December 5, 2013

Tea, Coffee, and Gift Exchanges

Elf on the shelf gets into the coffee beans!

Over the last two years my work team and I have participated in playing some form of a "secret santa".  We started using a site called that takes all of the guess work out of the task of divvying up the names and ensuring everyone gets another member of team.  I must say it is a pretty cool site.  You can create wishlists for your "Santa" to view and it takes the guess work out of shopping for a person you don't know as well.  You can also set a cap on the cost of a gift.  So if your families are large and you need a gift exchange option, is your site!

I consider myself a really easy person for which to shop.  I have enough of a broad interest in sports, politics, reading, girliness, etc that I think shopping for me is pretty easy.  I can do with a candle or a bottle of scented hand sanitizer.  In creating my list on though, I can be a little more specific in what I want and as long as I don't go over budget, I am guaranteed to get something that is nice.

One of my favorite joys since my surgery in 2010 is enjoying a nice cup of tea from Teavana.  I have a few favorites like the Jasmine Dragon Pearls, or the Assam Gold Rain.  Green or black tea, it really doesn't matter.  It just makes me feel relaxed and warm when I brew a pot and sit and breathe in the steam and the wonderful aroma of the tea.  It's very engaging for me.  I just love it.

I have been vacillating between tea and coffee this year, choosing either a nice Triple Latte for a high caffeine kick in the morning to a nice cup of English Breakfast.  My Santa this year was my boss and she actually gifted me a new tea that I will be trying today.  It smells divine!  I wish this thing had scratch-n-sniff or "smell-o-vision" so you could take a waft of the yummy delicious smell of this wonder artisan tea blend!.

Since WLS, coffee and tea have been very helpful to me in helping me get over those humps when I wasn't necessarily feeling physical hunger, but moreso head hunger.  The heat and caffeine from the beverage helps quell my addiction just a little longer so I don't get tempted by any other distractions -- especially at this time of year.

If you haven't tried any new teas or coffees this Christmas season and are looking to do a little something for yourself, splurge a little and find a tea or coffee that you haven't had before.  I am not selling Teavana, it just happens to be a place I like to go maybe once a year.  There are some great teas in the grocery store by Lipton that have Pomegranate and Acai berries -- it's wonderul!  Wherever you go to get your tea or coffee try a new on for size and then let me know what you thought about it.  I'm about to go and finish my Triple Espresso Shot Medium Latte... soooo good!  Oh, and let me know if you try out -- and no, I'm selling that either!



November 21, 2013

Free eBook -- "The Emotional Rescue Plan for Smart, Busy Women: Make Peach with Food..."

I just bought: 'The Emotional Eating Rescue Plan for Smart, Busy Women: Make Peace with Food,... via @amazonkindle

Make sure you pick it up here!


How to Survive the Crooked Path of WLS -- reprinted from Katie Jay of NAWLS

How to Survive the Crooked Path of WLS Recovery
By Katie Jay, MSW, Certified Wellness Coach
Director, National Association for Weight Loss Surgery

Most of us just want to lose the weight after surgery and be done with it. Then, we can live the life we've been longing for. Then, we will be happy. Then, we will be healthy. Then, things will go our way. Then, we'll be free. But then, we are confronted with reality.

"I finally see that this will be a life-long journey," said one retreat participant. Interestingly, several other women said the same thing in one way or another. Even the goal shared by another retreat woman, of "dealing with my regain," evolved into, "accepting the ups and downs of this journey."

The reality is that there is no final resting place until we pass away. In the meantime, all of us will continue on a somewhat unpredictable, winding path, with life intervening is surprising ways, too numerous to count.

The Indigo Girls have a song about the crooked path to finding peace in life called Closer to Fine.

They sing: "There's more than one answer to these questions pointing me in a crooked line,and the less I seek my source for some definitive the closer I am to fine."

What I'm learning is that we each need to find our own answers -- and there is no single way. The crooked path is an inevitable tool for discovery, but not the answer in and of itself. The answers are in us -- the answers are in allowing and accepting the path, and in being present for what it can teach us in each moment. Some of you know my doctor has me on an allergy- elimination diet to help me sort out some health issues. I never thought my path would turn in this direction.

For today, I am focusing on what I can learn and enjoy as I walk this path. And I'm being incredibly gentle and loving with myself. I have not been very good at self care over the years, but this crooked path has taken me there. I see that my healing depends on my willingness to take care of myself in this precious moment... 



This article is reprinted from speaker and Wellness Coach Katie Jay of NAWLS

How To Control Your Sweet Tooth

If you have trouble with sweets and chocolate, read some of these ideas to help curb the urges that creep up when you come across a trigger.  Let me know how some of these work for you.  You can reach me on all social media.

-- courtesy of Snack Girl



November 20, 2013

If you are not already, please follow me on Instagram at @faith0107.


November 11, 2013

Protein Power Balls Recipe - Yum!

I saw this recipe on the Bariatric Bad Girls Club 's Facebook page and I wanted to share.  I am always on the look out for a good way to get my protein in for the day.  This is a very satisfying little treat that is high in protein!

Protein power balls

1/2 c chocolate peanut butter
1/2 - 3/4 c quick cooking oatmeal 
4 -5T cacao nibs, 
2T flax seed, 
2T chia seeds, 
2-4 scoops of your favorite vanilla whey protein 
1T honey
Black Coffee (optional)

Mix all ingredients together .  If it's a little dry add the black coffee to moisten. ( skim milk can be substituted for the coffee, but the addition of the coffee makes the chocolate flavor pop). Take the mixture by the tablespoon and roll into balls.  Place the balls on wax paper and refrigerate two or more hours.  Enjoy.

November 10, 2013

Things They Don't Tell You When You Want to Lose Weight

Everyone is on a quest to lose some weight -- some more weight that others.  Weightloss looks good on paper.  You feel better.  Your co-morbidities are gone.  When you set about to try to lose a massive amount of weight -- say 50lbs or more-- there are things you should know that can impact you.  Take a look at this article that talks about some of the things "they" don't tell you about dramatic weightloss.  Always do your homework and know what you are getting yourself into.

November 9, 2013

Planning, Shopping and Dining: Practicle Tactics for Good Nutrition

Make sure to check out the Obesity Action Coalitions (OAC) for tips on good nutrittion and meal planning!

November 8, 2013

Respect for Fat People

“Fat people have the right to exist in fat bodies regardless of how we got fat, what being fat means, or if we could be thin through some means – however easy or difficult. There are no other valid opinions on this – we have the right to exist without shaming, bullying or stigmatization, period.”

Ragen Chastain -
'Nuff said!

Return Flight Denied to Heavy Man by British Airways

I find this offensive.  All of a sudden, British Airways is unable to accommodate the flight of a 500lb man because of safety issues.  I find it offensive because it was that airline that flew him to Paris and all of a sudden, this poses a "safety issue".  How convenient!  Check the link for the whole story on CNN.

Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think of this story.  You can also Tweet, or find me on Facebook!


November 5, 2013

Did You Survive?

Were you able to stay with your good eating habits during Halloween or were you tempted by all of the tempting candy?  The holidays we have toward the end of the year are extremely hard on us bariatics because it really tests our ability to say "no".  The whole end of the year is centered around food and toys and it's hard to overstep the two without consequence.  If you can get through the holidays unscathed, you are destined to stay on plan and cruise toward your goal.  If you are like me and need a little extra help, keep reading.

For Halloween, I chose not to hand out treats to the kids because I didn't want to tempt myself.  It is so easy to say those little candy bars aren't a lot of candy, but then if you eat one, you'll eat two, and then you're in real trouble.  I also limited the number of snacks that my son was able to consume after the neighborhood fall festival and trick or treating.  It was the first time that I'd taken him, and we walked all through the neighborhood to get the the kids' festival and then after that we went trick or treating.  We got to the 5th house, and he was ready to leave.  Poor thing was pooped and I wasn't mad at all!

From there, I allowed him to pick out a few treats to take to school, and the next day, his bag magically disappeared.  I kept him pretty busy so really didn't miss it.  This helped me not to give in to the feeling that I had to have chocolate.  Out of sight, out of mind!

I have the "sleeve" so there aren't many things that I cannot eat, but I don't want to eat too much or have the weight gain that can be attributed to Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  I have learned that although the holidays can be daunting, I can avoid feeling deprived by following some simple guidelines.

1.  I scan the room for foods that I want or like.
2.  I fix my own plate.  I don't allow anyone to pile anything on my plate.
3.  I choose my protein first and foremost!   I always choose lean cuts of Turkey, Beef, or Pork, and then I have no more than 1 ounce. (that would typically end up being about 1 slice of turkey or whatever I am having).  Remembering to fill up on protein helps you get in your daily allowance of protein and keeps you from overeating.
4.  I have a few crunchy veggies like carrots or cucumbers and a slice of tomato.
5.  Next, I have about a 1 tbsp of each of the side dishes I like, such as collard greens, brussell sprouts, and maybe some dressing.  I don't have any more than that and I don't pile my plate up high.  I don't have the "dumping" issues so I can do some carbs.  I just chose to not overdo it.
6.  Once I have my plate, I make sure that I take small bites.  It's too important to make sure you chew your food well. Chewing your food well also helps you to better gauge the time when you begin to feel full so you can stop and avoid the hiccups, or the foaming in your throat.  Being uncomfortable is no fun during dinner friends or family .
7.  I also make sure I am participating in conversation, and placing my fork down between bites.  This helps so much with signaling your brain that you are full.
8.  Lastly, if I decide to have dessert, I take a small piece to go.  I don't want to miss a little something sweet, so I make sure it's small and that I don't combine it with anything else.

If you feel that you can't control yourself during a dinner like this or that you are missing something, have a small snack like an apple or a small yogurt 30-45 minutes before eating, that way you'll feel satisfied without overdoing the goodies.  I hope you find these tips helpful and will use them in your arsenal.  Remember to leave me some feedback below and share some of your own tips.



October 30, 2013

Bariatric Surgery for Obese Children!

I was watching "the Doctors" this morning when they ran a segment on a surgery that was performed on a two-year child who was morbidly obese.  Because the child was developing co-morbidities and weighed 79 pounds at age two, the parents decided to have weight loss surgery performed on the child.

I think most of the audience was outraged by this, but it makes you wonder, will this become the norm where parents will begin deciding to let their kids have gastric bypass or some other type of bariatric surgery?  While the doctors thought the idea was ludicrous, they were of the belief that the surgery probably saved this child's life.  They did say that the one factor that was unknown was if the child had any hormonal or genetic abnormalities that might have cause this disorder.

What are your thoughts?  If you had a morbidly obese child, and know what you know now about bariatric surgery, if it was available, would you allow your child to have it?  Please leave your comments and feedback below.  Make sure to subscribe, like this page on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter

Woman to Give Obese Children Letter instead of Halloween Treats

What would you say if you found a letter from one of your neighbors stating that she is not giving your child candy because he/she is obese?  Read on my dear readers, read on!
I truly found this to be insensitive.  This is just another way of #fatshaming and we all know that "ish" don't work.  I would say 99% of the people it is intended to "help" will never have that "aha" moment you intended, where they say, "you know what? I'm not gonna let my kid eat that."  This is just another type of anonymous bullying that does nothing, but provide validation to yet another insecure person who has to pick on a kid to find their meaning in life.

You know what, don't send me a letter -- come to my house and tell me that crap to my face and then wait for my response!  I will not stand by and allow anyone to use psychological bullying on anyone, especially a child.  If you don't want to give out candy, put it away, but don't take away from the meaning of the celebration because you want to have a cause that you believe.  And you have no right to point at anyone's child and say they are obese.  Mind your own business and keep that crap to yourself!

October 25, 2013

Attitude of Gratitude

Someone of Facebook asked if we ever just got sick of thinking about food.  My first reaction was, "heck yeah!"  Most of the time these days, I don't even put much thought into eating anymore.  It is such an afterthought.  I can honestly say that before my surgery, food consumed me.  All I could think about was what was my next meal, what type of cuisine would it be?  How would it be cooked, etc?  That is a whole lot of energy to put into one meal.

Then I thought more about what my fellow sleever was saying, and while I responded candidly about being sick of food, I also told her that I could focus more on being grateful for my new life and the new adventures that it allowed me.

My attitude has changed so much.  Eating out to me is not a big thing anymore -- I can take it or leave it.  I may get a craving here or there, but the more I think about what I can do, the more gratitude I have about where I am in my life and that I am now able to focus more on my health, raising my family, and keeping myself in tune with my spiritual side.  I am grateful for new way of living and I owe a lot of it to WLS. 

I hope you will share what you are grateful for!  How are you feeling about food these days on your journey.


October 17, 2013

Who's Staring back at You in the Mirror? Improving Self-Perception

This is a great seminar on our self-perception.  Please take the time to check out the webinar and leave your comments below.  Thanks

October 16, 2013

#FatShamingWeek (Frequently Asked Tonjes)

This is a topic we need to discuss more openly and more often.  This whole fat shaming thing has to stop and we have to start speaking up about it.  Please view, share, post your comments.


October 15, 2013

I'm Doing My Own Thing!

One of the most popular sayings on the web is, "Do You!"  I have to say that I cannot agree more with that sentiment. Since I began my journey in 2010, it was always about my getting better for me and my family, and not about what anyone else thought.  I will go down in the books today to reiterate my firm belief that you must do what is best for you and your program, system, body, family, etc.  "Do you!"

I say this because there are many people who criticize what we put in our mouths, especially if we have had weight loss surgery, or are even on a diet for that matter.  I have even seen some people in our support groups go as far as to question what another member is doing on their journey!  WTH???  "Do you!"  You don't owe any explanation to anyone if you want to have an extra teaspoon of corn, or broccoli, or even a sliver of pie!  "Do you!"

If you know that you can handle what you are eating, that you have been responsible, that you can handle the carbs, that you can spare the calories, or even if you can't, won't, or don't -- just "Do You!"  No one can tell you how to behave on your journey.  The key word in that sentence is "Your"!  It's your journey to wellness and your life that you are leading.  No one else matters in that equation except you!

Don't let what other people say get you down and depressed and questioning what you are doing on your weight loss journey.  Just celebrate the fact that you have made your choice, you are on YOUR path, and you are taking care of you!  "Do You!!!!"


October 12, 2013

Vitamins - Good, Bad, and Ugly

About a year ago, I had serious complications from iron deficiency from not taking the right type of vitamins for my specific Weight Loss Surgery and it left me on the brink of a serious situation.  One of THE most important things that we must keep up with is our nutrients.  Those are key to our health and success.  I can't lie and say I was taking my vitamins faithfully or even following up with my doctor regularly. 

Now that I am back on track, when I read what other people are posting about their vitamins and I cringe.  When we signed up for this lifestyle change, we promised ourselves and the world that things were going to be different and we were going to take care of our new bodies, and our new selves.  Taking sub-par vitamins just doesn't cut it!  You cannot expect to maintain your optimum health by popping a couple of Flintstones vitamins a day, thinking it's all good.  Bariatric vitamins are our best source of vitamins and nutrients and there are some great brands out there.  If you are searching for a Bariatric vitamin, check out Bariatric Advantage and Celebrate vitamins.  Those two brands are best in class for taste and also for their potency. 

It is too important after your surgery to maintain your stats and keep up with your vitamins.  Don't think that because you are on a budget that you can't get the proper nutrition.  You have room in your life for other things.  Make room for your health and wellness and get a vitamin that is going to guarantee you the best health.


October 5, 2013

Is This You?

Are you that person who eats all of the shrimp out of the dish when no one is looking?  Only to find a carton devoid of tasty deliciousness because you have taken it upon yourself to eat all of the protein out of the dish!  Is that you?

If that is you, it's time to come clean.  Cleanse your conscience and leave a comment below, on my Facebook, or send me at Tweet.  Let a Diva know, if that IS you!


October 4, 2013

That AHA Moment!

When did you first have that "Aha!" moment when you knew it was time for you to take the plunge and really do something about your weight loss.  I got my wake-up call when I wanted to ride one of the rides here at Six Flags Atlanta, and I couldn't get my butt into the seat!  I was so humiliated, too!  I stood in line just like the millions of others only to be ultra embarrassed when it was my turn and I couldn't wiggle my ass into the chair.  Talk about someone ticked off.  

I sat down over the next couple of days and started to weigh the pros and cons and when the pros outweighed the cons, I began doing research about the various procedures and started my journey from that point. 

It's surprising what spurs us to make the final decision.  Please leave some feedback for me on my Facebook page, Twitter, or below in the comments box. 


Baked Spaghetti Squash & Cheese

I found this tasty recipe for Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese.  It is low carb and high in protein!  Enjoy!  If you recreate the recipe leave some feedback about your experience either here or on my Facebook!  This looks really good!

Photo is courtesy of Skinny Taste!  

October 2, 2013

WLS Food Staples

Divas and Divos!

What has become a staple in your WLS food pantry?  Mine is Greek Yogurt!  I have to have it now.  Also, I still use my protein everyday, and have to have at least one cup of coffee.  These days, I am particularly fond of Dunkin' Donuts Blueberry Coffee -- cream, no sugar, and no donut!  Let me know what you have to have.  Leave your comments below or leave me a response on my Facebook or send me a Tweet.


What Are You Eating?

I always get the comments about, "didn't you like your ..." whenever I eat out.  I really don't even bother to explain to anyone anymore that I can't eat the gigantic portion the waiter served me.  Even when I get a box before the entree comes and box up half of my food, there is always some food leftover.  I am no longer a member of the "clean your plate" club, and I don't condone it for my kids or anyone else.

For me, food is no longer as huge a part of my life as it used to be.  I eat to live; eat to survive.  I take care of my body now and that is a huge difference.  I use my food choices a fuel that my body needs instead a mainstay of my existence or the center of my life.    So I am boxing up those left overs and not going over my rations during a meal anymore. 

I am working on making my family meals in smaller portions.  That has been a true challenge for me.  I can't eat what I used to, and now I see so much food wasted in this house.  What I have trouble believing or I just find it hard to believe that when I cooked, I consumed a lot what I now consider left-over food.  I have to shake my head.  I don't want to knock anyone reading this for the first time.  I decided to go on this journey for myself, for my health and well-being, but also for my kids, but it just stuns me how much I used to eat.

I ate to be filled.  I ate to be satiated.  I ate to appease others.  I ate to have fun.  I ate to deal with pain.  I ate to celebrate.  I used food as a coping mechanism, but never as it was intended to be used -- as a fuel. 

This journey through weigh-loss surgery really brings a person through all of the stages of grief!  There is the mourning, the denial, the anger, the acceptance, and then the realization that you can move on.  When I first had surgery, I felt sad about all of the foods I could no longer eat.  I then went through denial that I couldn't eat what I wanted when I wanted.  That phase got me into deep doo-doo because it caused me to overeat and throw up, a lot!!!

Then I was angry!  I was angry that I couldn't do what I wanted to do or eat like I used to and I felt what I like to call, "buyer's remorse".  Why did I do this to myself?  . 
The phase of disbelief rears it head again, because as I shed the weight, when I looked in the mirror, I still saw the same fat girl.  I started getting compliments, and people started telling me how good I looked.  But when I looked back at myself, nothing had changed on the inside, within my consciousness.  I continued to feel the same. 

Today, I feel like I am in the acceptance stage. I look in the mirror and see a thinner me, but I have different thoughts now.   I have learned how to eat, what to eat, how to satisfy myself and my cravings, and how to take care of my new body.  I had to adapt a new mantra as I was transformed after my surgery.  My new thoughts had to allow me to look at and treat food differently.  Through this transformation, I am slowly learning how to cook less, and really plan my meals.  I find if I don't plan out my family's meals for week, and my lunches for the week, we waste a slew of food, or I end up not eating during lunch, or eating out.  It takes a lot of thought to go into planning and I have used a lot of Google hours to find ways of slow cooking meals, making our meals more simple and tasty, all while be health conscious.  I have to say that this organziation has really helped all of us because I can see fewer items spoiling in house and less food being leftover and spoiled.

If you are considering Weight-Loss surgery, I hope you can use my experience to help you make wise choices.  You will go through the "stages of grief", but the sooner you recognize them, the better off your journey's outcome will be.  Please leave me some love below.  Leave some comments on my Facebook page, or send me a Tweet @faith0107!  I would  love to hear from you and find out where you are in your WLS Journey.



October 1, 2013

Obesity Action Coalition Educational Webinars Announced!!!

My Lovely Divas and Divos!

The Obesity Action Coalition is having a series of webinars (free) that are addressing many of the issues we face after WLS.  Here is one based on Self-Perception.  I have already signed up to be in attendance!  I am hoping that if you are struggling with your self-acceptance, you will sign up for the event!

Hosted by Merrill Littleberry, LCSW, LCDC, CCM, CI-CPT, better known as “Vitamin M,” “Who’s Staring back at You in the Mirror? Improving Self-Perception,” will look into the barriers and bridges that propel us to or prevent us from establishing a positive self-image. This webinar will take a therapeutic approach and convey it into a functional understanding that can be applied into daily life.

Press the link in the picture above and that will lead you over to the Obesity Action Coalition Membership page.  There you will be able to join for $20 and with that membership, you will be entitled to 50 educational pieces.  I hope you can make it! 

See you there!  Smooches!

September 30, 2013

Realizing Your Dreams

I have been asking a lot of questions of myself and the people around me about being happy with life and being fulfilled.  I have been receiving a lot of different responses.  I hear a lot of people say that a lack of income is what discourages people from living their dream or a lack of time. Is that the only thing that holds you back -- money?  I feel like that a lot of times too.  I want to start new things, but then I talk myself out of them because I think I won't have the money to do it or the financial backing.    I tend to start mini projects, but then I will get tired of it or I realize that it is too complex and I won't finish it. 

I can truly say that in the workplace when I start a project, I carry it to completion.  Why can't I do this in my own life?  I will be focusing on this question as well as about what I am passionate.  I feel as if I am not doing enough to discover my passion and I don't want to continue to just work at something that I don't care for just because it is my job.  Just because I have a job, doesn't mean I have a career.  I should be more courageous in my personal life and realize my dreams. 

What truly makes me happy has escaped me over the past year.  In that, I forgot that I am a bright and intelligent woman, with a lot of creativity and a voice that should be heard.  One of my ultimate goals is to empower other people to experience the best life they can.  I have to live the best life I possibly can, too.  To do this I have to believe in myself more and stop settling for "I can't" or "You can't".  Ain't nobody got time for that!  I started this path in January of 2010, and I want to continue to encourage other people to take a giant step out of their comfort zones!  I refuse to give up on my journey simply because I feel like I have fallen off my horse.  It's time for me to get back in that saddle, take up my lance, and go and find some windmills to tilt.

If you are feeling up to the challenge, let me know what you are doing to realize your dreams!  Tell me how I can encourage you or help you to be more accountable for the success you want.

Please leave your comments belong.  Give me a like on my Facebook page.  Follow me on Twitter, @faith0107.  Give me a shout out or think of me in your daily prayer or meditation.  Let me know.


September 24, 2013

What Are You Anyway!

If you had to place yourself in a category, would you be a Loser, a Maintainer, or a Gainer?  How are you doing on your Weight Loss quest?  I have been losing and then maintaining.  I would like to loose maybe 20 more pounds and then start looking into a body reconstruction.  What are your weight loss goals?  Chime and in leave your feedback in the comments section below.


September 19, 2013

Checking in with Everyone!

I hope everyone is having a great day!  I wanted to check in to see how the week was going for everyone.  I am doing well, and my nerves are finally healing themselves from this outbreak of Shingles.  I wish that on no one!

Anyway, I always tell everyone I am always working on myself and looking for ways to be a happier and healthier me.  When I was home sick, it gave me lots of time to think about things I wanted to accomplish and goals that I wanted to complete by year end and long-term.  I remember when I was in college how obsessed I was with using a calendar to record all of my homework, projects, and social events.  The calendar was a 12x12 Ziggy calendar with large boxes in which to write reminders or events.  I wrote everything on that thing and I was never behind.

When I graduate college, I moved into a DayRunner, that I just loved.  It had the best planning pages where I could write lots of data, take notes, create events, keep up with my addresses -- it was awesome!  After using that for a few years, I decided to use the Franklin Covey system.  I tried a couple of different flavors of FC, but I never fully got with that planner because it was limited in how it was set up.  The pages were too klugey and included more of what Covey wanted me to achieve, than more of what I wanted to achieve.  And for the price, which is more important.  So I put down that planner after buying three different sized binders, pages, etc, and opted to use my Smartphone... that became a whole other headache.  I could never sync up anything between my calendars because of the disparate mail and calendar system used at my job.  I absolutely hate the mail and calendar system we have.  It is totally non-functional and doesn't play well with others!!  That too is another rant.

So back to while I was out.  I began reminiscing about my old DayRunner and what I really liked about it.  Then Filofax caught my attention.  That was like someone turned on a faucet.  Everywhere I looked there were people talking about their Filofaxes, decorating their Filofaxes, collecting new ones even if they had one previously, swapping them, etc.  There was a Filofax underground and I had to see what it was about.  I ended up buying a small one and I am very pleased with it.  I can write my thoughts in it. Recording events and to-do's are very easy, and I can even decorate the pages.  I moved in and made myself quite comfortable in my new Filofax.  Then I began to organize my thoughts, and began the process of organizing my home.  Boy, you talk about upsetting some people in my house!!!

To my amusement, folks in my house were very put out by my re-organizing the house the way I felt it should be organized, and cleaned thoroughly.  I also started doing some very important -- meal planning.  I should have been doing this for years now, but got away from it when my daughter left for college.  Planning out my weekly meals has saved me money AND, I have lost weight, to boot!  You would think my family would love my new organization, but I got comments like, "what's wrong with what we're doing now?"  and "I think you're going over-board with this cleaning stuff." or even this: "Oh, I think it's gonna snow!  You're cleaning!!"  Negative, negative, negative...tsk, tsk, and shame shame on them!

Each one of use in this community must embrace change in our lives and do our best to organize our lives and our surroundings the best we can according to our lifestyle.  My style helps me to remember to eat more healthfully, take my vitamins, and even walk a little more.  I think what ever I can do to make myself get up and do more is a great thing!  Please leave me some comments below!  Until next time, smooches!

September 14, 2013

5%of American Kids "Severely Obese" Says American Heart Association

Read on the see what the AHA has to say about childhood obesity.  5%of American Kids "Severely Obese.

Does this number seem low or high? Please write your response below.

September 13, 2013

Attempts to Reduce Obesity by the Government Fail

Here is the link for a Newsweek article about how many attempts to make people more conscious of their weight and get more active actually, fail miserably.

The problem is, the solutions this multi-level campaign promotes are the same ones that have been used to fight obesity for a century—and they just haven’t worked. “We are struggling to figure this out,” NIH Director Francis Collins conceded to Newsweek last week. When I interviewed CDC obesity expert William Dietz back in 2001, he told me that his primary accomplishment had been getting childhood obesity “on the map.” “It’s now widely recognized as a major health problem in the United States,” he said then—and that was 10 years and a few million obese children ago

- See more at:

Take a look!

Blogging for Obesity

There are many of us on the web sharing our stories about our battle or struggle with losing weight.  There are excellent bloggers like Beth of and Michelle from  There are even vlogs on YouTube that track the weekly progress of people who are pre-op, post-op, and maintaining their weight after weightloss surgery.  Go to YouTube and look up Bariatric surgery to find some notable vloggers.

I want to make sure that the content I provide my readers is pertinent , interesting, and timely.  One topic I know I want to tackle is Childhood Obesity.  I would also like to get more of the perspective of men who have had weightloss surgery, and finally those people who have had or are considering "body reconstruction" surgery.

I welcome all of the feedback that you can give me about topics you are interested in learning more about.  Please leave some feedback, subscribe, send me a note!!!

Interview with a WLS Star!

On Thursday September 5, 2013,  I had the pleasure of speaking with a person in the Weight Loss Surgery community I found to be completely fascinating!  I received a call from him a few months ago for help in putting together a WLS support get-together.  After speaking to and listening to him talk about the goals he had for an Atlanta support group, and weight loss surgery from the male perspective, I knew he was passionate about his undertakings and I invited him to share his story with you on my blog.

Bryson "BMoney" Jenkins is absolutely ecstatic about the platform he has built in to advance the cause of fighting childhood obesity and being a weight loss advocate.  "I want to repair some of the wrong answers from experiences earlier in my life", Jenkins commented.  Without those experiences, though, he wouldn't be the strong man he is today.  He says that his life was a series of trials and errors, but he is one step closer to succeeding at his dreams.

Jenkins explained to me that he and God had somewhat of an understanding and he communicates with him through quiet reflection, meditation, and prayer each day, always asking himself what is it that he has to learn from his experiences.  "I need to learn everyday." He spent 25 years being "trapped" with his weight  preventing him from creating the platform to reach his success as a performer/singer.

Like many American families, the good and the bad in everyone's life was celebrated with food.  Food was always the catalyst to bring people together.  Food was where he found his comfort. He stated that his was not a tragic childhood and that he was actually a pretty happy kid. He loved his family and got along well with his parents and siblings.   His family was like a lot of other families when he was growing up where both his Mom and Dad worked.  Since he was the youngest of his siblings, but he often cared for them while his parents worked, but this also gave him the opportunity to overeat.  His eating was such a concern to his parents, his Dad would chain the refrigerator.

He got along well with people and always tried to make others laugh, even if it was at his own expense.  He often tried to make people laugh, and through that laughter he would eat more.  He even admitted to a trick he did by putting an entire apple in his mouth and eating it.  Jenkins said that whatever he did, he had to do it in a "grand" manner.
When he was away from friends and family, and outside of his comfort zone, he knew he could turn to food.  He realized that overeating had its consequences as well.  He recalled times of going to Six Flags and not being able to ride any of the rides because he could not fit into any of them.  He also recalled how hard it was to find clothes, or to have to shop for "big kids" or "husky" clothes.  Although, he got along well with people in middle school, the teasing was bad in high school He could make people laugh in school, but he couldn't hang out with the cool kids, the jocks, or the cheerleaders because he wasn't able to participate in their physical activities due to his weight.  He found he sought attention from these people to mask or deflect his weight, and Jenkins just wanted to be respected just like everyone else.

He went above and beyond to do other things well, and that included singing. Jenkins talent was singing and when he opened his mouth to belt out a note, he would transcend all of the names and teasing and become a star.  High school became what he considered bad for him because he felt he always had to be the big funny guy who could sing.  "That boy can sang," so many people commented whenever he sang at an event or talent show.  The first talent show he entered, he turned heads by singing "Love" by Musiq Soulchild.  He remembered the initial jeers from the crowd until he began to sing the song and then he knew he wowed them!  It was at this point he was inspired to pursue his music. He held on to that and keep the notion of succeeding as a singer/songwriter in the back of his head.

Age 19 was when co-morbidities began creeping up on Jenkins.  His blood sugar level was tested and it was 932, yet he ignored the signs and still ate to relieve his pain. At the age of 21, Jenkins was at his highest weight of of 450 lbs.  He ignored his health and one day while eating before a show, he suffered a mild stroke!  As incredible as that sounds, he continued to deny he was in jeopardy, and continued to suffer the effects of his being overweight.  Chest pains and heart palpitations led Jenkins to a mild heart attack, but none of this was a wake up call to the talented artist.  An injury to his toe almost lead to its amputation due to the diabetes, and it was at that point, Bryson Jenkins realized that he would not be able to pursue his career and continue with the things he wanted to accomplish most by being "morbidly obese".  He felt he was literally "killing" himself "being happy...", or forcing himself to be happy.

Over consumption, for him, was always in the form of entertainment -- he celebrated through food like so many others.  In reflection he could not do another diet, nor did he have the time the time or the inclination. His clock was ticking!   Realizing that something had to be done to save himself, he researched procedures for Bariatric surgery.  He initially gravitated toward the Lap-Band surgery, however, his surgeon suggested that if he wanted to lose the weight he really needed to be healthier, he would need to go the route of a Gastric Bypass.  It took him a year to research and eventually decide to have the surgery.  What clinched the "deal" for Jenkins was when he was at the age of 20, his mother opted to take out a life insurance policy on him.  Taking 13 pills only maintained his high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and sleep apnea. Jenkins did not want to just maintain, he wanted to be cured!

His surgeon took the best care of him by educating him, and prepping him, but Jenkins credits his surgeon with saving his life.  On January 4, 2010, Bryson "BMoney" Jenkins began a new life as many hundreds of people before him, and had  Gastric Bypass surgery.  Jenkins has lost 232 pounds and is living his life.  He no longer has diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or sleep apnea.   He had one mishap with low iron, but maintains today that he keeps up with taking his vitamins and minerals, but really just takes the journey seriously and one day at a time. Maintaining a healthy weight for Bariatric patients is just as challenging as losing the weight initially.  An astounding 70% of the people who have Bariatric procedures do not keep up with their regimen of eating a healthy, yet restrictive diet, and taking the necessary vitamins and minerals.

Many people have asked Jenkins about his weight loss and his methods and he encourages those people to lose the weight by eating healthy and exercise, leaving surgery as a last resort.  But, he stated, that if you recognize yourself as being in "survival mode" where you are inches away from developing co-morbidities or worse, then consideration should be given to surgery.

While he has no regrets with his surgery, he recognizes that Bariatric surgery is a lifetime commitment to a lifestyle change.  He knows now that keeping up his regimen is no one's responsibility, except his own.  He is 100% satisfied with his decision and is ecstatic to see where to the experience will take him.  He stated that as a man, he did not take the time to appreciate. Since his surgery many doors that were closed to him were somehow opened and he began to realize his goals and dreams of being a singer/songwriter. Jenkins now spends his time cultivating his craft, his music, songwriting, and designing websites.  In the music industry he has worked with some top producers, but is most excited with his work with Multi-Platinum Recording Artist, Dave Tolliver.  He reported that Tolliver also supports and is an advocate of the WLS lifestyle and is working with him on filming a reality show.

Upcoming events for Jenkins include a performance for the Weight Loss Surgery of America during Obesity Week.  He will perform some of his songs and introduce some snippets of the reality show.  He also has a single called, "I Can't", which will debut Europe.  Jenkins will also be releasing a Zumba instructional video.  All of these are such exciting parts of his new life!

Jenkins advice to readers is to be truly aware that it's not about the weight you lose, but about saving a life.  Weight-loss surgery is NOT a quick fix, but a lifestyle change.  Only speak with professionals about your procedure and make a conscious choice to speak with your family or friends, only if you want to.  You don't want your decisions to be based upon someone's experience.  It's your life and nothing else matters.

You can see Bryson "BMoney" Jenkins on the web at for his blog, pictures, studio sessions, steps during the taping of the reality show, and highlights of his journey.  Let's check out all of the good "BMoney" is doing and support him in his success by sharing his music and story.



Note:  Pictures posted with permission of the artist.  No part(s) of this article may be reproduced, transmitted, or distributed without the express consent of the author.  Photos are the property of Bryson "BMoney" Jenkins, and may not be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted without the express permission of Bryson Jenkins.

September 12, 2013

Three Essential Tips for Success after Bariatric Surgery

Three Essential Tips for Success after Bariatric Surgery
By Katie Jay, MSW; Certified Wellness Coach
Director, National Association for Weight Loss Surgery
Here are three essential tips for success they learned at the retreat:
1) Get out of your comfort zone. If you are uncomfortable, you are growing; if you are comfortable, you could be living in old, unhealthy patterns. When you are growing, you are leaving behind the mindset that contributed to your obesity. You will be amazed at how your confidence rises as you push your limits.
2) Practice being conscious. There is a lot of talk about mindfulness these days. What it means is to stay
in the moment. Be present. Sometimes we eat to numb feelings or to self soothe. Choosing instead to be
present with our feelings takes practice. Try to be conscious, or focus on the present moment, for a short
time each day, say 5 minutes. Increase your "conscious" time as you get more accustomed to it.
3) Carpe Diem! Seize the day. Have fun. Remember the physical restrictions that applied to the old you? Pick an activity today that would have been difficult to do in the past. Stretch, ride a bike, go for a walk,
garden, sing! Whatever it is -- seize this moment in time and LIVE it.
Transforming your life requires getting out of your comfort zone, being aware of your experience in the
present moment, and transforming NOW (as opposed to when you get around to it, someday when you have the time).

I hope you enjoy this reprint from Katie Jay, of

September 4, 2013

Cooking for an Army -- Not!

Do any if you still cook like you're cooking for an army even since you had your procedure?  I still struggle with this. 

I am trying to find a site that can help me cut the recipes to smaller servings.  Any thoughts on this.  My family often won't eat what I am making and even if they do, I still have a lot if leftovers.   We just waste so much food and I can't stand it.

Help a sister out! Thanks!



Save on Your Grocery Spending -- Cash Money

Earn $10 just for trying the Ibotta app. It pays you money for buying your favorite products. Once you try it, you’ll be hooked!

September 3, 2013

Shingles Update 9/3/2013

I have posted a few things since my last update and I wanted to let you know how things with me were going, Shingles and out.

I have ventured out of the house a couple if times,  but is still to early for me to wear any constricting garments, at this point.  Any clothes or bras, even, feel as if they are burning the flesh on my back. It's just too painful-- and lord knows, I don't want to scare the kids by not wearing a bra!  I am still taking it little by little to get back into my regular routine, but I notice that I tire very easily and have to rest quite often.  Tomorrow I go back to the doctor for him to give me a date I can return to work.

But, I can now give my son as many hugs and kisses as he can stand since I am no longer contagious!  So he'll be receiving make-up kissies from me.  It's still a slow road to recovery,  otherwise.

Smooches to all!


September 2, 2013

I Never Knew These Things Existed

This entry is a little off-topic.  I love writing, but I am nothing short of being a YouTube junkie.  I swear if I need help with some, there's a video on it.  Bake a cake -- there's a video.  Apply the best eyeliner ever -- there's a video.  Show off your skills for anime and drawing -- there's a video on how you can make a lot of new friends and money on it!  Seriously!!! Who knew???

My latest fixation with YouTube has been tummy tucks, scrapbooking, and all things Filofax.  People when I say there is a Filofax culture out there, there is a whole culture out there that I feel like I have missed.

Have I been under a rock or something that I didn't know about this group of people who have so much love for their Filofaxes that they "trick" them out, sticker them up, and take these would be boring planners to a whole new level.  And, to top it all off, there is a new rage in masking tape that is colorful!!!  Yes!!! Colorful!!! It's called "Washi" tape.  You can find it in a lot of different places like Michael's and Staples, but it really amps up your decorating skills when it comes to altering a Filofax.

So, I also learned there is a website and forum devoted to all the different sizes of Filofax, models,  and the out of decorating the pages to give them your personal touch.  Don't tell anyone, but there is also some type of "underground" where buyers and sellers get together and list what they want or what they want to sell, and it happens for them.  OK, not really and underground, but it was pretty cool that this site exists, don't you think.

The next time you want to find out about something, skip Google, and head over to YouTube and search for a tutorial.  Look up some filofax tuts, or even a makeup tutorial or two.  Have fun and learn something that catches your fancy.  Share your comments below and send your friends on over to have a look as well.  Do you think I should start a vlog?  Let me know and if we get enough response, I might take you up on jumping on the YouTube bandwagon.  The Diva could be vlogging!!!


Things You Learned at Camp

Chew, chew, chew your food gayly through the meal...the more you chew the less you'll eat, the better you will feel.  This was a camp song I learned a king time ago at Grotonwood Camp in Massachusetts.  It was good advice then just as it is good advice now and I never knew how important it really is.

Many people don't take the time to chew their food thoroughly and enjoy each bureau during a meal.  That means our food us often shoved in our mouths,  half chewed and then swallowed in large and indigestible pieces.  This us the mist easy way for a person to eat overeat because our brain hasn't caught you with our gut.  The brain needs 20 minutes to signal the body that it's full.  If you don't chew well enough, you eat too fast and end up with a tummy ache or unwanted pounds.

This is something I have to remember each time I take a bite.  If I overfill my pouch with big pieces if food, it can't handle it and I end up feeling bad org worse,  throwing the food back up.   After a few weeks of feeling like I'd swallowed lead, I let my surgeon know about my discomfort and he reminded me that I needed to chew my food.

How simple!  I went back home and started chewing a lot more carefully and it has mad such a difference.   Now, I don't have the stomach discomfort and I am really enjoying my meals a lot more. So my advice is to take the time to smell the roses, enjoy good conversation,  and chew your food so you can take advantage of its flavor and texture.


Atlanta WLS Diva

Coming Soon!

I will be doing an with fellow WLSer Bryson "Bmoney " Jenkins.  He's lost over 100 pounds and is doing big things in the Atlanta music scene.  He'll share his experiences with weight loss surgery, and his feelings about keeping up witness the whole WLS lifestyle.

Check back later this week for the interview!  Until then, smooches!


August 25, 2013

Shingles Update!

I wanted to give you an update on how I was feeling and some information about Shingles.  It's been about five days since I broke out with the rash, and I am still itchy and scaly with a lot of pain and tingling.  Yesterday I was feeling pretty decent and was up and around the house, but today is a different story.  Today I feel like a mack truck hit me and magic elves came by the scene and started sticking me with pins in fingers and toes.

The rash hasn't gotten any better and has spread to the left side of my back, leaving a lovely trail of blisters from my spine to underneath my left breast.  It's a site to behold!  I can deal with the itchiness because I'm not a big scratcher -- don't like scares, hence no scratching for me -- but the pain my body feels is just unfathomable.   I cannot begin to describe it only to say that Shingles makes your joints ache, the skin itch, and makes parts of your body very painful to the touch.  Yesterday, I kept thinking my face was flushed because it felt like it was on fire.  I did scratch my scalp a little just to satisfy a small itch there and then my head was on fire.  I felt like that character from the Disney movie, Hercules.

Sexy, huh?

To tell you a little about Shingles, especially those in the WLS community is that you can get this disease only if you have had the Chicken Pox at some point in your life.  It can affect those of us who have had extreme surgeries, suppressed immune system, bouts of stress, etc.  Shingles is more common among those people over 60, but if it happened to me, it can happen to you.  It seems the more traumatic the experience, the more susceptible you are.  You can't catch Shingles, but people who haven't had Chicken Pox, can contract it from you.  Be careful around family and friends.

When you have Chicken Pox, the virus remains dormant, in your system, kind of lurking for the opportunity to rear its ugly head.  The symptoms for me began with a sharp pain in the left side of my back right under my shoulder blade.  I was very fatigued and then got chilled.  This lasted about two days and then I noticed the rash on my left side near my breast.  It was strange because I never break out and the lovely blisters were very pronounced.  I immediately googled skin rashes, and went to the doctor the next day who confirmed it was Shingles.  There are medications that the doctor can prescribe that can help lessen the overall number of days in which the virus lingers, but really the best thing to do is to get a lot of rest and drink lots of fluids.  I was prescribed an anti-viral medication and Tylenol with Codeine.  The pain meds haven't helped much to be completely honest, and since my house is a very noisy one, I haven't had a good rest.  I will definitely be looking forward to getting out and about again because I definitely have cabin fever!

If you know of a good book for me to read, leave your responses below.  I have about another week of recuperation and I need something to do before I drive my family kray-gee.

Finally!!! Back up and Running

I am now back up and running and cooking like hot grease!  So many things to share with all of you and so many things that I want to do with this blog.  Please remember to leave your comments, so I will know how to make this blog more interactive and fun.  Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated.  Just remember -- no spam -- it might be tasty yet salty meat treat, but it is not appreciated on my timeline!  Great to be back and looking forward to hearing from all of you.