Not The Biggest Loser

I just want to be…

Browsing in Post surgery

Don’t ask me how…but I got it back!

Thanks for getting me back here fatgirlslim. You’ve inspired me to keep writing. I keep forgetting there are people that are reading this blog with interest. I logged on to write last night, but I was SO tired, I couldn’t even muster up the energy to blog.

Lapband and weight-loss

Up until last Monday I continued my exercise pretty much every day. Well at least 5 days a week and at least 30 minutes once a day, sometimes twice a day. I managed to stay clear of the scales the whole time. My food still wasn’t great. It was OK during the week but I am struggling with gaining control on the weekends. Aside from eating out a lot, I just felt it was a time to let loose and treat myself to chocolate and ice-cream. I really am going to try to work on this when I get back from holidays as I know my weight would be coming off a lot quicker if I curbed this. I need to set myself some guidelines – maybe 1 chocolate or 1 ice-cream only on a weekend. Part of the issue is eating in front of the TV. I know this is a BAD habit and I continue to do it. I just enjoy sitting in front of the TV and watching a great series or movie with yummy food. It feels like such a treat after a hard day at work or after an emotional day.

Anyway I have stayed away from the scales. The thing is I really do feel like I’ve lost weight. I think I can see it in my face and I just feel better. I’m so scared to get on the scales and have them tell me I am the same or have put on weight, so I just can’t bring myself to get on them. It would devastate me too much. I couldn’t see it so much in my clothes, but it is so hard to tell with me. So yesterday I went shopping for a few things for our trip. I just want a couple of items to take, I won’t be taking too much as we plan to do a lot of shopping in New York. I went to Autograph and started picking out some clothes. I picked up some size 22 tops as that was the size I was last time I went shopping. I contemplated some 24 or 26′s as I wondered if I’d really put on weight, but decided to stick with the 22′s and then change them if I needed to. So I tried my first size 22 top on and I was expecting it to be tight and to have to go get the 24, but it was really baggy. I liked the top but thought it made me look a bit shapeless. After much arguing with myself I finally decided to ask the assistant for a size 20. I even said to her “it’s probably going to be too small, but I’ll try it”. So I tried it. IT FIT! I cannot remember the last time I bought a size 20. Seriously. Actually not only did it fit, but when I got home my husband told me he thought it was baggy on me. Of course I bought it…the size 20 was much better on me.  I don’t actually think I’m a size 20 yet, I think this was just a larger cut. It’s so hard to tell with clothes these days. I tried on several other 22′s and I didn’t like them and admittedly some of them seemed big, but mainly in the shoulder, arms, neck area which is where I always lose it first. A couple of them were still tight on the tummy/hip area, so it’s really hard to tell.  What was depressing was that I tried on a pair of size 26 jeans and I couldn’t get them done up. This means I am NOT losing weight from my tummy/butt/hips. That is worrying me. It just won’t shift. With all the exercise I’ve been doing, I can only blame partly the food but mostly the hormones. I can’t work out why it doesn’t seem to be coming off my tummy at all.

In other news, 2 of my very good friends have decided to have lapband surgery. I am so excited and so happy for them. I’m amazed that I knew no-one with a band and now all of sudden I’m surrounded by amazing people who are sharing this journey for me. It makes me happy and gives me hope that as a population we can start to win this battle.  I’ve also had another good friend ask me my advice on it. I will email her tonight to tell her the same thing I tell everyone. I would do this surgery again 100 times over. I LOVE my band. I have been struggling lately. I tell everyone it is not easy and you still have to work and you won’t lose the emotional reason that make you want to eat in the first place, so you still have to fight those. But even though I’m working against my band lately, the thing I love about it is that it is damage limitation. I know that without the band instead of being 13-15kg lighter than I was 12 months ago, that I would probably be 13-15 kg heavier. I have gained weight every year of my life before the surgery and I know that’s what I would’ve continued to do. So even when you are struggling, you can’t go back and do the damage you used to do. I don’t like to give people advice and tell them to definitely do the surgery. It may not be right for everyone, but for me it was the best thing I ever did and I wish I had known about the surgery 10 years ago. The thing I love the most about hearing these girls talk about surgery is the hope they are feeling…I love it…I remember that feeling and it is the best thing that the surgery gave me…hope…

Babies and IVF

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I had an FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) last Monday (1st September). It was relatively painless and quick. A few minutes and it was over …well after more than an hour in the waiting room in my lovely hospital gown …that is really most uncomfortable, but moving on…

So began my 2 week wait to find out if the embryo implanted. I started off quite hopeful but as the days went on and I felt nothing, I began to lose hope. I really just don’t feel anything. It’s hard to know how I felt after the last transfer as I was suffering with OHSS quite bad and was feeling very sick from it. On a side note I read about a lady yesterday who had severe OHSS and had be rushed to hospital where she nearly suffered renal failure and they removed 6 litres of fluid from her abdomen! She had produced 41 eggs! And I thought my 13 eggs gave me bad OHSS! Anyway this time is obviously very different as I did not go through the EPU (Egg pick Up) and so physically have been feeling fine. I have had the odd symptom that gave me fleeting hope: Some nausea on and off, a bout of dizziness, craving cheese, leg and back aches, severe tiredness, some cramps last night with some extremely mild spotting (or spot I should say) which I hoped was implantation cramping/bleeding as it is not usual for me to cramp till the day I start bleeding heavy. But none of them last long and I’m still drinking coffee (I went off that big time last pregnancy). Then I remind myself it has only been 8 days…I probably shouldn’t expect any symptoms so early. However tonight I’ve got cramping again and it really does feel like period pain and I had a bit heavier spotting this afternoon, so I don’t think this is positive news. I some respects that is a good thing as I can enjoy my holiday with no tiredness, nausea and can drink lots of good wine, coffee and eat lots of cheese, but it is very disappointing. I really wanted it to happen this time. We now have 4 embryos left but they are frozen in doubles. So I will have to have 2 transferred next time if both the embryos survive the thaw. I made the decision to only have 1 this time (and they had to thaw out 2 to get this one as the first one didn’t survive), but I did think at the time I should’ve gone with 2, since it worked out best last time. Oh well…it’s not meant to be this month. Back to the drawing board when we get back from overseas which I should add is only 5 sleeps away!!! OMG!!

I finally added some photos to the blog…check the ‘Pages’ section. My pre surgery photos are probably the most unflattering photos I have ever seen of myself. It was just before I left for the hospital, so I couldn’t wear make-up. The only reason I’m sharing them is because I have half decent photos to compare them to!

I wasn’t sure if you could really see the difference in the full body shot because of the clothes I’m wearing, but then my husband pointed out how much narrower my shoulders look now, and you can see my arms when by my side don’t stick out as much. I think my thighs look narrower too…

I also added a ‘contact me’ page…If you ever want to send me a private message, please do…just make sure you fill in the email address field so I can email you back! Oh and there’s a trick question to make sure you’re a real person!

I went to the gym again today and did an hour of cardio and burnt 500 calories. Pretty good for me for a weekend, as I usually hate exercising on weekends, but I truly didn’t mind today. I hope to go tomorrow too!

I went back to Dr Duncombe today for another fill. I had 0.5ml put in. I can definitely notice the difference already. I had lost 3kg since I was last there a month ago. Again, not a hugely fast weight loss, but steady and I’m happy with that. So that’s a total of 7.5ml so far. I haven’t had any issues with food yet today though I have been taking very small bites and eating very slowly.

I had a pretty good day today and resisted the urge to order toast mid morning as I was feeling quite hungry a few hours after my fruit salad. I also resisted the urge for something sweet after lunch and had a coffee instead (and 1 m&m which someone gave me!).

I did succumb to Red Rooster 1/4 chicken and chips for dinner, though I couldn’t even eat half of it…a few weeks ago I ate the whole thing! Bad choice I know, but at least I’m not eating the whole meal and it’s not a common occurence. My standard weeknight dinner is meat/chicken/fish and steamed vegetables. I really want to be honest in this blog about what I’m eating, but I must admit I do find it hard. I just don’t want people to judge me for choosing the wrong food every now and again, which I do sometimes do from time to time…I am human after all and I do believe I should give myself the choice, as long as I’m not eating that way every day (like I used to!) So today’s food:

Breakfast: Fruit salad (Watermelon, honeydew, rockmelon)

Snack: Shaved slices chicken, machiato with shot of caramel

Lunch: 1/2 Chicken salad (chicken, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrot, beetroot, olives, pineapple, eggplant, jalepenos, mushrooms, bbq sauce)

Snack: small tin peaches, small tin tuna, machiato with shot of caramel

Dinner: 1/8 chicken breast, 1/4 serve chips, 1 pineapple fritter

Snack: Magnum

No exercise today due to the rain. I am planning to visit my local Fernwood tomorrow to do a workout and see if I want to join with my best friend.

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So I had my monthly visit to Selena the dietician. I dropped 2.5kg and lost 3cm from my waist which I was really happy about, as I thought I might not have lost anything! Unfortunately the machine showed I’d put on 0.4kg of fat and lost 0.4kg of muscle which I was a bit confused about, but she felt it was because I haven’t been eating many carbs and suggested that without carbs my body is burning muscle instead of fat. However I need to still try and stick to this allergy diet for Dr Read, so for I’ll go back and see her in another 2 months, as she can’t really give me much advice while on this allergy diet.

I have been hitting 125kg during the week and then going back up to 126kg during the weekend, while indulging a little too much, however this week I managed to stay at 125kg, so I’m pretty happy about that. It’s only downward from here. The last 2 weekends I indulged in a little too much alcohol, so I think staying away from that this weekend helped as well as swapping some of my higher calorie/fat snacks during the weekend for low fat options. I also managed to exercise 4 times last week and burn nearly 1000 calories, which is more than I’ve done in the last few months.

One of the things I’ve been trying to get into my head is that the way I am eating now is to fuel my body and make my body feel healthy, happy and energetic. During the week while I’m eating mostly fruits, vegetables and meat/chicken/fish, my body feels so much better. I don’t get any strange pains in my stomach, I have relatively normal bowel movements and I don’t feel the bloating in my stomach that I used to get all the time. As soon as I introduce any of the ‘forbidden’ foods to my diet on a weekend, I automatically notice a change in my body and start to feel heavy and bloated and just not well. I can really notice now that I was living that way all the time before I knew about these allergies. So for me, it’s about learning to eat to fuel my body with the best foods rather than for pleasure….at least the majority of the time anyway…I’ve been told that 1000 times, but it’s really only just sunk in over the last few weeks and although I don’t really enjoy the fruit salad I eat every morning, I habitually go and buy it, ignoring all arguments in my head about how good toast would taste right now, as I know it is the best thing for my body and I know I will feel much better for the rest of the day for eating it. It’s a habit now…just like the salads I buy at lunch or the tuna or fruit I have for snacks or the machiatos instead of the cappuccinos. It’s a habit that I still need to work at every day, but I’m hoping one day it will just be the way I eat and that will make the rest of my weight loss a lot easier!

I am booked in for a fill tomorrow, which I think I really need. Though I’ve started to notice restriction with some foods (bread in particular), I’d like to be eating a bit less than I am now. I’ll be interested to see how I find the next fill.

I’ve just created a new page for “Jan’s weigh-in and measurements”.  I’ve been meaning to update my measurements since my last appointment with Jan back in December. I lost a whopping 42cm from my hips, waist and chest. I’m VERY happy with those results!

I had a relatively good week, but as is usual for me, I kind of stuffed it this weekend. I pretty much followed my no milk/wheat plan during the week, eating mostly fruit, veg and meat and did 1 session of kickboxing and walked once. I need to up the exercise and hope to do that this week and I will try my best next weekend not to go so off the rails. I lost a kilo last week that I seem to be putting on/taking off constantly, so I was quite happy that my hard work last week had paid off, but I seemed to have put it back on this weekend. It will be interesting to see what the scales say next week after a week of good exercising and hopefully at least 3 exercise sessions.

Had an awesome message from someone who’s been reading my blog who told me that sometimes it seemed I was writing about her lapaband journey/life and that made me feel much better and made me realise I need to keep udpating here regularly for my own sake and for anyone who may stumble across this little blog. I hope to meet up with her for a coffee one day soon so we can support each other in our journies!

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So with my stomach cramps over, I got back on track and ate pretty much how I want to eat 80% of the time for the next few months to try and clear these allergies and lose some more weight.

Breakfast: Fruit salad

Snack: cherries

Lunch: Chicken salad

Snack: Nectarine + tin two fruits

Dinner: Lamb lean steak with steamed veg

I did 45 minutes of kickboxing this afternoon. It was good to be training again and my trainer was pretty easy on me since it was my first day back. I hope to train with him twice a week and walk the rest of the week.

I did have 2 unplanned things tonight – a little bit of pasta with dinner (my husband served it up to me and I found it hard not to eat it once it was served) and some low fat ice-cream. But I’m still really happy with the day.

I was REALLY hungry in between meals, I had the sick feeling in the stomach and lots of rumbling and I found that hard. I wonder if it’s because the foods I’m eating are so much lighter and just slip easily through the band? Dinner definitely filled me up considerably, though I ate it about 5 hours ago now (early one at 5.30pm) and I’m starving now, but I guess that’s to be expected after 5 hours.

I’ve been quiet lately as we moved house and were without internet for awhile. My weight hasn’t changed much lately either as due to the move and other things going on, my eating hasn’t been the greatest and I’ve had no time for exercise. The nice thing is that there’s still no significant weight gain but it really is time to get moving again. I started this week with the best of intentions and contacted my old kickboxing trainer Monday morning to see if I could book in that afternoon for my first kickboxing session in forever. However before he replied to me, I felt the familiar monthly pangs in my abodomen and knew by that afternoon I would not be able to do anything but lay on the bed with a hot water bottle, so I postponed my training till Wednesday afternoon.

So the last 48 hours I’ve done very little and though I’ve started both days well with my planned fruit salad, they haven’t always ended well as I’ve needed more substantial and comforting food to line my stomach to soothe the acid forming in my stomach from all the anti-inflammatories and painkillers I’ve been taking. So now that that little stumbling block is out of the way, I hope that I can continue my mostly wheat and dairy free diet and start a regular excercise plan again.

Interestingly I haven’t noticed that much of a difference in food quantities since I had my last fill. I do honestly feel like the quantity I’m eating is probably ideal for weight loss if I could start to eat a bit better and get exercising. However I can still eat more than 1 cup of food which worries me? Especially since I have noticed a lot more restriction when eating some things, particularly bread or anything dry. I’ve had some painful moments where the first few mouthfuls of sandwiches, rolls or bread have real trouble getting down and seem to get stuck and hurt a lot when going down. So if I have another adjustment I can only assume this will get worse? I don’t know if it’s because my first few mouthfuls can tend to be eaten without thinking and therefore without chewing carefully enough or if I’m just going to have to stay away from bread etc if I have more adjustments. I guess I will have to wait and see.

I had an appointment with my new dietician Selena Chan who is just lovely. I had to change dietician’s as I’ve now moved to Brisbane and it’s just too far to go to Coolangatta for the dieticians there.  Comparing her stats to Todd’s are a bit hard as they are different scales and last time Todd has to measure my body fat etc on my left side rather than my right which can show significant differences, so the comparisons are a bit meaningless, but at least I have another starting point with her. I’ve updated my dietician’s stats page.

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So I had my follow up appointment with Dr Read on Friday. It was very interesting, just as I thought it would be. There were all sorts of interesting finds from my tests, but the most important was the proof that I was low in zinc and high in copper as Dr Read suspected and then the results of my 40 food allergy test. It turns out I have allergies to every food they tested me for! The 2 strongest reactions were to Cow’s milk and citrus mix (orange, lemon, grapefruit), however I also showed allergies to:

  • Corn
  • Oat
  • Rice
  • Rye
  • Wheat
  • Egg White
  • Egg Yolk
  • White fish mix (Cod, Haddock, Plaice)
  • Shellfish mix (Crab, lobster, prawn)
  • Soya Bean
  • Bean mix (Haricot, kidney,pea)
  • Mustard mix (Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower)
  • Potato
  • Apple/pear
  • Berries mix (Raspberry, strawberry, blackberry)
  • Nut Mix (Almond, cashew, Hazelnut, Peanut)
  • Yeast (Bakers & brewers)
  • Chicken & Turkey
  • Pork & Beef

More info on the allergy tests I had can be found here: http://www.arlaus.com.au/sub.php?page=allergy 

Doesn’t really leave me with much to eat there does it? Dr Read suggested I cut out the most common troublesome food groups and still keep eating the meats, vegetables and fruits as I have to eat something! So for 3 months the main things I need to cut out are all grains, cow’s milk, eggs, shellfish and white fish, soy, citrus, nuts and yeast. For anyone who knows me well bread and coffee are 2 of my favourite things. I love my vegemite toast and my 2-3 cappuccinos a day. It’s now been 2 days without toast and cappucinos and I tell you it is hard!  This afternoon I craved my cappuccino so much! I’ve switched to a short macchiato in the mornings now which is an espresso coffee with a tiny dollop of foamed milk on top and I add a little bit of caramel syrup to it to make it drinkable. It’s not as good as my usual cappuccino but it gives me an impressive hit of caffeine and does still taste good, albeit a lot smaller! So the last 2 days my diet has consisted of:

Breakfast: Fruit salad

Snack: tin tuna

Lunch: Chicken or tuna salad

Snack: tin 2 fruits

Dinner: Lamb and steamed vegetables

Both nights I’ve caved in and had some forbidden sweets after dinner, but that will not continue!  I plan to stick to that basic meal plan most days with only some small deviations when eating out or on weekends. I suspect this should get my weight loss going fairly quickly. Still haven’t lost any weight but after my 2nd fill today I’m hoping that will help!

I was supposed to get a fill with Dr Read on Friday, but he had trouble locating the port. It was a little bit painful as he did have several attempts of sticking the needle in and jiggling it about to find the right spot, but in the end it was just too difficult and I was freaking out a bit. Dr Read has done quite a few fills, but not as many as Dr Layani or Dr Jenny Duncombe who also does fills for Dr Layani, so I booked in for a fill today with Dr Jenny Duncombe at the Wesley hospital. The fill was quick and relatively painless and I now have 7ml after Dr Duncombe added an extra 2ml today. I feel the restriction already, but ate dinner without any issues. We actually went out for dinner and I ordered an entree size chicken pasta and didn’t even get to eat half of it! Yay! So strange that I delight in eating so little these days! So I expect to be into the low 120′s and into the high 110′s in the very near future and I can’t wait. I’m hoping once I move next week that I can start exercising again to really move it along.

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So I just came back from my best friend’s wedding in Cairns. As usual, I got nervous before my flight due to many traumatic experiences while flying. I had nothing to be concerned about, as I was flying with my husband who would sit next to me, but still I automatically get nervous. We ended up having 2 perfect flights there and back. Firstly we had no-one sitting next to us, so we were able to spread out and relax. And then I had the biggest smile cross my face as I was able to do up the seatbelt without an extension. Admittedly it was tight and I had to hold in my stomach to do it up, but I didn’t care. That is something I have been waiting to do for years and I’m finally there. I felt so happy to not have to go through the embarrasment of asking for an extension, I cannot even begin to explain.  The seat still felt small and if I had a stranger next to me, I would’ve still felt uncomfortable, but the seatbelt fitting was a huge relief for me. What I find interesting is the difference a couple of kilos makes. Only 2-3 kilos ago I travelled to Sydney and still had to ask for an extension, but a few kilos later, I’m extension free.  Admittedly they were different airlines, so possibly different seat/belt sizes, but I’m hoping I’ll never have to ask for one again!

The wedding was wonderful and I had comments from a couple of friends I haven’t seen for years that I had lost a lot of weight and was looking good. I also forgot to blog that a few weeks ago while Christmas shopping, I ran in to an Aunty and cousin I haven’t seen in a couple of years (we are a slack family) and my Aunty immediately commented that I’d lost weight. It’s nice to be receiving some positive feedback.

It’s time to get losing again though. I’ve been really slack over the past few weeks, especially while on holidays in Cairns and over Christmas. I haven’t put on any weight, but haven’t lost any, so look forward to getting back on track. I’m booked in for an adjustment with Dr Read on the 4th Jan, so I’m hoping that will be a good starting point for me.

Oh in other news, I had a small problem with my largest port scar while I was away in Cairns. A few days earlier it had been a bit sore in part of the scar, and the next day it came up with a boil like lump that was filled with purple and black gunk. While on the plane, it burst and left a hole which looked very weepy and not nice at all. When we landed, I decided to find a chemist and got their opinion on it. They advised I should really go see a doctor in case it was infected. I called Dr Layani’s office and the girls there said the same thing. So courtesy of our new Navman (which I love), we headed straight to a medical centre, waited 5 minutes and saw a doctor. He gave me antibiotics and some ointment for the scar. I started on them both immediately and within a few days it was completely better. I’m not sure what caused it, but I’m certainly glad I got onto it straight away. It wouldn’t have been fun suffering through an infection during both the wedding and Christmas.

Speaking of Dr Read, his recommendation of FemBalance tablets removed my PMS almost completely, but unfortunatey I still got my standard stomach cramps on Christmas Day of all days. Will be interesting to talk to him on the 4th Jan to see if he expects that to improve with time or if I will always have to suffer that pain.

This is just a very quick update as I am packing to go to the Daintree in North QLD to my best friend’s wedding! My weight is still plateauing, but I know exactly what that is! I am still pretty much eating what I want, but not putting on weight which is good news to me.

I tried on 3 skirts that used to be my favourite skirts more than 6 years ago, but that I grew out of and low and behold they fit me! I love skirts but haven’t been able to wear them for at least 6 years due to them just not suiting my shape. I am over the moon at fitting back into these skirts again. That means at least 3 new outfits for work that I can wear. My husband also is thrilled at seeing me in something different.

While packing for my trip, I decided to go through numerous pairs of underwear I had bought over the years that were too small. I tried them all on and have now ended up with 8 extra pairs of underwear! A girl can never have too many I say…it just means I can go longer between laundry washes!

Went for my 1 month checkup after my first adjustment with Jan, Dr Layani’s nurse and she took my measurements. Official loss is 15kg on her scales (17kg on mine without clothes) and the centimetres lost is massive, will update these after I get back from North QLD. The major milestone is that a regular tape measure now fits around the widest part of my hips. I cannot remember the last time that happened. I always had to try and measure the gap between the 2 ends which was at least 2-3 inches. So yay!

My first fill is booked in for 4 January, the same time as my appointment with Dr Read who will give me the results of all the horrendous blood and urine tests I had to take. Will be interesting and also exciting to report to him how much better I’m feeling from the SAMe.

Will be back hopefully Christmas Eve with a better update! Thanks for checking in on me.

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