Tag Archives: Pureed Foods

Food isn’t the Enemy, but a Friendemy

Week 22 and 70.5 pounds down!  My and hubby and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary by walking in some of our favorite neighborhoods, having a light meal out and seeing a show.  And yes, it included my favorite coffee.

Week 22 and 70.5 pounds down! My and hubby and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary by walking in some of our favorite neighborhoods, having a light meal out and seeing a show. And yes, it included my favorite coffee.

My gastric sleeve surgery is the catalyst for many changes in my life, and my relationship with food is one of the biggest changes I am making. My smaller stomach physically restricts the amount of food I can eat at one time, but as I progress to Week 22 of my journey, I am able to eat more of a variety of food and I find I can eat more often. While it is nice to feel “normal” this is also giving me a bit of anxiety. With the holiday season here, or my other name for it, “the indulgent food season”, I need to really focus on my relationship with food. 

Food, in the past, has been such a huge part of my life. I used it to deal with depression, to reward myself for accomplishments, to fight boredom, and to celebrate holidays and anniversaries. I try not to use food in these ways, but it is going to happen. My anniversary weekend was a good test to see how I could handle food differently.

The ever-supportive hubby and I enjoying a night on the town to celebrate our 15 years being thick and now thin together. (A quick shout out to my hubby who has lost 50 pounds this year! He is amazing!) On these rare occasions when we have a date night, food would have been the focus. A dinner at a nice restaurant would always include appetizers for both of us, entrées and a glass of wine (OK, two) for me.

Now just because we’re eating better and healthier doesn’t mean we don’t want an enjoyable food experience. What we consider to be enjoyable, though, is now completely different! Instead of a huge, heavy meal, we ate wonderful salads at a café. They were delicious and left room for us to split a brownie from one of our favorite bakeries after we walked around the neighborhood! And there was still time for wine as we watched a musical show later that night. Such a lovely evening and it didn’t revolve around food!

So, food is not the enemy! Eating out is still enjoyable! But…yes, there had to be a but, I still struggle with some food. My body can handle tortilla chips and salsa very well; I’m afraid too well. Crackers are also easy for me to digest and I can eat more of them then I should. I don’t want to ban them from my diet because in the past that just makes me want whatever I say I can’t have even more. I am trying not to bring them in the house, but Goldfish crackers are a requirement when you have children. Healthy food is also another requirement, so that helps me when shopping for food. I am now finally eating like my children and it shows in how I feel and how I look. Oh, and how much weight I lose…70.5 pounds gone so far!

This is my latest challenge in my Down the Scale journey and that’s OK. I feel a bit like I have two personalities when it comes to food. “Normal Jen” eats healthy and small quantities, picks better food choices when she’s out and understands that small portions are satisfying. “Old Jen” thinks about fattening food, craves full sugar coffee drinks and wants non-fulfilling food like crackers in the pantry.

Fortunately, “normal” is wining over “old”, but I know that I will always have this struggle. And if the “old” wins sometimes, that’s going to be OK. I am human. I am not perfect. I am always trying to do my best and when it comes to weight loss and being healthy, that’s the best way to be, for me.

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This is the New Normal

My new Starbucks treat, Skinny Hazelnut Latte, and my journal with one of my favorite sayings!

My new Starbucks treat, Skinny Hazelnut Latte, and my journal with one of my favorite sayings!

I woke up this morning full of dread and excitement. Week six is here which meant time to weigh myself. My gastric sleeve surgeon recommended only weighing in once a week, but I must admit I’ve cheated and checking every few days. I jumped on the scale on Saturday and I was only down about a half a pound. Needless to say, I wasn’t a happy camper.

This morning I was a happy camper though! For the week, I’m down three and a half pounds! This makes a total of 29 pounds for six weeks! Yes, I’m finally happy and not feeling blah about it. I realize more stalls are going to be part of my journey, but I’m learning to enjoy the victories, however large or small.

My biggest victory of the week is that I’m learning to live with my new lifestyle. No, I’m not perky or feeling successful all the time, but I’m coming to terms with the new normal. This means eating healthy food in small quantities. My favorite meal is three slices of Trader Joe’s Oven Roasted Turkey lunch meat with a Roma tomato. Not very exciting to most people, but after eating pureed foods, it’s heaven and healthy.

Another part of the new normal is learning when I’m full and listening to my body. As a lifelong over-eater, this is still is a strange feeling for me six weeks after surgery. And when I’m full, I am full. Eating too much is extremely uncomfortable and even with the magic pink Gas-X pills, it doesn’t automatically go away. I am getting better at this each day.

One of the biggest challenges I have dreaded is eating out. No, I haven’t been cooped up in my house this past six weeks, but I have brought food each time we’ve gone out during mealtimes. Of course, that’s the best thing to do since it gives me control over what I’m eating. This past Friday, I decided to throw caution to the wind and not bring lunch when I took the kids on a day trip. We went to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch and I did great, if I may say so myself.

Yes, the kids had pizza and I was OK sitting across for them with as they ate. I ordered the Chicken Lettuce Wrap Appetizer. Yes, I wanted pizza, pasta or anything with gooey cheese and meat, but I knew it wouldn’t be worth it. I ate one lettuce wrap and was full and satisfied. I was surprised to be full from one, but I was proud of myself for not eating more!

I took my time eating and engaged with my children more than I used to when we ate out. Being a mom, I tend to spend more time getting my children settled with their meal and then wolfing down my food. This time I ate my meal slowly and could truly enjoy it and my kids. Another big change was not finishing the food on my kids’ plate. Really, pizza crusts aren’t that good so why was I eating them before? Another bad habit I’m breaking!

Another food habit I’ve changed is my coffee intake. I drank one to two cups a day at home and went to Starbucks or Peet’s three to four times a week for a sugary espresso drink. I don’t drink coffee at home now and I go out for espresso once or twice a week for a sugar-free drink. No caffeine headaches and I feel like I have a treat when I get my coffee when we’re out. This new normal is amazing.

Challenging, frustrating, exciting are just a few of the words to describe my weight loss journey so far. Having had some tough times, I know I can get through the future ones. My post-sleeve life is settling in and becoming a bit normal. And normal is all I’ve ever wanted to be in terms of my weight. Here’s to being normal in all the right places…

Three Weeks Bites the Dust…

Happy three-week anniversary to me! I am surviving and more importantly thriving with my new stomach. I am 20 ½ lbs and 10 inches down! My body is repairing itself and I feel healthy and strong. At the end of the day, I am exhausted. I feel more energized every day so I know that will go away soon.

The hardest part of this three-week journey has been eating, naturally. The first two weeks of only liquids was bland, very bland. The protein shakes I loved, OK liked, before my surgery tasted horrible afterward. All the liquids protein drinks I bought were too sweet. I never thought this would be a problem since I have a sweet tooth. C is for cookie and cake and chocolate for me! I finally found a cookies and cream protein shake that I could tolerate and sugar-free lemon lime jello was tolerable.

I’m an equal opportunity eater so I like salty food as well. Have you ever had broth by itself? Even for this salt connoisseur, it was either too salty or too bland. Strained soups turned out to be a better choice since they had some flavor besides salt. Chicken noodle soup broth became my go-to dish. I actually wished for cheeseburger flavor Crystal light to add some variety and normally in my life!

Two weeks post surgery and pureed food is on the menu! Blended soups are decent, especially my friend’s homemade chicken noodle soup. Gumbo blends nicely and gives me that spicy flavor I crave. Won Ton soup, however, does not purée well at all. The white soapy remains of the soup was unbelievably off-putting. But pureed tuna with salsa is a winner. Yes, it looks like cat food, but I honestly don’t care now. Food with substance and flavor is high on my list.

Since my stomach is handling pureed and soft foods well, I’m on to flakey fish! Over the past few years I’ve come to enjoy mild, white fish. For a girl who went crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay, you would think I was a shellfish lover, but I’m not. Shellfish and any fish that is, well, too fishy, is not for me. My ever supportive and great chef of a husband, is baking Mahi Mahi for me. It is like heaven!

Here is a picture of last night’s dinner, Mahi Mahi with pureed roasted carrots. One and a half ounces of fish with two tablespoons of the carrots. And the next picture is the end of my meal. With my stomach only holding two ounces at a time, I can’t always finish my food.

fishcarrotsbeforeFishCarrotsAfter

It is a strange feeling for me, as a life long overeater. Before, even when I was full, I could still manage to eat another bite or two. And I always could manage to squeeze in dessert. Now having gastric sleeve surgery, I know when I’m full and there is no denying that feeling. I’ve come close to throwing up once or twice, but I realized it was gas and Gas-X saved the day. Fortunately I’ve managed to keep my food intake low and really work with my new stomach size. The sleeve is my first defense in managing my food intake and I feel like I’m getting the hang of it.

In another week I am back to regular food and I am excited, but nervous. It will truly be the start of my new life with food. I need to eat well to lose weight, but also to keep up my energy and be healthy. No going back to fried foods, mindless liquids and junk food. Well, not all the time. I plan on having wine again and a bite of a Reese’s peanut butter egg is in my future next Easter. The difference will be the amount and how often I indulge. As I’ve said before, the gastric sleeve is another tool in my arsenal to battle my weight and keep myself inline after I reach my goal. The war is on and I’m the general! Here’s to the next three weeks of battle at DowntheScale…