Lucy, you got some ‘splaining to do!

Lucy, you got some ‘splaining to do! 6:43 am The problem with a fun weekend where you LIVE, but don’t stick to plan and Move and Eat right, is that moment on Monday when you step on the scale. I know my life and happiness should not be dictated by the number on the scale and it really isn’t. But when I step on and I’ve gained a pound I have to THINK of all the parts of the plan I might have ignored:

Move: Didn’t make it to the gym on Friday – cleaned house all day -apparently, not as aerobic as one thinks; walked all day Saturday, but nothing else; Sunday had the dizziness thing so didn’t get out for my bike ride. Uh oh!

Eat: Ate off plan at the Ren Fest: few french fries; a few sips of beer; half a hamburger with bun and with cheese and with ketchup; ate bbq pork two nights in a row instead of the roast chicken we forgot to take out of the freezer on Saturday morning; laid around and ate salty peanuts and drank water yesterday afternoon; ate dessert last night (pound cake with berries) which is supposed to be only for days when I eat on plan and the dessert is part of the plan. YIKES!

Live: In this area, I rocked: Lots of family time, time with my son in particular; a cousin to stay for the weekend; Ren Fest, a great new book to read in my bubble bath after the Ren Fest; lots of writing, which I love. Happy sigh.

Think: So I did some things right, some things that I need to work on so that I continue to Melt! I have to remember that this is not a pattern, and I can easily stop it being a trend by getting right back on plan today. Right now I need to get my power protein oatmeal, then get dressed and get out for a power walk. Still having a bit of dizziness, so  I will skip the bike until I can get to my doctor. Given my elevated tendency towards hypochondria, now I’m wondering if I’ve gotten some inner ear infection? A doctor’s visit. Hmm. Need to get my A1C done again, so that works out.

Progress I like this process of constantly re-evaluating my progress and tweaking my plan immediately. When I was a teenager, I would start a new diet on January 1st and when I gave up, I wouldn’t start again until the following New Year. When I was in high school, I would start over every season – I thought of it as the Winter Diet or the Spring Diet and so on. When I was in college, it was really once a month. Two years ago it started being every week that I really looked at what I’d done the week before and thought about what I was going to do this week. In the nine months since the surgery, I first learned to start over every day and now, finally, I’m beginning to start over with every meal.

Okay, gotta Move, Eat, Live and Think so I can Melt!

Shopping and Menu Planning

8:37 AM I’ve made my power protein oatmeal for the day – idea and recipe courtesy of Venice Nutrition who provided the nutrition element of the two Biggest Losers Challenge I did at Knuckle Up Fitness.  The dishes from last night are finally in the dishwasher and now I need to make a menu plan for the week. I was tempted to pull one of the plans from a previous week so I could start writing, but then realized that menu planning was a good  blog topic for a lazy Sunday morning.

Healthy but Thrifty With only one income these days, eating economically is almost as important as eating healthy. I’m lucky that our one salary is a good one, and unlike so many Americans these days, don’t have to sacrifice health for cost. But we have adopted a few great habits in the last 9 months since we became OIOK’s (One Income One Kid) that have really cut down our costs AND contributed to our being more healthy and losing weight.

Eat at Home This one was huge for us. When we looked at our finances in preparation for being a single income family, we found that after housing, our biggest expense was food. Most of that was eating out. We often ate breakfast, lunch and dinner out – even paying for Whole Foods to bring in lunch at my son’s school instead of packing it up for him. We were also spending a ridiculous amount on buying prepared food for fast meals we could put together after work. Any fresh food we bought was likely to go bad because we rarely got around to cooking it, so waste factored in as well.

Meal Planning The next major change was the meal plan. This is not a unique suggestion! Every diet, nutrition, exercise and lifestyle change book I’ve ever read (1000? 1500 by now?) suggests that creating meal plans is one of the best ways to get control of what you are eating. At work, I always believed the adage that you “Plan your work and then work your plan” but I wasn’t applying that to my family’s life until last fall. Now every weekend we sit down and plan out the week’s menu, based on what’s in the pantry and freezer and then make a shopping list for the missing items.

Buy in bulk or on sale and store for later: I keep an inventory of what’s in the freezers -one in the kitchen fridge and another huge standing freezer in the garage. We buy in bulk at Costco and whenever something we use goes on sale at our Publix. They have great BOGO sales (Buy One get One free). Frozen foods are much less expensive in the summer and early fall so we tend to stock up and then use them up over the winter and spring. It’s June now and we are just getting to the end of the frozen fruits and vegetables we stocked up on last year. Just in time for this years sales – so I’m pretty psyched about that. The key is to just buy the things you really use and need. Don’t be swayed by a sale – a good price on something you don’t or won’t or can’t use is NOT a good deal.

Re-Package Bulk Items at Home We buy cases of Ziploc bags at Costco: Gallon and Quart freezer bags and Sandwich and Snack regular bags. We break up bulk purchases of meats into family size portions and label them with the contents and date. (You will start doing this when you accidentally defrost a pound of pork chops instead of a pound of sliced ham -really hard to tell the difference when they are frozen!) Or when you finally get around to using that nice bison filet you bought at the organic market, only to find it old and tough because you kept it too long. The USDA has some guidelines on Freezing and Food Safety if you are interested.

Bread, Desserts and other Treats I don’t eat a lot of bread. Part of that is the surgery and reduction in volume, part of that is trying to eat lower carb and part of that is that I’m a diabetic and I really need to get my carbs from vegetables and fruit for the fiber. But I do eat a piece of toast about once a week. I like the Ezekiel sprouted sesame bread. It comes  frozen, so I split it up into quart size freezer bags, then just pull out a slice and pop it in the toaster when I need it.  I don’t think it lasts as long if you leave it in the bread wrapper. We also buy pound cake at Costco – comes three loaves to a box. We can cut the loaves in half and have 6 weeks of dessert. A serving of 1/20 of the loaf is actually a satisfying size and on 1.5 WW Points at 58 calories/3 grams fat. We add fresh berries for fiber and flavor. If we splurge on any other treats like this, we typically split it up and freeze most of it before we eat it. If you have to thaw something out, it gives you time to think if you really want to add it to your daily points or not.

Cook Ahead I am a big cook ahead fan. Now that my husband is doing the cooking, he is more a cook now and have leftovers man, but about once a week we build something into the menu that we can split up and freeze for a future meal. Casseroles, soups, stews and roast meats are all good things to have on hand for a planned no-cook night or a night when life happens to you instead of your plan. Transforming those frozen goodies into a meal is really fast: defrost soup and a frozen loaf of bread or thaw and shred chicken or steak while you warm up frozen whole wheat tortillas. Chop up some lettuce, tomato and red pepper to build soft tacos or add sour cream and grated cheddar if there are no vegetables in the house. Open a can of black beans for a quick side dish and to increase your fiber.

Transform Food Ruts into Healthy Routines We all get into ruts, but usually they are not good ones. We have turned our natural tendency towards sliding into a rut into building new and healthier routines. I have already posted about how I eat the same breakfast pretty much every day. Each week I might vary how I mix it up a bit, but it is still oatmeal, protein powder, peanut butter and fruit. For snacks I supplement with protein drinks and while I have 6 different flavors, its still a drink with protein powder, liquid and possibly some flavoring for variety. Lunch is almost ALWAYS the leftovers from the healthy dinner the night before. The beauty of this rut, um, routine, is that it frees us from having to plan 42 meals a week and we only plan 7 meals a week. This week I will add menu planning to The Melting Point, along with some sample weekly meal plans that have worked well for us.

Weight Loss versus Measurements

Weight Loss vs Measurements 7:11 AM Saturday morning Bliss is: slept late; came down to fresh, hot coffee and great distracting conversation in the kitchen. Would love to able to stir some protein powder into my coffee – but I’m out of all but the fruit flavors and that just doesn’t work for me. So I’ll have my protein powder in my steel cut oatmeal and watch eagerly for the delivery truck.

Beach Body Count Down I’m still riding high from my recent success. There was a contest at the fitness center where I swim: 8 weeks to see who could lose the most. Unlike the Knuckle Up Biggest Loser where we had a great package with nutrition, boot camp and chiro ($250 and so worth it) this was a free contest where we just weighed in and got measured, then got going on our own. I confirmed that they were okay with my being a weight loss surgery patient, then when they gave the okay, I signed up.

Astonishing I had my final weigh in and measurements on Wednesday morning. I was down 12 pounds, which is great – very respectable 1.5 pounds per week overall, much better than I expected at this stage of the journey. But the real mind blower was the measurements. My chest didn’t change. (I’m really hoping I don’t lose much more there, as I’m almost down to a B-cup.) I lost an inch on my stomach, which was great. But I also lost 1 inch on EACH arm. The big shock? I lost almost 4 inches on my hips and thighs.

Disbelief My first thought was that there was obviously a mistake. A difference in the way the trainer measured me or he wrote it down wrong the first time. But he asked if I had noticed a difference in my pants and I realized that all my pants are bagging out in the thighs now. Because the waist and stomach are about the same, I hadn’t really noticed. How cool is THAT??? It was three days ago and I’m still psyched!

Lost a Skinny Girl I have kept a history of all my measurements since I started two years ago. When I’m seeing slow or no weight loss, it really helps to go back and remember that in May of 2008, my stomach was 59 inches at the belly button. Now it is 40 inches. Still not where I want to go, but damn – that’s 19 inches off my stomach. That’s a whole skinny girl gone from my stomach. 19 inches of fat that I’m not carrying around anymore. 19 inches of belly killing fat that is gone. Gone forever. Gone. Gone. Gone.

Project Goals One of the places I keep track of my measurements is on my bathroom mirror. I write my starting measurements, the last couple of months, plus my next goal in eyeliner or lip liner right on the mirror. I see that every morning and every night. It’s the same as posting your project goals and metrics for work: you need to know where you started, where you are going and what your current trend is. That makes it impossible to fool yourself into thinking that either you are making more progress than you are, so you can slack off a bit or almost as bad, that you are making no progress and you might as well give up. If I was only tracking the pounds lost, I wouldn’t have as clear a picture of my progress and there are definitely weeks when I would have lost my motivation.

Renaissance Woman I’m off to the Ren Fest today. I tried on my costume from last year and what a surprise – it doesn’t fit! I had this great bustier vest that made my “peaches” really pop. Might have to buy a new one today in a smaller size! Meanwhile I’ve got a long white dress and a blue scarf that makes me feel cool and somewhat dressed up. I wonder what I did with the garland for my hair? Have a great Saturday and don’t forget to post some questions because I’m having a great time answering them!

Planning – Weekends

5:30 AM – May 25, 2010 I posted before about how I organize my mornings. Today I want to write about the weekends, because the prep I do then, makes it possible to survive and be successful during the week.

Weight Loss Equals Calories in minus Calories Burned As I get closer and closer to goal and further and further from my surgery date, it gets harder to lose. So I have to be careful with how many calories I burn, as well as how many I consume. Spending time planning for my exercise and nutrition is the only way I can keep that happening.

Exercise I try to get one long exercise session in Saturday or Sunday – sometimes both if I’ve missed more than one day during the week. A long morning at the gym and pool, or a long bike ride or a hike for 2-3 hours keeps my fitness level up and helps me with my weight loss goals.

Nutrition: The weekend is planning and prep time for weekday meals. My husband and I make a menu plan, then do the shopping and as much meal prep as we can. A pot of soup, stew or chili on the weekend makes a great meal for Sunday lunch. Plus we eat so much less, that we can usually freeze half for a no-cook night in a few weeks. I can freeze 1/2 cup servings and keep for emergency meals, a quick grab and go lunch for work or an alternative to a dinner that might not work as well for me as it does the boys.

Breakfast for the week starts on Saturdays or Sundays with a batch of Power Protein Oatmeal. I cook a batch of Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut oats and let it sit for 15 minutes while I mix up 3 servings of Inspire Peanut Butter Cookie Protein powder. (Get yours at I stir it into 1/2 cup of sugar free, organic applesauce (just apples and vitamin c for color) along with 3 tablespoons of natural peanut butter. This makes a sort of gloppy paste that I stir into the oatmeal. I put this into a large glass bowl with a tight fitting seal. All week long I scoop out 1/2 cup servings for breakfast and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Instant, no-excuse breakfast with lots of fiber – so important for everyone but particularly for post WLS patients.

Laundry and other chores It is very easy for me to make excuses and come up with reasons why I must do this or that and not exercise.  Not having clothes is one excuse I’ve used in the past, but no longer. On the weekends we will do any laundry my husband hasn’t finished during the week to make sure I have clean workout clothes and work clothes and my son has clothes for camp.

Bag Lady I have bagitis. I love having a bag all packed with everything I need for biking, running, swimming, kickboxing or weight training. I picked up a few bags  at the Goodwill and now have the bags hanging on the hook by the front door for each sport and for getting dressed at work on days I walk or bike to work. My husband volunteered to create laminated bag tags with the contents of each bag, so I can quickly check the contents on the weekend and be ready to go every morning. (I haven’t taken him up on that yet – I am still tweaking my lists – see here for the Bag lists)

Update about Travel Weekends Last weekend we traveled to New Haven for my college reunions, so all this prep had to be done on Thursday before we left. I’m really glad we did, because Tuesday morning it was super hard to get out of bed and get moving. If I had not prepped so much, I would have been able to come up with tons of excuses why I just couldn’t get to the gym that day.

10 Clothing Sizes in 10 Months – April 11, 2010

April 11, 2010 at 8:48 AM I was sitting and enjoying my first big glass of cool, refreshing water for the day and wearing my “new” robe. A lovely soft cotton, with pastel flowers and a leaf pattern. It is light but has a toweling lining which is great for after the shower. I got it for a $1 at a moving sale in my neighborhood yesterday. Brought it home and washed it and dried it and had it warm from the dryer to slip into this morning.  At the same sale, for about $30, I got 4 beautiful linen dresses, a pair of red linen capri pants that are ADORABLE, a boiled wool jacket for fall, a couple of nice skirts and dress pants that need to be dry cleaned (but for $1 each, who cares?) and 6 dress shirts for work that are all cotton, summer weight and beautiful colors. I bought so much stuff (and of course talked the whole time about my surgery, changing my life and exercise and everything) that they kept going in and finding more great stuff to bring out for me. Also found a food dehydrator so I can make some weight loss friendly backpacking and camping food – $10; and cute little glass sundae dishes for making my Greek yogurt snacks look pretty – just $50 cents each.

Second Hand Sally I love yard sales and tag sales and estate sales and garage sales and whatever sale you want to call them. Also the Goodwill, Salvation Army and St Vincent d’Paul’s and Oxfam (when I’m in London I always go to the one on Putney High Street, near my friend’s house). I love scavenging; it’s like a treasure hunt to find a great bargain.

Essential Treasures Losing from a size 26W down to a 14R (and they are getting loose) requires a change in wardrobe, at least every few sizes. Some people wear belts, use pins or have alterations done and keep their old clothes. My plan is to have any article of clothing that is too big out of the house, because if I gain this weight back, I’m going to be naked until I lose it again. So I want all my clothes to fit- maybe even a bit tight until I get to goal. It’s a constant indicator of my progress and if I start to slack off, my clothes feel tight and it becomes impossible to lie to myself. Then I yank myself back on track.

Not There Yet I decided early on that I would not buy new clothes until I figured out what my goal size was going to be. I THOUGHT it would be a size 14, but lo and behold, here I am, a size 14 and I’m not done yet. So I’m pretty glad I didn’t go crazy at the beginning and buy a lot of new size 14’s as goal rewards.

My Weekly “Reward” Trip Every week I spend a couple of hours flipping through the racks and piling up great finds in my cart. I focus on the color, the fabric and feel, but I try not to buy anything that fits now, unless I have a specific need that is coming up (need a suit for an interview, a dress for an event, a swimsuit to start swimming, etc). When I see something in a smaller size that is fabulous, I snag it and put it on the bottom rod in my closet. The top rod has things that fit NOW.

Making them Mine Every week after my shopping spree, I come home, wash and dry everything (some things go to the dry cleaner, but for $5, sometimes I risk the W&D and see what happens.) Once a month (or when my clothes are all getting loose) I have an orgy of trying on EVERYTHING in my closet. If it is at all loose, it goes into the donation pile. Then I hang up the ones that still fit and all the bottom rack (previously too small) come out and I try everything on. Some things are so small, that I try them on, month after month and get to watch as first I can’t get them on, then I can almost get them on, then on, then buttoned and finally – they fit. It helps me see my progress because sometimes I can’t see it. (I weigh 135 pounds less than my highest recorded weight and sometimes I feel fatter than I did at 321 pounds).

Money, Money, Money Over the last  9 months, I have spent an average of $50 a week and have bought clothes in sizes 18W, 16W, 14W, 12W (rare!), 18Reg, 16R, 14R and about two months ago I started buying sizes 12 and 10. I’ve now created 7 complete wardrobes for about $1600. That includes underwear which I just can’t make myself buy that used. Ick! But it seems to last for several sizes, if I buy it really small and then wear it until it is very loose. Jockey outlets – that’s my secret.  Shoes are another story since my feet shrank from 11wide to 8 1/2 medium, and I buy about a pair a month.

The Size of Success For Easter/Passover I wore a size 12 dress. It was a bit snug, but it looked GREAT and I felt wonderful. I just had my trying on spree for the month and have a car load of clothes to donate to the Goodwill, plus two piles of suits and business clothes for Dress for Success. My accountant says I could take a larger deduction for these, based on the replacement cost of the clothes, but I’m delighted to have the Goodwill price for them. (So glad I saved all my receipts.)

The Folly of Youth When I think of the full price Jones New York suits I used to buy at Nordstrom’s for $300+, well, I feel really good about how well I’ve done. Plus, I dress better now than I ever have. Much more color and variety. Goodwill organizes all the clothes by color and I try to stay out of the black unless I need a basic piece like one great pair of black pants, or one great black jacket.

Changing My Brain I was reading in Dr. Oz’s book You – Getting Younger – that doing something like that on a regular basis creates new patterns in your brain that help to re-frame your habits. I think this must be true, because when I got to the point where I thought I had enough size 14s and quit buying, I got really sad. (I was worried that I had created a transference habit, but I stick to my budget, so I’m not so worried any more.) When I started buying the size 12’s and then the 10’s I felt more positive and hopeful about where I was going to end up. And you know what? I bought a couple of size 8 shirts at that yard sale. Who knows?

Weight Loss Therapy

5:39 AM Good morning! Look at that – made it a whole minute earlier today. I’ve got my glass of water, the dogs have been let out and back in to sit on my feet and I’m ready to WRITE!

Weight Loss Therapy Last night was my session with Dr. Rebeca Moore, the weight loss therapist that I’ve been seeing since August of last year – right before my surgery. I knew that I needed a counselor and I wanted her to know me at my pre-surgery weight and attitude. I figured that way she would be able to tell when I was lying to either of us.

Thirty years of therapy I started counseling when I was a very angry and out of control teenager. Despite being as wide as I was tall and one of the smart kids in school, I was always getting into fights. So I got sent to counseling. Not a great fit – she was sweet and gentle and I needed someone to call me on my BS. Plus back then I just followed the family line of everything is fine, what do you mean? Not a lot of progress.

College Therapy I did better with college therapy – got to take advantage of some great minds at Yale New Haven. I worked through a lot of issues and learned how to express my emotions – well, actually, I think I just learned how to FEEL them again. They were just beaten out of me to the point where I refused to allow myself to cry or to feel sadness.

Finally learning Now, though it is still far from normal  or even comfortable for me, I am able to feel and express my emotions much more than I ever have.

Skin on Skin This week’s “practice” is to have four times a day when I’m ‘skin on skin’ with my husband and son. When they wake up (or I get back from the gym), when I leave for work, get home from work and before bed. We already hug and kiss at those times, but I am going to focus on relaxing into it more and not rushing off to the next thing that needs to be done. (That’s one of the down sides of being a project manager – I’m always thinking about the next thing on my list).

Bed Time Nights are the hardest for me, because while I get up at o’dark thirty, the boys are happy to stay up til all hours and then sleep late – which works if you are homeschooled but not if you are trying to get up and write and get to the gym before work. So usually my husband does the bed time ritual. Last night was nice, because with the new camp schedule, everyone is going to bed early. I got to tuck in my son and kiss him goodnight and then fell asleep listening to my husband read the night time story.

Emotional Intelligence While I’ve always realized that my IQ was high and been able to leverage that in school and work, my EQ has always been – lacking! I started working with an Executive Coach last year, Jodie Charlop from Potential Matters. I was frustrated because of my lay off. People that I felt didn’t get as much done were still there, but I was gone.

There’s a Reason for That! Working with her I learned to ask for and get feedback and learned that I’m just not a comfortable person to work with. I’m too demanding on myself and others. I am driven and focused on the to-do list and not on my co-workers. At first I resisted the idea that it was not a waste of time to chat and get to know my fellow cubicle slaves.

Experimenting I tried being more outgoing and getting to know people at my new job. It has made such a difference in how I feel about my job and also, how easy it is to do my job. Yes, I spend more time talking and less time working, but I’m not having to battle the attitude problems that I thought other people had. Well, they had attitude, but it was because I started it! <LOL>

People Matter I’ve always been aware of what my immediate family or my very best friends were doing. I would remember what was going on in their lives and their birthdays and special occasions (eventually). And I’ve always admired my best girlfriends, who remember that for EVERYONE they know. Although I’m not to their level, I feel like I’m making progress and getting to know people. I spend time saying hello and how are you – even on instant messaging.

Impact on Weight Loss I think the way that has helped me with the weight loss is two fold: one, I’m not so stressed at work. Its a much more relaxed environment and I don’t feel the need to stress eat as much. And when I do feel it, I can usually distract myself with a coffee break with one of my team members. Two, because we are friendly, they notice my weight loss, they notice what I’m eating or if I ride my bike to work. So I get a lot of positive feedback.

Fat and Ugly Days Yesterday I was having what Geneen Roth calls a “Fat and Ugly” attack. I got on the scales at the gym and they are so different from mine, that I appeared to have gained four pounds. Now, I know that I haven’t gained four pounds, but because I was using two different scales (who am I kidding? There’s not a scale in Atlanta I don’t step on) I hadn’t really made as much progress as I thought. So I got to work and was feeling all down and someone stopped by to congratulate me on how good I looked. She said she could tell that I was continuing to work out and lose weight and she made me feel great. There’s nothing better than that!

Well, gotta go – Body Sculpting Class this morning – have a transformed day!

Fitting into my new life – mornings

5:40 AM I’m sitting at the computer, sipping my first glass of water and WRITING! I have an hour and then I need to be on my way to the gym. Today is the first day of summer camp, so our schedule is changing.

Spoiled For the last 9 months, I have been really spoiled. My husband quit his job in September to homeschool our son. He’s really taken to the stay-at-home-Dad role. He shops, cooks, does laundry, dishes and errands in addition to taking care of Jacob. Whenever I’ve volunteered to help, he’s always pushed me to focus on just exercising, eating right and getting in my hours at work.

Reality Check But the reality is, he can’t do it all himself and I should be helping (Face it – if I was staying at home, you better believe I’d make him help!). Plus, I’ve got all this new energy.

The Problem The hard part is planning it all and fitting in everything. As a project manager, I believe in having a plan and scheduling. But while I do that consistently at work, I don’t always use my super powers to manage the rest of my life.

My Plan In the next 60 minutes I have to:

  • Finish this post
  • Drink 20 ounces of water (don’t forget to wait 15 minutes before eating)
  • Make lunch and snacks for work, mix up a protein drink for later
  • Eat breakfast
  • Get dressed
  • Get all my gear
  • Get into the car and get to the gym (5 minutes away)

After I work out for an hour and a half (today is a class at the gym, followed by a swim) it should be 8:15 and then I need to:

  • Drive home
  • See my family for the first time all day, as I pick up my son
  • Grab my post-workout protein drink
  • Drive my son to summer camp (today’s the first day)
  • Make it to carpool by 8:45 (again, only 5 minutes away)
  • Then I get to spend a measly 20-30 minutes talking to my son

After carpool, I drive home and get here by 9:15 and have 30 minutes to:

  • Shower and turn myself from grunge girl into professional girl
  • Spend a few minutes talking to my husband while I
  • Pack up my lunch and snacks for the day
  • Grab some paperwork I need to do at lunchtime
  • Leave for work at 9:45 to drive to work at 10 (15 minutes away)

Lucky I’m fortunate that I work in an office that is based in Seattle. Since I live on the East Coast, I work 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (or later) so I have a lot of time in the mornings. I also try my best to find a job close by, so I’m not wasting time in traffic. When I worked at an Atlanta based company (last year, after my surgery, until I got laid off) I had to get up a little earlier, didn’t have school drop off, so I could still get to work by 9am with a little pre-planning, dressing at the gym and lots of help from my husband.

Know Yourself Some days when I slack off and don’t get my morning workout, I will tell myself (and others) that I’ll get it in the evening. But I can count on one hand the times I’ve actually managed to work out at night. It is so easy to come home and eat dinner and sink into the sofa. Which is okay if I’ve worked out already. If not, it takes a major effort (and a lot of nagging from my husband and son) to get me off my butt and out the door or even onto the treadmill next to my bed!

Danger Time That’s why it’s so important to me to have a plan. On Wednesday it will be exactly 9 months since my surgery. The honeymoon period is pretty much over and I know I have to crank up the exercise and focus on what I’m eating if I want to keep losing weight. This is the time when people who have had GBS/WLS start to slide. First they stop losing – hitting a plateau they call it; a stall.  But a stall at this point can turn into a stop and then a slide back towards morbid obesity.

I’m not done yet. I still want to feel good in my body. I’m proud of what I’ve done so far, but there is a lot of fat left that needs to go. And the only way to do that is to “plan my work and work my plan”. So I’m finished with my water, finished with my post – gotta get to the gym!

Planning: Vitamins

Single Pill Pack

Organizing my vitamins

In one of my final meetings with my surgeon, he required that I sign a form indicating that I understood that I would need to take vitamins and supplements for the rest of my life. Making that a habit required a lot of planning and organization.

First Selecting the vitamins that I would take. I chose the Bariatric Advantage products. Some surgeons say that taking the Flintstone chewables is okay, but good grief – they are designed for children, not adults.  I spend about $200 every three months, but I believe it is vital for my health.

Second What should I take? Susan Marie’s Before and After Help site at has a great vitamin list and schedule for when to take what and I’ve adapted that for my health goals:

  • Multivitamin – Bariatric Advantage twice a day
  • Calcium – in addition to the two Bariatric Advantages, I also take a lemon Calcet chewable “for dessert”
  • B12 – I take a shot every month (sometimes more often) and I take the sub-lingual every day
  • Vitamin D – I was taking a generic gel form and 10,000 IU but I recently learned that GBS patients should take it in dry format, so I’ve just ordered that and begun taking the Bariatric Advantage version of that, too
  • Fish oil – Omega 3 and 6
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Vitamin C
  • Juice Plus – I’ve also been trying this, but I don’t think I’m going to continue – don’t really see the advantage

Third Just remembering to take them was hard. I finally resorted to reminders in my Outlook Calendar for the first few months. I still have those set up, but I find that most days I have taken them before the reminder pops up. Weekends are hardest, because I’m not usually sitting in front of my computer. But I’m getting there.

Fourth I’ve tried several solutions for organizing the pills. I finally settled on the E-Z Dose packets. I labeled 7 of them for Monday – Saturday. I fill them up on Sunday (or sometimes Monday before I leave for work) and put them next to my desk at work. On weekends I carry them in my pocket until I’ve taken them.

Six weeks – terrifying but wonderful – October 6, 2009

October 6, 2009 It has been 6 weeks today since my RNY and I feel wonderful. I’ve lost 30 pounds (I was really impressed with the woman who lost 40 in 5!!! AMAZING! Way to go!) and I’ve dropped three dress sizes. SO…I took all my size 24, 26, 28 and bigger clothes to the consignment shop. Sadly, they would only take 6 pieces, so I turned that into a blessing for someone else and donated them to the flood victims in West Georgia. And I’ve just decided that I’m taking all my size 22’s this weekend. They’re feeling a little baggy!

I feel so free, but a little terrified because what I’m saying is that I’m not going back. In fact – I’m buying size 18, 16 and 14 at the goodwill and clearance racks and filling my closet with things that I’m shrinking into. Its fun to try everything on every single weekend and realize that something that fit a week ago is too big!

Here are my other NSV’s for the last 6 weeks:

– I can walk 3 mph on my treadmill for 47 minutes – some of that at a 4% incline
– I rode bikes with my husband and son for the very first time – almost 5 miles around Stone Mountain
– I can touch my toes and put my hands on the floor
– I wore a red, fitted top and got compliments on how great I looked
– I’ve exercised 70 out of the last 80 days
– I was late to a job interview because my suit pants fell off me and I had to wash another pair! (I got the job, though!!!)
– The belt I bought for my “goal” outfit that didn’t even meet, now notches on the first loop. I thought it would be MONTHS.
– The clothes at the Talbot’s women’s store were all too big except for some petite size x camisoles (on sale for $13 – bought four!) so I tried on clothes in the regular store for the first time. The size 18’s fit great, the 16s were too snug, but by the time they go on on the clearance rack, they should fit fine!
– I bought one new article of clothing that wasn’t on sale: a gorgeous JJill sweater in a large. Not at a specialty store. Not an xlarge, 2x, 3x or 4x. A large.
– I sat in a chair in our dining room with arms that I’ve never been able to fit in!
– My son and I are taking walks together after I get home from work and I’m not avoiding the hilly routes
– My blood sugar has dropped (without meds) from over 200 in the morning to 107.
– I went to a makeover and have started doing my hair and makeup everyday. I feel like a real girl, maybe for the first time ever.

On the still need to work on it list:
– Still haven’t worked my vitamins into my routine – not sure what the block is there
– At least once a week I’m eating too fast and too much when I don’t pay attention (and boy does that hurt!)
– There are days when I lie to myself and say I’m going to exercise later, but don’t
– I keep forgetting to tote my water bottle around with me – still not a habit
– I need to be doing more than walking and biking and getting back to my wii fit yoga, strength training and balance games. (Its broken and my husband keeps promising to fix it – can I blame that one on him? Nah!)
– Still getting too many carbs some days and gaining, then drop again when I pay attention again. Sigh. Remember – its a tool! Not a magic wand!

Proud member of the Century Club – February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010 I got back from vacation last night – skiing in Colorado – and this morning hopped on the scale to see if I lost any weight.
Lo and behold I was at 206! 100 pounds lost forever and my life has changed so much for the better.

To continue on my journey towards reaching a healthy weight, I’m training for a sprint triathlon in June. I will be raising money for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and their Cancer Center.

March 2010 - Skiing