Thursday, August 25, 2011


Sadly, I doubt I will have future funds for any cosmetic surgery... And the tata's definitely need a pick me up. The stretch marks are epic on the girls, and not so hot on my stomach either.

In lieu of going under the knife, have any of you tried StriVectin?!? Thoughts? Was it worth the pricey tube? How did you use it in your post WLS life???

Monday, August 22, 2011

A humorous observation.

I feel like a Sharpei.

Yes, one of those adorable dogs with the flappy skin and folds. I notice it most when I'm laying on the couch, and I go to slightly move my leg... Because part of it just languishes there until I move my leg a few inches left or right!!! Or when I lift my legs in the air, my excess fat and skin kind of just pools at the lowest point! A girls got to love gravity!

Ahh, the things we notice about our bodies post WLS, ha!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Picture Of The Day

Ahhhh, summer! I love you... However brief your visit is with is in the Pacific Northwest!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A bit of food fashion!

If we can't eat our food (well... In the same quantities!), what about wearing it!?

Found this article by random today... It reminded me of the Lady GaGa meat dress from the Grammy's a few years back. Although my first reaction towards the hamburger shoe is a bit of disguist... The elegant artichoke heart gown was stunning!

Food for thought?


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One Hundred.

In late December of 2010, at my pre-surgery weigh-in, the scale hit 270 lbs... With my BMI clocking in at 44.9

Here it is August of 2011, and I'm happy to share with you all that today, the scale read 170 lbs...

Yup, you guessed it!

I've lost 100 pounds!!!

And I'm ecstatic to report that my current BMI is 28.3

Today is a fantastic day!!!

I should make a list of all things that weigh one hundred pounds to celebrate - hehe!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Picture of the day...

This delicious little artichoke is growing in my raised-bed garden. Can't wait to make a pouch worthy dish featuring it, yum!

Monday, July 25, 2011

A pouch-worthy solution to popcorn, hurray!!!

This weekend I packed in two summer blockbusters: Harry Potter and Captain America.

And before getting to the theater, I had flashbacks of my horrible popcorn incident (two or three posts ago, I believe)....

I had read on another blog some time ago about Gerber Graduates Puffs (flavors like Cherry, Strawberry Banana and Sweet Potato) and decided to pack them in my purse.

And they were fabulous!!!

Nevermind, I'm eating something designed for a toddler, I actually found it perfect for my pouch. A bit of crunch, one gram of sugar for a 1/2 cup, and since they are made for those kiddos new to solids, I found they would dissolve while chewing and wouldn't bother my tiny tummy too much!

As Martha Stewart would say, they are a definite "good thing!"

And, I got to practice my purse smuggling techniques - $5 for a water that costs $1?! Ridiculous!!! Good thing I don't consume soda pop and boxes of movie theater candy... It saved a small fortune, and allowed John and I to see two movies over the weekend.

p.s. Chris Evans is so swoon-worthy, I'm just thrownin' that out there. Ha!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Just me, my smart phone.... And size 10 jeans!

This is my first blog post I'm attempting from my (fairly) new smart phone. Since I'm typing letters in with my right index finger, it reminds me of the old days before I learned how to properly type on a keyboard. Needless to say, its a bit annoying.

I have a feeling that as well as being my debut post via smart phone, it will also be my last!

This weekend was a busy, interesting one that was filled with lots of highs. But before you think that I'm doing all great and peachy, I will admit to the great, vast internet one of my biggest fails: I've purchased and smoked cigarettes.

Yes. I know...... I knnnnooooowwwww. In my defense, in this post-surgery world, I'm having a difficult time dealing with stress, and falling back on some bad habits. Especially since I can't turn to my best friend and habit: food and over-eating it.

Now that we have established that I'm not perfect (ha!), I do want to share the good things that have been going on in my life:

•I'm nearing the big 100 pounds lost! Currently weighing in at 174lbs... Four pounds away!!!

•My shoe size hasn't changed, tho I fit into size 10 jeans. A first for my adult life (see picture below!)

•I had a few other items to share, but honestly with typing this into a smart phone and it going so awkwardly, I forgot my ENTIRE train of thought.

Goodnight for now,  in the meantime... Me and my size 10's.... Yipee!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One of the things I love about summer is...

Big Brother! It starts tonight...Yay!!! To me, its the ultimate in reality television, and in past years I would DVR the episodes and watch them religiously.

And. Then. Talk. About. It. Constantly. With. Co-workers. Constantly.

Can't even tell you why I like it so much, and it has nothing to do with my pouch or this blog. (Although, since they always seem to have houseguests that are uber-young/uber-beautiful/uber-athletic/uber-thin, maybe my skinny future self will fill out an application! This little fact is much to my boyfriends disapproval. Show-mances and flirting seem a prerequisite for BB.)

Yes, I secretly want to be on Big Brother. I'll admit it.

But as I mentioned in a previous post, I don't have cable. Instead I will make weekly pilgrimages to my mom's home in a neighboring city to leech off her cable box and watch the episodes OnDemand.

I love that its only on once a year, always in the summer. Unlike the other reality tv shows (i.e. Real Housewives) that have new spin-offs every five minutes; therefore I never get bored with BB.

And now that I'm daydreaming about being a houseguest on BB... That would be fabulous way to afford any future plastic surgery (ha!) And a way to say goodbye to my batwings, jiggly Jell-O legs and breasts-that-only-look-good-in-a-bra!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I bought my tickets for the OH Event in Bellevue!!!

Yesterday I purchase my ticket for the ObesityHelp event in Bellevue for July 15th & 16th!

If you are interested, you can find the details on this link:

Since its a bit of a drive from Olympia, I will be staying with my best friend up near Issaquah. I'm curious to see what this OH Event is all about... And of course looking forward to spending time with my friend of 20+ years!!!

Have any of you attended? What did you think? Do any of you live in the Pacific Northwest, or plan on attending? If so, we should meet up!

Popcorn + Me = Angry Pouch

So I made a mistake... One that I learned from... But it was an agonizing lesson!

Last week, John and I went to a matinee showing of Bridesmaids. And since we have a Regal Card, we will occasionally get freebies... And they printed out a coupon for discounted popcorn. Maybe I was a bit too adventurous, maybe I was jealous that John was enjoying yummy popcorn, but there was no maybe to the fact that I upset my pouch!!!

And yes, I ate the movie theater popcorn: and I'm not sure if I ate too much, didn't chew well enough, or what, but 45 minutes into the movie I had the most horrible pains. We left the movie early, which was a bummer since I was looking forward to watching it. Cest la Vie! Thank goodness for RedBox and Netflix in a few months, right?

The pains felt like it was high up, kind of around my esophagus? But it was an angry pouch nonetheless. Heck, I even tried (seriously tried!) to throw up and couldn't. I resolved to laying on the couch in a fetal position until I fell asleep, and slept thru the afternoon and well until the evening. It was a waste of a day off, and I was so frustrated. And John was so worried.

Early the next day, after waking up from my popcorn-induced hibernation, I felt back to normal... but now I'm scared to death of popcorn!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Before... After....

Here is the newest edition of my before/after photos documenting my progress. After taking the newest photo, I recalled having one in a similar sitting-position so I went thru my computer until I found the first photo.

It really isn't until someone puts the photos side-by-side do you really see the transformation! I'm sure all of you feel that way, in some form or another.

(Taken September 2010, pre-funking at my 31st birthday party. PS I was giving John an evil glare for taking a pic which I knew would turn out as an unflattering photo!)

(Taken June 2011, before gathering the troops for a good friends bachelorette party. Although my tummy roll is still there, I still can't believe the difference between the two photos!)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bothered by another post-WLS'er...

Uhhhhggg! So something at work (Starbucks) happened this past week that really bothered me.

And I need to vent.

Most of you know, from this blog, that I'm a few weeks shy of my 6 month surgiversary. And its been both a challenging and rewarding journey. One of the big challenges is navigating food outside the home, and since I work at Starbucks, I make tasty (& sugary!) drinks for the masses. And trust me, I miss my Hazelnut White Mochas... but I know that sugar is a slippery slope.

I'll be the first to even admit it, I had small bites of a creme brulee desert on my mothers birthday; I've had some glasses of wine; I even eat slices of toasted whole wheat bread from time to time. But one thing I've stayed away from is the full-sugared Starbucks drinks. (And sodas, but thats another story.)

And regardless of who your doctor is, I know sugar is a no-no.

Anyway, this brings me back to why I was so bothered last week: A customer came in and ordered something that made my blood boil. She usually comes thru the drive-thru at our store, so I don't get to know her as well as the other baristas, because I'm busy running the floor. But I do know that she had gastric bypass surgery two months after me. My fellow partners would say, 'Hey! Alissa, so-and-so is in drive thru - she is having her surgery next week!' or they would say, 'Hey Ali! So-and-so is here, she's lost 50lbs!' They have been sooo proud of her; and really, the connection between barista and customer is quite strong.

Really, we love our customers... And truly, I've been open with my customers about my surgery and they have been some of my loudest cheerleaders. Its really more than coffee at Starbucks. Its corny, but true.

So on this Friday, this customer comes in to our lobby, and I am the barista working on the bar. She orders an Iced Grande 1-Pump Cinnamon Dolce No-Whip White Mocha. Nothing sugar-free, nothing reduced about the pumps... it actually has MORE sugar than normal. White Mochas from Starbucks are one of the worst drinks for a pouch stomach, soooo much sugar. Really.

I guess I was frustrated that there wasn't even a hint of making this drink less sugary. She could have had 1-Pump of White Mocha and then 4 pumps of SUGAR FREE Cinnamon Dolce syrup... Anything really to bring down the sugar content. No attempt to make it more pouch-friendly in the least.

Heck, I myself went to Cash and Carry a couple weeks ago and bought Sugar-Free White Mocha sauce for the occassions that I really want a white mocha, you know. I loved that stuff just like the next Starbucks-loving person.

I didn't say anything to her, I would never. And I feel horrible even mentioning it on here, but I was REALLY bothered. I hate that I judged her, but I did. Here she is, maybe 4 months out from her surgery, drinking something that has over 55g of sugar, and over 450 calories. (Stats are from the website, and they don't include that extra pump of Cinnamon Dolce syrup even.)

It bothered me that here is this woman that was given this awesome tool, and she is already back to drinking white mochas. And she isn't even a year out from surgery... not even six months out... And pushing the limits. Trust me, I know its a challenge, its a daily battle, but I just got really sad for her. If she is drinking those, even as a treat once a week, what happens two years from now? What will stop her from drinking them daily?

I guess because she is so recently out from surgery (and I can relate to it), I was especially bothered by it. I'm sure there are tons of customers that I have made ultra-sugary drinks for, that have has gastric bypass, and I just don't know it.

But for some reason, making that one Iced Grande 1-Pump Cinnamon Dolce No-Whip White Mocha made me so angry. It brought up all these feelings of sadness, anger, bitterness directed at a fellow post-WLS'er, and I was surprised that I was so bothered by it. It really boiled my blood!

Am I being too judgemental? Have any of you felt this way? Or am I just being silly? Now that I've posted this blog, I want to delete it. But at the same time, I was hoping my posting this that someone else out there would understand me.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wow! I'm starting to like having photos taken!

It suprises and shocks me. Some days I feel great, some days not so much so. Some days I make good food choices. Some days I take all my vitamins, some days I get half in.

And... in some photos, I look and feel fat... but then, I'll take a photo, much like this one.... And I don't recognize myself. I can't believe it...

I look....... skinny!

And its happening in more and more photos! Crazy!

Nearly five months post-WLS and I'm getting out and doing more things. I'm not hiding behind the camera, I want to be in front of it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

One measly pound from...

... a weight loss of 80 pounds! Yippeee!

I'm right at 191lbs on the scale... I haven't lost much in the past three weeks, only down from 197lbs. But its okay, I'm keeping my eye on the prize!

Tonight, I will be meeting my freshman-year roommate from college (circa 1997!) up in Seattle; each Memorial weekend she flies up from California to visit friends and family. I am really looking forward to the girl time, am thinking of drinking a glass of wine... but mostly looking forward to spending time with my old friends!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hello, my name is Alissa - and I'm addicted to Perez Hilton.

Okay... this is off-topic, but can I just tell you that I love celebrity gossip... I've cut out buying the US Weekly, InTouch, and People magazines to save a little money, so I love reading things online at Perez Hilton or TMZ.

Its my little addiction, especially since my relationship with food is sooooo different!

I bring this up, because I'm dog-sitting at my mom's home for the next three days (i.e. connected on the interwebs!), and catching up on all the crazy stories (poor Maria Shriver!), and watching Real Housewives of NYC (catfights!); truly, I'm happy as a clam!

p.s. This week, the Northwest has been blessed with gorgeous weather (gasp!), and John and I had an amazing afternoon of kayaking in the Puget Sound. I promise to post pictures... is was a great NSV: I fit in the kayak, no problem!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Fair food" - who knew?!

This past weekend, the weather was a bit iffy in Olympia, but I had a fabulous Saturday!

It was a rare Saturday, one that John and I both had off. It was a spur of the moment kind of day, so unfortunately, no camera. (Thank god for Google pictures, right!) We spent the day enjoying walks and errands: taking my mothers adorable Bloodhound for a meandering walk at Tumwater Falls Park, then to downtown Olympia, where the annual Wooden Boat Festival was happening.

(This is what a portion of the Tumwater Falls looks like, it is near the site of the original Olympia Brewery for Olympia Beer.)

Here we are, walking around looking at the booths and these gorgeous boats... and of course, I'm spying the typical 'fair food' of burgers, funnel cakes, corndogs, and soda. I was a bit sad, because in the past we would share a corndog and a big Coke, even a big shaved ice... With some super-sugary syrup.

But then, walking past the shaved ice booth... they had a sign. Stopped me dead in my tracks: they offered a small selection of sugar free syrups for the shaved ice!

We shared the most fabulous shaved ice, that looked really similar to the picture at the start of my post... And it was soooo tasty, and only $3 bucks! Sugar-free Watermelon, sugar-free Lime, and sugar-free Rasberry, oh my!

Its amazing, some days I feel so alien with this pouch of mine... then something small and simple will happen to make my day. That day, it was the sugar-free flavored shaved ice.

(A stock photo of the marina in downtown Olympia. This boat featured is called the Sandman; Olympia's most famous Wooden Boat, its over 100 years old and in beautiful condition!)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

So long, internet. Helllooooo, labs!

Sorry that I've been so MIA the past week plus... Sadly, the free internet I was 'borrowing' from my neighbor in downtown Olympia, is no more. Hehehe. But I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to do it for over a year (even watching Netflix movies!!!).

Sigh. Back to Comcast or something rediculous. Having been without cable/internet/landline for over a year has really helped the bottom line, and something I will probably not get anytime soon - I hated paying Comcast $130/month for that package. On my paultry Starbucks salary... that is a lot of money for this girl!

Anyway, things are going well. I'm getting my blood drawn next week for my first labs appointment since the surgery. Honestly, I haven't been 100% about the protein shakes but have followed the protein-first rule; so I'm hoping it turns out okay. Its hard to do the 3 shakes a day, phew!

I feel like on some days I need a second stomach (much like a cow) that is designated just for protein shakes... And a third for the flippin' vitamins! Those fill me up too! I've been pretty good about my vitamins too, sure there have been days I've forgotten but overall I've been proud of myself. The only area there, that I really need to improve on, is taking my multiple doses of calcium and my second multi... Sometimes I forget those too.

So with my labs appointment coming up, I am getting that anxious feeling in my stomach.... errr.... pouch. I feel like I'm taking a test that I can't study for, if that makes sense. One that I'm hoping I will pass! That is truly the best way I can describe it.

On a positive, or at least, less anxious note, my scale has started moving again!!! Although the past two weeks I haven't lost a lot of weight, I think its been a lot of inches - because people keep commenting on it.

I did hit a couple cool milestones I wanted to share:

-I officially weigh less than my boyfriend, John. (I say official because it was on three consecutive days, so I told him that meant it was official!)
-I had to go into my smaller sized clothes section in my closet... On a whim I tried on the slacks I wore for my college graduation (10 years ago!) and they fit!!! Granted, I was overweight then, but I don't care. Its still a cool thing to say.
-Finally, third and most coolest - I don't weigh in the 200's anymore! I've been jumping around 196/197 for several days.

Overall, its been a good week. Still again, nervous about labs! And I just found out the family is throwing my mom (who turns 62 on May 31st) a 'Welcome to Social Security' birthday party on June 4th.

I find it funny and ironic because even tho it is her birthday BBQ, it will be my 'coming out' party of sorts as a lot of friends and family have only had updates on Facebook and over the phone - not in person! And the crazy thing is that it will be my six month surgiversary, as my pouch was created on January 4th!!!

I hope everyone is enjoying the last parts of Spring. I will update soon, or post something wildly funny, ha!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Progress Photo Time.

Okay, okay... So I may have been biased in picking a photo that I happen to catch at a good angle, hehehe. But its kind of fun taking pictures during this transformation, and rather than hating stacks and stacks of photos (chubby cheeks, fat arms, double chins)... I'm finding ones really have my personality peeking out!

My wiggly, jiggly upper arms are another story, but we're working on those! Maybe I'll be like Dumbo oneday and flap my 'wings' and fly!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A very pouch-worthy necklace!!!

Does anyone else find the humor in this? Post RNY, I sure do! Actually, I find it so endearing and yet a bit morbidly adorable that I'm thinking of buying it...

I found this at Etsy, from a seller called recycledrings. She calls it the "Belly Ache Necklace", but it screams 'pouch' to me!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I heart Fla-Vor-Ice SUGAR FREE freezer pops!!!

Summer's coming and in previous years, John and I would buy one of those giant boxes of OtterPops and freeze them. Then obessively eat them. Okay, I would eat them obessively, but who's judging?

Something about OtterPops just reminds me of being a kid. Nothing is better than a frozen OtterPop on a hot and unbearable summer day. ( the Pacific Northwest it must be mentioned that we have, like maybe, ten days like that a year, don't tease, lol!)

Anyway, I was bummed thinking that low and behold, these frozen treats would be added to my 'do not eat' list.

That is.... until....

I was at Walgreens last night and found Fla-Vor-Ice Light (& Sugar Free!) freezer pops. It made my night, so much so, that I had John take my picture with the yet-frozen-fresh-out-of-the-box pops (see below).

You would have thought I had met Bradley Cooper or some other celebrity at Walgreens, I was THAT EXCITED! If you are like me and miss OtterPops, and live near a Walgreens: go now! The containers are definitely smaller than the traditional OtterPops you'll see everywhere, but Walgreens had them on special for $1/box. Each box has 16 freezer pops. Here is a photo of the packaging so its easier to track down:

The best thing, was they actually tasted pretty darn good! It freakin' made my night and I just wanted to share!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pouch-friendly drinks, yum!

I love when going to the grocery store (in my case, the local Fred Meyers) and finding a product that is friendly to the pouch.

It seems like I'm somewhat obessed with finding the perfect low-sugar/no-sugar drink to quench my thirst. I find water boring on most days, honestly. Sometimes its ready-to-drink protein drinks, Gatorade G2, Trop50, or the current favorite: diet Snapple.

Today, I found two things I'm itching to try when I get home:

(MiO liquid Fruit Punch, its super tiny and you add a squirt to 8 ounces of water. I'm facinated by it! It was the tiniest bottle, its like pouch-friendly flavored extract! The Fred Meyer's had four different flavor options: Fruit Punch, Berry Pomagranate, Strawberry Watermelon, & Peach Tea.)

(This instantly made me think of the Cherry Limeades from Sonic. Some days I really miss those sickly sweet carbonated drinks, but am much happier with my new self, so I guess going without is okay. I kind of hope it tastes like the stuff at Sonic! I was thinking of filling up a giant cup with blended ice chips - refreshing!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Decorating the shower walls... with hair?

I just pulled out an extraordinary amount of hair while showering. Extraordinary.
My hair is still in one of those twisty turban things as I write this. I am that freaked out. I mean I knew it would happen, and it has been happening... but... wow...

I'm going to up my intake of protein shakes. I think that will help in the long-term. Any other advice?

My hair has always been extremely thick, long, but fine... And I'm a little scared at the prospect that my pouch and my hair just don't get along!

Why can't it fall out of say... my legs! I hate shaving my legs! Armpits too, for that matter.

Off to work, I go. Sigh.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lost and running...

When I started getting really fat and out of control, I think I distanced myself from a lot of friends and acquaintances because I was ashamed of how I looked. There were other factors as well, including losing a job, which was embarrassing at the time. (It was in December of 2006, a time right before the economic crisis when collecting unemployment or being fired was not something that others related too.) People who I thought were my friends, would tell me that working at Starbucks as a barista was 'beneath me' and 'it was glorified fast food'.

It was like the people I thought I knew faded away, because I didn't have a high profile job with a fancy title or because I wasn't involved in the local Chamber or Rotary. I couldn't afford to go out to the nice restaurants in Olympia, and have martinis with girlfriends Sex-And-The-City-style. I couldn't afford a gym membership, heck I could barely afford rent.

Instead, I was slingin' their coffees and lattes in the morning. They didn't understand it was because I hated what I was doing before, wanted a fresh start, wanted to work at a company I respected, and that I was doing something I was damn good at; all they saw was that I was serving them.

Looking back, I'm not sure if it was me or them, who changed. Probably a bit of both. A vicious cycle.

With the help of my new pouch, life is getting a bit better. Everyday seems brighter. I'm more active. More energy. But looking back, I'm realizing that I am feeling a little bittersweet. I'm sad that I let myself get to that point. A point where I was so unhappy. I'm sad to think that I avoided a lot of friendships because my social, economic and physical statuses changed so drastically.

But out of this, by working for a company that was 'beneath me', I was able to get health insurance to help pay for gastric bypass... I learned who my real friends where (tho saddened how few I really had)... Some days I still feel really alone, surely I can't be the only one? Sure each of us has different reasons and paths, but sometimes I feel that this journey of WLS is a lonely one.

For the first time in a long time, I'm focusing on myself first and foremost. But rather than taking that energy and getting the instant gratification from food, I'm channeling it in ways that make me a healthy person. And that feels good.

I didn't realize all the emotions that would come along with having this new pouch. I have become accustomed my streamlined, lean lifestyle, tho I look forward to the day I can have it a bit more complex. I used to be such a 'yes' girl, and I'm not anymore:

I'm a 'me' girl.

(On a side note, the title of this post comes from a song performed by an Australian band called Powderfinger. Its from the album called Dream Days at the Hotel Existence, if you are curious, iTunes it.)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Three months.

Three months ago, I had my very first surgery (well it was three months on April 4th, but I'm a little slow to post), boy was it a doosey! But I came out okay, it was textbook, and have been without complications. Knock on wood.

Everyday hasn't been easy, but overall I've felt awesome! The two week liquid diet before my operation, and subsequent four week liquids after, was a true test of willpower. I'll never forget it. Ever. It was my version of hell on earth, but the funny thing is that, looking back at that time now, it feels like ages ago. And I'm okay that I had to do it.

Its like the sum of all things were okay to get me to the end... And I'm only 3 months out!!! Imagine how I'll feel one year... two years.... five years post-surgery.

Everyone likes to see pictures, to see progress, and although I don't have quite enough guts to post the photo of me pre-op in my tank and boyshorts into the random inter-webs, maybe it will happen oneday.... maybe... a very small maybe! (p.s. I did post this picture on ObesityHelps forum tho, lol!)

Here I am in the hospital... A happy face for a girl so terrified! At this point I had lost 19lbs in the pre-op diet.

The second photo is me just a few weeks ago, taken at a friends baby shower. At this point I'm down a tad more than 60lbs. Its the first time I've worn anything but black in ages!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

No Excuses.

I need to put this video on my iTouch... A reminder for the days that I need a little bit of push... On the days that I give myself excuses... Just part of the journey... I'll get there... We all will...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ten Pounds.

Yup, just a measly ten pounds away...

From weighing less than my boyfriend, John!

Yesterday we both got on the scale, I'm at 213lbs and he is at 204lbs. Soooo close! And with me starting a gym work out 1-1/2 weeks ago, I feel like I'm on a good roll to weighing less than him very shortly!!! I can't wait for this NSV! (See below posts if you are not familar with this term.)

We've been dating for four years and I've never weighed less than him - ever!!! This calls for a celebration, but I'm not sure what?

I need to start brainstorming a good way to celebrate! He's just as excited for me, which is totally refreshing. He really is amazing. I guess I shouldn't try and sabotage him by buying him Costco-sized bags of Doritos. I'm joking... Well, sort of! They are his kryptonite, lol!

 Surely I can hit this goal in the next month. Yippeeeeeeee!


It has now been nearly one month since posting this, and although I'm sad to say that I haven't beaten John, we are now only 2 pouds away from me weighing less that him. It will happen any day. We started thinking of was to celebrate it. The old us would go out to dinner, maybe the movies with a tub of butter popcorn, or a drunken bar night with friends. We finally found a proper way to celebrate it: John and I will be renting kayaks from Boston Harbor Marina, and have a little outting on the gorgeous inlets and waters of Puget Sound! Its healthy. And plus, I figure that way this reward isn't food related!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

And... she's off!

For the past few weeks I've been seriously thinking of joining a gym... Sure, I have options of walking around downtown Olympia or riding my Townie (most amazing bicycle ever!)... but I've been thinking that I need to be accountable. Gyms do that. It gives me a reason to get off my butt and exercise. Call it my competitive streak!

In high school and a bit of college, I did some weight training, so I feel somewhat comfortable on the machines at gyms. Then again, I graduated high school in 1997, making that nothing to brag about. It is also sad to admit that its been about four years since I've had a gym membership (adding to my overall fat-ness!)

Yesterday, the guy and I toured our local 24-Hour Fitness. Having such an oddball schedule at 'Bux (one day I'll be opening at 4am and the next night I'll be scheduled to close until 10pm) makes for a horrible routine, and I was attracted to the idea that I can work out any time of the day I wanted too. For someone who is also very self-conscious (i.e. ME!) its awesome to go at 11pm - when there are barely any other members there. Added bonus: 24-Hour Fitness & Starbucks have teamed up to give partners a better rate and no joining fee. Score!

And the shoes! Oh, I treated myself to a fancy pair of gym shoes yesterday to go along with my membership. For my first work out they were lovely... and much better than the pair that I've had since... well, since... probably 1997! Ha!

And so begins the next chapter of my weight loss journey... I'm off and running! Not literally, figuratively, but maybe one day literally!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Last weekend, my guy and I went to Seattle for an overnight trip... Spent most of the weekend walking around, window shopping, checking out Pike Place Market and just enjoying the city. Brrrrr, it was cold and rainy, which was the only downside, then again - what'd we expect? It is winter in the Pacific Northwest!

On Saturday, we spent several hours at the 9th Annual Emerald City ComicCon (John studied comic book art at Kubert)... and that was an interesting experience! Definitely something I've never experienced before. But hey, my new life (thanks to my pouch) is all about trying things I've never done before, right?

Here are just a couple pics that I wanted to share! In these photos, I am down 50 pounds since I started my weight loss surgery journey (the scale is just under 220lbs). Yay!!!

(Got to love the self-portraits, at the side entrance to Pike Place Market.)

(Hotel MAX. Totally awesome boutique hotel in downtown Seattle that features tons of local art.)

(Each room had a unique full-sized photograph... This one happened to make me thirsty. Too soon for alcohol post-op, but a girl can appreciate, right!)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Da Na Na Na Na Na Nah

Yesterday I realized that my upper arms are getting a bit floppy. (For that matter, my whole body!) Its like, at my highest weight, I was a balloon... My skin was tight and stretched to its max, and now that balloon is being deflated.

I see bat-wings in my future.

Then I had a revelation that made me laugh out loud so hard. So much so, my fellow partner (Starbucks for employee) asked me what was so funny!

Embracing all the changes coming to my body with this surgery, bat-wings and all: I'll be doing the most badass 'Chicken Dance' at weddings this summer!!!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Smoked Pork Chop with Pineapple and Creamed Spinach

First of all, if you have never eaten a smoked pork chop - I suggest you run to your local butcher and get some for a family dinner! So tasty!!!

They are succulent and juicy (so different from the dried out 'chops I've made in the past) and they have an amazing flavor to them. I baked mine in a 350 degree oven for about thirty minutes, and they came out juicy and flavorful from the pre-smoking process... Didn't even need to salt and pepper those suckers.

Of course, since my pouch and I have only had two months to get to know each other, I was careful and a bit reserved, but am happy to report that my pouch loved it!

I'd never heard of smoked pork chops before finding them at my local meat shop, Stewart Meats and I doubt I'll ever eat a regular pork chop again. For those of  you who may be reading this from Washington state, Stewart Meats is located in Yelm, a short trip from Olympia - and a fun outing for Sunday drives that my guy and I like to do occassionally. It is an old-time meat market, before society adopted the one-stop-for-everything-under-the-moon super-centers that have become the norm for our society. I like shopping local when possible, and Stewart Meats is about as local as you can get, without owning your own pigs and cows in the back fourty!

Getting home and starting the Smoked Pork Chops recipe from Eating Well, I found it a simple and quick recipe to follow. Many of the ingredients I had in my pantry, proving that this would be a great recipe to make on a busy weeknight. The finished product was delish and tasty. I will admit that the pineapple 'salsa' per the recipe could have used a bit of tweaking. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I would recommend for those creative cooking types to go ahead and experiment, maybe add an additional ingredient to it. Perhaps finely diced jalapeno or another herb added to the mix? And even tho I mention playing with the warm pineapple salsa ingredients, I must say that there were no complaints in my household: John loved it! A great introduction to the Eating Well cookbook, and a good promise to the other recipes that are held in its pages.

Then again... with a smoked pork chop, you can't go wrong!

Accompanying the Smoked Pork Chop with Pineapple, was the cookbook's side dish of Creamed Spinach. I don't think I've ever had creamed spinach before, but I was pleasantly surprised. I ventured away from the recipe a bit, using Tofutti cream cheese and lactose-free milk, and in the end I couldn't even tell it wasn't real cream cheese.

Next from the cookbook will be a dill salmon recipe. Pacific Northwest all the way, yum yum yum! On a side note, John and I will be spending the weekend in Seattle. It will be my first time away from home since the surgery and I'm looking forward to two days of walking around Seattle and exploring. I can't wait to share with you all the pictures of our weekend adventures!

And now, what you are all probably curious about: the pictures from my first experience cooking with Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery:

(A snapshot of the recipe.)

(The smoked pork chops resting on the cutting board before carving.)

(The ingredients for the warm pineapple salsa include: diced fresh pineapple, chilli pepper, water with a smidge of pineapple juice added, chicken broth, brown sugar subsitute and balsamic vinegar.)

(All of the above ingredients reducing into a yummy warm salsa for the smoked pork chops.)

(A snapshot of the Creamed Spinach recipe.)
(Frozen and thawed spinach, Tofutti cream cheese, Lactaid milk and sliced shallots.)

(After sautéing the shallots and creaming together the milk-type products, I stirred in the spinach.)

(Fresh grated nutmeg makes all the difference in the world - especially in cream sauces, yum!)

(John's dinner portion, including the Creamed Spinach. Although I can't have portions this size anymore, I still enjoy plating recipes and love the presentation of it!)

(My portion, about 1/4 cup all said and done!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Julie/Julia project for WLS peeps on its way!!!

I made two dishes today from the Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery cookbook: Smoked Porkchops with Pineapple and Creamed Spinach. Reviews, pictures, and general thoughts to come, but it was a good first introduction to cooking with the cookbook, and wanted to quickly share!!!

Since I will be cooking (and eating) from this book in the next coming months, I have to say that it needs a better name... Its long and awkward. I feel like it needs to be shortens to something a bit more catchy, especially if I will by typing the title over and over and over again. Maybe just call it: Eating Well? Or do I shorten it like they do for the How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) television show? Maybe I go all Rachel-Ray on it, like how she calls extra virgin olive oil, EVOO.

The acronym (funny I'm even talking about this after my previous post! ha!) of EWAWLS seems a bit lame. And doesn't flow whatsoever! Maybe just call it Eating Well After WLS? A mix of both?! Ideas?

I will be noshing on leftovers tomorrow, and putting together a blog of the first two recipes!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

NSV? Huh? Um, a whaaatttt.....

Its been driving me batty seeing people say 'NSV' on weight loss surgery blogs/sites/forums/etc... because for the life of me, I couldn't guess what the acronym stood for!

And since it seems everyone throws around NSV-this and NSV-that, I was feeling a bit silly putting myself out there to ask what it meant. In my head I was imagining someone responding: 'Duh, Alissa... you had an RNY and you don't know what NSV stands for?!!'

Thank god for Google... Sort of. It kind of left me bewildered until I realized I should try searching under 'NSV+weight'. Lesson learned, haha!

The first search result stated NSV stood for: Nullsoft Streaming Video. Another result a few links down: Net Sales Value. As I recall, that was a topic I studied in one of my business classes at WAZZU. And the one below that link?

No-Scapel Vasectomy.

Nope, that is definitely not what everyone is talking about when announcing their personal NSV's!!!

Wrong type of surgery. And I'm sure for those of you fellow RNY'ers with Y-chromosomes, you would be pret-ty upset with that type of NSV.

And for those of you who were in the same boat as me, wondering what a 'NSV' is:

It stands for a Non-Scale Victory!

p.s. If you are curious about another acronym I used in this post (WAZZU), it stands for Washington State University... One of the most amazing universities in our lovely country. Go Cougs!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

And.... I'm hovering!

I know, I know...

My pouch isn't broken, its still working, but I have to say I'm incredibly frustrated. I've been reading the OH boards a lot over the last few months, and it seems that every other post was about someone who stopped losing weight. Then I observe that everyone complains about that/those person(s) and say that its a natural part of this process, and to get over it. I understand that, I get it. And I swore to myself that I wouldn't post on the same topic, but here I am (begrudgingly) complaining about it. Granted its my blog, so I can say what I want! :)

My last doctors appointment I weight in at was January 26th, and I haven't lost a single pound for coming up on three weeks. I'm hovering right about the 233lbs range.

Its frustrating.


Yet, I know my body will do what my body needs to do.

And that it will break out of this.

That being said, I think its okay to whine and pout... Even a little bit. I didn't mention anything in my other posts since I was feeling optimistic... but its getting me down a little. And I'm sure it has something to do with my body maybe in starvation mode after weeks of clear liquids and then the past two plus weeks of me introducing soft foods.

Before the surgery, I lived my life without a scale (and subsequently, without any real way to keep me in check!) and now that I feel after this surgery, all I do is live life with the scale. All. The. Time. And since my WLS is pretty much in the open, I have people commenting: How much have you lost? Ohmigod! You look great! I'm really proud of you. Blah. Blah. Blah. Right now all I can focus on is this scale not moving!

Anyway, I just had to vent. Surely I'm not the only one???

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Introducing my very own 'protein station'

I live in an adorable and urban apartment in downtown Olympia. I love everything about our home... minus the kitchen counterspace. This proves a daunting task as protein powder containers are the size of small pets. Our kitchen real estate is a premium, so having giant tubs of the stuff hanging out on the counter tops isn't an option. Especially considering I hate clutter... It drives me nuts! My lovely boyfriend installed a 'protein station' for me, and I wanted to share pictures of this. I think its a pretty awesome set-up... shelves from Ikea and glass containers found at Target... my Blender bottles... its perfect!!!

One thing that drives me batty is having the same thing to eat (or in this case... drink) over and over again, so I'm amassing a collection of protein powders. This allows me to have mulitple mixes, so that I can focus on getting my protein in. I'll admit it, I'm having a hard time getting it all in everyday. Drinking all this protein is a hard task... I feel like its a full time job, and I'm overwhelmed by it! But my goal is to improve each and every day, and having my very own protein bar is a step in the right direction!

In rotation: Syntrax Nectars (in Cappuccino, Natural Fruit Punch, Twisted Cherry, and Lemonade), Unjury's Chicken Soup, and 4EverFit's CranRazz

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fourty days.

I thought that eating my first food after surgery would have more fanfare, more excitment, almost a celebratory experience to it. Like when they bring a cake with a candle in it, to your birthday dinner at a restaurant.

Instead, it was more of a thud. Granted, a tasty thud, but still, bittersweet.

Two weeks prior to surgery, I started a clear liquid diet... As you all know, each surgeon's program is diffirent and I swear that my doctor is the most super-strict of them all! Its not until four weeks following surgery that we start our soft foods/pureed foods stage (for me, this coming Tuesday), so I've been on clear liquids... this.... entire... time...

Well after my less than stellar performance at work, and my dizzy spells and faintness (I'm sure due to lack of not eating anything since December 19th), I made the decision that I needed to try a little something to give me a bit more energy. Water, protein shakes, huge amounts of vitamins, and sugar-free popcicles just weren't cutting it. Fourty days, my friends, nothing of substance had passed my lips for fourty days!

After coming home from work five hours early yesterday, I pureed 1/4 cup of Split Pea Soup and warmed it up. Slowly I ate each bite and it was the most delicious thing that I have ever tasted!!!

Needless to say, I felt guilty not waiting until Tuesday. I'll admit it. But I'm not going to let this get me down, I know I need to listen to my body. But I still feel horrible by not following the exact instructions of my WLS program. Thankfully, today at work, I did not have any dizzy spells or feeling of faintness, and I trully think its because I had another 1/4 cup of Split Pea Soup about 2 hours before working today. It sat well in my new pouch, with I was so excited for!

After work, I went to my moms house... that four hours of work felt like fourteen!!! Exhausted, I made myself 'dinner': another 1/4 cup serving, but this time of cottage cheese.

Best cottage cheese I've ever tasted! Delish! Yum-o! Bon appetit!

So, there you go... These are first things ever in my pouch. And my pouch liked 'em!!!

Back to the daily grind...

Yesterday was my first day back at work (I'm a shift supervisor/barista at Starbucks). And it may seem strange, but it is one of the hardest jobs I've every had: you are always doing on-the-spot problem solving, on your feet and constantly moving (kind of difficult with a 5lb weight restriction), managing partners with varying personalities, and last but not least, hand-crafting yummy SBux beverages for those on the go, go, go...!

I woke up in the morning a little bit nervous, but I felt good... Took my vitamins, made a protein shake, and started my twenty minute drive in for a shift starting at 7am. At Starbucks our 'peak' time of business is anywhere from 6-9am, so business was steady when I got on the floor. At first I felt great, but not long after getting on the floor, I started to feel weak. Looking at the clock, I thought that I had been there for 2 hours, but it had only been an hour.

The people I work with are amazing... I am more thankful for them now, moreso, than I ever have been! The partners are so helpful and supportive, which is a god-send, and they were able to get me off the floor for five minutes to catch my breath and drink some water. My hands were shakey, and I started to feel faint, but it passed with some rest. I was crying because I'm so frustrated that my body isn't cooperating with me, and I felt so overwhelmed.

Back working, I started to feel faint within 15 minutes. This time, the 'tunnel vision' set in, and I couldn't concentrate when ringing up customers... It felt like they were millions of miles away from me, yet just a foot from me. Again, a break. This cycle was repeated several times.

I felt so bad, because it was our peak time of business and it is difficult to be down a person. It is felt by the customers and partners when a store is down a person. Especially with businesses streamlining, like other companies experience too, each employee is expected to do more with less resources, AKA, people. But I had too, my body was screaming: You have to slow down!!!

Out of my 8 hour shift, I wasn't even able to last 3 hours.


I decided that todays shift needed to be cut too, that working 8 hours and during peak would be too much so came late and worked 4 hours. Today I lasted nearly the full 4 hours, but that was, in part, because I decided to 'jump the shark' and eat a small bit of pureed foods to give me energy... I will explain more in my next post.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Julie/Julia Project... for WLS peeps

Last night I watched one of my favorite movies: Julie & Julia.

And it got me thinking... What if I cooked my way thru a weight loss surgery cookbook? Has anyone in our community done this? Has anyone blogged this? Granted, I'm kind of ripping off the idea from the movie based on Julie's experience... but its kind of a cool twist!

Back in October I picked up 'Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery' because after flipping thru it at Borders, I liked how the recipes were taylored to our itty bitty pouches, and many of them looked pretty tasty. Another plus? It has a whole section on sauces - and I've never met a sauce I didn't like! I have yet to cook anything from it, and for that matter, I'm still on a clear liquid diet. (Only 7 days left, but who's keeping track anyway, ha!)

Needless to say, I'm a bit premature in the undertaking of it... but the more I think of it, the more I want to do it. Once I get out my soft foods stage, and advance to something a bit more stable, its going to be my next project... Well, that, and canning. That project is another blog for another day tho!

p.s. Today marks 3 weeks since surgery and two more days until I return to work. I am dog-sitting for my mom, watching Guiliana & Bill (I'm a reality t.v. show addict, but hey, we all have our vices), and doing laundry. A nice, relaxing Tuesday.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Goldilocks-inspired response: Ahhh, these pants are just right!

Yesterday I stopped in to Lane Bryant to pick up a pair of new work pants. During my pre-op diet my usual suspects were getting so loose I kept pulling them up by the belt loops, and that was about 15 pounds ago, so I can only imagine what they would have been like when I return to work on Thursday!

Typically I just buy one pant and wear the heck out of them, as being a Starbucks barista, there is always some type of syrup, milk, or prepared drink that I'm spilling on myself!

They had some awesome sales going on, and I found the same style of pant that I had been wearing, and they aren't too bad. About as stylish as any work-pant goes!

I grabbed a size 20, size 18, and size 16. Before the surgery, my highest size was a 22, but I would bounce between 20 & 22 depending on how the clothes fit.

My time in the dressing room was the equivelent to Goldilocks trying to find the perfect porridge... the 20's were wwaaayyy to big, the 18's were too baggy, but the 16's....

Ahhh, the 16's were just right!

I can't even begin to describe how happy I was. My boyfriend, John, was grinning from ear-to-ear as I said to him, 'I think these 18's are too big too...' I can only imagine what its going to be like in the coming months!

Oh... and speaking of porridge, I'm on day 35 of my clear liquid diet - and even porridge from a nursery tale sounds appealing. Cest la vie... only another week plus to go until I start my soft foods stage, and I'm jonesing for a poached egg! Or some yummy oatmeal!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Define: Pouch

Many of you may ask:
What is a pouch, Alissa?

From the website, a pouch, is described as a bag, sack, or similar receptacle, especially one for small articles or quantities. Or for those of you who want a funnier, off-the-wall explaination, just look at!

But for those of us who have had gastric bypass surgery, the word pouch means something completely different. When the surgeon goes in and slices and dices, they seperate our stomach into two sections. The smaller section (the size of a thumb) is what becomes our new stomach, and is renamed our pouch.

Yes. My stomach is now my pouch.

At first, I thought it was kind of funny. I've done some surfing on web forums and people talk about the fact that their pouch likes this. Their pouch doesn't like that. Their pouch doesn't like liquids in the morning. Their pouch prefers room temperature water. And so on, and so on.

Here I am, post-surgery and although I feel a bit odd speaking of my stomach in the 3rd person (and like its an actual person), I do understand all these 'pouch-isms'!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two weeks ago, my life and my anatomy, were forever altered.

This is my first post on my first blog.


I'm at somewhat of a loss on what I want this blog to be, or what it will become. But it was important to me to document this journey I am on.

Two weeks ago, my life and my anatomy, were forever altered. My guts were re-arranged via a gastric bypass surgery, and I'm embracing it. I'm announcing it. I'm not pulling a Star Jones' and lying about the hows and whys on the fact that I will be dropping major poundage in the coming months and years. I'm not ashamed to admit that I needed a little bit of help. Sure the naysayers may speak to the fact that I took the easy way out, but let me tell you, weight loss surgery is anything but the easy way out.

This is my journaling. My sharing. My life. My experiences.

After all, it is just my pouch and me.