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Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Inevitable First Stall

At last month's support group meeting, I only spoke for a half an hour to intro the group and do the "round robin" around the room. But I let something slip that got a lot of reaction in the room. I can't even remember WHY I said it but it was like an "a-ha" moment across the room. It slipped out for the tiniest reason but hit home with a lot of the newbies in the room.

I keep forgetting that so many people go into surgery not knowing as much as I did when I went into surgery. I need to remember this and remind the members of things that they might not know in the future.

When I was going through surgery, I was ready for and expecting the inevitable 3rd to 7th week stall. I often forget that some newbies don't know to expect it. They should. You should be expecting it when it happens so you know that it is coming and you are mentally prepared for that period when the scale doesn't budge early out.

(and don't forget to take your measurements every week early out too so that you have something else to measure yourself by other than the scale).

When your body first goes into surgery, it knows shortly afterward that it is starving. It needs food but you are taking in such little nutrition after surgery that it tries to sneak your glycogen stores. Glycogen stores are the "quick energy" stores that allow you for instance to run out quickly if a mouse is on the floor. It's your "instant energy" in your body.

So your body thinks "'s just a little hurdle, I'll get my energy from the glycogen stores".

Well after a few weeks of this, your body realizes that this is not a short term thing anymore. It realizes that using energy from your glycogen stores isn't very efficient and very long term. So it has to THINK a bit.

(This is where the stall comes in).

Then it says "A-hah!!!!". It realizes that it has a lot of fuel on your body - your fat stores, so it's going to start burning some energy from there and shrink those fat cells.

Then the body will resume into full burning mode and guess what? The scale will start moving again.

This is a GREAT things when it happens. Although it sucks that the scale doesn't move, it means that is going to start burning the stored fat you have (especially the stuff in your butt! LOL!).

So be happy about that inevitable stall - it's fat burnin' season!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Good Explanation of Bounceback Weight

I read this post on a board about bounceback weight. Great explanation:

My surgeon kept telling me to expect a 20 pound regain after the honeymoon period. At my 24 month checkup, he told me that it was probably very close. He said that it did not matter that I was exercising and following my food plan. I was ten pounds under his goal weight.

He told me that the body is essentially a very smart animal. That animal had been starved for two years and it had been working on a way to recover from the starvation state. He said that the intestines would become more efficient. The hairlike appendages that hold food into contact with the intestines would increase in size and length. They could hold the food longer so that more calories would be absorbed. I absolutely refused to believe that and told him to stop threatening me with this regain stuff. I said it with a smile and laugh. He said that if I did not experience regain, then there was something wrong with my body's ability to recover from the surgery.

I continued happily following my plan and weighing every morning. I was NOT going to gain anything back and that was that. At 30 months, I started to regain. It was about a half pound a week. Some weeks it was a full pound and one week it was three pounds. I ate less and exercised more. If I had not done that, then I probably would have gained more. I ended up with a 18 pound regain or 8 pounds over goal by the end of year 3.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I completed the Couch to 5K program this week. It is a wonderful program to begin running if you are a complete non-runner. I highly recommend this program if it is a goal for you to eventually running. I literally went from doing 2 minutes of running to 30 straight minutes of running on my treadmill. That's a huge accomplishment for me!

While I'm doing great with that, the transition to running on actual land is a completely different story! Not to mention the act of actually running in public! I'm a bit self conscious so that doesn't help you know? Anyway, I've taken two HUGE steps to the whole running thing.

First, I signed up for a running course at a local running store starting on April 4th. Oh my gosh - this is 16 days away! Yikes. I also signed up for a 5K on April 16th which is another 12 days after that! Now I'm beginning to do the *what the hell was I thinking?* thought patterns! Goodness.

Well, I might have to do a combo of running/walking but I guess it is a start and everyone has to begin their running somehow!


It's VERY easy to be hard on yourself

It is very easy to be hard on yourself after surgery. At least it has been for me. The most challenging part of it all for me is the mental aspect after surgery. I was great and happy when I was losing weight and in my first few years, but afterwards found it more of a challenging maintaining that happiness when the scale no longer dictated my mood. When the scale starts moving OR starts moving in the opposite direction, it is the biggest challenge ever.

But then once in a while, you find a nugget - something to remind you of where you have been. That's important - especially to keep your biggest pair of pants to try on later for reassurance. Here's my nuggest for the day: my school picture from 2001. I thought I looked lovely :) Now I just think WOW.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Do you know about high fructose corn syrup?

A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that rats fed high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

Not only does it increase weight gain in rats, but long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides.

In the study professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction said" "Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn't true, at least under the conditions of our tests. When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese -- every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight."

In the 40 years since the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup as a cost-effective sweetener in the American diet, rates of obesity in the U.S. have skyrocketed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1970, around 15 percent of the U.S. population met the definition for obesity; today, roughly one-third of the American adults are considered obese, the CDC reported. High-fructose corn syrup is found in a wide range of foods and beverages, including fruit juice, soda, cereal, bread, yogurt, ketchup and mayonnaise. On average, Americans consume 60 pounds of the sweetener per person every year.

"Our findings lend support to the theory that the excessive consumption of high-fructose corn syrup found in many beverages may be an important factor in the obesity epidemic," Avena said.

The new research complements previous work led by Hoebel and Avena demonstrating that sucrose can be addictive, having effects on the brain similar to some drugs of abuse.

Now of course the people that make high fructose corn syrup have gone into defense mode and there are even attempts to change the labelling of food to "corn sugar" instead to give it a better name (Think: KFC as being "Kitchen Fresh Chicken" rename LOL!).

Anyway, they even made a commercial to change OUR minds:

Kudos go out to Saturday Night Live this past week for spoofing their video. If you are like me, you'll appreciate the spin off and get the humour too!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Edamame is something that I haven't know about for long and wish I'd had it in my arsenal of post surgery weight loss snacks. Eda-who-what? I said the first time that someone served me it. Usually I've heard it pronounced as ED-ah- Mammy (much like Mommy). Anyway, basically what it is are soybeans. You steam the edamame, open the pods and eat the soybeans inside.

Here's what you'll find in a half-cup serving of shelled edamame (or 1 1/8 cup edamame in the pods):

* 120 calories
* 9 grams fiber
* 2.5 grams fat
* 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat (0.3 grams plant omega-3 fatty acids)
* 0.5 gram monounsaturated fat
* 11 grams protein
* 13 grams carbohydrate
* 15 mg sodium
* 10% of the Daily Value for vitamin C
* 10% Daily Value for iron
* 8% Daily Value for vitamin A
* 4% Daily Value for calcium

(*remember the fats are PMS (Poly/Mono/Saturated) and P is the best, S is the worst. So while this has some fats, they are healthier fats for the body.

As you can see, that little serving of edamame gives you a bunch of fiber: 9 grams, about the same amount you'll find in 4 slices of whole-wheat bread or 4 cups of steamed zucchini. It has almost as much protein as it does carbohydrate. It contains around 10% of the Daily Value for two key antioxidants; vitamins C and A. And for a plant food, it's quite high in iron; it has about as much as a 4-ounce roasted chicken breast.

While like everything else, we would want to eat these in moderation, they make a good alternative to eating chips or popcorn when watching movies and you can sit there and it takes some work to eat it.

The only problem I have is finding them. You can try some markets that have ethnic foods or they are available in a box with 12 portion controlled, steaming bags at Costco.