Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A ((crazy)) Birth Story

Well... I'm quite behind.  Xavier is here!  And he is 3.5 weeks old already.  I have been so busy sleeping and feeding and changing diapers, and let's be honest, just staring at him, that I haven't written.

Xavier was born on November 8, 2015 at 6:21am, 20 inches long and 7 pounds 3 oz.  He was born unexpectedly in my bed at home.

Yep, that's right.....

I woke up on the morning of the 7th and knew I was in labor.  I felt different and my body just knew those weren't braxton hick's contractions.  So I got up, showered, and decided I needed to go get my nails done because they were too long and would scratch my newborn baby.  I went to the nail salon while Mr. Banker was at work...he thought I was crazy.

When Mr. Banker got home from work, I began timing my contractions.  When they got to one minute each and 4 minutes apart, I decided it was time to go to the hospital.  We arrived at the hospital around 6pm and I was excited to find out that my favorite obstetrician was on duty.  They checked my contractions and said although they were consistent, I wasn't dilating enough so they sent me home at 11:30pm at 3cm dilated and told me to come back when it felt like the 'real deal'.  I asked how I'd know it was the real deal and they told me I wouldn't be able to talk through my contractions and I would be calling Mr. Banker every name in the book.  So home I went and waited for those signs....which never came.

I tried to sleep but I was in a lot of pain, I kept taking baths to ease the pain.  It got more intense at 3am and by 5am I told my mom to go ahead and drive to my city because it HAD to be the real deal.  I got in a bath again at 5:30am and had a very strong contraction that told me we needed to go back to the hospital, although I was still talking through each contraction.  By that time I could not even walk and Mr. Banker had to help me out of the shower and dry me.  I was trying to dress to go back to the hospital when I had the urge to throw up.  I sat on the toilet and intended to throw up in a bucked so I wouldn't pee on myself, but the sudden urge to push overtook me.  As I reached down I felt my baby's head and knew it was time.  I screamed for Mr. Banker, who called 9-1-1, and delivered our son on his own, with just the telephone assistance of the emergency operator.  He did an amazing job.

The firefighters and paramedics arrived 15 minutes after Xavier's birth and we were transported to the hospital.  We were both healthy and all was well.

As for now, I love being a mother.  There is no other love like this.  I can't describe the feeling.  It's wonderful, even with the sleep deprivation and feeling like his own personal dairy bar at times.

Mr. Banker and I have been off of work together for these first weeks and we're doing great.  Promise to try to write again soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

38.5 Weeks Pregnant

Hi everyone...

Long time no write, I know I know.  So here's the deal... I have been BAD with food.  So BAD.  At my weekly OB checkup 2 weeks ago, I lost 4 pounds in 1 week and my doctor told me not to keep up that trend.  I took his order a bit seriously, and went kinda crazy the following week and found those 4 pounds plus 1.  But, I'm still under pre-pregnancy weight so I shouldn't fret I guess?

I'm feeling pretty miserable.  I'm tired of being pregnant, even though my belly is still quite small considering I'm almost due.  Baby Boy has dropped significantly and there is a lot of pain/pressure in my pelvis.  Bottom line is, I am just ready to have this baby here in my arms.  I'm ready to see Mr. Banker get to hold his son for the first time.  I'm ready to not hurt anymore and not moan and groan when I have to get up off of the couch.

I've had quite a few maternity shoots now.  One of my dear WLS friends introduced me to a cool website called Model Mayhem where professional photographers are looking for models to shoot for their website.  In exchange, you get your photos for free.  I've been truly lucky to get a lot of great shots.  Saturday Mr. Banker and I did a shoot together, and it felt less like work and more like fun with him there with me.  I've only seen 2 photos so far from that shoot, and will post a few of my previous shoot photos as well:

Mr. Banker and Me-38 weeks pregnant
www.southplacephotography.com

32 Weeks pregnant
www.osbrinkphotography.com

34 weeks pregnant
Kenneth McNay photography

32 weeks pregnant
Steven Due photography

Monday, October 12, 2015

Emotional Eating

I've been eating my feelings today.  That's something I haven't done in a LONG LONG time.

It just shows me that I am still a fat girl in my head sometimes and I have to try harder to fight it.  That's why I'm here now, blogging.  To keep me from putting another piece of food in my mouth.  I don't even know where it all fit.  Before noon I had eaten

A piece of french toast

Chobani flips yogurt

Meat and Cheese Lunchable

A small piece of Broccoli Chicken Cheddar quiche

Where the hell did all that food fit?!

I don't know, but it went somewhere....

I got upset today over family stuff.  Basically, I had offered a bedroom set built by my great grandfather to my aunt and uncle.  I simply don't have room for it and getting rid of it was breaking my heart, but my son needs a nursery more than I need to keep that furniture.  I wanted to keep it in the family, so I offered it to this aunt and uncle who has pretended to be supportive during my pregnancy, but I now have a suspicion that it truly was just an act.

I offered this furniture to them over a month ago, and they still haven't come to get it.  It's been sitting in my garage for over a month waiting on them to come get it.  My water heater burst last week, flooding my garage, so I asked them to try to make a trip to get it out of the water, they told me to move it somewhere dry.  If I had anywhere dry to put it, I wouldn't be giving it away.  That's beside the point.  Anyway, they went to my father yesterday and told him I was giving it away, and also lied telling him I had gotten rid of all of my grandmother's crystal some time ago.  I gave a few pieces away 2 summers ago because I thought it was a nice thing to share with my female cousins, but I kept most of it.  Regardless, them telling my dad all of this did not help an already very unfortunate situation, I was called an ungrateful bitch, etc.  It just gets so frustrating trying to do the right thing and feeling shit on for it.

I know I was trying to do the right thing, so what anyone else thinks shouldn't matter, but it hurts my feelings.  I feel betrayed.  I feel like doing the right thing is useless.  But I know it's not.  And I know I'm still the better person.

Putting this here may only temporarily stop the emotional eating, but I'm hoping this emotional purge will help.

Friday, October 2, 2015

33/34 weeks update

The last week or so has been a complete whirlwind!

Last Friday my mom came to town for our baby shower weekend and then Saturday Mr. Banker's parents arrived.  It was so amazing for them to finally meet, and it all went really well.  Of course it sucks that my father wasn't there, but I guess this is just a fact of life that I will have to come to terms with.

We went to dinner with his parents, my mom, and my grandmother Saturday night and that was very nice.  We took them to Ruth's Chris and it occurred to me that I really just don't care about food that much anymore.  I didn't care what I ate or where (except that I did not want to go to this all-you-can-eat Brazilian buffet Mr. Banker suggested--for obvious reason).  That's a huge change in my life over the last 3 years that I am very thankful for.  I don't crave food and I can eat the same thing for days if I need to because it's for nourishment more than enjoyment now.

Our baby shower was Sunday and it was so wonderful.  We had so many friends and family there to show their love and support for us and for Xavier.  I may be partial, but it was one of the best showers I've been to.

A photo from the shower, 33 weeks pregnant.
The letters spelling XAVIER behind us were painted for the nursery by Mr. Banker's best friend.
I can't wait to get the letters hung in his room.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

House updates with Photos

Hi!

Although not weight loss related, a few of you asked to see updates to my home I've been doing.

In August, I began by tearing out the laminate in the kitchen and bathrooms, and tile flooring was installed. My kitchen also got a backsplash.

My upstairs carpet was removed and we put back laminate hardwoods. They're so easy to clean and look beautiful!  You can see them pictured in the crib photo below.


We painted our bedroom grey with a darker grey accent wall. I changed the bedding and we hung Mr Bankers picture of NY above our bed. It definitely feels more like "our" room now, and not just mine.
For the nursery, we painted the room grey with a teal accent wall. It's not finished, but the baby bedding arrived yesterday and it's so beautiful that I was literally in tears. Call it hormones or whatever, but I couldn't help realizing how real this is, and that Xavier is coming soon when I saw it. Mr Banker picked the bedding and I'm so happy with his choice. I wouldn't have picked it because it was much more expensive than I would have wanted to pay, but I absolutely love it.

Monday, September 21, 2015

32 Weeks Pregnant


Hi everyone, just wanted to stop in with a quick pregnancy/weight update.

So... I'm still lighter than I was the day I found out I was pregnant, but I have watched the scale creep up slightly and that is hard!  SO HARD!

Above is a picture I took Friday at 32 weeks.  It's insane, I hardly even look pregnant at all.  7.5 weeks left, hopefully I can stay under my pre-pregnancy weight in the next 7.5 weeks!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Love Without End

"Let me tell you a secret about a father's love...A secret that my daddy said was just between us.
Daddies don't just love their children every now and then, it's a love without end, Amen."


Believe it or not, I loved country music as a child.  That doesn't fit me now, but it would've if you knew a 7 year old Hollee.  The above lyrics come from a George Strait song that I loved as a kid.  Even as a child, that song could bring me to tears, and now I believe that somewhere inside I always knew it would be difficult with my dad.

No matter what, I always said that no matter how different we were (or as some say, polar opposite in beliefs but two of a kind in stubbornness), that I got lucky.  I had a father who always made sure I had everything I needed.  He sacrificed for me and my mother when we needed it.  He sold his beloved jeeps when I was 4 years old to put my mom through her nursing program.  When I was 22 and got kicked out of my living arrangement and decided to buy a home on short notice, he sold his extra vehicle so that I didn't have to decide to sell my classic car for a down payment on my home.  That is just the kind of man that my dad is.

But even with his good qualities, his bad ones can far outshine them.

My dad hasn't spoken to me since the day that I told my parents that I'm pregnant.  His hateful words about me getting pregnant on purpose just to ruin HIS happiness and how Mr. Banker would leave us like black men do were hard enough.  As the months have passed, those wounds have only gotten deeper as I realize that my son won't get to know his grandfather.  And I can't help the tears that begin to stream down my face as I think of how I will explain to Xavier when he gets old enough to wonder why he doesn't know his grandfather.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Random Update- Life, Pregnancy (Week 27), Weight

Man oh Man!  Almost a month since my last post!  I remember when I couldn't make it a week without posting.  Life has gotten busier and I am guessing it will only continue to do so once Baby Xavier is here.

Mr. Banker and I have been beyond busy.  We are getting the house ready for a new baby and that is a lot of work!  We're also just updating some things in my house that I should've done before and never did.  We put laminate hardwoods upstairs because I couldn't stand the idea of my baby crawling around on carpet (since I have dogs...yuck!) and did tile in the kitchen and bathrooms.  We painted our bedroom and put up curtains in all of the room of the house.  It is looking like a new house!  Mr. Banker's parents are coming to visit for our baby shower, so we are working hard to get everything updated before their visit next month.

Last week I went to Disney World with my cousin and her kids.  It was just a one-day trip but it was my first time at Disney World (you all may remember that I experienced Disney Land for the first time last year).  Here's a photo from our trip:


As you can see, I don't look too far along at all still, and haven't gained any weight.  No one can believe it when I tell them I'm 7 months pregnant!  But I definitely am and in a few short months we will have a sweet baby boy on the scene!

We got to see the 3D image of our baby last week as well, and he looks like Mr. Banker's little clone.  I swear I have never felt such love for anything as I did when I saw my baby, and it even made me love Mr. Banker more deeply, seeing him in my son.  It's the craziest feeling I've ever experienced.  Scary and beautiful all at once.

That's all I really have to report on the life, baby, and weight loss (or really maintenance, rather) front.  At some point after baby Xavier arrives, I would love to have a brachioplasty.  I hate my arms, you can see in the above photo how bad they are.  The skin just hangs.  But I guess it's a consequence that I have to live with from getting to 345 pounds, until I can afford to fix it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Revision Recap

So it's been 10 months now and for some reason, at this time, I feel very compelled to re-tell my revision story.  Why did I do it?  What is it like?  Am I satisfied?  Maybe all this is coming up because the revision rate among the bloggers I began with is INCREDIBLY high.  I have also been asked 5-6 times recently in a facebook support group about my experience, so here I am documenting it all again in one post.

I had lap band surgery on 17September2012.  I had read lots of blogs and forums about the lap band, but I wasn't really prepared for my own personal experience.  I wasn't prepared for all the throwing up.  I mean, it was really a daily thing for me.  If I didn't get sick during the course of a day, that was akin to a miracle.  Then, after about a year, I couldn't get my restriction right with the normal 4-6 week fills.  I was literally getting a fill every 2 weeks in an attempt to maintain the 100 pounds I'd lost.  I spent a lot of time fearing food... was I going to eat too much?  Was it going to make me sick?  Was I going to get that painful 'stuck-in-my chest, can't breathe' feeling?

So I began the revision process and it took 3 appeals to finally get approval.  I was an emotional wreck during that 6 months, but I finally got the approval and I was so happy.  I actually planned to revise to RNY on my doctor's recommendation, but that provided further insurance hurdles and I revised to sleeve to avoid losing my approval.

The surgery itself was quite easy.  Not much pain and I healed so well.  It was definitely easier revising to the sleeve than my initial lap band surgery.

So here we are 10 months later and I'm so happy.  The weight loss hasn't been phenomenal.  I'm about 60 pounds down from what I was at the revision surgery and only 20 pounds from my goal weight.  I'm not going to complain about that considering I'm 6 months pregnant.

The REAL difference though is my quality of life.  I never worry about how the weather will affect my tool.  All of you who are banded know that things like PMS, weather, waking up on the wrong side of the bed, etc. can make that fickle bitch of a band tighten up like you couldn't have imagined.  So no more worrying about that.  I don't fear food.  I never throw up after eating.  It's a whole new world.  The sleeve is everything I THOUGHT the band was going to be.  It's perfect.  There is still a small part of me that wishes I'd gotten the RNY just because weight loss is more rapid and it prevents acid reflux, but overall, I'm so happy.  I wish I'd done the sleeve or RNY initially.  The Lap Band just really wasn't a good option for me.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Just an Update

Hi Everyone!

It's been a while since I've written, because quite honestly I haven't known what to write about.

I'm doing great and Baby Xavier is doing well too.  I'm finally over the horrible morning sickness phase so I haven't been gaining or losing weight really.  I'm glad to be done with the sickness- it reminded me A LOT of how it felt to be banded... not a reminder I ever want again.

I'm 5.5 months pregnant now... just 3.5 more months to go!  I'm really not showing at all.  There's a part of me that wants to know what it's like to have a baby bump, and another part that is horrified at the idea of having to lose that bump after baby is born!  I'm torn, but regardless, what is going to happen will happen.  I've kind of decided I just won't get a baby belly, but that is unrealistic, right.  I can see him when I lay on my back in the mornings in bed.  When I stand, I don't look even a little pregnant.  I can kind of see how those women did it on the show "I didn't know I was pregnant".

I'll leave you all with a photo of my sweet, squirmy, baby boy!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hospital Weight Gain :(

Somehow, I GAINED weight while in the hospital-- 4 pounds to be exact.  I don't know if the hospital food is just that good (ugh... I'm going to guess that isn't it) or that fattening... or if baby is just growing.

Last week my lower abdomen and back started hurting, but I assumed it was just pregnancy related pain and went on about my business.  Mr. Banker and I had a busy weekend, so when we got home Sunday we laid on the couch together and took a nap.  I woke from my nap with sharp pains in my back and realized this pain was too familiar-- all those kidney stones I'd had, they felt JUST LIKE this.  Mr. Banker thought I should go to the hospital, but I wasn't very interested at first because I thought there wasn't much they could do for me since I'm pregnant.

A few hours in though, I began to worry that I might have a stone blocking my ureter and need a stent (I've had 2 stents in the past) so I decided it was time to go to the hospital.  They found no stone, but that I had a severe kidney infection.  Severe enough that they admitted me to the hospital right away for IV antibiotics.

I had a lovely 2 night stay at the local hospital and fortunately came home yesterday. Nowhere is better than home, in my own bed, with my own dogs, and my own Mr. Banker.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Baby Gender Reveal

If you want to know the gender.... Go here:
And a few photos from the day:
Hopefully Mr. Banker won't mind that I put his photo up here.
He's so happy with the outcome that I don't think he could possibly be upset ha!


Yesterday was such a wonderful day filled with friends and family!  There was so much excitement that I couldn't sleep at all last night.  Today will be a long day!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Kids say the Darnedest things...

It has been a long time since a child commented on my weight.  I had almost forgotten the feeling.  How hurtful it is, even when they don't intend for it to be.

Mr. Banker and I went to the beach for memorial day with his best friend's family, including his wonderful godsons.  On the way to the beach, the oldest godson --he is 7-- rode in the car with us, and made a comment about how I was bigger than Mr. Banker.  I was at a loss for words and was glad that I was wearing sunglasses so that they couldn't see me cry.  I know it was not at all his intention to hurt me, but I thought I'd gotten to a point that I wouldn't have to deal with things like that anymore.  At 5'9, Mr. Banker and I are the same height and I only weigh about 10-15 pounds more than him now.  Mr. Banker corrected his godson and told him it wasn't nice to comment on people's weights, the conversation ended and when we got out of the car Mr. Banker had a private conversation with the little boy who came up and apologized for hurting my feelings and hugged me.

I suppose he made up for it, because although they call me "Miss Hollee" and him "Uncle Banker" (insert name in place of Banker), the older godson said something that showed he is beginning to think of me as family.  I was talking to Mr. Banker's family about my nephew and the older godson interrupts and says "wait... which nephew?  me or ...younger godson...?"  I explained to him that I have another nephew that he'll get to meet next weekend, but it had me grinning from ear to ear.

Older godson also gave Mr. Banker a speech in the car about how if we are having a baby, we should be married and even told him how he is supposed to ask me.  He was full of suggestions for baby names including "Pete, Bob, Alvin, Tom and Jerry"--we asked for boy names since we're pretty set already on a girl name.

I really do adore Mr. Banker's family.  Especially the two godsons.  They melt my heart every time I see them.

Yesterday morning, younger godson --he's 4-- told me he wanted to show me something, but it was upstairs.  So I went upstairs with him and he stood on the bed and wrapped his arms around my neck and kissed my cheek and proceeded to tell me that was all he needed to show me.  Do you guys understand why these kids have me like putty in their hands?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Do I look pregnant?

Am I in denial that I look pregnant? I didn't think so but yesterday I wrote here that I don't and a blogger informed me that I do? I don't mind if I do considering I am pregnant, I just really don't see it?
((Left in the black bathinsuit was the night before my initial surgery at 344.4 pounds))

The photos in grey were taken this morning.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pregnancy + Weight Update


Sooooooooooo... THIS happened this morning?!
WHATTTT?

I don't know where that came from, but it is nice to see while it lasts.  I know that at some point during this pregnancy, the scale is going to start increasing and it won't stop until sometime in November.  I will just have to get used to that.

Friday, Mr. Banker and I have an anatomy scan to determine the baby's gender.
We will have the sonographer put it in an envelope and then take it to a baker to bake us a gender reveal cake.  Then we have to wait a whole week (+2 days) for our gender reveal party!!! UGH!  But I'm so glad we're doing it, because Mr. Banker initially said no.  I guess he realized in the last couple of days that making me happy was worth the wait.

Isn't it strange to anyone else...the idea of finding out the gender of a baby when I'm not even sporting a bump? Not at all...not even a little.

See...

Here's a picture from the weekend and I don't look pregnant at all...granted the pattern on the dress probably makes it hard to tell!

Monday, May 11, 2015

A mother's love.... a father's.....?

I believe it's true that a mother's love is unconditional. I love my mom, she's one of my best friends. I know that she will always be.

My father on the other hand was horrific. I don't even want to talk about it. Instead of focusing on my father, I'd rather praise my child's father. He knew it was going to be tough so he made sure I'd come home to happiness. While I was at my parents house, he came to cut my grass and left me roses. Mr. Banker had never bought me flowers before, so he had me grinning from ear to ear. Then he brought me sushi for dinner. He brought me so much happiness yesterday. That's truly the caring man I needed yesterday.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Breaking the News

Sunday, after all of the mother's day festivities, I'm going to tell my parents that I'm pregnant.  I'm nervous and scared, but in a way, I'm just so ready to tell EVERYONE.  Then I can blast it from the rooftops if I want to.

I've played it over and over in my head.  How I will tell them.  I've thought of long explanations and short ones, and I just don't think I can make it through the longer version.  I feel like all I can get out is "I'm having a baby and I'm due in November" and then I will let them ask anything else they want to know, instead of preemptively trying to explain.  I'm an adult, I shouldn't really have to explain myself, but my parents are difficult and I know this is going to be hard.

Please send me positive vibes or prayers....

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Another Year Older...

Another Year Healthier!!

It was a wonderful birthday, just wanted to share a few photos from my trip!
Feeling kinda ballsy to put a photo in a bikini up!


We went sailing on a katamaran on my birthday.
It was TERRIFYING and EXHILARATING!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ready for Vacation!!

I'm taking an all inclusive trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico for my 27th birthday.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that I usually throw a pretty big party for my birthdays.  Here are a couple of photos from the last few:

24-Pre WLS

 25

 26

But then last year's (26th) birthday wasn't a ton of fun for me.  My friends had a blast but I ended up taking care of everyone who was drunk.  So I decided this year to do something different.

3 girlfriends and I are going on an all-inclusive trip to a resort in Riviera Maya, right outside of Cancun.

2 days!  I can't wait.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

If you've considered joining a DietBet

Here's some motivation for you:


I began on October 21, 2014 weighing 246.0 and completed the challenge on April 21, 2015 weighing 211.8.  I contributed $125 (plus $20 for weekly weigh in tokens-this is optional) and I won $292.07 AND a FitBit Flex (from the weekly weigh ins).  I'd say I did pretty well for myself on this DietBet and I definitely plan to do it again in the future.

Note:  I did forget to do my official weigh in for Round 2 so I lost about $30 there.

There's nothing like winning money for doing something I already planned to do anyway (LOSE WEIGHT!).

Monday, April 27, 2015

I'm expecting

This will be posted for 24 hours.  Then it will be taken down for a while, until I have grown the lady balls to tell the appropriate people... like my dad.

You all may wonder why lately it's been so important that Mr. Banker meet my parents and why the sudden trip to Rhode Island to meet his parents.  Well... we're expecting a baby in November.  I've kept it a secret now for 12 weeks and I just can't any longer.

That's why I'm worried about weight gain.  That's why I recently wrote that I've had bigger things to worry about than the scale.  So there it is.  And it will be posted for all to see on this beautiful Monday, until I take it down.

We are excited, and nervous- as I think most new parents-to-be are.  But things have never been better between us and he has been amazingly supportive.  I knew our surprise was going to be a make-it or break it type moment for us, and it seems that we are making it- so far anyway.

Talk about an NSV... I beat PCOS.  I beat the doctor who said I would never conceive naturally.  I beat my greatest fear that I could not become a mother without another woman giving that to me (either through surrogacy or adoption).

Please keep us in your thoughts, and prayers (if you pray).

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Meeting his Parents

I think Mr. Banker was cloned.

His father is just a 30 years older version of Mr. Banker.  Same sense of humor.  Same smile.  Same laugh.  I'm usually shy around new people, but it was so easy to be around him and to love him because I felt like I already knew him from knowing and loving Mr. Banker himself.  The minute Mr. Banker left me alone with his parents, his dad asked me when I was going to marry his son and give him some grandbabies.

Mr. Banker had scared me a little about his mom.  He had told me several months ago that she told him not to bring another woman home unless he was going to marry her.  So I had a lot of anxiety about that.  I thought she just didn't like them, but she told me she just didn't want to get attached to women who didn't last the test of time.  Regardless of my anxiety about meeting her, I loved her too.

Overall, it was amazing meeting them.  Not only did I get to meet his parents, but also childhood friends, a sibling, and nephews and a niece.

Everything was perfect, I couldn't have asked for it to be better.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Meeting the Parents

I just realized that I never gave an update on Mr. Banker meeting my parents.  I'd say it went as well as I could've hoped for.  For a white family in the south, it can be a big deal for the daughter to bring home a black man.  I wish it wasn't, but it still is.

I remember growing up, my parents taught me that I should never judge someone based on their outward appearance- whether that be their race, gender, any physical disability, sexuality, etc.  Somehow that rule doesn't quite apply to dating though.  I understand in a way, I know that it was the way they were raised.  White belonged with white, black belonged with black.  I know that was what was acceptable then, but times are changing.  I've dated white men, black men, a hispanic man, and an asian man, and I never felt like race was an issue.  My parents were never 100% thrilled with any of them, so maybe my parents just don't want their baby girl growing up.

Anyway, I've digressed here.

So we woke up early (far too early for Mr. Banker's taste) to drive to my parents' house.  After running a few morning errands, we went out to brunch with my parents, and surprisingly my grandmother came too...without fixing her hair or anything-- she must've really been interested in meeting Mr. Banker.  She'd never met a boyfriend of mine before, and my parents had only met one of them previously.

Brunch went well.  Conversation was easy and my dad even slipped in a few embarrassing stories of younger Hollee's defiant days.  After brunch we parted ways and my parents called to ask if Mr. Banker would like to stay for Easter Sunday, but he already had plans.  I definitely felt like it was a good sign for them to extend the offer, and it made me feel good about the visit.

I know that Mr. Banker's parents will be more accepting of us as far as race goes next weekend- they are an interracial couple as well.  I just hope that our surprise visit isn't too much of a surprise for them!  I definitely know that my parents wouldn't like me just showing up with someone, without telling them I'm coming, but he knows his parents better than I do so I just have to trust his judgement.

Rhode Island in one week!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Weight Loss

Let me be honest and just say that weight loss has NOT been a main priority lately.  I've had a lot going on, some things I'm not yet ready to disclose.  That being said, I've continued to lose.

Depending on the day, I'm somewhere between 212 and 215.  That's crazy considering I think my brain still belongs to a 344 pound Hollee.  My original goal was just to be under 200 pounds.  I just want to live in Onederland.  I'm so close, but soooo far.  I can't even tell you how far it feels to get to 200 pounds or less.

Hopefully I will continue to lose over the next couple of months and get to under 200 pounds, but I'm currently feeling a little discouraged.  I'll update you all soon.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Family Future Sleever

I know I have talked on my blog in the past about my mom considering WLS before.  Back when I was banded she went to see a surgeon in Concord, NC to talk about the lapband, and the surgeon said that the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy would be a better option for her, given that my mom has diabetes that is not well controlled (by any stretch of the imagination).

That was at least 2 years ago and now she's considering it again.  The thing about my mom is that she is not really that overweight.  I mean, I would say she MIGHT be 50 pounds overweight.  She just has comorbidities to obesity that the surgery might help her.

I'm scared for her, but excited for her at the same time.  I'm glad she didn't go forward with getting banded, although I do worry about her not being able to stop losing weight after VSG.  But I guess that's not something I've seen a lot of from the ladies I follow on IG and such.

My mom broke her arm and had to have a kidney stone surgically removed already this year, so her maximum out of pocket for insurance is by far met.  I really want her to get the process started if she's going to do it so that it can be done in 2015-- I know more than anyone how difficult the approval process can be.  Her BMI is only around 36, but her diabetes are bad and she has sleep apnea as well.  I just want my mom to live a long, very healthy life.  She is truly one of my best friends and I want this for her so that I can have her in my life as long as possible.

I don't want to keep asking her if she's going to make the appointment, but I don't want her to miss the opportunity either.  I don't know if her insurance is going to require a 6 month waiting period like many do these days.  I have a severe dislike and distrust of insurance companies after my battle with Blue Cross Blue Shield NC last year, so I can't help feeling like she needs to get on it ASAP if this is going to happen.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Happy Easter :)

Wishing you all a lovely Easter weekend.  I hope you enjoy your time with your families more than the food.  I know we all look forward to the food, but this year will be the first Easter I've really celebrated in a very long time and I'm so excited to be near my family.

My mom usually works on weekends, so she is always working a 12 hour shift on Easter Sunday.  Back in January, my mom fell and broke her arm and has been out of work since then.  It will be so nice to have my mom home for the whole day on a holiday--even holidays that fall on week days, she usually offers to work part of a shift so that someone else can spend time with their families.  My sister and nephew are in NC now, so it will be the biggest family holiday in many, many years.  It will still be small, but perfect- my parents, me, grandmother, sister, nephew, and sister's boyfriend.  I'm very much looking forward to it.

Mr. Banker is coming home with me to meet my parents.  I can't believe it has already been two years with him.....  I'm nervous and happy that they will finally get to meet the man that I love so much, but I just want them to like him so much too that it stresses me out.  I'm going to Rhode Island to meet his family in two weeks and I feel even more stressed about that, so I imagine he might be a little nervous to meet mine as well.  Cross your fingers for us and send us all your luck please!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Diet Bet Update

Hi Everyone!

So remember back in October, Jessica convinced me to start a DietBet?!  I can't believe 5 months (and 5 rounds have already passed) and I am please to say that I have surpassed my 10% weight loss.

My initial weight was 246.8 and yesterday's official Round 5 weigh-in documented my weight at 212.8.  That's a total of 34 pounds lost since I began in October, and although it isn't the earth shattering loss I would've liked, I will happily take it!

Here are two photos from DietBet... I apologize that I wasn't beauty contest read for either of them:


This photo was taken October 21, 2014 at 246.8 pounds

 This photo was yesterday at 212.8 pounds

Hopefully you all see a difference!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Weight update- Total loss....

I don't know why I can't get this photo to rotate left, but in case you can't read to the side....
That says 212.4!!!
My starting weight was 344.4.

That's a total of 134.0 pounds lost!!!



After seeing the scale this morning, I was feeling myself and snapped this pic:
And I felt NORMAL.


Then we had a work outing to go ride a carousel today.

As I hopped up on my horse, I wondered if there was a weight limit.
And then I realized I am sure there heavier adults who've ridden these horse.

And guess what?  My horse did not break.
I'm not sure when I'll stop feeling like the fat girl I used to be.

Maybe one day I'll just feel like the semi-chubby girl I currently am ;)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Gwynnie first month free-limited time only!!!

Gwynnie bee is doing first month free again today until March 12 only. Please use my referral link: http://goo.gl/efH6lJ

I've included a couple of photos of me in Gwynnie Bee dresses.

Getting Fancy

First of all, dress makers are assholes.

I went to this fundraising benefit for my friend's son's school last weekend.  It took me 4 tries to find a dress that fit.  SOOOO frustrating.  After losing 130 pounds, you'd think it gets easier, but apparently not.  My first attempt was an amazon buy, size 18W and it just fit weird.  I'm currently a 14/16 btw. My second attempt was PromGirl.com dress that was a size 3X.  It was FAR from fitting as well.  Third dress never arrived, and the 4th dress was another amazon attempt size 18.  It was a little large but I made it work.

The benefit was great, and I felt pretty, so I wanted to share a few photos:




Thursday, February 12, 2015

A day in the life

Nephew Nerf war


Life has been good lately.  Like that 'doing the happy dance every day in the shower' kind of good.  
My nephew moving back to NC has brought so much happiness into my life.
He makes me smile.
He makes me feel so loved.
He brings laughter and childish fun back into my life.

Things with Mr. Banker have actually been relatively good.  He's been trying so much harder lately.  I'm disappointed he will be out of town for Valentine's day, but it's just one day.  Last weekend I was visiting my parents, so we decided he would take the train down to go out in Charlotte.  I hadn't planned for him to meet my family, but my sister had an interview and I was still watching my nephew when Mr. Banker's train arrived.  So Mr. Banker met my nephew and my sister on Saturday briefly.  That was a big deal to me.  

We did have a nice time in Charlotte.
I hope that things just keep getting better and better.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Weight Loss Update

Hi blog family!

I don't have much exciting news, but wanted to give you all an update.

I'm losing weight at a snail's pace, and it's entirely my fault.  I eat too many things I shouldn't, too often.  Now, it's not like I'm sitting around with candy bars and icecream (holy recipe for dumping batman!), but I go out to eat too often and that needs to quit.

I'm going in for my 6-month revision follow-up today. Yes, it's a month early but it's a combined appointment for my gallbladder removal.

I'm pretty sure I'm sitting around the same place today as I was when I saw my PA 2 months ago.  I tend to bounce between 225-230 depending on the day.  It's still a downward trend so I'm not as worried about it as I probably should be. Considering I started at 344.4 though, 225-230 doesn't FEEL that bad.  And not trying to sound conceited, but I feel like it looks pretty damn good.  I feel confident and sexy and most like 'me' than I have in so long.

I fought SO hard to get my revision though and I should be making the most of it.  I should be busting my ass in the gym every single day.  Ugh.  I need to get on that.
Just me before going out last weekend

Over the weekend I took my nephew to a drive through zoo.
Haven't lost any, but I got those jeans for Christmas and they're looking a tiny bit big.

Got this dress for a fundraiser in March.
I would've never worn this at 344 pounds.  No one would've wanted me to either!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

OH 2015... Wanna come?

Guess where the Obesity Help Conference is being held this year?

If you read yesterday's blog post about bullying, you already had the spoiler I guess.
RALEIGH, NC!



When I read that OH2015 was being held here, I immediately thought of Erica.  She is the sweetest chick- I got to meet her in May when I visited California for my sister's birthday, and I know that Erica went to OH2014 and really enjoyed it.  So I contacted her to ask if it was worth going, and she said it was so good that she'd like to come this year.  That's how we decided she'd be visiting me for the conference in October.

If any of you want to go, I have a couch (for those of you that I chat with outside of blogger) or can point you in the right direction of a good hotel!  I'd love to play tour guide and possibly have a WLS meetup experience with this conference coming to town.

I have always regretted that I missed the BOOBs gatherings (for the newbies, BOOBS stands for Band Of Outrageous Babes). The last BOOBs meetup was right before my lapband surgery, and I didn't begin blogging until a few months later.

Well, if you are interested in learning about OH2015, and possibly coming to it, here is the link:
Obesity Help National Conference 2015-- October 16 & 17

I am planning to apply to participate in the runway modeling.  When else in my life will I get the opportunity to model?  Um, never.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WLS Bullying

Have any of you noticed how much bullying exists among us in the WLS community?  I'm not necessarily referring to those of us in blogland--in fact, I've never felt bullied or anything other than the most support here in my little blog world.  But in other parts of the WLS community I've experienced a lot of "my surgery is better than yours" comments and a lot of size comparison.  It's something that I first experienced when I tried a local WLS meetup.  I was the only person with a lapband at the group and it was then that I decided I would never go back.

Now that I'm revised, I still disagree with it.  I would NEVER put someone down because they made a different decision than me.  Even with all my trouble with the band, I would never tell someone that they were making the wrong choice.  Your body, your choice.

So, what's sparked this topic of discussion, you might wonder?

Well, last month I went on a trip to meet several VSG sisters from instagram.  I was so excited about this trip.  In fact, all of these women were VSGers that I had looked up to, admired, aspired to be like...

One of the women I knew from home, we share the same doctor and I adore her.  The other 4 were IG friends, but I'd texted with 2 of them in the past and was excited for the meeting.  Almost from the very beginning, I felt like I was treated differently.

It started when they continuously told my friend that was with me how beautiful she was, and how proud of her they were.  She is incredibly beautiful, but the compliments to her were excessive and I couldn't help but notice that there was not one compliment to me.

Then there was a discussion about saggy ta-tas and apparently I was the only one in the room who hasn't lost her lady lumps since my surgery.  When I was honest about this, the overwhelming response was that my surgery "wasn't that long ago" and I "haven't lost that much weight yet".

Excuse me?  Just because I had revision 3 months ago doesn't mean I haven't been doing this whole WLS thing for over 2 years.  But I let it go, or tried to.

Then throughout the evening there were other comments about how I am not that far out from surgery yet, and when I've lost as much as they have, I'd understand what they were talking about.  Talking strictly numbers, I should add that I have lost more pounds than any of the other women there, not that I believe it's a contest, but I guess they did.

I mentioned these little stabs at me to my friend, to which she responded that it was all in my head.  I shook it off and thought perhaps she was right, until they began to post photos on instagram that they had cropped me out of.

That was a pretty obvious indication that I'd been right.

I don't know what their problem with me was.
I don't know if it's because they saw me as a failure for needing revision.
Maybe they just didn't like blondes.

All of this got to me at first, but I've gotten to the point that I realize they're just #meangirls.... a hashtag that they openly ascribe to on instagram.

That experience soured me a bit to the IG WLS community.  I haven't been on IG nearly as much and I didn't want to trash talk those girls so I kept my experience mostly to myself.  But then yesterday i was talking to Erica and I told her what happened.  She is coming to visit in October for the Obesity Help Conference and it made me realize when she got mad FOR ME how lucky I am for all of you who make a difference in my life.

I've met some amazing people on this journey through my blog.  If having to meet a few assholes means getting to know all of you amazingly supportive people, I'll deal with that any day of the week.

Thanks for your love and support! <3

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

DC Weekend

Over the weekend, Mr.  Banker and I went to DC.  It was a nice trip.  I want to share a couple of photos with you all, but I know that Mr. Banker prefers that his picture not be on my blog, so I am just sharing a couple of me.

Just a cool photo that was taken in the hotel.  I loved how it turned out.

In front of the white house.

Things aren't perfect between us, but I love him more than words are capable of describing.  Things have been mostly good lately, and he's tried so much harder.  I'm glad to have him in my life.

He is so supportive of my weight loss journey and that means the world.  In my 2.25 years since my initial surgery, I haven't met another man as supportive of my decision to make myself better.  We spent a good hour in the car Sunday talking about it and he just never says the wrong thing when it comes to that.  He doesn't exactly have a way with words, so I know he's genuine about this.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Transformation Post

Tuesday I posted this #transformationTuesday post on instagram and facebook:


I was feeling proud after finally being in the 220's for several days in a row and I wanted to share that excitement.


My sister's response to the photo made me tear up a little if I'm completely honest.  She said she's proud of me and so glad that I am a successful person/good role model for my nephew.  I really needed to hear that.

It's so hard to believe I began this journey at 344 pounds!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Love Life in 2015

2015 is here!

So far, so good!  I'm finally ready to unload the stuff I have been holding back for a while.  When my love life is all jumbled up, I just stop talking about it on here.

The last you all heard of Mr. Banker, I was trying reeeeeeeeally hard to leave him alone.  In fact, I succeeded completely for a month.  During that month he kept messaging almost daily, but I was strong and didn't let him in for 30 whole days.  It was hard.  It was miserable.  It really sucked.

And then one day I realized I was more miserable trying to stay away than I was with him and not in a relationship.  And what do you know, when I let him back in, the relationship thing happened on it's own.  Yes, that's right folks, Mr. Banker and I have finally admitted that what we have is a relationship.  It's about freaking time!

But...when it rains... it pours.  LIKE CATS AND DOGS type pouring.

During my month break from Mr. Banker, I met S.  S was everything I was looking for in almost every way-- just not Mr. Banker.  S and I spent a lot of time together and it was special.  It was different.  It was exactly how I wanted to be treated by someone.  The problem was that no matter how great it was, it was missing the fire that I have when I'm with Mr. Banker.  I finally decided I had to end the progression of things with S on New Year's Day when I had some HORRIBLE guilt.  I knew as much as I enjoyed time with S, as long as Mr. Banker was there, he would always be the only one.  It sucked ending things with S--knowing the hurt that I caused and also it hurt me as well.  I miss the friendship most of all, and I can't have it.

Less than 24 hours after telling S how I felt, Robocop showed up out of nowhere.  He was promising the world-- basically offering me a lifetime of happiness.  In case you all have forgotten, we had ups and downs back in 2012/2013 when I eventually chose Mr. Banker over Robocop.  Robocop is stable and caring but we had our own set of issues- mostly that he wasn't sure he wanted any (more) children and my life would be incomplete without them.  With all his 2015 promises, for about 12 hours, I thought I was going to try to dump Mr. Banker.  I even told Mr. Banker what was going on and later had much regrets about that.  Moral of the story-- you can't trade security for love.

So after those two incidents, it does seem that Mr. Banker and I are back on the right track.  It's been about a month and things have been great.  We've been spending a lot more time together and he's been using words like "forever" and I just have to trust that no matter how different our communication skills or love languages, we both care deeply for each other and will find our way back to one another.  It's been almost 2 years and somehow we keep finding our way back to each other, and in Mr. Banker's words... "we always will".