A blip in “maintenance mode…”

by Christine on February 23rd, 2012

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition, Gastric Banding Surgery

Well, I’ve been driving this “maintenance mode” gravy train for a little over a year, and I’ve noticed that my weight has gone up and down a little bit (say, 5 pounds) but it has stayed well within range.

However, I can feel the weight creeping up right now. I’m at about 8 pounds higher than my Goal Weight. Although I have actually kicked up my exercise a little bit (which isn’t really saying a lot…I was doing NOTHING before…now I’m squeezing in 2 days a week worth of exercise) I have noticed that my portion sizes are getting bigger and bigger. I’m hungry all the time. I’m eating too much. And I’m not feeling the restriction that my band gives me when it’s just right.

I’m going to give myself 2 weeks to try to get this under control on my own. That is to say, I’m going to crack down on my portion sizes, cut out the sweets that keep creeping into my diet, and eat 6 small mini-meals a day. When I was actively and successfully losing weight, my diet consisted of something like this:

8 a.m. Yogurt & coffee (150 calories worth approx.)
10 a.m.: cheese & crackers (150 calories worth approx.)
Noon: canned soup (150 calories worth approx.)
2 p.m.: fresh fruit  (100 calories worth approx.)
4 p.m.: Almonds (100 cals worth), skim milk
6 p.m.: 3 oz of meat (chicken, fish, or steak) with some fresh veggies (150 calories worth approx.)
8 p.m.: 100 calories worth of chocolate for a treat.

That’s what worked for me in the past, so that’s what I’m going to try to stick to this time. 2 weeks…and if it’s not working for me, then I’ll schedule a little fill with my bariatric surgeon.

I know that the gastric band leaks very very very slowly over time, so it’s not unusual to find it more “roomy” as time goes on. Lots of gastric banders get fills once a year or so to keep it tweaked just right. I don’t mind that, but I also don’t want to rely 100% in the band and get lazy with my food. I realize that I need to put out some effort into this as well. Now is that time! Rawr!

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Mentally preparing for Thanksgiving

by Christine on November 23rd, 2011

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

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I want to take a few moments to mentally prepare for the day insofar as “what and how much food will I eat?”

It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that busting your calorie budget on Thanksgiving can be incredibly easy to do. Assuming a typical Thanksgiving feast…

6 oz white and dark meat turkey = 340 calories
1/2 cup of stuffing = 180 calories
1/2 cup mashed potatoes = 150 calories or more
1/2 cup gravy = 150 calories
1/2 cup candied sweet potatoes = 150 calories
2 dinner rolls = 220 calories
Butter for those rolls = 50 calories
1/2 cup green beans = 50 calories
1 glass wine = 120 calories
1 piece pumpkin pie = 200 calories

That’s a whopping 1600 calories for a meal that has “reasonable” portion sizes. Wowza! And that doesn’t even account for 2nd helpings, pre-dinner snacks, football snacks, etc. Talk about easy to break that calorie budget!  That’s two days worth of calories for me!

So in my mind, it’s even more important to pre-plan what I’m going to eat. It’s important to me that I get to eat all the stuff I really love even if it’s not really low-calorie, but I’m okay with passing on the stuff that I don’t absolutely love.

I LOVE: turkey. my cranberry sauce.  mashed potatoes and gravy, carrot cake.
Stuff I can go without: stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, pie.

So if I just cut down on my portion sizes, I can still have all the things that I love!

3 oz turkey: 170 calories
1/4 cup mashed potatoes: 75 calories
1/4 cup gravy:  75 calories
1/4 cup cranberry sauce: 60 calories??
Small slice of carrot cake: 150 calories
Water instead of wine

Total calories for the meal, which includes all the stuff that I LOVE, is 530 calories.  That’s higher than 1 average meal for me, but completely reasonable nonetheless. That’ll be my plan!

Do you guys plan ahead with your dinner to make sure you won’t go over your calorie budget? What do you do with the leftovers? How do you make sure that the leftovers don’t break your budget day-after-day for the next week?

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The daily grind

by Christine on October 13th, 2011

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

Not much happening here.  On Tuesday we went to trivia, and I brought my Nook with me to read. (Hubby and his friends talk about their geek topics, and I get bored.) Well, I forgot my Nook at the bar! Oh no! I went there the next day at lunchtime and spoke to the manager. He has security cameras all over the place apparently, and found where I left the bar and left the Nook on the table…then the waitress came by and put it in her schoolbooks in the back! He called the waitress and she was all, “Oh yeah, yeah, I accidentally brought it home with me, I’ll bring it back to the bar tomorrow…”  OMG!

Intake Wednesday:
8 a.m.: Yogurt (80) and half a small can of red bull (60)
Noon: Some chicken caesar salad, most of which I barfed up in a “sliming” episode (100), diet coke
4 p.m.: Apple cider (120)
7 p.m.: Tomato Soup with skim milk (175), water
8 p.m.: Some chocolate, approx. halloween-sized (70)
Total Calories: 605

Intake Tuesday:
8 a.m.: Yogurt (80) and some diet coke
Noon: Paneras: Black bean soup (110) and a classic cafe salad (80), diet coke
4 p.m.: Red jello with fresh berries in it (40), water
7 p.m.:  (at bar, for trivia) 1 bowl clam chowder soup (300) and 2 beers (300)
Total calories: 910

Intake Monday:
8 a.m.: Banana (110) and coffee (90)
Noon:  Salad (100) and water
7 p.m.: About 3 oz sirloin with marinade (190), baked potato (35) and some butter (50), skim milk (120)
Total Calories:  695

Oh my…I’m surprisingly low on calories this week!  I just haven’t felt all that hungry, I guess. Perhaps tonight I’ll indulge in a yummy salad or some fish… This week my scale has been good to me: in the 120’s all week (127 today), and that number is really indicative of the low calories I suppose!

I’ve been jonesing for some mexican food.  I think sometime soon I will make a mexican concoction: a mix of ground beef, mushrooms, and black beans, mixed in taco sauce, and put over a nice green salad, with perhaps a sprinkle of cheese on top. Yum!  If you add mushrooms to your mexican meat, you can cut out a lot of calories without compromising on the taste.

I had to throw a bunch of food away from my refrigerator yesterday. It reminded me of one of the downsides to the gastric band: you really become a food spoiler! I always have leftovers, and I never seem to get to it all. So the food goes bad before I can manage to eat it. Boo! What a waste!

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Just another boring weekend

by Christine on October 3rd, 2011

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

It was another boring weekend for me. This about three or four boring weekends in a row, and I’m going stir-crazy for a little excitement, let me tell you! I really wanted to go for a drive this weekend to try to find some fall leaf-changing colors, but it was cold and rainy all weekend, so we opted to stay home. Staying home is good for the wallet, but man it gets really boring! I’m not used to it.

We did go out and buy a new dishwasher. It’s nice stainless steel, hidden controls, lots of options. It was a good price, and the reviews ranked the dishwasher pretty highly. It gets delivered on Friday, and I’m pretty excited about getting it! No more hand-washing dishes, woohoo!

So now for a little dieting accountability again. Whereas last time I was under my calories, I suspect that I was over the calories this weekend. I have been counting calories for so many years that I count calories automatically, every time I come face-to-face with any food. However, since entering into “maintenance” mode, I’m trying to cut back on the tyrannical, obsessive calorie-counting, and just do periodic accountability checks. Time to find out how I did! 

Friday
8 a.m.: Coffee (120), 1 yogurt (80)
Noon:  Chili from Wendy’s (310) and a diet coke
4 p.m.: 1 beer (150)
6 p.m.:  salmon (200) and some basmati rice (60) and some grilled zucchini (30), 1 beer (150)
8 p.m.: 1 cosmo (150)
Total Calories: 1250 calories

Saturday
10 a.m.: 1 yogurt (80)
1 pm: tomato soup (150), skim milk (120)
3 p.m.: Coffee (150)
7 p.m.: grilled steak, about 3 oz (140) and 1 texas toast (150) and greens&beans (80), water
10 p.m.: Chocolate (120)
Total Calories: 990

Sunday
11 a.m.: Grilled cheese sandwich (330), skim milk (150)
1 p.m.: French onion soup w/mozerella cheese (200)
3 p.m.: Oatmeal (120)
7 p.m.: Spaghetti Christine-style (about 1/4 cup sauce with meat, no noodles, some extra veggies thrown in) (120), 1 texas toast (150) water
9 p.m.: Chocolate (120)
Total Calories: 1190

Huh, not as bad as I would have thought, to be honest. Obviously the alcohol calories put me over on Friday which is not ideal. But the rest of the weekend wasn’t as bad as I thought…I was guesstimating about 1500 calories those days.  There’s room for improvement, but not too bad overall. I felt like I was starving all weekend long!

My weight is holding steady at 130.0 pounds–right where it’s been all year.

My goal for this week is to make a conscious push to eat more veggies. We’re going to the grocery store tonight so I can stock up on som healthy stuff.  More yogurt! I’ve been craving yogurt lately.

Have a good Monday, everyone!

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What I’m eating (food journal accountability)

by Christine on September 26th, 2011

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

Accountability check time.

Sunday
7 a.m.: Coffee with cream & sugar, half a glass (50 calories)
9 a.m.: 1 glass skim milk on ice (120 calories)
Noon: Leftover lasagna, cut up really small, about 1/4 cup worth (80 calories)
5 p.m.: Egg drop soup (70 calories) and 1 shrimp egg roll (200 calories)
7 p.m.: 1/2 a beer (80 calories)
Total Calories: 600

Saturday
7 a.m.: Coffee with cream and sugar (120), 1 yogurt (80)
Noon: Light Clam Chowder soup (200)
3 p.m.: 1 Red Bull (160 calories)
7 p.m.: 1 beer (120) and hot roast beef with gravy (120) and mashed potatoes (80)
9 p.m.: 1 beer (120)
Total Calories:  1000

Friday
7 a.m.: Coffee (120) and yogurt (80)
Noon: Chicken Noodle Soup (120)
3 p.m.: Peanut butter & crackers (100)
7 p.m.:  leftover Carolina chicken salad (80) and skim milk (120)
Total Calories:  620

Thursday
7 a.m.: Coffee (120), 1/4 of a muffin (125)
10 a.m.: Fresh veggies (green pepper, cucumber) with ranch dressing (60)
Noon: Carolina Chicken Salad (150) and diet coke
3 p.m.: Handful of M&Ms (70)
5 p.m.: Leftover corn & mushroom mix I made (40)
7 p.m.: Leftover lasagna (80), water with Ocean Spray flavor in there (5)
9 p.m.: 1 small peppermint patty (70)
Total Calories:  720

Wow, much lower overall than I would have guessed. And lacking veggies in a really sorry way. Today I’ll stop by the grocery store to pick up some veggies and some fresh fish for dinner.

Not much going on this weekend. I went to a street concert and saw Company of Thieves, Mutemath, and Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds. COT was okay; Mutemath was fantastic; and Sister Sparrow was really disappointing, especially because I love their album so much!

Yesterday I spent 14 hours editing a technical report for some extra $$. I was fried when I was done with it. I wanted to get some yard work done, but I didn’t have time for that.

Today I’m starving and counting down the seconds until lunchtime.  I might eat my arm off. nom nom nom.

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