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Gastric bypass surgery: five years later

Exactly five years ago today I had gastric bypass surgery. My surgical journey was one that started in late 2007, but halted twice due to family issues (first custodial issues with my brothers, then my grandfather’s death). When I finally had surgery on November 18th, 2009, I was more than ready: for more than six months I religiously attended medical appointments, underwent all sorts of tests and evaluations, lost above and beyond the required 5% body weight (which at the time was 17 pounds — as I weighed over 335 pounds), and talked, read, and breathed everything and anything I could find related to gastric bypass surgery, and life after it.

Now, five years later and holding steady between 160 and 170 pounds (I’ve had a 10-ish pound fluctuation over the past year due to going on and then increasing anti-depressant medication), I can honestly say I have no regrets. It’s been a long journey, but even with the odd complications, and the strict forever nutritional/lifestyle changes, I genuinely mean it when I say I have no regrets, and that if I had to, I would do it all over again. And, I can’t thank the people who were with me when I went into surgery and there for me when I woke up after surgery — and in the days, weeks, months, and years beyond — enough: Daniel, my mom, and Jason. I love you guys!

Filed under Weight Loss

From fat years past

Yesterday evening Alyssa asked if she could pick out an outfit for me, and while she was rummaging through my drawers she asked me why all of my clothes, but especially my underwear and socks, were brightly colored, patterned, or both. After all, she, Ryan, and Dad all have white socks and underwear – why don’t I? My answer was forthright and simple: when I was morbidly obese, clothing that fit was limited. Of the clothing that actually fit, styles — colors, patterns, prints — were even more so. The majority of my wardrobe was dark, neutral, or pastel pink; and in terms of bras, underwear, and socks, black, white, pale pink, and beige dominated.

After my surgery, and as the pounds finally started coming off and more importantly staying off (I am happy and proud to report that as a five year post-op gastric bypass patient, I am holding steady within 15 pounds of my goal weight. Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication added a few pounds back to my overall loss, but at this point in my life I’m honestly okay with that, because their benefits far outweigh — pun intended — the regain!), and I had to replace my once-a-little-snug-and-now-too-big clothing, I gravitated to COLORS! PRINTS! PATTERNS! GLITTER!

Nearly five years later, not much has changed in that regard. With the exception of one bra and a few camis, you’ll be hard-pressed to open any of my clothing drawers and find something that isn’t brightly colored, printed, patterned, glittery, or all of the above.

Filed under Weight Loss

Photo dump

Tea light candles: what you use on your child's 10th birthday cake when you can't find regular cake candles.
When you’re out of birthday candles, make do with tea lights (and curse when you find an unopened pack of candles in a random drawer two days later).

Happy National Cat Day from Felix, Titanium, Alcide (left column), Blueboy, Kirin, Minerva, and Fritzy (right column)! #NationalCatDay #catstagram #catsofinstagram #cats #FIV #FIVcats #FIVpositive #rescuecats #RussianBlue #Persian #Siamese
October 30th was National Cat Day.

My eyes on Halloween. TELL ME THEY WEREN’T COOL (my mom tried to. I didn’t listen.).

My new necklace – Ryan drew that squiggly robot!

Finally, a day off from doing everything for everyone.
My weekend.

Last week Dan mocked me for making lumpy (but still round!) doughnut holes. Last night karma ignored his careful dough ministrations and gave him melded-together doughnut PUCKS. Ha! #JennyCrocker #DannyCrocker
Dan set out to make doughnut holes. He ended up with doughnut pucks.

Vote: check. #vote #generalelection #Pennsylvania #Libertarian
We voted! We did write-ins for governor (I really wanted to write governator), but for the others Dan went R, while I went D. No spiffy “I voted!” sticker, because out in the sticks they don’t do things all fancy-like.

Filed under Photography

DIY floral arrangements from Bloominous

Bloominous DIY flowers

When it comes to floral arrangements, you generally have a few options available to you:

Of these options, DIY wedding flowers is often the best choice, simply because it offers the perfect combination of cost-effectiveness as well as the freedom to express yourself. And at Bloominous, which launched in 2014, brides have the opportunity to purchase DIY wedding flower kits that are as much as 50% cheaper than competitors. Bloominous’ flowers are cut-to-order and pre-trimmed and removed of thorns, so they’re ready for use as soon as they arrive.

Each kit from Bloominous includes not just the cut-to-order, freshly prepared flowers, but step-by-step instructions with photographs, as well as tips for design, and general flower care information. Kits are designed to be assembled within 10 to 20 minutes.

Bloominous offers quality, professional designs that utilize speciality flowers and designs from florists with 10+ years of event and design experience. From flowers to vases to overall display, check out for all sorts of DIY flower kits and ideas.

Filed under Articles

A Flourish of Expression

Art is a universal medium of expression. No matter one’s creed, nationality or gender, art is bound to be something one hold’s dear in some form, whether it’s manifested visually or not.

If you own a store front or other business that you’re trying to promote, hanging artwork on the walls is an excellent way to keep customers interested in your wares. In fact, you can create an atmosphere that is warm, inviting and mysterious all with the use of strategically placed wall scrolls or canvas.

Whether it’s your home or office, it’s amazing what illusions you can create with art. A great way to open up a small room is by installing a large picture of a landscape that makes the walls appear to be another world entirely. For example, you can get large canvas art of a busy street in a metropolis. If the picture is to scale, it will look like there’s actually an intersection in your living room.

This same technique can be applied using a variety of locales and landscapes, so choose the one that fits your personality the best. If you’re trying to show off pieces of art that you’ve created for a gallery or special event, creating a website can help you gain notoriety. Be sure to use links entitled “see our art” and other similar directories so that your audience knows exactly where to go to find your masterpieces.

It’s amazing what one can express with their individualized artwork, so be creative and explore a variety of avenues.

Filed under Articles