Countdown to Surgiversary

I was trying to get in touch with some of the folks on the beforeandafterhelp.com board who had surgery in August of 2009.  I posted, but no response, so I sent personal messages to everyone and no one responded.

Oh well! I hope they are all doing great and their lives are so changed for the better that they just don’t have time to sit down in front of a computer.

As for me, I’m going to keep getting ready for my surgiversary:

  • I have lost 3 of the 2 pounds I gained while on vacation/off track – 2 more to go! Yay for me!
  • I’ve gained 2 inches in my stomach and my fat was flapping on my run yesterday.
  • Moved up to week 2 of the couch to 5k program and felt good
  • Getting my plans together for the 5k on August 26th – my version of a “birthday” party!
  • Signed up to get email about the London Marathon in April 2011 and the London Playtex Moonwalk in May 2011 yesterday
  • I keep battling my demons and have invited my husband to go with me to my weight loss therapy session today
  • Starting weekly sessions again – rather than bi-weekly – to get back on track
  • On day 2 of a partial LPT  – LPT all day, healthy dinner at night
  • Going to start measuring out all my portions again. I know I’m overeating when I don’t do that

Now – what should I do? I swam on  Monday, ran on Tuesday and today I slept through kickboxing, so I’ll have to see what I can find that starts at 8:30 or go swimming or power walking or lift some weights or do an ab workout. Yes, an ab workout to work on that belly flapping sound when I run!

Have a great day everyone!

Losing Weight While Traveling

I’m getting ready for a trip next week. We’re going to Upstate New York to visit with my friend and her family. We’ll laze by the pool, go out on the lake, take walks in the woods, sit on the porch and talk or curl up on the sofa and read. In past years there was also the fun of making cookies, cakes and other yummy desserts. I have fond memories of learning the Toll House Cookie recipe and laughing about the tea towel version that says yield one cookie – because we ate all the dough! That memory is decades old, but still makes me smile.

I still want to bake cookies; it’s part of our history together. But now we’ll share more! There will be two men and three small boys to help us gobble them up. I probably won’t make the decadent chocolate cake I made one year – but perhaps we can pick or buy berries and I can make a beautiful fruit crisp – substituting a little splenda for sugar will make it weight loss surgery friendly. I know there are GBS friendly pie recipes on the bariatriceating.com board. I just need to find one and be prepared.

Being prepared – planning – is how I’ve been successful and lost 142 pounds. I make plans and backup plans so that when Plan A falls, I’ve got Plan B ready to go. Continuing to be prepared is how I’m going to lose the last 30 pounds and keep them off. Some might accuse me of being a control freak, but I’m okay with that because I’ve also been in control of my weight for the longest period of my whole life. So here is my plan for my upcoming trip:

The small lake town where we’ll be staying doesn’t have a wide selection for groceries, so we’ll stop in Burlington and do a week’s worth of shopping to fit the “Lake Trip Menu Plan”  I’ll create tomorrow. Once I have the menu plan, I can send it to my friend and we can tweak it so that everyone will be happy with it. I love to cook when I’m on vacation and her husband and mine are both great cooks, so we’ll figure out who will cook what.  Since she’s a vegetarian who eats fish, then we can focus on lots of fresh, local produce and add fish, chicken and beef or bison if I can get it! If I recall, there’s a nice bakery selection at the store near the house and a kitchen garden that we can raid for vegetables, plus fresh eggs from the farm. If we pick up meat and fish to grill, plus the grocery items I can’t live without, we’ll do great.

Planning for exercise should be easy – there’s a pool, a lake and lots of lawn space for activities with the boys. I’m going to take my running clothes and sneakers, my garmin 305 and heart rate monitor, plus the Couch to 5k podcasts I’ve been following. For 5 days I can run in the mornings along beautiful farm lanes and through the woods. I used to do that when I was a runner (briefly) in high school. I’m looking forward to doing it again. Will make a great change from running around my neighbourhood. I can take my resistance bands and with very little space in my bag, get a great workout while I’m there. Add in a few situps and some tricep curls with anything handy that weighs 5 pounds and I can not only maintain while I’m gone, I can continue to make progress.

This is my packing list so far:

Food List:
Pack food items from home in a cooler bag for the airport/plane
  • Protein powder for 6 days – 3 servings a day
  • Protein powder for my oatmeal that I’ll make at the Lake
  • Shaker ball cup for making protein shakes
  • Bottled water (will have to buy this after I go through security check point)
  • Labrada Rock n Roll protein bars – cut into 4-5 pieces
  • Almonds – measured out in single servings ~24 almonds
Exercise List:
  • Resistance bands
  • Running shoes
  • Garmin 305 heart rate monitor with footpad and chest strap and charger
  • Running shorts and jog bra and a couple of teeshirts
  • Running socks
  • Swimsuit
Shopping List for Burlington:
  • Fage 0% yogurt
  • Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats
  • Splenda with fiber
  • Splenda brown sugar
  • Splenda granular
  • Sugar free jam/jelly
  • Kraft 2% Cheddar cheese slices
  • Kellogg H20 pink lemonade packets
  • Lactaid milk – 2% for the boys and FF for me
  • Cereal for the boys
  • Whole wheat flour

I’ll keep adding to this list once the menu is finished.

Planning: Morning Exercise

Good morning! The Exercise Train on Bariatric Eating todday was all about how to get going in the morning. Because I’m an early morning exerciser it is important that I plan to get in my exercise session. I’ve tried exercising after work but no matter how many times I say that I’ll get in a workout later if I miss my morning routine, it so rarely happens. Mornings are also my writing and blogging time, so there are several things that I do to make sure I hit my goal to exercise 6 or more hours a week:
1. Get to bed early enough the night before. If I stay up until 1am, I can’t get up at 6 to write or work out
2. Set my alarm for 6. I often wake up earlier, but I want to make sure I’m up and at it by 6am
3. I also put out my clothes, because my husband is a night owl and I don’t want to be stumbling around in the dark, trying not to wake him up!
4. I have “bagitus” a workout back for every activity that I do: swimming, biking, running, kickboxing, yoga, weightlifting/circuit training
These bags are hanging on the hook in the kitchen and I have a tag on them so I can quickly gear up for the sport I am going to do. (If you are interested, you can check out the lists I made on a previous post.

5. Options! I always have a plan for what I’m going to do this week but sometimes when I wake up, I just don’t FEEL like it. Sometimes I push through that and sometimes I say “Okay, don’t want to do that, what are you going to do? Swim? Bike? Run? Lift Weights? Yoga? Kickboxing? Walk? Hike? Pick one!” And I have made it clear to the remnants of my obese self that NOT exercising, is just NOT an option!

6: Keep an eye on the clock while I’m writing. I could easily write for 10 hours straight if I didn’t watch the clock and make sure I get out the door on time. In fact, I’ve got 6 minutes now to finish this post, check my email and my buddies on Facebook!

Yesterday I did the Moe Explodes class at the Knuckle Up Fitness in Sandy Springs. HOLY COW! First – it was an evening class and I don’t normally do those. Second – it was so hot! And much harder than the biking, swimming and running I’ve been doing! At one point I was sweating so much and my face was so red, that I think they were concerned I was going to die.  But I didn’t and I’m not even very sore today. I can do so much more than I could before –  even 6 months ago. It is good that I am kicking it up a notch and getting to my maximum Melting Point again. I have a goal and I’m going to reach it. I just have to keep reaching for it.

Today’s exercise option? Another session of the Couch to 5K program. Then off to see my nutritionist, Alisa Winters at Laureate Medical Group, for my quarterly visit. Maybe I’ll bike over there…hmmm

Backup Plans

This morning is all about backup plans and how important they are. The holiday weekend was great – bike rides, swimming, picnic and my first yoga class. I did have to work a few hours because we’ve got a software release coming up, but I live close to work and it wasn’t a big deal – going in now, as a matter of fact, even though it is a holiday. I’ll take my break on the 15th when the boys and I go up to Vermont/New York and spend a few days on Lake Champlain with my friend Meredith and her family.

But because this weekend was a holiday weekend, I didn’t stick to my usual rut, I mean routine! Not a lot of cooking because we just weren’t home that much. So I don’t have a menu plan for this week and there are no leftovers for my lunch at work. Plus, I haven’t packed up my vitamins for the week. Here’s where the backup plan comes in!

We save all our menu plans and shopping lists on our family Wiki page. So I can open up a few and copy/paste some selections and voila! A menu plan in about five minutes, complete with shopping list for the items we need. I have backup vitamins at work and will pack up the week’s supply tonight when I have more time.

For lunch, instead of leftovers, I have frozen soup, stew and other weight loss surgery friendly meals stored in the freezer in 1/2 cup portions. I can grab one of those for my lunch for today and throw it into the bag with my protein powder and still race out the door in the next 30 minutes. To do this yourself, you don’t have to cook a special meal that you freeze, just start carving out a cup or half cup of your leftovers – whatever your portions sizes are – for each person who may need a backup meal. Label it and put it in the freezer. They keep for months as long as they are sealed well. For a backup family meal, just cook double of one of your family favorites that freeze well – like roast chicken, pot roast, spaghetti sauce or meatballs. While the water boils for pasta, you can defrost sauce or meatballs and have the whole thing on the table in 30 minutes or less. Or defrost the chicken and some whole wheat tortillas while you chop up lettuce and tomatoes for some fast tortillas. This is perfect for those nights when you get home and you thought it was his turn to cook and he thought it was your turn to cook.

What do you want to order from take out is just not a healthy option most of the time. I feel so guilty sometimes about how much fast food and prepared food my family ate in the last 6 years. When I was doing the stay-at-home Mom thing, I learned to cook. It wasn’t always healthy cooking (Loved Paula Dean recipes which always seem to start with one stick of butter!) Once I went back to work after my son was born, I really cut back on cooking and started to rely on prepared foods, takeout and delivery menus that piled up by the phone. I thought I was being super organized and efficient, but I was feeding my family crap. I gained weight. My husband gained weight. Even my eight year old gained weight. As I watch it come off now, I’m so grateful that my husband has decided to be the stay at home Dad and has learned to cook and cook HEALTHY! We save so much money, it really makes up for the lost income. Plus our quality of life is improved because we eat together. We sit down at a table and we talk and catch up on our day and that is the best part of all. A meal isn’t just about what we eat. It is about how we eat it and I’m so grateful I get to eat mine with the two best boys in the whole world. I love you guys.