You Have Arrived
 Enjoy the Season within Reason
December 5, 2007

Thoughts From Kaye:
Greetings Neighbors!

I hope this email finds you well and enjoying the traditions of the holiday season. With the sights and smells of the holiday season my tummy is grumbly! Food is such a sensory experience that it's challenging to avoid the abundance of delectable treats and sweets that surround us. Last year I did not do well during the holiday season: too much holiday cheer and too little restraint. I'm sure you know the result: weight gain and personal disappointment. This year I will do better. My plan is to find balance between tradition and sensibility. Enjoy the season within reason! Here are a couple strategies I'm going to work:
Breakfast: Eat a protein breakfast first thing. A protein dense meal will kick-start your metabolism: it will also provide a feeling of fullness. Breakfast Casseroles.

Understanding hunger, appetite, satiation

Water & Beverages: Drink water throughout the day: at least 64 ounces, better yet, 80 ounces. Avoid high-calorie punch or mixed drinks, and limit alcohol to one drink on social occasions.

Appetizer Buffet: Practice the 2 Bite-1 Bite Rhythm and liquid restrictions while enjoying the appetizer buffet. Specifically, eat two bites of protein for every bite of fruit or vegetable carbohydrate. While eating from the buffet avoid liquids to prevent washing food through the stoma allowing greater consumption.

Slider Foods: Remember that crackers, pretzels, cookies and white breads are non-nutritional slider foods. If I chose to enjoy some of my favorites I will follow the liquid restrictions (above) to avoid sliding my way up the scale. Slider Foods

Dessert: After dinner sweets are neither good nor bad: they are just desserts. I may chose to taste my favorite pie and savor the moment. Then let it go. Being in control of my fork always feels better than pie tastes.

Exercise: Exercise is a priority and essential to my mental and physical well being. I will keep my exercise schedule allowing myself to enjoy the mood boosting, stress reducing benefits of movement. Read JudyPetite's motivation fitness post: December Fitness - Gonna let the Grinch get you??

Kindness and Gratitude: Above all else, I will be kind to myself by expressing gratitude for my weight loss tool and for my personal empowerment. I will celebrate doing the best I can to find a middle ground to respect myself and my traditions.
Read: Attitude of Gratitude

Today's You Have Arrived includes some helpful reminders about food and how it impacts us after surgical weight loss. And if you are feeling a bit down these days be sure to check out the article on SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) by my friend and WLS-mental health expert Diane Shields.

Happy Holidays Neighbors! I wish for you a season of joy and personal empowerment, LIVING After Weight Loss Surgery.


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Enjoy the Season within Reason
Food Choices After Surgical Weight Loss
Mental Health: Seasonal Affective Disorder
Food Choices After Surgical Weight Loss

Sugar Free Holiday Candy:
The winter holidays bring a multitude of dietary challenges for any health conscious individual. For gastric bypass weight loss surgery patient (WLS), who must avoid sugar intake, the season can be frustrating. Sugar intake is a real concern for people who have had gastric bypass, in fact most patients fear sugar. The foremost fear isn't weight gain, it's dumping. Foods containing sugar pass too quickly through the small pouch, they are rapidly absorbed and cause insulin levels to drop resulting in dumping syndrome. Read more.

Nutty Truth About Nuts
For my first two holiday seasons post-op I was extremely compliant with what I ate - no snacking, protein first, lots of water. You know the drill - I was a stellar WLS patient. The third year, I was feeling comfortable in my new body, confident with maintenance and a bit careless. Add to that scientific news promoting the health benefits of nuts and I found myself dipping a hand into the nut bowl frequently. I work in an office where this season brings a plethora of goodies: chocolates, cookies, cakes and nuts. The light dawned on me that nuts were a healthy holiday staple I could enjoy and feel good about feeding my body. Read more.

Chocolate After Weight Loss Surgery
If there is one food people are emotional about it's chocolate. We love it, want it, crave it, fear it. Thoughts of chocolate evoke tender feelings of comfort and self-pampering. We associate chocolate with happy times and consider it a must-have tonic in times of stress and anxiety. With Valentine's Day next week the store shelves are loaded with the "guilty pleasure." Let's take a look at the latest scientific beliefs and establish the facts before we let chocolate be part of our LivingAfterWLS diet. Read More.

Wine Reductions
So we've had weight loss surgery and are happily losing weight with a restricted diet and the improved ability to exercise. But you know, we didn't have taste bud surgery! We still have taste buds that crave delicious foods - we just want the foods we eat to be satiating and good for us.

Let me tell you a culinary secret - it's in the wine! I'm not talking about wine in the glass, I'm talking about wine in a recipe. Wine reductions are wonderfully simply to make, rich in flavor and can be low in fat. Most recipes for wine reductions call for added fat (butter) but should be adjusted to use about 1/3 the fat called for. Read more.

Understanding Dietary Fat and Fat Free Products
Have you wondered as you enjoyed your "fat-free" product what exactly was put back in the product to replace the fat? The new "fat free" products are creamy, crispy, tasty and delicious, something had to take the place of the fat, right? What is it? Nutritionally (and emotionally) fat gets a bad rap. Fat is a major nutrient important for proper growth and development and maintenance of good health. Fats carry the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and aid their absorption in the intestine. Read more.

Avoiding Nutritionally Empty Food
After weight loss surgery we must concentrate on eating nutrient rich food. Nutritionally void foods cannot be part of the regular diet after surgery because they can cause dumping, vomiting and/or weight gain. In addition, the body is taxed by the bypassed system and to put foods into it which are difficult to process and digest only taxes the body further keeping us from feeling optimum health. Read more.

Visit the LivingAfterWLS Library for more helpful articles

Mental Health & Weight Loss Surgery
Seasonal Affective Disorder

By Bamagal: Back Across The Line Blog

Another issue I deal with is the changing of seasons. Fall going into winter, being extremely difficult in the past. Many people go through same thing each year. Most just refer to it as the "winter blues". In my case and many more, it is so much more than that. They call it Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Kinda fitting, don't you think. This is from National Alliance on Mental Illness:

Most people with SAD are women whose illness typically begins in their twenties, although men also report SAD of similar severity and have increasingly sought treatment. SAD can also occur in children and adolescents, in which case the syndrome is first suspected by parents and teachers. Many people with SAD report at least one close relative with a psychiatric condition, most frequently a severe depressive disorder (55 percent) or alcohol abuse (34 percent).

Symptoms of winter SAD usually begin in October or November and subside in March or April. Some patients begin to slump as early as August, while others remain well until January. Regardless of the time of onset, most patients don't feel fully back to normal until early May. Depressions are usually mild to moderate, but they can be severe. Very few patients with SAD have required hospitalization, and even fewer have been treated with electroconvulsive therapy.

The usual characteristics of recurrent winter depression include oversleeping, daytime fatigue, carbohydrate craving and weight gain, although a patient does not necessarily show these symptoms. Additionally, there are the usual features of depression, especially decreased sexual interest, lethargy, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, lack of interest in normal activities, and social withdrawal.

The reasoning behind the onset of SAD is simple. It is a lack of sunlight. Treatment options can include an added antidepressant and therapy. But the best treatment is light therapy. In the winter months people are not outside in the sunshine as much. Due to the tilt of the earth, UV exposure is decreased, even if you do get outside. You can help your symptoms by making sure you get enough Vitamin D. Light therapy is really the best line of defense to combat SAD. Especially in very debilitating cases such as mine can be.

Link to learn more about light therapy
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