A little confession + Half marathon training day

by Christine on November 30th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition, Exercise

Okay I have a tiny little confession to make.

This morning I found the scale (that hubby hid on me) and weighed myself. I was at 127.2, which was disappointing because I thought perhaps I was at my goal weight already (125). DANG!

But this is not the end of the world. I have two pounds to lose in two weeks. I KNOW I can do this.

So what has prevented me from being at my goal weight already? I think it can all be boiled down to one major thing: Sugar.  I’ve been on a chocolate kick lately, and I have been eating a little chocolate every night before going to bed. Don’t get  me wrong, I only eat a TINY little bit, so I’m not doing any major damage to my lifestyle. That being said, I think the extra calories aren’t doing me any favors. Plus, there is no reason why I have a “treat” every day. Every 2-3 days would be perfectly sufficient.

December 12th is my OFFICIAL weigh-in, when I am hoping to be at my final goal weight. That gives me about two weeks to really buckle down and pay attention. My plan is this:

(1) Count calories every day. I do this already–I’ve been doing it for so long I’m not sure that I could actually stop doing it at this point. But I know that I haven’t been entirely honest with my calorie-counting either, such as the little chocolate nibbles at night (approx. 50 calories worth) and a little sugar in my coffee (30 calories or thereabouts). Those little cheats throughout the day really add up. So for the next two weeks I’m going to count it all and be very strict with myself.

(2) Stop all the excess sugar already. No more chocolate at night. No more sugar in my coffee. No more nibbles here-and-there. I’m stopping it all for the next two weeks. Oh, I’m going to go through some major sugar withdrawl. Hell, I know I’m a sugar junkie; I’m not going to lie to you or to myself. But I’m going to do my best to stop it.  Instead, if I get a chocolate or sugar craving, I’m going to eat some protein: almonds and tuna fish, primarily.  I will also feel free to consume fatty foods (cheese, cream, butter, etc) but in moderation of course; I have a calorie limit to maintain, after all, and high-fat foods will make me reach my maximum calorie limit early. No, I mean to limit those high-fat foods, but I’m still going to eat them. They are, after all, very good for you in limited quantities.

That’s it. Two steps. I know that if I can stop with the sugar, then I will be able to meet my goal weight easily. Today I have already begun, and it’s been a good day!

This morning I went to the gym for my Last Chance Workout before THIS SUNDAY’S HALF MARATHON DAY!  I am very excited about this! I already have a list put together of items I don’t want to forget to bring with me (extra water bottle, extra pair of socks, pen and pencil, etc.).  Today’s gym day was heavy on weights, and I really wrecked myself on a few machines! It felt great, and I expect that I will be very sore tomorrow. I finished up with 2 miles on the treadmill, a very light cardio day considering I’m going to be going 13.1 miles on Sunday!  I am going to be supported by:

Thank you, all four, who are helping to motivate, inspire, and encourage me! I am going to tape a notecard with your names on my treadmill so when my brain wants to quit on me on Sunday, I will look at that card and remember you four who are going to be working out the same day as me! WE CAN DO THIS! If anyone else is interested in participating by jogging a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, or Full Marathon, let me know!!  The goal is to push yourself to the next level, so do whatever works best for you.

I have two people who are going to be at the gym with me to help support me in-person, too: my hubby and my friend Peter. They have offered to come by for an hour or so and jog along with me, so I won’t be alone for the duration of my half-marathon. That’s so nice of them!! I need all the support I can get.

Allan, from Almost Gastric Bypass, is also helping me out. I’ve been searching everywhere for the gatorade gel stuff that helps fuel you during your workout. I’m concerned that I might get dizzy during the half-marathon (because I eat so little), so I’ve been trying to find those gels to keep my body fueled up. I can’t find them anywhere, but Allan is a sweetheart and agreed to send me a few. THANK YOU!!!

I also hope that getting this half-marathon behind me will help push my body over the edge so that I am at my goal weight on the 12th! Now, remember that exercise will not magically burn those “bad calories” you are munching on, but every little bit of exercise helps you be fit and healthy!

Okay I’m going to wrap up this up with a few pictures our Christmas Tree Decorating this past weekend!

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Steelers Sunday

by Christine on November 28th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition

Today we wanted to watch the Steelers game, but of course it wasn’t televised in our area so we had to finda bar to watch it. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the game and we were there for four hours!! Yikes! I was pleasantly surprised to see a healthy option on the Buffalo Wild Wings menu….four baked chicken tenders (170 calories) with a side of any wild wings sauce on the side (30 calories maybe), and salad instead of french fries, with fat-free balsamic dressing (50 calories)! Delicious and low-calorie!

Oh yeah, and the Steelers won in overtime HOORAY!

As if four hours in a restaurant wasn’t enough time sitting, I then I met a friend for dinner at Chilis.  Chilis has numerous healthy options on their menu, but today I found another one! I got a side order of black beans (100 calories) and a side order of 3 shrimps (80). What a great deal!  I confess that I really wanted the Quesadilla Explosion Salad because it’s one of my favorite! This is a really high-calorie monster though. I asked the waitress if I could only order a half-portion and she told me no, that wasn’t possible. I didn’t want to pay $10 for a salad that I would only eat 1/4 of, so I opted for the beans and shrimp instead. (That dish cost me $4, by the way.)

What today’s lesson reinforced for me was that it is possible to spend time–lots of time!–at your favorite restaurants and still make healthy eating choices.

Tonight I have a lot of paperwork and bills to get through. Blah! Maybe I’ll throw some situps in the mix.

Today’s total calories:

Breakfast: 1 eggo waffle (70) and some maple syrup (70)
Lunch: 3 grilled chicken strips (130) and some sauce (30, I didn’t use much) and a side salad (50 at most), 1 beer (200)
Dinner: Shrimp (80) and black beans (100), 1 martini (150)
Snack: 1 cookie (50)
Total calories: 885 calories

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Fear of the future (lapband)

by Christine on November 27th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

I have a cousin, Shodi, that was one of the first people to have the lapband surgery, wayyyyy back when. She lives in Texas, and apparently her surgeon was the guy that “invented” the surgery.  She had the lapband and lost a bajillion pounds of weight, looks fantastic!  I didn’t know Shodi when she was overweight; the only time I really remember meeting her was a few years ago, and she looks healthy, normal, fit, and gorgeous!

But according to my mom, after she lost the weight, Shodi started having major issues with acid reflux. I don’t know all the details, but apparently Shodi’s surgeon decided to take all the saline out of the band. (He kept all the “hardware” inside her, just took all the fluid out.)  This was a while ago, and while the acid reflux issues were aleviated, Shodi started to gain weight again. According to my mom, Shodi has gained all the weight back and then some.

Apparently Shodi has returned to her surgeon to ask to start the fill process once again, but her surgeon said no. He told her that the only option left for her is to have gastric bypass surgery.

I don’t know the surgeon’s reasoning for this, whether the stomach acid is close to eroding the band through the stomach or what other medical complications may be. However, my cousin got the feeling that the surgeon was just trying to scam her for more money, more work. She doesn’t understand why she can’t just get a fill, especially since all the hardware is still in place. I don’t understand either.  (I recommended that she talk to another weight loss surgeon to ask those very questions. Get another opinion!)

All this leads me to be really apprehensive about my own band and my ability to keep the weight off. I know that in the next year I’m going to have to get my port taken out entirely because it sticks out in the most bizzarre way, and it will eventually push itself through my skin. (read more here)  That means I won’t even have the hardware in place in case I ever start gaining my weight back.I’ve always doubly-appreciated the band because of the peace of mind I feel that if I ever started to gain weight again, I would have the means to go to the doctor, get another fill, and keep my weight from ever being a problem again. But this is not necessarily the case, especially since I need to get my port removed.

Statistically, most gastric banding patients don’t lose very much weight. (Most patients lose approximately 30% of the weight they needed to lose. So, for me, I wanted to lose 100 pounds, but stasticically I should have only lost 30 pounds! The fact that I’ve lost all 100 pounds of the weight I needed to lose defies the odds.) Furthermore, most gastric banding patients gain all the weight back. I do not want to be a statistic. I know that I can fight these statistics by learning healthy eating behaviors and exercising regularly. In other words, don’t allow the band to be a crutch, but use the band as a means to live healthfully.  Although I feel like I’ve done that, I have this uneasy feeling that I might have the same problems as my cousin Shodi and gain weight down the road. I don’t want this to happen to me. I’m fearing the unknown future.

This is the only picture of Shodi that I could find of her “overweight.”

Here’s a picture of me with beautiful Shodi from a few years ago….2003 maybe? Can’t you tell we’re related?!? We have the same eyes!

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Post-Thanksgiving Update

by Christine on November 27th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition

Good evening Revolutionists! It’s the evening of Black Friday–have you all survived the holidays? Family? Shopping till you drop? What was your favorite moment of the last few days?

My last few days have been very productive and fun! On Wednesday I went to the gym and did 5 miles on the treadmill to prep for my half marathon on December 5th. I did great and felt terrific afterwards, although since that day I have been nursing some sore muscles. That after-workout soreness (DOMS) is a great feeling though, and I love it!  We finished Wednesday off by going to the mall (eating mall food…I had a half a roast beef sandwich on a wrap, no dressing) and seeing Harry Potter 7.1 with friends. We thoroughly enjoyed the movie and thought it might be the best Potter yet! My friend Danielle brought baggies of candy with her to the movie, and I admit it, I indulged in a few sweedish fish and one small York peppermint patty. It was delicious! I also had a ginormous Diet Coke, which was a real treat–I haven’t had a diet coke in ages!

Me, post 5-mile workout

Thursday was Thanksgiving. We woke up, lazed about the house for a while, then headed up to Saratoga Springs to my in-law’s house. My in-laws are wonderful people, and my brother in law (also in the “wonderful people” category) was there too! We rarely get to see him, but when we do it’s always nice to catch up. My hubby is lucky to have a family that he gets along with so well!  My in-laws were busy cooking up a storm in the kitchen for most of the day, and at 5 p.m. we finally sat down to turkey breast, stuffing, twice-baked potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, fresh fruit salad, canned corn, cranberry bread, crescent rolls, two pies (hand-baked by some wonderful friends of ours), and about a bajillion cookies, I lost count.  Of course, my portion sizes were small, and I filled up nicely on the turkey, corn, cranberry sauce, and half a baked potato.

Almost immediately I fell into a triptophan coma, and an hour nap was absolutely necessary. When I woke up we spent the evening playing a few board games and being silly. Oh, and they were silly! I swear the turkey made everyone slap-happy! I had a few bites of home-baked pie and a few cookies over the course of the whole evening. Considering I only ate one meal that day, it wasn’t too bad.

We spent the night up at the house, and this morning hubby and his dad put new brakes on hubby’s winter vehicle. My brother-in-law made breakfast for us, isn’t that sweet? We had waffles (I had 1/4 of one) and some scrambled eggs. We came home around 1 p.m. and I immediately left to run errands and take advantage of a few black friday deals. I found myself a nice new outfit for work (size 2 skirt and an extra-small top from Ann Taylor, hooray!) and got the hubby a present too.

All in all I think I did already eating-wise. I know I look forward to eating some of these leftovers over the next few days!

Yummy twice-baked potatoes and turkey! That’s my FIL giggling at me from the background!

Hubby and his brother working on a crossword puzzle.

Art, Julie, and Xavier delivering their homebaked pies. They were delicious!

Sal & Sal’sWife…if you’re reading this…say hello and let me know how you’re doing post-surgery! I always ask Hubby for updates on how you’re doing, but I’d love to hear it from you!

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Thanksgiving Eve

by Christine on November 24th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

I think I’m the only person out there that isn’t afraid of Thanksgiving approaching. Will I eat? Sure. Will I overdo it? Probably not. See, THIS is why I’m infinately thankful for my gastric band. I know that I simply cannot overeat. Furthermore, my gastric band just won’t allow me to indulge in the high-carb goodies like rolls, potatoes, stuffing, etc. (Actually, my mother in law is making her twice baked potatoes which are amazing, and I’m fully anticipating eating two forkfuls of them.)  Instead I plan on indulging in a LOT of turkey, my homemade cranberry sauce (my favorite), fresh fruit salad, corn, and perhaps a desert later on.  I know that I’m going to be just FINE with my eating, and I’m feeling very fortunate that I don’t have to stress out about my food this year.

I started a lovely Thanksgiving tradition a few years ago that I am looking forward to now!  After we are done eating, I bring out some markers and construction paper and we write down a list of all the things we are most thankful for this year. Then I roll up the list, tie it up in a pretty bow, and put it in our Christmas stockings. Because that list is our real gifts, not all the materialistic stuff. And sometimes I lose sight of the REAL STUFF on Christmas day, so it’s nice to have a little reminder. I look forward to doing our tradition again this year, for the 3rd or 4th year in a row now!

I slept in today and I really needed it. I had a busy day yesterday, including a visit to my new employer! I got to see the office as well as my future office. It’s windowless but it’s HUGE and I have my own office door for privacy. I met a few co-workers and said hello. I just have a really good feeling about this overall! We set my start date for January 3, so that gives me a whole month to finish up some writing, do some scrapbooking, get my geneology charts in order like I have been wanting to, etc. Then my new adventure will start!

Food yesterday:
Breakfast: Coffee (90)
Lunch: Paneras Black Bean Soup (170 calories) and a diet coke
Snack: Almonds (90)
Snack: Crackers (120)
Dinner: broiled steak, maybe 1 oz (53) and two bites of a baked potato with butter (50), coffee with Baileys (120)
Snack: A few more bites of leftover steak (30)
Total:  723

Today I’m off to the gym to get in a little practice before December 5th “Walk Run or Crawl Half Marathon” Day!  Wahoo! Then I need to shower up and run to the grocery store to make my cranberry sauce yumminess.

My Cranberry Sauce Family Recipe
2 cans of cranberry sauce, any brand will be fine
1 bag of frozen strawberries, thawed overnight and drained on your counter top. Store brand is just fine.
1 big (normal-sized) can of crushed pineapple (drained)
1 small bag of walnuts, crushed up (maybe 1-2 cups worth, to taste)

Mix all together and serve! It’s like dessert….SO YUMMY!!! My favorite!

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