Monday, June 16, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 201
Today's weight: 199
Total loss: 102 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013
Well hello there!
I think this goes on record as being the latest "Saturday" weigh-in post ever. I fully admit I have launched into Summer Mode and things just don't seem as pressing, you know? It's GLORIOUS and I wait ALL year for it.
I really don't know why I'm so thrilled summer hasn't really even started full force. Since we've been out, I've already done 4 days of in-service...teacher meetings we have to do from June through August. They are about as exciting as you're imagining. Oh's a small price to pay for a couple of months off.
My weight has been hanging out at the 199 mark and I am thrilled about it. I cannot even tell you how excited I was to see that number. Thank you all SO much for the kind comments and emails. It made the milestone even that much better to have you all share it with me.
I have a fill scheduled for Wednesday morning at 10:00 and I can tell that I need it. I haven't had a fill since March 5th, and I may be way overdue. I've noticed lately that I'm having "white knuckle" moments way more than I should. Moments where food that isn't normally even tempting to me seems like the most delicious thing ever. Like....oh I don't know...the package of Keebler Rainbo Chips Deluxe and the 15 Hershey's Dark Chocolate  kisses that I snarfed down during my meeting today. I'll give you the Hershey's kisses....I mean chocolate is always good, right? But the Rainbo Chips Deluxe? Can't believe I blew calories on those. They ain't no Sprinkles cupcake.
So yes...I'm hoping the fill helps. I've got 50 pounds to go and I cannot be derailed now by pedestrian baked goods. :) Or anything else.
Just to let you guys know...I'm going to be taking a little bit of a blogging hiatus. I'm going to be doing a little bit of traveling and a WHOLE lot of relaxing. I'll be back in a couple of weeks. Until then....I hope everyone is doing well and you're all getting to relax a bit too.
Thanks for reading. :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Party of ONE!!!!

So this happened this morning…

Could y'all hear me whooping and hollering all the way from central Arkansas???!

So. Freaking. Excited.

The milestones are coming at me from all directions this week and it feels great. :)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday...1 Year Bandiversary Edition :)

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 201
Today's weight: 200
Total loss: 101 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

Sometimes words fail me. Right now all I'm really thinking is.......WOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I seriously cannot believe it was one year ago today that I was banded. Time has not only flown, it has flown at warp speed.

I woke up this morning and just laid in bed for a loooooong while. This is very unlike me. Normally my first waking thought is COFFEE and then I start tackling my to do list.

Not today. Today I allowed myself some time to stop, reflect, and...dare I say it? To celebrate ME! Ha! I gave myself permission to be PROUD of myself. Because you know what? I AM!!

I'm proud that I made the choice to be healthy. I'm proud of the hard work I've put in. I made up my mind at the beginning of this process that I was going to give it everything I had. It hasn't always been easy. In fact, some days have been really hard. But I kept my eye on the prize and I've been richly rewarded. With things like...
  • the excitement I feel when I put on clothes I actually want to wear
  • not being so tired at the end of the work day that I need to take a nap
  • having the confidence to look people directly in the eye when I speak my mind
  • no knee pain
  • better sleep
  • having the energy to be a better wife/friend/teacher
  • being able to sit anywhere 
  • getting to rock my high heels again :)
  • feeling better at 41 than I did at 21
  • an online blogging community that supports, motivates and inspires me DAILY
And so, SO much more. These are just some of the things I've gained with 101 pounds lost.

I never IMAGINED I would be here in just a year's time. NEVER. EVER. But I'm so glad that I am.

I'm ready to see what awaits me in Year #2! Thank you ALL for reading.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 201
Today's weight: 201
Total loss: 100 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

Happy weekend everyone! I hope you're having a relaxing one. Mine has been pretty productive. I've been doing tons of laundry, grocery shopping, projects around the house, etc. I've been in a GREAT mood all weekend because… I'm gearing up for the last three days of school. Oh, Summer. How I've missed you.

First things first… No weight lost this week. I'm not surprised one bit. After losing 2 1/2 pounds last week, combined with my TOM, I really wasn't expecting much if anything. I also returned to the gym this week after taking a couple of weeks off. Historically that means I'm going to maintain my weight or even gain a little bit since sore muscles hold a lot of water. That's what I have been told/read anyway. I think my body is like... "Girl, I'm good. I've lost 100 pounds, yo. You gotta let me chill." Meanwhile I'm over here like: "But we are sooooooo freaking close to getting below 200 for the first time in over a decade. Why are you DOING this to me????" The struggle is REAL.

But I'm going to have to calm the eff down. It's really starting to sink in that these last 50 pounds are not going to go as quickly as the first 100. I've been at the stage for a while now where I truly do have to fight for every pound lost. Exercising, watching my calories, drinking all my water. All the things we KNOW to do.

So this week....I have a new mantra. Liketohearithereitgoes: "There is NO timetable."

None. No one has given me a deadline. Not my friends, not my family, certainly not my surgeon.

Realizing this is both freeing and empowering. And that's a REALLY good combination. :)

I hope you all have a fantastic week. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 27, 2000

On May 27th, 2000, I went on a first date with this really nice, cool guy that I had met at a local record store. Record stores. Remember those? He got my number, and called me a few days later to invite me to come see his band play a gig at a Little Rock hotspot called Cajun's Wharf.

As I walked in the bar that night, he and the band had just launched into Al Green's "Tired Of Being Alone". I was immediately impressed. At the first break, he made a beeline over to me to make sure that I was having a good time. I was. Before going back on stage for his second set, he told me to order whatever I wanted to drink and then he gave me a cute little side hug that I thought was the sweetest thing ever.

After the gig that night, we went to an all-night diner. We ordered the "Can't Decide Sampler" appetizer and two diet Cokes. And we talked. About everything. The more he talked, the more I liked him. John's voice has always felt like home to me. There was no awkward first date weirdness. No pretense. Just a feeling of "Oh! There you are. I've been waiting on you." Home.

We talked until the sun came up and 14 years later, the conversation still hasn't stopped.

He is my best friend, my constant support and my biggest cheerleader. He loves me no matter what size I am and has told me that I'm beautiful every single day that I've known him.

The past 14 years have included a lightning strike (John), adopting a sweet rescue cat, several major home renovations, and now this crazy weight loss journey. I can't think of anyone else I'd rather have by my side.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 203
Today's weight: 201
Total loss: 100 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

I know, I know....this post is late, late, LATE! I have been TOTALLY enjoying my three-day weekend and I hope you all have been too.

But yes...something BIG happened Friday morning. I honestly didn't expect it to happen this week. You guys know it's been a long time since I've had a 2 lb. loss week. But I woke up Friday morning and had a good feeling. I thought...okay maybe I'll just step on the scale a day early and see what it says.

It said this. :)
And I said "Hot damn!!!" Actually I can't remember WHAT I said, but I know there was wooping and cursing involved. It felt really, REALLY good. 100 pounds lost two weeks shy of my one-year Bandiversary. Hell. YES. And then I got dressed for school and took a selfie. :) It seemed like the thing to do! It's on the Progress Photo page, which I need to be better about updating.

It was a really great week overall. I got a haircut. Nothing as dramatic as Hollee's or Jessica's, but quite a bit shorter. It made me realize that I truly do love having short hair. I'll go even shorter next time.
It's crazy to think that this time last year I was beginning my pre-op diet...2 protein shakes and a 300 calorie dinner. I was also starting to get really, really nervous and excited. Nervous about the surgery itself and excited about all the possibilities for my future. I wish I could go back, give myself a big hug and just say..."Don't worry. You got this."

We have a week and a half left of school and I've spent most of today gearing up for the big finish. This is our last "real" week...where we count attendance and teach. Week after next is Semester Test week and only those who are testing will be there. Come on, Summer. Because you know...last summer I was kind of busy. :)

I hope everyone has a great week ahead. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 204
Today's weight: 203
Total loss: 98 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

It feels great to see the scale moving in the right direction again. Even if it is just creeeeeeeeping down little by little. I'm so ready to see that 1 in front of my weight. I cannot even explain it. I think for me, it's going to be even more emotional than losing 100 pounds. It's been a LONG time.

Still...this past week was a good one. I felt a little more in control of my appetite, my calories, etc. Eating at home every evening (minus one) helped a LOT. And my band is still being quite cooperative too. I really do think I've done a better job listening to my band when it speaks lately. One of the biggest challenges? Just because it's on my plate doesn't mean I have to eat it. Do any of you struggle with this one?

It's a good thing I'm in a much better frame of mind because this week is gonna be go, go, GO. I have something I have to do every single night.

But that's okay...because I'm starting to feel summer right around the corner. And it dawned on me today that next Monday is Memorial Day! So technically there are only 2 Mondays left in the school year. :)

I hope everyone has a great week ahead. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ten Things Thursday

​​​​​​1. First things first....what a difference a few days have made in my state of mind. Things have not calmed down that much, but I'm managing better. I think it was mostly just realizing that I had too much going on and taking a step back from the fray.

2. Something else that has helped me...on Sunday, my band decided to tighten up and it has stayed that way. I had a tiny fill scheduled for yesterday, but I cancelled it. Don't know if it's the weather or what, but I am digging this new development.

3. My Polar Heart Rate Monitor came in the mail yesterday and I cannot wait to check it out. It's going to be really interesting to see what my "calorie burn" is versus what the Cybex Arc Trainer tells me. Stay tuned for a review.

4. Operation "Eat Dinner at Home" has gone really well this week. The only meal I've eaten in a restaurant was last night. It was at one of my favorite Mexican places and I ordered the Tortilla Soup. Have I mentioned my love of the Tortilla Soup? It's my fave. Luckily in Central Arkansas, there are a zillion places to get it.

5. Something kind of cool happened yesterday. The husband of a co-worker is scheduled for LapBand surgery on May 30th. With my surgeon Dr. Wellborn. Yay!!! My co-worker came to me yesterday and asked me if I could jot down some info...what to buy at the grocery store for after surgery, etc, any know. "short list" turned into about 4 handwritten pages and it got me thinking....I should really do a post about What To Expect...The Things that I Wish Someone Had Told Me. I also realized just how much I have learned and internalized about the band and how it works. All of those rules, tips, and tricks that used to seem so overwhelming are now just a part of my daily life. I know a lot of people that view my page are pre-op or in the "research stage" and it might be beneficial for them to read. So...Veteran Bandsters...HolleeAnnaKarin, Christy, Luka Beth, Cheri,...I'm calling on you guys to help. Send me your wisdom.

6. Do you guys know Jessica over at Jessica's Journey to Onerderland? Well...she's quite fabulous. And just this past week she got a fabulous new haircut. It's really inspiring me to make a change myself. My hair has gotten WAY too long. Something about the start of summer that makes me want to chop it off. Ok...maybe not ALL of it. I've got an appt. scheduled for Monday. Woo hoo!

7. Speaking of summer....and I KNOW you guys are probably SO sick of me speaking of summer :)....I am extremely exicted about the World Cup!! I'm a soccer fan anyway...I mainly watch a lot of English Premier League games...but the World Cup is my favorite. To get you guys all in the is a little gift from me to you. Because errbody knows that it really should be called the World Cup of Hotness.

8. Tomorrow is yearbook day at school. Oh my lord. Remember what MONUMENTAL importance that day held?? I know I used to agonize over what I wrote in yearbooks. Would I be able to REALLY express to that person just how GREAT is was to sit behind them in Algebra II for these past 9 months??? Oh the Angela Chase/Jordan Catalano-ness of it all. It got me this day of social media overload are yearbooks the giant deal they used to be? Does it mean the same thing when Hottie McFine from AP American History favorites your Tweet? And when you can just scroll through someone's Instagram posts to relive old memories?

9. I have an appointment to get my teeth cleaned today. Here's something weird...I LOVE going to the dentist. Always have. And John and I have a wonderful dentist. We heart him. So much so that we are even featured on the patient testimonial page on his website. What a hoot!! Something I thought about this morning...97 pounds ago, I don't know that I would've felt comfortable with my smilin' mug on a website. It's pretty cool that I had a picture he could use on the site that I actually like!

10. And finally...I want to give a shout out to several lovely ladies in my life that are on their own paths to health and fitness. Look...whether you've got a lot of weight to lose or you just want to drop a tiny's ALL hard. The process is the exact same. So proud of all of you!

Here's to health and success for us all. Happy Thursday!

Thanks for reading. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 204
Today's weight: 204
Total loss: 97 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013 weight loss to report this week. It's not surprising, but it is disappointing. It seems like this week, social obligations, temptations, and frustrations have been coming at me from every which way. There is something about this time of year, with the birthday parties, the celebrations, the graduations, Mother's Day… I haven't had very many meals at home for a couple of weeks.

Back in my WW days, they had a saying about BLT's. Not as in the sandwich, but as an acronym for "bite, licks, and tastes". There have been quite a few of those this week, coupled with an overwhelming urge to eat all the chocolate I can get my hands on. What's up with that? It's kind of amazing that I've managed to maintain and not gain. Thank you, exercise.

But I don't want to maintain. I want to lose.  I'm two thirds of the way to my goal and for the very first time in my journey, doubt is starting to creep in. In a big way. Will I ever get there? The mental part of it is really the kicker, folks. For me, anyway. I've got to get it together, regroup, and forge ahead.

So how do I plan to do that? I'm going to do the same things that have taken me this far. Counting my calories, drinking my water, and eating at home. I KNOW how many calories the things I cook have. Sometimes I think restaurants are just big, fat, liars when it comes to calorie reporting. And I'm going to continue my workouts. Those are my saving grace and my stress relief. Ask any teacher you know....this is the time of the year when we need stress relief the most. The storm before the calm....if you will.

June 7th is my one year Bandiversary. I would really like to be down 100 pounds by then. That would be really cool if that happens. I think I would feel pretty great about that. We shall see.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead. I'm getting ready to do laundry, tackle my meal prep, and just try to "get my mind right". That really is the most important part.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Triple T!

Hello everyone! It has been a LONG time since I've done a Ten Things Thursday. And they are always one of my favorite things to read on other blogs. So what am I waiting for? Here we go!

1. Today is John's birthday!! The big 45. I'm exceedingly glad that he was born. It's kind of a regular work day for him, plus he's SUPER busy at work right now, so we're sort of waiting until Sunday to do our full on, proper celebration. But in the meantime, I made these for him to take to his office and share with his co-workers. Just a warning....I've done a lot of baking in my lifetime, but I think this might be the most caloric thing I've ever attempted. Look if you dare.

2. Really starting to become more.....aware....of my port. sticks out. Is this something that just comes along with weight loss? Please let me know what your experience has been.

3. The WLS peeps I follow on Instagram all seem to LOVE their Polar Heart Rate Monitors. Specifically the Polar FT7. After lusting after one for months, I broke down and bought one this morning. The Polar website has all the info, demo videos, etc, but DON'T buy one from the site. The model I got was literally $50 cheaper on Amazon and other places have them too. Shop around.

4. Teacher Appreciation Week is this week. I've gotten a lot of sweet cards, notes and gifts. What hasn't been so cool???? The MASSIVE amount of food we've had in our Teachers' Lounge. Seriously....donuts, cookies, pizza, pasta, cheese trays, sandwich trays, cakes. Can someone appreciate me with some new Under Armor socks, perhaps?

5. Speaking of school... this year has kinda flown by. We had 5 snow days this years which is a TON for us. I enjoyed every single one of them, but we have to make them all up. So...our last day this year is going to be June 4th. Not bad at all. I don't have ANY plans this summer, and I​'m thrilled about that.

6. I've upped my calories slightly because I felt like I was eating too few. Especially with my workouts. Right now I'm in the 950 range.

7. This song. Cannot stop. It's my official Song of the Summer. Thanks, Jordan. :)

8. I never did binge-watch The Walking Dead like I planned. I got about three episodes in and I was just kinda ehhhhh about the whole thing. Next on the list...House of Cards. Both seasons. And Orange Is The New Black returns June 6th. Woo hoo!

9. This is eventually going to be an entirely separate blog post, but I need some help to get the conversation started. The world is an entirely different place for me than it was 100 pounds ago. In ALL kinds of ways, but especially in how I'm treated by strangers. I remember reading a post that Lap Band Gal wrote quite a while ago about how the only person who didn't​ treat her differently after she lost weight was her cat, Pemberly. I'm experiencing this for myself now and it's a complete and total mindf*ck. Thoughts? Experiences? Please share.


10. Happy Mother's Day weekend to all you moms out there. Especially to my BFF Rachel. Her FIRST Mother's Day ever! Even though John and I have chosen not to have children (probably a whole other blog post, huh?), I recognize and appreciate how hard all you moms work. A mother truly is the heart of the family, and I feel like I won the "Mom Lottery". She's just amazing.

I'll be back in a couple of days with a Weigh-In Saturday.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 205
Today's weight: 204
Total loss: 97 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

Some weeks are golden. Those weeks where everything seems to be headed in the right direction. Everyone is happy, the sun is shining, and all seems right with the world.

This was not one of those weeks.

In fact, this week was the exact opposite of that.

Oh...where to begin?

I'll begin with the obvious. I'm sure you guys are well aware that a devastating tornado ripped through the central part of my state on Sunday night. Tornadoes are commonplace here, but this one was so violent, so destructive, that even lifelong Arkansans like myself are left speechless. Thank you so much to those of you who emailed to see if John and I were okay. We were lucky. So many were not. The tornado hit about an hour north of us. The main two towns affected were Mayflower and Vilonia. President Obama will be here on Wednesday to tour the tornado damage. I feel so badly for all the families who are suffering. I cannot fathom what they are going through. Because Arkansas is such a small state, almost everyone I know has a friend, a relative...someone who was a victim of this horrific event. Several of my coworkers have family members that lost everything.

Everyone was pretty tired Monday morning when school started. The kids were very subdued. Many had been up all night because of the tornado sirens and weather radio warnings. It was a weird day. Our school clubs immediately began to organize a relief effort drive. Things like dog and cat food, hand sanitizer, first aid supplies, gas station gift cards, etc.  All to be collected and taken by our local police department to the towns affected.

I was scheduled for a workout Monday afternoon, so I changed into my workout clothes and headed to the gym. I got there and the parking lot was completely empty. I guess more people than me just weren't feeling it that day. I don't know what is going on with me lately, but I have just been so tired. Not just on that particular and not just from lack of sleep. It's a full body fatigue. It's been concerning me a bit so I have scheduled a doctors appointment to do some blood work. I am way overdue for a physical, and I figured with almost 100 pounds lost, this is a great time to go get some numbers. Like many overweight people tend to do, I avoided going to the doctor for years. No more. I have decided that for the rest of my life, I will be an advocate for my own health and well-being. Now that I'm in my early forties and I have seen people my age affected by all sorts of things, it's even more of a necessity.

So anyway...back to the work out. You guys know that it has only been recently that I've started to truly like exercise. Hated it for YEARS. I had this thing that I used to do on days when my motivation was lagging. I would tell myself..."hey...just get dressed and go to the gym. If you aren't feeling better 15 minutes into the workout, you can leave and go home." know how that went. I never took myself up on it. After 15 minutes, I was always..."hell yeah...I'm here, I'm doing this!!" I haven't had to do that in a LONG time. But as I walked into the gym on Monday, I was steadily making deals with myself. "Just get this done and then you can go home." I lasted about 8 minutes. Seven minutes and 43 seconds, to be exact. I hopped off the arc trainer, grabbed my water bottle, and flew down the stairs to my car. The whole time I'm thinking "what the hell am I doing? This is not what I do!!!" But my body was speaking to me louder than my conscience. And it was saying "just get home and rest."

So I got home, got something to drink, and I sat down on the couch to watch the national and local news. Although the tornado had been the main topic of conversation all day, these were the first pictures and footage I had seen of the destruction. And I boo hooed like a big ol' baby. Even harder when I realized that one of the people being interviewed, one of the people who had lost their homes, was a former student of mine. A pretty young girl I taught 20 years ago. Now a grown woman who must somehow begin the arduous task of rebuilding her family's life.

After about an hour, my hunger was getting out of contol, so I decided to cook a healthy dinner. The whole time I'm thinking "okay...I completely bombed my workout, the least I can do is be healthy with my food choices." So I went into the kitchen, and made some tilapia and broccoli. And it was delicious.
And then about 20 minutes later I ate 9 chocolate chip cookies and a Cadbury creme egg.

And guess what? I'm fine with it. Some days are gonna be like that. Considering the way I was feeling, I'm pretty proud of myself that a bottle of tequila wasn't involved. I recognized what I was doing, which was stress eating, and I let go of my ideas of being "the perfect bandster" in that moment.

But the trick is not letting days turn into weeks into months. I've been in that downward spiral and I know exactly how it works. I've learned a thing or two about myself in the past year. And I now know how to put that knowledge to good use. Have the moment, let it go, and move ON.

On Tuesday after school, I went to see Rachel and sweet baby boy. BFF time always makes me feel better. We went to Chipotle, and then to J.Crew. I wanted to go there becuase I've had my eye on this shirt for a while.
They had it. I bought it. And the best part was that I didn't need extra-large this time. I got an a large and rocked it yesterday with some dark wash jeans and my new Donald J. Pliner wedges.
Shout out to my sister for those, by the way. She is the generous soul that gives me my all time favorite thing....Nordstrom gift cards ....for my birthday and Christmas. :) Thanks, Jen! :)

Wednesday was back to the gym. And I don't mind telling you that I was a bit concerned after Monday's debacle. But I needn't have been. Wednesday's workout was just fine. Afterwards, I went and met my friend Rory for a wonderful dinner. I haven't seen her in almost a year. She is the mother of 5 year old twin boys, so yeah...she's slightly busy.

And finally Friday arrived. I had an early dinner with my friend Jordan after school, and then we went to Target. Always fun.

Oh and I lost a pound this week. That seems sort of beside the point, but I was grateful for that.

John's band is in Fayetteville, Arkansas tonight playing a wedding. About 5 hours away. Yes… Wedding Season has officially begun. I like it for him, because he so good at what he does, but kind of bummed that I'm not seeing him tonight. He'll get home in the wee hours of the morning, and will likely sleep all day tomorrow. The life of a musician with a day job!

Furry Lewis and I are gonna catch up on some TV tonight and chill at the house. I have the past three episodes of The Good Wife on the DVR and I'm quite excited about that.

I'm also going to make my junk food tacos. They aren't really junk food, but they taste that way. If you're a fan of Jack in the Box tacos...and really...who isn't?'ll probably like these. Unlike a lot of the recipes I post, the brand of the ingredients matters a lot on this one. If you have a Walmart Supercenter near you, you should be able to find the La Tiara brand. After trying it for the first time last summer, I'll never use anything else. I'm not going to go to tell you how to make tacos, you already know that, so I'll just post a pic of what you need.
Oh! But definitely warm the taco shells in the oven. That's a crucial step. And don't skip the processed cheese. We are going for trashy here, people. Healthy Trashy!

Hey...that is a great idea for my first cookbook. Healthy Trashy LapBand Eats. I'm sure my surgeon would be so proud.

Here's to better weather, and better days ahead. I hope each of you has a great week.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 207
Today's weight: 205
Total loss: 96 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

Hey everyone....happy last weekend of April to you!

Another two pounds gone this week. REALLY happy about that. I'm feelin' that BIG number coming around the bend. You know the one I'm talking about...and I just cannot wait for it to get here. All in good time.

My mentality this week can best be described as "in the trenches". Making my plan, and working that plan. Grocery shoppin'. Meal prep. Workouts. Resisting temptation. Daily focus. Self-care. Stress management. Seriously...can I get an assistant?

Anyone who has weight loss surgery and doesn't think they aren't going to have to work hard EVERY day is in for a rude awakening. Do you hear me? Every. Day.

Work. WERK.

And I've been workin' it like the rent's due TONIGHT!

How have I lost 96 pounds in 10 and a half months? Hard work.

I hope you all have a great week. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday (Non-Scale Victory Edition)

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 207.5
Today's weight: 207
Total loss: 94 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

Hey everyone! Happy Saturday. So the weight loss this week was just half a pound. Kind of what I was expecting. After losing 4 1/2 pounds in the last two weeks, which is a lot for me, I knew that the number would be small.  Also… this is not the time of the month when I usually lose weight. Do you feel me, ladies? I think you do. :)

So this week… I thought I would take the focus off the numbers just a little bit. I will be the first to admit that I have a giant tendency to get so wrapped up in those damn numbers. Especially now that I'm so close to seeing a 1 in front of my weight...the first time in over a decade that I've seen that number. It is close and it has made me a little bit crazy. It's very easy to get so laser-focused in on the numbers, that you lose sight of why you're doing all of this in the first place. You know? For me, it's to lead a healthier, more productive life. A life where I am not limited by my weight. A life where I actually have energy left over to do the things I want to do. So let's hear it for the non-scale victories, y'all. These are the things that make all of this so worth it.

The first one is just a little one, but something that struck me out of the blue this week at one of my very favorite places. Target! I've mentioned to you guys before that Target is right by my gym, and it's super convenient for me to run in there after I work out to get anything I need. And let's face it...sometimes I like to look at shoes while I'm there. I'm only human, people. This week, I saw a pair of sandals that I liked a lot, and I needed to try them on. You already know I like a heel, but this heel looked too high even for me. I had to find out! I had tennis shoes and socks on and I wasn't too keen on plopping down right there on the floor. So what did I do? I balanced on one foot and changed shoes. Like it was no big deal. A hundred pounds ago, I wouldn't of been able to do anything like that. I used to have to sit down to even tie my shoes, and much huffing and puffing followed. If you've ever been there, you know exactly what I'm talking about. I didn't end up buying the shoes, but I did find out I can now do this neat little trick. Hot damn.

The second one is a little more important. Last fall I posted about being able to fit into the desks at school again. I told you guys that we have a lot of impromptu faculty meetings around school, and how it was always awkward for me to have to pull up a chair and use the desktop as a tabletop. Well guess what. We had another faculty meeting this week, and I found out that not only do I fit, there's a lot of room to spare! I've been enjoying it so much that now I'm looking for excuses to sit in student desks. I'm sittin' in desks all over the place. Oh…"You need help conjugating that Spanish verb? Well let me pull up a desk and help you!" I cannot be stopped.  :)

And the third one…it's just sort of fun. This afternoon I'm going to a clothing party at Rachel's grandmother's house. I'm sure you guys know what I'm talking about. Kind of like a Pampered Chef or a Tupperware party, but with clothes. I've only been to one clothing party before, and guess what… I couldn't wear one thing they offered. I remember feeling extremely self-conscious...standing around looking at the handbags and accessories. This time, it will actually be fun. I previewed the items online, and even if I don't buy anything, I know that I could. That I have the option. And that the clothes would fit me. Cool.

We are headed to my sister's house tomorrow for Easter and I'm so excited about it. After I get home tonight I'm making my special green beans and Cheese Grits Soufflé. Easter food is my favorite food of all. There will be Honey Baked Ham, Deviled Eggs, homemade rolls....all the good stuff. I'm going to have a little bit of everything and enjoy my time with my family. I hope you all get to do the same.

Here's to ignoring the numbers. Sometimes!

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 209.5
Today's weight: 207.5
Total loss: 93.5 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

Down another 2 pounds! Woo hoo! Thrilled with that.

This was a whirlwind of a week. It seemed to go by really fast because I was so very busy. Nothing major, just a lot of different stuff. It was standardized test week at school, so that was kind of blehhhh, but there was plenty of fun stuff too. I went to get my hair done on Monday and it was MUCH needed. There's just something about fresh, new highlights that make a girl feel like a million bucks. Not to mention my stylist Jeanna is the absolute best. We always manage to solve the world's problems, discuss fashion at length, talk about travel plans...she just got back from Tulum...and of course celebrity gossip. Gywneth and Chris....why?

On Wednesday I got to spend time with Rachel and sweet baby Shepherd. School has been such a drag with Rachel on maternity leave. I'm literally going through withdrawals. But...she is right where she needs to be. She is a complete natural at motherhood and is head over heels in love with her boy. I'm completely smitten with him myself.

Friday night, I had dinner with my friend Jordan. She is a world traveler extraordinaire and has just returned from a trip to London and Paris with 29 kids!!! The very thought of taking that many teenagers to Europe makes me break out in hives, but Jordan is the perfect person for it. She is an unstoppable force of nature. We caught up over dinner at a local Mexican restaurant and I'm sure you can imagine that she had PLENTY to tell me. 

I did manage to get to the gym for three killer workouts though, and I was proud of that.

My eating this week has been pretty repetitive and streamlined. You guys know that I begin every single morning with my Unjury coffee. Cannot. Live. Without. It. Now that it's getting warmer, I'm getting ready to make the switch to iced. I'm pretty damn excited about that. I use the Pioneer Woman method to make my iced coffee, and it has never let me down. I have been having the same breakfast every day for about the past month...a hard-boiled egg and my beloved Greek yogurt.

Lunch has been a chicken pita from Sam's Club. I used to be able to find these at Walmart, but no more. There are several different varieties of these pita sandwiches....hamburger, cheeseburger, gyro. They are great for Bandsters. If you can find them, that is.

Dinner has been a little varied. Homemade chili a couple of nights, chicken sausage another night, and some Chick-fil-A nuggets one night when I was on the go. And I cannot forget snacks. VitaTops, of course. But...hold onto your hats, because we've got a new contender. Have you guys tried Skinny Pop??? It is sooooo good.
It tastes like Target popcorn. If you've never had Target popcorn, know that I mean that as a huge compliment. It comes in three flavors, butter, white cheddar, and black pepper. I've only had the butter flavor, but I will eventually try all three, I'm sure.

This weekend I'm just enjoying NOT having anywhere to go. I'm catching up on stuff around the house, doing tons of laundry, and a little bit of meal prep for the coming week. John had a gig tonight, but he'll be home a little later and we're going to catch up on some shows and just relax.

What are you guys up to now that Spring is finally here? Tell me!

I hope you have a great weekend and thanks for reading. :)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 212
Today's weight: 209.5
Total loss: 91.5 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

Surprising? Yes! Welcome? Very. It's been a long, long time since I've had a 2 and a half pound week. I like it!

One thing that is helping tremendously...I'm pretty sure I'm firmly ensconced in the Green Zone. I almost ten months I should be, right? I love it here.

For me the Green Zone means...
  • I can still eat bread, but not an awful lot. You all know how I feel about bread. :)
  • I'm not hungry for about 3 hours after waking, but I try to eat a little something as soon as I can just to get the metabolism going
  • I don't obsess over when I'm going to eat next. I live my life and then after a few hours get the "oh...I'm getting kind of hungry now" feeling
  • And the hallmark of the GZ....being satisfied with a small amount of protein dense food. My band is finally "speaking up" a little bit louder when it's time for me to stop eating. This is HUGE. For so long I've felt that I could eat more than I was "supposed to".
And speaking about that last nurse Greg (he does my fills) says that you will never really experience a month of "perfect band days". Those awesome days when our bands speak up and keep us in check. I'm not talking about sliming, PBing, or throwing up. I'm talking about satiety. I love those days. Unfortunately there are also the other days...days when I've wondered "do I even have a lap band in there?" Those are the days where my lifetime of professional dieting skills have served me well. I guess being the only 5th grader at Weight Watchers did end up serving a purpose. :)

About Greg...he's awesome. We talk about all kinds of stuff and I ALWAYS learn something from him. He lost 150 pounds with the lap band and has maintained his loss for a number of years. The last time I was there he said something that has resonated with me literally EVERY day since. It may be one of the most important things I've learned so far and it's this:

When you're in the Green Zone, you will not experience perfect restriction every day. There will be days when you have to work harder. However, the good days should outnumber the bad, and if they don't, then you probably need a little fill.

So simple. I keep this in mind on the days when I AM having to work a little harder and it helps my  perspective. I hope it helps some of you too.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Haiku Review: Michael Angelo's Parmesan Crusted Stuffed Chicken Breast this mic on?
"Crispy chicken parm
Hot, cheesy, deliciousness
Get it at Sam's Club"
I also need to tell you that John and I did NOT like the sauce packets that come with this. The tomato sauce wasn't all that great, and there is just SO much. It's all you end up tasting. Which is not good, because the chicken and cheese is so delicious. We topped ours off with some Bertoli Light Garlic Alfredo and it was REALLY tasty.
Thumbs up and Beatnik snaps all around. :)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 212
Today's weight: 212
Total loss: 89 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013 was with no small amount of anxiety that I stepped on the scale this morning. Trust me when I tell you that I have enjoyed my spring break. In last week's weigh-in post, I told you guys that I was going to allow myself some treats this week, and I definitely did.

Let's see...Saturday night there was Mexican food. With guacamole and many chips. I had iced sugar cookies from my favorite bakery one day. And of course I had to sample the banana pudding that I took to John's work for him and his coworkers. Oh yes...and donuts. Just two though...a chocolate filled and a glazed cake... and I enjoyed every delicious bite. These illicit shenanigans occurred Saturday through Tuesday, and by Wednesday morning… I had to cut myself off and get back on track. Truth be told… that kind of crazy eating, especially the sugar, was making me feel like complete and total shit. Not to mention, my skin just looked horrible. When I eat badly, it really does show up on my face. Welcome to your forties, ladies! :)

So by Wednesday…when I returned to my regularly scheduled programming, it really was kind of a relief. In the days since, my energy levels have returned, my skin is looking better, and I just feel better overall. This is not to say that I didn't completely enjoy those treats, but I guess I kind of have a new perspective.

Something else that is new…despite being off track with my eating this week, I was firmly on track with my workouts. And because I was on spring break, I could go to the gym whenever I felt like it...usually late morning. When school is in session, I go around 3:30. One thing I noticed this week is that when I can get to the gym shortly after eating something, it really makes a difference in how well I can perform. Coupled with those extra calories from the aforementioned treats, I don't mind telling you I felt like a beast in the gym this week. I could go longer, harder, faster…everything. My takeaway from this is that I may need to shuffle some calories around on the days that I workout.

But here's the cool thing…normally if my eating was off the rails, I would also have the attitude of "why even bother going to the gym?" I used to have kind of an "all or nothing" personality when it came to health and fitness. I was either the Captain of the Weight Loss Train, or I was the one crashed in the ditch clutching a Strawberry Margarita in one hand and a box of Twinkies in the other. Could it be that I have finally separated the two in my mind? That it doesn't have to be ALL or nothing all the time? I really do think that I have gotten to a place where I simply like how I feel after I exercise. This is huge for me. I will also admit that vanity plays into it a little bit. I'm really proud of my new muscle tone, and I want to keep working at it so I don't lose it.

School starts back up on Monday, and we also have parent-teacher conference on Monday night after school. It's going to be a long day. But I've had a wonderful break and I feel ready. I think John and I are going to go out to dinner tonight and then chill at home.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Thanks for reading. :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

March: 5 Things I'm Loving

I hope everyone is having a spectacular week! It has been a really great Spring Break and I've been trying to enjoy every moment. I've not done a whole lot, but then again...that was the plan! :)

I thought I'd take a moment and share a few things that I've been loving this month. So, without further we go!

1. Vitalicious VitaTops - All Flavors

I mean...come on. You knew that this would make the cut. I cannot get enough of these delicious little cakes. Whether I'm making my imposter Carrot Cake, or just eating them right out of the wrapper, these are my favorite food find of the month. Right now, I'm loving the Deep Chocolate warmed in the microwave with a half tablespoon of peanut butter melted on top. 148 calories of scrumptiousness.
Can't stop. Won't stop.
You can check them out at
2. Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss
Here is what the Milani website says: "Experience lip gloss that has rich color, extreme high shine, and comfortable lasting wear. Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss is moisturizing and non-tacky. The flexible sponge-tip applicator makes application easy."
Here is what I say: these are JUST like M.A.C. Lipglass at a fraction of the price. You can find Milani cosmetics at drugstores nationwide. I picked these up at Walgreen's.  
3. Xersion Workout Shirts from JCP
I am really digging the Xersion line of workout wear at JC Penney, and these are my new favorite workout shirts. I can usually find these on sale for around $ know JCP always has a coupon available or a sale going on. They come in all kinds of awesome colors and the fit is great. I have a couple of Nike Drifit shirts, and I like these way better. First off...they are softer, and secondly....can we talk for a minute about how SMALL Nike runs? It's a little disheartening to have lost nearly 90 pounds, only to still wear a 3X in Nike clothing. Amirite?
4. Smart Ones Fish and Chips
Confession time. I LOVE Captain D's. Do you guys have Captain D's where you live? I know you might be thinking "Welllll...we have Long John Silver's. Isn't that the same thing?" No. No it's not.
How do I even begin to describe the deliciousness? Their fish is crispy, flaky, and delicate. Their hushpuppies are golden, light, and fluffy. Do NOT even get me started on the coconut shrimp.
But here's the deal...I don't go there anymore. And, hyperbole aside, it is really damn good. But every now and then I'll get that crispy fish fast food craving and this does the trick. Kudos to the mad food scientists who designed the "crisping tray" because it really works well here. This is not an every day kind of meal. The sodium is pretty high and the protein is not all that great, but if you need to stop yourself from visiting the Cap'n, this will help you out in a pinch.
One caveat: Smart Ones also has a Chicken Strips and Fries in packaging almost exactly like this. Do NOT buy it. I beg you. Just don't. It is literally the worst frozen diet meal I've ever had. And I've had almost all of them.
5. High Heels
Another confession. I'm not really 5'2. I like to pretend that I am, and that's what's listed on every "official" document, but I'm not. I'm really a little less than 5'1. So...when my weight started creeping back up a few years ago, and my knees started hurting very badly, high heels became a thing of the past. It really sucked because when you're as short as I am, a little bit of a heel allows you to be able to do certain things that taller people take for granted. Like....oh I don't know....being able to reach things on high shelves at the grocery store without having to ask for help from total strangers. 
Now that I have virtually NO knee pain, and my plantar fasciitis is doing fine, I'm happy to report that I'm back in my heels again! So when I spied these navy and red sandals on Haute Look for $44 (regularly $79), I had to snap them up. I did a quick internet search to make sure I couldn't find a lower price, and what do you know...I found them at for $31.99 with a 20% off coupon AND free shipping for a total of $23! Score! I think they are going to look great with jeans, white jeans, or even my army green pants.
So there you have it! What are you loving lately? I'd love to know!

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday...100th Post Edition

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 214
Today's weight: 212
Total loss: 89 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

Hello everyone and Happy Weekend! I'm absolutely thrilled with the 2 pound loss this week. I wish they could all be 2 pound weeks. I would be just fine with that. :)

I can't believe this is my 100th post. I didn't have any idea that I had that much to say! I'm so thankful for everything I've learned during this whole process. And I'm so thankful for each and every one of you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for motivating me and giving me great advice along the way. I know I've said this before, but when I started this blog, I really had no idea that anyone would want to read about my journey. Not only has this been a place to voice my thoughts, and to vent, it has also kept me accountable. But for me though, the biggest thrill though is knowing I may be helping someone navigate their own lapband journey. I'm excited about what the future holds for all of us.

Something else I'm excited about? Spring Break has arrived. I probably say this every year, but this year it felt long overdue. I don't have any big plans this week. John has to work and a lot of my friends are traveling. But I do have a few things planned. And most of them involve meals. Of course! I decided that I'm going to cut myself some slack this week and have a few treats here and there. Nothing crazy, but I've got to live a little, right? On Tuesday, I'm going with my friend Jon to an amazing new Thai restaurant we've discovered. Their Panang curry is out of this world. Rachel and I are going to lunch on Wednesday with sweet baby boy. And on Thursday, I'm going to take homemade banana pudding to John's work for him and his coworkers to enjoy. Not to get too graphic, but it has condensed milk, Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies, cream cheese, and a bananas foster sauce that goes on top. Just RIDICULOUS. I will have to be sure and sample it to make sure it's appropriately delicious. So with that said, I think I'm going to be happy if I can just maintain my weight this week. And knowing that up front makes me a little more okay with it.

Another thing that I'm going to do is…binge watch something on Netflix! Right now I'm thinking about either The Walking Dead or House of Cards. Do you guys have any other suggestions for me? There's probably something really great that I'm missing.

I hope everyone has a great week. Thank you for making my blog a part of your day. Here's to 100 more posts! :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Recipe: Julie's Loaded Chicken

A few weeks ago on a Sunday night when I didn't feel like cooking, John and I got takeout from Colton's Steakhouse. I'm not sure, but I think Colton's is a regional chain in the Southern U.S. I scoured the menu beforehand and decided on something called Colton's Loaded Chicken. Outback Steakhouse has a similar dish called Alice Springs Chicken. This is how it's described on Colton's menu: "A juicy grilled chicken breast covered in sautéed mushrooms, bacon, green onions, and a blend of cheeses. Served with honey mustard sauce."

My description? DELICIOUS. I chose this dish not only because it sounded amazing, but because I knew I could easily make two meals out of it. The calorie count per meal, however, hovered right around 400. Way higher than what comfortably fits into my daily total.

So I decided to revamp this recipe a bit and what do you know....success! 278 calories and 36.2g protein per serving. Here's how I did it.

The cast of characters. Skinless, boneless chicken breasts, center cut bacon, Kraft 2% Mexican Blend, canned mushrooms, Newman's Own Lite Honey Mustard Dressing.
First, I pan fried the bacon until it was not quite crispy and drained it on paper towels to soak up any extra grease. I used Petit Jean bacon for my's a local product, but Oscar Mayer Center Cut bacon would be a great choice. I calculated the nutrition stats for this recipe using one slice of Oscar Mayer bacon per 4 oz. chicken breast.
After I cooked the bacon, I drained the grease and wiped out the skillet. In this same pan, I cooked the chicken breasts...about 4 or 5 minutes on each side until done.
Oh! And I seasoned the chicken breasts with this:
It gave them incredible flavor!

I know that some Bandsters don't do well with mushrooms. If that's you, you might want to skip this step. As we all know, my band is NOT fickle. And I love mushrooms. These are already cooked, so I basically just pushed them around the skillet a bit to warm them up. I also gave them a dash of the Montreal Chicken Seasoning. I think next time I'll add a little splash of Worcestershire Sauce too. That was John's suggestion. :)
After that, all that's really left is the assembly. First the chicken breast, then the bacon slice, then about a half cup of sauteed mushrooms, then a 1/4 cup shredded cheese. I cound not get over how much cheese 28 grams actually is. I weighed it on my trusty kitchen scale. You could easily use less than this, but I was going for indulgent.

Put everything under the broiler until every thing is nice and melty.


You can serve it with a tablespoon of the Honey Mustard dressing on the side, but I prefer to pour it right on top. Yum.
The nutrition info is for:
1 four ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 slice Oscar Mayer Center Cut bacon
1/2 cup canned mushrooms
1/4 cup (28g) Kraft 2% Mexican Blend Cheese
1 T. Newman's Own Light Honey Mustard
This is the best 278 calories I've had in a long time. And check out that protein!

I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did. If you make it, let me know.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 215
Today's weight: 214
Total loss: 87 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

Happy Saturday everyone! I hope you're all getting to relax and have some fun this weekend. John and I certainly are. I don't know if it's the time change or what, but I slept about 10 hours last night. I NEVER do that. I guess my body needed it.

I'm down another pound this week. And I'm happy about that. My eating was on track, and I managed to get in 3 good workouts. Striving for 4 workouts this next week. I'm continually amping up my Cybex Arc Trainer routine...increasing resistance and incline...and it feels great. I'm also increasing my free weights a bit...heavier weights and a few more reps. Little by little...I'm getting there. And don't tell anyone, but sometimes I like to sit around and feel my new muscles. Is that weird? :)

Have a great weekend! Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


It wouldn't be ridiculous to say that at least ten of my extra pounds might be the direct result of my love of Carrot Cake. Do you all adore it as much as I do?

I think it might be my favorite dessert of all. Ok...I mean...besides Lemon Icebox Pie, Strawberry Cake, and warm Chocolate Chip Cookies. It's crazy to think that I didn't even taste Carrot Cake until my senior year of college when my roommate insisted that I try it. I think the conversation may have gone a little something like this:

Karyn: You mean to tell me that you've never had CARROT CAKE? Who raised you?

Me: Who wants to eat cake made from carrots?

Karyn: Just taste it. It doesn't taste like carrots AND it has cream cheese icing.

Me: Ok. If I have to. Gimme that. I'll take a little bite. (Eyes immediately roll to the back of head. An obsession begins.)

So what's a Bandster to do when she needs to get the Carrot Cake monkey off her back? Answer: Head to the nearest Cheesecake Factory and order some. Just kidding! A bite of "real" Carrot Cake is just fine every now and again, but if you're like me, you might need it on a semi-regular basis. I've got a 135 calorie version that will allow you to do this and not feel the least bit guilty about it.

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I had started eating VitaTops again. I had kind of forgotten about them. I don't know why, because they are DELICIOUS. Only problem is...stores in my area really only carry 2 flavors: Deep Chocolate and Cranberry Bran. I went online and found a coupon for 20% off and free shipping and then I went a little crazy. I ordered Deep Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Banana Nut, Golden Corn, and my favorite Carrot Cake. one is claiming that this VitaTop Carrot Cake is as amazing as the Cheesecake Factory's, but it gives me the flavor I crave for just few calories, 6 grams of protein, and best of all...9 grams of fiber.

You'll need a Carrot Cake VitaTop, a wedge of Laughing Cow Light (or light cream cheese), and a little bit of sweetener. I used a bit of Splenda.

Take a fork and whip the Laughing Cow with Splenda until it's as sweet as you want it, and a little bit fluffy. We're going for that cream cheese icing effect. :)

Spread on the warm VitaTop and...viola. A delicious little cake.
I hope you like it as much as I do. If you try it, let me know.

You can check out the VitaTops and their other products online at or find a store in your area that carries them. But just a warning...they are so good you may end up with a freezer that looks like mine.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

New (to me) Food Find!

I don't know if I'm late to the party on this one, or what...but have you guys seen this yogurt? It's Dannon Light and Fit Greek. And check out the stats: 80 calories and TWELVE grams of protein.
I mean...twelve grams of protein for 80 calories is what I consider a hell of a good deal. I'm going to eat this for breakfast this week with a hardboiled egg. After my Unjury coffee, that is! Can't live without it. This means I will be getting in 30 grams of protein before 11:00am. Score!
The only flavors I've tried so far are the Key Lime pictured above, and the Toasted Coconut Vanilla. Both were great, but the TCV gets an A+. Really rich coconut flavor. It was almost dessert-like. Here is a complete list of flavors:
Toasted Coconut Vanilla
Cherry Chocolate
Banana Cream
Key Lime
Pomegranate Berry
Strawberry Cheesecake
Caramel Macchiato
Strawberry Banana
Raspberry Chocolate
Orange Cream
I will be tracking down the Raspberry Chocolate flavor as soon as humanly possible. The Strawberry Cheesecake flavor too.
If you guys already eat this, what other flavors do you like?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 217 Saturday/216 Sunday
Today's weight: 215
Total loss: 86 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

Hey everyone! Is it Saturday again already? Man...this has been quite the week.

First off…there was a crazy ice storm on Sunday night and we were out of school both Monday and Tuesday. Wait a minute…isn't it March? I don't remember ever missing a school day in March for ice. We are already going to be in school until the second week of June. I feel like we're out of the woods now, but who knows with this crazy Arkansas weather. Today it was 70°. really wonderful thing happened this week too. My BFF had her baby boy! He is the most beautiful baby I've ever seen. 7 pounds, 2 ounces of gorgeousness. A full head of hair and everything. And the best part was I got to be there because we were out of school. I spent most of the day Tuesday in the maternity waiting room with her hilarious family. was so much fun. Since it was Fat Tuesday, her family brought Mardi Gras beads and a King Cake! I'm happy to report that I did not get the baby in the cake. Her grandmother did! Mom, dad, and baby are at home resting and doing amazingly well.

The rest of the week was relatively normal. Wednesday afternoon I got a fill at my surgeon's office. I'm thinking right now that I may be a tad bit too tight. I'll keep you all posted on that one. I've heard that most people go a little too far and end up in the Red Zone and actually have to have an unfill to wind up in the Green Zone. I don't know if that's true, but I hope not.

This morning, I was supposed to meet my friend Stephanie for breakfast at Panera, but her dog George got sick and she had to cancel at the last moment. George is a 15-year-old Daschund and he is her child. Being a parent of a Fur Child myself, I completely understood. I was already dressed though, so I ended up going to breakfast by myself. Y'all already know how I feel about the Power Steak Bowl, and it was calling my name. As I was walking into Panera, it dawned on me that it had been quite a while since I ate a meal in a restaurant by myself. I was never the overweight girl who suffered from a debilitating lack of self-esteem or anything, but it did strike me that I'm way more comfortable doing things like that now. I wonder why that is? More comfortable in my own skin perhaps? I have no idea. Something to think about.

My eating this week was on track even though I had zero time to work out. However, I did go to the gym today and I did my long workout. It felt absolutely wonderful. I weighed in this morning at 215 which means I'm down 2 pounds since last Saturday. You know, I'm finding myself with a powerful amount of motivation these days. 199 is so close. I hope it can happen by the beginning of summer. It would be really amazing to lose 100 pounds by the one year anniversary of my surgery. I really feel like I can do it.

I want to take a minute to welcome new readers. I have been so fortunate to receive so many great emails from Banders, both pre and post op. When I started this blog, I literally had no idea who was going to want to read it. I'm happy to know that so many of you do. And you actually like it! I'm really glad that you are here.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and this whole springing forward business doesn't hurt you too much on Monday morning. ;)

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday (Sunday Edition)

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 218.5
Today's weight: 216
Total loss: 85 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

Sorry for the late posting. I've been having so much fun this weekend, I'm just now sitting down to post my weigh in. I actually have two numbers for you guys this week. For my official weigh-in yesterday morning I weighed 217. When I woke up this morning though, I weighed 216. Fine with me! This brings me to an even 85 pounds lost. 100 pounds is so close I can feel it!

I had an awesome Saturday. I had breakfast with a dear friend at Panera and I got the Power Steak Bowl off their "Hidden Menu" again. I truly don't know why they want to hide something this delicious! It's an egg with the most tender, thinly sliced steak, a little bit of avocado, some spinach, and some sauteed red bell pepper. It's 270 calories and packed full of protein. 25 grams of protein to be exact. I posted a picture of it on my Instagram a few weeks ago, but in case you missed it, it looks like this:
It's my standard order, and I could eat it every day of the week. And the best part? It kept me full all day long.

After breakfast, I went and worked out for the fourth time this week. I'm really proud of that number. Four is always my goal, but most of the time I end up with three. The week ahead is so busy I'm going to be lucky if I get to work out twice. I'm going to try really hard to squeeze in an extra one. I have been really surprised by what I'm able to do lately...cardiovascularly speaking. :) I've said this before, but it's such a rewarding feeling to push yourself and have your body respond. To be able to do even more than your mind thinks you can. Suffice it to say that I pushed myself to the limit yesterday. And then I came home and took a long hot bath.

John and I had a really great date last night. Nothing too exciting, we just went to an Asian buffet and to buy groceries, but I swear that man makes everything fun. But about the buffet…this time last year, I was absolutely convinced that I would never go to a buffet again. If you're a pre-op reading this, go ahead and just banish that thought forever. You're going to go to all your favorite restaurants, you're just going to eat differently. I'm mad at myself for forgetting to take a photo of my plate last night. I was distracted by the delicious food, plus I usually try to make it a point to leave my phone in the car when John and I are at dinner. I had two skewers of char-grilled chicken, some boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce, and about four pieces of spicy tuna roll. The buffet we like best in Little Rock is called Panda Garden and they have really good sushi. Shocking, I know.

Today has been somewhat emotional. Emotional in a good way. I know I've already mentioned that I took a whole bunch of stuff to the resale shop a few weeks ago. closet is STILL very much a work in progress. This morning I hemmed a bunch of pants and I spent some time trying on a ton of clothes. I dragged out some things that I literally have never worn. Mostly XL and regular size clothing. Things that I bought with the hopes of getting into them someday. They still had the tags on them. I'm at the point now where just about everything in my closet fits. Including those straight size XLs. It's so rewarding to wear something because you actually like it, not just because it's the only thing that fits. My next "clothing adventure" is going to be wearing a dress. I cannot even remember the last time I had a dress on. Hopefully when the weather gets warm, I'll feel confident enough to put one on and actually like what I see. Something will have to be done about my pasty white legs however! :). Self tanning recommendations are highly welcome!

Now I'm chilling out watching Oscar fashion. Jennifer Lawrence looks flawless, Lupita Nyong'o can do NO wrong, and Jordan Catalano...I mean Jared Leto...would look so much better with shorter hair. Of course, no one can hold a candle to my man Matthew McConaughey. I sure do hope he wins tonight!

I hope everyone has an incredible week. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

This Week's Eats

Repetition, repetition, repetition.

You've heard me say it time and time again. For me, success = repeating foods/meals. Foods that I like. Foods that are easy to cook. Foods that I know are good for me. Like last week. I seriously could not get enough of that egg tostada thing. Before my lap band, I never could have done this. I don't know what has changed exactly, but I'm very content to eat the same thing every day. As long as I like it.

Almost every week, my breakfasts and lunches are the same each day. Dinner can vary a bit, but I've found that I usually cook about twice a week, and I eat what I make for several meals. John and I go out to dinner on the weekends, and I think that the fact that I eat at home during the week makes me look forward to our restaurant dates even more. So here's what I've been loving and eating this week.

I am still really enjoying these Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit Cups. I make a big batch on Sunday and eat them throughout the week. This week I've been having one for breakfast, and one as a pre-workout snack in the afternoon.
Lunch this week has been 2 ounces of deli roast beef on a small Hawaiian roll with a little bit of extra hot horseradish. I found these Hawaiian rolls at Walmart and they are 100 calories each. I know a lot of you try to stay away from bread, but for me, bread fills me up. Also... I. Love. Bread. I also love aluminum foil. :)
For the past two nights I've had the same dinner. John and I recently joined Sam's Club again, and I bought this Treasures from the Sea Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia. It's absolutely delicious. If you are a member of the Sam's Club, you need to put this in your cart. Like most everything at Sam's, this comes in a big ol' bag. We will easily make 5 meals of this.
This week I ate it with a little bit of Green Giant broccoli in cheese sauce.
And then… It's chocolate time. I've always loved the Deep Chocolate Vita Tops, but I hadn't bought them in a long time. They are kind of expensive, but sooooo delicious. Tonight I'm going to enjoy my Vita Top during… Scandal! Guilty pleasure overload.
Daily Total: 854 calories, 60 grams protein
I hope everyone is having a great week! Thanks for reading. :)