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

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Help Save LivesI began giving back to the Weight Loss Surgery Community about a year after I had my Lap Band surgery in 2004.  Then it was just speaking at my doc’s informational seminars after having lost 100+ pounds.  My audience grew as I lost over 200 pounds and the time went on.  I found I was so energized by being able to do this, to actual lose 250+ pounds and create a whole new life for myself that I wanted to share it with anyone who would listen.

Sometime in 2010 I found out about the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America and I have been a member, and for several years now a member of the Board of Directors.  This is the ONLY organization that funds grants for Weight Loss Surgeries for those who are financially unable to do it themselves, have little or no insurance coverage, and have the medical need.  Wow, that’s a big sentence for a BIG MISSION, one that is certainly worthy of my time.

I gladly volunteer my time as a board member and get to share the joy of not only our grant recipients, but all of those who attend our annual Meet & Greet to live and learn the Weight Loss Surgery Life as well as to help give back by helping to save a life through their attendance at our Meet & Greets.

This year’s event is in San Antonio, at the Marriott Riverwalk hotel.  If you have never been there you are in for a treat, it is a great location.  We have lots of fun as well as education planned for our attendees.  Friday will be about peer support.  If you’ve never been before, there is a Newbies meeting to introduce you to others who are with us for the first time, play some games, win some prizes, make friends, and then off you go to the rest of the event.

Help Save Lives

Help Save LivesThere will be inspirational talks, panel discussions by other patients, and on Friday night join us for our Fiesta — San Antonio style.  Saturday there are Bariatric Surgeons, Plastic Surgeons, and other professionals speaking individually, and on panels.  Our Vendor area will be filled with the latest and greatest in bariatric friendly products.  Oh, by the way, you’ll be taking home lots of samples so bring an empty suitcase.  Join us Saturday night for Sparkle and Shine when we all get to strut our stuff, no matter where we are on our journeys, and celebrate LIFE. 

Sunday morning we’ll have our bike ride and our 5k then finish the day with our Bari Friendly version of Chopped.  It’s loads of laughs as we will see some strange and often delicious tasting recipes created.

Help Save LivesOh, I did not forget to mention that Carnie Wilson, our National Ambassador of Hope will be in attendance, and we’ll have a little get together to raise additional funds at a Tapas With Carnie Event.

All of this and MORE.  Support yourself on your journey.  Meet new people, make new friends, hug old friends, and Most of All – Help Us Save Lives.

Here’s the link to register- I Hope to get to give you a personal hug in San Antonio in June

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Declaring 2018 the year of ME Happy New Year to all.  I am officially declaring 2018 the year of me.  Why?  Because it will serve me better than any resolutions I might make.  For years and years, I made resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, save money, declutter, etc., etc.  The list was long and covered everything from soup to nuts.  Then, along with 80% of the rest of the world, by February I had failed to make any changes in my behavior.

What was missing to make things happen?  I certainly had good intentions of making myself into a better person.  Oh wait, perhaps that’s exactly where I went wrong.  I wanted to be someone other than ME and had no plan as to how I was going to become that new and different being.  I thought that by simply writing down what I wanted to be somehow a miraculous transformation would occur beginning New Year’s Day.  Guess what, this was mere dreaming, it never happened.

Things do not improve when I sit on my duff and just expect them to.  I need to put some action into the process.  I needed to turn those wishes and hopes into SMART goals.  THAT is when things started cooking for me.  And the beat goes on today.  I have set NO New Year’s resolutions for 2018 and I feel great about it.  I do have some plans for ME for the year.

Declaring 2018 the year of ME My word for the year is THRIVE.  I spent many years surviving, and since having my Lap Band Surgery in 2004, I have learned what it means to thrive rather than just survive.  Here are some definitions of thrive along with synonyms – prosper; flourish


flourish, prosper, burgeon, bloom, blossom, mushroom, do well, advance, succeed, boom

I believe that as I found my way after weight loss surgery and started to realize that the only limitations I had were those I put on myself I began to thrive – to flourish, to try and succeed at things that I never in my wildest dreams, would have thought of in my previous life.  (BWLS – before weight loss surgery).  This year, 2018 brings some interesting numbers with it for me.  I will be married for 50 years on April 4th, 2018.  I will turn 70 years old on September 15, 2018.  These are two milestones for sure. 

Declaring 2018 the year of ME I have a couple of bucket list items that I intend to cross off by completing them this year.  The first is to go to The South Pacific and swim and dive in the waters around Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea and the like.  This trip is planned, and I get more excited each day I think about it.  The next is to finally get in my hot air balloon ride.  This has not been planned, because my hot air balloon ride has been canceled 3 times in California and twice in New Mexico, so I am allowing the universe to provide the right winds somewhere in my travels for this to happen.  And happen it will, because I am giving positive energy to the thought. 

Declaring 2018 the year of ME I have been thriving these past years.  I spent 2017 hiking many of the local waterfalls, hiking in beautiful areas in Oregon and in Hawaii.  I swam my “laps” in the Pacific Ocean off Kauai for my daily fitness, and bicycled the beach as well.  I experienced sunrises and sunsets in some of the most beautiful places in the world.  This is how the gift of my second chance at life has unfolded for me since 2004.  I am grateful for all of the opportunities that have been presented as well as for the ones that I created as I let go of an “I probably couldn’t do that” attitude and changed it into a “let’s try this and see what happens”, with the final outcome being – I can!  I did it!  Let’s do it again!

This year of ME will be filled with choices – choices to work my fitness every day and get stronger and increase my endurance.  Age is not a barrier, it is an incentive for me.  I can align myself with people who help serve my goals and fuel my soul and let go of those who don’t.  I can choose to let go of what I cannot control instead of letting it weigh me down (I mean that in every way including feeding my emotions) and work hard on what I can control including my food, my fitness, my hydration and my positive mental attitude.  I plan to live each, and every, day to the fullest, being the best ME I can be.

This year of ME, this year of thriving these 365 days called 2018 are a gift for me to unwrap and cherish, one day at a time.

That is exactly what I plan to do.

What is your word for 2018?  And, how does it impact your life?

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Starting Over As The Year Ends The week before Christmas I contracted a stomach bug unlike anything I had experienced since being banded in 2004.  Thank goodness I made it through it without having to go to the doctor’s.  I was able to text my bariatric doc and ask for a prescription for something to stop the nausea.  It saved my life, and possibly my weight loss surgery since Lap Bands and throwing up do not go together well.  OK, that was TMI and I apologize, I am done now.

Starting Over As The Year Ends At any rate I couldn’t even think about fitness in any way shape or form for the week.  I was exhausted, in need of a bathroom often, feverish and very weak.  Bone broth, tea and crackers were my friends.  I then graduated to dry toast and tea and bone both and then to real soup, then soft foods and I am now back in the land of the living.  Both my fitness and my food choices were out of whack for that week, but that’s what it took for me to get through it.  That’s over now, the bread and crackers are gone from the house, I have WLS appropriate meals ready and planned and it was time for me to get back into my fitness routine.

Typically, even after a few days “off” from routine I start back in the pool, swimming laps for 30 minutes.  This allows my muscles to stretch and work all over my body and get me back in the swing of things.  I have not been able to get back in the pool yet because my sinuses have been telling me not to by having me wake up with a headache and a stuffed head.  We are deep cleaning my bedroom today because I am of the thought that I may still be reacting to dust and particles of ash that we don’t see that are left over from the Thomas Fire that has ravaged Ventura and Santa Barbara counties for the last 3 weeks.  My body is crying to get into the pool and I hope that this will be possible sometime before the end of the year.  If not, it will be soon, and I’ll be patient with myself and NOT use this as an excuse to not work out.

Starting Over As The Year Ends My alternative is to use the elliptical daily to raise my heart rate, work my arms and legs and burn some calories while I get my strength and endurance back.  I didn’t realize it would be so hard.  I knew that at my chronological age – 69 I would lose some of my endurance after being idle for a week, and I knew my stamina wasn’t up to snuff either, but I never expected it to be as HARD as it was.  My trainer is unavailable this week and I guess I’m grateful for small favors because an hour of strength training added to my elliptical time is just downright SCARY to me.

So Tuesday morning, December 26th I got up, got dressed and went to the gym, turned on my tunes, opened my water bottle and hopped up onto the elliptical and started moving.  One minute down, okay, two minutes down, still fine, 3 minutes down, OMG I can’t believe my heart rate has accelerated so much, 4 minutes down, I wonder if I can make it to 15 minutes today.  What you don’t know is that 4 minutes is just my warm up time.  YIKES!  How was I going to get through this.  Was it even possible?  Did I lose enough endurance that I would have to build from the beginning?  Five minutes at a time, oh my this is almost embarrassing …  OK Sandi, stop that Negative Nellie talk and just do what you can.  I gave myself permission to stop at 15 minutes if I had to and finish 15 more walking slowly on the treadmill.  I also let out a deep sigh and began to breathe and just go with the flow.  I made it, barely to 30 minutes.  At this point I did not care how much distance I had gone, I was only concerned with time so slow to moderate was more than fine.

Starting Over As The Year Ends When I stepped off the machine I wanted to throw my arms up in the air and shout YES!!!  I contained myself only because I don’t like being the center of attention at the gym.  I went home, showered, got my work done, had lunch, made dinner, sat down to watch TV and promptly fell asleep at about 8PM. 

This morning, Wednesday, December 27th I did it again.  It was not quite as hard, my body became fluid, loving the blood flowing through it and my aches and pains disappeared and when I checked my time I was about 18 minutes into it.  I had worked up a sweat, yet I knew that I could push to that 30-minute mark today, even if it meant falling asleep at 8 again tonight.  I did it, and added 1 more minute just because.  Yes, it was exhausting, and yes, even after a 5-minute cool down, a trip to the restroom and a walk out to my car my heart rate was still accelerated.  Typically after 30 minutes on the elliptical with a 5 minute cool down my heart rate has slowed.  I got it- this is going to take a few more days to get me back to where I was before my stomach bug cut everything short.

Oh how easy it would be to say it’s so hard my body isn’t ready to do this yet, or to quit after 15 minutes and head home, or to wait until I could get into the pool again to restart my fitness routine.  Hmmm, I could probably even get my husband, or daughter, or somebody to agree with me so I had support for NOT DOING.

Starting Over As The Year Ends Then I think about that 424-pound woman who couldn’t walk through Costco because it was too hard.  I think about all the work I have done to get to not only where I am today, but where I want to be tomorrow and the day after that and…….  If I look at my return to fitness like my return to eating after this bought of stomach flu…liquids, soft foods, then back to solids I can progress my fitness back to where I was before and then beyond with no frustration, only the gentle reminder that I CAN, I WILL and I AM.

Join me this week in taking those first steps to get yourself to where YOU want to be, one step, one minute, one choice at a time.


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Those cold Santa Ana winds of DecemberHere we are.  Mid-December 2017 and once again I find myself in the throws of SADS (seasonal affective disorder), Yes, this gets me every year – the article that follows was written several years ago and all of it is still my truth.  Added to the short days and cold mornings is the fire that has devastated Ventura County where I currently live.  I am blessed because the bad air and some ash is all I have to deal with while hundreds have lost their homes or been evacuated.  At the time I write this the fire has consumed some 250, 000 acres, has almost 7000 firefighters involved and is only 20% contained at day 9.  We have no rain in the forecast, but the brutal Santa Ana winds blowing from the northeast are due to abate.  Very poor air quality has been added to the reasons I could choose to not exercise…  So here I sit, cold and tired with my lung capacity and endurance somewhat compromised by the smoke in the air. 

I refuse to use this as a reason to not exercise.  The air is filtered and/or conditioned at the gym so off I go, as difficult as it is to get the go – going, and make it to the gym each of my scheduled 5 days.  I may be cranky but I am not willing to give up fit because I am tired, cold, craving carbs and cranky.  Why not you ask?  Simply because I value my health too much and my ability at 69 years young to get around.  The minute I give up fitness I will become that old person and that is just NOT who I am.  I have too much to do, too many items still not crossed off on my bucket list and too much life to still live.

Those cold Santa Ana winds of DecemberIt’s Holiday time.  I have shopping to do, parties to go to, people to see, and I am cold.  Okay, so I live in southern California.  I am blessed with many days of sunshine and temperate weather, right?  You don’t feel sorry for me because you live where it gets to -20 regularly all winter.  OK, I got it, but I am STILL COLD.

At 6:30 am when I head to the gym it has been in the upper 30’s or very low 40’s.  Add to that a stiff 30 mile and hour breeze from the northeast and any way you size it up, it’s cold.  I have half of my house closed off so I can heat the other half which is a 2 ½ story main living area.  I am dressed in 3 layers and feel like an Eskimo as I type this and I am STILL COLD.


Swimming is good exerciseSo we have COLD days, short days as we head towards the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and here I am grumpy, tired and COLD.  All I want to do is eat carbs to fuel warmth in my body.  If I do that I just feel horrible.  How do I know?  Not only did I do it for the first 55 years of my life but I have done it since being banded and paid the piper with a grumpier outlook and feeling physically awful as well. 

Does any of this sound familiar to you?  Do any of you also suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SADS, where the shorter cooler days with less sunlight do what seems to be irreparable damage to your emotional well being?  Any of you want to carb out and just hibernate until the temperature goes above 65 degrees and the sun stays high in the sky for a reasonable amount of time?

Warming Hot TeaGuess what?  WE CAN’T!  Every morning I try hiding under the covers for as long as possible, but the air in the room is so dang cold that nature calls and I am forced to get my rear out of bed.  I add 2 or 3 more layers to my pj’s and head downstairs for coffee and my supplements.  By the time cup # 2 kicks in I’m almost human and have possibly stopped shivering. 

Fitness Pays In So Many WaysThen it’s back upstairs with me to get ready for the gym.  This morning I actually put on a bathing suit to go swimming with my teeth chattering the entire time.  Downstairs, make my protein shake and open the garage door, jump in my car, turn on the seat heaters and off to the gym I went.  The pool water was warmer than the air so it was easy to jump in and get my 40 minutes done.  Getting out and back home, well that was another story…..hood pulled up, dressed in many layers I headed for the car, home and endless cups of hot tea. 

I must admit, moving my body certainly felt good, but about now, as the sun is threatening to descend in the sky and the wind is still shrieking through the area I am starting to feel chilled to the bone again.  Guess it’s time for another steaming mug of hot tea.

SADS or not, the one thing I will NOT do is find excuses to avoid exercise.  It has become a habit I need daily, and just as I will brush my teeth each day, so will I get my exercise done.  NO EXCUSES.

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Sleep Is One Of The Cornerstones of SuccessWe all know that after Weight Loss Surgery portion sizes, protein first, staying hydrated, fit living, taking our vitamins are all cornerstones of success that we affectionately call “The Rules”.  What if I added one more to the mix that we don’t often think of as a requirement for success?  What if that one were SLEEP?

Our busy lives have us going in multiple directions from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to sleep.  Are YOU getting enough sleep?  I bet not.  How many hours of sleep are you getting?  Most healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.  Many of us get between 5 and 7, if we’re lucky.  My days start between 4:30am and 5am daily and end around 11PM.  That gives me around 6 hours if I fall asleep promptly at 11 and stay asleep until 5. 

Sleep Is One Of The Cornerstones of SuccessThat rarely happens… Being semi- retired I have the luxury of sitting with my tea and coffee and then leaving for the gym between 6:30 and 7:30 each morning.  Many of you don’t have that luxury – it’s up, workout, shower, get lunch(es) ready, get the kids up and ready and everyone out of the house.  Some days it’s even toss stuff in the crock pot so dinner is about done by the time you walk back in the door 9-11 or maybe 12 or more hours later.  Then it’s dinner, homework, emails, checking in with friends and relatives, prep for the next day and oh my, look at the clock.  It’s time for me to get ready for bed but I just have to sit down and relax by ___________.  (you fill in the blank)   Now the 11PM bedtime is blown, and sleep becomes even more scarce.

What happens when we continually short ourselves on the necessary rejuvenating, healing hours of sleep?  Lots of things and none of them are good.  Here are just a few of the benefits that adequate sleep provide; some you may be familiar with and some that may be new and/or eye openers for you:

  • Sleep Is One Of The Cornerstones of SuccessDuring sleep, your body rebuilds muscles you’ve worn down during the day and cleans away harmful plaques and waste that are produced in the brain.  These are vital processes that keep both your mind and body running properly
  • Your mind also processes and responds to important emotions and experiences from the day and commits them to memory during sleep
  • Lack of sleep makes it difficult for your body to regulate essential things like APPETITE CONTROL, your immune system, good metabolic function and your ability to maintain a normal body weight
  • Sleep is also essential to regulating your emotions.  In fact, being sleep deprived for just one night can increase your emotional response to negative feelings by 60%
  • Lastly, sleep plays an important role in regulating your circadian rhythm, or internal clock.  This inner clock runs on an approximately 24-hour schedule and regulates when you feel awake and sleepy.  It may also help regulate things like metabolism, immune function and inflammation

Did you get that loud and clear – sleep effects appetite control (who doesn’t crave carbs when they’re tired), good metabolic function, positive vs.  negative emotional response, metabolism, and inflammation?  ALL of these affect our weight and our weight loss.

Sleep Is One Of The Cornerstones of SuccessI learned the true importance of sleep these last few weeks.  My husband contracted pneumonia. This was scary and we had many Urgent Care, ER and doctor visits.  Until we got the fever under control I was up most of the night listening to him breathe, terrified that the infection would become more rampant.  When I did sleep I awoke at the slightest movement or noise.  I was afraid he would fall getting out of bed to use the bathroom.  Instead of visions of sugar plums I had visions of ambulances dancing in my head.  I was terrified. 

To make a long and arduous story short he is doing fine, has knocked off the pneumonia. He has been released to go back to bike riding slowly and today was his first day at the gym on a bike there – he made it 5 minutes and was done. 

What does all of this have to do with success after weight loss surgery?  Well, I allowed my emotions (the negative ones) to overtake what I knew served me best and ate carbs like crackers, cookies, etc. – right along with him.  I did this until I was actually living with reflux for 24 hours.  It kept me up at night even taking Zantac.  After a night of 2 hours sleep and constant reflux I was done.  I created every excuse in my mind and was about to call my bariatric surgeon to schedule a GI swallow and endoscopy and then thought about it for a minute.  I hadn’t been tracking the crap I had been putting in my body.  I was getting in my fitness, my water, my vitamins and my protein but was ignoring the constant hand to mouth with the other stuff.

Sleep Is One Of The Cornerstones of SuccessThat had to stop or I would be out buying new clothes because nothing fit, and THAT would be tragic as well as unacceptable.  I sat back, looked at my behaviors for the past 2 weeks and then BAM the light went off.  There are several things I could do to break this cycle so that I could sleep and go back to my typical living and eating behaviors.  The first was to clean the junk out of the house.  DONE!  The second was to stop buying the small bags of junk whenever I was in a store.  (Did you know that Loewe’s has Cheetos for sale?).  DONE!  The third was to cut off eating or drinking anything but water by 8PM.  Done.  The fourth was to eliminate all vitamins and supplements for 1 day to let my stomach rest since one that I take for my eyes always upsets my stomach for about an hour.  DONE.  The final was to go to bed when I was watching TV and finding myself drifting off.  No staying up, no getting up and getting tea, or SF hot chocolate, or a yogurt, so I could stay awake and watch whatever show I thought I needed to watch.  That’s why DVR was invented and if I have to wait for a rainy day (and that could be a long time away here in southern California) to catch up on my favorite shows so be it. 

I did all of that yesterday and found that I ate only 850 calories because I ate when I was hungry only.  I went to bed at 9:30 pm when I was starting to drift and slept until 5:20 am.  I woke up amazed as I looked at the clock and hopped out of bed with a smile on my face and started my day.  It’s been a good day too.  Day 2 of managing my sleep and emotions instead of letting them manage me.

The moral of this story is to look at your sleep habits and see if they need some housecleaning.  You’ll be amazed at what might happen.

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Holiday Appetizers Always A Hit
Holiday Appetizers Always A Hit
Holiday Appetizers Always A Hit
Holiday Appetizers Always A Hit
Holiday Appetizers Always A Hit
Holiday Appetizers Always A Hit
Holiday Appetizers Always A Hit

Today is Thanksgiving.  I wish you and yours a Happy and a Healthy Thanksgiving!  My family dinner is simple this year – roast turkey, cauliflower stuffing and baked sweet potatoes.  My daughter is making pies for the group and I will probably have a thin slice of her bourbon pecan pie because this lifestyle is not about depriving me of anything I truly want, it is about knowing how much and how often is reasonable while still maintaining my health and my weight.

That being said what can you serve as an appetizer or bring as an appetizer that is weight loss surgery friendly, inexpensive and always well received?  Deviled eggs.  There are many ways to prepare the filling, you choose the one that suits your mood:

  • First we have to boil the eggs – I do this by placing 6 eggs in a saucepan and then fill it 2/3 of the way with water.  Place it on the stove on high and let the water come to a rolling boil.  When it is boiling cover the pan and remove from the heat.  Allow it finish cooking the eggs and then cool, about an hour or so and then fill the saucepan with cold water.  remove the eggs one at a time, roll them back and forth between your hands, gently crack and peel.  They always peel easily for me when I cook them and peel them this way.  I don’t use an instapot or egg cooker, just my plain old saucepan.
  • Now you have 6 hard boiled eggs.  Slice in half lengthwise and remove the yolks to a bowl.  Place the egg whites on a plate and set aside for the moment.
  • Here comes the filling for the deviled eggs:
  1. Traditional – add some mayonnaise and a bit of mustard, salt and pepper and mix.  Spoon gently into each egg white half and top with a splash of paprika
  2. Spicy – substitute Siracha sauce for the mayonnaise and mustard
  3. Pickled – mix the yolks with pickle relish or chopped pickles
  4. Top the traditional with an olive slice, or pimento – Be courageous, use both.
  5. Fill with tuna salad and sprinkle with dill
  6. Top with a piece of smoked salmon and season with Everything But The Bagel Seasoning
  7. Mix yolk, plain Greek yogurt and ranch dressing mix and fill
  8. Mix some crumbled bacon and blue cheese crumbles with the yolk and a bit of plain Greek yogurt
  9. Make it Greek- mix the yolk with plain Greek yogurt and feta cheese – either top with a sliced olive or use chopped olives in the yolk mix
  10. Buffalo style with hot sauce, blue cheese crumbles and celery mixed with the yolks and a dab of mayonnaise

Those are just 10 quick variations of deviled eggs that are sure to please.  They are protein packed, healthy, and don’t break the budget.

Your imagination can create your own variation.  Share them with us!

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!


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There are basically two ways of looking at life:

  • Looking at what you don’t have with avaricious thoughts
  • Be grateful for what you do have

I’ve lived life on both sides of this coin and work hard daily to keep myself in the head space of being grateful for what I do have.  Why?  Because it’ s easier, has me calm, smiling and looking for the next miracle in my life.  My head doesn’t hurt, my muscles aren’t tense, and I don’t look for food to stuff my negative emotions/perspective.

Much has been written on how gratitude can change your life.  I’m going to summarize a few of the articles I have read recently and then let you decide how you choose to live.

Gratitude can change your life:

  • Happiness After Weight Loss SurgeryIt can enhance your quality of life.  A study was done where one group made a daily gratitude list vs other groups who documented unpleasant experiences and a third just kept a journal with no direction.  The results of the study indicated that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism, and energy.  In addition, those in the gratitude group experienced less depression and stress, were more likely to help others, exercised more regularly, and made greater progress toward achieving personal goals.
  • Notice and appreciate each day’s gifts.  Find something to be grateful for.  It’s there and finding it will increase your “happiness quotient”.
  • Once you become oriented toward looking for things to be grateful for, you will find that you begin to appreciate simple pleasures and things that you previously took for granted.  Gratitude should not be just a reaction to getting what you want, but an all-the-time gratitude, the kind where you notice the little things and where you constantly look for the good even in unpleasant situations.  Today, start bringing gratitude to your experiences, instead of waiting for a positive experience in order to feel grateful; in this way, you’ll be on your way toward becoming a master of gratitude.
  • Being grateful can result in a better mood, more popularity, better resilience, more generosity, truly living the law of attraction, you will live longer
  • In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “In order to achieve contentment, one should cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.”
  • Let gratitude be your stress buster – keep a gratitude journal; embrace the negative as well as the positive; spend time with loved ones; use social media mindfully and positively; know and acknowledge the value of little things; volunteer, pay it forward; move your body to reduce stress, clear your mind and help set yourself up to be grateful.

Here is my gratitude list for today:

  • I am grateful for my husband who supports me and loves me unconditionally
  • I am grateful for my trainer who knows just how to push me to accomplish never in my wildest dreams fitness levels
  • I am grateful for my daughter who cares about everyone
  • I am grateful for my grandkids who bring me joy watching them grow into adulthood
  • I am grateful to be able to give back to the WLS community both as a member of the board of Directors of the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America and as a bariatric coach, educator and support group leader.
    Happiness After Weight Loss Surgery
  • I am grateful for sunshine and singing birds

Deep sigh.  Typing this list has brought me calm and a feeling of well being.  Try it, what’s not to like.

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How Falling Can Be A Non Scale Victory – Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

November 1, 2017

So here I am 13+ years post-op, maintaining, in the gym 5 days a week, living a fabulous life and what happens?  I am walking into the atrium area of the Hilton Long Beach hotel after a nice walk to Starbucks and back at about 8 PM – and I trip.  I tripped over a […]

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How Planning Solves The Never Ending Search For Something Good To Eat – Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery

October 25, 2017

Here I am, a 13+ year Lap Band patient and yes, food is still important to me.  There are many reasons that it’s important, so I’ll cover a few for you.  Feel free to let me know if you have others: Fuel For My Body Fuel For My Eyes, Tastebuds Provides Satiety Keeps Me Healthy […]

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Fitness Is A Way Of Life For Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery

October 11, 2017

As I worked out with my trainer this morning I realized just HOW important fitness is to me and WHY.  After weight loss surgery, as the weight came off I was excited to shop for new clothes and try doing physical things, like walking around the block, or the down to the beach through the […]

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Water, Water, Everywhere – Time To Drink Some For Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery

October 4, 2017

As I continue this amazing journey to health and wellbeing that I began in 2004 I find that when I forget who I am, a weight loss surgery patient, some of the success habits can get left out of my days.  Funny thing about The Success Habits of Weight Loss Surgery Patients, they are pretty […]

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Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery – Sugar TRULY Is Evil, The Saga Continues

September 27, 2017

As I move through my 14th year after weight loss surgery, Lap Band Surgery to be specific, I continue to learn that sugar is NOT my friend.  And yet I am still taken in by the smells, the tastes, the ease with which I can swallow and digest it no matter how many times I […]

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Living My Life Out Loud – Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

September 20, 2017

; As many of you already know I turned 69 years young last week.  I was fortunate enough to be able to celebrate my birthday on the Island of Kauai with my husband of 49+ years.  I wake up 2 hours before him, even in Hawaii on vacation.  He knows this so my birthday card […]

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Packing My Suitcase Then And Now – Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

September 6, 2017

I am currently getting ready to leave on a vacation to celebrate my 69th birthday, and as I reflect on previous vacations and the horror around packing I am once again thrilled with my life as it is today, vs as it was prior to weight loss surgery. I am dreaming of getting showered and […]

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One Of The Keys To Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery – Make Time For YOU Every Day

August 30, 2017

We all lead busy lives.  Whether we are in school, working, or both.  Whether we have significant others who require our time, kids, moms and dads and other relatives.  Bosses who are less than understanding.  There ALWAYS seems to be a reason to put ourselves, our needs and our priorities at the end of that […]

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The Best Laid Plans Often Go Awry, Or How I Get Back On Course After A Wrong Turn – Long Term Success After WLS

August 23, 2017

Here I am over 13 years post-op, a bariatric coach and educator for others and once again, life happened and even with my meal plan in place sugary and salty carbs won.  My excuse is that I had a couple of bad nights…  REALLY bad nights.  THIS IS AN EXCUSE, not a reason.  While my […]

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How I Streamline Meal Planning And Prep To Keep my Success After Weight Loss Surgery

August 16, 2017

Most of you know I had Lap Band Surgery in 2004.  I lost 270 pounds and am maintaining that loss.  Did the Lap Band – or any weight loss surgery for that matter, do it for me?  NO… As you all know, we have to do the work as well.  I admit it – I […]

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