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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It is now more than two weeks since my band was removed.  I do hope to eventually get it replaced, but that is another blog for another time.  Here I sit today, 10 years and 5 months after my lap band surgery, living a new and different life.  At least I thought I was anyway.

As you can well imagine, the last two weeks have had me digging deep into the crevices of my mind coming up with all sorts of reasons as to why I can’t do this without a band.  I used terms like white knuckling it, hard, hungry with a vengeance, and I’ll do the best I can do without my tool.

Facts are more like this – while I don’t have my lap band, I do have a toolbox full of good ideas and tips and tricks I have learned over the years. 

Food ChoicesJust because I don’t have a band at the moment doesn’t give me permission to:

  • Fill and eat off a full size dinner plate
  • Take big bites and shovel food into my mouth
  • Shop in the center of the supermarket where all of the chips and cookies live
  • Blow off my exercise because I am too busy, tired, or emotionally upset
  • Eat mounds of bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fried foods and other food items I have avoided for the past 10 years
  • Have dessert whether I am hungry or not
  • Drink alcoholic beverages excessively
  • Have popcorn and candy at the movie theater
  • Avoid getting all my water in because it just doesn’t matter any more

I could go on and on but I think the picture becomes clear.  I can be mindful of all of my choices around food, nutrition, hydration and exercise.  I will continue taking all of my vitamins and supplements.

I am not throwing in the towel, nor am I white knuckling it.  Both of those are nothing more than excuses that permit a level of behavior that I find personally unacceptable.

Does this mean I will never have a dessert, or a piece of candy, or an adult beverage?  NO it does not.

I will continue to live as I have for the past 10 years, tracking my food choices, planning my meals, planning my exercise, getting in my water and living my life. 

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because, just maybe, you have had to have the fluid removed from your band, or even your band removed and you are frightened, as I am, of not having a tool. 

Choices - We Must DecideThe BEST tool that we have is the one between our ears, the one that makes the choices; the one that has learned, with the use of the lap band, that it is about quality, not quantity.  So go ahead and enjoy your tasty breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I will, on my salad plate.

NO EXCUSES is really what it’s all about for me right now.  How about YOU?

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Sandi at normal sizeI want to live a “normal” life.  I want to be a “normal” size.  I want to continue to increase my strength and endurance and flexibility each year, instead of losing strength, endurance and flexibility each time the calendar moves forward a year.  I managed to attain all of that.  I reached weight loss goals after my LAP BAND surgery, I have reached fitness goals I never in my wildest dreams thought possible for me, so what’s this rant all about?

In the Weekly Weigh-In groups I facilitate on Facebook we run weekly challenges.  One that I choose to put into effect was taking pics of everything you eat and writing in the calories and protein for the picture.  This is usually a wonderful exercise to help all of us see exactly what we are eating, when we are eating it, and what the stats are for our choices.

Looking at a few days or a week’s worth of pictures and stats can really help me assess my choices and see if I want to make any changes in what, when, or how I eat.

Here are my personal revelations from the last week:

  • At dinner I often put too much food on my plate which leads me to have to choose to leave food on my plate, and I still suffer from clean plate syndrome;
  • Eating yogurt or cottage cheese mid day does NOT provide me physical satisfaction.  Either the carbs in the yogurt or cottage cheese or the fact that I don’t have to slowly chew defeat any protein benefits to me;
  • Waiting until I am ravenously hungry creates stuck episodes and PB’s;
  • Eating at night in front of the TV is NOT my friend;
  • I get my protein in throughout the day;
  • When I am busy emotional hunger is more easily dealt with

Those are just a few of my personal discoveries.  I may have discovered them before, but it is great to put myself back into the space of checking in with myself so that I remain mindful and aware of all of my choices.  My worst enemy is mindless eating, even after 10 years on this journey.

Food scale
Measuring Cups

Here are my “solutions” to the revelations above:

  • Put only on my plate enough food to satisfy ME, not the same amount as I put on my non WLS husband’s plate;
  • Using my food scale, measuring cups and measuring spoons ALL of the time is necessary to REALLY monitor what not only goes on my plate, but what goes in my mouth.  It’s NOT as time consuming or annoying as I made it out to be in my head;
  • Keep the yogurt and the cottage cheese for quick protein sources, rather than meals since I am “head hungry” an hour after I eat them no matter how protein packed they are;
  • Find other sources of mid day foods like cheese sticks, jerky, roasted vegetables, lunch meats, etc so that I have to CHEW my food which seems to benefit my psyche;
  • Eat every 3-4 hours to avoid getting overly hungry and eating too fast, and ruining a perfectly good meal. 
  • Close the kitchen after dinner for anything but liquid;
  • Keep busy;
  • Acknowledge and congratulate myself for my good choices.  I deserve a pat on my back to keep me moving forward, even if it’s from myself.  After all, I alone am responsible for my successes and my failures.

All of these tricks and tips I have learned over the past 10 years and implemented into my lifestyle are critical for my continued success.  What I truly hoped to be a quick and easy remove the old band, and replace with the new band surgery has turned out a little differently.  My band was removed, and due to inflammation could not be replaced at the same time.  I am scheduling a colonoscopy at the request of my bariatric surgeon to see if we can discover the cause for the inflammation.  That is where I am now.  I have no weight loss surgery tool.  What I do have is 10 years of Lap Band Lifestyle, which translate to changes in my food choices, my portion sizes, my exercises, and my water consumption.  I am hanging on to all of these changes by my fingernails with the hope that they will see me through this period of time with no weight gain.

My hope is to have some answers in the next 30 – 60 days as to what my next steps can be.  In the meantime, I will read ALL of my articles over again and reach out for all of the support I need.

When’s the last time you checked it carefully – What’s on your plate?

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Your Weight Matters - OAC Convention 2014I will be on a flight To Orlando as you folks read this on Thursday, September 25, 2014.  WLS Success Matters is exhibiting at this year’s OAC (Obesity Action Coalition) Your Weight Matters Convention.  We are excited.  If you are in the area please stop by booth 213, and say Hi to us.

I am also excited because on Wednesday, October 1st I get to start fresh.  Just what does that mean?  It means that after a year of testing, retesting, and consideration (most of it was consideration on my part) we found out that my band, my 10 year old band, had a leak and needed to be replaced.  More details on the how, what, where, why and how of the leak will follow my band removal and replacement.

My surgery for removal of the old and placement of the new is Wednesday, October 1st and I am like a little kid thinking about the new start I will get.  Not having my band to help control my satiety has created a situation where I have been white knuckling it for quite a while.  I don’t want to be “on a diet”, but I don’t have the help of a tool limiting my portion sizes, and to answer a question asked by many doctors, nurses, dieticians… YES, I can eat too much firm protein.  LOL.

Many who have issues with their band need to point blame, rant and rave, and generally be unhappy and angry with the world.  Often times, it is not the band that is the root cause of the issue – it is user error.  I don’t think this is the situation with me, but it really doesn’t matter.  Am I frustrated?  Yes.  Am I angry?  Only if I react from a primitive emotional state.  Who or what am I angry at when I am angry?  Me, the world, the situation, but I got past all of that pretty quickly.  

The Gastric BandThe bottom line is I want a working tool to help me with satiety so that when my emotional eating tries to kick in I am not fighting both physical hunger and emotional cravings, My emotional hunger is much less rampant than it was 10 years ago, but it still happens.  Yes, I am human.

My decision was simple.  My choices were limited.  I could choose to:

  • Do nothing and struggle forever
  • Remove the band and have a different procedure- VSG or Bypass
  • Remove my old band and replace it with a newer Lap Band

This was easy for me.  The least invasive procedure worked the first time to the tune of being the tool that helped me lose and maintain a loss of 250 pounds.  WHY would I choose a more invasive procedure?  When I signed my pre-op papers with Dr. Billy two weeks ago his final words to me were:  “You will do just fine.”

I KNOW I will do just fine because I have previously, and I trust the process!

So October 2nd’s newsletter will be a new recipe and some In The News info as I take a furlough for a couple of days post surgery. 

I’ll be back on October 9th to chat about starting mushies and what it’s like to be a newbie the second time around.

 

 

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I just celebrated my 66th birthday on Monday and as it approached all I kept thinking about were the words of a Dylan Thomas poem:

“Do not go gentle into that good night.  Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good NightI kept thinking about my parents, my husband’s parents and how they were fighting the ravages of time as they turned 66.  My dad had already had a heart attack; my mom had severe osteoporosis and high blood pressure, my mother in law had COPD, my father in law had already died of a massive heart attack.  Some of these illnesses were genetic in nature; others were based on personal choices made over time.  The one thing they all had in common were lifestyle choices certainly had a significant effect on their health.

I am not (fortunately) on the brink of death, but it is a natural end point of living.  My parents and in-laws lead what they believed were active lives, ate well and what they thought was healthy, and taught my husband and I to eat and live those ways as well.

I used to be a smoker, both my parents were.  There are lots of things I used to do that would leave me fighting for my life today at 66 years old; if I were even alive to fight since 10 years ago I weighed in at 424 pounds.

Rather than rage against the dying of the light, I made an informed decision to embrace life, have lap band surgery, and change my daily habits to include a lifestyle that would allow me to spend active days and nights for many years into the future.

I chose in 2004 to LIVE and today, in 2014 I choose to continue to live.  What does that mean?  It means my food choices, my vitamins, my fitness, my hydration, my personal accountability are all in a place which forwards my personal goal of living each and every day to the fullest. 

Let’s review my birthday weekend as a great example:

Friday, September 12, 2014:  Went to the gym and swam laps for 45 minutes, Came home, stomach started hurting.  I ate nothing but sipped water all day to stay hydrated.  Finished my work and was still in pain.  I went to the ER at about 9 PM with severe stomach pain on one side.  My surgeon had called and requested blood work, urinalysis, and a CT scan.  All of the findings were negative.  At 2AM still in the ER in pain.  I was given a shot of dilaudid and sent home with a prescription for more pain meds and anti-nausea drugs to stem the nausea from the pain meds.

Saturday, September 13, 2014:  Woke up with a headache from the dilaudid so I took a couple of Tylenol and stayed on a liquid diet for the morning and afternoon.  Stomach still felt achy but the pain had reduced from a 9 to a 2.  My daughter and grandkids came over for an impromptu birthday party since my husband and I were going to Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort for 2 days the next day.  Throughout the day I managed to do 3 loads of wash, fold them and put them away, go to the market, change bedding in my guest room and vacuum it in anticipation of friends arriving the next week from Connecticut, go the market to pick up a few last minute items, have a birthday party, clean up from it and go to bed.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good NightSunday, September 14, 2014:  Woke up at my usual 4:30AM.  My abdomen was still a little sore but now probably a 1 on the pain scale.  I had taken no pain meds since the shot in the hospital so I figured I was up to our little Sunday night- Tuesday morning retreat.  Drove up the coast about 140 miles to our getaway spot, had dinner out, ate real food and was doing okay.  Hot mineral water tub on the patio of our room that night- HEAVEN.

 

Monday, September 15, 2014 my birthday.  Woke up and checked my messages, had some coffee, switched to water and then lazed around reading for while until my husband woke up.  We shared some yogurt and a small slice of left over steak from the night before.  Notice it was protein first for sure.  My pain was still present, but still at a one so off we went to begin the first day of my 66th year. 

We walked about ¼ of a mile to the gift shop where we picked up our 2 bicycles and then took off for the beach.  Biked up and down rolling hills with only the steepest hurting my belly.  I walked when it hurt to pedal. 

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good NightBeautiful morning, beautiful ride and then back to the resort.  I was not in a mood to deal with beach traffic on a bicycle so we decided to drive back over to the beach for some lunch (ahi appetizer on 6 blue corn chips with a dab of guacamole) and a walk around, and possibly some wine tasting. 


Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good NightDid all of that and it was time to take off into See Canyon for some fresh apples and then back to the resort in time for a swim, a deep soak in the mineral water hot tubs and then a massage.  What a birthday so far and the pain remained at a 1.  We were back and forth many times that same ¼ mile to our rooms and walked on the pier at the beach, around the town of Avila, probably 2-3 miles all told.  So far, biking, walking, and then it was swimming.  The pool was a nippy 75 degrees, but with the air temperature at about 85 it was more than tolerable – after the first lap.  I could NOT swim free style, it hurt so I did breast stroke and backstroke instead and got some more exercise in.  Warmed back up in the hot tub and then relaxed to wet noodle consistency through the massage.  Pain level still around 1. 

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good NightHad a lovely dinner that was an appetizer salad and a strawberry shortbread dessert with a cup of decaf cappuccino.  No main course.  I ordered one, they overcooked it (first time ever at this resort restaurant that they did not prepare something perfectly) so I sent it back and instead of having it redone, chose dessert.  The end of a very relaxing day was more hot tub time on our patio, along with a lovely glass of zinfandel and a piece of dark chocolate.

What’s my point in sharing all of this?  It’s simple.  I am not raging, or raving, I am LIVING.  I do not allow small setbacks to be anything but what they are – small setbacks.  I do what I am able to do and choose when to push and when to get off and roll the bike up the hill to avoid pain.  I keep trying and I am finding that there is so much more that I can and will do as long as I am not afraid to try it.

In my previous life (life before weight loss surgery) I would have wailed and cried at the fact that the pain was ruining my birthday and my little vacation and probably worked myself up into a rage and created pain just from the stress of it all.  Because my overall health is better, my body works well most of the time, my food choices support my healthy body and I am hydrated so I can think clearly I chose to live the weekend one day at a time and do what I was able to do and enjoy it.

This is a new approach for me.  I am not fighting for survival, I am LIVING, and no, I will “not go gentle into that good night”.  I will rather LIVE every day to its fullest.

Let GO of resistance.  Control what you can.  Enjoy life.  Embrace the change and you will succeed.

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Quick and Easy Meal in 8 Steps
Quick and Easy Meal in 8 Steps
Quick and Easy Meal in 8 Steps
Quick and Easy Meal in 8 Steps
Quick and Easy Meal in 8 Steps
Quick and Easy Meal in 8 Steps
Quick and Easy Meal in 8 Steps
Quick and Easy Meal in 8 Steps

Many of you say you don’t cook and you need ideas that are simple and easy.  Here is a step by step that begins with buying a rotisserie chicken at Costco, Sam’s, or wherever you can get it, that is reasonably “natural” with no added MSG, Gluten Free if you need it, etc.

Night one:  Bring home the warm chicken and heat a can of green beans.  Remove and discard all of the skin from the chicken, take your portion and enjoy.  Simple?  For sure!

Clean up requires stripping all of the meat off the bone and storing for 15 minute prep tomorrow or being brave and just getting it done now.

What follows, with illustration is a step by step for making leftover rotisserie chicken salad.

  1. Arrange all ingredients and utensils – food scale, measuring spoon, measuring cup, chopping board(s), knives, fork, bowl, celery (1 cup chopped), 3 mini bell peppers, Bolthouse Avocado Cilantro Salad dressing (or any of their other flavors)
  2. Weigh the chicken on the food scale so you will be able to determine the calories/protein later.  Mine was 17.5 ounces
  3. Chop the chicken and add it to the bowl
  4. Chop the peppers and the celery and add to the bowl
  5. Mix thoroughly with a fork to blend the chicken, celery, and peppers all together
  6. Measure and add 8 tablespoons Cilantro Avocado dressing to the bowl
  7. Mix thoroughly with a fork to wet all the ingredients
  8. Measure and store for later use.

My leftover chicken made 4 ½ cups of chicken salad.  Divided into six ¾ cup servings, each serving had approximately 160 calories and 25 grams protein.

I would serve this over a salad, stuffed into a tomato, wrapped in a lettuce leaf, or if you like, and are able to eat the low carb tortillas, wrapped in a tortilla.  I might even top with cheese and grill for a minute to melt the cheese for a chicken patty melt.

You can do the same with tuna or ham or be creative. 

It’s quick, it’s easy, and it is not expensive.  So NO EXCUSES, right?

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I had Lap Band surgery on May 28th 2004.  That was the first day of the rest of my life.  Day by day for the past 10 years I have been reclaiming my life and creating a new one bit by bit.  It has been an incredible journey so far.  I have learned much about myself, my needs, my passions and my abilities.

Sandi Before and After Weight Loss Surgery

As my 66th birthday approaches, much as every year at my surgiversary, I am becoming reflective and wanting to share a few of my personal truths with you all.  Here goes:

  • Believe in yourself
  • Be your own best friend and advocate for your needs every day
  • Don’t settle for less than what you want
  • Approach each and every day with passion
  • Be grateful for this opportunity to literally and figuratively reshape yourself
  • Use your tool, don’t let it use you
  • Focus on what YOU CAN DO and let go of I can’t
  • Wake up each morning and have a plan for the day
  • Know that life will always try to divert you, so control what is in your power and accept the rest of it with grace
  • Work hard and reap your own rewards
  • When you reach a goal you’ve set, set a new one
  • Find a way to make your journey fun
  • Celebrate your achievements
  • Stay connected with the positive people in your life and disconnect with the others
  • BELONG to a group who are reaching for goals similar to yours

Writing your storyThose are my words of wisdom for today.  I sure hope you are enjoying your new life as much as I am enjoying mine.

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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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Long Term Lap Band Success – Shopping In my Closet Is Fun

August 20, 2014

This 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 […]

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Ten Years With My Lap Band and The Journey Continues

August 13, 2014

People 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 […]

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Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery – Removing The Obstacles In The Way – The Power of You

August 6, 2014

So 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 […]

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Long Term Lap Band Success – Winning The Mental Game

July 30, 2014

    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 […]

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Why I Attend Weight Loss Surgery Events

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 […]

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Making The Most Out Of My Day – Lessons Learned On My Lap Band Journey

July 23, 2014

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 […]

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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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