Thursday, November 18, 2010

No time to work out?

I've got one word for you:


Now you might be sitting there saying "But I really don't! I just got home from work, and I've got to cook dinner and do the laundry and blah blah blah blah BLAH!"

But you know what? There's no excuses in weight loss surgery. Excuses are what got us to this place - so now whether you've had surgery, are thinking about having it, or are just waiting for your surgery date to come up: the time for excuses are over.

Now I actually do understand that maybe you don't have time to hit the gym, or even get out of the house so what I've got here is my 'at home' workout, that I thought I'd share with you. You can do this work out while watching tv, waiting for the laundry - whenever.

Also, keep in mind that you can do this at different levels depending on your fitness, and I'll include the variations you can make. :) Also, whenever something says 'till failure' that means TILL YOU PHYSICALLY CANNOT DO IT ANYMORE. Haha yes! I'm diabolical.

So get off your butts and do it!

Push ups till failure.
        Options: - full gentlemen's push ups with legs elevated.
                      - full gentlemen's push ups
                      - on-your-knees push ups

Crunches x 60 or till failure.
         Options: - 'c' crunches
                       - lower abdominal crunches
                       - standard crunches
                       - leg extensions

Squats x 40. (Do these while holding weights for an extra kick)

Walking Lunges x 20 each leg

Step ups x 20 each leg

Stair run.
     - if you have stairs in your house the basic gist of this is to run your ass up and down those babies. I aim to do it 15 times, but we have quite a long stair case, so you might be able to do more/less depending on size of staircase and fitness.The aim is again TILL FAILURE.

Now this isn't what I'd class as a 'full' workout it's more of a 'I don't have time to get out there but oh my I should still really do something' workout... but hey like I said, no excuses!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Holy deliciousness

Lemonade isn't really a thing we do in New Zealand, but I'm going to cup day tomorrow (thats fancy fancy horse races for those of you not in the know) and it's byo. I was craving something lemony and delicious but not full of sugar like most of the rtd's out there, and seeing as I just so happened to have bought some liquid sucaryl yesterday, I figured trying to make a less calorific version of lemonade was in order :)

I'm pretty delighted with the results, the sucaryl is indistinguishable from actual sugar as far as I can tell, and I can see myself sitting out in the yard drinking this baby in a sun dress... maybe having a barbeque. Ahhhh summer - it's the best season of them all.

ANYWAY the recipe below is to make up a concentrate, which I've mixed in with some water but I'm anticipating will be equally yummy tomorrow with water + vodka... I know I know.. alcohol is calories.. I'm bad and naughty and wrong... tut tut.

2 table spoons of liquid sucaryl
1 cup of water
1 cup of lemon juice (I used meyers)

Mix the water and sucaryl in a pot and heat it up to bubbling but not quuuuite a boil. Take it off the heat and then pour your lemon juice straight into that. Straing it, and chill... bam! easy lemonade concentrate.

I think next time if I make it I'd put a little more lemon juice in because I love really tart drinks, but other than that I'm pretty happy with what I've achieved here. Feel free to tune in guys, if you have any suggestions or questions yeah?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A creative confessional + updates

Guys... I want you to be forewarned. This blog is going to be HUGE. And wordy. So I forgive you all if you think "too long, I'm not reading it." BUT on the other hand, it is a bit of a look at the reason I haven't updated in forever. I've been finishing my last few months of university and as of now I have officially finished FOREVER  : D With a BA(HONS) in mass media and english with a minor in psych. It's a pretty big deal for me but I've been insane trying to finish my thesis etc, and I thought you guys might all like to have a bit of a read of one of the pieces. My final assignment for english was a "creative non-fiction" piece, and so I wrote it about my surgery. It's in three pieces, before, during and after surgery and I'm going to post it below.


Well I'm stuck in a freaking weight loss ruts, which I fully admit is my own fault. I'm stuck at 92kgs (about 200 pounds), and do you know why guys? Because I have been eating the evil carbs and not exercising. I AM VERY VERY NAUGHTY. Also my hair has really started to fall out, so I've started taking biotin for it, which seems to be helping a bit. I can also advise a product called Moroccan Oil - I don't know if it helps, but ladies it makes your hair super shiny and nice, so that's a positive.

My plan of attack re: carbs and lack of exercise is going to be...
1. Stop eating carbs. CARBS ARE EVIL. EVIL EVIL EVIL.
2. Stop blaming how busy I am with school for not exercising as now I'm done with school
3. Exercise every day, even if its just walking to/from work and taking the stairs.
4. Do a protien shake cleanse for a week to kick start things up again

I'm going to Bali for Christmas and I really want to be in a bikini for it, that's the goal. Particularly.... the bikini pictured. Anyway guys, I've rambled enough so below is my creative piece.. I'm a bit nervous about letting you all read it... so uhmm... don't judge too harshly!


I never actually thought it would come to this. When I look in the mirror, what stares back at me doesn’t look like someone sick. But that’s what I am. Was. Sick. It’s still difficult to make the differentiation between what is and what was. It’s hard to see myself as a victim, but I suppose I’m both the victim and the sadist here. I’ve got one of those personalities that doesn’t quit. ‘Addictive’ they call it. First it was razorblades, smooth and buttery, sliding against my skin. And then after that vodka, gin, cider ... later when my old friends didn’t give me the same kick, I made some new ones: Ritalin, Valium and Acid. Not sick, just a girl who liked to have a little fun. Not hiding, just having a good time. If I didn’t think about it, most of the time I could tell myself that nothing was wrong. But when I looked in the mirror, all my carefully built masks would fall down around me. The face that stared back at me was disfigured. Obscenely round, lips misshapen and eyes that stared back at me in revulsion. I never dared look further south, afraid of what I’d see if I did. But even without the evidence mirrored back at me, I could tell you every curve, every fleshy roll. I knew the map off the top of my head, and I didn’t need to see myself to know what was there.

Nothing I could do seemed to help; the yards of flesh clung to me like a lover. If the simile held, and my body was a lover, our relationship was sick and twisted. It held me at ransom, a gun point captive with a painted on smile. The worst was how well I played my part: to the outside world I might have been happy. An out-going girl with enough friends to hold in both hands, I did well in school and although my family life often crumbled down around me – by that point I’d become an expert at building it back up. That had always been my role, to hold things together. I sealed the cracks, soothed the wounds and calmed the raging tempers. While I might have been falling apart, I kept the others together. But that was just one side of me. The other side loved to needle, it knew exactly the place to dig in a knife wound. I was an expert at saying the wrong thing at the right moment to cause the most possible hurt. To me, it was both magic and science – this secret darkness which I felt reflected my true personality. I revelled in my ability to make others feel as bad as I did, if I was going to hell then I was taking as many people with me as I could. If I had to be horribly self aware every second of my life, then I could at least make others the same.

In retrospect – self esteem was an issue.

Before, I said I was sick, but I only teased you with the details. The unreliable story-teller, perhaps whatever answers I give you would be lies regardless. That’s probably the darkness I spoke of before rising to the surface. No matter how much we claim to have resolved our issues, we can never change who we are, really. The question then remains, whatever could be the matter? It would have been enough if the problem had been in my head, or if the answer lay in my ovaries or my body, but in reality it was all of them. Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome doesn’t have enough recognition. But it is insidious, and sneaks into every corner of your life. Bosses will give you dark looks when every third or forth week of the month you call in sick, claiming (yet again) to be vomiting and unable to move. People will doubt it when you tell them you eat healthily. I ran for my life on a daily basis, sweat slicking across my body for hours a day. But the weight never moved. And unless the weight moved, the polycystic ovaries would never stop their relentless attack on my body. It’s a hard thing to cope with when your body is in constant rebellion. What is undoubtedly worse, it is only satisfied with attacking your body for so long, eventually it wants to take your mind as well. I was tormented by visions of how things might change if my life didn’t revolve around my defunct body. Would I be happier? DO better at school? Not nurse secret thoughts about stopping the pain for good? Would I at least be able to make it to normal without constantly self-medicating? In as far as I knew, I was destined to never have the answers to these questions.

The answer came by fluke, a visit to the doctor for something completely unrelated. Not completely unrelated, it was always brought up as an issue, but the official ailment was a chest infection. A pamphlet picked up on whim, as I paid more money than the five minutes of time the doctor had given me were worth. It suggested an answer to me, and in my head I was suspicious. How could it be this easy, that by chance I would pick up a piece of paper and it would solve for me the problem that had plagued my life as long as I could remember? But the pamphlet nagged at me, go and see this man, and see if he can put you back together. But the man didn’t want to put me back together; I was made of too many pieces to fit, so he offered to take some of the extras off my hands. The money was the next problem, ants don’t dream about the stars, and I never dreamed about having so large a sum. Another visit to a man in a suit would follow, and I would spend our meeting imagining that he judged me, that he hated me for even suggesting I was worth the money it would cost for repairs. Self loathing is so self-involved, we never imagine that other people aren’t judging us, or that their lives can exist without despising the stranger in front of them. But he must not have heard that I was to be maligned, denied happiness, for he agreed to lend me the funds, at a price.

The next part goes by slowly, in fact it crawls past. The world moves on around me but I stand still, counting and ticking the seconds off as they pass by. The seconds turn into months, but still I don’t move. I wait. And wait. But despite how slow the time might seem to move, suddenly it is the day. At this point I have been denied food for two weeks, and my stomach churns emptily as we prepare to part ways for good. It’s a cold dawn when the day finally arrives, and I remember shivering as I pack my bag for the hospital. I’m plagued by worries and what-if’s, but worse than the what-if’s are the what-if-not’s. If not, I had decided I would end things in a more finite manner. Surely nothingness would be preferable to the constant onslaught of hate and bile that filled my body. But my contingency plan seemed to be unwarranted, because within moments I’m lying on a hard bed, an unflattering gown draped across my front. Needles invade me, they would scar my hands to this day, but I couldn’t have known that then. I carry my own cross, and like a prisoner to her own execution they ask me to lie on the operating table by myself. Suddenly utterly consumer by the thoughts of so many faceless people seeing me so vulnerable, I grow claustrophobic in the oxygen mask, convinced that I am being tricked, sure that this will be the last thing I see. But not the last thing I feel, that honour goes to a immense fiery burn that burns through my arm into my heart. Despite warnings that it ‘may sting a bit’, I was not prepared and swear, once, loudly.

Eyelids flutter.

“You’re awake love, you’re just fine. Open your eyes.”


My eyelids stick shut, and I slip back into the respite of unconsciousness.

“Come on honey, let’s get you back to your room.”

Why is the world spiralling past my lolling head? I want to be sick, but in this haze I am more concerned that everyone around me seems to be covered in blood and screaming. This is a hallucination I am told. I will laugh about it later, but it still seems very real, a frighteningly slick memory that makes me wonder at time if it was real. Perhaps everyone sees blood and screaming, because no one seems surprised. The thought becomes unimportant when I suddenly become aware I seem to be paralysed. I want to lift my arms but cannot, they’re heavy and cement. If I try to lift my head from my pillow it hurts, agony might be a better descriptor.

My mother sits in the room with me, why does she look so anxious? Seeing her child covered in oxygen tubes, perhaps. She says that the real fear was when the surgery took three hours longer than she was advised. I was surprised at this, because I was so certain no time had passed. I didn’t dream as I’d hoped I would. Anaesthetic dreams are supposed to be full of riotous colours and events, but for me there was only empty darkness. I remember being disappointed.

Next I am vomiting, and it is neon blue. My lips, chest and bed are now stained with a vivid blue ink, and yet no one seems concerned by this. Hospitals must stranger places than I can imagine, because I cannot remember another time when discharging frothy blue ink out your mouth was not cause for alarm. I’m told that they poured the ink down my throat on purpose, to check for leaks. I’m not reassured. It’s curious that as writing this I suddenly remember it is time to eat, as I would not eat for months afterward. Perhaps what is left of me remembers the famine. A tube in your arm is not equivalent to food, don’t believe it if they tell you it is. There wasn’t any hunger (and there never would be again, as it happened), but my head played games with me as it remembered how much I enjoyed chewing. When it came to it, it wasn’t even the food, but the chewing I missed. I would later develop a destructive habit of chewing without swallowing, just for the sensation of something moving in my mouth.

But I get ahead of myself.

When I could finally open my eyes for more than a second at a time, my mother was there. She looked up from her novel and smiled at me, I hope that I smiled back, but I can’t be sure. Then I was unconscious again. It would take the rest of the day before I could stay awake for more than a minute at a time. Over the next few days I found out who I was important to, the people who visited me over the days and put up with me as I would fall into unconsciousness without warning, and I learned how to handle my new body. I learned how to pull myself up when my abdomen had fallen apart, and learned that it was usually easier to just stay where I was. My new body would take hours to sip a cup of water, and when I couldn’t sip fast enough my IV would be refilled and the oxygen tubes would reappear. Like a newborn I was dependant on nurses for the simplest task, and I hated it. Utterly dependant on them, I soon learned which nurses could be trusted and which were the ones with needles. My body still remembers the nurses with needles, and clenches at the thought of them. But they were my rock, uncomplaining when I slumped in my wheelchair and refused conversation, or when I threw up on them after one too many sips of the noxious barium swallow which lit me up in x-ray.

They also played the role of antagonist, constantly stabbing at me and making me cry out, but denying it was malicious; even if it certainly felt so. Everything had a dual purpose for awhile. The nurses were angel and demon depending on the time and the rotation, my mother played support role and worrying presence. I calmed her down as often as she calmed me. What would ultimately be my cure was my main source of injury, and in the many hours sitting, staring out of a bleak window I regretted my choices. Regret is perhaps the wrong word, deep down I always felt some sense of gladness that I’d made the choice, but I certainly rued it at times. I longed to walk like a normal person, instead of the awkward shuffle of someone pushing along an IV drip, trying not to pull at my ever-swelling needle site. The nurse, I believe her name was Hyde something or other, didn’t believe my hands natural condition was not throbbing and bulbous, nor did she care for my grimaces of pain whenever she flushed it through. I considered myself lucky that it was nearly lunchtime, and her shift would soon end. The new nurse (I wish I could remember more names, but I’m ashamed to admit they have all gelled together into a single, hazy unit) was kinder, and removed the drip for a brief respite.

After some days I was scheduled to go home, and I was happy for it. But then, I could not breathe or drink or eat, so I stayed in my prison a while longer. Using the word prison is not to imply the room didn’t have its charms, but I quickly grew tired of being coddled, and being constantly left to my own devices. There is only so long I can amuse myself without resorting to the doldrums, to be honest. When I finally did make it home, the effort of walking to the car and staying upright left me spent for the majority of the day. I was yet destined to spend more time in a bed. I woke long enough to quit my job, a fit of rage overcoming me at being asked to work the next day when I was as of yet unable to stay awake for more than a few hours at a time. Although I feared I might regret my hasty decision – I have yet to. The next stage of the story comes in its own little parts, separated by miniscule achievements that few would consider worthy of celebration. But I did. Celebrate that is. I celebrated my first sips of water taken without choking, the first time I took a bite of egg, the first time I was able to eat more than a single bite of anything. My birthday came and went, but I never acknowledged it, devoting myself to the pursuit of wellness.

As is the theme for my life, the man with the knife told me I was an “excellent healer.” It is a strange compliment, but one I’ve heard more times than I care to count. And he was an awkward man, so I took what compliments he could give me. Scars circled my belly, each unique in size and soreness, and with a shaky finger I would trace them, imagining the path that wormed within my body like the proverbial rats in a maze. They were alive, it seemed. Scoff, but this thought is vindicated by the fact that they continue to shift and move to this day. Each has risen slowly up my torso by centimetres, some have gone left, one has parted ways permanently with my belly button, when before it sat snugly within it. But I’m not frightened by the thought of these sentient scars, instead comforted and proud that for once my body has rallied alongside me, instead of playing the antagonist. They are like friends then, comforting me when I despair – their shiny redness assuring me that they continue to heal every day, pulling me out of my darkness step by (occasionally unwilling) step.

Then, I began to melt.

Everyday I was less than before, numbers passed by too fast to maintain any significance. At first it was a rush, but I was cautioned not to get too obsessed with numbers, ultimately I needed to find the thrill of happiness within myself. It was true. I may have looked different, but inside I stayed the same. We think that when the one, all encompassing problem in our life disappears, we will feel instant happiness, our dreams will come true. I’m unhappy to relate to you, my dear reader, that this is a goddamned lie. Do not take this too seriously, don’t over-analyse my meaning. Am I happier? Yes. I can stare at myself for as long as I want to in a mirror, and I’m not disgusted. Clothes are smaller now, shopping bills are more affordable. My ovaries seem to have mysteriously given up in defeat, they wave the white flag. So yes, there is much happiness, and yes I cherish it. But my life remains imperfect. Things are bound to go wrong, to add to my arsenal of increasingly bizarre stories (For example I am now not only the girl who broke her spine stretching, or the girl who fell thirty feet off a chairlift, I’m now also the girl with no stomach), and there are everyday frustrations that make me forget my happiness. So I am happy, yes, just perhaps not so happy as I imagined I would be.

Am I that dark little creature who delighted in other people’s misfortunes, feeling like they were that one step closer to my level with each tear? Sometimes. I told you, a leopard can’t change its spots, and there is only so much we can do to perfect who we are. I strive to be less imperfect, but it’s not a complete transformation. Harder, is that I don’t see the changes so much as everyone else. Logically you can tell me that I am different, that I am changed. To an outsider I certainly look altered – I’m told. In my head, I don’t often see the difference. Whether this means I still feel like the same girl, or if this was the girl I always imagined I was, I can’t tell you. But they all say that my mind will catch up with my body one day. In the mean time there are other challenges to cope with. My hair is falling out, and several people are utterly convinced I have cancer, regardless of what I tell them. But compared to the self-loathing that wracked my body, I find them to be trivial problems. Wigs can be bought, people can be told (again) that I don’t have breast cancer, nor leukaemia and no I don’t have lung cancer from years of smoking. So it’s easier.

And that in turn makes it easier to walk away from the dark.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

my life half-way

I've reached a big fat milestone recently - halfway to my goal! It's actually got me thinking my goal weight isn't low enough maybe I should set it for 70kg's not 76 but hey, I still think we will see when we get there how I feel and then decide.

I can't believe I'm only two and a half months out and that I'm this far down. 28kilos/60 pounds is... a lot of weight. I was at the doctors today for a checkup and I was talking to some women who'd had a lap band done. One of them was really excited because she'd lost 2kgs/5pounds in a month. I felt a little embarased telling them how much/how quickly I'd lost because I didn't want them to think I was lording it over them but.. hey.. they got the crap-band not me :P

I've been gymminh and running a bit more - today I ran a km in about eight minutes which I was fairly happy with but I'd eventually like to half that so I can keep up with my running buddy lol!

I'm off to sydney next week for a holiday with a bunch of my friends and I've been trying on all my clothes... newsflash: none of them fit me! I basically took around my entire wardrobe to the women's refuge so now my poor wardrobe is looking very spartan. Luckily I'll be able to buy a whole bunch of delicious new clothes for it to eat when I'm in Sydney!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In which I love running

No... the above statement is a lie. a LIE I say! In reality I hate running and it MAKES ME WANT TO DIE A LITTLE.

What I LOVE.. is that I now have the choice to run. Pre-surgery I couldn't run, I had shin splints, tendonitus and within five minutes of running or walking anywhere too fast - my legs were screaming in pain. I think deep down I knew it was weight related - but I didn't really think I was that fat I guess.

Oh how wrong I was.

Today was a beautiful day out, the sun was shining and it was warm for the first time in a long time. And I just casually thought to myself 'hmmm I should go for a run.' So, texting my good friend Mikey (who similarly to me has lost a lot of weight in the past, so I trust him to see me huffing and puffing away looking nasty) we arranged to meet up.

Instantly I was regretting it. WHAT was I thinking? Running with Mikey could only lead to humiliation, sore legs, and slinking off in defeat, I knew it.

So we met at the pre-arranged spot and I'm nervous, sure I'm about to fail at it. We start at a gentle pace... I'm thinking to myself that it's not so bad. then BAM - oh jesus I'm puffing and huffing, lugging my ass down this track which Mikey assures me is a 'gentle' 3k track. These words do not compute, how can a 3k run be gentle? A 3k run sounds brutal!

But you know what? I did it! I didn't run the whole way admittedly, there were some walking moments - but Mikey tells me he thinks I ran about 2k out of the 3k all up. I know that to him I was puffing and unfit and it was terrible, but actually I was pretty damn proud of myself. Before I would have given up and walked most if not all of it, but not anymore!

And you know what, my legs didn't hurt a bit.

It's amazing how FREEING it is. I can do these things if I want to now without hurting myself because of the strain on my body. I'm actually starting to feel somewhat normal, like someone who can look at herself in the mirror and not hate what she sees. Like someone who can run!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

two months out

two months out and thank GOD I can say that I'm out of my stall. That baby had been dragging on for weeks and I'm not going to lie... I was going crazy.  You can talk big about staying calm all you want, but when those numbers stop ticking down you start losing it. like big time.

As we speak I'm currently down to 105kg, which is 231 pounds. Thats a total lose of 25 kg or 55 pounds!

Never in my life did I think I could lose that much weight or that in two months I'd only be 2kgs (5 pounds) off of being half way to my goal weight. It's got me thinking all sorts of crazy thoughts about whether I should be aiming even lower, maybe 70kgs instead of 76? We shall see... we shall see.

I keep meaning to take photos of myself again, I did it 15kgs ago so it's probably time to take another round, but I'm such a lazy ass that I keep putting it off lol. I've been going through my clothes though, just tonight I spent a few hours giving myself a fashion parade and throwing out all the clothes that are too big. It's the best feeling to have clothes that are too big for once instead of too small. I thought I'd be running out of clothes by now but actually I've just started wearing all my 'skinny' clothes - you know the onces, the onces you keep thinking that you'll fit into them again one day... well today is that day!

I'm feeling great about myself, and some interesting things have started happening to me... I'm able to run without horrible leg pain for one thing, and I've started flirting with boys again, just because my confidence is up. It's actually pretty magical getting checked out by boys and not assuming theyre mocking the fatty with their friends :)

I'm also soooo close to my first goal... my boobs being bigger than my tummy. It's a hard goal because the twins keep shrinking! So yes, my tummy is HEAPS smaller... and I'd say its definitely smaller than my boobs at their original size, but because they keep getting smaller too it seems we're at a stalemate. Sigh - it'll happen :P

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stalling and NSV's

So at someones lovely request that I update, here I am. I am smack dab in the middle of the dreaded stall. The dreaded stall, for the uninitiated, hits you like a ton of bricks. ou're losing weight like crazy and feeling amazing about yourself one day and then suddenly BAM, the breaks go on. Suddenly you aren't losing any weight and you're GOING INSANE. You think to yourself, am I done losing weight? Did I pay all this money to lose 44 pounds (21kgs)? You start weighing yourself every day hoping that the scale will move... but it doesn't. And so the cycle of insanity continues.

The big step I have taken against this stall is to just not weigh myself. I'm not going to weigh myself for a few weeks and I'm going to hope that when I do weigh myself again, the scale will have moved once more. I'm trying to remind myself that I'm only about 5 weeks out and I'm almost halfway to my goal weight - that is something to be proud of. In only 10 pounds, I will be half way and that's a huge achievement. Thats what I repeat to myself every time I think I'm about to go insane.

Now on the other hand of all this gloominess we have NSV's! These are what we call non-scale victories. And when you arent losing kilos, a good nsv can feel like it's saving your sanity. For example last night when I was cleaning out my room I found an old playsuit that i got a few years ago and was always too much of a fattie to wear. So I pulled it on as a whim and the bloody thing fit! I could even pull the draw string tighter!

Cut to my jumping around my room dancing around to music and smiling like a fool! Now I just have to wait until it's summer again so I can wear the damn thing lol.

Finally, Today I found something which might be the funniest picture I've seen in awhile so I thought I'd share it with you all:
My laughter basically never stopped after I saw this

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I am officially one week into the two week pureed stage and I cant tell you how freakin' awesome it is. I have never ever appreciated flavours and texture the way I do now. After being on liquids a month to be able to eat (most of ) a scrambled egg is so fantastic. My diet's been very simple it's mostly an egg for breakfast, tuna for lunch, meat for dinner or something along those lines. My idea of portion size has changed already, I eat out of ramekins and look at a slice of meat and think "thats quite a lot of food."

Also! In big news I'm proud to say I'm only 1kg away from having lost 20kg - thats 40 pounds! in three weeks! It took me about 6 months to lose that much weight on jenny craig. It's amazing how easy it is when I'm not hungry. I can eat until I'm satisfied and then just stop, instead of eating until I'm so full its uncomfortable.

Honestly? I'm kind of scared how easy it is. Losing weight has been the hardest thing in my life for as long as I can remember, and to see it just falling off - well I wake up most mornings expecting to see the scales show that all the weight has come back on. I guess I still have to work on that.

In non weight loss related news, all the boys have gone from the flat so it's just the three girls left and we've been redecorating! We bought a bunch of cushions and pretty girlie things and made the flat all sparkly and clean, it's basically magical.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Live from hospital

I survived!

I'm not going to lie... surgery was a whole other experience than I was expecting. We woke up at 6am to get me to the hospital where I checked in in a big rush as I was the first to have surgery that day, got hurridly changed into the hospital gown (which for anyone whose wondering... gap at the back. There is no classy way to wear one of those suckers.) and then got wheeled down to the operating room. There's something a little disquieting about getting onto your own operating table, a bit like carrying your own cross to an execution... but they gave me a lovely little pill which made me not care about such technicalities. The anasthetic itself hurt... don't be fooled if they say it wont. Last thing I remember is the anesthetic man saying "now this might sting a bit" followed by my loud exclamation of "OW FUCK" and then... blankess.

I'd later find out that they'd accidently tissued my iv which means it'd popped out of the vein and all the liquids and painkillers were just flowing directly into my hand which is why it puffed up to roughly the size of a baby horse and why I'm only just getting use of it back two days later. 

I sort of fluttered in and out of conciousness in the recovery room, apparently I was in there was longer than anticipated, a couple of hours total, and then the next thing I remember is being wheeled back into my room and my mum coming in with a huge bunch of flowers. I slept most of that day, only waking up when they stuck something in my iv (and then only because of the horrible horrible pain of it all) and to go to the bathroom. I finally woke up at about seven or eight when a couple of my friends came in to visit me and entertained me by waltzing around my hospital room. Let no one say I don't have the best friends in the world.

The next day a nurse blessedly noticed how giant my hand was and took my iv out. Unfortunately I couldn't drink enough fluids because I was horribly sick all day, so she had to put a new one in - but at least this time it hit the vein and so didn't hurt when she started putting things into it. I felt really really crap most of the day, if I wasn't nauseous I was sore, if I wasn't sore I had gas pains, if I didn't have gas pains then my back was hurting from the hospital bed. I tried to mostly sleep through it, and ended up hitting the hay at about 5 until 7am this morning.

Today I feel HEAPS better, I've been walking around all morning and was allowed some optifast and got off my drip for good if I promised to keep drinking water. I think walking around is possibly the key to surgery, it gets rid of your gas pains so fast, its actually kind of amazing. I get out tomorrow if all things go as planned.. they all looked good on the leak test (ugh which the less said about the better) and my surgeon seems pretty pleased with things. I cant wait to get home into a comfy bed and not get woken up at 1am every morning by the nurses coming to take my blood pressure etc.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

One week till surgery

Hasn't that snuck up? I've been counting down to it for so long that it had sort of assumed this mythical status in my mind, and I'd fogotten it was a real thing that was really happening. But yup.. I'm happy to say that one week into my pre-op diet and I'm feeling so much better. I'm about eight kilos down in a week which is... just insanity. I've started using bio-oil to rub on my skin, its supposed to reduce stretch marks and loose skin, my mum swears by it and if nothing else it's making me smell really good.

I've also been getting ready for the hospital, buying pajamas and that kind of thing. Is it weird that I don't have pajamas? I just dont like my legs to be covered when I sleep.. makes me feel trapped. But yay! I went to Peter Alexander (this fancy pajama store we have in NZ) and tried on a bathrobe and some pajama pants, and both were too big. That's never happened to me. It was awesome to be able to ask the woman if they had a smaller size in something.

I'm sort of suspicious about it all to be honest... it just feels like its too easy. Admittedly the first few days I was going crazy but now it's all just a breeze. I actually have to remind myself to eat the protein shakes because I'm just not getting hungry. The only way I really notice is when I start getting light headed and shaky. I think that's probably not actually a good thing, but its still pretty exciting to someone whose always been hungry and pretty much never missed a meal. I haven't cheated really, I will admit that I stuck my finger in some pasta sauce my mum had made, but I'm telling myself it doesn't count because it was basically tomato sauce and veges, both of which I'm allowed. The thing bothering me most might actually be the no milk thing. I hadn't noticed how much coffee/tea sucks without milk.

If anyone has any helpful hints about things I should take to the hospital by the way, I'd LOVE to hear theml.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pre-op diet

So we're two days into my pre-op diet and I'm not going to lie... it's harder than I figured it would be. I think mostly because (TMI forthcoming) I just got my period and all I want to do is eat fast food and chocolate. Instead I've been trying to kill the cravings by eating veges and frozen raspberries. The frozen raspberries are good to suck on and get a bit of a sweet fix, they're not exactly chocolate but it's working.

Basically my days have been going like this so far:

get up
mix strawberry protein shake to take into school
sip during class
go hang out in my office and try to do some work
mix protein soup up
go home and make veges
have a protein shake and veges

I'm actually shocked at how tired I am. My legs feel heavy and sore, and I've noticed I'm already starting to get grouchy at people. I'm only two days in and everyones telling me it's going to get easier - and I'm hoping they're right. I've got work tomorrow but I might call in sick, I don't know if I can deal with eight hours of customers yelling at me and standing on my feet. To be honest... tonight I may have snapped and eaten some of the soup meat in some vege soup my mom made. I'm a bit annoyed at myself but.. it's only two days and I just have to get over it.

Yeah, it's going to be fine.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baked Ricotta

So in the spirit of trying to be as ready for surgery as possible (I start pre-op in exactly a week) I've been testing out recipes for things that have lots of protein that I can eat after surgery. Yesterday I went on a mission out to the mediteranian store in town to go and pick up some ricotta and made baked ricotta. Now I don't usually like cheese so I was pretty skeptical that it was going to be any good - but then that's what I thought about protein shakes too and it turns out that they are awesome. So with that in mind I made two types of baked ricotta, a sweet version and a savoury version. And it turns out it was sooo good. Like seriously delicious. It didn't taste cheesy, it just tasted like whatevr I put in it. I'm actually like a bit excited about getting to eat it for the mushy food stage now, who would have thought I'd ever be excited about mushy food?

Savoury Baked Ricotta:
300 grams of ricotta
1 teaspoon of garlic
1 egg
A dash of milk
Mixed Herbs

Sweet Baked Ricotta:
300grams of ricotta
1 egg
A dash of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar (use equal for a healthier version)

Pre-heat your oven to 180c. Mix all the ingredients together in a blender (I did it by hand but it takes much longer to get it smooth this way so if you want to do it fast use a blender) until smooth. Pour into pre-greased muffin tins (I used big muffin tins to make three of each) and bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown. Take out and let cool slightly before you eat. Enjoy!

The good thing about making it in muffin tins instead of a ceramic dish like my recipe suggested is it makes it into simple, easy 100gram portions for you so you don't have to think about serving sizes so much.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Busy busy busy

So the count down has 'begun'. Of course in reality I've been counting down since I first got my surgery date, I started counting down from 15 weeks. But it's getting really close now, exactly four weeks away, and less than thirty days. I'm starting to get scared for real now - I keep thinking in my head about all the things that could go wrong, just your usual panic I suppose. I've never been to the hospital before (hate them!) so it's going to be a bit scary to have such major surgery my first time. But then again I have a big group of friends who're all going to be visiting me the whole time, so maybe it wont be so bad.

Luckily (or unluckily) for me though, I don't really have that much time to worry about being scared because I just have way too much stuff to do before then. I wrote a to-do list and I have about twenty-seven things that need to be done before I start my pre-op diet in fourteen days. I want to get everything out of the way before then so I can just focus on not cheating etc and not have to try and concentrate on schoolwork, but man do I have a lot to do. I've got about four assignments due in the next two weeks, including a thirty minute presentation for one class, as well as doing weekly reports on the on-going nucleur review confrenece.

Whoever said that being a student was supposed to be fun?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What is VSG for me?

Tonight I'm feeling really down. I don't know why, I honestly think it's a lot of little things that I'm just building up in my head. I know that surgery isn't going to change everything in my life and make things all magically better, but I feel like if I can get this one thing under control then I'll feel better about things. I don't think any of my friends or family really understands how I feel about this. I know they understand I want it, I know they understand that I don't want to wait to have it - but no one really gets why. And when they doubt I can do it, it makes me doubt that I can do it.

All my life I've been fat. Growing up I was ugly as well as fat (I can say this because well, hell it's true), but it was always the fat that bothered me. Now that I'm a little older, I'm a lot less ugly, but I'm still fat. I'm not sure if thin, 'normal' sized people realise what it's like to walk around in a body that doesn't fit. That's what it feels like to me. I'm stuck inside a body that just doesn't fit. When I look in the mirror I see the girl that I think I should be, the girl that's trapped inside all of this excess skin and fat and fabric. But then I look again, and I see what I really look like.

Everywhere I go I'm self concious about my body. I walk as fast as I can, hoping people wont look at me, hoping people aren't laughing at me. Whenever I hear someone laugh, I assume it's at me. It's incredibly narcissistic to think this way, I'm sure they have their own problems and probably haven't even noticed me. But the niggling voice in my head says that they have, and that they're laughing at me.

I just want to get to a point where I feel like I can walk across university without having that horrible feeling that people are staring. I want to know that boys don't instantly discount me because of my weight. In all honesty I'd rather that boys dont want to date me because of my personality than my looks. But it always seems to be my weight. I'm really, really tired of being the funny, fat girl. Being the girl with the good personality. Feeling like every day I have to do my hair and make up and agonise over what to wear - only to leave the house still feeling like crap and feeling self concious every day.

The funny thing is, I never used to feel like this. Until the day I picked up a wls pamphlet at the doctor's (I was there with a chest infection), I thought I was perfectly happy with the way I looked. It turned out I wasn't actually perfectly happy with the way I looked, I'd just buried these feelings because I thought there was nothing I could do about it. I'd just accepted that despite the fact that I kill myself at the gym 5 times a week and watch what I eat, I'd always be the fat girl. And with vsg I feel like someone's finally handed me a life raft.

That's what this feels like, a life saver. And on the one hand it's about finally being able to be seen for who I am and not what I weigh. But on the other hand it's about finally being able to feel invisible. Blessedly invisible and 'normal,' just another face in the crowd. For me I think that's one of the biggest things.

My mum asked me if I didn't want to wait till the end of the year instead of my current surgery date (June 10th!), and I just started crying. She told me she understood how it felt to be overweight and I just shook my head at her. I couldn't express what it was like to hear her say that. She struggled with losing ten kilos (20 poundsish), which she did, easily. I know that I need to lose at least 50 kilos (100 poundsish). More than that - she's had a chance to live her life. I've spent my life on the periphery, scared to put myself out there in situations where I'm the center of attention in case someone made fun of me for being fat. My fat makes me vulnerable, and I hate it so much.

So what is vsg for me? Vsg is an answer, a tool that's finally going to help me do the one thing I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember. And I'm terrified that it wont work, or that I'll screw it up and not lose the weight. I want to be one of the people on the boards helping other people lose weight like Tiffy, but I'm really terrified I'm going to end up on the failed weight loss boards, even more desperate than I am now.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What is VSG?

The surgery I will be having on June 10, 2010 is called VSG (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy), at St George's Hospital. During the surgery, my surgeon (Grant Coulter) is going cut away about 85% of my stomach. He'll do it by running a bougie (tube) down my thaot, and then using a device which will run six rows of staples through my stomach.

A razor blade will run between the staples, leaving three rows on either side of it that are then either oversewn or covered in surgical glue. I'll be left with a much smaller stomach that can only hold about 80-100 grams of food (that's 3 -4 oz). Out of all the different weight loss surgeries available it's sort of a middle ground between a lap-band and a roux-en-y/duodenal switch. There's a lot of different reasons that I chose to get vsg instead of these other options, which I'll go into later, but needless to say me and my surgeon and my family have talked it over at length.

It's not necessarily what my first choise for weight loss would be, if I could do it alone I would. But I know that I can't do it alone. Unfortunately studies show if a person has more than 20 kilos to lose by themselves, they have about a 5% chance of being able to lose and maintain it. Also I have a condition called PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which makes it very hard for a lot of women to have children, and can leave them unfertile. One of the most effective treatments for PCOS other than medication, is to lose their excess weight. However unfortunately a side effect of PCOS is that it makes it incredibly easy to gain weight, and insanely difficult to lose it.

I've spent years seeing nutritionists, going on weight watchers and jenny craig, busting my ass at the gym for six weeks - and through all of this I've somehow steadily gained weight. Which is how I've ended up here. Basically I'm twenty-one, and I want to have children, avoid diabetes and not get any of the co-morbidities that I know are coming to me if I don't get things under control. So my family and I have made a decision as to what's best for me and just quietly... I'm a bit excited about it.