May 17, 2013 6:39 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Saturday morning, hundreds of runners will take part in the 2013 Beach to Bay Relay Marathon, including a woman who's doing everything she can to keep the pounds off.
At age 17, Jamie Bluntzer underwent lap band surgery. She's one of three runners who've undergone lap band surgery and will participate in this year's race on a team called 'The Bandsters.'
The Texas A&M student told us she was planning on enjoying a bag of Cheetos for a snack today, but it was really a bag of carrots.
"If you pretend it is something else it is sometimes easier to get to the change. Now I prefer (these) Cheetos over real Cheetos," Bluntzer explains. "The lap band is a tool, not a fix."
So she's changed her entire lifestyle; from the foods she chooses to eat to the way she puts her food away in the cabinet.
"Marshmallows that you love to chew on need to go down on the bottom where you won't see them, because when you open the first thing your mind is going to trigger what it wants is what it is going to see," Bluntzer says.
Doing this and running on Ocean Drive are now second nature to her. But about 4 years ago her unhealthy habits kept her at 275 pounds. As a softball player that kept straining her body.
Her mom decided it was time to do something about her weight. "She had seen an advertisement about Driscoll's starting to do these surgeries the week before she said let's go down and see what they say," Bluntzer remembers.
In March of 2010 she became the 4th person in the state of Texas to have Lapband surgery before the age of 18. Now she weighs 175. She went from wearing a 2x, to a size medium.
It's that weight off her shoulders that has her excited to run Beach to Bay.