Sunday, August 30, 2009

Five Months and One Week

We didn't ever find time last weekend to take the five-month photos. Life was just too crazy. So, one week late, here is the latest set of photos of my very skinny spice :-) The before pictures are on the left.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Further Progress

I've not invested as much energy here the past week of so since T's Mom's surgery led to her strokes and subsequent serious debilitation but this process continues and as I look back on this record of how we passed through this in times to come, I'll be glad to see how things progressed during this period. And progressing we are:)

Last night we shifted swan's and my walking routine from summer vacation schedule to early school year schedule. We did our 4.26 mile "stroll" between 9:30 PM and 11:00 PM last evening relying on our new LCD headlight forehead bands for improved vision and safety. It was late enough to have missed the daytime heat. Our Cincinnati mid August weather is terribly hot and humid. We have previously been walking early to mid-morning as allowed by my professional schedule. To do that now that sue's schedule is ramping up would require us to get up at like 3:30 to 4:00 AM in order to get up eat then walk, shower, get ready for work and then have her there on time, so that is just not possible for us. We will have next Monday off, so we will be able to walk in the morning that day weather permitting. Then next Tuesday she will be in classes with kids. I have an evening workshop presentation (how to influence public policy regarding disability issues for family members and people with disabilities) Tuesday night, and a meeting of our Board Thursday night. How that week will work with our walking routine time will tell. Maybe I'll have to walk alone mornings and her at night. That would be sad. We've come to love our time together walking and sometimes have great talks as we walk. Sue has her beginning of the school year parent night that evening too though, so I don't know how that will work. We do have a treadmill and I'm sure that as time progresses and the weather changes we'll eventually have to resort to that option to keep the exercise routine going.

Anyway, after last night's walk I weighed 195.5 pounds, which is a new low. At 196 I have lost 105 pounds. This morning I weighed 196.5 pounds at get up. If I would split the difference between the two weights as an average, I'd be 196 pounds, so I guess I can accept that as a new weight. Thus I have hit the 105 pound weight loss level. That means I have 31 pounds to go to reach my optimal weight. As I type I weight 195 down from 301, it seems sort of like a surreal dream. Who would have imagined this could be my reality by mid August not quite five months yet our from my surgery.

T is pretty well right where she has been, (down 72 pounds in under 5 five months from mean accomplishment) fluctuating up and down through a 1 and a half pound weight window. When you think about the stress she has been under with her Mom's illness, grabbing food in the hospital cafeteria, eating with her other family members some (the whole family other than her is way dedicated to high fat, sugar, and unhealthy eating and smoking) makes staying on her course extra challenging. Between her work and time with her Mom, she really has no time for exercise, other than maybe the trek from the hospital parking garage and the ICU to see her Mom. For her to have not regained is a huge accomplishment. Even as she continues this way she will be losing more soon. It is way slower and more gradual for her with her gastric sleeve bypass, than it is for me having been able to undergo the Rouen Y gastric bypass procedure.

So there it is. I'm down 105 pounds (perhaps even plus a half pound more were we to accept my 195.5 pound weight after my walk last night.)

Thank you all who have followed this journey with us and cheered us on. It would have been way more difficult to do this without the energy you have given us with your good wishes and encouragement.

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We are becoming Vegetarians!......well, kinda, sorta….

Many years ago I was a casual Vegetarian. I stuck to a veggie diet pretty much, but when I craved a burger or steak, I didn’t deny myself. And that was about 2 times a year. I have always liked that style of eating, but have grown away from it as I have gotten older.

As everyone knows by now, we are primarily PROTEIN people. I have to have a minimum of 60 grams of protein and Tom has to have a minimum of 80 grams of protein daily.

Lately, Tom has been having problems eating meat. It upsets his stomach and often sends him to “driving the big white bus”. And I have become less enamored with meats as well.

Sue has been hunting high protein, vegetarian recipes. Last night we did a tofu recipe that was pretty tasty. And I have hit the web for other veggie options that have higher protein numbers.

Tom dislikes…see, I was polite….Beans. Any type of beans except for Green. :::SIGH::: Sue and I LOVE beans. I could live on baked, or black, or navy beans. Baked, refried, sautéed, soup, stew, you name it, I love it… beans for us…. We will have to do protein other ways. Not that I do not stick beans in my pantry and eat them when I feel like it, but then we are not eating as a family and that is the only meal we can eat together during the week.

So….all you vegetarians out there…..if you have a good veggie recipe, please email it to Sue or me. The higher the protein, the better…..and psst….no beans!


That was Then, This is Now

I am continually fascinated by the incredible changes that have come about as we've progressed through this process. Just the other day, Master had occasion to "dress up" for a photo shoot at His office. We got Him all gussied up and on His way, and as it turned out, the photo ended up being a really good one. Then we got to talking about the event that we attended last October -- another one of those "dress up" occasions. We took some photos then, too. Just in case you were wondering, this is a really good illustration of the benefits of bariatric weight loss surgery...

This was October, 2008:And this is August, 2009:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Protein Powder Recipes

I have a love/hate relationship with Protein Powder. I love how it works. It fills me up. It is thick and delicious LOOKING..... I HATE THE TASTE!!!! I have tried to love the UNJURY that Tom adores and the surgeon's dietitian recommends.... I HATE the smell of it when I open the container. The taste is thick and unpleasant. The strawberry is disgusting. The chicken soup is thin and if your water is too hot, it curdles, so you are lucky to get room temperature yellow stinky chicken water. The vanilla....well, let's put it politely....VOMIT IN A JUG.....ahem....but I digress....

I went out and found a protein drink by EAS that is thinner and chocolaty and doesn't make me sick to my stomach to drink. I also found a Kroger's store brand of Soy/Whey chocolate protein powder that doesn't reek.

Most weekends, I am on my own until noon-ish. Some days I am online. Some days I do the grocery shopping or laundry. Today I hunted down recipes that use protein powder. I found several that seem promising on paper, but as they say, the proof is in the puddin'. So I gathered my ingredients and put together a Chocolate Peanut Butter Ball and Chocolate Oatmeal Protein Cookies. The batters smelled good....a HUGE step for me. Nothing queasy about let's taste....YUMMO! I modified the recipes a tad, to add natural sweetness without extra sugars or fats. But for a first foray into Protein Powder baking, I think these 2 items are excellent!

Chocolate Oatmeal Protein Cookies

2 1/2 cups Oats
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs (or 3 egg whites)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
3 scoops of Chocolate Protein Powder
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup Agave Honey (or Diabetisweet Brown Sugar)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins or apricots)

Toss everything together and blend well. Spoonfuls of batter on parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Don't overcook. This is a dense cookie after baking, but before baking it is a tad runny looking. Do NOT let this fool you into adding more oats or powder to stiffen the batter.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup Agave Honey
1 scoop Chocolate Protein powder
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Mix peanut butter, honey, Protein powder and oats until well blended. Roll into walnut-sized balls and roll into chopped nuts. Chill until firm. Store in a Ziploc bag in fridge.

These are both very tasty and the protein count is 5 grams per Cookie and 2 grams per Ball. One cookie was plenty at a time for me. And I made the Balls a bit smaller than the recipe called for so it was almost like a chocolate candy bite (Closer to 3 bites per). Very satisfying and probably the best use of protein powder so far!


Friday, August 7, 2009

Starting to Claim the Benefits

There have been so many amazing and wonderful improvements in terms of health, but also in terms of quality of life issues since the surgery. One thing that has started to come up in the last few days, however, just blows my mind...

We have a public official who is a great advocate for children's health. One way that he draws attention to the cause is an annual walk. Each spring, he and a group of supporters walk the 112 miles to our state capitol.

In the last few days, as we've walked our daily laps, Master has mused that, "maybe next spring...I'll walk with him."

Wow! The first time He said it, I thought it was an interesting idea, but as He has repeated it, I've started to hear it as an aspiration and a declaration of freedom and belief. Coming from someone who struggled to walk to the bathroom a year ago; who could barely stand up long enough to get dressed in the morning, that is a fabulous improvement in well-being on all levels.

Next spring! Let's all walk for kids' health!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Breaking the 200 pound barrier!

Much to my surprise, after my 4.32 mile walk today, I weighed 199.5 pounds. This is my first reading below 200 since sometime in late 1998. It is a surprise since I awakened to find a waking fasting weight of 202.5 pounds. I suspected that such a large overnight gain had to be water weight of some unknown cause. I would suspect that the 3 pound loss during our walk in the fairly warm August morning bright sunshine, bears that hypothesis out.

Whatever the explanation, I have not given a scale reason to weigh less than either 300 or 200 plus pounds in eleven years, and I will most certainly and joyously accept it.

Thank you again for everyone's interest and support.

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Selkie asks.....

What food do you miss most?

T misses: Diet Mountain Dew, sugar-free chocolates, Pasta, Steak

Tom misses: Steak, Pasta, good crusty bread, Irish Whiskey

Both of us have been bemoaning steak this week. Sure it is a protein and if we did a nice lean piece it would work within our dietary restrictions.....but it is too dense. We both have problems with GROUND beef....steak scares both of us!

We tend to do better with lighter proteins. Fish, shrimp, crab, chicken, turkey, pork tenderloin, eggs, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese....things like that work well for us.


Answering Questions

Chloe asked:

*** How many calories are you eating in a day, and how do they break down in terms of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates?

We do not count calories. We need 60-80 grams of protein daily. We eat very low fat, very low carb, no sugar, no caffeine, no carbonation. We need 64 oz. of water daily.

*** Do you lean toward things like sprouted grains to optimize nutritional breakdowns in carbs?

We have always done whole grains, when we do any at all. Our tummies are so small that we mostly eat protein with a bite of veggies and carb.

*** Do you find yourself going for healthier options even when you don't "have" to, simply because you are more focused on your health now? (Aka, is some (admittedly VERY SMALL) part of your utterly amazing transformation perhaps due to a change in attitude/eating habits, perhaps precipitated by, but not mandated by, the surgeries?)

Before our surgeries, we were already eating low fat, whole grains, nothing fried, no sugar meals. The biggest hurdle has been learning what size portion keeps us nourished without tossing our cookies.

*** Do you take supplements now that you didn't used to take? (Like a vitamin B complex, or iron, or vitamin D? Or does a multi-vitamin do the trick?)

We do a multivitamin, we do calcium citrate, we do vitamin D, we do B-12. Tom does all chewables and I do some in pill form. The B-12 is a weekly nasal spritz.

*** Do you think you get enough fiber in your diets? (This is something I just wonder about since I feel like filling your now-much-smaller tummies with veggies wouldn't actually get THAT much in you, and if you went all veggies/fiber you'd miss out on protein and such...)

Sometimes, I would say "no" for me. I am not a fan of the Benefiber that Tom drinks everyday. If I notice that I am having problems, I will gag down the Benefiber. But since we do primarily proteins, we do not get many natural fibers.

(I have roughly a million more questions like this. I'm annoyingly curious when I am fascinated and awed by something.)

Ask away! We are happy to answer anything people ask. And as you can see by reading some of our posts, we are hardly shy. We are finding that when we go out into the public, there are many people we feel like we should pass our surgeon's business cards to. We figure a commission on each surgery would get us early retirement! OR the people receiving the cards might cause us early disability!!!


I'll Only Pass This Milestone Once:)

After our walk this morning I climbed on the scale and reached a weight I've been waiting for since this began. I weighed 201 pounds. When all this began March 9 with the two week pre-surgery liquid protein diet, I weighed 301 pounds. As of today I have officially lost 100 pounds!!

Only another 36 to go and I'll reach my ideal weight of 165. Who would have imagined I'd be here by August 3!

Thank you all of you for your support and of course mostly to my t and my swan.

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I DID IT!!!!

I WEIGH 199.6 POUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have not been this small since college in 1976.

I got on the scale this morning, thinking that I "might" be down another pound.... I walked in the morning and at night yesterday. And was down 2 pounds!

I still only make 1 round of our walking path each time I walk, considerably less than Tom and Sue hoof, but the knee starts hurting about half way and I am trying not to wreck the knee Totally too soon. Today might be a pain pill day, the knee kept me up most of the night.

But still......

I WEIGH 199.6 POUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the knee will live.

Tickled T