Weight Loss Progress

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to write a quick post to give my official Thursday weight-in day report and to wish everyone a very happy and love-filled Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day 2011 Weight-In, Down 112.8 lbs in Seven Months
Today I weighed in at 171.2 (112.8lbs down from starting high of 284lbs just seven short months ago)! I am so happy and thankful that I had the opportunity to have WLS! I am a new person and am so very happy. I love me and my life and would not change my new lifestyle for any food binge or sugary food out there, but I also know now that the key is to live in balance.

I had a small breakfast today with a one scrambled egg, 1/2 cup fruit salad, and 1/3 cup of my Grandmother's recipe Meat Stuffing (only made once per year). We are going to the Mohegan Sun Casino Buffet for lunch/dinner and I am looking forward to having a reasonable meal (protein focused) and my treats will be a piece of a crepe (they have a crepe station) and a Skinny Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks! Yummy.

Beyond that I am enjoying spending time with my family and enjoying the day!

Happy Thanksgiving and remember to take time to be thankful for all that life has given you. This is a rehash from my last post, but I will share again because it is what I am Thankful for this year.

My Thanksgiving Thankful List 2011
1. My family and my beautiful partner (I consider all of my canine family members in this as well)
2. My good health and the good health of my family
3. WLS- I thank Anthem BCBS, Dr. Floch, and Dr. Pal for making WLS possible this year
4. Friends and a support system that has fostered my new lifestyle and my lifestyle changes
5. My job as a teacher and as a substitute rural carrier- having a job is a wonderful thing in this economy
6. Newly founded balance and control of my life from excess and the wanting of excess (food and materials)
7. My iPhone, my MacBook Pro, and my iPad <in that order>
8. A great upbringing- parents and family who always loved, supported, and educated me
9. The sense of humor that I have been graced with
10. Appreciation of all the small things that make life great

Thank you for all of your support! <3

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Weekly Check-In 30 & 30.5

Week 30.5 Check-In

Hello Everyone!

I did not get a chance to check in last week for my Week 30 Check-in because I was too busy being fabulous! LOL!

Ashley & Food
Well, I have been doing good with my diet (except for a few exceptions). I have been eating a few carbs and treats on the weekends <I ate two brownies and two cookies on Sunday, and a small popcorn from the movies on Saturday when I went to see Breaking Dawn, Part 1). Carbs and sugar need to be kept to a true minimum because they don't agree with me (carbs=gas pains) and sugar ends up giving me a headache.

I have been eating a few treats, but I noticed that my mindset has changed. I know that if I am going to the movies and am planning on popcorn then I have to have a sensible breakfast and dinner with lean protein in each. And that is what I did. I also know that sugar is the Devil and it is a very slippery slope, you have a little and the next thing you know you are breaking into your sisters house for the next sugar fix. <and I'm not necessarily joking on that one>

It is all about balance! If you are going to splurge then splurge and enjoy, but know that you need to even it out by eating well for the rest of the day or week even. It is all about balance.

Also, brownies and me...don't really agree.  I had a pain on the side of my ribs (gas pain I think) that I thought was going to kill me. Lesson learned, carbs = no friend of mine.

So far this week (Monday and Tuesday) I have eaten really sensibly and had liquid breakfasts (that's protein shakes, not liquor) and small lunches and dinners (protein and a small piece of fruit). I have had a few Starbucks Skinny Peppermint Mochas', and OMG delicious and 100 calories and 10g protein.

Weight Loss Progress
My weight has been fluctuating because of the carbs, but two days after the carbs I am back to my range of 172-174. I am three pounds away from making my monthly goal- by Dec. 1st I wanted to be at or below 169.9!
This morning I weighted myself and I was at 172.6, so it may happen...if I stay focused and motivated.

I'm getting there!
Goals For the Next Week
I need to workout (haven't really done that in over three weeks, I have walked but no gym) and I need to watch my diet (which I have been doing) and drink my water (which I need to work on).

Those are my goals and hopefully i will make it to my November goal weight.

My First Thanksgiving (2011)
Thanksgiving is not going to be a problem. I am going to focus on family, the experiences, and enjoying myself. We are going to the Mohegan Sun Casino Buffet,  so I will have lots of choices and I will choose the healthy ones. I have mentally rehearsed for this like a mofo'! I will have some turkey and vegetables. No stuffing. And maybe a small dessert (it is a holiday). Then Friday it is back to usual. It's all about balance.

I am cooking my own turkey on Wednesday night, so I know that I will have plenty of protein to get me through till the end of time. LOL. Never cooked one for myself before, so I am hoping that I don't ruin the turkey. I'm sure it will be wonderful.

And I have been doing a lot of cleansing and decluttering of my house and life. I have been working on simplifying and am turning to minimalism (trying to, it will take time). Every morning I have been saying what I am thankful for while in the shower and appreciating all that I already have. In the spirit of Thanksgiving I will share with you some of what I am thankful for this year.

My Thanksgiving Thankful List 2011
1. My family and my beautiful partner (I consider all of my canine family members in this as well)
2. My good health and the good health of my family
3. WLS- I thank Anthem BCBS, Dr. Floch, and Dr. Pal for making WLS possible this year
4. Friends and a support system that has fostered my new lifestyle and my lifestyle changes
5. My job as a teacher and as a substitute rural carrier- having a job is a wonderful thing in this economy
6. Newly founded balance and control of my life from excess and the wanting of excess (food and materials)
7. My Mac, my iPhone, and my iPad <in that order>
8. A great upbringing- parents and family who always loved, supported, and educated me
9. The sense of humor I have been graced with
10. Appreciation of all the small things that make life great

Well, I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for reading and following me this year, for supporting me! And here is a link to an interesting article, I could agree more! The focus of the holidays should be your family, that's my focus! This is my first Thanksgiving since my ReBirth and I will be focusing on enjoying it with my family!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Week 29 Post-Op Update

Hello Everyone!!!

I officially weight 173.6 lbs as of this morning. Woot woot!!!!

Holla!!!! 110.4 lbs down since Pre-Op!!!

That means I have lost 110.4lbs in total since starting the pre-op diet on April 7, 2011.


It is amazing. I am stoked.

I am getting used to my body's monthly weight loss cycles and know that I go from not losing much for two weeks to losing 7-9lbs in two weeks. As long as the weight comes off every month I am understanding the cycle and I'm OK with it.

I have totally converted over to using Weight Watchers system of tracking and having unlimited fruits and veggies. But it's not really unlimited (since I can't eat unlimited of anything), but I will have an apple and not worry that it has 100 calories in it (which I was stressing about before). I am still tracking my weight on LoseIt.com and love LoseIt, but I needed to switch it up I feel. I am only 8.2lbs away from getting the 100lb badge on LoseIt, which will enable me to buy the 100lb club t-shirt! I want it!

My weight loss goal for the month is to get to 169.9 or lower by December 1st. I really would like to be in the 160's by the time December hits and that would put me on a good track to end the year strong and get to my ultimate goal of 142 by the end of March. I only have to lose 3.7lbs in two and a half weeks to meet my goal for November, but I know my body's cycle so hopefully I can accomplish that goal! I feel like I will, I know I will!!!!!

My goal for the next week is to keep doing all that I am currently doing, but to add in 30 minutes of exercise each day at a minimum. I have been slacking on that during the past two weeks (losing power and Martha Monthly will do it every time, LOL!). But seriously I need to move and not let the exercise slip b/c I am busy or that its getting dark and cold out. Exercise is important not only for my weight loss, but also to help me feel good. Gotta do it! That is my goal for the week, to keep doing what I am currently doing but to also add in 30 minutes of exercise every day- no excuses!

I have also read an interesting article on Yoga Journal's website, The Joy of Baking, about the joy of giving through food (particularly baked goods). Now, we all know that I do not eat refined carbs (or at least very very rarely!) but I do see the happiness and connectivity that food brings people. How it can be a very spiritual and mindful practice to lovingly make a food item for someone and then to have them enjoy it knowing that it was lovingly made for them. There is something warm and fuzzy about it. So, with this in mind I made a cinnamon cake with butter creme frosting for my boss at work, who was in the military (and tomorrow is Veteran's Day so.........). It was nice, I enjoyed making and thought about him and all of our Veteran's while doing so. And then I got to see him enjoy it along with a few of my co-workers. And it brightened their days.

What I have realized is that I do not have to eat the sugar or refined carbs, if I do it's my choice, but I choose not to the vast majority of the time. But it does not mean that I can't partake in the joy and happiness that comes from sharing a part of yourself with others through food and baking, in this case the part of myself was shown through a cinnamon cake. I think I am starting to come to terms with food, my sugar addiction, and how to handle myself around it. I also am trying really hard to concentrate on the joy of the events and on the feelings surrounding giving, food, and the holidays. Not concentrating on gorging myself on the treats, but rather the connection you feel with others and the joy of sharing part of yourself and your love.

God, I really am gay! But I will keep doing this. And if you get a chance read the article that I linked to above. It really impacted me and maybe it will do the same for you.

Have a good week and next week's post will focus on mindfulness and the holidays.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Week Number 28 Post-Op Report

Hello Everyone! Happy Thursday! One more day till the weekend. Amen.

In Connecticut we got hit pretty hard by the Nor'Easter on Saturday and I was without power and staying at my Moms until yesterday. So, it has been a busy few days. But I do love spending time with my family and that was a good side of the storm.

My progress this week, considering I did not work out too much (besides Post Office work on Saturday, snow shoveling for 1 hour on Sunday, and playing/walking the dogs), was good. I lost all the weight I gained last week and more.

I am down to 176 even!!! woo hoo. That is a total of 108 pounds from my highest!!!!

On the weight loss front I was successful, but I also did well on the eating front too.

My victories this week:

Victory #1:
I DID NOT HAVE ANY CANDY ON HALLOWEEN!!!! I did have some extra chicken at dinner that night, but no chocolate or sugar laden candy for me. Woot woot.

Victory #2:
I have increased my protein, veggie, and fruit intake while truly minimizing my carbs and "treats" again. I am best with no carbs.

Victory #3:
I have stayed within my Weight Watcher's points goals for the week and have tracked every day. I have gotten in my water and vitamins.

All in all, I had a good week this week. Despite being crabby and not having power all has been good. Now, I think I need to get back into workout out or breaking a sweat to release some of those good endorphins before I injure someone or at least verbally take their head off.

I will keep everyone posted on my latest news with at least one more post this week.

But enjoy the pics below from Halloween and Connecticut's Snowtoberfest 2011!

Vampire Ash- didn't need much face make-up! LOL.

Family Pic w/ all pups during Snowtoberfest 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Week 27 Post-Op Update

Hello everyone!

This is my 27th week post op, I am one week past six months post-op and I am down 103.2 pounds. Yes, that would mean that I have gained 1.8 pounds since last week.

I don't know where they are coming from because I have been on track (at least not to the point that I should gain weight). I am not freaking out, but I figure that at six months maybe I hit a plateau or that perhaps it has something to do with my cycle. We will see in a week what happens to the scale.

I have not been great about getting to the gym this week, but tomorrow I have Spin in the AM and on Tuesday I took a 3.7mile walk to Starbucks in downtown New Haven. Tonight I am still debating whether to give Zumba a try or to just hit up WOW Fitness and work it. I know that I need to move so I will definitely do one of those two.

It is funny my new love with some things that I never really liked before WLS. I now love coffee, before I loved the smell of coffee but not the taste. I always thought it was some sort of cruel joke how I could love the smell of coffee so much, but the taste made me want to gag unless I added half a pound of sugar and some creme. Now I had two Truvia's and 2TBS of FF Creamer and I am good. My current favorite for the daytime is a Caffe Misto, but for morning time my favorite is a RedEye at Starbucks (coffee w/ a shot of Espresso). I can only have a small (tall) RedEye though because yesterday I had a Venti (large) RedEye and i thought I was going to sprout wings and fly. LOL.

I also love Brussel sprouts, cottage cheese, and plain Greek yogurt. It is funny how a lot of my tastes have changed, now I don't like really sweet foods. Six months and one week has created a lot of change within me.

I have been working on my new blog, Ashley's Herald and recommend that you take a look at it. That has been keeping me pretty busy and I have also created a meetup group for WLS People in CT. I really want to help support others in this process and in turn it is helping myself stay on track.

I am currently listening to the audio book Why We Are Fat, by Gary Taubes, and it is interesting to listen to. At times in the middle chapters it has gotten a little dry...sort of reminded me of some of my Econ classes back at Trinity but I am interested in what Taubes has to say about insulin levels and obesity. Taubes and I seem to share a common belief that for some people (and I am one of those "some people") that carbs will not react well with your body and will make you fat. He uses the metaphor that like how cigarettes will cause cancer in about 1 in 6 people who smoke, carbs will affect some people who eat it negatively and cause easy weight gain but not all. Interesting read and i will be posting a firm comment and review on the book once I am done at my other blog, Ashley's Herald.

 I will keep you all posted with how things are going with my weight stagnation and please check out my other blog at times, especially if you are a WLS peep.

I will post again next Thursday (or maybe sooner)!



Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekly Updates- Thursdays

Hello Everyone!

To make everyone aware I have started a new blog, Ashley's Herald. Ashley's Herald is website that I will be updating on a daily basis and is integrated with a separate Facebook and Twitter for Ashley's Herald. I will still have this blog and my personal Facebook, but I will be focusing much of my efforts on updating Ashley's Herald with all the latest weight loss news and WLS news, useful tips and tricks for weight loss, exercise tips, motivational tips, and other information to help all WLS and weight loss enthusiasts obtain their best life yet!

I will be updating Ashley's Rebirth every Thursday with my latest weight and other personal tidbits. This is my personal site where I can focus on myself, my progress, my life. Ashley's Herald is of a more general site where I can help provide motivational and information news for all weight loss surgery people or weight loss enthusiasts. Ashley's Herald does have a focus on WLS as we do have specialized needs, but anyone interested in weight loss or obtaining your own best life yet will benefit from this site. So please feel free to follow along on this blog as well as on my new baby, Ashley's Herald.

If you have a twitter account please follow @ashleysherald or friend Ashleys Herald on Facebook.

Come back on Thursday for my weekly update for how I am doing on my personal path with WLS and creating and living my best life yet!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's official, 179lbs baby!!!!

The title of the post says a lot. LOL.

I know the flash was strong, but you can still see the number!!!!

I am officially in the 170's as of Thursday the 13th of October I am out of the 180's and into the 170's. While I am psyched about being in the 170's I hope to make my stay here as short as possible. My goal was to be in the low 170's to 160's by Thanksgiving.

As for my eating and stuff lately I have been eating a bit on the high side. I am averaging about 1000 calories per day. Which is on the high end of what my Doctor states. Some days it has even gone up as high as 1200! OMG. But I am exercising and on days I do spin I can burn 700 calories by doing that alone.

I do not think I am out of control in any way. I have been eating a big more "snacks" and having a coffee every day and that is where the calories stem from. I am eating nuts or fruits for snacks with yogurt. It is healthy and I am not overdoing it.

So far me and my doctor are very happy with my progress. I went to see Dr. Floch on Wednesday the 13th of October and once again he did not think that a fill was necessary. He is very happy with my weight loss and thinks that I am doing great. My cholesterol (good and regular cholesterol) were both on the abnormal side in my blood results. My good cholesterol was too low and so was my regular cholesterol. These are blood results from two months ago, so hopefully things have gotten better since then. But I am officially no longer diabetic (my A1C was 4.8 and before surgery it was 7.9)! Holla!

I am happy with my progress thus far. I do want to lose more weight, even though some people are saying I am good now. But, my goal is to get to 142 by March. We will see how I feel when I get there if I am happy with my body or if I want to try to lose more. But that is the number that I have in my head for now, I will get my 100lb coin from Weight Watchers and I will have lost 142 lbs total (half of my original starting weight)! Say what????

AND.... this past weekend was my friends Josh and Janice's wedding. I had planned to wear the same thing I bought for Josie's cousins wedding in late July. I had it dry cleaned and it was hanging in my closet for three weeks ready to be worn to the wedding. Well, on the wedding day (Saturday) I unpackaged it from the plastic bag it came in from the dry cleaner and put it on. It was ridiculous! I remember it being sort of tight when I wore it in July and two months later it as far from tight, to the point that I had to wear a complete different outfit. A non-scale victory!!! Woot woot.

Side Angle

Yeah, a bit big!

To close it all out I have started a MeetUp group for CT Weight Loss Surgery peeps to be able to get together talk, share, and maybe do some fun exercise together. The link is below and my first meetup is this Saturday October 22nd at Sleepy Giant State Park in Hamden followed by a Starbucks stop after. If you would like to join please do, go to the link and join and then RSVP to the event.


I will post pics and how it went this weekend. I hope it is not just Josie and me! LOL.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What I Have Been Cooking

As for food, yeah I have been eating, I have been trying to make it fun and protein oriented like always. Yet I have been experimenting with Spaghetti Squash (yum), making food in bulk for the week and freezing (Chili, White Chicken Chili, Beef Stew, Buffalo Chicken Tenders, and Bison Chili), and working with butternut squash and pumpkin (pumpkin ricotta mix- yummy!).

Pumpkin with Ricotta Cheese, Truvia, and Pumpkin Pie Spice w/ four  pecans
I have always loved Pumpkin Pie, especially around the fall! But with the whole no sugar and no carbs thing that made my usual purchase of half a pumpkin pie at Stop and Shop a no-no. So, I did what any good LapBander would do- I made an alternative. I mixed 1/2 cup fat free ricotta cheese, with 1 tbsp Truvia, and 1/4 cup canned  organic pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix, just pumpkin) with pumpkin pie spice (to taste) and chopped up four pecans. OMG it was delicious and cured my craving for pie.

Spaghetti Squash with my White Chicken Chili
I have started making food in bulk on Saturday night and freezing it(I know, I love the Night Life, LOL!) for the week. This way dinner is always quick and easy and I don't even have to worry about lunches or anything. Just take something out of the freezer and "bam" it's done!

I made white chicken chili with 8 chicken thighs, two cans of white beans, two packets of McCormick White Chicken Chili Mix, and two cups of water. It is pretty good. I made this recipe twice once with breasts and once with thighs and like both the same. Just this week I had thighs, not breasts. I have been putting it over spaghetti squash and it is delicious.  I really like spaghetti squash it is easy to cook (375 for an hour, make certain to wash and stab the squash often before cooking) and it really is like eating pasta. Amazing what nature can provide!

Cottage Cheese 2.0

At the monthly visit with Tamara the Nutritionist at Norwalk Hospital we talked about me taking Metamucil and how I have to chug it. Tamara asked why I took Metamucil and I have her the "why do you think I am taking a fiber supplement" look and she said "why don't you just eat some Fiber One?" Apparently, Fiber One has insoluble fiber (14grams) which is the better fiber, whereas Metamucil has soluble fiber (why I have to chug it down or it becomes sludge in the cup). 

So, now I have created Cottage Cheese 2.0. Half a cup of low fat cottage cheese, two strawberries, two pieces of pineapple (finally chopped), and 1/2 cup of Fiber One. I have to say I like the taste of it and I never would have liked Fiber One or the cottage cheese before Lapband. It is amazing how your tastes and perceptions change. 

Well, that is a quick sonopsous of what I have been eating over the past two weeks. You can throw in the occasional home made frozen yogurt (high protein Greek), the occasional Pinkberry, Mexican food (yes, I even had some tortilla chips!!!), and my new Planter's Bone Density & Energy Nuts Mix (one tablespoon of each with a Laughing Cow wedge) for a snack. 

That is how this LapBander is eating.



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Meetup Group for CT WLS Peeps!

Hello Everyone!

Over the past few weeks I have been thinking about ways that I can create a community of Weight Loss Surgery people. I have heard about Meetup before from coworkers and I have even gone to the site looking for Meetups. There are none for Weight Loss Surgery or Bariatric Surgery in Connecticut! The hell you say?! Yup, none! The closest is in Massachusetts. WTF!

With this I have decided that in a way to give back to the weight loss surgery lifestyle that has given me so very much and improved my overall quality of life so much in the six months that I have had it that I am going to be the jackass to start the WLS Meetup Group for Connecticut. And guess what? I did!

CT Weight Loss Surgery Activity & Support Group

I am going to link this to my Facebook account and as I get home and can access Facebook. I have already linked this to my blog (look at links to the side). I am in the process of making business cards <need to find a colored printer> and will be working on some fliers to hang up at the Doctor's offices and hospitals (hopefully they will let me). I will also contact my co-workers who I know have had WLS and get this shit rolling.

I have decided that for now we will try to meet twice per month on Saturdays (1st and 3rd) with the first official Meetup of the CT Weight Loss Surgery Activity & Support Group being on October 22, 2011 (LOL, I know it is not the first or the third Saturday, but heh I had to get this going). The first meetup will be a hike to at least the Tower at Sleepy Giant State Park in Hamden and then a coffee/tea run at Starbucks. I love me my Caffe Mistos, which I just realized are not special to Starbucks but are actually a skim milk Caffe Au Lait! I'm a real jackass!

Had to throw in one pic for the entry! lol!

Anywhoozle, the Meetup Group is official. We have our first meeting date and everything. I can't wait to share tips, healthy habits, cooking tips, recipes, favorite activities, and just my life with other like-minded WLS people. Yes, when I go to WW meetings it is supportive and I know I need the meetings, but when I go to my monthly support group with other WLS people we understand each other more. Our struggles are understood better, because while similar to any healthy lifestyle the WLS person is physically a little different and usually dealing with far greater emotional issues with food and lifestyles changes than most other dieters.

I want to help my WLS community and hope that I have more of a turnout than just Josie and myself for the 22nd. And I hope that I make some nice WLS friends who are interested in changing themselves for the better like I am.

If you know anyone or are someone who has WLS and live in the CT area please give them or go to the link above and join my Meetup Group and RSVP for my event.

Thank you!


100 Pound Club!

Hello Everyone!

It has been official for one week now, I have officially lost 100 pounds since starting the Pre-Op Diet on April 7, 2011!! That is 100 pounds lost in less than six months, without a fill, just me and my minimally restrictive LapBand named Bob!

I am so very excited! I am down to 184 pounds, which not only is the 100 pound mark but also officially puts me in the OVERWEIGHT category for BMI and to think that just six short months ago I was not just obese but rather I was Morbidly Obese - and that just even sounds ugly "morbidly obese"!

184= 100lbs lost= officially overweight

What a day and what an adventure the past six months have held for me. To think that all of this started from attending a Doctors Appointment with Josie and Dr. Pal saying that she would recommend WLS for the both of us if we want to be healthy for our kids in the future. If it wasn't for that appointment who knows if I would have had the spark lit under my ass! Who knows if whatever finally clicked inside of me would have clicked?!

All I do know is that I went to the seminar and took the fast track in planning the surgery, no time for backing out this time around. But I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason - and it did!

I am so happy! I walk now and enjoy the feeling of my muscles stretching. I am taking Yoga, Power Yoga, and Spin classes. I get in physical activity every day of the week. I am energized and feel great! I have a much healthier relationship with both food and my body and mind. I am working on being the best overall Ashley that I can be.

I would not give one moment of this new lifestyle up, I love it! And finally at 28 years old I am really beginning to meet the real Ashley. And did you know the real Ashley has ribs and a hip bone?! The other day I thought I felt a growth on my side, it was just my hip bone, lol!

And yes, my humor is here forever! Some parts of me will never change while the other parts seem to just be improving!

Thank you all for your support! <3

- Posted using BlogPress

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What's Up with Ashley This Week

Hello everyone! 

This has been a busy few days since my last post and will continue to be a busy week.

I have Thursday and Friday off this week for Rosh Hashana. So, Josie and I (with Steve maybe) are going to go for a hike on Friday afternoon. I am thinking of going to Devil's Hopyard or these trails in Meriden (but they close at 4pm and I don't want to get locked in).

The Gym Situation (And I ain't talking about Jersey Shore)

I am joining the Core Club in Durham tonight. I went to a yoga class there last night (5:20-6:20pm) and tonight I am going for a cycling class (6pm-7pm). I am excited. Then Wednesday I am going to the 6:30 Power Yoga class and if I find that I am not ready for Power Yoga then I will try the Cardio Kickboxing at 5:20pm the following week. For Thursday and Friday I will take morning classes while Josie is at work (Power Yoga or Cycling). Typically though I will not be taking a class on Fridays because they don't have last classes on Friday night beyond one Happy Hour Boot Camp class so I think I will hit the gym after work or before work.

As for the gym, joining the Core Club costs $40 per month, Planet Fitness's Black Card costs me $20 a month. Now that is not too bad for me since fitness is a priority to Josie and me, but my beef with Planet Fitness in Meriden (which I love, it is a beautiful club and so clean and nice) is that it is 20-25 minutes away from my house. Meaning I go to the gym for an hour and I am gone for almost two hours when you include travel. That sucks on a Friday night! Or a Saturday, or any day!

So, there is a Work Out World (WOW) in Middletown which is offering an awesome deal (2 members for $10 per month w/ no money down)! I know amazing! So, Josie and I could join and work out there when we want to (I will probably use it more on the weekends, or on Friday AM when they open at 4am so I can get an early morning workout in and still be able to enjoy my Friday nights!). WOW is only five minutes away from my house, which is a lot more convenient on a regular basis.

And since Josie goes to Planet Fitness is Guilford in the AM during the week, then she will keep her PF Black Card (allowing me to be her guest) and when she wants to tan I can still go and enjoy the gym- lets face it my white ass doesn't tan anyway!

To summarize, I'm going to join Core Club ($40), break-up with Planet Fitness (-$20), and shack up with WOW (+10 for two). Overall my monthly fitness bill will be $50 instead of $60 if I stayed with Planet Fitness.

That is my plan for now and I don't see a huge problem with it. I will miss Planet Fitness, but it is not 100% conducive to my time right now, especially with travel.

LoseIt vs. The Daily Plate

We all know my love for LoseIt.com. Well, I am thinking of starting to switch it up and use Livestrong's The Daily Plate. Often when I am Googleing nutrition on a food I end up at Livestrong's website, so I am thinking that perhaps I should just try using it. So, far using it is a breeze, their directory of food items is sooooo expansive. Even my BSN Dessert Protein Power was in there! OMG!

I would still have to track my weight on LoseIt, because they have my real start weight and I want my 100lb Club T-Shirt in 23 more pounds (remember I started using loseit two weeks into my pre-op diet so I had already lost weight so my weight is not all uniform).

But so far I like the daily plate and it has a nice app for my iPhone. We will see.

Clarity of Fitness Goals

I have decided the following things:

  1. I must work out for 45 minutes per day (at a minimum)
  2. I must go to at least two yoga classes per week (need the flexibility work & the mental down time)
  3. Spinning/Cycling must be done at least twice per week
  4. I must lift at least three days per week
  5. Starting in April 2012, I will start completing about one benefit bike ride per month. The first one being a spinning competition, SpinOdyessey in March, the first outdoors one being either one in New Haven in April or one in Norwalk in May, and from then I will complete one per month all gearing up for the 65 mile or 100 mile ride at the Closer for Free Ride in September 2012 for the Smilow Cancer Center of Yale. This is my goal and my drive. I want to complete these events to raise money for the causes, but also to give me some drive in my workouts. I know if I pace myself my tailbone can withstand, I just need to take it slow at first but I have six months to prep!
  6. Hiking will begin to take a bigger part of my workouts. Fresh air is good for you both physically and psychologically. And since running does not seem to agree with my knees yet then hiking and walking in general are my go to's for now.
  7. No excuses get the workout  in! Hike, bike, yoga, walk, spin, lifting, workout machine, dvd, kayaking, whatever- just get it done daily!

This is just a few of the things I have been deciding, researching, and putting into action.

More to come later.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Relationship With Food

There have been a few people in the past week who talked to me about my eating and that I should be eating more. My Mom, Josie, and a co-worker are just a few of them. They all know that I have the LapBand, so they are aware of my dietary restrictions.

I know that there concerns are coming from caring for me, so I have been in deep thought about this.

According to my Doctor I should be eating anywhere between 800-1000 calories per day. I average around 900 calories per day before exercise (which exercising in the past seven days has not been done-at the gym at least). So, I am on target with what the Doctor says.

I just wonder if I should be eating more. I don't fear eating or food. Or maybe I do. I don't trust myself eating cakes, brownies, cookies, rice, carbs, sugar, etc. I don't know if I could portion that out, and if I can what will the ramifications of my cravings be?

I have had tortilla chips (twice) and I ate them and enjoyed them (only like 8 chips or so) but it did not spur any cravings. So that was good.

Then there is the problem that if I am only to eat 800-1000 calories per day, where can I fit in the 50-100 calories per meal for carbs. If I am to follow the LapBand Rules then carbs and "treats" should be minimal.

I must have problems with balancing. I feel balanced now, but am I really if I do not eat carbs and sugar? But I don't necessarily want to. It may not be normal, but I feel fine. I am still getting some carbs from fruits and vegetables but I don't know why I would need rice or pasta. I am happy now.

As for calories, my doctor and nutritionist say 800-1000 per day. On forums and blogs I have read 1000-1500 per day for individuals in weight loss mode. So, it seems to be up in the air and dependent upon the doctor. I obviously have a more aggressive doctor. But I also have more aggressive results- 97.8 pounds gone in 22 weeks.

It is hard for me to argue with the results, but I do wonder if my body would respond better to more calories? I mean WW followers usually eat 1300-1600 calories per day and lose 2lbs per week, so on the weeks when I don't lose weight is my body thinking it is starving?

Sometimes I think that I think too much about all of this. Then other times I worry that I might be developing an off relationship with food. But I still eat and cook. I just do so in really small amounts to meet the Doctors orders of 800-1000 calories per day.

I do still enjoy food, and that shouldn't ever change. I do eat now more for fuel, but hey it should be good fuel. LOL.

This has been a rambling post, but this is the confusion that I have. Am I doing it right? Because even at the support groups I seem to be one of the only ones following the Doctors order of 800-1000. I don't know.

But in the end it is working so do you mess with something that is working?

On a more upbeat note, I need to lose .9 more pounds (less than one pound) to move from being obese to just plain ol' "overweight"! And 2.6 more pounds to go to be at 100 pounds lost! A-MAZ-ING!!!

Till later and please feel free to drop me some advice...or just some love!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Karate Jacket- From 1993!!

This was my Tang Soo Do Jacket from when I was 11 years old and did karate for two years.

I loved karate and still do, it honestly bothers me that I quit. I know I broke my foot, but I should have kept doing it once my foot healed.

But the jacket was something that my Aunt Helen bought for me and I could never get rid of it. Even when it was just a joke putting it on. I would always put it on and do the Tommy Boy "Big girl in a little coat" joke.

Well, I was doing my coat and hoodie closet gut on Sunday and came across the jacket. Josie and I both tried it on and it fit- both of us! Not together, but we both tried it on and it fit!!! Amazing!

I guess this would be a major Non-Scale Victory (NSV)!!!

I am so proud of both of our progress! Amazed and loving life!

Front view (with action pose)

Rear View! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weight Watchers- Lose for Good Campaign/Lose-A-Palooza

My Lose for Good Shirt (Size L) and in Pink!!!
Today is Weight Watcher's Lose-A-Palooza Day!!!

Lose-A-Palooza is a special one-day social media event, part of the Lose For Good® campaign to benefit Share Our Strength® and Action Against Hunger. Today only, for every approved mention or acknowledgement of “Lose For Good® on Twitter, Facebook, on blogs, as well as check-ins on Facebook Places and our official Lose For Good® Community Challenge, Weight Watchers will donate $1* - up to $75,000 - as part of our Lose For Good donation to our charitable partners. 

The Lose For Good Campaign is something that Weight Watchers has done for several years now and it is a great thing! For every pound of weight that is lost at their meetings for 6 weeks (until the middle of October) Weight Watchers will donate $1 to No Kid Hungry or Action Against Hunger, up to $1 million dollars. No

Kid Hungry is an organization that focus on food shortages in AMERICA and we all should support that- no child should be hungry in America when we have such opulence of food around us. That's horrible to me on so many levels. No Kid Hungry is the organization that assisted in providing the free breakfast and lunch program for students in New Haven, CT during the summer of 2011.

Action Against Hunger focuses on fighting hunger world wide.

Weight Watchers also recommends that its' members donate to the causes, to local food pantries, or purchase one of their Lose For Good items where all proceeds go to the cause of fighting hunger. I purchased the pink Lose for Good T-Shirt (in size Large!!!!) and have donated 12 pounds of food to my meeting location (which is giving their food to the Portland Food Pantry in Portland, CT).

This is a great cause and a great motivation. For every pounds of fat that I lose I donate one pound of food to the local food pantry, so as I lose I not only make myself healthier but I am helping those who are less fortunate. Makes me feel good on so many levels. I will keep doing this even after Weight Watcher's Lose for Good Campaign is over.

Thank you Weight Watchers- you are helping me to change my life and my priorities!!

189.8 and 187.4 In One Week.....Woo Hoo!

Yup. That's right! I got down to 189.8 on Wednesday (9.14.11)

Out of the 190's and into the 180's!
And by Friday I was down to 187.4. (9.16.11)

Booyah!!! Keepin' the pounds burning off! I love it!
I am so happy to see the scale moving in the downward directions. I am hoping that it keeps doing that. I am doing what I need to do (keeping the calories between 800-1000 per day and exercising daily) so lets hope the weight keeps dropping.

I am so happy! A few more pounds and I will be the lightest that I have been in my adult life, I will be just overweight not obese or morbidly obese, and when I get to 184 I will have lost 100 pounds since pre-op! And I feel great!!!

Amazing.  I am flying high!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Women's Health Magazine- 20 Scariest Food Facts- Wow!!!

Scary Facts about Food in America

Here is the link to the article, but I have summarized some of the scariest to me! What is our food system doing to us!!!!

Don't let this happen to your food, buy organic food as often as you can, eat whole foods as much as you can, buy from local sources and farmers/farmer markets as much as you can, demand from your grocery store that you are told where your produce is from, support stores that promote healthy laws and practices, and contact your local politicians about Agricultural food laws and nutritional informational laws in America.

Good whole food is more expensive than processed food. But you do not need processed foods to live. You can survive very nicely on whole foods- meats, grains, dairy, vegetables, and fruits.

2. Nutritious food costs 10 times as much as junk food.
I believe this, but I also believe it is possible to eat healthy foods that are locally and responsibly grown if you eat seasonally, plan, and prioritize- you don't need the Nature Valley Granola Thins, buy the locally grown apples instead!

3. Grocers don’t have to tell you where your produce comes from.
This is wrong and needs to change. Demand that your grocer tells you wear your food is from or shop elsewhere. Local is best!

4. Fruits and vegetables are losing their nutrients.
Our lands soil is getting depleted because of irresponsible farming practices and too much emphasis on planting of subsidized government products like corn and soy!

6. Chicken today contains 266 percent more fat than it did 40 years ago.
Cramped farms and irresponsible practices result in fattier chicken and livestock with less protein and healthy nutrients. Getting the general theme yet????

7. Milk contains hormones that may cause cancer.
You should drink organic milk or find a dairy alternative. I try to do this but with WLS I currently have to prioritize protein and calories, so when I get to maintenance and have some calories to spare I will fully switch to organic milk. 

8. Conventional supermarket peaches can be coated with as many as nine different pesticides.
I learned this one the hard way from eating a peach without washing it!! And I was even at a local pick-your-own farm. Now I know! No hives/rashes for me please.

9. You’re probably eating trans fat without knowing it. 
Sickening, the government allows for up to .49 grams of trans fat to be in a product and it can still use the "Zero Grams of Trans Fat Label". Our government allows this! The key is to make certain your food does not have any 'hydrogenated oils' in it!

11. Commonly used food dyes can alter your kids’ behavior.
And we wonder why we have so much ADD and ADHD with our youth. No Skittles for my kid!!!

13. Forty-two percent of raw supermarket chicken is contaminated.
Say que? Wow that is a really scarry one!!! Cook it well, cook it well!

14. Gulf Coast Oysters carry E. coli.
Note to self, make sure you are buying New England or Northern oysters. I do love me some oysters on the half shell, they go down easier for me than cooked. 

15. The USDA is allowing your meat to be “cleaned” with ammonia—and they’re hiding it from you.
Glad to see the USDA has our best interests in mind! WTF!!!!!

16. Aluminum cans are lined with a hormone-disrupting toxin.
Damn BPA! Now how am I supposed to eat my beans? Cook them myself from scratch. Damn!

17. Roughly two-thirds of bottled water doesn't comply with FDA standards.
Tap was is better, see my other post for more info and talk on this subject. Ashley's Water Post.

18. We drink twice as many calories today as we did 30 years ago.
No surprise here with coffee drinks, smoothies, soda, etc. Put that in your diet pipe and smoke it!!!

20. There are crushed bugs in your food.
"Carmine, a vibrant red food colorant, is actually the crushed abdomen of the female Dactylopius coccus, a beetle-like African insect. Not only is the thought of eating bug juice gross, but it also poses an ethical issue for some vegetarians and vegans. Look for it in red-colored candies and juices."
Wow that is totally disturbing. I am now checking all foods I eat for carmine, who would have thought it as a part of a beetle. Ewwww! Ewww. Eww.

Ashley's Concluding Thoughts and Remarks

Well that was nice and disturbing to read. 

But the fact of the matter is that we in America need to stand up and find out what we are eating and if we don't like what we find out than we need to take action! 

Take action by contacting your politicians or take action with your pocket book/wallet by not buying the stuff but rather buying from local/organic/natural/healthy stores or farms or whatever. 

Be the change that you want to see in the world!!! We all can make a difference. 

Till tomorrow. <3

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bottled Watered May Not Be So Good For Us Afterall

What The Studies Say on Tap Water vs. Bottled

According to Men's Health latest Eat This, Not That  on Bottled Water the verdict is seemingly still very clear that bottled water is often just municipal tap water that has a few minerals added to it with a bunch of clever bottling and marketing attached to it- oh yeah and a price tag of at least $1!

The findings further show that often the bottled water is not as sanitary as the water right from your own house and the chemicals from the bottles can easily leach into your water if stored for a long time or in high heat. Never mind the environmental ramifications of what to do with all of the plastic bottles one the consumes are done with them!

Now, in a way I have been "blessed" with a cheap, or should I say frugal, wife. Josie does not like to waste money. So, I have a very large collection of Nalgene bottles (because owning ten of them at 15 dollars a pop still saves money over buying bottled water ;-p) and on a daily basis I fill it up from our house or the water fountains at school or at the gym. Drinking tap water does me just fine!

My bottle, with me every day! Work, Home, Car, Gym! We fly together.

I will admit that on a daily basis I do usually have one bottle of SmartWater that I buy in cases at BJ's- but this water is filled with Smart stuff, like electrolytes and stuff. Hmmmmmm, wonder if I am just buying into their marketing ploy....but I do think the water tastes good....and it's only one bottle per day. This may change after reading this article. Sisters gotta be smarter than the SmartWater marketing team!!!!

Don't fall for the hype and marketing. City/municipal water is what you are buying with maybe some added minerals. Take a multi-vitamin, buy a Nalgene or Sigg water bottle, and stop making Coca-Cola(Dasani), Pepsi(Aquafina), and SmartWater richer while we get poorer!

Water out of the tap is better than that bottled crap! 

Hey, I think I just coined a new slogan! Yeah, me!

Laters. <3

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How Quickly 160 Days Go By

A few days ago I was updating my previous post, The Golden Rules & Summer Goals, and I had to count out the days that I am carb free and the weeks post op and I am 162 days refined carb (table sugar and flour) free and 21 weeks post-op today.

In 23 Weeks (I did the 2 week pre-op diet) I have lost a little over 92 pounds and I have totally changed my life. I am happier. I am healthier. I have no real cravings for carbs, breads, sugar shit. I am good. I like exercising. Clothes shopping is fun, not depressing.

I am seven pounds away from being my lightest weight of my adult life (and really the lightest that I can remember, I know at some point I weighted 125 pounds, but I can't remember when so to me that doesn't count. But in 2005 I was down to 185 pounds for a brief fleeting amount of time, so to me that is the lowest weight that I have been, and I am close to that!).

I am so thankful for the opportunity that I had to have this surgery and change my life. I thank Dr. Neil Floch. I thank Fairfield County Bariatrics. I thank Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield of CT. I thank Dr. Lubna Pal for motivating me to look into weight loss surgery again. I thank Josie for being supportive and fully embracing what some may call an extreme lifestyle change. I thank my parents for being so supportive and loving- like always. I thank my sisters, Tiff and Tamara for their love and support and continued interest in my blog. I thank Helen, Cindy, Steve, Sharon, Kristen, Nicole, and all my followers of the blog who help support me. And I thank all the bloggers and vloggers out there to help keep me motivated, because I need it!
Thank you all! I love you guy!!!!

At times it seems like I am not losing weight fast enough, but then I have to shake myself and realize that it has only been 23 weeks since starting the pre-op diet, 21 weeks since surgery, and I have lost almost 100 pounds. That is amazing! Simply amazing. It may seem to Josie and me (at times) that we have been eating like this and exercising forever, but it has only been five months. And we have come so far! I'll say it again, AMAZING!!!!



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Calorie Counting, WW Points, BMR, and Cooking with Ashley

Ashley and Calories Counting

I have fear regarding eating food from a restaurant and the unknown factors that go into not knowing exactly what is in what I am eating. I like to know the exact ingredients, whether the turkey I am eating is 99% fat free or 97% fat free (as this does make a differeence in my calorie consumption for the day), and whether something was sauteed in oil or the chef used pam and water to keep the calories low.

A Brief Aside on Sushi Houses 

The only restaurants that I do like to go out to are Sushi Houses. There I know that I am getting lean protein that is minimally processed and usually when ordering sashimi or Tuna Tartar or Ceviche has not too much fat laden items added to it. I like sushi, typically when we go out I order tuna tartar or tuna ceviche with one order of sashimi on the side. Very little carbs, very little added sugar, but lots of protein. My favorite! Because we eat less of it, we can go out to a higher quality sushi house and order what we want for under forty dollars. Holla! 

Ashley and Calorie Counting Continued

I need to know this information, I get nervous and wonder if I am sabotaging my whole day's progress with one meal. I know I can start anew the next day, but I don't like not knowing if what I am ordering and thinking is healthy is actually a heart attack in disguise.

I think it is part of my success, but others can think that my tracking borders on the side of obsessive. See, I have gotten into the habit of recording my food on LoseIt as I am eating a meal. I do this because it gives me something else to do while I am eating and therefore helps to distract me and slow down my eating. I also track because the little bites add up and when you are only eating 800-1000 calories per day taking a few bites of food that add up to 100 calories really throws a kink into my planned caloric day.

Ashley and the Points System

That is one of my pet peeves with Weight Watchers, I do attend meetings but currently do not track using their Points system. This is because the Doctor and my Nutritionist are interested in the actual calories that I am eating- not the points. That is why I use LoseIt on my iPhone and their online site to track my calories consumed and burned each day. After researching and listening to Jillian Michael's podcast on Plateaus (Debunking Plateaus, May 6, 2011) I realized that tracking calories is far more important than tracking points. Weight loss for the most part is a formula; eat less than you burn and you will create a calorie deficit. You create a 3500 calorie deficit than you will lose one pound of fat. And besides a few monthly fluctuations and the occasional sputter this formula remains true always (we have to remember that our bodies to occasionally need time).

Ashley and BMR 
Everyone knows about BMI, Body Mass Index, but not everyone knows about BMR, Basal Metabolic Rate, or the number of calories that your body burns per day doing basic bodily functions (ie, what you would burn sitting on the couch). With your BMR you know how many calories you need to eat to stay and maintain your weight, my BMR currently is 1667 calories per day. Since I eat around 900 calories per day that means I create an approximate 700 calorie per day deficit. Multiply the 700 per day by 7 days per week and just by what I eat I should lose 1.4 pounds per week, not including exercise or my daily activity (which might I just say that since school started I can easily walk 12,000 steps per day before I even get home and go to the gym!). <It is important to remember that as you lose weight your BMR will change and your calories needed each day will go down.>

I would never be able to calculate this without looking at calories consumed and lost during the day. If I was using points consumed vs. points earned for activity then I would not get to use the math behind weight loss. Now eventually, when I am in maintenance maybe I will be able to look at points and be content, but right now I need the cold hard facts and numbers associated with calories burned compared to calories consumed and my BMR. Call me crazy, but it makes me feel content and that is what matters!!!

Ashley and Cooking

I do enjoy cooking even more now and I am getting sort of inventive with the ingredients used and how to make recipes or foods that are healthier and higher in protein without the carbs or sugars. I have found a lot of resources from other bloggers (Truth In Change), vloggers (BandedWendy on YouTube- I love her), websites (Weight Watchers, Cooking Light, Hungry Girl, etc) with awesome recipes and inventive takes on foods I like.

  • Protein is always my first concern when cooking. That is what fuels my body and that is my first focus. 
  • I use Chobani Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt in a lot of my recipes in place of sour cream, mayo, or when the items just needs creaminess. This adds protein and taste/texture to my food.
  • I use a lot of spices to make my foods pop in terms of flavor. Usually calorie free and what makes my dishes taste good. 
  • I've learned to use other vegetables in place of carbs (radicchio or endive in place of chips, cabbage or Boston lettuce instead of tortillas, and turnips in place of potatoes for french fries). 
  • I've learned to cook without much added oil, using Pam and water to saute vegetables. Only using oil when needed and very small amounts of it. 
  • One of my favorite things to cook right now for dessert is a Baked Apple in the microwave. --> core one apple, fill core with apple or mango, cinnamon, one packet of  Truvia, a bit more cinnamon, add a 1/2 teaspoon butter spread, and a bit of water to the bottom of the bowl. Microwave for five minutes. After five minutes microwave for two 30 second rotations each time stopping and basting apple with cinnamony water at bottom of the dish. When done the apple should be soft and room should smell like apple pie. Top with two tablespoons of Chobani Greek Yogurt mixed with Splenda and Cinnamon to taste. 
  • I have made Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls using protein powder, PB2, Cocoa Powder, and water. Combine all ingredients in muffin tins and freeze for one hour. I got that recipe from Oxygen Magazine. They are really good, even though my Mom made fun of me!!!!
  • I have made my own frozen yogurt using my ice cream machine, 2 cups Chobani Plain 2%, 2 Cups Chobani Fat Free Yogurt, 1/4 cup Truvia or Agave Nector, and one cup milk. Let mix in machine until to a smooth consistency- it is of vital importance to make certain the ice cream machine bowl is completely frozen, if not the consistency of the frozen yogurt will be just cold yogurt and not frozen yogurt. 
  •  Using Chobani Plain FF Yogurt, Truvia, and Cocoa Powder I have made a nice topping for berries. 
  • I have used ricotta cheese as a base for a chicken dish, but now my personal favorite is mashed cauliflower! OMG! Delicious. 
  • Spicy Chicken Salad using a rotisserie chicken, Chobani ff greek yogurt, and Siracha hot sauce. 
  • Dijon Chicken Salad using a rotisserie chicken, Chobani ff greek yogurt, and dijon mustard. 
  • Egg salad using eggs, Dijon mustard, and Chobani ff greek yogurt. 
  • Dill Chicken using chicken breast fillets, Chobani ff greek yogurt, and dill. Then once cooked broiling one half slice of Fontina Cheese on top. Delicious! I modified this recipe from a version I had at a party over the summer, the original was breaded and fried, but both versions turn out awesome. 

Overall, there are a lot of things that you can do to make dishes in the flavors that you like using ingredients that are healthy and having an overall emphasis on protein first, veggies/fruits second, carbs third if you are still hungry! Healthy options are all around you, you just have to consciously take them.

Ashley's Concluding Remarks

Well, there is some food for though. LOL. To summize, I believe that calorie counting is important, that keeping detailed track of what you eat and how much of it is vital to your overall weight loss success, and that healthy cooking can be easy and fun- if you want it to be.

Till tomorrow! <3

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Georgia State Employees & Teachers Losing Weight Loss Surgery Option

Obesity Action Coalition has posted a site for people to support the continued coverage of Weight Loss Surgery for Georgia State Employees and Teachers. This benefit would soon be taken away from these state employees and teachers in Georgia.

How in a state that has an obesity rate of 29.6% in 2010 (one of the highest!) would they think of taking this benefit away from their state employees? Did they miss the memo that Weight Loss Surgery can eliminate patients diabetes and high blood pressure?

I had high blood pressure and diabetes before surgery and now I do not have either condition! Within five months, actually it was three months I was cleared of these health issues.

The cost of Weight Loss Surgery and maintenance is far cheaper than the cost of continued medication and care for diabetes and other obesity related illnesses! There is no reason a state should be eliminating this benefit, even if the economy is the reasoning, because in the long-term(and short term, because three months is how long it too me to be diabetes free and that is pretty short term) you will save money on the cost of medications and operations/hospitals stays due to obesity related health conditions. I hope the politicians in Georgia are thinking long-term!

And if it is the health insurance company doing this than I don't know what they are thinking either. Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield of CT has been nothing but supportive and helpful in trying to ensure that I lose weight and get healthy so they do not have to pay for my medications or obesity related problems. And that is how an insurance company that is thinking long-term should be!!!

The idea that a state or insurance company would be eliminating the option of weight loss surgery to its state employees is ridiculous and infuriating all in one little headline. There are other ways to cut costs, this is not one of them!

Stand up for your rights and the rights of others. Let your Representatives and Senators and whoever else know that it is not right that Georgia or any state would ever consider taking away the benefits to Weight Loss Surgery!!! Especially with today's obesity epidemic. Contact your representatives or Georgia's and give them a piece of your mind, that is what they are here for- to serve the people!!!!

Wake-up people! WTF!!!


The Golden Rules and Summer Goals

I found this post today, September 13, 2011 under saved drafts. And to think all this time I thought that this was posted. Damn. I sucked that one up. LOL. Anywho, I have decided to read through and mark in red how my summer progress actually went compared to how I wanted it to and then I will publish. So yeah, just be aware that this was first written in end of June of this year, about three months ago. 

This is my first official week of summer vacation!!! Woot woot!!<Damn, summer is over and here I am again!> 

I am psyched. I have ambitious but realistic goals for the summer and my weight loss/physical fitness.<Yup!>

I want to lose 25 pounds by the end of the summer. I think this is realistic, but with weight loss we will have to see how my body reacts. Currently my body is reacting very well, we will see. <By the time school started I had met my goal of being below 200 pounds, unfortunately I plateaued there for two weeks but eventually I have averaged out to two pounds per week now>

I have decided to take a break on the C25K program until I lose 25 more pounds, I think the running was a bit too much for a few of my screws and I need to lose a bit more to reduce the stress.<I think I made the right decision and will try running again when I am lighter. Maybe 160ish, I am thinking of biking and yoga more now for exercise other than my usual elliptical or ARC Trainer.>

So, I have decided to try biking again. I am getting my bike a full tune-up this week with a new tire, rim, hand grips, and Tush Cush seat. I left my bike outside for a month a few years ago and then I broke my tailbone in November 2009, after that it took a while for the thought of biking on my broken tailbone to not seem like volunteering for waterboard torture. I will take it cautiously, but I think my tailbone in ready and biking is easy on my other joints until a lose some more weight and can try running again.<Josie will kill me, but I got the bike fixed and only rode it one time. I was just too busy...doing what I can't tell you right now, but I always felt busy or it was too damn hot out! So I will modify my goal to now start biking more since it is getting cooler, I am also thinking of doing some of the Fundraiser Bike Races in 2012 (the Smilow Cancer Center at Yale had one this year, Closer to Free,  just this past weekend that I would like to take part in next year)>.

I am also fully adapting the Four Golden Rules of Lapband by Dr. Kelly M. Fitzpatrick. This is pretty much what I am doing already, but now I have something to call it.<Rocking this! Every day!!!!>

The Four Golden Rules

1.  Protein First. Veggies and Fruits Second. Carbs last, if still hungry. <I added this rule, not Dr. Kelly Fitzpatrick> 
2. Avoid white flour and white sugar products
3. Avoid any processed food.
4. Avoid any food advertised on TV
5. Avoid Fast Food chains.

Just to let you all know as of today I am 83 days free of refined carbs! I feel sooooo much better.<As of today, September 13th I am 160 Days refined carb free! Holy Shit!>

I also want to fit two physically active things into every day, ie going to the gym in the AM and biking/walking/kayaking at night. It will increase my physical activity for the day as well as letting me enjoy the outside and nice weather.<I would often fit in two things per day, but I did not do it everyday. I can say that I went to the gym every weekday (even on vacation) and/or did something physical outside everyday! I am proud of that, so 50/50 tie on success for this one.>

I also am going to give yoga a serious try this summer, I found a Bikram Yoga Studio in Glastonbury, CT and am going to start next week. They have an unlimited special for ten days for $20, normally a class costs $18, so this is a good deal. Then if I really like it I can try to go two times per week or so.<I failed, I am starting yoga now. I have my Zen/Workout room and am going to try to go to a studio once per week (I have found a few around that I want to try before committing to one studio).>

Tomorrow I go for my second fill, I am going to ask for a very small fill (1cc at most). I do not want any complications especially when on vacation in Texas at the end of the month (where it is very hot and I have read the heat can affect the tightness of the band b/c it causes swelling). I will take a more aggressive fill again in August, but overall I want to take it slow after my first fill experience.<Well, as of today September 13th I am still fill free. I was scheduled for an appointment for tomorrow with Dr. Floch, but because I now teach a class on Wednesdays until 2pm I had to reschedule and the next appointment in my time frame of after 3:00pm was for October 12th. So, that is when I may get my next fill- if I need one. We will see.>

Well, I'm off to the gym for workout one of my Tuesday!<I did go and I will go again today, so yeah for me!>

Peace and <3 to you all.