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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Delicious Autumnal Menu

Hello Everyone!

This is one of the most requested menus from LivingAfterWLS. The menu was originally published on October 1, 2006 in the LivingAfterWLS Recipe of the Week newsletter. When the newsletter was published a grassroots butternut squash fan club emerged. People left the farmer's markets and produce stands with freshly harvested squash. They prepared the recipe and rejoiced - We love the Creamy Butternut Squash Bake.


If you are doing the 5 Day Pouch Test use the salisbury steak recipe for Day 4 of the plan. Enjoy the sauce sparingly. Save the squash and apple recipes for another day.

Salisbury Steak
1 pound ground meat of your choice
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
1 large onion, sliced
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed beef broth
1 can (4 ounces) mushrooms, drained
2 tablespoons cold water
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Mix ground beef, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and egg: shape into 4 oval patties, each about 3/4 inch thick. Cook patties in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally until brown, about 10 minutes. Drain excess fat from skillet. Add onion, broth and mushrooms. Heat to boiling: reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes.

Remove patties to a plate, tent with foil to keep warm. Heat onion mixture to boiling. In a small bowl whisk together water and cornstarch. Stir into onion mixture whisking to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil and continue whisking for 1 minute as mixture thickens. Serve sauce over meat patties.

Per serving using extra lean ground beef: 321 calories, 27 grams protein, 21 grams fat (8 saturated), 6 grams carbohydrate and 1 gram dietary fiber.

Per serving using lean ground pork: 354 calories, 24 grams protein, 25 grams fat (9 saturated), 6 grams carbohydrate and 1 gram dietary fiber.

Per serving using ground turkey: 225 calories, 25 grams protein, 11 grams fat (3 saturated), 6 grams carbohydrate and 1 gram dietary fiber.

Creamy Butternut Squash Bake
1 large butternut squash
1/2 cup sour cream, light
2 Tablespoons margarine/butter blend
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Wash and dry butternut squash. Leave whole. Pierce skin with a carving fork in 4 or 5 places. Place squash on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake in a 350F degree oven for 40 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

When squash is cool enough to handle cut lengthwise in two pieces. Remove and discard seeds. Spoon out squash into a casserole dish. Add sour cream and 1 tablespoon of the margarine/butter blend. Mash all ingredients together with a potato masher. Smooth mixture in casserole dish.

In a small bowl melt the remaining tablespoon of margarine/butter blend. Stir in breadcrumbs and Parmesan mixing to moisten. Sprinkle crumb mixture atop squash and sprinkle with grated nutmeg. Bake in 350F degree oven for 25 minutes.

Serves 4. Per serving: 199 calories, 7 grams protein, 10 grams fat (5 saturated), 22 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams dietary fiber.

Classic Baked Apples
4 large granny Smith apples
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons margarine/butter blend
4 tablespoons Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of salt

1 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1 teaspoon almond extract

Directions: Wash and dry apples. Slice each apple in two vertically, remove core. Spinkle cut side of apples with lemon juice. In a small bowl combine margarine/butter blend, Splenda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Sprinkle each apple half with the mixture. Bake in 350F degree oven for 30 minutes. While apples bake combine sour cream, Splenda and almond extract in a small bowl, stirring well. Cover and chill until serving.

Serve 2 apple halves topped with 2 tablespoons sour cream topping. Per serving: 211 calories, 3 grams protein, 14 grams fat (8 saturated), 20 grams carbohydrate and 3 grams dietary fiber.

Monday, September 24, 2007

New! 5 Day Pouch Test Website.

For You: The 5 Day Pouch Test Website

The response to Kaye's 5 Day Pouch Test has been amazing! Around the world people are taking control of their weight loss surgery tool to lose regained weight, to take control of their eating habits to succeed with weight loss surgery. The test works.

Now you have a one-stop destination for all things related to the 5 Day Pouch Test.


--Learn the Plan
--Get the Recipes
--Be inspired
--Take Control!

You can succeed with surgical weight loss, no matter what.

"During the past five days my pouch and I renewed our friendship. My body rewarded us with a 10 lb weight loss."
--Kressy, LivingAfterWLS Neighbor

5 Day Pouch Test

Another quality product from LivingAfterWLS, Ltd. Liability Co.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Neighborhood News

Hello Everyone!

Here is an update of some of the good things happening in our LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood: our safe haven circle of friends.

We have rolled-out a new section: The Global Neighborhood. In the interest of our growing population here in the Neighborhood we have added a new message board for Neighbors to connect geographically. At the bottom of your main screen you will find The Global Neighborhood featuring three forums that represent our current geographical demographics. The sub-forums are: North America, Europe and Southern Hemisphere. The North American Forum is broken into time zones for the United States. Canada and Mexico each have their own forum.

Use these forums to:
-- Connect with those in your geographical proximity
-- Seek live support groups and friendships
-- Discuss Neighborhood Hugfests
-- General chit-chat indigenous to your location

As our Neighborhood continues to grow throughout the world we will further customize this area of the Neighborhood for ease in usability and interactive alliance.

In Other News
Our good friend and IPB Guru Larry has been working long hours so that we now may custom select our skins (page graphics) to suit our personal tastes. Thanks Larry - You ROCK!
Learn more: Choose the Skin You're In

Join the Neighborhood Coffee Cup Swap and exchange a coffee cup with your LAWLS Neighbor.

Play Fun Friday for a chance to win a Free 3-Month Premier Subscription.

Premier Subscription Sale Continues!

To celebrate our growing community we are pleased to offer you extended packages on our premier Neighborhood subscriptions so you can fully benefit from all that the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood has to offer. Upgrade to Citizen membership now and create your own blog, upload your pictures to the gallery and enjoy access to all of the forums including the password-protected boards.


My Controls >> Options >> Purchase Paid Subscription

Become a Neighbor - Register Now!

In keeping with our safe haven environment your blogs and pictures will be private from the crawling eyes of search engines and the voyeurs who lurk on the web with unsavory intentions. Yet at the same time you will be comforted, accepted and embraced by those who understand the path you travel with weight loss surgery. You can be confident that your time spent in the Neighborhood will be free of advertising assaults that fatigue your eyes and distract your thoughts. This is a safe haven, a place of peace and security. You have made a difficult choice to have weight loss surgery, you deserve an online environment that will nurture and empower you to achieve your very best expectations.

Upgrade your membership today and enjoy an extended period on your Premier Subscription:

1 Month Subscription: $10 - Receive an extra week free! (.29 cents/day - 5 weeks)

3 Month Subscription: $24 - Receive an extra month free! (.20 cents/day - 4 months)

1 Year Subscription: $60 - Receive 2 extra months free!! (.14 cents/day - 14 months)

Benefits of Registration

For pennies a day give yourself the gift of a safe haven community where you can come, 24 hours a day, for inspiration, compassion and understanding in this, your very unique way of life.

Best Wishes,
Kaye Bailey

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Snacking vs. No Snacking after Surgical Weight Loss

Question from LivingAfterWLS Reader:
Am not a full (LAWLS) member yet, but think it's on the horizon for me..........I do get your recipe of the week and I have the Neighborhood Cookbook and I use it!

After reading and re-reading the 5 day pouch test, and the 4 Rules of living after WLS.................I am confused. I was at a "Back on Track" program in North Carolina and one locally and they both spoke often about snacks............the 4 Rules say NO SNACKS.........both of the other programs quoted and used Gallop's Glycemic Index and they talk snacks!

Answer from Kaye:
Thank you for writing.

I love it when someone tells me they are using the Neighborhood Cookbook - it does my heart good, thank you!

As for the No Snacking vs. Snacking philosophies in the WLS think tank: Just think of it as the Mason-Dixon line of the bariatric community. The American Society for Bariatric Surgeons has endorsed the Four Rules, including "No Snacking." However, there is now a rift in that professional community between snacking vs. no snacking. One side suggests 5 or 6 small MEALS a day with a focus on protein, and the glycemic index as you mention. The other group says absolutely no snacking because patients take liberties and snacking becomes grazing on non-nutritional foods and weight gain results (think pretzels, popcorn, crackers etc.) I think the reason the one group says "5 Meals" is because in this country the word "snack" is a euphemism for JUNK! Authentically, the mini meals (snacks) should be equal to one-half of the grams protein taken in a regular meal. This helps to balance and regulate the metabolic hormones: insulin and glucagon. White carbs are forbidden by both camps.

My standard reply is that one should always follow the exact advice from their specific bariatric surgeon and nutritionist.

My personal inclination is that we should listen to our bodies and use good sense. There are days when I go forever without eating and do not experience weakness, faintness or even hunger. So if I'm not hungry or uncomfortable I don't always eat all my meals. However, there are days when hunger gets me and yes, I'll take a snack, something with protein and fat like an egg, some cheese or even jerky. I just play it on the day and do the best I can to respect my body.

Response from reader:

I just want you to know how pleased and impressed I am that I heard back SOOOOOOOOO fast!

Weight Gain & Snacking

I can even see both sides, the big thing is the quality of the snack(s) and that's where many of us already have our issues! Thank goodness for people and sites like WLS, who knew?

YOUR TURN! Snacking or No Snacking? Comments welcome.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Kaye's Fat Bottom Girl Playlist

Last week I did the 5 Day Pouch Test with many friends from the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood. As part of my get back to basics plan I decided to pump-up my cardio workouts. Now, this little play list is going to age me, but I think it is a pretty good 46 minute workout. I call it "Fat Bottom Girl Workout" because I love the Queen classic of the same title and unfortunately, my regained weight landed on my bottom. The pace is quick - I average 3.8 and 4.2 miles per hour on the treadmill - and the time flies. I hope you'll enjoy! What's on your playlist?

PS-- I lost 3 pounds on the 5DPT!!! 7 more to go.

White carbs are non-nutritional slider foods

Hello Everyone!

We have been talking about getting back on track after a setback with weight loss surgery. Today I'm bringing forward a previously published article about avoiding foods that have no nutritional value. When we turn to these foods, namely processed carbs, we tend to get off track and gain weight. It seems we turn to these foods, often called "slider" foods because they are more comfortable in our pouch than protein is. They are called slider foods because they slip easily through the pouch and outlet without causing fullness or discomfort.

It is best to disallow these foods from the diet after surgical weight loss. If they have slipped into your diet I strongly suggest following the 5 Day Pouch Test to come off processed carbs and recommit to the high protein diet advised by bariatric centers. Carbohydrate withdrawal can cause headaches, dizziness or cramping and mood swings. This can be managed by consuming a small portion of fruit (orange, peach or melon), staying well hydrated and taking a dose of Emergen-C water supplement.

Avoiding Nutritionally Deficient Foods After Gastric Bypass

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 trans-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.

For a collection of gastric bypass friendly recipes visit LivingAfterWLS Recipes

Kaye Bailey © 2005 - All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Eight Years: Eight Lessons

This is an article from the You Have Arrived Newsletter (September 13, 2007) which marks my 8 year Arrivalversary. I am sharing it here for those who may not receive the Newsletter.

1. The tool requires maintenance. Just like a saw blade that needs sharpening, so does the weight loss surgery tool require maintenance. For me that means daily feedings of vitamins, copious water consumption, eating appropriate foods and a healthy dose of daily exercise. In addition, my maintenance plan includes an occasional 5 Day Pouch Test to give the tummy a break and remind me (and it) how it is supposed to work. Without maintenance the tool becomes worn down by use and occasional abuse. Maintenance keeps it in tip-top shape so that it may function in the way it was intended.

2. Even though my weight is fairly consistent I occasionally measure some of my personal self-worth by the size of my clothes or the number on the scale. I counsel others not to do this and speak of positive affirmations that celebrate each of us as whole beings. Yet occasionally I find my spirit lifted or diminished based solely on the size of my body. And I have decided this is OK because the ebb and flow of personal perception is what makes us, each of us, beautiful and unique individuals.

3. The same eating plan that helped me lose weight is most effective for weight maintenance. In the course of 8 years I've gone through phases of tweaking the post-WLS diet: adding grains or extra veggies or "healthy" sweets. Nothing works as well for weight maintenance as the basic weight loss surgery diet of lean-clean protein, light sauces, minimal veggies and fruits and no starches. I accept this and finally understand that the Four Rules are indeed for life. Finally accepting this is like the moment when Dorothy, wearing her ruby slippers, realizes she has had the power to go home all along.

Kaye's Regular Eating Plan

4. It is far easier to fall off-track than it is to get back on track. I have said it before: Nobody wakes up to say, "Today is the day I will fall off track." It happens quickly and often without notice for a variety of reasons. Getting back on track requires a deliberate plan and firm commitment. A support network is useful when trying to regain control of a the WLS tool and way of life.

5. There are some people in my life who I prefer do not know that I was once morbidly obese. To me this feels hypocritical and is reminiscent of the shame I felt when I was fat. As an overweight child I recall believing that being fat made me a bad and undesirable person. Perhaps it is this insecurity that makes me want to keep secret my obese past because I do not want to be judged bad or undesirable. I am working to accept this insecurity because I believe it allows me to have deep empathy and compassion for others. However, I'm still not quite comfortable whipping out a before picture and saying, "Do you want to see how huge I used to be?"

6. Though I consider myself fiercely independent I need support in life and in the weight loss surgery experience. For the first several years of my journey I traveled alone, save it for the kindness and support of my husband. The evolution of the LAWLS Neighborhood has given me the strength and power of many. I never need to feel alone and lost again. My dream is that no one will ever feel lost and alone with weight loss surgery.

7. There are days when I resent the hell out of my tool. I get tired of being concerned about what I need to eat and bored with eating the safe foods. I get hungry for old favorites that now do not agree with me. And once in a while I simply miss gluttony. These days pass, but they do exist. On most days I am forever grateful for my tool and my healthy life, but once in a while I'd like to shut-off the tool and go crazy with a hot fudge brownie sundae. Fortunately, fear keeps me in check.

8. If I had it to do over again I would take the same path I have traveled the last eight years. Surgical weight loss is not the easy way out and I expect in the next eight years I will face more challenges and learn more lessons as I continue to learn my tool. I wouldn't trade this last eight years for anything. I've learned to be healthy and learned to be confident. The struggles have been many but are far outnumbered by the successes and celebrations. I am grateful for this new life; I am grateful that I have arrived.

Thank you for celebrating this special day with me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

After Weight Loss Surgery:
What is a Regular Eating Plan?

Yesterday at the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood we engaged in a conversation about a normal eating day following weight loss surgery. You can read it here: An Idea of What You Eat in a Normal Day.

I was reminded of an article I wrote about my regular eating plan, back in 2005. Upon re-reading it I see I still follow the same pattern (except for this week while I am doing the 5 Day Pouch Test). No doubt to some my plan seems boring and unappealing. That is why we all need to find what works for us and follow that plan consistently. It was when I wavered from this plan last winter and allowed snacking into my day that I gained weight. Today I share with you this old article and plan that still works for me today, and I encourage you to find your own regular eating plan to make the most of your surgical weight loss experience.

If you have suggestions or ideas about your ideal eating plan please post a comment, or hop on over to the Neighborhood and add your 2-cents there! The more we know about how others are working a plan the better chance we have to create workable and effective plans for ourselves.

After WLS: What is a Regular Eating Plan?

By Kaye Bailey

After six years of living with gastric bypass I’ve finally come into a regular eating routine where I no longer fight against the gastric bypass nor do I battle the head games associated with eating restriction. I don’t believe what I do day-to-day is perfect but I know it works for me giving me optimum energy and good health.

Over time I’ve found if I strictly control my food choices for breakfast and lunch I can allow a bit more freedom and adventure in my evening meal. In fact, I enjoy wonderful variety and flavor in my evening meals. I seldom snack which I believe is the key to having maintained my weight loss.

For breakfast and lunch I eat the same things almost every day. Breakfast is most often 1/2 cup cottage cheese with 1/2 cup of Kashi Go-Lean High Protein cereal or cottage cheese with 1/2 cup sugar free jell-o or cottage cheese with 1 hard-cooked egg. I also have a cup of coffee about an hour after breakfast. (Coffee is not recommended during the phase of weight loss.) ((Sept. 2007 - I'm on the cottage cheese-hard boiled egg phase of my boring rotation.))

For lunch I enjoy tuna mixed with a little miracle whip, or canned chicken fixed the same. Sometimes I'll have shrimp (6-8 peeled) or those imitation seafood flakes. Usually I add a piece of low-fat mozzarella cheese and then some fruit, whatever is in season. If have lunch out I'll order a salad with the chicken and eat the chicken and taste the salad. I may order a sandwich and eat the insides, not the bread. I may taste the bread, but not eat much of it. ((This summer I've been big on left-over grilled chicken: thighs & breasts for my staple lunch.))

Now for dinner: that is when I get my variety. I cook at home almost every night of the week. I enjoy learning new recipes and often experiment with finding "safe" foods that both my husband, a normal eater, and I will enjoy. We eat fish twice a week, chicken and pork frequently and red meat once a week. We have essentially eliminated starch such as potatoes, pasta and rice from our regular diet. Remarkably, neither of us miss it or the heavy feeling it brings. Side dishes are generally steamed in-season vegetables or baked vegetables such as winter squash.

I imagine this all sounds very blah and basic. It took a long time to accept that if I eat my safe foods for breakfast and lunch I will feel good and chemically balanced all day. Dinners seem like such a treat because of the variety, so it is working for me (finally!). It takes a long time to resolve and accept a regular eating plan, but once established it feels like a comfortable place to be.

Kaye Bailey © 2005 - All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Carbs and Guilt: The Wicked Vicious Cycle

I think that most weight loss surgery post-ops will tell you that processed carbohydrates led to their obesity. After surgery during weight loss we live by the four rules or guidelines from our bariatric centers concentrating on a high-protein diet. Then somewhere along the line the snack monster attacks and we return to processed carbs. A little nibble here, a taste there. At first it doesn't slow down our weight loss so we test the water and more carbs come back into our diet.

Then the cycle is set and suddenly the scale reverses directions and we regain. This happened to me and it all started with an innocent graham cracker. Pretty soon it was stacks of graham crackers, then popcorn and then Nutter-Butter cookies. The snack monster had me firmly in its wicked grasp.

Not only did I gain weight from the carbs, I felt shame and guilt because I knew better and I promised my surgeon that I would comply with the rules. I committed for life to be a good bariatric patient and here I was doing the same thing that made me obese in the first place: mindlessly eating nutritionally void foods.

My cycle became predictable: a moment of lost willpower lead to a carb binge followed by a guilt binge and resolve to do better. I repeated the cycle often, sometimes more than once a day.

What I have since learned is that the carb monster is not necessarily a mental demon. The carb monster is the body's biological roller coaster that results with a blood chemistry imbalance. More often than not it has nothing to do with willpower or personal integrity. According to Drs. Richard and Rachael Heller in Carbohydrate Addicts, blood sugar swings are the leading physical trigger for carb cravings. They write, "High-sugar, refined starch, convenience and comfort foods feed the (carb) addiction like a drug. They produce correspondingly high blood sugar and insulin levels, which leads to more cravings. They also produce higher levels of the brain chemical serotonin. In sensitive people, particularly those who may have low serotonin levels to begin with, a carbohydrate binge is the equivalent of self-medicating, just to get the sugar high.”

I realized that not only am I a recovering morbidly obese person, I am a carbohydrate addict. That’s why I was spinning out of control when I broke from the high protein weight loss surgery way of life.

Read Bamagal's: The Protein Dilemma

According to The Merck Manual of Medical Information, “The theory behind high protein, low carbohydrate diets is that slower-burning energy sources – protein and fat – provide a steady supply of energy and thus are less likely to lead to weight gain. In addition, people tend to feel full longer after eating protein than after eating carbohydrates, because carbohydrates empty from the stomach quickly and are digested quickly. Carbohydrates also strongly stimulate insulin production, which promotes fat deposition and increases appetite.”

Clearly if I was going to return to the same addictive carb cycle as before weight loss surgery I would also return to rapid weight gain and ultimately morbid obesity. My only choice if I elected to keep the weight off was to follow the four rules and eat a high-protein low-carbohydrate diet for the rest of my life.

Is this easy? Heavens no. We live in a world full of temptations where it’s easy to be obese. I, like many of the LivingAfterWLS Neighbors, have recommitted myself many times again to following the protein first rule. When I succeed I enjoy more energy, fewer mood or blood sugar swings and overall better health. And I don’t gain weight. The easiest way for me to follow the protein first rule is start the day with protein and have my meals planned. If I start the day with carbs, even something presumably healthy like whole-wheat toast and peanut butter, the carb-cycle begins.

Understanding the role that carbohydrates play in my nutrition has been helpful in sticking to the high protein, low carbohydrate way of life. It releases me from the self-loathing and guilt that I associated with a lack of willpower. The carb binge is not necessarily about being out of control mentally or emotionally. A carb binge is the body’s attempt to regulate blood sugar, which escalates into a recurring need or drive for starches, snack foods, junk foods or sweets.

The easiest way to avoid this vicious cycle that feeds on itself, over and over, is to follow the guidelines we committed to when we promised our surgeons we would be good weight loss surgery post-ops. They gave us the tool and the rules; now it’s our turn to prove ourselves!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Pouch Test: One Neighbor's Story

Hello Everyone! I hope you had a nice long weekend full of LIVING and wellness. It was a busy weekend in my world and more than once I was grateful for my health and physical fitness as we engaged in numerous activities without respite. I realize that as a morbidly obese person I would have sat on the sidelines on such a busy weekend - but as a healthy weight fit person I played first team and loved every minute of it.

By now you know that I believe in the 5 Day Pouch Test. We first published it here on August 13, 2007 and since that time numerous LivingAfterWLS Neighbors have taken the challenge to reclaim their pouch and get back to the basics that support surgical weight loss. Today I present to you (with permission) the posted notes of one woman who completed the test last week. Backtracker, AKA Lisa, joined our Neighborhood on August 22. She started the pouch test on August 28 and five days later was celebrating a tight pouch, a sense of accomplishment -- and she had lost 6 pounds. I think you will be inspired by her story - I know that I am.

Forum Link: Have I broken my pouch?

On August 22, 2007 Backtracker introduced herself, "I'm new to this site, but not to Kaye's newsletters. I'm a little over 2 years post-op and her newsletter asking if the pouch is broken caught my eye. I've been guilty of the slider foods, and yes they do go down more easily than protein. I've decided to backtrack and get back to basics and that's why I've joined." The following are Backtracker's posts chronicling her 5 Day Pouch Test:

August 25, 2007
Grazing has been my downfall, but all that is changing. I have resolved to get back on track and Monday I'm starting the 5 Day Pouch Test. I've also grown lax in exercising, so I'm getting back into that as well. It's back to basics for me. I've changed my mental attitude and have stopped feeling sorry for myself. Getting active in the Neighborhood is another tool for me.

Reading about JudyPetite's experiences has truly been inspirational for me. The tool will always be there. It also brought home the importance of sharing our experiences with others because you never know what will help someone else. After all we are in this together!

August 28, 2007
I need to check in and give a report on my progress, but first I want to say something to Robin. I have gotten nauseated before from protein drinks too. What helps me is to drink some hot tea. Yesterday I drank green tea if I felt that little rumble starting to happen and it worked great. I bet chicken or beef broth would have been acceptable too. (Am I right, Kaye?) ((Yes – broth is a good liquid, and sugar-free Jell-o is also good at this stage of the test.))

Read more about dizziness and dehydration after weight loss surgery

I just finished my 30 minutes of exercise that I committed to do as part of my plan. I must confess I did have a mental conversation with myself to convince me to do it, but I'm a Gemini, so I can get away with it. Anyway I did it, and I felt great afterward. I discovered a need for a second exercise: not to watch real-time television these first two days as there are so many food ads. I just don't want head hunger to enter into the equation.

Easy Walking Program

I didn't feel physically hungry at all. I swapped tea for coffee as I find tea to be soothing to my pouch. I drank lots of water, pretty much sipping it all day. I had three protein drinks.

For those of you thinking about doing this, it helps having a buddy. If you don't know someone, post to the list and I bet you'll have a taker. Deb asked me if I'd be her buddy and I was thrilled. It really does help because you don't want to let your buddy down.

Support: Another LivingAfterWLS Power Tool

August 29, 2007
My buddy and I are on day 3. I'll let Deb share her progress with you. I got confused and bought salmon for dinner only to discover (thankfully in time) that it will be for tomorrow's dinner. Back to the store in a bit to find a softer fish.

I got my exercise in, which came easier today than yesterday. I have a recumbent bike that I'm riding so I don't have to deal with the hot Texas weather.

This has been a good experience for me. This program works on the mind every bit as much, if not more, as it does on the pouch.

August 30, 2007
This is day 4. My pouch literally has tightened up! I hadn't expected it. I guess I expected more of an awareness that the pouch still worked. I can never eat as much in the morning anyway, but right now I really don't want to eat. I'm sipping hot green tea to coax my pouch a bit, because I know how important it is to get in my protein.

This has been a very important Aha Moment because now I realize how I slipped into the carb pattern. As I found to be true with near death experiences, it's one thing to read about them and comprehend, but it's so much more to gain the perspective from having had the experience. I'm so glad I'm doing the Five Day Pouch Test.

September 1, 2007
I was so focused on working the plan that when some pretty heavy duty obstacles came my way this past week, I didn't let them affect my food. I think the length of the plan had a large part to play in my ability to overcome the obstacles. So now I have to think about what I can do for the long term so I don't cave when obstacles come my way.

One of the things I'm tossing around in my head: Is there a way of working the program for five days at a time and then renewing on an ongoing basis? Maybe changing up the program a little from week to week would be involved. Any input would be appreciated.

((Kaye's Note: Back to Basics will be the topic of discussion throughout September here at the LivingAfterWLS Blog, the Newsletters and the Neighborhood.))

I neglected to mention that I lost 6 pounds while I was on the 5 Day Pouch test. Felt like the good old honeymoon days! If that's not incentive, I don't know what is.

September 2, 2007
In encouragement to another LivingAfterWLS Neighbor Lisa wrote, "I just finished the pouch test. How much of your hunger is head hunger? Are you drinking as much water as you should? Try sipping it throughout the day. Something else I found helpful was drinking hot green tea. It was very soothing to my pouch. Activity is the other thing that can get your mind off of food, be it exercise, housework, gardening, or perhaps a hobby you enjoy."