Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another WOW Moment!

So last night after my lovely dumping episode I went over to my mom's house. My mom (who is my hero) lost a lot of weight last year. In so doing, she had a lot of clothes that she grew out of. For some reason she kept a bunch of it. So last night I got to go shopping in her closet! I love doing that. I know some of you are thinking "Seriously? Shopping in your 60 year old mother's closet?" I have to tell you my mom is so cool and has excellent taste in clothes. I can't wait until we can share more clothes again.

So the first pair of pants she brougth out were 3 sizes smaller than what I have been wearing. I said No Way - I will never fit in those, mom. But she convinced me to try - at least give ourselves a starting point. So I stepped into them ... pulled them up ... buttoned them ... and zipped them. THEY FIT!!!!! I won't lie - I did me a little happy dance right there.

I ended up walking away with 2 garbage bags full of clothes! Some of the clothes are a little on the tight side, but I will probably fit in them sooner rather than later at the rate I am going.

The most fun we had last night is I tried a bunch of the formal wear that she has in her closet. I really have to find somewhere to wear some of this! We took some pictures of me in the hot-ness, but I don't have them yet. As soon as I get them I will post them.

And I would like to give a shout out to my friend Rachel today who seems to be having her own WOW moment today. She is rockin' the hot-ness today in a stylish outfit. She looks fantastic! She is losing weight as well and is looking fabulous!

I don't feel so good!

So I had my first dump yesterday. That was absolutely miserable. I had a Breakstone's Cottage Doubles. It's cottage cheese and some raspberry puree. I didn't look closely enough at the label and the puree had 14 grams of sugar in it. Not long after I had it for lunch I was miserable. Headache, nausea, sweating, dizzy, just generally feeling like I had been hit by a truck. I threw the other cottage double I had in the fridge out. It was so miserable. I don't want to feel like that again. Sugar is not my friend.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I usually take stupid comments by stupid people in stride. (I know some of you are reading this and totally laughing at me and thinking "Pam? Seriously?") But I realize that most people have no idea how WLS works. Many people consider it the "easy way out". And part of why I started this blog was to help educate friends and family (and cyber stalkers) about this process and journey. So I do understand that there are a lot of misconceptions out there about this whole thing.

But today - someone's comment to me has really stuck in my craw! UGH! We were in the kitchen at work and she was asking me how I was doing (everyone at work knows I have had this surgery). Her son-in-law is considering this surgery and she keeps checking in with me to see how it's going. A frequent question I get is "Are you able to eat real food yet?" That one always gets me. Well most food I put in my mouth is real - what kind of food do you eat? Never mind - that is just the dry humor of my Father coming out in me. So I was telling her some of the things I can eat now that I am in the pureed/soft food stage. So she mentions that her son-in-law "needs to get his act together soon or he's gonna have to do this the hard way by watching what he eats and exercising."

Yeah - so I made a real conscious effort not to beat her down.

As politely as I could I told her that if he chose to have surgery he would have to watch what he eats EVEN MORE than if he hadn't had surgery. I have never been so conscious about what I am putting in my mouth in all my life! I count calories, I count fat grams, I count carbs, and protein and ounces of water. I have cut out virtually all sugar from my diet. And exercise - I exercise a lot! This is a lifestyle change people - that's not cliche. Doing what I have always done will NOT get me anywhere different. I have to change everything about how I was living if I want this to be a permanenet and life altering change. People who don't abide by these new rules do not succeed. They are the ones that your friends will whisper to you about ... "My aunt had her stomach stapled, but now she put all the weight back on" ... I did not go through all of this to keep living the same way. I knew there had to be changes - major changes - this surgery has helped me to make those changes and helps me to stick by them. With a regular "diet" you can cheat - you can have that one candy bar - those 2 cookies - that bite of ice cream. I can't. This surgery ensures that I don't cheat. I don't eat too much, I don't eat too fast, and I don't eat what my body cannot absorb and process well.

So let me assure all of you out there that may be reading this thinking that I took the easy way out - this was anything but easy. You still have to watch what you eat - even more so now than ever. You don't want to put something in your mouth that will make you dump. You can't eat too much or you will puke. You have to go through a lot of stages while your new pouch heals with clear liquids, full liquids, pureed foods, soft foods. You have to be sure to get a certain amount of protein, and fluid in each day. And you still need to exercise - that needs to become part of your daily routine. It helps the weight come off - it helps it stay off - it helps your body heal - it helps your energy levels - it helps with extra skin. WLS is a tool for those looking to loose a lot of weight. A tool. Not a magical wand. More like a sledge hammer or a chisel. Be careful with both.

Monday, January 26, 2009


My good friend, Rachel, invited me to start "walking" with her during lunch at work. We were supposed to start last week, but with the snow screwing up our schedules - we started this week.

Let me tell you, that was not a walk. No, walking is not what we did. We went hiking. The building we work at has a trail around the campus. Which is nice and convenient. BUT HOLY CRAP! There is major terrain people! We did a mile and a half in a little over 45 minutes. Now that isn't much if you're just walking, and I'm sure that I totally slowed Rachel down since it was my first time. And now I just want to collapse at my desk. I could totally just lay down and become comatose for the next several hours. I am exhausted. I took a protein bullet before we left, but it's not quite cutting it.

When I got back to my desk I plugged my activity into my plate on The Daily Plate. It says I burned 598 calories! WHOA! Seriously? At this point I'm lucky to take in 600-800 calories a day! I just burned what I ate! My heart rate is always high - even at rest it's really high. So while we were hiking I had Rachel help me check my heart rate a couple of times. The first really big hill we took it was up at 170. After a few more hills Rachel made me stop because my heart rate was up to 200. But it was normally running about 140-150.

I better get change and get back to work - I just had to update y'all. :)

4 Weeks Ago Today ...

4 Weeks Ago Today I was off to see the Wizard! I can't believe it's only been 4 weeks. But more importantly, I can't believe that I am officially down 30 pounds since my surgery!!!!!!

I am still having a hard time seeing it. We talked about this at our latest support group meeting. I still see me 30 pounds ago in the mirror. People will tell me that they can tell I'm losing weight and I try to be gracious, but the first thing that pops into my mind is "They are just saying that because they know I had surgery." I know in my mind that I am losing weight and that I am getting smaller because clothes are fitting me different - some fit me that didn't before and some don't fit me anymore at all. But ME - in my heart and soul - I still don't see it or accept it. Maybe it's all those years of failing at diets. There is still a part of me that is afraid this won't work. I want it desperately to work - but I am afraid of hope.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


OK - I've been all verklempt tonight after being approached by 2 different people at church tonight. One was my son's 3rd grade teacher, and one was his Cub Scout Leader. Both told me that when it is time to pray and they ask for prayer requests Caleb is constantly either asking people to pray for me that I would recover from my surgery well, or he is submitting praise reports for me because I am doing so well after surgery or because I found a new drink or food that I like and that I can eat. How awesome is that? How can I not do well with this surgery when I have the most precious one petitioning our Father on my behalf? He is constantly looking out for me - trying to be mindful of not eating things that I would like but can't have around me. As I have said in the past - my children are my greatest reminder of God's grace and mercy in my life. How could I have been so blessed as to have been granted these angels? My daughter, Marissa, has been heard telling total strangers in the hospital elevator that they were visiting their mommy who was in the hospital to get skinny. Out of the mouths of babes ....

Of course, you will need to remind me of this tomorrow morning when I have said for the 100th time "Sit down and eat your breakfast!! No, you can't have icing for breakfast!! Ms. Beth will be here any minute to pick you up! Take your meds! Get your shoes and socks on! What do you mean you were supposed to read that for today? NO! SIT DOWN AND EAT YOUR BREAKFAST! Don't get your butt up from that chair again until you are done eating your breakfast!!!!! Put your bowl in the sink please! No, you can't bring your Hannah Montanna doll to school today! Where is your backpack? What do you mean you have no shoes? Please - stop touching the dogs while you are eating breakfast! "

WLS Oddities

So there are a few odd things that have happened with my WLS. No one tells you about the odd things that happen to your body after WLS. Like re-routing my intestines isn't odd enough.

The first is that I am breaking out like I have hit puberty all over again. Apparently hormones like to hide out in your fat cells, and as the fat cells shrink the hormones are released back into your body. UGH! It wreaks havoc with you!

The second is that I am COLD ... all the time!! I am not used to this at all. Being fat I was hot all the time. Now I can't get warm. I feel like I will never get warm again! I have been told by my surgeon that because I am taking in so little calories right now, my internal thermostat is low on the priority list for keeping me going.

I have to be really careful drinking cold drinks. That first sip had better be just that - a sip. If I take in a bit too much it hurts - like Kanga cramps up from the shock or something. I still can't gulp anything - have to be careful about how much I take in at one time. And in that vain - burping has never been so painful! I work and work and work at getting a bubble up (and I suddenly have to burp all the freakin' time!) only for it to be just a little something. I would think for all that work and effort it should be one monster belch. And I am good at the monster belch, but now I seem to have broken my burping bone or something.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What Life Would Be Like

I am a big fan of Big Daddy Weave. I have loved their music for a long time. I recently heard that the lead singer of the group, Mike Weaver, was undertaking his own life transformation. He has called it 90 in 09. He wants to loose 90 pounds this year. Definitely a worthy undertaking to be sure - also a bit of a monumental one in more ways than one. Check out his website at

There are 3 daily commitments in his 90 in 09 Challenge that he would like to see his fants undertake to bring about the new life transformation:

Nutrition - Exercise - Worship

1. Recognizing that the purpose of the foods that I eat is to provide my body with the fuel it needs, I commit to make food choices that are nutritious and appropriate in portion size.

2. Realizing the positive impact that exercise has on my overall wellbeing, I will spend a total of 20 to 30 minutes each day engaged in physical activity.

3. Believing that true overall health encompasses spiritual growth which comes from spending time with God, I choose to set aside time each day to be devoted solely to Him.

The group also has a new song that I have totally fallen in love with.

What Life Would Be Like:

I wish I was more of a man
Have you ever felt that way
And if I had to tell you the truth
I’m afraid I’d have to say
That after all I’ve done and failed to do
I feel like less than I was meant to be

What if I could fix myself
Maybe then I could get free
I could try to be somebody else
Who’s much better off than me
But I need to remember this
That it’s when I’m at my weakest
I can clearly see

He made the lame walk and the dumb talk
He opened blinded eyes to see
That the sun rises on His time
Yet He knows our deepest desperate need
And the world waits while His heart aches
To realize the dream
I wonder what life would be like if we let Jesus live thru you and me

What if you could see yourself thru another pair of eyes
What if you could hear the truth
Instead of old familiar lies
What if you could feel inside
The power of the hand that made the universe You’d realize

All our hearts they burn within us
All our lives we’ve longed for more
So let us lay our lives before the one who gave His life for us

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More Experimenting In the Kitchen

OK - I don't experiment in the kitchen. I don't. I find a recipe - I stick to it. It had better be easy and have like 6 ingredients or less or I don't even attempt it.

But I have been experimenting lately. Today I wanted to make like a chicken salad that I could eat. I started out with a package of Tysons premium white chunk chicken. I threw it in the food processor with some lemon juice, some lemon pepper seasoning, and some fat free miracle whip. You could do it without the food processor - but I'm still in pureed food stage - so I zapped it. The lemon pepper gave it a kick - nice. It tasted fine that way, but then on a whim I added some shredded cheddar cheese (cause cheese makes everything better in my book). So you can have it with or without. I think tonight I might heat it up in the microwave - that would be yummy, too.

I didn't put any measurements on this cause I didn't measure anything. I put the lemon juice in because I need it to stay moist for Kanga right now. I would do the lemon pepper to taste - as little or as much kick as you want. I would say I put about 2 tablespoons of miracle whip in - again - I need it to be moist - you may not want as much. I just put a handful of cheese in. It was really yummy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Keep Moving Forward

I have long attested that the greatest Disney movie of all time is Meet the Robinsons. I watched it with the kids again tonight and I am again reminded of what a great movie this is!

I love the messages in this movie. "Let go of the past and keep moving forward." Wouldn't we all be wise to shake off our mis-steps and keep moving forward? So many times we let something in our past control our present - possibly even our future? Grudges, regrets, something we feel that has shaped who and what we are now - feeling as though we are completely held captive to that thing.

My favorite scene in the movie is when Lewis tries to fix a machine that will make peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches automatically, but something goes horribly wrong and there is peanut butter and jelly EVERYWHERE. Wilbur and the rest of the Robinson family applaud and hail Lewis. "You failed!" They celebrate his failure. He is completely stunned and confused. One of the family members says "From failure you learn; from success, not so much."

This film also stresses the importance of owning up to our mistakes. Admitting when you have made a mistake - owning up to it and the subsequent consequences.

I want so much for my children to see this - that it's OK to fail - you don't always do everything right - and when we screw up we learn huge lessons. I want them to learn that they have to own their mistakes in order to learn from them. I want them to learn to let go of the past (and all the hurts that may be associated with it) and to keep moving forward. Living in the past only brings guilt. Fearing the future only brings anxiety.

I have had my share of failures. I feel like I am finally owning the mistakes that got me to this point. I hope that making this change in my life while my children are young will show them that I do see how much I have to live for - how much I want to make ammends for this "epic fail" in my life - letting myself get this heavy. In doing so - I have to make peace with my past - let it go - and keep moving forward.

I also love the song that Rob Thomas sings as the theme for this movie. It's called Little Wonders.

Here are the lyrics:

let it go,
let it roll right off your shoulder
don't you know
the hardest part is over

let it in,
let your clarity define you
in the end
we will only just remember how it feels

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

let it slide,
let your troubles fall behind you
let it shine until you feel it all around you
and i don't mind
if it's me you need to turn to
we'll get by,
it's the heart that really matters in the end

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

all of my regret
will wash away some how
but i can not forget
the way i feel right now

in these small hours
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away
but these small hours
these small hours, still remain,
still remain
these little wonders t
hese twists & turns of fate
time falls away
but these small hours
these little wonders still remain

Thanks for indulging me while I pontificate a bit. :)

Some Sense of Normalcy

I was able to have dinner with my family tonight. I know that doesn't sound like such a big deal, but it is to me. Since surgery I have not been able to eat anything that my family is eating. But today I made a roast in the crock pot. It was the perfect day for a roast in the crock pot being stuck at home and the snow falling and such. By about 5:30 the smell in the house was to die for! So after serving my family I took about 2 forkfuls of roast and used my Pampered Chef chopper on it to get it ground up real good. So I ate those two forkfuls and 2 forkfuls of mashed potatoes - and that was dinner! Yeah!

I did something different with the roast this time. I had found a fantastic recipe by Shelly on Eggface for a crock pot pot roast. But being stuck in the house I didn't have exactly all of the ingredients she listed. So I improvised. I'm not usually an improviser in the kitchen, but according to my family it came out pretty good!

I put the pot roast in the crock pot and I covered it with a can of cream of mushroom soup. Then I took a package of Lipton's onion soup mix and emptied it on top of the roast and soup - without mixing it in. I didn't have any white wine - so I put vodka in instead. Go ahead - laugh - I did. Vodka? Seriously? It sounded good at the time. I cooked it all day in the crock pot - it smelled delicious and my whole family really liked it. I served it with mashed potatoes and some baby carrots (cause my kids love those). So I have now dubbed this Pam's Vodka Pot Roast.


Our Hope For Years To Come

It's Inauguration Day. And whether you voted for our now current president or not, today is a very historical day for our nation.

I did not vote for Barack Obama, but as a citizen, and more importantly, as a Christian, I now support this man in the highest office in our country. It is my greatest hope and prayer that he is a successful president. I take comfort in the fact that he is a man of faith. As I was watching the coverage this morning I saw how he and the new Vice President started this most auspicious day at church - worshiping, praising, and devoting their service to God. The commentator said that they would end the service by singing the following song by Isaac Watts:

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home

Under the shadow of thy throne,
thy saints have dwelt secure;
sufficient is thine arm alone,
and our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
or earth received her frame,
from everlasting thou art God,
to endless years the same.

A thousand ages in thy sight
are like an evening gone;
short as the watch that ends the night
before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
bears all its sons away;
they fly, forgotten, as a dream
dies at the opening day.

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
be thou our guide while troubles last,
and our eternal home!

Fierce winds blow, lightning flashes, and thunder cracks so loudly it shakes your home. That kind of storm makes us quake with fear and wonder how we’ll ever survive. And that’s the kind of storm we feel each time another terrorist strikes, or a job is lost, or a loved one dies.

In the midst of such storms, our hearts can find hope in the words of "O God Our Help in Ages Past." As the hymn writer states, God is "our shelter from the stormy blast." No matter what tragedy strikes, God can protect us.

But how can we be so sure that God is there in the storm? The hymn answers that question in these words, "from everlasting you are God, to endless years the same." God doesn’t change. He guided the Israelites safely to the Promised Land. He raised Jesus from the dead. And when we look at our own past, we’ll always notice the same thing: God was there to see us through the storms.

Knowing that, we can live with hope that he’ll protect us in the present too.

What storms shake you today? Maybe you feel like an emotional wreck. Maybe you’re fighting tough spiritual battles. Maybe your family circumstances have spiraled out of control. But no matter what "stormy blast" may be swirling around you, hold on to the promise of this hymn. Let the truth of Psalm 90 be your strength for you just as it was for Isaac Watts so long ago. You can be confident that God will see you through.

O, God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, we pray godspeed for the outgoing President. We pray for Your honor above all.

O, God, our shelter from the stormy blast and our Eternal home, we ask that You help and grant wisdom to the new President of the United States as he fills this office. Guide him as he serves our nation and carries its Constitutional responsibilities.


We got snow today in North Carolina! This is a very big deal in North Carolina because the slightest bit of snow brings the whole world to a screaching halt. They don't have enough plows and snow trucks to keep up with the roads. They basically only do the highways and a few major roads. Having lived a majority of my life in either Massachusetts or Michigan - it's such a welcome reprieve to have snow be such a special occassion. I have always liked snow, but when it's not special and you have to be out in it no matter what - that's not fun. Down here in the south - snow is a special occassion - everyone is home bound and it's fun to be home bound when everyone else has to be home bound, too. It's a rare day to have an excuse to just stay home and enjoy being lazy.

Here are some pics of us enjoying the snow.

Can I taste the snow mom?

I love to sled!

This is known as a red-neck sled - neighbor used linoleum he just pulled up from his kitchen for a make-shift sled.

And the red-neck sled came from this red-neck neighbor. HEHEHEHEHE! Luvya Gary!

Sledding in the hood!

I think it looks so pretty! This is the view out my front door.

Out the back door - looking at the trampoline.

This is the dog's first exposure to snow. They weren't so sure at first, but quickly became enthralled with playing in the white fluffy stuff.

This was at 9:00am. It's still snowing at almost 2:00.
The latest bet in the hood is that there will be no school tomorrow either because we still won't be able to get anywhere. Yeah! So exciting!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


OK - so I had another WOW moment today. I went to my closet this morning to see what I could wear to church. I had an outfit that a dear friend had given to me a while back and unfortunately, I couldn't fit into it. But I saw it hanging there and I thought "Do I dare? Could it possibly fit me now?" So I pulled it out and tried it on.

And here it is:


Random Sunday Ruminations

Today is Sanctity of Life Sunday. I always have so many thoughts on these Sundays - so many things that bubble up in my soul. I have always taken a strong stance on this subject and at different times in my life have been heavily involved in various Right To Life organizations. I even protested on 5th Avenue in New York City once - holding a sign that said "Abortion is Murder". Now there's an experience for ya. I was sworn at, spit at, even mooned that day. But I think that America is caught in it's own paradox - the Supreme Court has said in Roe v. Wade two things:

  1. Life begins when the baby is born.

  2. A woman has a right to privacy when it comes to her own body and her decisions regarding reproduction.

May I just say - what a crock of bull. So it's "just a fetus" if a woman wants to abort her baby, but at the same time if that same woman is killed in her car on the way to the abortion clinic and both she and the baby die - the person who crashed into her car and caused said death would be chargeppopod with 2 counts of manslaughter. Take the Scott Peterson case - he was charged with 2 murders when he killed his pregnant wife. Do you know what "fetus" means? It means "little person". So which is it? You can't have it both ways in the court systems - charging people with 2 deaths when a woman who is pregnant dies, but saying that life doesn't begin until birth.
And I love how a woman is entitled to privacy if she wants an abortion, but she is not entitled to those same rights driving down the road without a seat belt. She is not entitled to do whatever she wants with her body if she decides she wants to drive while drinking, or do illegal drugs, or engage in prostitution.

And while I feel so strongly about this issue, God has blessed me by bringing into my life friends who have chosen to have abortions - to show me the pain and the agony and the desperation involved in making a decision like this. I believe He did it to give me a more compassionate heart and to show me His love and forgiveness in action.

But aside from the issue of abortion, today is about recognizing God's hand in life - from conception to death.

Psalm 139: 13 - 16
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

These verses give me shivers every time. I get all verklempt remembering seeing my children on ultrasound - at only 6 weeks having a heartbeat! Remembering how even though my twins were born 8 weeks early - they were perfect! And my heart breaks for my friends who have had miscarriages, who have lost babies late in gestation after living with feeling that life inside them, and for those who have lost children after having the privilege of being their parents on this earth for such a short time.

And then there are days (like today!) when it's all I can do not to strangle my little angels! For days like that I am reminded of this verse:

Psalm 127:3
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.

I can remember one Sunday when we lived in Michigan - just after church - the girls could now run around and I had 3 children all running in different directions all over the church - driving me insane! I was about ready to pull my hair out! When my wonderful prayer warrior (Eileen - you know who you are!) came and gently put her arm around me and said "Remember how we prayed for them?" Well, if that didn't take the wind right out of my sails. Yes, I had prayed for them - I had prayed for years for them! Through 3 years of infertility - countless cycles unable to conceive. They truly are my constant reminders of God's grace and mercy in my life. Of all the things that I do in this life - all of the roles that I play (wife, friend, co-worker, employee, sister, daughter) - the role of Mother is my most cherished. My children are truly a gift.

Products I Love

OK - I found something else just recently that I absolutely love. It is the web site The Daily Plate. You can quickly and easily keep track of what you eat as well as your exercise - giving you a quick glance at calories in and calories out. You can look up any food and keep a log for yourself. This is particularly helpful when creating a dish - it can be hard to tell how many grams of protein, fat, carbs, etc.... are in something once I am done with it. With this wonderful site I can just plug in all of the ingredients and it figures it out for me. I can also enter my exercise and it will track that for me as well. And best of all - it's FREE!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Food Obsession v2.0

So I was warned that I would still be obsessed with food after WLS - only in a different way. That was so right. I am now obsessed with recipes - finding different ways to make what I can eat - making sure it's high in protein, low in carbs and fat, but full of flavor. It is a new kind of obsession.

Fortunately, there are many others out there who share my obsession. I have found so many sites that have such great recipes. Tonight I had Shelly's Baked Ricotta. I got this wonderful recipe (follow the link) from a website by Eggface. She is a wonder with the food. One word for tonight's dinner - YUM! I also got some tips from her site on how to make refried beans. I'm not a refried beans kinda girl, but after putting some in the food processor with some fat free sour cream, cheddar, and some juice from salsa - then cooked up in the oven, I was lovin' life! I also have found a lot of recipes at Before & After Help. They have a whole section on WLS friendly recipes.

Now that I have moved on to pureed foods I have really gotten to find out how much Roo Kanga can hold - and let me tell you - it's not much. I had the baked Ricotta tonight - 4 spoonfuls and I think the last spoonful was too much. I can't fit anymore in there. Earlier tonight I drank some milk too fast - that came right back up. Kanga is letting me know just who is boss.

I continue to lose weight - 2 more pounds since my doctor's visit earlier this week. I wore a pair of pants today that haven't fit in a while. It's like shopping in my own closet! YEAH ME!

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Bunch of New Sites

I have added a bunch of new links and sites over on the right side of my blog today. There is a plethora (i love that word!) of sites out there for those looking to understand WLS better or get more information for yourself or others.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Cure for the Crankies!

I had my post-op appointment with my surgeon today. I am officially down 21 pounds since surgery! I am beyond excited about that. A definite cure for the crankies I've been having. Was told the ups and downs are normal and to be expected (both hormonally and on the scale). I was approved to move on to pureed foods. I was also told that I could stop crushing the Zoloft that I take every day. THANK GOD! That stuff is major bitter when you crush it. Now I cut it in half and take half at breakfast and half at lunch. I can also start taking my vitamins, etc... in chewable form. I had been adding a powdered form of vitamins to my protein shakes. It didn't have a taste, but it did have a smell and changed the texture of what I was eating. The B12 and Calcium I was taking was liquid and it was disgusting. So I bought some Bariatric Fusion from the doctor's office. It has all of the vitamins and supplements I need in it - specially formulated for bariatric patients. I chew 4 of them a day. Much better. My blood pressure was pretty good, too. Today was the first day that I noticed my pants felt looser when I put them on this morning, and the shirt I'm wearing is kinda too big. It wasn't tight before, but it wasn't this loose either. I have to admit - it's been a very long time since I have seen these numbers on the scale. Last night in an effort to run from the kitchen I went upstairs and got the treadmill out and going again. That was a very good use of my time. It's pretty cold here in NC, so it's good that I can do the treadmill instead of walking outside. I would really like to join a gym, but I just can't afford it right now. Ultimately, I would love to join a gym that the kids could go to and enjoy - one with a pool they can play at during the summer. I am still investigating - if anyone knows of any good deals out there - let me know!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. I am really cranky and frustrated for some reason. Not quite able to put my finger on it - just struggling. I want my comfort foods and I can't have them and I just have to deal with it.

I have my post-op appointment with my surgeon tomorrow. I'm sure I'll have a much more interesting update after that.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Shout Out!

So I have noticed that I have some people reading my blog and I'm not sure who everyone is, but I can also tell from the location who most of you are. I thought I would give some "shout-outs"!

I see I have had some people from California reading my blog. WOO HOO! To all my peeps in the CA - thanks for reading me!

To all those in the frozen tundra - otherwise known as GR, Jenison, and Grand Haven (you know who you are!) - I miss ya home skillet!

To my homey's up in MA (and those that originally hail from there) - whadup my people?

To my Weenie Sista's in NY and Tegucigalpa - holla back at me!

To those representin' the DeVries clan in the UK and beyond - you guys rock!

And most importantly, to my hillbilly's in NC - you da bomb!

Thanks to everyone for checking in with me here at Pamelot.

Products I Love

I am starting a "Products I Love" section. Today I am singing the praises of the Blender Bottle.

The Best Mixer Since the Wire Whisk
For hundreds of years, gourmet cooks have used the wire whisk to quickly blend their ingredients into a smooth, light consistency. The unique Blender Bottle harnesses the power of the wire whisk to create a compact, modern mixer that puts other shaker bottles to shame.
Lumps Are No Match for the Blender Ball!
At the heart of the Blender Bottle is the patented Blender Ball. This springy, high-efficiency mixer moves freely through the Blender Bottle as you shake it, mixing even the thickest drinks with ease. It quickly destroys the lumps, and keeps powdered drink mixes from sticking to the bottom or sides of the bottle.

The Blender Ball is made from surgical stainless steel, electropolished to a high luster, and guaranteed to last. Like the rest of the Blender Bottle, it's completely dishwasher safe.

No Batteries, No Cord, No Hassle
The superiority of the Blender Bottle is no accident. It was designed from top to bottom to be the best hand-held mixer ever made. Consider these key features...
· Secure screw-on lid prevents leaks.
· StayOpen™ flip cap stays where you put it.
· Large, comfortable drinking spout.
· Generous 28 fl oz capacity (or you can buy the "mini" at 20 oz.)
· Wide opening for easy addition of ingredients.
· Embossed ounce and ml markings.
· GripperBar™ sides for no-slip grip.
· Base sized to fit most cup holders.
· Easy to clean and dishwasher safe.

The Blender bottles are low cost and easy to clean. I currently have two - one at work and one at home. I'm considering getting another for home because I tend to either have mine in the dishwasher or in the car - so an extra one would be handy. I use my Blender Bottle for my protein shakes - it gets them the perfect consistency. But if you go to their website you can find recipes and ideas for using it for so much more - like for pancake batter, egg dishes, anything you need to whisk. I have also found these on for extremely cheap. I bought mine at the Vitamin Shoppe (my new favorite store).
Go get you one!

We Need Each Other

So I know that some of you out there think I am totally crazy - living my life here on my blog - letting everyone know I had WLS and giving all the gory details. I got this devotional in my email this morning. It is from Rick Warren and is part of The Purpose Driven Life devotional series. It really put into words a lot of what I have been feeling lately about not only needing support, but giving support to others, and how crucial it is to not only my physical success in this weight loss journey, but also to the spiritual aspect of this journey. This is so much more than a diet or than just losing weight. I am dealing with some major issues emotionally and spiritually on this road. Here is the quote:

Some of us hesitate to commit ourselves to developing an intentional plan of growth that requires accountability or relationship with others because we believe spiritual growth is a personal and private matter. We choose to believe each person develops in his or her own way at his or her own rate.

This is an aberration from the truth.The idolatry of individualism has influenced even the way we think about spiritual growth.So much of the teaching on spiritual formation is self-centered and self-focused without any reference to our relationship to other Christians.

This is completely unbiblical and ignores much of the New Testament. The truth is that Christians need relationships to grow. We don’t grow in isolation from others. We develop in the context of fellowship.

Over and over again in the New Testament we find this basic truth: Believers need relationships with each other to grow! Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another ” (NIV).

God intends for us to grow up in a family.

So thank you to all of my sisters and brothers helping me along this journey. Your support and encouragement and accountability mean more to me than you will ever know.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Not Much

I haven't posted in a few days. I've been trying to get more rest in my free time. And I haven't had much of that lately either.

Yesterday was Upward day. Caleb is playing Upward Basketball and the girls do Upward Cheerleading (and I am their coach). Unfortunately, it hardly ever works out that they have their games at the same time - so we end up having Upward Day where we spend most of the day running between games and such. I really enjoy coaching the cheerleaders and I have a great squad of Kindergarten through 2nd graders this year. The jeans I had on yesterday were starting to get too big and everytim I stood up I would have to yank my jeans up because they were falling down my backside. Well don't you know - I ripped them yanking them up? How does that happen? I would expect them to rip when they were tighter than tight on me - not when they were too big!

Last night we went to see Bedtime Stories. It was a great movie - a classic family movie - one I'm sure we will own at some point. Before the movie we went to dinner. It was my first experience of this. I thought it would be really hard. It was a little hard - I can't even take a bite of someone else's fries, but I did it. It wasn't awful and I was able to enjoy the time with my family. I ordered a cup of hot tea and didn't finish it. I also ordered a glass of skim milk and didn't finish that either. Kind of surreal, really. I am one cheap date.

So now we are just getting ready for another week. Is it time for bed yet?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Kanga is not happy

So I'm not sure exactly what is wrong with Kanga. Last night I was miserable. I slept pretty good, but woke up exhausted and still in a bit of pain and discomfort. I thought a little more sleep would do me good so I planned to just go in to work late, but woke up and was still having the same pain - so I worked from home today. I don't have a fever. But it seems that whenever I put Roo in Kanga she protests today. Don't know what that's all about. I will be back to work tomorrow.

Not much to update today - I've been asleep for a lot of it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Today was pretty good. I got all my protein in yesterday (I am striving for 80-100grams) without too much trouble. Today I tried an Isopure Dutch Chocolate protein shake. That was OK - I had to mix it with a spoon so it wasn't quite the right consistency. I think it would be better a little colder and a little smoother. I made it with milk to get even more protein. That shake alone is 50 grams of protein! I made it with milk and was able to add 16 more grams of protein. I had no problem making my protein alotment by using that. I have heard great things about "Oh Yeah!" protein shakes. They are 32 grams of protein and I plan on trying one tomorrow.

I had the potato soup again this evening - and in my excitement to eat it I ate it too quickly. Oh - not good. Not good at all. The pain! The discomfort! The foamies!!! Yup - foamies. They can be brought on by eating (or drinking something thick like the soup I was having) too fast, or by not chewing your food enough. Our pouches are no longer capable of producing hydrochloric acid. But the body is an amazing self-preserver given half a chance. When we get into problems overfilling our pouches by eating too fast or taking bites that are not small enough, the body begins to produce large quantities of mucus to help things along. It is an overwhelming nausea, stomach churning feeling. Not the same as dumping - but no fun just the same. Note to self: sip ... slowly!

And I am sure that people will say that I am pushing myself too hard by having gone back to work so soon, etc..., but I am so tired by the time I get home. I could just crawl into bed for the rest of the night. I'm hoping that now that I am getting more protein in my diet that will help.

I got a fun package from today. It's a protein sample pack - has different samples of all different types of protein drinks. Powders to mix in all different flavors and by different companies, Ready-To-Drinks (RTD) from different companies and in different flavors, as well as a blender bottle, a bracelet to remind me to believe in myself, and a great book called "Before & After, Living and Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery". I am looking forward to trying a few of these. I also recieved some DaVinci Sugar Free Syrups. Now those I can't WAIT to try. I got 3 flavors, chocolate, peanut butter, and cookie dough. They are made with Splenda (no aspartame!) and you can use them to add to your protein shakes in order to make an endless amount of different flavors! I chose these 3 flavors to start, but they have a ton of different flavors like butter rum, toasted marshmallow, german chocolate cake, lemon, lime, orange, peppermint, creme de minthe. You add just a little to your protein shakes and voila! You have a different flavor! I don't think I am going to be able to try anything tonight. I really wanted to, but I'm still dealing with the foamies and I think I should just be gentle to my pouch.

Speaking of pouch - I got some great name suggestions. I think my favorite right now is to name my pouch "Kanga" and what I put into her "Roo".

I have also found an easy quick way to get some walking in at work. I take the elevator to the top floor - walk all the way around the floor then take the stairs down to the next level and so on. It takes me 15-20 minutes if I don't get caught up talking to someone I haven't seen in a while, and I try to do it for my morning break and for an afternoon break.

OK - half way through my first week back to work. It's not so scary. I can do this. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


So today was full liquids day! YEAH! I had a Carnation Instant Breakfast first thing this morning. YUM! Chocolate! WOO HOO! I got to have Lemon Meringue Pie Yogurt for lunch - it took me an hour to eat it - but I got it all in. And this evening I made Potato Soup with a little cheese added in - OH YEAH! That was the best. It was so good - so good - so good! In between meals I have had some high protein snacks - like protein bullets and protein shakes. I have started journaling everything I eat. I carry my fun pink journal with me everywhere. I record what I'm eating - how much protein, carbs, fat, and calories are in it. I am noticing hunger, but also noticing fullness. The hunger isn't bad - it's OK to be hungry.

I am watching The Biggest Loser tonight. I've never actually watched it before. I have lots of friends who love it and watch it all the time. I wouldn't watch it before because I simply didn't want to be constantly reminded of what I wasn't doing for myself. But I'm ready now.

I've had a little bit of pain today - not as bad as last night. I'm trying to rest and that seems to help. I'm hoping it won't be raining tomorrow and if it's not I hope to walk as much as possible - possibly at lunch at work and maybe in the evening when I get home. There I said it - now that I have said it and put it out here - I will have to hold myself to it. :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Name that Pouch!

So I have decided that I want to name my new stomach pouch. I know - you think I'm crazy. That's OK - I am.

I tend to name different things - it gives them character. For instance, I named my parents GPS system Delilah - because she kept leading us astray. Before my hysterectomy I named an IUD I had a brief relationship with Oscar - because he made my uterus grouchy. I didn't name my uterus, but I did give her a fond farewell before my hysterectomy with a bon voyage party. Now that was fun! Everyone wore red - we ate red foods - red velvet cake - a red chocolate fountain - red wine punch - port wine cheese. It was great fun. We played pin the tampon on the uterus. Party gifts were goodie bags filled with items from my "stash" that I would no longer need. Good time, good times.

I digress. I am looking to name my new pouch. She (or he - I haven't decided) can be a bit finicky. She may not be able to handle certain foods, she may not like certain foods I give her and decide to "re-gift" them to me. But I need to treat her gently - to take good care of her so she will take good care of me. I don't want her to stretch out or get much bigger than she is.

So do you have any ideas? If you do - comment on this post and let me know!


So I went back to work today. It actually went very well. I felt really good this morning other than being kinda tired because I couldn't fall asleep last night. I'm not sure what that was all about - wide awake until just afte 1am. Doesn't bode well for a 5:30 alarm clock.

I did fine at work - didn't get done as much as I wanted to, but I stayed busy. I tried my first protein bullet. It's a 3 ounce drink with a lot of protein in it. The one I tried had 42 grams of protein in it. It was orange flavored. Not fantastic - but OK. Took me 3 hours to drink 3 ounces. I found I liked it very cold. I also had about half of a jello-snack pack for lunch. And sipped on my water and juice throughout the day. That's a day in life of clear liquids for me!

Tomorrow I get to graduate to full liquids! That means milk, protein shakes, smooth low fat yogurt (like vanilla or lemon - not anything with fruit in it), strained creamy soups, and sugar free pudding. I am a bit excited let me tell you. I have found a wonderful website that has been a life saver for me of late. It is When I came home from the hospital I started to have a little bit of "buyers remorse" so to speak. I felt like I would never be able to eat anything that I liked or that tasted good ever again! This web site showed me that there were so many things that I could do with what little I could eat right now. There are a bunch of recipes for all the different food phases. For instance - I found a great quick and easy recipe for a potato soup involving chicken broth and Idahoan dehydrated potato flakes and grated parmesan cheese. I am going to make it for dinner tomorrow - I can't wait. The site has great products that you can order - specifically designed for bariatric patients. It also has a fantastic support forum and message board site. There are RN's, licensed nutritionists, and veterans of WLS moderating the boards. One of the boards is devoted totally to recipes! There are some great ideas on how to make your protein shakes taste better, how to get more protein into your every day foods, and is in general a huge encouragement to those who have decided to make this huge life change. Even if you haven't had WLS - it's worth a gander just for the recipes alone. If you're looking for high protein, low fat and low carb recipes - you will be amazed at the yummy stuff you will find at this site.

So in my excitement about going to full liquids tomorrow I decided I would brave the grocery store with my list in hand after work. I think that was the straw that broke the camels back! I was doing good, but as I was pushing the cart and walking around Harris Teeter I got so achy in my belly (still kinda swollen and tender). Going grocery shopping is a new adventure for me. I have to read all the nutritional and ingredient information on everything! It took me what felt like forever to get about 20 items. I want to get sugar free of a lot of things, but I have to look and be sure there is no aspartame in it. A lot of yogurts are sweetened with aspartame or NutraSweet. I need to check the ingredients to be sure - looking for sucralose or Splenda instead. Or something may say "light", but still has sugar in it. I can't have sugar at all yet, so i really need to pay attention. I'm not interested in testing my dumping ground just yet.

So I will be going to bed when the kids do this evening. I am absolutely exhausted. I am looking forward to tomorrow. I get to have Carnation Instant Breakfast for breakfast! And I am packing some yogurt for lunch. Most of all I can't wait to try the potato soup concoction for dinner. I now have to start recording everything I eat, so I also picked up a small notebook to start journaling my eating. I need to keep track of how many grams of protein I take in and start to work towards getting 80 - 100 grams of protein in a day. I also want to keep an eye on calories and carbs. I also need to start paying attention to when I drink and when I eat. I have to stop drinking 30 minutes before I eat, and can't resume drinking until 30 minutes after I eat.

Something else that I see starting to happen is I'm becoming a tad emotional. I've been forwarned about this. Fat cells actually store and hold on to hormones. As the fat cells shrink they release the hormones back into the body. It can be kind of a wild ride with the hormones. I have found myself a couple of times today crying over seemingly simple things. Now if you were to ask D he would say that's not so unusual, but it is a little odd feeling for me. One time I got all verklempt as I was thinking about a comment that someone made to me about how I was taking back control of my life. Yeah, in a way I am. But in a way I feel like I am cleaning up this temple so I can give it back to God. Control - an ongoing theme in my life. I like it - I want it - I have to have it. And yet as a Christian I am to yield - no release! control in my life to my Savior. A big AH HA! moment for me this past summer that I feel led to my decision to pursue WLS was when I realized that I was working exceptionally hard at controlling a lot of things in the lives of the people around me. My husband, my children, my family, my friends. Why am I so concerned about making sure that my son gets his homework done on my terms? Who's homework is it? It's not my homework. If he doesn't get it done it's his problem - not mine. That realization (and the subsequent release of that control back to my son - which actually worked wonders! He does his homework all on his own! Who knew?) led me to see that I wanted to control all of these outside things because I had no control over my own life - specifically in the area of my weight. Being controlling works for me to some extent - I am a Project Manager - I need to control many details of a moving project - I'm pretty good at it. But I couldn't apply those same principles to myself personally. What a disconnect. And now here I am shedding a few tears again. Hormones, gotta love 'em. I guess the point of this hormonal rant is this: May I ever live in submission to my Savior. He is the one who is in control. He deserves a better temple from me.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I'm still doing pretty good. I did develop a very nasty case of thrush last night, though. My whole mouth is covered in it - it's totally nasty. We are in the middle of the pharmacy dance with the surgeon - trying to get the "magic mouthwash" prescription called in correctly so I can deal with it. The thrush is a result of the overabundance of antibiotics I was on in the hospital. As soon as my IV was put in during pre-op I was given a bag of antibiotics. After surgery I had a regimen of 3 IV bags of antibiotics within the next 24 hours. So apparently this is a pretty common occurence between the reaction to the antibiotics and the fact that my body is going into ketosis. What is ketosis you ask? Simply put it means that my body is turning to it's fat stores for energy. WOO HOO!!! Problem is - between the thrush and the ketosis - everything tastes awful. Not the worst problem to have right now I suppose - but I especially hate the taste of water right now. I can't even put words to it - it's gross. The problem I was having yesterday with the drainage tube site seems to have resolved itself, and for that I am very grateful - that was even more gross.

I weighed myself this morning and I am down quite a bit. From my highest weight this fall I am down 26 pounds. From my pre-op hospital appointment I am down 15 pounds. From the day of surgery I am down 8 pounds. Sure sounds like a lot, but I'm not "feeling" it yet. My belly is still fairly swollen from the surgery. As someone recently put it to me - a train ran through them there parts.

I am going back to work tomorrow. I am anxious to get back into the routine of life - get away from my kitchen. Not to mention I have a lot of work to do this month at work!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Feeling Fantastic!

I can't believe how good I am feeling after this surgery. I'm sure the fact that it was laparoscopic made a huge difference. The surgeries that I have had in the past have all been open. When I had my gallbladder out 2 years ago they tried to do it laparoscopically, but the surgeon found that he could not, so he converted the surgery to open. So It's weird for me to be feeling this good this soon after surgery. I just have one area that is still a bit painful. I talked to the surgeon earlier today and he assures me that I'm doing well and that my "insides are angry" right now. He's not joking! :)

I have been trying to walk a little bit - yesterday I think I did about a half a mile. It was a lot - took a lot out of me, but it's a start. I would love to join a gym this year - as a family - but I'm not sure our finances can take that hit just yet.

This is a definite adjustment for me in the food department. I think this is probably the only way I could divorce myself from the foods I should no longer be eating. I am not physically hungry - that is not the problem. But I literally have to stay out of the kitchen right now. For some reason we have a ton of food in our house right now and it is all calling to me. The delicious food that friends are bringing over for D and the kids, the left over pizza, the cookies, heck - even the toaster taunts me! And I simply can not have them right now even if I wanted to. My new pouch of a stomach is still healing from surgery - if I were to try to eat those things it would be a bad bad thing.

Last night D went to bed early and after the kids went to bed it was like I didn't know what to do with myself. That is usually the time that I eat. No one is looking at me to tell me I don't really need that - no one is giving me "the look". I can eat whatever I want and however much I want. I found myself pacing in the kitchen last night! I just wanted a taste! What is wrong with me? This is ridiculous! I can't eat these things - I just plain can't. This "tool" of WLS has allowed me to by-pass my will power. I have to play by the rules - I can't cheat. There are very specific boundaries for me now. And hopefully by living within those imposed boundaries I can retrain myself to eat better, to exercise, to live life better. Not just for me, but for my family, too.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My First WOW Moment!

So amazingly enough - I have had my first WOW moment since surgery. I wasn't expecting this particular WOW for some time.

I have high blood pressure and have been taking medication for it for the past 4 years. About 2 years ago I had an allergic reaction to the medication I was taking which was an ACE-Inhibitor. It's a very rare allergic reaction called angioedema. It can be very serious. Mine was mild as reactions go, but not to be ignored. So I am now allergic to ACE-Inhibitors which means that I now take 3 medications for my blood pressure. I hate it. It's ridiculous.

But since my surgery my blood pressure has been GREAT! Now initially following surgery your blood pressure is usually lower, but mine has continued to stay low. I have been monitoring my blood pressure since I got home from the hospital and it is still really good. I would have to crush my medications and take them in juice or water right now and it tastes horrific - so I thought I would monitor my blood pressure and if it started to climb back up - I would bite the bullet and take the meds. But my blood pressure continues to be really good! Better than it was most of the time when I was on the meds before surgery!

I knew that eventually my blood pressure would get better - but I expected it to happen after I had lost some significant weight - not just by having the surgery.


Food Addiction

Here's an article that I found somewhere online, having to do with the physical and emotional/mental dynamics of simple carbohydrate ingestion leading to binges:

Brain Chemistry
Combinations of foods in the blood trigger effects very similar to alcohol.
By Robert Lefever, MD, BChir, and Marie Shafe, EdD

All of us like to “look right” and “feel right”. We may not have a clear image of what is right, but we may be very clear that we do not like the way we look or the way we feel at the present time. Yet, when we change we may not be as satisfied as we thought we would be with the end result. We may find that our newfound satisfaction does not last very long because we find it extraordinarily difficult to maintain our new behavior and self-image. We feel ashamed of ourselves for being so “weak-willed” and the whole desperate search for perfect control begins all over again. The intensity of this process varies enormously from one person to another. Some people are more or less content with themselves the way they are and do not feel any great need for change. Most people would like to change a bit – be slimmer, more fit or more attractive – and there are times when they make a determined effort in these directions. But there are some people whose lives become dominated by these quests to be slimmer, more fit, attractive or not to eat so much. We refer to these people as having “eating disorders”, although that really describes the end result rather than the cause, which is a “feeling disorder”. The true nature of these eating/feeling disorders is that we crave something “out there” to change the feeling “in here”. Out there may be a substance such as sugar, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, amphetamines, tranquilizers or a compulsive process such as bingeing or starving, spending, risk-taking, exercising or even another person. Anything or anybody may help alter moods and feeling. But some things “work” particularly well. These particular substances, processes or relationships are used to excess to an increasingly destructive degree until they are addictive.

Addictive Disease.
There is a lot of confusion and fear surrounding the word addiction. Examining this substance or process as an addictive disease takes away the sense of shame and allows us to look at addictive craving or addictive behavior with the same concern and understanding that we should bring to any other clinical condition. However, this does not take away the responsibility for behavior and recovery. There is increasing evidence that compulsive behavior runs in families or may be genetic. Anorexia nervosa, for example, is seven times more common in some families than in the general population. Addiction disease, for many, seems increasingly likely to be part of “the way we are”. People who suffer from addictive disease often find that is has several outlets. Closing one outlet – for example, to stop drinking alcohol – may open another outlet – such as nicotine.

Food as a Drug.
People often imagine that food addictions are particularly difficult because food cannot be given up in the way that someone suffering from alcoholism can give up alcohol. In fact, the “drugs” of eating disorders are sugar, white flour, and other refined carbohydrates. The sheer quantities of sugars and refined carbohydrates consumed today by the average individual in the developed world is vast compared to what our bodies were designed to cope with or ingest. There is evidence that major “modern” diseases including heart disease, cancer, kidney failure, pancreatic disease and gallbladder disease are linked to high consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Sugar and refined carbohydrates may be simply foods to most people, just as alcohol is simply a drink. For people with or predisposed to addictive disease, however, these are drugs. They have a significant mood-altering effect through their direct action on the “mood centers” of the brain in addition to the calories and other nutritional elements they provide. Once the mood centers are stimulated in any way by the first use of an addictive substance or process, the addictive cravings will set in and the full addictive process sets off. For the eating disordered individual, there are two major concerns relative to the food substance: 1). The disorder of neurotransmitter in the brain center stimulated by the agents of sugar and white flour, and 2) fat grams which are more pound-inducing than sugar. A close look reveals that refined carbohydrates and white flour are 20 percent as potent as refined sugar in their mood-altering properties.

Feeling Disorders.
Earlier, we mentioned that eating disorders are really “feeling disorders” because of the desire to “mood-alter” from such feelings as depression, shame, control and fear of abandonment and rejection. Sugar and white flour stimulate an increase in the transmission of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. As the synapses become flooded with these neurotransmitters, a feeling of euphoria results and craving is stimulated. As these three neurochemicals increase in supply at the synapses, there is a decrease in the needed neurotransmitter to fill receptors as receptors continue to be produced.

We now find a brain transmitter deficiency. The sugar and white flour have blocked the recycling of neurotransmitter dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. The net effect of continued, long-term use is to increase the level of “breakdown products”. These products break down dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine and decrease the supply of needed neurotransmitters. In other words, they scramble the production, release and recycle process in the hypothalamus. Since the hypothalamus is the center for emotional and ingestive behavior, one’s mood and craving become like an out of control “roller coaster”. One actually becomes intoxicated by the sugar, white flour and other refined carbohydrates as they act as alcohol in the blood system and hypothalamus.

When insufficient amounts of neurotransmitter are produced and released and receptor sites are left unfilled, the result becomes feelings of craving, distress and depression. This process is similar to that presented for chemical dependency by researchers, Blum, Trachtenberg, and Kozlowski. They indicate this condition may result from a genetic irregularity, or effects of stress, drug abuse or food deprivation. We believe it also results from the intake of sugar and white flour. The state of euphoria resulting from a surge of serotonin or dopamine is often followed by hyperexcitability and feelings of shame, abandonment and worthlessness. Neurotransmitter deficits are restored by the removal of sugar, white flour and other refined carbohydrate from the diet.

Addictive properties.
The addictive properties of sugar and white flour continue to be ignored just as the relation between high blood pressure, heart disease, circulatory disease, kidney failure, cancer and other diseases and what we eat and how much are ignored. There is a correlation between the death rates compiled by the National Center of Health Statistics and the trend in sugar and fat-laden foods recorded by the Department of Agriculture. We find that it takes an increasing frequency and amount of sugar, white flour and other refined carbohydrates to induce the desired high or euphoric state. The food addict develops a high tolerance for volume until a crash occurs due to health difficulties and the increased imbalance of neurotransmitter and receptors in the brain center.

Giving up sugar and white flour and replacing them with whole grain/whole wheat and the natural sugar in fruit is easier said than done. There are many forms of sugar. Manufacturers hide sugar in processed and fast foods. They know that adding sugar gets consumers hooked on sugar-additive foods.

There is also a distinct withdrawal when one stops eating sugar and white flour. This is true because systems must detox from these addictive substances. These symptoms include: dizziness, headaches, extreme irritability, insomnia, restlessness, mental disorientation, forgetting and a growing inner emptiness or depression that led to the addiction in the first place. These symptoms gradually taper off after about 10 days. The food addict may experience occasional cravings later on when we are under emotional distresses of one kind or another, but the withdrawal symptoms are gone for good.

Special caution is necessary during the withdrawal period as the urge to self-medicate with sugar, white flour and other refined carbohydrates will heighten. Depression or anxiety motivates one toward food for comfort or reward – to feel better. Sugar increases the amount of brain chemical serotonin for a quick high or fix. Milk, fresh vegetables and whole grains increase the supply of serotonin as well but at a much slower, natural rate. You may ask, “Is alcohol a refined carbohydrate?”. Yes, it is the ultimate refined carbohydrate. It is unsafe for sufferers from eating disorders to drink alcohol. Even if they never had problems with alcohol, they increase the risk of blocking or interfering with neurotransmitter balance and restimulating the eating disorder. Correspondingly, sufferers from alcoholism are well advised to give up sugar and white flour because they will act to restimulate an imbalance of the neurotransmitter.

In 1971, Roger Williams of Loma Linda University conducted an experiment where a diet high in sugar and white flour produced a marked preference for alcohol. Williams concluded that alcoholism is, to a large extent, a metabolic disorder exacerbated by sugar and white flour.

A common fear is that food addicts will have to give up all things they enjoy. These justifications and rationalizations are a major mental characteristic of addictive disease. They want to fantasize about substances, processes or relationships that put the joy and meaning into their lives. One unexpected pleasure is beginning to enjoy food and mealtimes for perhaps the first time. Gone are the cravings, the dining table strategy of how little or how much to stake away, and the shame. They can experience the actual taste of food, enjoy conversation and move toward serenity.

Recovery is an everyday process. It means first giving up sugar and white flour, then attending 12-step meetings regularly and working a program of recovery.

The Diet Myth.
It is evident that diets do not work. If they did, they would not produce a multi-billion dollar industry each year. If they did, we would not see the proliferation of the “New Miracle Diets” or “New Seven Day Wonder Diets”. Diets and diet pills do not work because they only offer ways to temporarily suppress the appetite. This can be done just as well by consuming lemon juice and water. The only thing that will really address the issue here is the focus upon the restoration of the deficit or imbalance of the neurotransmitter-receptor process.

The real issue is that recovery from eating disorders is a process of acknowledging the intoxicating effects of sugar, white flour and other refined carbohydrates along with the spiritual process. The spiritual process is working on the development of the human spirit, allowing for the rekindling of hope, love, trust, self-appreciation and all the other intangible dimensions that make life so worthwhile. These are the very things that addictive disease suppresses. The distortions of body image (thinking that one looks dramatically different from what in reality one does look like) are a major feature of eating disorders. This provides further evidence that the disease and its recovery must have an essential spiritual component.


This is a lot for even me to take in. I am definitely in the withdrawal phase right now. I actually fantasize about bread right now. I come from a long line of highly addictive personalities. Food is definitely my addiction - I do turn to it for so much. This explains a lot for me - gives me so much to think about.

A New Year - A New Me

My kids came home yesterday and brought some custom made balloons with them. They were lots of fun. One said "A New Year" on one side and "A New Mom" on the other. The other baloon they signed. I'm definitely looking forward to 2009 as a new beginning for me.

I had been told that this first week home would be the hardest - it has definitely not been easy. Getting 48-64 ounces of liquid in a day is proving to be a humungous task. I have to force myself to drink, or eat jello. I have never handled aspartame well (found in NutraSweet), so Crystal Light won't work - it gives me a headache even faster now that my insides have been re-routed. Yesterday I had two swallows and was down for the count with an awful headache for the rest of the day. The nutritionist did say that I could have juice if it was 100% juice - no sugar added - so I have sent D on a scavenger hunt this morning with the girls to try to find some place open on New Year's Day. I hope to try to take a short walk outside today as well to get the gas moving. It's getting better, but is still giving me grief.

I've now lost the weight that I gained from surgery - so that is encouraging. Let's see how things go from here.