What Happens When You’re Gastrically Altered? The Scoop on Vitamins

Ahhhh, let’s wax nostalgic, shall we?

Remember, back in the day, when you could eat like a human being and then take a Flintstones Chewable to supplement  any nutrition deficit caused by a diet high in Twinkies and diet Coke?

Even if you didn’t eat as badly as I did, you’ve probably never realized a time when you had to take more than one multivitamin daily to ensure you were getting all the things in your diet that you needed.  As women, sometimes we add iron and often calcium, but for the most part, you’re probably thinking you’re pretty well covered with a gummy vitamin.

Well, my gastrically twisted brothers and sisters, lets think back to our Lays days.  Remember those Lays commercials?  Betcha can’t eat just one?  Yeah, well, now instead of potato chips, I’m talking about vitamins.  There are so many things that you aren’t absorbing properly, and there’s no way you can get what you need between your diet and one multivitamin a day.  Here are some recommendations on what should be in your pill box on a daily basis.

Multivitamins – Honestly, it doesn’t matter what kind you take.  You want chewables?  They have them in all shapes and flavors.  Are you brave enough for liquid vitamins?  Ewwww, you’re gross!  But you’ll find them at most nutrition shops.  Your average one a day vitamins are perfect for you, with one HUGE exception.  In order to get the value from the vitamins that you need, instead of taking one a day, you’ll probably need three.  As with any medication, check with your doctor, but to make up for the vitamins you aren’t properly absorbing, you’ll need three multivitamins daily.  Yum.

Vitamin B-12 – I’ve met some gastric bypass patients who do weekly B-12 injections.  I do fine with one sub-lingual a day – and it doesn’t taste half bad (which means it DOES taste half bad, but mixed with the half that doesn’t taste bad, I can get it down without incident).  If you just can’t seem to do the under the tongue thing, you may want to ask your doctor about a monthly injection.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Calcium – First tip – if you are taking iron, don’t take your Calcium with your iron.  When Calcium and Iron get together, they have a bit of a smack-down over which one is actually going to be absorbed.  Give your Calcium a fighting chance and space out the Calcium and Iron doses.  Second tip – I know it tastes WAY better when you take your Calcium in those little chewy bits of chocolatey goodness, but guess what?  That’s not the best kind of Calcium for you.  Our bodies absorb Calcium Citrate much better than Calcium Carbonate.  Yeah, see if you can find that in a chocolatey delicious flavor.  It doesn’t matter – you’re going to need at least 1000 mg daily.  And if you can find Calcium Citrate that contains Vitamin D, you’re golden!  Vitamin D helps you to absorb the Calcium.  Good for you!!  You’re looking at taking two to three doses a day.  Are you full yet?

Iron – Do you know there are bypass patients who need blood transfusions?  They become anemic and have all sorts of clotting issues.  Back in August, when I was busy dying, my blood was busy plotting a mutiny.  Iron tablets saved me from a transfusion, but it took three pills daily to do it.  Have your doctor take a look at your labs and see what he recommends for you.  And women, yeah, we tend to need this more than our bulge battling brothers.  Remember what I told you about Calcium before?  Iron and Calcium are like the Hatfields and the McCoys.  You don’t want them in the same tummy together.

Vitamin C – We all love Vitamin C – it’s everybody’s friend.  It is especially Iron’s friend.  You can – and should – take Vitamin C with iron to aid in absorption.  You can usually get away with a regular dose of this one – but you’ll want to accompany your iron dose with a Vitamin C dose, so that means you’ll be taking it more frequently.

Zinc – This is a touchy one, because generally, we all need to take extra zinc.  It promotes healing and can help boost your immune system.  Is your hair falling out?  Of course it is.  That may mean you need more Zinc.  But here’s where things get touchy.  Zinc likes to mess up your absorption.  I know, right?  That sucks.  Because you’re taking practically a vitamin buffet, and you’d hate for it all to be wasted because Zinc stepped in, kicked ass, and took names.  10 mg a day should be enough without causing too much interference, but if your doctor indicates you need more, remember to take this one all by itself.  Cue the Eric Carmen music.  Does anyone even remember Eric Carmen?  Geez, I AM old.

I like to call Biotin the bonus in the box.  It’s the pill I always had in my pill box because, quite frankly, my hair fell out in clumps.  Biotin helps grow strong hair and nails, and many of us find that after gastric bypass surgery, our hair and nails are the first things to show signs of vitamin deficiency.  My nails were so soft for a while, I was afraid to even go get a manicure.  And my hair even today tends to be on the crunchy side.  Biotin can help get you over the hump in those early days when you’re eating virtually nothing – at least where you’re hair and nails are concerned.

And girls, Folic Acid – add it.  I know, your plate is already full.  But it helps avoid anemia and is great for growing new cells.

You may find your doctor suggests more or less when it comes to vitamins, but the most important thing is regular blood work.  And it’s not enough to make sure your levels are “within normal limits”.  Make sure they check constantly what they were last time or the time before that.  You may be considered “normal”, but your body can be depleting what you’ve got stored up in there.  You need to see if you’re trending downward.

So, once you take all these vitamins, you realize you have no room for real food!  I know – pain in the flippin’ arse :-(  But take them anyway.  They’re going to mean way more to your body than the little bits of food you’re able to get in – especially in the beginning.  So just take them.  You’ll heal better and feel better.

 

Walt Disney World – It’s the Little Things

It’s a pretty big expense when you start to add up the cost of going with your family on a Walt Disney World vacation.  Once you run the numbers for hotels, transportation, theme park passes, and meals, you’re probably thinking the air in your lungs that you breathe while you’re at the Magic Kingdom is the most expensive souvenir you can afford!

Not so.  This is, of course, a theme park built on a mouse; overrun with dwarves; and with the incessant beat of “It’s a Small World” acting as the soundtrack.  That seems to indicate quite a fondness for the little thing.

So when your kids are looking all around at the gift shops, souvenir kiosks, and merchandise markets, fear not.  You won’t have to say no to every souvenir they find!  Steer them in the direction of these fabulous finds – souvenirs that won’t break the budget, cause Dad to keel over, take up too much room in the luggage that has to go home – oh, and that might inspire a love and a lifelong collection!

VINYLMATION:  Well in reach of the range Grandmom might slip into an envelope for the kids to take on their trip (around $10 – $15), these are currently all the rage.  Shaped like The Mouse, but created to be almost anything but, kids seem to love these things – but adults will hunt you down and murderize you for one they need to complete their collection.  You’ll find Vinylmations that are themed on Disney villains, occupations, theme park treats, Muppets, and even the theme parks themselves.  Some are just differently colored, others are a total surprise until you get the package home and open it up.  Best of all, they’ll fit easily into carry-on luggage!

PINS:  Do you remember Chicken Man?  He’s Everywhere!  He’s Everywhere!  So are the pins at Walt Disney World.  You can find pins that start in the $7 price range and go up from there, but talk about something for everyone – and everything!  There are pins that commemorate seasons, events, attractions, characters – you name it, there’s a pin for it.  Pin trading became so popular, that Walt Disney World cast members are often seen wandering the parks with their own collection, so you can stop them and trade with them as you go through the theme parks.  For a relatively small chunk of your souvenir budget, you can buy a pin starter kit, which usually includes a lanyard to put your pins on and four pins – two each of two different pins – one to keep and one to trade.  Some starter sets are geared more toward girls (princesses), some toward boys (Cars), but there are several gender neutral sets, and kids love them.  This is definitely a lifelong hobby you can get your kids started with for less than $20.

BACKPACK CLIPS:  Currently the souvenir du jour in my house, these also come in all shapes and sizes!  They are pretty self explanatory – they are clips that you can attach to your backpack, and hanging from the clip you’ll find a character or something Disney-fied.  Some are plush (Duffy the bear), some are icons (Minnie hat, hands, and skirt), some are hard rubber.  You can clip them to your backpack, handbag, diaper bag, lanyard, or even (with some of the smaller ones) onto a zipper.  These sweetly priced souvenirs can be had from about $7.

PRESSED PENNIES:  Probably the best souvenir for moms and dads who want to spend the last few dollars of their vacation money on the important stuff – like getting home.  And you know that weight limit your airline imposes on your suitcase?  This is no more than pocket change – literally!

For the bargain basement price of only 51 cents, you’ll get this great souvenir – and you’ll find them throughout the theme parks.  Collect them all!  These smooshed, mashed, squashed pennies commemorate your visit to various parts of the Walt Disney World theme park, and if your kids are seriously loving them, for less than $10 more than the cost of the pressed penny (oh yes, I said only 51 cents!!), you can get a binder in which you can store your pennies.  Best. Cheap. Souvenir. Ever!

I know in this economy, it’s harder to stretch your vacation dollar as far as it needs to go.  But these reasonably priced souvenir options add a little spandex to the budget – and put smiles on your kids faces.  And THAT is what vacation is all about!

What Happens When You Are Gastrically Altered? Slider Foods are NOT Your Friend

So, a while back, I posted about slider foods and how they will make you fat again after you’ve had gastric bypass surgery.  You can revisit that post here - http://beautygirlsmom.com/2008/02/10/slider-foods-will-make-me-fat/

And now you can see that my arse is living proof of how slider foods will cause you to regain and start checking Weight Watcher points and wearing stretch pants.

You can see from the explanation on the previous blog on slider foods that basically what happens with simple carbs is they “slide” right through.  You can eat, eat, and eat without suffering any of the dumping, discomfort, or anxiety over dumping and discomfort.

Here’s the thing – for a lot of us, we really don’t know that full feeling.  We don’t recognize that feeling at the Thanksgiving dinner table when people are pushing their chairs back and saying, “No more, no more – okay, well until dessert.”  I know I certainly didn’t.  I mean, I knew when to back away from the table because everyone else was doing it, and, well, someone had to do the dishes.  But I often stood in the kitchen, snacking on the already carved turkey leftovers or nibbling on the sausage out of the stuffing while I put food away and put dishes in the dishwasher.

Eating slider foods is just like that.  There is no feeling that you’re full.  I can go to a movie theater and get a large popcorn, and even gastrically altered, I can down the whole thing by myself.  I can buy a bag of pretzels for the family to snack on, and before I know it, I’m reaching for the last one before the kids even know the bag is in the house.  The funny thing is when I first realized I could eat pretzels, I would dip them in cream cheese, figuring I’d get a wee bit of extra protein while I was eating them; but after a few pretzels with cream cheese, I’d start to get an uncomfortable feeling and stop eating the cream cheese.  That lets way more pretzels go down!

I think the key to the slider food issue is not to start eating them.  There is virtually no nutritional value to you in pretzels, popcorn, and crackers.  You’re consuming calorie after calorie with none of the risk you have with protein of feeling full.

Slider foods have almost become an addiction.  I keep saying I won’t buy them, but when I’m standing in the grocery store thinking of what I should pick up to snack on (because you are still going to want SOMETHING to snack on), I never think something good for me like Greek yogurt, light cheese, grilled chicken strips.  I always think of something I know won’t give me that uncomfortable feeling.  But THAT’s the feeling I NEED.

There’s a lot of head stuff involved with being gastrically altered.  You think that once the issue of your plumbing is sorted out, you are in the clear, but you’re not.  I think I am a compulsive eater, and while gastric bypass surgery certainly helped make it harder for me to eat to my heart’s content, the objects of my desire have changed so I have the freedom to put more food into my mouth without worrying about uncomfortable consequences.

This is so not the fun part of gastric bypass surgery.

Pay No Attention to the Shrew Behind the Classroom Door

Yeah, it was me.

In what will not go down as my finest hour, I laid into a 70 year old chemistry teacher.  To hear outsiders tell it, I was quite a bitch.   I disagree.

I NEED to get a good grade in this class.  While I have already been accepted into a nursing program, I wish to not give them cause to change their minds by turning in a crappy grade.  I need a professor who is willing to put some time and effort into actually teaching the class.

So, here’s his background.  Italian guy from South Philly – I should love him already, no?  Terrified of science as a kid.  Be still my beating heart.  Father forced him to take Chemistry, and he LOVED it.  Yeah, okay, there’s something wrong with this picture.  He worked a long, illustrious career in the field of chemistry (who does that???), retired two years ago, and has been told by his wife to get his ass out of her house.

Remember that old saying, “Those that can’t do, teach.”?  Yeah, well, this guy DOES, so it should be painfully obvious that teaching is not his thing.

Let’s start with his immediate dismissal of the thought of a syllabus.  You know – the thing that becomes a college student’s Bible over the course of the semester?  The thing that reminds us of what is expected of us and on what day has now been described as “too complicated” and “not necessary”.

In the first two hours, we lost five students.  Yep – they just got up and left.  Never came back.  Unless something mysterious is going on in the ladies room, I would venture to guess they were dropping this class.  Those aren’t very good statistics, even for someone who didn’t shine in her statistics class.

So this is how this particular professor chose to teach the class.  ”Class, turn to page one.”  And he read the book to us.  Word for word, never leaving his chair.  I kid you not.  He even read figures that were so enormous, I wasn’t even sure how many zeros I needed!  And he gave no examples on the board.  And he didn’t explain anything.

And he’s a little hard of hearing.  Which is why I may have sounded louder than I should have sounded.

When I confronted him.

Yeah, I did.  I thought I was being polite when I asked him if he intended to teach the entire class that way – no notes, no examples, no nothing.  I may have called one young kid in the front Doogie.  He deserved it.

I merely explained to this professor that I am certainly capable of reading the book on my own, but I was hoping for a class where what I read was explained in depth.  By someone who spoke “chemistry”.  I myself am not fluent in the language.

And if it wasn’t embarrassing enough that a few of the kids – yes, I said kids – attacked me for being so rude to this kindly elderly gentleman, a bimbo behind me, wearing a cut off sweatshirt that said PINK in huge letters across her boobs and low rise sweatpants that said SWEET across her arse yelled out, “I think you’re doing a fantastic job!”  Honey, you do know he’s blind as a bat and can’t even see your boobs, right?  Look how close he has his nose to the book to be able to read it to us.  No way those boobs are getting you an A in that class.

So immediately after class, with my tail between my legs, I took my shrew self to registration and dropped the Italian Stallion’s  old grey mare’s class and registered for a Saturday class.

I hate Saturday classes :-(

 

What Happens When You’re Gastrically Altered – Clothing Challenges

Oh yeah, I went there.

That is a picture of my “Before” underpants and my “After” underpants.  I took that picture because I was so tired of seeing people post-op sticking both legs into one leg of a pair of jeans.  I thought my post-op clothing picture needed to be jazzier.  So yeah, drawers are jazzy.

But guess what?  You’re gonna need new undies!!

And pants.  And skirts.  And eventually tops.

Which all sounds like a good thing.  But here’s where it’s a bad thing.  It’s frustrating to go into the store, buy a new pair of smaller sized jeans, then two weeks later find out that you can step right outta them bad boys!  I’m not kidding!  When I hit size 16, I bought two brand new pairs of jeans, and was so excited to see my new smaller self in them.  But two weeks later, they kept falling off, they looked awful, and I had wasted the $100 bucks I spent.

There’s only so much a tailor can do when you’re dropping weight this rapidly, so as tempted as you are, you want to try and curb your urge to shop for the time being.  So what are you supposed to do when your clothes start falling off?  I mean, you don’t want to risk having the fashion police called (or the real ones, as indecent exposure could become an issue – for real!!).

If you belong to any type of Weight Loss Surgery support group, check and see if they do a clothing exchange.  Many groups – especially ones with a good number of members – will have a once a month clothing exchange.  You bring in all of your old sizes that are falling on the floor, and you can swap with members who are getting rid of the next smaller size. It saves everyone a lot of money, because there are almost always people moving from one size to the next.

Check out the thrift stores.  You may not typically be a thrift store shopper.  I am not, and believe me when I tell you I get a bit skeeved out when I think of used clothing from people with whom I am not personally acquainted.  Now’s the time to get over this skeeve factor.  Buy a good bottle of bleach and hit the Goodwill store.  I went from a size 24 to a size 10 in less than a year.  There is no way possible to purchase the amount of clothing you are going to go through unless you are exceptionally wealthy.  If you work at a job that requires a uniform or a particular type of clothing, then you need clothes for your days off, you really can sink a TON of money into replacing things every month.  Goodwill and other thrift stores will save you a small fortune, and you can think of the good deed you’ll be doing when you donate it all back as you continue to shrink.

Use Freecycle, Craig’s List, and yard sales.  I know, again with the used clothing, but trust me – you aren’t going to have to wear them very long, and just think of all the brand new things you’ll be able to afford when you’re weight stabilizes if you keep it cheap now!  Some Freecycle rules indicate that you have to offer something before you can take something – it’s a great way to get rid of the clothes you no longer need.

And lastly, buy stretch things.  I know, it’s finally a time in your life when you don’t NEED stretch pants – you can fit into jeans and slacks and nice thing.  But, stretch pants will take you further.  You can buy stretch pants in a size or two smaller and still wear them today.  That means that instead of getting two weeks out of a pair of pants before they are falling off, you may get two months out of them.  I know my size 24 arse was still squeezing into size 18 stretch pants (thank goodness for strong seams!), so coming down from the size 24 back to an 18 was a fairly easy adjustment on me in terms of clothing.  So, if you’re a size 18 now, buy 14 stretch pants – or better yet, a size Large, which really could take you down to a size 12.  And you all know you can dress the stretch pants up or down and make them work in lots of settings.

So, what have we learned?  We don’t want to spend our annual wardrobe budget on clothes we won’t be able to wear next week.  No one will believe you have joined a gangsta rap group and you INTENDED to wear your pants that way.  We have to get over our skeeved out selves and wear used clothing.  And all the money you save can be put into a fund for either a banging wardrobe at the end of your weight loss journey, or it can go towards some of the plastic surgery you might ultimately want to have!

Staking My Claim – This Desk is MINE!

“One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.”
― A.A. Milne

When I worked outside of the home, my desk was immaculate.  Everything had a place, and everything was in it’s place at all times.  Of course, the desk was entirely mine.  I didn’t have to share it with anyone, and I didn’t have anyone who felt like they could come and dump there crap here – which apparently, I do not have at home.

So what I end up with is a desk that serves as a catch-all.  Papers from school?  I get them.  Books and magazines that someone can’t reach to put on their book shelves?  They end up here.  Stuff no one is sure what to do with?  Dump it on Mommy’s desk and either we’ll never see it again, or Mommy will figure out what to do with it.

Done.  Today, I am finished being the toxic wasteland of crap my kids can’t – or won’t – put away.  I am taking back the one space in the house I feel I shouldn’t have to share.

My desk.  The operative word being MY.

I’d like to see the pictures I so lovingly chose frames for so I had the people I love happily smiling at me when I’m in the middle of a 7,243 page term paper on a topic I don’t understand.  I’d like to see the stiletto tape dispenser that was a Christmas gift from someone who still remembers me (and pictures me) from the days when my shoe wardrobe wasn’t primarily Crocs and sneakers.  I’d love to be able to look at the votive holder turned pencil holder that my sister Bean made at the pottery shop not long before she died.

And by the end of the hour, I will be able to do all of those things.  I mean it.  So help me Jeebus.

Here are a few of the before pictures – and I’ll post some afters later today!

 

Here are the AFTER pictures!!!  YAY me!  Now I dare a child to lay one finger on this desk – the finger will be removed, and the child placed on a Greyhound bus with a tag that says, “Return to Sender, Destination Unknown”.

 

Thrifty Tip – January

It’s kind of a crappy economy, in case you hadn’t noticed, so I’ve decided to add a monthly feature this year on how to be a bit more thrifty.  I gotta tell ya – you’re not going to find out how to buy $12,000 worth of groceries for a used piece of gum and some broken shoelaces.  I can’t tell you how to take that European vacation for the cost of a Happy Meal.  But I can give you some of my favorite ideas for stretching the dollars you’re going to spend – even if you’re going to spend them a little frivolously.

My January tip, now that you’ve all broken those New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight and get in shape, involves eating.  Good food, big portions, lots to take home.  You were tired of celery by now anyway, weren’t you?

Maggiano’s Little Italy is a chain Italian restaurant with a pretty extensive menu.  If you go with a party of four or more people, you can opt a family style dining service instead of ordering from the regular menu.  Your choices are pretty extensive, and you can tailor your price range by ordering light, classic or chef’s choice.  Light, which runs about $20 per adult includes two appetizers, two salads, two pastas, and a dessert of lemon cookies.  Classic offers two appetizers, two salads, four main courses, and two dessert options for about $28 per adult.  If you want even more options, the Chef’s Choice gives you the same number combination as the Classic, but opens up menu items that include a shrimp scampi appetizer, lobster carbonara as a pasta choice, and several veal dishes for a meat option.  It will cost you about $10 more than the classic to upgrade.

Now, I see you clutching your chest and breathing rapidly over the price for Italian food.  You know you can go to the Olive Garden all you can eat pasta and get bread sticks and salad and spend less than $15 per person, but you know you’re going to go there, fill yourself up with all that nasty good for you salad, and only be able to eat one bowl of pasta.  Game over.

At Maggiano’s, you can get refills on whatever you want!  Did the kids polish off the fried calamari at their end of the table before it ever made it to your end?  No problem!  Your waiter happily brings you more calamari.  Did you love, love, love the Caesar salad so much that you are licking the plate, embarrassing your children, and frightening other guests who think they’re in the presence of some wild savage woman who has been starved on NutriSystem for months?  Before you can wipe the dripping dressing off of your chin, you waiter will bring you another plate of salad.

So, because you’ve really had more than a full meal of appetizers and salad, those yummy entrees you were looking forward to now look like your eyes were too big for your tummy.  And that happy waiter will have boxes out to you quicker than your tubby little overstuffed self can roll out of your chair.

How is this a value, you ask?  Because I’m going to take home almost all of the entrees I ordered and some nice dessert, and maybe a handful of over ordered calamari appetizer.  When I hear someone the next day say, “What’s for dinner??” I’m going to pull out my fabulous treasure trove of someone else cooked them for me leftovers, add a bag of salad, and I can almost always get two more dinners out of what we bring home.

So, for $20 per adult (on the Light Menu), I’m feeding us three meals – and we’ve gotten the bonus of an evening out on the town.  Which we wanted anyway, even in this crappy economy!

I think this is a pretty thrifty tip!

Disney Holiday Weekends – Worth the Trip?

As if I’m EVER going to say there’s a time when it’s NOT worth the trip!

People ask me, especially during the school year, when you don’t want to yank the kids out of school, if they’ll have time to see and do what they want on holiday weekends during the school year.  With the Martin Luther King day holiday coming up next week, I wanted to just give you a resounding YES!!

Will it be busy?  Yes.  But nothing like the crowds you are going to see during Christmas and Easter week.  You’ll see a surge in crowds that will make you want to use the FastPass system, but it’s rare during holiday weekends like this that you could expect park closures or two hour lines.

Tips for making the most of your holiday weekend and for maximizing your time?

- Use FastPass – This complimentary “ticket” will give you a window of time to come back to the busier attractions.  Instead of waiting in line, grab the pass at the kiosk, then go do something else.  For these busy weekends, as soon as your window opens up, head to another FastPass attraction and get another pass (which you can’t do until your window opens up).  That way, you’ll always have something to look forward to, plus you won’t stress over making it to your favorite attractions!

- Make Dining Reservations – I you want to eat somewhere special or you are specific as to where you must have your meals, book ahead of time.  You can almost always find SOMEWHERE to sit down and eat – even at the table service restaurants – but if your heart is set on Chef Mickey’s or Le Cellier, book in advance.  Reservations can be made up to 180 days ahead of time.

- Consider Park Hopper Passes – I have to admit that we almost never park hop.  And you might think that on a busy weekend, you’re better to stay put where you start.  However, if I know that the parks are going to be busy, I’ll try to hit the morning Extra Magic Hours (which you are entitled to as a Walt Disney World resort guest) at whichever park they are offered, then move to another park after spending that early morning hour.  I might do my top attractions at the next park, move on to a third, then head to a fourth for dinner.  If I’m going to go for dinner, I like to see about doing the park that has extra magic hours in the evening, then I stay put there.  That gives you a longer day in the theme parks, allows you to see some of each park (which can be tough on a three day weekend), and gives you a chance to eat breakfast in one place, lunch in another, and dinner in a third.

Will you find bigger crowds on a holiday weekend?  You will.  But the crowd is manageable if you go with a strategy, and you really can see quite a bit of all four Walt Disney World Parks if you head in with plan in hand.

Some of the Ugly – What Happens When You Don’t Follow Orders

Everyone is different with regard to how things will go for them following gastric bypass surgery.  And today’s post op lesson is all about how you should do what you’re told with regard to your body and the nutrition you require.

I struggled with what to eat, and as an option to conquer the fear of new foods and what they might do to me, I decided to eat only chicken noodle soup.  Yep, that was it.  I got up each morning, had coffee, then for lunch and dinner, I ate a bowl of chicken noodle soup.

If you do the math, the calories amount to something like “Did you live in Ethiopia?” or “You know anorexia is dangerous, right?”  I don’t think I ever had a day where I went over about 400 calories – until I started putting crackers in my soup.

So here’s basically what happens when you don’t do what you’re told.

Your hair is going to fall out.  In big clumps.  It will feel like something is running down your back when you stand in the shower, and your plumber will become your new best friend, as he shows off the new Mercedes your clogged drain has allowed him to buy.

I didn't color my hair for fear I'd be bald afterwards.

Your nails will become brittle.  And by brittle, I mean Sally Hansen will call you and tell you to stop using her Hard As Nails because you are bad advertising for her product.  On the other hand, your nail salon owner will become your new best friend, as she shows off the new Mercedes your frequent trips to the salon have allowed her to buy.

Your skin will become dry and lack color.  People will call you Elvira (for those of you too young to remember her, it’s what vampires looked like before they were all sparkly), and they will tell you to get your pasty white arse to the tanning salon.

Why Yes, Those Are Painfully Small Wrists

You will lack energy.  Monday Night Football will become a distant memory, and the Late Night Movie for you will now be the one that starts at 4 PM.

Eventually, in my case, when my hair was so dry and crunchy you could use it to jump start the fire in your fireplace, my friends held an intervention and made me eat a banana.  At some point in this series, I will tell you where that led to, but at the time, just eating a bite of a banana was horrifying to me.  And the sugar in it made my face hot and flush.  And it was an awful feeling.  But I did it.

So, let’s recap.  Protein – remember that ugly little word?  Yeah, instead of making your plumber and nail salon owner your best friend, make it protein.  Vitamins – you need them.  Remember when I mentioned how little of what your body needs is going to come from your food?  Yeah, that means you need to take vitamins.  And I don’t mean a Flintstone chewable.  Quality food.  Eat good proteins first, veggies second, and skip the slider foods.  We’ll talk more about that next week.