Wednesday, June 20, 2012

No Longer Updating this Blog

I will no longer be posting here.

I'll be keeping this alive for now but you may wish to unfollow this blog.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Life is like a box of crayons

I envision my life to be like this quote written by John Mayer

"Life is like a box of crayons. Most people are the 8-color boxes, but what you're really looking for are the 64-color boxes with the sharpeners on the back. 

I fancy myself to be a 64-color box, though I've got a few missing. It's ok though, because I've got some more vibrant colors like periwinkle at my disposal. 

I have a bit of a problem though in that I can only meet the 8-color boxes. Does anyone else have that problem? 

I mean there are so many different colors of life, of feeling, of articulation… so when I meet someone who's an 8-color type.. I'm like, "hey girl, magenta!" and she's like, "oh, you mean purple!" and she goes off on her purple thing, and I'm like, "no - I want magenta!"" 

We truly do make the life we have and we alone control how each day will evolve. Some will be completely regimented, plan every minute, write down every morsel they eat, stay on the path well travelled. Each day, off they go on their "purple" thing. 

But some of us will be different and that is ok. We want "magenta". To color outside the lines. To break the routine and take a different path. To live in the moment. 

If life seems a bit dreary and colorless—black & white—use your box of crayons and go wild. Be different, don't be afraid to show your true colors. And if Razzle Dazzle Rose is the one your choose, don't let anyone tell you to put it away. Because tomorrow you might be Fuzzy Wuzzy, Mango Tango or Screamin' Green. And occasionally it's ok to be Brown or Blue or even Purple. 

So what are you? The 8-color box or the 64-color box?

Click these links to Crayola Colors:
List of 133 Crayola crayon colors
8 Pack Crayons: red, yellow, green, blue, brown, black, orange and purple!
64 Pack Crayons

ps: If you are like me and use the British/Canadian spelling of colour, please disregard my use of color as I was following the way the quote was written.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Best Weekend Ever

I had the most amazing long weekend where we celebrated Victoria Day in memory of some long dead queen. But who can turn down a long weekend and the official start of summer.

My sister drove up from Toronto so there was a lot of visiting and partying. The weather was amazing. Hot and sunny Friday to Monday.

I had planned to paint my new guest room this weekend—the room that has been empty since my son moved out a few months ago.

Friday afternoon whilst sister did some sightseeing, I painted the trim then off we went to get some Benjamin Moore paint with the name of Muslin. A side trip for fajitas and a beer at the Lonestar restaurant sidetracked the rest of the day.

Saturday had me out for my Nordic Walking group. God I love walking with poles. We get a great upper body workout and by the time I get home I have that good "tired" feeling from exercise.

I then declared there would be no painting inside on such a glorius day. Painting can wait for a rainy day IMHO. So we pulled weeds, hauled out the patio furniture, washed everything down and sat to enjoy just being outside in the sun. Then it was off to my daughter's house for a BBQ and lovely sunset fire. I picked up the same outdoor firepit to burn real wood. We have a gas one but I love the snap crackle and pop of real wood burning. And it was cheap from Walmart.
This is the picture from the side of the box!
Sunday was busy as other family was coming for a "gazebo raising" party. Sort of like a barn raising where the men work and the women cook. The men banged and read instructions in french until finally the gazebo was raised. The women (well it was mostly me) put together a great dinner and with the evening warm and dry we partied like it was 1999. Well not really. I think I was in bed by 10.
Gazebo raising excuse for a party!

We had a few of these:
Frozen Pomegranate Margarita
Frozen Pom-aritas
1 ounce POM 100% Pomegranate Juice
1 ounce tequila (or I used vodka)
1 ounce triple sec liqueur
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
11/2 ounces simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water dissolved together)
Salt and lime for garnish (optional)
Preparation: Combine first 6 ingredients in an electric blender. Serve with salt or lime, if desired. 

Or click for this amazing Frozen Pomegranate Margarita recipe. Or find me on Pinterest! and Pin it! I'm at:

Yummiest drink ever!

Monday was a day to recuperate. Reading, napping and just taking it easy.

But what an enjoyable and busy weekend to just enjoy life. I gotta do more of that because there is a saying: "You can sleep when you're dead."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stress and the Lap-Band

Just found this great info about why the band gets tight during stress and at different times of the day. I actually believe the guy. Click here to read the original blog post by Dr. Terry Simpson, MD (Lapband surgeon from Arizona). BTW, he has a lot of other blog posts well worth reading.

Here is his post. the part in red about the balloon in the band being semi-permeable might explain why I have problems when I fly.

"Often times patients will come in because their band feels too tight. They find more difficulty with some foods, and are uncomfortable. They ask me “does stress cause the band to tighten?” The answer is, yes, it does.

The biology of stress is this: when you have stress, be it physical stress (like an illness) or mental stress (like your mother-in-law coming by for a short two week visit)…the body reacts by retaining fluid. You may notice that wedding rings are tighter, and there is more swelling in the legs at night.

The balloon of the band is a semi-permeable membrane, meaning it is osmotically active. In plain English: the more water you retain, some is transmitted to the band, so it swells.

If a patient has 5.5 cc in their band (we measure it) and they come in and it feels tighter, we find they have 6 cc in the band. Where did the ½ cc come from? That is from the extra water the body is carrying. Since the balloon on the band is semi-permeable it will retain more water also.

This is the same reason that most people find the band to be tighter in the morning. In the evening you may notice you have some swelling of your ankles – by gravity your body water has gone down to the legs. In the morning that swelling is gone, and the water has gone back to the central compartment of the body where the band is. If we measure the band in the morning it can have 0.25 to 0.5 cc more in it (which can make a difference).

This is also why we don’t like bands being too tight. People need room for stress – of all kinds. Leaving room in the band to allow for this, means that patients will have fewer difficulties."

Huh. You learn something new everyday.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Raising Kids

"There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings" by Hodding Carter.

I really like this quote because someone recently asked me if I would still have kids if I had to do it all over again? 

Babies seem to be popping up all over the place. There are a few at work "expecting" and the new movie "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is coming out soon. Of course I knew that my answer would make a great blog post. And since Mother's Day is happening, what better time to answer. 

You never forget that moment when you find out you are pregnant. The thrill of a new life, the changes that would be forever, someone to call you mom. The first smile, the first giggle, the first sniffle. 

The barfing, the weight gain, the swollen feet, the sleepless nights. And all of that was before the baby came into this world. The good always seemed to outweigh the bad though. 

I was married in my late twenties and had my daughter just before my 30th birthday. My son followed 2 years, 1 month later. We had our million dollar family. 
It was exciting and thrilling, a new life. We were yuppies—young urban professionals—producing yuppie kids. We rallied against overcrowding in our schools, peanut butter was banned from lunches and day care became the norm. Remember “thirtysomething”—a TV show about raising kids in the 80’s? 

Most of my friends drove Volvo’s, although I drove a Buick. We all had a nice house in the suburbs, dressed our kids in designer clothing and took them to McDonald’s for Happy Meals and a romp in the ballroom. 

There was no Facebook or cell phones. Crap, not many even had a computer. We rented movies to play on our VHS videoplayer hooked up to a TV that didn’t have a remote—dials only to change the station. Our kids watched Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers and his neighbourhood and Polka Dot door on PBS. 

I lucked into pretty good babies. They were sleepers and rarely were cranky or colicky. We got through the rough patches. There were times when you question whether you made the right decision to bring a child into this world. 

I say it is. 

Kids are a financial burden but somehow you make it work. In the early 90’s, my hubby lost his job and I only had part-time work. He gradually developed his own business over the years but the first few were lean. Lots of shopping for clothes in discount stores and making most meals from scratch. But we made it. And I think it taught my kids that you don’t get everything you want. 

The best thing I ever did (and maybe a good piece of advice) was allowing any and all friends to come play at our house. I was stunned that so many moms and dads do not want their kids to bring friends home. Sure there were extra snacks and extra drinks to hand out and cleaning up some messes but at least I knew where my kids were and see the friends that they made. Some of them even called me “mum”. 

In most cases you don’t give up on your kids. You stick by them in good times and bad. You made that commitment the day you found out they were yours for keeps. You can’t go back on your word. Nope, you have to deal with what was given you. 

Both of my kids grew into great kids. I know other parents whose kids did not. Both of mine graduated university and both are working—one making a great salary, the other not so great. My daughter is getting married in the fall. My son is still looking for the right girl. 

Kingsmere, Quebec 1989 

It is hard. You will make mistakes. You will doubt yourself. 

There are times when you coast through parenting—the soccer tournaments, the kisses and hugs, the good report cards, the smiles on Christmas morning. Sometimes you want to throw in the towel—the whining, the fundraising, the exhaustion. 

It can be harrowing when you have to discuss things like boys and girls and sex and making it in this world—getting an education, getting a job, living on your own. 

And when the big crocodile tears stream down the face of your little girl because a boy has just dumped her you will feel the pain in the pit of your stomach as if it is happening to you. But when another boy proposes and you see sheer happiness on that same face you know you wouldn't have missed one moment of their life. 

So yes, if I had it to do over again, I would still have kids. 

Besides they are always reminding me not to forget that "they choose my nursing home"! 

What about you. If you had to do it all over again would you still have kids?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Poutine is NOT a National Dish

This is just sick. Really sick.

Wendy's Canada seems to think we should make this Heart Attack on a Plate the national dish of Canada. Don't know what Poutine is? Here's the recipe:

  • Start with a huge plate of French Fries
  • Top with a bunch of Cheese Curd
  • Drench the entire pile with Gravy.

Our way of making every Canadian fat(ter). Our kids too.

I'm just a bit ticked off that they think this is a cute marketing plan. Please don't "like" their page.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Walking is My Exercise of Choice

Walking has been part of my life for over 5 decades. From walking to elementary and high schools, to walks through the neightbourhood and trails close to home and when travelling.

No running, no biking. Walking. I choose to walk for health because I enjoy it. Not because it will help me lose weight because I have found after all this time it won’t. 

I do it because I like it. 

I know others who are at the gym 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. Good for them. It’s not for me. I didn’t renew the gym membership this year. 

Over my lifetime, I have tried various gym pursuits, including running, but always fell back on plain and simple walking. 3-5 km a day, most days of the week. And you know what? It’s something I like to do and it is the only thing I have kept up for all these years. Snowshoeing in the winter, hiking in the summer and the treadmill at times. We're on our 3rd treadmill having worn out the previous two. Now I will admit months can go by where I just sit at home, but then something clicks and I'm off again. Lacing up the runners, plugging in the headphones and walking around the neighbourhood. 

Last year on our Riverboat Cruise down the Danube, I noticed a bunch of walkers, with poles trekking along the path which runs along the river. It was intriguing. 

When a friend invited me to go with her to a class in Nordic Walking (also called Urban Poling), I jumped at it. Nordic walking uses poles while walking or hiking. The poles give you an upper body workout, an all over body conditioning. Here is the class info for the group I joined in my area (Ottawa, Ontario) called Nordic Walkfit

Saturday was my first "walk". I loved it.

There is something exhilarating being out in the fresh air, sun shining down, heart pumping. Knowing that each step keeps you alive and well.

So I’ll move along, poles at the ready, maybe even take up yodelling to pass the time as I head over vale and hill.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

There are Starving Kids in Africa

Remember when we were kids and didn't eat what was put in front of us for dinner and our parents would say "eat it, there are starving kids in Africa". Our reply was "send it to the starving kids in Africa". I think I might have even said it to my own kids.
As I get older and a little more aware of my health, I tend to read lots of stuff about the prevention of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes. Issues such as obesity and diet. I'm a bit nerdy because I like reading studies and papers and statistics, some good, some bad, some outlandish and really bad information. I love digging down. Finding out if they have any meaning or relevance in my life. Weeding out the good information from the crapola.

I like to read Dr. Sharma's blog and his post led me to the World Health Organization (WHO) website and lots and lots of statistics. The statistics that make most people glassy eyed. Sort of like advanced calculus class. Read it. Write the exam. Don't fully understand what you are doing. Then forget about it.

Statistics don't lie but if you can't read statistics just walk through the food court at the mall. 
We are fat.

That stuff our parents told us: Eat up, clean your plate or no dessert. Well maybe we should have stopped eating and sent the food to Africa. But we ate it all and got fat.

What an eye opener as I dug through the WHO site. I'm more a visual person, so went straight for the maps.

This first map shows the percentage by country of Overweight and Obese Females: 
Orange and Red are NOT good!

And this map shows the percentage by country of Overweight and Obese Males: 
Orange and Red are NOT good!
Click here to see other maps and other WHO stats. Here for Female Stats and Here for Male Stats.

The report shows the rankings of the 192 countries surveyed. I wanted to see where my country stands. I live in Canada. We are 66 out of the 192 countries and here are a few other countries:
Click this PDF to access the full list of Countries with the Percentage of Overweight and Obese Females & Males.

I was feeling quite smug that there were so many more countries with higher obesity rates than Canada. Yup, thinking how we beat a lot of you. But the realization hit that this wasn't a contest. It wasn't the Olympic hockey game where Canada beat the USA or Russia. It's a global health problem. And people are dying at both ends of the spectrum.

I actually looked at the numbers. They were stunning. Last on the list for females was Ethiopia. Just under 4% or less than 1 out of every 10 females are overweight. It rises to 8.6% for males, not the lowest but still near the bottom of the list.  Go figure. They are starving in that country and have for many, many years. I doubt there is a McDonald's in the country. They have civil wars, little food, little comfort and they die young.

Now on to Canada. Let's round it off to 60% or 6 out of every 10 females over the age of 15 in Canada are fat and almost 7 males out of every 10 (66.9%). In the US it is almost 8 out of 10 females (76.7) and more than 8 out of 10 males (80.5%) are overweight. The rest of the developed world isn't any better.

Now look around you at 10 people, including yourself. Do these stats make sense?

I won't mince words trying to say the politically correct terms so I'll say it again.

We are fat.

I am not a big fan of the BMI ranking but they are a snapshot of our bodies. I can look down and see the fat, I don't need to get on a scale or have my girth measured. We are in for huge medical problems and huge medical costs in the future. We hear these stats over and over again through the years but what do they really mean? On the WHO website you can filter the data to BMI >30 (Obese) but since it is very easy for someone who is overweight to slip into that category, I decided the best information was to use the BMI >25.

Which makes me a statistic. I am fat. Overweight in fact. My BMI is ~27 right now, the overweight category. It was almost 35 (obese) a few years ago. But I lost some of that fat and greatly reduced my chances of developing debilitating conditions—preventable conditions—like diabetes.

And I truly believe we all can.

Yes you. Just you. Forget about the other billions, if these stats apply to you or someone you are close to forget about arguing and making excuses. The ball really is in your court. No one can do it for you. It's a struggle to lose and keep off weight, develop healthy habits. It's a constant battle. But I can also tell you it is so worth it. And as one of my docs keeps saying "Just keep trying, and never give up on yourself."

Aren't you just a little tired of studies and statistics. It’s time to get our butts in gear and work against this disease called obesity. One step at a time. We can't change the world but we can certainly change ourselves. And for our kids sake, we must. Don't you really want to live long and be around to enjoy your grandchildren? Wait, for them to live long enough to actually have children.

So maybe stop cleaning our plates and start sending food to Africa.

Or start sending the money we waste at McDonald's or KFC or (add your own favourite fast food joint) to African aid perhaps we could save a few of those kids who really need our help.

Last but not least I leave you with some Big Food images for your visual enjoyment. Can anyone give me a thumbs up on getting rid of stuff like this?

End of Soapbox!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quickies and What has She Been Smokin'

I couldn't stay away for long. Two people asked about quickies. Meals that is. You know the go to stuff to keep you full and on track. First it was Gilly  who just discovered Monterey Jack cheese. It's been around these parts for years so I don't know what she's been smokin'. It was discovered in America, California I think (maybe Monterey??) but it crossed the border long ago. It must be she's way out in the boonies. That being said she is so excited to finally discover it's melty, stretchy HEAVEN!!.

Then Beth Ann asked for some meal ideas. 

I don't know if it is much help but my favourite go to quickie meals are: 
  • Grilled cheese sandwich: made with two cheese slices (dipped in ketchup as the side vegetable)
  • Meatballs: this idea came from Jessie and I finally found the PC Blue Menu Lean Italian Beef Meatballs. 6 balls/160 calories/15g protein/8g fat. 2 minutes in the microwave, covered in BBQ sauce (for the side vege) and yum. Gilly, these are only available in Canada at Loblaws, Zehrs, Fortinos, etc (their Blue Menu items) but I know the US has a plethora of similar ones. 
  • Black beans and Rice with shredded Rotisserie Chicken: I now have a recipe for this and buy the chicken on my way home (it's on special Tuesday nights, only $6.99). I also use the Stouffer's frozen entrĂ©, Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans—I split it in half and get two meals out of it. OMG, you could use Monterey Jack Cheese too! 
  • Soup: I don't care if they call these slider foods. I love my soup as does Amy and they fill me up with minimal calories. Sometimes I have it with my meatballs or throw in some shredded chicken. My favs are broccoli, squash and Goulash soup. 
And last but not least, I've been known to make a good meal of a half bag of chips or some red licorice! Which begs the repeat question. What has she been smokin".

Giving me the segway to a blog which had that in the title. It was such a great post: What has She Been Smokin' with some very mouth watering, non-gluten, high protein suggestions. 

As I mentioned in my last post, I've made the switch to my new blog, The Rest of Our Days. Here are a couple of posts you can check out if you haven't been to visit me yet.

  • Funeral Portraits was a bit macabre but also a bit funny when Tess left me a great comment.
  • And after my Coffee post I found out there are people in this world that do not like coffee. Hmmmm….

Eat up!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's a New Day-I'm Starting a New Blog

The time has come. I am transitioning out of the Weight Loss Rollercoaster to begin a new chapter of reflection in my life. I felt my blog was too weight loss (ha! ha!, the title says it all!) centered. I wanted to begin working on other parts of me. I don't know what they are right now but I have been inspired by some of your recent posts.

So if you want to come along on a new ride with me, come see me at my new blog "The Rest of Our Days". Follow me if you like. The first post will explain why I'm creating a new blog.

Blogging has helped me so much. And all of you have contributed to my success.

But over the past few months as I watch more and more of you drop out of blogging, I became a bit jaded. I love to blog and it has been my lifeline. I couldn't imagine giving it up. So I needed to decide if I continue with the Rollercoaster or move into discovering where I am going in life.

And don't worry, I will still be following all of you and commenting as much as I can.

I will still post stories on the Superstar Blog. I would love if someone else would volunteer to help me with the Superstar Blog. It doesn't involve a lot of work maybe an hour or so every other month. Just someone who likes to format and double check the written word and organize some photos as well as contacting new "Stars" to submit their stories. So if you are so inclined to help me out, let me know at

Last but not least. It's my birthday. Today I'm 58 years old. OMG, where did the time go!

Friday, March 2, 2012

It's Cold

Actually, I AM COLD.

A funny thing happened when I lost weight. I got cold. Really cold.

I don't know the reason per se. I was always the one in the house turning down the heat. Visitors (and family) claimed my house was cold. I told them to put on a sweater. I would hand out blankets as they shivered on the couch. I was ALWAYS hot.

I'm now the one who keeps turning up the heat and hubby is complaining and telling me to "put on a sweater".

And maybe menopause has something to do with it. Once you lose all the hormones, you get cold. You have to go through a bunch of hot flashes and stuff, but in the end you get cold.

What I would give for a few hot flashes again. Many times at night now I have to roll over to cuddle beside my hubby to warm me up. He is like a furnace. Most days I sit at work, freezing. I constantly have a cashmere scarf wrapped around my neck and sometimes have to add a sweater. My hands get cold now. My feet get cold too—I almost always wear slippers around the house.

I don't find it cold being outside. But I have the car blasting hot air and am wrapped up in said cashmere scarf, coat and UGGS, the warmest boots ever. Granted the thermometer these days is sitting around 0C (32F) and it has been constantly snowing these last few days. March came in like a lion so I hope it goes out like a lamb. And warms up. I'm going to the Dominican Republic for a week on April 4th for my niece's wedding and worried that it would be too hot. But now I don't think I'll have a problem with the heat like I did 3 years ago when I was in Cuba. In July. I almost melted. That was pre-weight loss.

But something has changed.

One possibility is that I have new clothes. Things that are lighter and less material. I used to notice people around me in these sheer tops and tanks. That's me now, except I have to add a sweater most days.

Before I lost the fat, I would wrap myself in big bulky sweatshirts to hide. But they sure were warm—part of the reason I kept my house so cool. I still have a few but now have to wear a T-shirt under them as another layer of warmth.

A few months ago, the doc at my weightloss clinic said that with chronic imflammation (from the gallbladder), the body produces a lot of stress hormones, lots of cortisol. Now that I don't have the gallbladder anymore, my body is readjusting its hormones and chemistry. So maybe my body is just adjusting to normal. And normal means my body doesn't like the cold.

But could someone please send me some warm sunshine!

Or maybe I'll just go to the doctor and loudly discuss how cold I am. I'll invite Drazil along because you know what she thinks of "old" people complaining. But I'll loudly say to anyone who'll listen: "I'm freezing my @$$ off!"

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fat Kids, Superheroes, Bad-Habits and Disney too!

I came across this site which is supposed to help kids beat bad habits. 

It's an on-line game to fight bad habits by Disney who also has an new exhibit at Epcot—Habit Heroes. Epcot's exhibit has kids following two characters, "Will Power" and "Callie Stenics", through a 4,700 square foot attraction to defeat bad characters. Read a fuller description from the Orlando Sentinel.

But it seems to be getting trashed in the news. One of our local weight loss docs here in the city has a blog  that I follow. He is not very happy with this nor with another program from Atlanta, Georgia called Strong4Life campaign. He says that both these are
"demonstrating a complete lack of understanding for childhood obesity"
But even with his credentials as a MD and running a weight loss clinic, I don't agree with his trashing of these campaigns. He does stimulate discussion and blog ideas which I like. Are we to keep Childhood Obesity hidden? We have anti-smoking campaigns where pictures of cancerous lungs are plastered all over cigarette packages. We have anti-drug campaigns that display horrendous pictures too. We have this new campaign for heart disease with "death" stalking women and with a man's voice talking in the background that "he is coming for you". So why can't we bring "fat kids" into the forefront. I do agree with him that it is more than "one" thing that has caused childhood obesity rates to rise so fast but just like us bloggers we are discovering that we have to work on just one change at a time. 

When I was little, there were only a couple of us "fatties". Growing up in the 50's and 60's as a fat child in a family of 4 lean siblings (and friends) isn't fun but neither is now seeing the explosion of entire obese families driven by bad-habits. There are multiple reasons why kids have gotten fatter over the last generation but we haven't yet been able to put our finger on just one thing. You can all blame me if you like as that is the generation my kids (and most of you) grew up in (70's, 80's, and 90's). Were we as parents too lenient? Is it too much high fructose corn syrup? Is is lack of exercise because we bus our kids to school every day? Is it too many videos? Is it our genes? Is it stress? Is it too much K*F*C and McD*s? Is it because we now have colour TV? Is it because we have soft toilet paper? 

Or is it simply that we don't really know what to do. 

I will ask you to think about something. My kids are grown now but many of you still have littles ones. When you see your child is "normal" weight aren't you secretly glad you don't have to deal with it. And if your child starts to gain weight aren't you mortified that you are a bad parent? 

I guess according to some, it is wrong to let kids know that there are unhealthy consequences to life. Some are saying it is up to the parents to teach these good habits, but as we all know, many parents just don't know any more than their kids and some just don't care. When one is raised on fast food, TV and video games, that is what their world revolves around. But then again, doesn't this type of interactive game just encourage kids to have even more computer face time. Hmmmmm. 

Click the link at the top to see the bad-habit characters. Pick your character and play along too. Or just ignore this as crap as we watch our kids die of heart disease, diabetes and multiple other complications associated with obesity. 

Let the discussions begin! 

As to the bad habits in the link above, I'm picking Snacker.

Bad Habit: Too much fatty, processed food
Best Way To Defeat This Bad Habit: Expose her to healthy snacks like veggies and whole grains. She actually likes them. She just doesn’t know it yet! (Let's hear it for Gilly's new fav KALE!)
Bio: This Tooth Fairy Academy dropout never met a food that couldn’t be improved by more salt, butter or chemicals.
Powers: Snacker can fly using her fairy wings as she summons any type of deep-fried, processed snack from thin air using her magic wand. Look out! She tosses fat-loaded food at her victims.
Her Master Plan: Stress as many people out as possible, then offer them fatty snacks to make them feel better!
Habit Hero Special Dispatch: Choose healthy foods for snacking. Some foods high in fat, like nuts, can be good for you, but just have a little bit, not lots. That way you can enjoy a tasty treat and still stay healthy.

But I could also very easily become Sweet Tooth who looks much sexier in her tights!   

Bad Habit: Too many sweets
Best Way To Defeat This Bad Habit: Like Snacker, Sweet Tooth has a soft spot for healthy snacks like fruit, but just doesn’t know it yet. See if you can get her to try some!
Bio: This shapely girl may disguise her unhealthy habits, but in reality her blood sugar is so high you could bake a cake with it!
Powers: As befits her high-class style, she prefers attacking unsuspecting victims in her personal hovercraft, called “The Truffle,” and using her smokin’ hot cupcake shooter to launch sugary sweets.
Her Master Plan: She thinks life is short, or better yet, shortcakes. She wants it to be as sweet as possible and she wants everyone to fill up on desserts so she doesn’t feel so guilty eating alone.
Habit Hero Special Dispatch: Too much sugar can make you overweight, plus it’s bad for your teeth.

Deep down inside we all want to be a Superhero!

Friday, February 17, 2012

150 Pounds

This is the title of a book I just finished reading by Kate Rockland. It's worth a read. Here is the Amazon Link. I downloaded it on my Kindle App for my iPad. What a great way to read books now.
Here's a review which says it better than I could have:
A smartly-written novel of two women starting at opposite ends of the scale--and finding compromise and friendship in their journey towards 150 pounds. In the fast paced life of blogging, two women stand out: Alexis Allbright, of Skinny Chick (100 pounds), and Shoshana Weiner, who writes Fat and Fabulous (225 pounds). Both have over five million loyal readers. Both are hungry for success. But the similarities stop there.
With over 100 pounds on the scale separating them, weight isn't their only difference. Alexis is a loner who is so bitchy the only person who can stand her company is her gay best friend Billy. She gives neurotic New Yorkers a run for their money with her strict daily workout routine, and weighing of food. Shoshana is Alexis’s opposite. Living in Jersey with rowdy roommates, she is someone who “collects friends,” as her mother puts it; and treasures a life of expanding circles...and waistlines. 
When both appear as panelists on a popular talk show, their lives intersect in ways neither could have imagined. In turns comedic, heartwarming--and familiar to any woman who's ever stepped on a scale--Alexis and Shoshana realize they have far more in common than either could have possibly imagined, and more importantly, something to offer.
It is a work of fiction. The blogs do not exist (I googled them) but it really spoke to me about this weight loss journey.

One day I hope to be able to write the same title to a post on my blog for real!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Two Years Ago...

...I was just waking up from being banded.

And how my life has changed.

I feel so different, so much smaller.
I have energy and look forward to the rest of my life, however long it may be.
I believe that one can change.

Finally a weight loss method that actually works.

Onward to the next year and the year after and so on and so on and ...

Thanks for sticking with me and keeping me real. Because without all my BOOBs, I doubt I would have kept going.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Oh! The Places You'll Go

I've been reading during my "recuperation" and it fills the hours. As I was surfing some blogs I found this link to a rendition of a Dr. Suess book. Sometimes we just have to go back to the beginning. Even if you don't get it, your kids will.

My favourite part is half-way through the story where it says:
I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.
You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.
And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.
 So watch and enjoy.

Here is a link to the Oh! The Places You'll Go story.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Checking In

Just wanted to do a quick update since my gallbladder surgery last Tuesday. All went well. Had the surgery at 8:00 am on Tuesday and woke up in Recovery at 9:10 am wide awake. A first for me. With no pain. I guess my doc gave me a shot of Dilaudid (or something similar) in the OR. Nice doc.

I was out of recovery and headed home after another dose of Tylenol #3 in my veins and basically watched TV for the rest of the day. DH brought me some soup but I was stunned how little pain after the laparoscopy. I have 4 holes in me in different spots than after the band but it was a much easier surgery. Wednesday, I took Tylenol #3 in the morning and again at night to sleep and that's basically it. I've had a few Ibuprofen since but am feeling quite good. I'm even back cooking.

I asked and received 4 weeks off to recuperate.

Am I a suck or what. I do have to attend a three day training course Monday to Wednesday so hope the sitting for long periods of time doesn't wear me down.

Honestly, I could have gone back to work. The wonders of Laparascopic surgery. I had 4 weeks off when I had my band but I think I needed that time to adjust to the eating.

One thing my clinic had suggested but I ignored was to have a defill before surgery. Since I had no problems eating with my current fill level, I chose to ignore it and was able to drink and eat ok. I was a bit worried that with all the poking, the band might get irritated but so far all is well.

I have a fill booked on February 7th so hope to get some hunger relief. Although lying around watching TV, surfing blogs and being cooped up in the house is getting a bit stale. I ventured out yesterday to the grocery store. We've been snowed/iced in for the last 4 days and the snow is coming again today. Not as much as in a normal winter and it will soon be spring!
My backyard

To the other ladies who went under the knife this past week too, take the pain meds, relax and get well soon. And hope you don't have too much snow!

I still have 3 weeks of sick leave left to fill. No sympathy needed for me!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Home from Surgery

Just got back from the hospital. All went well. Feeling pretty good thanks to pain pills.

Easy peasy. One gallbladder gone! Hubby playing nursemaid. We'll see how long I can milk it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Red Licorice

At my new workplace they have a really nice lunch room with a vending machine full of chips, chocolate bars and these small packs of red licorice. It's a little downfall of mine.
If you look really close, it says "As Always, A Low Fat Candy" 

Yesterday and today have been stellar eating days. I had reached epic sugar loads for the last couple of weeks and decided to smash that sugar monster from my body. But the brain doesn't listen very well. It keeps telling me to eat some sugar. 

On both days I've convinced myself NOT to buy the red licorice. I was almost successful until my meeting ended early this afternoon. So my mind wandered. I deserved the red licorice. I needed the red licorice. Go buy the red licorice. 

So I unlocked the drawer to get my purse, pulled out my wallet went to the vending machine. Half way across the lunch room, I saw the space where red licorice is supposed to be—EMPTY. 

Oh the injustice! 

Off course I had to walk right up to the machine to check if they moved it to another slot. Nope. All gone. A little sticky in the empty space said 'reglisse'. I work in a French office but I just knew that word meant licorice (it does). ***Le sigh*** 

OK, one of you was sending out vibes to make the red licorice disappear. It worked. I didn't need them but my brain is not so happy. 

I'm trying to do my best in the eating department before my gallbladder surgery on January 24th. I figure I should try to shrink my liver a bit since he'll be probing underneath it. I already have a fill booked for February 7th. I'm waiting two weeks post-op (thanks Darlin'!) although the real reason is having to attend a 3-day S*A*PTEC training course a week after surgery.

I need this fill. I have 3 work days left before I'm off for four weeks. Keep sending those vibes to make the red licorice disappear from that vending machine.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Days of Our Lives

I saw a comment on Lap Band Gal's blog from Judi, another long term bandster mentioning the relevance of continued blogging and keeping our blog, well, relevant and something others would want to read.

Now I will say, both these lovely girls are Band Superstars. And they are the reason we keep trucking through good and bad times. When I get to work each morning, the first thing I do is open my Google Reader to find out what is going on in all your lives. I can't actually go to your blogs because they are blocked so my commenting is sporadic.

But reading how everyone is doing gives me a lift. I don't need TV much anymore, as reading blogs is like having my own little Soap Opera every day like "The Days of Our Lives".  Sometimes it is more like "The Young and the Restless", "Grey's Anatomy" or "The Simpson's". We have dramas and comedies and news. Some even have cliffhangers as we wait for a new post to find out the ending. Some bloggers are on hiatus but we hope for a comeback this season. Maybe like "Dallas", you can just forget an entire year.

I get a little something out of each of the blogs I follow, especially those that have been around for a looooong time. But it is also fun to see new faces with fresh ideas and questions. I see a few more followers and am trying to follow them. Please leave me a comment with a link to your blog if you'd like me to follow you too. I do edit out my list every once in awhile and drop those that haven't posted in a long time (so sad). But mostly I don't always want to hear about band stuff. I love hearing about life stuff.

It might be:
  • Hearing how someone's family is coping with a medical problem and how it is affecting them: (House). 
  • Reading some delicious recipes (Guy's Big Bite). 
  • Feeling bad when I read about slipped bands and unfills and hoping and praying all will correct itself (ER). 
  • Learning how food affects different people, whether it is gluten, protein, sugar or fat (CSI). 
  • Knowing that weight loss by whatever means is hard work and the brain is so involved (The Mentalist). 
  • Watching the various exercise regimes people are following (The Biggest Loser). 
  • Finding out about different parts of the world because that is where some of the people I follow live (National Geographic). 
  • Having a good laugh because somedays I really need one (America's Funniest Home Videos). 
I follow a couple of non-band blogs as well. My niece is in Scotland for a semester of school and she is blogging about a trip through France and then her school year. Another blog has wedding ideas.

But the ones that give me a boost are those that have lived this band life for years. I can list off all the current Band Superstars but also many more that have been around but have been a bit in the background. Please stay and keep giving out your advice and guidance. It is truly appreciated.

And on another note. Watch the Band Superstar Blog next week for a new episode, where another STAR will be revealed. The plot in this one makes a slight detour. But my lips are sealed. You will just have to wait.

We've also added a few new pages with links to some interesting posts. Check them out by clicking on the Pages listed on the right side of the Band Superstar blog. Please let us know if there is something you would like to add.

Until then, it's back to watching my favourite shows.

Monday, January 9, 2012

What Would You Do?

I just want to throw this out into blogland to see what others think or maybe to pose to your doctor. There must be statistics somewhere.

One of our bloggers, Big Daddy, mentioned last year that his doctor recommended being defilled every couple of years to give the band and/or stomach a rest. My doctor doesn’t make any recommendation but…

My experience over the last couple of years is this fill-unfill-refill-defill rollercoaster I've been on. My clinic is not aggressive at all with fills. I get 0.1 cc fills. I know that sounds small but it seems to be what works for me. And I can feel a difference with that tiny amount. I have free fills at the clinic where I had my surgery but I pay $50 here at home with a doctor who works with them. I guess I've seen him about 8 times ($400) and about 5 at the clinic.

I also have big problems when I fly so they take out some fluid. My last defill (down to 3 cc from 4.5 cc) was last September 29th just before BOOBS. It was the strangest feeling. I didn't feel like eating at all, although I had less fluid. That did change and I was able to eat anything and everything but after about 1 cup of food, I'd get this dull ache in my right shoulder, something I've experienced my entire band life. My trip to Europe was wonderful. Full of walking and Goulash Soup but with no problems eating. I gained 1 pound.

My weight stayed the same through the fall. On November 11th I returned to the clinic to be refilled. I also told them that I thought everyone should have an unfill/defill every once in a while. Things just felt different. I think not being too tight helped my stomach relax and readjust to the band again. The nurse said others had told her the same thing. She only gave me a pittance of what had been taken out 0.5 cc/1.5cc. Two weeks later another 0.4 cc was added.

And now I'm hungry. ALL THE TIME. I can blame Christmas. I can blame travelling. I can blame the winter. I'm up 2 pounds since BOOBS. It has to come off.

But I have to wait until after my gallbladder surgery on January 24th. I'm in Bandster Hell! Knowing that getting a fill will help take the hungries away but knowing I have to show my own self-control until then. I've booked a fill appointment on February 1st. I may only get a sparrow's fart of a fillmeaning 0.1 cc but know deep in my heart that this is the only way I can survive with the band. Little fills at a time. When I get too much of a fill, I am plagued by PB'ing, heartburn, throwing up and unable to eat more than a tablespoon of food. Twice I've been so sick, not being able to swallow my spit and don't want to revisit those times EVER again.

I think having an unfill respite for the last 4 months has made an enormous difference in living with the band. I just know that I still need the band and its restriction to do that. So I'll relive "Hell" for a few more weeks. And then really get down to business and make this investment pay off big time.

Throwing out this question: Do you think it wise to give the band/stomach a rest every once in a while by having an unfill/defill?

Monday, January 2, 2012

There is No Finish Line-The End is Just the Beginning

I'm reposting something I wrote in August 2010. It actually is good to revisit some of our old thoughts because this one is so real to me. I didn't reach the Finish Line in 2010, nor in 2011 because there isn't any Finish Line. How could I have forgotten this important little nugget of information.

The original post was partly plagiarized from a post by Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit  in March 2010. At that time, I had just started to lose weight and I wondered how it would be when I reached my goal, my finish line. But a funny thing happened on the way down. I realized that there is no end. There is no Finish Line. His post had such an impact on me at the time that I couldn’t say it any better. Thus the cut and paste from his blog.
  • This journey is not about a number. It’s bigger than that. More important than that. The changes I’ve made since I began this trek… eating less, eating healthier, exercising more… have changed my life for the better, regardless of whether that number is 191, 199 or 210. There’s nothing magical about any one number… the real magic is in reclaiming your body and your health.
  • “Losing weight” and “getting fit” aren’t necessarily the same thing. Maybe the two are interconnected early in the game, but “losing weight” is a Point A to Point B kind of deal; “getting fit” has no finish line. It’s the pursuit of a lifetime.
  • The end is just the beginning. That’s what has tripped me up in the past. Being done. Being finished. Slipping back into my old bad habits as if they were a pair of flannel pajama pants. You see, I’ve lost weight before only to forget what got me there, forget that chips and beer pack a high-calorie punch, basically just forget myself.
As I get closer and closer to that magic number that we call a “goal”, I see it doesn’t really matter if I get there in 2012. There is no award, no trophy, no crown, no ribbon proclaiming I have lost XX pounds. My body will decide the weight I stabilize at and the band will keep me at that weight and not yo-yo up as in the past. This whole process is about gaining my health and living a longer active life because…

“The End is Just the Beginning”.
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