Gastric Sleeve – Almost Three Weeks Postop

Warning: This post contains my ugly “before” belly pic – scars and all! But if you’ve been to a waterpark in the last few years you’ve seen worse.

I saw my Bariatric Surgeon on Friday. She was pretty thrilled with how I was doing as far as weight, nutrition, and water intake. I’d been worried because I knew I wasn’t coming anywhere near my protein goal of sixty grams a day, but she told me that most people don’t come close to that until they are at least two months postop. That was a relief. And she was amused by my “weight loss plateau” when I didn’t lose a pound for a week. She assured me that when I came back in two weeks I’d have lost weight. I’ve probably lost since that visit, but I’m so conditioned to hate the scale that I keep forgetting to weigh in the mornings. And every veteran dieter knows the only accurate weight is a naked morning weight with an empty bladder and dry hair.

Oddly, the hardest thing to get used to has been “Don’t drink while you’re eating.” It just feels so unnatural to me. Oh, and I have to stay on mushy food for two more weeks, so of course I’m craving a nice, crunchy salad. Celery sounds awesome right now, which proves that we always crave exactly what we can’t have :/ She did say my incisions were healed enough for me to start using Nerium Firm, so here’s my official “before Firm” belly shot:
belly before
I left it uncropped, because Boss wanted to show off his perfect dog physique. He never overeats and gets plenty of exercise. It’s amazing how loose the skin on my abdomen is already! But want to hear something totally unexpected about this weight loss? It’s where I’m losing it from first!

Where do we lose weight from first, veteran dieters? Breasts. Yep, unless you bought ’em, they’re usually the first to go. But not this time! I started losing weight first from my . . . hips and thighs! Yes, go ahead, be jealous. I’m ready to call the Vatican to report a documented miracle. And I’m gonna be honest here – I haven’t been following all the rules 100%. Yes, big shocker there, the stubborn nurse doesn’t follow the rules. When I was so worried about my protein intake (I was actually just worried my hair would start to fall out) I added a high-protein, low-cal smoothie as a snack. No snacks! So I’m not doing that anymore. But my husband did buy me wine, and I had a half-glass with the premier episode of Fear The Walking Dead and I’m planning on having another half-glass tonight. Yep, I’m a wild, rule-breaking party animal!

Who’s got questions? Bring ’em on, I’m all about sharing this experience!

Just Call Me Madame President


— 1 —

Last Saturday I volunteered for something. Something I’m not really sure I should do, but I’m gonna do it anyway. My writers’ group needs a President for next year. There are several members who’ve been involved for many years, and they’ve all already served at least one term as President. Then there are a handful of us who’ve been around for several years. The rest of the group is fairly new to our chapter. According to new National Bylaws term limits are set for each office, members must be out of office five years before being elected to any Board position again, and members must have been active in the chapter for two full years to run for office. So at Saturday’s meeting when the current President asked people to volunteer . . . I did.

— 2 —

 It keeps cropping up in my mind at random moments, kind of like when I was expecting my first child but wasn’t showing yet. Just a sudden adrenaline rush along with, “Oh, no! Why did I think this was a good idea? I have no idea what I’m doing!” Then I calm down and remember that this is the most supportive group of people I’ve ever been a part of. Most churches could take a lesson from this group. And it doesn’t matter that all I have published is a self-pubbed cookbook and an essay in a book about dysfunctional families. Members of this group have written best-selling, internationally-published books, books in multiple genres, books through traditional publishers and independently. There are experts and novices. All I need to do is make sure the group meets, and the Board meets, and that we get through the agenda and jump through the appropriate paperwork hoops. I can do this!

— 3 —

Of course after the meeting on Saturday I came home and finished the Stephen King book I was reading and decided I wasn’t even worthy to attend a writers’ group, let alone lead meetings. He’s just that awesome. So I obviously have to dust off those thumb drives or pull up Dropbox (if I can remember my password) and get writing again. Hello, timer, my old friend!

— 4 —

Speaking of finishing a Stephen King book, anyone else have that weird bittersweet feeling when you finish a really well-written book? It ended perfectly, but I wished there was more. I knew there was nothing else in the house that good that I hadn’t already read several times. So I caught up on Real Housewives of Orange County as a sort of literary palate cleanser. No, I guess no one else does do that. Sorry.

— 5 —

But while we’re on TV shows, can I just say that I am totally in love with Fear The Walking Dead. The only thing that could make it better is to have Chris Hardwick do a Talking Fear series immediately following it. AMC, please make it so. And then tell me why I was inexplicably drawn to a greasy-haired heroin junkie wearing a woman’s shrug. Is it just his resemblance to a young Johnny Depp? Or am I so shallow that it was just those bare abs? And BTW, maybe I’m not hanging out in the right ERs, but I suspect heroin junkies rarely have six-packs. And yes, I found that detail less believable than the Zombie Apocalypse.

— 6 —

I cut my husband’s hair after watching a couple of YouTube videos and he got several compliments on it the next day. I don’t know if that’s a testament to my stylist skills or just proof that he was way overdue for a haircut!

— 7 —

I bought shoes for my 16yo without him present. Yeah, you know this one isn’t going to end well. I did call him, and text him a picture for his approval, but once he saw them in person they had to go back. I thought it was girls who were supposed to be picky about clothes and shoes. No, my guys are super-picky (that includes my husband). Michael has to have size 10 Nike Cortez with a red swoosh, and John has to have size 11 Converse High Top Chucks in black canvas with a white sole and toe.  I have to special order both of these. Thank you, Catherine, for marrying Aaron and shopping for him!!

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

Take Care of Yourself AND Give Back With Vitamin Angels!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #100MillionReasons #CollectiveBias
vitamin angels
We all want to help others, don’t we? And how many of us need to take better care of ourselves? Most of us. What if I told you it was possible to do both at the same time? I know it sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. It’s a beautifully simple project called Vitamin Angels. Walgreens and Centrum have partnered to help mothers and children receive the vitamins and minerals they need to lead healthy lives. You can help by buying Centrum vitamins for yourself and your family at Walgreens. For over twenty years Vitamin Angels has been helping at-risk populations (pregnant women, new mothers and children under five) gain access to life changing vitamins & minerals.

How many times has your doctor told you to take a good multivitamin? Ladies, haven’t we all heard and read that we need to start taking Calcium supplements long before menopause to prevent osteoporosis? And that if we’re of child-bearing age we should be taking folic acid, whether we’re planning to conceive or not? Magazine articles and news stories remind us about the vitamins and minerals our bodies need, and that we aren’t getting in our diets. Study after study has been done on how important Vitamin D is, for example. We’re not spending as much time outdoors in the sunlight as we used to, as children or adults. And lack of Vitamin D decreases Calcium absorption and makes both depression and chronic pain more difficult to treat. Vitamin Angels gives you 100 million reasons to take your vitamins – you can help bring 100 million mothers and children the essential nutrients and vitamins many of us take for granted.

Here’s my favorite local Walgreens. You’ll notice the vitamin aisle is right there next to the pharmacy.
vitamin aisle
That’s not accidental, folks! Vitamins and minerals are just as important as prescription medications for maintaining health and preventing illness. And your local pharmacist will be glad to talk to you about which ones are right for you. To start with, here’s a “nurse tip”. When your doctor says “a good multivitamin” he or she means a name-brand one. Over-the-counter dietary supplements aren’t overseen as carefully as prescription medications. I love a good bargain, but knock-off dietary supplements are not a good deal. Buy the good stuff – your body will thank you! And so will 100 million children. In fact, 1% of all sales of Centrum vitamins at Walgreens will go to Vitamin Angels!

I found most Centrum products right at eye level when I started shopping. They sort by formulation, so be patient as you search.
location on shelf
I had a bottle I’d intended for my use, but when I looked carefully it was the one designed for men! Here’s the Women’s version.
centrum for women
There’s also a plain Adult variety if you like to share. There are, of course, a variety of Centrum children’s vitamins, Centrum Silver for ages fifty and up, and specialty mixtures for Vision, Energy, and Heart health.  If you get overwhelmed, just ask the pharmacist.

This made me laugh, but I do live in Louisville, Kentucky – the allergy capital of the United States. There was no way to get close to the pharmacy without dodging this big display, which I’m sure they are now re-stocking at least twice a day:
Pretty sad, right? *sniffle, snort*After I’d selected vitamins for myself, my husband, and my teen son I headed for the register and came across this fabulous bargain:
laundry detergent
The money I saved there easily made up the difference between knock-off vitamins and the “good stuff”. And odds are I’ll find a similar bargain next month when I go vitamin shopping again, especially with my Walgreens Balance Rewards Card! Oh, and did I mention that when you spend $30 or more on eligible Centrum products you’ll receive 10,000 Balance Rewards points? WOOT!
walgreens card
My husband is a few years older than I am, so when he and our son, John, came home I reminded Michael that this was his personal bottle
Centrum Silver
(on the mantle where he drops his car keys) not to be confused with John’s (next to his toothbrush) or mine (in a tub with all my other meds) since I am not yet fifty :) I am close, though, and will probably switch over soon. I just won’t tell Michael!

Speaking of age, one of the things I am continually thankful for is that all my medical issues and the financial woes we are still dealing with did not start when I was younger and the kids were small. It all began with a huge herniated disc that I have no idea how I got, so it easily could have happened decades ago. Thankfully, I was healthy and working full-time when each of the boys were born, so buying good prenatal vitamins for me and children’s vitamins for them was not a concern. These days every single thing has to be budgeted for, and some things just don’t make the cut. I’m so glad to hear about a program to help young families in that situation. Believe it or not, food stamps do not cover vitamins or other dietary supplements. Crazy, right? But thanks to companies like Centrum and Walgreens we can all help remedy that oversight. Just keep that in mind next time you vitamin-shop for your family. I sure will!

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Anything worth doing can be done in jammies!