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Keurig Coffee Maker + Magic Bullet = Tomato Soup

So Day 1 is in the books and for all intensive purposes was successful.  I was only able to get 6 meals in instead of 7, but it really didn’t matter.  I really never felt starved yesterday, but then again I never felt like I was completely satiated either.  I tried the tomato soup last night and it was surprisingly good right out of the foil packet.  I wasn’t sure the best way to fix it and the directions were adamant about stirring the powder and not shaking it.  The last thing I wanted was clumpy tomato soup.  I am not one for following directions to the letter so I went off the reservation and did my own thing and I feel it worked damn well.

Instead of the stirring process I decided that using our magic bullet (no, not that magic bullet) magic bulletwas going to be the best.  I seemed to remember on the infomercials you could do hot liquids with them.  So I took the cup and stuck it under the spout of our Keurig coffee maker and brewed me up 6-8 oz’s of hot H20 lickity split.  (For those of you in the Ukraine following along with this, you would want fill up an empty borscht can with water from the well and then heat it on your wood burning stove for 10-12 minutes.)  I then dumped in the contents of the foil pack, screwed on the bottom and blended the concoction for about 15-20 seconds. I poured that into a insulated travel mug and merrily sipped my frothy tomato soup.  Success! It was actually pretty darn good and I didn’t have any clumps!  I am going to try some different spices tonight to see how that works.

Day 2 started off good, I actually got up a little earlier than normal and felt refreshed, and actually didn’t feel hungry.  Though the first thing I did when I got up (I was actually still in bed) was to have a glass of water.  I keep a glass of chocbarwater on the nightstand most nights because of the CPAP machine.  Many times I will wake up with a dry throat, so I now go to bed with a glass of water, instead of having to get up in the middle of the night to get a drink.

I decided to stick with the same routine as yesterday and the morning supplement was a shake and I had a protein bar mid morning.  This time I went with the pure chocolate bar, which tastes pretty good, but it is not as big volume wise as the peanut butter chocolate bar I had yesterday.  I will have to do a side by side picture shoot for comparison. 

So for now Day 2 is looking good…so far no cheats and I am 100% compliant with the diet schedule!

The journey begins…..Day 1

Day 1

So my journey officially kicked-off this morning at 8:00AM with an 8 oz. Optifast 800 Chocolate shake.  My wife did offer me some words of encouragement this morning as I was getting dressed and acknowledged that my adventure begins today.  Adventure is kind of an odd word to use, but I guess this is an adventure of sorts.  I guess I prefer thinking of this more as a journey than an adventure.  It is a journey to a healthier way of life and to be able to live life they way I want to and not have to sacrifice experiences because of my size.

Soptifasto let me spend a minute talking about my morning breakfast.  All I can say is these chocolate shakes are going to be an acquired taste for me.  I bought some of the RTD’s (ready-to-drink) to take to work as it is easy for me to deal with. In the past I have drank AdvantEDGE shakes and really have grown to like them.  All I can say is that Optifast has some catching up to do in the taste department.  Tonight I will mix up a powder shake and see if the taste is any better or worse than the RTD I had today. The choclate RTD I had for breakfast (and lunch) has a little bit of a chalky taste and leaves a bit of a bitter after taste on the tongue.  I will have to try and pick up a few different extract flavors to try mixing in. 

So my mid morning snack I chose was an Optifast 800 Peanut Butter Chocolate bar.  Sorry I meant to take a picture of the bar, but don’t worry with 30 days of this I will have plenty of opportunity to do that in the future.  Overall the bar was kind of like a chocolate and peanut butter Rice Krispie treat.  The bar was pretty tasty and I tried to eat it slowly.  I was fairly successful in that I made it last about 20 minutes. I was also able to take my time drinking the shakes and made my lunch shake last 30+ minutes.   I figure the more I can make the “meal” last the closer I am to my next meal after I finish that one.

Tonight for dinner I am planning to have the tomato soup.  I will blog more on that tomorrow.  Hopefully something hot will be more filling in my stomach.  I am also going to pick-up some celery to augment my soup and five it a little more volume.  

So I am at the mid way point of day 1 and the light at the end of the tunnel is there, it is just a little dim.  I know this will be a tough 30 days, and there will be easy days and not so easy.

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a chocolate shake…

Somebody asked me yesterday if I was excited, nervous, scared…my answer, yep…all of the above.  Ever since they gave me my surgery date my mind has been racing.  I have had 5 months for preparation, but “shit” just got real…and it got real a lot quicker than I was ready for.  I had been pushing and driving this process all along the way, and then they pushed back and sped things up faster than I was ready for, it really took me by surprise.  Funny how that happens, when they aren’t moving fast enough for my liking I am agitated, then when they start going faster than I am ready for, I am all “hey, slow the roll…not so fast!”

I met with my nutritionist yesterday and picked up my Optifast supplies to get me through the first week and a half of the 30 days (what a racket that is, 11 days of food $230.)  Starting tomorrow I will be subsisting on 4 shakes a day (mainly chocolate and a few strawberry), 2 protein bars (chocolate fudge and peanut butter crunch) and 1 cup of tomato soup.   I can augment the soup with some celery for a little more filling consistency and I am also allowed to have 2 cups of lettuce a day with a few limited veggies (cucumber, bell pepper and celery) and a little red condescending Wonka saladwine vinegar as dressing.

So my plan is to eat about every two to two and a half hours.  Starting daily at 8am my food lineup will look something like this: shake, bar, shake, shake, soup with salad (dinner), shake and a final bar just before bed around 11pm.

Hopefully if I can keep some sort of routine and in between the meals I need to consume at least 64 ounces of water I should stay relatively satiated.  My biggest challenges will be weekends when the routine gets disrupted and staying away for any snacks in the evenings, also if I have to deal with a business lunch my plan is to order a plan side salad.  I have done this before and it is somewhat embarrassing, fat guy at the table ordering a plain side salad.  Can’t wait for that look the waitress will give.  Guess I will need to have my snappy comeback chambered and ready to fire for that one.

So tomorrow it all begins, the journey of a thousand miles will begin tomorrow morning with a single step.  Though in my case it is a journey to change my life dramatically and it will all begin with a delicious chocolate protein shake at about 8AM.  Are you ready for this journey?  I am!

Guess who’s coming to dinner…..

dinnerSince learning of my appointment on Thursday and sharing this exciting news with my wife, I have started to get an increasing vibe that she just really isn’t behind my decision to have this surgery.  I have gone back and forth putting a number on how much I feel she is for or against this. For the most part I have felt that her support was close to 100%, not quite there, but fairly close.   After comments made today, I put it at about 50%….Today it seems that her fears are that my surgery is going to disrupt and create long term issues regarding meals, meal preparation and decisions that are made when choosing a restaurant or social event.  Well…no shit… this is going to happen, there is no way that it can’t.  However, this seems to be a huge concern for her.  Not the fact that all of us in my household could benefit from eating healthier and making better choices at the grocery store.  I just sat in disbelief as she talked about this, I am facing something that was not a rash decision and one that was not come to lightly with out regard for others.   I thought that I was doing the right thing by making this decision, one that that cannot be reversed, one that will benefit me in a very long term healthy manner and hopefully keep me around for many years.  But apparently it appears that that I am going to fuck up dinners with my new eating habits I will have after surgery.

This is frustrating….

The King is Dead!….Long Live the King!

Snoopy DanceWell when you least expect it life sometimes jumps up and plants a giant wet one on your kisser, and I mean this in a good way.  The call I have been anxiously waiting for came today and it came much sooner than I expected.  I was honestly just hoping to hear something by tomorrow, but had also resigned myself to the fact that it could very well be next week before I heard something. And not only was I surprised by the call, but it was chocked full of other good news that caused me to do a little Snoopy happy dance inside.

The date that I have been waiting for since last October has finally materialized and is March 28th, 2013.  Most people only get to celebrate  one birthday, now I am going to celebrate two each year.  I was surprised when they told me the date…I was doing the math in my head when Jeff “the scheduler” told me what the date was and it was less than six weeks away. “What about the Optifast schedule I was supposed to be on?” I asked..  Well apparently my Doctor decided to shorten that down to four weeks and I have to start that next Wednesday.  This is great on many different fronts.  One it saves me a little cashola in that I don’t have to spend money on 2 extra weeks of Optifast food, apparently that is about $300. Truth be told I would have paid them the $300 to cut the two weeks off.  Two, it doesn’t give me time to think and have some elaborate food funerals…at this point I am good to go, if there is a food that I never get to eat again, then so be it.  When I quit drinking I didn’t pick a day  in the future to do it, I did it cold turkey (no pun intended) and never looked back…okay, I may have peeked a few times, but when I quit, I quit and that was all there was to it.  Same with smoking, when the time came, I threw out the last of what I had and said no more.

So come this Wednesday when I start Optifast, I will be quitting my food addictions, and on March 28th, 2013 I will be reborn with a newly re-plumbed body that will take me the rest of the way on my journey.  For good, better or worse this will be my lot in life, and I will take and make it the best I can.  I spent the first 48+ years of my life riding a roller coaster of obesity, it is time to go down the weight loss hill one last time and get off the ride for good.  And the next ride I get on will be a healthier ride for the final years. Again, I have stressed this all along, I am not doing this for vanity, longevity is my goal here.

So, folks on March 28th… The King is dead and long live the King!

Who knew my dog had a middle name…

Some of you have asked…Okay, I am lying one person asked and I don’t think they were really all that interested in the answer.  So before I get a Ukrainian hit squad at my door throwing cans of borscht at me, I thought I would take a minute to explain why there is this reoccurring theme of me poking fun of the Ukrainians in my blog posts. I tend to pay attention to the statistics of my website and view them on a daily basis. It is somewhat interesting to see where all three of my regular readers are coming from or how others found my little dark corner of the Internet. Factoid: Amazingly enough my #1 search phrase with Google is “down goes Frazier” based off of a post and a photo from over two years ago (and for those that want to hot link that iconic photo from my site, well just go to this link and see what you will get if you do.)

Website visits by country right behind the USA, sitting squarely in second place, the Ukraine! Why the Ukraine? Well apparently either they have a segment of the population that is interested in bariatric surgery or they just have a bunch of hackers that feel the need to bang away at my admin page trying to log into my site and get control of my blog. First I didn’t realize there were that many working computers in the Ukraine, and secondly…WTF Viktor, you have nothing better to do than trying to hack my blog, like that is going to make you famous. Here’s an idea, why don’t you steal a page from the Nigerian hackers playbook and try to get someone to believe that your rich uncle Borislav left you a billion hryvnia’s and you need to get an American bank account number to deposit the money in to and of course give me a few million as a finder’s fee. Also, here is another clue for you, my admin password isn’t “password” nor is it “12345678″. And unless you know my grandmothers maiden name, my dog’s middle name and the date my youngest son made his first doody in a big boy toilet you are fresh out of fucking luck on trying to brute force hack my account…and that is just the user name, my password is even more complex! Okay…I am starting to digress a little, some of that wasn’t directed solely at the Ukrainians, some of it was pointed at one particular little Asian fucker in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam…I know go figure….I would block his IP address, but his tenacity amuses me.

So just to prove that I am not lying about this, here is a screen shot showing my meager stats (okay you can stop laughing now) and the fact that the Ukraine is in second place. So there you have it, this is why I continue to mention them in my posts and I will continue until my readers in Sweden make a push to unseat them, though my dark horse favorite is Moldova, I think they are ready to bring it, I heard that there is a new bariatric clinic opening there next month.

Ukrainian Stats

Spam…the other white meat

spamSo just a quick update…and really somewhat of a test.  This blog is definitely a work in progress and I keep tinkering trying to add some new functionality each week.  One of my twitter followers suggested (shout out to @tracystevenson www.mytinytank.net for this suggestion) that I have the ability for her to receive my updates via e-mail.  So after a little research and trial and error I settled on using the Mail Chimp service.  The price seemed reasonable enough…Free…at least free for the amount of e-mails and subscribers that I will be sending to, and best of all it looks like it follows the Ron Popeil method of website management…Just set it and forget it!

For those bloggers that haven’t done this I highly suggest you take a peek under the covers at MailChimp.com and see all that they have to offer.  I am just doing the basics right now, but as I get this snowball rolling down the hill I may look at some of the advanced features.  Oh by the way…did I mention that this is FREE…disclaimer notice… This is a free if you run a small little blog like mine with only few thousand Ukrainian subscribers.  Sooner or later I may have to pony up some cash for this service, but at that point it would meanthis blog is becoming known out side of the shadows of Chernobyl.

So if you are interested, fill out the form located over there —-> on the right side of this page and be prepared for an onslaught of wit and wisdom…err…okay maybe just wit to hit your inbox!  And if I did this correctly you will only get an e-mail when I post something to the blog.  Hopefully I didn’t screw it up and turn it into a SPAM machine.

Wasted days and wasted nights….

fenderWell it was bound to happen at some point…today is the first time where I really felt my time was wasted by the bariatric center. I left my appointment today feeling that I wasted almost a full week in the process. Now I am looking at this through my side of the glass house….but WTF?! I get the news last Tuesday morning that I am ready to go and Anthem will pony up the cash when the time comes. The next step in the process is for me to come in and pay the remaining $125 that I owe them (In the Ukraine this is equal to two goats, a steaming pot of borsht and a loaf of stale bread or about 100,000 kopiyok) and discuss what dates would NOT work for the surgery. This couldn’t be handled over the phone last week when they called me to tell me all is good with Anthem? For fuck’s sake…I waited 6 days to go in pay a $125 and tell them that I am good to go as soon as they are able get me an open table. This all could have been handled with a 5 minute phone call. Now I have to wait an additional 1 to 2 weeks for everything to get scheduled. I was really optimistic that I was going to be able to get this done by early to mid April. I am not sure that this will be the case now, I will be lucky if this is done by the first of May.

Arrrrggghhhhhh…I have two pet peeves in life…actually I have more, but the two that are at the top of the list are inefficiency and people wasting my fucking time…Well Summa you managed to cover both in one fell swoop today.

Much ado about nothing?

Well less than 8 hours after my blog post my spouse did get around to asking me if I had ever heard back from the insurance company.  While I was still a little miffed that it took that long for her to ask, I decided that it was just best to let it go.  Don’t sweat the small stuff right?  I still think we need to have a conversation about her feelings with this.  Next up is trying to explain to my 11 year old son what is going on.  He overheard us speaking this morning and caught on that I was going to have surgery.  He asked when it was going to happen, but not what the surgery was for.  My goal is to have that conversation sooner than later.

How many Ukrainians does it take….

Ever since I got the news on Tuesday I have been pretty pumped and have shared my news with everyone except one person…my spouse. I know…I know…you are thinking What!?! Why the hell not?….That is a good question, and I have a decent illogical answer for it. First, let me say that I do love my wife and my decision to go down this path of WLS is as much for her and my children as it is for me. Again, this is about longevity and not vanity. I also know that she loves me as well, but I am not entirely sold that she is behind me 100% on this surgery. I think she is a strong 90%, but somewhere I sense that she just isn’t completely there with me. She played devil’s advocate pretty hard with me when I announced that I had made up my mind and was going to have my guts re-plumbed. And while I included her in my thoughts about making this decision, I did not include her in the actual process of the decision making.

So why haven’t I told her the news? This sort of falls into that other 10%. She has known that I have been waiting on the insurance company to give their final approval. As of Thursday last week we discussed that I was supposed to hear from the insurance company on that Friday. If you are one of the 3 real readers of the blog you know that didn’t happen and I missed on winning a bushel basket full of Hryvnia’s! Since then we have talked several times about my diet, the things I am doing to try to prepare, but yet she has not asked or in my view shown any interest in wanting to know if I have heard back from the insurance company. So now I have reached the awkward point, do I just mention non-chalantly….”hey, I heard from them and I am approved.” or do I just continue on and if she asks great, and if not, well when I get my surgery date I will send her a calendar invite so she knows. I am at a little bit of a cross roads, as I said my answer/s are somewhat illogical, but it just festers with me that she does not think enough about this impending life changing event to ask me about this.

I get it, we are both busy with work, the kids and life in general. And if I really want to deep dive into this I suppose that I can blame myself a little, hell maybe even a lot. I have been one to always keep things close and not share my true feelings with others. It is a fault, I know it is, but this elephant is not about to change its spots in mid stream. Yeah, I know, I am putting this out there to 3 maybe 4 readers and at least a 1,000 more in the Ukraine, then there is the possibility of at least 2 or 3 more when I tweet this post out. ..But in general I don’t share a lot of me to my loved ones or anyone else for that matter. I am a private person, I keep a lot to myself, secrets are safe with me, but as much as I am a private person I will also speak my mind with very little filter from brain to lips, though normally it is because I am cracking wise on something. Like How many Ukrainians does it take to change a light bulb? None. In Chernobyl, one just holds the bulb and it glows by itself…sorry bad joke, but it still gets a laugh in the borsht line.

So to put this all into perspective and re-cap all of this for you. I am pissed because my wife has not asked about the insurance approval. My reasoning of why I am pissed is probably flawed and illogical. And ultimately it is most likely MY problem that I am pissed and I should just tell her I heard from the insurance company. So if I take an honest look at this maybe I AM the cause and I should also BE the solution, but she still should have thought to asked me….right? Never mind…I don’t think I want to know the answer.