Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy Birthday To ME!

For my Birthday this year do you know what I got myself?  A few things actually:
  • A Brand Spanking New 60 lb weight loss!  (As of this morning I'm 319lbs)
  • An awesome family that loves me
  • A Hurricane!  Beat that one! 

I'm here, I'm alive and I'm sorry if I haven't updated.  I've been super busy with school and my family.  I've also had a hard time thinking of this to write about that didn't involve Stephanie.  It's also been hard knowing she won't be able to comment or write me about something I've blogged.  I have heard from her friends and family though.  They really are wonderful people.  I'm so glad to have met them even if it was through such an unfortunate experience. 

I wanted to check in before Irene pounded us.  For those that don't know I live in NJ right across the bridge from Philadelphia.  Go ahead, I'll wait while you go check the link again....

Today I'm going to go register and insure my new Van and then I'm going to Camp Mom-Moms to pick it up, do a load of laundry, and sing Happy Birthday to me! Believe it or not the best part of my trip is not the van.  The best part of my trip is my step dads Pesole soup!  I've been craving this for weeks and I can't WAIT!

When I return to all my wonderful blogging friends I will have a new giveaway and a review!  I miss you all!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friends in Low Places

The whole time I've been thinking about what I was going to write in this blog I have this stuck in my head
Listen while you read, it really will make the whole blog that much more enjoyable.
(deal with this version, apparently Garth Brooks doesn't like to share so I couldn't find his version on YouTube)

When I started the path to get my DS I figured I was doing something for myself.  I thought this was going to be a solo journey that I would need to find internal strength to complete.  Over the course of the last few months I've learned that I could never of been more wrong.  Yes I need internal strength to conquer my obesity, but when that's running low I have amazing family and friends to help hold me up. Some of the places I've found those friends are surprising and humbling. 

Take for example my friend Wendi.  We met online through and then really connected on Facebook.  Our surgeries were at the same time so as we progress we are able to compare notes and share tips/secrets.  She has also been a huge source of inspiration for me, not to mention just a great friend all around.  She's the person who really inspired my blog today.  Just as I was feeling out of control and a little helpless to my vitamin regime Wendi messaged me and told me she couldn't use her vitamin organizer, and did I want it?!  I never mentioned to her the problems I was having, I was a little ashamed, so her timing was impeccable.   Not to mention the organizer she had was the same one I was so bummed out about not being able to afford.  Instead I've been using little baggies, which works but it can be a little daunting.  Now if only I can find a way for her to ship me some of those awesome zucchini flowers she's got in her yard!

This is my new pretty.  I will call her Emily.  She is my new friend.

When I opened the box this morning I sat and stared.  How in the world do we go through life without people like her?  People who unselfishly and without bounds love us as if we've always been a part of their life?  Friends who without the internet we never would of met? 

This past week has been full of those friends for me.  Losing one of my best blog buddies Stephaine, spurred an online grieving process with some of the best online friends I could of asked for, BlackBerry Mama and Heidi and others who belong to my Facebook OH group and my online forum. It's comforting to know that when I may feel lost and alone with how my new life is turning I always have a group of people I can turn to.  Not only will they understand how I feel but they have no problem smacking me around a bit to get a point across that I may not of seen otherwise.  The best part?  OH holds conferences that will make seeing these amazing people possible.  In a week or two I'm going to start the "Send The Vanishing Mom to OH Conference" petition. 

This doesn't discount the amazing friends and family I have right here in real life.  My Mother, Father, Step-Dad, Wife, Son, Grandmother, and Best Friend are all not just supportive, but just as excited as I am.  I have met almost no hesitation with them.  If nothing else I've even been able to change some of the things they previously thought about WLS.  My Mother and Father tell me everyday how proud they are of me.  My son who is large for his age and has always had an appetite like a teenager (he's 9) is starting to be more aware of what he puts in his mouth.  We're watching him choose healthier options and move around more than ever before.  His reasoning?  He wants to eat healthy like his Mommy.  My wife has cut out all of the carbs in her life (yes even Pepsi) and has lost 20lbs so far.  My Step-Dad, who isn't the biggest supportive of WLS itself has even made the positive comment or two.  My Grandmother got me a WiiFit for my birthday next week because I'm so excited to use it to work out(this will be a whole blog post for itself probably tomorrow). 

Today I feel blessed.  On a day that is rainy, muggy and gloomy, after a week of sadness, I really needed a blog about the love we feel as we journey through life.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Tell me, How has major life events changed how you view your family and friends?

Monday, August 15, 2011

The loss of a friend

I've been meaning to blog for the past few days.  I just haven't had it in me. 

As I sat down last night to blog to you about my one month Surgiversary I was greeted with terrible news. 
An online friend who you may have seen commenting on my blogs went for her DS surgery on 8/11.  She passed away two days later from complications. We don't know the final reasons just yet.  Quite a few people are pointing fingers at the surgeon.  Honestly I think that in such a tragic situation we all look to blame someone.  Until we have the test results and a reason why she passed away we need to curl our fingers back up.

Instead of dwelling on why, or how, I want to share with you who she was to me. 

Stephanie was a friend met through  She came to me with questions which quickly turned into a small online friendship.  We supported each others blogs and I shared with her all the tips I could as my progress went on.  Stephanie was always quick to help promote my blog and contests.  Without her I wouldn't have some of the traffic I do.  Through her trials and tribulations that she shared on her blog I was able to find strength and inspiration.  She wanted what all of us look for who are pursuing weight loss surgery, relief from obesity.  She was beautiful inside and out.  Stefanie is support by amazing family, friends, a sweet loving boyfriend and her cute lizard Osi.  She also leaves behind many online friends.  As an online community we will miss her soo much.  My only regret is that I never had the chance to meet her in person.  I keep checking online for new comments from her or a message telling me this was all a huge mistake and I have the wrong Stephanie.  I'm going to miss her sooo much.

Stephanie, We will miss you everyday.  You finally finished your journey, sleep with peace my friend.  This spot on the bench will always have your name on it.  *hugs*

For those that were not familiar with her, take the time to get to know an amazing person.  Her blog is HERE

I originally posted this comment on BlackBerry Mama's Blog and felt it was appropriate to add to this blog post:

"When preparing for my surgery death came up often, too much at one point. What made me feel comfortable is that my family understood. They knew exactly how I felt and agreed with me.
If I didn't die from trying to fix the problem, the problem was eventually going to kill me. I wanted to go down as a fighter. Had I of passed I wanted my son to know that his Mommy did EVERYTHING she could to be healthy. Everyone in my family agreed and understood, no matter how hard to reality of the situation was. 

Death is something that needs to be taken into careful consideration when deciding on surgery. It needs to be thought about when picking your surgery and surgeon. It needs to be thought about when preparing for your surgery and the life you live afterwards.

The friendship I had with Stephanie will always live within my blogs and online persona. As an online community her memory will be kept alive for all the other pre-ops who come after her.
I hurt for her family. I can't even imagine how they must feel. I've spoken to her boyfriend a few time and my heart breaks for him. The love they shared was immense."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pami Pocket

The mail just came.  

This has been the favorite part of my day for the past few weeks.  At least once a week I've been getting all kinds presents in the mail.

Even if they are school uniforms for my son that I got on an awesome Old Navy sale.  

Today though I got my Pami Pocket!  I am soo excited about this!  It's a pocket that you can hang on your shoulder or neck.  The possibilities for this are endless.  I can't wait to take it on outings to carry my vitamins, phone and maybe a few dollars. 

It's soft and cute, plus it has an extra pocket on the outside! I'm going to use it the next few days and let you know just how much I love it!

Ohhh!  Do you hear that sound?  It sounds like a hundred horses running down the street.  I never knew such a tiny tummy could be so loud!  I guess that's my cue to go and feed myself.  

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!  Who wouldn't want a tub of the best protein powder out there?!  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Oh No, I broke the rules

I did it. I didn't mean to but I couldn't help myself.

My wife keeps the scale in the kitchen.  I know what you're going to say.  Why in the world would anyone do that?!  It helps keep her on track with her diet which she is doing fabulous with.  I've done my hardest to stay off of the scale.  But today I couldn't help myself and I tiptoed on it and held my breath as I looked down.  330.4 lbs.... Are you kidding me?  I've been stuck at this number for at least a week now.  This is why we stay away from the scales.  I'm not as freaked out as you might think I am.  Because I have been following the advice of the wonderful people over at and have been measuring myself instead.  I also have been pay attention to how my clothes fit.  I know I've gone down in inches.  How many you ask?  Not enough that I feel comfortable with sharing just yet.  I'm going to update my numbers when I post my one month pictures (on Aug. 11th). The good news is that as long as I poop first I'll be able to go on a Wii Fit (crossing my fingers that I get one for my birthday in 2 weeks).

For the biggest question of the day: How are you feeling?
Honestly?  At four weeks I am feeling awesome!  I feel soo much better than I thought I would.  I have more energy and less pain than can be imagined.  I am also having fun cooking for my family.  They've been eating very similar to me which I've noticed is making a huge improvement with my son.  He's turned things down that a month ago he would of wanted second helpings of.  He's also excited about learning how to cook healthy.  What shocked me though is he wanted to weigh himself.  I put a quick halt to that mess.  There is no reason why a 9 year old needs to weigh themselves.  We had a nice long talk about diets vs. healthy eating and why at his age it's not something he needs to be concerned about.

Well I smell my dinner cooking.  We're having broiled cod with Quinoa and left over steamed brussell sprouts (fresh from the farmers market).

Don't forget to enter my giveaway from yesterday!  I'm giving away a free tub of CHIKE!  Make sure you spread the word.  If I have a good enough turn out I can do almost a giveaway a week of different products I've been sent to review!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Chike Giveaway!!

The wonderful guys over at Chike! gave me a call today.  
It seems that they are thrilled that I like their product!

I heart those guys.

They really are the best.

They want to make sure you love them just as much.  
So they are allowing me to hook my readers up with some of their product!
A 1.59 tub of their Strawberry Burst!

So here's the rules:
1.  You have to "like" and share my Facebook page. Click HERE
2.  You have to "like" and share Melting Mama.  Without her I wouldn't know Chike!  Click HERE
3.  Most importantly you have to "like" and share CHIKE!'s Facebook's page.  Click HERE
4.  When you're all done leave me a comment and let me know.  I will enter your name into a random generator (aka a paper bag) and let my assistant (my son) randomly pick a winner.
5.  The deadline is August 11th at 8pm.  

Spread the word.  The more people I'm able to have participate in this contest will determine if I'm able to do this again. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chike Review

My baby's back and I couldn't be happier.  I feel like I can officially resume life again.  That includes this blog.

So let's talk Chike!

Apparently I must of forgot to take pictures.  So I'll grab some from them so you can get an idea of what their product looks like. 

Let's start off with the fact that I hate protein drinks.  Actually I've only met a handful of people who do like them.  Part of my dislike for them is that for them to taste good you have to make up creative and sometimes odd concoctions in order to ingest them.  So from the door, when I received my samples I was pretty hesitant to like it.  

For my reviews I will only use water with a splash of soymilk if I feel it should be creamy.  For this review I strictly used water and followed the package directions:
"Fill shaker with 7oz. of water or your favorite beverage.
Add 1 packet (48g) of Chike.
Shake well and ENJOY!"

(The only thing I did extra was add two ice cubes after I was done shaking)

Made with strictly water and 2 ice cubes Chike's Strawberry Burst is full of flavor and just the right consistency.  I also didn't experience any nasty protein after taste that I normally do.  One of my favorite parts about this drink is that I only had to add 7oz of liquid.  The amount of liquid I have to add is super important to me since I'm an early post-op and can still only ingest a little bit at a time.  I find that other protein drinks require more liquid which means longer to ingest and by the time I'm done them they are warm and gross.  I also look for protein drinks that are true to their flavor.  If it's strawberry I want it to literally burst with Strawberry goodness into my mouth.  I don't want something that vaguely resembles pink liquid with some sweetness to it.  Chike  delivered enough strawberry goodness to my taste buds that I was almost disappointed it was gone.  I wanted more.  I'm going to wait to try the other flavors before I order because if their Strawberry was this good I can only imagine how good Chocolate, Banana and Vanilla must be!

Keep your eyes peeled for my first giveaway this week.  I will be giving away some Torani Syrup and some protein samples to try it with!  Spread the word so we can make this happen and have fun with it!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'm still here

I've been in quite the funk lately.... My baby is gone.  He's off to summer camp and I miss him soo much.  

I haven't felt like doing much since he's been gone.  He gets back in two days and I'll be my old self again. 

Today I wanted to tell you about a blog that I'm hooked on.  I'm about to go grocery shopping for the first time post op.  Her blog was the first place I went for advice on how to stock up my kitchen.  I have the essentials that I will need but the every day, get meals prepared so I'm not grazing or ordering out with my new DS kind of stuff.  She has had a different surgery but eating wise it's pretty similar.  Take your butts over to her blog and make sure you let her know who sent you!  The World According To EggFace  You'll thank me. 
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