Pasta-less Pasta salad~By:Steph

I pinned a recipe for Low Carb Pasta Salad, a while back. I meant to make it and just totally forgot.  A few weeks ago a friend posted a similar recipe on Facebook.  I meant to make it and just totally forgot.  Today, I didn’t forget!

I think I’ve mentioned before that unless I’m baking I don’t like recipes.  I will use them as a guideline but, it drives me crazy following “rules”.  (Sorry kids, you get that from me.  We’ll still blame Dad though.)  So I grabbed a bunch of stuff from the fridge and pantry and set off to make my own version of pasta-less pasta salad.  I didn’t really “set off”, my kitchen is really small so it’s more like I stretched out my arms and put stuff on the counter.  In my mind it was a trek.

I grabbed my hand dandy Veggeti (stupid name but, it works well) and 2 medium zucchini.  Spiralized them and then removed all of the parts with seeds.  They tend to get mushy and no one wants mushy pasta-less pasta salad.  I may have eaten the seed part because, I hadn’t had breakfast and it looked tasty.  I put out a double layer of paper towels and spread zoodles out on them.  Lightly salt them, cover with another set of paper towels then, roll it up like a cinnamon roll.  Okay I know! Who talks about cinnamon rolls while they are blogging about zucchini? Anyhow, I leave them on a cutting board for about an hour.  The salt and paper towels draw out the excess moisture and you get slime-less zucchini noodles.  NOW EVERYONE will want some with that description.

I chopped up everything that sounded yummy to me.  Banana peppers, red onion, 1 oz of light salami, 2 oz of light mozzarella, a couple of marinated artichoke hearts, a few heirloom baby tomatoes halved/seeded, and some yellow onion.  Added a  small can of sliced black olives and the wet ingredients to a sieve and waited patiently.  Okay actually I stood there resisting the urge to smash it all down to make the liquids come out faster.  That is sorta patient.

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When the zoodles were ready, I unrolled them from the paper towels, and put them in a serving bowl.  Added all of the now dry and patiently non-smashed goodies to the bowl and mixed it all up.  Made a quick dressing of 1 tsp Dijon, 1 TBL roasted garlic olive oil, 2 TBL white wine vinegar and some seasonings. Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, and a teeny pinch of crushed red peppers.  Shook the mixture up and topped the zoodle mix with it.  Tossed it with the dressing and ta-da…pasta-less pasta salad.  Well as pasta salady as you can get without pasta. You get where I’m going. Don’t act like you can’t follow.

Pasta-less pasta salad is a fun little phrase.

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My salad came out to 7 protein, 6 carbs, and 141 cals per cup.  Yours will depend on what you like and how much of everything you add to the bowl.  My Fitness Pal has a handy online recipe calculator.

Hope you play with your zoodles soon 😉

 

Fat head? ~ By: Stephanie

If you’re anything like me, you think that weight loss will change your thinking.   In my case it has and it hasn’t. My mind is not so friendly to me some days.

I used to sit and obsess over what I was going to eat at a restaurant.  Imagining every yummy bite of food and the big plates. Now I sit down in a restaurant and imagine all of the money I’m going to pay in comparison to what I will eat. I grocery shop for the ingredients in my head and curse the markup!

I used to get into a car and pull the seatbelt all of the way out and say a prayer it would buckle. I now get into the car without a second thought to the seatbelt.

I used to cringe at the thought of my husband or kids, friends meeting me.  I worried about how people would judge them because, of my size. I now am more open to these introductions.

I used to eye a chair or booth with skepticism, wondering if I’d fit into it or if it was strong enough to hold me. Wondering if it would look like the table was a shelf for my boobs to rest on.  I now don’t even have these thoughts or much of those things called, “boobs” without an amazing bra!  All hail underwire.

I used to avoid turnstiles like the plague. I would have happily army crawled under them if it was allowed.  When I had to go through one, I’d turn sideways and suck in my tummy. Or have to endure the shame when the person working the turnstile took pity on me and directed me to the little gate off to the side.  I now still turn sideways and have that moment of panic before going through a turnstile. Why? Who knows old habit???

I used to walk into a room and look to see if I was the biggest one there. I now walk into a room and look to see if I’m the biggest one there. SIGH…My Big Guy LOVES when I say, “Am I her size? Would I be her size if I were 4 inches taller and had hips?” these are a few of his faaaavorite things…

I used to have to do contortions to paint my toenails without passing out. I now can easily paint my toes like a normal person. I can also now see my toenails when I glance down.  That’s a pretty nifty accomplishment.

I used to look in the mirror and see someone a little smaller than I actually was.  I now look in the mirror and see someone larger than I  am. Yeah, gotta love it. I’d get rid of this mind if I wasn’t so attached to the slivers I have left of it.  I’m a mom, I lost most of that thing, years ago.

I used to wear capri pants and flip flops in the middle of winter. I didn’t own a jacket.  I now wear thermals under my jeans, topped by snow pants and 6 pair of socks, while trying to fight the urge to climb into the oven, if the temperature drops below 70.  Btw, my mind tells me I wouldn’t fit in the oven. It may actually be right this time.

I used to hate shopping for clothes, dreaded having to try them on and see myself in those evil, tri-fold mirrors. I now love shopping for clothes and trying them on.  I just wish I had a little fashion elf in my pocket, that would put it’s itty bitty hand on it’s hip and say, “Girl, don’t you even THINK about going there.” when I pick something strange.

I used to think that everything would be magically different if I just lost weight.  I now know that while many things change, we still have the same struggles as before. Only now we must learn to deal with them WITHOUT food.  I think that was one of the toughest lessons I learned in this process.  Weight loss isn’t like rubbing a genie’s lamp. If it was, I’d ask that genie to shrink and iron my birthday suit. It is a physical, and emotional process.  Relationships will be affected.  Your coping skills are affected.  The way you view yourself will be affected.

My Big Guy and I went through some serious struggles in the first 1 1/2 years after my wls. After a lifetime of being big, it felt strange to be “normal” size. I allowed people to cross boundaries because, I didn’t know how to respond to compliments.  On the outside I seemed more confident and willing to step out of my comfort zone. On the inside I was falling apart.  Dealing with life is hard when you lose the one thing that always gave you comfort…FOOD.  We had kind of split up but, like any tumultuous relationship, food kept pulling me back in.  I still was attracted to food.  I couldn’t just give food up.  We had too many years and memories together. There was a constant battle between my mind and my tummy. I was becoming very depressed. Putting on an act so that my outside seemed perfectly together.  It’s an exhausting way to live.  I pushed my husband away.  Doubted his sincerity when he complimented me.  It took a toll on our marriage.  I was trying to figure out who I was becoming and Big Guy was forced to adjust each time something changed.  I am grateful to God for holding us together and I am grateful to my husband for his willingness to go to counseling with me.  It strengthened our relationship in every way.  It definitely didn’t happen over night but, it was worth every bit of effort we put into it. We are both very aware of the fact that God worked on our marriage and our hearts.

Another hurdle I am still trying to clear is, the way I view myself.  I still see myself as larger than I am. I don’t see myself up near my highest weight but, about 40 pounds heavier than I am.  I can go to a store, try clothes on (Usually grabbing sizes too big for me before admitting I need the smaller ones.) and buy them.  Bring them home hang them up and then the panic sets in.  I look at the clothes on the hanger and can’t really grasp that they fit me.  I start to doubt myself and talk myself out of wearing them because, of how I’ll look.  Case in point, my Easter dress.  I loved it in the store.  Tried it on, got opinions, came home tried it on again and got compliments on it. Then as days went by I started freaking out about wearing it.  I was going to return it.  I’m so glad I didn’t.  I actually felt put together and pretty in it after I saw the pictures.

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You see, I don’t know what I look like aside from pictures. The person I see in the mirror and the person I see in a picture of myself are NOT the same size.  For me to truly see myself, I have to see a photograph.  I still have weight to lose and I’m okay with that. I will never have a perfectly flat tummy and I’m okay with that. We will not even talk about my arms and thighs but, I’m okay with them.  The one thing I pray will change, is my view of myself.  It’s something I am willing to work towards.

What are your non-scale related struggles, relating to your weight loss?  I think we all must have some.  Maybe not, it could just be me.  I could be unique like the majestic platypus.

 

 

 

 

 

Starting the week strong…Jicama. ~By: Steph

I have to confess, last week when my Big Guy was out of town, I had some pretty crappy carbs.  At least once a day. You noticed that “At least once” part right? This week I am rededicated to my chosen way of eating.  So far, so good.

Hubby is home, kids are home for Spring Break.  Daycare is in overflow mode. I am peachy.  Oh, and the pool is no longer green! I am not sure how that plays into things but, it just lightens my mood to know we have destroyed the mosquitos procreation playground.  This week I have cleaned out 3 closets and a storage cabinet.  I have overfilled the trash and recycle containers. This morning, I showered and did my hair…okay that shouldn’t be an accomplishment but, some days it is. I have created a couple of healthy meal options for myself and stocked up on plums, avocados, mangos, salad stuff (haven’t even touched it lol), and fresh meal options.  This week is a win as of now.

You know how you search on Pinterest for 16 hours until you look like a zombie and need to wipe the drool off of your chin?  Me neither.  When I do occasionally spend a moment on Pinterest, I pin all kinds of recipes that I never use.  I hate recipes btw.  I love ideas, hate rules. Hmm…it is entirely possible that my children don’t take after their dad after all.  Anyhow, I bought mangos, avocados, red onions, jalapenos and jicama to play around with this week. Oh and plums to just eat because, well…I like plums.

The mango, avocado, red onion got combined with some poached chicken breast and cilantro, this made a yummy salad.  I threw a dressing together with a little nonfat, plain Greek yogurt, lime juice, cumin, chipotle chile powder, salt and pepper.  Folded it into the chicken salad and instant yumminess occurred.  It tastes fresh and summery.  Of course I waited until the actual day that the 80 degree weather disappeared and the 60’s returned, to make this summery treat.  It was still good! I was trying to think of a less sugary fruit to sub in for the mango.  I considered blueberries and apples but, wasn’t sure I was feeling them with the dressing I decided on.  I do think you could add some slivered almonds for a little crunch.

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As for the jicama, I pondered baking it.  I have heard several people talking about cooking them lately.  I’m not sure how I feel about warm jicama. I’ve always had it raw and crisp. I decided to throw a slaw together.  Julienned about 4 cups of jicama, 1 large carrot, 1/4 of a red onion and 1/2 of a large jalapeno.  I dressed it really simply with 2 Tbl of fresh lime juice, 1 Tbl olive oil, cumin and chipotle chile powder.  Sprinkled with salt to taste and combined it with the slaw. I know it seems like a very minimal amount of dressing but, I don’t like heavily dressed slaw. I pop this all in a zipper bag and toss to combine.  Let it marinate in the fridge for an hour or so and then put it in a bowl for serving.  Next time I plan on using a granny smith apple in that mix. I only had a mushy, mealy apple and decided to pass on it.  Have I mentioned my joy at having an amazing peeler that makes these perfect little match sticks?

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Two successful dishes and I’m glad I made them.

Serving the jicama slaw with a chuck tender roast that I cooked all day in the slow cooker with some spicy seasonings a cup of water and a can of Rotel.  I may add some pinto beans into the mix after I shred the meat up. I like to just put the shredded meat on my plate and top with some of the jicama slaw.    BTW, if you don’t know what a chuck tender roast is and have shied away from chuck roast due to the fat and calories, this is a must try!

4 oz. of chuck tender roast is; 160 cals, 6 fat, and 23 protein.

4 oz. of regular chuck roast is; 260 cals, 19 fat and 21 protein.

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Isn’t that pretty?  Okay so I am completely insane and had to go throw a plate together to show you the finished product.  I then put the slaw in a tiny bowl and the meat/beans (oh, yep I added pinto beans) back in the slow cooker.  It is nowhere near dinner time! Oh, do you love my appetizer plate as much as I do?  Found it on clearance at Target for $1.98.  I grabbed it and a tangerine colored version of the same plate.  Yes, I know I’m easily entertained but, this made me very smiley. 🙂 What doesn’t make me smiley is my old grungy grout. Don’t judge me…I do actually clean it ALL THE TIME!

Hope you play with your food a little this week and cook up something yummy and protein rich!

I end with this…JICAMA…just because, jicama is fun to say and I always say these words in my head as I type them 😉 JICAMA

 

Too much time to think…~By: Steph

 

This week has been a LOOOOONNNNGGG week.  Did you see all the extra letters in that word??? Seriously. I love my job, I love my kids, I love peace and quiet…okay I would if I ever had any of that last one…I do not love all of these things when I’m alone.  I am a big, fat (working on this part), stinking (not as in the I didn’t shower this week, kinda way) baby and I miss my Big Guy.  He has been out of state for his job since, Monday at 6 a.m.  He comes home tonight! I can’t wait. I mean, I can but, I don’t wanna! Every time he leaves town, something semi catastrophic happens.  Well maybe catastrophic is an exaggeration but, it feels that way.  This week was completely, absolutely, uneventful.  I’m thankful and a little worried by this since, I still have several hours until his return.

When I have too much time on my hands, my mind likes to take lots of little vacations.  It goes here, it goes there, it just kind of splits off into it’s lovely shards of wonderful and wanders around, unsupervised.  I will try to give you a peek of the paths it chooses to travel.

  1. On Monday as I laid in bed alone I started thinking.  It started with, “Did I lock the sliding glass door?  If I leave our bedroom door open will that dumb cat come in? Do I really care if the dumb cat comes in? If it came in would it get on the pillows? Nope, door closed.” By the end I couldn’t shake the idea that if I was really still all night, I would only have to make my half of the bed in the morning.  Yeah…that didn’t work but, at least the sliding door was locked and the cat slept somewhere else.
  2. Tuesday night, I laid down and wondered if I could draw a shamrock?  Then I spent the next, 2 hours searching on Pinterest.  I did find a shamrock to print but, that was probably about 40 mins into my Pinterest escapade, when I remembered why I was on Pinterest in the first place.  I also pinned a TRX system, some low carb meals that I’ll never cook or look at again, an eyeliner tutorial that would have me in a pool of tears on the bathroom floor because it’s impossible, and some ideas for the daycare room.
  3. On Wednesday as the kids were painting their shamrocks, I wondered if I should paint the kitchen a different color.  I then wondered how bad the mess would be if I threw a latex glove filled up with water and finger paint at my Monster Boy when, he got home.  Yeah, I didn’t feel like cleaning so that experiment never took place.
  4. On Thursday night I searched plastic surgery before and after pics on Pinterest. I partially convinced myself that, I never need to retire but, I really should plan a trip to Mexico for a “mommy makeover”.
  5. As I was searching the plastic surgery sites that offer a body lift for 3 easy payments of $49.99, I decided that was probably not my best option and retirement in 30 years, sounded much safer.  This made me think of the thigh gap craze.  Why is this a thing?  Aren’t women supposed to be curvy?  Isn’t a thigh gap just a nice way of saying, “I’m bowlegged”?  Plus my thighs would miss each other.  They keep each other warm in the winter, I never drop stuff on my chair (they are good catchers), my thighs are kind of bff’s and they’d miss each other if there was a great distance between them! It would be kind of like they got a divorce.  You know how when you are walking with your spouse and you walk close enough to brush shoulders?  It’s comforting and I don’t want my thighs to have to go through the separation anxiety.

I think that writing and reading this, points to my need for better crazy pills, or some counseling.  It also makes me realize that I should never be without a book to read.  I could have avoided all of this nonsense and sunk into a great read!

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I am kind of doing sucky at the whole “leaving carbs alone” thing.  I was fine and this week I have been nibbling.  I need to kick that out of my life NOW.  Maybe I should have searched for carb triggered shock collars on Pinterest instead of, wasting my time on the cosmetic surgery sites. Who knows, maybe if I invent the carb triggered shock collar, I could afford the Mommy Makeover in a place that requires a medical license and sterile tools?!

I can feel that I am introverting into my introvertedness again.  YES…I made up that word.  Get over it!  I had to force myself to go to church last night and I don’t like that feeling.  I am pretty sure human interaction should trump climbing under the covers and watching, My 600 lb life and searching on Pinterest for things I will never, cook, build, decorate or try.  I go through these reclusive periods and even though I know they probably aren’t, normal or good for me, I feel the need to recharge almost.  I come out of them feeling more capable of being in other people’s company.  Oh, that’s right!  I also spent the evenings pinning “introvert” quotes. I realized that there are others like me!   My people exist!!!  I’d go seek them out but, that would require socialization which kind of makes us not introverts.

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I have big plans for next week.  I intend to make mango salsa and a zucchini “pasta” salad.  Pictures will be posted!  Okay and yes, that is my idea of, BIG PLANS!  I mean come on people, you have read up to this point. Did ya think I was going out skydiving? Anyhow, big plans for fresh, healthy foods this coming week.

I just subscribed to Ipsy for the first time.  My Big Guy will be so excited that we are now receiving makeup in the mail.  I must say…it’s a cheaper midlife crisis than say…a Jeep 😉  I am currently enjoying feeling more girly than I did in the past. I type that as I sit here with bags under my eyes from lack of sleep this week and wearing workout capris and a 2 size too big t-shirt. Ahh well, I still like playing with makeup, even if I end up wiping half of it off before leaving the house. I seriously am in need of a makeover.  Clothes, hair, makeup, the works. I am not really sure exactly how to dress for where I am at age and size wise. I am terribly unsure of makeup and there is a fine line between appropriate and hoochie.  Someday when I grow up I will get this all worked out.

Do you think that the body image thing ever goes away?  I know I am not a size 4 but, I am not a size 28 either.  I can’t seem to see that distinction. I still find my comfort zone in dressing for who I was.  I will sometimes luck out and find an outfit that I get compliments on.  Then I want to wear it all the time because, it’s the only one I’m sure of. I admire the women who are comfortable and confident at any size.  The ones who look polished and put together when they roll into the grocery store with 3 kids, while they sport the latest fashion, 5 inch heels and a gorgeous bag.  I don’t even own a purse that cost more than $20!  Do they have the same insecurities as those of us who have minimal makeup, messy hair, a t-shirt, jeans and Converse on?  How do they pull it off?  Sometimes I just want to throw myself at their ankles and beg them to take me shopping and do my hair/makeup! I am pretty sure I’d get arrested if this happened so I keep myself in check.

Have an incredible, healthy weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is your weekend a feeding frenzy? ~By Steph

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Monday.

Yes, that was a sentence, paragraph and dull echo of yawns, all rolled into one word.  Can the weekend possibly already be over with?  I have to say, I had a wonderful, indulgent,  girly weekend!

  1. Mommy and Wild Bee Day.
  2. Hair salon for me, Portuguese bakery for Bee.
  3. Day spa for a facial.
  4. Grad party for Noodle’s boyfriend.
  5. Evening drive all alone with, my Big Guy.
  6. Amazing Sunday morning message at church.
  7. Lunch with some incredible ladies.
  8. Shopping for hours.
  9. Coming home to a house that was cleaned and laundry done by my Big Guy.
  10. Cuddling up on Sunday evening with that same Big Guy ❤

Pretty nice end to the week.  Today I am feeling pouty and sleepy.  My Big Guy is on a business trip as of 5 this morning. Is it possible to miss someone right after you drop them at the airport?  I’m thinking it’s a good sign if I still like him this much after 14 years 😉

I can’t help but, realize that everything on that list would have revolved around a food “treat” for me in the past.  I didn’t even miss that aspect of it. I just enjoyed my weekend and didn’t obsess over what I’d eat next. Pretty cool feeling if you know how it feels to plan your day around what you will eat.  The other part is that I actually did these things.  My weight and my social anxiety were a pretty tight pair of bff’s they liked to skip around, holding hands in a room, locked away, all alone.  Now I may feel some apprehension still but, I go out and do things. I  don’t let my anxiety dictate my life anymore.

*************News flash**************

My wls buddy and great friend, just texted to tell me she hit her goal!  Congrats to you Lucy, you are amazing!!!

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Is it harder for you to stay on track during the weekend?  What about when you are around certain groups of people? Do certain events or outings (games, movies, trips, etc.) make you feel like eating?  How do you combat that feeling?  Have you overcome it or do you just allow for a “cheat day” when these things pop up?  Is a cheat day the beginning of a cheat week, month, yo yo of good days and bad days?  Let me know how you handle these things. Even better, let me know someone is actually reading this blog and leave a comment.  Who am I kidding? I write this because, I have too many random thoughts in my head and I need them to jump out.  I don’t actually think anyone reads this!

Hope everyone is having a great beginning to their week!

Is it Friday yet?  Or at least bedtime?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changes in thinking and progress. ~By Steph

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Warning…this is long.

Here I go again.  Ugh…now I’m singing that 80’s song in my head. But really, who doesn’t think of Whitesnake when they are trying to figure out what to write in their blog? Seriously I can’t get the song out of my head now…I must play it!  Whew…okay that’s better. Back to the business at hand.

The past 2 1/2 years have brought about big changes in my thinking.  I burned out on this blog back then. I felt like I was continuously writing about,”restarting” my plan.  I am about to become very unpopular with some weight loss surgery folks. Honestly this applies to non wls people as well.  I am not judging, I am not saying that my way is the only way.  I am saying that for me and MANY people who have struggled with their weight for any length of time, things have to change.  We didn’t get to be obese by doing all of the right things.  We didn’t tip the scales because, we are good at “moderation”.

I started this journey at 325 pounds in January of 2012.  I had a family member who was very ill due to poor choices he had made in his life.  I saw my family, myself, grieving for him before he was even gone.  I didn’t want to be the reason my kids, my husband, my parents, etc, felt like that.  On New Year’s Eve of 2011, after visiting with him, something clicked and I changed.  I spent the night in prayer and got very little sleep that night. I got up the next morning and made my plan.  By mid February I had lost about 25 pounds and enrolled in a wls program at my local hospital.  I continued to cut portions, walk, limit carbs and by the time I had surgery during the summer of 2012, I had lost 70 pounds.  The decision for wls wasn’t an easy one.  The process wasn’t easy.  The surgery and recovery weren’t easy.  Every hoop  you jump through is worth it, if this surgery is necessary to change your life. It’s no different than the changes you must go through when losing weight any other way.

2012 was the hardest year of my life.  I encountered too many losses and things to mourn that year. If not for God, I am not sure how I would have made it through that year. I was so focused on what was going on, that I couldn’t really focus on what I needed to do to make myself a successful postop. I had been overweight since I was 6 years old.  Sure I’d lost 100 pounds a few times but, I also put it right back on.  There was almost this wall I’d hit.  I’d get to a certain weight, people would start noticing and boom…back to old habits.  I liked the invisibility of being overweight.  Sure there are always jerks who will make some comment about you.  Still for the most part, people don’t approach you.  You are barely on their radar.  My anxiety likes that feeling, craves that feeling.  So when it went away I would just eat myself back there.

I never truly changed my eating.  I changed the quantity but, not the quality of the foods I was eating.  I worked out obsessively and then I didn’t.  I ate pretty well and then I didn’t.  I was still on my old merry-go-round.  It wasn’t working.  I spent the first 3 years after surgery, lying to myself.  I told myself and others (sorry to any of you who read that garbage 2 1/2 years ago) that I could have any food “in moderation”.  I told myself that I could control it. If I just stayed within my calories I was fine. I told myself that my workouts were fine, I didn’t need to do more.  None of this was the truth.

In August of 2015, I joined an online support group.  I spent the first few weeks just rolling my eyes at their little programs to restart your weight loss, their hardcore attitude about bread, treats, pretzels, pasta, etc.  I thought they were ridiculous and no one would ever want to eat like that. It would be miserable.  Then in mid September I stepped on the scale and realized just how much weight I had regained.  Twenty six pounds had found their way back.  I had never hit goal.  I had never passed 181.6 pounds on the scale. Every time I hit that weight, something inside of me got scared and back up I went. I felt like an incredible failure.  I had this surgery to change my life but, I wasn’t willing to let it help me. I was tired of feeling like that. I swallowed hard and read the website’s “reset” plan.  I followed it and it sucked.  It also worked.  I realized that I still had good restriction in my sleeve. I could be successful, I was just choosing not to be.

I gave up added sugars, I eliminated, snack foods, bread, rice, pasta, crackers, and the like. I focused on protein, and carbs from veggies, fruit, beans, dairy, etc. No more “low carb” or “fat free” products. No more counting out just a serving of pretzels with my lunch. NO MORE LYING TO MYSELF.  Moderation is a four letter word to me.  If I could be successful at eating in moderation, then I wouldn’t have been overweight in the first place.  The first couple of weeks without the carby goodness and the sugar highs were MISERABLE.  My husband and kids were probably plotting my slow painful death. I was grouchy, there were massive carb cravings, I had headaches, my mind was fuzzy, basically I was a total joy to live with.  I was coming off of carbs HARD. I know, I know, I’m making it sound super fun and now everyone will want to do it. Anyway one day a couple of weeks later, I was cooking dinner and I realized that I didn’t have to talk myself down from grabbing a piece of bread. I realized that for the past couple of days, I’d felt pretty amazing.  No cravings, no crabbiness, no death stares from my family, no headaches. It felt completely surreal and I know you can’t completely understand that statement if you’ve never had to give up something that you depended on.  To not desire the things that my life had revolved around was…strange and a little scary.

I stayed on track through all of the 2013 holidays. I didn’t ask Big Guy to lock the Halloween candy up so I couldn’t get to it, I didn’t eat a roll at Thanksgiving, or grab one of the gazillion Christmas treats in the house.  I was fine around those things. That had never happened before in my life. I kept waiting for the ball to drop and the cravings to send me into a carb frenzy. It never happened.  Then I got really sick in late January, 2014.  I couldn’t eat, couldn’t keep things down and had swelling in my tummy that made it impossible to swallow anything solid.  I was constantly dizzy and nauseated, everyone kept saying, “Eat a cracker it will settle your stomach.” I resisted because, I was so scared of losing the control I had gained.  I made it through without empty carbs and was prescribed some medication and finally after about a month I was able to eat again.  I was so sick of protein shakes and yogurt that I wanted to scream!

After I recovered, I was thinking about how stubborn I had been about eating a cracker, or a piece of toast, when I was sick.  It struck me that I was willing to be ill rather than have those foods.  I decided I was being silly. I needed to allow myself a couple of carbs…in moderation of course…and just get past the fear.  Please refer to the paragraph where I talked about how well moderation works for me.  All of a sudden I was sneaking carbs here and there.  I am not completely sure who I was being sneaky for…I’m pretty sure I knew I was eating them. I had allowed them in and my mind just wouldn’t let them go again.  It took me several weeks and several restarts to finally get back to eating properly again. I feel good again and feel like I’m in control.  Is this mentally healthy? I’m not sure. Probably not if I’m honest. Is it necessary for my success? Yes.

I said all of that to say this, you won’t find me preaching moderation. You won’t find me talking about high carb, sugar filled, treats.  I will post some low carb goodies that I enjoy making. I will give you my alternatives to the things I don’t eat anymore. If I post a recipe and you think it would be great with some brown rice or garlic bread, by all means, grab yourself some and enjoy.  I feel like it’s too accepted by the wls community and any “dieter”, to try and twist their day to fit around empty calories. I can’t put that out here anymore. I have felt how miserable it made me. I see the people who are struggling with regaining their weight. I will never again be someone who encourages someone to just eat small quantities of their trigger foods. Sure, there are people who can be successful like that.  The vast majority of us cannot maintain weight loss long term by going back to old eating habits in smaller quantities. Again…my opinion.  Just remember I thought I was a successful wls postop. I thought the struggle with the scale was totally normal and I thought that losing control with food was just something we will always deal with. Now I know that there is a way around that. I know that even though it stinks, I am not going to be eating certain items anymore. I’m okay with that. I didn’t go through all of the emotions, medical procedures and struggle, to try to find ways to eat around my surgery.  It just took me 3 1/2 years to realize that!

Today I am at my lowest weight since elementary school. I am hovering around 170 and I am still losing and heading toward my goal weight. I just am not really sure what it is.  This is totally uncharted territory for me. I suppose I will know when I arrive.