Hi My OH Peeps!! I Miss You!!

May 27, 2008

Yeah, I can't believe that I haven't blogged on here in over 7 months! What the??! I know what it is: Busy. I had weight loss surgery and now I go go go! Always going. When I weighed 332 #, I didn't get around. Not because I couldn't necessarily, but because I didn't always want to move. Now that I can move around and feel great doing it and have TONS of energy, I don't want to gravitate towards the couch potato that I used to be!! And I spend less and less time doing the nothing that I used to do. C'mon OHers, you know what I mean. If you're a post-op, anyway. If you're still pre-op, trust me, ladies and gents, the time is coming for you, too! 

Let's see, what's been going on here? Still working with youth as a youth pastor/youth leader at my church, New LIfe Assembly of God church in Elmira, NY. Having a blast doing that! Last weekend of April, we went to NYC to Metro Ministries to minister to children. It was an awesome, life-changing opportunity that the teens had. The next weekend, May 2-4, we travelled to Pittsburgh, PA, for Acquire the Fire: Let Your Voice Be Heard. It's a Christian event for teens that encourages them to stand strong for what they believe in rather than be a weak minority. Our next generation needs to use their voice for good rather than the junk that's been coming out of their mouths at school, on the streets, etc. So, we had a blast and the teens had eye-opening experiences! 

Um, okay, a couple weeks ago, on May 18th, I ran a 5K in Elmira called Race for the Cure. I had a flippin' blast! I ran 1/2 and walked 1/2. There was this lady that was about 200 # (give or take a few) and she did the same thing. We kind of encouraged one another throughout the whole race, pushing each other to finish. It was so amazing! And that's why I like to run: The commraderie. I had this surgery so that I could be a runner again and that's what I intend to do with my life. Be a runner. 

Anything else? I'm sure there is, but I have to jet because I have to do some things before I go over to volunteer at the food pantry tonight. Good luck to everyone on their journeys! God bless you. Pay attention to every little detail in your journeys; it'll pay off later. Until later....

Jen Halliday

A much needed update

Oct 23, 2007

Yeah, I can't believe I haven't updated in forever! I guess that happens when you have surgery and find all this energy. Yeah. Something like that.  I'd like to try to update every month or more. So, let's see, what's been going on? I turned 30 on September 6th. Yeah, it was a great birthday. I was expecting them to do something and by the end of the day, it was clear that my family was not going to do anything. I was devastated! I mean, if I mentioned it, would they feel guilty and do something as an afterthought? I didn't want sloppy seconds! You know? Call me selfish, but I wanted someone to more than remember me....I wanted someone to make a big deal over my 30th year! They ended up taking me to Olive Garden and no one, not a waitress or busboy, NO ONE sang Happy Birthday to me! I was deflated. I secretly cried, but tried not to let anyone see. How pathetic was I! I am a youth pastor and we had youth group that night. I decided to just have fun and enjoy the last of my birthday with my teens. It was fun. We played this great outdoor game and we were running all over the yard and getting all tired & sweaty. Part way through the night, we went inside and decided to play an indoor game. My pastor met us going into the church and took me aside and was asking me questions about an event that was going to take place the next week. He then told me that our other pastor wanted to ask me some questions and chat with me quickly before youth group started. So, I went with him to the basement of the church. He opened the door to the fellowship hall (our banquet hall) and it was all dark. I was like, "What the...?" All the sudden I saw all these flashes (TONS!) and people screamed "SURPRISE!!" It was like I was being followed by the paparazzi! All the youth had snuck downstairs while I was talking to my pastor and there were about 50 of my family and friends. I was floored! SO SHOCKED!! I think that's the point. It was great. The best part about it---and I do mean the absolute best part---was that the food table was ALL stuff that I could eat. It was all food that I eat all the time. You know how some times you go to parties (weddings, bar mitzvahs) and as a bypass patient there might be very few options food-wise? Well, this time everyone else had to eat what I eat!!! That made me happier than having a surprise party! Some of you know what I mean....it SUCKS going to a gathering and there's nothing there for you. The host/ess just shrugs, mumbles and apology and says lamely, "Well, there's salad!" I'm not a complainer and I won't start now and absolutely chose this lifestyle, so i have to plan for myself for moments such as those, but....it wears on me after a while!! When I saw the food table at my birthday party....let's just say I cried. THAT will stick with me for a long time and I will tell people about that very thing every time I mention my birthday party!

So, what do I do with my time now? I still work with youth as a youth pastor at my church. It's fun and tough and rewarding and difficult and an all-around good time. Hardest thing I've had to do so far! Besides youth work, I work a second job at Wegmans in the Nature's Market department. That is the oranic/whole foods section. I like it.....well, I like the section, but I'm finding more and more that I DO NOT like to work there in the department!! It's back-breaking work. Now, I'm not a lazy girl and I don't try to get out of doing things. It really IS a hard job! Not just lifting and stocking and refilling shelves and ordering, but fast-paced stuff. Ordering on a time crunch and getting boxes out now now NOW!! I've been talked to about how I need to get faster at my job. It's so stressful, being told that you have to go go go, constantly. Every day it's a new challenge! The worst part is I am unhappy in that department. At least as a cashier and working in the cafe I could interact with customers. Now, even though I still interact with customers, if I stand around too much and talk with them, answering their questions, I'm told that I look like I'm not doing anything, even though I'm doing what the higher-ups want me to do. It is horrible. I feel bad when I look forward to days when the department manager is not there, so I can feel more relaxed and able to get stuff done. And believe or not, I am way more productive on days when she is not there. That sucks. I mean, it's great, but.....And then she's been really coming down hard on me because of my availability. I'm getting pretty sick of it. I'm trying to find a different job where I can put my college degree to work. After all, why did I go to college for four years and accrue debt for? Not my health! So I can make more money and do what I love. Guess it's time I do that, five years after I graduated from college!!!

So, what else? I've been going to the gym. My friend that I had been walking with bought me a gym membership. Well, she paid for the initiation fee and then I pay for monthly fees. She said she'd help me if I needed it. So, now we go to the gym. We usually go 3 or 4 times a week, more if we're able to. It's tough because we're working around my schedule because she doesn't work and I don't have a car. So, it's tough. But I gotta tell 'ya: It feels good to work out! I mean, after a stressful day at Nature's, I go in there, work my abs or whatever muscle group I'm working that day, and then I get on the treadmill and just RUN! It feels so good to just get junk out on the treadmill! I might need to do that tomorrow. I didn't go today because I've been feeling a little under-the-weather lately. Not sad or depressed, just not feeling up to par. I felt kinda worn and tired today, so I didn't want to go to the gym and spread anything I might have. More than likely, though, it has something to do with a vitamin deficiency or lack of enough water. Or both. Man, that sucks. I gotta get bloodwork done. I'm four months away from being two years out and I never had my one year bloodwork done because of a lapse in insurance. I gotta get insurance....which is why I need to leave Wegmans and get a full time job that has benefits!!

So, if anyone knows of any jobs in the human services field (I'll move ANYWHERE!!) let me know. Hey, more later. I have to go to bed. Enjoy your journeys!!


Who Am I?

Jul 11, 2007

I am a non-religious Christian. As a Nonreligious Christian I believe the Bible because I opened my mind and did the research--not just because someone told me I should believe it. I go to church in jeans sometimes. I have non-Christian friends whom I respect and learn from. I have a close, intimate, personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I don't reserve church for Easter and Christmas; I go as much as I can because I love it. I don't offer "prayers" at certain times, in certain places, in a certain fashion; I talk to God as though I'm talking to my best friend--any time, anywhere. I'm embarrassed by big-haired TV evangelists that beg for money. I don't have a fish on my bumper. If I accidentally cut you off in traffic, I haven't given Jesus a bad name. I like people. 

*adapted from my friend Faith's blog*

I just thought I'd post this! I liked it, so I took it from her and reposted it here.


I Think I Better Update

Jun 26, 2007

I just got home from doing a bunch of stuff. All of which I am going to write about.....right now!! Buckle in. It's gonna be a ride! JK.   I just got back from handing my resume to a few places. I'm excited about that because I have to start using my degree and I really hope I could get in one of these places! So, yeah for me. 

So, a couple of days ago, my friend Angela, who's getting married in October, asked me to go to David's Bridal with her to exchange my bridesmaid dress b/c it's a size 16 and doesn't fit. Imagine that! A size 16! I'm now fitting in a size 12....or so I thought. The sales lady got everything squared away in the computer and said the new dress would be in on or after August 6th. Fine. Great. I went to try on another dress for a wedding I'm in on July 7th and guess what. The size 12 dress was too big! So, I tried on a size 10 and it fit perfect! So, I had to get that all straightened out, but it was cool. A SIZE 10!!! That is neat. I went back today to try on the dress and get some pictures for everyone on OH and the dress I tried on the other day is gone. I'm bummin'. However, I tried on another, equally as beautiful. Only, in this dress I tried on (and got pictures of) I look short. True, I am only 5 foot 4, but I'd like to look taller in dresses! If you're short, you know what I'm talking about!

So, what else? My dad is still in the hospital after 8 weeks of being in ICU and a regular room. Yesterday he was transferred back to a regular room. Argh! It's such an up and down thing. I'm glad he's doing better, though. My prayer is that he can (soon) get into a rehabilitation facility where he can heal up and get stronger. Hopefully, (crosses fingers) that'll be soon.

Okay, I'm being pressured to leave. I've gotta go get my mom from work and drop off my sister somewhere, as well as make snack and go to food pantry. More later, friends! Good luck on your journeys! It's all about healthy eating and a better lifestyle. Exercise!!


50 Things To Do Instead of Snacking

Jun 18, 2007

50 Things to do instead of snacking:

1. Imagine the new healthier you
2. Walk around the block
3. Call a friend
4. Make a list of your Top Ten Reasons to Lose Weight
5. Make a To Do list
6. Turn on music and dance
7. Jot a thank you note to someone
8. Go to bed early or take a nap
9. Read a book
10. Blog or journal
11. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure
12. Plan a healthy meal for your family
13. Surf the Internet
14. Finish an unfinished project
15. Walk your dog, pet your cat, feed your fish
16. Brush your teeth
17. Balance your checkbook
18. Say a prayer
19. Chop veggies to keep on hand
20. Give a massage
21. Clean out a junk drawer
22. Play a game with your kids
23. Try a new route on your walk
24. Drink a glass of water 
25. Kiss someone
26. Try on some of your clothes
27. Look at old pictures
28. Rent a video
29. Wash your car
30. Take a hot, soothing bath
31. Update your calendar
32. Work in your yard
33. Start your holiday shopping list
34. Count your blessings
35. Write a letter
36. Fold some laundry
37. Check your e-mail
38. Give your dog a bath
39. Send a birthday card
40. Meditate
41. Hug someone
42. Rearrange some furniture
43. Light a fire or some candles
44. Put your pictures in an album
45. Plan a trip (real or imaginary)
46. Straighten a closet
47. Clean out a files
48. Visit a friend
49. Clean out your trunk
50. Do something nice for someone 

~~originally posted by Michelle (M V on the main board)~~

WLS Success & No Whining!!

Jun 13, 2007

(Reposted with the brilliant author's permission - to find her and other valueable post-ops, ASK ME):

"There's noooooooooooooo crying in baseball.....!!!!!!"

That's the sentiment (scenario) that comes to mind sometimes when I hear some of the comments from people who've already had the surgery. In case you haven't made the connection, that's a line Tom Hanks made famous in the movie "A League Of Their Own." Resorting to tears or just giving up every time the going gets tough. Or your sick of taking vitamins, getting in protein is hard, water doesn't taste good, etc. That kinda' thinking is NOT going to make you successful or keep you healthy. ENOUGH already! It's time to LOVE yourself enough to get "TOUGH" with your aftercare. Your long term health is worth it!!

Success comes with a backbone, NOT a wishbone!

First and foremost, you have to keep it POSITIVE. As with everything in life, if you think you can't - you WON'T! Simple enough?

I have to wonder when "we" (as adults) finally take ownership for our actions, our life and our health? We have been given a gift, a second chance to actually LIVE life again instead of merely existing on the sidelines. It's up to each of us to do that as healthy and productively as possible.

We're ALL statistics waiting to happen and the insurance companies are chomping at the bit. The bean counters are eager to drop Weight Loss Surgery ("WLS") from the policies; some already have. Don't you know that any negative feedback thrown into the mix only strengthens their cause? I may not be able to control every thing that happens to my body after WLS, but most things I can. I CHOOSE to take control and I will be a positive statistic when the numbers get counted.

We live in a spoiled society, expecting everything in life to come with a buncha really cool choices. Well, guess what? When it comes to your health, you're not always going to get a choice. You either DO IT and stay healthy, or you DON'T and your body pays the price.

The way I saw it, I had a 90 day healing and adjusting period after surgery. My 'super morbidly obese' body had more then enough stores to survive the learning curve. In turn, it gave me plenty of time to heal, adjust and learn. For those of you OVER 90 day's Post-Op, the probation period is over - its time to get serious and LIVE what you've learned.

~*~ You say you can't get in enough liquids through out the day, don't like the taste of water, or just keep forgetting? -- TOUGH! It's not an option anymore. Find a way to do it, get suggestions and tips from others in support groups, message boards, etc. Read, learn and JUST DO IT!! Why do you think there is a choice here?

~*~ You say you don't like the big horse pill type vitamins, or the tart chalky chewables? ...it's, just too many to bother with? Or maybe you just can't remember to take them? -- TOUGH! You gave up the option NOT to take vitamins when you agreed to have your insides rerouted. FIND a way to get them in; crushed, minced, chopped, liquefied, in a shake, etc. No exceptions, your health depends on it.

~*~ Protein is a must. So you can't get it all in via foods and you don't like the way the shakes taste? -- TOUGH! Either get it through your meals (and there are a gazillion food choices out there) or supplement it with protein shakes and bars.

Trust me, I don't drink my protein shake every morning because I think it tastes like a chocolate blizzard from Dairy Queen. I've tried many varieties over the last 2 years. I'd even venture to say 25 of the top sellers/flavors have crossed my lips. For the record? I've yet to find one that is as 'delicious' as boasted by the distributor. So what. I still drink one every morning. My HEALTH dictates that I need "X" grams of protein per day. If I'm not getting enough from my meals then I supplement a shake. 'Nuff said.

This surgery is a gift, I owe it to me and everyone else fighting the approval process, to do it right! I will continue to choke down my vitamins, my water and my protein every single day, for the REST OF MY LIFE. Some days will be easier then others, regardless, no days will be missed.

It's all about discipline. Create a routine, set a timer, develop a pattern, tie a string around your finger, glue a note to your forehead, whatever it takes.

You're an adult - take responsibility! If this surgery doesn't slap a back bone into you, not much will.

* Leilani * [Original draft written: June 2004 -- Revised: April 2006]


Apr 13, 2007

I still have tons of people that stop me and tell me every day how good I look. That should make me feel great, right? Well, to tell you the truth, I feel a little uncomfortable by it. I can't explain why, it's just that when I hear someone compliment me I just say, "Thanks," and walk away. When I see people I haven't seen in a while, ones that haven't seen me since surgery, I feel genuinely pleased and grateful for their kind words and remarks. See, now isn't that weird? I don't know. Maybe I'm a freak. Maybe not, though. 

I will say this: I am free of the 332 pound Jen that I used to be! I am free to run, free to dance, free to be who I want to be! I feel more opn and less likely to rely on humor to reach people. You know? When I was fat, I would rely on my outgoing, outlandish personality. Now, I can still be funny, but I'm not hiding or saying things that I wouldn't normally say. You know? If not, that's okay. I haven't been to the surgeons office in a few weeks, but the last time I went, I weighed 167 pounds, which is a loss of 165 pounds. Whoo, that's a lot of weight to lose! At this point, I am not aiming to lose any more; just maintain. And I am having a blast eating healthy and finding new ways to get my protein in. I love this new way of eating!!

This is a short one for me. My sister needs to use the computer, so I am going to end this entry. I hope that all ya'll are enjoying your journeys. Have a blast eating healthy!!


I HIT MY GOAL!!!!!!!

Mar 08, 2007

Yes, ladies and gents, I am now (and have been for a few weeks) at my goal of 170 pounds! Never thought this day would come or that I would see 170 again, but here it is. It's funny because I weighed myself about 2 1/2 weeks ago and I was 170.9 and yesterday I weighed myself and I was 170.4. I was thrilled! I didn't gain! Now is the hard part, I think, because I have to maintain. I'm sure that I'll have some more weight loss, but for the most part I'm in maintenance mode. It's good. I'm focusing on not gaining and eating better. Here's a sample of my diet: (today's)
B- 1/2 cup Friendship cottage cheese
     6 oz SF yogurt
     2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
     1 cup fresh cut pineapple
S- 1 oz raw almonds
     1 cup fresh strawberries
L- 1 cup thawed cherries
     6 oz SF yogurt
    2/3 cup Cascadia Farms Organic Granola
S- 1 oz cheese stick
     1 giant banana
D- chili from Wegmans
S- (if I have one) maybe mini-bag of popcorn

I love the way I eat now. I plan almost all of it ahead of time, so that I have little wiggle room. I mean, there is some flexibility, but I like to plan ahead, so that I don't go overboard on grazing. It keeps me in my boundaries. Well, I have to go to work. I'll see you all later. Good luck on your journeys. If you need to talk, PM me. We'll chat!


So Much Activity!!

Feb 17, 2007

So, this day has been a cathartic day!! Man, oh, man, it was a toughie. Let's start at the beginning, shall we? This week was a busy one because my parents are renewing their wedding vows tomorrow, so we have been trying to plan that. I am a youth pastor at my church and yesterday was our youth group's annual spaghetti dinner & Chinese auction fundraiser. We did pretty well, although not as good as last year! I think that was directly related to the weather, though. So, in all actuality, we did great! We had fun. And then for the last several months, my sister has been praying and planning and packing for her missions trip to Ghana, West Africa. She's traveling, as we speak, with a team from COTTT. (Churches of The Twin Tiers) I think there's about 24 people going. She left this morning. Why would I be all caught up in my sister's business and get all worked up and stressed out over her life? We live together and pay rent together and hang out together and.....you get the picture. She is my best friend. I love her very much. And I miss her. I did pretty good when she was there, getting ready to leave. However, when the vans pulled out of the parking lot, I lost it. My oldest brother lives up in Corning, where the team departed from, and he pulled in the parking lot with 3 or 4 minutes to spare, and got to see Joy off. 

I guess I just wanted to write stuff out. I felt sick this morning when I woke up. I think it's because I ran out of my vitamins and didn't take any yesterday. That's the first time in months! But anyway, that's what's been going on with me, in a nutshell. I'll update more later, when I'm feeling better. Hey, just a little note: My year surgiversary is coming up on the 22nd of this month; in five short days!! See you later!

Jen Halliday

Went To Surgeon's Office Today

Jan 11, 2007

This was supposed to be my 9 month visit. Well, see, they're a tad behind schedule! My one year is February 22nd. When I saw the surgeon today, he was so thrilled to see me. He said that this counted as my one year visit since it's so close. He told me how proud he was of me and how good he thinks I'm doing. I've lost 156 pounds overall, and I weigh 176 #. I told him that I am training to run a 5K in May and he just beamed. He said, "Who would've thought that you would do that?" I came right back with, "Not me!" 

The only issue that I had was that I've been feeling....some ouchie right at the top and bottom of my incision. He stood me up in front of him and felt around my incision, then said that it was scar tissue. Nothing to worry about. He asked about  what I eat and I told him: I try to get my protein from food, but I also do shakes. He doesn't like protein shakes, but will consent to them. He feels that we should be able to get our protein from food. He says that he worries that people will use supplements such as shakes to get all their protein and that is dangerous. It goes right through you and doesn't tend to fill you up for long enough. I see what he's saying. I don't usually have protein shakes every day, but save them for when I need something quick. On those days, I try and get a good protein snack in. 

So, all in all, it was a good visit! He said that unless there are complications and I need to see him sooner, I shouldn't have to see him until next year. Great! I mean, I'd like to see him sooner 'cause he's a cool guy, but not due to complications! He gave me paperwork to get my year bloodwork done, so I'll do that either this month or next. We'll see. 

Well, happy weight loss. And for those that are still in the process, keep plugging away! It does get difficult, but the difficult parts are part of the process, too. Just keep a positive attitude! Until later......


About Me
Elmira, NY
Surgery Date
Sep 27, 2005
Member Since

Before & After
rollover to see after photo
I thought I was “comfortable in my own skin” really I had a small voice of self-hatred.
This is me yesterday. Still a work-in-progress, but I will never quit.

Friends 37

Latest Blog 33
Hi My OH Peeps!! I Miss You!!
A much needed update
Who Am I?
I Think I Better Update
50 Things To Do Instead of Snacking
WLS Success & No Whining!!
I HIT MY GOAL!!!!!!!
So Much Activity!!
Went To Surgeon's Office Today