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

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11 responses to “What I did over Christmas

  1. Colleen — You can definitely see a difference! You are the Incredible Shrinking Woman!!!! Congratulations on the new you — and the new car! 🙂

  2. Colleen, you look fantastic! Congratulations on the size 22. Keep it up, woman! You’re doing great!

  3. Colleen you are looking wonderful!! The changes are so obvious. :). I hope I can do as well as you. My surgery was Dec 26, so I think of it as my Christmas present to myself. Keep up the hard work! ~Molly

  4. Wow you look great, and very happy! I’m glad you can enjoy more activities now. Keep up the fantastic work!-Liz

  5. You’re doing so great!! I have a smart car also and just love it!

  6. Wow! You’re looking so good… and you’re doing so much better with exercise! I know how hard it was for you to even walk a block for parking, so I’m just amazed and happy that you can walk through museums now!

  7. Pingback: Strange And Fun Day | The Skinny Girl Inside

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