Category: Backstories

Going Keto…Again

I feel a lot better than I did my previous post. I’m almost embarrassed that I puked my heart and soul into that post and almost deleted it, but as they say: better out than in!

Anyway. I’ve focused a lot of my energy since then into things that I do have control over now, at the moment: the kids, of course, and Jorge take priority, but I’ve also started really watching what I’m eating and SOMEWHAT started exercising again. I even used some of the birthday/Mother’s Day money mom gave me to buy some cute work-out tees! (In typical Mom fashion, the rest was put towards bills πŸ™„ !)

Cute, right??

These were on clearance at Walmart, for $3.00 and $3.15! Too bad I couldn’t get any good deals on work out pants! THAT’S what I really need! πŸ˜• I have lots of size 0-2, but it’s been a while since those fit comfortably! πŸ˜†

So I started on the Keto diet again on April 30, 2017. The last time I did this “diet” was in 2013 and I lost about 12-13 lbs. and looked much better than I had in a while at the time. It was before I had my breast reduction, of course, but being on Keto was the only time I EVER in my life went down a bra size. Even when I was religiously doing P90X daily and Taekwondo 3x a week in 2010, I didn’t loose boobage. In 2013, on Keto, I went from DD to D. I was shocked! πŸ˜†

The girls started selling Girl Scout cookies early 2014…and I DID NOT ease back into eating carbs–I literally shoveled a box of cookies a day 😳 . So naturally, I gained weight AND when I went for my routine check-up on February 7, 2014, I stupidly got my labs done at 3pm…right after consuming 4 Thin Mints. Of course my cholesterol came back off the charts (394, something like that??) and I was put on a Statin STAT because of my family’s medical history. They sat me down and I got a stern talking-to about what to eat and what not to eat. I was pretty bummed.

So I’m going into this venture once again, but wary and aware of the risks. I’m still trying to figure out how much a lipid panel (to check my cholesterol levels) would be, since I already got my routine check-up done and my levels were slightly elevated then. I don’t want to end up having a stroke or heart attack for the sake of vanity!

Speaking of, other reasons I’m getting back on the Keto train–besides obviously losing weight–is 1) Jorge got back on it a few weeks ago and it’s much easier for me to come up with dinners when I’m cooking for both of us (because, let’s face it: sometimes I have to make an extra meal for my picky girls πŸ™„ ). A third meal would be ridiculous!

2) Since getting off birth control in February-ish of this year (had gotten on it again around August 2016 to help regulate my monthly visitor), my acne has been out of control, mainly on the chin area, which reflects hormones out of whack and/or stress (and I have a bad habit of touching my face, so I’m sure that doesn’t help!). So I’m hoping steering clear of sugar and carbs will help. I’ve been reading articles on, and a piece on acne states:

…modern studies show a probable connection between high-glycemic (high-carb) diets and acne.This may be caused by the effect on growth hormones like insulin and IGF.

To improve acne, your best bet is a fairly strict low-carb diet – ideally one that is also low in dairy products.

I’m willing to try anything to clear this embarrassing problem. The only thing that makes me nervous about Keto is the amount of cheese you could possibly eat–and I’m lactose intolerant (and also, the cholesterol!)! I think being lactose intolerant is another sign my body’s giving me to lay off the sugar and give my face a break, so I’m going to try to use as little as possible, as much as I love it πŸ™ .

I’m actually much more excited about cooking than I had been in a long time. Here are a few meals I’ve made:

Bunless burger with the works!
JalapeΓ±o Chicken Casserole
Keto Krepes With Low Sugar Homemade Strawberry Syrup, Peppered Bacon, Sugar Free Hazelnut Coffee

You can find the recipe for those awesome Keto Krepes here.

We’ve cut our eating out a LOT, but when we have it’s been easy to make substitutions:

Grilled Chicken, Veggies and Avocado Salsa at Palenque Chicken
Bunless Salmon Burger with Aoli and Broccolini at House.Wine & Bistro

I’ve also lost 3 lbs.! Just weighed in this morning and it’s the little boost of motivation I needed to keep going. Now, if I could just find the time to do P90X again! Or at least the 40 minutes I need to get to the park to run! Emily has her GT Project due and we need to finish it TODAY.
[edited to add:] Emily finished her project at school and all I had to help her with was flash cards for questions and finding her prizes to give her classmates as she quizzes them, so we got to go walking/running![/edit]

Changing gears: my poor Gramma hasn’t been doing too well πŸ™ . She was in the hospital on Sunday due to possible signs of suffering a mini-stroke. Ugh. Long story. Let’s just say I had to BITCH and threaten a lawsuit in order to get those idiots at the nursing home to move their asses and get her to the hospital! She may have Bells Palsy, which they will correct with medication but only to a certain extent πŸ™ . Mom and I waited in the lobby while Aunt Nora stayed with Gramma and we got hungry, so we went to the gift shop. There was a beautiful, almost heavenly glow coming from the snack area. There were muffins, and cookies, and chips, oh my!! It took all my willpower to only purchase these:

I shared the almonds and pickle with Mom and I was proud of myself for sticking with it. Mom, on the other hand, got Fritos -_-.

Gramma is doing as well as possible. I feel so bad that she’s in any discomfort.

I’ve been posting less on my regular social media and focusing a lot of attention on my food and health Instagram account. If you’d like to see meal ideas or just what I’m up to, the link is: @yaya_goes_keto (formerly, @yayastartsover). I’ve documented most of my ups/downs/tries/fails . When I started up again in June 2016 after all the complications I had with the breast reduction from February 2016-June 2016, I was tracking on MyFitnessPal and working out (P90X). I went from 123 lbs. to 119 lbs., but that was quickly short-lived thanks to the last complication I had, and then I’m pretty sure I had some weird trauma/mental block that was keeping me from working out since it seemed like every time I got into a routine, I ended up at the doctor’s office again. But I hope I’m successful this time and can keep up with my “diet” (or Way of Eating) and workouts, even though I know I won’t be able to workout every day. I have to admit, eating this way has been pretty easy so far!

1-Year Post-Op Breast Reduction Surgery Anniversary

February 10, 2017 marks exactly 1 year since my nerve-wracking, but long-awaited decision of getting a breast reduction/lift surgery.

I’ve read other women’s blogs retelling their experiences while they decided to and then experienced their breast reduction surgery and recoveries, and many seem to have been much easier and faster recoveries than mine was. πŸ˜•

I had a severe allergic reaction to the steri-strip tape used to cover my incisions. Extremely severe; probably one of the worst my plastic surgeon had ever seen, and it hindered my recovery by months.

I couldn’t run anymore, do yoga, or work out in general because it seemed like every time I did, a new problem would arise. The problem wasn’t always because I worked out or overexerted myself, it just always happened to take place when I would. It did become a little depressing, to say the least.

I gained weight during my extended recovery–because, although I wasn’t working out, I didn’t change my eating habits, which are that of a teenage boy. (Managing a Food Truck park as part of your job doesn’t help, either!) I lost 2.8 lbs. of breast tissue, but I’ve gained about 5 lbs. back. People usually roll their eyes at me about this but take into consideration that I’m only 4’11” tall, and 5 lbs. on me is like 20 lbs. on a “normal-height” person. But anyway, I have finally, fully recovered and now I can focus on working on the rest of myself :). (Well, when work and family life lend me the opportunity!)

I still have sudden twitches of pains in my breasts, but nothing severe. It happens mostly at night, when I wake up with soreness after sleeping on my sides and squishing my boobs πŸ˜• . But I feel like they’ve “settled” in nicely, although they’re softer than I would have imagined, but they are crafted with my own skin tissue and fat, so, heh. It’s also nice to get home from work and not have to put up with wearing a heavy, underwire bra to relax. It’s even NICER to sit bra-less and not feel my large, heavy boobs touching the top of my stomach (gosh, how I hated that!). 😑

I hadn’t had any weird occurrences, like when I’d go for a walk or run and feel this insane itchiness on my side-boob incisions, and they ended up being these weird, mosquito-bite-like welts. Hadn’t happened in months, and then I got one this past Monday (February 13th). (Photo. Slightly NSFW and NSFS (not safe for the squeamish).)

It’s not the best lighting or photo, but that’s what the welts usually look like. Always at the very end of the incision.
I’ve been under a lot of work-related stress, so maybe those welts have to do with stress and not anything surgery-related?

I’m still NOT wearing regular bras, not even the type that are wire free. I’ve stuck with my thin-strapped sports bras from Wal-mart, only because I’ve tried shopping for bras that fit twice and didn’t have much luck because I kept feeling them press on my incisions. These are much more comfy anyway :D. But I’m hoping to go back and try to find some soon!

[Edited to say:] Jorge bought me some Jockey brand sports-type bras from Macy’s to try out during a sale and they are THE BEST!! They actually accentuate your shape (doesn’t create the “uni-boob” like my other sports bras!) and they come with removable pads! Since the surgery, my nips seem to have a mind of their own,  so those little pads come in handy and they aren’t bulky!).

I still have that small “band” of numbness on the right side of my right breast, and sometimes it feels really icky when I accidentally rub it or when Jorge forgets and grazes me there, but all-in-all, I’m satisfied and relieved that I still have most of the feeling back in my breasts and nipples.

The scars around my areolas itch ridiculously every once in a while, but it’s noy very often. Scar tissue?

I have NO BACK PAIN!! Nothing at all like I used to have, except for when I’m PMS’ing of course, but I got so used to trying to “hide” my large breasts by slumping forward that I still find myself slouching a lot.

Although I didn’t have the automatically happy, relieved experience as other women have described who’ve had this procedure, I AM happy I got it done. Overall, my self-confidence got a little boost and I’m definitely not self-conscious about what I look like in my clothes anymore (well, not when it comes to my boobs anyway!). It’s definitely a plus not having to tug at my blouses, or bras, or cardigans or push the girls back into the bra-cup when they decide they’re going to spill out when picking something up off the floor. Wearing dresses and not looking pregnant is another plus!

I don’t have terrible back pain or red-raw skin under my breasts or on my shoulders anymore from the heavy bras cutting into my skin.

Another thing I love: I can wear non-zip hoodie sweaters without looking like a large pumpkin on legs because of my boobs!! I’ve NEVER in my life been able to wear those types of hoodies. These are just some of the things I can remember off the top of my head that women with normal-sized boobs don’t have to put up with!

So for anyone who is looking for advice on where to start:

1. I had a visit with my OB/GYN for my yearly exam in September 2015 and she’s the one who asked if I’d ever considered surgery, since my shoulders and skin under my breasts had angry, red indentations and were even raw in some places. I told her yes, that if I had the money, I would have gotten it done back when I was 17. She said she would document my back pain, and the raw and indented skin and would refer me to a plastic surgeon for a consultation.
2. At the consultation, I didn’t know what to expect. They make you disrobe from the neck to your belly and the doctor marks and measures from your collar bones to nipples, etc., and takes photos to submit to your insurance to confirm if they’ll cover your surgery or not. It is quite unnerving if you’re not used to strangers tugging and grabbing at you, heh. All insurances are different, but I’ve heard that most of the time, they cover 80% and you’re responsible for 20%. It took about 2 weeks to hear back from the insurance, and then my insurance with work changed in October 2015, so the doctor had to resubmit my paperwork to the new insurance company. It took another 3 weeks to hear back and they were ready to schedule me that week in November, but because of work, I opted to take time off in February 2016.

3. Make sure that you are fully aware of what to expect before, during and after surgery. My doctor gave me a pamphlet with tons of information on what to expect, plus the do’s and don’t’s. This is also the time to perhaps get checked for any allergies you may have, most specifically, for latex or steri-strip tape. (I wish I’d had the sense to do that!) Do your own research, but be careful if you’re a hypochondriac like me! I made sure to write down all my questions and concerns and even though I was sort of embarrassed, made sure to get answers for each one from my doc.

4. You will need help, lots of it! You’ll need someone to stay with you after the surgery, and of course to drive you home and to stay with you afterwards. You don’t realize how much you use your arm and chest muscles throughout the day! I recommend getting a very soft, small pillow to hold against you on the drive home. The seat-belt and bumps in the road are MURDER on your chest. Once I was able to drive about 2 weeks post-op, I drove around with my little red heart pillow for a good 5-6 months.

5. Post-surgery: Make sure you get your meds filled by your pharmacy as soon as possible. You will want to take your meds without fail as soon as the anesthesia starts wearing off. I got a pill even before I left the hospital because I could feel the waves of pain coming. Have things ready to distract you (after a few days of sleeping off the meds). Have some Netflix shows on queue and books ready. (This is when my love affair with Scandal came to be.) You will need help getting into your bed, off of your bed, to the bathroom, changing clothes, etc. You will sleep, a lot. Also: you will need to pee A LOT that first night. Probably all the saline leaving your body. Ask for help!

6. Speaking of post-anesthesia: you will most likely be intubated during surgery. I had a croaky voice, but even worse: my throat was irritated and I kept having to cough! It was painful on my chest :(. You will also feel nauseous for a couple of days due to the anesthesia. I could only eat very little cereal, or a few spoonfuls of soup, if even that before the nausea kicked in.

7. You will also need someone to bring you meals, or even open your bottles of water to take your meds! I wasn’t told to stay away from the stove, but I’ve heard others that have. Mainly because you can’t lift your arms too much or feeling numb and having burners on don’t mix!

8. You won’t be able to take a shower for 1 week, no joke. I’ve spoken to several people and read several blogs and it’s all the same. You can’t shower for a week. Make sure you have a healthy amount of wipees for wipee baths and dry shampoo for your hair!

9. Speaking of, you’ll be instructed not to lift your arms, so you will need forward-closing bras. My doctor didn’t give me much information about what types, and because of my allergic reaction I could only wear cotton bras, but most women use forward-closing sports bras. Later on, when I could lift my arms, I wore the Hanes brand sports bras with thin straps from Walmart. They come in a pack of 3. Since then, I have fallen in love with the nylon Jockey brand sports bras with removable pads.

If I remember anything else, I will update here.

These are just a few tips about my own personal experience. Please consult your doctors for the best advice on pre- and post-operation information.

You can read about my full experience here:













Thanksgiving Fest 2016

We truly have a lot to be thankful for this year. I know it’s been a disastrous year for many of our beloved famous figures–but personally, it felt like an easier year than last year, for some reason, and I’m thankful for our health and being together.

I’m also thankful that on November 17th, I got to finally meet Tia Tere and her daughter, my cousin, Anna. Tia Tere is the aunt everyone would say I resembled in her younger years πŸ™‚ .

We all met at Velma’s house. We shared anecdotes and family history (Lipan Apache was confirmed in Velma’s genealogy! I want to do mine!) and when I told everyone about trying to reach out to my Grandfather back-in-the-day I learned that he was actually a family friend (Velma’s mom and dad’s compadre)! So that was interesting to say the least. We had a wonderful time, laughing and eating. Velma’s always such a wonderful host πŸ™‚ .

They opened the Performing Arts Center on the 18th and we got to take a tour and hear the acoustics. It’s pretty state-of-the-art and just impressive!

November 18th is also Jorge and my “All-Together” anniversary, and to keep tradition with previous years, we had lunch together at Kumori!

Neither Jorge nor I were thrilled with that photo, so it didn’t make it onto social media πŸ˜† !
I had to work at the Food Park the next evening at Unplugged (and had to pick kids up in between), so I didn’t get to go to the all-day mini-reunion the family was having πŸ™ . Tia Tere visited Gramma. I’m so sad I wasn’t there to see it for myself. The sisters hadn’t seen each other in years!

I made myself feel a little better about not being able to meet more family by totally pigging out on these pork belly Kimchi fries from one of my favorite food trucks, Nuri Food Truck!

I learned the next day that at the mini-reunion at Gramma’s, mom decided to tell my life story (even the embarrassing and depressing parts) to my “new” relatives. Without my consent or knowledge. I couldn’t believe her. Let’s just say Linda said everyone was shifting uncomfortably and looking off into space. I asked Linda why she nor anyone stopped her and she said, “It was her time to shine!” πŸ˜† Oh geez!!

Anyway. I showed my face at the next evening’s reunion with Aunt Nora and Linda. And apologized to my tia and cousins for having to endure my mother’s rambling on. I got to meet another cousin and her little girl, which was pretty damn cool :).

The next morning, Sunday, I hung out with my Littles. They don’t require as much attention as they used to, but they still do love to follow Mom around, even if it’s just to sit in my company. Seeing as how I also have teenagers who spend most of their time playing video games, football or asleep, I’m going to let Emily, Alaethia and Jules follow me around as long as they want. There will come a day when I’ll miss them doing so!

Jorge and I bought some pork belly from Gabriel, our friend that owns Nuri, so that I could make Jorge some kimchi fries while Nuri was on Thanksgiving break. Even though it wasn’t exactly like Nuri’s, I’ve gotta admit: it was tasty:

So, feeling as guilty as I did after consuming what’s seemingly an entire PIG the month of November (we LOVE Nuri!), Jorge and I decided to have lunch at Gumbo’s for something light. I ordered my usual: Island Salad. It’s like the most scrumptuous dessert!

Buuuuut…I also had broccoli soup in a bread bowl. Aye.

It was…as warm, delicious and comforting as it looks! My stomach wasn’t too happy with the cream (as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized I’m INCREDIBLY lactose intolerant!! Why meee?! Why cheeese??), but man, was it worth it!!

The kiddos had been with Mario that week up until Wednesday, and this year all 7 kids would be with us till 4pm, since Maggie wanted them at that time. So I picked up my babes and we had a small PokeHunting sesh since they’d just started with the new tracking system.

This was also the day John moved out (and we haven’t really seen him since) so he was missing from the Thanksgiving festivities. Dina, Briana and the kids came down, including Nick’s friend Tony. He was such a polite young man!

As soon as they arrived, we started with the preparations for the feast.

While the turkey baked, we visited Gramma.

I didn’t get a proper photo of the spread since we were cutting it close before the kids had to go πŸ™ . But Alaethia said grace, and the food was delicious!

The boys tower over me!

(Jorge didn’t get into any photos!!)

The Holidays don’t usually pass without some kind of hiccup, and there was a small bit of drama but it didn’t last long, thank God.

The kiddos left with their other families around 4-5ish so the adults kind of just relaxed watching a marathon of “Forensic Files”. Jorge and I did our Christmas shopping for the kids from the couch (OMG, got SUCH good deals!) and literally just about finished shopping for the big boys that same day!

I snuck out early the next morning, by myself, to do some minimal Black Friday shopping at HEB Plus. There were a few things I absolutely couldn’t pass up for the kids, so I *had* to go. Happy to report that everyone survived! HEB Plus was pretty straightforward with their rules (they gave you a map, a circular and the rules as you arrived) and let you know they weren’t taking shit from anyone and would escort you from the store if you caused trouble.

Jorge had to work that day, and Dina went to visit her mom so Briana and I hung out with the kids and then went to the park to meet Lisa and Joyce since the kids were becoming stir-crazy. Later on we all met at Fantasy Land Skate Center. Totally made me miss the kids, but I distracted myself by helping Mia and Maddie stay on their feet.

We got home and of course I had to make the obligatory Turkey Leftovers Salad.

That salad is truly the tastiest! (Darnit. Now I want some…)

I did some grocery shopping the next morning (with my $20 coupons I got from shopping the day before!) and then we kinda lazied around till we went to the Food Park that evening. Had to take Briana to SnoBro Raspas!

Hot Cheetos and Cheese & Watermelon Raspa with Gummy Bears and Chamoy

We had actually dressed for going to the park and doing a run, but we stayed nearby and went for a walk at Archer instead. Nick and Tony played football and Mia chased fireflies. It was the sweetest!
And then we picked up Whataburger for dinner. So much for our walk!!

But that’s what it’s all about right? Having fun with your loved ones, eating, drinking and being merry?!