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WLS Chronicles ~ Maintaining

25 Jul

It has been almost SEVEN months since my surgery and I am still absolutely overjoyed at my decision.  I have found more energy than I EVER remember having, am only on one medication (hypothyroidism) and I am feeling more confident than ever.  This surgery has given me a new lease on life and I LOVE it!

Now, I make the best decisions with ease on food and drink choices.  I eat a LOT of cheese.  A LOT.  Mostly I eat eggs, bacon, chicken, broccoli, more chicken, cheese, beef, cauliflower, more cheese….ha ha ha!  I drink coffee.  A LOT OF COFFEE.  Splenda, sugar free creamer and the occasional sugar free Torani syrup are necessary in this new life.

I find myself with tons of energy during the day, when you are supposed to have it!  Moving was still exhausting but I could tell many times that I was able to do more, lift more, move longer when we were packing up our home of four years!  (We moved from NC to TX….not sure if I blogged on that…will do if I haven’t!)

Do I get hungry?  It depends.  If I miss a meal, I get hungry around the six hour mark.  I usually eat every three hours…so I can tell if I missed one easily.  But the hunger is different.  I crave protein and healthy foods.  I love roasted veggies.  I feel like I can TASTE foods better because I’m eating so much healthier.

Do I cheat?  I guess it depends on your definition.  I eat a few M&M’s (peanut) with my cheese and crackers if I am creating my own bento box.  Peanut M&M’s do contain protein so it’s not a terrible choice.  But I eat a max of FIVE.  It gives me enough of a sweet taste but will not wreck my life plan.  I ate a bite of my Mom’s birthday cake.  I have licked icing off of a knife.  In the last few weeks (since my nutritionist told me to treat myself every now and then) I have let myself have more carbs a few times a week.  Sweet potato – yessssssss.  (with butter + cinnamon + splenda)

Do I have cravings?  Yes.  As mentioned before I crave healthy foods.  I do have unhealthy wants as well.  I want soft, white bread.  All the time.  LOL  I do not cave on that one and I won’t.  Sandwiches were a go-to for me and I do miss them but I would rather stick to my plan.

All in all, I am doing quite well at adjusting to “life after bariatric surgery” and have had VERY few issues.  I have had “dumping syndrome” a couple of times, both after having something with a large amount of milk.  I (obviously) now avoid large amounts of milk.  I find that if I don’t plan, I see either a stall or I don’t feel my best.  SO – I plan!  🙂

In all honesty, the hardest parts of this journey have been been:

  • the planning – it can take as much time as you want it to take…from a few minutes to stop and think “do I have my water and a healthy protein” every time I walk out the door to a few hours meal planning/grocery shopping/prepping.  You get what you put into it.  It is SO worth it to take the time to figure out what works for your schedule, your new tummy and your family/lifestyle.
  • the change in habits – (I mean I am from the South where EVERYTHING revolves around eating!)  Thinking about food nonstop is a really hard habit to break.  We are inundated with Food Network, recipes/videos on Facebook, food everywhere we go – it is extremely hard for someone who is trying to live a new lifestyle of eating to live and not living to eat.
  • the emotions from support and nonsupport – This one is pretty self explanatory but the support I have received from my husband, parents, children, in-laws, friends and weight loss surgery family has been nothing short of amazing.  The feedback on my progress, on pictures, on my meals….I can’t tell you how important it has been.  It’s the reason I had to “come out of the kitchen” (my Dad coined that!) a month after my surgery.  I had all intentions of only telling a few people but I quickly realized that the cheerleading and kudos and encouragement meant far more to me than my privacy or pride.  The negative side of that, of course, is opening yourself up to criticism, snarky comments or judgements.  The worst thing you can do to someone who has lost 105 pounds is NOT MENTION IT.  I promise.  It is awkward.  I feel like I’m searching for the reason they aren’t noticing or mentioning it or is it me or am I not that different or or or or orrrrr….I feel like saying, “You mad, bro?” when someone doesn’t!!!   (One day I am going to post a Dos and Don’ts I PROMISE!)
  • the impact on my family (good and bad) – I think I covered most of this already but it does impact every day life, of course.  I prefer to not go to Texas Roadhouse.  I LOVED it.  Truly.  BUT THOSE ROLLS THOUGH.  That one is a hard one.  They are EVERYWHERE.  I am certainly not going to ask my family to not eat them, so I just don’t go there.  It is where they go without me and have their own dates and I stay home or find something else to do.  No problem.  Am I jealous when they all get dessert?  You betcha.  I’m human.  Occasionally, I’ll have a bite (depending on what I have eaten) but I have resisted overdoing it.  We truly have to plan our day trips, date nights and dinners out in a way that we have never had to before.  Our kids are picky (ok, so is Mike) so we’ve always had to plan ahead – look at menus – but NOW it’s an extra challenge with my new tummy.  I am SO appreciative of understanding kids – they really have never complained about the changes.  Of course, I feel like that’s probably because they see the good in this new lifestyle.  They see me healthy and energized…and most of all, happy.

 

Busy Bee

6 Jan

I am so excited about the next three weekends.   I can’t even contain myself!!

This weekend, I venture a short ride away and meet up with Victoria – a long time friend – for shopping, gabbing, catching up, eating…I cannot wait.  LONG overdue and very much anticipated!!!

Next weekend, I venture to downtown Raleigh with my sweetheart to just getaway for the night.  Getting dressed up and going to a nice dinner and spending the night in a nice downtown hotel.  So excited to have some time for just US!

Weekend after that – VERY exciting…taking MJ, my mom, and my niece to Atlanta’s American Girl store for some shopping and fun!  We are staying in a Marriott that does it up right – with doll beds for the AG dolls, milk and cookie amenities…it will be some great fun!!

I have some work in the middle of these weekends but I am so ready for them all – I love having things to look forward to!!!

Meatballs, made of meatloaf..meatloafballs? (Recipe & Pic)

5 Jan

So it’s time I share one of the ways to my hubby’s heart.  My meatloaf that happens to be shaped into balls and not at all loaves.  They cook faster.  They are almost “crunchy” on the outsides.  They are AWESOME!  This is so simple!

MLB

 

Meatloafballs a la justjmejones 

You’ll need:

  • 1 lb. ground sirloin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups of ketchup
  • tbsp of A1
  • dash of salt
  • tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 sleeve of saltine crackers, crushed

In a medium sized bowl, add all ingredients and mix together.  Scoop out balls using an ice cream scoop to obtain the desired size (and please don’t worry, they are not meant to be perfect!).  I bake them on a rack on top of a cookie sheet.  (This way some of that fat drips right down to the pan and you don’t touch it!)  Cook for around 30 minutes at 425 degrees.  Note: I use tongs and turn mine over with about 5 minutes left to make sure they are “crisp” on the top and bottom.  These are not saucy meatballs, but more of a “crusted” meatball.  I add a little bit of ketchup to the tops of mine before serving and that’s it!  🙂

Extra Snacks in the Bag…

24 Nov

When my husband goes to the grocery store (which he does, almost every time this family GETS groceries), besides when it’s Lowes Foods To Go – I mean him going and doing the shopping, he usually always picks up something extra.   I often joke with him that I’d be much better off going because it would save us a good $60 each TRIP!  He’s a brand name snob.  He will NOT buy generic medicine (not even pain reliever…but it’s mostly due to his pharma knowledge so it makes sense).  I’m funny about my ketchup and mac and cheese but other than that, bring on the store brand!  Not the mister.  However, there are a few things that he purchases that don’t bother me a bit.  I don’t ask for these things or even remind him…but when he gets home I’m almost excited to see what he’s remembered that I love.  The last time he went, I found these things in addition to the “list”….

 

Caramello bars are my most FAVORITE candy bar from WAY back.  Talenti is a new but serious favorite frozen treat.  I love that he remembers these things and knows that they are such small ways to show me he cares.  To surprise me and show me his love.  I do the same for him if I go to La Dolce Vita for lunch…I usually order his fave dessert to go.  If I am in Tramway on a Saturday, I might go to Tobacco Road to see if there is a new shirt he’d love.  Showing your spouse you love them in a small way can really make a BIG difference.  I certainly know he’s always thinking about US…and he knows the same.

And, now, I have to run.  Caramel and keyboards don’t mix.  😉

Just Beachy

22 Oct

Our time at the beach was short but it was FUN.  I’ll write in detail about it later I’m sure…as I’m exhausted and am going to listen to my body and rest.  For now, here is my reminder and your tease…in list form:

  1. Daddy’s driving
  2. Our Beach Residence
  3. Value of FaceTime
  4. Hamburger Joe’s
  5. Wonder Works
  6. HomeGoods and my chevron finds
  7. Skywheel at MB
  8. Krispy Kreme
  9. Teenage Boys
  10. Post-Mono Vacations

White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

14 Aug

Here is the recipe for the chili I have raved to everyone about.  I have found many variations online but this is the one that is perfect for me and my family (and coworkers)!

  • 1-1/2 – 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into “chunks”   
  • 1 medium onion, chopped to your liking (depending on who is eating it, I might even mince)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 can (7 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • In a large saucepan, sauté the chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add the beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Makes about 7 servings.  
  • It is fabulous with red pepper flakes!
 
Also – you can put all ingredients in a crock pot and cook that way – just don’t add the sour cream or heavy cream until just before you serve it!

What I ate today {Blog Challenge}

13 Aug

Here is what I ate today, only it was yesterday – Sunday, August 12 –

bacon biscuit (convenience ruled as I was about to get sick #thanksthyroid)
around 3/4 a cup of my homemade white bean chicken chili (with one Ritz Cracker sprinkled in)

For reference ~ here is my chili in progress ~ 

half a container of yogurt
3 frozen grapes
small bite of cheesecake (totally not the worst thing ever – modified no bake cheesecake w/ splenda in crust and 2% milk)
2 frozen grapes
Small portion of hamburger (lean) steak, mushrooms, brown gravy (not REAL gravy, mind you), brown rice
another small bite of cheesecake (ARGH!!)
lots of water
diet coke

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