Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Any Old Port in a Storm

“Any old port in a storm…”  this is one of my mother’s favorite sayings in reply to a search for good news or hope in a situation.  Whether you’re a veteran or a newbie, I think her catchphrase is applicable to us all.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Food Fix - Lentil Soup

Nights are getting colder as winter is approaching so warm up with one of my favorite, go to, budget recipes. With over 22 g of protein in a serving, this is an amazing way to each cheap. This entire recipe can be made for about $1.00 a serving. Pair this with a salad for an amazing and healthy home cooked meal.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

What Are Your Trigger Foods

I can taste it now! It's chewy with a slightly crisp outside. The sweetness dances across my tongue as I let it linger there for just a moment or  two. I savor each and every bite. The feel of the thick sugar crystals in my mouth. The glass of cool milk flowing over my tongue, wiping my pallet clean to be able to savor round two completely from scratch. For me it is pure ecstasy.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Thankfulness

I took some time today to sneak away from the family, food, and fun to write a short Thanksgiving post for you: my fans! The last few months have been an amazing experience and one that I will always cherish. It has taken a lot to put myself out there and be as vulnerable with the world about my struggles, my triumphs, and my journey as a whole. You have all embraced my journey with me and have been a source of constant encouragement and love.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Coming into the Thanksgiving holiday, I asked Susan to write a post about all the things she is thankful for. I know it sounds a little sappy, but I have posted her response to my holiday challenge and I will be posting one tomorrow as well. Be sure to check out the blog tomorrow as well to see my thoughts on this amazing holiday. Be sure to post comments below about all of the things you are thankful for this holiday season and share the love with the readers of this site to gain encouragement as we all prepare for the holiday season ahead. Thank you all for all of your love and support on this site. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Suze's Muses - “Why are you doing this, anyway?” – a look at the psychological portion of pre-op testing

Greetings once again from the Musings of Suze!  Today I’m offering my proverbial 2 cents regarding a topic I see many folks concerned about…the psychological “exam” that’s a part of the approval process for WLS.  I didn’t include it in my post about the other portions of the testing process, because I don’t personally view the psychological test in the same ilk as all of the others. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mundane to Insane: Goal Setting for Extreme Results

You have just done something insane. That's a good start. You have had a weight loss surgery and your insides are scrambled. Maybe you haven't and have just come to the decision to take back your life or reach for something far greater than you could have ever imagined achieving. This post will guide you on your journey to greatness. If you want to see insane results you need to think extreme!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Suz's Muses - “Another test?? I didn’t study for this one either!!”

Greetings, dear readers- and thanks for checking out my first contribution to Jonathan’s blog!  My topic today isn’t necessarily for women only, but it’s something I see a lot of folks ask about on WLS forums…all those pesky TESTS we have to take before we get taken to the OR.  I’ll begin today (as probably with a number of topics) by saying that though we’re all on this same journey together, how we get there is a very individual experience- everyone’s surgeon is different as are insurance companies.  You may not have to have as extreme of a testing conglomeration as I did, but it’s my hope that if you’re required to have any of the tests done that I did, this post can provide some clarification as to what to really expect when you go.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My Good Friend Suze!

Greetings, everyone!  My name is Susan.  I live in Maryland, I’m 44, and I had my RNY on October 23, 2014.  I’m very excited to be asked by Jonathan to be a guest writer on his inspirational blog! 

Like all of us, I've had my share of weight problems and the “diet yo-yo” for all of my adult life.  Fortunately I never really experienced the teasing and embarrassment so many overweight people faced- at least not in the traditional sense.  I’d always felt perfectly fine- healthy as a horse, though I ate like one at times.  My family was always completely accepting of me exactly how I was- I remember Mom telling me “God made you just the way you are”.  A nice sentiment, but I knew full well that General Mills, Hershey’s, Napa Valley and Barilla pasta made me just the way I was. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Words cannot describe what the last year of my life has been like, nor could I have fathomed just how drastically different my life would be. I knew things would be different, but nothing like this. I knew I would be healthy, but not this healthy. One year ago today at the exact time I am typing this, I was being wheeled back into an operating room for a surgery that would change my life forever.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Great Ohio River Swim - Finding Stregth in the Middle of the Ohio River

The calm before the storm. 

You can feel the anticipation. I feel my heart beating on the inside of my chest as if it is trying to claw its way out. The sun begins to peak over the tops of the trees in a brilliant splash of reds and oranges. It's as if the very tops of the trees are on fire. The hanging fog begins to recede from its home on the top of the river. The air smells of water. There is calm, there is quiet as I pull my goggles over my eyes and get ready to jump in.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How I Found Freedom In Spinning My Wheels

The feeling of absolute freedom is exhilarating. I can hear the wind whipping by my ears, feel it flowing over my body. It is probably the closest I can say it would feel like to fly. This feeling makes me feel fast and agile. I can see tons of beautiful countryside in a short time while still being able to take it all in: The sights, the smalls, the sounds. It is a time of reflection and meditation. I time to center myself. It is one of the few times I feel truly alive!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

How I Prepared for Surgery Part 3 - My Soul

The final thing I did to prepare myself for surgery was probably one of the most emotional and religious experiences for me. This is a very tough topic to write about so I will do my best to do so with tact and reverence. This part of preparing for surgery made me look deep into my soul and ask some really tough questions. The last thing I needed to do before surgery was prepare my soul. The hardest question I had to ask myself was what if the worst should happen? How would I handle it?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How I Prepared for Surgery Part 2 - My Mind

At the 2012 Heart Mini 5K in Cincinnati, Ohio - This walk nearly killed me, but was a great preparation for surgery.

This is the second post in my series on how I prepared for weight loss surgery. The first post covered how I prepared my body for the surgery and offered a few tips to those who may not be able to follow the same course of action that I took. This post will deal specifically with how I mentally prepared for surgery and all the changes I was going to need to make to be sure I was successful.

Monday, October 20, 2014

How I Prepared For Surgery Part 1 - My Body

Many people over this last year have asked me what I did to prepare for my weight loss surgery. There were many things that I did and not one was more important than another. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that your preparation heading into surgery and especially the liquid diet the week or two prior will be the hardest and  most important thing you do as a part of your journey. You will work hard to prepare your mind, your body, and to some degree your spirit to go though the surgery. Once you do have the surgery the hardest part is over. If you can survive the months before taking the plunge then everything you do after will be a piece of cake in comparison.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Everything I Learned About Motivation, I Learned from a Teenage Pastor!

When I was in high school many many years ago, I was a part of a church youth group. I spent a ton of time singing in the choir, listening to sermons, and going out door knocking. It was a major part of my life back then. During this time, I had a friend named Eric Foust (Picture below with his daughter). Now Eric was an interesting individual. He always had such an amazing and positive outlook on life that you couldn't help but gravitate towards him. One of our youth leaders once jokingly said that he was so friendly he was annoying. I am laughing now just thinking about him, his goofy nature, and this comment. It really is too true. He is now pastor of his own church in Cincinnati, Ohio called Triumphant Baptist Church. I don’t think I ever told him this, but I owe a large part of my success to him.

You see, back when we were in high school he had a catch phrase that he used. He at first used it to be serious about some point he was making, but slowly over time it sort of became a joke. I believe he heard another pastor use this phrase in a sermon on tape and thought he would steal the idea, but the exact origins are unknown to me. The only thing I remember is the indelible mark one little phrase left on my life and that is:

Saturday, October 11, 2014

My Journey: Just The Beginning

This video is a chronicle of the major milestones I have attained so far on my journey to health. So far I have lost almost 210lbs. and have done some amazing things like bike races, 10k walks, and swimming across the Ohio River and back. There is still a ton that I want to accomplish though. I want to run my first 5K and 10K in the next 6 months. I want to run my first half marathon at the Flying Pig this next year, I want to run my first full marathon at the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2016, to finish my first Olympic triathlon at the Cincinnati Triathlon next year, to finish my first half Ironman race in 2016, and my first full Ironman race in 2017. I also want to document a trip bikepacking the Colorado Trail in Denver. It is a 585 mile trail that I want to ride before the end of 2017. 

My First Post - How a Hockey Game Broke Me To My Core

Have you ever felt so humiliated that you just wanted to crawl into a corner and cry? Now try doing that and still having to keep on a brave face because it’s your birthday and everyone is there for you. This exact thing happened to me several years ago.