Post Op Week 5 Progress Report and Eating While Traveling

We were on the road for the better part of the afternoon so I wasn’t able to take progress pictures today.  I’ll take them tomorrow and post them then.  I was, however, able to weigh since we took the scale with us.  I am glad to note that I had a 2.4 pound loss, bringing my total to 61 pounds gone since June 17 and 24 pounds gone since my surgery on July 8.  This loss puts me just out of The Range.  I’m not going to feel comfortable until I’m at least 10 pounds away from the bottom end of The Range, which is 9 pounds away.

I am pretty pleased with my progress so far.  Clothes are fitting better, moving around is getting much easier, and I stand up a little straighter these days.  I see definition in places I previously had none.  To wit:

This was what I wore to a wedding I had to go to this past weekend.  This dress is a size I haven't worn in over 25 years.

This was what I wore to a wedding I went to this past weekend. This dress is a size I haven’t worn in over 25 years.  Blows my mind!

I noticed after I looked at the picture that I am standing up a bit straighter, I can start to see my double chin diminishing and my neck is making an appearance for the first time in…EVER.  It’s really exciting to finally see the me that is being uncovered as the weeks pass.

As I wrote before, we were out of town for a wedding down in San Antonio.  This was our first trip away from home since I’d had surgery, and it proved to be a challenge.  Even though I’d planned snacks and drinks for myself for the ride down, what I did not and really could not plan for were meals out once we arrived at our destination.  I didn’t want to drink protein drinks all weekend long–I won’t lie, I’m SO OVER THAT.  I’ll drink an Isopure if I have to.  Hell, I’ll even have a Matrix Mint Cookie drink if necessary, but I prefer not to drink my protein.  I much prefer biting and chewing and eating to drinking my meals.

When you are traveling, finding food that fits your diet stage and your nutritional requirements can be tricky.  My challenge was compounded by the fact that my husband (who is having surgery of his own tomorrow morning) was on the last few days of pre-op dieting.  Our doctor’s pre-op plan is fairly rigid, with the final day of pre-op dieting being all liquids.  For him, dining out is slightly easier at this stage than it is for me.  So when it came time to have a meal out, I made sure I looked at the menus of places we considered eating and made sure that both of us would be able to find something that fit into both our restricted eating plans.

This was no easy task.  In a town known for its tacos, tamales, enchiladas and burritos, finding both low-carb and soft foods proved a bit difficult.

We finally settled on a place near our hotel, Las Palapas, which is a 24-hour Mexican food restaurant chain exclusively in San Antonio.  We’d eaten there before and knew it was tasty.  But did they have something both of us would be able to enjoy?  Oddly enough, yes.  My husband ended up ordering a tacos al carbon salad, which had plenty of protein and green veggies, and I was able to order a pork with green chile sauce taco.  I ate the taco filling, taking care to chew the pork very carefully until it was the consistency of paste–it had been stewed in the green chile sauce so it was soft but still needed to be chewed thoroughly as the pork was very lean and still a bit tough.  I determined that the filling of one taco (minus about a tablespoon) was a perfect meal portion and that perhaps I should have that again the next day.  So I did, and it worked out beautifully.

Last night was a bit of a challenge though, as we were at the wedding reception and were not left with a lot of choices.  This was true partially because I had not been diligent about drinking my water all day, and so whenever I’d drink, I’d automatically have to wait 30 minutes before I could eat anything.  Because I feared dehydration more than I feared not getting in protein, I drank pretty consistently last night so that I’d be plenty hydrated.  At the reception, fajitas and tacos were the order of the day, which meant my husband could eat, but after surveying what was available, I determined that I most likely could not.  Ground beef was available, but I haven’t tested the waters with ground beef yet and I didn’t want to do it in public where I risked potentially getting sick.  So we went in search of a place that served breakfast and both of us were able to find meal options that worked for both of us–Jim’s.

I was allowed to order from the kids’ menu, which worked out because they had a dish that was a scrambled egg with my choice of ham, bacon or sausage mixed in.  I ordered it with ham since it was the leanest of the choices and I knew it would have more protein than the others.  I also knew how much of the dish I could eat since I’d been fixing a scrambled egg with ham at home and knew I could only eat 3/4 of the egg before my tummy said “NO MAS.”  The dish came with a side of hash browns and toast as well.  I won’t lie–I ate a half forkful of the hashbrowns and ignored the toast altogether.  I hadn’t had any potatoes in nearly 2 months, and that half forkful was so good!  But it was enough.  The egg and ham had to take priority since they were protein-rich.  So I ate until my body gave its clue to stop, and pushed the plate away.

Traveling while immediately post-op is tough but not impossible.  It requires a great deal of planning ahead and thinking strategically.  Thankfully I’m good at both of those things!  It also requires a lot of commitment to your eating plan.  I could have eaten all the hashbrowns that were set in front of me–well, at least as much as my sleeve would hold, anyhow.  But I chose not to.  I chose to stick with my protein first, and then I ate a bit of the potato goodness after I’d eaten mostly protein.

This is my new normal–prioritizing what I eat, when I drink, when I eat, and how much I eat.  It is proving easier to learn as time goes by, but it’s something I am going to have to stay vigilant about if I expect to be successful with this sleeve.  There is no slacking off here.

It will be a while before we travel again, mostly because school is starting soon, and partly because my husband will be recovering from his own surgery.  But I think the next time we travel, tackling the challenge of dining out while on the road will be a bit easier as both he and I adjust to new norms for our lives.

And because I didn’t have time to post the Daily Bite yesterday, here’s a double dose:

Saturday’s food choices:

Saturday's food choices, clockwise from upper right:  Isopure Zero Carb in a Starbucks cup; Cracker Barrel cheese stick snack; pork in green chile sauce with refried beans and cheddar cheese taco (I ditched the tortilla); scrambled egg with ham plus hashbrowns (I ate half a forkful of the hashbrowns and pushed the rest away); 2 ounces Genghis Grill lettuce wrap filling.

Saturday’s food choices, clockwise from upper right: Isopure Zero Carb in a Starbucks cup; Cracker Barrel cheese stick snack; pork in green chile sauce with refried beans and cheddar cheese taco (I ditched the tortilla); scrambled egg with ham plus hashbrowns (I ate half a forkful of the hashbrowns and pushed the rest away); 2 ounces Genghis Grill lettuce wrap filling.

Today’s food choices:

Today's food choices, clockwise from upper right:  Sargento 2% milk cheddar cheese stick; 1.5 tablespoons Rudy's pinto beans with ~1.4 ounces smoked turkey x3; Trader Joe's turkey meatballs in marinara with mozzarella; Isopure Zero Carb in a Starbucks cup; calcium and multivitamin supplements x2.

Today’s food choices, clockwise from upper right: Sargento 2% milk cheddar cheese stick; 1.5 tablespoons Rudy’s pinto beans with ~1.4 ounces smoked turkey x3; Trader Joe’s turkey meatballs in marinara with mozzarella; Isopure Zero Carb in a Starbucks cup; calcium and multivitamin supplements x2.

I’m a little apprehensive about tomorrow.  I will be at the hospital for the better part of the day tomorrow waiting for my husband to be done with his surgery.  I am anxious about how things will go for him, and nervous.  He has the same surgeon working on him that worked on me so I have confidence all will go well but that still doesn’t diminish my anxiety.  I’m also worried that I’ll get thrown off schedule eating and drinking-wise.  I’m taking my trusty tumbler that I drink out of, but haven’t really thought about what I’ll eat.  I’ll probably take an Isopure with me and make sure I sip on it through the day, and scope out the offerings in the cafeteria.  Hopefully there will be a high-protein option available.  If not, I’ll head off campus to find something.

If you could send good thoughts my husband’s way tomorrow morning around 7, that’d be great.  He’ll be going into surgery at that time and I’d appreciate the gesture.  Soon he’ll be experiencing everything I’ve felt and done so far.  The great thing about this?  We’ll be doing it all together.

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2 responses to “Post Op Week 5 Progress Report and Eating While Traveling

  1. excellent website. BTW what is “the range”. i must have missed a reference somewhere along the line

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