Onmywaytobeauty's Blog

The Search for Protein

April 20, 2010
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When I first got the gastric band, I was told that I need to consume 60-80 grams of protein per day.  I asked my surgeon if he had any that he recommended, and he told me to try Protein Shots from Walmart.  I did, and I about puked in my van…  Sure, it had 28 grams of protein in one little vial, but if I couldn’t keep it down, what was the point of drinking it?  It was disgusting.  The thought of it makes me gag a little…  So, I kept searching.  I was supposed to have only 5 grams of both sugar and carbs per serving of food in the beginning, which is NOT an easy thing to accomplish!  And most of the protein shakes out there are chock full of carbohydrates and sugars.  So, I did a little research and found something awesome.  Syntrax Nectars.  Zero sugar, zero carbs, only 90 calories per serving and at least 20 grams of protein per serving, depending on which flavor you get.  And here’s the best part–THEY’RE GOOD!!!  20 grams of protein, but they don’t have that overwhelming protein smell and flavor.  There are a bunch of different flavors, too.  Plenty to chose from, so there’s something for everyone.  Man, I feel like a spokesperson for the company!  But they’re GOOD, so I don’t care!  🙂  My favorites are the cappuccino and Caribbean cooler flavors.  I mix the cappuccino with milk, but the rest I would use water with.  They mix completely with a spoon, so you don’t have to have a shaker or put them in the blender.  You can order samples of each of them for $1.99 at http://www.vitalady.com.  I haven’t been able to find them in stores yet, but I know you can order from vitalady or from Amazon.com.  I haven’t checked, but I’m sure there’s a website to the company, as well.  I’ve tried other protein drinks, and they’re either high in calories/carbohydrates/sugars, etc., or they just taste disgusting.  The GNC 100% Whey Protein shakes are bland, and they have sugar in them.  The Syntrax drinks are sugar free and so flavorful!  It’s amazing.  I don’t know how they do it.  I do suggest that you order samples and try them to see what you like before you go and spend $30 on a 2-pound container and risk not liking what you bought.  And, if you’ve had or are having bariatric surgery, keep in mind that your tastes change after surgery.  So don’t go and buy a ton of stuff before hand, because you may end up not liking it after you have surgery.

So, there’s my two cents on protein drinks.  If anyone else has found something that tastes good and is good for you, please let me know!  😀

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Impatience…

February 26, 2010
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I don’t know about anyone else who may have gotten the Lap-Band or Realize Band or any other kind of gastric weight loss surgery, but I am so impatient!  It’s been 1 month tomorrow since my surgery, and as of today, I’ve only lost 21 pounds.  Sure, to those of you who can eat whatever you want, that seems like quite an accomplishment, but when you’re eating about 500 calories a day and working out 3-5 times a week, it’s nothing!  Not that I think a 21 pound weight loss is anything to stick my nose up at, but come ON!  Almost all of my food intake is protein, low calorie, low carb, low fat… the pounds and inches should be melting off of me, and they’re just… not. 

I’m also very impatient for my first fill!  I haven’t been to the doctor since my follow-up visit, less than a week after my surgery, and I’ve got questions, sure, but I’m so ready to get my first fill.  I’m hoping that it’ll jump-start my system again.  I should not be plateauing so soon!  My appointment is Tuesday morning, and I’m looking forward to what his scale says, and getting some questions answered.  I’ve been journalling everything I eat and my workout schedule, and I’m hoping he can point out to me some things I’m doing right and especially what I’m doing wrong.  I’m almost addicted to the gym, though.  Really looking forward to it!  Today’s my “last chance workout” before my actual weigh-in tomorrow morning.  Probably shouldn’t have gotten on the scale today, but I just couldn’t help myself.  I think the thing that bothers me the most about my small amount of weight loss is that the first 15 pounds came off in about a week.  That’s right.  A week.  But my clothes are fitting me differently, and people have told me that they can see a difference.  And the ones who know I got surgery are definately watching! 

So, I guess that’s it.  I just really needed to vent, and my poor readers are the ones who have to suffer it. Sorry!


Update

February 7, 2010
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Hello, all! I just wanted to give you an update on my surgery and weight loss. As of yesterday, I have lost a total of 17 pounds since my surgery a week and a half ago. Since my appointment to submit my weight for approval to the insurance company on December 22, 2009, I have lost 26!!! Needless to say, I’m very excited and pleased with my progress!!! Incisions are healing well, and I’ll soon be able to start a vigorous workout regimine. As it is, I can really only walk right now, which isn’t all that exciting for me! I’m looking forward to doing some Turbo Jam! So far, I’ve had people tell me that my face looks thinner, and I’ve been able to fit into some clothes that I haven’t worn in a while. As for food… I’m currently eating “pureed” foods and drinking protein shakes. Scrambled eggs, ricatta cheese, unsweetened apple sauce. Stuff like that. I’ve also made some vegetable soup, put it in the blender and adding a teaspoon of unflavored protein powder. My mom gave me the recipe (minus the powder) from Weight Watchers, and it’s really good. Most foods I’ve been eating still don’t quite mask the taste/smell of the unflavored powder, but this is really savory and seems to do the trick, and it’s so easy to make!! It’s a can of diced tomatoes, a can of green beans, a can of corn, a can of old fashioned veggie soup from Campbell’s, a can of potatoes (drained–I use the already diced ones), a can of mixed veggies (like Veg-All), and 2 cans of Hormel chili–one with beans, and one without. You just dump them all together in the pot and heat them up. It’s so good! And even after it’s been through the blender, and it’s about the consistency of thick cream of wheat (I add some water) and the protein’s been added, it’s STILL good! It amazes me. I had it for dinner last night, lunch and dinner today…
Right now, I’m in the market for some good-tasting protein shakes. I’ve got the GNC brand of chocolate and unflavored, but the chocolate is getting REALLY old. I’ve decided to scoop out a serving of the unflavored stuff and put a little in everything I eat, because I’m afraid I’m not getting enough protein. Yesterday, my hair came out in gobs every time I ran my hands through it…
Any ideas for good-tasting protein drinks would be appreciated! I tried the one my surgeon recommended, and it about made me throw up. So gross!!! I need some variety or I’m going to go crazy…


1/29/10–diary of an idiot…

January 30, 2010
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Yesterday, 1/29/10, was day 3 after my surgery.  It started out great, since I was finally allowed to drink something a little more substancial than water.  I had an 8 ounce chocolate flavored protein shake for breakfast.  Took me 2 hours to drink it.  I’m not exagerating at all…  for lunch, I had cream of chicken soup, thinned with skim milk.  In about an hour, I’d finished half of it, and couldn’t stomach any more.  Then I had about 4 ounces of chocolate shake, mixed with some peanut butter to give it some flavor and extra protein.  My friend was celebrating her 21st birthday at Olive Garden last night, so my family loaded up the minivan and headed out.  My plan was to just sip on water while we were there, but I looked through the soups to see if there was anything I could have.  I settled for the chicken and gnocci soup, planning to just sip the broth.  Yeah.  I should have had them just bring me the broth, and leave the chicken and gnocci out of it all together!  Those tiny little dumplings were too hard to resist… I broke one up into quarters, and then cut those in half, but it still was too much.  Dumplings are not full liquids!!!  They are flour/bread and swell up in your stomach!  Stupid, stupid, stupid. 

If you’re considering lap-band surgery, stick to the program!!!  Learn from me!  I’m not touching anything but the clear liquids today, in hopes that my body will be able to break down that stupid dumpling (and it was seriously about the size of a nickel, whole, and I cut it into even tinier pieces–SO not worth it!) and then maybe I can go back to the full liquids tomorrow.  No more cheating for me–I’ve so learned my lesson.  I’ve almost polished off a bottle of peach-flavored Fruit2O in the 5 1/2 hours I’ve been awake.  Walked for a little over 30 minutes this afternoon.  Still bloated from the CO2 that they pumped into me from the surgery, and that’s uncomfortable.  But I’ve been limiting the amount of vidodin I let myself take.  Might break down and take one in an hour or so, but it’ll be the first since about 3 am.


Measuring… And today’s food intake.

January 30, 2010
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Well, that was depressing!  Getting on the scale and seeing a big number is one thing, and far more than bad enough.  Taking out the measuring tape and measuring your neck, your chest, your arms, waist, hips and thighs is just begging for suicidal tendencies!!!  One good thing about it, I guess, is that you fully realize where all of your problem areas are–EVERYWHERE.  Blech.  Next week, I’m going to do it first thing in the morning.  Yes, next week.  Every week.  Forever.  Hopefully, it wont take too awful long for me to get to non-suicide inducing numbers…

So, on to what I ate today.  After last night’s debacle with the chicken & gnocci soup, I had decided to keep with clear fluids today, instead of the full fluids and protein drinks.  That worked out really well until it got to be close to dinner time.  I’d only had one 16.9 ounce bottle of Fruit2O bottled water (which I love–the peach flavored one), and I’d walked for about 35 minutes, while talking on the phone with my sister.  So, it’s about 4:30, and my stomach is growling for the first time since Tuesday night, the night before my surgery.  So, I went through my book that I got from my surgeon’s office on things to do to break up the monotony of the protein shakes.  One of the suggestions was to mix 2 scoops of the protein powder in dry pudding mix, and then follow the directions on the box.  So, that’s what I did.  While I waited for the pudding to set, I made dinner for my family, and prayed that the pudding would taste good.  My daughter Emma wanted waffles for dinner–something they don’t get very often.  They’ve both been so good this week, not climbing all over me or pitching fits when I can’t pick them up and carry them somewhere, that I gave in and made them waffles.  Emma had 2 4-inch square waffles, Victoria, just barely 25 months old, had almost as much.  Their daddy barely finished 2.  Cracks me up.  I sat there at the table with them with my 1/2 cup of protein fortified chocolate pudding and a baby spoon.  Of course, the girls were very interested in the food I was eating, because it was quite obvious it was chocolate.  It was very good, too, by the way.  WalMart brand sugar-free chocolate pudding with GNC”s Chocolate-flavored 100% Whey Protein powder mixed in (2 scoops), then 2 cups of skim milk, whisked for 2 minutes, separated into individual 1/2 cup servings and refrigerated until it sets.  Took a little longer than the box said it would, but whatever, it was different.  Very rich and chocolatey. 

I’m still regretting the chicken & gnocci soup from last night.  I feel like that tiny piece of dumpling is still stuck somewhere between my throat and my stomach.  The CO2 that I thought would have dissipated by this morning is still causing me pain in my chest.  My stomach is still bloated and hard, but the incisions are healing nicely.  Hopefully, it will be back to normal soon.  Maybe then I’ll feel a little better about my waist measurments!


Day One

January 28, 2010
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This morning was the Big Day!  I was up by 5 am, and ready to leave for the sugery center.  Got there aroud 6:30.  Signed some papers and sat down to wait.  When I finally got called back to be prepped for surgery, it still hadn’t sunk in… My blood pressure was lower than usual, which surprised me.  104/50.  You’d think, given the nerves and stress and excitement that someone in my position would have, that it’d be spiking, and not dropping… oh, well.  I did feel pretty relaxed.  Until the anesthesiologist came in…  Dr. Monash came in, too, and discussed pain meds options.  He usually gives either Percoset or Vicodin.  I told him I already have both at home from when I got my wisdom teeth out, but he said he’d give me some more, anyway.  And then he went on to tell us that Vicodin has a street value of aboug $5/pill!  That’s a nice piece of information for a doctor to give his patients!  Oh, well.  I’m pretty sure he just filled us in on that to lighten the mood a bit.  He’s a nice guy.  When he left the room, Danny looked at me and said, “You never told me he was good looking…”  I laughed, and then he said, “NOW I know why you kept going back and were trying so hard to get this sugery!”  Yes, folks, he’s that good looking.  haha
A little after 7:30 they wheeled my bed out of the pre-op room and down to the operating room, where I had to get on another bed… getting strapped down is the last thing I remember.  And then I woke up, and the first cohearant thought in my head was “dear God, what did I do to myself?”  I felt like I was choking… they must have just barely taken the tube out of my throat.  It’s still a little sore.  My stomach dind’t hurt much at the time, but I had (and have) a horrible pain in my shoulder/back and chest from where they injected gas (CO2) into me.  Aparently, it will take 24 hours to get absorbed into my system, and I’ll just have to suffer until then. 

We stopped to pick up our kids on the way home from the surgery center.  They had such a blast with Shelli and Jennifer last night.  I was so excited to see them and hug them.  I wont be able to pick them up for a month.  It’ll be hard enough for me, but they wont understand.  And I don’t know how to explain it. 

I got home and climbed the stairs to my bedroom.  Slowly.  Danny got me some water and a Vicodin, and I fell asleep for a couple of hours.  When I woke up, I called to Danny to come and help me out of the bed and back down the stairs so that I could be around people.  And I wanted to call my mom.  So, then the girls woke up from their nap, and Emma was running a muck around the house, and slammed into the couch where I was laying.  Danny cautioned her to be gentle because I have “boo-boos” on my belly.  So, then she wanted to see!  I lifted my shirt and let her look at my incisions and told her not to touch.  Looking at the 5 incisions, I wondered to myself if they are going to leave big scars.  Emma wanted to look at them several times during the course of the afternoon and evening. 

So, let me tell you what I’ve ingested today.  It’s not much.  The first couple of days are all clear liquids, so I had a glass of water (about 16 ounces, total), about a tablespoon of jello that I mixed with some liquid protein when I made it, about 3 sips of chicken broth, and about a third of a diet green tea snapple.  I’m trying to avoid the vicodin, so I’m taking some extra-strength tylenol.  It doesn’t seem to quite do the job.  My abs feel like I did an extensive ab workout, then did it again–super sore.  My back and neck and chest are what hurt the most, though.  So much pressure and a burning feeling.  But I don’t have any regrets.  I’m glad I did it, and I know it’ll be worth the pain and frustration and the work in the end.  So, now I’m ready for bed.  Sleep is so welcome, and I hope it comes! 


The Big Day

January 27, 2010
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So, tomorrow is the big day.  I go in for my surgery at 6:30 in the morning, surgery is at 7:30, and I should be home by 9:30 in the morning.  My kids are spending the night at the pastor’s house.  His wife, Shelli, and their daughter are camping out on the living room floor with them.  I hope they’re able to get some sleep!  It’s weird not having the girls in the house, quiet.  I spent the majority of the evening trying to relax and mentally prepare myself for tomorrow. 

I’m a little nervous, but mostly I think it just hasn’t sunk in yet.  I spent a year trying to get approved and jumping through all the hoops to get to this point, fighting and trying and agonizing; then, I suddenly get approved and scheduled for surgery within a week.  It’s a bit shocking!  But I’m ready.  Ready to get rid of the weight and move on with my life; ready to start living and feeling comfortable in my own skin.  I went out and got all the food I’ll need for the first several days: protein shake mix and unflavored powder, protein drinks, “clear fluids”, eggs, jello, pudding mix, etc.  It’s not going to be easy, but I believe it will be so worth it!  So, here we go. 

Before pictures… I can’t believe I’m posting these on the internet for the world to see…