How many more pounds should I lose

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Beyond 100 Pounds - __?__ and a Haircut

I know, I know. What the heck does that mean: __?__ and a Haircut? Well, it means that I am honoring a promise I made to Eileen (and others) that when I hit 100 pounds lost I would shave off my beard. Today I did that, after 32 consecutive years of having one. So I went to Lou, my barber for 40 years and said, "Off with it, Lou." I did not waver a bit, of course with a 4-person cheering section I had no choice. It took 15 minutes and then a few more to remind me how to shave and I am now clean-faced again. Amusingly when I stepped outside I said, "My face is cold!" Duh!

Here are the before, during and after pix:

I feel no different but the consensus is that I look 10 years younger. I'll let you be the judge.

Turkey Day tomorrow at my sister, Linda's. I have already listed my do-s and don't-s, which was mostly don't-s but I have decided to have some salmon dip. She makes it better than anyone and since I had a dream I was enjoying it, I concluded it must be right. (I hope I dream about mashed potatoes tonight)

The weight report shows 102 pounds lost through today. As predicted I have slowed down a little though I am eating less than 1300 calories per day.

Eileen and I celebrated at Le Bernardine in NY and, yes, I brought my  goodie bag with me. Since it is French cuisine the portions were small but no complaint from me; I left stuffed!

Finally, I went for a new pair of jeans yesterday and was pleased and chagrined that I am between sizes and will have to wait 10 more pounds before getting a pair that would fit. I am down from a 55 waist to a 39, which as we all know doesn't exist. For the naysayers among you, I brought a clothing consultant with me (Eileen) who, after making me try on more than a dozen pairs at three different stores, reluctantly concluded that I would need to wait for 38's to fit well. (Any complaints about that may be addressed to her)

Have a good holiday tomorrow, don't eat too much and I will be thinking of you as I eat my broccoli for dessert. (LOL)


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Yes, I Did!

Okay. I know 99 is not 100 but ...... it's close enough to say I did it, right?

I have decided to keep going. I want to lose another 12 or so but I will take my time. I need to start increasing my calories from my current 1100 or so up to the 2300 that is my daily breakeven. So I will naturally keep losing weight without trying very hard.

Then comes the rest of my life. People have asked me:

Are you going to keep counting calories? Yes, until I trust myself not to have to.
Are you going to exercise at long last?     Yes, I will. I have been saving it as my secret weapon to          
                                                              continue weight maintenance when I was done. (How's that for
                                                              a great rationalization? Thanks to my brother for figuring that one
Are you going to eat pizza again?            Yes, maybe a piece or 2 every now and then. However, I am
                                                             fearful of eating greasy or oily food because my system hasn't
                                                              seen it for so long, it may make me sick.
What are going to do on Thanksgiving?  This is easy! I won't have: salmon dip, corn chips, onion dip,
                                                             veggie dip, raw veggies, gravy, bread, crackers, dressing,
                                                             ketchup, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and seconds of
                                                             turkey. Ditto pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, cherry tarts,
                                                             apple pie, jello mold, ice cream or sprinkles.
                                                             I will: bring my own salad+dressing, cooked broccoli and some
                                                             plain green beans for dessert. (Linda: read above)
Will you keep writing your blog?            Most definitely. This journey has no end.
How is your book coming along?           I will be getting my book proposal out next week, I hope with
                                                             my friend, Carrol's, help. She is eager to see me succeed.
When will you get some clothes that fit?  Next week
What is the big surprise you mentioned?  I will reveal all in 2 weeks.

Thanks for all your support, as always.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Can I Reach 100 in 6 Months? YES, I Can

Three weeks before my first 6 months are up and I need to lose 11 pounds to reach my  doctor-recommended, primary goal of  a 101 pound loss. Right now I have been losing about 10-12 per month so I need to step it up to hit my target. The good news is I have been stuck at 90 pounds down for almost a week, another dreaded plateau of no weight loss over several days. However, in my upcoming book, assuming it gets published, I show how to mentally overcome the annoying but frequent plateaus that can interfere with your continued weight loss. If you would like to buy the book some day, answer the poll question at the end of this blog. That is, if I ever figure out how to post the poll question! (I just figured it out)

I have updated my blog in other ways - I finally got around to posting some before and after pictures as well as a few comparisons. Eileen tells me the "afters" don't do justice to my new trimmer figure but I will add more over the next few weeks. Let me know with a comment below if you can tell the difference. 

I was going to include today some of my ideas for my after-diet, new life, including one MAJOR surprise but Eileen tells me we have to go shopping for some jeans and shirts (again) now. Though I dislike clothes shopping, I like the idea that they keep getting too big and for the right reason.

By my next posting I will have also added a sample from my book, "I'm Michael and I WAS Fat" and hopefully another poll question. (see the disclaimer above about my technical lack of know-how)

Oh yes, I almost forgot: I am working on a new sideline: post-op weight loss coach. Details to follow.

If you have any questions about anything, write to me at: All thoughts are welcome.


Would you buy my book, "I'm Michael and I WAS Fat"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Look! There's the Finish Line!

4 months 2 weeks, 83 pounds down, 18 to go.

  • I am no longer heavy, just overweight (YEA)
  • I have decided that after I get to 101 pounds lost in 6 months I will lose another 10 (slowly)
  • I have not yet determined how to add calories to get to the 2300 I need to stop losing weight (I am still at 900-100/day)
  • I had my first beer. Dr. Abkin said I could have one every now and then. It was only so-so, causing a little discomfort.
  • My book proposal is almost ready for submission. For those who do not know, I am writing a self-help book called "I'm Michael and I WAS Fat" that will discuss an important but overlooked topic in a crowded field of diet books: sharing the mental process that leads to permanent weight loss success
  • More new clothes- jeans for the first time in 20 years (42 reg-fit waist down from 55 -relaxed fit)
  • I may not need the food scale soon, Eileen has an amazing eye for what foods weigh.
  • Speaking of Eileen, thanks again for signing the document that gives you the right to oversee my diet (ie. nag). Your constant reminders to eat slowly, chew completely and concentrate on my meals have kept me from "getting food stuck" and your listening has allowed me to understand the issues
  • Thanks also to everyone who has supported me; your good thoughts have given added strength


PS Happy birthday, Mom. ly

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Judgmental People and other annoying stuff

For starters, take another look at that weight loss total on the ticker above. Yup! 75 down, 26 to go. Admittedly, when I get to my goal I probably won't stop at that point, maybe lose another 10 or so but..goals are goals and I am almost there!

I promised to mention the bet I foolishly made and as of today I have now won. I bet my nephew months before I even started the diet that I would lose 75 pounds by the time I went to Hawaii in January. In January! Yet here it is September 8th and I have won already. Sorry, Marc. Now, why was it a dumb bet for me? Because we bet a big dinner at Don Pepe Steakhouse, that's why. Big to me is a salad and an appetizer. Big to him is a chorizo appetizer and a 28 oz steak. Not good odds for me but I am glad I won. (He's glad, too)

I went to a birthday BBQ last weekend (Happy b-day Michele and Stacy) and saw many people who hadn't seen me in the last four months. Boy, were they ever surprised at how I look. Many of them offered me congratulations on how well I am doing. It still feels good to hear. However, I was surprised by a few who remain convinced that if I had just a little willpower and stick-to-it-ness, exercised more, I wouldn't have needed the LapBand. I guess that many people feel that way but (mercifully) don't share those thoughts. Imagine telling a lung cancer patient during their chemo they should have used more willpower and not smoked. Not to mention that numerous studies show that fat people "see" food differently than normal-weight ones.

To everyone who was interested at the party, I shared the essence of how I have come to view obesity and the LapBand. Some normal-weight people may argue with my ideas but unless you are fat (I find the word obese a little condescending) you are not in a position to disagree:

1- Fat people are fat because they usually don't process that they are full. This may be behavioral or physiological but the effect is the same.

2- Fat people fail on diets because they eventually get hungry. It doesn't matter what "trick" of the day they are using: Jenny Craig, Atkins, South Beach, etc. At some point they get hungry and then they will fail.

3- The LapBand, your little friend, whispers two important things to you: You are full and You are not hungry. That means that with a LapBand, you can go on a diet of your choosing and be successful. 

That is what I have done. Gone on a diet and have succeeded (so far) because I am not hungry.

Having said that, there are plenty of anecdotes about LapBanders who have failed. DUH! Merely having a LapBand doesn't guarantee success, you have to watch yourself forever. It won't prevent you from slurping milk shakes or eating ice cream. However, if you are thoughtful about your ongoing approach to food, you cannot fail because you can NEVER OVEREAT AGAIN. No more large pizzas, or double orders of fries or ... you get the picture. The LapBand is your friend!

Finally, a lot of people have questioned my commitment vis-a-vis the exercise thing. It will come in due time. It doesn't make me a bad person because I haven't started (AND my doctor has requested once again as of last week to wait before I start). So, PLEASE don't impose your value system on me and I promise not to impose mine on you. It makes me think of a clever sign I intend to get made: Enter but please leave your "shoulds" at the door.

Next update: My surgeon has requested me to share my insights with new potential patients. 


Monday, August 29, 2011

Say good-bye to the XXX rating forever (This blog is PG)

OK. I know what you are all thinking: "What the heck is Mick talking about? Could it be ..." 

Nope. The XXX rating I mention above refers to my SHIRT size. I have been promoted or demoted, depending on your perspective, to a XX, which I must admit is also a little big right now. I anticipate ending up in merely an extra-large which is one of the "regular" sizes. (Thank you, Linda S for making that distinction sound so delightfully normal)

I face the pleasant conundrum of either continuing to "swim" in the XXX shirts or add to the temporary wardrobe I am accumulating. In the old days, when I was the human yo-yo, I used to keep all of my clothes at every weight, knowing that at one time or another in the near future they would fit again. But now that I am on a permanent elevator down, that idea sounds more pessimistic than I feel. 

EB and I took the kids and grand-kids to Woodloch Pines resort last week.
Look here to see what the layout of the place is:

It is like camp for everyone with activities starting at 9:00 am and running through an evening show. One itsy, bitty little problem is that the food is served Catskill-resort style, ie. order everything and anything you want from the extensive menu. In the past, I was like a food Terminator, wolfing down appetizers of shrimp cocktails, mozzarella sticks, Caesar's salad, nacho dip, salsa, chips. Then came the main course of filet mignon, lobster tail, cavatelli, roast chicken, potatoes, and (ugh) veggies. Save room for dessert though because you need to eat the mudpie with cookies and cream ice cream on the side. You get the picture. I must admit that last week I was good, and Eileen is sitting next to me, nodding vigorously, that I was really, really good. I had 4 oz of shrimp, a small salad and then 6 oz of filet with 3 oz of baked potato. No dessert. 

HOWEVER, it was hard to watch everyone else pig out and not be able to join them. This was my first genuine moment of weakness, but I didn't succumb. I know that I will have to be strong many times in the future, LapBand or not, so I feel satisfied with having passed this difficult test. Jake and ZZ were very good in keeping me resolute, reminding me when I need it the most how good I look and to keep it going. 

(I must admit that I really do have occasional self-doubts that I can maintain this level of resoluteness forever. What helps me through those periods is remembering that with the LapBand I essentially walk away from every meal satisfied and full. The key to my journey is not being hungry as I diet, so as long as I can maintain that satiety then I will be okay. BUT ... looking at that mudpie .....)  

The exercise report: I haven't decided whether or not to be honest about it, so I will defer that update until the next blog. 

C u at 75 pounds lost...right after Labor Day I hope
Come back and hear about the steak dinner I win at that level! (Talk about dumb bets on my part)


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Week 15: Next up: Exercise! aka "Get off your (less-fat) butt."

Everyone wants to know when I am going to start exercising regularly and why haven't I done it to date. Here goes: I'm LAZY!

I confess, exercise is not something I want to do. First of all, I know how little it contributes to the true weight loss results. If I walk for 45 minutes at a 3 mph pace, I will only burn 378 calories. Compare that number to the 2000+ I have been saving by eating less and you can see that the weight-loss benefits of exercise are minimal. BEFORE YOU START BARRAGING ME WITH EMAILS, I acknowledge that exercise will enhance my overall fitness and thus contribute mightily to the mental aspect of dieting. I got that.

But . . . I am lazy.

So what's a former fat guy (I am just heavy now, YEA!) to do? I guess it is time to start doing it for real. I'll begin with the treadmill 5 times per week and take it from there. Hang on, it's the phone....

OK. What just happened is know as serendipity. Others would call it a crazy coincidence, which is what serendipity means. I call it a SIGN. I just and I mean, JUST, got a phone call from my blood pressure specialist's office. My blood work was perfect EXCEPT my HDL's were low and my doctor recommends I ...... EXERCISE more. Now if that isn't a good reason to stop typing and skedaddle downstairs where the treadmill is, well then I just don't know. . .


I'm back. I survived it. I feel good. That is all for now. Fingers too weak to type.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

They said it would be tough - BUT THEY WERE WRONG

I just took my first vacation with my new, dear friend - no, EB and I are still together. I mean my new dear friend, the Lapband. Close friends and family were concerned that I might not be able to maintain my rigorous calorie-conscientious agenda. After all, when I am home, even when I am eating out for dinner, I have a lot more control over my intake. But on vacay? Could I do it?

The answer is: "YES, I CAN!"

We went to Wentworth by the Sea just outside of Portsmouth, NH with our summer traveling companions, Stu and Sheila. This is our 4th trip here and if you are looking for a beautiful ambiance with loads of nearby activities, I recommend this resort.

On the way up, it was a 5 hour drive, we stopped for lunch at a random diner I had found on my Magellan Nav- she picked a good one because I ordered a garden salad and a hamburger - very well done as always. (which reduces the fat content to almost nothing)I used my own calorie-free yellow mustard and a zero calorie dressing I brought with me. Total: 175 calories.

We met our friends here and then planned our dinners for the week. They were very sensitive to my needs but I assured them it would be fine. Night after night we wined and dined at the best restaurants Portsmouth and environs has to offer. My dinners consisted of a salad at every meal (with my dressing) and either a shrimp cocktail, a hamburger or some local fresh fish along with some baked potato or steamed veggies. The protein was 5-6 ounces, the baked potato was 3-4 ounces and the veggies were negligible. Several meals were accompanied by a glass (4-6 ounces) of wine but I never had more than one.

Breakfasts were easy: 1 cup mixed berries, 1 piece of toast with my calorie-free butter spray, 3-4 ounces of lox and 2-3 egg whites (hard-boiled)

Lunches were typically a salad with or without grilled shrimp on top. The concierge lounge served goodies around 5:00 but I resisted anything more than the veggies with an occasional glass of wine.

My calories for the week ranged from 750 to 1050 for the day. Yes, you heard correctly: I have finally gone over 800 calories in a day after 83 consecutive days under that amount! I have no regrets because eventually in the next 3 months I will need to start s-l-o-w-l-y increasing my intake.

Finally, a bit of other good news: Eileen and I went for several early morning walks of 45 minutes or so. I was none the worst for the wear: no huffing or puffing and I look forward to resuming the treadmill when we get home. Also, my blood pressure issues (I was ranging on the low side with my medications) have been straightened out so I don't fear lightheadedness anymore either.

For a change I am posting a picture of me at a restaurant. Notice my bottles of mustard, butter-free spray and 2 types of dressing. 

C U in a few weeks at 67 down, 33 to go!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer - Heat, BBQ's and Plateaus

Boy is it hot out today! I guess no matter where you are in the country you are feeling it. Don't know much about global warming but I sure wish I could have a beer. For those of you who don't know, carbonated beverages are not allowed to us lapbanders. I haven't figured out if that is a forever thing or just temporary. It is on my list of questions for my next post-op appointment. 

Which brings me to my next point, sort of. Now that I am down 55 pounds (in 73 days) today, I found out I sweat less in the heat. I know, I know ... DUH! But it's true. Furthermore, I was able to walk with a spry step from the parking lot then several blocks today, none the worst for it. Up a flight of stairs, no huffing and puffing and voila I felt "normal." I've been doing a lot of that recently, feeling normal that is, I get hungryish around 1230 then again at 700 since I have gotten used to the 3-meal-a-day plan. Also, my calories are split evenly between the day now. I used to "save" my calories for one large dinner-fiesta that frequently turned into an orgy.

However, I went to a BBQ a few days ago and didn't feel so normal. Our hosts had prepared an appy of turkey sausage on the grill, of which I had a few small very well-done (my preference) pieces. No white wine for me as the others sipped away and no salad since it was an exquisitely prepared Caesar's. While they dined on steak and chicken I had 2 small hamburger patties, total 5 oz cooked, but no veggies cause they were sauteed and ditto the potatoes. OK. So maybe I didn't feel normal that night but I had a good time with some friends and family.

Over the last 10 days I hit an annoying but necessary plateau. I had done well the prior few weeks so even though I stay at less than 800 calories a day, the scale may jump ahead of the "true" weight loss. (for details of "true" weight loss, you may email me at I also have a data-massaging technique that factors out the plateaus and keeps your psyche balanced. (details on request)

However, I had a neat little drop in the last 2 days and I am now down 55 pounds in 73 days. Alas, I see I mentioned that above but you know what? I'm proud of it and I'm gonna say it twice!

Next: Vacay starting in a week!! What's a lapbander going to do?

Michael Pickert MD

Friday, July 8, 2011

Everyone is asking me ....

Today is my birthday. (Waiting for congratulations to subside) Everyone wants to know what I will be eating tonight to celebrate and will I go over 800 calories for the first time. In fact, a little while ago, EB's daughter invited me out for low-cal sugar-free Italian Ices and I had to decline. 
"Sugar-free, fat-free ice cream?"
"Umm, can you breathe air?"
"Yup as long as it is documented to be low-cal!"

Amusing, but the point is that right now I don't eat anything that I can't personally check as to its calorie content, or at least give a very good estimate. For example, a local diner advertises "grilled chicken and shrimp." Sounds good, right? Except that when I talked to the owner, it turns out that they marinate ALL the chicken and shrimp in the morning in oil! Oops. That is NG for me.  Hence, I wasn't going to assume that a local ices' place was serving exactly what they claim.

Which brings us to tonight. My niece and her husband celebrate the same special day that I do. Today it's their 10th anniversary. Happy a-day to you, Marc and Stacy. We typically go to fine dining restaurants. Tonight is no different. We are going to a lobster buffet, (The Manor in West Orange, NJ for my local friends) that also serves a plentiful of other delicious items. Think: cocktail hour at a black tie wedding to get the picture. 

I have planned out my gustatory assault- Chilled shrimp, smoked white fish, 2 lobster claws, baked salmon and a teaspoon of the best mashed potatoes you have ever eaten. Maybe 2 teaspoons. I intend to eat 500-550 calories at dinner which will be about 12-13 ounces of food. Of course I will bring my scale with me. No other accouterments at dinner, no wine,  no dessert, nothing. To prepare I had my usual breakfast of cream of wheat and 4 oz of yogurt, then for lunch I only had a salad  - lettuce, onion and cucumbers.

Total for the day: 780.

Happy birthday!

Next post will be when I go over 50 pounds lost.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

2 Months and 45 pounds down, ?? to go

End of MONTH 2 – 45 Pounds, almost halfway to my goal.

Okay, I know. I am not planning on being at my goal in just two more months. Repeat: I am not planning on being at my goal in two more months. I know that it is an improbable target. However, maybe four months is doable.

This has not been a great week, totals notwithstanding. I lost just three pounds and considering that I am eating 2300 calories per day fewer than I need to “maintain” my weight, I should be losing five every week. Yes, that’s greedy but it’s also simple arithmetic.

On a positive note I continue to expand my food choices. First, I began eating hot dogs (98% fat-free, 40 per dog) 

I finally had 2 oz of a baked potato (30 calories) in addition to my carrots. (steamed and well-done, 10 calories per oz) 

I have eaten so many carrots and  my vision is so much better that I can now see individual craters on the moon. 

I enjoyed my second glass of sangria a few nights ago. (4 ounces-25 calories/oz) Finally, I had a piece of chicken. (5 oz - white meat only, 35 calories/oz) 

 Special note: I use only yellow mustard as my condiment. (unlimited oz, 0/oz with a special  caveat: it makes you thirsty and of course, no drinking for an hour)

On a real-life note: everyone now notices that I have lost weight, even me. I see that I have lost one of my three chins. Of course some of that may be an illusion because I also got a long overdue haircut and beard trim. I got another new belt and retired tree pants and five shirts that are now wayyyyyy too big.

Finally, a brand new landmark: HB (aka Honey-bunny aka Eileen, my sig-other of 25 years) and I SHARED a dinner to my complete satisfaction.

Next week: could it be 50??

Michael Pickert MD

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Nearly seven weeks in: Checkup with Dr. Abkin, pizza and other happiness

My 6 week checkup went well, very well. Dr. Abkin who is a unique surgeon in that he doesn't have a set schedule of "tightening" the lapband says I am way ahead of schedule on weight loss: 40 pounds in 6 1/2 weeks. I'm sorry, I didn't say that loudly enough: 40 pounds in merely 6  1/2 weeks. Therefore, there is nothing to do but stay the course at this point. He prefers that I eat 800 calories per day but I am still stuck in the 650-750 range. I shall have to force myself to eat a tad more. Reread that sentence and be amazed, cause I sure as heck am. LOL! What a startling turn of events this is!

Then we reviewed a lot of "Can I eat this or can I eat that?" Turns out that those little sweet peppers that taste so good are ok (11 calories each), tomatoes, even with the skin are ok, brussel sprouts yes, asparagus no, broccoli sort of ok (no stems), ditto cauliflower, carrots yes, strawberries yes, crisp apples yes but mushy ones no (skin harder to digest).

Popcorn...........YES! "Please chew it well and get the high fiber 94% fat-free brands." "But of course, Dr."

Pizza.................YES! YEA! "Just one piece of thin crust, cut into little pieces, chew well and don't do it too often." I saluted, "Yes, sir, Captain Doctor."

We then spent a half-hour with his IT person discussing an on-line collaboration. This should help my book sales down the road.

Oh yes, that "we" would be my sig-other, Eileen Brenner, with whom I was forced to sign a document by the Dr's office that she had the right to keep me in line during the dieting period. Really! She has been immensely helpful in reminding me not to eat too quickly and take smaller bites. That last one is one of the hardest things to remember. I attribute her help for my not having any "clogging of the pipes" to date.

Thanks, HB. (Honey Bunny)

Michael Pickert MD

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Week 6 report: minor plateau but no worries

OK, I knew this was going to happen and therefore I am not upset. Despite eating less than 750 calories  per day (my intimates know that I am obsessed with being accurate), I have only lost 5 pounds over the last two weeks. Total to date is 37 pounds in 6 weeks, an awesome total  so I am not worried. I have my next checkup this Thursday which is the first time I would be eligible for a tightening (a fill as we lapbanders call it) of the rubber band that is constricting my stomach. Yes, a rubber band-like gizmo. However, I won't get one nor does he advise one if the diet is going well. I think it is, how about you?

My blood pressure has stabilized after I discontinued (under doctor's orders) 3 of the 4 pills I was on. I snore less and I have more energy. DUH! I only have clothes down another thirty pounds or so then I will have to get a temporary wardrobe.

Next report: after my appointment on Thursday. Until then, please pass the mustard (5 calories per serving)

Michael Pickert MD

Thursday, June 9, 2011

One Month Anniversary but please skip the cake

Wednesday, June 8th was the one month anniversary of my weight loss journey but please do not send me any cake. In celebration I enjoyed 2 tablespoons of  Jello: low cal Chocolate Pudding. (If you make it with less than the recommended ratio of mixture to low fat milk, it is so good!) The results of my sojourn to date are as follows:

I estimate that I have "saved" 87,930 calories. 

My weight loss is consistent with that prediction because my digital scale shows a loss of......drum roll please....


Yes, you read that correctly. I am losing a little more than one pound a day!

Now how can that be? Well, I am eating less than 650 calories per day. Yes, you read that correctly also. Here's how:

Every morning I go to my calorie spreadsheet and plan my day:

Breakfast is always 1 serving of Cream of Wheat + 3 ounces of Oikos Yogurt. I spruce up the Cream of Wheat with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray. (Even Eileen is impressed with the taste and we all know how fussy she is) To the yogurt I add a little Equal but obviously, that wouldn't be to everyone's taste. Regardless the total is 170 calories. 

For lunch I plan either a small can of tuna (itty-bitty can that is) or maybe 2 pieces of gefilte fish or 5 egg whites. To the tuna and egg whites, I add 15 calories of low-fat mayo. (Hellman's brand) The gefilte fish takes a touch of horseradish. To accompany I also plan either 1/2 cup of peas and carrots or 4 ounces of cottage cheese. Then I have dessert of 1 tablespoon of the aforementioned chocolate pudding. Total: 200 calories

In mid-afternoon, I have a cup of bouillon soup and in between I drink water and/or various flavors of Crystal Light. (You can buy individual packets for a single bottle of water) 

Dinner last night as I celebrated at a local Italian restaurant was: 5 ounces of seafood salad, hold the oil please!, plus 4 ounces of steamed carrots, on the mushy side. I brought my scale, butter spray, some nearly-zero calorie pickled peppers and some onion salt for taste. My dinner companions, Marc and Stacy were amused but understanding. When I got home, I was into the chocolate pudding again for 2 tablespoons. Total: 210 calories

Total for the day: 580 calories


Monday, May 30, 2011

End of Week 3----Surprise! Mickey's First Night Out

Status Report: End of week 3 of the New Life. We went to Pal's Restaurant last night and I had my first dinner out. Menu: Wine 4 oz, wait 30 minutes (per restrictions)Appetizer: String Beans(steamed) Main Course: 4 oz, Flounder, 3 oz string beans. Dessert: (at home) 2 tablespoon low-fat sugar-free choc pudding. Total cal: 300. Total for the day: 655. 

Mood: Ebullient

I also had my first post-op follow up on Thursday and the doctor was most pleased with my weight loss and my attitude. He okayed Phase 3 of the diet---regular food that is soft and mushy..."Anything you can mash easily with a fork such as soft-cooked veggies, flaky fish, tuna, egg whites." I said, "I can mash pizza with a fork." He laughed.

Next follow up is in a month when he may tighten the band if I need it. From my reading other blogs on lapband websites I see that my surgeon is unique in not having a set schedule of tightenings. Instead it is entirely up to me and my progress. If I am losing wight and don't need appetite-suppressant augmentation, we leave it alone. Otherwise, he tightens.

Last night Eileen and I mapped out a menu at our favorite restaurant that would keep me within the guidelines. I bundled up my scale, artificial butter flavoring and 3 family peeps (Stacy, Marc, Charney) who wanted to be there at "Mickey's First Meal." Unlike the other night at my niece's bris celebration, I didn't feel like I was in a fishbowl with everyone watching: "What is he eating? Can you see?" I detail the menu above.

I felt relaxed with them and great afterwards and am amazed that I could eat so little and be so satisfied!

As I write this, Eileen is calling from the other room if we can go somewhere tonight also. She has been so-o-o patient and supportive of the process, even eating home with me many times over the last few weeks. To those who know her, they know what a sacrifice that is for her. She also reviews my food intake carefully to keep me in line. She also can't wait to help me buy new clothes in a few months, too!

stay tuned


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Landmark Day!

I was emptying the dishwasher today and found I had reached a new landmark. When I bend over I usually huff and puff as my (excess) stomach impinges my diaphragm and I can't breathe easily. Today, however, NO HUFFING OR PUFFING!

Next stop: No groaning as I bend!

Monday, May 23, 2011

End of Week 2

2 weeks are officially over.

14 days of my new life and I feel as motivated as ever.

The scale continues to be kind to me but according to my calculations I have saved 42,370 calories so far so the registered loss is no surprise. My first public announcement of my weight loss will occur at the end of the first month. At this rate the number promises to be a doozy!

My first follow up with the surgeon is on Thursday (3 days away) and I hope he allows me to progress to the next level of food- the "Modified Regular Diet." Though the "Full Liquids Phase" has been kind to me, I am starting to get a teenie bit bored with it. There are only so many combinations of Oikos Yogurt, Cream of Wheat, Sugar-Free Jello, Fat Free Tomato soup or Cream of Chicken soup (don't get excited it isn't real "cream" soup) Fat-Free and Sugar-Free Chocolate Pudding.

The next phase will add soft-ish foods such as tuna, flaky fishes, some soft-cooked veggies and ... I better stop there. I don't want to get ahead of myself. On a different note, I hope to get the go-ahead to begin exercising. The small incisions have healed nicely and I have no "band" pain at all. I do have occasional mild indigestion when I stand up but that too is passing with each day.

In my next post I will discuss what it is like to be in "food jail."