Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Aloha from Oahu

I friends and family. I know it has been a while but I am settling down and recovering from a week of the stomach flu and ready to get rocking and rolling on A LOT of exciting things. A updated and I am sure long post will follow. In the mean time I have errands to run and crazy kids to tackle. Love to all!!!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Article the Y did on me

Patricia Poston

Patricia Polston read the stories on this page and was inspired to share her own. This military spouse is living in San Diego for just a year, but has managed to make the most of her health in the last months.
"I have always been big (270 max). I had gastric bypass when I was 19 years old. I lost weight, of course, but I wasn't fit. I got married and had two babies and weighed 210 pounds. Surgery wasn't a cure-all. In September I joined, and I also enrolled in a nutrition class because it wasn't just about me, it was about my whole family. With the knowledge I learned in my nutrition class and my commitment to come to the Y (Toby Wells) I have lost 45 pounds! I have never, EVER achieved this type of goal before.
I am very diverse with my workouts. I am no longer the girl in elastic pants in the back of the room, too horrified to look at myself. I am the girl in front, shaking her hips at Zumba, doing mountain climbers and bicep curls in TBW, doing core strengthening in Pilates or just breathing and stretching in yoga.
My two girls love going to Kid's Place when I work out, and they enjoy all of the staff. I love how the staff knows them by name and welcomes them every time we come in. The staff at the desk are so nice and beautiful (inside and out), and all the fitness trainers are amazing, because they are down to earth and friendly.
Going there is a must for me now, or else I don't feel like my day has been completed. The YMCA is amazing. Over the holidays, my family and I went out of town, and we utilized the local Y.
I wish I knew of you guys sooner because we are departing San Diego in March. I WILL be joining YMCA at our next home. So ... THANK YOU, for you were my first Y and I will continue to be a member no matter where the military takes us!" — posted 2/16/11

Patricia Poston with her family before she joined the Y. "I have lost 47 pounds total now, and think in next week or two it will be the big 50!"
See more inspiring stories

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wild for Zumba and not so wild for other things

What a weekend I have had this past weekend.
We had our planned garage sale the lasted for THREE days and on top of that Saturday was my big day of attending Zumba Instructor Training. I have an amazing mother-in-law who comes into town and help Eric and I deal with the chaos. It was incredible and am very fortunate and blessed to have done it.

 Woke up Saturday bright and early and Eric and Gran (mother-in-law name the girls use) took care of the girls and the garage sale and I focused on packing for 9 hours of Zumba. I brought a large duffel with extra clothes ( I sweat a lot), towel, sweat shirt, dance sneakers. I also brought a cooler packed full of healthy and yummy snacks and 2 large bottles of Smart Water.
My family and I right before I left for the Workshop

The training was in Otay Mesa with a wonderful ZES (Zumba Education Specialist) named Eliza Stone. Eliza has pretty much been in fitness and nutrition for 18 years and been with Zumba from the start. She has personally worked with Beto (Creator of Zumba) and been in multiple videos. So, I got there around 8:15 am after a 20 minute drive south and Otay Mesa is literally spitting distance from Mexico. Went inside the gym and there was a line of mostly women being checked in. Walked into the big gym room and people lined around the perimeter of the room.  I think I recall the number 55 being mentioned of how many participants were there.
There was a table filled with Zumba Gear . At 9 am class promptly started with introduction and the Master Class with Eliza. It was instense and fun! I loved how she made people rotate so those in the back had a chance to get in front and so on. The master class went on for 1 1/2 which of course feels like 5 minutes. I was very surprised to see Lori ( My Zumba instructor at the Y) pop in and dance. It means a lot because I know she came to support me. She even bought me a Zumba shirt. With out her reference I probably wouldn't have had this opportunity. After, the master class lecture started. Sitting on the wood floor was a bit of a bother but the lecture was fun. Eliza kept it upbeat and fun.

Lunch was 45 minutes and some ladies nearby decided we need food food. I have originally packed tuna salad with cracker kit and there was going to be no way that was going to tide me over. So, Subway was the go to choice.

It was nice bonding with some of the other attendees. It's also another reason why I love Zumba so much. People from all walks of life can Zumba with no background in dance or fitness. Zumba is a party, having fun, feeling the music and letting your body move to it. Nobody cares what the other person looks like and so on.
Sandy and I. Amazing woman from Orange County

Action shot of doing lecture/routines

Me after Master Class on 2nd shirt of the day
So, after lunch class kept going and we did routines, more lecture, routines and repeat. We even choreographed a dance in groups and did things with partners. It was fun, exhilarating and very very tiring. There were times I was sitting on the hard wood floor eyeballing my duffel thinking how comfortable it would be underneath my head. At the end we danced to 4 songs and I was totally on my last leg. I have went through 3 shirts throughout the whole day and lots and lots of water.
Eliza and I after receiving certificate

I did become a ZIN ( Zumba Instructor Network) member so I have access to all the goodies and so fourth and I do plan on having a job with Zumba in Hawaii. Be it at a gym facility or community events (Civilian or military). I really want to focus on the military of course and spouses. I am not hoping for a large sum of money or anything because doing this was fo me but would love to put my skills to work.
My goodies

Sunday, woke up great still on my Zumba high. We were on day two of garage sale and Eric and Gran did a great job on Saturday. During a slow time, i decided to clean things out that have been sitting outside. We have two small wooden beach chairs and I brought them over to the hose to start spraying them. As I was praying down the 2nd one and flipping it over i felt the sting on my left middle finger. I flipped the chair over so I can see where my fingers were and saw the black widow spider drop to the ground and seen the web with three white egg sacks. I immediately freaked and knew in my head I need to stay calm. I called Eric on cell since he took the girls for a walk and said come home. Eric came home and i ran my finger under cold water and washed my hands. Eric did some resaerch and I was already feeling symptoms, nausea, headache. He decided it was best to go to ER at Navy Medical Center. Waited forever and my body started cramping.
Nausea was out of this world and my head was throbbing. I got in with in after about an hour wait and the Nurse pract. basically said, " Oh you have a black widow bite? Here's some benadryl." WTF Eric and I were both wondering why she didn't ask about symptoms. I felt like i didn't get good "customer  service". The discharge nurse came in and gave me papers. he told me what to do it bite becomes an abscess and then asked if i had any questions. Uh yeah I do. I asked, " what about the symptoms I am experiencing now, how long to I deal with this? Are they going to get worse? Better?" He looked at me and asked if the doc asked me about symptoms? Eric and I shook our head no and he took my papers back and said he'll be back. So we waited for a while longer just for the Nurse Practiner to just say that i have to suffer and if the suffering is real bad... she can order medicine. needless to say, Eric had to call the hospital and get a script for pain killers and anti nausea medicine. That night was so horrible. I do not wish it on anyone. My whole body ached, my joints hurt like my elbows, knees and fingers. Despite all the meds I was on, I could not sleep from pain. Once I did go to sleep though I got better. So, all in all first 8-12 hours SUCK!!

So, like I said. What a weekend.  I am a Zumba instructor!!! woohoo! Other than the spider bite I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

If you are serious about your goals, drop the conditions. Go directly to your goal. Be your goal!

My life has been changed, ALL FOR THE BETTER.
I now appreciate life in so many ways. I enjoy things more and I really am dedicated. I want to be the best version of myself that I can be.  So, stop asking what diet I am doing. I am not doing any program. I am doing what we have been taught in school by following the food pyramid and eating food that fuels my body and exercise routinely. If you have a goal, stop making excuses and do it!.

I believe in you.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Feeling Guilty

Call me crazy.

I am not feeling well at all today. I been kind of a bum despite cleaning the girls bedroom floor. Someone had an accident right beside her potty. Or cleaning the entire bathroom, doing laundry. Well, more like put the clothes in the washer and dryer and leave them in basket. Or loading and unloading dishes in washer. We didn't venture outside or even change clothes. My appetite is not there and when I try to eat I feel worse and want to hurl. The girls are happy entertaining themselves and watching Curious George.

But all day despite feeling like crap, I knew I was going to go to the gym for my 6:30 pm class. My husband, Eric, came home and he immediately noticed something was wrong with me because I was laying on the couch looking and feeling miserable. He said, "No gym today." In my head I was thinking, "Yes, let me just lay down for a sec and then I will feel better." Time came to get ready and I stood up and my world spinned. I then had a talk with myself (more like convince myself). "If I went, I wouldn't be working out to my full potential and not burning a lot of calories. Plus, I hardly eaten all day and if I burn the calories I happen to eat there would be no way I could make up for the calories lost. You need to take a hot shower, shave while in there, and lotion up and do a little pampering. " and that's what I did.

After my shower, I drank water and was feeling a bit better. I decided to do more dishes and start cutting squash for tomorrows dinner. I was feeling pretty hungry so I had a banana. Bad idea. I immediately felt terrible again. Headaches, stomach ache, nausea. Sucks.

But yet, I am still overcome with the feeling of guilt for missing my workout. I also realized that I feel guilty on days where we have plans to do something ( weekends). Last Saturday was my planned rest day. Well, that night was also a UFC fight and I drank wine ( Like a whole bottle). So the next day was another planned off day but I squeezed in a workout at noon and barely making it to our friends house, who live an hour away, before kickoff of the Superbowl. I was quilty for drinking the wine the night before so I felt like I needed to counter balance it with a good workout. I feel guilty for missing workouts (like today) and feel like I accomplished nothing at all.

So, I am realizing that I really need to try harder at incorporating a period of rest in between some tough weeks of workouts. I don't want to cause damage when in my mind I think I am doing something good to my body. I guess my fear is that in the two days that I missed I am going to be over 200 pounds again.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

50 pounds!!!!! Fuck yeah!

Can you tell I am ecstatic by the title? Well, I have every right to be. Wooohoo!!! I lost 50 freaking pounds with pure hard "Sweaty" work and determination. I have never accomplished anything like this in my life.

ALSO, never in my life would I have thought I would become some sort of fitness instructor. Like never. But on  Feb. 19th I am going to a 9 hour workshop to become a qualified Zumba Instructor! Woohoo. I am excited but I know it is going to be tough. 9 hours. whew. Thinking about it makes me sweat.

Well, I know this is a short post but I will show off some pictures that I took. Before and current. Just know that as I have said before, this is a life change. I am not going to stop working out or stop eating right because I lost 50 pounds. I am going to keep doing what I am doing and become even better with my fitness.

Enjoy the pics!

Disclaimer: Tattoo's do not magically appear just because of weight loss lol

Sunday, January 09, 2011


I am learning to experiment with food. I am literally going to the produce section and picking a veggie that I have never seen before and take it home and do something with it.
That past time I did this, I took home a butternut squash. I tried it before when it was cooked. Lean Cuisine also makes a great frozen entree called Butternut Squash Ravioli. I have never seen a butternut squash in it's original form. I am home now and scouring the internet for healthy meals the incorporate butternut squash. Roasting it and adding spices was a bit boring for me. Make a desert type casserole was a bit much and the more stuff you put in it the less healthy it becomes. I wanted something different. Then I came across it! Moroccan Tangine found on allrecpie.com. I looked at it's ingredient list and I was surprised that i could actually make this dish ASAP because I had all the ingredients.
Here is the recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (14 ounce) can vegetable broth (make sure to get low sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar ( I used Splenda)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook the chicken, onion, and garlic about 15 minutes, until browned.
  2. Mix the squash, garbanzo beans, carrot, tomatoes with juice, broth, sugar, and lemon juice into the skillet. Season with salt, coriander, and cayenne pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, and continue cooking 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender. 
I didn't know what to expect when I made it. When I tried it, there was explosion of flavor in my mouth. Like Stewie on Family Guy, "OH GOD THERE'S AN ORGY IN MY MOUTH!" It's that freaking good. It can also become a vegetarian dish by omitting the chicken... but I like my meat. 
Try it, it's fabulous. I literally had it for dinner then for lunch the following two days. Best of all it's healthy!
Serving Size 1/6 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe 6

Amount Per Serving  
Calories 265
Calories from Fat 39

  % Daily Value *
Total Fat 4.3g 7 %
** Saturated Fat 0.7g 3 %
** Cholesterol 20mg 7 %
Sodium 878mg 35 %
** Potassium 905mg 25 %
Total Carbohydrates 44.7g 14 %
Dietary Fiber 8.1g 32 %
Protein 14.2g 28 %
** Sugars 9.3g
Vitamin A 407 %
Vitamin C 76 %
Calcium 18 %
Iron 41 %
** Thiamin 22 %
** Niacin 54 %
** Vitamin B6 46 %
** Magnesium 31 %
** Folate
I should also let you know my kids loved it too.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

"Looking back would you do it all over again?"

"Looking back would you do it all over again?" That was the question I was asked a few days ago over Facebook from a friend from high school. This is in reference to Gastric Bypass Surgery that I had in 2005 when I was 19 years old.

I have been bigger all throughout childhood and adolescent years.

My highest weight ever was 260 pounds. I was always the girl with a pretty face or the proportionate fat girl. I mirrored my mom a lot back then. She was big too. She had Gastric bypass before I did. I really don't remember what conversation my mom and I had to get the process going but obviously we had one.

I had the Open Roux-en-Y procedure.Here is a description with the help of www.webmd.com

"In a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the stomach is made smaller by creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach using surgical staples or a plastic band. The smaller stomach is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine (jejunum), bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum)."

When I say open, it means I was cut open to have the procedure done. Tricare approved that because it was tried and true and before lapraoscopic procedures were common. While they were in there they removed my gall bladder as well since gallstones is very common in patients. 

In the part of the stomach that was removed they placed a drain in it and a hole in the left side of my stomach which needed to be emptied frequently. 

So had surgery and was stapled inside and out. It looked like a rail road track was laid down on my stomach and I had a plastic tube with a reservoir that holds stomach contents sticking out of my left side.I had to learn how to eat all over again starting off by eating liquid ounces, then mush and on to soft solids. Also, simple sugars like candy, soda, ice cream and such causes a negative effect on a person called Dumping Syndrome. 
"This happens because food moves too quickly through the stomach and intestines. It can cause shaking, sweating, dizziness, rapid heart rate, and often severe diarrhea." Usually when that happened, I wanted to die. It is such miserable and painful experience. But, what I have found out that if I had a diet coke and got sick, I would try it again and I soon gained a tolerance to it. So, lost about 100 pounds. I exercised during the transition but I didn't really work hard at it. I was more into my social life at that point because I was getting smaller therefore more attractive to the opposite sex which of course being my 19 year old self, I basked in it and started to become the type of girl I personally detest.
At my smallest 160lbs and no boobs

With the surgery and having your intestines rerouted it is not uncommon to become anemic with iron and b12 and other mineral deficiencies which the doctors encouraged supplements. Did I listen? No. When I was pregnant with Caitlin, I of course took prenatal vitamin whenever I remembered. I was so miserable with the pregnancy and did not associate it with mineral deficiencies. Had to go to emergency room several times and each time was given a prescription for Iron. Caitlin was born very underweight and jaundiced. I tried breastfeeding and for the first 4 months of her life she was not thriving. It wasn't that I didn't produce milk but my milk wasn't full of nutrients like a normal woman would have. So, she was put on preemie formula and she fattened up real quick.
Eric with baby Caitlin @ 3 months old no meat on her.

In early September 2010, I was super sick and on my period. I was so sick I was in the commissary and I was looking for someone to call an ambulance. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I was faint, pale, and sleepy. I just could not function and even think coherently. Our friend Jason was in town and he is in Physician Asisstant School and we were going over symptoms and he asked if I am deficient in minerals. Then it clicked. Also, because I was on my period and losing blood it made symptoms that much worse. I called my doctor and immediately got prescription for b12 shots and got iron. Because I have been deficient for so long it took my body a while to adjust. The doctors then said i should gone in and gotten a blood transfusion. I was stupid and naive and now I can say I am taking supplements every single day.

Complications are common in having Gastric Bypass. My mom experienced a life threatening one but will not go into detail about it because it's not my story to tell.

Also, the pouch that is your new stomach is still a muscle and with that it stretches. Which is what happened to me. I became more tolerant to foods and then got into my negative ways with partying and not eating healthy foods. Then met husband and got into happy relationship weight and then produced 2 kids and therefore gained 50 pounds and somehow got over 200 lbs again.

"Looking back would you do it all over again?"

No. Despite having to go to a class given by the hospital and having psychiatric approval I wasn't equipped with the proper knowledge of food, diet and exercise. I won't discredit the surgery at all though. Surgery is a great jump start but it is not a solution. I was 19 and pretty self absorbed and was only looking at immediate picture. I wanted quick and easy weight loss. I wouldn't recommend anyone my age to have it.
Use that energy investing into surgery and obtain a dietitian/nutritionist and tools to help aid in pursuing a healthy lifestyle instead.

In September, when I decided to change my lifestyle I enrolled in a nutrition class which also goes toward my major. I also logged everything using www.myfitnesspal.com which I still do to this day. I also utilize a food scale and actually eat a serving. A food scale helps put a visual on a serving size that is on the nutrition label of foods. They are a great tool and are inexpensive. They have them at Target.

Now Fitness. It's hard but I personally think the food part is the hardest. Working out takes an hour a day. Eating is an all day event. Making healthy breakfast, lunch ,dinner and snack choices. Plus there are so many temptations with fast food chains being on every corner and those commercials. We live in a world where quick and easy is priority. We just have to get over that concept and with that we make healthier decisions and benefit all over.

Back to fitness, I dreaded it. Why did I dread it though? Why do most people dread it? For me, it was looking like an idiot when performing the exercises wrong, or looking like an idiot when trying to speed walk or jog and be huffing and puffing while not keeping up. So fear of looking like an idiot and then actually having to push myself and do something I never done made it easy to say, "I can't".

So, I tried multiple gyms and was bored and found everything to be tedious. I did love working with someone, someone who was going through what I was going through. That is why I fell in love with the YMCA here in San Diego. Majority of the people there are average joes. The trainers and instructors are average joes and don't think of you as a statistic or push you to do something that cost more money to get special incentives or perks. YMCA doesn't do that and it is also cheaper. I don't have to pay extra for my kids to be watched and the membership is for my whole family. We pay 45.00 a month.

I eased my way into it. I knew from Eric's lectures, educating myself and even my own experience is to not over do it. So, I started off taking low impact aerobics. I was the youngest person there by about 30 years and the class still kicked my ass. I had Granny Ethel moving way better than me and not winded what so ever. I felt terrible and did not enjoy seeing myself in the mirrors that lined the entire length of the wall. I kept going back, and kept going and tried new classes. I also wear a heart rate monitor watch by Polar. It is a wonderful tool to have for any body doing fitness from beginner to advanced. Each day has now turned into months and I am addicted to going. I even still go to the low impact class once a week because it was that class that has started me. I tried so many classes, yoga, pilates, trx, bodypump, swim, Zumba, total body workout, step. So, the point is to not over do it and find something you like doing. The healthier I got the more I wanted to do more active activites like hiking and such.
My husband and I when we completed a hike

I wouldn't have the surgery if i had the choice to do it all over but I am also thankful for it because it is part of my life and who I am and i live with the evidence of it which is a lovely scar going down my stomach and taking multiple pills every day to be healthy.

Who knows really, I probably wouldn't have met my husband and had my two daughters if I didn't have it. For anyone who has considered having weight loss surgery or is overweight, obese, morbidly obese own up to it and take control of your body. Food is fuel. Fuel your body with the good stuff. Don't do the fad diets and don't treat yourself for a cheat day. Eat food but moderately. Learn what everything on a nutrition label is and what those vitamins and minerals do for your body. Learn what a calorie is and so on. It's worth knowing. I really enjoyed my nutrition class and have applied it. I thought I knew a lot already about food and such but I was astonished at how much I did not know.

So that's it folks. I am not a professional or anything just a person wanting to have a better quality of life and sharing my experience since I have multiple questions. You may meet someone else who may have a total different story with Gastric Bypass but this is my story. I really cannot express the feeling i get when people right me messages and give me compliments saying I have inspired them. How could I actually inspire someone? Crazy. So thank you.

Ps. I have been tracking my weightloss with pictures and I am going to share a picture that I took the other day. I told myself I never ever will share these type of pictures but I am doing it. I am finally comfortable to talk about my weight and how much I weigh. I also appreciate my body now and love it. My stomach although not taut and pretty is in the best shape it has ever been. I have loose skin, huge scar, dimples and stretch mark but I have worked very hard and am very proud I own this body. 


Monday, January 03, 2011

New Year, New Me

So, it has been a awhile since last post so lets do a quick recap. Holidays came and went. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas and oh yes I have lost a total of 41 pounds! 
Myself before I decided on life change with my family when my husband made rank


In the beginning of November I decided to try a new class at my YMCA called Zumba. I have tried Zumba before in Panama City with a lady named Aimee. I was very discouraged and left the class never looking back. Well, I decided to give it a go because there must have been a reason why so many people line up to take the class. I went to Zumba where a lday named Fleeta was teaching. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I have been going consistently since then and have really discovered a love for my body and the way it moves. What can I say, I love shaking what my momma gave me. Zumba with Fleeta does not feel like a workout. It is a party with shouts, singing, lots of smiles and lots of sweat. My husband bought me a Polar FT6 heart rate monitor watch for our anniversary/birthday/Christmas present. I Love it. It says I burn 1,000 + calories with Zumba.

I still utilize www.myfitnesspal.com religiously with counting calories and logging food, exercise, measurements and water intake. 

So as stated above, holidays came and went and with that is family get togethers and lots of food in celebration. I will confess, I did partake in some Christmas goodies and alcohol but I still worked out. Since we were out of town in Wisconsin for Christmas we sledded. Walking up and down hills in layers and layers of clothing will give you a workout. I also went to their local YMCA there and took 2 classes. So, yes I enjoyed the holidays and still got exercise and still lost weight.

I am going to do my best with keeping this blog more active. You also know I have a family and two toddlers. I get so many messages on facebook from people who ask me for tips, recipes, give compliments, how to's and opinions on certain things regarding my journey. So, instead of answering multiple people I will post here on this blog and will keep everyone anonymous. I am motivated by everyone's compliments, questions and concerns. I can not express how gooey it makes me feel inside. I am working very hard and the result is weight loss yes but I have never ever been happy like this for myself and the person I am becoming.

Tomorrow, I am going to post a blog about my weight loss surgery I had in 2005. A person I knew in high school privately messaged me contemplating on having the procedure themselves. The person asked, " Looking back would you do it all over again?" 

Well, what do you think?