Friday, December 30, 2011

Cost of surgery

I thought you may appreciate to know what my hospital charged pre insurance payment. This was at the university of Michigan.

Broccoli, ham and Parmesan scrambled eggs

Here is a recipe for you folks!
Spray pan with pam or butter. Take 2 eggs and whisk them. Add in finely chopped ham. (I used store bought 95% fat free ham chunks and chopped them up) Take already cooked broccoli and chop it into small pieces. (I had one of those steamer bags which is already cooked) Add the broccoli to the eggs. Mix it all together and add a sprinkle of mrs. dash or your favorite cooking seasoning. Continue to stir to keep it scrambled. Near the end of cooking the eggs add in a shake or two of parmesan cheese (i used shredded parmesan) Once it is finished you can add a bit more cheese. 
Other add ins you can use: Add other veggies i had freeze dried red onion, and garlic that i added. You can use fresh veggies whatever you have on hand. Because i am in the puree phase i have to be careful what i use. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Whirlwind of the holidays

So its been about a week and a half since i last posted and i can honestly say i am so grateful that the liquid phase is over. I had a stall which started the second week post op and continued until today. Today i got on the scale and was missing 4 pounds! So as of this post i am at 214, my before liquid phase was 238. I went to a party yesterday and had a few things. I had 2 deviled eggs, and a mushroom with brie cheese. My stomach handled it masterfully. My incisions are healing up nicely and i believe that you will only see 1 of the scars. If you can, get your surgeon to use glue. I am no longer having itchiness at the sites. I am writing not to bore you all but to share a wonderful blog that i came across: EGGFACE
She has years of recipes. She got the RNY, whereas i got the vertical sleeve. I also wanted to mention that i have been posting on VERTICAL SLEEVE TALK My username on there is utopianaurora. I am also on SPARKPEOPLE as utopianaurora. I have no idea how to add people on sparkpeople but i have been using it for years. It is a great way to get motivation, and keep track of your protein, calories, exercise etc. Just wanted to share a few of these gems, and see how your holiday was? I have been invited to 2 new years parties not sure if i will go to either though. We will see. Any new years resolutions??

Mine so far:
1.)Learn to manage money better
2.)Work more substitute teaching until i graduate (in July)
3.)Make sure to tell the ones i love and care about that i appreciate them. A friend of mine who i met at red robin (he works there) told me and my husband "love you guys" he had never said anything like that before and it kind of knocked me back. (in a good way) I don't use the love word unless i mean it and i don't throw it around. Both of my parents say I love you all the time. While i know that they mean it it loses its value (?) having it be said so much. I know for my mom its just because her father has only said it a few times. Same with my dad plus we had a rough time in my teenage years and are finally getting to a good time where we are enjoying spending time together. Authough he has a boat load of kids now. (He has adopted 4 kids- ages 3, 6, 10 and 12) He also has the Sister of the older two living with him, i think they are going to adopt her too and i think she is 11.
4.) Exercise regularly
5.) Be mindful of what i am eating
6.) Be more mindful of others

Oh and i decided last night that i am going to apply for the PSY D. Program at my graduate school. If i get a good job in July i can always defer, but if i don't then i can continue on and maybe find part time work as a therapist? Who knows. At this point in my life i feel like there are endless possibilities.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Today I cheated lol

Today my friend and I went to the mall because I was bored and wanted to get in the holiday spirit. Today's craving was chocolate chip cookies which I did not get. I did have a free cup of hot chocolate with 1/4 handmade marshmallow. I even went to godiva and bought my friend and my husband truffles but none for me. My other "cheat" was a strawberry peach smoothie from surf city squeeze sugar free. It was a nice time my besties almost 3 year old wanted to see Santa again (saw him yesterday) he was so sweet hugged Santa 3 times held his jacket and said "I love you Santa" it was so precious!! In other news my wounds are good and I finally had a BM. I did not get tired at the mall but I feel tired now after 3 hours at the mall with no purpose :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I had a dream last night which had a friends mother cooking this giant pizza sushi roll. In the dream I took a piece of pepperoni and started choking. I woke up from the dream and I was coughing. It really hurt, but somehow it hurts less to move. Today feels ilike a turning point. 5 days since surgery and I am feeling loads better! I have been drinking lots of sf koolaid, eating Popsicles and trying to get in protein where I can. I found that for shoulder gas pain an ice pack works the best. As of 12 pm I have no shoulder pain after one night. I can say that I am craving a piece of Hershey's chocolate so bad. It's all I can think about today. My in-laws still don't know that I had the surgery. My husband was over there yesterday. They were not supportive so why tell them? They will find out eventually but for now I want to heal among my supporters. The cuts are looking more skin colored. I am happy they have never been painful to touch. I am going to call the bariatric office on Monday to try and get scheduled at 1 day before two weeks rather than 3 weeks out which will be my 1st day back to class. I am having difficulties with my protein from gnc because I hate it so much. It tastes awful and I despise it. I tried mixing it with pudding but all I could taste was the protein. I don't want to not get enough protein in but unjury is $26 I just don't have right now. :/ I asked my mom for it for Christmas no idea if she will or not. So back to the chocolate do u post surgery folks think if I let it melt completely that it would hurt my healing pouch??
For sleeping I have a memory foam mattress topper (best $100 spent at sams club) and it was really hard to get up. I added a few mid sized couch pillows to the bed and now have little to no issues getting up.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Hey folks I am home. As stupid as it sounds I did not think it would hurt this much. I am on medication that dulls the pain, but the gas is the killer. I am on a full liquid diet but prior to surgery I realized that I can't do lactose. Before surgery it was just milk but now it seems to be yogurt too. I will obviously try again once my belly does not hurt so much. One issue that I had in the hospital was that I could not pee. Try as I might it would not come. Then came the cath nurses which hurt. I had to be cathed 3 times and they were going to send some supplies home with me plus a nurse would visit. Thankfully I was able to pee right before I left. Something that I was really happy about was the blood draw team. I had blood drawn 3 times on my left arm which once had to have medflight come to do it. At university of Michigan hospital their dedicated team got me on the first time. I could just cry of that small gift. Anyways I wanted to pop in and say hi I am alive. Folks who getting it make sure to walk and take it easy. Folks who have had it?? I have found that heat and pressure are nice. A nice hot shower does a world of good. Ttyl bye! Sorry for the picture just wanted to show

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Surgery tomorrow

So the big day is upon me in about 13 hours. I am scheduled for a 7:30 am surgery with a 5:15 arrival. I am not nervous just getting my ducks in a row. I read online that Chapstick is important to have. Any other suggestions??? See you guys on the other side!

Monday, December 12, 2011


I am at the doctors right now. Last months weigh in was 237.6 today's is 225.4! I lost 12.2 pounds! I made my husband guess he said 10, and I said 15 and it ended up in the middle.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Protein Reviews: A bit rough

1st of all note: Before this liquid diet I was drinking exclusively almond milk. (personal preference) But they told me to switch to soy or cows milk. So I tried both on these proteins. I have photos but they are not with me. I will add them probably in January when we get internet back. Unjury’s Chocolate Classic, and Bariatric Fusion’s Chocolate Mousse were similar in flavor. I did not get free samples of GNC but I have to add them to warn you guys. Also note that i am at a tim hortons finishing this so you can have it! My surgery is on Wednesday and i am really excited!! (i am hoping this feeling stays) I found out there is a blogger app for my iphone so i can update more often. Just may be shorter! I will update probably on Thursday from the hospital. 

<3 you guys thank you so much for your support!

Vanilla Latte
-On ice: First I filled up my shaker bottle to 12 oz.  Then I took the packet, which was 1 serving (2 scoops) Into my shaker bottle and shook for the 60 seconds. It still looked grainy so I shook for an addition 20 seconds. (this did not help) Then I poured over ice.
            -Flavor wise: I love lattes, and coffee with cream. This has an initial bitter taste when you first drink it. But has a vanilla coffee flavor after. I added ¼ cup milk to it and was pleased that the bitter flavor went away.
            What I was left with was a creamy drink, that reminded me a little of an iced cappuccino from Tim Hortons.
-down side: Pieces of the protein did not completely mix, and so chunks of protein slip into your mouth while you are drinking.

-Hot: The package says to pour 12-14 oz water into shaker, add 1 serving (2 scoops) of Click. Shake for 30-60 seconds. Microwave for 60 seconds. Remove and stir. Microwave for 45 seconds or to desired temperature.

I followed the directions, and what did I get???
-The flavor reminded me now a little like hot chocolate (this was still the vanilla latte) But then I was immediately greeted with that bitter taste again. I added a little milk again…. The milk made the flavor better, but my lips were met with pieces of protein that had not mixed even though I shook for 60 seconds, and stirred through out the microwave session.

Mocha Latte- Tried the same methods as before. This one also did not mix too well. The flavor to me seemed more bitter, with a chocolate undertone.
            *What did I learn from this 1st drink??? Experiment with your protein to find something you may like.

Pro’s- 15 grams of protein per serving, only 1.5 grams of fat. Has caffeine equal to a 12-14 oz cup of coffee.

Con’s- bitter flavor unless you add milk to your drink. (just like real coffee!)
Could not get protein to dissolve completely.

**please note that through different forums online, many people love this protein, and swear by it.**

Nutrition and ordering can be found at their website at:
You can also buy it from the vitamin shoppe, and a variety of retailers online.
**Please not that I received free samples, and was not paid for this review**

UNJURY- My Personal Winner (Downside you have to order online and you want to drink it so fast because they are amazing!!!)

Chocolate classic-
First taste with soy milk- blown away. No grit, smooth taste, tastes like hot chocolate cold. SO good.

Chocolate Classic mixed with chocolate pudding- FANTASTIC! Way better then regular pudding, tastes like a chocolate mousse. (Freeze individual Popsicle containers for pudding pops! (YUM!!)

Vanilla with milk- YUM! Tastes like a vanilla shake.

Strawberry Sorbet w/water- the package says to mix with water. Did not enjoy this flavor. It tasted like a flavored water but creamy. I tried it on ice, still did not like it. I also tried it with lemonade and still did not like it.To each their own though.

Chicken soup- Tastes like Mrs. Grasses soup. Great flavor, a nice change from all of the sweet things. 

Chocolate splendor- Similar to the chocolate classic but has a deeper chocolate flavor. No idea what to say it tastes like just that it is different then the classic.

Unflavored- as all “unflavored” proteins go they still have a flavor. In water mixed with a crystal light is good. I mixed it in jello, but a cloudiness sank to the bottom and had little bits in my jello kind of grossed me out. But I am weird like that.

They have a new cheese protein but they do not have it in sample size. It looks interesting.

Vitamins- They have a  good flavor but they seem harder then other chewable vitamins. Maybe I just have wimpy teeth.

Bariatric Choice- Tons of variety and protein rich foods that go beyond the liquid phase.

Caramel Pudding- reminded me more of a vanilla pudding with a hint of caramel.  Texture was fine, taste was very bland.
Chicken Bouillion- Nice flavor, has little green things floating so you feel like you are actually eating something and not just liquid.
Chocolate Cream- this you can make into a pudding or a shake. I did shake, and did not like it. I could not get it to mix and I ended up dumping it.

Bariatric Fusion- These took a close 2nd.
Strawberry Shortcake- Delicious. Tastes like a strawberry shake. Took awhile to mix.
Chocolate Mousse- Yum Yum. Very tasty. Chocolate shake like but SOOO good.
Vitamins- not bad. Very little “chalk” taste.

GNC (Chain of stores)-
I wanted to warn you guys of a few things. Don’t ask for help because they will A. try to upsell you on every item in the store even if you are just buying 1 thing. (seriously I had just enough to buy 1 bag, and they kept badgering me) I drove out of my way to another store, and they had no idea what anything tasted like. (multiple employees)
Flavors I tried: Chocolate: These don’t like to mix but can be heated no problem. Taste like cocoa powder barely sweetened.
Chocolate Caramel: It tastes better then the chocolate but pretty bland.
I will be ordering unjury I just have not had the money. They cost the same but you pay for shipping. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

5 days and no internet

Hi Everyone!! I have been thinking of this almost daily! I am almost through writing my protein review. Unjury is the winner for me for taste, texture, and great customer service. (you can return anything even if it is open)

Unfortunately we don't have internet right now which is why i have not been updating. I started my liquid diet on Thursday and it has been HELL for me. Its not so much that i feel hungry, it is just the holiday season, and the end of the semester which means FOOD! I did not realize what a strong relationship i had with food. The hardest day for me was on Tuesday. Tuesdays and Thursdays are my 12 hour days where i got to my practicum site, see clients and then go to school at night. Tuesday there were donut boxes all over my practicum site, which i could mostly avoid walking by. But the most difficult was at school. 1st i met for my last supervision which had little caesars pizza, breadsticks (my favorite), and wings. Then a classmates romanian mother made this filo dough esq with homemade pudding and homemade whipped cream. Everyone was oohing and aahing about how amazing it was. I suffered through that. Which of course the people in supervision kept asking if i wanted things to which i replied "no thank you i am undergoing a procedure that restricts my diet." Then the worst as if that was not bad enough. My class for children and family... the teacher brought specialty pizzas from plum market. 2 were vegetarian, another one had chicken. They smelled amazing. Then there was salad, an apple pie, and some other dishes. By that point i had eaten my supply of food that i brought and was ravenous. I don't know how i made it through Tuesday. Tuesday was the most difficult day thus far. Wednesday my friends had us over to their new house, and they ordered Chinese food. They had to order general tso's chicken (my favorite) so my husband and i left. As of today i have 5 days left until the BIG day and as time is progressing i am feeling ambivalent. I get waves of nerves where i am afraid to die, and wonder how can i give up my foodie friends? Then i question why am i doing this? My husband is supportive either ways, and keeps assuring me that he loves me how i am now. How will he feel after i change? I talked to my grandmother last night who made me feel a bit better. She got the RNY 20 years ago (i am getting the sleeve.) She said that she can still eat pizza occasionally but that instead of 4 slices she has one, and probably not the crust. She still eats pasta sometimes, and chinese. She said that i just have to get past my liquid phases and eventually i can eat my favorite foods again just not all the time. That made me feel better. We have a dry erase board in our kitchen. On it i wrote "This liquid diet is temporary. You will get to eat your favorite foods again (Just not all the time)." And somehow just hearing that made me feel better. As of today i am proudly marching towards Wednesday. The day when my life will change. When diabetes will no longer be knocking on my door. I can do this and so can you all. I can't find my scale and so as of today i have no idea how much weight i have loss in a week if any. I feel lighter and my wedding band fits again. So i just have to keep reminding myself of that.

A favor to you: Please tell me about your surgery, and why you got it and what gave you the strength to push on. What do you like and not like about yourselves after the fact? If you are going into this why?

December 14th, 2011 that is the day that Amber changes hopefully forever.

I will update when i can. As for now... I will be thinking of you guys.
P.S. Would you like me to video update??

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Quick Pop in-

Just want to mention real quick: I started a job (substitute teaching), and i saw my surgeon, and some other folks today. Got some blood work done, and went to 3 clinics. Domino farms (u of m) bariatric seems to know what they are doing. Chatted with a woman who had the RNY, she reported having pain on her right side 2 weeks out. The doctor said he was most concerned about my getting blood clots (as i have a blood clotting condition) The thing that concerns me most as silly as it sounds is having them cut me from breast to belly button if something goes wrong. He said they would only do that if i had bleeding complications. I also am afraid of dying. Which is normal given surgery. Anyway i have the green light for december 14th, and i have not forgotten about my protein post.. so far the winner is unjury's classic chocolate.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review on products!!

I have written to a few companies and they have so generously sent me product to review on my blog. This is really exciting to me because i get to share photos, recipes and my review. If i could send you all product i would!! The companies that i will be reviewing:
Unjury- (this is one of the two that we are allowed to have prior to surgery, they sent protein drinks, and vitamins)
-Strawberry Sorbet, chicken soup, chocolate splendor, unflavored, chocolate classic, and vanilla.
-Opurity vitamins- calcium citrate plus, and orange berry for bypass.
Click- (protein with coffee, and caffeine!)
-Vanilla Latte and mocha latte.
Bariatric Fusion- (they sent vitamins and protein drinks)
-Strawberry shortcake, and chocolate mousse.
-vitamins- orange cream, strawberry, and mixed berry.
Bariatric Choice- (they sent protein mix for pudding, and soup.)
-Chocolate Cream pudding and shake, caramel pudding, chicken bouillon.

I am looking forward to reviewing them. I will have separate posts for each, and i can promise lots of photos :) Look on the websites, especially unjury and let me know if you see any recipes you want me to try.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thin me..

This is me in high school the thinnest i have ever been. Which still was 165 pounds. You can't see my belly but i had one still, not as much as i do now though. Students would tell me my "fat was showing" (through clothing) it was a difficult time, and i took weight loss pills to lose the weight quickly. I was donning my favorite color ever died, pink! :)

Then you have me being goofy sophomore year of college, 4 years ago. Between 180-190.
I realized the diet pills were bad for me, so i stopped taking them and immediately started gaining weight. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Quick Goal

My husband is an Illustrator, and we go to Comic Book conventions several times a year. I somehow came upon this sexy lingerie, and costume website today. It got me to thinking. Every convention you see booth babes (skinny girls sexy girls) who are there to help draw attention to the table. There are also women dressed in superhero outfits, and they also get photo graphed if they are in a good costume and/or they look good. I have never felt comfortable to dress up in a costume for a comic book convention, but this website gave me a weight loss goal.

My Goal: Buy a superhero outfit, and proudly wear it at a comic book convention. =)

Most likely i could only do this in about a year or so. Once i hit my goal weight. (*fingers crossed*)

Costumes i would like:

My Husband is a big fan of this comic book character:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The ticker

The day i got my surgery date i grabbed a counter and put it on my site. When i looked it, it said that i had  80 some odd days, and that felt like an eternity to me. Today i punched in my site, and looked at the ticker and saw 62. For some reason the change in about 20 days seemed like a big deal to me. Perhaps because this semester is flying by for me as i am now in my practicum. To me the end of october is already here even though it is the middleish. (just because of how rapidly things are going)

A big change for me is.... not weight loss related. July 2010 i was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. My presenting issues did not match with this, as they initially said that i had transient global amnesia, and then changed to anxiety. Anyways, through my clinical program, and working through some issues, and finding out that my medicine causes heart issues in higher doses, i am no longer on any anxiety medicine.

This has caused some concern for my husband because in the past when switching medicines i had crashing points, which now i believe to have been conflicting medications.

My point of mentioning this, is i truly believe i was misdiagnosed. After being off my medicine for over three weeks now i feel fantastic. I feel like me, i don't feel like i am in a fog anymore. I feel happy, i am laughing again, i have a sex drive again. (yay since it was non existant for over a year) I have ZERO anxiety, and when i am having feelings i am writing down what they are. I.E- Anger, frustration, etc. Never in the three weeks since coming off of them have i felt a single bit of anxiety.
- A bonus too, i have had a fear of the activities i used to love (rollerblading, ice skating, sledding, etc.) as the doctors scared me into believing it was a horrible idea given that i was on blood thinner. So for over 4 years i have avoided doing the things i love because of this. Last week before i went to get a pedicure with a friend i skated over to her house. I lifted my arms, in relief that i had finally concurred this, i was enjoying myself and leaned back too far and fell onto my booty. I laughed, got up and skated the rest of the way to her house. When i told her about going off my meds, and concurring this fear, she said " you chose to do this AFTER you go off your meds?, " in a joking fashion. (i love her she is great)

So my point- i am grabbing life by the horns and embracing. I want to live my life, i want to do what i love, without the limits.

Just wanted to share. =)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2 for 1 posts! Kind of :0)

I know i already posted today but i felt this required a post too! Since it was bariatric related.

Today i bought a Baby Bullet blender! I don't recommend buying it from the manufacturers website as they want to charge $20 shipping. I went into Bed bath and beyond with a 20% off coupon. It's retail 59.99, but i saved about $12, so that works out to about $48 before tax.
-i figured that i will be on liquids first, i.e protein drinks (see what i bought below), and then purees, etc. plus smaller portions forever, and wanting quick smoothies/ to go foods. So for me it was a good investment. Plus i used to have something similar to the regular magic bullet and i used it everyday for smoothies until it died.

I also bought a Blender Bottle. In my support group they mentioned that blender type bottles are indispensable, as protein separates from whatever fluid it is mixed in.

A few months ago i bought small flexible silicone bowls (about the size between your thumb and index finger put together in an O shape. To help with portions. (and they were really cute <3) They were similar to this but i would never pay that much. I bought mine from cost plus world market and paid $5 for 5. (i love that place)

In my support group a post surgery person named Jean, said that she buys all of her vitamins from , That is all fine and dandy, but some of the prices were a little steep to me. I can happily spend $50 on a blender but for vitamins? Hecks no! ;) I got my vitamin D 1000 (which i am low at, at Target for $6 chewables. (chewables are required the first 6mo of surgery (i believe? i hate pills so i will continue, plus these taste good!) I bought Centrum chewables orange flavored 60 tabs ($6), and calcium 600 rite aid brand ($8 bucks) for 90.

So i think that is all so far. Just wanted to share! =)

It's been a long time coming.....

Last week i went to my 7th month of doctor supervised weight loss (out of 6), i was told to keep going (from my hospital) so that insurance does not deny me. Last week on monday i went to my first support group it was for a shoe company called running fit. They actually had a good product, once i lose weight i will look into it. It just seems odd to do it now, since your feet can change. My second required support group was on saturday and it was to try Unjury Protein. One of the two proteins we can have on our liquid diet. I can honestly say that it is not bad. We tried the vanilla flavor with skim milk, and i smelled it (which they tell you not to do.) But it reminded me of Nilla Wafers. The flavor was a mild vanilla, with a minimum after taste which was not bad either. The next we tried was vanilla with water, which was okay. Finally we tried Unflavored Unjury with a crystal light fruit punch packet. It was interesting. The unjury makes things taste creamy. I think if you mix something in an orange may work better as like a creamsicle flavor. The website is here.  You can only order it online, but i will be placing my order in the next month or so. Monday i got my...... *drum roll please*............ SURGERY DATE!!!

It is set for December 14th.

I set it for that because of school, and my practicum, i have a 3 week break during that time which gives me time to recuperate.

Before then i have to get it approved by my insurance which i should hear back in the next few weeks. I have to go for another sleep study this time to be fitted for a cpap finally! This will be my third sleep study.

I have to go for a 2 hour nutrition appointment, and a whole day of appointments and doctors meetings. Which they only offer on a Tuesday. (which just so happens to be my practicum/school day)

Owell. So the next few months i am assuming i will be posting more often as there will be more to post.

For now: I will talk about a bird with no name.

First off this is not a sad story as it may appear. :) 7 years, and some odd months ago before my husband and i started dating he told me that he had allergies, and that i could never own a bird. I seriously considered not dating him for i had loved birds in my youth and had owned a love bird, and a blue crown conure. But i figured we would not marry so what was the harm. Much to my surprise 5 years later we were getting married, and now 7 years and some odd months later are married. (2 years, and almost 3 months) Anyway, lately i have been drawn to birds. We were at heritage festival this summer and i was able to hold birds, play with birds, and interact with birds, and my love for them was ripped open again, and i was reminded how much i missed being a bird owner. Owning a dog, is different from owning a cat, just as owning a bird is different from those. The bond you share with each is different but important just the same. Anyways jump ahead to about a month ago every time we would go into a petco, a petsmart or some other petshop with birds my husband would find me just staring and smiling at the birds playing or staring back at me. Then 2 weeks ago the talk began. My side was that he used to be deathly allergic to cats and had to go to the e.r. and now we have 5. He got over it! Well eventually i won! And i got this sweetie above. She is perfect. She preens me, she loves me, she is already bonded to me and i have only had her a few days, she was definitely hand tamed, she was from a local breeder, she is only 7 months old, and she happily stays on me for hours and hours. =) Oh and my husband would not try to play with other birds, but this bird he takes out of the cage when i am not home <3 And his allergies are not acting up at all =)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A photo post

I feel like i have been boring you all with text posts so this post i wanted to be mostly photos and share some of my life with you. =) It is hard to imagine someones life without photos. First up we will start with a portrait that my husband just painted of me:
It is very spot on and quite creepy :) I love it. I have been asking him to do a color rendition of me for years. He did a few earlier in our relationship but none since we have been married (over 2 years!!) He has a website HERE and does EVERYTHING. Currently he is painting superheroes on ceiling tiles replacing the people for the sistine chapel. Pretty cool stuff.

Above is my back yard. I have been spending lots of time in. Who knew i would like to spend time in my yard. The past 2 years i worked/lived at a storage facility where it was difficult to spend much time outside because customers would come up to you 24/7 and ask you questions/favors. It was annoying to say the least. But now i am free, and enjoy laying in my hammock while the evil mosquitos eat away at me all hours of the day.

The first two of these three photos... The first is Brewster... well actually his full name is Baron Von Brewster the Wookie Christ. Now i am sure no one but my husband and i find his name silly, but it does have a reason. Brewster we both agreed upon when we got him (i don't remember why my husband thought brewster, but i was thinking punky brewster even though he is a boy.) We love Anime by Hayao Miyazaki (look him up they are great!) (Spirited away, howls moving castle, ponyo, kikis delivery service.. etc) anyways one from Studio Ghibli (company that Miyazaki works for) produced this movie The Cat Returns and we loved The Cat who was called The Baron. So thus Baron Von Brewster was born. The wookie part came because he was really puffy yet small and it encompassed him, add in a collar that was too big and hung over his chest and you get wookie. Finally when he was held he would move his right arm around and touch people like he was blessing them thus the last part. Sorry if this offends we don't mean it to i just like sharing the origin of brewsters name =) Since he has so much personality to live up to the names! By the way Brewster is 1 of the 5 cats currently living with us!

The second photo is Kaeci, when we got her from a woman who had 3 dogs and was giving her away for free her name was KC. We thought she was too special to only have a two letter name and thus became Kaeci. Kaeci is 9 we have had her for 6 years. She does many tricks and her only "undesirable" behavior that she came with was barking excessively. Since we bought a house this has diminished, and is no longer an issue. Kaeci is a very loving dog, she is bright, still learns quickly and is sneaky and has been known to steal frosting off the top of donuts in a box, and close the box. In addition, she has been known to tip a pizza box slide the pizza off the box so the box falls back on the counter and eat the pizza. She is very smart, and very talented. Whenever you think you have out smarted Kaeci she is behind you eating your snack. But as you can see above she has a pretty doggie smile, and a lot of love to give.

Finally, this weekend in my town in southeast, Michigan is Heritage festival. A bunch of vendors come together to sell stuff, and music plays, and it is an over all good time. The last photo is my first henna ever. Obviously i did not get traditional henna, and i did not get it on my hands. The reason for that was because i am starting my internship the first week of september and i have to be professional. I can hide my inner wrist if it is still there but not what is on top of my hands. I went to heritage friday with J and a few friends, got henna and got to hold birds (parrots, conures, etc) . Today i went with J and we moseyed and played bingo. Tomorrow we are going with some other friends. It is a small event but still nice to go to with friends.

Hope you all had a good weekend.

Be safe.

Oh and i never made it to my meeting. Slept through my alarm. Whoops. Next week is my Sleep apnea doctor. I hope i get a Cpap, my sleep is really disturbed and i won't sleep with the funky backpack so i won't roll onto my back in my sleep. That will just give me back pain.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Do what makes you happy/ House keeping

Hello i am back! Hopefully for good now that i am settled into my new home. By settled i mean that 60% of the boxes are unpacked, some of the walls are painted and friends have been coming over very regularly. Settled to me = relaxation, and peacefulness in your area of choosing. A little too zen for me i know ;) 

While i have been gone i have been getting some wonderful emails from some of you and i really appreciate them. You are all so encouraging, and i really appreciate each and everyone of you, even the quiet ones. Yes, i see you there :-p. 

The other odd thing that started happening is the amount of emails i have been getting for marketing. One i got a few days ago was off bounds, as it praised me for not getting surgery. When in reality in December i will be getting surgery just not the Lap band. Who knew that buying a house would get you noticed by marketing moguls?

Now i am not sure if i mentioned why or even what surgery i have chosen. So here it is:

I have chosen the Gastric Sleeve. See Here for information
For many reasons the most important one to me is my Warfarin (coumadin). I have taken Warfarin for 4 1/2 years (since i was 21) now because i have a clotting disorder. The lap band makes it difficult to take pills and warfarin cannot be crushed or made into liquid. Gastric bypass has malabsortion which would also affect the warfarin. So folks in December i will be getting the Gastric sleeve which many say looks like a banana :) 

On a non related note: I start my second year of graduate school September 1st. This is my final year for grad school and i will graduate July 2012. Another exciting point to mention is that i also start my practicum (internship) at a place which only sees diagnosed clients: such as schizophrenics, bipolar, manic depressive, etc. I am really excited to embark on this hands on training, as i will get to be the therapist. =) 

Next week i am seeing a sleep doctor to determine what to do about my sleep apnea, the following week i am going to my first support meeting. I will check in!! 

Take care and enjoy the rest of summer!! I promise some photos will come. I have many! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Jelly Doughnut

Went to a friends art gallery today. It was amazing work. I wanted to take home several pieces that i never had the chance to see. I came up to this one that was whiteish pink, had a big redish hole in the middle and had a texture that i could imagine smooshing my hand into. It was pretty large and rectangular oblongish. I went to my friend and told him that it reminded me of a Jelly Doughnut, and explained about wanting to shove my hand into it. He smiled a bit, and seemed weird but i thought nothing of it. Jump back a few weeks ago my husband told me that this friend was inspired by "beauty" to make a sculpture, and that it was my belly. I mentioned this Jelly doughnut thing to my husband, and he said uh hun. *friends name* said he finished that piece he was working on and you know that one you thought was the doughnut... I immediately started saying no no oh no oh gosh. luckily we were in the car leaving. It made me feel so terrible inside, how could my friend do that to me. My husband said that it was more of using me because i was his first massage client, and the experience of that. It still made me feel terrible. Then i realized that it was so blobby and everything i hated about myself up on a wall for everyone to see. This here, is my health burden that i carry every day hanging on a wall. The one that is always putting me at risk for new issues....

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Update Finally!

We found our house! We have to be out of our current place by July 3rd, but we won't close until the 5th at the earliest so we will probably have to stay with my mom for a few days up to 2 weeks or so. Our house is perfect for us and our animal family =). I met with a nutritionist and a general coordinator/program person yesterday. For the program (bariatric) for University of Michigan. They seem to really know their stuff and told me that because i take blood thinners that the lap band, and the roux en Y would not work for me (malabsorption and pouch side) so i am going to be getting the gastric sleeve!

Just wanted to update you!
Things are super crazy! I will probably update again in another month sorry! I am loving summer and my birthday is June 19th! (25!) It's funny because my husband's is June 22nd our dating anniversary is the 23rd (7 years) and our wedding anniversary is the 27th (2 years =) )

Thanks and stay cool!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Sorry to drop off the face of the internet for a month but things have been crazy busy over here. On the bariatric front i was told not to lose weight because i won't be able to get the surgery if i do. Fantastic. So milk shakes, and fried food for me until september. (i am pretty close to the 40 BMI) requirement. I have appointments finally set up for the nutritionist, and talking to one of the people at the program. I meet with my doctor for month 3 or 2 for the 6 month supervision.(there was a month that i had to schedule 7 days later then the other month, but still within that month and she thinks it won't qualify. what if i had the 1st for all my months. seems pretty weird to me) In june i am going for another sleep study where i have a catheter in my esophagus. Doesn't that sound fun?

As for my crazy life- we are buying a house! the crazy part is that we have to own the house and be moved by July 3rd. (our lease is up) we found this really great place in an area of town that we have always wanted to live for under budget and it is quirky like us. So we are going to put in an offer today or tomorrow. <3 I am still in grad school my summer break is middle of July. We are packing, and working and packing.

Just wanted to say hi, and that i have no forgotten about you all!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why did you Band? My information Session

Until my information session i was completely on board with the lap-band. I was happy, and willing to wait to lose the weight over a longer period of time. I went to my information session and was attended by people of all sizes, and about 30 people showed up.
I went alone with no support because i want to be my own pillar and have my family and friends for backup, but rely on myself for the most part. I am getting my surgery done at University of Michigan's Bariatric Clinic. I met one of the surgeons, and the nutritionist. We went over all of the surgeries, and i can say that i was probably the first to gross out a surgeon. =) I asked: "if i got the sleeve, could i get the part of my stomach that you remove in a jar or something preserved?" He thought i was joking. When he realized i was not he said it was bio-hazardous and said that it would decompose, and i asked if we could put a preserver in so i could put it on a shelf to remember where i came from. =D Needless to say i got a solid NO. I think i watch too many medical shows. The guy next to me said he could tell i was a graduate student. :-p
Anyway when they got to the band, the surgeon said that he had not put in a band in the last year, and that the others surgeons there only had put in a handfull. He said that he has removed many bands this past year, and continues to see esophagus and stomach erosion, in addition to faulty, and failing bands. That is pretty scary. Also the idea of a foreign object in your body is starting to freak me out.

So as of right now i am thinking of gastric bypass. But i still have time to be swayed. A biggie for me is that i clot easy, and losing the excess weight would remove a lot of the pressure on my legs and thus reduce the chance for clots. Where as if that weight stays the the same then my clotting is pretty high, not to mention high cholesterol etc.

Question to you:
Why did you chose the band over any other surgery?
Would you chose it again if you could?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

acknowledging the fat me & better people for my journey.

This week i went to the nutritionist. I was nervous because i thought that she would be like the other size zero's who i have had issues with. Quite the opposite. She was sweet, polite, funny and even could empathize. I have reason to believe that she was a former larger person her self. She gave me a lot of really good resource, and kept telling me that she knows it is hard, and did a really great job of making me feel important. She also made me feel important because our visit lasted 1.5-2 hours. I had lost 4 pounds apparently.

The only thing that worries me is that i won't be heavy enough to stay qualified for my surgery. I can't believe that is even an issue. I was close really close my BMI was 40.1 but for my insurance i have to be 40. I don't know if i should trust my doctor to submit my first weight, or will she submit the final weight. :/ How did things play out with you and your doctor process?

Monday i have a sleep study to see why i need to sleep away so much of my life. I sleep 10-12 hours a night, wake up for a few hours, take a nap 2-5 hours, then stay up until bed, 10-12pm and then sleep another 10-12 hours it is sick really. Especially considering that i am a graduate student, it makes it hard to fit in time to study. But i still do it.

Getting my nose pierced has given me an amazing amount of confidence. I am not quite sure why exactly but i feel sexier with it. I just got the stem shortened so it does not as i lovingly call it (wack-a-mole).

(pop up) I think the reasoning is, i used to dye my hair a lot back in my under graduate and in high school strange colors. Then i had to go professional to have retail jobs, and essentially who i was got beat down into the social norm. Not to be dramatic but my fun artsy side essentially got hidden away. I had clip on hair but that is not much fun, and is hard to blend in. Going to school to be a therapist, they say you should got see a therapist yourself. When i saw that this cute pregnant woman had her nose pierced i immediately asked her how long, and if it had affected her at all professionally. She said that it did not affect her professionally so that was it it was sold. My aunt Laura always says that "your hair is an accessory", now my nose can have an accessory too.

That aside the weather is getting nice, here in Michigan we have taken the dogs to the dog park, and Sundays have become a fun day out with my husband day. We have a sheltie-schnauzer mix(Kaeci) 9 years old (To the Left, Top) , and our puppy who is 6 months but approx. the same size as our sheltie is a border collie (Loki). (Left, Bottom) As you can see they are both black and white, and they sure are spunky, but they both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Kaeci is amazing at catching, finding and running, she also has an iron stomach and once ate a whole tofu brick of bacon grease. (no issues) Loki couldn't catch a treat to save his life. (it bounces off his face.) Loki likes to recycle, he shreds cardboard, magazines, and anything he can find like no ones business. He gets in to mischief, but loves me to the end of the world. Where as Kaeci is a daddy's dog, and barks way too much, Loki only barks when Kaeci barks and gets quiet much sooner. Loki is protective of me, and will actually defend me from my husband. (goes against us sometimes lol) But as you can see below they love each other and us. (had to leave husband off here)

**Sorry for the intermission: My Pets are a huge part of who i am. Eventually you will meet the Cats. But for today you just got the pups. I actually got into psychology because i wanted to be a whale/dolphin trainer and they told me at the dolphin research center in the florida keys to get a degree in biology or psychology, so i did. I did not expect to like it so much =)

Back to the flab talk ;)

Acknowledging the FAT me- a few weeks ago after i decided i wanted to go down this path, and i talked to my husband, my mother and a close guy friend who has chrohn's disease. I decided that i wanted to feel my Fat to remember that it was there. Rather then show it off with belly shirts and gross everyone else out, i decided to mention it more to other people. The same day that i told my friend with Chrohn's, i joked that i would be too much woman for him. (we always joke about stuff like that). At the nutritionist i called myself a blubbery whale, and grabbed my stomach fat. You may think it is crude or cruel to myself but i need to remind myself why. Why is this important to me. Why can't i just pile more shirts onto my gluttonous body. Why i need to be healthier, thinner, to live longer, healthier, safer. If seeing myself for what i am is what it takes that so be it. I still would love your ideas for how you kept your mode going. How did you keep focused for the final goal so far away?

A final photo. I love bargain clothing i really do. I picked this up at Sears for $20 the whole outfit. The skirt i think i got by accident on bargain whoops. :D Minus the leggings and the necklace.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A doctor Rant

I figured i would post this next week after a few of my doctors, but i will post it now as it is an occurring trend. I had a therapist who i told about this and she more or less understood my decision to get banded hopefully in september 2011, but she told me how she felt about it. Which i was completely fine with but then she took maternity leave and i got this new lady. If i put this new therapist, with my normal doctor, with my physical therapist together you get the same reaction.... basically a professional roll of the eyes. It is a held back roll of the eyes but you can tell they don't agree. Which is completely fine with me, i just need my doctor to go along with me which she does. It just bothers me i think because they are all size 0 twigs. As my mom said today "don't you wish you could just put your fat suit on them for 24 hours." Yes, that would be nice.
Do/Did any of you have this problem with professionals? I am sure there is plenty of family and friend flack but professionals?

One thing that did come up last friday was i told my friend, about my decision. He has Chrohn's Disease, and i asked him does he ever miss nuts and seeds. He said sometimes, but that he doesn't really miss them. He asked me why and i told him what i was thinking and we discussed it and he was totally understanding. Before Chrohn's he said that he used to be a fat kid, and now he is skinny. I really appreciated him having my back though. Our friendship has really grown this year, he is a really great friend. A few of my friends i am not so sure of how they will react. One of my besties in particular is a fitness nut, and i have a feeling that she won't back me, but i may be surprised.

My grandma who had gastric bypass is all for this, and i am sure will happily be standing right beside my bed. My mom has my back, as does my husband.

So i turn this around to you. I have your backs to. If you need me shoot me an email i am here =)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A bra for the full figured women

This is a bra for a full figured woman that does not cost a full figured salary, it also does not have an underwire that cuts into your stomach under your breasts. It is called Self expressions by Lilette and it also goes by I-fit balconette. It only costs $14.99 at Target, and they have some decently cute styles. I don't know about all of you out there but its seems many bras for bigger ladies tend to forget that we have nipples, and some times i feel like they are sanding away in that section. Just thought i would share because i have been having a horrible time looking for a bra. It also does a pretty good job of not pinching up back fat. The lift on the bottom is really soft and protects the bottom of your breast from the underwire. Good buy. Mine is black with a beige side with a lacy piece over it. The online photos don't do it justice. BTW the website does not have the bra, and i can't find it online! Maybe i will take a photo and post it if i get interest in it!

Just wanted to share!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A post to tie you over.

This is the final week of my semester for Graduate school. 1 class down with an A, and the other class i have no idea, it has been a horrible class, with an even worse professor. I will mention it in a later post. I have a whole bunch of appointments coming up in April (sorry i said august!) but for now i will leave you with a few hair cut shots.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A life Post!

The picture on my icon is a picture that i like from 3 years ago. I weighed about 190 then. Today i got a nose piercing. It only pinched and looks really cute.

So anyways i had a great day got to go to a science center see some birds of prey. My favorite was the bald eagle, she liked me. Apparently she had bonded with humans when she had fell or been knocked out of her nest as a baby. She kept talking to me. My other favorite was this falconer i believer a tiny bird who had messed up its wing and could not fly but had what we kept saying "small dog" syndrome in that it kept puffing up and strutting around with its wings out. It was cute. 
Had a great time with one of our couple friends. Had a nice dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant and tried chicken schwarrawma(sp?) for the first time. Pretty good. Also went to a prisoner art show, that was pretty nice once we found it. 

over all fantastic day =) 

Monday, March 21, 2011

The wheels are a turning.

I went to my doctor today which was the 1st big hurdle. I had measured myself over the weekend and thought that i was shorter than 5'6 which if i was 5'5 then i was within a few pounds of the 40 BMI i needed to get the lap band surgery. (depressing i know) If i was 5'6 then i was on my own. I went in today and this cute 4'8 asian woman took me back and i asked her to take my height. She gave me this look that was like seriously! But she tried and i could tell she was having trouble figuring out the measuring device. (it was pretty weird) She said 5'6, and i was pretty bummed. But then something inside me decided to question it again so i did. This time she got someone who actually knew how to work the measuring device and to my surprise..... 5'4.5! Which puts my BMI over 40! I never thought i would be happy about that but i am. It means i can go on my path to a healthy life. Then i went back to my doctor and told her how i am tired all the time, that i sleep, eat, go to school, take my meds, and sleep. She is sending me to a sleep study to check for sleep apnea. We shall see. Then i got to the real reason and i started explaining how i hate myself, how i don't want to feel diabetes creeping behind me, or high blood pressure. I want to be happy and healthy. I want to be able to go farther, faster, run with my dogs again. I want the life i had when i was a kid before my parents divorce. After that i got fat, and fatter and now i am drum roll please 237.5. The fattest i have ever been, and i won't accept this. I have been exercising, eating right, i have tried weight watchers, different diets, in high school i used diet pills and dropped the weight but it all came back really fast. Point being i don't want a fad diet i want a lifestyle change. I don't want to roll through life i want to live it!

Next up:
Nutrition Counseling, bariatric meeting at UofM.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Act: One Scene: One....

So you stumbled here probably after frantically searching around the web looking for the perfect article on weight loss surgery as i did. What i can say is that i have already learned a few things in my time researching how to make this happen. is a fabulous resource. If they don't have what you want ask about it. It is just a bunch of people like you, many of whom already got the surgery so they know a bit of what is going on. There are doctor recommendations, and a whole lots of do's and dont's. It is great. So why the heck did you make this blog then lady!? Well i wanted to share my experience so that i could some day help others in their quest for health, self-esteem, and pursuit of happiness.

Now onto what i have learned so far:

1.) Call your insurance first and foremost. Find out if they will even cover you. You don't want to travel down this road if they won't; unless you want to A. make payments for 7 years, or B. are rich. Just saying.
- get the details- how much will they cover, what is your co-pay, out of pocket, what sorts of hoops do you have to jump through do u meet the requirements for the surgery.

For my insurance (blue cross mi) i have to have a bmi of 40, have a medically structured weight loss program for at least 6 months documented, have a psych evaluation, and be cleared for surgery medically.

Just remember do this FOR YOU, it is okay if others benefit but this if for YOU, YOUR health, YOUR happiness, and YOUR longevity.


See you soon!