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Confessions from a Food Lover

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in Weight Loss Journey | 3 comments

Okay, I know I promised to post more about the whole weight loss thing… but really I feel strange talking about me so much.  I had surgery, most of my stomach is gone, I don’t eat much and I’ve lost 32 lbs.  That’s the condensed version, but for all of those who’ve asked both on Facebook and privately, here are few more details.

I had vertical sleeve  gastrectomy — The surgeon removed about two-thirds of my stomach.  GONE!  Buh Bye!  Obviously with only one-third of your stomach, you are limited in quantity and that makes you want to focus on quality of food.  I eat high protein, low carb, no sugar items.  Also, the part of my stomach that was removed is the part that contained the hunger hormone …. or something like that.  I don’t really get hungry.  I’m almost 6 weeks out and I average around 700-800 calories a day.  I’m also on vitamins, etc.  I’m doing good. No need to tell me I’m starving myself, I’m not… I am getting in all my protein, carbs, fats and vitamins I need.  I eat great food — eggs, chicken, all kinds of veggies, fish, shrimp, yogurt, and so much more.  I can tolerate most any food — just  have to steer clear of the fatty stuff (doesn’t sit well on my tummy) and the same goes for high sugar.  Now, there will likely come a time when I can manage those… but I hope that is much LATER rather than sooner.  I don’t need them or the temptation.

Now for those who asked if I’ll ever be able to eat all that ‘good stuff’ again — the short answer is yes, in moderation.   I think this is the biggest fear for those of us who LOVE TO EAT!  It’s the idea of NEVER BEING ABLE TO ENJOY FOOD again! Oh we do love to eat…. and I still love to eat.  I just eat very small portions.  And I eat much more healthy.  I skip the chips and candy, but I do have great food.  Never fear — you can eat.  So if you’re a FOOD LOVER, like me and you are wondering about this surgery, I encourage to do some research — and of course, you can call one me.  I’ll be happy to share my nickel’s worth of information.

But I also want to share a little piece of wisdom I picked up on my way:

This surgery is a tool and only a tool.  You have to commit to changing your relationship with food.  You have to commit to getting healthy.  You have to commit to making the change to make this happen.  It’s all up to you.

I think it comes down to be ready for a change — and I was and I am.   But it’s like anything in life — you have to be committed to it to make it work.

As for me, it’s working.  Of course, I’m only 6 weeks out but I feel GREAT!  I’m losing weight and I have lots of energy.  That’s a win in my book!!

 

 

 

Road Trips and Traveling

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in adventure | 2 comments

My friend Melinda wrote an amazing blog yesterday  about our road trip adventure.   It’s been almost two years ago since Melinda and I hit the road for a two week adventure across old Route 66.  It was one of the most amazing trips ever.  We talked, laughed, teared up over a few things, prayed, and laughed some more.  And we ate Mexican food — lots of Mexican food.  We both love chips and salsa and are just fine with having that for dinner every night — and we almost pulled it off.  I think we had a night or two where our meal didn’t start with chips and salsa.

We met amazing people, saw breathtaking countryside, walked among the ruins of old roadside attractions and stood on the original 1930s Route 66.  It is one of the moments in time when you wonder how it all came together.  How did we pull this off?   It happened — and I can assure you that God’s hand was all over this.  We called it the Great Girlfriend Getaway and it was!  We had so much fun and we had time together.  Time is such a luxury commodity these days.  It’s just rare that I have time to just sit and talk with a friend for hours on end — but that is exactly what we did.  We talked…about everything and about nothing.

Road trips are quick becoming a thing of days long past — but I still love them.  Now, I’ll admit that I’m often guilty of wanting to GET to the location and forgoing the adventure of the journey, but I still love to load up a car and take a trip.  I want to do more of these road trips, but sadly a little thing called WORK gets in the way.  And I shouldn’t say SADLY, because I love my job and I love what I do and I’m very blessed to get to do it.   Melinda and I have set our sights on another road trip and this time we’re bringing our friend Karen along.  Now, if you don’t know Karen, you don’t know what you’re missing out on.  This girl is all out sold out for Jesus and she’s in the midst of starting her own ministry.  She has a heart to reach women for the Lord.  She is the real deal, but she’s not exactly your roadside motel kind of girl.  She’s more a hotel type.  But we are bringing her along — she’s not completely sure of the whole thing, but Melinda and I are sure enough for all of us.

The idea of being on the road with these two women for days on end just makes my heart soar.  We are all great friends, but we live in three different states and it’s so rare for us to be together in the same place… and to have that for days, well that’s amazing.

 

Karen, Melinda and Me

So maybe it’s not the road trips I love as much as I love what happens on those trips — it’s the shared experiences of people met, meals consumed, laughter shared and life lived.  It’s the ‘doing life together’ part that I love so much.  It’s hard when your two dearest friends live states away, but we have a plan to come together and spend days on the road.  Where will we go?  Who knows?  Who cares?  It’s the time together that counts.

 

 

 

Three Weeks Down

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014 in Weight Loss Journey | 0 comments

Three weeks and two days ago I announced my decision to have weight loss surgery — it was also the day i had surgery. It’s been a wild ride over these last three weeks.  I’ve learned how to live on a liquid diet — which is a lot easier when you only have a quarter of your stomach left.

Thank goodness I am through with the drinking all my meals stage. There comes a point where a girl just needs to chew.

I’m learning how to eat slower, eat smaller portions and eat healthy.  It’s a process.

but then isn’t everything a process.  You don’t just wake up with the full knowledge of how to do something….well other than breathing, I think that one is built in.

Sometimes the easiest things are a process for me….like being nice.  Some days I have to breathe in and out several times and then chomp down on my tongue before I can be nice.  I’m learning that process through this process.  People feel entitled or maybe empowered to ask some personal questions about my reasons gorgeous surgery.  I am a bit stunned at the audacity, but I try to be nice and put them in their place all at the same time. It’s a tricky two step.

But then I remember people are curious beings and they can ask, but I don’t have to answer.  I’m navigating this new normal and trusting God’s hand and direction in my life.  We are all different. We all have a different path to follow. My way will not be your way.  God has a unique plan for each of us.

Embrace the plan God has for you!!

 

It only takes one egg

Posted by on Mar 19, 2014 in Weight Loss Journey | 2 comments

Odd title, huh?

I thought so too, but then what the hey!

It’s been a crazy two weeks!  I came home after surgery feeling like someone had stabbed me in the stomach… 5 times, because they did.  Well, I guess stabbed isn’t the right word, but I had five incisions ranging from tiny to five staples.   In all honestly, I never was in pain.  Nausea, yep!  Had a lot of that, but no pain.  Now, I’m two weeks out and still no pain.

I’ve gone from living off of soup broth and water to adding in a scrambled egg and some grits.   That first scrambled egg was the most amazing thing I’ve EVERY tasted!!  EVER.  Trust me on this.

The biggest change for me is I’m not hungry or craving anything.  I eat on time because I’m supposed to.  Not to say I don’t love that egg every morning.  But cravings?  No.  I do want to CRUNCH something!  That will come.  I’m thinking saltine cracker.  I know, I have some simple tastes these days.

I think about chips and queso, but I think it’s more about what happens over the chips and queso — the laughter, the conversations, the connections.  Don’t get me wrong, I think I would still LOVE the queso, just in smaller quantities.

This is a crazy new normal for me… and I know it will pass.  After all, it’s a bit traumatic to get two/ thirds of your stomach taken out.  I’m sure I’ll have more of an appetite in days to come.  I’m sure my love of food is not gone, just tempered.  I’m learning to eat to live and not live to eat.  It’s a crazy place for me.

When I stop eating before I even finish one scrambled egg, it makes me pause and wonder ‘who am I?’    But it’s just me.  Eating less and losing weight.  I’m down 22 lbs in two weeks!  CRAZY, I know.  Don’t worry (not that you were) this won’t continue.  It will taper off.

So that’s the update — I’m eating eggs … or I should say, I can eat an egg.  Next stop — mushed up vegetables.

 

 

 

What if Church was like the Local Pub

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in hope, Where's the chuch? | 1 comment

First up — for those following my weight loss, I’m doing GREAT!  Eating a bit and making it through the days.  All is well and wonderful.  I’ll do a weight loss surgery update later in the week.  

Recently a friend of mine posted (on Facebook) how she wished church was more like a bluegrass festival.  Her reasoning was wonderful — it’s open, friendly, welcoming and you’re all there for the same reason.  Now certainly church can be all these things, but often it’s hard to find that on the first visit or two.  It got me thinking….

When I was in my twenties I worked in restaurants and clubs.  The last bar I worked in was a hotel bar and had a local pub flavor.  By that I mean, we knew our customers and they knew us.  It was a comfortable place.  There was laughter, fun and friendship.  We made time for each other — the staff and a handful of key customers. We were invested in each others lives.  We cared. And we were an open group — always looking to add more to our circle of friends.  When people walked in we did our best to get to know them and make them feel comfortable.  We talked to them, listened to them and made sure to invite them back. Now, I know this was my job, but it was more than that — I like people and I like to get to know them.  This group of co-workers and customers grew to be like a second family to me.   But life goes on and I remarried and settled into an office job.

When I returned to church with a young family I was looking for that same camaraderie — I wanted to find people who would invite me in, talk to me, get to know me and invite me back.   We found a wonderful church that welcomed us but it wasn’t the same as the bar.  People all seem to be too busy to ask about us.  They told us lots about the church and what it had to offer, but rarely did anyone take the time to just ask about us.   It always felt as if they were so busy selling us on the idea of the church they forgot to get to know us.    I know the intentions were true and we spent many years in that church — and loved raising our girls there.   But this church isn’t unique, it’s normal.

I sat in church Sunday morning and I looked around for people I didn’t know, but I quickly got caught up in catching up with some friends.  I forgot about reaching out.  After all, we don’t have much time do we?  There’s worship music and then the sermon and then there’s lunch.  Now we do manage to squeeze in a welcome and fellowship — but it’s just a few minutes long.

I wonder what church would be like if it was more like a local pub  of course without the bottles of wine and the Long Island Teas, although I will say a glass of wine might help some of us lighten up just a bit.

What if the church spent time before and after service just getting to know people?

What if we set aside time to just hang out and get to know one another?   What if we did it smack dad in the middle of the service!  Oh my!

What if we made it our business to invite them back?

I don’t know the answer, but I do know that people are leaving the church in droves.

I do know that I will make it my business to find the people who don’t know anyone and introduce myself and then ask all about them (not in that creepy, stalker way… at least, I hope not).

I do know that God can do amazing things through us — but somethings those things happen outside of our schedules and plans, let God be God.

I understand that being in church won’t save people, only God can do that.  But I do know that people are hungry for friendship and fellowship.

Is the church meeting that need?