Monday, December 14, 2015

Happy Monday Dudes

Well...Monday has found us once again.  And I need a nap.  And possibly a full body bamboo stick massage.  It's a real thing.  I've never had it.  But one day I shall.

We had a little race this weekend...the Ho Ho Hustle.  And it was..oh...around 4,623 degrees here in Pensacola, but I pretended it felt like Christmas as my face melted off of my skull.
 Me and my grinch.

Our group, minus Jon Jon (Rachel's husband...he was at the start being a serious runner).

Signing up for races is about the only reason I keep running.  And I really do use that term loosely.  I'm kinda like the Michael Myers of the race world.  He might be faster than me actually.  But hopefully we will never find out.  My foot is still broke, and gets a smidge swollen after a day of racing festivities...but who needs two working feet? Tough Mudder is coming back to Pensacola again in April...and we have signed up.  It will be our 5th Tough Mudder.  Sigh.  So there is that.

It's also holiday festivity time at work.  Ugly sweater contest was Friday.  I am not sure why this picture makes me look 5'4" and 192 pounds.'s distorted.  

Made this little beaut at 5:30 in the morning the day off.  I know what you are thinking.  I should start my own line.  I know.  I know.
Bowling has also started back up.  I would like to introduce you to Sylvia Sparkles the Wonder Ball.  We call her Sylvia for short.  Sadly, she failed me last week.  I could have been the fact that Sylvia was a Christmas gift from my sister who is bowling AGAINST us this season...or the fact that I did too much pre-drinking and barely knew which lane I was supposed to be on.  I will let you decide.

Hope all is well with you and yours.  Christmas will be here next week!  WHAT?! I think I am done with almost all my shopping.  Now, to plan the meal.  Food.  mmm.  Food. sidetracked thinking of Stovetop Stuffing.  Don't you hate on me.  I love that magical box of whatever it is.

My family is coming down next Wednesday to begin our shenanigans.  Then, a few weeks later...


There are a million little details I need to get taken care of...but hell...there is still a month left.  Plenty of time.  PLENTY of TIME!


Monday, December 7, 2015

Saying goodbye to Bubba

Thursday we had to say goodbye to Codie "Bubba" Clyde.  It was it is every time you have to make the decision to help your fur babies cross the Rainbow Bridge.  He was 10.5 years old and his body and mind were giving up.  We had taken him a few days prior to get "crazy meds" to help ease some of his anxiety and barking at the air...but a couple days later...he couldn't make it out the doggie door in time to handle his upset belly...and when he finally did make it outside, he would go to the bathroom but just lay in the yard until Heather carried him back in and cleaned him up.  This happened all night.  So at 6:00 am, we took him to the vet.  Heather had told me years ago, when I had to put my Shelby down, that she wouldn't be able to go back when Bubba's time I knew I would go it alone.  I feel like we owe it to them to be with them in the end...although it's so terrible when they take their last breath.  My sister came from work though and held me as I held him.  He was there.  And then we wasn't.

I didn't think I would miss that asshole as much as I do (and just like our kitty...he was actually kinda an asshole).  But it gets better as the days pass.  I still look from him when I get he was always on the couch or chair...stinking it up.  I just miss him.  But I am glad I got to love him.  And I know he was spoiled and loved.  We will get his ashes back in a few weeks.  Heather said we may not bury him, and that we might just dig Shelby's ashes up so we can take both of them with us when we move.  Sounds good to me.

So I will leave you with a few pictures.  He had the cutest smooshie face, often smelled like an old vacuum bag, and didn't want you to pet him until he decided he needed it, and then didn't want you to stop until he was satisfied.  His farts were unlike anything you have ever smelled and would hang like a black cloud over your head.  But he was ours.


Our last family photo...Bear's nose is on the left.  I'm glad we did this.  It was the night before the last morning.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Santa is Coming!

And that chubby little lovemuffin is probably going to bring delicious foods, copious amounts of drinking, and my family to my doorstep!  I love Christmas.

That's really neither here nor there though.  SO many things have happened since last let us look back and catch up together okay?

First, I wrecked my car.
It was super scary.  I haven't been in an accident since 2003, and that was when I was young and had a tendancy to tap the back of people's cars when I wasn't paying attention.  This was my first real wreck.  I was crossing traffic and this guy t-boned me.  I spun around and ended up in this ditch in front of Publix.  His car landed upside down next to mine.  We both only had minor scrapes.  Our cars were totaled.  We were both super lucky and both wearing seatbelts.  About a week later there was another wreck at this spot...but the lady didn't make it.  Do you want to know what flashed in front of my eyes as I was spinning?  It wasn't a quick recap of memorable life moments like in the movies.  All I kept repeating was "Heather is going to be so mad at me, Heather is going to be so mad at me".

Once my car landed I thought it was on fire (just the powder from the airbags), and I couldn't open my door because it was wedged against the embankment.  So I immediatly thought of all the ABC specials I have watched about how to escape from your vehicle if you are about to die, and I managed to crawl out the back door.  Heather was actually on the way to see her Grandpa about 80 miles away, and I was making a quick drop off at Goodwill before planning on heading home to color in my adult coloring book and drink and our friend Natalie and my sister were my first responders.  Long story short, that 5-star safety rating on my Honda Civic was worth it, and I now have this precious little girl...

A 2016 Honda HR-V.  I likes her.

I have retired from kickball and started bowling.  Bowling is so much better because there is no yelling, no potential fist fights, you get to dress up on theme nights, and there is pizza.
This was Halloween.  I was a meathead...or steakhead...

And this was crazy sock night.
I call these my drinking socks.  I did however make the mistake of taking my glue gun to the bowling alley with me, in case any of my bottles fell off...which one did.  I hot glued it back on.  And thus...the hot glue seeped through my socks and I will forever have a dime sized scar to remind me of the perils of gluing while intoxicated.

I also finally went to the doctor to find out what was wrong with my foot.  I was pretty sure I did something bad to it in February during a 9 mile road race...but I didn't want to hear about it and something always hurts what's the big deal.  But after the bump on the side of my foot kept getting bigger, and after the shoe lady at the shoe store said she didn't want to sell me running shoes until I had it looked at...turns out it's a little bit broken.  BUT, it is apparently a hard spot to heal after surgery, so they gave me this magic little machine that I supposed to wear for 20 minutes a day and it MIGHT cause my bone to rejinerate (and maybe a unicorn will give me a ride to work).  If it doesn't work, we might do surgery.  But the doctor said no restrictions, not boot.  He said if I do something that hurts...don't do that anymore.  Duh.

So I have been taking it easy and only ran once for a little mud run.  But Tough Mudder is coming back to Pensacola in April so I have to at least stay midly conditioned, so I laced up my wogging shoes and harnessed the pups and we have been running a little bit.   I did a 5k this weekend with Rachel, Jon Jon, and my partner for a day Beau Beau.  36 minutes.  Not too shabby for a 190 pound 36 year old woman with a broke foot.  My best 5k ever was a 28 minuter.  I don't think I will ever see that again...basically because I don't have enough want-to.  And I'm old.  And shit hurts okay?
Heather's grandpa passed away last month.  It was hard because Grandpa was the head of their family and sweet in his old age.  But the Gainey's made it through.  We will be going up there in a few days for Thanksgiving and I am going to help Granny with the spread.  I always bring a few Workman food items like green bean casserole and hashbrown casserole, and they always look at both dishes like it's from Planet Mars...but that's okay.

We went to New Orleans for a night last month.  Kacey Musgraves was playing at a bar and I really like her.  It was hot as balls and we are all we were in bed by 11pm.  Sad...but true.
The fair came to town and Rachel and I walked (it's about .75 miles from our house) to that glorious event.  We loves some fair...and fair food....and scary fair rides.  First stop was funnel cakes.  I flirted with the odd funnel cake man and he whipped us up a fresh cake with lots of powdered sugar.  It was wonderful.  
This dress was free...I'm not sure what's wrong with my face...but the other Heather Gainey (Sharika. is her nickname, she is Heather's cousins wife, you have met her before) gave it to me. It's a faux wrap dress.  And those are power spanx tights.  They make everything better. Except for breathing.  And peeing.

And lastly...tis the season.  This year is the first year the tree is in the living room.  Usually it's in the little strange area behind our living room.  Honey Mae is very excited as you can see.  I love Christmas.  

And finally...the wedding is fast approaching.  1.16.16!  We are down to the smaller details and I am excited and nervous and ready for it to be here!  I will post more about that soon.

Until then...and hopefully then is not as long as it's been since my last and kisses.

p.s.  Spell check wasn't working so please excuse my spelling.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Putting It On Paper

My mother once told me, don't put anything in writing you don't want someone to see.  I'm pretty sure my mom told me that.  It could have been Maggie Seaver, the mom from Growing Pains...but I think it was my real mom.  

Anyways.  Some mom told me that.  And I never really listened.  And every once in awhile, I get the urge to journal.  I've only ever filled up one journal in my life.  Most I start and then grow disenchanted with the idea and it goes somewhere to a drawer or my hope chest.  I do still have my journals from junior high, high school, and college.  Man.  We are stupid when we are young.  It's amazing we make it out as seemingly well-rounded human beings.   So I started a new journal today and thought I would share my first entry with you guys...because let's be blog IS my journal.

It has this cute little page where you can write where to return if found and how much you will pay the finder...

October 28, 2015

I've been lugging this thing around for nigh on 2 months.  I really had to have it.  I searched multiple places for the "perfect" little book? journal? diary? life catalogue? and finally decided on this plain, black Moleskin.

I have to admit, two paragraphs in, I am feeling pretty good about my selection.  The paper is like butter underneath my pen.  And I love butter.  Honestly, there are two types of people in this world...Those who love butter, and those who lie and say they DON'T love butter.  But I digress.

Starting a new journal can be SO anxiety ridden.  I mean, there are so many questions.  You have to decide HOW you are going to use your journal.  Shall it be full of self-doubt and self-loathing?  Will it be an Oprah-esqe gratitude journal?  Will you press the beautiful flowers your find while reflecting and journaling in a field between the pages?!?!?

So much indecision.  And in the end, shouldn't the expectation be that it doesn't really matter because it's only for your eyes?  Perhaps.  But let us be real.  Don't we all imagine that in 100 years from now our journals will be uncovered in some dusty attic of the future and our words will serve as a guide for some young teenage girl navigating the path of self discovery?  Don't we all think that? No? Yes? OH YES.  I think so.

And then there is the choice of writing utensil.  Pen or pencil?  I would choose pencil any day, but a pencil scribed journal will never hold up for the 100 year uncovering, so you have to use a pen.  

So ultimately, I just decided to start somewhere.  And here we are.

Today I am 36 years, 1 month, 2 weeks and 3 days old.  I actually don't know about those last few numbers, but I was born on 9.8.1979, so i you are some crazy mathematician and want to figure it out, go for it.

In less than 3 months I will be married to one Heather Ann Gainey.  Which means I have less than 3 months to lose a few pounds that show themselves when my corsetted wedding dress is laced up tight and my backfat (or possibly stomach fat that has been pushed up to my shoulders thanks to my corset) makes an appearance.  But not to worry.  My waist and booty look banging.  So perhaps no one will see the above mentioned backfat because they will be so mesmerized by the rest of me.

While I did not weigh today, we could estimate my current fighting weight is 192.  I am pretty much a size 12, hazel eyes, not naturally blonde hair, currently unpainted fingernails, wearing a dress and spanx tights.  Today was leg day at the gym...which I murdered.

Today's mood:  pretty chipper, but I can feel myself teetering on the brink of being emotionally needy and hungry for attention which could result in crying myself to sleep when those needs are not met.

And this is where I shall end for the day because my hand is cramping from CLEARLY the wrong pen choice.  May this journal be filled with magical writings, mood trackings, and yes...probably a few pages of self-loathing.  Until next time well.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Down 9 Pounds...Holding Until Monday

My first DietBet challenge has come to an end.  The goal was to lose 4% of my body weight in 4 weeks.  Mission accomplished.  I lost 9 about .5 more pounds than I needed to lose.  But, it came down to the wire and required running about 3 miles in the Florida humidity on the day of weigh-in to make that happen.  Oh, and 7 days straight of just cardio prior to that.  WHICH, included a workout at the gym in a long-sleeved tshirt.  I have no idea how people do it.  It's not uncommon for Heather to workout in sweatpants and a sweatshirt.  But after just 13 minutes on the ARC, I WAS ON FIRE!

And I still had 47 more minutes to go.  I was looking around in panic thinking: I'm not going to make it.  I am burning up.  It's hotter than 1000 hells under this shirt.  Someone help me.  Can I take my shirt off and not get kicked out of Planet Fitness?

I made it.  But just barely.

That shit is no joke.

So here is my before and my after.  Heather could have told me to flip my bangs back in the after.

So, to keep myself motivated, I started another DietBet challenge for August 31st.  Same rules, same $35.  I figure if I am going to try and keep losing, I might as well make some money for doing it.  If you want to play or read about the challenge, the "team" name is Lovehandle Losers.  Or you can click here.

To celebrate my victory, my Rachel came over for some adult coloring book time and WINE.  It was wonderful.  I bought the coloring books from Amazon and had an assortment of coloring vehicles, such as crayons, pencils, and markers.  We colored and chatted and drank for almost 3 hours and didn't even finish one sheet!

And finally, we added some workout stuff to our garage last summer, and I have completed our home gym with three mirrors from Target.  I often go to Planet Fitness while Heather works out at because I workout harder at the gym bc people are watching and I want to be impressive, and 2...I really like looking at myself when I am lifting (except when I am doing overhead tricep extension and my batwings are flying around willy nilly).  So now that I have mirrors at home, I can workout with more intention...

which usually involves twerking or other butt moves.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Diet Bet: Beginning Week Two

Official Weigh In (Sunday July 26th): 196.2
Monday Weigh In (Monday, July 27th): 193
Monday Weigh In (Monday, Aug 3rd): 194

Technically, for official purposes, I am down a couple of pounds.  But from Monday to Monday, I actually gained a pound.


But, if I am being honest with myself (which is sometimes hard to do when you aren't losing like you dream about), I know what I need to do.

Although I did several two-a-days, upped my cardio, drank my water, only had 12 ounces of soda, and didn't drink any alcohol all week...I WAS too liberal with my snack allowances and there were a couple other tweaks I could make.

Such as:

My protein shake breakfasts last week were made with 2% milk, blueberries, and 2 tbs peanut butter.  That can end up being a pretty high calorie, although delicious and and pretty nutritious, breakfast.  So this week I switched out my 2% milk for unsweetened almond milk, saving me roughly 90 calories there, and I cut out the peanut butter....saving me nearly 250 calories on top of my 90.

I have a wonderful coworker that keeps a desk drawer full of wonderful candy...which includes reeses peanut butter eggs.  I like to pretend if I just have one or two (they are the small ones okay?!) that those calories don't really count.

but...THEY DO.  So, none of that this week.

I bought some healthy snacks to have on hand instead of the cheetos another coworker gave me last week.

I am keeping up my water intake, adding 40-60 minutes of cardio in the afternoon on mornings where I just lift.

I will get there.

Like always though, when you make changes that you think are going to show results on the scale, and the results don't come instantly, you can get a little grumpy. But I am in good spirits.  I mean...what is my other option? Quit?  Uh no.  I am going to lose my 4% this month.

For realz.

And to stay motivated, I like to look at pictures when my body was at my (according to me) optimal size.  I'm not sure of my weight here, although this was before my new boobies (see that gapping in the right boob/bra area).  I would guess I am around 170.  But those are size 8 skinny jeans from the Loft...and I want to fit into them again.

Happy Thursday friends!

HIIT Training

This is how it goes in my relationship.  I am very wise.  I do KNOW somethings about working out & fitness that didn't come from Heather.  SO, when I share such things with a certain new "move" when we are lifting, or a new idea on how to train...EVEN if I site my sources...she usually just says:

"mmhmm.  Yeah".

She pretends to hear me, but she doesn't hear me.

AND THEN...if something is challenging for her...let's say a single-leg deadlift (bc she has the balance of a blind rhino), then AUTOMATICALLY that move is "stupid" or "pointless".



Give it a few months and she will read something or watch something that is saying EXACTLY what I said months prior and then all of a sudden....


The best idea ever I say.

And SHE thinks it was HER idea!

I tell you.

This is my life.

And if I try to say..." you remember when I told you that?"...there is no recollection of that.

ANYWAYS, so the current thing she is set on is HIIT training.  High Interval Intensity Training.  In a tiny nutshell, it's intense bursts of energy and movement, followed by a tiny, less intense move to let your heartrate come down, and then repeat.  Studies are showing that you can achieve the same amount of calorie burn and heart health (some say MORE actually) than sustained lower intensity cardio. So you can do HIIT training for 30 minutes versus the treadmill for 60.

The problem with HIIT training is that I kinda hate things that are high intensity.  My body is not made for such things.  But today we sprinted.  SPRINTED?  I prepped Heather, as if she didn't already know, that my sprinting was going to look vastly different than her sprinting.

I feel very physically challenged when my brain tries to tell my stubby legs to move fast.  It happens for literally maybe, 2 seconds.  And our sprints probably only last 15 seconds...but at the end of those 15 seconds it is probably tragic.  Heavy-footed. Eyes partially closed.  Panting like a bulldog in July.

But when it's do feel good.  Kinda.  Minus the hamstrings and lungs...everything was alright.  At least we are only do this twice a week.

Now, to share some other goings-on with you...

Almost two weekends ago we went to my parent's houseboat in Scottsboro.  They live on the Tennessee River...and this was our view for our workout.  We ran those stadium stairs up and down...50 times...for a total of 100 flights.  It took a little over an hour.  We would do sets of 5 up and downs and then do 2 body weight exercises (pushups, abs, tricep dips, etc).  It was a really great workout.

 Then it was time for my niece and brother to arrive.  I drank preeeetttty much from 11am until I had to put myself to bed at around 1030pm.  This excessive drinking has made it easier for me to abstain from drinking during this DietBet challenge.
 This is how you know HEATHER is drunk.  She sits on people and lets them touch her.  Kaity is often the recipient of such love.
 Before the day got started, Heather and I took out the little boat.  It took us about 452 selfies to get this picture...and I still got the damn boat shelf in the bottom corner!

Monday, July 27, 2015

DietBet: Game On

Well if you read my previous post, you might be awares that I am embarking on a 4 week DietBet challenge that I started.  We currently have a pot of $1,190 and 34 players.  I'm feeling good.  I'm feeling good.  You have to submit pictures at both the initial weigh-in and at the weigh-out.  For your full length pic, you must be standing on your scale in "airport security" attire.  Now, although they define what that means, I still don't know where the phrase came from except you have to take off your belt, jacket, shoes, hats, etc. to get through airport security.  Who in the hell knows.  I wanted to take the pic in my underwear and sports bra, but then I started to panic that maybe they say "airport security" attire because they don't WANT people sending in naked pictures of themselves....

Sigh.  So I opted for this number.

All dressed in black.

Going to a funeral.

For my fat.

 Then you have your scale photo, which they assign you a secret word to put with the photo (to ensure you are submitting a current photo and not some weight from 3 years ago.
That's right.  196.2.  It's not really earth shattering or painful for me to see that number.  I had an idea that it was around 190...just from piecing things together from my doctor's visit a couple months ago. And this weekend I drank lots and hadn't pooped in a I will take it!  But to win the pot (with the other losers who do the same), I need to lose 7.8 pounds, or 4% in a month.  There is a nifty little app from DietBet for doing all of this.

Can we just stop and look at the toe on my left foot?  The one next to my pinky toe.  Good lord I HAVE MY MOTHER'S FEET!  What is that toe doing?  Where is it going?  Is it broke?  I just don't even know what's going on with it!


Anyways, focusing on my water today.  I want 100 ounces before I leave work.  Worked out this morning and intend to take the puppies for a jaunt this evening.  Had a protein shake with blueberries and peanut butter for breakfast, a Nature's Valley granola bar for snack, and my chicken broccoli soup for lunch.  So far so good.

Of course it's only been half a day.

But we have to celebrate the little victories!

It's not too late if you want to join. I think you have all week.

Happy Monday friends!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I'm Starting A DietBet...wanna play?

So a few weeks ago I noticed a facebook friend was organizing a weight-loss competition through a website called DietBet.

Have you heard of it?

At the time, I had not.

Historically though, I do moderately well through organized weight-loss competitions...mainly because I feel more accountable since others are involved.  We used to do them through our work, and Heather ran them.  I came in second once...but I never took the first place slot (hence...the moderately well).  So, I decided to check the website out.

The competition I selected last's for 4 weeks, and if you lose at least 4% of your total weight, you split the pot with other 4% or more losers that have signed up in your competition.

Sounds easy enough right?

The website, through their employees they call "referees" verify your weight and weight loss through pictures you submit.  There are little tricks that they use to make sure they try as hard as they can to eliminate cheating.  For example, on official weigh in days, you are assigned a secret word that you must write on a piece of paper and put in the picture with your scale.

ANYWHOOZLE, if you would like to sign up...come on!  It's $35 to "play".

Here is the link:

My competition is called "Down with the el bees (lbs)".

You can play.  Your family and friends can play.  The more that sign up, the more money in the pot!

If you would like to read the can click here.

If you would read how it works, click here.

And yes.  This means I will have to break my new years resolution and get the scale out.  But I don't think my plan of not weighing is behooving me in the "my clothing fits" departments.  I might just have to admit defeat!

Monday, July 20, 2015


On a lighter note (see the long-winded, slightly preachy previous post), I was asked by one of my favorite people from Apollo, if I would mind sharing my story when we met in Austin last week.

Let me think about it.  Would I mind talking about myself?  ummmmmm....nope. No problem with that.  But Michael didn't tell me WHO I would be talking to.

Turns out I would be addressing the entire staff of Apollo.  Didn't find that out until about 3 minutes prior.


But I had prepared a little slide show with pictures...because who doesn't love a picture?

So I got up to speak at "happy hour" at Apollo.  They had no idea what they were in for.  The point was...I am guessing...if for a person with a lapband to tell there those who work in accounting, or manufacturing, or wherever, can see what their work really translates to.

I opened with some before and afters.

Just so they could get an idea of where I came from.  But, to get an idea of WHO I was...I followed up with this nude shot of me striking a pose.

Not much has changed. 
  But I took them through my philosophy of "There are two types of fat girls..." And then I told them about how even though I didn't let my weight hold me back, eventually my weight began to physically hold me back.  I couldn't water ski anymore.  I couldn't walk across the parking lot without my back hurting and pouring sweat.

And then I took them to wear I am today.  I showed this picture and I ACTUALLY STARTED CRYING.  Seriously?!  And the only way I could stop crying was to say "I must be PMSing."  Which they liked.  But this picture represents two women, one with lapband and one with gastric bypass, who because of a choice they made (me 7.5 years ago, and for Rachel...10 years ago?) we can climb walls.  We are strong.  And we get to do that together.

And then...I said...

"I found love and became a half-lesbian.  This is not necessarily a side effect of the band, but you may want to list it as one".

I had them hooked then.  #iamahalflesbian led to many a conversation that afternoon and evening.  The number one question..."What IS a half-lesbian?"  A better way to say bi-sexual.  Duh.  But like I remind Heather, I am 100% lesbian with her for the rest of my life.
 And I showed a picture of me skiing again.
And like to throw in this diddy because I think I look like a muddy sex goddess. 
So my little speech was a success.  At one point I was talking to an employee and I spit on her jacket a little...and I apologized.  But she said "I will never wash this again".

Damn it.  My ego was eating that up.

And so it goes folks.



It was that time of year again where I am lucky enough to spend a few days with a few other lapbanders, gastric bypassers, and non-WLS individuals that share the same focus and intentions. This will be the fourth year that we have all met, and was started back when Allergan owned and manufactured the band.  At one time, there were several makers of the band out there, but Realize and Allergan were the two biggest.  A lot of lapband patients didnt know there was a choice or a difference in the manufacturing and size of the bands and ports.  I didn't.  I was just lucky enough to get the Allergan 10cc band.  The Realize band no longer exists.

SO, Allergan decided to bring some of us together that had social media pertaining to weight loss surgery.  There is Alex...who owns and operates what is now  It used to be, and that is where many of us 7-8 years ago would find ourselves...immersed in the success and horror stories.

There is Yvonne.  She is a gastric bypasser for over a decade now and has the Bariatric Girl website and facebook page and does a lot of work with the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America, getting grants for those who need surgery but can't afford it.

There is Joe.  He does not have any surgery, but is the head honcho of the Obesity Action Coalition and spends his days fighting for those battling Obesity.  He is not pro-band or pro-sleeve..he is just pro-choice when it comes to ways to lose weight and spends a lot of his time on Capital Hill.

Then there is of course me and Karin. There is Banded Wendy (youtube), Sandy, Bo, and Karin Gillan joined us.  She is the author of the book "Life after Lapband".  She is a bandster currently 10 years out.

These days we are all pulled together by Apollo.  The new owner of the band.  We get to meet with their CEO, their marketing department, and their entire time.

This year was different from years past because instead of us spending all our time trying to educate THEM on what life is like with the band, they shared information with US to help make us better advocates.

One of the most informative presenters was a Nurse Practitioner from Detroit named Rachel.  She has specialized in WLS for over 8 years.  If every clinic had a Rachel, we as patients would be better equipped to handle the band.  She believes in the concept of aftercare, which is constant follow up and support from your surgeon and his/her office.  So many banders get lost in limbo. So many weight loss surgery patients in general go into their surgery very ill-prepared for what life will be like after.

Rachel walked us through her coaching style with her patients.  And she followed up with some information from Vern (one of the original designers of the lapband), with some information that is kinda hard to wrap my brain around.

But I like it.

It turns out, that the band is not about RESTRICTION.

Say what?  That's what all of us were/are searching for.  Perfect restriction. I go into my doctor's office and I say: "I can eat an entire sub.  I need better restriction."  We base our restriction on how much we can eat, or how much we get "stuck".  How many of us are familiar with this concept...

We have been told that the food we eat sits above the band and slowly trickles into our lower stomach over the course of 2-3 HOURS.  

Turns out...if I take a bite of food (considering it was the right size and I actually chewed it), it only sits above my band for 2-3 MINUTES.  Which actually makes sense if you think about it.  When I take a bite of food, and put my fork down and wait, I can feel it move through my band after a few minutes.

SO, if it's not about restriction....what is is about?

It's about satiety.  How long do you stay satisfied (not physically hungry) after you eat your meal.

SHIT.  You want me to eat only when I am physically hungry?  And stop when I am no longer physically hungry?

Well, that is still my battle.  Listening to my body to tell me when to eat and when to stop is a challenge I face every day.  As always, I wish there was a band for my brain.

But I did say to them, "Well, then why for all these years have you told us that the lapband works like an hourglass?"  And they said "that's what they were told".

They used this idea to reinforce the fact that the band is not about restriction.  For many of us with the band, when we wake up in the morning we are not physically hungry.  Which is true...I can go well into mid morning before I am PHYSICALLY hungry.  So if the band only "works" when there is food in our pouch...why are we not starving after having an empty pouch (for those of us who are not night eaters) when we wake up in the morning.

Turns out.  They don't know.  There may be a correlation to the vagus nerve.  It may have to be the receptors that are located near the top of our stomach that send messages to our brain regarding hunger and satisfaction.  

But, Rachel pointed out that the idea of perfect RESTRICTION is where so many lapband patients do themselves a huge disservice.  She talked about acid reflux at night....a symptom that many of us try to "live with" because we don't want the restriction we have during the day to go away (if we had to get a little fluid taken out).  She had a patient once who actually had a pillow made so they could sleep propped up.  She has had patients that wake up with vomit on their pillow.  These are all indicators that the band is probably too tight.  And if we ignore those indicators, it can lead to a slip, erosion, a tired esophagus, etc.  

Rachel works at a clinic that specializes in all of the weight loss surgeries....and her job is not to promote one over the other, but to educate the patient on all the pros and cons and then ultimately, let the patient choose.  But she said she does tell them that the lapband is the only option that gives you the benefits for life.  Now for those of you have had a bad band experience or love your other WLS, don't get upset yet.  Just hear me out.

She said that with Gastric Bypass you have maybe 2 years to get your mind right (my words, not hers).
With the Sleeve, you have 9-12 months (she said maybe 6 months if you don't follow the rules).
But with a properly working band, you have the same effects on your hunger, satiety, etc at 6 months as you do at 6 years.   

So in other words, all a weight loss surgery really does, as I have said over and over again, is serve as a TOOL.  If you want guaranteed weight loss up front, the lapband is probably not the right choice for you.  Because weight loss is not a sure thing with the band.  But long run, none of the surgeries work by themselves.  We all know stories of people with bypass that have gained all their weight back.  As we get farther out from the birth of the sleeve, we are hearing the same types of stories.  And we of course know stories of those with the band that either never lost their weight, or their weight has returned.

You have to use your tool, whichever it is, to get you on track...but in the end...we have to be the one who keep ourselves on track.  If you have the band that means seeing your doctor and listening to your body.  For all of us with WLS that means trying to change the things that made us fat in the first place.  Maybe that is a psychological thing.  Maybe it is a lack of healthy food choices (or an abundance of delicious unhealhty food choices).  Maybe it's a lack of physical exercise.'s probably a combination of some or all of those.  I know for me it is.

One last takeaway from our meeting.  There is no "one right way" to be successful with the band.  Among those of us who have the band that are on the Council, none of us are "perfect".  One still smokes.  One loves artificial sweetners.  One loves Pepsi, candy, and pizza (okay...that's me).  Some have run a marathon, other's do workout videos.  Some lift weights.  Some are in their 30's, one is in her 60's.  Some come are financially secure, other's spend all their money at Target (me again). We are West coast and East Coast and North and South.  Some are introverts and some are extroverts.  It's a grab bag of personalities I tell you.  A personal pet-peeve of mine is when people try and pretend to be superior to others based on their behaviors and choices (I guess this applies to all aspects of life, not just weight loss and lifestyle choices).  It's important to remember that we all have a story.  We are all different.  Our bodies are all different.  Our BRAINS are all different (that's fo sho).  What works for me may not work for you...and visa versa.  So it's important that we try and spend more time supporting each other and bringing each other up, rather than stepping on each other to climb higher.

Good lord.  When did I become so preachy?

The sermon is over.

Happy Monday friends and followers.


Hakuna matata.


Hot dogs.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Bellybutton Challenge: WTF

As I was immersing myself in the going-ons of stories under the Google Health news tab, I stumbled upon the most recent internet "phenomenon" if you will called the Bellybutton Challenge.  Apparently it started in China last week and spread like an Asian wild fire across social media, along with the hashtag #bellybuttonchallenge.

Did you know about this?  I didn't know about this.

And I am very hip and current.

Except I will not embrace the return of the high-waisted shorts and slacks.  I just won't do it.

I mean...just because Kim Kardashian WEST is doing it is reason enough...let alone the ass it creates.

Sigh.  But back to business.

So the belly button challenge looks like this:
And according to a study from the US...which apparently cannot be located, and indicator of health for women is whether or not you can wrap your arm around your back, come around your waist, and touch your bellybutton.  I will wait.  Go ahead.  You know you want to try.  I will try it with you.



GOOD GOD IN SWEET HEAVEN!  That was worse than I thought!  I can barely grab my side meat.  

Well shit.

I'm fat.

Be careful though.  Beijing Morning Post reported that a 24-year-old woman in Chongqing dislocated her shoulder from repeated attempts to reach her belly button.  

That's dedication.

I joke of course.  I mean, not about the fact that someone apparently really dislocated her shoulder trying to touch her damn belly button, but I joke about the overall stupidness of this.  But if you stop joking, it's actually kinda sad.

I have this vivid memory from college.  I was sitting in front of my entertainment stand watching a show about anorexia.  And I was journaling at the time (maybe that's why it's so vivid, I actually have the journal entry), and a girl was literally starving herself to death.  And I was jealous of her willpower.  And I thought to myself, "if I could be anorexic, at least I would die skinny."  AND IT ACTUALLY SEEMED LIKE OKAY LOGIC!  

We spend so much time comparing our bodies to the bodies of celebrities, neighbors, friends, enemies.  We spend so much time looking at the little "flaws" that we hate and spend so little time looking at the parts of us that are amazing.  We spend so much time on this quest to find the perfect diet or the perfect surgery or the perfect pill or powder that will finally...FINALLY...make us thin...that we cheat ourselves from enjoying the things are bodies WILL do for us.  

What if we just stopped hating our bodies.  

What if we just decided to love ourselves?  

Now I am not talking crazy talk here and saying that we shouldn't be doing things that actually MAKE us feel better.  

For example.  I can love my body but also love the fact that for nearly $12,000 I can have my boobs returned to their normal starting position.  

I can love my delts and traps yet work to love them EVEN MORE.

I can love myself but choose to have a surgery that may possibly grant me the push I needed to become HEALTHIER.

It's really hard to do this.  It's hard to focus on the positive and not ruminate in the negative.

This is what went down yesterday when I went into the restroom at work.  I would say that this conversation just happened inside my head, but I was actually talking out loud to myself.

Looking at my reflection in the mirror from the front: "Damn it.  I am so fucking sexy".  And I turn around and look over my shoulder (I like to check out the caboose on the regular, but yesterday I was wearing light grey thin slacks and I KNOW I shouldn't look at my ass in light colored thin material) and I see my cellulite and I say "Ugh.  Fucking Cellulite".

I went from feeling so sexy to feeling disgusted.

I thought "Everyone is probably looking at my cellulite".

But just as quickly I decided "I'm going to pretend it's not there"...

I mean...what can you do about it?  Wear black slacks of course, but I mean right then and there in that moment I was stuck with what I was working with.

And I decided that even if someone WAS thinking I had a lot of cellulite in my ass, I wanted their next thought to be..."but she sure is rocking it".


There are other examples of course.  When I am running I try to be thankful for a body, although slow and sometimes achy,  at least allows me to get out and propel myself in a forward motion.  

I might be a size 12 at the moment, but that's a long ways from the size 26/28 that I started at.

I might have stocky legs, but they are strong.

And that's how it goes.

We get to choose how we feel and how we frame our thoughts.

Simple right?

Happy Thursday.

If you dislocated your shoulder while reading this post, I do not take responsibility!