Friday, October 2, 2015

Things Are Happening

A lot has happened since I last posted. Hubby went in for gastric sleeve surgery on September 1st. We arrived bright and early, excited and nervous... he finally left hospital on September 28th. Yes, 4 weeks later.
Unfortunately, he was one of the unlucky 1 percent of patients who develop a post-operative leak. For the gastric sleeve operation, about two thirds of the stomach is removed and what is left is stitched together. With all that stitching, there was always a risk of a small hole forming. So they moved him back to nil by mouth to let it heal and put a drain in to get rid of any fluid that builds up. Even though he's home now, he has a nurse visit every day to hook him up to IV antibiotics and empty his drain (yuck!!).
Those 4 weeks were pretty horrible. Not knowing what was happening day to day, visiting him each day after work, being worried out of my mind but having to carry on. I'm so glad he's home now. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, even if it's not quite here yet.

Too Tight!

All this stress had another impact on me, my band tightened up and I could hardly get any good foods down. I lived on sliders a little too much. Easy to eat casseroles, soups, yoghurts, ice cream and, I'm ashamed to say, chocolate. I didn't really put on any weight (only 1.5kg), but it stopped me from losing for those weeks.
Last week I managed to get in to see my doctor and got the last bit (0.2ml) removed again. And it made all the difference! I can eat salad. grilled or roast chicken, mince, vegetables and all sorts of things. I've already lost 1kg and I'm sure when I get back to the gym I will catch back up again.

Baby Stuff

On the baby front, I am still (!!) waiting to hear about an appointment with the local public hospital, so that I can get what my GP called a 'clean out'. Since my ultrasound a while back (March, I think) showed that I have uterine polyps and fibroids, he thinks that these may be preventing implantation and that getting a small procedure done to clean everything out could help.

We also had a bit of trouble with hubby's semen analysis. The first sample got lost and wasn't tested. (How on earth does this happen, anyway??) So he had to give another.
Now that hubby is out of hospital, we went to get the results yesterday. The count was a lot lower than normal, but hubby's GP does not believe it's so low that we can't get pregnant. But that coupled with my issues, could definitely explain why it hasn't happened for us yet. So we've been told to keep trying, get my procedure done and then if it hasn't happened in a while after that, we may have to start looking at IVF.

The mere thought of doing IVF has me in tears. We'd been told for so long that the problem would just be our weight, that we didn't really think about the fact that it could be something else. Because when you walk into a GP office at our size and say you can't get pregnant, let's face it. Your weight IS the obvious answer.
But we have to stay positive. I know that one day, no matter what, we will be parents. So for now we must focus on getting healthier for our future children.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The down side

So I've got back on track... I almost wrote 'gotten' but heard my mother's voice telling me "Gotten's not a word". I remember being pretty adamant that it was at the time, but of course I was only about 14.


Another appointment at the surgeon's office and another fill of 0.2ml. I didn't think I'd felt much change in restriction over the weekend but then had a couple of bites of pasta on Monday for lunch (which I've been fine with in the past as long as there was enough sauce) and of course it gets stuck. A half hour before a meeting at work. Damn it! I spent the next 20 or so minutes vomiting in the ladies room as discretely as possible, the whole half hour meeting feeling sore and sick, then the rest of the afternoon so nauseated I was afraid to talk to anyone. I ended up having to leave a little early so that I could go rest somewhere quietly until being picked up by hubby.
In the past it's usually only been a few hours or so and then I would be feeling better but I'm on day 3 now and still only able to get liquids down. So this is the down side of having the band. I was so sick yesterday I couldn't even get liquids down until after lunch.
It is days like that when I wonder if it's worth it...and then I hop on the scales in the morning and they have moved and I know it is. The bad days fade into the background when you have lots of good days too.


As of today, I've lost 27.8kg and am over half way to my first major goal (double digits!!). I'm very proud as it's taken a lot of hard work to get here. I haven't been perfect. I don't always choose the right foods, I don't always exercise, but I always get back on the horse and try to do better the next day. The weight isn't going to come off as easily as it does for some lap banders, but I've accepted that now. I'm going to have to work hard and it will come off slowly and I will eventually reach my goals. One day at a time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Being sick sucks

Can't believe it's been more than 3 weeks since I last posted. I've managed to put on 1.4kg since my last post. In that time, I've been sick with a virus for a few weeks, been diagnosed with pretty low iron and this week managed to put out my back. The physio says I've probably got a bit of a bulging disc.
Needless to say, it's painful, annoying, and I haven't been to the gym lately. It's got me a bit down and I haven't made the best food choices. I'm hoping that since bad things come in threes, that's me for a while.

As of today though, I've had another fill. 0.2ml in again. I can't feel any difference yet but I'm on liquids for the next couple of days. Hopefully after that it will help curb my hunger. Then of course it's up to me to manage my head hunger.
I've seen a psychologist to get some help on that front, she has gone through some tactics like distraction, mindfullness and talking through issues.
They are all going to take some work. But as they say, Rome wasn't built in a day. I didn't put on this weight quickly and I'm not going to lose it quickly. I have already lost more weight than I ever have before. I just have to stay on track and keep a view to the ultimate goal.

Surgery Twins

Hubby has got his date for surgery - September 1!!! He found out a few days before he needed to start the pre-op diet. He's been on it for about a week and a half, so nearly half way there! He's doing amazingly well. I think back to my pre-op diet and I'm pretty sure I complained the entire time. He just takes it in his stride and I'm so proud of him. It's super hard, I know, but he'll make it and do so well.

On the baby front

So, the pathology lost hubby's sample for testing and I'm really pissed off. To give a semen sample is not a simple task it seems, it needs to be timed - you can't just drop it off any time of the day because they are not tested on site. He needs to um, 'prepare' the sample at home, take it to the centre within 10 minutes (or something like that) and drop it off within a half hour of the time they get picked up. It essentially means he needs to do it on a day off (during the week). Not easy.

So crossing fingers for getting another sample to them during our week off soon!


We've booked in a holiday in November. We're crossing off a bucket list item and doing a road trip across to another state. So we're going from Melbourne to Adelaide, stopping off at a few places on the way. We'll take 3 days to get there and 2 days to get home, with about 10 days spent in Adelaide.
I'm so looking forward to it. I've set a mini goal for myself, to lose another 9kgs and get under my pre-wedding weight by then.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Life moves on

It's been a few months since I last posted. I've been stuck into living life and things have been really busy. I think I need to make a time to regularly blog or else it just doesn't get done.


In the last few months, lots has been happening the family. My grandmother was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, from what I understand, it's something like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. She is still in the hospital while they sort out a medication that helps her. At the moment she swings from having very good days to very bad days.
My grandfather (her husband) has also had a hip replacement in this time. He's always been impatient, but somehow he went from being told his hospital stay would be for 3 weeks and then he would be in rehab for at least 3 weeks, to being back home one week and one day after his operation. It's good for him as he's getting his exercise and doing things for himself mostly. He'll do much better with that than he ever would in hospital for all that time.

Hubby has been to the Alfred a few times, going through the pre-op process as he will be getting Gastric Sleeve surgery. He's been given an estimate of between August and November, so we're happy that it will be so soon. He's keen to get started on his weight loss journey.


Speaking of weight loss, mine is still going rather slowly but I've now accepted that. I don't really deprive myself when I am craving something (except if I physically can't eat it, of course). My weight this week was 127.5, so I've lost 25.7kg in total so far. I'm pretty proud of that. I've gone down a few sizes and I'm about 1/3 of the way to my new goal of 75kg lost. I haven't lost enough yet that I get many comments, but I'm already so much more comfortable with myself that I am excited for how I may feel when I've reached goal.

I had another fill of 0.2ml and that made a big difference. I now am rarely hungry in the morning, so I usually eat two meals a day plus a snack. I have things that I can no longer eat though. I have trouble with red meat unless it's minced or roasted medium and cut against the grain. I sometimes have trouble with chicken or dry fish and I can't eat potato unless it's mashed with extra milk (and I definitely can't eat chips!!). I have trouble with most bread and cake, so I just stay away from them now - although that's probably not a bad thing!


One good thing was that once I got past my 20kg loss, hubby and I signed up at our local gym. It's actually been great so far. We got some personal training sessions free with joining, so we've used those now to get started. Last week I went to my first group class - Body Pump! It was pretty awesome. I've also been walking a lot during my lunch breaks, plus walking our fur baby.
I never thought I would be this active, but now one of my goals is to get fit, not just skinny.

Things on the Baby Making Front

On the baby front, I've been put on a wait list to go to a local Women's Clinic to get a procedure done. My GP found from my ultrasound that I have a thickened wall, cysts (but not enough for a polycystic ovary syndrome diagnosis), and uterine polyps. He's hoping that since I am ovulating, these things could just be preventing implantation and so a 'clean out' procedure may help with this. Crossing fingers I get to go in soon.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Hello all. It's been a while. Life has been busy, I've been sick (throat infection) and feeling like crap, so hadn't been doing so well on the whole weight loss front.
However, I think I've had a bit of an a-ha moment of late. It's come to me that I'm not going to lose this weight by diet alone. I simply have to move more.
Some might say 'duh', but others would know that for some people with a lap band, those first 20-40kg may come off quite quickly. Not for me, it seems.
I am 15 weeks (today) since surgery and in that time, I've lost 8.4kg (so not counting the weight I lost pre-surgery on Optifast) which is just over 500g per week. I've been pretty down with that, as I thought the weight would come off much faster.
However my doc has reminded me that some people lose weight fast, others only start to really lose it after finding the 'sweet spot' (a.k.a the green zone), where the band is working at it's optimal level. This basically means that when I wake up I don't get hungry until 2-4hrs later, I eat (very) small meals that take about 20 minutes to eat and they satisfy for around 3hrs.


So this week, I started moving more. It was partly because I knew I had an appointment at my clinic where they would work out if I needed more fill, partly because I was sick of my own excuses.

I've got my Fitbit Charge HR (love!) and have been putting in a decent effort to get to my step goal each day. It's currently set to 7000 steps, which I'll gradually increase to 10,000 in time. Baby steps!
I work from home some days, which makes it harder to get those incidental steps in. Especially when I'm busy! But this week I tried out using my butcher's block trolley from my kitchen as a standing desk. So I wasn't sitting all day - I was standing and free to walk on the spot and stretch. It was awesome.
We've dragged the treadmill out too, so I've been using it when I have 10-15 minutes free. It's good as a warm up, when you really want to snuggle on the couch under a blanket on cold mornings!
And of course, our fur-baby has benefited by getting some extra walks (not on the treadmill, it scares her, lol).

Movement at the Station!

My weight had been fluctuating around 136-137kg for a couple of weeks, but with my extra diligence this week this morning I weighed in at 133.2. Exactly 20kg less than my highest weight! Yay!
I'm so happy. This is as much weight as I lost for my wedding. I know I still have so much to go, but I'm feeling better that this is the right thing for me and my future.

Now to keep going! Next mini-goal is to be under 120kg (my weight when I got married).

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Life Derailment

Life has been a bit of mess lately. It's funny how quickly things can change, priorities can be reassessed. We take too much for granted in life.
It sounds melodramatic, but this is how I've felt this week. I thought life was messy before, but at least all of my love ones were healthy(ish) and ok. In the space of a week, two family members have been dealing with serious health issues. One, my father, is in hospital; confused, dangerously sick and in and out of the ICU. The other, my grandmother, is still waiting on a diagnosis of an illness that is possibly a type of dementia.

Dealing with it has been hard on everyone, but especially hard on my mum. I've taken leave from work and visit one of them each day, which can be heart breaking when you know that you're visiting someone near and dear that is no longer acting like their 'usual' selves.
I've also spent a lot of time helping my mum out with things she hasn't had time or energy for.
I'm so grateful that my work was so accommodating. If I was still having to work full time (and things had been stressful at work), then I don't know how I would be able to cope.

Finding the Silver Lining

I've been trying to see the good in things that happen. For me, this whole mess has a silver lining of strengthening our relationships. We've been given a lot of time to catch up and talk as a family. My Mum and I have talked for hours while travelling together in the car to and from the hospital. My sister and brother and I have been keeping in touch. My grandpa and I have been texting each other. Now that Dad is up and talking a bit, we've been catching up too.

Being Thankful

I'm so very thankful that Dad is recovering. That we can still talk and I can still hug him.
It will be a long road ahead for him - for all of us. But I know we can make it.

My grandma is a little harder to visit with. She has lucid times, when she recognises us and things are back to how they have always been. However there are a lot of unsure moments, hallucinations that can be scary to deal with and just general unhappiness at having to stay at a hospital for now.
However I am thankful that the doctors say that they can help her. She may not get back to her old self 100% of the time, but any improvement is a positive to us right now.

On Track? Uh huh

As for being on track in terms of diet, well, of course we've had a lot to deal with and I'm not perfect. Ha, far from it. Lots of travelling around, being away from home and in sight of temptation is hard. I've tried to stick to a better diet by making sure I have a healthy snack with me, packing a lunch or dinner if I'll be away that long and if I have to eat somewhere, try and find something small and healthy. I put on a couple of kilos over Easter but have managed to lose it again this week, so I must be doing something right. I would normally turn to food at a time like this but apart from a couple of baked goods that made their way into my tummy, all is good.

Take care all.
Remember to be grateful and tell your family you love them.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Back on Track

After a few rocky weeks I am hopefully getting back on track. It seems silly writing that when I'm only 6 or 7 weeks out from surgery.
One of the things I am realising with this band is that it won't stop me eating the wrong things. Of course, I knew this going into it, but for some reason knowing it in theory and then KNOWING it from experience are two different things.

Work has been stressful (more than usual) and there are a couple of family things going on that are even too personal to write about on a personal blog. We are also looking at building a house soon, so we're on a budget and trying to save for that. Plus having to think about the band all the time was a bit too much.
I didn't feel any restriction from the band yet and I started eating the wrong things; larger portions, a few 'sliders' here and there, things like that. It's meant that I haven't lost anymore weight.

Laying down the law

So I've decided that I'm taking charge again.
There's not much I can do about work right now except be organised and try and stay sane.
There's not a lot I can do about the family issues, except try and put them out of my mind while I'm at work.
We're still looking at houses and my vote is for something cheaper, that still has everything we want but won't make us end up with a ginormous mortgage for the next 30 years.
My mental and physical health though, that has to take priority right now. So I've seen my GP and he's set up Health Care Plans to see both a dietician one on one, as well as a psychologist.
My hope is that I really can take charge and figure out the best strategy for using the band to lose weight, while dealing with some issues that have been around a long time (one of them being that I turn to food when I'm stressed, emotional, tired, bored...).
For the band, I had another fill yesterday of 1ml. It's too soon to tell if it's really working. I was hungry last night, but this morning I'm not (so crossing fingers!).

We've also started doing a few tests through the GP to try and work out the source of our infertility. In the past, doctors have put it down to my weight, but while I'm working on the weight part I also want to make sure that there is no underlying issue from either of us that will also need to be taken into consideration.

So things are looking a little brighter this week.
If only I could afford to quit the job ;)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My First Adjustment

Last Wednesday I had my post-op checkup with my surgeon. It was quick, I was in and out in just a few minutes. Once he checked that the incisions were healing nicely (they are), he said he would put some fluid in so that I can start to feel some restriction.
I was surprised as all the information I had said that the first fill is usually done between 4-6 weeks after the band is placed and here I was, only 2 and a half weeks out from surgery. So it was a good surprise, especially since moving onto normal food I had been feeling hungry all the time. In the week before my post-op appointment I had put back on some weight and was sitting at 139.9kg (almost back to the weight I was on surgery day).

Some In and Some Back Out

He didn't have any trouble finding the port and the needle didn't hurt very much at all. Before I knew it, he was asking me to take a drink of water. Unfortunately, that first drink didn't go down very easily, so he took out a little of the fluid again.
So now I'm not sure exactly how much is in there, but I don't mind. The good thing is that I have definitely noticed a bit of a difference in the last week. I'm less hungry and finding that smaller meals are satisfying me. I've lost 2.7kg and I'm really happy with that. I've really been trying to stick to smaller meals and less snacking.

Apps for Tracking

I've been tracking my food through the MyFitnessPal app on my phone. This is less to track the calories and more just to have a record of what I've been eating.

Have to say that I am really liking the app. I find it handy as it links to my Fitbit Flex and it's really been easy to use.
It also links to our Fitbit Aria scales, so my weight is automatically recorded and my weight loss is tracked in graphs and stuff. Very cool.
Anyway, I think I'll do a whole post on the apps I use soon.

It's an Addiction :(

I've been noticing for a while now that I am definitely addicted to food and need more help than my friends and family can give me.
I've been looking a different avenues for seeing a therapist or counsellor as I need help in working out how I can break these habits and stop reaching for chocolate and fatty foods when I'm feeling down or stressed. I have a few options that have been suggested to me - a mental health care plan through my GP and the Employee Assistance Program that is available at my workplace. Both only offer coverage for a few sessions each though, so it's still something I have to think about more.

Upcoming Changes

On another note, I want to start adding other things to this blog. I'm finding that there are not many day to day changes, so not that much that I can report. I'm going to start with adding some of the recipes that I've been coming up with. P is vegetarian and I'm not, but I do eat lots of meat-free meals so that we can have the same thing for dinner - plus they are really yummy!
So I'll add both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meal ideas that I've found are band friendly.

Highest Weight = 153.2kg (August 2014)
Optifast Starting Weight = 148kg (January 16, 2015)
Surgery Date = 140.6kg (February 6, 2015)
First Goal Weight = 99kg 

Current weight = 137.2kg (March 4, 2015)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The other side

I am now 11 days post surgery.

I went through a lot of anxiety in the lead up to the surgery, wondering if I'd done the right thing or if the band was the right type of weight loss surgery for me. Luckily, I was also very busy finishing off work so that I could go on leave, so it made it harder to dwell on what was coming up.

The day of the surgery, we arrived at the hospital just after 7am and I was admitted straight away and taken to my room. Then came the waiting. I found out that I was 4th on my doctor's list for the morning, so I wouldn't get taken up to surgery until 11am or so.
I was sharing a room with another lady getting the same surgery that morning, but she was either first or second on the list so she was taken away fairly quickly.
The wait was the hardest. That did give me time to worry, but it was too late to back out :)
I hate waking from anaesthetic and that was what I worried about the most. Unfortunately, it wasn't the best experience, but I was back in my room fairly soon.

I spent the night in the hospital and the nurses there were all amazing. I didn't sleep well though and was keen to get home. I was up early and moving and ready to go when P came to get me in the morning. Then it was just waiting for the surgeon to visit before I got the all clear to go home.
When he came to see me, he said everything had gone well, so that was a relief. I had been worried that they would have trouble with my liver not shrinking enough in the Optifast period or that they would maybe find a hernia or something, but nope, all good.
The lady that I'd shared the room with had not done so well since surgery, suffering from a lot of nausea. She was still there when I left, but I hope that she is doing much better now.

At home, I was in more pain than I'd expected for the first 4 or 5 days. I had some trouble sitting and standing, changing position while sitting and with laying down.
I wished that we had a recliner or something for me to sleep in as even now, laying down is something that's not too comfortable.

The first few days were great, food-wise. I was not feeling hungry at all and I lost nearly 4kg in the first week. But after that my hunger came back and I've been able to drink more. I was totally over veggies from the optifast diet and so unfortunately I have been having quite a few milk based drinks every day, as well as ice cream. I think that's been boosting my calories enough that I haven't lost anymore weight since.
This week in the lead up to going back to work I will be gradually moving back to a low calorie diet, focusing on high protein and low carb.

Highest Weight = 153.2kg (August 2014)
Optifast Starting Weight = 148kg (January 16, 2015)
Surgery Date = 140.6kg (February 6, 2015)
First Goal Weight = 99kg 

Current weight = 136.8kg (February 16, 2015)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

2 weeks today

So I'm one week into the pre-op diet set by the surgeon and dietician.
It's a very strict diet and consists of 3 optifast shakes, bars or desserts, at least two cups of non-starchy veggies and a small serve of fruit.
It is REALLY hard, especially those first few days. The thing that has pushed me is the importance of making sure that my liver is in the best condition possible, to help with the surgery and also with the recovery.

I've lost 7.1kg in the past week. Woo hoo! That feels great.
I'm guessing a lot of that is water weight, as I've noticed swelling I've had in my legs and ankles for a long time is finally going away. Another plus! So that's 11.1kg lost in total since I first went to the surgeon in August (I had lost about 10kg up until Christmas when we slipped back into old habits again).

I did plan on sticking to the pre-op diet 100% but I have to admit, cravings overcame me yesterday and I ended up caving a little. I made sure I still stuck in my strict calorie limit, but I had a chicken sandwich and both bread and meat are not on my pre-op diet.
Oh well, I pulled it back and got back on track straightaway, so I'm proud of that. In the past I might have been tempted to say "Well, that's it, I've blown it." and throw it all in. It will be 'baby' steps in this. I know I will mess up every once in a while. You don't get to be my size without having serious issues with food that also need to be worked on. I'm just taking it one day at a time.

I still have two weeks to go on this diet. 14 days. I can do it.
It's only the start of my journey and it will be a long one, I know that. I've just got to find ways to keep the motivation up.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

1 month to go!

It's officially 1 month until my surgery! 30 days. So this time next month, I will probably be out of recovery. The nerves are definitely starting but I'm also very excited!

In preparation for starting the pre-op diet I have to do (3 weeks of Optifast), I have started replacing a couple of meals each day with the low calorie shakes I will be taking during the diet, just to try and work my way up to the full-blown diet I'll have to follow for a few weeks.
Starting a diet after New Year seems so cliché, but I'm thinking that's maybe a good thing for me. That way if someone asks at work, I can just say that my resolution this year is to get healthier. I have told a couple of my work friends that I am getting a Lap Band, but I don't want everyone to know. At least not until I've dropped a lot of this weight. I'm a bit worried that having everyone know will be a little too much pressure.

Ok, will write more soon...