Sunday, November 21, 2010

A month almost? Ramblings on vacation, self esteem, and the road ahead...

They say life gets in the way - and the more weight I lose and the busier I get, the more I understand that. I find myself doing more and being more active than I ever was...and therefore, life gets in the way of things like blogging....but I do say, I miss it...and my friend, Erin, actually asked me the other night if I was ever going to come back....well, here I am. Thanks for being patient!

It's been a wonderful couple of weeks.....Vegas was amazing...I was shocked at how different this trip was compared to my last vacation - no mandatory upgrade to business class to fit into the seat, no seatbelt extender, and I was able to walk was wonderful. Thanksgiving is coming this week - I have 12 people coming! The house is almost ready - the last bit of furniture is coming today and the baking has begun (not good for my carb count, but a sweet comfort I won't give up). What a change from last year.

To update you on my progress - I have been in a stall for the last two weeks, but I have to admit, my habits have not been the best. Stress begets bad choices for me - and work has been things like pizza and m&m's have made their way back into my repertoire. Not good. Again, knowledge and acknowledgement are the first steps to I have no doubt that I'll be fine in the long run....but I'm down at 205 lbs, I can wear medium or large tops from most places....and bought my first pair of size 14's for work last week. That blew my mind. I love it, though....

I will tell you - the feeling of being big never leaves you completely....I still see myself as a big girl....and I still am, by supermodel standards, but I am in the average for american women now....or so I've heard. I had two days last week when I felt positively huge. Nothing had changed...I stepped on the scale a million times the first day of it....but I couldn't shake the feeling. Poor self esteem was back, and wasn't leaving until it was ready. I feel pretty good now....but I do find that when those feelings hit, the emotions hit hard. I just had to push through and make it to the next day...and I did... positive affirmations helped, too. I kept telling myself about all my accomplishments (between the crap feelings) and I think that helped. Who knows...I'm on the other side of it and know it'll be back....I just have to be ready for it.

Funny story - I was at my family's house a few weeks ago and my sister had heard that I am down 156 lbs. She jumped on my back and said, "are you missing something?" She weighs 154, so she gave me a taste of my old self. Wow. I don't know how my knees ever handled it.

Thanks for reading, all.....I promise it'll be less than a month next time...and there will be pics from Thanksgiving! =)


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Several NSV's in the last 24 hours! (Non Scale Victory)

So, first time in many many months that we've travelled. We went coach on Delta - not only did I fit comfortably in the seats, but I needed to snug the seatbelt when I put it on! (I used to have to put it all the way to the biggest or get an extender to be safe)

Then, this morning, I took my shower and was able to wrap myself in a hotel towel - and it went all the way around! Even the "bath sheets" wouldn't cover me before!

I still can't wrap my head around my new size....but I'm trying....these little things help me to make it happen.

On the other side - this travel has thrown me completely off. I was so hungry last night when we were on our way back from the strip.....and I'm not usually hungry! My internal clock is completely screwed up, but I'll get through this. Protein first! I will admit, I may indulge a time or two while I'm here, but I'm going to do my best to be good.

Have a great week!
Thanks for reading!
Laur =)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Feeling a bit blue today....

I was shopping at Kohl's after work today and something hit me hard. I saw the slippers on the racks for the cold weather and instantly thought of my Nanni, who we lost back in February. Each year I would go on a quest to find the perfect slipper for her - not scuffs or ones that are too hard to put on, but the ones that look like moccasins but are soft and fuzzy. They were her favorite....she would NOT like the boot ones that are out now, she'd say, "those are silly." Not to mention, every year I would buy her the gawdiest Christmas pins....because she LOVED them...or at least she pretended to love them. Shopping was bittersweet today.

In thinking of her today - I thought about how she would feel about my journey. Last time I lost a significant amount of weight, she used to giggle and say, "I can reach all the way around you!" when she hugged me. She was so proud. I wasn't so proud when I gained it all back, but she ALWAYS loved me no matter what. And she never said anything about my weight to me...though I'm sure she was worried about me. We used to talk about everything.... and she used to say to me, "nobody deserves to be a mother more than you, Laurie. That child will want for nothing and be SO spoiled." I am so sad she didn't live to see that happen..... but I look at it this way - she's probably wheeling and dealing with God right now, trying to ensure that when we get the blessing to try again, it will happen for us this time. It's awesome thinking I have THAT going for me up there..... what's meant to be will be.

Lots of memories flooding back to me today...... and the holidays are going to be hard.... I miss her so much today. But I know she's looking down on me now, and I wish she could put her arms "all the way around" me today. I could use a Nanni hug - we kids used to fight over who would hug her first...and she was so tiny that we would kneel in front of her so we were waist or chest high on her - and she'd hug us and lay her head on our heads...or kiss our foreheads. It was silly, but so sweet.

Love you, Nanni....
Thanks for reading, everyone. *hugs* (Sorry for the downer post today... it helps me so much to write it down and share...)
Laurie =)

Friday, October 8, 2010


So, last night, I'm sitting in the living room thinking about my food for the day. I did okay...had some carbs and indulged in a little kitkat bar.....but overall, did okay - not protein wise, but calorie wise. Toast with cream cheese for breakfast, no snacks to speak of, 3 oz. pork chop and some mac and cheese for lunch, the little kit kat, and a small piece of lasagna for dinner. No evening snack, no desire for evening snack.....

But I found myself worried that I was going to go back....back to the unhealthy person I once was......back to my old that I can tolerate anything and am eating larger quantities (not huge, but 1/2 - 3/4 cup, vs 1/4 cup earlier), I'm starting to get scared. Don't know if this is normal.....but I do KNOW I'm nervous about it.....and knowing and acknowledging is half the I'm on a good track.

Also, having my inlaws coming has me a bit nervous - I tend to be REALLY insecure when they're here.....don't know why....just have never felt "good enough" for them. I'm sure some of you have felt that at some time.

Thanks for to vacuum and head to work.
Laur =)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Another list of my favorite things....and continued struggles/frustrations

Here I am, in Maryland with my family....watching little David on his first birthday. I can't believe he's a year old...and what a difference with my being able to keep up with him!

We've played and had breakfast together....getting over the baby gates, no problem!! I'm looking so forward to our outing tonight for his birthday dinner and for a haircut. I'm so lucky to be here!

So, as noted above, I have added a few more favorite things....and there are more by the day!
So, in no particular order.....
1. Being called "skinny bitch" by my hubby - OMG..what a compliment!
2. Being able to sit on the floor with David AND get up without struggling
3. Having people I haven't seen in a long time walk past me, wondering where I am!
4. Sitting in my hubby's lap and not worrying about breaking his legs
5. Being able to borrow clothes from my sisters
6. Shopping (yep, it's still there...that one isn't changing anytime soon!)
7. exercising! I love Zumba and other exercise classes...might to couch to 5k to challenge myself...
8. Taking up less room in my car....and watching Jeff have to move the seat back when he drives my car....
9. Finding new recipes on the internet to feed my sweet tooth, as it seems to be returning
10. Continuing to get on the scale and see downward movement! I'm 16# from breaking the 200 mark!!

Stuff I still struggle with?
1. Sweets - like I mentioned above, my sweet tooth seems to be returning, even though I know it's head hunger, it's tough to keep in check
2. looking at clothing and seeing that it will fit me - in my mind I'm still a 24!
3. Getting in all my protein - if I drink a shake or two, I do well....but if I don't? Fail.
4. Getting enough calories in - if I allow my sweet tooth to win, I can get 1200....but when I'm a good girl? 600 - 800 max...not good.
5. Going to restaurants with friends and asking them to split family is awesome about it, but I feel weird asking friends when we're out.
6. sagging skin - someday I'll get brave and post some pics...but it's getting almost funny....some shrinking from exercise....but I've lost so fast, it's not keeping up!
7. skin issues - I've been getting more rashes under my belly - I know it's a way to get free plastics, but I am not a fan of the discomfort....itchy, icky....oy.

K, I'm stopping at 7. Off to get the boy -he's up from his nap and there's toys to play with and lunch to make. Thanks for reading - love you all!!

Laur =)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Holy Carbfest, Batman - it needs to stop!

Okay - I was great on vacation - even lost 4.5 lbs while I was there....but now I'm home and I can't stop. Well, I CAN, I'm just having a hard time doing it.

Monday was a rough day at work - lots of stuff thrown at me at once, just back from vacation, preparing to interview for my full time know, the usual. Came home, ate well, then got up on Tuesday. Caramel corn was left over from vaca - took it to work....still ate it. Bad.

Then came yesterday - wanted to be good, but hit Dunkin for a decaf coffee and what do they have? Pumpkin muffins! I decided, "what the heck - I haven't had a muffin in almost a year - one won't hurt!" Then, this morning, I look at the calorie count for the muffin - 590 calories in a DD Pumpkin spice muffin!!! Yeah -that's a big ol' nono food anymore. Holy crap. I almost peed myself. Seriously.....4 months ago, I was lucky to eat 500 calories a DAY, and yesterday, I ate it in an hour. I was disgusted with myself.

THIS is the hard part. I've discovered slider foods....for real. Restriction has nothing on these sweet they must be destroyed. *lol* I'm cracking myself up. I must not let myself get obsessed with calorie counts - but I have to get back to basics..... no sugar, protein first (hell, protein as a focus at all.....been on a wing and prayer this past week), veggies and drink my water.....also a struggle. When I don't eat sugar/carbs, I don't crave I just cut them out and *poof* problem solved. Granted, I don't get anywhere NEAR the 1200 calories I'm supposed to eat (except yesterday, I'm sure I got them yesterday), but that's not an excuse either. It's as Jeff said - "it's not the calories that are's the sugar and protein content...." And he's's definitely better to eat 500 calories in lean meats and veggies than a friggin MUFFIN. Oy.

I feel better having gotten that out. Oh, and BTW.....spouse just called me - said, "want me to pick anything up for dinner on the way home?" I said, "what would you get - not a wise thing tonight"....Stuck to my guns....eating in and well. Nuff said.

Thanks for listening to my blathering......I needed to get that out.
<3 you all!
Laur =)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Ack! Lost my post! I hates that!

Anyhoo - take twooo....

I am vacationing in lovely Rehoboth Beach, DE with my fab family. The weekend went quickly, with my brother, sister in law, and nephew heading home yesterday....not to mention the sad departure of my hubby to go home b/c he has to work today! *wah* I miss him already - though my sister, Erin, decided to join me in my room, so I'm not too lonely....

This is tough, though....staying on track on vacation. Sheesh. Meals are okay - but it's the in between that gets me bad.....every day's grocery list includes, "danish, croissants, and donuts" for munching in between meals. Let me tell you - not cool for a post WLS girl. I've been good overall - but I have had moments of weakness - and the concept of slider foods definitely has reared its ugly head this weekend.....crackers and sweets go down way too easily - and I barely feel restriction with them. Mind you, these used to be my trigger foods, so it's even worse. And, my family is a big trigger in and of themselves.....since they are not the healthiest of eaters.....i.e. my diabetic dad having some steudel pieces with his coffee in the AM....before his medicine....but I digress.....

It's going to be harder without my hubby here...he is my entree splitter, Jiminy Cricket at times, and cheerleader. The restriction is helpful, but most the work is squarely on my shoulders. And this week is HARD.

I'm off to chill with my seester, who just joined me on the porch.... Going to relax and take it is vacation, after all! =)

Thanks for reading!
Laur =)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hey, all!

It's been a while again - and my friend Liz's announcement of her blog prompted me to blog....

So sorry it's taken me so long to get back on has been getting in the way. Work is insanity, we're going on vacation this weekend for a week, and Jeff and I just booked a week in Vegas, baby! I cannot wait! It's so exciting.....Jeff and I haven't been on vacation alone in about 4 it's time. Seriously.

I've been going to Bodypump classes 2x/week and Zumba once.....I didn't make it there this week, since I've been busy getting ready for vacation - but I do have weights to do my exercises here when I don't get there....mental note....pump body tonight....after I do my progress notes.

Latest updates on my progress -
Weight 226
BMI 35
pants size 16 - 18 depending on store (but Old Navy is a solid 16)
Shirt size - L - XL, depending on store.

Very hard to believe I'm this far into the journey in such a short time - some days I feel like I just had surgery and some days it's old hat.

The longer out I become, the more tempted I get regarding sweets and carbs. It's a struggle to keep on the course, but I try very hard to do my protein first and then do veggies or fruit for my second category. I allow myself one day where I can have something sweet....and I try to keep it small....and it's not very sweet - or I will get sick. And anyone who knows me knows how much I HATE getting sick (stomach sick, that is). I seriously think twice about what I'm going to eat when I want something sweet.....the consequence is not always worth the taste.

All in all - I still get between 600 - 1000 calories in a day - more on my sweet allowance days. I still don't think I've gone over 1000 calories ever.....and I still get full fast and stay full a long time. So worth it.

I've had a lot of people ask me about the surgery and my journey....either for their or someone in their lives''s nice to give back. I love my sleeve....and wouldn't trade it for anything in this world. =) =) =)

And to do paperwork and start packing for vaca.....guess I should vacuum, too, huh?
<3 you all....
Thanks for reading!
Laur =)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My new favorite things

OMG, things are so different than they were this time last year. And my favorite things have changed....the little things in life, the little victories, mean more to me than anything right now. Here is my top 10.....They are not in priority order.....just as they pop into my head.

10. Being able to beat my husband in a crunch endurance contest
9. Crossing my legs under the table/desk/whatever - and being comfy there.
8. Not having to look at a chair first and wonder if my ass will fit within its confines.
7. Having, as my family has put it lately, "no ass"
6. Borrowing clothes - and being able to shop ANYWHERE I want....
5. Wearing my original wedding set - all 3 rings - without worrying about not being able to get them off my fingers at the end of the day
4. Being able to do 3 days of exercise a week without wanting to die
3. Being mistaken for my sisters
2. Having my husband be able to hug me and get his strong arms all the way around me - I feel so safe and secure
1. Knowing that I'm healthier now than I've ever been - and only getting better!

On another note - strange and hopefully good omen today.....I was at a Zumba fundraiser (yes, I'm obsessed, it's a disease) and they had raffles. I put in for a bunch of things - I never win....I considered it a donation, honestly. The one thing I win? A hand made tutu with a rainbow of rhinestones on the shirt....why, you may ask, is this an omen?

When my Grandpa passed away, it started happening that everytime something important or difficult would be happening in our lives, we would see rainbows. We consider them to be messages from Grandpa....and I didn't even see the rainbow on the tutu when I put in for it. We can't even THINK about having a baby any time soon - but I hope this is a sign that our little girl is on the way (or little boy, but he would look a bit silly in a tutu...).

Sorry I've been gone so long....missed you. Thanks, as always, for reading.
Laur =)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Update - 6 months out.

Well, I just got back from my 6 month check-up @ PMRI (preventative medicine and rehabilitation institute), where they have the weight management program. They weighed, measured, checked blood....and came to the conclusion that I'm doing pretty alright.

Here be the stats - now (starting)
weight - 235 (361)
waist - 38.5" (46)
hips - 51" (67"!)
neck - 13.5" (17.5)
BMI - 36.7 (54!)

I'm so thrilled with everything. The only lab that remains iffy is my cholesterol - the bad kind. Everything else is within normal - even my pre-albumin - which measures how much protein my body is absorbing from my food/vitamins. I was surprised at that one, since I have not exactly been stellar with my protein intake - but my body is doing great......

The PA ordered some powder for under my belly (I get rashes sometimes, but I would much rather rashes to my former fat belly), and ordered me to go back on the B12 vitamin. She also said she doesn't need to see me for another 6 months. *cheer* I'm so happy! =)

Now tomorrow is a nutty day - Zumba in the AM, lunch with Liz (one of my surgery buddies), and dinner/entertainment out with the girls from work. My friend, Christine, is in an outdoor theater presentation of "Guys and Dolls" up at Longwood Gardens...and prior to, we are going to dinner at a place called Half Moon - which has a great menu with dinner items, but strange things like ostrich, emu, buffalo, and alligator. Curious.

Next week - I'm starting workout buddies with my friend, Ryane, who is back in my life after a long repose......I'm so thankful she's back in my life. I missed her. But that's another story - and not entirely mine to tell.

Thanks for reading.....lots of love......
Laurie =)
on my way to my 6 month follow up @ PMRI! More info to come! =) Thx 4 reading!
Laur =)

Monday, July 26, 2010

How Sweet!!!

Hey, all -

Long time no blog - I'm trying to be better about it, but life keeps getting in the way! I'm a busy woman!

This weekend was wonderful. Went to Scranton to work the St. Joseph's Center festival, like I do every year, making funnel cakes. But first....I went back to Zumba! Made it through the entire class without dying - and even did some of the moves that threw my SI out to begin with. I was so proud of me..and had so much fun.

Sooo, we're at St. Joe's - I'm wearing my brand new, size 18, Old Navy jeans (got them for $5! you can't get plus sized jeans for $5 EVER) - and I finally see my friend's Dad, who is 5 years post bypass and one of my biggest supporters! He and his wife waited around to see me - and were so proud when they saw me. Then the other amazing thing happened...

Each year I run into my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Cici. My sister and I see him - go over and give him a hug, ask how he is - we start talking.....and all of a sudden he asks Jennifer, "so how IS Laurie?" I said, "I'm right here!" He thought I was my BABY sister, Erin! Now, not only is she small and stunning, she is 14 years my JUNIOR! I was so excited! It was hilarious....he was so embarrassed, but I was so flattered! I was thrilled with the mistake! His daughter, the lovely Marifran, went to high school with me and has been keeping him aprised of my progress - but to see it for himself must have been shocking. It was the highlight of my night!

So, here I am. Current weight is 237.....size 18....can shop at regular stores now.....unbelievable. And I'm still losing. I can't wait until my 6 month check up on Friday!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's been a while.....blah blah blah blah blah.....

Hey, all -

I know I've been absent as of late..and after my Wegman's meltdown, I was kinda embarrassed. But I'm only human....and I was so depressed about my venture there....the first meltdown of its kind since surgery. One in 6 months isn't bad, right?

Brief update - I'm now down to 241# (at last weigh), BMI is 37ish, and I'm wearing a solid size 18/XL pants and XL, sometimes L shirts. It's pretty twisted....but amazing and I love it. Feeling pretty good - but know I'm not getting enough of my protein nutritionist will not be happy with my 6 month labs.....I've been a slacker in the protein dept....but I digress. I actually got my 80 grams in I'm on the right track. I just have to stay there.

I'm going back to a Zumba class on Saturday with my sister.....I hope I don't throw something out again.....I'm a bit nervous, but excited all at once. My foree back into Zumba...hopefully it'll be a wonder to behold.

I will say - the energy I have now? Rediculous. We went to NYC on Sunday - and I was outwalking everyone! Jeff actually said, "I think I liked it better when I had to slow down for YOU....SLOW DOWN!" It was pretty liberating not to have to ask everyone to slow down for me. To be able to keep up? I'm so proud. I got to see the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Empire State, and went to dinner with my sisters - who happened to be there for the Yankees game. They came into midtown afterwards to meet us at our Italian restaurant on 46th. It was wonderful. I even drove into the city instead of taking the train....that was an experience - not sure if it's one I'll repeat....but I've driven in Manhattan once.....*check!* Off the bucket list.

K, I'm off to get ready for work. Thanks for reading! It's been too long - and I promise not to be gone so long next time.

Laurie =)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Struggling 2day. Wegman's is @ the same time incredible & the devil. 4got how incredible the food is. Got a salad. Cried. Dumbass me. Thx 4 reading. <3 Laurie

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Just have to share...I'm wearing size 18 jeans! I was so thrilled I bought them without thinking. Woot! 6 mo. followup on Thurs. Can't wait!
Laur =)

Monday, July 5, 2010

How different life is.....

This was an amazing weekend. We went to upstate NY to celebrate my Grandma's 90th birthday. It was a wonderful weekend.... I got to see family I haven't seen in forever! Getting comments from family like, "you're lookin' skinny" and "you look so wonderful" was so great....when usually I was the one sitting in the shade, sometimes avoiding people due to my weight. It's a strange new world.

But I have to say, the best part was the energy I had to play with my little with my nephew....walk all around my cousin's property....and not worry about being too tired afterwards. And to be fully satisfied with a bite of each kind of food and not gorge myself? Amazing. I truly enjoy food, but don't let it rule me. It's pretty cool!

I'm now down 119#, wearing a size 20 regularly - the 22s are too big now...and the 20s are getting baggy...I may have to break out the 19s's insanity. But the most lovely insanity I've experienced in a long while. I can't wait until my cousin Jenny's wedding this dance dance.....woot!

Take good care - hope you had a wonderful 4th of July. Thanks for reading!
Laurie =)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Merely "Obese"

Hey, all!

Internet is back, I'm back in full addict mode, we're moved into the house and I'm feeling and doing very well! But there is one great, pertinent piece of news I am thrilled to share....

I am no longer in the "morbidly obese" category according to the BMI charts! I am merely "obese". I'm so thrilled. Never did I think with a BMI of 56 at the start of this journey that I would have one under 40 so soon. It's so amazing. I can't put it into words.

On another note - I have started journaling my food again and am realizing that I have not been a very good girl. I am averaging about 50 - 60 g/protein/day...when I'm supposed to be getting 80. My labs are not going to be good unless I get on the stick. And I plan to - I have to get my labs drawn in the next two weeks....gotta get it together! Bring on the shakes and bocoup snacks. The problem is? I have no cravings at all, never feel hungry, and have no inkling of what I want to eat when it's time to eat. I definitely only eat to live now....and it's still a strange sensation. I love it, don't get me wrong, but it's still weird, even after 5 months of it.

Tomorrow is Grandma's surprise 90th birthday party in Auburn, NY. I can't wait to see my family - some of which don't even know I've had they'll be shocked to see the difference in all facets. So cool. I can't wait to see my Grandma!! =) She's amazing.

Thanks for reading, all! Have a wonderful Independence Day weekend....don't eat too much potato salad and don't drink too much! <3

Laur =)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Long time no blog! Lots going internet until Fri! Moved in new house, mostly off this week... Lots to report on the weekend! Stay tuned! <3 u all! Laur

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Almost a week since last blog? Unreal....

I am so proud - I walked a 5K as the opener to the Relay for Life...and although I did have to rest for a couple of hours after, I did it! I hadn't eaten before hand (not smart on my part) so my body rebelled. But, I'm so proud....I estimate I walked between 12 and 15 miles during the weekend. It was wonderful. Check that off my goal list!

I have to say - some of the posts I've been seeing on OH lately have my brain swimming...... particularly about relationship changes following WLS. I have no concerns about my marriage/relationship for many reasons..... As they say, if a marriage is bad before WLS, it will remain bad after.....WLS won't fix it...... in fact, it can amplify issues - from what I have read. I would assume that as your self esteem is boosted, the issues can become more evident. I get that.....

Fortunately, I have a hubby who is so proud of me..... dotes on me..... and has supported me every step of the way. Our love life is better than it's been in a while, I think because I feel sexier and more worthy of his affections. This is a HUGE change from how I used to feel about myself. HE was always the one bugging ME to exercise, so my wanting to is a big positive! We still have everything in common and communicate well....sure, we have our tiffs....who doesn't? But a good argument is a sign of communication - and honest communication at that. I am truly blessed.

A marriage doesn't just take care of itself - you have to feed it with love and affection and a little work.....that's always how I was taught and it has served me well. I'm happier than I've ever all aspects of my life. I wouldn't trade this life/feeling for anything.....I wish everyone the same.

WLS does NOT have to = relationship problems. It CAN, but it doesn't HAVE to. I think the fact that our relationship has survived infertility, relocation, financial issues, unemployment, etc....and we're still good? That's why we make it still today - and will for years to come. <3

Thanks for reading.
<3 you all!
Laur =)

Friday, June 11, 2010


Tomorrow is it. Relay for Life! =) In honor of my Nanni and all others who are fighting, have won, or have lost their battle with cancer, I walk. I will be up for 24 hours......most of them at least....and I'm starting my relay off with a 5k. (Don't worry, I cleared it with my PT!)

Wish me luck! I'll catch you on the other side of the relay with pics and updates.

Thanks for reading!
Laurie =)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Member of the Century Club!

It's official. I've lost 100#! I even stepped on the scale 3x to confirm it! Unbelievable. I have lost 77# since January 25th, the other 23# were lost pre-op.....but they ALL count! Hooray!

I'm booking myself a spa day to celebrate..... massage, mani, and pedi. All for me.

Relay for life is Saturday! =) I'm so excited for it.....the shirts are in, my items for the basket raffle are in, I just have to get everything put together and we're good to go. I'm $30 from my fund raising goal. Two days to go....I have to shop tonight for the stuff for our minute to win it stunts in our tent......I have the pedometers...but nothing else....we shall see.

Thanks for reading!
Laur =)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

99.5 lbs lost!

I am a silly millimeter from 100. My sister actually asked me if I went and tried to pee more to make the number. Alas, it's just going to happen this week, is all. I can't believe I'm here.

So many amazing things house closes in 2 weeks (from this Friday), Relay for Life is this weekend....I'll have 100# lost by the weekend, I'm sure of it. I am going to wear my sister's dress to my cousin's wedding instead of my brother's....(that still blows my mind!).

And, to boot, my back feels a lot better. The NASCAR race was so much fun......although I did give myself the slimies eating 1/2 a hotdog.... but it passed relatively quickly. I don't recognize myself in my mirror sometimes, but it's a good feeling.

I was watching on "Losing it with Jillian", there was a girl who had GBS - she lost a ton of weight but still has, "the fat girl" mentality. It's a constant struggle to beat our food demons.....but with time, perseverance, and support of your friends, you can embrace your inner skinny girl. Trust me, it can be done. I'm doing it as we speak. Does this mean that I don't have days when I still feel like the fat girl? Hell no...... we all have those days, whether we're 150 or 350# - but we push through, and make it to the next day......and you have to find the good things to focus on. That's what keeps me going.

Keep smiling - thanks as always for reading.
Laurie =)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fit into a size 16 dress today! it's a flowy style, but IT ZIPPED!! I wanted 2 wear it to my bro's wedding-NEXT YEAR! WOOHOO!
Thanx 4 reading!
Laur =)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy Sunday!

I actually got out of bed and am not walking like Quasimoto..... there is some hope. I feel pretty good, but have that deep ache in my back. At least it's an ache this time.

I have found that I don't like to eat when I'm sick or in pain - or I only want to eat bad stuff. It's not really something I am proud of.....I need the nutrition and the calories to heal AND to lose weight. It's all good.....I'll bounce back.

Long weekends are so nice..... I only have a 3 day week next week - I'm off on Friday to go to the NASCAR race in Scranton - and I'm going to see some of my ladies in the OT department at my old job..... I can't wait to see them! =) It's going to be such fun - even if I am still walking like Quasi some of the time.

Shout out to my beautiful seester, Corinne - she has gotten below her pre-pregnancy weight and has stayed there! I'm so proud! =)

Love you guys! Thanks for reading!
Laur =)

Friday, May 28, 2010

I hate my freakin' back!

So, I had my PT evaluation yesterday....and this morning I did get out of bed a little easier.....but I started having spasms to beat the band this morning. I literally went into work with tears in my eyes. My PT fit me in - I arranged coverage for my patients, and I came home. The spasms are still coming and going - any transitions from sitting to standing are agony.... Ice is still my BFF..... and my trip home for the weekend to Scranton has been cancelled. I need a quiet weekend....and I'm thrilled it's a long weekend....I just hope to GOD that my back feels better (even a little) by next weekend. My sister won tickets and pit passes for the Pocono 500 NASCAR race. I have been so psyched to go..... I just want to be able to tolerate sitting/standing/riding in the car. Ohyes....I'll be there.

I borrowed the TENS unit from work for the has helped during my treatments at the clinic. I'm really hoping it'll help me get back in the swing of things. The doctor ordered me some pain PCP....I was worried, though...b/c it's a NSAID....but when I called my surgeon he said go for it. So I'll be wearing that to bed tonight..... hoping it will help me to sleep and ease the transition into waking hours tomorrow. I will let you know.

Talk soon!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Two BIG clicks....

Hey, all!!

So, I told you all how I messed up my back doing my first Zumba class? Well, as it turns out - that pop I heard when I changed my direction was my sacro-iliac joint popping out of place! The SI, aside from being often referred to in 1960's rock songs, is a triangle shaped bone attached to the bottom of your spine - sitting in the hollow in the back of your pelvis. It is attached to your spine by ligaments, tight ones, but only by ligaments.

To give you an idea as to why I think it happened - and my doc seems to think I'm right on with it - you need to understand a thing or two about us big girls.

I have always been rediculously flexible. I used to think it was just a freaky phenomenon, but I now know it's because my joints NEEDED to be flexible in order for me to function at my highest weight. In order for my joints to accommodate the extra tissue surrounding them - the ligaments were looser. Hamstrings stretchy, mostly because in order to stoop to the floor - I HAD to bend at the waist.....I couldn't squat...are you kidding?! With the size of my legs....I would have never reached my target on the floor. Now, with the extra weight coming off - my joints are STILL loose, but they don't have the protective coating of fat helping hold them together. Things that were loose feel looser....and as much as I love BEING flexible....I believe if I don't firm things up - I could be in for more issues like my SI. And actually, as I think about it - I did knock my SI out back when I lost that 70 lbs in the early 2000's.

So....I'm off for a PT evaluation tomorrow afternoon to hopefully set my SI right and get me on an exercise regime to keep it in place and stabilize my back and SI. Maybe I'll someday get back to Zumba....I don't blame Zumba....Zumba was FUN. I blame my lacksidasical'll get better! I'm sure of it.

Now, back to the title of my post - they have nothing to do with my SI clicking in and's related to the standard doctor's scale. When they weighed me today......the bottom weight was a full TWO big clicks down from where I was this time 6 months ago..... TWO OF THEM. It's such an amazing feeling.....

Thanks for reading!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

91.5 lbs lost - less than 80 to go!!

I so can't believe I've lost over 90 lbs since the start of my journey! 68.5 since January 25th! I'm so incredibly happy......and I'm a shadow of my former self....seriously. And it's an amazing place to be.

My hubby and I are talking about vacation - and I said I would love to do one of the Segway tours on a cruise..... which I could never have done this time last year! I want to go horseback riding.....parasailing......I want to climb the rock wall on a cruise ship. Oh, and I help me, I will. I don't know where we'll go for vaca.....but I would love a big adventure....I feel like I should reward myself for my achievements....but it's been SO long since I've been able to do things adventurous..... so I keep looking for big vacas..... we really can't afford a big adventure with the house closing pending, but it's nice to dream.

IDK - we'll see what comes of it...I just want to get away with my love and enjoy down time. =) I subscribe to Travelzoo's top I look for big deals from time to time and make my hubbins giggle with my absurd notions.....but it's fun. I just like to torture him.

Thanks for reading, as always......

I'm going to ice my back and feed the kitties.....

Laur =)

Friday, May 21, 2010


For my first exercise walk a 5K as the opening of the Scranton Relay for Life. I'm going to use this as my starting time and plan to grow on this goal and ultimately jog/walk my next and would LOVE to jog a whole one - but that's a LONG way off.....

As I mentioned before, my family is walking the Relay in memory of my grandmother, Helen Phillips, who passed away in February. She had metastatic breast cancer and died just shy of her 92nd birthday. I'm walking for her, my late grandfather (Gerald Esken), my Uncle Billy McGlone, Shannon McDonough (gone WAY too soon..miss you), my little cousins (Ethan and Jonathan Moore) who both are leukemia survivors, my parents (Donna and Dave Esken) who are both cancer survivors (uterine and prostate...I'm sure you can figure out which is which...*grin*). Not to mention the numerous others.....there are far too many to mention.

I don't want anyone to feel pressured - but if you would like to make a small donation to the American Cancer Society towards our team goal of $1000, I would truly appreciate it. If you would like - there is the opportunity to purchase a Luminaria to be displayed during the ceremony at dusk at the stadium.... they are $10 and can be purchased in honor of a survivor or in memory of someone lost. They can be purchased on my personal webpage as well. Please visit my personal webpage to check it out!

I appreciate your reading my's a wonderful thing to have an outlet to vent and share.....I'm thankful for you all. *hugs*

Laurie =)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Relay for Life!

Well, I'm getting geared up for the Relay for Life in Scranton - happening June 12 - 13th from 9AM - 9PM. My former place of employment has graciously decided to dedicate the Allied team this year to my Nanni, who passed away a short 12 weeks ago. It was an amazing gesture, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to honor her memory and her battle with breast cancer.

And so - my first exercise related goal. I told my sisters that I wanted to, as the opening to the relay, walk a 5K. I will have to work towards being able to do 3.2 miles without a rest.....I think I could do it now....but I want to be able to do it in a decent time and with minimal struggle....let the training begin! I've been doing some time on the elliptical - which I hate, but it does the trick. Need to spend some serious time on the treadmill and do some walking around Glasgow Park.....that's a 5K track. I have 3 weeks. It's not much time, but with dedication and sheer will - I'll git-r-done.

At some point, I'll be putting the donation website on my blog..... please do not feel like you HAVE to donate - but if you have been touched in any way by cancer, it's a wonderful opportunity to work towards a cure. I would appreciate any help... *hugs*

Thanks for reading! Talk soon!
Laur =)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Long time no Blog!

It's been a bit crazy lately - sorry for the laxity in my entries..... but here I is!

In looking at my schedule for the next several weekends.....I realize that I will rarely be spending time with my spouse....but it's cool..... it gives him time to play WoW and I'll be hanging with fam.

This weekend I have a party tomorrow and a presentation on Sunday for work..... next weekend is free - hooray for hubby! The next 4 - 8 are a bit dicey. Jewelry party and long weekend for Memorial day.... Race weekend @ Pocono, Relay for Life, house closing, Grandma's party, wedding, making funnel cakes at St. Joseph's picnic.... craziness! Good thing my spouse loves me!

This crazy schedule creates serious challenges for my eating, but I can handle it! Lots of love you guys! Talk to you soon! <3

Friday, May 7, 2010

Great day! And Strange Discoveries....

So.....after several mornings of getting pissed off and trying to kick my scale to the curb... I did some experimenting.... Yes, I am having a love hate relationship with my scale. My husband graciously hid it from me in an effort to save my sanity - but in the process of going into the linen closet to get a new toothbrush, I found it. And the relationship continued. Anyhoo...

I have found that, against all concepts I have been taught, I weigh less in the EVENING than I do first thing in the morning. Now, for those of you who were taught for the absolute minimal number you have to weigh first thing in the morning, naked, after peeing, before any form of consumption whatsoever. Apparently, that is not true for all. This flies in the face of all I've ever known! I feel like I've been cheated! But I can't beat myself up for what I didn't know....I weighed yesterday AM, was 278, weighed last night....I was 274. So, I'm going with the 274. This is my new low! And now - for the ama-za-zing events of this morning.....

1. I am officially more than 1/2 way to my first goal, which is 190#. Where I go from there, we shall see! =)
2. I officially not only fit into my size 20 jeans - I wore them to work today and was able to function....incredible.

I'm so psyched..... the non-scale victories are so incredible....sometimes better than the scale ones! It makes the weight loss real - and the changes in my life a reality.....and I'm so thankful for them.

And endure Mother's Day. And although I cannot celebrate the joy of BEING a mom, I am so thankful for my Mom.... I would not be the strong, independent woman I am today without her guidance and love. She is truly my best friend. I LOVE YOU, MOMMY!

For all you Moms out there - Happy Mother's Day...for those of you who aren't moms yet, beit by choice or by fate, hug and love your Moms...... They're the cornerstone!

Love you all - thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Down Day.....

I went to my friend's daughter's 3rd birthday party yesterday..... it was so much fun while we were there. As we ventured home, of course the baby bug hits me again.

Now, I knew going into this surgery that we couldn't even think about trying to have our own baby for 12 - 18 months after surgery, and I am overall okay with that. But we had talked about starting more seriously pursuing adoption after we're in the new house, but there is so much to consider.....

I went back to the sad place I was in before surgery - and even though it didn't last for very long - it was not the happy place I've been in for 3 months. I felt life was going to pass us by and we'd always have to live vicariously through my friends and family. And I didn't like it one bit. I know I will be an older mom, but a mom nonetheless. We have time....not as much as I would like.....but we have time nonetheless. Whether we have a biological or adopted child will not matter.....we will have a child. I truly believe this with all my being. But, on the off chance that it isn't in the cards? We'll deal with that when the time comes - but I truly don't think we'll have to worry about that. But if we do have to deal - we'll face it head on and be stronger for it in the end.

So, in seeing that I was in a sad mood today - my wonderful husband made today about me. We went and saw the house, we went to the movies (saw the Losers - hilarious!), went shopping, and came home and watched TV cuddled on the couch. This is what life is about, everyone. Living each and every day to the fullest and basking in the happy moments. Sure, you have to deal with the sad and the hard times - but love is what makes those times bearable and the good stuff possible. And THAT is what I'm going to concentrate on.

And now, to focus and my next mini goal - when I hit 100# lost, I'm getting a massage! I have about 18# to go. And it'll go quickly. *hugs*

Thanks for reading my's was an interesting one.
Laur =)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Let the hair loss begin! (oh, and before/after pics)

Well, the 4 month commencement of hair loss has started - I got quite a handful this morning - more than usual. *sigh* Fortunately, I have hair to spare, but it doesn't make it any easier. It's all good.

Scale has been a little stuck as of late - got down to 278 for a couple days, then with AF pending, I'm back up to 280. I figure it'll be gone next week. First week back on birth control in over 8 I'm sure that's not helping. My hormones are a hot mess, but I havne't yelled at Jeff yet - like last time I was on the pill....and it's the same one I was on ages ago. *lol* an effort to not commit harey carey....and eat cake.....j/k.....I decided to take new after pics. In the process of checking them out, I was amazed at how different I much smaller my butt is....and how much happier I look in the pics. I'm pretty happy about the pics....and they're going to help me stay focused. That's what I need to do.

So, hopefully these will go on without problems.... enjoy!

Thanks for reading! =)
<3 laur =")">

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Little Things People Will Do For You.....

Friends at work did a party for us occupational therapists for national OT month and they did small portion finger foods with me and my new tummy in mind. Now that's a wonderful group of people with whom I work. Incredible. Good news? I ate protein rich foods first - cheese, sausage casserole (with veggies and no breadcrumbs!), the inside out of a quiche. I also managed to get a bite or two of fruit in - strawberries and cantaloupe. Bad news? I allowed myself a bite of spanikopita, a cream puff, and a dark chocolate hershey kiss.

Is this really a bad thing? I try to think not.....since I did eat what I NEEDED first..... and it was only the second time I allowed myself this - the first being my sister's birthday. I know that carbs beget other carbs, which can be the downfall of any post WLS'er...... but I know it was an indulgence and it is not something I plan to do every day. I think that's the key. I may be rationalizing....but I hope it's post WLS wisdom.

When I used to go to a nutritionist pre my WLS journey, she used to say to me, "if you really want something, allow yourself to have a little - then you won't think it's 'not allowed', just 'not preferred'." I am typically an all or nothing girl - but my ideas have changed on this journey. Moderation used to be a word that meant little to me - but it's so much easier to understand that when your stomach is the size of a sharpie marker, like mine. You have to pick your foods carefully so you remain healthy..... and that makes all the difference to me.

I always pick my proteins first, followed by my veggies/fruits, and then - if I have room - I allow myself something sweet. Typically something sugar free (Sugar Free Rita's water ice is my only real indulgence)..... this was only the second time I allowed myself something sugary. It was TOO sweet....I think this'll last me a LONG time. And that is the difference this time around.

Man, I've gotten so stinkin' smart in the last year, huh? At least, I like to think so..... =)
Thanks for reading, as always!
Laur =)

Monday, April 19, 2010

12 weeks out - what a weekend!

Okay, I have to admit, I was not so good with my food this weekend. I'm sure I got the extra calories my nutritionist wanted, but odds are, she didn't want me to get them this way. But it was a wonderful weekend!

My sister turned 30. We threw her a surprise party - the jig was almost up when we got to the restaurant - she started recognizing cars in the parking lot.....I was so worried. It was wonderful! I was so happy we didn't manage to blow it before the actual party.

As for the food? Well, let's just say I had a few carbs. Okay, more than my usual few.... I had a couple bites of pizza (it was my favorite pizza in the world, so I indulged) but followed up with a grilled chicken breast for the protein. I had 2 bites of my sister's birthday cake - tasted heavenly, but almost too sugary! I'm so used to no sugar that the sugar in it was overwhelming. I also had a few sweet potato fries at Poor Richard's Pub Saturday night...but at least they were a vegetable *lol*. I made up for it in the days previous and after.... in fact, now that I read my list of "bad foods" it's not SOOO bad. A little variety is okay once in a while.

My muscles are so sore... we've been moving...and moved a LOT of stuff yesterday. I've been unpacking boxes and doing laundry. There's a certain freedom to starting over in a new space....a new opportunity to organize, to minimize, to center. I am not looking forward to going back to the house to finish this afternoon - it's so overwhelming. But my kitties are moving over today. And I have a couple friends coming to help move the remaining stuff this afternoon. For now? I'm a prisoner of my apt...waiting for the FiOS guy. Gonna be a long one.

Thanks for reading, all!
Laur =)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Three month follow up time!

I so love that I get to see my surgeon this time. I like Ed (the PA at the practice), but there's nothing quite like seeing the guy who did the deed. I love my surgeon. Dr. Irgau is amazing - sweet, knowledgable, encouraging. He is the type of person that when you're freaking out, he'll put your mind at ease....and you never doubt that he knows his stuff. My 3 month appt was great. From his initial numbers, I'm down 59# total - I started with him after I had lost a bit, so my total is 76#, but he was thrilled with his nonetheless. The biggest things that have changed in the last 3 months? 1. I am no longer borderline diabetic! My fasting blood sugar before surgery was 105, on my re-eval, it was 81!

2. My high blood pressure is no more! From 160's/80's to 110/70. People would pay good money for pressure like that!

3. I have more energy than before.... it's incredible. I no longer feel like crawling into bed and dying after a day's work. I have energy to grocery shop, go out, do my Wii Fit, anything!

4. My outlook on the future.... I now find myself saying, "when I lose the weight, I will..." rather than "IF I lose the weight I might be able to..."'s quite a change in attitude....

So, I don't have to go back for 3 more months..... And who knows what my numbers will be then. I can hardly wait.

Thanks for reading! May be out of commission for a while.... moving into the apartment this heading to Scranton to celebrate my seester's birthday! Have a great weekend...and I'll catch you all later.

Laur =)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Goals - where I am and where I'm going

On ObesityHelp (my favorite WLS website!) I have two tickers tracking my progress.... 1 with lbs lost, and the other with lbs left to go until my initial goal of 190.

As of yesterday, my lbs lost ticker read 74.5, and my lbs to go read 97. I have less than 100 lbs to go to meet my first major goal. I can remember setting up the tickers and telling myself, "I haven't weight under 200 lbs since I was 11 years old! There's no way I'll get there." And yet, here I am, using my tool, rocking my sleeve, and almost halfway there. It seems crazy, but feels oh so good!

I have found myself setting mini goals to help me stay focused.... If I keep on the big goal and keep stalling, it is so easy to throw in the towel and go back to old habits. Even though the sleeve restricts how MUCH I eat, it surely doesn't restrict WHAT I eat....that's up to me. Good choices are paramount on this journey! So, a summary of my mini goals and where I'm at with them....

1. Get under 330 lbs so I can play Wii Fit - MET
2. Get under 300 lbs - MET
3. Travel on an airplane without needing the seatbelt extender - MET
4. Get into sizes 24 (MET), and 22 (MET)
5. Get under my weight at my wedding - I'm 1 lb away

Ones I haven't tried yet or are working toward:
1. travel coach on an airplane and not worry about crowding my neighbor
2. ride a roller coaster again
3. pick excursions on a vacation NOT based on the maximum weight allowed
4. go horseback riding (linked to #3)
5. lose 100 lbs
6. be able to shop with my sisters and not say, "I'll be over here in the Plus section"
7. walk/jog a 5k

LONG LONG term goals?:
1. Get under 200 lbs
2. Walk the Breast Cancer 3 day
3. take a spin class and not feel like I'm gonna die *lol* I'm not kidding - spin is HARD CORE!
4. Have a baby.

Keeping all those in mind keeps me sane and focused....and now, it's time for me to figure out my breakfast. Then it's off to look at houses again....hope we find something wonderful.
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mock Cheese Danish Recipe - or Fake out!

By request - the mock danish recipe! I can't wait to try it for breakfast tomorrow! =)

Mock Danish
2 oz cream cheese (soften in microwave) 1 egg 1 tblspn splenda 1 tsp lemon concentrate 1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix softened cream cheese and egg. Add remaining ingredients. Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
Nutrition Facts of Original Recipe
Amount Per 1 serving
Calories 167.76
Calories from Fat 117
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 6.87g 34%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.987g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.28g
Sodium 210mg 9%
Potassium 170mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 11.43g 23%

Good protein boost and sounds like it tastes OH SO GOOD!
I'm going to try it with egg beaters to save on the cholesterol and fat.....

I'll let you know! =)
Thanks for reading!

Almost 11 weeks out......

Hey, all!Well, it's almost been 11 weeks (I can't believe it!) and I'm loving life! I've had a couple of NSV's in the last couple of weeks, moreso then scale victories - but they all count and keep me motivated to keep on keepin' on.

As of today, I am 287lbs (just weighed), which is only 1# from my weight 10 years ago when I got married! That is a big accomplishment! The scale creeps rather than jumps at this point, but as long as it's going in the right direction, I'm a happy girl! I have changed to weighing only 1x/week - which helps me to maintain my sanity....weighing every day was making me crazy after the initial month when each and every day you have a loss of at least a pound. Once you get past that stage, DROP YOUR SCALE! Hide it or just use it once a week - trust me....every day will have you constantly adjusting and questioning yourself....your weight fluctuates each and every day.....even throughout the day! Save yourself....I do same amt of clothing each time, same time of day, and same day. Keeps things accurate......okay, back to my NSV's...

1. I had a patient at work tell me that she did not recognize me from the back and was about to ask where I was! Hilarious, since my booty used to be my biggest (no pun intended) defining feature on my body!

2. My 24s are getting huge on me and I'm wearing some size 22s.....I'm afraid to buy any though....I'll wait until they're falling off me and THEN move on...but cool!

3. I actually had to move my driver's seat CLOSER to the steering wheel. Now, for those of us who have been there - I ALWAYS moved the seat all the way back to accommodate my belly and booty....I found myself reaching uncomfortably for my steering wheel and decided to move it the time I realized what I was doing, it was done and I was shocked! And I still had room to move, get in/out, etc. It's so awesome!

#4 is a little on the dirtay side....but I'm pleased to say there is some variety now in my *ahem* relations with my hubby..... I've gotten a bit adventurous with things...for the first time in FOREVER! (sorry to my sisters who read this - I know it's TMI, especially since you all know my hubbins!)

It's been a wonderful journey thus far and for those of you who are reluctant or in the early stages of this journey - believe me - it is COMPLETELY worth it. Even during the stalls and the frustrations - the energy, flexibility, ability to move, lack of worry about "will I fit in those seats?", "can I keep up with them?", "I don't want to sit on a bench while my sisters shop", etc.....make it totally worth each and every step.

Stay the course.....
<3 you all! Thanks for reading!
Laur =)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Having a tough day - not food wise, but otherwise...

I never like being the negative Nellie....but today is "one of those days". The best laid plans of mice and men....and all that bull$#!+. The second house we put a bid on got denied - so as of April 20th, we will be apartment bound. We knew this might happen, but the reality sucks.

Also today, the harsh reality that we can't even try to have a baby for a year hit me hard as I took my very first birth control pill since 2002. And as happy as I am for my long time friend to announce her foree into grandparenthood, I can't help but be bitter since we haven't even been able to have a baby yet in our life, let alone a grandbaby. I chose this new path so I could be healthy when Jeff and I become parents and so I have the longevity to love them and play with them and be there for them - but the reality stings from time to time..... I smile and press on and try very hard to be positive and focus on my current journey.... I am a healthier person and far happier than I was prior to surgery..... I keep focusing on that..... but today I am not-a-so-strong (imagine thick, fake Italian accent there).

Some great positives of today? I still have the best work team and family a woman could ask for. I have a great job, a supportive husband, a body with ever improving health and decreasing waistline, I have a ton of people whom I love and who love me in return. It is this list of plusses that keep me sane. Keep me focused. Keep me from devouring chocolate and sabotaging myself (and making myself sick, too). I keep positive because I choose to..... faith is far more powerful than chocolate - and more sustaining.

Thanks for putting up with my negatives...... and helping me stay positive.
<3 you all!
Laur =)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Completely silly, random, and off topic - but funny!

As you all know, my hubby and I are in the middle of moving - sold our house, buying another - may be apartment bound for a while. In the transition since we put the house on the market, our cats have been living in our utility room, as to not mess up the new carpet (I feel like a horrible mommy, but they don't seem to be minding it much - and we go down there as much as possible...). I have 6 furry babies - all of whom I love dearly! Anyhoo....

My in-laws send us an Easter package each year, and this year they included a cat toy for them! I couldn't wait to get down to give it to them and hang out. So, we bring the toy and some treats downstairs.... I give out treats and spend some quality snuggle time with the kitties - Spooky is in my lap chillin' and I hear hissing and slapping across the room - I look and my one cat, Champ, is guarding the toy and fighting everyone else off. I almost yelled at him, but then the funniest thing happened!

My former fraidy cat, Bo, gets smacked by Champ, and immediately makes his way to my seat - looks me straight in the eye and starts talking to me - loudly. I ask him sweetly, "what's wrong, honey?" - he proceeds to look at me and walk directly over to Champ and stand there. He was telling on his brother!! I thought it was hysterical!! =)

Thought I would share the wonderful world of being owned by your cats.

Thanks for reading! =)

Laurie =)

Friday, April 2, 2010

House Happenings - and 1st Day with Wii Fit +

OMG, I have to say, the Wii Fit Plus KICKED MY BUTT! I LOVE it. I'm not a huge fan of exercise in general - but making it a video game helps me immensely! The fact that I can work each day to beat my previous scores helps me to maintain focus and stay on top of things. Also - I am finding that my center of gravity sucks and my ankles are super weak! I can't stand on one leg for more than about 30 seconds without having to anchor my other leg against my balancing leg - and it ain't pretty. Thank goodness I'm doing it in the comfort of my own home. *whew*
My core is sore and my hips are screaming. But it's all good - all for the greater good, right? Woop!

As for the house stuff - we're STILL waiting to hear about the new house - the selling realtor has been a bit less than helpful - but he seems to think we'll get a go on Monday and still be able to close by the 20th....that'll be 15 days from the OK - but we shall see. Either way - we may be apartment bound for a while until we can secure a new home. *shrug* The realtor recommended a long term hotel, etc....but my concern about that is what will we do with the cats! Oy, the cats. It's pretty hard to find a place to take cats....especially a hotel. So we're looking at apartments this weekend to see what's out there..... hopefully we'll find something. We may not have to, but it'll be good to have a contingency plan.

What a week! 10th anniversary-ness! I've been married to my best friend for 10 years....and still we act like newlyweds. It's amazing. I would be lost without him! =)

Thanks for reading, everyone! <3
Laurie =)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

First major reaction to a food since surgery - ick!

I actually had to go home from work. I got so nauseous, flushed, and slimy mouthed that I thought I was going to vomit right there in the clinic.

I was given the green light to eat Lean Cuisine like meals for lunch - so I went off to WalMart and got me some Healthy Choice meals. So far, so good - until the dreaded whole grain rice incident of 2010.

Okay, I will admit, I have been told in the past that people historically have problems tolerating rice - but I have had ZERO reactions to food - in the way of nausea. I didn't eat much of the rice - only 1 forkfull at the end of my meal - and whatever was stuck to my chicken.... and it was all good.....until 12:45 (I ate at 11:30). All of a sudden, in mid sentence with my patient, I got flushed and nauseated....and really felt faint. I got SCARED. I didn't know whether to "scratch my watch or wind my butt" as Dolly said in Steel Magnolias. I couldn't sit still, couldn't walk around, couldn't figure out WHAT to do.

Now here is where I have to say I have the most amazing staff in the entire universe. They just kept telling me to go sit down - they'd take care of the patients.....and I came home early...... it took a good 2.5 hours to feel remotely normal again. I will never eat rice again. At least not anytime soon. I will never forget the feeling it gave me.....nor do I want to duplicate it again. Oy.

Thanks for reading! <3
Hey, all!
I had my first run-in with chick fil a chicken yesterday at work. Tasted good going down, took a bit to feel okay afterwards. I have to say, though, it tasted GOOD going down! =)

Started looking at vacations to take once the house stuff is settled - it was so nice to look at vacas and not have to think, "where can we drive? I don't want to have to take an airplane....the seats are awful!" I figure, by the time we go on vacation, I'll have a bit more weight off and be just fine on airplanes. I was good on the one to GA, although I still did business class to be sure my ass would fit.

Scale hasn't moved again in a few days - but I do admit, I'm still not getting enough calories to make it worth the while - As I was leaving work yesterday, I had only eaten about 500 calories - and my NUT said I should be around 1000 by now. I did have some cheese as a snack and then a lean cuisine for dinner (at almost 10PM), so I probably was about 800 by bedtime. But still - fluids I'm still not doing well with and I need to be more diligent to get my calories in. I think those are my issues. We shall see - and I have to get back to the gym. My lack of sleep kept me from Zumba yesterday - I have to go next week with Tami. I want to try it...I hear it's amazing! =)

Kristin, my trainer, works today....i have to set up my first appt with her......that should get me on the straight and narrow. Let the games begin.

Thanks for reading!

Lots of love <3
Laur =)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Stall Broken!

So, I added some variety to my food and made sure to up my protein and my water - and voila! Stall broken. I got on the scale this morning and it was 290.5. I'm almost down to the weight I married my husband at! And, we're coming up on our 10th anniversary this Thursday, so I'm pretty psyched about that! =)

I spent some time reading my old blogs on MySpace.....the ones I wrote during my infertility treatments - let me tell you - I was in such a dark place. I sometimes visit the outskirts now, but I don't dwell there. I'm so glad I chose a different path - one that brings me hope and optimism, not disappointment and dispair. It's a great feeling!

I will say, though, going to Kristen's baby shower yesterday gave me the baby bug all over again. I came home and asked Jeff if we could pursue adoption once we're in the new house - if we get the one we bid on today - and he didn't say no...just "we have to get in the house first, then we'll think about it". Nothing says we can't apply and get the wheels turning - THEN try for a biological child later! I'm game for two! =)

Fingers crossed for this other house we bid on.....we even bit above asking, since there is already another offer on the table for it. We shall see - if it's meant to be, it'll be. If this one is a no, we'll have to find an apartment..... I'm not looking forward.

Thanks for reading! <3

Saturday, March 27, 2010

House hunting - part 4 was pretty good. We found another house we love, down in Townsend, DE - for a good price. So, we're putting in an offer. The selling realtor did mention that someone else has bid on it as well, making the possibility of a bidding war imminent. Curious.... we shall see what comes of it. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. I LOVE the house - and I hope we definitely get it. It was really the ONLY one today that we liked enough to make an offer. We'll see.

On a WLS note - the scale was down 1 today - but only after I moved the scale to another location in the bathroom. Very strange. IDK. All I know is that the size 22 jeans fit - and I'm thrilled with the new me. I tried whole wheat pasta for dinner sat like a rock. Don't know if I'll be doing that again. It tasted good, that's for sure, but if it's going to make me feel like crap? Not worth it. We'll see.

Thanks for reading! More tomorrow, likely - I hate waiting until Monday for the news on the house....hope it's good! =)

Me =)

Friday, March 26, 2010

2 month follow up.....

Well, regardless of the lack of movement on the scale - today was a pretty awesome day in WLS world.

The NP told me to not beat myself up about the lack of scale movement, since I've lost 17% of my body weight, my blood pressure is improved, my cholesterol is within normal range, and my measurement changes are incredible.

I have lost 1.5" in my neck (my NECK), 6" in my waist, and 7" in my hips. I also was able to get into my size 22 jeans this morning - which has been a goal of mine for the last 2 weeks....they went on, zipped, and I was able to wear them to work! I'm thrilled with all of that. PLUS? I was told today I can actually eat raw fruits/veggies - so I stopped on my way home and got a salad - granted, I can only eat a little of it - but it tastes SOOO good. Never thought I'd be so excited to eat rabbit food.

Banner day in Laur-ville. Now, to find my dream house tomorrow..... I can't wait to go looking!

Thanks for reading! <3
Laur =)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

First day @ the gym

Well, I did it. I hit the gym and am happy I did. I felt pleasantly tired last night and refocused. I did 30' and a little over a mile on the treadmill and some upper body work. I do have to say, I wasn't too self conscious about changing in the locker room either.....surprising for me, I'll tell you. It was overall a very positive experience. And....the scale is still here but I'm resisting. No weigh in until next Wednesday. That's my plan. We'll see if I can stick to it. =)

2 more days of work then more hours of house hunting. I pray we find the house of our dreams this weekend...... and if we don't - I need to find us an apartment post haste. Off to work!

Thanks for reading! =)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Scale is UP?!?!

K - I so need to focus today. The damn scale went up this morning - I need to stay away from that thing for at least a week - I'm driving myself stark-raving mad staring at it's annoying digital face. Bastard.

Going for my bloodwork this morning for my follow up appointment at the endocrinologist on Friday. I know my pre-albumin is going to stink (since I'm not great about the protein yet), and my cholesterol is eh.... had that drawn in my work up for work the other week. Total isn't bad, but my bad chol is borderline and my good is way low. Triglicerides are good, though, as is my fasting blood sugar (down to 81 from 112 on my bloodwork pre-surg). They're drawing an A1C this time, too - another diabetic value. We'll see what that shows.

Okay - no more scale for me until next week. I'm going to find myself a Wii fit if it kills me and hit the gym tonight after work.... or at least hit the treadmill at work when I'm done treating. This stall is gonna wish it never reared its ugly head. Now, time to call my trainer who's been waiting in the wings for the me to tap her expertise..... Oh, Kristin!!!! I'm ready to have you kick my ass.....

Thanks for reading! <3
Laur =)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stalled.... and having a baaad day...


I've been the same weight for 10 days now. I know I've made it to TWOderland (only surpassed in amazingness by ONEderland - which I hope to see someday), and I've already lost 66lbs from my heaviest....guess I should expect a stall - but I don't like it. But, I eat my protein and cut the carbs even further down and hope to GOD that this helps. Oh, and I have to do more water, too.....that's been a bit of an achilles heel for me lately. I don't get enough in.....not nearly the 64 oz I'm supposed to get in a day. But I digress....I will get out of this help me God...I will punch this stall in the face! And take it down like a frickin' sumo wrestler. And I'm done bitching. It shall be done!

That, and the house we had bid on is now back on the market - we've backed out and we're going looking again this weekend. Hooray for marathon looking again.... Please oh please let me find my dream house. 2010 is going to be my year.... I can feel it.

Thanks for reading....all 3 of you. *smile*
<3 you!

Monday, March 22, 2010

House stuff.....

I want to say that I am currently in profuse dislike with Fannie Mae. We found the most amazing house a couple weeks ago - fell in LOVE with it, even with all the little quirks and the mold in the basement.... finally got our bid accepted and got set to plan for closing.... and then.... the rug was pulled out from under...... well, at least it feels like it.

The bank (Fannie Mae) has a special type of financing they use for their foreclosures - which on the website says it is comparable with typical mortgage rates. Turns out, the interest rate is a full 1 to 1.5% higher than traditional - not to mention the thousands of dollars that have to be paid up front. It feels, to me, that the loan is designed to help them to recoup their lost money - which is fab for them - but it feels like we're bending over and taking it on our end. Fortunately we have a wonderful realtor who is looking out for us. She's going to go to them and see if we can get the house with traditional financing, but it seems as though we may be saying adios to this house. It saddens me to no end - but I'm hoping that if this does not work out, that there is something more waiting for us on the other side of it.

So..... I have mixed feelings.... I love this house and can honestly see us in it - but if this is going to drive our mortgage out of our range, it's not worth it. We could actually build for cheaper than this would have us pay. So....we wait and we pray....and come up with contingency plans. Looking at apartments, continuing to look at listings online, etc. We shall see.....

Thanks for reading! =)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Homeward bound

So, here I am - weekend closed....on my way home. Having a decent flight....enjoying the spacious seat in business class (for the low low price of $49 for the upgrade) and chatting virtually to whomever wants to read. That's me....always blathering to SOMEONE.

So, last night, I was out with my dearest friends (who are really more like sisters to me) and they began asking about the surgery - it was such a shocked and humorous group of reactions...... my favorite had to be Suzy's utter horror at the fact that I can never have beer again. Now, granted, I mourned my favorite things before I went "under the knife" - went out for awful food, drank a bit too much beer, said adios to soda (oh, I still get palpitations with that one....), and sweets? Well, let's just say like Dorothy said in The Wizard of Oz - "I think I'll miss you most of all!" I have a mega sweet tooth, always have...... that was the most bitter of goodbyes.

For those of you who read my last post where I said that we sleevers aren't supposed to have sugar sensitivity? Shyeah. I was grossly mistaken in my case. SOME people have sugar sensitivity - and I seem to be among the ones who do. I have found out that if I am not careful about sugar content - I can expect a one way ticket to the rest room - not to be seen for about 30 minutes...and perhaps an impromptu return trip shortly thereafter. Not my idea of a good time...I'd rather be travelling to Atlanta and other places such as there...... so, I have a feeling that my bitter goodbye is relatively permanent. I do have to say, I'm not as unfortunate as some of those RnY'ers out there - they get SICK SICK with sugar sensitivity....and I'd much rather spend the afternoon sittin' on the hopper than with my face in it. Sorry for the TMI - but I tell it like it is. So, if you see me and I'm looking to take a swipe of frosting off your cupcake? STOP ME. Believe me, I may say it'll be worth it at the time - but it won't. So there. *hehe*

K, I'm starting to get annoyed - the XM radio keeps randomly going from my 80's on 8 to big band and crap like that - STOP IT. I know it's free - but I like choice. I'm just sayin. I have to give props to AirTran - they are a great airline with the free radio and really great flight crew - the attendant even made a reference to Colecovision during the announcements..... I was bustin' a gut.

Shout out to Sam and Ryan Kibildis - my "fake" nephews who did amazing jobs this weekend in their LAX games and in Seussical, respectively. I love them dearly and am so proud I could burst. I miss watching them grow up - seeing everyone in ATL once a year is certainly not enough for me. Ohyes, boys, I'll be back. And, to Alex and Sarah Riggin - AMAZING Magic, the Gathering skills (yes, I'm embracing my inner geek here - bear with me) - I will kick your butts next visit.

And to Erin, John, Suzy, Billy, and Seamus - Love you all and thanks for having me - 3 days is too short. See you soon.

Thanks for reading, all - catch ya later! I'm going to eat my breakfast sandwich (sans bread and about 1/3 of it) and listen to some hair band rock. \m/

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What is a VSG?

Good morning! Here I am in sunny Georgia (well, it's a little cold right now, but it'll warm up!) and I'm sitting here with amazing friends/family and smelling breakfast cooking. Life is awesome!

So, I'm sure there are a lot of ppl who don't know what a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) is. So, here's my understanding of the procedure - with some pictures as I can find them.... thanks Google! Remember, I'm not a doctor - so I'm sure there is more to the procedure than I'm aware - seeing as I was asleep during the operation - but here's some general information. Do more research on your own or talk to a doc for comprehensive information. Okay, disclaimer noted... we go!!

As opposed to the gastric bypass (or RnY), the VSG works on the concept of restriction only. It used to be used exclusively as a first step of the Duodenal Switch (or DS, I know, obvious...but still) - which is malabsorbative like the RnY. During the surgery - they remove the lower curvature of your stomach, leaving it the size and shape of a small banana....or in my case, a sharpie marker. The size of the the stomach depends on the size of spacer - bougie - they use during the surgery. There is no re-routing of the intestines or malabsorption, and you're left with a fully functional, albeit tiny, stomach. The stomach left is less likely to stretch than the lower curvature, so the effects are pretty long lasting - so long as you follow the rules.

Now, everyone has been asking me what I can eat, how often I eat, what my "rules" are, and what the expectation is for outcome. As far as what I can eat now, 8 weeks out, I can eat almost anything - within the rules. Biggest rule - protein first. Protein is important for retention of muscle, keeping your hair (which I so want to do), and healing well after surgery. Essentially, you need protein primarily to survive and remain healthy. Second biggest - TAKE YOUR VITAMINS...this, admittedly, I am not good at. It's a struggle - but because you don't get a lot of room and you have to use this room for protein primarily, you have to supplement with vitamins. Thirdly - keep it low fat, low carb (at this point, I'm VERY low carb - no bread yet...). My stomach only has a 2 - 4 oz. capacity at this point - I have to pick and choose my foods. Ultimately I'll be able to eat 1 - 1.5 cups of food - but that is in the future.

The things people cannot believe? I was advised I could not drink carbonated beverages forever (oh, the pain), no drinking for 6 - 12 months (double pain - no beer forever?? seriously?? oy), and no caffeine, at least in the beginning (which can cause ulcers). These three things were very hard for me. I was drinking at least 3 - 4 sodas a day - caffeine + carbonation, socially drinking - a beer (Blue Moon, yum) and wine, depending on the company kept, and coffee? Oh, the horror of giving that up. It hurt - literally. Headaches to beat the band. But once they were gone, it was good.

Being away from home is a struggle at times - but I have great friends and family who are really in tune to what I need to do at this point, and are amazingly supportive. I am now off to have about 1/4 cup of breakfast - an egg and some turkey bacon. I love my friends.

More tomorrow on the flight home! =)

Thanks for reading!

Laur =)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Little Background......

So....for those of you who don't know me, this will be new....but since most of the ppl I anticipate following me here DO know me......this may be a bit redundant....but who knows...someone cool may stumble upon Oprah....or Ellen....or Chelsea Handler...... So who knows....I'll try to keep it (somewhat) brief.

I am 37...certainly don't act it, nor do I like the number attached to my current state of age, but hey - can't control that, right? I'm married to the love of my life for the past 10 years and live in the minute but wonderful state of Delaware with him and our 6 furry children. I am one of seven (yes, seven) children - I'm #2 in the birth order, and the oldest girl. I love all my family dearly and my sisters are the lights of my life - even those of you who are not blood sisters.....I love you all as well! My brothers are my little loves... and I cannot imagine my life any different than it is right now.... I'm happy. But it took me some time to get here...... hence, the journey.

My journey to weight loss surgery (WLS) began, actually, with a fertility doctor telling me that I was too fat to conceive and that her first order of business would be to prescribe South Beach Diet. I never went back to that insensitive woman again - I even change the channel on the radio when her commercials come on. She hurt me BAD - and caused me to gain even MORE weight than I had already been carrying! *tsk tsk* We found another doctor who tried everything with us to help us achieve parenthood - we even conceived once - but that ended in a very early miscarriage, or what they called a "chemical pregnancy" - it means that we lost our little bean before he/she even had a heartbeat. Still hurt us to the core - but part of what's made us who we are as a couple. After our second doctor and his amazing staff did all they could short of lipo - we realized finally that it really WAS my extra weight that was contributing to my infertility. And the quest towards WLS began.

I researched options.... Band? Gastric Bypass? But which one? When we went to an information session, I realized there was a third option - the sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). It was great news to me - I was worried about what a band would be like in 30 years, and didn't like the idea of bypassing part of my that is where I started.

I had surgery on 1/25/10 (or, my new birthday), and haven't looked back or regretted a single moment. Best.decision.ever. I am down from my heaviest weight of 361 lbs to a still plus sized but far more fab 296.5. And I continue to lose. It's a tool, not a cure, but it certainly is a good one. I feel better, move better, have more confidence, and am happier than I've been in a long time. My focus is shifted and I'm on this path - for now. We are earnestly hoping that this path leads us to the parenthood journey..... and if it doesn't help us have our own kids - adoption is def an option - we have decided that we WILL be parents.... no matter what.

You may see some of my old blogs copied/pasted from my old MySpace (where I blogged my infertility journey) and my ObesityHelp blog, I'm hoping that I can put it all in one place - so when I look back and want to show my family/kids my journey - I don't have to Google all the do-da-day to find myself. I'm doing just fine doing that without Google....

Thanks for reading! =)