Gloria's Diary reveals the emotions and day-to-day experiences of a real patient in Fort HealthCare's Bariatric Program.


Hey friends!

Like everyone else, I’m trying to get into my spring fitness groove.  I just went to my visit with Dr. Erickson and Patrice yesterday; it’s been 11 months and I am down 60 pounds! (Only 3.5 in the past month though.)  They always seem happy about my progress and, of course, I think of how much better I could be doing if I exercised more often.  My next appointment will be my one year mark - which just happens to be on my birthday.  My plan is to make this visit the best one yet so I have two things to celebrate.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

I’m trying to keep my weight loss in perspective by looking at the clothes I used to wear. Compared to my size 26 pants, I am happy to fit into size 16 jeans.  Honestly, I didn’t think that would ever happen.  The last time I wore that size was the 1980s. All of my Yo-yo dieting never got me where I am today.  Getting LAP-BAND® has been the best thing I could have done for my health and well-being; I have not once regretted it.

Over the next six months, I plan to take off another 30 pounds. While I don’t know what size I’ll be in then, I will be happy with my progress.  As for my eating, I have learned by now what I should and shouldn’t eat. Sometimes I just can’t resist dessert or sweets, but now I indulge in an appropriate portion size AFTER eating something nutritious like vegetables, fish, soup or salad. 

My family and co-workers continue to be supportive and seem to notice every pound I drop. I’m still getting used to my image in the mirror; sometimes I walk by and do a double take because I don’t recognize myself. This has been an awesome experience!

Other LAP-BAND® people are right – this really is a journey. We’ll talk again after my 12 month check-in!

- Gloria

I’m back!

Work has been a challenge all its own! Our staff is notorious for bringing in desserts and special sweet treats – I’m just glad I can’t eat much of it. That would be disastrous. I can’t even think of how many calories one could consume during a shift, especially in a high stress career. The minimal pieces of chocolate I eat have enough calories…no need to add any cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter or other embellishments!

I need to remind myself to exercise every day (or every other at the very least!) I know this will never change; LAP-BAND® is a lifestyle change. However, exercise is getting to be so much easier than it used to be. My goal is to mix it up so I don’t get bored AND to find a workout partner. So far, I’ve been going it alone, but I think it’s time to enlist a partner is crime.  

My weight loss is definitely showing these days and I know I need to share a picture with you soon! So many people have been noticing. When people ask how I did it, I always tell them it’s a combination of exercising more, eating less and Dr. Erickson – if I know they are familiar with the procedure.  Surprisingly people are supportive and say “Whatever works!” and  I worry less about judgment than I used to. Besides, I always felt people judge others for being overweight anyway, at least I’m doing something to change my body and health status.

I’ve gotten myself new uniforms for work and a few new clothing items. Recently, I tried on some of my old clothes to motivate me. It’s amazing how baggy everything is!  I haven’t gotten rid of anything yet, but I plan to this summer.  I want to have a few reminders of where I was and where I am now. As for goals, I would like another 40 pounds off by this summer. It will take some commitment and a lot of exercise to get it off, but I’m prepared. It’s all about making better choices – and I can do that!


Thanks for keeping me in check!


Made it through the holidays!

Hey everyone; It’s been a long holiday season!  I, like many of us, have been busy with family and festivities and haven’t lost much weight the last couple months. However, I also didn’t gain my usual 10-holiday-pounds!  During my last check-up with Dr. Erickson and Patrice, I decided/agreed to add saline to my band.  I was concerned with over-doing it during the holidays and so was Dr. Erickson. 

So…here’s to the New Year and dedication to exercise and eating better.  (It seems those 2 things never end.)  I realize I could eat unhealthy foods and not gain any weight, but the whole purpose in having this procedure done was to lose more of my excess weight. To enhance my weight loss, I purchased fitness videos for yoga, 5 Mile Walk and Pilates, all of which I have tried.  I found I am not very graceful and have lost most of my ability to stretch like I once could! 

I continue to push on and make another attempt at my weight loss. At least with the band I don’t go hungry trying to lose weight; I just need to eat the right foods and commit to exercising at least 3 times a week.  Spring isn’t far away so I need to focus on the next 100 days!

Here goes nothin’!



I’ve done it – 50 pounds, gone forever! It doesn’t seem real yet, but I have bagged up a LOT of clothes that don’t fit…and even bought a few new things!  It is actually kind of fun to look at clothes now because the styles are more appealing! Many of the larger sized clothes were not so tempting. 

Besides the clothing benefits, I have to say I feel better and have MUCH more energy.  It’s nice to hear coworkers say, “Wow! You look good!”  And I REALLY felt great after my youngest daughter (age 21) said my weight loss was truly starting to show.

As for the rest of 2012, I have a short-term goal to lose 10 more pounds before the New Year.  The only way I am going to do that is exercise and watch what I eat. I rarely watch how much I eat, which is where the LAP-BAND® has done so much for me.  I like feeling satisfied with my meal of only ¾ to 1 cup of food!

Here goes nothing!


The Holidays

The holidays are starting and I have NOT been feeling up to blogging…or exercising! I tell myself I am “too busy with all of the shopping for meals and presents,” and then I eat some of the high-fat, low-nutrition foods. Thanks to my band though, I can only eat ¾ cup of food at a meal and I try to keep to the suggested 3 meals per day. 

It would be SO EASY for me to graze all day, since my portions are so small and I still put too much food on my plate, so I have converted to using a salad plate instead and trying to spend at least 25 minutes eating.  Typically, I eat in a hurry and that doesn’t work; my stomach doesn’t settle well. 

Recently, I was told I can drink fluids before, during, or after my meal.  I have tried and know from LAP-BAND® Support Group meetings that some can tolerate it, but I find myself nauseated and my food won’t stay down.  So, I am sticking with the original plan of 30 minutes before and 45-60 minutes after meals for any liquids.  

Until next time…

(Source: gloriasbariatricdiary)

September 26, 2012

Hello friends,

Clothing shopping remains a CHALLENGE. I hate to buy anything, because I am still losing weight — but I am getting a little desperate. My work uniforms have become a continuous issue; they just hang on me! The time has come to put them away and go back to my old ones that are smaller. While it’s nice to be in a smaller size, I am still not at my goal. Maybe in the spring I can go crazy and buy clothes in the size I want!

I haven’t lost this much weight EVER, and I haven’t weighed this little since 1995! This change in seasons from summer to fall is a nice transition from my larger sizes to some smaller clothes. Now I am packing up clothes I plan to never wear again, but I am going to keep a few things to remind me where I once was.

I have my next appointment with Dr. Erickson and Patrice next Tuesday, and plan to kick up my exercise more this weekend. Doesn’t this sound typical for a follow-up visit? I compare it to going to the dentist — brush and floss before you go… you know how it is!

Finally, I want to thank all of my coworkers, Dr. Erickson and Patrice for all the support. I couldn’t have come this far without you.

Wish me well,


September 14, 2012

We meet again!

On September 11, I had a follow-up visit with Dr. Erickson and Patrice. Because my weight loss has been consistent, I really felt I didn’t need any adjustments. Dr. Erickson agreed, since I am still losing weight as I wanted and as the band was designed. There are still times I need to figure out what is OK for me to eat and what I can’t tolerate.

At this point, I have very few restrictions; however, I eat a lot less bread and dry meats (like grilled chicken). Oh, and scrambled eggs are a no-go. Monitoring my portion control has been important. Using a smaller plate and filling it with three food groups helps me get all the needed nutrients and fill me up. (Variety is the best, or else I feel like I am missing something.) Also, focusing on the taste instead of the quantity is vital. Still, there are times when I find I have eaten too much.

I am still eating about a cup of food per meal — which sounds like too little, but if I cut my food up into smaller bites and eat slowly, I don’t really notice it (which is not something I would have said a year ago!). I know too much food at one time is not worth consuming.

At work, I usually bring my own food because the cafeteria serves portions that are too large for me. When my family goes to a restaurant, I always box it up — it’s nice to have something for later. Pleasantly, our food bill has gone down at home and we go out to eat a lot less. Soon I will have the money I need to buy new clothes!

Until next time,


September 5, 2012

Hi everyone!

I’m so excited over the progress I’m seeing. Admittedly, I didn’t always think this would happen, but I feel so much better after losing more weight. I enjoy making updates in my journal because it helps me to stay on track.

So far, I’m down 43 pounds and am surprised at how quickly this weight loss seems to be happening! Granted, it’s not the “two pounds a week” I would like, but it has been a steady decline. Of course, if I kicked up my exercise I think it would drop much faster. My goal is to exercise 3-4 times a week, but that’s not always what happens — sometimes life just gets in the way!

I picked up some fitness videos and plan to take a group fitness class soon. Fort HealthCare offers a variety of classes, so I just have to decide…

In the meantime, I will keep plugging away!

Hope you are doing well,


August 20, 2012

I am learning a lot about what foods I should and shouldn’t be eating. It’s goodbye to soft tortilla shells and bread, which is sad because carbs are such a comfort food for me! I miss them a little, but I am eating a better variety of food (in smaller portions). I still sneak bites of chocolate or a bowl of CoCo Krispies, but no more all-you-can-eat buffets or fish frys… sorry, family!

Since this last tightening of the band, I am looking at food differently. I know bread is not going to make me feel good. I’ve realized that I don’t really need bread; all of the flavor in food doesn’t come from the bread, but the vegetables and sauces, spices and seasoning. Who knew! ;)

If you are anything like me, you have three sizes of clothing in your closet. This week, I started to wear one-size-smaller uniforms for work! Now I’m considering getting rid of my larger-size clothing. It’s so exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time!

Eating at work is tough. Finding the time can be difficult, as well as knowing what to eat. I try to bring a frozen meal, like a Lean Cuisine. Their portion sizes are good and they usually contain a serving of vegetables. For dessert, I’ll add a pudding cup or some JELL-O. My breaks are 30 minutes long, and I try to take the entire time to eat so I feel full — but it’s not always possible.

It may sound funny, but I try to focus on chewing more before I swallow. If I don’t, my food doesn’t settle as well. I remember before, it was “chomp, chomp, chomp,” and my meal was over (having eaten way more than I wanted to or should have). This is what I wanted from the surgery — to eat less and feel satisfied sooner. Now, I feel satisfied with about one cup of food.

It’s working! 

August 1, 2012

I wasn’t looking forward to my visit with Dr. Erickson and Patrice last week, but I was happy when I left. I was down 26 pounds — they seemed as excited as I was! Dr. Erickson added another milliliter to my band to tighten it up a bit, and he reminded me to monitor how I feel and notify him or Patrice if I had any problems.

My coworkers are AWESOME support people; they’re always telling me how good I look and asking me how much weight I’ve lost. Sometimes they even notice if my uniform is looking a little baggy! Most of them know I had this procedure done, and I have had only positive reactions from the people around me. Some of them REALLY know how hard it is to lose weight — they say that if LAP-BAND® is what it takes to get healthy and in shape, then good for me! It is so important to know, though — the band ISN’T magic. There has been a lot of hard work with the 26 pounds I’ve lost. Changing old habits and finding ways to motivate myself into exercising and eating better is a challenge, but I’m getting there.

Unfortunately, I missed the last support group.  Duty called, and I had to work. Thank goodness there are no penalties for missing! The “rule” is that I must attend six meetings per year, so I will be there! The meetings have an open format, and the opportunity to ask questions and listen to other people’s experiences. It’s like we all understand each other without really knowing each other. Of course, I’ll talk to just about anybody ;)

Anyone can attend, so I hope to see you there!