Wednesday, December 29, 2010


If you are stopping by because of my mention in the "other heath blogs" list on's Daily Dose  (a part of their heath and wellness section here)...WELCOME!!!  

I'm so excited (and honored) for the shout out from them.

Please come back often and feel free to leave comments!  : )

I'll be home for Christmas...

Christmas has to be my most favorite holiday ever.  I love getting presents…I love giving presents…and I love the sampling of foods I get to munch on this time of year.

Since I started working as a nurse, I tend to work Christmas eve night shift.  Mostly, it’s because I don’t have any little ones to open presents with in the morning.   But partly it’s because I can to go straight to my parent’s house after work.  This has started a new little Christmas tradition for us...breakfast with just me and my parents. 

Normally, I’m not a “breakfast person” the sense that I don’t really eat breakfast foods.  But, I look forward to this breakfast all year long.  My mother will make me anything that I want and this year I requested pancakes and sausages.   Because my mom is awesome, it was hot and ready when I got there.  I ate 2 small pancakes and 2 sausages and was totally full.

It was great.  (and by great, I mean friggin’ delicious.)  But while I was sitting there with my parents eating and chatting about my “Christmas delivery” at work (babies really are the BEST presents!) my dad looked over and said something to me that made me stop for a second. 

“ You take really small bites now.”

I paused, looked down at my fork, and saw what looked like a normal sized bite to me.   (Then again, this is the girl that ate with baby utensils for 3-4 months…)  I didn’t really know what to say.  

So, slightly confused, I think I said...“Yeah...I guess so!” and just continued eating.   

Since my surgery, I am continuously amused by not only how my eating has changed, but also by how different my actual perceptions of food are.  I suppose my servings are smaller and my eating style is different.  But at this point, I don’t even realize it anymore.  

It's awesome.

This Christmas, I ate what I felt like was a lot of things.  I just ate them in moderation.  And during the entire day, I felt completely satisfied and never felt like I was missing out on anything! 

The whole day was perfect, But one of the most exciting parts of Christmas for me was getting my brand new UGG boots.  Whether you love them or hate them, I've wanted a pair for years.  But when I went to the store to try them on, they wouldn’t fit over my calves.  (A problem I’ve had with boots my ENTIRE life!)  But this year that isn’t a problem, and I will be stylin’ the streets of Boston in the finest of sheepskin footwear.  Thanks, Santa!!!

::  happy dance  ::

What a great holiday after the most fantastic year.  I can only hope yours was just as fantastic!  Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I know I've been a little MIA.  There was a death in my family last week which has really made it difficult for me to write.  I will be blogging about it later this week.

I remember last year at this time I had already decided that I wanted to have my surgery, but I was still waiting to find out if I had been approved by my surgeon.  My appointment with him was the last week of December.  I can't believe it's been almost a year. 

I did want to come on here really quickly to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays!  I am so thankful for all my friends and family this year that have helped me through everything.  Your support is the best gift I could have ever received! 

This year has really been amazing and I love you all so much! 



Friday, December 10, 2010

Answer: The reactions of family, friends, and strangers to my surgery....

Are you experiencing any change in how your family or friends treat you? How about strangers?

In general, being a skinnier person has totally changed the way people treat me.  I continue to observe it and addressed it in a previous blog entry called "Polite wisdom..." But, I think your question was more about how people treat me once they know I have had a gastric bipass.  So I'm just going to go with that.  

The way strangers act when I tell them I’ve had a gastric bypass is just plain weird.

I get a variety of responses from them.  There are the people who are shocked…the people who feel sorry for me…and the people who know someone who has had this surgery and want to tell me their whoooole story.   

In the beginning, while I was still a bigger person, there was a lot of “Oh…you didn’t NEED to do that!"..."You weren’t THAT big!”...or “I would never do anything THAT DRASTIC to lose weight!" from people.  But I feel like, back then, I had a lot more explaining to do because of the way I ate or how I was feeling….etc etc.  Currently, it doesn’t really come up much, but when it does people usually look at me and just say “Wow. You look great.”  

From the beginning I decided to be open about my decision to have weight loss surgery, and not to try and hide it or be ashamed.  I usually just take people's reactions in stride...good and bad...and chuckle about it later.  

The way my friends and family reacted to my decision to have this surgery can best be described as “concerned.”  I think this was normal, since this is a major elective surgery that can have some unfortunate complications and has had some negative press. 

Not everyone I told beforehand agreed I should have the surgery done.  In my mind, I just knew it was the best decision.  So, I tried my best to assure them that everything would be OK and proceeded on.  I haven’t regretted that decision once. 

Now, after my extremely successful recovery, most of my friends and family are really super supportive and impressed with my new healthy lifestyle.  But, despite what I do or say, some of them still aren’t and (even though it was one of the main issues I have dealt with post-op) I have chosen to keep that issue off this blog for almost a year.  This is mainly, because I didn’t feel like stoking the flames of this ongoing issue in my life. 

But, since you asked I will tell you…as honestly as I can. 

Some people still cannot deal with the fact that I chose to have surgery to lose weight.  They think I am lazy, self centered, and just taking “the easy way out.”  They can’t handle the fact that I am a smaller person, looking great, and have more confidence and self esteem than I have ever had before in my life.  And, you know what?  That is just fine with me…. Now. 

But, when I first had this surgery, the lack of support from some of these people was debilitating.  I had a lot going on mentally and had a really difficult time dealing with this particular issue on my own. 

I searched all over the Internet to try and see if other people had had such a negative reaction from people close to them.  After weeks of looking for help on message boards and on other gastric bypass support group websites, I gave up.  There seemed to be no easy solution to this problem.

So, I just cried about it.  A lot. 

In the end, I succumbed to the distance that was established between these people and myself.  It was a difficult decision, but I felt that I needed to do this for my mental health and to facilitate my recovery.  

Was I happy about it?  No.  Was this the right decision?  To be honest about it, I'm still not sure. 

I am not angry, just hurt by the actions of these people.  In a way, I can understand how difficult it can be to see someone so close to you change so drastically.  But, what I have come to believe is that no matter how hard I try, I can’t change how these people feel.   And at this point, I realize that it’s not my job to do so.   They are the only ones who can change their minds and accept the transformation that has happened in me.  And when they do I will be here to try and fix things.  

So, to answer your question- Yes...people do treat me differently.  Sometimes it's just because I'm skinny.  Sometimes it's the negative stigma associated with the surgery.  And sometimes it's just the way people are dealing with the way I've changed personally. 

But, I have come to peace with it all.  Hopefully, someday, they will too.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The cost of being skinny...

One of the first things I did after making the initial decision to have this surgery, was to see if it was going to be covered by my insurance.  I knew that I certainly couldn’t afford to pay for it on my own and I didn’t want to get too excited if it wasn’t going to happen for me.  Fortunately….(or unfortunately…however you look at it)…my BMI was high enough to have the surgery covered.  


When I got this news, I remember thinking how lucky I was that I was going to have this fantastic surgery and it wasn’t going to cost me a single dime. 

But I was wrong.  Oh so wrong.

Now, I knew that there would be co-pays and medicines involved that I would have to at least partially pay for.  (Did you know chewable and liquid forms of meds tend to be more expensive….yeah, neither did I!)  But it’s the OTHER stuff that no one tells you about that will surprise you. 

That is until now.

There are “incidental costs” that come along with having this surgery that people should be prepared for.   Some of them aren’t even medical, but I feel these things are required for success (and survival) to get you through your first year post op. 

The first is special foods.  I remember being so excited about how cheap my grocery bill was going to be.  And, yes…I certainly buy less food…but what I buy was and is DAMN expensive.  Protein shakes, protein bars, fresh fruits and veggies, low cal/low sugar/“diet” meals….it is all disgustingly overpriced.  Not to mention the amount of food you have to THROW AWAY because it spoils before you can eat it.  (Or because you can’t buy it in small enough portions.)  Eventually, I learned how to shop for myself, but occasionally this still happens and throwing away food drives me absolutely bananas.  

Next would be exercise expenses.  I joined a gym.  And got a trainer.  Sure, these costs may be considered “optional” by some people.  But, since working out was recommended by the physicians, I knew it was important.  I also felt becoming more physically fit was a necessity to have the kind of success I wanted….and have had. 

And how about the clothing?  Oh my lord, the clothing. 

I will tell you right now that after this surgery you will need to replace your ENTIRE wardrobe.  Don’t believe me?  I legitimately have NOTHING in my closet that is over 3 months old.  Including shoes…and underwear.  

It’s nuts. 

When you start dropping weight all you want to do is buy new clothes.  It’s natural….and really friggin’ exciting.  But resisting this urge is so hard.  Don’t get me wrong, you will NEED to buy clothes.  But the amount of clothes and where you buy them from will change. 

For example, I learned that when you try on a bathing suit that makes you feel good, you will buy it, no matter how much it costs.  Like the bathing suit I bought this June (see this post)….that I spent about $150 on…and wore….mmmm….less than 8 times.   In the middle of summer, I found that it didn’t fit anymore and I had to buy ANOTHER one.  (This time from the sale rack at Sears.) 

I felt like every 10 pounds I lost were going to be the last 10…and all I wanted to do was shop for new, cuter, smaller clothes.  But after doing this a few times (and donating several hundred dollars worth of “only worn 3 times” clothing) I eventually learned my lesson.

Instead of buying clothes all the time, I started a “new wardrobe” savings account that I will use next year when my weight stabilizes.  The thought of the serious amount of finacial damage I will do when I get to use this fund makes me need to take a moment to myself.   


When I was younger, I remember laying in my bed at night…staring at the ceiling and thinking to myself that no matter what the cost, I would pay any amount to be healthy and have a new body.  So, does that still apply?  Absolutely. 

But every once an awhile I think about how, with all the money I’ve spend on gastric bypass “stuff” this year, I could have a nice new car…or could have gone on a fantastic tropical vacation.  And I wonder, is it really worth it? 

And I answer yes…every single time.     

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your families!  I hope your holiday was fantastic!

Mine certainly was.

I spent most of this week curious about how Thanksgiving dinner was going to go for me.  It's my first "real" holiday since my surgery and I was nervous.  How much was I going to be able to eat?  Would I get sick?  Would I feel judged?  As I rocked my adorable new outfit and sipped a glass of merlot, I realized that it didn't really matter.

I put a little bit of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and gravy on my plate.  I ate what I could and stopped when I felt full...(what I would consider an "average" portion....maybe half of what I plated)  A few hours later, I joined everyone in dessert with a 1/2 piece of cheesecake with fresh blueberries on top.  That's all I ate.  And it was perfect.

This year has been amazing.  I am thankful for so much and to so many people...almost too many to list. But, I really wanted to share my thanks with everyone, so here is a list of some of the things I am thankful for this year:

My job.  I love where I work and what I do.  Each and every baby is a miracle and delivering them never gets old.  Also, my entire work family is just amazing.  No really...they are awesome.  The people I work with make being there, even on busy nights, even more enjoyable.  It's truly a blessing to love what you do for a living.

My house.  I work very hard at the aforementioned job to afford my darling little house...and everyday here makes me happy.  (I am also thankful for all the people who help me maintain my house...for without you guys, I would probably have had a mental breakdown by now)

My cat.  As I embrace my inner cat lady, I realize just how lucky I am to have Gabriel here to keep me company.  Depending on how you look at the situation- he keeps me sane....or makes me crazy.  Your call.

My friends and family.  I am just so thankful for all of my friends and family who have helped and supported me through this entire year...(and even the ones who didn't.)  This past year has been full of ups and downs and I know I couldn't have made it through it all without all of the support.  I am so lucky  and feel so loved!

My surgeon.  I often hear horror stories of people with surgeries gone wrong.  I was so blessed to have one of the best doctors (and staff) at one of the best hospitals in the country to guide me through this process keeping me healthy.  Hence why I work there.  It's awesome.

My personal trainer.  No matter what I do, Beth continues to believe in me and keep me motivated.  She pushes me to my limits and I know that I wouldn't have been nearly as successful with my weight loss this year without her help.  Every day I think about how lucky I am that she was the one behind the desk the first day I sheepishly walked into the gym.  I love that I went in there looking for a personal trainer and found a friend as well.

My new self.  I am so thankful for all of the positive change that has happened to me this year.  You can never really know how different your life will be after this surgery, and for me- it is better than I ever could have expected.

It's so nice to really take the time to be thankful for all I have been blessed with this year.  I have learned so much and can't wait to see what amazing things next year brings to be thankful for!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Engage with Grace..."blog rally"...

Making end of life wishes known to your loved ones may be a little off topic for this blog but, as a nurse, this is something dear to my heart.  Please, take a moment this weekend to talk to your families about these important issues!!!  



We're continuing a tradition at THCB started last year. Asking you to take a moment this weekend to discuss your desires for how to live the end of your life as meaningfully as possible--If you want to reproduce this post on your blog (or anywhere) you can download a ready-made html version here

Last Thanksgiving weekend, many of us bloggers participated in the first documented blog rally to promote Engage With Grace - a movement aimed at having all of us understand and communicate our end-of-life wishes.

It was a great success, with over 100 bloggers in the healthcare space and beyond participating and spreading the word. Plus, it was timed to coincide with a weekend when most of us are with the very people with whom we should be having these tough conversations: our closest friends and family.

Our original mission, to get more and more people talking about their end of life wishes, hasn't changed. But it's been quite a year, so we thought this holiday, we'd try something different.
A bit of levity.
At the heart of Engage With Grace are five questions designed to get the conversation started. We've included them at the end of this post. They're not easy questions, but they are important.

To help ease us into these tough questions, and in the spirit of the season, we thought we'd start with five parallel questions that ARE pretty easy to answer:

Silly? Maybe. But it underscores how having a template like this  just five questions in plain, simple language can deflate some of the complexity, formality and even misnomers that have sometimes surrounded the end-of-life discussion.

So with that, we've included the five questions from Engage With Grace below. Think about them, document them, share them.

Over the past year there's been a lot of discussion around end of life. And we've been fortunate to hear a lot of the more uplifting stories, as folks have used these five questions to initiate the conversation.

One man shared how surprised he was to learn that his wife's preferences were not what he expected. Befitting this holiday, The One Slide now stands sentry on their fridge.

Wishing you and yours a holiday that's fulfilling in all the right ways.

(To learn more please go to This post was written by Alexandra Drane and the Engage With Grace team. )

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger...

One of the things I love to whine about is the inevitable soreness that occurs 24-48 hours after I work out.  My personal trainer, Beth, tells me it’s called “delayed onset muscle soreness” or something like that. 

I like to call it “a giant pain in my butt”...(or legs...or arms...or back)...

Beth told me that the best was to get rid of the soreness is to stretch and do the same exercise that made you sore in the first place.  I was (and still am) hesitant to try this…but it totally works…every single time. 

So, when I woke up on Sunday with some pretty sore legs after running sprints at boot camp, I figured I should run a little bit to make myself feel better. 

Yes.  I said run.

A few weeks ago, Beth informed me I was going to start training to run a 5k.  It is something I've wanted to do for a while, so I was pretty excited…and also scared completely shitless. 

I have spent my entire life being afraid of running.  My personal feeling was that the only time one needed to run was if they were being chased…so I generally avoided it at all costs.  Beth had me start slow.  Walk for 2 minutes…run for 1 minute.  Repeat for 15 minutes at a time.  

I was so nervous that I made her stand next to the treadmill the first time.  But it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.  So, as time has gone by, I have been increasing my run time and decreasing my walk time by 30 seconds, hoping that someday I would be able to run for the whole 15 minutes without stopping.

So Monday morning, in my "post-12hour-night-shift" stupor, I hauled my butt to the gym and hopped on the treadmill for what I thought would be a quick, 15 minute “run/walk”.  I walked for a minute (while turning on my iPod) then upped the speed to 4.6 and started running...and watching Ellen.  (which happened to be on every single TV in the gym)

I think Ellen is hysterical.  I don’t get to see her show all the time but when I do, it thoroughly amuses me.  Maybe it’s her dancing, maybe it’s her quirkiness, or maybe it’s just the fact that every time I hear her voice I hear “Dory” from Finding Nemo.  I don’t really know, but yesterday she helped me obtain a goal I have wished I could do my entire life. 

I intended on running for 2 minutes at a time (my max up to that point) but Ellen thoroughly distracted me and when I looked down I had been running for 3….and I didn’t feel like I was going to die.
Holy. God. 

So, I started thinking.  

If I can run for 3 minutes, I can surely run for 5….so I did.

Then I figured, if I can run for 5 minutes, I can certainly run for 10…so I did. 

After running for 10 minutes I decided I would try to run for 20, thinking I would make it for at least 15.

I don’t know if it was adrenaline, Ellen’s humor, or my lack of sleep, but I refused to stop and when the timer on the treadmill hit 20 minutes, I was so excited I nearly cried!  After doing 60 crunches (again, I think it was the adrenaline) I booked it to my car and immediately texted Beth about my accomplishment.  I was just so proud of myself.

As of today, I’m down 120lbs.  The things I can do now never cease to amaze me.  With every new thing I can do, I am reminded that having this surgery was the best decision of my entire life.  

Me in my brand new Lululemon groove pants!  (A birthday gift from a friend)  I absolutely LOVE them and think they make working-out just that much more fun!  (and they make my butt look pretty nice, too!  : )

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Answer: My opinion on the Marie Claire internet controversy...

I wanted to get your view on this week's Internet uproar on the story controversy.  Although, the writer apologized (after) for her harsh words about her discomfort towards obese people/ obese people kissing--how do you feel about her original entry?

When I got this question, I had not yet heard about this article.  But I am so glad it was brought to my attention. 
This woman confirmed for me in one or two pages of writing, everything I feared that people were thinking about me my entire life.  This rush of emotion made me so horrified that I think I could have throw up.   I felt like my answer was too long to put in the "answers" post, so I'm giving it it's own entry.

I don’t know what kind of people Maura Kelly, the author of this article, finds acceptable in the world.  

OH…I’m sorry.  I meant HER world.  Because we are obviously all here for Maura to judge upon.  

I have no idea how this article got published, because it is not only horribly insensitive, but also offensive to anyone who doesn’t fit into what this woman finds appropriate to look at. 


Anyone who knows me knows that when I get angry at anything in writing, I like to respond with a point-on-point response.  So I copied and pasted this article and responded to every insulting, hurtful, and uneducated statement in it.  The black type is the article….the red is my response.  

All I really wish is that I could say this to her in person…

Should "Fatties" Get a Room? (Even on TV?)

The other day, my editor asked me, "Do you really think people feel uncomfortable when they see overweight people making out on television?"  Because I can be kind of clueless


I'm not much of a TV person — I had no idea what she was talking about, so she steered me to this CNN article, about the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly. As CNN explains, "the show centers around a couple who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous group [and] has drawn complaints for its abundance of fat jokes [as well as] cries from some viewers who aren't comfortable watching intimacy between two plus-sized actors.  

I read that was about how weight shouldn't matter when you get cast for roles in TV and movies.  It was great.  I haven't see "Mike and Molly" but it sounds great.  

My initial response was: Hmm, being overweight is one thing — those people are downright obese!

Annnnd….your point?  These people sound happy.  Sounds like good TV.  Who cares what they look like? 

And while I think our country's obsession with physical perfection is unhealthy,

Finally…an intellegnt thought…congratulations. 

I also think it's at least equally crazy, albeit in the other direction, to be implicitly promoting obesity!

Oh, so how about the popular show "Dexter" on HBO.  It surely promotes becoming a murderer.  And how about "True Blood"???  As soon as I watched that one I wanted to become a vampire.  Yeah...soooo, I'm fairly certain that when people watched "Mike and Molly" they didn't come away with the thought "Hey, I want to be obese now!"

As a matter of fact, advertising Overeaters Anonymous might even inspire some people to go to a are promoting weight loss!  

Yes, anorexia is sick,
I think you meant to say that anorexia is a disease….(just like obesity, by the way)...but you’re the writer here, not me. 

but at least some slim models are simply naturally skinny.

Suuuuure they are.  Take me to a runway and show me a woman who is 5’10 and a size 00 who is “naturally” that way…

No one who is as fat as Mike and Molly can be healthy.

I’m sorry, are you a physician now?  yeah…I thought not. 

And obesity is costing our country far more in terms of all the related health problems we are paying for, by way of our insurance, than any other health problem, even cancer.

“Even cancer”?  I would like you to site your source for this little gem, please. 

So anyway, yes, I think I'd be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other

Oh, You are  “grossed out” when two happy people are kissing each other?!?!?!  Well, how about if it were two ugly people making out...or cancer patients...or two alcoholics….would you be so “grossed out” then?

To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I'd find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair.

I’m so sorry that all of us “very very fat” people are all up in YOUR world being “aesthetically displeasing” to YOU.  We should just go jump off a bridge and let you get on with looking at all the "beautiful" people you approve of…

Now, don't go getting the wrong impression:

Too late…

I have a few friends who could be called plump. I'm not some size-ist jerk.

Actually, yes you are…

and I’m pretty sure your “plump” friends won’t be calling you any time soon.

And I also know how tough it can be for truly heavy people to psych themselves up for the long process of slimming down.

OH, do you now? I’m sorry…unless you have ever been 100lbs overweight and tried everything you can think of to lose it, you do NOT know how tough it is, darling….not even close…

(For instance, the overweight maintenance guy at my gym has talked to me a little bit about how it seems worthless for him to even try working out, because he's been heavy for as long as he can remember.)

Mmmm…what a great writer.  I’m so glad that you talked to your “plump friends”  and the “overweight management guy” at your gym to find out what it’s like to be overweight.  What is this, a third grade book report?  Jeeze…

But ... I think obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over. It's something they can change, if only they put their minds to it.

FYI, missy, obesity is not something people have a “ton” of control over.  With a lot of hard work, yes… some people can change….if THEY want to.  

People do have to put THEIR minds to it…not YOURS.  Just because YOU want someone to change, doesn’t mean that they should…or can.  Like my mother always says…mind your own business!

(I'm happy to give you some nutrition and fitness suggestions if you need them

NO THANKS!!!  I’m pretty sure you aren’t a doctor, nutritionist, dietitian, or exercise physiologist…

— but long story short, eat more fresh and unprocessed foods, read labels and avoid foods with any kind of processed sweetener in them whether it's cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup, increase the amount of fiber you're getting, get some kind of exercise for 30 minutes at least five times a week, and do everything you can to stand up more — even while using your computer — and walk more. I admit that there's plenty that makes slimming down tough, but YOU CAN DO IT! Trust me. It will take some time, but you'll also feel so good, physically and emotionally. A nutritionist or personal trainer will help — and if you can't afford one, visit your local YMCA for some advice.)

Guess what, honey…you can take your advice and shove it where the sun don’t shine!!!  Even if you were qualified to give this advice (which I’m sure you are not) I wouldn’t take it from someone who has been belittling me for the past 10 or so minutes... 

Then again, I guess these characters are in Overeaters Anonymous. So ... points for trying?

Points for trying??? POINTS FOR TRYING????  What the hell is that supposed to mean?!?!?  Just think about how offensive that statement would have sounded in your skinny little head if you had written that about someone in AA. 


Then again, I tend to think most television shows are a kind of junk food for the mind and body. The boob tube gives us an excuse to turn off both our brains and our bodies and probably does a helluva lot to contribute to the obesity problem, over all.  So ... I don't know.

You sure as hell don’t…

What do you guys think? Fat people making out on TV — are you cool with it?

Yeah, I’m “cool with it”…I’m pretty cool with anyone making out on TV.  Fat people…skinny people…gays…blondes…brunettes…vampires…witches…little cartoon bears.  

oh…and FYI, if I’m ever NOT “cool with it”  I just friggin’ change the channel…

BRILLANT, I know…  

Do you think I'm being an insensitive jerk?

Yes, without a question….but, if you needed to ask, you probably already knew the answer....


Feel free to read her apology at the end of the original article...but for me the fact that she used to be anorexic is no excuse for writing such a disgusting piece, never-mind actually having someone equally as clueless approve it to be published.  

It is my opinion that Marie Claire needs to have some sensitivity training in the work place.  But, whether they do or don't doesn't really matter to me, because I never intend on giving them my business again.  Ever.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

Some people hate Halloween.  I like it.  I think it’s because I am dramatic...and I like eating candy...and dressing up...and being scared.   

OK…so I love Halloween. 

Halloween used to be like an open excuse to eat candy.  As much as I wanted.  So I would always stock up on Reeses and Snickers.  My ultimate favorite candies ever. 

I would buy these candies for the trick or treaters, telling myself that I wanted to be the awesome house that had awesome candy.  But I would also buy a bag….or two…just to have around the house.  So, yeah….mainly just for me.  

During one season, I could legit eat two bags on my own.   

But, although I did love Halloween, I never dressed up.  Why, you ask?  Well, because most costumes for women are…shall we say...risqué.   And with that being the standard, I really couldn’t find a costume I liked…and could also fit into.  

So, because of this,  I just decided that my days of dressing up were over and I needed to stay home and hand out candy.  But this year I went to visit my friend in Orlando for Halloween.  So, for the first time in a long time I was determined to dress up…and look adorable. 

We decided to go as Alice and The Mad Hatter.  We had a great time together and we looked totally awesome...turning many a head when we went out to dinner!  I was so happy that I found a costume that was cute, but also didn't make me look like a $10 prostitute.  Let me tell you, It wasn't easy.

It really was my best Halloween yet! 

And I didn’t even eat a single piece of candy!  

Thursday, October 28, 2010


You asked and I answered.

I hope you enjoy!

Do you crave different things now than you did pre-surgery?

Yes and no.

Right after my surgery, when I couldn't really eat anything, I craved weird salad and mashed potatoes. I watched the Food network like a stalker and legitimately thought Giada and Ina were my best friends. It was sad.

There are some things that I REALLY enjoyed pre surgery that I just can't touch now. For example...weird as it sounds I used to put Ken's Italian salad dressing on almost everything I ate. And had been doing that been since I was a child. Vegis? Rice? Potatoes? Hell yes. But now, it doesn't appeal to me at all. In fact, foods drenched in any kind of dressings kind of make me gag.

Sometimes, I crave things that I can't ice cream or chocolate chip cookies. Sometimes I sneak a bite or two in, but most of the time I use my own little substitutes for these things that keep me happy. Sugar free fudgesicles and apples with peanut butter are my favorites at the moment.

I may have missed this when I tuned in late, but why go for the whole Monty vs the lap band. Just curious. I've been reading quite a bit and I know someone who has had the same surgery. Lost 150.

A lot of people have asked me this question, so I’m really glad you asked me too. I think that each person makes their decision based on their personal preferences. I have seen successes and failures with both. That being said, I believed the gastric bypass was the way to go for me for a few different reasons.

1. Research shows that in the long run you lose more weight overall with a gastric bypass. My doctor said that with a gastric bypass you should expect to lose 70% of your excess weight, while with a lap band you could plan on losing about 50%. Currently I've lost a little over 80%

2. I didn't want a device implanted in me. I had seen some people with the lap band have problems with movement, erosion, and breakage. Although rare, I didn't want to deal with it. Since I was a generally healthy person, I figured my risks for complications were low with a gastric bypass, so after weighing the pros and cons I felt like it was the best move for me.

3. I didn't want control. I didn't want to be able to "fill" and "let out" my band whenever I wanted. I liked that a gastric bypass was a complete lifestyle change and I couldn't eat anything I wanted as long as it would fit through my band. The fear of dumping keeps me on track. I took that risk and it paid off for me.

What about, um, you know, excess skin?

As for excess skin....I have it. (as does anyone with this kind of rapid weight loss, I'm sure) Mostly the skin that bothers is in my stomach and thighs. SPANX help a lot, but I decided from the get go that I really needed to work-out to tone and make the skin less noticeable. And it has definitely helped.

I tell people quite often that I have work really hard at the gym to NOT look like I had a gastric bypass. I think working out is key to managing the skin issue, but there are surgeries to remove it and some are covered by insurance. I’m not considering anything at the moment because I feel like it would be silly to have skin removed from my stomach before I have children. Which I want. Definitely.

I was wondering if you knew what your body fat percentage was before surgery and now?

Oh my god. Math. (Hopefully I can make my high school math teacher, Mr. Duffy, proud here)

Bear with me as I think…

Ok…so…my starting weight was 301 lbs. An average person my height (5 ft 8 in) should weigh about 160 lbs to be considered “normal.”  According to that, I was 141 lbs overweight.  Which is about 47%.

Of that 141 lbs, I have lost 119. So as of now, I have lost 83% of my excess weight. (The average with a gastric bypass is 70%)

My body mass index (a calculation using your height and weight which doctors use to gauge your weight class) before surgery was 45.8 and I was considered “obese- class III”….the highest one. My BMI now is 27.7 and I am only considered “overweight.” A normal BMI for me would be under 25.

I've heard that some people switch their "addictive" behavior from food to something else.  By that I mean whatever function the food served them, stress reliever, friend, comforter etc. Have you experienced that?

Yes. I realized very soon after my surgery that I was addicted to food.

No one can really prepare you for that moment at all. 

This is what I did: I got mad. I lashed out. I cried. And I watched the food network constantly.  Until one day, I realized food was not coming back into my life in the same capacity as it was before. I needed to find a healthier way to deal with this “loss” than throwing a tantrum. So I did a lot of things

I started opening up and talking to my friends and family about my feelings.
I started embracing the gym.
I wrote a blog.
And as I lost weight, I became addicted to my new confidence. 

Feeling great about myself is the best high ever. This is why I say, “nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels!” It’s not about attaining a certain weight goal or depriving yourself to look good. It’s about reminding yourself that you don’t need food to feel great. Feeling confident in myself feels better than anything I used to eat to make me happy. End of story.

Well everyone, I hope these answers were interesting and helped you out! There are a couple really good ones that I have saved to use as their own blog entries…so stay tuned.

By the way…If you ever have questions for me, don't hesitate to ask. By the length of this post, It's obvious that I REALLY like answering

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Success "story time"...

Guess what?

I am a success story.  Really.  Check it out!

I know, right?  Who knew?

When I was a bigger person, I remember watching various infomercials at night when I couldn’t sleep.  They are all the same, really.  There would be some person on there, telling you their “success story”.  How they lost 100 or so pounds with some gimmick diet or workout program.   Generally, standing next to…or in…their old pants.  Luckily, I never bought into all of that.  In my mind, I always knew that if something looked too good to be true, it generally was.   But that never stopped me from dreaming.

This year, I made my own success surgery with the combination of surgery, diet, and exercise.  I won’t claim that it was easy, because it wasn’t….but it was simple. That’s it.  No gimmicks.  My way may not be for everyone, and that’s ok.  I’m just happy that it worked for me.

As you guys have read, most of the hard work I’ve had to endure involves the gym.  I know I’ve said it before, but working out was just as an important part of this process as the surgery.  I tell people all the time that I work really hard to NOT look like I had a gastric bypass.  And I would say I am quite pleased at the results. 

So, a few days ago, my trainer, Beth, asked if I would mind writing a testimonial for her website.  I was honored and told her I’d love to.  But, when she also asked me to take some photos for a “before and after” section, I was a little nervous. 

Should anyone really know what they look like working out?

I am always afraid of being judged.  Hence trying to be perfect…all the time.  But at the gym, I leave all that at the door.  I don’t wear make-up, I get really sweaty, and I make noises that I can only describe as “discovery-channel-esque.”   I go there to work.  And it’s the only time I don’t care about what people think about me. 

But I was curious.  So I agreed.  And the pictures came out awesome.  I mean…for the first time ever, I saw that I have “cut” arms.  There isn’t a better feeling in the world than really seeing your progress.  It’s just so motivating.

So, take a moment and take a look at some of the photos.  And then click on Beth’s website to read the testimonial and see the “before and after” photo section.   The photo we picked as “the best one” is just my favorite.  I nearly dropped that dumbbell on my head.  That’s why I’m laughing.  Well, that and the fact that everyone was watching me. 

But you know what?  They can look all they want.  

My "success story" has a really cute butt now.


tricep pull downs

look at those arms!!!

lunges with medicine ball lifts

chest press


**By the way, I'm going to do the "Q&A" blog next week so get your questions to me if you want them answered!  Either leave them in the comment section or e-mail them to me**