Hello cheekbones!

Ok, so of course I’ve noticed weight loss in the fit of my clothes. But, I can’t lie and say I don’t like what I see in the mirror above the neck! I’ve noticed, my face looks narrower and my neck is thinner, too. It makes for better picture taking that’s for sure. And now that I’m feeling good, I’ve never been known to shy away from the camera.  This blog is filled with photos and videos of me and I’m chronicling this whole experience, so no- I’m obviously not THAT shy.

But back to my cheekbones, all I’ll say is “Welcome Back!” I’m giving Marvin the pouty, fashion-model face as we speak. He’s amused.


Quote of the day.

Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.
Gordon B. Hinckley 


Post-surgery exercise routine

So, as I’ve always said, I’ve never had a problem with working out. I’ve always had a routine. Now, as for pace, or how long I was able to walk, that was a different story. I would get breathy pretty fast. And although I’m doing longer distances now, I’m naturally going at a much faster pace. It’s happening by itself, it’s like my body is propelling me forward.

My doctor told me not to overdo it though, because of my restricted food intake, it can be counterproductive for me to work out for over an hour–calories in versus calories burned. I had always thought, the more exercise, the better, but apparently its not the case. I guess everyone’s body is different.  News to me!


B-ball with the hubby.

Baseball that is, which is now in full swing. Go Reds! I’ve always been a big fan. We get to as many games as we can. BUT this time, even though it was rainy, the sun was out around me (at least in my head) because I looked down and noticed I now have room on either side of my seat! Brilliant!  I was begging for that big camera to capture the moment and paste my face up on that screen. Or maybe I should have grabbed Marvin and kissed him. Anyway, it was a great feeling. And to top it off, the Reds won! 


Recipe time!

I’ve given you some of my favorite recipes; hopefully you’ve tried one or two. Here is a Gazpacho recipe I use for summertime-funtime. And here’s to hoping my tomato crop turns out OK so I can make it fresh. Besides Gazpacho being a perfect summer meal, using fresh ingredients makes it tasty and rewarding. Plus the soup is served chilled, so it’s cooling and refreshing during those hot summer months. You can also make it ahead of time and chill it until ready to serve. This soup’s on any time!

*Tip 1: Although it does hold up for a few days, I would not recommend freezing Gazpacho. The texture is never the same.

*Tip2: Try different thicknesses of vegetables. Or even try authentic Spanish style and put all ingredients in blender and make it thin enough to drink. It’s like a virgin Bloody Mary. Very delicious.  I wouldn’t recommend that for the kids, though.

Healthy Gazpacho Recipe
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, seeded, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
2 cups low-sodium vegetable juice cocktail
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon basil, dried
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 clove garlic, minced

1. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
2. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for several hours.
Yield: 4 servings Serving size: 11/4 cups
Each serving provides:

Calories: 52 Total fat: less than 1 g Saturated fat: less than 1 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 41 mg Total fiber: 2 g Protein: 2 g Carbohydrates: 12 g Potassium: 514 mg


Pushing through the plateau.

Right after surgery, my weight seemed to melt off.  I lost  around 30 pounds in two weeks. It was awesome. And as I’ve started to introduce normal food back into my life and create a routine, the weight has been more slowly dropping off.  It’s a bit difficult to adjust to this after being used to the weight dropping off quite easily.

I have heard about the “plateau” so I knew what to expect. I know not to get discouraged by the fact it’s going to take longer to drop the weight and I have to stay focused, looking forward. I have my inspirations and I just stay focused on the goal, not the length of time it’ll take to get there.


What place food takes in my life.

So do I mean that literally? No, because it’s usually on a plate : ) But in all seriousness, there has been a mental shift when it comes to food and its results are undeniable.
For the first time ever, I’m eating ‘cause I need to, not because I want to.  And it’s been the cause of me re-thinking a lot of things.

Food is no longer the controller of me and what I do. And my small intake post- surgery is proof of this. I don’t think it’s a lesson I ever would have learned, if not for my sleeve gastrectomy. At first I was on a strict diet, but now I’m able to eat what my family eats, which is nice, but my relationship with food has definitely changed and because of that, so has my social life.

I never realized how much of my life revolved around food. This realization has broadened my horizons as to what other activities I can do with people, besides eat.  Sure, I can meet someone at a restaurant and sit there, but I’d rather be active and explore new (or untapped) activities. I know this won’t be easy re-learning this habit with some friends, because it essentially becomes your relationship, it becomes the “norm.” And change is always hard to deal with. It’s like wondering how we ever lived without cell phones. Unlearning a habit that’s become such a big part of my life is my next challenge.


Nice people make the world go around.

I met the greatest lady at my daughter’s cheerleading meeting. She is another mom. We’d never met before but she came up to me and mentioned she noticed I have dropped weight. Feels so nice to get complimented by people in general, let alone a peer. I don’t hide the fact I had a sleeve gastrectomy, as it’s pretty apparent with this blog and working with the REALIZE® Solution team.

But anyway, after we chatted for a bit she shared with me that she too had bariatric surgery a few years ago. She looks amazing by the way, which is what I said to her. And she proceeded to tell me she’s lost over 300 pounds. I was floored! I looked at this lady and wondered where the weight had ever been. She reminded me of going to the first seminar and hearing a few personal stories about massive weight loss, here I was meeting another person, changed forever by this. She is another inspiration for me to stay focused through the good days and bad ones.


The merging of mind and body.

It’s amazing how fast my body has adjusted to the small food intake. How much less I “need” yet, how good I’m feeling. I never really thought about consumption, or how important protein is and how to eat for what you need versus just chowing down for flavor-sake. My clothes are bigger already. I’m riding the weight loss wave, one pant size at a time.

It’s getting easier, both mentally and physically, I’m adjusting faster than I would have imagined. Physically, because although my appetite has surely shrunk, I can eat what my family eats now, so no more poking fun at Mom ; ) Mentally, I feel like I’ve aligned with by body, so I’m not shocked at what I am eating anymore, it’s all making sense and I’m learning a lot about myself and how this will affect other parts of my life, in a good way….more on that later.


A little wisdom from my girl, Oprah.

My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” 


Dinnertime conversation.

It’s not so much conversation as it is my family laughing at my post-surgery diet. I still have to be pretty strict about what I can eat and my girls and husband are having a fun time looking and laughing at me at the dinner table. The funny thing is, I’m not hungry, so it doesn’t bother me! I actually think it’s quite funny myself : ) I’ve got my eye on the prize and don’t take stuff like that too seriously. Plus it’s easy to put Mom at the butt of any food joke. (Pun intended.)


Rain is the bane…of my existence.

My poor garden! I have had high hopes for my little garden, but it’s been hard to keep it up because of the rain as of late. Let’s hope these next few weeks dry out so I can have some goodies this summer, get the girls involved as something active and fun outside. I know the rain will eventually move on as summer comes into full swing but I hope our garden isn’t washed away by then!


Sleep, ahhhhh.

A few friends have asked me how I am sleeping after my sleeve gastrectomy, so I feel the need to post. But sleeping is as good as it’s ever been. I never seem to have a problem sleeping. Never been a “tosser” or “turner.” Unless one of the kids wakes me, or Marvin snores ;) I sleep pretty soundly. I guess life is just too busy to keep me up at night; instead it knocks me out, post-surgery and all.

I did have a couple days right afterwards when I was a bit sore, but I used a pillow to prop my side up to stay comfortable and it worked. Didn’t interrupt sleep, but it was something extra I did. And now I’m feeling back to normal.


A new me, here I come!

So far, so good. Besides being a bit groggy leaving the hospital, I feel great. I’m excited to get this moving already! How do I feel? About the same. Very excited about what the future holds. I feel like making the decision was the hardest part; now it all begins! And it’s all downhill from here (or at least down scale…)

I’m on a pretty strict diet while my body adjusts and will keep you posted on how that goes. I survived the liquid diet in the beginning, so I have high hopes for myself!


How I act vs. How I feel

I was a bit nervous before heading in for my procedure, almost feeling a bit manic because of nerves. I was feeling “awesome,” almost like it was too easy. More because I had to put on a happy face and tell the girls and Marvin that everything was going to be alright; convincing myself in the process maybe? Sure, there is only a small risk of anything bad happening, but just a small chance can stir up fears in the strongest of people (myself included). I’m a pro at putting on a happy face in times of turmoil. And I really was excited for this, looking at the big picture. But it’s impossible not to ignore the small details. Fear is real, people! It’s just how you learn to deal with it that matters. For me, it wasn’t worth expressing the entire truth because of how my family would react.