Friday, February 26, 2010

Will You Take The Challenge?

I did!

Please join me in supporting our friends, the Olmstead family. Jayden, their 14 month old son is currently on the waiting list for a liver transplant due to pediatric end-stage liver disease he has as a result of complications after heart surgery when he was just a week old. While insurance will be a tremendous help to them, they are still expected to accrue $40,000 in costs for Jayden’s procedure and care. I am asking everyone that reads this to try to match my $25 donation.

Chilren's Organ Transplant Association Page for Jayden

If you are unable to contribute financially, I ask that you please
remember this family in your prayers, spread the word, and share the link. Every little bit helps!

Thank you so much for your support of a truly inspiring family in their time of need.

For more of Jayden's story click here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weigh Day

Monday is my official "the-number-on-the-scale-counts" day.

Today's number is 219.

That's 4 down from last week and 11 down since I weighed in at the surgeon's office on January 8.

So what does today's weight mean?

Apparently, deciding to change breakfast to one of my pre-op diet choices last week did make a difference. That is encouraging. Is it possible to be in Onederland before surgery once the pre-op diet is in full swing?

I'm getting a bit nervous! What if because of my weightloss with these small changes, they won't do surgery? Not to mention some of my excess weight that showed up on the surgeon's scale was due to a course of prednisone I had to take over the holidays because of an allergic reaction. If any of you have been through a course of prednisone, you know that you literally become an eating machine! I remember one day I was eating Pringles that seriously tasted like cardboard. Yet, I kept on munching despite the awfulness. I even ate when I knew I wasn't hungry...not even head hungry.

Although I am easing into the pre-op diet, I know it is not something I could maintain long term. I've been doing my protein shake or fruit with milk, then waiting 4 hours before I allow myself lunch. Trust me, I'm hungry when that 4 hours is up! And that's just the pre-op breakfast change. I know the hunger is going to increase as I add in the rest of the pre-op diet meal changes.

This week, I'm adding in the pre-op diet allowed snacks. This way I can eat something two hours after breakfast and not be so darn hungry when lunch comes. Next week I'll add in the pre-op lunch options. Then the week after that is full blown pre-op diet time.

Has anyone else had significant weight-loss between qualifying for the surgery and the time of surgery? Did you also fear they'd deny you the surgery at the last minute because of that weight loss?

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Off topic - again!

I finally conquered my blog nemesis: the embedded comments box!!! I realize taht for most of you, it was just a click of a little button. Not so for me. My template was apparently not compatible with the easy way.

So I google the hack codes. I spent at least two hours scrolling through the HTML to find the said code, delete it, paste in the new...just for it not to work! As if that isn't aggravating enough, I'm currently sleep deprived from picking up a 3rd shift last night, staying over two hours, then trying to sleep as the kids thunder up and down the stairs to the basement playing.

Frustration + Sleep-Deprivation = Me wanting to chuck a laptop across the room!

Lucky for me, some blogging brainiacs had a code that does work! You can find it here. Of course, it wasn't the original solution. I had to use the update, single line one.

Nevertheless, I conquered my blog nemesis! You can now comment with ease and predictability!

Friday, February 19, 2010

That's What You Get For Trying to Cheat!

So this morning, I decided to treat the kids to cinnamon rolls. So I put the cinnamon rolls in the oven and proceeded to make my protein shake. All was good until an hour or so later I walked by the remaining cinnamon rolls.

Oh yes, they called out my name and I caved! I picked one up off the baking stone and went to take a bite.

My teeth sunk deliciously into the top until my bottom teeth were stopped by something very hard. So I take the bitten roll out of my mouth and look to see if perhaps I had burnt the bottoms.


It was the lid to the icing!! <--Don't try to say you're not laughing! I did!
Apparently I didn't realize it was stuck to the bottom of the roll as I placed them onto the baking stone. Only karma could deliver a punch like that! Just glad it was me and not one of the kids.

Moral of the story: Don't cheat on your pre-op diet, even if it hasn't officially started!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lucky Charms

What I wouldn't give for a bowl of them right now! And they're not even close to being my favorite cereal.

No, I'm not officially on my pre-op diet but I'm trying to ease into it. Therefore, this week I am doing my pre-op breakfast options.

Monday - I messed up and ate 6oz of light yogurt with my banana. It should have been the banana and 8oz of lowfat milk. Oops!

Tuesday - I had the most horrible protein shake I've tried to date. I couldn't even finish it. Skip the Designer Whey!!

Wednesday - Totally messed up. Ate half of my daughter's strawberry toaster strudel because she was full. <-- Insert huge habit change here! Do NOT eat the kids' leftovers just to avoid throwing it away. I am not the trashcan!

Today - I really want a bowl of cereal. Instead, I settle for a chocolate Amplify protein shake. I must say it was much, much better than the Designer Whey. And FYI future bandsters, it is 20% off at GNC right now. They have many great flavors to choose from and if you don't like it for any reason, you can return it (with receipt)! I did that with the Designer Whey.

So I did not give in to the pressure for a bowl of Lucky Charms and I'm going to take it that my craving for Lucky Charms has to do with the fact that I'm being banded on St. Patty's Day. Maybe I'll wear my green shamrock PJ pants to surgery! LOL

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A New Look

Hope you like the new look of the blog. Also if you've tried leaving comments in the past without luck, I fixed that, too!

I'm also working on a new look. I cut my hair really short this summer and I think it was really cute. However, I've decided that I want to grow it back out. I don't know what I was thinking because I'm in hair hell! It's so BLAH! I'm really tempted to chop it all off again to actually have something that looks like a hairstyle. But, I'm fighting the urge because the whole reason I wanted to grow it out was so I don't have to mess with the constant upkeep short hair requires.

hmmmm.... I wonder if hair hell will help me deal with bandster hell?

That's a No Go!

Actually, it's going right back to GNC! The hubster and I went out this weekend looking for protein shakes that meet the dietary requirements set by my surgeon. Basically it needs to have no less than 15 grams of protein per serving and no more than 5 grams of carbohydrates. So the gal working recommended Designer Whey, which is what they use on "The Biggest Loser".

Well, since I've decided to use this week as my breakfast change week, I broke out my little Magic Bullet Blender and mixed me up a Designer Whey protein shake in good ol' chocolate. OMG - DISGUSTING!!!!! I put it in the freezer for an hour hoping that making it super cold might improve the taste. <--Hey, it supposedly works for kids' medicine! It helped slightly, but not much! I choked it down as quick as I could and then chugged a ton of water to wash it down! It's sooo going back!

Luckily, the hubster picked up a thing of EAS 100% Whey Protein while we were at Sam's Club. It's vanilla flavored, but it tasted much better than this Chocolate Designer Whey. It also has more protein per serving and still under 5 carbs per serving as well. Guess it's what we'll be wading through since you know if we got it at Sam's Club it's the huge container! LOL

So, bandsters and other health nuts, what do you think is the best tasting protein shake?

Monday, February 15, 2010

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

One bite at a time!

My "elephant" is the new eating habits I need to adopt for my healthier lifestyle and I started eating my "elephant" this morning. My pre-op diet doesn't officially begin until March 7. However, it is a drastic change from my current "see-food" diet. So I'm trying to ease into it. This week I am following the breakfast and snack portion of the diet. Next week I will do the breakfast, lunch, and snack options and the week after that breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options.

My breakfast options for this week are:

1 piece of Fruit or 1/2 cup canned Fruit in light syrup
8oz. of Milk, Lactaid or Soy Milk (Skim, 1% or 2%)
1 Protein Drink
6oz. of Light Yogurt

Unlimited Sugar Free Gelatin, Sugar-Free Popsicles, Broth, Dill Pickles, Plain: Celery, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Radishes.

I'm also supposed to take in at least 64oz of fluids such as water, zero calorie flavored water, Crystal Light, Sugar Free Kool-Aid, Diet Decaf Soda, Decaf Coffee and/or Decaf Tea with or without sugar substitute.


I managed to mess up breakfast this morning because I had a banana and 6oz of light yogurt because I didn't look at my sheet before eating. GRR! That's okay, tomorrow I'll get it right!

I'm also going to work to get my 64oz of sugar-free, caffeine-free liquids in. But first, I need to use up the Starbucks House Blend I already have because I don't want to waste it and I'm the only coffee drinker in the house.

Now, since I'm the only coffee drinker in the house, I must also admit that I am very much in love with International Delight's "Caramel De Leche" coffee creamer. Really, a tall mug of coffee with 2-1/2 tbsp of that creamer is my 100 calorie breakfast most days. I really have to have my flavored creamer!

So, banded coffee fans, what is your go to sugar free creamer? Can I get that creamy caramel-y goodness I so enjoy by using SF flavored syrup and 1/2% milk?
Yes, I did say half percent milk...I just can't get down to's like milk flavored water. YUCK!

So coffee lovers, spam me!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ivory Lace

I've been thinking about all the things I want to do and want to wear when I am skinny. The things have ranged from pretty underthings from Victoria's Secret, to a pair of Buckle jeans that I've heard so many people rave about, etc. But the one thing I really want to wear is my wedding gown.

My wedding gown was purchased when I was just 18 years old. I had spent the day at Wendy's Bridal with my mom and best friend trying on dress after dress looking for the perfect one. I had probably tried on about 10 with no luck when my mom found an ivory gown on the discontinued rack and asked me to try it on. It was nothing like the others I had tried on that day. It was lacy and poofy, but once I had it on, it was obvious that it was "the dress". So we bought it.

Well, life didn't turn out to be the fairy-tale I envisioned. Much of that is due to choices that I made. I ended up eloping at the age of 22. I don't even have a picture of the day and was divorced at 25.

Then, in February 2004, I met Mr. Right, a.k.a. "The One". I knew he was "The One" after our first date, which was much like a scene from a romantic movie: You know...closing down the restaurant and kissing good-night in the cold drizzle of rain under the lone street lamp next to my car.

^^^^^^^^^That's what it was like^^^^^^^^^

Not quite a year later we had decided to get married. However, he had decided on a major career change from being a deputy for the sheriff department to joining the U.S. Army. His departure date for basic training was quickly approaching, so once again it was a quick courthouse wedding to which we both wore business suits. On the bright side, not only were our both of our families present, but we have photos of the ceremony as well! :)

Mr. Right and I have always said we'll have a "real" wedding one day. We're not sure when that one day will be since we were hoping to be able to do it for our 5 year anniversary...but that has come and gone. So maybe for our ten year anniversary. Or maybe we'll do it when I am actually able to fit into the beautiful gown that awaits to be worn. Or maybe when I'm 38 to honor the fact I've held on to it for 2 decades!! LOL

Of all the things I am looking forward to wearing and doing once the weight is off, being able to have my dad walk me down the aisle and say "I'd do it all over again" to the man of my dreams in the dress of my dreams is what I am looking forward to most.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Wow! It's all I can say! I logged onto my computer to check my email this morning and had received a notification that someone had made a donation to sponsor me in the March for Babies. I was so excited!! It was a start to meeting my personal fundraising goal and helping others. Imagine my surprise when I went to my team page and saw that the person who donated, donated enough for me to meet my goal!

If you don't know me personally, I'm a pretty emotional person. So seeing that someone also felt passionate about this cause, brought me to tears. Happy tears, of course. It's also very humbling because the person who donated doesn't know me from Adam (or Eve in this case) but also felt compelled to help. I am so very thankful, not because it brought me to my goal, but because I know how deeply Jayden's family will be touched. This single donation has significantly helped our team meet it's goal as well.

So, to the person who made this donation, I just want to say thank you from the very bottom of my heart. Although we have never met, please know that your generosity is deeply appreciated.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jayden's Strides for Life

This post is going to be a bit off topic, but it's a subject very close to my heart.

You may have noticed my March for Babies button above my blog posts. The baby pictured is Jayden during one of his many stays at Mercy Children's Hosptial in Kansas City. Jayden was born with a number of congenital heart defects and had to undergo open heart surgery at just one week of age. The surgery went well and he appeared to be recovering without complication. However, two days after surgery, his little body went into shock. He had to be resucitated twice and received multiple blood transfusions. This episode caused permanent damage to Jayden's liver.

Jayden now has Chronic Progressive Liver Disease called Biliary Cirrhosis, which eventually will make him go into Liver Failure. Jayden has a PELD (Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease) score of 20 which is pretty high. He has been placed on the Liver Transplant list because without a transplant, little Jayden will not survive.

However, if you ever meet little Jayden, he is the absolute happiest baby ever and totally cute to boot!! You can't help but smile when you see him. And his parents are amazing, too. His mother is so strong and has such a calm presence about her despite the trials and tribulations her family has endured. She is a shining example of dignity and grace if I have ever seen one.

As you can see, this family has deeply touched my heart. I am honored to be able to walk on behalf of Jayden's Strides for Life to raise money for March of Dimes. I shared this story here, because I am hoping you will help me help others by sponsoring me in this walk.

I'm asking that each of my readers give up one cup of gourmet coffee or a combo meal and donate the money saved to make a change in the lives of others. 20 people giving just $5 will help me make my goal. Just click on the button at the top of the page to make a secure donation. All proceeds go directly to March of Dimes to help support and educate families of preemies, NICU babies and those with special needs.

Thanks so much for your support!!!

You can follow Jayden's Story here
You can find out more about the March for Babies here

It's a Date!

I received a call yesterday from the coordinator at my surgeon's office. My pre-op appointment is on March 3rd with surgery scheduled for Wednesday, March 17th.

So now the serious preparation begins. It's time to start stocking up on the items I'll need for the dietary restrictions both pre-op and post-op. It's also time to start sampling the protein shakes and powders to see which ones are the best as they'll likely become a household staple. No, I won't have to live on protein shakes forever, but with our on the go society, I'm sure they will make an appearance at least weekly as a meal substitute. It's also time to start taking the time to actually eat my meals, instead of inhaling them. After the surgery, in order to prevent food items from becoming stuck, they have to be chewed to mush. I might as well start getting into the habit now even if I will be on liquids and mushies for around a month.

So as I ready as I am for this change, I'm a little sad. Only because it means learning that I need to eat to live, not live to eat. And do I ever live to eat. Ask me about anywhere I've been and I'll tell you where to go for the best food. When we go to our homestate for visits, there is a list of places I always want to visit because we can't get it where we are located. It's a sick obsession, an addiction if you will. But unlike cigarettes, alcohol, or other drugs I can't quit my drug cold turkey. My drug of choice, food, is a requirement of survival. No one knowingly offer a recovering alcoholic a beer but woudldn't think twice about offering a foodie like me a piece of cake at dessert. Just like it takes the alcoholic just one sip to knock him off the wagon, it just takes one bite of really good food to undo a week of good eating. Again, just another reason why those with chronic weight issues bounce around the scale like a yo-yo.

Now that I know my date and know that the pre-op restrictions are coming, I am going to take this month leading up to my surgery to start making the changes I talked about above. It's my goal to make those changes my new habits and lose at least 15 pounds before surgery. So here is to the official start of my metamorphosis! *cheers*

Monday, February 8, 2010

Turning Point

Well, now that you've got the skinny on me, perhaps you are wondering what was my turning point?

I'm honestly not sure I can narrow it down to just one thing. It seems like with this last weight gain that there were a number of things I noticed all around the same time.

My visual turning point was Thanksgiving weekend. I had some sort of allergic reaction going on at the crease of my elbow that extended down most of my forearm and partly up my bicep as well. Considering it was a long weekend, I took a picture of it with the camera on my phone in case it cleared up before I could get in to see the doctor. When reviewing the photos, my heart sank. If I had not been able to see my hand in the photo, what I was looking at could have easily been mistaken for the back of of a thin person's leg! Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words although I only needed one...MOO!!!

My physical turning point was that when I go to bed at night, I can actually feel the fat of my double chin weighing down on my throat. No wonder why I've started snoring and get winded just rolling over in bed. I'm suffocating under my own blubber!

Vanity also played a part. None of my clothes fit. How embarrasing it was to gob back home for a visit, having to loop a ponytail holder through my jeans to be able to wear them. Talk about self conscious! I was constantly worried everyone could tell or my shirt might come up and people would see. Sure, I could have skipped the ponytail holder and buttoned them, but then it literally felt like I was cutting off the blood supply to everything below my waist.

Lastly there was the emotional turning point. I'm not the mom my children deserve. They deserve a mom who can actually participate in the fun and games with them. Not one who is too tired, too fat and too out of shape to join in. In regards to my husband, I worry about what others think when they see us. He's tall, handsome and fit...then there's me: short, fat and far from fit. I probably wouldn't worry but his co-workers can be cruel. Unfortunately, in his career, the impression I leave on others does reflect upon him and can impact his career.

You may wonder with each of these realizations, how could my self-esteem not take a critical hit? Trust me, it has. That is why I have decided that now is the time to take control of my weight and do what I have to do be who I want to be. And now you know my turning point.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Skinny On Me

Some of you may be wondering just how fat is this so-called "fat chick"? Well she's definitely not one of those skinny chicks who wears a size 6 and is bitching about 5 vanity pounds she needs to lose. Nope. This "fat chick" is certifiably fat.

To put it into medical terms, this fat chick is "morbidly obese". In layman's terms, she's the one you see out in public and say to your friend, "If I ever get that big, do me a favor. Just harpoon me and put me out of my misery."

I can say I never thought I'd be this big. I was very active as a child. I played every sport I could in elementary school. In junior high, I played volleyball and was on the cheerleading team. In high school, I participated in marching band and cheerleading. I was also very active in gymnastics from kindergarten through high school. It was only my love of gymnastics and tumbling that I participated in cheerleading. I would have lived at the gym if I could have, that's how much I loved it. I still enjoy watching although am now too fat to participate or do any of the things I used to be able to do.

After high school though, without all the extra curriculars to keep me active, excercise went to the wayside. That's when my bad eating habits began to show as extra weight on my hips and thighs. I still wasn't fat per se, but was no longer sporting the muscular,athletic body I had in high school. I had slipped into the overweight/mildly obese category. By my mid twenties I was moderately obese and by age 30 I was severely obese, teetering on the brink of being morbidly so.

There are many times since high school when I have tried to lose the weight. I've ran the gammet of gimmicks from diet pills, fad diets, more reputable diet programs, joined gyms, etc. Sure I had success with some of them, losing up to 30 pounds at a time. However, I always relapsed into old ways and those pounds I'd lose would come back and bring friends. It was the classic yo-yo.

But this time is going to be different. This time I'm approaching it in a whole new way and with new tools. Here are a few of them:
Lap-Band - Ajustable Gastric Band
Hungry Girl - Great Recipe Swaps
The Daily Plate - Online Food & Excercise Journal

Lastly I'll be using this blog to journal my journey, or my metamorphosis, to becoming a healthier, happier me!