Tag Archive | diet

Strange Days, Indeed

Nobody told me there would be days like these, post-surgery.  I have been researching bariatric surgery since December 2017, and I don’t recall seeing anyone telling about the complete breakdown of emotion (hormones) and the ensuing chaos.  I don’t recall being this out-of-control since I was around 14 years old.  And before I continue, I want to issue a “disclaimer” that this post may be a bit off-the-wall, random and wandering to different subjects without notice.

Tammy post surgery 8-7-18

Yep, this is me.  Six Days Post Op.  No makeup, haven’t even brushed my hair.  But I made it to my sewing room today!  I am a power to be reckoned with!

I’m Day #6 post surgery.  I guess I can constructively consider myself a mess, emotionally and physically.  I have been nonstop crying for two full days.  Irrational, uncontrolled ~ I feel like I can’t even trust myself, like I’m not safe to be around.  I’m typically a quiet, uneventful person.  But since I got home from the hospital, the “lash-outs” have been real, more frequent.  I’m just kinda waiting for them to “subside”, if they do, but I don’t think that’s going to be an option much longer.

Then there’s this nagging, low-grade fever.  It stays around 99-100 degrees most of the time.  Sometimes it just disappears.  I called my surgeon, fearing infection.  It took over 8 hours without a call-back, and I called them finally and was told to “take Tylenol and call us if your temp goes to 101”.  Ummmm, this did not instill a sense of calm.  Meantime, a low-grade fever seems to be impairing my functionality.

I expected to be more “ambulatory” that I am.  I am able to move about slowly, barely within my own home.  I’m unable to safely go outside, let alone physically GO somewhere.  And I certainly cannot drive yet.  I was assured that, once I stopped taking the Oxycodone (narcotics for pain), I would be fine to drive.  Um, no.  I have difficulty with any sort of exertion.  I lose my breath quickly and easily, and need to sit down frequently and for long periods.  I can’t lift anything heavier than 7-10 lbs.  I’ve spent the past 6 days trapped within these walls, looking at housework that needs to be upkept, and yard work that needs attention, yet unable to act upon either. The frustration is SO real!  **I need to say that Al has been an absolute God-send through this, and does anything/everything I ask him to do, but he has his things to do too.**

How about that “change of eating lifestyle” that I prepared for?  It’s hard, but it’s working.  The term “conscious eating” is my new mantra.  It has to be, unless I want to spend countless hours “dumping” (vomiting) from eating “wrong”.  There are very strict guidelines to go by these first few weeks, and I have been following them rigidly.  Most importantly, everything that passes my lips must be sugar free and preferably fat free.  Sugar and fat make you dump post-surgery.  So far, I’ve gone from drinking 1-2 oz of plain water to drinking protein drinks (2-3 oz) to SF (sugar free) flavored water drinks and crunching on SF popsicles.  Yesterday I took my first sip of chicken bouillon and, I must admit, it was heavenly!  Tonight for dinner, I’m excited that I’m going to try a teaspoon on SF pudding!  To date, my diet has not been an issue for dumping ~ but I keep my guard up!   ***(I just want to add info on “dumping” ~ it’s not simply vomiting, it’s also intense nausea, cold sweats, dizziness, diarrhea ~ some or all of these symptoms at the same time.  So, not a pleasant experience. No.)***

Moving on to “body changes”… nope, I can’t even.  Suffice to say (for now) that further surgeries will be warranted!

I think that about says it all at this point.  It’s early morning (8:15 a.m.) and I’m feeling somewhat sane, so it seemed like a good time to journal this.  I’m hoping this info will help or inform someone else either going through this journey or getting ready to embark.  It is way harder than I’d anticipated, but I’m assured that it’s very “worth it”.  However, my main reason for journalling this is to have it later to look at, to remember.  I know I’m going to WANT to remember this journey.

Some stats, just for fun:  Started the journey in November, 2017 at approx. 356 lbs.  Weight at surgery:  297    Current Weight Day #6 Post Surgery:  283.  And I’m melting… melting…. melting!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tamara ~

PS  I should mention that this is MY experience.  Everyone is an individual and may experience differently.  I cannot speak for what others endure.

 

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July 31, 2017; Journal Entry 3: De-Carbonated

Well, it’s been 6 days without any carbonated drinks.  I’m pretty proud of myself for that.  I’m pretty well addicted to Pepsi, or any other soda.  I’ve known for a long time, and I didn’t need Dr. M to tell me, that carbonated drinks are SO bad for you.  I just hadn’t gotten to the point where I really cared enough about my own health to stop drinking it.  And, indeed, it’s been a very difficult week.  I wish I was  one of those people who could just chug water and be happy and healthy.  I’m a flavor addict.  If it doesn’t taste good, I want nothing to do with it.  I’ve tried some of those little bottled flavorings that you add to water, but they give me heartburn.  So, I don’t know what the future holds in store for me to drink… I might just have to bite the bullet and drink the flavorless water anyway.  I’m in this for the long run.

I’d like to say I’ve been doing exceptionally well with my food intake.  But I’m not feeling guilty about it, as Dr. M (the endocrinologist) said he doesn’t want me to change my eating habits until I get my blood workup done next month.  Even so, I’m consciously holding back and eating better.  Mostly.  Dr. M said he would be “teaching me” how to eat/avoid carbs etc. after the blood workup comes back.  I’m hoping when I go see  him again that I’ve lost some weight.

Even so, I have this scary symptom(s) that does not seem to abide by my rules.  It rears its ugly head whenever/wherever.  Usually when I have to stand for any length of time.  First I’ll break into a profuse sweat (soaking anything/anyone around me), then my hands will begin to shake, then my arms and, if I don’t find a place to sit fast enough, my entire body will tremble.  My breathing will come much faster and uncontrollable, and to the point where I will pass out.  The only resource to stop it is to sit down for around 15 minutes at least.  It can be terrifying.

I will be contacting my primary care doc about this one!

So, that’s about it for tonight.  Not so much.  I’m distracted and need to go quilt.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.  Blessings ~ Tamara

 

July 27, 2017; Journal Entry 2: Eat Clean ~

I guess the term “eat clean” is the mantra for those (of us) who are trying to get healthier, lose weight, and live (not a “better life”) up to our potential. I haven’t researched all that is involved in this journey yet, it’s going to take awhile to take it all in. Besides, Al reminded me that Dr. M doesn’t want me to change my eating habits just yet. He wants me to be “raw” (in my natural state of gut health) for when I get all of this blood work done that he has requested. That’s next month. He said after he sees the results, THEN “we’ll talk”! He said he is going to teach me how to read carbs (and avoid them), sugars, fructose ~ I sure hope he teaches me how to replace them with stuff that tastes good! Regardless, there is plenty of information out here on the web just for the asking. And I already have several/many friends who are supportive and willing to help. One particularly special lady in one of my quilt groups has requested to be my partner in my endeavor! I almost cried! We’ve exchanged phone numbers and will keep in touch with each other throughout the journey. One of my goals is to lose enough weight to be able to fly down to see her next year (she’s in Florida). No, I won’t fly like “this”. Massively obese and unhealthy. I filled the dishwasher yesterday and had to take a shower afterwards as I’d broken out into a soaking sweat. Then, drying myself from the shower made me all sweaty again. No, I want to go to Florida and not be ashamed to wear shorts, or even a bathing suit, or sleeveless shirt or tank top.

Anyway, the research begins. Mostly, I need to find good, clean alternatives to the crap I’ve been eating ~ and it’s gotta taste good. Flavor is my downfall. Can’t they make a nice, dark lettuce that tastes like a potato chip? Is that asking too much? I’m not kidding myself, this is going to be tough. I’ve been craving carbonation all day so far. Soda will be the hardest thing for me to give up… but I am determined. I want so hard to make this work this time. No tricks, no special pills ~ just healthy eating and bring in some exercise and I’ll get there. I HAVE to.

Input is very welcome in the comments. Know of a good, healthy recipe? I have an awesome Ninja blender that could make rocks into a smoothy. What’s yummy?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Blessings ~ Tamara

Made to Crave: Down 20 Lbs.

I’ve met my first weight loss goal.  Earlier this week, I weighed in at 306, which is exactly 20 lbs. lighter than when I began at 326 on July 15th, 2013.  Now it seems “real” to me.   I’m thinking that can’t just be “water weight”… maybe I’m actually, seriously losing poundage.  This is a happening that has not occurred since 2001 when I lost some 45 lbs while training for the Kona Marathon for the American Heart Association!  Always, the scale has continued to rise.  Maybe I’ve turned a corner in my own life for a change!

I’m going to do it… what a lot of other weight loss enthusiasts are doing, which is taking “before” and “after” photos.  THIS is what I would consider BRAVE!  Way braver than just putting my weight out there!  But it’s a part of my determination and accountability for my weight loss.  Mind you, I’m not saying I’m going to POST such photos ~ that is currently beyond my bravery limit.  But, maybe, some time in the future.

20kf72e

But, I’m looking ahead and thinking of my Weight Watchers scale as my friend… good or bad.  I was introduced to a website called “FatSecret” and I signed on.  I really don’t like the NAME of it, but the content and stuff that it does to help me chronicle my weight loss journey is pretty cool.  Including a calorie counter, a journal, forums, blogs, exercise stuff, low calorie recipes etc. etc.  So far, I’m liking it.

So, that’s today’s update.  Looking forward to when I can report the NEXT 20 lb loss!  BTW, I had a checkup at my doc’s earlier this week and he was VERY pleased!  He even gave me a hug!  Also, all of my “levels” have finally begun to get better!  Cholesterol, sugar, yada yada yada… all that stuff.  I’m so happy, I’m in stitches!  (quilter’s joke)

Thanks for stopping by and checking in with me.  Would love encouraging comments, or even critical ones.  Either way, until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

Made to Crave: Stress-Eating ~

falling-off-the-wagon-demotivational-poster-1257386217

The past couple of weeks have been keeping me totally stressed out.  Between events at my job, the quilt show, helping Al’s mom and sister move from PA to NC and things at home, I have gained back 5 lbs. of the 18 I had lost.  Some of the difficulty lies in not having good options for food choices at some of these events.  I have not yet managed a way to gracefully decline a meal when the only meal available is pizza, or greasy hamburgers and soda, or chicken wings.   Especially when I’m HUNGRY, and I know there will be no other opportunity to eat until the next day.  So, I fell off the wagon… for a couple of weeks.  It wasn’t a “bad” fall.  I have managed to still drink my bottled, flavored water faithfully.  I’ve only given in to a couple of sodas… and have lived to regret it dearly!  However, soda still remains an albatross for me.  At our recent quilt show, there were a couple of large tables full of baked goodies, cookies, pies, brownies, cupcakes, breads etc. laid out for sale to attendees.  Why on earth did I sign up to attend this area for two hours on Sunday?!  I never really considered it would be a temptation ~ what was I thinking?  Yeah, okay, I just lost it there.  I finished the buttermilk pie just yesterday.  I’ve also been lax fixing meals at home and in going out to eat too much.  A quesadilla at Quaker Steak & Lube should definitely not be on my list of acceptable eats!  This week, I’m full of regrets.  And determination to make it right again.

Another huge bane of my existence is the constant 24/7 back pain I have to endure.  I need to  recognize that this, too, is an added stressor that keeps blind-siding me into stress-eating and not exercising.  Three or four weeks ago, I was beginning to use my treadmill a little more, even bought “exercise clothes” for the occasion.  I was also beginning to get out there on my trike and enjoy the upcoming crisp fall weather, just perfect for cycling.  However, I can only do these two things when the disc pain in my back is either minimal or at least tolerable.  That has not been the case for the past couple of weeks.  It has, indeed, been intolerable most of the time, causing me to either “grasp at straws” for any type of medication that will lessen the pain, or just have to grin and bear it ~ which has become all but impossible.  At any rate, it has greatly hampered my      exercise routine.  I am having the second of three cortisone injections on Monday, and praying that will ease things enough for me to get back on the wagon… on all counts.

I guess I need to take it one day at a time for now.  Put my “big(ger) girl panties” on and wrap my brain around eating healthy again.  I need to also get reacquainted with my prayers and quiet time with God.  My faith has been my fortress, and I have forgotten that recently.  Today starts a new day, and it all depends on how I choose to deal with it.

Until next time, thanks for stopping by.  I’d love a word (or two) of encouragement if you’re so inclined to leave a comment.  TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt