Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's Not All About Me

I feel like all I ever do is talk about myself on this blog and it is embarrassing. I actually hate talking about myself (despite the fact I have written over 300 blog posts about myself) so today I am going to talk about someone else...

Since I started on the lap band thing and began eating healthier and exercising, AJ (who lives with me), has been swept up in this new lifestyle kind of by accident. In the past year that I have been working on my health and fitness, he has gone ahead and lost 15 kilos (33 lbs) and become a runner in the process. Jesus, he makes it look easy.

Before... 95 kilos... and yes that is me in the background ruining his photo

After... 80 kilos... 15 kilos down and laser eye surgery so he doesn't have to wear glasses ever again

I know 15 kilos isn't a huge amount to those of us that have a lot to lose, but I think he has done friggin awesome and looks hot!

Oh god, he'll kill me if he ever finds this! :-)

Monday, February 22, 2010


I have barely been updating this blog lately because I feel like I have too much to say and not enough time to say it properly. I am leaving for my holiday in just a few weeks and I am feeling well and truly overwhelmed with everything I have to do before I go. There is a whole heap of crap stressing me out right now but I just deleted what I wrote about it all because I realised it was incredibly boring and you have your own problems.

The only thing keeping me going is that in only 3 and a half weeks I'll be finishing my job forever and boarding a plane for a 3 month trip of a lifetime. I have a feeling I am going to get on the flight to Vancouver and curl up into a ball and cry, but at least I'll have 3 months to relax and start to feel more like myself.

Speaking of my holiday, here are my plans so far...

  • Arrive in Vancouver and spend a week with brother #1 and his girlfriend exploring beautiful Vancouver.
  • Get on a bus for 13 hours to Banff and spend the week with brother #2 and his girlfriend at the snow trying not to kill myself on the snowboard.
  • Fly to Las Vegas for AJ's 30th birthday and spend the week at the Venetian with brother #2 and his girlfriend causing as much trouble as possible.
  • Pick up a hire car and embark on an 8 week road trip around the USA going where ever we feel like it, when ever we feel like it!
  • Fly to Mexico and stay here for a week of indulgence at an all inclusive (including alcohol) and child free resort.
  • Fly to Alaska to explore for the week (we were going to get a cruise, but too pricey for us).
  • Back to Vancouver where I'll meet with both brothers and my dad and step mum will be arriving from Australia for a family reunion.
  • Fly home to Melbourne and wonder what to do with the rest of my life.

So as stressed out as I am feeling now trying to get everything done, it'll all be worth it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ticket To Ride

Oh my god, I finally did it. I just passed my driving test at the tender age of 29! Anyone that has been reading this blog for long may have picked up on the fact that I have been terrified to go for my driving test, so much so, that I don’t actually like to talk about it. Most people don't even know that I don't have my licence because I do my best to hide it unless anyone directly asks me. I just feel so relieved that I can stop hiding it and just feel like a normal, capable person.

I am still kind of shocked that I passed my test. I had a mind block that I couldn’t do it, and to me, this is just as big as all the weight I have lost so far. I know most people turn 18 and go and do the test and it is no big deal and may struggle to understand how this could be so hard for me. I can move from my family home in the country to the city by myself, go to uni to get a Masters degree, work a high pressured job, travel around the world for business and pleasure, but this little thing almost had me beat.

Driving probably doesn’t seem like much of a weight related issue, but for me it was. I didn’t have the confidence to drive when I turned 18 because I was so down on myself about my weight. I always thought I am too ‘fat and stupid’ to drive and my lack of confidence made me a nervous wreck. Over the years this lack of confidence escalated into a full blown fear, the more people hassled me for not driving, the bigger an issue it became for me.

I started taking lessons last year, but I didn’t get very far because I went through no less than 5 different instructors before I found someone that I didn't completely hate. The problem is that at my age it is very hard to have some idiot tell you what to do and I am obviously not very good at it (seriously, they felt the need to tell me to stop at every red light, like I didn’t already know that?!). In the end I had to stop being picky and just bite my tongue and get on with it. Once I started having consistent lessons, surprise surprise, it really wasn't that hard.

Funny story about my first ever driving lesson, I actually took the day off work because I was so nervous and thought I couldn’t do this because I am fat. Of course I knew that was crazy, but then I get in the driver’s seat and the seat was way too close to the wheel and I literally got stuck. My driving teacher was this tinsy tiny Mexican woman and had the seat so close to the wheel and I was at my biggest weight so it was never going to work. She kept saying the lever to move the seat back was on the right, but in my embarrassment I got flustered and kept looking on the left until she had to run around to my door and pull my seat back to get me out. Looking back now, it was very funny, at the time it wasn’t so funny!

I think the fact that I have lost a lot of weight has given me the confidence to do things like this that I never thought I could. Would I have done this if I still weighed 130 kilos? Probably not. I know that isn't the right thing to say and I should say I felt good about myself at any weight, but I didn't. I said this was the year I am focussing on FREEDOM and I am getting there one step at a time.

The first thing I’ll do with my licence? I'm going to drive to the gym all by myself to go to a Body Pump class and then go through Maccas drive through for a diet coke, man I know how to party!

Here are some pictures of me in my new (well new to me anyway) little Suzuki Swift, I love her so much!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Let's Go Shopping!

I try to avoid going to Target at all costs because I just can't seem to walk out of that place without buying something. So it was with great trepidation that I snuck in for a quick look for a work function that I have in Sydney next week. Shopping has not been a very pleasant experience for me for the past 18 months and I have avoided it like the plague, so I was quite nervous to see if things have changed much.

Let me tell you, I had to practically be dragged out of that place because I couldn't stop trying things on! I ended up leaving with the following:

Black dress, size 16 ($20)
White top, size 18 ($14)
Black cardigan, size 16 ($15)
Grey cardigan, size 16 ($40)
Grey jumper, size 16 ($40)

I forgot how cheap it is to shop in the 'normal' section of a shop. I was mostly excited that I was able to fit into some of the smaller sizes, though I have to be honest and admit that the particular styles I chose flatter my shape and I certainly couldn't have fit into pants or skirts or a fitted dress. Most of the clothes I bought could also benefit from another few kilos lost, they are passable now, but would look even better in a month. So even though I bought a heap of size 16's, I am still not really a size 16, if that makes sense.

The funniest thing about this shopping trip is that it was for the same function I had to attend this time last year, yet the shopping trip couldn't have been more different! I was walking on air all day yesterday after this trip and I am finally really starting to see my hard work paying off. If there is a bigger high on earth than fitting into cute clothes, than I am yet to find it (I am pretty shallow)!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Easy Way Out

OK, so this has been coming for a long time. Ever since I made the decision to have the lapband about 18 months ago I have had an overwhelmingly positive response to those who I have told (which isn't many), but with the good, comes the bad. Most lapbanders have had to put up with some negativity and I am no different. A lot of the time I hear negative (and uninformed) comments about weight loss surgery it is not even directly to me, it is just general conversation from family, friends or colleagues who don't know I have had surgery or discussion on other blogs/forums.

The most common response to weight loss surgery is that it is the easy way out. I say if it is the easy way out, who cares, why do you want to do it the hard way? There is validation is choosing the harder path in some situations in life, but when you have lost and gained the same weight for your whole life, for me it was time to accept some help. It's like not taking medication when you are sick because you prefer to suffer and possibly never get better. That is OK with me for someone to make this choice, it's your decision and weight loss surgery certainly isn't for everyone. I just don't judge anyone else's choices for how they decide to deal with their own body.

I have two friends who had the surgery over 10 years ago and at the time I personally didn't feel like having a lapband was the right choice for me. I was happy for them that it worked and that they were happy, but I wasn't in the right place to make the decision. I felt like I still needed to try and lose weight on my own and I did try for the next 10 years, every single day, and I gained 30 kilos. In the end I made the right decision for me at the right time.

The other misconception is that it even is 'easy'. Let me tell you, I have lost weight both with and without the lapband and this is not the easy option. Every step of the way has been extremely difficult, from making the decision, telling friends and family, the pre-surgery appointments, the pre-op diet, the actual surgery, the post-op diet and then post-op appointments and fills. You have to deal with extreme hunger, emotional issues, hair loss, constipation, exhaustion and weakness, port pain, food getting stuck in the band, not being able to eat certain foods ever again and just general confusion on what the hell you are doing.

The main thing that people don't understand is that the success of the band is entirely up to the individual and it is just a tool and doesn't guarantee weight loss. I still have to choose to go to the gym 4 times a week for between and 1-2 hours each visit. I still have to choose to eat healthy foods. I still have to choose not to snack between meals. I still have to choose not to overeat. I wish the lapband was a magical solution, but it isn't.

Every person that has a lapband has a different experience, you just have to read the blogs and forums to see that. For me, this is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it is worth it because I honestly believe it will help me lose weight and get healthy for the first time in my life and I wouldn't change a thing.

Monday, February 01, 2010

February Weigh In

February 1st Weigh In: 94.1 kilos (207 lbs)
Weight Lost In January: 4.9 kilos (10.5 lbs)
Total Weight Lost: 35.6 kilos (78 lbs)

It's the first day of the month, which means it is my 'official' weigh day. I had a really good month, but the numbers actually look better than they were. I lost almost 5 kilos in the first 2 weeks of the month and the scale hasn't budged since then. So I was obviously stoked with the number 2 and a half weeks ago, since then I am feeling slightly less enthused with seeing the same numbers.

I know, I know, there are a billion reasons why my body has a plateau. It's probably due to the fact that I lost 5 kilos so quickly and I have also increased my exercise quite a bit this month and I am actually feeling fitter. My clothes are still fitting the same and I am starting to wonder if I will ever fit comfortably into a size 20. I can't believe that at my weight most size 20's are still too small. Damn you apple body shape.

I have to say though that I always said that once I hit under 95 kilos I wouldn't complain about the number on the scale. I thought it would be like having 20 million dollars and then complaining because you now only have 15 million dollars-- who cares because you still have 15 million dollars so stop bitching! It is true too, I still look at those numbers and curse them for not moving, but then laugh because how can I be disappointed really when I have lost 35 kilos and weigh under 95 kilos?!