Sunday, October 31, 2010

Catching up

Thank you

First, I want to thank everyone who commented on my last post. The comment that prompted the post in the first place made me feel really exposed and a bit foolish but now I'm feeling much more confident that what I put in my blog has meaning and purpose, so thank you all. I should say too that the initial comment came from a person who is not a blogger and doesn't understand how the blogging community works so really wasn't qualified to make the judgement in the first place.

Some random pics taken during the week

Watching TV with Noo
Walking home from TAFE

Noo being outrageously gorgeous

On the way out for dinner
This month's manicure - O.P.I. Cajun Shrimp
sitting strategically on my Alexander Wang Donna Hobo

Out with the girls for dinner - Din Tai Fung dumplings - my favourite
Driving up the Mountains - I gotta do something about my 'do!
That egghead look has to go!

The view from my parent's house

Noo today

Not another photo Mum!

Writing my blog this arvo

What's been happening

I haven't been online the last few days so I'm way behind in my blog reading and writing. On Friday Noo and I went up to my parent's place in the Blue Mountains which was lovely. The house is large though and not very child proof so there's a lot of work to do running after Noo to make sure he doesn't get into things he shouldn't. It was lovely to get out the city for a while and enjoy the fresh air and quiet.

Band news

My band is going ok. I definitely have restriction as I'm getting stuck nearly everyday. The main cause usually being that I inevitably get interrupted by Noo while I'm eating for one reason or another. Any of you mums out there will know how hard it is to just eat when you have a little kid without having to multitask doing something for them at the same time.

What I have been eating has been pretty bad too. As I'm not a nine to fiver at the moment, I have no real structure in my day so I don't really eat three square meals. I've really noticed too how much I eat out! Whether at TAFE on Tuesdays and Thursdays or catching up with friends for lunch at a foodcourt or cafe in the city. I haven't got used to ordering the right foods and end up getting something that's not really band friendly or way too large a serve so most of it ends up in the bin. Also, my parents have been in town for the last two weeks because of my dad's cut foot so mum has been doing most of the cooking.

As I've mentioned in one of my earlier posts before retiring my mum was a professional chef. She seriously is an amazing cook. She cooks the most wonderful home cooked gourmet food. Its generally healthy but not proper diet food. I must take more photos for you so you can see just how delicious and tempting her cooking is. This week we've had slow roasted leg of lamb with vegies and cashew salsa; kumera, spinach and bacon lasagna; creamy potato and leek soup. She also made a batch of white chocolate macarons. Yum!

I also find I am snacking on Noo's food. Bad. I always take a snack pack out with me when we go out. This usually consists of muesli bars, mini boxes of sultanas, cheese and crackers,chopped fruit, that sort of stuff. Noo never finishes anything so I end up eating it instead. More bad.

Even though I'm getting stuck, I must say I'm not getting that good feeling of satiety after eating unless I eat about a cup and a half. If I eat about 1.5 cups of solid food I'm full and it lasts for hours, that content feeling, but if I don't I'm starving and I snack.

I also haven't been to the gym since that first time two weeks ago. Naughty. I've been doing lots of walking around town though and Noo and I chased a ball around the deck yesterday afternoon, but seriously, that is not enough!

Argh! This post is full of excuses. I really need to pull my finger out and start taking control of this whole project. My parents are back up the Mountains for the week so there's only me here in control of food. Here is a list of things to do to get this lifestyle change (I don't want to use the term diet) back on track:

1. Make meal plan for five days - Monday through Friday
2. Make shopping list as per number 1.
3. Go food shopping as per number 2.
4. Keep food diary for one week to see where things are going awry.
5. Go to the gym on Monday afternoon, Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning (Noo's kindy days) for at least 30 minutes.

Fingers crossed I can achieve all the above. Its my mini five day challenge for myself. I will keep you posted during the week as to how I go.

I hope everyone has had great weekends, I'm going to try and get around as many blogs as I can now to see what you're all up to.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bandit, single mum, survivor - too personal for Blogland?

The other day someone commented that they were amazed at how much information about my life I give on this blog. The line that the person read that prompted them to say this was on my banner: "Babblings of my life as a bandit, a single mum and a survivor of mental illness and addiction".  Yes, these are pretty honest words about who I am, but are they words that I shouldn't use in such a public arena?

Let's take a closer look...

So I'm a bandit.  Could be considered very personal. Although I've told all my friends and family, its not something I go around TAFE shouting in the cafeteria "hey fellow students and teachers, I have a lap band, watch me shrink!". But being a lap band patient is not something I actively hide or am ashamed of.

I'm a single mum. Well it ain't the 1950s any more so I'm pretty sure that's something I should feel free and easy writing about in a blog. In fact "single mothers by choice" are becoming more and more common. As are same sex parents, mixed race parents, blended families, etc. The nuclear family with a mum and a dad and 2.5 children is probably the exception now, not the rule. As long as we love our kids and provide a happy, stable home, who is to judge the make up of any family?

I'm a survivor of mental illness. OK, yes, this is probably where things start to get really personal and for many, they would not like strangers to either know that they suffer from depression and/or anxiety in the first place, let alone want anyone to read details about their condition. Its a choice and I respect either position - to keep it private or to feel comfortable about sharing it, whether using a pseudonym or not. Personally, as anyone who has read any of my blog will know, I am comfortable sharing online my experiences about what I have gone through as a sufferer of chronic major depression and debilitating anxiety. In fact, I now realise blogging about it has become an important part of my healing process.

Whether we choose to keep it private or not, mental illness is not something to be ashamed of. Sufferers should not be discriminated against or judged for what they go through or how they handle their condition. Mental illness is so common and so widespread these days that I feel it is so important that it comes from out of the shadows. The stigma and shame that is still so often attached to anyone who is inflicted with this curse should be banished to the past.

Suffering alone and in silence can be deadly.

For me, and I imagine (I don't want to speak for others) for so many other bloggers out there, feeling free to write about our darkest moments or our triumphs in recovery is so crucial in helping us to survive.

This week I have read a number of blogs where the writer has reached out a cyber hand asking for help through tough times. I think it is so important that, even though these wonderful people may not have the support they need in the real world, they are able to express how they feel on their blogs and have a network of fellow bloggers who follow their journey with caring words of support, understanding and a virtual shoulder to cry on.

I am a survivor of addiction. Hmmm, another very personal point and one that can cause a great deal of negative judgement. Drug and alcohol addiction is a disease that has been around for as long as the substances have been used and is common now more so than ever. I'm not proud of the fact that my drug and alcohol use saw me hit rock bottom three years ago, but I'm extremely proud of the fact I've now been sober for well over two years. 

Although I don't regret my past, I would never want anyone to go through what I have to be here today, alive and healthy, instead of dead or in jail. I hope that anyone who may be in a similar situation as I was, and reads any of my posts that talk about my struggles with addiction or my mental battles in recovery, might learn from my mistakes and experience. Or that they might take comfort knowing that they are not alone and that it is possible to rise up from the depths of rock bottom, where you think the drugs and alcohol will never loosen their grip on your life, to once again become a functioning, healthy and responsible adult who is no longer a slave to their vices.

So is being a bandit, a single mum and a survivor too personal for Blogland? For me personally, no it is not.


Monday, October 25, 2010

A restricted week

Mondays are my weigh in day and I'm pleased to say I'm down another kilo to 91kg. I'm stoked but not surprised. The last week, since my first fill, have been difficult days with the band. I've been massively restricted and have experienced a lot of discomfort eating and drinking almost anything and everything. Either the 4mls I now have in my band was a lot to get started on or I did some damage that first day post fill by eating solid food which got stuck and therefore caused everything to swell down there. Either way, I've eaten very little since my weigh in last week.

Today I'm still feeling good restriction, much more than I was just before the fill, but less than last week. I really have to be mindful while I eat - which is the whole point of a lap band, isn't it? I must concentrate on the serving size, bite size and chewing time for each and every meal. Last night I had my first proper solid meal in a week and it was delicious. I managed to eat two medium rare lamb chops which my mum had marinated and cooked to perfection, with a piece of brocolini and two small roasted vine ripened tomatoes. Absolutely divine.

During the week I pretty much stuck to liquids but was lucky to be able to eat Cruskits and Corn Thins. For some reason they went down really easily. I love both with Vegemite or honey (or peanut butter, but I've stayed clear of that!). Delicious!

Arrrgh, I have blogger's block. Words are not coming to me easily tonight. I think I may be getting ill. Noo has had croup all weekend so we've had some tough nights with him coughing all through the night waking both of us up. Poor little thing. He's a tough one though. Still smiles all the time even when he's sick.

I'm going to keep this brief and say good night now.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tightening continues

Oh goodness, I'm back to how I was in the first days post op and have loads of restriction. I can't eat anything really. Well nothing remotely solid or even mushie so it is back to fluids for me. 

Started the morning with a black coffee and water to take my meds with. Was stoked my tabs went down no probs. Attempted some low fat plain yogurt and tiny bits of watermelon but it was no good, the coffee was all I could manage.

I spent the morning at TAFE and as time wore on to about 10ish I started to feel quite hungry but I couldn't leave the class until 12. By the time lunchtime came around I was headachy and nauseous from the lack of sustenance. I rushed back home straight after class and made a skinny milk Milo as soon as I got in which was delicious. I had to sip, sip, sip and it took me about an hour to finish but at least it quelled my hunger somewhat.

Milo rocks!
Image owned by Nestle

Not long after the Milo I was hungry again so I thought I'd try some soft eggs. Uh oh, no. This was about half an hour ago and I'm still kind of feeling it where the egg got stuck for about 10 minutes.

These last two days with the band have certainly been a learning experience:

Lesson 1 - Ask the doctor more questions if information required is not immediately forthcoming.

Lesson 2 - Always play it safe: first start with liquids and then work your way up from there.

This it for today. Hope all is well out in Blogland.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

First fill - first almost PB

So I had my first fill yesterday. Also found out I had 3mls in there already and my doctor added another ml making it 4mls all up. Whatever that means... I don't even know the capacity of the thing. Must ask next time. It was very quick and stung a little but overall not too bad an experience. My port area was tender afterwards but when I woke up this morning it was fine.

Its been strange the last 24 hours trying to be more conscious of what and how I eat again. Prior to the adjustment I'd been eating healthy food quite freely. When I got home after my appointment and had a glass of water and I pretty much felt a difference straight away. Not major, but definitely having to sip more that gulp. For dinner we had leftovers of the delicious chicken cacciatore with rissoni my mum had made for dinner the night before. So, so good. I only had half what I ate the first time we had it which was a good sign.

Today, I really started to notice a difference. I wasn't quite sure what to have for brekky but I knew I was hungry. Started with a black coffee and a glass of water. All good. We were low on supplies so I ended up having four Cruskits with Vegemite and olive spread which sustained me til about 11am. Cruskits are delicious but they are very high GI and generally not great nutritionally, but they are pretty easy to eat as they just kind of melt in the mouth. My son loved them in the early days of starting on solids when he still didn't have any teeth so I figured they'd be ok to get through the band when crunched with my full set of gnashers.

The trouble came at lunch. Mum, Noo and I went to the markets to pick up some fresh fruit and vegies and so Noo could play in the playground there. I don't know about markets in other cities in Australia, but in markets all over Sydney there is always a Turkish Gozleme stall available. If you don't know what Gozleme is or have never tasted it, it is the most delicious way you can eat spinach on the planet. 

Turkish Gozleme
(picture borrowed from
It comes with different fillings but I would say the most popular is cheese and spinach. I also love it with mince lamb. Oh god, it is good. Its kind of a doughy crepe like mixture which is spread on a bbq plate, filling added, turned over and grilled until the dough is all crispy and yummy and sensational at around $8 a plate - a total winner. Not sure of calories, but anyway, I've gone on way more than necessary.

So mum and I got a plate of Gozleme to share. I ate two pieces very, very slowly, chewing, chewing, chewing. No probs at all. Then Noo made a dash from where we were sitting outside on the lawn back into the market. My anxiety levels rose as he started bolting between people and market stalls and I nearly knocked a woman carrying a fresh cup of coffee to the ground trying to catch him. Aaaahhh, its hard having a bolter! 

So a combination of Gozleme sitting in my pouch, high anxiety and then, once I caught Noo again and got him back to our table, I took a big gulp of his apple juice without thinking. BIG mistake! By this stage mum had taken over Noo patrol and they were over the other side of the lawn when halfway through the juice going down I knew I was in trouble. I still had more juice swilling around my gob but I didn't want to just spit it out in front of all the parents and kids enjoying their picnics in the sun so I swallowed it. Another BIG mistake. The pain was full on and incredibly uncomfortable. I could feel the juice and the dough and spinach kind of competing with one another to squeeze down the hole and into my stomach. And then the burps began. 

Mum was still over the other side of the grassed area with Noo running in circles around her. I was staring in their direction trying to send telepathic messages of SOS, I NEED HELP, I'M GONNA SPEW!

Froth started to rise up my throat, nausea was rocking through my body as I stood there not moving, as straight as a pole and white as a ghost willing for the episode to end. My eyes darted from the picnickers 3 metres on my right to the wheelie bin 4 metres in front of me and then to the grandmother on the next table just to the left. Should I just run to the bin and vomit it up? I could just pretend I was preggers with number two and morning sickness was the cause of the public oral evacuation of my stomach. What to do? What to do?

But before I knew it the food fell through. The relief was incredible. I quickly piled up the stroller with our stuff and walked over to mum (still being circled by Noo and another little boy by then) so thankful that I still had my pride intact. I've got to tell you though, I felt terrible for about half an hour. Not just physically, but emotionally. I was really rocked by the whole affair. I just hope I have learnt my lesson. Choose food wisely, chew properly, avoid fluids during a meal and keep the bolter bolted down while I'm trying to eat my lunch!

Now time to attempt dinner...


Monday, October 18, 2010

Gym, weight loss, fill (tomorrow)

This week has started well. Woke up to sunny skies this morning. That's two days in a row now which is great after a week of yucky volatile spring weather with rain and clouds and wind. And Noo is sleeping in til around 7.30am which is a massive sleep in when you're used to getting up at around 6am.

Took us ages to get ready with Noo back on his hunger strike/fussy eating behaviour. Drives me crazy that a child of mine could have "food issues". I just hope he grows out of them. We finally got out the door at around 9.30am, though it was hard getting the poor little thing down to kindy. This is common on a Monday after he's been with me for three days, especially if we've had a really fun weekend like this one.

Noo's day care centre is down the bottom of a very steep hill. I hate this hill. I even sometimes drive him down even though the centre is only just half a block away, about 250 metres or so, from our building. Seriously not far at all except for that bloody hill. There's no getting out of it by going around the block the other way because the centre is at the bottom of a kind of valley of steep road. Its steep no matter which way from the bottom you get back up. Its especially hard pushing up a 13kg boy in a stroller although most the time I get Noo to walk with his little teddy bear reins on.

So this morning, Noo didn't want to go to kindy, and he knew which direction we were going so I had to carry all 13 kegs down the hill. It was hard, but not as hard as carrying him up the hill, which I've done plenty of times.

I talk in detail about this as I am determined to beat this hill. One day, and one day soon, I will be able get up this hill and not huff and puff, but actually enjoy the vista it looks out on and get to the top feeling energised and ready to do it again.

This morning once Noo had settled with his little classmates I powered up that hill and straight into our building and into the gym, then straight on to the rowing machine to do 1000 metres. I was shocked I still had it in me! I haven't been to the gym since January! I huffed and I puffed and I went red in the face, but I did it!

After the rower, I did 3 sets of 20 bicep curls, 10 minutes fast walking on the treadmill and 5 mins on the bike. Not a massive workout but great all the same. Success! I felt great! I'm back.

To top it all off I think I've dropped 1.4kg. I say I think I've lost that much because the scales I usually weigh myself on have carked it and need a new battery (I'm off for a walk to Office Works this arvo to get one) so I had to use the other scales we have. They are usually about two kilos less than mine (which I bought from Boots in London, and strangely because of this, I love them). These other scales said I weighed... wait for it... 90kgs! Its just too good to be true! That would be my lowest weight since giving birth, but I know they are cheat's scales so that's why I added 2 kegs which would bring me to 92kg and therefore down 1.4kg from last week's weigh in number.

Still very exciting! Especially after a couple of slow loss weeks and especially after a week of almost normal eating.

After the gym I was desperate for a carbo load of pasta (especially seeing as after my fill tomorrow I probably won't stomach too many complex carbs).

I just chucked this delicious combo together with what I had in the fridge:

Tuna and avocado pasta
One nest of angel hair pasta
Half a small can of Italian tuna in olive oil
Half a tiny avocado
Chopped red onion
Pepper and salt
White balsamic vinegar
Little extra olive oil
Sprinkle of parmesan

So, so yummy! I had that about 2 hours ago and I'm still very satisfied.

As I've mentioned about 20 times in my last few posts tomorrow is my first appointment for a fill. It is at 3pm AEST so anyone reading can think of me then. Hahaha. Not really, but it is exiting, isn't it... been to the gym, dropped 1 and a half kegs and a fill tomorrow! What's not to be excited about!

Yay! Feeling on top of the world. Off to get this battery. I need an official weight asap.

Ciao for now.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Toey week ends with a kid's party

What a week! I don't even know where to start. I've just been so busy and up and down and even kind of sideways.

I mentioned briefly in my last post that my dad had an incident with a circular saw on Tuesday night. Basically he was trying to cut a piece of timber for some shelves he was kindly making for me and as he started to cut the wood the saw jambed and jumped off the bench and on to his big toe. Luckily, knowing his old saw wouldn't automatically turn off after such an incident, he quickly pulled the cord out of the power point but it was only when the blade came in contact with flesh and bone that it stopped rotating. So, so gross.

My poor dad then had to spend the night out in a hospital way out west of Sydney, kind of half way between where he usually lives in the Blue Mountains and our apartment here in the city. Its one of Sydney's largest public hospital which services way too many people and is majorly under funded and under staffed. The ambulance got him to emergency by 7pm but he was not seen by a surgeon until 4.30 on Wednesday morning!

Anyway, without boring you with the details of this story (or getting into a political discussion on why NSW's public health facilities are such a disgrace), dad and his big toe has taken up a lot of my time this week - getting him back from Woop Woop (Aussie term for any town miles away), organising a wheelchair, getting him to the GP, organising painkillers and the rest. Poor, poor dad. He is going to be ok although being immobile is not something he is used to or something he'd like to get used to but the poor bugger probably needs a forced rest as he hasn't really taken any time to relax since retiring two years ago.

As far as the band goes, I may as well not even have one. I'm pretty much hungry all the time. When I have eaten, I've tried to make healthy choices and I have been filling up much more quickly than pre band, but that feeling of fullness doesn't last long so I've been snacking a lot on whatever is around.

Today we went to my best friend's youngest daughter's 3rd birthday. I love kids parties! Loved them when I was little, love them now I'm one of the grown ups. Love the food and the games and the giggles! The diet was fully out the window as we had chocolate crackles, fairy bread, lollies, birthday cake... it was all delicious. I tried to not be as piggy as usual, but I didn't say no to anything.

Check out how different Noo and I look today compared to the same picture taken at a party 16 months previous... 

Noo and me today at Ashley's 3rd birthday - 17 Oct 2010

Noo and me at Ash's sister Madison's 3rd birthday - 14 Jun 09

Can't imagine what my weigh in will be like tomorrow morning after all the eating I've done this week. I've been feeling much better in my clothes though. Wore an M Line dress I haven't been able to wear for ages on Friday which felt good. People are starting to notice that I'm losing weight too which hopefully signals another loss tomorrow.  It is also my first fill on Tuesday. Cannot wait! I seriously need it. No more excuses about the gym any more either... maybe I should commit my fat arse to going tomorrow seeing as Noo is in kindy. I am planning to be glued to my computer screen and Notepad++, writing and debugging JavaScript code tomorrow in preparation for my exam on Wednesday arvo, but I should really try to fit in at least 30 minutes at the gym.

It is 9pm yet still my child will not sleep. I think all those lollies through the day have adversely affected him. He is on a sugar detox as of tomorrow!

Night all

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Don't call me a fat bitch!

Its Wednesday but I already feel like its Friday. This week has been hectic! I'm struggling to keep up with reading blogs and writing entries.

First off, I really want to say thanks for everyone who follows me and a big thank you to those who comment. I eagerly check after I post every entry to see what your responses might be to whatever I write and it just feels so great to know that there are people out there reading and being so amazingly supportive. If you are following me and I'm not following you and you'd like me to, please let me know. Not all of your profiles show your blog addresses.


My last post was last Friday with the BYOC. I love those surveys! The weekend was all about keeping Noo exercised and amused so we all get a goodnight sleep at the end of the day. I've got to really think hard to even remember what we got up to! Saturday was pretty chilled. Noo and I walked around the neighbourhood til he got too tired and wanted mummy to carry him all the way home. There's lots of steep hills around here as we live right near the Harbour and I really got the heart racing and the sweat pouring off me as I carried that 13kg (29lb) bundle of joy around over my shoulders. I can't believe I nearly have twice that weight to lose to get to my goal.

Speaking of weight, it has been a terrible week so far foodwise. I pretty much have no restriction at all now. Although I do get full quicker and I have to be conscious of how I swallow, I'm hungry all the time again. I just hate that feeling of hunger! My neuro pathways in my brain are constantly tingling and sending messages elsewhere that I need something - food, a cigarette, a drink, to shop... I hate it! I never feel satisfied but at least with the early stages post surgery I wasn't hungry. Actually, I never feel like a drink any more, but I do always want to shop and eat! Next Tuesday's fill seems so long away still.

Here are my confessions for this week:

  • Ate 2 pieces of Darrell Lee peanut brittle on Saturday night
  • Ate 1 Darrell Lee hard centred chocolate on Saturday night
  • Ate a piece of the sponge cake my mum made last night for my brother - it was filled with fresh cream and strawberries and topped with passionfruit icing
  • Ate one Maccas chocolate sundae at half past midnight this morning as my sister and I were coming back from a 2 hour return trip to the hospital to see my dad after he had an accident with a circular saw (long story)
  • Ate three mouthfuls of a brownie this morning that I supposedly bought for Noo but subconsciously I think I bought it for me. I felt so guilty eating it I brought most of it home and gave it to mum to finish

Does anyone know how many Weight Watchers points 1000 calories is equal to? I'm hopeless at counting calories but I pretty much have memorised the WW points book. I think I really need to start writing a food diary again to keep track of the food I'm eating, especially when I get my first fill next week.


Yesterday morning as I was driving to TAFE I experienced a very nasty road rage incident. Without boring you with detail, this guy came flying past me from behind yelling abuse at me as he passed, calling me a "fat bitch". I could not believe it! I was in the right! I was so upset about it that for seconds I gripped onto the steering wheel replaying the incident over in my head trying to work out why I was so pissed off. I was trembling with rage! Was it the injustice of being abused when I was in the right or was it being called a fat bitch for the first time since high school (that I can remember)? These thoughts went over in my head in a matter of seconds as I sat there in peak hour traffic trying to get down one of the busiest streets in the Sydney CBD. After seconds passed, I thought this fucker ain't getting away with abusing me!

He got in my lane just ahead of me and drove off as I had to stop to let a car from the on coming traffic turn right in front of me to drive into a parking station (for US readers remember we Aussies drive on the left side of the road). As soon as I could I was off in pursuit of this raging lunatic who dared called me names. It was lucky that the lane was free so I could put my foot on the accelerator to fly down two blocks to catch up with him. I changed into the lane to his right and put my foot on the brake so I was just inline with his drivers side window and hurled the most unladylike abuse at him while giving him the middle finger. He didn't even have the courage to look at me. The adrenalin was pumping through me as I drove off only to be met with a red light.

Next thing I knew he was changing lanes to be right behind me and I made sure that all the doors were locked as he put his brakes on and opened his car door, making as if he was going to get out. I started to panic willing the light to change to green but I stood my ground and did not move. He never got out of the car and as soon as the light changed I was off, losing him at the next intersection. 

Oh my god! I was buzzing all day from the experience! I've NEVER behaved like that on the road ever! But something clicked in me out there in those seconds proceeding him calling me a fat bitch. It was like I had to chase that mofo and give him a piece of my mind for me and all the women out there who've ever been labeled such a hideous name. In those first seconds of the incident I felt horrible and unworthy but after I got him back I felt triumphant and powerful. I know aggression and violence are not acceptable ever, but god, it felt good.

I hope it never happens again but should any man every dare to call me a fat bitch again, watch out! I'll come back and get ya!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Piked and BYOC

So I piked tonight. Couldn't get the nerve to leave the house and go to the bar on my own to meet my friends. When I found out my sister wasn't going because she's ill the thought of having to get through the front doors and look for my mates seemed too angst ridden for me to bear. I did my hair, bought new clothes and everything! Oh well. Next time.

Seeing that I'm home tonight and mum is watching old movies on TCM I may as well do another post in between catching up on other people's blogs. I just read Bonnie's BYOC over at Banded and Proud of it! so thought I'd give it a go for the first time.

1. If you wrote a biography on your life, what would the title be?

Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll... Then Baby
How parenthood turned my life around

2. Would you take $1 million dollars to leave your present life – including friends and family – to start over somewhere else? You’re leaving your physical location to never go back but you can contact them via phone and net and such. (You take your immediate family with you... spouse, kids, etc.)

I've left my family and friends so many times over the years. In fact I usually move every 3 years or so. Going by this pattern I'd be due to leave any time soon as its been 3 years and 4 months since I've been back from the UK where I lived for 3 years and 7 months. Before that I was in Sydney (where all my family and most my friends are) for 4 years and 2 months. Before that was Melbourne for 2 years and 9 months. Prior to that I was in Sydney again for 2.5 years. Then I was in Melbourne for 3 years and 6 months. See what I mean? I've been moving around since I was 16.

So it wouldn't be a big deal for me to leave Sydney again as long as I had my son with me. It'd be good to be able to come home for a visit though as I've always done that when I've lived out of Sydney. At least once a year. I don't think even 1 million bucks would be enough to keep me away forever!

3. Are you a person everyone trusts or do you have trouble trusting everyone or both?

I trust everyone! To my detriment too. I think most people trust me... I hope so anyway.

4. Looking back, if I asked you what one event changed the course of your life – and you had to answer immediately the first thing that popped into your head… what would it be?

Finding out I was pregnant! I was at rock bottom at the time. Seriously living on the edge of society, wasted all the time, chronically depressed, estranged from my family and friends and borderline suicidal when my period was late and I did a test. When I saw those 2 little pink lines on the test it was the first ray of hope I'd had in what felt like an eternity. The life growing inside me gave me the courage to get my own life back. It was a miracle of sorts. The most important turning point in my life so far.

My little saviour

5. Repeat question: Summarize your week in life and in blogland.

I'm a bit stressed in the real world. I have loads of TAFE work to complete and Noo is driving me crazy because he's taking so long to settle in to bed every night. I'm buggered. I need a break.

Blogland is great. It keeps me going and inspired and more grounded in this journey, rather than being an anxious mess feeling like I'm alone. So thanks everyone.


Lap band questionnaire

Not much has been happening these last few days band wise. I still have a tiny bit of restriction which is good seeing that I'm nearly five weeks post op, but I'm definitely looking forward to that first fill. Very much looking forward to it.

I thought I'd complete the survey that's going around at the moment for today's post as the questions are really pertinent to this journey.

1. What was your highest weight, what do you weigh right now and what is your goal weight?

When I weighed myself the night before surgery I weighed 102.5kg (226lb) which is the highest I'd ever been (except when nine months preggers at 104kg), though the next morning I weighed 100.1kg (220lb).

Right now I weigh 93.4kg (205lb) so going by that night before surgery weight in, I've lost 9.1kgs (20lb). But as I calculate it from the morning of the surgery (100.1kg) I've lost 6.7kg.

My goal weight is realistically 70kg (154lb). I've been there before, back in 2003, when I went through a pretty bad depression and stopped seeing my friends, gave up drinking for six months, exercised 3-4 times a week and counted WW points with mad obsession. When I got to 70kg people would comment on how much weight I'd lost and how good I looked, but I didn't believe their compliments were sincere. I actually thought my sister had told all our friends to say it to make me feel better. Crazy, but at that stage I was messed up in the head, so no matter how much I lost it wouldn't have felt that great. Because of this I was always doomed to put the weight back on just as soon as I started drinking again.

I just can't wait to get back to 70kg again and keep it off. And I swear, this time, I'll believe any compliments coming my way.

My ideal dream weight is 65kg (143lb). My sister weighs 65kg and she is the same height as me (175cm or 5'9") and is so slim and gorgeous. I figure being the same height surely its feasible for us to weigh the same. Last time I weighed about 65kg was when I was 23 so I think 70kg is probably much more realistic.

2. What is your #1 motivation for losing weight?

My number one motivation is to feel better about myself. To be fit and physically healthy are up there too. I want to be able to run with my son without pain in my knees and hips and be a good role model for him. I also want to be able to have all the confidence I can get for when I return to work next year after three years out of the workforce. And I really want to have nice clothes. Oh, yes, I also want to start thinking about a relationship next year. I certainly wouldn't get back out there on the singles scene again unless I lost a considerable amount of weight.

3. Have you always been overweight?

Pretty much, yes. I've only been obese in two stages of my life though. I was around the weight I am now back in 1998 to about 2001 when I was in an unhappy relationship and then after the breakup went through year of depression. In between then and now I've been 'overweight' as far as the BMI scale goes, except for that brief period in 2003 I mentioned earlier.

This survey gives me a great opportunity to show you my weight chart. I've been keeping a record of my weight since I moved to London in 2003. My weight fluctuations pretty much indicate what's gone on in my life as shown below:

4. When you want to give up what inspires you to keep going?

I'm only five weeks post op so I haven't got to the point of feeling that its all too much and I can't keep going. I'm hoping though that I'll just have to remember what I have gone through to get this band in here physically, emotionally and financially, and hope that will help me push through.

5. What is the #1 thing you look forward to when you hit your goal weight?

Clothes! Sex! Clothes! Feeling light and happy and free to move and.... oops! That's more than one. I'm excited about it all.

6. Do you have support on your weight loss journey?

I have a huge amount of support from my family and friends. My mum and sister have been enormously supportive.

7. What is your favorite exercise?

I love spin classes. I love thrashing my guts out on the bike to dance music in the dark and getting all sweaty. Unfortunately though my coccyx was fractured in 2007 and since I've had pain sitting on a normal chair let alone a spin bike. I joined a gym at the beginning of this year and did my first spin in about two years but landed heavily on my tailbone hurting it all over again. I want to wait til I've lost a significant amount of weight before I attempt to get on a bike again. Hopefully then I won't sit down too heavily on the tiny seat.

8. What is the most important thing you have learned on your weight loss journey?

That the band is a tool and not a weightloss miracle. You gotta work it.

9. What is one thing you have given up that you miss the most? 


10. What is your strategy for losing weight?

Eat less, exercise more. Hopefully the band with keep me eating less, but its up to me to do the exercise.

Use everything I've learnt in therapy to help me break my pattern of self sabotage with my insufficient self control and defectiveness schemas. Use mindfulness to help me self soothe whenever I feel out of control emotionally and find I'm needing a quick fix of something, anything to make me feel better. Whoever first said the words "this too shall pass" was very wise. So every time I feel like I just need a bit of chocolate (or whatever I'm craving) to make myself feel better, I just have to utter those four little words... this too shall pass.

Thank you to the originator of this questionnaire. They were great questions and have really helped me to remember and think about why I'm here and what's to be done to get me to where I ultimately want to be.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm hungry!

I'm hungry! And its really annoying me. My first fill cannot come soon enough.

Thursday night is late night shopping here in Sydney so after I picked up Noo from kindy we walked into town for a special treat and have dinner out. Nothing special, just dinner in a foodcourt, so Noo could make all the mess he liked and I didn't have to clean it up. I got Noo's favourite Chinese noodles with Teriyaki chicken and he absolutely loved it. I, of course, shared it with him, feeling guilty with every mouthful as it was sweet and oily but delicious. I ate about the same amount as Noo, which wasn't really much so it wasn't too bad. Not great, but not terrible.

Getting stuck in!
After dinner I went shopping for a pair of pants or leggings to wear out Saturday night. I've been asked to a friend's birthday drinks and I need something nice and fresh to wear. I don't go out very much at night these days and I always get such bad anxiety just before I leave the house, especially when I'm going to a bar. I've probably only been to maybe six or so bars since I got sober in April 08. I don't have fears that I'm going to drink or anything, its just its the whole social thing of everyone dressed up to impress. I feel like an impostor, like I don't belong in these places any more. I feel like I'm too fat for these trendy Sydney scene bars. Argh, I'm getting worked up just typing this!

I have to go though. I think its important for my continued personal development to test my comfort zones and learn that I'm just as worthy as anyone else to enter these establishments, whether I'm big and whether I'm teetotal!

My sister bought me back a really lovely H&M dress/top from London that is black with silver beaded embellishments on the shoulders. I managed to pick up a pair of shiny leggings from TS to go with it. I also got a really flattering dress from TS and it was a small! That is something to be happy about!

I have some cool Camper platform sandals I bought last summer which will go perfectly with the H&M number so maybe all is not so bad for this drinks thing. I'll take photos of both outfit options on Saturday night to post Sunday so you can all see what I bought.

I still have so much TAFE work to get through before next Tuesday but at least I've nearly completed my copyright & ethics assignment. Just need to polish it off and then get stuck into my scripting study. This is where I need those extra five hours a day!

I best be off to bed now otherwise I'll be buggered for tomorrow. Noo is off daycare on Friday as usual so we'll be heading to playgroup together for some energising fun.

Hope all is well wherever you are.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A long weekend in the rain

I haven't been able to post since last Friday. It was a long weekend here in NSW so I spent all my time keeping Noo entertained.  To top it off it rained most of the weekend and we had to put our clocks forward for daylight savings which made the weekend even more interesting with a toddler!

Thankfully the rain held off on Saturday morning and we were able to catch up with some mums and their kids at the park for a play and to check out some baby farm animals that were also there...

Playing in the park with some mates

Noo strutting his stuff with some goats
Sunday was my mum's birthday so we had brunch over at my brother's house to celebrate. Thankfully he didn't do any of his famous pancakes and bacon because I would have struggled to decline. Instead he served eggs Benedict with choritzo and asparagus and hollandaise sauce on English muffins with yogurt and a fruit platter to start. I enjoyed some fruit and had one egg, a tiny bit of choritzo with a tiny dollop of hollandaise. It was all absolutely delicious!

The rain came pouring down on Sunday afternoon and all through the public holiday Monday. To get out of the apartment my mum and I took Noo to Eastgardens, a massive shopping centre in the east of Sydney. We strolled around the centre going from one end to the other stopping for Noo to climb over all the coin operated rides they have there. A lot of shopping centres in Sydney now have playgyms to keep the kids happy so Noo enjoyed playing there for a while too. The centre was totally packed with other families with the same idea so the playgym was a bit of a nightmare but Noo had fun all the while.

I picked up a copy of The Wiggles "Best Of" DVD which, for $13.95, was great value with over two hours of Wiggles fun. Noo absolutely loves The Wiggles. We have now watched it over 4 times since Sunday arvo! 

Laying back after a hectic weekend

The best news for me over the weekend is that I'm now tolerating sourdough toast just fine. I don't know about other bandsters but I was so worried about not being able to eat bread ever again. I just love toast! Especially Sonoma sourdough toast. The Bourke Street Bakery does a pretty good sourdough too, but I'm so loving Sonoma's polenta sourdough right now. 

Sourdough toast: one slice with Vegemite, one with ricotta and honey - Delicious!

The bad news re the band though is that I'm pretty hungry a lot of the time again. Can't wait to get that first fill on 18 October. I think I really need it. My weigh in on Monday showed I've only lost half a kilo in two weeks. That's only 1lb in a fortnight! Crap result. I'm eating healthily and half, if not a third, of the food I used to eat. I haven't had any chocolate or sweets for ages. My metabolism must be so shot from all the yo-yoing over the years. By 18 October it will be six weeks from the date of my op so I'll be able to start back at the gym then too. I really need to kick start the weightloss again somehow!

Thank goodness Noo was back at daycare yesterday. I think he was as excited to get back with his friends and teachers as I was for him to go. I spent the day getting my monthly mani/pedi and finally got stuck into all the work I need to complete for TAFE by next Tuesday. I've left everything til the last minute, which is terrible.

Someone asked me recently what I am studying. I did the first semester of an IT diploma in web development at the beginning of this year. I really enjoyed it but the "development" (programming) side was going to get a bit over my head in the second semester so I transferred to the Certificate IV web design course. I've done most of the units for the first semester of the cert IV so I've had a pretty easy semester workload wise. I have only had three subjects. The first is JavaScript which I did last semester but failed so am doing all over again. The second is Copyright & Ethics for which I have an assessment due next Tuesday and Design/FTP (file transfer protocol) which I pretty much did last semester anyway but I have to do a few classes to get this unit for the cert IV.

I've been so consumed with the band - the surgery, the diet, the blogs - its been so hard to focus on TAFE at all. I've got to knuckle down though because I really want to progress to the second semester and complete the certificate by mid next year. Then I really want to get back to work. God, I couldn't have even said those words out loud let alone type them just six months ago. I'm so nearly there. Shift this weight, get my qualification and then I think I'll have my confidence back to get back into the workforce. So, so close!

I'm trying to catch up on every one's blogs while Noo is in Wiggleland so will try to get around to say hi today.

Hope you are all having a great day.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Aaaarrrgghhh! Zzzzzzz...

Aaaarrrgghhh! Its 10pm again! Where does my day go? I wish I had about 5 hours extra for every day. Five hours all for me to do all the things I need and want to do like TAFE homework, reading, watching TV, writing in my blog... 

Do you know what? I'm too tired for this. I'm off to bed. Will report more tomorrow. 

Good night.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Sitting with it and riding it out

What a day! Its been full on. My 21 month old son has finally hit the "terrible twos". 

Noo started this morning by tearing apart the apartment because his grandmother and I was taking it slow to get ready to leave the house. Slow in that we weren't ready until 9.15am, rather than 8.30am which is about the time Noo has been getting down to daycare this week. We left the building with Noo attached to his teddy bear reins with me holding on and his Nanna pushing the stroller. We had to stop at every car while Noo exclaimed "car! car!" and then "door! door!" while he tried to open the door to every vehicle we passed making him look like a little child thief.

At this pace it was going to take us 2 hours to take the 15 minute walk into the CBD so, with a little force, I managed to get him screaming into the stroller to complete the trip. We were off to the Dymocks building for a coffee and so Noo could have some morning tea. As soon as we came into view of Darrell Lee (Australia's oldest confectionary shop) he started shouting "more! more!" which in Noo language means "feed me, feed me!". He has only just started to recognise that the lollie section at the supermarket and Darrell Lee are where good, yummy, delicious food experiences can happen. Just typing this is making me desperately want some Darrell Lee peanut brittle fingers right now. God, how I love that shop! 

Oh yeah! These rock! (Image owned by Darrell Lee)

Walking past it now is so hard as the distinctive smell of their chocolate wafts out the front door and tantilises your nostrals as you walk by. I must have passed by that store at least a dozen times since I've been banded and haven't gone in once, but god its hard. Its very much like when I first gave up booze and I still loved the smell of stale cigarettes and beer that permeated the doors of many an old pub throughout Sydney and I would slow my pace to get a whiff of that intoxicating aroma. Vile, I know, but back then I loved it yet managed to resist it and over time the smell eventually became disgusting to me.

So, back to today, we got to Dymocks and were able to get a little booth in the cafe. Noo had a milkshake and shared some raisin toast with mum and I had a cappuccino. All good until Noo slipped out of the booth and started bolting around the books shelves pulling out tomes on art and such. We quickly paid our bill and moved on down to the children's section where they have a train for little kids to climb all over. Noo loves it but this time the game included running up the stairs to the little seat in the train, running down them and then doing a loop around the entire floor, knocking into other customers, as he returned to the train to start all over again. Sales staff smiled and looked on politely but I could see this little performance was running thin after about the 6th time he did it.

More screaming and resisting and he was back in the stroller. The next stop was Myer (major Aussie department store) to buy some summer sandles for Noo. This is when something burst in my head and my anxiety levels rose to heights they haven't been for a long time. I found some sandles I liked and wanted Noo to try on. I managed to get Noo out of the stroller again and whipped off the trainers he was wearing and put on one sandle before he wriggled out of my arms and starting bolting/hobbling with one shoe on up the entire length of the floor before I could catch him. Man, that kid is fast! And I'm really slow. It was comedy gold for anyone watching on but for me, trying to catch a toddler as they run around racks of clothes where I can see him one minute and then he's gone the next, it was scary.

I managed to get him back to the shoe section and put the other sandle on and then off he went again. Up and down that bloody floor with me chasing after him. Insane! Finally I caught him and got him back in the stroller. With my heart racing I paid for the shoes and left. Unfortunately my heart didn't stop racing all afternoon. I felt terrible after that. On the verge of a full on panic attack. First time in yonks that has happened.

Finally Noo went to sleep and mum and I went to a cafe for lunch. We both ordered a smoke salmon salad which was nice but I only managed about a quarter of it and didn't dare try any of the sourdough that came with it. I was still feeling shocking at the cafe but started to unwind a bit as we sat there quietly talking while Noo slept on in his stroller.

It wasn't long though before the apple of my eye was awake again and wanting to get a move on. We left the cafe and started heading for home. Walking via Office Works I picked up a new keyboard for $14.95. Can you believe how cheap IT equipment has become over the years? $14.95! I also got half a terrabyte of memory in an external hard drive for $98 bucks! Bargain. I remember just about four years ago my flatmate in London bought half a terrabyte for about 300 quid and we thought that was such a massive amount of space for an external drive for a reasonable price. It amazes me everyday the rate at which technology evolves and my head spins trying to keep up with it.

By 3pm we were home but Noo's frantic mood continued. He teared around the apartment for most of the afternoon, deliberately doing things he knows he's not suppose to do, like climbing up on the dining table. He refused any real dinner opting for a bottle instead. When it came to bedtime our usual routine of story and me singing to him until he falls asleep had no chance of happening. Instead he screamed and shouted and cried until I let him out of the room and he went running to his Nan for cuddles as if I was the enemy. This has never happened before. Of course I don't take it personally but its hard all the same. He seemed so tormented all day. I was tormented! My mum though, she was cool as a cucumber. God, that's a whole other post, about what a legend my mum is.

These kind of days are the most challenging for the addict in me. I want something to instantly soothe me. To take it all away, that feeling of edginess, of doom. I used to use wine, or pot, or shopping, or food for that short term release from anxiety and today is really the first day since I've been banded that I've been challenged to accept the anxiety and sit with it and ride it out.

And I have survived. I'm kind of dreading going to bed, just to wake up in the morning to do it all over again, but that's my life. That's life with a child! What I'd do for a sleep in! But of course I wouldn't change any of it for the world.

Good night everyone.