Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Final Days of Freedom

So this week marks my final week of freedom. By "freedom" I'm referring to my final days sitting around home before I return to work. As my recovery is coming along so well, I've made the decision to head back to work on Monday next week. I'll probably start out doing half days to see how I go but it'll be great to get back into a routine again and give myself something productive to do. I'm excited but also a little nervous to go back.. It's been 6 full weeks since my operation which has somehow managed to go extremely quickly..but at the same time, it feels like I haven't been at work in forever!

To prepare myself for getting back into the work routine, my surgeon suggested that I try to keep myself fairly busy of a morning and do a little more than I have been for the previous 6 weeks just to see how I handle it. I've started out my last 3 days with a fairly decent walk (not quite what I used to do.. but big in comparison to doing nothing) and I've found that I've actually had more energy for doing this. It's made me really excited to get back into exercising again and hopefully I'll be back onto weights and running soon (I can only hope)! It's amazing how using energy can actually make you feel better and more awake. Though don't get me wrong, by the afternoons I'm still fairly exhausted. As I'm writing this post, I could easily take a little nap but I've found sleeping of a day doesn't do me any favours with my night time sleeping patterns.

Tomorrow I'm also heading to my GP to get all of my vitamin levels checked and work out when I'll have to start having Vitamin B12 injections.. something I'm not overly looking forward to.  

Food and Weight Loss
I've been thinking a lot about the meals that I'll have once I return to work. It's fairly easy to have anything I want while I'm just sitting around home and have all the time in the world to cook. I'll have to be a little more prepared and actually plan out my meals a little better from next week. I'm not the best planner so it will be interesting to see how I go with this. My housemate is a pro at this and plans and cooks her meals every week so I might have to get some tips from her. 

I seem to be managing to have enough calories to maintain my current weight. I've had quite a lot of people ask about my weight loss so today I decided to make a before and after photo. I was sitting at about 69kg when I went into surgery (put on 5 - 6kg in the months leading up to surgery) and am now sitting between 60 - 61kg. I'm currently a healthy weight and have found that all of my clothes fit me well again which is one of the positives. The photo on the left was taken 2 or 3 weeks before surgery and the one on the right was taken today. 


It still seems strange to me that I have to try to add calories to everything I eat.. but I must admit I'm enjoying it. Since I've been able to have soft foods, the meals I've cooked include the following (these last me several days as I can only eat little bits at a time):

Pesto pasta with Philadelphia cream - added parmesan cheese
Thai green curry with chicken, veggies and rice - added cheese (sounds weird but tasted good)
Shepherds pie
Spaghetti Bolognaise - added parmesan

As you can see I pretty much just add cheese to everything. It adds calories and makes everything taste delicious. 

Breakfast is one meal I'm still struggling with a little. I find if I have cereal or eggs I feel sick and have to lie down for a while. I've had some baked beans which went ok and also some stewed fruit which I've also been having for snacks. I think I just need to avoid anything with milk in it first thing in the morning. Dairy or non-dairy, it just doesn't sit well. 

I've been having mostly fruit for snacks including bananas and stewed peaches and raspberries (yum!). I've tried a few smoothies but like with breakfast, they just don't go down all that well. On the weekend, one of my friends had some chocolate and peanut butter protein balls which I tried.. amazing! So I made up a batch of these yesterday and have already nearly eaten the whole lot. I even ate them for breakfast this morning! They are low in sugar but I imagine quite high in calories given the amount of peanut butter that is in them. Perfect for me. 


Sugar
I've already mentioned in previous posts about the dangers of sugar.. as a lover of sugar and all things sweet, it's been difficult to accept. I'd already suffered the consequences of too much icecream but thought I'd test the waters last week with some chocolate and some cake. I'd already had a little bit of chocolate which didn't go so badly, so when I saw a special for 2 blocks of chocolate at the supermarket, I just couldn't resist. Just note that pre-surgery, I would sit and eat an entire block of chocolate because of my terrible self control and love of chocolate. The only thing helping my self control now is my tendency to feel sick after sugar. I think I had about 3 rows the first day which really didn't go so well. I decided I over did it. But that didn't stop me from polishing off the rest of the 2 blocks over the course of the week. New rule - DO NOT buy 2 blocks of chocolate until learning some self control. 

I also had cake for lunch.. which was delicious and possibly worth it, but I felt awful and had to lie down for a couple of hours that afternoon for eating the whole thing. As you can see from the photo, it was too good to just leave half of it there. 



I'm starting to learn my lesson with sugar. I must have it in moderation. It's just so difficult when I'm such a sweet tooth. I'm sure in time, I will learn. 

Keeping busy
As you can imagine, it can be difficult to keep busy during 7 weeks away from work. I've somehow managed to get through it without going too stir crazy and a lot of that has to do with my amazing friends. This is a quick little thank you to everyone who has taken me out or come to visit, or even just checked in, during my recovery time because it has made a lot more enjoyable. As you can see from the photos below, a lot of the time this does include ice cream.

My friend Bree and I out for gelato

Gelato Messina with Kristy

Kristy and I rocking up wearing matching outfits. Couldn't have planned it better
Picnic in the park 
Thanks for reading. I'm sure my next post will include an update of how I'm going settling back into the routine of work life. 










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