Can You Help Me?

I’m working on my presentation for WordCamp North Canton that I’m giving on May 3. I have a question and would love some feedback.

Why do you choose to follow weight loss or weight loss surgery blogs/social media? How do they help you in your journey?

Please post your responses in the comments!

Thank you!

New Before And Current!



I hope everyone is having a good Monday, it’s my day off work and so far I am enjoying it. Relaxing at home with my husband as my car is getting fixed at the dealership, thank goodness for warranties so there is no cost to me! That always makes a day better. Later my husband and I are going to dinner with my brother and parents since I worked on Easter Sunday and did not get to join my family for dinner. My week is going to be pretty uneventful until the weekend, I just have to work. This weekend my brother and I are driving down to visit my sister and spend a few days with her. My brother and sister are moving from Ohio to Oregon this summer and this will be one of the last times we all get to spend time together like this, it’s bittersweet. My husband and I are moving into our first house in early June but it is only about 10 minutes from where we live now and it’s actually back to my hometown. This summer will be life changing for all of us I believe but in different ways.

I leave you with a new before and current picture, I am finally losing the prednisone “moon face,” I have had all year due to the medication. Tomorrow I go to 10 mgs where I will stay until at least my next kidney doctor appointment in two weeks. Like I said last week after the ER visit everything is function as it should be and actually the best it has been all year, I hope it continues!

“Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard. When you do that you are passing the test.” ~Joel Osteen


Happy Easter

Good morning and Happy Easter! I hope everyone has a great holiday! I will be spending my holiday at work unfortunately but my family and I are going to go out to dinner tomorrow since I’m off then so I will still get to have time with my family. I am spending this time before work today with my husband if he ever gets out of the shower.

Today is the best I felt all week. I felt like last night I got a pretty good night’s sleep so that helped quite a bit I think. Hopefully the good feeling continues and I’m trying my best not to stress also!


Relax, Easier Said Than Done

I am feeling better today than I have been, enough to take a 2.25 mile walk but now a few hours later I am exhausted and feel weak again. I have a feeling my poor health this week has been do to stress and poor sleep these past few weeks. I’m waking up entirely too early in the mornings and my sleep has been poor. Insomnia is nothing new to me. Even with a prescription for Ambien every night. I am still a poor sleeper. I just feel mentally and physically exhausted, it’s been a rough year! But it’s getting better.

I need to work on some stress reduction and relaxation techniques. I worry too much and always have. Having others tell me to relax or even tell myself to relax is easier said than done. But I am trying! I found an article on WebMD with 10 relaxation tips to get rid of stress fast. I am going to give there techniques a try and here are things I already do in the areas they suggested.

1. Meditate: this is something I have tried before bed and it does help me when I can calm down enough to get into it.

2. Breathe deeply: this goes with mediation for me. I have been in various in and out patient therapy groups during my life and have learned breathing techniques. I really need to apply them in my life right now!

3. Be present: don’t worry about the past and don’t focus too much on the future. I’ve gotten much better about this but still have a ways to go.

4. Reach out: I do this via social networking and by talking to my family and the few friends I have.

5. Tune in to your body: I can tell where my stress is right now, my head aches and my shoulders are very tense. I need to work on these areas and relax!

6. Decompress: a hot bath helps me and my peppermint oil that I rub on my head and temples for my headaches, both help relax me. Massages help too!

7. Laugh out loud: going to a comedy show or watching my favorite comedian on YouTube always helps me relax, one of the ways I overcame my depression was learning how to laugh again.

8. Crank up the tunes: I love listening to music, mainly in my car. Sometimes I’ll just hop in the car and drive with the radio up.

9. Get moving: exercise or a simple walk helps me. I’ve been slacking in this department this year due to my health problems but I have been slowly easing back into it.

10. Be grateful: they suggest journaling, this blog is my journal. Sharing my feelings and trying to work through them has helped me all these years.

Do you have any techniques that work for you? Share them with me! 

This kitten has the right idea!

This kitten has the right idea!

A Trip To The ER

I’m happy to report that my creatinine (tests kidney function) is the lowest it’s been all year and that my hemoglobin it’s the highest its been all year. I haven’t been feeling well the past few days, I’ve actually missed work Tuesday and yesterday. I was concerned that my kidneys were not functioning well again since I have having similar symptoms to the beginning of the year but a trip to the ER yesterday afternoon confirms that everything is functioning how it should be and better than it was at the end of March. All good news. There was no cause for concern in my blood tests. They think I might be just coming down with a minor illness or something. I still don’t feel that great today. It could be because I feel stressed to the max! I’m resting at home again today and was already off work tomorrow. So I will go back to work Saturday afternoon.

I tried to avoid the ER I hoped to resolve my fears of a relapse by calling the nephrologist’s office on Tuesday. I tried contacting my nephrologist twice, leaving messages that were never returned, usually I don’t have problems with that office. It turns out that the doctor never received her messages because he is out of town for the week, and the doctor available was never given my messages. I find this out on my way to the ER yesterday afternoon. At least by going to the ER I was able to resolve my fears that I was in kidney failure again.

I will take this time off to work on my presentation for WordCamp North Canton which is only two weeks away. I am speaking and I haven’t worked on my presentation yet. I better get moving.

“Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.” ~Theodore Vail

A Write Up About My Walking Campaign And Personal Journey

Here’s a write up about me and my walking campaign from Bari Life Bariatric Supplements!

View the original here: 

 500 Miles in 2014 Walking Campaign

Bari Life Vitamins and Supplements

We are excited to sponsor the “500 Miles in 2014 Walking Campaign” this year! Every month we will be giving away prizes to the top mileage earners! Be sure to check out the Facebook pagefor the campaign!

Today we introduce, Jessica Dickey, the brains behind the campaign! Below, she shares with us her weight loss surgery journey. I hope that all of you will read and get as motivated and pumped as we are! She is an inspiration to us all! Thank you, Jessica!

My Weight Loss Surgery Journey- Jessica Dickey
My name is Jessica and Bariatric Beginnings is my blog and my therapy. The blog has been a lifesaver for me. My personal weight loss surgery journey started on July 12, 2010, when I underwent gastric sleeve weight loss surgery as the first step in a “staged” bariatric surgery process. I had my second step surgery, gastric bypass, on Jan. 14, 2013.

I was too heavy back in 2010. I had a BMI of over 65 and my surgeon also felt that I was on too many medications for my anxiety and depression, after being misdiagnosed with bi-polar disorder in 2009, for the bypass to be safe.

I had type II diabetes and sleep apnea at age 27; something needed to be done. He said that one day I could have the bypass done if I ever got mentally better. I refused to believe that I had failed or been unsuccessful with my first surgery.

Most other bariatric people are not aware that the sleeve can often be the first step in a two-step process. Many are quick to tell me my sleeve failed since I had a second surgery. We did the first surgery, the sleeve, to get me to a better place physically and a better place mentally so that one day, when financially able, I could undergo the bypass surgery to help get the largest amount of weight off.

My sleeve helped me lose about 50 pounds and go off my diabetes medications. Mentally, I went from seven psychiatric medications to being medication-free. My sleeve did work, at least to me it did. My first surgery was also a difficult journey. I was hospitalized twice in the first 10 months for wanting to seriously hurt myself and used to have to take seven different medications to just barely function.

Somehow, I managed to lose about 50 pounds through all this and I have kept that off and am now living medication-free. I think that’s successful considering I could have been six feet under at this point. I’ve now lost more than 150 pounds total through the aid of both surgeries, and I am losing more each month. As of December 2013, I officially no longer have sleep apnea or diabetes with a normal A1c of 5.4!

I had the second surgery because I wanted to be healthier, accomplish things I couldn’t do before, to possibly start my own family someday and maybe be taken seriously by society. The people who matter most are by my side and don’t judge me. This is my journey and mine alone.

I came up with the campaign because walking has been one of the most useful tools in my journey. During the warmer months in Ohio, I try to walk 2-4 miles every day.  I love walking and walking is a great exercise to begin with if you aren’t yet very active. It’s free, peaceful, a great bonding experience with loved ones and something we all can do!

I created the campaign to inspire others to get out there and move.  Encouraging others on their journeys is something I truly enjoy. By giving them the whole year to complete the challenge, it makes the goal less scary and hopefully feel more reachable.

To your health!
The Bari Life Team
Bari Life is high quality bariatric vitamins that are clinically proven supplements to help in post bariatric surgery. Order Online Here:

Re-Post: Staying Mentally Healthy After Bariatric Surgery

This is a re-post of one of my blog posts that I feel is very important to re-share. The information is also always available on the side of my page. 

After your weight loss surgery it is easy to get caught up in counting calories and protein grams, making sure you get all your vitamins and water in, and taking time to exercise.  Of course those things are important, but we easily forget an area that needs just as special care and attention, our mental health. It’s easy to become depressed or develop transfer addictions after surgery. Many of us gave up our drug of choice, compulsive overeating, when we underwent the knife. Making sure you care for yourself mentally right after surgery and for years to come is extremely important to your health and your success.  Below are tips on how to stay mentally healthy after weight loss surgery.

-          Attend an in-person bariatric support group so that you can connect with others who are going through the same major life change. Being able to develop and maintain strong relationships with others will enrich your life. If you don’t have one in your area, the world wide web offers several options for support before, during, and after bariatric surgery.

-          Take time to enjoy hobbies, interests, and activities. It is so easy to get caught up in the obsession of your surgery afterwards that you forget about things like reading a book or working a craft. Don’t let your surgery overtake the other areas of your life that you once enjoyed.

-          Take care of yourself, eating healthy and exercising just a little each day helps you stay mentally healthy. Physical and mental health go hand in hand!

-          Challenge yourself!  Learn a new skill or take on a project at work! Commit to a new fitness goal, revise your favorite recipe to make it bariatric friendly, even create your own recipe! All these things can give you a great sense of accomplishment.

-          Get plenty of sleep. Practicing good sleep habits and developing a regular sleep schedule are key to a happier you. Sleep helps the body and mind refresh itself.

-          Practice mindfulness; never lose sight of the here and now. Don’t get caught up in the past, it is done and over with and the future is yet to come. Focus on today!

-          And lastly, know when to ask for help. Remember to always seek immediate attention when things get really tough and you don’t feel like going on. Believe me it does happen, I’m living proof.

*If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit*


Peanut Butter Banana Protein Ice Cream

1 cup of Light Vanilla Soy Milk

35 grams by weight of Banana (Or Vanilla) Flavored Protein Powder

1 Tbsp.  of Peanut Butter Sugar Free Flavored Syrup

2 Tbsp. of Creamy Reduced Fat Peanut Butter

1 Banana, Mashed

Mix ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Pour into your ice cream maker’s bowl and follow your ice cream maker’s manufacturer’s instructions.  Ice cream will look like soft serve when it is done in the ice cream maker. If you prefer a harder ice cream, place the mixture in a storage container and put in your freezer until it is at the hardness you like.


Busy Busy

This past week was a whirlwind of activity. There was house hunting, the gym, and work. Thankfully the house hunting is over and we now can move forward with the one we made an offer on. We were very excited to have our offer accepted and are excited to be moving into our first home in less than two months.
These next few months are going to be busy. I need to start working on my presentation for WordCamp North Canton where I am going to be speaking. That’s in less than a month. I think I will devote this coming Friday which is my next day off to working on it. There is also things for the new house that have to be done and of course eventually packing. At least I will be busy and for me busy is good. I haven’t been able to get back into the gym as much as I would like mainly because of muscular problems that I’ve been having in my legs. They constantly feel like I’ve run a marathon without stretching and my left leg cramps quite a bit. I brought it up to my kidney doctor last time I was there and I will be having a blood test along with my others to check for something called myolysis. My kidney function and hemoglobin will also be checked next week. I go to 20 mgs of Prednisone on Tuesday. I was on 60 mg at one point and am stopping at 10 mg so I’m almost there. Other than the leg issue and constantly having to use the bathroom I feel okay. Hoping the blood work on the 22nd comes back okay.