Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Rocks

Well it's been another beautiful weekend in Sydney Town. Mum has been down from the Blue Mountains keeping me company again and its been so great hanging out with her. Yesterday we went to the Orange Grove food markets and met up with my sister Yo and her husband Cal, who were joined by some friends with their gorgeous little girl, Eden.

The markets are in a little primary school so they are enclosed by fences which allowed Noo to run free for a while. Well if you call being shadowed by your mother everywhere you go free, then it was. I am what is now called a "helicopter" parent. A parent who hovers by the child anxiously trying to avoid any accidents of any kind. I just can't help myself! It drives Noo and me both crazy but I just couldn't just stand there idly, watching him fall over and hurt himself badly. I know you're suppose to let them explore the world to discover things themselves but I just hate the anxiety of it all. Sometimes I think I need a Valium just to get through half an hour at a kids play gym. I try to stand back and count to 10 but always end up shouting across the playground "Noo, Noo, be careful!" or whatever it is at the time. He is only 20 months after all. I never thought I'd be like that as a parent, but I'm just so paranoid about something happening to him.

The markets have fabulous food and one of the stalls that's been there since the markets first began back in the early 00s has the best bacon and egg rolls in Sydney. For $6 bucks you get the freshest white bread roll with two eggs, two thin and crispy rashes of bacon topped with the sauce of your choice - we had barbecue. Food heaven. My surgery postponement was worth it just for that experience! We also had these steamed (go figure!) muffins with apple and cinnamon, pumpkin and orange marmalade, and bacon, cheese and zucchini. Delicious!

We topped our day off by picking up some groceries at Broadway Shopping Centre. Noo fell asleep in his stroller while we were walking around and so he could sleep mum and I went for an frappacino at Gloria Jeans which was very decadent, topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. So, so naughty! I think mum is looking forward to me getting my band as much as I am because I'll then be less of a bad influence on her eating.

And more bad eating continued today. Mum, Noo and I spent the day walking around The Rocks which is where we live and which is the oldest settled area of Australia. The Rocks on Sydney Harbour is where my ancestors first settled back in 1788 when the First Fleet came in with its cargo of convicts, including my great, great, great grandfather, who was transported from England for stealing a bolt of fabric in 1786. Walking the cobbled streets of The Rocks always makes me think of them and their struggles to forge a life for themselves in a hostile new land.

We had delicious lunch at this gorgeous little French patisserie, sitting in the courtyard to enjoy a chicken baguette for mum and a sausage roll with salad for me. We finished off with a great cappuccino and the most divine cakes I've had for a while.

I've been documenting what I ate this weekend because I'm starting to get very nervous about letting this lifestyle go. I just love hanging out at cafes drinking coffee and eating cake, especially while Noo enjoys his midday snooze. Cafes really have replaced pubs for me, now I just need to find something to replace the cafes!

I am really getting sick of waiting and talking about this operation now. I just want it already! The anticipation is killing me. I've looked at so many blogs, reading so many different people's stories of their experiences that I'm so ready to just jump in and do it myself, but alas there is still another week to go. I've just got to keep busy and hopefully the time will pass by quickly. I've got to keep chilled about it too because I don't need another anxiety related physical attack.

I've babbled on way too much tonight. I'll just end with a couple of photos. One is a photo mum took of me last Thursday and the other is my gorgeous little Noo Noo.

Me with new dress and scarf
Growing up so fast!
Good night.


Friday, August 27, 2010

One day at a time

I've been really slack and haven't written since the whole neck incident. I've been so enthralled with the election, spending all my time online reading analysis of the result, or lack of one, as Australia waits for these three Independent MPs decide who will govern our nation. In my opinion, we should go back to the polls and let the Australian people have another go at voting who should lead our country, not three blokes from the bush.

Ah, but enough of politics, this is predominately a weightloss blog after all.

I had a lovely day today with mum and Noo. We started it slowly, laying about reading the papers (me online, mum the old fashioned way) while Noo watched kid's TV until he could stand it no more and had to get out of the apartment. We took a walk from home down to the Harbour to stroll around Walsh Bay and then Campbell's Cove and up to George Street to get the bus to the other side of town. It was such a lovely sunny day and the Harbour was sparkling blue with lots of boats - ferries, yachts and big ocean liners - floating along in the considerable August wind.

We went to one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney, Din Tai Fung, for lunch.  It is a dumpling and noodle restaurant and you usually have to queue to get a table, like we did today. Noo was asleep when we arrived but awoke not long after, in a 'terrible twos' kind of mood. He's been starting to show real impatience when he doesn't get things his way and playing up to get attention or what he wants.  It's a challenging time and I think its only going to get worse - as he does what kids do at this age - before it gets better. I've got a couple of parenting books for advice but I suppose its just a matter of going with what feels right for both of us.

Overall though, he was his usual gorgeous self, slurping up noodles and flirting with the girls on the next table.  We walked back up town after lunch through to the Queen Victoria Building to catch the bus back to The Rocks.

My sister and a very good friend of mine popped in after they finished work, which was lovely. My friend brought some of the most delicious cheese that I've tasted in ages, along with some great salamis and olives. I just love good quality cheese and antipasti type 'nosh' food, as my mum calls it. They are loaded with fat and calories so it will be au revoir fromage from Monday week for me.

Ah, Monday 6 September, my new D day, or B day it really is. After this week's surgery postponement I'm not as excited as I was last week, still having nine days to go but I'm sure that excitement/anxiety will come back as the new date nears.

I saw my psych yesterday who suggested the said excitement/anxiety about the op probably had something to do with my waking up with a wry neck last Friday and I tend to agree.  My anxiety has always shown itself physically when it gets really bad so I just hope I can keep it under control by the time 6 September is here.

Well that's enough from me today. I've started putting together a few new pages, including a goals page and I'm hoping to also add a 'positive thoughts' page to go to once the band is in and I'm feeling like I need a little motivation to get through. My psych is getting me to prepare in advance for any relapses in bad behaviour (eg pigging out for comfort or self sabotage) before they occur. This new lifestyle I'm planning for myself is very much about addiction control as it is anything else and, just like when I gave up alcohol and cigarettes, I will need to take one day at a time!


Some pics I took with my iPhone yesterday:

Noo eating a 'Delta Cream', Australia's answer to the Oreo
Playing with stickers while waiting for Nan at the dentist

Self portrait with the Hipstamatic

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A pain in the neck - surgery postponed

What a couple of days it has been!  I was all set after my trip to the clinic last week to see the dietitian.  I had my goodie bag with all the tools I could possibly need for the few days post surgery, I had Noo booked in for the whole week at day care, my parents were set to stay down in the city to help out, I'd even made up some yummy broth in little baby food containers to help get me through the liquid phase.  

On Friday morning, Noo and I were going to drive up to the Blue Mountains (a 2.5 hour drive from here in the city of Sydney) so I could watch the federal election countdown with my parents on Saturday night.  We woke up at our usual time around 6.30am after what was a particularly restful sleep.  My son shares my double bed with me.  He has his own bed, always has had, but has spent most of his life sleeping in with me.  Most of the time I don't mind this - he is a human hot water bottle who loves to cuddle - sometimes it can be terrible as I get heels and toes in the face if he is having an unsettled night.

So I get woken up with the usual "hi! hi!", cuddle, cuddle, "hi!" and I feel fine.  We then do the usual - me - trip to the loo, Noo - change nappy, get brekky, feed Noo, start to tidy up, put washing on, then ouch, oooh, my neck hurts a bit.  I'm thinking, what a pain, I'll have to do that long drive up with a stiff neck.  I start rubbing from behind my right ear along my right shoulder because its really starting to pain now.  After getting Noo cleaned up and out of the highchair I put The Wiggles (Noo's favourite show) and lay down on the floor thinking I just need to straighten out a bit.  Nup, that hurts more.  By this time I'm thinking I won't be able to drive on the motorway until this settles down a bit. My movement by this stage is really starting to get restricted.

So I call my parents and say I'm going to be delayed.  I tell them that my neck is killing me but it should pass in a couple of hours because I've got a heat pack on it and that usually helps (the same thing happened three weeks before but not nearly as badly).  I couldn't of course take anti inflammatory medication because my surgery was on Monday and I wasn't suppose to take any of that within three days of the op so I just take a couple of paracetamol.

Not long after that the pain is so excruciating and I can't move my neck at all. I have to hold it kind of face forward and slightly to the left. It feels like all the muscles on the right side of my neck have scrunched up and tightened. My shoulders are moving further up toward my ears trying to relieve the strain.  I call my mum again, by now I'm crying. Really crying. I hadn't felt pain like that since I gave birth.  It was mind blowing, in a bad way. Noo was being really good just staring at The Wiggles occasionally looking around looking a bit lost and not knowing what to do.  I've always hid my tears from him but there was no way I could control it on Friday. I was completely freaking out. What was I going to do? Mum and dad were miles away and my sister was at work.

On the phone I'm saying to mum "talk me through this! I'm freaking out, what do I do?". Oh my god, it was horrific. Finally she says she'll call my brother to come in and help out with Noo. By this stage I'm still thinking I just need a really good rub and everything will be ok. Then my brother shows up and asks if I want him to take me to Emergency. Instead of panicking he provides much needed calm so that I can start thinking again. 

My sister then gets in contact, she can get me into an osteopath early in the afternoon. I've never believed in osteos - I'm a physiotherapy person - but I couldn't get into the physio so the osteo it is. As I live in the city and there's no parking in the centre of town anyway, my brother, Noo and I walk in through one of the busiest times of the day. Suits are hastily marching everywhere, trying to make the most of their lunch hour. I'm walking along like a freak with my head cocked awkwardly, my hair still wet and clumsily held back with a band I struggled to put on, desperately trying not to bump into anyone. Each step is like a jolt of lightning through my shoulder and I'm gasping out loud as I move.

In my haste to the leave the apartment I've not checked the time and we're half an hour early.  I leave my brother with Noo in the stroller so they can go for a walk while I get this disaster looked at. While I'm sitting in the waiting room, I start to think "what the hell am I doing here?". Why didn't I just go straight to the ER as my brother suggested? Time goes by and finally my name is called.  The guy seems nice enough and I'm trying desperately not to cry. He tells me to lay down on the massage table but I can't move! Leaning to the side trying to lower myself is out of this world kind of pain. He insists I lay down and helps me on to my back and I'm screaming. Its like torture. Pure torture as pain shoots left, right and centre through my neck, my shoulders, my spine, my right arm. I'm crying as my body refuses to yield until finally I find myself in a horizontal position with my head in this guys hands.

The osteo attempts to rotate my head to see how much range I have and its extremely limited. He's telling me all this stuff and asking me questions but I'm barely listening, I'm just trying not to move too much. I so should have gone to the hospital. I need drugs! I need them now! Heavy ones. Morphine maybe. Because this is hardcore. Finally I'm back sitting up and I tell the guy I'm off to the hospital and hightale it outa there after dropping a considerable amount of cash just to have some guy hold my head. 

I leave the pseudo-physician thinking that's it, I seriously am off to the hospital until I realise that that will just cause more waiting and the pain is so bad I just don't think I can withstand it any more. My general practitioner's office is near but closed Friday arvos. Luckily though when I meet up with my bro and Noo again we find one just about 20 metres down George Street from where I am waiting for them.

I see a GP who, unlike the non-doctor osteopath, can prescribe me painkillers.  He doesn't even touch my body and says I should take it very easy and not to have anyone attempt to manipulate the area until the pain subsides. I tell him I'm due to have gastric band surgery on Monday. "No, you're not." I have a "wry neck" apparently and I won't be fit for surgery for at least a week. I'm shattered but not surprised.

After reading so many stories about other people's surgery and how they feel post-op, I know that most complain of pain in the left shoulder as a result of gas being pumped into the abdomen during the procedure. All day I had been thinking I don't think I could bare the pain of the recovery plus this neck problem but still I was disappointed to hear it from the doctor.

When I return home pumped with Di-Gesic and anti inflammatory meds I call the clinic and tell them I have to postpone. They are actually quite good about it and I'm now set for 6 September. Two more weeks of eating chocolate! Well that's what I am telling myself to combat the feelings of disappointment. It still leaves me four months to drop the kegs before our Christmas holiday down the coast too.

So that's my story and the countdown continues. 15 sleeps to go.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

That's what friends are for...

Had my first appointment with the dietitian this morning. Its all starting feel more real with every day that passes. I'm getting my band done at the OClinic in Sydney.  The staff are all really nice which is important seeing I'll be going over the Bridge (Sydney Harbour) every month for check ups for the foreseeable future.  I was weighed on arrival today and surprisingly have lost 1.2 kgs.  Amazing!  I think I'm psychologically preparing for next week without even knowing it.

At my appointment the dietitian explained to me the liquid diet and then the mushies phase.  Its going to be a very interesting month as my diet will be changing dramatically.  Its gonna be like going to sugar and fat rehab.  I'm a little anxious about it actually.  I had to fast this morning before having a blood test (the cause of the weightloss?) and I felt so sick and had a terrible headache because I was so hungry.  Does anyone else get this?  I literally feel really, really nauseated if I don't eat regularly.  I just hope that the band sends the right messages to my brain otherwise I will struggle with the half a cup of food per meal.

I got a starter pack from the clinic which included a cook book, some sachets of Optifast, and a shake shaker, Benefibre, a pedometer, measuring tape and a plate that shows exactly how much food you can eat and what types of food should eat.  It also has a circle printed on it which shows you the diametre of hole into the stomach once banded.  An excellent pack of goodies I thought.

After my appointment I went to visit a very good old friend of mine who runs a cafe in the inner city.  We only catch up every couple of months but its always like no time has passed.  I have loads of really good friends like this.  Friends where the passage of time does not put distance in the friendship.  

On Monday night I also caught up with old friends.  These were two girls I worked with back in 2001.  One I hadn't seen since then, the other I had only caught up a couple of times over the last decade.   All three of us had gone through so many changes over that time including getting married, having kids, etc, but there was no awkwardness as we laughed while reminiscing about old times. It was such a great night.  I'm so lucky to have so many great friends. 

One of the big things that I'm worried about post surgery is giving up Diet Coke.  It has been one of my addictions for so long.  I love it.  Truly love the taste of an icy cold can of Diet Coke.  Since getting sober it has been even more my drink of choice.  I only have two cans a day but if I have a bad day I might have a third and a fourth can, just like I would have beer back in the old days.  After the op I will just have to let my Coke go flat so I can drink it because I don't think I can give it up entirely.

Another thing that I love, that's not something I put in my gob, is my iPhone.  I love technology and gadgets.  I always have.  I've been able to hook up a home entertainment system with stereos, tvs and videos since I was about 10 years old.  My iPhone fulfills so many of my needs, both practical and emotional.  I've gone through 4 iPods all of which I've loved and carried with me all the time.  

Music is also another love of mine, although I don't dedicate the same amount of time I use to pre parenthood.  The only gigs I've been to since Noo was born are Fleetwood Mac (excellent) late last year and LCD Soundsystem (awesome) and Hot Chip (also fantastic) a couple of weeks ago.  Since putting on this much weight I can't stand up for long periods of time so thankfully those concerts were seated.  I couldn't go to venues where there isn't seating as I'd wake up the next morning with swollen knees.  

I have a terrible skeletal structure - my legs are hypermobile and my knees knock (what an attractive picture I must be painting!).  I also badly injured my left knee about five years ago which causes me a lot of trouble trying to carry around 98 kegs on.  This injury has also now caused problems with my left hip and ankle.  I've had so many physiotherapy sessions for it and bought expensive orthotic inner soles but really nothing will help until I get the weight down.  This is one of my prime motivations for losing the weight.  I really don't want to be having knee reconstructions any time soon!

Back to the iPhone, I've found a couple of apps that are to help bandsters track weightloss and fills.  They are Barimate and My Band Fill.  Does anyone have experience with these?  Was hoping to get some user experience before deciding which one to purchase.

Well that's all from me today.  I hope anyone reading this is well.


PS. This is a picture of me before I started stacking it on in 2007.  I was about 75kgs in this pic...

I want to look like this again! (Including being 3 years younger.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

HBO I love you!

This time next week I will be banded!  OMG!

It's late as I've been catching up on Mad Men season 4.  This show continues shine.  I love all the outfits. Joan is hot, hot, hot!  Don is attractive too but his personality does not appeal to me.  This show is all style and sophistication whereas True Blood is all drama and sex and violence.  I love them both!

My true love

Noo and I have still got our colds.  I didn't put Noo in kindy today as we had to go to the doctor's in the morning.  We are suppose to be resting up, trying to kick this thing, although my GP reckons it will be summer before we feel 100% again.  That's kids in day care for you!

I have a JavaScript class tomorrow morning so I must go to bed.  Aaaahhh, scripting, I do not like it.  Too mathematical for me.  I just want to play with Photoshop all day, but alas I must do these progamming subjects for my course.  

The countdown is on to election day on Saturday.  I'm more nervous about that than the surgery really but I won't talk about it too much.  I didn't want to make this a political blog even though I'm really passionate about politics.   

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Denim jeans. I love them.

Can't believe this time next week I will be getting ready to go into hospital!

Only a week left and I haven't even been having any serious binges this weekend.  I hope its like when I quit drinking.  At the end I couldn't really even stomach it.  I was a full on beer and wine drinker when I lived in London but in the last couple of months before I finally kicked it for good, I couldn't stomach either unless it was doused in lemonade.  I hope it turns out the same with chocolate and lollies and all the other treats I've been shoving down my gob.  I even walked past family size blocks of Cadbury's for $2.50 on sale at Target today!  That's over half price!  There's also a tub of ice cream in the freezer I have not touched all weekend.  Crazy times.

Noo has been waking up at 5.30 am these last few mornings so I very tired so this entry will be brief.  Also, I have just spent the last hour writing a complaint email.  Won't go into details about it but gees, those kind of communications are exhausting.  I don't like confrontation but I will stand up for my rights.

I've started to get a little anxious about the op itself.  Oh and living on liquids for a couple of weeks, but mainly the pain of the operation and the recovery rate is concerning me slightly.  I have to rely on my dad and my sister to help with lifting my boy while I'm recovering and I don't want to burden them too much.  

Noo is 11.7kgs, I weighed him this afternoon.  I weighed in a 99kgs exactly.  The highest I've ever been is 104kgs but I was 9 months pregnant that time.  After Noo was born I went down to about 95 but that was it.  I've been hovering around 91-99kgs ever since and he is 20 months now.  I look like I've been preggers with the second kid for nearly two years!  

God, I can't wait til I start losing it again.  I remember when I was living overseas I hovered around 75-85kgs.  I hated being 85 kegs then but now I just dream of being in the 80s!  Oh my god, when I get to see a 7 on the scales I'll be crying tears of pure joy!

I went through a pile of jeans I've kept over the years that are too small for me.  I haven't been able to wear jeans at all this year because I refused to get a larger size.  I just can't wait to wear them again.  Denim jeans. I love them.  I even have the pair I used to wear clubbing when I was 22.  They are a size 12 and barely go on one leg now but I tell you what, I'm gonna get in those jeans again one day!  I also have a gorgeous pair of 7 For All  Mankind jeans I spent 250 quid on in 2007, just before I started stacking it on.  I fantasise about the day I can wear them again all the time.

Dreaming of the day...

With that thought I am going to go to bed now to dream of tight fitting denim wrapped around my little butt of the future!

Thank you for all your comments welcoming me to the blogging world.  Look forward to reading more of your stories.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Thanks to all the brave bloggers!

COUNTDOWN: 9 sleeps to go.
Noo and I both have colds.  Boohoo!  It seems to be standard now he's in day care. We have sniffles all the time and then the colds get really bad and then subside and then get bad again, but they never fully disappear.  This seems to be the case with other families I know with small children.  I'm just desperately hoping my cold doesn't affect my surgery date.  I couldn't stand it if I had to postpone it because of an annoying cold! Must get some vitamin C and echinacea tomorrow.

Sick little Noo

Watching telly after an afternoon snooze

We were suppose to hang out with some mums and bubs we know up a Castle Hill today but I couldn't handle the drive with watery eyes and a monged out head.  Ended up hanging out with Yo locally, getting groceries at Broadway and letting Noo burn some excess energy in our favourite local playground.  Even when he has the worst cold, he always wants to go to the park.  All I wanted to do is lay in front of the telly but hey, you don't get those sorts of luxuries being a single mum.  It was a gorgeous day in the sun today so it wasn't so bad.

I finally have my first follower, which I'm stoked about.  I'm slowly getting the hang of this blogging business, following others and hoping people will be interested to follow me.  It really is amazing feeling like you're part of a community of people going through similar experiences to you.  It's less isolating.  I didn't tell anyone except my parents at first, that I was considering banding.  Then I told my doctor (who was overwhelmingly supportive and encouraging) and then my sister.  Slowly I've started telling my mates too.
Generally my life is an open book.  I don't like secrets and I'm terrible at keeping them so I just find openness and honesty works best for me.  Like I said in an earlier entry, I'm also in therapy and have been for three years, so I'm kind of used to spilling my guts everywhere, at any time.  I've had a pretty colourful life up until now, so I suppose there's a lot that people could use against me so I should be selective with what I write.  Although this blogging business so far seems so cathartic. Like I'm giving life to the chatter in my brain so it doesn't seem so suffocating.  Not that I've felt suffocated lately by my own internal voice, but somehow writing things down seems freeing.

Its so accepted now in our modern society to share so much of ourselves with the rest of the world via the internet.  But I'd hate to think a prospective employer, for instance, could sometime down the track, google me and find this and then perhaps use the fact that I am in recovery against me in my application for a job.  I don't want to have to censor myself too much so I'm willing take the risk.

So I've had mixed responses from my friends regarding getting a lap-band.  I think they will all understand more once I start seeing results.  After working over my brain these last three years, its now time to work over this body!

I'm getting so excited as each day passes.  I really think that this surgery is going to be massively life changing for me.  Reading all the wonderful blogs and also people's stories on the Yahoo message boards have been so instrumental in helping me make this decision.  So I thank all the other brave bloggers out there who share their life with people like me. 


Friday is Noo-day

COUNTDOWN: 10 sleeps to go.

Fridays are my new Noo-days.  It used to be Tuesdays and of course I have Saturdays and Sundays and every night.  Noo is my son Noo who I introduced yesterday.  He is a champion!  He is 20 months old and is currently in our bedroom being read a bedtime story by his aunty, my sister.

I am studying at the moment so Noo goes to day care three days a week, has one day with his grandparents then three with me.  I love our Fridays. 

Gorgeousness personified!

Today was a pretty quiet day though.  We took it really easy in the morning then strolled into town to meet up with my sister for lunch.  I had a Guzman y Gomez burrito.  So delicious but surprisingly I could not finish it.  After lunch I was stopped by one of those guys asking for people to sign up to give to whatever charity they are working for.  I never usually stop.  I actually don't like the way the tout for cash like that, but this time I stopped, and I signed up!  The charity was Canteen, which is for kids with cancer or kids with parents with cancer.  Despite having a very limited income I signed up for $20 a month.  I'm a softy these days with anything to do with kids. 

Noo slept for an amazing three hours this afternoon which gave me plenty of time to get online and look around at other people's blogs and wow, there are some amazing ones out there.  I've been an avid fan of social networking (Facebook mainly) for years now but never really got into the blogosphere, so to speak and was surprised by how much stuff is out there.  Some people's pages look so professional!  I am studying web design at TAFE (another reason for my blog) and I still have no idea how to do some of the stuff that is out there.

Ahhh, we've just watched episode 8 of season 3 of True Blood, my all time favourite show. 

Went to bed before I could finish this entry.  My sister and I watched the movie The Runaways last night with Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning.  Both girls were fantastic in it.  Dakota has really grown up and Kristen shows she more than just the Twilight movies, which are, in my opinion, terrible anyway. It was a good film but after watching True Blood it just seemed too slow. 

Saturday morning now.  Noo woke up at 5.30 which I wasn't too thrilled about, especially considering I've got a cold and would rather sleep in.  God, when does that ever happen when you've got a kid?

Signing off for now.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

The last supper(s)

COUNTDOWN: 11 sleeps to go.

I had a terrible day for eating today.  Absolutely shocking.  It hasn’t been a day of emotional eating or boredom eating or anything like that, it feels like “last supper” eating.  Did you ever play that game “if you were on death row, what would you choose to be your last supper”?  That’s how I kinda feel. Not that getting a lap-band is like being sentenced to death... actually, wait a second, maybe it is.  A certain part of me has been given the death sentence.  That fat girl with the “insufficient self control” issues has been given notice.

Today I had my last doughnut, my last meat pie, last bag of hot chips with chicken salt and possibly my last Cherry Ripe (possibly not, there are 10 days to go!).  Look at that list of food!  I never used to eat like this pre sobriety.  I’ve always loved food, don’t get me wrong, but never like this.  These last few years have been so junk filled I barely even crave the good stuff now and I can’t wait to have that back.  I’ve become a dead-set salad dodger!

To give you a little history, I grew up in a family where food was and still is, very important.  Not only did food fuel us but we loved to talk about it, watch shows about it, read about it and food was also what helped but a roof over our heads.  My mum ran her own successful catering company from our family kitchen for 15 years while we were growing up.  Her passion for good food inspired me and my brother and sister to also have a very strong interest in food.

In these last three years, since returning from a four year stint living overseas, I lost that enthusiasm for good healthy food and I don’t understand why it went.  

When I fell pregnant in April 2008 I had the most hideous morning sickness for the first trimester.  So much so that I threw up every day from 3am through to 5pm and lost 12kgs in the process.  My only real cravings during this strange time were for iceberg lettuce doused in Kraft French dressing.  I would eat a whole head of lettuce shredded and swimming in the vinegary liquid.

Once the nausea subsided and my appetite returned and Noo grew bigger and bigger in my belly I developed a growing need for sugary foods.  I also had the best excuse to eat whatever I wanted – I was pregnant, I’d lose the weight again after the baby was born.  It’s a wonder I didn’t develop gestational diabetes with all those lollies and ice blocks.

So my son was born three days before Christmas, the biggest feasting time of the year.  Noody and I had our first Christmas lunch together, just the two of us, in our private room at RPA (the Royal Price Alfred Hospital) – he having a clumsy attempt at a boob and me with a skinny piece of pork and some overcooked and sad looking vegies.  It wasn’t much but it was the best Christmas lunch ever.

The whole family turned up not long after, including my 98 year old grandfather who I was so glad could be there to share in that wonderful day.  They brought plates of food and the best Christmas pud with hard sauce and custard. 

So I wasn’t pregnant anymore and along with grog, the fags were also long gone, but my tastebuds did not all of a sudden crave the good food I’d once enjoyed so much with a glass of wine or a bottle of beer.  My understanding has always been that once you give these things up, especially ciggies, your tastebuds become more sensitive and you can appreciate the taste of food to a higher degree.  Nup, not me.  The yearning for all things sweet and fattening continued.

Which brings me back to today – DISGUSTING!  My therapist (yes, I have a therapist, I feel like I’m saying a line out of a Woody Allen film, but I’m not, it just is that I am in therapy) suggested I do a sugar detox three days before the op to prepare myself for everything.  Most people being banded have to do the Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) with Optifast before the surgery in order to reduce the amount of fat around their livers making it easier for the surgeon to do his thing on the day.  Because of my relatively low BMI I don’t need to endure that two week long torture which I’m stoked about.  On the other hand I think it would be good to do in that you’d feel so relieved after the op that you can then at least have something a little tastier than a diet shake.  Eating as I currently do right up to the day feels like I’ll be jumping straight into the deep end.

Jumping into the deep end is something I’ve been pretty good at so I might as well take the same approach here.  I might change my mind, but in the mean time I’ve got a number of last suppers still left to have.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My first post - how I got here...

Crikey! Can't believe I'm finally doing this. Well, there's two things I can't believe I'm doing... 1, getting a lap-band and 2, writing a blog about it.  I've been considering the both for so long, it seems a bit sureal now I'm actually sitting here a my laptop typing.

I'm very new (obviously) to the whole blogging world so my page will probably look really boring to start with but hopefully over time I'll be able to get something really good and worth reading cranking.

After a year of serious thought, consideration and research I finally went to see a surgeon yesterday about the possibility of getting banded.  I have a fairly low BMI for people considering lap-band surgery, at only 32 (175cms tall, 99.7kgs fat!) and I really had to convince the doc that this was the right option for me.

I've been overweight all my life and "obese" (BMI 30+) for about half of my adult life.  I've yo-yoed all over the place from being as skinny as 67kgs (23 years of age) to ballooning out to 95kgs in my mid twenties and then hovering around 75-83kgs for most of my late twenties/early thirties.  This time though I've been right up there between 91-100kgs for most of the last three years.

I've lost considerable amounts of weight in the past, only to put it straight back on again.  It takes up a lot of space having to have two lots of clothes in your wardrobe all the time - skinny clothes and fat clothes.  I'm tired of it.  This time I'm committed to losing 30kgs and keeping it off for good and the fat clothes are going to go out the door with it!

As I told the doc yesterday, I've tried everything - Weight Watchers several times, Jenny Craig, Lite n Easy, personal trainers, gym memberships, dieticians, everything.  Nothing has really helped me lose the weight and keep it off.

My problem used to be booze.  Majorly calorific in several ways - the grog you drink, the late night Maccas you have after you drink and the hangover alieviating fry up you have the next morning.  My old drinking habits provide enough good stories for a whole other blog, but I'll leave that to another time.  I've since given up the devil's juice and have been proudly sober for 2+ years.  The only problem being that I picked up a replacement addiction - sugar!  Sweet anything. Chocolate mainly and lollies, ice cream, cake, doughnuts, brownies, Tim Tams... The list goes on!

I've just got to find a way to give up the sugar (and fat) as well.  Surely if I can kick a 12 year binge drinking habit, I can rid myself of this food addiction!  A 12 step program maybe? I never really liked (who does?) alcoholics annonymous and I actually never felt I needed to go.  Falling pregnant with my son was what got me on the wagon in 2008 and he is what keeps me safely strapped on there everyday.  Being physically healthy is so important too when you've got a kid.  I don't want to drop dead of a heart attack before I'm 40 just because I'm a massive fan of Daryl Lee, Cadbury's and Lindt!

The band is going to be a great help to keep my portions under control and to make me more mindful of what and how I eat but I'm under no illusions that it will cure me of my sweet addiction. I'm hoping checking in here will assist me there and with the support of my family I will be able to kick this thing.  I'd like to get to a situation where I can "control eat" chocolate.  Like "controlled drinking" which is where a person with a drinking problem has to keep their alcohol consumption to a maximum of two standard drinks a day.  This method, in my view, is absolutely unsustainable because that is the whole nature of a drinking problem - you can't control your intake.  As they say in AA "a million drinks are never enough and one drink is too many", but does this have to apply to sugar with me?

Well, I'll soon find out.  I did manage to convince the doc that I was ready to give this a crack and my surgery is booked for Monday 23 August.  I'm so excited!  But extremely anxious at the same time.  This is it folks. Make or break time.