Tag Archives: weight loss

Changes . . . and a benefit to help a Sheriff’s Deputy!

Recently, I needed to put together a two page scrapbook layout as a sample of one of our new Close To My Heart paper packets and Workshops on the go Scrapbooking Kits, which made me really realize just how far I have come from the beginning of my bariatric journey. I chose to use the Workshops on the Go Sarita Scrapbooking Kit, because I really like both the papers and the theme. I felt the theme, although shown in the idea book as a romantic layout, also perfectly fit the changes I have gone through over the past two and a half years, and since I’ve done very little scrapbooking about myself (because I so hated pictures of me), it would be fitting to use this layout to showcase what I have done, for me and for my health.

The left side of the two page layout shows pictures of me from January, 2011, the day before my bariatric surgery.

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And this one, which is the right side of the two page layout, shows pictures of me from Christmas 2011, and May of 2012, which is when I was honored at the Centurian Awards Ceremony held at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit MI, and received my Centurian pin, given to those who have lost at least 100 pounds and/or reached a healthy BMI. I had done both! 🙂

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If you click on the pictures, you can see them bigger than they are on the blog post.

I am so pleased with the difference this has made in my health, and in my physical abilities. With four special needs children, I NEEDED to get healthier, and I have. I am no longer taking two different versions of insulin, whereas before surgery I was on a short acting insulin shot before every meal and a long acting insulin shot before bed each night. I no longer take blood pressure medication or cholesterol medication. I am no longer restricted to shopping in plus size clothing stores, having gone from a size women’s 28 down to a Misses size 12 – 14, depending upon the style and manufacturer. I have lost 157 pounds, and I intend to never, ever go back to what I was when I weighed in at 320 pounds!

Now, after years of avoiding putting pictures of myself into the scrapbooks I love to make, I want to make one documenting my own journey from before weight loss to now. Close To My Heart is going to help me do that, with the beautiful, quality products available, which are extremely easy to use for anyone. Trust me, if *I* can stamp and not mess it up, so can you, and the CTMH scrapbooking and card making products are so beautiful, I know you’ll love using them as much as I do!

While you can, of course, use the Workshops On The Go Kits exactly as they are pictured in the idea book, as you can see by what I did, they are certainly adaptable to whatever theme you want to make them into.

I would love it if you would consider me for your paper-crafting wants needs. You can go directly to my CTMH website and shop to your heart’s content! There will often be a gathering listed on the site. If you click on the link by “join one of Lori’s gatherings”, you can join that gathering to shop. Even if there is no current gathering, you can still shop directly from the site and your products will be shipped directly to you!

There is currently a gathering listed as “New Idea Book Open House”, which will be closing as of this Friday, August 30, 2013. If you’re interested in purchasing from Close To My Heart, this would be the perfect gathering for you to join, because not only will you receive the yummy August Stamp of the Month Set “A Chocolate Affair” absolutely free with your $50.00 order, this gathering is actually a benefit for Deputy Shannon Key, a Deputy with the Bernalillo County NM Sheriff’s Department, who is a deacon in our church. You can read more about his ongoing battle with brain cancer here, in a series of articles and news stories.

If you order from the current gathering (New Idea Book Open House” on my Close To My Heart Site and get your order in by this Friday afternoon (August 30, 2013), then you will also be eligible for my prize drawing. With every $25.00 (pre-shipping/tax) on your order, you will have one entry in a drawing for your choice of a set of hand-crafted by me note cards (value $25.00), a retired paper packet (value $19.95) or a retired stamp set (value varies). The winner will be drawn by one of Deputy Key’s children, and will be able to choose which prize they prefer. If you book your own online gathering with me, and date it within the next month, I will give you an additional entry and set you up with E-Zinvite, so that you can invite all of your guests via email, and you can also make it an even on your Facebook page. Your party will have its own link on my site, your guests will receive their product shipped directly to them, and you’ll receive generous hostess rewards. What a win/win for you!

I hope to hear from you very soon, and I hope many of you will want to help Deputy Key by making an order on the current gathering “New Idea Book Open House”. All of my commission from this gathering is being donated to the Deputy Shannon Key Fund to help with the many costs associated with the treatment he must undergo, and to help his family during this time. Please consider this a worthy cause, and help out by ordering from this gathering. You’ll be helping someone who is very humble and deserving of your aid, and also making yourself more able to beautifully document the “changes” in your OWN life! 🙂

As always, I would love to have you join me on all of my “journeys through life” by following my blog. To receive a notice each time there is a new post, just go to the “sign me up” button at the top right of this page, click on it and enter your email. Hope to have you join me on “my journeys”!


Filed under Bariatric Surgery, card making, changes, Close to My Heart, health, just me, scrapbooking, stamping, weight loss

Transitions Part 4: A 1700 Mile Adventure

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Well, I should have mentioned this yesterday, but I didn’t even realize it until I was going to bed last night! Yesterday, August 6, 2013, my kids and I had officially been here in NM for a whole year! Honestly, it doesn’t seem like it’s been a whole year since we arrived! It’s been a year full of change, and has had its ups and downs. My husband and I have, between us, gone through three surgeries, we found a wonderful church family, my kids and I got booted out of the first home-school group we joined (which turned out to be a good thing, but I digress!). Our first winter here was the best winter I’ve ever been through, as you can guess, having come from Michigan. We really do like being here! So now, let’s get on with our journey from Michigan to New Mexico, with our day in St. Louis, MO!

We had a very nice sleep Thursday night, in our beautiful room that my cousin Anne had gotten for us, and woke ready to have a great day in St. Louis! After everyone was showered and dressed, we went to the very good breakfast that came with our room. I think the hotel lost money on the breakfast that my boys had that day, lol! Then, while waiting for Anne to arrive, we went ahead and got packed back up and put our belongings back into the minivan.

When Anne arrived, we piled into the minivan and headed to the St. Louis Arch . . .


Which is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and is a National Park.


We parked on what I *think* I was told is a levee, right at the river, where we saw this riverboat cruise boat.


Stretched across the area where we parked were many of these very heavy chains. You can see in the picture of the riverboat that they are used for mooring. The boys found them interesting, and were pretending to try to lift them (they were, of course, way too heavy!)


So, we walked along the river front to a point where we could get to the Arch, which is really quite beautiful, as you can see in the picture higher up in this post. There are a TON of steps to climb to get to the Arch!

Here is “The Artist” stopping on the way up . . .


and here am I, with “Mr. Loquacious”


I’m going to stop right here and tell you, I was really nervous about this excursion! My improved health from my weight loss was still relatively new, and I worried over whether I would really be able to handle all of the steps, etc. Well, as you can see, I did! I was also able to get through all of the little turnstiles inside, as well as fit into the tiny little carriers that we went to the top in. Here are pictures of each of us inside the one they have set up for photos . . .

First, “The Artist” . . .


“Mr. Loquacious” . . .


“The Batman” . . .


“The Puzzler” . . .


And me!


Now, you can see how small those things are, right? Now imagine all six of us, crammed into one for the ride to the top. A year previously, I would never have managed, not at 320 pounds. I also would have been quite miserable upon moving to Albuquerque, where we are almost a mile higher in elevation than we were in Pt. Huron. The weight loss journey is one I am so glad to have taken, for many reasons!

Anne went and got our tickets to go to the top of the Arch, and then we had a little over an hour before our scheduled ride, so we used that time to walk through as much of the museum as we could. We really enjoyed it!




All of the boys in front of one of the exhibits . . .


all the boys with Anne . . .


Anne and me . . .


one of the views through the windows at the top of the Arch . . .


After we had finished at the Arch, we drove back over to the hotel to pick up Anne’s car, and then went to eat an early supper at a restaurant nearby, for BBQ. It was very good, I’d never had BBQ done the way they do it! I don’t recall the name of the restaurant, but it was right across the parking lot from the hotel, and we loved it!


After our dinner, we said our good-byes. Anne headed off to her home, and we headed on to Republic, MO, where we spent the night at a motel and then the next morning, Saturday, we spent the morning visiting with another cousin, Anne’s brother Ed and his family. Unfortunately, I forgot to have my camera with me during that visit, so I have no pictures. 😦

From Republic, we headed toward Oklahoma, where we would be spending the night at the home of a long time dear friend of mine, which I will tell you about tomorrow, if you come back! 🙂

As always, I’d love it if you would follow my blog by email! Never miss an update by just going to the top right of the blog and clicking on the “sign me up” button. Just follow the directions and you’ll be notified of new posts by email!

Meanwhile, please, hop on over to the main crew post to see what the other Summer Blog Hop participants are up to!

Summer Blog Hop

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Filed under 1700 Mile Adventure, Albuquerque, Blog Hop Aug. 5 - 9, exercise, family, health, Kids, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, Transitions, Travel, weight loss

I Have Just the BEST Hairstylist in Albuquerque!

I know I posted a while back, when I first found a new hairstylist finally, after moving to New Mexico, and having to give up C.J., the fantastic lady who cut and colored my hair back in Pt. Huron, MI, but I’m writing about Jody Muniz again, because she has left the salon she was working for and gone out on her own!

Jody has moved from a salon where she was an employee to a salon where she is her own boss, and it appears that she could not be happier! I know that I couldn’t be happier, because I have someone again who understands my hair, and understands what I like.

I was finally able to get in to see Jody this past Saturday, July 20, 2013, after being unable to go for the whole time I’ve been recovering from surgery on five toes, and boy, was it beyond time to go!

Here I am before . . .

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As you can see, it’s WAY past time for a color and trim! Jody and I got right to work deciding what to do about color this time, and we decided to go with a lighter base, and stick with that from now on (probably), just changing up the accent colors that she puts in each time. That way, if I need to, I can go a little longer between appointments, because the golden blonde base will blend with any grey new growth. For the other colors as high and low lights, she used a chocolate color and a lighter blonde.

My hair has been really coming back nicely (finally) since my bariatric surgery, and as you can see, it takes a ton of foils to do the high/low lights!

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It’s more than worth it though, for the end results! Here is an “after” picture of me, with my wonderful stylist Jody!

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I’m so thankful to my husband . . . since I’m not yet driving after my surgery, he and the boys (all four of them!) took me to my appointment, which was at 9:30 a.m., meaning we needed to leave our house at about 8:45 a.m. (this is a BIG city, and you just never know about traffic!), and then he took the boys to McDonald’s, to get THEIR hair cut, and to a park while waiting for me to be done, about three hours later. Wasn’t that nice of him? 🙂

If you are in the Albuquerque, NM area, and want to have a wonderful, pampering, just for you time, and come out looking great, you can contact my stylist, Jody Muniz through Genesis Hair Studio, or you can contact her directly at (575)993-4972. I promise, you won’t regret it!


Filed under Albuquerque, Bariatric Surgery, hair stylist, just me, weight loss

I did it!!!

My surgeon at Henry Ford Hospital told me I had to lose 15 – 20 pounds before my surgery was scheduled, and I did it! Today was the day I went back for my second consult to schedule my surgery, and I had lost 20.2 pounds, plus my a1c blood test went from 11.2 down to 7.4, so he is very pleased that my diabetes is becoming better controlled, something that was necessary before scheduling. I do intend to lose some extra over the next few months just so I can have a “little bit” of leeway over Thanksgiving, though.

Of course, we knew that it would be scheduled for after the first of the year, because my husband has no more paid benefit days until then, but even if we didn’t have to consider that, the first opening the surgeon had was not until December anyway. So, I will be having my mandatory pre-surgery weigh in on Wednesday January 26, 2011, and my surgery on Thursday January 27, 2011.

There are so many things I’m looking forward to! I’m looking forward to having my diabetes be in remission. I’m looking forward to being able to stop taking all of my meds except for my thyroid medication (that won’t change). I’m looking forward to not needing the a/c to be kept as low as it is because the heat won’t bother me as much and I’ll be able to breathe better. I’m looking forward to being able to buy clothing in a regular size store instead of plus size. I’m looking forward to seeing a pretty crochet sweater pattern and realizing I can make it for myself and it will fit.

Things I will not miss…I will not miss giving myself a shot of insulin four times a day. I will not miss feeling exhausted from walking a short distance. I will not miss having my priority in clothing purchases be that they are big enough, regardless of style. I will not miss needing a seat belt extender whenever I wear a coat. There are so many things that I can’t even think of them all right now!

So, this is the next step to my new, healthy me, and I’m starting to realize I can do this, one step at a time. 🙂


Filed under weight loss

Medical Clearance

So Tuesday was my medical clearance appointment at Henry Ford Hospital. The doctor cleared me, but did say I need to get another A1c test before my scheduling appointment, because she said that Dr. Carlin will want to see that my blood sugar levels are coming down. I am confident that my A1c will show that they are, because when I check my blood I an see the results are so much lower now that I’m not drinking pop anymore, plus have cut way back on fast food. I’ve lost about 8 pounds, 12 more to reach the goal the surgeon set for me to lose before scheduling surgery.  Then I just have to keep it off until surgery, because if I gain it back they will postpone my surgery. My scheduling appointment is August 13, so I anticipate the surgery being scheduled for sometime after the first of the year, since they are already scheduling months ahead.  When I was there for my consult on April 28th, they were scheduling October surgeries! This isn’t a bad thing though, because my husband has no more paid days for this year other than the one he’s taking for my scheduling day. He’s going to stay at the hospital for the two nights I’ll be there, plus be home for at least a few days after, so it’s for the best that it won’t be until then, we really can’t afford for him to just take a week off with no pay.

So, I finally found a protein bar I don’t hate, Pure Protein bars, which I can buy at Sam’s Club. Now I have to decide on a protein powder, because I will be on that mixed into liquids, etc for a while before and after surgery. I’m currently testing the different flavors from www.unjury.com, and so far they are OK. At least I don’t have to force them down like the stuff I bought from GNC, that was HORRIBLE!!!  I tried the vanilla flavor with orange Crystal Lite last night. I’m thinking if I get a blender and add ice they might be even better.

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Found Fun Exercise!

It really hurts when I go walking. REALLY hurts. So today, I decided to check an exercise DVD out from the library, and got one of the Sweatin’ to the Oldies tapes re-done onto DVD.  It is as much of a workout as I remember from all those years ago! I managed to do the entire 45 minutes, and had fun doing it, too!  I did need to modify some of the stuff to accomodate my lack of fitness and my pain, but still, it was a workout. One of my kids actually did almost the whole thing with me, too.  So, since I can keep a DVD for 7 days from the library, I will do that, and then check out one of the other DVD’s in the series, until I go through all of them, then start again, until I have the money to order all of them for myself.  I see no reason at all why exercise shouldn’t be fun, if it isn’t, I won’t do as much of it as I need to do.  I also bought a pedometer, and with the help of Richard Simmons and his DVD, my step count so far today is over 4100!  Now to learn how to use my new food scale, and figure out calories and protein in meals cooked at home.

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Another day in Detroit…

I was just too tired to do this last night when we got home, instead, I put my feet up and fell asleep! So, here’s what we did yesterday.

We got up WAY earlier than usual, the alarm was set for 5:30 am.  Mike (my husband) got up to have the first shower, then got all the kids up and downstairs for breakfast, and to get dressed in the clothes I’d had them put downstairs Tuesday night before bed. When they headed downstairs, I was able to go get my shower and get dressed, then downstairs to check my blood (159, best morning reading in a LONG time) and have my breakfast.

We left the house at about 7:40 to go drop the kids off with wonderful friends who have been helping with child care when I have appointments, and got to their house just on time for the kids to help collect the morning eggs from their chickens!  Then, we got going to Detroit for my first appointment for the day, the initial consult with my surgeon, Dr. Carlin. Commuter rush traffic is SOOOO fun!

My appointment with Dr. Carlin (this was the appointment that I was required to bring my husband to) was for 10:30, I actually signed in a little before 10:00, I think, and actually was able to have my appointment begin a little early as a result. I had to go with a nurse to be weight, blood pressure checked, height checked, and answer questions. Then I was taken to an exam room and saw Dr. Carlin’s P.A., who asked many questions, measured me, checked to make sure I’d brought and handed in to the nurse my lab reports, my letter of intent, and my 11 page questionnaire.

I Finally saw Dr. Carlin after that. We talked about the surgery and the hospital stay, and he gave me my weight loss goal that must be met before the surgery, which is 15 – 20 pounds.  The reason for this is that it will shrink the liver, making it easier to do laproscopic surgery, as opposed to open.

After Dr. Carlin, Wanda (the nurse who is the coordinator for the bariatric progam at HFH) came and took us to her office for scheduling.

Wanda & Me

The surgeons have very busy schedules this time of year. My medical clearance appointment will be June 1, and my appointment to schedule surgery is August 13, unless there’s a cancellation before then. This will be a four hour appointment, because I have to be seen by three or four different people.

Once we were done with this appointment, we went to the hospital cafeteria for lunch, then on to my other appointment, the mandatory class with the exercise people.  We had a one hour presentation, then on to exercise machines. I was able to do 15 minutes on treadmill set to 1 mile per hour, I did a quarter of a mile. The treadmill is very hard on my back.

Then I did 15 minutes on a recumbant bike, which is more of a workout than I would have guessed! I did two miles in that 15 minutes. 

After that, the specialist spoke with me about what I should do to build up strength and ability to exercise.  To begin, I’ll walk the length of my block, because that way if I get out of breath or hurt, I can stop at my porch to sit long enough to drink some water. I’ll do that until I can walk long enough without a break that I won’t need to have something close by for a sit down.  I want to get to where I can go down the street and walk the track at the high school. I’m also going to dust off the wii fit and get back to using it, especially when the weather doesn’t permit outdoor exercise.

When we left there, it was time for commuter rush traffic again, so we decided to go have dinner before coming home. We went to Big Boy, knowing I’d be working hard on changes starting today, and I had things I probably won’t have again, some for a long time, some forever. I had chicken parmesan with salad bar, and an ice cream sundae for dessert. No pop, I quit pop already. I had water.

Then we got on the freeway in time for just the tail end of the rush traffic, went back to Port Huron, and went and got our kids, picking them up about a quarter to nine. I was in bed by 11:30, which is early for me, because I’m generally up until at least 1:00 or 2:00 am.

Today, I had a breakfast hotpocket and some strawberries for breakfast, a cracker, ham & cheese lunchable for lunch (Thursday is the day my kids have their home-school gym & swim program at the YMCA, I do a lunchable or the asian chicken salad from Wendy’s), 2 slices of swiss cheese for snack,  a small piece of boneless pork chop roasted with garlic and rosemary seasoning and a serving of mashed potatoes with margarine for supper. I will probably have a small amount of deli sliced ham and cheese for a snack later.

While dinner was cooking, I went out and walked. I walked the length of my block 6 times.  I need to find out how long it actually is so that I know how far I actually walk.

I washed the dishes, folded some laundry to be put away, and did my piano practice.

I’ve decided that since I’m going on a journey to a healthy me, I may as well take care of all the things my doctors have been nagging me about, so a couple weeks ago I had my mammogram, which came back normal, then this past Monday I went to the gynocologist for my yearly (it’s been two years sice the last one, and I’m supposed to see her every six months because of having had cancer), and set up my appointment for the “you’re over 50” colonoscopy, which will be on May 11. So, I am truly working on a healthier me.


Filed under Bariatric Surgery, changes, exercise, family, food, health, just me, Kids, weight loss

Paperwork, paperwork!

I’ve begun working on the questionnaires I have to fill out and have with me next Wednesday when I see the surgeon and the cardio exercise specialist for the first time, and have been considering what I want to put into my “letter of intent” that I also have to have written before my appointment. I’m thinking that a lot of things I’ve written here in this blog will be good for the letter.  I have read the book the surgeon required (“Weight Loss Surgery, finding the thin person hiding inside you” by Barbara Thompson), and have read (and re-read!) the huge binder full of information given to me at the orientation. I have given up drinking pop (as of March 31). I feel so ready to move on with this, but realize that they have their timeline and steps for a reason. I do hope that when I see the surgeon the goal he gives me for pre-surgical weight loss is an amount I’ll be able to do quickly, because they won’t schedule the surgery until I meet it, and I am really hoping to have it sometime this summer. I want to get on with the business of living a healthier, longer life. I am totally at peace with the decision I’ve made to have gastric bypass. I’ve received no negative feedback from anyone in my life, only positive and supportive, which shows me that my friends and famly are much more open minded than I realized.


Filed under health, Uncategorized, weight loss


When I attended the 6 hour orientation for surgery, Wanda (the nurse who presented) said surgery would be about three months out from then, so I’ve been thinking in terms of end of July or so.  However, I asked on the yahoo group support list for Henry Ford Bariatric patients if that meant three months from orientation, or three months from the date of the surgical consult, and am being told it’ll be way longer, like eight months or so! I hope that doesn’t turn out to be the case for me….. Once I’ve committed to something I really need to just move along and do it.  The waiting is not good. I’m anxious about the time between now and then. I am committed to doing what the doctor wants me to do, but fearful of having to do it for too long.  That’s how we get to this point in the weight issues, we can lose weight for sure but keeping it off for a long time, or even continuing a weight loss diet long term, is where we become failures.  If my wait time for surgery is a long time away, am I just setting myself up to fail again bfore the surgery even happens? I hope not.  I need the help that surgery will bring, the tool to help me stick to a new way of eatimg. It’s already been proven I can’t do it on my own for any extended length of time.


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Loving friends & family……..

When I went to the 6 hour orientation, and also when I read the book we were required to purchase and read, the question of how to handle those who would say I am taking the easy way out was addressed.  I admit, this is something I did fret about, having had people comment that they had their children “the hard way”, as if adoption was the “easy way out”.  I’m so happy that this has not happened so far.  I’ve told just about everyone who is important to me, and received wonderful support from each one so far. You never know how good your friends are, or your family either, until you need to count on them for support ad non-judgement.  I’m luckier than I realized.

Just a little discouraged though, which I’ll address in another post……..

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