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SHRINKING_SARA's Recent Blog Entries

One month till surgery -- new goals!

Friday, July 27, 2012

So I have one month (and a day) until my brachioplasty. I'm starting to get really excited. One thing I'm not excited about... not being able to work out AT ALL for three weeks. I'm supposed to maintain a low heart rate and not get the blood pumping to help improve healing. I'm going to ask at my pre-surgery consultation in two weeks if I can do mild stuff like walking at a slow pace or recumbent biking at a slow pace.

One caveat of surgery is that you're supposed to be within 10 pounds or so of your final goal weight. I've tried to be realistic about the weight I'm going to try to maintain. I'm 5'10" so I think 170 is a good number for my high end. Its definitely better than the 280 I used to be! I don't think I'll ever be one of those "half-her-size" women. It would take way too much exercise and 1200 calorie days to get down that far. Heck these last five pounds have been fighting me for three months.

My SparkGoal right now was to get down to 176 by 8-8-12 (my 1 year Sparkiversary). I weighed in on Tuesday at *gasp* 179.6~! I haven't seen a 17# in so long I can't even remember. I was probably in 6th or 7th grade to be honest. And funny enough, back then when I was 12, people thought I was 17/18 from my height and weight. Its really strange to think about... Someone made a comment last week that I look really young now. I take that as a compliment that I don't look 27, but I guess healthy eating and losing 100 pounds would make anyone look younger. Plus being told you look younger as you near 30 is never a bad thing ;-)

So for goals -- its Shark Week so I'm not anticipating any major losses for the week. The 179.6 was a complete shocker for me. I had dropped the four pounds I gained back, but somehow kept getting suck at 180.4. I worked out religiously for a few days, ate in my calorie range and still those pesky 0.4 pounds wouldn't leave! I have been keeping up the exercise, but my TOM has made my stomach a bottomless pit. I swear I couldn't get enough food for the last two days. I eat clean and healthy for breakfast and lunch. I come home and prepare a healthy dinner -- but I'm still hungry. Its crazy. I know I'm hydrated and full of food -- but some silly hormones are trying to convince my logical brain to keep eating. Luckily I've got a lot of good stuff saved up in my fridge and cabinets, so a binge happens 100-150 calories at a time and not 700+ calories at a time like from a bag of chips.

I'll still aim for 176 on 8-8-12 as some miracle sign from God, but I'm realistic about not reaching it. So instead, now I'm thinking that 176 on the morning of my surgery is a good realistic goal. (The surgery is my 100# lost present to myself from my highest recorded doctor's office visit of 276)

After that, who knows? I know that post-surgery I'm going to have to be conscious of my diet as exercise will be out. Since its just my arms, I'd really still like to get in some core workouts and leg stretches -- I have killer abs (they're just covered up right now)

So anyway, today is a rest day. I've worked out every day this week so far, either cardio or strength training. Apparently my strength training last night and two night ago + cramps is making my entire body hurt! It's probably my own fault for doing 500 dumbbell side bends on each side though. *It's my new favorite move. I was about to upgrade to a 20# kettlebell -- but I'm now saving up for the surgery. On the other hand, some killer upper arm workouts before surgery aren't such a bad idea... Oh shopping addiction, you strike again...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JMARIES51 7/29/2012 11:33PM

    Wow, I have been catching up on your blogs and you are doing amazing. Just wanted to let you know you are an inspiration and you must be feeling really proud.

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SUSIEGKORN 7/28/2012 9:42AM

    So many happy thoughts are in my head for you! I know you'll rock your goal and the surgery! Sending hugs and an "I care" your way!
emoticon

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MISTY_MOUNTAINS 7/27/2012 5:21PM

    You seem like you've got this cased... good luck!! Good luck with your surgery as well!!

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*Controversial* Milk does NOT do a body good -- try giving up dairy~!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

So I'm going to post this with a grain of salt. I know everyone LOVES dairy. Cheese is a gift from God as far as I'm concerned, but I only eat it ~1x a month. Cow's milk has been out of my life for months, and you know what -- I'm SO much healthier. My migraines are GONE. Gone. Seriously. If you've ever had one, you know how much they suck. I've taken so much Imitrex in my life its ridiculous. If you have migraine issues, try a dairy free week. Just a week -- see if your symptoms improve.

My irritable bowel syndrome has gotten so much better, I'm weaning myself of medications I've been on since I was 17. When my IBS got worse, my doctor just prescribed more... and then more... and before you knew it I was on 75mg of an antidepressant for the "side effects" -- when it is used at 100mg as an antidepressant!

My allergies in general are also so much better. My body was fighting the milk in my system. My daily bowl of cereal in the morning was leading to a host of problems for me.

So now dairy and I aren't friends. We're casual acquaintances. I've finally found a brand of soy milk I like (and it's from Aldi's = score!), and am experimenting with other soy products (soy ice cream... sadly, not a good one yet).

I just thought I'd post these two articles from the NY Times from this week and a two weeks ago. Just another person's perspective. If you have any issues, try a five-seven day dairy free trial period. See if you feel better. I was amazed, and now actively avoid dairy except as special treats -- and take twice the amount of Lactaid as recommended when I do consume it.

Here's the links:

July 7, 2012, 3:56 PM772 Comments
Got Milk? You Don’t Need It
By MARK BITTMAN
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/201
2/07/07/got-milk-you-dont-need-it/

and

July 24, 2012, 9:00 PM2 Comments
More on Milk
By MARK BITTMAN
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/201
2/07/24/more-on-milk/?smid=tw-bittman&
seid=auto

And now discuss!

I'm hoping Spark will write something on this -- they push A LOT of dairy products on here -- and I for one, can't enjoy greek yogurt -- come up with another suggestion already~!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SQUIRRELLYONE 7/27/2012 9:06AM

    A lot of people have a sensitivity to milk products. Personally, they're great for me, but I know that anyone with a sensitivity to them gets told (a lot) that "Milk is good for you!". It might be good for me, but not so much good for someone with an allergy!

Try this "ice cream". My Mom's friend is both Celiac and Lactose intolerant, so despite for my love of it, she gets all the coupons :( It's almost as good as gelato!
http://www.nutrisoya.com
/dessertGlace.php


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ALPINESALLIE 7/25/2012 11:42AM

    thanks for the blog - LOVE IT! You go girl! I love those articles =)

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RACHELRUNS26 7/25/2012 8:35AM

    It's true, I feel a lot better (fewer migraines, allergies, digestive problems) when I avoid dairy as much as possible. And I do like almond milk and soy milk and the Daiya dairy-free cheese is pretty good (but expensive). I don't drink cow's milk really ever. The only thing I miss when I go dairy-free is the yogurt...I eat Greek yogurt just about daily. I think they make a vegan Greek style yogurt but I have yet to find it in my area.

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QUIERRA 7/25/2012 12:28AM

    This blog is very helpful for my little sister. I just went to go see her yesterday and she was experiencing all the problems you spoke of. I'm going to send this suggestion to her and see what happens. I know she loves her dairy.

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CINEMAVEN 7/25/2012 12:26AM

  If I have my Greek yogurt, that's pretty much it for dairy for the day.
Interesting articles. :) I might have to try giving up milk to see the effects

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1 Negative + 5 Positives = One of my best days EVER!

Monday, July 23, 2012


SO much has happened lately – I almost don’t know where to begin.

I’ll start with the negative and work to the positive. Negative = my co-worker seriously sent from the devil. She’s gone from being difficult to actively going out of her way to be petty and snippy towards me. No one else really, just me. She’s not the smartest girl in the world though, so her Facebook profile had no privacy settings on it. She’s obviously so nuts, everyone in the lab are not her friends on FB (and let me preface this story with the fact that I feel like an idiot using FB in an argument). She apparently had posted some really negative things on her profile about her co-workers. We just ignored that stuff – but two of my friends came to me to tell me about the scary threats she had been posting. And just for sanity’s sake, note that everything she posts is from her deluded, paranoid world – we don’t do ANYTHING to her in lab, but she imagines all of these insults. She’s the most paranoid person I’ve ever met.

Here’s her post: “not a fun day when having to deal with a co-worker who throws tantrums like a 5 years in the middle of lab…..I just like it so much when lab-mates throw my lab coat on the floor on purpose….;(“ Her sister then offered to kick my ass, another friend offered to hang me using a winch from his truck, and she replied “hmm…am thinking about it”

*Screeching breaks* -- say what?!? Needless to say I sent my boss an e-mail immediately. AND called someone in the department to let them know how crazy she has gotten lately. I talked to a department ombudsman for half an hour and my boss for an hour and a half later that day. Apparently they can’t do anything since it doesn’t specifically use names – but still, scary. She’s definitely the scary type of science graduate student like the guy in Aurora, CO. Thankfully my boss seems to be taking it seriously. I think he’s starting to collect a paper trail to use against her when he fires her. He’s just afraid that A) she’ll commit suicide or B) she’s going to sue him and the department. I told him she’s too much of a sociopathic narcissist to commit suicide, but he just wants to take this carefully. *Can we say stressful?

And just to show you how bad her English skills are (she’s a native born, Missourian BTW) – here’s another one of her posts. “I love having to re-writing things…to only have to punt it off to people who write worst than me…oh it gonna be a rough week :(“ I’d love to tell you that’s her trying to be funny—but nope, that’s her normal grammar. She’s already sent two more annoying e-mails bashing me to my boss and the lab since Friday. Now instead of getting too annoyed, I am just reminding myself that she’s just put another page in the book that will be used to fire her… The more she involves my PI-boss, the more he doesn’t want to keep her. I just hope she gets the mental health care she needs, oh yea, and doesn’t attempt to kill me!


OKAY – and now for something completely different! Positive things!

I’ve been pretty good about my food intake since I dropped my calories. I also have been consistently exercising. I was sooo tired after seeing Batman at midnight – but I was smart with my food so I’m feeling good. I’ll do an official weigh-in tomorrow but I feel good. My jeans that were tight last week, fit again comfortably. I am motivated to get down to the 170s. This morning I was at 180.4 – so poised and ready for that final tip into the 170s!

I think dropping my calorie range has forced me to be a lot smarter with what I am eating. At 1700 I could fudge it a little. I could splurge a little – which meant I often said – whatever I’ll just have a bit more. Now-a-days I see it as a small budget of calories for the day, and fruit and veggies fill me up for less. So hello plums, goodbye granola bars. And you know what – it feels good almost to put together a HUGE dinner to only find out its 268 calories! Have you all made a meal that stuffed you to the gills, only to enter the calories, and ask yourself what the heck was I doing eating all of that high-calorie crap that barely touched the hunger? I think by treating this as a game, seeing what foods/meals I can create, and then staying at the lower end of my calorie range = I am finally going to see that progress that has been sorely lacking. I know at my higher weight, I still ate some of the same foods – but I had a few bad ones I still ate. Honestly I used to keep candy bars in the house to treat myself at the end of the day if I still had the extra calories. Seriously. I don’t have that luxury anymore, and I am eating a better quality of food, and feel amazing.

Positive news #2: I went to see a plastic surgeon this morning…. Eep! That was stressful. I had an 8am appointment so I got up early, woke up my mom who wanted to come with me, and made breakfast. I ate a full breakfast of oatmeal with blackberries (yum) and we were off. I barely got into the room with the doctor – and showed him my upper arms before he said, “oh yea – no problem at all. I thought I still had some fat in my arms – apparently not nearly as much as loose skin. I genetically inherited my southern grandma arms from my mom’s side of the family. Even my aunt who is skinny has wiggly, large upper arms. So at 27 – having lost 100 pounds – almost done with my weight loss – I’m an ideal candidate for surgery. He was really positive about the results I could expect, so I bit the bullet and did it! I’m having surgery on August 28th. I’ll post my before and after pics once I heal up. (who doesn’t love those!). The surgery itself is going to be an in and out the same day, but will be done under general anesthesia. I was soooo nervous, anxious about this appointment. I had some evil thoughts running around in my head about how I would not be able to do this, or something would happen and it would be way out of my price range. But I think I can make it work. Thankfully as a graduate student I still qualify for the 3.4% student loans (they never check to see what you spend it on) – and there’s 12 months, no interest financing for part of the costs. My mom was pushing me to get this surgery done (partly because she wants it herself eventually) so she’s determined to try and help me pay for some of it. My dad is also really supportive of the whole idea, so I don’t know what they’re going to do. They obviously can’t pay for the whole $6,300 (yep—two arms = $$$$) – but they want to help some. I always want to know what people are paying for these surgeries so here it is: the plastic surgeon’s fee is $3600, the surgery center’s fee is $1800, and the anesthesia fee is $920. Only the $3600 can be financed for 12 months, my savings is going to cover the anesthesia (they only take a cashier’s check or money order), and my mastercard is going to have to cover the surgery center’s fee. So there it is. I’m doing this! Pretty soon I’ll be able to high-five everyone without also slapping myself with my upper arm ;-)

Positive news #3: I went to see my primary care physician later this afternoon. I’ve been having massive hair loss for the last few months. Guess what. Losing a significant amount of weight freaks your body out. Your hair is one body part that sees this stress and says, ok, we’re not going to waste our energy growing hair now. He told me it was called “telogen effluvium” – my hair is basically taking a chill pill and waiting for me to stabilize. But apparently this is just a temporary thing – and my hair should grow back sometime within the next few months. Just to be sure though I got some bloodwork done, a thyroid panel, and checking my iron/B-vitamin levels to just make sure there’s nothing else going on. But he was kind of surprised by it. He’s saw me at 260 last year – so being 180 today was kind of a shock – so I got some high-fives and praise for doing it, and he asked A LOT of questions about Sparkpeople. So I definitely spread the Spark.

Positive news #4: (just for today—its an awesome day) I got a cute new purse on clearance for $16 and cute Born shoes on clearance for $31 (at Marshall’s) – and then my mom ended up buying them for me. She has guilt issues and tries to buy us stuff constantly – which she really shouldn’t.

Positive news #5: I just got some results back on one of my science experiments I’ve been working on for years. Guess what – I found statistically significant changes~! For the scientists on here, one of my p-values was 0.0001! I did a happy dance! SO EXCITING.

Today has been a reeeeeeeally good day. I’m in such a positive mood. It looks like I’ll be in my calorie range for the day, and I’m going to go change and jump on my treadmill! Let’s keep this burn going and I WILL be in the 170s by the end of next week!

(Holy crap this was long~! If you made it this far = kudos!)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYOWNHERO 7/29/2012 3:04PM

    Congratulations on your amazing progress. Looking forward to the after photos!

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LOVEPASSIONLIFE 7/24/2012 7:11PM

    WOW, that's a whole lot of awesome news!!!!! And congrats on that p-value :-)

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RACHELRUNS26 7/24/2012 1:08PM

    Congrats on all your good news!! Though talking about your statistically significant results brings back some memories from the quantitative techniques class I took last semester. :)

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CLHENDY1 7/24/2012 8:48AM

    Such a great blog!! (minus the crazy co worker!)

So exciting that you are getting the arm surgery. Can't wait to see the pictures!!

Have a great rest of your week!

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TRAVELGRRL 7/23/2012 9:06PM

    Congrats! The surgery is an excellent reward for a job well done. Bless your heart!!!

You deserve it. Good luck with everything!!

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SRBSRB26 7/23/2012 8:25PM

    emoticon

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SHRINKING_SARA 7/23/2012 8:09PM

    Oh and I got the "Go ahead and get it!" from the doctor about doing a juice fast. Apparently my kidney's are healthier now without all the extra weight, and as long as I drink a tooooon of water -- bring on the green veggies again!

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Nooo... my calorie range just dropped. :-(

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Well it happened. I updated my goal this week on the main page since I am on a plateau... and even though I was complaining earlier this week about having problems staying under 1700 calories... now my range is now the dreaded 1200 to 1500.

*GASP*

How am I going to do this? Well after that realization I went to the grocery store. I have never wanted to take a picture of my cart more. Seriously I checked out and all I had was a TON of fruit (grapes, raspberries, strawberries, red plums, black plums, gala apples, and black apricots), veggies, 99% fat free turkey and 93% fat free turkey, weight watchers chicken, and some skinny pop popcorn (my munchie breaker).

All told I spent a whopping $90 -- but it was all deliciously good looking food. Plus my dinner (turkey taco salad -- I mix the super dry 99% turkey with 93% turkey for an edible turkey taco) and my calories for dinner with plums for dessert was only 275 calories... so maybe if I focus more on meal planning -- I'll be okay.

I've got 150 calories for the rest of the day -- so the goal now is to do some MASSIVE cardio, burn up 500+ calories, and use the 150 calories for my recovery snack.

I CAN DO THIS!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHEEKY1000 7/29/2012 1:33PM

    Good lord, I'm already at 1200-1550...are you saying it could eventually go LOWER??? Well, $$#@%!! that sucks. I guess it will just be another healthy challenge. emoticon

Good on you for filling your cart with all of that healthy, beautiful food! Yum! Turkey taco salad sounds delish!

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LEB0401 7/19/2012 8:18AM

    Patting you on the back for recognizing the challenge and then taking conscious steps to meet your new goals!


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SHIRE33 7/19/2012 8:00AM

    Give yourself time to maker the transition. It might take week or two to get used to it. Going over a day here and there won't be a disaster. In fact, adding 100-150 calories on a day when you are feeling really hungry might keep you from having a munchie attack. : )

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CINERICIA 7/19/2012 7:33AM

    Plan, plan, plan. If you have the luxury of doing so, map out all your meals for the day in the morning. I find that if I know what I'm going to eat--and that it's going to be tasty!--I'm less tempting to graze or indulge in something that I don't really want/need.

Luck. (And keep up the great positive attitude.)

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PURPLE180 7/18/2012 11:54PM

    emoticon

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XPHOENIX 7/18/2012 10:17PM

    Guarantee your plateau will break now though! :) YAY!!! Why didn't you take a pic of your cart? I do that all the time! LOL That stuff sounds SOOOOO yummy! Our house is nearly empty of food.. I have to go shopping SO bad! I will do that on Friday! :) YUM Plums!!!! Good for you! Sucks to have lower cals.. mine went from like 1590 - 1880 down to 1370- 1720 or something and I'm usually right at 1300 and have to drink a cup of skim milk before bed to get enough cals.. lol You will get there! XO

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BLUEROSE73 7/18/2012 7:37PM

    I know you can. I believe in you. You just have to be sure to plan ahead. Nothing is worse than finding the right things to eat when you are hungry. Glad to see you are well stocked. I can't wait to hear you broke the plateau you've been stuck on.

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BEAUTIFUL_REINA 7/18/2012 7:33PM

    I'm proud of you and you are an inspiration!!

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"Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" -- To juice or not to juice?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

So I watched "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" -- which you can see on instant Netflix or online at: http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/

It looks interesting. I've been thinking about shocking my system... I just don't know if its a good idea. I'm a biochemist. I know its kind of stupid to just drink juice for 10 days, with limited protein, barely any fiber, just fruit and veggie juice. But still...

I think the movie serves as a long commercial for the Breville juicers. The cheapest one with a good review is $200 -- plus paying for fruits and veggies to juice for a week and a half ~$150-200 -- so I'd be looking at a $400 diet for a week. I think my budget would agree that probably right now, its not a good idea.

But still I'm trying to do some research and hear back from anyone on Spark that has done a juice fast. There's a few Spark Groups related to it -- so there are Sparkers out there that have tried it. I just don't know what to think about it.

So that's my "hmm" should I try it -- for the day.

-------

In other news, I called the plastic surgeon to get a consultation for a brachioplasty (aka--goodbye chicken wing arms!). My mom's all worried about me having surgery (and she'd be the one driving my butt around that day and for the next few days) -- so I asked her to come down and go with me on the 23rd.

Its exciting. I'm devoting myself to religiously track my food intake. I've been working out, but then if I eat too much -- the scale is not budging. I've been good today--lots of fruits, air popped popcorn, and tuna. I'm trying to lean more towards 1400 calories if I can budge it--but its sooooo little! I honestly don't know how the people staying at 1200 can manage it. But I'm trying to learn the better choices.

Haha, instead of juicing I should just focus on actually eating the stuff I would juice -- right? I probably won't juice -- I'm supposed to avoid celery and dark green leafy vegetables to avoid kidney stones -- so I guess I should focus on actually eating the freggies.

By the way -- the plums I've gotten in the last week = SO GOOD! And black velvet apricots are my new addiction. Random blog... but its been that kind of a day!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KJAZZINGILBERT 7/22/2012 1:57PM

    I was inspired by F, S & Nearly Dead also and did run out and buy a Breville. This is way before signing on with Sparkpeople. I did a 7 day juice only and really enjoyed doing it. It was kind of awesome to give your body a rest from all that processing of solid foods. I never felt tired or hungry really and had a lot of energy.
On the down side. It was expensive to do the way I did it. I was doing all organic and a huge variety, following the exact food menu that he lays out on the website. It's a whole lot of vegetables.
I did lose 8 pounds in that week which I put back on in short order because I went right back to my old bad habits.
Overall I think it's a wonderful way to kickstart a change in one's life and I will do it again, maybe more for just 5 days, two or three times a year to give my body a cleanse and a rest.

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BIGMELITTLEME 7/21/2012 12:02PM

    I too watched "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" and I loved the concept. It was too expensive for me as well. I found a juicer in my garage that must have been my parents' (I bought my parents' home when they passed). Anyway, I did an alternate concept. I have a blender and a bullet. I bought the Fusion Fruit Mixes and I bought some of the Smoothie juice mixes. I bought fruits like bananas and peeled them and broke them in half and froze them. I bought cherries, pitted them and put them in 3/4 cup portions in baggies and froze them and same with some kiwi, strawberries etc. That way they keep for a long time. Then I made myself a smoothie every morning rather than just the juice. I got the bulk/roughage and I felt full and I still got to benefit from the nutrients. I put also put baby spinach in mine (which I could NOT taste) for the iron. You couldn't do the spinach because of your dietary restriction. Then I ate salad for lunch and a regular 3oz meat, two veggies, and a carb for supper. I lost about 10 lbs doing that for about two weeks.
George

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SUSIEGKORN 7/20/2012 9:26AM

    I thought about trying freggies only for a day or so just to get the jump start I've been needing lately. I just don't think I can do it. I may have to look for the Eat t Live book others referenced in your comments though. Good luck to you on eating more freggies!

I can't wait to hear more about your brachioplasty. Hope it all goes well for you (and your mom:)

Have a good weekend!
Susie

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NESARIAN 7/18/2012 3:48PM

    Think, Think. Think, mumbled Pooh as he strolled along.

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TRAVELISMYGAME 7/18/2012 11:23AM

    I could never do a "juice only" diet/fast. If I don't have variety I get really grouchy! Best of luck to you if you decide to try it though. Can't wait to hear how you do!

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CLHENDY1 7/18/2012 7:44AM

    I watched that too!! Really shocking how much change there was!!

I think you're decision is best. Just stick to eating the healthy foods and tracking them!!

Good luck at your consultation.

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RACHELRUNS26 7/18/2012 6:37AM

    An "eating" version of the juice fast would be something like Eat to Live (vegan plant-based diet). The author of that book, Dr. Fuhrman, is in that documentary - he was the one supervising Joe's juice fast.

I did a juice fast last year, lost about 8 lbs in 5 days (I think...you can check my old blogs), it was HARD but I did feel better afterwards, though I had been eating very clean before that so the weight loss was not as dramatic as if I had gone from an unhealthy diet to the juice fast. I would not do a juice only fast again - would combine with raw foods to have one solid meal a day. You're right it is expensive - we got the juicer on sale with a coupon, but buying large quantities of produce is expensive. You use a lot to get your 4 or so juices a day. Now I just juice as a supplement - fresh juice tastes awesome and gives me a lot of energy.

If you want to see that type of dramatic results without the deprivation of a fast, you could try Eat to Live, but if you can't have dark leafy greens that would be difficult since eating large salads is a big component of the program.

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SKAHONEY4U 7/17/2012 6:42PM

    Well you already know my (scientific) opinion on the juicing. I don't know how people get by on 1200 either.

Brachioplasty.. I am pretty sure I am going to need one of those and some other skin removal surgeries eventually. It scares me so much! Does your insurance cover it? Are you considering others?

Never heard of black velvet apricots!

You might enjoy this facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/scienceisaw
esome

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