Wow, it's already September. Where has the year gone? Well, life over the past couple of weeks has been great. I found the perfect workout...Swimming...33 laps equals one half mile and I get a huge thrill when I complete that final lap. My goal is a full mile, a whopping 66 laps. Not quite there but I will be soon. Loving the gym as the weight steadily comes off. Finally in the 240's and it feels great! Hopeful, I will zip through the 40's as fast as I did 50's.

During a recent conversation with a friend he reminded me, "it doesn't matter how many times you fall it's all about what you do afterwards." Then he said "Christiann, you have gotten up more times than most, You've experienced things people couldn't even imagine." Weight has held me back for so long that I started missing out on life. I recently realized that I have a so much to offer the world, So watch out world, because here comes the new and improved version. So for all you folks who allow my weight to be an barrier, allow me to introduce myself!

I know I am still overweight, but losing the last 20 lbs has lifted my spirits and my attitude has started to change. I walk with my shoulders back and my head high. I'm less inclined to look towards the ground and avoid eye contact. You guess it, I love to command attention, but inside I second guess myself and insecurity rears its ugly head, but not anymore!

Life feels great my outlook changes daily. I'm feeling renew and can't wait to experience what the future holds. Grateful I am!

The First Year

Over the last couple of months I received questions regarding how my lap band works, what it looks like, what can I eat, and other questions regarding my surgery. This blog is hopefully going to answer some of those questions. Also, if you have any questions that you would like me to answer please just add a comment and I will be happy to answer your questions.

Good Food Choices:

Fruits and Vegetables
• 1-2 servings of fresh fruit daily
• 2-3 servings of fresh vegetables daily

Breads and cereals (Carbohydrates)
• One small portion of low-sugar cold or hot cereal
• Half to one slice of toasted whole wheat or rye bread each day.
-- Note: Some patients have difficulty eating bread

Meat, Fish, Poultry, Eggs (Protein)
• 1-2 ounces of meat, fish, or poultry or one egg each day.
• Remove all visible fat from the meat.
• Remove the skin from poultry.
• Prepare the meat by: grilling, steaming, microwaving, or boiling.
-- Note: Some patients have difficulty eating meat.

Dairy products
• 2 cups (maximum) of skimmed milk or low fat yogurt daily.
• 1 ounce (maximum) of cheese daily.
-- Milk and Yogurt are calories in liquid form. However, these types of food have calcium, which makes them an important part of a healthy daily diet.

• Restrict the use of fat to 3 to 4 teaspoons of margarine, butter, or oil per day. You can have low-fat salad dressings and mayonnaise in moderation.

• 8 – 8 ounces glass of water daily
• Unlimited calorie-free liquids such as: tea or coffee (black) with low calorie sweetener, non – carbonated drinks.
-- Note: Carbonated drinks are off limited because researchers have reported that carbonated beverages may contribute to enlargement of the small pouch and recommend they be avoided.

Foods to Avoid:
Some foods deliver a concentrated supply of calories but little nutritional value. These foods should be avoided whenever possible. Also, patients have to watch the intake of calories by liquids. (Alcoholic Drinks, Juices, & Sports Drinks)

Common Food Problems:
Some foods have difficulty passing through the stomach opening created by the LAP-BAND® System and may cause blockage. To help reduce problems with eating patients have to remember to chew their food properly which means
• taking bites the size of a pencil eraser
• chewing each bite at least 15 times or until the food becomes applesauce in your mouth.
Introduce these foods slowly and individually to see if you can tolerate them.

Exercise Guidelines:
Exercise is still a very important part of weight loss even after LAP-BAND® surgery. The same guidelines apply (30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times a week) but just like with every new adventure you have to take things slow and see what your body can physically hand. After LAP-BAND® surgery, aerobic activities particularly walking and swimming are generally the easiest for you to handle.

Stay in the Green Zone:
By keeping this card with me and following the above guidelines I stay within the green zone between my adjustment appointments.