New headshots

Jan 04, 2014

Haven't been here in over a month. The crazy holidays. So, to recap the weight stuff, I started at 375, I hit 150 and decided I thought my face looked too gaunt, gained to 160, then to around 165. I didn't like that. Honestly, I FEEL better at 150. I'm torn on if I want to lose back down there. I think I do, but I also know plastics will take 10-20 pounds off. Hmmm. I'm not stressing about it, just thinking on what I want to do.

Anyway, it was time for new business headshots. I also am participating this year in the Go Red campaign with the American Heart Association. I get to have my photo in a local magazine and part of what I paid goes to the charity. Kind of a cool thing since we all know I've done amazing things for my heart by losing 200+ pounds. I hope to write up my story for my personal blog about that soon.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share the photos. The one in purple is for my business headshot, the red is obviously for the campaign. I'll put my starting face photo up as well. Some days I still cannot believe that that person in the mirror is me. I look thin, but most importantly, I feel happy. I feel centered. I feel like who I am. I'm not hiding behind a big layer of fat anymore. That's overwhelming sometimes, but it's also VERY freeing.


This one is my original headshot from 2011, a year before surgery, then after about 100 pounds lost, then one where I was at 190 lost. I consider myself at goal now, so it's nice to have a "real" photo of me. I need to redo my driver's license again too. It's been low on the priority list, but I redid it after I lost 100 and I got questioned by TSA last time I traveled, so I should do that before my next trip, I suppose.

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OH Fashion Show & Update

Nov 11, 2013

First the update: I'm down a pound from last post, so 156. Not too shabby for this far out. My final surgeon appointment is on Thursday. Not sure how I feel about that as I don't feel ready to be released, I still have a fair amount of surgical site pain. It's been over three months. I dunno what to think, I'll have to talk to my surgeon.

Fun thing of last week: Hat Day for Red Ribbon Week - just a silly selfie with my kids:

Brother helped us celebrate hat day for #RedRibbonWeek @texasvirtual #texasvirtual

The photos from the Obesity Help Conference last month were uploaded. Imagine my surprise when a big ole photo of me was the main photo on one of the posts! I think I look pretty good though! Still can't believe those skinny legs are mine!

OH Fashion Show (1)

OH Fashion Show (3)

OH Fashion Show (2)


These past two weeks... pity party time!

Nov 03, 2013

So, I'm up to 157. Just seven pounds and I'm not really worried about getting those back off. I know what to do and how to get it back off, but I AM concerned that I allowed myself to fall back into old habits. I made myself get on the scale yesterday (I'd been weighing every day, but not REALLY paying attention to the number, sticking my head in the sand). It said 157.4 and I REALLY looked at that. Nope, I don't like that. What prompted me to REALLY look at that number? My jeans wouldn't quite button. Yeah. No, I'm not going there again. Not happening.

So, I sat down and thought about what was going on. I had back surgery a little over three months ago. My recovery has been up and down, but I've really overdone it the past few weeks and I'm paying for it with pain and stiffness. My hips hurt, my back hurts, my legs hurt. I've not been sleeping enough. I've been eating whatever the hell I want and wallowing in self pity.

That's not good.

So, yesterday I went to the store and stocked up on good standby food. Things I know will get me back to where I need to be. I know I cannot go back to what I was doing before. My body just will not accepted super low carb anymore. It makes me cranky and I feel sick, so I made sure we got things that had good carbs and low carbs. I know it won't fly off and that's okay.

I was rewarded by seeing 157 this morning. Just a little half pound, but it's coming back off and that's what matters. That little half pound also meant my jeans would button again. A little snug, but... it's amazing what a little half pound of bloat will do. I'm wearing those snug jeans today to remember... NO cookies. *laughing*


That doesn't matter. What does matter is the "why". I'm tired. I'm stressed. I hurt. I'm so tired of being on pain meds. Food may make me feel better in the moment, but downing two small bags of chips and chasing it with a cookie won't fix that. Heck, the extra weight will just make my back feel worse. I threw my little hissy fit and decided to do WAY more than I should be doing. I shouldn't be lifting things as heavy as I have, but more than that, it's the twisting motion of doing household stuff (like mopping and sweeping and wiping counters) that really takes the toll. I mean, this is day to day stuff and I SHOULD be able to do it. So... yeah. I need to realize and remember that I had major surgery. I can't just keep making it worse because it causes more setbacks.

So, yeah. I'm stubborn.

But I can't eat the pain and frustration away. It won't fix anything.

Two and a half years out and I'm still a work in progress. I always will be :)


I'm the mom of a teenager - the skinny mom of a teenager

Oct 18, 2013

I've always thought of myself as kind of a cool mom. I try to relate to my children and their friends and I try to give them their space and let them make their own mistakes while I never stop listening and talking. But I try to be that mom that the kids will talk to. I'm far from perfect, but I try to set a good example by not taking things too seriously in life.

The one thing I was never good at was setting a good example with my health. When my son was 10, I topped the scales at 375 pounds. I look back at photos and it's hard to believe I was ever that large or that I let my mental health get the better of me. I've said this a million times before, but my journey is definitely more of a mental one than it is physical. No one gets to a 60+ BMI because they are hungry for food.

Yesterday, my oldest, my son, turned 13. I've got a bona fide teenager in this house now. I can't help but smile when I think about what a difference these past 2.5 years have made. I've lost 225 pounds. I'm a healthy weight for the first time in my life. But, more than that, I'm finally setting a good example for my children about health and wellness. Yes, we are having cake tonight. Yes, I had a slice of pizza with him tonight. But, we aren't eating it every night - a very different lifestyle than we were leading.

Best of all, I feel like I've made some strides in breaking the obesity cycle. I come from a long line of obesity and my children were starting down that path. Not anymore. We're all healthier and happier than ever. It feels good to know that I'm making a difference. It felt good to run through the house, chasing my kid with a cold water bottle just to be annoying. It feels good when my family gives me a hug and can wrap their arms all the way around me. It feels good to know that I'll live to see my grandchildren and, hopefully, one day great grandchildren. It feels good to put on clothes and feel good in them. All because I finally did something about my weight, and surgery was just the first small step of that.

So, today I'm the skinny mom of a teenage boy. He's an amazing young man, full of smiles, hugs and laughter. He's a jokester, a cool cat who is growing his hair out for locks of love. He has a heart of gold and is always looking for ways to help his friends and family. Yes, he can be your typical little snot, but he is also always ready with a great big hug and kiss for his mom.

Life is really too short not to have some fun. It's too short to live miserably in a body that was screaming for health. Living is what I'm truly doing these days.

The birthday boy (the one with glasses looking over his tall friend's shoulder) and his friends:
Birthday gathering for the 13 year old. They have cheese, pizza and cake. I have Advil and earplugs.

And last night (his actual birthday, he wanted the Japanese buffet so he could load up on clams and crawfish). And, yes, he has ADD and has a great openness about it as well as sense of humor (really, you have to survive his more manic moments!)
Happy 13th birthday to my fave guy!

And last night, my daughter and I - she's 10 and when did she turn into such a beautiful young lady?
When did she get so big?


#OH2013 Conference Photos

Oct 06, 2013

Oh, man. Re-entry is hard. I'm dragging this morning. I think I'm too old for this stuff. We'll get the weight stuff out of the way first... I indulged in a few treats over the weekend, a piece of chocolate, a couple of drinks, etc. I figured I'd wake up with a few pounds so I wasn't going to hit the scale for a few days, but it's a habit now... and a pleasant surprise. 149.5 - which is my lowest weight. I was surprised, but VERY happy!

The conference was a lot of fun. I had a few things that were a little odd, I'm used to business conferences and this was a little different. When I run the world, I shall make things just as *I* think they should be. BUT we had an amazing time. Honestly, I skipped the panels, it was mostly newbie questions. I went to a few sessions and learned a few things, but at this point it's mostly rehashing stuff I know. To be honest, I mostly went to see my friends and have a good time... and I succeeded.

My back was fine. I laid down several times when I felt it swelling or starting to get sore. I didn't have any major issues with it. I also didn't dance or do anything to stress it out because I did NOT want to be laid up with it.

On the way in, the TSA agent was questioning my driver's license. Sigh. I had it redone about half way through. I guess I need to go get it redone again. Gah, I hate the DOT office.

So... photos! I still look at these and cannot believe that is REALLY me. But it is... it's me :)

These are ones I grabbed from folks' phones, my phone or the OH FaceBook page. They had photographers everywhere so hopefully I have another post with other fun photos when those go online.

This is what Alison and I saw when we got off the elevator to our room. Dude, I think they put us on the wrong floor. No, we didn't get kicked out... although I dunno why. LOL!

I found this on my pillow from Alison... awwwwww!

My slide from the fashion show. I wore the same dress, LOL!

Alison and I in the first session

Alison's back was bugging her :(

What happens when formerly fat girls find chocolate? In the words of Summer "Sleeve Girls Gone Wild" - Oh, and that's RavenBrown (Deena) with Summer - not outing them - just sayin'. *I*, of course, didn't have any chocolate (Hahahaha... okay, maybe I did... hmmm)


Halloween party pics.

Yes, Chris Waffle is one lucky bastard. But the devil was walking around tempting us with freaking twinkies.

Dinner at Joe's Crab Shack (hey, crab is good protein - crab, didn't crop out the alcohol). I look like a crazed zombie and John looks constipated. LOL!

Jen getting some lovin' from Alison & I

Okay, Linda is one HOT MOMMA. Dude... lookit


A big group of us being really silly at the after party...

... and, of course, I took a break out to visit with some of my business friends :)

Misc fun stuff:

- I roomed with Deena, Summer & Alison. We had a GREAT time. I had to majorly LOL when Deen and Summer came in at 2am after being out partying at a Mexican Salsa bar with Chris Waffle. Summer kind of flew onto the bed, slept with her ID and phone in her bra in her dress. I was thinking "if she pukes, I'm totally out of here"

- I got to meet so many wonderful folks, I'll never remember everyone's name, but my roomies, Linda, Linda, Elena, Ms Shell, Ginger, Lisa, Kim, Christina, Nicole, Alison, Jen, John, Chris, Summer, Deena... gah, I seriously cannot remember everyone. I loved that pretty much everyone was really just awesome to hang out with. Most everyone I met was super down to Earth and we were all just there to have a good time and celebrate ourselves.

- Wondering if I could steal another wheelchair and have wheelchair races down the "quiet" floor hallways.

- Starbucks. Starbucks. Did I mention Starbucks? (yes, with whipped cream, bitches!)

- Photos photos everywhere. It was kind of cool to see everyone and anyone being willing to jump into a photo. I know many of us used to shy away from photos.

So, yeah... now, I need to find some coffee.


Anaheim, here we come...

Oct 02, 2013

In theory, I'm getting on a plane in several hours. I have 900 things that need to be done (which means about 2 will actually get done, as per usual when I go to a conference). This one is different though, this time I get to meet all these amazing people that have helped me through my journey and shared their own journey with me. It's been over 2 years since my sleeve and I still can't believe that I did it. I made it. This weekend is a celebration of that.

We did it. -- because I didn't do it alone. I had a lot of help. And I can't wait to hug those people that were there for me the whole way.

Icing on the cake? I woke up this morning to this:


I haven't seen my actual goal weight since back surgery; although I've stayed well within maintenance range. So, this is a good sign. A sign that this weekend is going to be, in the words of my nearly-13-year-old... epic.  

It's been interesting these past few months since hitting goal as my body kind of settles around a certain weight. I'm just kind of letting it do it's thing, while making sure I'm getting enough food. I find that, if left to my own devices, I would forget to eat most days. The flip side is to make sure I'm getting moderate carbs. Too many and the snack monster comes out and too little and I start to feel off kilter.  

Ah, fun times.  

In the meantime... see ya in CA, baby!


Real life rears it's ugly head, but...

Sep 17, 2013

So, where to start... I'm about 7 weeks out from my double lumbar fusion. No doubt it's been a tough recovery. I actually walked 15 minutes each way to my son's school yesterday for back to school night with my husband. I was pretty sore an hour after we got home, but I did it. That felt good. I'm aiming to do a fun 5k next year when I build back up. We need to make sure my fusion is fully healed before I start really looking at that stuff. Reality is that I'll likely never run, much less do a half marathon like I once thought of doing, but that's okay. But I'm feeling better. Still on meds, but no longer Percoset, we're down to Norco now. I try to go 5.5 hours between doses. My sister leaves in a week so I need to be able to go without anything until Noon by then. I have to make a trip to the post office every day at 11. I'm thinking I might set an alarm at 3am or something so I can take a middle of the night dose to get me through until I don't need it anymore.

We withdrew my 5th grade girl from her school on Wedneday. That was really hard for me. I loved that school, but there's been a lot of changes within the administration and the rules and she was pretty miserable there. After a couple of meetings with the principal and talking to her, she decided she wanted to try online learning. She's now going to a public charter school that is virtual. It's only day 2, but she's loving it so far. She's a straight-A student and is self-motivated so I think this year will go well for her. The current plan is to send her back to brick & mortar for middle school next year. She likes being able to self-pace (aka move through things faster or slower) and she likes having choices in what subjects she works on and when. Right now, she's finished all the orientation (which was supposed to take all week) and she's already working on the assessments. Yeah, she's a bit of an over-achiever (wonder where she gets that from?). Overall, the main reason we pulled her is because she wanted a different challenge academically this year. So, I'm letting her do that. Her class area is off of my office so I'm there when she needs me. I'm her learning coach, NOT her teacher (remember, it's still a public school) and she's all set up with a good organized desk area, headphones, supplies and dual monitors. She's rockin' it. We have rules and consequences and a loose schedule so we're pretty organized over here.

My 7th grade son... sigh. I regret that I never got a 504 done for him. In elementary school, it was easy, his teachers just accommodated his needs without the need for a formal plan. Last year, he was able to use a backpack so he made his own accommodations. This year, they are saying the kids won't be allowed to use backpacks. He has ADHD-Innattentive and social anxiety disorder. Using a locker is impossible for him. He's not able to focus enough on where he was, where he's going plus deal with all the kids in the hallways to make it work. So, I'm working on a 504 to allow him to use a backpack (we're doing it anyway, frankly) as well as making sure teachers make sure he writes down his homework and he has textbooks at home and in the classroom because he can't lug all those books back and forth in the backpack they allow, plus he walks to and from school. I hope to have that all in place, formally, next week.

Weight-wise, I've been settling in between 152.5 and 153.5. I go up sometimes and then down. Totally normal and I'm okay with that for now. I still want to settle under 150, but with everything going on and the face that I'm really failing at logging my food right now, I'm just going with it. I'm using common sense on my choices (for the most part) and doing the best I can. Hell, I started this thing at 375, so I'm not going to whine over a few pounds at this point. I'm still undecided if I want to try for my first round of plastics over Christmas or wait until Summer. I guess I need to decide that and work on it and make a decision by the end of this month.

Work is going okay. A few things are falling the wayside because I simply can't get it all done while recovering. My team is doing the best they can, but I'm trying to up my hours and slide back into things as I'm able.

That's it for now. I'm pretty absent on the boards while I deal with all this personal crap, but i do check in every few days on the maintenance thread on the VSG maintenance group and I do read the regular board as I'm able. Again, I"m paddling just to keep up with life at the moment.

A few people sent me notes so I thought I'd better update on what's up in my life these days :)


4 weeks post double lumbar fusion update

Aug 28, 2013

So, they tell you that the recovery time is 4-12 weeks. I never really listen to that. I hear 4 weeks and assume that I'll be absolutely great at 4 weeks. Why I live in that denial is beyond me, but well... yeah.

So, life sucks sometimes still. My original plan was to start back working 4 hours per day on 9/1. I'm currently managing 1 hour per day, sometimes anyway. I'll make the final decision and inform my clients tomorrow, but I honestly don't see that happening. I'm kind of hanging on by a thread.

The 2 weeks of oral dilaudid they sent me home with I think helped get over the worst of it because my pain level was just way too high. Honestly, I wonder if they shouldn't have left me in the hospital for a few more days. But I made it.

I'm doing better than I was even a week ago. I'm making an effort to walk (shuffle sometimes) often. I get a little dizzy and need help stepping up on curbs sometimes. I overdo it a lot. I still want to go-go-go, but my family is doing everything they can to keep me from doing too much, but let's face it... I'm one of the most stubborn people in the world so it's not an easy task. LOL!

I have really good days and really bad days. Yesterday was really bad. I was in a bad place, mentally, I hurt and I just wanted off the crazy train. 4 weeks is a LONG time to deal with this. The fact that I could have 8 more weeks of this, slowly recovering is daunting, but I'm doing the best I can.

My weight is now 159.5. Not happy with that. I'm not really sure why. No, that's a lie - I kind of know why. I'm eating a few things I shouldn't, but the big thing is liquid calories. I went on a woe-is-me milkshake per day binge and then a Starbucks frappe per day binge. I think I'm going to try to start logging again today. Some of that weight is definitely from the surgery. I have a pretty large swollen area on top of one of my incisions. But all of that is NOT. I know it's not all "real" because once I start getting closer to 160, I usually start losing stomach wrinkles and they are all still there. But I still know part of this is my fault.

BUT I'm being kind to myself over this. It's okay. I haven't screwed it up forever and I did what I had to take care of my mental health. Yes, I fell back to food for that, but 30+ years of programing myself to eat when I'm upset to "fix" the problem isn't going to happen overnight. I'm going to pick myself back up and move forward. Yes, I'll likely slide back again, but I'm over my "red line" already and getting close to the danger zone of my weight so I have to start trying harder and in earnest.

I'm doing okay. I'm not great. I hurt. The percoset and valium make me tired and loopy and pretty useless. But my family is great. My daughter has been making sure I get coffee in the morning since school has started back. I wake up at 6am, take my meds and then doze until 6:45 or 7 when I the pain has subsided enough for me to get up. I can't drive her to school, but I like to ride with them.

So, that's the update. I'll be okay. Just in a bad place that I'm working my way up out of and that's okay too.


Spinal surgery update

Aug 11, 2013

Surgery was 7/31, discharged on 8/5.

I'm back in a happier zone weight wise, back into the 150s (158.5 or so). That was a LOT of water weight! LOL

Still in a world of pain, but I'm getting more mobile. I went to see my daughter's violin recital and she did amazing. I'm glad I made myself go and it was good for me to get all dressed up and be a somewhat normal mom, even if I had a walker, winced a lot and suffered through. If you will indulge this proud momma for a minute, go see her at - I'm SO proud of her. She has a little stage fright and she did lose the music once, but she fought back to it. This was a hard piece for her level and she learned it in two months.

Unfortunately, we came to realize that I'm not going to be in any shape to be he left alone for any length of time so my sister is flying out here on Wednesday to help. I just can't do it myself. I'm sad about that but there's no real choice. She works for me so it makes it easy.

I'm holding it together. Eating like crap, but my husband is helping me rein in my frappe and milkshake addiction. I'm barely eating though. I'm trying. It's all I can do.

Right now, I regret it, but I know I couldn't live like I was before and this is temporary. This was a very major surgery and the recovery is just as major. I just keep telling myself that it's normal and I'll be okay. I say that a lot. LOL!

Anyway, no other update. I'm okay. My pain is around a 5 until the drugs wear off and then start hitting 8-9 territory. Thank goodness for the most amazing loving caring husband in the world. Honestly, I'm not sure I could handle what he is. In the past 25 months he's endured me recovering from WLS, neck fusion and now this. A lesser man would have run away screaming. I try to do things on my own and then I make it worse. He gets frustrated with me, understandably. I just hate being reliant on other people.

I had to have my 12 year old son help me to the bathroom this morning. How mortifying. BUT I was careful to keep bits covered and have him leave and come back and he said he was okay with it and knew I needed help. He's an angel. Both of my kids are. I've obviously done something right because they are totally taking care of me.

I still hurt like hell. Major hell. This is more than I signed on for, but it is what it is and all I can do is heal and look forward to having a relatively pain free life. I can't stop blaming myself because the weight was a big contributor to this problem, but... it is what it is. I'm working on that in therapy and in my own head.


Spinal surgery - one week out - total nightmare

Aug 07, 2013

Those of you that are friends with me on Facebook, know most of this, but here's a copy and paste....

Wednesday's weight (surgery day): 155.1
Monday's weight: 181.5
Tuesday's weight 177.4
Wednesday's weight 171.1

I spent a VERY long time on fluids so that's why I came home with 25 extra pounds, not in the least worried about it. It's coming off, but I'm basically eating whatever I want, if I'm being honest, within reason, of course.

This would be because my one night hospital stay ended up being a six day nightmare. Surgery went well and fast. They couldn't get my pain under control in recovery so I was there for 2 hours. It still wasn't well under control when we got to the room but I wasn't screaming, so progress, I suppose. I was on a morphine drip (with a "magic button". Well, the morphine wasn't doing it and that button? Not all that freaking magic. I just got out of the hospital on Monday evening. The pain still isn't controlled and I'm not doing well. They ended up taking me off of the morphine and giving me oral Percocet and 1.5 diladid every two-three hours through IV along with Valium in there for fun. I ended up refusing to leave on Saturday and Sunday because the pain wasn't controlled and I spent 30 minutes every two hours crying and begging someone to kill me. It's still bad. I'm now on Percocet every 6 hours. 1mg diluadid twice per day (for a week and then just one per day for a week) and Valium every 8 hours. I wish I could say I was anywhere near pain free, but I'm hovering around an 8.

I go in for a follow up next week. They did do a CT scan while I was admitted and say everything looks "perfect" (you can already see that it's starting to fuse) but there's simply no way anyone should be in this much pain. I'm pretty much losing it. I'm in BAD shape.

I wish I could candy coat it, but that's just how it is. It's really bad.

I really feel like the doctors didn't believe me and really just gave me hard drugs to me get out of there. As much as I love my surgeon, I'm not very happy with him. He as in surgeries all day Monday. After sending his PA down on Sunday to tell us he was discharging us and the paperwork was all done and me telling him that we weren't going anywhere until someone had a good pain management plan for us, I wanted to speak to the actual SURGEON. He never did show, but the PA came back on Tuesday and they had obviously spoken at length and had a viable plan (basically throw as many drug as they can to hope to dull the pain so I can function).

I have a follow up next week.

Apparently, they were thinking the insurance wouldn't pay for me to stay Saturday, but I honestly don't give a shit. I was in severe pain, it wasn't controlled. I wasn't going home. Period. I'll fight tht battle if needed. There just was NO way I could have let in that condition. So, I'm trying to walk as much as I can with my walker, alternate laying down an resting in my office chair (super comfy) and he sofa.

Note: I had a double lumbar fusion on Wednesday, 7/31 (levels L4l-L5-S1)


About Me
Austin, TX
Surgery Date
Mar 12, 2010
Member Since

Before & After
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May 2011, 375 pounds
July 2013, 150 pounds

Friends 251

Latest Blog 119