Post-Op Week 9 Progress Report, Meal Plans for the Week and Post #100!

Today is two months post-op.  Life has been quite the ride since the morning of July 8.

Two months ago, I went into the hospital with a sense of calm and peace about what I was about to ask a surgeon to do to my body.  I went into the hospital with a heart swollen with hope that I would finally be able to have good health and a shot at living a long life with my husband, family and friends.

Two months later, here is the result.

post-opweek9-090813This week’s loss was a good one, I think, because I increased my calorie intake to a minimum of 800 each day (upon the recommendation of my doctor’s PA) and I walked at or near 7,000 steps daily.  This week I’m hoping to increase that amount to 7500 daily.  I think it is possible, especially since my husband and I have mutually agreed to start taking a walk around our neighborhood after dinner each night (weather permitting).

The shorts I am wearing now are starting to be pretty loose (I can take them off without unbuttoning/unzipping them) so pretty soon I will have to either start wearing a belt, or find another pair.  That’s a little tough to do at this time of year though.  So the belt will have to do until the shorts absolutely cannot be worn anymore, which may happen sooner than later!

You can’t see it in the picture but I am also noticing that my hair is falling out by the handful. I knew this was going to happen as I’d been warned by several folks on the VSG forum I read that it is a consequence of the surgery.  I am hesitant to cut my hair, but I am getting to the point where a haircut is desperately needed because my hair has grown out so much and so fast (hooray protein!) and is becoming unmanageable.  I’m thinking of going short.  Not pixie short, but definitely short.  Maybe a bob.  I don’t know.  I need a good hairdresser in the Dallas area.  If local people are reading, recommendations are always welcome!

My varicose veins are also pretty visible, yuck. Guess that happens when the fat that covered them melts off!  They are also giving me fits, so I bought compression calf sleeves to deal with that and those have been helpful so far.  I do have issues with my left leg though, that I think either require the help of a vascular specialist or an orthopedic surgeon.  My left leg gets significantly more edematous than my right one, and the top of my left foot swells quite a lot.  I think this may stem from an old knee injury, which is why I think an orthopedic surgeon may be needed, but I’m not sure.  Guess I need to talk with my PCP to see what course of action to take.

I have now lost the same amount of weight as a result of surgery as I did before I had surgery. I won’t lie, this half was easier to lose because I wasn’t hungry the entire time as I was before I had surgery.  And that is the only regard in which this half has been easy, because losing weight this way is far from easy, lest you get the wrong impression.

There is so much work one must do for this tool to be effective.  Exercise is one of those things, and it is something I am building up to in intensity.  Right now I’m focusing on walking, and will add more cardio and strength training in the coming weeks.  I’m still juggling a new schedule at school and trying to figure out where trips to the gym will fit into my days.  Until I can fit them in, walking is my main source of exercise at the moment.

Planning for food and drink is also of crucial importance if one expects to be successful with their sleeve.  This is something I am still working on learning to do efficiently, but something I think I have a good handle on because I am a planner by nature.

Each weekend, I plan what I am going to cook for the week and on Sundays, I spend a few hours shopping, cooking, and portioning out my lunches and dinners.  Breakfast I generally cook right before I eat it since a scrambled egg is easy and quick enough to fix.  I also pack my snacks for the day while I’m fixing my breakfast so that my lunch bag is ready to roll when I walk out the door after I do my hair and brush my teeth.

All the planning ahead of meals has paid off for me, as I always have something in the refrigerator ready to eat that I can easily track in MyFitnessPal–all I have to do is heat it up in the microwave.  This has been a lifesaver, and is helping me break myself of an old habit:  going through the drive-through somewhere to get a snack or a meal.  Part of this process is all about forming new habits, right?

image

This is what meal planning looks like in my house…all the meals I plan to eat at home or to take for lunch each day are cooked, portioned out, and packed into little containers that I can just grab and heat up. This keeps me from stopping on the way home and picking something up or going out to eat.

So what have I planned to eat this week?  Here’s what is in those little glass containers you see above:

  • Baked barbecued boneless skinless chicken thighs (2.63 ounces each) and 1.25 ounces of green beans cooked with bacon
  • Smoked ham from Rudy’s with 2 tablespoons of pinto beans
  • Breakfasts:  scrambled eggs with ham chunks and a bit of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Snacks:  Boar’s Head Maple glazed turkey or chicken breast slices (2.5 ounces) and Sargento reduced fat cheddar cheese sticks

Nothing terribly exciting, but all things that will be a) delicious and b) full of protein.

Speaking of delicious and full of protein, here’s what I ate today:

wpid-IMG_20130908_204913.jpg

Today’s food choices, from upper left: a tiny slice of fig (sampled at the grocery store); a tiny piece of lemon rosemary tilapia (also sampled at the grocery store); baked barbecued boneless skinless chicken thigh and green beans cooked with bacon; Sargento reduced fat cheddar cheese stick; Trader Joe’s turkey jerky; multivitamin and calcium supplements x2; leftover jambalaya bowl from Genghis Grill. Not shown: Trader Joe’s dark chocolate nibs and a half-ounce slice of roast beef sampled at the grocery store.

This post marks post #100 to this blog.  Not sure if it deserves a commemoration or not but at least I know I’ve been actively writing.  Writing every day (or nearly every day) has really helped me process all the things that have happened to me, that are happening, and that are going to happen as I continue life with this sleeve of mine.

Onward to week 10!

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2 responses to “Post-Op Week 9 Progress Report, Meal Plans for the Week and Post #100!

  1. It seems like your smile is wider each time you post new pictures. I actually went to high school with a guy who was a hair dresser in that area but he just moved about a month ago. I just keep my hair trimmed to about a quarter inch, probably not an option you would consider. Great job!

    • That’s what everyone else says too–that my smile seems to be wider and bigger each week. I think it’s because my husband usually says something really silly each week to make me smile a genuine smile for my picture. 🙂

      Believe me, I have thought about cutting my hair down that much, but then I thought about how my employer might respond and rethought that idea in a hurry. 🙂

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