My Digits

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Last night, in an effort to make something a little different...I embarked on a mission to create a Stuffed Spaghetti Squash.

This wasn't my first squash rodeo, as I have made just plain old boring spaghetti squash several times over the years.  But I wanted to sass it up.  I typically liken spaghetti squash as the boring main meal of places like Atkinsville and Healthtown, USA.
Oops.  I forgot to take a picture BEFORE we dug in.

So this is what I did.

I purchased a smallish size spaghetti squash.

Then, in my trusty non-stick skillet, I sauteed the following:

Baby carrots that I had sliced into nickel size pieces.  I probably used around 20 baby carrots.
Half a sweet onion, diced.
EVOO
Salt and Pepper
About a quarter of chopped fresh cabbage.
2-3 cups of steamed, then chopped, broccoli

I sauteed the above ingredients for about 7 minutes...until the carrots start to get a little tender.

Then, I toss in a heaping mound of diced garlic (I use jar garlic so it's not as strong as fresh)
Some red pepper flakes
Some Italian seasoning.

Who knows the measurements people.  I just "feel" my spices and herbs,

It's all in the wrist.

So I turn that to low and continue sauteing.

During that time, I had prepped the spaghetti squash.  There are various ways to get your spaghetti squash..."spaghetti-ee".  I cut mine in half, scoop out the seeds, but the two halves facing up in a microwave safe glass dish (this one was a 9  x 9), put some water in the dish (about half way full), and cover in plastic wrap.  Then you just pop that bad boy in the microwave for about 11 minutes.

Also during this time (have I mentioned how talented I am at multi-tasking?), I steamed some broccoli and then chopped it up.

After the squash is done, I put on my oven mitt (seriously...those things are as hot as sun-nuggets), stand one half of the squash on end, and then scrape with a fork into the dish.  Repeat with other half.

Then, the magic happens.

I toss the squash, the broccoli, and the veggies I have sauteed, into a bow and mix.

You then use the now empty squash halves as your baking vessel (I put mine on a baking sheet covered in foil).  I filled each half, half way up with the mixture.  Sprinkle on some FETA.  FETA...yummmm.  Then, I poured red sauce (just good old plain pasta sauce) on one, and homemade Alfredo sauce on the other (I will tell you how to make that in a second).  Then, I load up the rest of the mixture on top, top with a little more sauce, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on those babies and pop in the oven at 350...just to really melt the cheese and make all the ingredients happy and complete.

Let me tell you...that junk was gooooood.  GOOOOOD.

The red sauce one was very light in calories.  The Alfredo sauce was perhaps a little "heavier" on the calories, but holy mother of all things made with butter and heavy cream...it was divine.

So this is how I make my Alfredo sauce.  If you are ever feeling like being naughty, make this and use fresh pasta...Lord....amen.

1/4 Butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 clove crushed or minced garlic
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (do not use pre-shredded.  Don't do it.)
Italian seasoning
salt & Pepper (I like a lot of pepper)
Red Pepper flakes (totally optional)

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.  Serve. 

 Or just drink it out of a cup. Seriously.  It's that good.

So there you go.  Basically you could just throw WHATEVER you wanted into the squash.

Go in peace. Eat my friends.

Now I am starving.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bits and Boobs

Hey doodlebugs.  How is everyone fairing this week?  All is well in the world of Amy, except today I am TIRED.  I mean...TIRED.  But I have survived the workday so now I can relax and talk to my friends in cyberland. 

I am 10 days clean and sober from the Pepsi hooch....all soda really...but it's the vision of ice cold Pepsi that dances in my head like those kids from a Twas the Night before Christmas.  Except they had sugarplums dancing in their hands, but I am convinced that's because when it was penned, Pepsi didn't exist. 

I am also fast-food free for an equal amount of time.

As for the not drinking alcohol during the workweek, I may have had a *tiny* hiccup last night involving 99 Oranges and juice.  But it was just one night and today is a new day dudes.  My goal is to trim up a little by Memorial Weekend (so May 22nd), and with still almost 6 weeks until that date, I am confident I can do this.

Let's take a look at the pictures below and we can discuss a few things.  First...my boob.  With that side shot, you kind of get an idea of what my boobies look like post boob job.  They look very natural...ala...still a little saggy. But nothing like the old tube sock boobies I traded in.  My doc warned me that because the skin that makes up my breast was thin from all the weight loss, they would never sit high and tight. And that's cool.  I'm cool with that.  I wish I could show you a picture of the bare boob, but Heather and probably my place of employment might frown on my tit being out on the web.  

Joy-killers.

But remember I had a "key-hole" incision for the breast lift part of the procedure.  So, the nipple had to come off completely during the surgery.  You can't even see the scar around my areola.  The scar coming down from the areola is very faint and light.  The scar that runs under my boob though is pretty pronounced and thick...and I guess it's good, but my boobs don't droop enough yet to cover that up.  

This is Pensacola Beach on Sunday.  It was pretty nice out there.  We were playing a little game called "Coop" (it has another names), that we bought at Target.  If you like yard games, it's super fun and portable.  You can make it yourself using two trashcans, but the ones from target squish down for easy travel.

I am wearing my fitbit (had to take it off to get in the water), but that little thing DOES motivate me to get my steps.  When you work a desk job, it's harder than you think to get 10,000 of those little suckers.


Hope all is well.

Until next time!

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Return to Lapband Doctor

Well, yesterday was the day I finally sucked it up...after two years...and went and met Dr. Friedman's replacement.  Clearly, Dr. Friedman cannot be replaced. And clearly this doctor would not be able to even remotely touch my expectations...so I was prepared going in. (Dr. Friedman retired while battling his cancer, and is now back in the game but in TEXAS!?!? Whyyyyy?  I still have hope one day he will return to me and once again we shall frolic in the waves of life together be reunited).

So, first thing is first.  When Jennifer checked me in, I hoped on the "fancy" Tanita scale that gives you a body composition analysis.

And yes.  I saw what I weighed, but I don't think this counts as ME weighing myself.  I would have preferred not to know, but it's okay.

So, I weigh 189.  I was thinking I was maybe in the low 180's.  But that's okay.  I am not focusing on THAT number.  But one of the wonderful things that the Tanita measures is your muscle mass.  Well, since my last visit, I have gained 26 pounds of lean muscle!  26 pounds. I can't tell you how proud this makes me.  It is easy for me to joke about "I've put on weight but it's a lot of muscle", but it's another to know that my hardwork and dedication to actually building mass is paying off.  I am 140 pounds of muscle, 49 pounds of fat. My body fat % is 26.2%, and according to the scale, someone my age should be between 21-33%.  I will take that.

So, just to make simple.  The last time I weighed in at the clinic I was 170.  This time I was 189.  And So 19 pounds difference.  And I added 26 pounds of muscle.  Smack my glutes and call me Sally.

With that said, it would be pleasant if I could lose SOME of that fat so we could see that muscle with a little more ease.  So, as this workweek comes to a close, I must say I have stuck to my healthy eating (and drinking plan).  See evidence below.


Back to my doctors visit.

So when the new doc comes in, he looks at my stats, and says "Wow, you have maintained 72% of your excess weight loss.  Those are the results of a gastric bypass patient.  (Well, at least he started with a little ego stroking before he began to ask me the standard questions:

1.  Him:  "You drink soda?" Me:  "Yes"
2.  Him:  "Cookies?"  Me: "Yes"
3.  Him:  "Chips?"  Me: "Yes" 

Him staring at me

4.  Him:  "Alcohol?"  Me:  "Um.  Yes."  
     Him:  "How much?"
     Me:  "Do we have bracket ranges to pick from?"
     Him:  Not getting my sense of humor.
     Me: "3-5 "

Him:  Looking shocked.  Like not in the "Wow, is that ALL you drink", but in the "WOW, you drink that much" way.  I didn't have the heart to tell him that I mean 3-5 drinks 3-5 days of the week. I let him think that OF COURSE I just meant weekly.  Lord....I don't think we was ready for the truth.

5.  Him:  "What do your workouts look like?"  Me: "I workout 6 days a week, with at least 5 of those lifting, and cardio mixed in."

Him: "Well, that's why you have been so successful.  But think how much MORE successful you could be if you ate healthy and worked out the way you do".

Me: "Yes.  My girlfriend tells me that all the time."

So, after that, we talk about how he doesn't like to do fills without getting an upper GI (barium swallow first).  Which, I am glad to hear that he does barium swallows, because while I have never had one, I wanted one to check in on my little band.  But, I do find it agitating that I have had this appointment scheduled for 3 weeks and they should have had me do the barium swallow this visit because now my upper GI isn't scheduled for 2 more weeks and I don't see him again until JUNE 3RD!  So I have to pay ANOTHER copay and take more time off of work.  Seems silly and seems like a way to get more money.

But whatevs.  

So that was really it.  

No fill.  No check-up of the band.

But I will keep you posted on such things as time passes.

I hope everyone is having a great Friday!  

kisses and hugs butterbeans!
     


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Day Two of: Returning to Good Food Choices

Listen dudes.  I made it through the first day of my new food plan.

blah 98739h N&$$V#@#!

Let me tell you that by yesterday afternoon, when I was jonesing for a Pepsi like Kim Kardashian joneses for a selfie, I was getting cranky.

I wanted to cut someone.

Anyone.

Or punch them in the throat.

Just to see them cry.

But alas.  I didn't.

I just had some more water and called my sponsor.  Okay, I don't have a sponsor, but I have a friend who understands my needs and desires.  I called Rachel.  I talked hateful to her and badmouthed her customer service skills.  She allowed the nonsense.  She cheered for my water intake.

And that made me want to punch her too.

And when I thought about briefly getting an original chicken sandwich, no lettuce, extra mayo for a predinner dinner...

I didn't.

No, I did have a little moment of insanity right before bed.  Heather told me I should have 2 fiber gummies to help me poop.  Well, those little suckers taste SO delicious when you are deprived of deliciousness.  So instead of 2, I ate 6.

And boy...am I regretting the decision this morning.  Something is stinky in Pensacola.  That's all I have to say about that.

The good news is, after one day of getting right with the food Gods, I feel svelte and foxy.

And you can't beat that!


Monday, March 30, 2015

Butthole Bleaching And Gasoline Tailpipes

I have been tactfully trying to shed light unto this otherwise dark (so many puns, so many puns) topic for a couple of weeks.  I have been trying to think of  clever titles (Blackholes Begone) or just blatant shock titles...pretty much anything with the word Asshole in it.

But as I am a lady, and my father reads this blog (I'm not really worried about my mother, because when we broached the topic over lunch one day about shaving  buttcracks, my mother wasn't shocked, just convinced that average buttcrack doesn't have hair), I decided against anything with the word ass in it.

So I just simply stated it as it needed to be stated.

Now, for those of you not "in the know" with what's "on trend" these days, apparently bleaching one's chocolate starfish is something that is becoming more common place.

It should also be noted, just in case it's not clear, I would try, and come to think of it, have tried, many things at least once.  There are other things that I have not yet dabbled it, but if the opportunity arose I just might partake.

For example, if someone said "Amy, would you like to try corset training for 14 days?"  Well, I might consider that.  I've seen me in a corset.  And it's rather amazing.

OR

If someone said would you like to try:


  1. hair dye made of koolaid 
  2. American flag contact lenses
  3. a new diet pill that may cause nipple hair
  4. the "shocker" (note to my father AND mother: don't google it)
Well, I would probably try those things.  I mean, I've tried raw oysters and mullet from a mason jar (I threw up immediately after the mullet, and I had tried to warn Heather's cousin Henry that I was going to puke if he made me eat it...but he didn't listen.  Now we all have that memory).

But I ain't bleaching the butthole.

And let me tell you why.

Once, when I was probably 14ish, I worked at this marina at the lake.  Lake Perry.  It's in Kansas.  It's basically a man made lake that usually looks like chocolate milk.  Delicious.  But anyways, I was working at this marina and would pump gas from time to time.  Well this older ski boat pulled up and I was chatting away with the occupants while I pumped the propane into their little vessel.  This was clearly tiring, so I sat down on the side of the boat while pumping and talking.  Now, as this was an older model water vessel, the hole for the fuel was on top of the side railing.  And as this was an older gas pump, it didn't have a shut off valve for when the fuel started coming close to the top.

Here.  Let's look at this highly technical rendering I made for you in this highly technical program called 'Paint'.
That's me sitting on the boat.  That black circle is where I was putting the pumped gas.  Well, if you can see where this is going (sorry, I was just distracted by how absolutely amazing that picture is), as I was talking to the people in the boat (strangely missing from my amazing picture), the gas shot out of the hole.

Now this boat came equipped with teak embellishments that ran down the edge.  Basically little wood runways for the now overflowing gas.  I didn't move quick enough (shocking I know since I am known for my speed), and I was kind of heavy so therefore the front of the boat was a little out of the water and the back of the boat where I was sitting was a little more "submerged", so the gas ran down the side of the boat and although I am not sure of the physics or engineering of what I am about to claim happened, in my fear  I must have sucked air not only in my mouth (like a gasp), but up my butt.  Like a butt gasp.

 Well, it gulped that gasoline right up the tailpipe.  And while I have never gone along with "it's ONLY an out hole, not an IN hole" philosophy, I will tell you gasoline should never go up your butt.
It burns.  It burns bad.

And while there was no permanent physical scarring, apparently there was some psychological scarring.  Because to bleach one's butthole, well, it's exactly like it sounds.  Someone, probably a tiny lady that doesn't really want to be rubbing your pucker, has to apply the bleach and rub it in.  And then let it really sink in.  And guess what?  Depending on the darkness of your nether hole, well you MAY need up to 6 treatments.

Nope.

Not for me.  It may be for you.  And I support you.  No one really sees my butthole though, so maybe I am not the target audience.  Upon researching this topic however, I did learn that butthole bleaching is now leading to bleaching of the labia.  Say what?  There will be no turkey gobbler bleaching.  Who wants chemicals that close to your "man in the boat" (read: clitoris) anyways?  Mama likes her giblets just how they are.

So there.  Now your Monday is complete.  Now you know things you may have never really wanted to know.

You are welcome.

Go in peace.

Monday: The only day you can start a diet

Now you and I both know this is totally true.  When you want to recommit, when you need to hop back on the BANDwagon, when you need to kick your bad habits to the curb...the only day you can embark on this new process is on a Monday.

And Monday it is my friends.

My little timehop app alerted me that a year ago I was just wrapping up a little weight loss competition at work..and by the grace of God (and 2 weeks of Atkins), I had touched 158 on the scale.

Now clearly, I wasn't going to MAINTAIN 158, but I had intended on staying in the 160's for the foreseeable future.  But I think what happened was, I went batshit crazy and never came back to the land of healthy eating and "lifestyle changes".  I mean, there was that brief stint in November of last year that I said I would lose 10 pounds that month, and I did...

but when mama falls off the wagon. She falls hard.

The truth is simple.

Healthy food choices are boring.  Healthy food choices are not as delicious as things covered in melty cheese, stuffed with hot greasy meat, or bubbling with carbonation.  THEY JUST AREN'T.  And I can cook people.  So I know about seasonings and this and that and blah blah.  Health food just won't ever be yummy to Amy.

In addition to that fact...

Another simple truth is...

I may not be able to do the "everything in moderation" game.  You know the one I am talking about.  I have often spouted," It's not about saying I'm never drinking [insert something high calorie and wonderful] again, or eating [insert something that is so very bad for you that you want to be alone when you eat it, not so no one will witness it, but because you want to make sweet love to it]. "  I don't want to have to make outlaws of the occasional Pepsi or candy bar.  But I am just not good at moderation.  I am a feast or famine kind of girl....usually more feast than famine.

But swimsuit season is coming up and I happen to look a little better around a small size 10 than I do at a large size 12.

I am still not weighing myself, almost 4 months without the death numerator.  Which, another truth be told, DOES make it hard to start a slim-down routine.  I can't really call it a weight loss routine because I don't know what I weigh and won't be using that measurement to determine success.   But there is something perversely thrilling about seeing that "high" number when you decide to recommit and trying to get as far away from it as you can.

So my goal is to trim down the old bod by Memorial weekend...which starts May 22nd.  That give me 7ish weeks?  Perfect.

So what does this mean for me.  For this week, I am not going to drink ANY soda.  Instead, I will focus on my water.  For this WORK week, I am not going to drink any beer or alcohol...I may still allow light drinking on the weekends.  For this week I am not going to visit any fast food places.  This habit has gotten a little out of control.  And while my band still prohibits me from eating tons at any such place, it still isn't a healthy choice.  I am going to make sure I have my meals planned . I am going to work on having healthy snacks to graze upon.

And that's my plan.

I am not changing anything fitness wise.  I am working out at least 6 days a week...so we will stay with that.

I'm not calorie counting because I really want to replace one unhealthy relationship with food with another one.

So there we go.  So how will I know I am succeeding?  Well, I have jeans that only fit when I am on track.  My work slacks fit different in the thighs when I am making better choices.  And I can tell in pictures as well.

I will leave you with some pictures...as pictures always make a blog post more interesting.
 I convinced the Vending Machine Man at work to stock our machine on the 2nd floor with crunchy cheetos.  It only took me 4 months, but I make things happen.  I do have to go down two flights of stairs to get the cheetos, so while I was snacking on them last Friday, I did an additional 9 flights to counteract at least a few of those delicious morsels. I made sure to take a selfie while doing it.
 Pictured below is me and my back doing some assisted pullups.  I can only do about 3 sans help.
 Heather ran a 10-mile trail run on Saturday.  Here she is with our friend D.J.  I ran it last year. This year I napped in the truck and ate a snickers.
 After the run I inflated our inflatable mattress and we sunned outside.  Genius.
 Today was leg day at the gym.  I can get my heartrate up higher than when I am doing cardio.  I love lower body workouts.  I was dropping sweat like a grey cloud drops rain.  It was awesome.  And disgusting.
 And timehop reminded me of how far I have come. There's some motivation for me.

Happy Monday friends!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Gym Judgment And Jiggly Jello

Last week Katie J was talking about her hiatus from the gym...and it sparked the old fire in my brain. I tried to think back to when I was a gym newbie and tried to recall how I felt.  Was I nervous?  Was I intimidated?  Did I fear that people were judging me because of my size?

Well, the answer is this....

There is something to be said for being a legend in your own mind.  My foreray into gym-dom was in my late teens, early 20's I would guess.  I lost about 75 pounds (not to worry, I would eventually gain it back plus 70 more), by diet and going to the YMCA.  I remember killing it on the cardio machines. And I don't really remember caring or thinking that others were judging me.  I probably thought I was a plus-sized gym super model.  But, as I think about it, I don't remember ever working much in the free weight section.  I stuck to the weight machines.

And then after the lapband, that's when I started bootcamp.  Little did I know that I was being lured there by a cute little lesbian that would turn that bootcamp into a lifelong commitment.  I DO remember being intimidated by that setting a little.  Because I knew there would be some form of running, and mama hadn't ran in years. But I got over it and I survived.  And then what was new and scary became a habit...and wasn't scary at all.

The point of all of this reflection is that if you are avoiding the gym for fear of judgement, fear of looking out of place, or fear of dying...here's what you should know.

1.  People are probably judging your fashion sense more than your size or shape.  At least I am.  If you are killing it and working it out in the gym, it will be a rare person that is thinking about how you are "out of shape", or "too fat", or "too old".  They will most likely be admiring your determination. Some of them will be wishing they had what you had.  This is the truth.

2.  The really fit people at the gym aren't plodding away on the dreadmill thinking that they are better than you.  Well, some of them might be.  But they are stupid and thus, you are better than them.  Their opinions don't matter. But take Heather.  I have never once heard her make a snarky comment about any out-of-shape-but-working-on-getting-in-shape person.  On the other hand, I have heard her make plenty of comments about the IN shape people walking around like douchebags.

3.  It's only new for a few days.  One of the scariest things about any situation is not knowing the logistics of the gym or class.  Where do I go?  What do I do when I get there?  What is protocol?  After a few days you will know what's where and who's what.   On your first day, just walk in like you have been there a million times.  Walk to the bathroom, scanning the space like a covert secret agent.  You will feel like everyone knows you are new.  I bet half of them feel the same way as you.

4.  If you don't know what to do with the machines or weights, do something you DO know how to do...then watch.  So walk on the treadmill.  Do the elliptical.  And just take it all in.

5.  Free weights are particularly scary for a lot of women, because a lot of women don't DO free weights.  It's a damn shame.  But the free weight section, the Smith machines, the weight racks are usually dominated by men...which can be intimidating as well.  Just rest assured that at least 33% of the men are probably gay...so they aren't looking at you anyways.  Also, I feel that by venturing into the free weight section, you automatically earn gym cred from men AND women.  But, there are so many good magazines and books out there to look at and study BEFORE you even step foot into the gym.  I used to love the magazines Oxygen and Muscle & Fitness Hers. They come with great workouts and pictures.  You can also buy books about lifting on Amazon.  I love this series:
It breaks down exercises, tells you what you are working, and how to work it.  You can try the movements at home and get the feel before you ever step foot in a gym.  Then, if you want more of a visual, google the move.  Google & youtube are great avenues to research what you want to do.

6.  A personal trainer may be a great investment.  Find one you like.  Find one that targets what you want.  Trainers can be expensive, but they can also be a motivator.  They can help you until you feel comfortable on your own.

7.  Gyms may not be your thing. Maybe you are motivated to do videos (I certainly am not...it's too easy to quit when I am in my own living room).  Maybe you want to shake it at Zumba.  Regardless, having a workout buddy or partner is such a plus.  If you can find a good workout buddy, lock them down.

8.  I know some of you are not morning people.  But damn...it makes a difference.  And let me tell you, the gym is a lot less crowded at 5am than it is at 5pm.  And for me, if I wait until after work to workout, that workout is probably not happening.

9.  Make the time.  We often find time for the things we enjoy or hold the most importance in our lives.  We find time to watch the DVR, take a nap, read blogs, etc.  Make time to workout.  I like to combine my cardio with a little Netflix or HBOgo.  I take my iphone or ipad to the gym, get on Wi-Fi, and what my favorite programs.  It makes the time go by at a little faster nip.

and finally.

10.  When you are at the gym, just ACT like you know what in the hell you are doing.  It works for me most of the time.  And there are times that I try a new "move" or workout and I know right off the bat that I have no clue what I am doing and did not practice at home enough.  But I'll be damned...I usually finish my set and walk off like a boss.

Working out is like eating better.  You know how when you are onpoint with your eating...even for just 1 day...you feel like you are super fine?  That's what working out will do for you as well!  And..this is what else keeps me motivated...the more you can workout, the more conditioned your body, the more muscles you have, the more calories you burn...

The more calories you can eat without blowing the seams out of your pants.

I mean...I know that's not the main point...

But it's a nice perk!

Happy Tuesday Dudes!