Traveling with BariLife!

You guys.

This last month has been an absolute whirlwind. I don’t know where August, let alone 2017 even went.

I was fortunate enough in August to be able to go visit my mom in Connecticut for her birthday, and while there, we spent two nights and three days in New York City. It’s become standard for us to hit the Big Apple whenever I come to visit (gotta love that its less than 2 hours away by train)!

I went on this trip wanting to make sure that I could keep up with the changes I’ve made in my daily routine. I was fortunate to receive some goodies from my amazing friends over at BariLife, and they came in SO HANDY!

You may remember my last post about the newer Lemonade Multivitamin Powder I tried from the fine folks at BariLife, and those convenient packets they are available in? They are absolutely perfect and just small enough to throw in your carry-on or personal item when you’re on the plane and on the go! I got a tub of it, and its super easy to put in snack-size bags, or in the dispenser of your choice for travel, as well!

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I also recently began using the BariLife Probiotic capsules and BariLife Vitamin B1 capsules, which are both just as easy to throw in your bag or organize in your favorite pill box.

I am terrible at eating breakfast, and vacations/trips are always a little hard for me because the time differences and adjusting back to a regular day time schedule, I can’t bring myself to eat for awhile after waking up. I have started carrying scoops of BariLife Natural Whey Protein so that whether I am on a plane, in a hotel, or even out and about, I can just add water and make sure I have the protein and nutrition I need to conquer all the adventures I set out on! This powder has 24 grams of protein, only 1 gram of sugar, is made with milk from hormone-free cows, and sweetened with stevia! They also sent me some cool cereal packets that I threw into my carry-on for a snack option. I have a BariLife Breakfast Sampler I haven’t gotten into yet, but as soon as I do, you’ll hear more about those items, too!

Also, I think I’ve mentioned I am absolutely obsessed with the BariLife Peanut Butter Crunch Bar which packs a punch with 14 grams of protein, is gluten-free, and low sugar. I have them in my locker at work, in my snack basket at home, in my work bag, in my “travel bag” and in the console of my car. I tried some other flavors this time around, and  I am also a huge fan of the Lemon Crunch and Cinnamon Raisin Crunch, too!

Traveling as a post-op can be tough, even 6 years out. I constantly have to evaluate the meals available on flights, to make sure I’m getting everything I need, not eating too much of what I certainly don’t need, and feeling good while I am on the go! I am so grateful that BariLife makes the perfect products to help me stay sane and healthy when I’m out exploring this big world!

I head to New Jersey this Saturday for the Curvy Kate Star in a Bra Live Audition, and I’m feeling great about being able to not only have BariLife keeping me on track as I try to be a little more health-conscious this week (because, um, its a lingerie shoot), but to take with me easily to stay on track while I’m across the country!

Want to learn more? Don’t forget to check out the BariLife Bariatric Supplements 101 Guide! It’s been tremendously helpful for me, as I keep trying to improve my personal health and wellness!

Don’t forget to follow them on the BariLife Instagram, and you can always see me on the SeeSondraSlim Instagram and SeeSondraSlim snapchat too,  where I’ll be showing you how BariLife comes with me on my adventures!

*These products were sent to me at no charge in exchange for my honest review.*

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Veggies, Veggies, and More Veggies!

It’s no secret that I am a veggie fan!

I sometimes choose them as my main and only entree, because they are filling, nutrient filled, and DELICIOUS!

I thought to myself, as I roasted a pan of baby squash and a pan of brussels sprouts yesterday, “I should do a post with all my veggie recipes!” Then I realized, “Oh, too bad it’s not an actual measured recipe!”

I’m that girl who just tosses things into the pan with olive oil-I eyeball it! So, I compiled a list of links to some amazing veggie recipes from my friends at Greatist.com, BuzzFeed Food, and others….so you can do it the “right” way.

29 Ways to Eat Vegetables That Are Delicious

Brown Bag Salad Recipes

SkinnyTaste Oven Roasted Cauliflower

Martha Stewart’s Baked Eggplant Parmesan

9 Mouth-Watering Spaghetti Squash Recipes

51 Easy and Healthy Veggie Sides

If you’re interested in what seasonings I do use for dishes like these:

10960733_10204481038520008_1116741649_oI source most of these things from Costco and Trader Joes, FYI.

Kirkland Organic No-Salt Seasoning

Lawrys Garlic Salt

Dorot Frozen Crushed Garlic

Dorot Frozen Basil

Red Pepper Flakes

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Your favorite balsamic vinegar (toss roasted brussels in it after they’re done, or boil it down to a beautiful reduction to glaze them with-also makes a pretty presentation for company)!

It’s that easy! I hope this gave you some ideas to incorporate more veggies (and healthy deliciousness) into your meals! If you have your own favorite recipes and links, send them my way at SeeSondraSlim@gmail.com, or leave them in the comments! Can’t wait to see what you try!

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It’s All About Perspective…

I know, I know.

It’s been a LONG time since I have blogged…and I swore I’d blog more while on Medical Leave for my thigh lift.

The thing about that is, I seem to forget how emotionally taxing surgery can be…even if it’s really exciting, post-weight loss, ridiculously awesome surgery like a thigh lift!

I had a really hard time….being pretty much incapacitated, being doped up on pain meds, and my incisions splitting, I was a bit of  a wreck.

But you know, I made it. I’ve taken the time to ease back into work, get ready for my first ever ACTUAL vacation, and focus on the upcoming holidays. It’s no excuse…but it’s the truth. For awhile now, the very thought of rehashing all of that here on my blog sorta depressed me.

The fact of the matter is, this blog is all about the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to my journey. So, it’s high time I address that, and keep my word to those who I told I’d share all the details with! You don’t HAVE to read my blog, but I promised myself I’d write it!

Quick recap:

Thigh surgery was semi-successful. At my last post-op appointment, Dr. Arya, my surgeon, said that we will most likely re-visit the area as a “scar revision” and actually suck out more fat and pull more skin up. I am not kidding when I say it was “more than excessive” to begin with. So, I am not surprised that we need to do more, but definitely a little disappointed.

It’s really important for Bariatric and Plastics post-ops to have realistic expectations, and at the end of the day, I admittedly expected more magic then there actually was. But alternately, I wore my first bikini in Hawaii a mere two weeks ago, and was more self-conscious about my back rolls….not my thighs!

Speaking of which:

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Again, like the post title says: It’s all about perspective. 🙂

In other news, I am anxiously awaiting the holidays, and thinking of a master plan to get all my shopping budgeted and planned for. Obviously, with a mere 3 weeks to Black Friday, I am putting on my strategist hat and channeling the crazy Target commercial lady so I can get it all done relatively early.

Sean is graduating with his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing this Saturday, and I am preparing some surprises for that. Unfortunately, he was laid off from his job the day before I left for Hawaii, but with the pending graduation and an interview lined up this week, things are looking up!!

I will post more soon, but I wanted to make sure the world knows I am still alive, and still invested in SeeSondraSlim.

Thanks to all of you for the well wishes, kind words, and patience!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO

Hello world!

I never really thought of myself as the fat girl.

I have been the loud girl, the quiet girl, the weird girl, the smart girl, the crazy girl, the girl in the bright colors, the girl with the big smile…..the list goes on. I’m sure they referred to me as the fat girl. But me? I never heard it.

Problem with selective hearing? You still see what you look like every time you pass a reflective surface. You still have to learn to be ok with shopping trips with friends to places where you can really only engage yourself in the accessories section. You still take longer than everyone else to run the mile, and you still can’t help but notice some of the stares that come your way when you’re in public.

I would be a liar if I sat here and told people that I cared so much about what others thought. Problem was, I always was so much tougher on myself.

January of this year, I had my physical exam, and talked to my doctor about the options I had as far as Weight Loss Surgery(WLS). I did a TON of research, and thought the LapBand was my answer. It tied in with the healthier life style and habits I had been developing, and it was reversable. I began the process with my insurance and primary care physician, and got a referral to see my surgeon, Dr. Takata on March 8th, 2011.

First, let me just note that having a good looking man as your surgeon is QUITE the little mind game. I was determined to do well, just so that I could at least imagine our future children being an actual possibility! Anyways, Dr. Takata was impressed with all of the research I did, and made sure to inform me that he thought the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy was his preference, in terms of procedures that would be most successful.

Basically, homeboy wanted to take my tummy from a football, to a farm egg! Needless to say, I decided that someone who got a MD and everything most likely knew best, and went home to do some more research. I learned that a lot of Band patients actually end up getting Sleeve revisions! And what really made my decision? Sleeve patients lost an average of 60-80% of their excess body weight, versus Band patients and the 40-50% they lose. As I always say….Go hard, or go HOME!

On June 20th, 2011, after all was said and done, I went in for my last pre-op appointment, weighing in at 305 lbs. On June 24th, after 4 days if liquid diet, I was down to 291. As of today, I am officially at 275 lbs. Putting these numbers in black and white really HURTS me. It makes me feel ashamed, and scared, and like I was so close to failing.

But the beautiful thing about this struggle is all the victories that I have been fortunate to have, and that I look forward to celebrating. 30 lbs in 32 days….and we have only just begun!!