Monday, October 24, 2011

Time to get back on track

We just returned home from our family vacation weekend to Ohio where we went to King’s Island for their Halloween fest. We had a great time! In many ways this trip is the final hurrah of the season now it is time to get serious about the rest of the year.

Since Tony and I both work retail the next several weeks will be extremely busy with the holiday season. So work will keep us both on our toes!! The girls have been putting a lot of time and practice into their upcoming play, Aesop’s Fables and Christmas Surprise. Their performance is set for the first two weekends of December so on Monday, Tue and Thursday nights that is where we will be practicing for the next several weeks and shows on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. We are all very much looking forward to the shows. Seth has offered to help with the production and has been named the props man and he is eager to help all the actors with this production. Seth is also playing basketball this year for his school and looking forward to another great season. The kids are busy which makes me very busy, I am busy at work and then somewhere in all of this craziness I need to take some time out for ME!!!!

I have sort of allowed myself to do like most moms and put myself in the backseat. I have not been working out at the gym lately because I do not have “time” I have so much other stuff to do. Well I have made the decision that vacation is over and I need to take some me time starting this week. Another thing I am going to do to help me “get back on track” is to journal everything I eat and try to get more protein in my diet. I guess when I say get back on track I do not have a lot to be frustrated about….my weight really has not changed, I get more compliments than ever on how great I look but I know that I am stuck….When you go from losing 5 pounds or more a week to less that 4 a month….it can be a bit frustrating so I just need to kick start myself again. Nothing major. I love to work out and it makes me feel great so it is time I take my ME time again.

I am looking forward to getting back on my path of increased health. What can you do to help your long term health? What can I do to help?? As always thanks for sticking by me and take some time for YOU today!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Getting Personal

Our local newspaper.  The News Gazette runs a weekly article in the Sunday living section called Getting Personal.  The writer Meg Dickenson, interviews well known people or people you should know from around the area.  Today she encouraged local people who blog to answer the following questions and she may feature some of our answers in an upcoming article.  So here are some of my immediate answers that I thought up tonight.  Enjoy!  Jane

  Jane Sprandel, 35 Living in  Thomasboro, originally from Cissna Park IL

Profession: Work as a grocery inventory analyst for the Champaign Meijer store

What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning? I get up at 4am Monday-Friday I try to only hit the snooze once, weigh, brush my teeth and such, get dressed grab my pills and head off to work to clock in by 5am.

What did you have for lunch today? Had a late lunch of popcorn. Where? At home after work and running errands. With whom my kids were home but they had already had a snack when I made my popcorn

Best high school memory. I have loved sports all my life and while in high school I did some work as a student athletic trainer.

Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes. They would have to be my orange and blue Illini crocs

What does a perfect Sunday afternoon include? Watching a game of football with my family. Right now my son plays for the Rantoul Falcons but also love to root for the Steelers!

Was there one book you read as a child that you still cherish? Own? Read? I Will Love You Forever! Love to still read it to my kids. Often give it as a shower gift!

Where on earth are you dying to go? Why? I would like to go to Germany with my husband. I was there as a high school student for an exchange but would like to go there again with him. It is such a wonderful place!

Tell me about your favorite pet. I have had several dogs in my life but my Lab Bertha was one wild girl. I can’t say if our current dogs, Tyson a boxer or our Lab Sully is my favorite….they may start pouting.

Have you discovered as you matured that you are becoming like one of your parents? I have a great loving caring heart like my mom.

Which one and how? I have always had many of my moms traits and temper but learning to be more even tempered like my dad but still very diplomatic

What would you order for your last meal? In the hope I could eat it: I would go to Outback Steakhouse. I would have a medium steak, loaded baked potato, salad with blue cheese and some of their bread. For dessert…something with Chocolate.

What can you NOT live without? My Iphone

Who do you have on your iPod? A lot of Christian artists and workout music with upbeat tempo

What’s the happiest memory of your life? The day I married my husband Tony and promised to love his two kids Seth and McKenna as my kids and then when we brought our daughter Raegyn into the world. Family is so important to me!

If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite? Sarah Palin, Julia Roberts, Jodi Picoult

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? If you can go to bed at night and know that the Lord would be proud of you then it was a successful day.

What’s your best piece of advice? Never have regrets. Maybe wish things would have happened differently but in the end we all learn from our mistakes and challenges.

What was your first job, and how much did you make an hour? I worked at our school/public library in Cissna Park while in high school. Thinking about $4.35 per hour

What was a pivotal decision in your career, and how did you arrive at that decision? I decided to leave retail management so I could focus on being a mom. I am currently a full time working mom but at least I have a set schedule with some flexability to participate in my kids activities.

Do you have a bad habit? What is it?

How do you handle a stressful situation? I am learning to try to work out, call a friend or sometimes just have a good cry. I do a lot of praying so that helps me work through the tough times.

Rain Rain go away!!!!

Where is the sun? So it is the second day of this gloomy weather and I am ready for the sun to come out!!! When the weather is gloomy it is hard to feel excited and happy about the things around you. Overall today was a good day despite the weather. I was able to find positive things on this gloomy day. I seen a post from the News Gazette on Face book today encouraging local bloggers to fill out a questioner to possibly be used in a future story. Each Sunday they interview a local celebrity about a variety of things. I decided that I could do the survey. It does not matter if my answers are used, because I was able to see what a great life I have.  Up to now I have had a good life and the future is even brighter for me. We all have our challenges day to day and I am learning to deal with them more each day. I feel like as the pounds come off my ability to encourage others has increased. One of my friends recently went to the doctor and he suggested that she take part in a very aggressive type of diet. This diet is very expensive so it is not a possibility at this time for my friend. I have tried to reassure her that she can lose weight by just watching what she eats, how much she tries to work extra movement into her daily life, but most importantly she has to BELIEVE in herself, but also I am here for her. The thing that has helped me the most with my success is that I have believed in myself and others have also believed that I can be successful. Today I was proud of myself for not letting my work stress get the best of me. Work has been hectic lately but I am getting better about only freaking out about the things that I can control. Instead of freaking out I decided to work hard on modeling the behaviors that I want some of my coworkers to mimic. I can only hope that they noticed how I try to do all that I can to help the team with a smile. 
It always makes me feel great when I have people comment on my amazing weight loss. I prefer to call it a transformation. Not only have I lost a large amount of weight but I have also gained a lot of self confidence. I enjoy blogging and sharing my story with others in hopes to inspire others to do something to improve their lives in one way or another. I want to inspire others to make a change to make their life even better than what it was the day before. I seen a post on someone’s face book page the other day, “ is it more important to be remembered as being a giver or one than who takes more than they give?” Of course most want to be remembered as a giver but sometimes it is bad to give to much. I need to learn to let others help me and rely on them more than I do. I tend to do to much and then get overwhelmed.

I am busy with work, being a great mom, driving kids all around and trying to work on my overall transformation but yet I like to take some time and blog and inspire others. How did your day go? What can I do to inspire you? Helping you make me stay accountable too!  Have a blessed day!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Overwhelmed is how I feel lately.  I am a very busy mom to three wonderful kids, I try to be a great wife, I am a busy advocate for our school, and I work full time.  Add to that I am trying to get my self to a set goal on the scale and that can spell disaster!  Life changes are a journey with no distinct beginning or end.  I began the journey of weight loss to shed some weight to get healthy.  Never did I dream that I would  have lost over 100 pounds in less than a year.  Never did I dream that I would fall in love with the gym.  Never did I think I would be wearing a size 18 pair of Levi's rather than a size 28 from Lane Bryant.  Never did I think I would be able to self talk myself to doing some running on a treadmill to finish a mile with a personal record.  Nor did I think that some days it would be hard!

I always say since this is my blog I can say what I want!  Well to be honest Lap Band and weight loss surgeries in general get a bad rap. Over the weekend one of my favorite trainers Jillian Michael's posted a link about a woman dying from Lap Band.  I was upset with the article!  It sounds like to me the lady was at a quack job type of place to begin with.  The simple truth is this.  Can you die from Lap Band of course you can.  What you have to do if find an approved specialist to make sure that the surgery is right for you and you know what is involved with the surgery. 

I have talked about how the biggest battle of Lap Band for me is still controlling the "emotional" eating.  I have had a stressful week and there were times were I felt that a chocolate shake or ice cream would make everything all better.  Truth is it doesn't and it takes willpower to not allow those old ways to creep back into your life. 

I had a really bad day on Wednesday and I was asked if I wanted to take rest of the day off or a few days off.  I must have really been crazy.  I decided no that I was going to regroup and be a big girl and take the issues one step at a time.  So after a great pep talk from my friend Becky I was able to pull up my saggy pants and go out there and control what I could at work and what was not my problem or I could not control....I was going to try not to let it bother me.  This is extremely hard for a perfectionist. 

So Thursday and Friday I did pretty good at work taking care of what I can control and what is my responsibility and not letting other things overwhelme me.  Looking forward to another great week at work starting tomorrow at 5am.

Over the weekend I was able to get alot of house cleaning done and it was needed!  I threw away some stuff, started getting rid of some stuff that is to big, and that is always a great feeling.  So it is Sunday night and I had a great day at Seth's football game, had a wonderful family meal with all 5 of us and my dad came over for ham, cheesy potatoes, green beans,  It was yummy.  Made a couple of pans of Pumpkin bars and like usual Raegyn and I took some to the older couple next door.  It just warms my heart to share with them.  Getting ready to watch some Steelers football with my boys! 

So work is going better, good weekend at home, that just leaves my journey.  I did alot of thinking this weekend about my journey.  I am so pleased with my journey but I have gotten a little off track on it so I have set the goal to work out more this week, do my at home physical therapy for my shoulder, eat better and try to take some me time this week.  I have been so busy focusing on my family and my job that I sort of forgot about my journey a little.  I need to make it a priority since when I make JANE a priority everything else falls into place.  I will try to blog more in the next few weeks while I get back on track.  Please keep me accountable.  Also along the way remind me to take me time, to not sweat the little stuff and especially to not sweat the stuff I can not control if I am going to sweat it better be on the treadmill!!  Take care of yourself.  What can I do to help you???

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back in my workout routine

So as you may have noticed my journey with weightloss has slowed to a slow crawl.  I have talked about how success can be measured.  When I look at the scale is seems to have gotten stuck and some days even seems like there is some extra fluff on the scale with me.  Is this classified as failure??  Heck NO!  If anything the scale being stuck or somedays not being kind to me is a sign of success....I don't let it bother me, if anything it makes me want to work harder. 

I took the summer "off"from working out at the gym so that I could attend all three kids playing summer ball.  I did try to be active walking more, working in my garden and just trying to get out and MOVE.  So I promised myself that once football got started for Seth I was going to go back to they gym.  Well it took me a few weeks to go back and those first few weeks I just visited a few times.  This week I got fired up and decided that I was ready to do it for ME again.....ME taking charge of my health was what needed to be a priority again.  So this week off to the gym I went,  I decided that I wanted to do a 1 mile push as hard as I could speed walk on the treadmill.  Mondays time  14:24 now to many of you that may seem sad but I was thrilled.  I immediatly sent  Tony and my friend Becky my time and as always they had kind responses back.  Later that night I emailed a few other friends who do some running and such and asked them to guide me  as to what a good time is...and how to continue to get better but insisted I am not a runner nor do I want to be one.  The next day my friend Lynn emailed me and said, "why not become a runner?"  She then went on to share a great link with me.   So I checked out this link which helps you prepare for a variety of races.  I looked at the 5K novic routine.  Heck many days it is less than what I am doing now on the treadmill so I asked myself....."Why can't I become a runner?"  So I have to clarify I can not run 1.5 miles but what I can do is walk at a pace of about 4.2 miles per hour and push myself to jog several times at 4.7mph.  I did the 1.5 routine on Tue and Thursday.  I took Wed as a rest day.  My time of Tue 21:36  Thur 21:14 So there has been some improvement.  I think that I am going to try to use this as a guide for me.  Am I going to run/walk a 5K in 8 weeks?  I doubt it but I never thought that I would be jogging on a treadmill so anything is possibble. 

I feel proud of my new accomplishment.  I am thankful to my friends and Tony for encouraging me to push myself and try things outside of my comfort zone.  I honestly enjoy working out and the sweat I have been working up feels great.  I feel like I am growing in so many positive ways. 

So the question I first posed.....Am I still being successful with my journey?  More than I ever imagined.  My life has changed so much.  I work out, I try to eat healthier, I try to believe in  myself more that I ever have in my life, I feel 100 times better with 100+ pounds gone. 

Like any journey there are ups and downs, obsticles, joys, and sorrows.  I seem to have a few not so good for me foods back on my regular food list and I have to be carefully that I do not indulge in them to frequently. 

I always say it and I truly mean it....I appreciate all of your love and support on this journey.  I pray that your Labor Day weekend is safe and enjoyable.  I do encourage you to get back on a healthy lifestyle yourself after this last horrah of the summer.  Take care of it for your family...but most importantly, do it for YOU.  YOU are worth it! 


Sunday, August 21, 2011


This past weekend I took part in an annual tradition in the small town of Cissna Park.  I grew up and graduated from Cissna Park which is located in central IL.  My dad and sister still call "CP" home and it is only about 45 minuets from where I live.  Almost always the 3rd weekend of August the whole town and many people who are from Cissna Park converge on this small village of 800 or so people for a 3 day celebration with lots of fun, carnival, entertainment and lots of reminiscing.  This past weekend the kids and I drove up and were able to spend the night on Friday and enjoy 2 night of Old Settlers but poor Tony only got to join us on Friday night since he had work on Saturday and had two dogs at home who can't seem to let them selves in and out on their own.  :)    The kids enjoyed carnival rides, lost money on the carnival games, enjoyed ice cream, funnel cake and lots of candy from the parade.  The kids have gotten to know a lot of Pop Pop's friends and many of mine from my days in CP.  Everyone is always amazed how big my kids are getting every time we come "home".

I refer to this as a homecoming of sorts.....I also sort of refer to this as my coming out celebration.  Last August I was trying to hobble around on crutches after my ankle injury and preparing for my upcoming lap band surgery.  This time last year I was about 105 pounds heavier.  Don't get me wrong I have been home some since my surgery and people are amazed how different I look but this weekend was almost overwhelming and humbling how much attention I got.  It was amazing how many people made a point to come over and talk to me, congratulate me, and to comment how much they have enjoyed following my journey.  This is a journey I have enjoyed sharing and I hope everyone continues to follow it since it is a lifelong journey. 

This was also an emotional journey for me.  I ran into a friend the other night and she commented on how it had been a while since she had been to Old Settlers and she too had some things that she needed to get over from her past.  I like to pride myself on always being a positive person and treating others with love and compassion, but I have to admit a different feeling come over me this weekend.  As I watched people, visited with people and just took it all in, I had alot of thoughts come to mind.  There were people who while I was growing up said terrible things to me and they now have battles of their own.  Some are alcohol, relationships and many are my personal battle....weight.  As I looked at them at times I could remember the painful things that they had said to me or done to me, now they are struggling and I chose to greet them, pray for them silently but most importantly....I have forgiven them!  Another thing that really hit me emotional this weekend was how many people I looked at and wanted to say...."I can help you win back your life"  I am not saying that everyone needs Lap-Band but I feel that everyone can learn something from my journey.  It may be changing your portion sizes, exercising, taking back your life and most importantly having the determination to succeed, and when you stumble.....get back up, brush yourself off and continue on the journey. 

This was a very exciting weekend for me and one that I wish I could have gotten to see more people.  With work and the kids I had to cut my visit short but the people I seen it was so great and for those of you who told me they follow my journey...I am honored.  It is a really weird feeling to get so much attention or to hear people whisper..."Is that Jane Hamlow?....She is so skinny!"  I still find that to be an oxymoron..Jane and skinny used in the same sentence but thank you for the compliment that my hard work is showing. 

In closing, I want to encourage especially  those of you that I was  able to see and talk to me this weekend, to continue to encourage me and keep me accountable on my journey.  I love to share my experiences so feel free to ask me anything or refer others to my blog.  I am attaching a  recent picture and a video clip that means alot to me. 

"You Are More Than" is a song by a Christian Band that we love named Tenth Avenue North

For all those years that people told me that I was more than the "Weight"  I finally believe you now!

Love always, Jane

This is myself, Amanda Hinkle and Amy Walder.  Both are gals I went to school with! 

Saturday, August 6, 2011


For those of you that know my father who happens to be named Phil, this post is not about him in particular.  The girls have named my Lap Band "Phil"  The decided that since the Lap Band gets a fill that it should be clearly  named, Phil.  It is sort of funny that the kids will be eating and will ask how "Phil" is liking his dinner.  They will even report to Tony that, "yeah, such and such food made Phil mad tonight."  It is sort of cute! While we were on our vacation with my dad a few times the kids would comment about "Phil" and my dad would either answer or be what???  LOL  Oh poor Pop Pop he gets so confused. 

I am so thankful that I have chosen to be 100% honest with others about my weight loss journey.  I enjoy telling people about all the good and bad of my journey.  My kids have a really good grasp of how the Lap Band works.  I am glad that they have an understanding of what the bands job is in my journey.  They know that the band is a tool not the sole reason for my success.  I think if I were to ask the kids if they are happy to have a healthier mom they would all agree unanimously.  It is such an awesome feeling that my kids can all hug me and get their arms all the way around what a feeling!   "Phil" has been a little crabby the last few days but we are becoming better about communicating on how to keep in perfect harmony.  Have a great evening! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Updates galore!

So it has been a few weeks since I sent out a blog post and I apologize for that!  We had a wonderful time at Kentucky Lake with my dad and sister  We did a lot of fishing, boating, swimming in the lake and most importantly relaxing.  Once we got back football season was in full swing for our son.  Sunday will be his first game of the season and this football mom is pumped!  The kids have completed a week and a half of school and they are all doing great and they love it.  Work is going well, hectic but still good as we gear up for the students.  I have been finding that I love my husband more each day which is a great thing especially as we reach 7 years of married bliss in September.  A few personal stresses in our lives but nothing that a little time and prayer won't work out.  All is all life is great especially my weight loss journey. 

Today I am about 16 pounds from my goal of 199.  When I set my goal to be 200 pounds I never thought I would achieve it especially this quickly.  Oct 19th is my 1 year band anniversary and I would like to meet the 199 point by then. While on vacation I lost 7 pounds.  That is unheard of.  LOL  I still continue to weigh everyday and watch it fluctuate a little.  This is a bad habit I need to is a hard one.  I think starting Sunday we are going to have family weigh in time and rest of the week the scale will be in the cabinet....lets see if I can do it.  This is a bit obsessive compulsive but I think I can control my urge to weigh in every morning.  LOL  Had another great visit the other day with my primary...he pretty much said he does not know what else he can do to help me and felt that the next time he would need to see me is in a year.  A year??  I have not been on that kind of a health plan like ever!  My A1C was 5.6   For those of you who do not know that is the 3 month blood sugar test and 5.6 is awesome!  Not sure if I have ever been a 5.6 let alone doing it with no medication.  I have come so far and I am truly proud of myself. 

Today I meet a lady at work who was looking for something that she is allowed to eat  on her diet that she is on.  She happens to be on the I believe it is called the Ideal protein diet?  I know a doctor who is running this program and has had good success with his patients.  Anyways this lady and I got talking...I know surprising that I could make a friend in the middle of the supermarket aisle huh? lol   She was telling me about her diet and I was telling her about my journey.  It goes right back to what I have always does not matter what path your journey takes you on as long as it is the right journey for you and your  forever health.  I told her I was proud of her making the decision at age 50 to take charge of her life.  She is just starting her journey but I can see she has the will to succeed.  She complimented me on my success and that meant alot to me.  I am proud of myself...I am just learning to say that and believe it.  I still think it is funny that people think I look so different now and sometimes don't recognize me....well I guess I have changed a little.  I will let you check out some pictures and you can tell me what you think!  As always thank you for your support and I am always here for you too! Have a great weekend and I promise that I will not stay away as long next time!  God Bless!  Jane

  Tony and I

This is one of my favorite new pics of me!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Feeling great!!!

Well to say that I am feeling great is an understatement.  As you may know I am actually on vacation until Monday the 25th.  The family and I are traveling to Kentucky Lake with my dad and sister for a family vacation.  Growing up we use to spend 2 weeks every summer enjoying Kentucky lake and I think the last time I was there was probably 1993.  WOW!  The van is pretty much loaded, the kids are excited and I am very much looking forward to a "different" vacation that we are usually use to.  We are typically on the go go go the whole time but I am looking forward to some fishing, boating, family time and maybe so mini trips to do putt putt and such.  So a girl has to feel great when she is on vacation!

I feel fabulous since on Thursday I went back to have my band checked out.  As you know I have really struggled eating lately.  It was determined that at my last appointment Dr. Rohrscheib put in 1 cc and Jeannie and I planned to do far less than that.  No biggie just it was to tight and so it was making eating hard for me.  I did lose 7 pounds since the last time I was there so that was great news for everyone.  I meet with the dietitian and we talked about how I need to get back on eating a well rounded meal including grains and meat.  So since Thursday I have been doing much better and I have been trying to try some of those foods that sometimes have been difficult recently.  So far so good!

When we get back from vacation football will start for Seth so I have decided that instead of just sitting there and watching I am going to go to the gym and workout.  I am looking forward to getting back into the gym.  I really enjoy the gym and my summer was so busy that I had a hard time fitting it in.  So back I go!  I will work on Cardio and I need to get more strength exercise in since this skin is starting to sag a little. Not that I want skin filled with fat but I am starting to get a few areas that might have looked better full of fat.  LOL 

So I feel great, I am told I look great, and I am looking forward to doing so great things on vacation...I may even go tubing!  Take care till next time! 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Have I heard the Spirit?

This post has more to do with my faith rather than a weight loss journey but I have always given the Lord much of the glory in my weight loss journey. I believe that everything in life is a journey and our walk as Christians is one of those too. As some of you know Tony was raised Mormon and I was raised Methodist. A bit of a different upbringing. We have not found a church that we both feel that we want to be apart of. I guess I should only speak for myself but overall the consensus is that we refuse to “play” church. We do not want to say and do something on Sunday morning and then do something totally different rest of the week. We have many christian influences in our lives and I feel like I have grown so much in my faith lately. We have had a certain church working hard to get us to join them and to be honest….I am very grateful for their interest, prayers and constant trying but of late the pressure is getting more than I can handle and if anything is starting to push me away. So this weekend was a great opportunity for me to “listen for the answer” that they have been encouraging me to listen for. I am a strong believer in prayer but  I have not heard the Lords voice say…”Jane Sprandel this church it the one right church and this is where you should go as a family.” Well last night specifically we had talked about not watching the Chris Tomlin concert instead we were going to go ride some rides. This sort of bummed me out but I knew the kids wanted to ride more. Tony suggested that we catch at least a few songs….well we stayed for the entire concert and I really heard the answer I have been looking for. We need a church that is contemporary, lively, loving, and able to recognize that everyone is unique and we have all sinned and continue to sin. Something that Chris Tomlin kept saying during his concert was the idea of “the church” all singing together worshipping together being “one“. I had just been told a few days prior that unless I am in church I am not following Christ to my potential….do I believe that? Heck no!!! I think it is how I live my life not how many services I attend, how much money that I give the church, or what I even wear to church. So as I listened to Chris Tomlin lead the Lord’s church in worship last night I felt the spirit loud and clear…I had some tears come to me because I knew it was time to listen to my Lord not what I am being told by a specific church. During a moment in the concert Tony and I were standing hand and hand together and I told him I was so glad we stayed and that I really needed this concert…we needed this moment of worship. I told him it was to bad that we would not have a chance to talk later in the night since we had a very small hotel room and 3 kids but I had heard my answer….we needed a contemporary Church where I can worship and feel safe, loved and able to be there for God and not to “do the right thing” in the eyes of others. So this Sunday we traveled home from Ohio and next weekend we will be in Kentucky. I have been telling Tony for a while that I think we need to check out some churches and find the one that compliments us, encourages us to be better in our faith, and one who allows us to grow and glorify our lord rather than one that we are just going through the motions. I have talked to a few of you about your church but if you have a good recommendation of a church in the Champaign-Urbana area let me know.

Sorry to those of you typically read my blog for weight loss and lap band content but if you read this article and were able to question your walk with the Lord today I am glad. We all have our struggles it is part of our faith. We all have sinned, we all continue to sin but that is okay because a GREAT man died for YOU and I. He would do again for each one of us, he only asks that you believe in him and know that he is the 1 true God. May you have a blessed week!


Vacation to Kings Island

So we have just returned from a great family trip to Kings Island in Mason, Ohio. We had headed there to participate in the SpiritFest christian concert fest. Some of our favorite bands were there: Newsboys, Skillet, Chris Tomlin, Disciple, KJ52, Toby Mac, Red, Jeremy Camp, Family Force Five and more. Family vacations are always an adventure in families but even more so with the Sprandel 5. We had a regular room this time rather than a suite and boy could I tell the difference….it felt like everywhere I turned there was a kid underfoot. We packed a lot of stuff into our 4 days. We seen many concerts, road some rides, checked out the awesome water park and did some shopping at the outlet mall before heading home. Any time a family travels it is hard to keep everyone happy. No need to share stories I am sure you can top me with any of your family travel stories. As a family it was fun.

Traveling after losing 100 pounds was a different event in its self. Some of the highlights. I am sure I did not eat enough. It is hard to find foods that agree with me. Seeing that I really do not eat fried foods, bread, meat and such does not leave much for someone to eat at fast food places or amusement parks. So did not eat much food overall and what I did eat did not seem to agree well with me. McKenna had totally banned me from Slimming within her hearing or sight. But yet I can hold her hair when she is vomiting. Only a mom’s love will do that. J I seem to be having some problems in the digestion overall department so I am hoping this week I can get some of this figured out before we head off on our week long vacation in Kentucky.

In a good note I was able to ride many rides feeling so much more comfortable, was able to walk without being tired or worn out, no pain in my knee. So 100 pounds less made a huge difference on this vacation. Also while on this vacation I was able to do some shopping. I tried on a cute coat at a Meijer store and it was an extra large. That was amazing to me. I did not buy it since it was more than I wanted to spend on Ohio State wardrobe since I am Orange and Blue Illini except when cheering with my husband a true buckeye. When Ohio and Illinois compete against each other I am all about my beloved Illini. Another exciting/sad thing was I got a bra fitting today it was sort of a mixed experience feeling. I was wearing a 48DD and now I am a 42C. Love the 42 part but was sad that I am down to a C but I guess we can not all be perfect.

Overall it was a great trip and I am glad that we got to have this great time together as a family and look forward to more future trips. Hopefully I can get the whole eating thing figured out better this week before our next adventure.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Top Ten comments made since my surgery.

  • Number 10  WHAT IS YOUR GOAL WEIGHT?  Well my original goal before surgery was 225 but then I changed it to 200.  I have said that the ultimate goal may be 175 but once I hit the 200 pound mark I will probably take that 10 pounds at a time.  I don't believe I need to let the scale dictate my success.
  • Number 9 WHEN ARE YOU HAVING THE BAND REMOVED? Well my goal is never!  If a band is removed it is usually because there is a major problem.  My band is apart of me!
  • Number 8  CAN YOU EAT THAT?  Well if I am putting it in my mouth I probably can eat it or in logic I will be able to.  There are really no foods that you can not eat.  I choose to not drink pop and really alcohol.  Many foods like breads, rices, etc do not work well.  For me personally meat is not usually my friend either.  If you want to be successful you should try to also limit your sweets, high fat and calorie foods too. 
  • Number 7 IS TONY GAINING ALL OF YOUR WEIGHT?  No  is the answer.  I do feel bad that in the beginning I do think he gained a few of mine because of the whole, don't waste food idea.  We are all a lot better about not doing that.  I think since I am now a hundred pound lighter and I was always about 50 pounds heavier than Tony, it looks like he is alot bigger than me.  Not that this is not encouragement for tony :) 
  • Number 6 AREN'T YOU AFRAID YOU WILL GAIN IT ALL BACK?  Well since this is a lifestyle change I plan to not gain it back.  Can it happen??  Well sure it is weight loss.  The band will always be a tool in my tool box.  I have to continue all the other things that have helped make my transformation successful.
  • Number 5  ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE PLASTIC SURGERY?  Well that is a good question.  I would like to say at this time no.  I am not a terribly vain person.  Tony seen all the skin when it was full of fat so I guess now we know I am that much more healthier he will still love me.  I do feel that I need to work harder on strength training to firm up but lets face it some will never be gone.  IF it becomes a medical issue or something I may have to do something but at this time no plans due to cosmetic wants.
  • Number 4 DON'T YOU WISH YOU WOULD HAVE DONE IT SOONER?  That is a loaded question.  I wish I was ready sooner.  I was not ready to change my whole life forever until about a year ago.  Once I was ready for a forever change the time was right.  I am glad that I recognized it was time. 
  • Number 3 YOU WERE ALWAYS SO PRETTY.  Well I agree but I would hope I look prettier now.  :) What the truth is, that my body and my soul were not healthy. I always had a good self esteem but my weight was starting to play with that and my general every day living.  It was time for a health change not a beauty change.  I have always been and will always be beautiful.   
  • Number 2 DO YOU REGRET TAKING THE "EASY WAY " OUT TO LOSE WEIGHT? What did I sign up for the wrong surgery???  Lap-Band surgery is far from an easy way to loose weight.  This may be one of the hardest but yet rewarding things I have ever done in my life.
  • Number 1  YOU DID NOT HAVE SURGERY DID YOU???  I have had this asked of me many times very rudely.  I take a big breath, smile and say yes, I did have Lap Band surgery.  I am not ashamed to share my story and let people know this is what was right for me. 

I truly enjoy sharing my journey with all of you.  Please do not feel bad if you have ever asked any of these questions you are not alone.  It is not bad.  Many people do not share as openly as I do about having Lap Band.  I am not ashamed that I needed help.  I want to help others too so if you know someone who may be thinking about weight loss surgery, trying to lose weight in general or someone who may enjoy reading my journey feel free to share my links and my information.  I love helping and talking to new people.  Have a blessed week! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

100 pounds gone so I have 100 facts/comments to share

This list in in no particular order but mearly things that I have learned, experienced, encountered etc along this journey.  I am so glad that I get to share this journey with so many of you.  As always feel free to ask questions and make comments! 

  1. LOVE:  if it had not been for the love from my family especially my husband Tony I don't think I could have been this successful!
  2. PATIENCE: With any journey you have to have patience...not one of my strong traits.
  3. FAITH:  I have faith in the Lord and I know that I have never been alone in this journey.
  4. DETERMINATION:  I am determined to succeed in this.
  5. CONFIDENCE: My confidence seems to grow with each pound lost.
  6. SELF IMAGE: I have a much better self image of myself now. 
  7. TRUST: I have had to learn to trust the process and trust that I can do this!
  8. ACCOUNTABILITY: In the end I am accountable to myself.  The scale keeps me accountable and my band does too. 
  9. MENTOR: I seem to have become a mentor to others not only those who are trying to loose weight but people who want to make good health choices in general.  (This has been an honor)
  10. SACRIFICES:Every time I have had to make a sacrifice I know that in the end there will be benefits and boy do I see and feel the benefits.
  11. WILLPOWER: For the first time in my adult life I feel like I have control and willpower to tell myself that I can withstand the temptations of bad things in my life.
  12. ATYPICAL: I am an atypical case.  I have lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time.  Also I have far fewer fills than most typical Lap Band patients. 
  13. DEPRESSION: Typically people with major weight loss tend to also suffer from depression.  I prefer to call it just me feeling over whelmed.  It is okay to ask for help taking the edge off!
  14. LIFELONG: This is a lifelong decision.  The band is a part of my "new" lifestyle. 
  15. EDUCATING: I have taken it as one of my new passions to inform and educate others about Lap Band and choosing a new life overall.  We all can make little changes in our lives.
  16. EMOTIONAL: Even with a psych evaluation I did not realize how emotional this journey would be.  My whole life has changed.  Weight affected everything practically in my life.
  17. SELF DISCOVERY: I have learned alot about myself in the past 9 months.
  18. EMOTIONAL EATING: I will admit that I was an emotional eater.  I still am....defiantly not as bad and my band reminds me why that is not wise.  I have had to learn new ways to deal with emotions rather than putting food in my mouth.  This will always be a work in progress. 
  19. JEALOUSY: I think it is hard for someone to see someone lose weight and not be jealous so I think I have seen the ugly jealousy monster come out a few times but I try not to take it personally, I just try to educate and inspire them.
  20. TO EASY: I have struggled at times if I have made this weight loss look to easy....believe me it has not been easy!
  21. PROTEIN: This is extremely important prior to surgery and after.  I have drank alot of protein shakes in the last nine months.  I still struggle getting enough protein sometimes.
  22. MEAT: Well meat is very hard to tolerate for Lap Band patients and I am included.  I truly go in cycles but I eat very little meat since it does not agree with me. 
  23. VEGETABLES: I love vegetables.  As long as things are pretty soft and I can cut them small and chew them well, vegetables are my friend.
  24. FRUIT: I do not really do any fruit that has skins or is extremely fibrous.
  25. FIELD GREENS: I have learned that I tolerate field greens much better than regular lettuce.
  26. SALADS: I eat alot of salad.  I do a lot of chopping up of it but it is a great healthy meal anytime.
  27. PASTA: I only can tolerate regular spaghetti noodles when it is fresh or lasagna.  Larger shaped noodles and I do not do well.
  28. SAUCE: I tend to put alot of condiments on stuff to help them go down easier.
  29. FRIES:  I really have a hard time with french fries.  Including McDonald's fries which are my favorite. 
  30. BAKED POTATOES: These have become a good stand by especially when dining out.
  31. SOUP: I still eat alot of soup but I really tried to ween myself off of  soup and force myself to eat other things that I had to eat slower and chew better.
  32. NO FRIED FOODS: I have learned from experience that fried foods and I do not do well together.  This is not a bad thing.  Just hard when I want something like that  and it does not agree.
  33. BREADS/RICE/DESSERTS: I do not do well with any bread or rice.  As far as cookies, cakes etc....I can only do a few bites.  Again not all bad!
  34. POPCORN: This is one of my favorite items to eat.  I have learned to make it with less oil and butter.
  35. PIZZA: I can not tolerate any crust except for about 3 pieces of  Monical's Pizza. 
  36. WATER/CRYSTAL LIGHT/POP: I only drink water and crystal light.  I was a huge diet coke addict and I have not even had 1 sip for pop since around Oct 16th.
  37. EATING SLOW: I have had to learn how to eat very slow.  It usually takes me a while to eat.  This has been an adjustment for my family.  I often take short breaks while eating to help things digest.
  38. CHEW WELL: Since the band works like a funnel you have to have things chewed up or things do not go down and we all know what happens when things get stuck.
  39. "SLIMMING": What a gross word.  Well in essence your body know when things are "stuck" so it creates mucus to move the food.  Well either it helps the food move down to the stomach or it ends up helping it up.  So when I get "sick" it is not a normal vomiting situation.  It is more like mucus and a little food.  I subject. 
  40. PORTIONS: I compare the amount of food I eat at one time to what a toddler would eat.  It is about a cup of food.
  41. EATING OUT: This use to be a big part of my life.  I love to still eat out but it is very difficult for me.  I find it sometimes hard to find something I know I can tolerate, since I eat very little I hate to pay big money, and there is always the chance I will not tolerate something and end up walking or in the ladies room.
  42. TOLERATE: It may be late to explain the word tolerate but here goes.  When my band does not like something or seems to be a little tight I get a tight/cramping/burning feeling. I have learned that sometimes if I get up and walk to the rest room or something sometimes that can make the food move, other times I end up allowing myself to relieve itself and that usually allows me to go back to my dining experience.
  43. CHEAP DATE: Tony always says I am a cheap date since I eat very little and always order water when out.
  44. CAR EATING: I can not eat in a car.  Not sure if it is the motion or what but does not work.
  45. NO RHYME OR REASON: Sometimes an item that I hardly ever have a problem with can be a problem.  Also because meat is a a hit or miss I continue to try a little meat when I can. 
  46. SHARING: I do alot of sharing with Raegyn.  I do not eat much and sometimes I want just a bite of something so I do a lot of sampling of things from my family mearly to satisfy the craving for something sometimes.
  47. HEALTHY CHOICES:  I try really hard to make good choices being that I am not able to eat large amounts of foods I have to get the best food for me in first.
  48. M&M'S: This too is one of my weaknesses.  I have become a big fan of M&M's in the last several months.  If they have almonds in them they are classified as healthy right???
  49. NEW WARDROBE: Well when you loose 100 pounds as fast as I have you really rotate your closet pretty fast. 
  50. GOODWILL: This is my favorite place to pick up clothes.
  51. SALVATION ARMY: We have two of these in Champaign Urbana and I like one better than the other but I try to stop in for my clothing needs.
  52. KAREN'S KLOSET: This is a consignment shop in Champaign Urbana and I love going there.  I even consign my clothes there so then I can use my store credit to buy more clothes.
  53. JEWELRY: I have found that now I am changing my life so much I am dressing a little more nicer and defiantly more femine and I love to look for jewelry at all my thrifting stops.
  54. SWIMSUIT: I bought a new swimsuit and trying them on was almost an enjoyable experience.
  55. SIZE 28 PANTS/30-32 4x SHIRTS:  This is about what size I was wearing on a typical day before surgery.
  56. SIZE 18 PANTS/18-20 2X SHIRTS: What I typically wear now.
  57. FAVORITE CLOTHES: It is always sad when I have to get rid of one of my favorite items because it looks terrible on me.
  58. TONY/SETH CLOTHES:  I now can be found in Tony's closet and even I have bought a few things for Seth and then kept them for myself. 
  59. GARAGE SALES:I have always loved them but now I am always looking for new clothes for me and exercise equipment.
  60. GYM MEMBERSHIP: I have a gym membership in Rantoul for the first time in my life.  I have not been going very often lately but counting down the days till Seth is back to football and I will head to the gym and the girls can hang out in the kid center. 
  61. CELEBRATION BAG: I have a huge gift bag that has balloons on it.  As something gets to big it goes in the bag and then when the bag is full I take it to consign or donate. 
  62. SCALE: I weigh every morning.  This is sort of a good and bad thing.  It is good because it keeps me accountable but bad because the female body especially fluctuates so that is frustrating. 
  63. NEW BIKE: For mothers day I got a new bike.  It had a basket and a bell even!
  64. GARDENING: This is one of my new hobbies.  We planted a garden and I have several plants and pots of flowers around my home.
  65. BLOG: Well as you see I have began to blog and I love it. I try to do it often but sometimes I get busy.
  66. CHAMBANAMOMS.COM:  I was a guest blogger on the April 19th post.  Great article and I hope to be able to share more of my story.
  67. LESS KNEE PAIN:  I have had two knee surgeries and really need a replacement but now that I have lost weight and become more active my knee feels so much better.  Hoping to put off replacement for many decades.
  68. FEET DO NOT HURT: I have to say that my feet feel so much better with less pressure on them too.
  69. COLLAR BONE: It is crazy to be able to feel and somewhat see my collar bone. 
  70. BONES/MUSCLES: As my body is changing it is crazy for me to be able to feel my bones and my defined muscle groups so much easier.
  71. ENERGY: This is a huge one.  I feel like a million bucks!
  72. FAMILY PLANNING: We have made the decision that we will probably always be a family of five.  As I get older and our kids continue to get more active I think it is time for me to focus on me.  So my dream of another pregnancy is probably not something we are going to pursue any longer.
  73. SILLY QUESTIONS:  I encourage people to ask questions but sometimes they are down right silly.
  74. MEDICATIONS: I am off all of my medications for diabetes and blood pressures.  I only take stuff for maintenance at this point. 
  75. GRIEVING FOOD: I know it sounds silly but sometimes it is sad when I want a certain food but I know it won't agree with me.  Fried foods, really spicy things, and most meat.
  76. SOCIALIZATION WITHOUT FOOD: Face it we live in a world that socially revolves around food.  This bothers the people around me more than it bothers me.  Eat, be happy, and enjoy the time together with me.
  77. QUIET ENVIRONMENT:It seems odd but when I am having a hard time eating I  have to have a quiet environment. 
  78. SEAT BELTS:  I know it seems odd but it feels great to be able to buckle all of the seat belts in the vehicles that I go in.
  79. CROSS MY LEGS: I sit like a lady alot more.  I will be sitting there and realize that my legs are all crossed lady like....because I now can comfortably.
  80. INDIAN STYLE: I was at the pool one day and I realized I was sitting there on my chair Indian style and it has been like forever since I have done that comfortably.
  81. NEW LOOK: I have a new look about me now.  I did cut my hair a little shorter and I have new glasses along with my new smaller body.
  82. UNRECOGNIZED: I find it humorous when people say they barely recognize me. 
  83. BIGGEST LOSER: Favorite show!!!  I love to watch the transformations of these contestants.  I am able to relate to them often.
  84. HEAVY: This show is shown on A&E I really like this one too since it shows more of the psychological aspect of major weight loss.
  85. EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS.  This is a new one on ABC it is not my favorite but it still inspires me and I love to see how much a person can change in 365 days.  There are some things that I do not care for in this show so I give it mixed reviews. 
  86. THE SLIDE: McKenna and I decided to add this one!  When we were in St.Louis at the City Museum there is a big slide that the kids were going down and I decided that I too was going to go down it also.  Things like this are all new experiences for me as a mom.  I am more daring to try new things now since I feel more physically able and I know I will fit.
  87. FILLS: I have only had two fills since my surgery.  I want to work the program as much as I can on my own.  Typically people get fills every 4-5 weeks.  I had one December 7th and then again on June 16th. 
  88. BUSY LIFE: As a mom of three kids who works full time I am very busy.  My husband works second shift so many of the sports and school events fall on my shoulders so I am always on the go.  I try not to use this as an excuse to not exercise but it does make it hard to get to the gym.  I am looking forward to football so I can head back to the gym while Seth is at practice.
  89. PEOPLES OPINIONS ABOUT SURGERY:  Most people have totally supported my choice to have this surgery.  I have gotten some negative feedback and a couple of those," you didn't have surgery did you?"  I proudly say yes I did and I am so glad that I did so that I have 1 more tool to fight against  obesity.
  90. BMI: Body mass index started at 48 and I am currently at 32.1
  91. 5K: I helped organize a 5K this spring to benefit our sports department and McKenna actually jogged/walked it.  We are planning on walking a 5K together soon. 
  92. OBSTACLES: In life there are always obstacles.  I have found that I can succeed with any obstacle that comes my way. 
  93. PACE: I sometimes have wished that the pace of my weight loss were going faster but I never thought within 9 months I would hit my 100 loss mark.  I was hoping for by my 1 year anniversary on October 19th.
  94. DAD: I will say that my dad took the idea of me doing the surgery far better than I expected.  I am so thankful for his love, support and encouragement during this time. 
  95. FRIENDS: I have some of the best friends around.  I am a very open person and I am always so proud of my milestones and I often text them immediately with the good news.  It was really hard to not text people today at 4:20 am when I got on the scale!
  96. DR. ROHRSCHEIB:  I am so thankful for a great doctor who has performed my lap band and seen me through this journey.
  97. DR. WALKER: The first time I meet my new primary and told him I needed his help to make a change in my health so that I could see my kids grow up he asked me what I thought about Lap Band.  Gutsy move but I am so glad he took the risk.  Best thing that could have happened to me.
  98. SUPPORT:  Without the support of my family, friends and medical personnel I don't think I would have ever dreamt I would be writing this. 
  99. "BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.TRUST THE PROCESS. CHANGE FOREVER!"  This is one of my favorite quotes along my journey.
  100. PHILIPPIANS  4:13: "I can do everything through him who gives me strength"
I look forward to continuing to share  my journey with you.  My next goal that I would like to meet is to become ONEderful.  I am looking forward to weighing 199.  So I guess I better get working on my next goal.  Thanks again for all of your love, support, prayers and dedication to my journey! 

Love, Jane

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is it time for us to take a more active role in our childs future???

So today I had a very sobering moment,one that I am a little shook up about.  I have come to the realization that we as parents may have to take a more active roll in our sons health for his future.  As you know I have been working really hard to hit the 100 pounds lost point.  So today when I got home the kids asked me what I weighed.  I told them and all I am going to say right now is....I am soooooo close!  So Seth was dancing around all crazy and Tony made the statement, "I wish you would get that excited about your own weight loss."  Well at first I thought it was a tough but yet truthful comment.  Tony and I know what it is like to be over weight and we do not want to see our children follow those same footsteps.  I thought to myself I bet Seth's  BMI is as high as mine almost.  So I plugged in both of our statistics and what happened next shocked and saddened me.  Seth is 4'11" and weighs in at 153  I am 5'10" and weigh in at 225.  So Seth's current BMI is 31.....mine is 32.3.  How is it that we have allowed our 11 year old to become so obese?  For years I tried to place the blame to my genetics, my own health, ect but in reality it was ME who choose to eat unhealthy, it was ME who chose not to exercise, it was ME who chose to allow myself to wreck havic with my health.  As a parent how much can I do to help my children be as healthy as they can be?  Well I do the shopping, so I guess the treats are going to have to go since we can not just "treat" ourselves once in a while, as a parent I am the who who designates how much "screen" time my children get, and most importantly I have to model the behavior I want my kids to have.  So even though my lifestyle has changed almost completely around I need to be more observant of what I am eating, how much I am exercising and if I am totally modeling a healthy lifestyle. 

Don't get me wrong.  I do not plan to take all the goodies out of our home, never let the kids have screen time and harp about getting healthy but like anything else it is time to make this a priority in our lives.  I know what it is like to be the biggest kid in the class, the biggest kid on the team, I know what your joints feel like carrying around all that extra weight.  I want Seth to have the best opportunity he can to live a healthy, happy, athletic life if he so chooses. 

When I set out on this Lap Band Journey I knew it would affect our whole family.  When I shop there is far more fruits and vegetables in my cart.  I spend a lot of time outside now which is wonderful since usually the girls will join me.  But what I know the most and I preach constantly is, until the person is ready to make a change there is nothing I can do to make them change.  But for Seth I can limit food choices, amounts and the amount of inactivity in our home. 

If anyone has any tips on how to help your kids be healthy please share.  Seth loves sports and he is involved year round in some kind of sport but he is also year round having a large appetite and does not seem to understand portions. 

I know that I am not the first mom who has had this concern nor will I be the last but I want the best for my kids and that includes a healthy life. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

To fill or not to fill??

So last Thursday I was faced with the decision weather or not I should get a fill in my band.  I had not had a fill since December 7th and typically fills are given every 4-5 weeks.  Since I was doing so well my doctor gave me the option to work the program on my own for as long as I could and if I started gaining, having problems or the scale stopped I could give him a shout and we could give me a fill.  Well we all know that I am bull headed so I wanted to keep trying on my own.  In the last 2 months I had only lost 7 pounds.  So on Thursday I went in and the PA and I talked about it and we decided that we would take the conservative route and give me a small fill.  Well she was having a hard time getting the fluid in so Dr Rohrscheibe came in and worked his magic.  I have a feeling that he put in more than she would have but that is okay.  I am feeling pretty restricted.  As far as weight loss I am at 6 pounds since Thursday but the first few days I was eating mainly liquids.  We also discussed that I am having problems with meat especially so their is concern about me getting enough protein.  I am back to trying to drink a protein shake a day so hopefully this is the jump start I was needing.  I am so close to the 100 pound mark and I plan to have a special blog to commemorate the event. 

I am so very busy with my kids and all their ball games.  Working full time still.  Went to a school board training the other day and learned alot!!!  Our vacations are just around the corner so I am soooo busy!  Sorry I have not been blogging much but I am so loving being a mom and spending time outside rather than sitting on the couch with a lap top in my lap.  Well take care and I hope the 100 pound mark comes any day now! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

New Hobby

So as some of you may know, we decided to plant a garden this year.  Everyone was so excited, they were all going to plant, water, weed and harvest.  Well so far we have planted twice on some items due to the pesky rabbits.  I have been weeding and watering.  Raegyn I have to say has been the best helper in regards to the kids and Tony has helped out in my garden too.  So the Garden and now my flowers are becoming my new hobby rather than eating!  I seem to have so much more energy, I am physically able to do the work easier now, and I am not so hot so I enjoy being outside working.  It is great exercise too.  So today like I said I needed to replant some items that have been eaten by the rabbits.  They ate all of our broccoli and our peas so the girls asked me if we could try water melon and Cantaloupe and of course since I am a softy I said sure.  I decided that we needed more corn so I also planted more corn today where the peas once were.  While I was out in the garden center today I seen to perennials marked down and I thought hummmm they look like then need a home!  So I bought them and planted them in front of my house.  Since I have been focusing on my garden and spent some start up money on it I still have not planted my flower pots.  That is my goal for the week but gosh flowers are not cheap!  I have been to a few area garden centers and I think tomorrow I am just going to go to my ole standby Urbana Meijer and get some annuals. 

I have never really understood how people can enjoy gardening well until this year when I have been able to truly enjoy it as a hobby rather than as work.  I pray that my plants all do well.  I am a newbie to all this but I am learning as I go and having fun trying! 

This week is filled with work, 4 baseball games, 2 doctors appointments and maybe some pool time.  Over the weekend I am going to a school board presidents training session on Saturday and then the kids and I are participating in the Relay for Life event in Champaign County.  If you would like to support us while we help raise money for the American Cancer Society let me know and I will send you our link online or you can make a donation to me in person. 

I hope you have had a great Monday, I know I have!  Take Care!  Jane 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What have you been up to??

That is probably what some of you are asking about me.  I have been so busy overall being a mom!  It is the best job in the world.  All three of my kids are playing ball this summer and so even though we are very busy it is a great thing.  My day consists of work, pool and the ball park.  Somehow I have to fit some housework and sleep in there too. 

I apologize that it has been a while since I posted but overall the update is the same.  I have officially plateaued.  Most people would consider this a bad thing but for the first time in my life I am thrilled that the scale is staying put and sometimes going down slowly.  I have found the last few weeks to be so interesting since I know what the scale says but boy have I been getting a lot of great attention lately.  So many people have commented on how well I look lately a can tell I am really losing alot of weight.  I have truly only lost 5 pounds in the last 2 months according to Christie clinic scales.  Since I have seemed to plateau I have decided it is time to make an appointment with Dr Rohrscheibe so next Thursday I am going in for a possible tune up.  I may get a fill or I may just get a little bit of motivation and nutrition counseling.  I had a few weeks it seemed like I couldn't eat meat but the last week has been better. 

The best thing that I can say about the last few weeks/months is I am truly amazed but how great I feel and how much energy and confidence I have.  I am starting to feel like a lovely lady possibly for the first time in my life.  I seemed to loose alot of confidence over the past few years but lately I want to dress like a lady, wear nice jewelry, and look like a hot mama!  LOL  I went swimsuit shopping the other day and it was actually fun! 

Well to say that I am on the top of the world personally is an understatement.  Physically and mentally I feel wonderful and I am truly proud of myself.  I have learned so much about myself, nutrition, and especially determination.  I feel like I am truly being successful after this life change and it feels like it is making other areas of my life that much better. 

I thought I would close with some recent pictures.  I hope that I am able to inspire you to do something for yourself today.  To be the best mom, wife, employee ect you have to take care of YOU!!!  Have a wonderful day and weekend!

This was June 2010  Yikes!!!

This was June 2011  I personally think I look a little big here but several think I look wonderful.  I guess we always find ourselves to look less flattering than we are.

This is my new swimsuit.  I would have NEVER posted a picture like this 93 pounds ago.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Journey

Like anything in our lives, weight loss is a journey.  It is also something that is highly affected by the things around us.  This past week I have been under a little bit of stress and as usual my schedule has been very hectic.  Summer ball is in full swing now with the games starting tomorrow!  This past week I did a little more eating out than usual and I made some scotcharoos so I may have not been eating more at any sitting but I probably, well most defiantly, was eating more calories at each setting.  I continue to weigh everyday and we have beat it over the head many times that this is not always wise since the scale likes to fluctuate by about 2-3 pounds lately.  This week was also pretty hectic and I did not get any workouts in per say.  With all this said....I feel great and I am told that I look wonderful. 

Last night the girls and I had a girls night out.  We went and seen the play, A Mid Summers Dream by William Shakespeare.  It was performed by the Rantoul Theater Group and the girls and I really enjoyed it.  A  couple of people we know were in it and I felt that is would be a great way to introduce the girls to some Shakespeare and for them to get some more cultural experience.  Something that we defiantly will do again.  Matter of fact McKenna is thinking about auditioning for a winter play that will have kids in it!  I told her we would support her if that is something she wants to try.  We started our night out at Steak n Shake which I think I have decided is not a place we will be going since I just struggle with burger so badly there and well most places.  I get sick of just vegetable soup so we will see if Steak n Shake becomes only a shake place for me.  :)   We then went to Meijer where we took Tony some dinner but most importantly we went so he could see his pretty ladies.  It is so hard to believe how this weight loss has transformed me so much not just in pounds.  I want to look more feminene, I am starting to wear clothes that are a little more sexier and most importantly I have so much more confidence as an attractive woman again.  Tony always says it feels like he has a new wife!  I feel like a new wife, mom and woman!  Here are a couple of pics from last nights girls night out! 

It is so amazing even to me how much I have changed.  I know that the doctors and others have told me to quit worrying about what the scale says and look at what changes I have gone through, evaluate how I feel ect.  I am starting to believe that.    As a recap I have not had a "fill" since December 7th and I am suppose to do those every 4-5 weeks but I am still working the program. The doctor told me that since I have made some a lifestyle change that he wanted me to determine when I needed the bands help.  At this time I am the one who is making my weight loss continue.  The band is there as a resource but it is my constant work and persistence that is paying off for me right now.   Once and a while I think about going in just to get a little fluid put in to restrict me a little more and then I ask myself am I doing all I can to help myself and the answer is usually no.  So I try to refocus on eating 100% correctly overall and getting more exercise in.  When I look at the things I can affect I am able to get back on the right track.  It is hard sometimes especially when I had weeks I was losing almost 10 pounds a week and now I am down to like 1 a week which is very normal but reminding my brain that can sometimes be a challenge. 

This week will be busy with baseball starting games, t-ball and softball practice , board of education meeting, and then the big 5K that I have been helping to plan.  So I have a busy week coming up.  I hope that you have been doing something for yourself to make life healthier, more enjoyable but most of all do it for yourself which in turn makes you a better; spouse, parent, child, friend, employee, ect.  Have a blessed day and week!  Jane

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mothers Day Edition In Honor of my mom

So it is the eve before Mother's day and I sit here thinking of my mom.  Some of my followers are new so let me tell you a little about my mom.  I was one of those girls who had the best mom in the world.  She was not only an awesome mom but also my best friend.  I had 31 great years with my mom!  My mom died on May 21, 2007 at the age of 50 of Congestive Heart Failure.  My mom was not an obese person, overall lived a healthy lifestyle but she unfortunately had an extensive family history of heart disease.  She also had Factor 5 Leiden which is a blood clotting disorder and she was diabetic.  When someone beccomes ill and has other health problems they seem to really gang up on them.  My mom had a few stints put in through the years and in '05 she had a double bypass done.  Overall she did pretty good after the bypass but on November 14,2006 her life changed forever.  She ended up going into respiratory failure and when they had to inti bate her throat was injured and eventually on December 27th she had to have a tracheotromy done to help save her life that she lived with until her death.  I tell some of these details because of many reasons;  my mom never complained with everything she had going on with her, she always fought, always put a smile on for her grand kids, and overall always thought she was going to beat all these hurdles.  She inspired me to always fight and that helped lead me to the decision to do my lap band surgery.  I can not control my heredity but I could do something about my weight. 

At the age of 31, I grew up more that year  than probably any year of my life.  I seen my mom, my best friend, the strongest person I know slowly slip away from us.  I have always been told that I am a strong person, mature and brave person.  All of which I got from my mom.  In the last week of my mom's life I had 1 of the hardest discussions with her.....I told her on the Wednesday before she passed on Monday that it was okay to say enough is enough.  That with my faith I knew that possibly the only man who could heal her was our Lord and that maybe here on earth was not where she would be healed.  On that day she told me she wanted to keep fighting so for the next few days I did everything I could do to get my mom the best care that she could get.  On that Monday morning my dad called and told me she had a really bad night and I needed to come to Bloomington to the hospital.  Before I seen my mom, I seen one of my favorite clergy people named Rose Mary and I told her how a few days prior I had told my mom it was okay to allow the Lord to heal her but I felt possibly my mom was holding on for us.  I asked for Rose Mary to talk to my mom and let her know it it was okay.  Well about 2:30 that afternoon Rose Mary talked and Prayed with my mom.  She reassured my mom that we loved her, would always be right by her side but also knew that maybe she would not have 100% healing on this Earth.  She reassured mom that we would always miss her, but always love her and know that she was with us.  Well on that evening my dad left around 5pm to spend time with my sister since he had been pretty much at the hospital every night that my mom was there which was I think about 60 days from November to May.  Dad left and I sat with mom holding her hand, listening to CMT and really just relaxing and sleeping.  Well around 7:30 while talking to my dad whom the nurse asked me to call since her vitals had been changing a little I realized that my mom had passed away.  For the longest time I thought she had it all planned, waited till my dad was gone and her best friend and strong daughter was sitting there to go to heaven. I don't know if maybe as I sat there with her she may have went from my loving hand onto her Heavenly Fathers, earthly fathers, brother, sister, most importantly my Sister Cindy's hands.  I will not know until I am able to touch her hand again.  I feel her presence all the time in my life as a mother and wife.  She taught me well.  Okay grab another Kleenex!  I miss my mom everyday but I know she is with us, healthy again and I will see her again! 

God gives us gifts for only a short time.  I wish I could have had my mom much longer but I am thankful for the relationship that we had.  I am thankful for all that she taught me on how to be a mom.  I am thankful for the example my parents modeled for me in their marriage.  I know that my kids miss their Grammie but they know she is always looking down on them and is so proud of the kids they are each and everyday. 

My mom taught me so much!  Sometimes when things are tough following my diet, working out, or just trying to make healthy choices I remember all my mom went through and if this helps me live longer it is so worth the sacrifice! 

If you are missing your mom this weekend I feel your pain. If your mom is still with you.....give her an extra special kiss this weekend.  Mend any problems in your relationships with your moms or kids.  Life is short believe me.  I have no regrets I know that the 31 years I spent with my mom were about as good as any daughter and mom could ask for! 

I love you and miss you mom! 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What a great day!

I feel like a million bucks lately.  I have a lot of personal stress in my life right now but when I start to let my self get a little overwhelmed I try to remember how many obstacles I have overcome lately.  The stresses that I am encountering may be hard but they can be concurred too! 

As far as weight loss.....well I have learned that sometimes it is not what the scale says but how I feel, look and what I am able to wear.  What a transformation I have made lately.  In October my jeans were a size 28 well now if I have a pair of jeans on that look decent on me and are not falling off of me they must be my size 18 ones.  18 can you believe that?  I can't I am so excited.  I bought an XL shirt the other day and it looked really cute on me.  Every morning when I weigh and the scale just sits there, I take a big breath, thank the Lord that I did not gain, praise myself for all my hard work and go get some clothes that are now fitting just right because I just bought them during my last thrifting trip or wear what is clean and well probably is falling off of me.  I am needing to go on a hunt this weekend for some more pants especially.

It cracks me up how people respond to me.  I had several people last week from my hometown who said they barely recognized me.  That is so flattering to me.  I was mistaken for someones sister the other day and my response was....your sister is a twig and they are you!  I would not go that far but thank you!

I am so busy lately!  All three kids are playing ball this summer.  Seth baseball, McKenna softball and Raegyn t-ball.  Add on the end of the school year activities for the kids, school board,  helping plan the Thomasboro Pack the Park 5K and Kids Run, working, and just trying to be the best mom and wife that I can be I am one busy lady lately.  I am so looking forward to sunshine and and a wonderful summer.  We will get a pool pass again this year, go to the library often, go to Ohio to a christian rock fest at Kings Island and then Kentucky Lake for a week long vacation.  Wow when will it ever slow down?  So now you can understand why it has been a week since my last post. 

I learn more each day with my band.  Today we went to Dos Realos for Cinco De Myo day and I had a cheese enchilada instead of a chicken one and.....I did not get sick!  I am really learning what I can tolerate and what seems to give me problems but I am learning how to deal with foods that wants to be difficult. 

I am so thankful for all the things going on in my life.  Like I said I have been super busy recently and I think my summer will continue to be hectic and there is some other drama in my life but these things only make us stronger. 

I have had a couple of suggestions for Top 10 Lists so maybe over the weekend I will work on a couple of those!  Have a great Friday and I will do my best to keep a bright smile on my face! 


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I did it!!!

So today is a special two for one day!  I posted earlier and spoke about how I just was not motivated and how I needed to get some "sun" in my life and get out of this rut.  Well as I typed that post I kept thinking how when I go to work out how I feel so much better.  So on my way to the gym I decided I was going to really push myself today and so something I had never done....I was going to do a 5K on the treadmill.  So 3.11 miles.  My goal was to do it in less than an hour and to still be alive afterwards.  Well I dug deep a couple of times and I pushed myself more today than I ever have.  I averaged about a 15.32 mile I think with a total time of 49.22   so less than an hour with time to spare.  I even answered an important call during this fast paced walk.  I have not gotten comfortable jogging on the treadmill so it is a speed walk!  I am SOOOOO PROUD of myself!  This was something that I can write down as one of my milestones.  I am even more confident in doing a 5K walk in July. Just wanted to share this exciting event with you!  Who would have thought 7 months ago I would have done a 5K on the treadmill and still be alive to tell about it!  If I can do it so can you!!!

The Rain has to stop!!!

This rain really has had me in a funk this past week.  I am ready to get outside and work in the yard, go for a walk or bike ride.  Like most people when it is grey and gloomy out I want to lay on my couch!  Well the sun is shining and that makes me smile for the moment.  I can only hope the sun stays around for a while.  I need some motivation!!  Do you have any to share?  I just feel like my scale is stuck and I am just not motivated to head to the gym.  I keep looking at all the great things that are going on in my life and trying not to dwell on the stuck scale and my ultra busy schedule.  As I sit her typing I am thinking.....why am I sitting in and typing when I could be at the gym having some me time on the treadmill and getting excited about this new me. 

Easter was a great occasion for many reasons.  I fixed a wonderful meal for my family, my dad, sister and my mother in law.  We all feasted on ham, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole, scalloped corn and strawberry pretzel salad.  I actually made a cheese cake and I have not had any.  I am pleased to announce that I truly enjoyed my meal and my band also enjoyed eating at a nice moderate pace and not trying to over do it.  One thing that I am a bit disappointed about is that the Easter Bunny did not really leave any candy in my basket.  We had a little talk and I said....please don't tempt me to be bad but gosh I could have gotten a few little treats!  LOL 

I continue to receive compliments on how I look and that really inspires me especially since the scale just bounces around a little about 3 pounds of water I presume.  My clothes seem to be getting to big again and I feel just as good if not better so I guess like most people do at some point, I need to quit weighing all the time and just go by how I feel and look. 

Life is wonderful here and I am so proud of my kids.  All three are going to play baseball/softball/t-ball this summer so I will be one busy mom!  Seth is finishing up his track season and Kenna is going to run her first 5K this may with a friend.  I am one of the chair people for the event so I am not participating but I think my next goal is to walk the Rantoul 4th of July 5K anyone want to join me? 

Well I really think I may go to the gym.  I feel a bit motivated so I guess I should take this motivation and do something with it!  Have a great day!  Jane

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Welcome to my journey!!!

I would like to say welcome to my new readers!  I was asked to contribute an article for the website to talk about the challenges of weight loss for moms especially.  As you know on October 19th 2010 I had the Lap Band Procedure done my Dr. Sidney Rohrscheib in Champaign IL.  Weight loss surgery is not for everyone but since I was looking down at the scale weighing 324 and had battled obesity all my life I knew I HAD to make a change!  I have learned many things in the last 6 months.  I have learned that I am a very strong, determined and beautiful person inside in out.  I learned that weight loss has given me so much more energy and self pride.  Up until the last few years I had not had any self image problems but as I began to become larger I became more insecure and less willing to try new activities and wear things that brought attention to me.  Weight loss has brought a lot of emotions up in the last 6 months; scared, excited, determined, frustrated, happy, sad and at times overwhelmed.  I eat and exercise much different than I ever have.  I am a very open person and since this is my blog I well tell it how it is!  I am very dedicated to my family and they mean the world to me.  Without my husband, kids and other family this past year may not have been possible.  I have a lot of long time and new friends who have supported me during this journey.  I encourage you to read my blog from start to finish and please feel free to comment or email me with any questions or anything.  I am a firm believer in "passing it forward" and if I can help encourage someone to do something for themselves especially in regards to their health I feel like I made a difference.  I talk about a wide range of topics because I have found that your weight does effect alot in our lives.  I feel like the Lord has blessed me with a "new" life, one filled with energy, promise and hopefully a long life.  Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments!  Have a great day my friend!  Jane

Monday, April 18, 2011

Customer Relations

Not sure if you caught my post from Sunday but I wrote about the Top 10 Things about Food and my Lap Band.  One of them was that Ryan's the Restaurant does not allow you to use your Lap-Band Card.....

(Number 7:  It is not allowed to use my Lap Band card at Ryan's so that I can pay for a smaller portion. I nicely explained to the manager that I eat like a 1 year old and she nicely stated that to many people were printing weight loss cards off the Internet and they getting 10 plates of food.  To bad a few jerks ruined it for people who honestly need some accommodations.  So eating at Ryan's for dinner on Seth's birthday will probably not happen again.  (I have a cute credit card sized card that asks a restaurant to allow me to have a child's portion since I have had weight loss surgery.  Sort of a cool card.  Also if I am ever hurt and unconscious it is  stated on there  that I have the Lap Band, when and by whom with their 800 number.  Let me know if you ever want to see it or if I am passed out you can get it out of my wallet for the EMT)  LOL)

So last night I decided that I was going to send them a nice note and let them know I was a little frustrated with their policy of not allow individuals to use a permanent card to get a reduced price at their establishment.  I was very nice and professional and today this is the email I got back from them that sort of frustrated me. 

Dear Ms. Jane Sprandel,
Thank you for taking the time to email us. We appreciate hearing from our guests. Your input helps us continue to improve and ensure we are providing the best dining experience possible to our guests.

Thank you for inquiring about discounts for Gastric Bypass or Lap Band patients at our restaurants. We can certainly understand and empathize with your request for a discount because of your situation. We try to be fair to all of our other adult guests by charging one price that we feel is a great value for the dining experience that we offer. We receive many requests for discounts and while we would love to honor them all, we are a business and we have to provide programs that treat all of our guests fairly and equally. You can be assured that we continue to focus on offering our guests a value-priced meal every day which includes a wide variety of entrees, side dishes, salads and desserts.

You are a valued guest and we hope you will give us the opportunity to exceed your expectations the next time you dine with us. Again, thank you for taking the time to email; your honest feedback is greatly appreciated.

Guest Relations
Case # 311821

You know this response has just made me more upset!  You do not treat your customers fairly.....I do not get a senior citizen discount as an adult.  I understand that people were abusing the cards and that is a shame but to say you treat everyone equal.  I want my senior discount then next time I go!  If we are all equal then I should be allowed to have a discount too!  I know why do I let stupid things bother me????  Well there will not be another opportunity for them to meet my expectations.  I told Tony today that he and the kids and go or even go with my dad and sister but I do not feel like I get anywhere close to my moneys worth.  At least when I go to a regular restaurant I can get a to go box. 

I am done venting for now.  Do you think I should be a little crabby over this "form letter" response?  Have a great day!  Jane

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Top 10 Things about my Lap-Band and Food

So a few weeks ago I seen a YouTube video made by another Lap Band person talking about facts about her Lap Band so I decided today I was going to make a Top Ten Things about my Lap Band and Food post! 

Number 10:  I still do not allow my self to have any carbonated beverages.  I think the last time I had a Diet Coke was around the Weekend of Oct 16th.  Only water, and crystal light.  Rarely do I allow myself to have even a regular lemonade due to the sugar. 

Number 9:  I have started branching out to eating things other than soup for breakfast.  Soup, water melon, a little bit of scrambled egg.  Not a huge list but trying a few new things.  Sometimes some potatoes or potato salad at work but that is not always a good idea.

Number 8:  Eating in a loud environment does not work well for me.  When my stomach is bothering me I need it really quiet. 

Number 7:  It is not allowed to use my Lap Band card at Ryan's so that I can pay for a smaller portion. I nicely explained to the manager that I eat like a 1 year old and she nicely stated that to many people were printing weight loss cards off the Internet and they getting 10 plates of food.  To bad a few jerks ruined it for people who honestly need some accommodations.  So eating at Ryan's for dinner on Seth's birthday will probably not happen again.  (I have a cute credit card sized card that asks a restaurant to allow me to have a child's portion since I have had weight loss surgery.  Sort of a cool card.  Also if I am ever hurt and unconscious it is  stated on there  that I have the Lap Band, when and by whom with their 800 number.  Let me know if you ever want to see it or if I am passed out you can get it out of my wallet for the EMT)  LOL

Number 6 :  Just learned the other day that field greens are tolerated far better than regular lettuce so I guess I am changing my salad prep stuff.

Number 5:  Everything is better with sauce of some sort.  I try not to use a lot of sauce and stuff but things do go down better if they have a liquid base on them.  Ketchup, gravy, cocktail sauce, tarter sauce, ect.

Number 4:  Pasta.....Well if it is fresh spaghetti or lasagna I am usual okay but left overs or thicker noodles forget it!

Number 3: Breads, rolls, rice, some cakes and cookies ect usually do not do well for me.  So I only take a nibble of bread products if I need to satisfy a craving.

Number 2:  I have learned that I can not eat in a moving vehicle.  So my days of trying to eat a little burger or fries on the way are over.  I think I am more upset that I can not really tolerate Fries anymore.  Actually pretty much anything fried is not a positive any more.

Number 1 thing about my Lap Band and Food.......There is no rhyme or reason to anything.  What I can eat today I may not be able to eat tomorrow! 

I am starting to learn more and more about my band but I learned a long time ago that the Band is the boss and I am just here to follow what it wants.  I try to satisfy my craving with just a little taste of things.  Some days I want something and I know that I will probably regret that decision such as I wanted KFC fried chicken the other day.....big mistake but the few bites I ate tasted great!

I hope you enjoyed today's top 10 list.  They are sort of in order.  I may have to do another top 10 list of something else about my Lap Band any suggestions??  Have a great day!  Jane