DECEMBER 2001 PRE-OP: (back to top)
Proportionately I have an hour glass figure... it's just... an hour and a half!!! Ha, ha!

I have battled weight since I was a child... had ups and downs as a teenager... and since I've been out of high school (celebrating 10 year reunion in 2002) I have climbed to the "morbid obese" position and have been in a holding pattern for 10 years.   I once said by the time I turned 21 I would be thin. I've repeated that every year since then. My 28th birthday is Tuesday, January 22nd 2002. What I am saying now is that I WILL be thin by my 30th birthday. The next two years my goal is to have WLS surgery and lose 130 pounds. I do not have children, but my husband really wants them (I'm still getting used to the idea). Anywho, when I married that gorgeous man 6+ years ago I did promise that I would give him the gift of children before I turned 30. If I stay the weight I am now and got pregnant, I am almost sure I would be bed-ridden by my 6 month. SO... THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT!!!  I've already had to have one surgery because of my weight... I had to have my gallbladder removed by Dr. Mark Taylor because I had gallstones.  If I stay this weight, what else is going to fall apart???  I have a gorgeous 125 pound, 18 year old sister cheering me on. I'm ready Lord! I just pray that you will watch over every square inch of my body as I start this journey.

I want to share with you some moments in my "fat" life that have caused me pain and embarrassment. I've been overweight since childhood, having just a brief moment of "skinniness" (size 14) when I was in high school.

1) Waterbed 1998: In 1998, my husband and I had a waterbed. We lived in a second floor apartment. We weren't allowed to have a waterbed, but rules were made to be broken, right? To try and counter our decision, we did not fill the bed up completely with water. Instead, we filled it just enough so that if both of us were in it, we would float. Well, one morning my husband had to get up earlier than normal for a meeting. This left me asleep, on my side, for two hours, sunk to the bottom of the bed. Unfortunately, this was also the side the waterbed heater was on. Due to the amount of fat in my thighs, I stayed asleep for those two hours without feeling the heater sizzle a third degree 3 inch long, 2 inch wide, 1.5 inch deep, hole in my leg. I got up as usual, brushed the teeth, washed the face, and walked by the mirror. "OH MY GOD!!!!" I had a blister the size of an apple on my leg. IT WAS HUGE! I couldn't even fathom what had happened. So, I did what any normal 24 year old would do. I POPPED IT! THAT'S WHEN THE PAIN BEGAN!  Well, to make this long story short, even after seeing a doctor, the area became filled with hard yellow infection and the doc said I was at risk of loosing my leg. LOOSING MY LEG? WHAT?!!! I endured several excruciating weeks of physical therapy where I was electrically shocked while a nurse took a scalpel and cut layer after layer of infection out of my leg. Yes, WITHOUT ANY PAIN KILLERS OR LOCAL ANESTHESIA!!! When they finally got to the bottom of the wound, new skin buds were coming up.  Let me tell you, it was the weirdest thing I had ever seen.  Did you know our skin forms buds? It reminded me of sea-grass in an aquarium.  All these long skin buds came up and then formed together. I now have a scar on my thigh that looks like the continent of South America.

2) White Water 1999: I got stuck on a slide ride at White Water amusement park in Atlanta. I don't recall the name of the ride. You come down a tunnel slide, plunge into a pool in the middle, and then the water will take you down another slide. When I was coming down the tunnel slide, my inner-tube came from underneath me. When I plunged into the pool, it was deep. The ride was stopped for 30 minutes while the employees waded in the water to try and get my fat butt back in the inner-tube so I could go down the next slide. People were crowded around at the bottom of the ride... on-lookers watched, including my husband. I was more embarrassed for him than for me. To top it all off, I had this horrible swimsuit on. It was a one-piece black/white stripped tank connected to these grey shorts. It was made of terry-cloth. VERY UGLY but the only thing I could find in the store to fit me.... it looked just like what you would imagine a fat girl swimsuit to look like. Anyway, when the employees finally "Freed Willy", my husband held my hand and walked with me like nothing was wrong. He's such a good man... don't know too many men like him.  Think I'll keep him a little longer.  :)

3) Six Flags 2000: Each year, my employer sends its employees and family to Six Flags over Georgia. After standing in the Challenger ride line for 45 minutes, we finally were able to get on. I get on, sit down, and... the seat belt doesn't fit. I couldn't get the darn thing to even get half way across my belly. The attendant then tries to shove the shoulder harness down on me. The darn thing wouldn't go! I WAS SO EMBARRASSED as people looked on.. they whispered about my weight. Want to know the bad thing? I had to get out, stand back in line until the ride completed before I could go across to exit. Talk about double embarrassment!  My husband never showed an inch of embarrassment.  I love him!

So can you see a trend in just these three examples? I take a lickin' and keep on tickin'. I love amusement parks! I just need a body that will let me enjoy them.

My Primary Care Physician refused to provide me with a referral (required by insurance) to see the surgeon. He told me that the surgery is only done on person's who are 500+ pounds and that it was deadly. OBVIOUSLY I need to find a new physician because he doesn't know what he is talking about. Instead, he referred me to my Gastroenterologist to discuss my reflux further.... WHATEVER. I'm hoping that the gastro doc will provide me with the referral I need. I contacted my primary physician's office to provide me with copies of my medical records. They will be ready for pick-up on Friday at a cost of $15.00. I'll have to review the records myself so that I can provide the surgeon with all the diets I have been tried on. Once I do get a referral (from somebody!!!) to see the surgeon, his office will write the insurance company for approval. I talked to my benefits rep at work today... she explained as long as I had a letter of medical necessity... it will be covered. Keep you posted!

I received my copies of my medical records. My PCP put some ugly statements in my records including "he didn't think WLS would be good for me... and that the risk is greater than the benefit... that I will be tried on a diet again" AARRRGGGHHH!!! I go tomorrow to the gastro doc. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he will be more educated on WLS because he deals with the digestive system.

1/25/02 REFERRAL:
My gastroenterologist doc gave me a referral to see Dr. Champion in Atlanta! 1) He thinks that I'm a good candidate, 2) He is familiar with Dr. Champion and says that he is the best of the best, 3) His brother, who is also a gastro doc, works in the same building as Dr. Champion. So how do I feel now? Scared, anxious, excited. I know that I still have a long road ahead of me. What are the next steps? Now I have to wait until Wednesday, 1/30/02, to pick up my written letter referral from the gastro doc. Then I will fax all of my packet information to Dr. Champion's office and the waiting begins again. Right now, I am assuming I will have surgery sometime between April and June. I'm not real sure.

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!!! Received the referral letter today from my gastro doc. I faxed 20 pages of info to Dr. Champion's office. If you are interested, here is what was in my info: (1) All of the packet forms that you must complete for Dr. Champion, (2) My letter of referral from my PCP to my gastro doc, (3) My letter of referral from gastro doc to Dr. Champion, (4) Signed contract that you can print from Dr. Champion's website, (5) Letter addressed to my insurance company from me requesting that they pay for Dr. Champion as "in-network" as there are no "in-network" lap-bariatric surgeons, (6) My Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms from my employer so Dr. Champion will have them ready to go when the time comes, (7) An enlarged copy of my insurance card, and (8) a typed list from me listing all of my medical issues whether they were weight related or not. Dr. Champion will dictate a letter over the weekend, send it to the typist on Monday, and I should have a letter for the insurance company on Tuesday or Wednesday. Once the letter is ready, it will be faxed to my Benefits Manager at work. She will then forward the information to United HealthCare Care Management who will do the underwriting and decide on approval. Benesight actually handles our insurance... but they are just a third-party administrator. So now the waiting begins again.

Called Dr. Champion's office today. My letter has been dictated and has been sent to the transcriptionist. The letter should be ready by Monday or Tuesday. I'm just anxious for this to be approved and to get a surgery date. I'm booking weddings and don't want to turn down a booking... but also, don't want to have to hold up my surgery if I don't have to.

I went to Dr. Champion's office today with my "angel" Melissa Sievers. Her 6/7 month follow-up appointment was today. She's doing great and has lost almost 100 pounds. I got to meet Dr. Champion and he seemed like a good 'ol down to Earth country boy. He was dressed casually and seemed relaxed. I liked that. My letter is still with the transcriptionist... so I'm still waiting.

My letter has been faxed to United HealthCare Management for review. I spoke to my benefits manager and she stated that she expects to hear something early next week. Sounds good to me (as I sit here and eat my Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies).

I can't believe it!!! In less than a month of faxing the paperwork to the surgeon, the surgeon doing a letter, and the insurance reviewing the case... I'VE BEEN APPROVED!!! I've been so blessed because I know many people wait months and sometimes years battling to get approval. The tentative date given to the insurance is May. The insurance company will also pay the hospital and surgeon as "in-network". SO MUCH THANKS to my Benefits Manager at my employer. She has been terrific at getting everything finalized. I sent her some flowers today to show my appreciation. I can't wait until May!

I'VE GOT A DATE! I could have taken April 4th, however, due to the fact I'm photographing a wedding on April 6th, I was unable to take that date. SOOOO.. the date is May 9th. I go for my first appointment and Pre-Op with Dr. Champion on May 6th. I have been elected as my 10 year High School Reunion Coordinator. I have planned the reunion for August 10th, 2002. This gives me 3 months to recover from surgery and my hopes are that I will be down 50 pounds by then putting me at 208.... we'll see!

Happy Fool's Day! I only have 38 more days to go... The entire month of March I kept having these feelings of "what if this happens" or "what if that happens" or "you know, if I just tried a little harder"... well guess what... after going to a nightclub with some friends a week ago (which I had not done in at least a year), I realized that my knees were not gonna hold up any longer. I could barely move the next morning. Also, I've noticed now that when I sit in a chair, I have this huge stomach in my lap. I don't have rolls like normal obese persons... I have this huge stomach that makes me look pregnant. If my face wasn't so fat, I could honestly pass for being 9 months pregnant. So! I'm going forward with the surgery!!! I've had a lot of encouraging words from other WLS patients who have now become my friends. Onward we march!

ONE MONTH TO GO!!! I can't believe that my surgery is only one month away. I know that the time will pass fast as I am totally booked up with photography appointments this month. I'm sitting here in front of the computer thinking of the things I will miss the most after I have surgery. I will miss my frozen Cafe Carmel Chillers from Coffee Beanery, Mudslides from Scooter's, Virgin Cappuccinos from Speakeasy, and "Julie's Concoctions". I am a cappuccino lover to heart! And believe it or not... I HATE hot coffee... it's got to be frozen for me! As I type this, I'm drinking "Julie's Special Concoction". That's what my friends call it. It's Bailey's Irish Cream, Sabrosa, and Skim Milk over ice. Except, tonight, I said to hell with the wind and replaced Skim Milk with heavy whipping cream... yeah.. I know... fattening as hell... but it's OH SO GOOD! and a month from now I'll never be able to enjoy "Julie's Special Concoction" again. Bye for now!

Okay... call me crazy... but for some reason that old song "Breaking up is hard to do" just came in my head. Is it because I keep thinking about the "breaking up" I am about to do regarding my relationship with food? Ya know, food and I have had this long lasting relationship for many years... it's been there for me in the good, the bad, and the ugly. I think I'm in mourning over my cappuccinos. I had my last official Baskin Robbins cappuccino on Saturday night. Columbus does not have any Baskin Robbins and I just happen to be in Atlanta shooting a wedding and came across one. For the past week and half, I've had this strange craving for seafood. It's like I can't get enough of it. And I don't eat it fried, so it's not a "fat" craving. I've been eating broiled shrimp, fish, scallops, and too many tuna sandwiches to name. WHY??? and my buddy Pam Kelley (she's having surgery 1 day before me) is going through the same thing. Maybe we're just weird/crazy southern girls... who knows. Sidebar note: I'll be glad when that napkin in my lap will be of use instead of my boobs. Alright kids, guess it is off to bed for seeing that it's 1:08am.

Howdy-ho! Looks like just another 9 days or so. It really has not hit me yet. I have been so incredibly busy doing my full-time job and photography, that I haven't had time to think about the surgery. I took a vacation this past weekend though. One of my best friends, Gayla, and I left Friday morning (husband was off at a convention in NC). We drove to Chattanooga, TN (3.5 hours away) and went to the Aquarium, Ruby Falls (what a disappointment), and Rock City Gardens. Rock City was a blast! There was nobody there! We got there 2 hours before close and it had been sprinkling all day. We only saw one other couple during our entire hike. I was out of breath though... and the "Fat Man Squeeze" was just that. It was a squeeze for me. I almost didn't make it through. Good thing there wasn't anybody around to see this amazing stunt of fitting a two feet thick girl in between a 12 inch rock opening. I don't know how I did it... but God made it happen. From there we drove to Richmond, KY where we met up with a friend. We stayed overnight and then went to the KFC Sanders Cafe Museum. We headed back to Chatt, TN and took a ride on the Incline Railway. We had a blast!

I've got so many emails to answer from wonderful WLS friends that I have made... I'm off to answer them! See ya later!

Good Morning Kids! It's 3 full days away until my new skinny life! If you're reading this as a pre-op, let me tell you about my emotions: I feel emotion-less. I'm not excited, I'm not scared, I'm not nervous, I'm not happy nor sad... I'm really feeling like it's just something I've got planned... something I've got to do... sort of like a business meeting or something. It's very strange. I really can't explain it any better than that. Please keep me in your prayers and thoughts as I start this journey.

5/09/02 - SURGERY DAY:  (back to top)
I've been asked to provide an account of my actual surgery day... so here goes: My Mom, Dad, "angel" Melissa, and my husband Cary were with me the day before and day of my surgery. We stayed at the Comfort Suites, 2 exits up, about 8 minutes from the hospital. I was scheduled to be at the hospital at 6:00am (first surgery), so we all got up around 4:30am and started to get ready. I was easy... I had taken a shower the night before, I couldn't wear makeup, jewelry, and such... so I just washed my face, brushed my teeth, threw on some clothes, and I was ready to go. We left around 5:40am to allow us travel and settle time. Once we arrived at the hospital, we were all directed to my "holding room". I was asked to remove all clothing, use the bathroom, put on a gown big enough for three football players, and get in the bed. Once in the bed, my vitals were taken, I was given a name wristband, and an IV was placed in my left hand. I wasn't there no time when a man nurse assistant came to get me. That's when the crying began. I guess I was just scared, nervous, everything rolled into one. Up until this point I had felt no emotions... zero... so I guess they had been building up and decided that this was the perfect time to let loose. I asked my Dad to say a prayer and I was rolled to the doors of the Operating area where my family said there "love you's". Once inside the "Operating area", I was asked my name, allergies, etc. a million times just to make sure that I was really Julie. :) I was in this area for probably 10 to 15 minutes as the nurses checked my comfort level, gave me extra pillows, and started some of the "good stuff" in my IV. I finally stopped crying once the meds kicked in... they'll give you that "I don't care if you cut my arm off right now" feeling. I was rolled to the operating room where I scooted across to the operating table, I said "Good Morning" to Dr. Champion, was asked to breath some oxygen... and next thing I know... I'm in the Recovery Room. The one thing that you can expect in recovery is to be extremely thirsty with dry mouth and throat. I was cold too, but not for long, the nurses covered me with plenty of warm blankets and I guess I went back to sleep because I do not remember being rolled back to my room and being helped into my bed. I had been in the room about 45 minutes when I woke up and had to go to the bathroom.... just a little tinkle, but I was wide awake. I had already made up my mind that every time I go to the bathroom... I will go take a walk down the hall... so I did. Walking is the very best thing you can do. I never had one ounce of pain from anesthesia because I got up and walked that stuff off. After my walk, I went back to bed, and my family and Melissa left around 2:00pm or so. My husband and I stayed at the hospital Thursday, Friday, and left around 1:00pm on Saturday. The first day you are allowed to have all the ice chips you want. On the second day, after you've had the barium swallow with X-ray to ensure that there are no leaks, you will be brought a liquid tray with broth, tea, popsicle, Jell-O, etc. This will continue until you leave. During my stay, I had a drain coming from my stomach because I had scar tissue from my previous gallbladder surgery. Dr. Champion came in around 12:15pm Saturday and removed the drain. Let me tell you... that is the weirdest feeling in the whole wide world... there must have been 4 feet of drain tube looped up inside my body. The only pain/discomfort that I experienced while I was in the hospital was my back. I have two slipped discs and one that is cracked. I believe from the position they put me in during surgery that it caused my back to act up. Once you get home and in your own bed, you will feel 110% better. As the days pass, you will begin to feel normal again.

POST-OP:  (back to top)
5/12/02 - 3 DAYS POST OP:
The Designer Protein shakes aren't too bad. I haven't thrown up, which is a good thing. I did have a drain. Dr. Champion took that out on my release day. I'm feeling tired, but overall feel good. I've lost 11.5 pounds already!!!! I have had NO PAIN. I can't believe it. I've taken no pain meds at all. Feeling great!

5/14/02 - 5 DAYS POST OP:
Down 13 pounds!!! I haven't been in pain... no throw up... feeling great! I went to the mall today and walked from one end to the other. Got me some new shoes and some more protein mix. I then went and got some Egg Drop Soup.. YUM!!! Thank you Jesus!!!

5/15/02 - 6 DAYS POST OP:
I've always been a rule breaker... so now will not be an exception. My week 1 & 2 diet consists of 6 meals a day. Three of those meals are protein drinks... I'm getting those in as you don't play with protein. The other 3 meals are suppose to be like mash potatoes, grits, oatmeal, pudding, Jell-O, soups... yada yada yada.. BORING! The 3 to 6 week diet consists of fish, eggs, bananas, applesauce, etc. So I took it upon myself to move onto week 3 as it sounded more tasty. For lunch I had a piece of broiled fish. I chewed real good, it went down good, I'm full, no throw up... I'M HAPPY AND SO IS MY BELLY!

5/16/02 - ONE WEEK POST-OP:
What? Did you think today would be different? Heck no! I had 1/2 of a grilled cheese sandwich. Tasty!! Feeling so good that I wonder... DID I HAVE SURGERY??? Down 14.5 pounds!

I ran errands all afternoon and was not going to be home anytime soon... so I pulled into McDonald's and ordered 4 of the new Chicken Select Strips. I ate only two of them and boy I was stuffed! And this is coming from the girl who used to order a 20 piece Chicken McNugget for lunch, with fry, and would eat it all by herself!!!

My surgeon's nurse said that scrambled eggs made most post-ops sick. Well I loved scrambled eggs pre-op with cheese so I thought "No way.. I will continue to love my eggs!!!". I took two bites this morning and I felt queasy. I didn't throw up, but I had to go lay down because I felt sick. SO, I guess no more scrambled eggs.

So, what did I try crazy today you ask? For dinner, I had a Tyson Buffalo Chicken Strip and half of a ham sandwich on rye bread. Sick to my stomach? Yes. Throw up? Still no. What is it gonna take? Am I pushing myself to that limit? Well, kind of. I thought that "built into" the surgery was this automatic "throw up" mechanism if you ate too much or something you're not suppose to. Maybe I'm doing neither and just think that I am. Then again, I'm not suppose to be on soft foods until week three and I just jumped right into the rough stuff. Am I crazy? Yes! It's not the first time I've been called crazy. Onward we go. Well, you know that I love cappuccinos... so I was getting the craving and decided to be creative. I mixed some cappuccino powder (from International Foods Coffee) into the blender with my protein powder... hey.. not bad... I could live with this... THE NEW AND IMPROVED PROTEIN CAPPUCCINO!!! I'm down 17 pounds. I think when I get skinny that I'll buy me one of those naughty nurse outfits and go out to the clubs. HA, HA!!! I'm just kidding ya.. well... maybe... then again... :)

My "angel" Melissa just called and threatened to give me a spanking if I didn't stop the madness. Today I vow to stick to my liquid/soft diet. I have been making myself sick eating bad stuff so I will be a good girl today. I'm still at 17 pounds. It is so pretty outside today.... the air is crisp and smells so fresh.... I think I will go take a walk.

My walk was great! It was absolutely beautiful outside today. With clearance from my "angel", I tried some Sushi California Rolls and a bite of octopus tonight... Mmmmmmm it was so good! And, might I add... FULL OF PROTEIN!!! For those of you too scared to try octopus, it tastes like bacon to me.

The official weigh in this morning put me at 246 lbs. That is a loss of 18 lbs. Not too bad for 14 days. :) I decided to branch out and try grits again this morning. I had a fried egg with runny yolk mixed in with it. I ate all of the egg and left about half of the grits. THEY DIDN'T HURT THIS TIME!!! I'm going today to have some "pampering" done. I decided that every 20 lbs. I will go for "pampering". I'm having a facial, firming body treatment wrap, one-hour massage, manicure, and pedicure.

My fridge sits full of half eaten foods... My eyes are bigger than my stomach. Use to, if I had leftovers, I would eat them again the next day. Since surgery, I haven't wanted anything twice. I've been trying to pawn the food items off on my husband when I cook his meals. I've been to the grocery store 6 times in the past two weeks for a total of $270... just trying new soft foods. I'll get something home that I've always loved, take a couple of bites and the stomach does not like it. Before surgery, I had always read that your tastes will change after surgery. I've got the answer to this mystery... it's not that your tastes really change, it's that your stomach will disagree or let you know it is unhappy with certain foods. Once you've been sick a few times... you don't want that food any longer.

I've finally sat down and set some goals for myself after reviewing the weight calculator on the website. I've listed my goals below. Over the next 12 months, let's see how close I come to hitting them:

06/9/02................. 237
07/9/02................. 210
08/9/02................. 196
09/9/02................. 189
02/9/03................. 156
03/9/03................. 147
04/9/03................. 142
05/9/03................. 135
I know these are some drastic goals, but I know if I put my mind to doing the exercising, I can make it happen.

Today was my first official day back to work. I had been out three weeks. This morning started out terrible. It was definitely the worse morning I've had yet. Here goes: I normally take my "super calcium" pill (ordered from Vitalady) after I eat in the morning. Well, this morning I decided to take it before. BAD MISTAKE. It seems to have gotten stuck and was causing some terrible pain in my chest. I fried me an egg, ate a couple bites and drank some water thinking this would dislodge it... no luck. I stood over my sink with the water running and saliva pouring out of my mouth for a good 10 to 15 minutes. My chest was in excruciating pain and I was extremely nauseous. Finally... I threw up. Yep, this is the first time I've thrown up being a post-op. So I started to feel better and got ready for work. On the way to work, I started getting sick again... I could feel every bump in the road... sort of like morning sickness (of course I'm not pregnant). When I got to work, I hung over my garbage can shaking for 45 minutes until I got to feeling better. I don't know what made me so sick the second time. Maybe it was getting up 2.5 hours earlier than normal.... I don't know. I just know I don't want to have another morning like that again.

Well, I get up this morning... everything is going good until 10:00am. Ten o'clock hit and I was nauseous as I could be. I just felt like if I could throw up I would feel better. No such luck. At 10:44am I started to feel better. At 12:00pm I eat my little chicken spread sandwich... still feeling good. At 1:15pm, I went home to take a nap on my "official" lunch time. When I woke up around 2:00pm, I was hungry but needed to get back to work. So on the way to work I stop by KFC and got a small mash potato. I took 2 bites and that was all she wrote. I have been severely nauseous with excruciating pain in my chest since 2:00pm and it is now 7:15pm. I called Michele at Dr. Champion's office and she thinks that I just ate too fast... two bites???? of mash potatoes??? I don't buy that. So I came right back home and laid down. I got up around 4:00pm, my stomach was screaming "I'm hungry!!!" but my chest was screaming "I'm in pain". I heated up some Spaghetti O's thinking okay... maybe this will make me feel better. I took two bites and here comes the nausea and pain again. After thirty minutes, I went to the sink, and threw up the two bites. I went and laid down. Now you think that by now I would have learned my lesson right? That the eating for today would be over??? Guess I'm hard headed. I got up at 6:30pm, the nausea had subsided... still having a slight pain in my chest but my poor stomach is screaming "Please feed me!!!!". I take two bites of sugar free pudding... HERE COMES THE PAIN!!! I swear it feels like you could just open up my chest and there would be an explosion. Something is going on.. I don't know what.. is something stuck in there????? I go take a shower with the shower head massage on full blast pounding hot water on my chest. As long as I was under the massager... I couldn't feel the pain. Of course I stood there as long as I could. The pain was still throbbing in my chest... and here it came. I threw up three times in the shower... pudding and mash potatoes. The mash potatoes had just been sitting there since 2pm. I got out and felt a tiny bit better, but still pain in my chest. I took a couple sips of water and the pain increased. Okay, now I knew something was stuck in there. While typing this, I've been back to the bathroom twice and have thrown up a total of 5 times. Everything that could have been in there I hope to God is now gone. My pain in my chest has lessened and I want to sip some water... but I'm scared. Dr. Mom called and has been trying to diagnose my problems. Her diagnosis? Too much stress on my job the first two days. Way to go Mom! I agree... I wish my problems were that easy. I am suppose to drink a protein and have two more meals today since I've thrown everything up.. guess what? Hell no! I'm going back to chicken broth tomorrow. Back to week one until I get to feeling better.

Later on this evening:
Okay... well you know me... glutton for punishment.  So I got to feeling really good... Was drinking my water... going down real good... so I decided to punish myself some more tonight because I guess I just haven't had enough yet. My stomach was hurting so bad from hunger though... I cooked some Ramen Noodles and chopped them up real real good. Here we go again... I took two bites and immediately felt the tightness in my chest. My stomach rejected the bites at least five times throwing up... So I'm just drinking my water and I'm about to go to bed. I took my temperature and it's 97.8 which is low so I'm pretty happy with that... I was afraid of a fever. I've been reading on where other people started having similar problems at 3 to 4 weeks... Their stoma or "opening" started to close up from scar tissue and they had to be dilated. If I'm feeling bad again tomorrow I will call Michele back at Dr. Champion's office to see if they have encountered this problem before.

Well this morning was no different. I ate half of a fried egg and the tightness in my chest immediately happened. I ate the egg extremely slow with tiny bites. I threw up the egg and my chest stopped hurting. It's 8:01am now, and Dr. Champion's office opens at 9:00am. It looks like I may be taking a trip to Atlanta today because I'm gonna need some X-Rays to see how big that opening is. I've got a history of over producing scar tissue, so it's likely that I've got scar tissue closing my opening up. I'll be back to report more later.

Let me tell you what's been going on the past few days since my last post. When I got in touch with Dr. Champion's nurse on the 30th, her and I both were concerned about me becoming dehydrated. I was informed that Dr. Champion was on vacation and that his back-up, Dr. David Rock, was in Winder/Athens, GA (about 3 hours from me). Dr. Rock called me and we both agreed that I needed to be put on IV fluids and have some X-rays done. I was admitted to Barrow Community Hospital in Winder/Athens, GA where I was put on IV fluids and stayed overnight. On the next morning, I was taken for a barium swallow X-ray test that showed two swallows of liquid completely filled my pouch and backed up into my esophagus. The fluid did eventually drain after about a minute. Dr. Rock said liquids should go right through and two swallows should not back up in the esophagus. He decided to do an EGD. He put me out in twilight zone while he took a scope down my esophagus and into my new pouch. He discovered that not only did I have a "stricture", but I also had what looked like a calcium tablet stuck near my opening. He removed the foreign object and ballooned/dilated the opening to 10mm. After liquids went down okay, I was released to go home. This morning I'm drinking my protein shake with no problems, my throat hurts, but that's to be expected. I'm weak, but hopefully will improve as the day passes.

I had my 3 week follow-up visit with Dr. Champion yesterday. He said my weight loss was right on track (I've lost 24.5 lbs.). I'm feeling a lot better and can keep down foods. No more pain in my chest... it's almost like I don't even know I had surgery... sort of like it was in the beginning. :) I am able to wear some size 22's now... still in most of my 24's though... but definitely out of the 26's. I have a friend, Lisa Waldrop, who is fighting with insurance currently to have surgery done. She has such a great personality, terrific spirit, and deserves to have this surgery... it is ashame that insurance companies are allowed to exclude surgeries even if they are medically necessary. Best of luck to her!

We will call today "Bottomless Pouch" Day. Okay... it just seems that way... but you will have days where you feel like you're eating too much or eating more than you're suppose to. However, the truth of the matter is... if you were truly eating too much, you would be sick or in pain. Today just feels different because I have tried new foods just about all day. I had my normal fried egg for breakfast and protein shake for my 2nd meal, but lunch was different. I had a "Lunch & Learn" class at work today and the instructor brought in pizza. Okay, now normally, I would have been first in line, and I would have been able to consume at least 4 slices of pepperoni.. my favorite. Today, I was last in line, and I ate half of a veggie slice. Yes half, the small triangle piece at the bottom and I chewed forever... but it was GOOD!!! For my 4th meal, I was out running errands and passed by my favorite BBQ stop "Smokey Pig". I went through the drive-thru and ordered a 4 ounce Brunswick stew (not much folks... just a 1/2 cup. I would normally order the 16 ounce stew and a BBQ plate and eat it all). When I got to the window, this young punk says "Is that gonna fill you up???" as in.. you're a fat girl, you got to be kidding ordering this little cup. My response to him was "Well, as a matter of fact, yes it will". The Brunswick stew was delicious! My 5th meal today I ate 1/2 of a Lean Cuisine Fish & Macaroni meal (yes, normally I would have ate a ham sandwich and the Lean Cuisine... topped off with a bowl of ice cream or chocolate milk). Then finally, my 6th meal has been about 4 saltine crackers with whipped peanut butter. So what point am I getting to? Even though I felt like I ate a house today or too much, in reality, if you compared it to what I used to eat, all of today added up to just one old meal. Tomorrow is official weigh in day... stay tuned.

I used to love grits... now post-op, they don't love me back. Strange but true. Official weigh in this morning put me at 239 pounds for a total loss of 25 pounds. My goal is to be 237 by Sunday (6/9 - my one month anniversary). Will it happen? I dunno...

It happened! It happened! The official "one-month" weigh in this morning put me at 237! I've lost 27 pounds and I've hit my first goal! I pray that I will continue to hit each goal each month. I have yet to start an exercise regimen. I can feel my muscles getting weaker... so I better start soon. I took my measurements and I've lost 12 inches total from all over. My BMI has changed by 4.8 points!!! I've lost my appetite. I don't crave foods anymore. It's like a switch has been turned off... let's hope it stays off.

So much for the "switch" staying off. I started craving pizza about three days ago. I bought a microwavable pizza... before surgery I could have ate two. I had this little triangle slice and I was done. No more pizza craving! The past two days I've been sick. I've come down with a summer cold. My throat is sore, my nose is runny, and I am coughing up yucky stuff. I guess my immune system is down right now. Today is Thursday, which means "Official Weigh-In" day. This morning I weighed 234.5. That is a total of 29.5 pounds lost. I've got 24.5 more pounds to hit my second goal. I am a little concerned that I will make it... we'll see.

I'm still sick with this summer cold. Coughing up yucky stuff is not fun. My "switch" turned itself back off. I haven't been hungry since I ate that pizza three days ago. I started my menstrual cycle FINALLY. I haven't had one since October 2001... yes... that's correct... 8 months ago. It's the craziest thing, but if I'm over 240-245 pounds, I don't have a period... if I'm under 240, I have one. So, I know that now they will come right on time every month. I think not having a period was the only bonus of being obese. Still got a ways to go to hit that second goal of 210 by July 9th. I weighed in at 232 this morning. I'll keep my chin up and we'll see what happens.

Update: Went to the clinic this morning at work (we've got a doctor's office on site... pretty cool, huh?). I got a prescription of antibiotics and cough suppressant... both are liquids as I requested... can't swallow no horse pills. Let's hope these meds knock this cold out.

Went to the Columbus WLS Support Group meeting tonight. I enjoy attending these dinners once a month. Is so good to see everyone and how much they change. I was craving a rotisserie chicken salad (it's shredded rotisserie chicken over a bed of lettuce, topped with cheese and raisins). It was great, but when I got home, I got sick from it. It was just sitting in my stomach like a rock. I ended up throwing every bit of it up. I vomited so bad that I pee'd my pants. Okay, I know, too much info... but this my journal... right? :) So much for dinner. I'm sipping on a protein shake right now dreading the thought that I've got to stomach down some bubblegum crap tasting penicillin and cough syrup in just a second. The cold is still holding on...

6/20/02 - SIX WEEKS POST OP:
The cold refuses to give up... it's fighting like a bat out of hell. I've walked on the treadmill three times this week. The first time for 10 minutes and the other two times for 15 minutes. I've got to build myself up. I can remember when I used to get on that thing for an hour at a time... hmmmmm... maybe again soon. Well, another Thursday passes us by. Today is "official weigh-in" day. I weigh 230 pounds, for a total loss of 34 pounds. I need to lose 20 more pounds to hit my second goal of 210 pounds by July 9th. I'm feeling a little disappointed because I just don't see it happening. Maybe with the treadmill walks... stay tuned.

Today I have just been totally disgusted by food. Just to look at it makes me want to vomit. I am viewing my food as something I have to do to survive. I no longer enjoy food. I eat only because I have to. I am not hungry at all. The "switch" is definitely off today. We'll see how I do as time passes.

I wanted to let you know that I CAN tolerate sugar. I have not "dumped" on any sugar that I've tried. The only reaction I've had is that my heart races when I eat a large quantity of sugar, but I can drink two glasses of Tropicana Grovestand "Lots of Pulp" Orange Juice with 21 grams of sugar per glass and it not affect me at all. I've had a brownie, Banana Pudding, Jell-O Pudding, Gum, Candy, Ice Cream... no problems. It's not like I eat these things all the time though. I don't crave sweets... never had. However, I do enjoy a taste of them from time to time. As far as "real food" goes, my "switch" is still in the OFF mode and food grosses me out. Wow, what a difference that is from 7 weeks ago.

"Official weigh-in" this morning put me at 228.5. That's only a loss of 1.5 pounds since last week. I'm totally bummed over this. I was really expecting to lose at least 5 pounds. Oh well, I'll keep pushing along. It doesn't appear that I'll be making my 2nd goal of 210. :(

"I'm a little throw-up, short and stout, tip me over and watch it come out". That's me... the little throw up girl. Dr. Champion's office started me back on Prilosec for the next month to see if that helps to coat my stomach. I can't eat anything without my tummy doing flip flops... well, actually I can eat refried beans, crackers, and of all things, Brunswick stew... but that's it. Nothing else. Anyway... just popping in to give a report. I had to go and buy myself some smaller size underwear tonight... my panties were getting way too big on me.

Hmmm... let's see... where to start. Well, last night my house was struck by lightning. I came home to a fried phone, computer, monitor, modem, router, stereo system, and of all things, my landscaping lights outside were blown up into little plastic pieces. Thank you Jesus that the house did not burn down and that I have insurance. I will be down for about 5 to 7 days until a computer tech can come out an access the damage to my computer. Until then, I'm using my husband's computer which was just slightly damaged. Next, I called Dr. Champion's office again today. I'm still throwing up about 50% of what I eat and liquids are slow to drain. I'm going for a barium swallow on Friday to see what's up.

Would ya look at that BMI (39.3)... finally under 40! Official weigh-in is 222 lbs. That is a total loss of 42 pounds! It's been rough sailing though. I'm sure as time passes, I'll get to feeling better. I've got to increase my potassium... I've been having leg cramps.

Official weigh-in is 221 lbs. with a total weight loss of 43 pounds. My goal for two months was to be 210 lbs., so I missed the goal by 11 lbs. I'm not sad though, I think 43 in two months is awesome! I'm still throwing up sometimes when I eat. But I had a barium swallow/upper GI done four days ago and everything seemed to go down with no problems... so I'm just going to have to take my food progression very slowly.

Mom took my "two month" measurements today. I've lost a total of 9.75 inches off of my waist!!! Go to my website to see my measurements.

Eating sucks! Is it really a requirement to live? I would rather do without.

I forgot to post my "official weight" on Thursday... so I'll just give you what I was this morning. I weighed in at 218 lbs. That is a total loss of 46 lbs.

"Official Weigh-in" is 217 pounds, total loss of 47 lbs. My goal (see week 2 for chart) is to be 196 lbs. by August 9th. I've got 21 lbs. to lose in 3.5 weeks.

Well, well, well, the "switch" has finally been turned back on. I have been doing nothing but eating. I just can't stop. I think they call it "grazing". I've gained 2.5 lbs. in the process. I'm back up to 218.5 from 216. The madness is going to stop today and I'm getting my fat ass on that treadmill. For some reason, I've been craving and eating sweets. I never craved sweets pre-surgery... why now? And the fact that I can tolerate any amount of sugar doesn't help. My "angel" Melissa's mom (Kay, who also had the surgery) warned me that I would crave sweets even if I didn't before. Well she was right and now it is out of control. I've been baking cookies, eating pies, cake, what the hell am I doing???? Okay, I'm gonna go beat myself up and I'll report more later.

Okay, it's 12 hours later. I didn't get on the treadmill today, but for the first time in about 12 months, I cleaned my house. Yes, you heard me, I mopped, dusted, scrubbed toilets, the whole shebang. This past year I've paid my sister to come over bi-weekly to clean for me and I would just tidy up in between. I was too tired and out of breath if I even tried to pick up a mop... so she's been there for me. I cleaned everything and wasn't tired at all. This is such a difference from just 2.5 months ago. Once I had a shower, I decided to be a little adventurous and try one of "Julie's Special Concoctions". Before surgery I didn't think I would ever be able to enjoy them again because of the sugar factor... but because this 'ol girl can take the sugar like a man (hee hee), I went ahead and mixed it on up. So I take two swallows and 5 minutes later.. BAM! I feel a little drunk??? Hey, this surgery could very well save me some money on Mudslides when I go out for some drinks if I'm gonna get drunk this fast. Anywho, as I digress... I decided to get back on the scale. And guess what? It said 215.5!!! Crazy... I know... and NO, before you ask, I didn't not go to the potty, so that's not the answer to this mystery. Well, I'm gonna go finish my drink and go sleepy time. Later gator!

I use to have to pierce extra holes in my belt just so I could get it on... this morning, I had to pierce an extra hole... but in the opposite direction! :) Looks like it's time for a new belt.

"Official Weigh-in" is 214 lbs. this morning for a total of 50 pounds lost. I have 18 more pounds to lose in 15 days to meet my goal. Likely? Not really, but we'll see what happens. My little pouch woke me up at 4:00am making this weird noise that it does when it's trying to process food, sort of like a pumping sound. It was making the sound over and over again. I finally had to get up and put some water in there to get it to shut up. I don't know if my two bites of dinner somehow had gotten stuck and it tried to digest it all night or what? What ever it was, the water pushed it through (which does not always work). So I'm up at 4:00am and realize that some of the 20's I bought a couple of weeks ago are starting to hang & I needed something to wear to work. So I went digging through my boxes of clothes that my "angel" Melissa gave me and I found 3 really nice suits. Something you got to know about Melissa... she is always sharp! I'm going to be styling and profiling over the next 3 business days. Well, I'm gonna see if I can catch some more sleep.

Eating desire is still in the "off mode". Food? What is food?

Here it comes like clock work... it's period time. Can you say Vicodin?

"Official Weigh-In" is 211.5 lbs. Total loss equals 52.5. I need to lose 15.5 lbs. over the next 9 days to hit my goal. Yes, I know... impossible. I keep beating myself up every night... I just can't seem to get my butt on that treadmill. Eating has gotten a little better, I haven't thrown up in the past few days.

I'm down to 207.5 this morning, total loss of 56.5 lbs. I'm now wearing 18's and 20's are too big on me. Also, I started wearing my contact lenses because friends tell me my glasses are too big for my face. My BMI this morning is 36.8 which is considered "Severely Obese"... but thankfully I'm no longer "Morbid Obese". On Friday, I threw up breakfast, lunch, and threw up stuck water for hours. So, I decided that on Saturday I would go on a total liquid diet. I did three protein shakes. When I got to the third one for dinner... it got stuck and I threw up. Thereby proving a point that the cause of throw up is not always due to lack of chewing food or chewing too slow. I believe that the pouch has a mind of it's own, and no matter what time of day or what you eat... if it doesn't want to digest what you put in... then you will throw up. Well, after the liquids on Saturday, I went back to solids on Sunday. Everything went great! I had no throw up and even ate four good bites of a prime rib, a bite of delicious bread, and two bites of a baked potato for dinner. The prime rib was so good that I ate a little more for lunch and dinner on Monday... but if you looked at the leftovers, you swear the steak hasn't been touched. I may be eating off of it again today. Well, I'm off to work.

"Official Weigh-In" is 206.5, total loss of 57.5. I will be weighing in again tomorrow and doing measurements as tomorrow is three months.

Three month weigh in is 206, total loss of 58 lbs. I've updated my website with my measurements. My goal for this month was 196 lbs. I missed the goal by 10 lbs. I'm eating so very little... I get full very quickly. I can eat one Chicken McNugget and three fries and I'm full to the brim. Tried to eat fish from Captain D's last night... but just threw it up. Maybe today will be better.

"Official weigh-in" is 204.5, total loss of 59.5 lbs. When I woke up this morning, my "hunker dunkers" were gone. What are "hunker dunker's" you ask? Well, that's what I call that chunk of meat that you can see from your back. It sort of starts at the waist and creates an overlap on top of your butt. Check out my clinical photos on my website to see what I'm talking about. I am definitely in size 18 now and coming out of it fast... I can put some size 16's on.

People at work have been very positive and supportive. I haven't had anybody saying anything negative or talking behind my back that I know of. I think it has a lot to do with me being a positive person. I've always been outgoing, crazy, and funny... fat or not... so my personality hasn't really changed. Family, friends, and co-workers have been calling me "skinny" and "What's up slim?". It's kinda weird... but I like being the center of attention. :) I attended a work gathering with my husband last night. Normally, I would have wanted to leave right away and I would have shied away from him introducing me to people. My husband is so good looking, and I was always so fat. I used think people were wondering "What's that sexy man doing with that fat ass chick?" Last night I was a little social butterfly though, talking and laughing it up with his co-workers. We had fun.

I still have problems eating some foods. Like last night, I had a cracker with some spinach dip. An hour later... It came up. The dip just didn't sit good on my stomach. I talked to Dr. Champion's nurse and she thinks that I may be constipated high in my intestines. I don't have a bowel movement but every four days. She thinks that when I eat, the food has no where to go because I'm so "backed up". I have been eating a lot of cheese though. I'm starting on a stool softener this afternoon and off to Panama City Beach, FL... maybe that will help. 

It seems like forever since I updated... but it's only been 6 days. This journey changes so much in such a short period of time. I went to Dr. C's office on Monday and was told that I am eating too many "soft foods". My staple foods lately have been Kraft Cracker Barrel Sharp cheese and Chinese Egg Drop soup. I explained that when I eat meat, I throw up. Basically I was told that I've got to keep trying until my stoma stretches a little more to tolerate them. Anywho. Tomorrow is official weigh in day... seems like the weight loss has been slow this week. I keep telling myself to exercise... but I don't listen. :( My arms look like huge flaps of flab. I could rotate my arms real fast and take off.. I'm almost sure of it. One good thing is that I was fitted for a bra on Monday. I've gone from a size 44DD to a 42D. Wow! What a difference 60 pounds will make!

"Official Weigh-In" is 202.5, total loss 61.5 lbs. I have 13.5 lbs. to lose in 18 days to meet my September goal. With as slow as it's been going lately, that actually looks impossible. I'm eating bacon again this morning... at least I'm trying to get some type of meat down. Let's see if it stays down.

I'm starting to lose my hair. When I washed it last night, I lost so much hair that I had to stop in the middle of my shower to empty the drain. It was about two handfuls. Thank goodness that I have a full head of naturally curly hair. Curly haired people can get away with less hair I think... we can make it look full. I got on the scale this morning and it was 200.5. I'm going to work outside a lot today, so I'm hoping that it will jump start me weight loss back.

Okay, strange things are starting to happen... let me just throw them out there in short sentences: I am beginning to tolerate meat... I'm getting more sex... My husband called me "skinny" today... If I'm walking down the hall at work, folks have to get right up on me before they recognize me... Shoot, I didn't even recognize myself tonight. I was browsing through a department store and caught my image in a kinda weird placed mirror. I thought it was another person, but the outfit caught my eye... it was lime green like mine. Then I noticed... IT WAS ME! I stood there for a minute and just looked at myself. I think that moment was the first time I really examined what I now look like. I can definitely tell that I've lost weight. I said to myself "Wow, you really look skinny". Now granted, 200 lbs. is not "skinny", but I actually have a shape now instead of the big round Oompa Loompa look.

"Official Weigh-In" is 198.5 lbs., total loss of 65.5 lbs. To meet my September goal, I must lose 9.5 lbs. over the next 12 days. Let's see what happens. I'm taking my first airplane ride this Saturday. I am going to see a friend of mine in Arkansas. Please pray for me.

Well I survived my first airplane ride. I fit comfortably in the seat and did not require a seat belt extension... even had about 5 inches to spare on mine. I tell ya, don't think I could have hauled my twenty pound bag through the Atlanta Airport 66 pounds ago. I actually have a bruise on my shoulder from carrying the darn thing. It's amazing to me that I struggled to carry around that 20 pound bag and to think that I was carrying around 3 times that just 4 months ago. Anywho, the trip went good and I was happy to see my girlfriend that I had not seen in a little over a year. She was happy about my weight loss. I'm still struggling to eat meats, but it is getting a little better. I'm starting to have a little bit more variety when I eat. My hair is falling out profusely. I can't brush or wash it without handfuls coming out. I even had a coworker notice it last week. She said, "Did you cut your hair or is it thinner?". Unfortunately, it's thinner.

"Official Weigh-In" is 198.5 lbs., total loss of 65.5 lbs. To meet my September goal, I must lose 9.5 lbs. over the next 4 days... not gonna happen people. I didn't lose not one darn pound this past week. I can be a impatient person... I want this like yesterday.

I can't believe it! I've lost 70 pounds in 4 months!!! My "official 4 month weigh in" put me at 194 lbs. This is incredible. I am still in size 18's and can get into some 16's. I missed my 4 month goal by just 5 pounds. I only have to lose 11 pounds over the next month to hit my 5 month goal. I went to my Primary Physician this morning because of a wasp sting. I haven't seen him since back in January when I was trying to get a referral to Dr. Champion that he refused to do. Then today when he saw how much weight I had lost, he was acting all happy and crap. I felt like saying, "yeah buddy... thanks for nothing, this has zero to do with you." Anywho... I'm on cloud nine today.

"Official Weigh-In" this morning is 193 lbs., total loss 71 lbs. I need to lose 10 more pounds in 20 days to reach my October goal. I need to get my fat ass on the treadmill. My arms and legs look like jelly. However, my stomach seems to be flattening down nicely. I am doing some basic exercises every night like "the twist" for my ab area and working with weights on my arms... but that's not making my legs shape up. I've got to get busy.

Happy happy joy joy happy happy!!!! "Official Weigh-In" this morning is 190 lbs.. I weighed 190 lbs. when I got married seven years. Yes, that's right, it's been 7 years since I weighed 190 lbs. I've got 7 more pounds to lose in 13 days in order to hit my October goal. Who knows... it just might happen. I'm still loosing my hair pretty badly. I've got to where I only wash it once a week now... but my hair is not oily so I can get away with it. This morning I had a handful of hair. I swear that as much hair as I have lost, I could have made a wig for one of the cancer children patients in Atlanta. Anywho. Talk with ya soon!

Well kids, I went to the hospital earlier this evening. For breakfast, I ate two small bites of hamburger and immediately knew that it wasn't staying down. I did not eat nor drink another thing all day. Why? Because I threw up "crap" all day. Yes, I said "crap". I threw up large amounts of brown liquid all day long although I hadn't drank or ate ANYTHING brown. It looked like and tasted like sewage. Finally around 5pm I called Champion's office. Dr. Williams was on call. Dr. Williams said what I was describing was the contents of my smaller bowel. Yes that's right kids, I have officially earned the name "potty mouth" or "doody head". Not wanting to take the 2.5 hour hike up to Emory, I went to my local ER here and was instructed by Dr. Williams to call him once I got in Radiology. I got in ER, and yes it is a Saturday night. I was told that there was a 6 hour wait. Ummm... I don't think so. So I came back home, threw up some more and now I'm writing in my journal. I'm not in any "pain" which was a major concern of Dr. Williams. He told me that if I were in pain, he would have insisted on me staying. So, I'm just sitting here nauseous wishing I had some of that good 'ol Phenergan. Did I gross you out enough?

I got up on Sunday morning, ate two crackers, and they immediately came up. I knew that I needed to be seen about or I would begin to get dehydrated. I called Dr. Williams and let him know I was coming up to Emory Dunwoody. I got there around 5pm, had a few simple X-rays done, and Dr. Williams admitted me to the hospital. Monday morning I had a barium swallow, upper GI, and small bowel follow through tests done. Dr. Williams explained to me that my opening was the size of a pin hole. This explains why anything more than a liquid was not going down. The barium sat on my stomach like a rock and I threw it up. Dr. Williams explained that he would do a EGD. Basically go down my throat, through my little pouch opening, and dilate it with a balloon. However, when he got in there, the barium that was still in me had hardened like cement and clogged up their scopes. So I had to stay over another night. Dr. Williams did the EGD again this afternoon and everything went well. I'm on liquids for the next 24 hours but should be fine. This is the second time that I've had to be dilated. Dr. Williams said that it is not uncommon to see it three or four times. I just have a history of over-producing scar tissue. As always, the hospital staff was top notch. I couldn't of ask for a better place to stay. Also, Dr. Williams is super! I really appreciate him and everyone being so sweet and nice.

"Official weigh-in" this morning is 186.5. That is a total loss of 77.5 pounds. I only have to lose 3.5 pounds in the next six days to meet my five month goal. You know what? It's okay even if I don't. :) I feel fantastic!!!

I've just got to share what a wonderful time I had this evening. My husband and I went to our County Fair that is in town this week. I rode all of the rides, had room to spare, and not once while standing in line did I think "wonder if people are looking at me and saying "Fat girl you can't ride that!!!"". Had so much fun that I'm kicking it to Six Flags on Sunday!!! For the first time in our relationship, I actually weigh less than my husband. There is a renewed energy in our relationship and we're acting like kids again (I know.. I can hear my older friends now... "You are a kid!"). I have to tell ya, Dr. Williams fixed me up good. I was able to eat a Gyro on a stick tonight at the Fair (all except one bite). That's the most amount of meat I've eaten since May! I followed it up two hours later with my snack for the day... a Candy Apple. A whole Candy Apple? Yep! Don't get me wrong, don't think I'm gonna go on some eating binge, 'cause I'm not. It just feels great to feel "normal" again and not throw up 90% of the time I eat. Also, let me add that the "hiccup inhaling sound" that I had going on has disappeared!!! I don't regret this surgery one bit and would do it again in a heartbeat. I thank Jesus & God for the blessings I have been given and an opportunity for a new lease on life. I'll end with this: I never knew that pajamas could actually be too big. Out with all the Lane Bryant 3X night gowns! In with my husband's size Large T-shirts! I'll wait just a 'lil longer before I buy the sexy nurse's outfit. :)

I headed to Atlanta today and kicked it to Six Flags with my sister... we rode everything! My butt fit into every seat, I had room with my seat belts, and I felt great! I even rode the Challenger/Looping Starship!!! I didn't get tired not once and I didn't have any problems climbing any hills. It was wonderful!

I am five months today.  I weighed in at 187 pounds. This is a loss of 77 pounds and just shy of my goal weight by 4 pounds. I feel great! I pass people in the hall at work and they don't recognize me. It is awesome!!! I can tell a big difference. I'm now wearing 16's and can almost get into a 14. This surgery is the best thing I've ever done for myself.

TWO WORDS:  PLATEAU CITY!  My goodness... I haven't budged in two weeks!  Yes... I know, this happens.  This is not the first time.  I'm just irritated and needed to tell somebody so you are the lucky winner.  I swear right now that I feel like I will be 187 lbs. forever.  Me?  Impatient?  I don't know what you're talking about???  My goal weight for November is 176 pounds.  I will NEVER GET THERE!  (Thanks for listening.  I'm going to bed now seeing as it is 1:32am.  Tomorrow is "weigh in" day... let's see what happens.)

PLATEAU!!!!  Official weigh-in is 187 lbs.  I haven't dropped a single pound since 10/3/02!!!  Okay, I've got 3 weeks and two days to drop 11 pounds.  That is a pound every other day.  Don't know what to do???  Any suggestions are appreciated (with the exception of exercise... that is a very dirty word.)

Okay, my friend Keller who is researching the surgery and strongly considering it told me that my journal sounded depressing... so I decided to write some good tonight.  :)  I'm loving life!  As a matter of fact, I was just dancing my little butt off.  Dancing is the easiest form of exercise for me.  I turn up the music and shake my booty.  I'm pretty good at it too.  My black girlfriends tell me I've got some soul in my family tree somewhere... :)  I've been eating like crazy, craving carbs, carbs, and carbs.  I've had some good advice from some post-ops that are 2+ years out and I am putting it to good use.  I bought a cute very trim pair of black pants in size 16 and a really cute black & white stripe shirt in XL to go with them.  My husband said I looked skinny and that I looked good in my outfit.  Yea Baby! (as Austin would say).  Today is my seven year anniversary.  I weigh less today then I have in the past 7 years... VERY SWEET!  So, how am I doing?  GREAT!  I feel great and look great!  I don't regret the surgery at all.

Oh how the weight loss is just a crawling now.  Earlier this week I weighed in at 184... today's "official weigh-in" I am 185.  That is a total loss of 79 lbs. with 50 more to go to hit goal.  I need to lose 9 more pounds over the next 16 days in order to meet November's goal.  Read my lips:  "Not gonna happen!".  This has been a bad month for all of my 5 month post-op friends too.  We're all sort of at a plateau right now, so I guess this is normal for 5 months.  On to more exciting news... The little amusement park girl is going to Orlando this weekend.  That's right!  Me and my husband are going to Orlando / Universal Studios for 4 days.  I'm looking forward to it. :)

Hey Kids!  I'm back!  I have found the magic cure for anyone on a plateau... Walk through Disney World from 9:00am until 10:30pm any one day, and you'll lose three pounds!  My husband and I had a blast!  We went to Universal Studios, WonderWorks, and Disney World Magic Kingdom.  We had so much fun... and my feet never hurt.  I could not have done any of this 83 pounds ago!  There was even one ride at WonderWorks where each passenger had to weigh less than 250 lbs. to get on.  I couldn't have done that 5 months ago!  What a wonderful feeling it is to get on a ride and not wonder if the belt will fit... or not wonder if others in line are thinking "Damn, look at the fat girl trying to shove herself in that seat".  It's almost a feeling of freedom!  My hair is falling out by the handfuls still.  I've had to get creative with my bangs as you can see my scalp.  I lost so much hair on Saturday night washing my hair at the hotel, that I stopped the drain up in the tub.  My shower at home has a hair catcher.  Oh well... I'll just be skinny, bald, and beautiful!  Hee hee..  My husband bought me a laptop for our anniversary, I LOVE IT!  Yes, now the Hedges family has three computers for just two people... I guess we ARE computer geeks... 

HAPPY HALLOWEENER!  Today is "Official Weigh-In" Day... let's pass lollipops out to the kids.  "And in this corner, weighing in at 181.5 pounds, she's going bald, she's got a big butt, it's the lean mean fighting machine.... JULIE HEDGES!"  I am finally away from that horrible plateau that I was on.  I've got 5.5 more pounds to lose in 9 days to meet my November goal.  What I have learned is that the smaller you get, the harder it is to lose weight, AND, two or three pounds at this stage can make a difference in size.  See, use to I never understood when a "skinny girl" would say "Oh my goodness, I've gained 5 pounds.  It will take me weeks to get this off!".  I always sat there thinking "Look lady, it's just five pounds!  You'll lose it in a days time."  Anywho, I'm only 46.5 pounds away from my official goal of 135 pounds.  I know that it's going to get tougher and tougher, but I'm keeping my head held high.  I went to the tanning bed last night... gonna try and get a base tan by Christmas when all my in-laws see me who haven't seen me since last Christmas.  I'm off to work! :)

Official six month weight is 181.5 pounds.  Physically I'm doing great!  I feel good and if I could just get my irritable bowel (had before surgery) under control, I would be good as peaches.  No complaints.  I just want to get out of these 16's.  14's are too tight and 16's are too big.  What gives?

"Official Weigh-In" today was 179 pounds.  That is a total loss of 85 pounds.  I have to lose 10 more pounds to hit my December 9th goal of 169.  I spent the night in Atlanta on Sunday, 11/10/02 with my WLS buddies Pam Kelley, Kimmy Buckman, and Tina Wolz (all Hot Babes on this website).  We had a blast!  We went to the Cheesecake Factory and then had a pajama party.  Monday, we all went to Dr. Champion's office for our 6 month follow-up visits (except Tina, she had surgery on Tuesday, 11/12/02).  All of our weight loss was ahead of schedule.  I had lost 59% of my excess weight and Dr. Champion said I should be around 145 when I see him again in 6 months.  I say let's shoot for 135!

I still weighed 179 lbs. this morning.  However, I am constipated and trust me, that can make a two pound difference.  Yes, I know, YUCK!  I have just nineteen days to lose 10 pounds.  I really doubt that it will happen.  I've been kinda bummed out the past few days.  In the beginning, the weight just melted off.  Now that I don't have the stricture, it seems to be taking FOREVER!  I want to be 135 lbs. so bad... what is it like to weigh 135???  I'm anxious to hit the goal.  Also, I've been in size 16's for over a month now.  That's a little depressing.  I've got some size 14 pants that I can put on, button, and zip, but if I sit down... THERE SHE BLOWS!!  It's this big 'ol ghetto booty that I've got.  My waist is smaller but my booty just goes for days.

Just thought I'd let you know that I have finalized the amount of money I actually paid for my surgery.  My grand total out of pocket expense was $1,090.48.

I originally paid Dr. Champion $2,900 up front before my surgery, however, I got a check in the mail today as a refund in the amount of $2,839.  So, just $61 to Dr. Champion.


My bill from Emory Dunwoody Hospital was $1,291.30.  I called and received a 25% discount because I paid the bill in full.  Therefore, I was only charged $968.48 with the discount.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY!!!  Today is also "Official Weigh-In" day.  My weight is 176 even.  That is a total loss of 88 pounds with just 41 more to go until my May 2003 goal.  I've only got 7 more to go to hit my December goal.  I went and picked my best friend, Gayla, up from the Atlanta Airport last night.  She flew in from California.  She has lost a lot of weight too and has gone from wearing a 24 to a 16.... the 'ol natural way.  She looks great and I'm proud of her.  We'll my husband and I are heading to my Parent's for Thanksgiving lunch.... hope I can keep losing during the holidays.  :)

Still stuck at 176 lbs. this week.  I'm not surprised.  I ate like a pig through the Thanksgiving Holiday week, then on top of that, I started my period.  I am BLOATED CITY!!!  Maybe when I weigh in again in 4 days for my "Seven Month Post-Op", I will have lost some weight.  Even if I don't, it's okay... I feel like I've done good this month.  I think that my hair loss may be slowing down now.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still losing a lot, but now it's not huge curl chunks like it was before.  Another thing that I thought was strange is that even though I'm losing a lot, it seems to be growing pretty fast too!!!  I just had it highlighted on October 17th.  Usually I can go a good three months before I have to get the roots done.  How about my hair has two inches of new growth on it and it's almost black!!!  I've got an appointment in two weeks.  My hair stylist is gonna freak!

My how time flies when you're having fun.... SEVEN MONTHS ALREADY!  IT'S GOING TOO FAST!  I'm happy with my overall weight loss, but have to be honest... I am upset that I am a month behind on hitting my weight loss goals.  It's no one's fault but my own.  I'm doing basic stretching exercises every night, but I have been seriously lacking in the cardio department.  Somebody come kick me in my ass so I can get back on track.  "Official Weigh-In" placed me at 176.  That is a total weight loss of 88 pounds with 41 more to go to hit my ultimate goal.  The weight loss is just SO DARN SLOW NOW!  Oh well, don't come join my pity party... you're not invited.  :)  On a lighter note and less depressing news, I went to my employer's Christmas Party on Saturday, 12/7/02.  I wore a beautiful size 16 dress.  Photos will be placed on the net soon.  I got soooo many compliments and there were tons of people who had not seen me since before surgery.  I left the party with a huge head.  It was great!  I enjoy it when people make a fuss over me.  hee hee :)  I got several head turns too.  Getting out on the dance floor wasn't embarrassing this year... I even went down the "Soul Train" line.  It feels good to be out in public and know that I look "normal" and that people aren't staring at me because I look like the Pillsbury Doughgirl... they're looking because I look great!  Also, I was going through my panty drawer yesterday.  I found several size 8 cute thong panties that I haven't worn in 8+ years and guess what.. they're almost too big!!!  I hate that I missed my window to wear them... oh well, I'm almost sure the store has lots more in size 7's!  Out with all my size 12 panties... I can't believe I used to have a butt that big!  HELLO!

I absolutely give up!  "Official Weigh-In" this morning was 176 lbs..  I have been at 176 lbs. for the past two weeks and the scale won't move!  For any of you wanting to have surgery, just know that this journey is an emotional roller coaster ride.  I know that I need to get some cardio exercises in to get my metabolism to raise.... I just don't have time!  I know, sounds like an excuse, right?... but it's not.  I have two jobs.  When I get off from my employer, I head to the tanning bed.  After that, I usually get home around 6:30pm.  I do my stretching exercises which usually take 30 minutes, so now we're at 7pm.  Then I cook dinner for my husband, 7:30pm.  Then I do photography, whether it's having an appointment, or carding negatives, or scanning... SOMETHING IS ALWAYS GOING ON.  That takes me until 11pm.  I get a shower & get ready for bed, I usually hit the sack around midnight.  Trying to fit the treadmill in there somewhere is difficult.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  When I say that I don't have time, I honestly mean it.  Some people will say that they are "busy" or that they never "have time" to do anything, but it is amazing to me that they can tell me about all the shows that came on TV that night.  If you have time to watch TV... then you're not busy.  I don't have cable for the mere fact that we don't have time to watch TV so why waste our money?  Okay, I'm off my soapbox.  Maybe the freaking scale will move this week.

Side bar note:  I've got 21 weeks until I hit my one-year anniversary.  That means that I have got to pick up the pace and lose at least 2 pounds a week to hit my goal of 135.

Drinking after surgery is definitely something else.  Three sips of a mudslide is hard buzzing... Six sips is hard drunk... an entire mudslide is sleepy time.  I went out dancing with my friend Brandy last night.  We had a blast.  Dancing is such great exercise.  I wish I could go out and do it every night.  I saw a girl at the club last night that reminded me of me two years ago.  There she sat, morbidly obese, glasses on her face, and just looking miserable.  When I used to go to the clubs with my friends a couple of years ago... that was soooo me.  However, things have changed!  I was asked to dance at least 4 times last night and I had a guy buy me two drinks.  I drank the mudslide and gave the other one to my friend Brandy on the sly.  NO, I'M NOT HAVING MARRIAGE PROBLEMS!  I just enjoy going out and dancing.  I'm not looking to "hook up" with anyone.  My husband doesn't mind me going out and he knows that he can trust me.  Speaking of my husband... WOW! is all I can say.  Since I've lost all this weight, we have sex all the time now.

Well the scale finally moved!  Thanks Jesus!  "Official Weigh-In" was 173 lbs. this morning.  That is a total loss of 91 pounds with just 38 more to go until goal.  I've been going to the tanning bed.  I'm pretty dark already.  I love it when I'm tan 'cause I feel sexy.  I have a lot of folks email me and ask if I get sick anymore.  The overall answer is "no".  Sometimes when I eat something that I haven't had in a while, I may get queasy (like mayonnaise), but I'm not doing the major throw anymore like I used to.  Unfortunately, I still have Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  I was really hoping that would go away once I had surgery.  I have attacks probably twice a month.  Oh well, guess I can live with that as they used to be twice a week.  I bought size 14 petite pants yesterday!!!  How amazing is that from a size 26/28???  Well, got to get ready for work.  This weekend will be busy with all my out of town friends coming in for Christmas.

Hey Kids!  "Official Weigh-In" this morning was still at 173 lbs.  I'm okay with that... this week anyhow!  LOL!  I went to the mall today with my friend Gayla.  I tried on a size 12 pair of club pants!  They zipped, button, looked great... but darn I have got the biggest ghetto booty!  I swear I could put a tray on the back of that thing and serve drinks!!! 

Went to Dr. Champion's annual Christmas Party on Saturday, 12/22/02.  I had a blast!  It was so great seeing all of my WLS buddies that I talk to on-line and putting faces with the screen names.  Some of my buddies that had surgery the same week I did... I didn't even recognize them!  Everyone was sooo beautiful!  Dr. Champion had two photographers there... I got a complimentary 5x7.  Dr. Champion served heavy hors d'oeuvres like shrimp, meatballs, salmon and kiwi on crackers, chicken on a stick, desserts that were too good, and fresh coffee!  YUM!  He hired a live jazz band.  They were really good... but I just don't get into live band music.  I'm more into the DJ flipping CD type atmosphere.  I could have definitely gone for some Ludacris, Pink, Madonna, Eminem, Shaggy, Nelly, Jay Z, Dirty South, etc.   Oh well... maybe he'll change it back next year.  My understanding is that in the past it has been a DJ and people rocked all night.  The party was good, but seemed to dwindle fast.  The Honda corporation had a jamming party going on next door to ours and a lot of folks went next door.  However, all in all, it was a great party and I know that it takes a lot of planning to put something like that together.  I appreciate Dr. Champion going that extra mile to make his patients feel special.  I also got to see Dr. Mike Williams and meet his wife... quite a diva I might add.  He is so great and is the total reason I can actually eat now!  He's pretty cool.  If you're exploring surgery and don't want to be on the waiting list for Dr. Champion, I definitely recommend Dr. Williams.  He's in with Dr. Champion now at the Atlanta Videoscopic Institute and has a great personality/bed side manner.  Well, guess I'll be going now.  It's nice for Christmas to roll around, eat a "little" bit of everything, even a bite of Mom's fudge, and not feel guilty!  I love it!

I went out with my friend Gayla on Saturday night.  The club was kinda dead.  However, I did see three friends (all in a group together none the less) that I had graduated with... yes... it's been 10 years, that is crazy!  Anyway, my point is that they just kept going on and on about how I haven't changed a bit since high school.  LOL!  If they had ONLY seen me 7 months ago!  I felt really great because out of the four of us, career, financially, and relationship wise, I seemed to be the most successful... they were all divorced!!!  Thank you Jesus for blessing me and my husband with such wonderful jobs, benefits, friends, family, and each other.

The past three days I've actually got on my treadmill.  It had become a piece of furniture in my living room.  I felt like I should put candles on it or hang a painting from it.  Anywho, it is incredible what some extra cardio will do... I've lost a couple more pounds.  Of course, it won't be official until Thursday.  I'm seriously considering getting my belly button re-pierced when I hit the 100 pound mark.  I had it pierced about 7 years ago, when I was around 185 lbs. or so.  Yes, I do actually weigh less now than then, but I think the 100 pound mark will be a special day.  I'm still considering it... don't know yet... am I too old?  Is 28 too old to have your navel pierced?

Okay... I have to confess... I bought a 'lil slut/hooker skirt tonight from Wally World for $3.00.  I really didn't know it was $3.00 until I got to the register and that's how much it rang up for!  HELLO!  I bought it simply because A) I look pretty hot in it, B) I wanted something that I could get brave enough to wear to the club, and C) It's a size 13/14 JUNIORS!!!  It's about 6 inches above my knee, black, and looks great with my black knee high boots!  I'm sure, knowing me, I'll have a photo of me in it on the website soon!

"Official Weigh-In" this morning was 170 lbs.  I did really good this week!  I lost 3 pounds!!!  I only got on the treadmill three times... just think what I could do if I got on that thing everyday!  I've lost a total of 94 pounds and only have 35 more to go to hit goal.... a feat that sounds absolutely more realistic than 129 more pounds!  My husband and I went to a local nightclub for New Year's Eve and had a blast.... I'll post a couple of pics soon.  I wore my new black skirt, my black boots, and I was getting lots of double glances.  hee hee... I know my husband was pretty impressed.  wink wink.  He was on EBay last night, as a matter of fact, searching through a store called "Sexy Stuff 4 U" trying to find me another "Hottie" outfit.  NOW that's what I'm talking about!!!  Yesterday he reached over to grab my arm, and he had this surprised look on his face.  He said, "Honey, you're arm is getting skinny."  I love it!  It's nice when he gives me those unexpected compliments.

I see that almost 8 months post-op does not make you immune to throwing up.  I bought some Pepper Steak & Onion from the Chinese restaurant tonight for my hubby.  Took a couple of bites because it smelled so good... took a couple more... then a couple more.  Before I knew it I had ate 6 bites.  There she blows!  I had overeaten!  Oh well.. at least I know what the limit is.

Pinch me because I've got to be dreaming!!!  I had a great month, losing 7.5 pounds!  I guess getting on the treadmill really works!  "Official weigh-in" this morning was 168.5 lbs.  That is a total weight loss of 95.5 pounds with just 33.5 more to go to hit my goal.  I missed my monthly goal by 6.5 pounds, but that's okay.  I had originally said I would lose all my weight within 12 months, but technically, I have 18 months to do it.  Eighteen months is considered the "honeymoon" period and most post-ops will stop losing after that time frame... so I'll just keep trucking along.  I'm wearing a size 14 petite pants now, but I can put on size 12's and zip them up... just don't ask me to sit down in them.  :)  I've been buying cute little Tommy Hilfiger sweaters on sale.  Any of you that know me, know that I am a Tommy Hilfiger freak!  I love his line of products.... especially the Home decor.  Tommy is all that the hubby wears... and when I'm thin enough... it will be what I wear too.  (As a sidebar note, Tommy Hilfiger never made racial remarks on the Oprah show.  Please click here to see where his name was cleared of any rumors.)  Anywho... guess what?!  My husband and I are flying to California in May to do a road trip up the coast with my best friend, Gayla.  I'm excited!!!  Oh, one more thing.... I was at the Pharmacy yesterday picking up a prescription to get rid of this terrible cold I have hanging on me.  When the pharmacist saw me... she couldn't believe her eyes.  She's was saying, "You look absolutely terrific!  You got rid of the glasses, got a tan, sporting some new clothes... you go girl!".  So while she was saying this, the Pharmacist Assistant came around the corner to see what all the commotion was about.  She too was complimenting me.  She was saying, "I didn't even recognize you!".  I LOVE IT!!!

Tonight, my sister and I went and got our navel's pierced.  Her's looks so cute with her flat tummy.  Mine on the other hand needs some ab work.... just more incentive!  As you know... I'll be posting pics soon showing off my new belly ring.  I've been doing really good by getting on my treadmill.  Yes, I still dread it.  I hate that darn thing... but I know that it is working because I can feel the results.  I had an incident the other day where I didn't recognize myself in a recent photo that was taken.  How crazy is that?

Remember that part where I said that the "hair loss" had slowed down?  Well I LIED!  Okay, actually it had slowed down for about three washings in a row.... but then it picked up full speed again.  I just THANK JESUS that I have curly hair and can at least make this stuff look twice as big as it really is.  My hair so so thin that you can see right through it.  You can see my white scalp.... think I'll start putting tanning oil on it when I go to the tanning bed.  I'm just kidding!  But really, a girl can get a little insecure when her hair is thinning.  I've had it semi-long for so long, I couldn't even imagine cutting it.  I hope it doesn't get to that point.  I think I'll go search EBay for some hair extensions.  :)  OH, one more thing.  If  you're pre-op reading this, you know how you'll have "fat days"?  Those days that you just feel twice as big as the day before?  Where you literally feel like a roly-poly?  Like if someone touches you, you'll just explode fat cells everywhere?  Well guess what?  Those days don't go away even after you've lost almost 100 pounds.  I think it's just part of being a woman.  We have "fat days".  I had one today, even though the scale had moved down two pounds.  Who knows?  We're woman and we have strange bodies.  Men... just accept us as the creatures that we are!  LOL!  :)

"Official Weigh-In" is 167 lbs. this morning.  That is a total loss of 97 pounds with just 32 more to go until goal.  The treadmill thing really works.  It is simply amazing.  I really do hate the treadmill with all of my heart, but I can see the results, and I know that I must do it.  Thirty minutes a day won't kill me.  I CAN DO IT!  I went shopping last night.  I purchased all 12's last night, with the exception of one pair of pants in a 14.  It was from the "Style and Co" line at Rich's and I think those sizes run a little small.  Anywho... I am so very excited about getting into 12's!!!  How cool is that!  I haven't worn 12's since 8th grade!!!!!

Since having my surgery, I have had so many people at my employer contact me with questions regarding the surgery.  So, what I have decided to do is to start keeping track of all of the individuals who decided to have surgery after seeing my results.  No, I'm not trying to be "weird or conceited".  I just find it so very interesting... when something is good... it spreads like wildfire!  Life is good!  :)  My list will always be posted at the bottom of my journal page.  Click here to view now.

Okay, y'all are gonna have to beat me down today... I am on cloud nine and my hormones are going crazy!  Here's the deal, I'm having a 200 year old Oak cut down out my front yard and I've had about 12 young sweaty good looking men out there since 9am.  From time to time I would go out there just to look at the progress.  Every time I would go out, they would basically slow up or stop working completely to come talk to me.  The head crew member finally came over and said "Ma'am, I'm gonna have to ask that you stay inside, I can't get these boys to work when you're out here... you're a distraction".  Me?  A distraction?  Yea baby yea!  Talk about making my head all big.  Then I was out there a little later and one of them came up and said, "I just have to tell you that I think you're really pretty... you have very sexy legs."  Okay, I need a cold shower.  Anyone volunteer to come beat my head back down to normal size????

Random Act of Kindness:  Today is my birthday so my husband and I went to Shogun for dinner.  It's a really good Japanese place.  As with most Japanese restaurants, we sat at a table with other individuals.  There was a thirty something year old woman and an 18 year old friend of hers on our left (it happened to be the 18 year old's birthday too) and a 51 year old lady and her two children on our right.  During dinner we were all talking... you know, just small talk.  The topic got around to age and that's when we found out how old the lady was on the right.  I told her that she certainly didn't look 51, I would have said "40" at the most.  She smiled and said, "Wow!  Well in that case, dinner is on me tonight!".  Well of course people say this kinda thing all the time.... it's just little American expressions that we have, but  everyone knows that this stranger is not really going to "pick up the tab".  Well, as dinner came to a close, we were waiting on ice cream, fortune cookies, and our tickets.  The 51 year old lady and her children got up in a hurry, didn't even say "bye".  We thought that maybe something was wrong... an emergency or maybe she got up to go complain at the front... but she just disappeared.  Well we waited around for our ticket and it never came, so me, my husband, the 30 something lady, and 18 yr old boy all walked to the front to pay our tab.  When we got there, we were all told that the 51 yr old lady had already paid for our dinner ($15+ a person).  We don't know her name, she paid with cash so no trace with a credit card, nothing.... she just disappeared!  God bless her soul.  In this mean cruel world, there is still a lot of good.  What a great birthday surprise that was.  :)

"Official Weigh-In" today is the same as last week.  I am not surprised as I have been a bad girl this week.  I've been eating Cheetos and chocolate... not to mention that I haven't graced the treadmill in over a week.  It certainly makes a difference.  I don't know what is wrong with me.  I just have weeks where I get off the horse... but darn it!... It's time to get back on!!!  I've only got 18 days until that 9 month mark and I've got quite a ways to go.

Side Bar Note:  I was driving down the road the other day and saw a vision of me from the past.  There was a very morbidly obese lady in her car sitting next to me at the red light.  She had an actual ravioli dinner, bread, and salad that she had laid out along her dash.  While we were at the red light she just devoured the ravioli.  It was so gross!  It was like she couldn't wait to get home... so she just went crazy eating.  The light turn green and she didn't stop!  She was driving (I assume) with her knee as she continued to pack it in.  OH MY GOD PEOPLE!  THIS USED TO BE ME!  If I purchased a "to go" order from somewhere, my food addiction was so bad that I had to eat it in the car.  I WOULD drive with my knee just so I wouldn't miss a beat while I was eating.  I tell you, I almost threw up watching the lady eat... I swear to you it was more disgusting to watch her then that crazy "Fear Factor" show where they eat bugs!  It certainly made me come to the realization of how I used to look.  My goodness... that was just sick!!!

I DID IT!!  I DID IT!!  I DID IT!!  I hit the 100 pound mark... and went over!  The "Official Weigh-In" this morning was 163 pounds.  That is a total loss of 101 pounds with just 28 more to go until goal!!!

I'M A DUMPER!  Okay, after all these months of not dumping on any type or amount of sugar... I have officially become a "dumper".  I've been fighting the food demons. They talked me into two chocolate chip cookies on Friday night.  This is normally a food that I could have eaten without any problems.  However, on Friday night, within 6 minutes of eating them, I became dizzy, my heart was beating fast, I was in a cold sweat, lying down didn't help, and I gagged to throw up for about 5 solid minutes. I felt like doody!  Saturday evening, I made myself a cup of coffee and put two teaspoons of sugar in my cup.  This is again, is something that I have usually handled with no problems.  Within 5 minutes of drinking it... I had the same reaction.  This is crazy, I know.. to all of a sudden become so sensitive to sugar.... BUT THANK GOD IT FINALLY HAPPENED!!!  Now maybe I can get control of eating the little sweets here and there.

"Official Weigh-In" this morning remained the same at 163 pounds.  You know what?  That's okay!  :)  I'm still on cloud nine from last week.  My weight didn't change, but my blouse size did!!!  YES!!!  I am now wearing a ladies size Medium Petite Blouse!!!  How ya like them cookies???  I went shopping last night and got three new blouses (all Medium Petites), new pair of pants (size 12 Petite), and a skirt (12 petite).  At one point last night I sort of had a blonde spacey moment.  I was standing in front of a rack of suits that I admired.  I was looking through the sizes... 8P, 10P, 12P, 14P... and I was confused.  For some reason I had in my mind that I was looking for a 16!!!  I was getting disappointed that they didn't have my size.  WHAT IN THE HECK???  I was reverting back to a few months ago or something!!!  Anyway, it finally hit me!  "Hey Blonde Girl... you wear a size 12... yes, a size 12... they have your size.  Now walk away because this suit is $230!!!"

FINALLY!  The hair loss has come to an end!  I went 5 days without washing my hair.  When I washed it tonight, I had very minimum hair loss... just the normal 100 strands a day like the normal person.  Now before you get grossed out... my hair is anti-oily and that's why I can go days without washing it.  It's getting long too... of course I do have some dead ends that could probably be cut off of it.  Anywho.  How about I got on the scale a moment ago and I had gained 4 pounds.  Could it have something to do with the snack bag of Cheetos and half box of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies that finished off today?  I haven't had time to get on the treadmill the past three days either.  I've done my regular exercises, but have just been slammed and it's been too late at night to get on the treadmill.  The Cheetos in the snack machine at work are my downfall.  From now on, I am leaving all cash flow and change in my truck so I'm not tempted.  As far as the cookies, I actually purchased them two months ago during a weak moment.  They came in today, and before I knew it, I had eaten an entire sleeve (minus the seven cookies my boss took).  I've got a wedding this weekend in Atlanta.  I plan on burning my ass up... I shall overcome the freaking food demons in my head!!!  I don't get hungry so why do I eat????  IT'S CALLED A FOOD ADDICTION!!!!  The addiction does not go away with the surgery.... the surgery is just a tool.  I'm kicking my ass today and onward I march!


Well, I did the wedding in Atlanta.  My hubby went with me.  We went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens on Sunday.  Here's a clue, DON'T GO DURING THE WINTER!!!  We wasted $20 looking at dead foliage.  Why do they even have the thing open during the winter and charging admission?  Anywho, when we were done, I met up with Capt'n Jim McMahan (he's a "Hot WLS Hunk").  He is having surgery on Thursday of this week and had his pre-op on Monday.  He flew in from Maryland.  We had a great chat... super smart man, who I learned is actually a one star General!  The name "Capt'n" sort of stuck years back and they never let go, even as he was promoted.... anywho.. pretty cool huh?  I found a new protein that I love... GYROS!  Too bad we don't have anywhere in Columbus that sells them.  :(  I ate more Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies today and dumped!!!  Okay, you got me... no more cookies.  Dumping is awful!  I got on the treadmill and hope to get my weight loss started again.  I've been at a stand still the past three weeks... I'm sure it has NOTHING at all to do with the darn Girl Scouts!  :~#

Well, well, well... what can I say.  I am stuck at 163 lbs. for the third week in a row!!!  I went back through my journal and I was stuck at 187 lbs. for 3 weeks too.  Maybe next Thursday will be different.  I've totally banned myself from Girl Scout cookies.  See, eating anything bad at this stage counts!  Every morsel!  Every calorie!  Our metabolism is doodie pie... therefore, raising that calorie intake at all throws everything off.  Anywho... I shall not get disappointed.  I've lost 101 pounds and that's a lot to be proud of.  I've been doing my exercises and getting on the treadmill.  Let's hope next week is a little brighter and lighter.  :)

I GIVE UP!  FOUR FREAKING WEEKS AT 163!!!!  I'm gonna take up smoking.

2/21/03 thru 2/23/03:
Went to Panama City Beach, FL for Mardi Gras weekend with hubby and sis.  We had a blast!  Not to mention "Jules" got in a two piece!!!  Check out the photo gallery for pics!

"Official Weigh-In" was 161.  FINALLY!  I lost some weight!  Granted it is only 2 pounds... but it's still something.  I thought that I was gonna be 163 forever.  I've got 26 more pounds to go to hit my goal.  The next 26 pounds will be the hardest I have ever faced.  I have been experiencing extreme exhaustion in the afternoons.  When it hits 5pm, I feel like all my energy has been drained.... this is more than likely my fault though.  I have not been getting no where near 40 grams of protein a day... I would be surprised if I was getting 10.  It's just so much easier to eat egg drop soup or something simple like that.  I'm gonna do better.  I've got to do better... it's not a choice.  Based on my current weight loss rate, I've decided to set myself some new realistic weight loss goals.  My weight loss is starting to slow pretty good, and the original goals I set before surgery are no longer attainable.  I have reset my goals to lose 3 pounds per month.  I've updated the chart on the "Are You Curious" page.

Well I'll be a monkey's freaking uncle.  I've lost three darn pounds this week!  "Official Weigh-In" is 158 pounds for a total weight loss of 106!  I only have 23 more to go until goal... however, way before I even had an idea that this surgery existed, I used to say "If I could only get to 150 pounds, I'd be happy".  Well guess what baby... I've only got 8 more to go.... I'm freaking lovin' this!  Being small is so much fun!  I am happy as a lark.  I honestly would be happy if I never lost another pound (of course I say that now... wait 'till I hit another plateau, right?).  I enjoy going to the racks at Rich's, grabbing a Medium, and it fits!  How beautiful is that?  Wanna know what else is fun?  Having guys flirt with ya... heck, I've even had some chicks flirting with me too.  Whatever, I'm game.  It's just nice to be noticed, ya know?  Gosh, I went from having doors slammed in my face and being treated like "one of the guys" to guys making it a point to hold open doors, say "hello", and actually act respectful around me.  The hubby "acts" like he is a little jealous of the attention I'm getting, but I've known him long enough to know that he's a proud peacock.  I catch him taking double takes of me.  As a matter of fact, I was in the mirror tonight trying on this new diva dress I bought, and I saw him looking at me while he was "pretending" to watch TV.  Ah huh... I got your number babe... I'm onto you!  ;)

I know that according to my "diet", I'm not suppose to be drinking protein shakes anymore, but I swear, when I am running late in the morning, it is the easiest darn thing to grab.  I love the Atkins Chocolate Protein Shakes in the can.  Wal-Mart sells them for $7 for four cans.  They have 20 grams of protein and 1 gram of carbs.  I love 'em!

P.S.  I really did take up smoking at the Forty week mark.  Finished off my second pack today in three weeks... but I am really over it now.  I will not be buying another pack.  Being a full-time smoker is not for me.  I can tell a difference in my breathing.  Of course, as my best friend Gayla would say, "Damn Julie, you ARE smoking Marlboro Reds."  I'll just go back to being the part-time social drinker/smoker.... but you've got to wonder though, I DID lose two pounds that next week, and I've lost another 3 pound since then for a total of 5 since I took up the nasty habit... makes you wonder????  Oh well.  My health is more important than a quick Marlboro Man head-rush.  Maybe I'll just take up sex as my habit this week?

"Official Weigh-In" for ten months is 158 lbs.  That is a total loss of 106 pounds.  I feel great!  Bought a pair of size 10 Capri pants today!

Well, I took up sex and smoking as my habit for the week!  LOL!  I'm not gonna become addicted to smoking, I promise.  I've gone through this phase before in years past.  BUT ANYWHO... Good grief!  Since I took up smoking, the weight is just melting off!  I'm down to 156 today.  That's a total loss of 108 pounds with just 21 more to goal.  My BMI is currently 27.6.  I am officially in size 10 now.  I went to the mall and purchased several cute outfits.  I even bought a pair of Daisy Duke Tommy Hilfiger shorts in size 10, and we all know that Tommy runs small.  I love it!  I have never been a size 10... this is the smallest I've ever been.  I had to go buy new bras and panties tonight too.  My undergarments were falling off of me and my bikinis looked like granny panties!  I've gone from wearing a size 44DD bra to a size 36D.  I don't think that I'm gonna get any smaller in the top though.  I was a "D" in the 4th grade!  I do need to investigate a booby lift though.  My tummy, legs, and arms all look good... no need for plastic surgery there.  However, the boobies are another subject.  You can see my chest rib bone thingies... my boobies hang LOW!  I also think I need to have some laser done on the wrinkles under my eyes and my laugh lines around my mouth.  Why yes I do realize that I'm being anal about this whole thing.  My Swiss friend at work, Rebecca, said to me:  "Girl, you lose 100 pounds, and ya still aren't happy!!!".  Are we ever really happy with our bodies??? For Pete's sake, I am a woman you know.  LOL!  I'm going to a party this weekend.  I'm pretty excited about it.  I haven't been to a "drinking / dancing / everybody act juvenile" party in forever!!!  Should be fun times.  I'll be drunk after two shots.... should be real fun times, eh?  Yeah, I realize that I'm 29 and not 17... but, I think that I deserve a good time, ya know?  I'll keep you posted on how the party goes.  Yes, I can hear you now... "Let me know if your clothes stayed on."  Probably not, but I'll let ya know.  ;-))

I was going back through and reading my journal tonight.  I noticed that in April of last year I was talking about how I hated hot coffee and loved frozen cappuccinos.  Oh how that is just the opposite now.  I love hot coffee now with Equal and French Vanilla creamer.  I can't do the frozen cappuccinos anymore.  They make me sick... I dump big time on them.  I noticed that in May of 2002 I mentioned that I couldn't eat scrambled eggs anymore.  I can only assume that this still holds true as I haven't had scrambled eggs in over 10 months!

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!  and now for the bad news:

Dear Friends and Family,

 My system has been down for four days. It contracted the "Nimda Virus" (admin spelled backwards). This is an oldie but goodie.... and it got me good. It came through an email, and totally corrupted my system to the point we had to wipe the hard drive clean, quarantine all files, and start again. Cary worked from 7am to 10pm today reloading years of data and software back on to Jules computer.... you can't even imagine!

If you've received an email from me in the past week and/or have visited any of my websites, you too may have contracted the virus.

I do apologize for any inconvenience, but to be safe, you must perform a virus scan security check on your computer. Please click on the below link to perform the check to see if you have the virus:

After the virus scan, if you do have the Nimda Virus, click on the link below to get rid of it:

BE WARNED that this may not be the "be all" fix for you. If you've had the virus a while, like I did, you may have to wipe out the hard drive, run Norton Anti-Virus Scan 2003 software and start again. My hard drive was completely gone and corrupted beyond repair!!!

"Official Weigh-In" was 156 again this week.  I'm cool with it though.  I haven't exercised a bit this past week and I've been eating like a freaking cow!!!  I have had a serious case of the munchies.... eat, eat, eat, and eat some more.  Good Grief!  I've got to stop!  I actually ate so much at a restaurant last night that I threw up!  I haven't done that in a long time.  Anywho.... I'm at a point right now that if I didn't lose another pound, I honest to God would be completely happy.  I look great, feel great, and I'm in a size 10/12.  Who could ask for anything more??? 

Plateau City!  It's okay though!  I'm having fun.  156 pounds again this week.
I am very very very busy.... I promise to update my journal soon.  Topics up for discussion:  1) Two weekends in a row...  2)  Plateau again...  3)  Snacking beyond belief  4)  Dancing in the club.

Okay... here we go... I'm finally updating my journal!  You crazy kids just can't stand it when I get delayed, eh?  Alright... as promised, I'll hit the topics listed above:

Topic #1- Two weekends in a row -  Well, Julie is learning her alcohol level.  Two weekends in a row, Jules had too much to drink.  The first weekend (3/15) was a co-worker's party.  Let's see... I had two mudslides and two Jell-O-shooters (I made the Jell-O-shooters... first time... and everybody loved them!).  I was spent and sick!  I had one friend getting the garbage can while the other washed my face with a cold rag.  I managed to walk to the truck where my sister drove me home.  Cary (hubby) put me to bed and I slept good.  This was the worst that I had been drunk since surgery.  Well, guess that wasn't good enough.  Weekend #2 (3/22) my best friend Gayla came to town.  A bunch of our friends met up with us at the local club called Memory Lanes.  I was looking like a hottie I must say.  We had a freaking blast!  We were dancing the night away... well... at least an hour and half of it until Julie got drunk.  Let's see.  I had one mudslide (now, these are Julie concoctions, so they're probably equal to two) and two glasses of wine.  I was D R U N K!  I passed out in the club... don't remember how I got to the truck.  Thank God my friend John was with us (he's a tall, big, and strong guy) 'cause he had to carry me like a baby into the house.  I was out like a light!  When I came to, I hugged the trash can for 3+ hours with the dry heaves while everybody else partied outside my house... WITHOUT ME!  The draw back about drinking after surgery is that you can't throw up (or at least I can't). There is nothing for you to throw up...  there's nothing in that little pouch because it has already been absorbed by your intestines. I can only assume that we are at a greater risk of alcohol poisoning because of this. There was nothing I could do but suffer through. I know that I don't want to experience that again.... SOOOOO... that ended up being the worse that I had ever been drunk.  Weekend #3 (3/29)  Went to Memory Lanes again... was a good girl... only had one mudslide and one glass of wine.  I danced for 4 solid hours!  10:30pm to 2:30am!!!  I had a freaking blast!  I danced with lots of guys, but I especially enjoy dancing with my good friend Brandy's man.  His name is Johnny and he is such a great dancer!  When Fifty Cent "In Da Club" came on, I jumped up on him with my legs around his waist and he held me the entire song while we danced.  Oh my goodness!  We had the club going wild!  They couldn't believe it!... and it didn't hurt that Brandy was behind him spanking his ass!  LOL!!!!
Topic #2 - Plateau again.  Well, this is a simple one to touch on.  I've been at 156 for a few weeks now.  It's not the first plateau I've been on.  I'm truly happy though... I look great... and I've bought some really cool clothes.  Several of my male friends have been feeding my ego lately... so right now I could give a rat's ass if I lost another pound.... I'm just enjoying life.
Topic #3 - Snacking beyond belief.  Well, this was a problem I was having a week or so ago... this problem comes and goes.  I seem to have things under control this week.  I've been on an emotional roller coaster and this week I've had to make myself eat.
Topic #4 - Dancing in the Club... well, guess I covered that one earlier, eh?
Bonus Topic - MY HUBBY.  I have the best hubby in the whole world.  I have been on an emotional roller coaster the past three months with an issue I wish not to discuss with America.  My husband is completely understanding, allows me to be me and crazy, and just says, "You know what baby, I love you.  I know you're going through crazy feelings right now... but things are gonna be okay.  You're just one of those crazy "Ludy" girls anyway"  :-D  GOD I LOVE HIM!  And if I could tell you what it truly was all about... you girls would want a clone of my hubby 'cause he is freaking PLATINUM!  All the rest of the men in the world can't compete... we'll just call them Tarnished Sterling Silver.  (that one is for you Gayla... wink wink).  Want another analogy?  My hubby is "Hot Shit on a Silver Platter"... all the rest of them are just "Cold Piss on a Paper Plate".  (The hubby wrote that one about himself!)  Men... you got to love 'em... but think I'll just stick with the hot daddy that I've got and leave the rest alone.... Cary is a keeper girls!


Well what do you know... I lost 2 pounds.  Official weigh-in is 154 pounds this morning.  I only have 19 more to go to hit my ultimate goal of 135 pounds.  That just sounds crazy.  Only 19?  I must be dreaming.  The scary thing though is that I sometimes have a hard time remembering what fat felt like.  I sometimes think, okay, let me be fat again for just 5 minutes so I can remember what it felt like then put me back skinny.  I know that sounds pure crazy.  But I do sometimes remember... little scenarios will happen to jolt my memory.  Take for instance yesterday.  I was in a historical building that I had not been in a quite sometime.  I passed by this huge old mirror.  In years past I can remember walking by that thing tugging at my shirt because my shirt would be stuck between the fat roll that connected my butt and back.  Yesterday I stopped in front of the mirror and just stared.  There was no shirt to pull down.  I looked great!  Weird...... anywho.  I'm about to get ready for work.  I've got me a hot new outfit with some cute wood summer shoes.  Bye!

Me, my sis, and friends have had so much fun today!!!!  I can't even begin to tell you how incredibly exciting it is to laugh!  It's great!  I love being skinny!  I love all of the attention!  I get SOOOOO much attention that it becomes a little overwhelming at times.  Attention is like a drug though... the more I get... the more I want.  People at work are fantastic!  Everyday... EVERYDAY... folks from all over the company are saying things like "Darn girl you are the freaking diva!".  People are telling me that they like me the size I am now and that I shouldn't lose anymore weight.  Don't think I have control over that though???  I've been such a slacker in the exercise department.  Other than all the dancing I've been doing... I haven't got on that darn treadmill in almost 2 weeks!

We had a little party at my house tonight / this morning... as it's currently 3:30am.  We played "Naked Twister".  How do you play Naked Twister?  Well, if someone falls down, or if a color is called and all the spots are taken up... that person loses.  If they lose, they remove an article of clothing.  It was a blast!  Mr. Conservative (that would be my hubby) actually participated too.  It was so much fun and I wasn't sitting there freaking out the whole time thinking.... "Am I fat?".  "Is someone looking at me thinking I'm fat?".  NOPE!  I just went with it!!!  Oh how crazy life changes in just one year?  A year ago I would not have gotten naked in front of any cute guys... nor their wives!  I'm just having a blast!  My mother reminds me that my clock is ticking.  You know.... concerning having a baby.  She said, "Well Julie, you missed your twenties due to your weight, so, what are you going to do?  Party all through your thirties and have a baby when you're forty?"  Hmmm... 40 sounds like a darn good age to me Mom!  However, Cary (hubby) has said, "Honey, we really need to decide on this soon.  I don't want my children thinking that I'm their Grandpa".  Ahhhh Horse Doody I say!  He's ONLY 30!  Another 5 or 6 years ain't gonna make a difference.  I've worked hard to get this cute little body over the past 10 months.  Why go and get pregnant now????  I feel young!  I certainly don't feel like I'm 29 years old!  I've reverted back to that 17 year old teenager who was a big flirt and partied all the time.  A year ago.... I felt 50!  I wore old women's clothing, was out of breath when I walked, and constantly tugging at my clothing.  Now I'm in short shorts, high heels, and cute tops.  Oh, here's a story for ya:  Last night my sis comes in with a new mini skirt she had just bought.  She was showing me her new duds, and I was like, "Gracie, that skirt looks like it would fit me".  It was a size 9 Junior's... but... I was feeling confident.  So I picked it up.  She says, "Don't stretch my skirt out!!!".  I said, "I got your "stretch"".  I put that thing right on... zipped... and buttoned.  BAM!!!  "KISS MY ASS 'LIL SIS!"  WINK WINK.... I couldn't believe it!  There I was... wearing one of my sister's skirts... not tight... completely buttoned and zipped.  NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS!!!  I got right on the phone and called my Mom and Dad.  I just had to tell them!  Cary was like "What?  I can't believe it either!"  See, little sis has ALWAYS been the diva with the body from heaven.  You can't take her sassy butt anywhere without guys staring her down... she's always been cute and skinny... and to think that I was in her skirt... well... let's just say it was a big accomplishment appreciated by all of my family.

Official eleventh month weigh in is 154 lbs.  I only lost 4 pounds this past month.. but that's okay.  I haven't been exercising, so I can't be disappointed.  I swear, if I never lost another ounce, I would be completely happy.  NOW if we could just do something about these droopy boobies.  Good grief!  Take the 18 hour Playtex bra off... and we're in trouble!!!

I just got back from flying to North Carolina for the weekend to do a wedding.  I worked ALL WEEKEND long.  That was the longest wedding I've ever shot.  The rehearsal dinner was very upscale... five course meal.  I worked 4 hours Friday night.  Then on Saturday, I worked for 13 hours.  I shot over 445 photographs!  The wedding was beautiful and elegant... just like out of the movies!!!!  My plane rides were very bumpy.... a whole lot of turbulence... so much, that I almost got sick at one point.... and I'm not one to get sick on rides or anything... but I made it through.  I went to a club with a cousin on Friday night.  It had valet parking and security stationed at the door determining who got to go in and who got to wait.  WE GOT IN!  I had so much fun!  I've never been to a club that was so high class before.  Wall to wall... sea of beautiful rich people.  Okay... not sounding like I'm bragging... but you are reading my journal, right?  I had attention from lots of good looking men.  It was great!  I did not lack a dance partner.  I also discovered a new pick up line while I was there... must be a North Carolina thing.... On three different occasions, from three different guys, they told me that I had really pretty hair, and then would have their buddies to come over and touch it.  Too weird... never had a guy tell me in a club that I had nice hair.  Anywho, I made it back in one piece.... now I'm gearing up for a California trip this coming weekend... going to Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe, and Reno.  I'm sure you'll be reading about it next week.  :-D 

Now to address a concern that I've received from several of my avid readers:  Many of you have emailed me voicing concerns that I've gotten a wild hair, that I don't seem like myself, that "Whoa buddy... Jules is out there!".  Yep, maybe... maybe you're right.  I have gotten a wild hair.  But you know what?  I'm enjoying life for the first time in over 10 years!  I missed my 20's (as my Mom would say), so I guess I'm just making up for it.  Granted, I agree, I need to tone the potty mouth down and probably should put down that nasty habit I picked up at week #40, but all in all... I'm not doing anything wrong.  Okay, so I love to go out dancing, I love to flirt, I love the attention, and I may have a few drinks here and there... but, this girl also has a full time career at a Fortune 500 Insurance Company, has extra responsibilities of maintaining the Cultural Events Committee for Employee Appreciation Week which is responsible for three events this year, owns her own photography business that she works 30+ hours a week on with appointments, emails, maintaining a website, and all of the accounting for the business, answers 6+ emails a day about WLS and also maintains the WLS website, maintains a household to include dinner every night, cleaning, washing clothes, and all of the financial matters for the family, maintains a personal loan company with four clients, in the process of starting a greeting cards company, just took on the responsibility of a WLS Support Group Meeting at work, and still manages to talk to her best friend for 14+ hours a week (I LOVE YOU GAYLA!).  SO..... there you have it!  Have I gotten wild.. maybe so... but I'm still a very responsible girl with a lot on my plate.  Love me or leave me... this is me.... OKAY OKAY... I'm off the soap box now.  :-D

So, how have I actually been feeling lately?  It's sort of weird I guess.  Everyday seems like a dream state.  I feel like I've taken a good pain med like Percocet or Vicodin and I just haven't come off the high or something.  It's really weird.  Everyday seems unreal and it just fades into the next.  I guess the best way for me to explain it is that my head feels swimmy.  It was really bad this weekend when I was on those four planes.  The only thing I could do is just lay my head back and wait for the ride to end.  I go to see Dr. Champion next month for my one year check-up.  I'm gonna mention it to him.  It's probably nothing, and it's not really a bad thing... but I just wish I could wake up out of this state some time... it really feels like I'm in a dreamy state... sort of numb to my surroundings.   I'll be driving down the highway and won't even notice that I'm going 100+ miles an hour... or that I'm crossing over into the other lane.  My driving has gotten really bad lately because of this whole "dream state" that I'm in.... but... As much as I've been going lately, who knows.  Another thing that I've been experiencing a lot of lately is foot and leg cramps... like Charlie horses where my foot will cramp up, it's painful, and I can't move it.  I looked the condition up on Yahoo Health and this is what it said:

Spasms of the hands or feet may be an important early sign of tetany, a potentially life-threatening condition. Tetany is a manifestation of an abnormality in calcium level, which can be linked to the following:

bulletLack of vitamin D
bulletLessened function of the parathyroid glands (hypoparathyroidism)
bullet Alkalosis in the body
bulletIngestion of alkaline salts

Well, that doesn't sound too positive, does it?  "Abnormality in calcium levels"?  HELLO!  but I don't understand 'cause I take my calcium every day AND my blood work just came back showing normal calcium levels.  I'm gonna talk to Dr. Champion about this too.  Sometimes you can get leg & foot cramps from lack of Potassium... but I've been taking that too and again... my blood work showed normal.  Well anyway, didn't mean to scare the doody out of any of you who are researching... but, I'm not gonna hold back... I'm gonna tell you like it is.  Well, seeing as it is 1:31am on Tuesday morning, I'm heading to bed.  I'll catch ya on the flip side!  :-D

This entry is gonna be a quickie... getting ready for work, then dashing home, heading to Atlanta to fly out to California.  My "official weigh-in" was 154 lbs.  What?  Did you expect something different?  Boy Howdy have we been Plateau City or what?  However, I have to tell you that it has a lot to do with me.  I haven't been exercising like I am suppose to.  Maybe when I get back from all the madness I'll get my butt in gear.  Anywho, I hope everyone has a fantastic Easter Holiday.  Lots of Love!  Jules

Well... I made it back in one piece! I flew out to Sacramento, California on Thursday evening to visit with Gayla. Over the weekend, we did a road trip of Northern California.  We started our journey on Friday morning by heading to Fairfield, California where we hit the Jelly Belly Factory and a tour of the Budweiser plant. We then headed to Napa Valley. It was absolutely beautiful with green mountains, cows, and of course miles and miles of grape vines. We did a complete tour of the Beringer Winery Vineyard. WOW is all I can say! Beautiful landscape and rich with history. The weather was an incredible 80 degrees! We ate at the Pinot Blanc... thank goodness we were able to hit the "Late Lunch" menu... whew! The food was incredible... but... so were the prices! :-D Our waiter use to own hotels in Chile. He asked us if we would like some "Non-Vintage Cabernet Tap Water". It threw us off at first... LOL!   After our tours, it was then a four hour drive to South Lake Tahoe, California where the weather was a wee bit different. Try 40 degrees! The ground was covered in 6+ feet of snow. WOW! Friday evening we crossed over the state line into Lake Tahoe, NV and hit Caesar's Palace. Very very nice!   Saturday morning we hit the "Dixie Cruise Ship" where we dined for two hours enjoying the beauty of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Mountains. The beach at Lake Tahoe was covered in snow. Ever seen snow on the beach??? We then headed over to "Heavenly Ski Resort" where we took a ride on the Gondola straight up the mountain 3 miles. The landscape below was unbelievable! We then jumped in the car and headed to Reno, NV passing through the state's capital of Carson City. Saturday evening we hit several of the fancy casinos: El Dorado, Fitzgerald... but my favorite was the Silver Legacy. It was huge on the inside with beautiful sculptures, restaurants, clubs, and of course three floors of casinos.   Sunday morning, it was time to head back to Sacramento... but not without a few stops on the way. We hit a few Vista Points and Auburn Ski Resort where we played in the snow. I've never personally seen that much snow.... you know... Columbus, GA may get an inch... but not 15+ feet!!! When I was climbing up the mountain, I fell in up to my waist in one section.... Oops!  Good thing I didn't go all the way through! I saw a few bunnies frolicking in the snow too... not sure if one was the Easter bunny or not. 

I have been so incredibly busy.... and I won't be settling down until after July.  I've got projects going on at work, photography out the ying yang, and in the process of getting ready for my big California up the coast road trip (more info later).  My weight has been fluctuating between 154 and 158 pounds.  Four pounds at this stage of the game does make a big difference in your clothes... it's amazing as when I was overweight.... I could have a four pound difference in just one hour.  Anywho, I've got to get busy on that treadmill.

Well yesterday I said "FORGET IT!" and decided to have a "ME DAY".  I put all my work to the side, cancelled a few appointments, and took care of myself.  My neck has been so stiff lately... my feet have been cramping up... I'm just running myself ragged.  Yesterday I started the day with getting my hair highlighted.  I had chocolate fudge brownie roots three inches long coming out of my head.  I have to watch that 'cause my friends Gayla and Keller will rag me until I do something about it (Keller calls it root rot)..  Next I went and got an hour and a half full body massage.  My massage therapist is yummy!  (Oops, did I say that out loud???)  He is very cute.  I've been going to him for years.  He did say that my feet had a lot of knots in them.  From there, I went to the tanning bed, took a shower, then onto getting my nails done and a pedicure.  Finally, I met my husband for dinner at Cheddar's.  I ordered a mudslide, but the bartender made it too sweet or something... I couldn't drink it.  Too much sweet makes me sick.  Anywho... that was my Saturday.  Now back to the grindstone today.  I've got to put in about 4 hours at my employer to complete a project, about 3 hours into photography, 2 hours into this website updating photos, and about 1 hour into my California trip planning.  Seeing as it is now 11:00am.... hmmm.... I'm going to bed late.

Well I was scheduled for my one year post-op appointment on May 7th.  However, it is was going to be almost impossible to get off from work in order to drive to Atlanta for 2 hours, spend 15 minutes with the doctor, then 2 hours home.  I called Michele, the nurse in Dr. Champion's office, and asked if I could do a phone consultation like they do for folks that live out of state.  So, we had a nice chat.  I asked her about my feet and legs cramping up.... because my blood work shows good levels of calcium and potassium, then the next thing is dehydration.  My massage therapist told me the same thing too.... that cramping in your feet can be caused by dehydration.  So I guess Jules will be increasing the water intake.  I also asked her about me being cold ALL THE TIME even when it's like 80 degrees.  I also shiver a lot when others are completely comfortable in a room.  She said that my body's thermostat will take about a year to adjust to not having the 110 pound layer of fat for insulation.  Anyway, she said that my weight loss was way ahead of schedule and that I should expect to lose my 19 pounds I have left over the next 12 months.

WHAT???  COULD IT BE??  NO WAY!  YES WAY!  I STARTED LOOSING WEIGHT AGAIN!!!!  The "official weigh-in" this morning is 151.5!  That's a total loss of 112.5!  I'm so excited!  I just can't hide it!  I know... I know.. I know...  okay... it's 6:53am in the morning... I'm not sure I know what I know.... and seeing as I didn't get in bed until 1:40am... I'm half asleep.  After attending a play at the Springer Opera House (sponsored by my employer) last night, me and several members of my committee checked out a new club that opened here in Columbus.  It was pretty busy for a Wednesday night.  We had a blast and danced until 12:30am!  Well... off to get ready for work. 

The girl is back at it again!  I lost another pound!  I'm currently at 150.5..... more info later.... job interview and celebrating with friends.......

Okay... here's the update as promised.  Friday, 5/9/03, was my one year anniversary.  I just felt great all day... I was on a natural high.  At work, I'm surround by friends who love me, and they're all just so encouraging.  They all keep my head blown up three times it's normal size with all of the compliments... but you know me... I love being the center of attention and I just eat it up!  LOL!  In the afternoon I had a job interview for a supervisor position.  I felt really positive about the interview... I'll update the journal when I know something more.  Friday evening, a bunch of my friends met at my house for  a few cocktails and a little dancing.  It was so great because while we were all chilling in the living room, they started a toast and went all the way around the room.  Each person talked about the "old" Julie, the "new" Julie, and what I mean to them.  Oh my God!  It was so heart warming... I could have just cried.  We then all headed over to the "Firehouse" nightclub.  We had so much fun!  We danced all night!  I was heading to the restroom when one of the bartender girls came and grabbed my arm.  She said, "Will you come dance on my bar?".  I said, "Dance on your bar?".  She said, "Yes, you're so pretty, I want you to come dance on the bar... we need some more business over here".  Oh my goodness!  I've done crazy things... but whew!  The bouncer guy picked me up and put me on the bar.... so... I started dancing.  LOL!  My husband came over to the bar and tapped me on my foot.  He said, "Honey, you need to get down".  He thought that I was drunk and had just gotten up there on my own or something.  I said, "Sweetie, they told me to get up here.".  So, he said "okay", but then stood there as if he was standing guard and protecting me.  I love him... he's so great.  How 'bout I made $10!  LOL!!!!  I gave it all to the hubby though... he's a good pimp... he gets 100% of the profit.  LOL!   Well, we had a blast and my clique of friends always makes me feel special.  I love you guys and gals!  Y'all are the best!!!!

I've come down with some kind of cold.  My nose is all stopped up, my head is stuffy, my throat hurts, and I can't stop coughing.... I'm going to bed.  I've got my First WLS Support Group Meeting that I'm conducting at my employer tomorrow.

I'm still sick.  I faxed a request this morning to my primary physician's nurse begging for them to call me in a prescription.  Usually he says that everyone must come in to see him before he'll write a prescription.  I told the nurse in the letter that I am heading out of town and absolutely have no time to come in.  If my doctor won't do it... guess I'll have to go to my employer's clinic this morning.  I've got a wedding to shoot in Atlanta on Saturday, and one on Sunday.  I work on Monday.  I pack on Tuesday.  Then flying to California on Wednesday for a week.  Whew!  This girl is on the go, isn't she?

I'M BACK FROM CALIFORNIA!  HAD A BLAST!  PHOTOS AND DETAILS LATER.... after a five hour plane ride and a two hour shuttle ride back to my house..... I'M GOING TO BED!!!  12:17am

Okay, the moment we've all been waiting for.... details of Julie's trip.  Gosh... where do I start?  First of all, I had so much fun!  I didn't gain any weight (which is a bonus), but my hubby gained 8 pounds.  :-(  It's okay, he does that... gains, loses, gains, loses... he's so darn sexy, no one is the wiser.  Me, my hubby, and our friend John (a.k.a. John Boy or Johnny) took a shuttle from Columbus to Atlanta, then flew from Atlanta to Los Angeles, California on Wednesday morning, 5/21/03.  Good grief!  I just realized that's been one week ago today!... certainly doesn't seem like it.  Anywho... onto the story.  While we were in the air, my best friend Gayla rented a Grand Jeep Cherokee and drove from Sacramento down to pick us up from the LAX airport.  When the four of us met up, we drove down to Anaheim where our hotel was right across the street from Disneyland (talk about convenience!!!).  We chilled by the pool for a bit (in my new sexy Tommy Hilfiger bikini with the cute little skirt.  Sis liked it so much that she bought her one too!  Of course you can find my 'kini shot in the photo gallery... LOL!).  After the pool, we got ready and headed to the taping of the Craig Kilborn Late Late Show to be members of the studio audience.  We had reservations, however, our 45 minute Mapquest trip from Anaheim to Hollywood took 1.5 hours... who knew traffic would be from HELL!  We were two minutes late, so they gave our reservations to someone else.  However, they did say if we came back the next day, we were guaranteed to get in.  So... we cruised down Hollywood Blvd., Sunset Strip, took a look-see at the Hollywood sign, and ate Chinese food from some hole in the wall in Hollywood.  We headed back to our hotel, made a few drinks from the spirits we picked up, and crashed!  Whew!  We were TIRED!!!  Thursday, 5/22/03 morning, we headed to Disneyland's California Adventures.  The park was dead... this was great for us!  We did the whole park in four hours!... okay... so we don't have kids, so no kiddy rides, and we didn't watch any shows... but we rode all the adult rides and that's what counts!  After Disney, we headed back to the hotel to get ready, yet again, for the Craig Kilborn taping.  Our original Thursday night plans were to have dinner at Medieval Times, but due to the mishap with Craig Kilborn and Medieval Times being totally booked solid for the other nights, we just had to skip that one.  They have a Medieval Times down in Orlando too... so I'm sure we'll get to do that sometime in our lifetime.  Okay... on with the story.  So, we left the hotel 2 hours before the taping and made it with 15 minutes to spare.  WE GOT IN!  Turns out there were some other Georgia folks there too from Augusta, GA... they sat right in front of us... how cool is that?  The show was great.  The guests were Daisy
Fuentes, um... some other chick, and then... um.... Marilyn Manson's girlfriend who is a Playboy centerfold... she did a strip tease in a huge martini glass.... anywho... we were on camera... but just for a second or two.  After the taping, we headed over to the Farmer's Market where we had dinner at Maggiano's.  Nice... expensive... we spent right at $200.  I couldn't eat worth a crap.  I was having a little pouch day.  A "little pouch" day is where you take one bite of something and you're stuffed.  It's where your tummy feels like it has shriveled up and any bite of food is gonna make you nauseous.  Well... the others in the party enjoyed what I didn't eat... and I didn't hear them complaining.  :-D  We headed back to the hotel and crashed yet again after watching ourselves on the Craig Kilborn show at 12:30am.  Friday, 5/23/03, we got up really early and drove to Marina Del Ray where we were picked up by a shuttle to be taken on our 8 hour "LA City Tour".  WOW!  This was sooooo much fun!  Our tour guide was a hoot!  We started with a tour of Marina Del Rey, Muscle Beach, Venice Beach, Hotel California, Santa Monica Pier, then headed to downtown where we saw the Staples Center, City Hall, Union Station, Olvera Street (oldest street in LA since 1780), then onto the Hollywood Sign, Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Kodak Theatre, the Farmer's Market for lunch at Johnny Rocket's (yet another "little pouch day"... I ate two bites of Chili and was stuffed to the max), then onto Beverly Hills, Melrose Avenue, Sunset Strip, seeing all of the celebrity owned restaurants and nightclubs they frequent... the Viper Room, the Rainbow room, Skybar... etc.... the nightclubs all looked like "hole in the wall" type establishments... oh well.... guess the stars have to have fun too.... Our tour continued with 45 Celebrity Homes, then ended with a nice shopping trip down Rodeo Drive visiting Versace, Tiffany's, and the only thing we could afford were a box of Gummy Bears that a man was selling on the side of the road.  The diamonds in the windows were so beautiful!  ONE DAY GAYLA!  ONE DAY!!!  Our tour guide got us back to our SUV in Marina Del Rey.  The four of us headed down to the Santa Monica Pier where it was COLD!  We had to go to the fair on the pier... what trip to Santa Monica would be complete without riding on the roller coaster over the ocean?  This is the same pier and fair that was featured in the vampire film "The Lost Boys".  It was so much fun!  It was starting to get late, colder, darker, and the freaks started to come out... so we headed back to get some dinner in Anaheim at the good 'ole Outback.... of course we then headed to the hotel and crashed yet again.  Saturday, 5/24/03 was a day of road trip travel.  We piled in the SUV and headed to Santa Barbara Beach.  How BEAUTIFUL!  The cliffs overlooking the ocean were breathtaking!  We laid on the beach for an hour while Johnny played football with some random beach folks.  The weather was a bit on the chilly side.  We then ate lunch/dinner at the original Carrows in Santa Barbara, made a pit stop in King City, and hit the road to San Francisco where we spent the night.  Sunday, 5/25/03 we headed to the Fisherman's Warf in San Francisco where we took a three hour bus tour of the city.  We visited Post Card Hill with the painted Victorian homes, America's steepest street, China Town, Palace of Fine Arts Exploratorium, Financial District, Civic Center, Presidio, Marina, Cliff House, Nob Hill, North Beach... and many more areas too many to name.  After our tour we walked the streets of San Francisco shopping, had lunch at Rainforest Cafe, did more shopping where I bought my leopard print fleece pant and jacket set.  Oh yes... this was an impulse buy with the help of Gayla.  Yes... she did encourage me.  Little did I know she would later dis-own me when I decided to wear it through the streets of San Francisco.  OH YES I DID!  I changed at our car and proudly pranced in my black high heels and leopard print fleece suit.  And by the way... the answer is "yes", it was cold enough to be wearing fleece.  We took a trip down the pier to look at the Sea Lions and Seals.... there were hundreds of them honking!  Around 4:30pm we took a boat ride out to Alcatraz and then an audio tour of the prison.  It is quite a climb up the prison hill equal to climbing a 13 story building.  If you ever go, don't wear heels and a leopard print fleece outfit.  LOL!  After our Alcatraz tour, we drove down Lombard Street, America's crookedest street.  The steep, hilly street was created with sharp curves to switchback down the one-way hill past beautiful Victorian mansions.  The street is paved with bricks and is an amazing site to see.  From Lombard we headed for a quick trip over the Golden Gate Bridge.  The fog was quite thick and we couldn't see 15 feet in front of us.  We couldn't even see the bridge until we were on it!  We ate at the "In and Out Burger", then headed back over the bridge one more time for fun.  Then... back for another road trip heading to Sacramento!  We spent the night in Rancho Cordova, right outside of Sacramento and just two streets down from Gayla's apartment.  We had breakfast Monday morning, then Gayla followed us to the Sacramento airport to return our SUV.  Our plane took off at 11:45am PST and when it was all said and done with, we arrived back in Columbus, GA at 9:30pm EST.  What a fantastic trip!  I miss Gayla already... but knowing us... we'll be road tripping again soon.  We're gearing up for another big trip sometime later this year.  What will it be?  The Grand Canyon?  Las Vegas?  The Smokey Mountains?  You never know with us!  Okay... THE END.  :-)

I had two "moments" yesterday.  The first "moment" came when an employee came to my desk and spoke to me for about 15 minutes regarding the struggles of weight loss.  We discussed food addictions and how they effect our lives.  WOW!  While I was sitting there speaking with her, I realized that I had suppressed all these feelings about food... that I had laid that demon to rest (which is a good thing).  All of a sudden I could remember the feeling of that demon inside that just couldn't get enough to eat... the demon who thought about food 24/7.... the demon that enjoyed consuming large quantities of food...  WHEW!  I couldn't wait for our conversation to be over.  I DON'T EVER WANT TO FEEL THAT AGAIN!  That whole feeling of allowing food to control my life... the whole feeling of an urge to eat like a mad monster... NO THANKS!  It actually scared me for a minute... like the demon was trying to raise it's ugly head.  Shortly after, I went to lunch and ate Sushi with my lunch buddies.  Yes, I ate everything on my plate (minus the rice) which is not normal for me.  Normally I'm having to beat John and Josh off of my plate 'cause they can't wait 'till I'm done.... they always get what's left.  They love it when I'm having a "little pouch day" and they always encourage me to eat all of my soup & salad before my main meal comes out.  LOL!  Anywho... back to the story.  After lunch, I laid the demon back to rest.  I don't want to be that person again who is consumed by consuming food.  Okay.... 'nuff 'bout that... on to "moment" #2.  My second moment came yesterday evening while shopping at the mall.  I purchased a pair of short shorts from Express, then popped over to the Body Shop to purchase a cute top to wear later in the evening.  As I was leaving Body Shop, the "moment" came over me.  I look down, and here I am carrying a bag from Express and a bag from Body Shop.  My mind stopped!  WHAT!???  WHAT IS THIS???  My dreams have been fulfilled!  I can remember back in high school longing to shop at the Body Shop with all of my high school girlfriends... they always dressed so cute... and I was always had to shop at the department stores for larger sizes.  It's all kinda crazy to me right now.  I sometimes don't understand it and I really don't think that my mind has caught up with all of this yet.  Here's a quick example:  My Mom had picked up several orders from the lab for me while I was gone in California.  As I was going through the boxes looking at my client's orders, I came across a box with photos of a girl in them.  My very very first thought was:  "Wow!  I don't remember taking these.  Who is this client?  I must have someone else's order".  My second thought as I began to open the clear plastic bag was "This girl is very photogenic and has a nice body."  What the heck!  As I started sifting through the pics... it hit me... THAT'S YOU!!!!  OH MY GOD!  I didn't recognize myself!  Over three weeks ago my friend Angel Stubbs came over and did my make-up and my sis took photos of me.  I had forgotten all about the roll film order 'cause we had done most of the pics on digital.  It was too crazy!  I was shocked later that I didn't recognize myself.... BUT WAIT!  IT GETS BETTER!  The next day my hubby comes to me and tells me about "his moment"..... I had NOT told him about my "moment" at all.  I had laid all of the boxes of client orders, including my own, on the dining room table.  Cary decided that he would just browse through the orders to look at some of my work.  He told me that when he came across the box of photos with me, that he stopped, said to himself "Wow, who is this?", and opened the plastic bag to look at the photos.  He said it wasn't until the third photo did he realize that he was looking at pics of me.  I LOVE IT!  WHEW HOO!!!  He then began to tell me how beautiful I am.  Ahhh.... girls... let's clone him and sell him in the stores.... we could make lots of money.  Who's with me?  You know, use to when I would look at photos of me, I was shocked at how big I was because my mind always thought of me as smaller.  Now, when I look at photos of me, I am shocked at how small I am because my mind always thinks of me as larger.  Craziness isn't it?

Oops!  Forgot to update the journal.  Nope... didn't get the supervisor position but was told I had a great interview... sometimes others just beat ya out.  It's okay.  God will put me where he wants me.  I'll keep my chin up and keep on truckn'!  :-D

I've probably talked about this in my journal before... but... anywho... Okay, prior to surgery, I can remember "sabotaging myself".  You know... when you lose a few pounds... you're feeling good.. and then for some damn reason.. you start to eat again.  It's like your subconscious is afraid of you loosing weight... so you eat to maintain.  Makes no freaking sense, but I'm going through that today.  Yep, got on the scale this morning and had lost more weight.  So, what did I do today?  Well, I had a protein shake for breakfast, a fifth of a taco salad (just the guts, no lettuce) for lunch, then came home and ate another fifth, followed that up with a Dinty can of Chicken & Dumplings, followed by 1/2 cup of sugar free ice cream, two snack bite size Three Musketeers, and ended with six Ritz Crackers topped with Peter Pan Peanut Butter.  A lot of food?  No... not for the obese Jules... but as a post-op, that's a crap load!  One meal too many!  I feel guilty... but I don't... but I do!  OH MY GOD... I THINK I'M GOING INSANE (as I eat another Ritz cracker).  Tomorrow is "Official Weigh-In Day"... I'll probably get on there and have gained 115 pounds!  OINK OINK OINK.... Okay... I think this is turning into a Fat Day too... wait a minute... the clock just struck midnight... that means it is a new day... so... Thursday, 6/5/03 will be Fat Day!  "Fat Girl.. da na na na na na na na FAT GIRL!"  (sing to the tune of Batman).

"Official Weigh-In", I lost half a pound... yep... just a half.  Oh well.. I FINALLY made it to my goal of 150 pounds though!!!!!  Pre-surgery days... the days before I knew surgery existed... I use to say "If I could only get down to 150 pounds I'd be happy".  Well guess what?  I am happy!  If I didn't lose anymore weight, I would be completely satisfied.  I can buy Mediums from Express, Larges from the Body Shop, and size 10/12 from Lerner.... who could ask for anything more?


Well, I've been the little slacker in my journal.... and I always have Michaela to remind me.  LOL!  Love ya girl!  ;-)  WOW!  I've just been incredibly busy.... and I've had some kind of funk.  It's been going around as my friend Natalie and my sister Gracie have also both been really sick.  Thursday night I woke up at 2:00am soaking wet from sweat... it looked like someone had taken the garden hose and wet me and my bed down for an hour.  GROSS I KNOW!  I had to change the sheets.  Then... if it didn't happen again on Friday night.  Soaking wet from head to toe.  You could actually wring the sweat out of the sheets that's how bad it was.  I have been running a fever of 100 degrees so I guess my body is just trying to break it.  I don't know but the whole waking up in a pool of sweat and I haven't even been up to no good is just yucky.  Well, here I sit, 3:20am on Sunday, 6/15/03.  I started the day with working twelve hours on a wedding.  WHEW!  ME IS TIRED!  I got home around 10:00pm and my friend Brandy &   both applied peer pressure to get me to go out to the Firehouse with them.  Yes I was tired.  Yes I am still sick.  Yes my back was killing me.  However, you would think as I am almost 30 years old I wouldn't suffer from "peer pressure" anymore... but.. well... it happens.  I rested for an hour then reluctantly pulled myself from the bed to apply some fresh makeup.  I was so tired that my eyes were red and glassy.  You would have thought I'd been smoking something.  Oh well, I pulled myself together and made it up to the club.  Much to my surprise, that place was packed out.  For any of you folks reading this from Columbus, it was like the "old Al Who's"... body to body... "Club La Vela" theme.  WOW!  I don't like for a club to be dead, but I also can't stand it when it's packed out either.  Yup, Jules always wanting her cake and eating it too.  I was so tired, but I managed to pull about 45 minutes of dancing out of my butt and luckily my friend Brandy's man "Johnny" was there.  He held me in his arms and allowed me to rest for the remaining 1.5 hours I was there.  He's such a great guy.  I hope that girl will marry him some day.  We'll see.  Anywho, let's get to what everyone wants to hear.  I did not "officially weigh-in" on my 13th month anniversary, so I weighed in just a second ago.  I'm at 148.5.  That's a total loss of 115.5 pounds with just 13.5 more to go until I hit Dr. C's goal.  Wanna know how I can get there?  Anybody?  YES!  GET MY BUTT ON THE TREADMILL!  Okay, I'll need encouragement.... so... someone send me an email:  If everyone who reads this sends me an email telling me to get on the treadmill... maybe I will.... hmmm... we'll have to see.  It's so hard at this stage in the game.  I'm just completely content with my weight & looks that I'm actually getting frustrated that all my cool pants are starting to fall off of me 'cause there too big.  Oh well, like my friend Kimmy would say "That's just another excuse to go shopping!".  Guess I'll need to.  Well, off to bed kids.  Me is tired!

Well I did it!  I got on the treadmill for 30 minutes!  I ate all freaking day Sunday and Monday though.  That little pouch is starting to hold more.  Kinda scary.  I'm about to hit the bed.... as technically it's Tuesday morning at 12:16am... however, physically it's Monday night time to go to sleep.

6/19/03 ONE YEAR, ONE MONTH, ONE WEEK, THREE DAYS POST-OP (this is getting ridiculous... gonna find a better method):
Today is Thursday and that means "Official Weigh-In".  When I got on the scale today, it hollered back "One at a time please!!!!".  Whew... I'm having a fat girl day.  The past few days I've eaten everything in sight.  I'm a little piggy.  I think I like the little pouch days much better.  Anywho, I'm fluctuating between 148.5 and 150.... so... just roll your dice, pick a number, and maybe you'll come up a winner.. or... maybe a wiener... who knows.

6/23/03... I'VE LOST COUNT!  TODAY IS DAY #410.
Well let's see here.. in four short days I've gained 4.5 pounds!  Oh yes... as you can imagine... I am VERY UPSET at myself.  I've gone from 148.5 to 153.  Let's back track here:  I was at work where a co-worker gave me five pieces of Dove Dark Chocolates.  She knows how I love them.  Well... that's all it took.  The ugly food addiction demon creature from deep within rose his head.  I stopped off at the store on the way home and bought two huge bags of Dove Dark Chocolates.  They are so damn good... and for some reason, semi-sweet dark chocolate does not make me dump.  Yes... I've eaten one entire bag... however, thank God the second bag IS still sealed... it will not be opened as I've decided to take it to work tomorrow for a grand distribution.  However, at a wedding I shot this weekend, guess what they had????... OH YES!  Hershey's Special Dark mini chocolate bars.  Looking back it totally grosses me out the way I acted.... filling my pockets full of mini chocolate bars.... like some pig that just couldn't shove the candy in fast enough.  It's totally sinful to be hoarding chocolates and eating them like some savage beast.  What the hell has gotten into me????  GOOD LORD!  I guess I'm reaching that point in the surgery that all my 2+ year post-op WLS buddies have warned me about; Where the appetite starts to come back... you can hold more food... and gaining weight is so much easier now because your metabolism is out of whack.  HOLD UP JULES!  SLOW YOUR ROLL!  YOU WILL NEVER GO BACK TO BEING FAT GIRL NOW GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER!  I've got to get my ass back on that treadmill, I've got to increase my water content, and I've got to get back to pouch basics.... fill that sucker with thick meat and don't drink anything with my meal for at least an hour.  Starting tomorrow it's back to pouch basics and I freaking mean it!  Now someone come kick me straight up my ass then beat me down until I surrender.  I'M TAKING MY FAT ASS TO BED!  UGGHHHH!!!!  I JUST FEEL GROSS!!!!

6/25/03... DAY #412
Just popping in for a quick note... I'm back down to 151.5 this morning.  NO... it's not 148.5, but it's not 153 either.

6/26/03 ... DAY #413
Look at me... being the good little girl and updating my journal.  :-)  The "official weigh-in" this morning was 151.5.  Nope, it's not my 148.5... but is sure ain't 153 neither.  At this point, with all the eating I've been doing, I'll take what I can get.  I have just been non-stop lately... eating everything in sight!  I'm not being a very good example to my girls that look to me for advice and here lately I feel like Keller has been more of my angel than me hers.  I'm gonna get better... I promise.  I've just got to get this food demon addiction to go back to hibernation.  Anywho, something I meant to mention about a week ago... but just forgot... my before & after photo is now on the "Tricks with Pics" page on  You can see it here:  Just roll your mouse over the before & after buttons.  Fun!  :-)  I've always received a lot of email from persons that find my website.  I average 2 to 3 emails everyday.  However, when my photos went live on the "Tricks with Pics" page.... whoa Mama!  I had over 35 emails the first day and it hasn't stopped.  But you know what?  I love it!  I really do.  I enjoy getting emails from people commenting on my website.... so... keep 'em coming!  ;-)  Oh yeah, sidebar note:  I've added a new "clothed" photo to the "front" clinical page.... hee hee.  Alright, well, let me get ready for work.  Bye!

6/28/03 ... DAY #415
HALLELUIAH!!!  I DID IT!  I finally got back down to 148.5 as of this morning!  I'm telling you... if you just follow the pouch basics... IT WORKS!  Eat three times a day with a snack of fruit.  I personally love pineapple.  Anywho.  Your three meals have to be dense protein... good 'ol fashion meat.  I love pork tenderloin 'cause it's so tender and easy to chew.  That's what I've been eating the past few days.  Thank you Jesus!  I really scared myself there for a few days.  I was scared that the honeymoon was all over and that the scale was gonna take a turn.  On to more exciting news.... I went to Body Shop again yesterday.  I walked in and right away the sales clerk says "How can I help you?  You looking for something specific?"  I must have had that mad dash look on my face as it was 15 minutes before they closed.  I told her I was looking for a jumpsuit.  She says "I got the perfect thing for you!".  I saw the jumpsuit on the rack and thought "Oh my... that will never fit me.  The waist look so tiny... the top looked so tiny.  Darn!  The whole thing just looked too darn small.  BUT... I wanted to amuse the sales clerk so I went and tried it on.  BAM!  IT FIT!  PERFECTLY!  This is just mentally too crazy for me.  You really won't understand unless you've lost 100+ pounds.  My brain can not understand that I am small... I can't handle it.... well... I can... but it's just crazy.  Well, I'll have to continue this story later about our night at the Firehouse.... I've got to go get ready to shoot a wedding in an hour... so... talk at ya later.

7/07/03 ... DAY #425
Wow!  I went 10 days without a journal update!  What's that all about?  Goodness grief!  It's a wonder y'all haven't come to kick my butt.  Oh sure, I've received the nasty emails from some of y'all who haven't got their weekly "Jules Reality Series" fill... LOL!... but I'm still alive... The series just went on hiatus for a week.  SMILE!  Y'all know I love it!  Well, let's see.  I spent all Fourth of July weekend pretty much sleeping.  My best friend Gayla flew in from California, but spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning with her family.  I got her Saturday afternoon and night.  I'll take what I can get, seeing as I see her more than her family AND I've talked to her everyday since October of last year when she left.  Saturday afternoon we had our favorite; Mexican food at El Carrizo!  I love me some Taco Salad, with Ground Beef, Guacamole, Sour Cream, No Lettuce, Chopped Tomatoes, and no shell.  Did you get all of that?  Before surgery, I would sit down and eat an entire taco salad with lettuce and the shell AND a side of rice in one sitting at the restaurant.  Now I can make many, many meals off my taco salad.  Let's break it down:  I had Taco Salad for lunch and dinner Saturday... for lunch and a mid day snack on Sunday... some for breakfast this morning...  then I finished the rest off for dinner tonight.   DAMN!  Just pure craziness ain't it?  Who'd have ever thought a couple of ounces of taco salad would fill this girl up?  (I've got the Fat Girl theme song playing in my head right now.  Y'all know how it goes: "Da na na na na na na na.... FAT GIRL!  (sing to the Batman theme song)).  Jules has a little secret to tell... but you can't tell anyone yet, tay?  I'm currently being considered for the 2004 American Beauties Calendar.  This calendar is distributed throughout the Atlanta and Columbus area.  The girls that are selected will of course have a photo shoot done and get cool free stuff from the sponsors.  They will also do tours signing calendars and stuff at different Atlanta and Columbus locations.  I had an interview on Monday 6/30/03.  It sounded promising, but I'm not gonna get my hopes up.  There are a lot of girls in the running and most of them are early 20's with great bodies.  Seeing as I'm almost 30 with a well... hmmmm.... a body that is just now seeing better days.... we'll have to see.  I faxed a letter to Dr. Champion's office today asking if he would sponsor me.  Of course they would like all of the girls to try and solicit sponsors to cover the cost of hair, make-up, wardrobe, photos, limos, etc.  Anywho.  If I DO get in, the girl that sells the most calendars wins some prizes.  So you kids get your check books out 'cause Mama's gonna be soliciting you to buy her calendar!  ;-)

7/08/03 ... DAY #426..... into early morning 7/09/03
I meant to tell you that I did get on the treadmill last night.   Yeah, that's right... I'm cool.  Let's see... got lots of miscellaneous topics I'd like to write about tonight.  It's 11:33pm now... let's see how long this takes me.  Let's start by discussing my current favorite food.  Yep, you know me.. always going through phases.  I've been through the chicken & dumpling phase, the taco salad phase, the egg drop soup phase, the bacon phase, and let's not forget the recent Dove chocolate phase.... my new food right now is Trail Mix.  Oh yeah... loving it!  I don't like the Chex Mix stuff... I'm talking about the good stuff that you buy in the dried fruit section of the grocery store.  It has peanuts, raisins, cashews, walnuts, dried cranberries, and just a few random peanut M&M's.  Oh man it's so good!  Yes, I do realize nuts have a lot of carbs... but... they have a lot of protein too... so they're not a bad carb like pasta or potato chips.... but I know... still gotta watch the carb intake.  Okay, what's next... well.. let's talk about Capri Sun's.  I bought some the other day... love me some Capri Sun's, but guess what!?  They're too sweet!  They didn't make me sick... I just had a hard time drinking them 'cause they just tasted too sweet.  It's been a while since I had something really sweet tasting (Dove Dark Chocolates are not the same kinda sweet... so don't even start.  Smile!)  Anywho, feel like I'm gonna have to dilute them with water... like a baby!  Maybe I'll get me a baby bottle too... heck... I may even bring that in as a fashion statement!  Okay... next topic.  Here's a quickie:  I can now wrap a regular size bath towel around me.  (For you skinny 'lil peeps that read my journal (Caryn... hee hee), wrapping a regular size bath towel around your body and being able to push in the end and it stay wrapped around you is quite an accomplishment!)  I can remember buying industrial size whale towels just so I could pretend that a towel actually wrapped around me.  Okay... next subject.  For dinner tonight I was a bad girl.  I thought I would be cool and eat a couple bites of the Cream of Chicken rice I made for hubby.  I made that with some chicken kabobs... green peppers, onions... you know the drill.  Anywho, instead of eating my chicken first, fat girl mentality here dug in for a heaping tablespoon of the rice.  Oh yes baby!  It was good!... tasted like heaven!  So, what did I do?  I dug the fat girl spoon in there again.  "One more heaping tablespoon for the fat girl on aisle three please".  So what do you think happens?  Well of course... my little pouch was full to the brim... no room for any PROTEIN like... um... chicken!  Hello!  So... I sat in the office in agony and chest pains for 30+ minutes until I finally looked at Cary and said "well... it's gotta come up".  So, I went and threw it up.  (Ahhh.. the good 'ol throw up days.... Oh how I miss them sometimes.  I know that sounds weird... but unless your 1+ years out from surgery... you won't understand.  I'll try to explain more later).  So, I throw the rice up... it didn't even look like I had chewed the stuff.  Whole rice kernels came back up.  So, not only did I do bad by eating rice... I also didn't even chew!  See... you can cut my stomach down to nothing.. but I still have a food addiction.  Why did I eat the rice when I KNOW that it's gonna make me sick?  Why?  Because I have a food addiction and stuff just tastes so damn good.  Heroin addicts don't want to live in poverty and lead the lives they do... it's just that the addiction provides so much pleasure, that the pleasure out weighs the consequences.  Only folks with addictions will ever understand them.  My Mom who doesn't have any addictions doesn't seem to understand.  She always asks questions like "Well, why can't they just walk away?" or she used to say "Why can't you just walk away from the table?".  If it were only that easy.  Addictions are addictions are addictions.... when the pleasure out weighs the consequences, why give it up?  Good grief, look at me getting all psychological on y'all.  Who gave me a degree?  Well anyway, I upchucked the rice and ate one over easy egg for dinner followed by of course... some Trail Mix... followed by of course... some sex.  LOL!  I tell y'all too darn much, don't I?  Alrighty, one last thing I wanted to write about... something I've been thinking about for months, but just failed to mention it... it's not the most wonderful thing to talk about... but... if you've read my journal from start to finish... what I write by now shouldn't shock you at all.  Okay, here we go.  This is for the ladies... especially the ladies that are 255+.  When I got up over 255 pounds, I noticed that when I would sit down to pee, that it NEVER would stream straight down... you know... like in the bowl where it's suppose to go?  Instead, it would pee/roll down my butt, then into the bowl (like when you're trying to pour a liquid into another container and it streams down the side of the glass instead of coming straight out).  So.. when I wiped, I'd have to clean all the goods up.  I now notice that I pee like a normal adult.. straight into the pot.  Okay, did that make sense to everyone?  Like I said.. unless you were a big/short/chunky gal like I was... then you may not understand.  Well... let's see.. what else is new?  We've got three new "Hot WLS Babes":  Judy Smith, Karon Adams, and Miss Diva Rosa Fennie.  Go out and check out there profiles on the "Hot WLS Babe" page.  Okay, I've written a freaking novel here.  It's 12:11am... that's a total of 38 minutes.  Later!

"Official 14 month weight" is 148 pounds.  Right on target!  Now... let's see if Mama can lose three pounds this month???  So, what's new with Jules?  Well, I've got GPC (Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis) in my eyes again.  GPC is an inflammation of the inner surface of the eyelids, most frequently associated with contact lens wear and persons with hyper sensitive allergies.  GPC is not an infection, but a hypersensitivity of the membrane covering the inner lids and the whites of the eyes,  GPC appears like numerous tiny bumps on the inner surface of the upper eyelids.... it looks like cobblestones under my eye lids... yeah... I know.. just gross.  The typical symptoms of GPC include red, irritated eyes, often with itching, blurred vision, and light sensitivity.  The cobblestones are kinda rigid, so every time I blink, it grabs the contact lens and pulls it off of my eye... makes it a little hard to see and irritates the mess out of me.  I had GPC about 8 years ago and had to come completely out of contacts.  That's why I went to wearing glasses for almost 8 years... until the last year when I went back to contact lenses... you know... for more of the diva look.  Well sure enough, I knew it was just a matter of time before I would build the allergy up again.  I had to go purchase a new set of eye glasses to wear... my old frames are very large and round.  Wanna hear a funny story?  When I walked in, I explained to the lady that I was looking for new frames because I had lost some weight... that I felt that the pair I am wearing now are too round and big for my face.  She says, "Honey, those frames have never been right for your face, unless you've lost a hundred pounds!"  Well she was trying to be a smartass, but I turned it right back on her! :-)  I said, "Well as a matter of fact, I have lost a hundred pounds!"... SHUT HER UP!  LOL!!!  She was very helpful and helped me pick out about 7 pairs that I thought looked good on me.  When I went in, I refused to look at the brand name or prices.  I was determined to get the frame that looked the best on my face.  Of course when I finally narrowed it down to the pair I really liked, they ended up being Gucci's and the most expensive pair!  The frames and my lenses came to $326!  Holy crap Batman!  Thank God for my Flexible Spending account at my employer!  But hey, if I'm gonna have to wear these things 98% of the time... and I'm gonna continue to be a sex bomb... then I must have frames that compliment my beauty... know what I mean?  LOL!  I can hear Gayla and Keller now... "Good Lord Julie, are you talking about yourself again????  You are your biggest fan!".  "You girls know you love me though... yes you do... yes you do... who's Mama's little babies?  Huh?  Mommy loves her wittle babies.. hers does... yes hers does."  CHEESE!

7/13/03... DAY #430:
It's been a full weekend.  I took Friday off from my employer and went with hubby to Atlanta.  We went to the Deftones / Linkin Park / Limp Bizkit / Metallica Concert.  We had great seats!  It was freaking awesome!  All of the bands sounded just as great in person as they do on CD.  Fantastic show!  Limp Bizkit & Metallica both put on a concert that was simply amazing.  However, there was enough marijuana smoking at the concert to make you high without smoking.  They were smoking the Mary Jane in front, side, and back of us.  I smelled marijuana all day Saturday too 'cause that mess must have singed my nose hairs.  I'm telling you... It's so crazy to me that Cary and I got turned away at the gate for trying to bring in bottled water... but these little rat bastards can bring in drugs!!!  Well anyway, I listen to just about everything... country, rock, jazz, classical, metal, r&b, rap, and dance.  I don't think there is any kinda music that I don't like and hubby is that same way.  Of course... he was a music major in school... so, he rubbed off on me.  Anywho, we spent the night in Atlanta then headed to his Mom's house in Dahlonega on Saturday morning.  On the way, we stopped at the Tommy Hilfiger outlet store in Dawsonville.  We all know I'm a Tommy freak and I've always loved going into this store... but it's always been to buy Cary something OR me an XXL shirt from the Men's section.  GUESS WHAT!!!!  We went in... didn't even look at stuff for Cary... I was pulling all kinds of stuff off the racks... stuff that fit!!!!  Size 10's and 12's and MEDIUMS!!!  I bought me some cool stuff.  I was so excited.  This was the first time I shopped in the ladies section of the Tommy store.  I must have looked like a kid in the candy store (all the while I was wearing my Tommy logo summer sweater.... LOL!)  Well, after my shopping spree, we headed to Dahlonega where Cary's Mom and Step-Dad have a beautiful home on the Etowah River.  We like to go tubing on the river.  It's so cool.  Now normally we drive two minutes up the road, drop our tubes under the bridge, and it takes us 2+ hours to float back down to his parent's house.  However, it had rained so much the past week, that the water was deep and the rapids were fast.  It only took us 45 minutes to get back down to the house.  If you keep going... and accidentally miss their house, about a quarter mile more up the river is a water fall... so... um... don't miss the house... like we almost did.  Usually the water is shallow and slow, and you can jump out and walk to the steps, but like I said, the water was deep and rapids were fast.  Cary jumped out of his tube and was able to swim/drag us to the bank.  THANK GOD!  Okay, now, let's discuss the spider that ended up in my tube with me about 20 minutes into our tubing.  Our tubes have bottoms to them so you don't scrape your butt, so if something gets inside, like water, you have to turn the tube upside down to get it out.... okay... so.... I look down, and swimming right in between my legs, not even an inch from goodies was a spider 5 inches in diameter, gray, furry, and legs as thick as pencils.  Now I know that Tarantulas do not harvest in the waters of Georgia... but this damn thing was close enough!  Quick side bar background note on Julie... Julie's biggest fear in life (other than drowning) is spiders.  So Saturday, we were combining the two fears in one... drowning... and SPIDERS!  I first went into shock.  I jumped my ass up on the side of my tube.  Now if this had been 116 pounds ago, the tube would have tipped over, spider on my head, and I would have been treading in the Etowah River rapids.... so... thank you Jesus for allowing me to lose this weight.  Onward we march with the story.  So I hopped my ass up on the side of the tube all the while screaming and pointing.  Cary and his mother just kept screaming back:  "WHAT?!  WHAT?!"  They didn't know what had happened or what it was... was it a snake??? but I was in shock and couldn't get any words out.  Finally I said "Sppppppiiiiiidddddeeeeerrrr!".  Cary got to where he could look over into my tube (he was being a stud at the moment, but come to find out later, he was scared... he knew it was damn big ass spider), he started scoop/splashing/slapping the spider to get him out.  Well every time he did, he slapped the thing up against my leg.  I swear I was about to pass out from shock.  Finally, Cary slaps the spider real hard, I never see it leave my little boat, but now Cary's tube is upside down and Cary is in the rapids.  We were finally able to get him back in the tube... but he's like... "sheesh... I nearly drown trying to save you from the spider!".  Ahh... isn't love so special?  Needless to say, I rode the rest of the rapids sitting on the top side of my tube.  I honestly could have handled a water moccasin easier than the spider.  Oh well... 'nuff 'bout that.  Over the weekend I got into another bag of Dove Dark Chocolates... think I'm gonna sue the Dove company for making those things so darn good. 

7/16/03... DAY #433:
Here I am!  Sorry I didn't update... been busy.  So, let's dissolve the mystery:  Where did Julie get the fur from?  My sweet precious girlfriend Pam Kelley in Auburn, AL who had surgery the day before me (she's in the Hot WLS Babe Gallery) gave it to me as a gift.  She inherited several fur coats when her Aunt passed.  She called me on the phone, whispered sweet nothings in my ear, and asked me if I would like a fur coat.  What shall a girl to do?  OF COURSE I WANT IT!!!  From the first moment I met Pam, I've always known that she was special.  We've shared many hours on the phone together and have been on a few dinner dates... not to mention the three days we spent in the hospital together.  She's the greatest and she will one day reap all the riches in heaven.  I want to share her email with y'all.  It meant a lot to me and made me cry:

-----Original Message-----
From: Pam Kelley
Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2003 12:53 PM
To: Jules

You know you are important to me if I would send you a full length fur coat over someone in my family.  My sister in law and niece would have killed for it, but I feel like you are part of my family.  From the first time we met I have felt like I have known you all my life and I feel like I can share anything in the world with you.  You are a very special spirit, The Lord works in mysterious ways at bringing people together.  I cant wait till winter when we can get dressed (or undressed) with our furs and go out.  I told Jim we were gonna get in the vette.  Of course I didn't mention we were gonna drive away.  Ha Ha.  Love you very much.  Cary may give you diamonds but your true love gives you fur.  Love, Pam

After I sent her pics of me in my fur... Pam wrote this:

-----Original Message-----
From: Pam Kelley
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2003 11:39 PM
To: Jules

Darling you are so beautiful!  You look absolutely gorgeous.  I sure am glad you are MY girlfriend.  The coat looks wonderful on you, don't you feel like a million dollars?  Wait until you run out to the 7-11 in your tennis shoes, jeans, with your fur on, whoo hoo!  My overeaters anonymous group fell out of their chairs when I told them about putting my fur over my flannel pjs to go to 7-11 at midnight for munchies.... At least I had on something underneath!  I am soo proud of you.  You are such a beautiful sexy creature.  Have a good day.  Love, Pam

So there you have it.  I felt it was easier to share the emails with you so you could see what a beautiful giving person she is.  She truly is special and I love her with all of my heart.  Well, let me move onto some other topics to cover.  I added pics of me in my new Gucci glasses under the Fourteen Month Gallery.  Yes, yes, there are also some risqué checkerboard photos out there too... well... don't tell me you're surprised.  Nothing I do should surprise you anymore.  Anyway, next topic.  Okay, I'm here to ask a favor of all of you.  I've received hundreds of emails over the course of my journey from people all over the USA telling me what an inspiration I have been to them.  I don't see it... I'm just me ya know... I type what I feel and put crazy pics up.... but... if I truly am inspirational and have the ability to affect so many people's lives, then will you help me get on the Oprah show?  Oprah is accepting stories regarding persons that have lost weight.  Click on the link and fill out the bottom portion if you're interested in writing to her about me.  CLICK HERE FOR OPRAH Of course include my name and my website address (  Include in your message how my website or me have affected your life or how I've been an inspiration to you.  I know all of this sounds really forward, but I really enjoy helping people, and I feel like if I've helped y'all, think of how many others would be given the courage, strength, and education to go forth with the surgery and change their lives too.  This surgery is the best thing to have ever happened to me.  I feel awesome and I want to tell the world!  Let's go change America and make all Obese people healthier and happier!!!!!  I'm so glad Melissa shared this surgery with me!!!   Good night and sweet dreams.

7/23/03... DAY #440:
Uh huh, I know you're out here looking for a journal update.  You're screaming "JULES!  IT'S BEEN A WEEK!".  Well, let Mama go take a shower and I'll get you all updated.  (10:36pm EST)  Smooches!

Well, we find out on Saturday, 7/26/03 at 1:00pm if I made the "2004 American Beauties" calendar or not.  It's a little nerve racking.  I'm excited, yes, but I also have the "fat girl mentality".  Once a fat girl, always a fat girl.  Why would they want this 29 year old stretched out body with saggy boobies over those blonde, bubbly, perky 20 year olds I saw applying?  Sooo, if I come back to you on Saturday and say "Well, boo hoo, I didn't make it", just write me and say "Julie... HELLO... did you really think you had a chance?  Please girl!  You missed the "modeling" days while you were sitting around eating Girl Scout cookie Thin Mints on your fat lard ass".  I think that will make me feel a lot better.  Ü  Hey side bar note, how 'bout as I'm typing this, they just announced on the news that Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies are the #2 cookie seller.... well I'll be dog.  I probably made up for 75% of that percentage a year ago.  Okay, so what's been up with me lately?  Not much really.  I've been holding steady at 148 lbs. for the past week.... really... no ups or downs... right at 148 lbs.  I'm hoping to wake up in the morning and magically weigh 135.  We'll see.  ;-)  Hey, I've been getting on the treadmill.  Ya proud of me?  No?  WHAT?!  I should have been doing this all along?  Well, who are you to talk?  (unless your Keller reading this... hee hee... crazy gym freak!)  Anywho, let's talk about our favorite subject.  No no no... not sex.  Our MAIN favorite subject... what we think about 24/7.... FOOD!  I love cheese.  I don't care what kind it is... I just love it.  I love the Kraft Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar that you cut into slices.. YUM!  However, my most recent addiction is crumbled Feta Cheese.  Yes, I realize it tastes like Cary's feet smell... but for some reason I love it.  We've been making Gyro pitas lately and you can't have a Gyro without Feta!  Of course though, as I type this, I have a 1/4 cup of Feta in front of me that I'm eating by itself.

7/24/03... DAY #441:
No magic.... ;-(  Still 148 lbs.  Well, I'll take that over 264 any day.

7/26/03... DAY #443:
(8:37am) Well, today is the big day.... I find out about the calendar.  Got to go get my nails done, wash my hair, and run some errands.  My meeting is at 1pm, I'll update you after then.

(3:13pm) So the moment we've all been waiting for.  My drive to the meeting was nerve racking.  I kept picking my nails, wringing my hands, yes... while driving.  When I got there, the room was already filled with beautiful girls.  I felt a bit intimidated.  Not only was I the oldest girl there, but, also the biggest (hmmm... I should be used to that by now, huh?).  We waited a while for girls to show up (females... always running late!).  They then called each girl up individually and conducted a second interview (we had first interviews at the very first meeting attended).  After the wait of going through each of the girls with a 1 to 2 minute interview, my heart hurting, my stomach in knots, my legs sweating where my legs were crossed, the calendar people met again to make their last decisions on who they would select.  Out of 500+ girls that applied in Columbus and Atlanta, they narrowed it down to 15 girls total for both cities (after this meeting, they were headed to Atlanta to meet with the models that made it up there).  They called each girl to the front, handed them an envelope, asked that you not open it until you got outside, and you were asked to leave.  When I got outside, I immediately opened my envelope.  It said "Congratulations, You have been selected to appear in the 2004 Southern Angels Calendar.  Please stay for the next meeting to begin in 5 minutes"  Can you believe it?  How can you go from being almost 300 pounds a year ago to a calendar bikini model????  EMAIL ME!  SOMEBODY PLEASE!!!!!

7/27/03... DAY #444:
I boogied my tale off so much last night at the Firehouse that I woke up this morning and had lost 2 pounds!  That's right!  I'm down to 146 lbs. now!  Yes baby!  Yes!  I've added a new photo to the 14 month gallery showing me from last night.  I'm also showing off my new rhinestone bracelet I bought from Rich's.  I've been eyeballing it for a few weeks now.  Well, I've got to get busy busting my ass over the next two weeks.  My photo shoot is August 10th.  I've got to get in the tanning bed, work out everyday, increase water intake, no sweets, put cucumbers on the eyes every night, and really truly be on the official "WLS Diet" over the next two weeks... (stuff I should have been doing all along).  I hate that exercise is something that you HAVE to do for yourself... 'cause if I could pay someone to do it for me... whew... I hand over a stack of 20's in a heartbeat!

7/28/03... DAY #445:
Yes, I realize that the little statement on the front of my website now regarding the plastic surgery seems a little "leave me alone"... but... here's the deal.  If you've read my journal and looked at my nude photos, then you know that I have not had any plastic surgery.  However, I'll get emails from people "claiming" that they've read my journal and that they really enjoy my website, then they turn around and say crap like "well I know you've had plastic surgery" or "have you had plastic surgery?".  First of all, let's look at the facts:  To even have plastic surgery, you must be 18 months out from WLS.  I am only in month 14.  Second, look at my photos.  Do you see any scars?  Can't you see that wrinkly skin on my lower tummy?  Yes, I realize that it's only about a 1/2 inch, and that compared to most folks, it's nothing... but it still doesn't give people the right to argue about whether I've had plastics or not.  CRAP!  Give a girl some props instead of downing her.  My tummy is about the only part of my body that I have worked on religiously.... now if we could only get my ass in shape... all would be well.  :-)  The only plastic surgery I am even considering is having my boobs lifted.  However, I won't do that until after I've had children, so that may be a while!  Okay, I'm off my soapbox.  I always, always, always, welcome anyone's questions, so please don't let this little temper tantrum that I just threw discourage you from emailing me.  Smooches!

Let's talk about the calendar for a sec.  I do not get to pick out my own swimsuit.  I've been instructed to show up at the photo shoot with hooker heels and a toothbrush.  They have already selected a suit for me.  I won't know what it looks like till I get there.  Now... to all my WLS buds, have you EVER put on a swimsuit that someone else picked out for you and it look good?  Holy crap!  This could be a disaster?  Do they know how low the boobs hang?  Do they know how wide my ass is?  Do they know about my wrinkly thighs?  This is scary!  Well, I busted my tail yesterday and walked 45 minutes at Flatrock Park.  I am out of shape!  I was breathing hard and didn't know if I was gonna make it.... but I did!  And look.. now today is ANOTHER day to exercise.  Oh joy!   Hey, side note real quick:  If you're reading this within a few days of me posting, then you MUST check out the new shoes I just bought off of Ebay.  I will probably wear these during my photo shoot.  Whoa Mama!  I ain't ever worn nothing this vampy!!!!

7/30/03... DAY #447:
As much as I hate it!!!!... I've been getting on the treadmill!!!  Nuttin' like knowing your fat ass is gonna be plastered across billboards, posters, and a calendar in front of thousands of people to get you a little motivated... know what I mean?  Use to... they would have had to make two billboards... one for each ass cheek... Oh LOL at myself... ho ho ho hee hee hee ha ha ha... Oh I kill myself!  Anywho... I've been going to the tanning bed too.  Hey, I know what the guys want to see... they don't want to see no white girl... nah.. they want a French Vanilla Cappuccino!!!!  We'll change my name to Sha Nay Nay.... (Rosa, are you laughing at me by now?)  Any of my dark chocolate girlfriends would tell you I'm half black anyway.  Hell, back in Junior High School I was the only white girl on the cheerleading squad!!!!  Those sisters taught this white girl how to dance though!  I learned the snake, the Reebok, the Cabbage Patch, and the Pee Wee Herman.  I was the coolest damn white girl that school had ever seen.  LOL!  My nickname back in school was "Tuitti Fruitti".  It rhymed with my maiden name:  LUDY.  The kids use to sit in the stands at the basketball games and do a cheer "Julie Ludy Tuitti Fruitti get on the floor and shake that booty.  Go Julie!  Go Julie!"... Oh the memories... HA!  Seriously though... I'm a very versatile person.  I get along with just about everybody and I can conform to just about any situation and social activity.  Well, enough about me.  Let's talk about you.  How have you been doing?

Just what you always wanted... new nude clinical photos of Julie!  I've added a page called "Side by Side" which compares my first photo with my current photo for easier viewing of the major difference.  Remember, you may have to delete cookies, delete temporary Internet files, refresh the page, and clear history on your computer in order to see the new version of the page sometimes.  If you've looked at a page before, your computer will sometimes save it and you have to do all the "clearing" and "refresh" to see any additions.... just a little tech advice for ya!

7/31/03... DAY #448:
Up and Down... Back and Forth... My weight fluctuates!  "Official Weigh-in" this morning was 148 lbs.  I keep going from 146 to 147.5 to 146.5 to 148 to 146... it keeps fluctuating.  Oh well.. I can live with it.  I got my shoes in the mail today.  I LOVE THEM!  THEY ARE SO SEXY!  I would have never worn anything like these before when I was overweight.  This is great!  I feel like a whole new person... well.. .not really though... 'cause this person has always been deep down inside of me... I was just physically unable to let her out.  Now she is out!  Her name?  "Jules".  When I was obese, I was "Julie", now that I'm skinny (okay, "technically" not skinny... but... skinny for me) I am "Jules".  Just about everyone at work calls me Jules.  I love it!  I have to tell you... Cary (my hubby) and I are having so much fun.  We are really enjoy each other's company.  He loves to pick me up now.  He'll tell me to "run and jump"!  LOL!  It's great!  It's fun!  He had never ever picked me up before until recently.  He picks me up and carries me around the house.  He feels like He Man!  And hey... I can't tell a lie... the sex is so great!  Is it because I'm approaching "30" and supposedly I'm hitting my prime or is it because I've lost 118 pounds?  Who knows, but I ain't complaining.  I almost can't handle him.  He's become quite the wild man.  I have to stop and take a break sometimes.  :-|  You girls don't getting any ideas... he's mine.. ALL MINE!  LOL!  Wait till he comes home and sees these hooker heels.... think I'm gonna lay it on him!  hee hee.....  Okay, I'm gonna get sappy for a moment... I just can't tell you how much I love him.  You know, after 11 years of being together and going on 8 years of marriage, I am still madly in love with him.  He just makes me happy, so complete, and my God... there is no other man in the world that would stand behind me and allow me to be the crazy ass, wild, sweet, complaining, bitchy, organizing freak, on the go, allergy asthma camp kid that I am!  He's the best!  Let's talk about babies for a second... Why can't I get my hubby, Mom, and sister off of me about having babies????  HELLO PEOPLE.. I've fought my weight all of my life.  Please, just for a little while, allow me to enjoy this new life.. this body...this new attitude before I go and get fat again.  I have a fear of getting pregnant, gaining weight, and not being able to lose it.  It scares the hell out of me!  I've worked so hard.  AND, let's just face it.... working full time at my employer, full time with photography, and keeping up with all of the extras I do, who has time for kids?  I'm saying now that I am on the two year plan.  July 2005 sounds like a great time to get pregnant.  Do you agree?  If yes, email me and tell me so.  If no, then don't tell me... just call my Mom and y'all can talk about it.  :-)

Oh, I thought you would like to know some interesting information... my journal, from this point backwards is equal to 43 printed pages, 36,231 words, 216 paragraphs, and 2,075 lines of text.  It takes approximately 4 hours to read from beginning to this point here.  Cool huh?

8/4/03... DAY #452:
I've been faithfully getting on the treadmill and going to the tanning bed everyday.  I can tell a difference in my size.  My measurements have drastically changed over the past few months, but let's focus on the overall change.  I've lost 14 inches total in my bust, that's an average of an inch a month.  I've gone from a 42DD to a 36D.  All my life I've been known for big breasts.  Now granted, a "D" cup ain't nuttin to shy at, but, folks have really been making comments like "Wow!  You've lost a lot in the top!".  To that I say, "hey, thanks for noticing!".  LOL!  I've lost 16 inches in my waist.  That's just pure craziness!  I tell you what else I find amazing is that my pre-op "thigh" measurement is about the same as my waist measures now.  And, you wouldn't think loosing 1.25 inches off your ankles would make a difference, but now I can buy anklets with no problems at all.  I am so incredibly happy.  I checked my BMI today.  My pre-op BMI was 46.8 which equals "Morbidly Obese" and is only 3.2 points from being "Super Obese".  Now let's analyze "Morbid Obese".  Morbid means "gruesome or grisly".  Obese means "extremely fat or grossly overweight".  So basically, I used to be a gruesome gross fat girl.  YUCK!  My BMI today is 25.9, which is considered "overweight" and just 1 point (or six pounds) away from being "normal".  It's getting more and more exciting for me.  I have much more confidence now and I am looking forward to my photo shoot this weekend.

8/4/03... DAY #455:
HALLELUIAH!  HALLELUIAH!  HALLELUIAH!  I can't believe it!  In one week's time I lost 3.5 pounds!!!!  My "Official Weigh-In" this morning was 144.5.  I ONLY have 9.5 more pounds until goal!  This is crazy!  This is incredible!  This is unbelievable!  This just goes to show that if you do the basics:  Lots of water... Treadmill 30 minutes everyday... and protein, protein, protein... that the weight WILL melt off!  I am so proud of myself that I could just do cartwheels.... now it may not be pretty... but I still want to do them.  WOO HOO!!!!  Let's see... let me catch you up on this past week's happenings.  On Tuesday, I got my hair highlighted.  I had about an inch of growth.  It's so amazing how fast it grows now.  My friend Keller calls it "taking care of the root rot".  My friend Jennifer calls it "root restoration".  Very cute.... very cute.  I just call it taking care of the hot brownie fudge.  Anywho.  Let's see what else.  Last Saturday I went for my swimsuit fitting.  I am wearing a black vinyl two piece set.  It has boy toy shorts with silver studs across the top and a zipper in front.  The top is matching with a deep plunge neckline, zipper, and studs along the edges.  It's very sexy and accents my pups.  The website that the outfit was ordered from has this contest where they ask for you to send in sexy photos of you wearing their clothes... then people vote on the pics.... and they choose a monthly winner.  Well you know me... I WILL be putting my pics up and I'll let y'all know where to vote.  Hee hee... Well, got to get ready for work.  Oh happy day!!!!  :)

I lost 1.5 inches off of my waist in one month.  GO AB TWISTS GO!!!!  "Official 15 month weigh in" is 144.5.  Just 9.5 more pounds until I hit goal!  Yes!!!!

8/10/03... DAY #458:
I just got back from my photo shoot in Atlanta. It was so awesome!!! It was just like you see in the movies; old warehouse huge studio loft photography/apartment... Wall to wall magazine photos that the photographer had done. We had a professional make-up and hair artist. I have to tell you... when they were done with me... I looked like a million bucks. All of the girls (and yes... I mean girls as I am the oldest at 29... they are all 18, 19... early 20's) were gorgeous. However, I've got one up on all these little chickies... they may be young, perky, and pretty... but this gal has sex appeal! LOL!  While the other models sat, drank, read magazines, and goofed off... I was steadily watching and learning... trying to pick up some new photography skills myself. The photographer really didn't pay any of the girls compliments. However, when I was out of hair & make-up, and in one of my outfits, I came walking down the stairs and the photographer stopped... he said "Damn... you are hot!". Whew... you talking about grinning from ear to ear. What an ego booster!!! This is CRAZY to the think just 15 months ago someone would have been asking "Are you hot? Need to sit down?" LOL! I was working the camera... the photographer was like "yeah yeah.. you know what you're doing"... hmmmm... well.... I'm not really used to being on the front side of the camera... but... I guess I've practiced a modeling photo shoot over and over in my dreams a million times in the past.  I wore two outfits. They had me in my bra, panties, and a guy's blue button down oxford shirt for some photos. Then I was in my black vinyl suit for other photos. I did a group photo with three other girls, then I did my individual shots. The photographer had me on the stairs, in the bed, and by a huge warehouse window. It was great. When he had me in the bed, he was standing on this 15 foot ladder above me.. it was awesome. It was a real freaking model photo shoot! Do I sound stoked?  Anywho, I won't keep you. It was awesome... I had fun... and I can't wait for the calendar to come out. Oh yeah... ever heard of Underground Columbus magazine? We'll be on the cover in October if I'm not mistaken.

8/19/03... DAY #467:
I know... where's my journal update, right?  I got busy again... :(  I'll make this quick and dirty 'cause me tired and want to sleep.  :)  I've updated my website with a FAQ's section.  Good handy dandy stuff to know.  It answers the questions I get emails on most.  I even get asked about my scars.  Where are your scars?  They are barely there!  You can hardly see them.  Check out the pic link in the FAQ's section for an up close pic of scars.  Okay... more new news... I did it... I finally lost more boobies.... this is a sad sad day.  Yeppers.  I've ALWAYS been a "D" cup from Junior High up.  Then, when I started gaining weight, I was a "DD" cup.  This past weekend I tried on bras and the "D's" were too big.  I got measured, and sure enough, I am a "C" cup.  What in the hell is a "C"?  I've NEVER been a "C"!!!  A "C".... WHAT????  That's like... "average"!!!  Good grief!  Oh well... one day after I pop out a few liter of puppies, I'll get them suckers lifted and um.... padded... yeah... padded.  Well, sorry so short for being over a week.  I'll update soon... Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie Honor!  ;-)

8/24/03... DAY #472:
I'm sorry that it has been so long since I've updated my journal.  I stay so busy with photography, my employer, maintaining my household, and my social life.  Anywho... so, what have I been up to lately you ask?  Well, I'll start with this past Wednesday night (8/20).  Me and my friend Natalie went to the Firehouse.  I've never been on a weekday night, so this was new for me.  So, why did we go?  Well, they have a bikini contest with a $200 prize, so I figured I would give it a shot... why not?  Well, I tell you what... I will NEVER EVER EVER be apart of another Firehouse bikini contest ever again.  It was terrible!  There was about 8 other girls that competed.... all of them.... um.... hmmmm.... well... let's just say they were trashy.  We were required to ride the bull first, then get up on the stage and do a quick dance.  I rode the bull like a lady, then did a basic dance... these other girls were pretty much having sex with the bull then following it up with a sex dance on the pole.  I've got much more class then to be associated with these trashy girls.  Oh well, needless to say, I didn't win 'cause I didn't act slutty enough for the judges.  No love lost... trust me.  Okay, well, what's next?  Me and Natalie hit the Firehouse again on Friday night.  It must have been some type of Body Builder's convention in town 'cause that place was swimming with big buff good looking men.  I got hit on a lot.  When I would walk by, a friend of a guy said "there's ya girl".  HA!  I never get tired of that.  And yes, before you ask, I always wear my wedding rings, but I don't think most men care.  I wore my new hip hugger blue jeans and my white American Star t-shirt.  Towards the end of the evening though, the guys started acting like piranhas... we would be on the dance floor, guys would dance up on us, we would walk away, then they would follow us.  We finally just ended up leaving.  Let's move onto Saturday.  The Southern Angels Calendar Girls had our car wash on Saturday.  I didn't get to stay long though due to photography commitments.  It was fun though.  Saturday evening me, Cary, Natalie, Cassandra, and my friend Brandy, met out at the Firehouse again.  I wore my new black vinyl pants.  I'll upload a pic so check the 15 month gallery.  We had fun.  Unfortunately though, I lost my rhinestone belly ring.  I didn't know it until I got home.  I'll just have to order another one.  I buy them from a girl on EBay.  Her site is  She has really nice jewelry for excellent prices.  So you're asking, "Um Julie, what is up with the bubble bath pic?"  LOL!  Actually, our friend John Lowe (He went with us to California.  You'll see pics of him in the twelve month gallery.) said he was tired of seeing pics of me in front of our door... he wanted some more interesting backdrops... and told Cary... "Put her in a bubble bath!".  So... we did!!!  Of course... we'll only share the sweet little PG rated pics.... but I had fun.  My friend Natalie shot them for me.  Cary gave me permission to share one with ya.  Okay, today is Sunday.  I'm a little sick to my tummy.  Why?  'Cause I made a rather large purchase today.  I bought a new professional digital camera.  It was around $2,000.... but I tell ya... this will really create a new avenue of profit for me.  Being able to go digital allows me not to be tied down by film.  I also just purchased a professional printer a few weeks ago.  The printer and camera will allow me to offer event photography with "photos while you wait".  It will be awesome!  Anywho, new topic.  I was in Circuit City today.  I was talking to one of Cary's co-workers.  It's an 18 year old girl who is just cute as pie.  So, just being me and being funny, I asked her, "So, does Mr. Hedges flirt with ya and all the other hot mama's that come in here?"  She said, "Actually, no.  All he does is talk about you.  He is always showing everyone your photos and telling everyone how pretty you are and how sexy you are".  I was like, "What?  He's such a good husband."  I love him!  He may not give me a lot of compliments to my face, but I'm always hearing from others, like my co-workers that shop in Circuit City, that my hubby is always talking positive about me.  I can't tell you how good that makes me feel.  I really do love him with all of my heart and we have such a great marriage.  We completely understand each other.  He has been so supportive of me through all of my craziness... and trust me... my life has been nothing but complete craziness the past few months.  Oh yes... I'm loving it... I'm just glad I've got a husband who is strong enough to ride this roller coaster with me and hang on for dear life.  He is fantastic and I just can't talk about him enough.  I wish I could clone him and sell him 'cause the women would line up with thousands of dollars to have the marriage and man that I do.  Okay... I'll stop talking about him... I LOVE HIM!

8/25/03... DAY #473:
Okay... quick journal entry here at 12:29am on Monday morning.  I have been eating all day!  I have eaten so much that my tummy is full and compacted!  It is hurting!  I can feel the food in there stretching my pouch!  I tried to drink some water... and... it hurts!!!  I've got to wait until this food slides down some before I can put any liquids in.  OUCH!  That's the only thing I hate about the weekends... it is so easy to get off the diet and out of my normal eating patterns.  Whew!  My wittle pouch is so dog gone FULL!!!!

8/27/03... DAY #475:
Okay, we're gonna talk about Cary, my hubby, some more.  He went to the doctor yesterday for some regular maintenance.  He came home and was telling me that the doc asked "Have you had any major surgeries?".  Cary said, "well, not me, but my wife... blah blah blah blah".  Cary said that he talked about me for around 5 minutes when the doc finally said "Well, enough about her, let's talk about you!".  LOL!  How sweet was that?  I find out more and more that he just talks about me all the time.  Last night when he got off from work, he called me and said that him and a bunch of co-workers were going to Cheddar's to eat and that he wanted me to come.  I was tired, not feeling well and kinda blew him off.  He called back 5 times and then put a co-worker up to calling me.  He really wanted me there.  So I pulled myself together and made it up there.  I noticed that when I walked around the corner to their table, Cary looked up, but then back to the people he was talking to.  When I got to the table, he then had a surprised look on his face and said "HEY HONEY!".  He later told me that he had not even recognized me when I came around the corner.  Too cool, huh?  He was profusely thanking me for coming up there to spend time with him.  Ahhhhh.... me loves him.  Okay... then we went to Wal-mart to pick up some items.  When we got to the check out counter, we were laughing so hard.  Why?  Check out what we put on the counter to ring up at 11:30pm at night:  Tampons, Condoms, Ex-lax, Pepto, and Protein Shakes.  LOL!  The cashier was like, "Hmmm, y'all are in for an interesting night."  LOL!!!!!   As I was walking out of the store, I caught my reflection in the door, it was weird, I couldn't believe that little figure was mine.  I can look at myself in the mirror at home and be fine... it's just when I see my reflection in places that I don't expect that it just blows my mind... like... "is there someone behind me 'cause that just can't be me!".  Anywho.  Okay, enough about him.  As you know from my previous journal entry, on Sunday, I had really ate too much.  On Monday morning, I still felt that full, discomfort/pulling feeling.  I called Michele at Dr. Champion's office (sidebar note:  This is her last week there) and she said that I probably was pulling on my suture lines, and yes, they are healed, but overeating can pull on them.  She also thought that I may be backed up or um.. "constipated" again.  Lack of drinking too much water can make you constipated.  I told her that I've been regular, but she was telling me that it sounded like I may be blocked up high in my intestines like what has happened to me before.  So, Monday night I did a laxative suppository (I know... y'all just LOVE reading my journal and hearing about my "personal" stuff... don't ya?).  Well, I got a little bit out... but I was still feeling pain.  Again on Tuesday night, I did the same thing... but no help.  So, I decided to buy some laxative pills and put them in the other end to try to blow this stuff out.  It finally kicked in this morning around 10am at work.  However, because I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, I was in GREAT PAIN and AGONY.  I got some stuff out... but, I am still feeling faint pain in my left side where my little pouch is.  If I don't feel better in a few days, guess I'll have to take a trip to Atlanta so they can ensure I haven't torn anything.  :-(  Here's a clue... DON'T OVEREAT!  Dr. Champion only did tummy surgery... not brain surgery, and I'm still trying to recover from a 29 year eating disorder.

09/01/03... DAY #480:
Well, I'm still alive... so this is a good thing.  My little pouch still feels weird though.  Friday night I put in a call to Dr. Champion.  He DID NOT sound like a happy camper to be calling me back.  Oh well... he did say that he felt like I had not done any damage and that I would be fine.  My tummy is still suffering some discomfort and it sounds like a factory of men in there working when I eat & drink... I'll just go with the flow 'cause I can't get to Atlanta anytime soon.  So, what did I do this weekend?  I cleaned my house, got caught up on 4 months worth of back issues of Photography magazines, visited with my Nana (it was her 74th birthday), worked on misc. photo stuff, and got through half of the book on how to use my new digital camera.  I swear that thing is a mini computer!  I can actually hook it up to the computer and take photos form the computer!  Zoom, shutter release, everything, and the pics download right to the computer!  Way too cool!  Well, starting tomorrow it is on!  Dr. Champion's function is on the 20th of September and my calendar signing parties start the first of October.  It's treadmill and tanning bed everyday during the month of September.  I've got to look good so peeps will buy calendars from me... me want to win the 'lil contest ya know.  :-)  Well, guess I'll get in bed.  Sorry this was short but I did want y'all to know that I am still living thus far... although you I can feel mountains moving in my intestines and the Ooompa Loompa's working in there.  Hey, real quick... this is a shout out to my "Hot WLS Hunk" Paul.  Hey Paul!  Smooches!  ;-) hee hee... Love ya mean it!  Okay folks... it's off to bed!  Goodnight!

09/04/03... DAY #483:
FINALLY!  My "Official Weigh In" this morning was 144.5.   It has been up and down for the past few weeks.  I had even gotten back up to 149 last week!  Let's just be honest about the surgery.  Loosing the weight is the easy part.  Exercising is the easy part.  Maintaining and not gaining... now that is the HARD PART!  Why?  Because, the further out from surgery you are, the more you can hold... the less you get sick on stuff... your metabolism is out of whack... and eating anymore than 1000 calories a day will cause you to gain weight.  There it is folks!  The hard ass facts about WLS.  Would I do it again?  Hell yes!  Anywho.... so, the last month, after my calendar photo shoot, I just took it easy.  I slacked on my exercising, started eating like a pig, and just had the whole "I don't have time to think about weight loss" attitude.  The past two days I've worked late, so... today is it!  Today is the beginning of my tanning and exercise regimen.  I've got a photo shoot this evening.... but I SHALL NOT let that get in the way of what I have to do for me.  Okay... real quick... we're gonna talk about me for a second (sound familiar Gayla?)... I'm still trying to get on the Oprah show.  If you haven't written her yet to tell her about me and my website, will you do so?  I get an average of 15 emails a day from folks saying that I am an inspiration to them.  I'm just me... wacky, nutty, and crazy... but folks like it?  :-)  If I am truly inspiring and have the ability to affect so many people's lives, then will you help me get on the Oprah show?  Oprah is accepting stories regarding persons that have lost weight.  Click on the link and fill out the bottom portion. 
CLICK HERE FOR OPRAH Of course include my name and my website address (  Include in your message how my website or me have affected your life or how I've been an inspiration to you.  I know all of this sounds really forward, but I really enjoy helping people, and I feel like if I've helped y'all, think of how many others would be given the courage, strength, and education to go forth with the surgery and change their lives too.  This surgery is the best thing to have ever happened to me.  Okay, well that's enough of my solicitation.  My friend Judy had surgery on Tuesday and my friend Rosa will be getting a surgery date soon.  I am so excited for everyone!!!!  Y'all make me proud!   I'll talk to you soon....

09/07/03... DAY #486:
I don't have much time to write tonight.  I feel sort of guilty.  I rested most of the weekend with some real sleep.  I slept until 3pm on Saturday... disgraceful!  I have just worn my body ragged.  I am tired and needed the sleep.  Thank goodness I didn't have a wedding scheduled on Saturday.  Friday night (9/5) Cary and I had a spur of the moment "party".  A few of our special friends that showed that I would like to mention are Josh, Christy, Khadija, Natalie... everyone had a blast.  We did something different this time.  Normally our parties are on our back porch.  However, Cary had dug up the tiki torches, the porch light was blown... and... well.. the grill was in the way.  Soooo... we had the party in the front yard.  Oh yes... I'm sure the neighbors thoroughly enjoyed watching us play Pictionary on the huge Dry-Erase board, drink, and get loud under my carport.  YEE HAW!  LOL!  The party later got pretty wild in the house with the digital camera... but.... um.... we won't go into that.  ;-)  Anywho... Saturday, when I finally woke up, I worked on photography.  Today, I had a bridal shoot at 8:30am, in which the bride was 30 minutes late.  I then came home and slept until 2pm!  MY GOOD GRIEF!  What is wrong with me????  I went over to Josh and Christy's house to celebrate Christy's 25th birthday... and now... I'm talking to you.  I had over 25 emails regarding WLS surgery that I also have been catching up on.  I love you guys!  You keep me busy!  My friend Rosa Fennie finally got a date!  YEAH!  She is having surgery on 12/19/03.  She is a "Hot WLS Babe".... be sure to email her and tell her Congrats!  (I'm sure she'll love that!)   :-)  I've got to enter some text here for a friend of mine... quote "Julie, you are the neatest chick in the world."  LOL!  I dunno 'bout all that... but... I am pretty cool.  ;-)  Well, let me go... I'm gonna get started airbrushing some proofs.  Have a good evening... Jules

09/08/03... DAY #487:
Well... I suck,.  I haven't exercised nor been in the tanning bed in the past nine days.  BAD JULIE!  BAD JULIE!  Sad news... my new digital camera has a system glitch... so.. it's got to be exchanged for a new one... I'll be down a week.  :-(

Well... here I am.. experiencing a fat day.  I can hear the theme song now "Da na na na na na na na Fat Girl!".  I didn't lose any weight the past month.  This is the first time since surgery that this has happened.  I can only assume that I am approaching the end of my honeymoon period.  OF COURSE... I can also assume that lack of water, exercise, dancing, and an increase in alcohol consumption didn't help either.  I've been very busy with photography... appointments with clients every night... and this past weekend... I was so tired... I couldn't even see straight.  No excuses though... Water is something that I can get in regardless.... I just need to try harder.  Being so tired and not being able to hold my eyes open after I get done with work and Photography (which is around midnight) does have some bearing on the treadmill.  I definitely will decrease the alcohol intake.  AND.. I've got to get my ass in the tanning bed.  That always motivates me to get on the treadmill.  However, I will tell you this.  As long as my ass stays below 149 pounds for the rest of my life... I will be completely content!  Even without any weight loss... I did manage to lose a 1/2 inch off my thighs and calves... so that's cool.  Well... I won't keep you.  I'm tired, it's 11:12pm, and I still need a shower!

09/14/03... DAY #493:
I became a "Silver" member on today.  I've tried to join several times since the beginning of my journey, but their debit card form was always messed up... and... I was just too lazy to mail it in.  Anyway, they're up and running so I contributed $50.00.  That site has been so helpful and beneficial to me over the past two years.  I've been busy all weekend trying to get caught up.  I've got a long week ahead of me.  I did manage to get in the tanning bed on Saturday.

09/22/03... DAY #501:
Dearest Friends... I am so sorry it has taken me over a week to update... I have been going strong every night AND I've had so many friends with drama in their life... that I've been helping them deal with that too.  Let's see... where to start?  My friend Paul, who is a "Hot WLS Hunk" came down on Tuesday, 9/16.  We had a really nice dinner and shared WLS stories.  He's gonna start trying to come down to Columbus once a month for support group meetings.  Hmm.. well, I've had lots of photo shoots... it's getting Fall time and families love fall photos.  On Thursday, 9/18, I had a hair appointment for 4:30pm.  However, I got a call that morning that my girl called out sick.  OH NO!  So, they stuck me with this other guy... who was trying to take short cuts... and he turned my roots red!  My hair is so naturally dark brown, that if you don't let that bleach sit, heat, and penetrate for 45+ minutes.. you can forget it!  It was so bad he said "I'm not even charging you today... just make an appointment with your regular girl for next week."  Oh great!  Thanks!  I ONLY have Dr. Champion's party to go to!!!!  I was livid!  Anyway.... Sis and I got up on Saturday morning 9/20, and drove to the Mall of Georgia.  It was so great getting to spend some time with her.  I rarely get to see her.  She works full time (on the opposite side of the building from me), she goes to school full time, and any extra time is split between homework and her new boyfriend.  When we got done at the mall... we headed back to the (to be continued... check back later)

09/25/03... DAY #504:
hotel where we got ready for Dr. Champion's party.  The party was at the Evergreen Resort in Stone Mountain.  It was so beautiful.  The party was down at the covered pavilion.  Dr. Champion had a BBQ spread of food, cash bar, and a live band.  It was so great getting to see all of my WLS buddies.  We danced, sis took pics, and I got a little... umm... a lot tipsy.  Thank God my sister is so smart!  I just love her!  She was able to get us out of Stone Mountain and back to our hotel in College Park, 45 minutes away, with no problems.  She is the best.  Hey... I danced with Dr. Williams.  It was great!  How often do patients "back that ass up" with their doctor?  LOL!!!  I love it!  Dr. Williams is too cool.  He's such a great person.  Anywho, I'll work on getting the pics up.  I really have been incredibly busy.  So I went back tonight to get my hair redone by the regular chick.... and... I STILL LOOK LIKE A CALICO CAT!  See... my actual "regular" hairstylist of 4+ years just moved to Florida, so she hooked me up with this other girl named Stacey.  The first time Stacey did my hair, she did a great job.  However, since that guy got a hold of my hair, guess she didn't want to over process it tonight.. so... it's still isn't right!  It's EVERY COLOR OF THE FREAKING RAINBOW!  Red, Gold, Dark Blonde, Medium Blonde, Platinum Blonde, Dark Brown, Medium Brown... CRAP!  I've got to go back AGAIN to have her try and fix it!  I DON'T HAVE THAT KINDA TIME PEOPLE!  Anyways.... well... I'm gonna work on getting some photos updated.  No... I haven't been on the treadmill... no... I haven't lost anymore weight.... yes... I've been to the tanning bed.  Smooches

10/02/03... DAY #511:
My life is too fast paced right now... even for me.  I sat in my office and just had tears running down my face the other day.  Now, for any of you that know me... you know that this girl is tough as nails and that getting emotional is just not my game.  However, I am overloaded right now something crazy.  Full-time job, Full-time Business with weekly weddings, daily photo shoots, Calendar Signing Parties, planning a party, planning a trip I'm taking soon, making a video with my friend Sharon to be on Amazing Race, going to school, answering emails (which I have 47 piled up right now concerning WLS that I need to get to.  Be patient.. I promise to answer every one), and still trying to have a social life with all my friends.  It's CRAZINESS!  I'M TIRED!  For the past four weeks, on average, I get in bed at 2am and up at 6am.  It's taking a toll on me.  Well.. guess I'll get over it.  Hey, listen, on Friday, October 10th, the calendar girls will be at the Velvet Room in Atlanta.  I can put friends on the VIP list to get in free before midnight... no $20 cover charge... no waiting in line.  If you're interested in coming... shoot me an email.  The entire bar staff will be decked out in a heaven's theme with Angel's wings to welcome the "Southern Angels".  I was also told that the singer Jessica Simpson and her new hubby from 98 degrees were gonna be there.... so... email me ASAP if you're interested in going.  I am on the center page of this month's "Underground Columbus Magazine".  It has my photo and a complete bio about me.  Pick up a copy if you're in the Columbus area.  I am also on the B101 website.  Go to: and click on the "B101 Girls".  You may have to register to get in... but the pics of the calendar girls is really cool.  I've added a few more calendar pics that I was given access to in the 15 Month Gallery... go out and check them out.  Okay... Well... guess that's enough talking about me today.  ONE MORE THING!  If you've ordered a calendar, I will be getting them to you within the next week... hang tight... I am extremely busy... but love you all the same!  ;-)

10/08/03... DAY #517:
Well.... we can sum the last three weeks of my life up with one word:  "DRAMA".  Oh good grief!  I will update soon... I promise!  It may take me a few days... got lots going on... but I promise to take some time soon to update you.  Love ya!  Jules


10/14/03... DAY #523:
I don't have too long to type.... got a full plate today.... but my fan club has been emailing me to update my journal... and update my journal I must do!  LOL!!!!   ;-)  Last Tuesday, 10/07/03, I was terminated from my full time job.  I worked at the headquarters of a Fortune 500 Supplemental Insurance Company in Columbus, GA.  I was an Assistant Supervisor in the Customer Call Center.  I had been with the company 7.5 years.  I was terminated due to my appearance in the 2004 Southern Angels Calendar along with my distributing the calendar.  The company stated my appearance was unprofessional, not a good judgment call, and that they considered the calendar to be "soft porn".  Soft porn?  Hardly!  The Swimsuit Edition of Sports Illustrated is more risqué.  Anywho.  I've always had good job performance and always received excellent evaluations, however, they stated that this was not based on job performance.  So that's it.  That's why I was fired.  With 3500+ employees at the company, you know how rumors circulate.  I've heard everything from that I appeared on a porn site, to that I beat somebody up, to that I was carried out in handcuffs.  LOL!  People kill me!!!  Anyways.  For right now, I'm going to take a few weeks off, get caught up on my photography, get my head on straight, then seek employment again.  I really loved my job.  I loved the company and the people.  It's been part of my life for a long time and I am certainly gonna miss it.  My employees have been emailing me and calling me... telling me that they miss me.  Lot's of people have called throughout the company and I've had lots of visitors.  It's like I died or something!  LOL!  But... it is so great to know that people care and love me.  I am such a giving, caring person... I hate that some people only saw my changes on the outside.  It's sad that things had to end this way.  I faced discrimination when I was fat, now I face the jealous haters as a thin person.  But... I am way too optimistic of a person to let any of this get me down.  I truly believe in my heart that everything happens for a reason and when God closes one door, he always opens a bigger and better one.  All I ask is that you keep me and my husband in your prayers and that I will find another reputable company to begin a career with.

Okay... onto the much controversial calendar!  We've had Calendar Signing Parties out the ying yang.  We went up to the Velvet Room in Atlanta on last Friday.  The club was really nice... but the music was not my cup of tea.  It was very techno rave... and I'm into the more R&B, Rap, Booty Shaking music.  On Saturday we made our rounds to three places:  The Oyster Bar, Muldoon's, and back to Firehouse again.  Last night we were at the Sports Page, and on Wednesday we're arriving in a limo for the huge Muldoon's Block Party.  It's been a lot of fun being a "mini celeb" signing autographs.  People ask me:  "Do you regret doing the calendar?"  Not for one second.  To finally be accepted by others... to turn a few heads... all the attention... it's awesome and definitely different than 125 pounds ago!  I'm enjoying life, having fun, and if some people can't understand that... then... well... they need to look deep into themselves and find out what it is that they don't like... it's not me that they hate... I'm just an outlet for their inner anger.  The pastor was talking on Sunday about dealing with anger and all I could think about was the many haters at work.  Anywho... they need to find Jesus.... 'Nuff said.

10/16/03... DAY #525:
Know what's amazing?  It's been 525 days since my surgery, and there hasn't been a day go by yet that I haven't thought about my weight and/or discussed my surgery with someone.  WOW!  Anywho... Guess what?!  I started school tonight.  Yeppers... I'm taking an advanced Digital Photography Class at Columbus State University.  I'm hoping to learn some more techniques and really get the photography business going.  I've done very well the past two years... now I'm looking to double the income.  Who needs their picture taken?  Anyone?  Anyone?  CHEESE!

10/17/03... DAY #526:
I tell ya what... I have been a lean mean eating machine!!!  I have ate everything in sight!  Luckily I haven't gained anything.  Damn the Peanut M&M's and the Chocolate Mint Milano cookies to hell!  Much thanks to my girlfriend Brenda for introducing the Milano's to  me.  LOL!

10/21/03.... DAY #530 (goodness... is anyone actually keeping track of that anymore???)
I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener...."  Okay... so that is the tune playing in my head.... dunno why?  I was so intrigued that I went to the Oscar Mayer website and learned the history.  Did you know that there is a Wienerwhistle?  You must go to their website to learn more!  Anywho.  I have been steadily working my photo biz.  I was really behind on some work, updating my photo website, and such.  I'm almost caught up... yeppers I am and I'll soon begin my job hunt!  Please let me know if you hear of any openings.  Today is me and my hubby's 8 year anniversary!  Whew!  Who would have thought he would have kept me around this long???  LOL!  I tell you... he is the best damn husband in the whole wide world.  I love him, and hug him, and kiss him, and call him wittle Cary.  I love him bunches and bunches!  He has put up with tons of crap from me.  Yes, I treat him good, very good, but I am not the hostess with the mostess if you know what I mean.  Anywho.  He treats me good and I'm enjoying spending my years with him.  Now... if he would just leave me alone about babies... then everything would be just peachy!  LOL!  Okay... well... guess I'm gonna scoot.  More photo work ahead!

10/28/03.... DAY #537
Where has Julie been????  Is that the question you're asking?  Yeah, yeah... I hear ya!  ;-)  I've been busy, can ya believe it?  When did I EVER have time for a full-time job and a full-time business????  But... I did it!  AND I was damn good at it too!  I always got good evaluations at the 'ol Fortune 500 job.  Well, anywho, no sense in wallowing in the old stuff.  I have been one "Lean Mean Eating Machine".  Whew!  I have put away the food the past few weeks!  Good grief!  In one day I gained 5 pounds by eating a whole bag of Hershey's Dark Chocolate Kisses.  So, for the record, ONE 16 OUNCE BAG OF KISSES ACTUALLY = FIVE POUNDS OF FAT!  LOL!!!  I've since lost 3 pounds... but still... whew!  I think I'm over the chocolate for a little while.  My weight fluctuates.  My lowest has been 139.5 and my highest in the past three weeks has been 147, but I average around the 144 range.  Ya know, if I could just encourage myself to get on that darn treadmill I would have been a size 4 by now!  Oh heck, who wants to be a size 4???  I'm happy as a lark being a size 9/10.  Me and the hubby are gonna do an "US" day tomorrow.  I had some massage visits left on my card with Patchouli's Day Spa.  We're gonna do a "Couple's Massage".  They serve you wine and cheese while you relax in the therapy room for 30 minutes, then you both get a full body one hour massage.  Greg will do me and Lisa will do Cary.  It will be very nice... sort of a celebration of our 8th Anniversary... one week late.  :-)  AND HEY... IT'S ALREADY PAID FOR!  WOO HOO!

Okay, well, here I am again, asking you to do something... I'm pretty good at that, huh?  Over two months ago I submitted my photos to a website.  They display your photos modeling their clothes (something you've bought from them), then they ask customers to vote on a monthly winner.  The monthly winner wins a $100 gift certificate.  Okay.. so here goes.  Go to this link: and click on my photo.  You'll see all my photos displayed... then if you click on each individual photo, you can see what the company wrote as a caption below each pic.  ANYWHO, to VOTE for me, click on THIS link: and then click on my picture.  It lets you vote one time a day... but, if you have multiple computers, um... you can vote more than once!  LOL!  Um... also... um... don't look at the other girls pics.  Um, some of them are a little "dirty".  I personally think my pics are classy and clean... other girls I think are trying to show all the goods.  Bad girls... bad!  :-)  Hee hee... okay.. 'nuff 'bout that.  I'm heading to the mall to get an interview suit!!!!  SOMEBODY HIRE ME TO STAY AT HOME AND DO MY OWN STUFF!!!!  LOL!!!!

Okay... back from the mall... AND GUESS WHAT!!!!  I'VE LOST DOWN ANOTHER SIZE!!!!  WHEW WHOOOO!!!!  I tried on five different suits and every one of them was a size 8 and everyone of them fit!  Yeah baby yeah!  Now that is what a girl is talking 'bout!!!!  ;-)

10/29/03.... DAY #538:
I got a wedding this Friday that should be interesting..... they're dressing up in medieval costumes and will be married by a monk!  Spooky!  I faxed my resume to over 25 businesses this morning... maybe I'll catch a bite.  Got a big weekend planned with our friends Josh and Christy.... details later... got to get a shower... heading to my massage!  ;-)

Well the massage just about slap wore me out.  Whew!  Cary and I had a glass and a half of wine a piece... and you know me.... since surgery, three sips of wine and I'm feeling tipsy.  I was like putty by the time my ass hit the massage table.  As always, Greg and his fine ass did a great job.  Cary said he really enjoyed the massage and told me "thank you" for sharing with him.  Ahhh... how sweet... Me wuvs him and wuvs him.  I ended up having a headache when it was all over though 'cause of the wine.  Cary drove by Panda Garden and let me pick up a pint of Egg Drop Soup.  That ALWAYS makes me feel better... and heck, for $1.06... I'm a cheap date!

11/04/03... DAY #544:
Halloween is finally behind us and Turkey Day is not far away at all!  Halloween Night we had a Pajama Party throw down.  Lots of friends showed up wearing their PJ's and Lingerie.  It was a blast!  I've upload pics under the 18 month gallery.  Yes I know... I'm not "officially" into my 18 month just yet... but, it's only five days away... so.. I said "what the heck".  Well... yes... I was gone this weekend... Me, my hubby Cary, our friends, Josh, and Christy, all went to Valdosta, GA this weekend to Wild Adventure's Theme Park.  We had a blast Saturday!  With the exception of it being 85+ degrees and we all had on blue jeans!  Anywho.  Saturday night we ate at Ruby Tuesday's, then went back to the hotel where we played on the swing-set.  Josh and Cary pushed me and Christy on the swings then we all played on the teeter-totter... Yes!  I realize that I will be 30 in January and my hubby is celebrating his 31st birthday today... but... why grow up????  We also played the Newlywed Game on Saturday night.  It was so much fun!  It's just like the TV game show where you try and match answers.  We all learned so much about each other.  Wanna hear something crazy?  Cary and I have been married 8 years and Josh and Christy 3 years... however, the four of us share the same wedding date!  We were all married on October 21st.  I think that is cool.  We all have so many similarities and Cary & Josh are soooo much alike that many of my friends trip out when they see them together.  Their personalities and mannerisms are uncanny.  Anywho.... on Sunday morning we got up and made a spur of the moment trip to Jacksonville Beach, FL.  We had a blast!  These pics are already loaded in the 18 month gallery.  Fun, fun, fun, for everyone!  Well today is Cary's 31st birthday.  All of our friends came over to celebrate with some cake and ice cream.... then we watched Julie's old Survivor audition video when I was a huge cow and my recent Amazing Race audition tape.  Again... fun, fun, fun, for everyone.  Well.. got photo work to do... I'll talk to you soon... Smooches!

11/05/03... DAY #545:

11/08/03... DAY #548:
Good Morning to ya!  Well I didn't have any "takers" on being my Sugar Daddy.  Darn!  My husband and I were really looking forward to someone taking care of my monetary needs... LOL!!!!  Oh well... :-(  I have my last calendar signing party this evening.  The calendar girls will be in full length gowns and will appear at the Ultimate Fight.  I was picked to be the "Ring Girl".  Very exciting!  I've had so much fun being a calendar girl... I kinda hate seeing it come to a close. 

I have been so exhausted and tired lately.  Well... I found out why.  My blood work was done and all my levels came back fine WITH THE EXCEPTION OF MY B-12.  It was really low.  Low B-12 is not unusual for gastric by-pass patients though.  Dr. Williams prescribed one B-12 shot and then for me to take sublingual B-12 tablets everyday.  Here is an exert of information about B-12 from the Vitalady:

This is how B-12 doesn’t work for us.  Extracted from food, it formerly passed into the lower stomach, acid and enzyme cocktail, mingled with the intrinsic factor and from there went through the duodenum and down the jejunum, etc and distributes itself accordingly.  Got no acid/enzymes, got no duodenum, got no jejunum. Can’t mingle the B-12 with the intrinsic factor.  Can eat B-12 all day and swallow it but it sits forever at the bus stop waiting for the bus, which never comes.

A diet low in B-12 and high in folic acids (such as a vegetarian diet) often hides a vitamin B-12 deficiency.

A properly functioning thyroid gland helps B-12 absorption. Symptoms of B-12 deficiency may take more than five years to appear after body stores have been depleted. In the human diet, vitamin B-12 is supplied primarily animal products, since plant foods (with minor exceptions) don’t contain it.

What it can do for you:

bulletForm and regenerate red blood cells, thereby preventing anemia
bulletPromote growth and increase appetite in children
bulletIncrease energy
bulletMaintain a healthy nervous system
bulletProperly utilize fats, carbohydrates and protein
bulletRelieve irritability
bulletImprove concentration, memory and balance
bulletDeficiency: pernicious anemia

Best natural sources:


Because B-12 is not absorbed well through the stomach, (Earl Mindell) recommends the sublingual form of the vitamin.

There have been no cases reported of vitamin B-12 toxicity, even on megadose regimens.


bulletAcids and alkalies
bulletSleeping pills

If you are a vegetarian and have excluded eggs and dairy products from your diet, then you need B-12 supplementation. (This would also apply to those who cannot digest these or mix them with intrinsic factor – people with the lower stomach out of the system). If you drink a lot, B-12 is an important supplement for you. Combined with folic acid, B-12 can be a most effective revitalize. Surprisingly heavy protein consumers may also need extra amounts of the vitamin, which works synergistically with almost all other B vitamins, as well as vitamins A, E and C.  Elderly people (another reference reads "over 50") frequently have difficulty absorbing vitamin B-12 and require supplementation by injection. Women may find B-12 helpful, as part of a B complex, during and just prior to menstruation.


11/12/03... DAY #552:
Well... as you know... I am MISS OPTIMISTIC.... and I always said... "One day Jules will hit it big!"    I am flying to New York City, NY this morning to be a guest on the The Maury Show on Friday!!!  The show will tape on Friday morning... but I am unsure of the air date at this time.  I will definitely update my journal when I know more.  The show will cover persons who have lost over 100 pounds and have gone through a major transformation.  They will feature people who are very energetic and people who love to talk about themselves.  Hmmm...Talk about themselves??? Little 'ol me?  LOL!!!!  They are covering all expenses to fly out, spending money, food, and they will give me a complete make-over!!!  They want to cut and straighten my hair too... GULP!  I will also get some new clothes!  Heck yeah baby 'cause everything I have right now is too big!!   I'm so excited!!!!!!  This could be my ticket!  Maybe someone will discover me!  Maybe someone will give a job!!!!!!!  Maybe I'll get to go see David Letterman... Maybe I'll get to go see Saturday Night Live????  Maybe just maybe.........   GOD IS SO GOOD!  DO YOU HEAR ME???  GOD IS AWESOME!!!!   Pray for me to have a safe trip!  I am so incredibly nervous feeling right now.  My heart is in my throat.  This is like a fantasy... a dream come true... I don't really grasp the concept just yet that in less than 12 hours I will in NYC!  My hotel is less than two blocks from Times Square... I think I'm gonna throw up... in fact... I know I am... be right back.  Okay... I'm back... didn't throw up... but... gosh... You know that I am wild and crazy but crap... how much drama can one person handle in a five month period????  Good grief!  Look what all I have experienced and gone through.  Whew!  All I can say is "Praise Jesus!!!!!"   Well... seeing as it is 12:25am and Jules doesn't have a stitch packed... got to get a moving.  Lots of love to all of you!  I will fly back on Sunday.  Please pray for my safe trip!  You are the best friends a girl can have!  NEW YORK CITY - BIG APPLE HERE I COME!  I HOPE YOU'RE READY FOR ME!!!!

Okay.. as it is now 2:13am and my mind is running wild...  I'm about to say something that may be morbid, but any of you that know me, know that Jules always plans ahead.  So let me just say this... when I was terminated from the Fortune 500 Insurance Company, I also lost my big Life Insurance Policy.  So... if for any reason I were to die during my trip to NYC, I pray that all my buddies will rally together to scrap up $5000 to help my hubby bury me.  OKAY OKAY... I KNOW... THAT WAS MORBID... But... just trying to think ahead just in case.  Also... somebody take it upon themselves to write a book about me.  I would like that!  LOL!  It's all about me, ain't it????  I'm just kidding....   Okay... I'm done now.  I love each and every one of you!  Goodnight... I'm about to go give my hubby 5 nights of lovin' so he won't miss me so much.  ;-)  Smooches!

11/17/03... DAY #557:
Well I’m finally back!!!!  I tell ya.  I was looking over my journal and all I can say is “WOW”.  I have really done some traveling over the past 18 months.  I’ve been to Kentucky, Tennessee, California, North Carolina, all through Georgia, Florida, and now…. NEW YORK CITY!  My trip was a lot of fun.  I took my mother with me as my husband could not get off from work.  My mom had never been on an airplane… Needless to say…. It was an eye opening experience for her.  Well, I know you want to hear all of the juicy details… so hear goes:  First, let me tell you that the show airs on Wednesday, 11/19/03.  Check your local listings for an episode called “Guests lose hundreds of pounds”.  If you’re a Columbus, GA resident, it should come on Fox 54 at noon.  Okay… now onto the meat.  The trip started on Wednesday morning with an airplane ride from Columbus, GA to Atlanta, GA.  We then caught an immediate flight to LaGuardia in New York City.  We arrived in NYC at 1:00pm.  When we went to baggage claim, there was a driver holding our names on a sign.  We were driven from the airport to the Maury studio in a Cadillac Deville.  When I arrived at the studio, we were welcomed by a fantastic energetic staff.  We were placed in the Green Room and fed.  I was then taken over to record my voice, my eyes, and my lips.  This recording would be a voice-over on my series of fat girl pics they plan to introduce me with.  We were then given $160 to cover food for the next three days, $20 for cab money, and were picked up by a taxi that took us to our hotel.  We stayed at the Belvedere which was walking distance from the heart of it all….. Times Square.  Wednesday evening we visited Times Square, the Hershey store, Radio City Music Hall, the NBC Today Show, ABC Morning Show, Sports Illustrated, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Blue Fin, and too many other places for me to remember.  I stopped and got me a bite of sushi from a little Japanese whole the wall and it was so good!  I love sushi!  Thursday, I didn’t have to return to the Maury studio until 3:00pm, so we did some walking through the streets of NYC.  We went to the top of the Empire State Building.  I saw a TV camera crew, and sure enough, it was Jodee Stott, Anthony Campbell, and Ryan Rothe, who are current competitors in the NBC Today Show "Today's Superstar".  I had my photo taken with them.  We were only allowed to look out the windows of the gift shop due to high winds.  No one was allowed on the Observatory Deck due to 60+ mph winds.  You could hear it too... like a train wrapping around the building and we were swaying.  I had to return to the Maury studio at 3:00pm.  Thursday was wardrobe day.  I tried on different bras, outfits, and jewelry they had bought for me.  All looked great… but…. This one dress looked freaking AWESOME!!!!  It’s a coral red, beautiful dress, size 8 (OMG!), that was on loan from the designer.  I was told that any store bought clothes I could keep… but clothing on loan from designers had to go back.  I was so bummed.  However, the wardrobe lady, named Suzie, was so awesome.  She was a really sweet lady and told me that she would contact the designer personally and beg for the dress.  I kept my fingers.  They had jewelry for me, but were totally impressed with my bling, bling, rhinestone jewelry, so I would wear my own.  When I was done with wardrobe, I was done for the day, and was told I would be picked up from my hotel at 6:30am on Friday.  Thursday evening it was so incredibly cold and the winds were so bad, that we grabbed a bite to eat, did some quick shopping, and headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest.  The phone rang at 4:45am on Friday morning... um... the "Wake Up Service" was an hour early.  Don't you hate that?  I finally rolled out of bed at 6:00am and the BIG DAY was finally upon me.  I felt nervous, excited, scared, all balled into one.  I still wasn’t sure exactly what they were gonna do to my hair.  I was picked up from the hotel at 6:30am.  My mom would be picked up at 9:00am.  I was taken to the studio to meet the other guests.  We were videotaped while we signed paperwork stating that we allowed Maury to put us on the show and that everything we would say is truthful…. Blah blah blah… about 8 pages of paperwork.  Anywho.  We were fed bacon, omelets, coffee, and milk… then… the ball started rolling.  It all seems such a blur.  I was the first to be taken to get ready and the very last to get to the final destination of backstage… here’s how it all went down:  I first met with the colorist, Susan, who says that she has worked on lots of celebrities.  She had a very strong New York accent, but was sweet as she could be.  She shook her head at my roots.  LOL!  They were over 1.5 inches long and almost black compared to my blonde.  We didn’t have much time and she had her work cut out for her.  She bleached my roots, then all of my hair, then went back in with brown low lights.  When she was done, I was like “WOW!”  No one EVER has done such an awesome color job.  I was very appreciative.  I was then rushed to the stylists. I had one on each side of my head blowing, brushing, and flat ironing.  At the same time, I’ve got the Executive Producer in my ear running down the show and throwing questions at me.  He then said I needed to be on stage for rehearsal.  With my hair half done and a towel around my neck, I was taken to the stage for rehearsal.  We each practiced our entrance through the screen, down the hall, up the stairs, down the stairs, and down the runway.  WHEW!  My heart was in my stomach.  After my rehearsal, I was rushed back to the stylists where another girl gave me a haircut.  I got about four inches cut off the sides and three inches cut off the back.  During this time, I had Via, who works one on one with each of the guests, reviewing questions and answers with me.  I was so dog gone nervous ‘cause she kept getting interrupted and pulled away.  I just knew we would never finish and I would end up on stage looking like a dumbutt.  Once done with my hair.  I was rushed over to make-up.  Now us girls all feel that no one does make-up quite as well as ourselves.  I was not happy with the make-up.  I had a little bit of my own with me, so I snuck into the bathroom and changed it a little.  Hee hee.  Okay, so while I’m in the bathroom, they are steadily looking for me.  It was wardrobe time.  I got naked in front of too many people to mention.  I just stood there like a rag doll while one person put my panties on, another my bra, my shoes, another with my dress, and another taping a microphone pack to my butt!  It was crazy and everything was moving so fast.  The producer kept coming back saying “We need her now!!!”  I was rushed down to the set where my heart slid from my stomach to my knees.  I could hear the audience clapping and getting rallied up.  The show began immediately.  I had still not finished reviewing my lines!  I was feeling frantic!  So, they decided to bump me to appear later in the segment.  WHEW!  Thank goodness!  I was backstage, practicing my grand entrance, reviewing my lines, then they called my name and said I was up next.  “OH MY GOD!!!  WHAT???”  Then, as Murphy’s Law would have it…. I looked down and the middle, biggest diamond of my anniversary band was gone!!!!  My heart then dropped to my feet and I felt sick.  There was no telling how long it had been missing!  Where could it be???!!!  A brother of one of the first guests was backstage with me.  He saw my frantic body language and came to my rescue.  He helped me look on the floor and with his radar vision, HE FOUND IT!  Oh my goodness!  How lucky can one be????  He threw it in his shirt pocket while the assistant pulled my arm towards the curtain.  I walked through the curtain, shook my butt, then walked to the Maury stage…. The rest… is just a blur.  I will have to watch the show myself to remember what he asked and how I answered.  PLEASE keep one thing in mind while you’re watching the show.  We were told to be “all about ourselves” and to "over dramatize".  So, if you watch the show and say to yourself, “My, Julie thought she was all that, didn’t she?”… just remember…. It’s TV!  I was instructed to lay it on thick and be dramatic.  Okay, so my segment was coming to an end and Maury asks me about my high-heel shoe fetish.  He then tells me that they are giving me three free pairs of shoes from the Steve Madden store.  Little did I know they would be videotaping me on my shopping spree!  After the show, we were put in the greenroom to be fed some exotic sandwich wraps… I downed about a half of one when I heard five people calling my name.  1) Suzie, the wardrobe lady was giving me the thumbs up.  THE DESIGNER AGREED TO LET ME KEEP THE DRESS!!!  (So, I got new undergarments, fancy new rhinestone shoes, and now a one of kind designer dress!  YES!)  2)  the Producer and 3) the Executive Producer were telling me that I did a fantastic job.  4) an intern was trying to find my bag of clothes and 5) Via was telling me I had to go.  Had to go?  Go where?  She said that we were immediately leaving to go to the Steve Madden store.  I would stay in my wardrobe, walk about 6 street blocks in uptown Manhattan, to the Steve Madden store, in 50 degree weather, while a camera crew followed me.  OH MY GOODNESS!  THIS IS CRAZINESS!  You know I love the attention though!  On my way to the store, people were looking, and stopping, and pointing, like I was a celebrity or something!  LOL!  When we got to the store, we did video of me walking down the sidewalk and into the store, me saying cheesy lines about how awesome the shoes were, more lines while a sales associate helped me, and then my final line was me walking out of the store after shopping.  Basically, I did a commercial for the Steve Madden store.  We ran through everything three of four times, and they will edit and put the best on TV.  There was a crowd gathered outside of the store watching as I filmed.  It was too cool.  Ya know, I think I could do this NYC life!  LOL!  Well, Maury had promised me three pairs of shoes, the catch?  Each pair not to exceed $100.  I looked around.  They had some funky shoes… stuff that I would probably never have an opportunity to wear in good ‘ol Columbus, GA, but I fell in love with this pair of black, leather, lined, three inch heel, boots.  Oh they were sweet… but… they were $400!  Via, from the Maury Show knew I loved them, so, she said “Get them and we’ll take care of it!”  Oh, I was too excited!  When in my lifetime will I ever own another $400 pair of shoes???  They feel so good.  So, we were all done at the store, and headed back, in the cold, in my heels, in my dress, to the studio.  I loved my dress and didn’t want to take it off… so I didn’t!  LOL!  I hugged and kissed all of the staff and they had a driver take us to our new hotel.  The Maury show took care of all airfare, travel, and hotel accommodations.  However, I wanted to stay a few extra days in the Big Apple.  The Belvedere was booked solid for Friday and Saturday nights, so I went on and got an AWESOME deal at the very plush Marriott Financial Center in downtown Manhattan, one block from Ground Zero.  I would have to pay for hotel accommodations for Friday and Saturday, but the Maury show would still take care of transportation to the airport and all airfare.  Good deal!  Our hotel window view gazed out over the water and right at the Statue of Liberty.  What a breathtaking site!  The other side gave us a bird's eye view of Ground Zero.  It made my heart hurt.  Friday evening my Mom and I walked down to Ground Zero.  I tell ya, two years later, and besides the actual World Trade Center site itself, it's hard to see where any progress has been made.  Buildings are empty, it's so quiet, it's just eerie and there is construction everywhere.  9/11 still effects me and I still cry.  It will be a day I never forget.  Saturday would be our longest day yet.  We started the day with a ride on the Subway back to Times Square.  Good grief!  We walked all day long!  We went to Macy's, back to the Empire State Building, Saks on Fifth, the Godiva store, Grand Central Station, Trump Tower, FAO Schwarz on Fifth Avenue, Central Park, Carnegie Hall, stood outside of "The Late Show with David Letterman", the famous "Hello Deli", back to Rockefeller Center, and just way too many places to name!  We hit the Subway, at night, went for a ride over the Brooklyn bridge, then back to our hotel.  Sunday morning we had plans to take a helicopter ride right up to the Statue of Liberty.  Liberty Helicopters sent a driver to pick us up, but when we arrived at the heliport, we were told that there was a 2+ hour wait.  Bummer!  We would never make it in time... we would miss our ride to the airport.  Oh well.....  At 3:00pm we were picked up in a stretch limousine and headed to the airport.  Very nice!  I finally arrived in Columbus at 11:15pm last night and got in bed at 1:00am.  I am so glad to be home, but tell ya, I would do it all over again tomorrow.  I definitely could live in NYC.  It’s so glitzy and everything is so convenient… but… I NEVER did see a Wal-Mart or a grocery store!  How do these people survive????  LOL!  So, that’s it!  As if that wasn’t enough, huh?  On top of it all, I dropped another pound!  All pics have been added to the NYC-Maury Show gallery.  Click here to get there.

11/20/03... DAY #560:
Yesterday was an exciting day to say the least.  I made the front page of the Local section in the Ledger-Enquirer (click here for article) and my show aired.  The phone rang off the hook from people had not heard from in years.  It was great!  Unfortunately, I didn't receive any job offers.  Yep!  I'm still looking for a job. 

Hi, my name is Julie Hedges and I am a Chocoholic.
Now, if you've been following my journal for anytime at all, you'll realize that I have an "addicting" personality.  That's right, if it's good, I can turn it into an addiction.  I swear my latest addiction is Mint Milano cookies.  BRENDA!!!!  WHY!!!  OH WHY!!!!!  WHY DID YOU INTRODUCE THOSE TO THE FAT GIRL????  LOL!  Once a fat girl, ALWAYS a fat girl regardless of the jean size.  Now, let's review my journal.  I've made several references to foods I "love"... pineapple, taco salad, pork tenderloin, Dove Chocolates, Cheese, Sushi, etc.  Should I "love" food?  Absolutely not!  So... why do I?  Today I've been facing my addiction in the face.  The ugly food demon has once again raised it's ugly head.  It's so hard sometimes!  I've said this before... it's like I try and sabotage myself.  When I lose a little weight, my body and mind goes into this overdrive mode of eating, eating, eating.  It's disgusting!  Today I ate all damn day!  I swear!  Non-stop!  I didn't drink all day... just ate!  I've got to remember and here is a little tip for you too:  When we "think" we're hungry, sometimes we're just thirsty.  Obese persons confuse thirst for hunger sometimes.... and this girl does it all the time.  In reality, when I DO drink instead of eating, I'm no longer hungry in between meals.  I dunno.. feeling kinda like beating myself up tonight.  I've got the "Fat Girl" theme song running through my head.  You know the one (sing it to Batman) Da na na na na na na na FAT GIRL!  That's why I could NEVER lose weight before.  I would lose some, then my body would go into this overdrive hunger mode... GOT TO EAT!  Oh well... the fat girl is tired and will go to bed.  P.S.  I've received 118+ emails the past two days.  You know I always personally answer every email... just hold tight and I promise to get to yours.  Don't hesitate to write either.. I love your emails!  Smooches... Jules

11/22/03... DAY #562:
My "Viewing Party" last night was terrific!  I have so many friends that love me.  I am very thankful that God brought them into my life.  I cooked pork chops, broccoli, and Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese tonight for dinner.  This is the first time in over 18 months that I cooked macaroni.  I don't cook too many starches and carbs anymore.  I ate a few bites of the macaroni.  It tasted so good... of course, my tummy paid the price a little later.  Dunno why I can't handle pasta anymore... guess it's a good thing though 'cause that's what got me fat in the first place.  Use to, I would cook a large Family Size pack of Kraft Deluxe Mac & Cheese and eat it all myself in one sitting along with a ham sandwich.  Disgusting I know.

11/25/03... DAY #565:
My Auburn, AL "Hot WLS Babe" girlfriend, Pam Kelley, has been at it again.  I love that girl and dog gone it... she loves me!  Pam and I had surgery one day a part.  We met a few months prior and have been the best of friends ever since.  That's one thing about this surgery.  You meet people who become part of your new family.  Being a "WLS Babe" is like being in a clique.... ;-)  Anywho, that girl has gone and sent me ANOTHER fur!  Whew wee it's pretty too!  I love it!  It's a Blue Fox Fur jacket.  It's gorgeous and I've been wearing it!  Those of you pre-op may say "Good grief Jules, it hasn't been cold enough for a fur!".  However, once you shed 100+ pounds, you'll have a whole new meaning of "cold".  It takes about two years for your body thermostat to get normal again.  Until then... ya just freeze your assets off... know what I'm saying?  ;-)  Anywho, so the UPS man delivers two boxes.  The first I opened was an M&M frame (with Pam's pic in it of course) and lots of chocolate candy!  Oh she knows how to get me!  The box included a card with flowers on the front.  The inside read:  "Only a true love would send you flowers and chocolate!".  Pam, ya got me all smitten!  ;-)  Then the second box contained my new Blue Fox Fur!!!!!  Now girl... only a true love sends ya furs!!!  Smooches!!!!  I've uploaded some new pics of me in my new fur in the 18 month gallery.  THANK YOU PAM!  YOU ARE A GEM!!!  I love you forever and ever and then some!!!!  XOXOXOX

11/27/03.... DAY #567 HAPPY THANKSGIVING!:
Well, I over-ate and made myself miserably sick.  I threw up, but only a little came up.  I laid down and felt a little better, so what did I do?  I ate another piece of ham.  That was a mistake!  My tummy started turning and twisting.  I left my parent's and headed to my house where I took some pain medication and laid down for 3.5 hours.  When I got up, my stomach was still sick... I could feel it brewing... finally... I threw up again.  That piece of ham I ate had just sat in my pouch during those 3.5 hours and had not digested.  YUCK!  I was eventually able to get some Chicken Noodle soup down.  I think I'm gonna drink protein shakes tomorrow until I get to feeling better.  What a tummy sick Thanksgiving I had.  :-(

11/28/03.... DAY #568:
Pics of me with straight hair uploaded in the 18 month gallery.  Ya know... I kinda like it straight... it's definitely a different look... but boy howdy... it took 2 hours to do with a straight iron!!!  Unless I get some volunteers... I won't be doing that very often!  LOL!  ;-)

12/02/03... DAY #572:
You know... I've talked about this before.... but, as a thinner person, I still experience "fat days".  I'm telling you.. I just think it's a woman thang.... Today I just feel "fat nasty"... I feel like my gut is sticking out 7 feet and that my ass is 5 feet wide.  Ugghhhh!  "Da na na na na na na na Fat Girl!"

12/04/03... DAY #574:
I'm having a "Sexy Day".  Yes... feeling kinda skinny today.  Ain't it crazy how just two days ago I was having a "Fat Day"?  Well, I'm a woman... give me a break would ya?  Today was "Official Weigh-In" and can you say "Hell yeah"?  That's right... I lost another pound!  Wooo hoo!  I'm officially down to 140 pounds now.  Do a little dance... make a little love... I'm gonna get hot tonight... hot tonight... :-)  LOL!  AND... while we're on the subject of "getting hot"... I don't have any idea what has gotten into my husband... but whew... I hope it gets into him more.... He has been the "Hot Daddy, Spank that Ass, Love Machine"!  I don't know if it's my weight loss or the fact that I'll be 30 in a month... but... sex is just so much better now.  I jokingly say to him "Honey, I don't know who you've been practicing with... but... tell her to come over more often."  LOL!!!  Well... I just know y'all love hearing all about my sex life , but hey, you're reading MY journal, right?  Smile.  :)  You know... since I'm unemployed right now (other than my photography business, which, Praise Jesus, has been doing really well lately) I thought about setting up some voyeur cams in the house and charging $14.95 per month subscription.  Hmm... wonder if I'd have any subscribers?  I'M KIDDING!  Girls, don't send me emails chastising me!  Alright well, I'm off... got an appointment coming over.  Talk to you soon.... Your 'lil Jewel.... JULES

12/06/03... DAY #576:
Cary, Me, Josh, and Christy had a blast this evening.  We all got dressed up and took "prom" pics at my parent's house.  They then went to the "Fortune 500" party and Cary & I went out for an elegant dinner.  I must tell you about my 2 minutes of fame while we were there.  Of course I'm in my "Maury" dress and Cary is in his tux.  So, when we walk in, everyone is staring.  As we walk by other tables to reach ours, people are stopping us telling us how great we look.  Half way into dinner, it was potty time for me.  While in the bathroom I met a little girl (about 9 years old) who recognized me from the newspaper.  She complimented me on my dress and told me to have a good time.  I swear she was really 25 in a 9 year old body.  She was so mature in her speaking.  Anywho, I'm back at the table and 10 minutes later I see her standing at the door getting ready to leave.  She waved and I waved.  I then noticed several little girls surrounding her looking down at our table.  They all started waving.  Then, they all walked over to our table.  There was about seven of them all in the 9 year old age range (must have been there for some kind of event... dunno).  Another little girl in the group asks "Were you on that TV show?"  Assuming she meant "The Maury Show", I said "Yes".  Then, in a voice like she was about to prove a point, she says "How long ago?".  I said "About two weeks ago".  She then looks over at the group of girls and says "See... I TOLD YOU SO!".  LOL!!!  It was too cute!  They all smiled, stared at me for a few seconds, then said bye.  WOW!  That was pretty cool.  And of course now that the girls made a scene, the adults in the restaurant are now looking over with this inquisitive stare like "Is she somebody?".  LOL!  What a riot!  I loved it!  I'm so ready to be a celebrity it's not even funny!  :)  My friends are always emailing me wanting to know "what's next, when will you be famous, and don't forget about the little people".  WHATEVER!  I will NEVER forget my friends!  Y'all are all going with me!  Okay.. well.. back to the evenings events... After dinner, we all came back to the house and got our drink on.  Cary and Joshy watched "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas" while me and Christy took turns hamming it up for the cam.  They boys paid us no mind... as usual.  Later we went to the Soho Bar and listened to a band for a bit... around 3:30am it was time to hit the hay!

12/08/03... DAY #578:
I'm in the paper again!  There is a full page article on page 24 of this month's "Underground Columbus" magazine (Issue 7, Vol.1, Dec. 2003) telling my story with my photo.


12/12/03... DAY #582:
Happy 19th Month Anniversary to me!  I lost 2 pounds this past month.... but I tell ya... it's constantly up and down.  One day it's 139.5, the next 143.5, it's crazy!  Well, I did do good though this past month.... for the first time in 10 months I have actually lost 2 inches off my waist!  I was a size 33 inch waist since February... but FINALLY..... I'm now down to a size of 31 inches!!!!  Woo hoo!  I also lost another .50 inch off my hips!  GO JULIE!  GO JULIE!  Okay... I know you're tired of hearing this.... but.... I'm in the paper once again!  :)  There is a full page article on page 18 of this month's Playgrounds Magazine, (Issue Dec 2003 - Jan 11, 2004) telling my story with my photos.... pretty 'ol neat.  Also, my surgeon's office just started a quarterly newsletter.  I was the first patient to be introduced with an article in the "Meet Our Patients".  This is too cool... In the past month I've been in print four times, on national TV, and had an article on the web.  On December 19th of this month (next Friday), I will appear on "Coffee Break" here locally at noon.  I'm so excited about by life right now.  Photography is going good... PRAISE JESUS!  I have no doubt that God is and will continue to take care of me.  Thank you Jesus for all my many blessings!!!!!  Smile!  I'm unemployed but still very happy!  :-)

12/20/03... DAY #590:
It's hard to believe that a week has gone by and I haven't made a journal update.  I will get to it soon, I promise.  I've been extremely busy.

12/28/03... DAY #598:
You know, for someone who has hundreds of friends, I find myself sitting here in front of the computer... LONELY!  The hubby is at work, my best friend Gayla just flew back to California... and all my close network of friends are trying to play catch up today to be prepared to face work tomorrow.  Sigh.... Oh anywho... so... what has been going on with me, you ask?  I realize it's been two weeks since I actually updated my journal.  Things, even without a full time job, seem to get a little crazy around the holiday season.  Well, let me play catch up myself here.  On 12/19, I appeared on "Coffee Break" on WLTZ NBC 38.  I was on for about 8 minutes discussing my weight loss and providing education about the surgery to the public.  The interview went really well.  I recently did a wedding in which everyone, including all of the guests, dressed up in Civil War costumes and uniforms.  It was awesome!  In the past couple of weeks I've taken on a client that wants me to do his portfolio of model pics.  He has already been out to L.A. for several shoots, to include an appearance on the show "Blind Date" and for a Versace ad in "GQ" Magazine.  Of course he is very attractive, but here is the bonus, he is also a hairdresser at a very popular salon in Columbus.... he's gonna take care of Julie's roots... and I'll shoot his pics.  Good trade 'cause being unemployed does not allow for too much "root coverage", know what I'm saying?  Who knows... if this stud muffin makes it big, maybe other models will hire me to do their portfolio too?  Never know....  Let's see.. what else?  Well, I've been hired by a local radio station to be the photographer for a popular concert coming to Columbus for a New Year's Eve party.  That should be pretty fun.... and ya never know if it will lead to bigger and better things?  Let's see.. Christmas... Cary and I went up last weekend to see his family for Christmas.  We did Christmas at his Uncle's house in Duluth, then spent the night with his Parent's in Dahlonega.  Oh how I love Dahlonega!!!!  It's just gorgeous!  Well, far as Christmas gifts overall... I got some really nice stuff.  Top things on my list:  Money, Gift Cards, House stuff, sis gave me an INC Leather Coat (pics in 19 month gallery), clothes, best friend Gayla gave me a charm bracelet with charms that represent us... she got one too... and I bought more charms to go on them... now when we travel, will get a charm wherever we go, she also got me a Tommy Hilfiger necklace with my initial "J" in rhinestones, and a new San Francisco outfit to replace the much hated leopard print one!  LOL!  My friend Natalie went all out and bought me a Diamond & Sapphire Tennis Bracelet.... I'VE GOT GREAT FRIENDS!  ME LOVE 'EM AND LOVE 'EM!  Well... I think that is pretty much it.  Gotta get ready for New Year's Eve... holla at ya soon!  :)

01/01/2004.... DAY #602:
Well... HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YA!  Yeah... I didn't roll out of bed until 12:30pm, and that was only after sis called and woke me up.  I went to bed about 4am.  Let's see.... Well, I was hired by a local radio station to be the photographer for the "3 Doors Down" New Year's Eve Party Concert.  I took pics of the band during their Meet & Greet autograph signings and during their two radio interviews.  I've uploaded a pic of me & the band in the "19 Month Gallery".  After the concert, we came home and partied by ourselves for a while.  ;-)  Nothing much to tell ya more.... Got some photography work to do... so I'll catch ya on the flip side.  :)

01/03/2004.... DAY #604:
Well the countdown begins... I have 19 more days until my BIG 30th BIRTHDAY!  (got busy.  I'll write more later)


01/10/2004.... DAY #611:
WOW!  I've done really good for the month.  I am now weighing 137 lbs. with a total loss of 127 lbs.  Gosh!  Ten pounds more would be me again!  It's crazy I tell you!  Just two... yes.... two more pounds until I hit my goal of 135 lbs.  I also lost some inches this past month.  I lost a half inch on my calves, a whole inch off my hips, a quarter inch off my thighs, an inch off my bust, and a quarter inch off my ankles.  People email me talking about the fear of the honeymoon period.  The average "honeymoon period" (when you will lose weight then the weight loss eventually stops) last 12 to 18 months.  As you can see... I'm now in month 20 and I'M STILL LOOSING!  It has absolutely NOTHING to do about exercise!  Other than the stretches I have listed in my "FAQ's", I don't exercise anymore.  I haven't seen the treadmill in months!  HOWEVER, I can tell you that I lead a very active lifestyle.... I am on the go 24/7... literally!  I'm at the post office and Wal-Mart at 2:00am shopping, get my grocery shopping done then too.  Why?  Because my days have been busy with photo shoots.... just wish it was enough to make up for what I was earning at the Fortune 500.  Oh well.  So, guess what?!  I'm flying out to Sacramento, CA on my 30th Birthday!  I will be flying out on January 22nd and will return on January 27th.  I've been hired to do a big corporate Award's Banquet and Formal Event.  I'm making AWESOME money AND while I'm gone, of course I'll see my one and only, Gayla Rebecca!  I fly into Sacramento on Thursday, and will chill at the office with her.  Then that night, we are going out to celebrate my birthday!  Friday, me and her friend Craig, are going to San Francisco for some touring... maybe this time I'll get to see the Golden Gate Bridge?  Last time we went, it was too foggy to see anything!  Saturday is the day I'm working.  Sunday, we are driving to Lake Tahoe to stay at Harvey's Casino.  We'll do the ski thing during the day and then party with the slot machines all night.  We'll drive back on Monday... then I fly out on Tuesday morning.  Fun Fun Fun!  I'll get to see Gayla again in April.  Me, Cary, Gayla, and Craig are flying to Las Vegas, NV for four days/ three nights.  We will be staying at Harrah's on the strip.  Lots of excitement ahead!  I STILL NEED A JOB THOUGH!  CALL ME WITH SOME PHOTO GIGS!  Okay... a few observations of mine.  I realize that I am a size 8.  All my fat life, I always thought that a size 10 was skinny... so... for me to be a size 8... well... I should think of myself as SUPER SKINNY, right?  Wrong!  I sit here in my jammies and I tell ya... I still feel fat!  I don't get it.  I still FEEL fat, like, that bloated "Oh my God I just ate two ham sandwiches and a can of pasta" feeling I use to have... although I don't eat like that anymore... I still walk around FEELING the fat thing.  My brain still hasn't caught up.  When I look in the mirror, I see a total different image than what comes off in photos.  When I see myself in photos, I'm like "Is that REALLY me?"  WOW!  When I wash clothes, I still get confused with the laundry.... see, a couple years ago my sis lived with us.  So when I did the laundry, there were always these little teeny tiny blue jeans, shirts, and pants.  Now when I do laundry and I pull my jeans out of the dryer, I'm like "What are Gracie's pants doing here?"  I know... it's weird... they just don't look big enough to cover my big fat ass.  Anywho... observation #2.  Regardless if I am all "glamorous" when I step out of the house or if I have my hair pulled back, no makeup, and my San Fran lounge suit on.... guys still look.  That's pretty cool.  Of course, they may be looking too because without makeup, I'm just damn frightening!  Well... it's 11:09am and it's about time I get some work done.  Be good or be good at it!  Oh... P.S..... .be watching for the Twenty Month Photo Gallery.... spicy pics will be up soon!  ;)

01/12/2004.... DAY #613:
Today is my Mom & Dad's 31st Wedding Anniversary... God Bless 'em.  Yesterday, Cary and I tried out a new church called Rivertown.  It meets at the movie theatre.  It's non-denominational... it was a good service.  Later, we met my gorgeous WLS girlfriend, Pam Kelley, and her husband Jim at the Auburn, AL movie theatre.  We saw the movie "Big Fish".  It was a strange movie, I tell ya, but the ending made me cry like a baby.  We followed the movie up with a Birthday Bash for me and Pam at Red Lobster.  Pam's birthday was Friday, and mine is on the 22nd.  We had a great dinner and finished it with some scrumptious chocolate cake!  Yes!!!!!  Check out our pics in the 20 Month Photo Gallery.  Thanks Pam for a fantastic evening!  You're the best!!!!

01/19/2004.... DAY #620:
I tell ya... I must be a busy girl 'cause I didn't even realize that it had been over a week since I updated.  Me sorry.  :(  Okay... I have been in FAT GIRL mode for the past two days!!!!  Anybody care to sing my theme song???  Da na na na na na na na FAT GIRL!  Of course, you avid readers know to sing that to the Batman song... it's just called the "Fat Girl" song.  :)  Well... what has happened this past week?  Hold on and let me look at my calendar to remember.... Okay, I'm back.  Well, on Wednesday, the 14th, I went and saw Dr. Wilson... we'll just call him the "Booby Man".  See... Jules doesn't need any plastic surgery... my ass looks good (for an ex-fat girl), my legs are decent, my arms are decent, and my tummy is jam up looking hot... but good grief good Lordy has anyone seen my boobs?  Me neither?  Where did they go?  DOWN SOUTH!  That is correct!  Have you ever seen a latex balloon that his been filled with helium... and like on the second day when it's all limp and shriveled up?  Well... that is my two little boobies.  They are hanging low... "getting low getting low".  Anywho, so we went to see the Booby Man.  Here, I'll sing for you now:  "Oh do you know the Booby Man, the Booby Man, the Booby Man, Oh do you know the Booby Man that fixes women's breast?"  Okay... that was my little rendition of the "Muffin Man".  Alright anywho... so, he picked those puppies up and examined them.  "Yes ma'am... they've definitely fallen and can't get up".  So, I need a breast lift and implants.  Think I'll go for those triple F porn star boobies?  I'M KIDDING!!!!!!!  Actually, I'd just like to be back to what I was in high school.  A small "D".  I'm a large "C" right now... hell... I used to be a "DD"!  Well... when I was read the sticker price... $5000 (yes, we'll call it a sticker price 'cause dang it, you could buy ya a Ford Escort for $5000!) I had STICKER SHOCK.  Sure, I could slap it on a credit card... but good grief.. that thing still has to get paid, and dang it... the girl doesn't have a job, know what I'm saying?  Okay, I hear some of ya asking, "Julie, I thought you were gonna wait until you have babies?".  Heck, why wait?  I may not ever have babies????  I turn 30 on Thursday and babies are looking good around 35.  LOL!  Anywho, if you'd like to make contributions to my Booby Fund, shoot me an email... otherwise, we'll put the boobies on the back burner for right now.  Okay, what else have I been up to?  PHOTO SHOOTS, CLIENT CONSULTATIONS, and getting all my photography equipment mailed to California.  I have been busy and this is just the way I like it!!!!  I booked six, yes six, weddings this past week!  I'm so excited!  You know, when I was working the "Fortune 500" I wasn't home during the day to catch all these phone calls.  My business line rings off the hook during the day.  I'm here now to catch them and my photography business has been booming!!!  How awesome is that?  PRAISE JESUS!  I'm hoping that I can continue to do this full time.  We shall see... Um, what else?  Well, Saturday night me, Cary, and Natalie all went to the Firehouse.  We had a blast!  I woke up the next morning and literally could not move.  I had slipped my two discs back out again in my back.  OUCH!  VERY PAINFUL STUFF!  I guess that bumping and grinding up on the rail didn't help????   LOL!  I finally was able to get my hinny out of the bed.  Cary and I went to Rivertown Church again (yes, I hear ya... Party all night and church the next day).  I think we're gonna like it there.  The preacher is currently preaching on a "Marriage Series"... good stuff.  Sooo good that the hubby wrote me a two page letter this morning, sent me two dozen red and pink carnations today, AND I was cleaning when he got home... HE STARTED HELPING WITH THE VACUUMING!  I LOVE YOU HONEY BUNNY SNOOKEM PIE!  Okay... so that's the latest with me.  Tomorrow I will film my Survivor video.  Yeppers, I'm applying for Survivor again.  I applied three years ago back in "FAT GIRL" days, but guess what?  I wasn't picked.  So, I'm going to merge my old fat girl video with my new skinny girl video... we'll see what comes of it.  Wednesday is PACK DAY and I'll be shipping off to California at 4am on Thursday morning.  WHEW!  That's enough, right?  Okay, real quick... why am I feeling "Fat Girl" mode?  Well, Sunday morning when I got up and on the scale, I was 137 pounds.  This evening, I get on the scale and I am 145.5.  HOLY CRAP!!!!  8.5 POUND GAIN?  Why?  Because I have done nothing but eat all day Sunday and ALL DAY TODAY.  I have gotten to where I can tolerate pasta again.  NOT GOOD!  PASTA = CARBS.  BAD GIRL!  Yes, I can lose this 8.5 pounds this week while I'm in Cali... but let this be a word of advice to those researching surgery:  Once the "Honeymoon" is over... weight gain is VERY VERY EASY.  The "loosing" is the easy part.  MAINTAINING IS THE HARD PART.  I REPEAT!  SET YOURSELF SOME GOOD BEHAVIORS DURING HONEYMOON OR YOU WILL SUFFER LATER!  Okay... 'nuff preaching tonight.  I'll sip on my mudslide and start a new tomorrow.  I'll burn this 8.5 pounds of pasta and a whole bag of Pepperidge Farm Mint Milanos off on the slopes in Lake Tahoe on Friday.  ;-)  If I don't talk to you between now and Cali trip, please pray that I'll have a safe one.  Also, pray that the hubby won't go on his normal spending spree while I'm gone.  LOL!  For some reason, every time I go on a trip, when I come back, we have some type of new electronic device.  LOL!  I came home one time to a new microwave, new surround sound system, and new computer!  Will someone volunteer to watch him while I'm gone?  Thanks!  Love you!  Julie

01/27/2004.... DAY #628:
You know, not having a job… the days just sort of merge into one another.  It’s hard to remember what day of the week it is.  Well I flew into Sacramento on my 30th birthday, Thursday, January 22nd.  What a day!!!!  Let’s back track.  I woke up at 8:00am on Wednesday, January 21st morning and didn’t put my head on the pillow until 3:00am Columbus time on Friday, January 23rd.  Forty three hours of sleep deprivation.  Yeah sure, I caught a couple of winks on the plane… but you know how that goes… you don’t REALLY get any sleep… it’s sort of that half sleep where you still know what’s going on in your surroundings.  Anywho… ‘nuff ‘bout my sleeping habits…  When I arrived in Sacramento, my best friend in the whole wide world, Gayla Rebecca Baby G Johnson, picked me up from the airport.  We drove to her office which is the North California State Office of the Fortune 500 I use to be employed with.  I met Les, Margie, Deb, and Nick.  I already felt like I knew them from Gayla.  Gayla, Margie, and I went to Chili’s to eat lunch.  Well, Happy Birthday to me.. I started my period!!!  Sheesh!  I got really sick on my stomach with cramps like immediately.  We went back to the office where I was surprised with a cake, balloons, and the office singing “Happy Birthday” to me.  It was such a nice surprise and so great of Gayla and Margie to arrange it for me.  I felt so special.  Afterwards, Gayla drove me to my hotel.  I can’t stay with Gayla ‘cause she has Molly… her kitty cat and I am highly allergic.  Molly is the fattest, biggest attitude bitchy kitty that you will ever meet… she has a personality all her own…. Trust me.  Anywho.  I checked into the hotel and again tried to catch a few winks.. but my cell phone rang off the hook with bridal calls.  Oh well, I’m booked solid the week I come back so I guess I can’t complain.  Soon I got a call from Gayla.  The original plan was for us to go out on the town and live it up for my  birthday… but dang it… this ‘ol girl was tired and Gayla still had to work in the morning.  We decided to hit a Sushi Bar then head back to the hotel.  We knew we would have plenty of time to live it up at Harvey’s in Lake Tahoe.  The next morning, Friday, January 23rd, Craig (an insurance Sales Associate with the "Fortune 500" and friend of Gayla’s) took me on some sightseeing in San Francisco.  We rode the Trolley cars and walked through Chinatown and Union Square.  We visited the Golden Gate Bridge and just had fun walking the streets of San Francisco.  Lots of fun!  Friday evening Gayla and I had dinner and went to bed.  Saturday, January 24th….. THE BIG DAY!  Gayla picked me up from the Holiday Inn where I had been staying and relocated us to the Sheraton Grand in downtown Sacramento.  WOW!  This place was amazing.  The state meeting would take place in the Grand Ballroom and the formal event that evening.  We had room service lunch.  From 1:00pm to 5:00pm, I photographed the meeting which included an Award’s Banquet.  From 5:30pm to 6:00pm I set up my photo studio area then work began!  From 6:00pm to 9:00pm I photographed evening photos and printed them immediately for the guests.  The Grand Ballroom was transformed into a NYC skyline (their theme) and I photographed the entertainment and dancing the remainder of the evening.  Sunday morning we had room service breakfast then went shopping in downtown Sacramento.  From there we drove to Lake Tahoe, NV where we stayed at Harvey’s Casino.  The guest relations rep that checked us in was fantastic!  I told her that we were there to celebrate my 30th birthday so she had a bottle of champagne, compliments of the hotel, sent up to our room.  It was so great!  Gayla and I had a good laugh though…. When I answered the door of the champagne delivery, the woman said “I guess this bottle is for you?” (as she entered the room).  I said “Yeah, it’s for me and my girlfriend.”  LOL!  She then opened our bottle and poured us two glasses of champagne.  I swear it looked like Gayla and I was a couple.  LOL!  Oh well…. We love acting crazy like that.  We set the camera on auto and took several pics of us toasting our champagne.  We’re crazy!  We got all gussied up and headed down to the casinos.  Well as you know, as long as you’re playing, the girls will come by all night providing you with free drinks.  Gayla and I were down in the casino about two hours…. Four mudslides later for me and I was TOAST!  Gayla was feeling a wee bit toasty too.  We went to the room for me to “rest” for 20 minutes.  Instead, I hung over the toilet for 20 minutes.  Like I’ve said before, the downside of the surgery is that the alcohol immediately goes to your intestines… there is NOTHING to throw up… IT’S ALREADY BEEN ABSORBED!  Anywho, so I laid down… I was so cold.  Gayla wrapped me in the blankets like a burrito and covered me with my fur and her sweatshirt.  I felt like I did when I first woke out of surgery… cold, out of it, and not able to move.  Gayla ordered room service, fed me some turkey and bacon while I was incoherent (got to get my protein in, right?  LOL!) and I finally passed out.  I woke up at 6:00am Monday morning to my hubby calling on the cell phone.  Of course he is 3 hours ahead of me.  Two hours more sleep, a nice warm bath, and room service breakfast later, Gayla and I headed to Harrah’s for some more gambling.  We didn’t win anything big… just mostly had fun.  From there, we checked out and headed to Sierra Lake Tahoe Resort.  An absolutely beautiful Ski Resort!  We walked in looking like City Slickers with our hair and make up perfect, Gayla in her wool coat and me in my fur.  We were definitely not dressed for the snow.  We rented us some Snow jackets and headed to Tube World where we rode tubes down the hill.  We had a blast!  We met David, who is from Gainesville, FL.  He just graduated from University of Florida in Law and is working at Sierra during the winter season.  It’s him and 15 of his other Florida buddies in one house all doing the same thing!  WOW!  That would have been so much fun ten years ago!  He said it was wilder than any MTV Real World house.  I asked him if he ever partied in Panama City Beach on Spring Break…. Oh yes! and he has even been to Columbus.  I tell ya…. All the way across the country and it is still a small world!   Two hours later, frozen toes, and no feeling in my ass…. Gayla and I were pooped and ready to go.  The snow was really coming down too and it was hard to see.  On our way driving out of the resort, we saw a car turned completely upside down with people trapped.  The accident had just happened probably one minute before we got there.  Cars were already stopped helping, so we just went on.  We weren’t on the road more than three minutes when we saw another wreck.  We had to come to a complete stop when the truck behind us slammed on breaks and started sliding sideways towards our car.  It was really scary!  He didn’t hit us but the roads were covered in snow and ice and it was starting to get ugly.  We left the resort just in time!  A normal 1.5 hour drive back to Sacramento took us 3 hours… BUT we made it safe!  We headed back to the office where we packaged my studio equipment up to be shipped back to me.  From there we ate dinner and Gayla took me to my new hotel at the Hallmark Suites.  Very nice!  Separate living room, wet bar, king size bed, bar downstairs and free deluxe anyway I want breakfast in the morning…. Woo hoo!  LOL!  Well, it’s 1:30am Tuesday, January 27th morning as I type this and I’m gonna try to get caught up on some work.  My plane flies out of Sacramento at 11:50am and I should be home by 10:15pm Tuesday night.  I’ll be home soon and uploading pics!... you know me!  Goodnight.

01/31/2004.... DAY #632:
Hey Kids, I know I haven't updated in a few days... but.. you'll forgive me.  Right?  :)  Well, I'm a little intoxicated as I write this... it's 12:35am... Hubby and I went out tonight.  We went to "Boneheads" downtown.  It is owned by my sexy massage therapist, Greg... HELLO!  Woo hoo.. okay... 'nuff 'bout Greg.. hee hee... We got in free... nothing like knowing the owner, right?  :)  We got a couple of free shots and as you know, I had to follow that with a couple of mudslides... as if you didn't already know I'm a mudslide girl.  Anywho... well... don't have much to say.  I'll be uploading my California pics soon... I PROMISE!!!  Talk at ya later... sleep is calling me along with a wedding I must shoot tomorrow.  Peaches and smooches!  Jules

02/01/2004.... DAY #633:
Just popping in real quick.... I just wanted to give my thanks to the man upstairs... My photography business has been doing so well.  I will continue to pray that I can do this full-time.  I really don't know yet.... but February 7th will be 4 months that I've made it thus far... we shall see.  I ask that you pray for me that Jesus will continue to take care of us financially.  That's all for now... well... if you know somebody getting married, someone needing maternity photos, somebody wanting sexy Valentine's pics, or just some family pics.... hook 'em up with me.  :)

02/02/2004... DAY #634:
Well, I finally updated the Twenty Month Gallery with a few of my California pics... enjoy!  :)

02/03/2004... DAY #635:
I'm playing "Catch Up" with my emails... whew.. being gone a week will bring ya down.  Almost done... it's only 2:30am!  LOL!  Let's see.. I have 5 photo orders to tweak and send to the lab... only a couple of days work... I'm hosting my photography college class at my house this Thursday.  Eight adults in my little living room learning how to photograph a boudoir session... should be fun... especially for my female model (NOT!  POOR THING... I hope she'll be okay being nude in front of 6 grown men and two women... she'll be fine... she's a beautiful girl with a body to die for).... anywho... got to get my house spotless and bathrooms clean before they get here and get a studio set up... house cleaning sucked when I was fat and dang it... IT STILL SUCKS!  And now that I'm thin... 'lil sis doesn't feel so "obligated" to come help me as I am very able body now... hmmm.... the downside of surgery.. KIDDING!  Umm.. what else.. well, I'm still behind on my U.S. Snail Mail... got to get caught up.  Is a 6 inch high pile too much?  YES!  Well... I'll stop my bitching and complaining and get back to work.  You behave 'cause the tabloids are watching!  TRUST ME!


02/10/2004... DAY #642:
Okay... so it's been a week since I last updated my journal... beat me why don't-cha?  No... actually... I'd rather have a spanking.  :)  Anywho... almost caught up on my emails.... Fan Mail will really drag you down... I'M KIDDING!!!  :D  Just been busy busy with photography, and I am so glad!  Okay... so Gayla has gone on a cruise this week to Ensenada,  Mexico, WITHOUT ME!!!  We rarely travel without each other!  That little BEEP BEEP BEEP!  Nah... it's for work... but man oh man... I would have loved to gone!  She flew from Sacramento to Los Angeles, got on a bus to Long Beach, then hit the cruise ship.  They made a pit stop overnight on Catalina Island... then onto Ensenada!  Oh well... maybe she'll buy me something?  hee hee.... Well, let's talk about WLS for a change, huh?  I went yesterday to have my lab/blood work done.  The last time my labs were done, I think in October???, my B12 levels were extremely low.  Dr. Williams gave me one B12 shot, then put me on sublingual B12 for three months.  So, I'm waiting on my lab results to see if my levels have changed any.  If they haven't increased, then I will be put on a B12 shots on a regular basis.  You know, that suits me just fine.  If I could take ALL of my vitamins and calcium with just one or two shots a day, I'd rather do that than pills.  Dang it I hate taking pills!  Hate it, hate it, hate it!  I'd rather have shots!  But anywho... Okay... let's just say that I have NOT been doing good since returning from California with my weight!  In the past two weeks I have gone from 137 pounds to 146 pounds!  HOLY CRAP!!!!  I CAN'T STOP EATING!  AND... it's not that I'm eating bad stuff... I'm just eating TOO MUCH STUFF!  AND NO... I'm not hungry!  I'm just eating to be eating... eating 'cause I'm bored... eating because it's fun... and DANG IT!  I CAN FIT A LOT MORE STUFF IN THERE NOW!  I'M SCARED!  I AM REALLY SCARED!  I have watched three WLS buddies of mine who had surgery before me gain some serious weight!  One has gained about 30, the other 20, and the other 15!  I WILL NOT, SHALL NOT, BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT THIS SURGERY DOES NOT WORK FOR!  I have Dr. Champion & Dr. Williams' Valentine's Party/Ball to go to on Saturday... I HAVE TO FIT IN MY RED MAURY DRESS!  I was 140 at the show... and the dress was sleek THEN!  OMG!  I AM SO PISSED AT MYSELF!  WHAT IN THE HELL AM I DOING!  Okay... I'm getting my ass up right now... I am going to the tanning bed (heat should burn some calories, right???) and then... I am coming home and getting on that treadmill!  I will dust that thing off and get on!  I WILL  NOT LET THIS STUPID ASS EATING ADDICTION GET THE BEST OF ME!  NO I WILL NOT!  GO AWAY FOOD DEMONS!  GO AWAY!!!!!!!  I'll keep you posted on my progress this week... please pray that I will lose 6 pounds by Saturday!  It's easier said than done!  Trust me!  I remember being fat and hearing skinny girls go "Oh my, I've gained 5 pounds, whatever shall I do?".  I can remember saying in my head "Bitch, what are you talking about?  Five pounds?  I gain and lose five pounds from morning to night."  Of course... when you are 130+ pounds overweight, five pounds is just a drop in the bucket.  Loosing just two pounds now is hard work!  Well anywho... enough rambling.  Please keep me in your thoughts!  I WILL DO THIS!  I CAN DO THIS!  IT IS DONE!

02/11/2004... DAY #643:
Well... I must have done something right yesterday because as of this morning I weighed 144 lbs.... so... I'm making it happen... ALTHOUGH... I should beat that little Girl Scout that MADE ME buy a box of Thin Mints from her this morning.  First of all, why is she out selling cookies?  Trying to get ahead of the competition why the others are at school?  Hmm... we may have to initiate a thorough investigation into the matter.

02/12/2004... DAY #644:
Despite the fact that I ate an ENTIRE box of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies yesterday, I still managed to lose half a pound!  I was 143.5 this morning.  Well... that makes me happy.  Just 3.5 more pounds to go.  I should burn quite a few calories today... I'm gonna do some playing instead of working (Oh I can hear some of you:  "That's all you do is play Miss California... now get a real job!".  I just want you to know... I still love you too... SMILE!)  I'm going four-wheel riding with Paul Rivera (a "Hot WLS Hunk"), drinks with a friend at 4pm, then off to school from 6:00pm to 10:00pm.  Yawn... all in a day's work.  ;-)  Hey!  I've been working my little hinny off!  I deserve a break!  Smile!  Of course... I took a break yesterday too... went to the salon where my "Sexy Model" client fixed my roots again.  He did an AWESOME job.  He is so great!  Hey, guess what... just received a fax... my lab work.  WOW!  My B12 levels are TOO HIGH!  Good grief!  Okay, the normal B12 range is 180 to 914.  On 10/21/03, my levels were at 148.  Now, on 02/09/04, my levels are at 1187.  Jeepers Creepers!  Guess the sublingual B12 is working, eh?  Everything else is in check.  Protein, Calcium, Potassium, and all those 50 other things that I have no idea what they are.  You know what I find interesting?  My mom is ALWAYS on me about the amount of salt I eat.  However, according to my lab work, my sodium levels are 137.  The normal range is 137 to 145.... so there Mom!  I'm on the low end of the scale.  Smooches!  Anywho... let me go get a shower so I can play in the mud.  LOL!  bye!

Okay.. I'm back from Four-Wheel riding... HAD A BLAST!  Paul took me to see a railroad trestle from the 1800's.  It was too beautiful!  We then went riding fast through the woods, over trees & rocks, through the river, and he showed me where he hunts turkey & deer.  It was so much fun!  He took this city girl out of her elements!  It was too quiet out there!  He was like "Isn't it so relaxing?"  I'm like "No.. this stresses me out!  I'd rather be shopping on Fifth Avenue or on a road-trip with the radio blaring!... THAT'S RELAXING!"  LOL!  Oh how people are different.  Anywho... had a good time.  Thanks Paul for showing this city girl the country and thanks for the Brunswick stew!  YUM!  :)

Well, tonight is the last night of school... it's sort of bitter sweet.  I'm thankful, but also hunger for knowledge (that sounded about corny, didn't it?)

02/13/2004... DAY #645:
Welcome to Friday the 13th!  So... why am I up at 4:26am dancing nekkid, in my office, in front of a mirror, while listening to Outkast "Hey Ya".  Well... um... see... I ate a bag of Peanut Butter M&M's today (it's still Thursday... it won't be Friday till I go to bed then wake up again... see how that works???)... and well... um... had a big bowl of pasta.  What in the heck?  I don't even eat pasta anymore... nor can my tummy handle it?  I'm a freaking crazy ass!  Talking to myself...."UM HELLO JULIE!  DID YOU FORGET ABOUT GETTIN' YOUR BIG GHETTO BOOTY INTO YOUR MAURY DRESS?"  So... the logic is... the longer I stay up... the more calories I burn.. and if I get up and shake my "groove thing"... not only do I get Firehouse Booty Shaking practice... but I just might burn off an M&M or two.  Anyway.... Got to get in bed soon... bride coming bright and early at 10am... then I have a huge Valentine Party to shoot at The Estate... okay.. nighty night.

Still 143.5 this morning.  Arrggghhh!  Okay... NO freaking chocolate today and I mean it!

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!  02/14/2004... DAY #646:
The weight this morning was 143 pounds.  So I lost a total of 3 pounds for the week... not too bad.  I'll lose the other 3 next week and be back to where I want to be.  I did do a little bad yesterday by eating some chocolate covered peanuts.  Anywho.  Well, getting ready to go to our Valentine's Party.  I'll post again soon!  :)

02/17/2004... DAY #649:
Dr. Champion and Dr. Williams Valentine Party at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel in Atlanta was spectacular!  Go to Photo Gallery and click on "Valentine 2004" to view all pics from the party.  It's so great to see all my WLS Buddies that I chat with online!  The most drastic change was Tonya Turman!  She looked like a totally different person!  She lost 210 pounds since I saw her last!  She is beautiful!!!  Go check out her new pic on the "Hot WLS Babe" page.  WOW!.. is all I can say!  Hubby and I spent the night at the hotel then went shopping the next day at the Cumberland Mall.  Monday morning I weighed in at 141 pounds.  YES!  Loosing that weight!!!!  Go Julie!  AND... You all will be sooooo proud of me!  I walked 2 miles last night with my "Sexy Model" client.  He worked my tail off on that track!  I know what you're saying... Does this stud have a name????  Of course... just call him Blaise... (sounds like Blaze).  We have an agreement... he is A) gonna do my hair & eyebrows and B) gonna whip my ass into shape by this Spring for my second calendar appearance.  I am going to A) do all his pics and B) continue to find him modeling jobs.  He is signing a contract to take me on as his full time manager.   With all my contacts and his good looks, we will not have a problem making money!  Okay, change of subject... I've been emailed and asked about my current eating habits.  Well, they are basically that of a normal person, just eat less.  BUT, what I have agreed to do is for one week only, I will post everyday every morsel of food & liquid that hits my lips... good or bad.  I'll start tomorrow.  Okay.. that's it for now.  Y'all be good so I don't have to!

02/18/2004... DAY #650:
As promised... I'm starting the food journal today.

7:03am Two Russell Stover's Sugar Free French Mint Candies  
10:30am 1 ounce of Beef Jerky Nuggets 11.2 oz of Water
  1 slice of Kraft Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheese  
  1 bite of Archway's Sugar Free Rocky Road cookie  
12:00pm 4 ounce cup of cut peaches 11.2 oz of Water
2:20pm 2 Mint Milano Cookies  
  2 bites of Archway's Sugar Free Rocky Road cookie 16 oz of Skim Milk
  3/4 bowl of Chicken Noodle-O's soup  
2:40pm 1/2 banana with peanut butter  
  1 ounce of Beef Jerky Nuggets  
4:45pm   1 mudslide
6:30pm 1/2 small frozen pepperoni pizza  
8:25pm 2 Russell Stover's Sugar Free French Mint Candies 11.2 oz of Water
10:00pm Two bites of left over Chicken & Dumplings 11.2oz of Water
11:54pm   11.2 oz of Water

Okay, so day one wasn't picture perfect according to Dr. Champion's plan... so... I shall do better tomorrow!  I am going walking 2 miles again tonight with Blaise.... maybe I can burn those bites of cookies and candy off.  Catch ya later!  Whew!  Just got back from walking.. holy cow.. that boy is kicked my ass tonight!  GOT TO STOP SMOKING!  CRAP! 

02/19/2004... DAY #651:
I got to tell you something funny from last night.... well... I thought it was funny anyway.... I wore my San Francisco Leopard Print Fleece outfit to go walking last night.  Blaise was like "Dayum girl!  I hope no lions, tigers, or bears coming jumping out of the forest and attack yo ass".  LOL!  I don't know... I just thought it was funny... EVERYONE just LOVES my outfit.  Hee hee....

9:45am Two Russell Stover's Sugar Free French Mint Candies  
  2 Mint Milano Cookies 11.2 oz of Water
12:00pm One Bocca Burger (vegetarian burger) cut in half on one slice of bread with one slice of cheese and three little pickles & ketchup  
3:00pm 2 Mint Milano Cookies  
4:20pm   1 mudslide
4:51pm 1 beef jerky nugget  
7:50pm One Bocca Burger (vegetarian burger) cut in half on one slice of bread with one slice of cheese and three little pickles & ketchup  
  1 Mint Milano Cookie (dang I'll be glad when then suckers are gone!)  
9:15pm   1 mudslide
10:00pm   1 mudslide
10:30pm Chips and Dip & one Oreo cookie (Arrgggh!  Over at a friend's house!  Cary & I don't even buy nonsense like that!  I'm so mad at myself!)  
11:30pm Three grapes and one bite of pineapple 16 oz of Water

How 'bout that breakfast of champions?  LOL!!!  Okay... so.. day #2 sucked as well.  I didn't get in all my water and a diet of alcohol and cookies is getting me no where.  What will tomorrow bring us?

02/20/2004... DAY #652:
11:15am Two Russell Stover's Sugar Free French Mint Candies  
12:00pm 1/2 small frozen pepperoni pizza  
    11.2 oz of Water
2:00pm Three Russell Stover's Sugar Free French Mint Candies (THANK GOD THEY ARE GONE!)  
9:00pm Slice of pizza (yes I realize I have been on some kinda pizza kick the past two days)  
11:53pm One 4oz. cup of pineapple  
12:10am   1 mudslide

Okay... I am totally mad at myself!  Weight this morning... 145.5!  Dang it!  Well... look what I've been eating!  No wonder!  Well, a few updates... I updated the "Who is Julie?" on the front of my website.  Go back to the home page to check it out.  Guess what!?  I DID get some little presents in the mail today from Gayla.  She mailed me a new charm for our charm bracelets.  It is a set of flip-flops that say "Catalina Island".  Okay, true, I didn't get to go... but I shall live vicariously through her pics and stories!  I'll be updating my Twenty-One Month gallery with some pics from her trip.  I also received a beautiful Sterling Silver cuff bracelet that she purchased in Ensenada, Mexico (she bought it from a little Mexican man.. hee hee).  I think I will get it engraved with our names on it.  And of course no trip could be complete without another addition to my keychain.  It's a little California license plate with my name on it.  Ahhhh... too cute!  So here's an exert from an email Gayla sent to all of our friends about her trip:

As some of you know, I went on our State Convention Cruise to Catalina and Ensenada, Mexico aboard the MS Ecstasy.  We had fun.  We sailed from Long Beach, CA on Monday, February 9 and arrived in Catalina on Tuesday. However, because of weather, we couldn't port so we had a "Fun Day at Sea".  Tuesday night, Deb (she works with me) and I had dinner at the Captain's Table.  It was cool because out of 2000 passengers, we were chosen as one of the lucky 6.  On Wednesday we docked outside Catalina and went ashore.  It was the most beautiful place... almost as beautiful as Lake Tahoe!  On Thursday, we went to Ensenada, Mexico... got our hair braided by two little Mexican girls.  By Friday morning, we were back in Long Beach and went home.  Gayla Johnson

OH MY GOD!  This food diary thing is scary!  I didn't realize how terrible I was eating!  Thank God Jeanette Shrader (aka Jan Litman) from Midway, PA, asked me about my current eating habits.  I'm running this food diary for her, and I tell ya... I SUCK!  I AM NOT A GOOD ROLE MODEL!  I may have to do this for more than a week to get my butt back on track.  Whew good Lawdy... virtually nothing to drink today and pizza.  "Oh yeah.. that's a great diet Julie!  You'll be an awesome freaking calendar girl on a diet of pizza and booze!"  Good Grief!  SOMEBODY COME KICK MY BIG FAT BUTT!!!!!!!!

02/21/2004... DAY #653:
Well, welcome to day #653.  How ya doing?  Isn't it amazing how weight changes everyday?  The scale this morning stated 143.5.  Two pound loss from yesterday.  Of course, I didn't eat much, and had a lot of activity... so that is probably why.  I also noticed that I have a mudslide everyday.  There is just no telling how many calories that is... but.. I'm on a crusade to find out.  I've got a wedding to shoot today.  Those always wear me out.... I should burn lots of calories today.  I keep promising details about the VIP Playboy Tour in Atlanta.  I'm waiting to hear back from Playboy Headquarters in Chicago... should be Monday... I'll post them as soon as I can.  Okay.. well... have a good day and I'll write more later. 

Okay, so I couldn't stand it... I had to gather all the info to find out what nutritional value my mudslides have.  Here we go... In one "Julie Concoction", here is how the nutritional value breaks down:

Julie's Concoction - Mudslide
1 oz shot of Bailey's Irish Cream, 1 oz shot of Kahlua, 1 oz shot Skyy Vodka, 2 oz shot of Half & Half

Calories 589 Sugars 10.1 g
Fats 11.8 g Cholesterol 20 mg
Carbohydrates 20.4 g Sodium 60 mg
Protein 3.2 g Alcohol 24 g
Fiber 0 g    

WOW!  FIVE HUNDRED EIGHTY NINE CALORIES?  TWENTY GRAMS OF CARBS????  On the Atkins Diet you're only allowed 20 grams of carbs a day.  I guess I blow it with one mudslide, eh?  Good grief!

9:00am 1/2 can Chef Boyardee Beefaroni... I ate the meat & sauce & gave the rest to hubby  
10:45am Two slices of Kraft Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheese  
1:30pm 4 oz. pineapple cup 12 oz of skim milk
2:00pm   16 oz water
3:00pm   11.2 oz of water
5:00pm Mixed plate of wedding food:  One meatball, few olives, slice of ham 12 oz of tea
8:00pm 1/2 of a One Bocca Burger (vegetarian burger) on one slice of bread with one slice of cheese and three little pickles & ketchup.  Four Tater Tots.  
10:30pm   2- mudslides
11:30pm   16 oz of water

Can anyone tell me why when I turned 30, I also turned into "Super Pimple Girl"?  I have NEVER EVER had a problem with acne on my face... not even in my teenage years... now... yes... now that  I am 30... "SUPER PIMPLE GIRL".  I realize that you just love hearing about my yucky body problems.... but you're still reading aren't ya?  You wanna hear more don't ya?  hee hee

02/22/2004... DAY #654:
Went to church this morning... good service.  Our church meets at the local movie theatre, so we are already all geared up for the new "Passion of the Christ" movie.  Our church is reserved to see it on this coming Wednesday, then on next Sunday, we are having a FREE showing that we can invite others that don't have a church home, to view the movie and hopefully win them over to Jesus.  Good stuff.

1:30am Can of Chicken Noodle O's soup  
2:00am   16 oz of water
12:15pm Two bites of chicken strip, One Bocca Burger patty, no bread, with ketchup, one slice of cheese, three little pickles, ketchup, and mayo.  Four tator tots.  
2:00pm 4 oz. cup of pineapple  
2:45pm 12 M&M's  
3:15pm   16 oz of water
6:00pm One homemade burrito & three bites of refried beans  
6:30pm   12 oz of Skim Milk
8:00pm Shared box of Lidor Chocolates with hubby  
8:30pm   12 oz of water
9:30pm 4 oz. cup of tropical fruit 16 oz of water
10:00pm One homemade burrito  

02/23/2004... DAY #655:
Where is "Fat Girl"?  Where is "Fat Girl"?  Here I am!  Here I am!  How are you today ma'am?  Very fat I thank you.  Now stuff my face.  Now stuff my face!  YUCK!  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?  I feel like I just can't get full.  The Honeymoon Period is definitely over... no doubt.  My body retains every morsel of calories I consume!  I'm scared to get on the scale.  Of course now... it is that time of the month, so maybe I'm just feeling bloated.  I dunno.  I feel just awful.  I bought a new Tommy swimsuit that fits good and I thought looked good.  However, my hubby and Paul (Hot WLS Hunk) both told me I looked fat nasty in it.  Okay... so they didn't actually say "Fat Nasty"... but they might as well have.  The suit goes back to the store!!!!

10:00am One Banana  
10:30am   16 oz of water
12:00pm One homemade burrito  
12:30pm   one mudslide
1:45pm Two little cut slices of Kraft Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheese  
2:30pm   4 oz of water
3:30pm 4 oz. cup of peaches  
4:45pm 1/2 of a small frozen pepperoni pizza  
6:30pm 1/4 of a small frozen pepperoni pizza  
6:45pm   12 oz of water
10:30pm Couple bites of dark chocolate.  Wheat thins dipped in cream cheese.  NOTE:  The Wheat Thins made me sick!  Now I remember why I don't eat crackers anymore....  
11:15pm   8 oz of water

02/24/2004... DAY #656:
So this is day #7 on the food diary.  As we can see.... Julie's water intake and protein intake both need to increase.  I really had no idea how terrible I was eating... very scary.
5:45am Three pieces of bacon  
6:15am   12 oz of water
10:19am Six pieces of Lindor Chocolate  
11:00am   6 oz of water
2:30pm   mudslide
3:30pm 4 oz cup of peaches  
6:00pm 1 brusselsprout, couple bites of mash potatoes, and 4 bites of meatloaf  
6:45pm   12 oz of milk
8:00pm 4 oz cup of peaches  
8:30pm 3 slices of cut Kraft Cracker Barrel Cheese  
10:00pm   16 oz of water

02/25/2004... DAY #657:
I'm gonna do the food journal one more day.  I don't feel so great today.  My friend Beth has been sick, and I think she passed her cooties on to me.  I've got a sore throat today and no energy.  I went to bed at a decent hour last night, but still didn't wake up until 11:55am. 

1:15pm Pint of Egg Drop Soup  
1:45om 4 oz cup of Peaches  
    8 oz of water
3:00pm One banana with peanut butter  
5:15pm One Krystal Cheeseburger  
6:00pm Two bites of meatloaf, two bites of mash potatoes  
7:00pm 1/2 small bag of butter popcorn at movies  
7:30pm   6 oz of water
9:45pm Can of Chicken Noodle O's 10 oz of water
10:45PM Cup of Sugar Free/Fat Free Chocolate pudding 10oz of water

We saw the "Passion of Christ" tonight.  Very gruesome.  It makes every pain I've ever suffered insignificant.  Jesus suffered dearly.  It's just unimaginable that one man endured so much.  This film put me in check.

02/29/2004... DAY #661:
I AM OUT OF CONTROL!  EATING IS OUT OF CONTROL!  THE FOOD DEMONS LIVE AGAIN!  I will get through this... I have before... I've got to keep my eye on my goals.  Try-outs for the 2005 swimsuit calendar are coming up.. MUST BE PREPARED!  Stay tuned... I shall overcome!  Just give me some time... Jules

03/01/2004... DAY #662:
WOW!  Today is a beautiful day!  I walked two miles at the park today.  The wind was blowing just right!  It is so nice out!  I can remember sitting in that little cubicle everyday (at the Fortune 500) during the Spring and thinking "Wow, I'd love to be walking or enjoying the outdoors today."  Ha!  I made it happen today, dead slap at 2pm in the afternoon, and can do it everyday if I wish!  Being self-employed has a lot of bonuses!

03/04/2004... DAY #665:
My friend Tisha called this morning to say I was on TV!  Ha!  They are re-running my Maury Show today.  :)  I tell ya... I've been making some major changes in my life the past two weeks and since Sunday 2/29, I've been making major changes in my diet.  I REFUSE TO REGAIN MY WEIGHT LIKE MANY OF MY WLS BUDDIES.  I've cut out the chocolates and have replaced them once again with what I know works... BEEF JERKY!  The good stuff... real meat.. not Slim Jim stuff.  I've also been walking two miles at the park, I have increased my water intake (had 85 oz yesterday!) and... drum roll please........ I'VE BEEN SMOKE FREE SINCE SUNDAY!

03/06/2004... DAY #667:
I'm still doing good on walking and water.  :)  Cary and I got our eyebrows waxed yesterday by Blaise.  You know... that's what I love about my hubby... he likes to be pampered just as much as I do.  I don't know what it is, but my sister and I have always been attracted to "Pretty Boys" or the latest hip term "Metrosexual Men".  Cary and I went to the nail salon last week to get our nails done, and there sat my sister and her boyfriend... both in pedicure chairs.  LOL!  Okay... for those of you not up to date with the latest "hip terms", a Metrosexual can best be defined as:  A straight male who embraces his feminine side.  He's modern, straight, stylish, sensitive, and well-groomed.  Cary gets manicures, pedicures, massages, get his hair highlighted, and has more facial products then I do.  He stays in the mirror and is obsessed with his hair looking good.  His brush is always by his side regardless of where he goes.  I love him that way though!  He's fun!  I found this quiz on ESPN:  "Are you a metrosexual?"  Gals have your hubby take the quiz!  hee hee...:  Anywho... Cary and I went out with our friends Cassandra and Randy last night.  We had dinner at Canon Brew Pub, then Randy took me for a ride on his motorcycle.  It was fun.  Afterwards, we went to Memory Lanes to dance.  I've uploaded a few pics in my Twenty-Two Month Gallery.  Also, I uploaded a pic of me and Beth in my Twenty-One Month Gallery.  I know I don't talk about Beth much, but we have been friends for about ten years now.  We met at an old employer.  She was a bridesmaid in my wedding.  Anywho... she is my "chillin" buddy.  We go out, have drinks, and just sort of "chill".  Anywho... enjoy the new pics!

03/08/2004... DAY #669:
I bought the South Beach Diet book today.  Good stuff.  I'll see if I can follow this thing.  I'll keep you posted on my progress... probably won't start it for a few days though.  Also, new pics have been uploaded in my NYC/Maury Gallery of me actually on the show.  Click here to go there now.


03/09/2004... DAY #670:
"Hot WLS Babe", Kimmy Buckman, and her hubby have been in Daytona, FL all week for "Bike Week".  They were on the road heading back to Michigan yesterday, and re-routed their travel endeavors to come through Columbus.  That was so incredibly wonderful of them to do that!  We had a fantastic dinner at Cheddar's, followed by an infamous photo shoot at the Hedges house, then a nice chat back at their hotel.  We had BLAST!  I love Kimmy!  She is always so much fun and her hubby Jerry was a freaking hoot!  :)  I've uploaded a couple of pics in the Twenty-Two Month Gallery.  Well, here I sit at Twenty-Two Months post-op and a WHOPPING 146 lbs.  I will have to say that the "after honeymoon battle" has been rough waters. Let's see, I can remember back to post-ops that had gone before me saying:  "Enjoy the honeymoon while you can.. learn to eat now... get rid of the bad habits".   Well, when you are in the honeymoon phase, these things just don't make sense to ya.  I said, "well sheesh, I seem to be able to eat what I want now, and still lose weight... what on Earth are they talking about?"  It's like I woke up one day, and that was it, the honeymoon was OVER.  I felt hungry, I wanted to eat, and then I started introducing the bad stuff back into my diet, even though it makes me sick.... chocolate, bread, and God forbid.... PASTA! That is the VERY food that made me fat the first time!  I freaking eat all day. I can almost eat a normal size portion meal now too.  IT'S SCARY!  I can put a block of cheese away in one day along with a few bananas topped with peanut butter.  It has been rough riding for three weeks now. I went from 137 lbs. to 146 lbs. in just a few short weeks.  NINE FREAKING POUNDS!  YES NINE! I have put myself in check.  I refuse to do this to myself.  It has been discussed that I may appear in the swimsuit calendar again for 2005.  If so, I can't go to a photo shoot looking like the Pillsbury Doughgirl!  I MUST REGAIN CONTROL!  I am mad at myself and fired up! SO.... NOTICE TO YOU HONEYMOONERS (POST-OPS UP TO 18 MONTHS)... DO NOT THINK THIS IS THE HARD PART!  ENJOY THE HONEYMOON! THE CRAVINGS WILL COME BACK!  THE FOOD DEMONS WILL RISE AGAIN! MAKE GOOD CHOICES NOW! CHANGE YOUR EATING HABITS! DON'T BE A STUBBORN ASS LIKE ME AND THINK IT WON'T HAPPEN TO YOU!  I will make it through this. I've already made drastic changes in just this past week.  I've been weaning myself from chocolate, pastas, and CARBS.  CARBS MAKE YOU HUNGRY!  I've been walking two miles everyday regardless of what the evil lazy food demon says in my head.  Everyday I get up I think "I must go walking today".  I then immediately hear a voice that says "Nah, it's too cold.. You don't feel good... You have other things to do... You don't feel like walking."  Here's my advice: Squash the sucker!  Get your butt up and go walking regardless!  Every time I'm done walking, I feel like a million bucks!  More advice... FOLLOW YOUR DOCTOR'S ORDERS.  Oh, believe me, I am NOT the person to be talking about following rules, because if it was a Dr. C rule, well damn it, I broke it!  BUT NOW I KNOW!  TRY TO LEARN FROM ME!  Water, Protein, Low Carbs, Vitamins, and Exercise are the rule to success!  It just works!  So... just do it!  I am going to the Cheesecake Factory tomorrow for dinner, but you can bet your bottom dollar I will have NO BREAD, NO PASTA, and NO DESSERT... and that my friends is my FINAL ANSWER.

03/15/2004... DAY #676:
Wow, I didn't realize it had been almost a week since my last update.  First, let's discuss my eating.  I think I now have it under control.  Well... almost.  Over the past couple of weeks, as I said in some earlier posts, I've been making some changes in my life and eating habits.  I have come to realize that as long as my mouth is chewing and going, that I don't too care much what type of food is in it.  So I have bought Sugar Free/Fat Free Jell-O, Sugar Free/Fat Free Jell-O Pudding, grapes, bananas, pineapple, peaches, Spring Mix salad lettuce, and Beef Jerky nuggets.  Anytime my food demons raise their heads, I've been filling them with one or two of these foods (in between meals that is).  They are all low in calories, fat, and sugar, and the nuggets are high in protein.  I am back down to 143.5 this morning.  That's pretty good considering I actually topped the scales at 150 one time this past week.  Whew!  That was frightening!  My goal is to get back down to 140 lbs.  Yes, I realize that my BIG GOAL was 135 lbs.... but I tell ya.... If I can get down to 140 lbs. and stay there, I will be happy as a peach.  So on Wednesday of last week I went with "Hot WLS Babe" Rosa Fennie to her 3 month follow-up appointment.  We had a great time on the ride up there and back.  While up in Atlanta, we met up with another "Hot WLS Babe" Constance Harrison.  That girl is a complete nut, just like me.  We all had a blast eating at the Cheesecake Factory and shopping at the mall.  I've added our picture to the Twenty-two month Gallery.  I tell ya, the best fringe benefit of this surgery is all the new friends.  I have met so many wonderful people through this surgery and we all get along great.  Okay... so I haven't had a "comical" entry in quite some time, so get ready for me to entertain you!  I'll start by saying:  "Ladies, don't ever let your man talk you into highlighting his hair to cut costs."  With that said.... Cary has been insistent on getting his hair highlighted as his "roots" have grown back in pretty good.  Well, I've been having difficulty getting him an appointment and going back & forth with Blaise, so on Sunday Cary comes up with this brilliant idea!  "Julie, you've done hair before, you can do it!".  Now, let me give the definition of "Julie has done hair before".... if you consider buying box color from Wal-Mart and applying it to someone's head "doing hair"... then yes... I've done hair before.  LOL.  Okay, so we start on our journey to Sally's Beauty Supply.  I know the steps that salon uses on me, so, I was confident that I could do the same.  Fast forward to I got Cary pulled through a cap.  Not too hard.  I then mixed the bleach powder and developer... blah blah blah.. brought him up to a pretty blonde color, however, it was a little yellow.  SO... whenever I've been capped at the salon, they will always pull it off before toning me.  Well, in Cary's case.. bad idea... we should have left the cap on.  When I put the toner on him... it brought all his brown up quick... to a nice beautiful shade of strawberry blonde!!!  OMG!  It was terrible!  He had strawberry blonde hair with beautiful platinum highlights.  So, after Cary saw himself in the mirror and cried, I then went back in with some "red remover" and developer and tried again... nothing... the mess was not budging.  So Cary threatens to shave his head.  "Not yet baby!  Julie to the rescue!"  All Cary wanted at this point (9:45pm at night) was just to be back brown!  So, I ran to the store, got some "dark blonde" box color.  I knew with his hair follicles being wide open right now, that they should soak up color pretty quick.  Well, after 25 minutes, he was darker alright, a nice dark Archie red.  It just kept getting worse!!!  So now it's 11:30pm at night... I ran once again to the store and bought medium brown.  Well, that did the trick, for now.  He has a nice mousse red brown going on, but at least he can be seen in public.  Poor thing... I bet he'll never ask me to do that again!  And what was our savings you ask?  Well considering he usually gets his haircut AND highlighted at his salon (not Blaise's salon) for $30.... drumroll please..... we spent $51.15 and he didn't even get a haircut!!!  Sheesh!  Well, I guess I just appreciate him having the confidence in me to do it.  If I just had left that cap on... everything would have been just fine.  Oh well.. live and learn.  Once again I will say though that I have the best husband in the whole wide world.  I love him with everything in  me and I'm glad he loves me too.  Ahhhhh... :)

03/22/2004... DAY #683:
Goodness... another week has passed us by.  My eating this past week has been good.  I haven't been out of control and I am only putting good things in my mouth with the occasional bite of chocolate here and there... but I'm doing good for the most part.  I've been really sick this past week though.  Nothing to do with the surgery... just my Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  It's terrible!  The pain is too much sometimes.... but, I suck it up and move on.  After the movie "Passion" put the pain of Jesus into perspective, I try not to complain too much about my pain.  Also this past week I found a lump in my right breast.  Considering that my Nana had breast cancer, I went straight to my Mama, or Doctor Mom as we call her, to have her check it out.  She said she felt several lumps and diagnosed me with Fibrocystic Disease... which she also has.  I set an appointment with my Gynecologist.  He checked them out and said that yes, I have several lumps/knots in both breasts and that I did have Fibrocystic Disease.  So, Doctor Mom was right again.  He said that there wasn't much treatment to offer me.  One medication makes you go into early menopause and the other makes you grow facial hair.. so... for now we're just going to watch it.  He did say that if I went through with the breast lift and implants, that the surgeon could remove the cysts and replace the missing tissue with the implant.  We'll see.. still saving up for the boob job as it's $5,000.  As far as anything else... nothing really new this past week.  I've just been busy booking weddings... Praise Jesus!  I can't say "thank you" enough to the man upstairs.  Cary and I have truly been blessed to allow me to work from home.  I am so much less stressed.  Sure... the money is a little tight... but the benefits far out weigh that.  I've hired a new assistant... Rosa Fennie, a "Hot WLS Babe".  Rosa has experience as a Wedding Coordinator.  We had a wedding this weekend and she did an AWESOME job!  Wow!  I was so happy.  We are going to be such a great team!  :)  I went walking three miles last night with Blaise.  I felt so good afterwards.  I've never walked that far before.  We're going to push ourselves to walk three miles every evening this week.  I'm pretty excited... I'm hoping to be back down to 140 by Friday.  I was 142.5 yesterday.  I'll keep you posted. 

 03/29/2004... DAY #690:
Hello world.  Wondering what I've been doing with myself, eh?  Well I tell ya... I seem to be falling apart... last night I was having a terrible burning pain in my upper abdomen.  Not the burning sensation like reflux, no.  I suffered with GERD for years before WLS surgery... this was a different kind of burning.  This was a very painful burning to the point I was in tears.  Now have you, two weeks ago I suffered the same pain late one night.  I self diagnosed myself with an ulcer.  I called Dr. Champion's office today and spoke with the nurse Susan.  I was put on a prescription of Nexium for six weeks.  The only way to know for sure if I have an ulcer is to have a Barium Swallow or an EGD.  However, Susan then continued to tell me that the treatment for an ulcer is to take Nexium for six weeks.  So hell, just skip the painful tests, take the meds, and move on, right?  :)  She did say, though, that if I continued to experience pain or noticed blood in my stool, to call back, 'cause then that would be signs of a bleeding ulcer.  I guess that's another territory, huh?  Anywho... I continue to truck on.  I tell ya, I got all kinds of stuff wrong with me... but I thank Jesus everyday for the wonderful life he has given me.  I will never forget an episode of Oprah that I watched many months ago.  She had on a young girl that suffered severe 3rd degree burns all over her body when she was hit by a drunk driver and trapped in her burning car.  She was once a beautiful woman with a bright future, but after that night, she has suffered for years.  Her face melted away, along with 90% of her body.  She has to have constant care.  I will take the problems I have ANY day over the pain and suffering that poor girl goes through.  Well, concerning my weight, I have been sitting at 142.5 for a little over a week now.  I've been walking every night with Blaise, but the scale isn't budging.  Maybe my body has found it's ideal weight?  I dunno.  I'm 7.5 pounds from goal.  I'll take that over 129 lbs. from goal ANY DAY!  HELLO???  You know what was great though?  Tonight I went to my sister's to try on her old prom and pageant dresses (I'm trying to find something to wear to the Playboy party.. which come to think of it, I never did give you the details on that, now did I?  I will in a sec...).  Back in high school, my sister was a size 3/4 - 7/8.  It was exciting to try on her dresses... and they all ALMOST fit.  I'm a little bigger in the top than she is, so the dresses would zip up leaving about two inches from the top.  Anywho, it was still great.  I always loved seeing her in those beautiful dresses, just dreaming that I could have a body like hers.  I have arrived!  :)  Concerning the Playboy party.  On Thursday, April 22nd, the 50th Anniversary Playboy Tour will be stopping in Atlanta at the Eleven50 Club.  Cary, Blaise, and I will be going as VIP's.  We will be meeting up with some friends of ours at the party too.  It's suppose to be a huge night filled with bunnies and celebs!  The goal for me and Blaise is to work the crowd getting his name out there, and of course, I get benefits too!  If you're interested in attending the party, I think Playboy is selling VIP tickets and General Admission tickets on  If you do end up landing your hands on some tickets, shoot me an email, I'd love to meet up with you.  :)  Well, Cary, Gayla, and I are gearing up for our trip to Las Vegas.  We'll be heading to Sin City soon!  Maybe... JUST MAYBE... one of us will hit the big money this time.  In just a year, I will have been to three large gambling cities:  Reno, Tahoe, and Las Vegas.  WOW!  I swear I'm living some kind of dream.  God just continues to bless us.  I just don't feel worthy of all this traveling I get to do.  Well, I guess I will go now.  Got lots of work.  I'll update again soon... me promise!  :)

04/06/2004... DAY #698:
What's up Party People?  Another week has come and gone.  Weight is still maintaining.  It doesn't matter how often or how far I walk... my weight just sits there.  Oh well.  I uploaded some new pics to my Twenty-Three Month Gallery.  I know... You don't like the ripped jeans, right?  It's okay.  I like 'em, and that's what counts, right?  :)  My Mom called me over the house this past week.  She said that she cleaned out my sister's closet and that she had a bunch of winter clothes I could go through.  WOW!  I racked up!  I couldn't believe it!  Some of the items are "Extra Small" and they fit!  Holy Cow!  And this past week, I bought a size 3/4 shirt.  That's just pure damn craziness to think that I'm wearing my sister's clothes.  No way José!  I never thought I would see that day!  She borrows stuff from me now!!!  Too cool.  Well, I'm getting ready to head to "Sin City".  We are very excited!  I've been doing so much research on Las Vegas that I feel like I've already been there!  LOL!  Y'all be good... hold down the fort.... VIVA LAS VEGAS HERE WE COME!!!!


04/12/2004... DAY #704:
I'm back from Las Vegas.  We had a wonderful time.  It is a beautiful city!  I was a good girl, so unfortunately, I have no dirty details to give about sinning in Sin City.  :(  I promise to update with all the details regarding my trip, including wonderful photographs that I have to share.  However, right now I have other things going on......  I came home Saturday evening to my brother and sister sitting in my living room waiting on me to get home.  Being that it was almost midnight, I knew something was wrong.  I was told that my Nana (my grandmother - my mom's mom) had passed the night before.  They didn't want to tell me while I was on my trip.  I was very very close to my Nana.  I was the first grandchild, and the only one for seven years.  We had a strong bond and she knew all my dirty secrets.  This was an all of a sudden ordeal and we had no clues that death would come on her so soon. She was 74 years old with no prior heart conditions... however, she died
of a massive heart attack.  I am having a very difficult time with it, but trying my hardest to stay strong for my own mom, who I believe is just on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  Please keep me and my family in your prayers during this time of
sorrow.  I promise to update my journal again soon.

04/16/2004... DAY #708:
I tell ya, it has been a rough few days to say the very least.  The passing of my Nana has been rough on the whole family.  This is the first day that I haven't shed a tear.  I've dreamed of her every night.  She talked to me a couple of nights ago in my dream, however, it was hard to make out what she was saying.  The only thing I caught was something about "Monday".  Weird... I dunno.  We'll see what happens on Monday.  Thank you to all that have sent me cards and prayers.  The prayers are much needed, especially for my own mom who is taking this really hard.  My mother has been taking care of my Nana since my Papa passed 8 years ago.  Well, on a lighter note, calendar tryouts are tomorrow.  I am not feeling positive about it at all.  This year AC Fitness is sponsoring the calendar.  I'm sure there will be hundreds of tight buff young girls that apply for the calendar.  I'm flabby and old.  LOL.  We shall see.  Of course I will be upset if I don't make it but will hold onto the great memories I had from this past year. 

04/18/2004... DAY #710:
So, let me talk about my Vegas trip.  You know I can go on and on with details, so just bare with me.  :)  I'll first start by saying that we stayed so busy exploring Las Vegas that we all only had one alcoholic beverage a piece the entire trip and did very minimum gambling.  Guess we're maturing, eh?  It was just one of those vacations that we were having so much fun without alcohol that we didn't even think about it.  Day #1 (4/7/04):  On the way to Vegas we got a special treat from Delta Airlines... we took a tour of the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam.  They said it wasn't originally on the route, but they got special clearance to do so, we did a circle over the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam.... I got some awesome shots!  Wow!  Okay.. so that saved us $250 each because we had considered doing the Canyon Helicopter tour out of Vegas.  Once we arrived in Vegas and checked into Harrah's, me, Cary, and Mike rested for a bit while we waited on Gayla to arrive.  Her plane from Sacramento into Las Vegas was two hours behind ours.  Once Gayla got in, we ate lunch at this fantastic buffet in Harrah's.  There was a station with every type of food imaginable... what did I opt for?  A slice of pizza.  HA!  $13 for a slice and a half of pizza.  Well, with my Irritable Bowel Syndrome, I wanted to take it easy and not eat anything I thought would make me sick... but of course I had to finish it with some Banana Pudding... which made me "dump"... I became very loopy and sleepy.  Oh well... so we changed clothes and hit the strip.  We covered so much the first day... more than we had intended.  So what is there to do in Las Vegas?  The hotels of course!  I can't think of any other city that you would go from hotel to hotel, shopping, gambling, finding entertainment, and using the facilities, without being a guest... but that's what you do in Las Vegas on the strip... TOUR THE RESORTS!  The first day we hit Caesar's Palace, Flamingo, Bellagio, and The Mirage.  The shoppes inside Caesar's Palace were incredible.  The Bellagio Botanical Gardens & Conservatory was breathtaking and the dancing Bellagio fountains was an awesome sight.  I am so glad we were there days before the power outage.  At the Mirage we toured the Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat.  It was very nice and peaceful until we witnessed two male lions attempting to have sex with one another.  Hmmm... Cary said that they had been hanging around their owners too long.  LOL!  After a day of walking, we were a bit tired... but onto the hotel to get changed... WE HAD A SHOWGIRLS SHOW TO GO TO!  We attended Harrah's "Skintight" showgirls show.  It was "ok".  I mean, we were expecting to see some voluptuous babes with big boobies and nice round booties.  What we got was young little girls, sizes 0/2, size A boobies, and butt... what butt?  I mean they were stick girls... really!  No lie!  They did pull Cary up on stage for one part of the show where the girls danced and got topless... but um.... hmmm.. yeah... he really enjoyed looking at little girls prance in front of him.  Gayla and I did enjoy the costumes though... they were quite beautiful.  So... at $59.99 each for a total of $239.96, we figured we could have better spent the money to hire a hot babe off the street to dress up in costumes and shake her bon-bon for us.  We did a little gambling... had dinner.. and then off to bed... we were TIRED!!! 

04/19/2004... DAY #711:
Hey how's it going?  Okay... so I went to bed and didn't finish the Las Vegas details.  Let's move onto Day #2 (4/8/04):  Cary and I got up early to scope out some property we were interested in purchasing while Mike & Gayla went on to gamble and have breakfast.  When we returned, our agenda was to make it to the Stratosphere... THREE MILES DOWN THE ROAD.  Unfortunately for me and Gayla, neither of us brought comfortable walking shoes so by the end of the day, our little tootsies were tore up with blisters.  As they say though... beauty is pain, right?  Ha!  Okay, so onto our strip journey on Day #2.  We hit The Venetian Resort.  "Breathtaking" does not touch how beautiful this place was.  It was designed to look like you were walking on the streets of Venice.  The Grand Canal flowed through the middle of the streets and provided Gondola rides.  The lobby ceiling was covered in beautiful paintings.  WOW is all I can say.  We spent several hours there.  We then hit the streets again taking a peek at Treasure Island, Riviera, a couple of wedding chapels, the Fashion Show Mall, the Sahara Roller Coaster, then we finally made it to the Stratosphere.  The Stratosphere Tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the USA and the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.  It was $25 per person to ride the tower up and enjoy the rides.  We were so excited about riding the "High Roller".  It is the world's highest roller coaster at 909 feet above the ground.  Also, they have the "Big Shot" which catapults 921 feet up the Tower's mast to a height of 1,081.  Riders experience 45 mph 4 G's.  Anywho... so by the time we get our tickets, wait in line for an hour, we finally make it to the top to be told the rides had been closed down due to weather.  Now have you, we were told when we purchased our tickets that they were non-refundable if rides are closed due to weather.  To say that we were upset is an understatement.  We decided to catch a taxi back to the hotel so we could rest and we would try our hand at it again later.

04/22/2004... DAY #714:
Yes, I realized it is taking me forever and a day to update my journal regarding my trip... but life has just been so crazy.  My photography business is booming, so, my WLS site sort of takes a backseat seeing as my photography pays the bills... now... if I start getting some donations.. maybe we can talk... I'M KIDDING.  Okay.. so I am up to day #2, and only half way through it.  Well.. ya gonna have to wait just a little longer 'cause it's 1:25am in the morning and I'm tired.  :(  I did, however, want to update you on the 2005 Southern Angel Calendar Tryouts... I went on Saturday, April 17th to the tryouts... similar to last year... application and an interview.  I got a call on Tuesday that I had made it into the Finals.  I have to go on Saturday, May 1st for the swimsuit competition.  Yeah.. me.. the 30 year old, saggy booby, wrinkly belly, batwing arm, wrinkly thigh girl competing against young 20 year old hard body babes that don't know what a weight issue is.  Need an example?  My cousin Felicity made it to the Finals too.. you can see her pic in this month's 23rd month Gallery in the "all my Nana's grandkids" pic.  Oh well... I'll find a swimsuit to wear that if flattering.  Yes, I'm gonna do it... I might embarrass myself, but one thing you gotta know about me... is Julie Hedges is NOT a quitter.  I am the most headstrong person most folks know.  I'm not perfect... I have stretch marks... I'm wrinkly... here I am world!  :)  So... keep your fingers crossed girls.  I'm not doing this just for myself.  I am going to compete for all of us.  All of us girls who are sexy hard body babes trapped in a fat girl's body.  I use to say "there is a skinny girl under all this fat... she is suffocating and dying to come out!!!!"... of course girls... if I don't make it into the calendar this year... I can always tryout for the doughnut calendar.  Okay.. well.. I'm hitting the bed... got a long day ahead of me tomorrow.  I'll finish my Las Vegas trip details soon.... and also, thank you again to the tremendous support of emails, cards, hugs, prayers, and love I have received from all of you regarding my Nana.  You guys and gals are the best!  :)

04/23/2004... DAY #715:
On the agenda.... #1 Finish telling you about my Vegas trip.  #2 Tell you about the Playboy 50th Anniversary Party.  I WILL... I PROMISE... Just tired.... :(  Been shopping in Atlanta with Blaise all day and have a wedding tomorrow... however... I do have a few of my pics from the Playboy party uploaded.... Stay tuned.

04/28/2004... DAY #720:
Okey dokey... let me finish the details of my Vegas trip.  Okay, so I left off with the middle of day #2 where we left the Stratosphere and went back to the hotel due to weather.  We rested, took showers, ate, and changed.  We went down, gambled for a while, then hit the trolley to try our hand at the Stratosphere again.  After a 45 minute trolley ride (good grief!), a 30 minute walk/wait to get to the top of the building, we stood out in the cold and wind for 25 minutes waiting on the rides to open because they were closed for maintenance.  The "maintenance" issue got worse as the wait progressed, really scaring us was the ride that juts you off the side of the building.  We decided that "rolling the dice" and gambling our lives on this ride wasn't worth it at all.  We made our 1+ mile track back down to the Ticket Office where Gayla and I so professionally demanded a refund.  :)  We then walked to the Sahara to eat dinner in the worse serviced restaurant any of us have come across.  It was soooo bad that we witnessed the manager resolving three other customer complaints.  We then hit the trolley again back to Harrah's.  It was about midnight.  Mike and Gayla decided to hit the casino while Cary and I went touring the strip.  We spent some more time at Caesar's, Paris, and Bally's.  Cary and I returned to the room around 3am!  Ha!  We had so much fun just sight seeing... and to say that "NYC is the city that never sleeps"... I would have to say "Vegas is running a VERY close second".  I tell you what Cary and I found very refreshing about Las Vegas.  We never once felt scared or unsafe.  When my Mom and I were in NYC, we hid our purses inside our coats.. in Las Vegas, there just wasn't that uneasy feeling.  Who knows... but it just was refreshing.  Anywho.  Onto Day #3.  We got up that morning and hit Circus Circus for the amusement park.  Once we paid our $28.95 per person, we were then told two of the five rides was down.  Ya know.. what kinda luck were we having?  Okay... pause.  Tired... going to bed seeing as it is 3:17am.  I've been working on wedding pics and my eyes are going cross.  We'll catch up in the morning.  :)

04/29/04... DAY #721:
Okay, it's 2:08am in the morning on 4/30/04, but seeing as I have yet to go to bed... figuratively, it's still Thursday to me.  Anywho.. so I am so stoked!  I got on the scale this morning and it was 138.5!!!!  Only 3.5 more pounds to goal!  Go Julie!  Woo hoo!  AND guess what... hubby, putting his mind into a habit from 2+ years ago, went out shopping today.  When he came home he said "Honey, I got you a little treat.".  He had a bag of cookies.  I said, "Baby, thank you, and I know you mean well, but put that crap AWAY!!!"  I made him hide them in the freezer.  Yeah, I know they're there, but I am less likely to get into them.  I told him to eat them.  Sheesh!  God love my hubby.  I know what you're saying, "Um, Jules, ya know.. could you finish the freaking Vegas story sometime soon?"  Patience is a virtue.  LOL!  Instead, I thought I would go into the Playboy story.  The "50th Anniversary Playboy Party Tour" stopped in Atlanta on Thursday, April 22nd at the Elven50 Club.  Unfortunately, my hubby could not get anymore time off from work since he had been off for Las Vegas and funeral leave, so he did not get to go... but he did admit later that he probably wouldn't have had a good time.  See... Cary is a homeboy and doesn't like socializing too much... that would be where him and I are very much different.  What I do love about Cary, though, is that he doesn't hold me back.  He knows I like to "go, go, go", so he sets me free... and we stay completely happily married that way.  :)  Anywho, I ended up selling his ticket.  Blaise and I drove up to Atlanta early afternoon and took in some sights.  When we were walking through the hotel lobby heading to the party, people were stopping us asking us "who we were?"... "if we were famous?".... and to top it all off, there was a Japanese family that stopped to take pictures of us... it was a freaking riot!!!  Yep.. we had to admit it... "Damn it... we both look sexy as hell!"  ha!  Blaise was wearing a long black jacket suit with a crisp white shirt, and I wore a long black sequin slinky number.  When we walked into the party, we were turning heads!  People stopped us all night long wanting to take pictures with us.  It was crazy!!!!  We made so many great contacts handing out our comp cards... and every time I was stopped by guys, they couldn't believe the "before & after" pics I showed them.  Several players from the Atlanta Falcons were there and they were swearing up and down that I was totally lying to them... and several guys thought I was one of the Playboy bunnies.  Yeah.. my head was bigger than life that night!!!  Goodness.  We had so much fun.  A bonus was meeting up with my WLS buddy Julie and her hubby Adrian, and Joe (Hot WLS Hunk), flew in from Tulsa to be there.  We all had so much fun!!!  Blaise and I have decided that hitting the club scene is the best way to get our names out there.  You just can't believe the contacts we made!  AND... once Cary and Blaise finish their CD (yep, Cary is producing the music... Blaise is writing lyrics & singing), we'll be hitting the bigger club scenes in Florida, NYC, and California.  Okay.... so.. that was Playboy.  I've uploaded some more pics in the 23rd month gallery too.  :)  I'll finish Las Vegas up soon!  :)  2:52am... Mama going to bed... hmmm maybe I can wake Cary up???  wink wink.

04/30/04... DAY #722:

05/01/04... DAY #723:
136.5 THIS MORNING!!!!!  I'M ON FIRE BABY!!!!  ONE & 1/2 POUNDS TO GO!!!!!!!!!!

05/04/04.... DAY #726:
Okay, I got this one CD from the Playboy party.. it's DJ Shortee's mix... um.. I've played it so much over and over that I have literally drove myself crazy!  LOL!  I love it though... anywho... onto business here... Okay.. Well.. it's official... I didn't make it into the calendar this year.  :(  I told ya.. competition was tough.. but.. my cousin DID make it!  Yeah for her!  She's so beautiful and sexy!  Here's the letter I received:

From: April
Sent: Monday, May 03, 2004 9:48 AM
Subject: Calendar

We wanted to thank you for trying out again this year but regretfully we cannot use you at this time.  We do however want you to try out for the 2006 Southern Angels Calendar.

On a personal note, you are really an inspiration to us all, you know this, because I have told you so many times, and cannot tell you enough. You are going to make a big change in this world Julie and we are happy to have you as a friend and are here when you need us. Your personality will be terribly missed.

Thank you so much for everything you have brought to the table.


So there ya have it.  :(  Sad.. yes.. but I had a gut feeling it wouldn't happen this year.  It's cool though.. everything happens for a reason and I have so much on my plate right now regarding photography.  I made it last year when I weighed ten pounds heavier.. so... I consider myself a success.  Anywho... just been busy with photography... during the week weddings too!  Whew.. STAYING BUSY!!!  Praise Jesus!!!

05/06/04.... DAY #728:
The scale is still looking good.  :)  I went shopping yesterday and bought me a khaki Tommy Hilfiger mini skirt... size 4!  LOL!  Ya gotta love 'ol Tommy... he puts sizes on his clothes about 4 digits off.  I wear a size 8, but in Tommy... I wear a 4.  I think I'll just wear Tommy from now on... hee hee.  Anywho.  I also got this beautiful white sequin gown for $12.  It's gorgeous.  Nah.. I don't have anywhere to wear it... YET!  You know me... always socializing it up somewhere... I'll find somewhere to wear it.  :)


05/13/04.... DAY #735:
Wow!  Has it really been a week since my last update?  Well, I guess I've just been so busy.  I tell ya... running a full-time business takes a lot of self-discipline and dedication.  Oh, don't get me wrong... I got it going on... I just sometimes get a little overwhelmed.... but I'm good.  I'm the secretary, the accountant, the web designer, the graphic designer, the proofer, the photographer, the owner, the album creator, the manager, the consultant, the purchaser... etc.... WHEW!  I tell ya....  I LOVE IT THOUGH AND WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY!  Let's see... what have I been up to this past week?  Well on Friday, May 7th, I went to visit "Hot WLS Babe" Pam Kelley at her new second home on Lake Martin.  We had a great time and took pictures on her floating deck.  The land and house were beautiful!  I can't wait to go Jet-Skiing or sunbathing out there.  We had a blast!  I just love that girl to death!  On Saturday, May 8th, I had some modeling meetings and business to attend to in Atlanta for Blaise.  Things are looking good... but being a manager is a tough job I am finding out.  We then hit Visions Club in Midtown Atlanta that evening to make more contacts.  DJ Skribble and Tommy Lee (yes, Pamela Anderson's Tommy) were there putting on a show.  We got to party with Tommy Lee... it was very cool.  I had my little digital camera instead of my big professional one... so unfortunately my pictures look like doody-pie.  I had swapped out cameras when I caught this man's hands in my purse!  Yes!  I was dancing and felt someone near me.  I turned around and this guy had his hands all down in my purse trying to steal from me!!!  At that moment I decided that the expensive... my "career camera" was going back out to the SUV for lock down!  Anywho... other than that, I've just had client meetings, wedding albums, and wedding pictures that I've been working on.  Cary and I are doing fantastic... my weight is still holding steady... my career is going great... and I just couldn't ask for a better Best-Friend than Gayla Rebecca.  Life is good!  Well.. that's it for now.  I have a VERY busy weekend ahead of me.  I'll update when I can.  Smooches!  Jules

05/22/04.... DAY #744:
Well after receiving several threatening emails from my fan club about it being longer than a week since I last updated... I thought it best that I get to work.  LOL!!!  Since my last journal entry I've been mostly working.  I had two weddings to airbrush and I had a big wedding I covered at Sweet Home Plantation in Pine Mountain on Saturday the 15th.  On Tuesday the 18th, I was doing some squats and lunges and got a nerve running through my back caught in between my two slipped discs.  Sound painful?  Oh yes... believe me.  It's still stuck there... can't get it out.  It is causing a sharp pain up my back and down my right leg.  The only thing that I can do to is to continue to exercise.  It's just going to have to work itself out... there's nothing a doctor can do.  I've had this happen before.  SO... on Wednesday the 19th, me, my hubby, and some friends of ours went to the Firehouse for some fun and dancing.  I thought that some gyrating of my hips might knock the snag loose.  Yes... it continues to be painful... but when it comes to my back... I have a high tolerance for pain.  I use to carry around an extra 120+ pounds on it... so... anywho.  I got to wear my new white Austin Power go-go boots (as Gayla calls them).  We had a blast with the exception of me dancing.... having a wee bit to drink... went to "get low get low" on the dance floor in my 6 inch boots... and well... couldn't get up.  A pain shot up my back, down my leg, my legs got weak, and just gave out.  No... I didn't fall on my butt... I just was stuck in "get low" position.  I tried to play it off like I was doing some new dance move... but um... it didn't work.  LOL!  The friends I was dancing with had to help me up.  It was too embarrassing.  Anywho.... on Thursday the 20th, I covered a military ball on Ft. Benning.  I stayed up late Friday night working on it.  I had a wedding today in Auburn... and here I am now.  So now you're all caught up!  :)  Okay.. onto the depressing stuff..... I am sorry to report that I have gained 7.5 pounds and I am now at 144 lbs.  I keep telling y'all... weight maintenance as a 18+ month post-op is harder than hell.  It takes a LOT of dedication and food watching.  I think about food and what I put in my mouth more than I EVER did on my hundreds of diets as a pre-op.  The weight COMES ON like a ravage at this stage.  Why do I tell y'all about my downfalls?  Because it's reality!  I want my journal to be an accurate view of post-op life.  I want you to learn and know all the down-sides of surgery.  I don't regret this surgery for one moment.  I love my new life.  I just want you to know that being a post-op after the honeymoon period is hard.  It is really really hard.  I tell you what pisses me off.... when I hear someone say "well you took the easy way out".  To that I say "Kiss my Ass".  There's not one damn easy thing about this surgery other than the surgery itself.  The actual surgery and recovery period was the easiest part.  Everything else after surgery is an uphill battle.  I have days where I feel sick to my stomach all day.  I have days where I am tired.  However, I pull myself up by the bootstraps because this surgery was the best damn decision I've ever made.  So how did I gain the weight?  My food demons came back.  It happens.  The 'ol "fat girl syndrome" takes over.  It all started when I went the grocery store for a few items and walked out with $180 of groceries in my cart.  I had everything from frozen pizzas, canned pasta, two bags of Oreos, two bags of potato chips... you name it.  If it was unhealthy and NOT on the Atkins diet... then it was in my cart and there isn't but two of us living in my house!  I don't know what came over me.  This past week I have eaten just about all of it and it didn't help that I did no walking this past week.  Heck, as I sit here typing at 11:44pm at night... I'm eating Papa John's pizza covered in butter garlic.  I also can push myself to eat more.. which is very scary too.  Example:  Blaise and I were eating Taco Bell a few nights ago.  I ordered a Steak Burrito Supreme as I always do.  Usually I can only eat 1/3 of it and I save the other 2/3's for two other meals.  I finished the whole burrito without even realizing it.  Blaise was in total shock.  He said "Julie, I have NEVER seen you eat that much before.  Slow your roll girl 'cause you are getting fat!!!".  I sat there, looked at my plate, and was totally disgusted by myself.  I had inhaled the whole dang thing!  I then went and weighed myself and sure enough... I was getting fat... I had gained 7.5 pounds in a matter of 4 days.  HOLY COW!  So... I will finish this pizza tonight and will start back on track Sunday.  I get so mad at myself.  I don't know why I do this.  I wish I had more control over my eating disorder.  Look back in my journal.  It's like I fight against myself.  As soon as I get close to goal, a mechanism goes off in my brain that says "Oh no.. you're getting too skinny.. you must eat!!!".  I hate it!!!  As usual though, I will overcome this.  I have realized my downfalls at 7.5 pounds instead of 15 or 20.  I will get back on track and will report soon enough that I am at my goal of 135 lbs.  I will start back walking this week regardless of how my back feels.  I can do this!  I can overcome the darn food demons!  I am better than my addiction!  I WILL WIN!!!!

05/29/04.... DAY #751:
Don't have a lot of time to write... very busy as it is wedding season and mama is behind... not to mention my assistant is on vacation.  :(  I will update you with this week's drama soon.  As far as my weight, I'm back down to 142 lbs.  I found a few more "Pre-Op" pics while cleaning out some old photo discs this past week.  I've added them to the "Pre-Op" gallery.  Talk to you soon.

 05/30/04.... DAY #752:
Well, here's my report on this past week's happenings... Besides working my tail off doing airbrushing of photographs and running my business... Saturday, 5/22 & Sunday, 5/23 I had back to back weddings.  Monday, my friend Cassandra and I went to Atlanta to meet P. Diddy.  There is much drama surrounding this event that I can not speak of at this time... however, I will report as soon as I can.  Tuesday was spent at the doctor's office as my back was killing me (part of Monday drama).  I've been going to Physical Therapy all this week.  Wednesday, Blaise took care of my roots and turned me platinum blonde.  Yep... I'm as white blonde as they get.  He says he really likes it.  Hmmmm... dunno if I like it... will take some getting use to.  Thursday, I had dinner and a movie with my friend Sharon.  We saw the movie "Mean Girls".  It was so funny... I loved it!  Friday, I had lunch with Beth.  Saturday, 5/29 I had a wedding of my good friend Brandy Allen and a bridal shoot Sunday morning.  Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon were spent helping Blaise move into a new apartment.  Soooo.... I have been SLAMMED with work and running a social life!  LOL!  I haven't seen Cary much this week.  He has been working around the clock fixing computers.  I'm hoping for some quality time with him tonight.  We shall see.  Anywho... it's 5:50pm on Sunday 5/30/04 and that's the latest with me.  Oh... real quick... I had to add a question to my "FAQ's" page.  Oddly enough, I've received the same or similar question six times this past week.  Is someone writing a book or making a movie that I don't know about???  LOL!  The question is:  "Do you put your entire life in your journal?"  The answer:  "My Journal is an accurate account of my daily/weekly happenings.  However, it would be silly to believe that it is all inclusive of all that I do, see, and feel.  I am a very open person and share a lot of my life with the public... but sometimes there are secrets a girl likes to keep to herself. :)"  So there you have it.  I'm expecting the National Enquirer to run the story next week.  LOL!  I'm kidding... I'm kidding.  Okay.. that about does it!  Big hugs and smooches!

06/07/04.... DAY #760:
Y'all, time is just going by too quickly.  I mean... I look up... and a week plus has passed me.  Do y'all feel like that?  Well, we have some new "Hot WLS Babes"... be sure to go and check the hotties out.  I guess now that the drama has died down, I will tell ya about the Monday, 5/24 Atlanta/P. Diddy incident.  As I told you, me and my friend Cassandra went to Visions Nightclub as VIP's to meet P. Diddy as he was coming in for a one night appearance.  We arrived at the club around 10:45pm where our I.D.'s were checked, purses searched, and they were aware that I had a camera.  Throughout the night, Cassandra and I took miscellaneous photos of each other in the presence of several security guard/bouncers.  Nothing was said.  Other patrons had cameras too and there was even another pro-photographer walking the dance floor taking pics of people and passing out his card.  Around 1:15am, Cassandra and I were standing at the entry of the steps to the VIP area awaiting on P. Diddy's arrival.  We stood there about 15 minutes, all the while, I was taking pictures in front of the "VIP Rope Keeper" and nothing was said.  Around 1:30am, out of no where, I was completely blind sided by another huge ass male security guard/bouncer/member of P. Diddy's Entourage... I haven't a clue, anywho, he snatched my $2800 camera out of my hands.  I had the strap wrapped around my arms, so I pulled back... fighting with all my might.  Now, I guess it was adrenaline, because I had a good grip and this asshole couldn't get the camera away from me.  Another big ass male security guard/bouncer/member of P. Diddy's Entourage (I won't ever know exactly who they worked for) comes up from the right side and grabs the strap and starts to yank on it.  Now picture this.  A guy has the camera in both hands on one side, I'm pulling on the strap on the opposite side, and another guy is grabbing from the right side.  I was holding my own all the while screaming.  All of a sudden, the "VIP Rope Keeper" Big ASS Bouncer pushes my ass to the ground, which of course made me lose my grip on the camera.  He then proceeds to pick me up by my shoulders, weaves me through the crowd, and throws me out the club.  I will tell you that my feet never touched the ground.  Once I got outside, there was a off-duty police woman who was asking me what was going on.  I was screaming about my camera.  The only thing I could think of was my career!  Okay, now I hate to leave y'all hanging right here... but it's 1:37am in the morning and I am tired.  I will try and finish the story tomorrow.  As far as this past week's happenings... nothing really exciting... just busy filling photo orders.  I had a wedding on Saturday here in Columbus, then a wedding in Rome, GA on Sunday.  I mostly rested today and spent time with my friend Beth.  Just missing my hubby.  He is working so many hours.  Okay... night night.  Big smooches!

06/07/04.... DAY #760:
Good Morning to ya!  Wow!  I had a great night's sleep... well.. with the exception of the phone ringing at 9:07am and waking me up.  Yeah... I know what some of y'all are saying:  "It must be nice to sleep until 9:00am."  Well, just keep in mind that I normally don't get in bed until 3am.  :)... not finished.... will type more later... computer updates needed.


06/12/04.... DAY #765:
When I tell you I blink and my days pass by... I truly mean it!  Here I am thinking I'm gonna go back to work on a post I typed up this morning... and... um... IT'S BEEN FIVE DAYS SINCE I TYPED THAT LAST POST!  HOLY COW!  What is wrong with me?  My mind has been too occupied with other stuff lately.  Sheesh!  Okay so I'll finish up the P. Diddy night incident.  Also, just keep in mind that I was at the same club two weeks prior partying with Tommy Lee and I had my camera.  Now granted.. it wasn't my big professional paparazzi camera... and all the pictures turned out black... but it was a camera none the less.  Okay, so I left off with me being thrown out the club and a woman police officer asking me what was going on.  I reported to the off-duty police officer who was pulling security for the club that I had been assaulted by the three men and my camera had been taken.  The police officer seemed unconcerned about the details of the assault but she was concerned about my camera.  I was raising hell and screaming so loud about my camera that another security guard checking ID's coming into the club came up the steps and asked "What the hell is going on???".  I explained what was going on and that I was a professional photographer and that the bouncers had stolen my camera.  He then made me prove that I was a pro-photographer.  THANK GOD I had my business cards on me!  He then motioned for another bouncer to go back in the club and get my camera... as if they both knew who would have it... and apparently they did 'cause 15 LONG ASS MINUTES they came back out with my camera.  They held the camera while another security officer made me remove all images off the camera.  So, after the images were removed, I told the security guard that I wanted to talk to a member of management because I had been thrown down by the "VIP Rope Bouncer" and camera stolen by the staff for no apparent reason.  ......Okay.. so I hate to end AGAIN... but I realize it's fast to read.. but it takes a long time to think and type... even though I type 72 wpm. :-)  ANYWHO... I promise to finish the story soon.  Busy weekend.  Weddings and shoots out of town through Monday.

06/16/04.... DAY #769:
Whoever came and swapped my scale, please bring my old one back!  LOL!  Whoa Mama!  I weighed in at a whopping 148 lbs. here at 2:41am.  Yes, once again, the thoughtful, sweet, caring individuals in my life let me know that I'm gaining weight.  LOL!  Let's see... Cary says to me:  "Um honey, I know we're thinking about going to the beach soon and I was wondering what you plan on wearing?"  And I'm like:  "Huh?"  And he says "Baby, you're packing on the pounds."  Scenario #2:  Blaise calls me while I'm at the tanning bed and says "You're in the tanning bed?  Don't you know they have a weight limit?"  And I'm like "Huh?"  And he says "Well it looks like you've gained 12 pounds and your face is getting swoll".  Well one thing I can say is at least they're honest and straight up.  No... the comments don't hurt my feelings.  I actually need that kick in the ego sometimes.  If it wasn't for Cary keeping in check at home and Blaise keeping me in check with working out... I would probably be worse off.  See... I always gain weight when I start to eat the carbs and that's what has been going on the past couple of weeks.  For the most part, I get sick from eating bread and pasta... but every now and then my tummy will go on this two week binge where it will want it and like it.  I have been eating bread dipped in apple butter, popcorn, macaroni salad, crackers and peanut butter, oatmeal raisin cookies... all the "no no's".  So I know what I need to do.  I'm putting my ass in check.  I will see 136.5 again.  Bear with me.  You know I can do this... this is  just reality, ya know.  I tell it like it is.  Jules ain't perfect and neither is the surgery.  This just proves that you can fall off the wagon... but I will get back on.   Going night night... I know... "FINISH THE P. DIDDY NIGHT STORY ALREADY".  I will... promise... Goodnight.

06/20/04... DAY #773:
Happy Father's Day to all you Daddies out there!  And a special "shout out" to my Daddy who is the best Daddy in the whole wide world!  I love you Daddy!!!!!
Now... on another note... I feel like the big Marshmallow Man from the Ghostbusters movie.  I'm sitting at 146 lbs.... feeling like 865 lbs.  Sheesh!  An extra ten pounds feels so massive.  Yuck!  I can feel grease pouring out of my pores.  Do you hear that?  Yeah... me too... The "Fat Girl" theme song playing in the background.... "Da na na na na na na na FAT GIRL!!!!!"

06/24/04... DAY #777:
It's day #777... hmm, maybe I should play the lottery?  Well, it's 4:00am and I can't sleep... probably 'cause Care Bear was snoring in my ear like he was chopping down timber, but, we love him all the same.  So me and hubby left Monday morning and got away to Panama City Beach, FL for a few days.  The water was crystal clear and so beautiful.  It was a nice time.  It seemed like forever since we had been on a vacation with just me and him.  I'll update pics soon.  Okay, I apologize that it has taken me forever and a day to finish the P. Diddy story.  So I left off with me telling a bouncer/security guard that I wanted to speak with management.  After a long wait and the guy being a complete butthole, he led me through the club where we weaved back through the masses of people.  He leads me back to the VIP area and says:  "Show me who pushed you down."  I pointed to the VIP Rope Keeper.  He then turned around and led me back out of the club.  I said:  "Um, I thought you were taking me to speak to management?"  He said:  "No.  You'll have to wait until tomorrow to speak to management, I just wanted to see who pushed you down and ma'am, if you were pushed down, it's probably because management told him to push you down."  "Oh is that so?"  I asked and from that point forward, anything I said to him, he either ignored me or continued to repeat that "management told him to push you down".  This guy was useless.  By this time Cassandra was waiting for me outside the roped security area.  We left, headed back to the hotel room for me to file a police report.  When we got back to the room I called the Atlanta Police Department.  While we waited, Cassandra took photographs of my back where I had been slammed down, four fingernail marks going down my back, and a burn across my stomach where the camera strap was ripped across my stomach when it was snatched (pics click here).  When the officer got to the hotel, he looked at my injuries and said that I should have filed a report at the club.  I'm like "Sir, I did report to an off-duty officer at the club but she was non-concerned about my marks, only about my camera... besides sir, that is her part-time job, she isn't going to file against the club and lose her job."  He wasn't hearing it.  He said because I didn't have any names and because I didn't have any severe injuries, the only thing I could do would be to talk to management of the club in the morning.  What the hell?  Now, I don't know how it is in your neck of the woods, but here in good 'ol Columbus, GA, they'll write up a police report if someone looks at ya wrong.  I was getting no where and by this point, it was already 3:00am.  We went to bed but had to leave at 8:00am 'cause Cassandra had to pick her kids up from her mom's.  When I got back home I called around twelve lawyers in the Columbus and Atlanta area.  No one wanted to take my case because they felt my injuries were not severe enough.  One of them even said:  "Well if you had been stabbed, that would have been good, but since you were only slammed down, it wouldn't be big enough for us to take it."  Well dayum... why couldn't I have been stabbed?  Sheesh!  What were these lawyers afraid of?  I mean, do they all get kickbacks from this club?  Oh well... I finally gave up.  I went to the doctor and had X-Rays made of my back and went to Physical Therapy for two weeks to get my sciatic nerve out of my discs.  I got my camera back and my body has healed.  I guess I should count my lucky stars that it wasn't worse.  I mean... after all... I could have been stabbed!

06/27/04... DAY #780:
"Official Weigh-In" this morning... 146 lbs.  That is a 9.5 lbs. weight gain from my lowest weight.  So what is causing this weight gain?  Oh just me not following the rules!  I haven't been drinking enough water, I've been eating more carbs than protein, haven't been exercising, and I've been putting a box a day away of Lindt Dark Chocolate Truffles.  So.... time to get my butt in gear!  How many times am I going to have to tell myself???  Okay, I'll let ya in on a little secret.  I have a black jumpsuit that I wear to every wedding I shoot.  Yesterday, I had just began shooting a wedding (that would go 6 hours) when I bent over to take a stopper off a door.... you heard "Rrrrrriiiiiippppppp".  Everyone turned around.  Yep... I've gained so much weight that my pants split in the seat.  Now thank goodness these things were doubled stitched, so you couldn't see my goods.... but it was embarrassing to say the least 'cause the groom, all the groomsmen, and the groom's parents heard it.  I just got up and said:  "No looking at the photographer's butt for the remainder of the day!  Your photographer must go on a diet!".  They all laughed.  By the end of the night, the groom's mother came over to me and said:  "Girl, I just wanna tell you that you are a true trooper.  You split your pants and have just kept on going.  We've had so much fun with you... you and your assistant have done a wonderful job."  Awwww.  That's me... always bubbly on the outside, even when I was fat.  The difference now is that I'm also bubbly on the inside too.  If the pants would have ripped when I was fat and all would have laughed, I still would have reacted the same way.  However, I would have been torn up inside thinking they were making fun of me because I was fat.  Now I know they are laughing because it's just funny... not because I'm fat.  Make sense?  Anyway... got to get busy on my diet.  I'm out of chocolates and so is the store.  I've bought all that they had (Yes, all 24 boxes).  So, now is the perfect time for diet.  Happy Birthday to my close buddy, friend, and "Hot WLS Hunk", Paul Rivera.  Y'all feel free to send him lots of birthday mail.  Click here.  Fill his box up.  Hee hee.  Okey dokey... got lots to do today.  Two albums to put together, three weddings to airbrush, and a Baby Shower for a friend.  Smooches!

07/02/04... DAY #785:
Back down to 142.5 lbs.  Praise Jesus!  Now that is only a 6 pound weight gain from my lowest weight.  I've been working out with my sis at the gym.  The Stairmaster machine has been kicking my butt and I have really been focusing on my abs.  I can see squares in my tummy.  I mean, they're barely there, but they are there none the less.  Well I am heading to eat some Mexican food with my friend Beth for lunch.  I hope everyone is having a great day. 

07/08/04... DAY #785:
Well I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July weekend.  I had a great time.  It was a movie weekend for me.  It started with Blaise and I watching Mystic River.  WOW!  That was a suspenseful movie to me.  then Cary and I watched "Badder Santa".  Okay... very vulgar movie... but oh my I laughed so hard!  I loved it!  Then on the 4th, Cary had to work... pooh... so I watched "Along Came Polly", then spent the day at my parent's house.  My Daddy BBQ'd chicken and burgers on the grill and my mama made tater salad and goodies.  It was soooo good!  But I just HAD to have some of my mama's banana pudding... and well... made myself sick... sugar equals sleepy time.  After sleepy time, me, Daddy, Mama, Brother, and his fiancée went to see "White Chicks".  Oh my gosh we laughed so hard.  We were rolling!!!!  That movie was hilarious.  I just love the Wayan Brothers!  Well, that led into Monday where I watched "50 First Dates"... another great movie!  On Tuesday, I drove to Pam Kelley's Lake Home on Lake Martin.  It started with a ride in the boat.  That was a blast!  I love boats!  I got to meet "The Naked Gardener".  Oh yes... "Larry the Naked Gardener".  Larry had left a glass in Jim (Pam's man) and Pam's boat, so Jim pulled the boat up to Larry's deck and told me to return the glass to Larry.  I was in my bikini.  I walked up the steps and knocked on the door.  This older, very attractive man in his 60's, wearing jean shorts only... who you could tell was a player back in the day, came to the door.  I said "I'm here to return your glass."  He said "Well shug, you want me to fill it up for you?"  LOL.. I was like "nah I got something to drink in the boat."  He said "Well are you a present from Jim?  Did Christmas come early this year?"  I just did my little flirty smile.  He said "Well come on in here and let me get you some corn and tomatoes".  Heck... free veggies????  What girl could say no???  He was a harmless flirty old man.  I follow him into the kitchen and he fills me up a bag of fresh corn and tomatoes then unzips his shorts and drops them to the floor.  He says "Honey, can you tell me... am I tan all over?"  Now Jim had already warned me that Larry likes to get nekkid.  I said "Um yep... I'd say you're tan all over".  LOL... OMG!  It was so crazy.  He was like "Let's see if you're tan all over."  I was like "I am... you'll just have to trust me".  He was harmless and fun.  He walked out on his porch stark nekkid and wave goodbye to me and Jim.  Jim was just a rolling.  OH MY... I'll have to say that was interesting.  I cooked some corn last night though and it was delicious.. so I guess Nekkid Larry knows what he is doing.  LOL.  Anywho.. so we got cleaned up and the three of us piled into Jim's Corvette.  Yep... Jim was driving and me and Pam took turns sitting in each other's lap.  The top was down and Jim was taking curves at 70+ mph.  I know know... dangerous... but it was so much fun.  I love visiting Pam.  We have so much fun.  She is so blonde, tan, skinny, and beautiful!  Okay.. back to my movies.  Last night Cary, Blaise, and I watched "Barbershop II".  I laughed so hard.  Cedric is too funny.  So it was movie week for Jules!!!  My weight is still holding steady and I'm still eating chocolate.  Who knows when I'll stop?  Got a busy wedding weekend and photo shoot week.  Y'all hold down the fort!  Kisses!


07/15/04... DAY #798:
Why yes... I'm busier than ever... but life has never been so sweeter.  Wanna know the #1 best thing ever about being self-employed?  One word that America is based on... FREEDOM.  Yes... freedom.  No one to answer to but myself.  Like the joy of my hubby and I spending a beautiful afternoon at the movies seeing Anchorman with only 4 other people in the entire theatre.  How great is that?  Just wanted to pop in real quick.  My weight is maintaining.  I haven't really had time lately to think about serious exercising or dieting.  I've just been eating on the run.  I do, however, continue to do my basic exercises every evening before bedtime.  I'm enjoying life and can't wait until my next travel adventure.  Gayla has designed a little webpage to display our vacation adventures.  Go here to see it:  Anywho, so I've just been busy with my photography business that is becoming bigger than life.  I LOVE IT!  I'm also still working on becoming famous.  LOL.  I'll get there soon enough!  I can hear the big screen calling me now!  LOL!  Okay... well I got to get busy.  Everyone be sweet and stay tuned!  P.S.  This is for "Aly" who wrote me... she says that she stops by the website everyday to read up on "JulesLand".  I like the ring of that... "JulesLand".  I'm gonna start using that.  Hee hee.. Thanks Aly!

07/25/04... DAY #808:
It's been forever and day since I updated, huh?  Sorry about that.  Wedding Season is kicking my butt.  I've been very busy with weddings and photo shoots.  Let's see... well what has been happening over the past week?  Gayla's "BIG 30th" birthday was on July 19th.  Her friends threw her a party.  I didn't get to fly out and go because I was booked with three weddings that weekend.  Rosa Fennie and I had check-up appointments with Dr. Williams and Dr. Champion on Thursday.  I weighed in at 146 lbs.  Dr. Champion told me I had lost more weight than expected and that my weight was where he wanted it.  He asked me at what weight am I happy?  I told him that as long as I am below 150 lbs.... I am happy, but I was ecstatic when I weighed 136 lbs. and my goal is to get back there.  My blood work looks good and my bone density test was good too.  Rosa and I took pictures with Dr. Williams.  Check my 26 month gallery for them.  I hate to sound like a broken record... but that's really all that has been going on.  I've just been working everyday on photographs from weddings.  I'll try to update soon.  :)

08/03/04... DAY #817:
Good Afternoon!  I've been running errands the past couple of days.  It amazes me how busy the stores are even during the weekday working hours.  Sheesh!  Doesn't anybody work anymore???  When I first went into self-employment last year, the stores would be empty during the daytime... only filled with senior citizens.  Now, everybody and their mamas is out shopping.  I hate crowds!  That's usually why you'll find me doing my Wal-mart shopping at 3am in the morning.  Anywho.... Well this weekend was a blast to say the least. I left Friday afternoon and headed to Atlanta. I met up with "Hot WLS Babe" Constance Harrison (who is a total hottie) and some friends of hers. We ate dinner at Agnes and Muriel's with valet parking. It was so good that I ate too much and made myself sick!  We then hit the clubs in Buckhead. We started at "Uranus", then went to "Dyme", and ended at "Frequency". We had a good time. I spent the night with Constance then got up Saturday morning and headed to Dawsonville where I met up with my Mother-In-Law.  We had lunch and did LOTS OF SHOPPING at the North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall.  I had a goodtime.  I then headed to my WLS buddy Julie C's house to do a photo shoot of her.  She is so tall and beautiful!  After the photo shoot, we went to the Gwinnett Mall and did shopping.  I bought WAY TOO MUCH this weekend... but heck... it was "Tax-Free Weekend"!  I had to take advantage!  :)  After shopping our tootsies off, we headed home where her hubby made us cheese quesadillas that were the BOMB!  To top it off, we then had Margaritas made from imported Tequila.  I'm not much of a margarita drinker... but I will tell ya... that drink was sooooo good and smooth.  WOW!  I wish I had one right now!  Okay... so after food and alcohol in our bellies, we headed to Midtown where we partied at the "Compound" club.  Very swank place... but good grief was it packed, hot, and sticky!!!  We stayed and danced a little while then headed back to the house for some more of those good margaritas!  LOL!  Julie's house is so beautiful.  I swear it looks like the pages of an interior design magazine.  The girl has a nack for decorating that is for sure!  I slept like a Princess in my very own room with the most luxurious King Size bed and bedding.  Julie got up the next morning and served me cheese eggs, fresh strawberries, and coffee.  I thought I was at some kind of resort retreat!  Hee hee... Oh yes!  I'll be going back to Atlanta soon!  :)  I just realized that I haven't spoken about my sister in my journal lately.  My little baby is getting married on August 27th.  It's so crazy to see her growing up.  She got engaged earlier this summer.  He took her to the beach and hid the ring in a seashell which was placed on the beach just so.  She spotted the unique seashell... opened it... and BAM!  There was a ring.  He dropped to his knee and proposed.  Awwww... how romantic.  His name is Robbie.  I really like him a lot and he has a great job as a firefighter.  We've been preparing/planning for this wedding... it'll make you crazy!  LOL!  I'll be the Matron of Honor AND Photographer.  I know... sounds crazy... but I can make it happen!  :)  Today I've been having a "me" day.  I got up, dressed in my new sexy black pantsuit, got my eyebrows done, my nails done, got me some new shoes.... just having fun.  I'm all tuckered out now.... I guess I'm gonna go take a nap at 3:57pm in the afternoon.  God Bless Freedom!  :) 

08/05/04... DAY #819:
I've decided that I am going to sue the Lindt Chocolate company for causing me to become so addicted to their dark chocolate that my husband drove me to the grocery store at 2:00am just to get some!  Oh my... I got it bad!  My ass is getting bigger by the hour!  My weight is holding steady between 143 and 145 lbs. but I have gained two inches on my tummy and hips which means I have lost muscle and gained fat!  Arrrrggghhhh!  I've got to focus!  Blaise and I have been so busy working on our careers that the walking took a back burner.  I've got to get back walking!  No need for emails scolding me about the chocolate.... I know what I need to do... now I just got to do it.  Why couldn't I be addicted to... um... let's say... Broccoli?  Good wholesome food low in carbs.  OH BUT NO.... I must have chocolate and I'm sure that the good wholesome "Mudslides" don't help slender my gigantic rump roast either.  If anyone has some nice sharp carving knives and would like to come over and slice off some of this ham hock, just email me and we'll make arrangements.  On a lighter note, my favorite store to shop FINALLY got a website!  The "Body Shop" where I buy all my cool club clothes and jumpsuits just opened a website.  Here is the link:  Well seeing that it is now 3:28am, I guess I'll go to bed.... belly full of dark chocolate truffles.  Oink Oink and Moooooooooo and I'll end with my theme song:  Da na na na na na na na... FAT GIRL!


08/12/04... DAY #826:
Well, it's been a lazy few days for me.  I've done some work and photo orders here and there, but I mainly been spending time with Cary.  It rained a few days ago in the morning and it was so nice to just curl up in bed next to him at 9:30am.  Thank God for that freedom!  I've been taking it easy cause starting this weekend, I'm gonna be busier than a bee for the next few months.  Blaise and I are meeting with a producer in Atlanta tomorrow.  I'll let ya know how that goes.  Well, as usual, I'm up at the wee hours of the morning while most of you are sleeping.  I swear I work better third shift.  LOL.  It's 1:50am.  Guess I'll try to get some sleep.  Big hugs!

08/17/04... DAY #831:
Howdy folks!  Hope everyone is having a wonderful Tuesday!  Well, like I said, I have been the busy little bee since this weekend and won't get a break until September when I hit Destin, FL with my family.  The meeting for Blaise went well.  There is a hot new group that is interested in using him on one of their songs.  I cannot divulge any info at this time, or for a few months for that matter, but we're both very excited!  I also started walking again last night.  We walked 2 miles.  I'VE GOT TO GET THIS WEIGHT I PUT ON OFF!  I'm sitting around 146 lbs. right now.  That is a 9.5 weight gain and I don't like it for a minute.  I've got ten days before my sister's wedding.  I think I'll wrap myself in shrink wrap for a couple of days and just sweat it off.  LOL.  This past weekend I went out to Memory Lane's with my friends Brandy & Johnny.  I saw my buddy "John Boy" there too.  I've added pics to my Twenty-Seven month gallery of all of us.  I am very behind on my emails, so if you have emailed me lately... I promise to be in touch soon.   Well I really don't have long to talk.  I've got to get busy working on some wedding albums. 

08/22/04... DAY #836:
Very proud of myself... I've been walking 2 miles everyday.  No, I don't like it.  I hate exercise!  It's just one of those things that you gotta do.. ya know?  However, I can't stop eating the dark chocolate.  I am addicted.  No doubt.  I went to the hospital yesterday and had them put me on an IV of liquid Lindt Dark Chocolate.  I didn't like that so much.  It kinda takes away from the flavor.  Hmmm... back to the drawing board.  Well I made it onto the "Page B Girl" page again this year.  I was in version 2.0 and now 3.0 this year.  Go to the website:  On the left hand side of the page, click on "Page B Version 3.0".... then scroll down and you'll see me.  Gotta go.. got lots of photography work to do.  Have a great Sunday!

I was wondering... do any of you catch yourself doing silly stuff?  I mean, you are so use to doing it, that you don't even think about it.  Okay... let's take for instance, I'm in my bedroom dancing around singing Cyndi Lauper's "She Bop" all by myself... nobody is home, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  I stop, look at myself, and say (and yes out loud) "Ya know Julie... You're 30 years old, dancing around, and singing, and you thought adulthood would be boring".  LOL!  Ya know... really!  When I was younger, I thought 30+ was stuffy... never had any fun folks.  I have more and more fun the older I get.  I know that the fact that I dance, sing, sometimes belt out some Opera, and talk to myself when no one is around should be grounds for psychiatric help, but I have come to terms that crazy people are gifted and why ruin a good thing?  What should be even scarier though is that I can call Gayla, Beth, or Blaise at any moment and they'll sing on the phone right along with me!!!!  I guess birds of a feather flock together.  Welcome to my world!

I'm just on a roll today, ain't I?  Just got out of the shower, washed the hair, and can you say "Root Rot"?  Holy Moly!  My hair is growing so dog gone fast!  Use to, I could go 3+ months before getting my roots done.  Now I have to go once a month.  I've got an appointment with Mr. Celebrity on Tuesday to zap some blonde to that one inch black halo on my scalp.  Sheesh!  Well, I've got to get ready.  I've got a 7pm Bridal Shoot at the Riverwalk.  Hugs!

08/24/04... DAY #838:
I tell ya... I am still having a very difficult time dealing with my Nana's death.  I dream about her 5 nights out of a week.  She is always showing up in my dreams.  It's like she is wanting to tell me something... but what?  I don't know.  My husband woke me up out of my sleep two night's ago.  I was crying uncontrollably.  When he woke me up I had tears coming down my face and was doing the short gasping for air crying.  I was in the middle of dreaming we were at my sister's wedding rehearsal and I saw my Nana's reflection in a mirror in the sanctuary.  When I turned to the area of reflection, there she was.... sitting on a pew watching the surroundings.  I looked over at my mother.. and she too could see her.  Gosh, I'm getting all choked up as I write this.  I never expected that I would have such a hard time with this.  My Nana and I were very close and that aching void in my life is so very painful.  Let me talk about some less painful news.  I got a  call yesterday from an ex-boyfriend, Alex.  I have not seen Alex in 11+ years and dated him before I met Cary.  He happened to be in Columbus so he called and asked could he take me to lunch.  Cary said it was cool just as long as I brought him something back to eat.  LOL!  You got to love Cary!  Alex and I met at Applebee's.  It was a great reunion.  His looks haven't changed at all and he still has his everlasting charm.  It was good to see him and he is doing well for himself.  Well I guess yesterday was a day for reunions.  My friend Natalie came over and spent several hours with me.  If you'll remember back, I use to spend all my time and go out with Natalie every weekend.  Natalie and I had some kinda disagreement, although the details are unclear, so we took a break from each other.  I had not spoken to, nor seen, Natalie since February of this year.  We cried, hugged, and just picked up where we had left off.  It was so good to see her and I hope that we can continue on with having a relationship again.  I had missed Natalie so terribly much.  Well, I guess that is all for right now.  I've got tons of work to do.  Hugs.

08/26/04... DAY #840:
It's amazing to think that within 24 hours... my sister's wedding will be done and over with.  WHEW GOOD GRIEF!  I'm use to being on the other side of the wedding fence... not walking on the fence.  HA!  Sis and I ran around ALL day doing errands and decorating the reception area.  Her reception is a beach theme with palm trees and seashells.  Sis has always loved the beach.  Her new apartment is done ENTIRELY in Palm Trees... the living room, kitchen, dining room, both bathrooms, and the bedroom... ALL PALM TREES.  It's so modern too.  I like it.  Rehearsal was tonight.  It was nice.  I threw up though.  I knew I had enough to eat, but those food demos in my head said "Now Julie... you KNOW you want some chocolate covered strawberries!!!".  I ate four chocolate covered strawberries, dumped, and was in the bathroom with my cousin Felicity holding my hair back.  What are cousins for, right?  That's not the first time she has held back my hair... but.. um.... alcohol was not involved this time.  hee hee.  You know what?  I've said this before and I'll say it again... I have got a good looking family!!!!  Us girls were turning some heads at the restaurant.  I like attention.  Have you ever noticed that about me?  No?  HAVE YOU BEEN READING MY JOURNAL????  LOL!  Well, as usual, I was the prankster and clown of the evening trying to entertain everyone.  During rehearsal, each time we practiced, I would pretend to trip up the stairs.  Now watch... tomorrow... I'll do it for real.  Blaise took care of my root rot Wednesday.  I am Platinum Blonde!  Wow!  My sis and I went in to see him again today.  I had a deep conditioning treatment done on my head, got my brows done... and for the first time in her life... sis got her brows done too!  Awwwww... she's no longer the bushy brow girl.  LOL!  She looks so different.  Okay... well I'm running on about 8 hours of sleep between three days.  I MUST GET SLEEP TONIGHT.  SMOOCHES!

08/31/04... DAY #845:
Well the wedding is over and it was beautiful.  My sister looked like an angel.  I cried like a baby and thankfully did not fall up the stairs.  LOL!  I'll have the photographs finished in the next few weeks and I'll upload a link at that time if you're interested in seeing her pics.  My weight is down a few pounds.  I've still been doing good hitting the track 2 miles a day.  I'm very proud of myself.  I finally got some sleep.  I had been staying up until 4am every night working and it was starting to show in my face.  Tomorrow would be my Nana's 75th birthday.  My Aunt Tricia (mom's sister) and I took three dozen roses down to my Nana, Papa, and my Great-Great Grandmother's graves today.  This was my first trip to my Nana's grave since her passing on April 10th.  I just have not emotionally been able to go down there.  I am surprised at myself though... I didn't cry today.  I still dream about her and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her.  Well I guess that is all for now.

09/03/04... DAY #848:
Good Afternoon... if you're interested... my sister's Bridal Portraits are now uploaded on the web.  These are her bridal portraits only.  Go to: event number is:  0618827 and the password is: gracie.

09/07/04... DAY #852:
My sister's wedding photographs are now uploaded on the web.  These are the actual wedding portraits and are separate from the above bridal portraits.  Go to: event number is: 0637418 and the password is:  herrera.  I've just been real busy working trying to play catch up.  I'm still eating chocolate, but my weight is maintaining.  I'll update soon.  Smooches.

Well I am sad to report that my favorite radio station, B101, in which I was a "B101 Page B Girl" on, has decided to change their format.  Read the article here:  Don't get me wrong now... I am huge Hip Hop/R&B fan, and listen to that type of music more than anything... but I do like a little top 40 every now and then too.  Guess I'll be moving over to WCGQ-Q107 for my top 40 listening.  Oh well... and anywho.  I have developed some strange sleeping habits the past few weeks.  I don't know what the heck has gotten into me????  I stay up until 4am or 5am... go to bed.. then wake up to the sound of my phone ringing off the hook around 9am EVERY morning.  I swore I was going to start getting some sleep but I just can't.  I have been in total work mode and I am enjoying every minute of it.  I was talking to Cary today that I am ALWAYS working and have photography on the brain at all times.... but for some strange reason I don't care.  I guess because it's my life and passion.  Cary says a baby will nip all that in the bud.  Mmmm hmmmm... that's what I am afraid of.  LOL.  Cary wants a baby but I AM JUST NOT READY YET and don't know when I will be.  I understand that they are the greatest thing ever... I just love my freedom right now.  I love the fact that I can hop on an airplane and go see Gayla at any moment I want.  I love the fact that we can plan road-trips and have no worries.  I love the fact that I can travel anytime.  I love the fact that I CAN have any sleeping habits that I want.  I just love my freedom right now and it out weighs my desire to have a baby.  I guess it will come sooner or later.  We shall see.  Back to wedding pictures!  Have a great weekend!

09/16/04... DAY #861:
I had a Bridal Portrait shoot at the Riverwalk on Friday, 9/10/04, then I was packing.  Me, my Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, her new Hubby, my cousin Felicity, her Dad/my uncle Adam, and his wife Julie headed to Destin, FL for a family vacation.  Unfortunately, Cary was unable to get off from work to go.  The kids (my sis, her hubby, my brother, and cousin) only stayed until Sunday night, then they had to come back home for work and personal reasons.  I haven't vacationed with my parents since I was a child, and most certainly have not vacationed with them without my brother and sister since I was 7 years old.  It was odd but good.  The weather was absolutely beautiful!  The ocean was crystal clear and just lapped onto the beach Saturday and Sunday.  Monday it was full of green slimy seaweed and the waves were choppy, but the sun was still shining beautifully.  Saturday night, me, Felicity, Adam, and Julie went to a club in Destin called the Swamp.  They had a live band called "Crazy Jane" playing.  They were so freaking awesome!  I hate live bands but I was amazed at their talent... they were so great!  Later, Adam & Julie left and me and Felicity got our groove on.  LOL.  We had fun.  She's a lot like me... fun, crazy, and zany... just in a younger 23 year old package.  We stayed in a condo a top the Surfside Resort.  It was bigger than my house with a gorgeous view of the ocean from a balcony that wrapped all the way around.  It had a full kitchen, dining room, living room, three large bedrooms, and three full baths.  It was awesome!  We just had a blast acting silly.  My brother, Keith and Robbie (sis's hubby) put my large river rafting tubes around them and did sumo wrestling in the hall way.  LOL!  When we were packing to leave, my Daddy raced me down the hallway on the luggage cart.  OMG!  I felt like a little kid again.  I always thought that "30" was grown up and never had any fun.  I still sit in amazement at how much more fun I have the older I get.  Those of you reading my journal in your 40's, 50's, 60's... please tell me that it just keeps getting better!!!  :)  Well, all the fun came to an end on Tuesday morning when they issued a mandatory evacuation.  We were scheduled to stay until this coming Saturday... but... Hurricane Ivan had his say in that.  It's okay though I guess.  I had tons of email to answer and some work to catch up on.  Besides, other plans have come up, and I guess everything happens for a reason.  Blaise and I are heading to Atlanta tomorrow night for him to attend a casting call for a MTV reality show.  They are looking for very sexy singles.  I am ineligible because I am married, but he meets all the criteria with his little bachelor butt... so hopefully we can get him in.  If anything, each interview he attends is just more practice and a stepping stone to the big day when he does make it.... so our trips are never for not and who can't have fun in Atlanta?  Onto other news that will totally trip you out... how about I've let my Aunt Tricia (mom's sister) talk me into joining her on a bowling league for 18 weeks!  OMG!  It's crazy!  I don't bowl!  If anything, I am a professional gutter ball bowler.  LOL!  She begged and pleaded until she broke me down.  Yep!  I'll be bowling every Friday morning at 9am for the next 18 weeks and of course I am the youngest one there by probably 15 years!  I think I'll get me a pink bowling shirt with my name written in rhinestones on the back!  LOL!  Oh well... heck... at least it's exercise, right?  I guess that's all for now.  Hurricane Ivan blew my privacy fence gate right off the hinges and slung it across the yard.  I've got friends in Panama City Beach, FL that I have been unable to get a hold of.  I hope they're okay.  Later.

09/17/04... DAY #862:
Oh my is all I can say.... You will never guess what name was chosen as our Bowling Team Name.  Drumroll please... Yes... this glitzy glamour city girl is bowling on the "Redneck Women Bowling Team".  This shall be the longest 18 weeks of my life.  My Aunt Tricia better know that I love her.

09/19/04... DAY #864:
I feel like I have been living out of suitcase for a month now.  Of course that's not the case... it's just all the days begin to mesh together.  All day yesterday I was swearing it was Sunday.  I guess it's my weird sleeping hours of going to bed at 3, 4, and 5am catching up with me.  Friday afternoon Blaise & I headed to Atlanta to Club Eleven50.  We reviewed mock interview questions on the way up.  I tell ya what impresses me the most about him... he has such deep thoughts and all his answers were so passionate.  He is always thinking out of the box and never gives you the typical response.  His song writing skills are the same way and I know that is what it takes to make it... the ability to be different.  Anywho, I love Eleven50 because it is so modern, clean, and they play really good music.  Blaise interviewed with MTV and they were very pleased with his comp cards.  They also told us that there are several other MTV casting calls going on in Atlanta and they would use his comp cards for those shows as well.  After the interview we mingled and danced.  There were other people from Columbus there too.  We just got to talking to people and come to find out they know the same people we do.  I tell ya... it is a small world.  Well, our personalities require us to be the center of attention so dancing on the dance floor with the other 300 people was not acceptable.  There were two huge speaker boxes near the stage on the dance floor.  We climbed on up and danced on those speakers for 2+ solid hours overlooking the crowd.  We had everyone watching us and several girls and guys came up to dance with us.  It was a blast.  It was disappointing though when the club closed at 3:00am.  They were in the middle of a song, just cut it off, and turned on the lights and said "Okay, it's 3:00am... THAT'S IT".  WHAT?  I mean sheesh... how about some fair warning?  We followed our tradition and headed to gut busting Krystal.  Gag.  Anywho.  The weather on Saturday afternoon in Atlanta was so beautiful!  What a perfect picnic day.  It's amazing to think just two days prior a typhoon of rain came through.  The weather is very interesting to say the least.  Anywho, when we got home Saturday, awaiting us in the mail was notification that Blaise has now been approved and accepted as an official BMI Songwriter.  BMI stands for "Broadcast Music International" not "Body Mass Index" in this case.  LOL!  This is pretty exciting news.  This process has been slow, but going in the right direction.  I'm learning a lot being a manager... who knows where or what I'll be doing in 15 years?  I just have to give a "shout-out" to my hubby Cary who has got to be the most understanding, non-judgmental, non-jealous, caring hubby in the whole wide world.  Cary doesn't get to go with me on my excursions because of his work schedule, but he never lets that hold me back.  I couldn't ask for a more supportive man that loves me unconditionally.  He is the best.

09/25/04... DAY #870:
I am aggravated at myself.  I got on the scale this morning and it read 148 lbs.  This past week I have eaten 16 boxes of Lindt Dark Chocolate.  Oh I know... You don't have to say it.... "GROSS!" right?... Not to mention, expensive as hell!  That's $38 worth of chocolate!  I have become an addict.  I tried to wean myself off yesterday.  I got to around 5pm and started shaking and my head started hurting.  You would think I was a crack addict coming off crack.  However, I was determined to come off the chocolate crack and what does my hubby do?  He sees me suffering so he goes to the store and buys me eight more boxes.  He comes home and says all sweet "I'vvvveeeeee got choooooocoooooolaaaattteee".  He doesn't do this to be mean or to hinder my weight loss... he's just genuinely a sweet, kind, caring person and just wants to see me happy.  He use to do this when I was fat.  If I was upset, he would bring me home ice cream or chips & dip because he knows food makes me happy.  Ugggh!  I'd beat him but I love him too much.  I am out eating any exercising I am doing.  I refuse to gain weight and I absolutely refuse to get above 150 lbs. again.  I will take control.  Maybe I should go to one of those "Fat Camps"?

09/26/04... DAY #871:
Last night I went with my friend Nikki to a club called "Big Easy's".  It's sort of a New Orleans themed place.  It was okay.  It was a little too laid back for me.  Everyone was wearing blue jeans.  I'm use to going to clubs that have a dress code and don't allow jeans.  I mean, I wasn't dressed in a "cat suit" or anything, but I still felt way over dressed.  We had a good time regardless though.  Nikki is always fun to hang with and I haven't spent time with her in a while.  Anywho.  I have been so lazy today.  I have laid around all day long.  My house needs to be cleaned... I JUST DON'T WANT TOO!  :(  I did manage to wash some clothes, put a wedding album together, airbrush some bridal pics, and cook dinner... okay... so I did do something, but I am always so use to being on the go 24/7 that any lull time feels weird.  I spent my lull time on the phone all day alternating between Gayla, Beth, Blaise, and Gracie.... now I'm talking to you!  :)  I am having one of those "I am so fat, I am pitiful" days.  The scale was 148.5 lbs. this morning.  I need to get moving more during the day and put them freaking chocolates down.  If you can believe it, I have finished and eaten all 8 boxes of chocolate Cary bought just this past Friday.  I will tell you this... I don't care how much I am shaking, I don't care how much my head hurts, I WILL NOT buy anymore chocolate.  I have become obsessed with the chocolate and the only way to get away is to go cold turkey.

Hey friends:  Dateline NBC is looking for married couples in the Atlanta, GA area who are serious about losing a significant amount of weight. They state that the couple would have to be willing to share their experiences and the process of losing weight with Dateline. They request respective ages, diet histories, target weights and contact information. The email to send info to is:   I thought this would be good for any married couple friends that we all have that live in Atlanta who aren't necessarily heavy enough for surgery or those persons who can't get their insurance to pay.  Who knows what Dateline has planned?  The small article is posted on NBC Dateline's website under "Dateline Wants Your Help". The link is:

09/27/04... DAY #872:
Well, my head is about to explode and I've got the shakes... just like a crack addict.  It's a shame that I have such an addicting personality.  I have to have some kind of an addiction in my life or I just can't seem to be happy.  Why must I love food so much?  Why must I love dark chocolate so much?  I mean... I am actually having trouble typing this I am shaking so much from not having any chocolate.  Oh well... I'm pushing through.  I got on the scale this morning and it read 150 lbs.  HOLY CRAP!  I've drank water all day.  I had a Boca Burger patty with cheese, pickles, and ketchup for breakfast.  That is all I've had.  I think I will have Egg Drop Soup for lunch and I've got ribeyes thawing for dinner.  NO snackies for me today... I've got to get this buffalo butt in gear.  I've got a sexy Halloween costume that I must get into.  I'll update later.  Love, Your Chocolate Crack Junkie

09/28/04... DAY #873:
Well today is just a repeat of yesterday.  I did really good yesterday.  I drank water all day and had protein breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I did end up having two snacks though.  I ate two slices of Kraft Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar cheese and then had 2 ounces of beef jerky.  Still, I had protein snacks.  I will say that I was disappointed when I got on the scale this morning and it still read 150 lbs.  My clothes are kinda tight and I had to pull some size 12 pants out of my old clothes box.  I will keep my head high though.  I know that I have the faith and willpower to get through this now.  I am more empowered then when I was at 264 lbs.  I have no desire to get any chocolate and my headache and shakes have subsided.   I had a Boca Burger patty with cheese, pickles, and ketchup for breakfast, just like yesterday.  Then Beth and I had Chinese for lunch.  I just had a bowl of Egg Drop Soup... and again tonight... I'll eat the other half of my ribeye... SOOOOO... with all the water, high protein, and no chocolate, I hope to see a change in the scale tomorrow.  Blaise and I continue to walk 2 miles... so hopefully the change in diet will be all that I need.  I hate exercise and the thought of increasing it makes me nauseous.  Speaking of nauseous, I have been terribly sick today.  It started with the sniffles, then full fledge snot head, then the sore throat, my head hurting, my stomach hurting, then I was hot all over.  Sheesh!  It is days like this that I say "Thank you Jesus that I am not sitting in a cubicle around folks making me crazy and me feeling miserable."  There was nothing more terrible then sitting at the Fortune 500 feeling like poop and having a boss look down on me for wanting to leave or feeling the pressure that if I leave the whole place would go to hell in a handbasket.  I guess they survived without me, didn't they????  Mmmm hmmm... and I'm surviving without them too!  Wooo hoo!  (Sorry... sort of got off on a tangent there... hee hee).  Okay.. I'm going to lay down for a while.

10/01/04... DAY #876:
I am officially sick... sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, sore throat, and the occasional asthma attack.  I've been in bed the past couple of days.  Cary has been real sweet rubbing my back and loving on me.  Beth and Blaise have been taking turns keeping me company while Cary has to work.  Not that I am a baby and need somebody to be with me 24/7... it's just nice to have friends that care.  The two of them make me laugh.  They have this game going on to see who can score the most points and compete for my time.  EVERY, yes, EVERY morning I get a wake up call from both of them.  They compete to see who will be the first to call me.  Then they give themselves points when they spend time with me or do something for me.  It's not for real of course... it's just fun.  They will leave each other notes on my refrigerator with the score sheet for the other to see when they come over.  They mark food and chairs throughout the house with their name to let the other know that they can't have that item or sit in that chair.  They entertain me, no doubt.  It makes me feel good to have friends with a sense of humor.  I have a lot of great friends and wish I could be around all of them all of the time.  So many of my friends live so many miles away.  Praise Jesus for the Internet though 'cause it allows me to stay in touch with them all.  To all my friends near and far... KNOW that I love you and I wish we could spend more time together!!!  Anywho... I've still been doing good with the "no chocolate"... amazingly enough.  I got on the scale this morning and weighed 145.5.  Woo hoo!  Thank God because I actually got up to 151.5 lbs. on Wednesday.  That was very scary for me because that was a total of a 15 pound weight gain... now I am back down to only a 9 pound gain.  I know for those of you that are "pre-op" or still in your honeymoon stage are thinking that 15 and 9 pounds is nothing.  TRUST ME, when you get down close to your goal weight, two pounds can make the difference in a size 8 and a size 10.... crazy but true.  When I was obese I use to hear little skinny girls complaining about how hard it was to lose 10 pounds.  My thought was "Please, I can gain and lose 10 pounds in two days."  When you are on this end of the spectrum, weight gain and loss has a much more significant change on your waistline.  Anywho, I have been drinking the heck out of some water and eating high protein foods.  Well, even though I am sick, I am about to get up and get ready to go bowling.  Either I will fall over from being sick or being out in some fresh air will make me feel better.  I've got a wedding rehearsal to shoot tonight, a wedding Saturday, and a wedding Sunday... pray that I will make it through... not like I can call out sick.

I'm feeling better. I had a very busy weekend that has overflowed into a busy week. I am doing good staying away from my dark chocolate and the scale is holding steady at 145.5 lbs. I did try eating a cookie last night. However, I spent 35 minutes in the bed in agony from the sugar. I felt so terrible. Cary rubbed my back, but when you're dumping on sugar... there really isn't too much that makes ya feel better. Well today marks one year since I've been away from the corporate life. I have to say that this past year has been the most stress FREE year of my life. The freedom I have working for myself has been a complete gift from God. I can't count my blessings enough. I've always been an entrepreneur since I was a kid and I was destined to own my own business. I was reflecting back the other day on all the entrepreneur adventures I have been on. The very first entrepreneurship I had was selling Cabbage Patch drawings. I have always been created and use to be very artistic... drawing and winning awards for my drawings. I haven't sat down and used that skill in a very long time. I guess I use my artistic abilities through the camera lens now. Anywho, back to my story... Back in the day I loved Cabbage Patch Kids.  Okay... I can't lie... I still do.  I collect them, love them, and visit the Cabbage Patch General Hospital in Cleveland, GA whenever I get the chance.  Well I would draw Cabbage Patch kids and sell them on the street corner near our house for 25 cents each. I sold those things like hotcakes making $5.00 a weekend. Now granted, that sounds like nothing these days, but 23 years ago that was good money to a 7 year old kid (good grief, did I just make a reference to the "good 'ol days" and actually say TWENTY THREE years? I forget that I am 30.) When I got a little older, me and my brother use to have "Kid Yard Sales". We would go throughout the house and gather stuff my Mom didn't want and then we would make stuff out of popsicle sticks. We made good money at our little yard sales.  In Junior High School I sewed and made little purses.  I would buy remnant fabric and make little purses with zippers and satin ribbon handles.  I made them in all sort of funky designs and girls loved them.  When I got into high school, I had several little businesses going on. I sold flowers to girls and guys for the games. I bought the flowers from a little flower shop and resold them at a higher price.  Once again, girls loved them!  Then there was the dark secret business. I use to sell packs of cigarettes out of my trunk every Friday in the parking lot for $2 a pack (again, we're talking 12-14 years ago). I saved up FREE coupons, bought the cigarettes (I never got carded), and sold them for profit. Every Friday morning for two school years my car would be swarmed with little smoking teenagers. I never touched a cigarette back then... just wasn't interested in them. I made about $25 a week, which put gas in my car and bought my toiletries ('cause good Lord I went through the hairspray).  My Senior year in high school, my best friend Christy and I made "puffy art" Senior Shirts and sold them to all the kids that hated the school's Senior Shirt. Our shirts were very popular and we made a boat load of money.  We even had teachers buying our shirts!  As I got older, I made Eucalyptus Decorative swags to sell until I got burned out on that.  Five years ago (while working full time in the corporate world) I ran a Massage Therapy business.  I had a massage table and made house calls to the homes of older persons with arthritis and knee pain.  I made excellent money, but with the massive weight I was caring around, plus the weight of carrying a 50 pound massage table... loading and unloading, and the physical drain of performing hour and hour and half massages... I couldn't physically do the business anymore, so after a year and half, I sold my massage table.  It wasn't too long after that I decided to do my photography business.  I've always loved photography, I've always had a camera in hand.  I can remember back when I was four years old... I would get in trouble because when my Mom would take her film to get developed, half the roll would be pictures of my baby dolls posed and lined up on my bed.  I eventually was given a camera as a gift.  When I got around 8 years old, I began using my brother and sister as models.  I would dress them up in costumes that I would make (on the sewing machine, yep Mom taught me at a very early age) and take rolls and rolls of film.  Who would have thought all that early training would lead me into owning my own business?  Anywho.... I'm rambling.  Just wanted to say that I am celebrating one year of freedom from Corporate America!  Friends I'll probably celebrate tomorrow evening (in Columbus) so shoot me an email if you're interested in joining me.  Peace, love, and hair grease!


10/15/04... DAY #890:
Top O' The Morning to ya!  It's 3:09am Friday morning.  What on Earth are you doing asleep?  Just been busy this past week with my business... weddings, girl's soccer team pics, consultations with brides, putting albums together, airbrushing pics, etc.  Feeling lots better this week.  We celebrated my Grandma's birthday (Daddy's mama) on Sunday.  Monday night I had dinner with Beth and her little boy, Hunter.  Tuesday afternoon Beth, Blaise, and I had Chinese for lunch.  Other than that, it's just been errands, work until 3am, sleep, phone, errands, and it starts all over again.  My weight is holding steady at 146.5, but I have to come clean.  I broke down this past week and bought a box of chocolate.  Also, Cary bought Krispy Kreme donuts.  He left them on the counter and somehow two ended up in my stomach... weirdest thing.  Then this afternoon, Satan made me drive to K-mart and buy a bag of Dove Dark Chocolate and a bag of Peanut Butter M&M's for him.  I had no control, he sat right there on my shoulder and convinced me that chocolate was my friend.  So, I got home, ate 8 ounces of M&M's, was sugar drunk with my eyes rolled back in my head, then topped it off with about seven Dove Dark Chocolates.  So, I'll probably wake up in the morning and weigh 864 pounds.  Got some new pics in my 29 month gallery.  Nothing special... just me on a normal day.  Cary was playing with the camera... I've been getting emails about posting some new pics, so... you got it!  Me in my PJ's working!  Woo Hoo!  Calm down... all that excitement will raise your heart level.  LOL.  Alright, I guess I'll go to bed seeing as Cary is reminding me that I have to bowl with the "Redneck Women" in the morning.  LOL!  Beth keeps threatening to come up there to cheer me on and Blaise is still not convinced that I'm bowling on Friday mornings.  Oh well... I got my Women's Bowling lapel pin to prove it!  LMAO!  Nothing against bowling, for those of you who really get into it... it's just not my scene.  Oh anywho... I'll survive.  Goodnight.  Smooches.

10/16/04... DAY #891:
After another 3 ounces of M&M's and who knows how many Dove chocolates, I'm still holding at 146.5.  The only thing I can think that keeps me from gaining right this second is the amount of water I consume.  I currently am consuming more than 104 ounces a day.  I meant to mention yesterday in my journal entry that this past Sunday, Cary and I met our friends Josh & Christie for breakfast at Cracker Barrell then we all went to church.  We have two sets of "couple" friends that are both named Josh & Christie.  This is the Josh & Christie that work with Cary.  Click on their names to see their pics.  :)  Well this was just short and sweet... gotta get ready for a wedding.  Smooches.

10/17/04... DAY #892:
I've been wanting to tell you what happened to me last week, but I didn't want anyone saying I was crazy... but then I thought, most people already think I'm crazy, so what difference will it make?  It's the middle of the night, I am sound asleep just a dreaming away about something totally unrelated to what I am about to tell you.  The phone rings and wakes me up.  I pick it up and say "Hello".  The voice on the other end is my Nana.  Just as plain and clear as can be, she says to me "Julie, I've been trying to get in touch with your mother and you."  I screamed into the phone "NANA"!  This wakes Cary up.  When Cary rolls over and looks at me, the phone goes dead.  Because I picked the phone up on the first ring, it did not register on the Caller ID.... but what would it had said anyway?  1-800-HEAVEN?  I wonder what she is trying to tell me?  Other members of my family have had similar experiences.  I hate Cary woke up.  I wonder if she would have talked more?  I tell you though, it was nice to hear her voice again.  :)

10/24/04... DAY #899:
Cary and I celebrated our nine year anniversary on Thursday.  Cary sent me a romantic email and I left him little love notes all over the house, to include under his toilet seat and in his shower.  Hee hee.  Surprise!  Yesterday I went bowling.  Then Cary & I purchased us a fully loaded Ford Explorer Limited.  It is so nice.  I am so proud of it.  I'm keeping my SUV, but we're replacing Cary's Geo Tracker.  So, anybody want a 1994 Geo Tracker?  Friday night, Cary, Felicity, Beth, Brandy, Johnny, Casey, Gary, Nikki and several of our other friends met at the new club called "The Vibe".  We all had a great time and there was so many people there that we knew.  Cary is not a dancer, but he will go to the club with me every now and then.  He usually kicks back, drinks energy/protein drinks all night, and socializes with our friends.  Cary is not much of a drinker.  What I love about Cary is he is not the overbearing jealous type.  There is no way in hell I could have stayed married for 9 years if at any moment he were to tell me I couldn't do something, go somewhere, be with or talk to certain people.  He allows me to go out, dance, be with my friends, cause he knows I'm coming home to him when the night is done (or the next day if I'm in Atlanta... hee hee).  Anywho, I was glad that Cary was there Friday night because it reassured him that I was in good hands with my circle of friends.  I was out on the dance floor when I ran into this guy that use to wait on my sister and me at Applebee's years ago.  We were talking, somewhat dancing, and he started to get too "frisky"... a little too close for comfort.  I didn't have to say anything.  It was like a bomb squad team.  Johnny and Gary immediately stepped in, and Casey moved in from a different direction.  The guy was away from me and gone in a blink of an eye and never approached me again.  Cary was quite impressed.  Anywho.  This evening was nice.  My brother came over and we grilled steaks and watched TV.  I haven't watched TV in forever.  Anybody that knows me knows that I just don't have time for TV and have never been interested in it.  I feel lazy when I watch TV and I hate that feeling.  I am the type of person that has to be on the go 24/7.  If I'm not busy then I'm not happy.  Well I guess that's all.  Talk to you soon.

10/31/04... DAY #906:
Wow!  Where do I begin?  This has been the longest two days.  It is currently 3:37am Sunday morning.  I have not had any sleep since I woke up at 8am Friday morning.  I know what you're saying:  "Why in the hell are you up typing in your journal?  GO TO BED!" and I couldn't agree more.  I have that weird crazy energy you get when you've gone for so long without sleep... so I decided to write.  Friday morning I went bowling.  Oh whoopty and hoorah.  Can you feel my intense excitement?  Oh, how about this for a kicker:  I find out that the league is really for 36 weeks, not 18, as my aunt told me.  Yeah, they want me bowling through May of next year.  Um, hmm, yeah, I so see that happening.  NOT.  That is during my busiest season.  I am not a quitter, but, we are going to have to make an exception in this case.  I'll be typing my little resignation letter soon.  After bowling, it was errand upon errand, as I finalized getting all my stuff together for me and my sister's yard sale.  I also spoke with Beth for a while as she was leaving that evening for a ten day vacation to Paris with her hubby.  I called her a few names.  LOL.  I spent the evening and all the way into Saturday morning pricing all my yard sale items with sis.  Our yard sale went okay.  We've had better.  The fog came in this morning and put a damper on Early Birds.... but it was all good.  Our yard sale started at 6am and we were finally cleaned up by 3:30pm.  I took a hot shower and attempted to go to sleep until time to go out for Halloween Partying.  I didn't no more lay my head down when the phone began to ring.  It was then non-stop.  So I said "Forget It" and began to get ready for Halloween Partying.  Natalie came and picked me up at 9:30pm.  Cary had to work and was unable to go, little punkin bear.  We headed to my parent's house so my family could see us dressed up.  From there we headed to "The Vibe".  I really like that place.  It's a lot better than the Firehouse.  Playgrounds Magazine had a huge write up about the new club and all about the famous Roonie G who owns it.  Roonie's website is  All my friends are there along with my sexy cousin Felicity, so I feel comfortable there.  I entered the costume contest as an Airline Stewardess, however, there were 55 other contestants... peeps with some really elaborate costumes they spent hours on.  I didn't place, but my cousin,  Felicity, won in the Sexy Lady portion of the contest.  She was a naughty housewife and really worked the stage.  That girl has got some spunk.  :)  Anywho, Natalie and I partied until 2am and after a snack, change of clothes, and reading some emails, here I sit.  So I've run out of things to say.  I guess I'll go crash now seeing as I am actually struggling for strength to keep my fingers on the keyboard.  Goodnight and Happy Halloweener.  P.S.  I'll update the 29 Month Gallery soon with all the Halloween Party pics.  tootles.

11/04/04... DAY #910:
Today is my baby's 32nd Birthday.  I got up this morning and made him breakfast.  He has to work today... but we'll celebrate this evening with dinner.  He is so sexy to me and just gets sexier as he gets older.  Why does that happen to men? Women just get tired looking.  Men just getter better with age like a fine wine.  Anywho.  Not too much been going on lately other than photography.  I'm still struggling trying to keep my weight down.  It is so hard because every calorie I consume now stays with me.  Blaise and I go walking two miles most mornings, but the rest of the day, I'm just on my butt working.  Maybe I should get a stationary bike with a computer attached to the front?  hee hee.  Well, I have a big announcement to make... drumroll please.... NO!  I'M NOT PREGNANT... or... at least yet!  Cary and I have decided to start trying in April of 2005.  No, I can't believe that is coming out of my mouth either, but time is a ticking and I'm not getting any younger.  April 2005 would put me having a baby in January 2006.  This would allow me to go though my last trimester when wedding season is a little slower.  Our goals the past ten years were to #1 buy a house.  Well, we accomplished that.  #2, get me something new to drive.  Check.  #3, put me in a career position that I could stay home with a child because the thought of daycare always made me nauseous.  I was a daycare kid, but nowadays it just seems like all my friend's kids stay so sick that are in daycare.  I am now in a position to stay home with a child and can have family members assist with babysitting when I'm at weddings.   Okay, so I accomplished that (God is wonderful, isn't he?).  #4, get Cary something new to drive.  Well, we did that a couple weeks ago.  Goal #5, me lose enough weight to not have complications when I get pregnant... did that too, eh?.  And finally, goal #6, have a baby.  Hmmm... well, I guess it is time, huh?  We actually need to revert back to goal #1 again.  Because I've taken on a photography studio, we need a bigger house, but we've got a little over a year to get another new one if Jesus does bless us with a pregnancy in April.  Okay, so to all my avid journal readers that harass me on a quarterly basis about having kids... YOUR WISH IS GRANTED!  LOL.  Cary and I have made a pact to clean up our act starting in January... meaning no more smoking, and I'll start on pre-natal vitamins.  I feel so weird talking about wanting to have a baby.  Any of my close friends will tell you that my lifestyle is not cut-out for children, but my lifestyle has been the way it has so that when I do have children, all of the craziness will be out of my system.  I have pretty much accomplished the main traveling I wanted to do.  I had always wanted to go to Hollywood, L.A., Lake Tahoe, Niagara Falls, Las Vegas, Disney World, Disney Land, Universal Studios, NYC, Tennessee, etc.  I have been so blessed because I have accomplished all of these goals.  Yes, Gayla and I have a list of 20 more exotic places we want to go... but we'll get there with a small win in the lottery.  :)  I'm just feeling very lucky and very blessed for what all Jesus has given me and I count my many blessings every night.  Okay... now that I'm starting to sound and feel sappy, I'm gonna go.  Have a great day!


11/12/04... DAY #918:
I hope everyone has been having a great week.  I have seriously been struggling with my weight.  For the past two weeks I had been teetering in the 149 to 150 lbs. area.  Last Friday I got my winter clothes out of storage and tried on my pants.  I couldn't zip or button not one pair!  Last year I was a size 8.  Well in the past few weeks, I had gotten up to a size 12.  So I get on the scale to discover that I was weighing in at 152 lbs.  That is a 15.5 lbs. weight gain from my lowest.  I said "Oh hell nah!".  I had always said as long as I was under 150 lbs. that I would be happy.  Well, 152 lbs. and the fact I would have to go nekkid this winter put my ass into motion.  I decided that I would give myself the weekend, but starting on Monday I would go on a strict diet of protein shakes for breakfast and lunch, then eat a good dinner.  I decided to give myself through Thursday.  I thought four days on shakes sounded better than five days... just work with me here.  LOL.  Anywho, my goal was to get down to 146 lbs.  Six pounds in one week is a drastic goal, but I felt confident I could do it.  I got on the scale this morning and weighed in at 144.5 lbs.  WOO HOO!  That's 7.5 pounds in five days!  So my happy ass made another shake this morning!  I know Dr. Champion discourages protein shakes after your first 6 weeks, but sometimes you must take matters in your own hands.  I have seen so many of my WLS buddies that have gone before me gain major weight back.  I absolutely refuse to ever go back to Fat Ville.  I hated being fat.  Even this past week at 152 lbs. I just felt gross.  For anyone wanting to know what kind of shake I'm drinking... here is the recipe:

4 ounces of Skim Milk
1 Scoop of Chocolate Designer Protein (purchase from GNC)
1 cup of Ice
1/2 of a Banana
3 Frozen Strawberries
Put in Blender and Blend into a Smoothie

My Ultimate goal, as it always has been, is to get down to 135 lbs.  To fit into my winter clothes though, I need to get down to 140 lbs... so I have 4.5 more pounds to go.  Hopefully this time next week I can report that I have reached that goal.  Well, I guess enough about that.  I'll move onto the other stuff going on in my life.  I put my resignation letter in to quit bowling.  Like I've said before, I'm not a quitter, but I decided why waste 3 hours every Friday morning for 36 weeks doing something that I really could careless about?  My Aunt stopped bowling for personal reasons about 4 weeks back, so I really had no reason to go anymore.  I am entirely too busy and also absolutely hate being tied down to commitments outside of my photography.  So that's that.  No more Redneck Women bowling.  :)  Beth got back from Paris and brought me some cool gifts.  I got this really cool slim lighter with the Eiffel Tower on it.  It's really neat... never seen anything like it before.  She also bought me a vintage tile inscribed with French sayings on it, a French Menu printed on cloth, and these wild and zany bedroom slippers.  Here is the story behind the slippers:  When I first met Blaise, he put me through a total fashion make-over... encouraging me to get rid of any clothes that looked like my Grandma should be wearing and any shoes that looked cheap and were too big for me.  Let's face it, I was a Payless Queen and you can find good deals there.  Although their shoes are comfortable, they're not always pretty.  Anywho, so I got all new fashionable shoes.  HOWEVER, I have a pair of Tommy Hilfiger bedroom slippers that I have had since before my weight loss.  I refuse to give them up even though now they are too big for me... but I just love them to death and the only way they stay on my feet now is by my toes hanging over the end to keep them on.  Okay, silly but true.  They're just comfortable.  Anywho, Beth knows how much Blaise rags my ass about my shoes.  He'll say things like "How long did the doctor say you have to wear those?" or "Does Aunt Jemima know you stole her slippers?".  Okay, so these Paris bedroom slippers are designed to look like these huge toes with red nail polish sticking out of some patched and beat up slippers.  They are hilarious!  So, the plan is when I go walking with Blaise in the morning, I'll have the slippers on.  He is going to be rolling on the ground laughing.  I'll let you know what he says.  He is so funny and always has quick witted comebacks.  Onto my health.  On Tuesday morning I woke up with this killer headache.  I took Tylenol, but it just wouldn't go away.  By Tuesday afternoon I felt like a train had hit me.  I was sneezing, coughing, and being just a plain snot head.  I had a restless night of sleep and knew I had to get to the doctor.  I've got a wedding to shoot this afternoon in Montgomery, AL and the last thing I want to be doing is blowing my nose every five seconds.  "Uh, everyone say cheese... um.. oops.. hold on one second while your photographer blows her snot boogers.. HONK HONK... okay.. everyone say cheese".  Catch my drift?  So I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with an upper-respiratory infection.  Yuck!  We also discussed my back pain while I was there and he is sending me for a MRI.  I haven't had an MRI since I was 14, so I'm interested in knowing how my back has changed.  My Daddy's 50th birthday was this week.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!  I'm a Daddy's girl through and through.  I love him to pieces.  Well this past weekend I had a wedding to shoot in Birmingham, AL... three hours from me.  Rosa (my assistant and Hot WLS Babe) and I decided to spend the night because the wedding was in the evening.  First, no offense to any WLS buds that may live in Birmingham, but from what I saw, the place is very racist and ghetto fabulous all at the same time.  The wedding reception was held at a very swank place called simply "The Club" and it sat atop a mountain overlooking Birmingham.  The view was incredible.  Rosa ventured around to the front to inquire about rental fees.  The platinum blonde high society older woman running the desk and dinner reservations says "You have to be a member to rent here."  So Rosa inquires about membership fees.  The lady then says "Sorry dear you couldn't afford it."  Excuse me?  Rosa had a good comeback and handled it well and refused to let me kick the racist biddy's ass... but life goes on.  I'm sure the lady couldn't afford the fees either... seeing as she is working taking dinner reservations.  I can't stand it when people act as if they are better than someone else!  Anywho, after the wedding, we decided to go out clubbing, so I located the nearest club to our hotel.  It happened to be a place called "Jitterbugs" that was one exit up.  When we walked in we were both like "Oh good grief".  We had stepped into the Twilight Zone.  Everyone was dressed 1980's ghetto fabulous and the music was VERY 80's and 90's.  The sad thing is that I don't believe this was a retro club at all.  I think that their selection of music just hasn't been updated in a very long time.  The guys were on us like flies on sh*t... but not the kinda guys you want on you.  When we sat down, we sat in a chair that sank into a hole.  It was basically lumber with some fabric draped across it.  Then this girl sitting next to us started borrowing stuff like crazy.  First she borrowed a cigarette from Rosa, then her lighter, then pen and paper from me, then Rosa's lighter again, then my pen again, then she asked me to borrow the pad of paper AGAIN!  I said to her "You're a begging ass hoe, aren't ya?"  Rosa said she was surprised that the girl didn't kick my ass.  Anywho, so she borrows the pad of paper and begins to fan herself with it... then she walked off with it and I didn't see her again.  OMG!  We had to get the hell out of there!  We then drove down to Little Five Points to a club called Banana Joe's, but the line was out the door and it was cold.  We surely didn't want to wait in the cold, so we headed to IHOP.  Once again, we stepped into ghetto Bo-Dunk Ville.  It took forever to get a waitress, one employee vacuumed the carpet while talking on his cell phone, Rosa's coffee looked like water, and when the waitress brought the table across from us food, she had her finger sticking in their eggs.  It was about crazy but we survived, ate, and headed back to the hotel only to discover there was no parking.  SHEESH!  We just ended up parking in the Loading Zone and said bump it.  Anywho.. so much for the exciting Birmingham trip.  Well I must get ready now for my Montgomery adventure.  Everyone have a great weekend!  :)

11/19/04... DAY #925:
Has it been a week already???  I did a wedding in Montgomery last Friday.  Cary was on vacation so he drove.  That was a nice break and it also gave Cary a chance to see what I do every weekend.  Saturday the family and friends of my parents all went out to eat to celebrate my Daddy's 50th birthday.  Monday thru Wednesday Cary and I traveled to visit with his Mom in Dahlonega.  I LOVE IT up there!  It was great!  I also ended up shooting a job while I was there too.  Ain't nuttin wrong with that!  :)  I also love the 400 Outlet Mall.  I got me and sis some new clothes.  Me, Cary, and his Mom traveled to the Mall of Georgia in Buford, GA too.  We went to the Lindt Chocolate store.  Hmmmm.  Bad, bad, Julie.  We also saw the new Tom Hanks movie "Polar Express" in 3D.  It was so awesome!  It looked like it was snowing in the theatre.  Well, as far as my weight...  My weight was holding steady at 144.5 through Wednesday of this week.  However, I'm sure due to the fact that I have finished off an entire gift box of Lindt Deluxe Truffles by myself in two days... well.. I am scared to get on the scale.  I think I'll go back on the protein shakes and let you know an update again next week.  :)  I finally got an opportunity to show Blaise my slippers.  He rolled in the floor laughing.  I knew he would like 'em.  He said "Oh Lord!  Those have got to be the ugliest shoes I've ever seen!".  Anywho.  We've had fun this past week.  Blaise and I have become great friends and we have so much fun together.  We'll have known each other a year in just a couple of weeks.  He says that I am the sister he never had.  Our goals are very similar and we have big dreams of becoming famous.  Cary just rolls his eyes at us.  Oh well... we'll just keep pluggin' away at our goals.  We worked on the lyrics to his latest song most of the week and he was in the studio tonight.  I'm excited for him.  I'm still getting rid of this cold I had.  It's still in my chest.  I'm better... just still real congested.  I went for my MRI today.  I'll get the results when I go see my doctor again in December.  I've got two weddings this weekend.  In fact, I have a wedding every weekend until January.  I've been very blessed this past year and my business continues to grow.  I sit in amazement.  God knows what he's doing ya know?  You may not understand it when it happens, but it all eventually becomes clear that he has a plan for us.  Well I guess I need to hit the hay.  I have a busy week, but will try to update sooner than a week.

11/28/04... DAY #934:
So much for trying to update sooner than a week, huh?  I have been so crazy busy running errands  I honestly do not know how I got everything done when I worked full time in the corporate world.  I'm serious, this past week has been non-stop on the go for personal stuff... and I've photographed three weddings since I posted last... busy, busy, but loving it.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  Cary and I ate Thanksgiving dinner at my parent's house with my Grandparent's (Dad's parents), my uncle/Dad's brother Mike, my cousin Felicity, her Dad/my uncle Adam, his wife Julie, my brother, my sister, and her hubby/my brother-in-law Robbie.  We went around the table and spoke about what we were thankful for.  Cary was very sweet, stating that he is thankful for his wife, our good relationship, and our successful businesses.  I truly love him.  Cary is my heart and soul.  Friday morning, Cary and I both were up at 4am.  He was getting ready for work to face the Christmas shoppers, and I was getting ready to be a Christmas shopper.  I was at Sears standing in line at 5:00am waiting for them to open at 6:00am.  I looked like an Eskimo... but dang it... I WAS WARM!  I stay so cold now from all the weight loss... even 2.5 years later.  I had on winter knee socks, boots, jeans, a wool sweater, a short leather jacket, a long leather jacket, and ear muffs.  I hit 13+ stores by noon and got half my Christmas shopping done.  I came home and hit the bed... I was pooped.  That evening, Blaise came over and ate dinner with Cary and I... then I got a surprise phone call!  It was Gayla, she was in town, and she was on her way over to see me.  I had no idea that she was flying into town, but Cary had been hording the secret for a couple of weeks.  She came over and brought Mike with her (Mike went with us to Las Vegas) and we all played Trivial Pursuit - The 20th Anniversary Edition.  There is nothing like playing a game that leaves you feeling stupid.  This was the first time we had played this version and we found most of the questions to be impossible... I think I'll be selling it on Ebay.  Anywho... today I've been sort of lazy... eating, sleeping, and lounging around.  Cary and I are going to eat dinner with Gayla, then she is headed back to Cali.  My weight is still fluctuating, but really haven't been focusing on it this week.  I've got a busy week of photography ahead.  Have a great week!

12/06/04... DAY #942:
I've been busier than Santa Claus with all these photo Christmas orders and weddings, but I plan to update soon!!!  Things to post... Uno Game night with family, dinner with Gayla, Christmas pics at sis's house, and in the studio with Blaise.  Also... Blaise's Dad had surgery this morning.  He has Lung Cancer.  Surgery went fine, but he has a long recovery ahead of him.  I ask that you put him on your prayer list.
FYI: is hosting a Regional Event in Atlanta, GA.  Here is the information hot off the press: Regional Support Group Meeting
January 15, 2005
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Atlanta Hilton Northeast
5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
Norcross, GA. 30092

Cost per person $25.00 early reg.
Cost After January 1st. $30.00
Cost at the door $35.00
Click on this link to be taken to the Registration Page:


12/12/04... DAY #948:
Still busy... sorry I haven't updated... I will soon.. I so promise!  New pics of me and Cary in our Christmas outfits in the 30 Month Post-Op Gallery and new pics in the 31st Gallery too.  Blaise's Dad came through surgery with flying colors and is now Cancer free.  Praise Jesus!  Things to still post... Uno Game night with family, dinner with Gayla, Christmas pics at sis's house, in the studio with Blaise, and birthday night with Brandy.

12/14/04... DAY #950:
Sheesh, has it been long enough since I updated???  I thought that once wedding season settled down, that my workload would get lighter.  Well... wedding season has NOT slowed down and Christmas came at me like a freight train.  This was the first time I experienced a true "photography" Christmas.  Last year I had just left my Corporate job and the years before I was totally focused on "corporate", so I never allowed for too many appointments during Christmas season.  This year has been mad crazy... but I LOVE IT!  PRAISE JESUS for allowing me the freedom to do what I love!  Well, sad news to report... I've gained my weight back.  I was 151.5 pounds this morning on the scale.  I guess it doesn't help that I came off the Lindt Dark Chocolate kick and got on a "Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough" kick.  It's all Publix fault.  They put that stuff on sale for "2 for $4.00" and gave me an in-store coupon for $1.00 off... I mean... I HAD to buy it, right?  In the past two weeks I have eaten four tubes of cookie dough.  I know... DISGUSTING, right?  As usual, I don't know what the hell has gotten in to me.  I need to get out to the club more often.  Getting to the club puts my mind into "skinny" mode and I haven't been to the club in a few weeks... PLUS, with Blaise's Dad being in the hospital, his work schedule being hectic with folks getting their hair done for parties/family gatherings... he has been stressed too and walking just has not been an available option for us.  We talked tonight that getting back to walking is a must.  I threatened him that if we didn't get back to walking that I would turn back into the "Fat Girl".. and "Fat Girls" don't wear 6 inch heels... nor dance on speakers in front of hundreds of people in HotLanta.  HA!  I went to the studio and surprised him a few weeks ago.  I haven't been going to his appointments because I didn't want him to feel any pressure or stress, although he has asked me to be there.  Anywho, he was excited to see me.  He sounds so good.  We're almost done with the first song on the CD.  I never knew how much freaking work and technical stuff went into making a CD.  Sheesh!  ANYWHO... Did you see me and Cary's Christmas pics?  Awww wasn't Cary the cutest thing?  We call those pics "Santa and his mistress"... 'cause Mrs. Claus never looked that good.  LOL!  Okay, okay...  I'll stop being cocky (while I sit here eating a cheese log and my ass gets bigger by the second... got to get it in before the protein shakes begin again in the morning!  LOL!).  A couple of weeks ago I thought about how my family is always so rushed.  When I was coming up (well I was the only child for 7 years) me and my parent's (and me and my Nana & Papa) played a lot of board games;  We played cards (my Papa had me playing Poker and Blackjack by the time I was 8 and I could hang with the big dogs... of course, he was always a big gambling man... won 'lots-o-cash' at the casinos) Life, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit... you name it... we did it and HAD FUN!  As technology and um... other siblings came along, the games disappeared.  So a couple of weeks ago I knew all the kids ("the kids" would be the term I use for my brother (24), his fiancée (21), my sister (21), and her husband (24), technically not kids... but... HELLO I'll be 31 in January) were at my parent's house, so I drove my little self over there with Uno in hand.  My Mom wasn't feeling well, but me, my Daddy, my sister, and Kristi (brother's fiancée) played Uno and it was SO MUCH FUN!  We had a blast.  It was nice to take a break out of our hectic lives to do some old school stuff.  Let's see.. what else is there?  Well, I told you about the Gayla surprise.  That next evening we went out to eat.  It was me, Cary, Gayla, her sister Amy, Amy's two kids Abby and Katy, Gayla's Mom & Step-Dad, and Gayla's Dad & Step-Mom .  It was a nice dinner and nice to be around Gayla's family again.  I like Gayla's sister.  She always cracks me up.  She just tells it like it is.  This past Saturday we celebrated my friend Brandy Robert's 29th birthday.  Twelve of us met at Carrabbaa's Italian Grill for dinner.  It was a pleasant surprise when her friend Matt picked up the tab for the entire table.  THANK YOU MATT!  We then all went bowling.  I thought I was gonna go and amaze them with my bowling skills.  I had been bowling so good in the league clearing a 100 just about every time.  Saturday night I think I got a 76?  OMG!  I SUCKED!  I think everyone was secretly talking about how bad I sucked.  LOL!  I had a wonderful time.  Of course, every time I'm around Brandy and Johnny, I have a good time.  They are both so sweet.  I love them both.  Here's a "snippet" from an email Brandy sent to me about Saturday night:  "I really had a good time. I can NEVER be in a bad mood when you are around me. You really do bring a lot of joy to my life. You are one of a kind and I am very blessed I have a friend like you!!! 
Love you lots Brandy"  How sweet is that?  Made me all sappy.  Tomorrow (well, later today seeing as it's 1:11am) is her official birthday.  I am going to surprise her by visiting her at her job and delivering a Birthday Singing Gram.  Ha!  She loves it when I sing... and how will she love it when I get the attention of all of her office with my amazing singing skills.  LOL!  I'll let you know how it goes.  Anywho... nighty night.. got tons to do tomorrow.

12/21/04... DAY #957:
The time goes by entirely too fast.  I have been sooo busy.  My weight is doing okay at 148 lbs.  I would like for it to be less, but it's Winter... so I'll guess I'll settle for now.  I had a wedding in Macon, GA this past Saturday, then Cary and I visited his family in Cumming, GA this past Sunday.  It was nice to see the family.  It snowed while we were there.  I DO NOT LIKE THE COLD.  I know I have said this every year since WLS, but good grief... I just stay so cold, and it makes my back tense up... which makes me ache.  So... anywho... I won't be a whiney baby.  Cary and I are planning on building a house soon with a new photo studio inside.  We are in the VERY pre-stages.  I met with a builder yesterday.  I'll keep you posted.  Anywho... nothing really new other than staying so busy with weddings, Christmas shopping, and just craziness.  I'll update again soon... but if not before Christmas... I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

12/21/04... DAY #958:
So... here I am again.  Today was a super day.  I spent the day with the warmth of friends.  This morning, I spent time with Cary before he shuffled off to work to face the crazed Christmas shoppers.  I then spent the early afternoon with Blaise.  We exchanged Christmas gifts where he proceeded to surprise me with a "bling bling" channel set ring with five princess-cut diamonds.  It is very beautiful.  I was quite surprised as I wasn't even expecting a gift.  Thanks Blaise!  Big Smooches for thinking about me during Christmas!  In the afternoon I spent time with Beth aka "Betty Crocker".  That girl is ALWAYS baking and cooking something!  She brought me and Cary some chocolate cake and apple bread that she made... and she just made Cary Oreo pie last night!  Thanks Beth for keeping Cary's belly filled!!!  :)  Then my sister and her hubby came over.  We drove to see the property of where Cary and I will be building our new home and PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO (YEA!).  Gayla is back in town for a week, so she came over and spent some time with me.  We exchanged gifts and I got the cutlery set I've been wanting!  THANK YOU GAYLA!!!!... but just remember Gayla Rebecca... no matter how sharp 'dem knives are... No knife can cut our love in two.  :)  You know... my Nana use to say that to me all the time.  Anywho, so Gayla and I went and looked at the property, then we got us some "to go" Mexican and just came back to the house to relax.  It was a nice evening and I try to savor every moment I get with her.  I miss her so much, but know California is a land of opportunity for her that she just can't get here.  You go Gayla because you ROCK!  Well, now my telephone just rang... it's hubby on his way home from work after being there ALL DAY LONG.  Poor baby!  So I guess I'll scurry.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!  BIG HUGS AND SMOOCHES TO ALL MY FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND WLS FAMILY!

12/26/04... DAY #963:
Cary and I had a very blessed Christmas.  We got everything on our "Wish List" and more.  We truly have wonderful families and feel so fortunate.  My weight has been holding steady around 147 lbs.  I'm doing good.  I learned over the holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) that I just can't eat my Mom's cornbread dressing anymore.  My heart starts racing 90 mph.  I guess it's the bread/carbs.  Well, Cary and I are gonna be very busy over the next year.  We've got to get our current house ready to sell while we're building our new house and studio.  I meet with the builder again tomorrow and we're looking around April/May for our new home to be completed.  I'll probably have my house ready to go on the market by February.  We just have some minor things to do like paint and fix up the landscaping.  My current home is only 5.5 years old, so it's basically in new shape.  If you know of anyone looking for a newer model home, 3 bedrooms, two full baths... LET ME KNOW!  I'm going to list it "For Sale By Owner" first.  Anywho... it's the day after Christmas and that means back to work.  Have a great weekend!  :)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  01/01/05... DAY #969:
Good Morning to ya.  I'm sure several of you are still in the bed.  :)  I was up bright and early this morning.  :)  Can you believe the holidays have come and gone?  It's almost too crazy.  I've had a busy week meeting with brides.  Lots of folks got engaged over the holidays.  I continue to be blessed with business and I thank Jesus everyday.  Gayla was in town over the holidays, so I spent some time with her.  I'm hoping to get to go back to California again soon so I can see her.  We have a Santa Cruz trip on our agenda... details/dates just haven't been worked out.  Nothing really out of the ordinary has been going on.  I put on a couple of pounds over the holiday.  Although I have not been on the scale for fear, I know my body enough to know... but today is a new year and back on track.  Cary and I have put down our nasty habit of smoking as of today.  We are both getting our bodies prepared for parenthood.  I know we said April was the target month, but depending on the progress of our new house, we may have to delay it a month or two.  I certainly don't want to be pregnant trying to lift furniture or suffering from morning sickness trying to organize a house.  We'll see.  I'll keep you updated.  Ya know, I've said this before, but I'll say it again... being self-employed takes a lot of self-discipline ESPECIALLY when there are more fun and exciting things to do... like building a house.  LOL!  I think I've got a mild case of obsessive compulsiveness about building the new house and studio.  I've been spending more time working on it than photography.  However, I'm putting my butt into photography mode today seeing as all the house building galleries are closed.  LOL.  One thing about me (as I toot my own horn for a sec), all my friends will tell you... I am a very dedicated, organized, dependable individual who is always prepared and always has a plan.  Building this new house will be fun, but I will never miss a work deadline.  Anywho, so what all did you do for New Year's Eve?  For the first time in our relationship (12.5 years), Cary and I brought in New Year's by ourselves at home.  Cary and I have always had a party, been to a family/friend's party, or have been in a club on New Year's... I guess we're getting old.  My friend Beth came over for a few hours, we had a drink, took some zany party pics, then she scurried off at 11:30pm to spend the remainder of the evening with her hubby.  Most of our party friends are out of town and Cary had to work this morning... so we just chilled at the house and watched the ball drop.  Not your typical Julie evening, eh?  Well, I do have a busy day of catching up on work... so I'll move along now.  Happy New Year!

01/02/05... DAY #970:
I'm a little fat girl short and stout, tip me over and watch me pout.  HA!  I feel like a huge cow this morning.  I refuse to weigh.  I was a lean mean eating machine yesterday and this morning feel like water slosh.  I have a wedding to shoot today, so that will get me up and my blood flowing.  I was all about getting a jumpstart on my work yesterday... sitting down and being totally dedicated... yeah... whatever.  I got some work done, but Blaise called me around 4:00pm and asked me to go to Atlanta with him.  So let's see... sit behind the desk and work or a Saturday evening trip to Atlanta, shopping, and dinner?  Hmmmm...  Shopping please and thank you!  I got some new black boots and some too cool glitter sunglasses.  I don't think Cary is too fond of the new shades though... when I showed them to him this morning, he said "I hope you didn't pay money for those."  LOL!  Oh well.  I'll take a pic in them and post soon.  I think they look very red carpet.  Hee hee.  I'm heading to New Orleans within the next two weeks.  There is a photography convention that I will be attending.  I've never been to New Orleans, so I think I'll have a blast.  I'll post more info soon.  Anywho... have a wonderful Sunday.  Peace, Love, and Hair Grease.

01/04/05... DAY #971:
I have been in total misery the past few days.  I can't stop eating.  I just weighed in at 151 lbs.  It's like I'm fighting against myself.  I use to do this when I was obese... whenever I would lose some weight,  I would go into this mad eating rage until I gained it all back.  It's this vicious cycle.  Of course I can't eat a lot at one time... instead I graze all day.  I will eat, followed by a sports bottle of water, then more eating.  Then candies in between meals... and lifesavers... then more eating.  My Goodness!  What in the hell has gotten in to me?  Today I had two pieces of breakfast ham, grits, eggs, a can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle O's, two Chick Fil-A Sandwiches (yes two... not all at the same time though), 1/2 a ribeye, corn, a ham sandwich, 1/3 of a roll of chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate kisses... and that's just the crap I can remember!  I ate so much that I actually felt light headed, thought I was going to faint, and started sweating... and no I wasn't dumping on sugar... It was pure over-eating.  I've lost control again and must get it back.  I don't exercise anymore, I've let my ass and abs go to mush, and I just feel like a big fat cow.  I want to be 136 lbs. again.  I want my rock hard abs back.  Something has to give 'cause I don't like being in Fat Girl Land with no control over my food addiction.  I'll keep you posted as I take a few days to face my addiction head on.  The Food Demons have come out and I've got to put them in check.


01/11/05... DAY #978:
Okay... I got to write something... "THEY LOVE ME!  THEY REALLY LOVE ME!"  Everyone has been so encouraging and supportive this past week since my last post.  I have the greatest WLS family ever!  I can't even begin to tell you how much your emails have meant to me.  Ya know... this gal isn't perfect.  I'm a food addict just like everybody else and I sometimes need a good swift kick in the ass to get me back on track too.  We all know right from wrong when it comes to our food addictions... we just ignore the hell out of "right" sometimes.  As of this morning, I weighed 148.5 pounds... a little less... but still far to 136 lbs.  I went back through my journal and noticed this cycle that I go through.  I binge eat... then slow eat... then exercise... then feel good... then binge eat.  I really let myself go this last time though.  I got on a chocolate chip cookie dough kick and couldn't stop.  Let's face it... when I find something I like, I become addicted.  I've been through so many phases... Dove Dark Chocolates, Peanut M&M's, Lindt Dark Chocolate... you name it.  I become an addict and just can't stop.  This past week I switched my sweet tooth to Sugar Free Popsicles.  I went through a hard withdrawal day.  My nerves were on edge, I had a killer headache, I was bitchy, and my body was screaming "GIVE ME CHOCOLATE YOU FAT GIRL!" (okay, it was actually calling me a worse name but we won't go there.)  I picked the worse time to come off the chocolate too, as the 'ol menstrual kicked in this week.  Hell... I was just asking for punishment!!!  The pops seem to be working for now though... even though I eat three at a time.  Three 15 calorie sugar free pops seem more realistic than 1/3 roll of cookie dough though, eh?  The biggest thing is getting my butt back to walking.  Blaise has been so busy with his Dad's illness, his studio time, and his new "girlfriend" (well, I call her that, he calls her "his friend"... if she makes him happy... then I'm happy... but he did tell her that if she EVER makes him "unhappy", that his manager WILL be kicking her young ass to the curb... LOL) that our exercise time has been cut.  We both talk a lot of crap about getting back into the exercise gig... but we have yet to make it happen.  I know, I know... I don't need Blaise to exercise.  I exercised before he came into my life... it's just one of my many excuses.  It's ultimately my fat ass that won't make time to go to the park.  I'll get better... I hope.  I may have been stress eating the past weeks also.  The thought of becoming pregnant on top of watching my sister in her last trimester has been kinda stressful to me.  Being pregnant looks like a lot of work and looks just plain uncomfortable.  I get weirded out by pregnancy.  Yes.  I know.  I AM WEIRD.  People have phobias and mine is pregnancy.  I can't stand to feel her stomach and the baby moving.  Uggghhh!  Oh yes... the family just loves grossing me out.  She made me watch this live birth video the other day.  Um... I was okay through it, until they showed the "Delivery of the Placenta".  WHAT IN THE HELL WAS THAT?  OMG!  THAT IS SOME GROSS STUFF!  I  was gagging so bad.  You would have thought I was watching Fear Factor or something.  On top of that, Sis says the baby has grown fingernails and is trying to claw his way out.  OMG THAT SO FREAKS ME OUT!  STOP THE MADNESS!!!  Other stresses have been working on the house we are building.  We have decided to hold off on pregnancy until after we have moved, which will be sometime May/June.  I don't want to be pregnant unable to move and lift stuff.  We are almost finished though on decisions and negotiations.  My house and studio will be totally custom built and all of the decisions have been making my brain hurt.  I've been doing a lot of research... but I know in the end it will pay-off with my happiness of MORE SPACE and a beautiful elegant studio for my clients.  I will also have a large screened in porch and the Jacuzzi tub I've been dreaming of for years.  It's been a lot of hard work, trials, and tribulations to get to this point... but God just continues to bless.  I count my blessings everyday.  We all have so much to be thankful for when there is so much tragedy going on around us.  I will be heading to New Orleans, LA soon for a Photography Convention.  I hope to learn lots and the time alone will help me reflect on my eating disorder... and hopefully put me completely in check.  Well I guess that is all for now.  I am still catching up on my emails, but thank you all once again for your kind words, not-so-"What in the hell are you doing"-kind words, and words of encouragement.  Many of you are MY inspiration.  Talk to you soon.  Hugs and lots of kisses!  Jules

01/14/05... DAY #981:
Very early last year I received a letter in the mail stating that I had been nominated to appear in the 2004-2005 "Marquis Who's Who of American Women".  The letter stated "Who’s Who of American Women provides ready access to the professional credentials of women chosen because of their professional accomplishments.  A single, authoritative source featuring the careers and credentials of the country’s most successful women."  The letter stated I had been nominated due to my business success, personal achievements, etc. and that I would be notified if my nomination was accepted.  That was earlier in the year, then my Nana passed, so there was so much going on that I didn't even give it anymore thought.  Well last week something struck me and I remembered the nomination, but I had not heard anything else from the "Who's Who" publication.  I did a little research... The 24th Edition, 2004-2005 Marquis Who's Who of American Women was published in June 2004.  Guess who's profile appears on page 590?  ME!  I guess my acceptance letter was lost in the mail or something... who knows... but... I made it in the book!  Ya know, I was talking to my Daddy a few days ago about how I use to sit on the phone with him when I worked at the "corporate job".  I would just say over and over "Daddy... I am way too talented to be sitting in this 5x5 cubicle until I'm 65!  Something has GOT TO GIVE!".  I am such a creative individual who totally believes in fairness and equal opportunity.  The corporate world is so full of politics, restrictions, and let's just face it.... gossip!  My views on issues and my ideas on how things should be handled were totally different than my management in the corporate world.  I felt like I was being molded into this robot who was suppose to act, feel, dress, and talk a specific way.  Also, if you currently work a corporate job... do you ever look around and say to yourself "Where in the hell do they find these people?  There is no way these folks took the same test and passed the same interviews I did."  It's true.  I just wasn't cut-out to work with the folks who lack common-sense.  Praise Jesus for self-employment!  Anywho... I've gotten off on a complete other tangent.  You can get me worked up about the "corporate"... call me sometime... I'll give you an ear full.  Well... really just wanted to pop in for a sec and toot a little horn (beep beep) that I was accepted into the "Who's Who of American Women".  Have a great weekend!

01/18/05... DAY #985:
I've been in classes, seminars, and meetings for four straight days now... but you know what?  I've enjoyed every minute of it!  Why?  Because they have been about topics I am interested in... not some boring ass meetings regarding who's not doing their jobs, or visions on topics that put me to sleep, or even subjects that don't interest me.  You ever sit in Corporate World and say to yourself "This meeting is such a waste of time, what are we truly accomplishing?" Oh how I remember those days.  Early Saturday morning I drove to Atlanta and attended the Obesity Help Convention.  It was very inspirational and informative.  I received recognition and a lapel pin for my 100+ lb. weight loss.  It was a great meeting although I did have to jet about an hour early.  I left the meeting early to catch a flight out of Atlanta heading to New Orleans.  I am attending the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) Imaging USA 2005 Convention.  WOW!  Is all I can say.  I have learned so much and it has been so wonderful to rub elbows with the big dogs in this industry.  Just as an example, my first class today was lead by Charles & Jennifer Maring, the photographer for Star Jones's recent wedding.  I got to see several images from Star's wedding.  My second class was lead by Andy Marcus, known in the photography world as the King of Weddings.  I have read many of his books and studied his wedding work for years.  Andy had been the photographer of many celeb weddings including Eddie Murphy and Donald Trump.  My third class was lead by John Michael Hannan who is a High Fashion photographer for Vanessa Williams, Tyra Banks, Oprah, Samuel Jackson, Martha Stewart... just to name a few and he was recently the photographer and judge on "America's Top Model".  His new book out is called "Sepia Dreams".  I'm sitting and learning from the biggest dogs in the industry and making connections... and that was just my teachers from today's classes... that doesn't even touch the other two days I've been in class.  I just got off the phone with Cary and my goal is to be where they are.  I don't necessarily have to photograph the celebrity weddings, I mean... hello... I think I am totally cut out for that... but I just want to be known as one of the best photographers around.  I have such a passion for weddings.  I've always loved them and I am ready to rock this world.  My friends have always told me that I would one day be famous...  I think I'm well on my way.  I am so pumped and full of ideas right now... I can't wait until my new studio is built.  God blew my mind last year with the success I had from my business allowing me to surpass my previous "corporate income"  and my goal is to double that this year.  With the birth of a new nephew on the way, I plan on practicing and honing in on my baby photography skills too.  I promise that this new baby will have more wall portraits than known to man.  LOL!  Anywho... I'm sure what you're really wanting to read about though is my weight maintenance.  I have been doing so good on this trip... eating nothing but protein (okay... maybe 3 pieces of Godiva Chocolate and two Mrs. Field's cookies but for 4 days... that's damn good for me.  LOL!).  Yesterday I sat on the New Orleans Riverwalk overlooking the Mississippi River and ate Alligator.  Yum!  Today, I took a stroll down Bourbon Street and stopped off in Pat O'Brien's to have a glass of White Zinfandel and some catfish and yes, White Zin is the official white wine for catfish.  LOL!  I am having a blast and loving life.  Life is going on all around us.  Bourbon Street was packed at 2:00pm in the afternoon.  All I could think of was "Julie, it's 2:00pm on a Tuesday afternoon and you are on Bourbon Street when you could be sitting in a 5x5 office cubicle."  Ha!  I'm not bragging friends, please don't take it that way.  You must understand that my thoughts are of pure excitement and energy.  I am actually living my dream... owning my own business, traveling, having freedom... it's what I have always wanted and I just feel so blessed.  I can't thank Jesus enough for all these blessings that I just don't feel like I deserve.  Heck, look at my wonderful husband.  I have been blessed with a husband that loves me unconditionally... a man that has been with me through thick and thin... literally... a man that loves me so much that he doesn't restrict me or set barriers.  He gives me the freedom to live my dreams and encourages me to do so.  He is never jealous and always holds the spotlight on me... never himself.  I truly love Cary with all of my heart.  We have been missing each other the past few days... but absence just makes the heart grow fonder.  Okay... well I have written a book here.  I'm off to freshen up for our closing party tonight.  Going to a party by yourself is weird, but I went to the opening party and hit it off with some people, so I'm sure I will hit it off with someone tonight too.  I get shy, believe it or not.  Talk to you later and I'll be home soon.  Smooches from Mardi Gras Land! 

01/22/05... DAY #989 - MY 31st BIRTHDAY!
Well it's 9:05am and today is my 31st birthday.  It's also my friend Constance's and Melissa's birthday.  Happy Birthday girls!  I went in and updated my "Virtual Models" on my website to look more like me now.  Let me know what ya think.  I woke up this morning to birthday emails from some of my WLS friends... Shaunah and Lili.  Thanks ladies!  My bud Dan Masters from Clear Channel sent me birthday greetings.  Your the best Dan!  My friend Melissa Tranmer from the "old corporate world" sent me birthday greetings.  Thanks sweets!  Beth called this morning and tried to bust a birthday rap... it was very scary.  Blaise called wanting to know if I was in my birthday suit and if Cary had given me my spankings yet.  Ha!  He also told me I had a present on the way... we shall see what my surprise is.  Gayla sent me the sweetest best birthday/friendship email ever.  I love her!  As of right now I don't really have any plans.  This time last year I was in Lake Tahoe... so that's gonna be hard to top this year... we'll see what the day brings.  I'll write more later so check back.  Well it's later... ha!  Gonna go out to eat with the family in a bit.  My friends Esther and Sherrie called to wish me birthday greetings.  I talked to "Hot WLS Babe" Constance Harrison and we sang "Happy Birthday" to each other... also got a sweet card from her in the mail.  Awww... punkin doodle.  It was so good to hear from Julie & Adrian too.  I love those two and they have got to be the most sexiest couple in America!  Growl!  :)  My sis, brother, mom, and daddy called.  I also got a sweet email from my WLS buddy Kebbers... aka "Hot WLS Babe" Kelly Krzyzanski who just hit her 100 pound weight loss mark today.  CONGRATS KEBBERS!  My parent-in-laws sent me some money and a card!  Yes!  Gotta love the in-laws.  :)  My Grandparent's on my Daddy's side also sent me some moolah and card.  Thankie thankie!  You know who I miss getting a call from?  My Nana.  :(  Every year she called and said "Happy Birthday Mallie... I love you and no knife can cut our love into".  Mallie is the nickname that my Nana and my Aunt Tricia have always called me.  I miss hearing my Nana say it.  Okay... I'm getting tears in my eyes so let me go.  Smooches.

01/23/05... DAY #990:
Top 'O The Morning To Ya!  Yesterday was fun.  It wasn't Lake Tahoe or a trip to Reno... but it was fun none the less.  Cary and I went to Speakeasy Pub for my birthday (they give free mudslides on your birthday... ha!).  My Mom, Dad, Brother, Kristi, Sis, Robbie, Beth, her husband Brad, and her son Hunter met us there.  We had fun... then we all went back to my parent's house for cake and ice cream.  I ate two bites and got sick... so... enjoy my cake kids!  LOL!  I got lots more calls and emails yesterday.  My friends Johnny & Brandy called with birthday greetings along with my Mom-In-Law.  My good friend Sharon Friberg sent me a birthday email and I also received emails from buddies Tabitha Daniell and Olivia James.  Thanks ladies!  It makes me feel so good that I have many friends and family that love me.  I am truly blessed.  Well... I got work to do... so I think I'll go take a nap.  LOL!  bye.

01/24/05... DAY #991:
Birthday wishes continue to flow in.  I love my friends!  My WLS friends Pam Kelley and Kimmy Buckman, who were my surgery buddies from the beginning sent me birthday greetings.  I also got some new cool leather boots from Gayla.  You know I love boots!  My friend Natalie also called.  I wish I would win the lottery so I could shower my friends with everything they ever wanted.  I guess I have to play first though, huh?

01/25/05... DAY #992:
DAMN THE GOLD ROLD PRETZELS TO HELL!  I have been eating pretzels like they are going out of style.  Why?  Because I got a taste for them on the airplane... now I think I have to eat whole bags of them!  I got on the scale this morning to 153 lbs.  HOLY CRAP!  I HATE ALWAYS STRUGGLING WITH MY WEIGHT!  I wish we could eat whatever the hell we wanted and not be punished for it.  Back to the protein shakes I guess.  Dang it!

01/26/05... DAY #993:
Well, one protein shake and getting off my ass yesterday I was back down to 149 lbs. this morning.  Still though... my goodness!  Sometimes a girl just wants some freaking carbs!  Anywho.  Thought you would find it quite entertaining that I just received a VIP invitation to a Happy Hour and Party hosted by P. Diddy for this coming Friday.  LOL!  That's EXACTLY what I want to do... attempt to meet up with P. Diddy again and get the beat down from his entourage.  Um... I think I'll pass.  Thanks though.

01/29/05... DAY #996:
Good Morning.  It's 4:04am and I'm a little shaken.  My friend Johnny and I went out to the club tonight, and on the way taking him back home we hit a patch of ice on the bridge.  I lost complete control of my SUV.  We were all over the road and started to spin... at the last second I pulled the wheel in the opposite direction of our spin.  We ran up on the side of the bridge and the truck finally stalled.  I don't think there is any major damage, but I won't know until the morning when I can see the truck in daylight.  It brought back bad memories from a near death experience I encountered when I was 21 years old.  My friend Sharon and I were traveling to Albany, GA about 2 hours away.  I was young, dumb, and drove a Nissan Pulsar at the time.  That little sports car had some speed.  We were doing 110 mph when a 16 year old guy pulled out in front of us in a Ford Explorer.  I lost complete control of the car and we were plowing head on with and elderly man sitting in a station wagon in the median waiting to turn.  Trust me when I tell you he turned white as a ghost.  I jerked the wheel and we spun out of his way into the other lane of oncoming traffic of 55+ mph... right in front of an 18 Wheeler.  All you could see on the driver's side window was the word "MACK"... (Gosh I'll never forget that).  We continued spinning and finally ended in the median the opposite direction we were traveling.  The Mack truck left skid marks two trucks length long.  There was so much adrenaline and strength at that moment between me and Sharon that her grip of the door handle actually pulled the side panel off the door... I had dug into my steering wheel so hard that I broke all eight of my acrylic nails off and they were embedded into the steering wheel.  Now ladies who wear fake nails... you know how bad it hurts when you pop one of those things off... now imagine breaking eight in half at one time... I NEVER felt the pain because of the adrenaline.  We escaped with not a scrape on the vehicle.  God was watching over us that day.  We drove 35 mph the rest of the way.  Anywho... I'm okay right now and that is what is important.  So... I'm at the club dancing the night away with my friends Johnny, Casey, Gary, and Kelley tonight when this guy approaches me.  Well I'll be dog... a blast from the past... and there was three of them!  Wayne, James, and Terry.  Three guys that lived in my neighborhood when I was a kid.  They are about 3 to 4 years older than me, but the four of us, my friend Christy, and another guy named Gabe use to run the roads together all the time.  The last two years of high school, me and Christy skipped school to stay at Gabe's house during the day and have pool parties with the guys.  Man... you talking about bringing back some memories!  After I met Cary, and Christy moved to Ohio... I never really saw them again.  It had been 7 years since I had last seen Wayne.  Me, Cary, him, and Christy had dinner one night when she was in town.  Wayne had just got engaged.  Anywho, it had been at least 12 years since I'd seen James and Terry.  Wow how people change... I wouldn't have recognized them.  They barely recognized me.  After I sat down with them, Wayne told me that the three of them watched me dance for 30 minutes arguing with each other as to whether it was me or not before Wayne got up the gall to approach me.  He said "Girl, I knew it had to be you.  You were dancing with everyone (well taking turns dancing with my four friends) and I know those moves... you've always been "you"... not having a care in the world... you've always been wild and crazy." LOL... yep.. guess I haven't changed.  James said "Damn girl... you've lost some weight haven't ya?  You look hot... and your blonde hair!".  Terry said "Where the hell did you get that ass from... I don't remember that?"  Ahhh.. that was a nice ego boost.  LOL!  James asked me to slow dance with him (we use to "date" back in the day).  It was so strange seeing him after all these years.  Anywho... My oh my I could tell you some stories from back in the day of our six member clique... but to protect the guilty... I'll just leave that in the past.  HA!  Anywho... we all exchanged phone numbers so we could stay in contact... and hopefully have a reunion next time my baby girl Christy is back in town.  Anywho.  Blaise and I had a party trip planned for tomorrow night in Atlanta... but he had some personal stuff come up, so we're having to reschedule... so then I made plans to meet my WLS buddy Julie for a night at her posh resort home... but dog it... with the rain, ice on the road, and it not getting above freezing all day Saturday... for my own safety I have to postpone!  I was so looking forward to living it up my last "free" weekend in Atlanta.  I'm booked with weddings pretty much from here on out... I mean.. that is a good thing... Praise Jesus!  Well... Cary has the day off from work anyway... so I guess I'll spend the day with him getting our house ready to go on the market.  I'm sure people outside of my friends and acquaintances wonder why Cary and I don't go out together a lot.  I am a very independent girl who loves to be on the go.  My sweetheart is a homebody that loves to work on his computers.  I guess opposites attract?  I'm just glad Cary is so not the jealous type.  He allows me to go have lunch and dinner dates, trips out of town, go out dancing, partying, and he never holds me back.  He understands that in order to keep me happy... I can not sit at home just because he doesn't like to go out.  I am sure there are folks out there that don't understand our relationship... but if you really know me... and you really know Cary... then you know that we've been married almost 10 years for a reason.  We are happy and must be doing something right.  I guess I got off on a tangent there... didn't I?  Ha!  Well... I was just trying to answer the age-old question that I get all the time: "Where's your old man?"  He's at home... and he is truly happy there.  Hell, I've tried dragging him out... but he just sits in misery... so why put him through it?  Okay.. I'm done.  It's 4:52am now and I need some sleep!  My fat girl knees hurt from dancing!

01/30/05... DAY #997:
Well... I'm glad the Ice Storm has come and gone.  Cary and I were without power from 11:00am Saturday morning until 10:00am this morning.  Twenty-three hours of without power SUCKS and we are all electric!  No stove, no hot water... yuck!  So much for trying to paint and get stuff done around the house this weekend.  We got creative with our time... we slept, went to the mall, and got something to eat.  Being without a computer also makes it hard to work on photography orders so that has put me behind.  I'll make up for it this week I suppose.  This weekend starts wedding season for me too and I'm hosting a baby shower for my sis this week... lots to do in a little bit of time.  I always come through though with the help of God.  :)  Hope everyone is safe.  :)  Jules

02/03/05... DAY #1001:
I got a call this morning from my dear friend Pam.  She is so super sweet.  I swear the girl fell right off the Sugar Plum Tree.  She wished me a Happy 1000th mark!  Amazing that it has been over a 1,000 days since surgery.  I threw my sister a baby shower tonight for close friends and family.  It went really well... but I swear... I ate enough "shower" food that I promise... I will wake up in the morning and weigh 896 lbs.  Well, I've had a nice little rest since Christmas... just a few weddings and photo shoots... enough to keep me busy but also allow me some rest time.  The rest was nice... but I get restless. ;-)  Starting tomorrow, I am booked all weekend for weddings and photo shoots.  It will be nice to get back into wedding season... I love my brides.  Well Valentine's Day is coming up and if you would love to confess your undying love to me, then I would love a gift basket of Lindt Dark Chocolate and a Gift Card for liposuction.  Ha!  Okay... I am TIRED!  I've been running all day for the baby shower... got to get some rest.  Hugs.

02/05/05... DAY #1003:
Shower food = 152 lbs.  No more shower food.  I refuse to be a statistic... back to the drawing board.


02/09/05... DAY #1007:
Yesterday morning I got on the scale and weighed 152.5.  I was disgusted with myself.  Blaise and I got up early yesterday morning and hit the park for a two mile walk.  That was the first time we had been walking in forever.  I drank two protein shakes and tried to fill my chocolate cravings with Sunkist Navel Oranges.  It seemed to work for the time being.  I got on the scale this morning and weighed 150.5... so I lost two pounds... just got to keep it up.  We would have gone walking this morning... but it's raining like crazy outside... maybe tomorrow.  As of this morning's weigh in, I have gained 14 pounds from my lowest weight.  I've said it before and I'll say it again... I REFUSE TO BE A WLS STATISTIC!  I must get this weight off.  I do realize that my body is not meant to stay at 136.5.  My body is comfortable around the 145 pound range... but as long as I stay under 150... that is my ultimate goal.  So I have work to do!

02/12/05... DAY #1010:
Thursday morning Blaise and I walked one mile then cut it short.  It was so cold outside and the wind cut like a knife.  We'll start back Monday and hopefully it will start to warm up soon.  I have been so incredibly busy that I am surprised I even have time right now to update.  After two months of negotiations... I FINALLY signed the contract for my new home and studio to be built.  My builder has never done a custom built home such as mine so the research and negotiations were long... but well worth it because I came out in the good in the end.  Our new home should be ready in June... SO.... If you know ANYONE looking for a newer 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in North Columbus... let me know because ours is for sale!  Last night, Brandy, Johnny, Cary, and I went to the club.  Brandy and Johnny surprised me with a box of Godiva Dark Chocolate wrapped in beautiful Valentine paper with a pretty heart ornament.  It was so sweet... literally!  I've decided that, yes, I will eat the whole box... but in moderation.  Ha!  Thanks so much!!!  While Johnny and I were on the dance floor last night I was approached by a fashionably dressed young black woman who said to me:  "I hope you don't take offense to this or take this the wrong way... but you are the first white girl I've seen out here that can dance."  Ahhhh yes... this white girl still got it going on.  I've said it before and I'll say it again... my friends, of all races, have always said that I've got some black girl in me some where.  I know how to shake what my mama gave me.  LOL!  This past week I received an envelope of Valentine goodies and a sweet card from my sweetie Pam Kelley... she even included a "Grow a Date"... a little man that you put in water and he grows into a full size man!  LOL!  Hmmmm... wonder how Cary would take me growing a man in my bathtub?  Hee hee.  I got on the scale this morning and weighed 148... so my weight is coming down... if I can just keep it coming down!  Cary and I both are on diets.  We are drinking the Atkins Advantage Shakes for breakfast then eating protein/meat for our other meals.  Well I'm off to get ready to shoot a wedding.  I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

02/14/05... DAY #1012 - HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!:
Hope everyone had a romantic Valentine weekend.  I worked most of the weekend and today.  I'm also fighting off ANOTHER terrible cold.  I feel like I've been sick a lot this past year... Sore throat, coughing, headaches, snotty nose, and fever.  Beth has been sick too.  We all seem to rotate giving it to each other... but we're surviving.  So what did ya get for Valentine's Day?  Anything juicy?  I want all the details!  Email me!  My baby Cary gave me a very sweet loving card with a special message that he hand wrote inside... it made my heart melt.  He also gave me six boxes of Lindt Dark Chocolate.  I told him that he is in so much trouble!  LOL!  I already ate all the chocolates Brandy and Johnny gave me!  Blaise brought me a sweet card, a wine glass full of candy wrapped in heart cellophane, and a heart shaped Valentine balloon.  My friend Kim Nelson brought me 1/2 dozen of red carnations and a hocus pocus rose wrapped in baby's breath.  They are so beautiful and smell so good.  I'm not much of a flower person... but I love carnations and the rose is truly unique looking!  I received so many Valentine emails.  Thank you to all my sweet friends and family!  I love you all very much!  Well... me and this cold are off to bed... maybe Cary has something to help me ease this headache???  Hmmmmmm.... HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!  SMOOCHES!

02/21/05... DAY #1019:
MOOOOOOOO!  OINK OINK!  GOBBLE GOBBLE... I swear I feel like a big fat cow!  I have eaten so many carbs and chocolate that I have blown up like a Macy's parade balloon... and good grief!  Why do carbs give WLS patients such bad gas?  The past week I've had enough gas that I could have powered a Carnival Cruise ship for a week.  It's been so bad that even Cary left the room... and any of my close friends can vouch... Cary is THE MASTER... so you know I was bad off this week.  I know I keep talking crap about getting back on the band wagon and getting back serious about my weight... but somehow, I continue to let time slip away from me.  Being on a diet, watching what you eat, and exercise takes a lot of thinking and work.  Heck!  Who has time???  I know... I know... that doesn't sound very motivating.  I'm just aggravated with myself... that's all.  I can make all the excuses in the world, but no one controls my weight but me.  I'm sitting at 150 pounds and so mad at myself.  I've let myself dip into old bad eating habits.  I make a promise to myself and to you my friends that I will get back down to the low 140's again by the time bikini season gets here!  On to more exciting news... My baby Cary got a new job that we've been praying for.  We are both very excited for him.  He started today and the future looks bright!  God continues to bless us.  Thank you Jesus!  Well the builder is moving right along with the construction of our house.  The slab has been poured and the first bricks laid.  Cary and I are still working on getting our current house on the market.  As soon as we put it on the market, I'll post a link here and pray that my friends here in Columbus will help me market!  :)  Well, I'm off to bed... got a big day of bridal consultations tomorrow.  Talk to you soon.

02/22/05... DAY #1020:
Someone asked me today: "Don't you get tired of being so busy all the time?  Don't you get tired of working all the time?  I mean, it's like you eat, sleep, and breathe photography?"  Ha!  I laughed.  Wasn't that the cutest question?  My reply went something like this:  "Think of the one thing you enjoy most... be it hunting, fishing, watching TV, watching movies, having sex, traveling, riding motorcycles... ANYTHING... that one thing you enjoy with all your heart.  Now... think if you could do that one thing... all the time... day and night... everyone accepts it... and on top of that... YOU GET PAID TO DO IT!  Pretty sweet deal, huh?  Well that's my life.  I LOVE photography... I LOVE being in control... I have always loved being in management... and weddings are my passion.  When I have a camera in my hand and I am at a photo shoot, or when I'm showing that bride her images and she is crying for joy... my goodness... that is a feeling like none other.  So do I ever get tired of working all the time?  Nope and you wouldn't either if you got paid to do what you love doing the most."  So there you have it... my answer in a nutshell and I'll end with this... PRAISE JESUS for allowing me to live my dreams.  I don't deserve the blessings I've received... but I am definitely grateful.  Thanks Jesus!

02/23/05... DAY #1021:
Good Evening friends.  I can't write long tonight as I have got to get some sleep.  I've been staying up until 2am working and getting up to a phone ringing every morning around 8am... anywho... enough of my whining.  I wanted to talk y'all about American Idol.  Now, I'm not usually a TV watcher, but somehow I've managed to become enthralled in this particular show.  As a matter of fact, this is the first season I've watched it.  Anywho, there is a contestant on there by the name of Scott Savol.  Scott is extremely talented, but I was drawn to him from the very beginning... why?... because of his weight.  I see such talent in him, but in his eyes I see the struggle he feels with his weight.  So I went on the American Idol website to learn more about Scott.  Sure enough, there in black & white, he mentioned his struggle...  In his interview he was asked:  "What's been your toughest obstacle in life?"  His answer was simply:  "Battle with being over-weight."  WLS Buds... can you feel Scott's pain???  I KNOW I can!  When you know that there is A talented person in you... when you know there is a little person screaming to come out of the fat suit.  Anywho.  Although I don't personally know Scott, I am making it my goal to vote for him to be our next American Idol... The "American Idol"... a person that we can look to... let's make Scott, someone who struggles with their weight just like me and you our next "American Idol".  Here is the link to view Scott's pics and interview:  I ask you to support our friend in his quest.  Thanks.

02/27/05... DAY #1025:
Zachary Tyler was born today weighing in at 8lbs. 7.2oz. and 19.5 inches long.  He is a beautiful baby!  Congrats sis!!!!  I would post pics... but sis is a much more private person than I... so I'll respect their privacy.  He made me cry!  I am so excited!!!

03/01/05... DAY #1027:
Well, I am disappointed as I type this and I have no one to blame but myself... I know the rules... I know the basics... I know what it takes to lose weight... I know what it takes to maintain weight... and Julie Hedges has been breaking all of the rules.  I weighed in this morning at 153.5.  Yes, you read that right... a total weight gain of 17 pounds from my lowest weight.  I don't need any emails telling me to exercise or telling me to get back to the basics... I know what to do... my ass just hasn't been doing it.  I involved myself with the passion of Krystal cheeseburgers this past week, and that was the straw that broke the camel's back.  For those of you not from the south, Krystal burgers are like White Castle burgers.  I partied with Blaise and his girlfriend Saturday night, which lead to many empty alcohol calories and the likes of Krystal burgers.  Then Sunday night on the way home from the hospital, I had two more Krystals after midnight.  I've been in Carb City with sandwiches, breads, and I guess the two boxes of Girl Scout cookies didn't help, huh?  Now, I must say that I did do a little better today.  I had no time for breakfast, so I missed those calories.  Not the best option, but the option for today.  For lunch I had a chef salad (more about my lunch date in a sec).  Then for dinner I had half a piece of fish and half a piece of steak.  For my snacks I had two sugar-free popsicles.  I've been getting much needed talks from Blaise.  He is upset about my weight gain... not in a mean or "you're a fat girl" way... but in the "Julie, I know you don't want to be that girl in your pre-op pics again" way.  Blaise has read my journal and listened to hours of stories from me describing the fat life.  He knows my goals and doesn't want to see me suffer again.  My family seems to love me fat or thin, so I rarely hear anything about my weight from them, to include Cary.  Anywho... like I said on 2/21... I know I can do this and I make the promise to myself and my WLS friends to get my ass back in gear to get my weight back where it needs to be.  I'll update more soon, but please no emails with suggestions on how to lose weight... not trying to be rude or mean... but you know how you feel when you know you're doing something wrong, and you know what the right thing is to do, and others tell you how to do what you already know what to do?  I dunno y'all... maybe it's a pride thing.  Shit, I'm suppose to be the damn WLS Post-op Poster Girl and I feel like I've let everybody down.  Anywho... I'll talk to y'all more about my weight later.  Now onto a more positive note... a few days ago I received a call from Gabe.  Remember me talking about Gabe back on 1/29?  He was part of the clique I hung with back in high school.  Well he had run into Wayne, James, and Terry (who I had seen out at the club) and they were telling him about my weight loss, hair color, blah blah blah... anywho, Gabe got my number from them, called me, said the boys had nothing but positive reviews, and that he would like to buy me to lunch.  So we met for lunch today over at his office (Gabe is an entrepreneur like me... owns his own advertising business).  It was so good to see him again.  He gave me some nice compliments, which did boost my ego a bit after I had to put on a size 12 pair a pants just to go out.  He hasn't changed at all... still the handsome, well mannered Gabe I've always known... well.. with a little gray.  Ha!  Anywho... it's been a nice couple of months with reunions getting to see some old friends.  We plan on keeping in touch.  Well I guess that is all for now.  My sister's baby is so sweet I just want to rub his little toes down with butter and nibble on them like corn.  He's given me baby fever... so let me go take some Tylenol and lay down before I get too sick with that baby disease. 

03/03/05... DAY #1029:
149.5 this morning.. but that probably won't last long... I still feel like a fat girl.  Anywho... My current house is under contract!  Yippee Yippee!

03/07/05... DAY #1033:
I was back up to 153.5 this morning... I knew being below 150 wouldn't last long.  I've just been out of control with my eating.  I'll get back to where I need to be... I'm just fighting with my inner food demons right now.  They over take my brain and make me think that the chocolate and carbs are better than being thin.  I've done good so far today... I just pray I'll stay on the right track.  Thanks for the many emails of encouragement... they mean the world to me.


03/10/05... DAY #1036:
I'm still fighting a freaking war.  I have been completely out of control.  I swear I've been eating every 30 minutes of my waking hours.  It's not necessarily that I am eating bad stuff... I'm eating baked fish, salads, soy burgers, etc... it's just that I am eating CONSTANTLY!  OMG!  I can't seem to be happy unless my belly feels like it's gonna pop.  I mean... I just don't have a freaking clue as to why I allow my weaknesses and addiction get the best of me like this.  One good thing though, although I did eat like a grazing cow today, I did get on the treadmill for 35 hard minutes and I've gotten back to my basic exercises.  I'll be honest... I got comfortable and had just completely stopped doing my basic exercises... the ab crunches I had not seen in months... so I'm back at it.  Blaise came over two nights ago and we had a long talk about my addiction to food.  I've got to get the control back.  He made me weigh and bartered with me... If I lose ten pounds, he'll give me an all expense paid party trip to Atlanta.  Yes, of course I want to go, I love traveling to Atlanta, and I always have a blast with Blaise... but I am sad and mad at myself that it has come to my friends bartering with me to lose weight.  I say to myself "Damn girl... You're Julie Hedges... Miss Control... Miss Aggressive... Miss Get What Ever You Put Your Mind To"... but... this weakness and addiction to food... it gets me every time.  I let it control me like a drug.  Y'all, I don't mean to sound depressing... I realize that I am usually much more upbeat than this... but I'm just being real.  Weight Loss Surgery isn't for wimps baby.  After the honeymoon is over... is a freaking Battle Field... and if you lose/fail, what the hell is there?  Not a damn thing... so you have to fight this bitch with all your might.  I've been losing the battle kids... but I am still in the game.  I've said it before and I'll say it a million more times... I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO GIVE UP!  I will not let you down, my friends down, nor myself down.  So it's my 34th Month Anniversary and as of this morning I weighed 154 lbs.  I haven't been at this weight since my 11th month anniversary.  So the goal for this next month is to lose 12 pounds.  We'll see what happens.  Well on to other stuff... my new house and studio are coming along nicely.  I just want to cry... it's a total dream coming true... and it's weird walking through the rooms as they are being built... I'm like "That wall is right there because I designed it that way and that pipe is right there because my Daddy designed the kitchen"... It's just cool to see your ideas transform and being created.  I'm very excited!  My little nephew is such a beautiful baby.  This week I've decided to wrap him in a flour tortilla, sprinkle him with cheese, and soak his toes in salsa.  "I'll have one Baby Burrito please."  For those of you in the North and West... us folks here in the south like to talk about eating kids... nibbling on their ears... biting on their toes... now we're not being literal of course... but I will tell you... baby toes are some darn good eatin'.  LOL!  He is precious and I keep getting that darn Baby Fever every time I'm around him.  Tisk Tisk... I gotta wait.  Cary's got a new job... new insurance... new house... gotta move... business is busier than ever... now is just not the time... but it will happen soon enough.  We're gonna be ready soon... I just pray the Good Lord will let it happen when we're ready.  Well, seeing as I just got out of the tanning bed and smell like funky burnt chicken, I need to head off to the shower.  I've got a busy weekend of weddings... Y'all have a good weekend and God Bless!  Jules

03/11/05... DAY #1037:
I'm gonna take a suggestion from my WLS buddy Dianna Mogelgaard (Hot WLS Babe who has lost 161 lbs. in 13 months... AWESOME!!!), she reminded that back in the day, I would only weigh in on Thursdays... so I am going to get back to weighing in once a week.  So, just for score keeping, yesterday's "Official Thursday Weigh-In" was 154 lbs.  None of my size 8 clothes fit me, I'm busting out of 10's, but feel most comfortable in my 12's... so let's see what I can do this week.  The appraiser comes to look at my house today... that is quite nerve racking... please keep us in your prayers that our house will appraise for what we want.  Have a good weekend.

Have you heard the news that Delta will no longer carry pillows for flights within the continental US?  Um, hello?  So I guess 5 hours in coach to California is now more comfortable?  I think not!  Also... no more meals in coach... just snacks.  The airlines are just cutting costs like crazy... but still charging the same thing!  Okay... next rant... I am sick of my Primary Physician!  A little history... I've been going to this Primary Physician for about 8 years.  My main two reasons for seeing him was for my weight and my back.  In the beginning, he would refuse to put me on any type of diet aids... only telling me to "push back from the table"... "mind over matter".  Yes, I should have taken a clue and left years ago, but he was in my net-work and it was easy to get to him.  His office is in a huge clinic, so it was always a one stop shop for blood work, x-rays, etc... so I just toughed it out.  After a year of failed attempts with a Dietician and "pushing away from the table", I cried in his office until he broke down and gave me diet meds.  Of course, of all the mess I was on, not a one of them ever worked.  When I would discuss my back with him, he would tell me "Your back hurts because you are obese".  Then I finally convinced him to do X-Rays where I finally proved that I truly had slipped discs or as he put it "Spondylolysis Level 5".  Even then, he refused to give me any type of pain meds, only citing that if I lost weight, my back would no longer hurt.  Okay, fast-forward... if you'll remember, this is the same Primary Physician that refused to give me a referral to Dr. Champion, basically saying that WLS was hocus-pocus.  Okay... so fast-forward some more... I lose all the weight and go for another appointment with the Primary Physician with back pain.  My statement is:  "Okay, I've lost all the weight and my back still hurts... PLEASE give me something for pain!!!".  He basically accuses me of wanting drugs.  He refuses to give me any type of pain medication at all and tells me take Tylenol.  He schedules an MRI.  Well, the results come back... I've got a bad back... and he STILL only tells me to take Tylenol and gave me a prescription for some very mild muscle relaxers.  Um.. they've been of NO help.  My back on a daily basis is usually fine.  It's when I stand for periods of 30 minutes or longer, lay on a flat surface, or start rigorous exercise that it begins excruciating pain.  So yes, on my wedding days, thirty minutes into it... my back starts screaming in agony.  Fast-forward... I go to the Primary Physician again and explain that the muscle relaxers are not working and to PLEASE give me something for pain.  Again, he accuses me of wanting drugs and tells me if he prescribes me pain meds that I will become addicted.  I'm like "My God... So you mean to tell me that I have to be in pain, when there is medicine to help me, all because you are a wuss and are afraid to dispense me some pain medication!  How can I become an addict if I can only take what you prescribe to me???"  He basically told me that if I wanted pain medication... then I needed to find another doctor.  What in the hell is wrong with this man?  Has he been sued or something over prescribing pain meds?  Good Lord!  Okay... so to my Columbus, GA friends:  Now that I am no longer bound by insurance net-work restrictions... If you have a wonderful Primary Physician that truly understands you and your ailments and is NOT afraid of taking care of his/her patients... please shoot me an email.  I can not continue to carry on in life with this back pain and no relief.  My email addy is .  Thanks

03/14/05... DAY #1040:
I saw myself in an advertisement today.  My WLS buddy Susan Maria has a website called Bariatric Eating.  She sells a lot of great products.  Anywho, I was out on the Obesity Help Message Board, and on the left side of the page saw an advertisement for Susan's website... and guess what... it has my pic on the advertisement!  Ha!  Click here, then watch the box on the left advertising "Bariatric Eating"... you'll see my pic scroll around.  Cool Beans.  I will update soon about this weekend's activities... I've got new pics in the 34 Month Gallery.

You don't hear me talk about my family too much because, unlike me, they are all very private folks and prefer for me to not talk about family issues, post family pics, etc.  Heck... maybe they're just ashamed of me and don't want to be associated with me?  I'm kidding!  Anywho... all jokes aside, I come to you tonight to ask for prayers for my Mama.  My Mom has been very ill for many years now and every year gets worse.  She was put into the hospital tonight with severe infection.  I am very concerned about her.  No emails needed... just spend that time to say a little prayer that she'll get better.  I love her with every cell in my body.  I don't know what I would do without my Mama... so... I need your prayers.  My Mom is too young (49 yrs. old) to be so sick and suffering with pain... so please pray for her.  Thanks.  Jules

03/17/05... DAY #1043:
Top 'O The Morning To Ya and Happy St. Patty's Day!  I'm not wearing any green so I was hoping that somebody would come pinch my butt.  :)  Well I guess today is "Official Weigh-In" Day.  I weighed in at 152.5 lbs.... only a 1.5 pound loss which just sucks.  I did start my period a couple of days ago, so maybe that has had some impact.  I've been suffering from severe cramps the past two days spending 70% of yesterday in the bed.  I just wish there was something that guys had to suffer through one week a month... I really don't think they get it... ya know?  My Mama is back home and feeling better.  Praise Jesus!  She is still sick, yes, but feeling better which is a blessing.  I guess I should update ya on this past week's happenings...  My house appraised for what we were wanting and everything is a go.  We'll be closing in a week.  Wooo Hooo!  My new house is coming along right nice.  It's so exciting to see it being built before my eyes.  Saturday night, after my wedding in West Point, me, Blaise, and a friend of ours went out to the club for a little while.  The club was sort of boring that night... I dunno... maybe I was just tired from working... but I looked good though... ha!  I got in bed about 4:30am, then turned around and got up at 10am Sunday morning to head to Pam Kelley's Lake House for some peace and serenity.  Lake Martin is such a beautiful place.  I was greeted with open arms from Pam.  She is so sweet!  I got a present!  New blue jammies with little chickens all over them that say "Chicks Rule".  Ha!  I love 'em!  We sat out on the deck and Pam made us some delicious chef salads.  The air is so clean and crisp... no sounds but nature.  It truly is refreshing.  Pam and I went down her property a bit to some old Indian rocks up on a hill.  We took lots of "modeling" pics, including some, um, "au natural" pics... but can't show you those!  Hee hee.  After the pics, Pam and her hubby Jim worked in their wine vineyard about an hour while I took a little nappy pooh.  We got all cleaned up and piled into the Corvette.  Jim loves driving fast with the convertible top down and two hot chicks in the passenger side.  Ha!  We headed to "Oskar's" and enjoyed mounds of delicious seafood and lots of appetizers I had never tried before.  Pam told them it was my birthday (well since we didn't go out for our birthdays back in January... hee hee) and we got a free chocolate fritter dessert.  OMG!  The three of us shared this massive dessert.  It was so good!  We piled back in the Corvette and sped back home, missing a possum and deer.  We sat on the deck some more and finally all went to bed.  It was such a nice relaxing day.  I got back home Monday afternoon, but wished I could have stayed all week.  I will be going back in May though for Jim's Luau Birthday Party.  By then, the deck Jacuzzi will be up and running.  Yes!  I'm tired... I'll be back to write more... Well, I took a break from writing and came back.  I've been in bed most of the day again today.  I am unusually tired and these period cramps are killing me.  You would think after you hit your 30's, the cramp thing wouldn't be an issue any longer... heck, I still have 'em as strong as I did when I was a teenager.  I just praise Jesus that I have the luxury of lying in the bed when I need to.  I can remember working in the corporate world, sitting in my cubicle and suffering because I didn't want to use any of my PTO (paid time off/vacation time).  And of course, it would be on these days where I was so tired and hurting that we would have some type of boring meeting, team function, or I would have to take supervisor call after supervisor call for my specialists.  Uggh!  I HATED SUPERVISOR CALLS!  Anywho... I feel like I've been so negative lately and that is so not me.  I am such a positive and upbeat person... I need to get out of this rut.  I think it's my weight.  So I'll stop bitchin' and go back to bed.  Have a great day. 

03/22/05... DAY #1048:
My weight is still fluctuating.  I've been walking on my treadmill 30 minutes everyday... doing my exercises... cutting back on chocolate and carbs... and I'll be damn... I am still gaining weight!  What the hell is going on????  I got on the scale tonight and it said 156!  I am flabbergasted!  Yes... I know it doesn't count until Thursday... but I'm telling you I want to know what is going on with my body.  Anywho... no more bitching about that until Thursday.  Blaise is having his wisdom teeth taken out in the morning... he was in the doctor's office today filling out some paperwork when one of nurses recognized him.  She told him that he looked familiar and asked him if he knew me.  After his confirmation, she said "You're Blaise!".  Anywho, long story, short... she explained to him that she was an avid reader of my website and I had been her inspiration to have WLS... she has lost 140+ lbs.  I don't know who she is... so if you are her... email me!  :)  I would love to add you to my "Hot WLS Babe" page and become WLS buddies.  That type of weight loss in incredible!  You should be very proud of yourself!  You go Girl!  Blaise and I laughed tonight about the fact he gets recognized so much now out in public due to my website... his clientele has increased at the salon too.  Without sounding egotistical (because I totally despise persons of that nature), I enjoy being mini-famous.  I enjoy getting recognized in public, I enjoy the attention, and I enjoy meeting so many wonderful people.  I think I would so fit into the Hollywood Glamour Girl lifestyle.  I wish someone would approach me with a reality TV show.  I would so do a "Day in the Life of Julie Hedges"... like 'ol Jessica and Nick.  I don't know if anyone would be interested in watching it though.  I can be a we bit boring at times.  Ha.  But... on the other hand... I know of many folks that would love to know what goes on "behind the closed doors" of me and my friends... the "wouldn't you like to know".  Heck.. maybe we have something here.  Anybody got a few thousand dollars and some contacts with the networks???  Ha!  :)  Well, I've got a busy day tomorrow... meeting with clients, the builder, and working on getting the security system at my new house installed... so off to bed.  Smooches!  Jules

03/24/05... DAY #1050:
"Official Thursday Weigh-In":  Much to my disbelief... I got on the scale this morning and weighed 150 lbs.  That is a 2.5 pounds loss in one week and a total of 4 pounds lost in two weeks.  How I can weigh 156 lbs. two nights ago and weight 150 this morning blows my mind.  Maybe I just needed to use the potty one good time.. and well.. I did.  LOL!  Anywho.  I am so relieved to see that the walking on the treadmill and going through these chocolate withdrawals is actually paying off.  I am a cold hard addict of chocolate, and if they ever make it illegal... I'm telling you... I would go to prison for getting caught with the biggest chocolate lab in my basement... and some of y'all would probably go to prison with me 'cause you'd be in the lab too!  We would have chocolate mustaches in our mug shots.  Hee hee.  Oh the love of chocolate...  I miss it... but not as much as missing wearing my skinny clothes.  Once I get back down to 140 pounds, a photographer friend of mine is going to take some sexy pics of me.  It's an outfit and props that I have had for almost a year now and I want to take these pics before Cary and I become pregnant... so... I have a few goals going on right now.  Well, it's another busy day.  Hope yours is a good one.  :)

HAPPY EASTER!  03/27/05... DAY #1053:
Happy Easter to ya!  My weight has been fluctuating once again the past three days and the fact that my Mom gave me and Cary two big Easter Baskets full of candy, chocolate, and carbs probably isn't gonna help.  I'll try to stay strong and steadfast.  I just have to keep shooting for those Thursday weigh-in's and not fret the weigh-in's I do daily.  It was a busy few days.  Friday I closed on my current home.  My brother actually purchased my home which made it so easy on me.  I never had to put the house on the market and I can live in it until I move.  Too sweet of a deal.  I am really proud of him too that he bought it all by himself.  Friday evening "Hot WLS Babe" Christie Brown came in from Gadsden, AL (about 3 hours away).  We had dinner then headed over to Memory Lane's where we danced the night away.  Christie is too sexy now.  Her results are fantastic and her Before & After pics are amazing.  Check her out in the "Hot WLS Babes" section.  I added a pic of us to my 34 Month Gallery.  Well I have an appointment with Dr. Champion tomorrow for my 3 year.  Yes I know it's not quite three years yet... but with the gas prices the way they are... when I am in Atlanta I try to hit everything at one time.  I have some client meetings in Atlanta tomorrow too... then I'll be having dinner with "Hot WLS Babe" Kelly Krzyzanski.  Well it's late and time for bed.  Night night.

03/29/05... DAY #1055:
I saw Dr. Champion yesterday and everything was good.  I had gained 6 pounds since my last visit, but he said just don't go gaining 6 pounds every time I see him.  He said my weight was still in the range that he approves of.  My bone density scan was good too.  I left and met with some clients, then met up with "Hot WLS Babe" Constance Harrison at her office.  We chatted for a while and enjoyed one another's company.  From there I met up with "Hot WLS Hunk" Paul Rivera.  We chatted for a while and had dinner planned, but he wasn't feeling too well, so I headed on back home.  I was suppose to meet up with Kelly Krzyzanski, but she too was not feeling well.  I hope they both get to feeling better.  I added a new pic of me and Constance to the 34 month gallery.  Toda y is a busy day filled with clients.  Hope y'all are doing good.

04/03/05... DAY #1060:
Sorry I didn't write on Thursday.  I've been incredibly busy.  My "Official Weigh-In" was 152 lbs.  So I take two steps forward and two steps back!  Even though the week was busy, it was good.  Thursday and Friday I spent most of the days with Cary.  We had a nice dinner both nights, and watched the movie "Sin City" on Friday night.  I didn't really get into the movie nor understand it... Cary on the other hand thought it was great.  I enjoy spending time with Care Bear.  After all these years, him and I are still madly in love with each other.  Awwwww.  :)  I had a wedding Saturday, then spent the evening and wee hours partying with Blaise and our friend Charles.  I think I'm starting to get too old to party.  I've been asleep most of today... or just lazing around.  I realize I need a day off every now and then, but it shouldn't take me a day to recover from partying and all I had was two mudslides!!  I did however manage to get out of bed long enough for me and my brother to have an early dinner at Olive Garden.  It was nice to spend some time with him.  Well, guess what, I'm heading back to bed.  LOL.  Goodnight.  Smooches.

I got an email from "Hot WLS Hunk" Ed Souza regarding a Sky Diving event that is coming up... if you're interested, click on the link below:

04/08/05... DAY #1065:
As my avid readers know, generally I have an upbeat personality, but tonight I'm gonna get on a soap box.  I won't be long, and some of you may think ugly of me when I'm done, but dang it... I've got to let this out:  Any of you that have emailed me KNOW that I personally answer all my emails.  It may take me a week or two sometimes, but I answer all emails.  What frustrates me is when I get emails from people who are new to my website and they ask general questions that answers are clearly located on my website.  I have a "FAQ's" section and this "Journal" that for the most part, answer 97% of any questions one might have about me and/or WLS.  I even state to PLEASE check these two sections first, and if you can't find the answer, then email me.  I get frustrated because people like to take the easy or lazy way out.  Look, I know this Journal is a beast.  It probably takes about 5 long days to read, but I have worked NUMEROUS hours documenting my journey so that others can read and learn the good and bad of the surgery... so that others can learn what to expect about the surgery.  Prior to me having surgery, I read EVERY page of, I researched every website I could... I read until I would fall asleep at the computer.  I get frustrated when people just want to ask a question and expect an immediate answer when if they would just take the time to READ the website, they would more than likely find the answer they are looking for.  I guess I just want some dang respect and credit for all the hours I put into this website.  That would be like asking a Novelist "So how does the story end?".  Well, I've taken the time to write... you take the time to read.  It's not fair for me to repeat myself in email when the information is clearly written on my website.  Okay... okay... I'm done.  Y'all don't hate me... and my avid readers... this is not directed at y'all.  Y'all have read the website and always ask good questions... that's why my "FAQ's" section keeps growing... because of good questions from y'all that aren't covered on my website.  Anywho... I just had to let that out.  My "Official Weigh-In" Thursday was 150 lbs.... so once again I've taken two positive steps forward.  I hope to stay on this track.  Blaise and I are "suppose" to be hitting Atlanta in two weeks and he won't go unless I weigh-in at 142 lbs.  I've been doing good with my walking... walking two miles every night.  I'm pretty proud of myself.  Cary has lost some weight too.  He is looking hot.  Well, I'm gonna go snuggle up with the Care Bear.  Y'all have a good night... I have a 14 hour wedding tomorrow!!!!


04/15/05... DAY #1072:
Sup peeps?  Y'all thought I fell off the planet not posting for a week!  I think someone actually put a APB out for me, so when the Marshals showed up at the door wondering why I haven't posted in a week... well I decided it was probably time to do my civic duty.  Hee hee.  :)  It's been a helluva week!  Whew!  Let's see... I'll pick up with last Saturday.  I shot the long wedding on Saturday.  It was very beautiful and well organized.  From there, I met up with Blaise and several of our friends.  We hit the downtown area and went into the new club called Oxygen.  It was okay... not really my flavor.  The crowd was WAY too young.  Anywho.  Sunday and Monday was spent meeting with clients and photo shoots.  Tuesday, photo shoot and ALL day running errands and attending appointments for my new house/studio.  Again, Wednesday meeting with clients and running errands for the house/studio.  Guess what I did Thursday???  Okay... yes, "official weigh-in", which had not changed... still hanging at 150 lbs. (but that's good considering I didn't walk much this past week).  Cary and I spent all day Thursday and today together while we again ran errands and attended appointments for our new house/studio.  Building a house is NO JOKE.  I'm tired and I haven't even lifted a hammer!  Ha!  I've received a high level of emails this week... and they're all within guidelines.  HA!  I actually received a lot of nice emails with lots of kind words.  You guys and gals make my darn head so big that I'm having to prop it against the wall as I type this.  Thanks so much for keeping me motivated!  Y'all are the best!  I also want to say a BIG THANK YOU for the donations I received this week.  They are very much appreciated and will be put towards the cost to run this website.  Oh... you other peeps thought this thing was free for me?  Nope.  I pay a monthly fee to run my website, along with a yearly fee for the website name, and of course my Internet monthly fee.  Yep... it costs moolah and the donations are always appreciated from those who have found it inspirational and educational.  No... that's not a plea for money, so put your darn TV clickers away and don't hang up on me... I'm just being real with ya.  Anywho... Big Thanks for those of you who took care of mama this week.  Hmmm... what else?  Ahhh yes... Everybody likes a little drama right?  That's what keeps the world spinning...  Let me throw some drama at ya.... Hmmm.. on the other hand... I just looked at the darn clock and it's 12:56am.  Holy moly!  Okay... let me hit the hay 'cause this story I know will take 45 minutes to type... yeah... 2 minutes for you to read but 45 minutes for me to type.  Ha!  Anywho, I do have a big wedding tomorrow and need to get some sleep.  I'll update you on the drama soon.  You won't wanna miss this... I promise.  Stay tuned for the next episode of... "The Adventures of Fat Girl"!  (Do you hear the Fat Girl theme song playing??) Da na na na na na na na FAT GIRL!

 04/18/05... DAY #1075:
Today has been a depressing day.  I don't have time this evening to update you on the "drama" I spoke of on Friday evening, but I will soon... promise.  I attended the funeral of Steve Givens today.  Steve at one time was a "Hot WLS Hunk" on my website, but when all the crazy mess went down with me and my corporate job, I removed all of my WLS buds that were also management employees at the corporate... just to cut out any other unnecessary drama.  Anywho, I met Steve years ago when we were put on a committee together at the 'ol corporate job.  We continued to work together on committees for several years.  When Steve and I met, we instantly hit it off as he was more crazy and zany than I was.  Steve was always a lot of fun to be around and always had people rolling in the floor laughing with his humor.    He always said what he thought too and rarely sugar coated anything.  That's what I loved about Steve.  After I had WLS, Cary and I ran into Steve and his wife Donna at a restaurant one evening.  Steve was surprised at my weight loss.  I told Steve all about the surgery and that our insurance covered it.  I referred him to Dr. Champion's office and within weeks Steve too was approved for the surgery.  Steve did well with his surgery and lost 100+ pounds and looked fantastic.  Unfortunately, Steve fell ill with cancer this past year and lost the battle Satruday morning.  He was a great man with a big heart.  Please keep his family in your prayers as they go through this time of grief.  We'll miss you Steve and thank you for all the encouraging words you gave me over the years.  Julie

04/20/05... DAY #1077:
I don't know what has been up with me the past few days... all I've been wanting to do is sleep.  I've been getting this way something terrible every month during "mother nature".  Does this have something to do with being in my 30's?  Is this what happens?  Sheesh... I mean I have had ZERO energy the past few days.  I dunno.  Thank God for self employment and having the ability to sleep during the day the past three days.  If I had to go to a corporate job... I would have been miserable and very irritable.  However, I must get on the ball tomorrow though and work my tail off getting my past weddings and portraits sessions completed since I'm now 3 days behind.  My eyes are droopy as I type now, but I wanted to update the journal real quick.  I saw my nephew this evening.  I just love that little punkin.  He's growing so fast... three inches in two months!  He's holding his head up, smiling, cooing, and making patty cakes for Aunt Julie to change.  He gives me baby fever... and I have decided to wait... yes... wait another year for the baby thing.  I know... I know... I know... I can hear you now... but trying to run a full-time business by myself and build a new house and studio is just too much right now.  It'll happen when the timing is right.  Okay... so to discuss the drama I spoke of last Friday... a WLS buddy of mine, named Stacey, made me aware of a post about me on the message board.  Another member had posted that the "girl" appearing in the Bariatric advertisement appeared to be "grabbing her crotch", looked like Paris Hilton, that my photograph probably wasn't even real, and what?... did Bariatric expect it's user's to look like that because if so, she certainly didn't want to look like that.  That message was replied to by a few other negative comments by other members, then Stacey stepped in to defend me.  She said several nice things, stated what an inspiration I am to others, that I had worked hard to be where I am today, and that I wasn't "grabbing my crotch".  Another WLS friend, named Joni, also stepped in to defend me.  What is so amazing is that Stacey nor Joni and I had ever spoken prior to that event.  Their kindness and emails to me meant so much.  It really touched me that persons who only know me through my website would take a stand for me against others.  I am so blessed with many friends.  Here is how I replied to the negative comments on the board:

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen, My name is Julie Hedges, and I happen to be "that girl" in the Bariatric Eating ad.  I am NOT grabbing my crotch.  My arm is simply resting at my side, which you would see if you pulled up the larger view of my photograph on the "Photo Gallery" page of my website.    I don't try to "look" like Paris Hilton nor do I act like Paris Hilton.  That "picture" was simply a picture of a day I was feeling pretty secure in my weight loss results.  I'm sure all of us "post-ops" have had sexy days in which we dress more provocative for ourselves or our spouses.    I am a "real person" as most people appearing in ads are... we're not made of wax.  I am currently 35 months post-op... or 3 years post-op next month.  I went from a size 26/28 to a size 8/10 by busting my butt everyday.  That picture was showing my six-pack abs that I have worked so hard to get.  NO, I guess that "look" is not for everyone... but I have managed to get my skin back in shape and have avoided needing any plastic surgery like many post-op patients.   I would like to take a moment to introduce you to my website.  Thousands of persons researching WLS have found it to be very informative.  The website contains FAQ's about WLS, a journal that I have kept about my WLS journey for the past 3 years, month to month weight and measurement charts, month to month pre and post-op photographs, clinical nudes to show the anatomical changes in the body as you lose weight (yes, I'm brave enough to put fat nude pics on my website... which most people aren't brave enough to do), a weight loss calculator, and my favorite part of all... the "Hot WLS Babes and Hunks".  These two pages are comprised of all my WLS buds showing their weight loss successes.   So.... if you'll take the time to view my website... see the trials and tribulations I have been through... not with just my weight, but my life as well, maybe you'll become inspired too.  :)   Have a good evening, Julie Hedges

That post was responded with several positive comments and an apology from the original poster.  I never took offense to the original post though.  I don't usually get offended.  In fact, it takes a lot to offend me.  Anywho... here was my response:

I can assure you that my feelings are not hurt. I am a very positive, upbeat, confident person who has helped hundreds of persons in their weight loss journey. I am secure in myself, therefore comments, positive or negative, do not affect my feelings or thoughts.  The question as to whether the post was brought to my attention should not/does not matter. I don't think anyone is trying to "stir" up trouble... The record needed to be set straight that I am truly a real person who has worked hard to get the results I have achieved.  Now that we have answered the question as to "Who is that girl?"... I guess we can let this conversation rest. :)  Everyone have a good evening and I wish all of you much success in your Weight Loss Journey.  Julie Hedges

So that's that.  The original post of "crotch grabbing" and comparing me to Paris Hilton gave Cary and I a good chuckle.  I wish I had some of Paris's money.  Hmmmmm... one day... one day.  One day I too will be big time famous... me and my chocolate.  Maybe I should write to some of these chocolate companies and ask to be in their advertisements?  THEN.. yes THEN I could get FREE chocolate!  And I would share it with you!  Yes!!!  Ah ha!  I have it all figured out!  I want to be the Lindt Chocolate Spokesgirl!  I'll get on that right now!

04/21/05... DAY #1078:
Welcome to "Official Weigh-In" day.  Well... I'm still stuck at 150 lbs. so it looks like I have to wait to hit Atlanta with Blaise.  He refuses to take me until I lose 8 more pounds.  He's not being mean... just using it as a motivation tool for me.  Anywho... the house is coming along nicely.  My brick is so pretty.  I've done a mighty fine job if I do say so myself.  LOL.  The studio and my Bridal Consultation Room rocks too.  I've been having dreams at night about moving in.  I can't wait!  I think I may hit 'ol California in July.  Gayla's birthday is then and we haven't seen each other since Christmas.  We usually visit every three months, but she's had a lot going on with her job and my finances have been tied up in my new house, new furniture, new furnishings... you get the idea.... so we're gonna strive for July.  Wonder what we can do?  We've done just about all of California.  Maybe the Redwood Forest?  Dunno... we shall see.  Y'all have a fantastic weekend!  I've got another big wedding this weekend.

05/02/05... DAY #1089:
Hidey Ho good neighbors!  Sorry it has taken me eleven days since I lasted posted.  Saying to you that I am "busy" gets to be a wee bit boring... I know.  I've been feasting on baby toes this week.  I love... love... love... my new nephew!  I want to hold him and hug him and kiss him and squeeze him and love him.  :)  I miss him when he is not around.  He's my wittle punkin cheese.  Let's see... what's been going on with me lately?  This week consisted of several bridal consultations, weddings, and portrait shoots.  I know I say this a lot... but I just can't say it enough... I am so blessed to have a career that I truly enjoy and love.  I am thankful to our Lord that he gave me that push out the corporate door because I probably would have never had the courage to go out on my own.  Getting a consistent bi-monthly check to a "I hope I get work this month" is very scary... but I continue to have my faith every month and God never lets me down.  Onto WLS stuff (that's why you're here, right?)... my "Official Weigh-In" on Thursday was still at 150 lbs.  I've been walking two miles 5 days a week and even got a push from my assistant, Natalie, to do 3 miles this past week.  I hate exercise, but always feel better when I'm done and that satisfaction I receive when I'm done is so rewarding to know, "hey, you walked today Julie... that is awesome stuff".  Okay... I sound corny tonight, huh?  Speaking of corny... yes I did it.  I emailed the Lindt Chocolate company... confessed my undying love... and asked if they had any openings for a Chocolate Spokesgirl.  :)  I think it is time for Gayla and I to plan a trip to Switzerland to go on a Lindt Chocolatier Factory tour.  I think I may have to accidentally lean over the railing and fall into the batch of chocolate.  Did you know that I spend an average of $17 a week on chocolate?  My chocolate addiction has become quite expensive.  Okay... yes I talk about chocolate a lot... but gosh I just can't get enough of it.  How in the heck I manage to keep my weight where it is at and eat the mountains of chocolate I do beats the heck out of me.  Did you know that chocolate has health benefits though?  About 99.9% of the chocolate I eat is "Dark Chocolate" and that is the chocolate with the highest health benefits.  Here are some articles about how Dark Chocolate is good for the heart:



So there you have it... sound medical advice that the more dark chocolate you eat... the healthier your heart.  LOL.  :)  I received some fan mail this week asking for me to include more of what I eat in my journal.  Ha.  I think the day goes something like this... Breakfast:  Bocca burger patty.  Snack: Chocolate.  Lunch:  High Protein food like refried beans, chicken, or sushi.  Snack: Chocolate.  Snack: Chocolate.  Snack:  Quick Protein like a rolled piece of ham.  Snack: Chocolate.  Snack: Chocolate.  Dinner: High Protein food like chicken, salmon, or a steak.  Snack: Chocolate.  Snack: Chocolate.  Snack: Chocolate.  Snack: Chocolate.  Snack: Chocolate.  and did I mention "Snack: Chocolate"?  Now, I will tell you... other than the "chocolate", I have managed to remove 95% of carbs from my diet.  For the most part, I have managed to cut out bread, pastas, rice, and potatoes from my diet.  I have been focusing on high protein, lots of salads, and fresh vegetables.  The only liquid that touches my lips is water.  I occasionally will have a 1/2 cup of skim milk at dinner.  Also on the weekends, I may have a glass of wine or a mudslide... but during the week it is water, water, and water.  I carry a water bottle with me every where.  I love it and can't get enough of it.  I NEVER drink sodas of any type.  I've also been asked a lot lately via email about my exercise routine.  My exercise routine has been the same since day one of my surgery.  I do the ab-twists, side bends, leg lifts, and walking.  That's it.  I don't like breaking a sweat and I want to do as little to no exercise as possible... the smallest amount I can get away with... so the exercises I developed (mentioned in my FAQ's section) is all I do.  This works for me... but everybody is different... so I can't guarantee the results.  If you're not getting the results you desire... try increasing your sex life.  Sex is a wonderful form of exercise, gets your endorphins going, burns calories for hours afterwards, and just makes you feel great.  However, I'm not talking about you girls who just like to lay there.  Ladies, you must participate to get the results.  Participation strengthens your leg muscles and ab muscles.  So my advice for the week "Drink more water and have more sex".  That's what I do anyway.  LOL.  Well my 3 year WLS anniversary is coming up in a week.  It's crazy to think it's been three years.  It has totally flown by.  Maybe I'll plan something special?  I'll get to thinking on that.  Well... it's 3:10am in the morning... I'm tired and need to hit the bed... think I'll get some exercise in.  Goodnight.  ;-)

 Hey y'all!  I'm am SOOOO behind on my emails... so if you have emailed me in the past two weeks... I apologize... I will reply soon I promise.  I have been so incredibly busy.  My new house and studio should be done in just three weeks.  It's freaking crazy to think that it is almost here!  I haven't even packed a thing yet.  BEEN TOO BUSY!  Business is good and it keeps me up until 4am and then out of bed early again the next day... but as usual, I'm loving it.  It just leaves little time for other things.  I hope everyone had a good Mother's Day weekend.  Cary's Mom came down Saturday night and we spent some time with her.  I then saw my Mom on Sunday.  I wish y'all could see my parent's.  They are so different now that the baby has come along.  They LOVE their new grandbaby and they both are always in such happy, good, spirits.  I'm glad to see them enjoying life and enjoying the new baby.  He sure is sweet.  I got to see him for about 10 minutes today and he fell asleep in my arms.  Ahhh.... little punkin doodle sugar snap beans.  I LOVE HIM!  Well this is gonna be a short one tonight because I am so terribly tired that I can't hold my eyes open.  My weight is still holding steady at 150 lbs., which is simply amazing considering I eat $18 of chocolate a week.  However, I have been walking two miles 5 times a week, and I drink more water than a fish, so maybe it's all averaging out.  Anywho... Protein tip of the week... Rotisserie chicken.  Mmm mmm good stuff!  Moist, juicy, and high in protein!  Pull it off the bone cold and toss it over some greens.  Good stuff.  Alrighty... love you guys!  I'll write again soon.  Big hugs!

05/13/05... DAY #1100:
Slammed right now with no time to update... but just wanted to tell ya I've been shmoozing with celebs the past couple of days and will be on national TV again soon... no big thang really, but you know me... always gettin' in where I can fit in.  LOL.  I'll update soon.  smooches.

05/14/05... DAY #1101:
I turned down going to a huge party tonight so that I could work on this website and my photography.  Am I getting old?  Am I just tired?  Or do I just love WLS and Photography so much that I can't get enough?  I knew if I went, I would be even further behind and I'm suppose to be moving in two weeks... and dang it... I feel like I've been neglecting y'all... so HERE I AM!  SMILE!  Once again, this past week has been filled with photo shoots, but that's what I do, right?  I shot some bridal and engagement portraits at a client's beautiful mansion and estate this past week.  The property, inside and out, was truly spectacular!  WOW is all I can say!  Okay, so I'll tell ya about the celebrity filled couple of days I've had, but first I need some chocolate.  Oh yeah... by the way... the Lindt Chocolate company responded to my email.  In a nutshell, the response said -hey we appreciate you eating our chocolate, that's great, go out and buy more.  thanks.-  LOL!  Alrighty then... so much for getting some free samples!  LOL!  Thursday evening Cary and I drove to Atlanta to attend the taping of a new reality TV show called "R U That Girl".  Click here for details about the new show.  It was filmed at Club Eleven50 in Atlanta.  There was about 60 of us who participated as the "studio audience".  New Edition performed on this particular episode after the contestants.  I got to speak with Chilli and T-Boz briefly.  There will be 8 episodes and the show starts airing in July.  I do not know which episode we will be on... but I'll keep you posted as I know.  Cary and I were on the front row in the middle of the stage... couldn't have gotten a better spot.  The cameraman stuck the camera 4 inches from my face while I was screaming.  I'm sure that will look mighty attractive on screen. "Hi, welcome to Julie's pores, wrinkles, and wait!  Did Julie brush her teeth???"  Cary and I stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Buckhead.  It was a pretty swank place.  Even had a gift bag on the bed with an eye mask, ear plugs, and lavender sheet spray.  With Cary's loud snoring, those ear plugs came in handy!  Why didn't I think of ear plugs ten years ago???  I headed straight to Wally-World and bought a box of those things!  Anywho, we enjoyed staying there and enjoyed spending time with one another.  We got back to Columbus and headed up to The Vibe.  Vanilla Ice performed in concert there last night.  However, we did not stay for the concert.  We got there early, while the band was still setting up, got to meet Vanilla Ice, then we headed home.  It was going to be standing room only and The Vibe is not a huge place.  I certainly did not want to stand shoulder to shoulder with sweaty folks all night.  So there you have it.  In a two day time span, we met New Edition, TLC, and Vanilla Ice.  The unfortunate part of all of it is I was not allowed to take in a camera.  No photos were allowed so I'll have to rely on this memory of mine.  :(  Well, as you can see from the front of my website, I have now created a Yahoo Group called "Julie Hedges Friends".  This group will allow all of you to communicate with one another, ask questions, talk bad about me, and have general discussions.  I think it will be awesome... and we can also do chat sessions.  I will eventually set up a Chat schedule of when I will be on.  I will keep you posted on that as well... but please click the link from the front page and join!

05/14/05... DAY #1101... the day continues:
Oh Lawd!  I've GOT to voice my opinion about something!  I just got back home from the grocery store.  Mind you I had to make two stops because the first store was completely out of my chocolate.  How dare they!  I mean... I realize that I bought them out, lock, stock, and barrel, of Lindt Dark Chocolate and Lindt Orange Dark Chocolate a few days ago... but do they realize my addiction?  There should be an alarm that goes off when they are out of my chocolate so that Fed Ex can be notified for an expedited shipment.  I mean... really???  Anywho... I'm over in the cheese aisle when I hear this obnoxious lady talking ugly to the Seafood employee.  She was a white lady, about 40 years old, dressed like she was 16, and she was acting as if she was hot sh*t on a silver platter.  She was talking so ugly:  "Why is the fish on sale???  It better not and I mean it better not be old or I WILL be pissed!"  At this point, I looked up and over at the employee to see his reaction.  He was a little stunned.  He was a Hispanic guy in his early 20's.  Him and I locked eyes, and I could read his mind.  Then, at that very moment, the lady says "Um hello... can you understand me?  Do you speak English?  I ASKED YOU A QUESTION!"  Okay, at this point, I felt every hair on my body stand up and blood begin to boil.  Who in the hell did this lady think she was talking to this young man like that???  And then to make the reference of "Can you understand me... do you speak English!"  What a racist b*tch!  Oh goodness I was in rage inside.  The seafood man kindly spoke back to her and answered all her questions while I stood there with laser beams coming out of my eyes at her.  When she was done, she, on purpose, swung her hips back and forth to make her skirt (that ended at the bottom of her ass) fling from side to side so you could see that she had no panties on.  This lady was on some sort of "me" trip I guess.  The old Julie would have butted in and busted her chops verbally... but now that I am self-employed, I have to be a little more reserved because I never know who is around and watching.  Columbus is a large town, with closed minded folks, old money... and everybody knows everyone SOMEHOW.  The last thing I need is for my business to ruined because I told somebody's trophy wife off.  Anywho... just thought I would share.  I CAN'T stand when people are racist and treat other's ugly because of their background or heritage.  It doesn't matter what race you are... judge folks on the way they act and their personality... not by their skin color.  Well I'll get off the soap box.  Goodnight.

05/15/05... DAY #1102:
I rarely share emails because I don't want to show favoritism for one email over another, plus, I get so many, my website would run out of space if I listed them all.  However, I did want to share this one email.  I must say that it got me a little choked up. Maybe I'm having a hormonal moment?  Dunno... but it just made me feel good and she said so many wonderful things.  I appreciate all the emails I get.  You guys and gals are so encouraging and supportive to me.  This website wouldn't be possible if I didn't have the support of y'all.  You motivate me to keep the website going and I appreciate you all!  Here is the email:

"Girlfriend!!!!!  Over the last few days, I have read each and every word of your WLS Journal. Excellent way I think to spend my lunch hours =0) You have come such a long way from your first journal entry. Your life reads like a Hollywood Diary, and I am soooooo jealous of all the fun and exciting things you've been able to do! Your friends and family sound wonderful, and you are blessed to have them, as I'm sure you know. And you my totally embody the phrase "Live life to the fullest". Your drive for success is amazing. That Fortune 500 company was crazy to let you go. You could have done great things for them. Oh well.....their loss. You are much happier being your own boss anyway. Anywho, I am currently awaiting my surgery date, and am very excited about the prospects. Reading your journal, has taken away some of the jitters I had. Between laughing at your crazy self, and tsk tsk'ing you for shall we say, "over doing it", it's the best read I've had in a long time. You are smart, beautiful (inside & out), vivacious, talented, a wonderful friend and an excellent wife. And despite your being stuck at 150, your still look wonderful, and don't let anyone else tell you different :-). I hope I'm half as successful with my weight loss as you have been. I'm at 278 and my goal is 140lbs. We'll see :-) . In the meantime.....thank you for sharing. Your ups and downs. Highs and lows. The good the bad and the ugly. It takes a strong will to share your private struggles with strangers. But in doing so, you let us know that we are not alone. There is hope for a brighter future. That we are not the only ones that have "fat days". That no one is perfect, and mistakes will be made. But that we can and will overcome them. You are a doll, and I'm glad that I came across your site. Your spunk and tenacity are truly refreshing :-) May God continue to show His blessings upon your Photography/Talent Manager business, and your new dream home/studio.  Smooches!!! Elizabeth, West San Diego, CA"

WOW!  I'm speechless.  Seeing that it is 4:45am in the morning and I have been working on updating my WLS website and answering WLS emails since 9am, with just a one hour break, I think I may hit the shower and bed now.  I feel so blessed to have you all in my life.  I have so many wonderful WLS buddies near and far.   Love you guys and gals so much!  Be sure to join my new Yahoo Group!  Big hugs!  Jules

05/22/05... DAY #1109:
Gosh, a week goes by so fast.  A lot has been going on.  Just trying to prepare for my move.  I close on my new house on June 1st.  There is still so much to do... makes me wonder if the builder is gonna get it all done in time?  This house building has been the BIGGEST HEADACHE of all time.  My builder has been unprofessional and it takes an act of Congress to get him to return phone calls... but soon it shall be over.  I can't wait to get into my new house and my brother can't wait to get into my current house... his "new" house... so... we're all just sitting and waiting.  Sigh.  The new Yahoo Group seems to be going well and I am so excited that so many people have joined.  So far the members have all been active, very supportive, and encouraging to one another.  It looks as if our group is going to be successful.  If you haven't joined yet, please do.  We will discuss any and all WLS issues (with the exception of insurance questions).  Feel free to ask any questions regardless of how off the wall, gross, or weird they may be.  Trust me... someone else is asking the same question and is just too scared to put it out there.  Be brave!  Post your mind!  Say what you think... this group is going to be REAL... none of the sugar coated, butter bean mess that you may have to deal with on other Yahoo Groups.  If you're jacking your diet up and not exercising... then let us know so we can encourage and support you to improve.  Okay... well let's see... what else?  My weekly weigh in is still sitting at 150 pounds.  I got down to 148 earlier this week... but I realize the Thursday weigh-in is all that counts.  I haven't been walking in a week due to my schedule.  I've got to get back to that.  I also eat so much chocolate.  I try to stop... but I'm addicted like crack.  I shake when I don't have it and I panic when the stores are out of it.  I actually drove 30 minutes out of the way today to a less frequented grocery store just to see if they may have my chocolate as I have bought out everyone in my neighborhood.  Guess what?  They had it!  Ha!  Why have the stores been so slim on having stock lately?  Look... just because I advertise and say it's soo good does not give you permission to sabotage my chocolate addiction and buy up all the stock in my hometown!  LOL!  Anywho... enough about me and my chocolate crack addiction.  Gayla came into town on Friday to do her annual "Beach Trip" with her sister and nieces.  We got to spend a couple of hours together when we went out to eat with her family.  She also got to come back to my new house and see it.  I've updated the 36 month gallery with some new pics.  Saturday I had a wedding out in the country... a good 40 miles from where I live and I locked my keys in my vehicle!  Now each time before my assistant and I close the back of my SUV when starting a wedding shoot, we always ensure that I have my keys on me.  I have three sets of keys:  My main set that I drive with and also includes every key I own... My back-up set that just has one vehicle key and one house key on it (also known as my photo set)... Then I have the keys that go to my husband's SUV.  Saturday when closing my truck, I put my main keys in my purse, grabbed a set of keys out of my purse (believing that I had grabbed my photo set) and shut the truck.  I was about an hour into my wedding shoot when I heard my assistant behind me requesting a gentleman to discontinue taking photographs while the professional photographer is working.  That is a policy of mine.  I do not allow any other photographers while I am working.  Anywho, I continue to shoot while my assistant puts out little fires.  I overheard her ask at least three times, her tone increasing each time, but still remaining professional.  I finished the shots I was taking and asked her to go to the car for some props.  I reached into my bag and realized I had my husband's SUV keys and not my back up keys.  Our cell phones, purses, and ceremony equipment is now locked in the truck and it is 15 minutes before ceremony start time.  For some strange reason I had this complete calm about me.  It was like I just knew everything was going to be okay.  I tell you though, every since I lost my high-paying job at the Fortune 500 and God took care of me by opening a bigger and better door of opportunity... I have so much faith... God never lets me down and I just knew everything was going to be okay.  I remained calm and kindly asked the groom if I could borrow his cell phone and if he could direct me to a phone book inside the church so I could call a locksmith.  Now again, we are out in the country and we got lost getting there, so trying to find a local locksmith may be a challenge.  The groom repeats back to me "Locksmith?" and calls over one of his guests who.... drumroll please... happens to be a locksmith... another drumroll... who happens to have his equipment on him... drumroll and punch line... who HAPPENS to be the guest that my assistant was asking to discontinue taking photographs!!!  Isn't that how it always goes?  But you know what?  He was super sweet and never blinked an eye.  He got out his equipment and went to work.  It took him about 10 minutes and he had my truck opened.  I had 5 minutes to spare before ceremony start time.  I thanked him a million times and he refused payment.  God is great!  God is so good!  I believe in God and he never lets me down.  Another quick example would be last weekend when Cary and I were in Atlanta.  We were on empty and there wasn't a gas station to be found ANYWHERE!  We drove for 15 miles around the Buckhead area and found NO GAS STATIONS!  Where do you Buckheader's buy gas???  Cary's gas meter said "12 miles until empty"... then "7 miles until empty"... then "5 miles until empty"... then "3 miles until empty"... then "0 miles until empty".  We drove an additional two miles on that!  We said a prayer and asked God to please let us make it to a gas station.  It was so hot... we were sweating because we had turned the A/C off.  We were irritable and had no idea where we were.  Prayer said and POOF there is a gas station!  Praise Jesus!  So keep the faith people 'cause God is so awesome.  Well I'm hitting the bed.  I've got a very long week ahead of me of photography and preparing to move.  Big hugs to all!  Jules

05/30/05... DAY #1117:
Another week has come and gone... where in the world does the time go?  I must say that I am tired... physically and mentally, yet I still have to stay strong and keep on keeping on.  I may have said this in the past, but I stay up until 4am working on photos then turn around and get up at 9am most mornings.  Why 4am?  For some reasons that is the only time of day the phone stops ringing.  Oh don't get me wrong... business is good... loving it.  Just got a lot going on with the house and getting prepared to move.  I probably sound like a broken record... but I just write about my life ya know.  This week was filled with photo shoots and I had a triple wedding shoot this past weekend... Saturday morning, Saturday night, then drove to Atlanta for a wedding Sunday.  You know what was so crazy about the Atlanta wedding?  It was held at the Atlanta Women's Club that the backyard is none other than... my famous club Eleven50!  What is the odds of that?  There was actually another wedding going on at club Eleven50 and the last name of the party was the same as the one I was shooting.  Pure craziness.  Anywho.  My weight was 148lbs. this past Thursday.... still hanging in there despite the fact I haven't been walking and I ate 12 bars of Lindt Dark Chocolate Intense Orange this past week.  I bought some more today and the cashier told me that she thinks I may have an addiction.  Hmmm... is that so?  Here's a Scooby snack 'cause I think you've just cracked the case Lucy.  What else is going on?  Well, I guess you've seen the new "3 Year Anniversary" pics on my website.  A photographer friend of mine shot those.  There are others... but I'll leave those for the "Pay Per View" section.  Anywho.  I wanted to let all you Columbus folks know that my hubby works at HH Gregg... so if you need anything, he could work a deal for ya.  Just go in and ask for Cary.  I close on my house Wednesday.  I'm so excited and anxious to get moved, and I know my brother is anxious to get moved too.  It seems like it has taken forever, don't it?  I have a severely busy week ahead working on photos, closing, moving, more weddings... hang with me... I'll update as soon as I can and I am EXTREMELY behind on emails.  Don't lose the faith... I'll be back soon!

06/08/05... DAY #1126:
Long time since y'all heard from me, huh?  Gosh I've been so busy.  I did finally close on my house Wednesday a week ago... the 1st.  It took 3 solid days from sun up until 3am to get everything moved... but we finally got moved and most boxes are unpacked.  Unlike most folks who can take off from work... I had to continue with business as usual... meeting with clients during the move, making and taking phone calls, and working on orders.  Dunno how I did it all... but it just worked.  Praise God for my brother.  He worked his ass off helping me move.  His fiancée helped too.  A big thanks to both of them!  There are still some things that need to be finished on the house.  I gave the builder my final punch list today.  Him and I have not always seen eye to eye on my house project... but in the end, I am extremely excited and happy about my house.  I feel like I am at some really nice hotel and that check out is noon.  LOL.  What is so weird is that I asked Cary how he felt about the house and he had the EXACT response... he said "I feel like I'm at a nice hotel".  LOL.  It's just so beautiful, new, and we got all new plush towels... so I guess it does feel like a hotel... except I get to keep the towels.  :)  I praise Jesus everyday for the many blessings he has given us.  I wish my Nana and Papa were alive to see it.... but I know they're looking down from heaven and are proud.  My weight has been fluctuating between 148 and 151 lbs.  It's crazy.  You would think that all the hard labor and sweat that I would have lost weight... but I have been eating more and holding more.  I got really hungry the past week eating big meals.  I guess my body was compensating for the labor.  I have been getting little ego boosters daily though.  Whenever I go out to the mailbox, the construction crews working on all the houses 'hoop and holler.  Hee hee.. okay... I shouldn't get excited about construction guys whistling at me... "construction guys whistling" that's so typical, right?... but you know... it's good for the ego.  :)  I went over to my old house tonight.  My brother already has that place looking like a different house.  He has put fresh paint on all the walls... changed the colors... redone fixtures and faucets.  It was only 6 years old... but now it looks brand new again.  I am so proud of him and I know he is excited to get moved in.  Well, it's 4:18am and I need to get some sleep.  I have a new alarm clock... the construction crew!  They're building the house next door and they start bright and early every morning.  This morning was the sound of the cement truck churning.  Oh well.  I'm just excited to be in my new house.  I'll have a "Come see my new pad" party soon and you're all invited.  :)  Oh... quick note... If you have emailed me lately, I am two weeks behind on email, but will catch up shortly.  Thank you for your patience.  :)  Have a good evening.  Jules


06/11/05... DAY #1129:
This is just a quickie.  We celebrated my Mama's 50th birthday today.  She looks beautiful as ever.  I made her a money tree.  A little wire tree with bills tied to it that looked like flowers.  I think she really liked it.  It's hard to believe my Mama is 50.  I'm not saying 50 is old.  It's just that it seems like yesterday that we were celebrating her 30th birthday.  My Mama looks great for 50... I just wished she was feeling better.  My Mama is in bad health, but I truly belive the new baby has been such a blessing for her.  He has brought a better spirit in my Mama.  Speaking of my little Zack Zack.  He is getting so big and he's so advanced for his age.  I swear he cooked too long in my sis 'cause he acts like he's a 9 month old baby instead of a 3 month old baby.  He talks and and tries to walk.  Yeah, I know.  The talking part you don't believe... and nobody ever does until we prove it in person... but he says "I love you", "hey", and "bye".  It's okay to be skeptical.  Heck... I was too when my Mama called me to come over... but sure enough... he was talking.  Anywho.  I love him so much and everybody keeps asking when he'll get a cousin.  It'll be another year... but y'all be patient.  Ha!  Well Jules is tired and having a FAT day.  I haven't been walking in almost 3 weeks because of being so busy and the move.  I feel like a pile of lard.  I've got to get back to exercising.  I'll have my blood work done on the 16th and hopefully all will be well.  Everyone have a great evening.  Smooches.

06/11/05... DAY #1131:
I AM HAVING A FAT, FAT, FAT DAY!  OMG!  I FEEL LIKE A WHALE!!!  I have done nothing but eat since I've been in my new house.  Holy crap!  I've put on weight too!  I was 154 lbs. this morning.  Yes!   You heard my fat ass right... 154 lbs!  What in the world????  Okay... back on diet... gotta get to walking instead of eating.  I feel like I can hardly move and breathe.  Isn't that crazy considering I use to carry 100+ more pounds than now?  Ugghh I'm mad at myself for being a pig this past couple of weeks.  OINK OINK!  I had to pull out my fat panties to wear.  Y'all know what I'm talking about.  All you WLS girls know you hid a couple of fat panties in the back of the drawer underneath all of your new bikinis and thongs.  Well the thongs felt like dental floss this morning so I had to pull out the "Just My Size" Big Mama panties so I could feel comfortable.  I'm gonna go fill my tub with mud now and wallow around for a few hours.  So I will close with the Fat Girl theme song.... "Da na na na na na na na.... FAT GIRL!

06/20/05... DAY #1138:
Nothing really new or exciting has been going on lately.  I guess that's why I haven't written much in my Journal.  Last weigh in was 152.5 lbs.  I feel like a big whale and my clothes are snug.  It's only because I've been so busy settling into my house and playing catch up on my photography work from moving.  I've been eating like a pig and I have made no time for exercising.  Nobody's fault but my own.  That's all really... sort of a boring couple of weeks.  I know... strange for me, huh?

06/23/05... DAY #1141:
Well friends, here I sit 12:50am on my "weigh-in" day weighing the most I've been since my lowest of 136 lbs.  I just got on the scale to a whopping 156 lbs.  That's a 20 pound weight gain, with 8 pounds in just the last two weeks.  This is the exact results you will get when you:


Forget to take your vitamins everyday


Don't exercise AT ALL for four weeks


Eat $64 in chocolate in two weeks


Eat pizza and nasty carbs that make you sick, but you still think that you want them


Eat when really you're just thirsty

Yes, I've broken every cardinal rule the past few weeks and look at the mighty fine pickle I've got myself into.  I actually had to go buy some bigger shorts because I've gotten too big for all my others.  I am ashamed to say that I have gained weight... and even as strong as some people think I am... I too get weak.  The surgery fixed my tummy, but not my brain and everyday I suffer with this great desire to eat.  I love eating and I realize that gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins.  I must get myself and my addiction under control.  I've said a million times and I'll say it again... I know what to do... I school others on what to do... but sometimes that damn addiction in me takes over my brain.  I can't even tell you what rests at the core of this addiction of mine.  I mean... I eat when I'm happy, I eat when I'm under stress, I eat just to be freaking eating.  I feel like I have to have that "full" feeling all the time or I think I'm hungry.  So what has happened is that I graze ALL day.  I eat solid meals every two hours and chocolate every 10 minutes in between.  I've just got to get back in control of my brain and I will.  Well, I just had to vent... vent at myself for doing this to my body.  I'll get my focus back and get back on track... but each time I fall off, that destination gets further away.  Please pray for me that I will beat this addiction.  Heck... pray for everybody that suffers from obesity.  Alright... love you guys!  Julie Hedges

06/30/05... DAY #1148:
Good afternoon friends.  The scale this morning was 153.5.  I lost 2.5 lbs. this past week.  Cary went out of town on business for 5 days and I vowed to not any chocolate while he was gone.  I did good... not eating any "real" chocolate.  I did however eat a whole freaking box of Nestle Sugar Free Fudgesicles.  Although, yesterday when he came back... well.. I had two bars of real chocolate.  My problem is, yes I'm an addict, but I only need to buy one bar at a time and learn to savor.  I was buying 8 to 12 bars at a time thinking I would save trips to the store.  The problem came in that I couldn't control myself and would eat it all within a two day time period.  So, if I buy one bar at a time, I'll learn to savor and eat less because the trips to the store are a bitch.  My weight this week did unfortunately top out at 158 lbs. on Monday.  Thank God that I only count Thursday to Thursday.  I started walking 30 hard minutes in my neighborhood two days ago.  I'm gonna try to do this on a daily basis.  There are some good long incline hills in my new subdivision, so it's a good work-out.  I'm still settling in my new house.  I also want to mention that even though I keep a tidy home, I HATE, I repeat, HATE to clean.  I hate baseboards, windows, dusting, mopping, OMG it's a pain.  If you know anybody in the Columbus area that cleans houses for a reasonable price or is willing to trade cleaning for professional photographs... please email me.  I uploaded a few new pics in the 37 month gallery.  Is my hubby sexy or what?  Growl!  Okay... Y'all have a great holiday weekend.  I've got a huge wedding to shoot all weekend... Friday and Saturday.  Hugs, Jules


07/09/05... DAY #1157:
My Journal has been missing me.  Sorry 'bout that y'all.  As you know, I stay so busy.  I know this is gonna sound boring, but there really is nothing new to report.  My weight on Thursday was 153.5 lbs.  For the most part, I've gotten the Food Demons under control, but unfortunately did not get an opportunity to walk this week.  I literally worked everyday from wake-up to exhaustion.  I am not trying to make excuses, just stating facts.  I know I've got to get back on the ball.  I hate this feeling.  I hate feeling fat.  I hate my clothes feeling tight.  Several people have written saying "I know you're depressed."  No... I'm not depressed.  I very, very, rarely get depressed.  I'm not stressed nor depressed, and I'm not being "hard on myself" as some may say.  I'm still the crazy, zany, high-energy, spirited Julie.  I've just got more meat on my bones and well, I'm not happy about it.  I know what I have to do and I just have to do it... but don't think that I'm feeling depressed over it.  My weight doesn't hold me back.  I mean hell, let's think back... my fat ass even went to White Water, pre-surgery, in a swimsuit.  Okay.. I got stuck on a ride, but I went didn't I?  :)  LOL.  Yeah... we can laugh about it now, can't we?  I know one thing I need to do though is get out more.  I've been so busy with photography that I've had no time to go out partying/dancing.  Maybe I can get out soon.  It's hard when I work on the weekends and all my friends are off on the weekends.  Then when I can go somewhere during the week, you all are working.  I say you all quit your jobs, come work for me for free and let's party on Monday nights.  No, there's no pay... and no benefits... but you can work in your pajamas!  LOL!  Anywho.  I did manage to squeeze in a two-hour massage yesterday.  Yeah, I know... I've got time for pleasure, but no time for walking, right?  The massage was a deep tissue, beat ya up, kinda massage... but I so needed it.  My back and arm muscles have been really tight lately from intense photo shoots.  Even my thumb and hands have been hurting from carrying around an extra 2 pounds of camera weight.  I bought a new lens and that sucker is heavy!  The massage was much needed and was wonderful.  Let's see... Ya know how I get on these food kicks and get stuck on one particular food I like then just eat it until I'm burned out on it.  Well, my new pleasure food has become scallops.  I love scallops!  I bought a bag of the big frozen scallops and I've been cooking two of them at a time cut up with real butter and minced garlic.  Mmmmm mmm!  Good stuff and good protein.  So that's the protein I've been eating all week.  I'm addicted to the scallops.  I'm starting to realize that I have an "addicting personality".  :)  Well I am off to get ready for a wedding.  I hope y'all have a great weekend and somebody send me a plane ticket to come party with you!  :)  Love ya!  Jules

07/12/05... DAY #1160:
Oh my... may I vent for a second?  No?  Well I'm going to anyway.  :)  Can I tell ya what kills me?  These folks, especially the "gossip wagon" at my old job "quack quack", that want to pull up my pictures on the net, pass the link around via email or gather a crowd around their desk so they can all view my photographs and then talk negative about me.  What the hell?  Don't get me wrong... not all folks at my old job are bad.  In fact, I still have tons of friends and acquantences still working there that support me and my craziness 100%.  However, there are those few that, from I've been told, enjoy pulling up my "risque" pictures and talking in disgust about me.  If it in fact disgusts you so darn much, then why do you hit my website week after week?  Anyone that REALLY knows me, knows that yes, Julie is "out there", but at the same time, I am the most caring, giving, open minded person.  Why must those of you who speak negatively of me do so?  What have I ever done to you?  So you don't like the fact that I take sexy pics... well then don't look at them and surely don't share them.  I am a happily married women who has a very supportive husband.  Just because I do "risque" pics does not mean I am out slutting it up.  I simply don't understand.  I'm just glad that I have more true friends on my side who have always stepped in and taken up for me way before I've ever had the chance to do so myself.  Anywho... the point of all of this... for the information of you folks that recently had a viewing party of my 36 month pics... No... No I am not completely nude in my photographs.  I do in fact have underpants on.  That's all.  Have a good night.

07/14/05... DAY #1162:
Miss Fatty reporting in for her Thursday weigh-in.  This morning's weigh in was 155.5 lbs.  Tuesday I weighed 161 lbs.  Thank goodness for week to week weigh-in's.  Never fear.  I'm not in distraught over the 2 pound gain over last week.  I have been fighting food demons for weeks now.... thinking I had won the battle and I just continued to struggle.  I have finally got my mind clear and focused.  I also had a waitress put me in check yesterday.  Cary and I had lunch with his Mom, who came to town for a visit, and we ate at a sushi bar that we haven't been to in months.  I use to frequent the sushi bar weekly when I worked in the Corporate World.  It's locally owned by a Japense family, so the same staff has been there for years.  When we walked in, the waitress immediately rememberd me.  Anywho... as we're paying our ticket and leaving, the waitress looks at me and says "You gain weight" and did her hands around her stomach like a jolly Santa.  Well... alrighty then.  Thanks for noticing and pre-sha-cha.  LOL.  She has always been known for saying just as her heart desires.  She is innocent, like a child, so I know she didn't mean harm in it... she was just speaking the truth.  SO, point here is if others are noticing I'm gaining weight, then I must get my ass in check.  I have some events coming up too that I need to look good for, so it's exercise and tanning bed for me.  Well I got to get to work.  Have a great weekend!

07/25/05... DAY #1173:
Hey Y'all!  Sorry it's been so long since I posted.  Ya know I stay busy and I have several projects going on right now too.  I'll see if I can re-cap the past couple of weeks.  Okay, let's see... Well Thursday, 07/21/05 weigh-in was 153.5 lbs.  So I was back down that two pounds I gained... but I'm sure I've gained it back.  I have no excuses other than I've allowed myself to be too tired to exercise.  Tuesday was Gayla's 31st birthday.  Happy Birthday Gayla Rebecca!  I had a mess load of photography appointments the past week and photo shoots that have kept me slammed on top of my regular weekend weddings.  Cary was out of town again with his job, so I was alone, but it helped me to stay focused and I was able to knock a lot of work out.  This weekend I took a little time off by cutting my days in half.  My sister, my nephew, and I spent about 5 hours with each other Friday night.  I tell ya, I can't stand to be away from my new nephew.  I love him so much!  He laughs and laughs at me.  I think he knows that his Aunt Julie is crazy & wacky.  I went out to the club Saturday night with my friends Brandy, Johnny, and our whole click of friends.  I uploaded a couple pics I took of myself before I went out that night to the 38 month gallery.  We had a blast... we always do... I think I got in bed around 5am???  Sunday I went to the movies with my friend and assistant, Natalie.  We saw the movie "Wedding Crashers".  It was great!  That evening Beth and I went to the "4th Quarter" and listened to a photographer friend of mine, Bobby Cochran, play in his band called the "Codfish Quartet".  We had a good time.  I had to make myself get out and away.  I've been so involved and wrapped up with my photography that I haven't made any time for myself it seems... so I definitely needed to get out and away with some friends.  I've got 3 unused Delta Airline tickets that I need to use before March.  I know I'm flying to Austin, TX in January for a photography convention, but I'd love to fly away to see Gayla, but time is a premium right now.  I'm hoping to get out there to see her soon.  I'd love to go to Lake Tahoe again... that place is so breathtaking or maybe even the other direction and visit the Redwood Forest.  Anywho, I'm tired so I am off to bed to spend some time with my Care Bear Baby Cakes.  Y'all have a goodnight.  Smooches, Julie

07/26/2005... DAY #1174:
Side bar note and quick rhetorical question:  Am I the only person who cleans their shower in the nude?  Ya know, I was wondering about that.  Scrubbing a shower is such a dirty job.  I save it until the last.  So, scrub the tub, rinse, then get in and scrub yourself.  It just makes sense to me... but I was wondering how many people wear clothes to get the job done?  It's 4am Tuesday morning.  I did some house cleaning... 'cause this time of the morning seems to be the only time the phone doesn't ring, ha.  Anywho, so yes, I've been up scrubbing the tub in the nude... now there's a scary visual.  Oh... also, don't forget that Cary and I will be appearing, in the audience front row, of the new reality series "R U The Girl".  Here is the link:  We are in the Atlanta edition, so I do not know which of the eight airing episodes that will be, but the show comes on the UPN network every Wednesday... so be sure to watch for us.  Okay... I'm done.  Have a fantastic morning and somebody bring me some bacon and eggs!

07/28/2005... DAY #1176:
What's up Party People?  I just got out of the Jacuzzi with the hubby.  That was the first time we got in there together since moving into the new house.  It was nice.  We were like two kids playing in the tub.  He would bite my toe and I would bite his.  Then we started humming until our voices met.  You know like when you were a kid and you would sing into a fan?  Y'all know what I'm talking about.  We just sat in there singing and being silly.  We had fun splish, splashing, taking a bath.  Ya know, it's a good feeling that after all these years, after all the things our relationship has endured, all the things we have been through, that we are still madly in love with each other.  Yeah... he makes me mad sometimes and I want to cause him bodily harm.  :)  But I'm sure I've caused him a lot of grief as well.  We just stick together no matter what and it works.  People say we are weird... say our relationship is nothing like they've ever seen... but maybe that's why we're still together?  Well anywho... on to other news.  I am involved in the "Makeover Columbus" show.  The local station here in Columbus is doing an Extreme Makeover show... but I guess not so "extreme".  Five candidates from Columbus have been selected for shopping sprees and a complete makeover.  The filming is tomorrow and the show will air every Thursday at 7pm from August 11th thru September 1st on TV 16 (Channel 9 on Knology & Mediacom).  I will be doing all of the before, during, and after photographs.  I will appear on air and will present each of the candidates with a gift certificate good towards a photo session with JE Hedges Photography.  My business will be advertised in the newspaper, a local magazine, TV commercials, and radio commercials.  If you're local... please be sure to watch.  Y'all know me... any chance to be on TV, right???  LOL!  So more news... well guys... I'm seriously considering chopping off all my hair.  For as long as I can remember I've always had long hair.  I think the shortest it's ever been is shoulder length.  It's starting to become a hassle.  My hair is A LOT of maintenance.  Maintenance equals "time consuming" and I get busier and busier every week with my business.  I just don't have time for the hair anymore.  I wear it pulled back in a clip or ponytail most of the time.  Cary, my sister, Beth, and Gayla are very supportive of my decision.  Gayla even helped me try on hairstyles on the computer this past week.  Now it's just convincing myself.  Ha!  I technically don't want to cut my hair, but it's just so much trouble to style it.   It's natually curly, and since I've been bleaching it, it has become natually "frizzy".  This in turn requires me to flat iron it and then curl iron it.  Now some may say "Well just try going back to your natural dark chocolate fudge natural color and let it be naturally curly".  However, I have discovered blondes have more fun... and yes the grass is greener on the other side.  LOL!  I dunno.  I'm still contemplating it.  I don't konw if I'm brave enough to take the plundge yet.  If I cut it... I plan on going ultra short... no in betweeen... so I'll keep thiking about it.  :)  Have a wondeful weekend!

08/04/2005... DAY #1183:
Howdy folks!  I hope everyone had a pleasant Thursday.  Mine was good.  I worked a couple of hours and then took the rest of the day off.  Well... from photography that is.  I did clean house, mopped, washed clothes and then ran some errands.  I love my job.... self-employment is so great.  Yes, I do work a lot of hours in photography... but I just love what I do so much.  I looked at myself in the mirror today and said how lucky I am.  I am so thankful.  Yes, I know I've said it a million times y'all... I guess even after almost two years out on my own, it just still amazes me that I'm living the American Dream.  Every photo shoot is a different adventure... making photographic memories that others enjoy...attending a different party every weekend.  I just love what I do.  I've talked to some experienced photographers... those that have been doing business 20+ years and it's just so mundane/everyday business for them now.  They don't see the excitement in their jobs any longer.  I pray that I never get that way.  I pray that I will forever have this spirit in me to be a part of other's lives.  To provide my client's with a true photographic experience and product that they will be proud to display for years to come.  Do I sound cheesy right now?  Yeah... maybe a little.  Guess I'm just having one of those "I so don't deserve this" moments.  Jesus continues to bless me even when I'm not his best student.  Okay... I'll snap out of sappy.  So you may have noticed that I didn't report my weigh-in last Thursday.  Oh yes... there was a reason.  I WAS IN TOTAL SHOCK.  You heard me!  I looked at the scale... got off... got on... got back off and said "OH HELL NO!".  The scale read 161 lbs.  Yes, that's right... 161 lbs.  I didn't report the weigh-in because I didn't want to create an influx of email telling me how to lose the weight or anyone thinking that I was depressed.  I know what to do... and as I said last week... I am not feeling depressed.  So I see that big number and put my brain into what I 'thought' I had done two weeks ago.  I keep thinking that I've got control of myself... but then I lose it again.  Let's face it folks... food addictions are hard to break.  Food is my crack and the pure orgasmatic pleasure I get from eating is too much to resist sometimes.  I know... you don't have to tell me... gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins.  Getting an internal high and totally being enthralled with eating is just wrong.  I shouldn't get excited when thinking about food.  I mean, just an example: when shopping in the grocery store, I will purchase quick disposable items that I can eat on the way home.  How many of you have bought bananas, the fake crabmeat things from the seafood department, something in a container from the deli, or bagged cooked chicken just so you could eat on the way home?  How many of you can't get the groceries in the house fast enough so you can bust open that box or can of whatever to get your fix?  THAT my friends is what I'm talking about.  THE LOVE OF FOOD.  That feeling you get when you open that box/can and put that first bite of food in your mouth when you're standing in the kitchen... when you will half cook something in the microwave, pull it out, and take a bite because you just can't wait.  See what I am saying?  Food is my crack and reprogramming my brain to cut off the total desires of food is hard to do.  Well that was quite a spill and I got kinda deep.  So further on with the story... so I see that I have now surpassed and gone into the 160's... that I am barely fitting in a size 12/14 and I must do something.  The past week I cut out bad carbs.... GONE... Every time I craved food, I stuffed my face with lettuce, pineapple, bananas, apples, strawberries.  I became a Fruit Basket this past week literally.  I walked hard and even conned Cary into going with me.  I am happy to report that I weighed 154 lbs. this morning.  Well, maybe "happy" isn't quite the term as I am still out of my target range.  I MUST get back under 150... but it will take time.  My brain is still not crack free, but at least I prove over and over that if you dedicate yourself for one week... you can drop a pound a day.  We'll see what next week brings?  147 lbs. would be nice... but I would take a two pound loss.  Well this has gotten long.  I'm off to go work on my abs.  They got mushy last week, but I have been hardcoring ab crunches... so maybe I'll get the six pack back?  Heck... I'd take a four pack right now.  Ha.  So I say to the new post-ops once again "Re-program that brain NOW before you hit 18 months!".  Don't have the attitude that it won't happen to you.  It will baby... it will.  Ask ANY WLS post-op that is 2 years or further out.  The cravings come back and so does the weight.  GET CONTROL now or you'll be in my predicament where I am being forced to tackle my demons head on.  Okay... that's it.  Have a great weekend.  Smooches... Jules


08/12/2005... DAY #1191:
Hey friends!  Mama is busy... so don't have a lot of time to talk.  Just wanted to let you know that I am alive.  :)  I've got a huge wedding in Atlanta today and another one in Phenix City this weekend.  I'll update soon.

08/15/2005... DAY #1194:
My husband has had a cold for the past couple days and he finally managed to give it to me.  I started getting that aching headache, stuffy nose, and sore throat last night.  Then this morning I combined all that with some type of stomach flu too.  I had diahreha and vomiting at the same time.  Not pretty I promise.  As I always say... throwing up after surgery is just not as severe as before.  I didn't have any food on my tummy, so all I threw up was clear mass amounts of liquid... probably saliva and drainage.  Yuck!  But at least it doesn't burn like throwing up use to before surgery because there isn't any bile in your little tummy pouch.  Anywho.  The stomach is feeling better, but I am still achy and stuffy.  I look like fright night.  I rented a movie to watch and I'm gonna go lie down.  My weight as of this morning was 153 lbs.  Probably because I cleaned my system out from both ends.  Night friends.

08/16/2005... DAY #1195:
The "R U The Girl" Episode that was taped in Atlanta will run tomorrow night on the UPN channel.  Cary and I were dead center, front row of the audience.  I know they filmed me screaming and cheering up close... but with editing... you never know what you're gonna get.  Anywho, I hope they'll do some audience shots and we can be seen.  Search your TV listings for:  "R U The Girl with T-Boz & Chili" - Episode #104 - "What about your friends in Atlanta".  Channel UPN, August 17th at 7:00pm.

08/18/2005... DAY #1197:
Hey Friends!  Well today is Thursday, which makes it the dreaded weigh-in day.  I was 153 lbs. this morning.  It's not where I want to be... but it's a whole lot better than 161!  I've been hitting the abs and walking pretty hard.  I've been doing better on my eating... but that dang chocolate.  I swear it's my drug... my fix.  If I don't have my Lindt Dark Chocolate fix every hour... I start getting antsy.  I think I've come to realize I can control the exercise, food, vitamins, and water intake... but I must have that chocolate.  Therefore, I just have to do more exercises.  After doing some research (why yes  I am an addict), I have learned that in 1989, the Swiss based Lindt Company opened a manufacturing location right here in the USA in
Stratham, NH.  They also provide their employees with a 35% discount.  Hmmmm...  I think I may need to take on a part time job.  LOL!  Okay... so any of my New Hampshire WLS buds... somebody must have a cousin, friend, or old school chum who works at the factory... HOOK A GIRL UP!  ;-)  Alright... I'll stop making everyone nauseous with my chocolate fixation.  So I saw my little nephew tonight.  OMG I love that little baby.  He doesn't even look like a little baby anymore.  He looks like a little boy.  He looks so grown!  He loves it when I nibble on his toes.  He just laughs so hard.  He'll even stick his foot back up in my mouth so I can nibble some more.  We played so much this evening that he fell asleep right in my arms.  Awww... Aunt Julie loves him so much.  I've got a new nickname for him... Pickle Pack Zack Snack.  He thinks I'm crazy and I think he may be right.  Well anywho.  I've been busy... not just with weddings and portrait work, but I've taken on some commercial work as well.  The commercial photography is a new area for me... but I seem to be doing okay 'cause I keep getting calls.  :)  My photography will appear in some upcoming news and magazines.  I'll keep you posted.  I am so itching for a vacation.  Y'all know how I am.  I can't sit still for nothing.  Even when I'm sitting, my foot or leg or something is moving.  I just have nervous energy.  I soooooo want to go to Panama City Beach just to get away for a few days.  I would only be able to go during the week... but my hubby can't go.  Most of my friends work during the week too and are only off on the weekends.  Come on!  Somebody take off and go to the beach with me!  Okay... well I'm gonna go hit the hay... gotta busy weekend.  Hugs!

08/29/2005... DAY #1208:
I regretfully report that as of 8/29/05, I will no longer be accepting "Hot WLS Babe/Hunk" applications.  The energy and time needed to motivate individuals to keep their profiles maintained and updated with current information has become less and less enjoyable for me.  I began the "Hot WLS Babe/Hunk" pages so that persons could showcase their weight loss success with the exchange that profiles would be updated and maintained a minimum of every 6 months.  I certainly realize that there are those of you who do keep in contact with me with updated information, and I greatly appreciate your efforts.  As long as you do maintain contact with complete updated info, I will keep your profile on the page.  Any persons whose profiles are 6 months or older have or will be deleted.  This decision certainly does not reflect any  harsh or hard feelings towards those who did not maintain their profile.  I completely understand how WLS can change our lives; we become more active and busy with our new ability to get up and going.  Thank you so much to all of you who have participated over the years.  Okay... on to other things... I finally got to see me and Cary on the "R U The Girl" show.  It rebroadcast this past Tuesday.  I actually saw us several times during the show, but only because I knew exactly where to look.  However, we did get to claim about 4 seconds of fame where they did do a tight shot of Cary and I dancing.  I figured my 15 minutes of fame have long been gone... so any additional time is just bonuses.  LOL.  As usual, this "one-woman" show has been busy as ever.  I'm steadily booking up through next year... even have a booking for September 2006.  I get calls from all over the USA for brides getting married within a 5 hour drive radius around Columbus.  I've taken several calls from brides stationed overseas that will be back in the states soon.  It's amazing to see my Internet marketing plans in work.  The power of the Internet is really pushing businesses over the top.  It's awesome!  I really have HUGE plans for 2006.  I'll be introducing a line of Wedding Coffee Table books made in Italy.  I recently did a major over-haul on my photography website.  It took 3 days straight of rebuilding.  Now, I realize it doesn't look like much, but any of you who design websites from ground up know where I'm coming from when I say I was mentally tired and drained after all that.  Please go out and take a look around.  The link is  Now, it is my understanding that some persons have been having difficulty viewing the flashing images on the Home page.  If you just see white boxes while out there, then you need to download Java (link is at the top of the page) or enable your Java under your Properties.  I attended my future Sis-in-law's bridal shower this past Sunday.  My brother is getting married in October.  He is 24 years old and has been dating Kristi since around 6th grade... so needless to say this is has been a long time coming.  I did his Engagement Session recently.  You can view his images by clicking here.  They are very happy.  I feel so old.... my babies are growing up.  I still refer to my little brother (7 years between us) and my little sister (9 years between us) as "the kids" when I'm talking to Cary or my parents... but they're not kids anymore.  Anywho.  I've been really sick this past week with my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).  I don't know how many of you suffer from this disease, but it is incredibly painful.. and it's nothing you can really control.  It just comes over you all of a sudden... hard, intense, pain.  I have medication.  It's just that I go through these spells sometimes where it's worse than other times.  Okay... more complaining from me... I was also terribly drained and tired yesterday.  I've been forgetting to take my Iron pills, so that may be the reason.  I know, I know... slap me on the hand.  My weight has been about the same, give or take a pound or two.  Okay... well as usual... I have tons to do.  Big hugs and we'll talk soon.

08/29/2005... DAY #1217:
I'm alive and well... I've just been terribly swamped and deeply saddened with depression concerning the disaster from Hurricane Katrina.  Know that I am praying for all those affected and I encourage everyone to donate their time or money to the Red Cross or reputable relief efforts.  I'll report soon.  Hang in with me while I approach the end of wedding season and the opening of Fall/Christmas season.  My brother's fiancee's Bridal Portraits are now online.  You can view them by clicking here.  There are 5 pages to the site, so be sure to see them all.  Later.  Jules


09/10/2005... DAY #1220:
Well I'm sure y'all thought I had dropped off the face of the Earth.  I've still been depressed about the Hurricane Katrina.  It's almost like I feel guilty for being happy and going about my normal life when so many have lost everything.  This is EXACTLY why I don't watch TV.  I let the negativity impact me and it takes a toll on my spirits.  I wouldn't have even known about the hurricane if I had not been at my Parent's house a day or so after it happened... they had the news on.  Well anyway... let me talk about something else.  My weight is maintaining in the 153 lb. range.  I haven't been weighing myself everyday like I normally do.  Other than photography (in which I eat, breathe, and dream about it)... I haven't been doing anything exciting.  Sometimes just going to the grocery store is exciting.  I live and work out of my home.  I am here 80% of my time.  Other than weddings and special events, generally clients come to me.  I've just been in this weird funk.  I've gotten to where I could care less about going anywhere outside of my home.  I mean, I built this place to meet all my needs, it's exactly what I've always wanted.  I don't have the motivation like I use to get out and away from home. My new home is peaceful... tranquility.  Cary did manage to get me out and about yesterday.  Him and my friend Beth are concerned about this new "hermit" status I've adopted.  I'm sure this isn't permanent.  People just go through phases ya know.  I've certainly been through quite a few myself.  Well I will be getting out today... have a beautiful wedding to shoot.  Don't give up on me.  I'm sure my spunky, outgoing, personality will return soon as my favorite season, Autumn, approaches us.  I'll try to take some new pictures of myself this weekend.  I haven't been on the other side of the camera in a while.  Have a great weekend!

09/23/2005... DAY #1233:
Hi!  The hermit awakes!  Aww yes.  Mama took a wittle break, didn't she?  I have had my nose so deeply buried in photography that I looked up and said "Holy Crap, it's been almost two weeks since I last posted!".  I have diligently been working on my business goals for 2006.  I am making so many positive changes for my clients.  It just all takes a lot of time and hours when you're doing it by yourself.  Don't even ask about my weight.  I refuse to weigh myself this week.  I can tell in my face and clothes that I have gained weight.  It's not the eating that is getting me... it's the no exercise.  I have got to get up and out of this house more often and get some excersise.  I wish I had something exciting to report... but there really isn't anything.  I haven't even seen my baby nephew since I last posted.  I've just been working like a dog.  I am going to a friend's birthday party tomorrow evening though.  That should be nice... finally get out of the house.  I'll try and get some pics.  Cary and I are suppose to be renewing our wedding vows on October 21st.  It will be our 10 year anniversary.  I need to get busy on some plans I suppose.  Nothing grand.  Just immediate family.  I need a dress!  Gosh.. tons to do... plus my brother's wedding is coming up.  As the song goes "Insane in my membrane.  Insane ain't got no brain!"  Sorry this is short.  I promise to have more exciting journal entries in the future.  Just don't give up on me.  I have all intentions on continuting this website and I promise to get some new pictures of my fat face on the site soon.  Hugs!  Jules

 09/27/2005... DAY #1237:
For the love of God... whatever you do... DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT do business with Ashley Furniture Homestore in LaGrange, GA.  The store manager and his employees are the most incompetent, unprofessional, rudest people I have EVER dealt with.  You can not say three words before the store manager will talk over you and cut you off.  When questioned as to why he felt the need to interrupt my every word, his reply was "well you shouldn't even be talking to me anyway... I am the store manager".  What?!!!  Don't worry... I am logging onto the BBB and filing a complaint right now.  I can't stand working with unprofessional people and businesses that don't know the meaning behind the phrase "customer service".

 10/05/2005... DAY #1245:
Have you noticed that I am getting older?  I look at my pics and I can start to see age in my face.  Yeah, I know what you folks that are older than me are saying "Shut up you Spring Chicken".  But seriously, I see the thirties are setting in.  The wrinkles under the eyes, the saggy breasts, hard of hearing, connect the dimples in my butt, cottage cheese thighs, and I have especially bad laugh lines.  It seems that gravity is taking it's toll on the 'ol body.  Now I ask my friends and family and they say they don't really see what I am talking about.  Maybe that's because age has set in on them too and they have cataracts and can't see.  :-)  I'm starting to feel that "old" feeling.  My conversations on the phone with friends often turn to who has the most ailments.  Ah yes... the 'ol "Who is Sicker" competition.  Ha!  I've also noticed that the Apple Pie, Blonde Hair, Blue Eyed 18 year old bag boys at the grocer no longer look me up and down and check me out, although I'm checking them out.  Ha!  Again, I think that falls back on that being in your 30's thing.  I hear that clock ticking louder than ever these days.  I won't put off getting pregnant another year, although I do know that I made the right decision this past year.  I have been so busy revamping my business plans that a pregnancy would not have fit in.  The plan is to conceive sometime between February 2006 and April 2006.  That is the three month window that I can get pregnant and it not interfere too much with my wedding schedules.  I am still not 100% sure of wanting a baby.  I mean, I know I WANT a baby... it's just the time consumption and responsibility that concerns me.  I am so 110% photography business, that I wonder how all that will change.  It's also just been me and Cary for 13 years.  How will our relationship change when our time is not spent the same with each other?  How will our relationship change when we are not as free to jump in the car at 11:55pm in our pajamas to return a movie.  We do a lot of things together and act silly with each other.  How will a baby affect our marriage?  I dunno... just pondering thoughts.  I see my nephew and just can't get enough of him.  I love that baby so much and just play with him until he poops out... but I am also pooped out after our play sessions.  At my age, will I have the energy to chase after a little one? Then there is the... "Well do we just stop with one" question.  I'm just rambling.  I was in the stores today getting a dress for my brother's wedding and there were many children shopping with their grandmothers.  It made me think back to spending time with my Nana.  She use to take me to the stores all the time when I was little.  I remember going to the Big Star grocery store and always getting a fancy ring out of the bubble gum machine.  Or going to the corner neighborhood drugstore that was named after the actual Pharmacist.  My Nana bought me a new paper-doll book every time they received a new shipment.  I also remember going to the Five and Dime where my Nana would buy me a new pair of plastic high heel shoes.  I LOVED the high heel shoes even back then.  Do they even sell little girl plastic heels anymore?  Gosh I miss my Nana.  I think of her everyday still.  Just this past week a thought ran through my mind to call her and tell her about something that was going on... but then the immediate reality thought followed.  I'm still trying to get over her not being here.  It's difficult when the person you use to confide in with all of your secrets is no longer there.  It was easier with my Papa.  We knew he was dying and had time to say goodbye and make peace.  It was all of a sudden with my Nana.  Okay, I'm getting that lump in my throat trying to hold back the tears so let me move on.  My weight is just there.  I haven't been exercising like I should.  I actually got up to 162.5 lbs.  I quickly tossed the chocolate chip cookie dough in the trash and did 100 sit-ups.  I'm back down to 156.5 as of this morning.  My weight just hasn't been my priority lately I guess.  I've got much more serious, thought provoking situations going on that require my attention.  I'm sure once the October weddings are over and things start to settle some, I can focus back on dieting.  Let's face it, dieting and exercise require time, attention, and thought.  I am just not in that dedicated mode right now with all the other things going on in my life.  I am busy.  Off the chain busy!  I did find a dress for my brother's wedding.  First one I picked up and it was on sale!  :)

 10/07/2005... DAY #1247:
Please read the below email I received about fellow "Hot WLS Babe", Gay Durden.  Gay was such an inspiration to me and provided me with endless encouragement, education, and motivation.  She will be missed greatly.

Wanted everyone to know that Gay Durden passed away this afternoon.  She had a massive stroke yesterday afternoon and was taken off life support today around 3'clock.  Will let eveyone know about the funeral arrangements when they are finalized.  Maurice Cowan


10/10/2005... DAY #1250:
I love October.  It is my favorite month!  The air is cooler and smells so fresh.  I just love the autumn leaves and site of pumpkins.  My anniversary is this month and my baby brother was born in October too.  I just love it!  I wish it could be October year round.  My brother's wedding was absolutely beautiful.  He was so handsome and Kristi, his wife, was beautiful as well.  I'll be posting their images in the upcoming weeks, just stay tuned.  I'm wondering if I can get away from work some this month to get some major dieting and exercise going on?  I want to get back down to my fighting weight.  :)

10/18/2005... DAY #1258:
My brother's wedding images are now online for your viewing.  Click here.

10/21/05... DAY #1261:
Wow, this week has been totally crazy.  I've spent lots of time with my nephew.  I just can't get enough of him.  Trying to train for when I have one.  I've also still been slammed with weddings every weekend... but loving every minute of it.  Cary and I are renewing our vows this evening... celebrating our 10 year Anniversary.  I'll post images as soon as I can.

10/24/05... DAY #1264:
You can see some of our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary images in the 41 Month Gallery.  I also included side by side comparisons.  To view all of the images, go to:  I'm sorry my last few posts have been so short.  As usual, I've been swamped with a million things going on in my personal life and business is booming.  I'll post soon.

10/25/05... DAY #1265:
For all my Southern friends... my photography work is featured on page 31 of the October/November 2005 issue of the Southern Views Magazine. Their website is if you're interested in subscribing.  You can pick up/view a copy at Barnes and Nobles stores in the southeast.

10/28/05... DAY #1268:
My weight has been hovering right in the 158 lbs. region for the longest time.  I suppose if I made time to get more walking in... that would be lower.  No excuses.  Just facts.  Cary and I were reflecting last night on the past 3.5 years... the time since I had surgery.  My goodness, it had been a whirlwind.  Somewhere between when I first hit the 155 mark and up until about six months ago, the WLS Fairy came and stole my brain.  I went completely buck wild, getting in any craziness that I missed during my fat years.  I must say that Cary is a true trooper.  He hung in there with me... he never judged me... and no matter how crazy I acted, he always awaited me with open arms.  Rarely, and I do mean rarely, did he ever get mad at me.  He would always hug me and say "I know this is just a phase you're going through and you'll soon be over this."  He was right on the money.  About six months ago, I woke up and said to myself "What in the hell are you doing???"  I knew I needed to rid myself of all the negativity in my life and I did... getting rid of all the negative people, items, thoughts, and activities.  I suppose that has attributed to my other end of the spectrum of "hermit" status.  It's just that without all the negativity, I've really had time to focus and learn in my business.  I've also been spending more time with Cary.  I am so glad that we renewed our vows.  It's like I feel a new connection.  I've fallen in love with him all over again.  Cary really is a special person.  Sure, like any husband, he ruffles my feathers sometimes and I want to beat him with a frying pan... but I could not ask for another man who is as committed, caring, and loving as he is.  The thought of having a baby is now starting to take on a meaning with me.  I am actually looking forward to getting pregnant.  If I didn't currently have bookings into October of 2006, I would get pregnant now.... but we have to wait.  I can't risk delivering early or going into labor at someone's wedding.  I can't wait for February.  Cary is going to make a great father.  You should see the interaction between him and my nephew.  Cary loves that baby to pieces.  Well, I must be going.  I have a busy day and weekend.  I have a couple in their 70's getting married tomorrow.  You're never too old to be in love.  :)

10/29/05... DAY #1269:
I cut all my hair off.  Pictures coming soon... stay tuned.

11/03/05... DAY #1274:
I am home from the hospital.  I had to have emergency appendectomy surgery.  About three weeks ago I was experiencing some pain in my lower right side.  I was very nauseous and did some vomiting... however, after a few hours, I started to feel better, so I just wrote it off as the stomach flu.  Well, about a week ago, I was out to lunch with my Mom and Hubby, when I started having pains again.  They lasted about an hour, and then I was fine.  Okay... so fast forward to Monday night.  I tossed and turned all night.  I didn't get much sleep.  I felt like I had gas on my stomach.  I was finally able to go potty Tuesday morning... so I figured I would start to feel better.  Well, I began to have pain again in my lower right side.  The pain became increasingly worse as the day progressed.  I had nothing to eat and had no desire to eat.  Around 2:30pm, I felt very hot.  I took my temperature and it was 101.5.  I became extremely nauseous and began to dry-heave (there was nothing on my stomach to throw up).  The pain in my lower right side was excruciating.  I got on the Internet and looked up my symptoms on WebMD.  It pointed to Appendicitis.  I then called Dr. Champion's office and Dr. Champion said the same thing... and for me to get to the hospital.  My general physician is located in the hospital, so I booked an appointment with his office and went there immediately.  My doctor immediately called in the surgeon (who also did my gallbladder surgery) and I was on the operating table within an hour.  They removed my appendix, which was severely infected and was on the verge of busting.  I stayed in the hospital Tuesday night and got to come home Wednesday afternoon.  I slept okay last night.  I am really sore... but doing well.  I was able to have the surgery laparoscopic... so thank goodness they didn't have to cut me open.  I don't have a wedding this weekend as I took the weekend off for Cary's birthday.  That gives me time to rest.  Of course, the phone still rings, and I still have past weddings that I am working on... so I am at my computer working away.  My weight sky-rocketed to 165 lbs. while I was in the hospital.  It may be all the IV fluid.  Gosh I hope so.  I'll weigh again next Thursday and hopefully that number will be lower.

 11/04/05... DAY #1275:
Today is my hubby's birthday.  Happy Birthday Cary!!!  I got a nice surprise last night when Gayla showed up at my door.  I was so excited to see her.  She got me out of the house and took me out to eat.  We had a nice time together.  I love her and miss her so much.  I'll get to see her again during the holidays hopefully.  Well I am off to rest.  I am still sore this morning and my head is pounding.  Y'all have a wonderful weekend.


11/17/05... DAY #1288:
Okay, I just realized that it's been forever and a day since I updated my Journal.  I guess I haven't updated 'cause I'm sure y'all don't want to hear the same boring spill day after day.  I haven't really done anything too terribly exciting lately.  Just sleep, work, eat, sleep, work, eat, sleep... just an endless cycle.  I had my follow-up appointment with Dr. Taylor.  He said my incisions (from the appendectomy) looked good.  I'm still a little tender in them though.  It took me a little longer to bounce back from this surgery.  Maybe it's my old age?  We celebrated my Daddy's birthday this past week.  Let's see... what else?  Well, there was an article in the newspaper about me recently.  It talked about my photography career.  Click here to read the article.  I am off to Hollywood again here in just a few weeks.  My Mom loves watching the Dr. Phil show... so, for Christmas, I'm flying her to Los Angeles so we can be members of the studio audience.  It's just a quick trip... but we should be able to get some sight seeing in while we're there.  I'll update y'all of course with lots of pictures.  Wouldn't it be nice if the show we attended happen to be his Christmas show?  Awww... we probably won't get that lucky... but some free gifts would be sweet.  Well as far as my hair... I did get more hair cut off from the first time I got it cut.  And guess what?  I'm going back again this morning to get more cut off.  I haven't quite got the look I'm going for yet.  It's too long in the back to do the messy flip up look that I want without using a curling iron.  Well, I am dangerous with curling irons... so, I am having more cut off so I don't have to use one.  Of course, I'll post new pics.  Well... sorry I have been so boring lately.  I've just been working.  Be sweet and I'll post again soon.

11/27/05... DAY #1298:
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with their families.  Cary and I enjoyed spending time together on Wednesday and Thursday.  He had both days off.  Friday, my sister and I hit the stores.  I was in the Circuit City line at 4:20am, followed by Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, Macy's, JC Penny's, Michael's, AC Moore, Ross, back to the mall... you name it... we hit it.  I have just about all my shopping done now.  My little nephew spent the night with Aunt Julie Friday night.  I love that baby to pieces!  We played until he pooped out.  He then got up at 4am for a diaper change and thought it was time to play some more when Uncle Cary started playing "peek-a-boo".  We had to get Uncle Cary to hush.  I laid him in the bed next to me and was so sweet sleeping.  I've definitely got baby fever.  Sorry I haven't put any new pictures up lately.  I haven't been on the other side of the camera in a while.  I'll try to get some up soon.  Well I have a lot of work to do this week.  I'll be heading to California next week, so it's major catch up time after taking the weekend off.  Y'all have a great week.

 12/04/05... DAY #1305:
Hey Y'all.  Ya know... My Photography Business continues to amaze.  Every time I think I'm going to have a slow month, the Lord just continues to bless.  I have had an "off-the-chain" holiday season for family portraits.  I am really excited about the direction my business has taken this past year.  I really matured a lot in my business and dang it... folks just seem to like my work.  This is a good thing.  :)  I don't really have much to talk about tonight.  I decided to take a little break from work to type in the Journal.  You know something... since I stopped smoking months ago, now when I see someone smoking (especially a woman), I get totally grossed out.  Smoking has got to be the grossest habit.  I think I could handle someone eating their boogies better than seeing someone smoke.  Gag!  I am so proud of Gayla too.  She stopped smoking about four months ago and is doing great!  Yeah!  Smoke just makes you smell gross... and makes you look old.  What was I ever thinking?  Thank goodness I never became addicted.  Now if I could kick this eating addiction, my world would be perfect.  Okay... so this getting pregnant thing is beginning to become real.  I started taking pre-natal vitamins to prepare my body for pregnancy.  I also visited my Gynecologist and he said everything looks good.  He suggested that I start tracking my ovulations with temperature and ovulation tests.  Guess I'll start that after Christmas... too much going on right now.  Anywho... my weight continues to fluctuate.  I haven't been dieting or exercising.  I must get back on the ball.  Well y'all hang in there and I'll post again soon.  :)


12/11/05... DAY #1312:
Hey all.  I'm back from California.  It was kinda funny 'cause I flew to California and Gayla flew to Atlanta.  We crossed paths.  She had a week long business meeting in the ATL.  The trip with my Mom went well for the most part.  For those of you who know my Mom, you know that she is ill.  She did have to rest a few times back at the hotel room, but she did fairly well.  I am glad that I got to spend some quality time with her.  We stayed at a Holiday Inn right in the middle of Hollywood right off of Santa Monica Blvd.  Once arriving in Hollywood, we hit the Walk of Fame, Hollywood sign, and the Kodak Theatre & Highland Center.  Since my vacation to Hollywood two years ago, the Mayor has certainly cleaned that place up.  It looked way more glamorous then just two years before.  I was impressed with what all had been done.  The next morning we arrived at the Dr. Phil show.  The Christmas show had been filmed the day before and the studio audience was made up of Hurricane Katrina victims.  Our show was on "Is this Normal?".  There's not an air date yet, but you know I'll keep you posted.  My Mom and I got to sit right up front on the second row... so no doubt you'll see us.  After the Dr. Phil show, we made our way down to Venice Beach, Muscle Beach, and the Santa Monica Pier.  I wanted my Mom to ride on the roller coaster, but she wasn't up to it.  We had lunch at the In and Out Burger.  Yum!  From there we hit Beverly Hills.  I showed my Mom some of the residential area of Beverly Hills, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and of course Rodeo Drive.  Rodeo Drive was decorated with twenty luxury Baccarat crystal chandeliers as the Christmas decorations.  Ha!   We then rested and headed over to the Farmer's Market having dinner at Maggiano's.  The Farmer's Market has been transformed into a Winter Wonderland with a miniature Bellagio dancing water fountain set to the tunes of Christmas melodies.  They even made it snow!  Huge snow machines were adorned along the tops of the shoppe's roofs and showered the walkways with snowflakes.  I called my Daddy on the cell phone and told him it was snowing in Hollywood.  Ha ha!  The weather was nice and warm during the day and chilly at night... much like the weather here in Columbus, GA.  The next day it was time to go but not before drama would begin.  On the morning of our departure, we were packing to leave the hotel when I realized I did not have my Driver's  License in my purse.  I had last seen it when I handed it to my mother to hold onto while at the Dr. Phil show.  Now, she swears she gave it back to me... yet I do not recall her doing so.  None the less... It was gone and no where to be found.  We spent 30 minutes looking for it, which placed us 30 minutes later getting to the airport.  Okay, now I ask you.  What is the ONE thing that you MUST have in order to board an airplane?  That's correct.  A picture ID... in which I did not have.  I racked my brain for a few, sick to my stomach thinking I would be stuck in Los Angeles.  I remembered that I had at one time scanned a copy of my driver's license on my computer at home. I don't remember why I had done this... thank goodness I had.  I immediately called Cary and thankfully he had not left for work yet.  He emailed the ID to me and I was able to print it using the Hotel's front desk printer.  We rushed to the Airport where we waited another 10 minutes in line and another 15 waiting for a Delta supervisor to approve my 8x11 printed copy of my driver's license.  She informed me I would have to go through extra security.  We waited in the Security line for over 45 minutes, which ended in me being poked, prodded, and probed... not to mention the entire contents of my purse poured out on the table and explosive security measures issued on every piece.  Sheesh!  We finally make it to our gate and just in the nick of time as they were calling for "Last Call to board".  Alright... so once on the plane, we are then told that there is bad weather in Atlanta and we've been grounded for 30 minutes.  Good Grief.  We finally get to Atlanta only to miss boarding our Columbus flight by 5 freaking minutes!  My Mom was wore out from having to run to the gate only to be told it was too late.  The next flight didn't take off for another 5 hours.  We hit the shuttle home for $50 and got home within 1.5 hours.  As if all that wasn't enough... our luggage did not make it into Columbus for another three flights.  It wasn't delivered to us until 4pm the next day.  Thanks goodness I didn't have anywhere to go seeing as I had no clothes to wear, no makeup, no deodorant, and no brush.  Well anywho.  I'm just thankful that the luggage was found and that we made it back in one piece.  I've uploaded new images in the 42 and 43 month Post-Op Galleries.  It's another busy week for me ahead.  Y'all be good and talk to you soon.

12/24/05... DAY #1325:
Merry Christmas Eve to ya!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas weekend!  Let's talk about Christmas for a minute.  Cary and I were out doing some last minute odds and ends this morning when we drove past the Eckerd's drugstore.  On their sign it said "We will be open on X-mas".  Now, I know the abbreviation is of Greek origin.  The word for Christ in Greek is Xristos.  During the 16th century, Europeans began using the first initial of Christ's name "X" in place of the word Christ in Christmas as a shorthand form of the word.  However, you and I don't live in Greece, and it's the 21st century, not 16th.  In my view,  when you write "X-mas", what part of that word is missing?  Christ!  So when you replace Christ with an "X"... you're really crossing out the whole reason for the season... Christ our Savior.  So... if you are a Christian, please take the time to write out the entire word.  Thanks!  Okay... onto other things.  My Mom was recently in the paper.  A reporter interviewed us about our trip to Hollywood to see Dr. Phil.  Each year they do a story on a unique Christmas gift, and my Mom's was it this year.  Click here to read the article.  So my weight lately has been pure UGLY.  I am at 164 lbs. and know exactly how I arrived here.  ZERO exercise.  I know that in order to stay thin, you can't miss not one... NOT ONE of the basics... water, vitamins, and regular exercise.  I do water and vitamins, but have been a major slacker in the exercise department.  I sold my treadmill because I stopped using it.  It was quite bulky, took up too much room, and it was in a location in my home not the most exercise friendly.  So... I have since purchased a new Elliptical Trainer which will be shipped in January.  It will take up a lot less room and I think I will enjoy it more.  We shall see.  All I know right now is that I am fat and I am not happy about it... so... I must do something about it!  Okay... well let's talk about my hair.  It's ugly to me.  I've received mixed reviews, but one thing I know is I am not happy with it.  I have days where I regret cutting my hair, even though I know it was the best thing I could have done.  My hair was damaged from all the bleaching treatments and the ends were dead.  I decided to go darker blonde so I wouldn't have to make as many trips to the salon.  At $90 a pop every 6 weeks for bleach... it can get quite expensive.  Also, with us trying for a pregnancy in February, I am trying to wean myself for a lot less treatments during the pregnancy.  Don't worry though, I tell myself... it's only hair... it will grow again... and hopefully by this time next year, it will be long, healthy, and pretty again.  My nephew spent the night with us again Thursday night.  We had so much fun playing together.  He also put on his party hat and dancing shoes around 4am and thought it was Club time.  We partied for a little while, but then it was back to sleep.  He snuggled between me and Uncle Cary all night.  Oh my gosh he gave me baby fever.  I've been through a whole bottle of Tylenol trying to get my fever down.  :)  He's a lot of work though.  Whew!  I ask myself "Am I too old for this???"  We shall see what the future brings.  Well I guess that is all for now.  Merry Christmas!  Love you all!  Julie

12/30/05... DAY #1331:
Well, my posts are usually cheerful and positive for the most part (well at least I think so), so today I decided to change it up a bit.  Let's talk about "pet peeves".  My... I have quite a few of them and it seems that this past week, people have triggered on each of them at least once.  My number one of all time "pet peeve" is being interrupted.  There is nothing I hate more than me talking and someone interrupting what I am saying.  This especially holds true if the interrupter is a Customer Service rep in which I am reporting a problem to.  I am that personality that demands excellent customer service, and when I don't receive it, then management, the corporate office... somebody is gonna hear that I am unhappy.  Another twist on this "pet peeve" is when I am speaking with someone on the phone, and they begin to talk to someone in the background without asking me to hold on... be it their kids, spouse, a customer, whoever... proper etiquette would be to ask the person to hold.  Let's see... Well, another "pet peeve" is being told what or how to do something when it is clear that I obviously know what I am doing.  Um... how about getting behind Grandma or Grandpa on the road... when you're driving right along... the light turns yellow, and they immediately stop... going from 45 mph to a screeching halt.  Well anyway.. I just wanted to vent for a second.  Life is good otherwise.

01/03/06... DAY #1335:
Happy New Year friends.  Shortly after my post on December 30th, I came down with a terrible fever of 103 degrees.  I was shivering even with seven blankets on me.  I should have seen it coming.  I had been suffering from a terrible headache for three days and my neck had been extremely stiff.  One thing for sure, I had a wedding to shoot out of town the next morning which would last all day... and I had no time to be sick.  That is one of the drawbacks of being self-employed... You can't call out sick.  I got in a scolding hot shower and attempted to warm up... or at least get my skin to the same temperature as my inside organs.  Yes... I know... not the safest thing, but dang it... I was freezing!  I stayed in the tub for 30 minutes, and when I emerged, instead of being cold like when I entered, I now went into the sweating bullets stage.  I continued to take Tylenol, ate some soup, my Mom & Dad came over to check on me, and Cary doctored me the rest of the night.  The next morning, I continued to have a fever, headache, joint aches, sweating, and now my throat felt scratchy.  I made it to my wedding, suffered through cold sweats, and back home in time for a small pre-planned family New Year's Eve party at my house.  I was worn out.  I was thankful that no one stayed too much after midnight.  I was tired, sick, and needed rest.  I slept until 11am the next morning.  I am feeling much better today.  I'm still really tired and achy... but my fever is gone.  :)  Okay... one more "pet peeve" and then I have work to do.  Another one of my "pet peeves" is tardieness.  If you have an appointment with someone, for goodness sakes... BE ON TIME.  It is the worst feeling having to sit and wait on someone.  I am rarely late for anything.  However, I have friends, family, and clients that seem to always be late.  It can be very aggravating sitting and wating on people.  My day is planned out and a timeframe/appointment is made to ensure that I stay on target.  People are not very considerate of others time.  The first thing people say is "We are so sorry we're late"... and then I suppose the reply is suppose to be "Oh, it's okay".  Well I'm taking a stand.  It's not okay, and if we, the victims, continue to tell them "it's okay"... then they'll never realize that they are wrong.  So, from now on when folks say "We are so sorry we are late... we had to XYZ"... my reply will be "Well that leaves us with X minutes, so let's get down to business here".  Okay... I'm rambling as my 1:30pm appointment is currently 5 minutes late.  Have a great day.  :)

 01/04/06... DAY #1336:
Happy Hump Day to ya!  Well y'all know if something weird or crazy is gonna happen to someone... dang it... it's gonna happen to Julie Hedges.  After a Bridal Shoot yesterday evening, Cary and I decided to have dinner at Cheddar's restaurant using some of our gift certificates we received for Christmas.  I ordered a bowl of Chicken Tortilla soup as an appetizer.  So I'm munching away on my soup when all of a sudden I bit down on something really hard, shooting a pain through my tooth.  I pulled the hard piece of what I thought would be gristle out of my mouth.  Um... no... not gristle at all.  How about a SCREW!  YES!  A SCREW IN MY SOUP!  A screw measuring a half inch had been cooked in my soup.  What if I had swallowed that?  What if I had broke my tooth?  What if I had fed that to my ten month old nephew?  Thank God the situation wasn't worse than it was.  The District Manager happen to be in town last night and he was immediately informed of the situation.  They comp'd our meal, gave us gift certificates for future meals, and profusely apologized.  I also contacted the police and filed an official police report logging the situation in case I happen to get sick or something happens to my tooth... and of course I contacted my lawyer.  I was totally grossed out, but what I think was worse is that the manager informed me that they could not locate anything in their kitchen that matched up to the missing screw.  Oh great... a mystery screw.  GROSS!  So management had no explanation as to how the screw ended up in my soup and called it a "freak accident".  Now, the only other explanation I have is that we all know that I've had a couple of screws loose for a long time now... maybe I've gotten so bad off that the screws are actually starting to fall out of my head???  Hmmm... Well anywho.  We'll keep a watch on my tooth and health.  I'm just glad it was me and not my little nephew.


01/17/06... DAY #1349:
Everytime I've come out here to update lately... the phone rings, the fax machine goes off, Fed-Ex is at the door, the email is chiming... I think I'm going mad.  Okay... so it's 1:21am and I am working on a wedding order and no time to type right now.. but I decided to make myself some notes so I won't forget what I want to talk about.  I'll be out to post soon.. promise. 
Notes to self to talk about:

Getting that 7.5 foot tree in the attic


What's with tossing your tree on the road?


My new exercise machine


Recent baby purchases... hmmm


How our lives change... appearances and the friends you hang with.  Sometimes you miss the old days.


Approached by an Author


Two local magazine appearances


My new freelance side-job and how it was offered.


My weight struggles


I just discovered "Desperate Housewives"... I think I'm a Bree

Okay those are my notes and probably about two good hours worth of typing... so I'll post soon... I promise.  Hugs.

01/20/06... DAY #1351:
I know I promised an update.  I have been so busy.  I've been in Austin, TX since Wednesday.  I'm here for a week attending the Professional Photographers of America convention.  My hotel is pretty swank.  Free wine.  My kinda place.  LOL.  I met WLS friends Nancy and Nena.  I'll post more about our meeting and upload pics soon.  I'm exhausted!

01/23/06... DAY #1355:
Well I promised an update, so here goes.  I arrived in Austin, TX on the 18th.  I met up with WLS friend Nancy Pacheco and her WLS friend Nena (now my WLS friend too  J ).  They drove me to a Walgreens so I could stock up on water bottles and of course… chocolate.  We then went back to my hotel where we enjoyed Happy Hour.  The hotel has free snacks, beer, and wine.  Who can resist???  I enjoyed meeting with the gals.  They were a lot of fun and so very welcoming.  I wish my schedule permitted me more time to spend with them.  I had to be up early the next morning for classes.  I have been in photography classes from morning till night, everyday, since Wednesday.  My last day is tomorrow… 7:30am to 10:30pm and I am on the first flight out of Austin Wednesday morning.  I miss my Care Bear hubby so very much and my little nephew (aka “Pickle”).  I talked to Pickle on the phone.  He is learning to talk now and he said “bye bye”.  He’s so sweet.  He gives Aunt Julie baby fever.  Uggh!  So let me get to typing here on some of the topics I’ve wanted to type about since Christmas but just haven’t had the time.  Shortly after Christmas Cary and I took down all the decorations in order to prepare for our New Year’s Eve family get together.  We purchased a beautiful 7.5 foot pre-lit General Electric Christmas Tree from Sears when the holiday season began.  We used a gift card I received during Christmas of 2004… ha!  Got to love gift cards.  Sidebar note:  I LOVE GIFT CARDS!  Anywho, so when we pulled our tree out of the box, putting it up was fairly easy.  It’s only three parts; base, middle, and top.  It’s big and heavy, so it does take a while to spread out all the branches… but nevertheless… it still only has three sections.  Okay, so our thought process was "easy to put up… easy to take down".  Um… no.  Trying to get the branches to fold back in and up like they were originally was a pain in the ass, but somehow we managed.  So now it’s time to get the mammoth tree back in the box and up in the attic.  Yeah, okay… think again.  No way was it fitting back in the box with all the flaps down.  By this time I was tired, sweaty, and irritable.  You know how we get when things aren’t easy and don’t go our way.  Cary and I decided to just get it in the box and leave the top open until we could figure out something else to do.  Regardless, it had to go in the attic.  The tree weighs 76 pounds.  Attempting to drag an open box, heavy tree, up the steep attic stairs with the sides tearing…. Good grief.  Someone should have had a video camera.  I was in the attic pulling and Cary was at the bottom of the stairs pushing.  The open sides made it too wide to go through the opening.  We both had a time trying to hold the weight of the tree and balance our own body weight.  We were some irritable, frustrated people and that’s saying it nicely.  Hee hee.  I truly believe we could have placed in the “Funniest Home Video” awards.  Anywho, with much frustration, sweat, and a few swear words… we finally got it up there.  I have since purchased a Rubbermaid Extra Large Tree bag with handles off of Ebay.  Our tree should fit quite nicely in its new home and hopefully will have a little easier transportation next Christmas.  Well since we’re on the topic of Christmas trees; allow me to rant for a second.  Can anyone explain to me why in the world people throw their Christmas trees on the side of the road when they’re done with them???  Okay, let me understand.  It’s the holiday season and you take the family to pick out a Christmas tree that you will display in your home.  A lot of thought usually goes into finding that perfect tree.  You will water, love, and decorate it with ornaments that are special to your family and maybe even ornaments that have been passed down for generations.  Your family gathers around this tree on the most special day of the year.  Your family may even sing "Oh Christmas Tree" while holding hands and circling the tree.  Then one week after Christmas, you toss it on the road like it is garbage?  For heaven’s sakes… can you at least have the decency to take it to your city’s Recycle Center?  Columbus has Christmas Tree Recycle drop-off centers all over right after the holidays.  You even receive a seedling to plant in exchange.  There is just no excuse when there are other options available.  Okay, I’ll get off the soapbox.  Alrighty… real quick, I’ll talk about my new exercise machine.  I went to Consumer Reports and conducted research on which Elliptical machine was rated the best for home usage.  The “Eclipse 1100HR/A Elliptical Trainer” was rated the best machine in quality, value, and workout for home use.  A quick search on the net surprisingly showed that had it for sale.  I love shopping from stores that have relaxed return policies... it sort of puts my mind to ease when making big purchases.  I actually was expecting to pay somewhere in the range of $500 for the machine, but was happy to see that Wal-mart had it for $345.  So, if you’re looking for a good quality elliptical trainer, check that model and brand out.  I have yet to use it yet though.  I got it in on Monday.  Put it together on Tuesday.  Flew out on Wednesday.  However, I have plans to create a workout schedule around my new machine.  I have 20 pounds to lose.  I am in a size 14 (yes I know… yikes) and sitting at 165 pounds.  My goal is to get back down to 145 lbs. and in a size 10.  I can do it, know I can do it, and will do it.  So working down my list of topics I wanted to type about… I will quickly cover the baby purchases.  Cary and I had a coupon to Toys R Us good for 25% off our total purchase.  In addition, we had a $100 gift card to Toys R Us that we received as a gift.  The coupon was to expire on January 15th, so we decided to make the most of it as this type of opportunity probably would not come around again anytime soon.  We bought a baby crib, high chair, changing table, Floppy Seat, comforter, bumper, sheets, diaper stack, mattress pad, toys, spoons, bibs, gosh… I can’t even remember… we just shopped till we dropped.  Our total savings with the coupon was around $300.  Not a bad coupon, eh?  I put the high chair together already.  I can certainly use it when I keep my nephew.  It can be difficult trying to feed an eleven month old while holding him in your arms.  He loves putting his hands in the food and putting it on Aunt Julie’s face.  No more!  Ha!  J  When I get back home, I plan on getting the baby room in order and the other furniture put together so my nephew can use it when he stays over.  Some may say we’re jumping the gun by fixing up a baby room and buying large items before I am even pregnant.  I will just go on faith and prayer that God will bless us with a healthy pregnancy and baby.  The pregnancy idea is still sinking in.  I have gathered so many new ideas from this photography conference on how to improve my business.  It may be difficult to implement them while planning a pregnancy and/or being pregnant… but the flip side, it may just be the fuel I need.  I want to push my business even further and make more money so that we can provide for our baby and give him/her the best.  One of my business goals is to hire an in-home nanny to work part-time while I’m working and meeting with clients.  I would love to find a nanny that is bi-lingual, preferably in Spanish and English.  I’ve always wanted to raise a child that can speak two languages… and heck… it wouldn’t hurt for me to learn either.  Spanish seems to be the official second language in the United States and having it as a second language would provide my child with many opportunities.  They say children learn and absorb a second language far better than any adult.  So, with that said… if anyone has someone that they would like to recommend (keep in mind this job would not open up for at least another 10 months… ha), please let me know.  Okay friends… it’s off to bed for me.  My back is killing me from sitting in hard back chairs all these days and my bed is certainly not as comfortable as home… so I can’t wait to get back.  I’ve had fun and learned a lot, but there is nothing like home sweet home.  I will upload photos from my trip and update with the other topics I wanted to chat about real soon.  Goodnight.  Hugs, Julie

01/30/06... DAY #1362:
First and foremost, I would like to say congratulations to my husband.  He was promoted to Manager at his employment this past week.  I am so very excited for him.  This is something Cary has needed for a long time.  Everything seems to be coming together in our plans.  I am just so thankful for all of our blessings.  God truly is great.  As of this week, Cary and I our trying to conceive.  I know, I know... who would have ever thought that Julie Hedges would type those words.  Trust me... I'm in disbelief myself.  I tell ya though, I am now feeling that void in my life.  When I'm out in public, every child catches my eye... and of course, my nephew... gosh he is my pride and joy.  I love him so much... his laugh, his Chinese talking, his smile, and that peacefulness when he's sleeping... he looks like a little angel.  I can't wait to experience it as a mother.  If I feel this strongly about my nephew... good gosh... when it's my own child... I am desperately afraid of becoming over-protecting like my mother... but I know it is inevitable.  I even caught myself telling Cary that when our child is old enough to ride a bike that I would put a GPS tracking bracelet on him/her.  Well anywho... keep your fingers crossed... who knows... I may be reporting soon that the target was hit.  GULP.  Somebody come smack me and bring me to my senses!  LOL!  I don't know if it comes across in my Journal... 'cause to be honest... I rarely if never go back and re-read what I've written... but I know personally that I have gradually changed 180 since June of last year.  I have slowly removed negative people and influences from my life and I have become tamer and tamer as the months pass.  I went through a period during all this weight loss that I was really out of control and made some stupid ass decisions.  It's nice to finally have my thoughts, feelings, morals, and emotions back in check... even though my eating disorder remains untamed... but that's a battle I've been fighting all my life... maybe some shock therapy would be good for that.  LOL.  An old acquaintance called me this past week that I had not talked to since June of last year.  The conversation was odd because why?  They weren't talking to the Julie that they had come to know... they were talking to the new Julie.  I found it reassuring when I was told that there was "a peace in my voice" and that it sounded as if I was "extremely happy".  I couldn't agree more.  Yes... I've gained weight... and yes I hate this ugly ass hair-do of mine... but those are outward appearances.  I have found peace within.  My marriage is fantastic... and not that it has ever been bad... it's just I now appreciate how blessed I am to have such a supportive, unconditionally loving husband.  My business is fantastic and continues to grow and amaze me.  My immediate family... we all seem to be closer than ever now.  Okay... so I'm rambling.  I just sit and think about how fortunate I am.... which does lead me to one area of my life that I feel at a loss.  I have a lot of love in my heart and have helped so many people... it's just lately, so many of my friends are hurting.  Hurting physically with medical problems.  Hurting mentally with stress, anguish, heartache.  Others are hurting financially.  It's become overwhelming for me.  I love all my friends so very much... I just feel helpless.  I want to help but don't know how.  I can't financially help enough to make a difference.  I can't heal broken hearts.  I can't cure illnesses and I don't like giving advice.  I just don't know what to do.  The one thing I can do is listen and I hope that is enough.  I want all my friends that hurting to know that I love and care for you very much.  If I had a million dollars, I'd give it away just to try and ease some pain in your lives.  Let's all pray for one another that we each will have peace in our lives.   Okay... I'm heading to bed.  Remember Valentine's Day is coming soon... let's all show a little more love this year.

02/01/06... DAY #1364:
I realize that it is too late... but the Dr. Phil show that my Mom and I attended aired a few nights ago... and it is now replaying again this morning.  I got brief airtime... but my Mom got a full close up during the show.  It was awesome!

02/07/06... DAY #1370:
A client contacted me last night and said she saw my Before & After pictures in a magazine ad while browsing the Jezebel Magazine at her Parent's house.  WOW!  I knew Dr. Champion was going to use my pictures in some of his advertising... I just didn't know which magazines they would appear.  I contacted Jezebel Magazine this morning to have a copy mailed to me.  As soon as I get it, I'll upload the ad so you can all see it... heck I haven't even seen it yet!  Several months ago, Dr. Champion's office contacted me and said they wanted to use some of my Before & After photographs in an ad that Dr. Champion would be placing in several national magazines.  Of course, I was delighted.  I had to do a recent photograph.  The phone call, of course, came AFTER I chopped all my blonde locks off.  Dang it!  Oh well, I did the pics with my short ugly do.  I'm anxious to see how the ads turned out.  So while we are on the topic of magazine appearances... I've had several of my weddings displayed in two magazines.  You can find my work on page 36 of the December/January 2006 issue of Southern Views magazine and on pages 62 thru 65 of Columbus and the Valley magazine.  On another note... okay, so I did it.  I sucked up all my pride and left a message on Dr. Champion's  wife's voicemail this morning.  She is what I would call the "Office Motivator" and I know she sees patients for follow ups when they need pep talks.  I basically said that I am gaining, my eating is out of control again, and dang it... I need help.  It's a shame that I can't kick this eating disorder/addiction that I have.  I look forward to hearing back from her.  To all my friends, I just ask that you continue to pray for me.  I am a professional, strong-willed person, who can pretty much accomplish anything she puts her mind to... except kicking this dang eating habit!  Ugh!  Alrighty on to other things... as you can read in some of my last posts, it's like I'm closing a chapter in my life and starting a new one.  I've been reflecting a lot on the past, and looking to what the future holds.  I would like to post an email here that my dear friend Brandy Johnson sent.  Sometimes my friends know me better than I know myself.  Here is Brandy's email: 

Hey Gorgeous,

First and foremost you are an amazing woman and don't let the devil bring you and your uplifting and inspirational spirit down.  Looking back on your last few years I can see a big change in your personality and your whole image physically and mentally.  I think when you lost all that weight you broke out of a shell you'd been in for so long and got a taste of the wild life.  You brought new meaning to Living La Vida Loca.  You partied hard girl!  Nothing wrong with that.  I know you feel blessed to have Cary standing beside you 110% through it all.  You experienced a new side of life and now... well you are starting a new chapter in your life.  I think now you've settled back into normalcy, if you will, and sometimes normalcy gets the best of us.  Especially if we aren't used to it.  You have so many different endeavors and conceiving a child is now a reality for you and Cary.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with you wanting to conceive a beautiful baby.  God gave Gracie and her hubby that beautiful baby boy and frankly I am happy that he gave you baby fever.  I can see you being a beautiful glowing pregnant mom-to-be.  You are going to be a wonderful mother and you are going to handle it all like a pro.  I know you've said you don't know how you are going to handle being pregnant and busy with work but you will be surprised what you can handle.  I know you Julie and I know you will make it through.  I have been praying for you girl and I want you to know that God will take care of you.  He has the ultimate plan for you and always remember that he will never give you anything you cannot handle.  Just put your troubles and most importantly your trust in the Lord and everything will work out.  I'm living proof. 

 I love you Jules and want you to know you have my blessings.  I stand behind 100% and will always be here for you if you need anything. 

Love ya!

So the email brought a tear to my eye.  I just feel so humbled to have such wonderful friends.  Thank you Brandy and thank you to all my dear friends that show me support and encouragement.  I just hope that I have been as instrumental in your lives as you have been in mine.  You know, as we grow older, we realize that family and true friendships are what life is all about.  Family and true friends can not have a value placed on them.  They cost more than any amount of money.  So, I feel like the richest girl in the world!  Okay... so I'm getting mushy.  Let me move on.  Speaking of the term "girl"... ya know, there was a time that I was referred to as "girl".  If I was at the customer service desk, a clerk would say to management "There is a girl at the counter who needs assistance".  I'm not quite sure when it happened, but I am now being referred to as a "lady".  "There is a lady at the counter who needs assistance".  Another thing that I've noticed is that in the past, most of my clients referred to me by my first name... "Julie" or "Jules".  This year, I've noticed more of the younger brides refering to me as "Miss"... such as "Miss Julie".  OMG!  I'm now "Miss Julie"!!!  I never called people "Miss" anything unless they were in their 40's.  What is wrong with these 20 year old girls???   LOL!!!  Oh well... at least they are showing respect.  I guess "Miss Julie" is better than some other names they could call me.  Hee hee.  Well, I have already spent too much time typing this morning... I must get to work.  I have not forgotten and will still post on the below topics.  Talk to you soon!


Approached by an Author


My new freelance side-job and how it was offered.


I just discovered "Desperate Housewives"... I think I'm a Bree


02/21/06... DAY #1384:
WOW!  Time gets away from ya when you're a workaholic!  I just realized it's been two weeks since my last post.  I guess I need to be catching up.  First and foremost let's get caught up on the whole "I think I'm a Bree".  The last two shows have shown Bree as an alcoholic... so I most certainly don't mean in that aspect.  The Bree traits I was speaking of is how anal retentive she can be and how prim and proper she is.  Now of course on Desperate Housewives, each woman's personality traits are extreme but I can most relate with Bree and how she was in the first season.  I call Bree the "hostess with the mostess" and at one point in time (when I had time)... I was that chick.  Okay, so I am trying to get caught up here... a few months ago an editor from our local newspaper sent me an email and invited me to breakfast at the Atlanta Bread Company.  I was a little hesitant at first because I figured it was some type of sales ploy to get me to shell out big bucks for advertising in their paper.  Much to my surprise, I was offered a freelance photographer position.  The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer had a new magazine in the works called "Thrive".  The magazine would be an insert inside the newspaper every Tuesday.  "Thrive" is a health magazine geared towards the "what's in right now"... it's cool... not one of those boring health and fitness magazines.  I was asked to be the cover photographer.  Yes!  They wanted me to shoot the cover each and every week.  Wow.  I mean... I've never shot a cover of a magazine before... but I guess I was about to start getting in some practice!  Thus far, I have enjoyed the experience... and heck, it doesn't hurt that I'm getting paid nicely too.  I've added some of the past covers I've done to my 45 month gallery.  For those of you out of town, you can see Thrive magazine at  The website is updated with the new cover and inside usually on Thursdays.  The last thing I had on the "to talk about list" was being approached by an author.  I was approached by an author of a book that talks about how to lose weight when you're broke.  He wanted one of the chapters in the book to be on "How to have Bariatric Surgery When You're Broke".  Although that sounds fantastic, I had to turn him down and explain that is just not possible.  I explained that WLS is VERY expensive... then as you're loosing the weight, you are constantly buying clothes.  Then after you lose the weight, you find that you now have more energy... so you're taking more vacations, going out more, and shopping, shopping, shopping.  Also, since you can only eat small portions, you want those small portions to be the best they can be... so you find yourself buying more expensive, gourmet type foods.  I further explained that I am certainly the last person to ask about pinching pennies during weight loss and that I spend more now then I ever thought about as an overweight person.  I thanked him for thinking of me, but WLS is a minimum initial $2,000 investment, and that's if you have really good insurance.  So onto other things... my weight is still on the rise.  I've been hovering around 168 here lately.  The weight gain sucks, but at least I am not alone.  Each and every one of my surgery buddies have gained an average of 20 to 30 pounds.  Now granted, 20 pounds is nothing compared to an extra 127 pounds... but since I know what a size 8 feels like now... well a size 14 feels like PIG GIRL.  I really am hoping that making myself get out of the house more often and the onset of Spring, that I will be able to shake off some of this excess fat.  Only time will tell.  My hair is starting to grow out.  Yes, it's still ugly and short, but thank goodness it's growing!  I had it highlighted again and told my hairdresser that I want to go back blonde.  So she put some low lights and high lights in it.  It looks pretty good.  I just still suck at trying to style it.   I'm dangerous with a curling iron.  I usually end up burning myself.  Gosh, it's 4:36am.  I can't sleep... tossing and turning... can't get comfortable.  My mind is just going a million miles a minute thinking of all the work I have ahead of me this week.  I guess I'll go scurry back to bed and try and get some sleep.  Have a great day and I'll try to post more often.

02/23/06... DAY #1386:
Okay today... I gotta let it out, 'cause if I don't, y'all are going to have to put me in the mental ward.  Can somebody, for the love of God, please tell me why the general population can not follow directions?  Is it really that hard to read step by step instructions and follow what they say?  Is it that Common Sense is in fact... not that common?  I encounter this situation in my social life, my WLS life, and in my Photography life.  I think what really gets me nerved more than anything are the emails I receive from this website.  I'm not talking about ones from those of you I talk to from time to time, on a regular basis, or even the ones reading this right now.  In fact... I'm actually talking to the ones that DON'T read... so why am I even wasting time typing right now?  Well, I have to blow off my frustrations somewhere, right?  Now I know... Y'all have heard me beat this horse.  The horse is dead and has flies swarming... but I'm so frustrated that I think I'm going to kick the horse again and hope that  my foot doesn't get stuck.  Before you can email me from this website, I have a whole five pointed bulleted section on what steps to take before emailing me and asking questions.  I'm not talking about people emailing me in support of the website... as I always appreciate those.  I'm talking about the whole "asking me questions" deal.  In my five bullets, I ask that if someone has questions, to please first read the "FAQ's" section.  I've taken the time to outline the most frequently asked questions I receive.  Second, if they don't find the answer there, then reference the Journal.  For those that want to cheat... they can even just do an "Edit, Find" and type in the key word they're searching for to read up on that topic in my Journal.  I then ask that they join my Yahoo WLS Support Group so that they can ask their questions to lots of people going through what they're going through.  Finally, if they have exhausted their search on my website, then to please email me.  It's those unique questions and emails that I enjoy.  After all, that's how I add to my "FAQ's" page.  However, it's those "Julie, did you have hair loss?", "Julie, have you gained any weight?", "Julie, how did you get your insurance to approve you?", "Julie, have you had plastic surgery?", "Julie, can you tell me what I can expect?" questions that thoroughly BLOW MY MIND.  I mean... here it is... four plus years in black and white.  Just about every possible answer to weight loss surgery in this here Journal.  I have a five bulleted section on what to do BEFORE you email me... YET, people choose to ignore that and email me the general questions anyway... AND of course the thing that makes me laugh the most is when they start the email with "Julie, I just love your website and have read it all.  Can you tell me, has your life changed since you've had WLS?".  To my avid readers:  Am I being anal retentive about this?  Or am I dead on about being annoyed by this?  Signed, Irritated

02/24/06... DAY #1387:
You all say I make you laugh... but serious to goodness... y'all keep me in stitches.  Man, I was flooded with responses to my last Journal update.  The emails have been entertaining to say the least.  I am still sorting through them and it may be a few days before you get a response... but keep 'em coming!  I thought I'd share some quick ones I received with y'all:

Dear Irritated,
I just read your latest journal entry and I wanted to elaborate on your comments if I may. First and foremost, NO you are not being anal-retentive. If anything you are being redundant because of all the lazy newcomers.  I think I speak for a majority of your dedicated and loyal readers when I say we love coming here and reading your journal. It’s amazing to me that you find the time to juggle a successful, full time photography business, your new freelance photography job, and your role as a wife, friend, and weight loss motivator.  Where do you find the time, Jules?  Let’s face it there are a lot of lazy people out there. People want the easy way out. Yes your journal is a lot to read I understand that.  I can see where someone would be overwhelmed. Heck, it took me several days to read it all.  There is no way one can devour this in one sitting!  But those pre-op patients that are serious in their WLS endeavor will take the time to read your journal, word-by-word, read your FAQ’s page and look at your before and after pics.  These people need to realize what an undertaking this journal and WLS site is and be more supportive and appreciative. You invest a lot of time and energy into this site, and it doesn’t go without notice or appreciation. I, for one want to say THANKS!  You have and always will be an inspiration for me. I’m sorry that you have to waste your time on non-sense like this, but know that there are many of us out here that love ya, and appreciate you!  Your friend, Crystal
Hey Julie!|
Did you change much after your surgery?  Just kidding!  Just kidding!  I've read your entire Journal several times, so I know all about the changes.  Julie, I love your website. You're absolutely hilarious and just someone I feel like I've known my whole life!  The first thing I do every morning when I turn on my computer is check to see what you're up to.  Thanks for laying it all on the line for the rest of us. I know that can't always be an easy thing to do.  I hope your journey takes you where you want to go (and if it doesn't you know your way back home, right?).  :)   Peace and Love, Teri
Hey there Mrs. Irritated,
You crack me up.  I'm sorry you've only typed out a 46,000 word manual of your life and some folks don't even bother to read a word.  I know you were venting and it's actually good for the soul to vent.  You know the general population is nothing but a bunch of idiotic, brainless idgets!  I can imagine it's hard to overlook it especially when you are having to deal with morons constantly.  It's just a part of dealing with people.  Not everyone is as smart as we are..  HA!  Anyway you look amazing even with your short hair!  I love you snookems.  Stay Sexy and Sane!  Brandy

On another note... I thought I would write about "Shhhhh... the Neighbors can hear us".  And nope... I'm not talking about what ya think I am.  :)  I have video surveillance cameras installed all around my house and this place is locked down like Fort Knox.  If you breathe on the property the sirens go off.  (Okay, Why?  Because some of y'all are a little on the crazy side and like to show up on my doorstep unannounced like we been friends forever and um... I don't even know you.  Or the others who stand outside my windows like a peeping Tom... but those are stories for another day.)  My story tonight is... when I purchased the cams, I knew they had audio, but I thought that the audio quality would be minimum if anything.  I swear that the audio is so good, that it's kinda weird.  I can hear the Garbage Trucks and Postal Trucks when they are several houses down the road.  I am impressed.  So, I'm sitting here tonight (11:00pm) uploading images from a Rehearsal Dinner I shot, and out of no where, I hear these girls talking.  They're just chatting away about how they're going to get their nails done in the morning and that it's time for a lip and bikini wax.  I'm thinking "What in the hell?"  The voices were so clear, but I couldn't see a soul on the circuit TV's.  So I get up look outside.  Sure enough, two houses down and across the street, my neighbor is standing outside with two other chicks and they're all chatting away.  No, the houses in my neighborhood are not built on top of each other.  I guess this is the first time I've heard actual neighbors carrying on conversations in their front lawn.  So anywho, the conversation was interesting to say the least and I wasn't even trying to listen.  So I must say I am quite impressed with my security system.  So "Shhh... the Neighbors can hear us" takes on a whole new meaning... and from the description, I will agree with her that it is time for a bikini wax.  YIKES!  I guess Old Man Winter set in a little more for some of us.  Maybe I'll see if she would like to borrow the lawnmower.  Okay.. that was DEAD WRONG of me.  LOL!!!

03/01/06... DAY #1392:
Good Evening friends.  I wanted to address a question that for some reason, I have been receiving quite often lately.  As a matter of fact, I've received 13 emails just since Monday on the very topic.  The topic "How do I, my friend, my sister, my neighbor get started in the photography business" OR "Can you provide me with some photography tips?"  I'm curious as to why this sudden influx of emails regarding the subject?  Has there been a recent sale on consumer cameras?  Any photography articles hit the stands that I am not aware of?  I just don't know.  I've added the question to my "FAQ's" section.  It is now question #43.  My reply can actually overlap to the general questions I've been receiving lately about WLS too.  My philosophy is all about self-teaching.  Period.  When I want to learn something, I buy books, read, research on the net, and attend classes.  I don't take the easy way out and just email someone expecting that person to go out of there way to provide me with a detailed information manual via email.  If you want to learn, at least start by "Googling".  For those non-techy persons, that means go to, and type in your question.  So my answer regarding the photography emails I've received from WLS friends wanting to get into the business and/or receive tips:  I highly encourage you/your friend to do what I did and still do.  Read, Research, and Attend Photography classes.  When I started my photography business I was and am self-taught.  This means I used a trial and error method until I got it right.  This also means that I put forth the effort to research and learn.  I never asked anyone what it takes to be in business.  Another philosophy of mine is "If you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, then you don't have to ask anyone how, when, or where to get started.  You just know, and what you don't know, you learn by research."  Again, research does not mean taking the easy way out and emailing someone for a quick answer.  Now, I am certainly not trying to sound mean, ugly, harsh, or cocky.  I am simply way too busy to become a photography mentor or teacher on top of managing this website, my full time Photography business, my marriage, and social life.  Although I wear a big "S" on my shirt, it stands for "Sexy"... not "Superwoman".  LOL... okay, I was kidding there.  Please keep in mind that just because someone takes great photographs using the cameras pre-programmed modes, does not mean they can become a professional.  You must first learn to control the exposure of your camera... that means using that "M" mode or "Manual" mode, where you dial in the shutter speed and aperture.  Also becoming a professional means owning a couple of professional line cameras.  The rule of thumb is... if you can buy the camera at your local electronics store, odds are... it's not a professional line camera.  A great chef may make some delicious meals.  However, that doesn't mean he has the skills to run and manage a restaurant.  Running a photography business takes professional management/business skills first.  Taking "pretty pictures" is a very, very, very small piece of the puzzle.  With all that said... I hope I have not made enemies or offended anyone.


03/10/06... DAY #1401 - WE'RE PREGNANT!!!:
Okay, so do you really know how hard it has been the past few weeks to keep a secret???  As planned, Cary I took an Ovulation Test, planned our romantic evening, and Mr. Hedges hit the target on the first go.  Go Mr. Hedges!  LOL!  :)  Okay, so two weeks after conception and one week before I was suppose to start my menstrual cycle, I just couldn't stand it.  I am a VERY impatient person.  I took a home pregnancy test and I tell you, the line was so extremely faint, that it would have taken a microscope to see it clearly.  I even showed the test to Cary and he said I was seeing things because there was nothing there... and not to be getting his hopes up.  So, anywho, he goes to work, and the day progresses... and I can't stand it, I want to know... heck I NEED TO KNOW.  I have brides calling about October and November weddings.  I can't continue to book weddings not knowing if I'm pregnant or not.  So I did what any impatient girl would do at 3:05pm and the doctor's office closes at 5:00pm.  I called and said "I'm coming in for a blood test!"  An hour later, a surprise phone call to Gayla, and a personal visit to Cary's work, it had been made official... we were pregnant.  Gayla was extremely happy and made me all sappy by hearing how elated she was and Cary hasn't stopped smiling for the past three weeks.  We are excited, but to be honest, it hasn't quite sank in with me yet.  So we had to get all the formalities out of the way, telling our family, friends, and our first doctor's appointment was today.  I am seven weeks pregnant (you know the doc counts from the first day of your last period) as of tomorrow.  My due date is set for October 29th.   We don't have any preferences for a boy or girl, just as long as it is a healthy baby... although my mother has already instinctively set her mind that it's a girl.  I kinda have too though.  I strongly feel it's a girl... but I am cool with either sex.  We haven't even begun to think of names  and I just sat looking aimlessly at a Toys R Us ad this past week trying my best to make myself believe I will soon be a mommy.  What?  Me?  Julie Hedges?  Career Girl?  Ex-Party Girl?  A Mommy?  Yes friends, if you look out your window, you will see some pigs flying by and I just saw on the Weather Channel that Hell has indeed froze over.  Thankfully, I haven't suffered from any morning sickness as of yet.  I pray that I won't.  However, I have been really bad sick with a cold for the past two weeks.  I had bad nasal congestion, coughing, headaches, and a low-grade fever.  The doc checked me over pretty good today and really believes it is my allergies giving me a hard time.  He's put me on some meds that are safe for the baby and hopefully I'll be feeling better soon.  Well I guess that's all I have for now.  Heck, that's enough.  LOL.  It's been killing me to wait to tell y'all, but I really wanted to get that first appointment in and tell some other friends before I announced it to the world.  Cary and I just ask that everyone pray for us over the next 8 months that we will develop and give birth to a healthy baby boy or girl.  AND, another prayer personally for me... I have a wedding scheduled October 21st... let's pray Baby Hedges will stay in the oven until his/her predicted due date.  :)  HA!  So, I guess this website will sort of turn from "Weight Loss" for the next eight months, into "Pregnancy After WLS".  I'll continue to post pictures every month, but this time, instead of my tummy getting flatter... it will be getting fatter!  Ha!  One more thing I must say... I thank God for blessing us with this pregnancy so soon.  I feel so blessed and so undeserving.  God is great.  Period.  Goodnight.

03/14/06... DAY #1405:
So I guess I'll get started with my documentation.  As of Saturday, I am seven weeks pregnant.  When I first found out I was pregnant (a month ago), I weighed 166.5 lbs.  This morning, I am still holding steady at that weight.  Although I haven't gained any weight, my breasts have gone from a "D" to a "DD".  They hurt so bad and Lord help Cary if he tries to touch them again.  LOL.  I've had to order me some new bras.  If my breasts have enlarged that much in just one month, I am afraid that I am in for some big trouble in the coming months.  Now technically I have not had "morning sickness".  I haven't done any throwing up and smells aren't making me queasy or anything... but I have retro back to that same feeling I had in my first year after surgery... that "icky" feeling after I eat.  I won't call it a nauseous feeling, 'cause it's not like that... it's just "icky" and I have to lie down and rest.  For those of you who have not had surgery yet, the best way for me to describe it would be that same feeling you get after eating Thanksgiving dinner.   You just feel full, "icky", gross and need a nap.  I have been reluctant to eat breakfast in the mornings.  I can almost tell if I did eat something, that I indeed may be sick, so instead I've been drinking a can of Atkins Chocolate Protein Shake.  I really like those.  They taste good to me.  Of course they are low in carbs, sugar, and high in vitamins and protein.  I figured the baby is getting more nutrition that way anyway.  I mean, if I did eat, it would only be a half a fried egg and a half serving of grits (my usual breakfast).  I really hope that I can maintain my weight... that is grow a baby but lose some of this fat on my butt.  Numerous WLS patients I've spoken to after their pregnancies ended up weighing less then when they started, and all had healthy babies.  I hope I will be that fortunate.  Another good thing is that I have completely lost my cravings for chocolate.  Oh yes, you heard me correctly... I HAVE NO DESIRE TO EAT CHOCOLATE.  I bought a bar a couple of weeks ago and it just sat in the freezer.  I finally threw it away yesterday.  So, the baby not liking chocolate just may be my ticket to kicking that addiction!  Woo hoo!  Well, I have taken on a new occupation... SLEEP.  You all know how energetic and on the go I am.  Good grief.  I am SOOOOO tired!  I have been sleeping so much.  I don't know how you women with corporate careers or other children do it!  I can't imagine being this tired and trying to work outside my home.  Once again, praise Jesus for giving me my dream job!  God has just worked my schedule out lately that I have been able to get all my work down and rest at the same time.  I am very blessed.  I've been told I'll come out of this tired stage once I enter my second trimester... so hopefully that is true.  Well, my Mama just called and said she made some homemade Banana Pudding.  I think the baby will like that... after all... it does have bananas in it.  :)  So off I go.  Bye. 

03/22/06... DAY #1413:
I'm now into my 8th week of pregnancy.  I put on three pounds this week, but then lost them.  Maybe it was water weight or the fact that this week I've been eating everything in sight?  I still have not had any "morning sickness" with vomiting... maybe I'll be home free??  Maybe.  I just can't find anything that I really want to eat though.  I'll take a bite of something, then want something else.  That's why I say I've been eating so much because it's just been mounds of a bite of this a bite of that.  I still don't want any chocolate.  Actually, just the thought of it makes me feel gross.  I've still been sleeping long hours.  I use to go to bed around 2am/3am.  Now it's more like 9pm.  LOL.  However, my sleep is broke up during the night with having to go pee every 2 hours.  I'm so restless at night.  My pants are starting to feel a little tight and feeling a little uncomfortable.  My sister brought me her maternity clothes, so I guess I'll be in those soon.  I also just found out that a close friend of our family is pregnant and we are only one day apart!  How cool!  Now I will have a preggie buddy.  On to other things, my hair is growing back out!  Yeah!  OMG I hated that short hair do!  I mean, in one hair cutting session I went from "Sexy" to "Soccer Mom".  Oh the horror!  LOL!  Well I have tons to do.  I'll be in touch again soon.

03/24/06... DAY #1415:
I just added a new photo to the 46 Month Gallery of me and my WLS friend, Julie C..  Cary and I met up with Julie C. and her hubby on March 12th at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA.  It had been a while since my last visit with them.  It was so good to see them... and Julie was tall and sexy as ever.  She has been very successful at keeping her weight off long term.

03/29/06... DAY #1420:
I'm now in my 9th week of pregnancy.  I put on two pounds this past week.  My weight is now at 168.5.  Numerous times during the week my weight peaked around 170 lbs.  Wow.  That is so scary.  I never wanted to see that number again.  I guess the weight gain is something I need to get use to... but it's mentally tough.  I do know that I need to get out and walk  more.  I've walked about three times this past week... but need to do more.  I've been so incredibly tired.  I know this is a part of the first timester and I also know that exercise can help with the tiredness... but dang... it can be hard to get motivated some times.  I am going to try harder this week.  Other things I'm going through is bouts with my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).  Of course, the IBS is something I had long before the pregnancy, but not being able to take my IBS medication makes the pain hard and attacks difficult to deal with at times.  I'm also getting dry patches of skin.  I'm having to use extra lotion to keep my skin moisturized.  I really don't have much to talk about this week.  Just been working and sleeping.  I did keep my nephew overnight this past week.  We had a whole day of fun.  I can't get enough of him.  Well I guess that's all for now.  Have a great week!

03/30/06... DAY #1421:
I have a few minutes before I head out the door to cover an event tonight, so I thought I would let you know that I feel like the Goodyear Blimp.  I got back on the scale, and it still says 168.5.  Now granted, I would love to be 140 lbs., but my point is... I've only gained 2 pounds since becoming pregnant... so WHY DO I FEEL SO FAT???  My boobs are enourmous, I can't wear any of my regular tops/blouses because they are tight around my chest.  My pants are all tight, and I swear my butt is 5 feet wide.  I feel gross.  I don't enjoy feeling like a fat girl.  I hate this feeling.  Will this sloshy, fat, gross feeling eventually subside?  Am I just retaining a few gallons of fluid?  My belly is poking out something crazy... but I'm only 9.5 weeks pregnant.  How can that be?  Is it all fat?  Have I just become a fat girl again?  And for goodness sakes, don't anyone come up with a crazy idea like twins.  Is all this normal or abnormal at 9.5 weeks?  Okay... well the Fat Girl is signing off now.  Mooooooo.


04/09/06... DAY #1431:
Well, I am now in my 11th week of pregnancy.  Each time I attempted to update the Journal this past week, the phone would ring and I would get side tracked with business stuff.  The scale this morning reads 168 lbs.  So I lost a 1/2 pound somewhere.  I did get out and walk this past week several mornings for 30 minutes.  I think getting straight out of bed and exercising will be a better plan for me.  Trying to wait until the afternoon when I've completed my work is impossible.  By that time I am exhausted.  Having the exercise out of the way for the day made me feel less stressed.  I feel a little better this week... not as fat and sloshy feeling.  I had/have been retaining a lot of fluid.  Of course, it doesn't help that I salt my food down.  Salt had never been a concern as I have low blood pressure, but now it seems to make me retain fluid.  Who knows.  Anywho, I've been extremely busy with photography.  It's wedding season and the work load is on... not to mention the work I've been doing for "Thrive Magazine" and also covering events for the "Northland Neighbors" paper.... but you know me... If I'm not busy, I'm not happy.  I've got to be going all the time or I feel like I'm being lazy.  As far as the pregnancy, I still have not experienced any morning sickness.  I've felt "icky"... but no throwing up.  My skin continues to be dry.  I've been taking oatmeal baths and using lots of lotion.  My breasts continue to get bigger.  They hurt so bad.  I can't stand to be without a bra.  Sleeping at night continues to be less than relaxing.  I wake up every two hours needing to go to the bathroom.  I think I've been to the bathroom more times in the last eleven weeks then I went all last year.  I've uploaded a couple of new images that my brother took of me during a wedding we photographed yesterday.  I look like a Cheese Monkey... oh well... I'll just blame it on the pregnancy.  The pictures are in the 47 Month Gallery.  Well, I'm off to go get ready for another full day of photo shoots... my weekends are everyone else's Mondays and Tuesdays.  Have a great Sunday!

04/12/06... DAY #1434:
Just a quick update... Cary and I had our second baby appointment yesterday and we got to hear the heartbeat.  It was strong, so that made me feel good.  It sort of made it all real.  I haven't had any morning sickness, so it's almost like "Okay, am I really pregnant?"  Hearing that heartbeat made it real.  Doc said I was right on target and that all my bloodwork looked great.  Yeah!  Anywho, I've got a busy week ahead but just wanted to update real quick.  Big hugs!

04/15/06... DAY #1437:
Good Morning, I'm still doing good.  Weighed in at 168 lbs. this morning... so still holding.  I think a two pound gain for three months pregnant is not too bad.  I've been feeling a lot better the past few days... not as sloshy or bloated feeling.  I've been eating good and ensuring that I get in my water and protein.  I still have no desires for chocolate.  It's amazing how the change of hormones in your body can turn off certain addictions... but thank goodness it did!  I feel so much better being free from the Chocolate Demon.  Cary and I are going for an ultrasound on Wednesday.  I'll post pics as soon as possible after the appointment.  I don't have a wedding this weekend.  Woo Hoo!  I get to rest!!!  Most folks don't get married on Easter weekend.  Cary and I are going to spend some "us" time 'cause he has the weekend off too.  Anywho, just wanted to pop in and let everybody know that I am doing good and feeling well.  I actually got some good sleep last night too!  Happy Easter!

04/20/06... DAY #1442:
Hope everyone had a good Easter holiday.  Cary and I took off to Atlanta on Saturday to an Atlanta Braves game.  We got to sit in the Lexus area.  That was pretty nice.  We had a lot of fun.  We stayed over and then headed home Easter afternoon where we had a cookout at my parents house.  I'm well into my 12th week of pregnancy.  I weighed 169 lbs. this morning.  I'm still doing an Atkins Shake every morning, along with a egg and a 1/2 cup of grits about an hour later.  I usually have four more small meals throughout the day.  Yesterday we went to "Babywaves" for a 2D and 4D ultrasound.  The baby weighs 2 ounces and is about 3.5 inches long.  We'll go back in about 4 weeks to find out the sex.  I posted pictures in the 47 Month Gallery.  Cary is so excited he can hardly contain himself.  I had to make wallet size images of the ultrasound pics so he could take them to work.  :)  Cary is so good with babies.  He's going to make a great Daddy.  My nephew aka "Pickle" (that's Aunt Julie's nickname for him) was over yesterday.  He sat at the computer with Cary and just intently watched him.  It was so sweet.  Anywho.  Well, I have an extremely busy day.  I'm off to several shoots this morning.  Have a great day!

05/04/06... DAY #1456:
I'm alive!  I've been in Florida on vacation.  I'll update soon... have a mess load of work and mail 6 feet high to catch up on.  I'll write soon.


05/10/06... DAY #1462:
Well I must say, it's been forever and a day since I posted, eh?  Life as a pregnant chick is TIRING.  Cary and I hit the beach in Destin, FL for four days and three nights.  We'd get up, eat, go to the beach, sleep, eat, take showers, eat, and sleep.  It was great!  We both needed the much needed rest.  I took my camera, but do you know that I did not take one picture!  The cam never came out of the bag.  When you photograph all day for a living, doing it when you're suppose to be resting just isn't the same as it use to be.  Cary did take one picture of me (looking like hell bent over) with his cell phone while we were eating at Hard Rock Cafe.  I'll post it in the 48 month gallery.  I have still not suffered any morning sickness, nausea, or throwing up and seeing as I am now out of my first trimester, I suspect I escaped that dreaded beast.  Yeah!  However, I have been sick with allergies... stuffy and runny nose, sneezing, and coughing.  I took allergy meds for weeks and my doctor finally put me on a Z-pack two days ago.  We'll see if that helps.  Another thing I have been suffering with is moodiness.  The littlest things have been irritating me... Ignorant people on the phone, my husband's driving, all the residents of Columbus' driving, repetitive emails from people asking "What kind of exercises do you do?"... FOR THE LAST TIME... READ THE FAQ'S BEFORE EMAILING ME AS INSTRUCTED ON THE WEBSITE.  I swear some folks act as if I'm holding back an ancient exercise secret and that I will finally reveal it to them in a secret coded email.  See?  I'm just MOODY.  LOL.  I've been snapping off at everybody.  There was a woman with a crying baby in the waiting room yesterday and she absolutely refused to pick up and hold the baby.  She just kept saying "hush now".  I swear I was tempted to walk over and pick the baby up myself.  My nerves and my attitude have been on edge.  I am hoping that it is pregnancy hormones and I'll soon get back to being me... or wait... is that really me and I've been faking this whole time???  LOL.  I've been teetering in the 169 to 170 range as far as weight.  I haven't been walking or exercising.  I know... bad Julie.  I've just been SOOO TIRED.  And yes, I realize that is not an excuse, but I do have one for the next two days... :)  My doctor put me on bed rest for the next two days seeing as I've been burning the candle at both ends.  She thinks that may be what is causing my immune system to be so wacky.  So far so good.  The baby's heartbeat is good and I'm looking more pregnant everyday.  I feel like a big 'ol sloshy watermelon and I know I still have a way to go.  I've to tell all my friends that read this website something they may not want to hear... then again, others may cheer and say "It's about time!  You were getting on our nerves!".  I have found that it is getting harder and harder to keep up with my Journal.  I've been at this for four plus years now and updated it faithfully.  It just seems it has become more of a journal of my weekly activities now and not so much about weight loss and/or weight loss surgery.  I am so busy with my business, family, and tired from the pregnancy... I can only imagine how life will change when the baby gets here.  I guess what I am trying to say is that the updating of the Journal/Website may begin to slow down.  I didn't say it was coming to a halt as of yet... just said it will slow down.  I just find myself talking about the same things week after week.  My priorities have changed in life and the exciting party scene is now me and Cary curled up watching our rented movies.  It's been a wonderful ride the past few years, but I now want to change my focus from me and weight loss surgery to me, Cary, and our family.  Anywho, again... this is not my last post.  I'm just slowing down.  We will find out what the baby's gender is next week, so I'll post again then.  Goodnight and stay tuned.

05/20/06... DAY #1472:
Good Morning.  Hope everyone is well.  Tomorrow will mark 17 weeks in my pregnancy.  My weight this morning is 171 lbs.  So that's an official gain of 4.5 pounds since I found out I was expecting.  My eating habits really haven't changed too much.  I still have no cravings for the expensive chocolate.  Do y'all have any idea how much money I have saved by not spending $20+ a week on chocolate???  I seem to be getting fuller quicker though.  I'll have three or four bites and be completely full, but be hungry again in two hours... so I've still been eating the little meals more often.  Cary and I went walking a few times in the past week.  I have still been so tired though.  Everything I read says that in your second trimester you will miraculously feel this new wave of energy.  Well I'm still waiting for the wave to hit me because I am TIRED.  Let's take yesterday for instance.  I decided to take the day off.  I had all these errands I was going to run.  I manage to make it to the bank and by my Mom's for a few to see my little Pickle.  I was out and about maybe an hour.  I just was so tired and didn't feel good, so I said to myself that I would head home for a little two hour nap and then get out again.  That two hours turned into a six hour nap!  Then I went back to bed a few hours later for the night.  This is definitely not "normal" for me... Miss On The Go.  Anywho.  I'm managing.  I'm on my second dose of antibiotics this week.  The Z-pack did not do the trick.  I've still been a watery eyed, runny nose, coughing, clearing my throat, sneezy mess.  I think that has gotten some of my energy too.  Fighting this cold/allergies has been just terrible.  My friend Ceri from South Wales came into town.  We met when I worked at TSYS many years ago.  She moved back home to the UK shortly after and we've kept in touch every since.  Well, she finally made it back to the States to visit.  Her father lives in North Carolina and she made plans to visit me and a few of her other friends here in Columbus while she was over.  I received a voicemail from her one evening that she had made it to town and to call her when I got in.  I got the voicemail the next afternoon.  I called the hotel, but they said she had already checked out.  I was at a loss.  I knew she didn't  come for one night and leave???  I finally received a call from Ceri a couple of days later.  She was in North Carolina at her Dad's.  After she left the voicemail, her husband and her went out for dinner.  As they were returning to the hotel for the evening, Ceri took a wrong stop in her heels on some uneven pavement and fell down.  Turns out it wasn't a simple fall.  She broke her leg in like three different places.  She was rushed to the hospital where they recommended surgery.  They decided to make the trip back to North Carolina where she could have surgery and rest in the comfort of her father's home.  She had plates, pins, and rods... all kinds of metal and goodies put in.  I hope she doesn't set off the metal detector when she heads back home.  She is on bed rest for 6 to 8 weeks and can't fly back home until she receives clearance from the surgeon.  Goodness grief Ceri!  Talk about an eventful trip back to the States.  I was so devastated that we missed one another, but she promises to be back soon.  I've banned her from wearing heels!!!  Well this past week was filled mostly with work.  On Friday the 12th, I spent the day with my Mom to celebrate Mother's Day.  We started our day at the Columbus Museum where we had a Mother's Day lunch.  The tables were nicely decorated with fresh vases of flowers for all the guests to take home.  We enjoyed a tour of their Mothers art collection.  From there we browsed in and out of some local stores burning some time until our spa appointments.  We each had a one hour massage and make-over.  It was a lot of fun and my Mom says she's ready to go again.  Well my Gayla Rebecca will be coming to town soon.  She's gotten all skinny and she's gone blonde!  I can't wait to see her.  Cary and I, my Mom, Dad, Sister, Nephew, and Cary's Mom all went to my 4-D Ultrasound appointment this past Thursday.  The baby is growing nicely and we found out that it's a girl.  Cary and I were in such shock because we swore it was a boy.  It's back to the drawing board because we had no girl names picked out.  We just can't seem to find one we like.  Don't you know that little girl is going to have her Daddy wrapped around her finger?  I can see it now.  I'll be the wicked, mean, strict Mom and Cary will be the sweet, his daughter does no wrong, your mama is so mean and crazy, Daddy.  Yep.  Well that's all for now.  Again, I'm not halting the Journal yet... just slowing down.  Have a great day.

06/05/06... DAY #1488:
Went for my 5 month ultrasound this morning.  Yeppers, it's still a girl.  :)  So far she seems to be a pretty healthy baby.  Cary and I are still deciding on a name.  My due date has been changed to 10/27.  I still think she's going to come later... on the 29th... or maybe even a Halloween baby.  Either way though, as long as she comes in October, she can always have themed birthday parties.  Who doesn't love a great Halloween Birthday party?  She is the size of a Coke can now.  She is 7 inches long and weighs 12 ounces.  My weight is now 176.5, a total gain of ten pounds.  The nurse told me I was right on target... actually a little below, so I guess I'm doing good with the weight gain.  I've taken a liking to ice cream... that seems to be my pregnancy craving, so I'm surprised I haven't gained more.  I have been exercising, but still expereince low energy and mild headaches.  I'm starting to think that I may never get my "second trimester wind of energy".  I've been feeling better with the allergies.  I still have them, but the coughing seems to have disappeared and my sneezing is not as much.  Gayla visited on Monday, May 29th.  I posted a new pic of us in the 48 month gallery.  I look fat and very pregnant!  Well I really don't know much to talk about right now.  Gotta get busy on the past three weddings I've photographed... busy week ahead.  Have a great week!


06/21/06... DAY #1504:
Yea, I know... it's been too long since I last posted... but, if you were a member of my Yahoo WLS Support Group, you'd hear from me MUCH more often.  I usually post 3 days out of the week on there.  So yes, this is a commercial for my Yahoo WLS Support Group.  It's free and I won't even charge you to hear me babbling about Baby Hedges.  :)  Okay, let's talk about Baby Hedges.  She has been performing stunt moves and Yoga in my belly.  Either that or she is planning her escape route.  I haven't quite figured out yet what it is she is kicking, but when she hits that one spot, she makes me jump straight out of the bed.  It hurts!  Yes, you hear me whining.  I know, not something you're use to from Julie Hedges... but look, it's Summer, I'm feeling like a big watermelon, I'm cranky, and PREGNANT.  I think it's an unwritten code that strong women are allowed to be whiney when pregnant.  If it hasn't been written yet, well... hell, I just wrote it!  My food craving has changed since I last posted.  I'm moved on from the ice cream to NAVEL ORANGES!  I can't get enough.  If you live in Florida, I apologize in advance, but they'll be a shortage this year.  I can sit down and eat 5 at a time.  I love 'em!  Hey, it beats ice cream, right?  Nothing new really going on.  I wake up, work, eat, work, eat, work, and go to bed.  I've become the Pee Pee Girl.  Oh yes, every pregnant girl's nightmare... I sneeze, I pee in my pants.  Pregnancy is so beautiful, elegant, and attractive, right? I've resorted to, what Cary calls, "Pee Pee pads"... aka Old Women diaper pads.  I know, some of y'all are thinking, "Why does Julie tell us this stuff?"... well, if I don't, who else will?  You know me, I'm just real, and if that includes discussing urine samples, well... so be it.  :)  Cary and I still have not come up with a name.  She'll be 20 years old and we'll still be calling her "Baby"... but like Patrick Swayze once said "Nobody puts Baby in a corner".  I have so many friends right now that are pregnant too.  It's great because we can all sit on the phone and moan about our pregnancy aches and pains.  At least Baby Hedges won't be lacking play mates.  Well, my sis is hosting a Baby Shower for me on Sunday, August 20th at 2pm.  It will be held in Columbus.  Everyone is invited and I will post more info whenever it's provided to me.  I would love to see all my out of town WLS buds.  Heck, we could turn it into a WLS Convention.  Well, I don't have much to talk about and I feel like I'm just babbling.  (Oh no, I just sneezed.)  I'll holler back soon.

07/05/06... DAY #1518:
I hope everyone's 4th was good.  I pretty much rested all day.  I've gotten good at the rest thing.  :)  Okay, so we finally decided on a name.  Baby Hedges is now officially "London Alexandra".  The name London is English and means "fierce ruler of the world".  The name Alexandra is Greek and means "protector of mankind".  Statistics on the names (you know we did our research) are as follows:  The first report of the name London to the Social Security office was in 1994.  In 2005, it ranked #538 out of the top 1000 names reported to the SS office.  The first report of the name Alexandra to the Social Security office was in 1915.  Since 1990, it has ranked around #37 out of the top 1000 names reported to the SS office.  I've had several emails asking where Cary and I are registered.  We are registered at  We certainly don't expect any gifts, but appreciate anything that is sent to us.  We don't have the first baby item, other than the few big items we purchased back in January, before we were pregnant.  When we went to register, I was totally overwhelmed by the things they have for babies.  Good grief!  We didn't have all this stuff when we were babes.  Sheesh!  What do you even do with half that stuff?  We have a lot to learn!  We start our Childbirth Series classes next week.  That should be fun.  I wanted to make y'all aware of some info I came upon.  I called Dr. Champion's office after I was told at my next OB-GYN appointment that they would be performing the Gestational Diabetes test on me.  When I found out that the test involved consuming large amounts of sugar in a small amount of time, I immediately called Dr. Champion.  Here is the letter that Dr. Champion sent me:


Glucose Tolerance Tests after Gastric Bypass


A number of our post-op gastric bypass patients have been asked to have a glucose tolerance test or GTT by their gynecologist if they become pregnant.  We strongly urge you to not have the test done, as it will result in the “dumping syndrome” with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure and low blood sugar which could injure the unborn child.


After a gastric bypass any food or liquid immediately enters the small intestine and foods high in sugar cause this violent reaction.  The liquid cola or other solid food used to perform the GTT is essentially sugar.  In addition, the GTT will be abnormal in 100% of gastric bypass patients, so it provides no useful information to the doctor, and may in fact harm the fetus.


If your OB-GYN has questions, please show them this document and have them call our office to speak with Dr. Champion.  770-425-5525 ext. 4

Just wanted any potential post-op preggers or future post-op preggers to be alerted to this.  I saw my OB/GYN today.  She will be treating me as if I do have gestational diabetes for a couple of weeks.  I will meet with a dietician, and will monitor my blood sugars for two weeks.  If after the two weeks, the tests are fine, I can resume my normal diet.  I'll let y'all know how that goes.  I am now 181.5 lbs.  That is a total gain of 15 pounds, and the doc says I'm still on target... although I feel like a huge buffalo.  I'll try to post some new pics soon.  I just rarely find myself in front of the camera.  If I'm not working, then I'm at home without done hair and makeup.  I certainly don't want to continue posting pics of me in my black work shirt and pants... nor do I want to post pics of my ugly hair and no makeup... I'd scare everybody.  I'll try to get some pics in some time soon though.  Other than work... nothing really new.  I still stay tired and London stays on the move.  Hope all is well with everyone.  Take care and I'll post again soon.  Big hugs!




07/19/06... DAY #1532:
What's up peeps?  I tell ya what, Little London was her most active today.  She played ALL DAY LONG.  I think she joined the gym in there and has been lifting weights.  She also has a punching bag in there that she has been practicing on.  She is literally kicking my ass!  I'm happy she is so active though.  Although it hurts sometimes when she gets to kickin' ... I certainly wouldn't have it any other way.  Well, it's been two weeks since I last updated, so let me catch up.  I mean, not that there is a lot to catch up on... but I'll ramble on anyway.  :)  A few folks have emailed asking if I plan on breastfeeding.  Yes, I do realize that breastfeeding speeds up the weight loss after delivery, however, I plan on bottle-feeding.  Me, my brother, and sister were all bottle fed, and we turned out purdy darn smart.  :)  Breastfeeding is a personal choice and I don't knock women that do it.  It's just not for me.  Cary and I started the classes at the hospital last week.  We are currently taking "Prepared Childbirth".  Can you say "For the love of God, please update the videos!"  There's nothing like watching child birthing videos from the early 1980's with the feathered hair-do's and velvet jogging suits... and good grief... did those women ever hear of keeping it "neat and trimmed"???  Watching a baby's head come out of an ambush of pubic hair up to a woman's belly button and down the side of her legs is just... well... GROSS!  GAG!  We took the tour of the hospital tonight.  I feel better knowing what everything looks like and how everything will work.  As far as weight gain, I'm still within range.  I teeter between 182 lbs. and 185 lbs.  I also started the gestational diabetes testing today, although I have not been diagnosed with it.  This is just a precautionary measure because Dr. Champion did not want me to take the GTT test.  I will test my blood sugars four times a day for two weeks straight.  If after two weeks, my numbers stay within normal range, I won't have to do it anymore.  I tested four times today and so far, so good... I'm within normal range.  I'm sure I'll do fine.  Diabetes does not run in my immediate family and I've never had any problems.  I'll keep you posted on how the testing continues to go.  Well, I guess that is about it for the night.  On an unrelated note, y'all know that my Parents are BIG into Christmas.  Just know, that when you call my parent's house, my Dad answers the phone "North Pole, Santa speaking".  Yes... he does that year round.  So it's July, which means the 2006 Christmas plans are in full force at their house.  I am currently building a website for them that will be ready before the holiday season.  It's actually almost done now... just needs a little more tweaking.  I'd love for you to go out and take a look at it when you have a moment.  The address is  Okay, well I'm heading to bed... got lots of work to do tomorrow.  Goodnight and I'll update again soon.

08/04/06... DAY #1548:
Evening Friends!  I know... too long since my last post.  Well, I've now done the two weeks worth of blood sugar testing and all my numbers were within normal range.  However, my doctor, I guess for fear of any complications, has suggested I do two more weeks of testing.  I only have to do it twice a day now though... once in the morning and once in the evening.  God bless those of you that do have diabetes and have to do this testing everyday after each meal.  I now have a better respect for what y'all go through.  This finger pricking and documenting is for the birds!  Cary and I completed our 1980's Prepared Childbirth class.  We are scheduled for several more classes.  Our next one coming up is Car Seat Safety.  My weight is up to 190 lbs. now.  That is a total gain of 23.5 lbs. since I got pregnant.  I know that is within normal range, but I also have 2.5 more months to go!  I have to admit that now the weight gain does make me nervous.  Most people are telling me that I am all belly, but I see the jelly rolls sitting on top of my butt!  I have not done much exercising since I've been pregnant.  The Elliptical I bought is collecting dust.  Each time I've tried getting on it since becoming pregnant, I get lightheaded.  Cary and I also have been walking a few times, but again, I get lightheaded.  I also get lightheaded and dizzy at my outdoor photo sessions.  So... exercise just doesn't seem safe for me right now.  My back pain is starting to creep back on me too.  Those slipped discs are rubbing together and when I stand for more than 10 minutes, the top of my right leg loses sensation, like it goes to sleep.  It's really weird too.  It's just the top of the leg, like the skin.  My Mom seems to think London is sitting on my sciatic nerve or on some nerve causing me to lose sensation in that area.  As soon as I sit down, I immediately regain sensation again.  Cary and I are getting excited.  I'm afraid that the baby is already going to be spoiled though.  Daddy Cary has already bought her a new TV/DVD combo so she can watch her Baby Einstein videos.  I've also been looking at bedroom furniture.  I found a really pretty solid maple chest of drawers at a local furniture store that I just love.  I've always loved Maple and it will match her crib and changing table.  Her room is coming together.  I bought a fetal heart monitor off of Ebay.  Not the ones with the headphones like they sell in the stores.  That piece of equipment is a piece of crap!  I've never been able to hear anything with it.  Instead, I bought one like they use at the doctor's office and it has an LED screen on it that gives you the heartbeat reading.  My friend Beth tells me I've become an obsessive worrier.  I can see bits of my mother's characteristics emerging from me.  I have become a worry wart.  One day London is excessively active, as if she is competing in a soccer tournament, then the next day she just sleeps all day.  It's those sleepy days that make me crazy.  So, being able to monitor the heartbeat will keep my mind at ease.  My Mom and I went to the Spa this past week and both got 90 minute massages.  The appointment fell on one of London's game days and not a sleepy day... so it was hard to relax completely.  She was kicking so hard that you could see the sheet bouncing up and down!  Ha!  It was nice to get my back and feet massaged though.  My feet have been hurting too.  Well I FINALLY get a weekend off!!!  Woo hoo!  Cary has the weekend off too and we're going to spend the weekend enjoying each other's company.  Cary and I were talking yesterday about how lucky we both are to have one another.  We truly love each other 100%, are completely still madly in love with each other, get along well, are friends, and rarely argue... and the few times we do, it's over before it began.  He helps me around the house too and never complains.  I love him so much and can't wait until we have our baby girl to complete the family package.  Well I guess that's about it.  If you have a second, go out to my Daddy's Christmas website and check out the update to his 2006 Christmas project.  You'll see a little slideshow on the Projects page and can then click to get more info.  I think it is totally amazing that my Dad came up with the idea, drew it out on a drawing board, bent and molded each piece of metal precisely, welded each piece, wrapped the pieces with lighting, painted them, and computerized the sequence with a controller.  He built everything from scratch including the controller!  He is so talented!  The website is  Have a great weekend and I'll report again soon!




08/14/06... DAY #1558:
I got the Baby Heart Monitor in the mail this past weekend.  LOVE IT!  My sister, Gracie, and I were playing with it listening to the baby's heartbeat.  My 18 month nephew, "Pickle", stood by supervising.  He was so intently listening.  Then when we were all done, he did the cutest, sweetest thing.  He came over, lifted up my shirt to expose my belly, then started rubbing my belly.  Then he looked at it, put his ear down to listen, then looked at it again, and started rubbing it again.  It was SOO SWEET.  I just love that little booger to death.   I can't wait to see how he will react when the baby comes.  I know he will take good care of her.  I am so excited and can't wait to see what she is going to look like.  I told Cary this morning "Gosh, we have to wait 2 more months!".  Cary's reply was "Well I've been waiting 10 years!"  Ahhhh... touché!  It's hard to believe that Cary and I have been together 14 years now.  WOW!  I was looking back through old photos last night... him and I have changed so much.  We were just teenagers when we met.  Our hairstyles, clothing styles, personalities, everything has evolved.  Cary is still as sexy to me as that first day I met him.  He was cutting grass outside yesterday.  It was hot, he was sweating, and he had his shirt off.  He didn't know I was watching him out the window... HA.  I was like "Dayum that's a sexy man in my yard".  I had to go out there and pinch his butt.  Hee hee.  My tummy seems to be getting bigger by the second.  I am at 191.5 as of this morning.  That is a 25 pound weight gain thus far.  I'm hoping to stay under 30 pounds, although I realize I have no real control over that.  So this past week I've developed a new craving... Starbuck's Iced Latte.  I'm gonna go broke at $3.75 a drink!  My shower is this coming Sunday.  I'm excited!  I can't wait to see all my friends and family.  Some folks I haven't seen in months and some over a year.  Well, this was short, but I'll be back again soon.  :)


08/16/06... DAY #1560:
Okay, I got no, I repeat, NO sleep last night.  London had the hiccups for I swear three hours.  The other three hours, she threw a party and invited all of her friends.


08/26/06... DAY #1570:
Hey Friends.  Well, as of this morning I am still holding at 191.5.  I actually think I've lost some fat weight, but gained baby weight, so it all equaled out.  Because London has been pushing on my tummy and lungs when I eat, I can't eat much... and then I can't breathe... so I haven't been eating as much.  However, no worries, trust me, she is getting plenty of vitamins and nutrition in there.  This past week's craving has been Hot Wings.  The hotter, the better.  I've been eating them for breakfast, lunch, snack, three o'clock in the morning... you name it... I NEED HOT WINGS washed down with an Iced Latte.  LOL!  I went to the doctor last week.  Little London is now head down.  Now granted, the doc said she could decide to turn back around, but she seems to be staying head down and just rolling over and over.  She is not doing so much kicking and poking these days as she is rolling.  I must say that seeing a whole arm, elbow, and hand slide across the inside of your belly is a little freaky.  I don't know why that creeps me out so bad.  I think I was allowed to watch one too many horror flicks when I was a kid.  It just reminds me of the movie Alien.  I know... I'm weird.  Anywho.  Well my Baby Shower was a success.  I must say that my Mom and Sis did a fantastic job of planning and organizing it.  It was well put together with great games, food, prizes, and surprises.  Cary and I have been so blessed with a great close-knit family and lots of fantastic loving friends.  London got lots of needed goodies and clothes.  Thank goodness 'cause before the shower I thought she might have to go around nekkid.  :)  She got some really cute ones and I'm like "Hello, do they make a matching adult outfit in this???"  Oh trust me, she will look like a little diva.  I updated the 51 Month Gallery with a few pics from the Baby Shower.  Take a look-see when you get a chance.  Well, my belly has gotten so big and tight across that I am growing out of my maternity clothes.  I am down to two pair of pants, one pair of shorts, and three shirts that fit.  I know Cary gets tired of seeing me in the same outfits day in and day out... but thank goodness I don't have to go to a job everyday.  With the Photography, I see different clients everyday, so they have no clue I've been wearing the same shirt and pants for a week.  LOL.  Overall, I'm feeling really good.  My allergies continue to bother me... constant dry eyes, sneezing, and the constant peeing in my pants when I sneeze... BUT, I finally seem to have caught that "second wind of energy".  It seems I haven't been as tired the past week.  I've been going out and doing some shopping and trying to get London's room organized.  I haven't been taking as many daily naps.  I'm sure this spurt of energy won't last much longer though.  Cary has been glowing and is so ready for the baby.  I actually think he's glowing more than me.  He is so proud that I think his chest is going to pop.  Can't remember if I mentioned this, but my Mom had bought him a "DAD" t-shirt for Father's Day and I have to beat him to get him to take it off long enough for me to wash it.  I am just so anxious to see what this baby is going to look like.  We shall see soon I suppose.  Well, I'm off to run some errands.  Have a great weekend!


08/27/06... DAY #1571:
Well, it's 6:30am and it's time for London's Yoga Class.  Between her and the Charlie Horses in my legs, I decided just to go ahead and get up 'cause sleep was not an option.  I look over at Cary and he's resting so peacefully, makes me wanna just poke him in the belly over and over.  LOL.


09/03/06... DAY #1578:
Can someone please tell me what the deal is with kid's toys and clothing?  Good grief they have like a hundred plastic wrapped wires and tags.  Trying to get a toy or piece of clothing detached from the cardboard it came in is a 10 minute job.  I've never seen items on such lock down.  Most high dollar electronics aren't even on such lock down.  It's very frustrating.  Anywho.  On Wednesday, August 30th, Cary and I went for the 31 week 4-D ultrasound.  We really had not planned to go back, but I am so dog gone impatient that I just wanted to know what she looks like.  We got some really great pictures form the session.  I'll post one in the 51 month gallery.  She weighs 4.5 pounds as of right now with an estimated birth weight of around 8 pounds.  A whopper!  I was only 6 pounds and a few ounces when I was born.  She's pretty snug as a bug in there.  At one point during the session, she had her toes and feet in front of her face.  Talk about an acrobat!  It's weird to see my stomach move in waves as she rolls, kicks, and punches.,  She actually punched me so hard the other night that Cary, laying on the other side of the bed says "Did she just kick you?".  I'm like "Yeah, why?".  He said "Because I felt the vibration all the way over here."  Yep.  She's a strong little booger.  I got to see Gayla briefly on Saturday, September 2nd.  She came into town for a visit.  It was so good to see her.  I guess the next time I see her,  Little London  will have made her debut.  This morning Cary and I spent some time together.  We had a 6am breakfast of pancakes and sausage in Callaway Gardens, then watched the 8th Annual Hot Air Balloon launch.  We also took a Hot Air Balloon ride.  It was awesome.  I've always wanted to ride in a Hot Air Balloon and finally got my chance today.  I love flying and the ride was great... other than the fact I kept worrying that I was going to catch my hair on fire.  The burner seemed to be a little too close to my head.  LOL.  I added a pic of me and Cary from this morning to the 51 Month Gallery.




09/18/06... DAY #1593:
What's everybody been up to?  I've been a busy working bee.


09/26/06... DAY #1601:
Well the count down begins kids.  One month to go till I pop out a minature party animal with a lampshade on her head.  She has adopted KISS's "I wanna rock and roll all night, and party every day" as her official dance song.  This kid never sleeps.  I went to bed at midnight and was awaken by her tapping at 3am.  I roll over.  Her taps turn into somersauts and bootyshakes.  With London dancing and her Daddy cutting down trees in his sleep with the snoring, I had to just go ahead and get up.  So here it is, 4:00pm in the afternoon, and I've already been up 13 hours.  I've got portrait sessions this evening, so no sleep for me!  Anywho.  So my weight is 195lbs, which is a 28.5 pound weight gain thus far.  Not too bad.  I'm okay with that.


10/07/06... DAY #1612:
Happy 3 Year Anniversary to me!  Today I am celebrating three years of freedom from Corporate America.  I have now been 100% successfully Self-Employed for three years and enjoying every minute of it!  I thank and praise God everyday for the blessings he has provided me, Cary, and my business.  I am living my American Dream of owning my own business.  I truly love what I do and couldn't imagine being happy doing anything else.  THANK YOU JESUS!!!  Well, we have 19 more days to go until we hit my due date.  I'm holding at 195.5 pounds... a 29 pound weight gain.  I said I wanted to stay under 30 pounds and I think I just may make it.  Overall, I've had a good pregnancy.  I can't complain.  I've had no complications... just little aggravations, like when I couldn't wear my contacts because my allergies were so bad or lack of sleep... but no REAL complications..  London has been a good baby.  Also, so far, I haven't had any swelling at all.  My hands, wrist, face, and ankles are all still normal sized and I am still wearing my wedding ring.  I didn't even think of it until Cary and Beth on the same day mentioned that they've never known anyone to be nine months pregnant with no swelling.  I dunno.  Maybe so.  I just drink so much water that maybe that flushes my system?  Well, I attempted to take Maternity Leave.  I did block out all weekends in October from weddings (except one, I'll explain), but I just can't seem to say "no" to the Portrait Sessions.  I swore I would not take on anymore work, but when people call really wanting me to photograph their family... I just can't resist.  I'm just a glutton for punishment.  I do have one more wedding to photograph before London gets here.  It's scheduled for October 21st, which is also me and Cary's Eleventh Anniversary.  I've had this wedding booked since September of last year.  I've grown to become friends with the bride and can't wait to cover her wedding.  I feel confident that little London will hold out until after that date.  KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED!  However, never fear, I do have a back-up plan.  I've been working on getting my hospital bag packed.  I have London's ready to go and the car seats are all installed.  Have I mentioned that I'm sportin' a mini van now?  Yep, I did the Mommy thing and got a mini van.  I lost about 25 Cool Points when I purchased it.  LOL!  We still have our two SUV's and I'll continue to use mine for business purposes, but I needed a vehicle big enough to haul around my little London, her cousin Pickle, me, my sister, all of our gear, and still have room enough for other passengers if so be it.  It's been a lot easier to get in and out of too during the pregnancy because it's lower to the ground than my Montero Sport.  My brother keeps threatening to get me a bumper sticker that says "Mom's Taxi".  LOL.  I will hurt him!  :)  Speaking of transportation and getting around though, what is it with my immediate family and husband treating me like I'm crippled???  I'm not allowed to go out of town, not allowed to travel in the car for too long, not even allowed to walk for any great distances.  I know they are just caring and concerned, but y'all know how I am... Miss On The Go.  This having to rest thing and being on restriction is the pits!  My brother says I get around like I'm not even pregnant.  As many of you know, he is my Photography Assistant, and has been a God send on our photo-sessions... but he sure is over-protective!  :)  I guess that's a good thing.  Well, when I do get some sleep, I have been having CRAZY pregnancy dreams!  Last night I dreamed I was giving birth on an Airplane in the middle of a hurricane.  I don't know.  It was weird and all these people that I know suddenly were qualified to keep checking my cervix.  I was just being passed around while different folks checked me.  Who knows what that means?  I wasn't embarrassed, and didn't feel violated, just felt like a science project.  It was crazy.  Anywho.  Well, this week is catch up week.  My goal is to try and rest some once I get all the photo orders out.  We shall see how well I mind the resting thing.  Have a great weekend and week!




10/17/06... DAY #1622:
Ten more days until my due date!  Of course, that doesn't mean Miss London won't decide to come early or late.  Trust me, that girl has a mind of her own.  She's still VERY active, making my stomach look like waves.  It's so WEIRD!  I'm having some cramping, like menstrual type cramps, so I know that she will be on her way soon enough.  Still no swelling, so no complaints from me!  Can't wait until Saturday is over!  The stress I have felt for nine months about this weekend's wedding will all be lifted from my shoulders.  I feel confident Miss London will hold out for us.  Cary and I will also be celebrating our Eleven Year Anniversary on Saturday.  Eleven wonderful, happy years!  I love him more and more everyday!  I can't wait until we have London to complete our family.  I've been having crazy pregnancy dreams again!  Two nights ago I dreamed I was in a video game.  There were crawling babies and poop scattered everywhere.  I had to navigate myself through the poop and babies.  If I touched poop or a baby, I would be zapped and lose energy.  I could refuel by reading nursery rhymes.  Look, I know... it sounds BIZARRE!  Last night I kept saving children and adults out of a pool and doing CPR.  Everyone survived.  Cary and I recently took an Infant CPR class, so I'm sure it has something to do with that.  Oh to just get a decent night's sleep again.  That will be the day!  Have a great week and I'll try to update when I can.


10/24/06... DAY #1629:

Three more days until my due date!  We made it!  Little London is still tucked away in the oven, and I made it through my October 21st wedding.  My next wedding is on November 18th, so hopefully she will have come and I will have had plenty of time to recoup by then.  I'm still having CRAZY dreams.  Few nights ago I dreamed me and Cary were on a scavenger hunt out in a blizzard.  One of the items on our list to find was Rancid Meat in the snow.  What in the world???


10/27/06... DAY #1632:
Well, I went to the doctor this morning. My cervix is not even open. They also did an NST test, monitoring her heart and any contractions. She's healthy. She's just sitting in there chilling out.  Cary was suppose to be an October baby also, and he ended up being born on November 4th.  Is she trying to be like her Daddy?  Is she gonna wait until next Saturday to enter this world???  I've been walking and eating pineapple, but like the doctor said... this girl will come when she wants to.  Anywho... that's the latest and greatest. I've still got my fingers crossed that she'll be here by Sunday.  Have a great weekend. I'll keep everyone posted.


10/29/06... DAY #1634:


11/01/06... DAY #1637:
Miss London has not arrived as of yet. I went to the doctor Monday.  I was 80% thinned out and 1 centimeter dilated.  I have another doctor's appointment in the morning.  I think she is trying to wait until Saturday... which is her Daddy's birthday.  I guess that would be a great birthday present for Cary seeing as he has been so patiently waiting all these years.  I'll keep everyone posted as London updates me with her schedule. :)


11/05/06... DAY #1641:
Started having back labor at 6:25pm Wednesday night.  Never once experienced any pain in the front.  Every bit was sharp shooting pains in my back and severe sharp pains through my rectum.  Labored with back contractions coming every 7 minutes until we decided to go to the hospital at 11:00pm that night.  When I arrived, the baby was very low and I was at 3 centimeters.  Within one hour I went from 3 to 5.  Contractions began to come every 3 minutes.  I got up to 9.5 at 6:00am and began to push.  London arrived at 6:36am Thursday morning after a very intense 36 minutes of pushing.  I had a natural delivery and no epidural.  It was an incredibly painful ordeal, but I made it through it.  Unfortunately, because I pushed and strained so hard, I busted every single blood vessel in my face, eyes, neck, and back.  My face was  very scary looking.  The nurses at the hospital said they have never had seen anything like it.  Doc says it will eventually all clear up.  Cary's Aunt Sandy, was my labor/delivery nurse who pretty much delivered the baby.  Miss London is 6 pounds 12 ounces and 20 inches long.  Well we are exhausted.  I will try to post again soon.




11/11/06... DAY #1647:
Hi all.  Just a quick report in.  We're doing good.  The revolving door of family and friends can be overwhelming at times, but we're appreciative.  I've lost 17 pounds so far.  The strange thing though, I haven't even been focused on my weight.  Of course I want to get this extra weight off, but what is important to me now is Cary and London.  I was thinking last night, while I'm standing at the Eckerd's counter buying my jumbo pack of maxi pads on a Friday night, that the life I had a couple years ago... the going out to party, smoking, drinking, and living it up is truly behind me.  I stood there thinking I want all my activities to involve our new family now.  On our first trip outside the house, we got no more than a mile and half down the road where we witnessed and were one car behind a serious collision at the intersection.  Whoa!  What an eye opener.  That could have been us.  That car could have nailed us on the same side, and that side of the vehicle would have been London!  I must say it shook me up.  Having a baby changes your entire thought process and actions.  As I've said many times before, WLS has completely changed my life over the past five years, and although I am no where near the end of my WLS journey, I'm putting it on cruise control so I can enjoy the new life Cary and I created.  My new family and business have my full attention now, so it may be some time before I post again.  I'm not gone... just taking a break.  Love, Julie







1/15/07... DAY #1712:
The definition of "busy" doesn't even come close to describing my life the past few months.  My business is growing by the minute, my baby is growing by the second, and my sanity is diminishing.  The business is doing very well.  Thank you Jesus!  I know I have said this a quadzillion times, but I just feel so fortunate for the blessing of my successful business.  I don't deserve such fortune and pray thankfulness to the Lord everyday.  I have already outgrown the studio we built in the new house a year and a half ago.  The goal over the next three years is to build another house/studio.  This time I want a two or three level... with a minimum of 2200 square feet per floor.  Hey, nothing wrong with dreaming big, right?  I'm currently in San Antonio, Texas for the annual PPA convention.  I've been here since Saturday morning.  Wouldn't you know that it's usually 65 to 70 degrees here, but when I show up, Texas decides to have an ice storm!!!  The high today was 32 degrees.  My suite is right on the beautiful Riverwalk and one block away from the Alamo.  Unfortunately, it's too freaking cold to go outside!!!  I miss my baby girl so terribly much, but she is having a blast with Daddy, Gammy, and PaPa.  I wanted so much to post during the holidays, but my hectic schedule just would not allow it.  I tried my hardest to take a maternity leave... but it just never happened.  I even made a call to a bride four hours out of delivery rescheduling the bridal consult we had scheduled for that afternoon.  Once I got home, I was working on images for the last wedding I photographed, along with many families I had photographed for the holidays.  It has been non-stop... and not to toot my own horn, but being a full time Mom with no maternity leave, along with running a full-time business is hard work... but with the help of the Lord, I've been making it happen!!!  Woo hoo!  My family/parents were in the news during the holidays with their Christmas Light Spectacular.  They were featured in two of the local newspapers, on two of the local television stations, and on two of the national radio talk shows.  It was awesome to say the least and each media used my images for the stories.  You can read more about my family’s Christmas Spectacular on the website I built.  The address is  Our beautiful baby makes us laugh and smile.  She has the most beautiful, happy, spirit.  I just don’t want to put her down… and since I’ve been in Texas, I’ve had to listen to how spoiled she is… missing her Mama because I carry her around like a Joey in Mommy’s pouch.  Hee hee.  Well hey… I’m only having one; I should have the right to spoil her if I wish, right?  Oh yeah, I have a new motto… “One and done.”  I honestly could not imagine loving another child of mine as much as I love London.  Of course, before London, I couldn’t image loving another child as much as I love Pickle, so… ya know… who knows… but as of right now… ONE AND DONE!  J   Why didn’t someone warn me about how expensive formula is?  GOOD GRIEF CHARLIE BROWN!  Of course my daughter (who takes after her high maintenance mother) doesn’t want the cheap powder formula… OH NO, she wants the “Ready to Feed”, $5.29 a bottle every 1.5 day, formula.  BUT, you know what?  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Mama just has to cut back on her $2.29 a day chocolate and $4.07 a day Starbucks.  Okay, so I cut back on the chocolate, but dang it… I can’t seem to get away from that darn Starbucks!  Since I’ve been in San Antonio, I’ve had two Frappacinos a day, everyday!  The barista today said, “Ma’am, you do realize it’s like negative 10 outside, and you’re drinking a frozen drink!”  Hey, addictions know no limits!  If anyone happens to know what the secret ingredients are in the Starbucks Coffee Light mix, LET ME IN!  I can't afford this new addiction of mine.  Y'all know how I am... I find something I love, then get hooked on it for months until I just get plain sick of it... but until then... help me save some money by getting me the recipe!  :)  Back to the baby… why is it that people think that they can calm your baby down better than you?  Ever met those folks?  And it’s not just one person.  Multiple people have come to our home and when the baby cries while they are holding her, they don’t want to give her back to me.  I just want to scream to the top of my lungs “GIVE ME MY BABY!!!”  I know what she likes, wants, and I know how she likes to be comforted.  Folks think they can bounce her, sing to her, “choogie choogie” her, and swing her and it will all be okay.  Anywho, just wondering if any of you have experienced the friend or family member who just won’t get a clue that the baby doesn’t feel comfortable with them and they want to be with Mommy!  Okay, done complaining.  I’m still holding onto my baby weight, but honestly, I haven’t made any great efforts to get rid of any of it as of yet.  The holidays hit us, so dieting was out of the question, and exercising, holy crap… who has the time???  On top of that, I have been sick since Christmas.  I had an upper repertory infection that I took antibiotics for.  It cleared up for three weeks, and then hit me again.  If that wasn’t enough, my Eczema decided to come up all over my arms, which has never happened before.  It’s always been localized to my hands, and then I got sty’s in both eyes… TWICE!  My hormones have been so out of whack!!!!  Sooo… no excuses, I know… I plan on getting on the ball soon ‘cause I don’t have anything to wear!  Well, I don’t know much more to talk about.  Nothing really new is going on… just staying busy.  I will try to update the journal when time permits… which may only be once a month or so, but like I said before, don’t give up on me.  I plan on continuing the Journal… it just won’t be weekly like it has in the past.  Alrighty, guess that’s it.  I wish each of you a blessed successful 2007!!!


1/19/07... DAY #1726:
So I went to annual Professional Photographers of America convention.  It's classes from 7am to 9pm everyday, and also an expo of hundreds of vendors offering products and services for photographers.  While there, Texas got hit with an ice storm.  The high daily was 32 degrees and the convention center was a four block walk from my hotel room.  I was suppose to fly out on Wednesday 01/17/07 morning, however, found out Tuesday afternoon that my flight had been cancelled until Thursday night (later to find out that all flights were cancelled until that Friday and Saturday). When I found out that flights out of San Antonio, Houston, Austin, Dallas, you name it in Texas were cancelled AND I-10, the only way out of town was closed down due to ice, I got into creative mode. The city and basically all of Texas, had shut down.  I mean, they're not use to ice and snow, ya know?  I missed London and I also had clients scheduled for Wednesday evening, all day Thursday and Friday, and a wedding Saturday.  I called the Hertz Rental Car company, which was five blocks from my hotel, at 2:55pm asking to rent a car. The lady tells me that due to weather they are closing at 3pm.  I hung up the phone, ran down to the lobby, and praise Jesus there was a taxi sitting there.  I jumped in the cab and got to the Hertz place just as they were closing the door.  I screamed "I NEED A CAR!!!".  I rented a car and was on the road by 3:30pm.  I was able to get around and get on the I-10 ramp.  I waited until I was half way to Houston before I called my Dad to tell him my insane plan... then I called Cary.  My Mom didn't find out until I was on the other side of Houston.  I drove about 40 mph, through terrible ice, rain, and sleet. My car looked like an ice capsule and my wipers finally accumulated so much ice, that they were cutting the windshield.  I was the only one on the highway until I got to Houston.  Eight and a half hours later, I made the normal six hour drive to Lafayette, LA.  It was still pretty cold there, but no ice, and Delta had a flight out of Lafayette at 6am flying to Atlanta.  I caught the flight to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Columbus and was home by 10:30am on Wednesday... earlier than my original flight which would have had me home by 1:30pm.  I realize getting on that highway was crazy, but I'm glad I got home safe. The other photographers who had to take flights were stuck in San Antonio until Friday and Saturday.


1/22/07... DAY #1729:
Happy Birthday to me.






03/14/07... DAY #1770:
Serious to goodness... I have absolutely nothing new to talk about.  My life has pretty much been mundane the past couple of months.  I'm running my photography studio full time and being a full time mom.  I only thought I was busy before I had a baby.  Holy cow!  I guess a person just learns to adapt.  Cary and I are loving life and the love of our life... Little Miss London.  She got her ears pierced a week ago.  She's bling blinging!  LOL!  I'm still struggling with this darn pregnancy weight.  I've got 30 pounds to lose.  I haven't been eating bad things... just trying to find time to exercise is what is getting me.  In order for me to lose this weight, I'm gonna have to get more exercise in.  Anywho.  Life goes on.  I'm pretty content right now.  Well, I know this update is lacking, but literally there has been nothing new going on.  I'll post again soon.  Have a great March!






05/21/07... DAY #1838:
WOW!  Two months flies by when you have a baby!  I'm enjoying my new baby... still working full-time with my business... and dang it... still trying to get this pregnancy weight off!  I will be updating my website soon with new pics and such.  Nothing really new going on... I will be updating soon though.  Stay tuned.




06/24/07... DAY #1872:
Well it appears that having a new baby in my life along with working my business full-time just doesn't allow much time for my WLS website.  Everyday I say that I plan to come out here and update... and everyday the sunsets, it's bath and bottle time, and I'm just exhausted.  My business continues to do well and I praise Jesus for that.  I have officially outgrown my house and studio we built just two years ago.  The goal is to build again within the next two years.  I'll keep you posted.  I'm still struggling getting off my baby weight.  I can't say that I have put my heart and soul into trying to lose the weight.  Although there is never a good excuse for not being able to lose weight, I can only provide you with my reasons why.  After taking care of a baby all day and working all day, I'm simply just exhausted.  I have started to graze all day and I know that this is a big "no-no".  I have got to get back to eating three small meals a day and stop the snacking all day.  I have forty-six pounds to lose.  Yes.  You heard me.  Forty-six freaking pounds.  I will do this.  I refuse to go over the 200 pound mark and I refuse to get into any size that has two digits and starts with a 2.  I just won't do it.  I can't promise that I will update soon... but I do promise to update when I have significant progress towards my goal.  On to more exciting things... Cary and I are doing great and the once spontaneous life we had is long behind us.  As any of you with children know, everything is planned around nap and feeding schedules.  Just going to the movies is a feat in itself... but we certainly wouldn't have it any other way.  London continues to thrive, surpassing each of her milestones.  She scoots and rolls anywhere she wants to go (which usually is in front of the DVD player).  The girl definitely looks like her Daddy... but no doubt she has her Mama's assertive personality.  You have no questions about what London is thinking or wants.  She is a great communicator with her hands, eyes, and facial expressions.  My Mom tells me that London will be my payback for all the trouble I gave her.  Now... I was a good child for the most part, but I never minded speaking my mind.  We can already tell that London will be the same way.  :)  Well, I guess that's all for now.  Life hasn't changed much... baby, work, sleep, baby, work, sleep... and then baby, work, sleep.   Have a great summer and I'll try to post again by fall!  ha!





Voted as "Favorite Photographer" in the Ledger Enquirer's "Reader's Choice Awards".  Thank you to all of my friends, family, clients, and associates that voted for me and my studio!  :)








10/22/07... DAY #1992:
WOW!  Where has the time gone????  Having a baby makes time just fly!  Where do I start?  Well... I guess I'll just write and ramble.  First, Happy Birthday to my baby brother today!  He's the big Two Seven!... Which makes me the big OLD AS CRAP.  Yesterday was my and Cary's 12th Wedding Anniversary.  Our marriage is still going strong and I thank God for that.  I know of so many people that I went to school with that are now divorced and I'm so thankful that Cary and I have managed to stay with it through the ups and downs.  In just eleven short days, Miss London will be a year old.  Wow!  We made it through a year.  It truly is amazing how fast they grow.  She is so beautiful, smart, and healthy.  She is our number one blessing and we thank God everyday for allowing us to have her as our daughter.  It's so funny to watch her... she looks so much like Cary but acts so much like me.  She is hell bent determined when she wants something.... and the attitude.. LAWD!  That child is me made over!  Dear Lord... help me manage my clone!  She loves to sing and when the music comes on... it's booty shaken'.  We plan to lock her away until she's 30 and put GPS tracking devices on her car!  ha!  Well, I've been holding out on telling everyone because I wanted to make sure it was working for us... but.... as of March of this year, the past seven months, Cary has been a full-time stay at home Dad.  Sprint had a national lay off early this year and unfortunately his position was dissolved.  God always answers those prayers!  When January 2007 approached and my phone began to ring off the hook with weddings for the new year, I had that bad feeling in my gut that taking care of London full time and trying to run my business full time just could not happen.  I was unsuccessful in my search to find a trustworthy individual who I felt comfortable enough in my home, comfortable enough with my baby, who was willing to take care of the household cleaning, cooking, be my personal assistant, AND work without wanting an absorbent hourly pay.  I prayed that God would send me that perfect person.  BAM!  How more perfect is London's own Daddy???  When Cary told me about the lay-off, he was expecting me to be upset.  However, I just felt peace about it.  I knew it was in God's hands.  How many babies do you know that are fortunate enough to have both of their parents' with them full-time?  London is a blessed little girl.  Cary and I are ever so grateful.  There was a small learning curve, but it didn't take Cary long to get the hang of things.  He takes care of the cooking, cleaning, washing, caring for London, does school with her three times a week, takes her for walks... he's a fantastic Daddy!  Every now and then I get to pop out of my office/studio to share in play time and meals.  Now, don't get me wrong... I still do my fair share of caring for her..  However, having the built in babysitter so I can book appointments whenever and come and go when needed is such a blessing.   God answers prayers in ways that you never expect.  Our only dilemma right now is health insurance.  We will continue with the Cobra coverage until that runs out and then after that... we'll have to make a decision on whether Cary will need to go back to work for benefits.  Both of us have prior health issues that may put us in a pickle when applying for individual Health Insurance.  With group insurance... your employer covers you, usually, regardless of your past baggage.  We'll see... but for now, we can stay on Cobra for 18 months, and by then, London will be older that I may feel more comfortable about daycare.  Who knows what the next year has in store?  We shall see.  I just can't stress enough how thankful we are to the Good Lord that he has allowed my business to be successful so that Cary and I both can stay home with our daughter.  I know that there are some of my readers that think I talk about Jesus and God too much... but let me tell ya something that I know.  When you get your heart right with the Lord... when you start living right and living the life Jesus wants for you... good things happen and I'm a believer.  So, thank you for the emails, but no apologies here... I'm gonna keep on singing His praises!  Let's see, what else is new?  A week and a half ago my family (Mom, Dad, Sister, Hubby, Nephew, Brother, Wife, Cary, London, and I) went on vacation to Panama City Beach, FL.  It was a quick four day venture.  We stayed at a new condo resort called "Splash".  Let me tell ya... if you're looking for a quiet place down on the beach that has tons of things to do for the kids... this is it!  The condo was clean, the resort was well kept, staff members were everywhere for your convenience, and there was something to do for everyone... even London!  We had a great time.  The resort is brand new... opened in February 2007.  Great rates during this time of year.  Hmmmm... what else is new?  I'm still holding onto baby weight, although when it's been almost a year, I don't think I'm allowed to continue to call it baby weight?  I haven't gained anymore... just still sitting at the same weight.  I don't know if this will be my maintain weight or what?  It takes effort to lose weight and guess what?  I haven't been giving it much effort.  It's one of those things... I keep saying "well maybe tomorrow".  I'm happy though.  I mean, yes, I would love to be a size 8 again... but I'm also not a miserable size 26/28 either... so life is good.  Cary and I are still planning on building again.  The market in our area is bad for selling homes right now.  Nothing in Columbus is selling.  You can drive down just about any street and you'll see houses that have been on the market for months.    We have five houses in our neighborhood right now for sell.  There is too much competition with little buyers.  All of those mortgage lenders going flop has had a great impact on people getting approved for mortgages.  We're just going to wait it out until the market gets better before we put our house up for sale.  We're currently working on our building plans, so that's going to take a while anyway.  Well, it's that time of year again.  My Dad and brother have been working on my parent's house, preparing it for Christmas.  This year the "Make A Wish" foundation is getting involved.  We will ask visitors for donations to benefit the "Make A Wish" foundation's efforts.  This will be a great cause.  When all the details are released, I will update my Journal with the information.  Well, can you believe I have run out of things to talk about?  I guess that about covers it for now.  I hope everyone is doing good.  I'll try and post again soon.  Have a fun Fall Festival!




11/29/07... DAY #2030:
My Parent's Christmas Light Spectacular is going strong.  Be sure to visit!








02/10/2008... DAY #2103:
Hi Friends.  Well the new year is definitely in full swing.  I've been very busy signing new wedding clients for the 2008 and 2009 season.  I also participated in a $25,000 Wedding Giveaway where a couple won their entire wedding paid for.  I have a new blog on my photography website that will keep friends and clients up to date on the latest with JE Hedges Photography.  You are welcome to check that out if you'd like.  The address is  Once inside the website, click on "Blog".  I went to Tampa, FL for a week in January for the Imaging USA convention.  The weather was incredible!  A balmy 74 the entire time I was there.  Learned lots as usual.  On the personal side, Cary & I are doing great.  London is running around and getting into everything and can say a few words.  The bottles are gone... we're down to one nap... she's growing bigger everyday and the baby days are fading too fast.  She participated in the Sunburst Beauty Pageant on Saturday, February 9th.  London won Best Attire, Prettiest Eyes, Best Personality, Most Photogenic, and was crowned the Miss Sunburst Tiny Queen Columbus, GA, earning a large trophy, sash, and crown.  She will move onto the Georgia State competition, being held in Atlanta, during the weekend of May 16th-18th.  As far as me.  Well... I'm still holding steady at needing to lose about 50 pounds.  I honestly haven't been trying like I should.  I'll get there... eventually.  Well... really, that's about it.  Nothing too crazy.  Life as a full time parent, running a full time business doesn't lend itself to too much wild adventures.  Have a great year and I'll be back in touch again soon.













07/26/2008... DAY #2270:
Where does the time go?  This year has been non-stop.  My business is experiencing incredible growth and I stay busy working constantly.  Since I last wrote, my nephew turned three years old.  He's getting really tall and it's hard to see him as a little boy now instead of the baby I once cared for.  He says the darndest things too and is so incredibly smart.  On March 7th, me, Cary, and my Mom went to see Jerry Seinfeld on tour.  He just didn't seem as funny in person, he bad mouthed our city, and he also used the Lord's name in vain several times.  It was a great disappointment and I don't recommend catching his current tour.  On March 22nd, I photographed my first Hindu wedding for a local doctor's daughter.  The wedding was an amazing experience.  It was beautiful, fun, educational, and the Priest was very entertaining.  If you have an opportunity, hop over to my photography website and take a look at the images.  Since I last wrote, my photography work has been receiving a lot of recognition.  My work was displayed for a week at a jewelry store in the mall.  The store requested bridal images to display to help promote a bridal jewelry sale they were having the first week of April.   Additionally, Southern Views magazine conducted an interview with me.  The interview was a full page story in the April/May 2008 issue, which included an image of me and an image of my work too.  The new Weddings Of Georgia magazine used one of our bride's images on it's cover and wrote an article featuring two of our weddings from this past year.  How awesome is that?  Just this past week, HER magazine conducted an interview with me.  That issue will be out sometime in the coming month.  I'm very excited about all of the exposure and that I am being recognized as a leader in our community as a portrait and wedding photographer.  Let's see... what else... The last week of April, we (Cary, London, and I) went back to Splash resort in Panama City Beach for a week's vacation.  We had a good time... but vacationing with a little one can be quite exhausting.  The weekend of May 17th, London attended the Georgia State pageant in Atlanta.  I am very proud to announce that London was crowned the 2008 Georgia State Tiny Queen and also received trophies for Most Photogenic, Best Personality, Super Model Search Baby, Best Composite, Best Portfolio, was the 2nd runner up in the Casual Wear, and 3rd runner up in the Swimwear.  She will move onto the National pageant in August to compete against all the other states.  We are very excited for her!  That's really it for now.  My weight is the same... so no changes there.  I'll update again soon.




















04/28/2009... DAY #2546:
Each time I update my blog... I always ask about where the time goes?  Life seems to pass by so quickly.  As I get older, I continue to gain a better appreciation of how precious time is and how short all of our lives are on this Earth.  I watch the Mothers of my young brides cry as their daughters dance with their Fathers at the weddings.  I know that Cary and I will blink and we'll be watching our daughter London take a hand in marriage.  It's been nine months since my last post.  To say I've been extremely busy would be an understatement.  My business continues to grow and I praise God that my family continues to prosper during this economic crisis.  Thank you Jesus for blessing me with a caring husband, healthy daughter, and successful business.  I simply do not feel worthy of the blessings I receive but so very thankful.  God has allowed us to continue keeping Cary at home as a full-time "Stay at Home Dad".  I continue to run the business full-time (around 70 hours a week) and London continues to keep both of our hearts filled with joy.  She's 2.5 years old now... with a vocabulary of a six year old, intelligence of a ten year old, and the attitude of a 20 year old!   She never ceases to amaze us on a daily basis.  In November we held her second birthday at the Garrett Bullock House (I'm a preferred vendor there... go check their website out... great place for events!).  It was a Mickey Mouse themed birthday and Mickey himself made an appearance at the party.  London's photograph with Mickey appeared in the local "Valley Parent" magazine.  We are still working on potty training although I will say it is more our fault than hers.  We have not been persistent or consistent in the potty training... we vow to work harder on that.  No one told us it would be so hard!  London is a good baby and is learning her way around the studio very fast!  She got a camera for her birthday and loves taking photographs of us and her toys.  She even helps me with the occasional client studio session by getting the younger baby's attention and then pressing the shutter.  She's a natural no doubt.  My nephew is now four years old and my brother, Keith, and his wife, Kristi, are expecting a baby girl (Savannah Rae) in August.  Speaking of babies... my WLS friend, Constance Harrison and her hubby, had a baby girl just this week.  I visited Constance last Sunday for her baby shower.  Seems like yesterday that we were both clubbing it up in Atlanta with children being the furthest from our minds!  My weight continues to fluctuate.  I desperately need to get some of this weight off.  I did hire a Personal Trainer three weeks ago.  I go three days a week for one hour of some pretty intense strength training and cardio.  My goal right now is to get my body, mind, and spirit back in sync with weight coming second.  I've battled some bad colds and infections over the past year.  Although my blood work is all perfect... my stress level, non-sleep, and all the hours of hard work were causing my body to wear down.  So I've got to take better care of my body so it can take better care of itself.  Make sense?  We did manage to squeeze a few small vacations in this past year and I took Cary and London with me to Imaging USA for the first time in January.  This year it was in Phoenix, AZ.  We had a trip planned for the Grand Canyon... but unfortunately, London fell very ill and we were unable to go.  She's doing great now and Lord willing, we'll have plenty of time for a Grand Canyon trip in the future.  Well... really not much more to report.  I'll try not to let it be so long in between journal updates.  Have a great summer!




01/08/2012... DAY #3532:

Has it really been almost three years since I updated my journal?  Wow!  Honestly nothing has really changed the past few years.  London is five years old and too smart and mature for her age.  She's just like me and very much a sassy mouth.  I'm in trouble!  I continue to struggle with weight gain but like my last update, it just isn't my MAIN focus any longer.  London makes me happy with my family and business being my focus.  The business continues to do well and Cary is still a Stay-at-Home Dad going back to work soon.  Cary and I are about to start a 15 day juicing cleanse after watching the movie "Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead".  I've also watched several documentaries about American Food, Organic food, and the Gerson Therapy.  I'll try to remember to post about our juicing experience.  I am on Facebook and really that's the best place to keep up with me.



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Last modified: 01/08/12