All I can say is...holy shit! December 22, 2010 changed my life and so have I...forever, if not for the next 71+ possible years of my life. As of May 13, 2011, less than five months after my RNY surgery, I have lost 100 pounds! I can't even fully comprehend this loss yet, only gaze in awe at my Spark chart that shows my numbers decreasing month by month. I have averaged (with a stall once a month, at least) to lose 15-20 pounds average over the course of this crazy journey. Did you know that one pound of fat is equal to 4...count them...4 sticks of butter?! I did. However, I never fully comprehended that fact. That is a shit-load of butter! That is seriously 400 sticks of butter, sacks and sacks of potatoes or sugar and a crap-tastic amount of calories seeing as it takes around 3500 calories to gain one pound. If I had dully comprehended this, I don't think I would have reached my highest weight, but sometimes facts don't really mean anything until we are standing in the shoes of someone who weighs 364 pounds.
What I did comprehend was my relationship with food. Food was my enemy in high school and then friend, confidante and source of comfort for a very long time and throughout some very difficult situations. It was my late night study buddy in college and my dirty little secret (not so secret as evidenced by my expanding body) afterwards. Sometimes I grieve the loss of my friend "Food," but more often than not I look upon my past relationship with this good friend and horrible enemy as a very distinct part of my life and an overall learning experience. Food taught me, if nothing else, that at the end of each and every day, I matter. It taught me to love myself for me and not settle for anything less than what I wanted in my life. Food taught me to love not only me for me but others for themselves and not for what size pants or skirt they wore. Food taught me that some of my relationships were unhealthy and toxic, besides the affair I was having with Food. I thank Food for making me value my life more than anything. I am thankful that Food has been resurrected to be helpful to me now, a healthy and life sustaining substance that I still enjoy, and that I can still create with and share with my family in a life-sustaining way.
On that note, you have all seen my recent blogs that center around cooking. It sounds really funny saying that I enjoy cooking even more now...she likes to cook? Jigga what?! It's SO true and I love to make regular recipes healthier and more "me" friendly. For example, there was a recipe in the Sunday paper coupon section (Oh yeah, I am THAT girl) about a month ago and I ripped it out along with the attached coupon. The recipe I so exuberantly ripped out was for a breakfast casserole with Hillshire Farm smoked sausage...because THAT is a healthy ingredient worthy of my post-op kitchen?! Riiiiiight...really?! Well...NO! It also called for whole eggs and heavy cream and shredded cheese! Holy heart attack Batman! I almost left it where it was. But then I didn't...because I could do some serious calorie control with this baby! And I did...ohhhh I did. Here is the original recipe in case you would like to consume at least a couple HUNDRED extra calories per serving (remember, it serves 12...) or make others fat, either way you are cruising for a bruising.
1 pkg. Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 cups (divided: 1 cup and 1/2 cup) shredded cheddar
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
*Preheat to 350. Cut sausage into cubes and set aside. Lightly beat eggs, cream, mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add 1 cup of cheese, sausage and green pepper. Stir well, pour into a 13x9 pan and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and sprinkle rest (1/2) cup of cheese on top to melt. Serve and enjoy!
Here is what you can do to avoid the guilt, beef up the recipe and enjoy with some serious healthy smiles:
*Use the Turkey Hillshire Farm sausage (less cals, fat and better protein).
*Use 4 large eggs and 1 cup of Egg Beaters (I used the southwestern or garden veggie flavored variety).
*Replace heavy cream with light cream (saves fat and cals).
*Use more like 1/2 green pepper, who cares to measure out something that is good for you anyway!
*Add broccoli or Zucchini to beef up the volume per serving!
*Use 2% shredded cheese (I used a % cheddar and mozzarella mix)Per serving, this recipe now contains only 185 calories, 13 grams of fat, 4 carbs and 14 grams of protein. Without these adjustments, you are seriously looking at less food with more calorie and fat bullshit per bite! Here is what mine looks like...
It is things like this that help me remember why I made this choice in the first place. I am married to a phenomenal man and I would like, more than anything, to be able to have a phenomenally healthy little mini-me or mini-Evan of my own. And what I want in addition to conceiving a baby is for people to KNOW I am pregnant, not just FAT. I may have been able to carry and give birth to a healthy baby at my highest weight, but I highly doubt it would have been complication free or without risk of gestational diabetes or some other hellish issue. There is never a guarantee that I will not have complications when we do decide to try to conceive. However, the less weight and stress I have on this body, the better 9 month home I can give my little one and in total, a better life. I will most likely still be considered high risk due to the need for more frequent blood tests to check my vitamin levels etc. due to malabsorption issues etc. etc. etc. However, my chances to conceive, carry and birth a healthy baby will be through the roof compared to what my odds were before. I did not just do this for myself but also for my present and future family. It is important to me and a dream that I may be more likely to live in happily once I am cleared to begin trying...probably 12-18 months post op. To have a healthy baby means the world to me...and to have a healthier me, in order to be a good parent, means even more. I will not be an obesity statistic...one that dies and leaves my family behind because my fat ass didn't make a change...I want my 100 years and then some damnit!