Becoming the Pin-Up Girl

I'm on a journey from obesity to health.. and I'm hoping to reveal my inner Pin-Up Girl along the way ;-)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy (sugar-free) Halloween!

I am celebrating my first truly sugar-free Halloween. Even during my Atkins days, I "took the day off" on Halloween. Today has always been my favorite holiday, but I have to admit, this year I didn't get into it the way I usually do. Partly because I've been really busy and partly because I've been too preoccupied with Phyllis and my new way of life. Those things aside, I had a really good day. We had a potluck lunch at work and - believe it or not - there were lots of things that I could eat. I enjoyed socializing with my coworkers and also got to sample some yummy dishes .. chicken chili with white beans, hummus, 7 layer dip, and a big salad with chicken and almonds. I didn't even miss the sugary stuff because I was full of good protein. Next year, I know I'll enjoy my favorite holiday even more. I'll have to have my Marilyn Monroe costume taken in about 10 sizes by then!

Oh - and I found a great Wikipedia
article about celebrating a sugar-free (or reduced sugar) Halloween with your kids. I don't think we'll get trick-or-treaters this year, but there are lots of great ideas for guilt-free treats.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Weird meat

Looking for ways to increase your protein intake? Well check out this site. The site is owned by my friend Michael, who I had the biggest crush on in high school.


Monday, October 23, 2006

My luck

I am one of the unfortunate WLS post-op patients that still feels physical hunger. It took me about 3 weeks to really figure it out. When I went in for my one month appt, I asked Dr. U why I was feeling hungry and he couldn't give me a definite answer. Not every WLS patient loses the hunger sensation after WLS. And I'm one of those unlucky folks.

So far, eating every 3 hours has helped. If I don't, I feel sick.. lightheaded or headachy.. my stomach feels like it's going to turn inside out. It really sucks. I hoped that I would be free of thinking about food for a while. But no. I'm not that lucky.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Month one in the life of the future pin-up girl

And what a month it has been.. whew. It's been a rollercoaster so far.

I had my one month checkup with Dr. U last week - I'm down 25 lbs, which I'm very happy with. I lost it all in the first 3 weeks and then the scale stopped moving. It was actually right after I started using my new bc method - Nuvaring, which I love! At first, I started to get frustrated, but then I decided to get off the scale and start focusing on what my body was doing. It is definitely shrinking. I put the scale downstairs in our locked storage unit and I'm only going to get it out on Saturdays to weigh. I've gone down two pant sizes already, and most of my size 20s are fitting nicely.

I think the most difficult part of the last month has been the emotional part. I've had a lot of sad things happen just in the last few weeks (ended my long-time friendship with L.. long story - and my Dad has moved back to St. Louis) and I haven't had my old stress-reliever, food, to rely on and make it all better. That has been the toughest part.. feeling my emotions without the filter that food used to provide.

Food's role in my life has changed significantly. I am happy to say that I've been able to tolerate food much more easily after starting the Protonix. I've been able to cook a few things for Chris and I to eat together, which has been great. I've always enjoyed cooking for the simple pleasure of caring for other people. Now that I'm able to eat more solid protein (ground meat (turkey/chicken/a little beef), shrimp, fish), I'm cooking healthy meals that are good for both of us. That's a nice feeling. And the best part is - I'm not craving sugar AT ALL. Having it out of my system for 5 weeks now has been wonderful. I don't even want the artificial sweetened stuff, like sugar-free popsicles and things.

That's the quick update - I promise I'll write more soon.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Who says this is easy??

Phyllis and I have had another week of getting to know each other, and let me tell you.. it has not been any walk in the park. After my 2 week appt, I was advanced to Dr. U's stage 3 diet and encouraged to add high protein soft foods to my diet - mainly tuna and cottage cheese. Last Sunday, I tried a couple of bites of tuna and it did NOT go well. I ended up vomiting and then heaving once there was nothing left. It was so awful. After that, even water felt like razor blades going down my esophagus. I had planned on going back to work on Monday, but could hardly get out of bed. My entire abdomen hurt from all of the heaving that I had done the day before. So Tuesday I went to see Dr. U. He put me back on Protonix and said that if I wasn't doing better by my one month appt next Tuesday, he would schedule yet another endoscopy. I'm happy to say that the Protonix did the trick! I think I'll need to stay on it for a couple of months while my pouch heals completely. Last night I was able to get down some pureed refried beans with no problems and I was able to get my fluids in. I'm really glad that I made the decision to see Dr. U and that I didn't try to "tough it out", because I'd probably still be in agony.

So far, I've lost 23 lbs - I'm averaging one pound a day. It feels fantastic! Yesterday was my first day back to work. Walking the 5 blocks from BART to my office, I could feel how much easier I was moving. I was able to do some of the stairs at the BART station and I know that I'll continue to do better and better. At lunch, I went to a Chinese deli that does wonton soup and I got a big bowl of broth for $1.50. I'm a big believer in the healing powers of Chinese soup! Phyllis and I both loved it. My energy stayed pretty high over the course of the day, but when I got home, I was tired. I had my beans and hung out with Chris for a while, and then crashed out early. This morning, I put on a pair of slacks that is already really loose on me and a top that finally FITS ME now. I fixed my cute new hair and went out the door with a smile on my face.

WLS certainly hasn't been easy so far, but I can already tell that it was WORTH IT!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Surviving week two

Tomorrow is my two-week progress appt with Dr. U. I'm excited to see what his scale reads.. mine reads 268 this morning. That's an 18 lb loss in 13 days folks. I can hardly wrap my mind around it.
I am SO HAPPY that week two is coming to a close. I thought I was going to lose my mind at the beginning of the week. I could not stop thinking about food, no matter what I tried. Every TV ad, every restaurant that I passed on the street, every smell.. the food that was all around seemed to be taunting me. I was even dreaming about food. And it was pissing me off. I kept thinking "maybe my surgery didn't work" and even, "my God - will I be one of the failures?"
Thankfully, as I was in the midst of this self-doubt and anxiety, I read a post on Shel's blog from a man named Dana. That post did so much to ease my mind and help me realize that what I was experiencing was TOTALLY NORMAL. Once I realized that, the food thoughts started to drift away. It was actually quite amazing.. I took back control of my thoughts and forced food out of them.
Originally, my weekend was going to be spent with my friend C in Salinas, but our plans changed and we ended up driving to the Central Valley, where my parents live. Saturday was my best friend L's 33rd birthday. As I have mentioned before, L had WLS last August. Chris and I took her out for her birthday on Saturday night and we had a blast. I drove us around to a couple of the local spots and they had a couple of drinks and we all played pool. That evening gave L and I a chance to talk about how I was feeling and what I could expect over the next few weeks.
So now I'm going into week three feeling great - my mind is free of the food obsessing and my body is feeling better and better with every pound lost. Oh - and to celebrate this new phase in my life, I got a fresh new look too. L is a stylist - she gave me a new cut and color - a deep rich brown with a few highlights. I love the color - it really makes my eyes pop. Below are some pics - one of the new do, one from the hospital, and one right after getting home. The pic of me in the hospital upset me when I saw it, but I'm glad that I asked my step-dad to take a few. I can't ever forget that day or the gift that I was given that day. As difficult as this may be, I know that I am so fortunate for this chance at a new life.