Archive for September, 2008

Another favorite product: Soy Rocks bars

I love getting packages in the mail. Especially when the package is full of food. Given, it’s food I paid for. But still, a package full of food is good times. And since surgery, I’ve become a total high-maintenance food girl, meaning most of the foods I eat I have to special order. That’s another thing they don’t tell you when you have surgery: you will spend lotsof money on vitamins, protein supplements, and fancy foods that make your pouch say “yeahhh that’s the stuff!”.

OK, so essentially, netrition.com is my drug dealer. One of the things I randomly added to my shopping basket a few months ago has become one of my favorite post-op snacks. It’s made by a company called Dixie Diner and it’s a Soy Rocks Plus Flax bar. It comes in three flavors: Crunchy Apple, Crunchy Chocolate, and Crunchy Caramel Chocolate. All 3 are good, but the only one I had left was the caramel chocolate, so that’s what you see here:

 

Okay, honestly? All of these bars look like bird seed. This one kind of looks like a turd. I know, I know. It looks gross. But it’s not. Why would I lie? I was prepared for them to taste like the flax bars you get at Whole Foods (you know, the ones that pretty much look AND taste like bird seed? Yeah. Those.), but these are surprisingly sweet for such small amounts of sugar.

 

See? The nutritional stats are impressive. That’s 5 grams of fat, since my flash covered it up. They all have different stats, but they average out to about 100 calories each with 10 proteins, less than 5 sugars, and lots of fiber. No, really. I mean it when I say fiber. There’s your warning. =)

They’re chewy. And not as crunchy as they look. The regular chocolate bar is my least favorite, it’s a tad difficult to get past the chewiness. It doesn’t have an overwhelming chocolate flavor, but the one featured here actually tastes more like chocolate than caramel. It had maybe 3 or 4 actual chocolate chips in it. Mmm! And it’s not as dense as the regular chocolate. The Crunchy Apple flavor is super crumbly and has the lightest texture of them all. It falls apart easily, so expect to have little seeds on your counter if you split one in half. It does have a sweet apple kick to it. But my favorite? Definitely the caramel chocolate.

These bars are great to have in your purse for portable protein. Also good if your boyfriend is sitting next to you eating a Snickers. It keeps the envy at bay, just a little bit.

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September 26, 2008 at 5:36 pm Leave a comment

WLS as a secret…sometimes

Before I had surgery, I had these sort of “big ideas” of how cool it would be once I’d lost all my weight and got to see people that hadn’t seen me since I was a Before picture. How wonderful, to be suddenly thin! In front of people that thought they were better than me! (snort)

Well, one of those people was my sister. I have only seen her a handful of times since she moved to California 6 years ago. I’m not profoundly fond of her. She, like me, struggled with her weight all her life, but she managed to lose most of it when she was in high school. So she was the Skinny One, and made sure I stayed in my Fat Sister category. Last time I saw her was Christmas of last year, when I still weighed close to 200 pounds. She told me I looked great and was very supportive. But she doesn’t know I had weight loss surgery.

Funny, right? I’ll tell perfect strangers that I’ve had WLS, but not my own sister. Why? It’s complicated. We’re not that close. She’s the type of person that will judge me for having surgery, for “taking the easy way out”.  Just diet and exercise and poof! Problem solved. She’s maintained a size 8ish for several years now. How? She relies on diet pills, cigarettes, and treadmills. Success!

With a lot of people, I won’t tell them how I lost weight. It’s a personal choice. But, like I said, I’ll tell strangers. I mean, I blog about it! But it gets old, hearing those wonderful cautionary tales of So-and-So who knew someone who knew someone who’s mom had gastric bypass and then their brains exploded! Just like that! Death! Mayhem! It’s tiring. But it’s easy to say “Oh, well, whatever” to strangers than it is to tell my “secret” to someone I’m related to. Someone I have to be around. It creates this cloud of judgment and awkwardness that never really goes away.

And, you know what? Simply saying I’m on a low-calorie, high-protein diet is not a lie.

But the whole idea of suddenly being “thin” in front of people I rarely see, well, it’s overrated. And kind of creepy. Because I’ve realized that people have 10,000 questions. And they stare at you like this strange little creature that just peed on the carpet. I don’t know. This is why I like meeting new people who didn’t know me from Before, people that don’t have to “get used” to being around someone that’s completely different.

Oh well. On a lighter note, I had a lovely weekend spent visiting my parents and my awesome dog, who can’t live with me until I move into a more pet-friendly apartment:

You’ll see a lot of her in the future. She enjoys hogging the good spot in front of the a/c and barking whenever anyone walks into the room. I think it’s her way of saying “You’re very pretty, now give me things.”

September 21, 2008 at 11:22 pm 1 comment

Food-Porn Friday

Okay. Since I never indulge my inner fat girl’s sweet tooth without severe consequence (aka: my face in the toilet), I often like to torture indulge myself with food porn. I look at recipes, cooking blogs, watch Alton Brown make amazingly delicious things, and drool over really, really pretty pictures of food.

Why do I enjoy looking at things I can’t have? Well, because they’re pretty. It’s art. People don’t get it; just because that box of chocolate cupcakes might, in fact, send me into a spiral of puke and passing-outtery, it doesn’t mean I can’t look at the pictures and think, Wow, that’s lovely.  And hey, pictures are calorie-free. Now, a month after surgery, this would’ve made me cry. Now? I can eat a cookie. Is it worth it? Not really. Now I’m like the old lady that puts plastic on her furniture and likes to look, but not touch.

Found on Amy Atlas Events. I’m glad I don’t live in NYC. I would probably hire her to just fill my house with enough candy to implode the universe.

And these? Need no explanation. Brownies on a stick. Come on. It’s like they did this just to get to me. I might just have to order some for Christmas.

And? S’more brownies. Oh my. There’s the recipe at the link. For better or for worse.

Okay. That’s enough food porn for one day. I feel dirty now, I need to go take a shower.

September 19, 2008 at 7:13 pm 5 comments

Loud blenders lead to quiet, devious lives

I’ve been using the same blender  on a daily basis for almost a year now, and besides the fact that it sounds like ship crashing into a dock, it’s wonderful. It crushes ice like a champ, and blends my Big Train low carb mochas to creamy perfection. But recently, as I listen to my neighbors running their dishwasher and flushing their toilets through the thin apartment walls, I can’t help but wonder, just how loud is my blender?

I mean, really? If it’s so loud as to completely drown out the TV blaring mere feet away, I can’t imagine the projection it sends out to the 3 apartments that surround me, and the one below. Every time I hit the “crush ice” button, I can’t help but to cringe at the thought that one of the neighbors is moaning, “there she goes again, with that loud-ass blender!” Really, what must they think?

 My guess: they think I’m a lush. I’m up here blending up all kinds of boozy concoctions, and who knows? I could be selling milk laced with meth to children. Or making booze-infused cupcakes and giving them to the nice old ladies that greet people at wal-mart. I don’t know. Loud blenders can lead to terrible conclusions.

Honestly: I sit around making up crazy stories about my neighbors–like the mysterious guy next door I refer to simply as “Norman Bates” because he rarely goes out and I only ever see silhouettes of his “lady friend” on his balcony, and I’ve never seen them together at the same time–so why wouldn’t they make up crazy stories about me? It’s far more interesting that way.

Until I get a more polite blender, I guess I’ll just enjoy being the crazy booze lady upstairs.

September 18, 2008 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

How to eat Greek yoghurt and make silly faces

I’m nothing if not a creature of habit. I tend to eat the same foods every day, not unlike a dog. So when everyone said that Greek yogurt (the “gold standard” for us pouchified people being Fage 0%) was a great thing to have around after surgery, I went out and bought some, not really knowing what to do with it other than eat it, because, hey, yogurt is yummy! It could become a staple in my diet! What I didn’t know? By itself, this stuff tastes just like sour cream, and inspires a face not unlike this one:

 "Ewww" face

Yeah. The fact that it’s fat free, super-low sugar (hah! no kidding), and low-cal (60 calories per .5 cup), and high in protein (10 grams/.5 cup)–that doesn’t really matter if it tastes like crap. So, the trick? Splenda. Sugar-Free syrups. Cereal. Granola. Really, the possibilities are endless. It’s like a lump of clay you have to mold into something tasty. This is what I do with it, pretty much every day. Yes. Like I said, creature of habit.

First, I make sure I have a cute bowl to eat out of. Foods taste better in cute little bowls, trust me on this.

       

I measure out about 1/3 of a cup of the Fage and then mix in 1 packet of splenda and SF Raspberry syrup to taste.

 

 Add your Crunch of choice. Mine happens to be a cute little bag of Kay’s Naturals Apple Cinnamon protein cereal. This stuff is like crack. In a delicious, addictive, not-rotting-my-brain kind of way. It makes me make my stupid Nom Nom Yummy face, like this:  

obligatory "Yum" face

There you have it. Lunch.

September 17, 2008 at 6:03 pm 1 comment

Where she thinks about her 7 sets of measuring cups…

So, the New York Times put out this article pretty much saying, FYI!, Weight Loss Surgery, hey, it requires discipline!. Well, gee!

Apparently, all’s you gotta do is “follow the rules” with an iron fist/pouch and then, you, too, can have complete and total success, happily ever after!

Patients who comply with post-surgical recommendations are the ones who maintain a 120-pound weight loss at the five-year mark.”

Really? Great!

Their success story, their “star” of WLS, as they call her, she lost over 120 pounds and has maintained her weight of 130 pounds for several years now. How does she do it? Discipline and determination.

“None of this is rocket science,” she said. “I keep a food diary every day and hand it in to a nutritionist I see once a month. I don’t go crazy weighing and measuring everything, but I eat child-size portions — a 6-year-old child, not a 10-year-old. I eat slowly and chew my food thoroughly.

So, do what you’re told and you’ll be OK. But what about those of us who fall into the habits of obsessively “weighing and measuring” things, because if we didn’t, well, the world will just crumble?

Hmm. They failed to mention the ones that follow the rules too much.

September 16, 2008 at 3:10 am Leave a comment

The acceptable form of disordered eating

Whenever I visit my parents for an extended period of time (say, an overnight stay), usually there is participation in some sort of fast food. I used to heartily enjoy this, and so did my cushy 314-pound rump. But now? I have a great excuse to not eat, well, anything, without reprimand: I can’t, it’ll make me dump.

So, as everyone enjoys their burger/nuggets/fries, I sit in the corner and eat my little cup of yogurt, or my little cup of Fat Free Anything. Or I sip my water. And this got me thinking about my bizarre eating habits, my total stray from eating like a Normal Person. When I think about it? It’s kind of sick.

I’ve fallen into these rituals. In my head, I consider a “good day” where I eat less than 1,000 calories and consume at least 80 grams of protein. A bad day? When I eat anything else. I feel guilty, for simply being human every now and then and eating a bit of “real” dessert or going out for a chicken sandwich–and not even a fried one.

That, my dear, is pretty messed up. It’s hardwired into my brain to eat like an anorexic person. And when I think about it? Many of us, as WLS patients, are trained to eat this way, to be this golden standard of success, to stick up your nose to Bad Foods from here on out. What has that left me with? Guilt.

I feel like I’ve failed miserably as RNY’er if I take a bite of anything not containing “fat free” or “sugar free” on the label. I think that denying myself these things (if tolerated) for eternity will build up to one, big, gut-busting (literally) binge. At the same time, I’m not saying that you should eat whatever you want, whenever. I did that before–that’s what got me to 314 pounds in the first place. There’s a healthy balance, I think.

I just find it ironic that people praise me for my “control” and “success” in eating. Yeah, it’s something, all right. But if I had not had surgery, and lost the weight by eating exactly the way I eat now–with a normal belly? They’d probably be sending me off to the local eating disorder unit.

September 14, 2008 at 8:00 pm 2 comments

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Griffin H. Bat was very, very fat. She had WLS in 2007 and has gone from 314 pounds to 120ish, and often wonders where her mind went along with all that gooey adipose matter. Even with new guts, she still thinks about cupcakes and their confectionary goodness. She feels like a bear that has lost its stuffing, but she won't hesitate to tell you how lovely you are.