Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Seating Arrangements

You never realize how important a chair is until you cannot fit into one. 

 I’m talking about chairs with arms.  You know the ones, those typical chairs found in doctor’s offices, lounges and all other types of places where a good number of people gather.  It is a subtle change.  

At first, they become a little uncomfortable.

 Then they become downright painful.

One day, they become impossible.

You never realize how important a chair is until you cannot fit into one.

So many things unexpectedly become unavailable to you because of seating.

Sporting games

Need I say more?

Your social activities become limited because of the places you can or cannot go.  However, it becomes so much more than that.  Now there is a fear.  I was always afraid of going to someone’s home or out somewhere and not having a chair that would fit me.  You’d be surprised how many meetings I arrived to early in order to scope out the seating.  Knowing I wouldn’t be the only “big girl” in the room, I wanted first dibs on the few seats that might be available.  Out in public, socializing became limited to a few places where I knew there wouldn’t be a problem with the seating.

You know one of the things I really missed?  Sitting in a booth.  Now I know most places have shrunk the size of their booths to accommodate more patrons but even in places with large booths, at my heaviest, they were unavailable to me.  I would be squished in and miserable, not to mention self-conscience.  Real or imagined, I just knew everyone was staring at “the fat girl” squished in the booth.   I’ll admit I was miserable, with myself, my appearance, and the route my life was taking.
So now that I've explained myself (I hope), I want to share happy thoughts!  Hubby and I went out to dinner one evening after work.  Cheddar’s is a personal favorite of mine because they do have some WLS friendly dishes so I don’t feel like the odd bird when ordering.  The only seats available were in the bar area which meant all booths.  Hubby and I did the eye exchange conversation (Ladies, you know the one! LOL) and I agreed to try the booth.  After all, I had lost maybe 80 pounds at this point, so I figured it would be ok.  

Not only was it ok, it was fantastic!  I slid in the booth, I had room and it was comfortable.  I spent the entire meal in shock and deliriously happy because I was in a booth. I’m sure the wait staff thought hubby and I were crazy because we were grinning like two fools.   I know some people won’t get the inexplicable joy I felt sitting there but anyone who has had a serious problem with weight will understand.

You never realize how important a chair is until you cannot fit into one.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

You Say You Understand But I Really Don't Think You Do...

This one falls under the “Tales from the Hood” category!  The title comes from the fact that while some friends and family understand I had Gastric Bypass Surgery (See – Yes, I Still Eat, for another example), I don’t think they really UNDERSTAND.  

Digest that for a minute, and then let me explain:

I have come to realize that so many personal relationships center on eating.  All types of celebrations, get together or just hanging out revolve around food.  When I made the decision to focus on being healthy and work to change my relationship with food, not everyone was on board with my plans! I have come to realize while they may love you and care for you, not everyone can handle the personal changes you choose to make.  Some are subtle with it.  These people ask the questions:

“You still eat?”

“Why won’t you just TRY this?”

“It shouldn’t hurt to have a little bit.”

Honestly, I know to expect these because they are the ones that showed up whenever I showed any sign of losing weight in the past.  Like it or not, they are saboteurs.  I don’t know it their motives are selfish or unintentional; I just know they exist and for the most part, I’m good at ignoring them or deflecting the questions.  It is almost an art form.

The people I wasn’t prepared for were, for the lack of a better word, “Haters”.  By this, I mean the ones who come with:

“I need you to get fat again.”

“You used to like to eat with me all the time.”

“I can’t believe you are acting funny about food.”

“You aren’t going to let yourself get TOO skinny, are you?”

All of these questions stabbed me in the guts.  It never occurred to me that some people had a more vested interest in my remaining fat.  My feelings were hurt, not so much by the comments but because they came from people I regarded as friends and my support systems.  I felt betrayed and for a while, I had to fight the feeling to bury all the hurt and angst in food.  

WLS patients are warned in support group some people will not be happy for you but I thought, like so many others, not my friends, not my family.  They all love me, they all will be thrilled for me. 

I was wrong.

I’m starting to understand so many things.  My position in life is changing along with my weight.  I am on my way to no longer being “the fat friend”.  My self-esteem is starting to return and I’m getting my girlie back.  I feel comfortable with myself for the first time in a long time and now I see that not everyone can handle that change.  It breaks my heart.  I feel like the desperate girlfriend sometimes and I want to cry out “But I thought you loved me!?”  I can’t help but wonder if it deliberate or subconscious.  Regardless, it feels like my soul has been ripped apart 

As I get closer to becoming one with the skinny girl inside, I also have to understand there will be some people I will lose along the journey.  I just want to bundle everyone up and hold on to them but I know everyone is in your life for a reason and sometimes you just have to let them go so they can find their own way.  My mom and my hubby say to not let it bother me but the pleaser in me is still hanging on to that little girl that wants everyone to like her.   I am on the lookout for a therapist because I know eventually these feelings will come to a head and I don’t want to lash out at someone who doesn’t deserve it.  


Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm Ready For Lunch!

I wish I had a good picture of my lunch but I forgot to take one.   I know it's early and I'm going to heat up the rest of my breakfast (protein shake down and a bowl of grits), but I'm so excited about my lunch!  I made of pork stir-fry at home.  It was easier than I thought and I gave myself a fist-pump! (Chinese take-out, take that!)  Super easy and I wanted to share before my day steamrolled away.

My Versatile Stir-Fry

2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped onions
1 cup frozen stir fry veggies (mine had mushrooms, green beans, carrots, broccoli, snow peas, and onions)
Salt-free seasoning
Garlic Powder
3 Tablespoons Water
Soy Sauce (Be careful about the amount you add, Soy Sauce is salty!  I used Kikoman)

Spray a cooking pan over medium heat liberally with non-stick cooking spray.  Add garlic and onions.  Stir and cook until soft.  Add veggies and seasonings to taste.  Allow to cook and slightly brown the veggies.  Add water and soy sauce and continue to cook until veggies are tender. 

At this point, if you choose, you can add already cooked meat or leave it as a veggie dish.  I had leftover grilled pork chop which I cubed and tossed in the mix.  This is great way to use that leftover protein (meat or tofu) and those of us who have had RNY need all the protein hits we can get.

Give it a shot and enjoy!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

I Haz Chips!

I made my own tortilla-style chips!  I'm pretty stoked by it!  I still have serious chip cravings so I had to  figure out SOMETHING to help deal.  Here is the recipe:

1 Low-Carb Tortilla (I used Wrap-itz by Tam-x-ico's)
1 tablespoon salt-free seasoning (the house seasoning)
A pinch of cayenne pepper (use more if you like it really hot)
A pinch of garlic powder

  • Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. 
  • Cut the tortilla into 12 triangles. You can make them smaller or larger if you wish.
  • Combine the spices and salt-free seasonings in a bowl and set aside.
  • Spray the cooking pan with non-stick spray and place the tortilla in a single layer.
  • Spray the tortilla lightly with the non-stick spray and sprinkle with the seasonings.
  • Bake in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes, keeping a close eye on the chips.
  • Cut the oven off and allow them to remain until cool.  Remove and store in an airtight container.

1 tortilla is 90 calories, 5 grams net carbs, 5 grams of protein and it made 12 chips!  That's nice!  Served with salsa (10 calories per serving), it's a nice snack to take place of the calorie laden chips I was craving! They are not as crispy as fried chips but they do have a nice crunch and it's up to you how dark you like your chips.

Yes, I Still Eat!

One of the biggest questions I've dealt with over the holidays was "Do you eat?"  Well, duh!  Food is necessary for survival and having RNY surgery did not change the fact that I still eat food.  I guess a little science lesson is in order before I continue.

According to the Obesity Help website:

1. Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RGB)This operation is the most common and successful combined weight loss surgery in the United States. First, the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch to restrict food intake. Next, a Y-shaped section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch to allow food to bypass the lower stomach, the duodenum (the first segment of the small intestine), and the first portion of the jejunum (the second segment of the small intestine). This reduces the amount of calories and nutrients the body absorbs. Rarely, a cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) is performed to avoid the gallstones that may result from rapid weight loss. More commonly, patients take medication after the operation to dissolve gallstones. 
Advantages of this weight loss surgery:
  • greatly controls food intake, leading to rapid weight loss
  • dumping syndrome dumping conditions to control intake of sweets
  • reversible in an emergency though this procedure should be thought of as a permanent
Disadvantages of this weight loss surgery:
  • staple line failure
  • ulcers
  • narrowing/blockage of the stoma
  • vomiting if food is not properly chewed or if food is eaten to quickly
  • weight re-gain is known to happen if dietary changes are not followed long term
Now it is true that there are a LOT of dietary changes I have had to make but by now means did I stop eating.  What this TOOL (yes, it's a tool!) has done is force me to look at what I'm eating and why.  I have to question if I'm eating because I'm hungry or just bored.  I ask myself  is this sometime I really want to spend my calories on or if I walked away, would the desire to eat that item still be there? I choose to not waste pouch space on junk and unnecessary calories.  Now when I eat, I make an honest effort to eat healthy, high quality foods.  There will be times when I slide but one day at a time is my motto.   Yes, I've lost significant weight through the help of the surgery but if I want to keep it off, I have to be the one to continue to think about what passes through my lips.

Is it easy?  Not at all and it really irks me that people think I've got it made because I had the surgery.  I'm facing a lifetime of vitamins, calcium, iron and whatever supplements my doctors feel I need.  There will always be the constant mental issue of my relationship with food. Let's face it, food has been my best friend to the determent of my health.  I've had to reevaluate the role food plays in my life but I wouldn't change a thing.  I know this was a great decision for me and I don't regret it at all.

So once again, the answer to that question is "Yes, I still eat!".