Changing my nutrition plans

I have spoken with quite a few people this weekend about my nutrition plan and how unhappy I am with it, and my concerns about the amount of protein I am consuming.  I have decided to change a few things about my nutrition plan without my doctor’s advice. One thing that was brought to my attention was that the plan I am on is geared towards getting those who are wanting a weight loss surgery prepped for that surgery. Because I have opted out of the surgery, this is no longer a necessary move. My appointment with him was pushed out to April as he had to cancel my appointment. I am bummed but I refuse to see the bariatric nurse there. When I see him next, I will be discussing a new plan of attack and making it 100% clear that I am not going to see his nurse anymore and I did not agree with her methods at all.

What I have been concerned about is my risk for problems stemming from needing to consume over 135 grams of protein a day. I felt this was excessive and unnecessary. I spoke with a friend who studied and is registered in fitness nutrition and she thought it was excessive as well. She was concerned because I had a total hysterectomy four years ago and was concerned about the repercussions of that. She recommended no more than 100 grams a day. I am going to be switching to that. As for carbs, she said that the emphasis on carbs in total is ridiculous and I need to find a balance between good and bad carbs. I am aware of the difference. My goal now will be no more than 80 grams a day, but to stick to high-fibrous and “good” carbs. I’ve been so restrictive in my attempts that I think that this is why I am failing at staying on task. Let’s be honest here, if you feel you are stifled to the point where you cannot stick to it, you’re going to be bound for failure. I’m not good with this low-carb crap. I hate it. That being said, this is a necessary evil. There are reasons why you should watch your carb intake, but it is equally important to make sure you are consuming more good and whole carbs and not processed carbs (which is what we do). There is a lot to be said for the low-carb frenzy, but the thing I have learned about it is that it really is vital to make sure you are completely aware of what you are putting in your body. The more awareness I have, the smarter choices I make.

Since I started my journey last late October, I have eliminated the following carbs: any type of pasta at all (with the exception of a VERY rare outing to an Italian restaurant), no more brown potatoes, no more processed foods, no more breads at all, if I am going to have bread, it will be something like an Ezekiel bread, a nutty bread. If I really want a roll, it will be sourdough, but we haven’t gotten to that point yet. I don’t miss bread. I don’t even miss brown potatoes or pasta. It’s that strange. But there are things I am finding to replace those with that work well for me.

Yesterday was a very busy day for me, I managed to meet up with a couple of friends, run some errands, and hit the gym. I am still only able to get 20 minutes on the recumbent bike, but I think that is fantastic. With time it will become easier. I really love the gym. I know so many people who loathe it, but I do love it. I find it to be an adrenaline rush. I promise I won’t go trying to lift anything anymore, though. Ha ha. Speaking of, I have my physical therapy assessment tomorrow. Hopefully all will go well.

I think besides the good comraderie and the great advice given by my friend, it was nice to hear from her and a couple of other people how they actually SEE the progress I have made. This leads me to believe that this isn’t solely weight. I know that inches tend to go fast on me more than weight, but yes, I have dropped about 4 pant sizes and 4 top sizes. Yesterday I put on a pair of one of my brand new pants that were washed and accidentally dried (which is not good, because our dryer shrinks EVERYTHING). I amazingly got into these pants fine and they fit perfectly. There is progress! This is a great sign! It gives me hope. I know we tend to take too much stock on what our scales say, but inch loss is good as well. However, that being said, I NEED these pounds to go. I need to get it together. I keep saying it.

Snow snow go away…

I shouldn’t complain. I have followers in the hardest hit states right now dealing with unimaginable cold temperatures. We here in Whatcom County in Washington State just experienced a very very rare late winter snow dumping that stalled life as we know it. Sunday we started seeing snow accumulate at a fast pace. Before we knew it, parts of our county (including where I live) were under a foot of snow. We NEVER see that much snow here. Typically it’s 2-4 inches, but never a foot. My friend who lives more out in county saw 2 feet of snow. Unbelievable. While the kids loved it and were so excited to have snow days, us adults were scrambling on trying to decide if we go into work and brave the roads which were in horrible conditions. We’re talking snow drifts, poor visibility, no road visibility, ice, you name it. Tons of roll over accidents, tons of vehicles in ditches, and the worst I had heard of was several semis stuck on the road and going nowhere. Tons of semis in ditches, some roll-over accidents. You do not mess around in this type of weather. I begged and pleaded my boyfriend to return home early on Sunday night, he worked a shorter shift and left around 7pm as the roads were starting to get treacherous. He is from Wisconsin so this doesn’t faze him. I’m from California! It’s a national emergency to me, and he laughs. Everyone is different…

So I was stuck in the house until Wednesday afternoon. I wasn’t able to get to the gym until today. The sun is out and the snow is all about gone, but only to turn around and find out that we have another snow system moving in from Canada. Lovely. One minute they’re reporting it will be like last week, the next minute they’re saying it won’t be like last week. The weather models change so fast that I won’t even rely on them anymore. I just hope that this weather stops  with this snow stuff soon. We didn’t have much of a winter to begin with, so it hitting so late in the season is very strange. Typically we will get snow all the way into April but we’re talking a dusting here. Not a foot. Not even more than 3 inches.

Due to my neck injury I canceled my appointments with my weight loss doc and others, so I wasn’t able to get weighed last week. I drove in today for a weigh-in. Good news? I didn’t gain any weight. Bad news? I didn’t lose any weight either. I am at a standstill. I have literally lost 23 lbs in total since early October and we’re almost in March now.  I told the nurse that I was going to keep it real and admitted that I have NOT been following my low-carb plan at all for the past week or two. All this yo-yoing is making it hard to lose the weight and I do realize that. There are no excuses for it. The thing I am starting to realize is that maybe I need to stop with the high amount of protein they want me to ingest (because frankly, 135 grams at the very least per day, is far too much in my humble opinion). Carbs? I’m lucky if I can keep them under 60 grams a day. I’m seriously considering going to a nutritionist who is not affiliated with my weight loss doctor. I don’t like his “nutritionist” who is basically a nurse trained in bariatric surgery. I don’t care for the advice I am given, I don’t agree with protein shakes being the only saving grace for me, etc. I think a lot is being lost in translation as I went in originally doing a prep for weight loss surgery. Now that I have decided against the weight loss surgery, this diet does not make sense. I need someone who can steer me in the right direction because I feel like maybe I am sabotaging myself.  Please do not get me wrong, I do care. But sometimes I feel like what I have been doing is all for not, and I am not 100% on board with the nutrition plan they gave me in late October. Not anymore, anyhow. Something needs to change, and fast, but we are lacking nutritionists in this area. At least it seems like it.

A friend who is trained in fitness told me that I am possibly plateauing because of the exercise as well as being more active, but I just started exercising about 2 weeks ago. I would think that is too soon to build up muscle to the point of not showing a weight loss, would you? That being said, I love the gym. My problem is finding the time…so I am going to work out at work at our gym when I can when I am in office.

I recently went in with my boyfriend on a gym membership for my daughter for her birthday which is coming up soon. She will be 14 years old and will be in high school next year. She’s always mentioned how she wanted to work out, and loves the elliptical, so we bought her a gym membership and today she went and worked out with me. Her legs are hurting pretty good, needless to say, but I expected it as she was pushing herself way too hard and going too fast to begin with. I had to tell her to slow it down and ease into it.  We were only able to do a 20 minute workout because her father  was going to pick her up from my home for his parenting time. I got through my workout a bit more easier than I thought, but the last 5 minutes were tough. I decided to turn on the TV on my recumbent bike and watch it to keep my mind pre-occupied from the pain and it worked! Nothing like watching a bunch of idiots fighting on The Real Housewives of Atlanta to keep you working out and not paying attention to the pain! (Hey, it is a bad vice, I admit it, but I do love this show…)

Here’s to another great work out tomorrow…

Frustration

Dealing with frustration with my weight loss attempts…from constantly being sick to this neck injury that won’t go away, to my problems with staying on the low-carb bandwagon. I feel like the 20 pounds I have lost (last weigh-in was mid or late January) since late October aren’t enough to prove I have gotten far. I’m frustrated with having to answer to my health coach and set stupid goals, and frustrated in general about answering to anyone. I keep trying to tell myself that this is part of the weight loss plan, but it is hard to live up to sometimes.

Another thing that bugs me is when I am done working out on the recumbent bike and I hear “that’s it?” Seriously? For someone who hasn’t worked out in years, to get past 15 minutes doing cardio at this size is pretty damn good. I know they mean well, but I am not 130 lbs soaking wet. I can’t move my body in the ways that they can, and to assume that it is as easy for me as it is for them pisses me off. There is a lot of weight to be moved here, it isn’t as simple as working out for more than 20 minutes for me at this point. I have to build up to it. That being said, I feel like a complete failure this week as I have worked out once and that’s it. I was supposed to go to the gym today, however, I took too many muscle relaxers and pain meds last night so I am loopy, plus it is due to snow hard, and I am not comfortable driving in the snow especially with a bad neck. My boyfriend is working so that is not an option. What am I supposed to do?

The guilt of not being right or not staying on track is driving me insane. Something isn’t clicking for me at the moment and I know I need to, or 20 lbs will be all I see in terms of weight loss. I just want people off of my back and I need the willpower to know I can do this. I was so confident before, but being plagued with illness and now this neck injury makes me cranky and feeling like a failure. I have to start physical therapy for my neck as well, because this is happening far too often.

Review: Atkins Advantages protein products (multiple) & sucralose issues

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I picked up several of the Atkins Advantages ready to drink protein shakes in Milk Chocolate and French Vanilla as Target had a special running. I also picked up these protein bars as well. What is one of the ingredients besides all of the chemicals in these products? Sucralose. What does sucralose do? It’s like Splenda and too much of it can wreck havoc on one’s digestive system. If you’re anything like me and have a very sensitive stomach, I would recommend that you limit your usage of these products. Last night I learned the hard way as I consumed a shake, one of the chocolate pb bars and then one of the chocolate coconut bars. Not very smart.

So I started doing some research on Whey Protein Powder and found out that most, if not all, of them contain sucralose. What a bummer. This forces me to rethink what I need to be putting in my body to obtain my goal of at least 135 grams of protein a day. To be quite honest, I wasn’t very thrilled with the thought of just drinking a lot of shakes to get my protein, when it boils down to it, there are a lot of chemicals and fillers and nothing natural about most of these whey protein powders, and that is a huge concern for me. Back to the drawing board for me…

Calorie counting, change, and feeling defeat

I have been using the MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone and it works very well. I was using the Lose It! app prior to MFP, but I like MFP better, and it seems much more user friendly. That being said, so far my caloric intake has been on target. Today that will definitely not be the case…it’s Friday…and I’m allowing a little bit of leeway in my diet tonight. Prior to medical weight loss management, I had only been advised once by another doctor to watch my caloric intake. That was the only successful “diet” I had ever gone on. It’s amazing how much we put in our bodies and amazing that we don’t realize just how many calories we are consuming ever day. Having something like MFP keeps you accountable on just how many calories you are putting into your body. It’s quite simple and there’s an awesome bar code scanning option that will scan any bar code on a food package to add to your list.

Getting to change. Change can be good, change can be challenging. Change with my insurance for next year is going to be a very hard thing to deal with. My weight loss program is going away, but they are still covering weight loss surgery, just not the program anymore. It truly makes me sad, but right now there are so many changes in the insurance industry due to the Affordable Health Care Act. I knew change would happen, but I didn’t realize it would change my weight loss program.

Which leads right into feeling defeat. I feel defeat because I will lose my resources for my weight loss program, and it was free. I’m not going to join a program like Weight Watchers or something when I’m already investing in a program being overseen by a bariatric physician and I am also getting nutrition counseling as well. I have plenty of support at home, but to lose the extra benefits of the weight loss programs, like the personal coach/counseling, as well as having four visits covered, is going to hurt. However, that doesn’t stop me from what needs to be done.

When I spoke with my coach today, something we discussed was the amount of skin that eventually will need to be surgically removed. Earlier this week I had my first visit with my physician and had a Body Composition done, and that showed that I am retaining a LOT of water, more than I could have ever imagined. My physician even mentioned how swollen my abdomen was, I laughed and told him I always thought it was just my fat. Apparently I am retaining a lot of water there, as well. With the water weight loss and the fat weight loss will come a ton of loose skin. Loose skin that simply will need to be removed. I’m trying to get myself mentally prepared for the fact that even past the weight loss through this program, and the potential LapSleeve, I will endure many more surgeries to remove this excess skin. Is it scary? Yes, absolutely. But at the same time, the thought of “shedding the excess skin” sounds like it could be therapeutic and freeing at the same time.

I am excited for what my journey holds ahead of me. I get my nutrition plan next week and will determine what type of foods I should be eat, how often, what my calories should really look like, and how to stay on track. My biggest culprit right now is no appetite (believe it or not). I typically do not eat breakfast or lunch, but that is something I need to change. I can’t eat only one large meal a day. That is not conducive to weight loss, nor is it healthy.

Despite the changes and sometimes feeling defeat, I still have my head held high and ready to tackle this monumental task of losing over 100 pounds of fat. I know I can do it, with the right tools and counseling/advice, I know it is possible.

The journey ahead

I have said I wanted to start blogging again but haven’t had much time to do so. Now that I am on my journey to better health and weight loss, I wanted to start chronicling everything I am doing to lose the weight and my progress.

So far the weight loss is at 4 pounds…and I am looking forward to seeing more progress with medical intervention and the correct nutrition plan.

More to come…