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Friday, August 31, 2012

Farewell to August.......

Sitting on the edge of my seat just waiting for September......
Can't wait for the month of September.....
I just love September......
Dear September....what took you so long to get here?

Okay, let's try this again.....

WTF? September is coming? 

For anyone who works in higher education, the mere mention of the word SEPTEMBER sends tremors through our bodies.  September is like a huge boulder falling from the sky heading straight for you.  And, you can't do a damn thing about it.    There's no running from it.  It's gonna hit you no matter what.  And, that boulder is going to stay firmly planted on your body for many, many weeks.  Considering this is my 33rd September doing what I do, you would think I would have a suit of armor to protect me or I would know a really good place to hide where no one can find me....

Monday, August 27, 2012

Leaving on a jet plane......

all my bags are packed and I'm ready to go.....

It's Monday and I'm coming off a  very busy but a very nice weekend.  Now, I'm getting ready to jetset off  for a quick work trip to Washington DC.  As much as I'd love to say that I'll be able to sneak a little bit of enjoyment into the trip, the most I can probably hope for is a cold martini at the hotel bar.  It's gonna be all work and no play.  It's not the way I would prefer to usher out the summer.  However, since I've known about it for awhile now, I've come to terms with the idea that I'll be closing out the summer with a work trip instead of a fun trip. 
I could use a fun trip right about now.
Typically, each year during this week, Carmen and I are looking forward to a fun trip over Labor Day to the party islands.  Sadly, this year it's not going to work out.  Sometimes that's what happens--both of us have work obligations and other commitments that prevent us from doing it this year. 
I'm missing that trip already.....
It feels like our vacation to the beach was a long, loooonnnnggg time ago. 
My good vacation vibes have faded with my tan.....
Yes, I'm feeling a little bit sad about the fact that we aren't going to the party islands this year.

Last year's wonderful trip at one of our favorite places!

Last night, I kept putting off packing for my DC trip.  As I headed up the steps to get my suitcase, I had a few moments of panic.  The attire for the activities on the trip is "professional casual".  So, I planned to pack clothes that I haven't worn since the academic year was over in May.  My summer office attire was more casual than "professional casual".  I was worried that I wouldn't fit into anything!   Between the happy hours and the parties and the entertaining and those few trips to Dairy Queen and all the other carefree summer behaviors I exhibited since May, I could feel the doubt creeping into my heart.  It's a feeling that I don't like having.  It reminds me of all of those years of misery I had to endure if I had to go somewhere where I was required to wear something specific---whether it was casual, dressy, professional or formal.....I never knew if I would fit into something I already had.  It was a constant, terrible, punishing and debilitating feeling---beating  away at me through all the pounds and through all the sizes. 
Fat girl behavior never really goes away.  As much as I try to suppress it, there are moments when it rears it's ugly, ugly head. 
There's always that worry that if I misbehave, I will have to pay with my pants. 
It always creeps in when I least expect it.....ugh. 

Have no fear, I am not going to be trapesing around Washington DC in the wrong type of clothes.....
Everything fit just fine.
It's a good feeling.  
But, that doesn't mean that I should throw caution to the wind when it comes to what I'm putting into my body.  What it  tells me is that my Lapband does give me the control that I need to help me maintain my weight and  that my banded lifestyle over the past five years has served me well.  It's a good wake up call---a reminder that I got this tool to help me and it is doing it's job.  I have to respect it enough to do my job too.  

See you in  a few days.......

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's all about the JOURNEY......not the destination!

........and I am on a fast moving train!  

As thrilled as I am that Friday has arrived and that the weeks go by so lightning fast that Fridays seem to come quicker and quicker, I still need things to sssssslllllllloooooowwwww down just a little.
I need a moment to catch my breath. 
I need a moment to clear my head.
I need a moment to close my eyes.
But, mostly, I just need a moment to just experience the moment.  
 It's August 24.....when did that happen?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Senior she comes!

Without me......

I would be lying to you if I didn't tell you that I am feeling sad and *this* close to tears this morning. 
Thankfully, I have not put my make up on yet because I am pretty sure that the waterworks will be opening up any minute now.....

Today my sorority girl will be heading back to her college life.....for her fourth and final year.
For the past three years, the move itself was a huge part of the process of me dealing with her leaving.
However, because of some work commitments and other obligations that I have to contend with, I am not going to take that road trip.
Thankfully, our son is still home on his little stop over between his PhD and doing what he is doing next.  So, he is taking over the duties of packing up  the SUV with all of  her earthly belongings, taking the trip to collegeland carrying all of earthly belongings and maneuvering all of her earthly belongings up to her attic room at the sorority house.  
As harrowing and exhausting as that all sounds, I have to tell you---I will miss it.
The move itself has always been a part of the process that helped me deal with what lies ahead---missing the life and laughter my girl brought to our home. 
My sweet girl and I had a wonderful summer.
The memories that remain will bring me  many smiles  and yes, a few tears.......
It was truly the best summer ever......(I know I say that every year but I mean it this time!)
My 2 children and I at a family celebration....

Toni counting down to 21!
The girls--ready to hit the bars at midnight on Toni's 21st!
Midnight at the bar on her 21st Birthday!

Toni at her first official Happy Hour with Mom....on her 21st Birthday!
Toni and Cousin Matt at the Kenny Chesney Concert (with my sister and my cousin in the background)....

Toni and her long-time friend Ali at the Kenny Chesney concert

Toni and I at Gamble Mill--Celebrating Vince's PhD

Last night.....Toni and I sharing a bottle of wine and antipasti at one of our favorite summer watering holes
--bidding farewell to our summer together...8-(

For today.....I will be gentle with myself. 
I might also need to go to Happy Hour.... without my favorite newly minted 21 year old.....

Monday, August 20, 2012

August continues.......

here in Judiland.......

Things are buzzing away here in my little suburban hamlet.
In addition to  fighting off a totally crazed blog stalker.....a very rude someone with a severe case of potty mouth.....the past few days have been spent nursing Toni back from her not-so-fun oral surgery.
Thankfully---just in time for the arrival of our out-of-town family last night and my return to work today--she turned the corner.  The bleeding has subsided and the pain has reduced itself to discomfort.  So, she's off the pain meds that were making her loopy and unable to navigate on her own.   Plus, she is finally able to take in some food and keep it in.   Always a good thing.  
Although I always think I'll get lots of stuff done when I'm sequestered at home, things don't always work out quite the way I plan.    In addition to not getting much sleep, playing nurse maid is quite time consuming.  Sure, I got a few things done here and there but I got nowhere near done what I had thought I would.   What that means is that yesterday was a maddening day of playing catch up and getting things ready for our NJ family's arrival.  By pulling a few strings and the kindness of a friend with a big truck, we were able to clear out our dining room of the old furniture and  pick up the new set yesterday afternoon and get things set up for our big family dinner tonight.  What that also meant was that I had to scale back my plans to do a major cleaning of the dining room before the furniture arrived.  I got up at the crack of dawn yesterday and spent a few hours doing the floors and the china closet and then  I decided that it was clean enough....
How things look right now.....I got things set up for our dinner late, late, late last night after hours of food prep!

Thankfully, my son the Doctor is home so he will be keeping an eye on his sister's condition and  running errands for me today.  I am leaving him with a list of things that need to be picked up and tasks that need to be completed before I get home and jump feet first into getting dinner on the table before all of our guests arrive.   I am so grateful that our new table can seat 12 comfortably and about 15 if they squish together real tight.  It will make family gatherings so much nicer. 
Although I was extremely excited about such a big table, I failed to think about the fact that I did not have a table cloth to fit it!  All of my table cloths were 120 inches---not nearly long enough!   Of course, I didn't realize it until very late yesterday afternoon--when stores were ready to shut their doors.  So, I frantically raced out in search of a 140 inch one!  Trust me....they are not easy to find. the nick of time....before Bed, Bath and Beyond locked their doors.....I slid through and found one that would work!  Usually, I think of little decorating details like table cloths.  But, living on little to no sleep for the past 5 days did a job on me.....

So, what am I putting on my new dining room table tonight?

Assorted Italian cheeses
Balsamic Roasted asparagus, bella mushrooms, zucchini and banana peppers
Caesar Salad
Caprese Salad
A big, big antipasti platter
Raw veggie platter (green and purple endive, celery, red peppers and yellow peppers) with this  yummy dip!
 Shrimp Fra Diavolo
and.....lots of VINO!  

Food. Food. Food.......

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Need YUMMY soft foods? I'm your MAMA!

Baked ricotta with roasted tomatoes.....yumo!

Trust me, I know all about  great tasting soft foods and liquid foods.
In fact, I'm pretty much an expert.  Thanks to my Lap band.  
Ask any Lap banded person and they will rattle off a list of no less than 101 of them in 30 seconds flat.
We got it all figured out.
Not only were we subjected to the liquid diet phase and the mushy food phase of Lapbanding (making us true authorities on the subject!) , we also know very well that soft mushy foods and liquids go right through our Lap bands....thank you very much.    
Every once in awhile, some of us (ah-hem) do partake in  mushy food and liquid binges....yes, it's true.   
Don't forget---us Lap banded folks knew our way around food before our Lap bands so we made it our business to know a thing or two about the kind of food we could eat with abandon after our Lap band!  We're smart like that.....
So, if you're going to have any kind of surgery or procedure that requires you to only eat soft foods or consume's good to be my daughter. 

It's oral surgery day for Toni here in Judiland.
It's a pretty ugly surgery.....definitely not one to look forward to.
She's had her fair share of teeth-related issues these past few years.
And, I'm pretty sure I'm keeping the dentist community is business!
Not fun.  Nope, not fun at all!
My heart is hurting.....
Although she is the one having the surgery and I have complete sympathy for what she will have to endure, her mommy needs a little love too. 
So, what do I do when I need a little love?
Yep, I head into the kitchen.  
That's where I have been all night long.
We can't let my little Size 2 princess starve now can we?
And, we can't let her mother lay awake all night with worry staring blankly into space.
Put the two together and you've got a huge smorgasboard of every damn soft food imaginable!
With everything I've been cooking in my kitchen for the past 10 hours,  I'm pretty sure I could feed 25 oral surgery patients, 25 Lapbanders in the mushy phase and about 5 Lapbanders just looking to comfort themselves with Lap Band friendly foods!
Now, here's the real challenge.....
With all this  amazing band friendly food around the house and me in a bit of a stressed out mode.....let's keep our fingers crossed that I don't need too much comforting.....

Welcome to Judi's Soft Food Emporium......

Chocolate pudding, lemon pudding and vanilla bean ice cream!  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ode to Pasta.....

I thought I wanted you.
I thought I needed you.
I thought I missed you.
So, I came crawling back to you.  
Oh, how wrong I was.
I don't want you.
I don't need you.
I should have kept on missing you.
Oh, pasta, you've done me wrong for the very  last time.  
We're done.  
and ever, ever, ever.  

My love affair with pasta goes way back.
In my lifetime, I probably consumed a few thousand pounds of pasta.
Every kind of pasta!
Trust me..... thousands of pounds of every kind of pasta.  

Then, along came my Lap band.
My pasta eating days were over.
I tried.....let me tell you....I tried.
But, it never worked out too well.
So, I began a life barren of pasta.
To be was okay.  It really was.
Yes, there were moments when I truly missed pasta.
But, the pain it caused me was enough to keep me away.

The pasta.  

Let me begin by telling you.....

Things in Judiland are pretty busy right now.  Our Doctor son is home for a bit of time until he decides where and when he going off to do his doctor things. So, there's been lots of comings and goings and activity surrounding his stop-over at home. There's not a minute that goes by that I am not either planning a meal, shopping for a meal,  making a meal, making arrangements for a meal or cleaning up after a meal.  It's just been one meal after, there and everywhere. 
Our sorority girl is finishing up her summer job, fitting in all those things she didn't get to do this summer (I can't even imagine what that could be!) and  getting to see all of the people she didn't get to see this summer and then closing out  the summer with another gruesome round of  oral surgery this week.  In between all of that, we've been getting things packed up and ready for her SENIOR year of college.....
Then, as if things were not topsy-turvy enough at our house--with the Doctor and all of his stuff laying around and all the newly purchased sorority girl things laying about and people coming and going and all those dishes to do---I made things just a little bit more chaotic by falling madly in love with a new dining room set.  Now, I must confess that I've been on a hunt for new dining room chairs for quite awhile now.  I said I would never part with my table--being that it was a family heirloom that I painstakingly refinished and all.  Well, I guess I'm not all that attached to that table  after all.   No sooner did I spy this dining room set in one of my fav boutiquey furniture places--I already had that lovingly refinished  family heirloom on the back of a pick up truck in my mind.   So, I now have to get that refinished heirloom table and the chairs on the back of a pick up truck for real and send it away somewhere...not sure where...but somewhere.   And, while it's gone and before the new table and chairs arrive--I might as well have the floors redone and do some major cleaning of the dining room.  I mean--the holidays are coming!  Right? 
Let's just add THAT to the list.....

The pasta.

Being that I'm working and going crazy and as busy as ever AND  planning meals and cooking morning, noon and night, I'm running through my standard menus pretty quick.  And, as crazy as it sounds....I'm also  trying to shake things up every so often with a few new recipes.  It's all becoming just a bit overwhelming.  So,  I  decided that in order to make things a bit easier in the menu planning department on week nights when we are doing the "dinner thing" (which has been every damn NIGHT!), I would assign each meal a theme and not stray from that theme.  Having a theme always helps me to ditch menu items that just don't work.  I have a habit of cooking everything in my best recipe arsenal---going out of my mind and making a pretty huge mess.   For instance---I  decided I will do  Mexican or All American or BBQ or Caribbean--to name a few.  It helps to reign me in so that I'm not making my famous seafood nachos and my much-loved roasted asparagus with goat cheese appetizer along with a stuffed turkey!  

The pasta.

Finally, the other night, after much suggestion and lots of pleas,  the time came when I just had to do an Italian theme. 
What's an Italian night without pasta....right?
OMG!  Pasta.  My Lap band does not like pasta one damn bit! 
Of course, I've made pasta a million times since I got my Lapband.
But, this time, because the Italian theme dinner was going to be on a week night--I decided to make the pasta as the main course with only a salad as a first course.  No meatballs or antipasti or eggplant parmagiana or any of that  extra Italian stuff.  
What this meant was that I was going to have to eat the pasta if I wanted to eat dinner.  
I just could not make myself an entirely different dinner.....
Upon hearing this, my entire family shuddered.
They had visions of me having major issues right there at the table! 
But.....I couldn't think of any other way to have a nice enough meal for company while making it easy on myself.  
And, I figured.....who doesn't love a big bowl of good pasta smothered in fresh tomato sauce flavored with garlic and fresh basil.....topped with a handful of  excellent grated romano cheese?
Mamma mia! 
I decided to go with a thin spaghetti since I figured that might work best for me.
It sounded like the perfect plan!  YUMMMMM!
I have to be honest here---I was excited! 
I had been 5 years since I had a bowl of pasta!

The pasta.  

It wasn't bellisimo.....'ve done me wrong for the VERY last time! Tra noi e' finita.


Friday, August 10, 2012



 Today I am celebrating my  FIFTH BANDIVERSARY!
In honor of this occasion, I am going to share what I consider 5 of the top gifts my Lapband has given me......

....The gift of  REAL SUCCESS.  As any life long dieter knows, dieting can be riddled with failure.  Sure, there are moments of success....we have all had them.  Even so, there is always that lingering  fear that the success is short lived.  The fear itself can derail even the best success.  From the first moments the band met my body, my journey began.   Losing those first pounds was exciting.  But, my past failures held me back from viewing those early pounds as successes.  I could not embrace the feeling that those pounds were lost forever.   As time went on, as I learned live as a Lapbanded person and the pounds were coming off--I believed that I was successful.   The feeling was empowering---it not only put a bounce in my step but it also gave me the courage to believe that I could succeed at losing the weight and keeping it off!   And, it provided me with a baseline to realize that with the right tools, the right attitude and the right support--I could be successful at almost anything.  Except for quantum physics, I suppose. 

.....The gift of  TRUE CONFIDENCE.   My constant battle with weight eroded at my confidence.  Sure, I knew I was smart and creative and blessed.   And, I was always outgoing and friendly.  But, deep down inside, I felt self conscious and had that nagging feeling that everyone was judging me on my weight and the fact that I couldn't control it.  Even though my life was always filled with lots of things to do and places to go--there were so many times when I would have preferred to just stay home.  I can't tell you the amount of time I put into thinking about what I was going to wear and wondering if it would fit.  Even going to one of my children's soccer games or dance recitals sent me into a tailspin of how I could mask the fact that I was still battling my weight.  I was a master at diverting attention from how I looked.....I preferred to walk into a room with an amazing tray of food or wearing a spectacular piece of jewelry or a great pair of shoes---just to distract everyone from what I looked like.  I was constantly in awe of anyone who managed to maintain their weight and look good and be healthy. I always felt like the elephant in the room!  My weight loss changed all of that.  The sheer joy of a night out with my friends or my husband or a shopping trip with my daughter is hard to even begin to explain.  Having the confidence to do those things without worrying incessantly about how I look is a gift beyond my wildest dreams.    And, the confidence doesn't stop there--it creeps into every aspect of my life......from my professional interactions to.... well......let's just say....every aspect of my life. 

The gift of  OPEN HEARTEDNESS.   Okay, maybe HEARTEDNESS is not exactly a real word.  But, it's the best way I can describe this gift of becoming a member of a community of people either on a Lapband journey or considering it or about to embark on it.  From the first moment I began to really think seriously about this Lapband thing, I sought out information.  In the beginning--I was just gathering the facts and reading the stories and finding out every damn thing I could about it---on every level--emotionally, physically, spiritually!   Slowly but surely, I found my way to engaging in the community.  Then, came my blog.  Then, came all of my blog friends.  Now, I couldn't imagine my days without my blog or my blog friends (even if some of you don't know I consider you friends....LOL!!!).  As I reflect on what this blog has given me--I realize that it has opened my heart in ways that I never realized was possible.   By writing my blog,  I have explored myself  and my feelings and connected so many of the dots in my life.  And, by reading others blogs, it has given me the opportunity to challenge my thinking and how I view things.  And, through all of that, I have found that my heart is truly open to others and their journeys in more ways than just reading along.  I'm participating in important moments--feeling the joy and the challenges of others while also enriching my own journey.  In the deepest part of my heart, I feel the push to reach out and give back.   I try to find things to write about that will touch people--whether they need a smile or a boost of encouragement or if they just need to find meaning to their own journeys. My heart is filled with happiness that what I am saying in my blog is actually read by others and that the time they spend with me each day might mean something to them.  Reaching out to others, sharing my life and  touching the lives of others is a beautiful thing!    I'm not Mother Teresa but then again....I'm not trying to be....
The gift of GOOD FOOD!  I refuse to each shit food.  Before my Lapband, shit food was as common in my life as good food.  No more.  End of story.  

The gift of SMALLER SIZES.  I am sure you knew I would mention that!  Trust me, I am vain like that.  I'm shallow and self centered and all about the pants.  I'm not going to lie.  I just love not shopping in the plus size department.  I love when my daughter holds up a dress or a shirt in  just a regular store and she shows it to me and says "mom, this will fit you!"    Every time that happens, I feel my heart beat just a little faster.  It's just one of those things.  At the age of 53, I still go ga ga over the latest fashions.  The thrill of knowing I could wear them if I wanted to (and could afford to!) is just a joy beyond joy.   Hello Fall fashions....

So, there you have it, friends.  Five really great things that  my Lapband gave me.  
If you've been reading along since DAY know there are hundreds more......

Thank you all for reading along! 
Here's to another 5 GOLDEN YEARS......

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A pants story.......

Listen, if I told you everything that was going on in Judiland right now, you would not believe me anyway.

So, I figure I'll tell ya a story you might actually believe......

I bought a pair of pricey white capri pants.
I just had to have those pants.
They were just the perfect pair of white pants.
They fit just right, they had a little bit of stretch and they weren't too long or too short.  
Every time I wore then, I felt significantly more special
So, as far as I was concerned, they were worth every penny.
Plus, I had great faith that they were the product of perfect workmanship. 
Until one day.
One fateful day. 
The zipper on my perfect white capri pants somehow got stuck as I was frantically trying to remove them in the ladies room at work.....after drinking quite a bit of water. 
Yeah, that zipper was stuck good.
A woman's worse nightmare. 
As I frantically fought with the zipper, I tried to figure out a plan if I could not get my pants off.
How could I escape the building without people noticing a woman wearing drenched white capri pants running through the halls?
How could I sneak back into my office to get my purse and keys to my car so I could get the hell out of there?
What would I tell my office as to why I never returned?
Just then, I had a thought---maybe I could slide those pants off of me without pulling down the zipper....
Even though it seemed like a very unlikely was my last hope know.
So, I said a quick little prayer, did the sign of the cross and gave those white capris a little tug.
Those babies came off!

Now I just love my white capris even more.
They are the perfectly fitting pants I don't have to unzip to put on and off (never got that zipper fixed!).....
Now, I'm living HAPPILY EVER AFTER in my white capris.....

Sunday, August 5, 2012

In the blink of a young girl's eye....... happens.  
My little girl is 21!  Oh my!  I love having a Happy Hour buddy!

I've been thinking a lot about life.......

 In the past 30 days, my son got his PhD, my daughter turned 21 and I have maintained my 100+ weight loss for 5 years.....
Maybe that's why I've been thinking about life.

So many milestones.....

I can't pinpoint the moment when I began to think about life.
And, I can't pinpoint exactly  what prompted all of this thinking.
I'm guessing it has something to do with the moments that happen during the course of just a regular life..

I am thinking about the moments  that you look back on and say---wow, yeah, that really did my life.  
I have an amazing son who is a DOCTOR and I have  a gorgeous daughter who is 21 and I am not fat!  
When the hell did that  all happen?

I swear I was just 17 and smoking cigarettes under the bleachers....

The moments just keep on coming....without fanfare or fireworks.....
I guess I always thought that life would be dramatic somehow.   Like in the movies or the soap operas.
Right before a big thing was going to happen---music would begin to play.  The music would get more intense until that final moment when the big thing happened....then the melody would coo softly  and you would sit there and reflect in a dreamy sort of way. There might even be tears.
It would be very cinematic and touching.

I never thought moments would just sneak up without music or at the very least....some extra time to savour them.
Am I making any sense to anyone?

I  swear I was just 17 years old.  

I am now 53 years old.
I'm still hanging out with the same cute guitar strumming, super-intense but pretty damn funny (when he is relaxed enough to be) engineer that I've been with all of my adult life...and even some of my non-adult life.  
That cute engineer and I managed to raise two pretty damn great kids.
We are blessed with an amazingly talented son who just finished his long and intense journey to becoming a Phd....who is now leaving the place he's always called home to do things that I could have never imagined a child of mine to do.  My heart is filled with joy yet it  hurts.....
 And, there's that gorgeous, fashionable, beautifully spirited daughter of ours---who I swear danced right out of my dreams--that will be entering her senior year of college---immersed in a life that I could have only wished for her.  How did her college years go so fast?
And, then...there's me.......not living the life of an obese all of these moments. 

It's enough to take my breath away. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Breaker Breaker Big Daddy......

the banded lady is on the highway!   

Yes, friends, that's me behind the wheel of that U-Haul!
Tomorrow, I am taking a different type of road trip. 
I'm heading up to PhDland to pick up the contents of the Doctor's apartment.
His time in PhDland is over next week--he accomplished his goals and he has to vacate his apartment.  
He's heading on to other things....Doctor things. 

But, before the doctor things begin, we have to store all of his stuff. 
So, I got this big sexy truck to haul it in and a nifty little storage unit to deposit it all!
 I'm  putting on my truck driving hat and going on a road trip.
I wonder which shoes I should wear.

Over and out Big Daddy!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

All that's left are the memories.......

and my pretty awesome tan!

Thankfully, I did not return with any "vacation pounds".   As a matter of fact, I came back a few pounds lighter than when I left.  Now if that ain't somethin', I don't know what is!
Although I do credit my band restriction for this lovely reward, I also have to give props to the intensely sweltering heat we experienced as well as to the education that I have experienced over the past five years. 
 I mention the heat because damn it was HOT!   It was over 100 degrees on the beach each day....and I was on the beach each day!  So, there was no beach munching or beach blanket spreads of  gourmet snacks.  And, although I did hydrate with some pretty yummy beach drinks, I also had to have enough water to keep myself alert and not pummeled by heat stroke!  Plus, I was uber careful not to get too overlibated since the walk back to our beach house...although not far....was not exactly fun with the heat even if you were stone sober.  So, yeah....thank you sizzling heat.  
As for what I mean about the education I experienced over the past five years---I  am talking about every little thing that I've learned as a result of being banded.  For one thing, I found out the joys of not being 250 pounds.  That's a biggie (no pun intended!).  In addition--I have learned that I don't need to eat huge portions of everything to enjoy it---a few bites or one serving is all I need to enjoy the taste of or to be satisfied by something I love. Furthermore--- I have learned what a reasonable portion is and I have come to grips with the notion that you don't have to eat every damn thing on your plate just because it's there!   Also---and I think this is the biggest thing---I have learned that there are no forbidden foods.   Knowing that there are no forbidden foods has rescued me from a life of thinking that vacations and celebrations and bad luck and justbecauseit'sTuesday  were the only legal excuses to gorge on eat certain foods.  I have come to understand that I can have whatever I want, whenever I want...... so there's no reason to dive into huge plates because I may not eat it for a very long time.  I could eat it tomorrow if I wanted.  I have learned the enjoyment value of food at a brand new level.   My band has given me more than restriction--it has given me a whole new way of living with and loving food.  In fact, I think food is even more important to me today than it was 5 years go.  So, there you name is Judi and I am a foodie. 
Now, let's revisit my hot vacation.....
Carmen kicking off vacation at the hot tub party!

Carmen and I getting some pool time.....

A little respite from the morning heat after a trip to the light house....

My kind of FIRST AID....a cooler full of martini fixin's

Another sizzlin' day on the beach.....

A double rainbow after a very big storm!

Getting ready to head to the beach with my son, the Doctor!

Going out for a little shopping before hitting the beach!

Flying our Pittsburgh colors at our beach house!

Two men at the table next to us at a Sports Bar did a food eating challenge. Yuck!  It was enough to kill my appetite!

Closing out another lovely beach vacation......

Happy August everyone!
It's my 5th Bandiversary Month and it's gonna be a busy one!