Tag Archives: Life

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

 

Weekly Weigh-In

I jumped on the scale this morning and I am down another -4lbs. Whoop!! Whoop!!!

Yesterday, I had my first ‘fill’ for my Lap Band. For those not in the know, the adjustable gastric band is filled with saline periodically to restrict the amount of food/beverage that the stomach pouch is able to hold. I was super nervous because I didn’t know what to expect.

First, while I was laying down, the doctor verified the position of the port using an ultrasound machine and then by touch just to verify and drew a target dot on my tummy. Then, he proceeded to take the longest needle ever known to man…about 3 inches (wink wink) and stuck that in the area and inserted it into the port. Then, I had to sit up with this giant needle sticking out of my tummy. A crazy sight to say the least. Then, I had to drink water as he pumped saline into the band to determine when it was tight enough. How is that determined? Based on how much liquid I can take in at what rate. I’ve gone from gulping down my water and protein shakes back to having to sip them like in the beginning; which is what you want. Then, I had to lay back down and then he pulled the needle out. That sensation is unlike anything I have ever experienced. The best visual I can give is imagine sticking a needle into a cork to it’s hilt…one of those dense type from a champagne bottle and then pull it out.

Also at yesterday’s appointment, we addressed my scars. I have 6 of them. I think the biggest on is about 15cm but they are all hypertrophic. Because of that, the doctor is treating them with triamcinolone. He injected it into each one of the scars in several places. It was…uncomfortable. He said with scars the size of mine, it would take about 3 treatments so I will get injections when I go back next month and then again after that.

OK, that’s all for now. I’ll be back for next weeks weigh-in.

Double Weekly Weigh-In…

I’ve got a little bit of catching up to do. I have been out living life and making memories and I missed a week.

8/26/16-I did not lose any weight. I think it was a combination of things but a big factor is that it was the beginning of my menstrual week. My body has always betrayed me during that time. I bloat, swell and retain water like nobody’s business.

9/2/16-I lost -2lbs. Not as much as I was hoping for but I will take it. I was still suffering from symptoms of my “lady time” so I was surprised to have any loss at all. I was able to introduce pureed food into my diet this week. That has been tough. There are things that I want to eat because I can but I am not supposed to have them. I am really wanting some mashed potatoes and gravy or mac and cheese. I’ve been being good though and sticking to things on my food list…mostly.

I didn’t do any planned exercise this past couple of weeks but the wife and I have been doing lots of travelling and I have been getting plenty of walking in playing tourist so I have definitely not been sedentary. Our most recent trip was this past weekend. We took an impromptu trip up to Crystal Mountain (Enumclaw, WA) and rode a gondola up the mountain and did some light hiking. It was FREEZING up there but lots of fun. we

 

Weekly Weigh-In

JaVonna

This is the face of a woman who is down another -3.6lbs. Whoot!! Whoot!!

This was a hard week. Because I take a large dosage of iron daily and because my diet is now very high protein, constipation is an issue. I had to take a day off this week because of it but all systems are working properly again…for now.

Also, I found myself craving food this week. Let me classify that. The size of my stomach allows me to get full on about an ounce of food so I am never really hungry. In fact, I have a hard time most days getting in the required protein shakes and water. Let me give you an example…

Example 1: Long hard day at work. You want to call up your friends and meet at the local watering hole for libations and appetizers. Denied!! It’s not that I will never be able to do that again but I can’t do that now.

Example 2: Date Night!!! What used to be dinner and movie isn’t the same when you are on a liquid diet.

Example 3: Your friend/family member comes to visit after having been gone for a while. Let’s go out to eat and have some drinks. Denied!!

I could go on and on. What I’m saying when I say I ‘craved’ food is more about the mental side of this journey. So many of our social interactions center around food and beverages. It is going to be a process to learn how to be social without the part that includes shoveling food into my face indiscriminately. I will have to meet for girl talk without the high-calorie coffee drink and pastry.

It’s all a process and I am rebooting my relationship with food, with people and with life. Just taking things one day at a time.

Weighing In: The Waiting Game

It has been about 3 months since my last post. I’ve had a lot going on and had to take a break. Now that I have a minute, I thought i would share where I am on the journey to my Lap-Band surgery.

R2G

Here is a recap…

In order for the insurance to consider coverage of the procedure, I had to do six, consecutive months of appointments; each month had to include at least one visit with my primary care doctor and one visit with a medical nutritionist. Then, I had a ton (only a slight exaggeration) of pre-surgery testing to get done. I had to get an upper GI, abdominal xray, abdominal ultrasound, PFT, chest xray, EKG, Echo and extensive labs. I also had to have a mental health assessment and ended up having to have a sleep study because I sleep with a CPAP machine and it had been 10yrs since my last evaluation. I had my last test on May 30th.

Now, I am playing the waiting game. I am waiting for the last portion of records to be sent to the surgeons office so they can submit to the insurance for authorization. I am an active waiter though because I call the hold outs every other day and I will until it is sent. After the insurance authorization is received, we can set a date. My plan was to be able to have the surgery this month for my 40th birthday but it looks like it’s going to be in July. Not the way I planned it but still OK. I am getting anxious though.

So, that is where we are as it pertains to the surgery. I have decided that I am going to live stream some of my pre/post surgery time and also do a few vlog entries so stay tuned…

The 52 Lists Project: List 4

This week was really fun for me because I got to talk about music; one of my favorite subjects.

LIST THE SOUNDTRACK OF YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW

Oh boy!! Anyone that knows me knows that for me, this list could go on forever. I LOVE MUSIC!! Lots of different kinds of music. And I really LOVE a good love song. I ended up with two lists but I consolidated and came up with 30 songs that I have been listening to a lot lately.

  1. Breathe-Lalah Hathaway
  2. It’s My Time-Kelly Price
  3. Loved On Me-Fred Hammond
  4. Song Of Strength-Fred Hammond
  5. Electric Lady-Janelle Monae
  6. Alright-Ledisi
  7. I’m Prettier-Jill Scott
  8. Far Away-Kindred The Family Soul
  9. Prepared-Jill Scott
  10. Breathe-The Floacist
  11. Lettin Go!-Janelle Monae
  12. Give Me A Clean Heart-Fred Hammond
  13. Smile-Kirk Franklin
  14. New Day-Alicia Keys
  15. Get Me Bodied-Beyonce
  16. I Choose You-Sara Bareilles
  17. You Were Meant For Me-Lalah Hathaway
  18. I Blame You-Ledisi
  19. Leave-Tyrese
  20. Picture Perfect-Tyrese
  21. Hearsay-Calvin Richardson
  22. Yearnin’-Gap Band
  23. You’re So Amazing-Calvin Richardson
  24. The Way I Am-Ingrid Michaelson
  25. Brown Skin-India.Arie
  26. I Deserve It-Faith Evans
  27. Take Off The Blues-The Foreign Exchange
  28. I Like It-Sevyn Streeter
  29. Special Delivery-Bridget Kelly
  30. You & I-Avant (feat. Keke Wyatt)

TAKE ACTION: Make a playlist of these songs as a memento of the person that you are at this very moment. Revisit this list in the summertime and again in the winter to see if the songs that feel like you change with the seasons.

 

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.