Friday, August 3, 2012

A Bittersweet Afternoon for Suzy

Thank you all for your wonderful response to Suzy's weight loss news! That was most heartening. By the way, this morning the number had jumped to 105 pounds!

A couple of readers suggested that Suzy should get some new smaller clothes, as the ones in the pictures were hanging a little loosely. Friends, those ARE her new clothes! Actually, they are about a week or two old, and have already begun to bag. We can't keep up with it. Suzy is so tickled, though, that she is now able, for the first time in a couple of decades, to buy clothing from the Ladies' Department instead of from the Women's Department. What a joy that is for her. (Ladies, please explain to your husbands the difference between Ladies' and Women's Departments.)

What about the bittersweet afternoon? That was yesterday. Suzy dug into her closet and started checking out the clothing. She sorted out the garments with sizes including lots of Xs to be gotten rid of. She mourned the departure of so many of her wonderful old friends, clothing she had enjoyed wearing over the past several years. On the other hand, she is excited that she no longer has to wear those extra large sizes. It was a bittersweet time for sure.

Now those extra large garments, and she had some very lovely ones, will be going to Goodwill so that other ladies will have an opportunity for attractive wear at bargain prices.

So, how did all this happen? First of all a down-to-earth discussion with our daughters, both of whom had been worried about their mother's health. They asked if Mom had considered surgery. A question to our primary doctor gained us a referral to Dr. Burpee (what a wonderful name for a bariatic surgeon!), who agreed that Suzy was a candidate for the surgery. Then came consultations with a nutritionist, a psychologist and a cardiologist.

The surgery itself, on January 24, did nothing but give Suzy a tool to work with. The rest of it was her own determination and will to succeed. She was aided, of course, by support from family and friends. That support continues, and your wonderful response is a big part of it!

Surgery was one tool. Here's another: the Vitamix blender.

Step back in time with us. A couple of years or so ago, Al Bossence (of Bayfield Bunch fame) blogged about his special breakfast shakes, which consisted of what seemed to us some very odd ingredients. Lord, we thought, we'd never consider doing THAT! Now, we are looking at Al's concoctions a little differently.

The Vitamix is arguably the most powerful and fastest blender in the free world. with metal parts where other blenders have plastic, and enough horsepower to get our motorhome out of the mud if necessary. Its blades spin so quickly that anything left in the blender more than three or four minutes begins to cook from the friction. I kid you not, we actually made soup in it one evening! On purpose! And it was almost too hot to eat!

With this blender, Suzy can make the most wonderful tasting and nourishing shakes, and she's taught me how to do it also. Because she requires a certain amount of protein daily, and can't possibly get that from the quantity of everyday foods she can eat, she has a variety of whey-based protein powders in various flavors. The protein powders are added to a small amount of almond milk or soy milk (I usually use nonfat dairy milk) and an assortment of fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits. Spinach is a favorite due to its high iron content. Carrots and zucchini are frequent additions. Frozen strawberries or blueberries, frozen pineapple, frozen bananas (did you know you can freeze bananas? It's simple!) add nutrition as well as an icy chill. Fresh fruits are great also. Ice cubes go in for combined chill and liquid content.

One minute or so in the Vitamix, and there's a delicious and nutritious, if somewhat odd colored, morning or noon shake!
What else goes in? Anything you can imagine: Lite Chocolate ice cream syrup, a little blue agave for sweetening, instant coffee crystals, fiber powder, cocoa powder, flax seed, bell pepper, celery, yellow summer squash, kale,  green or red cabbage, apples, peeled oranges, peaches, nectarines, even a wee slice of fresh lemon or lime, including a bit of the rind. Juice du jour can be a base as well: V-8, tomato juice, apple juice, whatever!

Drop by some time, we'll give you a sample of what's helping us along ... Our Life on Wheels!


  1. That is a cute dress you have on Suzy.
    Are you doing any exercises to help keep the weight loss in check? I mean...turning some of the loose skin into muscle?

  2. I went thru the clothes too! Still have hanging things, the better clothes to go thru, it is sad, but happy thing to do!!! All those x's :)... would love to have some recipes for shakes you do, i am still struggling with the protein thing. Suzy, u look so good and happy!!

  3. Suzy - think tight. For so many years you've worn loose to cover. Now's the time to think tight to show off that great new figure you have.

  4. Oh wow...I love the tie dyed outfit...a flash from the past and it looks great on her....Get rid of the old and get fresh....

  5. Mom, you look amazing! Most awesome of all is your beautiful smile...especially now that it's more teeth than cheek! I would love to learn more about your smoothie recipes! Love you!

  6. Every time I now check out at the grocery store I cringe at the poor person behind me that has wait for the cashier to figure out all those codes for the odd produce I'm now buying (kale is my new best friend!). But the other night, the gal behind me looked at my items and said "do you make green smoothies too?" That then lead to a nice 10 minute conversation comparing favorite smoothie recipes. Yes, these high-speed blenders and the hyper-nutrient meals they create are such an amazing thing! I've been vegan now for 3 months, have lost over 20 lbs without starvation or excessive exercise, and feel so good I can't imagine going back to my old habits of processed and fast-foods. Bet you both are feeling the same way! I got turned on to this by 2 RVing friends, and we started a blog and Facebook page to share recipes, support, and inspiration--

    Cheers to your good health!

    1. Thank you for the link, Lynn. This sounds really good. Eldy and I really need to change our diets. We're going to start looking into this but we really need recipes!

  7. That blender looks awesome. Is hearing protection recommended? (just kidding)
    It can be tough to part with clothes that have been considered favourites. My wife had a (wait for it) lime green pant suit that she refused to part with. There were two problems: It was WAY out of style, and didn't quite fit any more. We finally convinced her to part with it a few years back. (I thought it was kinda hideous, but never offered that opinion. I ain't that dumb)
    It went to the Goodwill. Can't quite imagine anyone would be wearing it these days though, but maybe for a costume party...
    Very nice to see all the changes. Congratulations!

  8. Suzy and Jerry, you will have to get a whole new set of matching teeshirts!

  9. Love the Kokopelli dress...and it looks good on you Suzy. Very impressed.

  10. Nice to see you ventured into the world of blenderization. There is no limit to one's imagination when one steps up to the blender with an open mind, a handful of fruits & vegitables or whatever one thinks will work & taste good. It's not only a healthy way to start the day, but it's a fun way of mixing up & trying out new stuff. Nice way to make a big mess out of your blender & counter top too. Blend on Dudes, blend on:))

  11. congratulations on your terrific weight loss! I'm going to go check out the recipes and think about what kind of blender after hearing about these shakes and smoothies.

  12. Love the Kokopelli dress! But it doesn't surprise me, as another Kokopelli lover. It's great to see this aspect of the weight loss process.

  13. Love my Vitamix. Glad to see you both are thriving!

  14. You go girl! You look great.

  15. Friends Art and Connie sent this message --
    Connie and Art here...First, congratulations to Suzy on her continued weight loss. I imagine it would be bittersweet to go through the clothes and remember the event that they were worn. I'm sure the donation will be greatly appreciated.

    If you noticed the subject of my note is "Hello Neighbor." That is right - meet your new neighbors. We have become leaseholders in Benson this week despite our high hotlist number of 176! Our lot is #264 which I believe is right behind your lot (I can't remember your lot number). It would not have been my first choice but you get what you can get for starters. We'll be in the park by November and will stay through December. We have a committment for January through March which we do not want to break but we'll certainly put our log in the rental pool.

    So, hello neighbors. We're happy to be in Benson.

  16. Congrats Suzy! Please share some recipes. The idea of just throwing things in the blender is scary. Thanks Lori

  17. Suzy, you look amazing!!!!!!! Good job!!!!!!!!


  18. Suzy you look absolutely wonderful, and I'm sure you feel wonderful as well. It takes a lot of perseverance on your part to accomplish what you have, and I congratulate you for it and wish you even more success in the future.

  19. Great goin' girl! Has Jerry lost any weight eating your new foods? Was wondering if you've noticed any improvement with your back problems. Thanks for the updates.

  20. Congratulations Suzy, on your weight loss. I'm, sure your family is especially proud of your enormous efforts in pursuing a healthy life style.
    You go girl.. don't worry about clothing, your beautiful inside and out :)

  21. Came over from Sandie's and Jim's....good for you Suzy.....what an accomplishment!!!!

    I mean it!



  22. 105 pounds is amazing!! Congratulations.

    We recently turned Vegan and bought a Blendec blender, and yes, we've made hot soup in ours too. It's really a great way to get in a lot of healthy fruits and veggies. We have a smoothie at least once a day.

  23. What's up, I merely had to say, you're dead wrong. Your point didn't make sense at all.


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