Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What It's Like To Be An "Old Timer"

I've had a few questions lately about how much has changed for me since I was first "sleeved". A year has made a huge difference, in more ways that just the scale and the size of my clothes. I automatically choose small plates and portions now, and never drink when I eat - and that was one of the hardest things to get the hang of! People still comment on how little I eat (especially at restaurants when I just have an entree) and nine times out of ten I tell them I had weight loss surgery. I'm really not ashamed of it, and am proud of my success -- and I think sometimes I can educate people on the fact that the surgery is not a quick fix and it takes effort to make it work to its fullest potential.

Here's a sample of what I eat and drink in an average day...
BREAKFAST - Porridge (one of the instant sachet types), then about half an hour later I drink some water and take my vitamins (Multi vit, Multi mineral, antioxidant, CoQ10, Omega oils). I suffered from hairloss for about three months, not drastic but I could notice it, and the BEST thing for it is Omega 3 and 4s. My hair is back to normal now - yay! I don't crush the vitamins, am able to take them normally now with no probs.
SNACK - Coffee (skim milk and splenda), sometimes a mini muffin or fruit
LUNCH - meat and salad sandwich or nachos or half a chicken kebab or small lasagne or leftovers
SNACK - Vitamin water (my new addiction haha!), a mini packet of crisps
DINNER - palm size salmon or steak or chicken with vegies or salad. I don't have potato or rice at dinner, will have pasta once a week and the occasional piece of garlic bread
SNACK - Frosty Fruit icypole or piece of fruit

I know that there are areas needing improvement, and I'm working on it, but I find that the weight loss is still happening without me getting too anal about what I eat. Which is the reason I had this surgery, right??! Yeah! Considering what I USED to put away in a day, well I reckon I am a champion hahahaha! I have takeaway for dinner once a week, hardly ever eat hot chips cause they take up room for not much benefit, I tend to crave protein now and make the effort to eat as much as I can so I don't need protein supplements anymore...love KFC fillets, Red Rooster, grilled fish, breadless chicken kebab. Mmmmmm...now I'm hungry! That's another thing, I don't feel that "starving hungry" pang anymore, even though I have emotional hunger and vague "need to eat smething" hunger. But I don't feel truly hungry anymore.

Apart from the emotional and mental side effects and issues I've had from the weight loss, I have to be honest about the loose skin. IT SUCKS. I get frustrated sometimes, especially with my boobs which used to be excellent haha. I had to buy a padded pushup type bra the other day to squash in all the skin. I will definitely need surgery, the apron flap on my tummy is already causing rashes and discomfort and after losing another 30kg it's gonna be NASTY. If I twist my arm from side to side the flap makes a loud SLAP noise, and I don't like to wear sleeveless tops now. When I was fatter I never cared - weird. I care a lot more now about what I look like, which is probably partly because I am single haha. But I found that being 170kg+ I was invisible, and so large that people tended to skim over me when they looked, whereas now I am in the more "socially acceptable" fat range they feel they can judge!!!

I still recommend the surgery to anyone I feel could benefit, and I recommend the lapband to younger friends who plan to get pregnant someday, or people with less than 30kg to lose. Personally, I am thrilled I chose the sleeve, but it's not for everyone.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

New Bod New Feelings

Strange fact number one - with my sleeve and weight loss has come a revamped libido lol! I've managed to reduce my anti-depressants now I'm 51kg lighter, which I think helped, but also in general I feel so much more connected to my physical being. I know I've talked about this before, the way in which I disassociated from the unhappy, heavy, unhealthy body I found myself in - and how one of the things that needed to change was my relationship with my body. I can't believe I have my mojo back (blush)... I've met an amazing, gorgeous bloke who might just be important in my life, although I'm not looking for a love match I think we all know there are other ways in which people can connect haha! I haven't felt like this since I was 21. Maybe never. I've always been so afraid to relax and inhabit my physical self, preferring to have intellectual and spiritual connections with people. That is changing my friends...

Strange fact number two - I've lost 51 kilos, right, yes I know you're sick of me going on and on about it haha. Anyway, the 51 kg of fat has left behind some unsightly scars, marks, loose skin, which is a small price to pay for the brilliant life I have without the fat. But it does make me wonder, how on earth have I ended up feeling sexy and beautiful as I do, when realistically I need a good 25 grand's worth of plastic surgery to fix up my previous overeating errors. I guess it's true what "they" say, that most of our self esteem comes from within, not from what we perceive/see in the mirror. I know I am fitter, healthier and happier than I've ever been and I suppose that projects into my behaviour and my outlook, and the end result is that I feel damn hot lol. It's all relative I guess.

I've had to come to terms over the last few weeks with my age issues. I think losing the weight, and leaving my husband, made me feel as if I'd stepped into a time machine and reverted to age 25. I've been hanging out with some 25-ish-year olds, and you know what - they were children when I started truly living an adult life. They were born during the fab 80s that I'm so fond of. They are on a different path than me, which is terrific, and I know I can still have younger friends and enjoy their company. But I have to accept that I am THIRTY EIGHT. Yes, I am single. Yes, I weigh less now than I did 10 years ago. But I can't go back. In my heart I know I wouldn't want to, even though I occasionally allow myself the luxury of wondering "what if?"

Next year is all about shedding these last 39 kilos, and starting to plan my 40th birthday plastic surgery party haha. And I know that somewhere between now and this time next year I will have worked out what it means to be Lil, Sleever, 38.

Friday, November 21, 2008

One Year Sleeved

My apologies to everyone who has emailed me and commented here -- I've been in a timeout phase, I think, not just from my blog and my online life, but from any kind of serious lifechanging decision making. I think it's called a state of flux...or limbo...although the word "limbo" always makes me think of bending under a broomstick. Suffice to say, I've been out of touch with you guys for almost six months and I'm sorry! I've been doing well, really really well. Not so much in the weight loss, although that has been ticking along nicely. But I've been getting my head straight and working hard to make sure that the next part of my life is built on strong and stable foundations.

On the 29th of October I celebrated my one year "sleeve-iversary". The previous day should have been my 8th wedding anniversary, so it was a week of highs and lows. Hubby and I are still apart, and probably will remain as such, although we maintain a close friendship and shared custody of the dog and cats. We just want and need different things from life. I have made a couple of new male-type friends, and am thinking along the lines of perhaps starting to date again, now that I've been separated for over 6 months. Nothing serious! The last thing I need is another relationship. I'm still fine-tuning the relationship I have with myself!

Work is terrific, it has sustained me mentally as well as financially. I'm in a new position within Telstra and it's more challenging and interesting and for the first time in my life I feel ambition starting to grow inside me. This from someone who has never held down a full-time 9 - 5 job before this year. I walk 3 - 6 km every day (including weekends) and have joined a ten pin bowling league, even though I've never bowled before. I would never have had the courage to do that before the surgery.

I eat everything, honestly everything!! Bread, steak, potatoes, rice, pasta - there's no problem with my digestion as long as I watch out for the FULL signal. I think since I last wrote I've only chucked up three times, and all were times when I pigged out past the point of full. I tend to stay away from carbs simply because I crave protein more, so I will eat fish or steak and salad with no potato or rice, etc. I still eat chocolate too often (I am planning an NLP aversion therapy session on that soon haha). I broke my Coke Zero habit with NLP, thanks to an amazing guy called Mark Stephens (http://www.thinkslim.com.au/). I went to a seminar of his recently and bought the MP4 program which is worth every single cent. Since then, my weight has started to come off quickly again. I think the last six months have been a plateau for my body to adjust to the massive changes.

So, I hear you ask, what are the facts and figures of the last six months?? Well. I'm weighing in under 120kg now, can you believe it?? I've gone from 170kg - 119kg in 13 months. I haven't weighed this little for about 15 years. Some of my measurements are down from 161 cm (hips) to 132 cm, bust down from 145 - 122 and even my calves have shrunk by 8cm each!! I was a size 28 prior to meeting Gorgeous Jon Armstrong, and now I am about a 20. In tops probably 18. I've found the weight doesn't come as quickly away from the hips and thighs - dammit!

I'm going to put some pictures here and in my piczo blog, although I don't think I look much different from the last time I blogged. I think the changes are more internal lately. I look happier, don't you think?? People keep saying I look younger, and more positive. I feel a million bucks, quite frankly. And I would recommend this journey to ANYONE. I'll try and keep in touch more now I'm back on track. I want to take time to read everyone else's blogs too and get back onto the forums. I've missed you guys xxxx

Monday, June 30, 2008

How To Sabotage A Sleeve - A Cautionary Tale

Breakfast: Bacon & egg muffin
Snack: Mars Bar & Coke
Lunch: Nachos
Snack: Salt & Vinegar chips
Dinner: 4 slices of pizza and 2 pieces of garlic bread (spread out over an hour or so)
Snack: 2 pieces of cake

The above is not a typical day's eating for me, thank heaven, but it could be. These are all things I can eat comfortably (mostly) and eating them last week resulted in my gaining half a kilo. It serves me right ha ha! I know better than that, and although I have many excuses I know that I have to get back on track and start limiting myself again. The minute things get difficult or stressful for me I want to turn to food as a comfort, even in the small doses I can consume now that is a TERRIBLE idea. Not only will it stop or at least slow down my weight loss, it's nutritional suicide ha ha.

I'm sorry I have been out of the loop for a while. Not much has changed, I think I am starting to adjust to non-married life even though I sometimes feel like I have had a limb amputated. Ten years is a long time to have someone in your corner, I really miss it even though I know everything is happening as it should, for a reason, etc, etc.

I am discovering a transferred addiction - clothes shopping! Lately I've spent bucketloads on new clothes, jewellery, getting my hair done...which is out of character for the person I've been over the last ten years. I think being married I became complacent about those kinds of things, and also as I gained more weight I only survived by thinking of myself as invisible. I never really thought about my appearance, and pretended it was that I was happy with how I looked, when in fact it was the exact opposite. I think I considered myself as non-existent in a physical sense... because I was so out of touch with my body and my image. 50 kilos has made a big difference, even though I am still obese and have another 50kg or so to lose. Shopping for size 20-22 is a hell of a lot easier than trying to squeeze into a stretchy size 26. I actually have to put things back on the rack that are too big!!!!!!!!! Bizarre. But nice!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

Tomorrow I turn 38. In some ways it's going to be the worst birthday I can remember, but in other ways (the ways I try to focus on) it is a huge improvement on previous birthdays. I am missing 75% of my stomach and a husband, and have some loose skin issues I'd prefer to do without, but there is a lot to be thankful for.
  1. I have a great relationship with my family and some kick arse friends
  2. My job is secure and enjoyable and pays pretty well - also is low stress
  3. My health is greatly improved, both mentally and physically ha ha!
  4. I am 45 kilos lighter than my 37th birthday
  5. I am learning stuff about myself and the world every day

Hopefully I will enjoy the day, even though this year I won't be going out for a huge meal (and laying on the couch afterwards like a beached whale) and I don't suppose I will get a present from the former Mr Lil ha! One of my best mates sent me flowers today, which was awesome, and I am taking a cake to work tomorrow to share with the guys there. I guess like every day, birthdays are what you make them, and even though it's going to be a completely different type of celebration, I am determined to celebrate just the same!!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Halfway Mark

Yesterday the scales showed my weight at 125 kg (275 pounds). I have officially lost 45 kilos (close on 100 pounds) since I started this journey back in September 2007, which is halfway to my personal goal of losing 90 kg (198) -- to bring my weight down to 80 kg (175), which for my height of 5 ft 10 is a little above "normal" but somewhere I'd be thrilled to be. My surgeon set the initial goal for me to weigh 100 kg by Christmas 2008, which seemed SO FAR AWAY last September. I never really believed the weight removal would happen so easily, even though statistics and anecdotal evidence (from other sleevers I met) suggested that I would reach my goals with no problems.

To say it's happened easily is to somewhat gloss over the puking and the emotional battles, but I guess it's kind of like childbirth ha ha!! My friends say that as soon as you have the baby in your arms you forget about the pain and trauma you went through to get that baby!!!! Most of the time I am psyched about the changes in my life, and positive about what's ahead of me, even when the road gets bumpy. It's all true and real -- which is something I avoided in my life for such a long time, and now I have the confidence and strength to take things in my stride and really go for it. I am doing a lot of emotional/psychological work at the moment (boring I know!!), trying to work out how and why I let myself get to this point in my life, and how I can avoid making the same or similar "detours" (I am trying not to think of them as "mistakes" ha ha!). The familiar "all or nothing" drive to be the absolute best or the absolute worst at everything is ever-present, but I am aiming for the middle ground. I know that I can enjoy living in a "normal" state of mind! My life has been a crazy rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows but now I'm growing up and I no longer need to be the extremes of perfect or pathetic, terrific or tragic...

I think my catch phrase or word of the week is BALANCE.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Thousand Thanks

Thank you everyone who has emailed, commented, etc about my breakup. You guys rock, and I have to comment that as much as you say I have encouraged and inspired you, the same goes back at ya! I think that one of the best things about deciding on weight loss surgery has been discovering the amazing people out there who are sharing the journey with me... it's a small but select group ha ha! I like knowing that even if I feel alone sometimes in the midst of my physical life, out in the wider world there are people who get where I am coming from.

There are no updates in the marriage dissolution stakes... I think it's called a "stalemate" (which is kind of a semi-accurate yet rather cutting word to describe a divorce now I come to think of it!). I have some appointments with lawyers, banks, etc over the coming weeks, but I am hoping the separation will be fairly amicable as we have neither property nor offpsring to fight over. I think one of the things I have noticed lately is the lack of arguing in my relationship, which I used to believe was a positive thing but now I wonder if it was a sign of general malaise and apathy. I know this guy at work, let's call him Lewis, who is one of the rare people in life who actually tell the truth, no sugar-coating or mollycoddling, and while this truth hurt me somewhat this week (when it was directed at me), in the long run I am a better person for it. Most of my life people have made allowances for me, and lied to me in the misguided notion that it would protect me -- but it doesn't! I ended up suffering from it, and I think my addiction to food was made worse by the people who supposedly loved me, ignoring it. My emotional immaturity was excused/encouraged, instead of challenged. My ex-partner, the American, was one of the truth-tellers, like Lewis, and I guess after him I chose my husband because he wasn't quite so determined to be 100% honest, 100% of the time. I think that I need people in my life who tell me to get a life when necessary rather than using "unconditional love" as a bandaid. What IS "unconditional love" anyway?? I don't believe any kind of love comes without it's expectations and conditions, and that's as it should be. "Love means never having to say you're sorry"?? What the heck does THAT mean?

I have been thinking a lot lately about choices, and how I told myself over the last ten years that I didn't have them to make. That my depression, weight, illness (lupus, fibromyalgia, etc) forced me to behave a certain way or live a limited life. What a crock of BS!!! I was simply too afraid to make changes. I ate junk and watched TV to dull any pain I felt, and used excuses to avoid any kind of difficult decisions. Living a fully realised life (jeez I sound like Dr Phil ha ha) is scaring the pants of me, but it's the first time in years that I've felt like a functioning human being.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Mad Ones

The only people for me are the mad ones. The ones who are mad to love, mad to talk, mad to be saved; the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars - Jack Kerouac

I read recently, and may have already mentioned it here, that one of the casualties of weight loss surgery can be your relationship. I hate to become a statistic (except for a positive one, eg: 100% of excess weight lost ha ha) but there you have it. I fear my marriage is over. As with all these things, there is more than one reason for it, and I won't go into detail. I know that my fellow weight loss surgery patients will be able to empathise with the extreme changes that come with the surgery, lifestyle makeover and new attitude. I have struggled with personal demons, for a long time, and now I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, I can see a life for myself where I am not consumed by, and always consuming, food. I need to be inspired, challenged and encouraged and I need people in my life who make me want more. Like the quote above, the "mad ones". I met someone recently who reminded me of what I am capable of feeling, and I can't go back to the half-life I've been living for the last ten years.

Don't get me wrong, my husband is the kindest, gentlest and most loving person I know, and we are best friends - I hope we can manage to stay friends through all this, even though I know it's a lot to ask. When I met him my heart was completely shattered from my previous relationship and I loved the fact that my husband was so different to my previous partner, he was secure and stable and safe, and he has been instrumental in putting the pieces of my life back together. How much do I SUCK...now that I am well and happy I decide to move on????

There are a lot of reasons why this is a great decision for my husband as well as for me. I truly believe we can achieve more from life at the moment if we go our separate ways, even if we end up reconciling. I have tried to be as honest with him as possible, which I guess is all I can do. I hate that he is suffering, but one of us needed to make this break otherwise I could see us miserable and hating each other in five years.

It was hard to admit all this, as I want to be a positive representation of the sleeve and of weight loss surgery! I hate the fact that I can't have it all, that I can't be perfect, but that is one of the main dragons I am trying to slay. Sometimes, even if we try our hardest, we can't fix things that are broken, and even if I wanted to have a great marriage the truth is, I haven't achieved that (YET!).

Any insights, advice, stories you have to share will be greatly appreciated. After being with B for ten years, I feel like a teenager again with all the associated angst and confusion ha ha!

In weight removal news, I weighed in this week at 125.9kg (600g less than last week I think). I have my six month review at Mercy Bariatrics on Tuesday and I can't wait for the official verdict. Hope all is well in your world my friends!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Some Days Are Diamonds...

Weigh in this week was a rip-roaring success, with the scales showing me down to 126.5kg (about 3kg lost in two weeks). All together, I've removed 43.5kg from this body, and with every kilo lost I can feel myself coming back to life. I think at the end of this journey more will have changed for me than just my body...a lot is going on in my personal life these days, and I have been struggling with a loss of appetite and general low mood. It's all a bit raw still, so not up for discussion today.

Anyway, I have my eating back to normal and am keeping up my exercise which is the main aim. I am still loving Pilates, and walking every day.

I guess one thing I wanted to record today was my realisation that the food I have eaten over the last 15 years, and the fat I have gained during that time, was hiding more than just my physical self. As I strip away the pounds I am finding ideas, thoughts and feelings that I have suppressed for SUCH a long time...it's the strangest experience. I know it will end up the way destiny intends, and I know that it's "all good" as they say. Even if the journey is not all roses all the time.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Update or Downdate? You Be The Judge!

Like everything, I guess the journey of a sleever has its good and bad times. This week has been a but rockier than others, probably due in part to hormones (don't you just love them - NOT) and in part to working so much overtime at work. Basically, I am tired and cranky and prone to tears! What a mess!

Sometimes I think I get overwhelmed by how lonely it can be... I felt this week like I was the only person who knew what I was going through, which OF COURSE is true, it's the human experience man! Ha ha. We're all alone in our own universe, etc, etc. As much as people want to, and try to, empathise, ultimately no-one knows what it's like for me to have a completely new relationship with food, health and exercise (except other sleevers and bandits, but I guess I'm talking more about people in my day-to-day life).

It is so hard to explain. I've tried before! And no doubt I will keep trying. I guess it feels like I am a completely different person now than I was six months ago. So where does that leave my existing relationships?? How do I relate to people who are THE SAME as they were, and can't grasp how EVERYTHING is different for me, everything is new, everything is exciting, and I just want to erase the first 37 years of my life and start again. It kills me, I get really sad and overwrought because honestly, in total truth mode, I don't know what the fall out will be. In previous times of weight loss I've reached this point and chickened out, regaining the weight and returning to the old Lil, depressed and needy, because THAT is the person everyone knows. But guess what, this time I CAN'T go back, even if I wanted to, which I DON'T. I can't go to Gorgeous Jon and say "Hey, I've changed my mind, can you sew my stomach back in?"

And maybe THAT'S why in the end I chose the sleeve over the band, because in my heart of hearts I knew this time would come and I would have to keep going - no turning back. No matter how scary and lonely it gets, this is it for me. This is who I am.

The most bizarre part for me has been since starting my new job 3 months ago -- I haven't told anyone about the surgery, and no-one knows anything about that old killjoy Lil, so I find myself being more and more the person I used to be, the real me I guess, before the fat and the depression sucked the life out of me. I love this new/old Lil! I feel like there are immense possibilities in life, but crikey it is hard not to feel weighed down sometimes by those who love us and who try so hard to understand (but ultimately don't).

Sorry this is a downer!! I know that this is part of it, part of the crazy world of a sleever. And I welcome it all, good and bad, because it's saving my life every day.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Believe It Or Not!

This is going to sound mega-conceited but I swear it's TRUE. Men have started to look AT me instead of THROUGH me! Just in the last couple of days I have felt some attention, nothing dramatic just a look or a smile here and there. I thank Carson Kressley's new show for it! How To Look Good Naked is such a silly name for the show, it really changed a lot of my ideas and gave me so much to think about. I do feel that my self-perception is improving, which translates to better confidence, which I guess helps me give off a more "attractive" vibe!!!

The other thing that has been a revelation this week is Pilates. I started classes last night, and oh my goodness I am addicted already. It's AMAZING, and all day today I was concentrating on my "core" muscles and my posture - the strength and flexibility my teacher Haroumi has is so inspiring. She's terrific, not your size zero blonde aerobics type person at all (phew), her body is toned and womanly and she's just gorgeous.

Wow. I feel I have turned a corner here people... it's all starting to fall into place. The mind/body connection and all that ha ha! I can't get over the fact that I'm almost half way to my ultimate goal weight of 80 kilos. I've lost 41kg - 90 pounds!!!! And it has been easy, most of the time, certainly easier than weighing food, counting calories, taking tablets, etc. That kind of thing is soul-destroying, and this way I have had more time for ME ME ME!! Ha ha! Seriously, though, one of the things I recommend most highly about weight loss surgery is that it takes care of the eating part (if you are smart about your choices) so you have more time and energy to focus on the mental and emotional journey, which is the rockier path sometimes.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Six Months On...

WEIGH IN NEWS...This week I FINALLY got under the 130kg mark, and weighed in at 129.5kg. Hallelujah!!!

It's now been just over six months since my lap sleeve surgery, and although it sometimes seems like only yesterday that I was 170kg (375 pounds), I really am comfortable now with the "new me". I had a slight miscalculation with my eating this week and threw up the extra mouthful (the old "one bite too many" trick, ugh) but I hardly ever have problems with my food these days. The adjustments that are still ahead of me are mostly mental and emotional... my body has adjusted well to my T4 (Teeny Tiny Tummy Tube), but I still struggle with my Fat Chick thinking. I don't get physical hunger pangs anymore, but the emotional hunger is as strong as ever on my "bad days" - I guess the main benefit is that I can only do a small amount of "damage" through my emotional eating. Instead of eating a family block of chocolate when I’m feeling hormonally challenged, I now eat 2 or 3 small chocolates (snack size). And really, that doesn’t happen a lot. I think as I get further along my new path in life those kind of hiccups will get rarer, as long as I keep working on the mental side of this weight removal thing!

For anyone interested in the finer details, I thought I would record my average daily food intake. I don’t really count calories or carbs or what-have-you, not at this point. I still have half my excess weight to lose, so I imagine I will have to get stricter further down the line. At this point, however, I am lucky enough to just be able to eat whatever I want (within reason!).

BREAKFAST: ¼ cup Bircher muesli with lowfat vanilla yoghurt, OR poached egg on whole grain toast OR Optifast shake
SNACK: Skim milk latte, low fat muffin OR banana OR Bounce Protein Ball
LUNCH: Ham, cheese and salad sandwich on rye bread, OR tuna sushi (6 pieces), OR small nachos, OR cup of vegie soup
SNACK: Coke Zero, ½ cup of popcorn OR potato chips OR cashew/pistachio nuts OR small chocolate bar
DINNER: Palm size piece of steak/chicken/salmon with salad or vegies. I don’t eat potato or pasta or rice. Once a week I have takeaway, usually half a chicken kebab/yiros or a piece of KFC with mashed potato and once a fortnight I have homemade pizza (and then freeze the leftovers to have for lunch, etc. Three small pieces per serve).
SUPPER: Occasionally I will have some fruit or nuts in the evening but I try not to eat after 7pm.
WATER: Most days I have two 600ml bottles of water throughout the day, I am hoping to increase this now I am doing more high intensity exercise.
EXERCISE: Five days a week I walk 4km at a fairly good pace; twice a week I do cardio workout video, I start Pilates classes on Tuesday and have a stretching/weights program I want to do twice a week too.

So there you have it – the life of Lil! It’s pretty cruisy, I know, and I can see that it won’t always be that easy to lose a kilo a week. But while it’s working for me I’ll keep doing it! I also have some visualisation/meditations on my MP3 player that I do two or three times a week (should be more!) and have been working on vision boards with inspirational pictures etc on. I think weight loss removal is a HOLISTIC experience ha ha!!

I went to a secondhand store warehouse sale yesterday, where every item was $1 – I ended up buying so much stuff, spent about $30 and now have some clothes that actually fit me! Yay! I was getting to the point of having to pull my trousers up every five mins – not a good look!!! I bought a gorgeous pink linen skirt for next summer which is a size 18 – nice to have some inspiration I think. Most of the clothes I bought yesterday were 20-22, and this time six months ago I couldn’t fit comfortably in my size 26s. I feel like I have accomplished something, finally, and now when I look in the mirror I don’t see a blob. Wow. I have my follow-up appointment with my surgeon this month, including blood tests, and I can’t wait to see Gorgeous Jon’s verdict! Got to make him proud!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Clothes Maketh The Sleever

One of the things Dr Phil is adamant about in his Seven Keys To Weight Loss Success is that to create a no-fail environment is essential. Naturally, a lot of that pertains to not having junk food in the house, where possible, and avoiding driving home past HJs, etc. But one of the things I didn't do back in 2004 when I lost 30kg on "Dr Phil" was the wardrobe makeover. Dr Phil says that once you've lost weight, you need to chuck out everything that is too big, or too stretchy, and in fact he even says something crazy and damn near lunatic -- we shouldn't have any pants with stretchy waists?????!!!!!!!!!! I definitely get where the man is coming from, because having loose clothes makes it too easy to expand back into them. But you can tell the man is...well...a man! He obviously never suffered from monthly bloating, let alone those HORROR days when every angle shows a stomach twice as large as it was the day before. Definitely need to have SOME give in those waistbands, hey ladies?

But, all kidding aside, I get where the Doc is coming from. I didn't throw out my "fat clothes" last time, which probably saved me some money as I got to wear them again as I gradually grew to fit them again (and then grew out of them, to the extra extra large plus sizes of no return). I'm at the point now where a few things are ridiculously big on me. A couple of dresses are so baggy on the bust that I cause eyes (and nearly my own parts) to pop out when I bend over at work. And I put on a pair of jeans on the weekend, my favourite jeans I couldn't wear for a while there (size 26 was just a bit too tight when I was 170kg), and there is a stupid excess of fabric around the legs! They are big at the waist, but I was thinking I could actually buy a belt for the first time in my life ha ha! But really, the legs are so wide in comparison to my ACTUAL legs that I can hardly wear them. The extra denim rubs and rustles, making an alarming sound as well as feeling rather weird!! So here, perhaps for the final time, are my favourite jeans...
I've had them for so many years, and I don't want to buy any replacements for at least another 40kg or so. Luckily a friend has given me some of her ex-fat clothes (which are size 20, I guess it's all relative!) and I will soon be able to wear them comfortably. I think this week I need to do that closet cleanup and get rid of my size 7XL mens track pants and those gaping dresses.

It will be sad to say goodbye to those old faithful friends, but like everything in life I think you need to make room for new friends and new experiences. I cannot wait to be able to shop in "normal" shops and to have tiny clothes! There will be more room in my luggage next time I go away! I will be able to fit more in the washing machine!

But, big and heavy though you are, I'll miss you my lovely flowered, sequinned Katies 1626 jeans.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


This week has been a complete blur. Have been working overtime every day, leaving home at 5:45am and getting home at 6:15pm -- no time for anything remotely resembling exercise, fun, or keeping in touch! This week should be back to normal, with no staff shortages (fingers crossed) and damn I am looking forward to the three day weekend. Hooray for the Anzacs I say, not only contributing to the general freedom from tyranny we enjoy but also scoring me a desperately-needed day off.

My weigh in this week was fairly dismal, not as dismal as it should have been considering the medicinal Freddo Frogs (chocolate, not amphibian, for those of you in America!) I consumed in a (futile) attempt to keep my energy levels up every afternoon. I'm now 131.3kg (289 pounds) - SO CLOSE to the 40kgs (88 pounds) lost target, when I can reward myself with a new pair of running shoes (to replace the pair I am still wearing even after the heel broke apart a couple of weeks ago). I found this week that I lost the plot slightly with regards to my food plan, I had hot chips (fries) one afternoon and another day a packet of crisps (chips). My latest mantra is CHOOSE YOUR RABBITS WISELY. I read a Chinese proverb recently that said "If you try to chase more than one rabbit, both rabbits will escape", and I thought how well that relates to my weight loss journey. I am trying to get my finances back on track, and learn my new job, as well as exercise, eat properly and keep mental focus. That's a lot of damn wascally wabbits!!! Occasionally, one of them (ie: the one that is carrying the healthy food!) gets away, but I need to concentrate on the particular rabbit/task in front of me. So I guess what I am rambling on about here is that I don't need to be 100% in control of everything all the time. Phew. What a relief. That's the BEST thing about this surgery, even if I do lose the plot and eat crap, I can only eat a small amount of it (thereby limiting the damage).

I am really starting to wonder if this whole journey, my whole life maybe, is about the realisation that I can't be in control all the time. I have to learn to be happy with being kind of good at things, better at others, and sometimes I will fail at almost everything!!! That's okay, isn't it?? Doctor Phil would say DO WHAT YOU CAN, WITH WHAT YOU HAVE, WHERE YOU ARE. I think if I can truly believe that, and live it, then I will be successful in losing this weight and keeping it off forever.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Measuring Stick

Neck - Oct 4 / 39cm ---------------Apr 1 / 36cm ---(loss of 3cm)
Bust - Oct 4 / 145cm---------------Apr 1 / 129cm ---(loss of 16cm)
Waist - Oct 4 / 132cm -------------Apr 1 / 121cm ---(loss of 11cm)
Hip - Oct 4 / 161cm --------------- Apr 1 / 139cm ---(loss of 22cm)
Thigh - Oct 4 / 84cm --------------Apr 1 / 78cm ---(loss of 6cm)
Calf - Oct 4 / 64cm ----------------Apr 1 / 59cm ---(loss of 5cm)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Black Forest Cake - The New Evil

This week was my other half's birthday - April Fool's Day, can you believe it?! My mum bought a Black Forest Cake from the Cheesecake Shop, and I ate two pieces (over two days, but still!!). When adding it to my food diary I was amazed to see that not only did it have over 600 cal per piece (which The Biggest Loser had already informed me this week) it also has 40 GRAMS OF FAT! I can hardly get my head around that. I think the moral of the story is that certain things (ie: Black Forest Cake) can have no place in a health conscious life!! At least it's only once a year... I intend to have some incredibly healthy low-fat cake for my birthday in June!

No wonder my weight loss over the last two months has been pitiful. (Since Jan only 6 kg) This week I have been trying to limit my bad snack choices, which had gotten out of control since I started my new job at the beginning of Feb. I find that my three meals a day are fairly good, but I was having mini chocolate bars, or a small packet of crisps, or a full cream milk latte with two sugars. I've decided I will record here some of the things I have changed, but that I still plan on improving over the rest of the year.

In the PAST I would have had: half a family block of chocolate
In the NOW I have: one snack size Twirl or Time Out
In the FUTURE I plan on: not enjoying chocolate at all, eradicating it from my life!

In the PAST I would have had: a 24 can carton of Coke Zero per week
In the NOW I have: about 10 cans of Coke Zero a week
In the FUTURE I plan on: not having any soft drink in my diet

In the PAST I would have had: no water at all
In the NOW I have: 1 to 2 litres of water a day
In the FUTURE I plan on: drinking 3-4 litres a day

In the PAST I would have: not exercised at all
In the NOW I: do cardio or weights three times a week and walk 2-4km 5 days a week
In the FUTURE I plan on: cardio or weights 5 days a week, walking or running every day

In the PAST I would have: stayed at 170kg ++
In the NOW I have: lost an impressive 38kg
In the FUTURE I plan on: being under 100kg by my one year surgiversary in Oct

There are probably a lot more things I can add to this list. I am, after all, a work in progress! I read a quote the other day that said "It is better to move slowly than to stay in the one place", and that's how I am TRYING to look at it. I am struggling to get through the 130kg zone, it's really been up half a kilo, down half a kilo... but I am refocusing and making better choices (apart from the whole Black Forest Cake debacle ha ha!).

One of the things I have always struggled with is the need to be perfect and the crazy obsessive tendency I have to be "all or nothing". For instance, I would starve myself for two weeks and then eat something "bad" and go on a massive binge. Or I would be up and walking or cycling every day for a month and then injure myself and promptly regain all the weight I had lost. The decision to have weight loss surgery was partly to rid myself of that all or nothing ness. Even though it IS an extreme choice, it takes away my need to be perfectly healthy and virtuous all the time, even when I am slack for a day I can still lose weight. I truly feel like I am gradually becoming less hard on myself, and more relaxed, and I take each day as it comes.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Monthly Photo Update

Even after five months, I still feel ILL every time I see my pre-surgery photos. It's like a car crash, you don't want to look at the horror and nastiness but you just can't look away!!!!!

The April photos are a bit random -- we got a new camera the other day, which is very fancy with two lenses (it's a digital SLR) and my husband hasn't worked out how to zoom in yet. And also, we have moved since the last photos, and I'm still trying to find a "blank canvas" to pose in front of. I don't really have an excuse for the cat - apart from the fact that I adore her xxx

My last weigh in was 133 even - not sure if I put that in here, I am due to weigh in again in a couple of days. Have also done my monthly measurements, and I have lost 22cm from my hips (basically I just measure my widest part ha ha!).

So much more to say, and no time in which to write. I miss my old job sometimes, where I could surf the net and email and blog whenever it was quiet. I will do some more updating over the weekend. Want to send out major hugs and best wishes to my friend G from South Australia, who takes the surgical step on the 9th -- I'm making room for you on the loser's bench!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Note To Self

Next time I have weight loss surgery, I will definitely have to get it done alongside my husband and my family. Aaaargh. They just don't seem to grasp what it's like, and I'm happy for them, honestly, because it is a tough road at times. But having understanding is sooo important, and sometimes I feel sad that the true empathy and sharing I have on this journey comes from people I barely know or have never met.

I can't just sit in front of the TV and eat every night anymore. I don't want to! I need to keep busy and get stuff done, and WHY don't they get it??

Dr Phil would say you either get it or you don't. Is it ME that doesn't get it???????????????

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I Shouldn't Be Alive

I know, a terribly dramatic name for a blog post. Technically, I think it's true. Had a near-death experience when I was 7 years old, as well as numerous other "close calls". But when I say I Shouldn't Be Alive I am referring in this case to my all-time favourite show. I have been re-watching them obsessively over the last few weeks, having re-discovered the dvds during the Great Move of '08. There is so much to love about the classic Discovery Channel series, which for those of you who are unfamiliar with it, chronicles true stories of survival - as told by the survivors themselves (along with dramatic re-enactments, etc). First of all, I LOVE the fact that you know people survived. I hate not knowing! I can't deal with worrying about fictional characters let alone real people, which is why I love to re-read books a hundred times I guess.

Mostly, though, with ISBA the joy is from the sheer determination and will that gets people through unimaginable pain and stress. Invariably there is a moment in every story where the people think they are being rescued but then the plane is too high, the boat goes past, the rescuer doesn't see them, etc... and at that moment there is the choice made - I'm gonna get through this. You can see it, hear it, from the survivors, that it really was a case of "darkest before the dawn", and that they could easily have laid down and given up at that point. But the people in these stories DON'T GIVE UP. If they can survive mad hippo attacks, near-drownings, starvation, frostbite and hypothermia (thankfully, those didn't all happen in the same episode - it's not the Bold & The Beautiful lol), then I am damn sure I can survive weight loss surgery!!

It's so inspiring to me, and my family think I am nuts, I just love to watch each episode. These are mostly ordinary people, though some are experienced climbers, etc. One episode was kinda counter-productive to the whole weight loss campaign. Frozen At 20,000 Feet has three British climbers on Mt McKinley, and the one who fares the best after a couple of nights exposed to the elements is the one with the highest percentage of body fat!!! That's ironic! He suffered less cause his body had more to consume I guess. But in the tradition of the happy-go-lucky, lovable chubby guy he saved his mate's life by cuddling him through the night...

I'm sure I am NOT managing to convey the messages of I Shouldn't Be Alive, or explain why I am so attached to it. Suffice to say, it's worth watching for anyone who has Foxtel or access to Bigpond Movies.

In other news, I'm managing to limit my portion sizes (which were waaaay out of control - a whole sandwich!! Gasp!) and thanks to my excellent friend Minski have a terrific idea for high protein breakfast (: Walking four ks a day, and have designed a circuit to do with my hand weights a few times a week now I am gym-less. I think that I will need to step it up for Phase Two of the VSG journey. The first 40kg has pretty well fallen off, and I think I will continue to lose if I just plod along. But would it kill me to work a little harder?? Just think, it could be worse, I could be Trapped Under The Ice or Lost In The African Bush ha ha ha...

Love and luck to all! Catch you in the next episode xxx

Friday, March 21, 2008

Update On The Last Ten Days!

First of all, don't EVER assume that because you work for Telstra you get better service from them! Eight whole days we've been without internet access!! I didn't realise how much I depended on my online world for my sanity until it was gone. Thankfully, we are now reconnected and I can breathe again!

Since we last spoke (ha ha) I have weighed in twice. Initially, I was down to 133.3kg (a loss of 1.1kg I think?) but next time, a week later, I was back up to 134.7kg. As you know, we moved house during the last two weeks so maybe the new floor is wonky (thereby skewing the scales??). Could have something to do with the THREE hot cross buns I ate yesterday. I need to kick that gluten habit again, I am such a carb addict and once I have one I have to have more. Pathetic I know!

We are fairly well unpacked and getting organised, looking forward to the four day Easter weekend to fine tune the new arrangements. My new place is quite a distance from the bus stop, which means I am walking four kilometres (one k to the bus, one k from bus to work and vice versa) each day. I find it hard sometimes to remember that just 6 months ago I couldn't even walk half a kilometre without being puffed. I am looking at buying a recumbent exercise bike for when it gets really rainy and I dip out on some of the walking (through cadging a lift to the bus stop). I used to have an ordinary exercise bike, which I loved, but I still weigh 130kg plus and those little seats are RATHER uncomfortable! The recumbent ones are more expensive, but more comfortable. They have a proper seat for a start!

Food wise, sleeve wise, the last two weeks have been a bit hit & miss. I think having a lot on my mind, with moving, finances etc, has distracted me from the better food choices. Even though I can still only eat small amounts, and I don't feel physically hungry most of the time, I am still prone to emotional eating and bad choices. For instance, at work we have mini chocolate bars that the social club has for sale, and a couple of days this week I ate 2 or 3 -- even though they are small, the calories and fat still add up! And they are easily digested so there is still room for lunch! I need to make sure I have better snackfoods on hand - fruit, popcorn, etc. One of things I found out about the hair loss issue was that it relates to the absorption of protein - sometimes it takes a while for the new stomach to re-learn how to absorb protein, which is why the hair loss reverses itself after six months or so I guess.
Anyway - I eat protein with every meal (except lunch occasionally) but decided I could up the ante a bit. My latest find is Bounce Balls! (http://www.bouncesnackfoods.com/) I have to say I don't agree with the whole TASTY angle, even though they LOOK like a huge toffee with nuts they TASTE more like a brown piece of blutack with flakes of paint stuck in it. I find them a bit hard to eat sometimes! But they are 12g of protein for 9g of fat and 200 cal -- way better than an egg or something similar. And it's whey protein, which apparently is the best for the body to digest. I have half a one for my morning snack and half in the afternoon, and in the last couple of weeks my hair really has improved! It's not falling out so drastically (I know, I know, it probably is saving itself up for a mass evacuation any day now!)
Well, as you can tell I am still alive, still kicking, and wow have I missed everyone! How've you been??

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Things "They" Don't Want Us To Tell You (:

Sometimes I struggle with how honest I should be in this blog. For a start, the people reading it are often trying to make an informed decision about bariatric surgery, and I would hate to feel I had any negative influence on their opinion of the vertical sleeve gastrectomy. But I have this crazy obsession with the truth, and so I hereby tell the story of the past week...

It ain't all beer and skittles. As an aside, isn't that a bizarre saying?? I guess it means that it's not all fun & games, or it IS all fun & games until someone loses an eye (or a stomach ha ha!!). Anyway. As usual, I digress. I've been struggling this past week or so, for a number of reasons, compounded by the fact that when I weighed in on the weekend I had gained half a kilo. We are moving house on Friday, and have been in a complete upheaval trying to pack and get organised. I also have decided that being good at my new job is not enough, I have to be the best person EVER to do the job, and have started to create these crazy high standards and goals for myself which are doomed to failure. There is a vague quota of work we need to process each day, which is not enforced AT ALL, but I decided I would be the first person ever to beat a particular number -- even though I've only been doing the fricken job for five weeks.

One therapist I had years ago said he had never seen anyone with such impossibly high standards for herself as I had. Apparently it is VERY common for those kind of people (ie: me) to develop fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue, which I suffered from for a few years. I managed to get well, and have been symptom-free for almost 12 months, until this week!!!! Aaaaargh. I instantly knew what was happening, I felt exhausted and achy and my brain went foggy... the difference is, this time I know how to handle it, and I know how to fix it. For any fibro or CF sufferers out there, visit www.reversetherapy.com -- the best thing I ever found.

I guess what was interesting and frustrating was that I was so distracted by the VSG and my weight loss journey that I neglected other areas of my general health. Nuts! I can't believe I have been obsessing about my HAIR. For the rest of the week I am working on realigning myself with what's important. I am such a weirdo perfectionist high achiever. I stressed out last week because my March photos weren't "thin" looking enough to put on my blogs!! Never mind that I have lost almost 40kg (75 pounds), I was freaking out that I looked the same as the Sept 07 photo. Um, NO! Every time I stressed out about something stupid I ate crap - a Mars Bar here, potato chips there. No wonder I gained weight!

So I guess I want to emphasise that while none of this craziness has anything to do with the removal of 75% of my stomach in Oct 07, it certainly needs to be recorded. The rest of my life is not miraculously shiny and happy, even though it's a damn sight better than this time last year. I need to keep an eye on the ball otherwise it'll smack me in the face and THEN I'll have some complaining to do lol.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Four Months After Surgery...

I can hardly believe that four months have passed since I went into surgery and came out a completely changed woman. I have to say that the operation has only done part of the job, the rest of the transformation (the mental one) has evolved slowly and with some hard work. I am still doing my visualisation and meditation CDs, at least 3-4 times a week, and I swear by them. I think they have been better for me than any gym membership or protein shake could ever be!

Not only have I continued to lose weight, even though I am fairly slack when it comes to exercise and enjoy a chocolate muffin every day (gluten free but not exactly non-fat!), but for the first time in FOREVER I feel excited about the future. Regular visitors to this blog will remember how I felt approaching the "30 Kilo Curse". http://lastchancelil.blogspot.com/2008/01/do-you-wanna-know-secret.html Since then, I have tried hard to work on some of the mental and emotional barriers to my weight loss, because I know that ultimately this journey will not reach a successful end unless I want it with my whole heart and believe in it (and myself) fully. I had a real epiphany recently (fancy word for a light bulb moment ha ha). With reference to that 30 Kilo Curse, I was convinced that I was a "lesser" person since that heartbreak changed my life... and I was sure that I needed to "get back" to that lighter self... but now I understand that so much of who I THOUGHT I was then was tied up in that idiot guy, and really I was clueless about who I actually was as a person. I would HATE to be that person again, though I love her dearly and understand her so much more... I can see so clearly now that the person I am NOW is the real Lil, even if I seem moody and slightly freaked out by life, and even if I don't have such drama and excitement in my day-to-day existence.

Wow. It was such an incredible relief to finally be free of that burden, to know once and for all that I will NEVER be that person again (even though I always thought it was who I WANTED to be again). I'm probably not making any sense!!!!!! What else is new???

One of my favourite quotes is from Nelson Mandela, and it goes something like "the best way to see how far you have come is to revisit the places you have been". I'm probably remembering it wrong, but anyway. You get the point. And that's what I have needed to do, to move on and get closure and all those other soap opera cliches! I really don't know who I will be at the end of this journey, but it will be a person who is stronger and fitter and wiser than I ever have been before. Yay for the VSG, and for the freedom it's given me. All that time I used to use thinking about food I can now use to think about myself and self-analyse -- scary ha ha!!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Things I Have In Common With Scarlett Johansen

This week I opened the FAMOUS magazine to discover that gorgeous Hollywood star Scarlett Johansen appears to have a hair loss problem!!

Who knew!? I am so relieved that I'm not alone... I wish I knew how to resolve the hair falling out issue, I know that it's common with WLS, obviously due to a nutritional deficit of some kind. I am taking lots of supplements, esp Omega 3, and I think (from what I've read online) that it eventually stops and the hair grows back in. It's just depressing! Like a lot of fat chicks, my hair was always something I could work with, and show off, even if the rest of my body was a black hole ha ha. To have the top of my head showing through my thinning hair is just hideous...even though everyone says it's not noticeable IT IS TO ME damn it!
In flab-fighting news, my weigh in this week showed a downward shift of 1.5kg, making me a positively svelte (ha ha) 134.5kg. Since Sept 07 I'm 35.5kg lighter, yay for me and the sleeve! My BMI has come down from 57 to 45!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Still Going Down, Chocolate Notwithstanding

Hi all, and can I just say now while I think of it, THANK YOU so much to everyone who reads, comments on, and emails me about this blog. I've made so many friends online through this journey, and all of you have helped, and continue to help, me every day. You rock! I won't name names, but y'all know who I mean (:

Anyway. Even though I had a dreadful week as far as my food choices went (I blame PMT ha ha) I weighed in another half kilo lighter this morning. Just goes to show the amazing power of the T4 (my gastric sleeve for those who are new to this!). I ate chocolate three times this week, and had KFC TWICE (now I can eat chicken again I am going overboard, me and my damn addictive personality yikes). Haven't been to the gym in weeks, but luckily am still walking to and from work from the station which adds up to a couple of k's each day. And even when I choose KFC, I can only eat one piece of chicken and half a small potato and gravy, so I guess there is a limit to the damage done. But really, I need a stern talking to!! I am spending this weekend reassessing my working week food plan, trying to find cheaper and healthier food to take to work. Lately I have been getting a sandwich at the cafe in my building, which SUCKS because I now have to beat that white carb addiction all over again. I can eat about half a roast beef and salad sandwich at lunch and then have the other half for afternoon tea, it's not too sucky a choice except for the whole crappy carb thing ):

One of the things I wanted to mention about my trip to Adelaide was a terrific NSV (Non Scale Victory). For the first time in YEARS I could fasten the seatbelt and didn't need to humiliate myself by asking for an extender! Woot!!!!!!!!!!! I took a photo of the blessed occasion:

It's kind of hard to make out, but trust me, I was there, it happened. I also had the whole row to myself which was EXTREMELY ironic cause last time I flew I had to purchase two seats cause I took up so much room. Where were those spare seats THEN huh???

Saturday, February 16, 2008

This Week's Date With The Scales

I am now down to 136kg even, or 299.2 pounds -- so I am under the magic 300 line! Hooray!

Here are a couple of comparison photos for those of you with strong stomachs (WARNING: excess flesh approaching lol)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Despite Rumours To The Contrary...

I AM NOT DEAD! Nor have I moved to Adelaide, lovely city though it is. I can't believe how long it's been since I last updated my blog - slack and busy, not that it's any excuse! Adelaide was brilliant, I had a ball catching up with my friend Hayley and basically spent too much money (secondhand books are so cheap there!!). Returned home three days later with twice as much luggage and a quarter as much money ha ha.

One thing I wasn't expecting, or hadn't thought through, was the challenge of eating while travelling. It's much harder to be organised and vigilant, making sure you have the right amounts of nutrients and so forth. I found that I ate out for every single meal except breakfast, and I usually have five meals a day. Cause you can't order small proper meals, only entree type things, I either had to choose between wasting half a good protein choice (eg: steak) or finishing a bread-based entree (eg: bruschetta). I definitely will have to be better organised the next time I am away from home. As a consequence, or maybe just as part of another plateau, my weight has stayed the same for the last two weeks. I started my new job last week, and adjusting to the new timetable and new premises has probably also hampered my eating. I take almost an hour to eat breakfast these days, and I have to catch the bus to the city at 6:45am, so I get up at 5:15. I used to get up that early, or around that time, and walk my dog -- now I get the same amount of walking from the train station to work, but I don't get the time with my dog. I am also finding it a challenge to get into a routine of going to the gym again.

I know I will get there, it's just a readjustment phase I think. To make matters more uncertain, it looks like we will have to move in the next month as our landlord intends to sell up. I really didn't need to start a new job, have major surgery and move house all within six months ha ha. But we're thinking it could be an incentive to find somewhere cheaper (everything you've heard about the cost of living in Perth is true - yikes), and I am angling for somewhere within walking distance to the gym.

Next Monday it will be sixteen weeks since my surgery. It really is becoming such a "normal" part of me now, and I hardly even think about it. I automatically put the right amount of food on my plate, and eat protein first, and never try and drink at the same time as eating. I never thought it would become second nature, but it does. That's one of the reasons I'm happy to have these plateaus or stalls... losing the weight too quickly and in huge chunks would make me freak out a bit I think. I need the time to adjust mentally to the weight loss as well as physically. I set myself a goal to be 120kg by the time I see Gorgeous Jon for my surgical review in May, which means I need to shed 16kg or so in 10 - 12 weeks, which is definitely within reach. That will mean I'll be 45kg lighter than the first time he saw me, 50kg lighter than when I began this amazing journey back in September.

Wow, I have missed everyone on the forums, and on the emails and blogs!!! I've decided to cut back on watching TV, and switch it off at 7.30pm every night so I can catch up on WLS-related stuff before I go to bed. I go to bed SO EARLY because I get up at 5am...it's light when I go to sleep and dark when I wake up - how weird is that??!! I better shut up now, but I promise to keep the updates coming now I am back on track!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lost - Two Small Children!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Yesterday I weighed in at an amazing 136.7kg, down from 170kg just 5 short months ago. That's a loss of 33.3kg, or 73 pounds. Yay!

We saw some friends yesterday for Australia Day, they have three fabulous kids aged 2,4 & 6. When I told them how much I've lost so far, they pointed out that the 2 year old boy and six year old girl weigh that much combined! So I have lost 2 small children!! I can't imagine walking around holding them all day... it really puts into perspective how much weight I've lost. No wonder I feel lighter lol.

All else is going great. Did a week of temp data entry while I'm waiting for my 6 month contract with Telstra to begin on Feb 4. I leave for a few days in Adelaide on Thursday - spending time with one of my bestest mates. Can't wait for the change of scene!! Hope all of you are doing well, talk soon (:

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Moving In The Right Direction!

Saturday rolls around again and it's time to get on the scales. Thankfully, the numbers moved in the right way this week, unlike last week when I gained 400g (almost a pound).

I am 139.4kg (305 pounds)
having lost 30.6kg (69 pounds) since Sept 1.

Hooray! I also did my measurements, as the scales have slowed down a little, and the measurements really show that I am still losing fat and gaining shape. Here they are:

Neck - Oct 4 / 39cm ------------------Jan 19 / 37cm (loss of 2cm)
Bust - Oct 4 / 145cm------------------Jan 19 / 131cm (loss of 14cm)
Waist - Oct 4 / 132cm ----------------Jan 19 / 119cm (loss of 13cm)
Hip - Oct 4 / 161cm ------------------ Jan 19 / 147cm (loss of 14cm)
Thigh - Oct 4 / 84cm -----------------Jan 19 / 78cm (loss of 3cm)
Calf - Oct 4 / 64cm -------------------Jan 19 / 61cm (loss of 3cm)

Overall, over these six sites, I've lost 59cm (23.2 inches for my American friends!).

I can see that I have areas to work on, obviously -- like the fact that I haven't been going to the gym regularly since I started temp work. In Feb I will start my six month contract with Telstra and should be able to get back into a proper routine with the buses, etc. I am still walking six or seven times a week with the dog, as well as the incidental exercise I do every day (not having a car can be useful sometimes lol). Also, I had white bread a couple of times this week and it is SOOO addictive, and made me feel crappy and hungry. I have started allowing myself diet soda on the weekends, as a "treat" I guess, which is also probably a reason I am not losing as quickly.

I am a work in progress! But the best word in that statement is PROGRESS. Hooray for the VSG!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Eating Out 101

I am still getting the hang of "eating out". I think since my surgery I've only eaten out four, maybe five times - not including casual lunch type "on the run" eating out, I mean actual restaurant meals where they give you metal cutlery he he.

Last night my family went out to dinner to say farewell to my sister-in-law and her baby daughter who have been visiting over the holidays. I downloaded the menu from the internet so I could plan what to have, and contemplated ordering just an appetiser. SUCH a hard decision, cause in reality the appetisers are not proper nutrition, and tend to be based around bread - which is my enemy these days. Once at the restaurant, my family decided to order a few appetisers to share, which was fine - I had a piece of bruschetta the size of a 20c piece and a scallop. Foolishly, I decided I would order as my main meal something called the "Baby Rump Steak".

I took this photo AFTER I had eaten all that I could (you can see the tiny space at the bottom left hand of the plate). Oh my goodness. It was the most ridiculously huge thing I had ever seen. Delicious though! I even managed to eat three chips/fries and a bit of salad. I think the hardest thing was watching the waitress skirt around the table trying to decide to clear 6 empty plates while one (mine!) was seemingly untouched!! I put her out of her misery after a while and asked for the steak in a doggy bag. Scruff (my pupsicle) ate well last night lol. Not sure how she felt about pepper sauce!
I can understand why some WLS patients avoid eating out. It's kind of weird watching other people eat en masse. I take so long to chew each bite that invariably some of my time is spent looking at other people eating. People eat A LOT. I know, I was one of 'em once! There is also the dilemma of the money wasting angle -- good steak is expensive wherever you are in the world, and knowing that you'll only eat a tiny portion of it makes you think twice. Even though it's good nutrition (for me) and goes down well, I do feel wasteful giving 80% of prime beef to the dog.
I guess it's part of the learning curve. I think in a larger group it's more difficult / uncomfortable. When it's just DH and me, I just eat off his plate or order an appetiser only and there's no drama. But in a bigger group it's more obvious that I'm the odd one out.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

How A Person Gains 60 Pounds In 12 Months

Photo One - This is me in 1997, heart intact, fat but healthy and fit
Photo Two: Just over 12 months later I'm 60 pounds heavier and another 80 pounds is on its way...

By the way, I weighed in this morning. I gained weight!! I am now 140.2kg (308.4 pounds).

One Of The Many Things I'm Afraid Of...

With reference to my previous blog, one of the most important things in my life this year has got to be finding out how and why I put on weight, and what has made me afraid to stay thin and healthy during those rare times when I've been successful at weight loss. Warning: this could be lengthy, feel free to check out and rejoin me later when the self-discovery/rambling is over lol.

One of the worst times in my adult life, which led to a period when I gained 40kg over 12 months, was in 1997. Of course it was about a failed love affair...isn't it always ha ha. I was crazy in love, as well as just plain old crazy (pre-Zoloft days!!), and was devastated when I found out the man I had come halfway round the world for was actually attached to someone else. Of course he had neglected to tell me that BEFORE I got on the plan. Anyway. I was in a strange country, alone, and couldn't get a ticket on to London (and family) for a few weeks, and so travelled blindly (literally, sometimes, due to the incessant crying) on Amtrak around the place and ended up in Baltimore. I LOVE Baltimore. As a digression, one of the first things I saw in Baltimore was a sign that read "Whosoever I shall leave or love, whomsoever shall love or leave me, this silent grey city holds me and I am soothed". Magic.

So, I arrived in the US in July 97 around 95kg (200 pounds) and by the time I left London to return to Australia in September I had gained 25kg (55 pounds). Most of the weeks I was in the UK I laid in bed at my parents' house eating, listening to melancholy music and wondering what the F**K had happened to my life. It was such a dark time I hardly ever think about it, or talk about it, and have certainly never decided to tell the whole world about it lol.

Lately I've been realising that one of the reasons I became extremely fat (as opposed to the generally overweight person I've always been) was to protect that person who arrived in the US with everything ahead of her and returned home two months later with nothing to show for 5 years worth of dreams. I sometimes feel like that person is stuck inside me, too afraid to show her face, and I have been shoving crap into my mouth in order to forget about her, and to block out how much it killed her/me to feel that sad. Since then, I have lived a life of safety and compromise, which is much more realistic, I know. I could never have continued being such a dreamer. I was 27, it was about time I grew up I suppose... But jeez it was hard.

I worry that moving towards that 97kg mark frightens me because of the remembered pain...

I worry that if I become that person again, this life I have now won't be enough to sustain me...

I don't know how all this will end up, that's the scariest part I guess.

One of my favourite songs from 1992 (the year I met The American) is a song I still play all the time. I heard the lyrics the other day and I connected even more than usual with part of it. It's Tori Amos "Silent All These Years" and the bit I love is this:

Cause what if I'm a mermaid In these jeans of his With her name still on it
Hey but I don't care Cause sometimes I said sometimes
I hear my voice And it's been here
Silent All These Years

I'm definitely starting to hear my voice again, and use it, and listen to it. If I can learn how to not be afraid I know I will conquer this weight problem once and for all. Wow, even the idea of it is overwhelming.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Do You Wanna Know A Secret?

This week on one of my favourite message boards there has been some posting about "failure", ie: people who regain weight after weight loss surgery. http://www.obesityhelp.com/forums/amos/a,messageboard/action,replies/board_id,4856/cat_id,4456/topic_id,3491605/

In defence of the vsg, they are mostly posts from people who had the RNY, which is a different procedure entirely. But it got me to thinking how determined I am to NOT fail at this. I knew going into the surgery that the sleeve was a tool only, not a solution, and I have been trying to work through my anxieties and fears through meditation, self-help techniques, etc. I honestly feel like my addiction to food is under control now in a way that it has never been, even though I know there will always be the "urge" to overeat, my mind is so conscious of the pain and the consequences of overeating that I avoid it at all costs!

Anyway. One of the things that I believe has been a stumbling block in my previous weight loss attempts is self-sabotage, fear of failure, etc. To return to the title of this post, my deep dark secret is this: THE CURSE OF THE 30 KG!!!! (Cue haunted house music, bats squawking, etc). I have been very successful three times at losing weight. In 1990 I did Weight Watchers and lost around 25kg. In 2001 I was on Xenical and lost around 28kg. In 2005 I was on Dr Phil's Weight Loss Challenge and lost around 32kg. See a pattern?? I have only managed to lose between 25 and 35kg before I fall off the wagon, into the ditch, break my will and smooth it over with chocolate. I am so scared of the 30kg curse... I won't relax again with my weight loss until I am well and truly past 35kg. Even though I KNOW that this time I physically can't regain that weight, it still freaks me out. I said to Gorgeous Jon (surgeon extraordinaire) at my first appointment that I have no trouble at all losing weight, I just suck at keeping it off!

This time is different though, for a whole stack of reasons. This surgery is revolutionary, to me, as it takes the "hard" part (limiting my food intake) out of my hands so I can concentrate my energy on the mental issues (and jeepers they are many lol). I need to work out why I am so terrified of being "thin". I think it's partly a reaction to being malnourished for two years while at boarding school. I'm not exaggerating! Years later there was an investigation into the budget of the school and although $4 a day was set aside for each student's food, in reality only $1.20 was spent. The rest went into the headmaster's daughter and her rotten pony club (well, that's my theory ha ha!). We lived on utter rubbish, mostly starchy carbs supplemented by junk food (starchy carbs) we bought from our pocket money. During that time I started leaving a healthy weight/BMI behind, and have left it in the dust.

Well, I won't bore you with all my weird revelations and anecdotes! Rest assured that this weight loss journey is at least 50% mental, and I'm workin' it. Hope y'all are too! Drop me a line and let me know how you're going fellow travellers xxx

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Weigh In Once More

Weighed in this morning at...

which is another kilo lost for good! Goodbye to the 140s, I won't EVER see you again!

My total weight loss since September 07 is 30.2kg. Since surgery, around 16 or 17kg I think?

All is well in the world of Lil and my T4. New favourite snack is popcorn (low fat), I think it has some fibre in it which is always good he he. I am still eating five small meals a day, which works better for me and my metabolism even though I know it's not recommended. I usually have:

Breakfast: poached egg on non-wheat sprouted bread with tsp butter
Morning Snack: slice of low fat ham or salami with a slice of low fat cheese
Lunch: homemade vegetarian wholegrain pizza (1 or 2 slices) with low fat fetta cheese
Afternoon Snack: cup of popcorn
Dinner: steak (palm size) and salad with low fat dressing, or tuna and salad, or roast lamb with vegies (except potato as I'm off white carbs now - hooray)

I have no idea, really, how much that is as far as calories or fat or fibre is concerned! It feels right for me at the moment, and if/when it stops working I will re-address it. I don't have to go back to see my surgeon Gorgeous Jon, or my dietician, until May. By then I am planning to have lost another 15kg AT LEAST. I am doing a nightly meditation/visualisation CD by Jon Gabriel (www.thegabrielmethod.com) who lost about 80kg, maybe more I don't remember exactly. It basically gets you to visualise your ideal body, and to switch your mind and body into fat loss mode, because if your mind and soul aren't prepared to be thin, are afraid of losing the fat, then any success will always be short-lived. It makes a lot of sense to me. I've always been apprehensive about being truly fit and healthy, so I'm working on all those obstacles as well as the physical challenge!

Catch you guys soon xxx

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The New Year Of No Resolutions

I've been watching some TV today, being New Year's Day and all I'm feeling slack. And I couldn't get over how many weight loss and exercise machine ads there were on TV!! At least two or three per ad break -- Tony Ferguson, Kate Morgan, Jenny Craig, all those ab-thingummys. My mum pointed out that people will have made the new year's resolution to lose weight and get fit, so the ads are all targeting that market! How sad and annoying. Because as we all know, those are not long-term solutions.

I am so happy that 2008 is my year of NO RESOLUTIONS. I don't need to wish or hope for weight loss, because I'm well on my way. Probably should make a resolution to get a darn job he he. I have another temp contract starting on Monday, for two weeks, so that will tide us over. I'm fairly sure one of the interviews I have this week will produce something permanent. In the meantime, more time in the day for walking! I got a new IPOD for Christmas, which holds 1000 songs, and have been having a ball listening as I walk. Motivational and fast-moving music really makes a difference for me. I always listen to the Madonna song "Die Another Day" -- it has such a good beat and the words make me feel like I can conquer anything. Loving life!!!!!!