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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Some of Why I Exercise Besides Losing WeightFor the last few days I have been wondering what I was going to blog about.  This morning, it hit me when I was searching the internet for some information around exercise to share with our Weekly Weigh-In Groups.  Lifehacker has a great article, with links to other articles talking about the Top Ten Reasons To Exercise Besides Losing Weight.  I thought it would be fun, as well as educational for me to review them one or two at a time and explore for myself how each of the reasons apply to my personal life.  My hope there is that you too will find something in what I have written that resonates with you and your life.  Here goes:

  • You’ll improve your memory
    • After a workout I definitely notice that I am able to think more clearly.  This is the result of my brain getting more energy and oxygen.  Here’s what Scientific American has to say about that :
      • Some of Why I Exercise Besides Losing WeightWhen you exercise, you increase your blood pressure and blood flow throughout the body.  This includes the brain, so, when you exercise, your brain gets more energy and more oxygen.  That’s not all though; as the Scientific American article points out, it’s also about more long-term effects:

        Another explanation for why working up a sweat enhances our mental capacity is that the hippocampus, a part of the brain critical for learning and memory, is highly active during exercise.  When the neurons in this structure rev up, research shows that our cognitive function improves.  For instance, studies in mice have revealed that running enhances spatial learning.  Other recent work indicates that aerobic exercise can actually reverse hippocampal shrinkage, which occurs naturally with age, and consequently boost memory in older adults.  Yet another study found that students who exercise perform better on tests than their less athletic peers.

    • This means that I can keep my brain size larger as I age and you, who may be younger than my 67 years can keep your neurons firing allowing you to perform better.
    • I say if you get foggy in the mid afternoon, even a brief jog or a walk can help clear your mind.  What do you think?
  • Some of Why I Exercise Besides Losing WeightYou’ll have better posture
    • Regularly exercising your abs, backs and other muscles can go a long way into fixing your posture, both sitting and standing.  For example, today was core day at the gym, and as I sit here at the computer I just noticed that I am not hunched over the computer, I am sitting straight in my ergonomic chair with my head held high. 
    • Studies have also shown that the way we move our bodies affects how others see us as well as our own moods and habits.
    • Dutch behavioral scientist Erik Peper has done extensive research into this area, as well.  He regularly makes participants in his classes stand up and stretch, for similar reasons

Here are three fascinating things that happened once our posture changes:

  1. For example, when we sit up straight, we are more likely to remember positive memories or think of something positive in general, according to this experiment.
  2. Another insight was that if we skip during breaks, we can significantly increase our energy levels.  A slow, slumped walk on the other hand, can do the exact opposite and drain us of our energy.
  3. The study also found that those who were most affected by depression before the study found their energy drained more than others.

I notice that when I stand or sit properly I keep muscle aches and pains and headaches and tired eyes to a minimum.  I also feel more self confident, and therefore more positive. 

A study by researchers from Columbia and Harvard Universities showed that body language symbolizing power can actually affect our decision-making, subconsciously.  The researchers measured the appetite for risk of participants in either expansive, powerful poses, or constricted poses (occupying minimal space, keeping limbs close to the body).  Those in the powerful poses not only felt more powerful and in control, but were 45% more likely to take a risky bet.

Plus, the study used saliva samples to prove that expansive postures actually altered the participants’ hormone levels—decreasing cortisol (C) and increasing testosterone (T):

So clearly, our posture has more to do with our minds we might have thought.  And in fact, it seems like our bodies come first—when we alter our posture and body language, it subconsciously influences our thinking and decision-making

When I sit or stand straight I notice that I am more alert, more focused in the moment, and more aware of myself and others around me as well.  Could this be the result of the decrease in the stress hormone in my body?  What are your thoughts?

Some of Why I Exercise Besides Losing WeightI find this topic fascinating to explore and I hope you find some nuggets to take away from this blog.  If you find this as fascintating as I do I will continue the series until I have covered all 10.

I will continue my exercise regimen because it not only keeps my weight in check but also has multiple other positive “side effects” on my body and my being.  How about taking a 15 minute walk today?

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How To Love Yourself In Three Simple Steps As I thought about what I wanted to share with you all today I was at a loss.  I just spent a wonderful weekend with 20 women all working on themselves and putting their authentic selves out on the line for everyone to see and hear.  It was amazing; incredible doesn’t even begin to describe the positive energy generated by this group.  How do I describe what occurred over the 3 short days we were all together:  Exercising, eating, shopping and working together as a group to lift each other up to the point where we walked away knowing we had made a difference, not only in our own life, but in the lives of others.

As one of the facilitators of this group a common theme as we dug deep into why we self-sabotage our weight loss surgery journeys was “I don’t deserve it”, “I am unworthy of it” and statements to that effect.  “It” being whatever we saw as our ultimate vision of who we wanted to be. 

How To Love Yourself In Three Simple Steps I hear this time and time again throughout the weight loss surgery community as well as in every other area of life.  To me, the big secret is learning to love and believe in ME first, in my ability to do it – whatever it may be, and in the knowledge that when I put myself first I can and will attain the goals I set for myself AND have enough left over of ME to provide and care for the others around me.

It has taken me years to acknowledge that I really am worthy of loving myself, just as I am today.  Until I was willing to begin, in a tiny voice, to tell myself that I deserved to be happy, I deserved to be healthy, and I was the only one capable of making that happen nothing changed in my life.  Well, one thing did change- I just kept insulating myself from reality by putting on more pounds of protection.

It hasn’t been easy to let go of that insulation, it hurts sometimes, really hurts.  The other side of that pain for me has been FREEDOM…the amazing freedom that comes when you shed hundreds of pounds of excess baggage both physically and metaphorically. 

How To Love Yourself In Three Simple Steps I now can step out of the shower, look at my body in the mirror and choose to see the imperfections and self-criticize or choose to see the amazing changes I have managed to create with my hard work day after day after day for the past 11+ years.  It’s really not much different than choosing what to eat for dinner.  The results are the same.  My choice of attitude either propels me further on this incredible journey that is my life today, or like eating a bag of potato chips creates chemical changes in my body that will leave me feeling poorly physically as well as emotionally.

There are days that it is difficult to have that positive attitude; however I must say that they rarely occur on the days I begin with looking in the mirror and smiling and then getting my fitness on, and they linger now, not for weeks and months, but merely for hours.  I am truly enjoying my life day by day, making each day the very best one it can be.

How To Love Yourself In Three Simple Steps Oh, so you want to know what the 3 simple steps to loving yourself are:

  • Start each day by looking in the mirror and finishing this sentence out loud – I love you today because _________.
  • In the middle of the day look in the mirror and finish this sentence out loud – I am worthy of love today because_____________
  • Finally, at the end of the day, look in the mirror and finish this sentence out loud – I showed myself love today by __________.

This may not be the answer for everyone, but it sure is a darn good start for anyone.  Remember, YOU MATTER!

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Staying Hydrated For Long Term Weight Loss Surgery Success
Staying Hydrated For Long Term Weight Loss Surgery Success

Here I am almost 12 years post-op Lap Band Surgery and I still have to track my water every single day.

  • Why?
  • What happens if I don’t track?
  • Isn’t tracking a huge pain in the butt?

Here are my answers:

  • If I don’t track my water I tend to slack off, and guess what happens then?  First, I think I am hungrier and tend to ingest more calories.  We don’t feel thirst until we are becoming dehydrated, it appears to us first as hunger.  If I am hungry I need to try drinking some water first, waiting 15 minutes and seeing if the hunger still exists.  If it does, I am probably in need of protein.
  • If I don’t get enough water in my body, my body is not kind to me.  I feel tired, sluggish and my digestive tract gets sluggish also leading to the dreaded constipation.  When I have enough water daily, along with physical movement, my flax seed meal and some greens either on a plate or in my shake I have no problems in this area.  If I allow one of these items to get out of balance I pay the price.  It’s discomfort, bloating and a general feeling of ickiness.
  • Tracking is definitely a huge pain in the butt if I choose to look at it that way, but then, so is balancing my check book, or cleaning house.  When I decide to look at tracking in a different light- the light of keeping me healthy, it’s not such a pain anymore.  Besides, the more I do it, the more habitual it becomes so I don’t have to think about it.

Staying Hydrated For Long Term Weight Loss Surgery SuccessMy doc told me 64 ounces of water minimum per day, caffeinated or beverages with calories don’t count towards these totals.  I feel my best, and eat my least when I am at 80+ ounces a day.  It’s not that hard if I break it down:

  • Two 12 ounce cups of herbal tea to kick start my brain and my body in the morning before the gym
  • Another 12 ounces after the gym and before noon
  • Then it’s a 33.8 ounce bottle between meals and noon and 5PM.  If it’s hot, or I am thirsty, it could be more.
  • Lastly a 12 ounce cup of herbal tea after dinner while I watch TV

I am a planner.  It works for me.  I plan my meals, my water and yes, my exercise.  I track my calories, protein, water and exercise.  I am almost 12 years post-op and am maintaining my 270 pound weight loss.

That should tell you something.  I alone am responsible for my successes and my failures.  Personal accountability in ALL areas is the key to the kingdom of Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery.  

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It’s been tough getting out of bed this week for some reason.  I am awake at 4:30 am, that’s not the problem.  I just want to sleep more and I can’t.  Probably still on vacation time.  Oh well, there will be another vacation soon, please!

Pushing Through for Long Term Lap Band SuccessThis morning I got up at 4:45 am and limped downstairs.  It was 45 degrees outside and my knee, shoulder and my toes were telling me it was cold.  Yes, for those of you who deal with colder temps – that is very cold to my 67 year old body.  I prefer waking up to 55-60 degrees, my head, my body and even my toes like that better.  I did get myself to the gym and put my body into the swimming pool though, so yay me.

As I began swimming I noticed that my right shoulder really was sore, and my knee was also a bit unhappy.  Thank goodness I had the lane to myself so I could stretch it out really good as I began swimming my laps.  After about 5 laps I noticed that my shoulder still ached and my knee was still complaining.  Hmm, should I head for the hot tub and soothe them both under the jets?  Sounded like a plan to me.  Nope, remember, I live in the land of no excuses when it comes to my fitness.  I’ll try to keep swimming for at least 30 minutes.

I kept going, noticing that the pain was still about the same, not excruciating, but not getting any better.  I hit the 30 minute mark and reassessed.  If I got out of the pool now I would be 15 minutes short of my scheduled time of 45 minutes.  Was I hurting myself by swimming?  No, because the pain had not increased, it was bearable, and I just needed to look at it through the eyes of someone who wanted to keep her fitness level up, burn those calories this morning, and ramp up her body for the day.

Pushing Through for Long Term Lap Band SuccessWhew, finally hit the 45 minute mark.  Was it easy?  No way.  Did I have to push through aches and pains for 45 minutes?  Yup!  Guess what?  I am alive to talk about it.

The best part of the experience was as I walked out of the pool into the hot tub I realized my shoulder had quit hurting and my knee was barely being grumpy.

What’s the learning here?

Sometimes you just have to push through it to get to the other side.

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I thought about what I wanted to talk about today in my blog/article and realized I wanted to share some of the paradigm shifts, some of the changes in perspective I have been undergoing for the past 11+ years as I traversed my journey from 424 pounds to 154 pounds. 

Create The Success You Seek After Weight Loss SurgeryLet’s begin by defining perspective – perspective is a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.  Perspective is how you look at something.  The classic example – is the glass half full or half empty? 

Back in 2004 when I had surgery my point of view was a pretty intense and serious one.  I chose to have surgery because my medical problems were increasing while my ability to “walk” through life, both physically and figuratively were becoming quite limited. Create The Success You Seek After Weight Loss Surgery I chose LIFE over spiraling medical problems and potential early death.  Pretty serious, wouldn’t you agree?  Surgery was a pretty big risk, and I made a commitment to myself that if I lived through it, (yes, I was that intense) I would follow the rules my doctor gave me to the letter.

Create The Success You Seek After Weight Loss SurgeryThat is EXACTLY what I did.  I followed the rules, didn’t look for reasons, aka excuses, as to why I couldn’t follow the rules.  I had just let someone put a foreign object in my body to help me with the weight loss process; why would I even think of not following the rules.  They were there for me, not the next person.  The rules were intended for me, no matter how hard I tried to justify the I can’ts, the I’m not going to’s, and the just this once – they were all nothing but excuses to not follow the rules. 

I didn’t do this alone.  I had a team of medical folks, a support group, and my family all helping me, encouraging me, cheering me on, and challenging me to do more.  This was great!  The weight started falling off, my aches and pains and high blood pressure and asthma were resolving and I was beginning to enjoy the game.  How many pounds down would the scale show when I went to the doctor’s?  When would I need the next size down in clothing?  How much further could I walk pain free?  What was my next reward to myself going to be for a milestone achieved?

Create The Success You Seek After Weight Loss SurgeryDo you see the shift in perspective here?  Lots of things were happening.  I made a fun game out of it, I celebrated my successes, I kept challenging myself.  It went from all intense and serious and scary to I am beginning to actually believe in myself and my ability to succeed so let’s have fun doing it, let’s try new things, and I did test the waters of being liberal with the rules too.  That didn’t work out well until I was in a maintenance mode.

The process so excited me that I wanted to shout it from the rooftops.  So I did.  I spoke at the informational seminars my doctor presented and shared my story.  This helped keep me honest, accountable and authentic because I spoke about the times I cried because I wanted to either have something I knew was not going to serve my goals or hurt so bad after being on my feet for too long that I wanted to give up.  I used these games, these challenges, the fun part of it to keep me motivated through those times I wanted to give up because I “Just couldn’t do it for one more day”.  I also used my Lap band friends, my doctor, my family and my vision of who and what I wanted to be to keep me going.

Create The Success You Seek After Weight Loss SurgeryIt wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t easy, some days were impossible and others were a breeze, and still I persisted.  I never quit, I never threw in the towel; heck I spent over 18 months and a port replacement figuring out what was going on with my band.  I stayed connected to the Weight Loss Surgery community, a community on line, in person, by phone and kept telling my story. 

Even with all of this support, friendship and connection there were days I felt totally alone.  Intellectually I knew I wasn’t; but emotionally it sure felt that way.  On those days I still got my fitness done, tried to stay the course on food choices, drank as much water as I could and willed myself to connect with other people.  Once I did, I felt better; interestingly there were even days when I had to consciously work at not feeling better to hang on to the negative perspective of the day.  What a waste of time and energy.

Create The Success You Seek After Weight Loss SurgeryIt costs too much energy to stay negative.  It’s truly not worth the bother to me.  I surround myself with like minded people traversing similar journeys to mine who don’t judge me, they support me, they educate me, they challenge me and they are my lifeline when I need a change of perspective- point of view-outlook-attitude.

I have been honored to have earned the “title” of bariatric coach, educator, support group leader and I truly value the chance to share this opportunity to help shift paradigms with all the folks I get to touch daily.  One of my favorite questions has become, “What if you were to look at it differently, what might that be or look like?”

What if YOU were to look at your journey differently, what might that be?

I offer to all of you who have never participated in one of our on line groups a special discount for joining The Original WLS Success Matters Weekly Weigh-In Facebook Group (TM) for April through June.  Enter BLAPRIL in the Promo Code at checkout and save $30.

Don’t think the Facebook group is right for you?  Prefer spending an evening in class with us in a small group by phone or via webcam?  Use FIRST10 in the Promo Code at checkout for Back On Track or Success Habits of Weigh Loss Surgery Patients and save $10.

Or, just visit us at www.wlssuccessmatters.com and take a look at all of our programs.

What have you got to gain by participating?

A new perspective perhaps?

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Enjoying Life After Lap Band Surgery

by sandi on March 23, 2016

Enjoying Life After Lap Band Surgery
Enjoying Life After Lap Band Surgery
Enjoying Life After Lap Band Surgery
Enjoying Life After Lap Band Surgery
Enjoying Life After Lap Band Surgery
Enjoying Life After Lap Band Surgery
Enjoying Life After Lap Band Surgery

I spent the last week on the Big Island of Hawaii.  I am fortunate that we were able to go there for a vacation.  My week just reinforced for me how right having weight loss surgery, following the rules so I could lose the weight and get my body into great physical shape was.  It has been many years since we were on the Big Island.  I had already lost over 250 pounds the last time we were there; however I was not in as great physical shape as I am now.

Here’s some info on how the two trips differed:

  • Last time I hiked through the rain forest down to, and through, the lava tube and was proud that I was able to accomplish the up and down of the paths;
  • This time I took the same hike and it was little more than a walk to me.  I didn’t have to stop to catch my breath on any of the up-hills; that is unless the scenery was so spectacular that it took my breath away.  I was ready to search out another trail and keep hiking, but my hubby was done.
  • Last time I exercised (on purpose) when I could fit it into my day;
  • This time I started off each, and every, morning with 40 minutes in the gym on our first day and 30 minutes swimming laps each of the other days.  Any additional walking/hiking/swimming/snorkeling was bonus exercise.
  • At the end of each day I knew we had walked miles in total, one day I am sure it was at least 6 or 7 miles.  Next time I will track it with an app on my phone so I know for sure.
  • Last time, even though we were in a condo we ate in restaurants for most lunches and dinners.
  • This time, in a hotel room with just a refrigerator and coffee pot we ate breakfast and lunch in the room all but one day when we had lunch out.  This allowed for dinners out wherever we wanted to go, and little worry about the calories in the adult beverages.

I could go on, but you get the drift.  Every year that goes by I seem to do more, instead of less and I LOVE THIS.  We are limited in our time on earth this time around and I want to enjoy and LIVE every single day of it, and swimming with the fish, the turtles, the manta rays, hiking rain forests, walking through lava tubes, hiking around a live volcano and enjoying beautiful sunrises and sunsets all count as Living to me.

Had I not had Lap Band surgery in 2004 at 424 lbs and 56 years old, who knows if I would even be alive today?  I cherish every day and LIVE it to the max.

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Success After Weight Loss Surgery - Eat This, Not That!When you all read this I will be lounging in the sun on the Big Island of Hawaii and getting ready to take a night dive with the Manta Rays.  Last time we were there we saw no rays but did get to see lots of fish, sea snakes dancing on the ocean floor, and moray eels slithering around rather than hiding in rocks as they do in the daylight.  This time I am looking forward to seeing the beautiful manta rays.  Wish me luck!

Success After Weight Loss Surgery - Eat This, Not That!I’m sure I will come home with stories to tell about the volcano, the rain forest, the rays, the fish, the turtles, and more, but for the moment, I want to talk about food, one of my favorite subjects.  Over the past 11 years I have morphed from a junk food junkie to a picky foodie.  I only eat food that tastes good.  If it doesn’t taste good I don’t want it.  No more cardboard protein bars, or sugar free whatever with nasty aftertastes; no more tuna for lunch 5 days a week so I don’t have to think about it.

I am comfortable having fun in my kitchen and creating swaps that please my palette and my waistline both.  It is possible.

Success After Weight Loss Surgery - Eat This, Not That!
Success After Weight Loss Surgery - Eat This, Not That!

Here are a few quick and easy swaps that, if you haven’t yet, you must try if you want to enjoy tasty food and your favorite investment denim:

  • Making tuna, chicken, egg or turkey salad?  Swap out 90 calorie per tablespoon mayonnaise for one of the delicious yogurt based dressing by Bolthouse, or Opa, for between 20 and 25 calories per tablespoon;
  • Does your dish require sour cream on top?  Use fat free plain Greek yogurt at about 8 calories per tablespoon in place of sour cream at 26 calories per tablespoon and get a little shot of protein too.  The family will never notice if you don’t tell them;
  • Use egg whites or egg substitute in place of whole eggs.  Two eggs have 140 calories, the equivalent in egg whites/egg substitute in 60 calories and the protein is identical;
  • Give up rice at 120 calories per ½ cup cooked and used “riced cauliflower” instead at 25 calories per 2/3 cup;
  • Use non stick spray instead of oil – hmmm virtually calorie free vs 120 calories per tablespoon;
  • Zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash at about 42 calories per cup in place of pasta at about 200 calories per cup;
  • Use light cheese to save between 20 and 45 calories per ounce and still keep all the flavor
  • Use salsa at about 10-20 calories per 2 tablespoons vs.  high fat salad dressings
  • Use mustard instead of mayonnaise – there are some pretty tasty mustards out there
  • Dispense with the bread and roll up that lunch meat and cheese in a pickle spear; or that burger in a lettuce “bun”.

These are just a few of the ways I can cut calories and still have tasty foods.

Want to have a meal plan for a month, or three months, designed by Weight Loss Surgery patients, approved by kids, husbands, and the rest of the crew?  Try WLS Success Matters Meal Planning Services and incorporate all of these tips into your daily food plans plus so much more. 

Click here for more information:  Meal Planning

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Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery – Beating The Odds

March 9, 2016

It’s now the end of the first week in March, and Spring is just around the corner.  While I’m still getting up in the dark, daylight and I soon will be on the same schedule.  I can’t wait! I am at the gym Monday – Friday by 7:30 AM the latest.  I have noticed a […]

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Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery – How I Buy Girl Scout Cookies and WIN!

March 2, 2016

It’s that time of year again.  Every time you head to the supermarket, or the hardware store, or the mall, or answer your doorbell; here stands an adorable child dressed in green selling to you, a Weight Loss Surgery patient, COOKIES.  For years I would fall prey to the selling tactics of just too darned […]

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Long Term Lap Band Success – Chasing Winter Blues Even in Southern California

February 24, 2016

Every year with the coming of the short days of December, January and February I have to work intensely to keep my spirits up and not fall back into the old habits of soothing with food. It’s tough for me, even on those days when we have pure sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s. It […]

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Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery And Head Spins In the Water

February 17, 2016

Last week our Santa Ana winds started blowing, and blowing, and blowing.  My nose starting running, my head got stuffed up, and as the heat wore on – so did my symptoms.  Friday I got my 30 minutes swim done and then off for a 2+ hour round trip drive to see my brother in […]

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CPR For Long Term Lap Band Success – Consistency, Persistence and Resiliency

February 10, 2016

As I look back over the past years (11 years, 8 months to be exact) since I had weight loss surgery, I often think about where I started and where I am today, how I got to where I am, and how I stay here and continue to improve. This reflection brings me to the […]

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Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery Means Facing My Fears As They Arise

February 3, 2016

This past month has been quite significant for me on many fronts.  I realized that if I was going to live my dream any time soon there were some fears I needed to confront and get through.  Most of them dealt with physical issues because avoidance and denial had not been working well.  Here’s a […]

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Long Term Lap Band Success – Beating Stress With My Own Advice

January 27, 2016

It’s been a long two weeks.  Lots of crazy things going on in my life, just like in yours.  My stress level has been through the roof, and I found myself grabbing for a cookie, some chips, or whatever presented itself to me.  My heartburn increased, my stress level kept climbing, and my sleep patterns […]

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Mindfully Eating My Way To Long Term Lap Band Success

January 20, 2016

I remember, back in March of 2004 listening to my doc’s informational seminar and hearing him say that after surgery “You will learn to enjoy dining.” Now I had no trouble eating then, as a matter of fact eating was my problem.  Just what could this man mean by those words – learning to enjoy […]

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What I Learned From Falling Off My Bicycle – Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

January 13, 2016

I had a super busy day ahead of me.  It was Christmas Eve Day.  My plan was to go to the gym, go to my hair appointment, come home and finish wrapping gifts, spend a few hours working, make some telephone calls around the world to friends and family, and then curl up with my […]

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Family Gatherings Are Not About Food Or Competition – Enjoying Life After Lap Band Surgery

December 23, 2015

Here we are, almost at the end of December 2015.  The crazy holiday season is in full swing and I was visiting my brother last weekend and we went out to dinner.  It was my brother, myself, my husband and my adult niece.  As we sat around the table, ordered our food and ate I […]

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