Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My secrets revealed!

If I were to give out all my secret "sleever" tricks, this is a list of what I would tell people:

1. GET RID OF ALL THE BAD FOOD BEFORE SURGERY. Seems self-explanatory and tedious, but well worth it. If it's there, you will eat it. End of story.
2. Buy a Camelbak Eddy Bottle, practice drinking two a day (64 oz.) and using the bite valve. It will help post-op. I know it says no straws, but the unique bite valve (which was definitely a challenge to learn at first) eliminates gas getting to your stomach.
3. Time yourself. No water 30 minutes before and after eating is CRUCIAL to your success. Don't think you can estimate this, because you can't; I can't. Unless you like throwing up in restaurant stalls, then go ahead and "wing" it. Also, practice this before the surgery.
4. Buy some containers that make packing food and portioning it so much easier. Just grab what you need for lunch and go. I prepare my food ahead of time so that I don't have to "think" about it; my meals are ready to go. It seems difficult, but it's really not.
5. Fail to plan, you plan to fail. Sounds stupid and cliché, but it's totally true. I try to always have some protein powder or a protein drink when I leave the house. Now that I'm permitted to eat any foods, this will be much easier, but it's not impossible for right after post-op. If I don't have something, then I end up trying to "estimate" the amount of calories, ounces, etc. in food and find the closest thing (fast food) to me. This is BAD!! Plan ahead.
6. Track your food. I use the My Fitness Pal app to track my calories. Again, tedious, but worth it. I was appalled to find out what I ate before the surgery when I looked up the calories. Wow. Use it for a few days before your surgery and definitely EVERYDAY after. If I have to track it, I'm less likely to eat what I'm not supposed to be eating. It's like my accountability partner. Also, track your steps. I use a Fitbit to do this (it has an awesome easy water tracker, too).
7. Find someone who will literally (yes I did this tonight to Dad) take the plate of fries away from you so you stop mindlessly eating them. Also, some kind of support, whether it's friends, neighbors, people you met in a class, whomever, is necessary. You canNOT do this alone. You need someone to support you and celebrate your accomplishments. Someone who threatens to kill you if you gain any weight back. These are the people you need in your life. Not people who will push ice cream on you or alcohol because it's liquid. Haha! Not to say that anyone who offers you the "wrong" kind of food is bad, they may just not remember that you've changed your life. This is an emotional, physical, and spiritual challenge (I swear I'm not being dramatic) that will ultimately change your life. You need people who be on your team and give you that push if you need it and that shoulder to cry on. I have the best support and couldn't have asked for any better people if I had hand-tailored the list. You need that too.
8. They say chewing sugar free gum is bad because you swallow too much air or maybe the gum... However, I like to chew it after eating as it helps aid digestion, clean my teeth, and pass those ridiculously slow 30 minutes after eating. I experienced no problems; try it before you subscribe to it.
9. You are also told to not drink out of straws because you swallow too much air. Of course I had to test this... I had no problems. Again, try it.
10. Do not weigh everyday. Weight naturally fluctuates all the time. Try weighing every week or two weeks. Remember you are changing your view of scales, clothes, chairs (maybe), etc. You will eventually plateau and weighing yourself everyday will only make you stressed and you will likely eat. NO BUENO.
Also, important things: take your vitamins, walk, and slowly make yourself work harder (still working on this). 

Now to the other stuff. I might have spoken too soon about the whole "not being hungry" thing. I feel hunger now. I told Dad that I think all of the inner swelling finally went down because I can actually feel hungry. It takes a long time of not eating (not recommended) for me to feel it, though.When I feel this way, it's harder to control how slow I eat. I just want to inhale all of my food. This is not good.

For the good things from my 6 week appointment (I feel like I have a newborn when I say that):
-I've lost 41 pounds since March 11!!!!!! Ok, so I'm a little excited. Check out my first Snapchat (taken 3 minutes after she told me how much I'd lost) and the goofy grin in the picture that follows. I was giddy all day. Ha! I texted like 25 people; I just couldn't keep it to myself.
-I am completely healed!! I can try any foods, in small quantities that I track, and keep a record of how my stomach reacts.
-I can swalow pills!! Praise Jesus!!! No more liquid Tylenol for my very serious aches and pains. I can take regular vitamins, too. I'm not sure if I will take non-chewable vitmains or not because I want to absorb as much as possible. We'll see.
-I did yoga today, for an hour and a half, since my very insistent friend (the same one who will kill me if I gain weight) wanted me to. It was AWESOME!! See my not-really-a-yoga-pose-but-the-other-ones-looked-too-bad-to-take-a-picture-of picture?! Yep, that's me, crossing my legs. Never thought I'd do that again, but there I am. All yoga-y and what not. Woohoo!
-I wore pants that I previously could not breathe in for the first time yesterday. Yep. It was amazing!!
-Too much information, perhaps, but I went down 4 inches and a cup size in my bra (no pic here... ha!).
-We took my measurements so I can track the loss of inches for the aforementioned plateau.
-I was told to take fish oil, biotin, and eat/drink my protein (60 grams) to avoid hair loss- which should start around 4 months. I actually already do all of these things... Yeah, I'm that patient. 

Now to talk about my relationship with my scale and all of my clothing. You can't tell by looking, but I'm surprisingly good with fashion stuffs. Most cute stuff is expensive and cheaply made in plus sizes, so I don't bother trying to rock a look that would look better on a size 4 than me anyway. I admit that it's hard to get on the scale. My stomach fills with dread when the nurse looks at me expectantly to step on the scale. I mean, I'm eating so few calories, but it's still in my brain that I have somehow gained. Plus, in the past, I only weighed to see if and how much I've gained or am horrified to see how much I've gained when I thought I'd lost. Ugh. So, I am working on getting my head wrapped around the fact that scales are checking my progress; no more, no less. If I plateau, it's not the end of the world. In fact, I most likely will. I refuse to see the scale in a negative light because it doesn't tell me what I want it to, though. So here's to looking at my scale in a new, more positive, light!

So I've read a lot about taking one bite too many and feeling like you're going to die. While that wasn't quite my experience, it was close. I literally, not figuratively, took one extra bite and had to wait for my chest and stomach to stop hurting for a good 30-45 minutes. Talk about uncomfortable! Ew. I had to breathe through some serious nausea, although I did not throw up and have yet to do so. Now I tune in even more closely to my body and stomach so I can avoid this in the future. It was the longest most excruciating minutes of my life... Ok, so that's dramatic- especially for my life, but it sucked. Trust me, don't overeat. That one bite is nit worth the discomfort on the drive home (which seemed like an eternity), during your conference, after lunch, in the middle of a big presentation, etc. It's. Not. Worth. It.

So that's about all the wisdom I can share for now. I'll be back soon for some updates on yoga, walking, my leg, and, of course, my weight! Thanks for all of the support!!!

And that's life...

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