Sunday, May 15, 2011

100 Years...More Likely Now...

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. 
Crustless Quiche:
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 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!      

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dead Men Tell No Tales...

Today was a very nice prelude to Mother's Day with a freaky, creepy little undertone. Not being a mother yet myself, it was very nice spending a portion of my day with my husband and my mom, dad, aunt, uncle and grandparents. We had lunch at this awesome place where I spent 5 summers and 4 winter holidays waitressing. I love Pier 57, the people and the customers that helped pay for my college tuition. It is a family owned place, whose owners never get to take a vacation but they are such amazing people and so are the rest of the wait and bar staff. I am lucky to say that I keep in touch with a good deal of people I used to work with and am proud to have worked alongside them. I loved waitressing and may, with all of the budget cuts, have to go back to it one day. I loved it because at the end of the day, I earned what I earned and I didn't bring any work home with me as I do now being a teacher. I had only to show up to my next shift chipper and ready to go. I am sure my back and arm muscles were stronger for it. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching my special needs friends, but just think what it must be like not to bring any extra stuff home...hmmm. I digress...this restaurant was and is special for more than one reason. Truth be told I never experienced this but apparently, the place is haunted. Ask many employees who have worked there for a number of years and they will tell you that a woman that was killed there years ago, still walks the up and downstairs. I am just glad the poor bitch didn't mess with my blackened chicken caesar salad light on the dressing. 

After our lunch with the spooky undertone, the hubby and I decided (or really I did) that it would be a great idea to plant a new rhododendron bush that we bought from an annual fundraiser for a local group home for disabled and non-disabled adults. As we are digging in the perfect spot, Evan hits something hard. It's hard to tell what the shovel is hitting, exactly, so he keeps digging at my prodding ("Come on, dig harder...pansy ass love of my life...push!" Oh, alright, it wasn't actually SAID) and continues to make contact with this very hard, solid mass! We try to brush the dirt it a pipe or a monster mutant tree root? Is it a box with a dead pet from owners past? Is it a freaking skeleton of a dead body?! Shit! Keep digging!!! Whatever it is, he takes a chunk out of it and picks it up (I would have gagged had he not had gloves on) only to find that this white piece of mystery crap breaks in two in his hands. Double and triple shit, is that bone or some other kind of body part?! Neither of us know so of course we continue with the exploration. Well, it turns out, the damn thing is most likely a big ass tree root but we still, to this minute, do not know exactly what it is because we were too freaked out to get down on the hands and knees, touch it further or whip out a trusty magnifying glass. We simply dug a new spot right next to the root of death, planted the bush and walked away. Unsolved mystery, I say. Ten to one completely gone from my husband's memory or sense of giving a shit...but I think there lies a mystery buried deep within our garden. I'm just saying...

On a side note, and more to the point than ANY of my previous republican-like ramblings (hehe just a joke friends!), take a look at that freaking ticker at the top of this page! I have less than one pound to go before joining the century club and 3 more pounds total before reaching my half-way to goal number! These are the reasons I get up on a Saturday to work out and do extra gardening work during which I try not to let my boobs fall out of my top as I bend over to weed! It is so exciting I could pee! I think I will...maybe that will help...goodbye friends, have a wonderful Mother's Day in any and every way you choose to celebrate it!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

29 Forever

Well, I am now the last year of my twenties...shit. I knew this day would come and you can say I am being dramatic all you want but I will still say the same thing...shit. My birthday went off without any issues big or small and I received some very nice cards, wishes and gifts from the people I care about. What more could a girl ask for? Not much. What made me laugh on my birthday was that I had after school meetings, half a voice (that story will follow shortly) and I was so tired I could have fallen asleep at my desk during my lunch. The first week going back to work after a break is always a hard one for me and I didn't sleep well Sunday through Thursday. This weekend has been my saving grace...I guess I really am getting old.

So the reason I had half a voice on my birthday was because I hosted a "Pure Romance" or "Tupperware" party, as I like to refer to these events. And I do The night before I turned 29 I had a few friends over to bring in the last sane year of my life with a bang. And boy was it bangin...or buzzin...or strappin. These parties are a total riot. Our consultant from Pure Romance, Mary, was hysterical and the stuff she brought even better. I never thought that I would write about this in my WLS blog but let's be honest, 96 pounds ago, the strap on dildo that Mary made me wear for about 45 min, would not have fit. I know, at least I would have had an easy out but at this point, it feels great to have anything and everything on that fits, even a pink rubber penis. My friend Liz has pictures of the two of us posing for the camera, not that it will ever make it here, but she was a trooper for strapping on the purple people eater to make me feel that I was not alone. She's awesome...period.

The strap-on was just the beginning of the party during which I discovered too much about my mother (love you mom), my friends and myself. We played a game where we had to move to the right if we had done something our consultant decreed and if someone was sitting there, well, sit on their lap. My pink strap-on made this difficult for some as they received a little love poke when having to sit on my lap. There is so much more I could tell you, but you just need to host or attend one of these parties to believe it. Did you know that you can judge the sensitivity of your nether regions by placing a vibrating toy on the tip of your nose? Did you? Well, now you do. Boy, my family really shouldn't read this entry...complete trash...LOL.  One of the reasons I enjoyed this party so much was...well...there were a few. The fact that "if the dildo fits" actually applied to me was awesome in itself. Other than that, the laughing, facial expressions of hilarity and horror and overall presence of wonderful women, really made my birthday special. So thank you ladies!

The other thing that made my birthday special was all the facebook love I received all day. I have my wall posts sent to my phone and since I received so much love, my phone was buzzing all day. After work, my husband and I had a wonderful dinner followed by my mom and dad coming over to the house for a bit. My mom, amazing as she is, attempted to make a half size of her deliciously famous chocolate oil cake sugar free for me but could not figure out how to make her butter cream icing sugar free (p.s. got the answer from Jeannine...put splenda into food processor and it will turn into powdered splenda perfect for powdered sugar substitute). I discovered two things...not that I didn't know this but my mom is the absolute best and most thoughtful, supportive mom I know. And the other thing is that my sugar tolerance is not so low as to not allow me to have a 1-2 inch squared piece of mostly sugar free birthday cake. It was one of those experiences that felt good to be feeling normal enough to try that and at the same time be thankful that it is not a part of my everyday diet. I thought it was very good but I just don't have too much of a sweet tooth or desire for carbs or baked goods in general. All in all it was a great first birthday since beginning this new part of my life and again, I am thankful and appreciative of all the love and support.