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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Sunday Planning - Secret of Weight Loss Surgery SuccessOne of the keys to not only losing the weight, but keeping it off was changing my lifestyle habits over these past 10 years.  After my morning coffee, water is pretty much the only liquid I drink all day.  That’s how I get at least 64 ounces in, and that is also how I keep some “head hunger” at bay, and that is how I feed my body what it needs to carry the nutrients to all of my cells and regenerate them and keep my skin, hair, nails looking good, all my systems “go” and me feeling good.  Fitness is the other piece.  It is what I do every day, even when I don’t feel “up to it”, I have found over the past 10 years that I am typically responding to some sort of emotional situation and I will get my “happy drug” and organize my thoughts and rebalance and refocus after at least 30 minutes of fitness.  I crave it now.

Both the water and the fitness take planning.  I needed to schedule these into my day and create the habitual behaviors that keep them going.  I did this.  I’ve been pretty good at this for the past 10 years and these have definitely helped me get off an keep off the majority of the 250 pounds that I have lost.

Sunday Planning - Secret of Weight Loss Surgery SuccessThe greatest challenge has always been the food challenge for me.  THIS, what I eat, has been the one that has kept my creative juices flowing, my eyes open, and my cooking and prepping skills honed to fine edge.  PLANNING is my savior.  That means planning my grocery adventures, at the same time being open to looking for new and exciting finds.  That means planning my meals by creating new twists on old standards and creating my new, “who’da thunk those things go together” standards.  I have been on the road the past 2 weekends, and prepping for not only taking our

WLS SUCCESS MATTERS to the ObesityHelp 2014 Convention, but also for taking our SUCCESS HABITS WORKSHOP to Riverside Community Hospital and then turning around and 2 days later presenting to a WLS patient support group at The Khalili Center in Beverly Hills.  These are just the road trips all over greater Los Angeles and don’t include the rest of life.  It’s true, we all find our lives extremely busy and what happens if we quit paying attention to ourselves and our weight loss surgery tools?  For me that means grabbing food on the go which can be a dangerous experience.  How do I deal with it?  I PLAN…  Maybe I overdo it, but I don’t think so because it’s working and in my opinion THAT is what counts…whatever works for YOU.

Sunday Planning - Secret of Weight Loss Surgery SuccessSo this is how I do it on Sunday mornings to prep for breakfasts, lunches and possibly even an “emergency” quick dinner for my husband and I.

Sundays begins with a cup of coffee and the local Sunday newspaper.  Yup, I read the comics and cut the coupons first…Coupon advice – ONLY cut what you actually use or what will fit into your food plan… so, not the potato chips or the cookies or candy bars just because they’re obviously a “good deal”.  Good deals are what fuel my body and taste good, not necessarily what is on sale.  I have been known to grab my phone or my kindle to do a little bit of research on the calories and protein in a new item that looks interesting.  If I don’t do that, I take the coupon with me to the store and read the label carefully.  If it fits into my food plan (that means at least 1 gram of protein for every 10 calories) I’ll try it if I like the rest of the ingredients. 

Sunday Planning - Secret of Weight Loss Surgery SuccessI’ve finished my first cup of coffee and am awake enough to start.  This morning that was at 8:30 after sitting with the newspaper (and a second cup of coffee for about 1 ½ hours – a luxury for me).  I opened the refrigerator and thought about breakfast for the week and lunch…What was in there that needed using.  I had both eggs and some egg substitute that had been opened, some sliced ham that needed to be used, feta cheese with a date at the end of September, baby spinach who’s freshness might be questionable come Monday, sweet mini bell peppers, celery and I always have my refrigerator stocked with the yogurt based salad dressing that I am currently fond of.  Sunday Planning - Secret of Weight Loss Surgery SuccessI began with my “egg frittata of the week” It had baby spinach, eggs, egg whites, and the rest of the egg substitute along with the baby spinach, some of the crumbled feta, ham and finished with some of Trader Joe’s lite shredded mozzarella cheese.  Into my “sprayed” 13x9x2 pan and into the 350 degree oven while I worked on lunch next.


Sunday Planning - Secret of Weight Loss Surgery SuccessWent out to my pantry to see what kind of “salad” this week was going ot be.  Tuna was there, so tuna it is.  What’s this week’s twist on Sandi’s tuna salad?  I used my Salsa Ranch and Mango Chipolte salad dressing together in place of the mayonnaise with 4 cans of well drained and lightly rinsed tuna, along with chopped celery and chopped mini sweet bell peppers.  It works…And it’s a new taste treat that made 8 servings that will hold in the refrigerator all week. 

Sunday Planning - Secret of Weight Loss Surgery SuccessEnd results, at 9:26AM, less than 1 hour after I began, I had breakfast for 8 and lunch for 8 made for the week.  What does that mean for me in my busy life?  It means that when I am hungry for a meal during the day I don’t have to think about it.  All I have to do is go into the kitchen and get it.  I heat the eggs in the microwave for about 30 seconds or so, the tuna can be “as is” from the frig, stuffed into a tomato, tossed over some fresh baby spinach, scooped up in ½ of a mini sweet pepper.  My husband makes wraps with the tuna using low carb tortillas.  I often just grab a pickle spear to have some “side crunch” and I am good to go.  If I have to run out of the house to get somewhere I have my plan B.  I always have a Quest bar and an individual package of jerky in my purse and 2 bottles of water in my car.  My frig has yogurts that are 80 calories/12 grams protein for a quick meal or snack as well as cottage cheese, salsa, cheese sticks and Baby Bel cheese and Laughing Cow cheese wedges.  There are usually blueberries, apples and grapes in my frig so I can “grab” a little fruit and some protein to go with it.

Sunday Planning - Secret of Weight Loss Surgery SuccessThat’s how I’ve been doing it and it works.  An hour spent on a Sunday morning planning and preparing and then replacing and buying fresh and new for dinners when I make my grocery haul later today.  It works now, it’s another lifestyle action I had to integrate into my new habitual behaviors and it took time and patience.  Now on with the rest of my Sunday.

Are YOU worth an hour of planning?  I am.

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Being at the Obesity Health Event 2014This past weekend I attended the Obesity Help Conference as an Exhibitor.  Aside from having a wonderful time and meeting so many new folks and making new friends, I did not have the angst I usually have when packing.  This was actually fun.  I have a walk in closet now filled mostly with my purchases of the past 6 or 7 years.  That is after I lost my weight, and after I had my plastic surgery.  There are a few items left from before my plastic surgery, but only because I really loved them and had them altered to fit.


Being at the Obesity Health Event 2014All I had to do was think about what I would be doing and the selections presented themselves.  Driving down Friday it was comfort all the way, so cotton leggings and a tank were in order.  My pants were purchased in 2009 and the camo pattern on them proved it.  I still wear them 5 years later.  Friday night was a different story.  It was a luau, with a dinner with 3 others first.  Hmmm…OK I know the sundress I want.  I had bought it at the Ventura County Fair in 2011 and have worn it a few times so it’s still almost new to me.  Better try it on…..Guess what, it fits and I still love it.  Friday done!

Being at the Obesity Health Event 2014Saturday is all day exhibiting.  Black slacks and a new top purchased at a discount store were on the agenda.  I had 5 pairs of black pants to choose from, ranging in “age” from 5 years to 1 year old.  All fit, all were in great condition.  No more worn out thighs that shredded before I was ready to give up the pants.


Being at the Obesity Health Event 2014Saturday night was the fashion show and after party.  Another sundress was in order for that.  This time, one I had purchased about 4 years ago.

The pj’s I wore were a purchase I made in 2008 and they haven’t fallen apart yet and are cute and comfy.


Being at the Obesity Health Event 2014Sunday was a swim first for fitness and then packing and home.  My driving home clothes were a 3 year old tank top and a new pair of big, black, cotton, loose fitting pants. 

The biggest part of this weekend of Non Scale Victories was that I didn’t have to really try on any of the clothes.  They fit.  They fit when I bought them, whether it was 2008 or two weeks ago and they still fit today – 10 years and 250 pounds lighter.  I could never count on that in my “previous” life.

I am loving this lap band life, although I am craving a day or two of retail therapy.

 

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Sandi before in 2002People trying to get an understanding of the lap band frequently ask, “So after you lose all your weight you take the band out, right?” WRONG!  My typical answer is that my lap band comes out only over my cold dead body.  I say this to emphasize how much help my band has provided to me in my journey to health.  I do realize that life happens and sometimes things need to be changed.  If this was asked in a post on Facebook all sorts of people start coming out of the woodwork.  The next statement is “Well they don’t really know how long the band ‘lasts’ do they?”.  My answer to that is they have been doing the procedure in Australia for over 20 years, and there are still lots of original bands in place there.  Folks often continue the questions with, ”If you’ve lost all your weight, and have your diet and exercise routine down pat, why would you leave it in your body?”.  My standard answer for that comes quickly to me, and that is that my lap band helps control my hunger when I choose the right foods to eat.  That is really difficult for some folks to wrap their heads around, especially those who have never experienced uncontrolled hunger.  So I make an analogy to explain further.  Using the other weight loss surgery procedures as my guide I ask them the following questions:

  • Why would you want to remove a device that has helped you regain your health?
  • Do you think folks that have had gastric bypass have their “plumbing” put back into original order when they reach their goal weight?
  • Do folks who have had gastric sleeve procedures ask for the return of the 70%+ of their stomach that has been removed when they reach their goal weight?

I remind them that my lap band was intended to stay put once it was placed, and that this is what I understood 10 years ago, and that is what was explained to me by my doctor.

Sandi before WLS 2001The next series of questions comes around complications.  I hear that folks have read so many horror stories that they are afraid to get the band.  I understand fear.  I was afraid of any surgery, and had my personal reasons for choosing lap band over any other surgery.  It was the least invasive and had the same outcomes long term as any other surgery.  At 424 pounds with multiple co-morbidities this was my reasoning.  It turned out that I chose the right surgery for me.  By the way, that is typically the case.  If you know what you want, ask for it, and your doctor should help you come to your final decision with your choice in mind when it is made.  Now regarding complications; I would like to point out the obvious, and that is there are MANY complications with gastric bypass as well as with vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG).  I ask you to do a Google search of each of those surgeries with the words complications and risks, and take a look at what you find.  You may be amazed.  ALL surgeries have risks and benefits.  That is a fact of life.  Each weight loss surgery has risks and complications.  Some are unpredictable; some are due to doctor error, some to patient error.

I am facing one of those situations myself right now, and it is difficult to put into words the feelings swirling around in my head.  My band is not holding fluid.  My 10 year old lap band, which was made quite differently from today’s lap bands, has a leak that we have not been able to detect.  We thought that replacing my port a year ago would resolve the issue, but it has not.  So I get to sit here and ponder my choices:

  • Do I replace my lap band?
  • Do I replace my lap band and also get a plication done at the same time?
  • Do I get a sleeve?
  • Do I even consider gastric bypass?

You may ask why I am considering another surgery at all.  The answer is simple and was stated on my Facebook page very succinctly by Dr. George Fielding:  “In the 15 years I’ve had my band I loosened it for a couple of weeks three times.  I gained 15 to 20 lbs. every time and I became starving hungry.  This happens to everyone who priest [sic] their band as the physiologic effect of the band on hunger and fullness is lost”.  For more by Dr. Fielding click here.

Thank you Dr. Fielding!  I am hungry and lack satiety, and personally it’s been damned difficult to deal with.  Old emotional eating habits are coming back, and it is a struggle to keep any consistency to my weight.  The lap band works.  It controls hunger and portion size when I choose the right foods.  It is my surgery of choice, but it is NOT the only surgery that “works”.

I am choosing to have my band replaced, and have to hang on tooth and nail until I get my surgery date.  A new LAP BAND is well worth the wait.

Sandi before and after WLS

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Obstacles 1So you decided to have weight loss surgery.  You go through whatever pre-op program your insurance company or your doctor requires of you.  Now it’s time, the day has arrived and your mind is spinning in so many directions, the thoughts just keep coming one after another:

  • What if this doesn’t work?
  • What if this does work?
  • What am I doing to myself?
  • Can I do this?
  • Will I do this?
  • Why will this be different than all of the diets I have tried and failed at?
  • Can I live with never eating ………again?  (you fill in the blank)
  • Will it hurt?
  • I don’t really have to exercise, they just have to say that to me right?
  • I’ll just eat less of what I’ve always eaten and I’ll be just fine, right?
  • They just told me all about that vitamin and supplement stuff to scare me in to eating right, didn’t they?

Obstacles 2I could go on and on.  When I look at these questions, I see a wall being constructed.  What do I mean?  If you “think” it may not work, then chances are that it may not work.  Questioning your ability to “do this” sets another brick in the wall.  I can’t and I won’t and not being able to eat my favorite foods and not having to follow the instructions my doctor has given me.  Those are ALL just bricks in the wall.  The surgeon is a skilled professional who will make changes to your stomach to help you eat smaller portions and be physically satisfied longer.

Obstacles 3You, me, WE are the ones with all of the power after the surgery.  It is our daily action plans that help us get to success, whatever the word means to each of us individually.  It is our daily actions that interfere with that journey as well.  Hmm, a double edged sword.  You bet!  It all lies in our ability to empower ourselves to make the choices that will move us towards our goals.  The first step of the process is to set those goals, and make them a reality.  What does that mean?  Set a goal that you can actually reach in a a reasonable period of time.  Then take the actions necessary to get there.  Where do you want to be at on your first surgiversary?  Let’s say that’s 75 pounds lighter and done taking high blood pressure medication.  Are those reasonable expectations?  I don’t know, ask your doctor.  If you get a go, then next step is to look at what it will take to get you there.  Fifty two weeks and 75 pounds to lose- the math says that is an average of 1.44 pounds per week.  Can I do this?  Yes or no?  How committed am I to doing this?  The high blood pressure meds are another thing.  I would ask my doctor when I should come back to talk about reducing or eliminating them and set that schedule.

Obstacles 4OK, you have done the easy part.  Now comes the question – What steps do I have to take to lose 1.44 pounds per week?  I am not going to answer that one, you are the only one who can, it is your journey.

Here is how my journey went:

  • I got rid of all the junk food in the house before surgery
  • I kept no drink pitchers, bottles or containers on the table at my house no matter who was over for dinner
  • I planned my breakfast and lunch for the work week on Sunday
  • I always had bottled water with me everywhere I went
  • I had lots of good options in my house for dinner
  • I had lots of acceptable “snacks” like cheese sticks, jerky, protein bars, yogurts for emergencies once I was allowed them on my meal progression
  • I took my vitamins faithfully from 1 month before surgery and still take them today, 10 years post-op
  • As I lost weight I began moving more, walking more
  • Once I lost 100 pounds I started an actually exercise routine of “moving on purpose” swimming laps in a pool and have built on that to where fitness is part of my lifestyle
  • I began having my gym bag as part of my standard what’s in my car (along with an extra bottle of water, a tuna “kit” and a can of protein)……I committed to NO EXCUSES.
  • After a large family dinner at my house I would send everyone home with the carb ridden leftovers and keep the protein sources for myself.  (On Thanksgiving that meant the pies and the stuffing and the yams left and I kept the green beans and the turkey)

Sandi Before and After Weight Loss Surgery

I am anything but a perfect weight loss surgery patient.  Over the past 10 years I have had my ups and downs.  I am human.  I have managed to lose 250 pounds and I suggest to all of you just getting started, or those of you who may have had some regain to just get out of your own way and quit building those walls.  Knock ‘em down with positive action and get your goals!

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 Hard to get going
 Maintaining weight loss

I woke up this morning to a gray sky, warm and humid house and a low level of energy.  As I sat with my coffee cup I urged myself gently to get going to the gym.  I finally made it out of the house and to the gym and was in the water by 7:45 AM which was at least ½ hour later than my typical latest start. 

The important part, I was there.  Although I frequently have arguments with myself about getting in gear and going, I rarely “win” the argument to stay home.  While swimming laps for 45 minutes I thought about how and why I get myself up and out at least 5 days a week and “exercise on purpose” for a minimum of 210 minutes on those 5 days.  In review, my typical time spent moving on purpose is 250 minutes total on those 5 days.  Saturday and Sunday are “free” days.  I may walk on the beach, go for a bicycle ride, go to the gym and swim or use the elliptical, work hard at domestic goddess duties, or just hang out with friends and relatives.  Whatever I do on the weekends you can bet it is more intense and lots more than I did when I was 424 pounds.

Back to how and why I get myself going 5 days a week.  The how is easy when it’s put into words.  It’s a little harder to make it a habit.  Every evening, before I start dinner prep I get my gym clothes ready and my gym bag, water bottle and music go into my car.  No excuses in the morning for me.  That act alone has moved me out the door on more mornings than I can count.  On my swim days my bathing suit goes on under my clothes so when I get to the gym its grab my goggles and bathing cap and towel, shove my clothes and bag in the locker and out to the pool.  I never could figure out why at 6 or 7AM folks were completely undressing and changing to a bathing suit.  I strive for efficiency of motion and a plan.  I asked a woman once if she was coming from work at that time and she said, no, from home, but was afraid she would forget her underwear if she didn’t put it on first.  I held in my laughter and thought…so keep an extra set in your gym bag or in your car or both places.

On those really tired, stressed, achy, lazy mornings I also give myself permission to do a shorter workout.  When I’m not feeling it I make a pact with myself that I can stop at 15 minutes of …….(whatever it is I would be doing that day) if I am still not feeling it.  Funny thing, I have NEVER stopped.  I always just continue and some of those days turn into my best workouts.

Now for the why; so just why is it that exercise is a necessary component of long term success after weight loss surgery?  Think about it this way.  We did not put weight on by running marathons every week, now did we?  More than likely, every year we put on more weight we became less and less active, turning more and more muscle into the F word…fat.  For me that resulted in a huge blob at 424 pounds, barely able to get up and down from a chair herself, struggling to get through every day.  You’d think that hauling all that weight around would burn lots of calories…NOPE.  It was mostly fat and my metabolism was so very slow that I had no energy, no muscle and no weight loss of any significance. 

 The lovely "dreaded" elliptical
 Swimming for health

How did I change that?  I had surgery, reduced my caloric intake to 1200 calories a day and began moving; slowly at first, just walking more than I did before, not on purpose, just in the process of living.  As the weight came off and I was moving around with a little bit of freedom (somewhere at about 325-350 pounds) I knew I needed to exercise.  I had arthritis and walking hurt my knee, my back, my very being so that was not going to be my exercise of choice.  I chose swimming, and in the course of the next year worked up to swimming 45-60 minutes a day without stopping. 

Was I crazy?  No – here’s my WHY:

  • I could swim and my knee actually felt better, not worse, the pain diminished
  • I felt good- all of those endorphins (the feel good hormones) were helping me keep a positive mental attitude which helped me get back to the pool the next day
  • I was building muscle and muscle burns more calories than fat so my weight loss didn’t level off, it just kept right on going
  • I was having fewer bouts of upper respiratory infections and my chronic bronchitis and asthma were virtually non-existent
  • I was empowered by the possibilities of who I was becoming as I moved towards a normal life
  • I looked better, healthier, more alert and alive because I felt that way
  • I did it because I COULD
  • I found myself wanting to try new things so I did that too adding weight training and the elliptical to my fitness schedule

Believe me I used to view exercise as a “four letter word” until I wrapped my head around all of the good things exercise brought into my life and let go of the resistance.

Find something you like doing and just get started.  So what if you can only last 2 minutes the first time?  That’s great!  You did it!!!  It’s like those folks say …..JUST DO IT!

Now as I sit here typing I can actually feel my muscles and I like that feeling…It’s GOOD TO BE ALIVE.

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Why I Attend Weight Loss Surgery Events

by sandi on July 23, 2014

As a blogger who has been around the weight loss surgery community for 10+ years now I am often asked which weight loss surgery event someone should attend.  My answer is simple and straightforward – ALL OF THEM. 

These events are amazing!  Each one has its own set of value and I thought I would give you my point of view on the three I choose to attend.

OAC ConventionOAC- YOUR WEIGHT MATTERS NATIONAL CONVENTION – this event is scheduled for September 25 -28 in Orlando Fl.  The speakers are great, many coming directly from the medical field and much evidence based data is presented in a wonderful format.  There is always a great selection of talks to attend.  The dinners are fun and we get to meet folks who we often chat with daily on Facebook.  This organization defends the rights of those of us who have been impacted by obesity and provides education, advocacy and support.  Their bias buster campaigns are quick to react to situations where we are being bullied because of our weight.  I look forward to spending time catching up with many of my friends here.  I have served on their committees and I have walked the halls of Capitol Hill with these always busy folks.  I am proud to be a member.

Obesity Help Meet & Greet 2014OBESITY HELP – this event is coming up August 15th and 16th and I like it because it is easy for me to get to this year in Manhattan Beach CA and I will have the opportunity to listen to Chef Graham Elliot speak about his journey to health after weight loss surgery.  The speakers are frequently professionals in the weight loss/health/nutrition industry, the get- togethers are fun and entertaining and the big moment is always the fashion show when those who never in their wildest dreams would have thought of walking down a runway and strutting their stuff.  It’s always a tear jerker for me. 

WLSFA Meet & Greet 2015Last, but definitely not least is WLSFA MEET & GREET 2015 ANNUAL FUNDRAISER AND 5th ANNIVERSARY- this event is near and dear to my heart as I am a member of the Board of Directors of the ONLY organization to offer grants for weight loss surgery for those who are unable to fund it themselves.  The dates are April 10-12, 2015 in San Diego CA so make your plans now to join me there.  This event is a FUNDRAISER so it is a double play-no, actually it’s a home run….help fund grants for those who were without hope, meet new people, get educated and join our celebrity Ambassador of Hope in celebrating our 5th anniversary.  We are very proud of how far we have been able to come in funding 13 grants so far.  We do it ONLY because of your help.  Why not mix and mingle, learn and provide support and receive it?

What’s the bottom line?  Every one of these events is unique.  All three offer safe and welcoming environments for folks on the same journey as you who come from all over the world to meet, share, learn and celebrate their new lives.

I want to see ALL of my friends, no you are my family, join me in attending all three wonderful events over the next 12 months.  You can never have too much support or too many friends in your life!

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Tired Morning Eyes
Enjoying the good feeling after my daily swim
Ready for the day

I woke up this morning with all of my joints hurting, not just my arthritic knee.  Even my elbows were hurting and my thumbs if you could imagine.  I had nothing pressing and could actually have turned over and tried to go back to sleep, or at least taken some pain meds and just zoned out for the rest of the day.  I didn’t. 

Why?  Because doing nothing would have not helped and pain meds are only temporary. 

MOVING MY BODY is what gives me the most relief.  Got myself out of bed, had some coffee, put on my new bathing suit (new clothes always raise the spirits) and took myself off to the gym to swim away my aches and pains.  Swimming felt wonderful.  I got to stretch my body, warm all of my muscles up with an easy full body workout and get those feel good hormones going.  I hit the triple, now to take it home.

I was showered, my hair was washed and I had on light, airy, summer clothes that I felt good wearing.  I still hurt but I was keeping it going.  When I looked in the mirror I saw wet stringy looking hair, a face devoid of makeup but definitely showing the pain.  I didn’t like it and then I realized.  I had the ability to change this.  Just like a quick blow dry of my hair and 5 minutes worth of make-up could change my appearance, I could change my attitude.

So I did it.  And I timed it.  It took me 15 minutes to quickly do my hair and moisturize my face and put a little make up on.  When done, I looked in the mirror and said to myself- Self, that’s better…it may not be your best day, but it is better than it was at 5:30 this morning.  I also made a pact with myself to get up and move a little every hour so my joints would not stiffen up completely again.  This also helps and I have many little household chores I can accomplish in 5-10 minutes.  My first was making a second cup of tea.  My next was taking in the trash and feeding the fish in my little pond.  In about 15 minutes I will be emptying the dishwasher.  And so on, and so forth.

I have control over my attitude, how I choose to treat my arthritis pain and how I have learned to not use food to soothe the savage beast.  It doesn’t work.  It makes it worse.

How do you turn your bad days around?

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Change Can Be Frightening If You Let It – Long Term Lap Band Success

July 16, 2014

I got a text from my trainer on 7/9 telling me she would be unavailable until 7/28 due to a family emergency.  I immediately wished her the best with her family situation and hit send. Then the panic ensued.  What am I going to do while she’s gone?  That is a total of 5 training […]

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Lap Band Success: Glacier By Helicopter – Yes I CAN

July 9, 2014

OK, I think this might be the last of my vacation 2014 blogs, or not.  You can always hope.  I think the most incredible moment for me on my tour of Alaska, Victoria BC, and Washington state had to be the helicopter to the glacier and the walk/hike around the glacier.  Was it because of […]

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Let’s start off the Summer with a Banded Living/Wellesse Summer of Health Giveaway!

July 2, 2014

Our “Let’s start off the SummerWith a Banded Living/Wellesse Summer of Health Giveaway!” Contest is over.Please check back frequently for our next contest.Thank you for your participation

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Cruising Alaska June 2014

June 25, 2014

It’s around 11 AM on the Pacific Ocean.  I just got back to my cabin after doing my 30 minutes on the elliptical in the gym on the ship.  I stripped off my sweaty gym clothes, was ready to step into the shower and decided instead to grab the spa robe hanging in the closet […]

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Sharing An Afternoon With Wellesse – Traveling With My Lap Band

June 25, 2014

I recently had the opportunity to visit the little sleepy town of Ferndale, WA and spend some time with the folks from Wellesse.  It amazed me to find their facility in the middle of beautiful pastureland.  We always think of manufacturing as a “dirty job” with nasty smokestacks spewing horrible chemicals into our air.  Not […]

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Taking A Successful Vacation With My LAP-BAND

June 18, 2014

It’s June, vacation time for many and I am once again on the road.  As I plan for 10 days away from home I notice that I have developed a pattern that I began shortly after surgery and have built on and fine-tuned over the past 10 years.  Here are some of the things I […]

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Life After LAP-BAND Surgery – Vacations Become Non Scale Victories

June 11, 2014

When you all read this I will be sailing the inland passage to Alaska for the second time in my life.  I am fortunate to be able to do this.  The first time was over 10 years ago and it was an incredible experience at that time.  Why?  Because, even though I was over 400 […]

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Long Term LAP-BAND® Success – The Masters Meet The Makers Take Four

June 4, 2014

Every spring since 2010 the “makers” of the LAP-BAND® bring together a group of patient advocates, folks who spend their time blogging, vlogging, or hosting websites that reach thousands upon thousands of Weight Loss Surgery patients from considerers to long time veterans.  This spring was no different, and for that I am grateful to the […]

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Long Term Lap Band Success – Try Something New

May 28, 2014

    Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of my LAP-BAND surgery.  Boy time flies when you’re having fun and working hard.  Set the clock back to May 2004 and who was I and where was I?  I was a 424 pound woman, business owner, wife, mother, grandmother who barely made it through the day.  My […]

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Getting Lazy Doesn’t Work Well After Weight Loss Surgery

May 14, 2014

Here it is May 2014.  I have found myself reverting to some old habits that didn’t serve me well at 424 pounds and that will not serve me well today, maintaining the 250 pound loss that I worked so hard to achieve.  It hit me this morning as I swam laps in the pool and […]

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