Monthly Archives: December 2012

A Revolutionary Idea For Resolutions: Not Just For New Year’s Only

In my opinion, resolutions do not work.  Don’t you just hate New Year’s Resolutions?  I do.  They are so ephemeral.  Fleeting.  Useless.  Everybody makes them.  Nobody keeps them.

I do like the idea of a New Year, however.  I love the idea of starting over and getting a fresh start to life.  I really feel that I have been given that fresh start this year in so many ways.  I have made the decision to avoid making resolutions, however.

Resolutions do not work in my opinion. I think everyone has good intentions at the start, but life and complacency often get in the way of the best intentions and resolutions usually go by the wayside by February.

I have found that what does work is setting realistic goals.  I’m not just talking about a name change from “resolution” to “goal” either.  I’m talking about real goal setting.  Every successful person does this.  Here is what real goal setting looks like.

1. Decide what you want to achieve.

2. Set a realistic goal.

3. Develop a plan to achieve that goal.

4. Follow plan.

5. Periodically check the plan to make sure you’re on track.

6. Make adjustments to plan as necessary to keep you on track.

6. Stay focused and persistent.  Achieving a goal is a marathon, not a sprint.  Don’t stop. Keep moving forward.

If you follow these steps, you should be successful. You may not achieve your goal completely, but you will be a lot closer than if you did nothing.  Or announced a resolution on New Year’s Eve and then quit in February.

We set goals in my writer’s group every year.  We try to set specific, realistic, achievable goals.  They can be big goals or small goals, but we try to do something.  Setting a goal of “writing more” is vague and not really measurable.  We push people to be more specific than that.  One short story? Two?  Will you try to get it published?  You get the idea.

I set goals for my health last year…do something about my weight and overall health by exploring WLS.  I did it.  I had the surgery and I’ve lost 57 pounds.  In addition, the steps I took to improve my heath before the surgery were crucial changes as well.  It was a big goal that brought on big changes in my life.

So, what are my health goals for 2013?

1.  Continue with the diet plan set by my doctor to achieve my weight loss goal.  I also need to tweak that diet a little to kick up my calorie intake so that I reach 1200 by the six month mark.

2. Kick up my exercising.  Exercising is a requirement for the health plan set forth in the guidelines of the bariatric surgery.  I exercise already by walking or riding the bike in my exercise room.  I have been doing pretty good, but I feel like I’m not doing enough.  I am going to join a gym and work with a personal trainer.  This was always my plan, but I needed to wait until the surgeon gave me the clearance to begin some mild strength training.  I have that clearance, so I am going to join Gold’s Gym and work with a personal trainer.

3. Get caught up on all of my medical tests and get started on some dental work.  My teeth need some work and I need to get things like a mammogram done.

4. I also have more plans or this blog.  I want to add a page with food ideas and recipes.  Many of the recipes are tailored for food allergies and are gluten-free.

So there you have it.  Health goals.  Blog goals.  Simple.  Achievable.  Already part of a plan I’m working on now, but expanded a little bit to achieve my overall goal of better health.

What are your goals or 2013?

Happy New Year!!  May 2013 be your best year yet!

544036_438096199593191_2011269475_n

What I did over Christmas

I know I have not posted in a while.  The holidays were just crazy.  Many Christmas parties.  Many struggles with food.  New outfits I can now fit into.  A few new pounds shed.

The holiday parties were rough.  I will not lie.  But before I go into parties and food, there are a few new developments I want to discuss.

Pureed vs Soft Food

I am out of the pureed food phase.  Yes!  I ended it myself probably two weeks early.  I was so done having pureed food.  I moved onto soft foods a bit early.  The key for me was to make sure that I chewed everything thoroughly.  I did talk to the surgeon’s office after the fact and the nurse was OK with this decision, so long as I made sure I was following the rest of the program.

What do I mean by soft food?  Soft food is solid food that is soft.  So, nothing crunchy or chewy or tough to eat.  No raw veggies yet, still no bread or starches, and no red meat yet.  So, chicken, salmon, tuna, other soft fish, yogurt, and cheese are good for protein.  Green beans, avocado, sweet potatoes, and other soft vegetables for the veggie part of my meal.  Meals are still 2 parts protein, 2 parts fruit/vegetable.  Protein drinks are still required.

Also, within the next four months, I have to work myself up to 1200-1400 calories per day.  I’m not sure how I’m going to do that considering my stomach is still teeny tiny, but I will try my best.

Speaking of food, I can now have some milk products.  I am shocked, really.  I have been eating soft cheese and yogurt without an allergic reaction.  The nurse told me that some people with an intolerance to lactose can sometimes have it after the gastric by-pass surgery.  I do not have a lactose intolerance.  I am allergic to milk.  They are two totally different things.

Lactose intolerance is kind of the modern buzzword people use or all milk intolerance, but they are not the same.  Lactose is a sugar.  Lactose intolerance is an intolerance of the sugar in milk.  People who are allergic are allergic to the protein in milk.  That protein is casein.  Casein is found in both cow and goat milk.

Before I could not have many soy cheeses because even though they are made from soy, they use casein in them for protein.  This is why I was having Daiya cheese.  It is made with coconut milk, which I can have.

But now, it seems that I can have regular cheese.  The nurse suggested sticking to the white cheeses for now.

I have been buying my cheese at this little market down the street from me called Cheesetique.  Cheesetique has a little restaurant as well as a cheese case with all kinds of yummy cheeses in their cheese case.  My current favorite is the honey goat cheese.  I can tolerate the sweet in it without a problem.  It is so very yummy.  It’s a little pricey, but I do not eat enough to affect my budget too much.  And since I do not eat at restaurants since the surgery, I feel I can splurge a little on my honey goat cheese.

I did take a few of the cheeses to my brother’s house for his birthday celebration and our Christmas gift exchange.  I took the honey goat, a sharp cheddar, some peppered sausage slices and a baguette for a cheese tray.  Gone in 10 minutes.  My family could not get enough.

OK enough about my love of cheese.

Parties and Food

The Christmas parties were a bit rough.  The first one I went to was a party for my writer’s group.  They served wings.  I loooooove wings.  Before the surgery, I could have eaten every day.  There were wings made with a dry rub.  I had a couple of those and a side o guacamole for my vegetable.  I initially only had two wings.  But as the night wore on, I justified eating two additional wings by noting that I had only actually eaten one meal for the day before the party.  In total, I had 4 wings, a couple of pieces of cheese and a spoonful of guacamole over the course o 3 hours.  Not a lot of food in anyone’s book, but probably more than I should have had.

My stomach definitely got very full.  I was in a little bit of pain later that night when I got home.  But I got over it by the next morning.

The next party was a casual Christmas gathering with a few of my co-workers.  We went to one my co-worker’s houses and just had a small party.  It was fun.  For this party, I did make my own wings.  I also made two sauces that I put on the side.  I bake my wings, so it is better than deep frying them.  I also use fresh peppers, fruit, or vegetables in the sauces that I make.  I made one with sweet peppers and mango.  The other I made with habanero peppers, raspberry jam, and honey.  Sweet and mild, and sweet and spicy.  I make good sauce.

At this party, over the course of 2 1/2 hours, I had three chicken wings with a small dollop of spicy sauce, four tiny pieces of kung pao chicken with no peanuts, and a slice of cucumber.  Still a lot of food for me, but again, I had only eaten one meal earlier that day.  I did liquids the rest of the day and an extra protein shake to make up for missing a meal.  Not really the best choice I’m sure, but I survived the evening pretty well and did not get an upset stomach this time.

The third party I went to, I was very good.  I went to my brother’s as I stated earlier.  I did very well here.  I had some cheese as a snack and then for dinner, I had some baked beans, three bean salad and less than half of a chicken sausage that had artichoke in it.

Christmas day, I was invited to my sister-in-laws parents house.  They are always so nice in extending an invitation to me.  I had a small slice of turkey, a small slice of ham, sweet potatoes and whatever vegetable was served.  I did pretty good.

For the most part, I have been eating three meals a day, even when I do not feel like it.  Only in a few instances, did I reduce my diet plan to two meals.

Clothes

OK, onto clothes.  I did buy two new pair of jeans in a smaller size.  I did a post on that already.  I have also been wearing tops and blouses in smaller sizes two.  The one I wore yesterday was a size 22, which is smaller than the 24s I have been wearing and certainly much smaller than the 26-28 sizes I fit into before the surgery.  I also have a nice party outfit that I wear at Christmastime to parties.  It is a pants suit that is very bright.  Before, I could only wear the jacket and the pants.  Now I can wear the shirt that comes with it as well.  I was also happy to note that this will be the last year I will wear this outfit, because i all goes as planned, this outfit will be far to big for me next year.

I also am down to a new low in my weight loss.  I now weight 242 pounds.  I’ve lost a total of 56 pounds.

Walking

I am so amazed by the amount of walking I am doing.  Before, I could barely walk 100 feet before my back hurt so much I had to stop.  Grocery shopping, any shopping was a nightmare.  Now, I can walk for a long, long time.

Christmas Eve I went to one of the art museums in DC with a friend of mine to see Michelangelo’s unfinished David statue.  It was awesome.  We had to park something like 3-4 blocks from the museum.  Then we went to see the Lichtenstein exhibit before we saw the David statue.  The Lichtenstein exhibit was extensive and that took us over an hour to walk through it.  There were benches in from of some of the paintings where we could sit, which I did.  But it was still a lot of walking.

I did make him stop once because I had to drink my protein shake and get some water in me.  I brought all that with me, so we went to the cafeteria so I could have my shake and my water.  Then we went to the other wing of the museum to see David.  Of course, it was at the furthest point away from us, but it was so worth it.  Then we walked back to the car.

For regular people, this is all normal walking.  For me, two months ago, this would have been impossible for me to think about.

Picture Time

I am going to put a new picture of me here.  A friend of mine took this picture just the other day.  I have just purchased a used car.  It’s a Smart Car.  I love it, but that’s not the reason for this picture.  The picture is a full shot of me, what I look like now.  I am also going to include another full shot from my sister’s wedding so that you can see the difference.  IMG_1255IMG_0587

The Big Five-O

Nope I’m not talking about age nor the Book’em Danno type either.  I have passed a major milestone in my weight loss.  I have exceed the 50 pound mark for a total of 51 pounds lost.

I can hardly believe it.  I do feel a lot different.  I am also wearing a smaller size now.  I’m down from 26/30 to a solid 24.  Pretty soon, I will be packing up some clothes to give away.

Today I finished my Christmas shopping.  I had been nearly done for quite a while.  I just had to pick up a couple of things to round out the shopping.

I’m excited about Christmas this year.  Maybe it’s because I’m feeling so much better than I have in years.  All my presents are wrapped and under the tree and Christmas cards mailed out.  Tomorrow, I am making a special Christmas treat for some of my friends and family to hand out as gifts as well.  I’ll share more about that treat once I have them done and I’ve given out a few gifts.

Anyway,  I am tired today after all of the shopping and gift wrapping.  I will leave you with a photo of my tree with the presents under it. IMG_1168

OMG They So Totally Fit!!

So, a few weeks ago I think I said that I ordered a couple of pair of jeans online.  My old pants, ranging in sizes 26-28 are too big and really starting to fall off of me. I ordered two pairs of jeans, sized 24 short.  (Yes, I’m short.  I’m 5’1″.)  I have been very concerned that they would be too small.

It’s one thing to have your current clothes feel roomy and slide off of you.  It’s quite another to comfortably fit into the next smaller size.

Well, I tried on both pair and they both fit perfectly.  I never thought I’d be so happy to fit into a size 24, but I am so happy to fit into a size 24!  For one thing, it increases the number of pants that actually fit me properly from zero to two.  But they are also 1.5 – 2 sizes smaller than the pants I was wearing before.

Whoo hoo!

I also bought a very snug support garment for my top from Spanx.  Wow, what a difference that makes!  The Spanx top also offers a little more support than the binding garment they gave me at the hospital, plus it is a lot less bulky.

Tonight is the Christmas party for my writer’s group and I will be donning my new and improved jeans, my Spanx top and a size 24 blouse as well.  Yay me!  (Although, that’s probably more information than they wanted to know.)

Oh, and btw…check out my new weight loss!  46 pounds down baby!

New jeans:

IMG_1165

Clearing Away Old Ghosts

Part of what I have been doing over the past year, in addition to preparing for my weight loss surgery and dealing with the aftermath of said surgery, has been trying to deal with things that I have ignored for a long time.  I have taken care of a lot of financial problems that I had.  I gave up video gaming.  I started taking care of my overall health, which I have had trouble dealing with for years.  So many things.

Before my surgery, I cleaned out my big walk in closet.  Cleaned out all of the remaining boxes I had not unpacked except for one that I cleaned out after the surgery.  I reorganized the closet, bought more hangers, hung up all of my clothes that I didn’t have room for, threw away or gave away a lot of clothes.

In the same spirit of purging and reorganizing, I cleaned out my hall closet yesterday.  Anytime I would order anything online, or if my mom sent me a box of supplies, or if I bought something that came in a box like my new coffee maker, I threw the box into the hall closet.  I’ve wanted to clean this closet out for a long time and clear out these boxes.  So, I did this yesterday.

Most of the boxes, I flattened and took out to the trash room in my building.  Some of the boxes, I discovered were filled with old bills, books, and other things I just did not know what to do with.  I created a bag of stuff to shred.  I then ordered a new shredder online.  My old one broke, you see.  I put the books on my bookshelves.  The other stuff, I sorted through.  I chucked a bunch of stuff and threw it into the trash.  I did keep a couple of useful items, which I then put away.

I feel so organized.

I have two more cleaning projects on my list.  One, I need to clean out the cabinet in my kitchen that holds all of my plastic containers.  Currently, my cupboard looks like the “before” picture in one of those commercials for better products which has the ancillary benefit of keeping you more organized.  When I put another plastic container in there now, I open it and quickly toss the container in and shut it immediately to keep anything else from pouring out of it and onto the floor.  God forbid I actually have to take one out.  I’m so ashamed.

The second project is cleaning out from under my bathroom sink.  I cannot find anything under there.  I know I have soap, lotions, shampoos, vitamins, etc, but your guess is as good as mine as to how I find these items.

I’ll probably throw a lot of stuff away in both cases.  Although, I am kind of a fanatic when it comes to recycling, so I will probably put most of the plastic stuff into the recycle bin, whether it’s recyclable or not.  In either case, the organization and purging must occur.

Organizing my life is not nearly as much fun as binge eating an entire bag of Cheetos or Doritos or fantasizing about pizza, but I feel so much better afterwards.

 

New Facebook Page

I started a Facebook page for A Skinny Girl Inside.  Please check it out.  Hit like for updates on blog posts, daily updates or thoughts, and more pictures!  I’m just getting it started, but I should have plenty of content up soon.

Hit the Like button to the right over there————->

Or follow this link:

https://www.facebook.com/ASkinnyGirlInside

Feeling Good After A Rough Week

I had a very rough week.  I had a lot of problems, from stomach problems, feeling bloated, stress at work, headaches, feeling tired, and blood pressure spikes.  I had to take my blood pressure medicine a couple of times.  The stomach problems were mostly early in the week, but persisted in a small way through Friday.

I decided that it was all due to stress from work.  This week, work was quite stressful.  Fortunately, I do work from home.  If I worked in the office, I do not know if I could have handled the stress.  Part of the problem is that I am kind of a supervisor.  I have no actual power, mind you, but my co-workers do look to me for answers and support.  I also manage the phones, the time off schedules, and the vacation calendar in addition to my regular duties.  Therefore, my phone is always ringing and my instant messenger is forever blooping at me.

I also talk to our customers on top of all of this, so it can get quite crazy at work.  I went back to work a month after the surgery because we are moving into our slow season.  And since I work from home, it is easier for me to manage the stress and deal with my meals.

This week wasn’t so much busy as it was stressful.  Everything seemed to happen at once.  For example, I was on the phone with a client who was calling from overseas on Skype and he was upset about something.  My other line kept ringing the entire time I was on the phone.  My co-workers were calling me, either to ask me questions or to transfer calls to me.  Plus I had a bunch of instant messages.  I ignored all of these interruptions tried to deal with the customer on the phone.  Then I had one person who, because they could not get through to me any other way, starting calling my cell phone over and over again.

Seriously?

Granted, the person calling my cell phone had a relatively serious personal emergency earlier in the day and was calling to give me an update.  OK, that was kind of important.  And many of the other interruptions were things that I did have to take care of.  My co-workers were simply doing their jobs.  They are all good, hardworking people.  But the stress can sometimes be overwhelming.  It’s mostly my fault that people call me over and over.  I’m usually very responsive and answer people right away.  So, if they do not get a hold of me, they are not used to it.

I am supposed to be keeping my stress level low to help my stomach heal after such a huge surgery.  As I have discussed in previous posts, I do have a problem dealing with stress sometimes.  I have not done enough to retrain my coworkers to deal with my new reality.  I will have to fix that.

I did tell my boss, who is very understanding about everything I have been going through, that I need to slow down and reduce my stress.  I told him about my stomach problems and blood pressure spikes.  He was great.  He told me that I need to take care of myself and to only do what I can.

I’m currently out of vacation time until the first of the year.  I cannot afford to take anymore time off this year.  Any time I take off from here will be without pay.  I can go back on medical leave and get short-term disability, but I really do not want to do that.  I know that the week before Christmas through the second week of January will be painfully slow.  I cannot take Christmas off, but I’m thinking of taking the first two weeks of January off.  After the second week of January, our busy season begins.  I will need to be at work.  I feel if I rest up and do what I can to decompress, I will be ready.

I will still need to make sure I do what I can to manage my stress level, but I feel I will be better prepared if I take some more time off.

Now, that was the worst of it…onto the good news.

I lost two more pounds!  I’m down to 256.  That’s a total of 42 pounds.  I am feeling better.  My blood pressure is back down in normal ranges.  Yes, I’m still taking my medicine, but I do not want my pressure to spike again.

So, in the spirit of reducing stress…here is a kitten!

602491_430595260321644_115358195_n

 

This is Annabelle.  She is my step-niece’s kitten.  My step-niece found Annabelle on the side of the road and nursed her back to health.  Took her to a vet.  Made sure she had all of her shots.  Paid for a surgery, which is why Annabelle has a cone on her head.  The cone is gone now, but this is the most current picture I have of Annabelle.  She’s a pretty laid back kitten and will sit on you endlessly for petting and she loves treats!