Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pregnancy Update: Weeks 26-28

just got a new video uploaded. Stop by and check it out!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Big News...

It's been a while since I've posted on this blog and I apologize for the long break. Things have settle down a bit in my life and I put this part of my journey on the back burner while I walked my path in life. I have to admit, things were pretty quiet as I just lived my life.


Life changed for me in a big way...

My partner and I, because boyfriend sounds sooooooooooo 10th grade, made a decision that would change our lives forever. And in the process, bring a piece of my former journey from the backburner. As a GB patient, my pregnancy journey is a bit different than most and I'd honestly planned to document more, but some bumps on the road have slowed me down. We are going to discuss all of this and more. For now though, I wanted to just sit down and say hello.

I hope you'll say hello back and take this journey with me. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snack time

I know…we talk about food a lot on this blog.

Hey, just cuz I had gastric don’t mean I don’t still love food.

Anyways…I want to talk to you about snacks. Before gastric, I was definitely a grazer. I would eat breakfast…then a snack…another snack…then lunch…then another snack and another…and so on. Non of my meals were all that big, but by constantly grazing, I was able to pack on the calories without realizing what was happening. Okay…that’s only part of the issue, but it’s the part we are talking about now.

Just because I now have a schedule does not meant that I have given up snacking. It just means in all honestly…those snacks are now meals. All my gastric bypassers will understand that statement…even my lap band peeps will get it.

With that said, there are some snacks that I must have…at all times. I can’t explain, but I can almost never get tired of them.

#1 - cheese

#2 - nuts

#3 – pretzels

#4 – hummus

Those are, hands down, my favorite snacks that I can turn to all the time.

What are your favorite snacks?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Where I’m from

When talking about food and our relationship with it, we can not leave out our history, or where we started.

While I was born and spent most of my life in Germany, My family is from the south. Mother is from SC, daddy is from WV by way of VA and other members are from various other southern states.

What does this mean?

Well, for the most part, it means we love food. Food is an integral part of our lives. From weddings, to funerals, to family gatherings…food is important. Almost as important as the event itself. recipes are handed down from family member to family member, sometimes closely guarded like Fort Knox. My father has a BBQ sauce recipe that you would have to give up kidney before he gave it to you. Food is life and a huge part at that. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, New Years…you name the holiday and I can bet that there will be spread for that will make your eyes pop.

Other southerners, true southerners, will understand what I’m saying. There is love in every bite and pride as well. Some people compete in sports, southerners compete in food. Who’s got the best mac n cheese, who’s got the best biscuits. You get the picture.

This has lead me to have a very full appreciation for food. I do not eat to live. I live to eat. I enjoy every aspect of food…for the most part. I can still eat sausage and beef even though I’ve seen it being butchered. That would be the WV in me. I know what is is and isn’t in a hot dog and I still enjoy a chili dog. Very little can turn me off food, though there are foods that turn me off. Chitterlings top that list…every time. Food is the easiest way to cheer me up and put my mind at ease.

Whether or not you can trace my weight to this food history, I’m not sure. I know there are other southerners out there that do not have the same weight issues that I do, so perhaps not. I just know that food was never really the enemy in my house. Perhaps my love of it was too much love, but it was not the foods fault.

So I want to know…what is your food history? How is food viewed in your home?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dirty little secrets…

We can be honest with each other right? I mean…this is the space for us to let down our hair and just be free to discuss what is on our minds. No fear or shame here. Just us…being honest.

I want to talk about eating disorders…compulsive overeating. If this is not a topic you want to discuss, feel free to leave this post. Next week won’t be so controversial. For the rest of you…let’s get to the nitty gritty.

Compulsive overeating is defined as:

Individuals suffering from compulsive overeating are obsessed with food and typically eat when they are not hungry. They devote excessive amounts of time and thought to food and secretly plan to eat or fantasize about doing so. Compulsive overeaters engage in frequent episodes of uncontrolled eating, or binge eating. The term binge eating means eating an abundance of food while feeling that one's sense of control has been lost. People who engage in binge eating may feel frenzied, consuming between 5,000 and 15,000 calories in one binge. As a result, some will cancel their plans for the next day because they "feel fat". Bingeing in this way is generally followed by feelings of guilt and depression.

Unlike individuals with bulimia nervosa, compulsive overeaters do not attempt to compensate for their bingeing with purging behaviors, such as fasting, laxative use, or vomiting. When compulsive overeaters overeat primarily through bingeing and experience feelings of guilt after their binges, they can be said to have binge eating disorder (BED).

In addition to binge eating, compulsive overeaters may also engage in grazing behavior, during which they return to pick at food throughout the day. These actions result in an excessive overall number of calories consumed, even if the quantities eaten at any one time may be small.

I will be the first to admit, before WLS, I did this. On a regular basis. When I was sad…angry especially…feeling bored…any excuse really would set me off on a path of eating everything in my way. I knew exactly what was going on, but at times…felt that it was the only to quiet the way I was feeling at the time. Feelings were hard for me to process…can still be at times, but before they were just a nightmare. I had no real way of dealing with them. I didn’t want to talk to people about them, not that I really felt as if people would listen. My family is not the most open when it comes to these things, so I always felt locked in. eating…was a way to express my feelings without having to actually say them out loud. It all made sense to me and I’m sure it makes sense to thousands of others out there.

There are times I can remember that I used to be just ravenous…thinking about what meal was coming next, what I wanted and how I could go about getting it. I would take food to my room when my parents weren’t looking so that I could save it for later. There were times that I would shovel the food into my mouth so fast, I would nearly choke, just so that people wouldn’t know that I was eating…again. I was both defiant in my binging and shameful. An odd mix that became harder and harder to separate when it came to food. My weight was climbing and I was still eating like the food was going somewhere. My body was begging me to change. I started grazing because in my mind…that meant I wasn’t actually eating as much as I thought I was.

Makes sense right?

So the reality of the matter, I was eating my emotions. I would get pissed off, run to 7-11 and get a pint of ice cream, chips, donuts…anything surgery or crunchy and just eat until I stopped thinking about whatever it was that pissed me off or made me want to cry or just…anything that made me feel strongly one way or another. I found out my husband was cheating on me and I gained 20 lbs…Found out I had high blood pressure and needed meds, gained 10 lbs. Found out I could develop diabetes…gained 5 lbs…Tried to get pregnant and found it harder than when I was younger, gained 10 lbs…life was getting out of hand quickly and I found my control slipping. I needed something to get my life back under some kind of control.

WLS did not solve this issue by any means. It was simply a tool that helped me see what I needed to do. I started keeping a journal of my feelings. When I felt angry or sad or worried…I wrote down what I was feeling. I remembered my times in high school and the books of poems I used to write before boys took over my dreams. I went back to that. I learned to speak my mind,to tell others what I was thinking. I had to because there was no way I could go back down that hole again.

Do I have slip ups still? I would be lying to you if I said no. They aren’t as bad as they used to be. I now binge on vegetables and other healthy things. But bingeing is still bingeing and I have to stop myself and think about why I’m doing it. What am I trying to cover up with a handfuls of nuts and cheese? In those moments, I turn back to my journal to dissect what is wrong and how I can fix it, or at least give it less precedent over my life.

What I want to know is: What are your experiences with overeating and bingeing? Have you worked past it to any degree? Have you figured out your triggers? Let’s talk and have a conversation about things.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Plastic surgery…?

With gastric bypass comes a lot of changes. One of them is flabby skin on the arms. Now to be truthful, my skin is not as flabby as others I have seen, but it’s enough to cause me some discomfort. Not so much physical, but more of a self-conscious discomfort. I tend to wear cardigans or something to cover my arms because they are the biggest clue to how much weight I have actually lost. Would I be sad if I never had plastic surgery on them? No…I am cocky enough to not let it bother me. During the summer, I rock tube tops and tank tops and anything else, so the arms are not that big of a deterrent to me.

But if I ever have the money, I would get it done.

Take a look at the progression of my arms

Picture 614Before surgery

229475_1644471240998_1513397681_31163318_6026156_nOne month after surgery

IMG_00242 months after surgery

145three months after surgery

20150115_100259nearly 3 1/2 years later.

I know, there are toning exercises that I should be doing, but a lot of it is skin. Again…it’s not that big of a deal. Sometimes though…I feel like I could take flight.

For those of you out there that have lost a significant amount of weight…what body part would you like to change as a result of the drastic changes to your body? I’m curious so let’s have a discussion.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Favorite foods

Let’s talk about food. This is a gastric weight loss blog after all and food is an integral part of life.
Food is a wonderful thing. Beautiful in its tastes and looks…how it makes you feel to chew that gooey brownie or bite into a perfectly sautéed brussels sprouts…just thinking about it makes me hungry. Let’s get back on topic.  I want to talk to you about my favorite healthy and unhealthy food. Why? Because I think that favorite foods speak a lot about whom a person is and what they seek when they gravitate towards that food. Didn’t realize it was that deep? Well I can be. Imagine that every time you cried, your mom gave you piece of chocolate and cuddled you till you stopped crying. From that point on, you would remember the feeling of being safe and loved while eating chocolate. True, that’s a simplistic take on things, but you get my drift.
My favorite healthy food (one of them anyways) has got to be brussels sprouts. brussels-sprouts(Aren’t they pretty?)

Sautéed, roasted, steamed…really anyway you can think to cook them; I’m going to eat them. Something about the shape and the taste of them just makes me smile. Covered in cheese…it’s all good. But I think I like them best roasted with a bit of salt and olive oil. They get crunchy on the outside and still soft on the inside. To be honest, I didn’t really have them until I became an adult, so there are no childhood memories of them, but the memories I do have of eating them now are good and happy.

While we are talking about healthy foods, we must give some credit to unhealthy food. True, it is unhealthy, but if eaten in moderation and respect to what your limit is, there is no reason not to enjoy the food. With that in mind, my most favorite is brownies.
I was going to say chocolate, but I do prefer brownies. I especially love the crunchy bits around the edges. CC_Alton-Brown-Cocoa-Brownies_s4x3

A close second is stale peeps (don’t judge),
 peeps__140422233738but that’s not what we are talking about.

Brownies…so good when they are hot and gooey…ice cream on top. I also like them cold, having been made the day before. There is something about the rich, fudgy nature. I do have childhood memories of brownies. They were special treats, not for the everyday. my mom likes to put nuts in them, but I can eat them either way. It always felt like a prize at the end of the day if there were brownies waiting. They felt decadent, like I had done something great, even if it was just getting to school on time

So…what are some of your favorite healthy and unhealthy foods? Don’t be shy. Let me know and we can talk about the emotions behind them.