Weight Loss

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sushi time

Yesterday we went out for sushi. It's the first time in a long time. I had a little bit of miso and some salmon sashimi. It was wonderful. I had a nibble of udon soup and that was too much after the sashimi. I regretted those last two nibbles. But the sushi was great. Lucy didn't eat as much as usual. She loved the salmon (yes, we let her eat sushi) and had a lot of miso and a little udon.

I've still been drinking a lot of protein shakes and probably will for a while. They actually keep me satisfied for longer than solid (mushy) food does. I'm doing great with protein, and better with water than before. I must say that protein shakes have gotten better than they were in 2007. There are still plenty of yucky ones, bug some are quite good. I've been experimenting with added flavors too: Torani syrups (SF of course), flavored creamers, and flavor extracts. So far Unjury is still good (better than before actually) and I like Oh Yeah RTD, Premier RTD, and Trutein.

My weight is slowly dropping. I'm not cleared to exercise yet, beyond walking, but I should be soon. I've lost 20 now, which I am pleased with.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I think I posted somewhere about my new Fitbit One.  Did I?  I got it about 2 weeks ago.  I wear it inside my bra, every day.  It tracks steps, flights of stairs, calories expended, and sleep time and times awakened.  It updates via bluetooth (although not on my iPhone 4, only the 4S, 5, and iPad 3 or newer...but I update either by iPad or my PC) and tracks it all nicely on their dashboard.  I think it is pretty motivating for increasing activity, and I like the sleep tracker as well.  It also can sync with My Fitness Pal (my name: gkeyt), which is handy.  The little gadget is about the size of a Bit o Honey candy (remember those?) and slips into a silicone clip for day wear.  You put it in a neoprene wrist band for sleep.  They will have a new one, the Flex, coming out in April.  It is more similar to the Nike Fuel band, you wear it on your wrist like jewelry and you can shower with it, so you don't have to take it off.  I am kind of exited to see if it works even better than the One.

I decide I liked this setup enough that I splurged for a Fitbit Aria scale.  It wirelessly transfers weight and body comp to Fitbit, and can automatically detect up to 8 individual users in a household (on the same wireless network).  Only trouble is, I weighed myself this evening and my weight read 4 lbs higher than this morning on my old scale.  Doh!  I knew my old scale was probably a bit falsely low, since it is always somewhat lower than any other scale I use.  (And thus, the only scale I would use, of course.)  The weight on the Aria was almost exactly the same as at my doctor's office about 2 hours before, so I think it is pretty accurate.  I'm not going to adjust my ticker widget to match, I'm just going to wait until they match before I start changing it.  I need that mental boost of seeing that lower weight, even if I know my new scale is tracking differently.  Weird, I know.  They will match soon!

It does seem like a nifty scale.  I don't know how accurate the body comp is, but I get the sense that it isn't that far off.  It is more important to track the trend than to have it exactly accurate.  It was very easy to set up, and it's really beautiful.  I got the white one, but there is also black.  It is pricey, for sure.  Is it worth it? To me, I think it is.  I don't have to do anything to update the info in my profile. It gives a lot of good information, and everyone in the family can use it. And it motivates me a little more.  You get little badges on your account with each 5 lb lost, and you can set goals etc. Simple stuff, but motivating.  I find the One does help me be more active, because I'll do more stairs at night just to get in my 10 minimum for the day.  Our house is 3 floors so it isn't hard to do.  (I just went and did 3 more floors.  :)

One really great thing about these products is that at least for me, they worked right out of the gate.  No complex or painful setup. Their analytics are still pretty rudimentary, but I think as they get more users and more feedback it will get more complex.  I'm pretty impressed with the products now, though. And I love that they have teamed up with My Fitness Pal, which was just rated the #1 fitness app for weight loss.  (I have received zero compensation for this, I bought my own gadgets, I just happen to like them.)

Anyone out there using Fitbit? What do you think? Or are you using some other tracker out there?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Drink yer water

I saw the NP for my 2 week post op followup on Thurs.  According to their scale I had lost 14 lbs (I personally use my own scale for my own tracking) and she was happy about that.  I had to admit that it is very hard for me to get in my water now that I am back at work.  It's always been hard--I'm just not good about drinking water ever (I think it's years of developing my "nurse bladder"--never let your bladder get full, because you never know when you will get to pee again) and now that I have a tiny stomach, I can't drink water quickly.  Add to that spending all but about 1 hour of my 10+ hour shift in a room where everything is sterile and I can't have water, and it is really hard to get the water in.  The NP wasn't happy about this, and told me she would write a note for me to take another day off work to stay home and drink water.  But I just don't want to use any more benefit time than absolutely necessary.  So I told her I only had one more day to work, and then I had 4 days off, so I would work on getting in the water on my own.

We talked about IV fluids...I'm definitely not going to the ED for them if I need them.  I'm willing to go to the clinic if needed, but I am going to try to get it in on my own, of course.  I could do it myself, but that gets into dicey territory of stealing from my employer (IV fluid and angiocath stuff) which sounds minor but can be a big problem.  Many a healthcare employee has done similar, at different hospitals I have worked at, and gotten into lots of trouble.  I'd rather avoid that.  It's just best to stay home and drink water.

But, last night was the "Christmas" party for my other employer.  (They scheduled it well after the holidays)  Everyone was there--about 25 CRNAs and their spouses and partners, plus management and owners from the East Coast.  Everyone came because they do a gift exchange and last year they gave someone a trip to Kona, HI.  (Accommodations only, but still.)  This year the gifts ranged from NBA tickets and gift certificates to local restaurants, to local getaways, to 2 separate trips to HI.  We got a "Wine Country Tour" and overnight Romance Package stay at a local hotel (McMenamins Hotel Oregon in McMinnville, OR).  Nice trip...the Wine Country tour isn't much use to us, since hubby doesn't drink and I have a tiny stomach...but we should be able to trade it in for another night or something.

Eating and drinking at the party was interesting.  I had one glass of white wine (local Pinot Gris, didn't want purple teeth) and nursed it most of the night.  Drank a couple tall glasses of water as well.  I drink about twice a year these days, and one glass was plenty for me.  I had a couple bites of appetizer, and had salmon, which was very good but I gave 80% of it to my husband, who also had filet mignon.  I thought I might feel awkward eating next to nothing, but as it turned out, no one really seemed to notice.  There was plenty of drinking going on, so no one paid much attention to what I was or was not eating...which is a good general rule in life, other people notice what we are doing a lot less than we think they do.  It was a nice party, but since I only knew maybe 20% of the people there, and my hubby knew next to no one, it was still a work function.

Life is turning out to be surprisingly normal with the sleeve.  I work on eating protein first (and usually only that) and not drinking with meals, and things are pretty normal.  I am down another 1.4 lbs.  I can probably attribute that to getting my water in...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Shake It Up

I dropped another pound...yay!

When I was discharged from the hospital, the surgery fellow told me to focus on getting my fluids in, and stick with the prescribed diet, but not worry about exercise yet, beyond walking, or protein. I'm getting close to 3 weeks, so I'm working on the protein now.  Today I got a lot: 80 g.  I am supposed to get 60-80 per day, so that is good.

With the band, I was supposed to get all my protein without shakes, because the band doesn't work with liquids, only solid foods.  But this is a new thing, and shakes are important, especially at this stage.  It takes me half an hour to drink a 4 oz shake.  I'm trying lots of samples--there are so many new products since the last time I was doing this.  Some of them are even pretty good, and I'm experimenting with the SF Torani syrups (almond is good) and PB2.  Anything to mask that protein powder taste.

I read my post-op diet more closely, and learned something good: I can have coffee! They tell me to limit it to 16 oz a day.  I am back to my old Click! shake in the morning, which I do like.  And today I had a little time in the middle of my day before I had to relieve someone in another part of the hospital, so I treated myself to a 12 oz Americano with cream...sooo good.  It took about an hour to drink it.  It was wonderful.

I am looking at going back to the gym soon...I prefer to exercise outdoors but it has been so cold the last few weeks, I can't stand it.  Our gym is less than a 5 min walk away, and they have childcare...it's a total no-brainer.  Sheesh.

Tomorrow is my 2 week post op visit!  I'm kind of excited, is that weird?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

2 weeks

I went back to work on Tuesday, 5 days ago, and haven't had a chance to blog since then. This weekend we went up to Seattle for our belated Christmas with my family and we got home this evening. Whew. It was fun,though. My brother's youngest is a daughter who is 10 months older than Lucy, and after they get over their shyness they always have fun playing together.

Going back to work was tiring the first day, but I got back in the swing pretty quickly. I forget often that I had surgery at all. But it is very challenging to get my fluids in at work. At the GI clinic it is a little easier because I can keep a water bottle outside the treatment room and sip between cases. At the hospital it is much harder. I only have 2 breaks and a lunch, and rarely have much time between cases. When I eat lunch I can't drink, so it doesn't leave much time for the fluids.

I still find that I am having a hard time stopping eating before I am full. "Full" is now much more like other people described the band. When I am full, that's it, period. One more teaspoon, and I will be regurgitating at least some food. Gross, I know. But my stomach and brain aren't in sync, so I have to learn to be more careful about my portion and not overdo it and feel over-full.

The scale has stayed exactly the same for over a week, to the 1/10th of a pound. Weird. I know a "stall" at this point is common, but it still sucks. I'm ready to see some progress.

I'm starting to move to purées now, because it's still a week before my post op check up and I'm in week 3 now. I'm not fully into them, though, because I'm really not hungry and no one has told me I'm supposed to advance yet. I rarely have the sensation I recognize as hunger, and when I do it is often when I wouldn't expect it, like now, just 15 min after eating a snack of 1 slice of lunch meat (which took over 30 min to finish). This morning we had breakfast at the restaurant of our hotel. Hubby had taken our daughter back to our room to get her blanket, and the food arrived while they were gone. I looked at it all--breakfast, my favorite-- and realized I had no real desire to eat any of it. It was quite nice actually.

I'm doing other stuff besides waiting for the scale to budge. I am planning this year's garden, and hand-quilting a quilt. I've made many quilts but this is my first attempt at hand-quilting a large one. It is going to take forever...but it is fun, nonetheless. I did all the piecing by machine. That took forever, too. But I think it will be nice in the end.

Monday, January 7, 2013

POD #8

I am really getting the urge to chew something now.  I'm not very hungry--less than the first few days for sure.  But I want to chew something.  The liquids stage gets very boring.

I got my fancy new teas a couple days ago and I'm enjoying the variety and the help getting in my fluids.  It's easier with tea.  I haven't had coffee in about 4 days, I guess, and it's going fine.  Although I think I will need some tomorrow when I go back to work.  We'll see.

I also got my FitBit in the mail on Saturday.  So far I am still kind of getting used to it.  I'm not taking a lot of steps right now, I think about 2500 yesterday.  Not surprising since I am still recovering a bit.  It tells you steps, flights of stairs, calories expended, and gives sleep data if you remember to put it on your wrist.  I did remember last night, but I haven't looked at the uploaded data yet.  I can see how you can easily lose it.  It's about the size of a Bit o'Honey candy.  (Remember those?)

I'm going to need more exercise this week.  It's rainy outside now, but maybe we can go for a puddle walk today.

Our big excitement this weekend was buying a freezer.  Let me explain.  When we first moved into this house, it was lovely in almost all areas, but the laundry room was hideous.  And there was no obvious place in the house for a big freezer, so the little half freezer in the fridge was super packed.  I like to be able to freeze leftovers, and buy packages of frozen stuff at Costco to have on hand.  We don't have a garage.  Years ago the garage was opened into the basement and the basement was finished, so the driveway opens via sliding glass doors into the carpeted, finished basement.  Anyway.  I decided I wanted a freezer when we bought the house.  The laundry room was the only logical place for one.  It is fairly small, and it had salvaged cabinets all around (I presume they were salvaged from the kitchen remodel).  They were those prefab "oak" cabinets, circa 1985 or so.  And the laundry room was painted a horrible butter yellow.  It was really depressing.  So the plan was, rip out two cabinets on one wall, paint the whole thing, and put a freezer in.  We've been working on this since last spring, when we first ripped out the cabinets and sent them to the dump.  Hubby painted the walls a periwinkle color, and we (he) primed the cabinets and painted them white.  The cabinets alone took about a month.  I got black rubber "puzzle" mat flooring, like you sometimes see at a gym, because the floor occasionally gets wet if it rains a lot outside (or the water heater or washing machine leak) and I didn't want to put something permanent down.  (It is a concrete floor that had been painted over with latex paint; the paint is peeling up, and to repaint it with a proper, epoxy-type concrete paint would be a huge job, and there is no ventilation in that room. So, no.)  We finally got the freezer on Friday, and it was delivered on Saturday.  Yay! The project is nearly done!  Just need the rest of the flooring to arrive and it will be a nice place to do the laundry in, plus we have all the freezer space we need, we've relocated our dry pantry in there, and it's all (fairly) organized.  Whew.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

One week...

So I am one week post op.  My weight has not gone down in a few days.  I'm not stressed about it though...I think I would be if I hadn't had experience with the band.  I know how much I am eating every day, there really is no way to NOT lose weight.  I guess I've burned up my glycogen and my body is gearing up for the next phase, which probably means I should get more active.

I am starting to experience a little food grief.  Not regret about the surgery, just like something is missing...food I enjoyed.  It's Saturday morning, and we always have gone out to breakfast at least one of the weekend mornings.  We are big breakfast people.  (We even had a Sunday brunch wedding reception.)  So when my hubby made Lucy pancakes this morning, I didn't have a strong craving to eat them or have trouble with them eating pancakes, but I did just feel a bit of grief that I'm not joining them.  But then, I realize this is for the short term.  In the future I can have an occasional pancake, although I can't imagine being able to eat more than a couple bites.  Or maybe I won't be able to eat pancakes, but there will be some other breakfast food I can eat and enjoy.  Just a much smaller quantity.

It definitely will take some getting used to, not being able to eat as much as my mind wants.  I went to Crate and Barrel yesterday and bought some teeny little food prep bowls (holding about 2 or 3 oz each) to eat from, and some tiny spoons.  They do help.  I tend to put more in a normal bowl than I think I am, and it helps my brain get used to what I am doing.  I did that with the band when I was about this far out, but it didn't work as well because I still had an essentially preop stomach--no fill in the band, no restriction.  This time, that ounce or 2 that I put in the bowl is really all I am going to eat for at least 30 min.  But my mind wants to keep eating even though I know my stomach won't let me.

For the most part I feel pretty good today.  My incisions are a little itchy but not sore.  I had been holding my "port" incision a lot over the last several days--it was quite sore yesterday for some reason.  I don't feel the need for that today.  Food and fluids are going down a little more smoothly.  I'm sleeping better (as well as can be expected with a 2 year old that still wakes up during the night).

I got my Fitbit in the mail today.  I thought it might help motivate me...let's hope it isn't just one of another series of gadgets that gets lost or forgotten. It looks pretty neat, very small (and easy to lose).  Makes me feel like I should get off my butt and go walk around now.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Post op day 5 is almost in the bag...my sleeve and I are getting to know each other. I stuck to my full liquids as directed and got in more fluids by sticking to herbal tea. The warm tea goes down easier, even if it takes an hour to drink half a cup. I spent some time feeling hungry, and some time feeling very full. And I had several hours feeling just fine, although the head hunger still toyed with me.

I had my first regurgitation episode. Forgive me for going into this a bit. First, I heard about this with the band all the time. This is really what the band is most famous for. This afternoon I was hungry and got out some pudding. I ate a bite, put it aside for a while until I felt like another bite, etc. I did this for a while, and then I ate a little when I felt full already. After a few minutes it just slowly came back...not forcefully, just slowly. That was my limit. About 1 ounce. I put everything away and was thankful to know what happens when I don't pay attention.

This never happened to me with the band! I can see how if it happens when you've done something wrong, it can be a good thing...and if it happens all the time, especially when you are making "good" food choices, it would be an absolute no-go.

Tonight I decided to make the split pea soup I was saving the hambone from Christmas dinner for. I've never made split pea soup before, and my mom always made it vegetarian. She is a good cook, but there really is no substitute for ham in split pea soup. I googled some recipes and found that most of them were almost identical. I made it and it is awesome.

Why did I cook just 5 days after VSG surgery? Well, it's soup, for one thing. I can have soup, puréed and thinned. For another, most of the stuff on the menu suggestion for the full liquid diet is "fat-free, sugar-free" which means, if you follow that entirely, that you are eating entirely processed foods. I can deal with some of that for the short term, but I really wanted some of my diet to be real food with actual nutritional value. Especially since I have eaten a sum total of 5 ounces of liquid "food" today, it meant something to have some food that was real. I use SF jello, but regular pudding. I opt to leave sweetener out of tea entirely rather than use Splenda because that stuff just isn't any better for you than sugar. I hope that one day my tastes might change enough that I don't need sweetener in almost anything, but I'm not really holding out hope for that.

I puréed some of the soup, put it aside for me (my family gets the glorious chunky version) and spooned out 2 oz for dinner. I slowly ate 1 oz and put the rest back. Then I realized I probably should have had a little less. Then I remembered that I still had to take my evening pills. Lesson learned, I should probably do that part first. Now I'm sitting up with heartburn.

I am learning. It won't always be this unforgiving, for better or worse. But I'm doing fine, and excited that this seems to work way better that the band already.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The bloats

Ugh, I hate the bloated feeling! But, I'm not in pain or nauseated, so I can suck it up. Definitely a low-energy day today though. I've been having a private Lost marathon (NO spoilers! LOL).

I'm trying to decide if I should take more time off from work. I'm currently scheduled to return on Monday. I just don't know about my energy level yet.


I just reviewed my posts from my first week post-lap band surgery.  I've lost about twice as much weight as I had by post op day 4 then, despite starting out slightly heavier then.  I don't know what that means, but it makes me happy.  I am down 16 lbs today.

I've been resting a lot, going for a long walk once a day, otherwise not doing all that much.  My belly is a lot less sore than a few days ago.  I haven't taken anything for pain since leaving the hospital (unless you count the 1/4 cup of coffee to treat the caffeine headache).  The hardest thing is not being able to pick my daughter up, which really upsets her.  My husband is around to do the things that require picking her up.

I'm glad I have been through this once before with the band.  This part of the post-op process is easier than it was when I was banded.  I'm still hungry intermittently, but not as much as with the band.  It's easier for me to stick with the prescribed diet as a result.

I'm having just as much trouble with getting fluids down as I did back then, though.  I am just not one to drink so much water.  But I'm going to drink more tea and see if I can get more that way.  I ordered some new teas from Tea Forte--they are a little pricey, but I love their tea so much.