Life just keeps happening- whether we’re ready or not…

Success can be measured in the little things. Small triumphs today can change tomorrow.

So, maybe mozzarella sticks were not a healthy choice for breakfast but right now I don’t care! It’s been over a week since I had a cigarette and the last two days have been REALLY tough. I don’t know why, but last night I was even dreaming about sneaking a cigarette. That’s pretty bad!

Last Thursday I went to meet with the bariatric surgeon, and it went well. I do qualify but will have to go through the program for a minimum of six months and jump through all the hoops. I have to schedule appointments with a cardiologist (done), a pulmonary doctor, an endocrinologist (done) a psychiatrist (done), and be able to pee in a cup without any nicotine present (January 2nd!) before they’ll even see me again. Apparently a lot of people back out of the program when they have to actually do something for it, it seems they lack the commitment required.  I completely quit smoking that very day. I’m not doing this to be pretty, that ship has sailed, my skin will never be tight and toned because I am 48 years old and have 33 years of skin damage from nicotine. I am doing this so I can have quality of life, so I can breathe and move and do things I’ve had to give up. I want to play with my grandkids, and walk NYC with my daughter. I want to see the Smithsonian, ALL of it. I want to walk and enjoy the world around me. The doctor was talking about a patient that lost 300 pounds and had all kinds of ‘work’ done and now she looks fabulous. That’s great for her. I don’t have money for plastic surgery and that is not my main focus. I just want my life back. He says people back out when they find out that the skin will be loose, he said they’d rather be fat and that he wouldn’t be upset if I changed my mind. I looked him straight in the face and told him I didn’t care, I just want to live.

I’ve been cooking a lot, and counting every damn calorie I put in my mouth. I made my chicken soup that everybody loves and always ask for the recipe. Recipes are so hard to give since I don’t measure anything and I keep everything in my head and never write it down. I will try to make it comprehensible:

Chicken soup! Into the pot goes-

  • 3 quarts organic low fat low sodium chicken stock NOT broth
  • about 1 1/2 cups of chopped celery
  • about 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • about 2, maybe 2 1/2 cup tiny chopped carrots.
  • 1 whole roasted chicken worth of meat picked clean
  • a few good shakes of celery salt
  • quite a few good shakes of black pepper
  • 2-3 good shakes of rosemary
  • 3-4 crushed cloves of garlic (I use more)
  • I usually throw in either finely chopped cabbage (1/2 head) OR one package of chopped frozen spinach. It’s extremely healthy and the kids don’t even notice
  • AFTER the veggies are tender I add half a box of Pastini pasta (little stars) right into the pot, OR you can add Kluski Noodles PRE-COOKED! the Kluski Noodles will suck up all your broth!
  • Sometimes I throw in a cup or so of barley with the veggies instead of pasta/noodles, it is a healthy grain and blends in well tastewise.

WATCH YOUR LIQUID LEVELS!!!! Sometimes I have to add water! In which case I also add chicken base or broth cubes. Expect some of the broth to get sucked up if you keep it in the fridge, you may need to add more when you reheat.

 If you want a faux Zuppa Toscana you can add 1 1/2 pound of ground, cooked and drained (NO GREASE!) sweet Italian sausage, skip the noodles altogether, and add about 1 1/2 to 2 cups heavy cream with a couple shakes of red pepper flakes. That particular soup always tastes better the second day.

Remember! the less pasta you use the less carbs you get! Adding extra veggies and experimenting can be fun and healthy! Substituting barley for Pastini pasta is a healthy choice! Success can be measured in the little things. Small triumphs today can change tomorrow.

I’m breathing so much better now, I’m actually shocked at how much improvement I’m already seeing. I’m ready to start using the treadmill for about five minutes at a time- the bone spurs, degenerative discs and osteoarthritis in my spine won’t let me do more. I ordered a fat bathing suit after spending a 1/2 hour online trying to find fat bathing suits (it’s not fair that it is so hard to find fat sized clothing!), so I can join the local Y and get some water exercises going. I guess I’ll have to swallow my pride and do the walk of shame from the locker rooms to the pool. God I hope they have private booths for dressing otherwise I’ll be driving home in a wet bathing suit all winter. I am NOT changing in front of people. I don’t even look at myself in a mirror and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna undress in  a locker room. I almost cried when the surgical people took my picture for the ‘before and after’ part of my medical chart. Thank God I have my own treadmill at home (in a room with no mirrors). At least when  I go to the beach I can tell myself ‘these people don’t know me and I’ll never see them again’, going to a gym means you see the same people all the time. I can’t explain the panic and shame of knowing people are going to see me in a bathing suit four days a week, every week and watch me struggle to walk from the locker room to the pool. I really, really don’t want to go alone. Being fat sucks! It’s so much easier to face the world in bulky clothes, bathing suits leave all your flaws exposed.  HHHHHHHHAAAAAAHHHHHH! Such is life. Gotta bite the bullet to get to the finish line.

I am very grateful for all those who pray for me and cheer me on every day! I am also grateful to be able to say I am completely smoke free! I have definitely taken steps in my journey, and am already seeing benefits. Keep praying! Keep hoping! Keep dreaming!


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