Friday, June 12, 2009

Fear the Enemy

If you have read the blog for awhile you know I don't do pasta, rice, bread or potatoes. If you are weight loss surgery pre-op reading this and think OMG!? I can't live without those don't freak out it's not that I can't I just choose not too. My pre-op trigger foods (foods I could easily eat 4 servings of in one sitting) were pasta, rice, bread and potatoes so I choose to stay away from them in this new life.

My post-op mantra: You can't continue the same behavior and expect a different result.

I had no control over those four. So out the door they went.

These might not be your triggers... ice cream, candy, chips, fried foods, fast food, snacking, emotional eating... everyone has/had their thing. Mine was the white carb. It's amazing I'm closing in on 3 years without those four monkey's on my back and I rarely miss them. I did have a pretty crazy, semi-erotic toasted bagel dream the other day but we won't talk about that.

Here's a Chinese food fix without the use of noodles or rice. It's so full of good stuff you'll never even know they are gone. Bean sprouts give the dish the bulky noodle feel and BONUS... bean sprouts = protein, oodles of vitamins, low calorie, low carb.


Shelly's Ginger Cashew Chicken Stir Fry

7-8 Chicken Breast Tenders, cut into 1" pieces
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Sweet Maui Onion, sliced thin
4 Green Onion, cut into 1" sections
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 can (4 oz.) Shiitake Mushrooms, drained
1 cup Bean Sprouts
1/2 cup Sugar Snap Peas
1/2 teaspoon Ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Water
1 teaspoon Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
handful or so of Roasted Salted Cashews
Oil for sauteing

Marinate chicken in a Tablespoon of soy sauce for at least 1 hour. Saute chicken till golden. Set aside. Saute onions till golden. Add mushrooms, celery, bean sprouts, peas, ginger and garlic and mix to combine. Steam saute for 8 minutes or so or till desired tenderness of veggies is achieved. Add chicken back. Mix cornstarch, water and soy sauce together to form a slurry. Make a well in the middle of the pan and pour starch mixture in. Cook till bubbles and stir to combine. Add vinegar and toss in cashews.


In my humble opinion keeping a healthy fear post-op is important to success. Here's why...

F is for Fear of Failure - I personally think a healthy fear of failure is a good thing. It keeps my head in the game. I'll never say -158 pounds gone forever. I know those little fat cells (well not those I got wacked off with plastics) but those remaining are just hanging around waiting in the wings for me to screw up, get lazy, lose focus, reach for the bread basket, take a second helping.

RNY was my last chance. There is something desperate and life changing about having your stomach severed and your intestines re-routed. Add to my story that I did it in a foreign country, alone and am still paying $ monthly for it. Failure is not an option. I'm sure other post-ops reading this feel the same way.

As you begin to feel and see the dramatic changes you never want to go back. That encourages me each day. On days it doesn't I look at a list I made of the worst things about being fat, my before pic (I put a Before & After pic on my fridge), a pair of my fat pants (a tight 26/28), find strength in others or I blog about it here.

For those in the beginning stages of this incredible journey I remember those stalls when the scale wouldn't move and I would freak out. We have all been on so many "diets" in the past and failed we can't imagine when something will finally work for us and when the scale slows those old fears creep in... am I going to fail? The answer is: maybe. This will work for you... for a time. The question really should be will you work for it?

Change your mind. Remember they operated on our guts not our head. The head thing... our responsibility. Don't think of this as something you have to get through till you reach goal. There is NO FINISH LINE. Hell I know I can suffer through something for a period of time I shot orange grease out of my ass for weeks on Xenical, ate pounds of grapefruits and gallons cabbage soup, stopped eating all together, took countless other diet pills. I can get through anything. Change that thinking because this isn't a diet. This is YOUR LIFE.

Change your life. Make changes that you can live with not just get through. Find protein rich healthy foods that you truly enjoy, incorporate exercise/activity that's fun and something you look forward to doing, find stress reducers that don't involve a bag of Pepperidge Farm Salsalito cookies and... keep a healthy fear!

Remember this war against Obesity is exactly that... a war. I fight the battles everyday and will for the rest of my life. The good thing is the only way you can really lose if you stop fighting.

41 comments:

KLTTX said...

Great post! I have really been struggling with the head thing lately and really need to shake things up a bit.

Joni said...

BRAVO!! You really "get it" in such a healthy, positive way. I'm printing this out.

gray said...

Thanks so much for your positive and timely post.

Dana said...

Such a timely read. Thanks for the encouragement to battle on!

Anonymous said...

You don't know how much I needed this today! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

well said, shell. do you dump? all your recipes are sugar free. you've never mentioned getting a woozy feeling or reactive hypoglycemia. what would happen if u had pasta or white carbs? do you think you'd have a physical reaction? please address this issue in a blog entry!

Connie said...

Shelly,
Thank you! That was just what I needed to hear. I'm going to bookmark it so I can go back and reread it when the need arises.
Connie

riweasel said...

Oh Eggy i love you.....i needed to hear these words today. I am STRESSED lol i agree 100% life does not get easier just because u have surgery..same stress is there u just need to deal a new way. oh but the chocolate calls me daily, it is just when i do not answer I feel better.

Salted with Shadows said...

What a great post! The recipe looks delicious. I am still pre-op, just completed my six months of diet and exercise for insurance TODAY, in fact, so this came at a good time for me. Thank you! I will be printing it out/bookmarking it as well.

Molly said...

Aw Shelly...you are so wonderful and articulate and caring! Thank you for sharing your feelings, not just your great recipes. Your feelings about this process and maintaining your fear are reassuring. At my surgeon's support group others have said that they choose not to live with food or regain fear and it made me feel like there was something wrong with me for feeling opposite. Nobody would ever say an alcoholic was cured after a few months or years of sobriety, why don't they understand that we have to fight our fight every day, too? Hugs and thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for you words. I think we all go through the same thing but you put it in such great words. Thank you

wandaw61

Anonymous said...

Have I told you you're amazing? Just had your egg foo yung dish for dinner last night and I was able to satisfy my craving for chinese without going against my tool.

Oh by the way, I'm the TGI(freakingfinally)F chick - I just am twitter special and have no clue how to write to anyone on it!

Thanks again!
Karen

PoetsSpirit said...

I know so many people who have failed at this, even after surgery. You have let us into the mind of someone who is a living success. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

BRAVO! This post spoke volumes to me. I went back to your what you hated about being fat and it sounded exactly like me. You are an inspiration and I look forward to checking your blog daily. Thank you so much, you are an inspiration.

#1mimi said...

Wow, this is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you so much for this. I am 18 months out and I have really been struggling with carbs - all of them and I've already had plastics. My weight is stable, but I do fluctuate a few pounds from day to day and it scares the heck out of me. Now is the time for me to put the carbs behind me and get back to the basics. Thank you once again for helping those of us that sometime lose track of what we set out to achieve.

morocket said...

Very well said! This is a lifestyle change and it helps to have you there along with us. You are a great inspiration!

Luz Conner said...

Thank you! That is EXACTLY what it is, a war. I needed this post so much. I am almost a year out, 105 pounds down, and reminding myself everyday to not get too "comfy". I love me some EGGFACE!!!!!!!!

MissMaryMac said...

Thank you for the great post. We have the same triggers and I'm making the same choice - which is why I love your blog so much! I wasn't much of a cook pre-surgery but I love it now and a huge part of the thanks goes to you for making it so easy!

Chelsea's Mom said...

Wow..that's almost freaky. Your list about the worst things about being fat is almost identical to mine (I made it pre-surgery, just for myself). Mine also includes always wearing slip on shoes (because bending over to tie them is too difficult), never going to see my daughter in Seattle because I don't fit in airplane seats (and the look on people's faces when they see me coming down the aisle). Post-surgery is like a whole now world! Tonight, my pastor at church who has been fighting lung cancer for 2 years came back to give the sermon. He came up to me and said, "You've really lost a lot of weight!". When I told him it is almost 140 pounds, that I had surgery and that the surgery is working, his response was, "the surgery is working because YOU are making it work!". That felt great, and really motivated me. Like you said, we all have our trigger foods. I've been finding it easier to eat the "bad" foods and I have to get out of that mode of operation! Just because they go down easy, doesn't mean it's the best thing to do!

I really appreciate your blog and this one really got to me. I was almost in tears because it is good to know there are others out there who know EXACTLY what we're going through. It's not an easy thing to go through and we have to give ourselves credit, but always remember that it's up to us to make it work.

Thanks!! You're a doll!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I am not having surgery - but as someone who struggles with weight, I appreciate your blog and your timely comments. These issues affect me too. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
-Elizabeth

christine g said...

Hi I am 6 weeks post op and have been checking out your site daily you are such an inspiration and your recipes are awesome. That being said, i could have sworn I came across a cannellini bean salad recipe on here and now i can't find it- Ive been searching your blog for about an hour but all i see is cannellini bean mash up and a cannellini and tuna salad. Maybe I'm losing my mind- but if you know which recipe I'm referring to could you please provide it when you have the chance. I would greatly apprecaite it. thanks so much!

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Thank you all for letting me know I'm not alone :) I appreciate you guys reading. It helps me keep my head in the game.

~Michelle

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Hi Christine, I have a few... Here's a link that might help: Scroll to the bottom I think you mean the Italian Bean Salad

http://theworldaccordingtoeggface.blogspot.com/2009/05/naked-asian-chicken-salad.html

~Michelle

JaimeK said...

Could not have said it better myself...keep it comin'!

Anonymous said...

Shelly,
thank you, I've had lap band surgery back in the latter part of March I'm doing well with it, but reading your blog on that its work, you are so right!!! :) its not a fix all! I've lost 24lbs and right now I think I'm slowing down and you do get those feelings of "am I going to fail this too!" but its a process we all have to go thru, mind body and spirit! :) and we're not alone in that thinking, which makes it so important to fix the inside as well as the outside. I thank you for that!! It means alot that I'm not the only one that feels that way! thanks again for your labor of love and commitment to help those who are going thru the same things you are! :)

DIY Bride said...

I love this post! I am 6 weeks post op and this post really hit home for me- thank you for sharing!

Linda said...

This is great - Thank you.
So much of this post resonated with me.

michelle said...

AS I consume the egg & salami breakfast nuke dish.. (yummo!) I read this blog. So poignant & true. I am 20+ months post RNy & down 105 lbs & at my goal. I am doing well but know that my choices are what is making it happen. My RNY helps me. I need to read this every single day. thank you so much for your time & energy in your posts (& the delicious recipes too!)...

Anonymous said...

Shelly, you are my hero! I love your blog and your recipes...I'm about 3 and a half years out now and can totally relate to your feelings on food addictions and trigger foods...I ate your 5 minute protein chocolate cake last night...LOVED IT...

Lisa D said...

Hi Shelly!
I was referred to your site by a friend of mine who's 9 months out. What a great thing you've got going here! I am truly inspired by your admitting tohaving to fight everyday and make choices because the weight can come back. I was approved for the roux en y (ins) in April and have my second appointment with the Surgeon on this thursday. I am very excited about having a chance to really loose the weight and I will admit, I am worried about not keeping it off after... So ready your blog is going to be something I do several times a week for the inspiration and the recipes! I am sure you've benn asked, but why don't you try to make a cook-book specially for gbp patients? I would SOOOOO buy it. Lisa D :)

Julie said...

Hi!
You are inspiring!
And I will use your example and start a blog in french on my experience.

thanks...
Julie

Keep up the good cooking!

Michelle Pixie said...

I really needed to find you...thank you!

Lisa_Gibson said...

Great post! I think we are stronger that we realize in so many ways. And yes, I think a certain dose of fear is a healthy thing. :)

Fatch said...

Great Support Blog - Thanks Shelly - this one is hitting home with me right now, as I've reached a plateau in my weight loss for about a week now, I'm down from 351 to 245, and can't seem to get under the 245 - but the "NO FINISH LINE" is great, good ass-kicking motivation.

Anonymous said...

You have been so helpful to me. I am two weeks out and have been stuck in my head. I love your emotional list, and see myself in every one. I am going to buy some of that sugar free syrup to jazz up some of my protein shakes. Thanks again, Laura

Cortina said...

Thanks so much for writing this. This is one of my WORST fear is to regain the weight. This is my last chance to a healthier life. I have tired so many other ways to lose weight. But your post put it like it is. I'm so happy you do what you do.

Annie said...

Hi!! I'm new to your site and had RNY 11 months ago (this Thursday). I'm plateaud and am getting a bit frustrated. I'm encouraged at your success and can't wait to follow your blog!

kh203767 said...

Hi my name is kh203767 and am new to your Blog. Im 5 weeks Post-op and im having a hard time trying to figure out what i can and cant eat, your site had given me some sought of direction to go in, Thanks and keep up the good work.

Michelle said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog and new to WLS, I am 2 weeks post-op and having a heck of a time, I can't keep much of anything down, and if it stays down it hurts like hell, I feel like I'm having a heart attack every time I eat something, worst of all my brain keeps telling me I'm starving for all the crap I see on tv (pizza, ice cream, and so on. I have been very down lately and not even wanting to get out of bed, I feel like I've given up already and I haven't even past a month yet :( I must say your blog helps tremendously and I look forward to checking it out daily to see what your eating, it makes me think, oh maybe I will be able to eat again and feel like a normal person, thank you!

Kristen Friday said...

Thank you so much for sharing!!! I am in the midst of my Life Skills and nutrition classes presently, and the doubts unfortunately creep in every so often...It is so awesome to hear wisdom and experience from someone several years post-op who has been so successful!!!

Annie said...

I am 5 weeks out from VGS surgery. I found your blog shortly before my surgery and it has been such a saving grace for me. I feel inspired and encouraged from your post. You recipes have already been such a help. This post says everything I feel and fear about failure. Thank you for sharing your journey. You are very much appreciated.