About Gastric Girl

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Tomball, TX, United States
My name is Laurie. I'm 34 and I live in a suburb of Houston, TX. My life isn't super exciting or ultra dramatic, but I love it! My blogs are just a peek into my life as I know it. I'm quite random and have an opinion on everything, but I love everyone's aspect on things, even if I disagree. The world would be quite boring if not! :-)


Positivity and Reflecting Back

Here we are, at the end of 2010.   Overall, it's been a great year.   I've had some really low points too, mostly health related with this stupid ulcer that came back AGAIN.   
I am not one for resolutions, but I do want to try to make 2011 a POSITIVE year.   I think it will help my overall health to try to be a glass half full kind of person.  I usually am, but I've lost some of that somewhere along the way, and I definitely want to get that back. 
I also want to stop obsessing.  About everything.   I can't control everything, and I need to make myself understand that.   I'm 3 years out from surgery and have maintained my weight within 5-10 pounds for 2 years.  That's pretty damn good!   I am not exactly where I want to be, but I am so close.  I need to stop revolving my life around losing those last 5-10 pounds and focus on living and just being happy.   Food does not should not control me.  It shouldn't consume my thoughts like it does now. 
Here's to 2010!
  • I got to go to Disney World and Universal Studios with my boyfriend.  We had our first real vacation together and I got to meet his sister's family, who I adore!
  • I still have a job, when so many others are struggling.
  • Two of my best friends in the world are pregnant.   
  • I started my new Scentsy business to earn extra money, and am doing quite well with it!
  • I was able to send my mom to New York to visit family.
  • I got my mom's garage completely cleaned out (with some help of course!)
  • John got me an iPad for Christmas!!!  Wahoo!
  • I got my pasta roller attachments for my KitchenAid from my mom for Christmas. :)
  • I got in touch with my half brother and his family.   I hadn't seen them or heard from them since 2003.  I love Facebook for this reason!
I'm looking forward to 2011.  I know I'll be having surgery for my ulcer, but I'm thinking of it in a positive way.   No more suffering with this damn thing after that!   AND, I'll get some time off of work! HA!

Happy New Year to all of you!  I hope 2011 is the best year ever.
Laurie :)



I'm a little late on this (just 5 years), but over the past few weeks, I've developed an addiction to the show Dexter!    The first 2 seasons were on Netflix through our PS3, and I watched those two seasons over the course of a week...  then I rented season 3 and 4 at Blockbuster.. I hadn't set foot in a Blockbuster since the late 90's! LOL    And then I got to Season 5, which just finished a few weeks ago on Showtime... so, what did I have to do?   I'm now a Showtime subscriber! LOL   
I heard that the Big C is a really good show as well, so I'll probably start watching that one while I have Showtime!
I got Showtime yesterday morning, and I'm already on Episode 6 of the most recent season.. I don't know what I'll do with myself once I'm done... maybe get off my ass and start working out again?  Hmm...
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Mine was very nice! My awesome boyfriend got me an iPad for Christmas! I was totally shocked...   wahoo!   Did you all get some awesome loot as well?
Happy New Year!!



Christmas Spirit

I'm not much in the Christmas spirit this year, and it sucks!  I think it's partially due to the fact that I've had a cold or the flu or something since the day after Thanksgiving, and I can't seem to kick my cough... and the other part is that I've done most of my Christmas shopping online this year.   It's not very conducive to adding to my holly jolliness!!
I stayed up till 1 am last night wrapping almost all of the gifts that I've purchased so far, and I'm almost done with everyone on my list!   That did help a little.. it'd help even more if I didn't wrap like a 12 year old boy! Ha!
There is a picture of our tree - John was sweet enough to put it up and decorate it for us since I was under the weather!  :) He did a good job decorating it!
Also, here is a picture of us from the day after Thanksgiving... my sister took the pic.  A few hours later, I was down for the count with the flu or whatever it is! lol


Reverb 10 Prompt: Wisdom

Prompt: Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

This one is easy for me - my wisest decision this year was becoming a consultant for Scentsy. I've made my quest for debt freedom well known on this blog, and this has helped me a lot.   In my first 2 weeks, I earned enough money to pay my electric and cable bill ($250!).   In the month after that, I earned over $350.   It's helped with my Christmas shopping (by using Scentsy products as a gift, and by the extra money I've earned), and I have FUN doing it.  I've been looking for a new "hobby", and I have found it, so it's got a lot of benefits.

On other aspects of life, I'm trucking along.  Work is work..   I start my time off next Friday, so that will give me a much needed break.   I've set some goals for myself over that time - meal planning, getting organized, getting on a workout schedule, etc.    Ever since I got my ulcer, I haven't been back to the gym, and my eating has been lax.  I gained back the weight that I lost when I wasn't able to eat anything, and I need to get back on track.  Weight Watchers has the new PointsPlus, and I know it's a great program, but it hasn't hit me yet, and I am not in the good habit of tracking lately... Ugh!!

I'm not sure why I have so many different fonts going on here, and it's not letting me change it! LOL

I hope you all are doing great.. I'm trying to get back into my bloggy ways as well...    Here's to new forming new (renewed), healthy habits!!





Reverb 10 Project

I'm a little behind on jumping on this bus, but it looks like a lot of fun, and since I'm not feeling very inspired lately, this will give me stuff to write about.. Ha!  
On Reverb10.com, there are daily prompts, and then you write about whatever the prompt is.  Today's prompt is: 
December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

John and I have lots of social gatherings at our home.  It's so hard to pick favorites because it's usually the same group of dear friends.    I'd guess that the Halloween parties are my favorite, as everyone is a little out of their normal element and I get to see my friends' creativity in action!    This year, I was Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty and John was Border Patrol.. ha!  We've never done the matching costume thing, although I do think that's cute... Just saying it's cute would be a huge negatory for John though! :-)
I'll put up a few pictures later on from this year's Halloween party.  I'm at work and don't have them here, unfortunately!

I actually TRIED to keep the food simple this year, with several dips, chips, etc, but it never stays that way.  John doesn't feel like it's a party if he doesn't light up the grill... So, we ended up having steaks and fajitas too... and lots of beer for the boys, jello shots for the girls, etc. 



Hello to all!
It's that time of the year that we reflect on everything we have to be thankful for.  It's so easy to get caught up with life and lose sight of what really matters!    
I am thankful for so many things - my health, my loved ones, my job (even though that's debatable at times), having so many virtual friends that I feel like I know personally, and the list goes on.
Thank YOU all for taking time out of your days for reading this little blog of mine.  
I hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving. :)



So sorry for not checking in lately..   Life has gotten in my way of blogging.. How dare!?  I really haven't been a model citizen lately.  I missed one Weight Watchers meeting (my first meeting missed), and I haven't been back since.  I do have good intentions, but when the morning comes, I am literally dragging myself out of bed.  That makes me get to work around 9 am, which means I have to stay until 5:30... which means that my meeting is already taking place by then.  I'm not making excuses for myself. I have no excuse.   But I'm also in one of those moods where I just don't care about counting points or watching what I eat. I'm not gorging by any means.  I'm just not scrutinizing every bite I am putting in my mouth.   I probably just needed a break, and I'm not going to beat myself up for it.
My launch party for my new Scentsy business was a success! I made my goal sales wise, and in my first 2 weeks, I made enough extra money to pay both the cable and the electricity bill!   And in the first 2 weeks of November, I have surpassed what I did in October, so my November electricity and cable will certainly be taken care of again! Wahoo! :)
Anyway, I just wanted to check in.  I will hopefully be out of my funky mood soon!    I'm sure a few extra days off next week will be a dramatic help! :)
Hope all is well with everyone.  I am working on catching up on blogs... just missing a day or two puts me totally behind!!



Thursday 13: Random Thoughts

Wow, it's been quite some time since I did a Thursday 13.   I have missed them but being sick had zapped my blogging energy (and any other energy for that matter!).
This week's edition will just be random thoughts going through my head...
  1. I've had a Xanax prescription for anxiety for about 6 months and had not taken a single pill.   Last night I took one and it was the first night that I can remember where I slept through the night..   NICE!
  2. I am getting excited for the next Harry Potter movie to come out. 
  3. John and I may be going to Orlando again in December to attend his sister's graduation from college.  I hope it works out! I'd love to go again.
  4. I have a garage sale on Saturday and I have done little to prep for it.   I can't wait for it to be over with!
  5. I'm both nervous and excited for my Scentsy Launch Party this weekend!
  6. I got my 10 lb star yesterday at Weight Watchers.   I lost 2.4 lbs last week, totaling 12.2 since I joined!
  7. I was excited to find out that my scale and the scale at WW match perfectly! Wahoo!!
  8. A nap sounds amazing right now.   I'm so tired...   I slept great last night, but the past several weeks of waking up multiple times has taken it's toll on me.
  9. I've started my Christmas shopping.  I've got a long way to go, but I'm making definite progress.
  10. I found out this week that I'm no longer upside down on my car.  Now to decide if I should sell it and get something that's not going to be $500 a month!  It's very painful!
  11. I have been caffeine free for a week.    I'm enjoying Tazo Passion Tea and Tazo Organic Apple Red tea as my drink of choice.
  12. Does anyone know of a site where I can find out how much an autograph is worth?    Back in my heavy metal days (about 20 years ago, ha!)  I met Pantera and got the group's autograph.. I know one of the musicians was murdered a few years back, and I want to sell it to someone who would appreciate the picture more since I don't care for heavy metal at all anymore.
  13. This week has been never ending. I'm ready for the weekend even though it will be one of my busiest weekends in ages! 
Hope you all have a Happy Thursday and an even happier upcoming weekend!
To participate, head over to Thursday 13.


Doctor Appointment Update, Etc.

Good morning, everyone!   I had my doctor's appointment on Monday afternoon as my follow up to my upper GI.  My doctor told me that I have one month for the ulcer to heal on it's own, and if it doesn't, then surgery is my only other option.    I would likely use Dr. Davis, as my bariatric surgeon has retired, and several of the others in the hospital are not on my insurance plan.  Dr. Davis (whether the father or the son) was on the show Big Medicine.  I'm not sure which one I'll get if I have to go through with the surgery (but I have a feeling it's inevitable, given this is the 3rd time I've had a bad ulcer).    I also made note to tell the doctor that I didn't appreciate him calling my ulcer a marginal ulcer, as it certainly feels more than marginal to me.   He proceeded to tell me that marginal is the LOCATION, not the degree of the ulcer... I felt like a dork, but at least now I know! ha!

I am starting to feel better and better every day, and am eating all solid foods.  I do feel discomfort after eating most meals, but it is not intense anymore and doesn't last nearly as long, unless I overeat.   Overeating is easy, as my stomach shrunk quite a bit from my liquid diet, and I feel like I have my tiny little pouch again. Also, I think that my body is changing how it reacts to certain foods.  Some foods prior to the ulcer were super easy to eat, and now it's all changed.   I'm basically learning how to eat again!  AH!!!

On my new business note, I am having my launch party this weekend.   If you're local, I'd love for you to stop by and check out my products.   If you're not local (Houston, TX), please check out my website and see what we have to offer.   Any orders received for my Launch Party will earn an entry for a raffle prize!   My website is:
http://LaurieSawyer.scentsy.us        I'd greatly appreciate you helping me get my new business off to a quick start! :)     If you have any questions about the products, just drop me an email and I'm more than happy to help!
Happy Wednesday to you all!!!     Life is finally starting to improve, and I'm glad my mood is getting better!   Being sick for almost a month really takes it out of you!!



Happy Monday to you all!  
I'm super excited, as I have just signed up to be a Scentsy consultant.   We sell gorgeous candle warmers and the scents to go with them.   The scents are wickless, so they are safe, and there are tons of scents to choose from!
I hope you'll check out my site - and I would LOVE for you to host an online party so you can earn some free goodies as well!  You start earning half price items and free product at only $150 in sales.   Wahoo!
Please check out my site!  Laurie's Scentsy Page   

On another note - I go back to the doctor today regarding my ulcer.   I believe we'll be discussing the options available to me and when/if I should proceed to have surgery. 
Fun stuff, I tell ya!  I will post an update tomorrow.
Have a great day! :)


Three Years

Today is my 3 year anniversary of my RNY!     Just 3 years ago at this time, I was recovering from the most dramatic surgery and most live changing event of my life.   3 years ago, I weighed 312 lbs.    I couldn't go up one flight of stairs without feeling like the wind was knocked out of me.  I couldn't cross my legs.   I couldn't fit in an airplane seat, ride on a roller coaster, fit comfortably in a booth, and patio furniture was out of the question. 
A lot has changed in 3 years.  
Thank you all for being a very important part of my journey to becoming who I am today.  It's been 3 years of self discovery that will keep continuing.



I'm sick and tired...

... of feeling sick and tired!
I'm still not feeling 100%.. it's now been 3 weeks since I've been able to work out, and my body is feeling it.   UGH!     I never thought I'd say that I miss working out and getting exercise, but I do.  I really miss my Zumba classes.   
I am able to hold food down now, but it's touch and go on how my body reacts to it.  Sometimes I can eat with absolutely no pain during the digestion process... Other times, I want to curl up into fetal position and just cry.    I had a bad episode this weekend, and it ruined the day for me.  Today has been pretty good so far, so I think I may count my blessings and have a very light dinner.  
Although I'm not considering it a bright note, because I know with fair certainty that I will likely gain some weight back, I am down to 154.8 lbs.    My lifetime goal with WW is 155, so if I stay down over the next two days, I'll hit lifetime.   My lowest weight ever post op/adult life, etc. is 154 point something, so it's definitely a bittersweet feeling.    My ultimate goal is 149.8 just so I can get out of the 150s for the first time in my adult or even adolescent life, but I'd rather do things the right way...  Gahh!!!
I am feeling truly disconnected with everyone.  Work has been trying to kill me, as well as my ulcer.   I marked everything as read in my google reader and am starting fresh today.   I know there is no way I can catch up on over 1000 posts.  

I miss you all very much, and hope life starts to feel normal again soon!!


Update on Ulcer, Etc.

Hi all, I'm so sorry for not posting any updates in awhile... Life has been busy, and I'm still feeling cruddy!
I went to the doctor last Wednesday, and had my endoscopy done last Friday.   The little bugger is still there and it is still inflamed, so time and patience is all I've got for it to heal..  well, time at least.. I ran out of patience with this awhile back.
During my doctor's appointment, he told me that I will likely need surgery to get rid of this thing permanently.  There are three options for me: 1) To get my RNY reversed completely, going back to my old "plumbing", 2) to switch to another WLS, such as duodenal switch or gastric sleeve, or 3) to have that part of my intestine removed.      
My choice would be #3, if that is an option once it is discussed with the surgeon.   I don't want to go to duodenal switch because I think that would make me lose a lot more weight, and I am basically at goal, of not very close to it.   The gastric sleeve or reversal are other options, but #3 is my ideal choice.  It seems like the least invasive, and the best one for me.    I will know more once I get my 2 week follow up with my GI doctor.
I am definitely improving, but I still have bouts where I can not tolerate any foods, and end up throwing up or just being in major pain for 2-3 hours.  
Anyway, I will update again when I know more, and I hope to begin blogging more soon.  This is my hellacious week at work, so life has been super busy! :(


Ulcer is Back! :-(

Sorry for the lack of posting lately...   I've been feeling like poo.  My ulcer has returned for a 3rd time.   I am only on liquids for a few days while I'm taking my medicines to try to get rid of it.  Eating food is just too painful when it passes the ulcer...  Excruciating almost!

On the upside of that, I've lost 6.5 pounds.     Yes, I know once I start eating normal foods again that the number will increase, but I need to focus on something happy, right? LOL

This is a short and sweet little post.. just wanted to keep y'all updated!
I hope to start the Thursday 13s again next week! I miss doing them!


Falling Apart!

I'm highly, HIGHLY frustrated lately.   First of all, my back is killing me.  I think I injured it in Zumba... no fault to Zumba, but I went on an evening where I was feeling kind of sick (killer headache, exhausted, etc)..  I am one of those all or nothing people (working on it, but still a little overzealous) so I figured I'd force myself to go anyway.  Well, all of the jumping and bouncing and quick direction changes really messed me up.   I can't sneeze without going into back spasms! :(   

Anyway, enough of the bitching..    I am improved over yesterday, so IF I am feeling better tomorrow, I will resume workouts.   

Wednesday was my WW meeting.   I chose to use my No Weigh In pass.   My psyche can't handle anything but a decent loss this week, especially with me mourning my workouts.  I DID go to the meeting though.   And I'm glad I did.    The topic was about taking it slow...  slow and steady wins the race.    Well, I needed to hear that this week.   Just like with going to church... sometimes you just feel like the message of the day was made especially for you! :-)

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.    I will be taking it easy... maybe. :)


Happy Hump Day!

I apologize for being a slacker in the blog department lately.   My life has been consumed with work, working out, and Weight Watchers.   I'm trying to find the balance between eating according to my surgery guidelines and keeping within my WW points.   It's quite challenging.   I am finding that I allow myself to eat a little more lax when on WW.    A Fiber One bar can be 1 point, and it's a good snack in general.  But for me post op, a few cheese squares is a better option.   I'm terrible at using things that are pre-weighed, measured, etc. because I'm a freak when it comes to making sure I have my points calculated properly.      It's all my internal neuroses rearing their ugly heads!

I need to keep the following things in mind constantly:
  • Regardless of how much I lose on WW, I have been VERY successful losing weight.  I have lost 145 pounds in the past 3 years (My 3 year is coming up on October 15).   
  • I need to stop being so hard on myself.  
  • The weight is going to come off slow.   Very slow.   And it will go up and down from week to week.  That doesn't mean I'm a failure.  It means I'm normal.
  • As long as I focus on being healthy (exercise, eating right), the weight will eventually decide it is going to come off.  Or it won't.   Either way, I am doing everything right within reason.  I am good 95% of the time.    And the 5%?  I deserve a break, damn it!
I am my own worst enemy.  I analyze EVERYTHING, and trust me, I annoy the hell out of myself..  LOL     I just need to keep it up, and focus on the positive!


Thursday 13: Things I love about Autumn

Yes, I know it's still officially summer, especially in Texas.  But Autumn and Spring are my two favorite seasons.  I look forward to this time of year from June - September!

Thirteen Things I LOVE about Autumn
  1. Drastically reduced yard work!
  2. Milder weather.
  3. Ability to spend hours outside without risk of heatstroke.
  4. Fall Festivals!
  5. The holiday season approaching... I'm a sucker for everything from Halloween to Christmas to New Years!
  6. My spirit rejuvenates!  The summer heat really sucks the life out of me.
  7. Sweaters!   Dressing in layers! Back to my favorite wardrobe!
  8. Pumpkin Spice and Gingerbread Lattes...   Mmmmmm...
  9. Hockey Season!   This year I REALLY want to go to an NHL game in Dallas.   I will make it happen, and it's on my Day Zero Project list!   SCORE!
  10. Extra time off of work. Wahoo!!!
  11. Improved mood of others around me.    Yes, people get happier when it's not 100 degrees outside! YAY!  That in turn improves MY mood!
  12. Shopping.   I LOVE SHOPPING.  And I love shopping for others even more.   Yep, it's getting to be that time of the year!  YAY!
  13. Lower electricity bills.  AMEN!
If you'd like to join in the fun, just stop off at Thursday 13 and add yourself to the list!  


Whew... What a week!

Sorry for the lack of blogging, but my week was a week from hell at work.  I'm covering for my friend at work while she's on maternity leave, and in addition to my regular whacked out hours during month end, it made for a crazy week!  I even missed my Thursday 13 that I love doing so much!

Last week I went to the gym 5 out of 7 days and earned 33 activity points... It made a difference in my weigh in - I lost 2 pounds at Wednesdays' weigh in!  Wahoo!!      Since Wednesday, however, I have only made it to the gym once, this morning.   I know I can catch up a bit over the weekend with my workouts, but work had me exhausted during the week!     Today, I went to a different gym because I'm taking care of my friend's dogs, so I thought I'd try a gym in between our homes...   I got there at 9 and changed, and it just so happened a ZUMBA class was starting in a few minutes.  Taking a Zumba class is on my Day Zero Project list, so I got something knocked out today.  I absolutely loved it.  I am completely uncoordinated, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to going again next week!

Last night, I blew my points, but I am not going to sweat it.   John and I went out for pizza.... and it was delicious... and I needed to get out with my man.    We have both been so busy and it was nice for someone else to make dinner for us and we could just sit and talk!   

We don't have too much planned for the holiday weekend, and for that I'm grateful.  It'll be nice just to just hang out, work out, and be merry!  Wahoo!
I hope you all have a fantastic long weekend!


Day Zero Project: 100 Things I Like About Myself

Ugh... why did I pick this?    I really have a feeling that this will be the hardest thing on my Day Zero Project list, so I wanted to get started finished as one of my first goals.    Sad to say, listing 100 things I don't like about myself would be super easy, because I always focus on improving myself.    Anyway, I don't want to start negatively - one of the reasons I started this project to begin with was to improve myself, and my own outlook on myself. :)

Here we go.... 100 Things I Like About Myself
  1. I am a hard worker.
  2. I have an unconditional love for my family.
  3. I have an unconditional love for my boyfriend.
  4. I have an unconditional love for my friends.
  5. I truly believe I am a good person.
  6. I am honest.
  7. I love animals.
  8. I have a good sense of humor.
  9. I have strong fingernails. (LOL)
  10. I am determined.
  11. I am eager to learn new things.
  12. I like change.
  13. I am naive at times (which I consider a blessing).
  14. I would do anything for my family/friends.
  15. I am a good driver.
  16. I like a wide variety of foods and will try anything (within reason) once.
  17. I love to cook.
  18. I take good care of my mom.
  19. Making someone else smile makes me smile.
  20. I am empathetic.
  21. I love to travel.
  22. I am definitely family oriented.
  23. I am good with computers.
  24. I can change my own tire if necessary.
  25. I know how to jump start a car.
  26. I try to learn from every experience.
  27. I realize that everything happens for a reason.
  28. I love surprising people.
  29. Although I get bored easily, I find entertainment easily as well.
  30. I am very good at my job.
  31. I like culture. 
  32. I enjoy music and find it to be an important part of my life.
  33. I am good at multi-tasking.
  34. I love kids.
  35. I can make an awesome salad.
  36. I like my smile.
  37. I like my eyes.
  38. I have a nice neck. (That was weird to write lol)
  39. I have good manners.
  40. I will not let people walk over me.
  41. I am intelligent.
  42. I can get lost in a good book.
  43. I like a wide variety of movies.
  44. I am strong, and getting stronger every day.
  45. My glass is usually half full.
  46. I appreciate art of most forms (don't get the graffiti thing, lol)
  47. I am generous.
  48. I trust my gut instinct.
  49. I usually FOLLOW my gut instinct (after many years of trial and error).
  50. I always search for a good deal.
  51. My lightbulb has finally gone off for becoming debt free.
  52. I am becoming more disciplined in all aspects of life.
  53. I try to live without regrets.
  54. I am emotional (which has it's downfalls, but I wouldn't change it!).
  55. I am a Christian.
  56. I yearn to learn new things constantly.
  57. I am experimental with my cooking, and it usually turns out alright!
  58. I am finally starting to put myself first. I have periods where I forget to to this, but I think it's finally starting to sink in.
  59. I can sleep through almost anything.
  60. I am sarcastic at times.
  61. I have a strange imagination.
  62. I am constantly thinking (which I love, and hate! lol)
  63. I am hopeful.
  64. I often have more faith in people than they have in themselves.
  65. I have a great family.
  66. Although I rarely have extra money, all of my needs are taken care of.
  67. I have lost 145 pounds! 
  68. I like doing laundry.
  69. I am goal oriented.
  70. My personality is mixed with mature and quite immature moments.  
  71. I have great teeth!
  72. I like my lips.
  73. I have long legs for my height.
  74. I like to plan ahead, but can also be very spontaneous.
  75. I've tamed my impulsiveness a lot in recent years.
  76. When I have focus, there is nothing stopping me.
  77. I am healthier than I ever have been.
  78. I am still friends with people I have known for over 20 years.
  79. I have a lot of common sense.
  80. I am open minded.
  81. I am becoming less timid with each passing day.
  82. I have a love-love relationship with coffee.
  83. I love to drive around on a chilly day with the windows down and the heater on.
  84. I watch little TV, but what I do watch cracks me up usually.
  85. I get along with 99.9% of people.
  86. I rarely argue.  It's just not worth it.
  87. I don't take myself too seriously.
  88. I am very forgiving.
  89. I am very random.
  90. I will admit when I am wrong.
  91. I have a high pain tolerance.
  92. I am a great listener.
  93. I like that I have friends with very different personalities, and I see the best in all of them.
  94. I have not adopted a "transfer addiction" from having my surgery.   I could quit my coffee if I wanted to.  LOL
  95. I am not dramatic.
  96. If I don't get my way, I get over it.
  97. I am happy.
  98. I am very reasonable.
  99. I like to learn from others, and hope others can learn a thing or two from me.
  100. Although there are things I want to change in my life, I know that everything will come in time.  It's all part of a plan.
Whew! I did it!   That was freakin hard!   


Day Zero Project

Happy Monday!   I'm in the process of starting the Day Zero Project and I am having a lot of fun coming up with the goals for it.  If you are not familiar with Day Zero Project, it's where you set 101 goals for yourself to complete in 1,001 days.  I have September 1 as my start date, as I'm still in the process of selecting goals for myself.   It's a lot of fun, and I figured this would be a great "project" for me to learn more about myself and as a chronic list maker, it's great to be able to check things off for the world to see!   If anyone has any ideas for me to add to my list, please feel free to share! :-)

How was everyone's weekend? Mine was pretty good.   Friday evening, I went to the gym. Then, Saturday morning, my friend Michelle picked me up and we went to the gym and then to Weight Watchers.    Afterwards we went to Ruggles Green and I had an awesome dish - it was a quinoa pasta with black beans, plantains, chicken, and all sorts of other delish things... It's something I could totally recreate at home.   Quinoa pasta is gluten free for those of you who are trying to reduce wheat in your diet, and it tasted great.  It didn't taste anything like quinoa.  I love quinoa on it's own, but I know a lot of people don't care for it's texture.. with the pasta, there is none of that texture to worry about.     Afterwards, we went to Whole Foods and bought some of that quinoa pasta! lol    Instant gratification!    Then, we drove by her slab... that sounds funny, but she's building a house, so we went to look at the progress.  The frame is up, and pretty soon it will look like a real house!    After that - it was shaved ice time!!   I LOVE shaved ice, and there is a place by my house that has sugar free flavors... DIVINE!

Sunday - I slept in till about 8:30... then hung out with the puppies while John had to work.   I stayed in my pajamas until about 3:30 then I decided I needed to get off my lazy ass and go to the gym.  Although I called myself a lazy ass, I did get 2 loads of laundry done and the dishes done and kitchen cleaned in my pajamas! LOL

And now here we are at Monday again - It's going to be a suckfest of a week because of month end, but hallelujah for a 3 day weekend coming up!



Good morning all..  I am starting to feel really strong and determined.  While lots of people may have been out drinking or eating out, I spent my Friday evening on my elliptical machine.    This morning, I'm headed to work out again, and then go to another Weight Watchers meeting.  Wahoo!
I am really excited at how I'm feeling so determined lately. I don't know what hit the switch in my head finally, but I'm glad it's there, and I'm glad that I'm not blowing it off to be lazy.  

This weekend I am going to try to plan my meals ahead so I don't have to deal with any frozen meals at lunchtime.   They're almost TOO easy, and when work is busy, that's the best scenario for me.  But, with a little planning, I can fix that! YAY!
With today's workout, I will have 18 activity points for the week. :-)   I took Thursday night off because John and I went to a wake.   But I've worked out on Tuesday/Wednesday and Friday this week so far.  
Anyway, I just wanted to check in!
Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!


Happy Friday!

Hello, and happy Friday to you all!
So, Wednesday I had my Watchers Meeting, and I was down 1.8 lbs! Wahoo!  So new weight is:
I was thrilled just having a loss at all.  I need to fully accept that I will not drop 5-10 lbs a week as I did when I was over 300 lbs.  It's going to be a long, slow process, as it's a lifestyle.     I just need to focus on doing the right things, and the weight loss will be a secondary (albeit exciting) thing.  
And while I believe the above comment is true - I will have to go back to reading that when I get neurotic! (which is 98.6% of the time!) :-)

This weekend:  I am attending another WW meeting with my friend Michelle.  We are going to work out before hand, and then go to a new-ish restaurant in the area, Ruggles Green.   I have heard great things about this place, so I'm looking forward to trying it! :)

Are any of you on My Fitness Pal?   If so, add me!  My user ID is gastricgirl. :)

Anyway, back to work for me!   I hope you all have a great weekend! :-)


Thursday 13: Goals for 2010

I can't believe that Labor Day is less than 2 weeks away. I don't know about you, but once Labor Day gets here, the rest of the year is a giant landslide and is over in the blink of an eye!  That said, here is a small list of things I want to accomplish before this year is complete!
  1. Get to my goal weight (154)!   I'm not too far away, so I need to hunker down and get there!   
  2. Participate in my first 5K.   And maybe my 2nd.   (I just registered for my first, so this will happen for certain! Wahoo!)
  3. Reduce my debt by $500.  Yeah, it doesn't sound like much, but I want to be realistic.  Christmas is coming.  lol
  4. Have a garage sale at my mom's house when the weather cools down a bit.  (this will help with #3!)
  5. Work out 3x a week.  I started back at the gym last week and have been 4 times in the last 7 days... so far, so good! I just have to keep it up!
  6. Read one book per month.  My reading has been slacking.. I've been reading the same book for the last 4 months... lol
  7. Practice doing my own pedicures.  I have the shakiest hands and the last time I did a pedicure, it looked like a 4 year old did it.
  8. Paint one room in our house.   I love color, and our walls are a dull off-white.  I'm ready to make it beautiful!  
  9. Try to score tickets to see Daniel Tosh when he comes here in October.   I love him!  
  10. Reduce my dependence on coffee.  It's like crack, but legal!  Well, I wouldn't know, as I've never done crack... but still! You get the idea.
  11. Make time in my schedule to read/comment on blogs from home since I can't do it from work as much! GRR!!
  12. Develop a love for water...  I don't drink enough!
  13. Get a massage!!!!  Or two...   I need one.. badly!   But I am not allowing myself one until I lose 10 lbs.   Only 7 to go!
There ya have it for this week..... I hope you all have a Happy Thursday.. If you want to participate in Thursday 13, just click the link! :)



I did it!  I registered for my first 5K.   I have a month and a day... It's a walk, but it's a start....  I am going to try to jog as well depending on how my knees hold up (arthritis if you're new to reading my blog!).      I am excited.   If I enjoy it, I will sign up for another one on 10/30.. it'll be one with costumes! FUN!

Sorry for the super short post today - I have to leave work in an hour, and it's been so busy.    I am desperately missing commenting on blogs.. I can read them through reader at work, but clicking through to the sites gives me an error on my browser saying that I'm trying to go to a social networking site.. AHHH!!!  


Perfection is Not Possible!

When it comes to a lot of things I do, I am definitely a perfectionist.   I am either 100% in or I don't want to have anything to do with it.   That statement alone is probably what got me to be super-morbidly obese at 312 lbs...  If I fell off the diet wagon once, I wouldn't pick myself up and dust off and start over.. I would just say "Screw It!" and go out to dinner with friends.   Not Good... Not at all...  
So, with that said, when I weighed in at WW last Wednesday, a gain registered.  A 1.6 lb gain.  Which almost erased any progress that I had made during the previous two weigh ins.  I immediately flipped out (internally) and sat and let it sink in a bit... and then I fought back the tears.   I sent a text to a few of the people that I report to, and confessed my weigh in.   I thought about the past week.   I had my stepdaughter over that weekend, and we had Olive Garden...  my meal was 24 points (which is 2 more than I am allowed in a day).  I didn't eat it all at once, but I ate it over 3 meals.   In each of those 3 meals, I had a breadstick (3 points).  John grilled chicken for us Saturday night, and I had chicken with sweet potato fries and Velveeta Shells and Cheese.  I didn't eat a lot of either, but I'm sure it was more than I should have had.   Friday night, I had Dippin Dots.  Then, Wednesday (my weigh in day), I had a cupcake for my bosses birthday.   So, why was I shocked and hurt that I had a 1.6 lb gain?   I didn't go over my weekly allowance, but what I did consume was highly processed, sodium loaded, and not good for me.   The more I thought about it, I was kind of glad I had a gain. If not, I may have taken that loss as an invitation to eat like that again.   Don't give a former fat girl an invitation to eat whatever she wants.. it's just not a good option!
Fast forward to after my weigh in - I have been to the gym 3 times.  I have earned 18 activity points (and am not using them towards extra food) and I have used some of the points in my weekly allowance, but I still have 21 left, and I weigh in again in 48 hours.   I am not planning to use them!  For my own sanity, I need a loss this week, even if it is minor.     At each meeting, I set a goal in mind for that week. Usually the leader gives us a goal too (this week - having a filling food at each meal... check!), but I like to make my own as well.  This week was to earn 12 activity points.  I did it, wahoo!  I am also trying to not rely on those processed Weight Watchers meals and instead opt for fresh foods that are not loaded with preservatives.
I think the hardest part of all of this is learning to forgive myself for mistakes and not dwelling on them.   It's so easy to see the negative in yourself, but the positive is much more rewarding!


Thursday 13:

First - I must share an awesome deal with you - it's valid at ANY Gap, but it's $25 for $50 worth of product at the Gap - Baby Gap, Gap Kids, Etc, just not the outlet stores...check it out!

Anyway - welcome to this week's Thursday 13!   This week, I have to keep it a little bit simple since work is trying to kill me! LOL

13 Songs on my Workout Playlist on my iPhone:
  1. Bad Romance by Lady Gaga - Yes, I still love her... and she's great to get your heart pumping!
  2. My Humps by Black Eyed Peas - Love them too...  older song (most of mine are b/c I've been too cheap to get music lately! LOL)
  3. Heart of Glass - Blondie
  4. Stronger - Christina Aguilera
  5. Sexyback - Justin Timberlake
  6. Good Vibrations - Marky Mark (I will forever love Marky Mark! LOL)
  7. Mr. Brightside- the Killers
  8. No One Knows - Queens of the Stone Age
  9. The Way I Are - Timbaland
  10. Low - Flo-Rida
  11. Cities in Dust - Junkie XL
  12. Waiting Room - Fugazi
  13. Paralyzer - Finger Eleven
I like a very wide variety of music and need to change up my list a bit, as this has been part of my playlist since I got my iPhone in February! LOL    What are some of your favorite songs to sweat to?

Play along with us!  Just visit Thursday 13!


Toothpicks Needed...

...to hold my eyes open!   I have no idea why, but I have been so freaking exhausted lately!   Well, I know why...  Caffeine detoxing (not to go completely off of it, but to cut back), not getting enough sleep, stress at work, etc..  

Last night, my work had a happy hour to say goodbye to one of our longtime employees who just quit.. she was actually the person that hired me!   I was a good girl and had 1/5 of a Bloody Mary (I would have had more but it was so freakin strong!) and a few quesadilla pieces... I looked it all up on my WW etools and "charged" myself 8 points...  well within my point allowance for the day.    Prior to gastric bypass surgery, I would have had several drinks, but that 1/5 of a drink got me a little loopy.. ha!  I only stayed an hour because I didn't want to overeat or overdrink and I had an hour long drive ahead of me...   I fully intended to go home and take the dogs out and then head to the gym, but instead I just changed and went to bed.  I just didn't feel good, and I couldn't explain what was wrong with me besides having a slightly sore throat and being 100% exhausted.  John was a little worried about me because in the whole time we've lived together, I have NEVER gone straight to bed, even when I'm sick.    Well, I still had trouble waking up this morning.    I did make it to work for 7 am, but it was tough!!

Wow, this post has absolutely no rhyme or reason.. ha!  

Anyway - today is my weigh in day at WW.   I am a little worried, but if you've been reading me long, you would probably use neurotic as one of the words to describe me.   I did go over my points on the weekend, but I did not go over my weekly allotment so I SHOULD be in decent shape.. Hopefully the scale gods will be on my side this evening...  I'll give you an update tomorrow!!


And the winner is.....

Tim!    Tim, I gave your email address to CSN so they will be contacting you shortly to arrange shipping of your prize!   I used a state of the art system to pick a name, and it worked beautifully!   Wahoo!!    It's fun having someone pick a number for you. :-)

Thank you to everyone for participating in my first giveaway.. I already have another one planned, which I will do within the next month or so.   

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  Mine was fun, but way too short.  I had my stepdaughter this weekend for the first time in over a year, and we had a great time.  I can't believe she's 13...  It is just crazy!   We grilled some chicken, went to Dave & Busters, got a little shopping in, and slept late...  the life of a teenager! HA!   I had a lot more planned but she slept until noon one day, and until 1pm yesterday...    So needless to say, me waking up at 7 or 8 am didn't help me get a lot more done! hehe

I got to go to Whole Foods yesterday, and although it was a fun experience, going with my trusty POINTS calculator was a rude awakening for me.  So many of the foods that I thought would be good for me to eat were way too high in points for me to consider worth spending..  SIGH...  I did find a few new things, but a lot of the dishes I wanted to try were 8 points or more per serving.. NO THANKS!

Again, I apologize for the delay in drawing for the contest - I had forgotten about my half day at work when I mentioned Friday as the drawing day, and then the day just got away from me!
Hope you all have a great day and awesome week!!!


Winner Announcement Tomorrow

Hi Everyone!
Sorry, I've had a super busy weekend and I'll update you all on that tomorrow as well... just wanted to let you know I haven't forgotten, but I don't have time to do a proper drawing until tomorrow....
So, stay tuned!!


Thursday 13: Alternatives to Snacking (Plus Giveaway)

Happy Thursday everyone!   If you have a moment, please visit my previous post and enter my giveaway! It's for a set of kettlebells (basically handweights with handles!).. They're a great tool to work out with!  I've been doing Weight Watchers for a little over two weeks now (down 2 lbs!) and I'm becoming more conscious of my snacking/eating.   Below is a list of some of the things I do to avoid snacking!  
  1. Blog - I read blogs and write blogs as a form of motivation and inspiration.   I read others to get inspiration, and I write my own to motivate myself.  The written word is powerful... it's proof that you actually had those thoughts at one point in time, and it's great to look back and see how you were doing when times were easy, tough, etc.
  2. Clean - Since I'm working on "cleansing" my body of these last few pounds, I have been working on clearing my house of some clutter as well.   It's a great feeling.
  3. Work on those Pearly Whites - Have you ever snacked while you have bleaching trays on?  If so, you're quite talented... and strange! LOL   I have 2 weeks worth of teeth whitening in the evening..  I just put them on a little earlier than I'm supposed to so I can prevent myself from snacking! 
  4. Exercise - If you're not really hungry and are just in the mood to snack, turn that energy into something positive.. Walk around the block, do some sit-ups, get out the kettle bells, etc!  If you're still feeling the need to snack afterwards, treat yourself to a small snack.
  5. Give yourself a mani/pedi - The more things you do to beautify yourself, the more you'll think twice about grabbing that cookie!
  6. Turn off the TV - do you get the munchies when you're watching the TV? Turn it off!
  7. Take a bath - It's another way to relax from a long day, and it doesn't add calories!
  8. Do some Laundry! - Yeah, yeah, not fun.. but there is never a lack of it, and you can save yourself some time later on to do something more fun!
  9. Create/Change your workout play list - I don't know about you, but my workouts get dull when my music has been the same for too long.  Change it up and get moving!
  10. Read a book or magazine - a little distraction can go a long way.  
  11. Go to bed!   If you've had a long, stressful day and want to eat everything in your home, why don't you just call it a night early?   You'll feel better and more refreshed in the AM.
  12. Write a list - Yes, chronic list writer here...  Make a list of awards you will get for reaching your goal, a To Do List, or any other kind of list you can dream up! 
  13. Play a Game - Whether you're into those Facebook games, want to shoot and kill something in a video game, or just like something like Pac-Man or Frogger (yes, I'm a child of the 80s), keeping your hands busy will keep them from transporting food to your mouth!
There you have it... What are some of the things you do to distract yourself from eating?

Join us in the fun!


My First Super Fantastic Giveaway!

CSN Stores graciously contacted me to host a giveaway for my lovely readers, and I hopped at the chance.  They have everything at their sites, from a great coffee maker (you know me, and my love of all things hot and caffeinated!) to treadmills, cookware, home decor, DVDs and more!

Since my website is mostly about health, fitness and weight loss, I picked a kettlebell package for you as my giveaway!   It's something I would love to win for myself, and I figured almost anyone could benefit from it, whether you are 150 pounds from goal, or at goal already!

 There are a few ways to enter (please post a separate comment for each entry so I can keep track easier!):
  1. Become a public follower on my blogs via google friend connect (if you already are, just post a comment stating that).
  2. Link back to this post on your blog.
  3. Follow me on Twitter (@Laurie9797) and post about the giveaway.
  4. Add my site to your blogroll.
I will draw a name for this contest on Friday, and CSN will send the kettlebells to you directly!  Offer is limited to readers in the USA and Canada!
Thank you so much for reading my blog, and good luck with the giveaway!


WW Weigh In!

My first meeting was on a Saturday and I decided that I think Wednesday meetings would be better for me.  I was nervous to weigh in, as it had only been 4 days since my first weigh in, and I was going in the evening, instead of before I even have a sip of water.   Well, regardless of all of that, I was down 1.4 lbs!    My new weight is 167.6.  I am officially less than 15 pounds away from my ultimate goal weight of 153.  Why 153? Well, it puts me in my normal range, and that is the lowest weight I've ever seen myself at.  So, I know it can happen.  The cool thing is that my 10% goal is my ultimate goal too... Wahoo! :)

I am so glad I decided to rejoin Weight Watchers.  I need the accountability of going in and facing the music on a weekly basis, and it forces me to track.   If I do it "on my own", it's so easy for me to just skip a day tracking, and if I miss one day, I'm done..  I know how my mind works!

Yesterday's meeting was about secret eating, binging, etc.  It was great for me.   As you all know, I had RNY gastric bypass, so if anything goes in my mouth, people like to critique it.  I eventually started snacking in my car, or stopping on the way home to get a snack, or eating a lot more in the evenings since John isn't like that with me.   It isn't my meals that I've had trouble with, it's all the snacking.  With WW, I'm conscious of my snacking, and plan accordingly.  My job is nice enough (ha!) to provide us with free snacks, free drinks, etc. This week we were even provided with a fajita lunch for our accounting close.   I have been great at avoiding the foods I shouldn't be eating (are the points worth spending? Usually no!).  I haven't even been too tempted, which means I think I'm finally in a good mindset again.  I'm re-teaching myself to differentiate between hunger and cravings.    Having weight loss surgery will NOT fix your head, and I'm starting to wonder if it messes your head up more than you started!  

On another note - I have been reading everyone's blogs, but for some reason I haven't been able to comment on most of them.  We have a massive web page blocker system at work, and I think it's blocked going to the comment link.. It wants me to log in, and then once I do, I go back to the log in screen.  So, I really apologize that I haven't been commenting on blogs very much, but please know I AM reading!!!  I may have to rearrange my schedule at home a bit so I have some reading/writing time at home!



Thursday 13: Movies I Haven't Seen!

According to my boyfriend and many of my friends, I should be ashamed that I've never seen some of these movies.   Some, I'd like to see, but I have never gotten around to.  Others, I have no desire!  
  1. Titanic - Am I the only American who has never seen Titanic?  Or maybe in the world? I know what happens, and have no desire to see it!   I don't like crying in movies.. ha!
  2. Lord of the Rings - This upsets my boyfriend greatly.   I actually have seen the first one, but none of the rest.   I would like to see them one day, but now I'm not allowed to watch them until the extended versions come out on Blu-Ray!
  3. The Notebook - Am I the only girl alive who hasn't seen this?  I would like to one day, but who knows when!
  4. Annie - Nope, never seen Annie.   I'm sure this is a great one to watch, but again, haven't gotten around to it!
  5. Confessions of a Shopaholic - I LOVED these books, but I'm nervous to watch the movie because I'm afraid it will be screwed up. 
  6. Breakfast at Tiffany's - Would like to see this one day, but still haven't!
  7. Somewhere in Time - Not sure how I feel about seeing this one.... I've heard it's amazing though!
  8. Interview with the Vampire - I'm not a Brad Pitt fan, but with loving the Twilight books, I have an interest in vampire flicks now! lol
  9. The Dark Knight - I was a big Heath Ledger fan, and I think this may be too eerie for me to watch. I'll get over it one day and watch it!
  10. Braveheart - My boyfriend loves this movie and has tried to get me to watch it for some time... still hasn't happened yet! Muahaha!!
  11. Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith - I really really want to watch this one, as it's probably one of the better ones.. one day!
  12. Indiana Jones (any of them) - Nothing against them, just need to have a movie marathon one day!
  13. The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Not sure if I want to see this either!
There you have it!  There are many, many more that I haven't seen, but this is a start! :)

I hope you all have a very happy Thursday!!
If you want to participate, just go to Thursday 13!


Dealing With Stress

Wow, it seems I'm definitely not alone in the stress coping department.   My goal is to stop turning to food when I'm stressed or bored.   I found this list online, and it sounds like we could all use it!
Courtesy of the Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii

  1. Get up 15 minutes earlier
  2. Prepare for the morning the night before
  3. Avoid tight fitting clothes
  4. Avoid relying on chemical aids
  5. Set appointments ahead
  6. Don't rely on your memory ... write it down
  7. Practice preventive maintenance
  8. Make duplicate keys
  9. Say "no" more often
  10. Set priorities in your life
  11. Avoid negative people
  12. Use time wisely
  13. Simplify meal times
  14. Always make copies of important papers
  15. Anticipate your needs
  16. Repair anything that doesn't work properly
  17. Ask for help with the jobs you dislike
  18. Break large tasks into bite size portions
  19. Look at problems as challenges
  20. Look at challenges differently
  21. Unclutter your life
  22. Smile
  23. Be prepared for rain
  24. Tickle a baby
  25. Pet a friendly dog/cat
  26. Don't know all the answers
  27. Look for a silver lining
  28. Say something nice to someone
  29. Teach a kid to fly a kite
  30. Walk in the rain
  31. Schedule play time into every day
  32. Take a bubble bath
  33. Be aware of the decisions you make
  34. Believe in yourself
  35. Stop saying negative things to yourself
  36. Visualize yourself winning
  37. Develop your sense of humor
  38. Stop thinking tomorrow will be a better today
  39. Have goals for yourself
  40. Dance a jig
  41. Say "hello" to a stranger
  42. Ask a friend for a hug
  43. Look up at the stars
  44. Practice breathing slowly
  45. Learn to whistle a tune
  46. Read a poem
  47. Listen to a symphony
  48. Watch a ballet
  49. Read a story curled up in bed
  50. Do a brand new thing
  51. Stop a bad habit
  52. Buy yourself a flower
  53. Take time to small the flowers
  54. Find support from others
  55. Ask someone to be your "vent-partner"
  56. Do it today
  57. Work at being cheerful and optimistic
  58. Put safety first
  59. Do everything in moderation
  60. Pay attention to your appearance
  61. Strive for Excellence NOT perfection
  62. Stretch your limits a little each day
  63. Look at a work of art
  64. Hum a jingle
  65. Maintain your weight
  66. Plant a tree
  67. Feed the birds
  68. Practice grace under pressure
  69. Stand up and stretch
  70. Always have a plan "B"
  71. Learn a new doodle
  72. Memorize a joke
  73. Be responsible for your feelings
  74. Learn to meet your own needs
  75. Become a better listener
  76. Know your limitations and let others know them, too
  77. Tell someone to have a good day in pig Latin
  78. Throw a paper airplane
  79. Exercise every day
  80. Learn the words to a new song
  81. Get to work early
  82. Clean out one closet
  83. Play patty cake with a toddler
  84. Go on a picnic
  85. Take a different route to work
  86. Leave work early (with permission)
  87. Put air freshener in your car
  88. Watch a movie and eat popcorn
  89. Write a note to a far away friend
  90. Go to a ball game and scream
  91. Cook a meal and eat it by candlelight
  92. Recognize the importance of unconditional love
  93. Remember that stress is an attitude
  94. Keep a journal
  95. Practice a monster smile
  96. Remember you always have options
  97. Have a support network of people, places and things
  98. Quit trying to fix other people
  99. Get enough sleep
  100. Talk less and listen more
  101. Freely praise other people BONUS: Relax, take each day at a time...you have the rest of your life to live!


How Do You Deal with Stress?

Old Laurie would scarf down whatever she could get her hands on when stress is present.. or boredom... or happiness... you see the pattern.

My question to you is:  What do you do to handle and deal with stress, boredom, etc.?   

I'll follow this post with a new post that puts everyone's answers for easy access!

Thanks for your help!! :)


Weekend Recap and First WW Meeting

Hello to you all... wow, I think this may be my first time ever blogging on a Sunday! LOL  
I had a nice busy weekend..  Friday, John and I helped some of our friends their move..  then, on Saturday I had my first WW meeting (more on that below), then went with my friend to help her choose stuff on the house she's building.   It was a lot of fun, but it was even stressful to me, and I'm not the one buying the house!  You have to choose everything down to what the faucets look like.. GEEZ!!   Saturday evening, John and I went back to help our friends with their move again..  They ended up moving a week earlier than they had originally planned, so they weren't really too prepared!    John is actually over there now helping with some other things.    Today, I slept till 11 am for the first time in ages, and after that I went grocery shopping for my mom, then took her to pick up John's birthday present.   Then, I did my shopping.  I went to Costco and HEB (LOVE THOSE STORES!).    I was getting some crazy looks because I was writing on all of the packages as I put them into the cart - I figured it'd be easier to write down my points values then and there since I was looking them all up anyways! lol    Now, I'm just working on laundry that has been ignored for 2 weeks... blah!

On to my meeting! I had planned to hit the 7 am meeting, and then my 8:30 am Muscle Blast class, but we didn't get home from helping our friends on Friday night until 1:30 in the morning...  ouch!   Needless to say, that did NOT happen!  Instead, I hit the 8:30 am meeting.  I really enjoyed the leader - she was energetic and funny. I need both, especially early in the morning!  The meeting was about treats vs. snacks.    I am a snacker unfortunately, so this was a good meeting.  Basically, treats have no nutritional value and don't fix your hunger.   Treats = Head Hunger and  Snacks = Real Hunger  So, when I went shopping today, I was mindful of that, and I made some great choices for snacks for the week.  I stayed for the orientation after the meeting and went on my merry way!

I didn't get back home after my meeting to compare scale accuracy (yes, I'm neurotic about that stuff), so I don't know where my scale is in line with that.  When I signed up online, I weighed at 169.8 in the buff that morning.   When I weighed in on Saturday, I was at 169 even (wearing clothes).   So right off the bat, I end up going from 23 points a day to 22..   LOL!    It's a good thing though!

Anyway, I really think that at the very least, this will give me new focus and help me finally get to my ultimate goal weight.   FINALLY!

This week is going to suck at work.  I'm still playing catch up from vacation since no one helped me while I was out (my choice, as I'm anal like that and want to do it myself), and this week is my normal hellacious week at work.   I hope it's not as bad as I expect it to be though..



Insanity is..

...doing the same thing and expecting different results.    I tried to find out who is credited with that quote, and I got everyone from Benjamin Franklin to Albert Einstein.  
Regardless, it is so true!   How can you get different results when you try the same things on a day to day basis/ You simply can not!  
  • I can't expect to feel well rested when I continue to go to bed late at night.
  • I can't expect to lose those last pesky pounds when I haven't made any changes in "diet"/exercise.
  • I can't expect to get out of this rut that I'm in by having the same routine every day.
So what the hell am I going to do about it?!
  • I re-joined Weight Watchers.  There are things I love about the program, and there are things that don't work well for me.  What I need out of it is the accountability, the weekly weigh ins, the meetings and the tracking.  So, the majority of it will help me right now.  And realistically I am only 10-12 lbs from what I can establish as a lifetime goal... with that, moving forward...
  • I am setting goals and giving myself rewards.   155 is my lifetime goal.   Once I am at that for 6 weeks, WW will be free for me.   As a reward for hitting lifetime (and staying there 6 weeks), I will re-join a monthly massage place as my reward (The cost for that is $10 more than what I pay for WW, so it's only spending $10 more for a massage, not bad!)    I will start saving and if I stay lifetime for 2 years, then maybe I'll treat myself to a boob job! WAHOO! LOL
  • I will make sure I get 2-3 workouts in per week.   I will NOT use my activity points in Weight Watchers, but I will track them. 
Yesterday when I weighed on my scale, I was 169.8 (FREAKIN SCARY!)... Today when I weighed, I was 165.6. (Still out of happy zone). My all time low was 153, albeit I was only there when I was sick and unable to eat because of my ulcer.    My comfortable weight zone is 155-160 and 165 had been my PANIC mode weight... so, I'm in panic mode!    My official first weigh in will be tomorrow morning.. Wahoo!

Another thing - I refuse to diet.   I am not going to allow myself to get back into that pattern in my life.  I have spent basically the last 34 years of my life on a diet, and I am not going to start that vicious cycle all over again.  I am going to eat more consciously.   My job is stressful to me, and I eat when stressed.   I need to eat only when hungry, and not let my emotions dictate what goes in my mouth.  

Anyway - That's what's been happening in my little corner of the world... I will continue to update.


Thursday 13: Places I'd Like To Visit

Good morning, guys and dolls!   Thank you for all the support on my post yesterday... I didn't get a good night's sleep because John had to work an overnighter again, but I swear it will happen soon!  Out of my control....  AHH!   At least today, I have no headache and I am fairly conscious! haha

This week's Thursday 13 will be places that I'd love to visit.   I think that the travel bug constantly lives inside of me, and if I had unlimited funds (if only!), then I would probably be a world traveler!
1)  England - I would love to ride the tube in London, go to Stonehenge, and swim across the English Channel (Ha!, not really, but sounds fun!)..   It just seems like a great place to visit.
2) Japan - There is always something intriguing about Japan to me.. I'd love to go when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.  I would DEFINITELY get my fill on sushi while I'm there as well.   I've heard you need a small fortune for anything there, so I'm not sure why this one is so high on my list!
3) Australia - Every picture I've seen has been absolutely gorgeous, and going to a country where I understand the language would be so nice! haha!   
4) New Zealand - Same as above, but I'd also love to meet some of my blog friends!
5) Italy - The food, the fashion, the architecture... it'd be a great place to spend some time!
6) Greece - I've always wanted to go here as well.. The architecture would be amazing to see in person!
7) Egypt - I don't think I'd ever feel safe here in this lifetime, but at the same time, seeing the pyramids in person would be very cool!
8) France -  I would love to go to the art museums, visit the Eiffel Tower, and have lots of French wine!
9) Costa Rica - I've seen many beautiful pictures from here as well, and it'd be a great tropical destination!
10) Banff, Canada - Ok, I've been here before, but it's so beautiful that it made my list anyway.  It's in the Canadian Rockies, and the town is so cute and quaint!
11) New York City - I have been here twice but I loved it so much, and there are still so many places I want to go.  
12) Peru - I'd love to go to Machu Picchu, and who could resist going to Lake Titicaca? HAHA   It was the easiest lake ever for me to remember in my geography class!
13) Germany - Although I am not a beer drinker, my boyfriend is... I'd love to go to Oktoberfest and experience it with him!  

There ya have it..  I'd love to visit everywhere if I could, but alas, there are only 13 spots! haha
If you could go anywhere, money not a question, where would you go?

Want to participate?   Thursday 13


Rough Time

I don't like posting when I don't have a lot of positive things to say, but I realized I haven't written in awhile. Maybe this will help!
I feel like I'm stuck in a rut right now and am having a hard time digging myself out!   I don't know what brought it on.. maybe post-vacation back to reality?   maybe the fact that I've gained a few pounds?  maybe the changes at my work that make the future unknown (lots of new management changes)?  maybe that since we got back from Florida, I haven't been able to spend much time with John since his work seems to be trying to kill him with hours? 

I KNOW that I've been making bad choices with food lately.  80% of my choices are excellent, but those 20% are REALLY REALLY BAD, and probably completely discount the other 80%.   I haven't been working out.   I have been consuming extreme amounts of coffee (although low calorie, not exactly something that a health-conscious person should be doing).  I haven't been sleeping well.   I'm normally a very social person, but lately I just want to hide in a hole.   

I don't want this to be a pity party, but I also had to get it out there.    Maybe that's what I need to do just to start to dig my way out!  

My first step is to try to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep tonight.    It's hard to want to do anything when you can barely keep your head up from being so tired!  I actually LOVE being at the gym, but the biggest chore is getting dressed and ready to go to the gym.  

Anyway - I mainly wanted to check in and let you all know I'm ok..   I will get out of this rut, and I'm actually surprised that it's been awhile since I've been in a rut. 

xoxox to you all!


Happy Friday! Plus a recipe! :-)

Hello guys and dolls!  Happy Friday to you all! :-)  I have a short day at work, and I'm excited about that.   I have a lot planned for the weekend, although most of it is low key!   I think I am going to start looking for a part time job over the next few weeks, as I had an unexpected expense come up, and I can't seem to squeeze that amount out of my budget.. EEK!    Getting it paid will be a huge weight off of my shoulders though, so I know I can do it!

On another note, Saturday is the one year anniversary of the date John and I moved in together.. wahoo!  :-)  And he even remembered... DOUBLE WAHOO!! :-)

I made chili the other night, and I swear, it is the PERFECT "diet" food...   It's extremely low fat and low carb, and has tons of protein and flavor.. Delish!
My version:
2 lbs of extra lean ground turkey
1/2 medium onion (chopped)
2 medium green or red peppers (chopped)
Chili Powder
Red Pepper
4 Cans of fire roasted Tomatoes
2 Cans of Dark Red Kidney Beans (all beans drained and rinsed)
1 Can of Black Beans
1 Can of Pinto Beans

Saute onions, garlic and peppers until onions are translucent. (I use Pam to saute).  Add ground turkey until cooked thoroughly cooked.   Add everything else and simmer for an hour or so... DELISH!  Sorry, I don't measure my spices... I just prepare to taste.     It lasts for several days so you have a quick go to meal!  If it's not enough food for your significant other, give them some corn bread or put the chili over rice or pasta.   It's delicious on it's own though!

Well, I am going to get back to work since my time is limited here today... I hope you all have a great weekend, and I will probably be blogging some more over the weekend!!

xoxo to you all! :-)


Thursday 13: Weekend Edition

Happy Thursday to all!
I wanted to do a quick update on a couple of previous Thursday 13's first -  
From my Bucket List Edition - I can remove the Disney World from my list!  Wahoo!  It is a great feeling to remove something from a bucket list! :)
From my Shopping Edition -  I can remove #1 - our new camera!  Wahoo!   We ended up getting a slightly nicer one - we purchased a Canon T1i, and I absolutely love it.   I'm still learning how to use it, and got a dummy book for it, but we can look forward to getting some more pictures on this blog now that I don't have a crappy ass camera! Wahoo!!   Oh yeah, I got some running shoes while on vacay as well, so I can take TWO Things off!!!!
Now, here we go with this week - I'm going with a weekend edition because I'm a To Do List queen, and I have a lot to do.   John has to work most of the weekend, so I'm going to try to fill it with some ME time, as well as some time with my girls!
  1. Movie with my mom - I am going to take my mom to go see Eclipse, even though I've already seen it.  She's read all of the books just like me, and wants to go see it!   I still want to go see the A-Team, but I'll wait and see that one with John when he doesn't have to work. 
  2. Farmer's Market - I haven't been in well over a month, and I need to get some more things.  I got a few veggies at Costco this weekend, but the deals are unbeatable at Farmer's Markets.. There is a new one in Tomball where I live that I want to try!
  3. Bike Riding - I haven't gotten much time with my bike in, so hopefully this weekend, I can get some miles in, even if it's just in my neighborhood!
  4. Mow the Yard (or find someone to do it for me! HA!) - since we were on vacation, and now with John working some crazy hours, our grass is TALL! My poor little chihuahua gets a wet belly just walking in the grass to do her business! haha!
  5. Get some reading in - I'm still reading City of Bones and need to get it back to it's rightful owner.. hopefully I can finish it this weekend!
  6. Get some pictures framed and put up.   I ordered several pics from Snapfish from our trip, and hopefully they will be in today or tomorrow so I can get them framed.  We also got my mom and John's mom some frames as souvenirs, and we got a picture to put in it! :)
  7. Take a nap!  I LOVE NAPS!   They're truly one of life's joys for me.   Hopefully I can sneak one in on Friday or Saturday.  I have a half day on Friday, so my weekend starts at noon! WAHOO!
  8. Spend some time with Michelle - I haven't seen her since the day before my vacation, and that day wasn't really hanging out too much!
  9. Spend some time with Jil - I haven't seen her in awhile either!   I miss my friends!
  10. MUSCLE BLAST!  I haven't been to this class in 3 weeks because of vacation and a day that I had to work during the class... and I need to firm up a bit! Ok, who am I kidding, a LOT!
  11. Prepare for John's birthday - his birthday is in a few weeks, and I want to plan his little party that I'm having, as well as budget what I'm going to get him, etc.
  12. Pay bills - BORING, but necessary!
  13. Make a huge salad to munch on during the weekend... I've been craving salad like crazy!!!! YUM!
Ok, that's it for this week!   If you'd like to participate, just go to Thursday 13!


Guest Post: Christie - Not the Quick Fix

Good morning sunshines!   I had one more guest post that I wanted to share, even though I'm back!   Enjoy!!

A little about me... I'm 27 years old, married, and live in Colorado. I had the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy 2 months ago and I am down about 50 pounds. To learn more about me and my type of surgery, please feel free to visit my blog.

What I would like to address today is dealing with the Quick Fix Mentality. What I mean by this is that unfortunately many non-ops, even those who have struggled with weight their entire lives, may tend to look down on WLS patients as those who have "taken the easy way out", gone for the "quick fix", or even, "given up." Do you feel angry just thinking about it? I know I do... partially at myself because I used to feel the exact same way.

I came across a new blog today that I absolutely love. A great woman who has overcome a lot and lost her weight "on her own" and has been maintaining the loss. We all know how rare this is and how difficult it is to do. I read many of her posts and started to really like this blogger I didn't know... started to feel like she was a new friend (as bloggers and blog readers alike, I'm sure you can understand this feeling!) Then I read her about me page and she said something along the lines of any of you can do it, just use your determination - and not for a quick fix like weight loss surgery.

My heart sank a little. Shouldn't she understand? Shouldn't people who have gone through The Struggle of Weight be supportive of others in the same boat, no matter the method they use to try and overcome it? Being a blogger myself I knew that the best route, rather than hastily leaving a comment about being offended, would be to email her privately, share a little of my story, and hopefully plant a seed of understanding so that she would be more open to the journey a WLS patient goes through. Since I found her blog through another WLS patient to begin with, I'm sure I am not the only one reading and not the only one who would feel a little disheartened.

I was pleasantly surprised by a lovely response she wrote to me. She explained that she knew she had it in her, hadn't done everything she could, and choosing surgery would have been the quick fix for HER. But that she knows it is a hard journey as well with lots of work involved and she doesn't look down on it. She even plans to change her wording in her About Me section. All in all it was a great exchange.

I thought I would share a bit of what I had written to her, in hopes that it may encourage others to stand up for themselves with critical friends, family members, blog readers, whoever. Remember above all that your journey is yours alone and it is no one else's place to judge.


While I totally respect that for you going to a weight loss surgery seminar was a reality check and from that point on you did it yourself, I was a bit offended that you said "use your determination, and not on quick fix weight loss surgeries..." etc. I can understand where you are coming from. I have been in the weight-loss-blogosphere for going on 10 years. I used to never get involved with bloggers who had done weight loss surgery, since I was trying to do it on my own, because I thought we were in totally different worlds. I used to think it was a quick fix too. I considered LAP band surgery in 2003 at age 20, but decided against it because I thought to myself "that's too drastic, and I can do this on my own."

I have always been willing to put in the work, like you say, you have to do it. I've counted calories (or points) religiously, exercised 3-6 days a week regularly, lost 40-45 lbs every time that I really got serious about it for 6 months or so. One component that was always missing for me was the psychological factor and working on the emotional eating. In the end, this always sucked me back in because when I would hit a LONG plateau (at one point up to 6 months with no weight change after losing 45 lbs), the emotional factor would get me. I'd give up. I'd feel bad about myself and I'd eat those feelings.

7 years later at age 27, I found myself with major back problems (degenerative disc disease, 3 herniated discs in my thoracic spine, 2 in my lumbar spine and arthritis in my sacrum/tailbone.)... knee problems, arthritis, plantar fasciitis (severe foot pain), and really bad hip problems caused by the arthritis in my sacrum. I had lost and gained weight so many times. It was not as though I never tried and gave it my all. I had done major efforts for 6 months to a year at a time at least 10 times since my teenage years. Last November I started therapy with someone who specializes in eating disorders and I FINALLY started digging in to the deeper stuff. I was making a ton of progress with eating intuitively, not eating emotionally, self care, really getting my whole life together. Yet I was still gaining weight. I thought ok, I have the food under much more control, now I need to get exercising again. I walked, I did the Wii, I went to the gym. But every week something would start hurting worse. My hips and back especially. My back got so bad I couldn't stand up some days.

I went back to my doctor and said WHAT ELSE can I do for my back? I want to get my exercise and it keeps stopping me. He told me we had been through this before, I'd done a year of physical therapy, etc... and basically I had two choices - back surgery (which would only help short term anyway, since my condition is degenerative) or weight loss surgery. I'm only 27 and really don't want to have to have back surgery yet.... I've watched my mom have countless back surgeries (I inherited these probs from her) even though she never had a weight problem... it's scary. I also responded poorly to his suggestion to have weight loss surgery. BUT I AM TRYING TO DO THIS MYSELF... I'm in therapy... I'm eating right... and I'm trying to get my exercise! I am putting in the effort, why would you suggest surgery to me which is for people who aren't willing to work at it?

He explained to me it is just the opposite ~ he usually suggests it to the people he knows WILL work at it... because the surgery is just a tool, and it only works if the person USES it correctly, and uses it long term. He said he knows I can do this, and that without the help of surgery, I would most likely not get anywhere because of the amount of pain I was having with my various conditions. I cried in his office, and I hated him a little, but as I thought about it for a few days, I saw his point.

I went to a seminar and the surgeon said the same thing - it's a tool. You have to use it. You still have to make all the lifestyle changes you would be making without surgery if you want it to LAST and be successful long term. This made sense to me. Many people have WLS and gain all of their weight back. I was always secretly afraid (back when I was looking into it at age 20) that would be me. But now, having been through 6 months of therapy working on emotional eating and my deeper issues, knowing I have what it takes to put in the work, etc... I thought... I can do this. This can really help me. I can put in the work but actually get somewhere instead of getting stuck.

On May 20th I had the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. 85% of my stomach was removed. No intestinal bypass or anything else is done... this was the right option for me. They say the rate of loss is slower with this type of surgery, but I have blown their minds with almost 50 pounds lost in 2 months... surpassing even my husband, who is both a man and who started out 30 pounds heavier than me. He was at 37 lbs at 6 weeks, which I was at by 4 weeks. He should be flying by me but here I am. Proving to the world that I will work hard at this.

Even though I still have pain, it's so much better. My back and hips are still bothering me a lot, but my knee and foot pain is mostly gone, and my back pain is more manageable. I've been working out about 4-6 days per week since the 4th day after surgery. With this surgery I can eat much more than a bypass patient (2-3oz from day one... now I'm at about 3-4 oz usually)... and have no "help" from malabsorbtion... so if I don't make the right dietary choices, I'm screwed. But I work hard to make high protein, low carb, reasonable fat choices. And I kind of LOVE it! I love that I can be full on so little, making the right choices has actually been easy for me, and I am loving having less pain and being able to get my workouts, because I'm actually really enjoying them.

I know a few things you may be thinking. 1) I'm 2 months out, so of course I'm doing well, how about in 3 years? Well, I don't know, but I am certainly determined, working hard, and hoping for the best. 2) You may be thinking okay, surgery sounds ok for me based on what I've said (or maybe you're not, who knows), but most surgery people are slackers looking for the easy way out. Just think though that everyone has a personal story and without knowing it, how can you know? and 3) this has been way too long winded. So I'll wrap this up.

I just wanted to share my story in hopes you would change your opinion about WLS being the easy way out or "quick fix." I certainly don't approach it as that in my own life and I see it as a blessing and a tool to aid me in accomplishing my goals and improving my health. I work hard and I'm sure many other WLS patients do too. While it is FABULOUS that you have been able to do this on your own and maintain the loss, many...MOST.. people can't. Statistics recently say only 2% are able to lose and maintain more than a 100 lb weight loss even with proper diet, exercise, meds AND therapy combined. You have beaten the odds but I just hope that you won't look down on those of us who have not been able to. Some people think I gave up... but giving up would have been eating myself into oblivion. Instead I took ahold of my life and I'm trying to change my fate.

Stand up for yourself when people criticize your choice to have surgery. I think it is important to stress that the only way to have "given up" would have been to stop trying. By having surgery you made a decision to improve your health and your life. Be proud of that. Be proud of yourselves.


Back to Reality

Hello my lovelies!!   I'm back in rainy Texas, almost back on my normal schedule.  I took an extra day off to recover, but tomorrow is back to the grind!
John and I had a great time in Florida.   It was awesome getting to meet his sister and her family. I love them all!  We were going and going every second.  We went to the four Disney Parks (Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios) as well as the Universal Islands of Adventure.   I rode several roller coasters, and even got John on one or two... wahoo! :)  
I didn't make it to my H&M store that I'd been waiting on, but I did go outlet shopping with his sister.  It was great getting to spend time with her and get to know her better. :-)   We'll be planning a trip to New York within the next 6-9 months, so hopefully I will make it to my H&M store then! :)  They REALLY need to open a location in Texas!!!!
I have a HUGE number of blogs to catch up on, so I'll be working on that as I can...    I've missed reading about everyone's adventures through life!  

I will write more tomorrow - off to take my dog to the vet! Her poor allergies are making her wheeze like crazy.. :(


Heather's Guest Post: Who Can See Your Potential

Heather's blog is one of the first blogs I ever started reading.  She disappeared on me for a little while due to real life getting in the way, but I'm SOOO glad she's back.  If you ever need a dose of positive vibes, be sure to check her out!!
As I sit here and consume my second cup of coffee while thinking of a moment that has changed my life to write about, I was reminded of an experience that I will never forget.  This last spring I was student teaching in a fourth grade class.  One day, we were working on division problems and a young girl was struggling with the process.  She came to me and said that she just can’t get the right answer.  I asked her to work it out for me so I could see how she was figuring it out.  This student was not at the top of the class and I knew that she may struggle a bit, but I wanted to see what was tripping her up the most so that I could break it down to a point that she would understand.  I could see that she had the right idea, but was missing a step or two.  I looked at her and said, “Slow down and think about the process.  I know you can do this.”  She then replied with, “How do you know I can do this.”  I simply said, “I see it!  I see it in you and I know you can do this.”  She looked at me as if she thought I was magic.  I could almost see her thinking, “I don’t see it, but if she does then I’ll try.”  She then returned to her desk and worked out the problem.  She brought it back (with a smile) and much to her surprise, it was correct.  The next day, when she brought in her homework, I made a point to look at her work first.  Sure enough, she had every problem correct!  I was so proud!  I went over to her and I said, “Wow, what a great job you did.”  She said to me, “You were right.  I did have it in there.” 
That moment changed my life and confirmed that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.  Thinking on that moment also made me realize that all we need is someone to recognize that we have it in us.  Picture, if you will, something that you struggle with or wish you could accomplish.  It could be losing weight, exercising, saving money, or whatever.  If someone were to approach you and say, “I know you can do this because I see it in you,” would that enhance your motivation?  The “someone” that recognizes your potential, whether they know it or not, is creating a partnership and creating a great deal of encouragement.  Maybe that is all we need, someone to recognize our potential and push us to the next level?  Is it possible that our friends need that from us also?
I know that my potential has increased and I have gained a great deal of support from my “blog land” friends (as I like to call them).  Having this experience has brought encouragement, drive, and a sense of accountability that I wouldn’t have had on my own.  That being said, I love to read about others and their experiences yet I am not one to comment all of the time.  I am pulling for them in their lows and excited about their highs, but I don’t always tell them.  Just thinking about this experience has made me recognize how important comments and encouragement are to my friends and fellow bloggers.  I am grateful for those who choose to be a part of my success and want me to be a part of theirs, even if I’ve never met them face to face.  I can count on them to be there and say, “You can do this because I see it in you” and I will be overjoyed to return the favor.