Tag Archives: health

Focusing on the grace…not so much the race

17 Jan

This is a post I’ve wanted to share for a long time. I’ve written probably fifteen iterations of it over the last few months and every time I let fear win…I delete…I walk away…I keep it to myself.

I’ve not landed on a word for 2020 yet. I had one last year…I’ll probably decide on one this year, but it’s something I do with prayer and intention…but I can tell you that a theme I keep hearing in music, in scripture, in prayer and in life – is SHARING. So, I’m going to DO THAT. When I feel something resonate with me that I hope can help others, I have a natural inclination to want to share it. So here it is today:

Having something wrong with you that others cannot see is a struggle. When I show up at Bible Study with my hair curled, a dress on and my shoes actually match…you don’t know that I had to wash my hair the night before because there’s no way I can wash, dry and fix my hair without a break in between. You don’t know that I had to pick out my clothes the night before to make it easier for myself the next morning or that I decided against makeup because holding my arms up for extended periods of time makes me exhausted. You don’t see the tears I cried last night because I didn’t feel like cooking dinner for my family because I knew it would wear me out and that a bath would be out of the question….because even that is tiring. You don’t see the depression that cycles from missing out on life events…the anxiety that comes with planning anything – literally anything – because I am afraid that when it rolls around I will be too fatigued to show up. You don’t see the worry that comes from letting people down and fearing that they won’t give you grace – again.  You don’t see the disappointment from getting excited about getting out and doing something but then it’s “one of those days” and there is NO way you can make it out of the house….and quite frankly, the bed.  You don’t see the way I miss the race of deadlines and a work family and last minute presentations.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a THING.  It is one of MY things and I have truly tried to own it.  To just live with it…to give MYSELF the grace that I’d extend to any of my loved ones.  To pace myself. To do what I can and focus on THAT.  Focusing on the things I can’t do…the things I run out of steam for…the things that do not get crossed off of the list? That leads to frustration, shame and sadness.  Which puts me in a funk…which leads to a depressive state…which….are you seeing a pattern here?

When you see someone with a cast or a sling or hear them coughing or see visible scars – is your inclination to judge them or feel a certain pang of hurt for their illness/injury?  Just because all scars are not visible does not mean that we don’t all have them and need that sympathetic/empathatic smile you’d give someone that you knew was going through something based on their appearance.  I have to tell you, I barely made it through this afternoon.  I overcommitted myself this week and I was struggling this afternoon.  Once I had the chance, I got comfy and I slept for HOURS. I needed it. It didn’t mean I am lazy or worthless or unproductive.  It meant I was taking care of a need.  I needed rest.  But don’t think I didn’t go to my calendar, make a line for rest, draw a box AND CHECKED IT OFF.  Focus on what you CAN do, friends.  It makes a world of difference.

*******SIDE NOTE TANGENT BELOW*******

While I’m at it…a reminder…check on your friends.  The sick, the well, the strong, the weak.  The busy, the bored, the employed, the retired, the traveling, the homebodies….ALL THE PEOPLE.  Ask how they are…and listen to the answer.  And y’all…if someone asks how you are, TELL THEM.  I don’t know about you but I mean it when I ask someone how they are really doing….I want to hear the truth.  I don’t want to a hear a standard answer or a flippant reply.  I want to know HOW they ARE….how can I be praying for them….have the prayers I’ve been praying been answered?  I value my friendships…I value my prayer time…and I want to be sure that my friends know I am praying for them with intention, as specific as possible and as often as I say I am.

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 5)

14 Jan

So – I am WAY behind, what else is new?

The last time I updated Mike and I were still in NC and he has had a couple of appointments since then so I thought I’d just type out a little update for those that have asked…and for me too…because my memory…YEP!

Since we returned home to Texas he has been seen by his Primary Care Physician and his Pulmonologist here in College Station.  His PCP reviewed his labs, notes and all the information from the cardio team and did not find anything alarming or that he felt that was missed.  He agreed that on paper, Mike was not at risk for a heart attack…which is one of those things I keep hearing but also keep thinking of all the ways we could live better, exercise more, blah blah blah…but in the end, I truly believe that was God’s plan.  All the things are, and that was His plan for my hubby on that day and I will just have to rejoice and be glad in it.  Okay?  OKAY?  🙂  It taught me a few things and I’ll get to that eventually but for now….just trying to stick to the facts!

His Pulmonologist has suggested another sleep study (scheduled later this month) and Mike is VERY receptive to finding a CPAP mask that will work for him.  We already know he has sleep apnea.  He has been kicked out of a lab before because basically it was very clearly and quickly seen that he had it…that he needed a machine….but he has very very very particular about this process.  So…this is a huge triumph as in the past he has been….ummm….well….ya know.  I am ever so hopeful that this will be a game changer and will give him a restful sleep.  He wakes up SO tired and I can see the exhaustion by the time he comes home at night.

Speaking of him coming home at night………I am PROUD to say that he has been going into the office later and leaving every day by 5:30!  This has NEVER happened in the history of our marriage (and likely before) so I am extremely happy that he has taken this drastic measure and has the support of his team at work as well.  Finding a work/life balance is a huge issue for so many and I am very thankful that it didn’t cost my husband more than it did before he made this change.

His first Cardiac Therapy appointment is this week so he will learn more then about what is expected of him exercise and diet wise.  He is already eating better and eating less (portion wise)…drinking more water…trying to make better decisions and just getting more active, but he knows he needs to be guided by this great group of people that specialize in heart patients!  Again, this is a win – if you know my sweet but stubborn hubby.

Okay, without getting all mushy and in my feelings, I just wanted to give y’all the facts you want about “how Mike’s doing”….and I’ll keep you updated.  I cannot tell you how much it means to him and myself to get a text, email, phone call or card that asks about how he is feeling….it really does lift his spirits, and mine too.  We have for sure been blessed by some amazing family and friends.

Bye for now…more later…much much much more!  🙂

JJ

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 4)

27 Dec

I said I’d update after Mike’s appointment and I promise I meant to right away but……Christmas!  Whew!  What a busy and amazing and wonderful and blessed time of year….but….busy!  🙂

His appointment was A LOT.  I had several questions, naturally.  He had a few too….but he let me go first!  (He is SO smart, y’all!)  I had some small questions about his new meds and new diet and exercise….but my biggest, scariest, most important question was…..how likely are we to go through this again?  I know there are no guarantees and that there are so many variables that are involved but I also know that many health conditions or episodes are likely to happen again once you have had them once.  I wanted to be realistic and knew that the answer might be one I didn’t want to hear but I needed to know.  She gave me the best answer EVER.  Through a lot of technical reasons (lack of blockages in his other arteries, success of the stent, etc) and historical data….she says it is very likely that this could be an isolated incident!  Of course, that all depends on him taking his meds correctly, exercising regularly, eating balanced meals, decreasing his stress and addressing his sleep apnea.  That is a long list of things to do, yes…but I think he is more motivated than ever.  He detests the thought of a C-PAP machine but he has promised to try it.  (He’s been kicked out of the sleep lab before hahahahaaha – y’all he’s kinda hard headed and every machine he’s tried has not been a good fit for him.)  He had just started to exercise more regularly and has an amazing friend that is willing and a such a blessing to us that he will help him in that area.  The food is my area since I cook for him and he has promised to be more open-minded about trying different things (fruits and veggies are a big deal and he hates about 99% of them).  He also has committed to taking a lunch every day and actually getting out of the office.  His Dr has had several conversations about this with him and how important it is for him to take a brain break.  He is also going in later than usual so he can sleep a bit longer and THAT is a blessing to me (and also is going to take some getting used to as that was a good thing for me to get up early and get my Bible time in…so I have to figure out how my day is structured when I get back home!).  The hospital we use has a great cardiac rehab program that he will be taking advantage of and I am happy that he was open to that immediately.  He already has an appointment with a sleep specialist so we are on our way to a healthier (and hopefully less dramatic) 2020!
We are currently in NC visiting our families and enjoying this season.  It has been great to rest the last two days…since leading up to Christmas is a bit of a crazy time….and we have done just that.  Mike is still a bit tired and the Dr says that is normal and expected.  He played golf yesterday locally though and said he felt tired towards the end of the round but that he never felt “winded” as he would have normally.  THAT is such a blessing to hear!  I am telling you, God can make any situation GOOD.  I am so thankful that Mike is feeling better, is heeding the warnings and is listening to the team that is caring for him.
Again, I cannot say enough thank yous to all of you who have been praying for him (and me too) so faithfully.  We feel the love and we are so grateful.
I’ll update again in a bit once we have more information on the sleep apnea because I know that will make him feel so much better if he can get GOOD sleep!!  Hope each of you had a Merry Christmas!!!

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 3)

17 Dec

That was scary, y’all.

Though I have heard all the words that revolve around heart attacks and heart issues, learning about them through the lens of how they affect my husband has been quite an experience. I think in Part 2 I left off with us getting home on Thursday. I think we both slept SO hard that night. Post-hospital exhaustion is so real!!

Mike listened to the advice of the physicians and took it very easy over the weekend. No working, no lifting, just lots of rest and fluids. I was very proud of him for being a good patient. He can be very hard headed in case that was not obvious to y’all by now! 😉

Monday was a big day! He went back to work…but instead of getting up at 4:50 and leaving around 5:45 or so he got up around 6:30 and left around 7:20….which of course changed my schedule around but soooo worth it if it alleviates some stress for my sweet hubby!

I took him lunch around 11:45 and he sat in the car with me to eat for about 30 mins…not talking about work but just chit chatting about kids and our upcoming trip home to NC and how he was feeling. No rushing to get back in the office, just enjoying the time together.

MJ had a basketball game that was earlier than normal and he met us there a few minutes before 4 pm so his day was short. It was probably the perfect scenario for the first day back from his episode last week. The Lord really worked that out for him….not a stressful day back at all. So many of his work days are and I am so grateful that the Lord saw fit to spare him in countless ways!

He has been SO tired. Exhausted, really. I am not sure if it’s the meds, the after effects of the trauma and emotions and lost sleep or the return to work yesterday but he was asleep by 8 pm last night! I had to wake him up to take his nightly medicine with some toast! His wrist was sore last night, likely from using his laptop keyboard – and it’s his right hand – and he’s right handed…so I sort of expected that. The site of the entry looks fine – so thankful for that! He has had ZERO chest pain since before the stent. Other than a mild headache he has really been amazed at how he feels!

We have had so many conversations about how the whole thing went down last week and there are so many ways that we can see how God shaped and orchestrated the days leading up to THE DAY. There are ways that we have both been blessed by family and friends and strangers that I can’t even recount them all. There are new fears and new worries, yes. But there are also renewed promises and faith and knowledge that through it all, we were blessed.

I can’t thank everyone who was praying for us enough. I heard from people far and wide and we felt your prayers. We felt peace. We felt love. I am so incredibly grateful.

Mike’s follow up appointment is tomorrow and I sure hope they are ready for me…I mean him! LOL Let’s just say I.HAVE.QUESTIONS. This post heart attack life is going to be different….we are going to learn from it and we are going to move forward with renewed hope that we can make it through anything with faith and with one another!

I will update again once we have that appointment with any new information that we learn and I am certain I’ll have more thoughts and emotions and yes…probably more questions!!!

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 2)

15 Dec

So…it’s now in the middle of the night…around 2 am and I am tossing and turning a bit…and each time I do….I can tell that Mike is siting up.  The next time I wake up, I notice he’s on his laptop.  I sleep a little bit and wake up to more laptop husband.  So I ask him what he’s doing.  He replies that he is sending something because he thinks he might go to the doctor in the morning and that makes enough sense to me so I again go back to sleep.  Not a restful sleep, mind you…as I am stilllllll hurting.  Still feeling like, “this is bad…this feeling is bad…”

Around 5:30 am…after waking up multiple times and Mike was still awake, I get up and he says he thinks he needs to go to urgent care or ER.  I get ready and we hit the road.  We have a little conversation about where we should go – mostly I believe because he thinks that the fine folks at Baylor Scott & White are going to think we are CRAZY – and I win with the ER that I had just been at.  We know this place…they already have all of our info…and it is about 3 minutes from home.  Winner, winner.

So…I clearly knew what to expect since I just had this same scenario (since even though his shoulder hurt, it was his chest too)….and it was all just the same….until that part where they gave me the 4 aspirin.  When they brought his….they also gave him a nitroglycerine tablet.  I knew what that meant but honestly was hoping it was a preventative measure.  I did not want to hear those words.  We waited in silence for a few minutes for the ER Dr to confirm our fears.

My sweet hubby, with a heart of gold…a heart that I love and that I know without a shadow of a doubt loves me….had suffered a heart attack.

(I can’t even skip this part where after the Dr confirmed this, my sweet hubby said, “Man, I thought I’d be at least 50 before my first heart attack…”  NOT THE TIME FOR JOKING MIKE JONES AND THIS IS NOT A GOAL WE WERE GONNA HAVE!!)

The next couple of hours were a blur of pain meds for him…waiting…his pain returning…and more pain meds.  He was hurting just as bad if not worse than when we first got there.  In the midst of all of this they were working on admitting him and figuring out when they could do the heart catheterization so they could check for what they suspected, a blockage.

He was admitted and it was honestly a whirlwind of people in and out…taking him for tests, blood/lab work, getting him comfortable, me trying to inform his parents and my parents and coordinating MJ getting to school (thank you Jesus for Christian – my helper always!!!) and SO.MANY.QUESTIONS.  From me, I mean.  I have never been through this and I had heard words like heart cath and stent and balloons and bypasses and I just had no idea what to expect.  It was pretty rough, y’all.  Especially considering that I was still hurting.  He was still hurting.  And we just both wanted to SLEEP.

Once his case was reviewed and the cardiologist stopped by it was very clear that he wanted to waste no time getting him in for the cath.  He wanted to take any advantage to lessen the damage to the heart.  We got the word that we had 45 minutes until his procedure.  I had already reached out to a dear friend back home that has been through lots of heart stuff and was texting back and forth with her with questions and thoughts and fears.  What a blessing to have someone who was right there with me…who had walked this walk before.  (I mean, besides Jesus, y’all…becuase HE WAS THERE.)

When the team came in to get him (after I helped him prep and prayed SO hard that they would be able to enter his freshly shaven wrist) I asked them a few last questions – mainly reiterating that they would be able to perform any necessary procedures while they were there.  They took him away, told me where to wait and the wait began.  It seemed like the longest two hours of my life!!  Thankfully, I had technology to help (mostly messages and texts between my mama, my heartfully-challenged-husband-experienced friend and my sweet friend who was going to take care of MJ that evening.

The waiting room was completely empty besides me.  (How often does THAT happen??)  I prayed aloud since no one was there to bother.  I video messaged my friend.  I tried to pass the time by the best I knew how.  My sweet friend (that was taking MJ that evening) also came by to pray with me…which was an amazing gift.  I finally got word that he was back in his room and I rushed as fast as my little legs would take me to lay my eyes on that cute little bald guy!!!!

He was telling me all about the procedure….the huge TV he watched a lot of it on….and that he thought the heard some of the outcome but he’d let me ask for sure.  When the right person appeared, I only heard “we found a 100% blocked artery” I am pretty sure.  I had to ask the next part to be repeated after that because I absolutely missed it.  Yes, in fact, his obtuse marginal artery was blocked 100%.  They were able to place a stent and were confident in his recovery.

Y’all.  Immediately in that hospital room….he had ZERO pain.  They were able to go in his wrist.  His heart cath was at 2 pm.  Once they brought him back, he was able to eat (which he did not do a ton of, mind you….it was….mysterious!) and rest.  And rest.  And rest.  The rest of the evening is a blur but I remember being KNOCKED OUT on the couch in his room in no time.  I actually slept for a few hours at a time…amazingly.  I got up bright and early the next morning…they were taking off the “box” that was over his punctures on his wrist and I left to get MJ to take her to school.  The next few hours were a blur of tests, doctors, basically everyone checking all the boxes to release him!  SO THANKFUL!

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MJ had a basketball game at 6 that night.  I was there…with my hubby and his new titanium stented artery.

Mike has told me more than once that while I was at the ER getting checked out, he was sitting there asking God if He was using my situation to get him there.  He certainly remained steadfast in his stubbornness and went back home for a bit but thank God he came back to be checked out.

I have tons more to say about this….and updates will come from the cardiologist appt as this week progresses.  I just needed to get this out….between being 40, having a lot going on and brain fog from the chronic fatigue syndrome….if I don’t write something down, the details become VERY sketchy to me!!  😦

To be continued!

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 1)

15 Dec

This is likely part 1 of something….but we will see how far I get.  It is 12:38 AM and just being honest I have presents to wrap, laundry to ignore and sleep to avoid.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Sunday 12/8 – 4 pm:  Mike and MJ decide to go outside and play basketball.  I wish I had taken a pic of them out there.  (Hmm, squirrel….shall I check Ring to see if a camera caught them….hold please….) (Please forgive this grainy pic but I zoomed in…)

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Okay…I am also not sure if I have mentioned that my baby girl is following in the steps of her big brothers and is playing basketball.  It is middle school ball and it is a great opportunity for her to learn the fundamentals and to experience a TEAM and y’all it is the best group of girls.  All rooting each other on and they just seem so happy to see each other at the beginning of each game…as if they have not spent the morning together at school!  🙂 I am so happy for her!  Her coach is an AMAZING lady who loves the game and you can tell she genuinely loves these girls.  It has just been great for us.  SO – her Daddy was giving her some extra practice time, doing some drills with her and getting outside on a beautiful afternoon.  They enjoyed themselves so much!

Monday evening:  Mike gets home from work and is complaining about his shoulders and chest hurting.  We talk about it and both figure out that he likely overdid it the day before since he does NOT regularly play ball and use those muscles.  He takes some pain meds….goes to sleep….and I think all is well!

Tuesday evening:  Mike texts me in the evening to tell me he is not going to a work dinner that he had planned to attend.  He was trying to finish something up and would pick something up on the way home because he was not feeling well.

Tuesday night around 11:30 PM:  I felt SO stressed out. I can’t really explain it and if you have never had a panic or anxiety attack, it probably sounds silly….but I had this feeling of a weight on my chest and could NOT shake it. I felt “impending doom” and was just SURE I was having some kind of episode.  I had gotten out of bed because lying down seemed to make it worse.  My left arm hurt.  I was hot all over (and that is WEIRD for me!) and felt nauseated.  I got back in the bed around 12:30 and honestly I just wanted Mike to wake up and check on me…and he did.  When he heard how worried I was, instead of his usual “trying to fix things” or just being laid back and telling me it was all good….he said, “You want me to take you to the ER?”  With those words, I got up and got ready.  If HE thought it was that serious, well so did I!!

Wednesday morning around 12:15 am:  We get to the ER and there is NO one in the waiting room (yeah!!) and when I walk up and say “I’m having chest pains”…you can imagine the urgency that evokes.  It seemed like it was about 23 seconds before I was in an exam room and having leads stuck to me and an EKG being taken.  IV is inserted and blood taken and then they brought me 4 aspirin to take.  I am explaining my symptoms to every nurse, tech, dr, PA, visitor, and anyone else who will listen.  A short time passes and the ER Dr comes in to tell me that I am suffering an anxiety attack.  We talk about that for a minute…the fact that I take anxiety meds….that I  am really shocked that it’s “only” an anxiety attack and that I feel this sense of “impending doom” and he sends me home with orders to take some medication at home and get some rest.

We get home around 1:30 am and I do as I am told and then I went to sleep.  I can’t say that I really felt better when I went to sleep but knowing that I was physically or clinically “okay” and my heart was okay did help me to know that it was my anxiety and helped me to try to get some rest.

All this time, Mike is still hurting and sadly I do remember him sitting in the chair beside my ER bed and he was talking about his shoulders….and I seriously remember thinking……….”REALLY, CAN’T IT JUST BE ABOUT ME FOR A SECOND??”  Bahahahahahaaa….ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh how funny that is today!!!

See you in the next edition because THIS story is far from over! 😉

Weight Loss Chronicles ~ TOC

24 Feb

I cannot tell you the number of times that I have been contacted by a friend from high school, a neighbor or a perfect stranger to ask for help as they decide whether or not to take the plunge and have Weight Loss Surgery.  It can be SO intimidating and stressful throughout the process and especially when thinking of maintaining a new life and a new relationship with food.  I am always SO happy to help and always direct them to this blog as well as my Instagram feed for WLS (username:  rnyftw) but I have noticed how hard it is to go back and reference each stage of my journey so I thought I’d link it all here to help anyone (and myself!) who may need to see a specific one:

WLS Chronicles – The Decision

WLS Chronicles – The Initial Visit

WLS Chronicles – Pre-Op Testing

WLS Chronicles – Pre-Op Diet

WLS Chronicles – Surgery Day!

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Days 1 -3 Clear Liquids)

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Days 4 -13)

WLS Chronicles – Emotions

WLS Chronicles – HELP!!! (links to apps, and support talk)

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Days 14 – 20) ~ Semi-Solids

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Day 21/Week 4 – Day 41/Week 6) ~ Soft Foods

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Day 42/Week 7 – Three Months Post-Op)

WLS Chronicles ~ Week 14 Update

WLS Chronicles ~ Dining Out

WLS Chronicles ~ Maintaining

I hope that makes it easier for everyone to reference the stage they are looking for!  If you have ANY questions beyond what I’ve blogged out, please please please reach out to me!  My email is mrsjmejones@gmail.com and I truly do enjoy helping others in their journey as well!

 

WLS Chronicles ~ Dining Out

25 Apr

I had a request to put together some restaurant experience from a WLS perspective.  It is not as easy as it might seem to just eat less than you did before.  It takes some planning, tons of patience and it certainly takes a support system that understands and empathizes with what you’re going through.  Life is DIFFERENT.  It is BETTER, for sure.  But, different, nonetheless.

My first meal out was Mexican.  I ate refried beans.  They were amazing.  Cheap.  Everything.  🙂  Once I felt better about going out, it was easier to ask our server if I could eat off the kid’s menu.  I have yet to find a restaurant that denied me that chance.  I have a card from my surgeon stating that I had bariatric surgery but have not needed to “prove it” yet!

The easiest way to see my food habits is to check me out on Instagram.  Search the hashtag #whatJJate and you’ll see ALL my foodie pics!  Here are some things that I snapped pics of that have worked well for me in the last several weeks and where I had them:

Broiled Fish, Bay Breeze (Sanford, NC)

This was one of my first restaurant meals.  It was delicious.  I could only eat VERY little and to be honest it was not great reheated.  If I had an air fryer maybe it would have been better?  It was a costly dinner for what I ate so I have not had this one again!  (Note, I just was not very comfortable asking about the kid’s meal here…no knock on them, I just wasn’t prepared to talk about my surgery too much to strangers.)

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Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap, Chick-fil-A (Many times, many places!)

This is one of my faves.  It is a quick decision and as long as I have somewhere to stop and eat, it’s easy.  I usually get the avocado ranch dressing and dip it in there (sparingly).  The key to this one is SMALL bites.  One wrap is two servings for me at this time.  I peel off most of the wrap as the lettuce holds it together nicely.  I do still eat a few bites of the wrap though.

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Protein Bistro Box, Starbucks (Many times, many places)

Another great idea.  It includes apples, hard-boiled egg, grapes, white cheddar cheese and Justin’s honey peanut butter.  (It also includes a multigrain muelsi bread which I discard.)  I squeeze a little of the peanut butter on the apples – delish!  A great choice if you forget to pack your snack and need a meal on the run!  I have also taken this into restaurants if I was worried about their choices.

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{Kids Meal} Grilled chicken w/ broccoli rabe, California Pizza Kitchen (Durham, NC)

This was yummy and for sure was better than any of the regular menu options.  Yes, you can always go with a salad with some type of protein but you are paying about $12-$14 for ONE meal then.  A kids meal $4-6 will easily fill you up (protein first – then veggies to fill up) and you’re not wasting a ton of food.  I usually take the leftover veggies home to put w/ other protein meals!

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Grilled Chicken Quesadilla, Los Charros (Broadway, NC)

I usually get this with a side of guacamole to put on top of it (or pico).  I open the quesadilla up and then just eat the chicken and cheese.  I also usually let myself have TWO tortilla chips with salsa if I’m still hungry after my chicken is gone.

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{Kids Meal} Grilled chicken w/ broccoli, Outback (College Station, TX)

Easy choice here!  Order from kids menu….the chicken is really good.  You can do steak here too of course but this was before my steak days! 🙂

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Burrito Bowl, Chipotle (College Station, TX)

This looks HORRIBLE.  But it’s delish. 🙂  I get a burrito bowl w/ no rice.  Only protein of choice, beans, salsa, cheese, light on the lettuce and sour cream.  It is easily 4-6 meals for me.

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Sirloin steak, Texas Roadhouse (College Station, TX)

My first steak after surgery.  I chose to wait three months post op to have ANY steak because I like mine medium (risk of infection in your recently sewn up gut!).  It.was.amazing.  Also, it’s easy to order a REAL portion (I did 6 oz) because it’s easily divisible.  🙂  I ate this three times….ordered my two sides as a bowl of chili and a house salad.  Ate the chili for another meal and had some of the salad each time I ate the steak.  Makes that $9.99 go pretty far!

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White bean chicken chili, Lupe Tortilla (College Station, TX)

We make this a lot at home.  I think my Dad eats it about twice a month.  It’s easy to make and is packed with protein w/o having a ton of bad carbs.  The restaurant version was the same and very good.  I did not eat the tortillas w/ cheese that it came with (but I wanted to).  I ordered this from the “Starter” menu so it wasn’t the price of an entree but was two servings for me.

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Cheeseburger (no bun), green beans & mushrooms, Sodulak’s (Snook, TX)

A cheeseburger (hold the bun) is an easy choice anywhere.  Having a side like green beans is a huge bonus for me!  I was able to eat about 1/2 of this burger w/ the mushrooms on top and a few bites of green beans.

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{Kids Meal} Grilled chicken w/ broccoli, Outback (Southern Pines, NC)

Ordered from the kids menu again…and my Mom got a potato that they gave her extra cheese and bacon for…I added that to my chicken and will do that again!  Yummy!  Pretty much MOST restaurants have grilled chicken on their kids menu and some type of steamed veggie.  (Note:  I have gotten very comfy about the kids menu and don’t even feel the need to tell my life story in defense of it!)

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Fast Food Options:  OF COURSE, cooking at home – grilling, roasting, etc…. is usually best…LIFE HAPPENS.  These choices have gotten me through a meal that I might have otherwise skipped (DO NOT DO THAT).

Chick-fil-A

  • An 8 count (FRIED!) nugget entree only has 9 g of carbs and packs 28 g of protein.  My tummy tolerates these VERY well…just eat slowly!
  • Grilled chicken sandwiches (minus bun) are great!
  • Even the regular (fried) chicken sandwiches are low in carbs due to the fact that they are not heavily breaded.  (Again, no bun.)
  • Chicken Noodle Soup…the small has 18g of carbs and 12 g of protein.  (NOOOO crackers!)
  • I stay away from the salads because there is just not that much chicken in them and I have to focus on protein.

Taco Bell

  • Breakfast Soft Taco (Bacon) has only 15g of carbs and has 11 g of protein.  Again, take it SLOW and chew well.  I TRY NOT TO EAT ALL OF THE TORTILLA.  (So, I move all the contents to one side and tear off the tortilla.)
  • Beef Soft Taco Supreme has only 20 g of carbs and has 10 g of protein.  (Same tortilla note above.)

Bojangles

  • You can order a side of bacon and egg.  For real.  🙂

Cook Out

  • Burgers w/ no buns
  • Grilled chicken w/ no bun
  • Barbecue & slaw

Wendy’s

  • Burgers w/ no buns
  • Grilled chicken w/ no bun
  • Chili is a WONDERFUL option.  (small has 16g of carbs and 15g of protein)

Big T’s, Jim’s, Dairy Bar, etc…. – stick with either hamburger steak, burger w/ no bun, grilled chicken, or eat before you go with family and you can have an unsweet tea or coffee and visit and not worry about what you eat!

TRAVEL NOTES – If you’re blessed and get upgraded to First…there is usually a low carb option and MOST meals come with salads that you can put whatever “meat” (and I use that term very loosely!!) on the salad and call it a day!  Best to pack snacks that you can easily turn to though, in case they are just not serving or are only carb-loading!

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HOME CHEF/HELLO FRESH/ETC ETC ETC NOTE:  You can still do these services..you just have to watch the carbs.  Choose meals that are low-carb or that you can adapt by not eating the breads.  Most of them include sides that are relatively low on carbs (like roasted veggies) so it’s still a possibility!

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Treats:

Sugar-Free Sno-cones are the BEST!

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WLS Chronicles ~ Week 14 Update

6 Apr
I have not posted lately about my progress with weight loss surgery so I thought I would while I have a few minutes on my hands this morning! It has been 14 weeks and 2 days since my life changed in a major way. I am only on ONE medication now (which I can’t shake – you know thyroid meds NEVER go away once you start!!). I have more energy than I can ever remember in my life. My diet and meal planning still are a huge part of my day. I have been able to dine out with friends more lately and even last night had dinner at a friend’s house. You wouldn’t believe the anxiety over worrying about hurting someone’s feelings by not eating a ton of their home cooked food. (Yes, I know not everyone would have this anxiety but when you are someone who is super sensitive you are more sensitive about other’s feelings and some of y’all just should thank me right now for that because SOME people just don’t care about anyone’s feelings! I digress…) However, we had a wonderful time and I explained and we were done with that!
I have kissed blood pressure and diabetes meds goodbye. I have kissed 80 pounds goodbye. I have kissed lots of foods goodbye. I have kissed LOTS of clothes goodbye (5-6 sizes down!). I have welcomed new friendships made by this journey. I’ve enjoyed exercising which I have really never EVER looked forward to before. I have adapted to my new tummy and my new emotions and new habits….and I have even turned into the most COLD NATURED PERSON I KNOW. (Well besides Shannon :)) EVEN IN TEXAS! LOL I have felt stress about new things. Not eating enough protein, drinking water too quickly, having 1 too many carbs… It is crazy to think of the differences in my diet and lifestyle. There is absolutely no way to tell you in words the emotions and pure joy that I have in my heart over this opportunity. The coolest thing is that people have reached out, privately, to ask questions. To get advice. To tell me they have been considering it. To dig deeper. To get support. So while I’m already in my feels over here, let me tell you that I am OVERJOYED to support others and their personal decisions to make changes to better themselves. Whether that means surgery or diet changes or lifestyle changes – if it makes you better….if it makes you live longer, if it makes you able to enjoy your family more, if it makes you healthier, DOOOOO IT.  Will everyone agree with you?  NOPE!  I can tell you that firsthand.  Side note, don’t get me wrong….those that don’t agree with you likely won’t tell you that to your face…but the whispers happen.  The “why didn’t she just exercise and eat better” questions….the “wow, that was drastic” conversations…the people who just act like it didn’t happen (that’s by far my favorite….hahahahaha….like, do you NOT notice I look crazy different?  now you just seem weird.)  Honestly I used to be offended by the thought of someone not agreeing but then I read a few memes (HA HA HA!) and felt better.  You know the ones…
Also, the support of family and friends means a TON. It is still second to my relationship with Jesus. He is the ONLY reason I have been successful in this because I AM WEAK. Alone, I’d be searching out some Shipley’s Donuts right now. But here I sit, coffee with Splenda & sugar free creamer in hand. Happy. Blessed. Grateful.

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Day 42/Week 7 – Three Months Post-Op)

12 Mar

This phase is where you can introduce some crunch back into your life!  There were a few things that I wanted SO badly before this phase that I could finally have now!!  Having anything NOT mushy was a welcomed change to me.  Being able to try a few new things was exciting as always!

Probably the number one thing on that list was this cheesy snack:  Whisps!  I had seen this from other losers (affectionate term for my WLS friends! ) and was really looking forward to them!  (Purchased at Costco.  Seen at Publix as well.)  They did NOT disappoint. VERY cheesy.  Wonderful as a “toast” for tuna or chicken salad.  Great crumbled on top of salad.  (A serving is 23 crisps which is too much for me personally…but in that serving you’d have only 1g of Carbs and 13 grams of Protein!)

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