Steve Miller Band & Journey Recap

May 28, 2014

WHOA.  First and foremost, I have to say a big, fat, huge THANK YOU to everyone who commented, emailed, texted, etc... yesterday about my bikini post.  I have never felt more loved by such a large group of people and I truly can't express how grateful I am for all  of you.  The fact that my journey has turned into something that inspires others is simply incredible. I'm just so, so thankful for this blog and the experiences I am able to have because of it.  On top of all of that, that single blog post got over 1,000 hits, which has never happened and I'm just astonished.
I heart all of you- really super a lot.

NOW.  For the concert recap.
Let me just be clear... by recap, I mean photo dump.
We took a lot (and I mean a lot) of selfies, because duh.
And we took concert pictures which, in my opinion, all look the same.

Before I load this post down with all of our crazy pictures, I will say that we had an amazing time.  The weather was perfect, we could see the stage clearly, and we had booze.  Plus, it was Journey and Steve Miller, so the music was amazing.  We got caught trying to smuggle in mini's through the side pocket of my purse, so we were forced to go "back to the car" (aka to the Applebees bathroom next door to the Amphitheater) and stuff them in our dresses.  We like to keep it classy, just saying. I stuck with water, but I figured I'd help a sister out and stuff some booze in my dress for my cousin.  Security... the struggle is real.

the girl that photobombed Ben.  I die.

they wouldn't let us have the bottle tops because "they could injure someone."
somehow I managed to successfully make both bottles last the entire night without spilling them or peeing in my pants.  that, my friends, is success.

boo thangs.

she's dealt with 28 years of my craziness and we're still best cousins.  love her!
[check out her incredible food blog here]

this is true love people.

waiting... waiting... waiting... waiting... waiting... 

yep.  we were getting impatient. (it doesn't take long...)

Steve Miller Band!


everyone left me to go to the bathroom and I absolutely refused to leave my seat, so this happened.

this happened.
and then he said "I just burned the hell out of my thumb."
yes, that's because no one uses actual lighters anymore...
you have to appreciate his enthusiasm though.

aaaaand then this happened:

What can I say?  It was past my bedtime.  Like, way past... 
We had so much fun and I can't believe that in all the years Ben and I have been together, this was our first concert together!

P.S.  Did y'all know that the current lead singer for Journey is Asian?  Because I had heard that rumor and figured out quickly that it was true.  He looks similar to and sounds identical to Steve Perry.  Craziest thing ever.

Happy Wednesday, loves!
We're halfway there.

warning: bikini pictures ahead

May 27, 2014

Memorial Day, I have to say, was pretty dang fun.  We woke up early, packed up all our pool goodies, cooler and snacks included, and headed over to my cousin's house to get ready for a day of fun in the sun and a cookout.

The pool was amazing.  It wasn't too hot, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, it was breezy and the water was phenomenal.  We couldn't have asked for a better day.  To recap quickly, it was a wonderful day and I'm exhausted.  But I wanted to stop in and make sure that I kept my word on posting something I had mentioned previously.

Let me rewind a few weeks back.  Before we went to the beach, I got Spring cleaning fever and threw out every single last bathing suit I've ever owned except the two piece top and bottom bikini I had recently purchased.  I didn't take a picture at the beach because we were so busy having fun that I truly forgot.

I had this preconceived notion that wearing my bathing suit at the beach would be more comfortable than wearing it at the neighborhood pool.  Let's face it:  no one really knows me at either place, but still.  It turned out to be the exact opposite.  I felt self conscious at the beach and today at the pool I felt really great.  My fiance and my family kept telling me how great I looked and how I just looked like such a different person.  And I have to be honest, wearing the bikini made me feel like a new person.  I haven't worn a true two piece since I was 13!  THIRTEEN YEARS OLD, PEOPLE!

This blog is such an outlet for me and I have received nothing but kind words, support and encouragement.  But I want and need to be honest:

posting this picture is terrifying.
my body is not where I want it to be.
but it is still 105.5 pounds smaller.

so.  without further adieu.  

I could sit here and list everything I see wrong in that picture, but I'm not going to.  
I see a woman, who made a life changing decision to be healthier, and who is 105.5 pounds smaller.
And I feel beautiful.  

Just to put things in perspective:

I haven't looked at that picture on the left in a long time, and I am so glad that I put those two pictures side by side.  I had forgotten how far I've come and I'm so glad that I've taken pictures to document my progress along this journey.  I mean, what a difference... 

Hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day!
I know I'm so thankful for those who have fought and died for all of our freedom in this country.
Tonight we are double dating with my cousins at the Journey & Steve Miller Band concert.
I love both these bands, so I'm pretty excited!

all my love, always.

Sunday Funday

May 25, 2014

And by fun day, I mean several loads of laundry, a 1,000+ word paper to write for my politics class (bore me to death) and some math assignments to do.  I never thought there would come a day when I would dread something more than math.  Well congratulations Politics, you just took the cake on that one.  Thank God for coffee and organizational tools.

This is just a random post for you Sunday readers.  I figured I'd stop by blog land before I got started on the massive amounts of school work I need to do before the end of the day.  Tomorrow I fully intend on hitting up the pool, in my bikini, and getting some much needed vitamin D.  I'm especially looking forward to being in said bikini in front of a bunch of recently done-with-school tiny waisted teenagers, who will most definitely judge the fat I still have left on my body.  Screw them, they don't know how hard I've worked to lose this weight.  My boobs can finally fit into a bandeau and I'm going to celebrate that, so there.

Yesterday I felt like I was in a real funk.  I woke up in a bad mood, Ben and I had a weird day (as all couples do), and I even went to sleep in a bad mood.  We picked up our wedding bands (exciting!) and hopped around town for a little while, but it was just a funky day.  I hate those days, but God knows every day can't be perfect.  How else would we enjoy the good, great, amazing, even phenomenal days that we have?  Exactly.

I woke up this morning at 205.5 and I'm so close to one-derland now it's almost painful.  I have been eating a lot of fruit this week.  Strawberries, grapes and pineapple.  I've also cut out bread and carbs tremendously, though not completely.  I can really tell a difference on the scale, which is astounding to me because I haven't had time to go to the gym.  I fully plan on hitting the 2:30 class of Zumba today to burn some extra calories, and hopefully by this time next week I can be in the 100-something.  A moment of true emotional breakdown will occur at that time, so no one panic.

Okay, here I go.  Math and Politics and Laundry- oh my!  Happy long weekend everyone.  Don't forget to remember those who have given their lives for our freedom while you're grilling out and getting tan.

all my love, always.

SW:  311
CW:  205.5
-105.5 lbs

So I went grocery shopping

May 21, 2014

Something crazy happened to me on Monday night.  
I think Ben was sure I had been replaced by some domesticated alien twin from another galaxy.

Let's rewind to Saturday for just a minute... 
I went to hang out all day with my co-worker/bff Brandie.  She is a go getter at work and on top of stuff ALL THE TIME.  Why I thought she'd be any different at home, I'm not sure.  This girl has her life together.  She's pregnant, has an almost three year old, and her house is spotless.  Someone please tell me how she does it.  She also packs her lunch every day and cooks dinner at night.  Crazy, right?!  So while I spent the day with her, something happened to me.  She legitimately inspired me to be a better person in so many ways.

So Monday, when I looked around and decided it was once again time to go to the grocery store, I made a list of all the healthy stuff I was going to buy and prepare myself.  Am I a food prepping expert now?  No.  Nadine and Meegan will tell you that I am definitely in the early beginner stages of food prepping.  They know from the countless (and cluless) emails I send them daily about what to cook, eat and buy.  

See that fruit up there in that tupperware?  Yeah, I prepared all that myself.  I bought a Pineapple and actually sliced it.  Like, legitimately sliced it and cut it up into tiny pieces for eating/snacking.  And I didn't even cut off any of my fingers like Ben thought I would.  I also washed those grapes and strawberries and sliced them up, too.  
Domestication success?  I think so.

Usually my grocery list is as follows:

-Atkins heat up meals
-Fage yogurt
-Edamame steam bags
-bottled water & Dasani drops

I'm serious.  That's it.  So Monday, when I came home with fresh fruit, celery, broccoli, etc...  it felt pretty dang good.  I always hear people talk about eating clean and meal prepping, and I sort of felt like I was doing a little bit of both.  [side note:  I also bought pre-made, low sugar, whole wheat pb&j uncrustables because I just really love those things.  So needless to say, I'm going to take it one step at a time.]

I also haven't done any progress pictures in a while, which I keep promising that I will do.
But I swear I am going to do some very, very soon!
(no really, I swear.  for real.)

Don't forget to check out my newest pages up there in the Navigation Bar.  You can now subscribe to my Newsletter (which I highly encourage!) and you can also now sponsor this blog.
(I said I would never open this blog up for sponsorship, but I really want to help people find the kind of support that I found through blogging.)  So see what options look good to you!
[hint:  if you sign up for my VIP newsletter list, you get a discount and maybe some other fun goodies... just saying.]

One last thing before I go-  I'm so, so, so happy to say that I am at my lowest weight yet since surgery!  As of this morning, I am 208.5 and I can honestly say it feels amazing.  That's 102.5 pounds gone forever, and I definitely haven't been this weight since high school.  So I'm very happy!

SW:  311
CW:  208.5
- 102.5

weight loss changes: part two

May 20, 2014

continuing the list of how gastric bypass surgery changed my life
in case you missed part one, you can check it out here.

#6:  YOU WILL CRY.  A LOT.  Emotions run high when any family member goes into surgery.  I think for me, it was especially emotional for my family.  Not because I am more special than other people having surgery, but because I had never had surgery before.  Never.  So for my parents, my in-laws, my future husband to watch me go into this major surgery was really nerve wracking.  There was a lot of crying and a lot of praying.  On that same hand, you will make it out of surgery just fine and start your new life.  With lots of tears... I cried because I was frustrated.  I cried because I couldn't eat certain things.  I cried a lot because I felt extremely lonely, even though I was surrounded by people who loved me and supported me.  There were times when I felt as though no one in this world could understand what I was going through.  Even with all of the preparation measures I took, there is truly no way to prepare yourself for how your life is going to change after a major surgery.  And it's just really emotional.

#7.  YOUR WEIGHT WILL STALL.  People would tell me this, and I would think, "nah, not me..." Because I was extremely dedicated and working as hard as I could to drop those pounds.  But you start to gain muscle as well.  Just to be honest, this concept took a while for me to understand.  Every three months my weight would stall and hit a plateau.  It's okay, it will keep dropping.  Just keep being persistent!  These are some of the hardest times I've been through after surgery.  I would definitely talk to Ben and share concerns that I would be stuck at ___ lbs forever.  If you keep working hard, you won't.

#8.  YOU WILL GET DUMPING SYNDROME.  This is also something I thought would never happen to me.  I was going to be too careful and I was never going to eat anything that would make me feel sick.  WRONG.  You will get dumping syndrome, and just like the doctors tell you, it will last anywhere from 5 minutes to 12 hours.  THIS IS THE WORST AND THERE IS NO WAY TO AVOID IT.  True story.

#9.  YOU WILL THROW AWAY A LOT OF CLOTHES.  I was never a fashionista, and I definitely don't consider myself to be one now, but everyone has to buy clothes right?  Yeah.  Two weeks ago, I threw away probably $1000 worth of old clothes, scrubs, pajamas, etc... Well, I didn't throw them away, I donated them.  But still.  I can never wear them again and have no use for them.  Some pairs of pants could literally not stay on my body.  While this is an amazing non-scale victory, your closet is going to end up bare and so is your wallet.  I've officially become that girl who shops at Forever 21 because a) it's cheap b) it fits and c) it's cheap.  Flowy shirts and leggings will become your best friend.  Make that last as long as you can.

#10.  YOU WILL SUCCEED.  Emotions, tears, clothes that can't fit, going to the gym when you don't want to, not being able to eat anywhere but home for several months, dumping syndrome, etc... etc... etc... it is all worth it.  I can 100%  without a doubt say that I have never looked back.  Even in the moments when I felt more lonely than I ever have in my entire life-  no regrets.  Even when I was laying on the couch with dumping syndrome, feeling like I may die (yes it gets that bad)-  no regrets.  Even when I was working out with Gene The Personal Trainer and all I wanted to do is sit down and give up-  I didn't and I have no regrets.  Every single thing that I went through and will continue to experience has brought me so much newfound hope in life, my life, my future, my family's future, and has given me so much more worth as a person.  Not because I lost weight, but because I took my life and my health into my own hands and made a change for the first time ever.  And that in itself is a success.

BONUS #11.  GASTRIC BYPASS IS NOT THE ANSWER; HARD WORK IS.  Getting gastric bypass (or any other weight loss surgery) is not a quick fix.  It is a tool for you to use to your advantage and get your health under control.  It will be hard and you will have to work every second for the rest of your life to get where you want to be.  If you start drinking soft drinks, carbonation, beer, bread, unhealthy food, etc... your body will learn to accept those things again.  I know because I've done it with bread and now I'm having to re-give up bread and train my body to be okay with out it.  You have to put in the time and do the work in order see results.

weight loss changes: part one.

May 15, 2014

Gastric Bypass surgery was a funny thing for me.  I was so nervous to do it; terrified in fact.  Even though I wrote about it and talked about it, I still had no idea how it would change my life.  So I figured today, for those of you who read and follow this blog and have gone through the surgery process or are getting ready to go through the process, I would list out some of the ways having gastric bypass surgery changed my life.


#1.  IT IS EXHILARATING AND TERRIFYING ALL AT THE SAME TIME:  We went to the beach this past weekend and I wore a legit two piece for the first time since middle school.  Not shorts and a tankini from the maternity section of Target-  a real bikini bottom and a real bandeau top.  I was terrified to take off my bathing suit cover, but amazed and proud at the fact that I could actually fit into this bathing suit.

#2. THINGS ARE GOING TO FALL OUT OF PLACE:  Let's just get real for a second... when you lose 100 pounds in eight months, your boobs are not going to hold themselves up.  This is just nature people.  There is always surgery for that.  My legs are jiggly and my stomach is not flat.  You are going to look better and feel better, but that doesn't mean everything will still be in it's tight and rightful place.

#3.  NUMBER TWO IS TRUE EVEN WHEN YOU WORK OUT:  I worked out with Gene The Personal Trainer for several months and things did tighten up a good bit.  However, when you are as overweight as I was for as long as I was, that skin doesn't just tighten up super tight when you start dropping weight really fast.  Your main focus should be on working out, building muscle, losing fat and figuring out what to do with all that skin later.  I repeat-  it's nature, people.

#4.  RANDOM PEOPLE WHO NEVER NOTICED YOU BEFORE WILL START GIVING YOU A LOT OF ATTENTION:  This is sad but true.  I have people at work who talk to me, wave to me, smile at me, chat with me, tell me how great I look, compliment my hair, etc... etc... etc... ALL.THE.TIME.  I've seen these people for years at my job and they never gave me a second glance until I started losing weight.  Do I care if they ever talk to me or not?  No, not really.  It's nice to be complimented, but if you would have gotten to know me when I was 300 pounds you'd see that I'm still the same person, just smaller. [side lesson:  some people just really are that superficial.  you'll see.]

#5.  YOU WILL TEST YOURSELF:  Emotionally, physically, mentally-  you name it, you will be tested.  Gene The Personal Trainer used to tell me all the time, "you're so much stronger than you think."  Those were words I didn't know I needed to hear.  Those were also words that were shockingly true.  He would plan out these hard workouts for me and I would just kill them.  He'd be shocked and I would be shocked.  YOU CAN DO IT.

stay tuned for part two... 

time for a little honesty.

May 14, 2014

"pain breeds strength, trust your struggle."

I hate to admit this, but I got that quote from Iggy Azalea.  Yes, the rapper chick with a filthy mouth.  For some reason, I'm obsessed with her.  Like, she's white.  And from Australia.  But she's a hard rapper chick who's "into murder bidnas."  I don't know, I just love her.  I watched an interview online last night where she was talking about her struggles and getting a record deal.  I can assure you, I am never going to get a record deal, even if they had a record company who was solely interested in the loudest, most obnoxious car singers.  Not even then, people.  But lately, my life has been like that picture up there.  

Struggling through a foggy staircase just trying to reach the top... 
the light at the end of the tunnel, if you will.  

I don't want this blog to turn into a place for me to come and rant/complain/whine/be stressed about things happening in my life.  I've expressed how busy life is right now.  It truly is the busiest time ever for me.

But the main reason I'm here today is to be honest.  I started this blog to keep myself accountable with my weight loss after surgery, and to talk about my surgery and my journey.  I feel like I've gotten away from that a little bit and I want to take it back to where it all began.

I've lost 100 pounds.  I'm so proud of that.  But lately, I haven't been doing do well with eating and going to the gym.  I'm still eating semi-ok, but as we all know, semi means just half.  So half of the time I'm not eating right.  Let's just be clear... I'm not eating terrible food.  Just food I still shouldn't have after surgery, like bread.  And chips.  We've been eating a lot of Subway lately and I just couldn't bring myself to have their salad anymore, so I decided to start having the sandwiches.  CARBS people.  Carbs are the devil.  In real life and especially in my situation as a gastric bypass patient.

Like, what have I been thinking?  My body has become more comfortable with eating a wider variety of foods, and I just took full advantage of the fact that I probably wouldn't get dumping syndrome from the bread anymore.  

I don't think it's a big secret that I've struggled my entire life with self control and keeping myself accountable.  How else in this world could I have gotten up to 300+ pounds?  I've posted signs up at my desk, on my wall calendar, on our fridge and on my phone, to remind me to eat right and make good decisions.  When life gets busy, it's incredibly easy to forget what you're doing and more importantly, why you're doing it.  Yes, I've lost 100 pounds, but there is still more to lose, more to tone, more to tighten, more to gain, and more to learn.  I don't meal plan, which needs to change.  I forget more often than not that my stomach is tiny and I eat too fast.  I even forget sometimes that I'm getting married and have ordered this amazingly beautiful gown that I want and need to look amazing in.  It's just so easy.

So I am working on it.  I am being honest and telling you all, my friends and even some people I may not know, that I haven't been doing so well.  But I'm trying and I'm getting back on the wagon as of yesterday.  (A mini emotional breakdown will sometimes throw you back into reality, in case you didn't already know.)  I started this blog for a very specific reason-  to be open and honest about every aspect of my journey;  the good, the bad and the ugly.  So that's what I'm going to keep doing.

As always, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support, words of encouragement, and just overall awesomeness.  All my love, always.

absentee blogger

May 7, 2014

Well hey y'all.  I feel blue today.  Like I am the kid always late for class and behind on all the fun stuff going on in the world.  And by world, I mean blogging world and real world.  There are so many blogs I love to read and comment on, and so many people who I know love to read mine.  (Hey, thanks for that...)  I just feel like my life is busier right now than it ever has been in my entire life.  Yes, I've said that before, but it's gotten significantly busier-er.

MATH.  The bane of my existence.  I'm currently doing Math and Politics online.  Watching grass grow interests me more than Politcs, but I can get through it.  Math, on the other hand, is something I've failed at multiple times.  Literally, failed the classes that I still have to pay for because the government insists I make too much money for grants.  That's another complaint for another day; let's stay on topic.  MATH.  The bane of my existence.

I spent some time in the AT&T store last night because my OtterBox failed me and my iPhone screen shattered in the parking deck of my job.  I'm not talking one crack in the screen.  I'm talking multiple pieces of glass falling out of the front of the phone, right on the ear piece area.  So, yeah, not really going to be using that anymore.  Plus multiple other cracks all along the front.  I have no desire to have 9 fingers bandaged up like Bill Hader in the T-Mobile commercials.

So after finally getting home at 8:00, I talked to Ben for a while and then got started on my school work.  I made coffee at 10:00.  At midnight, I finally was finished with my interactive math lesson (what they consider "homework") and I was exhausted.  I'm proud of myself for pushing past my bedtime and focusing on my priorities, but dang it's tiring.

I haven't been to the gym nearly as much as I need to and I'm not eating as well as I need to.  Which is all really important since I'm a gastric bypass patient.  I want to excel at school, work, health, blogging, wedding planning, and life.  That's really, really hard to do.  

But I'm working on it.  For now and the next 12 weeks, just pray that I pass my two math classes.  If I can get through that, I will be good to go.  I'll be around here, too.  Just maybe not as much.  :)

Getting Paid to Blog.

May 1, 2014

Yesterday was kind of crazy.  
I was contacted by someone who wants to pay me to blog.
And it's Reebok.
I don't know about y'all, but Reebok is a pretty big name wanting to sponsor this little ol' blog.

Like... for real?

I have recently placed ads on my blog because Erin from Living in Yellow said everyone should get paid to blog.  So natually, I do whatever she says.  When I was emailed from the guy at Reebok, I was in shock.  It's craziness to think that they sent me a huge discount code and told me to buy a few Reebok things in order to show it off on the blog.  Then, place their ad on my blog and go from there.  Still surreal.  

The funny thing is, I had my friend who is a Zumba instructor order me some Reebok gear with her discount not even two weeks ago after seeing all the cool clothes they were wearing during class.  

So yeah... those plans I was speaking of in my last post;  you're looking at them.
While I love this blog and love every aspect of sharing my life, story, and journey with you, it is work.
And no one goes to work for free, right?

[let it be said that I am not expecting to make a large sum of money right away.
I am hoping to build up more readership and sponsorship, hopefully one day making more money.
and if I never see a penny from blogging, it won't matter.  because I love this blog, this life, and all of you.]