Weight Loss Progress

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ellen DeGeneres, Food, and Epiphanies

An epiphany is defined as "a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience." I had an epiphany a few weeks ago when I was thinking about food, as I did not blog for about a month of my summer vacation I will share my epiphany with you now.

I love Ellen DeGeneres and her comedy show from almost ten years ago, Here and Now. In this comedy show she makes fun of people going to the movies and how people act as they though they will never eat again or ordering as if they are packing for a trip across the Sahara. Ellen then says "people act as though they will not eat again, when you know you will eat again in three to four hours". This is so true and I was one of those people.

"We stock up on popcorn and candy like we're crossing the Sierras, don't we? "I'll have a couple of soft pretzels, a hot dog, Milk Duds, Snocaps. Is that the largest popcorn you've got there, that bucket? You don't have a barrel or anything like that? Do you have a donkey or a pack mule or anything? - Oh, and a Diet Coke." 
-Ellen DeGeneres, Here and Now

At about 13:25min  into episode, is the part about food. LOL Funny!!! Watch the whole clip and whole show if you have time. It is great!

I remember watching this comedy show over and over in college and laughing my ass off every time....I am laughing as I watch it now. It is funny! But, I did not see the significance of the problem that Ellen is discussing with the comment about people eating as though they will not eat again and doing it at every meal. I see it now and I totally agree with her on this. In America we eat too much and it is part of the American mentality to want to eat a big steak and potato for dinner, or a huge sandwich for lunch, or steak and eggs with grits for breakfast. Now, some people may need the energy and good for them if they work that hard and burn that much in their work that they need something of that magnitude for meals. The majority of us though do not need that much nutrition between meals and snacks or meals and meals. I could easily have eaten 1000 calories in one meal before this surgery and handling of my addiction to sugar and I did not see the importance or significance of what she is saying there until a few months ago.

I know not everyone will agree with Ellen and me on this one, but in America we eat too much. People who see what I eat now on LoseIt.com have asked me why I eat so little and I just say I am on a medically supervised diet and I am taking supplements and am fine...thank you. And I know that my diet right now in terms of calories is on the extreme side of the eating spectrum, and this is not what I am saying everyone needs to do, but overall America's view on food and super-sizing and all-you-can-eat buffets is not good. We do not need to eat all that we can, we will get food again in a few hours or whenever you want it. Most of us in America do not need to stuff ourselves at every meal because we know that we will have another meal in a few short hours, we are not cavemen or uncertain of when our next meal will be. And this is why we do not need to eat like cavemen or like there is a food shortage....because there is not one in America.

My views of food have changed and I know not everyone will share this view with me and I respect that. For the past eight years or so I did not share that view with Ellen, I just laughed at it because it was funny how she put it, but now I agree and understand. I know that it is fine if I eat only four ounces of food at breakfast because I can have a snack in two or three hours if I am truly hungry (not head hunger) or I will have a meal in three to four hours if I did not need the snack. I am not saying that people should not have meals that they enjoy and splurge and even overeat on occasion, that is live. But this should not be done all the time at every meal and be the way one thinks about eating and food.

I still enjoy my food now, if not more than I did before. I taste the food and enjoy the textures in my mouth- I never did that before. Before I was eating for volume half the time not to truly enjoy the experience. Last night I made a baked apple in the microwave with chopped pecans, cinnamon, Truvia, Mexican Agave Nectar, water, and a smidge of butter (I have a measuring spoon that is a smidge, so yes it really was just a smidge...lol!). <I will share recipe and pic over the weekend> I had half of it topped with a little non-fat cinnamon greek yogurt I had made for dinner for my sweet potatoes (Josie's favorite) and it was delicious. The house smelled like apple pie and we enjoyed our dessert....it was a treat. That is what food should be, something you enjoy and makes you smile but not something you gorge on until you can't move and think that you just might explode.

I know that feeling all too well from earlier this year, in the words of Sophia Petrillo, "picture it...." Mohegan Sun Casino, April 7th 2011 Margarittaville, followed by Ben and Jerry's large waffle cone, and then washed down with half a dozen Krispe Kreme glazed donuts. This was my last hooray before my Pre-Op Diet.....yeah I might have known that "I'm about to explode" feeling. But my views on food changed and I am so much happier and healthier now and I enjoy my food and my life so much more.

Love me some, Sophia! Miss you!

Amen. <3

Oh, The Changes One Year Makes!

I was on Facebook chatting with Josie this morning in messages and I saw on the side of the screen there was this little section that was "On This Day In 2010" and it was Josie's status update from the same day in 2010.  On August 19, 2010 Josie was excited because she was taking me clothes shopping to my "favorite store" for school, which was starting in two weeks. Well, my favorite store was Casual Male, because I was sizing myself right out of Lane Bryant and Lane Bryant didn't sell normal khakis so that is where we went shopping. I remember clearly that when we got there at 7pm I was all pissed off because they were closed- they closed at 6pm!!! What store closes at 6pm on a Friday? Really???!!!

Well, one year later and one life altering surgery later I am in a completely different world it feels. Yes, Josie still took me clothes shopping but this time I could shop at Old Navy or anywhere I wanted to for clothes and know that I was not obligated to shop in the Plus Size Section, but rather could look at the regular sized clothing. Heaven!

I know I have changed in many ways in the past four months far beyond where I can shop for clothing. My priorities have changed, my health is first and I must exercise in some form every day of the week with the gym being a must at least 5 days per week (preferably 6 days!). I prefer to eat at home now, except sushi as I still do love me some sushi, so Josie and I have agreed to only eat at restaurants once per week which is a significant change from before when we would eat at restaurants or get take-out at least four nights per week. I have more energy and overall I think I am a better person, a better wife, a better daughter, a better sister, and hopefully a better educator (we will find that out in two weeks, lol).

I am proud of where Josie and I have come to in our lives in the past four and a half months. I could not have done this without her and my family & friends. Oh, what the difference a year makes- from size 3X elastic waist pants at Casual Male (size 26/28 +  at Lane Bryant) to size 16 women's in Old Navy.

Now to continue to fight the good and healthy fight!

P.S.- This morning I have officially taken myself off of the Casual Male XL, Big & Tall, and Lane Bryant e-mail list. I do not want anything they have to offer me now, I was stuck with them for far far far to long. Never again! Never! Not enough emphasis can be put on the word NEVER!!!

Till Later! <3

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Finally into Onederland!!!!! And a NSV!

Taken on the morning of August 17, 2011. I am four months and six days out from surgery and down 84  pounds. 

I have my goal on LoseIt! to be 199, but when I saw that on the scale this morning (even with Martha coming into town unexpected last night) I had to take a pic and share with the world. I am finally in the 100's and not gravitating towards the 300's or firmly cemented in the 200's! Oh, happy day!

Now even with Martha in town today seems like it might be a good day after all! LOL. 

Also, for some NSV's (non-scale victories) I am a size 16 in women's at Old Navy in their khaki's and jeans and I fit into their Women's XXL Oxford shirts (that just one month ago wouldn't button at the bottom b/c of my ass/hips). I also tried on some men's khaki's and am a size 38/30 comfortably in their slim fit khakis or a size 36/30 (but they are a bit snug). 

Josie had me get my pants snug not perfectly fitting because, rightfully so, she wants me to get the most life out of the pants as possible before I need to go down to the next size. So, I am hoping that I can get until maybe the holidays before I need new sizes....but we will see. 

One question for all the women out their.......do we not need zippers or pockets in our pants? The zipper and pockets in all the women's pants when compared with the men's (which is what I am used to because that is what used to fit better) are non-existent. My iPhone (my baby and my love) just barely fit into the pockets of the khakis..... and the zipper situation....lets just say I will have to get use to that. 

I have added a picture in of me trying on a pair of 16 jeans in the Diva Slim fit at Old Navy. Can't believe that just four months ago I was barely fitting into a size 26/28 and was stuck shopping at Lane Bryant or Casual Male XL and now I can just go into Old Navy and pick out a pair of pants or a shirt and buy it! All of my clothes last night (four pairs of khakis, one pair of jeans, and three oxford shirts) cost $91, at Lane Bryant or Casual Male XL that wouldn't have bought me more than one outfit. 

Nothing beats this feeling....no sugar....no carbs.....nothing! I love my Lapband for what it has helped me accomplish in the past four months and what it will continue to give me the motivation and assistance to to finish in this weight loss journey! I am so very happy and thank you all (Dr. Floch, Josie, Mom, Dad, Tiff, Helen, Cindy, Tamara, Steve, Sharon, Nicole, Karen, and all the rest of you who are out there who are reading but just not telling me.....I know you are there and thank you too) for your support, motivation, and continued help on this journey. 

Now just 57.6 more pounds to go till I reach Dr. Floch and my agreed upon goal weight of 142 pounds. I can do it and so can you all too! Believe. I do.

Thank you all again. 


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Yasso Greek Frozen Yogurt Pops

They have 70 calories, 0 fat, 10g of sugar, and 6g of protein. No high fructose corn syrup or other shit like that.

Not a bad snack for a hot summer day. I am in LOVE!

Yasso is out of Boston, MA and I have found them at Stop & Shop and BJ's. They come in Strawberry, Blueberry, and Raspberry!! I would love to see a pomegranate flavor or blackberry. The potential is great.

Yasso Frozen Yogurt- Facebook

This is part of my new "Protein First" food column.


Monday, August 15, 2011

A Big Week

Since I have been back from vacation it has been a busy two weeks now.....and I know no postings. I have been super busy between getting the house back in order, trying to train a Moji, working at the Post Office an insane amount, hitting the gym, working on Advisory for school, and maintaining my diet. I'm sure there are other things that I forgot in there, but that is the majority of what sticks in my mind from the past two weeks.

When I got back from Texas I was still the same 209 that I was before I went down and it wasn't until the week of August 7th that I started losing again. Last week I lost 7 pounds during the course of the week!  I don't know how it happened, if I was retaining water from the heat in Texas or the plane or something, but the pounds came off last week for the two weeks previous that I stayed relatively stagnant. Thank God!!!!

I am now weighting in at 202 and that means that hopefully by the end of this week I will meet my Mini Goal # 3 of being below 200 pounds! I am hoping and praying that those two pounds come off by Thursday (my weight in day for Loseit.com). My next Mini Goal after this will be to get down to 185 pounds which would put me in the "overweight" category for BMI instead of the "obese" category that I am currently in......but it is still better than the "morbidly obese" category I was in four months ago! It is sometimes hard to believe that all of these changes have occured in just four months!!!

I have decided that when I achieve Mini-Goal # 4: Below 185 Pounds, I am going to join the Lion's Den MMA Gym in Middletown. The gym offers weighs, a few cardio machines, yoga classes, boxing classes, MMA classes, and cardio classes. I have really gotten into MMA and UFC recently, there is something that is drawing me to it and it really motivates me to work out. I did martial arts as a kid at Middlesex Tang Soo Do Academy in Old Saybrook and every since I was five and watched the Karate Kid I have always been into martial arts and Asian culture (design, architecture, culture, and food). I originally had said that I would join Lion's Den when I get below 200 pounds, but I think my body would benefit from losing fifteen more pounds before starting a more intensive program than I am currently doing, especially if it will require more jumping and other joint pounding activities. I want to keep my body happy and have to be smart about what exercises I do between my screws in my feet and ankle and my tailbone injury from 2010. But a membership to Lion's Den will probably be my reward to myself for getting to 185, I am thinking I will join there and then lower my membership at Planet Fitness to the $10 a month plan (I don't tan b/c I am too white to tan and I haven't really been using the massage chairs too much recently). That would be about $100 a month on gym memberships (90 for Lion's Den and 10 for Planet Fitness) we will see how Josie takes to that, but that is my goal and plan for now.

On Friday Josie and I went to see Dr. Floch in Fairfield to perhaps get a fill. I didn't feel like I necessarily needed one, I knew I had lost about 20pounds in five weeks so I thought I was looking at a good enough rate where it wasn't necessary. I am under the belief system that I should save my fills for when I really need them and right now my body is burning the fat well enough on its own, when I get to the point where I plateau and need the assistance that is when I want the fills to be there. Well, Doctor Floch was very happy with the progress we had made and it was decided no fills for us this month! He made a comment about having us on his website which we laughed over, discussed my need for Biotin as my hair is getting awfully light on top (he said it is normal when there is such a fast and radical weight loss), and said that we are both at where most LapBand patients are one year out not four months out! We are all very happy at our progress. We have an appointment in September for another check-up and possible fill...but we will see about the fills.

I am going to start updating my blog with pictures and videos (yes I am going to try videos blogging or vlogging too- I have a youtube account already and everything) as I am finding food items that I would like to share. I also want to start a "What Ashley Eats" Section where I will update frequently with what I eat. I see a lot of bloggers and vloggers do that and I like theirs so I figured I will share with you all what I eat.

Finally, in getting caught up over the past two weeks we are now up to yesterday, Sunday the 14th of August. I had a late breakfast (one and half egg beaters with one soy sausage, jalapeno, salsa, and queso fresco laughing cow cheese wedge), then my protein pudding with peach for a snack, two tablespoons of nuts for a snack (no lunch), and then went to dinner at my Mom and Dads. Not having lunch was a mistake, by the time we got to dinner I was starving! My Mom had made these healthy Baked Eggplant "Meatballs" with eggplant, <breadcrumbs>, garlic, parmasean cheese, asiago cheese, parsley, and a few other spices/herbs. I had three before we sat down for dinner (each one was about one ounce) and my Mom was so sweet and bought Salmon for Josie and me. I made the salmon, but overcooked it <I guess it should have been 15 minutes not 20>, so I only ate about one ounce of the salmon. I ate about one once of steak tips my Mom made for dinner, and then had about three more of the Eggplant Meatballs (making it six it total!!) Now I like spice and garlic and spice and garlic....get the drift??? So, in my mind I don't see how the garlic in the Eggplant Meatballs did it, but I got a sharp pain in my chest. I don't think I was "stuck" but I got very gassy and had to burp a lot to get the pain to subside. I was still burping this morning and it is clearly the Meatballs that I am burping up....so either I overate, ate too fast, or it was the bread crumbs. I am thinking it was the breadcrumbs expanding in my stomach and me not being used to carbs at all. I don't know, but I do know one thing for sure and that is that I will not be eating ANY REFINED CARBS again for a while.....I mean this was just maybe two tablespoons of breadcrumbs! And I will need to eat slower when at my parents house and only eat at the table (not the three I had before we sat down) and LUNCH IS A MUST-ALWAYS! AND FINALLY, FOLLOW RULE NUMBER ONE: PROTEIN FIRST! I did not follow those three things last night and I felt horrible (physically) after that. Lesson learned!

Well, expect for frequent updates and picture/video updates now! I am not working at the Post Office anymore this summer except for Saturdays and I am in full "get back into school" mode, so I will have a bit more time to blog and concentrate on me. I love summer, but I am very much looking forward to being back in my usual work routine- even with the stress that the routine brings it is a routine that I like none the less.

Have a good day everyone! RTR- Remember the Rules!