Weight Loss

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Thursday, June 27, 2013


This makes intuitive sense, but it's a well-written article about why eating high-glycemic foods might drive food cravings.  Thank you NY Times.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

6 months

So I am about 6 months post op.  My weight loss hovers between 40 and 43 lbs.  I feel like I should have lost a bit more by now, even though this is how I have always lost weight, and it is more than I had lost by this time with the band...It's hard to let go of this idea.  I think I am doing okay.  Sometimes it is easier to realize this than others.

So where do I stand? How am I doing with the rules of WLS? Let's see.  These might not all be "official" rules but they are what I try to stick to.

No drinking with meals: I usually adhere to this.  Eating out is when this is hardest, because I usually have a beverage in front of me, whereas at home I just don't have one there.  The other exception is if I am trying to eat and get some coffee into me in a short time, or if I eat but I also need to take medication, which doesn't happen too often.  This one I do pretty well with.

Eat protein first:  Yes, I am good with this one.  I still mostly eat protein, mainly because of this rule.

Eat only when hungry: This is much harder than it used to be, for two reasons.  First, when I am working I have no control over when my meals occur.  In the operating room, I obviously have to remain with my anesthetized patient at all times, unless someone comes to relieve me for a break.  Most of the time, you take a break when one is offered, because there are a lot of people who need breaks, and you may not get another chance if you turn one down.  So even if I am not hungry, I need to eat or risk not getting another chance and getting too hungry.  Second, my child.  I am frequently preparing her dinner when I am not at all hungry.  I feel badly not eating dinner when she eats; our family meals are weird enough as is.  So sometimes I eat a bit when she is eating, but I often regret it.

No grazing: This one is hard, especially when eating with my family.  I am the worst at picking at food in front of me after I am full but my family is still eating.  This is especially bad when we are at a restaurant.  If I (or my hubby) am thinking about it, I'll move the food out from in front of me, or pack up the remains in a box.  But many a time I have stopped eating when full, then sabotaged myself with one or two bites too many after I had already decided I was full.  This is probably the hardest.

Plan what you eat: I do this well when I am working and I pack all my food for the day.  On the weekends I have a harder time.  I don't routinely track all my food anymore.  I did for 5 months, but didn't think I need to do it forever.  There are differing opinions on this.  Some believe you always have to track, forever.  Others use it as a tool to stay or get back on track.  I think the latter makes sense.

Those are the ones I can think of right now.  There is room for improvement, but overall I am doing okay.

I think the biggest thing for me, overall, is eating slowly and not eating one bite too many.  The two go together.  I am a very fast eater, which has always worked against me.  It takes a lot of effort to eat more slowly.  I am noticing something interesting about satiety for me now that has changed since I was sleeved.  If I pay attention, I can stop eating after a small portion of food and feel comfortably full.  After about 10 minutes, I frequently feel quite full (assuming I haven't eaten anything more).  In another 10 minutes I feel HUNGRY.  Like stomach-growling, gnawing hunger.  Not the worst hunger feeling, but a feeling that I have always made go away by eating.  It seems like a hunger feeling, but if I eat anything at this point I will regret it.  If, instead, I wait...the hungry feeling goes away fairly quickly, and I feel satiety.  I didn't have this experience with the band, or before.  And it's a trap!  I can't even tell you how many times I have fallen into the trap, eaten something, and regretted it--either throwing something up, or feeling very uncomfortably full.  It has taken an embarrassingly long time to realize this.

So there it is, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I can still reach my goal in the next 6 months.  It will have to involve more exercise, though.  Right now I am sticking to walks because I can easily fit them in with my daughter.  I might try adding body-weight strength training at home for toning.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


So maybe it goes without saying, but mostly protein diet + iron supplementation = unhappy intestines.  Ugh.  This wreaks havoc with the scale as well as the belly.  I am actually playing around with the iron supplementation.  I don't want to end up with IV iron again, because it is expensive and inconvenient.  I was taking daily iron after the IV supplementation, then about a month ago I took a week off from the oral iron (lovely!).  Now I am trying every  other day.  My ferratin levels are fine and my hematocrit is 40 (and feels much better than 30 did last summer), so maybe every other day will be easier on my intestines.  Plus fiber.

Weight loss still happens in fits and starts.  I'm still loving my Fitbit Flex (although it doesn't have an altimeter so doesn't track stairs, which I miss) and when I get lots of steps I still lose weight.  It's time to add resistance training, as my body fat has not gone down very much, which means I am losing too much lean mass (story of my life).  I've started my gym membership again but it just doesn't fit my crazy life like walking with Lucy in the stroller does.  So I should experiment with body-weight training at home.  Note I said "should".  Ha ha.

Hubby is gone again...going to treatment for hopefully the recommended length of time this time, instead of being cut short like in previous attempts.  Spring is the time for meltdowns.  It's exhausting.

So it's just Lucy and I...but it is really much easier now that she is older.  I still have the daycare shuffle in the mornings (plus the expense of that, which is huge) but otherwise, she's such an easygoing child.  She does miss Daddy a lot, but she can talk with him on the phone and can understand simple explanations about where he is.

Summer is here early in Portland.  We usually can't count on summer weather until after July 4, but we had a pretty hot May (as high as 90s) and it's been 60-80 degrees for most of June so far.  I'm very excited about my garden this year.  I'm doing a lot more on my patio this year, since it's generally the warmest part of the yard.  I have half-whisky barrel planters with strawberries and cukes (first time growing either), another with lettuce, and my 3 tomato planters are doing well.  I have a willow stump on the side of my patio that I had cut down when we first bought the house.  That is covered with potted flowers: we can't dig it or grind it out because it will wreck the patio (and possibly the foundation), and the only way I could kill it, regretfully, was with Round Up; nothing else worked to keep it from sprouting the way willows do.  So I can't plant anything there for at least a few years.  I replanted the shady side of the yard this spring, and love my hostas, bleeding hearts and hellebores (my new hydrangeas will hopefully bloom this summer too).  And I put in new raised beds in the back part of the yard, with carrots, pumpkins and sunflowers.  The ugly retaining wall of doom has some peas and beans planted in front of it, hopefully those will take off and cover it.  And finally, my herb garden is bursting, and I have put in some hardy fucshias, some rhubarb, lavender, and will plant zucchini in the last square feet left.  (Zucchini grow like weeds in the NW, I am fairly confident they will do fine there.)  Oh, and watermelons!  I found a variety that was developed in northern Idaho that is supposed to be good in cooler, shorter growing seasons like ours.  I think it will be a hot summer, so it should do fine in its hot corner.  I made a new planter for it, out of a plastic Rubbermaid wheelbarrow whose axle broke.  I think that will stay pretty warm.

I'm so pleased to finally have a space to garden in.  This is our third summer in this house, and I am still learning what does well in different parts of the yard.  We have a big, beautiful covered brick patio that is the centerpiece of the house, and we spend the whole summer out there, so it is really great to have so much gardening space to play with.  And!  My wonderful neighbor (the one who was our realtor for the purchase of the house) took the fence between our two back yards and made a fence out of old doors that she collected.  She just did it at the end of the summer last year.  It is just fantastic, very Pinterest.  One of the doors slides open between our yards so our girls can play together (they are a little less than 2 years apart, and Lucy adores their daughter).  I need to put up some planters and hangers on my side and grow stuff on it.  It is fantastic!  I just wish the other side was like that too, but I saw how much work it took her to do that, and I am pretty sure I don't have that in me.  It's all I can do to keep up with my family and my garden.

I love summertime best of all.  :)