Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Any Old Port in a Storm

“Any old port in a storm…”  this is one of my mother’s favorite sayings in reply to a search for good news or hope in a situation.  Whether you’re a veteran or a newbie, I think her catchphrase is applicable to us all.

I like to think of myself as a reasonably positive person, only sometimes tainted with a hefty dose of realism.  It’s amazingly easy to be someone else’s rock through a tough situation, but how well do we do at being our own rock?  This is what’s fueled this Musing today, dear friends.  Let’s take a look at where I find my victories- maybe you’ll find some of yours too!

1.      The scale as a source of entertainment.  I read so many posts about how the scale is evil, depressing, and should not be stepped upon more than once a week/month/lifetime.  I completely disagree.  I like the motivation that even losing a portion of a pound gives me, especially if I wake up hungry or had a snack later in the evening the night before.  So I have fun with it!

a.       Have to go to the bathroom?  Awesome- weigh yourself before and after going.  No free body waste rides here, and who knew how much that stuff could actually weigh, right?

b.      Weigh yourself dressed & undressed- I never realized how heavy my favorite boots are…won’t be wearing them to my next surgeon appointment!

c.       We all know that for whatever reason (I’m sure there are medical and food reasons, but I honestly don't care) we weigh more later in the day than earlier.  I make bets with myself to see how much more I’ll weigh in the afternoon than I did that morning.  I tell myself it’s only temporary, and it always is.

d.      Sometimes, just for fun, I’ll weigh myself before and after dinner.  I’m no mathematician, but I fail to see how eating 4 ounces of food results in a pound and half weight gain an hour after dinner.  Again, only temporary my friends.

2.      Your wardrobe as a source of inspiration.  Now, I caution you not to go too far with this cause it can easily backfire and be very depressing.  I recently bought a shirt that was just a “must have”, but 2 sizes too small (it was the only one the store had).  That’s become a motivation piece for me & I’ll try it on every 2 weeks or so.  I’m not quite there yet, but I gotta admit, it looks a little better each time I put it on.   I’d also recommend hanging on to a pair of pants you wore at your highest weight and put them on every now and then to get a real feel for how far you've come.  One day I want to be one of those folks who can fit their whole body into one leg!

3.      Healthy food doesn't have to suck!  Yes, that’s right.  As a former carb/sugar hoarder, I can honestly say that with experimentation and an open mind, you really can find things to eat that don’t have the word “frosted” or “salted” in it!  Plus, I've never been a meat eater, so getting the protein in has caused me to get creative with my cooking.  Here are a few of my faves if you’re feeling adventurous:

Protein Powder Sandwich Bread:

If you haven’t realized it yet (or you’re incredibly fortunate) bread is a tough food to have after RNY- the dryness of it ties my guts in knots and leaves me drooling trying to compensate.  This bread however, at least gives lots of protein, tastes pretty decent, and goes down well enough if you have fixin’s that are moist.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup:

Holy COW, this red pepper soup is amazing!  It’s so versatile too, you can toss about anything into it and it’s still yummy- believe it or not, you just might want soup again someday after your liquid phase!

To go along with the soup, I also like to make Parmesan crisps.  I’m sure there’s an actual recipe out there for it, but it’s so simple- I even munch on a couple of them for a snack when I’m craving something crunchy.  All you need to do is take healthy pinches of shredded (not grated) Parmesan cheese on a parchment lined baking sheet and pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes- super yum!

Southwest Black Bean Spaghetti:

This was my most recent experiment & will be put into the regular rotation.  Black bean spaghetti is much lower in carbs and much higher in protein than traditional pasta & pairs perfectly with the seasonings & fresh veggies in this dish.  A few words of “caution” though… black bean spaghetti isn’t the easiest to find, nor is it particularly cheap.  I’d suggest starting small in case it doesn’t suit you.  Additionally, it really puffs up when it cooks- way more so than traditional pasta- it’s very easy to end up with way more than you can eat.  The texture is a little chewy too (not to mention it resembles a pile of black rubber bands on your plate) compared to “real” spaghetti.  But don’t let this deter you- I loved it! J

Blueberry Banana Protein Bread:

Though the blogger seems to think it’s the best thing since sliced bread (pun intended) it’s actually pretty good.  I would recommend using dried blueberries in place of fresh- fresh blueberries sank and made the loaf mushy on the bottom.  I also have to keep a close eye on the oven- it browns quickly.

And there you have it, folks.  We did it.  We took a huge step towards improving (and even saving) our lives by having bariatric surgery.  Will it always be easy?  Nope.  Can we find victories along the way?  We sure can- we’ve got this!  The holiday season is upon us, and the world is filled with sugar coated, frosted, sprinkled, glazed and chocolatey seductions everywhere we look.  We’ll get through the season with flying colors- I’ll be right there with you!  If you have victories/recipes to share, please post them here, or send them my way- I’m always looking for victory!