Monthly Archives: November 2007

Back to the ‘stem…

I’ve been meaning to write about my first trip to Bluestem since surgery….

They have an insane 1/2-off the lounge menu happy hour deal going on right now, so I met up with a friend of mine last Tuesday night.  First of all, this is the deal of the century foodwise.  Especially since they have added regular entrees to their lounge menu.  This was my 2nd restaurant visit in three months, so I was pretty excited to have some “real” food.  We ordered some appetizers……..a cheese plate, wagyu tartare and smoked salmon.  They have an exceptional cheese selection right now, btw.  I think I had two bites of the salmon, a bite of the tartare, and about three small tastes of cheese….then I had to take a break.  The worst thing I could have done would have been to eat too quickly and get that super-indigestion in a public place….so the delay helped me to pace myself and let satiety sink in.  I did have a glass of white wine, which I had no idea would lead to my next big post-surgery “revelation”……  Basically, I drank about 1/2 of my glass before I spied some Ridge Zin that I was curious to try……and I lamented the fact out loud that I probably shouldn’t drink more than one glass of wine since I was driving.  About ten minutes later I realized, and I know this will sound stupid to most people….if I don’t drink all of the first glass I can still try the Ridge.  That probably doesn’t sound like rocket science, but when you are coming from a lifetime of eating and drinking yourself into oblivion it’s not like you’ve ever opted to leave anything behind in your wine glass.  So that’s what I did, the wine was great, and I felt like I had truly grown up a little bit in the process.  Not the most cost effective way to drink wine in a restaurant, BUT when apps are half price and you still end up taking enough home for two more meals…’s no biggie.  In addition to the apps I got a really good pasta and chicken dish that I had 2 bites of before boxing the rest.  So there you have it……the last time I was at Bluestem I consumed an entire thirteen course meal with wine pairings, and this time I had maybe eight bites of food with enough left over from one app and one entree for two more full meals.  Progress!

 For Thanksgiving week I did not lose a ton of weight, but I still lost over two pounds…overall I’m pretty happy about that considering I did “overeat” by including things like mashed potatoes into my diet.  I never ate to a point where I had that bloated full feeling, but since it was a holiday week, between food from family and my own comfort-food concoctions I did have too much starch.  A lot of meats bother my stomach much of the time, so potatoes and pasta will be something to watch out for going forward.  I don’t think I take in that many extra calories because portions are so small, BUT there is also a lack of that “full” feeling you get from proteins….so you definitely end up eating more just because you can.  The nice thing is that if I don’t have it in the house I’m probably not going to get desperate enough to seek it out.  I’ve experimented with a few fast food options like grilled chicken wraps, wings, fish, etc., and fortunately for me I have yet to find something that I can digest that doesn’t have the appeal of a chemical toilet when it comes out of the wrapper.  I don’t know the exact cause of this change in my flavor/olifactory senses, but while the thought of fast food is usually appealing I really genuinely do not like it once it is in front of me.  And I’m not saying that to sound like this miraculously happy gastric bypass patient… really is true.  So many “bad” foods still sound fantastic in theory, but when I taste them or smell them it is generally not a good time.  One thing I HAVE eaten and enjoyed has been egg drop soup… I’ll need to check the nutritional value on that and maybe search for some recipes.

 Anyway, Thanksgiving is over and for the first time in my life I didn’t gain weight during that week.  Getting my walking up to six days per week will be my next goal……

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And the verdict is in…

I finally got a decent bathroom scale today so that I don’t have to depend on the one at the doc, and I’m down a total of 70lbs in just under three months.  I have to say I’m pretty happy, and totally surprised how quickly the weight comes off. 

Only other thing right now is that I was feeling sick earlier this week and sat around paranoid for two days thinking it was surgery/weight related.  It ended up being nothing more than a cold, which I realized when I got a slight temperature and my nose started running.  Oh well, hopefully I’ll get better at diagnosing my ailments going forward.

 Should be a busy weekend…..I’ve got a ton of homework (including my thesis, which is due before Dec. 14th), and a lot of new movies are out that I haven’t seen yet.   Will see how to split my time between two very important things…….

 And since this is such a short update, I’ll leave you with a joke that I made up:

What are the three worst words to hear while you are having sex?

“Mom, I’m gay.”

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Filed under Bariatric Surgery, General Thoughts, Health, Recovery, Weight Loss

A cool milestone….

Between work and personal stuff, the past couple of weeks have been a little stressful, so after a nice little reminder of my success today, I’m taking a couple of minutes to write about it while it’s still on my mind…….

I guess that weight loss after surgery is like any other weight loss; you lose weight fast, it slows a little, you lose a big chunk again, etc.  I hadn’t really felt any major changes in my weight for the past two weeks, and even though it didn’t worry me too much since I’m still eating such small amounts, it still would have been NICE to see some success during a stressful time.  In the past few days I’ve noticed some minor changes here and there that indicated sudden weight loss.  So just for the hell of it, this afternoon I got into my closet and pulled out some of my clothes from the last time I lost a significant amount of weight.  Amazingly enough, I was able to get into all of my 2X pants as well as some of my 3X dress shirts that run smaller than most shirts labeled as the same size.  I’ve got a new bathroom scale coming in the mail this week, so I’ll be able to put actual numbers with the weight loss from now on, instead of relying on my clothing to let me know I’m making progress.  The funny thing is, in the past when I’ve lost weight it always made some bizarre sense to me to “celebrate” any significant drop from week to week by eating something I shouldn’t.  Of course that cycle eventually lends itself to gaining weight back, but the nice thing now is that even if I wanted to go CRAZY and have some celebratory food, it would be something like……five crackers to accompany an ounce or two of cheese.  I do appreciate this new tool I have at my disposal.  I’m happy as hell to be making such fast progress, but I’m also forced to branch out in other ways when it comes to the celebratory moods.  Tonight’s celebration will probably involve vegging out with a movie and then heading down to the river to walk the dog.  Anyway, it was just a nice reminder that I made the right decision and I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. 

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Filed under Bariatric Surgery, Food, General Thoughts, Health, Healthy Eating, Recovery, Weight Loss

Lots to catch up on…

Where to start…….last week was a pretty significant week in a couple of different ways.  First, I was supposed to get married last Thursday and have our reception Saturday night.  I was dreading last week for a couple of months, actually before I even got surgery.  Other than the usual Mars/Venus conundrum, and my male inability to understand all of the unspoken rules that dominate a relationship (and act on them without arguing my point), all of the changes over the last few months obviously lead me to wonder how the insanity over food added to the breakup.  We had many arguments that were embedded on two major fronts…the first was how the weight contributed to being sedentary and kept me fearful of trying a lot of new things, and the second was the general dreadful crackhead attitude towards food.  The whole addiction thing is something I can’t totally explain because I don’t fully understand it……I don’t want to sound cliche, but if you’ve experienced the insane compulsion you know what I’m talking about, if you haven’t……chances are on some level you are one of those people who say “why can’t you just stop eating?”.   There are a million things that drive the fear of keeping too much food in the house, starving one week and binging the next, and all of those things are detrimental to a relationship. I’m not saying the weight was the sole contributor to its demise, far from it, but it did play a part and it has been something I’ve had to deal with my entire life.  I know that bariatric surgery is a big commercial craze right now, but there are some of us who need it in the exact same way a heroin addict could use someone to lock them in a room before they kill themselves.  So I became single again over the summer, and the timing of my new bariatric adventure couldn’t have come at a better or worse time, depending on how you look at it.  Could it have saved the relationship if I did it sooner, or was the relationship even something that should have been saved….who knows.  I do regret not trying harder to understand how “normal” people can actually keep tasty food in the house without eating all of it, not realizing that most people have to be “in the mood” for something in order to eat it, and how sometimes food can sit in the refrigerator long enough to go bad (THAT is a really, really new and bizarre concept that I’ve experienced for the first time since surgery).   My reality has been so ingrained for so long that I disregarded any alternatives, and while it may have only been part of the overall problem, it has to be recognized no matter how frustrating or embarrassing it may be.  So there you go…..a wedding day with no bride or groom.  I pride myself on my vast and eclectic life experiences, but this was a new one for me, and one that does not get rave reviews.

 Anyway, lucky for me I’m one hell of a planner and I have good friends….so the plan was to get a few people together for dinner last Saturday night.  Up to this point I had not been to a restaurant, nor had I consumed any alcohol.  While it was no huge reception with ten cases of wine and a whole roasted pig, it was great to finally get out for a normal Saturday evening with friends.  We decided that Stix, the newish Japanese steakhouse out at The Legends, would be worth a shot.  That is generally not my go-to style of food, but when you have enough people to fill a whole table it is really an excellent time.  Plus, the chefs are much more animated than, say, the legendary Gojo’s…..where they all look like they could blow their brains out at any moment (and with that goddamn birthday gong going off every three minutes, who wouldn’t?).   One thing I did like about Stix was that the gratuitous shrimp-toss wasn’t optional…..unless you have a serious shellfish allergy, that shrimp is flying at the heads of everyone sitting at the table.  The food was really good, and I ended up eating even less than I anticipated.  I knew I’d have a lot to take home with me, but the amount I ate didn’t even really make a dent in the plate.  You hear people say that a lot….”there was so much food I didn’t even make a dent in it”.  Well, that shit has never happened to me….until the dinner at Stix.  I could proudly proclaim, like any old woman after an early bird dinner in Boca, “there was so much food I didn’t even make a dent in it!”.   In fact, I ended up throwing much of it out two days later because, #1- there was so much of it, and #2- I wasn’t “in the mood” to eat all of it before it went bad.  Throwing restaurant leftovers away….THAT shit has never happened before either. Seriously, never in my life.  It was rare enough to actually HAVE food to take home, so throwing it out two days later???  I could literally FEEL the glares of thousands of mothers in Darfur whose starving children, their hands freshly hacked away by brutal insurgents, would have loved a goddamn scallop. But I went and threw them all away.  And I can’t leave out the booze.  I literally hadn’t had a drink since surgery, and in reality I hadn’t planned on having one so soon, but the occasion demanded it.  I had two hot sakes over the course of the evening, and while I didn’t get drunk from them I did actually feel the alcohol.  Normally, two sakes would affect me about as much as two glasses of water.  I also had about half a glass of wine when we all got back to my house to party a little and watch Wonder Showzen on DVD.  So I guess within the course of a few days I had experienced three major post-surgery events…….not even “making a dent” in my plate of food, really adding to the suffering of the African children by throwing leftovers away, and getting a good buzz off of a miniscule amount of alcohol.  So it was a pretty great weekend.  The dreaded failed nuptial dates have passed, and I’m continuing to figure out some “normal” boundaries with food. 

 I think that is about it, other than the fact that I’m really getting crazier and crazier about tofu and seitan.  Some proteins upset still upset my stomach, but those two never do, even when I make them pretty spicey.  I’ve got a great tofu cookbook, but could use one for seitan….they just aren’t as easy to find, or I’m just not a very good semi-vegetarian yet.  Speaking of proteins, I was going really going wild reading about cheeses and sampling many different kinds.  Then all of a sudden, for whatever reason, I just “wasn’t in the mood” for cheese one day and that feeling stuck…and I’ve still got a hunk o’ Brillat Savarin sitting in the crisper!.  I’m sure I’ll get back into it, I do love cheese, but it was ironic to experience the whole “have to be in the mood” phenomenon that I’ve heard so much about my entire life…….

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