New beginnings!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

There are so many people who I have known from the old Weight Watchers days that are now going down the path of gastric band surgery.

It's great to read their thought patterns. What they are going through is pretty much what we all went through. The only difference is that we are standing in the light looking back down the tunnel towards them.

Candid you vlog had me in tears. I am so excited for you I could burst! My immediate medical reasons for having the band was really only the PCOS. I no longer have cysts on my ovaries! I can't wait to read the entry where you are telling us that you no longer need your medication!

I have gone from a pair of size 40 inch jeans that were tight to now wearing size 33 inch. Still a long way to go, but at least now I'm on the right track!

A year on....

I know it's a bit late but things are still silly around here.

So it has now been just over 12 months since I was banded. I still believe it's the best thing I have ever done.

Some major changes for me over the past year....
1. I have gone from a size 22 to a size 16.

2. I no longer obsess about food. When doing Weight Watchers or any of the other numerous diets I have done, I would think about food ALL DAY. What have I eaten, what can I have next, when can I eat next, do I have enough points/calories for this? And on, and on, and on!

3. I no longer have cysts on my ovaries. I have suffered from PCOS for many years and would only have a cycle a couple of times a year. My cycles are now 33 days and I'm ovulating. I had an ultrasound done late last year and I no longer have cysts! Such an achievement!

4. I feel free. I thought that being banded and not being able to eat certain things (like my beloved hot chips) would be daunting, and I would feel resentful. It has been totally the opposite for me. I have come to realise that I don't need those foods.

5. I am much fitter. I have started running again and I feel great!

6. I am no longer housebound. So many times in the past I have not gone to special occassions because of my weight. I have missed weddings, family gatherings, nights out with friends etc. This could be for a number of reasons. Nothing fitted me in my waredrobe, I felt fat and frumpy, and to be honest I didn't really like myself. I am no longer missing out on these events. This use to always drive my husband crazy. We would be going out for dinner and if I could find nothing to wear, he would have to go on his own.

7. I am starting to love myself. My body is far from perfect and I still have a long way to go to reach goal, but I am feeling good about myself. I will probably always have some saddlebag and batwings, but hey, at least they are not size 22!

So there we have it. I am changing so much as a person. I am setting myself goals and best of all I know that I can achieve them.

Last year I wanted to run a half marathon. I am going to do it this year. I have picked a half marathon at the end of July and I'm going to give it a good go.


I am such a slacker. Work has been stupid crazy and I haven't managed to post about my 1 year bandiversary! I promise to tomorrow!

I just had to jump on quickly and post this yummy recipe! So easy and quick.

Bel's Cheat'n Creamy Chicken and Veggie Soup

1 tbs of olive oil
1 tbs of garlic (we love garlic so I actually have been known to throw a couple of tablespoons in)
1 400g bag of diced vegetable mix (I buy this from Coles. It contains carrot, celery, leek, turnip, parsnip, broccoli stem, cauliflower stem and parsley) If you don't buy this mix it's a great way to use up the stems of your broccoli and cauliflower.
2 tbs of Gourmet Garden Parsley
1 420g tin of Cambell's Cream of Chicken Concentrate
1ltr of Chicken Stock
Left over veggies. Tonight I put 2 medium washed potatoes and 1/4 small Queensland Blue pumpkin.
Cracked Black Pepper
Splash of cream to taste

Add olive oil and garlic to a large pot.
When it starts to sizzle, add veggie mix (include any left overs you have added) and parsley.
Stir until veggies start to soften.
Add the tin of Cream of Chicken concentrate and stock.
Season with pepper. (I don't add any salt, as usually the stock is salty enough)

When it comes to the boil, turn down to a simmer. I usually let this simmer for about an hour.

Add cream and allow to simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

Serve on it's own or with half a slice of dry toast.

This time last year....

here is my first journal entry after I was banded.

I am here, I am alive, I am bloody sore!

I got to the hospital at 9.30am as requested. Got a bit teary when I had to leave my Mum and go up to the surgical waiting area. When I got up to the surgical waiting area there was the lady who was suppose to be first in at 7.30am still waiting. She had been waiting over 2 hours. Great! I'm that nervous at this stage I was running to the loo and now I have to wait another 2 hours!

A lovely nurse came and took me into a little room to get changed and put my lovely light green gown, paper panties (full briefs!!!) and my stockings. I then got to sit in a lovley recliner and wait there. I was chatting to another lady who was before me. This made the time go quickly. I then sat and read for a while until the lovley Jennene arrived. We chatted some more after meeting in the Dr's office the day before. We were both nervous, but again this helped the time go quickly.

I was then called in and wheeled off to the presurgery area where I waited about another half and hour. Finally Dr Crozier arrived to go over how they were going to knock me out. He was a lovely man. Quite funny and helped to take my mind off everything. Dr Bowden arrived and asked me how I was feeling. By this stage my nerves had gone and I was feeling teary again. They wheeled me into the theatre where Dr Crozier and a lovely nurse were waiting for me. They got me to slide onto the bed and before I knew it the lights were spinning above me. My last words were...."Should those lights be moving???" That was it I was out. It was 1.15pm.

I woke up at 3.15pm in recovery. I was feeling really dry in the mouth and groggy. I remember asking for some water and they said I'd have to wait until I got up to my ward. I must have nodded off again. I woke as they wheeled me into my room which I was sharing with three other people, one of which was the first lady to go in. Mum and Dad were waiting for me there and I remember them waving to me. I nodded off again and the next thing I remember is hearing my Mum talking to the lady across from me. My Mum talks to anyone and

I woke up at around 5.30pm and had some ice chips. Dr Bowden popped in and told me that everything went well and to try and rest up. At around 8pm they got me up to get changed into my pj's. Man did that kill. My stomach felt so tight and sore!!!! What a restless night! I kept waking up in a bit of pain throughout the night. Between the pain and the blow up pillows on my legs, not much sleep was had.

I was up and awake at 5.30am and ready to get out of the hospital. The nurse came in with some more pain meds and bunged up my drip. I then went and washed my face and brushed my teeth. I told the nurse that I was ready to go home. She laughed and said that I would have to wait and see Dr Bowden. Dr Bowden arrived at around 8.30am. He was surprised to see my sitting up and out of bed. He had a look at my wounds and told me again to call if anything went wrong or if I felt that any of the incisions were feeling hot. He sqeezed my hand and told me that everything went really well and he looks forward to seeing me in a couple of weeks.

The nurse came back in and gave me another injection to thin my blood and told me I could head off home as soon as the pharmacy had my Ibuprofen ready to go. At 9.30am she came in with my meds and an oderly to walk me to front reception. FINALLY!

We got back to the unit and I slept most of the day. Last night I was restless. I really want to sleep on my side but my stomach feels to tight. My back has been aching but a heat pack has been helping slightly.Today I feel pretty good and somewhat back to normal. My stomach is still tender and pinches when I get up off the bed or out of the chair. I'm going to try and not sleep at all today, so I can have a good sleep tonight.I'm finding it hard to drink my 50ml every 10 minutes. I sip away but still feel quite full. Mum made me chicken soup last night for dinner and I couldn't even sip it. I think I had too much water that afternoon!

So anyway, after this long winded post. I'm alive, I'm banded and I can't wait to be out of pain!! When I get home I'll post my incision pics. My port is down next to my belly button which I didn't expect.

Anyway I'm off to relax and read.

Feels like only yesterday!

The benchmark has been set...

Today I did my C25K program but kept on going after the 30 minutes. I ran a total of 5km in 43 minutes!!!!! GO ME!!!!!

Well tomorrow marks me being banded for ONE WHOLE YEAR! I cannot believe how quickly it has gone! On this day last year I was getting myself prepared for surgery and totally shitting myself!

This probably sounds stupid, but I still get teary at how my life has changed since having the band.

Tomorrows post will be a retrospective look over the past year. Right now I have to go and slip on my size 16 shorts and go for coffee.

In the groove.....

I can't believe how much I am enjoying food at the moment. Every bite I take I really chew it and enjoy it. I had a lovely ham and salad plate for lunch yesterday with one of the girls at work. The best part is that if I follow the rules (no drinking while eating) it really does fill me up. The girl I had lunch with had the same salad as me and was still hungry afterwards. GOD BLESS THE BAND! The best part of all is that the scales are starting to reflect my hard work. Back down to 90.6kg this morning I still have three weeks to lose another 2.6kg to reach my goal. Very achievable!

We went out for dinner last night and of course hubby wanted an entree and a main. I tried to convince him just to have a main, but alas no. So I ordered the quail and salad entree, which hubby got to enjoy half of and the pork belly for mains. Over half of that got left on the plate. It felt great to stop when I was satisfied. I did indulge in a couple of wines and came home happy and content!

I had the best intentions today to get up and go to the gym bright and early, but decided to sleep in until 8am giving me enough time to get to my massage at 9am. I should finish work tonight at 8.00pm AND I WILL GO TO THE GYM AFTERWARDS.

I'm in such a happy place at the moment and I'm going to lap it up as much as I can!!!

Oh and a NSV I had today..... I was in our corner store this morning getting milk. As I was walking down the aisle towards the milk fridges I noticed a reflection and thought somebody was walking a little behind me. Low and behold it was me looking hot and working those jeans! Hehehe.


4.6km's in 36 minutes BABY!!!!
Unwritten is one of my favourite songs to listen to. I love what it means. The rest of our lives are unwritten. We decide our fate.

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
(and the best part)
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

I could have easily gone further on the treadmill today but there was a lady waiting to use it. Bugger!!! I was aiming to get to 5km.

I am in such a fantastic mindset at the moment. I fight myself each day about going to the gym, but once I'm there I FEEL FANTASTIC!!! My speed is already increasing and I'm now running at 9.3km/hr. I even did a couple of sprints (hehe) at around 10.5km/hr. I AM GETTING STRONGER AND FASTER!!! How great does that feel.

There is really onle one area of this journey that I am still struggling with and that's the wine. I'm going to keep pushing myself and am cutting back a small amount each day. I will get there, after all my book is still unwritten!

So for those of you that remeber my last blog, you'll recall my efforts to get into my size 18 shorts. I am please to say that they are now knock-around-the-house shorts as they are getting too big. I can now fit into most size 16's. Here's a pic of the journey.....

So one of the things I spoke with my dietitian about was goal setting and what was pushing me to get to that next level. It was the shorts. Now that they are too big, I have purchased a new goal pair of shorts in a size...... 14!!!!!

I look at this picture and I feel disgusted. I feel that I look like I did in the 3rd picture above. What I need to keep in mind is that these shorts are 2 sizes smaller than the ones above.

Compliments are the best!!!!

This time last year I was on day 2 of my Optifast diet AND I WAS STARVING!!! It's fun to look back at my journal from last year. I can remember being so excited and also scared out of my wits. My life has changed so much. Lap band surgery was the best thing I ever did. It has helped me to take control back of my life!

I was at work yesterday and had a client booked in who I hadn't seen in about 18 months. The last time she was in I was at my all time heaviest weight of 109kg. I was still with somebody when she entered the shop so I popped my head out and told her I would just be 5 minutes. I finished up what I was doing and then went to greet her. We sat down and got chatting. She kept looking at me strangely. Then came the question..."You are the lady I had an appointment with last time arent you?" Me... "Yes, you were pregnant with you second child" Her... "OH MY GOD! Please don't take this the wrong way, but you have lost a heap of weight! I didn't even recognise you!"

I floated for the rest of the day!


Monday, January 11, 2010

guess what I will be doing tonight after I finish work at 7.30pm????? THE GYM!!!


Too long....

I cannot believe the last time I posted was the 19th of December! That is just crazy stuff!

The Christmas break is always a very busy time for me. It's like I blink and it's all done and dusted. I can't believe we are nearly half way through January already!!!!!

So much has happened, so this entry might require a cuppa!

Things have been going okay with the band. My weight has crept back up to 92kg and seems to be stuck there. The funny thing is that people are commenting that I have lost more weight, but alas NO! I'm trying to think back to what I was eating and drinking to get down to 87kg. It's times like this I wish I was motivated to keep an accurate food diary.

On the exercise front things are progressing nicely. My couch to 5k running program is coming along great. I did this program years ago and I'm amazed at how losing weight has made a huge change to what speed I can run at. When I first did it my walking speed was at 5.7km/hr and my running speed a mere 7.7km/hr. This time has found me easily walking at 6.3km and running at 9km. Considering I first did this 6 years ago, I think that is pretty good going! I am motivated to finish it fully this time.

Here is a journal entry from my blog last year....

January 01, 2009

This year is going to be MY YEAR!


So last night I rang in the new year with 2 bottles of Moet (my head is paying for it today) and today I jump on the wagon. No alcohol!!! I have been a 3+ glass of wine per day drinker for many years, but there is not way I am going in to have surgery knowing that I haven't given it my best! My poor liver won't know what's going on!

I so cannot wait to have this surgery done. I feel like my life is on hold!!!

So 2009 is my year. A year where I am going to be selfish with my time so that I can exercise. A year when I am going to run/walk a half marathon. A year when I am going to get my weight under control!

My first day of 2009 has me overweight and hung over. The first day of 2010 is going to be completely different. Just you wait and see!

Sadly, I wasn't selfish with my time last year and therefore didn't manage the half marathon. I still struggle with putting everyone else's needs in front of my own. I have made myself this promise again, however this time I have gone through my diary and cleary marked exercise sessions and my working times. Since starting the job I am currenlty in my time has not been my own. I feel like I have no life and my whole existance revolves around work and home. It's time to bring this back into balance!

On a positive note, my first day of 2010 WAS completely different to 2009. I still indulged in some good champers, but I stopped early as I didn't want to begin this New Year hung over. I woke up early and felt fresh and new! I am still classed as "overweight", however last New Year I was wearing jeans that had a 40 inch waistband (size 22), this year I was wearing a size 33 inch waistband (size 16).

A couple of days into the New Year I was beginning to feel depressed. At 92kg there is now way I am going to reach my goal of 84kg before I go back and see my Dr. The last session I had with my dietitian was my compulsory ones after surgery. I gave her office a call and made an appointment for the 6th of January. It was great to chat to her and get some great tips. I felt renewed again. I also made another appointment with her when I go and see my Dr in February. My new goal is 88kg. With the gym and eating right I know that I will give it my best shot! It's funny but I always saw the dietitian as a waste of money with the band. I now understand that it is really important. She has ordered blood tests to check my vitamin/nutrient levels in my body and see what I need in order to be healthy. It's good to have that feeling of somebody being in your corner!

It's so easy to focus on how far you have to go, or how you haven't been the perfect bander, HOWEVER, I think it's also important to look at what you have achieved!

I think back to this time last year.....

I can remember scoffing down Red Rooster chips one day in the car and realising that my cheeks were so fat I could actually see them. On a positive note - my addiction to hot chips has now gone. I just cannot eat them with the band. The best part is that I don't even miss them!

I can remember this time last year and how depressed I was that my size 40 inch jeans were getting too tight. What was the next step here for me? I was already wearing mens jeans as I couldn't fit into ladies ones. What was next? The BIG AND TALL shops????

This time last year I was an empty shell. I had nothing left in me. I felt defeated.

I still have my days where I feel like this, but thankfully they are few and far between!