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Monday, July 30, 2012

On the road again........

this time, I'm heading away from the beach.
Overlooking the Chesapeake Bay from the bridge....driving home from the beach!
   
This is definitely not as exciting as driving towards the beach. 
But, life awaits me beyond those wonderful moments at the beach. 
In fact, lots of life awaits me over the next few weeks.
I'm looking forward to sharing all of it with you as I continue to add  my stories from the road on my journey.
Before I do that, I'll be sure to share some tidbits about my days at the beach.
Stay tuned.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The beach is calling.......

I must answer it's call......



This stairway awaits me there!



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It was an itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny yellow polka dot bikini.....

but it ain't mine.   


And, I'm 200% okay with it not being mine!

Okay, now that we've cleared that up......

Yesterday, I shared that infamous picture of me---a 250 pound woman at the beach....a week before my Lapband surgery in August of 2007.   
(it was easy to put it on yesterday.....)
Thinking back, I realize that the only way I would have done that five years ago was if I truly believed that the Lapband was going to work for me.   I mean--really--would I have intentionally put that awful picture of me on the internet for all the world to see if I didn't think that the Lapband was going to be the tool to help me finally succeed at losing weight? 
Let's face it, I have been going to the beach for years and each year after seeing pictures of myself, I would vow to go on a diet and return to the beach the following year  wearing a bikini!   Did I put those dreadful pictures from all those other years out there on the internet?  NO! 
Did I ever wear that bikini?  NO! 
And, why not?    That's the million dollar question!  
Maybe I didn't have faith in whatever diet I was going to embark on.  Or, maybe I was so used to going on diets that didn't work that I wasn't about to put yet another failure out there.  
Or, perhaps I wasn't ready to really lose the weight. (gee, I  swear I was always READY to lose weight!)    
Or, was it that the Lapband is the tool that I needed to finally overcome my struggle? 
Although I give most of the credit for my success to my beloved Lapband, I truly believe that there's more to it than that.  I've seen people who have Lapbands who have struggled with losing the weight and/or maintaining their weight loss.  And, I have seen people who have not had even a measurable amount of success from day one. 
What was the magic for me?  
  • Did the moon and stars align perfectly?
  • Had I hit rock bottom?
  • Was it just "my moment in time"?
  • Was it my frame of mind?  
  • Was it the faith that I had in this tool?   
I can tell you that it wasn't exercise.  If I was going to be completely honest--I didn't (and still don't) have a great work out regimen.  Sure, I walk, walk, walk and I take the stairs instead of the elevator and I do all the "little things" so that I move more.  But, do I do scrunches and lunges and zumba and yoga and aerobics or go to boot camps?  Hell no! How's that for honesty?

Yes, I have always made sure that I keep my band at the right restriction and I do try my hardest to follow most of the band rules and I keep my appointments and I blog and interact with other banders to stay in check.  So, of course, all of that helped.  If I am baring my soul here--I should tell you that even the fact that I did all of that so consistently is amazing to me!   Staying the course for so long doesn't come naturally to me--trust me!   I've got all kinds of examples to prove that!  One look at my trashed walk-in closet that I vowed to keep orderly is a testament to my inability to stay the course....

As I reflect on the gift of this weight loss and wonder why I was blessed with the ability to be successful with this tool,  I am struck by the fact that even 5 years later--I can't exactly pin point what made it work for me!  
How did I get so damn lucky????   Sometimes, that  question keeps me up at night! 
Is it because this time around, my goal was not to get into that bikini?  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Countdown to the Beach.........

Five years ago, I went to the beach a 250 pound woman. 
2007 at the beach! 

I spent 2 glorious (NOT!) weeks sweating like a pig and hoisting my body in and out of my beach chair.
My legs ached, my ego was in tatters and my spirit was on the verge of being crushed.
Yet, I was holding in my heart a glimmer of hope.
That hope was my Lapband. 
Because as soon as I returned from that beach vacation, my journey was to begin.
I had no idea where it was going to take me but I needed something.....anything....to give me the life that I deserved.  To give my husband the wife he needed and my children the mother that they were losing to obesity. 
Although I've returned to the beach several times since that time, I consider this journey back to the beach a true landmark moment.
The fact that I am returning to this same beach 5.....F*I*V*E....years later--- having successfully kept this weight off and not looking like the girl in the picture above is completely amazing to me. 

Did I ever tell you that I love my Lapband?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

On the table this Sunday.......

SUNDAY!



Once again, it's time for a  Summer Sunday Supper......
A few friends, a few nice bottles of wine, a little music, lots of laughter and a simple, refreshing menu.......


Appetizer Course

Endive boats filled with Otria Spinach and Artichoke Greek Yogurt (YUMMMMY!)

Salad Course

Ina Garten's  Watermelon, Arugula and Feta Salad
Martha Stewart's Summer Platter Salad


Main Course

Glazed Salmon
Grilled balsamic glazed vegetables
Summer Risotto

Dessert Course

Lemon Gelato
Sliced strawberries


Have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

OH MY SUGAR DADDY......

Oh, how I've missed you so! 


Last week, a friend of mine offered to make party poppers filled with treats for my daughter's 21st birthday bash.   She just loves to craft and make party favors and decorate and entertain.  So, I knew that whatever she made would be absolutely darling.  Since it was a 21st birthday party, I figured she would fill the party poppers with little bottles of booze. 
 Yes, my head was completely immersed in the 21 year old party theme all week.....forgive me...
So, when she delivered them early one morning, I oohed and aahed with delight.  She had made the most adorable party popper favors---using this website as inspiration (my creative friend used fun patriotic fabric and ribbons instead of the demur pink fabric and satin ribbon used).   These things were seriously cute!  And, they looked just the right size of one of those little bottles of booze they sell for a buck on the register at the Wine and Spirits store.  These things just screamed--open me up and have a party!  So, as you can imagine,  I was just so damn excited to see what was inside--no sooner as she put the key in her car door to leave,  I couldn't help but break one open and see for myself.
And, what to my sneak-peeking eyes did appear?  
A SUGAR DADDY! (just what every new 21 year old needs.....haha)
Before I knew it, I was happily having my own SUGAR DADDY party.  I sunk into my favorite chair and just partied away.   It was exactly what I needed. 
And, you know....it's the perfect Lapbander friend!
Plus, it takes a loooooong time to eat.
And, it's just as much fun to eat as it is to taste!
A big bonus---- the calories and fat aren't so bad either!
Oh, and did I mention that there's also 1 gram of protein in these amazing little suckers?

Party on with your own Sugar Daddys my friends! 
I'd share but my supply is limited. 
Yes, I hid about 10 of the party poppers for myself. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Let the party continue........

without me.  
A day at the Rivers Casino......

I suppose you noticed that I've been AWOL for about a week. 
Have no fear, I am not turning my back on my BLOG.  No. No. No.
And, it's not because I don't have anything else to say.   No. No. No.
It's because I've been off partying like a 21 year old.
I've had a house full of young, beautiful and spirited young women who can party this old party girl under the table.  I am not a pretty site right now.  
My darling little girl turned 21 and it's been one party after another.
We started off with a swanky soirree with a lovely bunch of girly girls at our house to countdown to midnight the eve of her birthday.  Then, we transported everyone to the local bar scene.  It was quite the spectacle.
Then, we got up bright and early on her birthday and hit the spa scene---complete with morning cocktails and strawberries.  After that, it was off to one of her favorite little bistros for a wine drenched lunch, followed by shopping at some of her favorite haunts then capping it off with an afternoon cocktail at a fun outdoor bar.  Then, a little more shopping and it was time for Happy Hour on the porch.  Soon, it was time for dinner at her favorite restaurant   then off to watch the sun set on her birthday from a great roof top bar near our house.  Once night fell, we did our own private bar crawl and had a woo-hoo, yahoo good time until we danced our way home. 
No. It didn't end there.
Yesterday, it was a trip to the casino.  Although we were mildly hung over, we managed to have a wonderful time---even though we didn't win a cent. 
But, I have finally hit the wall.
She went with her girlfriends to a wine and cheese party while I was thrilled to be lounging on the couch nursing my weary body and my very fuzzy brain. 
This morning, I am trying to mentally psyche myself up for an all-day meeting.....yes an all-day meeting.   
Who schedules all day meetings the day after a full 3 days of reliving 21?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Two weeks and counting.......

until I hit the beach.
Bathing suit.....here I come!


Today's challenge:  find my bathing suits.
I know they are hiding out in my closet somewhere.  
I'll bet you thought my challenge would be.....to get my body bathing suit ready.  
No.  It's as ready as it will ever be.  
I am no longer living in a world where I fall into a complete and utter panic mode two weeks before vacation because I have to put on a bathing suit and then start feverishly working out and starving myself to death.  I have matured quite a bit. 
Not to mention the fact that I got a Lapband and lost over 100 pounds.   
Trust me, I am fully aware that no one would mistake me for a Victoria Secret model on the beach but they also could not mistake me for a beached whale either.
 I'm perfectly content being a 53 year old woman who can wear a bathing suit on the beach and not feel completely miserable. 
And, I'm extremely thankful that I am not a bikini-wearing woman!  It's bad enough I have to find one piece bathing suits in my closet.  
Could you imagine the challenge I would have on my hands if I had to find a teensy-weensy bikinis?   
 
 





Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Shake up your 4th of July!



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hottie Alert!

No need to turn the air conditioning on full blast..... I'm not going to post any of the skin baring beauties from Saturday night's Kenny Chesney concert.
What happens on the North Shore, stays on the North Shore!
This is mostly what happened......



As most everyone knows, we are experiencing a historic heat wave here on the East Coast.   It's one hot, humid, sun scorching  day after another.  It's the kind of weather that makes me thank the Lapband gods that I am not carrying around a 115 pound cloak of extra weight on my body.  
Although losing this weight has more advantages than I could ever list, I must admit that the gift of comfort is one that I don't ever want to take for granted.   The fact that my thighs are not rubbed raw and there aren't pools of sweat under rolls of fat on my midsection are scenarios that I do not miss at all.   But, I never want to forget what that felt like!   I want to always remember that if it wasn't for my Lapband, I would have never been able to do so many of the things I do in this heat.....like go for walks, go to concerts, make plans with friends...and all the rest.   No, I'd be secluded in air conditioned places or suffering through the misery of having to be outside enduring the weather wearing sleeves and long pants!  
No, I never want to forget what it felt like to be so HOT that I couldn't put the SIZZLE in  my summer.......

Speaking of HOTTIES......anyone see "Magic Mike"?
I'm thinking of going to a late, late viewing tonight.....

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy July from BACK WHERE I COME FROM......

Pittsburgh, PA......

Heinz field....on the North Shore....last nights' Kenny Chesney Concert
Pre-concert on the shores of Pittsburgh......

My beautiful city!

Summer in Pittsburgh!

 After all that.....I'm kicking off July by taking it easy in the suburbs today........

White Peach Sangria
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup peach flavored vodka
  • 6 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 pound white peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 3/4 cup seedless red grapes, halved
  • 3/4 cup seedless green grapes, halved

Directions:

In a large pitcher, combine dry white wine, peach vodka, lemonade concentrate and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add sliced peaches, red and green grapes.Refrigerate sangria until well chilled, at least 2 hours, or overnight to blend flavors. Serve over ice, and use a slotted spoon to include sliced peaches and grapes with each serving.

 

Tomato Feta Bruschetta

  • 5 roma/plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 sweet onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 French baguette

 

Directions:

Make the bruschetta mixture by mixing tomatoes, onion, garlic, oil, lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Marinate the mixture in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.Cut the baguette in 1/2 inch slices on a diagonal. Toast them in a 425F oven for about 6-8 minutes. The baguette slices should begin to brown and feel crisp and toasty to the touch.Top each baguette slice with a spoonful of bruschetta mixture. Sprinkle with feta cheese and fresh oregano.

 Grilled Salmon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 (6 ounce) salmon fillets

Directions:

Whisk together the brown sugar, olive oil, soy sauce, lemon pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, and garlic powder in a bowl, and pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add the salmon fillets, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, turning occasionally.Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat, and lightly oil the grate. Remove the salmon from the marinade, and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade. Grill the salmon on the preheated grill until browned and the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 5 minutes on each side.

 Enjoy!