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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Making My Choices CountAs I was sipping my coffee this morning I checked my messages as per my usual routine.  My trainer had texted me to let me know she was dealing with a flooded bathroom and wasn’t going to make it in to the gym this morning.  My mind took off in the following directions at high speed:

  • Great, I’m tired anyway I can just stay home and go for a walk down to the beach later;
  • Hmm, should I try to reach out to one of the other trainers and see if anyone is available;
  • I can go to the gym and do my minimum of 30 minutes on the elliptical;
  • I can just bow off exercise totally for the day and take it as a rest day

Yes, in less than 2 minutes all of those thoughts raced through my almost awake brain.  I went through them again and then texted one of the other trainers to see if he was available – no go.  Next I thought about either blowing the day off or setting myself up for a walk to the beach later.  Hmm, either one is really blowing the day off because even if my calendar permitted, I will never get the calorie burn or the metabolism boost from a walk to the beach that I get from the “run” I can do on the elliptical, even if I only did 30 minutes.

Making My Choices CountOkay, decision was made.  It’s off to the gym I went.  I hopped up on the elliptical, plugged my tunes in and started moving.  I told myself 30 is all I had to do.  Then I thought some more.  I made a commitment to myself at the beginning of 2016 that my goal for the year was to do a 5k each time I went to the gym and used the elliptical.  I began pacing myself, bobbing my head along with the tunes, singing by mouthing the words with no sound and before I knew it I was approaching my 30 minutes.  What next?  Yes, I took the high road and continued on for 15 more minutes, completing 3.3 miles and 45 minutes.  It wasn’t easy, the hamstring in my left leg was threatening to cramp, but I met my commitment to myself.  I felt great when I stepped off and stretched my hamstrings, and wiped the sweat from my face.

I keep learning that life is a series of choices and so is our journey to health after weight loss surgery.  I control the choices, even when life doesn’t go according to plan.  I hold the power to control my personal choices whether that means choosing to meet my fitness goal for the day or having a yogurt instead of a bagel, or salmon instead of lasagna.  It’s all in my power.  Here’s some interesting tidbits on choice:

“Life may be likened to a path.  We walk along the pathway of our lives, doing what we do.  And sometimes we come to a fork in the path, where we must choose which way to go. 

Choice, then, is selection from alternatives.

This means we must see the alternatives from which we can choose. 

Being alert and able to see the choices we have is a critical ability for living deliberately.

Choosing is the process of selection.  Classically, we weigh up each option, considering pros and cons.  We then select the most advantageous option.  In practice we are limited by time and the linear nature of conscious thought, so we leave a lot to our unconscious minds, which use intuition, rules of thumb, habit and so on. “

Making My Choices CountWhen we come to a fork in the path of life, it can be what to eat, what to drink, how or when to exercise, who to go out with, what job you want to apply for, or many other possibilities, some life changing, some not so much.  The important piece to remember is to stop, stay mindful of the possible alternatives and try to make the choice in the moment that will move you forward towards your goals.

My goal is living a healthy lifestyle.  I work on making my choices ones that support that path.

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Long Term Lap Band Success - It’s My Birthday and I Celebrate Life!As I begin the 68th year of my life, I am looking back and looking forward at the same time.  As I look back 12 ½ years to my decision to have Lap Band Surgery I know from the depths of my very soul that this was one of the best choices in my life. 

It’s kind of ironic that I am recovering from a rotator cuff injury when you think about it.  Me, who at 424 pounds could barely walk across a room, has an injury caused by a combination of the misalignment of my body (scoliosis), my swimming, and strength training.  I am an athlete, something I hadn’t been since college at 16 years old, over 50 years ago.  On the other hand, old habits that don’t serve my current lifestyle reared their ugly head with this injury.

Long Term Lap Band Success - It’s My Birthday and I Celebrate Life!Throughout the day, as my arm would begin to hurt, I was beginning to graze, an act of self-medicating or self-soothing with food.  I am not 5 years old any longer and I don’t need a lollipop to help make the “booboo” or my “owie” better.  How many of us were given treats to help us forget the scraped knee or the bruised ego growing up?  I was, over and over again.  Treats were a demonstration of love and caring and rewards for me by the adults in my life.  If it wasn’t have a cookie and you’ll feel better it was do xxxx and you can have a slice of chocolate cake, or be a good girl and you’ll get ice cream.

It’s no wonder I had to recreate my relationship with food these past 12 years to be fuel for my body that also tasted good, not pain medicine, or a reward for good behavior that was loaded with sugar.  So why, when I am hurting do I so easily fall back into the habit of trying to medicate with food?  Hmmm, oversimplified the answer is that 56 years of a habit, whether it served me well or was my master is a long time action that in times of stress I can still easily fall back to.  I am not cured of the disease of obesity, I have it controlled and am in a “remission”.

There are a few things I know for sure:

  • When I snack on processed carbs aka “crap”, that is exactly how I feel
  • Eating doesn’t make the pain go away
  • I am worthy of self love and self care

Long Term Lap Band Success - It’s My Birthday and I Celebrate Life!To those “knowns” I say my arm is healing, I am following my Physical Therapist’s as well as my Orthopedist’s instructions and I have begun a course of Chiropractic care along with massage, ultrasound, and electric stimulation.  My shoulder improves daily, I continue with my exercise regimen, modified as need be, and look forward to a complete recovery this year.  Feeding on sweets will not make the process any quicker. 

Happy Birthday To me – and Many More!

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The Saga Of My Shoulder Continues - Long Term LapBand Success I always say that I have been put on the earth this time around to learn patience, and right now, just before my 68th birthday I am being forced to be patient, not with others, but with myself.  I am following my Doctor’s and my Physical Therapist’s orders on what exercise I can do, and to be perfectly blunt and unprofessional, it sucks! 

After a couple of weeks of therapy I have a recovery to about 35% of where I was before my rotator cuff pain began.  I suppose this is good; however for me it is not good enough.  I wake up when my shoulder pain calls in the middle of the night, and stare at the ceiling wondering if I am doomed to this ache for the rest of my days.  The Saga Of My Shoulder Continues - Long Term LapBand Success My intellectual side understands exactly what is going on with my shoulder – I have  impingement of the supraspinatus tendon.  Was there a particular injury or action that was the cause of this condition?  No.  Supraspinatus tendonitis is a common cause of shoulder pain in athletes whose sports involve throwing and overhead motions.  I expect my swimming for the past 11 years at least 3 days per week and my scoliosis which has my right shoulder (the effected one) higher than my left and slightly forward is the cause.  So the cause is probably a combination of age, overall pre-existing physical conditions and my athletic prowess…GREAT.  Just great……NOT!

The Saga Of My Shoulder Continues - Long Term LapBand Success I have had to change my routine and that is very difficult for me.  I pulled back on lifting any weight at all for 3 weeks now and am doing the exercises recommended by my therapist with my trainer, with my therapist, and at home.  The improvement has stabilized to this point, with the exception of being able to increase my swimming breast stroke from 30 to 35 minutes and then 45 minutes without pain during the swim.  However I seem to be paying for the 45 minute swim today with some pain- more of an ache, but discomfort nevertheless.  I iced before I went to bed last night and got immediate relief and 3 hours sleep before my arm awakened me.  I iced this morning and got about 2-3 hours relief before the ache began again.  To me this indicates little to no improvement.  I cannot increase my bicep and tricep lifting weights (which we backed off from up to 25 pounds per arm to less than 5, at one point 1 pound weights were difficult to control) until I can swim for 45 minutes for several days with no pain.

The Saga Of My Shoulder Continues - Long Term LapBand Success I am frustrated.  I will be 68 years old on 9/15 and have worked very hard to create the body shape that I have, and it is more difficult the older you get to replace muscle.  That song keeps playing in my head, as does the one that says if you work too hard too fast you’ll tear the tendon completely and need surgery.

So I am taking Saturday through Monday off from physical activity using my arms and will hit the pool on Tuesday and see how it goes.

Think positive thoughts for me.  I want to be able to go back to my full routine and keep shaping my body into new and better.  This is harder than I thought it would ever be.

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Long Term Lap Band Success About 6 weeks ago my right shoulder began kind of hurting, a dull ache every once in a while, and occasionally I would feel a “catch”.  Oh well, just getting old I thought – keep right on pushing through is what I told myself.  I did, and low and behold, the dull ache turned into a chronic, nagging dull ache and from there grew to a full blown pain on moving my right arm in certain ways.  I could no longer ignore this.  I began paying attention by modifying my swimming to exclude freestyle since that hurt; modifying my weight lifting/strength training to exclude anything that hurt.  I thought this would give me time to heal and all would be good in a week or two.

Long Term Lap Band Success A week or two came and went, and the pain, and now some weakness persisted.  Okay, I give up!  Time to do something more about it.  I made an appointment with my orthopedist who took x-rays, couldn’t see anything so he sent me for an MRI.  Now THAT was an experience.  The technician turned me on my right side (the side that hurt) so they could get the images the doctor wanted and then told me to stay perfectly still for the duration.  I did, but since the shoulder that had issues was getting some of the pressure and weight from the rest of my body my right arm had a mind of its own and was doing some involuntary shaking.  I tried controlled breathing, etc. and I guess they got their images.  My arm hurt for 2 days afterward…. was this a test to determine what was wrong, or was it a way of creating a problem?

Long Term Lap Band Success Back to the orthopedist who told me my rotator cuff was not torn completely through, but frayed.  He suggested a round of PT, not doing anything that hurt (that was my only exercise restriction- if it hurts, stop), and a shot of cortisone into my left shoulder.  Okay then;  got the shot, set up the PT appointment and went on my way, which was a 2 hour drive to the airport.  The orthopedist apparently “forgot” to tell me that initially the cortisone shot could cause more pain, and then as it helped with the inflammation it would improve.  Well by the time we got to LAX I was squirming in my seat, and by the time we got back home, about 4 hours later after dinner I was crying REAL TEARS.  It hurt.  I have a high pain tolerance so this was nothing to mess around with.

I made it through the night and woke up Saturday morning with the pain barely noticeable- I guess the cortisone kicked in.  Saturday and Sunday were great.  I shopped for a cross body bag that was smaller and lighter than my current purse, and avoided using my right arm as much as possible.

Monday morning came and it was off to the gym.  I did my 45 minutes on the elliptical and modified that to use my arms low instead of high so I was not engaging my shoulders.  Then came my time with the trainer….I can row, I can do legs, I can do core and some other limited upper body stuff so we got it done.  Then I came home, realized my shoulder was doing okay and made the call to physical therapy.

Tuesday morning I swam, modifying my workout to no freestyle, and doing a modified backstroke that kept my shoulders in the water along with the breast stroke that was fine.  Oops, even that modified backstroke caused me some low level aching.  Spent 10 minutes in the hot tub and that didn’t help my shoulder, but always helps my general attitude.

Long Term Lap Band Success Spent 1 ½ hours with PT being massaged, ultra sounded and iced.  I learned that icing for 10 minutes after exercise is key.  I will try to keep that up once I return from the Your Weight Matters Convention on Monday.

I see my trainer and the physical therapist again tomorrow before I leave.  My attitude has gone from fear of not being able to work out hard again, to understanding that I could modify most of what I do and continuing doing while my shoulder healed.

Long Term Lap Band Success I may still contact an acupuncturist for that therapy next week since so many folks swear by it for pain relief and to assist with healing.

Right now I am getting by without pain meds, following both my doc’s and my therapists instructions and look forward to being 100% again soon.

The moral of the story is NEVER GIVE UP!  There is always a way to get it done.

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Taking Some Time Off For Me
Taking Some Time Off For Me
Taking Some Time Off For Me

Last week my husband and I escaped for a few days up the coast to Cambria and San Simeon.  We stayed in a really lovely little Inn right in downtown Cambria and did our first ever tour of Hearst Castle.  The Inn had no fitness facilities and they frown on visitors using the pool at Hearst Castle, no matter how inviting it looks so I was without my typical gym or swimming pool from Thursday through Monday morning.

I found out some interesting things about myself during this slight respite from “regular” or formal exercise.

The first I already knew, and lived on Saturday and Sunday mornings, with regularity.  That is, I do not get hungry for hours after waking up.  When I wake up weekdays between 4 and 5 am and head to the gym between 6 and 7 am I fuel myself with ½ of a shake on the way, and refuel myself for recovery purposes with the other half on the way home.  Not so if I am not working out first thing.  I can have several cups of herbal tea, my 1 allowable cup of coffee, and sip at water, or more herbal tea from 4 until 9 or 10, and be perfectly content.  Typically sometime between 9 and 10 I actually experience physical hunger and it’s time to get some protein in my body.  I can’t go wrong if I listen to my body and feed it when it’s physically hungry.

The second was that climbing stairs and walking a couple of miles at the castle was not enough exercise for me.  My body was craving more so we did some more walking/hiking from Ragged Point, down through where the elephant seals live, and then back to our lovely suite to get ready for dinner.  We then walked several blocks to dinner and back.  All of this with my 67 year young body, my knee which needs replacement, my current shoulder issue which is in the process of being diagnosed…..I’ll take it!  My hubby was along as well and his daily bicycle rides are keeping his 71 year old body in shape enough to join in all of these activities.  I think back to my parents, and then my grandparents at our ages and they were severely slowing down.  I am NOT ready for the rocking chair yet.  My Lap Band has provided me with a second chance at life after losing 270 pounds and I plan on LIVING IT!

As we packed to leave I was up and down the 150 year old steep staircase of the Inn at least 6 times with no effort.  A good way to start the day with some exercise I thought.  Take that staircase!  Although we stopped along the way I was certainly ready to stretch my muscles when I got home Friday evening, so I unpacked immediately (which required up and down on my staircase a few times) and got things in order at the house.  Saturday and Sunday was groceries, meal prep, and domestic goddess duties as per normal routine. 

Taking Some Time Off For Me
Taking Some Time Off For Me

Along came Monday morning and a text from my trainer that she was not feeling well.  Uh oh, I was tired, hadn’t slept well, my knee hurt, my shoulder hurt, my head hurt and I would sure like to go back to bed IF I could sleep.  I sucked it up, got dressed, headed for the gym and did 45 minutes and 3.46 miles straight on the elliptical.  I felt almost human by the time I was done and was able to make Monday a productive day, until I had the MRI of my shoulder which left me in a lot of pain since for the entire time I was lying on the side that hurt so they could get the images my doc had ordered.

Tuesday happened and I realized it had been 1 week since I was in the pool.  Off I went with my shoulder still aching and charged into the pool.  The doc had told me I could do anything as long as it didn’t hurt.  If it hurts, stop.  That meant no freestyle swimming because THAT HURT!  I could still breast stroke and back stroke with little to no pain which is exactly what I did for 45 minutes, then 10 minutes in the hot tub and then shower and headed home.  As I walked to my car I realized how much I enjoyed the swimming, how much I enjoyed the elliptical the day before even though I was tired and cranky and how fitness has become a regular part of my life.  I feel better, I am more productive, I have more energy, I know I am keeping my health optimum and I miss it when I don’t have it.

This food addict has become a fitness addict; however not to extremes that cause problems, just the right amount to fuel my metabolism, my mood and have me living my best life.  Who would have ever imagined that 12+ years ago?

 

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Food, Fitness, Water Here I am, 67 years young, working through my 13th year after Lap Band Surgery and my only real complaint is that I wish I had done it 20 years earlier.  Was it easy to lose 270 pounds? NO! Is it easy to maintain that weight loss? NO! The one certainty here is that it is worth the effort. I am worth the effort.

I’m getting ready to take a drive up the coast of California, do some hiking along the bluffs, take a tour of Hearst Castle, and visit a few wineries on the Highway 46 wine trail. All of this will be done in 2 ½ days. I could not have accomplished this 12+ years ago. At 424 pounds I could have driven up the coast, squeezed into my full size car (I now drive a Mini Cooper) and stood outside the car looking at the ocean below. My walking would have been very limited and I would have had to check every place we went beforehand to make sure they had chairs without arms so I had a place to sit down. The car would have been packed with chips and sodas and other snacks on the off chance that I would get hungry after lunch, before dinner, or while we were driving, and those snacks do not include any treats we might have picked up on the way. There would be NO Hearst Castle tour because I couldn’t manage the walking or the steps. There really would not be any major reason to take a car trip at all since it would give me little more than a slight change in scenery.

This week’s car trip will happen with a cooler in the car filled with water, perhaps a yogurt or two, and maybe a bottle of wine for after dinner. I’ll take jerky and protein bars as emergency food and will probably return home with them untouched. I am looking forward to Hearst Castle as I have never been and I am also looking forward to some nice weather with mild winds for hiking the bluffs. I fit easily into any size chair now and should I think I am getting hungry between lunch and dinner I’ll down some water first before I hit the “911” protein first food.

I did make reservations for two restaurants, one a steak house in Nipomo CA (Jocko’s) and the other a dinner house in Cambria (Indigo Moon) not because they had chairs without arms, but because they are where we chose to have dinner on Wednesday and Thursday evenings and with reservations we should not have to wait too long.

My travels are not about food now, they are about being active, seeing sights and doing things I have not seen or done before. The couch is not my friend any longer, it’s the gym that’s my friend. Diet soda doesn’t serve me, neither does fast food. These days it’s water, lots of it and good quality healthy protein first meals with veggies.

Here’s an example of my typical day:

Up at 5 am, 2 cups of herbal tea, 1 cup of coffee and off to the gym for 45 minutes on the elliptical and 60 minutes of strength training. Today it was planks for 45 seconds and one arm rows with 25 pound weights that were the most challenging part of my training. I complete at least a 5k on the elliptical in my 45 minutes, today it was 3.5 miles. I have met my fitness goal for 2016 which was to complete a 5k in my 45 minutes consistently. Yay me. The second part of my goal is to be able to do TREE position in yoga on each leg for 60 seconds. I’m still working on that one.

Food, Fitness, Water

After my workouts which occur Monday through Friday without fail it is on to the rest of my day which includes tracking food which typically has been planned and tracking water to make sure I get enough. Starting my day with fitness gives my 67 year young body a chance to wake up, warm up and get my metabolism rolling for the day. Whether it is elliptical and weight training for 105 minutes or swimming laps for 45 minutes I leave the gym feeling not only awake but alive and happy with who I am and where I am in life. Is it worth the struggle? YOU BET.

I’m 270 pounds lighter, 5000% happier, more self confident and enjoying the 60’s of my life more than I enjoyed the 1960’s. All as a result of a decision to change my life for the better and the commitment and perseverance to make it happen each and every day.

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Dealing With The Challenges Of Sugar
Dealing With The Challenges Of Sugar

I decided to ask folks on Facebook what the most challenging part of their journey has been.  The #1 answer was sugar or carb addiction. 

So is sugar addiction real?  It is for me.  This is how it works in my body.  I eat a cookie or a cupcake or some ice cream, and within less than 30 minutes I am wanting more.  If I stop and ask myself, the way I have taught myself and others – Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, Thirsty or Stressed (HALTTS), the answer is HUNGRY!  Every single time the answer is hungry.  It is a true physical hunger that goes along with the psychological or emotional hunger.  Can I walk away from this hunger and control it by doing something else until it’s mealtime again?  Sometimes I can, and other times I cannot.  This holds true for most breads, crackers, popcorn, cereals, and the like, as well.

Do you ever find yourself on the sugar merry go round?  Obviously, I do, yet at 12 years post-op I do indulge in a glass of wine, a mixed drink, a cookie, some ice-cream, popcorn and the like.  How do I keep from derailing my healthy eating and still allow the occasional processed sugar/carb into my life?  Good question.

On reflection of how I have dealt with it over the past 12 years this is what I find:

  • Dealing With The Challenges Of Sugar
    Dealing With The Challenges Of Sugar
    Dealing With The Challenges Of Sugar
    Dealing With The Challenges Of Sugar

    First – NONE of the items were allowed to be anywhere in my house.  This meant keeping them out of my grocery cart and keeping an eye on what my husband put in my grocery cart as well.  During this first year or so, I did use tons of artificial sweeteners and processed “bariatric foods”.  This soon grew very old as I wanted good tasting food.

  • Next – I found myself gravitating towards fewer packaged products and moving towards fish, poultry, eggs, meats, cheeses, veggies, fruits etc…….real foods.  I still found myself using sugar free desserts and yogurts and these worked okay for a while with the occasional protein bar thrown in for good measure.  I began to get creative and cook dinners that were typically better than what I chose in restaurants.  My journey was progressing and sugar free options were not as frequent.  I would work on having protein if I chose fruit to balance the natural sugar with something that would sustain me longer.  – FACT – the body reacts to sugar whether it’s in a donut or a piece of fruit the same way….and 20-30 minutes after eating the donut, and often the fruit – the hunger – the real physical hunger created by the chemical processes in our body returns.  Adding the protein – maybe a cheese stick, or even a piece of chicken or turkey to the fruit, along with the natural fiber in the fruit helps me stay satisfied longer.
  • Fast forward to today.  Frequently the only sugar substitute I have is that in my protein powder that powers my morning shake.  I eat mostly protein and produce.  I occasionally have sweets and have to be very careful for days afterwards and still can’t have much in my house because they call to me out of the cupboards.  I have actually binged on tortilla chips or cookies – what is a “binge” to me today does not resemble at all what a binge was prior to surgery.  I am typically feeding an emotion not any physical hunger and once I recognize that I can toss out the “crap”, allow myself to feel the emotion, get through it rather than be controlled by it and go on with my life. 
  • Cookies or chips don’t make me any less angry or sad or stressed, they only add to it and start a cycle I can’t get off easily.  It typically takes me about 3 days to get rid of a carb cycle.  I don’t do detoxes, I don’t do 5 day pouch tests, I don’t follow any 21 day programs for…… I simply eat REAL FOOD, no artificial sweeteners, no grains, no nuts, no legumes, nothing that comes in box for a few days, and I eat often – every 2 to 4 hours.  I make sure I am getting all of my water in since thirst often masquerades as hunger.  I leave out some of my favorite veggies that are high in carbs like peas, sweet potatoes and I don’t eat any fruit.  I do a high protein, low carbohydrate food plan for those few days and my body kicks itself in the butt, gets off the sugar/hunger/more sugar/more hunger merry go round and balances itself out again.

Dealing With The Challenges Of Sugar

If you need help doing this to get yourself back to where you’d like to be feel free to email me or message me on Facebook.  I’ll be happy to help coach you through your challenge.  Food does not have power.  We have the POWER.

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Planning To Be A Success – Setting Goals For My Health After Weight Loss Surgery

July 27, 2016

As you read this for the first time I will be 12 years and 2 months post-op from my Lap Band surgery.  Oh, and did I mention 270 pounds lighter?  I thought about the progression of everything it took to get me to where I am today, a fit, healthy, 67 year young woman enjoying […]

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Come With Us To The Beach – Long Term Success After Lap Band, or Any Weight Loss Surgery

July 20, 2016

I wondered what I was going to share with you, all of this week.  Food, portions, supplements, exercise, water, personal accountability.  It all matters, that’s for sure.  My opinion is that it all begins with personal accountability which has so many pieces to it.  It is being accountable that has us being mindful of our […]

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Food, Glorious Food – Long Term Success After Lap Band, Or ANY Weight Loss Surgery

July 13, 2016

Since I love eating and I love cooking and creating bariatric friendly dishes it is no surprise that my business discussion with the other half of WLS SUCCESS MATTERS centered on food, hunger, satiety, understanding that food equals fuel, and that even the “worst” of cooks can create a delicious meal in minutes. When I […]

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Marigold Bars Giveaway – Win A Chance To Try 12 of My New Favorite Protein Bars

July 6, 2016

You all hear me say time and time again that I eat ONLY delicious tasting food.  This goes for all my meals, snacks and even the “emergency” foods I keep on hand or that I travel with.  You know I was intrigued when I saw protein bars with names like Chunky Choco Walnut, Macarooned, Cinnabahn […]

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Calories – To Count Or Not To Count – Long Term Lap Band Success

June 29, 2016

Which of these have you heard? — Eat between 800-1200 calories per day.  Get 60-80 grams of protein per day.  Use a small plate.  Eat protein first, then veggies, then if you have room eat your carbs.  Fifty percent of your calories should be protein.  Seventy percent of your calories should be protein.  You need […]

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Taking Care of Me First – Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

June 22, 2016

I had a revelation yesterday while I was at the orthopedic doctor’s office.  I meal plan, I weigh and measure most of my food, I get in at least 200 minutes of fit living each week, I see my bariatric surgeon on a regular basis, I take my vitamins and supplements, I drink my water.  […]

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Claiming Bragging Rights and Celebrating For Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery

June 15, 2016

There seems to be two schools of thought within the Facebook Weight Loss Surgery Community.  The first think that celebrating success, sharing meals, sharing fitness, and “selfies” is a statement of lack of self-esteem. The second believes that sharing all of this on Facebook is just that- a celebration of how far we have come, […]

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Long Term Lap Band Success – Five Pounds May Not Sound like Much, But…!

June 8, 2016

So there I was in the pool, swimming my laps, on another June Gloom day at the beach in Southern California.  I had not seen the sun for several days and it was really starting to affect my mood.  I got in my 45 minutes and headed for the hot tub to soothe my achy […]

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Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best Life

May 25, 2016

On May 28th 2004 I never expected that when I woke up on the other side of my bariatric surgery that THIS is the life I could have. My reasons for having surgery were to stay alive, get off some of my medications and be able to just “live”. I was slowly dying, getting heavier […]

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On The Road With My Lap Band And How I Get It Done – Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

May 18, 2016

I was at the WLSFA annual Meet & Greet in Nashville this past weekend, and then meeting with friends we haven’t seen in 16 years.  It was a fabulous weekend all around and I hope you all join me in Portland Oregon next May for the 2017 WLSFA Meet & Greet. That all being said, […]

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