Monday, December 31, 2007

What A Difference Four Months Makes...

One of my favourite people in the world is Dr Phil, and I always remember him saying (about a number of things, particularly weight loss), that time will pass, whether we like it or not, and it's entirely up to us what we DO with that time. In other words, December 2007 was gonna get here regardless of what I chose to do in Sept, Oct, and Nov -- and the fact that I decided to have weight loss surgery, and follow a healthy post-op lifestyle, has meant that the time has passed in a positive way! I've lost 30 kilos, instead of staying the same weight, or (worse) gaining even more weight.
I had a terrific time at the beach yesterday with DH and our doggie Scruff, and I wore my new bathing suit my mom bought me for Christmas (which already needs the straps altered cause it's too big!). Also, as you can see in the photo above, I can now tie a sarong around my waist - shock, horror.
If anyone is reading this, wondering whether their new year's resolution should be to look into weight loss surgery, please just go for it. It's by far the most amazing thing I've ever done, and it comes with such a wonderful relaxed feeling of inevitability!! Even if I WANTED to be the same person I was 6 months ago, it's impossible - my T4 sleeve ensures that I will lose weight. Exactly how much is lost is up to me, I think, how hard I work at making good food choices and exercising. I truly believe now that I will get a lot lower than 100kg, aiming for a nice even 80. Roll on 2008, it's a great time to be alive!!!
Happy New Year y'all xxxx

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Short-n-Sweet -- Tale of A Weigh In

It's just a brief message today folks

This morning my scales showed 140.8kg -- an INCREDIBLE loss of 2 kilos over Christmas!!??

Can hardly believe it, got on and off the scales a few times to make sure the batteries hadn't melted in the 45 degree day we had on Boxing Day.

My grand total of weight lost so far (since beginning of Sept 07) is 29.2kg -- I'm almost a third of the way to 80kg, my ultimate goal. Yay, yay, yay. Best present of 2007 - my VSG (vertical sleeve gastrectomy).

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Greetings

Thank god that's over. I'm soooo not a Christmas person lol. I'm lazy, antisocial and addicted to food - none of these things make Christmas a happy time of year!!! Even with the food addiction, though, this Christmas was a great one in regards to food. It was so easy with the sleeve, even if I wanted to pig out (which I didn't! weird) I physically couldn't, so I ended up having tiny bits of pretty much everything and felt completely satisfied. Didn't even attempt Christmas cake or Christmas pudding, as I've heard they are horrifying if they get 'stuck'. I found them a bit too rich even before I had the sleeve. The attention/focus on my surgery wasn't too bad, luckily the new baby in the family took most of the attention, which I was thrilled about! At one stage during Christmas lunch I forgot myself and took a drink of soft drink while eating (force of habit), so I got a bit heartburny and my DH freaked a bit and asked me if I was all right...but mostly I kept under the radar. Phew. One more successful outing for the T4 (teeny, tiny tummy tube).

My Stats For the Four Day Vacation:
Number of bottles of water - 15
Cans of Coke Zero - 4 (welcome back old friend!!)
Pieces of bread - nil
Ham & Cheese croissant - half
Swims in the pool - one
Presents - too many to count!
Chocolates - 20...ish
Frosty Fruit icypoles - 5
Kilometres driven - 650
Alcohol - nil
Puke - one (not a bad result for my first sleeved Christmas, was only a minor "foamies" incident)

Hopefully I have maintained my weight this week - I would be thrilled with a loss, but given the different surroundings and the lack of exercise, I will be satisfied if I'm still 142.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Weigh In, and an NSV

Official weight this morning is 142.8kg, meaning this week I am another 1.3kg lighter - whoopee!! 27.2kg gone forever! I love my sleeve! Even an idiot can lose weight this way, lol. I've been walking every day, taking my dog a little further now each morning, but haven't made it to the gym. I really haven't pushed myself too hard with exercise, figure I will need to go harder towards the end (the last 20 or so kilos) and I can ramp it up then.

I went shopping for a pair of jeans on Thursday and ended up in Rockmans -- saw a heavily discounted pair of 3/4 denims with a turn-up cuff thingo, which I loved, but was bummed to see they didn't have anything smaller than a size 22. Thought I needed a 24, maybe still 26 (I was a 28 when I began this journey). Anyway, decided to buy them as they were reduced to $10 down from $60 and I would save them for a while til I fitted into them... you can see where this is going, right?? rflmao

Decided when I got home I would try them on to see how far I had to go before they fitted, and they fitted me! Four sizes smaller than my previous size! Wow. Mind-blowing moment. They are a little tight, but nothing dramatic, and they look ace. I love them!! I really don't want to buy too many clothes for my "in-between" sizes, but I guess I can always pass them along to someone else. I caught up with my best friend yesterday, who has recently lost 35kg the old-fashioned way (walking, dieting), and she was almost speechless to see me. We haven't seen each other since I got out of hospital -- it is so wonderful to see people's expressions of pride and joy when they see how well I am doing with the sleeve. Sometimes, as we all know, it's hard to see the accomplishments ourselves...

Hope everyone is doing great on their journey, if I don't see y'all before hand, merry Christmas!! Eat well, be peaceful and hope all our dreams come true in '08.

Love, Lil xxxx

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This Time Next Year...

I will be in New York City with my other half, gearing up for a proper "White Christmas"! We plan to leave on December 14, the day after my nanna's 90th birthday, and will be away for 6-8 weeks, depending on how much time we can get off work, etc. Planning to spend New Year's Eve in the Caribbean (St Maarten), then on to Europe to see friends and family and hoping to fit in a cruise from Greece to Egypt! Phew. Will need a vacation to recover from all that lol.

I know I will be at my first goal, 99kg, and probably even lighter than that. My new goal is to be 80kg, which at 5 ft 10 will make me just fractionally "overweight". I feel 100% sure now that I will get there, sitting pretty in a size 16 baby. Jeez, when I was last a size 16 (aged 16 ha ha) I thought I was THE FATTEST, UGLIEST HEIFER in the herd... and certainly adults and kids alike told me I was fat, regularly. My BMI was 21.4 for crying out loud. Makes me so mad.

Like Dr Phil says, there is no "reality", only our perception. Put me in a size 16 these days and I will feel like Beyonce, Nigella and Pink all rolled into one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

News From The Job Front

Yesterday I had two more interviews/registrations with temp agencies, which went well until they tried to force me into reception jobs (which I have been there, done/hate that) or jobs which required more than an hour travel each way (ditto). Why is it so hard to find a nice quiet filing or typing job lol. I have one day's work tomorrow doing data entry, but I think this is the wrong time of year to find temp contract work. Darn it, another instance of my husband being right...hate that ha ha!! I am not too stressed about it, payout from my last job covers up to this week, and even if nothing comes up til the new year, we'll manage. I prefer to hold out for the right job, or at least something that sounds interesting. I really do NOT want another job where I have to answer phones, I hate talking 0n the phone, even to me friends...don't know why. I'm just weird, ok.

Food wise, everything is going along nicely. Except we ordered takeaway Chinese last night and it didn't agree with me (2nd time that has happened). I think it might be rice, as well as chicken. I am ok with Basmati rice, but the sticky Chinese style doesn't suit my T4. I'm much happier since I gave up bread, not craving white carbs at all now - we even had roast on the weekend and I didn't have a single potato!! Wow. I am also trying to stick to one can of Coke Zero a week, now that I've discovered I can drink it again I was worried I would re-establish the addiction. But I seem okay with just an occasional can, and it takes me a couple of hours to finish it. My advice for the fizzy drinks is to let it sit for a while, have it with ice, and drink it through a straw -- all those things help me enjoy it without burping excessively!

I can't believe it's a week til Christmas. I realised this morning that not only will I not have my usual food addiction to help me through the stressful festive season, but I will be away from my computer for three/four days!!! How will I cope without all the bandit and sleever support?? Might have to commandeer my MIL's computer for a while at least once or twice, just to check in with everyone!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

'nother day, 'nother weigh

Great news this morning - I have lost 1.5kg this week! Giving me a total weight loss of 25.9kg. I currently weigh -

Definitely think that giving up bread has been a massive help. Apart from anything else, having bread (esp white bread) made me hungrier for more bread. Glad to have that behind me.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Happpiest Time of the Year

I must admit to being a bit of a grinch. I find that the whole happy family get-together at Christmas concept was always far beyond the reach of my semi-dysfunctional mob, and inevitably someone (ie: me) would end up depressed, insulted and left out lol. The last three Christmases I worked at Myer, harbinger of retail festive obsession, and being there did actually make me feel more "festive". I found buying gifts easy - having access to specials, browsing opportunities after (and sometimes during he he) shifts, and the whole Christmas carol, decoration overload actually got me in holiday mood.

This year, having experienced a separation from retail as well as a gastric sleeve, I'm finding the leadup to Christmas is bloody hard going. One of the things I have always loved about Christmas is the food... and of course this year things are going to be completely different. My family have started planning what food items we are taking down south (going to in-laws place in SW of WA for three days), and even though I will be able to eat small amounts of most things, it's just WEIRD to think of Christmas as being a time of restriction.

Christmas was the one time when my eating habits (bingeing, sugar overload, etc) were normal, and the same as everyone else's!!!

Now, once again, I'll be the odd one out! Apart from my darling husband, his family are all thin and have no concept of morbid obesity. Everyone there knows about the surgery, thankfully, so at least I won't be hassled about why I'm suddenly 25 kilos lighter (and my plate is 5 kg lighter lol). But I'm worried about the emotional stress, given that I won't be able to medicate myself with food. Most people drink to "escape" but I hate alcohol, always have. Food has always been my drug of choice, and though I will not starve at Christmas I certainly won't be "doped up" with carb endorphins. Yikes.

Meanwhile, I am also UNEMPLOYED - not exactly the best way to celebrate the end of 2007. I know, I know, something will come up and I have turned down a couple of things as they were not right for me... but really, I am so tired of always explaining myself. Hopefully next Christmas I will - for the first time ever - fit into the "normal" range for weight, lifestyle, etc. Nah. That sounds like it'd be bloody boring, but I WOULD settle for "normal" BMI. My plan is to be at 80kg, which will give me a BMI of 26, just a snifter over "normal". I'll take that, put it on my list Santa!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What A Start To The Week

Started my new job on Monday. Finished my new job on Monday!!!!!! Could not stand to go back for Day 2, as the people in my proposed workplace were total biatches and refused to train me, speak to me, acknowledge me... one or two people were nice but the majority are MISERABLE there, and it showed. Nup. Lemme outa here!

So I am on the job hunt again, have a promising interview tomorrow morning for a temp clerical role, with a view to permanent. It's at a hospital, and I LOVE hospitals - yay!

Met up with some fellow Gorgeous Jon patients last night, which was brilliant! They are doing so well, and it's terrific to get insight and encouragement from "fellow travellers". It's the first time I have met WLS people socially, and oh how wonderful to not be (or feel) the odd one out!

My new life without bread is terrific, I definitely feel less hungry without those empty carbs and I feel confident my weigh-in this weekend will reflect the extra effort. The spelt "bread" is actually really nice, I have it toasted with light philly, and I have corn thins sometimes which are also yummy. All in all, the journey is going great! Hope everyone else is the same!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

My Virtual Model

I love the virtual model website. I've used it before, in previous weight loss attempts, and thought I would create a BEFORE and AFTER to display here, as inspiration! I can't wait until the end of next year when I can wear a "normal" pair of jeans! Wow.

To make your own virtual model, go to

Weekly Weigh In

I weighed in this morning at 145.4kg, which is 1.1kg lost since last week. Not brilliant, but I think I am still moving off the plateau I've been on for a month or so. Need to step it up a bit next week...I start my new job tomorrow, which will be great, and I'll have to develop a bit of a new routine. The buses are changing in my suburb just before Christmas, thanks to the new Perth - Mandurah train service *finally* starting up, and not only has the bus from outside my house been cancelled, but the one to the gym is also changing. I need to get my nerve up to get my driver's licence!! But no excuses, have to get to the gym at least three times a week, even if I have to take 2 buses or arrange a lift.

I am completely off bread again, have bought unsprouted Spelt bread and have a piece of that toasted with Light Philly. It's wheat and gluten free, and will hopefully help me kick my addiction to bread. I also bought some corn thins, as a lot of bandits seem to swear by them as a snack item or breakfast.

Lots to do, wrapping Christmas presents and getting my wardrobe organised for my new semi-corporate job! Hope everyone had a great weekend, chat soon!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Help For The Mental

I found a terrific blog on blogspot the other day, which has (deservingly) won Inspirational Blogger award. It's called Attitude Of Gratitude and although I am not a member of AA, and in fact don't drink at all, I can WHOLEHEARTEDLY relate to a lot of the principles in the 12 Steps. I've often considered joining Overeaters Anonymous, may yet decide to do that...even though I can't physically overeat now I've had surgery, the fact is that I still have the same ole addictive personality and a lot of the same thoughts and feelings towards food are still with me.

Anyway. The blog is awesome, really interesting and inspiring, and it's made me determined to show more of my own Attitude of Gratitude. I've just finished reading a brilliant book, too, which also talks about being grateful as a powerful tool for change. It's called "Total Transformation Weightloss" and Jon Abrams, the guy who wrote it, lost 100kg without "dieting", just by changing his mental state through visualisation, etc. He claims, and I believe him, that if your body wants to be fat, for whatever reason (fear, protection, etc), it will prevent you from losing weight, no matter how much you exercise or diet. Ultimately, the mind has to change in order for true physical change to occur. I think this is particularly the case with what he calls "emotional obesity"... until your mind and body feels safe and comfortable being thin, it will resist weight loss at all costs (certainly the last 10-20kg of weight anyway, which is often the hardest). Jon lost his last 20kg FASTER than the rest of his weight, because by then he had reprogrammed his body to want to be thin.

It's really interesting stuff. I'm definitely going to work on the visualisation, which only takes a few minutes each day and will no doubt help me get to my goals.

Myself, I am grateful for:
  • my fabulous new job, which starts on Monday
  • wonderful friends and family
  • the gorgeous squally weather we had yesterday
  • Frosty Fruit icypoles
  • the gorgeous Jon and his surgical ability

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Two Great Photos From My New Life

Every morning and evening I get to crush up the little goodies that keep me healthy! As you can see above, there are a few different things I take: Multivitamins, Antioxidants, Omega 3, Selenium and Calcium/Magnesium (as well as my usual medication for depression and urticaria/hives). Obviously I don't crush the Omega 3 caps, as they are gel! And the Plaquenil is enteric coated for slow release so that can't be crushed either. They seem to go down ok, and the others get mixed into apple puree for easy digestion (:

The brand I use is called USANA (, they are from the US and are one of the only nutritionals that are manufactured up to pharmaceutical grade. More expensive than the ordinary ones, but they are a lot more effective.

My other favourite photo lately is below - it's a little gift I received from my dietician at Mercy after my post-op checkup! A tiny little bowl, chopsticks (to slow my eating down lol), a magnet with the Gastric Sleeve Golden Rules, a gym pass and a sachet of Fibergel. How gorgeous it that?! I was thrilled to get such a lovely gift, so thoughtful. Had to include a picture of it in my blog of the journey.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Weights And Measures

Saturday is here again, AND it's the first weigh-in for the month which means measurements and a new photo woo hoo! I will take the photo later, but here are my current stats:

WEIGHT: 146.5kg
Total loss since 1st Sept: 23.5kg (BMI down from 55.5 to 47.7)

I'm thrilled, especially after having a short plateau. Also, my measurements reflect even more the changes in my body. I had to check my hip measurement twice to make sure it was correct ha ha! Going back to the gym has helped my measurements I think. I feel inspired to keep going and to up the ante with my workouts.

Neck - Oct 4 / 39cm ----Dec 1 / 37cm (loss of 2cm)
Bust - Oct 4 / 145cm----Dec 1 / 139cm (loss of 6cm)
Waist - Oct 4 / 132cm ----Dec 1 / 128cm (loss of 4cm)
Hip - Oct 4 / 161cm ---- Dec 1 / 152cm (loss of 9cm)
Thigh - Oct 4 / 84cm ---Dec 1 / 81cm (loss of 3cm)
Calf - Oct 4 / 64cm -----Dec 1 / 61cm (loss of 3cm)

I am excited and motivated now, which helps! It sucked to see the scales sitting there around 147, now they are on the way down - yippee!

Friday, November 30, 2007

News On The Job Front

I resigned a couple of weeks ago, after feeling unhappy and dissatisfied for a number of months. I wanted to leave a while back, but decided it was better to stay through my operation and recovery, as I had already arranged leave, etc - I initially thought I would start looking in the new year, but just couldn't wait that long. I am SO impatient.

Anyway, the economic situation in WA, and the fact that every man and his dog is working in the mining industry, means that it's a candidate's market - I've literally been inundated with job prospects, which is weird! I'm not used to being able to pick and choose... To cut a long story short, I accepted a job today at a law firm in the CBD, doing secretarial/project/database work. FINALLY am moving away from customer service roles, which I've done for 20 years and am heartily sick of!! No more phone calls, making coffee and delivering the mail! Yippee! It's also a bit more money, which is always good. One of the funny things is the company has a monthly get-together with pizza -- in the old (pre-T4) days that would have been the most exciting news ever lol. I will still enjoy my pizza, but probably only one or two pieces instead of one or two whole pizzas!!

This year has been one of huge change and a lot of challenges, but I know that it's all leading to my new, fulfilling life, a life where I am not always hungry and tired and empty. It's been such a long time since I felt this positive about the future, and since I wanted to find a niche for myself in the employment world. For years I thought I wouldn't be able to return to full-time work, suffering from fibromyalgia and depression and god knows what else. But gradually I've made it through that tunnel and am strong enough to give a proper full-time job a try. Wow. It's amazing how good that feels and sounds! Small victories, my friends, that's what it's about.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

One Month Review

Thought as it was a month since my operation I would jot down some things I've discovered about myself and my T4 (teeny tiny tummy tube). It's been a mad rollercoaster ride over the last four weeks, with some extreme highs and lows, but usually my life is like that anyway so nothing has changed lol. Sometimes I think "What the hell have I done, take it away" but most of the time I am rational and can see that this procedure is the ONLY WAY I can reduce my eating and lose weight - and therefore have the chance for a long and healthy future. I'm a work in progress for sure...but the key word there is PROGRESS, which is something I haven't felt or seen in my life for a long time. I feel like there is a light at the end of this long dark tunnel of food addiction and obesity.

Some of the key points for November include:
  1. Things I have thrown up: hot chips, watermelon juice, orange juice, crispy chicken wrap (McDonalds, what was I thinking??)
  2. Things I can usually eat easily (tho with the T4 nothing is certain lol): toast, bread, cheese, salad (except carrot, haven't tried that yet), beans, tuna, mince of any kind, most cooked vegies, banana, eggs
  3. Things I simply can't tolerate: fizzy drinks (waaaaaaaaaaaaah, jeepers I miss Coke Zero). Tried lemonade, fanta, lift - Can't even drink them when they've gone flat, they kind of "stick" in my chest, even though they are liquid, which is weird...The only thing that is semi-tolerable is Solo, which according to my husband (who watches way too much TV ha ha) "is light on the fizz so it goes down fast"!!!!!!!!
  4. Danger foods (easy and naughty): iced coffee, choc milk, full-fat dairy (esp ice cream and cheese), white bread
  5. Lessons I'm learning: EAT SLOWER!! I am eating at about a quarter of my pace prior to surgery and it's still way too fast! I am suffering indigestion because I don't concentrate on slowing down and chewing mega-slowly. I'm talking one mouthful per minute, max - that's all I can hack!
  6. What I miss most (apart from Coke Zero - waaaaaaaah): Taking a big bite or mouthful of something, ANYTHING!! And also skulling a huge mouthful of water or juice or ANYTHING!! The sipping is driving me nuts ha ha! Esp when it gets hot and I let myself get thirsty...

I'm sure I will think of a million more things to share with everybody, will post this on the Yahoo message boards too so everyone knows what I'm up to. I took a sneak-peek at the scales this morning (my weigh-in is due Saturday) and it looks like I might be shifting a kilo or two this week, so maybe my plateau is over??!!

I live in hope! Love and luck to all,

Lil xxxxx

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

101 Uses For A Stomach

Someone else asked me yesterday - "What do they do with the part of your stomach that they cut out??"

That's such a weird thing to ask. It's the most common question I get!! I really wanted my surgeon Gorgeous Jon to give me my extra stomach part in a jar of formaldehyde, so I could keep it as a souvenir the way people keep dead animals (gross, who me?!). But what do people expect me to say...there really isn't much you can do with 90% of a stomach, not once it's been cut out and dragged through a tiny port.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My New Plan

I really took a serious look at what I've been eating, and it's just been a bit on the dodgy side. My husband, bless his soul, took his life into his hands by commenting that I had cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner yesterday and that maybe that was A BIT too much full-fat dairy for one day lol. I took it well, cause he was 100% right. I wanted to have this operation and lose weight so that I never had to be a slave to artificial sweeteners and low-fat-crap, which is all well and good, but in reality I am still 70 kilos overweight!! HELLO!? What made me think I could have masses of full-fat cheese? One of the things that goes down well for me at the moment is pizza, homemade with pitta bread - hubby thinks that the "goes down well for me" thing is all in my head, as coincidentally all the things that go down well are things I like...yes, he is dicing with death lol.

Another conversation:
Me: "It's not fair, I decided to have the sleeve instead of the band so I could have things like bread"
Him: "I do not remember reading or hearing that the sleeve would let you eat bread five times a day, just three weeks after surgery"

As I was saying! I have had pizza a couple of times, made with a small pitta with mushrooms, capsicum, tomato, onion, olives - all of which is fine, until you factor in the fetta cheese AND the cheddar. Doh. No wonder I am a resident of Plateau City, population one. When I was on Dr Phil's Weight Loss Challenge (and lost 30+ kg) I had pizza all the time, but only had a few spoonfuls of low fat ricotta on it, which I'm intending to start doing again. I am so much in love with cheese it's pathetic. I must have been a mouse in a former life. Or maybe mould, cause I like all them stinky cheeses too.

Anyway. I need to reign in my eating. The T4 is not a foolproof system, but it's gonna work for this fool, let me tell ya. I need to eat less bread, esp. white bread, and I need to stop eating full-fat dairy (esp cheese). I'm planning to start having salad again, maybe avoid raw carrot and other sharp and crunchy things ha ha! This is a new chapter in my journey, and I KNOW I can get there. I'm checking out of the Cheese Addict Motel and heading down the Vegie Highway towards Skinnyville.


Saturday, November 24, 2007


Am still located firmly on a plateau - today's weigh in has me at 147.8kg, which is barely a kilo lost in the last two weeks. I know that plateaus are normal, and in fact are a GOOD SIGN because it shows my body is readjusting to my new weight and lifestyle. But man, they are frustrating! I started back at the gym this week, which I think will help, and other than that am just continuing to get my fluids in, and try to choose healthy options for eating.

Chocolate is something I've had a couple of times in the last week or two - only small amounts, but it's not a good choice. It just goes down so pain, doesn't stick...and then there's that positive endorphin effect! Even though the amount of chocolate I have these days is miniscule compared to the entire family block I regularly ate before, I'm still annoyed with myself.

Still suffering from tiredness, which my GP says is normal after surgery, and I constantly have to remind myself that it's not even a month since I had the operation. I am so impatient. Driving myself crazy ha ha. I think that it was easier to deal with the sleeve while I was losing weight - now I'm just over it, but of course there's nothing I can do about it, even if I wanted to! That's the perfect thing about the VSG, unlike any diet there's no "breaking" it or falling off the wagon. Man, it messes with my head sometimes!! But I am doing well, feeling lighter and fitter even though I'm tired and cranky.

If the plateau lasts more than another week or so I'm going back to the dietician at Mercy to show her what I'm eating, see if she has any advice. Most days I have Up & Go or boiled egg and a piece of toast for breakfast; then a small bowl of pasta or a tuna sandwich or ham & cheese rollups for lunch; then dinner is a small version of what the family has (quiche, pasta, lebanese bread pizza). I try to have pureed fruit or a banana or melon as well during the day. Actually, looking at that list it does seem like there are too many carbs in it. It sucks to not be able to have proper salad yet, and barbecued meat - I think I'll be ready for that next month.

In other news, I quit my job last week and am due to finish up there on 21 Dec. Have already had a couple of interviews, there are SO MANY jobs in WA at the moment cause everyone has gone to work in the mining industry! I am hoping to find something more interesting, and closer to home.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Things I Didn't Know...

Let's face it, I could write an entire blog about Things I Don't Know lol. But lately I've been struggling with things I didn't know, or didn't fully realise, about the gastric sleeve until I went out and got myself one! Last week was a bit of a struggle, what with returning to work and all, and I discovered something MAJOR about the T4 (my sleeved tummy). If I eat til I'm full, I just need to wait 20-30 mins and then I can eat THE SAME AMOUNT AGAIN. Maybe this was obvious to everyone, but really, I had NO IDEA. I assumed that I would stay full until the next "meal time". Man, I shoulda paid more attention in high school human biology. I discovered this quite by accident last week, when we had catered sandwiches brought into work for a training session. I LOVE our caterers - they make the best gourmet sandwiches - and before the T4 I would polish off at least four or five rounds. This time, I ate my own lunch and thought "no worries" but when I went to clear the tables in the training session there were a few sandwiches left and I started to "feel" hungry - managed to eat two half sandwiches, only about 45 mins after eating my own lunch!!!! It was downhill from there, I ate cheese and crackers in the afternoon, then dinner, then icecream before bed. Was SO disgusted with myself, and completely depressed about the fact that I have found a way to binge eat after having this surgery. I truly believed those days were over, that I wouldn't be able to fit so much food into my stomach.

OF COURSE, I realise that the gastric sleeve is only a weight loss tool, not the entire solution. But really, I hoped that willpower was a thing of the past (cause I patently DON'T HAVE ANY).

Now I am trying really really hard to stick to 3 meals a day, with a light and healthy morning and afternoon snack if I can't manage without one. Jeez, it is HARD, now I know that I can leave the rest of my meal for half an hour and then come back and finish it. Especially when it's something nice. If I over eat, I end up feeling bloated and pathetic, just like I did before the T4, except it's worse now because I also feel guilty for how much money the surgery cost, and upset that I am punishing my stomach (which has already been through so much).

Definitely need psychiatric help lol. I've been feeling like my depression medication isn't working very well, too - maybe my metabolism and hormone levels are changing or something?! I'm not suicidal or anything, truly, but I am so damn impatient, I have to remember that I only had the surgery THREE WEEKS AGO and that OF COURSE this is a long-term process and a massive lifestyle adjustment.

To add insult to injury ha ha, I weighed in on Saturday and hadn't lost a gram!!!! If that doesn't serve me right lol.

The main points I am taking away from last week are as follows:
  1. Stick to a meal plan, and immediately throw away any leftovers when I am full (the 1st time ha ha)
  2. Eat only at the table, not in front of TV
  3. I may take a while to get back to full strength, and won't pressure myself to go back to the gym or exercise if I am exhausted
  4. White bread is the debbil
  5. I didn't get to 170kg in a matter of weeks or months, so I won't get down from there quickly.
  6. The 20-something kilos I've lost are never coming back

Hope everyone's journey is going smoothly - rest assured I am back on track, and determined to have a better and brighter week.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tired But Surviving

Day Three back at work and so far everything is cool. Last night we had a work function and I had a glass of lemon squash and two canapes which went down perfectly (and tasted great!), also managed to dance and take photos for my work newsletter and generally socialise more than I have done in the past. A few people commented on the weight I've lost, since they last saw me in August it's almost 25 kilos and there were a lot of compliments - always nice ha ha! I just feel more confident and energetic, even though I get tired quite easily by the end of the afternoon. The bus trips have been fine too, no problems at all, and sitting at my desk for most of the day isn't uncomfortable either.

Most of my recovery is emotional and mental, still. My body healed quickly but I still struggle with taking tiny bites, chewing super-slowly, not drinking during meals, and not being able to reach for food when I am bored, stressed, emotional, hormonal...

But I will get there - I AM getting there.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Back To The Real World...

Tomorrow I have to go back to work. I'm dreading it for so many reasons, most of them stupid... I take two buses each way, 3 hours travel time in total, and I'm not sure how my body will cope with the sitting down, squashed in position. My family are organising lifts to and from work tomorrow, which is awesome, but ultimately I need to regain my independence. I also worry about being away from home if I feel sick, or want to sleep, or need to lie down - which has happened only rarely in the fortnight I've been on sick leave. But it's not the most professional thing to do in the office lol. Maybe I can take a nap in the stationery cupboard! I've been stressing out about all the work that has piled up while I've been away, and what I will take for lunch (from my limited menu), and what should I wear that is comfortable but still shows that I have lost 8kg since they last saw me ha ha!

I know, I'm losing the plot!! I wish I was back in hospital - truly, I love hospital, always have, since I was small and had a few lengthy stays in hospital. I feel safe there, as if I'll be okay if anything happens cause there are professionals on site 24/7! And while there I didn't feel like a freak show curiosity, which is kind of how I feel sometimes out here in the world. I feel like everyone is ALWAYS WATCHING ME (paranoid much ha ha), and every time I burp or hiccup or frown someone says "Are you all right??!!" Then there's the way people freak out at the miniscule bowl I eat from, with my tiny teaspoon, and how I pause for 1 or 2 minutes between mouthfuls... A couple of times I've got the distinct impression that people think I am doing it for effect!! As if I am playacting only being able to eat half a cup of food at a time!

To me, this process can be incredibly solitary and isolating - thank heaven for the other sleevers and bandits on the internet who are going through the same stuff as I am, which reassures me I am not crazy. more crazy than I was BEFORE the sleeve ha ha!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Weigh In, Rewards & Challenges

This morning my official weigh in puts me at 148.9kg, meaning that I am 6.1kg lighter than the day of my surgery and 21.1kg lighter than the day I decided to have weight loss surgery (and started on Optifast). I'm stoked with the results, especially after watching the Biggest Loser last night and realising that even those people are working their asses off, statistically they have little chance of keeping the weight off. I felt sad for them, and relieved that I was rejected by the Australian producers - I decided in August that I would either be on the Biggest Loser or have weight loss surgery, and you all know how that turned out (: Turns out to be the happiest rejection of my life!! I don't have to cry and sweat on national television, I don't need to spend 8 hours a day in the gym, and I am guaranteed to permanently change my eating habits. Woo hoo! Even if I get cranky, or hormonal, or bored with the process of losing weight, I can NEVER go off this "diet" because it really is a lifestyle change. I am thinking of renaming my lap sleeve surgery WEIGHT LOSS FOR DUMMIES lol.

On a more serious note, I have set some rewards and challenges for each milestone I reach. Thought I may as well record them here. These are the rewards for each major loss:
  • 20kg loss -- buy a new blender (DONE last week - yippee!)
  • 30kg loss -- family trip to Rottnest Island
  • 40kg loss -- buy new running shoes in Jan/Feb sales
  • 50kg loss -- Easter 2008 trip to Exmouth
  • 60kg loss -- Buy a bicycle
  • 70kg loss -- November 2008 trip around the world
  • Anything extra to get me under 100kg is a bonus, I want to get a scooter but hubby says too dangerous!

Then I have set myself some challenges for once I reach each milestone:

  • 20kg loss - practise bending over and pedicure my toenails lol
  • 30kg loss - ride a bike on our trip to Rottnest
  • 40kg loss - start jogging/shuffling during my walks
  • 50kg loss - swim/dive with whale sharks and manta rays at Exmouth
  • 60kg loss - join a dance class
  • 70kg loss - sit in my economy class plane seat and be relatively comfortable, without a seatbelt extender!

Friday, November 9, 2007

My Latest Meal

I have had two food victories over the last 24 hours - hooray! Thursday is traditionally my family's takeaway night, and over the last 2 months I've just missed out, having Optifast etc. This time, I thought I'd give it a go and ordered a small popcorn chicken from KFC and a potato and gravy. Blended the chicken up and stirred in the potato - yum! It went down beautifully, and more importantly stayed down lol!! I only ate about 1/4 of the small box of chicken, but I felt like I wasn't missing out.

Then for lunch I thought I would try pasta, which I have been missing over the last two and a half months...boiled up about 20 beef ravioli and then stirred in some pasta sauce and grated some parmesan over it. Awesome. So so yummy, and had not trouble eating it. Hooray! I am feeling like I'm returning to a kind of normality with my eating after being "out-of-the-loop" for so long. I think that doing 8 weeks Optifast before the procedure was over-ambitious, even though it kick started my weightloss and made sure my liver was less fatty for the operation. It also meant the liquid phase wasn't so terrible, as I was used to shakes, etc. But really, 10 weeks without an ordinary meal, and without chewing anything except salad, is TOO LONG. My surgeon told me it would be ha ha! Hate it when they are right lol.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Grief, Part Two

In a previous post I touched on the feeling of loss and grief I have as my new life unfolds - a life without the old faithful friend food/binge eating. Yesterday has really been an important lesson for me, not only about taking it easy with introducing foods to the T4.

For many years I have had a tradition of going solo to the movies, then buying a magazine and pigging out at the local foodhall. I never really noticed this tradition until today, when I analysed the circumstances leading up to my horrifying public puke... Even when I was a poor student I would go into town on Austudy payday and have nachos, or McDonalds (or both...cringe) and happily read my gossip mag. I can't do that anymore, not in the same unthinking way. I've come to realise that nothing will be so unplanned and unconscious in my life, not for a long time, maybe never. And that's okay.

I really got teary today thinking about this massive part of my life, sad though it sounds, being gone forever. I know, I know, I can do the movie and the shops and even catch a tiny bite to eat, but you and I both know it's not the same. So MANY things are not the same. And it justs makes me a little melancholy. I've prayed and wished for such a long time to be free of my addictive behaviour towards food, and you know what they say "Be careful what you wish for?!"

I still think this operation is the best thing I ever did, even as I drink yet another Up & Go and struggle with a general lack of protein. Today my throat is killing me, I'm exhausted and a tad bereft, but I guarantee you my relationship with hot chips has changed permanently and for the better lol.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

What I Like To Call The "T4 Rebellion"

I'm well known for calling my gastric sleeve the Teeny Tiny Tummy Tube. AKA T4. Today, T4 well and truly got one up on me - I actually vomited in public for the first time EVER! Aaaargh. Not nice. I was supposed to catch up with a friend, who cancelled due to being seriously unwell, and rather than just stay home I thought I would go to the movies. No problems there, saw a movie, drank my water, browsed around the shops. THEN, foolish girl that I am, I decided to try something to eat from the foodhall...

Note to self: Hot chips from Nandos are NOT the same as watered down mushy mashed potatoes.

Exactly six chips later I felt an alarming agony in my chest region and knew the gig was up. Scarpered from Nandos, leaving the rest of my lovely chips, and started heading for the bus stop. Walk a few steps groaning, vomit. Walk a few steps burping, vomit. Walk a few steps saying "This is NOT a $%#^ joke, you are a $%#& idiot", smile apologetically at the nice man skirting my latest pile o' bile. Managed to get on the bus and travel without throwing up (thank you Lord), once off the bus I totally lost what was left in my stomach, in the process taking off a layer of my throat inside. Then had to walk 1.5km home. Slowly. Still burping and cursing but otherwise okay.

I am so annoyed with myself for getting complacent, second-guessing the experiences of other sleevers and banders, and thinking that the worst was over. For crying out loud, Lil - get with the program. This is a tool, not a solution. This is a weight loss surgery not a body re-invention.

My new mantra - slow and mushy wins the race.

Monday, November 5, 2007

In Local News

So, yesterday I was inducted into the sleeve gastrectomy Hall of Fame. By that, I mean I suffered from my first honorary excrutiating piercingly painful moment of indigestion - and MAN, you blokes weren't kidding when you said it sucked. OW. I had cruised along for almost a week, feeling slightly virtuous and fab, wondering what the big deal was about indigestion. Last night I faithfully mashed up my delicious fish and vegies, ignoring the potato and garlic stiry fry the other folk were enjoying with their fish...until the cockiness overcame me and I reached for two tiny cubes of the potato. Mistake. Big mistake. Although I tried to chew them to mush, those two cubes of potato got stuck in my chest and brought tears to my eyes - thank God for Degas. I had to leave the table and walk around the back garden til the pain subsided.

Let that be a lesson to me!! Do not be greedy, do not attempt too much too soon, and do not eat anything that hasn't been put in front of me!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Pureed Life

Today I am still on Cloud Nine, and you know what the problem is with clouds...they're kinda flimsy and there's a looooong way to fall off them lol. I struggle with the dark thoughts that say "this is all too easy, something's gonna go wrong, any minute now you'll find yourself throwing up...what if, what if, what if..."

It goes to show that the main struggle in this journey, as we all know too darn well, is with the stuff we have in our head, NOT the stuff we put in our tummies. But the main benefit to this surgery is that I can focus my energy on the junk food swimming around my head now I am not consumed with forcing junk food down my gob!! I remember saying to Gorgeous Jon at the beginning that I wanted to know for sure, 100%, that my body was NOT HUNGRY, that it was my heart, my mind, my soul, my spirit that needed the nourishment. It makes everything clearer.

I had a chai tea and a mashed banana for breakfast and then made myself a mango lassi for lunch. Lassi is just a fancy showy-offy world traveller way to say smoothy ha ha!! In India, of course, the Lassis come with hmmm, shall we say herbal enhancements??!! Definitely none of that in mine, I have enough problems dealing with reality thank you very much!

Went to the markets and bought some red emperor fish for everyone for dinner, which I think we will do on the barbecue. I have some mashed vegies left from yesterday so I'm planning to mash up some of the fish and have it with the vegies for my dinner. Man, I am craving savouries something chronic...I have always been more of a savoury eater, not a chocoholic or sweet freak. Give me pizza, burgers, chips... I have to say, I'm thrilled to have a healthier style of eating but one of these days I will order a teeny tiny cheeseburger meal and put it happily into my teeny tiny tummy tube! Well...half of it anyway!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Weigh In & Measure

This morning my weight is 154kg, meaning I've lost 2 kg since I went into surgery. How much does a stomach weigh anyway?? Probably 500g or so, meaning the rest is fat loss - hooray! I am feeling AMAZING, I still can't get used to the fact that the amounts of food I consume are so tiny... I'm focusing on eating and drinking really slowly, tiny amounts at a time, and I stop as soon as I start to feel full. Then sometimes I will try a little more, and other times I stop. I haven't felt nauseous at all, and no heartburn or indigestion - which could be the Somac they prescribed me at the hospital. My dressings have started to come off, and the wounds seem to be healing fine - the drainage site is a bit red and inflamed but my mom the ex-nurse says it's all good.

Did my measurements today for and thought I would record them here also.
Neck - Oct 4 / 39cm ----Nov 3 / 37cm (loss of 2cm)
Bust - Oct 4 / 145cm----Nov 3 / 144cm (loss of 1cm)
Waist - Oct 4 / 132cm ----Nov 3 / 130cm (loss of 2cm)
Hip - Oct 4 / 161cm ---- Nov 4 / 159cm (loss of 2cm)
Thigh - Oct 4 / 84cm ---Nov 4 / 84cm (same)
Calf - Oct 4 / 64cm -----Nov 4 / 62.5cm (loss of 1.5cm)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Surgery - Day Three & Four

On Wednesday, I waited and waited and waited for Gorgeous Jon to come check on me to see if I could have the rest of my drips and drain taken out, and if I could start on clear fluids. Finally he came in around 12 and pronounced me brilliantly recovered - YAY!! He ordered me to put my TEDs stockings back on (boooooo) for a week and said he would check on me Thurs morning and if my OBs were okay I would be checking out.

After GJ left my fave nurse Emma came in and brought thin chicken broth and lemonade - oh my god, manna from Heaven...the saltiness of the soup was divine. After that Emma supervised a student nurse Lisa to take out my drips and the drainage tube from my abdomen. I ain't gonna lie to ya - taking that long tube out HURT. I felt SO SORRY for the student nurse, cause the tube was stubborn and resisting her gentle pulling, and I could tell she thought a rush of blood and guts was imminent he he. Once that was gone I had a shower, changed, laid down and went to sleep for two hours - hooray. The simple joy of being able to turn on my side to sleep instead of my back, and to be able to move without tubes and bottles.

Once I got rid of the drip I was on oral Panadol and only took two tablets the whole of Wednesday and none so far today. I really have no pain at all, except when I bend down or otherwise irritate the tummy area which makes me twinge a bit. I had jelly for dinner Wednesday and green tea, as well as my sips of water, and then had a fruit smoothie (yummo) and tea for breakfast as well as an apple juice. Now, I am HOME! And it's awesome, although I was terrified to leave the hospital at first. Not that I said anything to anyone (: But inside I was worrying "what if I get a leakage, an infection, what if I throw up..." Really, I am just taking it easy testing out my new teeny tiny tummy tube. Had soup when I got home (about 150ml) and then a few spoonfuls of icecream just cause I could! It was actually on the nourishing fluids menu at the hospital so I didn't feel too guilty.

There were a lot of things I noticed about the ways in which surgeons do the procedure and the post-op. I shared the SNU with a Gorgeous Jon sleever and then shared a room with a Dr Cohen sleever, and there were a few differences in the way things are done. When I'm more up to it I will write about these differences, cause it showed me that I was really really happy with my choice of surgeon, even though Dr Cohen trained GJ and is massively successful doing both bands and sleeves.

Anyway - THANK YOU to everyone who emailed, posted, sent flowers, cards, texts. The support makes all the difference, even though in the end we have to face up to our fears and go into the surgery all alone, knowing people are caring about you makes the journey to the other side so much easier. Love from Lil and the Teeny Tiny Tummy Tube xxxx

Surgery - Day Two

The Special Nursing Unit (SNU) was wicked, having staff all to yourself, where in the rest of the hospital there are a lot of student nurses and doctors, and in general everyone is short staffed and super busy. The SNU gets more resources because the patients who need close monitoring are there. I was in overnight, went back to my room at 1pm Tuesday. Most of Tuesday morning was spent getting up and about (ouch), having a shower (niiiiice), and watching TV. So many cooking shows!? Did I mention that I am STARVING?? I progressed from ice chips to water sips - 30ml every hour (the size of a medicine cup). I walked around as much as possible, trying to avoid the dreaded DVTs. Loved the SNU because there was always something happening, and I was closest to the door and the desk so I could indulge my Gemini nosiness and listen to everyone gossipping. My mum came in to visit for a couple of hours while I was in the SNU and I dozed on and off (sorry mum!!). I took a heap of books, MP3 players, craft but until late Tuesday afternoon I couldn't concentrate on anything, so just had the TV on and slept intermittently. Meanwhile, still having OBs (which went from hourly to four hourly) and a Heparin injection in the belly every 12 hours.

Before I left SNU I got one of my three drips taken out (the one under my wrist which I think was for monitoring blood pressure and administering pain relief through the PCA button). After that I had some Panadol in my drip every five hours or so, which was plenty to take the edge off. I had some shoulder tip pain, which improved when I started walking around and sitting up - and BURPING ha ha! Tuesday arvo I briefly met my room-mate Jenny, who was just about to go in for a lap sleeve. She went into surgery and then the SNU so I was on my own until lunchtime Wednesday.

Had a few visitors Tuesday afternoon/evening and started a bit of cross-stitching, read a little. I was starting to feel more alert and able to understand how amazing and exciting this thing is that I have done!! Until then, I really hadn't looked at the potential weight loss - not for a long time. I'd been too preoccupied with getting the money through to pay for the surgery, and doing the Optifast, and hoping that the surgery wouldn't be impossible due to my scarring. Gorgeous Jon said another inch lower and it would have been NO GO, most of my scar tissue is around the lower bowel area.

Anyway...onto Day Three

Surgery - Day One

Well, I am finally "on the other side" as they say, and have been lap-sleeved since 7pm Monday night. It's now 2 and a bit days later and I feel like a million bucks! Seriously! I felt like crap the first night, sore and cranky on Day One but since then have been on nourishing fluids (smoothies, ice cream, juice, tea, soup) and got discharged from hospital this morning. For anyone interested in the process I'm going to break the process down into bits & pieces. There is so much waiting around...aargh.

DAY ONE - Monday 29 Oct
Arrived at hospital 11am, got taken to my room around 11.30am - though I had asked for an paid extra for a private, they don't guarantee it apparently, and Mercy is VERY busy right now. The other bed was unoccupied for about the half the time I was there anyway. No biggie. Room has a lovely view over leafy Mt Lawley, staff all awesome. Had my shower with antibacterial soap and got into my gown and stockings by 1:30. Nurse Jerry came in and put Bactoban ointment up my nostrils (antiseptic, for the tubes?), injected me with Heparin (blood thinner)took all my vitals, asked the usual questions (name, DOB, operation). Eventually I went down to the pre-op room, where I laid for about 5 mins and then two more nurses separately asked me the name, DOB, operation type questions. Theatre nurse took me into theatre, where my anaesthetist came in and chatted, and Gorgeous Jon also stopped by. Dr Swan the anaesthetist said "Now, I'm going to put something in your arm to..." and that was all I knew for the FOUR HOUR PROCEDURE. Yikes. Now usually, it doesn't take more than an hour and a half, but I had extensive scar tissue from a previous surgery so it took longer. Meanwhile, my family were freaking out a bit, but I was happily snoozing away.

Out of surgery, I came to briefly in the recovery room, where some nurse hassled me about my face being red and was that because I had hives??!!! Tried to give her a smart alecky answer but the oxygen mask and general wooziness cramped my style! Next time I woke up it was 7:45pm and I was in the Special Nursing Unit (SNU) and my hubby and mum were there. Apparently I looked dreadful (thanks guys) and felt like my throat was gonna crack. I remember saying "I can't breathe, I can't breathe", as I sucked on oxygen, and Nurse Emma (who became my favourite nurse at Mercy) was saying "Your oxygen's fine love, just relax". The first night was a long one, just with dozing on and off, and having my obs (pulse, BP, O2 levels) taken every hour.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


The last few days have been a nightmare... I truly feel as though my closest, most long-lasting friendship is ending - the one I have with food. I'm committed to this surgery, I know it's the only way I can survive, but I'm sad at the thought that I will have a different relationship with food from now on. SO many times I have shared with food, both good and bad. It will never be the same again, and that's good, that's healthy, but I feel bereft. It's weird and pathetic. I need to look at food as the kind of toxic friend that sometimes needs to be kicked out of our lives...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Moving On Up

Okay, so I have spoken to self sternly and am now back on track. Strict week of Optifast before my surgery next week, so far I am suffering a little from the readjustment but nowhere near as difficult as the first time I started Opti six weeks ago. As for the surgery... Yikes - only 6 sleeps to go!! I am occupying myself with lists - what to cook and buy before I go in, what to take with me, what I need to get finished at work before my 2 weeks off. I've bought a portable dvd player on ebay and am hoping to get some quality watching in during my 3/4 day stay at Mercy. Also am filling two mp3 players with meditations, music, etc. Thursday is my clothes shopping day, as I am in desperate need of new underwear!!! Also hope to pick up some cheapish pjs, saw some in the Big W catalogue.

My cheque arrived yesterday from REST, my superannuation company, and it will pretty much cover the rest I need to pay. $14,000 - thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am relieved they didn't withhold any, except for the compulsory 21.5% tax. I've paid for an express clearance on the cheque so I can get bank cheques made up on Thursday - one for the anaesthetist, one for the hospital and one for Gorgeous Jon & Co.

Looks like it's all systems GO, and I will be sleeved by this time next week and no longer hungry - whoopee!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Falling Off The Wagon

Aaaaargh. Major black hole alert. Have fallen off the pre-surgery Optifast wagon more than once this week, and am determined to get back on track. I've chosen poorly when it comes to food, and more alarmingly, I have binged three times - not as massive as my pre-pre-surgery binges, but just the fact that the urge is still there makes me so angry. Or is it anger that brings on the urge?? I have so many conflicting emotions about this process, even though I know it's the right thing - THE ONLY THING...and I am premenstrual...the combination of factors has really thrown a spanner in the works.

I am determined to be 100% committed to my last week on Optifast - I know it will make the surgery easier, my recovery will be easier, and the shock to my system won't be so severe if I am partly adjusted to NOT eating. Trying really really hard not to get depressed, angry, upset, frustrated cause all those things make me want to binge more... wish I could get part of my brain removed along with part of my stomach (:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Had my last pre-op appointment with Gorgeous Jon yesterday, which went fairly well. Have only lost 4.5kg since I saw him one month ago, he wanted ten kg - I am planning to shift another few kg by the 29th when I go under the scalpel!! Also saw Janet, the pre-op admission nurse, who was mega-nice and told me all about the pain relief options - yay! Gorgeous Jon is being ultra-cautious and warned me that there is a 50/50 chance that my scar tissue from peritonitis might stop him doing the procedure, but Nurse Janet seemed to think it was unlikely to be a problem, as I haven't had issues with the scarring before. Fingers crossed!! I can't imagine waking up in recovery and finding out that NOTHING had changed and I would have to go on Reductil or back onto Xenical... I feel sick just thinking about still being trapped in this horrifying, sad, uncomfortable body...

On a brighter note I had my third session at Contours last night and I'm loving it. The women there are supportive and the workouts are fast and fun. Will definitely keep going.

Friday, October 12, 2007

One Month On Optifast - Photos

Sept 170kg Oct 158kg

Sept 170kg Oct 158kg

I really think my stomach looks smaller!!

Hooray For Contours!

Went and joined up at Contours yesterday and had the BEST workout. I used to have a personal trainer, and went to the gym a lot, it really was the most fun I ever had while exercising - to have that feeling back, even only for 29 minutes a session lol, is wonderful. I'm planning to go at least three times a week, hopefully up to five times, except for a short time away while I am post-surgery. The women who run the place are gorgeous, and the girls-only atmosphere really suits me. My last gym was the base for Perth's triathlete community and there were always a stack of sweaty blokes there hogging the rowing machine.

For those who don't know, Contours is a unique concept (similar to the Curves chain, out of America) whereby they combine cardio and weights into one workout, with 45 second spells on weight machines and rebounders. I used to do a lot of circuit trainer with my personal trainer, and Contours is a low-key version of that. No time to get bored, the music blares out and there is an announcement every 45 seconds saying "Change stations"!! The weight machines are different to Curves, in that they aren't hydraulic so you use your muscles to lift and to lower (rather than the machine pulling the weight back to its starting place). Love it, love it, love it - although my calf muscles are screaming today ha ha!

My scales are currently out of action, thanks to Uber Hubby dripping water all over them while shaving... so I won't be able to weigh in tomorrow. I feel fairly similar to last week, maybe a kilo lighter but not much. Oh well. I'm sure the weight is going down anyway. I just can't wait to have my procedure and let the lap sleeve help me feel full.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Guardian Angels

Such a lot has happened since my last post I hardly know where to start! Firstly, I've been visited by a guardian angel, Divine Dayle, a fellow lap-sleever who has kindly given me her TENS stockings for my surgery, saving me the cost and time of getting some made. I can't thank her enough - you rock Dayle!! I also feel like having the stockings of a successful lap-sleever (Dayle's procedure was done with Gorgeous Jon in Feb) is a lucky charm. Hooray! I love the way that life brings awesome people into our lives when we most need, and least expect them.

I spent Tuesday afternoon ay Mercy with my "crew" - dietician Laura, bariatric assessor Hemah and exercise physio Sue. They are all fab ladies, with support and advice to burn, and although I was totally knackered by the end of the day I felt even more committed to having the surgery and FINALLY curing my weight problem. Got a bit of a kick in the teeth when I got home and found a letter from my super company saying that they will not be able to release the full amount I need for the surgery - aaargh. I'm going to be 5 - 10 grand short, so I am starting to apply for finance, call in favours and grovel to family members! For a while I thought maybe it's not meant to be, that I should wait 11 months til my Medibank Private membership will pay for it...but honestly, how much heavier will I be by then?? I've been losing weight with Optifast, but truthfully my willpower is waning and without the idea of the surgery in a couple of weeks, I feel like I would slip back.

One way or another I am going to have this procedure done, and start getting my life back. I don't have unreasonable goals, simply to be under 100kg would be a huge relief, and by all accounts it's within reach - WITH THE LAP SLEEVE. Not on my own, with optifast, trying to get my fat ass out of bed to walk every morning, feeling constantly tired and hungry. I can't do that anymore. I just have to find the money. I trust that the universe will provide it somehow, and that come Oct 29th I will paid up and ready to go.

Wish me luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Prize Winning Calf

Actually "prize" is the wrong word...maybe "record-breaking calf" is a better description! Called to organize my TENS compression stockings with the Medical Supplies place this morning with my ankle and calf measurements and LITERALLY the guy was struck dumb, and then went "oh" in a tiny voice, before putting his hand over the phone and muttering to a manager or someone for a while...he eventually came back on and said "Are you sure those measurements are correct?" and when I said yes, he informed me that the biggest size they had would be too small and some special ones would have to be made!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my god. It takes a lot to embarrass me, I'm kind of used to being the biggest person in the room, etc, etc, but when a MEDICAL SUPPLIES place freaks out about your size, well, it's kind of demoralising! AND, because I can't buy them ready made they will cost around $250 - which I know, I know, is definitely better than carking it from a DVT.

But still!!

The most annoying thing is, I'll only wear them once as I NEVER intend to have shock-worthy, record-breaking calves ever again. So tomorrow, with my three hospital appointments and my stocking purchase I will be down almost $2000. Ouch. But it is the best investment I'll ever make, I'm sure of it. In a few months I will be saying "Worth every cent, even those damn stockings".

Friday, October 5, 2007

Weight and Measurements

Weighed in this morning, a day early due to the fact that I am staying at a friend's place tonight so will be away from my scales tomorrow. I've lost 1.5kg in the week, which is not enough, and a little disappointing, but IT IS BETTER THAN A GAIN!

So my weight stands now at 158.7kg

Took some measurements today, it being a month since I began Optifast. Didn't take them at the start (doh), but will measure myself every month from now on, to supplement the kilos lost. My measurements are:
  • Neck - 39cm
  • Bust - 145cm
  • Waist - 132cm
  • Hip - 161cm
  • Thigh - 84cm
  • Calf - 64cm

I talked to the pre-admission nurse today, who asked me for my calf measurements - apparently they are so large that the hospital doesn't carry TENS stockings big enough and I have to purchase them privately (another $100)!! Next week I have my assessment day, where I see the dietician, bariatric assessor and the exercise physiologist - and that day I need to pay $1500. After that is the big one, when on surgery day Oct 29 I need to pay $17,000 approx upfront. Obviously you can't carry that around in cash he he... I guess I will need to organise a bank cheque (note to self - ask Clinic next week).

I am alternating between being petrified/nauseous and excited/psyched. I think this month is going to pass by in a blur of adrenalin.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tiny Victories

Wow. This morning I decided to try and fit into my size 26 jeans (my favourites), and lo and behold I got them on perfectly! I haven't been able to do them up for a long time, since 150kg-ish I think. I never thought I would be so happy to fit into a size 26! Welcome back jeans!

Another victory this week is that APRA have approved my superannuation claim, which means that I should be able to get $18,000 (minus tax) from REST in the next couple of weeks. I called them and they didn't seem to think it would be a problem - hooray! Once tax comes out I will still be a couple of grand short but should be able to make up the shortfall myself or with family loans. It really hit me yesterday that I was going to hospital in three weeks, and I would have a massive permanent change - slightly terrifying... I am still massively excited, and convinced that it's the right thing to do, but the enormity of it hadn't hit me til yesterday (when I realised I would get the money to pay for it).

I was rambling on to my family yesterday about whether Mercy Hospital rent TVs to patients and whether I should buy a portable DVD player to take in, and I said without thinking "I wonder what the food's like"!!!! We all looked at each other for a second and burst out laughing - I guess that's one question that won't be important for me.

On Saturday I will weigh in and take a couple of progress photos as it's been a month since I started on Optifast. I am trying to amp it up a little, walking my dog every morning as well as walking to and from the bus stop/work. Really committed to being 145kg by the time I go under the laparoscope.

Monday, October 1, 2007

A Pinch & A Punch

Oh my goodness, it's October already. Wow. I may as well start an official countdown to my surgery - 28 sleeps to go woo hoo!!!!!

I am having some issues at work, trying to decide if it's the right job, right workplace for me... but this weekend I have realised that now is not the time to make that kind of a change. So, if possible, I will hang in there until Christmas and then re-address the situation. There are a lot of benefits to my job right now:
  1. I like a lot of what I do (publications, admin)
  2. Mostly, I get on well with my colleagues
  3. They are fine with me having 2 weeks sick leave for my operation & recovery
  4. My clinic and hospital are just down the road from work
  5. I travel 3 hours a day on public transport, which I intend to start using positively, working on some inner-health stuff (meditation, etc) to help in my recovery
  6. It's a sedentary job so I will hopefully be able to return to work sooner after surgery

I suppose the bottom line, as with many things, is my attitude. Not having food to "medicate" my emotions with over the last three weeks has made my stress and moods seem SO much worse. The job hasn't changed, or my workplace - just me. And that's okay. This is a massive life-altering thing I am doing, and there's bound to be a period of adjustment.

So my plan for the month is to keep my head down and focused on my work, ignoring petty crap, making sure I am as well-prepared as possible for the 29th of October. Started making a shopping list for the time I will be admitted and the recovery time at home, and joined Bigpond Movies so I can order some DVDs to keep me entertained! I am kind of looking forward to the "ME TIME" he he he.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Show Day

B and I went to the Royal Show today and I decided that I would relax my VLCD for the day and have a shake for breakfast and dinner but eat something different at the Show. Kind of like a "last stand" I suppose, before my lap sleeving next month! I knew that already my tastes and body have changed so I wouldn't feel like having anything super high fat like the old days (eg: Dagwood Dog, chips, toffee apple, waffles...). Also, the great thing about the Show is all the walking! We went at least two or three kilometres all up, even though it was stop and start and a slow pace I felt good about the exercise. I ended up having corn on the cob with butter, salt and pepper, a fruit icypole and a roast beef roll throughout the five hours we were there - and I am damn proud of myself I didn't overdo it.

Weighed in this morning at 160.2kg - a loss of just 800g ): It's not surprising, considering I went off the rails this week. Also I am retaining fluid in my usual monthly fashion (if you know what I mean!), so I feel confident of another good loss next week. At least the scales are going down - the direction they are going PERMANENTLY.

Changed my blog title from Lap Band to Lap Sleeve, now that I am committed to the lap tube gastrectomy.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

La La La

*twiddling thumbs*

Bit of a ho hum mood. Almost at the end of Week Three on Optifast, and I must confess that this week has been a slack one. I had sandwiches for lunch on Tuesday (catering for our Board Meeting) then came home craving pizza on Wednesday but satisfied myself with making spag bol and having mostly meat hardly any nasty white carb pasta... I don't expect to have lost much this week.

Haven't heard from APRA yet, of course - I am hopeful to get an answer sometime next week but as long as the money comes through before 29 Oct I'll be happy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

APRA & Early Release Super

Finally got all the paperwork together for my claim to APRA for early release of my superannuation - the application ended up being 12 pages long! I faxed it through and posted it and now the process begins of waiting and keeping my fingers crossed. I have one concern and that is that I need almost the entire amount I have in super ($18,000) and from what I have heard the super funds like you to leave some in there. Maybe they will only give me some of it... then I need to apply to my husband's super fund, or refinance a personal loan with the bank. Not for a second have I questioned the process, though. I need this surgery now, not in 12 months when my health insurance waiting period is up. By then I could easily have gained 20-50kg - why not find the money now and LOSE 20-50kg in the same time period??

I am so scared that my superannuation fund won't give me any money at all, which I know they have done in the past to other claimants. They're one of the funds that are known to be painful about early release. Just trying to think positive, and trust that the universe will provide.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Another Day, Another Weigh

Weigh In this morning and I am an even 161kg - so nine kilos lighter than when I started this journey 2 weeks ago. Pretty happy with that! I am aiming to be 145kg by my surgery date, which averages out to about 3kg a week - totally doable.

I have a new exercise incentive (see photo). She is an abandoned stray named Scruff, about 7 years old, and hubby and I have been walking her 2/3 times every day. Gets us out of the house and she loves it.

Other news - I have a shocking cold and am feeling like eating eating eating. I know it's just emotional hunger, as my shakes and vegies are taking care of the nutrients...but damn if it doesn't feel just as legitimate as real physical hunger. I can't wait to have the lap tube and to know 100% that my stomach is full, so therefore if I'm hungry it's my soul that's empty.

Love & luck to all

Lil xxxx

Monday, September 17, 2007

I Got Myself A Date!!!

Oh my god, whoever would have thought I'd be EXCITED to go to hospital! I have been accepted for lap tube gastrectomy surgery on October 29th - all going well with the pre-surgery appointments and my six week VLCD.


I weighed in at Dr Jon's at 162.8kg, which means I have theoretically lost more weight. But it's just the discrepancy in scales - I will keep mine weighing heavier so that when I go to the Doc's I won't get a rude shock. My only problem will be if Gorgeous Jon puts in his laporoscope and the scarring from my abdominal surgery (aged 7) is too severe for him to do the procedure. It has happened, apparently, but it's rare. It happened to him the other day, the poor woman must have been devastated to go through everything only to have him unable to complete the surgery (in that case a lapband).


Saturday, September 15, 2007

New Scales

Finally got some bathroom scales that can weigh me and I came in at 166.2kg. I think I have lost about 4 kg in my week on Optifast, so I reckon my estimate of my weight at 170kg was pretty accurate. I am thrilled that I've done so well on my first week on Optifast. I've never done a meal replacement diet before, even though I have tried pretty much everything else there is... I really thought I would be hungry all the time, which I'm not. I have added a bit of protein here and there, though, like last night I had a rasher of bacon with the fat cut off and an egg and ate that as I drank my shake. I've read that some Optifasters (esp in America) add protein powder to their shakes, so I don't think it's a problem. I will check all this on Monday when I visit Gorgeous Jon at Mercy...I can't wait to have my first official appointment and finally get started.

166.2kg and going down!!!!!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Before Photos

ONE - The last time I was a "normal" weight, 65kg, height 173cm. It was 1986 and I was sixteen, going to a Ball. Who knows WHAT was with my Princess Di head tilt!!!
TWO - 1992, London. The aunty I stayed with called me fat SO many times. I was about 85kg wearing size 18.
THREE - Amalfi Coast, Italy. Same trip as above. I love this photo of myself. I hope I get back that sense of freedom and possibility, though I think some of it disappears with age!
FOUR - Blue Ridge Mountains, USA. Why are all my favourite healthy photos of me travelling??? I guess I did travel a lot in those days. Before seat belt extender entered my vocabulary...1995, 100kg ish
FIVE- Sept 2007, just when I started Optifast in preparation for gastric surgery, band or sleeve. Around 170kg I think.
SIX - Denver, Colorado USA. Jeez I was a mess. By then I weighed around 125kg and was tired and asthmatic.
I have decided to move these photos into a post for now, until there is something to compare them to, maybe? For some reason, I don't want to see them every time I log in, even though they are a terrific incentive not to eat ha ha!! Also, I have added some photos of when I was healthier and smaller, also as an incentive. The photo next to my underwear shots was taken only 3 years after the one above it...amazing what a broken heart does to ya.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Officially Disabled?

Over here in Perth we have new(ish) buses that do a lot of the public transport routes - they have these fancy ramps that extend out and the bus lowers down in order for wheelchair passengers to roll onboard. This morning I was waiting for the bus as usual and when it pulled up I was surprised to see the bus slowly lower down, and the ramp extended. You can see where I'm going with this... Anyway... I looked over my shoulder and moved to the side to allow the "disabled" person to get on first. NO DISABLED PERSON THERE. Oh my god, it hits me that the bus driver, bless him, had made it easy for ME to get on the bus!!!!!!!!! ME!!! I have never ever thought of myself as being handicapped or disabled by my weight, even though it's not exactly a "bonus" lol.

I sat on the bus not knowing whether to laugh or cry - ended up laughing which is my usual trick. And you know what, it really DID make it easier to step onto the bus, cause some mornings I really have to HEFT myself up that step!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Liquid Life, Day Four

Things on Optifast/Ultraslim/Nutrimeal are going great. I am sticking to about 800 calories a day, combining the various VLCD meal replacements - once I see my surgeon I am happy to switch to Clinical or whatever. Of course, sometimes it's really really hard... a lot of the time, actually. I miss savouries, which is why I have used some of the Optifast soup. I'm also having salad or vegies every night, and it's such fun chewing!! During the day I have Extra chewing gum handy and have a piece now and again when I feel the urge to chomp on something.

I am bloody irritable though. And headachy. The foul taste in my mouth I am ASSUMING is ketones (unless a rat crawled in there and died sometime without me noticing...). Three people told me I looked like I'd lost weight today, and even though I laughed it off, I kind of felt that maybe it was true! My pants seemed less tight, though that could be the fact that my period has finished. I'm happy, anyway. FINALLY I feel like there is a light at the end of this tunnel, all I have to do is get accepted by Gorgeous Jon and his offsiders, convince REST to release my super, keep on trying to de-fatty my liver and then SHAZAAM, I will have a permanently reduced capacity to eat. Yeah, I'm a dreamer (but I'm not the only one RFLMAO!!!!)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Weight Loss History

I've been putting together a medical/weight history to take to my appointment on 17/9 and decided to post some of the relevant points here, so I can always see them and remind myself of why this HAS TO BE THE LAST TIME. I simply can't survive this way, yoyoing up and down so much. In my heart, I know it's killing me...

1985 (age 15). With a BMI of 22 I am the second heaviest person in my class (including boys) and when our weights are written on the blackboard I am ridiculed. I dream of such a BMI these days lol!!
1989 (age 19). Weight Watchers brings me down from 135kg to 110kg in six months
1997 (age 27). Personal problems, depression contribute to gaining 25kg in about three months. Back up to 135kg
2001 (age 31). An obesity specialist, dietician and Xenical (in those days on prescription only) helps me lose 20kg and I go from 140 to 120kg.
2003 (age 33). Develop agoraphobia and serious depression, medication helps but unfortunately the meds lead to me gaining weight, ending up around 155kg.
2004 (age 34). Doctor Phil's Weight Loss Challenge - awesome books and support group online, I lost 30kg and was fit and healthy (also had personal trainer).
2005 (age 35). Changed jobs, lost focus, developed fibromyalgia, by 2007 I am up to my heaviest weight yet - what feels like 175kg. I can't weigh myself on my scales as they only go to 150kg, but I am usually pretty accurate about guessing my weight. I can't fit into my size 26 jeans, which fit me fine when I was 155.

I am so tired these days, just walking up the one flight of stairs to my office makes me short of breath. I literally feel as though I am going to burst out of my poor over-stretched skin. Enough, as they say, is enough.

The Liquid Life

I am in Day Two of the liquid diet - using Nutrimeal from Usana (nutritional supplement company). My parents are members of Usana, and had heaps of the Chocolate and Strawberry shakes left over as one of their customers only likes the Vanilla sachets and they come in packs! So it was a cheap/free way to start the liquid diet. They are nutritionally sound, very similar in protein, calories, etc to Optifast cause I checked the labels. I actually like the shakes, especially the strawberry one, but I am sure the novelty will wear off quickly. But at least I have a purpose, and I feel like this is a great way to prepare for my Sept 17 appointment and get my mind into weight loss mode. I am having salad or non-starchy vegies for my dinner to supplement the shakes, as this is what seems to be recommended with Optifast.

At least it's a start. I am SO excited about (hopefully) getting in line for surgery. I know it will be at least a couple of months before I can get there... I am leaning towards the lap tube gastrectomy, but I will see what Gorgeous Jon has to say. It seems a shame to not be banded though, as there are so many awesome BANDITS out there, and great support groups. Because the lap sleeve is not as common, I suppose it's harder to find people who've had it.

My hubby has been roped in to take some before photos tomorrow, which I will post here in due course. Must do measurements as well, in the past it's been a good way to judge my weight loss.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Got My First Appointment

Last night the Seminar was fantastic. How awesome are the laproscopic videos??!! I loved being able to see all the inside workings of the lap band and the lap sleeve procedures, even though I think a few people were grossed out. I can't get over how little blood there is.

In two minds about which procedure to have done. I feel more confident about the technical aspects of the lap band, but I think the way the lap sleeve works may be more useful for me. I have my appointment with Gorgeous Jon (Armstrong) on Sept 17 and am considering starting Optifast or Clinical before then - partly to emphasise how committed I am to the procedure/life change and partly because it will get me in the habit of sipping, sipping, sipping.

Started the long and tedious process of getting my medical records - I am hoping that the records don't have to be 100% comprehensive as I have been through a number of different doctors and hospitals in my time. One surgery I contacted today said it is $150 for each set of records they retrieve from storage!! Times that by ten or fifteen doctors... yikes.

Still excited and focused though. One way or another, this is going to happen and I am going to feel full for the first time in my life!! Yippee!

Monday, September 3, 2007


How funny is this. I am SO excited about tomorrow night's seminar at Mercy, have been planning how to get there, what to wear, and it suddenly struck me that I'm acting it's like my first date (blush) with Dr Armstrong!! Talk about transference. I guess these bariatric surgeons must get that A LOT... "miserable obese desperate woman 37, seeking knight in shining armour to band her stomach. Non-smokers only please". Is it just me or are a lot of these surgeons YOUNG & HOT?? Okay, it's just me. But give me a break, the last time I was in hospital I had pnuemonia and was in a ward full of geriatric, emphysemic old codgers (and that was just the doctors...boom boom).

Is it weird to love hospitals? I spent a lot of time in them as a kid, and I guess I feel safe there, as if anything awful happens and I'm in the right place. The smell of the antiseptic and the squeak of the nurses shoes... when I was in Princess Margaret Children's Hospital in the 70s we always had "junk" for dinner on Friday night, like hot dogs or fish and chips. And every afternoon the trolley came around with icy cold Milo in a cup with a bendy straw.

Why is it that EVERY memory comes back to food?? Damn it.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The First Step Is The Trickiest

After being officially rejected by the producers of The Biggest Loser this week (my god, first time I wasn't fat enough?!) I am staring down the barrel of Plan B. Which, when you think about it, was really Plan A as attempting to lose weight competitively, against metabolically-enhanced men, on the other side of the country from my friends and family was not really a plan. Maybe a pipe dream or another crazy Gemini scheme... Either way, Plan B is here. It's now. It's like totally you.

Tuesday Sept 4 I am booked in to a seminar at Mercy Bariatrics with Jon Armstrong - who will hopefully become the man of my dreams when he pokes holes in me with a scalpel, inserts various tubes and instruments, leaving me with a dramatically reduced stomach and (hopefully) a brand new life. I really need to think about something other than food. I really need to get free of constantly wondering what my next meal, snack or binge will be. I've been hungry for my whole goddamn life and IT'S MAKING ME TIRED. I feel like a broken record... like Kramer from that episode of Seinfeld where he repeats the line from that movie over and over "these pretzels are making me thirsty!". These pretzels (chips, chocs, burgers, pizzas) are making me tired.

I have spent the better part of the last week ravenously searching the net for blogs, links, sites and references about the miracle that is the Lap Band. I've downloaded the forms to apply for early release of my superannuation to pay for the magic silicone circle, as I am not privately health covered and seriously doubt that I have 12 months to wait. The situation is drastic. And I am a person prone to exaggeration but this time I am NOT exaggerating. I am 170cm tall and weigh more than 170 kg - I don't know exactly how much as I can't find scales to weigh me. Since the age of 12 I have lost about 80 kilos and regained 150kg, my stretch marks have stretch marks and I can barely tie my shoes. Size 26s are tight and uncomfortable, and there just aren't a lot of options in sizes larger than that. I can't walk more than 500m, or climb more than 2 stairs, without puffing. I can't freaking breathe, and let's face it, breathing is kind of an essential...

I want to keep track of this journey, every step of the way, and thought I should start a blog. Just in case other people out there are contemplating the Band and are hoping to make connections, find information, etc, etc. I know it's going to be a long journey, and it will be hard some of the time. But this really is the Last Chance Saloon. So pull up a bar stool and sip a diet cordial with me...