Category Archives: Friends

Weighing In: One Year Post Surgery

I know! I know! I’ve been missing in action lately (about 2 months) but I’ve got a good excuse; I’ve been busy living life. Work has been CRAZY busy, my wife and I both had birthdays and I put together a stellar birthday weekend with lots of travelling, we bought a house (we signed papers last Thursday and get the keys Monday after work) and I’m helping one of our daughters with wedding planning.

WNBA game, Mariner's game, Seattle Pride, and I wore a formal gown to work. My friends/co-workers glammed up my desk!!
Birthday weekend shenanigans!!
 I am one busy lady!!! I wanted to make sure to write on the anniversary of my surgery though.

Left: July 2016 Right: July 2017

I had my Lap Band surgery on July 29th, 2016. I was almost 500lbs. I had severe chronic back pain and sciatica, lymphedema of the legs, difficulty with movement and breathing and was always just generally uncomfortable. I didn’t get that way overnight. I definitely had an unhealthy relationship with food. I was as n emotional eater and developed an addiction; food was my drug of choice.

Fast forward 365 days…I am down -90lbs and holding. I have been at this current weight for about a month which is A-OK with me. The weight loss with the band has been slow and steady; about 2-3lbs loss per week on average. I’ve learned to have a different relationship with food for sure. Mental health counseling and medication helps me with finding healthier ways to process emotions, anxiety and depression. I’m able to eat about a shot glass amount of food at a sitting so what I choose to eat is super important; nothing too starchy or too fibrous. I also have to be cognizant of how quickly I eat; I have to make sure everything is chewed REALLY well. Because my stomach has limited space, gas or sort back up from eating too quickly can’t be expelled by a burp; I am literally unable.

This journey has been frustrating, scary and quite indelicate at times; for me and for my wife. She deserves an award. I had to learn to eat for sustenance and not allow my ‘eyes to be bigger than my stomach’; literally and figuratively. I had to learn that there are going to be things that I will never eat again and embrace that. Pancakes, waffles, bread…just a few of the things I used to love that I simply can’t have since the surgery. I also have to avoid other favorites like bananas and pineapples, asparagus and broccoli; anything too high in sugar or too stringy/fibrous. Totally worth it though. If i have the unfortunate incidence of food getting stuck on the way down or getting an air bubble trapped while eating, I get one of two results. If I’m lucky, I can stand and walk or put my arms over my head or drink a little bit of a warm beverage and coax it on through. What often happens (here’s the indelicate part) is that it gets stuck and my body forces it back out the way it came. Sounds simple right? Well, because the size of my working tummy is greatly reduced, it’s probably one of the most uncomfortable and excruciating things I’ve experienced.

Looking back would I make the decision to have the procedure again? Absolutely!! I have been able to completely discontinue 4 medications. I no longer have pain and swelling in my muscles and joints. I find that I am a lot more adventurous because I can walk and move for longer periods of time without having to rest. We’ve been on hikes and to festivals and sporting events; I’m experiencing a lot more of my life as opposed to being an observer. I’m able to buy clothes of the rack which I’ve been too big to do for years. It feels AMAZING to be able to walk into the store and try things on. Most importantly, I’m starting to have more days where I feel good in my skin. Not every day but most days and that is a good feeling.

This has been one of the most amazing years of my life!!!

Weekly Weigh-In

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I’m feeling stuck…again. My weight this week was exactly the same as last week. That was a little deflating but I’ll take that over having a gain. I’m going to have to be more consistent about hitting the gym and eat way more veggies and a few less carbs.

This weekend, I posted a pic of me in my Mickey Mouse leggings. Two body shots in as many weeks? I’m feeling myself! I love them and felt like I look ok in them. It’s an extremely vulnerable place to be in for me, sharing myself. I find that in my vulnerability, there is strength. Luckily, I have an amazing support system which helps when I need a bit of shoring up.

I got to visit my home town this weekend. I got to see my parents and our youngest daughter (She just turned 26 on 1/23). I miss them so much so it also makes me feel ‘full’ to see them and be around them.20170129_093917

I also got to see cousins and countless others I have known my entire life who’ve become ‘family’. I’m glad we have our life in the the Tri-Cities and for all the ‘framily’ (friends that are like family) we’ve gained over the past 12yrs but there’s no place like home.

I’m off to another adventure until next week.

New Year, Same Me (Which Is Cool Because Most Days, I Think I’m Pretty Dope)…

Well, it only took me half of the month to catch up on life enough to complete my first blog post of the year. So much for starting the year with a consistent weekly post. Sheesh!! Anyway, let me get you all caught up on the life and times of me.

I brought in the new year with my honey and some friends and doing what I love to do…singing. We went originally to watch the show and Micah and Cat invited me up to join them on a couple of numbers. It was a blast!! Good company, good wine, good food and great memories.

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Cat, Sara, Micah, Me, Tomi
the-singer
In my zone

As of last Friday (my weigh-in day), I am down 70lbs since this whole weight loss thing started (down 4lbs for the week). Physically, I feel fantastic. I can move around without pain and without getting winded. I had been on muscle relaxers for chronic back pain for years and I haven’t taken them since surgery day. I can climb up and down the stairs in my house without having to climb on hands and knees like a toddler. My wife and I can go on walks with the dogs. We can go out dancing and instead of just part of a song, I dance through several songs and only have to sit down because a song comes on that I don’t like. I am enjoying the new found freedom that losing weight has afforded me.

I do have to say that extreme weight loss is a blessing and a curse. It has been a mental test getting use to my body as it changes. There are parts of me that hang that didn’t use to. My skin feels different to me, my clothes fit differently. My skin is changing, my hair is changing. It’s definitely interesting getting to know myself all over again. I don’t always like how I look with or without clothes. Some days are definitely better than others but I am learning and coping as I go.

I’m learning a few things…

Working out needs to be a priority. It helps you have more effective weight loss and helps you to gain muscle while you are losing weight. I’m getting more consistent with workouts but it is still my least favorite thing to do.

It is super important to take care of yourself mentally. Make time to pray, meditate, journal and pamper yourself. All the change is a lot mentally so you do not want to neglect your self-care; whatever that looks like for you.

Get use to never eating a hot meal again. That sounds weird but I honestly have not had a hot meal since I had surgery. The reality is that you just can’t eat it fast enough. The one thing this surgery forces you to do is slow down. You have to chew more because you don’t want to swallow big chunks (even of soft food). Believe it or not,¬†you will get use to it.

Surround yourself with positive people who want to see you succeed. They don’t have to be on a weight loss journey (although you should have a few of those people in your life). Just make sure that they are not the people who are constantly offering you all the junk food and starchy goodness. Make sure they are people who are willing to listen to the occasional rant about ill-fitting clothing and a not-so-delicious new food. Most importanly, they need to be good cheerleaders who are willing to encrourage and slap that muffin out of your hand if need be. Someone willing to go on a walk with you and your dogs or offer alternatives for getting together other than eating and drinking (crafting dates, walking dates, mani/pedi dates).

Now, we are all caught up and ready to get back to our regularly scheduled program. I will be back on Friday with my weekly weigh-in

 

The 52 Lists Project: List 7

LIST ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY…

There really are too many to name but I will give a few…

  1. Tomi
  2. My Parents
  3. My Children
  4. My grandchildren
  5. My Siblings
  6. My nieces and nephews
  7. My church family
  8. My friends

TAKE ACTION: Write a sweet note to or do something thoughtful for one or some of these people who make your life easier, lighter and happier.

The 52 Lists Project: List 3

I am so behind on my blogging!! There’s been a lot going on with work because my work mate was out for almost two weeks which doubled my work load. So lately, after sitting in front of one for 12+hrs for work, when I get home the last thing I want to do is look at a computer screen. Anyway, she’s back so hopefully my days can get back to some sense of MY normal.

Okay…this week’s list.

LIST THE HAPPIEST MOMENTS OF YOUR LIFE SO FAR.

1.) The day I gave birth to my daughter. I was excited to get to spend her 25th birthday with her. I picked her up in the morning and we made a day of it. We had breakfast and then just spent the day hanging out and catching up.

JaLisa & Mom

2.) The day I met Tomi

3.) My wedding day!!!

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4.) The day we found out my mom was in remission. Cancer sucks!!

5.) The first time that my dad let me sing the national anthem (The Star-Spangled Banner) at the Tacoma Golden Gloves. I have been doing it for about 15yrs now.

6.) At age 15, my daughter was in a horrible car accident. She was in a coma for two weeks. When she woke up, that was one of the happiest moments of my life.

7.) Tomi and and the kids taking me to Disneyland for Christmas (2007)

8.) Our honeymoon in to Hawaii

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9.) The birthday trips we took to Vegas (2007) and New Orleans (2014).

10.) Seeing Lalah Hathaway, my absolute favorite singer, 2x in concert.

11.) The day JaLisa graduated from high school.

12.) The day of my 20yr high school reunion when I got to see so many of my good friends.

TAKE ACTION: Sometimes it’s easy to forget all the wonderful things that have happened in our lives. Come back to this list every day this week to remember you live a beautiful life.

 

 

Happy New Year: 2016

I decided to take a cue from my girl Kristi over at Sew Right Journals and make a specific, workable list of things I plan to accomplish in 2015. I figure if I am specific and I share, the more accountability I’ll have.
I found a book to help me with my goal of daily journaling and weekly blogging I’m already a week behind…LOL!). It’s called The 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration by Moorea Seal.

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My plan is that each week, I will share the list prompt with you and some of my list. At the bottom of each list is a call to ‘Take Action’ and I will share that too. Alright? Ready? Here we go…

The 52 Lists Project: List 1

List your goals and dreams for this year…
1.) Less social media
– no social media during my work hours (8a-5p) Mon – Fri
– no social media at all on Sunday
2.) Create a schedule (consistency)
– consistent wake/bed time
– pack my lunch for work and lay out my clothes the night before
3.) Read at least one book per month
4.) Go to church at least 2x/mo
– bible study counts
– live stream counts
5.) Travel!
– Get at least one passport stamp
6.) Journal daily & blog weekly
7.) 30 min of aerobic exercise 3x/weekly.
8.) Create a website for my business and try to book at least 6 weddings this year.
9.) Plan a girls night every other month to stay connected with my friends.
10.) Plan a night out alone once a month.
Take Action: what is the first step toward achieving your biggest goal? Pick one thing you can do this week to get started!

I’ll be back next week!