Monday, July 9, 2012

Bariatric Betty's mistaken identity and favorite tools

This past week I confused the heck out of three people.  Two of them were friends who hadn't seen me for months.  In addition to my ongoing weight loss, I also had to start wearing glasses for the short term - my extended wear contact were causing some scarring on the inside of my eyelids.  Ouch.  So I'm restricted to wearing glasses (which I hate) for several weeks.  So a slimmer me, with glasses, and my hair looks different with the hair loss catching up with me (plus not styling normally with the glasses).  Understandably I'm giving come friends double takes.

My third person was a bit more amusing/ disturbing.  I was at the community Rec Center doing our Couch 2 5K workout last Friday with my 9 and 11 year old boys.  It was the first workout of week 4, so predictably I was extra sweaty looking at the end.  My boys actually couldn't finish the workout but I did (yay me).  Then I headed over to the free weight area to do some crunches before meeting them downstairs in the lobby.  As I reclined back on an exercise ball, someone tapped on my leg and said "Excuse me, how old are you?"  Huh?  I sat up, saying "I'm 41" while a startled older man on staff stammered "Oh, I'm sorry, you didn't have to tell me your age."  Huh squared?? He did just ask me my age, so I presumed I did need to tell him for some reason... although I didn't know what.  Looking embarrassed he explained that he thought he saw three young boys coming off the track and followed one of them (me) over to the weight area to check to see if I was old enough to work out there. 

I can understand people not recognizing me right away, but thinking I'm a boy?  The 36-DD bra wearing woman, a young boy?  OK, I was wearing an old (over large) t-shirt, and my hair is short, but a boy?!?  The gentleman apologized, and I laughed it off saying I'd rather be mistaken for a young boy than an old woman.  I think.  One of his friends cracked up and said "He sure does have a way with the ladies, doesn't he?"  I do have a confession.  As soon as I got home to shower I put on something that fit better with some earrings and makeup!  My pride can handle it once, but not twice in a day! 

I decided I wanted to share some of my favorite tools that I've found on my journey so far, and hope that they might be ideas some of my readers would like/ could incorporate. 

First I will share my favorite food and beverage storage system: Lock & Lock containers!

This is a link to my 24 ounce water bottles.  I use 3-4 of them daily.  I use a Crystal Light / or a generic sub 2 Qt. mix to make 3 (72 ounces) of them slightly diluted.  I find that the full strength Crystal Light seems too strong nowadays.  If I make 3 of them up at one time, I know that once I've finished my first three bottles I'm on bonus fluids for the day.  The main reasons I like them, however, are the lids and wrist straps.  The lids close tightly, and the actual opening to drink from is on the smaller side.  It's not a straw or sipper, so I don't take extra air into my pouch (note to non-WLS readers - that's painful) and it doesn't come out too fast so I don't gulp it down too quickly (gulping causes reflux - it basically just gushes back up into your mouth because it can't drain through your pouch faster than quick sips).  The wrist strap leaves your hands free to carry everything else other than your water bottle!

Lock & Lock also make great water-tight, air-tight and BPA-free containers that I use daily.  I love my simmered lentils with sauteed onions, and make it up in large batches (about 14 servings at a time).  These containers are great for refrigerating or freezing individual or multiple serving sizes.  You can microwave them, throw them in the dishwasher, and toss them in your purse without worrying about leaks.  I have almost eliminated baggies from my life and use these instead for packing lunches for the rest of the family as well.  The smaller sizes only hold about 5-6 ounces, but that's a decent serving size for bariatric patients.  If my whole meal is in one, I'll use an 11 ounce ( almost 1 1/2 cups) but not fill it all the way.  The larger boxes that come in the sets are great for storing things.  I gave away several filled with cookies last Christmas.  They also make bento boxes, lunch boxes, etc.  These things aren't cheap, but they LAST and if the tabs on the locking lids break, the company will send you free replacements.  I have found that they go on sale periodically on sites like

Second shout out has to be Fitbit! A pedometer on steroids, a digital coach that cheers you on and lets you share your activity levels with friends (only if you want to) to encourage/ compete with each other. It also communicates all of your activity info/ calories burned with if you already log your food there. The $99 price tag is steep, but I can personally testify that not only is it a great motivator, if anything goes wrong with your unit, they send you another one free!!!  In my case, they sent me a free replacement when I LOST my first one.  And no, they didn't know I had a blog or ask me to talk about it.  They were just that NICE.

Third has to be a combination of my Weight Loss Surgery private boards on Facebook and one of my favorite blogs to read:  Next to my local support group, I can't tell you how much the private support groups on facebook have helped me.  They've been sources of encouragement, information, support, warnings, and more.  Yes, we've all seen people get a little too worked up over something someone else has posted (or gotten worked up ourselves) - but so far the pros far outweigh the cons for me.  The World According to Eggface blog is FANTASTIC.  Shelley has a great sense of humor and a wealth of knowledge.  Her "A Day in My Pouch" recipes are top notch, and she shares lots of great ideas.  She also has fun giveaways.  Maybe I should look into doing some of those...

Some of my other favs include Sugar Free Torani Vanilla Syrup (especially getting the "subscription discount" on, my Omron Body Fat Monitor (great for scale stalls), and Quest Protein Bars (but beware a virus on their website - I get them at the Vitamin Shoppe or on Amazon).

If any of my readers have any favorite tools they want to share, please feel free to mention them in the comments, I'm always looking for new ideas.

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