You Have Arrived
 The Breathing Week
LivingAfterWLS
November 26, 2007

Thoughts From Kaye:
Greetings Neighbors!


So, did you survive the long Thanksgiving weekend? Did you find the middle ground between enjoying yourself but not going overboard eating to much? The holidays are wrought with food challenges and I think on most days we do the best we can to bring harmony between tradition and our healthy WLS way of life.

I am calling this week (Nov. 25-Dec. 1) "The Breathing Week" because it is a chance to take a break before the December holiday season takes us by storm with a whirlwind of activities, events, temptations and celebrations. Today I began the 5 Day Pouch Test and I hope accomplish:

--Renewal of my pouch and respect for it
--Re-commitment to liquid restrictions and avoiding slider foods
--Drop 4 pounds (I know - the plan is not about weight loss, but it never hurts to hope!)
--An emotional cleansing of food issues or traps that I will face in December

 
Read about my 5 Day Pouch Test


Perhaps you will find time during this "Breathing Week" to assess your goals and desires and make a survival plan for the coming weeks. Today's You Have Arrived offers some thoughts on taking charge of our weight loss surgery tool and some helpful articles full of hope and promise for navigating the rough waters of holiday tradition. I hope this finds you healthy and well, living after weight loss surgery.

Kaye


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The Breathing Week
You Have to Know Your Own Ship
Winter Feasting Survival Tips
Bonus Recipe: Turkey Hot Browns
You Have to Know Your Own Ship

Previously Published 12/1/2006
by Kaye Bailey

Recently I read on the back of a vehicle, "You've got to know your own ship." At first I was puzzled, what ship? But then I took the quote to a metaphorical level realizing for me the "ship" is my body: the vessel in which I live my life. For me, weight loss surgery brought a whole new meaning to "knowing my own ship."

As a morbidly obese person I did not actively work to know my body, I did not steer my ship with purpose and meaning. I was adrift in a vessel I did not know or respect. When I was hungry I fed it, and then kept feeding it. When my bones ached I rested them and comforted with food. When my heart raced and lungs felt tight I rested them and comforted with food. When I was morbidly obese I did not know my vessel and I did not sail my ship. I docked it in stagnant water and neglected it, letting life's barnacles feed and fester on my vessel.

My, how weight loss surgery changed that. With the zeal of a young captain I took charge of my vessel. I made wise food choices and I exercised all the moving parts to make it a stronger more capable vessel. I steered with purpose and direction. Over time I learned my own ship and came to respect it.

This wonderment of discovery is not unique to me, many people living with WLS have expressed a similar transformation as they undock their rusty ships, make them shine and learn to sail. What a wonderful gift to ourselves, and our loved ones, when we learn to know our own ship.

This month we will sail our ships in some choppy waters: food gatherings, family tradition, and celebratory excess. All these present challenges for the most capable ship captains. Now is not the time to dock our ships, it is the time to face the open seas and sail proud and capable. WLS patients are a strong and determined bunch. Together we can navigate the rough seas and celebrate the calm waters. In the coming weeks you will receive navigational hints and notes to help you celebrate the season and sail your vessel proud.

You are part of the LAWLS Navy: captain your vessel proudly!


Visit the LivingAfterWLS Library for more helpful articles

Winter Feasting Season:
Helpful Survival Tips

Post WLS: Four Stages
Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) is referred to in bariatric medicine as a "tool", only a tool to help morbidly obese regain health through massive weight loss. What is seldom mentioned is that "Tool" causes patients to experience four phases of growth: Conception, Infancy, Adolescence and Maturity. Along the road through those four phases are lots of bumps and bruises, but also many celebrations and successes. Read more

Personal Empowerment: It's Up to You!
The first step to personal empowerment is personal responsibility. LivingAfterWLS holds individuals accountable for making their weight loss surgery successful. When individuals take responsibility they feel liberated and motivated to invest personal equity in their success. Read more

Healing After Weight Loss Surgery-How You Can Help Your Recovery
Think your post-op success is luck of the draw? A chance of fate? Learn more about how YOU can improve your early post-op healing: Healing After Weight Loss Surgery-How You Can Help Your Recovery

Kaye's Essays: Food Guilt
When I was fat I felt guilty for loving food, guilty for being fat, guilty for eating food, guilty for enjoying food. I felt guilty of failure because I couldn't lose weight with any long-term success. I felt guilty and ashamed when I finally did something about my obesity: gastric bypass surgery. Fat people do guilt well, who else would feel guilty for taking a life-saving measure to improve their health? Read more

WEBISODE: Realistic Goal Setting:
Goal setting plays a major role in LivingAfterWLS. We set goal body weights and BMI's, goal sizes and health goals. Goal setting is a means of setting expectations and working to meet them. But how do we know our goals are realistic? Watch this brief Webisode to learn more: Setting Realistic Weight-Loss Goals

Play Ball! Stop Fighting Your WLS!
I have a dog, Andie, who loves to play fetch. When he hears me say, "Let's play ball!" he is beside himself with joy jumping, wiggling and hopping. I take that tired old tennis ball and throw it as far as I can. In short order he is back to me ball in mouth and tail wagging. And that's the end of the game because Andie cannot bring himself to drop the ball for me to throw again. I tell him, "Andie! I cannot throw a ball with a dog wrapped around it." He wags his tail and waits.

Andie is his own worst enemy. By wrapping himself around the ball he prohibits himself from actively being engaged in the game he so loves.

As a matter of course I believe WLS people become our own worst enemies now and again we wrap ourselves around the ball (WLS) and impede our own progress and joy in the game of living well. Read more

Bonus Recipe: Turkey Hot Browns

Make use of your Thanksgiving left-over turkey with this quick and delicious recipe!

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup 2% low-fat milk
2 (10 1/2-ounce) cans low-salt chicken broth
1 tablespoon reduced-calorie stick margarine
1/2 cup (2 ounces) preshredded fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry
1 pound roasted turkey, sliced thinly
8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
8 teaspoons crumbled real bacon bits
Freshly ground pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450.

Place flour in a medium bowl. Gradually add milk and broth, stirring with a whisk until blended.

Melt margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat; stir in chicken broth mixture. Cook 8 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add 1/4 cup cheese; cook 1 minute. (Cheese will not completely melt.) Remove from heat; stir in sherry.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange four stacks of 4-ounces turkey, about 3/4 cup cheese sauce, 2 tomato slices, 2 teaspoons bacon bits, and 1 tablespoon remaining cheese. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients to make 4 stacks. Bake at 450 in the upper third of the oven for 8 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with pepper.

Yield: 4 servings

One Hot Brown stack is 337 calories, 31 grams protein, 16 grams fat (6 saturated) and 15 grams carbohydrate. You can lower the fat content by using all turkey breast meat.

More LivingAfterWLS Recipes
You Have Arrived
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Pouch Test Links
5 Day Pouch Test

Neighborhood Discussion: 5DPT

5DPT: FAQs

Recipe Suggestions: 5 Day Pouch Test

Hell-Bent to Get Back on Track

Grit Determination List

Let's Get Physical

Support: Another LivingAfterWLS Tool

Fixing Broken Windows

Kaye Answers Questions About Pouch Test

5 Day Pouch Test Journal

The Next Step: Normalizing Life with Weight Loss Surgery

Pouch Test - One Neighbor's Story

Carbs and Guilt: The Cycle

White Carbs: Non-nutritional Slider Foods


Recipe Idea: Breakfast Bakes



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