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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Put the paper down and walk away...

...and no one will get hurt!

I had to go grocery shopping today and went to the Super Wal-Mart. Instead of walking in through the grocery entrance, I went in through the "Home" entrance. When I walked through the doors, I found myself right smack in the middle of the "School Supply Zone". I had always considered myself a school supply junkie and even though I graduated high school 20 years ago (happy 20th to my fellow Tomahawks), I thought I was going to walk out with a basket full of stuff to add to my "collection".

Growing up, nothing was more exciting to me than buying new school supplies and putting my binder (or Trapper Keeper) together. Paper, pens, pencils, highlighters, erasers, dividers, notebooks, pee-chees (the original orange/yellow ones), and anything else that was needed (or not), I was excited to buy it. Buying school supplies was the easiest thing for me because, unlike school clothes, I did not have to try them on. I knew I could go back-to-school shopping with my friends and always walk out with something because school supplies always "fit".

I remember there was a store called "Saturdays" at the mall near the town I grew up in and it was "THE" place to shop...if you were smaller than a popsicle stick. The only thing I could ever purchase in that store was earrings. I had to buy my clothes in the "woman’s" department at Sears, JCPenney, The Bon Marché (you know that "section"...the one in the BACK of the store in the corner by the stockroom where plus size girls are limited to like four racks of clothes), or at the big girl’s stores such as Lane Bryant and Avenue (where everything is twice as expensive).

As I got older (up until I had my surgery), I found other things to purchase when friends wanted to go shopping. Shoes, purses, candles, perfume, skin care products, socks... anything that did not require a trip to the woman’s section of the store. It was no secret that I was a big girl but I was too embarrassed to shop with anyone for clothes in my size.

So there I was...standing in the middle of the rows and rows of school supplies contemplating on what I "needed" to buy. Then it hit me...I do not need to buy a darn thing. I heard a little voice in my head "put the paper down, walk away and no one will get hurt". After debating on whether I was becoming schizophrenic, I listened to that voice and did exactly what it told me. I realized that I no longer have to hide behind "school supply" purchases. This was a "weight off my shoulder moment" and I could not help but smile as I turned my back on a former obsession and walked away.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Put your big girl panties on...

...and deal with it!

These past few months I have been "feelin' myself" and gaining more confidence. I walk with my head a little higher and do not try to blend into the background as much. Long time friends know that I am not afraid to express myself when I feel the need but some people in my life seem to think that my weight loss has brought out a little bit of cockiness.

I try not to boast too much to my friends about how my clothes are falling off and how I do not want to spend loads of money on new clothes now because I am going to need new clothes again in a few months. I also try not to rub it in to those who are struggling with their weight as well.

I started this blog so my friends and family can follow my journey and this includes how I deal with various components of it. I like to share the things I discover (physically and mentally) and I am proud of myself for finally doing something for ME. If my stories can help motivate someone else to do the same then that makes me happy.

I apologize, wait...I am not apologizing for anything. Do not mistake my confidence for arrogance. I cannot allow myself to hide my self-confidence because people are not familiar with this behavior. I am not exactly familiar with it either so be patient with me as I figure it out. Put your big girl/boy panties on and deal with it.

Crap...did that sound cocky?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

If you don't like something, change it...

...If you can't change it, change your attitude. - Maya Angelou

I read that quote the other day and afterward I sat back and was almost dumbfounded at how true it is. How often do we find ourselves complaining (a.k.a. bitching, venting, whining) about something in our lives that we do not like? Whether it pertains to work, family, friends, or even something personal, do we ever sit back and make the decision (and/or commitment) to make a change or...[gasp]...change our own attitude about it? Of course, the latter is the hardest so we end up trying to change what we do not like (only to end up frustrated because we cannot) rather than changing our attitude toward it.

I did not like my weight so I decided to make a change. I opted for weight loss surgery because for whatever reason, I could not change my attitude toward food.

Maya's way of thinking can be applied to any situation. Some situations are simple - If you do not like your hair, change it. Some situations are a bit more delicate - If you are having a problem with a co-worker you can change your attitude toward the situation by mentally picturing yourself slapping the crap out of them and NOT getting into trouble.

The Serenity Prayer says it all: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Embrace the fact that God blessed us with free will. If you are not happy with something, you can either learn to accept it and move on or reject it and make a change.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"How does one become a butterfly?"

"You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar." - Anonymous

In other words, you must be willing to go through the necessary phases in your life to bring you out of the cocoon, so that you may spread your wings and soar instead of being on the ground looking at life from the lowest point of view.

Maya Angelou once said "We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." The process of becoming a butterfly is tough. The caterpillar’s job is to eat and only those caterpillars that are willing to stop and separate themselves from their self-destructive lives are transformed.

Life after weight loss surgery is much the same. In the beginning, you are healing from the process (physically and mentally), you separate your current self from your old self, you start reassessing your life and you start making changes and setting new goals. You become a reinforcement to yourself and while everyone needs support from others, you find that you don't need to look to others for strength.

You start to feed off what has been living deep in your heart and you rid yourself of things that are no longer meaningful. Rather than making excuses for your eating habits, you take control of them. You set new rules for yourself and you follow them. You regain self-confidence and begin to like what you see when you look in the mirror. You find your smile and can hear your own laughter. You are learning how to fly (I call it "Flyer's Ed").

I am nearly five months into my own metamorphosis and while I am not quite ready to bust out of my cocoon and take flight, I am changing dramatically on the inside. This transformation is nothing short of a miracle and I thank God for blessing me with this experience.

This past week has been a good one for me. I am nearing the 75-pound mark (lost nearly five pounds this week) and my parents sent me some money as a surprise to "help fund my new wardrobe". I went shopping yesterday and discovered I am down another size. I bought two outfits that should last through the fall/early winter.

I am also going to have to clean my closet out again soon. I have a few outfits that I thought I could wear a little longer but after I caught a glimpse of myself on video wearing them I decided I needed to take them on my next road I can leave them behind in the hotel trash can...(if you are a new reader to my blog, read my post "Na, Na, Na, Na" and you will understand the humor in that).

Shoot, after talking about butterflies, all I can hear in my head now is R Kelly singing...I believe I can fly...I believe I can touch the sky...I think about it every night and day...Spread my wings and fly away...I believe I can soar...[music fades out]...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What Your Scale Isn't Telling You

I learned this quite early in my journey because it happened to me. My scale said I only lost 7 pounds in three weeks but the truth was I had lost 16 pounds of body fat and gained 9 pounds of muscle.

Click the picture below to read the original article! You will be enlightened and maybe you will not hate your scale so much...

Monday, July 11, 2011

So Long, Farewell, Auf Weidersehen...

Goodbye - 70 pounds are gone forever!

I hit the 70 pound mark this morning and am inching closer to my first major milestone of 100 pounds. As each pound drops I feel like I am gaining a mile of self-confidence. I am no longer hiding behind people or furniture when meeting new people or chatting via video messaging and do not run when someone pulls out a camera.

I am refusing to purchase a new wardrobe until I am close to reaching my goal. I am trying out my domestic skills and am utilizing my sewing machine to take in certain clothes (work pants, etc.). Despite my middle school home economics sewing skills, I discovered the key to keeping my clothes staying up is a belt. I have never needed a belt before so this was something new to me. I thought I would have to get a pair of those rainbow-striped suspenders that old men wear but a belt works much better!

What I Am Eating These Days


  • 1/2 cup Southwest Egg Beaters
  • Sprinkle of Kraft Fat-Free Shredded Cheese
Mid-Morning Snack

  • Mini-Babybel Light Cheese Round OR
  • Peanut Butter Protein Ball (mix 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, 1/2 scoop Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Protein Powder, 1/2 teaspoon honey and roll into a ball of yummy goodness)

  • 1/2 chicken breast (4 ounces), shredded or cubed
  • Sprinkle of Kraft Mozzarella Shredded Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Daisy Light Sour Cream
  • 1 tablespoon Pace Salsa
Mid-Afternoon Snack


Dinner can vary for me. It depends on what I am cooking for the family or if I am even interested in food. I usually have one of the following:
  • 3-ounces Solid White Albacore Tuna
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat mayo

  • 4-ounces ground Jenny-O turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup Classico Fire Roasted Tomato and Garlic Spaghetti Sauce

  • 4-ounces chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon barbeque sauce
I average about 750-800 calories a day with less than 30 grams of carbohydrates and I drink at least four-24 ounce bottles of water a day (for a minimum total of 96 ounces). I use Crystal Light to flavor it or else I would not get it in every day. My favorite flavors are Fruit Punch, Lemonade, and Grape.

I do have days when I have a few tortilla chips and pico de gallo or extra slices of cheese. I do not deprive myself if I get a hankering for something. I adjust my diet if I divulge in something extra so I do not end up adding calories in the day. I keep track of everything I eat (yes, even the stuff I sneak in) on and (both are FREE and are available as an App on your phone too). This helps validate my daily intake of calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, etc. and holds me accountable for my choices.
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