Shutting Down This Blog

I have come to a decision that I need to shut this blog down. My surgery hasn’t worked for me despite my struggles to make it work. I haven’t gone over my calorie allotments, I’ve been getting in 80g or more of protein daily, and drinking 3 quarts of water a day. The only thing that hasn’t worked for me is exercise. My body has gone downhill and there are days when I am in so much pain, I can’t even get out of bed. With the surgery, I can’t take many of the medicines that will take away or minimize my pain from arthritis and fibromyalgia. I feel as if I am never going to succeed and I can no longer celebrate my gastric bypass. I lost more weight before surgery in the same time I have lost post surgery- 75 pounds in a year prior to surgery and 30 pounds post surgery in a year. Gastric bypass is the worst thing I have ever done and there is nothing I can do about it. I am stuck in this body that every movement is filled with discomfort and pain. I have stalled and now gained 20 pounds since March and can’t figure out how I can gain that weight when taking in the protein, staying within my calorie allotment, etc. I just want to apologize to you all and hope that you can find the inspiration that you need and deserve.

Here Comes the Bride…

No, not me…you. Some of you may know that in my real life, I am a Wedding and Event Planner. In my search for a plus size wedding dress for a client, I came across this site and thought I would share it with you as well as a few of the dresses they carry in plus sizes: Plus Size Bridal

PEANUT BUTTER!!!

So, I’ve always loved peanut butter, but after surgery it’s one of the foods I hella love. I love it to the point where I have to eat some every day. The bummer about that is that peanut butter has a lot of calories. So, I thought I would switch to low fat peanut butter and by doing that, I would be doing myself a favor. Yeah, that’s a big fat NO! For some reason the folks at XYZ Peanut Butter Company thought they would play a trick on us. You see if they put “25% less fat” or “Reduced Fat” on the label, that we consumers wouldn’t know that most brands of reduced fat peanut butter have the SAME amount of CALORIES! How messed up is that? If calories in vs. calories out is still the best way to lose weight, I’m going back to my regular peanut butter and eating it sparingly thank you very much.

However, I found a great product prior to my surgery that I used in my protein shakes to change that same old boring chocolate to chocolate peanut butter. That product is PB2.

Thank goodness the folks at Bell Plantation have no only made a product that works great for protein shakes, but as I have recently found makes a pretty good substitute for peanut butter in general. To really enjoy this product you have to be a fan of peanuts in general and be prepared for a stronger peanut flavor, but dang it, when you look at the stats compared to regular peanut butter, I am going to choose PB2.

Traditional PB2
2 Tbsp – 190 calories 2 Tbsp – 45 calories
Calories from fat – 130 Calories from fat – 13
Saturated fat – 3 grams Saturated fat – 0 grams

So, give it a try if you love peanut butter and have to have a bit every day or even when you aren’t a peanut butter freak like me. Add a tablespoon to your protein shake, mix it with water (or milk) to make it to a peanut butter consistency and make yourself a PBJ sandwich, or try this yummy protein packed pancake recipe from my friends at Bariatric Foodie.

Until next time dear readers when we tackle bread…friend or foe?

New Protein Pancake Recipe

I really love me some pancakes; however, pancakes (traditional ones) don’t like me so much post surgery (yep, even over a year out most bread products are no bueno). So, I have taken the traditional Cottage Cheese Pancake recipe and instead of flour, substitute protein powder. Not only am I getting a major protein boost, but I’m not grabbing my chest like I’m having a heart attack and bellowing for someone to bring me my papaya enzyme chewables to get that wad of flour past my pouch. Here’s my recipe (not all that original really):

1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese
1 egg
1 scoop of protein powder (I use Pure Protein)
Dash of lowfat milk

Mix it all up and cook like regular pancakes. Do they look and taste like regular pancakes? Well, not really, but they are a great facsimile that satisfies the pancake beastie.

Calories: 250, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 9.3, Protein: 37g

Supplements to Boost Your Weight Loss

I know what you’re thinking right now (especially if you’ve had any sort of Weight Loss Surgery), “I have enough stuff to take without taking more!” After having gastric bypass a little over a year ago, I take more vitamins and pills than I ever have in my life! Here is my current vitamin regimen:

Morning
: Chewable Vitamin C- 500mg; Chewable Iron- 29mg; Chewable multivitamin; Sublingual B-12 (after gastric bypass, it’s the only way your body absorbs B-12), Cinnamon Capsule, Venastat, Fat Burner
Two hours after I take my Morning Stuff (due to the body’s inability to absorb iron in the presence of calcium): Calcium, 500mg, Fatburner, Silica, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, Magnesium, Vein Health supplement
Evening: Calcium 500mg, Cinnamon Capsule, Pantothenic Acid, Vein Health supplement, Chewable B vitamins
Bed: Chewable multivitamin, Calcium 500mg, Venastat

I also put 500 mg of Calcium Crystals in one of my 32oz jugs of water to sip throughout the day. Keep in mind, that’s just vitamins and doesn’t include my regular medications that have to be taken throughout the day as well.

So, why in the world would I even consider taking more? Well, in my opinion, anything that I can do to boost my weight loss is worth it. I have been in a very long stall after having surgery on both of my knees and my mobility is limited. Given that, I need all the help I can get.

I came across this article yesterday and I’m considering adding one or more of these to my regimen:
http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/5-spices-that-can-help-you-lose-weight-2392858/

“Although we’re inclined to scour the Web in search of the best diets and meal plans, the truth is, some of the tools to weight-loss success are already on your spice rack! Here are five ingredients that not only add flavor to your favorite dishes but can help in your battle against the bulge.

1. Cinnamon
A 2003 study published in Diabetes Care showed that as little as one teaspoon of cinnamon per day can boost the body’s weight-loss ability by reducing blood sugar and promoting healthier processing of carbohydrates. It also lowers LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) by seven to 27% and total cholesterol by 12 to 26%. Plus, cinnamon has been shown to prevent the metabolic syndrome commonly seen in pre-diabetics. But before you go on piling the spice by spoonful, note that cinnamon contains a chemical called coumarin, which can lead to liver damage if consumed in very large amounts.

2. Cayenne
The main ingredient in spicy cayenne—capsaicin, which is also found in other hot peppers—has long been studied for its fat-burning abilities and thermogenic properties (the stimulating of the central nervous system to produce heat in the body, leading to an increase in calorie burning). In fact, Nicholas Perricone, M.D., cites several of these studies in his wildly popular The Perricone Weight-Loss Diet and concludes that capsaicin acts as an appetite suppressant. Many think that cayenne pepper promotes weight loss because it’s simply difficult to overindulge in spicy food. However, later studies performed by the Journal of Obesity also found that the spice increases fat oxidation, “ramps up energy expenditure, and stimulates activity by the sympathetic nervous system”—all which help the body to shed excess weight. Not a fan of fiery cuisine? Not to worry! Research has found that cayenne’s ability to reduce appetite is equally effective whether ingested as food or in capsule form.

3. Black Pepper
Among the dozens of health benefits of this common household ingredient is its ability to improve digestion and promote the absorption of nutrients in tissues all over the body. Plus, its main component—piperine (which gives pepper its pungent taste)—boosts fat metabolism by as much as 8% for several hours after ingesting it. If you want your pepper to pack the most punch, use freshly ground pepper, which has the most concentrated amounts of piperine.

4. Mustard Seed
Like the other hot ingredients on this list, spicy mustard helps boost metabolism and allows you to burn fat more quickly, thanks in part to its thermogenic properties. Scientists at England’s Oxford Polytechnic Institute recently found that eating just one teaspoon of hot mustard can “boost metabolism 20 to 25% for several hours after eating, resulting in an additional burn of about 45 calories if a 700-calorie meal is consumed.”

5. Ginger
Long used for its medicinal properties, ginger is also an effective diuretic (a substance that increases the elimination of urine). It improves gastric mobility (i.e. it pushes food and waste through the digestive system) and hinders the absorption of cholesterol. Although according to the Mayo Clinic, more study is needed, preliminary evidence suggests that this versatile spice helps to increase metabolism.”

So, if you want to boost your weight loss, you can take these in a supplement form or just add more of them in to your diet.

What the Heck is Happening to my BODY!?!

So, I knew before I began this weight loss journey (surgery or no surgery) that my body was going to change dramatically. However, I was not prepared for gaining saddlebags and an increase in the appearance of cellulite. How weird is it that one loses 125 pounds and gets saddlebags, like visible weird saddlebags? Then there is the hail damage. Criminy it’s bad. I was prepared for the saggy skin, but this stuff…no way!

I’ve been having body image issues as of late. I think I look great in clothes, but out of them is another story. There are days when I look at my naked self in the mirror and cry. I think that I looked better at 375 lbs because all of those dimples and my skin were filled out and I didn’t look like NASA could land a lunar rover on my ass.

HOWEVER, If I had stayed at 375 and perhaps even gone up in weight, what would my body be like now? Sure, my skin would be filled out, but I would be working on a new set of stretch marks. I would not have been able to get my knee surgery (which I had in March) that has helped me not be in so much pain with my arthritis. I would barely be able to function and move with my fibromyalgia: at my current weight it’s difficult, but add that extra 125 pounds and I’d practically be a vegetable. I wouldn’t even be considered as a potential donor if my mom should need a liver transplant. I wouldn’t be able to play with my son as much and probably wouldn’t be able to do his school at home. I wouldn’t have been able to get through a day of event management like I did yesterday. This list could go on and on and for sure would be much longer than my superficial frustrations about my weight loss.

Accepting my post surgery weight loss (smaller than what I would like it to be and less than most people who have had gastric bypass) and what my total weight loss has done to the outside of my body has become my latest journey of acceptance and obstacle to overcome. Sure, my skin is saggy, my boobs a 1/2 cup smaller, my legs and ass look like they’ve been hand hammered, and my hair has gotten MUCH thinner, but the health benefits outweigh all of that. I’m not totally there yet with my acceptance, but every day is getting easier.

So, my dear reader, if you are struggling with something similar, you are not alone. My suggestion is to find a means of support. My support is the forum and amazing people over at Bariatric TV. I have found it to be the most supportive, drama free, and friendliest forum out there on the Internet. If thing for you get really bad and you begin to fall in to depression, please seek professional help. Take care all.