Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Endurance Training & the Sleeve

A lot of people ask me how I can get in the calories I need to in order to train for endurance events with a sleeve. In the early days after most weight loss surgeries, most people have trouble getting in their 800 calories a day and can't imagine eating 1200 or 1600 let alone 2000, 3000 or more.

However, as people who struggle with regain know, over time it gets all too easy... you learn what you have to do to get in the food you need and/or want. The trick for me is to figure out how to eat enough to fuel my workouts, but not in a way that I am breaking all the good habits I learned when I was only able to eat a small amount. A secondary goal is to not to wake up the Carb Monster with his incessant cravings.

I have a number of strategies that are divided into three types of eating: Bariatric Eating, Fueling and Indulgences.

Monday, April 26, 2010

114 :-)

That's what my scale said on Saturday. Or was it Friday? Anyway, since I posted a whining, complaining post about getting up to 119 in the winter, I figured I better post that I'm back down. I pretty much expected this to happen but I wasn't 100% sure as being able to maintain without a struggle is still pretty new to me. (Hence the winter angst.)

I'm trying to gain muscle right now and actually don't really want the scale to be going down. My goal was to lose 3-5 lb. of fat and replace it with 3-5 lb. of muscle. I'm losing the fat, but the muscle gain has been smaller than I'd like. I'm trying to eat more to combat that and, so far, it's been HARD. Now that's a shock.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Protein is up!

When I saw my PCP for my eye infection, I also talked to her about my protein and that the lab didn't measure my albumin. So she had them redo everything. I got protein, albumin and pre-albumin. And, this time, my protein was almost normal! It was 6.3 and normal starts at 6.4. My albumin is back to where it was pre-op as well. My pre-albumin is also in the normal range.

So I think I'll keep eating a lot of protein and see what happens. I'm hoping eventually all those numbers will be in the middle of the range instead of the low end.

It does seem like they continue to trend up and the 5.8 number is an aberration. Maybe it was just a bad draw.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Choosing Satisfying Foods

It's been a while since I revisited the 50 Tips for becoming a "normal" eater. This next section is one near and dear to me as it's something I actually figured out on my own and it has changed my life and started me on the path to having a normal relationship with food.

It's really all about eating what satisfies you and not what society thinks is satisfying or you think you "should" be eating. In fact, I wrote a whole blog post about it once talking about my "worth it" scale of food choice.

Anyway, the tips are:

Don’t get hung up on what other people are eating, but ask yourself what you would like to eat.

Never eat without stopping to consider what you want first. Spend time making a satisfying choice.

Showdown @ Sundown - First Tri of the '10 season

Along the lines of "best laid plans" comes my first triathlon of the season, which took place yesterday.

I was so psyched for this one. First of all, instead of starting at the crack of dawn, like so many tris do, it started at 4:00 pm! And, instead of getting yet another floppy, too-big-for-me t-shirt, they gave out socks! I love socks.

I got there way too early, around 12:40 pm and had picked up my race packet and set up my transition area well before 2:00 pm. There were a lot of people doing their first triathlon in my rack and I talked to them and encouraged them just like people had done to me last year. It was so much fun to be the experienced one.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Best laid plans

I think the worst part about being injured isn't the injury. Sure, it sucks to be in pain and it sucks to not be able to do things that you used to be able to do. Still, the worst part -- at least for a control freak like myself -- is what it does to your plans. Having grand plans and seeing them fall apart is very frustrating to me.

It started with IMAZ. My big plan was that I'd do Big Kahuna (BK) and after that I'd know if I wanted to move up from a Half-ironman (HIM) to an Ironman (IM). If I didn't like doing Big Kahuna, I wouldn't sign up for IMAZ. But, with the injury, I didn't do BK. So then I had to decide if I wanted to do IMAZ blind. (I decided to do it, in case you were wondering.)

The next plan to fall apart was my plan to cross-train like mad all winter. I ended up taking off most of Dec. to heal up instead. Then, it took me a lot longer to get back in the groove than I expected so I wasn't putting in the hours or the training I was doing last year to get ready for BK.

The end result is that I'm doing Wildflower as my first HIM. Undertrained and injured. Gulp.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

NUT consult

I promised my PCP that I'd see my NUT about my low protein so today I called her and we had a consult over the phone. The first thing she said was that I need my albumin number as that's a more accurate indication of my protein status. Told you!

Anyway, I'm going to make some tweaks to my diet. Less nuts -- apparently not only do they have very little protein but it's not very bioavailable -- and more eggs. Guess I have to stop being so lazy and make more hard-boiled eggs!

Plus there are some new recipes for egg bites I've been meaning to try, but just haven't had time.

I'm also going to drink a protein drink in the afternoon. Hopefully that will allow me to overcome my protein bar addiction. (I keep saying I don't want to eat so many protein bars but then I keep buying them!)

I'm going to do this for a few months and get retested. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Misadventures of Madcap Mac (Wildflower Training Weekend)

What a weekend I've had!

This weekend is my club's annual Wildflower Training Weekend. We go down to Lake San Antonio, camp out, and try out the course. I've been looking forward to it ever since I did Wildflower last year. I took Friday off from work and even convinced Mr. Mac to come down with me. We decided we'd take the  RV (a.k.a. The Behemoth) and have an over-the-top camping experience.

Things went pretty well at first. We did most of our packing the night before, ran a few errands in the morning, and were off by 12:15 pm, only 15 minutes later than planned. We deliberately allowed ourselves a lot of time to get there because The Behemoth isn't very fast and sometimes she's finicky.

So we're driving down Hwy 101 looking at the scenery, Mr. Mac driving, and me trying to catch up in my "Succeeding with Agile" book for my work book club. We get about 30 min. south of Salinas -- 2/3 of the way there -- when the engine sputters. And dies. Mr. Mac does his best to get her to go all the way to the exit, but we drift to a stop about 100 yards away. The exit and its Chevron station are there, taunting us, as we sit by the side of the road getting rocked by every semi and RV that passes.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hair = Good; Protein = Bad

The good news is that I haven't lost any hair in over a month. I'm not even losing any in the shower these days so that means I'm losing less hair than I was pre-op!

The bad news is that my protein is lower than ever. Unfortunately, the doc who ordered my labs is an idiot and only had them test my protein instead of doing a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel like my regular doc would have ordered. So I have no idea what my albumin level is. And that's important because low albumin could indicate liver disease. Especially if the BUN is also low.

Last time my albumin and other numbers were fine which made the low protein less troublesome. Without the comprehensive panel, though, I have no context for the protein number.

So tomorrow I get to call the office and bitch and get them to order the proper tests.

In the meantime, my PCP wants me to see a nutritionist. I'm happy enough to do that, but I know my nutrition isn't the issue. I eat plenty of protein from a wide variety of sources. I eat 120 to 150 g of protein a day from a combination of meat (chicken, pork, beef), eggs, dairy, soy and whey. I'm not sure what else I can do!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Winter '10 Edition

Yes, technically it's Spring. But apparently the weather doesn't know that. So, as far as I'm concerned, it's still Winter.

The Good: Drove down to Santa Cruz to swim in the ocean for Easter.

The Bad: The water was cold and choppy -- both the coldest I've swum and the choppiest. The first 20 minutes, we only got out to the edge of the pier.

The Ugly: I haz had hypothermia. I managed to scare myself and a bunch of other people too.