Recovery Run

The sun hadn’t even risen when we arrived at the beach for Tuesday’s 6.2 mile recovery run from Sunday’s half marathon. It took a mile or two to get my legs loose and feeling good, but I made the decision these recovery runs are important because it releases all the tension.  It stretches my back and legs, and helps me clear my thoughts and get focused for the day. When I arrive at the beach, I stood gazing at the calm of the water and enjoyed the soft breeze on my face. I’ve never felt more alive that early in the morning as I’m with my running partner (my husband) as we are both in awe of a new day.  I realized how grateful I am to not only be able to get up and go for a run but to have a running partner side by side, sometimes we talk about life and other times we are silent, or my ear buds are in the ears as I listen to music, it’s a way we connect with each other every morning.  This time we spend together is one of the most precious and cherished times I get to spend all day.  As in other recovery programs you continue to work out the kinks of life, loosen up the body, mind and spirt so you can have a productive day.  Even if you are not a runner you can always start your day with a walk outside, nothing better than to connect with yourself, another person, and nature.

How to eat healthy when you go out to a restaurant

lost thirteen pounds since last week.  started the week at 218 pounds

July 3rd, 2016 — Week 7
[205 lbs]

Having gastric bypass surgery doesn’t mean you give up all the good things in life, such as eating out at your favorite restaurant.  It has been months since we eat at a restaurant.  Not that we ate out much before because we didn’t.  We enjoy cooking at home. But from time to time we just enjoy a change of venue and a different taste in food.  This weekend was our 34th wedding anniversary and we decided to treat ourselves to one of our many favorite restaurants.  We chose Longhorn Steakhouse for our first post-surgery outing.  Steak is one of our favorite foods, plus it’s high in protein.  Eating out in a restaurant doesn’t have to be a major chore to stick with the high protein/low carb diet.  You just need know how much protein versus carbs you consume.  Most restaurant menus are high in carbohydrates and low on the protein.  You see a high protein/low carb diet is called “The elitist” diet.  You don’t have to be rich to eat high protein/low carb.  In the end this diet will save you money.

So, how do you eat healthy and stick to your program when eating out?  Here are 5 tips to keep you on track:

  • Scan the menu for protein first foods. Most menus offer turkey, steak, chicken, tuna, eggs, or ham, and pork.  Remember protein first!
  • Share a meal with you partner or friend. (Not only is the portion size smaller, but it’s much cheaper).
  • Talk to your waitress/waiter and let him/her know you had gastric bypass. You will be pleasantly surprised how supportive he/she will be.  Our waitress this weekend was wonderful and shared she had a friend who was 7 years post-surgery and lost a ton of weight and has kept it off because they continue to stick with the program!
  • Remember the 30/30 rule. No drinking 30 minutes before meal and set your timer for 30 minutes after you have eaten.  When the waitress/waiter asks you what you’d like to drink, just ask for a to go cup of water and set it aside until 30 minutes after your meal.
  • If the portions are still too big even if you share the meal, ask for a “doggy container before you dig in. Eat only small portions.  If the food is in front of you then you will feel obligated to eat it all. So, it’s best to divide your meal and save the rest for later.

What we experienced this weekend by eating out is a lot of foods are high in carbohydrates and the portion sizes are enough to feed several other tables. The wait staff will bring you bread, butter, drinks high in calories just for starters.  When you get your meal you may have ordered a steak but it comes with potatoes, starchy vegetables, and a salad.   Obesity causes many health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, joint pain, and depression just to name a few.  You can still enjoy food and eating at your favorite restaurant but be mindful of the portion sizes and they type of foods you are consuming.  Be well and remember wellness is the key to a rich life.



Week 1: Post Bariatric Surgery: Mindful Eating

Last week I gave a short background of how we reached the decision for gastric bypass surgery. There is more to the process than just making the decision for weight loss surgery. This was one of the most major decisions in our life. We both learned lessons on how to take care of our body, mind, and soul through this process. Even though I said the reason behind the surgery in the first place was the “failed liver panel” and the CAT scan that showed a “Fatty liver.” Now those events got his attention to make some serious changes.   The surgery itself was very successful and his energy has returned so much that I have a hard time keeping up with him. So week one has been somewhat uneventful, nonetheless it’s been a huge change and learning curve.

lost five pounds since surgery.   Entered the hospital at 250 pounds

May 19th 2016 — Week 1
[245 lbs]

On Monday Kevin had ditched all the pain medication and was feeling fantastic. He went back to work and looked and felt like he hadn’t skipped a beat. If you saw him you would never know he had surgery a few days ago. He was feeling that well. The changes when he came home were clear it was still going to be an uphill battle with food and the consumption of it. During the past week Kevin needed a few gentle reminders to take it slow…Not to rush drinking his protein drink, or Gatorade, and water. There is a reprogramming that has to happen. The surgery is a tool to begin reprogramming how you eat, how much you consume, and how you feel about food in general. This is where we need to be mindful of our eating habits.

In order to be mindful you must pay close attention to what is put to your lips. Rule of thumb is protein first. The protein will fill you up and satisfy you. You won’t get the cravings of wanting more shortly after finishing a meal that is heavy in carbohydrates. The protein takes a while to digest, where the carbs will leave you hungry and wanting more. To be mindful of what you eat ask yourself, “Did I just ingest protein first? Protein comes in many forms. We get protein from meats, chicken, fish, eggs, tuna, dairy, and other sources. You can also get a great amount of protein by mixing up a protein drink with different flavors. One of my favorites is Greek yogurt with fresh blueberries or raspberries. Plus it’s healthy for you and fills you up without wanting more in less than an hour. I use a cool free app on my phone called “Lose it” that helps me track my protein, carb, fat, and calorie intake daily. This has helped me get on track and stay on track. It is now a habit at every meal time to measure how much I’m eating and what nutritional value I’m receiving. It’s being mindful of what you are ingesting. And I have lost weight and feel good.

As for Kevin he has been on the journey of reprogramming his eating habits and becoming more aware and mindful of not just what he eats but how he eats. After surgery and beyond you have to take every bite very slow. Learn to enjoy ever bite of you food. We haven’t reached the point of “real food” yet as we are still on a liquid diet until Thursday. On Thursday we advance to puree’ food for the next 4 weeks, and that comes with more challenges as we begin to re-introduce food into his new stomach and how much is enough.   The point is not to rush and take the process slow. The good news is he is already down 5 pounds this week and I am down 4 lbs. Being mindful of your eating habits is exciting, and wellness is the key to a rich life.



Starting Forever (Friendships Forever)


Starting forever isn’t just about a marriage that will last forever.  All relationships are significant and yes I know people come and go in life, but they don’t have to.  How can we establish long term relationships?  It seems like in today’s culture or society it’s ok to throw people away if they don’t meet our needs.  The key phrase is “they don’t meet our needs”.  This is a selfish way of thinking.  In order to have a fulfilling life all people matter not just the one’s that are suiting our needs.  You never know later on down the road the people you will cherish as a treasured gift.  In today’s topic I will talk with you about friends. There are three areas I would like to talk about:

  • Who really is your friend?
  • What happens when the relationship goes sour, and
  • How to keep friends for life

Who is really your friend?

I believe we have lost sight of friendship.  I have heard many people in the business world say, “Hi, my friend, “ or “My friend so and so does this.”  Are they really your friend or are they out to get something from you?   We live in a fantasy world when it comes to friends and everyone can be your friend with facebook, twitter, linkedin, integral and other membership type websites.  But do you really connect and get to know the person on your page?  Most of the time the answer is “no.”

I happen to be very picky about who I chose as friends.  I am looking for quality not quantity.  I have never won a popularity contest and I never will.  I know some of you are rolling your eyes saying what you say becomes true.  Yep, it does.  I have no interest in winning a popularity contest.  I do have interest in being in a real and honest relationship with another person. A true friend is a confidante I can tell anything to and it’s safe.  Today there are many people that are overwhelmed by having too many friends.   I value people and will not get involved if I know the relationship is one sided.  I have been in many one sided relationships and those are the ones that go sour real fast.  

What happens when the relationship goes sour?

Have you ever had a friendship go sour?  When relationships go sour one or both of the parties need maturing.  It takes a very mature person to have a valuable true friendship.  I’d like to share with you a story of a relationship that went sour and they never spoke again.  If they were mature in what a deep friendship was they might have been able to save the friendship and it would have lasted forever.  These two young women met at a charity event they worked at.  They connected right away, and from that day forward they were inseparable.  They spoke on the phone everyday and went out on the weekends together.  They told each other their deepest secrets.  They were so close they decided to become roommates.  After living together for a few months they began having fights over one of the girl’s boyfriend.  She told her friend this guy was not a good guy.  She displayed anger at her friend and at one time got into a screaming match over this guy.  The other friend thought she was jealous because she couldn’t find her own boyfriend.  One fight after the other they decided to part ways.  The girl without the boyfriend moved out and began to talk to other people about her friend and word got back and after 7 years of being pals and confidantes the relationship hit rock bottom and it was over.  The girl with the boyfriend eventually left the guy but she was broken about her friend that she lost.  The other girl refused to ever speak to her again!  This could have been avoided if they would have sat down and discussed what the real issues were.  These acts were just plain immaturity!  And it happens all the time in relationships.  We think it’s ok to just toss people aside when they don’t agree with us.  Well it doesn’t work that way.  So how do you keep friends for life?

How to Keep Friends for Life

Friends for life are and not just one of a kind.  It’s how we treat people and the people we call friends.  Why call someone a friend one day and then they aren’t the next.  Remember the days on the playground when one day you had a friend and the next you weren’t and then eventually you made up and became friends again.  One would think adults would be long past the playground.  How you keep friends for life is just by being there for them.  Doesn’t mean we won’t have disagreements because we will and some will be harsh, but it’s how we handle the disagreements together is what makes a friend.  The trust we build in knowing they are there for us no matter what and we are there for them no matter what as well.  Making friends is easy, keeping them is the hard part.  So what are you going to do to keep your friends?  How mature are you in relationships?  It’s all up to you.  You matter and so does your friend.