October 26, 2011

Katie Jay of NAWLS on Breaking Old Eating Habits

Katie Jay from NAWLS is featuring guest blogger , Dr. David Schroeder, who gives some insight on combatting falling back into old eating habits.

Why am I falling back into my old habits again?!by Dr. David Schroeder

I wanted to share some recent research that may be helpful. It has been a privilege to be with
you on your journey, and as a continuing commitment on my part, I keep trying to learn more that can help you maintain your success or help you further if you get stuck.

There has been many areas of research into obesity over the last few years, more than ever
before. Some are looking at the fat cells and how they play an active role in causing obesity.

Insulin resistance is another topic that people are trying to get to grips with, as it leads
often toobesity before diabetes. Still others are looking at the role of various gut hormones in reversing obesity. However, as you are probably aware by now, one of my main areas of interest
is the brain, and how this causes overeating.

When you came to see me, I explained about the pleasure centre, and how this seemed to be
overly active in those struggling with their weight, so that they were really fighting an addiction to carbohydrates.

The ability of surgery to reverse this is variable, and we are only just starting to understand that surgery does, through still undiscovered means, decrease the need to eat, andwhy this can reverse in some patients around the one year mark, so that cravings return.

Research has discovered that there is another important area in the brain that is meant to balance the urge and place it in the larger context of life. It says: "If I do this now, there will be consequences later!"

This area is in the prefrontal cortex, and we'll call it the Control centre. It's job is really
to control impulses and delay gratification. It matures in women at age 23 and men at 25.

By now you will have realised the importance of this part of the brain - its the angel on your right shoulder that says "You don!t need that" (the Control centre) but it usually loses out to the devil on your left shoulder that says "But it looks sooo yummy!" (the pleasure centre).

The interesting research that has come out in the last few years relates to brain scanning that has shown that this part of the brain is very variable in its response to food, in particular, chocolate.

Compared to "normal" people, the Control centre is underactive in smokers and those with a high
BMI. It is also rapidly inhibited by alcohol- which is why restaurants bring you the drinks first, so you will order much more food than you intended.

This means that bigger people actually do havea problem with control (as many of you told me)
but it is neurophysiological, not a character flaw.

We also know that it takes effort to maintain the control, and if anything else gets in the way of this effort i.e. other stresses, there may not be enough ego strength left over to stop eating.

The importance of realising that this part of the brain may not be functioning normally is that we have assumed that it is behaving properly. We thought that if we did the surgery and told you what to do, why of course you'd do it!

The reality is that we can't rely on this to be the case. For some people, the old inability to turn down what is in front of them, calling to them, becomes just as real again. We don't know what reverts, but we do know that there are strategies that can help fight it.

Nearly all these strategies are done best in partnership with others, since we just said that you can't rely on your own brain.

They also take time: set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier in the morning, and revise
yesterday and plan for today in the light of what you are learning or want to try out.

Finally - these strategies don!t have to just be about weight - they can be about.

Click here to continue reading!

From Small Bites, the email newsletter for the
National Association for Weight Loss Surgery.
Subscribe today and get your F'REE report,
How to Regain-proof Your Weight Loss
Surgery at www.NAWLS.com.
(c) 2011  National Association for Weight Loss Surgery,
Inc. All rights reserved. 

A Diva's Dealings with Acid Reflux and WLS

Even after one year, my tummy is still pretty tender when it comes to eating.  One of the side-effects to a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy can be Acid Reflux.  It doesn't happen in every patient, but it can happen.  My surgeon warned me of this after my surgery as he handed a three month prescription of Prilosec.

I'd experienced Acid Reflux about 10 years ago, but I was able to get it under control, and I thought it had gone away.  Since my surgery, though, Acid Reflux is back.  Some days are better than other where I don't feel any stomach pain, but other days are unbearable.  God forbid I don't take the Prilosec either!  Everything that hits my stomach at that point feels like razors.  Oy yoy yoy!

Some of the biggest offenders for me include my antidepressant medication and coffee.  The pain often subsides after about 10 minutes and then I feel pretty good.  It just makes everything seem a little more cumbersome though.  For example, drinking my water takes a little longer, and I typically have to take my Prilosec before eating, and the anti depressant after eating.  It's also hard to remember is I am on the run.

If you are experiencing any tummy troubles post WLS.  Make sure to talk with your surgeon so he/she can determine the best plan of action for you.  Do what is right for you and your personal routine.  Keep up the great work that you Divas and Divos are doing to loose weight and keep it off.

Smooches!

September 30, 2011

I'm Back - Celebrating My Surgiversary!


Hi My Dear Divas and Divos!

I have been away for a bit, but I wanted to touch base with you to let you know that I am still here!  I just celebrated my "Surgiversary" and I am proud to say that I have lost 100lbs.  I never thought I could do it on my own, and it has been a struggle on my journey.

For those of you new to my blog, I had Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) on 9/27/2010 and I never looked back.  I began my WLS journey in March of 2010 beginning with an initial consultation with a surgeon.  He was excited at the prospect of my being such a great candidate. We discussed the three options for WLS and I was set on the Gastric Bypass. I was pretty pumped after that and decided I was going to do whatever it took to get me to the point where I could have weight loss surgery.  VSG had been the new guy on the block and may insurance companies were considering it as experimental.  After of month of working with my surgeon, my insurance company changed its policy and began covering VSG.  I was VSG all the way after that!  VSG, for me, had a lot more advantages -- no malabsorption issues, fewer vitamin deficiencies, no "dumping" syndrome, and you could still eat some of the foods you once liked -- in very small amounts.  A couple of the biggest drawbacks are that 95% of your stomach is removed and you may only lose 60% of your original weight, which is less than that of the Gastric Bypass.  I was willing to take the chance though because, for me, the pros outweighed the cons.

There are several hoops you have to jump through beginning with a psychological evaluation.  I spent four hours testing and then reviewing my results with the psychologist.  He had some really interesting questions that I had to take with me and think about.  But all of his questions only prepared me for the quest that I was going to take.  After the shrink, I went to see the "Nut".  That is a Nutritionist, who reviews your current diet and talks with you about how your diet will change when you have WLS.  The "Nut" gives you options to help set you up for a successful experience.  And as you draw closer to the surgery date, the "Nut" provides you with a schedule of when you will introduce new foods into your diet and what to introduce.  Sources of protein are also a huge topic of conversation.  I also met with an exercise guru who helped me to begin a walking program and set goals for my level of activity.

After meeting with the "Nut", I met several times with my surgeon again, had a sleep study, had blood work done, etc.  All of these meetings are typically required by the insurance company and your claim will not be acknowledged unless you have these tasks completed.  After you complete your requirements, your surgeon submits your package to the insurance company, and you wait for their decision.  Once approved, you can get your surgery date, and it's off to WLS!  It's all very exciting and nerve-racking when you get approved and begin waiting for the surgery date to roll around.

I hope that if you are reading this for the first time that you understand I am sharing with you my journey to WLS and it may not be right for everyone.  These are my thoughts and my experiences.  I hope my experiences will help any of you struggling to lose weight and are considering WLS as an option for your success.  I am more than happy to share my insight with you as well as how I dealt with anxiety, excitement, hunger, fear, etc.

Please give me some feedback on this post.  If you like this post, please leave your comments below and I will respond.  I hope to hear from all of you!

August 30, 2011

DIVA-Tude Tuesday


Hello all of my Divas and Divos!

It's DIVA-Tude Tuesday and I wanted to find out:  what all of you are doing to express your "inner Diva"?  Your inner Diva is that person inside of you that is strong and fearless.  That is the person who doesn't take no crap from nobody!  The inner Diva is the "you" that is "fierce" as the "children" often say.

How are you expressing your best self today.  Live your best and brightest life, right now!  Don't wait to be a Diva, start right now!

Smooches!

Wanting to Nosh


When my buttons are pushed, I know what comes next -- my desire to eat some sweet and then something "carby".  Right now, I feel like I have been pushed beyond my limits by my "Little Prince", and I want something sweet so badly, I can just picture the hot fudge oozing down the vanilla ice cream on that sundae!  Wow, talk about triggers!

Triggers are those things in our day-to-day experience that cause us to do the things we do -- overeat, in my case, gamble, drink, smoke, or do drugs.  These triggers can be just about anything that sets us off and sends us over the edge.  One of my biggest triggers is guilt.  Guilt is just maddening.  It makes you give into things that you say you would never do.  It allows people to have control over you.  You become the slave and someone or something else is the master.

How do we recognize our triggers?  The first step is to realize when your "buttons" have been pushed.  It could be a comment made about you or something you did.  It could be a disapproving look from a parent.  A trigger could be a wailing kid who won't fall asleep when you, and they, know how tired they are.  A trigger is that "thing" that makes you reach for whatever your addiction is.  For example, tonight's trigger was the wailing kid.

I can tell when my son is tired when he starts to act like he is wired.  He begins to act out, simply put.  But instead of giving in to the sleeping routine that we have in place, Little Prince bucks the establishment.  Some parts of me want to say, "hooray", for going against the rules, but I realize that every person needs a little structure.  Anyway, he begins the whining, and the crying, and build all of this into a crescendo ending in a snotty asthma attack.  I tell you, I don't know how you ladies with multiple small children do it day in and day out.

So my trigger with my son is that I feel guilty that he has to sleep alone and that he is crying.  The continuous crying just makes me angry, though, and then I begin to feel the urge for the sweets.  I recognize this and then I am capable of controlling this feeling and do something about it in a positive manner.  That is in essence what it is all about -- taking that feeling and re-channeling it.  If you know what bugs you, you take yourself out of the situation.  You change the paradigm and allow yourself to feel something different.

Instead of my hot fudge sundae, as I write this blog entry, I am eating something, but it is a handful of carrot sticks.  Sweet and crunchy, but they don't give me the additional guilt of eating something decadent just to satiate a negative response.  I hope that we can all learn something from my experience.  Being able to recognize the triggers is a big part of being successful post weight loss surgery.  You can lose the weight, but if you don't recognize and deal with your demons, you can easily gain it back.

Post your responses below and thanks for reading!

Smooches!

August 24, 2011

Combating the Freshman 15 a la Hungry Girl!


I just received the daily newsletter from "Hungry Girl", and if you don't get it, I would like to share the tips she's provided for combating those 15 extra pounds we tend to get stuck with when starting college.  Please read below and also subscribe to her website for tips and tricks for keeping off the pounds and making the right choices post WLS.  Also, and I"m sorry for the shameless plug, BUT... check out the "Hungry Girl" show on the Food Network!!!   Here's her post.

Congrats on heading off to college! As far as snacking goes, vending machines and late-night studying can lead to some not-so-smart food decisions. But don't worry. I've got a little study guide for guilt-free dorm-room snacking...
Protein-Packed Picks - Stock up on snack bars with lots of protein and fiber -- these are hunger-fighting machines. I love Larabars, KIND bars, and Luna bars. Mini Babybel Light (those red-wax-encased cheeses) and light string cheese are great on the go, and they're perfect for mini fridges. Fat-free Greek yogurt in individual containers is another smart fridge stocker. And jerky is a great, go-anywhere, protein-loaded snack food.

Produce Power - Make a habit of stashing fruit -- like pears, bananas, and plums -- in your dorm room. My absolute favorite snack is a Fuji apple -- crisp, slightly sweet, and great on the go. Cut veggies are a perfect way to put that mini fridge to use -- I love baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, and jicama sticks. Great when you need to do some quantity crunching. And keep a jar of salsa on hand for dipping!

Sweet Spot - Avoid candy bars from the vending machines! If you find yourself craving something sweet, stick with hard candies, like lollipops and Jolly Ranchers. They take a while to eat, so you're less likely to go overboard with them. And they're typically fat-free and low in calories.

Whatever you do, don't wait until you're super-hungry to eat. If you do, you'll be more likely to eat whatever you can get your hands on (pizza, chips, whatever). So keep that mini fridge stocked at all times with smart snacks. And have an awesome time at college, smarty-pants!

This article is complements of Hungry GirlHungry Girl Inc., 18034 Ventura Blvd. #503, Encino, CA 91316.  All rights reserved.

August 23, 2011

DIVA-Tude Tuesday!


Good Evening Diva's and Divo's!

Once again, it is DIVA-Tude Tuesday!  What are you doing to express your inner Diva?  For me, today has been one of those days where I have to wonder what the heck is going on around here!  I woke up feeling blue, continued through the day just not feeling like my usual self.  Came home and had some dinner with the family, and I still don't feel much better.

I don't have a Diva's day every day, but I never stop believing in the woman I have become because of my life-changing decisions and my fortitude to continue to move ahead!  I am proud of me, and although I feel like I am in a funk, I recognize this and move on!  On to my next idea to take over the world!

Tell me what you've been doing to express your fabulous inner Diva!  I want to hear from you, both guys and girls so make sure to post your comments below.  I will be sure to respond.  Thanks!

Smooches

New Post from Katie Jay of NAWLS - She's feeling What I'm Feeling -- Loss


Please read this really great post by Katie Jay of NAWLS.  So many of us experience this type of loss and use food to comfort us since it our old standby.  Katie has a great point of view, and some good tips!

If I'm Being Honest...
by Katie Jay, MSW, Certified Wellness Coach
Director, National Association for Weight Loss Surgery
www.nawls.com
 
Every few years, something happens in my life that makes it very hard to do my job. In 2007, it was a
lower body lift, followed, 11 days later, by bowel obstruction surgery.
 
This year, it's my only child's high school graduation and transition to college, followed
by my husband and I moving from Wilmington, NC, to Northern Virginia. Oh yeah, and menopause.
 
If I'm being honest, I want to go buy a bag of little powdered donuts, lay down on my futon mattress (we haven't bought a bed yet), and eat until I pass out. I know, it's not a good idea. In fact, it's a really horrible idea. And while I won't act out on this desire today, I'm not surprised it bubbled up. Food still has the power to numb me out, dang it!
 
And I'm hurting.
 
So how can a person like me, a life-long foodie who is sensitive to carbs and prone to depression, feel
okay in the world when it feels like my world is a shifting landscape -- unsafe and unpredictable.
 
How can a person like me survive this life chapter (because part of me knows 'this too shall pass'),
which feels like so much sadness and loss, without using food as a drug?
 
Because every time I do, the scale goes up. My blood  sugar goes up. My pants size goes up. And my mind starts down the path of doom and hopelessness.
 
Right or wrong, here's what I am doing. No judgment, please, I am gloriously imperfect.
 
1. I am minimizing the damage. If I feel I must eat something off my food plan, I use foods (notice I
said "use," like an addict) that will do the least harm.
 
2. I am not bringing home packages of anything. If   I know I'm going to do it, I order one thing at a
restaurant, or buy one serving at the store.
 
3. I am choosing healthy comfort foods that I love, and eating them whenever I want to eat -- even if they are a few more calories. Things like homemade sweet potato salad (roasted sweet potatoes with the skin on, olive oil, crushed rosemary, sea salt); and full-fat Greek yogurt with stevia and walnuts mixed in; and meatloaf with gluten-free bread crumbs and agave-sweetened, organic ketchup; and fresh berries with a drizzle of heavy cream and a few drops of  stevia liquid.
 
And while I'm doing this, I am also doing the following:
 
1. Attending extra support groups and reaching out to friends who are safe.
 
2. Getting extra support (did I say that already?).
 
3. Using an amount of support that matches the amount of stress in my life. (Enough support is critical!)
 
4. Not telling myself no one cares or understands -- some people certainly do care and understand. And besides, *I* care and understand. It is *my* job to find others who will honor who I am, comfort me, and not judge me.
 
5. Not telling myself to keep my sad mood a secret -- some people will accept me as I am, sad and hurting, and love me anyway.  Naturally, lots of the people I have told about my sadness have promptly tried to fix me:
 
"Don't worry. It's great that your son is mature enough to be on his own."
"Don't be sad. You can Skype him!" 
"Don't worry so much you start to hover. He'll like you more if you don't pester him all the time with
phone calls and texts to check up on him."
 
"It's a part of life. Get over it."
 
Yes, people have actually said these things.But, I persist in speaking my truth. I want to be honest. I am going to share my feelings, because I don't want to eat them. And I'm going to be human. Making a
mistake or two or five along the way.  Here's what I want you and all my beloved friends and
relatives to say to me, or to ask me:
 
1. Say, 'I can see you're hurting and I love you.'
 
2. Say, 'I hear that you're feeling loss and sadness, how can I support you?'
 
3. Ask me, 'What do you need, in this moment, to be fully present in your life?'
 
4. Ask me, 'Would it help if I ...' Cook for you? Come over and go for a walk with you? Help you unpack while you cry? Tell you how it felt when my child left home for college? Give you a hug?
 
5. Write to me and say, 'Be with yourself. Be with yourself. Be with yourself. Deep down you know how to move through this. You are loved and I support you.'
 
If I'm being honest, what I really want today is your words of encouragement. Is that too much to ask?  Would it be too much if you asked for that from the people in *your* life?
 
Join with me and take your self care to the next level. Be with yourself.  Deep down you know how to move through this. You are loved and I support you.
 
Katie
From Small Bites, the email newsletter for the
National Association for Weight Loss Surgery.
Subscribe today and get your F'REE report,
How to Regain-proof Your Weight Loss
Surgery at
www.NAWLS.com.
(c) 2011  National Association for Weight Loss Surgery,
Inc. All rights reserved.

National Association for Weight Loss Surgery, 609A Piner Road, #319, Wilmington, NC 28409 

Da Plane! Da Plane!


I don't know how many of you have feared flying because of the overwhelming stigma associated with "fitting" into a seat.  Obese people have often taken the wrap if they accidentally "spill over" into someone else's seat where that person could complain and the obese flyer would have to purchase an additional seat.  If that obese person didn't have the cash to shell out for another seat, he/she could end up without a seat on the plane!

At my heaviest of 325, that was a constant worry for me.  It caused me so much anxiety on flights that it just made my trips much less enjoyable.  Airlines really pack the passengers in on the planes these days and I can't tell you how many times I have literally prayed for an upgrade to First Class where I would be more comfortable and not infringe upon anyone else's flying "space".

I just got back from some work travel and I will have you know that I was able to rock the seatbelt with 12 inches of extra space!  That has never ever, never, ever, happened to me.  I was also able to sit in my seat comfortably without touching the arm of the lady sitting next to me.  I was so excited, I wanted to bust!  I immediately texted my hubby before our departure, but he couldn't understand my excitement... after all, it was just an airline seat.

I wanted to share this bit of jubilation with you, my subbies, just to let you know that if you are are on your WLS journey, or are considering the surgery, but have not committed to acting upon it, this goal is so attainable.  I have lost a total of 98lbs and I feel so good.  I get loads of compliments.  My clothes fit so much better, and I have so many more shopping choices.  But I have to tell you that it is the small milestones like this that have made this journey so worthwhile to me.

Please post your comments below and let me know what you think about the whole airline seat ordeal and your feelings or fears of flying -- past or present!  Thanks so much!

Smooches!

Men vs. Women: Who Gains More Weight After Marriage and Divorce?


Give this article a good read if you are contemplating marriage or are already married and are wondering why your waistline is spreading. Good information on habits that women pick up, but not much on lifestyle changes. Decent story nonetheless! Give it a read and post your comments below. Men vs. Women: Who Gains More Weight After Marriage and Divorce?

August 21, 2011

New Beginnings for Junior Diva


Hubby and I dropped off the Junior Diva at her college dorm Friday afternoon.  It was a day that I was excited about, but a little sad, too.  She got busy setting up her room, and we went to the grocery store and bought items to help fill her full-sized fridge.  I never had a full-sized fridge in college, so this was indeed a luxury for me.

She'd given me a list of items to purchase for her, and wow was I surprised when at the top were items like, "strawberries, mandarin oranges, carrots, mini cucumbers, and lean cuisines!"  I am glad she made those choices because it made me feel more comfortable about leaving her.

And that is what it is all about -- leaving her at school to begin her new journey.  Gosh, I was so tempted to call her every five minutes.  Then I wanted to text or Tweet, or Facebook her, but I stopped myself each time.  I want her to have the full college experience and I don't want to be a worry-wart.  Her brother, who is three, keeps asking where is his sister.  I have explained to him several times over the past couple of days, but he doesn't quite understand it yet.  Luckily we have web cams around so we can always skype and get them talking again.

I miss my Junior Diva, but she is off kickin' butt and takin' names!  Best wishes and many blessings, Junior Diva!  I love you!

Smooches

August 20, 2011

Dining out Tips While Traveling



The last few weeks I've been traveling for work, and I have found it challenging finding good food choices.  While traveling you find your typical American food choices with huge servings and lots of calories.  The carbs and fat is just ridiculous.  Seldom do you find any type of bariatric delight!

So my advice is if you can, stock up on your favorite snacks before you leave.  Mine tend to be tiny cucumbers, carrots, roasted almonds, and protein powder . Taking a blender bottle is very handy, as well.   I also make sure I get in a trip to Trader Joe's to get my little brie cheese wheels, and Greek yogurt, too.

If I am driving, I make myself a protein shake so I can make sure I make good choices while on the road.  There are too many places on the road and I don't want to be tempted.  I may get my coffee, but I will not be making visits to the Golden Arches, or any other fast food place.

Once I am at my destination, I always make sure to hit the grocery store again for water, fruit, veggies, and any other snacks I think I may want to eat.  Eating out is one of the last things on my mind and now that I don't have the appetite I used to have, I think of other things I want to do.  I tend to forgo the free breakfast they usually have in the hotel, and eat half of a yogurt and drink some of a protein shake.  I make sure I have my water, veggies, yogurt, and snacks for the day, and I am ready to tackle the workday.

I find myself grazing on the veggies throughout the day,  and I'll eat one mini brie and maybe a half of a handful of almonds.  This is something that really works for me since I often feel snacky but don't want to consume empty calories.

For dinner out of town, I typically get some type of fish dish with steamed veggies.  I always get crazy looks when I only eat three bites of it and ask for a box.  When dining out of town though, it's not always prudent to get the box, so I leave the food on my plate.  This is something I am totally not used to since I was raised as a part of the "clean your plate" club.  I struggle with what I believe is wasting food, but then I remember the portions are really huge anyway.

I don't drink anything except water and coffee these days, so I never get any other beverages other than good ol' H2O.

I hope that you may find some of my tips to be helpful on your journey.  Please leave some feedback below and let me know what you are doing for dining out options while traveling.

Smooches,

Faith

July 27, 2011

Body Image a Struggle in Hollywood, too!


Rosario Dawson, star of "Rent", "Seven Pounds", and several other blockbuster movies speaks out about Hollywood's warped perception of body image.  Read the article here about how she was actually complimented for looking emaciated for a role she played in "Rent".  Definitely something to read about, Divas!  We, in the obesity community struggle with our body images, as well.  It's nice to have someone who speaks against the stereotype of the "Hollywood" body-type

Chime in about the article and post your comments!  Smooches!

July 26, 2011

Obesity New Factor in Getting Cancer


I thought this article was worth the read.  We all struggle to get our mams done every year, but this article pinpoints added factors in the necessity of getting mammograms earlier than 40 years of age.  Check out this article and start some discussion.  This affects all of us!

July 12, 2011

DIVA-Tude Tuesday!
Hello all of my Divas and "Divos"! 

I hope all of you are well.  I've been slammed with work over the past couple of weeks, but I wanted to share something cool with you on this "DIVA-Tude Tuesday"!  I was plowing through my closet the other day trying to find something that actually fit and didn't fall to the floor, hang off my shoulder, sag at the waist, or sag in the butt.  I can tell you that I have very few things to wear as almost all of my old clothes are in the donate pile.  I haven't gotten around to catalog them, but I digress.  Anyway... while looking through my clothes, I noticed one of my mom's old dresses in the closet and it is a size 16.  I thought to myself that she must have left it in there because she'd lost weight and couldn't wear it, and she knew that eventually I would get to that size.  I really haven't been weighing or measuring myself, but I did notice my clothes continue to get bigger.  So I took the plunge and said "what the heck!" and I tried on the dress.

I want all of you to guess WHO fit into a size 16 dress!  I was so ecstatic!  I modeled the dress for my husband who smiled sheepishly and said that it was "great".  I modeled the dress "catwalk" style for my daughter, the Mini Diva, who gave me a grande "high five" and "w00t"!  Then... I modeled the dress for my mom.  She looked at me strangely and asked where I got the dress and I explained that it was across a hangar in my closet; I thought she'd left it for ME.  "I was wondering where that thing went!" she said.  The dress wasn't FOR me, but boy it sure did FIT ME!!!!!  She then said she was gonna hide the rest of her good clothes because I was all set to get to them and have a party trying them on!

I am so psyched about this news!  Any of you who have lost a lot of weight or have been struggling to get off those extra pounds that just won't budge can appreciate this kind of news.  Truth be told, I don't ever remember being a size 16!  I was probably a size 16 when I was in 5th or 6th grade.  It feels good to have reached this milestone, and I wanted to share this with my followers and hope that if you have yet to reach a milestone like this, hang in there!  Your time to shine will soon come!

Please be sure to leave me some feedback!  I'm still plugging away to get my protein and water in every single day.  It is still very hard.  I can still only eat about 1/2 cup of food before I reach my limit.  Let me know how you're doing and what you are doing to get what you need AND... tell me what you are doing to express YOUR inner DIVA!

Smooches!!!


July 1, 2011

Haven't Forgotten about All of You!




Hi Divas!

I apologize for not posting lately.  I have had a lot of extra duties at work and felt like I was neglecting my family.  So I took a little time off to tend to mi familia, and to come up with some new topics for this blog.

What I decided to do was to describe the various phases of my weight loss journey from what prompted me to seek weight loss surgery, to the actual surgery, and post-op weightloss matters.  My hubby also thought it would be good to describe my thoughts about my VSG and the pain or lack of pain.

So, hang tight my lovely Diva's and Divo-dudes!  I will be back with new posts and more insight to share on my journey to VSG and beyond... kind of like "Buz Lightyear's" to Infinity and beyond!

May 28, 2011

Graduation Weekend!


I have so much for which to be thankful!  One of which is the graduation of my oldest daughter from high school tomorrow.  I blogged about her before, telling all of you how much she has supported me during my journey.

Just to brag a bit, she is graduating with a 4.0 for the year and as and Honor Graduate.  She will be attending one of the Georgia state schools in the fall.  We are so proud of her accomplishments and her drive!   Just proud and gushing!

So this weekend is all about the petite diva and her graduation.  I hope to be sharing some news soon about my journey, shortfalls, accomplishments, rants, hauls, etc.  TTYL Diva Fans!  Big hugs and smooches!

May 22, 2011

What's in Your Tummy


Good morning fellow Divas and Divos!  What are your food plans for today?  Today is Sunday and for many of us, there is a traditional Sunday dinner!  What's going to be on your plate today?  I want some Turkey... and of course, a pickling cucumber.  Those have been my spring - summer must have craving!  What have you been desiring?

May 20, 2011

Tastes Like Chicken -- NOT!!!


Squirrel:  The new "chicken"!
This is one protein this Diva will NOT be partaking of!  Check out the story here.

May 10, 2011

DIVA-Tude Tuesday


It's DIVA-tude Tuesday again!!!  How are you expressing your "inner Diva"?  I am plugging away at loosing this weight!  I have lost 86 pounds so far, and can't weight until I hit the century mark.  I also cannot wait to get to "one-der land". 

Are any of you working on reaching "one-der land"?  Tell my fans about your successes and challenges.  Also give us any tips or suggestions you may have to reach this awesome goal.  Thanks and I look forward to reading your responses!

Happy DIVA-day!!

Good Fat...Bad Fat... Are All Fats Created Equal


This is a pretty informative article about the different types of fat that we carry around on our bodies.  Depending on the type and color, we may be more at risk for heart disease and stroke.  Please read and let me know what you think about all of the colors of the fat in our bodies.  Click here for the entire story. 

Thanks for sharing!

April 23, 2011

My New Reveal -- Ta-Daaaa!

Faith Walker aka "ATL WLS Diva"!

Hi Diva Fans!  Here is the photo I promised you earlier.  This was taken earlier today at my cousin's house.  She always has a "Pre-Easter" dinner and I had my big reveal to my family and relatives.  Everyone was so surprised.  I hadn't seen many of my cousins for a few years and they were definitely impressed.

I don't know if you can tell, but my collar-bones are starting to show!  I'm so pumped!  And my face is lengthening; I didn't know if was so long -- it always looked round to me.  Who knew?  Anyway, this is my new maxi dress, and I received many complements. 

Hope you enjoy this pic.  I'll post some pre-op pics so you can tell the transformation for yourself. 

Smooches!

Contemplating a New Look


Hey Diva Fans!

I've been busy with work and just spent the longest week in a training class.  The class's content was really good, however the teaching style was horrible.  And there was too much content shoved into one week; it really should have been a two week class.

April 8, 2011

Brown Bagging It for Lunch


It has been stressful at work over the past couple of weeks with meetings on top of meetings, training, and more meetings.  I rarely go out for lunch with my co-workers since we are all across the country, so I bring a bag of WLS friendly goodies to have on hand.  I notice that I tend to eat several small meals now, rather than three large ones.  Each of us on this journey is different and you have to find what works best for you.

April 7, 2011

CLICK! Springtime Giveaway a la Eggface!


It's spring time my fellow divas, and it's time for a giveaway!  Head on over to my girl, Shelly's blog, The World According to Eggface, and get CLICK!'n.  She is giving away one container of All Natural CLICK! Mocha and All Natural CLICK! Vanilla Latte, a beautiful basket, and a CLICK! bling hat!!!

Shelly has a collection of the best protein recipes I have seen anywhere so be sure to grab your CLICK!, your blender, and your imagination, and check out the shake recipes on her site.  You will not be disappointed!  Go over to her site and leave a comment, Facebook, or Tweet about the giveaway and you'll be entered -- each method gives you an additional entry. 

Let me know if you enter, you never know if you'll be the lucky winner!!!

Go forth and get CLICK!'n!!!!!

April 6, 2011

Another Reason to Get Fit and Trim


Good article from "Health Goes Strong" about the stigma of being obese and how people from other countries view it as a vice.  I know we are big and beautiful, but that is now how people from other countries view it.  From their perspective, "Fat People" are seen as lazy, poor performers, and apathetic.  This just doesn't apply to all of us and I don't like the blank application of these terms for everyone who has a problem with their weight.  If it was as easy as just "pushing away from the table" or to just stop eating 60% of Americans wouldn't be overweight.  34% of the population wouldn't be obese and 2.9% would not be morbidly obese. 

Please check out the article here and please post your feedback below.  I want to hear from you!!

April 2, 2011

Up My Sleeve -- In My Pouch


I did my trek to Trader Joe's today for supplies.  I snagged the snack-sized individual Brie Cheese (Thanks Eggface!), some of their fabulous Greek Yogurt, and some large  New England Scallops from the freezer section.  I did notice they carried the Japanese kind, but I thought... nah!!!!

Acid Reflux and You


Acid Reflux has been kickin' my arse, this week!  For me, this is the ONLY drawback in having a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy or "VSG".  Most of the time, my stomach feels raw.  If I eat something, it feels like barbed wire is heading to the pitt of my stomach.  Then once the food is there, it feels like lead.

It's a New Dawn! It's a New Day! It's a New Life, and I'm Feelin' Fine!


I went to Old Navy with my daughter this afternoon hoping to score some sale items for her to wear back to school after Spring break.  Well... what I never dreamed was that I would be able to fit comfortably and, in some cases, rate loosely in an XXL!!!  I'm officially in a size 20 ya'll! (yes, I said ya'll -- hey!  I live in Georgia, what do you expect!)

I tried on two shirts, a cardigan, a jacket, and a dress!  I ended up getting everything!!  I was so giddy inside, and my daughter said I looked really good in my new duds...

The only downside:  I found out later, the salesperson left the security tag on the jacket!  WTH????

March 30, 2011

Bronx Zoo Cobra Tweets


I have to admit I was intrigued by the hype of "Bronx Zoo Cobra". Can you imagine a snake escaping from the zoo and finding adventure in the Big Apple?   Then I found out he had a Twitter account, and was actually very witty!  I am now a proud cobra follower.  @BronxZooCobra on Twitter!  Follow him... he's got "Hissss-pah"!

March 29, 2011

DIVA-Tude Tuesday

Once again, it is DIVA-tude Tuesday! How are you expressing your inner Diva? This week I really went out of my comfort zone at work and decided to take a more managerial role for on my team, and it was not unnoticed! My boss complimented me on my initiative and said that the processes I was initiating were creative. He was also impressed that I was implementing changes to make things smoother and more efficient in taking on new projects I think that six months ago, I did not exude the confidence I have now. I owe my new found sense of "self" to my decision to have WLS and my fortitude to not give up on myself or my goals! Please post comments and let me know what YOU are doing on this DIVA-tude Tuesday. Shouts out to "eggface" and "melting mama" who are representing in the OAC summit in NYC! They are really expressing DIVA-tude! - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Atlanta

Have You Been the Butt of a Fat Joke



"Fat Jokes Hurt", says Richard Simmons.  Yes, they do and sadly many of us have been on the losing end of them.  There has been a lot of commentary on the remarks George Lopez made about Kirstie Alley and her participation in "Dancing with the Stars". 

I can appreciate a good joke, but some things are just plain poor taste.  Read Richard Simmon's comments for his personal take on Fat Jokes.  Chime in!  Your comments are important!

March 25, 2011

How Do You Get Your Workout On?


I've been working primarily on cardio and burning fat to shed pounds.  I recently added crunches for abs, and will start strength training next month.  What are you doing to tone up, and get fit after WLS?  Please post your thoughts, comments, ideas, and fitness fun!

Rollercoaster Ride Inspires Weightloss


 
If you have EVER felt like this, then this story is for you.  This happened to me when I took my daughter and here GS troop to Six Flags over GA, and my narrow behind couldn't even fit the seat!  I was so sad and outdone.  Now that I'm down 80lbs, I can't wait to get back to Six Flags so I can show those rides what a real diva does when she puts her mind to it.

Here is the story

March 22, 2011

DIVA-tude Tuesday

Today is another DIVA-tude Tuesday!  It was a beautiful day in the ATL, pollen and all.  I actually had time during the day to think about some things I wanted to accomplish.  I'm currently studying for the GMAT since I want to apply to one of the business schools down here to get my MBA.  I haven't quite decided on the program, but it would be nice to attend the one closest to my home.  Math has not been my strong suit, so I have been working on my aptitude, formulas, calculations, and problem solving.  What I still don't get is the Data Sufficiency section.  The test gives you two choices, and you must decide if the data given to you is enough to solve the problem.  I don't remember that section in college Algebra or calculus... or even in Logic for that matter.

March 20, 2011

Great Buy on Acid Reducer


My fellow sleevers,

If you are still experiencing acid reflux and would like to find some acid reducer at a discount, check out this hot buy at Amazon.com.  I was searching for a Prilosec coupon and came across a link for 33% and thought it was pretty good.  I noticed it was Amazon and since I'm a Prime Member, at least my shipping would be free.  This link was 33% off of a 42 count box, so I thought, "Let me look at the 24 count box." Lo' and behold!  The 24 count box of Prilosec was $10.54  or a savings of 59%.  So I bought 3 and got free shipping.  I love a good deal and I am passing it on to you.  Check out Amazon.com for the deal.  Click here! Click the 24 count.  Sign up for a 3 month trial of Amazon Prime to get free 3 day shipping.  You can cancel anytime, but it really pays for itself! 

Let me know if you found this helpful!  I love to pass on a good deal to my friends.

March 16, 2011

Erin Go Braugh!


In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I made a corned beef in the crock pot. Last night, I took out the beef and rinsed it off. I put it in. Dutch oven and covered it in clear water. I place the pot on HIGH on the stove until it came to a boil. I turned it down and let it simmer on MED Low for 10 minutes. The purpose of this was to rid the roast of some of the sodium. Most of the packaged roasts have over 1100 MG of Sodium, and that can do a number on your system. After simmering, I removed the brisket from the water, set it on a plate, and put it in the fridge uncovered for 15 minutes. After that, I wrapped the corned beef in foil and refrigerated overnight.

February 27, 2011

And the Winner Is...


Jennifer Hudson looked fantastic this evening at the 2011 Oscars. Jennifer rocked a full-length red dress and she looked smokin'! Go ahead, girl, and do your thing!