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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

9 Month Bandiversary


It's been 9 months since I had my lap-band surgery.  It's crazy to think that it's already been 9 months!  It seems like it took forever, but looking back it went pretty fast!

In 9 months, I've lost 73.5 pounds.  I went from wearing a size 24 to currently wearing a 14.  I couldn't be more thrilled with my progress and I'm excited to lose more and get down to my goal weight.  I'm still extremely motivated and working really hard.  I don't always make the best choices, but I keeping working at it every day.  I'm learning to have balance and let myself have treats every once in awhile, but not go crazy.  It's constantly still a learning process, but I know I am on the right track to lose the weight and keep it off for good.

Comparison Pictures - Before: 5/26/11 (night before surgery) and Current: 2/27/11

I've learned more about myself in these past months than I would have thought possible.  I'm on the road to bettering myself as a person as I deal with my weight issues and my relationship with food.  It's not always easy, but it can be done.

 I'm so thankful for the lap-band and how it has helped me already lose so much weight.  I needed help to lose the amount of weight that I had to lose.  Time and time again I would lose 15-20 pounds dieting, but I would get discouraged by the amount of weight I needed to lose and give up and go back to my old eating habits.  The lap-band helped me to keep my portion sizes in check and stay away from certain foods that I probably should have been staying away from anyway (bread, soda).  Even though the lap-band helps me, it still isn't easy.  I have to make good food choices and I workout 5 times a week.

 I'm learning that I have to make these changes for the rest of my life and that there is no finish line.

Can't wait to see all the changes in the next 9 months!



And one more picture because I felt super cute today! :)











Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In #38 & 39


This week I weighed in at 191.8 for a loss of 2.2lb. over a 2 week period and a total loss of 73.5 since the beginning of my weight loss journey.

Last week I completely forgot to weigh-in on my normal weigh-in day (Saturday) and then I forgot to weigh in Sunday as well, so I decided to just wait another week and do my weigh-in post for 2 weeks.  Of course I'm extremely happy with the loss, but for being on mostly liquids for almost 2 weeks I really thought I would have lost more.  But that's okay.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?  I'm going to keep working at it, making good choices and doing all that I know to do and let my body do the rest.  I'm finally able to start chewing some foods again so I'm really excited about that!



This week was crazy busy!  I had something going on every single night and several things each day this weekend.  It was all fun stuff though and I was still able to get in all my planned workouts and took Maddie on a walk every day.  The weather here has been amazing so I'm trying to get out and enjoy it as much as possible!

Lent is going good.  Last week giving up food wasn't that hard because I couldn't really eat anyway.  Today starts my week (well 6 days really) of not watching any TV or movies.  I've already had a hard time today.  Working from home I usually turn the TV on and have it going in the background.  I wanted to catch up on some shows on my DVR, but I keep catching myself and realize that I can't.  It's crazy to me to realize in just a few hours how much I watch TV and how much of a priority I make it.  I don't feel that there is anything wrong with TV, but I don't want to make it a priority in my life, because in the grand scheme of things there are things that need to come before TV watching.  I have a feeling I'm going to learn a lot about myself and my priorities over the next 6 weeks.


Friday night I got to hang out with some friends.  We played telephone pictionary and just hung out. On Saturday I went to Waco and got to meet up with some banded blogging friends (Beth, Debi, Dawnya and Angela).  We had a great lunch and did a little shopping.  I'll post a picture of the group once I get it.  I got some really cute new Sperry shoes!  I had to get back in town to work with the kid's at church and then went over to a friends house to have a movie watching/PJ party.  We had a great time.  Then Sunday we had girls over to our house in the afternoon for our home group and then I went over to my parents house to watch the Academy Awards.  It was a great weekend!

Today is my 9 month anniversary since I had lap-band surgery.  I'll post about that tomorrow and do some updated comparison shots and measurements!

Hope everyone has a great week!



Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lap-Band Survey

Back in July I was contacted by a lady from Lapband.com who was interviewing people to put profiles on the website.  I meant to share this a long time ago, but kept forgetting.  I thought I would post the questions and my answers to give a little background on my decision to have lap-band surgery and and my experience so far.  I would love for others who have had the surgery to fill out the survey too and hear your thoughts!
  • When and where did you have the Lap Band procedure done? I had the lap-band procedure done on 5/27/2011 at True Results in Richardson, TX by Dr. Marsden.
  • What led up to your decision to have the Lap Band done? In other words what was your "a ha" moment, where you found yourself saying, "OK, it's time."? Please try to be as descriptive as possible. Initially I had been against having bariatric surgery.  In 2007 I lost 75 pounds on my own and felt like I could do it again.  I tried so many different diets and programs and they would all work for a few weeks and then I would get discouraged by the amount of weight I needed to lose and just give up.  In April, after being faced with some health issues I knew I had to do something.  I swallowed my pride and began checking into bariatric surgery.  I realized that I needed help and I felt like the Lap-Band was the right tool to help me get there.
  • Why did you choose Lap Band versus another bariatric procedure and/or a weight-loss program, such as Weight Watchers? (If you'd tried any of these without success, please tell me about that.)  I have tried pretty much every diet under the sun; Weight Watchers, Medifast, South Beach, Adkins, Sugar Busters, diet pills (prescribed by my doctor), HCG, and many others.  They would all work, but then I would slip up, get discouraged and fall back into my old eating patterns.  The great thing about the Lap-Band is that it doesn't allow me to go back to a lot of those habits.  I can no longer eat as much as I want, certain foods that were triggers for me are not easy to eat.  So yeah, I can still make bad choices but it is harder to do so.
  • How much weight have you lost?  I have lost 72 pounds since the beginning of May 2011.  
  • How tall are you, what was your starting weight, and where are you now?  I am 5'3" and my starting weight was 265.3 and I now weigh192.6.
  • How has your life changed since you had the Lap Band done? Please be as descriptive as possible. I'm looking to highlight a unique aspect of each person's life that has changed for the better thanks to LapBand.  The biggest change for me is that I've gained more confidence in myself and my ability to lose the weight for good.  I had become embarrassed of my weight and often stayed home because I didn't want my friends to see how big I had let myself get.  I have the best friends and love hanging out with them, but I would often just stay home because things that were simple for others to do weren't easy for me and I just lacked the confidence that I had always had.
  • Please share one health-related way that your life has improved because of LapBand. In other words what health condition/medication was a part of your daily life before surgery that is minimized or not existent now?  Part of what pushed me to get the Lap-Band was some medical issues.  I had strep throat twice in 2 months and was experiencing a lot of nausea and dizziness.  I went to the doctor and had all kinds of tests run. I was not pre-diabetic, but I was heading in that direction and I had high blood pressure.  I was also very low on vitamin D (probably from staying in the house so much) and had to start taking Thyroid medication.  All of the issues are gone and I am not taking any medication other than vitamins.
  • Please share an example of something you're able to do in your life now that you couldn't do before LapBand, such as dancing at a child's wedding, walking your dogs, or fitting into a uniform at work that used to have to be special ordered (these are just examples to get you thinking).  I love to travel and had gotten to the point where I could not fit in a regular seatbelt on the plane.  Now it fits just fine and has plenty of extra room!  I was also embarrassed going many places, like sporting events because I could barely fit in the seat and was so uncomfortable.  I would also get so winded getting to my seat that I just stopped going to games.  Now I can go to the games and actually enjoy myself!
  • Finally, how old are you, where do you live (city and state), and what is your occupation?  I am 31 years old and I live in Flower Mound, TX.  I am a Business Analyst for Aon Hewitt.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lent



This year I'm participating in Lent.  For the first year my church has decided to observe the season of Lent as a church.    I'm really excited about this because I hope that it will be a time for me to remove some distractions from my life and really focus on God and getting my priorities in order.  Instead of giving up one thing for the whole time, my church made a suggested schedule to follow where you give up one thing a week.  I think this will be so good for me.  My girls home group is getting together on Tuesday nights each week to be accountable to each other and share what we are learning and I'm also getting together on Wednesday nights with another group of friends from church.

My church produced a Lent guide with weekly readings.  This is what it says about fasting.  "By emptying our lives of commotion, clutter and noise, we hope to find greater room for Him to speak through His Word.  Rather than simply subtracting something from our lives, this is an opportunity to add something greater".

So here is the schedule that I am following.  Some weeks will be harder than others, but it's only for a week so I know I can do it.

Week 1: Food
Some people are fasting for one whole day or for one meal a day or from certain kinds of food.  I kind of am forced to fast from food this week since I can't eat all week because of my new appliances on my braces and not being able to chew, so it kind of works out. 


Week 2: Television and Movies

This one is going to be hard.  I watch more TV than I care to admit and it's going to seem so quiet. I know it will be a good thing for me though.

Week 3: Social Networking and Internet
I think this week is going to be rough too.  I'm constantly online.  I spend a lot of time looking at Facebook, YouTube, blogs, Twitter, and just surfing the web.  Some of my time is really productive, but a lot of it is just wasted.  So if you don't see me posting anything or commenting on anything this week, you know why.

Week 4: Caffeine and Sweets
I think that this week will be pretty easy for me.  I don't drink caffeine and I really don't have sweets.  I do drink chocolate milk with unflavored protein powder every morning for breakfast so I'm going to give that up for the week.

Week 5: Radio and Music
I don't think I even realize how much I listen to music.  This week will be really hard for me!

Week 6: Shopping for Non-Essentials

Week 7: Sleep

This is what the guide says about the no sleep week.  "The hope is that we might set our alarms an hour or two earlier or stay up an hour or two later and devote one entire night or morning to prayer.

I think this season of Lent will be a big challenge for me, but I'm excited to remove some clutter and focus on what really matters.

Do you celebrate the season of Lent and if so, what are you giving up?


O Lord and Master of my life!
Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power and idle talk.
But give me rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to my servant.
Yea, O Lord and King!
Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother; for thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.
A common fourth-century prayer of Lent from St. Ephrem the Syrian

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Color Run



So I did it!  I finished my first 5K!!!!  I was nervous and wasn't really sure how I would do because I didn't have a chance to train like I wanted since I was out of town for almost the whole month of January.  

My friend Heather and I left at 7:00am to head down to Fair Park for the race.  It was a little on the chilly side, but once we started, it warmed up really fast.  

Ready to head to the race!

It's a beautiful morning in Texas
Heather and I waiting for the race to start
I'm so glad that I chose to do this for my first 5K!  It was really relaxed and super fun!  It wasn't timed and everyone was just there to have a good time.  I started out running a little bit, but it was so crowded it was hard to run.  My friend Heather was going to run the whole thing, but after realizing that it would be hard to run without stopping and starting, she decided to hang back and run the race with me.  

We walked most of the way, which really ended up being better since I couldn't eat anything and my teeth were hurting (see previous post).  It was soooo fun!  It really helped break it up that there were the color stations at every kilometer.  It made the race go by really fast.  I thought it would be a lot worse, but it went by fast and I did great!  

Crossing the finish line
I did it!
Heather, Shannon and me
Sweet friends

I tried to meet up with Beth and Ronnie at the end, but we couldn't find each other and then they needed to leave :(  We were able to find some other friends and hang out in front of the Cotton Bowl at the finish line celebration.  They had music and a couple of times they had everyone throw up paint in the air at the same time.  It was so fun!

These two videos are of the celebration at the end and the celebration from inside.  




Thanks to my friends Heather and Lisa and the Color Run facebook page for the photos and videos!

If they have a Color Run in your city, you should definitely do it.  I had the best time!  

Thanks for all your support and encouragement!


Forsus Appliance (Braces Update)


I've still been getting tons of people reaching out to me and asking about my braces, so I thought I would do an update.

On Friday, I went to the orthodontist.  The rubber bands weren't moving my jaw as much as they had hoped.  Dr. M said why don't we try the rubber bands for 6 more weeks and they we will put on these things called the Forsus Appliance (it's similar to the Herbst device).  Since we were going to have to put them on anyway, I asked if we could just go ahead and put them on rather than going another 6 weeks with the rubber bands not doing much.  Hopefully that will speed up the process and I'd rather just go ahead and get it over with.  So I got them put on.  They are kind of like springs that will move my bottom jaw forward and over to the side and it helps keep it in place all the time.  The good news is that I won't have to wear the rubber bands and change them out all the time.  The bad news is that it has to stay in my mouth all the time.  They told me that I won't be able to eat for a week because only my front teeth are touching so I really can't chew anything (just liquid and really soft food).  So hopefully I'll have a good weigh-in this week!  I also had to get these power chains on that go from one side to the other to help hold the appliance in place and it will also help my teeth go all the way together.

Needless to say, it's pretty painful.  Hopefully the pain will go away soon once my teeth/jaw/muscles get adjusted.  I'm not sure how long I have to wear them.  It just depends on how fast my jaw moves.

Here is a video I made for those who are interested.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Randomness




  • I had a fill on Tuesday.  It went really well.  They were able to find the port right away with no problems.  I got a whopping 0.2 added!  Haha!  That's okay though because I think I'm pretty close to the green zone and don't want to be too tight.  

  • I started eating solid food again last night.  So far I haven't had any problems.  Hopefully this fill will be just the right amount.
  • I'm doing the Color Run on Sunday.  I'm getting really excited about it and the weather is supposed to be really nice.  Hopefully everything goes good with that.  Thanks MandaPanda for the advice on what to wear/bring!
  • I'm considering sharing my blog with some of my friends and family on Facebook.  Do you guys share your blog publicly and have you gotten positive feedback?
  • I'm wanting to color my hair like this.  What do y'all think?  I want it to be dark at the top and lighter at the bottom.
  • My dad got me a Valentine's goody bag with cute pajamas!  My whole family went out to eat and then to my parents house for Valentine's and we had a really fun time.  Thanks Dad!
  • Our family went to a funeral on Wednesday for a family friend that passed away from cancer.   She was an amazing woman and as sad as the situation is, it inspired me to want to live a better life.
  • I get to hang out with my friend Aven tonight.  I'm super excited to spend time with her.

  • I have an orthodontist appointment this afternoon.  So fun!  Haha!  It actually is a little fun because I go every 6 weeks and it's fun to see my smile get better every time and it's also fun that they notice the amount of weight I've lost! :)
  • These next three days are non-stop!  I think I have something planned almost every minute, just going from one thing to the next.  It should be a fun weekend though!  Hopefully I'll have a good weigh-in this week and find some time to blog about that.
I think that's it for now, I'm sure I could go on and on.  Hope you all have a great weekend!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!  I am a super cheesy romantic and I love Valentine's Day.  Unfortunately I've been single for a REALLY long time.  Every year I find things to do for myself, like a spa day, getting my favorite foods, going shopping, etc.  Just pampering myself.  As much as I enjoy these things, part of me still gets a little sad on Valentine's and wishes I had someone to share it with.

Don't get me wrong, I have a great life and I love the way things are going.  Most of the time I am happy with where I'm at, but I have days now and then where it stings a little bit.  I didn't think that I would be 31 and still single.  I thought that I would be married and have kids by now, but that hasn't been the Lord's plan for my life yet.  I'm still holding out hope and I know that God has the right person out there for me.  And I can tell you this, I will not settle for just anyone, but I will wait for the right one.  My life is too great to settle for someone just because I might have times where I feel lonely or sad.  It's funny because most of my single friends want to be married and most of my married friends say it would be so great to be single and get to do whatever you want!  So I am just going to enjoy the stage of life that I am in and hope that one day I'll have someone special to share it with.

I am getting together with my family on Wednesday night for a Valentine's celebration and my dad always buys me presents for Valentine's Day so that will be fun.  He is so great!

Hope everyone has a great Valentine's Day and gets to spend it with the ones you love.

Lots of love! <3



Monday, February 13, 2012

Sick Day


I'm still not feeling well.  I'm just dealing with this nasty head cold.  I've been debating all morning about what do to today.  After working for part of the day I'm thinking I need to just take the rest of the day and try to relax and get to feeling better.

I'm so bummed because I'm going to miss my workout today and miss support group tonight.  Last month I had to miss too because I was out of town.  :(  I just need to get feeling better because the rest of the week is crazy busy.  Oh well.  I need to do what's best for me and for right now that is getting better.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In #37


This week I weighed in at 194.0 for a loss of 3 pounds for the week and a total loss of 71.3 pounds!  I was thrilled with the loss for this week!  I haven't had a loss that big in a really long time!  And it put me over the 70 pound lost mark.  For some reason hearing 71 pounds just seems like a lot!  The weight is really coming off and I couldn't be more excited!

I did work really hard this week.  I planned all of my meals and exercise and stuck with the plan.  I had really bad allergies that I guess has turned into a cold now and haven't been feeling that great, but I still stuck with the plan.  It's so great when you have a week that you worked really hard and to see it pay off.  Especially because we've all had those weeks where we work really hard and don't lose much.  This really encourages me to stick with it.  I have 54 more pounds until I get to my goal of 140 and I'm more motivated than ever to get there!



I have an appointment scheduled on Valentine's Day to get a fill.  I have really been struggling with whether to get one or not.  Part of my feels like a need a little fill and my last fill was in July.  But I also don't want to be too tight and I don't get super hungry very often, but I feel like I want to eat a little more than I should.  I just keep going back and forth about it and I'm not sure.  Hopefully when I talk to the people when I go in for my appointment they will help me to be able to make the right decision.

I signed up to do the Color Run next Sunday.  As I talk about in my video below, I'm having mixed feelings about it.  But I've committed and I'm doing it.  I just haven't been training at all and I know I can't run.  So we'll see how this week goes.  On one hand I'm really excited about it and think it will be fun, but on the other hand I'm nervous if I can do it or not.  So we'll see.  I'll make sure to post lots of pictures!  Beth and Ronnie will be there as well as several of my other friends so I know we'll have a good time!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Braces and Lap-Band

1st picture is on 5/6/11 the day after I got braces and the 2nd picture is 2/9/11 (9 months after I got braces and 8 1/2 months after Lap-Band)

I have had a lot of people find my blog or YouTube videos because they wanted to know about my experience with the lapband and having braces.  Since I've been asked several questions I thought I would make a video about it and share my story.

Overall I wouldn't say it's ideal and definitely makes things a little harder, but I would do it again and I will be so happy when I'm done and have a whole new body and smile!   Feel free to ask if you have any questions.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Fitness Pal and Fitbit


Did anyone know that you can now link your Fitbit with your My Fitness Pal account?  I had no idea and just found out.  This is great for me because I really liked the Fitbit, but I didn't like their food or exercise database.   So I never got accurate information because I would log my food and exercise into MFP and my activity would be in Fitbit, so it didn't work too good.  Now whenever you log your information into MFP, it automatically connects with your Fitbit account.  Your calorie budget can be automatically adjusted based on your activity level tracked by Fitbit for the day.  Also, when you login to Fitbit.com, you will see all of your calories and exercise entered from MFP.

When you log your exercise on MFP it asks you what time you completed it so it will accurately adjust your calories.

I had stopped using my Fitbit, but I think I'll try it again!

You can find out more at here and you can link your Fitbit and MFP accounts here.

If you use My Fitness Pal and want to be friends, here is the link to my profile!
http://www.myfitnesspal.com/andrealeigh23




Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Planning


One of my 2012 goals was to plan ahead of time.  Eating right and working out takes a lot of time and energy.  It doesn't just happen and there will be a lot of times where you don't feel like working out, you're craving foods you shouldn't eat, or you just get too busy.  That's where planning comes in.  It seems like a lot of work up front, but it is worth it!  

When you take the guesswork out of what you are going to eat, it helps your mind to not wander and think about what you're going to have, which can often lead to thinking about wanting foods that aren't healthy.  For me, when I start to think about what I want to have and crave foods I shouldn't eat, it become a really slippery slope and often leads to making not so good choices.

If my meals are planned ahead of time, I don't have to think about what I'm going to have.  It's already decided.  Of course I will still be faced with temptations, but they are easier to avoid when you've already made up your mind about what you are going to eat.



One of the ways that I plan my meals and workouts is using Google calendar.  I try to plan all my meals for the week on Sundays.  I created a separate calendar on Google that is just for meal planning.  It shows up on my calendar in a different color and I can unselect it if I don't want to see all my meals. 


In each of the entries you can also add things like recipes (or the link to a recipe) and specific calorie information.  For instance, I know that I'm going to try a new recipe later this week so I put the link in my calendar entry so it will be easy to find it.  


You can also set things to repeat so if you have the same thing every day or once a week, or even want to have a certain recipe again in 6 weeks.  When you open an event, there is also a copy to my calendar function so you can just copy that meal to another day and not have to re-enter everything.



I've also found that scheduling my workouts has helped tremendously.  If I add in the workout to my calendar and make it an appointment, I'm more likely to go.  Just like making an appointment to go to the dentist.  I'm sure most of us don't ever want to go to the dentist, but we make the appointment and go because it's good for our teeth and it's important to take care of ourselves.  In the same way, making an appointment for working out often helps keep you on a schedule and I know it helps me to go even when I don't really feel like going.

The other great thing about the Google Calendar is that it wirelessly syncs to all my devices.  So once I add something online, it will be synced to my iPhone and iPad as well or I could pull it up from any computer.  I'm sure there are other great calendars too, but that is just what I've found works best for me.

On Sundays, I also organize my vitamins for the week.  I use an organizer that allows me to put in all my vitamins for the week so I don't have to remember if I've taken them or not and it helps keep me on track.  I can take out the vitamins for that day and put them in my purse so I'll have them with me and not have to take the whole week.



I know that it seems like a lot of work up front, but I promise you it will help so much!  I can't tell you how much this helps me throughout the week to stay on track.  Taking that hour or 2 once a week will make all the difference to help you stay on track.  

What other ideas do you guys have or how do you plan your meals and exercise?



8 Month Bandiversary

My eight month bandiversay on the 27th came and went while I was out of town and I completely forgot about it!  So here is my 8 month post.  I made a promise to myself that I would at least blog about my weight loss once a week and about my bandiversary once a month if nothing else.  So I don't want to miss a post.

Obviously January was a hard month with being out of town for 3 weeks.  It started off really strong with my 2012 goals and just having a lot of motivation in general.  I don't think that motivation has gone away and I am still determined as ever, but being out of my environment definitely made things more difficult.

I didn't take measurements for this month, and since we're already halfway into my 9th month, I'll just have to report 2 months of measurements in my next post.

 I lost a total of 3 pounds this month which is actually better than I thought since I gained .2 over the three weeks I was out of town.

I am still thankful for the lap-band everyday!  The fact that I didn't gain over Christmas and being out of town for most of the month and still lost weight and got under 200 pounds is amazing and I couldn't be happier.

This was and is the best decision I have made for my life and my health and I can't wait to keep going!