Friday, July 30, 2010

Before & After - the first 50lbs

February 2010 - At my highest weight 325lbs

July 2010 - 275lbs  (50lbs lost!)

Here's a side-by-side look! 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Skinny Betsy in the news!

About 3 weeks ago I was contacted by a reporter to see if she could interview me about my weight loss surgery and blog!  So, I met up with Melissa at a local Starbucks and had a great chat and answered all her questions about the process and my personal journey!

Well, last week, the article hit the papers!! Huge picture and a great article!

And now this week.... the article has hit the web!! I'm on the front page of their website (see pic below) and the full article with a color picture is available for everyone to read!

Here's a link to the article: "Weight loss surgery offers new life to many"

Earlier this year, the same newspaper interviewed me and wrote a great article about my cupcake blog, JavaCupcake!  You can read all about that... here!


Weight Loss Recap
Today's weight: 275lbs
Total weight loss: 50lbs
Weight loss since surgery: 39lbs

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Betsy's Protein French Toast

I've been craving french toast.  Something about the egg and bread and spices, OH YUM!  So this morning, I made some... weight loss surgery, high protein kind! SO YUMMY!

Betsy's French Toast
3 slices of bread (I used a high fiber, whole grain, protein rich, white bread by Franz)
1 egg for every piece of toast you're making (for this recipe, i used 3 eggs)
1/4 cup enriched milk (low fat milk mixed with powdered milk for extra protein, recipe here)
Optional: 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
1 tsp vanilla (I used my homemade vanilla extract, recipe here)
Dash of cinnamon
Cooking spray
Toppings for french toast *see below

  1. In a shallow dish (I used a pie plate), beat with a whisk the eggs. 
  2. In a measuring cup, measure milk and add protein powder.  Mix until incorporated. 
  3. Add milk to egg and whisk until combined. 
  4. Add vanilla and cinnamon and mix with whisk for 1 minute.  
  5. Place a piece of bread in mixture and let soak for 1 minute.  Flip and soak another 30 seconds.  Make sure you soak your bread!! This will make sure your egg/milk mixture will get into the bread and you get all the protein you can! 
  6. While your mixture is soaking, heat a frying pan to high.  Coat lightly with cooking spray. 
  7. Once hot, reduce to medium-high and place a slice of the soaked bread onto the pan and let cook until brown.  Flip and cook that side until browned.  Note:  Cook slowly!  If you need to reduce the heat more to prevent burning, do so! You want to make sure the egg inside the bread gets cooked.  
  8. Serve warm with your favorite toppings! 

Betsy's toppings:
A sliver of non-fat fake butter spread and a 1 tsp of reduced fat peanut butter, topped with fresh raspberries!

Emily's toppings: 
A sliver of non-fat fake butter, light syrup and fresh raspberries! 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cheating = EPIC FAIL

So, I cheated today... I went to McDonald's.  I had a chicken sandwich with no mayo.  I ate about 3 bites, bread too.  Big, big BIG BIG BIG mistake!!!  I tried to convince myself that because it was chicken, it was okay.  Boy was I WRONG!  My stomach paid a huge price... I was in severe pain for at least an hour after I ate.  Cramping, sharp pains in my stomach, general discomfort, and a sensation of someone grabbing my pouch and twisting and turning it as hard as they could.  NOT a fun experience.  EPIC FAIL on my part.

Lesson learned.  No bread.  No McDonald's.  I should have known better.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Favorite Pre-Op Dinner... good for Post-Op too! (And an update on how things are going!)

Growing up my mom used to make Hamburger Casserole.  It was simple dish with hamburger, rice, peas and some seasonings... but it was MY FAVORITE!  In my quest for post-op, high protein dinners I realized that my favorite hamburger casserole dinner could be a reality for me here in my post-op life with a few tweaks and changes!

with onions

Here's my new and improved Hamburger Casserole recipe:

  • 1lb of the leanest ground beef (or turkey, but I don't care much for turkey in this recipe)
  • 1 package of McCormick's Onion Gravy Mix (sometimes this is hard to find, so brown gravy is okay too, but just add some dried onions and onion powder)
  • 1 tsp (or so) of garlic salt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup brown/whole wheat rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of frozen green peas
  • French's French Fried Onions (OPTIONAL and totally not recommended for WLS post-ops! My family loves them on top though!)
  1. Brown meat in a large pot.  Drain off ALL grease. 
  2. Put meat back in pot and add water, gravy mix, garlic salt, salt/pepper, and rice. Stir together. 
  3. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer covered for 20-30 minutes or until rice is cooked and most of the water is gone.  Check every 5-10 minutes that it's not sticking to the bottom of your pan and stir. 
  4. Add frozen peas and cook another 10 minutes or until tender. 
  5. Add more salt and pepper to taste if necessary.
  6. Top with 1 tbsp of crushed up onions (optional).
Post-op serving size: 1/3-3/4 cup.  This is a pretty heavy dish and I know my pouch can only hold about 1/3-1/2 cup at a time of heavy meals like this. But if you don't over cook this casserole, it's pretty moist and goes down easy! I LOVE IT! 

without onions


So, on an unrelated note... a little update on how I'm doing lately.  Time is moving by REALLY slow. I mean REALLY slow.  Dave is expected to be home by September and the days, hours, minutes are just creeping by super slow.  I'm trying to keep myself occupied and busy, but sometimes, it's just hard to do.  

I've seen some positive changes in how I feel since the surgery... the biggest being that I finally have motivation again.  Pre-op I had NONE.  In the last few days, I've managed to spend several hours in the yard doing landscaping that I never thought I'd have the motivation or energy to do, EVER.  I'm pretty proud of me and Emily for getting it all accomplished too.  

Emily and I weed-wacked the 3 foot tall weeds in the raspberry garden and strawberry garden and then trimmed back the bushes by the well  and off the walkways.  They were over-grown so much 1/2 the walkways were covered!  We filled up the giant brown recycle bin with about 3 hours of work! 

More exciting news too is that Emily is looking FANTASTIC!  I didn't want to weigh or measure her and give her any kind of complex.... but she has been exercising with me and doing yard work with me and has really been eating healthy all the time!  She's starting to feel better, have more energy and her body is really starting to show a difference!!! We were able to shop at Justice this week and she hasn't fit in that store in over a year!  GO EMILY GO!!! I'm so super duper proud of her! 

One sour note... I've got some abdominal pain that I didn't have before.  It's to the left of my belly button and down about an inch.  Sharp pain when I move wrong.  It sucks... makes bending over or sitting/standing up really uncomfortable and painful.  I have an appointment with my surgeon next week, but I'm thinking about calling him tomorrow to see if I can get in this week.  We'll see.  I hope it's nothing, maybe just things are still healing.  

The next time I get dressed and do my make-up and hair, I'll take some pictures and do a before/after.  Everyone says you can really see a big difference already... so I'm anxious to see it in the pictures myself! 

Emily is going to camp this week... so I hope to get started on getting the house ready for Dave to return.  I CAN NOT WAIT for him to get home! :) 

Thanks again everyone for all your love and support... it feels good knowing I have everyone's love and encouragement! 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Peach-Berry Protein Smoothie

I'm in love with protein smoothies.  They are smooth, frothy, delicious and packed full of good stuff!! I've been experimenting more and more with flavors and recipes and tonight... well, tonight I made a new one and it's pretty good!  (Warning... it's super sweet, so if you don't like it that sweet... I'd omit the Crystal Light packet!)

Betsy's Peach-Berry Protein Smoothie

In your blender... mix on high for 2 minutes (yes, 2 minutes! you want a frothy smoothie, don't ya?):
1 cup of enriched low-fat milk*
1 cup of cold water
1 1/2 scoops vanilla protein powder**
1 packet of Crystal Light On the Go ENERGY Wild Strawberry

Add 10 ice cubes and blend for another 30 seconds.

Add to the mixture and blend for 30 seconds:
1/2 a peach, cubed
1/3 cup fresh raspberries

*Enriched milk has added protein to it.  To make enriched milk, add 1/4 non-fat milk powder (I use Saco Mix 'n Drink) to every 1 cup of non-fat milk.  Use enriched milk instead of regular milk in all your smoothies/shakes and cooking for added protein!

**I use Max Protein powder by SEI.  So far, the vanilla has worked out great for me!  You can find it online here.

Losin' those inches!

Two weeks ago I had Desi come over and help me measure my body in inches.  The numbers.... DISGUSTING.  But, I've decided that if I'm going to do this right and blog about it, I have to be about FULL DISCLOSURE! I can't be ashamed or embarrassed or hide anything! So, this morning, I measured myself again and there were several changes! Although these numbers are HIGH and quite embarrassing... there is still a change... which is AMAZING!

I'm really starting to feel the change in my clothing.  I am wearing things I wore 2 years ago that didn't fit before the surgery.  Looking good and having my friends notice is such a great motivator!!

Sorry the numbers below don't line up lol  I couldn't figure out how to get them straight~!!~!

                                    July 4                           July 16
Neck                           15.5                             14.5
L Arm (bicep)              18                                17
R Arm (bicep)              17.5                             17
Bust                             53                                51
Waist                           54.5                             52.5
Hip                              59                                57.5
L Thigh                        29.5                             27
R Thigh                        30                                27.5

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Low-Cal, Low Fat, High Protein Chicken Parmesan

Tonight for dinner I tried a new recipe for Chicken Parmesan.  I saw a video on YouTube with a recipe and instructions on how to make it low calorie, low fat and high in protein so I decided to try my own version.  It turned out FANTASTIC!   What makes this dish great is that it's packed full of protein and is very low in fat and calories!! I served it with steamed broccoli and according to Emily, no pasta was needed for this chicken parm!

I ended up eating 1/2 a tenderloin and 1 piece of broccoli... Emily had three tenderloins and about a cup of broccoli (she didn't like it or anything hehe)!!! We're going to save the left-overs for dinners for the rest of the week! I'm sure it'll be delish cold too!

Here's what you'll need:

Cookie Sheet
Non-fat cooking spray
Large rectangle glass baking dish
1lb of chicken breast cut into tenderloins, fat trimmed (I bought mine precut - Foster Farms)
1-2 eggs
2 cups low fat Parmesan cheese
Italian seasonings to taste
1 small bag of low fat shredded Italian cheese mix
1 can of Tomato Basil Progresso soup
Salt/Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
  2. Crack two eggs in a bowl and whisk. 
  3. In a shallow dish (I used a pie dish) combine Parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings and salt/pepper to taste. 
  4. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. 
  5. After trimming all the fat from the chicken, coat each tenderloin in the egg and then coat each side in the Parmesan cheese mixture.  You don't need too much on each piece, just enough for a nice layer. 
  6. Place coated chicken onto cookie sheet and bake for about 7 minutes.  Turn up to broil for another 2-3 minutes to brown. 
  7. In glass baking dish, pour a small layer of the soup.  Place browned chicken pieces on top of the soup, leaving space between each. 
  8. Spoon on a generous amount of soup onto each piece of chicken and top the whole thing with the low fat Italian shredded cheese.  
  9. Bake for another 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the soup is hot!
  10. Serve with your favorite steamed veggies and enjoy! 

Oh... on another note... I saw Heather today and she was like WOW, you look awesome! I love it when people validate all of this for me.  I feel so good when my hard work pays off and people notice!  I wore a sleeveless shirt IN PUBLIC today and I NEVER do that.  I was feeling good! 

Weight Loss Recap
Today's weight: 286lbs
Total weight loss: 39lbs
Weight loss since surgery: 28lbs
Down 3 pant sizes and at least 1-2 shirt sizes!!!! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

6 Things I've Learned in the Last Week

1) Exercise is good.  I feel better after I do it.  And even if I have zero motivation in the morning... getting out for 30 minutes will immediately put me in a better mood and make me feel better the rest of the day.

2) I like strawberry and raspberry protein shakes.  I was reluctant at first to think that I'd ever find a shake I liked because I had tried 5 or 6 recipes and hated all of them.  Finally... I found one that works for me.

Here's the recipe: 
4oz enriched non-fat milk
4oz cold water
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
6-7 ice cubes
1 cup of strawberries, raspberries or any combo of the two 
(sometimes, I even throw in 1/2 a peach and then 1/2-3/4 cup of berries)
Blend it all together! 

3) Don't rush getting out of the soft foods/liquid phase.  Twice now I've tried eating foods that either needed to be blenderized or chewed more or they needed to have more moisture in them and both times it felt like I had a brick sitting in my pouch (stomach) and it HURT.  Uncomfortable pain.  Ugh.  So, for the next week... I'm really going to take special care in watching the texture of the foods I'm eating and stick to the soft foods! No more pain in my belly for me!

4)  Eating outside of my house can be a reality.  After spending 24 hours away from home for the Justin Bieber concert in Everett... I realized that it is possible to eat out.  I just need to choose wisely and know my limitations.  For example, this morning at the hotel breakfast I had a small scoop of scrambled egg, 1/4 of a link of sausage and 1/4 cup of strawberries.  Perfect little breakfast.  It filled me up and I felt good about eating it.  I'm not so sure about restaurants yet... but I'm sure in time I'll figure those out too!

5) My weight loss is going to vary, it's never going to be consistent.  There are going to be some days that I lose 2 lbs a day and some days that I gain 1 or stay the same.  There may be a week where I lose nothing but the next lose 10lbs.  I need to tell myself that it's okay to stay off the scale everyday and just check in once a week.  This is a long journey and one day's weight on the scale is not going to make or break things.

This is a picture of me and my sister, Tressa, taken yesterday 7/13/10.  She said my sweater was too big on me.  :)  

6)  My clothes are starting to fit me again.  Clothes I haven't worn in 2 years that I saved are starting to fit again.  I went shopping a few days ago and I've already dropped 1-2 sizes (depending on what I tried on).  It feels great to actually fit into my clothes.  I told my husband this and he said, "Well, I guess I know where my clothing allowance is going this year!" haha :) I love my husband!  Wearing clothes that are too big and fitting into clothes that were snug before is a great motivator to keep up with this process!!! 

Friday, July 9, 2010

My sister said...

After seeing this picture (taken today at the spray park), my sister said on FB, "Omg.  Where did your face go????"  I knew I had lost some weight in my face, but I wasn't expecting that reaction!! haha  Thanks, Tressa!

25lbs down as of today and I'm feeling pretty good.  Not great, but better than earlier this week.  Keeping up my protein intake and making sure to get in 30 mins of exercise.  Go Me!!

Weight Loss Recap
Today's weight: 289lbs
Total weight loss: 36lbs
Weight loss since surgery: 25lbs

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Exercise: Day 1

At yesterday's follow up appointment, Dr. Haque told me that being active everyday was a good start... but he needed me to get out and exercise everyday.  30 minutes of sustained walking everyday.

So today, Emily and I hopped in the car about 10am and drove down to Ruston to walk along the boardwalk.  I wanted to do it early because it's going to be 100 degrees today (YIKES!).  So I got my walking shorts, a tank top, visor, shades and water bottle and Emily got her scooter and we were off!

We arrive to this spectacular view of Mt. Rainier and the Port of Tacoma.  It was perfect.  So I set the alarm on my phone for 15 minutes... And we're off... gonna see how far this 15 minutes takes me then we'll turn around and come back.

Grand total... we walked 1.2 miles.  Holy cow.  1.2 miles.  On my first walk!!!! I'm totally proud of myself. I'm excited for Emily too because this is going to get her in shape also!  She's been eating a lot healthier and we've cut back her sugar/junk food intake!

Now, I just hope to keep this up!  Maybe some of my fabulous friends would like to meet me in Ruston one morning or two and walk with me!! :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Post-Op Follow up #1

Today was my first visit with the doctor since I was released on Monday, June 28th.  I was excited and nervous for this appointment... I was hoping they'd take my drain out, but I wasn't 100% sure.

I get back into my room and my surgeon and another doctor come in and do the usual hellos, how you doings.  I tell my doctor (Dr. Haque) the only pain I have is the drain site.  He asks me how much I weighed today and how much I was on surgery date and his eyes got huge and had a happy surprise on his face and was like WOW you've already lost almost 25lbs, that's awesome!!! Yay!  I was glad he was happy!

I hop up on the table and and lay down and Dr. Haque distracts me while the other doctor takes my bandage off and then pulls out the tube.  OH MY GOD it was the weirdest, most uncomfortable, painful thing I've ever gone through.  It literally felt that he was pulling my insides out!!!!! Under my breath I exclaimed, "SON OF A BITCH" as it came out.  Breathe they tell me, just breathe... as Emily is rubbing my temples to get me to calm down.  "HOLY SHIT that HURT" I said! After a few minutes of deep breaths, I calm down, sit up and feel instant relief.  THANK GOD that tube was out of me!!!!

So the doc said everything was looking good... I just really have to keep up on my protein intake.  60g a day is the minimum.  I asked about adding some actual meat to my diet and he gave me the green light as long as I blenderize or chew it up really good.  Almost baby food like.  So, I got some bean soups and chilis and will try them in the next day or two.  I've got a BBQ on Saturday and am hoping to work up to eating a few ounces of gilled ground beef at the party! So... lots of protein and more exercise are the doctors orders!  Next appointment in 3 weeks!

I'm still emotionally going crazy... my hormones are all over the place.  I've been in and out of tears all day.  Emme and I went to the grocery store and when we got home I just sat in the car and cried.  Emme, being the amazing little angel she is, hugged me and told me not to worry about the groceries.  I love that little girl so much! She's so good to me!

I'm going to start getting out and walking again...  hopefully that and the protein will help me feel better!

Thanks to all my friends who stepped up and heard my cry for help this week.  <3 I love you all and you've really helped me feel supported!

Weight Loss Recap
Today's weight: 290lbs
Total weight loss: 35lbs
Weight loss since surgery: 24lbs

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Everything is not perfect

Even though I've lost 23lbs since the surgery and 34lbs total... I'm not feeling so confident in my decision to have this surgery anymore.  I am uncomfortable all day long, my stomach gurgles, aches, has pains, and gets gassy and I just don't have enough energy yet to get up and be motivated to do anything.  Yesterday was the first day I actually got out of the house and did something.  I took Emily to see Eclipse and even then, I was uncomfortable the entire time and my claustrophobia was gibing me anxiety in the packed theater.

And then there's this tube in me.  Oh how I hate this tube.  The site where it's going into my body is sore, the area around it is sore and it makes my insides unable to heal cause it has this foreign object in it.  It's uncomfortable and I hate it.  Now, I have my follow up appointment tomorrow, but because of the amount of fluid that's still coming out of it everyday, I have a feeling they aren't going to take it out.  But, I dunno... I'm not an expert.

I hate every piece of food that I put in my mouth.  Currently, I'm on a liquid diet which means water, broth, pudding, yogurt, jello, protein shakes, protein ice cream, etc.  If I eat another bite of chocolate pudding, I think I'm going to hurl.  I get up every morning and have 3oz of yogurt mixed with protein powder, which is normally fine... but then every two hours after that I have to force myself to drink a disgusting shake, eat protein filled pudding or something like that.  I just can't do this much longer.  I still have another week of this before I can switch to the pureed stage where I blend up my meats and can eat cooked veggies and things like that.

I was talking to a friend on Twitter and she equated these feelings to having "buyers remorse".  A part of me totally feels like that.  I keep asking myself, "why the hell did I do this?"  I'm miserable all day long and there is no end in sight.  My depression is kicking in and I feel so alone in this.  My husband is gone, my mom is dead and I have no one in my real life to talk to about this that really understands.  A few of my real life friends have done their best to support me the only ways they know how... but it's not like people are coming over, checking up on me everyday, or offering moral support.  It just sucks.  I miss my Mom.  If she were here, I know I'd be able to call her up and cry and talk to her about all of this and she'd find some way to understand and tell me she loves me and I'd feel better.

When are things going to get better?  When is this going to get easier?

Weight Loss Recap: 
Today's weight: 291lbs
Total weight loss: 34lbs
Weight loss since surgery: 23lbs

Friday, July 2, 2010

I'm loving this surgery!

Today was the first day I got out and about.  Thanks to my friend Sarah for coming down to my Dads and getting me out of this house! It felt sooooo good! We went shopping and then went for manis/pedis.  I took some pain meds before I left and had no problems while shopping!  Made me realize that I should try and get out everyday and do something... I feel so much better when I do and it'll only help the pounds shed off faster!  I'm losing this weight so much faster than I ever though... and I'm loving this surgery! 

I plan to pack up and head home tonight... I'm feeling good and ready to be in my own bed! 

So here are today's numbers: 

Todays weight: 299lbs

Total loss since surgery: 15lbs

Grand total loss: 26lbs