Places to go; Things to see

Monday, May 31, 2010

Back to work and on the Scales

Is it sad that I was happy to get back to work...?

What ever you do; don't tell my boss. She'd never believe it anyway.

After a week off there was plenty for me to do and I didn't think of snacking once. I just did my work. I was supposed to have a break at 3pm, but it was 4pm before I even thought about it.

Now all I need to do is find some extra time in the working day to everything up to date.

Other great new today was the scales this morning. A loss of 2.2kg (How's that Bonnie!?!) I couldn't believe it. I have been checking and watching the numbers go down all week, but I never really thought it stay down for my official weigh in this morning.

And with less snacking this week I should be able to add to the wonderful loss this week too.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A week off in review

I didn't really stay away from all the bad food this past week.

While I have had many healthy meals and all were small portions; I have had ice cream on a few of the days; I really have to keep it out of the house. I don't know what the scales will say on Monday. I have checked a few times this week and so far it looks good. I think the limited restriction has helped. And it will only improve next week when I am back at work.

Never thought I would actually look forward to returning to work. Go figure... I bet after a week I'll be wishing I was off again. Is there some genetically programed glitch in our brains that has us always wanting the opposite of what we have?!?

Too weird.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cross Stitch

Didn't make it to the tattooist yesterday (he was busy and couldn't fit me in). Good thing I called first. I have an appointment tomorrow morning.

I still got out of the house yesterday - went to Bribie Island and did a walk along the beach there. It got me out of the house at least and I got some exercise done. And I will also be out tomorrow.

Mermaid Cross Stitch

Today I spent most of it cross stitching. I can't eat and cross stitch at the same time - have to keep the hands clean so that the cross stitch doesn't get dirty.

I had this one nearly finished for a while but still had all the back stitch to do on it, so I got that all done today.

This one is going to be added to a carry bag for my cross stitch work. I do it on the train to and from work. Gives me something to do on the hour trip each way and I am so over reading at the moment. The cross stitching on the train will probably only last another month and then I'll get back to reading again.

I have to say that stitching has helped today. Keeping busy helps so much.

Hope all that read this are well. Thanks for your comments; they are appreciated.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Week off so far

I am still noticing some restriction.

But I don't think I'm at the sweet/green spot just yet. But as long as I stay away from slider foods I should be fine.

Now, how do I stay away from slider foods.....

It's sort of extra hard this week as I have the week off work. We need to put our holiday requests in a year in advance and so I forgot about this week off until a few weeks ago. With the surgery two months ago I just forgot it was coming up.

So I don't have any plans for the week, that is death for a healthy eating plan for me. I need to be busy and I find work is the best place for me to stick to a healthy eating plan, because I can plan and have things to do between meals.

So I am trying to keep busy. Cleaning, reading all your blogs (very good reading), window shopping (great for walking exercise in an air conditioned place) and trying not to spend too much money on things I don't need (especially food).

So today I am going to take myself off on a day trip. I need one of my tattoos touched up and the place is on the other side of town so that will take a while. I think I will also find a beach on the way back and grab some fish for lunch and have a good walk on a beach.

I'll let you know how it all goes.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Support Group Sunday

Went to the Brisbane Bansters support meeting today. Had a great time and after talking to the ladies and one guy that was there; I think I have worked out that I do actually have some restriction.

Is it weird that I am not sure?

The reason I think I have restriction is that this morning I had an egg on a piece of toast and could only eat half the toast and it felt tight all the way down. At lunch today I had some grilled fish, I had maybe 3/4 of it one or two chips and a little salad. And it took me about an hour to eat that. I was totally full and didn't even think about eating any more of the chips on the plate (and there were heaps - something I have never been able to do before...yay).

All I can now hope is that it stays around and I can now start seriously losing some weight. It also means I am going to have to make sure that I am eating super healthy foods, so that I get as many nutrients as possible for the food I do eat.

Thanks to those of you who do read my ramblings and I shall keep you posted.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

BYOC - from Yesterday

1. If you had 3 wishes what would they be and why? (you can't wish for more wishes or money!)
#1 Wisdom
#2 Courage
#3 Strength – all these things will help me on my personal journey to happier, healthier and thinner me.

2. If you had all the money in the world and perfect circumstances - how many children would you have and what sex? Two; a boy and a girl – twins so that they would always have a friend they could turn to.

3. Have you ever faked it? (Because I need to laugh...feel free to skip this one if it's too personal.)I have before. But that was with my first and I think we both needed the practice.

4. What movie character do you think you look like? I don't think there are any characters out that look like me or maybe I just hope there are no characters out there that look like me?!?

5. Which blog or comment spoke to you or stuck with you this week and why? Judi’s Stories from the road… on
Tuesday. I remember when I was looking for my formal dress and something similar happening to me. Hated it then and there was nothing I could do because I was so shy and insecure. My Mum did have a quite word with the women then and to tell the truth, it just made me feel worse.

Hope you all had a great Friday and the weekend is even better!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Another Fill - now what?

Well, I had my second fill on Thursday. Fills are not really like what I expected - you hear so many horror stories about first fills. My biggest fear was the doctor not being able to locate the port and he would have to repeatedly jab me to get some fill in. I had nothing to worry about; he found it start away. It is a very odd sensation, not painful, just this pressure on the inside. Very weird. My second fill was the same. Here hoping and wishing all future fills proceed the same way.

Can't really tell what effect it has had on me yet. Had 1ml added, so that means I have 8mls in a band that takes about 12mls. Dr Greenslade said most people need between 7 - 9mls in the band to get the restriction you need.

It has been over a day now and when I ate breakfast this morning (an egg on half a muffin) I did noticed that it took ages to go down and was a bit tight all the way. I am now wondering if that is because of the restriction or just because it was very early in the morning. (I started work at 6:50am - so it was early; and it is so busy I have been able to post this blog. lol)

I’m going to a support group this Sunday (Brisbane Bandster meeting at Milton Coffee Club); there will lots of women there that have been banded for a while, so I should be able to get some feed back there.

On another note: I was not very impressed with my weight loss over the last week, but that will pick up. I just know it. It has too; it's not like I am eating heaps; and it is not like I am eating a lot of unhealthy food. In fact I have been thinking that; maybe my body is just getting used to the idea of the smaller quantities; or am I just trying to kid myself here?!? My body has had plenty of time to adjust – I think I need to pay closer attention to what, when and how much actually goes into my month.

On this note I am starting a food journal. Just a notebook that I can write down everything that I eat. This way I will be more accountable to myself, I know I used to do a lot of eating with out even thinking about it – I don’t think I am still doing this, I cleared my desk out at work of all the extras I used to keep on hand – but something in not going according to the plan.

Now if I want something to eat I need to go to the staff fridge and get something out from my packed lunch (packed is best – so controlled on what you eat, can’t tell yourself you will get the salad but as you pass the kebab shop find yourself there instead)

I will definitely keep you posted on how this goes.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tomorrow is a Fill Day

Well I have an appointment with my surgeon tomorrow for my second fill. I can't wait.

So far I have not had any restriction really. Here's hoping another fill will offer some.

I know it can take a few and I don't expect to find the elusive sweet spot after tomorrow's fill. But I would like to think that I would have some restriction.

I also know I have not lost as much weight as I would have liked to so far. Two months gone and since the surgery I have lost about 6 kilos. I know that this is 6kg gone for good and that is a good thing.

My journey at the moment seems like it is just too long. I want to wish that I was further along the road, but I have spent half my life wishing that the weight would just disappear, so I have to stop myself from that sort of thinking as it is not useful.

So instead I am going to go to my fill appointment tomorrow and wait to see if that will help with my restriction; and I am going to make sure I stick to the banded eating plan. I know I not been following it a 100%, some of that has to do with the lack of restriction, but some has to do with me.

I am eating some things I know I shouldn't (like the nuggets and chips on the weekend) and I have been eating more than the cup to cup and a half that I should be. When I have eaten, I feel full for quite a while. So mostly; I just need to stick to the eating plan and allow the band to do it's thing.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bring Your Own Craziness


I found this on Stephanie's blog and thought it was a cool thing so here goes nothing:

1. If you could be a cartoon character – who would you be and why? Smurfette - to be the only women in a town full of men. It doesn’t matter what she looks like; she can always get a date.

2. Who was your teenage heart throb? Until I found out the were gay – the Bros twins were right up there when I was a young teen. After that devastating discovery I stuck to Patrick Swayze.

3. Do you believe being overweight is about a mental obstacle or do you believe it’s simply about overeating/food? Probably 90% is mental in my case. My over eating started out as a way of dealing with emotional issues (mine were mainly from all the moving I did as a kid – eight different schools before year seven – I never made friends easily and was mostly a lonely, eating teenager) Before long, I didn’t even realise why I was always eating, I just always thought I was hungry

4. What’s your all-time favourite song? If I had to name only one song, it would probably have to be Happy Phantom by Tori Amos. Ever since I was introduced to the Little Earthquakes CD I instantly fell in love with the singer and her music. Happy Phantom has always made feel happy and I just have to sing along with it.

5. Whose blog or comment spoke to you/stuck with you this week and why? This is our “you get to be famous for a moment” without having to follow all the rules of an official blog award question. Jacquie and the so sudden loss of her father and brother-in. Such a tragedy and one you never expect to happen to yourself or someone you know.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kids Menu

It's my mum's birthday today. I asked her what she would like to do today and she said, 'Let's go to Mt Tamborine for lunch'

If you know Brisbane at all, that is a fare distance. We are in Caboolture on the north side and Mt Tamborine in down past Movie World. After a two hour drive and we spent a few hours walking up and down Gallery Walk and had lunch at one of the cafes up there. An extra bonus to the day was lots of exercise with all the walking.

I ordered from the kid's menu for the first time ever. It was nuggets and chips - quite a small serve too. I didn't even finish it. I ordered from the kids menu, because even though it wasn't the healthiest choice, the rest of the meals at this place were huge and I really didn't want to sit in front of a huge meal, forget myself and do something I would regret - like eat too much or swallow a mouthful that was too big.

I have only done either of these things twice since the surgery, not something I want to do again. Those times I was new, at work and busy. No excuse I know, but I have learnt from them. No more eating while working, I just get too busy and don't concentrate enough. And I no longer sit in front of a meal that is bigger than what I should be eating.

It funny how those two little things can make a big difference to eating. I know I don't have much restriction yet. After one fill, I can eat pretty much what ever I want, as long as I'm a just a little bit careful. So I think it is best that I learn these lessons now and not after I am more restricted. I do not ever want to experience some of the bad stuck episodes I have read about on some of the forums.

I think it is better that I stick to smaller meals at the moment, at least until I have my new life under a little more control.

Music for Grade Two *from Lost in Cello blog*

I realise that I am in Australia and that Trinity Guildhall is a London, but you would think you would be able to get the same music here as you can over there.

I have had the worst problem getting a music book. JC wanted me to get "Easy Classics for Cello, book 1". I called the music store in Brisbane (which is usually excellent with their stock selection) they didn't have it and couldn't even find it is their system. I was surprised. The music store had all the Trinity grade books, including the new ones for strings, but none of the required other music for it. So we can do all the exercises that is need for the exams, but we can't play the music pieces we need to.

I was able to find it on the web and have ordered it, I should have it in two weeks. Hopefully I will have enough time to learn everything I need to before the exam in August.

Why am I doing this??

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Music for me *from Lost in Cello blog*

So I had another lesson last night.

We had sort out the music for my Grade Two exam. I happen to already have Cello Time Runners (I bought it when I finished the Time Joggers book) I haven't even had a real go go at it yet, but for grade two there a few pieces from that book. Now I just need to get one other book and I will have a few pieces to choose from for each section.

The exam will be through Trinity College, a London based system. The examiner apparently comes over from London yearly to do the exam rounds. The system is so popular over here, you would think they would have accredited examiners here.

Should be interesting. And even though the exams are not until August, I need to pay for them now. That just means I won't be able to chicken out of it closer to the date.

One of my life to go

Well, I managed to stick to my word and got off one stop early this morning. It was really quite relaxing.

It made me realise how much I have missed walking and how little I actually do these days. I used to walk everywhere and then 5 years ago I moved from Sydney to sunny Brisbane and got my drivers licence. The only difference is that Brisbane has very limited public transport system compared to Sydney.

It's amazing the difference a driver's licence makes. It was nothing for me to walk for 45mins just to get to the shops. I only ever got a taxi on rare occasions. These days, if I haven't got the car, I either don't go anywhere or I call a taxi straight away. I think I was healthier when I was broke and and having to share a house with three other people.

I remember one time down in Sydney, the bus drivers went on strike for three or four days in a row and so I had to walk to and from work. Randwick to Surrey Hills 45mins each way. I was hot and bothered at the end of each trip, but it was summer, so that had something to do it. It was really quite weird, walking down the bus lanes on Anzac Pde with hundreds of other people. On a normal day you might have seen maybe one or two people walking, and never anywhere near the the bas lane, because buses would hurtle down that lane at 80km/h.

Oh well, I have started again and don't plan on stopping anytime soon.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Exercise...or lack of.

I weighed myself this morning, it had actually been a while since I had done that. I got caught in the scale trap after surgery, and so lately I have forced myself not to keep jumping on it every day. Monday morning is going to be my weigh-in day. Other than doctor appointments.

But anyway; I have been thinking about exercise lately.

Or my lack of it so far.

When I started this journey, I knew that I would need to exercise quite hard. Like a lot of obese people I have alot of flab; and if I don't exercise I am going to end up with a lot of excess skin. This would have to be my worst fear in this whole thing.

I know it is pretty much a 50/50 chance that I will need surgery to fix the problem later on, but I also know that if I do enough exercise, I can better the odds for myself.

I can make all the excuses in the world for not doing any exercise. My knees, back, body aches. It's too hot, cold, windy. There comes a time when you just have to stop the excuses and start exercising.

So as of tomorrow morning I am going to get off the train the station before work and walk the rest of the way (it should be a twenty minute walk). Rain, hail or shine, I am going to do this.

Now I am being honest with myself here, there should only be one week out of five where I will not be able to do this. And that is because the first train of the morning only gets me to work with about 5 minutes to spare; so on that week I will do it after work and walk from work to the next station.

I know it is not much, but it is a start and from there who knows what will happen. I just need to get started.

At one stage in my life I was regularly going to the gym. I was still weighing in at over 100kg at the time but I was even starting to jog on the treadmill. I am a far bit away from being able to do that again, but I will get there.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Back To Work

I went back to work on Tuesday 06 April.

That first day was a killer. I work in a call centre, but thankfully, I am not on the phone all day. I don't think I could have handled that. I was having enough trouble getting enough liquid, let alone having to talk all day.

Still, just sitting at a desk all day was exhausting. And that fact that I was away for two weeks meant that there was a lot to catch up on. Someone standing in for you, they never get as much as you yourself would be able to get done.

It took me a week back at work to get back into the swing of things and settle down. Slowly but surely I started to feel back to normal.

I have found that as long as I am busy at work, my eating is fine. When I have spare time, I get bored and that is when I have to control my eating habits, not because I am hungry, but because I just think I'm hungry. This is something I think I will always need to keep an eye on.

Home after Surgery

So once I was home from the hospital I started the healing process.

Liquid Phase; I did fine on the liquids, was never hungry. Most days I just had a small tin of soup that was blended over the course of the day.

This lasted for six days and then I started the Mushie Phase. I still kept to the canned soup at first. It was easiest way of getting some protein and the most variety in taste. Than when I knew I could handle them, I also added tuna and egg salads to the menu, lots of mayonnaise and mustard to help them go down.

I had two weeks off work to recover. The whole two weeks were needed. For most of the time I was exhausted.

I spent all my days off half asleep on the lounge. I watched a lot of DVDs.

I also watched my weight go up and down every day. I had lost just over 8kg over the two weeks prior to the surgery on the Opti Fast diet. But the two weeks after the surgery I lost less than 1kg. From and the websites and forums I've frequented; I knew I shouldn't worry about that at this stage, but it did play on my mind.

Surgery: Monday 22 March 2010

Monday 22 March 2010, don't ask me what the weather was like, what happened in the news. I couldn't tell you.

All I remember of the morning is being nervous as hell. I barely managed to drink my last Opti Fast shake down before 7am as per my doctor's instructions. I then had to occupy myself until it was time to go to the hospital at midday.

My mum drove to the hospital. I checked in and more waiting began.

Wait to see the nurse.
Wait to see the anaesthetist.
Wait to see the surgeon.

Then I had to change for surgery and more waiting began.

Wait to be taken to the operating room.
Wait to be hooked up to the needles and monitors.
Wait to taken into the theatre.

And then before I knew it; it was all over. I was in the recovery room, felt like shit. I barely remember the trip back to my hospital room.

The first thing I clearly remember is when I needed to go to the toilet. I called the nurse and she had to help me sit up. That was the first time I felt my port site. It hurt like crazy. I had to take it very slowly and I tried really hard to not make any more sudden moves.

I only managed to have a few sips of water that day and didn't even think of food once.

I also didn't sleep very well that night either. The nurse told me it was because I had been put into a deep sleep at 3 in the afternoon; the body is not designed for that. So in a way I was recovering from jet lag as well as surgery.

The next morning I was seen by my surgeon and given the all clear to go home and take it easy for the next few days and to take panidol or aspirin for the pain.

I already had my nutritionist's instructions on what to eat (or should I say drink)

So basically; 24 hours after I checked into the hospital I was out of the hospital and back on my way home.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Where to Begin

At the age of 34 I finally accepted the fact that I could not lose weight by my self. I had been wondering about gastric banding for a while.

For the longest time I could never accept that I was actually obese. I was one of those people that always thought I was thinner than I really was and never saw the real me. It helped that I could look in the mirror and not really see me. I'd see my hair and fix it accordingly, I'd see the clothes I was wearing and straighten were necessary. But I was extremely adapt at not seeing me.

Once in a while, I would see a photo of myself, they were the times that I would stop and try to comprehend just how big I was getting. Even then I would put it to the back of my mind and soon forget about it. It really is amazing just how well I could delude myself into believing it would go away by itself.

Don't get me wrong: at least once a year I would decide that I needed to lose weight and start a diet.

Fad diets from magazines, meal replacements and weight watchers. I tried many things and more than once. The most I ever lost was maybe 30kg at weight watchers. It took me over a year to achieve that goal; but I was constantly fighting the hunger and cravings and one day I feel into a depression and was off the diet. The depression didn't last too long (at least not officially) but the self-restraint was gone and soon I had put that 30kgs back on and some more. Always more weight came back than what I had lost.

It wasn't until last Christmas that I was over at a friends place that I mentioned Lap Band out load to someone. That seemed to open the flood gates. I couldn't stop thinking about it and wondering if I would really be able to do it.

I researched, through the Internet. Forums are a god send really. People that have gone through it and talking to each other in a public place were others can learn from their journeys. I have to thank all those people. The good; the bad and the ugly were on display on up for discussion. I learnt all the risks, benefits and most of the side effects.

The idea of only being able to eat small amounts and slowly both scared me and made me wonder if I would be able to follow through with it.

The more I investigated the more I thought this was the weight lose tool I needed.

Even so; it took me until the end of February before I got the courage to see my doctor about it.

I was sooo surprised when she didn't bat an eyelid at me when I asked for a referral to a surgeon. I was so relieved when she just handed it over without a thought. I called the surgeon and was able to get an appointment on the 2nd of March. Dr Greenslade of Greenslope Hospital. He to didn't question my need for the surgery.

And that was when it hit me. The reason they didn't question me for wanting to get the surgery was because I needed it and I was well and truly in the bracket of Morbidly Obese.

Scary, even though I knew I was so over weight that I needed to have weight lose surgery, but I could still not bring myself to believe that I was so over weight that everyone else around me would think the same thing as well.

The surgery date was set: Monday 22 March 2010.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Grade Two Exams *from Lost in Cello blog*

Well, JC (music teacher) suggested I prepare for Grade Two music exams, to be held in August. I said I was looking forward to it. I didn't know what else to say to her. I was mostly shocked. I knew she was thinking about and judging where I should start. But it still came as a shock to me. Probably because a hate exams, interviews, public speaking (anything that brings me to the attention of other).

Now I have had a day to think about it and I really quite happy about it. I am looking forward to focusing on a tangible goal with my cello. And I am very excited about the fact that I don't have to start with Preliminary or Grade One. The few pieces that I have played from those levels have been really easy.

Some of the pieces from Grade Two that I have played are also quite easy, but the rest of the exam may be the problem for me. The aural part has me the most concerned, I know I will do fine, its getting there is the problem. I have done some reading on the grade two exam, and although it doesn't look too difficult, I am just reading about the test though and have not seen any examples of one. So maybe I am just trying to make myself believe it will be easy.

Wait and see - I hate that saying, but it does apply in so many instances. I seem to have no patience for some things.