The master plan

I am the queen of the “stay tuned” post with no follow up. Of course maintaining 2 blogs, 3 Instagram accounts, 2 twitter accounts and Facebook may have something to do with it. I forget where I have made my updates. 

I feel like I have pulled myself together a bit. My consult in San Francisco definitely put my mind at ease to a certain extent. I loved the surgeon and her staff, I got my two pages of questions answered and I got scheduled for surgery. It’s next week. Yikes. 

Fun fact. I have beautiful kidneys. The surgeon pulled up my CT scan and walked us through the slices to show me where the mass was located. It’s on the top front of my right kidney. That’s when she remarked I had beautiful kidneys. It does not appear that the mass has gone into any of the collection systems of the kidney so it looks like it can be removed cleanly without impacting kidney function. Good news. 

They won’t be able to confirm Stage and grade until after surgery. At this point she says it’s a 75% chance it is clear cell renal cell carcinoma. There are a few other type of RCC and a few non-malignant things it could be but she feels pretty sure of what she will find. Hopefully the pathology comes back quickly. 

The plan is that she will do the surgery with the Da Vinci robot which will be minimally invasive and a faster healing time. I should be in the hospital for 2-3 days. However, since I have a history of adhesions from my 2 prior abdominal surgeries, there is a chance it may be an open surgery. I won’t know for sure until I wake up. Yikes. 

Knowing I will be at UCSF is a relief. That place just inspires confidence. And the services they offer are amazing. The consult I had with the oncology nutrition department was really interesting. That’s just a free service they provide that will be available to me now that I am a patient. The good news is I don’t have to change much. I eat really well in general and I have started the shift towards plant based. The dietician basically said she didn’t have a lot of suggestions of things to change and that I would be in great shape for recovery. She did offer a few suggestions. 

  • Go whole food plant based. So not necessarily 100% vegan, but reduce the amount of animal products and focus on non-processed whole food fruits and veggies and grains to the extent I can with the Bariatric diet. ✅
  • Reduce sodium. They recommend this for all their cancer patients but controlling blood pressure is important with compromised kidneys. My hope is I don’t lose any function with a partial nephrectomy, but I do have to take good care of them. I never ever ever want to be on dialysis.  My blood pressure pretty much runs low and with the lack of most processed food in my diet, I should be good. ✅
  • Add pre-biotic food and lots of veggies for probiotics. Gut health is still kind of a mystery to me too. Must do more research. She recommended additional flax seeds to my protein ✅ and adding food with live active cultures like fermented foods and yogurt. So kim chi, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, etc. And eat more cruciferous vegetables to the extent I can with my protein first rules and tiny tummy. ✅ She also recommended a probiotic called VSL#3. Need to research. May add that down the line. 
  • Keep the protein supplements going and stay at the high side of the 60-80 gram Bariatric requirement. ✅

It’s comforting to know I don’t have to change much and since it’s anticipated that surgery and removing the mass will be the cure for me with no follow-up treatment, life should continue as normal after I recover. They will follow me for 5 years which is typically the timeframe for recurrence. There’s a 5% recurrence rate based on what the surgeon told me — much better than the 80% I’ve read from the National Kidney Cancer association. Stupid Google. 

So it’s all good. I just want to put this surgery behind me. It’s going to be a long recovery. So I’m putting together my Netflix and Hulu playlists and nesting in the house. The worst of it will be over in a few weeks. 

Thursday we get to go down to SF for all of my pre-surgery tests and meeting with the anesthesia team. Those peeps need to be my friends. So another crack of dawn drive to the beautiful bay is in store in a couple days. Have I mentioned how amazing my husband is?

So there you go. Now I am off to make lists. 

How do you feel now?

I am loving how the IIN Integrative Nutrition Health Coach program aligns perfectly with my own personal journey. I would imagine that’s the case for a lot of people. So many of the exercises and assignments are introspective and focused around personal goals and intentions, as you’ve heard. 

This week, there was a section called Simple Ways to Optimize Your Life. So many of them have become ingrained in my life already since I started making changes around this time last year in anticipation of my gastric bypass surgery. My gratitude practice is likely the one that has made the most impact. For this program, I have increased my daily gratitude acknowledgments from 3 to 5. And I’ve begun to articulate them to others, as well as in my journal. I have been particularly grateful to the coaches at Kaia Fit for helping me stay active and making modifications to workouts for my current knee situation. Just spent 20 minutes in a magnetic tube today and hope to have some answers soon about next steps for my knee. I am so fortunate to have people who look out for me. 

Another part of this section has to do with being in tune to how your body feels after eating a certain way or specific foods. This is something that came up in our weight loss surgery support group a few months back, aiming to help people connect with their emotional attachments to food. 

I feel like I have worked through my emotional eating issues since my primary cause of emotional eating was triggered by my dad. I have come to terms with so much of that since he passed, coming up on 2 years as of June 9. Heavy sigh. The fact that my appetite and cravings have been well controlled with gastric bypass is a big part of having this urge under control. But I have also practiced mindfulness in this area too. I took to heart the instructions about focusing on the taste and texture of food and listening to fullness signals after my surgery. I really do try to focus when I am eating. I enjoy my food and don’t pick anything that is just okay since I get so little of it. 

This week I have two things going on. One, I am experimenting with going more plant based in my diet. I have met some very passionate vegans who have been very helpful in identifying plant based sources of protein. I need to find a way to ensure I am absorbing sufficient nutrients because of my altered digestive system. I even asked my surgeon about it. I’m curious in general because there’s very little literature about vegan RNY patients and if I plan to be a health coach for WLS patients, I feel like I need more data. My surgeon said there is a medical grade plant based protein made by Unjury, but since the vegan diet is missing several essential amino acids, supplementation is also required in addition. 

I have been doing research about the inflammation caused by dairy and animal products and am seriously thinking I need to make some changes to see if they help with my arthritis and digestion in general.

So I signed up for Peel’d this week at Kaia, and will get soups, salads, juices, smoothies and quinoa bowls for next week. I will need to add whey protein shakes on top of that to get my recommended supplementation in, but otherwise will be trying to stick to plant based all week. I’ll be journaling throughout the process to document how I am feeling, whether inflammation and bloat are decreased, and my overall energy levels. It’s a great experiment and it ties in with my school assignments. I’ll be adding tempeh, fruits and veggies if I get too hungry. 

I am really starting to believe in the body’s capacity to heal itself if given the chance and using food as medicine. What better way to learn than through your own experience. 

So stay tuned for my food and mood report. 

New Goal: Happy and Healthy

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I have been overweight for a long, long time. Actually since I was 11, I have been aware of my weight, on some kind of diet, with various results, only to gain it back. Bariatric surgery has changed that. I’ve been spending the last five months frustrated with being in a stall, holding fast at 135-138 since January. This week following a visit with my surgeon, we decided I’ve arrived.  I’m a good healthy weight, and with all of the exercise I have done with Kaia Fit and weight lifting, I’ve put on a good amount of muscle.  So, while my BMI of 27 still says I am overweight, I’m comfortable enough in my skin to say Fuck You, BMI!

So, I have declared my goal weight 136 and will work to maintain within a 2 pound range of that for now.

So the mindset of not trying to lose weight is completely different than how I have spent the last 40 years. Logically in my head, I know that being at goal for a bariatric patient doesn’t really mean that much. I am pretty much going to eat the same way the rest of my life. My target calories are 1000-1100, 50 grams of carbs, and 80-120 gm of protein with plenty of healthy fats. But now it’s going to get interesting. Let the games begin.

I am starting my program at Institute for Integrative Nutrition next Monday, so I have been immersing myself in learning more about how important nutrition is to overall health and about eliminating (or crowding out) toxins from my life.

This weekend I was also lucky enough to go on a tour of Nugget Market in Woodland with my Kaia Fit group. Nugget has an amazing selection of organic produce and specialty foods, so they walked us through the store pointing out where all of the ingredients for most of our cookbook recipes are.  It was awesome! We got a lot of samples and gifty type stuff to take away.

So I am learning about superfoods (and there’s so much more to learn).

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This morning I made a chia pudding with the Spectrum Warrior Vitality mix of chia seeds, maca, and cacao nibs. I mixed some pumpkin pie spice protein powder with almond milk and 2 tablespoons of this amazing stuff.  It was way more filling than my normal breakfasts and full of fiber and protein too.

I also decided to more or less follow the Kaia detox week plan of having smoothies, soups and salads this week.  I’ve been having a bit of stomach pain the past few weeks, which may be gastritis, so I’m taking carafate and omeprazole to get this under control, but also backing off on the crunchy raw vegetables for a while.  I had been adding raw red cabbage and shredded carrots to my kale salads and I think that may have been a bit much for my tiny tummy to handle. So I will be doing my green smoothies before Kaia (supergreens, almond milk, maca to replace flax I was using, frozen blueberries and protein powder), soup for lunch, and salads for dinner.  Kaia’s recipes are pretty much vegan so I will be supplementing my protein with protein powder or eggs, chicken, and string cheese. I also got some sauerkraut, which while raw, is a probiotic and should be good for gut health. I am pairing those with chicken sausages for dinners too. I’m not quite ready to go vegan, mostly because I worry about getting the protein I need from food sources and keeping my carbs low, but I am adding in some vegan foods like tempeh for some variety.

I made this Curried Cauliflower Stew out of the Kaia cookbook, which should serve 4, but for me will be 12 servings. I used all organic ingredients, and it was vegan until I added some chicken stock to thin it out a bit. I actually decided to hit it with the immersion blender which made it like a chunky puree (not photogenic, but very tasty). The carb content on this is pretty high, so the serving size is 1/2 cup, but that’s perfect for my pouch. I’m going to pair with eggs and chicken this week. I will probably end up freezing half of this since I don’t think there’s any way I can get through all of it.

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So I’m looking forward to this new life of maintenances and wrapping my head around that whole concept.  In the meantime, working towards happy and healthy, getting my stomach pain under control, and eating some nutritious and delicious detox food this week.

Setting intentions

Visualization is one of those concepts that seems very hokey to me. Visualizing yourself in a certain job, at a certain size or fitness level, or achieving other goals is widely recommended in the self-help world. I remember in a training class for work having to create a vision board using cut out clips from magazines I wouldn’t be caught dead reading in the bathroom. I’ve always kept my cynicism alive when it comes to things like that.

Until now.

I have written here about all of the steps I have made towards making permanent lifestyle changes over the past year or so. And I have discovered that keeping my eye on the prize — thinking positively and setting a series of goals — has gotten me closer to where I want to be than ever before.

I sat down a few weeks back to look at all of the things I have changed in my life as part of this journey.

  • Took a pay cut to move to a much less stressful, non-management job 
  • Have achieved my goal of getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night
  • Have focused on a number of stress reduction techniques, including daily gratitude journaling, declaration of a daily affirmation, and focused breathing moments interspersed throughout the day
  • Crowding out negativity, or as I call it, crowding out the crazy. This includes people, and at times, family.
  • Focusing on the positive
  • Journaling to help process the emotional side of things
  • Being authentic. Telling my story in hopes it may help inspire someone else to make changes.
  • Reading and researching everything and anything I can about bariatric surgery and strategies to achieve long term success
  • Tracking everything and anything from food journaling and fitness. Embracing my Apple Watch as a tool for success.
  • Consistency with exercise and food
  • Focusing on whole, unprocessed foods and how they make me feel
  • Finding other ways to measure success besides the scale, meaning setting non-weight goals
  • Identifying non-food rewards for achieving goals
  • Learning that self care is not selfish
  • Finding that the more I practice Yoga, the more I like it. Really, I love it when it’s over. Such an amazing and powerful feeling of both strength and relaxation.
  • Moving every day, no matter what

That’s a lot of things to change in such a short period of time. But it’s real change. The biggest thing I noticed is that by focusing on the positive, more good things happen around me.  Is that the law of attraction? Something like that.

    Anyhow, recently, I’ve been feeling like I have a lot to share and would love to move in a direction where I could help other people going through the bariatric surgery journey too. It’s amazing how many people don’t have the resources through their programs, or get the support they need. I have been lucky to have an amazing surgeon and program, but I also did a lot of work myself. Not everyone will take that kind of initiative.

    So I have made the decision to become a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Starting May 15, I officially begin my program through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. How I came to this decision is through a series of events where everything just lined up and suddenly it all made sense.  So I am setting my intentions. My goal is to work with other people to help support their own journey and goals as they go through the process of life after weight loss surgery.  So there it is. I’m setting my intentions and throwing all right out there to the universe.

    Now…I wrote this post a few weeks ago and when I went to publish, I lost it.  And I felt like it was the absolutely perfect post. It was impossible to recreate something where the words just flowed out. So let me know what you think. For my other WLS followers, I’m curious to know if you think this would be something of value. 

    Allow for Learning

    img_6175To be a rule follower, you have to know all the rules. But when you think you are a rule follower and you find out that you didn’t have the right rules — that’s a little unsettling.

    So I am 8 months out from my gastric bypass and I’ve had some great successes. On Friday, I attended a Stage IV Nutrition class taught by my surgeon. The people in the class were generally pretty far along, probably ranging from a 4-5 months to a year plus out from surgery. She just started this class up and I guess it’s in high demand. It was scheduled for me for March back in December.

    The doctor talked about hunger at 6 months out, and exercise, and how at this point if we aren’t losing as fast as we want to it has to be something in our diets.  She said you had to take a hard look at what you are eating. I consider myself to be rule following, so I figured I had the food part all dialed in: 60-80 grams of protein from supplement, 3 small meals and a snack. I have typically been doing a protein shake (or coffee) before Kaia, one afterwards, breakfast between 9:30-10, lunch around 1 or 2; an afternoon snack most days, and then dinner, followed by a shake  or protein bar at night.

    The class was pretty interactive so I explained how since I started working out more intensely, I haven’t lost any weight. I acknowledged some of that has to be muscle, but my doctor knows my history and my sluggish metabolism.  She asked me how many calories I was eating, and I responded 900-1100. And she asked me about carbs, and I said I basically don’t eat any.  She told me to keep doing what I am doing and eventually my body will adjust.  Considering I really only have 7-9 more pounds to lose (depending on the day since I am bouncing around in a 3 pound range), I try not to let it bother me.

    Another patient commented that she wasn’t losing as fast as she wanted to (which I am sure I rolled my eyes at her 2 week stall since I’ve been stalled since December). The response that I heard was overwhelmingly shocking.

    My doctor recommended for people who were stuck to follow some different rules.

    Protein Shake Quality

    First, breakfast should be a big, dense shake. She recommended using Bariatric Advantage shakes because they have added fiber and are pretty thick. She made a comment about commercial protein not being good enough for us and asked what kind of protein everyone was using. Now—there’s a list of recommended protein in the materials that she give out.  She really recommends Unjury protein since it’s medical grade and it’s recommended especially for gastric bypass patients.  I bought some in the beginning, but when I discovered other flavors by Bariatric Eating, Cafe Bella in particular, I gave up on that plain jane stuff.  When I said Inspire, she said, that’s not that good I was surprised! I have been having monthly meetings with the nutritionist and she made it sound like that was a great choice. The doctor said that we can’t expect good results with protein from Walmart or Costco (referring to Premier protein most likely, which it seems like the majority of bariatric patients favor.  The other one I use a lot is Nectar, which she said was fine.

    I was in a state of disbelief though because I have a cabinet full of Inspire protein. I even went on a monthly delivery cycle to make sure I didn’t run out of Cafe Bella — my go to protein for coffee. I kept thinking how am I going to use up all that protein!  She suggested adding unflavored Unjury to it and I’d be okay.

    She also suggested adding more fiber to the first shake of the day to make it more satisfying. She recommended adding flaxseed (which I have done) or chia seeds to bulk it up, as well as using extra protein.

    She brought out some samples of Bariatric Advantage chocolate which was so thick — made in almond milk.  Their protein has a weird aftertaste, which somehow I have become accustomed to, as I also have a bag of Bariatric Advantage cookies & cream which I actually really like, even though it tastes nothing like an Oreo.

    So my head is turning thinking about whether I needed to buy some more protein while I was there or just wait until I used the rest of the other stuff up.

    Beware of Bars

    She talked about the protein bars she approves of, since they are whey protein and good for gastric bypass patients. Quest Bars, Think Thin (which I have several boxes of in the protein cabinet) and Pure Protein (the ones you can get from Costc0). She warned for those of us with slowing weight loss, that bars have a lot of other stuff in them besides the protein and are a lot more calories than the bariatric shakes, which typically have about 100-150. So since starting Kaia, I have been using bars as a protein supplement, particularly during the day because of their convenience. My takeaway from the class — stop this.

    Limit to 2 Meals a Day

    Next earth shattering recommendation: 2 meals a day, and only one of them should have complex carbs. And by complex carbs, she is talking low glycemic fruit and vegetables.  Not potatoes, rice, bread, etc. Which is fine, since I don’t eat any of that stuff.

    Next shocker: you can have as much lettuce, spinach, or kale as we can hold. I miss big salads and I had no idea I didn’t need to count greens in my food portion sizes.  So as long as protein is going in first, I can get my fill afterwards with greens. This is helpful as I am getting hungrier, especially after working out.

    So lunch and dinner should be protein focused. Got it.

    End the Day with a Protein Shake

    About an hour before bedtime, have another shake to keep the metabolism fed at night. I kind of knew about that, although was probably having other snacks more often at night, so this is a big deal too.

    I need rules — and it’s uncomfortable when the rules aren’t cut and dry. So after hearing loud and clearly, 2 shakes, 2 meals — she added that if we’re working out we can have snacks. Like string cheese or almonds. So to me, that’s outside of 2 shakes and 2 meals. Now I am confused again.

    So today was my first day trying this approach. I think I need to have 3 shakes to get enough protein to fuel my workouts, particularly since I am going from basically 3 meals and a snackish meal plus 2-3 shakes. I’m going to double up on protein in my morning shake and added chia seeds this morning.  Nice and thick. I was still a little hungry, and I didn’t have a strenuous workout today, but it was manageable.

    Let’s see if this will be the thing to kick my weight loss into high gear.

    Food Prepping

    In an effort to get ready for this new way of life, here’s my food prep activities for the week.

    1. Cooked a few pounds of chicken thighs, portioned out into 3 oz. portions
    2. Cooked a batch of farro. I’ll be added 2 tablespoons to salads once a day to add some more bulk, protein and fiber. This is an experiment. I usually don’t do well with these types of carbs, but I want to see if adding a little will help with my workouts and hunger.
    3. Prepped a bunch of kale so it’s clean, torn into little bits, and ready to be thrown into salads or smoothies.
    4. Made some home made lemon-tahini dressing. I couldn’t find the official recipe, but did this and it came out okay. Whisk all ingredients together in a mason jar and refrigerate.
      • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
      • 3 tablespoons tahini paste
      • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
      • 3 tablespoons warm water
      • 3 tablespoons olive oil
      • 6 tablespoons of bragg’s liquid aminos
      • fresh ground black pepper
      • sea salt
    5. Made a salad from kale, red cabbage, sliced peppers, diced chicken, 2 tablespoons of farro, and 2 tablespoons of the dressing.  Yum! And filling.

    So we’ll see how this goes. If nothing else, I know what I will be eating all week!

    But What is This Post About Really?

    This will never be easy. Even though I had surgery, genetics, metabolism, and my own history with obesity are playing against me. I have to work harder than most of the weight loss surgery patients I have gotten to know. According to the doctor, my metabolism may not ever even improve, although my best bet is to continue to build muscle. And sharing this information may be helpful to someone in the same boat, which is why I started sharing my story in the first place.

    I promise to report back on how well this pays off!

     

    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. 

    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.