Happy Surgiversary to Me!

Hey guys! How’s everyone doing? I just wanted to let y’all know I have been getting all your Facebook messages and emails, it’s just taking me a while to respond because there’s a lot of them. I promise I will keep getting back to you guys as quickly as possible! Thanks for all of the love and support though!

Two days ago (July 22nd) was my one year Surgiversary. Crazy! It’s actually hard for me to even comprehend fully how far I’ve come. I recognize that I have a long way to go still, but I’ll be damned if I don’t take full credit for how far I’ve come! Surgery is not the easy way out. This last year has been one of the hardest of my life. Surgery is a tool. You must have the strength and will to utilize that tool for positive results. I am incredibly proud of how much I have utilized this tool. This surgery has been one of the best decisions of my life!

A year ago I ate like shit. The idea of exercise was almost comical. I sat in bed like a slug most of the time. The life I was living was honestly pathetic. Not anymore! I live life to the fullest now. I play with Autumn, I spend tons of time with my family and friends, I take trips, I exercise regularly… I have taken a huge bite out of life. I could never go back to how I was before. Never. I am 240 pounds as of this morning, which puts me at a total loss of 90 pounds since I began my journey! 90 pounds!! Holy crap. How did I celebrate my Surgiversary? Alex and I went to dinner at Bonefish Grill (where I skipped the carbs and ate shrimp, scallops, and french beans), and then I went for a 35 minute run! Yup, things have definitely changed!

I just wanted to say how much I love and appreciate every single one of you. I never knew my blog would become this big. I thought I would be lucky if all of my friends and family read it. I was wrong. Every morning I wake up to tons of emails, Facebook messages and friend requests, and text messages from weight loss surgery friends I’ve made along the way. The support I’ve received is dumbfounding. I am not done blogging. I intend on keeping up with this blog as long as possible. It may not always be about weight loss surgery, but I want to keep you guys updated and keep y’all in my life. We’re now in this together.

Love, happiness, and health to all!

Dimand Girl

HW: 330

SW: 310

CW: 240

“Inevitably at some point you will fall off the wagon. The difference between those who succeed and those who fail is having the courage to get back on again.”- Unknown

“The difference in winning and losing is most often… not quitting.”- Walt Disney

“If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it.”- Unknown

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^^Before and Afters!^^

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^^Look how “normal” I look!!^^

Life is Beautiful

Today’s post might be a little deeper then usual. I’ve had a lot of thoughts lately and I’m using today’s post as half catch-up for y’all and half diary for me. Okay? Ok.

When we got back from Canada I was a little sad. It’s hard to come home after an incredible vacation. For the last week or so I’ve submerged myself in friends and positive experiences. I’m already feeling exponentially better. I’ve thought a lot recently about life. Life is just so short. Too short to be spending it with people that make you feel negative at all. I realize that negative encounters will happen no matter what (at work, at school, in public, etc). But I fully choose to spend the vast majority of my free time around people that make me happy. I am honestly insanely blessed to have the group of friends I have. It’s not common to meet a 24 year old mom who is married and still see’s her friends 3-5 times a week. This is how I know God watches over me. Some people go a lifetime searching for the happiness I’ve found in a short 24 years.

Three birthday’s have come and gone: July 8th- my brother-in-laws birthday. July 9th- my brother’s birthday. July 10th- Dinah’s birthday. The only birthday I had the opportunity to celebrate of those was Dinah’s. It was an awesome day! We all had lunch and beer at a new BBQ joint called Smokey Bones. Alex had work that day so it was just Timur, Mel, Dinah, and I. Alex’s dad watched Autumn for a couple hours. After lunch we went back to my place and went swimming. Be played football in the pool and had a blast! When Alex came home we all talked and hung out. Great day and night!

We went to the beach a couple days ago! It was freakin incredible! The water was perfect, it was a beautiful day outside, and Autumn had the time of her life. We built sand castles, went swimming, collected rocks, and eventually got dinner and went home. I love the beach!

Believe it or not (NOT!), I will be celebrating my one year Surgiversary in exactly one week. Insane, right?! It’s just incredible, when looking back at who I used to be, how far I’ve come. I’m definitely a different person. I seek adventure now. I have even more confidence now. I have the energy of a child. I take advantage of life. I have never been happier! I never even imagined that the change would be this drastic. I feel completely and utterly renewed. I say this with all of my confidence: I will never go back to who I was before. Never.

In lieu of my upcoming Surgiversary let’s talk a little more about where I’m at. I weigh 240, and my highest weight was 330. That’s a total loss of 90 pounds!! My weight the day of surgery was 310, so that’s still a loss of 70 pounds. I’m insanely proud of myself! Admittedly, I’ve been terrible about exercising. I am much more active then I was before, but I need to start exercising again. I also want to start water tracking, calorie counting, and protein watching again. I’ve stopped with all of that. At this point I’m just kind of being conscientious of what I eat/drink. That’s not enough though. My goal is to get below 200, and I will accomplish that. I really and definitely will.

I also wanted to include some more NSV’s (non scale victory’s): 1.) I started at 4xl. It’s much harder to find cute clothes at that size. I wear xl now! I can shop at almost any store! 2.) My stamina is out of this world! I can walk, jog, run, and jump without flinching. 3.) I fit everywhere. In restaurant booths (even smaller ones), in every seat, in roller coasters, etc. I’m never even worried about it now. 4.) I look in the mirror, and love that I see! I’ve become pretty conceited actually (hopefully in a good way!). I have a million selfies of me now, face and body. I’m so proud of how I look!

Health, happiness, and love to all!

Dimand Girl

HW: 330

SW: 310

CW: 240

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”- Dr. Seuss

“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”- Vince Lombardi

“Never explain yourself. Your friends don’t need it, and your enemies won’t believe it.”- Belgicia Howell

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^^Happy Birthday again, brother!!^^

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^^Happy Birthday Dinah! What an amazing day!^^

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^^Yup, sometimes I splurge on ice cream!^^

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^^I love my friend time!!^^

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^^Beach outing!^^

Bonjour!

Bonjour everyone! I’m so sorry it’s been basically a month since I’ve updated you guys. If it makes you guys feel any better, I was caught up in happiness!

Bare with me today, I have a long update. But first thing’s first:

HAPPY (belated) FATHER’S DAY to all you amazing dad’s out there!! Sorry I’m so late in saying that. How did y’all celebrate Father’s Day? I worked during the day but when I got off at 4 pm Alex and I went to Evanston. We did a chocolate sampler at this adorable Belgium Cafe (called Leonida’s) and then we had French food and wine at our favorite French restaurant (Jilly’s Cafe). After dinner we went to Dave and Buster’s and played arcade games for hours. By the time we got home Autumn was already asleep but it was an amazing day!

Canada was amazing. I can’t even put an explanation point after that sentence because I’m too sad to have left Canada. Alex and I are about 100% sure that we will live there one day in the near future. We want to apply for dual citizenship and live in Ottawa. I have never fallen more in love with a place in my life. St. Louis was beautiful. But Canada was home.

It was a 7 day trip. The first day we got to Toronto basically just to lay our heads down at night. Toronto was nice, but it was rainy so we barely got to see it (yet). The next day we went straight into Montreal. Wow. I was dumbfounded when we arrived. Everything is in French. The street signs, the stores, everything. Alex and I went on a dinner date, and we were the only English speakers in the restaurant. Everyone greets you with “Bonjour!” A trait which I also picked up. The first day we just explored a little bit, and then went to the hotel and went swimming (that’s the night that we had the dinner date). The next day we went into the heart of the city and parked and walked for miles. The city is beautiful! Not as large as Chicago but still traditional looking and beautiful. We went to St. Josephs Church. It’s HUGE. We climbed all of the stairs to the very tip-top. Something I would have never been able to do a year ago. The sight was intoxicating. It over-looked the entire city. The clouds seemed so close that at points I literally felt like I was floating up to heaven. For lunch we found an adorable French cafe called Duc Du Lorraine. It only had 10 tables. I felt like I was in Paris. We had dishes like roasted chicken in a white wine sauce, and finished our lunches with 3 amazing desserts (the cafe doubles as a pastry shop). I probably gained three pounds that day, but luckily I walked it off. Our time in Montreal was like something from a dream. My smile couldn’t be moved. In fact, I don’t think I stopped smiling for the entire trip.

After Montreal we set off for Ottawa. for those of you who don’t know (I didn’t until this trip), Ottawa is the capital of Canada. The first day in Ottawa we explored the city a little bit. We drove through to see all the buildings. Then we went swimming at the hotel. Timur and Soph were nice enough to watch Autumn again so Alex and I could have another dinner date. We went into the downtown area and ate dinner together on a patio over looking the city. I was beaming. By the way, it just-so-happened that we wound up in the capital for Canada Day (our equivalency to the 4th of July). The next day we took a taxi into the city again (all of us) and walked around. We took a tour of the Parliament Building (even went up the clock tower), went into souvenir shops, ate lunch downtown, took a tour of Rideau Hall (home of the Governor General), etc etc etc. This was one of my favorite days of the trip. After about eight hours of exploring the city we went home, ate dinner together, and swam. After swimming I asked Timur and Soph if they could take Autumn out for a bit so Alex and I could have some alone time (#sorrynotsorry). Well, after Alex and I had some alone time we got dressed and left to find the rest of our crew. It was the night before Canada Day and there was an insanely loud party across the hall. Tons of people (our age group), loud music, etc. Long story short, we met some of them and they invited us to the party. Since we didnt know where Timur Soph and Autumn were, we went to the party. Everyone was so friendly and incredible. The vibe was amazing. We were dancing, mingling, and just celebrating life. Did I mention how much I love Canada?

The next day was Canada Day. We woke up bright and early to see the changing of the guard and watch the Prime Minister speak. Celebrating Canada Day in the capital was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. We saw the Prime Minister, saw a bunch of Canadian bands and singers play on stage, and proudly waved our Canadian flags as we did so. All the roads were shut down and the whole city was literally one huge party. I have never seen anything like it. It was one of the best days of my life. I was actually horribly sad to leave.

After a long day of celebrating in Ottawa we drove to Toronto. When thinking of Toronto, three words come to mind: huge, modern, and gorgeous. All the buildings were literally breathtaking. Pictures would never do that place justice. We ate dinner downtown and explored the city, then went back to the hotel and went swimming. Though I love Toronto, I felt fine only having a day there. There’s not as much to see as there is in Ottawa.

We woke up and immediately “set sail” for Niagara Falls. Oh. My. Gosh. All of our jaws dropped when we got there. It was like the holy land of adventure. First we walked around the town (before we went to the actual fall’s). We rode the Skywheel (a giant Ferris wheel over-looking the falls). Then we went to an awesome wax museum! We went shopping, had ice cream, and ate lunch (sushi for me, hot dogs for everyone else). We went on a ride where you go through this “haunted house” (it’s kid friendly) and you have to hit these ghost targets. Very fun! Finally we walked up to the Fall’s. Wow. We all just stood there to breath it in. We decided on a last minute whim to buy boat tickets to go up to the Falls. This, I think, may have been the most amazing memory for me on the whole trip. We all put on poncho’s, got on the boat, and literally went in the middle of Fall’s. Everyone was soaking wet but cracking up hysterically and having the time of our lives. Autumn has never looked happier. It was the perfect finale to a perfect trip. We explored some more and eventually we headed back home.

As I said before, I have never fallen more in love with a place. I can honestly say this was the best trip of my life. Being home just hasn’t felt the same to any of us. We are already researching home prices in Ottawa (that’s the place we’ve decided to eventually move to), how to attain dual citizenship, etc. We will go home one day. Canada: Until we meet again! Next time hopefully it will be a one-way drive.

Oh yeah, and HAPPY (belated) FOURTH OF JULY!!! I just missed everything this month, didn’t I? What did you guys do the 4th? Do y’all have cool traditions? We brought our friends to my in-laws house were we saw family, grilled, drank, and played games. It was VERY fun! It was cool having a bunch of our friends hang out with Alex’s family and get to know them better. Afterwards we went home with out friends and cooked a huge feast! We made burgers, hot dogs, potato salad (was store bought), corn on the cob, etc. After dinner we had flag cookies and then drove over to a carnival. We all went on a bunch of rides (including Autumn) and then at night we watched fireworks together on a blanket. It was an incredible night and it made coming home from vacation much easier!

In other smaller update news: we’ve been swimming a ton, and I love it! During the colder months of the year I feel like a fish out of water. Every summer it’s amazing to be reconnected to my “second home”. Also, Autumn celebrated two firsts! Her first time having her nails painted, and her first movie in theaters. And they were both on the same day (July 5th)!

Back to the trip (kind of). I was absolutely fine doing all the walking (which by the way, there was a lot of). I did gain 5 pounds of the trip (EEK!), but I’ve since lost it all and even another pound. I stopped watching what I ate for a while, but I’m starting to get back on track again. The biggest thing I need to watch is water intake.

I promise not to go so long without updating again!

Love, happiness, and adventure to all,

Dimand Girl

HW: 330

SW: 310

CW: 241

“Weight loss is like driving: if you ever veer off the road, just make a U-turn and head back in the right direction.”- Unknown

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”- Unknown

“Always find time for the things that make you feel happy to be alive.”- Unknown

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^^Happy Father’s Day to the two best Father’s out there!!^^

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^^Our Father’s Day celebration!^^

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^^Did I mention how good I look in a swimsuit now?!^^

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^^Bonjour from Montreal!^^

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^^Ottawa!^^

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^^Toronto!^^

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^^Niagara Falls!!^^

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^^Fourth of July Festivities!!^^

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^^A day of first’s!^^