Educate yourself

When I was preparing for surgery, I did a ton of research using resources provided to me by my surgeon, and my friend, Google. One of the best resources I found is the Weight Loss Surgery Podcast hosted by Family Nurse Practitioner Reeger Cortell. I listened to almost every episode available before my surgery, and it gave me great foundational information about nutrition, lifestyle changes, vitamins, current research regarding obesity, and interviews with a variety of guests ranging from bariatric patients to surgeons. I continue to listen to every subsequent podcast, as I find it reassuring that my experience is normal (whatever that is).

Reeger just published the latest podcast which is her Bariatric Surgery Seminar which she gives at her practice. It’s geared for people who considering surgery and spouses of people who want to understand more about the surgery.  There is a lot of great information, presented in a straightforward manner. Science made simple about things like set point, causes of obesity and the changes that happen with bariatric surgery.  It’s long, but I highly recommend listening to it if you are pre-surgery, and even if you are post surgery.

I realized while listening that I got a lot of my ideas about transformation from Reeger.  Taking care of body, mind, and spirit. My rituals include daily gratitude log, identifying a daily affirmation, journaling all my food and exercise, and of course my social media stuff is focused on self improvement or self awareness too. Positivity is key, and removing negativity and negative people has been critical for enabling transformation. 

Listen, enjoy, and let me know what you think!

 

 

Transformation from within

Let’s start with this Instagram Post:

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Old Marilyn would never say this, but I am so proud of myself. I have made a lot of sacrifices to be where I am today. Cutting negativity from my life. Focusing on what is positive and in my control. This is my new size 6 dress from the Loft. My wonderful husband encouraged me to order a 6 instead of an 8. When I took it out of the package I was sure it wouldn't fit, but it did. Along with a pair of size 4 jeans. I can honestly say I am happy where I am. I'm not done, but if I didn't lose another pound I would be perfectly happy here. Loose skin, saggy boobs and all. But I'm on fire, so no stopping me yet! #progressnotperfection #rnylife #gastricbypass #rnycommunity #happiness #hardworkpaysoffs #rulefollower #almostnormal

A post shared by Marilyn (@marilyn_unraveled) on

Friday night I came home from work, excited about the weekend and excited to see what goodies arrived from the post office. Since I am starting to run short on clothes, I took advantage of post-holiday deep discounts and bought myself that dress. I’m continuing to be surprised when things fit me. I still struggle with thinking of myself as being as small as I am, which is why pictures are so helpful.

After writing that post, I realized that’s the most positive I have felt in a long time. I have worked hard to get there. I journal daily. I find a daily affirmation every day. I write down 3 things I am grateful for every day. I am more aware of my negative thoughts and I try to catch myself before I say anything that’s not constructive. I am working hard to avoid drama at work (not 100% successfully, but making the effort) but making the move from management to being a worker bee has contributed to this improved state of being.

I have made so many changes in such a short period of time, but still more work to be done.

Next topic: Kaia Fit. Last week, I completed my first full week of Kaia Fit in probably over a year. I started in May 2014 and was consistent until things in my life started to fall apart around me.  My dad was sick and in and out of the hospital starting in September. Somewhere in there, I stopped going, stopped caring about myself, and gained 40 pounds. In a really short period of time. I just gave up.  And I was sick for months with whatever cold, flu or other crap was going around. It was horrible.

Fast-forward to now. I am smaller than ever and still getting used to moving with this body. I managed to get through my 4 workouts pretty successfully. I couldn’t do everything full force, like burpees — I forgot how much I hate burpees. But I did it, and the thing I love about Kaia the most is you get really strong, really fast. And it’s fun. The hour goes by fast and I know that by 7:00 am, I’ve gotten my workout in. It is a very satisfying feeling. Plus, this gem came from our Flow class on Friday and it stayed with me.

Then there’s the food part. I have such a routine around food. Since I can only eat so much at a time, I need to make sure I am getting good nutrition in. I had to come up with a good routine to make sure I can take my vitamins, medication, get a protein shake into me, put my lunch together — all before getting to my 6 am class. Food prep is critical.

I think I actually thrive on the routine. So it’s Sunday. Got a bunch of food prep done (it’s actually pretty easy with teeny tiny meals).

Since I started Kaia, the scale stopped moving.  I think my body thinks I am trying to starve it again. I just need to stay with it while my body keeps transforming.  Looking forward to my weekly measurements to see the progress.

 

Welcoming the New Year

Welcome 2017.

Welcome to the year where I will meet my weight loss goal.

Welcome to the year where I will work towards being more positive, judgement free, and kinder to myself and others.

Welcome to a year where I can continue the great habits I have put into play since my surgery.

Welcome to a year where I don’t need a resolution because I’m just living my life and working towards making every day better than the one before; making myself a better me than I was the day before.

Welcome to a year that I’m starting off with Kaia Fit, not because I was “bad” during the holidays, or because I ate cookies or other crap.  It’s just that the next session starts January 2.

I will challenge myself, be brave, and power on.

And last but not least, this will be the year I will teach myself to sew! Can you say alterations?

Happy New Year!

Thoughts about goal weight

I am 15 pounds from my goal. It may take me a while, but I am so sure I will get there. 

I have been thinking a lot about what getting to goal means. I’m really not going to change how I eat. I will never be able to go back to eating the way I did, and that doesn’t make me sad. It’s just a fact. 

In talking to my nutritionist about my goal weight last week, I told her I was thinking about making it higher because I wasn’t sure whether 15 more pounds would be too much. 120 is still at the top of the normal range for my height at 4’11”. She said that your body finds it’s equilibrium when you continue to eat following the program. 

I am definitely eating more. I can eat a cup of food now, although I try to keep my servings to 1/2 cup unless the extra is a salad or some other kind of raw vegetables.  I am experiencing various levels of hunger and trying to find the foods that keep my satisfied longer. 

Basically I am not going to worry about my goal weight. I am buying clothes one size down thinking by the time I am at goal, that’s where I will be. 

I am starting Kaia Fit on January 2 and expect that I will have good results in reducing my body fat some more. I am around 31% right now. I think 25% would be a reasonable goal. I am continuing to do my weekly measurements and seeing slow progress there too. 

I think the key now is patience and perseverance. 

I will continue to journal. It’s been great to go back and look at some of the things I said. Like when I ordered size 6 jeans and said they won’t fit for a while, and when they arrived in 2 weeks, they fit perfectly. 

I will not allow myself to be driven by clothes sizes. I have a range of things from 4-8 that I am wearing. I just want t feel comfortable in my skin.

Skin is a whole other issue. I have plenty of it. Hoping Kaia will tighten it up a bit, but I am thinking a breast lift may be in my future. Mike is saving his pennies. 

Wishing my readers a very happy holiday season, however you celebrate. Enjoy these cute pix of me and my pups. 

We are too cool for school. 😎
Me and the Nugget bug.

Weekend Warrior

This weekend has been quite eventful! I really look forward to doing absolutely nothing on the weekends but that’s not always in the cards. 


Friday I came home to my first shipment from My Bariatric Box. As my niece said on Facebook, there’s a box for everything. This is a great way to try products that are formulated for Bariatric patients and the low carb high protein lifestyle. Have only tried the cappuccino Nectar protein so far. It was good, but not good enough to warrant a 2 pound tub. This will be a great way to experiment. 

Saturday was a little lazy in the morning but I got Mike up and around to take me to Davis to visit Fleet Feet Davis. My 140 pound goal was to get a new sports bra. I am starting back up with Kaia Fit Woodland after the first of the year and my sports bras are way to big for high impact stuff. My regular bra size has gone from 38DD to 36C which is quite exciting. Had a bra fitting and ended up with a 34D Moving Comfort Juno bra which is one of my favorite. All I can say is I am really going to need a breast lift when I hit my goal weight. 

I also wanted to go to the Gap to try on some jeans. I had ordered some size 6 jeans several weeks back, but with the holidays, everything was delayed. 

I grabbed a few pairs in size 27 and 28 (where did these new sizes come from?). 


So the 27 fit me better than the 28 and I walked out with a new pair of jeans and these size S crazy leggings. 


Got out to the car and looked up the Gap sizes. Those pants were a size 4!!!! I have to say I got a little teary right there in the Gap, which Mike encouraged me to wait until we got through checkout. I was crying when I thought they were size 6!  

I really thought the surgery was not going to work for me. A few weeks back I thought I was done losing. I was bouncing back and forth between 138-140 since Thanksgiving. As of this morning, I am 136. Still unfathomable in my brain. 

So I decided to spend Sunday in my jammies. My new striped jammies! I woke up and got all the laundry done including a bunch of hand wash sweaters (ugh). 

I got adventurous and made this recipe for cauliflower kugel bites. I was originally looking for latke recipes on Pinterest but zeroed in on this one. 


I made them in little snow leopard cupcake liners for easy cleanup. They came out pretty good! I was going to make lentil curry too but I had too much food to finish up I figured I would hold off for now. My food prep also included cutting up some strawberries. I’ve been craving fresh fruit and veggies lately and I don’t get to eat a lot. Yogurt and strawberries on the menu for breakfasts this week!

My list of blog posts I need to write is growing, but I figured summing up my amazingly productive and happiness generating weekend would give me some momentum going into the holidays. Let’s hope!

151 Days

151 Days. That’s how long it took. For what? For me to really find out how much my stomach can hold. 

I’ve definitely felt full before — got that tight feeling in the middle of my chest, then stopped eating to let it pass. Some food goes down easier but some takes time. Might be a texture thing. Might be just the mood of my bicycleta (the South Park-inspired name for my pouch). My bicycleta was feeling angry I think. 

Last night I decided to make a big batch of roasted Brussels sprouts to have with leftover crockpot chicken that Mike made. We had the chicken Friday and it was awesome. Chicken thighs with fresh rosemary and thyme. Very tender. Didn’t anticipate any issues. 

I noticed that full feeling halfway through my leftover meal. Did half of the chicken first (protein first rule), then had a few Brussels sprouts. Felt immediately full. I stopped. Waiting for it to pass. I sat at the table making pained sounds for about 15 minutes while Mike made his dinner. It was hurting more and more. Waited some more. Decided to pack the rest into a container, then I realized just how big the portion was. I figured the Brussels would be okay…maybe they were denser than I thought. (Note to self: yes, you are good at ball parking portions, but stop that now!)

I set my 30 minute timer to wait before liquids, thinking I could make some peppermint tea and that would help. Skip ahead 45 minutes. As I went to make the tea, the felt a familiar feeling. I was sure I was going to hurl. I stood over the sink and that feeling passed. I went into the living room to watch TV and another 30 minutes later, I made a mad dash to the bathroom and threw up for the first time since surgery. It was scary because I don’t actually know where my stomach is and how that would work since it’s like a straight path through to the intestines. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s pretty much what you might expect. I definitely felt better afterwards. Came back to the living room and after a little while, I took a sip of tea and made the mad dash to the bathroom again and this time barely made it. The tea I drank came out first but I think I expelled whatever was causing my distress the 2nd time around. 

Not sure what the heck happened. Could be the reheated chicken had too much of a texture change, or the volume of food. One thing I know for sure is that I do not want that to happen again.

Today’s going to be a protein-yogurt-soup kind of day, just to give my bicycleta a break. 

Again, another example of me thinking something would never happen to me. Another lesson learned. Good times. 

Pondering on Thanksgiving Eve

November is a hard month. November 12 is the anniversary of my mom’s passing in 2000. Last year was my first Thanksgiving without my dad. It was really rough. Not to mention I was in a serious depressed state this time last year until I had some magical adjustments of the meds. I honestly had a family member recently tell me this was all in my head. Uh, yeah, exactly. I sat out Family Thanksgiving last year. Mike and I went out alone out at the casino and I am sure I was acting psycho. We just talked about that today. 

Thanksgiving comes with baggage from childhood and from my complicated relationship with my dad. I think being a holiday totally entrenched with food customs, it’s a tough one. 

Tomorrow I have a plan. And not everyone in the family is along for the ride but I plan on ignoring them and their unintended efforts at sabotage. The plan: turkey with gravy and Brussels sprouts for dinner. 

For dessert I made this:


It’s a sugar free crust free pie! I’m so not a baker but I made this so I could join in the festivities. Here’s the yummy recipe

Starting the day off freezing my butt off doing the Run to Feed the Hungry with my niece and 15,000 other people. I’m going to get my Apple activity turkey badge! See it up there? Just waiting for me!


I’ve been warming up for this days for sometime now with my attitude of gratitude. I take time every morning to capture at least 3 things I am thankful for that day. It gives me some perspective. Life is good. Tonight I am feeling particularly grateful that I am in a much better place than I was last year. 

Wishing everyone a very happy thanksgiving. Stay safe. Designate a driver. And for heaven’s sake — no political discussions at dinner!

Tales from the NUT

It drives me nuts that all my of my weight loss surgery forums use abbreviations. I’m still a little old school that way. When texting became a thing and people were substituting 2 for “to” and 4 for “for” and U for “you” — it was a pet peeve. So of course now I start doing it. 

NUT = nutritionist

WLS = weight loss surgery

RNY = roux en y (gastric bypass)

NSV = non-scale victory

There’s a bunch of others, but I digress. Back to the NUT. 

In my last post I talked about going to see the nutritionist and going to support group. Apparently support group is cancelled for November and December, honestly the time where patients probably need it most! And that was one of the things on my mind for my visit. How the heck do you do Thanksgiving?

Here’s what I got out of my visit:

  • I talked about my new found hunger and tracking that I am more hungry on running days. Found out I could have increased my portions to 1/2 cup a while ago. And I can have snacks if I am hungry. See…rulefollower strikes again! The book says do not advance past 1/4 cup until being directed to do so. And it also says 1/4 cup should satisfy you up to six months without snacking. So I didn’t snack. 
  • Thanksgiving. It’s basically the same rules. Protein first, then vegetable. My plan is turkey and Brussels sprouts. That should be fine. And I might bring a sugar free desert (pumpkin cheesecake or crustless pumpkin pie). I am NOT a baker so I may need to call in my wonderful husband for help. Growing up with a diabetic mom pretty much guarantees not learning how to bake for realz. 
  • I talked about my goal weight. I am still shooting for 120 but I told her I want to see what that looks like. I don’t want to look sickly. And I don’t want to set something I won’t be able to maintain. It’s not that far out of reach and it blows my mind. 

So…I left there knowing I could eat more food and I could eat more often if needed. 

And you know what happened?

This did! The next chapter: 130s.

Pardon the lack of pedicure. Since I added more food, I’ve budged the scale. 

The other thing is that now that I know I can have more food, I am less hungry. There really is an off-switch with a tiny stomach. You just have to listen to it. 

We are expecting that goal for me will happen around February at this rate. I am doing about a pound or so a week most weeks. 

Next month I get my vitamin levels checked and in January I get to see the doctor again for my 6 month visit. 

So there you have it…tales from the NUT. 

Let them eat cake

So now that I have made myself an open book regarding gastric bypass, I have to say I have had nothing but positive feedback. But there are people who don’t quite understand this simple fact: this surgery is not a cure for obesity. I still have to fight that demon every day. 

“So you can’t have cake? Not even a bite? Note even once in a while?”

The super short answer is no. I cannot. 

I chose gastric bypass over gastric sleeve specifially as a deterrent for eating crap that is too sweet or too heavy. Everything in moderation does not work for me. It will not ever work for me. My metabolism is broken and I don’t expect it to get fixed. 

However, there are tons of recipes on Pinterest for various bariatric friendly versions of pretty much anything. I am debating making a crustless pumpkin pie custard thing for Thanksgiving in fact. 

This week I made a recipe called Egg Roll in a Bowl. It’s super easy…basically ground chicken cooked with a bag of coleslaw mix, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. I tend to adapt my Pinterest finds a bit. 

So I am not deprived. I put a lot of work into make by my tiny little meals tasty. I have to downsize most recipes though, or make some, portion them out and then freeze them. 

Tomorrow I go for my visit with the nutritionist and my definitely want to talk about adding more food or maybe a small snack. I am starting to get hungry. I am trying to figure out the pattern. Is it when I use certain protein that might not be holding me over between meals? Is it because I’m running now and definitely exerting more effort in my workouts? Hoping she will shed some light. 

And as a bonus: tomorrow is monthly support group night! I am sure I will have tales to tell from Mr. Lapband or the Lollipop girl.