A Weight Loss Game of Dieting for Dollars


So this morning I was listening to the Today Show and they introduced this new concept of Dieting for Dollars that allows you to win money to lose weight. This is a great incentive for those who are motivated by Money and come on who isn’t?

Now let me start by saying I am bummed because I cannot take part in placing bets on my weight loss and get into the game because I have had Gastric Bypass Surgery and that would not be fair and of course is a no no in the rules. BUT if this was available prior to my weight loss surgery there is no doubt I would have taken part in this and that is why I had to share it here for those who may not have had surgery yet.

I cannot tell you how many times I have taken part with family, friends and co workers in a money weight loss pool at one time or another. We would put money in a jar for every pound lost and at the end of the time set the person who lost the most would win the pot. This is a similar concept, but all done online.

There are many sites online that have started this, but DietBet is one I will talk about for now. Basically it works like this; You join a game that has already been started online with others or you can start your own private game with friends, family or co workers. You all start by placing a starting wager of what ever amount you set, the minimum is $25 and you can go as high as you want. The more people who join your game the bigger the pot you have to win. The game lasts for 4 weeks and you must lose a total of 4% of your body weight over that time. If you achieve that goal and others in your game achieve it as well you all split the pot. I think that is AWESOME.

Let me tell you there are some games going on the site right now with pots that are over $11,000 right now and growing with about 200+ players, can you imagine? Not everyone will meet the goal and that could turn out to be a great payout in the end for sure.

So how do you weigh in and know no one is cheating? Well there are strict rules for that part of the game and they are laid out on their site. There is a lot of honesty that goes along with this, but I think with all the rules they have in place there should be no issues.

And a big question asked often:

Is this illegal Gambling?

And the answer: No, at least not in the US, because the outcome of your dietbet is based on skill, not luck. Unless your refrigerator has been retrofitted to work like a slot machine, your weight is under your control.

So what do you think? I think this is a great idea and again if I did not have the surgery I would be so be in on the game. It is a great way to keep you on track and no one tells you what diet to do to lose the weight – you choose that. Genius I tell you, just Genius!!

I got a Food Dehydrator – Time to make Jerky!!

Beef Jerky

Guess what I got for Christmas… A Food Dehydrator and I am so excited!!! One of the best gifts from my sister peep for the family.

My sister always gets us the best gifts and this one was not expected at all. Everyone in my family loves to eat Beef Jerky and we all know how expensive it is to buy it. The best part about Beef Jerky is it is high in protein too so for us Gastric Bypass patients it is a great snack.

My hubby could not wait to make a batch of Beef Jerky and a couple days after Christmas he got right on it. So he bought some meat, marinated it in a Teriyaki Marinade overnight and the next day followed the directions, which are super easy, and later that day we had Jerky.

Beef JerkyThat is our first batch of Beef Jerky pictured to the right – while it does not look pretty it tasted really good. I cannot wait to try out other recipes and flavors. In addition to just the Jerky you can also dehydrate fruits, veggies and even make your own fruit roll ups. Now I am counting down until summer comes and Strawberry picking will take on a whole new meaning.

You know I will be sharing lots of recipes using this new toy and again I am excited for all the Beef Jerky snacks I will be able to eat at a fraction of the cost of buying them in the store. If you do not have a Food Dehydrator I say go get one because it is a lot easier to use than you think and if you like Beef Jerky it truly is a major money saver.

Nesco Food DehydratorMy sister got us a Nesco Food Dehydrator (pictured to the left) and all kinds of seasonings to go with it. It was funny because she gave each of us a part of the gift to open. A great family gift that will be very used in my house for sure.

Stay Tuned for Recipes and Snack Ideas coming soon…

Oh and if own one and have any good tips or recipes I should try please let me know!!!

The Twins are shrinking – Wooo Hooo


I have shared in a past post, about my favorite bra and now I have a new favorite I have to share. While I still love my old one it was time that I downsized.

It all came about at my ONEderland Party when my mother in law and sister in law gave me gift cards to the mall to celebrate my weight loss success so I can purchase a few new things for myself. They told me I should get a new bra. I was like “what?”. They said the one I was wearing did not look like it was giving me enough support.

Now I was wearing the Genie Bra and it is one of my favorite bras I have ever owned, BUT I have had them for quite some time and the twins have shrunk and I did not even notice that it probably was not holding me they way it did when I first got it. Thanks to my in laws honesty and my new found paranoia I decided it was time to get a new one to bring those babies back up.

My sister had taken a part time seasonal job in the mall in a big department store and worked in the bra section a few times and saw this one bra being bought over and over and raved about by many women, so she told me about it. So just the other day I went to the mall to check it out and try them on since I had no idea what size I am in now. The bra is by Bali and it is called the Comfort Revolution Wirefree Bra and it is super soft. I tried on a bunch of different sizes until I found one that fit.

Are you ready for this? Prior to my Gastric Bypass Surgery I was wearing a 44DD – this new bra is a 40C. I could not believe it and it is beyond comfortable, just like my Genie Bras. I could not believe the difference in my profile wearing this new bra compared to my Genie Bra – it was like I got a boob job. The twins were hanging out up where they should be, even if they had lots of help to get there.

I will however replace my Genie Bras since I loved the way they fit, but with a much smaller size than I was wearing. So there you have it my shrinking twin story. Life is good!!!

If you are in the market for a new bra like me – look for this one and give it a try – it does also come with wires if that is what you prefer.

P.S. – Walked in the room wearing my new bra under my shirt and hubby noticed the difference right away, his smile told me it fit well – lmao.

Oh Deer!! I ventured to the Mall

Deer Crossing Sign

So today I ventured to the mall with my daughter to do some Christmas Shopping. BUT on the way there a Deer decided it wanted to commit suicide and use my truck as the weapon.

First let me start by saying I was driving my hubby’s truck a lifted Chevy Suburban because mine needs new windshield wipers and there was a chance for rain. So my daughter and I took the back roads, which out in the country is the quickest way to get to the mall. So we were driving along when to my right in a field I see a Deer running like a bolt of lightening and I had no time to react at all when all of a sudden a loud thump hit the side of the truck by my daughter.

Freaked out I pulled over a tiny bit up the road and looked in my rear view mirror to see this big beautiful Deer lying on the side of the road struggling to get up but could not. My daughter saw it too and started to bawl her eyes out. I made sure she was ok and jumped out of the truck to access the damage and call my hubby. So now I am crying as I do not know what to do – I am a HUGE animal lover and could not leave. Thank god while I was on the phone with my hubby a cop pulled over and another guy to see if we were ok.

I walked to meet the cop and was a blubbering mess as he asked if we were alright. He told me he was going to have to put the Deer out of its misery and to go back in the truck with my daughter and he would come talk to us when he was done. So there I am in the truck waiting with my daughter and we are crying like babies.

After he did what he had to do he came to talk with us. He told us the other guy who pulled over took the Deer home to feed his family. Today happened to be the last day of Deer hunting season here and he said he has dealt with 10 Deer car accidents this week alone. I am so thankful not only for the fact that we were ok, but that the cop was passing by minutes after and was able to put the Deer down so it did not suffer. Hubby’s truck did get dented and the cop filed a report so if hubby thinks it is bad enough will get it fixed. It is not as bad as I thought it would have been from the thump. I think to myself that if I was in a smaller car how bad it could have been.

I tell ya what an experience that was – I have never had that happened to me and it is rare, but boy when it does it really stinks. So on the way home from the mall we took the long non back roads home.

So frustrated I want to throw the scale against the wall


I have had a nice relationship with my scale for almost a whole year, but now I think we are going to break up for awhile. My recent Weigh Ins have been frustrating to say the least.

Is that honeymoon phase of my Gastric Bypass Surgery now over as they say? Say it isn’t so because I like being on a Honeymoon. But as well all know to well all good things must come to an end and it is back to work. Great – I hate work. This plain sucks.

Here’s the deal – On October 22nd I finally made it to ONEderland hitting 199 lbs – Yes a major goal of mine and of most of us going through this. It was the best feeling in the world. But since then I have gone up and down ending up as of my Weigh In yesterday, December 3rd, at only 197 lbs. So I have only lost 2 lbs in the last 5 weeks. Prior I was averaging about 1-2 per week and now this!! I want to rip my hair out.

I am gonna be honest with you all – I am terrified. I DO NOT want to go backwards, this is scary. I have goals to make and my next one is to lose 100 lbs by my sugiversary which is coming up on January 23rd, 2013. I am 11 lbs from that goal and what seemed achievable last month now seems like it may not be. I am freaking out a bit.

I talked to my friend who just had Gastric Bypass this morning about my concerns and she reminded me of that all important thing I always say – Gastric Bypass Surgery is just a tool and not a fix it all. That is something we all have to keep in mind. I know that too, but as the honeymoon period starts to go away we have to work that much harder at not falling into all those old habits we had prior that got us here in the first place. I wrote a post last month When Bad Habits Creep Back. I have been trying to make changes and have, but why am I stalling and not losing weight?????

What do I do now? Well in that post I said I would try the 5 Day Pouch Test and have not done that. Starting tomorrow I am gonna do it and see if that can get me back on the right track. If I start tomorrow I will end it on Sunday and weigh in on Monday – so that will be perfect. No I have not been exercising and that can be it as well – now that it is cold I am not doing much but sitting at my desk all day working. So I guess I will give in and get on that treadmill that just collects dust.

I just had to share my frustrations with you all – I am having a hard time right now and with the scale not moving as it was before and it can be a real downer. Having Gastric Bypass Surgery is not all Unicorns and Rainbows folks, keep that in mind. I do not sugar coat anything just so you know.

For the next 5 days here is my plan…. I will do the 5 Day Pouch Test and log everything I eat to share with you all on Monday. I will also get on that treadmill for no less than 30 minutes per day for the next 5 days as well. Wish me luck and stay tuned for the results – ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Lets hope I do not rip all my hair out in the meantime.

A Delicious Combo of Coffee and Protein

Coffee and Protein

If you follow my posts you know I LOVE my Coffee. I have now found a new drink combo that combines both my protein and my coffee in a delicious flavorful drink with a grand total of 40.5 grams of protein – Boo Ya!!

I have combined my Protein Shakes and Coffee before (see my post Protein Iced Coffee Concoction), but this is a little bit different. One of my readers (Ryan R) is the one who told me about this combination and is now my new BFF, lol.

Over the summer I received some samples of the Click Mocha Espresso Protein Drink because I was looking for different ways to get in my caffeine and protein. I love this stuff and have combined it just with milk alone and loved it. Lately though I have not been good at getting in my protein like I should and that is when Ryan suggested this drink combo to me.

Here is what the drink combo is:

  • 1 Cup Warm Milk (I just microwaved it) = 8 Grams Protein in 2%
  • 1 Scoop Click Mocha Espresso Protein Drink = 7.5 Grams Protein
  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Mix (I used CVS brand which I like) = 25 Grams Protein
  • 1 Cup of fresh brewed Coffee

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I mixed the Proteins in my shaker cup with the milk and then poured that in a bigger cup and mixed in my Coffee. I am not a fan of the Vanilla Protein alone and it has been sitting in my cabinet – I prefer the Chocolate when just making a shake. Well who knew I would love it mixed in with these other items.

I am so excited to now have a new drink that I love and that is filled with protein since I have been lacking. I drank it warm and because it was so much to drink at once when it got cold I just added in some ice cubes and it was even better cold.

So if you love coffee like me you have to try this – I thank Ryan for this recipe and now I will get in my protein for sure!!! I am actually finishing up one as I type.

Her I am over the summer enjoying my Click Mocha Espresso Drink which is tasty like I said even on its own and it also comes in Vanilla Latte – mmmmm.

Bowel Movements after Gastric Bypass Surgery

Bowel Movements after Gastric Bypass Surgery

Yes I am gonna do a crappy post, literally. Someone has to talk about it right? I did say I was going to share the Good, Bad and the Ugly when I started this blog right? I think this falls under a little of them all.

So what made me decide to write a post about poop? Well lots of reasons really, but I decided it was time after a good friend of mine recently had Gastric Bypass Surgery and was having some trouble and called me for advice. Yes one of those awkward phone calls – normally I talk about all kinds of crap on the phone, but this time it was really crap. And I gave my crappy advice and hoped it would help, lol.

So the problem my friend was having was similar to what I went through right after my Gastric Bypass Surgery – “The Log Jam”. I will explain what that means if you are unsure, which I hope your not, but who knows, that is when you cannot poop. You know it is there cause you can feel it – that dreaded bloated feeling. Then you do go, BUT it is like you are giving birth to a baby and after all that work it is just a small nugget and you are left in pain. Yes gross I know, but I only speak the truth.

Luckily for me my surgeon warned me this may happen and I think a lot of it has to do with a combination of things such as; all the pain meds you are on in the hospital and after surgery, the lack of fiber right after and your body in shock saying WTF did you just do to me.

My surgeon had told me in the hospital before I left that if this was a problem to take Dulcolax Stool Softener to help move things along. You can see I wrote about it in my Third week after Gastric Bypass blog post and that is around the time I felt the need to start taking them. Of course always check with your surgeon if they allow this for you, because they all have different rules.

The good thing is that if you are reading this prior to having surgery you can add it to your list of things to ask and to have in the house just in case. Not everyone will have this issue, but I would guess that about 98% will due to all the factors involved.

I am happy to report that my friend had her hubby run to the store to get her some and after a day or two things started to move out slowly, softer and less painful – so in the end my crappy advice was not so crappy after all. Kudos to me!!!

While I am talking about all this crap let me tell you something else. Prior to me having surgery I would always feel backed up and even though I would have bowel movements pretty regular I just always felt backed up and bloated. It was bad enough that I had even talked to my doctor about it and they diagnosed me with IBS due to my symptoms and my bad gas (yes I said it bad gas).

I am happy to report I do not have that at all anymore, in fact it is quite the opposite. Wait let me back up a bit, I do have gas still and yes you will notice after having surgery some things will make it worse than others and the smell at times you think will kill you and everyone else in the room. BUT as far as feeling backed up in the poop shoot or bloated – well for me those days are pretty much gone. Now to get really gross… when I have a bowel movement now they are huge, soft and almost as though my intestines clean out all in one poop like a giant snake. I am sorry if I made you throw up in your mouth a bit, but I have to share that so you know there is hope. Yes there will be lots of moments when you are like – where the hell was all of that inside me and then you will smile and be glad it is not and wonder if you should run to the scale and weigh in again.

So to conclude this crappy post of mine know that if you are in the beginning weeks of recovery after Gastric Bypass Surgery and having these issues talk to your surgeon about a stool softener and if you are prior to surgery do the same thing and be prepared for it.

In the end it will all work out (literally).

Want to start your own diary without sharing private moments and thoughts with the internet? This essential guide to what to write in your diary should give you some ideas.

Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole ~ No soup used

Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole

OMG I made the Best Tuna Noodle Casserole that was sooo creamy and delicious and not like the Tuna Noodle Casserole that most of us know. You so have to make this, Trust Me!!

I am not sure if you would consider this recipe extremely Gastric Bypass friendly, but I look at it this way – I have had Gastric Bypass, it has Protein, I ate it, I lived, it was fabulous and you are not eating the entire thing – so to me that is friendly enough right?

This was my first time making this and it was so good I could not keep it a secret. This Tuna Noodle Casserole is not made with the cream of mushroom soup which I use to think that was good, well no more. This has so much more flavor and so creamy – I will never go back.

Here is what you will need to make this deliciousness:

  • 1 Can Mushrooms or Mushroom Pieces
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced (I use jarred – I am a cheater)
  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 1 Medium Green Pepper, Diced
  • 1 (12 ounce) Package of Large Egg Noodles
  • 1/4 Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 2 1/2 Cups Milk
  • 1 Package of Cream Cheese
  • 2 Cans Tuna in Water, Drained
  • 1 Small Can of Peas, Drained
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Cup Grated Sharp Cheese (I used Sharp White Cheddar)
  • Durkee French Onions

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Now follow along and watch how EASY this is to make:

I doubled the recipe because we love leftovers in my house, so that is why it looks like so much.

So here is what you do…..

In a frying pan saute up your Mushrooms, Garlic, Onions and Peppers to your desired tenderness. I added a little butter in the pan as well. When that is done set it aside.

Next boil the water with some salt in it for your Noodles.

While the noodles are cooking up melt your Butter in your frying pan and blend in your Flour. Then add you milk in slowly stirring constantly, bringing it to a slow boil. When that gets thick and creamy lower heat to medium and blend in your Cream Cheese until melted – still stirring.

Then add in your cooked Noddles and then the Tuna, Peas and the Onion, Pepper and Mushrooms. Season with some Salt and Pepper.

Put all of that into a Casserole Dish and Top with your Cheese and then top that with the Durkee Fried Onions.

Bake in the oven at 375 for about 15 minutes.

Take out and chow down, but not too much for all you Gastric Bypassers like me. I was good with about a cup and then I was full and satisfied.

The kids and hubby loved it too and my daughter is not always a fan of Tuna Noodle Casserole the old way. The one thing my son asked to leave out next time I cook it was the peppers and I may just do that. Not because they tasted bad, but because the kids are not huge fans of the peppers and of course my hubby complained they were not soft enough for him. I like my cooked veggie with a tiny crunch – hubby likes the soft, I can never win with him, lol.

Let me know if you give it a try – trust me it will be a new family favorite.

Enjoy !!

My First Thanksgiving after Gastric Bypass Surgery

Thanksgiving After Gastric Bypass

My very first Thanksgiving since my Gastric Bypass Surgery and I survived without unbuttoning my pants for the first time EVER!! I was very nervous about this holiday since the focus is always on the yummy food, but I am so proud of myself for having some self control.

Holiday Dinners after Gastric Bypass are hard for anyone regardless if it’s your first one or you are years post op. Having all that food and the foods that comfort you at those times can make it so tempting to over eat. Most of the time they are heavy foods such as Appetizers, Potatoes, Candied Yams, Stuffing’s, Pies and rich Desserts etc… Of course all the things we love on the holidays and all the things we now must try and avoid eating lots of. Gone are the days of piling your plate high and doing it twice around.

Thanksgiving was held at my in laws this year – we are all on the holiday rotation. We got there about 3:00 and there was a nice spread of appetizers out to snack on. I brought a cheese platter with cheese, pepperoni, olives and marinated roasted red peppers along with some crackers for everyone and there were lots of other yummy choices too.

Appetizer time is a hard one for me cause it is so easy to just pick pick pick. I tried to make good choices and my brother in law had out some Jumbo Shrimp and cocktail sauce so I had a few of those and then I had some crackers with a piece of cheese on them along with the marinated red peppers (yum). I had some olives and a few tortilla chips with salsa. I did have to tell myself to walk away at some point because my head just wanted to continue to eat.

Originally when it came to dinner I was going to eat off of a salad plate, but I ended up eating on the same plates as everyone else. We sat down for dinner around 6:30.

Just like with the appetizers there was so much food when it came to dinner we really could have fed a small army. So I took all my favorites, but very small portions of them unlike what my plate looked like last year. My rule is to never deprive myself of the things I love – I just eat much less of them. In my before photo of my plate I had Stuffing, Candied Yams, Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, Corn Casserole and my Turkey with Cranberry Sauce.

I tried to eat all my Turkey first cause ya know the rule – Protein First. Well I did my best because I wanted to be sure to get in some of my other favorites on the plate.

As you can see in my After photo I could not even finish it all.

I was so proud of myself – again my head was telling me to finish it all, but I fought those little devils in there and said NO WAY!!!

For the very first Thanksgiving in as long as I can remember I did not have to unbutton my pants and have that sick to my stomach feeling. In addition to that I actually had a belt on for the first time in years to hold them up. Is that a change or what?

Dessert came out at about 7:30, but being I am not a huge dessert fan (lucky me right?) I just had a couple cups of coffee and besides my pouch was still pretty full and satisfied from dinner.

It was a great time with all my family and all the kids and another accomplishment under my belt (literally cause I had one on).

Kids stayed at my in laws for the night so hubby and I were home alone – I ended up dipping into the leftovers when we got home around 11:00 pm for a tiny portion of corn casserole. My brother in law makes it and it is one of my favs. Then I was up on the computer until about 3:30 am which is so unlike me to be up that late, but before bed I had a small leftover Turkey Sandwich. I did not eat it all – shared it with my 3 dogs – hee hee. I had a nice full belly for bed.

So there you have it my First Thanksgiving since Gastric Bypass – not too shabby!! Hope you all survived and did not over eat as well.

Delicious Beef and Cabbage Casserole

Beef Potato Cabbage Casserole

I have to share one of my favorite delicious recipes with all of you and it is for this Beef and Cabbage Casserole. It is basically the same thing as stuffed cabbage without all the work – so if you like that you will love this.

The other great things about this recipe is that it is super EASY to make, Budget Friendly and full of Protein. So are you ready to get cookin’ or what?

Ok then…lets go….

Here is what you will need for the recipe:

  • 1/2 Cup Uncooked Brown Rice
  • 1 1/3 Cups Boiling Water
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Medium Onion Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 3/4 Lb Ground Beef
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4 Cups Shredded Cabbage
  • 1 Jar (16 ounces) Spaghetti Sauce

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This will make 8 servings – I always double this and fit it into a 3 quart casserole – 8 servings is just not enough

Now this can not be any easier to throw together here is what you do:

Shred your Cabbage.

Cook your rice in the boiling water, season with salt and then cover and simmer for the amount of time it says.

While that is cooking get out your frying pan and saute your onions in the butter. One they are good add in your ground Beef to brown up. Then add in your Worcestershire Sauce and season with some salt and pepper.

Once the rice is done add it to your beef mixture.

In your casserole dish layer 1/2 of your shredded cabbage along the bottom. Then layer your meat mixture on top of that and press down. Add the remaining shredded cabbage and top with your sauce.

Cover it with aluminum foil and bake in the over at 350 for 1 hour or until the cabbage is cooked to your liking.

That is it – East Peasy!!

This is truly one of my favorite recipes and it is soooo YUMMY.

Enjoy !!