All posts by Kelli

I was born & raised in sunny southern California and drug to rainy Virginia by my 1st hubby (Cry). No, really, it isn't *too* bad here. I am happily married (2nd marriage) to a man from N. Ireland. I have 4 kids. I am currently applying for permanent disability due to the progressive course my fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has taken. I am not ashamed of this. I worked as long as I could and did my best. It is all any of us can do! I love music. I salivate over most kinds of rock (except death metal and rap). I adore everything (James Hetfield, you sexy beast!); Colplay is my favorite band after 'taking the roll' with me, Metallica, 'hippie music' (Grateful Dead, Mamas & Pappas, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, etc) to Godsmack, Shinedown (met the band and they are amazing human beings as well as talented musicians), James Blunt, Evanescense, AFI, Linkin Park, Snow Patrol, My Chemical Romance, The Beatles, The Stones, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Etc etc etc. My life is God, My family including my husband whom if from Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, my 4 daughters whom I love like my next breathe and my beautiful granddaughter. She is the most amazing little human being in the world and I don't think the word 'love' is big enough. I have an amazing Uncle who is like a 2nd Dad to me. I lost my wonderful father in 2007 and still think of him everyday. (Update) I also lost my Mom on 9-12-11 and it was again, like my Dad, one of the hardest things life has thrown at me. I dedicate my weight loss to my Dad and hope that wherever he is, he can see me now! This is the real me! I was trapped in the body of a woman with a dying thyroid. Dr Tananchai Lucktong, thank you for giving me the tool, as you said! You said you gave the tool, I did the work. When I see other RNY patients who still have the weight on or gain it back, I know! I know it is me who does the work! It is a choice everyday of what I put in my mouth! Surgery or not, I cracked the code and if you want my help, let me know because life is so sweet when you are 'light as a feather'. My hubby, 4 inches shorter than me, can actually pick me up with minimul effort! Now that is worth something!

5 Years! FIVE YEARS! CINCO AN’OS! Post Gastric Bypass! :-)

Standing In One Leg Of My Old Jeans Five Years Post Gastric Bypass!

I am so sorry as I am a bit overdue for my official five year anniversary of my laproscopic  RNY surgery. Some days I feel I have been ‘normal weight’ for a long time, other days, I still have the thought process and outlook as I did when I was obese. It is strange, really…… surreal. So I will do a bit of walking down memory lane.

After ten months of jumping through hoop after hoop after hoop…. After months of test after test after test….After months and months of attending the bariatric support group…. After losing 26 lbs on my ‘own’ only to get delayed for my ‘official’ appointment to set my surgery, etc., I gained some back (of course, story of my life!),  had shown a twelve pound loss from consultation and they were happy enough with that! My initial appointment was set for later in February, but about ten days prior to my surgery, I got a call saying there was a cancellation and if I wanted, I could take the spot and have my surgery done in what would be just over a week! I was ecstatic! 😀 The only thing was, I would have to get in all my ‘last of’s’ in a week. Chinese buffet, Mexican, Ben and Jerry…. you name it! What I did not realize then, with the exception of Ben and Jerry, all my ‘last of’ foods after about a year, I can still eat, just in much smaller portions! And that is OK! Holiday dinners, down to the sliver of pumpkin pie I enjoy, is the same. A few bites of everything is all I can hold, but that is OK! Just because I cannot eat 3 times the amount than what I can eat now does not ever bother me in the least. Nothing tastes as good as being ‘thin’ feels.  It took me 2 years to get to my ‘sweet spot’ which was actually thirty pounds lower than my goal weight. While that sounds like a ‘long time’, it really did not take me that long to get to the point  where my blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin resistance was gone. Now, five years later, what I pretty much tell people is, I eat good and healthy. I eat as close to all natural and very little processed. I eat REAL Mayo (just use less), REAL salad dressing (same), REAL butter, lots of fresh fruit, etc.

The one thing I stand firm on is NO NSAIDS! If you are post RNY, don’t DO IT! DO NOT DO IT! Last July, besides the heart-break of missing my granddaughter’s 1st birthday party, I was busy having my intestine put back together where it perforated (where the bypass meets the pouch). I had a big ulcer which when perforated also gave me peritonitis (the same as if your appendix bursts). 3 days in ICU, a week in the hosspital…. well you know the drill! No… NSAIDS!

I have learned to not get too complacent because the weight can creep up for no apparent reason. I mean really! In December when there was cookies, candy, etc, and I did not gain anything and all of a sudden now, I am 7 lbs above my “sweet spot” (my weight is still well, well within normal range with a BMI of 22),

What have I learned in the five years since I had my RNY:

1.  The surgery is not an ‘easy fix’. As Dr. Tanachai Lucktong M.D., my surgeon said to me at one point, the surgery is a ‘tool’ and I am the one doing the work.

2.  Life does not ‘end’, in fact, I believe I enjoy food more now than I EVER did! Give me some fruit and cheese or some fresh pepper fajitas on whole wheat tortillas anytime over fast food! I am constantly looking for new ways to make yummy food! 😀

3.  NEVER EVER forget from where you came from! If someone makes a ‘fat joke’; anything sensitive to people struggling with weight is still near and dear to my heart.

4.  Life does not suddenly get ‘perfect’. In fact if anything, it gets more challenging as you have to be two steps ahead as far as not over-eating; making sure there are things at get-togethers that work for you, etc.

5.  Most important! You always have to stay on top! I have this 7 lbs that I have no idea where it came from  (UPDATE! As of this morning, 2 lbs is gone, so make it 5 ish!) and I really need to lose it. Now I will admit, when I was way down in the 120’s, I did not look well. I really saw it after bouncing back up to 140 lbs and seeing the difference in a picture. However, when I edge up too much, I really feel better at my ‘sweet spot!’ It is like a tightrope act. It is exactly like walking a tightrope!

FINALLY….. No, NO NO NO NO NO NSAIDS!!!!!!!!!!! Did I make that clear enough?

 

 

 

Before

Still Kicking Ass! But Working Hard Every Day To Boot! Five Years Post Gastric Bypass!

My Recipe for today is one of my lunch FAVE’S!

Kelli’s mini whole wheat/ healthy Pizza’s!

Ingriedients:

*****************************************
Whole Wheat Tortillas

Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (part skim/2% for lighter)

1 Jar Pizza Sauce

Assorted vegies (I love to use peppers, green, red, yellow, orange), red onions, etc. Any non startch vegie that you like!

Turkey Pepperoni, optional

***********************************************

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Put a very thin amount of pizza sauce on each whole wheat tortilla used. Very little sauce is needed. Use spatula or brush to spread. Cover the sauce with a thin layer of cheese. Approx. 2-3 Tbs. of cheese per tortilla. Load each tortilla with peppers and onions (go crazy here, it adds ton of taste and a small amount of calories…… lots of vitamins…. this is where you want to bulk up the food!). Can add turkey pepperoni if desired. Put on pizza pans and bake for about 5 minutes but watch very carefully. They are done when vegies looked cooked and cheese is melted and bubbly! Enjoy! 🙂 This is one of my favorite lunches! Can also do as ‘wraps’. I do mozzarella and turkey pepperoni for Paul in place of over processed and inflated in price “Hot Pockets”.

Healthy Pizza Ala Kelli! :-)

 

 

 

Woooooo Hooooooo!

I am one happy woman! I just googled “The Losing Side” and it is NUMBER ONE on Google. I am so so so so so so so excited. And I am so very sorry it has taken me so long to put a new post. I promise at least 2 posts a month from here on (unless there is an emergency of some sort.)

Check out my friend Kims blog too, “It’ A Pain”. Look at my blog role and you will the hyperlink to get you there.

My blog, “Both Side Now” is doing well and is my fun, ‘guilty pleasure’ blog. I also introduce a song at the end of each post.
Finally, be looking for my 3rd blog (and no, that is it for now…. no more blog babies to birth! I am having a ‘blogserectomy’…. reversible of course. 😉   )  Y’all come back now, ya hear!

 

Holiday Hints

Tis the season, again. A time for festivities, buying things none of us can afford, time for decorations and getting out the hand-full of CD’s we have of the same songs covered over and over again by different artists. Tis the time of year for those old but wonderful classics about the talking snowman getting locked in a greenhouse and melting to a puddle of water. I am telling you that traumatized me for life! I should take out a class action suit on Rankin-Bass for traumatizing me and thousands of other children! It is the first show/movie I ever cried as I watched Karen crying over a puddle of water with coal, a carrot and hat, lying in the puddle, as the sad reminder of what was just moments earlier a frolicking, happy snowman friend! But never fear, Santa pops in and tells Karen it is “Special Christmas Snow” and all is well that ends well as Frosty is back up to his old self in no time! Me and every other teary eyed third grader far and wide can smile once again! It is also “that” time of year again…. you know what I am talking about….. the time for the MOST dreaded word….. CALORIES!!!!!. This is the season to be on overdrive with parties. Do not get me wrong! It is fun! A lot of fun! However with each of these tantalizing events, there are loads of good, wonderful, rich and very tempting foods. There are the never ending baked goods at work brought in by co-workers. Then there is the best of all, family. And if you are like me, and sadly my daughter is now being faced with similar obstacles , with a ‘branched out’ family meaning one or more of the original sets of parents may have divorced at some point, that means 2, 3 or even 4 Christmas’s if there is maybe a ‘big’ and then ‘smaller’ within the same family get together.

So I am just going to put some pointers I have found helpful over the years.

 

1. DO NOT say, “It is the holidays, I will eat what I want and start on Jan. 2nd”. Do you know how many Jan 2nd’s I had? More than I can count! First of all, if you follow my line of thinking, the word ‘diet’ should not even exist in your vocabulary. Getting weight off is about making sure your thyroid is in check, eating good quality foods, instead of crap; i.e. natural foods, etc. I cannot even eat fast food (without getting sick on my tummy) anymore with the exception of Burger King $1 burger (they charbroil and sits with me quite well), I can eat Wendy’s chili and their newest salad with the fruit and blue cheese crumbles, Taco Bell and Subway. Just stay with your healthy eating, continue your exercise regiment and when you are at a party or you do happen to eat a couple cookies someone brought to work, don’t say, “Oh, I blew it for the day (or the week)”. Does a runner stop running the race just because he stumbles? No, nor do I stop eating the way I do when I have had a few days of crap food. By that time I am CRAVING celery and Laughing Cow Swiss.

 

2. Get A Little of all the things you like that are more fattening and load more heavily on the lighter things (vegetables & dip, meat balls, cheese cubes & crackers, soups, green salads, etc). This does not mean you cannot have the ‘heavier’ things; just less. I promise, you will not notice! Most people go to so many gatherings, etc, it is inevitable to put on a few pounds. I know I usually do! And I am OCD about my weight. However a few days around Christmas is the one time of year, for me, it is pretty much a ‘free for all’. Now this would be about the 23rd, 24th, 25th. By the 26th most of us are repulsed at the sight of a cookie with frosting and sugar sprinkles. That is same cookie that we could not stop eating a few days earlier. Eat, relax, enjoy…. if you just try to lean a bit harder on the healthy foods, give yourself a 2-3 day ‘free for all’ right around the actual holiday (Christmas and other holiday’s celebrated this time of year), and just jump right back on it!!!!!!

 

3. Make Meals Light This Time Of Year as I type this, I just finished the most delightful bowl of homemade vegetable soup imaginable. I love soup in the winter months. I guess you could call me a soup junkie. There are so many types of soup. Soup just hugs you like a warm blanket. It is generally low in calories and high in nutrients as well. So around the holiday’s is not the time to plan things that are higher in the food chain. Homemade soups, salads, chicken & veggies, fajitas, spaghetti marina (lower on the pasta, higher on the marinara), fish (if you like fish, I don’t with the exception of tilapia), etc. If you eat low key on your meals, that gives you more in your calorie bank. Think of your daily food as a bank. What you consume vs. what you use. If you use less, you are in a positive balance, more you are in a negative balance, and equal, well you even out, obviously. So if you eat lighter meals, eat Subway for a while instead of Mc Donalds, etc, you will have a ‘savings account’ to get used at the holiday’s and other special occasions. You still may gain a few lbs, but it should not be10-12 lbs!

 

4. HAVE FUN!!!!!! Don’t fret if you gain a few pounds over the holiday’s. Most people do, including myself, how can you not? The important thing is NOT to say, “I am going to start my *diet* at the New Year”. If you eat healthy as your normal routine, simply slip back into that and if there is lingering cookie or a lone piece of fudge that needs a home, go ahead. The holiday goodies will go away and we will be in the doldrums of January will set in soon, so enjoy!

 

 

In the meantime, from our house to yours, may your holiday’s be Blessed and Bright!

 

 

***************************************************************The Recipe I am going to share this time is a lovely and easy Vegetable Soup. I love this recipe because it is easy!

 

Quick and Easy Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

1/2 cup of chopped onion (but I usually just use a small vidalia sweet)

2 tsp margarine or butter

4 cups Chicken Broth

2 Medium Carrots, peeled, sliced and halved

2 Medium Potato’s, peeled & chopped

1 cup Green Beans

1 Tbsp. Parsley

1 tsp Dried Tarragon Leaves

1/4 tsp ground black pepper (optional)

 

Cook: Onion in butter in large saucepan on medium-high heat until tender.

Add: Chicken broth, carrots, potatoes, green beans, parsley, tarragon and pepper.

Bring: To boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 20 mins or until vegetables are tender. Serve hot with crackers.

 

Early Post RNY: Can Puree/Blend tho the vegetables are very tender and easy to eat. This is very ‘easy on the tummy’.

Later RNY : Nothing Notable

My Wake Up Call!!!!

Why is it that us women are never happy with our bodies? My whole life, I just wanted to be ‘skinny’. It is all this pudgy, freckle-faced, dark auburn haired kid wanted as I lusted over Donny Osmond and The Bay City Rollers. As an adult, when I became “overweight” (was 216 lbs when I got pregnant with my oldest (living) child, and that really does not sound all that bad in the big scheme), then obese, then morbidly obese, my High School Senior graduating weight of 157 lbs (just over 11 stone) at 5 ft 8 in tall sounded absolutely Heaven to me! Impossible! Oh, if ever I could get even close to that! So, Jimmi, my LNP who works with Dr. Lucktong, my RNY surgeon, when we set my my goal weight, we opted for 170 lbs (12 1/7 stone). That sounded very attainable; respectable…..probably about a size 14 which I always said, “If I could just be a size 14, I would be a happy camper!” So that was it! My goal was to get there. And I did. It was kind of like the Nascar driver ‘gets’ to the 3/4 of the way to the finish before he wins. I passed it doing about 300 MPH. No, really! I did =:-O (inserts virtual race car noise).

I settled to what I now call my sweet spot about 2 years out. I had a lot of plateau’s and then sudden drops, plateau’s, drops, etc. My poor seamstress could not keep up with me. In fact this was a very frustrating time clothing wise because when I was constantly having to have things altered. The Goodwill became my friend!  Even that versus buying new clothing gets costly after a while. I did not know quite what to make, but I was jazzed, to say the least. When I finally kind of settled and my weight was pretty stable, I stayed right at the 140 lb mark (10 stone). My ‘sweet spot’, as I refer to it, is/was 137-143 lbs. At about 2 years out this is where I stabilized and this is where I maintained! Now it is not a ‘walk in the park’. I let myself eat a bit at the holiday’s and usually expected about a 5 lb weight gain… and that was fine, as long as I got it back down to the ‘sweet spot’.  You cannot eat crap and junk and maintain a good weight, in all fairness. However, once you get a craving for celery with Laughing Cow cheese rather than a bag of Cheetos, things generally go better. Also, I know overweight people that do not eat much at all. I highly suspect thyroid there, but that is just my little old opinion  I feel, however, as though  busted the secret! I figured it out! Surgery or no surgery, I finally ‘got it’. You see, by now, my taste buds had acclimated to unprocessed foods, good, wholesome nourishment; real butter, real salad dressing, real mayonnaise and even an occasional treat of 100% natural ice cream , about 1-2 reasonable scoops, but only every other weekend (unless it is a special occasion). The old saying; all things in moderation or I might change that a bit; all healthy, whole things in moderation. I eat, oh mercy me, do I eat! I enjoy pretty much anything and everything that sounds good. What I have learned along the way, however, is junk food is just that; JUNK. I cannot even eat much in he way of fast food anymore. Subway, some Taco Bell, Wendy’s Chili and salads and the baby burger at Burger King (charbroiled). Other than that, it makes me sick on my tummy!

So after my mega surgery for my intestinal perforation in July, Dr. Kessler let me know when he reconnected the pouch to the lower intestine the hole would be a bit ‘bigger’ and food would travel through a bit ‘quicker’, no one really knew if it would mean anything, really. However, I felt like it might make me lose some weight if food was traveling quicker. I did lose 15 lbs over the next few months. I catapulted to the mid 120’s which looked nice on the scale, I will concur, however, I knew in my heart of hearts was way too low for me, especially when 10 lbs of my body weight is skin.

So, here was my wake up call of all wake up calls. When I went to California in September (when my Mom passed away), one of my life long friends (ok, well we have known each other since age 3) and I had a candid and private conversation. On Monday the 12th of September when Mom passed away and Diana called me, we got all the arrangements made as to when I would be flying in to LAX so we could get all the details sorted. Mom passed on a Monday and I would fly out on a Wednesday. I tried e mailing my friend as she was very fond of my Mom and I knew she would want to be there if she could. By the time we left for the airport on Wednesday, I had heard nothing back via e mail from her and I knew if she had gotten it she would have responded. So I left it up to my husband, Paul, to try to get in touch by phone. He was successful and told me to call Sheila and gave me her cell number. On Friday she was able to come over to Mom and Tom’s house where Diana and I were spending most of our waking hours. When my dear friend arrived, we spoke outside privately, outside, for a while. Though it had been eleven years since I had seen Sheila, time had little effect on her. She was as beautiful as always, so bright and king… so caring! She told me while she is not on Facebook, she does follow my blog. She said the last several pictures I had, ‘looked so thin…. so, so painfully thin’; that coupled with my serious emergency surgery….She teared up. She said that when Paul called, and she heard the tone of his voice, she thought he was calling to tell her I had passed. What! No! She really did! She said between the recent surgery and how painfully thin she thought I had become, she was so worried about my heath. She said I looked, well, downright unhealthy. Now I have known Sheila all my life. This is the girl that gave it her all to get on to the set of “Magnum PI” when she and a bunch of girls went to Hawaii for a post High School Graduation trip. That is when Tom Selleck was so gorgeous and every girl had a crush on him. Boy did Sheila have a crush on him and gave it her all! She called and said they were delivering lunch, flowers, whatever…. if I am remembering correctly. I know she gave it her all. She is that determined. Back in our day, “The DeFranco’s” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The DeFranco_Family played at Magic Mountain, if I am remembering correctly, she was able or almost got backstage to meet Tony, her favorite. And then when George Strait came to Bakersfield some years later, she stood out front of the Civic Auditorium, not to pay a scalper, that is not Sheila’s way, nope, but “The Sheila Luck” as I call it (a very good thing!) was, she found a nice group of people that one of their party could not show and they just wanted asking price for the ticket. Shabam! “The Sheila Luck!” She got to see George and sit with a nice group of people!

Sheila is by far one of the most level-headed, sweetest and determined people I know. She is also one of the most Godly women I know right there with Ms. Robin Kingery and like Ms. Robin, her life has abundantly been blessed. So Sheila wanted to make sure I heard her loud and clear. I saw her face. Her same beautiful, sweet face that I have known my whole life. No changes. Still bouncy with that sweet smile. But tears. Yes, tears of a friend who was worried. Sheila’s husband told her when Paul called, her face went as white as a cloud. All the color drained from her face. What Sheila did not know was, while I did not have a full length mirror at home, I did have one in the room of the lady that was so graciously hosting me during my stay. In the depth of my grief, in trying to manage my pain and fatigue, in trying to keep up with my sister who had endless stamina and just trying to find a moment to really talk with my brother, not  realizing until I started counseling that we all grieve differently and that is OK, what I finally saw was a person; someone I stepped outside of and saw one of those girls who had an eating disorder or worse, one of the sad souls back in the concentration camps. I had too many other things to worry about and I finally, for the first time, just saw the girl in the mirror.

 

The plain truth is this: I do not starve myself nor did I try to lose from my ‘sweet spot’ of 137-143 ish lbs. (9.8-10.2 stone). As long as I was in that zone, I was a happy camper. My Dr’s and Paul still wanted me up to 150 lbs (10 st 10 lb), which is still a good weight, but I like 140 ish lbs. So we all agreed on that. I said the emergency surgery and the reconnection of the lower intestine with the connection having to be a bit ‘bigger’ resulting in food traveling through ‘quicker’, from the get go, I hypothosized it would result in weight loss. My bariatric surgeon and company (who is connected to every other Doctor’s computer system and can pull my weigh ins from any and every appointment I have) said there was a graph. They said it was the iodine I was taking. I say, NO! It is the emergency surger.y. “You were right.” What!….. What! Those words came from my husband, Paul Glover….. “You were right.”. Because last payday I needed to get the iodine, but I found a really cute cardigan. He said I could get the cardigan if I bumped the order of iodine. Hmmmmm…. well, my weights holding steady and not budging from the high 120’s…. CARDIGAN! In fact the cardigan was about 1/2 the price of the iodine so we came out ahead. Weight: stayed the same…. same….. same…. same….and holding.  When the next payday rolled around and I told Paul I had not taken an iodine pill in weeks and I was the same weight. To which he replied, “You were……. RIGHT!” My thyroid, however, is starting to grow slightly, verifying my research about Hashimoto’s Disease and iodine.


Surgery or not. Iodine or no iodine. Hashis, Graves, or no thyroid disease; the plain truth is this; I figured it out when I started eating healthy foods and splurged here and there. When the high sugar/high fat foods started tasting ‘icky’ and I wanted some carrots and ranch. When we switched to all natural foods including real butter. These are the things that work. Not one by itself, but all of them, like a fine tuned machine. See ‘the pouch’ knows what works and forces you to work with that. It isn’t this ‘diet’ or that…. I hate the “D” word… diet. Diets don’t work; they set you up for failure. It is as simple as this: changing the way you eat , changing your habits and getting your mindset into a place that embraces this new found way to eat.

 

Here is one of my favorite recipes! You can serve with some steak fries or sweet potato fries. For RNY Newbies, the meat portion of this would be PERFECT for you; for the rest of the family, they can just toast up a bun and everyone dig in!

I think that is important to mention too! When I started eating ‘real food’ again, I tried to make sure Paul and I were eating the ‘same thing’ as much as possible. It felt disconnected when I was doing my grits and jello ‘shooters’ while he feasted away on his ‘regular’ food. So with these types of recipes; even if you can just have a 1/4 cup meat, you feel ‘connected’ to the rest of the family.

 

 

 

 

Homemade Sloppy Joe’s

 

Early RNY: Meat Mix Only

Later RNY: Can Serve on Toasted Hamburger Bun

 

*Very Quick & Easy! Also Very In-expensive!!!!!!

 

1 lb ground beef or ground turkey

1 chopped medium onion

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

1 6 oz tomato paste

2 Tbs water

1 to 1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp garlic salt

Hamburger Buns or other desired sandwich rolls

 

In a skillet cook ground meat, onion and pepper until meat is brown and vegetables are tender. Drain off fat. Stir in tomato sauce, water, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce and garlic salt. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 5 mins. Serve on toasted hamburger or other split rolls of choice.

This Is For You, Mom!

This is for you Mom:

I will resume the usual “The Losing Side” Blog in a few days with “My Big Wake-Up Call” but first want to pay tribute to my Mother, Carol Ivester Coleman Bates 5-27-1944 to 9-12-2011.

 

I was sitting at home with my wonderful husband Paul on an otherwise normal Monday night when a message popped up on my Facebook from Diana, my sister (step, but we have decided since then to drop that silly little word), she wanted my phone number and wanted to call me. Having just had a surprise call from my dear friend Nickye a few Friday’s before (2 hours on the phone, wouldn’t have had it any other way!) and getting a self-esteem pep-talk from Nickye, I welcomed talking to Diana! I did not give it a 2nd thought. The conversation started out ‘normal’. A few questions and answers exchanged and then; “I have some bad news: your Mom passed away today. I don’t know a lot of details. I know she was at home and Dad found her……….”. I could feel my throat almost close. It tensed up. I couldn’t speak. Tears wailed out of me. Words failed me. It was as if I was purging sounds, of sorts, words and tears. Purging; purging a lot of tears. Paul looked equally concerned and puzzled. I looked at him, held my arm stiff, straight out. He took the phone. I went to the kitchen sink and hung over it and finally let all the tears wail out of me. Sobs. Sobs and sobs and sobs of tears flowing like a river. Then I collapsed to the ground on my knees. I couldn’t picture my beautiful, always picture perfect mother…. dead. It had been over 10 years for all of us kids… the 3 of us, my brother, sister and me since we had talked to them. I am ONLY going to say this ONCE. And I am going to state it in a way of fact with dignity the same dignity any other disease; diabetes, heart disease, Parkinsons, etc. would be given. My mother was an alcoholic. My step father has been clean and sober for over 20 years. He tried his hardest to get her to stop. She had a disease and the ONLY….. again the ONLY reason I removed myself is I could not bear to be around the addiction. It was toxic to me. It was NEVER to ‘punish her’. It was survival. I told her the day she decided to get clean and sober, I would be her biggest fan! I am leaving that at that. Out of respect to my Mom and ESPECIALLY my wonderful step-Dad, Tom, who is such a trooper and did his very best to take care of her, the details will remain private about cause of death, etc. But she went peacefully, on her terms and Tom took such good care of her and they had 30+ years of marriage and friendship. As my sister Diana said when she read (at the memorial) a letter my Mom had written to him so many years ago, if we all have a love like this in our lifetime, we are so blessed. What I am now going to focus on are the positive things about my Mom; not to be a hypocrite, but because it is and has been what I choose to remember. We can choose to hold grudges and not forgive. One of my favorites is, “I have forgiven you but I will never forget”. Watch out because I am going to use a curse word here…. what a load of BULLSHIT! Give me a break! That is the biggest bag of bull manure you can ever say….. that is like Jesus saying “Forgive them (but don’t forget!!!!) for they know not what they do”. That passage in the Bible, had it read that way, and I MEAN NO DISRESPECT, just trying to really make a point here, would have had such a DIFFERENT outcome and Easter such a different feel, meaning, etc. You either forgive someone or you don’t. It is that simple. I forgave my Mom a long time ago, I just could not be around the addiction. It was that simple. It was ‘self-preservation’.

 

The Mom I will remember: The beautiful black haired beauty that had this pudgy 3rd grader feeling awkward when all the kids said, “Kelli, your Mom is so pretty”. Kinda like the pudgy little Juanita on “Desperate Housewives”, I was the pudgy roly poly kid, with the beautiful mother who lit up a room. And the birthday parties! Mom threw the best parties. No, she did not hire the circus or clowns (like my daughter Sarah, they creep me out anyway….. who thinks clowns are cool?), but what she DID do was think of the coolest things like tying apples to the clothes line and us kids, arms behind our backs, having to take as many bites out of the apples as we could. The kid who took the most bites was the winner. At age 9 was my 1st slumber party and with Donny Osmond being my crush, we all sang “Puppy Love” into my Dad’s little black tape recorder to the 45 recording at the tops of our lungs. We go-go danced to our hearts delight. I still remember that slumber party like it was yesterday.

The Mom I am going to remember spent an entire weekend sewing itty bitty Barbie clothes. An entire wardrobe, in fact! I loved my Barbies! They were my favorite thing to play with. So when my Girl Scout Troup went to Avila Beach to get our Camping Badge (and I threw up in the back seat of my dear friend Sheila’s Mom’s back seat on the way home with a migraine headache), my Mom spent that weekend sewing these little clothes. I can’t hardly do a straight hem without going nuts, so I have no idea how she made all these little clothes! She even made a bridal dress complete with the train and head dress. She put little sequins on many of them. I am stressing just thinking about it! I think she gave these to me on my birthday and I still have many of these tucked away in my cedar chest.

 

My Mom is the one who caved and took me in to let me get my hair cut like “The Bay City Rollers” when I went through that phase (Lord, have mercy!) *Laugh, Laugh……..LAUGH!!!!!*. AND, her and my step-Dad Tom drove my friend Karen and me to Anaheim to see the Rollers LIVE AND IN CONCERT!!!!! And I know my favorite Roller Eric saw my Tartan Scarf with the words, “Do It To Me Eric!” because lead singer Leslie pointed up my way and right at me and Eric looked straight my way with his dreamy blue eyes…. oh, this 13 year olds dream come true!

 

Things got tough as the years progressed and the addiction got worse, but her heart was *always* in the right place, and that is what I continue to remind myself. As difficult as it was, at times, to go over for holidays, etc and hear that cork pop, smell that wine and hear the familiar slur, I did not want to deprived my Mom of a relationship with her granddaughters and vice versa. Again, her heart was always in the right place. When the things deteriorated to the point to where I could not handle the addiction and therefore could not sustain a relationship, I continued to send pictures and updates of the girls. I will probably be in therapy for the rest of my life to sort these things out, HOWEVER, I want this made very clear. I am not getting caught in this ‘victim syndrome’ BS, ‘if my Mom hadn’t did this/ if my daddy had done that/ if I had not broke my finger in 5th grade, etc. ‘ bullshit! No…… I am a grown woman fully in charge of my life and my only regret is that I let the wrong people bully my self-esteem for so long.

As I work each day to gain control of my self-esteem I am now proud of the person I am. Not only have I been told by others that I am a good person, but I truly like the person I am. My motto is to strive everyday to better my life for God and those I love and I (this part is added), those who love me in return. If you love someone and you go to them in a humble manner and say, “What can I do? I want to be my best for you.” Wow! What I would have given to hear that from my Mom. However, it did not touch my love for my Mom or the understanding that she had a disease and in the end she chose her course of treatment, which, for her, was to not get treatment. What I have also learned and truly believe, if you can’t accept a humble acceptance of humanity; aka imperfection, mistakes and a true, genuine desire to better yourself, then you are a pretentious hypocrite and have no business judging anyone (not that anyone has the right to judge anyway).

 

With my mothers passing, there were many positives I will cling to. My family, as in the Bates, reunited and re-bonded in a way I never imagined. The step word was dropped from sister and brother. That will go down as one of the proudest moments in my life! I am no longer an ‘only’ child. I have a parent, actually two,   counting Uncle David (who is like a 2nd Father to me!), who, by the way, is DOING MAGNIFICENT!!!! BETTER THAN EVER!!! (WOO HOO UNCLE DAVID, YOU GO!!!!!!) I have an obligation to help care for Tom and even though I am far away in Virginia, I am not going to just drop the ball on my brother and sister. I might not be able to do much, but I will do what I can, because Tom did so much for my Mom and he did his best.

 

In the end, my Mom died the way she lived, on her terms. She was bull-headed. However, she knew good and well what the consequences were of not seeking medical attention.

 

So for the Mom that taught me to fight for what I believe in, to be kind to others, to be the total girly girl I am, to be just a bit cheeky at times 😉 ….. just a bit, to never stop learning and never let my knowledge stop expanding and yes (this is for my hubby) where I get 1/2 of my stubbornness…. to stick my heels in the dirt…… this one is to you Carol! There was no one quite like you! So Godspeed Mom! You WERE and ALWAYS WILL BE LOVED! I hope you have found that peace you were searching for. Until someday, down that long journey, we meet again across the river, I love you!!!!!! Your daughter, Kelli Lynn xxoo

Movie Star Thin? ‘Ain’t’ So In!

 

This set was taken at 125 lbs. , a few days ago. I am down 1 lb more since then.

 

 

 

 

It is so hard to believe four years has come and gone since I underwent Laproscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery. After my emergency surgery in the wee hours of July 2, 2011 (also my beautiful granddaughters 1st birthday), I realized the reason I ulcerated and tore a hole through my stomach (pouch) was most likely from the abuse I had been throwing at it; aspirin (sometimes by the handfuls) and ibuprofen. It started out as a few ibuprofen here and there (before I had had my partial hysterectomy) ‘once a month’, then when I ran low on my migraine meds would hit the Excedrin Migraine. It ended uplike a runaway locomotive and I think I am probably on the Christmas Card List for The Novartis Company.

So, those who follow my blog, are cruisin’ by, or have just started reading it because you are contemplating bariatric surgery; what do you never, ever take? NSAIDS!!!!! I will say this on every, or nearly every blog post I make! It is *that* important!

When I went in to my appointment; post surgery but several days before today, I weighed 132 lbs. Because my bariatric surgeon is connected to all the other Doctor’s I see, they have been able to chart my weight every time I go into an appointment with any of my  other Doctor’s. What Jimi, Dr. Lucktong’s Nurse Practitioner (who is not just my health care provider now, after all these years, she is a caring friend) told me with a stern but caring tone was I had two precipitous weight losses. One was last year and another this year. We got it turned around last year, but alas, here I am again. What concerned her even more, was that I let months and months of stomach pain go without coming in. She pointed out two appointments that had been cancelled. I explained I did not have the money for my co-pay so had to cancel those appointments. However, I did not know at the new complex they are in, they will bill you for your co-pay. If I had only known that! Oh, if I had! I would have caught the ulcer so much sooner and the treatment would have likely been much ‘kinder’.

Never, in all of my life, in a million years did I think I would be sitting in an office with a dietician giving me tips on how to INCREASE my caloric intake. Kay, my dietician, gave me all sorts of advice so I could…. no, could it be? Gain weight. But it is wrong, all wrong…. it feels so wrong….. it can’t be…. wrong… wrong…. wrong…..wrong……cannot compute, cannot compute.
FAST FORWARD: 8/15/11
Morning weigh in 124 lbs. Height 5 ft 8 in
BMI (with excess skin)  18.9

In all fairness, I am trying! I really am! I am not, NOT trying to lose more weight. I have not been the same since my surgery and I am not quite sure what to do. I do have one more follow up with my surgeon (who did the repair) and I reckon if I keep losing I should call my bariatric sugeon. I will say this much: All my life I have wanted to be ‘movie star thin’. At 5 ft 8 in, with nearly10 lbs of that being excess skin, well….. here I am and it is not all it is cracked up to be!
I am a big fan of of the iodine pills I have been taking! I highly recommend to people trying to lose weight. My bariatric providers told me to STOP!  S-T-O-P!!!! So, in the Kelli Glover world that translates to every-other day. Look, it cured my goiter. The enlargement of the thyroid is virtually GONE. They think the excessive iodine might be speeding up my metabolism to the point that it is making me lose. So now, I am going to every 3 days as I don’t have much, if any wiggle room.

As for those reading the BLOG……
I want to OPEN THIS UP!!!!!
Questions?  Ask me… please; send them and I will answer.

If you are thinking about this journey, if you have just had surgery or are years out. We are all in the same boat; conquering the disease of obesity!

I decided I wanted to add recipes as much as possible. I am going to start with the most ‘GO TO’ recipe I had. When you are off of liquids/total soft foods, people often talk about “Wendy’s Chili”. When I had to return to work at the Bank, I made a vat of this and got little rubbermaid containers and measured out 1/2 cups and froze them. Family and I had dinner and I had tons for lunches, etc.  Add a bit of shredded of cheese (lots of protein packed in a bit of cheese) and it is tasty, good on the pouch, etc etc.

Chili
Gastric Bypass Friendly

1 Medium Onion, Chopped
2 Bell Peppers, Chopped (can use red, yellow, etc for variety)
1 1lb. pkg ground turkey or lean ground beef
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 cans chili beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans rotel tomato’s, mild
1 large can diced tomato’s
1 Pkg Carroll Shelby’s Chili (use 1/2 the package per vat,freeze                                   the rest for next vat)

Pour a small amount of Olive Oil into pot add vegies and when soft add meat, brown and crumble. Add 1/2 spice package (freeze the rest for next time) OR if you like really spicy chili, you can use whole package and add tomato sauce. Add rest of tomato’s, stir and simmer for at least 1/2 hour. You can add masa pkg from kit if you want to.

Intestinal Armageddon!!!!!!!!

First, I am so sorry there has been such a lapse in posting a new blog. I will explain in a moment. I was getting ready to post a few weeks ago and decided I would try to post a recipe with most of my new posts and also my goal was to post two new blogs a month. Something happened. Something bad. So I will start by saying something I will likely start most of my blogs with from now on. If you have had Gastric Bypass DO NOT under any circumstance (unless your DR says it is OK), however, never ever take it upon yourself to take aspirin, ibuprofen or any other NSAIDS, ever. EVER! DO NOT TAKE THEM!
Welcome to my story of intestinal Armageddon.

For a couple years I have been having intermittent abdominal issues. I would get pains for a few weeks, be unable to eat much, etc. I would get these spells and get x ray’s and they would tell me I was ‘backed up’. Having IBS, well, it seemed logical that was the reason. The problems always worked themselves out eventually and I would get back to being able to eat like normal (for me). I did take a lot of antacids though, for heartburn. This went on and even when a friend of mine got an ulcer (same situation; sudden, took NSAIDS, etc and of course, also post RNY, I still thought nothing of it).

Friday, July 1st, 2011, I woke up in the worst abdominal pain I have ever been in; worse than labor, worse than when I had my old gallbladder attacks before I had the gallbladder out, worse than even pancreatitis and that was BAD! I laid on the couch in misery all day sipping on liquids but eating nothing. Finally when Paul came home from work we said we were going to the ER. LONG WAIT! DO NOT BELIEVE THOSE LEWIS GALE BILLBOARDS THAT SAY 20 minutes wait! They LIE!  Anyway, finally after a CAT scan, we dozed off and a nurse came running in the room like a scalded cat, almost hysterical, saying, “Wake up! Wake up! You have to have surgery; NOW! You have to have surgery; N-O-W!” . Paul and I were shaking the cobwebs out of our heads, trying to grasp what was happening. Someone else, I think the ER DR. came in and said there was a perforation in the intestines somewhere and a surgeon had been called and was on his way. As soon as they finished an emergency C Cection, I was on.
Dr Kessler arrived; a 60ish, very stately man. I have never seen fear in a Dr’s face, but I saw it then as he explained how very serious this situation was. He did not know where the perforation was. I could wake up with a colostomy bag and/ or all kinds of things. Or worse……. I just muttered, “Paul!” and looked at my husband who had the same look of fear though he was trying his best to hide it.
Once the other surgery was complete, it was like something from “Grey’s Anatomy”. They ran like scalded cats to get me to the 2nd floor (I had 3 previous surgeries at LG so I knew that 2nd floor was the surgical floor). Paul was actually able to stay with me in pre op, I was quite surprised. I talked to Dr Sleepjuice and his sweet tech, ‘check’ was ok to hold the mask tho in the end I didn’t and I will explain. Once they got me in the OR they were rushing like I have never seen before. This was my 8th, 9th surgery…. I have lost count….. but usually is it paced; methodical. This was like URGENT; STAT! So what happened is they started tying my arms down and the anesthesia tech said, “Kelli, I am going to hold the mask, I have to because they have to get started, but I am not going to hold it any closer than this until you are asleep”.  And she held it a good 6-8 inches from my face, bless her heart. It was OK, I trusted her.She said they were giving me the medicine to make me go to sleep and in a few seconds I was out. There is a bunch of us boomers that had BAD, BAD! Ether masks experiences as children. I am not alone and it is so sweet that they understand.
I woke up groggy, but in keeping with my record, in the OR; Praise Jesus, no colostomy bag but I did have this NG Tube. It was the most miserable thing. I dubbed it, my ‘snout’. I did not find out until later but I had peritonitis (the same thing you get if your appendix bursts). That’s why they were giving me a bazillion antibiotics. I am glad I found out later rather than sooner!
 I spent 3 days in ICU and a week in the hospital. It was awful, miserable. However, as Dr Kessler, who would become very dear to my heart, said, “I was very, very sick”. You find out who TRULY cares about you when something like this happens and who has hearts of stone. But I did find out a whole lot of people care and I am blessed. My sweet, wonderful Uncle David was worried sick, and I am finally up to giving him a call this weekend.
So what now? My appetite is slowly getting there. My weight is back down to 139 lbs today and I hope to keep it here. The ulcer/perforation was right where the small intestine meets the pouch. Dr Kessler said it is just a bit bigger (he had to ‘re do’ it) so food may travel a big faster through which means I just may have to eat a bit more maybe. I will go see Dr Lucktong and see what he reckons. I know with all those fluids and crap in hospital, I was up to 160 lbs!!!!! BAD BAD! But, it’s OK now because I am 139 lbs. Also, tho he cut me from breastbone to navel, it is the most pristine ‘scar’ you would ever see. If it looks this barely visible now, I can only imagine in a few months what it will look like and who cares? Only Paul, me and my health care professionals see it. Dr Kessler saved my life!
So, again, Gastric Bypass vets and Gastric Bypass waiting to have surgery; what do we never ever take?   NSAIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    Next post will be on the foods I love, crave, eat on a regular basis and perhaps a recipe. Be blessed! xxxxxooooooo

Cookout’s, Picnics & Get-Together’s!

Warmer weather is upon us and with that brings lots of cookouts, pool party get-together’s, picnics and other assorted festivities revolving around food.
So you may think, “If I am ‘dieting’, I will be miserable watching everyone else eat!”. It just does not have to be that way! We went to the first cookout of the year a few weeks ago and as you can see, I am anything but deprived!
Here are a few hints:

* If pot-lucking, bring something healthy like fruit, veggies and dip or something like the corn & black bean salsa I love making. You know at least one thing there will be healthy

* Get a little bit of everything you love, just a few spoon fulls, and one of the ‘big things’; hamburger, etc. , This will satisfy your palate but not overwhelm you. Eat as slow as possible and enjoy every taste. Try to lean on the ‘healthier’ things; veggies, fruits, beans, etc., but if you want a ‘guilty pleasure’, get a spoonful or two of that too! DO NOT DEPRIVE!

As you can see, I loaded my plate.  My husband ended up eating about 1/2 of my food. There are 2 approaches, load the plate or literally just get a tiny amount. I knew Paul would take extra’s and I was really hungry (not the time to have a buffet laid out before you!), so it all worked out. You can see, I did not deprive myself! I even had a small piece of cake once it was cut to reveal a pink middle (It’s gonna be a girl!). And guess what? The scale did not go up; I maintained!

Whether you are post RNY or just trying to live a healthy lifestyle, this can work for you!

Say NO! To Processed Foods!

One, two, three strikes and you are out!

I think it was no coincidence that the last several weeks in our marathon ‘Craigs List’ sales, two of our buyers were health freaks.

So I am my Dad’s daughter and make friends wherever I go. The point is, the one who bought our old sofa does not eat anything processed and talked the longest time about the foods he eats and how he and his wife, once they changed, lost weight, felt better, etc etc.

The one who bought Paul’s lawn-mower, pretty much ditto. I don’t think God is a God of accidents.

Short and sweet? We tried this skillet dinner twice; both times made me sick on my stomach. Now one would think the high fat alfreddo sauce might  be the culprit? However, I make my own alfreddo sauce and am fine with it (heavy cream and butter).  So last night we tried it one more time…. and yes, got sick on my stomach again. Three strikes and you are out.

One thing Paul has noticed for the longest time; highly processed foods do not settle well with me at all.

We treated ourselves to a small cheesecake last night which my part will take me days to eat (that’s ok, I get days and days of enjoyment!). But I am now convinced I have all but lost my sweet tooth! The one thing that used to be my biggest enemy is now all but gone from me. The moral of the story? Eating good natural foods; Mmmmmmmmm….. I crave salads with REAL dressings. They are real, no crazy ingredients you are unable to pronounce. When we go out, I generally opt for a salad and of course if I eat 1/2 I am lucky so have 2-3 meals out of it.

I made a decision today! After the cheesecake is gone (and I will likely give Paul part of mine, and it is a teeny tiny cheesecake; pre rny, I could have eaten the WHOLE thing); I am swearing off sweets with ONE exception. That exception is Breyers all natural peach ice cream. It is all natural ingredients and only 120 cals per servine and 6 grams of fat. So since lite makes me dump and Breyers (and even Coldstone strawberry) does not, and it is not super sweet, that will be my occasional treat.

I am done with cakes, etc EXCEPT for a SMALL bite at weddings and birthday party’s. I am done, done, done…. maybe a cookie here and there if it sounds good, but no more buying treats. Paul wants to lose weight and I just don’t want the stuff. Done and done with processed crap food!

Update on the supplements! I actually am SUPER mega dosing on the KELP and guess what? My goiter is shrinking! It really is…. NO joke! I am taking this super B-12 and have some more energy. Now, I am no where ready to takle a full time job, but I am not knocked on my arse 6 hours a day either! I found an AFFORDABLE KELP (IODINE) supplement ($25 for 2 mos) that has 8, 333% of your daily recommended iodine with no exspensive $100 consultation or anything. Next payday I am ordering! Right now I am taking the GNC KELP and just taking several handfuls a day.

Will keep you posted!

Products!

I am going to do something I have never done since I started this blog, promote some products!

The first; the best smoothie (you can make, easily, yourself). That would be the yoplait smoothie mix you buy in the frozen section. You can either make 2 and add a cup of milk the whole package, or make 1/2 the package with 1/2 cup of milk (I have been using lactaid, but am going to give almond milk a try!). Anyway, I can highly recommend it! That and a cup of coffee is a great way to start the morning. Easy on the tummy yet filling!

The next thing I have incorporated into my diet to try to be a bit proactive about my Hashimoto’s disease is Kelp! Yes, Kelp! One a day is supposed to give me 100% of my iodine, so I am starting with five a day. If I see a significant difference in my goiter, energy level, weight fluctuations, etc., I will take note and adjust. I am hoping to reduce the size of my goiter and up my energy. I have also switched to sea salt which is richer in iodine.

Last, but not least, got a headache? Try a handful of magnesium. Yep!  A friend at my last place of employment told me she read magnesium was supposed to help headaches and it really seems to! The bad throbbing migraine, not so much. However, the normal everyday headache, I really think it does and when I get my normal, everyday headache, I find myself reaching for magnesium before Excedrin. Hey, it can’t hurt!

Since the move, I have been keeping my weight below 140 lbs! (9 stone & 8-9 lbs) and I really like it! I am hoping if the Kelp helps my thyroid I can hover at 139 lbs. , a really feel good weight for me! At 5 ft 8 in, that puts my BMI at 21.1 which is respectful! 🙂  Mornings my first weigh in is 137 lbs that would be an even better 20.8! 🙂