Sunday, December 27, 2015

After Christmas update

Whew! This has been a busy month!
I still have one family Christmas celebration coming up, but the rest are behind us.

We had a food day at work on Wednesday. Everyone made delicious food. I was good. I ate meatballs (I actually ate a few too many and had to walk around for about 20 minutes after lunch to alleviate the discomfort), an onion wrap, and a caprese skewer. One of my teammates made mini cheesecakes. I took one back to my desk, but forgot about it. I was a little sad to be throwing it away, but I was only sad because I felt like I wasted her time and food; I did not feel sad for not eating it though.

Thursday was Christmas Eve. I spent the majority of my day playing my boyfriend's new video game (Lego Jurassic World). He spent the day playing a different game and watching me play his game. It was definitely a much-needed lazy day.
I made some Wonton Pizza Bites. They were delicious. I mixed pasta sauce with a little grated Parmesan cheese to dip them in. My boyfriend loved them. I will definitely be making these again.

Friday - Christmas Day!
I do love Christmas, but I found myself not being in the Christmas spirit this year. Family gatherings were scheduled at the same times so we had to split times with each of them. My family is not good at all about scheduling things ahead of time. This year I will be bringing up the idea of picking a day every year that we can all agree on and just leave it at that. Sometimes not everyone can be at every gathering. Our family is expanding and we all have other family gatherings as well.
*End rant*

We went to my boyfriend's aunt and uncle's house for lunch. I did good there. I had a couple ounces of ham with gravy on it, some ham and cheese out of a breakfast casserole, a small piece of sweet potato, and a couple ounces of barbecue chicken. No sweets.
We all brought a $25 gift card and then passed around a container with them in it and picked one. This was simple and fun.

We left from there and headed to his mom's house for dinner and fun. I was getting hungry so I munched on some pieces of cheese in order to get my protein in. All of the sweets were on the table and the non-sweets foods were in the corner (I didn't realize this until we were leaving and his mom was packing up some of it for us). We sat around the table chatting for a bit and I found myself munching on some chocolate bark and a half of a piece of fudge. Although I know I didn't need it, I feel I did pretty good for not diving into more than that.
We opened gifts and had a blast chatting with the family.
I may have come home that evening and played more of the Lego Jurassic World game.

Saturday we had a mostly lazy day. We visited with my brother, sister-in-law, and nephews for a bit and then they had more people come over for a little gathering. It was fun to see my little brother's friends. I've watched them grow up and have families. After that, more Lego Jurassic World was played. Yes, I beat the game. No, I have not completed the game. There is so much to explore and I love to bash things and collect studs (like coins).

Today we were a little more productive. We cleaned the kitchen, dining room, living room, and bathroom. I had a friend come over for a little bit to try on some of my clothes. She went away with a full garbage bag of clothes she could wear! I would much rather they go to someone who can use them. I still have yet to go shopping for groceries.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Eating out of boredom...first side-by-side picture

These past few days at work have been me sitting at my computer reading and taking quizzes for continuing education credits. Some of the information was interesting, but the majority of it was not. About half way through my second day of this, I thought I was feeling hungry. I wasn't really. I was bored. I never thought of myself as one who ate out of boredom, but a couple of days ago I could have snacked the entire time I was at my desk. I ended up having a couple of Altoid mints, walking away from my desk more frequently, and drinking lots of water. This curbed the sensations of hunger. This journey is certainly about learning and making better choices.

While at work yesterday, I felt good about myself in the clothes I was in. This didn't used to happen very often, but it is happening more often now. I actually went through my closet on Monday evening and tried on every article of clothing I owned. I have a garbage bag overflowing with clothes that are too big. I found that I now prefer to wear things that are less baggy and a little more form-fitting. This is also new for me.

I decided to try my hand at making a side-by-side picture. I downloaded an app on my phone called Photo Grid. It was recommended to me by a few friends and had pretty good ratings. It definitely does what I needed it to do.

The picture on the left is from the day before surgery - I was very tired and just wanted to get the pictures out of the way which is what my face reflects...(this was also posted in my before pictures post). The picture on the right was taken while I felt good about my outfit at work. It is by no means a professional outfit (yes, we are allowed to wear jeans at work), but it is a shirt with jeans like the first picture. The jeans in the first picture have been donated to a consignment shop; the jeans in the second picture are the ones from my recent NSV (jeans that I last wore about 2 years ago).
Side note: I also have determined that I need to purchase a full length mirror for home so I can take better pictures.

This is just a step in my journey and I still have some work to do, but it is worth documenting progress. This is also a reminder of where I have come without doing much exercise. I walk around when I can: extra walking at the grocery store, walking around the mall, parking further away at work, and occasionally going to the gym.
My goal for the next few weeks is to really try new foods (well, new since surgery) and to enjoy the holidays with friends and family. I will focus on adding some arm exercises on machines at the gym after the first of the year. This will not be a New Years resolution as so many people make. This is just the time frame that works for me.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Family Christmas Cookoff 2015

Every year my family does a Christmas Cookoff. We cook various foods and then get together to eat them and vote on which one we like best. We also exchange gifts at that time. The menu is completely random. It is sort of like having a pot luck.

This year's foods:
Mozzarella stuffed meatballs
Bacon cheeseburger deviled eggs
Squash with cherries and feta cheese
Squash and apples with cinnamon and cranberries
Green bean casserole
Lemon pepper marinated chicken
Sugar-free jello salad with cherries and walnuts
Pea and cashew salad
Chocolate chip cookies (made with the help of my almost 3 year old nephew)

I ate half of a meatball, one deviled egg, 3 bites of the squash with cherries, 1 bite of the squash and apples, 1 ounce of the lemon pepper chicken, and a small bite of the pea and cashew salad.
This was the most I have eaten since I started on solid foods. I was not stuffed. I was satisfied and I had lots of protein.
Since the meatballs and the deviled eggs were made by myself and my boyfriend, respectively, we got to take the leftovers home.
I also took some of the jello salad as I didn't get to try any, and some of the squash with cherries. I love squash.

We then exchanged gifts. It was so much fun seeing my nephews open their gifts. They were both very tired and were up past their bedtime.
My mom got me a bracelet (she has a matching one) that says "she knew she could and so she did" along with the saying printed and framed. I absolutely love it! She is having surgery this month (the same surgery I had).
We never really had a close relationship when I was growing up. Now we do. She owns her own consignment store and gives piano lessons. She is amazing and I am so proud to be her daughter. This is a journey that we will share and compare.

We forgot to do the voting for the food, but I plan to put together something so that we can all place our votes. We have an apron that the winner signs and dates with the year and then gets to keep all year long. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

NSV: Old Jeans

As I gained weight, I did not keep many of my smaller clothes.
I did keep one pair of jeans that I wore about four years ago. I knew they were very tight, but I kept them because they were brand new when I bought them.

I wore those jeans today. They are petite. Most of my weight has come off from my thighs and butt area so these tend to slide under my belly (creating a muffin top). This I do not like. I am constantly hiking them up. Next time I will wear a belt with them.

Side note: I have now tried on all of my work pants and they are all too big. I am hoping to get some time with my seamstress aunt who can alter them to look amazing until am down enough to really need to buy new clothes.
Confession: When I say new clothes I mean new to me. They may be from a consignment shop or off a clearance rack.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Temptation: Lemon Bars, Also: Dumping?

I gave in to a small temptation today.
My supervisor brought in homemade lemon bars today for a coworker's birthday.
They looked and smelled delicious. I did not crave them like I thought I would.
She asked if I could have one. I just stated I would try a bite to see how my stomach handled it and then take the rest home to my boyfriend. She understood.
I did have a tiny little corner of the bar. It was darn yummy.
It sat on my desk for the rest of my shift. It was untouched. I had no desire to eat more of it. I had thoughts of how yummy it was, but I just had no desire to eat it.
Prior to surgery I would have at least eaten the whole thing. I may have even gone back for a second bar.
I love to bake and this seems strange to me.
I know it is good. I know it is better for me. It still seems strange.

Also: I may have experienced dumping today. There definitely was dumping going on and I think it was a result of drinking too quickly.
I had my chocolate milk for breakfast and drank it on my way to work. It is about a 20 minute drive to work. I drank all of the milk within that time. After about 20 minutes of being at work, I had to use the restroom for about 15 minutes. It was literally a blow out. I was not fatigued afterward like an IBS attack (I had those prior to surgery but haven't had any since - my triggers were dehydration and stress). It was strange. I felt amazing afterward. I went about my day and drank lots of fluids.

Monday, December 7, 2015

First Day Back at Work

Today is my first day back at work.
I have done a lot of reading emails (I had over 500), listening to voicemails, reviewing changes, and listening to other people take calls (I work in a call center).
I have done well with my food so far.
I walked around a little on my first break. I intended to walk around on my lunch but ended up chatting with a coworker who is in the pre stages of the surgery process and then had to eat. I realized quickly that I was eating too fast and quickly slowed down and thought more about my eating.
It is nice to be back and I have been warmly welcomed. I absolutely love where I work!
They implemented a new directory of sorts that we could update so I took a "selfie" to add to my profile. Here it is:

Friday, December 4, 2015

Out with a food?

I am going to see Michatucky tonight with a good friend whom I haven't seen in over a year. This band will be performing at a bar. I know I'm going to need to eat while there.

I have only been on solid foods for about a week now. I took a look at their menu. There are a few things that would not be terrible choices: whitefish entree (lots of leftovers), bean dip (without the chips), a chicken quesadilla (I haven't tried tortillas yet). My first thought, though, was mozzarella sticks and to just peel the breading off. I loved mozzarella sticks before surgery. I knew they weren't the best choice for food, but they were yummy. I posted a question about how people handled ordering at bars and how they handled fried foods on one of the bariatric forums I like to check out periodically. I also posted this same question to my online support group.

Most came back with the answer of avoiding fried foods as they generally don't settle well. Some stated they could handle them just fine. Some stated they have eaten fried foods but just peeled off any breading.
This is typical of any question asked of various people who have had the surgery. The responses are different. This is because everyone's body is different therefore everyone's journey is different.

I ended up bringing my own meat and cheese rolls (literally deli meat and cheese slices rolled together). I left them in the car (it was cold enough outside that I didn't worry about them spoiling). I ate two of them on the way to the bar. I ate two more of them during one of the band's breaks. I ate one on the way home.
I only had water to drink. I realized about half way through my drink that I had been drinking out of a straw. This was a first since surgery. I didn't even notice. No issues with it. I think it actually helped me to drink more.
This allowed me to really focus on enjoying the music and the company.

Do I plan to do this every time I go out? No.
Do I plan to eventually attempt to eat fried foods? Yes.

For now, this was the best option for me.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Digestion is noisy, chocolate milk for breakfast

Today my boyfriend and I observed that my digestion sounds are very loud.

I posted this for my support group and everyone that responded stated that theirs were loud as well

Breakfast this morning:
8 ounces of Fat Free Fairlife Milk (ultra-filtered)
1 packet of Sugar Free Carnation Instant Breakfast