Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 15, 2012

I have lost 7.5 pounds.  So I am now down to 201.

An interesting side light to all of this is that, having eliminated nearly all carbohydrates from my diet for the first two weeks, I saw a remarkable decrease in the number of migraine headaches I experienced.  Within two days of reintroducing carbs, I was back to having miserable headaches.  It gives me pause.  I am now wondering if, perhaps, I may have some gluten sensitivity that is at the root of my headaches.  Something to explore.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 2, 2012

I've lost six pounds.  This morning, I weighed 202.5.  That is hardly svelte, but it is, finally, heading in the right direction.

I also have a cold...which He claims is probably because this diet has hurt my immune system.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Week 1

I am 4.5 pounds lighter today than I was a week ago.  It is a small thing, but it is a start.  Beyond that, I feel pretty good.  My energy is up, and I am not generally hungry.  I eat a carton of Kroger's Carb Smart yogurt for breakfast along with a scoop of Unjury Chocolate Splendor protein powder mixed into a glass of Silk Milk (Vanilla, Unsweetened).  At lunch, I eat romaine lettuce and tuna.  Dinner is usually chicken or fish and vegetables.  I miss my pasta and potatoes and bread, but it is manageable.  This beginning phase  is supposed to last one more week, and then I should begin to add in more carbohydrates -- 5 grams at a time, as long as I keep losing weight.  That is the plan until I reach my "goal" weight (whatever that might be).  I am trying not to look that far ahead yet.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 27, 2012

205 pounds today...


Monday, November 26, 2012

November 26, 2012

Stepped on the scale this morning... 205.5 pounds.  So, down 3 pounds.  Not that far to be below 200.  That will be my first goal.  Let me hit that one, and then I'll figure out what to do next.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 25, 2012

One pound lost.  So, today the scale reads 207.5.  Atkins works that way.

No one around here is happy with me doing this.  Sigh.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

November 24, 2012

I am beginning a diet today.  I have tried to limit my food intake, and keep up with an exercise routine.  Admittedly, when the school year starts, I am an inconsistent exerciser.  A day of teaching that begins at 5:30, includes all the up and down stairs of teaching middle schoolers in an ancient building, followed by the usual routine of preparing, serving, and cleaning up after the evening meal, followed by my evening correspondence with students and parents, and other teacher related work, doesn't leave me a lot of time or energy at the end for exercise.  But those are excuses.  I could do it, and should do it.  Everyday.  Maybe I'll find the resolve for that.  I haven't yet.

Today, I am resolved to diet, however.  The only successful diet regimen I've ever used is the Atkins diet, so that's where I'm starting.  It relies on protein and severely limits carbohydrates, especially in the beginning two weeks -- 20 grams / day.

Today, I stand 5'-11" and weigh 208.5 pounds.  So that is the starting line.

Wish me luck.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Some Tricks We've Learned

We are 40 months out from Tom and T's bariatric weight loss surgeries.  The weight loss that occurred in those first wild months has become our new "normal," and we go on our way, most days, without a lot of "direct" thought about the dietary regimen that we follow in the aftermath.  Just recently, though, Tom had a total knee replacement, and coping with the after effects of that major surgery and recovery, reminded me that there are a whole bunch of things that we just do without really thinking about it much.  There are things that we have learned that might be helpful to someone else, and we've grown so accustomed to doing these things, and using these products, that we've not shared the information with readers.  Maybe some of this will help someone else...

Protein -- Protein intake is such an important and critical need following bariatric surgery, especially Rouen Y, that it can become an all consuming project trying to figure out how to meet the requirements.  We were told that it was important to get 75-80 grams of protein in the diet every single day.  Most often, Tom and T both focus on eating the protein portion of any meal first.  It is complicated, though, by the fact that both of them, but especially Tom, have trouble with some kinds of meat (especially beef and chicken).  So we use a protein supplement, recommended by the dietitian who works with our surgeon, called Unjury.   This is a medical grade protein, of a much higher quality than the typical protein powder that can be purchased at most retail places.  In general, we use the Chocolate Splendor flavor (sweetened with Splenda).  Tom likes it mixed into coffee -- we are careful to cool it to between 120 and 130 degrees first.  I generally drink it mixed into unsweetened almond milk.  Three scoops of Unjury in His morning coffee gets Him most of the protein He needs for the day.  I can relax then, figuring that whatever else I can include in meals through the day is gravy.

MultiVitamins -- Absorption is a huge issue for patients after weight loss surgery.  We choose to buy a chewable vitamin product called Opurity, manufactured by Unjury, and optimized for bariatric surgery patients.

Calcium -- Calcium is an important mineral to supplement after the surgery.  If the levels of calcium drop too low, it may not even show up in a blood test.  The body will simply rob calcium from bones and teeth, weakening those structures.  By the time a blood test shows a deficiency, there could be huge and irreversible damage.  As with other minerals, mal-absorption is a real problem.  It is important to supplement with high quality, easily absorbed products.  Too, many calcium pills are too large to be safely swallowed by the gastric bypass patient.  We use a liquid calcium and magnesium citrate supplement by Vitacost.  It is orange flavored, and we order it online.

We have just recently discovered that another important mineral to supplement and monitor is iron.  No one told us about that one following the surgery.  It was only when the pre-operative tests for Tom's knee replacement turned up dangerous iron deficiencies that we began to try and figure out what we ought to be doing about iron supplements.  Right now, we are using a very inexpensive iron tablet from NatureMade.  We've learned to avoid enteric-coated and slow release iron preparations.  We have found that iron should be taken with a meal, and that eating citrus fruits with iron helps to improve the absorption.  

Finally, some of the biggest challenges that we've encountered  have to do with intestinal/bowel function following gastric bypass.  We've dealt with three issues:  flatulence, constipation, and lactose intolerance.  Our best "weapons" in combating these problems have come from a company called Digestive Advantage.  They manufacture a group of probiotic based products that work gently and steadily to help maintain digestive tract balance.  We use their gas defense, daily constipation formula, and lactose defense formula.  In general we use the gas defense and lactose defense capsules daily.  The constipation formula is something that we use "as needed."  It tends to create an intestinal bacteria overgrowth when used on a daily basis...  It needs to be managed carefully.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

And Now It Is My Turn

This blog was conceived as a place to record the progress of Tom and Teresa as they came through their bariatric weight loss surgeries and the time following.  I was the support person for them both in that effort.  I cheered from the sidelines.  I managed the diets and I counted the nutritional numbers.  I modified the diet for the whole household, and I was the one who struggled to find the things that we could all eat -- no easy thing in those early days of tender and picky new tummies.  It was never about me in those days.  I was really the background member of the family -- and my weight was not ever the focus.

Now it is my turn.  I have gained weight steadily in the last few years, watching helplessly as the numbers on the scale climbed up and up and up.  But now, I am determined to make the trend turn around.

I am not having any surgery.  I hope that does not  become necessary.  I am working to change my diet, and I am hoping to increase my exercise levels (although that has not happened yet).

I started working on this seriously on about the 5th of January -- maybe like a lot of people, as a sort of new year's resolution.  It was never that formally,  but I am determined to do this for me this year.  So far, things are going well.  The weight is beginning to come off.  I am encouraged.

So here we go again.  Not as dramatic as before, but perhaps one more transformation in the offing.  I do hope so.