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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Countdown to surgery and I'm very calm

My surgery is five days away and I'm nine days into the pre-op diet. I've lost 6lbs which is on target. I may lose another six or more before Wednesday as I am mostly on liquids making sure I get at least 60 grams of protien a day.

I am a little spacey today as I've had the lowest amount of calories so far, about 700. We'll see what tomorrow brings for weight loss. This weekend I will pack my suitcase for the hospital and make sure my family members have all the contact phone numbers needed.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Spaghetti and Meatballs: Food as Embedded in Culture and a Recipe

Spaghetti and Meatballs: Food as Embedded in Culture and a Recipe

Does anybody remember this little song from childhood? For no reason that song popped into my head yesterday and I kept humming or singing it all day. I think I learned this at Girl Scout camp! I’m thinking there was a reason and that is somewhere deep in my brain the thought percolated knowing that I may or may not eat pasta after my by-pass. I can have meatballs, sauce and ricotta though which will give me the taste and the protein I need.

Spaghetti with Meatballs all Covered with cheese

I lost my Dear Meatballs When Somebody Sneezed!

I promised to share some recipes for what I’ve been eating for dinner while on the first week of my prep for surgery. Here is the first, it is from the Susan Maria Leach’s book Before and After: Living and Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery

Mykonos Shrimp With Feta

WLS Portion 3 ounces. Calories 207, fat, 10 gr, carbs, 8 gr, Protein 18 grams, serves four

1 Large Onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, I used four

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

One 14 ounce can Diced tomatoes, drained

½ cup white wine, I used chicken broth

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8-teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salt and pepper

½ cup chopped parsley

11/2 lbs of large shrimp peeled and deveined. I used medium sized.

2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

¼ lb Greek Feta Cheese, rinsed, drained and crumbled.

Sauté the onion and garlic in 1 tlbs olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, add the tomatoes, wine oregano, and cinnamon; light season with salt and pepper and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated 7-12 minutes. Stir in half the parsley and spoon the sauce evenly over the bottom of a baking dish. Sauté the shrimp in another tlbs of olive oil in a nonstick skilled over high heat until the just begin to turn pink and curl, about 2 minutes. Arrange the shrimp on top of the sauce in the baking dish. Add a layer of sliced tomatoes and then feta; drizzle with the remaining olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling/ Turn the broiler to high and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve immediately. Serve with a salad and crusty bread and you are good to go.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day Two of Pre Op diet: Checklist's Rule

I felt the effects of a low calorie, low carb diet today. I had a slight headache on and off. My mental clarity is a little off manifesting in slight concentration issues. That is why I am using check lists to make sure I get all my work done before I leave my job for a six week leave. I didn't sleep well last night as I got up multiple times to use the bathroom. This tells me the diet is working as my kidneys are flushing both fat and carbs from my system. Dropped two lbs the first day. Will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day one of post op diet

This has gone pretty well. I did feel some pretty strong hunger at times. I also noticed I was a bit distracted at times. That is normal. I made a bariatric friendly shrimp dish for dinner tonight. I will post the recipe over the weekend.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Surgery Pre-op Diet Starts Tomorrow

Hello Everyone, so tomorrow really starts the next part of the rest of my life. I've made lots of changes since starting prep for my surgery since I first saw the Dartmouth Hitchcock team.

The purpose of the diet is to make the liver release carbs. When this happens the liver gets softer and easier to work with. This is important because the surgeon needs to lift the liver to get to the stomach. Calorie amounts are between 800-1000 a day so as you can see I will drop weight before the surgery.

I'll be sure to post to let people know. I'd love it if you decide to follow my blog.

Surgery is two weeks from tomorrow on March 3rd.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Last Pre-op Meeting/Noticable Changes!

February 13, 2010

What a week its been. It is a challenge to keep a daily blog going. I am attempting to do this for the first 12 -18 months after my RNY weight loss surgery as a means to help me be accountable. I had a lot to deal with over the past week. I had a biopsy for uterine cancer to clear up heaving bleeding that contributed to my anemia I had for the past two years. That thankfully was negative. I also found out that I am no longer anemic. The Dartmouth Hitchcock team started me on iron supplements about three months ago. This has solved the problem. This good news along with the final approval of my surgery has me over the moon with joy.

Today, I had a wonderfully healthy lunch of Tuna Salad made with capers, a little olive oil, hard boiled eggs and olives served over Kale. I find Kale holds up much better then lettuce and is of course rich with nutrients. Store Kale like a bouquet of flowers in a jar or vase of water and it will last for at least two weeks. I shared lunch with a friend at her home in Randolph Vermont and then went for a 2-3 mile walk with her dog along a river bank. We saw a fox den, many animal tracks and a lovely view of the Brandon Gap.

Tonight I made a stir fry that is perfect for post surgery eating. It was chicken, veggies and a basic stir fry sauce. As I cooked I thought about how many changes I've been making since October when I first went to my new team at Dartmouth. In the past I would have served this meal with rice. I have no desire for it now. So, I stayed true to the protein first followed by veggies.

That is it for now. I am in the process of reviewing books and products I've found helpful on my journey. As soon as I get to it, I will build a link to Amazon to help my readers find these products.



Monday, February 8, 2010

Insurance Prejudice

As I listened to my surgeon do an information session for those thinking about weight loss surgery I was stunned to learn the following. Insurance companies without hesitation will pay for heart bypass surgery even if it may only extend a patients life for a short amount of time. Yet they do all they can to prevent weight loss surgery which is proven to add between 7-13 years of additional life.

I ask my readers this: Why is that? I am curious to know what you think. I think this is because weight bias is the last acceptable prejudice in America. A bias exists that somehow the obese person could have completely prevented their obesity. Rarely is this true, if ever. I think obesity is the result of an eating disorder and heart disease in many cases is too. So, can someone help me understand the reasons to cover one procedure and not the other?


The Pondering Professor

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Take the Your Weight Matters Challenge

I found this website today while surfing the web. One of the reasons I started this web was to continue to educate myself about this disease and to offer resources to people who find their way here. The organization is sponsored by the Obesity Action Coalition. Here is some information about them and a link to their web site. I am off to take the challenge and get a Your Weight Matters Awareness Bracelet.

You can follow them on Facebook at:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Going to my First Support Group

February 5, 2010

After the set back of hearing my insurance company denied my surgery again yesterday I decided I am going to proceed as normal. I've learned in my process of getting my health back rational thought is very important. When I use my rational brain when I am upset I make better decisions. I am going to remain calm, make good eating and exercise decisions. I am also not going to worry about this situation until I find out more about it.

My insurance company agreed this surgery was medically necessary once, it will be hard for them to go back on this decision. We'll see...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Insurance Company Shananigins!

February 4th, 2010

So, I am happily preparing for my surgery and I get a call today from my doctor's office. My insurance company has issued a denial for my surgery after all ready approving it. I learned today that this is a somewhat normal move. Many insurance companies will do ANYTHING to not pay for the surgery. This is ironic as doing so now will save them money in the long term. So, now I have to wait between 4-15 days to find out if I in fact will be having this surgery.

Unbelievable. They don't want to tangle with me though, as I will win...


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Center for Disease Control Website on Obesity

February 3, 2010

My original date for conversion surgery was today. I rescheduled to help give my employer the time needed to determine how to figure out how to cover my classes. One of my main goals is to provide resources to educate about obesity while I share my own experience becoming obese, struggling with it, moving through it and recovering from it.

I hope sharing my story will give hope to and inspire any one who is struggling with, has struggled with or loves or cares about someone who struggles with this disease. This website is a great resource. Let me know what you think and I'll see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's Groundhog Day-Looking forward to a smaller shadow

February 2, 2010
With the best of intentions I forgot to post last night. Probably because I went to bed at 8:30. I was exhausted. I'm covering a lot of bases, getting a lot of work done before I leave for 6 week Medical leave on March 1st.

A friend had gastric bypass yesterday at Fletcher Allen in Burlington VT. She said my struggles with weight loss inspired her to work on her own obesity. She's doing well and her surgery went off without a hitch.

Over the weekend, Scott and I donated all the unopened food we had in the house with more then 5 grams of fat. The house has no been cleansed. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe in never having a food again. The truth of the matter is that there will be some foods I can't tolerate. After I heal I could have a bite or two of a food with more sugar then that, but I risk what is called dumping which essentially makes you feel like you are having a heart attack and a low blood sugar attack at the same time. This occurs because the food goes directly through your digestive system quickly. Not everyone who has RNY gastric bypass suffers from this, but many do. Those who don't get it often wish they did as it is an incentive while learning to change eating habits to not eat high sugar and high fat foods.

So, I continue to lose weight which is good. I've made many changes and I am practicing new eating and shopping behaviors. It's all good!