Weigh-Ins are on FRIDAYS - Updated January 13, 2017

Surgery Date: October 20, 2009:

Hit my goal weight on December 17, 2010:

Friday, March 29, 2013

Weigh-in Day & the Bikini

Goal weight: 145 lbs

Today's weight: 138.6 lbs

***************

Remember this?
It's the first (and only) bikini that I own.

A huge Non-Scale Victory from last summer.

Click HERE to see me wearing that bikini on the beach in Florida.

Yesterday, I dug the bikini out from its hiding spot at the way back of the closet and hung it up.

I need a little motivation to stay on track with my exercise lately.

And it's exercise that will make this bikini look better on me.

Onwards.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I am a Triglyceride Bad Ass

I got my blood work lab analysis back from the doctor.

I shall now over-analyze the results in great detail for you:

Glucose: the dreaded blood sugars
May 2011: 76
Today: 85
Comments: Still within normal range. Go me.


Triglycerides: The lower the better.
May 2011: 176
Today: 122
Comments: WOW, that's a HUGE reduction! Go me.


LDL "Bad" Cholesterol: The lower the better.
May 2011: 96.8
Today: 113
Comments: Up a little. But still in normal range. Go me.


HDL "Good" Cholesterol: The higher the better.
May 2011: 67
Today: 72
Comments: Over 35 is considered good. This is my exercise paying off and genetics.


Cholesterol Risk Ratio: a risk for heart disease measurement
May 2011: 2.9
Today: 2.9
Comments: Lower than 3.3 is considered "Good". Go me. Again.


Before I got my Lap-Band in the summer of 2009, my primary care doctor was using words like "pre-diabetic" and "cholesterol lowering medications" at my appointments with him.

I was on the path to being a diabetic and taking even MORE medications.

And now, 3+ years after my Lap-Band surgery, what did my primary care doctor say to me as I left his office yesterday?

No talk of more medications.

No mention of the word "diabetes."

No scary words like "insulin."

Instead, he said, "Keep up the good work."

Friday, March 22, 2013

Weigh-in Day & I Miss Amy

Goal weight: 145 lbs

Last week's weight: 140.8 lbs

Today's weight: 138.0 lbs (kinda sneakin' up on my all time low. I have no idea how I achieved this.)

***************************
Let's talk about Amy.

I miss her.

I first met Amy when I moved to Oregon in 2007 and didn't know ANYONE in town.

I was looking for a nail technician to keep my acrylic nails looking fabulous.  Well, Amy did not disappoint!  She turned into a great friend and we giggled and gossiped over many nail appointments and fun times.

Amy even shared her struggle with obesity with me.  

She had gastric bypass in 2002, lost most of her excess body weight, and was successful in keeping the weight off.  A true superstar with her weight loss surgery.  

She was the one who introduced me to her surgeon (who ended up doing my band surgery).

My surgeon's practice required their patients to have an official "support person" through the entire pre-op and post-op process.  

Amy was my support person.  

She went with me to all of the required doctor appointments, classes, support groups, and of course was there with me on that early Tuesday morning of October 20, 2009 for my Lap-Band surgery.  

Here's a picture of us right before I was wheeled off to surgery that early morning.  All smiles!

Unfortunately, many months later, Amy passed away.

She never had an opportunity to see me reach my goal weight.

At her funeral they played "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry as the funeral ended.


Lately, that song has been popping up more and more for me lately. 

I've heard it everywhere these last few days. On the radio. Playing in Walgreens the other day....you know.  Everywhere.

That song will always remind me of Amy.

I wonder what Amy would say today if she could see me now?

Would she see how I took all of her advice on how to be successful with my Lap-Band?

Would she be proud of me?

I miss you, Amy.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Being a Cheap Date.

You can thank Amy W. for encouraging me to write this blog post.

As I inhaled  two , ummm....OK maybe three mini-cheesecakes at lunch one day in Phoenix, she convinced me that you would just LOVE to hear all about my dating life.

As you know, almost nothing is off limits on this blog.

I've kept it real.

Since October 2009.

But I don't blog about my dating life because I feel that it isn't fair to the men that I date to expose all the juicy details to the world.

And after all, a true lady doesn't kiss and tell.

But here are two very common questions that I've received repeatedly from readers via email:

1. When do I tell my date about my Lap-Band?

For me, I am very open about my band.

Wanna pet my port? Seriously. I'll let ya.

No biggie for me.

However, I have learned that when I tell a man that I have a band is VERY dependent on the man I am dating.

It also depends if the general topic of weight loss and if it comes up in the conversation.

The Lap-Band is a medical issue.

Therefore, I can totally understand why some bandsters wouldn't want to share this with others.

To each their own.

The usual response when I tell a date that I have a band? They say: "What's that?"

Honestly, from what I can tell, most men could really care less about the band.

When I do reveal my bandster status, I don't dwell on the topic of the band and move the conversation along to something else.

Tip: do not, I repeat, DO NOT whip out those "before" photos unless specifically asked.

2. What if he chooses a restaurant where they don't have band-friendly food choices?

I love the concept of getting coffee, especially on the first date.

Damn, I've drunk (drank?) my fair share of Skinny Vanilla Lattes at Starbucks on many a coffee date. Liquids go right down (as they should). No problemo. Especially if nerves and stress are high, coffee is the bomb.com.

If a meal is on the agenda for the date, my go to food choice: Mexican food.  Mexican (beans/cheese/shredded chicken) is a very band friendly food for me. I just have to steer clear of those evil chips and salsa. Yum.

You know what works for you and your band.

If I am asked where I would like to eat, I always give my opinion.

I would NEVER choose pasta or pizza, just too risky.

If I do end up at a non-band friendly type of restaurant, I look for the soup on the menu. Soup is always a winner in my book.

I actually prefer to go on active type of dates instead of getting a meal: hiking is always a great and I can sneak in some exercise too.  Roller skating is pretty bad ass too.

3.  Lastly, my two cents: 

Here's what really gets my knickers in a twist:

The men who are completely hung up and turned off by the idea that I used to be fat.  I've learned that they have this fear that I will one day be fat again.

Like I don't have that fear of being fat again already swirling around in my head and then to have someone remind me of that?

Those ass-hats are kicked to the curb faster than you can say, "don't let the door hit you on the way out."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Gift From the Past

I could not wear this necklace when it was first given to me back in 2008.

My neck was too fat.

The clasp couldn't connect and close.

I would need an extender for the necklace, so I just put it away for safe keeping.

I never wore that necklace.

Until today.

I put that necklace on.

And. 

It. 

Fit.
Even at 3+ years post-op, the non-scale victories do not end.

I hope they never do.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Weigh-in Day & Aunt Flo Alert

Goal weight: 145 lbs

Last week's weight: 142.0 lbs

Today's weight: 140.8 lbs

Still under my goal weight!

I've mentioned before that when my Aunt Flo shows up for her not-so-monthly visit, my level of band restriction goes way up.

Well, that b*tch showed up today.

Since my band was feeling pretty snug already due to my 0.7 ccs "Big Girl Fill" about a month ago, I hope that I don't end up on liquids. That's no fun. We will see.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Workin' the Pole

Just kidding.

I be workin' the chair...

...at last night's chair tease fitness class.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I Met the Godfather

In Phoenix, I met the man who invented the Lap-Band. 

We shall call him The Godfather.

A humble man indeed.

So humble that he prefers that his real name not be mentioned here.

He says that he was just wanting to keep his job at the time (1990s-ish) and he thought a gastric Lap-Band was a good idea.

So, he designed it.

And he helped to get it patented.

Back to the epic moment...

After the Godfather gave a bad-ass presentation full of graphs and spreadsheets showing the many successes of the Lap-Band among many, many studies, I walked over the Godfather and said, "Can I have a photo with you?"

He smiled and said "Sure, of course."

We were in a rather dark conference room so he walked me over to the bright light that was streaming through the windows.  I suppose he thought that we could capture a great photo in the better light.  He was right:

After we took this pic, I showed him a before picture of me at about 255 lbs that was on my iPhone.

He smiled and congratulated me on my weight loss.

I thanked him for inventing and creating such an important device that has affected my life in so many ways.  

The Lap-Band has affected my health. For the better. 

Then I cried a little.  Maybe a lot.

And let's get one thing straight: I don't cry...I'm not a crier.

Then he got a little weepy and he kissed me on the forehead.

We hugged.

And then we said good-bye.

Did I meet the man who saved my life?

Nope.

I met the man who invented a tool that helped me save my own life.

His invention brought me into the light.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

O.M.G. Did You Hear?!?

The internets rumor mill has been flooded with some cray-cray lately about the Lap-Band.

All of this ridiculousness that's swirling around is a result of the news that Allergan is getting out of the obesity health care business and selling the Lap-Band.

But I'm here to set the story straight.

Here's the 411:

Yes, Allergan is selling the Lap-Band.

The Lap-Band isn't as much of a money maker any more.

Peeps are still getting Lap-Bands each and every day.

There are over 750,000 Lap-Band patients!

This band isn't going anywhere.

The Lap-Band is here to stay.

This what companies do:  When products aren't showing year-over-year extreme growth, companies that are growth/profit oriented then sell their products.

It's like a game of Monopoly.

Buy.

Sell.

Buy.

Sell.

I wanna buy your Boardwalk and Park Place.  Pretty Please?

This buy, sell, buy, sell is what makes the world go 'round. (and you thought it was the moon, stars, and planetary alignment? hah.)

But the Lap-Band will continue to be available no matter which new company buys it.

Peeps will still get their Lap-Bands.

There will be weight lost.

It will be awesome-sauce.

The end.

Whew!

Now that we have squashed that reee-donkulous rumor, let's talk about the "Lap-Band Rules."

You know how us bandsters can't seem to ever figure out why one surgeon says "Don't use straws" or says "don't chew gum."

Then other surgeons have no rules related to gum or straws or other stuff.

It's a complicated world out there among the interwebs and which bandster has to follow which rules.

Well get this: There are no "official Lap-Band rules."

That's what she said.

From what I learned in the secret conclave of bandsters (and the creators of the Lap-Band) in Phoenix, there are no official rules.  Each surgeon seems to make them up as they go along for what is best for their patients.

Scandalous.

Now we know the "why" behind all of those rules confusion.

I know that I follow rules that were set by my surgeon and what works for me.

Food choices and exercise that work for me don't work for everyone.

I do what's best for me.

I do what's best for my body and my lifestyle.

The funniest "rule" that I've ever heard mentioned by a Lap-Band patient: "Lap-Band patients can't go in tanning beds."

True story.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Weigh-in Day!

In case you missed it over on Facebook, here's the official weigh-in pic:
I need a pedicure, therefore I wear socks.
Goal weight: 145 lbs

Today's weight: 142.0 lbs

Over TWO years at goal.

Onwards.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

"I Feel Like Oprah"

That was the comment I made to Amy W. when she walked through the front door of my spa villa at the fancy shmancy spa resort that we were lucky enough to stay at in Phoenix.

Amy responded with a "Does that make me Gayle?"

Yes, it does Amy.

Why were we in Phoenix in this fabulous locale?

For this:

Those peeps over at Allergan sure know where to hold these meetings.

Who is Allergan?

Allergan makes the Lap-Band.

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that this was the 3rd Annual Patient Executive Council Meeting.

The 1st meeting was in San Francisco in 2011.

The 2nd meeting was in Austin, TX in 2012.

But I'm here to tell you all about what went down in Phoenix.

Every.

Juicy.

Detail.

The trip began with Clyde, my 87 year old driver who picked me up from the airport. (Oprah moment #1)

He's pretty bad ass with his old-school flip phone and pack-a-day smoker's cough.

I felt kinda guilty letting him carry and lift my bag into the town car. But he managed.

Off we rolled to the hotel:

Ta da! Amaze-Balls. Presidents have stayed here.  And now me too. (Oprah moment #2)

Random pics of my villa:

Patio with indoor/outdoor shower and fireplace (Oprah moment #3):

We explored the resort to look around. Guess who Amy and I found sweatin' it out at the gym? Alex. He created Lapbandtalk.com. Alex is 10 years post op with his Lap-Band!

Time for dinner. 

You can never have too many glasses and beverages.  

Did I break that Lap-Band rule of "no drinking with your meals"?  

You betcha.

Food porn!

After dinner, I had the honor of meeting some very special banded ladies who live in the Phoenix area.
A few of them have blogs.  Some don't blog.

It was amazing to meet them and fun to bond over personal stories of loose skin, Spanx, dating with the band (future post alert!) and of course our Lap-Bands. I miss these ladies already.

After all that excitement, it was time for a swim in the glorious spa bathtub in my villa.

Don't worry, I stayed safely in the shallow end

Coming up on the next post: Lap-Band rumors, hullabaloo, and general ridiculousness!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Flashback Friday!

There is no Friday weigh-in today because I'm not near my scale.

So let us flashback in time.

Back to March 2005.

Approximately 255 lbs.

Size 22W dress.


I need to remind myself that what I have now, was once among the things I had only hoped for: HEALTH and weight loss.

I need to remind myself that no one is going to make MY dreams come true. That it's MY job to get up each day and do the work required.

I need to remind myself that I've come a long way from where I used to be.

I decide where this journey takes me.

Where will your weight loss journey take you?



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