Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Virtual Route 11

I'm back with another edition of "Where's Julie?" Be honest, that's a slightly better title than "Virtual Route ____", right? That's what I thought. Oh well, it's too late to change titles now.

I'm making pretty good time through Nebraska. I'm thinking I may get close to crossing into Iowa next month. We'll see. I love "watching" the cities go by. I've never heard of most of them and can't help wondering what they really look like. I wonder who lives there and what they are doing with their lives. Little do they know that some girl in Utah has just "traveled" through their town.

Anyway, on to the important bit - the Stats!


Start date of this leg: 9.1.09
# of days traveled: 26
# of stationary days: 4 - woohoo!
Miles traveled: 107.6
Hours on the road: 23.5
Calories burned: 11,142
Total miles traveled: 954.4
Miles 'til NYC: 1402.2

Boy, I'm getting so close to New York that I can almost see the Empire State Building! Okay, so not really, but I've definitely made progress.

I'm thrilled about accomplishing 2 of my goals from previous months! It took quite an effort to only miss 4 days of exercising, but that was the point of making it a goal - to encourage me to make the effort. Missing so few days really helps me achieve the goal of traveling 100+ miles. Now, I'm going to work on the goal that I didn't accomplish. I'm slowly getting back into the habit of going to bed at an earlier time. It usually takes my body awhile to realize it is getting enough sleep and can wake up at 6:30 to go for a walk or bike ride. I have high hopes for this next month.

I really enjoy exercising. Probably because I've chosen activities I enjoy doing. I love walking. I wish I lived somewhere that allowed for walking outside year-round. Oh well. Ever since I moved a tv in front of my stationary bike, I feel more inclined to ride it if I can't make it out for a walk. I'm sad that the weather is turning colder; I'll miss playing tennis, walking outside, and hiking. Really, I just need to find some fun cold weather activities!

Overall, a good month. I am definitely accomplishing my goals and can see room for improvement, which motivates me to keep working hard.

Next Month's Goals:
1. Exercise in the morning at least 18 times. In September, I logged 13 mornings.

2. Have 7 "two-a-days" during the month. This is 2 times more than I did in September.

3. The ever-present goals of missing 4 days or less of exercise and traveling 100+ miles.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Stating the Obvious

So, you may have noticed that I changed my blog design. Yeah, my old design was pretty boring, so I decided to jump on the pretty-blog bandwagon. I've put off doing so for months, but now that I'm on, I'm enjoying the view. It was pretty fun looking at the different layouts and deciding which one best fit with my blog personality.

You may have also noticed that the poll results changed. Yeah, for some reason that is beyond my limited understanding of blog layouts, my poll wouldn't transfer over to this new layout. So, I put it up again after I changed the layout. Please vote again, knowing that I didn't redo the poll because I wasn't pleased by the results.

That's it, really.

Happy Friday!

Monday, September 14, 2009

On Eating: I'm Glad I'm Me

I recently answered questions posed by friends about how I manage to live with the restrictions imposed on me by the Lap band. As I answered the questions, I realized I'm glad I'm me. If I weren't, this process could be a little more difficult.


1. I love leftovers. Seriously, I think they are the best things since sliced bread. Wait, I take that back. I actually prefer bread that doesn't come pre-sliced, but you know what I meant. To me, leftovers = wonderfulness. Ofttimes, a meal tastes better after being reheated. Most casseroles. Some pasta. Meat, if you don't overcook it the first time around.

Even before my surgery, I ate a lot of leftovers. I love to cook but find it difficult to cook for just me. So, I'd cook as if feeding a family, then eat leftovers until the food was gone, or when 7 days had passed (I won't eat something that is older than 7 days). I can easily eat the same thing for lunch and dinner several days in a row.

This really helps with my surgery. Even if I had mastered the cooking-for-one mentality, I'd still have leftovers. Lately, it takes me three meals to finish one chicken breast. Imagine how long it takes me to eat a whole meatloaf! (A week, actually, since I'll throw away whatever is left after 7 days, weren't you paying attention?) When I go out to eat, I end up eating those leftovers for a good 3 or 4 meals. It saves me a lot of money and time.

I can't imagine how hard it would be if I didn't like leftovers. Talk about wasting a lot of food!

2. I like meat. I know people from the online WLS community that are vegetarians and they do fine with the high protein aspect of the diet, but they have to get creative. I'm not creative. I like that I can eat meat to get the necessary protein.

I can really tell a difference when I'm not getting enough protein. I feel sluggish. A little dizzy. This summer was tough. I could eat more food because my band was pretty loose. So, I started eating a lot of non-protein foods again. However, since I was able to eat fairly big (for me) portions, I felt okay. Now my band is tighter, maybe even a tad too tight, and I can't eat very large portions of anything. If I don't stick to meat or other protein-rich foods, I can tell that I don't get enough calories and nutrients. I think it even started to affect my period; I was two weeks late this month. If I were sexually active, I would've been freaking out. As it was, I was just kind of freaking out because I'm usually really regular. My mom was the one who suggested it could be because of my diet. I know I've been quite lax on the protein lately, so now I'm committed to getting in the recommended amounts.

Like I said earlier, it would be a lot harder if I couldn't just cook up a chicken breast, fish, or a nice juicy steak in order to get my protein fix.

3. I don't like soda. A lot of WLS patients struggle with the no soda rule. The carbonation causes the stomach to expand, allowing for more food to be eaten, and can eventually negate the surgery. Plus, soda is just a bunch of empty calories. Now, I'm not trying to convince all you soda drinkers to stop drinking it...I know a hopeless cause when I see it (teehee). I'm just grateful that soda was never something I really got into.

I thank my high school volleyball coach for that. He made us give it up if we wanted to be on the team. So I did. Over the years, I'll have the occasional soda. I especially enjoy a ginger ale every now and then. However, the times I drank soda were few and far between. I didn't have to give it up when I had my surgery. Woohoo!


Not that everything is totally easy-cheesy about the band. I started "practicing" not drinking water with my meals a good two months before my surgery and still find it difficult. Yep, almost one year of not doing it and I could take up that habit again as easily as blinking. If I have something to distract me, it isn't too terrible, but if I don't, I count down the minutes before I can drink water again. And then, because my band is a smidgen too tight, I can't gulp it down like I'd like or I'll end up regretting it (regretting = throwing up).

Restaurants are especially difficult because they place the water right in front of me. With ice. And a straw. Sadists! Just after my surgery, when asked what I'd like to drink, I'd tell the waiter/waitress that I didn't want anything to drink. Not even water, they'd query. I'd say no, they'd look at me funny, ask me if I was sure, then walk away like I was some sort of weirdo. It wasn't worth it. So, now I practice uncharacteristic self-restraint by ordering the one beverage I love more than any other, the beverage that is totally off-limits while eating, and allow it to rest provocatively near my hand while I wait for my food to be delivered. (You see, I can't drink for 30 minutes before or after eating either.)


When all is said and done, though, getting used to my new eating lifestyle hasn't been as difficult as I thought it would be. Mostly, this is due to how I lived and ate before the surgery. I'm so glad I'm me. *smile*

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Small Success #4

Mom and I went on an impromptu walk last night that ended in an unexpected adventure.

I was getting a little stir-crazy in my house and decided to take a quick walk around the neighborhood. As I passed close to Mom's house, I decided to stop in to see how her kitchen was looking and to ask if she wanted to join me on my walk.

After looking at everything in her kitchen that had been accomplished since the last time I'd seen it, we headed out on the walk. I had planned to go around the neighborhood, but she suggested we take the walking trail instead since it was getting quite dark. I agreed. After a little while, we noticed two women from our church sitting on the trail with glow sticks. We stopped to chat with them and discovered that the 1st Annual Moon Walk and Run was about to start. We learned that for $15 we could walk 1 mile in the moonlight and get movie tickets, a t-shirt, and a glow stick to wear around our necks. Mom and I discussed it and decided to do it. Since the organizers know Mom, they let us walk without paying; we promised to pay them on Sunday.

Here's where the small success comes in. As we were signing up, a volunteer asked us what size shirt we wanted. This question at events such as these always cause me agony because it's rare that they have a shirt that would fit me. I always ask for the largest shirt possible (usually a 3x) and more often than not even the 3x is tight around my chest and hips. I looked at the volunteer and said I didn't need a shirt - why go through the humiliation? Then I remembered that I've lost weight. A lot of weight. I glanced over at Mom and asked what size shirt she thought I should get. She had the volunteer hold up a 1x so she could gauge how big it was, then pronounced that we'd both get a 1x.

A 1x??? Was she insane? I don't wear 1x's. A 2x maybe, but not a 1x! I took the shirt, figuring I could hold on to it until I've lost a little more weight, so it wouldn't be a total waste. Mom pulled her shirt on over the shirt she was already wearing and encouraged me to do the same. Yikes! I hate trying on clothes and having them end up too small - talk about a confidence deflator!

Sighing, I pulled it on and it fit! It even fit over my 3x, way-too-big-for-me shirt! I thought I'd start crying, it seemed so miraculous. I wear a 1x t-shirt. Woohoo!!!

I need to stop wearing my too big clothes. They are what I've known for so long that it's kind of hard to part with them. And, I hate buying new clothes, I think I've mentioned that before, haven't I? *smile* However, the rush I felt from being able to wear a 1x t-shirt was amazing. It made me realize how far I've come and motivates me to keep pushing forward. Who knows? Maybe someday soon I'll actually fit into a LARGE!

Sigh. That will be awesome.