain
But hey, 7 days down, and I'm still on track. Yay me!
So I'm past the day 4 hurdle everyone talks about. I had to take a two hour nap yesterday before I could function! My brain was fuzzy and I really couldn't string two thoughts together properly.
Then I started thinking about all the changes i was making all at once.
1. No caffeine. Aaargh!
2. Carbs below 50 gms a day
3. Less than 1000 calories a day
4. Much more protein than I usually intake
5. Liquids only plus veg soup. Not easy.
6. No straws
7. No fat to speak of
8. No sugar
9. No fruit
10. Constantly having to hydrate (i drink a lot of water anyway but now having to focus on it).
Yeah, it's okay to have a hard time with that!
On the plus side I've lost 7 lbs over the last 12 days that I've been easing into this. It makes me feel confident that I will lose weight when I'm sleeved.
it's all good.