Category Archives: Gia’s blog

Oddly enough my story begins where the writing of this blog entry begins. When I got the call from Gladys, Vicky, Christine, and the crew to tell me that I had won this contest I literally felt a page turn in my life. With their words of “You won!”, I saw before me a clean slate, a blank page, ready for my new life’s story and no longer marred (or hindered) by my past. It was an overwhelming feeling and it took everything I had to stifle my emotions as I rode the Metra in total shock and bliss.

Of course, I could go on and on about growing up fat. About how my weight has always been a struggle and a barrier between who I am and who I want to be. But if you’re reading this you’re already on DayOne’s site—you already know that story because you’re probably living it yourself. You’re here because you’re seeking out something that will change your life. I know this because that is how I ended up on DayOne’s website. I was ready to change my life and it was by the grace of God and a whole lot of luck that I’m in the position I’m in to do just that. Change. My. Life.

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I’d rather talk about what I hope for in the next year. I hope that this surgery provides me the critical tool that has been missing until this moment in my life. The tool that will help all the things I’ve tried and know I should do—eat healthy, exercise, take care of my body—actually garner the results I’ve always wished for. Like you, I have tried every diet. Like you, I have bought endless exercise programs. None of them got me the long-term results that I was seeking, if any results at all. Until today I’ve often felt like I was just spinning my wheels in my effort to lose weight and get healthy. I know you’ll understand when I say that eating healthy is a lot less attractive when the number on the scale doesn’t change after a week, a month, a couple months. It’s hard to stay motivated when you feel like you’re trying your hardest and doing everything “right” but not seeing—literally looking in the mirror and seeing—any results. I hope that this surgery will make those results more evident.

I have no delusions that I have a lot of work ahead of me. I’ve researched this surgery enough to know that I have to do my part. I have to follow my diet. I have to exercise. I have to slow down when I’m eating and a host of other things. The difference this time, with this magnificent gift that I’ve been given, is that I will see a change in my body because of these efforts. The Gia that has been hidden for years in a living tomb of fat will begin to emerge. My athletic self, my active lifestyle self, will reveal herself. She’s been there but hidden, stuck in a murky, quick-sand like environment. I am so ready to meet this Gia. Actually, I can’t wait!

There are a few things that I’m going to present to you from my Healthy Weight Wish List. These are things that I have always wanted to do, but couldn’t because I was either literally too big or too self-conscious about my weight to even make an attempt. Some of these wishes might seem mundane to the uninformed or chronically slim, but to me they are always top-of-mind:

  • Sit comfortably in an airplane seat with the armrest down and without a seatbelt extender.
  • Ride any and all rollercoasters at Six Flags Great America.
  • Wrap myself up completely in a regular sized bath towel (i.e. not a “bath sheet”) after a shower.
  • Go ziplining.
  • Fit into one seat on the bus or train.
  • Complete some amazing (but fun) feat of athleticism like the Great Urban Race, Bike the Drive, Step Up for Kids, Chicago Mud Run, or Urbanathlon.

My goal is to work as hard as I can with my band to make these goals come to fruition during our year together. I will definitely keep you posted on my progress.

I start a liquid diet two weeks before my surgery and I am framing these two weeks as a long overdue divorce from my unhealthy relationship with food and my too-distant relationship with exercise. I am turning a page in my life. I don’t have to adhere to any of the peccadillos that ruled my life before this moment. I’m letting go of those bad habits and embracing a new way of living. Starting today, those habits don’t own me anymore.

1 Year After Lap-Band Surgery: I’ve Lost 77 Pounds & Gained a New Lease On Life

On October 12, 2012 I woke up with a job to do. I didn’t want to do it, per say, but I knew if everything went according to plan I would want data from this day to look back on. It would, hopefully, be a measure of triumph at some undetermined point in my life so in spite of my desire not to truly face my reality I got up and got on my bathroom scale. 314.0 is what it told me. The heaviest I have ever been in my life. Honestly, I’d felt it long before those digital numbers ever stared up at me. I felt it in my knees when I walked up stairs. I felt in in the size 48 pants that were starting to get snug. I felt every ounce of those 314 lbs. in my spirit every day I got up. The numbers were just confirmation that it was, indeed, time for a change.

Unfortunately for me the scale was just my first challenge of the morning. I reached for the tape measure. I unrolled it and took a deep breath as I pulled one end around my waist. I pinched the tape measure, belt-like, where the little metal end met the number 51 ¼. Damn, my waist is over 51 inches round… I was ashamed but happy I was the only person in the bathroom at that moment. Continue reading

10 Months After LAP-BAND Surgery – “This has truly been one of the best summers of my life.”

GLG Glen Arbor_Aug 2013The summer is almost over! This has truly been one of the best summers of my life. I’ve felt free and fearless. I’ve done things I never thought I could (or would) do.

And the best reward was when my wife told me that she is so happy that I like to be outside with her now. Seems like a little thing, but my desire to be out, active, and moving around has made a huge difference to her—to our lives in general.

She will come home from work and say, “Let’s go for a bike ride!” Yesterday’s Gia would’ve found any and every excuse possible not to do it. Today’s Gia simply says, “Get the helmets!”

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Month 9 – “Nine months in and I feel great!”


Nine months in and I feel great! I’ve had one of the most active summers of my life this year. Mainly because I feel energetic, uninhibited, and unencumbered. I feel like anything is possible and all I have to do is get out there and do it. It seems like all the various areas of my life are coming together well—work, relationships, and health. I don’t credit all the good in my life to my weight loss, but I know that I’ve felt more comfortable stepping into my blessings with this smaller frame.

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Month 8

Gia-Month-8Having been overweight the majority of my life I think I had gotten used to that feeling of living inside what I can only describe as a cocoon. It completely surrounded me at all times. I toted it around, no matter how heavy it was, from place-to-place and had gotten used to people seeing that cocoon, and judging me based on their perceptions of what that meant about me as a person, before the real Gia—the one inside the cocoon—had a chance to properly introduce herself. I think other overweight people can identify with what I’m saying. You literally can feel your body surrounding you. You feel it when you walk. You feel it when you sit. You definitely feel it in crowds or when trying on clothes. It’s uncomfortable, but after a while you just get used to it. You learn to live with it.

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Month 6

Gia-Month-6This has probably been the most difficult month for me since I started this journey. I think it was a combination of birthdays, an extended family vacation, and general contentment with my current weight and size that caused me to kind of ease up on my routine. None of these are adequate reasons for not pushing myself as hard as I can, and that I know I should. But before I knew it, a month passed (since my last blog post) and I’ve only lost two pounds.

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Month 5

I just celebrated my four-month anniversary for my lap-band surgery! This has truly been one of the most remarkable times of my life. Things are changing so much, so quickly—I am changing so much, so quickly—that I can’t believe it was just a handful of months ago that I was feeling at my wits end regarding my weight. I think about the weight that I was carrying and how it impacted every aspect of my life. I didn’t realize how the weight was affecting me emotionally, psychologically, as well as physically. But now I can see that I was only living a fraction of my life and the extra weight that I was carrying around was holding me back in so many ways. The operative word in that last sentence is “was”. I am so liberated now and it feels absolutely amazing.

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