Happy Four Year Anniversary

Happy Four Year Anniversary!!!

January 25, 2015 was the four year anniversary of when I had Gastric Bypass Surgery. Its one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
Before I started the process and education at my weight loss center I weighed 336 pounds and wore size 48 pants. I was diabetic, had sleep Apnea, high cholesterol and was tired all of the time.

Here is a picture of me before surgery.

http://tinyurl.com/nsr5wbo

Currently I weigh 169 pounds and wear size 32 pants. I haven’t been diabetic since I left the surgery table and none of those obesity related medical issues. The only pills I take are multi vitamins, citracal, and vitamin D3. I have tons of energy, love life, the yummy foods I eat, and I also love me and the way I feel. Here is a current picture of me.

http://tinyurl.com/pfsgc4z

Gastric Bypass isn’t for everyone, but nothing is. It is a choice I made for me. I needed a permanent change in my life and not something that I could just give up and try something different. I was first aware that I was overweight when I was in the second grade. The only time in my life that I had any significant weight loss was when I was dealing with two very rare and very deadly forms of cancer in March of 1994. I lost about 80 pounds in about two weeks. That isn’t part of anyone’s weight loss plan.

That weight was put back on plus more after I became healthy again. I hadn’t given up on weight loss, I tried many different options, lost a few pounds here or there but put it back on plus more. The same cycle that I had been through my whole life.

The hard work was up to me as weight loss surgery is not an easy way out. There is no finish line in weight loss, regardless of whichever plan or option one chooses. Weight loss is a constant battle. You have to eat right, pay attention to nutritional info, work on making good choices, be able to learn from your mistakes, and then get up and do it all again tomorrow. You don’t just stop doing what you’ve been doing when you get to a goal or target weight. Weight Loss Surgery is just a tool to assist a person in becoming healthy. It is up to each person who uses that tool to use it correctly. The hard part of Weight Loss Surgery starts the day you come home from the hospital because now it is all up to you to make the right choices and to do what you are supposed to do.

The education you get from your center can’t make you do what you are supposed to do. They aren’t standing in your kitchen and blocking you from eating something that you shouldn’t have.

However, if you use the education about eating right, asking questions and having a great support network you can be successful. Part of this also requires that you do regular lab work and go to all of your scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon. They schedule the appointments so they can check on you to watch your progress, look for any problems, and to make any needed changes to what you are eating. They are there to help you, not just a reason to bill insurance for another appointment.
Also, if you feel that something isn’t right, call and make an appointment with your surgeon. They can’t help you unless you reach out and let them know you are concerned about something.

I want to thank all of the people that have supported me in my decision to have surgery, both the people who supported me before and the people who continue to support me. I include all of the people who blog or post on social media about their experiences with weight loss surgery.

I weigh the same as I did for my three year follow-up with my surgeon. My goal is to do the same next year. There is no magic involved in this, I have to pay attention to what I eat, get on the scale from time to time, and make changes as needed. There is nothing wrong in getting help or going back to basics to reset your brain and think about what you’ve been eating compared to what you should be eating.

If I can be of any help, please let me know. I am always learning and don’t know everything, nor am I perfect in any way. I am happy to share what I know and what I’ve learned.

Blind & have had Weight Loss Surgery or interested? Join the blind-wls list by sending an email to: blind-wls-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Follow me on twitter: @blindbites

Update Healthy PB&J

Update Healthy PB&J

I thought I would update some info on one of my favorite things to have in my life after having Gastric Bypass Surgery almost 4 years ago. The anniversary is on January 25.

I’m using a different brand of whole wheat pita pockets for my healthy PB&J and thought I would share the info.
I like these pita pockets better than the brand I was buying. These are a little thinner, not so bread like. As with any of these pita pockets, be gentle when opening them to put something inside. Gently spread them open so you don’t tear the pocket.
These Toufayan whole wheat pita pockets are already split in half and are in a small plastic tray inside a bag.

Toufayan Bakeries – Smart Pocket 100% Whole Wheat
Total Carbohydrate
16 g
Dietary Fiber
4 g
Sugars
1 g
Protein
5 g

Old Home Creamy Peanut Butter
Serving size
2 tbsp
Total Carbohydrate
7 g
Dietary Fiber
3 g
Sugars
0 g
Protein
8 g

Smuckers Concord Grape Jam with Splenda, Sugar Free
Serving Size
1 tbsp
Total Carbohydrate
5g
Dietary Fiber
0g
Sugars
0g
Protein
0g

Totals for this PB&J
Total Carbohydrate
28 g
Dietary Fiber
7 g
Sugars
1 g
Protein
13 g
Net Carbs
21 g

The Old Home is the best tasting peanut butter I’ve had in my new life after surgery. It has 3 ingredients peanuts, peanut oil, and sea salt. It is very very yummy.
This is just one of the yummy things that I eat. Healthy eating can be yummy eating
Thank you so very much for reading my blog. If I can be of any assistance to you or someone you know, please contact me. blindbites@gmail.com

Blind & have had Weight Loss Surgery or interested? Join the blind-wls list by sending an email to: blind-wls-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Follow me on twitter: @blindbites

Coffee Update – Lessons Learned

A Coffee Update

Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker

I’ve written about the coffee maker that I’m using and love. I have learned a few things and wanted to share some info for anyone who has one of these great machines or is thinking about getting one.

There are a few things that I was doing wrong and now that I’ve got things figured out, this coffee maker is even better. One of the areas that I was wrong from when I got the maker is with the two scoops that are included. I figured they were just for measuring coffee and nothing else. The manual, which Amazon does have a link to on the product site, says you can use the scoop or just measure 3 tablespoons of coffee grounds.

The included scoop is actually part of the maker.
If you are facing the maker, lift open the front part where the basket and filter go, the place where you put the coffee grounds.

Before I learned what the scoop is for, I was putting coffee grounds directly into the filter. Instead, the scoop fits on top of the filter.
So when putting things in that part of the machine first goes in the basket or bottom part, then the filter, and the scoop fits on top. There is a notched area on top of the filter where the handle of the scoop fits.

You put the coffee into the scoop and not the filter. I still use a tablespoon to measure the coffee grounds but I put them in the scoop now.

The maker comes with two scoops, there is a hook on the right side of the maker to store the other scoop.

I do clean the maker on a monthly basis by running a half cup of white vinegar and a half cup of cold water through the coffee maker. It doesn’t matter if you use the normal or bold option for this. The manual says to let the mixture run for about 30 seconds, then push either of the buttons to turn off the maker. Let it sit for 30 minutes, turn it back on by pushing either of the buttons and let it finish the cycle. Then I flush the machine out with three cycles of cold water.

One other thing I learned from a review I found, most of the coffee makers will have some water still in the maker after making coffee. So to flush this out and make sure you are using fresh water, I just run a cycle of water through the first time I make coffee each day. You could do this more often, that is just how I do it. I just use the same amount of cold water that I’d usually use to make coffee with. I use a 3/4 cup to measure water. So two of those cups is 12 ounces of water. Just pour the water in the maker, place your cup in the maker and press one of the buttons to run the water through and flush out the maker. Don’t forget to dump the water out of your cup before actually making coffee.

I’ve talked about the two buttons. The top button is the normal mode and the bottom button is the BOLD setting. This is what is suggested for stronger coffee and especially if you use flavored coffee such as the Dunkin Donuts brand like I do. The BOLD setting will move some water through more slowly than the normal setting. It moves the water, takes a break, moves some water and takes a break. I love the way the coffee comes out this way and is what I’ve read from many articles about how coffee should actually be made. Your coffee maker shouldn’t be making 12 ounces of coffee in 30 seconds.

If you push one of the buttons and there isn’t any water in the maker, a light will flash five times then the maker will turn off. If at any time in the process of making coffee you notice something isn’t going right, you can press either of the buttons and that will turn the maker off. After the maker is finished making coffee, it automatically turns off.

I am still using my Bubba Tumbler with the coffee maker and I put the sugar free syrup in the tumbler before starting the coffee maker. Then when its all done and you remove the tumbler, stir with a spoon.

I also use a small plastic funnel when pouring water into the maker, it just makes things a bit less messy when you can’t actually see the water going in.

The scoops, filter, metal plate where your cup sits, and basket are all dishwasher safe and you should wash all of these daily. I use one of the scoops for a few cups of coffee then switch to the other scoop.

This is a great machine, it makes wonderful coffee, its easy to keep clean, and its inexpensive. Here is a link to this maker on Amazon:

Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker
http://goo.gl/PXwI1B

Here is the tumbler that I use:
bubba 24 oz tumbler classic black
http://goo.gl/ouNp9g

DaVinci Gourmet Sugar Free Flavored Syrups
http://goo.gl/V90lC2

Torani | Sugar Free Syrups
http://goo.gl/hfaOax

Don’t forget the reusable pump that both places sell. It makes dispensing the syrup so much easier. The pump fits the 750ml bottles from both companies. Each full press of the pump dispenses 1/4 oz. of syrup.

Blind Weight Loss Surgery List Moved To Yahoo Groups

I have moved the Blind Weight Loss Surgery email list to Yahoo Groups. Google Groups doesn’t notify the list owner of new requests to join the list and that is something that I need to help manage an email list. Leaving a list open so that anyone can join just opens things up to spammers or people who join the list just to collect email addresses and other info from people.

To join the blind-wls list on Yahoo Groups send a new message to:

blind-wls-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Yahoo Groups will send you an email to confirm your request to join the list. All you need to do is reply and send the message. You don’t actually have to go to yahoo and do anything to join the list.

Once yahoo groups notifies me of your request, I’ll either add you or send you an email with any questions I might have.

The google groups list will be deleted as soon as the current members move to the list on Yahoo Groups.

If you need any assistance please contact me at:
blindbites@gmail.com

IFTTT Recipe For KCATA Share-A-Fare Updates

I created a recipe with the IFTTT service that will send a notification to an android device when the KCATA sends a tweet about the Kansas City Share-A-Fare para transit program.

This allows someone who has an android device to get updates on the service status that the program is operating in, usually related to weather.

Its easy to go to the KCATA web site when you are home to see if there is a delay because of the weather. That isn’t always as easy while you are out and about somewhere.

The other benefit to having this information is you won’t need to call and wait on hold for 20 or more minutes just to find out there is a delay in service because of the weather. You can leave the waiting to those who don’t have the current information.

Once you sign up for the free IFTTT service and install their app, you can add the recipe, or set of directions I created and if a tweet is sent from the KCATA about a status update, your android device will notify you.

What is IFTTT?
IFTTT or If This Then That is simple programming or logic theory that can be very powerful. Think of it as, If This happens Then do That.

If the refrigerator door is closed, Then turn off the light. If the battery is fully charged Then turn off the charger.

So with this recipe, If kcatametro sends a tweet with the phrase share-a-fare Then send an android notification.

There are many recipes on IFTTT that people have created and shared in the IFTTT community. There are recipes that will watch for your Facebook photo to change and then it will update your Twitter photo. There are others that will notify you if it is going to rain tomorrow or if the temperature for tomorrow is forecasted to be below a limit that you set.

Here is the recipe that I created:

https://ifttt.com/recipes/236311-get-status-updates-for-kcata-share-a-fare

Happy New Year

Thanks to everyone who has visited my blog during the past year!

My usual New Year’s Resolution is not to make a New Year’s Resolution. So in doing that, I’ve already broken it. Now I can get over that silly tradition and move forward with my life.

I’m looking forward to my 4 year follow up with my weight loss surgeon in January.
I’m also looking forward to my yearly visit to my dermatologist too. I had allot of radiation from the top of my head to the bottom of my spine in 1994 when going through cancer. She has already removed one spot on my back that was showing some pre-cancerous growth and we’ve tested a few others that were okay.
My six month follow up with my primary doctor is in January too. For someone who doesn’t get sick very often, that is allot of doctor visits in one month but I don’t mind. It is important for everyone to get regular check ups and lab work. It is easier to work on a problem if you catch it early, instead of reacting to an ongoing problem that might have been prevented.

The blind-wls email list I started is going great and I’m looking forward to sharing more information, experiences, and support with people who are also blind and have had or are thinking of having weight loss surgery. We have a great group of people and hope to gain more members as the word gets spread around.

So again, thanks to all who have visited my blog and also those who follow me on twitter. If there is ever something you’d like to see on my blog, especially if its related to weight loss surgery, blindness, technology or cancer, please let me know.

Thank You,
Steve

Blind Weight Loss Surgery Email List

I started an email discussion list for people who are blind and have had weight loss surgery or people who are blind and interested in weight loss surgery.

My goal for the list is to support each other, share experiences, and a place to discuss the issues that are unique to someone who is blind and has had weight loss surgery.

We already have a great group of people and from several places on the journey to better health. This allows for different points of view and experiences to share with each other. It currently ranges from someone who had surgery more than ten years ago to someone exploring the idea of weight loss surgery.

If you would like to join the list, simply send an email to:

blind-wls+subscribe@googlegroups.com

You will receive a confirmation email, making sure you do want to subscribe to the list. In most email clients, you can press control r to reply to that message and then all you need to do is send that reply.

To post a new message to the blind-wls list send your message to:

blind-wls@googlegroups.com

If you are blind and are interested in the idea of weight loss surgery or if you are blind and have had weight loss surgery, join the list and be a part of helping others and yourself at the same time.

I am a 20 year cancer survivor and an obesity survivor.
If I can be of any help in the area of weight loss surgery please feel free to contact me. blindbites@gmail.com