Weight Loss Tracker

Friday, September 25, 2009

Increase your chances for a good fill

I got this from my friend, ColoradoChick, who got it from a banding website.  I don't have the direct link to give proper credit because it was sent in e-mail.

The following suggestions are good rules of thumb and will greatly increase your chances of getting a good fill.

1. Make sure you are very well hydrated when you come in for your fill appointment. That means at least 6 to 8 full glasses of liquid every day for at least several days before the fill.

(Remember, water is your friend).

Drink especially well the morning of the fill. If you're flying in, it can be much harder to stay hydrated, so take an empty drink bottle and fill it after you pass airport security. TSA rules state you can bring an empty water bottle past the TSA security check point. Ask the flight attendants for a refill of your water bottle if needed. They say that every hour you’re in the air, you lose 8oz of fluid. So, If your flight is 3 hours long, your down 24oz of fluid. So drink up!

2. Do not have any solid foods for at least 6 hours before the fill. Don't eat a huge or late dinner the night before. If you're having any trouble (reflux, possible slip, etc) please have nothing but fluids after dinner the night before.

In some cases, food can still be in the pouch for 12 or more hours.

Any food in the pouch will make it impossible to give a good fill, or get a good fluoro.

3. Don't drink cold fluids for an hour before the fill. That will shrink your stomach and give a false fluoro reading, and a poor fill. Room temp fluids are fine.

4. Avoid getting a fill during a menstrual period or a few days before an expected one. During this time, girls are usually retaining water, and the fluoro will not be as accurate, and the fill will not be either.

5. If at all possible, hang around for at least a few hours after a fill. Don't run right back home or to the plane. It takes the normal swelling after a fill 1-2 hours to develop, and by that time you might be too tight and need to come right back.

6. If you fly in, If at all possible, stay overnight and catch a plane out the following late afternoon or evening. If you are too tight, this will allow time to get a small unfill before you leave. This is not very convenient, but sure beats having to possibly return to TJ in a few days, on short notice, in pain, and at high last-minute plane fares! This is "prevention!" Overfills are not common, but they do happen, even under the best of conditions. Be prepared, and think about this overnight stay. Test your fill the next day before you leave.

7. After a fill, please have liquids only for at least 24 hrs. This allows the stomach to rest and heal. Then, a day of soft foods, then back to regular foods. Full liquids are fine, no need for clears. Remember, if you staying over night test your fill before you fly out.

8. Review the eating and food guidelines again before every fill. You’ll need to refine your eating more and more with higher fill levels, and there will be less and less room for goofs. As you reach a higher fill level, you'll no longer be able to "get away" with things you might have before!

9. Please don't get a fill if you are having any trouble with the current level of fill. This means any regular pain, PB or barfing more than maybe once a week at the very most, not able to get enough calories in, not able to drink enough, able to eat only soft foods or fluids.

More fill will NOT help, and will make things worse. Discuss all this carefully with your doctor. You may even need an UNFILL, to keep your band and stomach safe.

10. First fills are routinely given at 6-10 weeks after surgery, but only as you need them. Many people do, some do not. Your doctor will help you decide if you need a fill, just ask. There is no rush for fills. Too much can very easily get you in trouble, and you end up further "behind" than if you had gone slower with fills.

11. Give a fill at least 2-3 weeks to test it. Some fills don't "settle in" for a week or two, and sometimes more. Your weight loss is what determines how a fill is - not any feeling of restriction, necessarily.

12. One of the most important things in determining if a fill is good is choosing proper band foods. Soft foods, liquids, junk foods, sweets, etc, will never be well-restricted, and will never tell a thing about having a good fill or not. Only solid foods give useful info.

A good test meal is 2-4 oz of solid meat or chicken - be sure it's soft and moist - and about 1/2 cup veggies. You should be able to eat about a cup of food (no less) and this should keep you satisfied for about 3-4 hrs.

13. Plan regular meals. A good fill will keep you satisfied for 3-4 hrs, but no longer. If you are hungry 5 hrs after lunch, it is not because you have an inadequate fill! Regular meals at planned times are important for a number of reasons; including avoiding snacking, maximizing your calorie burn and normalizing metabolism, which is essential for weight maintenance later on.

14. Learn to recognize your "soft stop" sign. Common ones are chest tightness or "fullness", a sudden runny nose, a single hiccup or burp, an eye twitch, back pain, left should pain. All mean the pouch is full enough and we should stop eating, even spitting out the bite that may be already in our mouths. If you do not, you could progress to the "hard stop" - sliming, pb, barfing.

Please remember that good fills are very elusive, even with highly- experienced docs and fill people. There are just too many individual factors involved that the doctors cannot control. Even the fluoro is only a clue, and not entirely accurate - for some of the reasons above.

It usually takes 3- 5 fills to slowly and safely creep up on a good level, and they can be safely given a month apart.

Trying to go faster with a bigger fill is not the solution, and the stomach rebels at big sudden fills. The goal of the first few fills is not to achieve a good restriction, but to gradually get your stomach used to some pressure so you can tolerate a good fill later.

SLOW and GRADUAL is the key!

Going slowly with fills can be frustrating, but is well worth the wait to avoid problems.

Summer and 1/4 of my semester -- gone

It's hard to believe that summertime just left us with a whimper a couple days ago.  Where did it go?  What about all my plans?  I hardly did any of them.  I finally got my pool pass and went there -- wait for it -- twice.  I got a tennis racket and balls to pretend I was playing tennis and did that three times.  WTH?  And now it's gone.  School has started, and I sometimes feel like I hardly have time to think.

As for school, I just ended 1/4 of my semester.  One month is done already.  It almost seems to have gone quicker than when I was working full-time and going two nights a week.  I guess that's why... very long days that never seemed to end.  Weekends that were the only time I had to work on homework.  Now all I'm doing is going to school, and at first it scared me; but now I feel I'll be okay.  I just keep my calendar close by and check it often.

I don't know what the deal was back when I jumped eight pounds.  It seemed to have been more than water weight since I am still 1/2 pound away from my low of 223.5.  I've been sick the last couple days (actually I've been fighting hard to not get MORE sick) and have lost two pounds -- weighed 224 this morning.

I think part of what isn't helping is my hormones.  I got off the pill two years ago this coming January because I could tell it was throwing me into a pre-menopause that was very ugly.  Well, let's say I'm probably pre-menopausal anyway, but the low hormones I already had were off-the-charts low while I was on the pill.  One of the biggest reasons I was on them was because when I wasn't, I would have a period every two weeks.  Um, no.  Once a month was bad enough, but twice?  Sorry, the world's just not ready for that.

So I got off them, and surprisingly my periods were often once every SIX weeks.  Hey, that works.  Now all of a sudden, from August 25th to September 20th, I've had three.  o_O

Two were just over two weeks apart, then just over three weeks later the third one.  I know I reetain water during that time, and to have them back-to-back like that probably is not helping.

Anyway, tmi, I know.  But I just kept racking my brain trying to figure out wth was going on.

I'm working really hard to get myself on a decent schedule where I get up early and go walking before I start my day.  So far I've been getting up around 9:15 to 9:30, but I'd like to make it more like 8:00.  Of course I need to stop with the FB too!

The GOOD news is no more LBT for me.  I've apparently been a very bad girl and got spanked.  Okay, the fact is I wasn't all that bad, I was just calling for some justice that was never going to happen.  There are some funky things going on there, so all I can tell any of you who use LBT, PLEASE check and REcheck your facts, your doctors, your procedures.  And then when you've done that, check them again.  Trust me on this one.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I'm taking a class in school called Strengths-Based Leadership.  I thought it fit in very well with my management classes, and it's a specialized class that is only taught on a rotation basis, if that makes sense.  Actually, this is the first time it's been taught here, so we're all kinda learning.

Anyway, the book is called StrengthsQuest, and one of the first things you do is take an online quiz (sorry, it's attached to a code number that is specific to each book, so I can't share the site with anybody), and you answer 110 two-question scenairos, choosing the one that best fits you.  This is to help determine your top five "talents" (there are 34 talents in all; and the theory is that we're not necessarily weak in certain areas, we're just very strong in our select ones).

Anyway, I took mine, and I wasn't terribly surprised at the results, though I might have expected a couple others to be at the top.  As our instructor said, some may be thisclose to one another, so just because it didn't end up in your top five doesn't mean you're still not strong in that or those areas.

For anybody who has taken the Myers-Briggs, this one is by far more unique.  Myers-Briggs puts you into one of 16 different personality traits, where the StrengthsQuest results are one in 33 million.  That means only one in 33 million has the same five traits in the same order as you do.

The reason I say this is that I want to find out how I can use these talents to help me keep on track.  I know the Competition talent should work in my favor if only I'll let it.  I'll share what they are here:


You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information—words, facts, books, and quotations—or you might collect tangible objects such as butterflies, baseball cards, porcelain dolls, or sepia photographs. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity. If you read a great deal, it is not necessarily to refine your theories but, rather, to add more information to your archives. If you like to travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts. These can be acquired and then stored away. Why are they worth storing? At the time of storing it is often hard to say exactly when or why you might need them, but who knows when they might become useful? With all those possible uses in mind, you really don’t feel comfortable throwing anything away. So you keep acquiring and com! piling and filing stuff away. It’s interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable.

Now consider this statement based on comments from individuals who possess Input among their Signature Themes. It represents what Input could “sound like.”

“When I go on the Internet to do research for a paper, I can easily find relevant and appropriate information that help me get the paper written. In fact, I often find extra information that will help my friends get their papers written, too.”

For further understanding of your talents, examine these insights and select those that describe you best.
  • You always want to know more. You crave information.

  • You like to collect certain things, such as ideas, books, memorabilia, quotations, and facts.

  • You have an active curiosity. You find many things very interesting. A few minutes of “surfing the Net” may turn into hours once your curiosity takes off, and you might have difficulties filing and housing all of the new information you acquire.
The genius of Input talents is in your active and resourceful curiosity, which leads you to become a storehouse of knowledge.


You live in the moment. You don’t see the future as a fixed destination. Instead, you see it as a place that you create out of the choices that you make right now. And so you discover your future one choice at a time. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have plans. You probably do. But this theme of Adaptability does enable you to respond willingly to the demands of the moment even if they pull you away from your plans. Unlike some, you don’t resent sudden requests or unforeseen detours. You expect them. They are inevitable. Indeed, on some level you actually look forward to them. You are, at heart, a very flexible person who can stay productive when the demands of work are pulling you in many different directions at once.

Now consider this statement based on comments from individuals who possess Adaptability among their Signature Themes. It represents what Input could “sound like.”

“My friends know that I am willing and able to drop everything in order to help them. I can change my schedule at a moment’s notice, so when people need something from me, it doesn’t stress me out.”

For further understanding of your talents, examine these insights and select those that describe you best.
  • In many ways, you modify yourself to meet the demands of your environment.

  • You easily adjust to many things all day long because you naturally live in the moment (I didn’t check this one off as it doesn’t always explain me).

  • You create the future out of the choices you make right now, one choice at a time.

  • Your “go with the flow” attitude may seem like irresponsibility to those who prefer structure and predictability (I need to send THIS to my mom, structure person!). They may get irritated with what they perceive to be sloppiness or carelessness.

  • Adaptability talents are valuable because they allow you to keep moving forward when the unexpected happens. You can press ahead in a world of unknowns and seemingly unfair treatment when others would give up. You can deal with everything from injustices to crises and still find a way to make progress.
The genius of Adaptability talents lies in the way you respond to chaos: You can quickly change and respond in circumstances that would be frightening or intimidating to others.


You like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write. This is your Communication theme at work. Ideas are a dry beginning. Events are static. You feel a need to bring them to life, to energize them, to make them exciting and vivid. And so you turn events into stories and practice telling them. You take the dry idea and enliven it with images and examples and metaphors. You believe that most people have a very short attention span. They are bombarded by information, but very little of it survives. You want your information—whether an idea, an event, a product’s features and benefits, a discovery, or a lesson—to survive. You want to divert their attention toward you and then capture it, lock it in. This is what drives your hunt for the perfect phrase. This is what draws you toward dramatic words and powerful word combinations. This is why people like to listen to you. Your word pictures pique their interest, sharpen their world, and inspire the! m to act.

Now consider this statement based on comments from individuals who possess Communication among their Signature Themes. It represents what Input could “sound like.”

“When I was a kid, I used to get in trouble for talking in class. But I could tell such great stories – and when my classmates would laugh, it encouraged me to keep talking. My teachers said I was ‘a joy to work with,’ but that I was disrupting the class.”

For further understanding of your talents, examine these insights and select those that describe you best.
  • You like to talk, and you probably are good at it.

  • You can explain things and make them clear.

  • You may have an ability to tell particularly captivating stories by constructing mental images in the minds of others.

  • You may be criticized because you like to talk a lot.

  • Communication talents are valuable because your abilities in this area enable you to reach out and connect with people. Your storytelling ability builds images in the minds of others and makes you a powerful person as you connect and bond with people.
The genius of Communication talents lies in your ability to find words for not only your own thoughts and feelings, but also those of others.


“When can we start?” This is a recurring question in your life. You are impatient for action. You may concede that analysis has its uses or that debate and discussion can occasionally yield some valuable insights, but deep down you know that only action is real. Only action can make things happen. Only action leads to performance. Once a decision is made, you cannot not act. Others may worry that “there are still some things we don’t know,” but this doesn’t seem to slow you. If the decision has been made to go across town, you know that the fastest way to get there is to go stoplight to stoplight. You are not going to sit around waiting until all the lights have turned green. Besides, in your view, action and thinking are not opposites. In fact, guided by your Activator theme, you believe that action is the best device for learning. You make a decision, you take action, you look at the result, and you learn. This learning informs your next action and your nex! t. How can you grow if you have nothing to react to? Well, you believe you can’t. You must put yourself out there. You must take the next step. It is the only way to keep your thinking fresh and informed. The bottom line is this: You know you will be judged not by what you say, not by what you think, but by what you get done. This does not frighten you. It pleases you.

Now consider this statement based on comments from individuals who possess Activator among their Signature Themes. It represents what Input could “sound like.”

“On our group project for Sociology class, things just weren’t getting done – nothing was moving. I decided to get everyone together to get the ball rolling again.”

For further understanding of your talents, examine these insights and select those that describe you best.
  • You naturally see how ideas can be turned into action.

  • You want to do things now, rather than simply talk about them.

  • You can be very powerful in making things happen and getting people to take action.

  • Other people may criticize you for being impatient and seeming to “run over” them. You might occasionally struggle with people you feel are trying to control you.


Competition is rooted in comparison. When you look at the world, you are instinctively aware of other people’s performance. Their performance is the ultimate yardstick. No matter how hard you tried, no matter how worthy your intentions, if you reached your goal but did not outperform your peers, the achievement feels hollow. Like all competitors, you need other people. You need to compare. If you can compare, you can compete, and if you can compete, you can win. And when you win, there is no feeling quite like it. You like measurement because it facilitates comparisons. You like other competitors because they invigorate you. You like contests because they must produce a winner. You particularly like contests where you know you have the inside track to be the winner. Although you are gracious to your fellow competitors and even stoic in defeat, you don’t compete for the fun of competing. You compete to win. Over time you will come to avoid contests where winning seems! unlikely.

Now consider this statement based on comments from individuals who possess Competition among their Signature Themes. It represents what Input could “sound like.”

“I like to know where I stand in a class. I like it when the professor posts the grades and I can see that I’m at the top. Competing against my classmates motivates me – and when I can’t do that, I even compete against myself and try to do better than I did last time.”

For further understanding of your talents, examine these insights and select those that describe you best.
  • You want to win, which usually means outperforming others.

  • You will work hard to excel – especially in comparison to others.

  • You constantly compare yourself and your performance to other people and their performances.

  • You may not be willing to try something if you think you can’t “win” at it. Other people may consider your competitiveness inappropriate and therefore push you away, reject you, or accuse you of being arrogant.
The genius of Competition talents lies in your ability to stimulate yourself and others to higher levels of performance.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lose Weight Despite Spouse Sabotage

This is SO my situation and may be yours as well...

You're doing everything you can to lose weight, but your spouse either doesn't need to diet or isn't interested. Find out how you can still stick to your plan.

By Madeline Vann, MPH
Medically reviewed by Niya Jones, MD, MPH

You've been trying to lose weight and stick to a diet plan that helps you feel good and achieve your goals, only to watch your significant other bust out a bowl of chips and a chocolate bar as an evening snack. Whether your spouse is naturally slender or ignoring his own weight problem, you can take steps to keep your diet from derailing.

Lose Weight: Dieting With a Non-Dieting Spouse

Many a dieter has wished her spouse would change his ways so she could achieve her diet goals. While it may be tempting to simply throw up your hands, creative strategies that curb frustration can help, says one resourceful dieter.

"I'm not going to blame my husband for this, but I am around him all the time and he can eat anything and everything that he wants," notes Frances Simon, a writer based in New Orleans who says she is committed to make this the year she returns to her goal weight. "He has a completely different metabolism and he exercises all the time, whereas I find it hard just to find the time."

For years, her husband's habit of snacking during the evening TV shows they enjoyed together undermined her diet plans. Even though Simon reports that she has found a Mediterranean-style weight loss plan that keeps her feeling full, she still sometimes has to fight the temptation to snack along with him.

"Best thing I've learned [to combat] the evening snacking — which I am not going to change about him — is knitting. If I keep my hands busy, I won't start eating," says Simon.

Lose Weight: Communicating Your Goals

While you may be frustrated that your spouse doesn't "get" your diet, your spouse may actually feel threatened by your resolve, says Emily Banes, RD, clinical dietitian at the Houston Northwest Medical Center. "Sometimes if they just realize how important it is, if they realize you're trying to do it to change your health and you're not going to leave them, it helps."

Although it may not seem like your attempt to lose weight should bother your husband or other family members, Banes says loved ones may worry that certain activities you used to do together, such as going out to eat, may now be off-limits.

Banes recommends reassuring your family that you will still do things and go to places you have enjoyed in the past, although perhaps less frequently. To do this successfully, she suggests you come up with your own game plan ahead of time so you know what you will or won't eat when you're out together.

For example, Simon has made a personal commitment to cut back on calorie-laden cocktails and wine when dining out. She also often brings a serving of nuts in her purse in case she needs to stave off the urge to order unhealthy items on the menu or take the edge off hunger while waiting for everyone to order.

No matter what situation you find yourself in, communicating your goals to your spouse is pivotal to your weight loss. Here are some ideas:
  • Convey a positive message. Simon tells her spouse, "I love you, you love me, and this is a form of self-love. I'm taking care of myself, and I know you want me to do that.
  • Explain your process. If your family teases you about your diet strategies, like weighing portions, explain that you are more successful when you take these measures.

  • Talk about what you can eat instead of what you can't. Avoid boring non-dieters with all the details of your plan.

  • Cook separate meals if necessary, but encourage your spouse to try some of the new dishes you are eating, especially if he has a weight problem too. He just might like them!
Good communication and mutual understanding will make it that much easier to stick to your weight-loss plan.


Daniel from The Biggest Loser Fall '09

I'm hoping this isn't a spoiler alert for anybody, so if it is, I'll let you know ahead of time how well Daniel has done. Obviously we have no information on who's won since that is all done live, but I have a recent pic of Daniel that shows how far he's come that is included in this post.

As you know if you've been watching TBL, Daniel was on last season's show and was, unfortunately, voted out somewhat early. I frankly didn't like his partner David and took him to be a total slacker who wasn't serious about being there.  I also believe he had lost the least amount of weight at the end of the show.

Daniel, at 19 years of age, started out at 454 pounds.  This is where he started:

When the show ended, he was down 142 pounds to 312.  This is what he looked like:

AWESOME results, but unfortunately because the show is only about four months long (?) it's certainly not enough to get to a healthier weight for somebody starting out as big as he did.  I want to say, however, it absolutely does NOT detract from the AMAZING results he had!!  It's just that I guess I have a problem with him being on the newest season called "Second Chances."  For the bulk of the people there, their second chances are more life lessons than weight loss (I was thinking they were all people who had once been on TBL and been voted off early... probably because Daniel was coming back).  The reason I have a problem with him coming onto a show called "Second Chances" is it makes it sound as if he somehow failed and is being given another chance to redeem himself.  Maybe it's just me... and I'll have to get over it.

The friend on LBT who goes to the same gym he does posted a picture of him from this past Sunday.  Obviously the show is taped months in advance, so it does not look like he does on the show right now.  No weight loss numbers have been mentioned, which is to be expected, but this is what he looked like as of September 14:

I can hardly wait to hear the final numbers and see how well he did at the finale!  WAY TO GO, DANIEL!!!  This is one young man who was serious about doing this.  I can only wonder about his relationship with David.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I think I'm in love

Okay, that's a bit... strange. It's with my therapist. I really enjoy her even though I've only been to her a few times.  I went again last night, and she's really helping me wiht insight about myself.

First and foremost, she gave me some homework to do in a previous session.  It consisted of a lot of questions I needed to answer which are all food related (though some don't pertain to me as they are more binge-purge topics), some of them being open ended:  "I love food because...," "Food is the enemy because...," "After I eat I feel..."  There were also exercises where I was to draw (or post a photo, much easier) of what I think I look like and what I want to look like.  Anyway, I know it's to give her some idea of where I'm coming from.

So I'm there with her yesterday and we're going over some of the things I put down, and I told her how I had a mini binge this past Sunday.  I say "mini" because it is in NO way like what I used to do, but still... I was opening the fridge and pantry looking for something to snack on for no reason other than I had that "fluttery" feeling I get when I'm stressed.
And I'm stressed.

Hubby's job contract ends on the 25th of this month.  He hasn't been the epitome of a job-hunter, and I've been back-and-forth between riding his ass and just sitting here stewing over things:  His lack of drive, his refusal to keep up with his profession by getting periodic training, and the knowledge of what he tends to do when faced with job loss because I went through this with him once before.  I actually told him last week that if he does this to us again, I won't stay with him.

So yeah, stress.

She told me things that are as basic to us as breathing, but sometimes you just gotta hear it.  She asked me what I was feeling when I went for the chips.  I said stress (obviously).  She then asked me what I wanted to do at the moment I went for the chips, and I said scream in a pillow because I'm getting so mad and scared.

"Then do it."

"But he's there!"

"Okay, so?  DO IT.  Go upstairs, shut the door, turn on the radio, and scream in a pillow.  Beat it if you have to, but quit shoving your emotions down with food!"

"The control freak in me just can't handle not knowing what's going to happen."

"Okay, but what can you DO about it?"

"Nothing, that's the problem!  And I can't deal."


*sigh*  "I knew you were going to say things like this to me, and damn it, it doesn't help."

"Okay, but the reality is, there's really nothing you can DO about it.  The ONLY thing you can do is love YOU and take care of YOU.  The next time you feel this, I want you to think:  'What am I feeling?  What do I REALLY want?'  Slow yourself down and don't just be reactionary.  Go for a walk.  Sit out in the sun.  Take a bath.  Do something that feeds you without FEEDING yourself.  What I want is for you to break the habit of immediately turning to your 'drug' or 'cigarette' when you're stressed and talk yourself through it.  If you end up eating the chips anyway, then you do... but at least you did it consciously."

Omg, I love her.

I know all of this.  Who doesn't??  But still... she pushes me.  I hate hearing that I have no control over certain things in my life, but the one thing I DO have control over right now is what I put in my mouth.  THAT is the reality.

I NEED to exercise.  When I get down, I don't do it.  I know that if I did, it would release endorphines that would likely make me feel more like I can handle all of this.  And it would quell the voice in my head that is calling me a loser and an idiot for NOT doing that for myself.

All I hope is that he finds a job SOON so we don't lose our insurance.  When we do, I lose her.

Eating Right for Exercise

This seemed to meld very well with my post yesterday about eating enough calories, so I thought I'd share.

Using a simple, well-balanced diet formula, you can figure out what to eat and when so you have the energy you need to exercise.
By Barbara Robb, MA
Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

You need energy to exercise and energy comes from food. Make sure you've eaten adequately before any fitness activity and eat to refuel afterwards, says Sue Travis, RD, PhD, of the division of nutritional sciences at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Fitness Food: The Right Diet for Exercise

The amount of food a person needs will varies with age, sex, weight, and activity level. The rate at which you burn calories depends not only on the type of exercise you do, but also on how vigorously you do it.

Travis emphasizes that it’s important to divide your calories between carbohydrates, protein, and fat:

* Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates — sugars and starches — are broken down by the body into glucose, which muscles use for energy. Excess carbs are stored in the liver and tissues as glycogen and released as needed. It’s glycogen that provides the energy for high-intensity exercise and prolonged endurance. Some good sources of carbohydrates are whole grain breads and cereals, fruit, vegetables, pasta, and rice.

* Protein. Protein should be part of each of your major meals because it will help slow absorption of carbohydrates. Fish, eggs, chicken, meat, and beans are excellent sources of protein, and 3 ounces per meal is enough.

* Fat. You need some fat in your diet, too, says Travis. Low-fat dairy products, like 1 percent milk, and lean cuts of meat will give you the fat your body needs.

Try to have a combination of items from all three of these food groups at each of your major meals, says Travis. For a healthy breakfast, have a high-fiber cereal (either oatmeal or another whole-grain cereal), a low-fat dairy product, and fruit or a glass of juice. The easiest lunch might be a sandwich made with lean meat, poultry, or fish on whole-grain bread, with raw veggies and fruit served on the side. Protein and energy bars can be useful, but don't use them as a meal replacement, warns Travis. Look for bars with at least 10 grams of protein and some carbohydrates, rather than products with a high protein content and hardly any carbohydrates.

Fitness Food: Timing Meals and Snacks

If you exercise in the morning and don’t have something to eat first, you can use up all of your stored energy. If you'd rather not have breakfast before you exercise, try eating a small piece of fruit.

If you’re planning a strenuous workout, eat a meal high in carbohydrates at least three to four hours beforehand. Choose foods that are easily digested. Travis suggests that you experiment with different foods to see what gives you the most energy.

Fitness Food: Factor in Fluids

It’s particularly important to drink fluids before, during, and after exercising. If you exercise strenuously, try to drink fluids even if you’re not thirsty.

Water is a good choice for most activities. If you exercise continuously for 90 minutes or more, you might benefit from a sports drink that contains electrolytes and carbohydrates. But sports drinks are designed for people who are doing endurance activities for prolonged periods. They probably aren’t necessary for the average person.

Caffeine is dehydrating. Travis suggests that you drink an equal volume of water if you drink coffee or another caffeinated beverage.

The bottom line on fueling for exercise? If you drink plenty of fluids and eat regular meals that include carbohydrates, protein, and fat, you should have all the energy you need for yourworkout plan.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Can Eating Too Few Calories Stall Your Metabolism?

Learn why cutting out too many calories can keep you from losing weight.

By Krisha McCoy, MS
Medically reviewed by Christine Wilmsen Craig, MD

If you're like most people who want to lose weight, you want to lose it fast. So you may be tempted to make drastic changes in your diet to dramatically reduce the number of calories you consume. But what you may not know is that eating too few calories can actually backfire and sabotage your weight-loss efforts.

"It would make sense to stop eating [when you are trying to lose weight], but it actually works in the opposite way," says Kimberly Lummus, MS, RD, Texas Dietetic Association media representative and public relations coordinator at the Austin Dietetic Association in Austin, Texas.

Calories and Your Health

The most effective way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than you expend, creating a calorie deficit. But if your calorie intake dips too low, says Lummus, your body could go into starvation mode. "Your body will start to store fat because it thinks it is not going to get anything," says Lummus. "You will be at a point where your body is kind of at a standstill."

Lummus says that when your body goes into starvation mode, your metabolism slows to a crawl, burning calories as slowly as possible to conserve its energy stores. This is why people who cut their calories too much may reach a plateau and stop losing weight.

Eating too few calories can be the start of a vicious cycle that causes diet distress. When you cut your calories so low that your metabolism slows and you stop losing weight, you probably will become frustrated that your efforts are not paying off. This can lead you to overeat and ultimately gain weight.

"It is so hard to sustain cutting calories and eating too little. What typically happens is that the person will go in the opposite direction; they will just become too hungry and go into a binging mode," says Lummus. "Because you are getting frustrated by not seeing any weight loss, you just sort of throw in the towel."

In addition to sabotaging your weight-loss efforts, eating too few calories can also harm your health. When your body goes into starvation mode, you are at increased risk for the following:
  • Abnormally low blood pressure and slow heart rate
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities
  • Electrolyte imbalances, especially potassium deficiency
  • Gallstones
  • Hair loss
  • Brittle fingernails
  • Loss of menstrual periods in women
  • Soft hair growth over entire body
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Anemia
  • Swelling in your joints
  • Brittle bones
  • Depression
Coming to Terms With Calories

Remember that calories are not your enemy. They are a vital part of a healthy and energetic life. "Your body needs a certain amount of calories just to sustain proper function," says Lummus. This is why fad diets that force you to cut out too many calories leave you feeling lethargic, shaky, and ready to give up.

Instead of opting for a fad diet, find a reasonable eating and exercise plan that allows you to lose one-half to two pounds per week. There is evidence that people who lose weight at this rate — by making better nutrition choices, eating smaller portion sizes, and exercising — also have the best chance of keeping it off. Make a plan to adopt new healthful habits that you will be able to stick to indefinitely, and always allow yourself a little wiggle room for special occasions.


Busy, blah, and bumfuzzled

I realize it's been over a week since I last posted. Part of this reason has been due to school work (TONS of reading for five classes). Another part is that I have not been very excited due to that gain after my 5-day pouch test that I STILL can't figure out. To be honest, I haven't been on the scale now for a number of days. I just can't take the aggravation of seeing numbers that I don't deserve.

I've also been dealing with a recuperating husband around the house, and I'm ready for THAT to be over, I've gotta tell ya... What is it about men that they just revert to babies over every little ouchie and boo-boo? He went to work yesterday after three weeks off, only to call me about 11:15 to say that he was coming back home -- and staying home this entire week.

I'm not only annoyed with him, but I'm stressing BADLY because his work contract ends on the 25th. And here he sits. Not looking for work. Nothing. I'ma gonna bust a cap in his ass real damn soon if he doesn't pull himself together. We went through this once before where he was laid off and didn't have work for TWO YEARS. Part of that was the economy -- we were in Houston at the time, and it occurred at the same time the whole Enron/Arthur Anderson thing went down. Houston's market was already iffy, and then they unleashed thousands more into the unemployed rosters.

Anyway, because I know of his prior history, I'm nothing but a bundle of nerves and knotted stomach over this. I'm seeing the same shit happening, and frankly, I just don't have the tolerance for it. HOWEVER, I don't have a damn thing I can DO about it, either. I'm a full-time student, for cryin' out loud, and even [u]IF[/u] everything goes the way I plan, I won't be done until January of 2011.

I have a therapy session tonight with my eating disorder doc, and I'm sure this will get heated. She wants me to try very hard to NOT take charge of everything and let him step up (though it'll be interesting to see what she says tonight since we will have NO INSURANCE and NO WORK in less than 10 days now), but c'mon, when the ship is going down and the captain is standing there frozen in fear, what do you do?? Step back and go down with him??

Yesterday I was a bit of a grazer. Nothing like I would have done a year ago, but still... I feel those old habits taking over. I'm craving savory foods and ice cream (though the other night I REALLY wanted some on my way home from school and I did NOT stop to get any). My reactionary habits are rearing their ugly heads, I'm not exercising... I just feel like I'm floundering. Not quite failing, but floundering.

Anybody who thinks the band is a magic bullet before they go into this has no idea. :(

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Not sure WTH is going on

My low last week was 223.5, which obviously had me dancing nekkid in the streets. Okay, maybe not literally, but still.

So literally overnight, from Wednesday to Thursday, I was up to 228! WTF?? By Friday morning it was 231.5!!! DOUBLE WTF??? Other than the thought that MAYBE the marinade DH did in his steak and, later his chicken, had soy and the salt latched onto me, I haven't been eating badly! I don't feel I've over-carbed anything, the WORST thing I've had (and that's only been twice since Wednesday) is some Pringles low-fat chips, and this weekend I had some Thai soup which is seasoned with a particular sauce that probably has sodium... but if it's a salt thing, why is the weight still on me even as of this morning? I have NOT eaten anything that is eight pounds' worth of ANYthing. Nor do I feel I've overly under-eaten (except for Sunday when I worked in the yard all day and really didn't eat all that much considering the 3,000 calories I burned off!).

Okay, I'm at a total loss. At first I was just annoyed, but now I'm in alarm mode. WTF WTF WTF???

Another thought: Is THIS what happens after one comes off the pouch test? That I weigh more than I did when I started? :(

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Is hubby showing a tinge of jealousy?

He's not the jealous type that I've ever seen, but twice now in as many days he mentioned something about the cute young boys that are crawling all over the campus. Kinda funny, and kinda strange as he's never ever said anything to me pertaining to looking at or being noticed by other men. S'okay, keep him on his toes, right? :D

Got ten minutes?

10-Minute Fat Burning Exercises

by Marie Claire, on Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:55am PDT

Your doc has said it all along: 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity physical activity improves health and cardio fitness. But what if you barely have time to call your parents or squeeze in six hours of sleep? Here's what trainers — and sports-medicine experts — have realized: You don't have to do all 30 minutes in one stretch. Here, high-intensity 10-minute workouts that make the most of the time you've got. Do at least one each day, or if you’ve got time to spare, rotate up to four for maximum benefits.
By Joanne Chen

The lowdown: No gym? No problem. With this total-body workout by Nick Kempen at Sports Club/L.A. in Miami, even the office makes for a good fitness space.

What you'll get in four weeks: Toned arms; jeans that fit better.

Special equipment: A pair of 5- to 8-pound weights.

How it works:
1 MINUTE Jog in place.

1 MINUTE Stand while holding weights vertically in your hands, arms stretched out. Now pretend you're sitting down on a chair, hold for three counts, then get back up, bringing the weights toward your chest. Repeat.

1 MINUTE Holding the weights, get in a semisquat position, spine at 45 degrees, back flat, arms hanging straight down, perpendicular to the floor. Now bend your elbows (so they're pointing up at the ceiling) and lift weights toward your chest; hold. Slowly lower weights to original position. Repeat.

3 MINUTES Take your hand weights, arms by your side. Step right foot forward into a lunge; hold as you slowly bring up your weights in a bicep curl; return to original position. Now, while pivoting, step to the left (still with your right foot); hold; return. Continue for two more rotations until you're back to where you started. Now repeat entire revolution with the left foot forward.

1 MINUTE Do push-ups on the floor or against the wall.

3 MINUTES Drop to the floor for a core hold: With forearms and toes on floor, keep spine straight and abs held in. Hold for one minute. Then release and stretch back into a yoga child's pose: Sit back on your shins and reach your arms to the floor in front of you. Repeat core hold.

TRY: The Backyard Bootcamp, High Knee Training, Stretch and Crunch, Tennis Training, Jump and Dance, NBA Drills, Boxing Challenge



Got on the scale this morning and I couldn't believe it! Yesterday I was 227 (new low), down from my previous new low of 227.5. I was just so happy two days ago that I was back to 227.5 after whatever damage I had done during my visit to the folks'.

Well... THIS morning I get on and I'm 223.5!! OMG! That's 3 1/2 pounds since YESTERDAY!

There's this small part of me that wishes I had seen where I started on the scale to truly marvel at the pouch test and how well it's worked!

And what's even more wonderful is I'm .1 away from a BMI that will have me as "just" obese! I remembered looking yesterday to see what weight I'd have to be to get to the next range, and it was 223. So right now I'm 1/2 pound away from making it into the obese category!!

I'm iin the clouds right now!

Day five of the 5-day pouch test

Okay, chicken for breakfast, I'll admit, will be a bit... weird. But still, happy with how I feel and the results I've had!

Day 5: Solid Protein

Protein Recommendations: white meat poultry cooked dry and lightly seasoned, beef steak (if tolerated) grilled or broiled.

Day 5 Recipes

Remember to chew chew chew. Measure your portion (4-6 ounces) and eat only until you feel your pouch tighten. Remember, only 15 minutes per meal, so you'll have to work fast to chew your food completely. By now you should be out of any carb cycle you were in and perhaps you have lost a pound or two. You will have new confidence in your pouch and your ability to work the tool for your health and emotional well being.

Day 5 Poultry Recipes

Don't go hungry! Remember, you can eat as often as you want as long as it is solid protein, consumed without liquids and measured in 4-6 ounce portions.

Rediscover Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

The story is a charming allegory with a profound message: push yourself as hard as you can in pursuit of you dreams. The story of Jonathan and his friend Fletcher reveals two ordinary birds who, with passion, chose to better themselves. They were not content to merely eat and sleep. They wanted to become extraordinarily good at what they could do - fly.

It is easy for me to parallel the story of the seagulls with the lives of weight loss surgery post-ops. The brave decision to take control of our health with surgical weight loss is the first step in learning to fly higher, faster, and more beautifully than we ever have before. It is the first step in becoming extraordinary.

Near the end of the story Jonathan is in conversation with Fletcher. He asks, "Why is it that the hardest thing in the world is to convince a bird that he is free, and that he can prove it for himself if he'd just spend a little time practicing? Why should that be so hard?" In the world of seagulls few exceed the ordinary. The story tells us, "Most gulls don't bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight - how to get from shore to food and back again. For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating."

But Jonathan was different. "For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight. More than anything else. Jonathan Livingston Seagull loved to fly."

The elder Chiang told Jonathan, "You can go to any place and to any time that you wish to go." The trick, according to Chiang, was for Jonathan to "stop seeing himself as trapped inside a limited body." And so should the elders of surgical weight loss tell us the same. "Stop seeing yourself trapped in a limited body."

Jonathan's rise to perfecting flight was not without bumps and bruises. Often he faltered. The story reads, "But way off alone, out by himself beyond boat and shore, Jonathan Livingston Seagull was practicing. A hundred feet in the sky he lowered his webbed feet, lifted his beak, and strained to hold a painful hard twisting curve through his wings. The curve meant that he would fly slowly, and now he slowed until the wind was a whisper in his face, until the ocean stood still beneath him. He narrowed his eyes in fierce concentration, held his breath, forced one... single... more... inch... of... curve... Then his featliers ruffled, he stalled and fell."

"Seagulls, as you know, never falter, never stall. To stall in the air is for them disgrace and it is dishonor. But Jonathan Livingston Seagull, unashamed, stretching his wings again in that trembling hard curve - slowing, slowing, and stalling once more - was no ordinary bird."

Like Jonathan Livingston Seagull, weight loss surgery post-ops are no ordinary birds.


Depression and Obesity

Because I know I have suffered from both, I read this and found it interesting. It may help others.

Depression can lead to overeating and weight gain; obesity can lead to overwhelming sadness. Learn how to break the cycle.

By Dennis Thompson, Jr.
Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

Does depression cause obesity, or does obesity prompt depression? Researchers have been puzzling over this chicken-or-the-egg dilemma for years.

There's no question that obesity and depression are linked in both adolescents and adults. Now, doctors want to know the nature of that relationship, so they can craft effective treatments for both conditions.

Obesity-Depression Links

Research has shown that there's no clear, one-way connection between obesity and depression. Instead, studies have shown that the two tend to feed off each other in a vicious, self-destructive circle.

* Obesity causes depression. Studies have shown that obese people are about 25 percent more likely to experience a mood disorder like depression compared with those who are not obese. Obesity can cause poor self-image, low self-esteem, and social isolation, all known contributors to depression. Those who are obes can also find themselves ostracized, stereotyped, and discriminated against. The extra weight carried around by obese people can result in chronic joint pain as well as serious diseases like diabetes and hypertension, all of which have been linked to depression.

* Depression causes obesity. A study of adolescents in Cincinnati found that teenagers with symptoms of depression were more likely to become obese within the next year. The study also found that kids who were borderline obese and depressed became substantially obese over the following year. People experiencing depression are more likely to overeat or make poor food choices, avoid exercising, and become more sedentary. Researchers have found that depressed people with decreased levels of the hormone serotonin also have a tendency toward obesity — they tend to eat in an attempt to self-medicate and restore their serotonin levels to normal.

* Depression and obesity share common risk factors. Some factors apparently can trigger both obesity and depression. Belonging to a lower socioeconomic class and not participating in physical activity increases risk for developing either condition.

Treating Obesity and Depression

As they attempt to understand the link between depression and obesity, doctors also are trying to figure out how to treat both conditions in a way that will produce overall good results.

* Depression. Successfully treating depression can be a lot easier than successfully treating obesity, so doctors recommend that people with depressive symptoms — especially if they are adolescents — seek treatment as soon as possible. Treatment can include psychotherapy or antidepressants.

Obesity. A study of people who underwent bariatric surgery for their obesity found that as they shed pounds, they also shed their depression. A year after surgery, the subjects had experienced a 77 percent loss of excess body weight, and an accompanying 18 percent reduction in symptoms of depression. Younger people, women, and those who experienced greater weight-loss results were more likely to feel less depressed. These results indicate that a team approach might be best for dealing with depression and obesity. Your family physician can help craft a plan of diet and exercise that will lead to healthy weight loss. You might want to bring in a nutritionist or personal trainer to help you better follow your physician's weight-loss plan. At the same time, a psychologist or psychiatrist can help you deal with your feelings of depression and confront the stress, anxiety, or other triggers that are leading to your depression and obesity. Finally, you may also benefit from the use of antidepressants.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Are You Eating a Breakfast That Lasts?

Okay, sorry, not only am I on a posting kick (making up for some lost time), but I've been on a bit of a breakfast kick. If anybody is like me, I have to MAKE myself do a breakfast as I don't wake up hungry. This next article is from Jillian Michaels' e-newsletter:

As many of you know, breakfast is an absolute MUST in my book. Eating a hearty breakfast helps reduce levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, keeping you satisfied throughout the morning and allowing your mind to focus on things other than your next food fix. While you probably don't have time to make a gourmet meal before work each morning, that's no excuse to skip breakfast. There's nothing easier than pouring low-fat milk into a bowl of whole-grain cereal; more involved recipes can be made ahead of time, or you can cut down on the morning workload they entail by preparing the core ingredients the night before.
Try this vegetarian egg bake — it's packed with high-volume, low-calorie veggies and lots of healthy protein that will keep you satisfied and prevent energy lags later in the day. The salsa adds a nice kick! Make this the night before and give it a quick warm-up in the microwave in the morning.

Vegetarian Egg Bake


10 egg whites, beaten
1/4 cup reduced-fat (2%) milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
1 large onion, diced
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
1 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup salsa

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine egg whites, milk, and pepper in a large bowl and set aside.

Spray a large, heavy skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Sauté onion 5 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and spinach and sauté another 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Transfer vegetables to egg mixture and combine thoroughly. Pour into a lightly oiled glass pie plate and bake 15 minutes or until eggs are set. Do not overcook.

Cut into wedges and serve at room temperature with salsa.

Makes 4 servings.

*disclaimer* ~ The picture shown is not part of the article. :)

I hafta say...

...that I find myself VERY not hungry while doing this pouch test. Four to six ounces of food is really staying with me! During this time of the test, I can eat as often as I like, but I can only eat for 15 minutes at a time, and she recommends three to six ounces of protein. I've been doing about six, and hours later I still feel like it's with me. VERY nice!

Back on the exercise wagon

Well, I hate to even admit how long it's been (and I'm not gonna say, lol), but I haven't been exercising for a while. I finally went out for a wog (a friend's word for a walk/jog) around the park this afternoon. Took hubby who is still recuperating from neck surgery, and while he walked slowly, I wogged around the track.

I only used my regular New Balance shoes instead of my Skechers cuz, frankly, the two times I've worn them, they've blistered me pretty badly. So it seems I have to break them in somehow so they don't do that and I can USE THEM. Grrrrr....

Anyway, the wog didn't go as excellent as I would have hoped in a perfect world. I didn't feel like I could run as much as I would have liked (or as much as I had before), but hey, that's to be expected. But I DID get out there.

Now I think I'm gonna ride my bike to the bank. :)

My new love affair with school desk/chair combos

So yesterday was my first day of full-time school, and there was a nice, pleasant surprise! When I started school about 1 1/2 years ago, I could hardly fit in those stupid student desks which have the chairs attached. I always had to slide in just right, and typically I had to sit in them semi-sideways because my thighs wouldn't fit under the desk in front of me. So inevitably I was partway in the aisle, which was a real dilemma if or when others wanted to go up the aisle.

Well... I now have PLENTY of room between my stomach and the edge of the desk, AND I don't have to sit all askew! I remember when I first went to class back in January of 2008 and seeing those desks and having a panic attack, looking for ANYwhere else I could sit because I knew this was going to be embarassing for me. But not THIS year, bay-bee! AND, because the campus is so large, I got in over 7,000 steps yesterday (my minimum is 5,000). Because Mondays I have such a huge stretch of time between classes (three hours), I may decide to implement an exercise program of some sort while I'm on campus. I don't know yet if I can, as a student, go to a gym there, but I could still walk -- or run -- around campus.

Day four of the 5-day pouch test

Today is day four for me, so I'm now on track. Here is what Kaye says. Oh, and for the record, I weighed myself yesterday, and I was at my low of 227.5 (though I have no idea where I started out at after vacation because, frankly, I was too scared to look -- SO I can't tell you how much I've lost). As of today, I was down another 1/2 pound to 227, a NEW new low!!

Day 4: Firm Protein

Recipes for Day 4

Protein Recommendations: ground meat (beef, turkey, lamb) cooked dry and lightly seasoned, shellfish, scallops, lobster steamed and seasoned only with lemon, salmon or halibut steaks, grilled and lightly seasoned.

By now you should be experiencing that familiar tightness that will reassure you that your pouch is working. Remember to drink plenty of water between meals. Take some time to meditate and rediscover the wonder of your pouch. Often we don't like that uncomfortable tightness of the pouch, which is why we gradually move toward slider foods that don't make us uncomfortable. It is always my preference to eat moist protein so I don't get uncomfortable, but doing so allows me to consume more than I should. Rediscovering the pouch with this 5-day plan reminds me of how the tool really works. I hope by now you are rediscovering your tool and enjoying the hope and excitement because your pouch still works.

There are two things I know about human nature. First, nobody ever wakes up and declares, "Today is the day I will relax my enthusiasm and get off track." Second, nobody ever wakes up and gets back on track without first saying, "Today is the day I get back on track and I have a plan." Falling off track happens without a plan or script. Getting back on track requires a conscious decision, a carefully designed plan and the determination to make it happen.

Why do we fall off track? There are hundreds of reasons: stress, complacency, happiness, grief, celebrations, devastations, distractions and reactions. Nobody wants to fall of track, but life is full of twists and turns that disrupt our focus. It makes me sad when people talk about shame and failure when they have left the weight loss surgery track for a myriad of reasons. This is not a cause for shame or failure, this is a fact of humanity and indeed of living. But human nature is also resilient and powerful. We have the ability to recover from set backs time and time again.

While you are doing the 5 Day Pouch Test I encourage you to create an inner storm of enthusiasm and hope and energy. Go back to those pre-op and early post-op days and live that moment over again. Read motivational articles and visit the Neighborhood forum. Talk to pre-ops and newbies. Look at your before and after pictures. You can go back and you can use this surgical tool to lose weight, become healthier and feel good about yourself.


Day three of the 5-day pouch test

I haven't forgotten... day two is identical to day one, so there was no point posting about it on Sunday. Yesterday I was at school all day then had to deal with a malware problem for over two hours into the wee hours of the night, so forget it again. So here, peeps, is day three!

Day 3: Soft Proteins

Recipes for Day 3

The next three days you get to eat as much as you want as often as you want! Ahhh, but there's a catch: it has to be solid protein and you only get 15 minutes each time you sit down to eat. No drinking 30 minutes before or after meals and no drinking with your food. A dry pouch will hold your soft protein longer helping your to feel full and fed longer.

Protein Recommendations: canned fish (tuna or salmon) mixed with lemon and seasoned with salt and pepper, eggs cooked as desired seasoned with salt pepper and/or salsa, fresh soft fish (tilapia, sole, orange roughy), baked or grilled, and lightly seasoned.

This starts your program with "soft" protein. Measure your portion (1 cup volume or 4-6 ounces weight) and eat only until you feel full, not overfull. Remember, no water for 30 minutes before or after you meal, and no fluids with your meal. We are going back to the beginning and fluids will prevent you from feeling the pouch. If you need to add a moist condiment ( Miracle Whip or mayonnaise) to the canned fish I understand, but keep it to a minimum so the meat is not too moist. One reason we lose the sense of tightness in our pouch is that we eat "slider foods" - foods that are too moist and do not stay in the pouch very long, they slide right through the stoma.

From Amy: On day 3, is cottage cheese o.k. for soft protein? When I was first starting my wls diet, it included cottage cheese, but that wasn't on your list. Also, when you are doing the liquid part of the diet, can you drink chicken boullion with protein added to it?

Kaye Answers: Amy - Cottage cheese is a good protein and you can include it on Day 3. I didn't have it on the list because it is considered by some to be a slider food. To firm it up a bit you could add a chopped hard cooked egg to your cottage cheese. And yes, during the liquid phase chicken boullion with added protein is great.

"We MUST give the pouch a chance to do its job--and not try to get around it with our "monkeying" with the thing." -- LivingAfterWLS Neighbor Sandi


I don't like canned fish. What can I have in place of the canned tuna or salmon?

Try canned turkey or chicken. We have some great recipes for Turkey and Chicken Salad that work well for Day 3 and as part of your regular diet after the 5 Day Pouch Test.

Question: What are slider foods?

Kaye's Answer: In a malabsorptive procedure the pouch is made and the stoma or outlet is attached to the lower part of the middle intestine called the jejunum. The majority of caloric absorption takes place in the jejunum, so depending upon where your surgeon created the outlet the level of absorption can vary. Skilled surgeons will adjust the length of intestine bypassed according to their patient's projected needs based on dieting history and pre-op psychological screening.

Slider foods slide right through the stoma into the jejunum. My first test of the slider foods was graham crackers and coffee for my after work snack. Now imagine, I could eat a stack of graham crackers and wash it right through the pouch with the coffee and never feel any satiation. What resulted was an easily absorbed slurry that my jejunum sucked up like a sponge - it didn't have to do any work to absorb this simple carbohydrate slurry. Of course, weight gain resulted and I had to give up this little indulgence. Another popular slider food is pretzels. I speak with post-ops all the time who are addicted to pretzels - again, this is a simple carb that your jejunum is very happy to receive and convert to fat. Traditionally dieters are encouraged to eat pretzels or popcorn - fat free and fiber, right? But that doesn't work so well for us. Giving our re-routed bodies these simple carbs is dangerous because our bodies have spent years perfect the art of fat storage - slider foods are to the body a great big lottery win.

By the way, in my example I spoke of a slurry from graham crackers and coffee. Simple carbs, however, will slide right through without the added benefit of a liquid. And several others can talk about cheese nip crackers, popcorn, mashed potatoes, ice cream/yogurt etc.

Lots of times I hear, "But I don't like that uncomfortable tight feeling of solid protein in my pouch." But the very purpose of the pouch is to signal fullness, which often comes by way of slight discomfort when we are eating in compliance with our bariatric owner's manual. The slider foods will never ever signal fullness. They are dangerous and in most cases non-nutritional. When I feel that full-pouch discomfort I try to mentally psych myself up, "YEAH-BABY! The pouch is on the job!!" Silly, but whatever works.