Weigh-Ins are on MONDAYS - Updated July 3, 2017

Surgery Date: October 20, 2009:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Check Out the Latest Facebook FAT Photo

Cruise on over to the Facebook page for a crazy "before" photo. Yikes!

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, May 27, 2011

Keep Calm & Carry On

Chocolate peanut butter cupcake...for lunch.

Weigh-In Day...and the Results are...

Goal Weight: 145 lbs

Today's Weight: 142.7 lbs

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Anyone Up For a Comfort Walk?

When I was obese and would be stressed out about something in my life (work, relationships, or just life in general) I would turn to food for comfort.  Who doesn't?  We all do it.

My usual comfort foods from the past:
  • An entire box of Kraft Mac n' Cheese
  • A row of Oreo cookies
  • A pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream
  • My favorite deep-dish cheese pizza (the whole thing) with a bucket of Ranch dressing on the side.  YUM.
Sure, I could still turn to these foods today for some stress relief and some comfort, but I don't usually.

Now when I'm stressing out or feel the need to eat some comfort food, I try to redirect my energy to exercise instead. 

Yep, that would be a "comfort" walk or a "comfort" Zumba class.  Don't you roll your eyes at me! :-)

If you had told me I would be talking about exercise this way a year ago, I would have told you that you were on crack.  Exercise? for COMFORT? What glue are you sniffin'?!  It's amazing how much my mind has changed about the concept of exercise.

I always feel so much better after exercising - a feeling that I have never had from eating a trough of Mac n' Cheese.

So the next time you're craving some comfort food, can you instead go for a "comfort" bike ride or perhaps a "comfort" walk?  I know I will.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Face Photos Progression

A faithful follower (wait, that sounds slightly cult-like), so let's rephrase that....an avid reader of my blog asked me to do a photo progression from pre-op to now.  So here goes:

Pre-op 250 lbs+:

220 lbs:

200 lbs:

180 lbs:

165 lbs:

150ish lbs:

Now 140s+ lbs:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Book Giveaway Winner is...

Are you ready to find out who won the book giveaway?

There were a total of 10 comments/entries and I used a random number generator which chose the number 7.  Therefore, the 7th commenter is the winner!
Our winner is Melissa Wolf. Congratulations!

Melissa, I know you will get a lot of good guidance and information from this book.  Please email me your mailing address; non-residential address preferred (cheaper shipping costs) and I will mail the book to you ASAP.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Keepin' it REAL

During my weekend away, I encountered some misunderstanding that the general non-banded folks have about the band (to be expected). 

I heard comments like "oh, you can only eat a little amount of food, right?" or "I have a friend who has that band and she pukes up her food all the time."

So I thought that I would do a post for those of you who are looking into gastric banding surgery. 

I wish I had read something like this when I was pre-op. 

Even with my 10 cc band filled with 7.4 ccs, I can still eat a lot.  It doesn't mean that I should, but I can.

Here are a few of my poor food choices/examples from this weekend:
  • Friday: A Cinnabon (yeah, the big one) with 16oz of chocolate milk (took about 25 minutes to eat)
  • Saturday: 3 decent sized pieces of wedding cake...'cuz there were three kinds and damn it I needed to try all three. (took about 45 minutes to eat); 3 glasses of sparkling cider; and way too many Almond Rocas to count.
  • The reception was at the hotel's all you can eat buffet.  There were many, many trips to the buffet bar over a 3+ hour period. 
Were these choices good? NO.

Could I eat like this everyday? YES...and I would gain all the weight back 

Do I eat like this every day? NO.

For me, the band is all about "shoulds" and not "cans":
  • I should exercise every day.
  • I should eat high protein / low calorie foods
  • I should only eat when I'm hungry
  • I should drink 64+ oz of water a day
  • I should take my vitamins daily
Therefore, if you are looking into gastric banding, please know that in my opinion, the band does about 20% of the "work".  The rest of the work (80%) is up to me with good food choices and making exercise a priority.

I have never vomited (PB'd) since surgery. My turn will come one of these days...sigh.  But don't think that you'll miss out as I will be sure to do a full-detail gory post all about it! I'm sure you're waiting patiently for the blessed day.

Book Giveaway Ending Tonight

I will be closing the book giveaway tonight at 1200AM PST 5/24.  The details are on THIS POST.  Good luck!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Back From a Lake Tahoe Weekend Wedding! Comparison Photos Too!

I escaped to South Lake Tahoe this weekend for my college roommate J's wedding.  We hadn't seen each other since 2007, so we had lots of catching up to do.

Of course, my escape to Tahoe included a stop at In-n-Out Burger in Reno! YUM! I ate about 2/3 of the burger and 1/4 of the fries.

Lots of my college friends were at the wedding and it was really weird to have to reintroduce myself to people who didn't recognize me.  The moment I said my name, they would have amazing look of disbelief and give me big hugs of congratulations. Still really weird though...

Onwards to the comparison pics.  Here are J and I this weekend (NOW):

Here we are in 2007 (THEN):

PS: checkout my Facebook page for some new outfits and dressing room pics!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Weigh-in Day...and the results are...

Goal Weight: 145 lbs

Today's Weight: 143.1 lbs

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Is Lap Band Surgery For You? A Giveaway Too!

Did you know that when I went to my weight loss surgery seminar in August of 2009 to learn about surgery, I had already made the firm decision to have gastric bypass?  I remember the staff passing around the Realize Bands and Lap Bands around the room for everyone to touch and feel.  I remember not even looking at them and handing them to the next person in the row of chairs.

I had researched gastric bypass on almost every webpage on the interwebs. I had already signed on the proverbial dotted line. I was getting gastric bypass.  The end.  Deal done.

At my first pre-op appointment with my surgeon, we talked all about the bypass.  But then my surgeon asked me "why don't you get a band instead?"  His main reason was it was cheaper.  Hah! I have always been a firm believer in the saying "you get what you pay for" so price was not a factor, especially when my health was involved...but there was about a $10k price difference....and being self-pay patient, it was worth a second look.

So off I went to scour every single bit of information on the interwebs again...this time it was researching all about the gastric band.  I even attended gastric bybass/band (mixed) support groups.  That is when I really made my decision to get the band.  I saw that the bypass patients would in the same breath talk about all the weight they were loosing and how great it was, but also say how they would "dump" or be sick sometimes and how they couldn't eat, this, that, or the other food. Yikes.  Is that the lifestyle that I wanted?  No way.  So that's how I knew the Lap Band was for me.

I am currently reading a great book by Sandi Henderson and Gloria Samuels called "Is Lap Band Surgery for Me?"  These ladies are veteran bandsters: they talk the talk and walk the walk.  The book is a great resource for anyone looking into having gastric banding surgery.  I wish that I had this book when I was researching weight loss surgery options.  You can check out more details HERE.
Are you or do you know someone who is researching getting the band and could use this book?  I will pass along my signed copy of the book in a giveaway.  Just post a comment below and I will use a random number generator to pick a winner.  Good luck!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Secrets of the Healthy Skinny People

I don't know about you, but when I was obese, I honestly thought that the "healthy" and "skinny" people in this world were just born that way.

How lucky I used to think the skinny/healthy people were! How fun it must be to have fabulous metabolisms!  Lucky them, poor me.

I thought that the healthy/skinny folks had won the genetic lottery and that I unfortunately had been hit with the fat stick.  Hey, at least it wasn't the stupid stick.  As Judge Judy says "Beauty fades, dumb is forever"....but I digress.

Ever since I met my goal weight of 145 lbs back in December, I've been on the hunt: searching out the secrets of the skinny/healthy people.

How do they stay skinny and healthy?  I continue to ask them all kinds of questions that often gets me strange looks that tell me to mind my own business or that I've just asked the most obvious question, like "is the sun up in the sky?  DUH"

Here are my usual questions that I've been asking for the last five months:
  • Do you workout daily?
  • Do you keep track of your daily intake calories?
  • Do you weigh yourself pretty often?
And do you know what 98% of  the skinny/healthy people say to me in response to those questions? YES.

Therefore, the results of my very unscientific study of the skinny/healthy people: There are no secrets. They do the work and reap the rewards of their healthy lifestyles.

Go forth and be your skinny healthy person.  It's worth it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Look Who Stopped By!

Jen over at Just Foolin Blog Designs stopped by the blog and gave me an amazing new layout!  Doesn't the blog look SO MUCH BETTER?!?

Thanks Jen!

It's Peanut Butter & Jelly Time!

Peanut butter and jelly on any type of carb (bread, crackers, etc) is my crack.  It is my gateway drug.  It leads me into temptation.
I don't really have my PB & J much anymore...maybe once every 6-8 weeks.  I just happened to have it this morning since I forgot my neatly packed grocery bag of Greek yogurts, milk, string cheese, and protein bars at home this morning.  Therefore, I was at the mercy of my employers cafeteria...which doesn't have the best band-friendly choices.

So I toasted a piece of bread and spread on the thick yummy peanut butter and strawberry jelly.  And you know what?  It didn't taste as fabulous as I remember.  I think my taste buds have changed?

Have your taste buds changed now that you're living a healthier lifestyle?

Monday, May 16, 2011

New Blogging Bandster Alert!

Please stop by and say hello to a newbie over at http://bandedtobethin.blogspot.com/

She could use some BOOBs love and support.


I Want To Be a Baby Bandster Again

I remember when I was a recent post-op and I was soooo careful about what I would eat. 

You know, those magical early months just after surgery.  I was such a good Baby Bandster.  I was down 40 lbs by my 2 month bandiversary.  I was so careful about what I would eat.

When I was a Baby Bandster, many thoughts would pass through my head before I would eat ANYTHING:
  • Can I eat that?
  • Should I eat that?
  • How much of that should I eat?
  • I better chew, chew, chew that!
However, as time has progressed, I have slowly learned what I can get away with.  Especially with my band, since I think I keep my band a bit looser than some.  And let me tell you...there have been a lot of poor food choices lately.  I guess that's a typical process for many with any weight loss surgery. 

Luckily, with this last fill, I am absolutely at my sweet spot and have good restriction. Is my first stuck episode/PB on the horizon?  I hope not, but this is the most restriction I have ever felt with my band.

Therefore, I have put out an APB calling back my inner Baby Bandster.  Time to refocus my energy on making good nutritional food choices.

Have you lost touch with your Baby Bandster?  I heard someone say the other day, "I forgot I even have a lap band."  WOW. I have never "forgotten" that I have a band.  What about you?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

No He Didn't!

This video clip came up on The Soup and I thought I'd share.

 I have never seen this reality TV show (Beverly Hills Fabulous), but the premise of this clip is that these two are out on their first date.  Check out this link for the video.

Watch and discuss.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Weigh-In Day...and the Results Are...

Goal Weight: 145 lbs

Today's Weight: 142.4 lbs

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Do You See the Finish Line?

I am here to report that for me, there is no finish line on this journey.

There are goals and successes to celebrate along the way, but there is no "done"...this was a HUGE concept for me to get through my head.

But I sometimes still really wish that there was a "done" and that I could just check the box on my to-do list called "lose the weight" and go back to my old behaviors and poor food choices.  I would drive right on over to IHOP and eat this:

But I know that I won't...because I have come too far and could never go back.

Therefore, I ask you:
Think about what you are doing today for healthy eating and exercise choices. Is this something that you can do for the rest of your life?

Because, let me tell you, what I am doing today in maintenance is pretty much what I was doing when I was losing weight:
  • I still count calories and protein
  • I still exercise for 1+ hour, 5 times a week.
  • I still drink 80+ oz of WATER each day.
  • I still take all those damn vitamins.
  • I still make "Me" a priority.

I think that this is why so many "diets" fail: People lose the weight and then switch to an entirely new eating plan...and by that, I mean that they go back to their old ways and behaviors.
And those old ways and poor behavior/food choices call my name each and every day...sometimes every hour. Example? Last night after Jazzercise class, I wanted to go get a Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappuccino...you know..with the major whip cream on top? But I didn't.
Continue to fight the good fight...it's worth it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Crazy Before Pics on Facebook - YIKES!

My good friend Arleen posted some old before pics on the Lap Band Gal Facebook page.  Click on the Facebook badge icon on the top left of the screen to see them for yourself. I especially like the grumpy face shot. 

Wow!  Who is that girl?

The photos were taken while we were traveling through Egypt, Turkey, and Israel in May of 2008.  I remember I did Weight Watchers and lost about 25 lbs before that trip.  Of course, the moment I returned from the trip, the 25 lbs were gradually gained back and then and extra 10+ lbs for good measure.

I think that I am finally starting to see that I don't look like that fat girl anymore...it's a slow process, but I'm getting there.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Here's a recent snapshot from my closet....dresses in sizes small/6 and juniors mediums.

It's a reminder each morning when I am getting dressed why I continue to fight the good fight each day.

Where do you get your motivation from?

Monday, May 9, 2011

When Will I learn?

Yeah, so 'Fat Girl Friday' reared its ugly head on Friday...there were sweet potato fries, a few cocktails, a Dairy Queen chocolate/peanut butter Blizzard, and of course a Taco Bell extravaganza of fake orange cheese.


And we all know what a 'Fat Girl Friday' leads to...a 'Weight Gain Monday.' 

Double sigh.

So, here is a message to myself in black and white so I stop this behavior:

A good weigh-in day does NOT mean you get to pig out!

The end.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Shorts - Then & Now

With the weather warming up lately, I went through my closet to see what summer clothes that I have that still fit.

I came across my old pair of jean shorts...from Target...Size 24W.  These shorts were pretty snug on me the summer before surgery.

Here they are in comparison to a current pair of shorts, Reebok, size M.  What a difference!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Untapped Market Opportunity: Lap Bands for CATS!

You know those cute little anecdotes that you hear at your Lap Band Support Group?

Or maybe those interesting comments that you read about on the lapbandtalk.com message boards about how those around you in your life will change with your weight loss?

Yeah, I remember hearing certain comments and thinking..."yeah, right...that will never happen to me"

Well, one comment I remember hearing was how people's pets GAIN weight when us bandsters LOSE weight.  I guess us bandsters feed the extra food leftovers to our pets? or maybe the thought is, "well, if I can't eat it, then by golly someone's going to enjoy this fabulous tasty food."  And we all know who that someone is for me...my cat, Pemberley:

Anyways, I've just returned from the annual vet visit.  In the last two years, Pemberley's weight has increased by 31%.  Yeah, I did the math...cuz I'm down with spreadsheets like that.  But, YIKES...31%!

Pemberley's always been on the "Sizzler Buffet" food plan.  You know, the bowl of food filled to the brim all...the...damn...time?  Yeah, that's how she rolls. But I've been supplementing with bits of string cheese, rotisserie chicken, the list goes on and on...hey, at least it's protein, right?

Onwards to portion control and set feeding times.

This is her official "before" photo:

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Letter To My Brain

Dear Brain,

Are you slow on the uptake?  Did you not get the memo? Are you a couple of fries short of a Happy Meal?  Is the hamster dead, yet the wheel is still spinning?

Can you please, please, please update your mental image of how I look now? 

It's time to catch up and realize that I now look like this:

You do know that I don't look like this anymore, but seriously...I think you are still about 50 lbs behind:

So, Brain, get yourself with the program...time to update!

Your Friend,
Lap Band Gal

Weigh-in Day...and the Results Are...

Goal Weight: 145 lbs

Today's Weight: 143.4 lbs

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Disappearing Act

Abracadabra!  Presto Change-o!  Wait...  Where'd everybody go?

I think I have figured out one of the reasons why so many weight loss bloggers disappear once they hit their goal weight. No matter what their weight loss plan....banded, Weight Watchers, Atkins, gastric bypass, etc...most of them disappear from the blogosphere and interwebs the moment they check that proverbial box of "lose the weight."

Do they keep the weight off? who knows?

Are they off living a fabulous skinny life and have no time for blogging? Maybe. Who knows?

I think that as people get to know the "new" slimmer person...the positive comments and compliments end.  You know, that's why they call it the honeymoon phase after all.  I'm still in the honeymoon phase myself.  I run into acquaintances and friends that haven't seen me since I weighed 250 + lbs.  An example was a college roommate last week.  Then, there was the compliment from a coworker this morning in the cafeteria who I don't see very often as he works in another building.

One day, this will be the "normal" me.  The compliments of "wow, you look great!"  will STOP.  And I'm OK with that as my focus has always been on improved health.  The physical appearance change was just the "bonus" in the process.

One day, everyone will only know the me as I am now...the size 6 petite person who they sometimes call "tiny".

That's why I am trying to continue to spread the word about maintenance.  As I have said before, maintenance is just as hard as losing.  It's just a lot more boring.  There are no exciting losses (or gains) to report each week.  It's fighting the good fight...every...damn...day.

I try to set attainable goals for myself that are not related to the scale but rather fitness and general health.

Luckily, we all have some FABULOUS role models out there talking about maintenance. Stop by their blogs and say hello.

PS: Weigh-in day tomorrow, Zumba toning tonight!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thinking About Chicago...Are you attending B.O.O.B.S. 2.0?

I am really looking forward to seeing you all in Chicago at B.O.O.B.S. 2.0.  I have been checking out the airfares and it's never cheap to fly out of my small town airport....sigh...time to start pinching my pennies.

We are so lucky to have an amazing team of ladies organizing the event for us again this year. 

Last year's B.O.O.B.S. was AMAZING.  I can't wait to meet all the new bandsters too.

My roomie is Stephanie from Electric Lady Band.  We get along well...we're both the early to bed, early to rise kinda gals.  But you never know...we could be corrupted to party all night long...fo' sure.  Worried that you don't have a roomie? Don't worry, our fabulous organizers can help you out with that.

So, if you're a banded blogger and haven't checked it out yet, head on over the the B.O.O.B.S. site.  After all, who wouldn't want to meet up with all of these lovely banded ladies?!?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Nutrition VLOG!

Main Points:
-Total Calorie Intake: no more than 1400 calories a day
-If you bite it, then you write it.
-3 meals per day, 2 OK too.
-Low B1 (Thiamine): Wernicke-Korsacoff Syndrome.

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Confidence...M.I.A.

This is a post that has bouncing around in my head for awhile now.

This is probably a weird thought, but my sense of self-confidence has been lost along with the 111 lbs.  Where did it go?  Have you seen it?  If so, please send it back to me.  I miss it.  You'd think that it should be the opposite. One should GAIN self-confidence with weight loss.

I used to have absolutely ZERO second thoughts about what clothes I would choose to wear in the morning...I looked GREAT!  I'd walk into a room and have no problems walking up to people and starting conversations. I was a very self-confident fatty.  Now I question and second-guess myself on everything.

I think my self-confidence was very much attached to my invisibility cloak.  Remember this post? 

People never used to look at the fat girl.  Heaven forbid anyone draw attention to the fat girl, that would make her feel uncomfortable, right?

Well, now I am no longer invisible...people look at me.  Good or bad, I am no longer ignored.

I still look behind me to see who people are looking at...  I wonder "do I have a booger hanging out of my nose?" or "is my fly down?"....nope...I'm just not invisible anymore.

This will take some getting used to...but how long will it take for my confidence to return?  ...I'm waiting.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Lap Band Gal is now on FACEBOOK!

Want to know more about what I do each day to be successful with the Lap Band?

Want to see what I'm eating?  Want to see my daily struggles and successes?

Perhaps you want to see some Non-Scale Victories...dressing room pics, etc?

Well, check out that Facebook badge up there on the upper left side.  Please join me by clicking on it and liking my page.  I plan to provide more updates than just my usual every other day blog posts.

What FB updates would you like to see?  Let me know.