Looking into WLS

Hiya!

I’m back!  Hopefully this isn’t a one-off post.  I’m trying to get better about making sure that my blog, Instagram, Twitter, etc. are updated at least regularly.  Here’s to hoping!  It’s just hard to create a schedule, stick with it, and really take the amount of time necessary when you’re a full-time school teacher.  I mean, I’m not trying to make any excuses but it’s true. Being a teacher takes up SO much of your time that it’s hard to fit other things in.

Ok, so here’s the update:

I have decided to look into the route of having Weight Loss Surgery.  This has honestly been such a hard time in my life because I have felt like such a failure in every respect when it comes to losing weight.  I’m sick of knowing that I have followed a program to a T and still gain weight.  Not to bash the program, because I know that so many people have succeeded with it, but the 21 Day Fix set me back big time.  I spent all of this time and money on the program, which promises up to 15 pounds of weight loss, and I did the exact opposite by the end of the program… I gained 15 pounds!  Am I wrong for being so overly frustrated?  I don’t believe that I am wrong.

Anyways, this whole process of looking into WLS came about because of my sister, who underwent Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass in September of 2016.  She and I had a “conversation” about the possibility of me looking into a bariatric program back in February; however, I was not ready to listen with an open mind.  I told her, “I’ll think about it” which in Adrian-speak is, “Leave me the hell alone.  This conversation is over.”  She knows me well enough to know that when I say that I’ll think about something that I am just not ready to discuss the topic at that moment, so she let it drop.

Things changed on March 15, 2017.  I stepped on the scale and saw that my weight had gone up again.  I am now at my highest weight of 250 pounds.  **For reference: I’m 5’3″ tall, which puts me at a BMI of 44.3**  It was 5:00 in the morning and I started my day off in tears.  Needless to say, I took my prep time that day to look into my local bariatric program (the same one my sister went through) and researched what it’s all about.  Is it a “quick fix” that people assume it is?  Is is a “tool”?  What is bariatric surgery?  I got some of the answers that I needed, and also discovered that I had to attend a seminar in order to even be considered for the program.  I texted my sister asking what she was doing that night.  When she responded that her schedule was free, I told her to meet me at the hospital at 6:00 and that I was going to go to the seminar.  She was honestly happy for me for taking the initial steps to look into getting help.

That’s what I need: help.

The seminar was mind-blowing.  I was so wrong about everything regarding bariatric surgery.  I mean, I saw everything that my sister had to go through before her surgery; however, I didn’t really know.  It truly isn’t a quick fix.  It really is a tool, and if you misuse that tool, all of that work will be for naught.

Needless to say, after that I really became passionate about getting the help that I need.  It took 2 weeks to schedule my initial consultation appointment, but they were awesome and were able to find me an appointment for Monday, April 17th (because it’s spring break, and I can’t justify taking time off of school for a 2-hour appointment).  I am so excited about this journey.  I’m also absolutely terrified!

This blog will be transforming throughout this process, I’m sure.  What started as a blog to chronicle finding a more sustainably healthy lifestyle the “natural” way (lawd do I hate that phrase), is now becoming a blog that chronicles the process of a bariatric patient.

Won’t you join me on this journey?

xx,

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How I plan my meals

*Inhale* Ok. Time to blog. Gotta be prepared:
– Electric Blanket √
– Tea √
– Choral Music Pandora √

Ok, good to go…

I really love planning… and lists! Being sure that my life is organized is a key component to keeping me sane. I’m a teacher, so I have to be organized in order to be an effective educator. My meals are absolutely no exception to this. How can I be my most effective self if I am not taking the time to fuel myself properly? I’ve tried just winging dinners in the past, but I end up spending WAY too much money, or I just go to the nearest drive through or pizza place and get something quick and “easy” — Not something that really fosters a healthy lifestyle. (But, let’s be real here: pizza!)

I only plan my dinners for the week, and I plan the week on Saturday night or Sunday morning. My lunches consist of leftovers, and my breakfasts are typically Shakeology, coffee, or oatmeal. Really, whatever I’m feeling up for that morning.. the biggest factor to my breakfast is whether or not I overslept which does tend to happen. I just love sleeping!

Ok, back to the meal planning! I simply created a document in Google Drive:

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It’s pretty simple and straight forward… I write out what I would like for my meals that week (with the input of Dudelove; however, I have final say because I do 90% of the cooking… 😛 ). I do put the date next to each day, but by the end of the discussion period, things are crossed out and moved around… days are crossed out and replaced with other days… it can get quite messy.

**I finally have access to a laminator (long story), so I will probably laminate a few copies of this so that I can reduce my paper consumption!

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And this isn’t honestly the messiest it’s been.

 

 

Here is this weeks menu, with the “old” format, when I worked on a schedule that was Monday-Sunday. –>

Now that I’m teaching, I have to plan Sunday-Saturday because otherwise I just get all sorts of messed up! 😛

 

 

 

 

I believe the most important part of this is the backside of the meal plan though: The dreaded grocery list:

 

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I worked in a grocery store for several years, so I am very particular about my grocery list being separated by department. I always got so annoyed by customers who slapped down their lists on my register and they would be an awful mess! How could you get everything on the list when there’s NO order to it?! I don’t want to be running from produce to dairy to grocery to only have to go back to produce because I forgot to get a bulb of garlic!

Also: Having an organized list means that you’ll be in and out of the store in record time! You don’t have to sit there, staring between a messy list & your basket or cart thinking to yourself, “Did I get everything?” No thanks! I want to get this chore DONE! This is also spectacular, because then I only have to do 1 grocery trip a week… if I end up needing a specific item that goes bad quickly for a meal at the end of the week (or fish), I’ll ask Dudelove to pick it up on his way home from work the day before (unless it’s that fish I mentioned.. that’s only a day-of purchase).

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This weeks list

When creating this format for my list, I made a conscious effort to have the most space for produce. We have been making a big mental shift to fill our cart with at least 50% produce rather than filled with things from the grocery department (you know… processed foods, etc.). We purchase large amounts of meat and poultry, so 4 spaces is typically enough, because I will simply write out how many pounds we need. We rarely ever use any of the bakery/deli sections, but we do buy a lot of frozen veggies, and Dudelove has to have milk in the house (I prefer almond milk). Non-Food / Pharmacy is for things like cleaning supplies, soap, toiletries, or my prescriptions. Nothing too fancy!

Once I’m home from the store, I simply stick the meal plan up on the fridge for easy reference. Then, I get to the wonderful work of getting any prep work done.

I am also going to begin color coding the meals / shopping list, to make it a quick reference for those meals that are the “day of” purchases… *shrug*

What does your meal planning look like? Are you a “messy list” kind of person, or are you neurotic like me? 😛 Let me know!

xx,
-A

So, here’s the skinny…

“What are you going to do to get fit/healthy/skinny?”

I get some form of that question far too often… even from my own mother (sorry for throwing you under the bus, Mom). Let me just tell you: It sucks. No one sees how hard I try, except, maybe Dudelove. Even when I was actually losing weight, I would still get asked what I’m going to do rather than what I’m doing. Needless to say, the fact that no one ever really saw any change in my physical appearance is what led to me just falling off the wagon and not dusting myself off and getting back on. It’s been a difficult road that I was never really ready to walk down.

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I am unimpressed with your question. :p

What am I going to do this time?

Start small.  Historically, I have always tried to approach my weight loss in an “all or nothing” mindset which has only led me to failing. I could never reach even the smallest goal (in my eyes) because I did something like eat some cake when I should have probably had a carrot. I’m really keeping my focus on the small changes I know I need to make in order to be successful.

  1. Start meditating; 5 minutes a day to start.
  2. Work out 2x per week for the first month, 3x per week for the second month, and so on.
  3. Phase out the processed garbage and the fast food!
  4. Be kind to myself and know that there will be bumps in the road, and accept them with grace. I’m only human.
  5. Celebrate the small victories! The non-scale victories! Celebrate every single step in the right direction.
  6. Be mindful of why I might be “hungry” – Is it really hunger, or am I bored?

Perhaps these are the most fundamental steps one can take… but for someone like myself, some of these are huge steps for me to take, and I finally believe that I’m ready to take them.

xx
-A

 

Uh. Hi!

Woah. My first blog post! I hope that I do this well enough to make our time spent here worth it!

I guess I will cut right to the chase: I’m fat. I need to lose weight. I need to be healthier. Shocker! It seems like weight loss blogs are all the rage, and I won’t lie that I have tried my hand at one about 2 years back… it didn’t work out. I tried to revive it a little later on, but it still just didn’t stick. I can’t quite tell you what it was, but… something just didn’t feel right at the time when I started it. Now? I feel like it’s the right time, I’m in the right place in my life, and I can really focus on myself and my health.

How did you get to this point?
Well, all growing up I was suuuper athletic. I was a competitive artistic gymnast for over 10 years; I would work out 5-6 times a week, for multiple hours… I was able to leg lift 210 pounds when I was 12, and only weighed about 95 pounds.
Once I got to high school, theatre and music started becoming more of an interest, so I pulled back on gymnastics, and began dancing & singing more. Eventually, by senior year, I was no longer enrolled in gymnastics, and was solely focusing on music. I had already been accepted to college as a Music Education Major, and was dead set on that being my path.
Another contributing factor to gymnastics was a personal relationship I entered when I was a sophomore in high school. I fell madly in love, and I wanted to spend as much time with my then-boyfriend as I could. He was 2 years older, so when he went off to college, I would either get up to his school whenever possible, or he would drive home every weekend… we basically just ate out a lot, and my weight steadily began to creep up. By senior year I was at 145 pounds. Heavier than I liked, but nothing to be too concerned about.
Then, off I went to college… we broke up in the first month of my being there (we went to the same school), and I was absolutely devastated, and it was made worse by the fact that I could not get away from him. We were both music majors, and we were both in the same vocal ensemble, and we just always saw each other. On top of that, misinformation was spread around regarding our breakup, and people began to turn against me… I turned to food for comfort. This really began my disordered thinking around food, and emotional eating. Food was no longer fuel for my body; it was my only friend, or so it seemed.
Today, I am over that guy, and in a wonderful relationship with a man who empathizes with my situation; he’s supportive and kind, but honest. The best part is that he cares, and that he shows that I am a valued individual (something I didn’t believe for a long time). I have friends and colleagues who are kind, compassionate, and supportive. I truly know what matters in my life.

My disordered thinking still exists. I struggle with my mental health, and I still eat emotionally; that’s how I got to this point. Now, I know that I have a support system in place that will catch me if I fall. That safety net never really seemed to be there, and now it is.

Here’s to 2017. A year for change. A year for health. A year for happiness.

xx
-A