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! ( 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 -- 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". 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!!