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!