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Keys Pirate

LAP-BAND Patients
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Everything posted by Keys Pirate

  1. Keys Pirate

    Three and a half years later

    Hello Sleever People! I had my surgery January 25, 2010 with Dr. Aceves in Mexico and have never once looked back. I was on this board pretty much 24/7 pre-op and for a long time post op and one of the things that I desperately wished for more of was feedback from people that were "long term" sleevers. We seem to be few and far between and I swore I would provide regular updates... fail!!! And I apologize to any of you that, like me, wish for more of the "big picture" - no pun intended! It's true that we simply get on with life after surgery and before we know it, life has been blowing by and suddenly it's been some fantastic years gone by - you'll see, trust me! So, the long and short of my sleeve experience has been incredible – there truly are no words to describe one of the absolute best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. I started at 254 and lost exactly 100 pounds well before the end of the year. I ate low carb and drank Protein shakes forever it seemed. About a year and change after surgery, after maintaining a size 4/6 154# for months, I started gaining – eeekk!!! – I attributed this primarily to nursing school (which I started the same week of my vsg and have since finished and am now working in an ER – whole nuther story!) and grazing all day. Cashews are the devils work, btw!! I was scared and worried but stopped gaining after slowly putting back on 20 pounds. I’ve lost five of that since, am now in a size 8/10 and have been holding there for some time. I truly eat what I want within reason. I’m in a good place mentally and physically. I have been at this weight for over a year now. I 100% BELIEVE THAT EXERCISE IS CRUCIAL TO YOUR SUCCESS LONG TERM!!!!! So commit to it, the sleeve, while a fantastic tool, WILL NOT solve all of your problems if you aren’t prepared to take care of yourself and having the sleeve makes it easy!! Like any “diet” or whatever, the long term is the trick; you will be able to eat A LOT more as time goes on yet nothing like before. You WILL be able to eat enough and often enough to gain weight if you are not aware. But it’s different. I would have easily gained that 100# back by now, that I know. So, for me, to compensate for eating so-so, I bicycle competitively and long-distance; average 50 miles every other day at about 19mph. I have a group that I ride with but do it often on my own too. Burns a gajillion calories. I guess the bottom line is that your life is going to be absolutely incredible post-op BUT, you will always have to be aware of what’s going in and out. The story about the woman who gained all her weight back cuz she would order an xl pizza and work on it all day? I can see that!! Yikes! But, you know what? Don’t buy the stupid pizza!! Easy!! I wish you all the very best and please feel free to contact me to vent, ask questions, whatever, I’m happy to help and happy to be here for you. richcoast@yahoo.com Carol
  2. Hello Sleever People! I had my surgery January 25, 2010 with Dr. Aceves in Mexico and have never once looked back. I was on this board pretty much 24/7 pre-op and for a long time post op and one of the things that I desperately wished for more of was feedback from people that were "long term" sleevers. We seem to be few and far between and I swore I would provide regular updates... fail!!! And I apologize to any of you that, like me, wish for more of the "big picture" - no pun intended! It's true that we simply get on with life after surgery and before we know it, life has been blowing by and suddenly it's been some fantastic years gone by - you'll see, trust me! So, the long and short of my sleeve experience has been incredible – there truly are no words to describe one of the absolute best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. I started at 254 and lost exactly 100 pounds well before the end of the year. I ate low carb and drank Protein shakes forever it seemed. About a year and change after surgery, after maintaining a size 4/6 154# for months, I started gaining – eeekk!!! – I attributed this primarily to nursing school (which I started the same week of my vsg and have since finished and am now working in an ER – whole nuther story!) and grazing all day. Cashews are the devils work, btw!! I was scared and worried but stopped gaining after slowly putting back on 20 pounds. I’ve lost five of that since, am now in a size 8/10 and have been holding there for some time. I truly eat what I want within reason. I’m in a good place mentally and physically. I have been at this weight for over a year now. I 100% BELIEVE THAT EXERCISE IS CRUCIAL TO YOUR SUCCESS LONG TERM!!!!! So commit to it, the sleeve, while a fantastic tool, WILL NOT solve all of your problems if you aren’t prepared to take care of yourself and having the sleeve makes it easy!! Like any “diet” or whatever, the long term is the trick; you will be able to eat A LOT more as time goes on yet nothing like before. You WILL be able to eat enough and often enough to gain weight if you are not aware. But it’s different. I would have easily gained that 100# back by now, that I know. So, for me, to compensate for eating so-so, I bicycle competitively and long-distance; average 50 miles every other day at about 19mph. I have a group that I ride with but do it often on my own too. Burns a gajillion calories. I guess the bottom line is that your life is going to be absolutely incredible post-op BUT, you will always have to be aware of what’s going in and out. The story about the woman who gained all her weight back cuz she would order an xl pizza and work on it all day? I can see that!! Yikes! But, you know what? Don’t buy the stupid pizza!! Easy!! I wish you all the very best and please feel free to contact me to vent, ask questions, whatever, I’m happy to help and happy to be here for you. Carol
  3. Well, I couldn't wait, wait, wait to touch base with my board buddies (lots of new people!) when I hit 18 months yesterday!! Life has been amazing since sleeve surgery and continues to amaze. But, just this week, it seems my weight is starting to creep up again!! The nerve! Do I really have to WORK now at this!? Lol! I know I do and I've known it was coming. I've been maintaining pretty easily since October of last year floating around between 153 and 157. Perfectly-Happy-Land in size 6's. Today I weighed in (still weigh every day) at 162!!! How in the??? I passed 157 a few days ago, 159 for a couple of days and now today a new record... Not happy about it - almost 10 pounds up! Never thought I'd be writing these words, not me, no way, a statistic - me? HA! So here I am, trying not to panic and having a serious reality check. I can eat so much more lately but, I admit, I munch pretty much all day - good stuff, nuts, Jerky, berries, cheese but I know it's more than what it should be. I still get terribly full at meals very quickly so they are a non-event. I'm still highly aware of carbs but have allowed some in as "maintenance" carbs and to sustain my exercise demands. I'm still riding religiously 100-140 miles on the bike weekly but my body is no longer challenged by this. I don't have time to do more. ERRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! Ok, bring it on, I need your pity, suggestions and ass-kicking!! And no, I'm not changing my ticker just yet!! Oh yeah, I'm back to logging my food again on myfitnesspal.com - probably never should have stopped that! Bottom line is the sleeve rocks!! Now if I could just fix my head... C
  4. Keys Pirate

    18 Months Out... Getting Tricky!

    TIFF!! So good to hear from your cute little preggers butt!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I am sooooo happy for you and know how badly you wanted this!!! I hope everything is going perfectly for you. Thanks for your input - I knew this day was coming so it's time to put on my big girl pants and deal - we certainly are empowered now to do so! Get this - with logging my food again and just cutting out most of the munching (nuts, primarily) and eating when I'm hungry rather than just because, I've dropped 6 pounds in four days!!!! Like the good old days - how cool!!! I never could have done this pre-op - no willpower and feeling of oh well, too late now. I am sooo stoked! I hopped on the scale this a.m. at 155.8 and thought for sure it was wrong - I was hoping for 157. I was at 162 Tuesday a.m. WOW!!! I think I'm going to ride the momentum and just get myself down to my original personal goal of 149 - something under 150 - that I never quite attained. Why not? So thanks to all of you - you are the best and this board is sooooo important to me and to so many of us. I could not have done this without you guys. I say Mojitos for all!!!!! A toast!!!! xoxoxo! C
  5. Keys Pirate

    18 Months Out... Getting Tricky!

    Hey you guys! Thanks so much for all the supportive replies and for not kicking my butt too bad! I'm my own worst enemy, trust me! Mini, my hero, thanks for the link to your thread; exactly what I'm going thru but this is beyond blip - I know in my heart it's time to pull my head out of my butt and get back with it. It's funny how even eating "well" can get you in a tail spin... So, I had 35 miles of headwind on my bike yesterday and I really watched what was going into my mouth - measured my almonds lol! - 35 nuts ain't too many!, etc etc. and was down 2 pounds today - 160. So, three more to the high end of my "happy zone" of 153-157 but I want to be at 153 or less again and I know I can do it. I'm logging again, as tedious as it is, and I know that is huge and keeps us honest. Jackie, you're right about the high fat foods but low carb is ok with that. Prob is I'm watching carbs and eating too much fruit. An equation that doesn't work and I'm not even eating THAT much fruit. You're right, dried fruit is dangerous - I don't eat anything but fresh. Thinoneday you rock - yes, the D word, it's true - but it's different - not a diet but a lifestyle and like watching money, it's a lifetime effort whether we like it or not. I'm thinking of the 5 day thing but... not quite there yet in my head if you know what I mean. I know you're right about shaking up the exercise routine but things like walking just won't cut it for me; not intense enough. I'm thinking of swimming (yuck) or p90x after season is over and I have somewhere to do it. Any of you try p90? I used to do a lot of step aerobics too - might go back that route. I could run but I'm too old for that nowadays; too much impact on my already saggy body! Globie!! How the heck are YOU doing???!!! Thanks for the input and I scare the sh*! out of myself too!! It's a lot tougher now but, on the other hand, so very do-able with the sleeve as backup - it's all about habits in my case. Truthfully I've been more of a carb cop than most staying around 40 or so a day for a long time until I started having near blackouts on my bike and researching just how much sugar our brains need to function. Bumped it up a bit and solved the problem. I'm now at about 85 a day (guess that's more than a bit) and going to see if I can function as strongly on 60 or so... One final thing; I'm one of those plagued by acid issues; sometimes I have reflux immediately AFTER eating even though I felt fine before eating. I've been on and off ppi's - back on now and have been for several weeks now. No plans to try and go off again any time soon. It only kinda works so-so and I combine with Gaviscon a few times a week. UGH!! Not sure how this dastardly issue is going to play out in the long run. So, thanks again to all of you guys - I didn't realize how much support this board provides until I've been away for awhile even though I lurk in the background quite a lot. I'm so proud of all of us. C
  6. Ok, call me a glutton for punishment but I've been thinking that maybe putting together a Sleever's Rendezvous of sorts might be fun! What do you guys think? Stupid idea? It would be open to any sleever at any stage. Where would we do it and when? (I'm in the Florida Keys and it's pretty cool here...) Activities? How many days long? Anyone wanna help coordinate? Love to hear your thoughts and ideas... Happy 2011!
  7. Keys Pirate

    To Eat or Not To Eat

    Are you taking anything for acid? This sounds like classic acid issues; the only 'problem' I've had with my sleeve journey. Good luck! C
  8. Keys Pirate

    I've Missed This Place

    WOWWWWWWWW!!!!! I hope you sent those to Dr. A!!!! Awesome! So proud of you, of all of us!! C
  9. Keys Pirate

    I've Missed This Place

    Hey Anna! Way to go girl! We've missed you too although I, like you, have not been nearly as participatory here as I probably should be. This board was absolutely integral to my success. I do keep the website up on my screen most of the time but I don't write as much as I should. Things were just so easy for me overall, the surgery was a breeze, the loss was a breeze and maintenance hasn't been bad at all. It would be hard for me to counsel someone having a hard time, but I would sure be happy to try. My body found it's peace at 152 and has been staying there since October and drifts around 2-3 pounds. Life is just amazing! I know you feel the same! Don't be a stranger, woman! C p.s. I just posted a before and after photo earlier in the week; have a look! Would love to see your own!
  10. So I promised Dr. Aceves' office I would send pics. Here's what I sent them. Enjoy. For those of you thinking about doing this - you've herard it over and over and over again, DO IT! Run, don't walk - don't waste any more of your life. I wish I could express how much joy and happiness having this done has brought to me AND those around me; I'm no longer the angry, jealous, depressed fat chick anymore but 180 degrees - SO far from that - I just can't even explain... I don't use the word miracle very often but well, this is about as close as it gets in my opinion. Love all of you guys, C
  11. Keys Pirate

    Sleever's Rendezvous...?

    Ok guys my bad! I thought I was looking at May on my computer - obviously I was not!! DOH!! Sorry for any confusion - YeS I meant the weekend of May 6, 7 & 8th. Oops! Let's do it!! First annual slivers rendezvous!! Woo!!
  12. Keys Pirate

    Sleever's Rendezvous...?

    Ok, it's executive decision time here. I'm going to make the call and set the dates for the weekend of May 8, 9 and 10. It's the only time I can do it until September. I know a bunch of you would like August but I just can't put it together here then; I'm too tied up with work. For you that would fly, you'll need to fly into Miami or Ft. Lauderdale and then either rent a car or take the Keys Shuttle to the area. For any of you that are familiar with the Keys (or those that want to Google) this will come together in a town called Islamorada, at mile marker 74. There are a variety of hotels in the area with the least expensive at about $60/night - but I have to double check as it changes seasonally - and up to $400+. Average is probably around $200. Get out your Google, folks! After I get some response from you guys as to who is or isn't coming, I can quickly put together an activity schedule (loose, of course) and we'll go from there. Remember activities can include all kinds of watersports, primarily; sailing, kayaking, diving, fishing, snorkeling and so on. Cheap, too, like my cost. There are also spas, yoga, bowling and ok shopping in the area. You'll definitely want to work in a day (at least!) to visit Key West. If this just craters because of location and/or timing, I understand, but I'll have to turn it over to someone else to put together. I'm just not comfortable trying to coordinate something like this in an unfamiliar city. One more thing; I don't think we should say girls only as there are some men sleevers out there that I would love to see join us. I know Gary_B is planning on it! Also, Alex? What about you buddy?? We could, however, have a Girls Night once we're here... heehee. If you are comfortable bringing your kids, this is a very kid friendly area (Key West so-so) and I certainly have no problem with it. I can help to arrange care here; we have a bunch of great college aged kids that are more than enthusiastic for whatever comes up and the property is big with lots of room to roam. It's very safe here too. My son has been here since he was nine - he's 16 now and I feel blessed that I was able to bring him up in such a wonderful place. I also need some meeting ideas; what should our focus be? I think most of us will be post sleeve - let me know your status so we can plan accordingly - so our meetings would be reflective of such. Maintenance might be a hot topic. Getting those last few pounds off might be a good one or how about not going too far under goal? Fun stuff like before and after and how our lives have changed... Ideas please! So, let me know. My e-mail is richcoast at yahoo dot com if you want to contact me directly. Woohoo! I hope this comes together!!! C
  13. Keys Pirate

    Family Photos

    I am just speechless, you. What incredible photos both before and after. You look so happy and balanced. One of the first times I've been truly choked up on this board. What a beautiful you and what a beautiful family. I am so happy for you! Thank you for everything, Tiff. C
  14. Keys Pirate

    How is 1200 Calories enough?

    Hey Globe! Well, know that all that sweating was your body saying "WOOHOOO!!! This is what I need!!!!!" lol! Well, I've been rather active most of my life so I was able to start, about a year and a half ago, with a 12 mile ride; 6 miles up the road and six miles back. I've been building on that ever since and am now up to 35 and it's not hard anymore which is kinda frustrating really! I can keep increasing but, like I said, it already takes two hours to do the ride I do. I also bought a new bike over Christmas going from a mountain bike to a road bike and the difference it unbelievable; it's a rocket. A couple of things; over the years I've spent my fair share of time on Lifecycle stationary bikes and all of their programmed workouts are tough. I was just on one on a cruise in November and set the resistance on 10 and rode for an hour in the interval program. The quality of the workout DEFINITELY equated or surpassed my mostly flat road 2 hour ride... Also, yes, it took me a long time to be convinced (by my husband) of the upper body benefit of riding and I was worried that I would get "lopsided"... Not. As long as you are not riding with your back completely straight up and down as on a beach cruiser bike, your upper body and arms are supporting all of that weight, and pulling as well, resulting in beautifully toned arms, tightened core, etc. I have to say, however, all the veins popping up in my arms are a little freaky... oh well. Riding has been HUGe in toning my "wings" too; they are pretty much gone. I'm *really* happy about THAT! Keep up the good work!! C
  15. Keys Pirate

    How is 1200 Calories enough?

    Hey Globe, It's great watching your progress, I have to say. My workouts are strictly cardio only because the one little weight room in my little world is gross with really old, nasty gear. Oh yeah and it's not air-conditioned. Ick. So, to compensate, I pretty much ride the wheels off of my bike. I ride 35 miles every other day as fast as I can after I warm up adequately (on the bike, just a little slower at the beginning). I ride a road bike (actually cross) as opposed to a mountain bike and average about 18.5 mph although it seems like most of the ride I'm at 20 mph plus but the computers never lie, right? It takes me a hair under 2 hours to do this. According to My Fitness Pal, I've burned over 1500 calories but, I dunno. Sometimes it feels like it but the math doesn't seem to work as I'm no longer losing although my muscle quality is getting a bit ridiculous; I'm cut from top to bottom underneath the loose skin even without touching weights. And it sure feels funny saying THAT! I've always had nice legs and a smallish butt but I've never been "cut" Ha!! Anyway, I HAD to add in more carbs to accommodate these rides and it killed me mentally to do it but I went from really struggling and feeling like crap as I progressively notched up my workouts. I had to accommodate going from losing to maintaining and subsequently to feeling great again; I have tons of power and feel just great throughout and even at the end of my rides. I'm thinking of bumping up to 40 miles but it's getting crazy time consuming... You're doing fantastic with your workouts; the only thing I can say is in order to really burn, you gotta get your heart rate way up there and keep it up there for quite awhile, within reason of course and I know you already know this. 800 calories... hmmm... I haven't been there in a looooong time; 1200 isn't enough for me. I'm embarrassed to say that I'm closer to 1800/2000 on a daily basis just to keep up. But it works (well!) for me and this is the reason I quit using myfitnesspal, it just made me feel bad, even with adding in the exercise. We are lone rangers here as far as calculating fat burn as Susanne stated in her brilliant post. All the more reason to listen to your body and do what works for you. I just can't say that enough. Ya'll have a great weekend! C
  16. Keys Pirate

    How is 1200 Calories enough?

    Being almost a year out, all I can tell you is sit down, put your seat belt on, hold on and LISTEN to your body!! Everything you read and are told is questionable and subjective. My apologies to all the docs but it's true. Your best source of day to day info is probably right here on this board. Yes, you absolutely need your Protein and fluids at the start and have to do everything you can to meet those guidelines. Afterwards, it seems to only get more confusing. I lost the weight FAST by watching carbs and exercising. That said, my cal count was well over 1000 only a few months into the process. BUT I exercise like crazy, we ride our bikes hard over 100 miles per week. It got to the point that my body fat got so low that I had to start adding carbs back in and eating more like a normal person, it's a head twist but it works for me. I've been maintaining since September and just woke up this morning to find I'm down another .4 of a pound; the lowest I've ever been and I had lasagna, nut clusters and a girl scout cookie over the weekend, AND didn't ride my bike due to schedule stuff. Go figure. Enough babble about me, listen. To. Your. Body. You will know if you need more or less. You will know if you are cheating. You will know if you are doing the right thing. The guidelines and especially the calorie numbers to me are a very loose set of parameters. In fact, I quit using myfitnesspal.com after about 8 months because the numbers were always high even though my body was/is perfectly happy. I only followed a few cardinals; protein, Fluid, low carb, exercise. Bingo. There are so many rules that I broke, it's not even funny. I still eat fast, I drink with meals, etc., etc. Good Luck and don't kill yourself overthinking this, really. C
  17. Keys Pirate

    Serious doubts after visit with surgeon (long)

    I just think it's interesting that this doc states that the world might be viewing the sleeve - mistakenly - as the "be all end all to WLS". None of the procedures are. As we've heard time and time and time again; they fix our stomachs, not our heads. The sleeve has been my little miracle and I don't use the word miracle very often when it comes to describing my life! I, like you, would never have done bypass for all the reasons mentioned above. The sleeve is the closest thing to "natural" as I see it when it comes to our anatomy. I hope you go forward with it, you won't regret it. But do find a different doc. Trust your gut. ooo, bad pun.
  18. Keys Pirate

    Sleever's Rendezvous...?

    Ok gang, well, it appears that Vegas and Texas are the top picks. I think Vegas would be easy enough to put together; reserve the hotels and agree on a meeting place and times for any round tables or meetings we might have. Personally, Vegas doesn't do much for me, I've never been a gambler and I'm not much of a drinker but I would definitely go if the timing is right just to meet you guys. Texas is another story I think; the organization might be a little more complicated for someone who does not live there, like myself. Anyone wanna volunteer with a tentative itinerary or suggestions of things to do/places to stay, etc.? I wish I could talk you guys into coming to the Keys; beautiful scenery, cheap-ish hotels, tons of activities and I have access to conference facilities. By way of my work, all of the activities I mentioned at the outset; fishing, snorkeling, diving, sailing and so on would be at cost (cheap!) if not free. Check out the website www.bsaseabase.org and ignore any pricing and whatnot. Other catch for me is if we're going to do this in 'summer' I could only get away the second or third week of May due to school and work constraints. I work at a Scout camp so as you can imagine, I'm slammed during the summer. :cry_smile: If we did do this in the Keys, you would need to fly into Miami or Lauderdale and then take a shuttle or rent a car to Islamorada. I can organize everything but the flights and am happy to do it. Keep the feedback coming! C
  19. Keys Pirate

    Sleever's Rendezvous...?

    I'm with ya - college full time (nursing) and work. Summer works for me too but it is HOT here. Again, you guys throw some dates at me and we'll see what the group thinks! Cool! C
  20. Keys Pirate

    Sleever's Rendezvous...?

    yep, we can do it anywhere - just need feedback and ideas. Here in the Keys, we can fish, dive, snorkel, sail, kayak, get lobster, EAT lobster - lol - drink, plan a trip to Key West (party central and tons of great history). I can get hotel rooms reasonably cheap too as long as clean is the only real priority.... I can put together all of the watersports activites easy peasy fwiw. Austin is a good, central fun town too... If the majority are on the west coast, San Diego maybe? Cool!
  21. Keys Pirate

    Visiting Miami and the Keys

    Hey Bilka! Sorry for the delay! And, sorry to say there is no Miami hockey team at all... Wish there was! Have a great time and have a great new year! C
  22. Keys Pirate

    Official Ongoing Gastric Sleeve Maintenance Thread

    Hey Daisy, Wow, timing with your birthday and holidays; you've got a tough end-of-the-year to deal with! I think you'll do fine in restaurants; there are so many choices and it's so easy to make good ones, or, as in my previous post, turn a not-so-good one like a burger into one that works for us. I get the good day/bad day stuff, believe me and my trouble time is at night; when my husband likes to munch on crackers and nuts and stuff. Even nuts can be bad if overdone as we well know. I NEVER used to eat at night, not even at my fattest. UGH! If the carbs are bothering you still so much; maybe try that pouch test thing or just no carbs for several days? Now that the holidays are pretty much over it might make sense. Here's a link to the True North thingies; I find much better prices at the wholesale clubs - we have a BJ's here. There are two mixed nut kinds; one with cashews and one without. I can't taste much of a difference so I get the one's without to shave off a carb or two and they are cheaper. www.truenorthsnacks.com I just looked at their home page and ooo! they have other varieties too! Will have to look for them! When we received carbs for xmas (tons) we gave them away before they even made it home. Not easy but had to do it. Fortunately we live and work at a Boy Scout camp so getting rid of this stuff is easy and much appreciated! You know, about the five pounds, maybe that is where your body wants to be? How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? You haven't gained any more through the holiday/birthday plight, right? How about your gym time? Are you mostly pumping Iron or do you have a good amount of cardio in there? Maybe a few more minutes of cardio if you think you need to drop it back down. My heart truly bleeds for your sleeved nurse friend. I wish we could help her, I really do. That is so sad, I wonder what's really going on with her? Take good care and let me know if I can do anything else to help. C
  23. Keys Pirate

    Official Ongoing Gastric Sleeve Maintenance Thread

    Hey Daisy, Ok, you're well into maintenance too so I'm going to call it like I see it here. First, you're doing great avoiding the evil white things and I think that is something we will battle with for the rest of our lives albeit NOTHING like before. It should be getting easier for you now, I know it is for me and mostly has been. That said, if I'm dying for something, I have it and get it over with. I don't have the whole (or even half!) key lime pie, I have one or two bites, kick myself in the butt and move on completely satisfied. If you continually deprive yourself, the future does not look good for the long term. Regarding your friends and their eating habits; meet with them at some other time of the day and/or eat with different people at least for the time being until you're feeling stronger about the head hunger. I know, easier said than done, get real, right... so.... tell me whyyyyy you have to have baked (ick) fish and not a nice burger?? They are low carb, afterall as is the cheese and even the... :omg_smile: bacon! I have burgers, or at least a few bites of one, more than a couple of times per month. I never order fries but don't hesitate to steal one or two from another plate if I absolutely must. I order cole slaw as my side and don't eat the bun. Talk about satisfying and I have another meal or two of leftovers to pick at or give away. I eat the guts of Reubens and Cuban sandwiches, tops of pizza, innards of philly cheesesteaks and so on and don't feel deprived whatsoever. For the 'MUSTHAVEITNOW" sweet craving I adore True North clusters; 6 of them with I think 8 or 9 carbs and omg satisfying and filling. My problem is I have a hard time with just 6 of them. I have been known to keep such things in my car, in my hub's office (we work together) or anywhere but nearby which is probably self defeating but it works for now. Was it you or Mini Me that mentioned the 100 calorie (4 carbs) packs of cocoa almonds some time ago? Delish. I like the salty stuff too and was getting carried away with cashews to the point of not buying straight cashews anymore but rather deluxe mixed nuts that have plenty of almonds and pecans in them. I also buy plain, raw pecan halves and munch on them too. I love turkey jerky and the regular stuff. I make deviled eggs on a fairly regular basis but my family usually wolfs them down before I get too many of them. I make homemade Soups that last for days. I keep two or three good hunks of cheese in the fridge. Eggface's crustless quiche thingies are a Godsend. I try to make it easy to hone in on good stuff for myself. I say munch away, just do it right. Are you gaining? It doesn't look like it. When you have these cravings, eat something, just eat something good and maybe even sweet, just make good choices. You know it's not that hard now. Also, with the exercise you are doing (woohooo!!) you can probably eat more than you think you can without seeing more than a little fluctuation. And you know what to do if it turns into more than a little fluctuation... We have so much more control over things now; give yourself the benefit of the doubt, you have to figure this out for the long term sometime soon. Oh yeah, I think about food more than I should too; not long after meals in particular. I think this happens because it goes through us so fast and we are in the percentage of sleevesters that DO feel hunger. When I know better, (likely acid) I try and ignore it and it usually passes or I'll pop a few nuts or a piece of cheese or a hunk of jerky. So far, so good. Hang in there chick, we can get through this! C
  24. Keys Pirate

    Official Ongoing Gastric Sleeve Maintenance Thread

    Hey Daisy! I love your well thought out posts, thank you for them. I hope we can get this one in particular pinned as I am always wondering about others' maintenance strategies. I was sleeved 11 months and a day ago and maintenance for me thus far has been love/hate to say the least. I stopped losing in the first part of September, three pounds from the goal I set for myself. Mind you, this "goal" was just a number that sounded good to me and had no scientific basis whatsoever. I fluctuate now betweeen 153.2 and 156.8 on a daily basis and it makes no sense what it will be from one day to the next but I am happy with it! Like Jolanda said, a couple of pounds one way or the other makes a huge difference with me too; especially in my boobs and hanging skin. If I lost more it would come straight off what's left of my boobs without a doubt. I now wear size 4 or 6 depending on the brand and my waist is 30.5". I am 5'7" tall. When I lay down my ribs stick up higher than my former DD's. They are now what I call B pluses! I have no butt. I wear a men's small tshirt. All that said, I realized the other day that "hey I've been maintaining now for over three months and it has not been hard at all!" I absolutely CANNOT say that healthy eating has become such a habit that I have no desire to snack. In fact, it's quite the opposite for me; meals are such a non-event with becoming full so quickly that I pretty much snack, well, not all the time but most of the day. I do make good choices, however, with LOTS of nuts (read; crack!) cheese, Jerky, berries, dips, leftovers and the like. I have had ongoing issues with acid too so I am a little more sensitive than most to how my stomach feels; it's tough to remember that the acid slams that I get will pass in a matter of seconds and not stick something in my mouth in the meantime... I quit taking ppi's some time ago and also stopped neutralizers as the rebound acid was not worth it. I have cut way back on Gaviscon also and usually only keep them around for post coffee... Overall, the acid battle is getting much better but I still have a little ways to go with that. I still drink Protein shakes on a daily basis, in the morning to ease the overnight acid primarily and for the overall benefit. (EAS carb control and Tight Curves all 3 flavors are the only ones I actually enjoy fwiw) Sometimes I am surprised that I can get away with the way I eat, mainly with the munching and I know that I had better keep my head on in that regard for the long term or I am screwed. Daisy, you mention chips, candy, etc.; those are things that I WONT keep around but luckily I really don't crave them much anyway. Do yourself a favor and get them out of your house, now, girlfriend. Anyway, here's where I start to feel like the lone ranger of VSGer's... I am still highly carb conscious but about a month ago, something had to give. I still ride my bike over 100 fast and hard miles per week which was helping to just destroy the fat along with the sleeve. But a few weeks ago, I would get 6 or 7 miles into my 30+ mile rides and started having dizzy spells so bad I would have to stop and sit on the ground for several minutes until they passed. I felt like I was going to black out. On the rides when the spells didn't happen, I was just dying with no energy and just not having any more fun. My stats were getting worse and I was getting frustrated beyond belief as I was not going to quit - the exercise HAS become a fun habit that I look forward to - so, after much brain drain, I kept coming back to carbs and hitting "goal" and simply not having the fuel left in my body for the expenditure of my rides. So, dragging my feet, I have added a reasonable amount of carbs back to my diet going from 50 or 60 per day to at least double that. Some sports people recommend MUCH more based on my rides but I just can't bring myself to add in any more. I am eating more "mainstream" like a couple of bites of the crust of pizza rather than just the top. An energy bar here and there. A few crackers. A couple of bites of rice from sushi. Even a bite or two of a dessert here and there. And honestly, I am scared shitless about it!! See, I have not had trouble craving-wise living without carbs and I really didn't want to go back to eating them. However, so far so excellent! My bike rides are raging once again, I feel great and I am not gaining weight. I just pray for the long term but I feel oh so very positive about it right now. I still generally avoid them, I haven't eaten really any Pasta since my surgery, rice only in sushi, a few french fries here and there is my extent of potatoes... I am totally rambling here, sorry for such a long response but you really hit a nerve with me on this one. I can't wait to hear what the others have to say. Merry Belated and Happy New Year!! C
  25. Keys Pirate

    What are you enjoying most?

    Waking up every morning with a sh** eating grin and realizing it WASN'T a dream!!! Oh, so much more... !
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