Part 1: Bridals 2.0

I couldn’t figure out what to title this because there are SO many great milestones/goals/accomplishments I’ve had recently that I’d like to write about. So, this is part 1 of at least 4. Honestly, though- goals don’t have to be HUGE to be significant. Crushing any goal is worth celebrating or writing about! However, this one is big.

A few months ago, my fav, fav, fav (sorry, I’m partial) photog messaged me about re-shooting my bridals as a ra-ra-go-girl-you’re-killing-it-celebration. Obviously, I jumped on this (if you know me, you know not to offer anything you’re not serious about because I’m takin’ you up on it).

Things to know:
Alex and I have been planning our skinny wedding since we had our fat one. We LOVED our wedding. I wouldn’t have changed anything except that we were both heavy and uncomfortable. We’ve always joked about getting married again when we lose weight and have fun future plans for our “skinny wedding”.
I took exactly three bridal photos on our wedding day. I wanted lots of photos at our wedding, just not necessarily of me. I was proud that I was able to squeeze into my dress and loved my hair and makeup (thanks for the face, Rachel and for the hair, Annabel!), but wasn’t dying to take an hour of pictures of JUST me. That felt weird.
-I loved my wedding dress, but wouldn’t pick it again. Styles change. I found my dress online and went in the store, tried it on, liked it and bought it. Boom. Is it what I’d pick today? Not even close. Do I think I chose the wrong one? No! I’d just have chosen something different if I was getting married now. I’ve seen too many dresses… I know too much- haha!

Fast-forward to the end of March. Rachel (Check her out here!) came up from Austin to get me all gussied up (but not before doing a day of shopping and then eating our way through the entire menu at my favorite sushi spot in McKinney. They do rice-less sushi and that honestly deserves it’s own blog). I LOVED that Rachel offered to do makeup/hair for the shoot because she’d done my wedding day makeup too! I think it’s extra special that she was able to be a part of both. She’s been such a great cheerleader through this entire surgery experience. Thanks, Rachey!

The queen, Laura (Check her out here!) who is VERY pregnant with two SUPER EXCITING LIL BEEBS, made me ultra comfortable and, as always, told me what to do with my hands… because aside from a solid thumbs up, I’m never really sure what to do with them in pictures. Laura always knows exactly how to get your best side and not make you feel dumb while posing you! Laura did our engagement photos, so again- just a HUGE, HUGE deal to have her be a part of this! Laura is my gal Friday in this weight loss thing. She’s been so encouraging and by my side through all of it! Not to mention, she’s killed the keto game so she totally gets how it feels to have a huge weight loss and what a wild ride it is!

The absolute freaking icing on the cake and crown jewel in this was another vendor friend, Kristen of Haute Floral (last check her out here, I swear). Kristen made the GORGEOUS greenery bouquet and crown. I LOVE ivy. I love greenery. She killed it. Kristen designs the absolute most dreamy of floral arrangements EVER and having her create a natural, green, gorgeous, glorious (adjective, adjective, adjective) bouquet and crown was PERFECT. I still have my greenery crown hanging on the wall in my bedroom. -swoons-

Ok, I know y’all are ready for photos but let’s take a brief look back at one of my three bridal photos for comparison.


Look at me not having a melt down on my wedding day. You go, girl! *honorable mention: that rooster in the background

On to the good stuff!

That’s ME. WEIRD! Real, real, real weird. Looking at these, it’s still hard to put 2 + 2 together that it actually is me. That still blows my mind and feels super surreal. Can you believe what a genius Laura is with the camera and light? And the MUAH and the florals. GAH! I’m in love. Liking, no… LOVING photos of yourself is such a strange new thing I’ve gotten to enjoy over the last several months. I can’t tell you how much I felt like a princess. I’m so, so thankful.

And just for good measure- my other favorites:

I like reading, doing my best Marilyn Monroe impersonation and most of all my ride-or-die Charlie girl.

*surprise bonus for making it to the end of this… cupcake bride:


So puffy. So princess. So cupcake. So thankful for good changes.



  • 12 gallons of drinking water
  • A hellfire missile
  • A semi-truck tire
  • An average bill hawk sea turtle
  • 2 propane tanks
  • 82 basketballs
  • 15,000,000,000 grains of sand
  • 115,646 casino chips
  • 2 month old horse
  • A bloodhound
  • A toilet
  • A dresser
  • 100 boxes of strawberries
  • 10 bags of rice
  • 593,058 bees (my personal favorite)

These are apparently things that weigh 100lbs and as of this morning, I’ve lost 102lbs! That makes me 115lbs down from my highest weight (you know, when my wedding dress wouldn’t zip).

I am 100% still processing this. My weight loss has slowed down a good amount in the last couple of months and waking up with a 5lb. loss hasn’t happened in the last few months. I’ve been circling the drain at 95-98lbs. down for the last few weeks now and was sure I’d have at least a couple of weeks sitting at 99lbs. down.

You know, I’m a super blessed/lucky/thankful person because my cheerleading squad is DEEP. I have so many friends, family, acquaintances, internet strangers who have cheered me on from the get-go since starting this entire journey. My MIL is one of my biggest cheerleaders in ALL things! Work success, life things, friend stuff- all of it. She is one of my people I can’t wait to share news with and is definitely one of my “ra-ra” people that, when I get good news, I can’t wait to share it with her. She’s had a few friends go through weight loss surgery and always knows just what to say. I talked to her today and told her I’d finally hit the 100lbs. down mark. She congratulated me and asked how much more I wanted to lose… whooooleee 48lbs. She did such a great job of putting that into perspective! JUST A THIRD. I’ve done two thirds of what I wanted to! And- 48lbs sounds so much smaller than 50. Yes, 2lbs. doesn’t sound like much but there’s a big difference between 40 and 50. I’d felt a little bit overwhelmed earlier thinking about the fact that I still have so much left to lose, but I can’t overstate how much I appreciated her putting that into perspective. Love you, Debs.

A while back, I’d talked about how we celebrate/connect/focus on food and drinks. We meet friends for dinner/drinks. We have a party and theres cake. It’s difficult to find celebratory things that aren’t food involved. Food isn’t the reward. Drinks aren’t the reward. I’d done so well at planning my weight loss rewards for 25lbs, 50lbs., 75lbs., but not 100lbs… the big one! I don’t know if this is just due to poor planning or if it’s because it seemed unreal and like it wouldn’t happen.

I’m sure I’ll figure out something fun/pretty/exciting to do/buy/see.
If not, Kendra Scott is right down the street.

Mental Struggles Post-Op

If you’ve been following any weight loss surgery bloggers or Instagram weight loss surgery individuals, you’ve probably noticed a trend. Mental struggles post-op are REAL.

“Fat brain” a term that comes up pretty regularly. I haven’t struggled much with “fat brain”, thankfully. This term describes something that many WLS experience. It refers to a  feeling that people get where they look in the mirror and see their old selves. Although they may have a 50lb. weight loss, 100lb. weight loss, 150lb. weight loss, etc. they still see their old bodies and old selves. Occasionally I’ll see a photo of myself and think, “ehhhh chiiiins whyyy” or something along those lines, but there’s a bizarre cognitive dissonance that occurs when I see pictures and KNOW it’s me, but still don’t quite put two and two together about it being who am I am currently. Fat brain is a strange and sneaky feeling. I think it hangs out in the back part of your brain and waits for you to feel vulnerable. Maybe the scale went up or you’ve noticed a new stomach roll… there’s fat brain- waiting patiently to creep up and tell you that’s all anyone sees. Keeping a strong mental game is so, so important post-op. Pre-op and post-op comparisons are also super helpful for this. Transformation Tuesday is one of my very favorite days of the week. I like finding old photos to compare to current ones. Seeing real, tangible progress is SO helpful.


Fast food has been on my mind recently. I’ve felt like I cannot eat fast food because I’ll fall into old habits and end up where I was. Thankfully, my job and home life makes fast food easy to avoid! Chick-fil-a doesn’t count in my brain because it’s God’s gift to us mere mortals. Realizing that I’m 100% in control of what I eat and the choices I make WHILE eating has been a priority to me. If McDonalds is the only option, eat the protein and. just. move. on. Fast food doesn’t control me, I control me. I also control what I choose to eat and not eat. It’s ok to eat a nugget every once in a while. It’s also probably not a bad idea to avoid fast food and keep eating at home as much as possible… it just isn’t the end of the world if I need to stop and grab a quick bite. I haven’t failed by choosing one sensible fast food meal every several weeks.

Recently I’ve been thinking way more about swim suit season than a normal person ought to.

  • Will I wear a two piece swim suit?
  • If I don’t wear a two piece swim suit, will I feel disappointed in myself?
  • Why wouldn’t I wear a two piece?
  • You really like one pieces, though.
  • Why do you not like the retro, high waisted swim suits? You like all your other pants high!
  • Is this what other people struggle with?
  • How have you avoided this your entire life?
  • Is this normal or is this just because of WLS?

I’ve been VERY fortunate my entire life to not have a ton of feeling attached to swim suit season and how I look during this time. I’ve always felt like, “Hey! It’s me in a swim suit, no big deal” and have been able to move on. The last week or two I’ve felt a LOT of anxiety about the upcoming swim season. Realistically, I know that I will look fabulous if I feel fabulous. I could choose to swim in a potato sack and if I felt good, I’d look good! However- my normal choice for swim wear (and clothing) is modest and full coverage. Swim wear tends to be the opposite of this.

I’ve been thinking a ton recently about the differences between, “showing your body” and “showing off your body”. I don’t think there is anything wrong with either! However, the latter makes me genuinely uncomfortable. I talked to my husband and my BFF about the feelings I was having towards swimwear and they both gave eerily similar advice (weird, right?). The gist of what they both said is, “it’s ok to feel like this– just go try some on”.

Off to Target!


Lots of swim suits. Empty dressing room. Kind of sweaty and very overwhelmed.

I’ll spare you all the photos of trying on the individual suits, but I will say this. Knowing I didn’t burst into flames or have the ghost of Joan Rivers haunt me during this experience took so much stress off me. I realize neither of these things would actually happen, but when you’re feeling anxious, your imagination runs wild on you. I tried on 8 individual pieces and one Borat-esque one piece. I found a top that I liked a lot- success! Bottoms are the part I’m most worried about, but I know what I’m looking for- now it’s just hunting them down.

Trying them on was the hard part. Finding the needle in the hay stack will be easy!

Forty Seven Inches

Happy New Year!

I am a few weeks away from being six months post-op! What a wild half year its been.

VSG has been such an incredible blessing. Things you didn’t even realize were difficult have gotten easier. I’m thrilled to report I finished up my #31in31 challenge in December. I’ve never been able to wrap my mind around the fact that people enjoyed running. It felt like some colossal joke that everyone but me was in on. “Ok, sure, yeah.. wink. You looove running.” But- I get it now. That brings me a lot of joy. While I’m not great at the speed portion of it, the distance feels easy. Mentally, I still struggle getting out the door. Once I’m about a quarter mile in, it feels like I could do it indefinitely. Such a surreal feeling. I’m planning on registering for the Cowtown 10k in February. We only have one wedding that weekend, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to balance our schedules. I’d been so committed to running a 5k, it feels weird to blow straight through that and try out a 10k as my first official race. It may take me two hours to complete it, but I know I’ll finish and I know I’ll feel great.

Major physical changes that I’ve noticed in the last few months have been in my arms, ankles and collar bones. It’s funny to look back at old photos where I’d previously felt like my ankles/arms look skinny and then seeing current photos and its a night and day difference. Since I’d lost all my original measurements, I don’t know my exact starting measurements. BUT, since mid August I’ve lost 47 inches. So, SO mind blowing. I think the craziest is that I’ve lost over 5 inches on each arm! INSANITY. Absolute insanity. Aside from having more clothing options, it just feels better. My arms have always been a sore spot for me. I’ve always appreciated their strength, but been low-key angry at them for being so puffy. Way to come through, arms. You’re the real MVPs.

I’ve also experienced a huge outpouring of support from people I haven’t talked to in ages AND from complete strangers! I love being able to talk to people who have questions about weight loss surgery and hearing other people’s success with the sleeve. I cannot express how thankful I am that I’ve been met with such support from those around me. You never know who is in the back and is cheering you on. I’d say they’re the MVPs but that’s already been given away to my arms. Maybe next blog, guys.

I get messages a few times a month from people on Instagram who are considering having surgery. They have lots of questions and want to know more. I absolutely LOVE that. I got a super sweet message yesterday from a lovely woman in Columbia who is due for surgery in the Spring. She was very encouraging and it was extraordinary getting to talk to her and hear more about her experience! If you’re thinking of having surgery- ask all the questions and know all the things! Blogs and Instagrams are great places to start. The WLS community is a great one. I’m happy to be part of it. 🙂

I know y’all like pictures, so here’s the goods:







Like it said, it’s been a real wild half year.


Friendsgiving, Vacationing & 31in31

It’s been a while!

Since September, work has been a 24/7 thing. Between new bookings, current weddings and impending holidays- it’s felt like I blinked and all of a sudden it’s December.

Several of my friends in the weight loss surgery community were absolutely dreading Thanksgiving because it’s an entirely holiday devoted to FOOD. Not just food– but a ton of food. I may have mentioned this before- but I feel like most food struggles post-op can be remedied by mental reframing. Thanksgiving isn’t about the food, it’s about the family and friends you’re around! The food is a fun bonus, but it’s over fairly quickly and is significantly LESS fun than everyone you’re spending time with!

Friendsgiving at ALR was an absolute blast. We had a fabulous turnout and so many yummy things to try! My rule that I gave myself was that I’d be allowed anything I wanted as long as it was a spoon full. I got to try everything I wanted. There weren’t any sad.. “I’m missing out” feelings. I didn’t feel sick or over eat- just had a great, yummy plate with so many different bites on it! Several of my WLS friends tried the same approach on Thanksgiving and had great experiences as well!


For thanksgiving, we went to visit Alex’s family in Georgia for a week. Vacationing is difficult because I can’t run to the fridge for a slice of lunch meat or cheese when hunger hits. It’s got to be planned or you have very limited options. Over all, I felt like I ate ok over the week without worrying too much. I ran several mornings while I was there and that kind of evened out all the weird snacking I did. Here’s a fun comparison picture from our second (I think?) thanksgiving together vs. Thanksgiving weekend at the Falcons game!


That’s about 150lbs combined loss between the two of us. He just gets better and better. 🙂

Finally- somewhere I got a weird idea in my head that I wanted to run 31 miles in the month of December. Obviously, not all at once. BUT over the course of the month, I want to put 31 miles on my shoes. The good part of all of this is that my miles have been taking between 13 and 15 minutes (depending on how close attention I’m paying to my watch) and 13-15 minutes of exercise a day is COMPLETELY DOABLE!!! It’s not even the 30 minutes everyone always tells you to do! The last couple of runs I’ve pushed myself to run 2 miles and thanks to my new running friend, Ashley, we did our best time last night!


I’m still feeling over the moon about having finished two full miles in (just barely) under half an hour! I haven’t been focusing on time much because I’m still fighting the mental struggle of even doing it at all- but I’m excited to see major (measurable) progress!

Also- I’m 85lbs down today. WINNER WINNER (TINY) CHICKEN DINNER!


Onederland & 75lbs.

Good morning, fam!

Yesterday I hit a huge milestone- I’ve officially lost 75lbs. and weigh under 200lbs. for the first time since Sophomore year of college.

Here’s what is wild: A couple of years ago when I was hitting the gym every morning and keeping calories super low- I’d read all these blogs and Instagram posts about “getting to onederland” or “journey back to onederland”, and at first I didn’t really understand. I’d been WELL over the 200lb. mark for so long, it seemed abnormal that people would weigh LESS than 200lbs. Initially that goal seemed so, horrendously far out that it was silly to even put myself in that category.

Yesterday was like any other day: a cheese stick, protein, water, coffee, sushi, you know… all the normal stuff. However, I’m in a weight class I haven’t been a part of in YEARS. How?! The entire weight loss still feels surreal to me. I know that I look better. I know that I feel better. It just feels like absolute insanity to me that from July until now, I’ve got 75lbs. less of me.

SEVENTY FIVE POUNDS. That’s like, a kid. Like, a big kid. Or… an emperor penguin:

Those guys are huge!

I got a few concerned messages from friends and family about the period situation and the balding possibility- Good news! They’ve slowed down since the last post about it. I had a little over a three week break this time and it feels more normal. I think my body is still trying to figure things out. I’ve still not seen a significant SCARY amount of hair loss. I’m shedding more than normal, but not anything that has caused a mental breakdown, so that’s nice. The side of my hair closest to my part looks a little thinner than normal, but that part has always looked thin.

I’ve had two HORRIBLE dreams about going bald lately. I think I’m letting it get to my subconscious. The good news is that my husband will still think I’m hot if I shaved my head and I could get a ton of sweet wigs. Let’s all just hope it doesn’t come to that.

Speaking of husbands, one of my very favorite non-scale victories so far has been that Alex can pick me up without ME feeling like I’m going to break him. As a portly-wife, I’e always thought the whole “sweep her off her feet” thing was a saying and not an actual possibility. Now it is!
IMG_7944 2

Here’s a few pictures from the last couple of weeks. The first one is a before and after from this Halloween and last Halloween. Since Halloween was on a Tuesday, there wasn’t much going on. Alex & I went to Bar Louie with a couple of friends and had Halloween martini(s). I allowed myself to have one, felt a little tipsy immediately and then nothing. I still don’t plan to make drinking a regular thing, but it was nice to have one to sip on over the course of the evening.


Mama Faye had mentioned she’d thought I’d be really surprised to go back and look at photos from her birthday compared to now. I was pretty blown away! Here’s another comparison shot from a few days ago and this spring:


I remember looking at these pictures and thinking, “GOOD GRIEF” and moving on to the next photos. I think candids are always shocking because you never have time to pose or decide if you like it or not. These were extra shocking because.. well, I looked huge. I obviously look happy, but definitely not an angle I prefer. Thankful is an understatement for how I feel about VSG.

And here’s me today! All 199lbs. of me. I’m feeling pretty good. 🙂



Fall clothes & FAQ

Holy moly, y’all-

Fall is here in North Texas. This past weekend we had two days of 30 degree temperatures and a couple of lovely 70 degree days. Let me tell you, I feel COLD. So much of my insulation is gone. I remember wearing flip flops all through the winter in Jr. High & High School and my mom always saying, “You’re making ME cold! Put some shoes on!” but I never really felt the freezing temperatures. Apparently, I’m making up for lost time.

This will probably sound strange to those of you who haven’t been around to experience it- but I gag when the temperature changes. If I walk outside in the summer, I gag because it’s hot. Walking outside to freezing temperatures (ex. laying linens on tables at 7:30am with 34 degree temperatures) makes me gag. Rapid temperature change and I have never gotten along well. It’s ESPECIALLY bad now. I went and had coffee with a girlfriend this past week and after stepping outside from Starbucks, it was a good couple of minutes of it. I’m assuming because I feel colder, it’s happening more. Who knows, honestly.

Anyway, I got pretty well stocked up on fall clothes from Debi’s wardrobe. I still needed a few nice work dresses and the big item- BOOTS! I donated all but one pair of boots from past years because they were literally all falling down. What a great problem to have! If you’ve ever been over weight or plus size, you probably know boot shopping SUCKS. It just does.

Here’s my top 5 reasons why plus size shoe shopping is complete BS:
5. It takes luck. Do they have my size? Will they even have anything I like?
4. It is STUPID expensive. Ah, ya got fat calves? $90 minimum on our boot monopoly, thanks for playing! Want boots? Better have a small fortune.
3. They all seem to have massive heels. Finding flat, all-day wear boots as a plus size woman was a lot like what I imagine searching for the holy grail felt like. When you did find a flat pair, they were back ordered or not quite wide enough.
2. You are at their mercy. Several years ago I remember looking AIMLESSLY for wide calve riding boots. Every Google search, Amazon search, Torrid, DSW, Zappos… NOTHING. Just wide calve hooker boots or wide calve pirate boots. However, regular width riding boots were everywhere!
1. It is endless frustration. Find one you like? It won’t go all the way up. You’re an 8.5? Sorry, we only carry 8 or 9. We only have 5″ heel boots. We don’t carry wide calve. These won’t be on sale until July. We only have wide calve sizes starting at size 10. $98 for faux leather that scuffs on the first wear. Just so frustrating. 

So, there’s that. Basically it’s the worst. I’ve been eyeing a few cute pairs of boots for this season and have been hopeful to find a pair that wasn’t wide that would also fit! Lo and behold, ta-da:
Thank you, Amazon for the $30 boots! They are a 16″ calve with two fabulous tiny stretchy panels on the back. They fit like a glove and were frustration free. Whee!

Onto the next thing. This could probably be it’s own blog, but I’m throwing it all in here together.

I’m still in several online support groups and am fairly active on Instagram. I see these same themes & questions pop up ALL THE TIME from people who are looking to have VSG done or who are in the first couple of weeks post-op from VSG. Although I’m only three months out, I feel like answering them here may help some people. I hope!

-Will I have loose skin?
-Will it hurt?
-How long till I’m normal again?
-Will I lose hair?
-Have I stretched my stomach out?
-Will I still be hungry?
-When can I start drinking again?
-I just had surgery, why am I already stalling?

Skin: Yep, you’ll have loose skin. We all do! The degree of loose skin varies from person to person, but loose skin is crap reason to not have surgery. Life is infinitely better, jiggles and all!
Pain: Every single recovery is different. I’m saying it again for the people in the back: EVERY. SINGLE. RECOVERY. IS. DIFFERENT. I had a stupid easy recovery. If I told everyone that asked, “it’s easy! do it!” that would be a lie. Some people take weeks to feel normal. Some people still experience severe pain a month post-op.  It is major surgery, pain is to be expected.
Recovery: I recovered quickly. By day 4, I felt like a person again. A week later I worked an entire bridal show weekend! Others take a couple of weeks or a few months. Some use 90 days of PTO for recovery! We are all different and all of our bodies recover differently. Nobody can answer this for you with absolute certainty.
Hair: Probably. Most people do! Hair is like skin, temporary hair loss is way better than morbid obesity. Hair will grow back when the follicles wake up again. It is still so worth it.
Stretched Out: Dr. Vong addresses this in several of his videos- VSG is not undone in one sitting. It is stretched out, “one bite too many, over a coupe of years”. I’ve seen countless posts from people in total panic because they ate a couple of extra ounces of cottage cheese. Y’all- you’re OK! You’re doing great! Some days you can eat a little bit extra. One meal will not stretch out your stomach. Trust the process. Listen to your body. Use common sense.
Hungry: Yep! Some are hungry right out of the gate. Others don’t feel hungry for several weeks/months. There are days that I feel like a bottomless pit and others where I could go the entire day without eating. Trust your doctor, follow the instructions, give your body quality food and you’ll be just fine.
Drinking: Some doctors say 3 months, some say 6 months. However- ask yourself, is it the right thing for my body? We have surgery as a last resort, major overhaul event! Falling back into old habits can be so harmful. Just like everything else, moderation is key. “is this best for me?” is a great question to continuously ask yourself.
Stalling: I read post after post of people who are a week out of surgery or a month out of surgery and they are angry and frustrated that they’ve hit a stall. “I’ve only lost 10lbs!” or “I’ve only gone down one size”. This is phenomenal! You are doing GREAT!!! The scale doesn’t move for a week or two, who cares? It had been over a year since the scale moved in the right direction before I had surgery. It certainly didn’t move 10lbs! Stalls happen! Trust the process, keep following doctors orders- you’ll get this! It’s ok to be frustrated, but keep in mind you are still recovering from having 80% of your stomach CUT OUT! Let it do its thing and give it time to normalize. We all want to wake up to the final product and be at our goal weight, but that doesn’t happen over night.

My best advice for anyone looking to have surgery is to read and learn EVERYTHING. Watch vlogs, read blogs, join communities online- learn it all and you’ll be more prepared.