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Bring your own snacks EVERYWHERE! Movies are a big place to get tripped up (it is like and unhealthy food minefield in most of them. REMEMBER you are going there to see the movie (or the football game or the concert or whatever it is AND NOT going there to eat) Eat ahead of time if you are hungry! Bring some little snacks until movie theater owners get more savvy and supply healthy options. I am fond of these going out and about but make sure it is pre-portioned:

  1. Protein
  2. 100 calorie almond packs
  3. string cheese or baby bell
  4. freeze dried lower carb fruit (watch the servings though). I like Brother’s Naturals Fiji Apple and Crispy Green cantaloupe (tastes like candy it is that sweet!) or mixed berries
  5. carrot sticks/carrot chips with 100 calorie guacamole (like Wholly Guacamole – they have several flavors including spicy)
  6. 3 ounce packs of prepackaged tuna
  7. raw cauliflower with that above guacamole
  8. Greek yogurt with any low carb raw veggie
  9. micro salads I prepare ahead of time in a sealed 3-4 ounce container. (I carry little plastic forks, spoons and knives with me everywhere!)

Going to a tailgate party, to meals with family or friends? Ask what is being prepared, ask with assertiveness. I ALWAYS have some stuff prepared in my fridge and cupboard that helps me when I am running around town, going to the movies or perhaps out on the town where there are TONS of unhealthy temptations. (and this includes especially visiting friends and relatives!)and you will succeed. I find from all my years on the earth plus.

First, it’s time to stop being so polite and eating just what the host(ess) prepares. Be frank (and friendly) and just tell the truth. “This IS for my health issues, I can’t eat this!” (it’s true right? sized humans are way too too polite and don’t know how to stick up for themselves!

The faulty pre-reclaimed life reasoning is like this:

          “They took all the time to prepare this with love or skill so I would insult them. ” (etc etc.) or “I will insult my host(ess)” “I don’t want to be rude” “they worked so hard preparing this!”

          (to be polite let them know way ahead of time what your healthy changes entail and I bet they will go great guns to be supportive and helpful, they need to plan though you know? as a hostess  myself who loves to cook I do want my guests to be happy with what I prepare. Stand up for your reclaimed life! You can do it!)

The mental and emotional adjustment that needs to go into place is this:

         “IF I continue to eat things that are unhealthy for me, I will land in a grave, I WILL lose all my friends and family because I will be dead. I will die from high blood pressure, I will die from a stroke, a heart attack, from diabetes (and diabetic complications).” (picture your grave, morbid but necessary)

        OR (picture how hard it is to walk, to climb stairs, how hard it is to play with your children or grandchildren, do your job, improve your career etc)

       Put a picture in your mind of how it feels to be this obese and sedentary.  It IS HARD!

       AND Mine that I use with all of this is this:

      “I want to live life with GUSTO, with passion, to walk the streets and museums of Rome, to climb mountains (and hills), to jetski, to do the things I feel cut off from to the best of my ability with joy and health!”

“I WANT to live and long and healthy happy life!”

“I want to run TOWARDS my life, not just exist!”

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MAKE a commitment to yourself, you deserve and so do I!

 

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I did a lot of thinking this week about this blog and what I wanted to write here.

I decided to write on the above subject line but also write a bit about WHAT has keep me on track, best tips, most successful things I have done.

 

So here goes!

1. I walk, not everyday but I walk. (no less than 3 times a week but usually four or five) I try to do it in the sunshine. Know why? In the olden days, the days that weren’t so good I would become a virtual recluse. I got seriously, and I mean seriously VITAMIN D deficient. This is not the case anymore for two reasons: a) I take a supplement and make sure it has me taking at least 1500 MG of Calcium Citrate (not carbonate) each day and it won’t work without Vit D. and b) I get it from the sun! Free and cheap! NOTE here though, USE SUNBLOCKS!! I used a pedometer everywhere. (Mine is a FitBit but others I know have a Nike band or another type. Get something that works for YOU! it IS motivational, walking is free too!)

If you can walk every day, do it! Even if in the beginning it is only a block!

 

2. I take in no less and I mean NO LESS than 70 grams of protein a day, staggered out!

My favorite sources now that I am off of most protein supplements (my favorites of those are Atkins cuz of low carb and Unjury cuz it takes great, is low carb AND low calorie!) it is usually one of these. IF I fail here I will lose it all. I have to shop and make sure I have these in my fridge each week!

a.- Greek Yogurt – (note watch out for secret sugar counts by checking the calorie and carbohydrate counts on the side of the container! If it is over 100 calories or has over 9-10 grams of carbohydrate it is probably packed with at least SOME sugar). My favorite is light and fit Greek yogurt. I eat probably two a day every day!

b. eggs (cheap and great source of protein)

c. String cheese – the lowest fat I can bear. I like Frigo cheeseheads brand. The light version is pretty good.

d. Almond milk – unsweetened, tastes fabulous and if you are counting carbs this has none vs. real milk!

e. I eat meat once a day and not all meats are the same – I like chicken a lot. Boneless skinless chicken thighs cooked in broth with thyme, Knorr reduced sodium stock, celery, green onions, (you don’t need salt with this stock and broth) pepper and reduced sodium broth and a little white wine. I add a bit of cooking sherry but that is optional. Put a tsp of poultry seasoning if you want and bring to a boil, simmer for an hour covered on low or medium) Delicious! I bag up the leftovers and use them for a few days and put the remainder in the freezer after Day 3 so I can throw it into homemade soup on another day.

NEWLY POST-OP ie. under 6-9 months ignore this part: I also take chicken with skin on (a splurge and not for immediate post op or gastric by pass patients because of the fat) and dry it off after rinsing it and toweling it off. I brush lightly with olive oil (and I mean lightly!) I salt with tons of light salt and pepper a little poultry seasoning, some rosemary and/or a bunch of thyme. Bake at 375 for about one hour or until I put a thermometer in and it says 165 degrees at the thickest part of the meat. It should be golden crispy on the outside. I don’t eat the skin EVER, it has about 100 fat calories per inch! I don’t like that! My partner in all things loves that I make this for him though!

Beef is super high in protein but has a lot of fat, I limit to once a week. I have pork once a week. I saute in broth or bake. I do NOT fry ever! 100 calories a teaspoon of fat sucks! I don’t want to record that you know?

 

3.  I take my vitamins EVERY DAY! I want to live without a damage bone structure, damaged nerves from deficiencies and all the havoc that passing out and getting in a car accident could cost. It is part of my duty to myself to have this personal accountability here! I don’t like feeling tired all the time! I take Unjury chewable multiple vitamins, Bariatric Advantage calcium chews (caramel is best), Wellesse B complex liquid just to boost my energy if it ebbs low and as directed a sublingual B12 and/or injection of B12 as directed. I don’t miss any one of those things EVER!

4.  If you are post gastric sleeve I would suggest Miralax EVERY DAY or you will regret it! Tiny stomach, all protein diet, low fiber count and you get backed up. I mix mine with vitamin water zero orange and it’s great!

5. I hydrate, I keep water beside my bed at night and I keep a bottle of Vitamin Water zero at my side always! I drink ALL the time. I didn’t before and I felt slugish, tired, run down, my skin looked bad. Since most of my being in this corporal body I walk around in is WATER I need it and I need it a lot! Kidney stones stink!

When I walk I have a bottle, if I go to the movie theater that’s what I drink usually (more on that topic of movies and going on later)

WATER=LIFE!!!

6. I record EVERY and I mean EVERY BITE that goes in my mouth! Every one! I don’t miss a day EVER! I use Myplate at http://www.livestrong.com/myplate. It is free and when I do this historically, I SUCCEED at maintenance after weight loss, when I don’t I start gaining and losing track of what I am doing. (this also has an APP too for you smart phone users though it’s not as good as the computer version)

Every single weight regain I have EVER had (and there has been a few of these times in my life sadly) it is because I have failed to do so! EVERY TIME! “Just Do IT!” as Nike says! (My favorite all-time inspirational saying!) Don’t miss a day … ever or plan to fail.

Which brings me to………

7. If I fail to plan I plan to fail, also historically true! Plan you grocery lists, your cooking, your food for each day, your protein counts (make sure you get it all in), your exercise, your liquids (beer and alcohol doesn’t count! lol), walking and your time. I have my set list ready in my purse. I check during the week to make sure I have enough for the next day or week. Every day, every week. IF I FAIL TO PLAN, I PLAN TO FAIL!

8. Recreate, get out among other humans. Not sure how and in what? Check out http://www.meetup.com for any extreme number of shared interested (including staying motivated with whatever you are dealing with or want to do) but recreate! I am 3 groups there now. I attend my weight loss support as often as I can. Why? Because I need to see them and they need to see me for the same reasons. Newbies remind me where I was, older people are kept on track see how others are doing and I think it is important to share this journey. It is important. For you it might be weight watchers, or a support group in a 12 step group like AA, NA or OA. All help but we need to give and get support I think. Having something fun to do and places to go to are pretty important especially if you are single.

THERE are FREE exercise groups in Meetup all the time to add to point number 1 about walking. If you can’t afford a gym yet (I bet you will in time) these are usually quite free. IF there isn’t one for your area, START ONE!

9. I had to stop making excuses and get with it!

10. Weigh on a regular basis to keep on track. I do it every am before I eat or drink anything on an electronic scale. Some people have eating disorders made worse by this. With your dietician or whomever is helping you with this by having you weight backwards.

I hope this helps someone but I am certain from time to time I am going to need to come back to this and read it over and over again! Check out the poll!

 

 

LAUGH much and often!

 

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I think this needs examined a little.

First I think something needs to be lost first perhaps. Or it can be something that one needs to lose. Weight isn’t just all there is in this. With such an attitude I am finding this blog about weight loss is purely not about weight loss but needs to evolve somehow.

So evolve into what? Metamorphosis is the word. What is my personal metamorphosis? For what ever reason I allowed myself to get lost in obesity. I don’t even remember particularly how or why it started. After I get the great nutrition down and underway it is kind of moot except that personal self awareness and self honesty I MUST have to not go back to that deep dark unmoving, immobile space of obesity and zero life.

Second, I have to decide what it is I WANT? What do I want? I want to be part of life, of love, of involvement, of love, of laughter or owning the good and the bad and laughing on into my own destiny NO MATTER where I am at that moment. I want to redesign, to refashion my own life on the fly and own it. I want to be an evolutionary being, a sentient creature who is connected. Connected to myself is first to pardon the touchy-feely here. Then connected to others, included those significant in my life. First and always be true to my being.

It is my life. I want it, I crave it and where I might not (might) climb Mount Everest now, I might climb Mount St. Helens or Mount Manfield or my beloved Appalachian trail. (I have walked 1.2 miles of it which doesn’t do my goals justice, lol)

I can taste it.

When I was “tasting” everything buried in food I had zero taste of life. Now I am getting the gingery flavors of life, zest and passion!

Metamorphosis indeed…

This is my evolutionary quest!

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April 12th, 2013 I made the plunge into a gastric sleeve. BEST thing I have ever done for myself, without exception!

I was terrified! It wasn’t bad at all. Of course I couldn’t eat much at first.

It hurt a couple of days but much less than I feared.

I have lost over 103 pounds as of today! That is incredible!

My life is so very different today as opposed to this time last year. I can walk though in December I decided to have a total knee replacement. THAT hurt and I am still in rehab, PT for that. Whatever it takes for me to be more physically active I WILL do that…and I have!

I can now walk up to 3 miles in one day something I could not even dream of attempting at this time last year.

I went from a pant size of 28 to a size 14/16 now. The clothes are cuter and more fun. I can wear lace up boots. If you are considering weight loss surgery, buy used or inexpensive clothes! (I didn’t know this and pre-bought way way too many clothes I could not fit in in a matter of months!) T-shirts, stretchy/knit drawstring pants are the way to go! Buy them on sale! (You will thank me for this and the Miralax tip! lol)

I wrote a long list of things I wanted to do and “Why I am doing this or WHY this is NOT crazy!” list which I put on my refrigerator. (On the list was things like being able to jet ski with my new husband, walking in high heels or boot again, walking around Rome etc)

Sorry I had not posted here sooner but honestly have been so involved in the process of this first evolution I was not able to find the time to write. Mea culpa. ….

I recommend if you are reading this and I hope somehow you are, you will write this list for yourself- WHY are YOU doing this or planning to do weight loss surgery yourself?

(One tip for those considering Gastric sleeve, get Miralax, you will thank me later for saying this and start taking it day one post op.)

I take zero blood pressure medicine now! I was on three types before the surgery.

I am super happy!

I have more work to do….

Had my surgery on Friday and I obviously lived. It was pretty tough the first two days but feeling amazingly well today. Still weak but back on proteins. The first day home was probably the toughest but went past quickly.

Slept pretty well. Pain is not severe though affecting of course. Mostly sitting, watching movies, taking the vitamins and resting.

It was kind of scary right before I was discharged. Hoped I would be able to cope with this kind of surgical change but I am and I will continue to do so..

I was home 26 hours after I was admitted! Short huh?

LOL

More later….

MEDICATIONS After Bariatric Surgery.

I had to hunt and hunt for more information about medications post gastric surgery. Since I am on too many meds (for my desire) I needed to have this squared away ahead of time. I thought I would share this here.

I will be posting more and more as I discover it as well as my own personal experiences with it. (hopefully all good)

I don’t know one person undergoing this type of surgery that doesn’t take at least one medication.

  1. Walk (always the best thing)!
  2. Write here..
  3. Plan meals – healthy meals
  4. Shop for these healthy nutritious meals and snacks – especially in fresh food markets!
  5. Write long and meaningful letters to loved ones (real handwritten ones would be cool or of course e-mails) or send cards to those I care about
  6. Do volunteer work, rewarding, changes the world a little bit to a better place, meaningful and helpful (and is good for the heart and soul)
  7. Listen to music, write music, be someone’s muse, orchestrate music, learn and instrument, organize long IPod (or other mp3) uploads for when I do #1.
  8. Paint, draw, (I am an artist), use collage to (cut out magazine images/words and glue to poster board) show my journal of my journey kind of list a visual diary. Color in color books, anything creative, you don’t have to be an artist (I am one).
  9. Journal (here, in writing on my patio, at a park or in my backyard)
  10. Commune with nature
  11. Go the pool and swim (easy on the joints, great for weight loss – wonderful on the muscles and good for the heart).
  12. Go fishing if you like that or camping if that is your thing or hiking anywhere (see #1)
  13. Go to the park and just hang out.
  14. Read (anything) – like this blog maybe? Read a good good book, get involved in reading and/or listen to audiobooks. do it outside if you can. I have and E-reader and love it! Download books
  15. Movies (I LOVE them but do avoid the sitting in front of the TV all day trap)
  16. Be involved in a support group in person or online – again being supportive gets my nose out of my navel (and helps me in the process).
  17. Be involved in an interest group. Hunt through your area’s “Meetup” groups (see http://www.meetup.com to find some). If you like gaming, it’s there, if you like discussing books, movies, culture, board games, playing cards, it’s probably there and go! IF there are none where you are, start one! Weight loss support groups are super cool.
  18. Sewing, crafts, woodworking, leather work or any other hobbies that truly interest you.
  19. Clean, anything, spring clean, wash laundry, make beds but make sure you open the windows and get fresh air all preferably while listening to music you love.
  20. Organize your world. A cluttered home is a cluttered mind/body and soul. Get rid of things you haven’t used for a year and donate it. (Again good for the heart and soul those less fortunate than you!)
  21. LEARN something/anything new! Take a class, join a discussion group where you learn things, go to lectures (they are usually free) at a University or a library,  read Wikipedia, subscribe to education RSS feeds/blogs or newsletters. Helps the mind grow, it’s interesting and learning is a wonderful thing!
  22. Watch the news, keep up with current events and be part of the world and your community. Reconnect, it’s so important to be connected with others. Stop the isolation! Image

22 Things Happy People Do Differently – Positive Way | Positive Way.

I though this was pretty awesome, not to mention inspired. I try to live my life exactly like this and can’t believe I ran into the reminder on my path today.

and ALL things (just about) weight loss/bariatric surgery!! I wanted to share! THEY ship free for much of the protein this is a great deal! (Especially since I like RTD, ready to drink) stuff…. … http://www6.netrition.com/

Why “The Reclaimed Life” as a blog name?……..reclaiming my life

I have made this my first post but it is a new thing for me to “blog” (strange word, blog) and it didn’t get posted. I lost the original post as I just didn’t know for sure how to post it. Perhaps this is good, it lets me know my sentiments ARE somehow from my heart, soul and mind and it is the content that may actually improve as I write……

I don’t expect to share this blog though I may.

I am writing this because I need to express myself and my journey which seems so very human, to record a journey.

My weight loss surgery is on April 12, 2013. I am having the gastric sleeve done. I have no/zero problems losing weight but continuing and to lose is a different matter as is changing all the behaviors that led me here.

I am not fat for any other reason that I love to eat. The foods I chose however, are not the best for my nourishment, for  my life or my health – fats, sweets and junk (even if disguised as “baked chips”).

I am now reclaiming my life. I have almost lost it many times through natural disasters such a Katrina, serious health issues, car accidents (many) and even cancer but I have survived. Now I truly wish to live!

 

I am reclaiming my life!

What have I lost by this weight I carry? My bucket list is long and detailed and I physically can’t do it.

I can’t walk through Rome, through Paris, through Europe in general. I can climb stairs to just about anywhere.

I had long longed to walk the Appalachian Trail from Canada to Georgia as a lifelong goal and though I suspect my goals now are more realistic I can’t help but with I could. For now I am setting my sights on the park nearby with the 2 miles walking/running track. It is gorgeous and a huge reason why I moved here this January (it has been a big year) to be able to walk. So far I can do only about 350 steps. I bring a scooter to walk/ride/walk/ride. I will change this. It is just a matter of time and discipline and the will to do so. I want not to walk that long arduous trail but this little one with beautiful paths, walkways, bridges, birds, lagoons and so much nature ….and walk one mile. It is now my goal.

 

 

I had a poignant moment not even a year ago when I was on my honeymoon (yes, I am a newlywed and am over 50!) when I could not join my husband to jet ski as I was too overweight and under conditioned to pull myself up on the jet ski. It was a pivotal point for me. I had had one other one a few years earlier and it was during Hurricane Katrina when I stayed with a couple in the city of New Orleans and was trapped by the flood waters and the heat. It was no fun (an understatement)but what truly bothered me is I couldn’t even attempt to save myself as I wasn’t strong enough or conditioned enough to walk through even ankle deep waters. Where I was stuck it was up to the chest in some places. It hit me strong that the one mile or less it would have taken me to walk to get to higher ground was not possible for me.

 

I should be able to save myself shouldn’t I?

I know my answer.

I am about to reclaim my life and this is my journey now. I thought for several hours about the title of this blog and here it is.

My journey…….

“a journey of three thousand miles is begun with a single step..”

My gastric sleeve surgery is on April 12th, ……