End of Week One In The Land of the Losing!

Yeah, I did it.  I survived the week on a diet.  No husbands were maimed, no children were injured, no small animals were harmed.

And I lost five pounds.

I know – that sounds like I should be jumping up and down, praising the diet divas (Richard Simmons and Susan Powter); bowing down to the gut busting gurus (the trainers on the Biggest Loser – and Harvey from Celebrity Fit Club); lavishing love on the lard losing dieters who have gone before me, blazing the trail with fad diets and starvation plans.

But I can’t.

If I get excited that I’ve lost five pounds, I might start looking to reward myself.

And you know how fat chicks reward themselves?  It’s how we got fat in the first place.  Food.

This is one of the hurdles in the diet challenge for me – learning to be proud of my weight loss and reward myself without using food.

In the past, if I lost five pounds in one week, I’d start thinking “Hmmmm, if I ate X number of calories this week and lost five pound, then next week, I can eat 200 calories more each day and STILL lose weight!”  It’s a vicious cycle for me; another way I sabotage myself.

The good thing this time around is I am recognizing the things I’ve glazed over in the past (oooh – she said “glaze” – how far is the Krispy Kreme from here?).  I don’t have to be three quarters of the way through a Quarter Pounder before I realize I could have just patted myself on the back, given myself an extra hour of “me” time, and skipped the fat laden calorie consumption.

I’m down five pounds.  My goal is 30 pounds.  With less than 17% of my goal reached, now is not the time to rest on my pleasantly plump laurels.

Closing In On The End of the Dieting Week – Sinking My Own Ship

I am my biggest obstacle.  I do a lot of things wrong when I diet, and they are all starting to rear their ugly heads.

The first thing I do wrong – I crave.  Now, I know that’s not something I can get around.  We all have cravings.  This week, I’ve craved everything from fried pickles (thank, Lisa!) to coffee ice cream.  I don’t even like coffee ice cream.  Last night, while watching the Food Network, I saw back to back commercials for Olive Garden’s new ravioli dish and the TV show Cupcake Wars, and began to seriously wonder how amazing cupcakes would taste wrapped inside a ravioli, drizzled with chocolate?  I know, right?  A totally new food group!

The thing that’s wrong with my cravings is I give into them in all the wrong ways.  I had coffee ice cream last night – only a couple of bites, stayed within my daily calories, don’t panic.  But because I don’t LIKE coffee ice cream, even though it cured the coffee ice cream craving, it left me feeling empty – and I wanted to eat something else.  Which I did.  Which put me over by about 100 calories for the day yesterday.  Not a major misstep, I know, but it definitely stinks.

The solution?  Obvious, isn’t it?

Duct tape – it fixes everything!

24 Hours of Dieting, and I Survived Dunkin’ Donuts

Okay – so I don’t dare tell you how much I weigh – until I don’t weigh that much anymore.  Then I’ll be all like, “Oh, did I tell you I lost 12 pounds?”  That’s how I roll.

So, I found an iPhone application that helps me keep track of my calories.  It’s kind of a neat app, in that it lets me put in my starting weight, how much I want to lose, and at what pace I want to lose the weight.  After I programmed everything in, the thing called me a big fat ass, and then told me to lay off the Girl Scout cookies.  I kid…

Unless I actually do something with the gym clothes I bought besides pairing them with the right eye shadow and the perfect shoes, I am limited to just under 1400 calories per day if I want to reach my goal in time.  Of course, seeing a number that small, I instantly thought there must be a zero missing somewhere – or they were giving my calories in metric or something (yeah, I know).

I was pleasantly surprised at the end of the day yesterday when I had only gone over by 17 calories – and that was because I stopped for a second latte.  I can’t be blamed for that one – my crazy husband tossed and turned all night long the night before in his sleep, and as I dragged my butt on the ground, I knew I needed caffeine or a contract hit man to deal with the rest of the day.

But today, gentle readers and dear friends, I faced the ultimate challenge.  We were running late, and I had to stop to grab breakfast for the girls.  It was also the opening performance of Eilis’ play at school.  Being the fat mom that I am, I thought I’d reward them with a treat – Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast.

I could have stopped and gotten them fruit and yogurt; or even an egg McMuffin, which would have been healthier and eliminated my temptation.  I didn’t.

And I ate a doughnut.

And I’ve stayed in my calorie range (well, 12 calories over for today – blame that second latte again).

The thing I’m most proud of is that I didn’t go back for a second doughnut – as I have been known to do.  Or come home and decide that I needed a doughnut for lunch, if for no other reason than to get them out of my house as quickly as I could – to save the rest of my family from the burden of obesity.  Because I’m kind like that.  And glaze is my favorite food group.

So as I stand here in the confessional, I hope that my prayer for absolution – my Act of Doughnut Contrition – includes at least an “Amen” for avoiding temptation for the rest of the day.

30 in 90, So Help Me God

Here it is, fabulous readers – the word I hate to talk about.

It’s the one four letter word I actually don’t use (all the others are fair game).

But, I’ve gotten out of control.  And with my newly tucked tummy, I want to get the rest of me back on the band wagon.   The plan at the moment is to try to lose 30 pounds in 90 days.  Realistic?  Maybe.  It’s going to be a struggle, but I think when I stop and recognize all the junk that has creeped its way back into my daily eating, it will be a big step just to leave the crap out.

Stay with me as I go through the diet grumpiness and the exercise soreness (oh, Jesus, did I just commit to exercise?).  If I don’t have you guys motivating me on and keeping  a watchful eye, I’m not sure I can do it!

Slider Foods Will Make Me Fat

I struggle on an almost daily basis over what to put in my mouth.  I know there are gastric bypass patients who pretty much eat whatever they want at some point after surgery, and some are fortunate enough to have learned a lesson and can do it without gaining weight back.  There are two things that frighten me about food.  The first thing is I will eat something and it will make me sick.  The second thing is I will eat something and it will NOT make me sick.  So I have come up with a list of “safe” foods that I feel comfortable eating, that fill me up, that make me feel like I’m not depriving myself.  I do veer off of the safe foods when I go out to eat, although I admit that since soup is typically a safe food for me, I usually look at the soups on a menu first.  But my one daily staple, no matter what, is pretzels.  I eat a LOT of pretzels.  I probably eat more calories in the form of pretzels than all the other foods I eat in a day – easily.  And then I got this emailed to me through my support group:

What are slider foods?
Kaye’s Answer: In a malabsorptive procedure the pouch is made and the stoma or outlet is attached to the lower part of the middle intestine called the jejunum. The majority of caloric absorption takes place in the jejunum, so depending upon where your surgeon created the outlet the level of absorption can vary. Skilled surgeons will adjust the length of intestine bypassed according to their patient’s projected needs based on dieting history and pre-op psychological screening.

Slider foods slide right through the stoma into the jejunum. My first test of the slider foods was graham crackers and coffee for my after work snack. Now imagine, I could eat a stack of graham crackers and wash it right through the pouch with the coffee and never feel any satiation. What resulted was an easily absorbed slurry that my jejunum sucked up like a sponge – it didn’t have to do any work to absorb this simple carbohydrate slurry. Of course, weight gain resulted and I had to give up this little indulgence. Another popular slider food is pretzels. I speak with post-ops all the time who are addicted to pretzels – again, this is a simple carb that your jejunum is very happy to receive and convert to fat. Traditionally dieters are encouraged to eat pretzels or popcorn – fat free and fiber, right? But that doesn’t work so well for us. Giving our re-routed bodies these simple carbs is dangerous because our bodies have spent years perfect the art of fat storage – slider foods are to the body a great big lottery win.

By the way, in my example I spoke of a slurry from graham crackers and coffee. Simple carbs, however, will slide right through without the added benefit of a liquid. And several others can talk about cheese nip crackers, popcorn, mashed potatoes, ice cream/yogurt etc.

Lots of times I hear, “But I don’t like that uncomfortable tight feeling of solid protein in my pouch.” But the very purpose of the pouch is to signal fullness, which often comes by way of slight discomfort when we are eating in compliance with our bariatric owner’s manual. The slider foods will never ever signal fullness. They are dangerous and in most cases non-nutritional. When I feel that full-pouch discomfort I try to mentally psych myself up, “YEAH-BABY! The pouch is on the job!!” Silly, but whatever works.

I’m one of those people who does not like the uncomfortable feeling I get when I eat solid foods.  I have never in my life been really full.  I could go to a buffet and know to stop eating because I could hear John Pinette echoing in the recesses of my brain doing his Chinese buffet skit (“you’ve been here four ow-a!  You go now!).  But I’ve never had that feeling where you wish you had worn stretch pants.  Until I had surgery.  And it’s not a good feeling.  I’ve also had the feeling where food is backed up.  I wish I could describe it to someone who has not had surgery, but it’s a feeling like the stuff I have eaten and swallowed has gotten down to the mid-chest area and stopped.  And it’s not going to move until the rest of what I ate moves along first.

Pretzels have been my friend.  They are a “snack” – something I thought I had lost forever when I had gastric bypass surgery.  They taste good – especially after a protein shake or bar or a cup of steaming hot vanilla latte.  The salt complements the other foods.  And I don’t get that full feeling from them.  They do slide right down without any difficulty.

And that’s why I can go through 4 pounds of pretzels in a week or so. 

So after I finish the bag and the tub I have, no more pretzels for me (said as I reached under my desk for the tub of peanut butter filled pretzels).  Apparently, pretzels will slide me right back to obesity.  I will have to learn to deal with the discomfort of a full pouch.  Starting today.  Munch.  Munch.