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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Kaye's Monday Message

Hello Everyone!

It’s a new week and a new month – the “Dog Days of Summer!” What goal have you set to better embrace your new life after WLS? I’ve set a goal to walk 60 fitness miles – a big goal for me - but I believe I can do it. I WANT to do it. I WILL do it. I will do it for me, for my mental health and my physical wellness. Have you set an August goal? Tell us about it in the “Comments” section of this post.

Warm Wishes
: We have five community members undergoing surgery this week to begin their new lives. Please send warm wishes to Kelly, Hope, Lisa, Maggie and Nancy. Congratulations on beginning your new life.

Early Success: I want to brag about one of our community members, Sara. She had her surgery last Thursday and came home with sore calf muscles. Why sore calves? Because she started her walking program immediately after surgery and logged four hours (YES! 4 hours) of walking in the 24-hours from the recovery room to her discharge from the hospital! The hospital staff nicknamed her “Energizer Bunny.” Talk about inspiring! Way-to-go Sara! This woman is an extraordinary individual who has endured much in her life – I hope she will elect to share her story with LivingAfterWLS very soon. Keep up the good work, Sara, and thanks for the inspiration.

Help Needed: Last week I called your attention to a friend of one of our community members who is in urgent need of a liver transplant. Our prayers continue to go out to Shari as she fights for life. Please link to Shari Kurzrok’s site for a downloadable flyer that can be distributed to hospitals, fire and police departments and posted on bulletin boards. Shari has made her career leading fundraisers for the American Red Cross – now is a chance to give back to her.

August Newsletter: To all the LivingAfterWLS subscribers – I hope you received and enjoyed your August issue “You Have Arrived – Food Is Not The Enemy”. For the first time, the monthly newsletter included an 11-page Word document of recipes for living and eating well after WLS. If you are a new reader please subscribe to receive this important newsletter – Free!

Have a great week & enjoy LivingAfterWLS!


Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Crazy Things People Say

As we enjoy massive weight loss after gastric bypass it seems the people around us get foot-in-mouth disease. Most of the time they are trying to deliver a sincere compliment, but oops! Does it come out bad sometimes! One day I heard a yell across a crowded restaurant of all places – “Kaye! Where’s the other half of you? You’ve shrunk!” I wanted to crawl under the table and never get out because I was with people who didn’t know me when there was another half to love!

Kabuki Dancer had a similar experience last weekend. She said a woman shouted out to her, “Oh my god! Did you lose like 100 pounds?” Can you imagine? But our good spirited Kabuki took it in stride, she wrote “To be honest with you, I did not even know her name. I guess I am wrong when I reassure everyone that we are just blips on other people's radar, I guess I was a blimp on her radar.” LOL!

With similar humor Kim Stover told me “A personal favorite is how everyone thinks that you are now living a wild and crazy life. "Don't you just find yourself with so much more energy?" No, I don't. I find that I don't take naps anymore, but as I've said before, I was great at being fat.”

Kim added that people monitor her diet for her. She said, “From those who know about my surgery I am asked "Can you eat that???" I really enjoy the folks that monitor what goes in my mouth. Makes me realize that they had to have been keeping track prior to WLS as well. That list must have been lengthy!”

What crazy things have people said to you? Post your comments here!

Have a great weekend and enjoy the crazy talk – it means people are noticing the New You!!


Friday, July 29, 2005

How do I leave comments on LivingAfterWLS?

You will see a "comments" link at the end of each post: If you click this link, you will go to the comment posting page.

In the upper left corner, there is an option to show or hide the original blog post that the comments relate to. The rest of the left-hand column contains any comments that have already been made.

On the right hand side of the page is the space for you to enter your comment. Beneath that are the identity options.

The options are these:
Blogger username: Your display name will appear, along with a link to your profile and your photo (if you have one).

Other: You can enter your name and a link to your website, without having to have a Blogger account.

Anonymous: No identifying information is displayed. The comment is credited to "Anonymous" without a link.

Type your comment, chose your identity and click "Preview" to see how your comment will post or click "Publish Your Comment" to add it to the post.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Kabuki’s Kitchen:
Proteins without Eyelashes or Faces

Leave it to our very own Kabuki Dancer to think up such a clever name for vegetable proteins. I think we often forget that vegetables do contain healthful protein and can be successfully incorporated in the living after WLS diet. Of course beans come to mind as a healthful source of protein. Try Kabuki’s 8-Layers-Bean Casserole for some healthful bean protein.

Another protein – without Eyelashes or Faces – is textured soy protein, also known as TVP: Textured Vegetable Protein. TVP comes from defatted soy flour, which is a by-product of soybean oil, so it is plentiful in supply. It’s also quick to cook, and a great source of vegetable protein without all the fat.

TVP comes in small dry chunks resembling dried vegetables. It is flavorless until rehydration when flavors may be added with broth or sauces. Because of its varying texture, it’s versatile, and can take on the texture of many meats. For instance, it’s excellent in chili, tacos, veggie burgers, and soups.

A 43-gram serving of TVP contains 120 calories and 21 grams of protein, hardly any fat. When it’s used to replace meat in stews and soups, it is difficult to distinguish a difference between it and animal protein.

Natural and health food stores and large supermarkets generally carry TVP; check the bulk section if you can’t find it. Kabuki has supplied us two great recipes using TVP. These were delicious and enjoyed by my family. I hope you enjoy them as well.

Kabuki’s TVP Nachos
Kabuki’s Meatless Meatloaf

Thanks Kabuki for sharing your kitchen!
Happy Cooking & Living Everyone!


Diet Tip WLS Patients Should Not Follow!

I just read this conventional diet tip – and we’ve heard it before – “Burn away fat with ice cold water! Ice cold water is calorie-free and fills you up so you can eat less. It can also help flush away premenstrual bloating. Drink it ice-cold water and you’ll even burn a few extra calories as your body warms it up!”

If you are in the phase of rapid weight loss or have lost quite a bit of weight you know exactly why WLS patients don’t drink ice cold water - we’re already freezing – even in the heat of summer. The last thing we want to do is get colder! Here is one of my EzineArticles about why WLS patients are cold.

What temperature do you drink your water? Click on Today's Topic and post your comment.

I'm Freezing! Why Gastric Bypass Causes Patients to be Cold

By Kaye Bailey

Body temperature is the result of your body generating and radiating heat. The body is adept at keeping its temperature within a narrow range even though ambient air conditions vary. A normal body temperature is 98.6°F. It is common during the period of rapid weight loss for bariatric patients to feel cold or chilled, even when their temperature reads normal.

People who experience the massive weight loss associated with weight loss surgery experience feeling cold for two reasons: loss of insulation and less energy generation.

Fat is a highly efficient insulator. Consider animals native to cold climates: for example sea lions and polar bears. They are loaded with insulation and thrive in cold climates. When gastric bypass patients follow the rules: eating protein and exercising, the weight lost can only come from fat or stored energy. In effect you are losing your insulation. Less insulation increases the likelihood that you will feel cold.

The second reason for feeling chilled is that the metabolic cell processes are not working as hard as when you were heavier; it takes fewer calories and less energy to maintain and move a smaller body. Think about using an electric mixer: if you are whipping egg whites for a meringue the mixer will do this task effortlessly. But use the same mixer to knead bread dough and it will become warm to the touch, it is working harder because it is moving more mass. The same thing happens with your body; the more mass it must move, the harder it works. As a result more heat is generated.

The body has two well-tuned mechanisms for regulating body temperature: sweating and shivering. What overweight person hasn’t been embarrassed by a sticky bout of sweating at the most inappropriate time? Sweating is a mechanism for cooling your body when it becomes too hot inside. The body rids itself of excess heat by expanding the blood vessels in the skin so the heat may be carried to the surface. When this energy or heat in the form of sweat reaches the skin’s surface it evaporates and helps cool the body.

Gastric bypass patients become more familiar with the second temperature regulator, shivering, as they lose weight. When you are too cold your blood vessels will contract reducing blood flow to the skin. The body responds by shivering which creates extra muscle activity to help generate more heat. If you allow your body to shiver it will begin to feel warmer. But this is also a good clue that it’s time to put on a sweater or turn up the heat. I think most weight loss patients will happily wear a sweater – a sweater is much easier to shed than that insulation we’ve worked so hard to lose!

Most weight loss patients report that their body temperature regulates after their weight is stabilized, usually eighteen to twenty-four months after surgery. Keep in mind your body is rapidly losing weight and the rest of your body’s functions are caught off guard when this weight loss begins. The body’s thermostat needs time to catch up to the weight loss, and it will. Patients who incorporate exercise in their weight loss program experience less chilling than patients who do not exercise.

Article Source:

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Tomatoes, Lycopene
& Eating Well After WLS

As we are living after WLS it is important to include as many healthy foods in our diet as possible while still respecting the nature of the gastric bypass system. One of the foods that many patients report having a high tolerance for is tomatoes. It's well known that a high intake of tomato products is associated with lowered risk of colon and prostate cancers, a beneficial effect thought to be due to tomatoes' high content of the carotenoids, lycopene and beta-carotene.

Lycopene is a member of the carotenoid family of phytochemicals and is the natural pigment responsible for the deep red color of several fruits, most notably tomatoes. Recently scientists have found evidence that supports the role of lycopene in human health, specifically in the prevention of cancers of the prostate, pancreas, stomach, breast, cervix and lung, as well as in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration.

Lycopene is also believed to play a role in the prevention of heart disease by inhibiting free radical damage to LDL cholesterol. Before cholesterol can be deposited in the plaques that harden and narrow arteries, it must be oxidized by free radicals. With its powerful antioxidant activity, lycopene can prevent LDL cholesterol from being oxidized.

Lycopene is a fat-soluble substance, and as such requires the presence of dietary fat for proper absorption through the digestive tract. To facilitate proper absorption tomatoes can be prepared with minimal healthy fat such as olive oil, canola oil or even dairy fat found in cheese.

Shopping for Tomatoes:
Choose tomatoes that have a deep rich color. Not only is this one of the signs of a delicious tasting tomato, but the deep color indicates that it has a greater supply of the health-promoting phytochemical red pigment, lycopene. Tomatoes should be well shaped and smooth skinned with no wrinkles, cracks, bruises or soft spots. They should not have a puffy appearance since this indicates that they will be of inferior flavor and will cause excess waste during preparation. Ripe tomatoes will yield to slight pressure and will have a noticeably sweet fragrance.

Tips for Preparing Tomatoes:
Before serving, wash tomatoes under cool running water and pat dry.
If your recipe requires seeded tomatoes, cut the fruit in half horizontally and gently squeeze out the seeds and the juice.

It is especially important when cooking tomatoes to not use aluminum cookware since their high acid content will interact with the metal. This may result in the migration of the aluminum into the food, which will not only impart an unpleasant taste, but more importantly, may have deleterious effects on your health.


Breaded Broiled Tomatoes

Chicken-and-Brie Salad with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Spinach Frittata and Cherry Tomatoes

Tomato Boats with Melted Mozzarella

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Warm Wishes for Carol

Our new subscriber, Carol, is having her surgery today. Please send warm wishes her way!


Monday, July 25, 2005

Avenging The Training Room Tyrant

When I was a sophomore in college I decided that if I was going to be big girl – the polite way to say fat - then I was going to be a strong big girl. I enrolled in a weight lifting class. An early morning weight lifting class! Just the habit a big girl ought to have, right? Two of my fatty-friends joined me and united we arrived at the first class with our best strong-gal faces!

We stepped forward to meet the instructor, our guide to the land of the strong and powerful. His name may as well have been Training Room Tyrant. He was lean, fit and fine to look at. And he was a fat bigot. He was on a mission to rid the world of the obese and unworthy and purify his planet with the fit and strong. He barked orders like a prison warden and belittled us three little pigs. Certainly we were fat by choice, out-of-control gluttons wasting earth’s precious resources -like air and water! But fat girls like to please; we yearn to be accepted in an unforgiving world. Without complaint we lifted, tugged and pulled on weights that were much too heavy too many times on this our first day of class. The more we tried to please the Tyrant the more he pushed – he was on a mission.

We spent the next four days in hell. Our entire muscular systems were broken and torn and we suffered together. After four days our muscles healed, but our spirits remained shattered. One more time we had failed and we felt like unworthy little pigs living in a thin man’s world. So we did what fat girls do; we ate ourselves silly, drowning our sorrows in tubs of ice cream. We never went back to class. And even though I spent but 40 minutes under his command, I never forgot the Training Room Tyrant.

Years later I declared war on my fatness and underwent gastric bypass surgery. Ten days later I stepped on my treadmill (after dusting it off, of course) and I spent ten minutes walking laboriously. With every slow steady step I took I cursed the Tyrant and I vowed to avenge the shame and humiliation he had wrought upon my compatriots and me. And the next day I walked and I was mad as hell at the Tyrant. In my mind’s parade I saw all the others who had belittled me throughout my life and I avenged myself with every step. Every day I walked madder and faster and further fueled by my anger. “I’ll-show-them, I’ll-show-them” sang the cadence of my step.

Then one day I noticed how great it felt to fill my lungs with air, and breathe out effortlessly. My legs were strong, my heart beat steady and I was becoming a fit person. My body became strong and I pulled myself tall with confident posture. I loved swinging my arms to every step. I put music on the stereo and turned it up loud! I walked for me – for the pure joy of motion! And the anger slipped away. When I let this anger go it was replaced with positive thoughts and the countless wounds inflicted upon my spirit over the years began to heal.

I had triumphed over the Tyrant and I was crowned victorious! Looking back, it seems silly to have wasted so much energy on anger and revenge. But the fact is, it motivated me to move and from there I discovered this wonderful powerful body. I found it didn’t really matter what motivated me to move. What mattered was that I got out and took one step and then the next down the road of self-discovery, health and wellness.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Monday Message from Kaye

Hello Everyone! It’s a new week and a new chance to do right by living well after weight loss surgery. What have you planned for this week to treat your body, mind and soul well? I’m planning a stop at the Farmer’s Market for melons and apricots – both seasonably fresh fruits that are well tolerated after gastric bypass surgery. Think about adding them to your menu this week.

Warm Wishes: We have three community members undergoing surgery this week to begin their new lives. Please send warm wishes to Kathy, Anita and Sara. (Kathy’s surgery was delayed from last week so send her extra love as we all can imagine how frustrating that must have been.)

Help Needed: Last week I called your attention to a friend of one of our community members who is in urgent need of a liver transplant. Please link to Shari Kurzrok’s site for a downloadable flyer that can be distributed to hospitals, fire and police departments and posted on bulletin boards. Shari has made her career leading fundraisers for the American Red Cross – now is a chance to give back to her.

Dinner Tonight: Are you looking for a fabulous three-ingredient chicken recipe that is healthful, delicious, and quite frankly, a real showstopper? Try my Grilled Salsa Chicken – I threw it together impromptu Saturday night and won the hearts of our drop-in dinner guests who are now convinced I’m a gourmet chef! (LOL!) I hope you enjoy!

Have a great week & enjoy LivingAfterWLS!


Friday, July 22, 2005

Urgent Help Needed!

A close family friend of one of our longtime LivingAfterWLS readers is in dire need of a liver transplant. Please link here for her full story. Our thoughts and prayers are with Shari Kurzrok and her family at this time.

31-Year-Old Shari Kurzrok Will Die Unless She Receives Complete Liver Within Days

NEW YORK (July 20, 2005) – Shari Kurzrok is two months away from her wedding. The 31-year-old PR executive recently spearheaded the American Red Cross’ largest-ever blood donor campaign. Today, she is fighting for her life. Her doctors say she will not live if she doesn’t receive a complete liver transplant within days, and her colleagues in the PR industry are urgently mobilizing to help her.

“I just pray that what Shari has loved to do for a living comes back to help her,” says her fiancée Robby Schnall, 35, a marketing executive at Cole Haan. Their wedding is planned for October 15 at Woodbury Jewish Center in Long Island.

Shari’s sudden illness has taken her family, friends and doctors by surprise. She was admitted to New York University Medical Center last weekend, and within 24 hours she was told she needed a liver transplant to save her life. Her illness is still unexplained.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Kabuki’s Kitchen:
Entertaining Graciously

Often times after weight loss surgery we tend to think our days of entertaining or socializing are over – we can’t do that anymore. We feel a sense of deprivation if we are among others who can indulge in foods we can no longer enjoy. But really, we do not need to deprive ourselves the joy of entertaining and socializing.

Our own Kabuki Dancer is a beautiful example of one who is thriving as a WLS patient and entertaining in a world full of “normal” people. This past weekend she hosted a pool party and she did it graciously with thoughtfulness for herself and her invited guests.

The first thing Kabuki did right was to make sure her own dietary and palate needs were met with the foods she served. “I made a fruit and cheese plate, so beautiful. I rolled flour tortillas with ham and cheese and sliced them in spirals. I ate a lot of the fruit and had three spirals of the tortilla with ham and cheese. It was all good. As you know, food still figures mightily in my life.”

In addition, for her invited guests she made pigs-in-the-blanket for the children, Cuban sandwiches and served chips, cashews and truffles. She also served dessert. “I baked two cakes, neither of them conducive to our health but they were so well received by the crowd that I felt like I had standing ovations. One was a chocolate cake with a cream cheese topping and a coconut and pecan crust, and the other was a freezer cake of mandarin oranges and cool whip and condensed sweetened milk over an orange cake batter.”

And then, in gracious Kabuki style she sent food home with her guests. “I let people take food home with them and the desserts, I divided up among my neighbors who really love my baked goods. There are two pieces of orange cake left for my husband when he wants it.”

Our own Kabuki Dancer – Living Well & Eating Well after WLS. Thank Kabuki for sharing with us your beautiful self!

If the Shoe Fits You Must Have Lost Weight!

When you started planning your weight loss surgery did you ever think, “Wow! The place I really need to lose weight is my feet!!” Probably not – we look at our belly’s or butts or bodies and never really think about those poor peds packing the pounds around. Surprisingly, both men and women report shrinking feet after massive weight loss. It’s pleasant surprise. One of our male readers, Rob, wrote, “I’ve even lost inches (maybe centimeters?) in my feet, so I’ve had fun replacing all of my old shoes.”

I grew up wearing “sturdy shoes” – the kind grannies wear and I hated them. I was embarrassed all through high school – the fat girl in the sturdy shoes.

These days you wouldn’t catch me in a pair of sturdy shoes – I’m in sandals and heels and sassy sexy footwear all the time. I’m not the only one with a burgeoning shoe collection, so is our frequent contributor, Kim Stover. Here’s her personal shoe story as only Kim can tell it - with humor, blunt honesty and sheer joy. Thanks Kim!

“If The Shoe Fits Buy IT!”

© 2005 Kim Stover - All Rights Reserved


Prior to WLS, I had a very hard time finding a shoe that would fit.At almost 400 pounds, fashion was neither here nor there...comfort was the focus. I had that terrible condition that most obese people have...the dreaded plantar fascitis. If you have no idea what I'm taking about, consider yourself lucky. For me, it was the most intense pain that I have ever experienced. Crippling at times. I would wake in the middle of the night to use the restroom and literally have to hobble to the toilet, hanging on to the vanity counter on my way. Shear misery. Thank goodness that went away as the pounds dropped off!

Shoes needed to be comfortable and supportive. Cute wasn't part of the selection process. I have a VERY high instep/arch, along with a very fat foot and my toes pretty much go straight across. Picture Fred Flintstone doing ballet and you're basically looking at my foot...but I have a fifth toe! Anyhow, last summer I needed to get a replacement sandal for the season. I was one year post-op and had lost quite a bit of weight. I was still clinically obese, but feeling much better with my plantar fascitis being a distant memory. All of my shoes were fitting sloppy, so I bit the bullet and went to shop for a new shoe.

Shoe shopping was not something that I looked forward to. As a matter of fact, if I found a shoe that fit well, I'd buy two or three pairs to have them on hand for the future. My closet looked like a stockroom at times, especially if there was a sale on said shoe. Okay, back to my sandal shopping experience...I went to the local upscale department store (the more expensive the shoe, the better it felt on my foot). I tried on a pair of sandals, expecting my foot to not slide all of the way in and much to my surprise, it went in and was a perfect fit.

It was a Cinderella moment.

Stunned, I said, "Wow!" out loud three or four times and walked around from mirror to mirror. They fit and they were sort of cute. How lucky I was to find a shoe on my FIRST try that actually wasn’t making my toes numb. I asked the clerk, who must have thought that I was nuts, if this particular brand ran big. She sort of shrugged her shoulders and mumbled something. Maybe she didn't mumble. It could have been the screams of excitement that were going on in my head that blocked her out. I was so thrilled that there was a manufacturer out there that made shoes for the fat foot. I must write down the brand of this shoe since they are cut just perfect for me and perhaps I'll even invest in their company. This could really take off as a success!

Not once did it occur to me that my foot had taken a new shape,that of "normal". Sure enough, my foot HAD shrunk, with the rest of me and ALL of the brands now fit. Years of shoe deprivation and now I had been freed. I decided to get re-measured at this point...formerly a size a 7.5 no W's necessary.

It has been a year since that experience in the department store. I still get just as giddy as I was that day when a shoe slides on my foot without getting stuck mid-way. All the seasons have since passed and I have the shoes to fill each wardrobe assignment. New sneakers, boots, pumps, heels, flats, sandals and even slippers. It's just amazing how such a small item can make me so gosh darned happy. I now have more shoes than I need and feel guilty on occasion, but then I remember all of the years that I had stocked up on that one brand of walking shoe—in black. I realize that I deserve to own a pink pump that I'll only wear once in a blue moon. I deserve it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

After WLS: Eating Well

I don’t know what my family ate in the months immediately following my surgery. I’m sure they ate something, they seemed to be healthy and well showing no signs of malnutrition or starvation. Whatever it was that they ate, they planned and prepared it on their own – I was too distracted to be of any help. It’s not that I didn’t care about them or their well being. But the immediate days and months after surgery are overwhelming. My single task was to take care of myself, heal my body, celebrate the weight loss, face the emotional issues and do the best I could taking each day at a time. It was an around the clock assignment: the most challenging task I have ever undertaken.

This was a time of great fear and realization for me as I started to comprehend just how dramatically weight loss surgery changed my lifestyle. I was a devout bread and pasta eater before; not after. A meat loving steak eater, not anymore. A skilled baker with a repertoire of cookies envied by Mrs. Fields, but never again. Eating breads and pasta, steaks and sweets was no longer a part of my life. It had been unequivocally excised from me without reprieve. All these beloved foods were history. Gone. Never again. No going back. Weight loss surgery is for life.

For the first few months I ate four foods: hard cooked eggs, tuna, shrimp and sugar-free gelatin. At first I tried mixing my morning egg with commercial mayonnaise to kill the taste of the egg, but that made me nauseous. I learned to eat the egg plain. The egg sustained me until lunch. Then slowly and deliberately I ate two ounces of canned tuna mixed with a little relish and mayo. Yum-yum. Then for dinner, a real extravaganza, six peeled and boiled shrimp. I’d have a spoonful of sugar-free gelatin as a special treat. That was all. That’s what I ate. I didn’t feel hungry and I was indifferent to eating. I, the self-made gastronome, had lost her taste for food.

One reason for eating just these four things was a loss of appetite – I just wasn’t hungry for anything. Who would have thought that could be possible? The mention or sight of many foods made me sick. Can you imagine watching the late night television advertisement for a burger and getting ill at the site of the greasy drippy mess of heavenly fast food? Retching ill at the site of the very food!

Worse than seeing food was smelling it – I couldn’t stand the smell of most foods cooking. Raw meat – ugh! Cookies baking – disgusting! Coffee brewing – putrid! It was as if the smells of food were exaggerated beyond tolerance putting me in a state of nausea at the first whiff.

The other reason for my limited selection of high protein foods was fear. I was afraid to try anything except my safe foods. I was afraid of dumping, afraid of vomiting, afraid of breaking my stomach pouch, afraid of gaining weight. I didn’t know what to do with this new tool of mine, but I was certain I didn’t want to irreparably harm it because I was losing weight swiftly without hunger or dieting stress. The tool was working.

Time passed and I became acquainted with my bariatric infant tummy. With cautious hesitation I introduced new foods to my infant tummy: some deli turkey, bits of braised chicken. Cottage cheese, then hard cheeses like cheddar and mozzarella. And, glory be, I continued to lose weight and my energy soared.

It seems for some time we had two dinner menus at our house – the bariatric menu and the normal menu. The bariatric menu was little portions of lean protein. The normal menu included some protein sided with pasta, potatoes or bread, a salad, some vegetables and possibly a sweet treat for dessert. When I did return to the stove to resume the responsibilities of family chef I accepted that I would fix dual meals. And this I did for some time. It was a hassle, a lot of work, and I started to resent cooking things I could not eat. And I resented my family for “flaunting” normal tummies in my face.

But then the awakening moment arrived and I asked myself, isn’t this a golden opportunity for all of us to learn to eat more healthy, prepare better foods and start to practice some portion control? Can’t we all benefit from the things I’m learning about health and wellness by way of bariatric surgery? Is there a way to create one meal for the family that satisfies all of our health, nutrition and nurturing needs?

Eating well isn’t a diet. It’s a lifestyle choice.

It should never be a choice of deprivation – it is the deliberate selection and preparation of food that leaves us nutritionally fit and emotionally fulfilled. Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures: who knows this better than the bariatric patient? We lived to eat and that passion resulted in morbid obesity. Now we must eat to live. It is an astounding turn of events. Every bite, every flavor, every taste must be the best it possibly can be to satisfy and nurture contentment.

Having bariatric surgery does not mean you’ve lost the right to have variety, flavor, and texture in your diet. It does not nullify your need to be emotionally fulfilled by the ceremony and tradition of eating well. It simply means redefining your lifestyle so your diet meets your nutritional and emotional needs – and respects the science of your medically altered digestive system.

Weight loss surgery is truly a second chance to make good on feeding your body well. And for those patients with families, it is the golden opportunity to learn together that eating well is a pleasure with tangible benefits. And perhaps, you may save someone you love from needing bariatric surgery or worse, an early death from an obesity related illness.

I was unwilling to eat eggs, tuna, shrimp and jell-o for the rest of my life, I love food too much. I fully understood that not only couldn’t I return to my old eating habits – I shouldn’t return to them – they were killing me before surgery. I wanted a healthy, normal way of eating that met my bariatric needs, but also provided a healthy well-balanced menu for my family so they too could be nutritionally well. This was my chance to redefine our eating lifestyle.

The exciting thing for bariatric patients is that healthy eating is a lifestyle, it is not a diet. Dietary and nutritional changes can be made at your own pace. Perhaps you are a person who will dive headfirst into healthy eating, changing all at once the habits and behaviors you identify as unhealthy. Others may choose a more gradual approach, beginning with one healthy meal a week moving towards an overall healthy lifestyle. In the past, diets required us to make immediate dramatic change without room for forgiveness; that’s why they didn’t work. The changes were also temporary. Now, you are in a new life and you can make healthy changes at a pace you are comfortable with, a pace at which you can succeed. Permanent changes you can live with.

But don’t stall and put healthy living off for too long. The sooner you incorporate healthy eating into your life the sooner you, and your loved ones, will reap the benefits of nutritional wellness. It is interesting to note many patients are enthusiastic and dedicated to a healthy lifestyle after surgery – it is the first time the rewards of such lifestyle are substantive. We feel it in our energy and we see it in the mirror. For me, it seemed natural to ease from eating bland protein to developing a varied collection of healthy recipes to meet my bariatric needs, and the nutritional and nurturing needs of my family.

Another woman was thrilled at the new lease on life weight loss surgery gave her and embraced the change to healthy eating. “This is not an overnight thing,” she said. “Temptation is all around, but so are six grandchildren I want to live for. I want to spoil them. I am using weight loss surgery as way to get my healthy eating priorities straight and be in control of my life again. For me and for my grandkids.” Inadvertently, her six grandchildren are learning by her example to eat well.

Tomorrow we’ll look at Table Traditions and how we can celebrate life with eating and still succeed with WLS.

Best wishes,

Warm Wishes for New Member

We have a new member of our community, Kathy, who is having her surgery this Friday. Please put some warm wishes in your heart and send them out to her as she begins her new life.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Health Insurance:
Denied After WLS

We have a reader who is trying to obtain personal healthcare coverage. She has been denied 9 times by insurance companies because she has undergone gastric bypass surgery. They say they won’t insure her until 5 years after the surgery date.

Is anyone else having this problem? Please post a comment or if you prefer send me a private email


LivingAfterWLS Success Eileen Bellsey

With great pleasure I present another wonderful LivingAfterWLS Success Story: Eileen Bellsey: Life Is Good After WLS. Not only does her story have a romantic twist, Eileen shares some really great secrets for success.

Thank you, Eileen for sharing your story with us and best wishes to you as you celebrate your new life!

Play by the WLS Rules & Live Well

For the last 7 weeks I’ve been playing by the WLS rules: Eat Protein First, No Snacking, Lots of Water and Exercise. I set out to do this, in part, because of the pressure I feel as author of this website to be a good example for my readers. The other reason was the scale – the number was going up and I needed to get control of that. Some remarkable things happened during this time:

I did not experience a single dumping or vomiting episode.

I never even suffered from dizziness or feeling “off”.

I found that my food intake decreased, as if my little pouch was tightening up slightly.

I lost 4 pounds and am right back in my “safe weight zone”.

My energy level has been fresh and constant – no highs or lows.

I’ve been able to sleep well and wake refreshed.

My clothes fit better and I feel better in them.

What do you think about that? I’m pretty pleased with myself for being able to return to a more steady healthier lifestyle. Frankly, it just wasn’t that hard to follow the rules. In fact it felt liberating to follow the rules and not live in fear of the unpleasant consequences of poor food choices. Now, I’m not saying I did perfectly – I did snack on the protein bars like our contributor Kim has suggested and I missed some exercise sessions here and there. But for the most part I was committed to doing right and enjoying myself in the process.

I think I’m going to keep playing by the rules and live well after WLS!

How about you?

LivingAfterWLS Newsletter Catalog

Special Edition Published Today

July 18: You Have Arrived: Beating the Snack Monster featuring the essay, "If nobody ever saw me eating, Then it couldn't be my fault I was fat" and healthful snacking strategies for LivingAfterWLS.

July 5: You Have Arrived: Issue #2: with the essay "Our Daily Bread" and helpful food information. Also introducing our new contributor, my husband, J.Bailey.

June 24: A Special Edition “You Have Arrived” Independence Day Special featuring the essay “Let Freedom Ring, It’s Independence Day” and three WLS friendly menus with recipes.

June 10: A Special Edition “You Have Arrived” for Pre-Ops featuring the personal essay “The Window of Opportunity & Other Things I Wish I Understood Before Surgery”.

June 1: Premier Newsletter “You Have Arrived” featuring the article “If WLS Was the Easy Way Out Then Why Am I Struggling

Email if you wish to receive any of these issues and be included on our subscriber list for future issues.

Warm Wishes to Carol, Lynn, Maureen & Shelly

Warm wishes this week go out to four of our LivingAfterWLS community members who will undergo surgery: Carol, Lynn, Maureen & Shelly. Our thoughts are with you for a safe and speedy recovery.

Congratulations & Welcome to Your New Life!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Kabuki’s Kitchen: Snack Treats

Today in Kabuki’s Kitchen we’re featuring snacks – safe snacks for living after gastric bypass surgery. One is a protein dense savory baked chickpea snack – you’ll be surprised how scrumptious this treat is. Then to help cool off in the dog days of summer, a frozen sugar free pop. Give these recipes a try. And as always, many thanks to Kabuki Dancer for sharing her recipes and beautiful spirit with us.

Sugar-Free Popsicle

Chickpea Crunches

Call For Recipes

Hey Loyal LivingAfterWLS Readers - we are still adding to our recipe collection. Have you created a wonderful recipe suited to our very specific afterWLS needs? Why not share it with the community - drop me an email

I've updated the Recipe Index if you want to look back at some of the great recipes we've published lately.

WLS Subscriber List Milestone:
300 and Counting

Today we received the 300th subscriber to the LivingAfterWLS sites. Thanks everyone for subscribing and spreading the word about our project here. I look forward to continued community interaction and support as this web project continues to grow and we celebrate LivingAfterWLS.

Thanks to you all,

Here is a reminder of all the site has to offer: is the “Mother Ship” the main website for us. Lots of articles and information – the site is updated twice a month. is the daily journal or “web log” or "blog" for LivingAfterWLS. This site offers readers the chance to comment or leave feedback. I try to add new things daily. This site contains success stories and recipes as well as general information and WLS inspired topics.

You Have Arrived” newsletter is the monthly newsletter for our site available exclusively by subscription (unless you receive it from a friend, and we like that!) Each month one or two special editions are also issued.

Bloglet daily updates are an automatic service you can subscribe to through the site. Once a day you receive an email "bloglet" letting you know the blog is updated and introducing the topics of the day. A bloglet subscription automatically gets you the newsletters.

Link for our full subscription policy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

What Are Nutritionally Void Foods?

After WLS 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.

In traditional dieting we learn to avoid “unhealthy” foods – those that tend to least resemble their original natural ingredients and have the most added refined and artificial additives. After gastric bypass we MUST avoid these foods, it’s not a suggestion – it is a way of life.

Top of the list of foods that must be avoided are “white foods” – white sugar, white flour and white fat. There are many foods that include all three items as primary ingredients including soft drinks, most breads, crackers, pasta, pastries and pastry fillings, cakes, frostings, margarine and bread spreads, jellies, sweets and candies, frozen dinners, hamburger and hotdog buns, snacks, doughnuts, pizzas, pies, candy bars, and cookies—all of which are common snacks and convenience foods. Indeed, many of these combine all three whites together—white sugar, flour, and fat! Furthermore, these foods frequently contain artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, texturizing and processing agents, and other additives that further detract from their nutritional stature and your health.

“White sugar” includes refined sugar cane or sugar beets having virtually all B vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other essential nutrients removed. Corn syrup is also a “white sugar,” made from processed cornstarch and essentially devoid of other nutrients.

“White flour,” analogously, is whole wheat flour minus its nutrient-packed wheat germ and fibrous bran. Nutritionally speaking, white flour a ghost-like shadow of its original whole grain.

“White fat” can include rendered animal lard, vegetable oils “hydrogenated” to make them hard at room temperature, and refined tropical fats such as cottonseed oil. Hydrogenation is a chemical process that transforms natural fats into more saturated “trans”-fatty acids that do not occur naturally and are strongly associated with cardiovascular disease.

12 Things You Can Learn From A Two-Year Old

I love this article by Nancy Hill and hope you enjoy too! #6 is my personal favorite!

I think if you asked any child about the adults around them, they'd probably say we're a little wacky and seem to be stressed out a lot of the time. Here are a few simple things they can teach us...

1. Nap when you're tired.

2. Eat when you're hungry.

3. Don't starve yourself, it makes you tired and cranky. Eat little bits often to keep fueled up.

4. Stubbornly refuse to eat even one more bite once you're full. If you're full after a few bites, gleefully throw the rest away.

5. Leave the table with a satisfied, full belly and an eagerness to dive back into your delicious life.

6. Be picky and only eat foods you love. If it doesn't taste great to you, clamp those lips shut and refuse to eat until something better is found.

7. Be in awe over how amazing and wonderful your body is. Notice how it moves, hugs, plays, loves, heals, and enjoys life.

8. Run, jump, skip, play. Move your body because it's so much fun and it feels good. Be amazed at all the incredible physical things your body can do.

9. Wear clothes that are comfy and that make you feel good.

10. Appreciate the people around you for who they are rather than for how they look.

11. Hang out with fun, friendly people and stay away from mean, critical ones.

12. Feel great about yourself because, well, why wouldn't you?

If you don't have a two-year old around right now, seek one out and watch them for a day. Their simple enjoyment of life, and their absolute respect for their own bodies is something to aspire to.

©2005 Nancy Hill has helped thousands get free of the dieting nightmare with her ebook, "Undieting - 11 Simple Steps to Reclaim Your Body and Your Life." Sign up now for the free 7-day email course at Undieting Free Course and discover how to get your life back.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Reading the Food Pyramid After WLS

A “normal-tummy” looks at the food pyramid from the bottom up – six to eleven servings of grains, then fruits and vegetables – then the protein groups: meat and beans and the milk group. The fats, oils and sweets are incidental.

After gastric bypass we can read the pyramid from the top down. Scoot to the side the fats, oils and sweets – we don’t eat those anymore. Start with the protein groups – remember the rule – protein first! Then have a sample from the fruits and vegetable groups. Then, only if there is room, a taste from the grains group. Fats and oils will be incidental to the diet; sweets should rarely be eaten. It is unlikely a tiny tummy will ever meet the food pyramid quantity guidelines – six to 11 servings from the grains group is totally unrealistic for a bariatric patient. However, WLS patients can gain significant nutritional benefits and satiation from incorporating foods from every group into their small meals. The key is to create a healthy eating pattern using the Food Guide Pyramid as a reference point for making sound nutritional choices.

Nutritional Benefits of each group:
Meat & Beans Group: Meat, poultry, fish and beans are the healthful and hearty members of this food group. Fifty percent of food intake after WLS will be protein from the meat and beans group. Animal proteins provide a rich source of B vitamins, iron and zinc. Nutritionally, it is best to choose meats low in fat and calories – lean round steak, skinless poultry, fish and shellfish. Legumes – including soy-based products – are a great meat substitute because they provide protein and have added fiber without the extra cholesterol, fat and calories found in meats. However, legumes are often difficult for the patient to eat – they quickly fill the tiny tummy causing discomfort. Some patients report an intolerance for beans and legumes that leads to vomiting. Test your own tolerances and learn what your body likes.

Milk Group: Milk, eggs, cheese and yogurt comprise the milk group. These foods are calcium rich and contain protein and other vitamins and minerals. But these foods can also be high in fat. Most bariatric patients report a very good tolerance for low-fat cottage cheese and mozzarella cheeses. Patients should use caution as they introduce foods from the dairy group back into their diet: many patients report dumping or lactose intolerance from foods in this group.

Fruit Group: Fruits are nature’s gift of sweetness to us, and a bonus, most fruits are low in fat and calories, but great sources of soluble fiber and antioxidants. Unfortunately, the natural sugars in fruit can cause a sugar (glucose) imbalance and dumping. The fiber in fruits – particularly citrus – can cause discomfort to the tiny tummy. Small bites must be taken as a patient re-introduces these foods to the bariatric system. Most patients report favorable results eating melon. Berries with seeds – such as raspberries or strawberries – should be avoided immediately after surgery to avoid lodging the seeds in the healing stomach seam. After healing is complete, many patients enjoy berries in their diet. Apples have also received favorable results from gastric bypass patients.

Vegetable Group: Vegetables add vitamins, fiber and flavor to the diet. When meats are braised vegetables can be added to the pot to add flavor and nutrition and a bit of natural moisture. Vegetables should be served in the purest form, lightly steamed without added creams or sauces. Raw vegetables, including leafy salads, can be difficult for the tiny tummy to digest, and when poorly chewed may cause a temporary blockage of the stomach exit. Some raw vegetables may cause gas or bloating after gastric bypass surgery. As always, use caution when introducing foods to the diet after gastric bypass.

Grains Group: This is the group of comforting energy giving carbohydrates we love to eat – the pastas, breads, rice couscous and other grains. As morbidly obese people most of the foods we loved (sweets, breads, pastas) came from this group, but as recovering obese people we must carefully control our intake of these foods. Science is proving that these foods are most quickly converted to fat and stored by body. The less food we intake from this group, the more our body is forced to use the stored fat. When introducing foods from this group try the purest forms: oatmeal cereal, one or two bites of whole-wheat bread, one bite of rice. Be very careful with grains and carbohydrates from the grains group: these foods can cause discomfort, dumping or worse – weight gain.

Fats & Oils: Fats are extremely concentrated forms of energy that contain little water and carry a lot of flavor. The body needs fat to function properly. Dietary fat carries fat-soluble vitamins – vitamins A, D, E and K – from food into the body. Bariatric patients report lost desire for high fat foods. In addition, high fat greasy foods are poorly tolerated and cause nausea. Patients will achieve a better quality of health by focusing on foods made with unsaturated fats and reducing the saturated fat intake in the diet. A way to include more unsaturated fat in the diet is to sauté with olive oil instead of butter. Canola oil should be used in baking. Replace bacon bits on salad with slivered almonds or sunflower seeds – nuts are a wonderful source of natural unsaturated fat. Avoid eating potato chips or processed crackers; they are made with hydrogenated oils – a lethal fat. Use avocado slices in place of cheese on sandwiches. Have fish – particularly omega-3 rich salmon or mackerel – for your protein a couple of times a week.

Happy Birthday Kim Stover!

From me and the LivingAfterWLS community, Happy Birthday Kim! We enjoy your upbeat inspiration and frequent contributions to the site and wish you many years of celebration in your new life!

Happy Birthday!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Making Right Our Nutritional Wellness

It seems there are two schools of behavior patients follow after gastric bypass surgery:

The first are the patients who realize WLS is a second chance to make right their nutritional wellness and they exchange the eating habits and poor food choices that made them obese for a smarter way of eating. These patients become champions of healthy ingredients and wholesome eating making conscious choices for how they fuel their bodies. They are non-stop learners in constant quest for information to aid in their health and wellness. They are actively engaged in their own nutrition to improve their health and make strong their bodies against disease. These patients have tremendous success in long-term weight maintenance following massive weight loss.

The second are the patients who rely solely on the restrictive and malabsorptive nature of the gastric bypass to lose weight. They half-heartedly follow the program during the phase of rapid weight loss and little by little the old habits that made them obese sneak back into their daily living. You’ll hear these patients say, “I can eat anything I want, just less of it” and they laugh. But the joke is on them because sure enough, these patients will regain weight and suffer from poor nutritional health.

Perhaps the people in the “old habits” school think it’s a waste of effort or energy to try and eat healthy – after all, we eat such little portions. Perhaps they think health food is seaweed and tofu and icky stuff like that. Perhaps they simply don’t have the information necessary to affect positive healthy change in their diets.

Dr. Bernard Jensen in Guide to Body Chemistry & Nutrition writes, “The old saw “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” just isn’t true when it comes to body chemistry, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Ignorance leads to poor nutritional choices, chemical deficiencies and the kinds of diseases that prey on an undernourished body and shorten the life span. Heart disease, cancer and diabetes all take a terrible toll on life in this country, and all three of them are strongly influenced by food patterns and lifestyle habits. . . The right kind of knowledge can always lead us to a better life.”

In the next few days we will bring some of that knowledge to this site so that we may all be students of the first school of WLS patients and make right our nutritional wellness. We will discuss:

- Vitamin & Mineral supplementation
- WLS friendly nutrient dense food sources
- Identifying nutritional deficiencies
- Identifying nutritionally void foods & how-to avoid them
- Resources for healthy recipes & nutritional information

Dr. Jensen writes, “Hippocrates said, “Let your food be your medicine, and let your medicine be your food.” In my opinion, the kitchen is more important to our health than the doctor’s office or the local hospital. If food selection, preparation and cooking are done wisely, intentionally and properly, very little time will need be spent visiting health care facilities.” Dr. Jensen, by the way, wrote Guide to Body Chemistry & Nutrition at age 92.

Before WLS surgery I believe it is fair to say many of us “let food be our comfort” and indeed we were well comforted – that’s why we needed surgery. If we can change that thought to “let food be our medicine” and treat it as such, perhaps our relationship with food will improve, our bodies will become healthier and the quality of life will exceed expectation.

It has been noted by many a bariatric counselor that patients are resistant toward learning a healthier way to live. One nurse told me, “Some people want to have doctors take care of them. They don’t want to take responsibility for their own lives.” But she noted the patients who are eager to learn good nutrition do not regain weight, do not fight the emotional demons of weight fluctuations and they enjoy boundless physical wellness. They never suffer from obesity again.

Dr. Jensen states, “There are arguments, disagreements, people defending their right to eat what they love. I tell them I don’t blame them and encourage them to make the change because it’s the right thing for them to do.”

I hope you’ll stick around this week and take interest in the topic of nutritional wellness. I look forward to sharing lots of great information so we can all live healthy and well after weight loss surgery.

Best wishes,

LivingAfterWLS Contributor Completes First Race

One of our frequent contributors, Kim Stover, finished her first official race yesterday, a 5K. She finished in under 49 minutes and placed #430 out of nearly 600 participants. With her permission I’m sharing her beautiful accomplishment. I know you will be as touched and inspired as I was to read her story!

I DID IT! By Kim Stover

I completed my first official race today (July 10, 2005). What a thrill! Have you ever done one? This was a 5k/10k. I opted for the 5k since it is just a bit more than I usually do on my daily walk. It was odd to walk without the dogs! I was sort of lost being by myself.

The energy was incredible at the race and I actually started out jogging. Everyone else was doing it, so I joined in. I had my number pinned on (had to scope out the other gals to see where to pin it on my shirt. Turns out that it goes right below your boobs) my iPod was going and my adrenaline was pumping! I just wanted to scream, "Look at me! Look at me!". I refrained, but came pretty close to popping a couple of times.

I didn't have a goal, other than to just finish the race and not come in last place. There were almost 600 competitors and I was in the pack. My young cousin, who inspired me to enter, was there with her Team in Training for leukemia. She passed me up out of the gate and that was fine by me. She is 10 years younger, so I used that excuse to justify her better pace.

At one point, I realized that I was keeping the same pace as this 70ish man and thought, "I'll be damned if Grandpa is going to beat me at this thing". So now my goal was not just to finish, but to beat the old guy. I can do this. I started to find my stride...who knew that I'd ever have a stride...and ended up passing my younger cousin. This was one of the moments that I almost let out a "Look at Me!".

I jogged a little, but walked most of the course. They closed down streets for the race so it was nice to not have to worry about traffic. About 3/4 of the way through, I had my Oprah moment and started to cry. Hold yourself together girl! You can't fall apart now! I gathered myself and continued on, feeling really good. My body was working for me. I could feel the muscles in my arms aiding in my movement. Circuit training was paying off. I could feel my spine in perfect alignment. Yoga was paying off. My breath was controlled and my heart rate was good. Amazing. I could now see the finish line. What? It's over? I know that they take your picture as you cross the line, so what's my plan? Sunglasses on my face or on my head? Is my number laying flat? What's my fanny pack doing? The clock! As I looked up, I could see the digital clock ticking away the seconds. It read 48 minutes and some odd seconds. In two seconds, I decided that my goal was to finish in less than 49 minutes.

I kicked it into high gear and sprinted across the finish line. I did it! Here comes the second "Look at Me!" moment. OH MY GOD! The picture! What was I doing when the picture was taken??? I can't wait to see it. I'm sure that my face is all screwed up with me mouthing the words, "Look at Me" silently to myself. I probably would have cried at this point, but I knew that I had to stretch. Then my cousin crossed the finish line and I had to greet her with open arms.

No time for crying, as free stuff was being handed out! Tons of vendors attended. First stop, Alhambra water. The best water I've ever had. Second stop, goodie bag...I'll look through that later. Third stop, Emerald Nuts. Had to be the best mini cup of mixed nuts that I've ever eaten. I savored ever single nut, one nut at a time. Chew, chew, chew. The salt, the fat, yum. It was like the first bit of soft food that I got to eat after being on liquids post-op. Gosh, wasn't that the best scrambled egg? I refrained from getting a second cup of nuts. Fourth stop, PW Markets. They had a huge display of fresh fruit. I surveyed what was being offered. Apples, oranges, plums and apricots. I picked up an apricot and took a bite. By far the best apricot I've ever eaten. I only had half, since I'm so sensitive to sugar and tossed the remaining half with a grimace. Hard to throw away such good food. More water! It was as if I just finished filming a series of Survivor.

This was by far, one of the best moments of my life. A simple 5k. I cried on the way home. A good ugly cry, by myself, in my car. Life is perfect. I came home to three wagging tails, only to take them on a mile and a half walk! They needed it and I was still riding high. Quite the day for me.

Warm Wishes Needed

Hello Everyone LivingAfterWLS!

This week we have three members starting their new lives with weight loss surgery. Please send your warm wishes to Bobbie, Daria and Mary Ann! Best of success to you all.

Speaking of success - - We still need success stories for the site. Friends like Bobbie, Daria and Mary Ann and the rest of us need refreshing inspiration to keep us motivated and on track in this LivingAfterWLS life. Please consider sharing your success story today! Email me:

Best wishes,

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Whose Clothes Are THESE Little Things?

Have you found yourself asking that when you are taking care of your very own “little” clothes since losing weight with gastric bypass weight loss surgery? Men and women alike, after experiencing massive weight loss, enjoy a wonderment, a shock & awe, as they see their new clothes which appear to be so small. Can this really fit me? we ask. Or sometimes we simply state, “Oh, this will never fit me.” We still see ourselves as large and morbidly obese.

I was telling some friends about a dress I’m wearing to a party this evening. “My dress is so sexy - I am looking at it thinking can I really wear that thing? (as images of the Little Fat Girl wedged into a sausage casing fill my demented head). The dress is knee-length navy blue knit, one shoulder and very fitted - think Marilyn Monroe! I'm wearing red strappy 4" sandals and a red beaded handbag! I'm dying here! Can this be ME?????”

It’s been over five years since I’ve lost my weight, yet I still cannot believe this dress will fit me. In many ways I hope the excitement and thrill never fades. On the other hand wouldn’t it be nice to accept myself as I am now and quit picturing the Little Fat Girl when I see myself?

My friend and our frequent contributor Kim, wrote to me, “It is funny how we can't imagine ourselves in our clothing. I had shrunk a white T-shirt (it was a dry flat number and I accidentally tossed it in the dryer). It came out looking like a shirt for a 9-year-old. I figured that I'd put it on and wear a blouse over the top...sort of wear it like a cami. Was I surprised when it was actually big on me. It just floors me and I know that it will be a long time for me to finally realize what size I actually am.”

The funny thing, when I hold up that last pair of giant pants I can’t imagine that they ever fit me. So where is the happy medium and how do I truly picture myself?

Another friend is the mother of a WLS patient. After hearing about my dress Maxine responded, “I look forward to seeing my daughter in your shoes! And when she goes out for a gala event and pasta alfredo is an entree and she chooses the palate cleanser because she knows how dayyam good she looks and feels.and what it took for her to become who she is. So much too look forward to Kaye”

Yes, Maxine. So much to look forward to!

Do your clothes look too small? Share your thoughts by clicking the comments button.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Something Fishy on the Grill

Since weight loss surgery gives us a second chance of leading healthy lives it behooves us to pay attention to what we eat and incorporate things in our limited diet that can aid our health and longevity. Fortunately for us one of the healthiest things we can eat is also gastric bypass friendly: Fish.

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times a week. Fish is a good source of protein and doesn’t have the high saturated fat that fatty meat products do. Fatty fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are high in two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids.

This time of year is great for including fish in the diet because it can quickly and easily be cooked outdoors on the grill. Consider these safe cooking tips when grilling fish:

Skewer small shellfish such as shrimp or scallops on metal or water-soaked wooden skewers or cook them in a grill basket.

Grill fillets over medium to medium-low heat. Fish can cook quickly and it is easier to slow down cook time and monitor to not overcook.

Turn fish only once. (Flipping back and forth will break fish apart.)

If using a marinade, allow fish to soak up flavor for at least 30 minutes. Refrigerate while soaking in marinade.

If you are going to use the marinade as an extra sauce on top of the cooked fish or seafood, the marinade liquid must be boiled by itself for at least 5 minutes to cook out any bacteria that may be there from when the fish was soaking.

To grill shellfish in the shell, such as oysters, mussels and clams, place them directly on the hottest part of the grill. They're done when the shell opens. Discard those that don't open after about 5 minutes.

Three Tempting Grilled Fish Recipes:

Grilled Shrimp with Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa

Mediterranean Sea Bass

Simple Salmon

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Kabuki's Kitchen: Seafood & Melons

Today in Kabuki's Kitchen we're whipping up a melt-in-your-mouth delicious seafood casserole and serving it with seasonal melon for a high-protein, great tasting summer seafood taste. Enjoy!

Kabuki's Coastal Seafood Bake

Seasonal Melons

Link for more WLS Friendly Recipes.

7 Ways to Combat Evening Snacking Habit

Since old habits die hard I found this article about snacking in front of the telivision quite revealing. Take a look and see what Kathryn Martyn, owner of has to share with us - it applies even when we are LivingAfterWLS.

7 Ways to Stop Nighttime Snacking in Front of the TV

By Kathryn Martyn, M.NLP

Stop Being Influenced by Food Ads on TV

There is much in the news today about obesity and you can be assured that the food industry fully intends to place the blame squarely on the individual, despite the fact they spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year in an effort to entice us to buy more and more of their products. Children are especially vulnerable to the advertising for cereals, snack bars, crackers, cookies, candy, and fast foods. Colorful packaging, and now even colorful foods to encourage the little shoppers to badger their parents into buying the "convenient" snack packs for them. "Mommy I want it" is exactly the result advertisers are paying to obtain. They know that many adults will give in to the child's demands, just to "keep the peace."

If you live in modern society, you can't escape advertising. How many times have you been happily minding your own business when suddenly the TV screen flashes a big, juicy, something! Your stomach may start gurgling, your mouth starts watering, and the launch sequence for hunger has begun. Once the countdown starts, nothing can stop the launch into the kitchen, or for the seriously dedicated, out the door to go get something to eat. This can happen only an hour after a big dinner. The ads are designed to do this, and they work well as we prove with our food dollars every day.

Count the Food Ads

Next time you watch TV keep a note pad nearby and make a little hash mark every time you see a commercial that encourages you to eat. You'll also notice there are certain ads that seem to trigger the hunger response more than others. What is it about those ads? Do you start to mentally taste the food? Does it remind you of happy occasions? It can even remind you of unhappy occasions which then drives you to want something to eat because you "deserve" it.

Notice whether it is the people in the ad, the message itself, the words they use, even the background music or scenery? See if you can pin-point what, exactly, it is about the ad that draws you in. Notice what you don't like about ads that simply do not interest you. Play college student and do this as homework, and if you can get your kids to do it with you, all the better.

My son has come to me many times to tell me about something he's seen on TV and now wants me to buy. He gets caught up in the half hour infomercials and becomes so convinced their product is the single best thing, that it's difficult to change his mind.

Evenings are an especially rough time for dieters because of the over abundance of advertising for food. Seeing delicious things to eat can create the sensation of hunger until it becomes a patterned response. Turning on the TV then begins to make you hungry, even without the food cues.

7 Ways to Combat Evening Snacking Habit

1. Mute the commercials or switch to another channel (channel surfers already do this anyway). Not watching or hearing the ad can help enormously. Remember, out of sight, out of mind.

2. Use commercial break time to do housework. You'd be amazed at how much clutter you can clear in three or four minutes, and every hour you get at least four of these breaks.

3. Mute the ads and keep your hands busy until your show comes back on with a project like knitting, reading or finishing that book you've been writing.

4. Start a new business (then you're probably not in front of the TV anyway).

5. Step outside and breath some fresh air for a few minutes.

6. Exercise during the ads. Stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down, do this for a full minute. It's a great leg exercise. Use a kitchen chair rather than the couch to be kinder on your knees.

7. Move to another seat in the room. Sometimes just getting up from your usual spot in the room (the coach, or your favorite chair) and moving to another location can help, so can getting a glass of water. Sometimes it's thirst.

Be Willing to Experiment and You can Overcome the Allure of the Food Ads

The worst thing you can do is simply watch and then attempt to combat your growing desire to eat. Once the idea that you're hungry is planted, it becomes much more difficult to change your mind. Instead stop the idea from occurring in the first place by finding something else to do instead of watching another Burger King commercial.

Advertising only works when we're paying attention, either watching or listening. I've no quarrel with advertisers, I advertise my services too, but watching one hundred ads all featuring food after dinnertime is a bit much for anyone to endure. Food ads are designed for you to simply sit and be mesmerized by the flashing words, snappy slogans, colors and lights. Pay closer attention, or pay none at all, but either way you'll gain a much greater understanding of how advertising influences you.

~~ Kathryn Martyn, Master NLP Practitioner, EFT counselor, author of the free e-book: Changing Beliefs, Your First Step to Permanent Weight Loss, and owner of

Get The Daily Bites: Inspirational Mini Lessons Using EFT and NLP for Ending the Struggle with Weight Loss.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Lazy-Dazy Summer Making You Soft?
Time To Get Moving

I am considering my present physical activity and state of health and I'm not happy with where I am. I'm a little out of shape compared to a few months ago and that means one thing: Time to kick-up the effort for exercise. In the summer it's easy for me to lose perspective and think outdoor activity is enough to keep me in shape. Unfortunately this summer my outdoor activity seems to be more sitting in the shade visiting rather than actively moving my body. So for myself and for others in the same lazy-dazy-summer-boat here's a previous article on why exercise is so important for LivingAfterWLS.

Myth: Gastric Bypass Patients Don't Need to Exercise to Lose Weight
By Kaye Bailey

Nothing is more disappointing than hearing a gastric bypass patient brag that they didn’t have to exercise to lose weight. It’s true; patients will lose weight without lifting a finger. In fact, for many, the lack of physical effort required to lose weight is an appealing part of weight loss surgery. But patients who do not use the time of rapid weight loss to incorporate exercise into their lifestyle are doing themselves a grave disservice.

Obesity cripples the body. Bone tissues are compromised, joints are swollen, the vascular system is inadequate and the skeleton overburdened. Some morbidly obese people are so crippled from carrying excess weight they are confined to wheelchairs and scooters. They yearn to walk painlessly through a park or museum. When pre-operative patients imagine life after weight loss surgery I suspect there is no wheelchair, scooter or walking stick in that dream. Patients dream of mobility and strength in their bodies.

As weight is lost, the burden on the bones, joints and vascular system is decreased. And the body is a magnificent machine – given proper nutrition and physical motion it will rebuild its broken framework. The systems will become strong and vital.

The most effective way to heal the body from the ravages of obesity is to exercise.

Patients don’t have to jump up from the surgical bed and run a marathon; in fact, they never have to run. But they have to move their body: walk, stretch, bend, inhale and exhale. Patients who want to take full advantage of weight loss surgery must engage in daily physical exercise.

Exercise, however defined, is the most effective, most enjoyable, most beneficial gift one can bestow on themselves while recovering from life threatening, crippling morbid obesity. Patients who initiate an exercise regimen quickly after surgery report long-term success at weight. Exercisers seldom report weight regain.

There has never been a better time to become fit. Exercise philosophy has changed. Gone are the days of “make it burn” and “no pain, no gain.” Exercise experts say move your body 30 minutes a day, and the benefits will resonate throughout your being. Injuries are down and exhaustion isn’t the objective. Consistency is all that’s required. Fitness is no longer considered an exact science – we are given permission to find what works and enjoy it. Incorporate cardiovascular, flexibility and strength training into the exercise program: the three work in combination to help you become healthy, agile and maintain metabolism.

If quality of life is to be preserved – or restored – exercise is required. The body was designed to require a certain minimum level of physical activity. When physical activity is absent obesity results. Our bodies do not thrive when they are sedentary. It is therefore crucial to deliberately incorporate movement into our lives.

More than any other time in your life, following surgery the body is ready to respond to the benefits of physical motion. Surgery is the first step to better health and controlling obesity by restricting food intake. Following surgery is the golden opportunity to muster all the discipline possible and take a stand for a healthier, happier, longer and more productive life. Patients must exercise more than we have in the past and more than is convenient.

I implore patients, “Do not make the mistake of delaying your exercise program until the weight is gone. If you fail to exercise during the phase of rapid weight loss your skin will sag, your energy will lag and your metabolism will slow. Weight loss will be more difficult to accomplish. You will miss an opportunity to feel good about yourself as you set realistic fitness goals and achieve them. You will miss the euphoria from oxygenated cells. You will betray yourself.”

Copyright © 2005 Kaye Bailey - All Rights Reserved.
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Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy Independence Day Weekend
Message From Kaye

Hello everyone and Happy Independence Day Weekend. I’m sending out warm wishes for a safe and happy holiday celebration. If you missed the special edition of our newsletter “You Have Arrived – Independence Day Special” drop me an email and I’ll send it to you. There are three great menus with WLS friendly recipes for holiday celebration.

Normally our monthly edition of the newsletter would be published today. However with the holiday weekend at hand I’ve delayed publishing until Tuesday July 5. The edition features my essay “Our Daily Bread” and introduces a new contributor to the site – I can’t wait for you to meet him!

To my loyal readers I express heartfelt gratitude for being with me the last few months. The site experienced and unprecedented surge in growth that has left me awed and humbled. Take a look at the numbers:

Site traffic grew 263% in June over May
Subscriber list grew 470% in June over May
Reader comment increased 86% in June over May

Wow. Thank you so much for the support and vote of confidence. I look forward to seeing the site grow into a full-fledged support community. The feedback and encouragement from you has been so rewarding. There are so many people with inspiring stories, common struggles and a strong desire to be living after WLS. Thank you for finding this site and encouraging and inspiring me.

Some of the topics discussed in June hit home with so many of us. Snacking and weight regain are two topics we discussed, and we will continue to discuss because they present such challenge and frustration to us. A special edition of “You Have Arrived – Sensible Snack Solutions” is scheduled for publication the week of July 13. This is an essential topic to us that it warrants it’s own newsletter – I look forward to presenting it to you.

Thanks again for the support and kindness. Have a safe, healthy and happy holiday weekend. I’ll return to regular daily posting on Tuesday, July 5th.

Best Wishes,

The LivingAfterWLS Suite
Making Sense of It

As we are working toward a full-fledged community here at LivingAfterWLS we’ve brought into play several elements. Just to keep things straight here’s a little rundown on what we have to offer: is the “Mother Ship” the main website for us. Lots of articles and information – the site is updated twice a month. is the daily journal or “web log” or "blog" for LivingAfterWLS. This site offers readers the chance to comment or leave feedback. I try to add new things daily. This site contains success stories and recipes as well as general information and WLS inspired topics.

“You Have Arrived” newsletter is the monthly newsletter for our site available exclusively by subscription (unless you receive it from a friend, and we like that!) Each month one or two special editions are also issued.

Bloglet daily updates are an automatic service you can subscribe to through the site. Once a day you receive an email "bloglet" letting you know the blog is updated and introducing the topics of the day. A bloglet subscription automatically gets you the newsletters.

Link for our full subscription policy.