Better Choices, Better Results

Archive for January, 2011

I Said, “No!”

Today the girls from the Center went to Fat Kat’s Pizza to celebrate a birthday.  Oh, how I wanted to go!  I love their pizza, and now they even have a buffet!  I said no, though, because right now, I have some goals that I want to reach really badly, and I know that if I went, and smelled those wonderful pizza smells, I would not be able to settle for a side salad and one slice of pizza.

In a former life, I would have gone, eaten until I was full – ok, stuffed – and worried about tomorrow, tomorrow.  It was easy to talk me into making a bad food choice, even though I knew that I should be eating better.

Now I know that if I want to maintain the healthy eating pattern that I’m trying to develop, I need to sacrifice from time to time.  Later on, when I’m closer to goal and my cravings aren’t quite so intense, I’ll trust myself a little more.

I keep mentioning these goals that I want to reach.  They’re not scaled-based, believe it or not.  I’ve never been one to “live or die” by the scale.  However, I do want to be healthier.   I want to run a 5K someday.  I want to do musical theater and be able to sing and dance without getting winded!  I want to dance!  I watch “Dancing

I Want to Dance!

Someday I hope to dance like this!

with the Stars” and I want to be the girl in the beautiful dress being led across the dance floor.  I want to be dipped and twirled and I can’t do that until I’m lighter and healthier.  I also can’t put my partner‘s back in jeopardy by letting him try to dip someone who’s too heavy!  I do hope to start dancing (maybe Zumba or something that doesn’t require a partner) before too long, though, because it’s such good exercise! 

We tell our patients to focus on goals that aren’t necessarily related to a weight or a size.  Focus on what’s really important: health, mobility, energy and happiness.

It’s time to take my own advice.


Give Yourself Credit

Sometimes it’s really easy to get bogged down in how far you have to go to reach your goals.  I’m guilty of that.  Too many times I just gave up because I couldn’t see light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.  Don’t do that to yourself!  Give yourself credit for what you have accomplished.  For example, I have a personal weight loss goal, and a friend of mine suggested that I make a paperclip chain to demonstrate that goal.

Weight Loss
Yes! Twenty Pounds down!

I’ve done that.  Hanging on my office wall are two paperclip chains.  One represents the weight I’ve lost – the other represents the weight I have to go.  Sure – one chain is 4 times longer than the other.  But I know that if I continue eating better, taking vitamins and drinking water, I’ll get to move paperclips at a steady rate.  Once I add physical activity, I’m sure that those paperclips will move even faster.

Georgetown Bariatrics

To Be Lost

Update on my 5k Goal:  I’ve learned about a place that allows free use of their walking track.  If I take a different route home, it’s actually on my way.  So starting next week, I’ll drive that way at least 3 days per week; stopping off to walk for at least 30 minutes.  I’ll keep you posted.

For now, take a look at my paperclip chains.     

Yes, the bigger pile is what I still have to lose, but I’m making real progress in the “Lost” pile!


Have you ever had a dream that you wanted to achieve, but you just haven’t figured out how to get there?  Any goal can be achieved; you just have to break it down into smaller, manageable steps.  For example, let’s say your goal is to run a 5K.  Break it down and give yourself a realistic time line.

I actually have a goal of running – yes, running (well, maybe slowly jogging) a 5K.  Now that I’ve posted this “out-loud”, it looks like I’ll actually have to work towards my goal.
Goal: Run a 5K in 6 months.

Steps to achieving goal:

1.   Remove barriers. If you have no sidewalks, look into getting a treadmill.  If purchasing a treadmill or joining a gym is too expensive, look into free alternatives like mall-walking.  Some churches have an activity center that’s free for the community.  Some Y’s will allow free use of their walking track.  Most Wal-Marts are open 24-hours.  No one needs to know you aren’t there to shop.

I’ll let you know what I find.  I’m not in a position to join a gym right now, and our weather has been too unpredictable for me to rely on my neighborhood streets.

2.   Make it measurable. Once you have your walking location, set mini-goals that you can measure.  For example, you can walk 3 times per week for ½ hour for 2 weeks.  Once you’ve achieved that, then increase your time, distance, or days.  You have to set a goal that you can reach today.
I’ll start with walking for 30 minutes 3 times per week, just like I suggested.  I have a little MP3 player that I’ll use to make sure that my walking speed is at around 3 miles per hour.

3.   Track yourself. Studies show that writing things down increases the likelihood of keeping on track.  You track your money in your checkbook, don’t you?  Well, that same principle applies to most areas of our life.  When we write down out To-Do list we’re more likely to get everything done.  Write down and track the steps to your goal.  Get a calendar and put a big “X” on the days your walk or run.  Make a chain out of those “X’s”.  After awhile you won’t want to break you chain, and you’ll be that much closer to achieving your goal.

I’m already tracking what I eat (more on that in a later post), so I’ll write down my physical activity in the same area.
What’s your goal and how can you break it down?  Remember – it’s not about being perfect, it’s about making progress.

Crock Pot Cooking

Crock-Pot cooking has been around for decades, but honestly, I’ve never really used our crock-pot for more than making a roast with vegetables, or cooking a chicken.  Then a patient at my last cooking demo suggested that I demonstrate crock-pot recipes this year.   The challenge was on; I needed to find interesting and EASY crock-pot dishes!

I love a good challenge.

Let’s just say that I’ve used my crock-pot more in the past two months than I ever have.  I’ve been testing breakfast recipes, meat recipes, soups, stews, etc.  Some have been ok – others have been total flops.  For example, I tried a brisket flavored with beer and spices over the weekend.  It was terrible!  In fact, after tasting it, I took the meat out of the liquid it was cooking in, emptied the crock-pot and refilled it with water, then cooked the brisket a couple more hours in the hopes that I would cook some of the flavor out of it!

In the end, I realized that I couldn’t throw out a $12 piece of meat, so I shredded it and coated it with BBQ sauce.  I can still taste all the spices from its original cooking, but the BBQ sauce made it palatable.

I’m telling all of you this because I want you to know that your suggestions are taken seriously.

Don’t forget that my next Cooking Demo, starring Crock-Pot recipes that are actually good, will take place on Thursday, February 3rd, at 6:00pm in the Solarium at Georgetown Community Hospital.

I hope to see you there, and don’t forget we’ll taste everything that I demo!

For more info on our Weight Loss Surgery Program, call 888-868-0008.

Hello world!

Welcome to our Blog!  We are the Bariatric Center at Georgetown Community Hospital, and we are so happy to be able to share our experience through the web!  This blog will contain information specific to weight loss surgery and the procedures that we offer, living with a weight loss surgery, observations, tips, recipes, goal setting, etc.

Nobody said that living with a weight loss surgery (WLS) procedure was easy; in fact we talk about that very phenomenon from the very first time we meet our patients.  We regard WLS as a TOOL, and in order to obtain optimum results, patients have to use the tools as they are designed, along with making permanent lifestyle changes, including proper nutrition, portion control and physical activity.

This blog will be a place where positive energy dwells.  There will be no negativity here!  Every moment is a new opportunity to make a change – a decision – a move in the direction in which you want to move.

It’s all up to you, but we are here to help.

My name is Joann, and I’ve been a team member at The Bariatric Center at Georgetown Community Hospital since 2003.  My co-workers and I have a real passion for helping people get healthier.  While I’m not a weight loss surgery patient myself, I do try to be as healthy as possible, even though I too, struggle with extra weight.  Because of this, I do feel like I understand many of the frustrations and feelings with which our patients struggle.

This blog will introduce you to our program, our employees, our surgeons, our facility, etc.  I’ll show you what I do within our program and as a person struggling with excess weight and how I still try to make healthier habits.

If you are considering Weight Loss Surgery, or just want to tag along for this ride, I welcome you.