Post Op Week 6 Progress Report and Returning to Work


The scale didn’t budge much this week, but I know exactly why.  This week, I am retaining more water than the Titanic.  Thanks, Nature and your damned hormones!  I was told at my two-week follow up, “Your periods will probably be irregular for the next few months.”  Ummm, no…that hasn’t happened…yet.  This one, just like the last one, will be Right. On. TIME.

I am getting 96 ounces (or more) of water daily, I’m hitting at least 70 grams of protein and less than 40 grams of carbs daily, and I’m taking all my supplements.  So I know it’s not that.  My caloric intake is less than 800 calories daily and hovers slightly above 600 calories most days.  I simply cannot eat more than that right now.  There’s just not room.

Biology tells me that the scale will move again in the downward direction.  Per my BMR, I’m burning more calories than I’m eating.  The inches I’m losing also tell me more about my progress than the scale does.  So I’m not bummed about losing a few ounces.  If this process goes slowly, so be it.  I am feeling good, I am off my diabetes medicine, my blood pressure medication was cut in half, my joints don’t ache like they did before and I get around a lot faster.  Those things mean I must be doing something right.  As long as I continue to show a downward trend in my weight, that’s also progress to me.

I FEEL AWESOME.  And I am proud of myself.

This week is a big week in my life for several reasons.

This week, I will be six weeks post-op.  I can’t believe the time has flown by so quickly!

This week, school starts again for what will be my 17th year in the classroom.  I never imagined that when I got into the profession, I’d be at it this long.

This week, I go for my six week follow-up appointment.  I am excited about this because it means a couple of things:

  1. I’ll be cleared for full physical activity.
  2. I’ll be cleared to move on to dense proteins.

All of these things are exciting to me for so many reasons.  Summer makes me a little stir crazy to begin with because I have a tough time forcing myself into a routine unless I’m working.  Normally during the summer, I work through most of it.  I work because I can’t bear to be idle, and I like the structure that work provides me.  I like the routine, and I crave it.  Since being married, this has changed slightly, but not too much.  My husband (also a teacher) has this philosophy about summer vacation:

The word ‘vacation’ comes from two words:  vacate and shun.  During the summer, I vacate the school and shun anything to do with it.

Sometimes I wish I could do that, but I truly can’t.  As involved as I am with the teaching of other educators locally as well as nationwide (I do this virtually), I can’t vacate and shun anything to do with my work for too long a period of time.  This summer, I did, though because I knew that my health had to come first if I was going to get to continue doing any of that which I love–teaching, photographing, traveling, spending time with family and friends.  So I elected to work only a couple of weeks immediately after school was out and that was it.  I’m ready to head back to work, and ready to be immersed in a routine again.

I’m starting to get a little bored with soft solids.  When I get bored with my food, it’s not good and means that I will start to find other things to eat that I probably should not eat during this stage of my weight loss.  I’m ready to make things like chicken fajitas in the crockpot and carrot fries!  I am ready to eat a few raw fruits like strawberries and peaches.  I am actually craving Brussels sprouts.  I know I can’t have maybe more than one, but dammit, I want a Brussels sprout!  Roasted with a bit of olive oil and bacon, even!  That’s my favorite way to eat them.

I’m also anxious to start lifting weights again.  Yes, again.  At one time, I actually did go to the gym on the regular.  And I worked out HARD while I was there.  I want to ride the recumbent bike so I can start racking up miles toward an actual trip to Chicago that I plan to take once I ride enough miles to “get there.”

Most of all, I’m ready for a regular routine.

With school starting back up tomorrow, I have to learn to fit the routine I’ve made for myself into the school day.  I looked at my schedule the other day, and it is not awesome.  I teach on a modified block schedule, which means I see most of my students every other day.  I have one class that I see daily, which eliminates the prep period I had in the mornings last year.  I loved having that hour to get ready for the rest of the day, and this time I don’t have it which is maddening.  It means I have to prep everything either EARLY, EARLY that morning (lab days) or the day before, which is not always possible.  I’ll learn to work around it, though.  The good thing is that I have a prep period at the end of the day, and the plan right now is to take a 15 minute walk each day during that time to get some more movement into my day.  I’ll also be walking around my classroom daily, monitoring what my kids do so there is that movement to consider as well.

What will be tough is teaching from 8-2:30 with no break other than lunch.  This will be a little harder to work around especially since I am eating 5 small meals a day.  Thankfully I have a refrigerator in the storeroom off my classroom and can stow my lunch and snacks there, but it’s carving out the time during class to eat them that’s going to be tough.  Because I teach science, it is going to be hard to tell kids “no eating in the lab” when I have to do it twice a day.  I’m thinking the way around this is to drink an Isopure, because I let the kids drink as long as they aren’t doing a lab.  And I’m always drinking water in class as it is.  That may be the solution for now.

But I’ve got my breakfasts made for the week, snacks portioned out and lunches planned.  I’ve got to start dedicating time each Sunday to meal prep if I am going to be successful with this tool Dr. Nicholson gave me.  As much as I don’t like cooking ahead, it is something I’ve gotten used to and I suppose is now my new normal.  I am going to have to get used to eating the same thing for several days in a row, which I hate.  If there is anything I don’t like routine with, it’s what I eat.  I am not one who enjoys eating the same things day in and day out.  This is why the move to more types of solid foods and fresh veggies is appealing to me–I can change my routine up a bit!

This week, we don’t have students with us, so the plan is to take 30 minutes of my hour long lunch break to go for a walk inside my building–it is over 1 million square feet, and 4 laps around the upper part of the building is 1 mile.  I’d be surprised if I don’t come close to my 10,000 steps each day this week!  Besides, the walk will do me some good since I’ll be sitting on my butt most of the week in meetings…ugh!

Here is what I’ll be eating for breakfast this week:


Mini Ham, Egg and Cheddar Frittatas: no cooking oil required! Use parchment cupcake liners and oil will not be necessary as the eggs do not stick to the paper.

6 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 oz diced ham
3 oz cheddar cheese
pepper (I left out salt because of the ham)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Fill a muffin pan with parchment cupcake liners–this eliminates the need for cooking oil of any sort.  Beat the eggs, pepper and cream in a large bowl. Add the ham and cheese to the egg mixture. Using a scoop, fill each of the cupcake liners to about halfway. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Nutritional info per frittata (from My Fitness Pal):  89 calories, 6 g protein, 1 g carb, 6 g fat

And the Daily Bites for this weekend are…



Saturday’s food choices, from upper left: multivitamin x2; Isopure Zero Carb; Blue Bell sugar free popsicle; 2.5 ounces homemade corned beef hash; Boar’s Head Maple Glazed turkey breast; turkey picadillo taco filling with guacamole and a sprinkle of cheese; ham and cheese omelet.

And today’s food choices:


Sunday’s choices, from upper right: Tillamook cheese snack; one-egg omelet with cheese and a bit of corned beef hash (sort of a replica of the Original Pancake House’s Irish Cheese omelet”); turkey picadillo taco filling; Boar’s Head Maple Glazed turkey breast; mini bunless bacon cheeseburger; multivitamin x2.

Breakfast is made for tomorrow morning, lunch is packed and I’m about to go pick out my clothes for tomorrow.  Even though it’s not the real first day of school, it’s real enough.  This week will be a dry run for the rest of the school year.

Wish me luck!

8 responses to “Post Op Week 6 Progress Report and Returning to Work

  1. Good luck! You are doing great keep if going ! I am on day 4 of pre surgery liquid diet . I was physically sick for 2 days , horrible headaches and nausea . I believe I was getting all those carb toxins out of my body . Did you experience anything like that ?

  2. I didn’t get physically ill, but I did have kind of a carb withdrawal headache for about a day and a half. I just kept pounding back water and it subsided. The first few days (about 4-5) are the toughest because your body is detoxing from all the carbs, but it does get easier. How many days are you pre-op dieting?

  3. Where do you buy the Celebrate Chewys??

  4. They’re totally worth it…trust me!

  5. First week here too and my butt is killing me. Meetings are not healthy. Thanks for the post about the glass containers I have ordered and love. I feel you more than you know on the Sunday prep and repetitive food. My school just implemented a new rule of no food or drink in class but I’m allowed and I feel awful as I too only have a first or last plan with only a 24 min break in my teaching day so I have no choice but to eat and teach. I’m so thankful my kids support my shrinking and won’t be jerks about it. Good luck on the real first day and congrats on your first 2 months. I think my next blog post will be about how meetings hurt your butt and soul lol

    • Seriously…I think my ass is going to flatten out like a pancake after this week and all the damn sitting! Thankfully tomorrow there are more opportunities for movement, which I plan to take full advantage of! I’m packing my lunch tomorrow so I don’t have to go off campus, and walking the second half of my lunch hour. Our head principal (we have 10 of them at my school–we’re huge!) told us the other day that from one end of our building to the other was a third of a mile so I figure I can spend 30 minutes walking back and forth and racking up another mile walked.

      Did you tell your students about your surgery? I’m debating whether or not to tell mine. As a biology teacher, I feel somewhat obligated to mention it but I’m not sure about it just yet. I didn’t tell all my kids last year that I did it. Only a couple of them knew.

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