Onmywaytobeauty's Blog

The Search for Protein

April 20, 2010
Leave a Comment

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!  😀


And the Journey Continues…

April 2, 2010
Leave a Comment

As of right now, I’m down 41 pounds!  59 to go before I see if I want to keep going.  Only 16 pounds away from being in the 100’s!  I’m wearing clothes I haven’t worn in ages.  I guess one good thing about never throwing anything away is that I have plenty to wear between now and my goal weight and wont have to waste money on the “in between” clothes.

My Emma just turned 4 at the end of March.  She amuses me.  When I first had my surgery, I wasn’t allowed to lift her or her sister for 4 weeks.  That was so hard for all of us.  Emma didn’t really understand and would get upset, and I decided to show her that I had “boo boos”.  She saw my incisions when they were still pretty fresh, and she understood that it hurt, and she had to be careful not to hurt me more.  Now, every once in a while when I lift her or squeeze her tightly against me, she’ll tell me to be careful not to hurt the boo boos on my belly.  She wants to see them to make sure that they’re all better, and when I show her the scars, she asks me if it hurts and if I’m going back to the doctor.  She’s such a sweet girl, very concerned about the plight of others.

For the record, I’m healing well.  Of course I have scars, but they’ll fade eventually.  I’m losing weight steadily.  Not as fast as I would like, but it’s coming off and staying off, and that’s really what matters.  I need to learn to have a little patience.  🙂

I still have a long road ahead of me, but I’m excited to see the progress I’ve made in just 2 months.  If I keep up this pace, I’ll accomplish my goal in another 3 or 4 months, which will be a miracle!


Impatience…

February 26, 2010
2 Comments

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
1 Comment

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…


Measuring… And today’s food intake.

January 30, 2010
Leave a Comment

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
Leave a Comment

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
Leave a Comment

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… 


Approval

January 22, 2010
Leave a Comment

Yesterday, I received notice from my surgeon’s office that I got APPROVED for ajustable gastric banding surgery!!!  They scheduled me right then for my pre-op appointment AND my surgery.  Guess when they are??  Go ahead, guess.  Oh, forget it.  You wont guess right, anyway!  The pre-op appointment was TODAY, this morning, actually.  I got weighed and got a 3-ringed binder full of pertinent information.  I was also given scripts for blood work and a chest xray.  FUN!  Not… 

Being that today is the 3rd Thursday of the month, the medical clinic on base was closed.  So I had to find somewhere else to go and get all this stuff done.  Of course, I’m used to being spoiled by the convenience of having the majority of my medical needs met on base, so I had no idea where to go.  I called the surgeon’s office and they gave me two different places to go… took a while both to find them and to get things done.  The blood work–wow–I really felt like I’d gone to visit with Vampires.  Several vials of blood, one of which was huge.  Felt like I was giving a pint and not just vials for lab work! 

All things considered, I would say that it all went well.  Even if it did take all day.  But I had to get it all done today because my surgery is WEDNESDAY!!!  So excited!!!  I have to be at the surgery center at 6:30 in the morning, but the staff at the surgeon’s office worked it out so that it’s outpatient, and I’ll start surgery at 7:30 and should be heading home by 9:30.  I’ll be posting before pics sometime next week, and I’ll post progress reports as frequently as I can.  I doubt I’ll be on the computer at all for a few days after the surgery.  I’ll be posting pictures and maybe measurments once a month.


Weight and Waiting…

December 29, 2009
3 Comments

I’ve spent the last week knowing that I need to be patient, since it was Christmas; and knowing that I’ll have to be patient again this week, since it’s New Year’s.  I’m failing miserably in my efforts… 

See, I got on the scale at the surgeon’s office last Tuesday, and they are resubmitting all of my paperwork to the insurance company to see if they approve me for the banding surgery.  Funny, I was eternally patient while I was there…  Took about 40 minutes to get to the office; I got there 20 minutes early, didn’t get seen til 20 minutes after my appointment time, only to get weighed and have my bp taken (it’s a little higher than it was last time {108/74}, but still low: 115/85).  I sat in the exam room for another 10 mintues or so before Dr. Monash came in to see if I had anymore questions.  Of course, I’ve asked all my questions a hundred times, so I didn’t have any new ones.  And then I was gone and drove the 40 minutes back to my house.  Barely noticed the time going by on THAT day!  But now, here I am, a week later, wondering just how LONG this is going to take! 

And it’s not like I haven’t been busy.  I mean, it was Christmas week, for goodness’ sake!  I had Victoria’s second birthday (party was the saturday before), Christmas decorating and baking, not to mention Christmas Eve and Christmas Day… I was moving and occupied pretty much non-stop; but it was always there, in the back of my mind: wait, wait, wait… AGH!!!!  I’m just so READY to have this over with.


Getting Closer, Yet Farther Away

November 6, 2009
2 Comments

I just wanted to make an update on my journey to weight loss…  My last weight-related post told you all that I had just gotten my wisdom teeth removed (all 4 at once) and was having problems gaining the weight I need to gain in order to get my surgery.  I was told, in the beginning, that I needed to gain 25 pounds, and I’ve gained 10 so far.  So, I’m closer to my “goal” weight, and yet much farther away from my ultimate goal…  I’m hoping that I will make it by the end of the month, so that I can get this over with.  My back is killing me, my stomach is not happy, and I’m certainly not learning any GOOD habbits!!!  But, like I said, 10 down, 15 to go.  Hopefully, it happens quickly, and I can get my surgery scheduled quickly so that I don’t have to go out and buy new clothes that I wont be wearing for very long!!  It’s all very frustrating.  I live in my sweats… ugh.  I’ve reached a higher weight higher than I’ve ever been, even when I was pregnant.  Ready to get rid of it, and I have to get some more on before I can get it off.