Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A day in the life of my pouch...

I’ve been thinking. 

(Dangerous, I know…)

Now that I have been eating more “normally” and actually cooking and plating my own food (for the first time in months!!!) I feel like I have really lost perspective on the bigger picture of what I put in my mouth throughout the day.  

And this scares the crap out of me.  

I don’t have the luxury to lose control of how I eat…and I'm afraid with every bite that I will.  So, since I really had nothing better to do all day, I came up with a little project to give me (and you) an idea of how I’m eating.  I took a “before and after” shot of ANYTHING I put in my mouth.  For 24 hours.  

So here it is…my day...one bite at a time.

I was really honest and didn’t eat anything that isn’t pictured here.  I do have to say, though, that knowing I would be taking these pictures really helped my keep random small snacking (aka “grazing”) non-existent.  It made me think a little more about what I was eating, and looking back today, it makes me see where I could have made better choices.   

This is something I may have to do this more often...just to keep myself in check!


Breakfast, 9am:
1/2c Fiber One raisin crunch cereal
1/2c skim milk
1/2 small banana

Snack, 11am:
4 pieces cheddar cheese
4 water crackers
5 slices cucumber
1/2 small tomato...diced
(drizzle of salad dressing over vegetables)

Lunch, 1:30pm:
1 small whole wheat wrap
2 small baked chicken tenderloins
1/2c raw spinach
3 small tomato slices
1Tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
1Tbsp light red wine vinaigrette
1 handful baked ruffle chips

Snack, 3pm:
1/4c black and white trail mix

Dinner, 5pm:
1c pasta
1/2 c homemade meat sauce
1 italian sausage, sliced
1/2c steamed baby vegetables
sprinkle of pep. romano cheese

 Snack, 8pm:
1 small macintosh apple, sliced
1Tbsp peanut butter

Fluids throughout the day:
1 bottle Lipton diet green tea (16.9oz)
2 bottles poland spring water (16.9oz)

Monday, September 27, 2010


If you are stopping by because of my mention in the "your blogs" section of boston.com today...WELCOME!!!

I'm so excited (and thankful) for the shout out from them.

Please come back often and feel free to leave comments!  : )

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lookin' for love....

There is something about going out to dinner with a group and sitting next to an empty place setting, that makes you feel really alone.  And last night, that’s exactly what happened to me.

When I was bigger, I never really had a boyfriend.  And I guess I never really expected to.  When people asked me if I was seeing anyone, I would tell them just how hard it was to meet someone while going to an all women’s college.  Or how working in a female dominated profession didn’t really make it any easier. 

It wasn’t like I didn’t try.  Eharmony? Match.com?  oh yes…I sure did.  But after meeting a few bad eggs, I didn't renew my subscription.  

Despite the excuses I gave, deep down inside I felt that my size was what was really holding me back from meeting someone great.  I understood that looks had a lot to do with the process.  Whether right or wrong, I felt being a bigger person made a bad first impression. 

To be honest, more than once I even tried lowering my standards.  Yeah…you can imagine how well that turned out. 

So, I took last year to focus on getting my life and myself together.  And now that I’m more average sized and with the same personality and even better assets, I thought things would be way easier for me.  But alas, I am surprised on how difficult meeting someone remains.  And as I watch my friends get married and have babies, I feel like I’m running out of time.  My birthday is 4 weeks from today…and I will be the ripe old age of 29. 

When people tell me that I’m “quite the catch” and that I’ll “meet someone when I’m not looking”….I totally want to smack them upside the head.  No offense, as I’m sure some of you were already thinking it.  

Honestly, I would like to know when someone in my position ISN’T looking?!?!  I mean seriously.  My radar is ALWAYS on. 

So, my real question is, was it that people never really cared how I looked?  Was it who I was as a person that turned people off?  Or is it that my standards are too high?  Honestly, I don’t know…and if I think about it anymore, I’m going to need a glass of wine.  But what I do know is that as November looms just a few days away, I have to start to comprehend the thought of spending the holiday season as a single person…again. 

So here I am, wearing my cute new dress last night.  Will I meet someone someday?  I sure hope so!  But until then, I'm just a single white female...lookin' for love…and someone to sit next to her at dinner!

10 year high school reunion...

Last weekend I went to my 10 year high school reunion.

Yes, I am that old. 

But as old as it made me feel, I was excited to show off the new me.  I skipped the 5yr reunion because I had put on almost 60 pounds.  I wanted to go, but I was embarrassed of my weight gain.  But now, with a lot of hard work, my weight is now 40-50 pounds less than It was when I was in high school.

So…Bring it on.

Although some of my closest high school friends were unable to attended (I retain the right to refer to you guys as “LAME” until you show yourselves at the 15yr) it was really nice to catch up with some people I haven’t seen in ages and see what everyone has been up to. 

Well…to be honest…I kind of knew what everyone was up to.  Most of us constantly stalk each other on Facebook.  But we exchanged pleasantries and pretended that we didn’t know every little detail that was going on in each other’s lives.  Strange how times have changed…but all in all, it was a really nice event.  And being there really made me think about how different I am now from when I was in high school. 

There are some people who are fat and happy.  But, that was not me at all.  Being fat in high school has to be one of the cruelest punishments one can endure.  Not because I was made fun of or made to feel uncomfortable, but because of the things I missed out on.

In high school, I didn’t have a boyfriend.  Or a prom “date.”  I distinctly remember being MORTIFIED that my prom dress was a size 20.  It was the biggest size they had in the store and it barely fit me.  I went to my prom with a friend because the stress of potentially going alone was unbearable.   I felt like I was lucky to even find someone willing to go with me. 

I remember every birthday wish, every fallen eyelash, every penny found….I would wish to be skinny.  I wanted to wear cute clothes and to not cry in gym class.  I would lay in bed at night and bargain with myself saying “tomorrow, I will start to walk on the treadmill…everyday…and I’ll only eat salad….everyday.”  But by the morning, I would inevitably fall back into my old habits and my weight stayed on.  Or went up. 

Don’t get me wrong, though.  I have really fond memories of high school!  Singing in various choirs…drama….and some GREAT shenanigans with my friends.  (most of them involving my gray 1989 Ford Taurus…jealous much?...)  I just think they may have been a little “fonder” if I hadn’t been embarrassed of how big I was…all the time. 

After talking to people for a little while at reunion, I really started to think about what I had accomplished in the past 10 years.  I realized I’m in a really good place.  I look great.  I feel great.  And I know I have some great times coming to me in the future. 

So when I left the reunion, I felt happy.  It was great to see my friends, and it was great to see how far I had come in my life.  But, despite all that….I still feel old.    

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


For me, today was one of those days where all I did was eat and sit on the sofa. A “mental health day” of sorts. And when I weighed myself, I lost 2 pounds.


But in all seriousness, the amount of food I have been able to eat lately is really starting to scare me. With everything I’ve tasted and tried...athough I definitely feel full sooner...I haven’t had dumping at all. So, at this point in this whole process, I know I can eat anything I want.

This is extremely dangerous.

Without the fear of dumping, I have gone a little rouge with my eating. I still stay away from sugar…mostly…but I have been ordering out at work, going out to eat more in general (most of the time NOT ordering off the children’s menu), and buying "unhealthy" items at the grocery store.

When I go out to eat, sometimes I know I could pick a healthier item off the menu…but I do what I do best. I rationalize ordering what I WANT instead of what I SHOULD have. It is a skill I have mastered that I wish I could use for good instead of evil…but alas.

My saving grace has been that I continue to work out. Hard. Also, my pouch still limits the quantity of food I eat. The amount of food I can eat is definitely less than pre-surg, but in the last few weeks it has totally increased from what it has been. It is a fear I can't even describe. 

So, a few days ago I really started thinking about how and what I've been eating. I have heard stories of people regaining their weight after surgery.  It feels like this is a point in my recovery where I could start to pick up some old habits that could send me down that road. Yikes. So, I've decided to nip these bad habits in the butt before they get out of control.

Thus…”THE RULES” were born.

“THE RULES” are something I made up in order to help me stay on the straight and narrow with my eating. They are limits I have set for myself that I'm not allowed to rationalize away.  And as stupid as it sounds, they have already started to help.

Here’s what I have so far:

1. I will eat breakfast everyday.  And it will be breakfast food...healthy breakfast food.  
2. I will taste a dessert, but never order or eat a whole one.
3. I will never drink more than 2 glasses of wine in one sitting.
4. I will not buy unhealthy food at the grocery store.
5. I will try to make and bring dinner for myself at work.  But, if I do order out...I will make healthy choices  
6. I will take my vitamins.  Everyday.
7. I will not eat ANY halloween candy.  Not even one piece. 

I will add more rules as time goes by, but it is already hard to keep up with these ones

When I make a rule, I’m trying to be realistic. I know that at some point I may break it. But just having them really makes me think about what I'm eating before I put it into my mouth...which helps a lot.  This list will grow and change as I do, but I will always keep it around as a tool to keep me healthy. 

Knowing that I CAN eat whatever I want has empowered me to CHOOSE to eat the right way. I don’t want to go back to an unhealthy lifestyle…and if it takes “ THE RULES” to keep me in line….so be it!

On a funnier note, when I told my mom about my current eating woes and the instillation of “THE RULES” she sent me the link to this video.  Hysterical.  So yes, mom…from now on I will “think before I eat”…

***do you have any “rules” that you use to keep yourself in check? Or do you have any suggestions for my ever growing list? Let me know in the comment section below!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wedding bells...

My sister and my dad!
Well, we finally had my sister’s wedding and it was just fantastic.

Everyone was beautiful, especially my sister, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.   (especially during the "father daughter dance...I tear up just thinking about it)  It was an awesome wedding and I’m surprised how quickly it went by!

When I went to get my hair put up, I told the lady straight out…this was going to be difficult.  And boy…I wasn’t lying.  The “growing in” parts are still too short to do anything with and the rest of my hair is so fine it wouldn’t even tease! 

Me and my beautiful mom!
My assigned hairdresser didn’t even blink an eye.  She worked her magic and with an extra pair of hands, a pound of hair pins, and what seemed like an entire can of hairspray, she had my hair contorted into a sort of French twist like thing with some pinned curls on top.  She REALLY lacquered it to my head and it looked great the whole night!

The bridesmaids
Our dresses looked awesome and I don’t think anyone could even notice that mine was altered at all!  The color really looked good with my skin tone, which was totally tan because of all my beach visits this summer.  (thanks, Mike!)  I also loved my silver, glittery, 4 inch, peek toe pumps!  (Something I couldn’t have ever even DREAMED of prancing around in before my weight loss!)  Our ensembles were a really good choice and looked phenomenal on all of the bridesmaids. 

The DJ was great and me and Mike danced all night long!   All those calories I spent on the delicious dinner and 1 glass of wine were pretty gone by the end of the night, I'm sure.   (I needed the glass of wine to get through the maid of honor toast…that I had written only the night before!) 

Professional wedding dates...me and Mike!

I caught the bouquet, which gave me hope for a wedding in my future.  But, then I remembered that this is the third time I have caught the bouquet at a wedding.  


My cousin, Joey, caught the “bruins themed” garter. (my sister and her husband are BIG hockey fans...god bless them…lol)  Needless to say, Joey was not too interested in putting his hands up my dress, so we did a fun dance and he placed it right up on my arm.  I thank Beth now for all those bicep curls and triceps kick-backs, as I’m sure everyone was checking out my “bruins” arm all night long!

All in all it was a fantastic night and really fun wedding.  I can’t believe its over and I couldn’t be happier for my sister and my new brother in law.  I hope they enjoyed their honeymoon in the Bahamas….especially the “couples massage” I bought for them as a wedding present!  

The newlyweds...Congratulations, Jillian and Mike!

Wine tasting....

Hello…my name is Kristen and it has been almost 9 months since my last drink.

Now don’t get me wrong…Alcohol made a swift exit in my life when i decided to have this surgery.  The fear of “dumping”  (which I haven’t really had yet, knock on wood)  kept me far far away from my martinis…and vodka tonics…and tall glasses of shiraz.   I remained painfully sober through birthday parties, weddings, and dinners out.  And didn’t really mind…too much.

But nothing was going to keep me away from a drink while I was at my sister’s wedding. 

The experts tell you to have your first drink at home…just in case it makes you really sick.  And it was difficult for me to find a time where I felt like sitting at home by myself drinking wine and waiting to be sick.  It just didn’t sound very fun at all.

So, a couple of weeks ago, my really good friend, Lindsey, came up for a visit from California.  We sat down and started to chat.  And I did something I hadn’t done in a while. 

I opened a bottle of wine. 

It was a dusty bottle of cabernet sauvignon.  A REALLY good bottle I had received as a housewarming gift when I bought my house about a year ago.  Something I was saving for a really special occasion.  And this night seemed about as good of an "occasion" as any I could think of.  I mean, if I was going to “dump,” I might as well do it on a really good bottle of wine, right?

It also made it a little easier knowing that Lindsey is also a nurse, so I knew that if I got sick, she would understand.  So I poured…we drank…and talked and laughed until the wee hours of the morning.  Besides the fact that the girl who used to drink 4 or 5 martinis and still be sober as a brick, ended up pretty tipsy on a half of a glass of wine, I had no ill effects. 

I was so happy I could have cried that night…well, maybe it was the wine.  But still…it was awesome. 

Rehearsal dinner!
So at my sister’s rehearsal dinner, I downed a couple more glasses, just to be sure.  (Also, to help me ignore all of the delicious italian food that was there! Yum!) 

Bingo…no dumping.  I felt great.  I felt I was totally set for the wedding. 

I’ve decided that I’m going to stick with wine for now in order to avoid the sugars in the juicy sweet drinks and the bubbles in the ones mixed with sodas…and this suits me just fine!  I can have 1 or maybe 2 glasses, but I won’t overdo it because I know there are A LOT of calories in that little glass. 

Regardless of the restrictions I’m giving myself, I’m glad to have alcohol back in my life.  I know it will definitely help me fell a little more “normal” in the social situations a girl in her late 20s is exposed to…it will also help me get back to seriously busting a move on the dance floor! 

Me, my wine,  and my dad!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm alive...

Hey guys...

Just thought I would put up a quick note letting people know that, even though I haven't posted in while, I am alive and well! With my sister's wedding tomorrow, things have been pretty busy in my world and I haven't even had a moment to collect my thoughts. I will be posting again next week, but until then...here's a quick picture of me from the rehearsal dinner!  

As of this week, I have lost a total of 110lbs!