I'm on a new journey to pay-it-forward & with the support of my Groupies/friends...

I'm writing a LAP BAND BOOK!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

11/29/09 So Much To Be Thankful For!

I hope you all had a great long Holiday weekend (or week)! We sure did! It was great having DS1 home for a week. DH just left to take the PSU boys back to college so it was a wild morning today getting things together. DD just took DS2 out for lunch, a movie ('Planet 51'), and some Christmas shopping…as the youngest, he loves having any kind of private time with any of us, so I was really happy that they wanted to spend time together. I'm left to unwind here and get out some decorations for Christmas, but that's another story.

We enjoyed each others company and time together this week…played lots of games, went shopping on Black Friday (OMG the crowds this year!), etc. I'll have to say it was wonderful being home. We had some great moments together.

DH wanted to pick out the turkey, so I asked him to get a small one since it would only be the five of us. DS2 went with him and they picked out a 22 lb. turkey…ummm….what didn't they understand about the word 'small'?!!! Here's the rational I was given 'The deal was on the turkey's that were 18 lbs. or over and there weren't any that were 18-20 lbs…..Why pay more for a 16 lb. turkey when we can get a bigger one for less?!!!' Can you tell he's not the turkey chef?

Ah well…I had to increase the amount of stuffing so it wouldn't be lost in the turkey and get dried out, but other than that it wasn't a problem. I had DD help me 'dress' the turkey so she could learn how and there was lots of squealing 'Ooooo gross!!!!' as we removed the giblets to make the stock for the gravy, put butter between the skin and the meat, stuffed the cavities, sewed it closed, and bent the wings backwards (it took us at least 5 min. to ram that giant bird into my huge roasting pan). The meal turned out perfectly thanks to everyone pitching in at the end and everything came out at the same time as planned.

I asked all the kids to tell me their 'Thanksgiving favorites' as I was planning the menu. I noticed as I was bringing everything in to the buffet that, other than the turkey, there was nothing low cal or healthy about the meal…turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole w/fried onions, yam casserole in brown sugar, cranberry sauce, assorted olives, crescent rolls and butter, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. OK, I guess it's not supposed to be a healthy meal, but next year I might add something healthy to the list…maybe some pumpkin soup or something with fruit?

*Portion of Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

I'm so thankful that I had my whole family together and that we were able to stay home and really just enjoy each other…it was a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

11/25/09 Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving all...and watch out for that evil Head Hunger!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

11/24/09 Holiday Cheer

I'm channeling my creativity (so I don't take it out on the Thanksgiving pie this year)…I just finished making my annual Christmas decoration exchange items. I was behind again this year in thinking of an idea (as if I'm ever ahead), so I drug (dragged?) DH to the stores with me this weekend looking for inspiration. There wasn't much to inspire out there this year, so as usual, I made up my own. We've been doing these so many years I realized I've never made anything for the kitchen, so that was my inspiration. I made a decoration to hang from a cupboard or other place in the kitchen with a pick, handmade bows and some cookie cutters and ribbon…OK, not all that creative, but I had to make a bunch of these and mail them out soon and these went together quickly (pic attached).
Could you hear me? I was playing the holiday music and singing my way through my crafts the last two mornings (much to my family's complaints). I know, I know, I'm the first one to say when I'm in the stores 'What's up with the Christmas music? It's not even Thanksgiving yet!!!' , but it sure got me in the mood to make Christmas decorations. So if your feeling a little blah heading into the holidays (been hearing a lot of that lately here), crank up the music, make a craft or bake some cookies (and freeze them, of course, so you won't be tempted)…it will get you in the spirit, I promise.

Put them all in bikinis and that will keep you from eating them!
I took the leftovers and made a whole string of holiday cookie cutters with picks and ribbon at each end for over my kitchen sink window (pic attached). I think I need to get some more ribbon and picks and pull the center up with a big bow or something for a focal point. You know me, over-decoritis is my affliction when it comes to the can never have too many holiday decorations!

*In response to Comments:

Thanks gals...and Happy Holidays (Stay out of the cookies Dz!). Oh, and DH didn't like the window one (OK, I did ask him)...guess it needs some work. -BG

Monday, November 23, 2009

11/23/09 Let The Festivities Begin!

My baby boy (DS1) is home from college for the week and the holidays have begun. He was sick as a dog before he got home, but besides the cough, he's better now. I made a Dr.'s appointment for him this morning and he's getting his last flu shot (swine). DH and I got our swine flu shots finally on Friday. DS1 and I probably both already had the swine flu, but they said we should get the shot anyway as there's a possibility it could have been something else…either that or we'll turn into swine.

We had a great weekend! We had our first fire in the fireplace and the Yule log is still around after 2 nights of fires. The kids made our traditional annual Gingerbread house (no, not this one, but pic attached)…a little early, but they were looking for something to do together. DH and I shared one of those 'looks' while they were busy icing and decorating, where we were having a 'kid moment'…our babies are all home, it's the Holidays, and they're all working together happily and laughing.

I set the Thanksgiving table and buffet to get everyone in the mood (pic attached). The fridges are full of things waiting to be made. Yes, I'm cooking…stop laughing…no, I mean it, stop!…I've got recipes and I promise to follow them. I'll have to tell you though that the refrigerated pastry crust for the pumpkin pie came in a two pack and it's very tempting to get creative with that second crust…(in case you didn't read my cooking creativity moments READ HERE). Let the festivities begin!

*In response to Comments:

-Con- Thanks! The oak DR set (table, buffet, and not in the photo-serving table and 6 chairs-the chairs are in the basement waiting to be refinished) is from my MIL's parents home, so it's probably from about the 20's (her mom was 40 when she was born). They fit with the rest of our traditional home. Have a great Thanksgiving with the family! It seems like yesterday I was having what I thought would be my 'last Thanksgiving'...I've since learned I'll be having the same things, just smaller amounts this year! -BG

kc- Yeah, amazingly they all got my 'artistic gene'...along with some not so good ones I passed on (but so far, no evidence of the 'fat gene' as they're all skinny).

-drowsy- Your boys will LOVE this, and you can even get prebaked kits at the craft stores to put together. We've been doing this with our kids every year since my oldest was 2 and now she's 22 and still looks forward to it...they had a blast!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

11/19/09 Giggles and Jiggles

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Water Treadmill

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

11/18/09 The Adventure Continues...

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

11/17/09 Doing A 180

What a difference a day makes! See that grin on my face?!! I woke up to a loss this morning...180 lbs. for the first time in a long time! Yeah baby...I'm headed back to the 70's (let's hope soon!)!

I had a follow up with the Urology Specialist today downtown at Magee Hospital (the one who put me on Vesicare...working great still BTW!). I first saw a nurse who I'd not met before. After 'suiting up' and leaving my sample, the doc finally came in. She started with 'I saw you walk by my office and didn't even recognize you!! I had to ask the girls if I had a new patient today they forgot to tell me about!!' Then she went on and on about how great I looked and asked me all kinds of questions. The best part was when she must have looked up my age. She explained to me that they just had a group of medical school students in yesterday and in medical school they teach the students to describe the patient's (I think she called it) apparent they look older, younger or about their actual age. She went on and on about how much younger I look than my actual age (just the thing that someone who just went through the trauma of turning 50 needs to hear).

OK, I'm gloating here and she was probably laying it on thick as she complimented me at least a dozen times...I was embarressed actually, but it made my day, make that my week. I can count the number of NSV's I've gotten from people outside my family on one hand (sad, but I expected that as people generally see you lose slowly and I've lost weight before), so I'm allowed to revel in this a moment. OK, gloating over...but I've still got that stupid grin on my face! I had a little bit of a down day yesterday, but today turned me around...I'm Doing A 180!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

11/16/09 Changing the Right Things is Hard

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Friday, November 13, 2009

11/13/09 Water, Water, Everywhere...

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

11/10/09 Game Weekend

We had a great weekend! OK, I gained 5 pounds in TWO days…sigh…not sure how that is even possible, not the best choices, but 5 pounds? I listed what I ate below, but I also drank some wine/beer-plenty, but not in excess. We got to PSU around 4:30pm and picked up DS1 at his dorm. I was SO happy to see him again. You talk to your kids when they're away, but there's something about seeing them that really helps to know they're alright; especially their first semester. I looked him up and down just to make sure…he'd gotten a haircut and hasn't gained the Freshman 15 yet-could probably used it (not sure what I expected…disheveled hair, signs of depression or severe homesickness?). He looked…happy…I was breathing easy again.

We went over to see the fraternity house (where he wants to live next year). They'd had a Social (party) the night before…let's just say it looked like a house where thirty some college boys live (feet sticking to the floor...think 'Animal House'). DH's house was the same in college. The 'brothers' were really nice…they were all painting the upstairs hall and they're in the process of refinishing the downstairs oak floors so they were really proud of their work. We found out DS1's pledge name is 'Twilight' because he looks like the lead (Robert Pattinson).

We met my SIL and her family (and my PSU Goddaughter) for dinner at The Corner (1 crab cake and 1 rib) and then we went back to the rental house. We left for the tailgate Saturday about 9:30am (coffee and ¼ bagel w/cream cheese). One of SIL's neighbors and several of the neighbors PSU Alumni friends joined us, so we had 5 cars tailgating. It was a great tailgate…lots of great food and some games to play (ate mostly dips/chips and a small piece of steak, probably more than a cup since it was over 4.5 hours). It was a beautiful football day…over 60 degrees and sunny (unusually warm for November).

We had one problem with a large group of students (and about 8 parents who stood by and did absolutely nothing) throwing food and a football at us and an OSU/PSU mixed group between us (in our OSU gear with our mainly PSU tailgate) and them (they'd had too much to drink). It started when one of the group next to us was waving an OSU flag so that someone coming to the tailgate could find them. One PSU young Alumni told me he went over and tried to talk to the students and get them to stop as they'd hit his wife in the face with a football…they just jeered at him. DD was really upset that someone stole two small OSU flags off one of our games…I tried to calm her down and let her know that you get out of control people at every school. That put a damper on things for a little while, but we still had a great tailgate with our OSU/PSU mixed group…we just ignored them.
They gave out this button everywhere
DS1 and his friends came over to tailgate for awhile…it didn't surprise me a bit that he came in full face paint (paw print logo he drew on his face and even his hair was painted white. He was thrilled that he was going to sit in the 'Seniors Section' and got to be in row 4 (students all in one section in the end zone and around one corner by class-best seats for Seniors and Paternoville) since he'd done the campout at Paternoville with 10 of his friends.

The game started at 3:30pm and it was a perfect night. The PSU stadium is really nice and the 'Whiteout' the students had was really impressive (voted best student section in the nation-ESPN). They give out white 'shaker poms' to each student and it's cool to watch all the synchronized things they do to music and chants. It got really cold soon as the sun went down, but I'd outfitted all of us with hats, gloves and scarves and had extra chemical hand-warmers to pass out to the group. OSU won. We had a late dinner (few chips/dip-PB'd them up eating too fast, and few bites of a hotdog) back at the house (some family drama, but I'll save that for tomorrow). (you tube- student section at the game)

We picked up DS1 early (don't think he had even 4 hours of sleep that night LOL) and we all went to breakfast (1 scrambled egg and about ½C of oatmeal) with SIL's family and said our goodbyes. We picked up all our camping gear (Paternoville) back at DS1's dorm and walked over to the Creamery (Food Sciences run shop) for an ice cream (I did have a chocolate shake) and to finally have a chance to just talk to DS1...he'd made an appointment with a counselor this week to discuss switching majors, so we'll see what comes out of that meeting…it's reassuring to see he's being proactive and handling things well. He's having a blast at school, making lots of friends, and getting involved…it's as much a part of the college experience and becoming an adult as getting a degree is and we're happy he's adjusting to college so well!


Attached Pics:
- My family spelling O-H-I-O
- Student Section at PSU

*In response to Comments:

-I sat next to a guy who just graduated and was in the PSU Blue Band last year...he was telling us lots of great stories...halftime is the best! OK, I'll bite...what's the '12th Man'?

Yeah, still up 4 pounds this morning...incredible...sigh.

-Whacky weight!! Kathy- Today I'm down 2.5 from yesterday and I ate like normal...that puts me up 1.5 from last Friday...OK, 1.5 I can understand. Having the partial hysterectomy I have no clue when I'm cycling, so maybe that's it. Thanks for the support GF!

-ld- Wow cool student section and neat story! ...and I'm still up a pound sigh.

DanBar- LOL! No, but some beer! I'm always amazed at the things people choose argue over here...I will not get sucked in...not...not...not...

Monday, November 9, 2009

11/7/09 Blogiversary!!

Note: I thought I had this cued up to post automatically Saturday on my Blogiversary while I was away, but apparently I’m still very tech-challenged…

Today is my first Blogiversary (to think a year ago I didn‘t even know what a blog was). Before I started this I made a point to read a few blogs (not on LBT) that I came across while I was researching the LB the summer before I joined LBT. I found that, while some of them were well written, I got quickly bored with the ones who didn’t have much depth-didn’t give me the ’real deal’. While I work hard to surround myself with positive people, like I strive to be, I also got bored with the ones whose lives were a bed of roses everyday…I don’t like negativity, but again, I like to get the ’real deal’…my life isn’t perfect…I’m not a perfect Bandster. So I made a conscious decision just to be myself and put it all out there…I figured if I wasn’t true to who I really am that I wouldn’t be able to attract people who had similar thinking that I needed for support.
It’s my moment to be a little narcissistic so I’ll apologize now. I decided to start this blog primarily for support as I didn’t feel like going to my hospital’s support group, which has more RNYers. I quickly found support (shout-out to Julie Ann for my first comment on my first blog) and I found out that I was learning so much from everyone here. I also found that as I finished each phase of my journey that I felt a strong need to ‘Pay It Forward’ through spending extra time with more research/details on subjects of my blog and by supporting others in theirs.

I decided to take a look back at my blog and see what others thought was helpful. WOW, some interesting realizations came out of that:
- 41,598 Views of my blog
- Almost 500 Comments from others
- Someone gave me ‘stars’ on one blog…I didn’t even notice that there was a rating system for blogs!
Wow, that was cool…

And then I looked at the top viewed blogs (you can use the calendar to your left to click on to get to any of these by the date):
- I’m a Bunny (4/3/09)
- My Wii Hates Mii (5/12/09)
- My Heart’s in the Right Place (8/12/09)
- Head Hunger and Bandster Hell…or maybe it‘s just Hell (5/2/09)
- I Peed My Pants! (11/10/09)
- LB Picasso (3/4/09)
- Steeler’s Nation and a Funny Song (1/31/09)
- Restriction…Finding the Balance (6/18/09)
- The Buzz about Coffee (3/12/09)
- Scale Whore (2/22/09)
- Dorm D├ęcor (6/29/09)
- Hospital Packing List (2/24/09)
- Off with her head! (4/15/09)
- Dear Abby’s Daughter (2/5/09)
- Band Firsts (5/26/09)
- Scale Whores Anonymous- Semi-Annual Meeting (8/12/09)

The only one I’ve directed people to, more often than you’d think, is my second blog as I run across a lot of people here who are right on the cusp of either a 35 or a 40 BMI when they’re starting out (‘I Peed My Pants!). Ahh well, I’m still going to believe that I helped someone somewhere along the line…at least I know I helped their site with their ‘hits’ with getting sponsors LOL.

As I’ve progressed in my journey here I feel like I’m starting to have less to talk about regarding my Lap Band. I often feel a little guilty about just journaling for myself about my life and not about the LB. I feel like I’m misusing the site blogs and that those looking for LB info. might be disappointed some days. I’ve had a lot of messages all along over the year suggesting I take my blog to a more universal site, but I‘ve always felt that while I‘m still blogging mainly about my LB journey that this spot was the best way for me to ‘Pay it Forward‘ and for me to continue learning. I’m not sure where the next year will take me, or how much I’ll continue blogging, but like the rest of this journey, I’ll take it as it comes.

*Portion of Post Deleted For Lap Band Book

I know one thing, this blog has given me everything I’ve wanted from it and many more things I’ve never even expected. I’ve enjoyed it much more than I ever thought possible. I’ve gotten so much support and made so many great friends here (if you’re ever near Pittsburgh, let me know)! I’m constantly surprised by what I end up writing about and by what I learn through this process.

Most of all on this Blogiversary I want to say I love you all and want to say THANK YOU for your support and friendship! This past year would have been such a lonely journey and I would have struggled so much more without you all. It would have felt like I have on every other ‘diet’ I’ve been on constantly for the past 20 years. Even surrounded with great friends and family, the WL piece of my life, even with all the temporary ’successes’ was always a very lonely, frustrating and even shameful piece of my life. I’ve never gone through a WL process where I’ve felt so positive even at moments where things weren’t going perfectly. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for always being there for me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

11/5/09 14's!

DD's been busy so last night DH insisted on taking me out to get a new pair of jeans for our trip this weekend (off to see DS1)...apparently my old high-top relaxed fit Mom jeans are baggy in all the wrong places. The kids have been telling me daily that my pants are too big.

Finding a perfect pair of jeans is hard these days!!! Do you want waist-high, mid-rise, low-rise, curvy, skinny, tummy panel, stretch, straight-leg, boot-cut, and don't get me started on all the colors, wear marks, and decorations. Then I had to decide on length…I've lost an inch (down to just under 5'9") so now regulars are too short and longs are too long.

Well, I sent DH on to the other store to pick up a prescription while I got to work. He was back about the time I finally decided what I was looking for and I knew I had work fast and be out within 30 min. (he didn't get the shopping gene). I took about 8 pair into the dressing room…all too big? I tentatively came back out and sent DH to grab some 14's…THEY FIT!!!! OK, the size 14's now are more generous than when I last wore 14's many moons ago, but THEY FIT!!! My 16's, I've been wearing, I've been back into twice in the last 10 years, but 14's…I believe that was several children ago. Size 24 to a 14...awesome.

I ended up with some dark blue (no wear lines on the front- the horizontal lines across my hips and thighs made my widest part look wider), plain pocket (I don't need decorations on the back pockets drawing attention to my bum), mid-rise (no more 'Mom Jeans'), straight leg, 14L's (hope they shrink a tiny bit). OK, they're not the coolest pair of jeans, but I'll have plenty of time to look for those…maybe, just maybe…when I reach a size 12!

The nicest part came as we got back in the car (within 30 min. I might add). DH said 'You've been working so hard to get the weight off, you needed a pair of jeans that fit you…you look great!' A nice NSV...

Well we're off tomorrow to PSU to see DS1 and I can't wait to see him. We're all going to the big game (OSU-PSU Look for us, we'll be the only ones in Red as it's a PSU White-Out) and yes, DS1 and his buds have been tenting in Paternoville all week (he says he's freezing). It's been killing me that the fraternity has kept him there on the weekends we had planned. If it wasn't for DH I would have packed up and gone out there just to see him between classes...I know, I know...time to let go a little.

Saturday is my stay tuned!
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