Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pre-Op appointments!

I have 6 appointments today in preparation for my surgery on Monday.  In my weigh-in this morning, I am 244.  I know it isn't a truly valid weight, since I know I have a lot of water weight due to my period.  It's still not a bad number, considering all my cheats lately.  It's the goal I was supposed to be at before my surgery.

My first appointment was scheduled with the doctor doing my surgery.  But before I met with him, I had to watch the pre-op video again, then met with his medical assistant.  Then I met with the Fellow who will be assisting with my surgery.  FINALLY, an hour late, I met with my surgeon.  He helped allay my fears with the surgery and risks involved. 

Next I met with a normal medical doctor.  The surgery requires that a medical doctor gives the patient a physical within 30 days of the surgery.  That was her role.  She took my basics, listened to my lungs, etc.  It was a quick visit.

I had an online survey I had to take, which pretty much re-asked all the same questions as the medical doctor.

Then I had to walk about a mile to another building to do a pre-interview with the anesthesiology department.  I spoke to the anesthesiology nurse in length about my issues related to anesthesia - vomiting and hives.  They are being very proactive about it and will be giving me anti-nausea meds even before my surgery, then during and after.  With having surgery on my stomach, it's important to not vomit after!

The last stop in the day was to get bloodwork.  I'm not sure what levels they were checking, but they took about 3 tubes of blood.  Then a second person had to come in and take a separate tube of blood just to confirm my blood type.  Overall it was a busy day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

falling off the wagon

Friday was HARD.  I do very well at work since I get into a routine and am not exposed to a lot of temptations.  Friday was my Mom's birthday, and I got off work early to spend time with her and the kids.  As soon as I walked in, I knew I was in trouble.  The kids were eating pizza.  Granted, it was frozen pizza, but I would have eaten pizza after it had fallen on the ground at that point.  But I stayed strong and drank my water.  Then came cupcake making.  At that point I was at the end of my rope and retreated to the basement to get away from the temptations.  But they followed me down there!  My Mom let the kids take their freshly baked cupcakes to the basement to watch a movie with me.  I eventually kicked them out and broke down and ate a small jar of sandwich sliced pickles.  It had 5 servings in the jar, and each serving had no calories or fat.  Too bad it didn't list what a whole jar was!  I'm sure I had *some* calories that day.  I didn't go over my daily allowance of calories, but I still felt like a huge failure because it was solid food and I wasn't allowed to eat any solids.

Saturday was a banner day for awesomeness.  I had my breakfast shake, then had a date that kept me away from the house for my lunch shake.  So instead of  having both my lunch & dinner shake at 5pm, I just added 2 extra scoops of protein powder to my dinner shake (in order to get enough protein), and had that.

Sunday was a good day, but I can see it as the start of me cheating a little and making excuses for it.  I did no snacking all day, even though I had Peach with me all day and had to cook for her.  But that evening a neighbor kid came over and all the kids were eating small pretzel sticks.  I had 2.  I was so ashamed because my kids would be disappointed if they caught me.

Monday was my worst day ever.  I think I am having a lot of anxiety about the upcoming surgery.  I had my 3 normal shakes and cup of chicken broth like usual.  But on my way home, I remembered a long-abandoned small bag of baked cheddar & sour cream chips and had it while driving to get the kids for karate.  Then I hid the evidence so they wouldn't be disappointed.  I feel bad for the sneaky snacking since it will lead me down a very self-destructive path.  TODAY (Tuesday) WILL be a no-cheat day.  It as to be.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Liquid diet day 4 - TMI

Yesterday's rearrangement did the trick!  I made it through the day with only 1 cup of chicken broth mid-morning and one Jolly Rancher in the afternoon.  I didn't even remember to eat any jello!  I hope the rest of the time goes by this nicely. 
I have the bad habit of weighing myself daily.  This morning I'm down to 244.5.  The goal from the nutritionist was to be down to 244 before my surgery.  At this rate, I'll be down to 234!

There is an unfortunate side effect to a full liquid diet that I only mention in the spirit of full disclosure.  As of last night, I have...leakage.  From my butt.  My poop is soft and even though I wipe fully when I'm done, "stuff" leaks out as I go about my day.  It's quite unpleasant and disconcerting.  Yet another reason I am looking forward to going back to "normal" food!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

liquid diet day 3 - 10/16

If you remember, I weighed 252.5 on Monday morning.  As of this morning, 2 full days into my liquid diet, I am down to 246.5.  No wonder I am so cranky and tired!  My body is completely out of energy!

I decided to make one small tweak to my "meals" today to hopefully keep the beast away that shows up at 3pm every day.  For breakfast and dinner I am doing my normal shakes (1 cup soymilk, 2 scoops protein powder, and sprinkle of sugar-free pudding).  Lunch will be my "big" meal of the soymilk being increased to 1 1/2 cups.  I hope that does the trick for my mood as well as my energy!

In non-diet news, I have mixed feelings about my date on Saturday with the guy I met on Match.  He seems like a wonderful guy, just what I deserve.  But on the other hand, his kids are MUCH older than mine, so we don't have that in common.  Plus, he definitely doesn't want more kids.  Before I heard that definite NO from him yesterday, I was ambiguous about having more kids.  I am very happy with the 3 I have, but wouldn't need to be talked into having more.  But I hate being limited and hearing his no makes me REALLY want to have more.  I think I knew this in the back of my mind all along, since I can't bear to get rid of the baby clothes from my kids "just in case"...

liquid diet day 2 - 10/15

Today was better than yesterday.  I made a few small tweaks and I think they really helped. 

I took out the strawberries from my morning shake in order to give me more calories to have during the day.  So my breakfast and lunch shakes were 1 cup soymilk and 2 scoops soy protein powder.  My evening shake was 1 1/2 cups soymilk and 2 scoops protein.  I also sprinkled a little sugar-free vanilla pudding into the shake to make it thicker, and (hopefully) more filling.  It seemed to do the trick, since I only had to have 1 cup chicken broth and 1 cup of tea to keep me full between shakes.  Unfortunately, my mood still took a nosedive around 3pm and I ended up being very cranky till bedtime.  I don't like the person who comes out after 3pm, but I have to keep telling myself it's only temporary.

I am missing FLAVOR very badly and I cheated and had 2 jolly ranchers today.  It was worth it!  I wish I could get jolly ranchers in other flavors too.  Perhaps cheddar & sour cream potato chips?  I wish...

2 days down, 12 more to go! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

liquid diet day 1 - 10/14

Today was rough.  The nutritionist I was working with had me eating 3 meals plus 2 snacks a day.  My stomach was used to never being very empty.  I had my morning shake in the morning like usual, around 6:30 (1 cup soymilk, 2 scoops Total Soy protein powder, and 1/2 cup of strawberries).  When I got to work, I had my daily cup of half caff coffee with a little amaretto creamer.  By 10am I was HUNGRY.  I had a cup of chicken broth made from bullion, and that lasted me until 11.  So I had a cup of tea.  It was a struggle to wait till noon to have lunch.  The lunch shake consisted of 1 cup soymilk and 2 scoops protein powder.  It didn't do the trick, so I had some of the sugar free jello I had brought along.  The afternoon lasted FOREVER.  I had another cup of chicken broth and tons of water to keep the hunger pains away.  By the time I left work, I was in a mood.  That mood got worse when my kids weren't listening while getting ready for karate.  I listened to my stomach growl during the entire lesson and counted down the minutes til it was time for my dinner shake.  When we left karate, I warned the boys this cranky mommy was their new mommy since I was so hungry.  Luigi burst into tears.  To lighten the mood I told Luigi I was so hungry I was going to eat his fingers because they looked like delicious little sausages.  Mario was laughing hysterically, but it made Luigi cry even harder.  Poor guy was tired and too sensitive to deal with a cranky mom.  The evening got better after mama had her shake (another cup of soymilk and 2 scoops protein powder).

Hopefully the first day was the hardest and it gets easier from here.   

Monday, October 14, 2013

final hurrah and liquid diet

Since this was my weekend with my kids, I decided it was going to be a party weekend.  One final hurrah before going on my all-liquid diet for who knows how long.  For the first time in months, I had real food for breakfast - an English muffin instead of a shake.  For lunch the kids and I made a homemade pizza.  For dinner I bought a 1/2 sheet pizza.  Yes, pizza twice in a day.  But wait, it gets better.  Sunday, we went to a movie and the boys and I had popcorn and candy.  We came home for lunch, and finished off the rest of the pizza.  The kids went to a friend's house around dinnertime and they had pizza once again for dinner.  I declined, because even I have limits.  After having pizza four meals in the weekend, the kids and I made cupcakes.  We each had 2.  Even though we all need to detox now, it was worth it.  It was a fun, carefree weekend and I have no regrets.  The kids and I have been on such a strict eating plan since we are all working with nutritionists.

Today it's back to the grind, food-wise.  At least for the kids - today begins my all-liquid diet which I have to  be on until my surgery date on October 28 (and beyond).  I am allowed to have 800 calories of protein shakes a day, and all the sugar free jello I can tolerate.  (I have a feeling I'll get sick of it pretty fast).  I add strawberries to my morning shake, but I have to have just soymilk & my protein powder for my other 2 shake meals since I don't have enough calories to add fruit.  After my binge-y weekend, I'm at 252.5.  I have to get down to 244 before my surgery date, but I'm not worried.  800 calories a day is nothing when you work full time, have to chase after the kiddos after work, and have a house to clean on top of it all.

Keep reading along if you want to know more about my journey.  I hope to be better at writing posts, including my weight loss, surgery, and meals.

Jumping through hoops

Since the initial appointments with the nurtitionist, psychologist, and surgeon, I've had to make many changes and jump through several hoops in order to qualify for the Roux n-y surgery.  I had to have 2 psychologist appointments before she would sign off on me.  I had to have weekly hour-long appointments in a group setting for binge eaters.  I also had to meet with a nutritionist for 3 months and lose a certain amount of weight before they would sign off on me.  Since I was practicing all their recommendations and was on the path of losing weight, they finally signed off.  The nutritionist was the last signature I needed before having my file submitted to my insurance company.

I had to wait about 2 weeks until I got the letter from my insurance company saying I was approved.  I was so happy!  After the letter, I had to wait several days for the Cleveland Clinic to receive the approval.  I got a call from my surgeon's nurse to set up my pre-surgery appointment as well as my surgery date.

It's  been a long road to get to this point, and the road to recovery after surgery is even longer, but it's worth it.  I am excited!

Monday, July 15, 2013

healthy changes!

I picked up some vanilla soy protein powder this weekend at the local big box store.  I had it for dinner with 1 cup of soymilk and 1/2 a frozen banana on Sunday night.  Of course, the strawberries were calling to me at 9:30pm, so I had a late night snack after my healthy shake dinner.  I won't call it a fail, but I wouldn't call it a win, either.  I had another shake this morning with a handful of frozen strawberries.  It actually kept me full till noon!  Maybe those nutritionists do know a thing or two after all...

I decided to start the Couch to 5k program today, the hottest day of the year so far.  But I couldn't go back on my promise to myself, especially since I am meeting with the surgeon on Wednesday and I want to be able to report good things to him.  I felt like I was in hell, the way the track was radiating heat upwards to my face.  I quit early, but I did more than I did yesterday (nothing), so I'm not going to be too hard on  myself.  I just need to remember the deodorant for Wednesday, ha!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Initial appointment(s)

The hospital where I had my initial Bariatric Surgery appointments is the Rolls Royce of hospitals.  It's also a huge medical campus and quite a freakin' maze.  I signed in and was set up at a computer, where I had to answer almost 350 T/F questions.  Then came the hour-long appointment with the psychologist.  She asked me about past attempts for weight loss, psychiatric history, support systems, etc.  I then had to run over to an adjoining building for an EKG, bloodwork, and chest X-rays. 

Then BACK to the original building for an hour-long appointment with the Nutritionist.  That appointment was absolutely not what I was expecting.  I thought they were going to have me go on a diet immediately, to help kick start the weight loss before the surgery.  Nope, it was all to prepare me on what my diet will consist of after the surgery.  They gave me tons of recommendations that I need to put into place now, so I am used to them after the surgery.  Since I'm a vegetarian, I need to increase the protein in my diet, and add a protein shake into the mix for breakfast.  I need to switch to decaf  (or herbal) tea and downgrade to half-caff coffee.  No more carbonated beverages.  There are more suggestions, but those are the ones I'm working on right now.  I told them I was going to start the C25K program and they set a goal for me to lose 20lbs by my appointment mid-September.  They admitted it's not really how much or little I lose, just that I maintain and not gain.  That's what the insurance company is looking for.  If I gain weight while being advised by a nutritionist, I won't be very compliant with my post-surgery diet, now will I?

I meet with the surgeon this coming Wednesday.  I have no idea what to expect at that appointment!

As of this initial appointment, I am officially 261.0 lbs according to the medical scale.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Busy living life - updates galore!

Holy guacamole, I can't believe it's been over a month since I've written anything!

There have been broken bones, several incidents of falling off the bed, and an ADHD diagnosis to boot! Kindergarten and preschool promotions, a job promotion, and tons of cavities. 

The biggest news is that I am now a single lady (holla!).  Or maybe it's Divorcee.  When I started this process, I was positive we'd never be able to settle anything on our own.  We couldn't get work together in the marriage, why would it start now?  The Ex lives in dreamland, so he was sure we'd come to a good settlement without outside help.  That is, as long as I agreed to everything he wanted.  If I did that, we'd still be married.  And homeless.  And living in Texas.  On the day of our final pretrial, we agreed to almost everything.  We just had to hammer out a few smaller details regarding the kids.  We always lived a materially separate life (not even mixing our CDs together), so the inatimate objects were a non-issue for us to divide.  But how do you divide people?  The day of the final hearing was a bit of a surprise.  I learned the night before - and was sworn to secrecy - that it wasn't really a hearing at all.  It was the court's last-ditch attempt to scare us into settling.  Since I knew I would have gotten a better deal (but spent loads more money) in a hearing, I wasn't really worried either way regarding a settlement.  Ex arrived to court (for the first time) wearing a suit.  So apparently he wasn't clued into the pretend-hearing from his lawyer.  Not surprising, since his lawyer knew that he was very likely not getting paid anything above the retainer.  It doesn't take long to get past Ex's facade and learn his modis operandi.  In the end, I am happy with what we settled on.  I believe Ex is ok with it too.  He's said a mopey comment or two about his visitation, but he agreed to it without ANY argument, so it's probably for pity.

Tomorrow is my big day of appointments, in preparation for Bariatric Surgery.  I can't wait!  It will be a long day, and I wish I had a friend to go with me for moral support, but I didn't even bother asking anyone, since it will be super boring for them.  I'll just bring a book, and wish I was better at knitting :)  I have been saying goodbye to all my favorite foods, one by one, over the past few months.  Surprisingly, I didn't gain a ton of weight doing so.  Maybe because I'm already big, and I didn't binge.  I only bought 1 bag of my favorite chips, one last favorite pizza, etc.  And of course I shared with my 3 favorite Littles.  I can't wait for this new, healthy life to start!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A long-awaited journey, step 1

I have always been a chubby kid.  As far back as 6, I remember being bigger than normal.  I have a picture of me in ballet class and I already had the beginning of a stomach pooch.  The kind women get after having a baby.  But I got mine at age 6.  I have several friends who have had weight loss surgery, and I have wanted and planned to have it done when I was done having kids.  Now that I am (almost) divorced and have no interest in having sex anytime soon, it is the perfect time to get the ball rolling. 

I am lucky enough to live very close to a world-class, top rated hospital.  I watched the online weight loss seminar and took the required follow-up quiz (and scored 100%).  A few days later I completed my medical history questionnaire online.  After a very long 10 day wait, I received a letter in the mail outlining the next steps that will happen.  In 10 days I will get another letter outlining all my appointments necessary before getting this life-changing surgery.  I am excited but nervous.  I know this is a wonderful new beginning.  It will help me be a better, more involved mom.  I will have more energy, be able to be more active, and have much better health.  I do feel like a bit of a failure for not being able to do it on my own, but I do need to learn to ask for help when I need it.  And this time I need it!  I am DONE beating myself up for a number on the scale.  I am done with the emotional eating.  I WILL be more healthy, inside and out.  Since I am still fairly anonymous online, I plan to be brutally honest about the process, both physically and mentally.

As of today, I weigh 260.5.  Not that I am counting or focusing on my weight.  But I do want to record it for posterity.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Soap play dough recipe

I'm posting this here since it's the only way I can seem to pin it! Soap play dough Recipe

Unwrap a bar of Ivory soap and place it on a paper plate. Place in the microwave. Heat on high for about 60 seconds, until the bar is covered with foam, or the foam looks like it will overflow the plate.

Peel the foamy parts off the bar and set aside. Return the rest of the bar to the microwave and heat, 30 seconds at a time. Keep peeling the foamy parts off add them to the bowl until the entire bar of soap has become foam. Once the foam has cooled, break up the chunks with a fork or your fingers.

For a soap play dough that can be stored in a closed container for two weeks, add 1 drop food coloring, 2 tsp water and 2 tsp vegetable oil to a cop of soap flakes (made above). Mix together with a fork and then with your fingers. This dough will be extremely soft and sticky. After a day or two in storage with will become a nice dough. Store in a plastic lidded container.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Products I love - Neutrogena Norwegian Formula® Hand Cream

Hi, my name is Miss Rantypants and I am a lotion addict. With three kids and no dishwasher, my hands are constantly in hot water. Since two of those kids are boys, I am also constantly washing my hands since, lets face it, boys are disgusting. Between finding skidmarks while sorting laundry and cleaning up after a failed target practice in the bathroom, I wash my hands as much as an OCD sufferer on the weekend. At work, I handle a ton of paperwork which is also drying. To complicate things I also have dyshidrosis. I've tried most lotions that advertise their "super healing properties". They have all fallen short. They are either so scented that they are more drying than healing, so greasy that it makes me want to wash my hands immediately after applying it, or so weak that I need to reapply several times between hand washings.
I was excited to join the BzzCampaign for Neutrogena Norwegian Formula® Hand Cream. I was also skeptical and prepared to be disappointed. The cream is thick like petroleum jelly, which made me nervous that it would be greasy. That wasn't the case at all - although it goes on thick, it absorbs into your hands and doesn't leave them greasy at all. When I started using it, my nails were chipping and the skin around my nails was peeling and bloody. Gross, but I even tried to take a picture of it for a "before & after" shot, but it didn't come out clear enough. I've been using this hand cream exclusively for about a week now and my hands are completely healed! I have a teensy .5oz tube at work and I still have several applications left - you really only do need a little! A sample tube of any other kind of lotion I have tried would have been gone in less than a day. I'm sold! This is now my lotion of choice. It works so well on me that I'm very tempted to try it on my daughter who has severe eczema (the worst case her doctor has ever seen), but she's still too young for me to experiment on. perhaps when she's older I will let her take the unscented version for a test drive of her own. As part of being a BzzAgent, I received a sample box of Alpha-Bits and coupons. My opinion is my own, and I'm not shy about giving it.