Bohemian Burble

= A socially unconventional person.

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You’ve Got Mail

I’ve been on vacation for the past 9 days so I had all of my mail held at the post office. After work today I ran downtown to pick it up.

Driving home, I thumbed through everything and saw an unfamiliar handwriting with a stamped returned address that I did not recognize.

Thinking it was a birthday card, since my 51st is July 17th, I put it aside to not open till next week. Once home, I looked at the envelope again and realized since I didn’t recognize the return address at all, this was not a birthday card.

So this beautiful card came out of the envelope. It reads “You are amazing… Don’t ever forget it.” Opening it up, to my great surprise, wonderful sentiments from my No. 1 Provider ever: Lori Ranek, PA-C from the Bon Homme Family Clinic in Tyndall (SD). My No. 1 cheerleader, truth-teller, hero.

Besides verbal words of encouragement and praise from Lori and several other ah-mazing providers, this is my first real piece of confirmation from a provider that took the time out of their busy medical lives to sit down, write something down, place a stamp on it and mail it, that I have ever received.

How lucky am I?




Before Wheat Belly…

Found this puffed up version of myself and my Northern State College friend Susan from Sioux Falls’s Side Walk Festival in September 2016.

It’s always amusing to me that when I find an “old” photo during my weight loss journey, that I clearly recall dressing for this day.

This was the first time since 1986 that I had seen my college friend face to face. It was a somewhat chilly September morning and she was picking me up from Canton where she was visiting her parents.

As you can see, I had my extremely short pixie hair cut (which I will NEVER go back to) and the shirt I was wearing was a men’s Oxford button up that I had bought a thrift store…. and we just stopped at a vendor booth that was giving out free wine slushie samples.

It was a fantastic day spent with a good friend but when I found this photo this morning, I couldn’t believe how well I thought I looked two years ago. I will always be forever grateful I learned about the Wheat Belly lifestyle and took the direction in my life to go that route and lose the inflammation in my face and body.

Remember everyone, it’s all about making good choices.

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Flashback: September 2013

Found this photo of my mom, my cousins Marcia & Kevin and myself from September 2013 during the South Dakota State Fair in Huron, South Dakota.

It’s somewhat funny to me because here I really thought I had dropped a lot of weight since my surgery the year prior. I mean, I guess I had but not what my mind thought. And the only other difference was I went from having longer hair to having my pixie haircut.

A lot of things have majorly changed in the last five years for sure.

I cannot believe it’s been five years already but I am actually going to put on a swimming suit and head over to the village swimming pool. I love being on vacation!

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TRUE SUCCESS: It’s Been 6 Years!!!!

First time publishing this hideous photo of myself (and a beautiful photo of the rest of my very supportive immediate family). This was taken before my lap band surgery in 2012. I am in the bright blue shirt in the back @ almost 400 pounds.

❤ Today is my 6th Year Band-A-Versary! 

 On June 27, 2012, I successfully had the lap band surgery at Avera Queen of Peace in Mitchell, SD, from Dr. Michael Haley. 💙

Taken June 16, 2018 at Czech Days in Tabor, South Dakota

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What’s Your Secret?

In all the years that I have been struggling to lose weight, then finally losing weight, then seriously doing some extensive shrinking…. people from all over will either ask me face to face, email me, text me… ask through others… but they always say, WHAT’S YOUR SECRET? 
There’s no secret. There’s no magic bullet. There’s no weight loss pill or shake or special program to buy into to get to your magical weight you want to be.
All there is … is the word: DETERMINATION. Once you match that up with your own melon … then you, and only you have to make that all important decision that you want to lose weight and get healthy.
I’m around a lot of people who are overweight and who complain nonstop about being overweight. When I offer suggestions, they quickly say something like “Oh I could never give THAT up,” or “No wheat or grains???” or “I eat soooo much bread, I could never give up bread!!!!” … But you can, and it is quite easy to do. And your body will seriously thank you for it.
In the meantime, instead of enjoying their lives, like I did for almost two decades, I got sicker and sicker. I allowed my depression to take over and I was seriously a very disgruntled human. And I made every excuse in the book to either not exercise — including just moving my body for 15 minutes a day .. AND for eating healthy. I mean come on, it’s easier to grab fast food or a cylinder of Pringles than it is to buy chicken and some vegetables. I’m not stupid. I was that person.
Seriously, it’s all about taking one single day at one single time and then starting over the very next day. You make little teeny tiny goals and when you reach that particular one goal, you reward yourself with something nice and not food. Then you make a new goal and do the same thing… baby steps.
I just finished a 6-week walking challenge at my job. I was paired up with 5 other humans from my company who were across the United States. We came up together, with the group name, The Gladiators. I was the team captain. Every week, I’d send off one group email to everyone and just tell them to do their very best and move their bodies. At the start of the next week, we would all record our steps. And a new week would start…. Out of 33 teams nationwide, my team proudly came in 9th place. We started at 15th place, then kept moving forward in the six weeks. I was extremely proud of all the people on my team and I told them so. Last year I was on a team made up of people in Sioux Falls and we always stayed in 22nd place. And no one ever sent out words of encouragement.
I strongly believe in order to have success in anything I do, I need to surround myself with positive-like-minded humans. And for the past 6 years since my lap band surgery, I have had an Army of Supporters. Since I joined the Wheat Belly lifestyle in April 2017, I also have a wonderful world of Wheat Belly Warriors on my side… several of them are close personal friends in my circle.
My turning point was visiting my friend and Bon Homme County Nurse, Paula G. in Tyndall one time for an appointment. She told me about a woman from Springfield who reversed her Multiple sclerosis by following the Wheat Belly lifestyle. I knew who this person was but I wasn’t friends with her but I felt compelled to contact her. And I did in 2014 I believe. Yet… I did not seriously look into even attempting to do it until April 2017. That’s when I found the books I needed at the Siouxland Libraries here in Sioux Falls and I checked them out. I’ve never looked back.
And then something wonderful happened between that “lady who reversed her MS” and I. We became friends. Also her son, on facebook, started to post really amazing posts about how food is used for our bodies for fuel. And fuel only. He posted a lot of amazing articles and points of interest about that topic. I learned so much from him and his mom.
So the next time you feel the need to inquire, “What’s your secret?” … You all really do know the answer. It is never too late to start over. Tomorrow.

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An Unexpected Surprise

This afternoon I went to see Dr. Stotz for a completely different reason other than weight loss. However, during the initial weigh in with the RN, I actually looked UP for the very first time when I stepped on the scale. I saw the number appear and it did not register at first. I cannot recall the last time I ever saw that number on a scale.


Once I got off the scale, I had to ask, did that really say _ _ _? She said yes. And left…. then my doctor came in with a huge smile on her face. I said to her, “Did you see the number?” Big grin, YES, she said. Oh. My. God.

We talked about the reason why I was there and then focused back on shedding another 17 pounds since I last saw her on April 2, 2018.

The last time I was under 200 lbs was around the age of 16 or 17 years old. I am almost there. I have really stepped up my walking on my breaks at work now that all the snow is gone. And I have upped my drinking of water and herbal teas, both hot and cold.

I am so proud of myself. Nothing has ever been easy for me but if you stick to your guns, you can do it. If you need guidance, let me help you.


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The Last Time Was June 2005

In the summer of 2005, I wore a swimming suit in the ocean near San Clemente, California when my brother-in-law retired from the Marines, but I wore a t-shirt over the swimming suit in the ocean…. and I was only around family.  This was the very last time I wore one.

Thank you SHOPKO!

Today, I drove to Shopko as they are having a Memorial Sale for 50% all swimming suits. In my hand was a $10 coupon off if you spend $30.00, then I had a $10 rewards card to use on top of that. I picked out three different tankini swim tops. I bravely walked into the fitting room and tried them on.

My first thought was… WHAT IF I GET TRAPPED IN ONE OF THESE!!!! And I literally let out a laugh. Shockingly for me, two of them were too big. And the last one fit. And no, I do not have a flat stomach, yet. I will also not flaunt around in this number either but I wanted to get something I could afford, that actually fitted and I could be comfortable getting into the water. Again.

Baby steps.

And for my amazing dermatologist, Dr. Kendra Watson of Dakota Dermatology in Sioux Falls, SD … she recommended I start wearing SPC 50 sun screen. So I found a 16 ounce bottle on sale for $7.99 … after the 50% off the swim suit and using my two $20 coupons, my tankini was $6.76. My grand total, out-of-pocket expense was, $14.75.

My childhood friend who I’ve known since we were in the 5th grade lives close by. We’ve discussed going to a couple of the swimming pools here in Sioux Falls together on our days off. One of them has a great lazy river and I knew this was my summer to do something about enjoying myself in water again. I am also trying to do more “freebie” things this summer than shopping…. Another one of my friends has a swimming pool at her apartment complex. She’s already invited me over — in advance — to her complex. And I no longer want to hide indoors anymore.

Remember, find something you can focus on and just focus on one thing at a time in your life to fix. Then continue to improve yourself, one baby step at a time.

Be bravely you today.