my manifesta

hey y’all!  i have a light post for you today! i wanted to talk about a new brand of workout clothes that i’ve recently been introduced to: my manifesta!

so, i was recently contacted by rachel of my manifesta to see if i wanted to try out of their workout clothes.  initially, i was hesitant because i had recently ordered some clothes from fabletics that were SUPER cute, but just didn’t fit my body well.  the shirt continued to ride up and the pants gave me a muffin top, which is something i’m not used to, since i usually wear old navy fold over pants.

i went onto the my manifesta site and started to do my research and i have to say, i was pleasantly surprised!   rachel was struggling with the same things i had felt when wearing my fabletics outfit in the gym.  clothes just weren’t working with our curves like they were meant to, since most companies design their clothes based on a size 4/6 women and just add fabric for bigger sizes.  she took action and got body measurements from women of all sizes and surveyed what women actually wanted.  she didn’t base her sizes off smaller sizes, and used models sized 2/4 – 22/24 to make adjustments to fit every woman.

after reading that, i was sold.  i also love that i could get the word out about a small business, since i come from a family that owns their own small business.  when i received my outfit, i was ecstatic!  it fit perfectly and emphasized everything i wanted, while camouflaging what i wanted to hide.  the material is super silky, and i also love that the tank i received, the Sweet Angel Tank, had a built in bra.  it gave me a little something extra that sport bras usually flatten out! i also can’t say enough about the Sorry Not Sorry capris.  they fit all my junk in the trunk, perfectly, and i was able to move about during my workout without having to constantly tug at my pants.  i went from rows to push-ups with no backside flashing!

i could probably write 3 more pages about how much i love this outfit, but i will spare you.  if you’re looking for good quality workout clothes, i without a doubt recommend my manifesta!  they’re also made in america, which i love!  so, i’ll finish my rambling and leave you with a few pictures, pre-workout and during my workout!

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mm1

 

 

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annnnnddddd!!! my manifesta was kind enough to make a promo code for my readers!  use the code SweatyBetty for 25% off your purchase! you wont regret it! i promise!

 

*disclaimer:  i was sent this outfit free of charge for an honest review on my blog and instagram.  all opinions are my own, i will definitely be purchasing items on my own!*

5 months out

hey there!  worst blogger of the year award goes to me! oh well, just be happy you’re getting a post today, ok :) so! i owe you all a update (if you even care)!

everything is going GREAT!  i honestly have no complaints.  my life has been crazy busy, filled with work, gym, events, weddings, new babies, planning for big thangz in my own life (!!!), so i haven’t had much free time to just hang out and type up a blog post.

so WEIGHT LOSS!  this is a weight loss blog, so i guess i owe you an update on that!  as of the 8th, i’m 5 months post-op from lap-band surgery. i’m currently down 66 lbs and feeling amazing!  for some reason 66 lbs doesn’t feel like a huge loss for me, but i feel so much better physically that it’s crazy!  i can move around so much better, clothes are actually comfortable to wear, and i can actually look at myself in the mirror without being disgusted.

i still want to lose 40-60 more pounds depending on how i look at those 2 stages, and i’ll re-asses my goals when i reach that point.  as i’ve mentioned in the past, i’m not trying to be super skinny, just healthy.  if i get somewhere between 170-200 i’ll be happy.  i still have a stomach pooch, flabby arm skin, and some thigh fat that i’d like to go away, so 40-60 seems like a good number to me.

here is an updated before and after:beforeandafter

lets see, what else.  i’m continuing to use a low carb diet as means of diet.  i’ve incorporated more fats into my diet to help with satiety, and it really seems to be helping.  i’ve done some research on the ketogenic diet and that is basically the plan i am following at this point.  here is the diet explained better than anything i can give you, from this website:

A ketogenic diet is quite simply any diet that forces the body into a process called ketosis, whereby fats are burned instead of carbohydrates for use as energy. A proper ketogenic diet calls for the dieter to consume high amounts of fat, adequate amounts of protein, and very low amounts of carbohydrates. Our bodies are used to turning carbohydrates into glucose to send all over the body as energy. When we enter ketosis by sufficiently limiting our carbohydrate intake, our livers start breaking down fat cells into fatty acids and ketones, to be used as energy.

i enjoy the higher fat aspect, because i can still enjoy some things that i normally wouldn’t on your typical weight loss surgery diet which is low-carb, low fat.  i get to eat avocados, bacon, butter, and all of the macadamia nuts i want (well, within reason) and still lose weight, which is awesome!

i did complete an advocare cleanse, and cut out higher fat foods and dairy for 10 days, which was torture to my cheese loving self, but i did well and lost quite a few inches!  i’m continuing using the MNS products, but it has been a little hard getting the pills in since my last fill. i can take them all, i just have to take them one by one so they don’t get ‘stuck’.  i do find a huge difference in energy when i take them and when i forget to take them, so i’m going to stick with those.

i’ve been really into seafood lately, so tilapia and shrimp have been on the menu quite a few times.  i also found a sweet kale salad at costco that i’m obsessed with, but had to stop using the dressing, because it had too much sugar and kept kicking me out of ketosis.

pistachio crusted tilapia w. sweet kale salad:

tilapia

bbq shrimp & cauliflower ‘grits':

shrimpngrits

andddd i’ve also had my fair share of ‘treat’ meals.  all along, i’ve mentioned i don’t want this experience to be just like every other attempt at weight loss.  i’m trying to keep myself from binging on everything bad, so when i’m craving something, i’ll let myself have it.  like chips and margaritas!  & ice cream, obviously.

margs

i’m still going to the gym regularly, which is great for me!  i usually go 2-3 months, then get burned out and stop going.  i had a little spout where i didn’t feel motivated, but i pushed through it and i average about 3-4 days in the gym, sometimes 5, but that’s definitely not always the case.  i’m lifting heavy, incorporating a lot of superset/drop sets, and doing SOME cardio. not MUCH, but some!  my workouts have been really intense with the new plan i’m doing, though, so i do keep my heart rate pretty high while lifting, so who needs cardio, right?

i can’t really think of anything else!  fitness and eating, with work, take up a lot of my life right now!  i’ll leave you with a picture of the baby, because i’m sure everyone would like to see his face versus mine any day.

scout

xoxo

update!

hey y’all! i wont continue to apologize for sucking at posting. you get it at this point.  not sure if anyone even actually reads this thing, but i figure i’ll post an update, anyways.

so! lap-band!  i’m about 2.5 months post-op at this point.  everything is going good, for the most part.  i’ve had one fill so far (which is where the add restriction to the band, so it takes longer for food to pass through, making me fuller, longer).  i had a check-up with my nurse practitioner a month later, July 14th, and she said i’ve been making such good progress, that i don’t need another fill for awhile.  here’s the thing, while i’m happy that she’s happy with my progress, i feel like i’m struggling on a diet.  i still dont feel much restriction as far as the band goes, but she assured me successful band patients don’t rely on the band to lose weight.  but, wait?  didn’t i have weight loss surgery to get HELP losing the weight?  anyways..

oh, and weight loss?  i’ve lost 48 pounds since my highest.  is it bad i’m not completely happy with this number?  i weighed in at 284 day of surgery and was 255, today. i’m losing more than 2 lbs a week, which is great!  but i want it to be more!  i know, i sound bratty, so i’ll just stop.  i just think of how much farther i have to go, instead of looking as how far i’ve come.

gym is going great! seriously!  i dont hate working out, which says a lot for the girl who skipped the gym for a pint of ben and jerry’s alllllll last summer.  barbara and i are good at pushing one another when one doesn’t feel like going.  i’ve been trying to get up at 4:15am to knock out workouts in the morning, but that doesnt always happen, and we end up in a gym packed full of meatheads.  seriously, we switched to a more affordable gym (we weren’t using the amenities at the more expensive one and their weight section sucked), and 5pm week days, you can’t move even though there’s so much equipment.  plus, i love being able to get off work and if i want to go home and veg on the couch, i can without feeling guilty if i worked out at 5am.

my eating has been going pretty good.  i’ve had 3 ‘cheat meals’ since surgery.  i hate to call them cheats, because this is a lifestyle change, but my doctor has recommended i keep things low-carb, so i still feel like i’m on a ‘diet’ at this point.  i went to a cook-out and grazed all day, ate buffalo wild wings, and had a piece of pizza w. some chips and dip.  nothing too crazy, but i did feel guilt after all 3 occasions.  for the most part, i don’t mind eating low-carb.  i like a chipotle burrito bowl without the rice or a cheeseburger without the bun, but sometimes, i do miss bread or ice cream or cookies.  ok, i’ll stop now, cause i’m making myself hungry.  i have found that quest cookies & cream bars curb my sweet tooth, when i’m really craving something sweet.  i cut down my intake of them, though, because it seemed to slow my weight loss for awhile, so now they are just a treat every once in awhile, instead of dessert every night.

other noteworthy items, lap-band related?  i did experience my first real ‘stuck’ episode and it. was. horrible.  getting ‘stuck’ with lap-band basically means food is stuck right at the stoma (where the band is placed/restricting) and it wont go up or down.  this usually causes ‘sliming’ which is basically just excess saliva produced.  the best way i can describe sliming is that feeling after taking one shot of alcohol too many and the back of your throat starts watering.  well, for a second, i forgot i had the band and ate 2 small pieces of chicken too quick.  and it happened. it got stuck.  i was driving in the car and had to pull over to spit out the saliva i had in the back of my throat.  then, i got to the destination, a car dealership, and ended up having to excuse myself in the middle of talking to the salesman, because i felt like i was going to throw up everywhere.  i got to the bathroom and spit up some more saliva, and then all of a sudden, it went away.  the chicken must have gone down, because i didn’t spit it back up.  this may be wayyyy TMI, but it was an experience i don’t think i can forget for awhile.  it reminded me to eat slow and CHEW.  i’ve felt an uncomfortable tight feeling a few times, which i THOUGHT was being ‘stuck’, but i was SO wrong!  moving on, i’m sure you know way more than you wanted to about that situation.

life outside of lap-band and exercising?  is there one?  just kidding, i’ve been enjoying life!  hanging out with family and friends and feel like summer is just going WAY TO FAST!  i’ve only had 1 weekend this summer where i had absolutely nothing to do, but i’m not complaining! plus, I GOT A PROMOTION!  i went from general accounting to my agency’s budget accountant.  yay, sounds so fun, right?! haha  our current budget accountant is retiring, so for the next 6 months, i will be training with him, continuing my daily duties, and training my replacement.  horray for 60-80 hour work weeks for the next few months.  hopefully this will all be worth it in the end!  luckily, i get my pay raise immediately, since i’ll be taking on so much more.

so, that’s my life lately.  i’ll leave you with a before and after i put together yesterday:

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xoxo

life, lately.

hey guys!  hopefully you remember me!  i would say sorry for not posting so often, but i’m not.  i’m living my life and enjoying every second of it.  i’ll give you a quick recap of how life has been the last couple of weeks!

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30 lbs down!

life with my LAP-BAND has been great, so far!  i have no complaints and my doctor thinks i’m doing very well!  at this point, i’ve lost 34 lbs, and i’m sure plenty of inches (i need to measure myself, soon!).  clothes are getting looser and i don’t feel awful in my skin anymore.  it’s hard to keep perspective, sometimes, since i still have about 95 lbs until my first ‘goal’ weight, but the other day, when i was using 2, 15 lb dumbbells, i realized that was how much i lost so far. i really need to appreciate every pound i lose, as i lose it!

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284 vs 272

i’ve been working out 5 days a week!  i really don’t know who i am anymore!  i had zero motivation to go to the gym for the last year and half or so, but i really have this spark right now and i’m pushing it as far as it will go!  my workouts consist of lifting 5x/week  (arms+shoulders, chest+back, and legs alternating throughout the week) and cardio 3x/week.  i like to keep cardio short and sweet, so i’ve been trying my best to incorporate Body-for-Life HIIT routines in there.  i can feel gains in my strength AND endurance, so it’s a nice feeling.

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my go-to pre-workout

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

barbell chest press

i’ve also been trying to get my 10,000 steps in a day, with my FitBit, but it’s HARD!  i walk a mile at 10am with a co-worker, but even with those steps, on days where i don’t do cardio, i’m only getting 6-7,000 steps.  i need to get better at walking around the office.  i get so busy, sometimes, i’ll only get up twice to use the bathroom and fill up my water!

food intake has been good, as well!  i’m getting my proteins in first, then veggies.  i haven’t been consuming many carbs because 1.  i don’t really have room and 2.  they seem to be a problem with most banders, so i’m holding off on them for awhile.  i’d like to get closer to goal before i start introducing them back into my diet.

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chipotle bowl (just barbacoa, sour cream, cheese & lettuce)

the hardest part of this journey so far, is LISTENING TO MY BODY.  some days i feel SO HUNGRY, and after 4 bites, i feel full.  i want to continue to eat, because i convince myself that there is NO WAY those little bites of food have made me full, but they do!  if i feel hungry at work, i’ll pop in a piece of gum, and if i’m still hungry after 20 minutes, i’ll let myself eat a snack, if i’m not, i’ll continue chewing my gum and drinking my water.  i had my first fill wednesday and know that now it’s more important than ever that i start measuring my food to 1/2 cup portions.  i don’t want to risk stretching my pouch and ruining everything i’ve gone through over the last year because i was being mindless.

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snack: 1/4 cup of mixed nuts

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tuna salad + pork rinds

and yes, i had my first fill!  and it wasn’t that bad! so, i’m a really big baby when it comes to needles.  why i decided to get the weight loss surgery that included needles is beyond me, but i did good!  i went into the hospital and checked-in.  about an hour of waiting later, they were ready for my fill.  my doctor does all fills under fluoroscopy, which is basically just a real-time x-ray.  they insert the needle into the port, remove all the fluid, then insert however many CCs of saline they decide on, depending on how much restriction you need.  this is followed by a barium solution (to show contrast) to see how much restriction there really is.  well, while this was going on, they realized the needle they had inserted had a crack in it, so they had to insert another needle.  after that, everything went fine, and i now have 4.4cc’s in my band.

after a fill, your stomach can swell where the band is attached, so my doctor put me on 2 days of full liquids, 2 days of soft foods, then back to solid food again, being careful to not get anything stuck!  today was day 1 of soft foods and my 1 egg + 1 egg white, which i could only eat 4 bites of, has already kept me full for 2 hours at this point, so i’d like to think i can feel the restriction from the fill.

photo16post fill, liquid phase:  cream of chicken soup mixed + broth + unjury chicken soup protein

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post fill, soft food phase:  scrambled egg w. cheese & ketchup

so, i’m sure i’ve bored you enough by now!  this has been my life, lately.  wake-up, work, workout, cook dinner (& lunch for tomorrow), watch a show or two on tv, then pass out.  i don’t hate it.  i feel great and my attitude has been amazing, so no complaints here :)



Q: what have you been up to lately?

 

 

life with lap-band

hey guys!  long time no talk!  i’m 3 weeks post-op tomorrow and feeling great!  i’ll give you a quick update, because i’m sure you don’t want to read over 3 weeks of details about my life.

so, surgery.. surgery went well thursday morning (may 8th).  i’m not going to lie though, i was HURTING afterwords. i had read a lot about gas pains and discomfort from the gas they pump into you during surgery, but i didn’t have any of that.  what i did have was some serious discomfort on my right side from my port.  since they stitch your port (to fill the lap-band with saline) to your muscle wall, it can become pretty sore after surgery.  getting in and out of bed and on and off the couch was excruciating the first 4 days.  i also had a hiatal hernia repair, which could have contributed to the pain.

Capture

after a few days, i was feeling back to normal.  i was thankful to have my sister there with me, even though i hate having people take care of me.  as much as i want to get up and get myself every drink and protein shake, it was too unbearable, and she was there to help me out.

my post-op diet was full liquids once i left the hospital friday morning.  while i was in the hospital, i sipped on little cups of water or broth, but wasn’t able to drink much at a time, because i was still pretty swollen from the surgery.  my full liquid diet included 2 – 8oz protein shakes, i used protizyme peanut butter cookie (SO good), and 1 – 8oz creamy soup, mixed with protein.  for the protein, instead of doing unflavored, i tried unjury chicken soup flavor and was pleasantly surprised!  it had a really great flavor and didn’t get lumpy.  i mixed it with both cream of chicken soup and golden mushroom.  i stuck with the mushroom, because the cream of chicken hurt my stomach.

within the first week, i lost 7 lbs!  i know, i was only drinking liquids, and had a very low calorie diet, but i was still excited with this loss.  i had a one week follow-up appointment with my nurse practitioner and she was very happy with my results up until then.  at that appointment she moved my diet from full liquid to stage 2 and 3 ‘mushy’ food.  which is just easily chewed foods that aren’t dry. she recommended eggs, chicken/egg salad, steamed veggies, yogurt, and things like that, making sure i was still getting 60 g of protein in daily.

she also cleared me to exercise!  well, not the fun kind of exercise, like lifting, she said i was allowed to swim and try out cardio.  no heavy lifting or ab workouts. if you know me, you know i hate cardio, but i know i need to get active, so i’ve been in the gym every weekday for the last 2 weeks getting my sweat on.  i started out with steady state elliptical and treadmill routines, but then tried some HIITs to change it up.  i like HIITs a lot better because i don’t have time to watch the minutes drag by, i’m too busy changing the speed up.

here’s a comparison picture of the day of surgery and then 1 1/2 weeks later:

photo 1

its not a huge transformation, but i was wearing the same outfit and wanted to see if there was difference.  i can tell in my stomach area, some.  also my work pants are fitting looser already, so its helping me remain positive.

as far as the band goes,  i feel some restriction in the mornings, especially when i’m eating food, not drinking a shake, but as the day goes on, food doesn’t satisfy me as long.  i’m trying to keep my portion around 1/2 to 3/4 cup, but sometimes, i’m hungry with an hour or two.  i’ve heard some people refer to this as ‘bandster hell’ because you have the band inserted with no restriction, so you’re still doing all the work, eating very little, without feeling fuller longer.  i’m determined to breeze right through this phase until my first fill in 3 more weeks.

all-in-all, everything is going REALLY good.  i’m SO happy with my decision.  this wasn’t an easy one for me to make.  i was SURE i could do this on my own, but i just couldn’t make it work.  i have my 3 week follow-up appointment tomorrow morning, so i’m hoping i will get moved to light lifting and a few less food restrictions.

and because i was feeling really good this morning, i took a picture to document my mood.  30 lbs down and feeling great!

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  • highest weight: 303 lbs
  • current weight: 273 lbs
  • weight loss: 30 lbs
  • 1st goal weight: 175 lbs

 

hope y’all are having a great week!!

 

 

head hunger

hey guys!  happy friday! got any big plans for the weekend? none here.. sadly.

i started my liver shrinking diet yesterday!  but first, i’ll show you my last meal:

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mmm sushi.  i ate until i was stuffed, but this place has the BEST sushi in town for a great price.

the point of the liver shrinking diet is to reduce the size of your liver by up to 40% so it is easier to perform the bariatric operation.  in completely non-technical terms, the liver sort of sits on top of your stomach, and to attach the band, they need to lift the liver out of the way.  if the liver is too big, the surgeon can make the executive call to stop the surgery and wait until the liver has shrunk enough.

the diet is a lower carb, low calorie, high protein diet.  the surgeon gave me a list of what is acceptable and not, so this is what i’m currently doing:

  • breakfast:  Ensure high protein shake
  • snack:  diabetic friendly yogurt
  • lunch: Ensure high protein shake
  • snack:  cucumber with 2 T greek yogurt mixed w. ranch seasoning
  • dinner:  4 ounces of lean protein + unlimited veggies

yesterday, since i was at the hospital, i didn’t get very hungry, but i’m feeling the effects today.  as i type this on my lunch break, i’ve had all but the yogurt, and i’m pretty hungry.  i’ve been trying not to think about it, but its happened more than i like.  i know i have a food addiction, and i’m going to have to work on this habit, because after i’m banded, i will need to control myself.  the band wont stop what i’m putting in my mouth.  it will just help me feel fuller, quicker.

so anyway, i had 3 appointments at the hospital yesterday to get ready for surgery may 8th.  first i had the pre-admittance testing which included blood work, an EKG, and a chest xray.  they all went fine and after about an hour and a half, i was finally able to drink some water.  you cant eat or drink anything before the apt, so i was THIRSTY by the time i was done.

photo 364564

next, was the physical with the nurse practitioner.  she was super nice and answered all my questions.  she told me what to expect and all that other jazz.  it was a fairly quick appointment, then i had to wait around for another 2 hours for the next appointment, with the doctor.  that appointment was simply going over the surgery one last time and signing all the consent forms.

all in all, it was a good day, i’m more excited than ever to get to this surgery over and done with and get to the good part.

i think i’m going to start tracking my weight at the end of each post, like highest, current, goal, total lost.  just for myself so see how far i’ve come.

hope you all have a great weekend!!

 

  • highest weight:    303
  • current weight:    295
  • goal weight:        170
  • weight lost:            8

 

i got my date!

guys, apparently i’m only good at posting once a month these days?  life has been SO busy lately!  i’m not complaining, but i’ve barely had a free minute to do anything.  my days lately have been filled with work, family, house projects, enjoying spring, and other fun events with friends.

so on to lap-band stuff (sorry if this is boring for some), after 5 WEEKS of waiting to hear from insurance, i took it upon myself to call the company and found out i was approved for surgery march 23.  i called my doctors office the next week, thinking they would have received that information by that point, to find out they didn’t have anything.  after almost a full day on the phone and playing phone tag with insurance and my surgeon’s office, i got all the answers i needed.

i’m scheduled for surgery may 8th!  i have 2 more full days worth of appointments which include a seminar tomorrow and pre-surgery testing/questions/consent next thursday.  i should learn more about my pre-op, liver shrinking diet at the seminar and should be put on that either this friday or next friday.  i’m not sure if my surgeon requires 2 weeks or 3 weeks of the pre-op diet.

as exciting as all of this is to me, i’m still getting negative feedback from some people.  i received a voicemail from my mom about a week ago, telling me if i adopted a plant based, vegan diet i wouldn’t need “to be cut open”.  i’ve also gotten my fair share of snark comments from co-workers.  this may be the most frustrating aspect of the surgery.  i almost wish i would have kept this process to myself because people can be hurtful, whether they know it or not.   this has been something i’ve thought about since i was 18.  for almost 20 years i’ve had to be mindful of what i put in my mouth, and when i’ve failed at doing that, my weight showed that.  i know i’ve said it before, but i don’t want to be 50 and still waiting to experience life.  as much as i loved costa rica last february, my experience would have been 100x better had i weighed 100 lbs less.

i just need to keep reminding myself that i’m doing this for myself and myself only.  i’m the one that can’t look in the mirror after i get out of the shower, who hates getting dressed in the morning, whose body constantly aches from the excess weight.

i promise i want to get back to updating this blog at least weekly, for no one but myself.  so i can see how far i’ve come and see all the obstacles i faced throughout this journey.  so if you’re still reading, thanks for the support!

ps.  can you just look how little my basset was 3 years ago.  man, as much as i miss that baby face, that first year was a hard one with him!

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