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Project: Ramona Blog


Author Ramona Holloway

  • Ramona Holloway

    The Link's Ramona Holloway has struggled with weight-loss and diabetes for most of her life. While from time to time she's had success in getting some of the weight off, she's never found an acceptable solution for her diabetes. Join her through video and blogs on this page as she explores surgical weight-loss with Catawba Valley Medical Center.


Scale Watching

Some might say its a bad habit I've developed in the first few months after my gastric bypass surgery at Catawba Valley Medical Center.

I weigh myself practically every day.  I'm usually pleasantly surprised at what I see.  The first 32 weeks after my surgery showed me constant progress toward my goal.  Frankly, I got spoiled by constantly seeing the numbers drop dramatically.  Five pounds lost in one week, seven the next.

T

Dear Moms

Dear Moms,

I'm writing this from my mom's hospital room. I simply couldn't stand to be anywhere else right now.  Since her spine surgery on Sept. 19th I've spent about 20 hours a day right here.  With all the nurses, aides, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, dietary workers and case managers visiting her room around the clock, I haven't had much rest.  But that has given me time to think.  I'll have lots more time to think in the com Read more...

I Kicked a Demon in the Crotch

Study after study confirms what I've lived:  "Appearing in the journal Pediatrics, the study found an association of severity of sexual and physical abuse during childhood and adolescence with obesity during adulthood."  

The Centers for Disease Control has found that one in four girls and one in six boys have been sexually abused by the age of 18.  "National surveys indicate that more than a third of American women experienced some form o Read more...

Sherri's Ignorance Makes Me Angry

It started off okay.  I had the morning off from the Charlotte Today TV show so I decided to check out the competition, The View.  Chris Powell, the star of "Extreme Weight Loss" was sitting with the ladies.  They were supposed to be debunking weight loss myths, but the biggest myth… no make that a flat out LIE… was actually introduced by Sherri Shepherd.  What she said was so freaking IGNORANT, the network edited it out of this clip that was later Read more...

Tiny Tummies in Love

Because I've been so public with my weight loss struggles, I've been fortunate enough to meet people who open up to me about their history of obesity.  Last weekend 107.9 The Link took a group of listeners to Hilton Head.  We had a blast and I came face to face with a woman who had weight loss surgery several years ago.  She looks great and told me that she feels great.  When she started her health journey she was married.  She'd hoped to get pregnant once Read more...

Frustrating Email

Sometimes the 3rd party emails and Facebook messages I receive really frustrate me.  A mom I'll call Jean (not her real name) sent this message a few weeks ago:

 "I hope my daughter can be half as successful as you.  Her gastric bypass is coming up in a few weeks. I've tried to help her lose weight, but she loves hamburgers more than she loves herself.  She finds a way to sabotage every diet.  She needs to lose about 100 lbs, but if s Read more...


Just celebrated another birthday. Ask me how old I am and I'll warn you that I'll lie. Persist in asking and I'll admit I'm in my late 60's. Sure, its lie, but for 68 I look damn good! I spent my birthday weekend with family and friends... dinners, movies and crossing a monster truck rally off of my bucket list. Had a blast. Felt the love in the calls, texts, cards, gifts and messages I received. Color me thankful.

I started my actual birthday at church. I thanked God for the health he restored through my gastric bypass surgery at Catawba Valley Medical Center and I asked Him to be loud and obvious with me with His plans for my future. I've opened my heart and exposed my challenges in this blog and every encouraging message I've received about it has been a blessing. This message from Lynn was posted in late July:

"Well done -- am sharing with friends who organized a blog in Cleveland Ohio. I haven't had success w answers and availability by staff here so I rely on the Ohio blog (and your experiences) for answers to my questions. Four months out -- down 50 lbs. Yay us!"

Lynn and others like her have been the fuel that keeps me posting week after week. The questions, concerns and fears... The prayer requests, confessions and testimonies revealed in emails, phone calls and Facebook messages would leave you in tears if I shared them. I've learned that fat can contain disease and lots of pain. I know full well that some other folks aren't getting the spiritual and physical support I've received through family, friends and the folks at CVMC. That's why I feel its my duty to give back in some way.

So, on this day, the day that my mother ONCE AGAIN tells the story of how she was ripped from "stem to stern" giving birth to a nearly 10 pound baby, I ask:
What do you need from me? What do you want to know about the surgery and life beyond the operating room. You can send a private message on Facebook or email me at: Read more...

Feeling Stronger

10 Commandments of Eating After Weight Loss Surgery

1. Thou shalt not judge thy neighbors plate like thine own.  What your friends, your partner or your kids eat might not work for your new tummy

2. Thou shalt avoid Mono-eating.  Once you've been given the green light to re-introduce most foods use the Bari Bites cookbook or another resource to avoid the habit of eating the same food all the time.  Lynn Delserone, the dietician at Catawba Valley Medical Center says variety in the diet is a good thing.
She says it ensures a healthy mix of nutrients and keeps us from getting bored with healthy foods.

3.  Thou shalt plan ahead.  I keep protein bars in my purse and trail mix at my desk.  When I get hungry I always have healthy options on hand so that I don't have to rely on the vending machine at work.

4. Thou shalt  pay attention to thy feelings.  Emotional eating is a real danger.  When your tiny tummy feels full, yet you still have an urge to raid the fridge or find comfort in the pantry... take a moment to acknowledge your anxiety, boredom or fear.

5. Thou shalt forgive thine self.  You will make mistakes.  I remember the time not long after surgery when I ordered a small serving of pinto beans.  I felt full with just two sporkfuls left.  I ate those last two sporkfuls and they came back up a few minutes later.  You will probably test your tiny tummy and it WILL lay down the law.
Don't dwell on your mistakes.

6.  Thou shalt make peace with doggy bags.  One restaurant meal will be two or three meals for you.  To-Go boxes will be your friend.

7.  Thou shalt do research on fast food.  Dietician Lynn says fast food is not the enemy.  Bad fast food choices are the enemy. I took heat from a Matt and Ramona Show listener for endorsing Bojangles, but after my surgery I took the time to investigate the calories, sugar and protein in my fav fast foods.  A chipotle chicken snack wrap (grilled) at McDonalds is 280 calories, 4 sugars and 36 grams of protein. A bean burrito from Taco Bell is just 198 calories,
3 sugars and 15 grams of protein.  The roasted chicken bites at Bojangles have 280 calories, 4 grams of sugar and 36 grams of protein.  Mind you I can't finish any of those in a single sitting and I don't bother to try.  Just remember, an informed eater is a healthier eater.

8.  Thou shalt drink before eating.  Order your beverage and drink as much as you can when it first arrives.  Chat up your meal mates while waiting for the food. Eating and drinking at the same time is a big no-no.

9.  Thou shalt use tiny plates. Your smaller portions look silly on giant dinner plates.  Make use of small bowls and saucers.

10. Thou shalt remember to take vitamins.  They are essential post-surgery nutrition.  I keep them in my purse, desk at work, in my car and in my overnight bag. I have historically been horrible at remembering to take meds or supplements, but keeping them handy helps.  When I think about taking my vitamins, I just do it. Read more...

Project Ramona: The Swimsuit Edition

I'm so, so sorry. I owe that apology to every normal-sized woman who has complained to me about swimsuit shopping. How can a size 6 have body issues!?!?! I thought you were just fishing for compliments when you griped about your rounded tummy or thick thighs. I just knew that if I was your size I'd have nothing to complain about. I'd secretly roll my eyes, wondering if you could possibly be more insenstive. If a thin woman couldn't find a flattering swimsuit, how do you think a 200lb girl feels? I assumed that once I lost weight, I'd have no trouble finding a suit that I'd feel comfortable wearing to the neighborhood pool. Then reality set in and I realized that I was learning a life lesson.  

I've had cover-ups practically glued to my body since college. I've gotten into the pool wearing my cover-up. My biggest fear when The Matt and Ramona Show would take listener trips to the beach was that some camera junkie would take pictures of me in my swimsuit and I'd be humiliated. I'm most comfortable hanging with the crowd of men and women who wear t-shirts over their swim gear in the ocean. I lived in fear of hearing the comments people might make about the girl who should NEVER be seen in public in a swimsuit.

Well, thanks to Gastric Bypass Surgery early last year at Catawba Valley Medical Center my body looks very different this summer. So why did it still take about a month of shopping to find a suit?!?! I must've tried on 2 dozen in 10 different stores. I settled on a black one piece (no bikini for me, EVER).  I even plan to pack it when the radio station takes a group of listeners to Hilton Head in August. If there are no cameras around I might even wear it.   

My body is a lot healthier, but the proportions haven't changed and that's why I owe an apology to the skinny girls. The smaller Ramona feels just slightly more comfortable but still sees glaring body flaws. The lesson I learned? Its not about what you see in the mirror, its about the way you feel. I feel younger. I feel more hopeful about aging. I feel thankful. Read more...