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

Read More 13 comments

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

Read More 0 comments

Moving Through The Cold Months Is KeyMy exercise schedule is pretty routine on Monday- Friday.  I swim for 30 minutes to an hour on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  Then spend 100 minutes on the elliptical and weight training on Mondays and Wednesdays.  On Saturdays I have been taking a bicycle ride with my hubby that is anywhere from 5-7 miles and growing in length, but this is NOT a scheduled day for me.  Sundays it is a quick 3 ½ mile bike ride to the Farmer’s Market, again not scheduled. 

Monday – Friday are pretty much written in stone.  That means that someone has to have an emergency for me to not get my fitness in, and I like it this way.  It has taken me years to establish this routine and vacations, illnesses, floods, fires, emergencies may take me away from the exact routine for a day, never more. 

Moving Through The Cold Months Is KeyThirty minutes per day of moving my body on purpose is what my doc told me when I had surgery.  That is 210 minutes per week.  My Monday – Friday routine gets me a minimum of 290 minutes, most weeks more.  It doesn’t matter how I get those 210 minutes in, as l get them done is how I look at it.  On vacations I have been known to jump on the elliptical on a cruise ship for 20 minutes because I had something else scheduled and then swim later for 15 minutes or more.  (It’s really hard to get laps done on a cruise ship or anywhere there are lots of people and a small pool, but I do them anyway.) While at hotels I typically schedule my mornings to go to the gym or pool and then shower and get my day going.  If I am snorkeling or diving that is clearly my exercise, as are long beach walks, hikes in the woods, or….

Moving Through The Cold Months Is KeyI am finding that if I skip a day of getting my heart rate up, even for a little bit, my body gets to feeling old and achy and sluggish.  Take this morning for example.  Yesterday my exercise consisted of up and down my steps too many times to count, doing housework and laundry, but no formal heart rate raising exercise.  Add to this cold temperatures and a storm coming in this morning and when I woke up my bad knee was on fire and walking was difficult and painful.  I choose to self-medicate by moving as much as possible so even though it was cold and blustery with a storm threatening we rode our bikes to the Farmer’s Market.  That first ¼ mile hurt, it hurt a lot, but nothing more than the “usual pain”.  Once I got the blood flowing all was well and I had to ride around in circles waiting for my hubby to catch up with me because it felt good to move as fast as I could.  Same on the way home.  The pain in my knee is now in the background where it lives most of the time and I can go on with my day.  It’s a total round trip of 3 ½ miles on the bike so 1 ¼ each way which probably takes no more than 10 minutes. 

Think about it- 10 minutes and my pain is mostly gone, I have energy and my muscles have all been warmed up and I have ramped my metabolism a bit for the day.  What can YOU do for 10 minutes to move your body to lessen pain, increase energy and kick your metabolism in the butt?

Read More 0 comments

I am not ruled by my dna

by sandi on November 10, 2015

I am not ruled by my dnaThe time changed, my body still is getting up at 4:30 am which is now 3:30 am and at 5 pm, as the sun sets, so does my energy.  This occurs for me every year and then, as the days get shorter and shorter building to the winter solstice on December 21st – the shortest day of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere, I notice other changes in my being.

I often wonder if anyone else has the same or similar responses so feel free to email me or message me on Facebook and let me know.  Here is what seems to happen:

I am not ruled by my dna

  • My body wants to go into hibernation – I want to sit around in heavy sweats, covered by warm blankets for as many hours a day as I can get away with it;
  • I crave carbs and comfort food (which are more carbs typically) so that I can make it through these short cold days (remember I live in Southern California);
  • I don’t want to go out anywhere after the sun goes down (see #1 – I am in hibernation folks)
  • If we have a warm and sunny afternoon I hurriedly put on a tank top and go outside to soak up as much of the weak rays of the sun as possible.

I am not ruled by my dnaI wonder if this is some sort of genetic imprinting since my heritage is that of the Minsk region of Belarus.  There have been numerous studies done with findings providing evidence of “transgenerational epigenetic inheritance” – that the environment can affect an individual’s genetics, which in turn can be passed on.  When I look at the weather for November – January in Belarus I see 99% cloudiness with snow, ice and temperatures averaging from minus 10 to zero degrees.  In my book, THAT is a reason to stay indoors, eat carbs to stay warm and remain under a blanket all day.

I am not ruled by my dnaHow do I deal with it since I have had Weight Loss Surgery and the carb monster doesn’t serve my goals, nor does staying under a blanket hiding serve my goals.  It is simple to elocute, but difficult some days to execute:

  • I maintain the same schedule all year long – this means up and at the gym Monday-Friday by 7:30am at the latest and push through that exercise because I always feel better on the other side
  • I am not ruled by my dnaI plan my meals and may add some more warm and tasty crock pot meals and soups and stews to my daily menu and remove some of the “cold cuts” and barbecue.
  • I use hot herbal teas to keep me warm during the day from the inside out.  I also use chicken stock or chicken broth, both low calorie and warm and delicious.
  • I get up from my desk frequently and change what I am doing so that the desire to hibernate and sleep the winter away leaves me, even if it’s temporary.
  • I take my vitamins daily to insure my good health.
  • I spend time with people who are upbeat and positive.

I am not ruled by my dnaBasically, I do the same thing that I do during the summer when I am full of energy from sun up to sun down, and I just keep going without letting my “transgenerational epigenetic inheritance” control my moods.

I am proactive in my life and choose to be positive.  It’s what works best for me.  It takes too much energy to be miserable.

Read More 0 comments

I found myself sitting and thinking about everything that had to get done.  I was going over to the dark side with the thought that I will never be able to make this all happen in the time I have available.  And then I caught myself, stopped, took a few calming breaths and restructured my thinking.

Making Time In Your Day For What Matters When I allow my mind to jump into overwhelm nothing gets done.  I sit and spin and it is a downward spiral.  I keep thinking; well if I don’t go to the gym I’ll have time to ______________; or I just can’t get it all done so I might as well quit right now and not do anything.

THAT folks is the attitude that got me to 424 pounds and it does not serve me in any way, shape or form.  That is the attitude- the one of throwing up my hands and saying I can’t get it done so I might as well not try at all is what allowed me to lose 100 pounds several time in the first 54 years of my life only to put it back on again – and more with it.

Making Time In Your Day For What Matters Did you ever grab a piece of candy or a cookie or even a few chips and tell yourself that you already screwed up so you might as well blow the entire day eating whatever you please?  I did, too many times to count with the exception of counting those pounds, those headaches, that physical pain on the scale and in the doctor’s office with new meds being added to old.

If I have had some chips, or a cookie or two or a piece of candy I now know that it is not the most horrible thing in the world.  It doesn’t make me an evil person, and I don’t have to keep feeding my body junk because I made one choice that wasn’t in my best interest overall when looking at my otherwise healthy lifestyle choices.  I stop there.  I’m done.  I had my fling with sugar or carbs and now it’s time to pull myself up by the bootstraps, put on my big girl panties, get back up on the wagon, or whatever other “kitschy” way I use in the moment to describe that my next choice will be a better one.  I own what I did, and yes, the cookie/candy/chips tasted good in the moment, and that moment is over.  What will my next good tasting choice be?  Perhaps a rare filet, or some delicious jambalaya over cauliflower “rice”.  The food I eat is all delicious, and most of it really beats the taste of a piece of candy.  How do I know you ask?  Because I have tasted both the candy and the food I choose to eat that is true fuel for my body.  Not only does it taste good, but it helps me feel good as well and at 67, or any age for that matter, feeling good, being healthy is what it’s all about.

I digress for sure.  I am rambling a bit today.  So I organize my thoughts, get rid of the sugar or carbs if there is any still around and prepare my next choice by reaching into my “bag” of prepared meals or creating a new recipe.

Making Time In Your Day For What Matters How do I deal with making time for all of this – which was the title of my blog post today, right?  When my head is spinning and I am not sure where to go next, or I am feeling overwhelmed or drowning in my lack of time and overflow of commitments I STOP everything for a moment:

  • I walk away from what I was doing, take a little walk if I can to change the scenery and my mind and take those few cleansing breaths. 
  • Then I make a list of everything I need to get done and the date it must be completed.
  • Then I prioritize the list – I put it in the order I will attack it with an estimate of the time it will take to complete
  • Then I look at my day(s) and put the items on my calendar for the week as determined by their due date.
  • I now have a place to start, and, if anyone asks me to do something else, or be somewhere else, I can clearly see if I have time or I tell them NO, sorry, not this week.
  • My days are also filled with ME time… those are the appointments I make with myself to get in my fitness, to eat and/or prep my meals.  Those times are sacred unless there is an emergency of earth shattering necessity.

Making Time In Your Day For What Matters I can get through most anything on my list as long as I create the plan for getting it done and make sure the ME time is scheduled.  If I don’t have the ME time scheduled, and if I don’t use it I find myself overwhelmed more frequently.

When I take the time and love my body with healthy meals and fitness and water I have the energy and the clarity of thought to get it done.

Here come the 2015 Holidays.  What’s your plan for getting it all done?

Read More 0 comments

The question I get asked most often these days is “How do you keep motivated?”

My answer is to keep thinking positively and look at the accomplishments you have had and the things that you are able to do today that you couldn’t do a week ago, a month ago, a year ago.

It takes a conscious effort some days, other days it just rolls out of bed along with my body.  I started today off feeling great, swam laps for 45 minutes, then went and got a flu shot in one arm and a pneumonia shot in the other, Now, in addition to both arms being achy, I feel tired and run down.  Oh no, was it a live vaccine, am I getting sick, how will I finish the work I have to do today…  I had to get up, change what I was doing and consciously shut those voices up and tell them:

  • You are not getting sick, you are tired and the weather is dark and cloudy, and that can affect your mood
  • You just keep doing, and the work will get done
  • Take a walk, and it will pass

So I got up, walked around the house a bit, made a cup of chicken broth because it sounded good and am continuing right along with everything that needs to get done.  Simple, direct, not hanging out in the why I can’t; just moving forward and being and doing what I can.

This is how I choose to live my life.  Why?  Because it’s easier.  It takes so much work to be negative and to criticize (myself or others).  I am basically a lazy person so why would I want to spend the time and energy being negative when I can choose to be positive, run outside and watch a hummingbird feed on my flowers or my koi swim around my tiny backyard pond and waterfall.

I use this same strategy for eating, exercising, planning and much of my life.  If I plan my meals ahead there is no decision to be made when I am tired after a day of the gym, the computer, the telephone, and the family drama.  I am more likely to have a healthy, well balanced, weight loss surgery friendly meal that way.  How about you?

As far as exercising goes I plan to be at the gym 5 weekdays Monday – Friday and I have a plan for each of those days.  It’s swimming laps or elliptical and weight/strength training.  Again, my laziness wins.  Today was Tuesday, a swim day.  My gym bag was put in my car Monday evening and my bathing suit, pants and shirt were sitting on my dresser for me to put on this morning.  That got me out the door at 7am.  No thinking about it… just doing.  I swam for 30 minutes and then checked in and said…  Nope, you’re not done, you have some more in you and swam for another 15.  I rewarded myself with a quick soak in the hot tub for my job well done.

Do I sound boring to you?  Always knowing what comes next?  Well, I don’t really ALWAYS know for two main reasons :

  1. I am not perfect so sometimes I have to go to a plan B
  2. Situations change and present themselves and require flexibility.

Weekends are a lot looser than weekdays, on exercise anyway since most weeks I get in 315 minutes of fitness between Monday and Friday.  My only plan is the 3 mile round trip bicycle ride to the Farmer’s Market on Sunday.

This weekend was very different.  I woke up at my typical 5 am and had my dose of tea, coffee, Facebook, and the newspaper.  Then I read a novel for a bit.  When it was apparent that hubby wasn’t getting up any time soon I decided that a lone bike ride was in order and off I went on a beautiful autumn morning in Southern California down to the local beach and all around for a quick 5 miles.  Then breakfast with my hubby and some computer work.  Up for a shower, change of clothes and off to the pumpkin patch with the grandkids.  I climbed on one of those giant tractors and reached out as far as I could go and felt totally stable and in control of my body.  This was an amazing Non Scale Victory for me – Climbing tractors this week, climbing trees last week.  It was great! 

Keeping My Eyes On The Prize
Keeping My Eyes On The Prize
Keeping My Eyes On The Prize

Sunday was Farmer’s Market day and off we went on our bikes at about 10:30 am after I had done some laundry and straightened up the house.  Came home with our mini veggie haul, realized Trader Joe’s was still in the cards when my husband asked if I wanted to take a bike ride up north a ways on what we call “the new bike trail” It is 3.5 miles one way along a beautiful stretch of beach, paved, no traffic, nothing but bikes and an occasional runner.  We saw 5 other people on it.  It has ups and downs and runs raised above the beach with the hills across the highway.  I packed a picnic lunch and off we went.  Rode another 7 miles and then enjoyed lunch in the shade of a cypress tree.

Off we went to Trader Joe’s as we left the picnic area, then home with our groceries.  Somewhere in the mix we changed the bedding, I did 3 loads of wash, cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom, and we actually drove about 30 miles to enjoy a dinner out together.

That is everything we did.  It was a fun day, a great day of working and playing together, of riding bikes for fun first and fitness second, of planning as we went and making it all work.  Is this Nirvana?  LOL.

What I left out were the reasons for some of the things I did:

  • Saturday morning a long beach walk would have been delightful but my arthritic knee would have complained loudly for days afterwards since the ground is not level.  I modified and enjoyed the beach on my bicycle.  I found what I was able to do and enjoy
  • Saturday afternoon I wanted to wear my flip flops because it was warm outside and they are most comfortable on these feet that used to carry 424 pounds around.  I chose to wear my good sneakers because my knee and the pumpkin patch would have been fighting with each other and I would have been a grump with my family.

Sunday afternoon I looked at that last stretch of bike trail and it was all uphill for 1/4 mile and again my knee would not have appreciated me one bit so we turned around.  I will eventually get up that hill – maybe a little at a time each time we ride that trail but there was no need for me to hurt myself just to say I had done it.

I guess there are two main points here-

  • Focus on what you CAN do, what you are doing and what have accomplished instead of living in the world of what you can’t do
  • Modify your life so that you can live it, each and every day and fully participate in it whatever that takes.  THAT is what it’s about – LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE – that’s the prize- that is what we each work for.

At 67 I am doing things I couldn’t do at 45 and I have a lot left to do, and many years left to do it.

Tell me what CAN you do today?

Read More 0 comments

My Why For Success After Lap Band Surgery

by sandi on October 21, 2015

Yesterday was my annual wellness check-up with my Primary Care Physician.  I really like her because she is real, she listens to me, she offers assistance when I ask, and often when I don’t ask with a cute little grin on her face, and she understands me. 

My Why For Success After Lap Band SurgeryBecause I am over 65 she gives a very simple cognitive thinking exercise to all of her geriatric patients to test for Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Draw a circle, put the numbers of a clock inside it and mark 10 past 11.  I was laughing so hard I nearly fell off the chair and said “REALLY?” to her assistant who didn’t know me at all.  I may be chronologically “old” but my mind is still pretty sharp – right?  I don’t forget too many things nor do I depend on others to do things for me unless I am being extremely lazy or paying for it.  My laughter was also about this up and coming generation – my grandkids, who I do not believe ever learned to tell time on anything but a digital clock; they also don’t learn how to write in cursive, but they can text by the time they are 5.  Oh well, now I am sounding old.  Back on the point of the blog- My Why.

I had Lap Band surgery in May 2004, 11 years and 5 months ago because:

  • I was diagnosed with severely high blood pressure and it scared me
  • I had asthma
  • I had sleep apnea
  • I had osteoarthritis
  • I weighed 424 pounds and could barely walk
  • I wanted to feel good
  • I wanted to be able to participate in life from the front lines instead of from the side line
  • I was sick and tired of being sick and tired

Pretty simple list.  Lots of good reasons.  Notice most of them are health related.

Here I am, 11 years 5 months later at the doctor’s office and here are the outcomes of my visit:

  • Your blood pressure is perfect
  • You look great
  • Do you really exercise that much?  You are a beast!
  • You take no meds except for vitamins and supplements, right?
  • How’s that knee coming along with all that pounding on it?  Glad the Synvisc is working for you.  I love your orthopedist.  He is so kind and caring.
  • Your heart and lungs sound great
  • No moles or bumps or lesions on your body to worry about
  • Physical breast exam is good- no lumps
  • Let’s check your Vitamin D level again in 3 months to make sure it’s good with the addition of the extra D.
  • Here are your orders for your annual mammogram and biannual bone density test.
  • We’ll chat again if necessary after the tests are done and the results back.
  • I love seeing you look better, slimmer, fitter, and healthier each time I see you.

THAT is what it is all about.  I not only feel healthy, I am healthy and it just keeps getting better.

I know when I wake up in the morning that I will get to the gym because I have made the choices over the past 11 years 90+ % of the time that move me forward toward my WHY- being healthy.

Oh, and I do not have Alzheimer’s or dementia just in case you were wondering – I completed the clock all by myself like a good girl….wink, wink.

Read More 0 comments

Change The Halloween Treats
Change The Halloween Treats
Change The Halloween Treats
Change The Halloween Treats
Change The Halloween Treats
Change The Halloween Treats

It’s the middle of October and Halloween candy displays are in just about every store I walk into.  It makes my inner child want candy corn and black and orange jelly beans, and licorice mustaches and chocolate treats, lots of chocolate treats.  Not going to work for me if I want to stay where I am or improve my weight and health.  I can’t be alone in my thinking so I today I am sharing a few ideas and suggestions I have seen or have had myself around Halloween treats:

  • There is absolutely NO NEED to have candy out and around just because it’s Halloween- you can create the mood with decorations, witches, goblins, spiders, pumpkins and the like whether in your home, your office, your schoolroom if you teach, the teacher’s/nurses/doctor’s lawyers/engineers (you get the idea) lounge.
  • If you have to bring a treat somewhere, or want to have a treat on your table as a centerpiece of sorts, or on your desk for your co-workers think about getting a box of Clementines (you know those incredibly sweet mandarin oranges/tangerines) and decorating them with cute jack-o-lantern faces done in permanent marker.  This can be a great crafts project for anyone from 3-99.  Display them in a shallow basket, bowl or witches hat and you have something that is healthy, in the spirit of the season and only about 40 calories.
  • If you don’t want it to be edible but still want cute get some of those little mini pumpkins and decorate them the same way and place them in groupings all over the house or office or…..
  • Need a sweet treat for a Halloween party – take 1 cup of cubed cantaloupe, 1 cup blackberries and 1 cup of blueberries and thread them on wooden skewers…This makes a plate of about 8 skewers, each one with around 18 calories.
  • How about a savory treat for a Halloween party- take 4 ounces of low fat cheddar cheese, cubed and 32 black olives and thread them onto 8 skewers alternating orange cheese, black olive; well you get it..  Each of these has about 52 calories and 4 grams protein.
  • Then there is always the round tray of baby carrots and black olives with a green stem(dip) that looks like a jack-o-lantern
  • The piece de resistance are the Hot and Spooky eyeballs – unwrap 8 Babybel Lite cheese rounds, slice 4 olives in half and get out that sriracha sauce and a small paintbrush.  Place an olive half on each of the cheese rounds, dab some sauce in the center and paint some bloodshot eyes from the center to the edge of the cheese.  Each of these disgustingly delicious treats are about 54 calories and 6 grams of protein.

So you see you can celebrate Halloween, decorate as you like and have healthy themed snacks around for all to share.

Who has some other ideas for healthy Halloween treats?  Please share them with us.  Inquiring minds want to know.

Read More 0 comments

Why I Exercise And Look Forward To It - Celebrating Life After Lap Band SurgeryIt’s Monday morning again.  Oh, no, time to face another week of ______.  You fill in the blank.  Is this how you face Monday mornings?  It’s definitely how Monday mornings looked to me before I began my current routine.

Now I get up on Monday mornings and am excited to get to the gym to warm up on the elliptical and then head into a 60 minute weight training session.  So what’s wrong with me you ask?  What’s wrong with me is that I have worked for 11 years on healing my relationship with food, my relationships with others and my relationship with myself and my body image.

Why I Exercise And Look Forward To It - Celebrating Life After Lap Band SurgeryI put on my workout pants and feel trim and fit in them, even with large, jiggly, cottage cheese ridden thighs.  They are mine, they fit into size small Nike pants and now into size 8 LuLu Lemon pants.  This means I have two pair of overpriced LuLu pants that are too big…ugh…what a horrible fate to deal with.  The pants, not the thighs…

I have also needed to get new workout tops and have resorted to a good workout bra and a loose fitting tank since my body just isn’t shaped right for the built in yoga tops any more.  My current fave is the front closing workout bra from Victoria’s Secret…..when they are on sale AND I have a $10 off coupon.

Why I Exercise And Look Forward To It - Celebrating Life After Lap Band SurgeryWhen I put on my exercise gear I no longer lament that I can’t have pretty, bright, colorful ladies sneaks because my feet are too wide and they all hurt.  I put on my New Balance men’s size 10 ½ EEEE and just don’t really care.  My feet do not hurt and I can get my 5K in on the elliptical without a lot of pain.  That’s what matters to me.  Getting it done.

And it is just that – getting it done – that has created this new, more compact, muscled version of me.  I like it.  I look in the mirror and check out my arms, my back, my shoulders, my tummy, my waist, my thighs and my calves.  I am happy with the me I am creating, with the help of my personal trainer, twice a week. 

That’s what I LOVE about Monday’s.  It is one of the two days I work with my trainer.  She pushes me far outside my comfort zone when we work.  She watches my form so I do not cause myself neck or back injury since my scoliosis is not a pretty thing.  She has modified leg exercises so I have been building my calves, my quads and my hamstrings little by little and making gains every single day.  I have not attempted this on my own for several reasons:

  • I am afraid of injury
  • When I begin to get tired my form degenerates and I need verbal and sometimes physical intervention (a light touch) to keep my body even due to my scoliosis
  • I do not have the background or training (yet) to know how to do all of the above.
  • I can do my aerobics and my lap swimming on my own to supplement the weight lifting
  • It is FUN to see just how far I can go
  • I need the encouragement of another, and I do not enjoy classes

I started my exercise routine about a year after I had surgery.  I did walk farther and more often for the first year which, along with the changes in my eating behaviors, helped me lose the first 100+ pounds.  Then I slowly added swimming laps to the mix.  After a few years of swimming 45-60 minutes 5-7 days a week it was time to get courageous again and try something new.

I got on the treadmill for a while but couldn’t get my heart rate up without running or putting so much incline into the machine that I was hurting my arthritic knee.  I tried the elliptical.  Five minutes of that strange movement and I knew I was going to die.  Now, it’s my go-to for almost stress free aerobic activity.  I go, further, faster, and keep besting myself on speed and endurance.  I sweat.  I hate to sweat – still. 

I’ve added yoga occasionally to the mix.  I go outside my gym to a Yoga studio for this because I need to know that I will receive the assistance necessary to modify the moves to work within my physical limitations. 

I tried Zumba.  It was fun (even though it was a class) but my knee hated me painfully for a week after.  I can ride my bicycle on some beautiful trails.

I keep trying new things that look interesting.  I use heavy ropes, I use the TRX, I use bands.  I can actually do crunches on the mat, and bicycle crunches on the mat properly without hurting my neck.  I do pushups, I’m working on doing chin-ups lifting my own weight (I am 75% of the way there on the machine).  I play with kettle bells without knocking out a tooth or myself.  Even when I’m in the water I change up the order of strokes as I do my laps.  I do planks, squats, you name it and I have at least probably tried it.  Is it hard?  YES.  Is it impossible?  NO.  Do I always want to do it?  – Only on Mondays.  Do I ever regret doing it?  NOPE!

This is not about how awesome I am, although…  This ladies and gentlemen is about how awesome you can choose to be.  None of this was easy.  Every day it’s work, hard work.  I have to stay present in the moment as I choose my food, drink my water, get to the gym to swim or work out, and look in the mirror and LOVE the woman who wakes up excited to start each day, especially Mondays because they are weight training days.

Am I ever perfect about my choices of food, my water, my fitness?  NO.  Do I let one bad day rule me?  NO.  What I do is surround myself with people who support me and my way of life.  People who teach me HOW TO and encourage me to continue.  I’ve been doing this for 11 years and it seems to be working.  I’m still doing the work and still reaping the benefits.

Why I Exercise And Look Forward To It - Celebrating Life After Lap Band SurgeryStart by looking in the mirror and smiling at the reflection.  Then tell that person you see in the mirror – I am worthy of it all.  I deserve to be happy.  Make your next choice based on being worthy, being happy, being healthy, being fit and see what happens.  Create a positive vision of yourself in your mind and find the steps you need to take to make that vision into reality.  Then GET IT!

I say, do the work, reach your “golden years” fit, happy, in love with life, and yourself.  All it takes is one choice at a time and the belief in;


Now I am taking these 67 year old bones and jiggly thighs out of this chair and for a little walk.  If I sit for too long everything gets stiff and THAT is not on my agenda.

Read More 0 comments

Long Term Lap Band Success – Living Life One Day At A Time

September 23, 2015

I am sitting here in front of my computer wondering what I want to chat with you all about.  Here I am, 67 years young, 11+ years post-op Lap Band Surgery, 270 pounds lighter than when I started this journey in 2004.  So what now?  What’s my next?  What’s my vision for me for 2016 […]

Read the full article →

Long Term Lap Band Success – What Is My “Normal”?

September 16, 2015

My newsletter is emailed to you all on Thursday, so it is typically Tuesday when I write my blogs.  Today, Tuesday, September 15, 2015 is a day of significance, at least for me.  It is my birthday, the start of my 67th year on this earth (at least this time around anyway).  That used to […]

Read the full article →

Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery – Reflecting On The Years As My Birthday Approaches

September 9, 2015

Every year since I had weight loss surgery in 2004, I look back over the past years as my birthday approaches.  Well, it’s that time again.  On Tuesday I turn 67 years young.  Wow, that is certainly a lot of years under my belt! I remember being 8 years old, getting ready to begin 3rd […]

Read the full article →

Weight Loss Surgery Is, or Is Not, The Easy Way Out

September 2, 2015

Today I am reprinting a blog I wrote back at least 6 years ago – Is Weight Loss Surgery The Easy Way Out?  I get angry every time a “newbie” tells me that folks are saying they took the easy way out by having surgery. It’s not easy. Obesity is a disease. There are medical […]

Read the full article →

Long Term Lap Band Success – Making Peace With The Scale And Myself

August 26, 2015

As my journey continues and I stand on the scale every morning I find that I am no longer in fear of what the number will be.  I no longer stare at it for a moment thinking “I wonder if that _____ I had yesterday is going to show up as a gain today?” Or, […]

Read the full article →

Lap Band Success – What I lived and learned at YWM2015

August 19, 2015

I spent a fantastic weekend in San Antonio hanging out with great people, having wonderful conversations, learning new things, reinforcing existing skills, celebrating life, seeing the local sights and hugging new friends and old at OAC’s Your Weight Matters 2015 convention. It was great to be there as attendee, with no time constraints on my […]

Read the full article →

Is It Physical Hunger, “Head Hunger”, OR Am I Tired?

August 12, 2015

For the last two days I have been hungry every couple of hours.  This is not good.  The first thing I do when this happens is try to figure out what is going on with me.  Because I keep a daily food journal I can review the days before to see if I ate too […]

Read the full article →

Why I Attend Weight Loss Surgery Events – How It Helps My Journey

August 5, 2015

Every year there are 3 significant weight loss surgery “events” where several hundred people come together in one venue for education, inspiration, motivation, and some good, down to earth fun, meeting old friends, and making new ones. One is put on by the folks at Obesity Help, the other by the Obesity Action Coalition, and […]

Read the full article →

How Does My Lap Band Work – No Really!

July 29, 2015

During my recent trip to Austin as a member of the Apollo Lap Band Patient Advisory Board I was fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to Dr. John Dixon speak via video conference on the subject of Satiety vs. Restriction.  He is an amazing man with a tremendous amount of experience, and looking around […]

Read the full article →

Long Term Life With Your Lap Band® Means More Than Fills

July 22, 2015

I have just returned from my fifth annual trip to the Lap Band Patient Executive Council meeting.  I was honored to be invited to listen to an internationally renowned surgeon, Dr. John Dixon, and others speak about what it takes to have long term success with this incredible medical device that I credit with saving […]

Read the full article →