It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like….MAYHEM!

Well, it’s been long enough, hasn’t it?!?!

I sincerely apologize for the delay, but I promise it was worth the wait!

I have been really busy the past month or so…with all my “birth month” festivities, and planning for Relay for Life on April 20th, and my first excess skin removal surgery on April 22nd…I’ve been feeling like I’m in a race against time. I want to leave things manageable for the person covering for me at work, I want my living space to make me happy before I’m confined to it, I want to make sure I’m in good shape so I have a better recovery that doesn’t negate any progress I have made fitness-wise…and on top of that my Relay for Life team has 17 days to raise $3500 and meet our $5000 goal! AHHHHH!!

However….I am pleased to share how many awesome things have happened in the meantime. Let’s recap, shall we?

1. Alex and I went to Vegas on the weekend of March 22nd (remember how she surprised me for my birthday with tickets to Monster Jam monster truck national championships in Vegas, because I am strangely in love with monster trucks?), and we had a BLAST! We walked down the strip and got on the VIP list for almost every hot club in the city, and that night we headed to Chateau Nightclub and Gardens at the Paris Hotel, and not only got in free, but got free vodka drinks until midnight, and were up close to the stage to see a performance by Jay Sean!! Saturday, we decided to sleep in a little bit (til like, 10am, which is totally luxurious, for us) and headed to breakfast. We played Keno while we ate, and didn’t win a thing. We decided to go back up to the room and get ready for Monster Jam, and then play the slots a bit before we caught the shuttle to the stadium. The casino had given me a free $5 gambling voucher for signing up for their rewards club, and when I finally used it I was all excited to be up like $30. At one point, I kept losing and losing on each 50 cent bet…and I told Alex “I think my luck is running out. I’m gonna keep spinning ’til $16 then I’m done.” Lo and behold….I hit “Max Bet” again, and the machine goes CRAZY! It goes a little something like this:

Alex: Omg! What’d you win?

Me: I don’t know!!

Alex: OMG! I think you just one A HUNDRED DOLLARS!

Me: OMG!! A HUNDRED DOLLARS!! (machine keeps making a bunch of racket and goes past $100)

Alex: WAIT….I think you won $300 dollars!

Me: WHAT?!?!?!

Some random man: I hope you played the max bet young lady!

Me: Yes sir, I did!

SRM: You just won 4000 credits…

Alex: SONDRA JO!  YOU JUST WON A THOUSAND &^$@&@$* DOLLARS!!!!!! (Hits me in the arm….she was trying to make me understand what’s happening. I was in shock thinking it was $300 as it were).


Long story short, I won a THOUSAND FREAKING DOLLARS.

winner 2

winner 3


winner 4

(And my copay for my surgery is $500, so that was pretty freakin’ awesome to get just a month before!) Also, we went to the casino next door to catch the shuttle for the rally and played the Wheel of Fortune slots 10 minutes later, and Alex got a spin, which landed on 1000 credits…and she won $250!! 3.23.13 was lucky for us!!!

2. Also, in the past month, after learning that my excess skin removal of the abdomen was approved, I was waiting to hear whether the thing lift was approved or not. My surgeon made it clear that I was a great candidate for it, but the big issue was the fact that insurance companies always kick it back as “cosmetic” and won’t consider it to be “Medically Necessary,” which therefore gives the full financial responsibility to the patient.

But alas, I am blessed! I got a letter in the mail that my thigh lift has been APPROVED by insurance as Medically Necessary, and I will have it done 2-3 months after this first procedure! The surgical coordinator told me on the phone that I am the ONLY person in the 11 years she has been with Scripps to get it approved. It’s pretty much meant to be. And I am EXCITED!!

At my pre-op appointment today, I got to do my absolute favorite thing (NOT), and put on a robe with just my bra and underwear underneath, so Dr. Arya could come in and pull the waistband of my chonies down and expose “The Flap.” This is actually the first photo I’m ever posting that really exposes it!

pre op

I am always so uncomfortable when this happens…but I thought about something: What about that first 30 Day Challenge shoot I had in my bathroom in September 2011?

The very FIRST 30 Day Challenge photo...over 100 lbs ago!

The very FIRST 30 Day Challenge photo…over 100 lbs ago!

Side Shot

Side Shot

30 day 1

Ugh! I just totally had a little breakdown going back to this post…and it’s bittersweet. I still feel like this girl. I still love her. She still drives me to be BETTER every single day. But I am so happy to have left her doubts and insecurities and health issues behind me! This new life I have created for myself just keeps getting better, and keeps taking me to new places I couldn’t have imagined. And I am so excited to see everything unfold the way I had anticipated! I even clean my bathroom mirror more, these days! 😉

It’s been an amazing journey…and it ain’t over yet! We still have white bikinis to wear on beaches, and I still have to find a way to force Sports Illustrated to let me be a cover girl. Just once, guys! I promise I won’t disappoint! SERIOUSLY!

I know some of you have asked me to document the whole excess skin removal process, and I promise I will update as frequently as possible with all the info you’d want to know! Especially after surgery when I’m home and bored for 4 weeks!

That’s all for now, but I hope everyone is having a GREAT week so far!

‘Til Next Time!


A Few (More) of My Favorite Things….


With all the Big Bear prep, work, doctor’s appointments, and such….this week feels like it’s been a tad CRAZY! However, in the midst of it all, there have been some huge discoveries and awesome incidents.

1. I went to see my doctor about my knee issues (it keeps buckling on me out of nowhere, when I am just walking around!), and walked out with a referral to Physical Therapy for that, a referral for a consult with the Plastic Surgeon to get the ball rolling on my Panniculectomy and Thigh Lift ( words cannot EXPLAIN THE JOY)! I am so excited!!! However, I also walked out with a referral to the Cardio-Thoracic surgeon that I hoped he would forget about (I have a potentially abnormal cyst by my lung, possibly growing from my spine. No bueno, if so), and a lab slip to go downstairs and be stabbed with a large needle. Which leads to…

2. I am no longer anemic! My blood labs show a great iron count, which has been a struggle my ENTIRE life! While I still have Thalecemia (a form of Anemia), I am not in the “danger zone” any longer. Alternately, my vitamin B12 and D levels are low, and he is going to make me come in for shots again. Urrgh.

Anyways, enough about all the medical excitement (Say it with me: PANNICULECTOMY! AHHHHHH!!!!)!!!!!.

Moving on, some of my favorite things this week:

The Nike Training Club App

Screenshot, courtesy of

Screenshot, courtesy of

screenshot, courtesy of

screenshot, courtesy of

I’m offically obsessed. Every person I have told about this, I have to grab my phone and SHOW them, because describing it doesn’t do it justice. Tons of workouts, with step by step breakdowns. Sync your playlist or entire library to the workout. You can see the timer on your screen, your music plays along, a voice tells you when you have 30, 10 and 5 seconds remaining, and you can click on the photo of the exercise to see a video of someone doing it! WHAT??!! Pure genius. And it’s seriously a good workout. Ashley and I busted out the yoga mats at the gym and did it yesterday instead of running, because we didn’t wanna get all sweaty…and we made it through 16 minutes before doing some deep stretching instead. Lol. You can download the app for Android here and for the iPhone here. Thank me later. 🙂

The LC by Lauren Conrad Collection at Kohl’s

So if you checked out my last post, you may have noticed my particularly fun dress! I am completely enamored with Lauren Conrad in general (if you couldn’t tell from my Pinterest page). I have been searching for the perfect pair of jeans since my thighs are huge, and my waist not so much. I went to Kohl’s and gave the LC by Lauren Conrad “Kate” pencil style skinny jeans a shot. Not only were they a size 12, but with the perfect amount of stretch and shape, they don’t give me diaper butt, and they are so comfy and stylish! That’s just the beginning! From cute dresses, bold blazers, delicate and edgy tops, and the perfect jeans…the collection is pretty much to-die-for! Some of my favorite pieces:

Photo Courtesy:

Photo Courtesy:

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Sally’s Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow

Photo Courtesy:

Photo Courtesy:

So, I came across Sally’s recipe on Pinterest, and I decided to use it as a framework for my own “Reindeer Chow.” I followed her recipe using the rice Chex and white chocolate, but improvised with crushed white chocolate peppermint m ‘n’ m’s instead of crushed peppermints. Shook it all up in powdered sugar, and the result? DIVINITY! You can check out the recipe on Sally’s site, here.

We head out to Big Bear in the morning (hence, why I am still awake), and I am excited to take this yummy snack for everyone to try! I made a lasagna, and pasta salad too….so clearly, I am ready to get down in the snow!

That’s it for now! Just felt like sharing, and maybe introducing you to something you didn’t know about before. 🙂

I hope you all have a great weekend!

‘Til Next Time!