How Weight Loss Surgery Saved My Life

by sandi on October 26, 2010

My friend Gloria and I in my old pants. Can you believe it?

 

I have been fighting the fat war since I was 4 years old. I finally won the war, leaving only small skirmishes that crop up regularly. My friends tell me these little battles are what a “normal” person always deals with. 

 Just five years ago, I was 424 pounds, had arthritis in my right knee, and had trouble walking across a parking lot. My asthma forced me to stop and catch my breath several times across those parking lots. I rented a scooter to be able to take my grandkids to Disneyland. I let my husband go into the market while I waited in the truck. People looked fearfully at me when I was getting on a plane, hoping I wasn’t sitting next to them.  In March 2004 I had a hypertension crisis that got my attention. To this point, my arthritis, asthma, reflux, and sleep apnea had not yet been enough to make me take notice. 

I have succeeded at most everything I have tried in life — I have a wonderful marriage of more than 40 years to my soul mate, a great daughter, four awesome grandchildren, and a successful business I built from scratch over 20 years ago. But I could NEVER get a handle on my weight for longer than five minutes. 

On 5/28/2004, at 55 years old, I had life-changing, and life-saving, Lap-Band® surgery. Within 28 months I had lost 250 pounds. Now, more than five years after surgery, I am holding at 175 pounds and loving it. I am off all my medications and move freely and vigorously through my new life. 

 With the help of this tool and a great support team I have reached a place where it is fun to go anywhere and try new things, and I actually enjoy looking at pictures of myself (well, most of the time). 

 If you are struggling with your weight, you may find some useful information and solutions here. I have created this blog because something like it would have made a big difference to me when I was going through the decisions and the process myself. 

 As the old saying goes, information is power. If you are struggling with your weight, I want you to have the information you need to answer the questions you have so that you can make the best decision possible for you to have a richer life. 

 I hope you find this useful. I look forward to hearing from you.  

Take a look at some of our Gastric Banding Tips —  Here

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Our New Book – Is Lap Band Surgery For Me?

by sandi on October 26, 2010

Our new book is now shipping on amazon!  Read an excerpt here.

Visit us at www.bandedliving.com

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Emotional Eating Doesn’t Serve My Long Term Success I am human, and the nature of human beings is that we are not perfect.  I am not perfect.

Every now and again over the past 13 years I seem to let it slip my mind that I am a weight loss surgery patient.  It’s usually during times of stress, be they family, financial, medical or whatever.  I then find myself eating cookies, chips, froyo, ice cream and other assorted processed junk foods.  I think I am getting comfort from them, perhaps in the moment only.  Next I find myself with headaches, feeling lazy, tired, and angry at the world.  (Which is my self loathing turned outward as well as inward).  I don’t like feeling this way, yet I repeat the behavior every now and again and along with all of these negative feelings I also find my jeans getting tight.  Uh, oh….right?

Emotional Eating Doesn’t Serve My Long Term Success Here I thought I had changed my relationship with food.  I thought I understood both intellectually and emotionally that food was fuel for my body and the quality of what I put into my body would result in the quality of what my body would give back.  I have proven this to myself time and time again since having weight loss surgery in 2004.  So why do I repeat these self-sabotaging behaviors?

Perhaps it is because of the very nature of human beings….we are not perfect.  Perhaps I have not completely learned the lessons to be learned from these behaviors….  I am not sure, but I am still working on it.  I will always be working on it.

Emotional Eating Doesn’t Serve My Long Term Success Folks who have never been plagued with the disease of obesity go down that slippery slope and then regain their footing and lose the few pounds they may have put on being mindless about their eating habits. 

The key is in the word MIND – when I am mindful of what I am doing I typically make the choices that support my health.  When I allow my daily life to control me, instead of me controlling my daily life is when I reach mindlessly for something to soothe the stress or continue to take my MIND off what is going on around me.

Emotional Eating Doesn’t Serve My Long Term Success I am my own boss.  I control my choices.  I control my food, my fitness, my hydration, my health.  These things I can control.  I can also choose to acknowledge an emotion and push through it to the other side instead of feeding it Cheetos to make it go away.  This is what I have learned these past 13 years.  What if I focused on what I can control and just let the rest be what it is?  What might happen then? 

Do you think the junk food marathons might end sooner and begin with much less frequency?

That’s what I experience.  How about you?

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I left for Portland, OR and the WLSFA annual Meet & Greet on Wednesday, May 17th.  I was all packed for a weekend of panel discussions, costume changes, seminars and fun.  That’s what I had – a great time!

Being Sick Totally Cramps My Style
Being Sick Totally Cramps My Style
Being Sick Totally Cramps My Style
Being Sick Totally Cramps My Style
Being Sick Totally Cramps My Style
Being Sick Totally Cramps My Style

Sunday afternoon, as we checked out of the downtown Portland Hotel, moved to a hotel by the airport, and picked up a rental car – the scratchy throat began.  Then came the runny nose and the cough.  It stayed at a minimum level as we hiked around Canon Beach, Ecola Park, Timberline Lodge, and of course, the Columbia River Gorge.  The scenery was absolutely beautiful, the weather was better than perfect, and I felt blessed to be able to have this time in and around Portland, to revisit places I had looked at through my car window, or standing next to my car when I weighed over 400 pounds.  Yes, NSV after NSV.  It was grand!  The best part were all of the waterfalls – I couldn’t imagine waterfalls down to the beach, but there they were, right in front of me.  I have an affinity for waterfalls.  They make me feel alive!

We hit the ground in LA at about 11pm on Wednesday 5/24 and I started coughing, then coughing more, etc, etc.  I tried my usual home remedies but threw in the towel and went to the doctor the following week.  It’s now a week past that, and I am a tiny little bit better, but still coughing, congested, feeling tired, and miserable.

This has not stopped me from going to the gym daily.  What it has done is changed my routine.  There is NO SWIMMING while my lungs are compromised or I will make things worse.  I learned this a long time ago. 

I don’t have the stamina or lung capacity to do 45 minutes on the elliptical so I have cut my time to 30 minutes.  And I am noticeably slower, although today I was able to do a short interval at 6 miles per hour,  and it was very short.

My body misses swimming.  I have some leg cramps going down because of the daily elliptical runs.

I am still weight training twice a week, but don’t have near the strength I had before I left.

So my fitness activity has been curtailed quite a bit and I don’t like that.

I am also not interested in much experimenting in the kitchen at the moment so our meals are very simple.

It’s taking me twice as long to do simple tasks so I am not feeling very accomplished.

I don’t have the energy to take the mid-week hikes and the weekend bicycle rides that we have been doing for months now.

We cancelled a trip to Montana for a family reunion because I didn’t want to travel while sick.  I need to beat this bronchitis thing.

I hadn’t realized how much a part of my daily life all of this activity had become.  I have been at it long enough that I take my freedom of movement and my energy levels for granted.

All I can say at this point is that I wake up every day, even while I am not feeling my best, and am grateful for the new chance at living a full and active life that I was given when I chose to have weight loss surgery.

This life is a gift and I do receive it with grace and thanks.  Do you?

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13 Years As a Weight Loss Surgery Patient
13 Years As a Weight Loss Surgery Patient
13 Years As a Weight Loss Surgery Patient
13 Years As a Weight Loss Surgery Patient
13 Years As a Weight Loss Surgery Patient
13 Years As a Weight Loss Surgery Patient

May 28, 2004.  That was the day I was reborn.  I was given a second chance to salvage my adult life, my health, my relationship with myself and others, and to find my WHY.  Many begin their journey knowing their WHY – they want to get rid of meds, cure obesity related diseases, fit into single digit size clothes, play on the floor with their kids or grandkids.  I wanted all of this, and at the time of my surgery never knew I wanted more.  I never knew I could have more.

I had a successful business, a loving husband, a great daughter, wonderful grandkids, but never felt like I was enough…  I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, successful enough… well you get the picture.

Suddenly, after surgery I had to focus on ME FIRST.  I had to do all sorts of uncomfortable things like counting calories, measuring foods, writing down everything I ate and drank, moving my body with consistency and yes, stepping on that scale in my doctor’s office.  I was terrified that even in this I would not be enough.

Somewhere along the way, as I followed the rules, weighed and measured my food, tracked my intake, learned to move my body, and sort of like it, I suddenly realized that I had become MORE….More than what you ask?  More than I ever thought I could be.  Confidence started building inside me that had been absent before.  I walked taller (even though age was shrinking me), I began helping others getting started on their journeys and I continued to follow the rules.  I started spicing up my foods and cutting back on buying “bariatric puddings, soups, etc” and began creating some tasty foods that everyone in my family could enjoy.  I just enjoyed it in smaller portions.  I expanded my food choices and stepped back into a daily life where I no longer prepared something for me and something for them.  I wasn’t on a diet.  Finally I realized that I was changing my lifestyle habits.  When we traveled my husband and/or the grands could have some jerky or some almonds right along with me.  I could order a single scrambled egg or a small egg white omelet for breakfast out, an appetizer of a shrimp or crab cocktail for dinner and be happy, satisfied, and continue to lose weight.  I also made sure that the facilities we stayed at while on the road had a swimming pool because that was my fitness for the first several years.  Why only swimming?  Because it didn’t hurt my knees, I enjoyed it enough to do it over and over.  I was developing muscle and losing weight.  It was working.  Later the treadmill and then the elliptical and then the weight lifting came into play.  I’m glad I began it all because at my age creating and maintaining muscle takes consistent work, and it is keeping me healthy.

So my journey was about my relationship with food and how it impacted the people around me as well as my personal choices, my relationship with fitness,  how it impacted my choices, my journey, and my relationship with myself.  I had become ENOUGH.  I wanted to share that joy with others so I began writing articles, sending weekly newsletters, speaking at support groups and other events.

I then took courses on becoming a bariatric coach, educator, and support group leader.  Today I continue to share that knowledge through our FREE Telephone Support Group calls as well as through the classes and programs I teach.  I travel around as a guest speaker for support groups all over CA, and have been fortunate enough to be invited to speak on panels and do presentations for both the Obesity Action Coalition and The Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America. 

I have co-authored a cookbook to share the joy of eating delicious foods as a weight loss surgery patient.  I share my days on Facebook and Twitter.  I hike at 10, 000 feet in New Mexico, 6000 feet in Oregon, 7500 feet in Colorado, glaciers in Alaska, and barely above sea level in California.  My current “fetish” is chasing waterfalls when I have the time.  I teach, I coach, I cook, I live my life to the fullest each day.  I share all of this with friends (some virtual, others in the flesh), family, and anyone who wants to take the time to listen.

I am no longer hiding on the sidelines of life.  I am living my BEST life each day.  Bottom line here is:

I AM ENOUGH

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Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best LifeI am in Portland OR Making A Difference With The Weight Loss Surgery Foundation Of America, and then I will be taking a few days to hike and explore the Columbia River Gorge, Mt.  Hood, and whatever else calls to us in that beautiful area.  Since on 5/28/17 I will be 13 years post op I thought this was a great article to share with you.

On May 28th 2004 I never expected that when I woke up on the other side of my bariatric surgery that THIS is the life I could have. My reasons for having surgery were to stay alive, get off some of my medications and be able to just “live”. I was slowly dying, getting heavier every year, having more illnesses (all due to obesity) show up at each doctor’s visit. I wasn’t living. I barely existed. It could only get worse. At 424 pounds I was pretty restricted.

 

Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best LifeThen I woke up on the other side of my surgery in pain, afraid to move, terrified that it wouldn’t “work”. I had all of these thoughts about failure swimming around in my drugged head.  Today, 12 years later, I still think that failure may be imminent. That is negative thinking and while it may appear in my brain and try to pierce my heart I choose not to allow those thoughts to remain for long. I hear them, I acknowledge them and then I literally breathe through them and tell them NO, often out loud while looking in a mirror. Am I crazy? Perhaps, but it works, it has worked for the past 12 years and I plan to continue using this methodology as long as it continues to serve me well.

Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best LifeTHAT seems to be the key to the mental game after weight loss surgery. WHAT is serving me well? What is not serving me at all, and what do I have the power to control? When I look at life without my rose tinted (I want it all perfect) glasses on it became apparent that I am the ONLY thing I can truly control. What can I do about the weather? If it’s raining when I want sun or cold when I want hot I cannot change the weather. I can however move ME to somewhere where it may be sunny or warm or whatever it is I am looking for. Eating a cookie or a bag of chips will NEVER Change the weather. Nor will it change my grades at school, or my child’s behavior, or the way my boss or significant other treats me. Eating a cookie will not clean my house, or finish the project my boss wants or make me feel better when my  ________ (sister, brother, best friend, husband, wife, lover, teacher, boss – you fill in the blank) says something hurtful or is in an emotional upheaval of their own that I want to be able to fix THAT is not in my control.

So what can I control you ask? I can control my actions, my words, and to some extent, when I allow myself to feel them so I can identify them, my emotions. Let’s look at a few examples:

Words:

  • Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best LifeI can say I am fat and will always be fat no matter what or I can say I am in the progress of working on changing my weight and it is a process that takes time and that’s ok;
  • I can say I can’t afford to eat healthy food or I can say I am going to get creative eating simple foods that are in season to improve my health;
  • I can say I don’t have time to __________ (again fill in the blank) or I can say I will schedule ______ (fill it in) on my calendar so it gets done;
  • I can start many sentences with I hate – cooking, exercising, water or I can say I wonder what might happen if I chose to ________(cook, exercise, drink water)  3 days this week.

Actions:

  • Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best LifeI can get up and go to the gym or stay in bed and feel like a lump all day.
  • I can pack my lunch the night before or do it while I sip my morning coffee
  • I can meal plan and grocery shop based on the plan
  • I can park in the lower 40 of the parking lot for a few extra steps or I can drive around wasting time and waiting for a closer spot
  • I can surround myself with support people who understand my journey

Emotions:

  • Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best LifeI can feel disappointed in myself for a choice, acknowledge that it was not the best choice and move on without sabotaging myself any further
  • I can eat when I feel physically hungry.
  • I can feel anger and breathe through it, acknowledge it and then let it go since a donut will definitely not help me be less angry.
  • I can feel lonely and breathe it in and choose to go for a walk or phone a friend or relative and not feed loneliness chips since chips don’t make the lonely go away.
  • I can go to bed when I’m tired instead of creating a second supper to help me stay awake to watch the end of the TV show. It’s being DVR’d anyway and I can watch it tomorrow.
  • I can have a cup of tea or a bottle of water when I’m thirsty, food doesn’t quench thirst.
  • I can acknowledge stress, breathe deeply and exhale it knowing that keeping it in and stuffing it with food will just create overwhelm.
  • I can try to switch out of “worst case” thought patterns that bring stress and fear with them by using the reasoning portion of my brain and taking things one day, one action, and one choice at a time.

I can control MY BEHAVIOR. I cannot control anyone else’s behavior

These are possibly some of the biggest lessons I have learned over the past 12 years. It is not the world against Sandi. It’s how Sandi can use the world to her advantage and thrive in it, instead of just surviving.

All of this, along with a strong desire to win, and as the weight dropped off, one pound at a time feeling encouraged and using that encouragement to move me along to my next is how I have managed these past 12 years to get the weight off and not only  stay there, but find a way to be more.

Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best LifeI found it wasn’t enough for me to just get to a weight. Now I had to figure out how to stay there and decide if this was it…It wasn’t. I keep working on my fitness level which is critical to keeping the weight off and keeping this 67 year young body feeling good. I keep working on creating new and healthy recipes that both families and bariatric patients will love. I keep providing support and coaching wherever I can. Is it easy? NOPE. Some days are more of a struggle than others. Am I always perfectly on point? NOPE. I am human and just try to do my best each and every day, whatever that might be.

My gifts to you are words you hear and see every day:

  • It’s about progress not perfection
  • Live your best life
  • Never give up!

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Is Bariatric Surgery The Easy Way OutIt still infuriates me when folks think that having bariatric surgery is taking the easy way out.  HA!  I wrote this years ago and it still says it all for me.  How about you?  More and more seriously overweight  people are turning to weight loss surgery to assist them in taking off and keeping off the excess pounds that are causing or exacerbating other medical conditions and interfering with their quality of life. Many people worry that they will be criticized for taking the easy way out.

Is this the easy way out?

Here are some views on both sides. You can reach your own conclusions.

Weight Loss Surgery Is The Easy Way Out

  1. Some say it’s easy because it is the only choice that makes sense for them. These are people who have failed multiple times over many years of dieting, people who may have other medical conditions that require them to lose weight in order to stay active, productive members of society.
  2. Is Bariatric Surgery The Easy Way OutIt has been compared to the “ease” with which a cancer patient chooses chemotherapy. While this may be a bit harsh, it makes the point. It’s easy to choose something that may cure you over doing nothing and letting the disease take over.
  3. It provides hope, where none existed, for a significant population. Many of those who are exploring weight loss surgery have tried every diet out there, had some minimal success, but could not sustain that success. The possibility of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight provides a light at the end of a tunnel that has been very dark.
  4. It confirms that rather than a moral failing, obesity is a medical issue that can be addressed with a medical intervention. This is significant. The obese population has been discriminated against in every area of their life and the recognition that medical intervention is necessary offers another ray of hope.
  5. Is Bariatric Surgery The Easy Way OutIt is easy because it works. This is true, at the beginning of the journey. Once the surgery “starts working” the patient can learn the behaviors necessary to keep it working. Weight loss surgery is a tool. Screwdrivers work, but only if someone is on the other end of them, turning the screw in the direction we want it to go.
  6. It is easy because the patient, often for the first time in their life, gets the opportunity to physically feel full. The general population cannot begin to understand what it is like to finish a meal and be hungry again two minutes later. Weight loss surgery provides a “stop” that will allow the patient to recognize being done eating and to actually feel a sense of fullness or satiety.

Weight Loss Surgery IS Not The Easy Way Out

  1. Is Bariatric Surgery The Easy Way OutMaking a decision to have major surgery is not easy. Think about an obese person undergoing general anesthesia. This is not a simple decision. Risks are involved and benefits need to outweigh the risks for those who make that tough decision to go forward with surgery.
  2. It is difficult to make the choice to not use food for comfort or reward. This is probably the first step in permanent lifestyle changes that needs to be made.
  3. It is difficult because it requires permanent life style changes in order to lose the weight and keep it off. The surgery is only a tool and the patient is the one that chooses their food and chooses when and how much they are going to exercise. It takes years to undo the years of poor choices that became regular behaviors.
  4. It is difficult because most weight loss surgery patients have to give up some foods permanently. There are some foods that are physically uncomfortable for weight loss surgery patients to eat and they may actually be among their favorite foods. Again, a hard choice to make and stay committed to.
  5. It is difficult to learn all over again how to eat – to take small bites, chew food thoroughly, and eat slowly. Our culture is one of on the go all the time. Weight loss surgery patients need to learn how to take time out for each meal and pay attention to it so as to be able to avoid mindless eating, or mindless overeating. Drive through would become a thing of the past.
  6. It is difficult to suddenly change a lifetime of behaviors and stay committed to a lifetime of these changes. How long did it take to learn how to sit in front of the TV or computer instead of going for a walk? How long did it take before grabbing something on the way home became the expected meal. It will take years to make the new behaviors part of a standard routine that is as habitual as grabbing a coffee on the way to the office.

Is Bariatric Surgery The Easy Way OutWhat surfaces here is that people who choose weight loss surgery as a means to an end, that end being a healthy, normal weight, have to commit themselves to a lifetime of behavior changes- food choices, portion sizes, exercise, etc, in order to achieve their goals. Nothing about the decision to have surgery, or those changes is easy. The remotely easy part of this process is the knowledge that there may finally be hope for those who have failed year after year at trying to achieve and maintain a normal weight with diet and exercise alone.

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Non-Scale Victories Keep Me Motivated I am often asked how I keep doing it after almost 13 years… how do I stay motivated, inspired, and on point?  First of all I have to admit I am NOT perfect.  I have never been, nor do I ever expect to be PERFECT…..  To me perfect means flawless, without fault, quintessential, best, ultimate.  I am the best me that I can be each day; however that is not flawless by any means

When I blog, when I post on Facebook, when I share in a support group I am doing it as much for me as to pay it forward to anyone who can takeaway something valuable to help them on their journey to health.  That’s how it all began.  I began blogging my thoughts, feelings, learnings after my surgery in 2004.  I am still doing all of that.

Non-Scale Victories Keep Me Motivated One of the major things I had to learn on this journey was how to love and care for myself.  Loving and taking care of me was a new behavior.  I had to practice it, and am still practicing it every single day.  My thighs are big.  They will always be big.  I had to learn this, acknowledge it, decide that it was just fine and dandy, and be okay with it.  I had to learn to love my thighs.  Silly, isn’t it?  Not really if you think about the reality of me looking in the mirror, seeing my thighs, telling myself they were too big and then choosing to live the day based on my too big thighs…What a downer!!!

Non-Scale Victories Keep Me Motivated Now if I learn to love my thighs because they support me and help me stay active and allow me to move in this world, and I look in the mirror and see Sandi – the entire person, not her “big thighs” I am sure to have a better day.

Learning to love ourselves – acknowledge our progress, our successes, and accept who we are in this Universe as enough is a new behavior for many of us.  It takes practice.  Keep practicing!

Non-Scale Victories Keep Me Motivated I suggest that every day you look deep and find something that is a victory in your life that is not a number on the scale.  Were you able to hang on the treadmill for 1 more minute, did you fit in all the rides at the amusement park, was there space between your thighs with your jeans on, did you ride a bicycle for the first time since you were a kid, did you do 2 pushups, did you shop in the regular sizes, did you receive a compliment from someone you haven’t seen in a while?  Whatever it is, find something whether big or small to acknowledge yourself for each day and smile.  You earned the smile and the victory.  You are worthy of self-love.  Be proud of your accomplishments.

I remember the first time I stepped into the pool and swam one length of the pool.  One part of me was mortified because I was out in the public eye in a bathing suit, and the rest of me was jumping up and down laughing like a child screaming “You did it, You Did IT!!!!” Ever felt that way?  That good part was what brought me back to the pool day after day.

Non-Scale Victories Keep Me Motivated My victory, my success for today was holding a wall squat for 2 minutes (without crying).

Are you ready to share your progress and success with me?  I hope so.

 

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A Weekend Just For YOU Can Lead To Long Term Weight Loss Surgery SuccessI recently returned from a weekend in Tacoma Washington with 16 wonderful women.  We laughed, we cried, we painted pictures of Wonder Woman, we walked along the water, we worked hard together, we got fitted for new walking/running shoes together, we ate all of our meals together.

We listened to a bariatric surgeon speak and asked him a lot of questions, and got all of our answers.

A Weekend Just For YOU Can Lead To Long Term Weight Loss Surgery SuccessWe worked on making ourselves a priority, catching ourselves doing something right, flipping the switch to get ourselves back on track, and creating a world of food we loved to eat.

Most of all, we worked on sharing, caring and creating an atmosphere in which everyone is heard and acknowledged so that it was a safe space to share our concerns and ask for help.

All of this leading to us living our BEST lives.

THAT is the key – learning to live our BEST lives.

A Weekend Just For YOU Can Lead To Long Term Weight Loss Surgery SuccessThis was the 5th weekend that we, as WLS Success Matters, offered and the most frequent comment on our post event evaluations was – we want more.  Oh, and more than half of the attendees have already registered for the next one.  The rest are clearing their schedules.

Alone this journey to health can get pretty scary and motivation is sometimes hard to find.

Together we can inspire one another, talk freely and openly and find resolution to issues we may have believed were insurmountable. 

The energy in the room was nothing short of amazing.  I felt it coming from every person who was present. 

How would you like to participate in an event like this?  Would it help you focus on your journey to health? 

A Weekend Just For YOU Can Lead To Long Term Weight Loss Surgery SuccessRemove yourself from your daily environment and plan to spend a weekend at the beach – Hermosa Beach, California to be exact.

When?  October 13 – 15, 2017

Oh, and if you register before the first day of summer, you can use EARLYBIRD as the promo code and save $100.

A Weekend Just For YOU Can Lead To Long Term Weight Loss Surgery SuccessWhat’s not to like?  A weekend just for YOU, at the beach in CA and come away refreshed, reenergized and ready to be your BEST YOU every day.

Here are the details, we invite you to join us at our next Fall Into YOU Weekend.

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How Fitness Has Fueled My Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

April 26, 2017

It will be 13 years in another month.  On 5/28/04 I had weight loss surgery, lap band surgery to be exact.  After that my life changed in so many wonderful ways.  Making exercise an integral part of my life has been one of them. Getting started was HARD!  My doc wanted us to move 30 […]

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What’s On Your Plate – Eating For Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

April 19, 2017

When I had surgery almost 13 years ago I progressed from liquids to mushies and then to solids as prescribed by my doctor.  Once I was into solids my menu began expanding except for breakfast and lunch.  I ate the same breakfast and lunch for 2+ years and boy did I ever get bored with […]

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Being Complacent Doesn’t Support My Healthy Lifestyle – Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

April 12, 2017

One dictionary definition of complacent is:  Satisfied with the current situation and unconcerned with changing it, often to the point of smugness. Well I am not too sure about the smugness part, but I do know that any time on my journey from 424 pounds to a healthy life that if I became complacent, I […]

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How I Put My Support Systems In Place For Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

April 5, 2017

I had weight loss surgery on May 28, 2004.  That is almost 13 years ago.  I went into surgery terrified, afraid I would fail at this last-ditch effort to shed some of the 424 pounds I was carrying around that were killing me slowly.  I woke up after surgery in pain and still terrified wondering […]

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My Mindful Eating Tips – For Long Term Lapband Success

March 29, 2017

I sat down and wondered what I wanted to share in this week’s newsletter.  I’ve been thinking a lot about mindful eating as I have eating a little too fast lately and paying the price.  I re-read this blog and thought – “It makes the points I need to make for myself and the entire […]

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Where I Go For Motivation – Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

March 22, 2017

  So it’s Monday morning, my sinuses are congested, my knee is screaming at me, my hip aches from my hike yesterday and it’s time to get ready for the gym.  The way I see it, I have only two choices – to go to the gym or stay home.  So let’s look at both […]

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Success – How Do I measure thee? Let me count the ways

March 15, 2017

Success after any weight loss surgery begins as a number on the scale for sure; and it is important to weigh ourselves regularly so we stay in touch with the number we declare as our goal and maintain our weight in a reasonable range.  The scale does have a place in our lives.  Rest assured […]

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Relationships Are Like Potato Chips – Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery.

February 22, 2017

I have a problem with sleep.  I don’t get enough.  I get to sleep with ease most nights, but wake up after a few hours and often can not get back to sleep.  I have tried all the known remedies from melatonin, calcium and magnesium to chamomile tea, sleep masks, warm baths and everything in […]

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I Love Food!

February 15, 2017

I love food, I love to eat, and I love to write.  My love of food has transitioned into a way of being since I had my Lap Band surgery in 2004.  That love has resulted in our newly published cookbook, Eat Your Way to Success And Learn How To Control Hunger – A Weight […]

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Fabulous Breakfast After Weight Loss Surgery – Protein Packed Flourless Ricotta Pancakes With Blueberry Syrup

February 8, 2017

Folks often ask me what I eat and when I tell them they then ask for the recipe.  Today I will share a recipe with you step by step for an amazing breakfast.  Try it and let me know what you think and remember, soon you will be able to purchase a copy of WLS […]

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