BELIEVE

The power of belief is an amazing life tool. It is the driving force in life and in most people dreams. In life if you believe and have positive thought anything is possible. Come off of the most amazing Christmas I look back and thank god for all the wonderful things that have been bestowed upon my family. I say a little pray that everyone will remain happy, healthy, and most of all have a fulfilled life.

2010 marked my 25th year of life and with that came a large pot of "What Ifs". It was a year of looking back and thinking about the things I have accomplished, will accomplish, and want to accomplish. But mostly it brought wondering where my life will be in another 25 years. At some point I decided to give caution to the wind and have put my faith in god.

I look back on the last 25 years with no regrets and smile about all of the different memories. I have set new goals for myself and the first one will soon be completed. I am graduating with a 4.0 on January 28, 2010. I finally proved to myself that with the right attitude and enough will power that the impossible can become reality.

Here's to another fantastic year. Welcome to 2011

Spinning and Dreaming

There comes a time in your life where you are standing at a crossroad and you must decided which way to go. It doesn't matter what you have done in your life to this point. You are the maker of your own destiny and you are the only one that can control your future.

Find your reason to smile and the thing that gives you butterflies. That feeling is finally back and it has been way to long.




Spinning in Circle and when I stop my dreams will lead me to my future.

Crunch Time

Is is really September? Can't believe it.

Down to Business...Wedding Season is upon us and I have six weeks to get my butt into gear. No I am not one of those people that thinks that in 6 weeks I am going to be the skinny size 2 that I so desperately want. I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin while standing in front of about 100 strangers while supporting my friend.

The Plan:

GET YOUR BUTT OUT OF BED AND WORK OUT! (I have been slacking) <----- Thanks Mom for reminding me! :P
6 Days a Week:
AM Workout: Cardio & Weight Training
PM Workout: Swimming & Sauna

I have actually been doing really good on making sure to get my protein in but this is what I need Daily.
2 protein drinks consisting of 50grams of protein each
1-2 crystal light pkgs (only 5 calories each)
Total Calories in my protein drink = 220 calories

Vitamins:
1 Multi-Vitamin
1 30 mg Zinc
1 5000 mg Biotin (support hair, nail, and tooth enamel)

Monday 08-30-2010
No Excuses but I did miss my AM workout this morning. I already slap myself on the hand. My workout bag is pack and I am going to do my PM workout after school.

The days are going to be much easier when I am on a normal schedule. Thank heavens because this will start on Thursday. No more late hours. Anyways, it off to school.

If anyone has any suggestion on workout plans or healthy eating ideas please comment or send me an email.

Smooches!

Crazy Weekend

Life has been crazy lately but I wouldn't change it for the world. At times during the week or even for a moment in time I wish that some things would be different but then I look at the big picture and realize that there is a reason that things happen in a certain way.

August has been one busy month. For starters this is my last month of school, I can't believe it. I only have one week left. Ready or not here I come real world. Also, this was Presley's (my lil' sister) last month home before heading off to college. We loaded the car up this past Thursday and headed to UTSA bright and early Friday morning. It was a long but fun filled day. Unpacking her stuff and putting together all the dorm room things we had been working on through out the summer. Mom did a great job. We are waiting on her comforter and then I will post the before and after pictures. Pretty amazing.

This next weekend marks my last weekend trip of the summer. This year is flying by. I guess grown up were right, times flies once you graduate.

Until next time, Tootles!

Inspiration

So, it is no surprise to anyone that I love to cook. I have always enjoyed cooking and being in the kitchen. Starting from an early age I was always in the kitchen. Either watching my Mom cut up a bunch of things and throw them in the crock pot, to watching my dad whip up the magical SECRET brownies, or hear the stories about Baba (my grandmother) burning the house down.

I love to cook but am just starting to learn what flavors mix well with what, how to take a recipe and make it for a smaller crowd, or how to create my own recipe. It is a learning process that I can't seem to get enough of. The best way that I learn is from other, I use them as inspiration.

So here is my inspiration quest of 54 recipes by Bethenny Frankel. For those of you that have been living on an ice cap and haven't heard of Bethenny Frankel she is an amazing women.

Starting Monday, August 15, 2010 I am giving myself 1 month to go through the recipe and see what I can learn.

May the journey begin.

Magzines...

My entire life I have flipped through the glossy pages of magazines where pretty girls smile back at me and home remedies made promises that I don’t think they were fully equipped to keep. Keeping pages of the perfect body. The perfect lips. The perfect long flowing hair. And I always remember telling myself “I have so much to fix, I am missing so much.” I am broken but not for long.

Trying everything and knowing the results would be short lived. Realizing that I had to find my own way; the perfect way for me “Christiann’s Way”



Life isn’t measured by the pages of magazines telling us “You are only 7 Steps Away From Perfection. Perfect Thighs. Perfect Curves. Perfect Lovers. Perfect Days.”

My life is measured by me.

The secret to a life well-lived is beautiful skin, a whittled waistline and “stop him dead in his tracks” personality. The perfect pair of shoes. A healthy diet. Amazing sex. A Great Swimsuit. Makeup that feels like it is barely there. Being Confident. Family and Friends. And looking better naked.

Lady Antebellum - I Was Here




Just close your eyes and listen. This is a magical song and one that feels really close to my heart. This song has been on my ipod for awhile but today was the first day that I actually listen to the words. Just wanted to share the words with you.

Lady Antebellum - "I Was Here" Lyrics:
You will notice me
I'll be leaving my mark like initials carved
In an old oak tree, you wait and see

Maybe I'll write like Twain wrote
Maybe I'll paint like Van Gogh
Cure the common cold, I don't know
But I'm ready start 'cause I know in my heart

I wanna do something that matters, say something different
Something that sets the whole world on its ear
I wanna do something better with the time I've been given
I wanna try to touch a few hearts in this life
Leave nothing less than something that says ?I was here?

I will prove you wrong
If you think I'm all talk, you're in for a shock
'Cause this dream's too strong and before too long

Maybe I'll compose symphonies
Maybe I'll fight for world peace
'Cause I know it's my destiny
To leave more than a trace of myself in this place!

I wanna do something that matters, say something different
Something that sets the whole world on its ear
I wanna do something better with the time I've been given
I wanna try to touch a few hearts in this life
And leave nothing less than something that says, "I was here!"

And I know that I, I will do more than just pass through this life
I'll leave nothing less than something that says, "I was here!"
I was here

Pineapple & Carrot Cake

Cravings. This is my current one. Carrot Cake.


Pineapple & Carrot Cake
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cookng Time: 1 hour

For the cake:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 pound carrots, grated
1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple

For the frosting:
3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted

For the decoration:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Directions:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

For the cake:
Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light yellow. Add the vanilla. In another bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Toss the raisins and walnuts with 1 tablespoon flour. Fold in the carrots and pineapple. Add to the batter and mix well.

Divide the batter equally between the 2 pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set over a wire rack.

For the frosting:
Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until just combined. Add the sugar and mix until smooth.

Place 1 layer, flat-side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with chopped walnuts.

Forever & Always...

Memories can be triggered by so many things. A song, a smell, a picture and when you least expect it, they can take you back…

I don’t have one memory that doesn’t have you in it. Time will heal my broken heart. The saying goes, “When one door closes, another one opens.” To close one door means to say goodbye.
So this is my goodbye...

You warned me from the start but I didn’t listen. There was nothing you could say to keep me from falling in love with you. It took all of about three seconds after you smiled (You have the best smile and this uncanny ability to make anyone laugh) for me to realized that I had always loved you.

One thing that you taught me was how to have fun. We decided that we wanted to do something and we just did it. There was never a dull moment with you.

I trusted you. You helped bring back a girl that was lost, taking all her fears away, and teaching her how to let go. You helped me find myself.

I will never forget you. You will always be my best friend. We will always have that one rainy day in September. Thank You for everything.

I Miss You. I Love You. And remember its Forever and Always.

Always Tomorrow

The past two weeks have run together like a never ending story. I have caught myself saying there’s always tomorrow several times over the past few weeks. Between school, vacation, and the everyday little things I haven't really left much time for breathing let alone working out.

Every morning and every night when I look in the mirror I can’t help but get mad at myself. Why did I let this happen? Insecurity starts to ease its way back into my life and then I start to believe everyone who said, “Christiann, this isn’t possible. You just need to realize that you have big bones.” Once those thoughts have clouded my mind I start to tell myself that maybe I just wasn’t meant to be the skinny girl that turned heads when she walked into the room.

Shortly after my small pity party I snap back to reality and know that everything is possible. I am the girl that will turn heads when she walks into the room I just haven’t found the “Christiann Way” yet! Sure, everyone encounters speed bumps (set backs) in life and every now and then you have that stubborn one that makes stop dead in your tracks. This massive two month speed bump didn’t just stop me in my tracks but made me slam into reverse.

Shortly before my birthday I had 4 cc of fluid taken out of the band due to some complications. Twenty four hours after the fluid had been removed I felt free. I was able to eat and not have an immediate sickness overwhelm and consume my entire body. It wasn’t until the end of June that I finally accepted that everything needed to change. Taking a deep breath and closing my eyes as I pressed the re-start button on my life.

The decision was made and 2 cc were placed back in the band. Another appointment has been set for the end of July to place the additional 2 cc of fluid back into my band.

This change has sparked a serious of questions in my daily life. “Why is food my safe place and why does food make me feel free?” “Can you find something that makes you feel the same way but with different results?” After the second day of the unanswered questions, my emotions were being tested and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I wasn’t free; food is my 4X4 cell that I can’t seem to breakaway from. I was sabotaging myself. Food had won (taken over my life) while I wasn’t paying attention. I was scared and immediately ran back to what I felt was safe. Eating.

The Difference a Year Makes!

Another week is approaching and all I can think about is the difference a year makes. Reliving the moments through memories, pictures, and stories. Although all 17 of us are extremely tired and mostly sun burnt we wouldn't have change anything about our vacation.


The entire weekend was jammed back with laughter and relaxing moments that we will tell our children about one day. One thing that wasn't far from my mind was this same vacation but the previous year. I couldn't help but remember what I looked like. I knew it would feel different but just wasn't sure how much. All I know is this time last year my life was completely different.

My Mom has always said "Christiann, you need to live with someone for an entire year before making any final commitments." It wasn't until now that I fully understood why that would be necessary. People adapt to the season and along with their adaption come their attitudes. Last year was the start of what I now refer to as THE JOURNEY, so far I have had some amazing moments.

Back to the Mom has always said story...

The Seasons change and so do I. Most importantly I am and will always be myself but at different times through the year I go through different emotional stages. Trying to figure out why but last summer around this same time I was having the same struggles with my weight that I am currently facing.

So, I leave you with this. I have been told that you can't fix something until you FIRST recognize the problem.

Red, White, & Blue Mini Tarts


Red, White, & Blue Mini Tarts
Serving Size: 3 Mini Phyllo Cups

Ingredients:
24 - Pre-made Phyllo Cups
1 - 8 ounce container of Mascarpone Cream
1/2 cup - Blueberries
1/2 cup - Strawberries
3 tbsp - Confectioners' Sugar
1/2 cup - Whipped Cream

Started by baking pre-made phyllo cups based on package directions. Bake and allow to cool while making the filling mixture.

Filling:
Mix Mascarpone Cream with Confectioners' Sugar until smooth. Once mixed fold in Whipped Cream.

Asembling:
Take filling and place in pastry bag for easier filling of phyllo cups. Fill the cups and then add 1/2 slice of strawberry on top and also 1 blueberry per cup.

Baby Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Baby Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

1/4 pound country bread, cut into roughly 1-inch cubes
5 tablespoons basil infused olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
2 pounds assorted mixed baby heirloom tomatoes
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded, if necessary

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with 2 tablespoons of the basil olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, then toss the bread cubes and bake until golden, another 3 to 5 minutes. In a small saucepan, over low heat add the balsamic and simmer until reduced by half.

Cut the smaller tomatoes in half, quarter the medium tomatoes and slice the larger tomatoes. Cut the cucumber, lengthwise in half, and slice it into half moons or dice it into cubes.

In a large serving bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumbers and remaining oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the bread cubes and toss. Drizzle with the reduced balsamic and serve.

Cheesy Smashed Potatoes

Cheesy Smashed Potatoes

Ingredients:
3 pounds Red Bliss Potatoes
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup Sour Cream
2 tbsp Butter (room temperature)
1/2 - 1 cup Heavy Cream (room temperature)

Directions:
In large pot, cover potatoes with water by 1 inch. Bring to boil , add salt and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minute. Drain and place back in pot and cook over low heat to evaporate the rest of the water, about 2-5 minute. Once complete take off heat and add in sour cream, cheese, & heavy cream and smash with potatoes masher until desired consistency.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note:
I leave the skin on the potatoes it give a nice presentations. But this is up to your family preference.

Cheesy Smashed Potatoes

Cheesy Smashed Potatoes

Ingredients:
3 pounds Red Bliss Potatoes
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup Sour Cream
2 tbsp Butter (room temperature)
1/2 - 1 cup Heavy Cream (room temperature)

Directions:
In large pot, cover potatoes with water by 1 inch. Bring to boil , add salt and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minute. Drain and place back in pot and cook over low heat to evaporate the rest of the water, about 2-5 minute. Once complete take off heat and add in sour cream, cheese, & heavy cream and smash with potatoes masher until desired consistency.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note:
I leave the skin on the potatoes it give a nice presentations. But this is up to your family preference.

Dad's Homestyle Gravy

This recipe was given to me by my father this past Thanksgiving (2009) when I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner. Everything was made from scratch which I was advised was much better and would add to the taste. I agree. Not only did my house smell amazing there was also a depth of flavor that you get by making your own stock.

Dad's Homestyle Gravy

Ingredients:
3 tbsp - Butter
3 tbsp - Flour
1 onion
1 carrot
1 whole stalk celery
Turkey Inners

First, Peel onion and cut in half. Also cut the whole stalk of celery in half. Peel carrot and cut in half.
Then in 3 quart sauce pan, place turkey inners and vegetables and salt and pepper. Bring to Boil then reduce to simmer. Simmer for about 3 hours.

After 3 hours make rou in large saucepan with butter and flour, bake until flour is completely mixed into butter. Once rou is complete whisk in one ladle at a time of stock until desired consistency. Take off heat and set aside until turkey is complete.

Once turkey is ready ladle in turkey dripping whisk together for some WAM BAM GRAVY!

** Careful Don't Make Your Gravy Too Thin!

Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip

This was a hit when I made it. It was creamy and had some spicy to it which everyone loved. I loved it because I put everything into a crock pot and was able to walk away and not worry about it.

Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:
8 cups fresh spinach
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested
2 (14 ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
3/4 cup Sour Cream
3/4 cup Mayonnaise
1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Pepper

Directions:
Pre-heat over to 375 degrees. Spray 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside.

Blanch Spinach. Remove from water and place into water bath to stop cooking. Then place into a salad spinner to remove excess water. If you don't have a salad sinner just squeeze out the excess water.

In medium bowl, mix together spinach, garlic, and lemon zest. Add Artichoke hearts, 1 cup Parmesan Cheese, Sour Cream, Mayonnaise, & Cayenne Pepper. Mix. Place into prepared Casserole Dish. Bake for 30 minutes. The last 5 minutes add the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan to the top.

Serve Hot or Cold. Along with Chips.

Fresh Fruit Salad

I absolutely love yogurt and fruit together so when I was watching one of my favorite food network shows Barefoot Contessa I came across this recipe.

You can serve this as a side dish or also as dessert.

Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Yogurt
Makes: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups plain yogurt
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)
1/2 orange, juiced
1 banana, sliced
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled & cut in half
1 bunch seedless grapes, halved

Directions:
Combine yogurt, honey, vanilla extract, & vanilla bean seeds in bowl set aside. Combine the orange juice and banana slices in separate bowl. Add the berries and grapes and gently mix the fruit mixture together. Spoon the fruit into serving bowls and top with yogurt.

Roasted Turkey with Truffle Butter

Everyone has there finest hour in life. I believe that my finest hour in cooking came when I made our families 2009 Thanksgiving dinner. What started out as just trying to find recipes for my menu, manifested into this amazing journey. I was watching my favorite chef Ina Garden on Food Network and she revealed another amazing recipe to me. I cooked a 26 pound turkey so I double the recipe and cooked my turkey according to butcher. I will never forget my first turkey. Delicious, Tender, & Juicy...Everything that a turkey should be.



Roasted Turkey with Truffle Butter
Cook Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
1 (12 to 14-pound) fresh turkey, with giblets removed
3 ounces white truffle butter, at room temperature
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Large bunch fresh thyme
1 large onion, unpeeled and cut in eighths
1 whole head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
Good olive oil

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Drain any juices from the turkey and place it on a flat rack in a large, shallow roasting pan. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.

Working from the large cavity end, gently run your fingers between the skin and the meat to loosen the skin, taking care not to tear the skin. (Be careful not to do this with rings on your fingers!) Place the softened butter under the skin and gently massage the skin to spread the butter evenly over the whole breast.

Rub regular butter generously on inside of cavity. Then sprinkle the cavity generously with salt and pepper. Place half of the thyme sprigs in the cavity along with the onion and garlic. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tie 1 length of string around the bird and the wings to keep the wings close to the body.

Brush the turkey with olive oil, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Remove 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves from the stems, chop them, and sprinkle on the turkey. Roast the turkey for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until an instant-read thermometer placed in the center of the breast registers 160 degrees F. If you want the skin to be crisp, don't baste the turkey at all! About halfway through, when the breast is golden brown, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil to prevent the skin from burning.

Remove from the oven, cover tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Carve and serve with the pan juices.

HUGE

There is a new tv show on ABC Family called HUGE. I know, not really my target age group but it caught my interest. It put a smile on my face to watch a show and know that finally a network has decided to shed some light on the major issues that young teens face while growing up and also battling with their weight.

- Eating Disorders
- Anexity
- Family Acceptance
- Friends & Enemies

Although, I think that everyone should live a healthy live style I also believe that even if you are over weight you should not be judged because beneath the weight lies a person that has the same needs and desire as anyone else, love, respect, and acceptance. This is something that I am just starting to realize.

My weight loss journey started many years prior to my lapband, and it's an on going journey. Not everything can be blamed on my weight.  Weight gain is an outward expression of inner struggles.  In dealing with those struggles you seek comfort, which is easily obtainable through food.  The more comfort you seek the more weight you gain and thus the cycle begins. As you deal with your weight loss you are force to deal with the sometimes suppressed issues that lie dormant (hidden) beneath the weight. Also, you are never told that your hormones change as your body drastically changes another challenge added to day to day life.

FEAR of  failure is an ever present force, but I can't let that stop me because for the last 25 years I have allow fear to control me. No more excuses. We all have to continue to conqueur the speed bumps (or setbacks) that we are faced with in life and if you get knock down get right back up. Remind yourself of your final goal but remember to enjoy the ride. It may not always be easy but never give up, one day you will look back and realize "You did it!."

Happy 4th of July!

Hey Everyone.

Pixie is back. Okay, Okay! I know I have said that before but I truly am. I hope that everyone has had a great year so far.

Happy 4th of July! God Bless America!!!

"News Flash" Today I realized that I absolutely love cooking I think everyone in my life loves when I cook too. I am an emotional person and when I am in the kitchen I feel like nothing in the world matters except making wonderful amazing food.

It’s my aphrodisiac! My adrenaline starts pumping and I just don't want to stop cooking. So I realized today while making my mixed heirloom tomato and cucumber salad that I need to change the way that I look at food.

It’s no 5000 world puzzle to know that I have always had a battle with food. Hell, if I didn't then I wouldn't have needed surgery as my tool to get healthy. It has just taken me awhile to understand that it is okay to enjoy food.

So tonight we cooked dinner. Mom grilled chicken on the grill. She said that we had to do something Americana and well that was our take. I was in charge of dessert!  I also wanted a summer salad recipe .  I fell in love with this one while watching 5 Ingredient Fix. For dessert I made Red-White-Blue Mini Tarts and then I made mixed Baby Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad.  Can you say De-li-cious!

8 Days Remaining...

Not much to report today execpt that its been a very relaxing day disregarding the massive amount of homework that I had to complete. I took the day off from working out today so that my muscles could rest.

I have done really well on my eating today. It's been 24 hours since I have had anything sweet. I am going crazy but if I just make it another 24 hours I will be in the clear.

Well, it's off to school to turn in the massive amounts of homework that are taking of my day.

Fino a Domani
Amore, Pixie

It's a Monday!

10:16 AM
Well, it's definitely a Monday. I am awake and headed to the gym to get my workout in. My goal for today is no sweets. Now this is a lot harder said than done because I have this eternal sweet tooth were I could eat sweet all day and not get sick. It's crazy I know but I love sweets but I love the thought of being skinny even more.

2:08 PM
The workout went great. I did intense cardio on the treadmill for 30 minutes and burned 270 calories and went 1.70 miles. Afterwards I laid in the eucalyptus wet sauna for 10 minutes and then headed to the lap pool for my favorite workout. I did 8 sets in the lap pool which is 16 laps or 1\4 of a mile. I am very proud of myself! It made me feel even better when I got on the scale and realized that I dropped even more weight. I am currently at 201.7, it feels amazing. I know that I am going to hit my goal.

After my workout I headed to the tanning salon and was able to just block everything out and lay in the tanning bed for 15 minutes. I want to be tan for my birthday and the annual river trip that we are taking in July. Very Excited!!

Anyways, it’s off to school and then home to bed! Until tomorrow!

Arrivederci
Amore, Pixie

11 Days Left..

Blog Number 2:

So when I first woke up this morning I didn't think I was going to feel like working out but I told myself "You have a goal that you want to achieve and you won't achieve it unless you get your butt out of this bed!" So after internally yelling at myself I got up pack my workout bag and headed to the gym.

I did 30 minutes of cardio on the treadmill burning 275 calories and going 1.75 miles. After the treadmill I headed to the lap pool and swam 30 laps in the pool.

My body has been yelling at me since I finished the workout because I haven't been to the gym since before Thanksgiving. I have been tired and not really wanting to get up off the couch but I made it through the day and I am enjoying lying in bed with my head on the pillow.

Oh yeah I did better eating today. I had a muscle milk protein shake after my workout and for dinner I ate BBQ chicken breast with 1 slice of garlic toast. Then I shared Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream with Presley.


"Buona Notte Bella"
Amore, Pixie

12 Days Left…

Here is the deal. I have twelve days until my one year anniversary as a lapband patient. I have 8lbs to reach my 200lbs goal and 9lbs to be under 200lbs. I'll be writing 12 blogs in 12 days and will/will not loose 9lbs all by February 3. With a whole lot of work and determination I'll see you on the other side of 200lbs. Stay tune!

Blog: Number 1
Earlier this month I mentioned I wanted to get at least thirty minutes of exercise at least five times a week. I haven't been exercising, so I'm getting back on track with my Lifetime membership. I am determined to go to the gym and get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise. I was so happy and energetic when I was working out, it felt amazing. I'm not as concerned with what I do, just that I "Just do it". Swimming laps in Lifetime's lap pool was definately enjoyable, so its back to the gym starting tomorrow. I will blog my results.

I also haven’t been eating great. I eat what I like but my choices haven't always been heathly ones. Like the reese's cup I ate for breakfast. So I'm adding another goal; improve eating habits. I will be posting a food journal each day, good or bad. While shopping with mom yesterday, she caught a glimpse of me and said “Christiann, your getting a booty” I just laughed and said “I know!” As most of you know, I don't have much of a butt, but as I loose weight my body is slowing reshaping itself. It’s crazy. I love it!


Ciao Bella!
Amore, Pixie

New Year, New You!

It's finally 2010 and it's a brand new year! My band goal was to be under 200 by January 1st but with the crazy holiday season I changed that goal in the middle of December. The new goal was do not gain any weight during the holiday season. Well, from my December band fill appointment to now, I've lost an additional 10 pounds, putting my current weight at 208. I have lost 63 pounds total. I am still very proud of myself but now the real work begins.

Last night looking in the mirror I realized that my skin was starting to show the effects of my extreme weight gain and weight lost. Having struggled with weight my entire life, I have never been a small girl. Therefore my skin always was stretched to the max. I can tell now more than ever. It’s a weird feeling thinking what if I do all of this work and loose all of this weight but I am still ashamed of my body. Example: The dreaded underarm fat. I have always had big arms but never really noticed them jiggle all that bad. Well over the last week or so I started to notice that I have more skin under my arms rather than fat and well, it doesn't look pretty. Mom just told me this morning that I need to start building muscle to help with the skin issue. My doctor has also told me that I will loose weight faster than my skins elastic will bounce back. My skin is like a rubber band that has been stretched to far for too long and it takes time for it to bounce back once released. So, my new goal for the remainder of January is to start working out. It doesn't matter if it's only walking 30 minutes but I have to do something for at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week.

On another note, I started MedVance on the 11th for Medical Assistant. I have only been in school for two days but I love it. I am building my career ladder and I have just started my second rung. This school is not only offering me an education but also helping me to get out and meet new people in Houston.

So, now that you are caught up on what has been happening. Here are some pictures to keep you entertained until I write my next post!


at Studio 4 in Dallas with John-John
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In Grapevine with my four favorite Boys...John, Sean, Andre, & Geoff!
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My face is getting skinny!
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My tummy is getting smaller too...WOW!
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Full Body...The Shrinking Pixie Mae!
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Christmas 2009

-- December 2009 Update --

With my first Thanksgiving behind me it was time to embark on the craziest month of the year December. I believe that December is one of the best months of the year but also very jam packed with lots of Holiday Spirit! In the Barry-Brack house it's not stop fun.

Before anything could begin for me in December I made the drive back to Fort Worth for my much needed band fill with my favorite Doctors at Fort Worth LapBand. This was the first time that I was able to go more than four week in between appointments. Eight weeks to be exact. I went into the office knowing that I had dropped weight but not sure exactly what the scale would show. My previous appointment weight was 243 pounds. The time finally came when I was called back and I was able to weigh in dropping a wonderful 25 pounds, bring my current weight to 218. I felt wonderful and was on cloud nine. Not only because I had just dropped my biggest weight to date but my Mom was able to share my joy with me. When I went in for my fill Dr. Slicho said" Congrats 25lbs, you get a high five for that one" He also said, "Christiann, your right on track. Keep up the good work!" I was finally proud of myself, which has been a long time coming. I was ready to conquer the crazy month of December.

First, we had John-John's 23rd & Presley's 18th Birthday on December 9th. Now I don't know if any of you have the same situation where you have two siblings that have the same birthday and live in different cities but it can cause quite a commotion. I wanted to be there for Presley's birthday dinner but I had also promised my brother that I could come and celebrate with him. Luckily, I was able to figure everything out and do both. So I packed the car and headed to Fort Worth for John's Birthday. It was exciting because Mom decided to come along.


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It was a great two day get-a-way to Fort Worth, I was with my three favorite people John John, Armin, & Mom! As our mini vacation came to a close it was a sad goodbye because we had to say bye to Armin who was going to be leaving back to Bosnia a few days later. :( We gave our hugs and shed a few tears but we ended up on the road and back to Houston. I slept the entire way home, Thanks Mom! :D (More to that story!)

Finally, we were home and it was time to put up the Christmas decorations. I was not a very good helper but Mom did an amazing job on the mantle and Christmas tree!


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Once the decorations were up I knew that soon the shopping madness would begin. Just so you know this is my least favorite part of the season, or so I thought. I also get really bad anxiety when stores are crowed and people are extremely rude. For some reason this season was different I actually enjoyed the chaos at the mall and enjoyed shopping even more. I knew exactly what I wanted to get everyone. This was also my first Christmas that I was celebrating not only at my Mom's house but also with my Dad, Sister, Brother In-law, Niece, & Granddaddy in Oklahoma. I was enjoying life and living every minute of the happy holiday season. I realized that your attitude is 90 percent of everything you do.

With all the shopping that I accomplished over the two weeks prior to Christmas I was keeping pretty busy and not really thinking about my band. I noticed that I was letting more days go by without getting on the scale. But I would still occasionally weigh in, loosing a pound or two pounds here and there, nothing drastic. But, I went on with life and said just don't gain weight over the holiday season. My goal had to change to adapt to life.

So the days passed and the Saturday before Christmas came and I woke up to this amazing fluffy stuff falling from the sky. You Northerners know what it's called but, we don't see very much SNOW in Texas. It was snowing cats and dogs. It was beautiful!


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Christmas was finally here and my elf duties were finished. It was amazing, and I have to mention that I probably am one of the luckiest girls ever. My owl collection has officially started. Mom got me new silver and white ornaments for my Christmas tree and also a new owl for my room. Steve got me my new Blackberry. It official I no longer have the four year old pink razor. After the presents were opened and the mess was cleaned up Mom and John made some pancakes and we were one big happy family. We headed to Grandmother’s and Granddaddy Bud's House that night for dinner and the annual cousin's pictionary game. It gets very intense!!!! My Houston holiday was amazing but Christmas wasn't over yet. I still had Christmas in Oklahoma...remember that snow I mention. Oklahoma had a blizzard, which made it quite difficult to make it to my sister's house in Tulsa, six hours past DFW without bad weather.

We left Grandmother's and headed to Fort Worth to stay with John for the night and then I was off to Oklahoma the next morning. Well, I made it safely and without a hitch...well unless you forget about the call I made to my mother because some idiot just blasted pasted me going 90 and throwing slush onto my window where I couldn't see. I arrived at my sisters and was greeted by the cutest little girl ever! My niece Zoey who is 3 1\2 (My sister Melissa & Brother in-law Mike just adopted Zoey) and this was the first time I was meeting her smiling face. We played laughed and talked about life. Now, I haven't been that great of a sister but my new year’s resolution is to be a better sister and sister in law. Not only did Mike and Melissa just adopt Zoey but they are expecting twin girls in May (another crazy month)! I spent the night at Melissa house and the next day headed to OKC to see Granddaddy! Lunch was amazing and it was nice to spend time with my Dad, Sister, & Granddaddy Jack!

This past holiday was a great one! I spent every minute with a smile on my face. I will always remember my holiday season in 2009 but I look forward to the next chapter in my life!

Thanksgiving 2009

The last time that I posted was in September. Sorry life caught a hold of me and I just haven't made the time to write. I am back now and ready for the adventure of life.

November was a wonderful month. Mom and I were planning our Thanksgiving plans and putting together our Thanksgiving menu. This was my first thanksgiving to cook the entire dinner not just one entree. The day came and went without even the smallest problem. I wish we had a video camera to have captured the wonderful memories in the kitchen before dinner. We looked like a well practiced orchestra, two words that remind me of that moment is Amazing and Everlasting! It made me realized how much I love to cook! I cooked a 26 pound turkey. It was Roasted Turkey with White Truffle Butter. I was worried at first because we didn't have a back up plan for the turkey. Once John took the turkey out of the oven I knew that I could breathe a sigh of relief because the bird looked and smelled amazing!


Thanksgiving 2009


Thanksgiving 2009 was one of the best I have ever had. It was made even more special because my European Brother Armin made the trip and we were able to share our American traditions with him. I am a very blessed and happy woman.

-- Back to Basics --
This was my first holiday with the band and although I was very nervous because I didn't know how or what I was going to be able to eat. Once dinner time was here I had a little of everything on my plate and tasted everything but made sure not to over eat. The only thing that I didn't eat was dessert, which was okay with me.