Thursday, March 31, 2011


One thing I wish that I had done with my lap band is focus more on weight loss in the first year after surgery. In my first 18 months after surgery I spent well over 6 months travelling for work and pleasure, which in hindsight was not the best idea. When I wasn’t travelling I was great at losing weight, but when I was away from home I stopped losing weight and tended to gain (due to my fondness for room service and mini bars).

I am now a couple of months away from being two years post-surgery and I feel like the more time that passes, the more lazy I get with the lap band ‘rules’ and the harder weight loss becomes. I read a lot of your blogs where I see you guys following all the rules and advice your surgeons gave you religiously. My surgeon didn’t actually give me any advice, he basically took my money and put the band in and I haven’t seen him since. I do obviously do my own research and I know what I am supposed to do, but I just hate following rules…

I was good for the first year at serving myself a small portion of food on a small plate. I would eat slowly and stop when I felt satisfied. I ate two small meals a day and I didn’t ever snack in between meals. I didn’t eat bread, pasta, rice or most red meats because I didn’t want them to get stuck in the band.

These days I see my portion size creeping up and if the food is on my plate, I will continue to eat it, even if I am not really hungry any more. There are days where I will eat so much that I am in physical pain because my band is telling me to stop, but my head doesn’t want to. There are no foods that are off limits to me because of the band, as long as I eat slowly enough, I know pretty much any food will go down.

I think the way I eat now is still healthy (most of the time) and I think I’ll be able to maintain my weight with this lifestyle. The problem is that I still have 10 kilos (22 lbs) that I would like to lose and this weight loss thing gets a whole lot harder when the motivation is dwindling and I’m not strictly following the lap band rules.

I’ve spent my whole life trying to lose weight and I am more than ready to have this chapter in my life over. I just have to try and keep focused to get these last 10 kilos off and be done once and for all.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Low Carbs Sweetness

I’m still doing my low carb experiment, but I am so missing my sweets, especially as my hormones kick it up a notch this week. I recently tried an Atkins bar and I am getting a little addicted… Do you think it’s a bad thing to eat one almost every day? I have tried a few of the flavours and they are all delcious (or maybe I am just sugar deprived)! They seems a little too good to be true with low carbs and high protein and chocolately goodness. Even with the 239 calories in a bar, I still easily manage to keep my calories under 1000 per day, but I still feel a little guilty. They have as much protein as many of the common protein bars on the market and way less carbs, this has to be a good thing right? What am I missing?

Atkins Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch
Calories: 239
Carbs: 2.8
Protein: 19

I also found a recipe for ‘Nutty Cheesecake Balls’ (which is just an awesome name for a dessert) on this website. I plan to make them this weekend to get me through my Saturday night sugar cravings. I just need to try not to eat the entire batch in one night…

Does anyone else try and eat low carb? Any great recipes you want to share?

Nutty Cheesecake Balls

1 pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup splenda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
finely chopped nuts or unsweetened coconut
  • In medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed mix all ingredients except nuts and coconut
  • Chill 30 minutes or until firm
  • Roll into 3/4 inch balls then roll in nuts or coconut
  • Chill another 15 min before serving

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How Much Longer?

I am finding that the closer I get to the goal weight I set for myself, 65 kilos (143 lbs), the more confused I get about how much more weight I should try to lose. I just randomly picked the number 65 kilos because it sounded ‘skinny’ to me and it is a few kilos under my ‘normal’ BMI threshold. I have been obese my whole life so I actually have no idea what a good weight for my body would be.

Several times a day I go from thinking:

I must lose these last 10 kilos, and do it quickly, I must be skinny!

and then change my mind and think:

Oh my god, I am tired of dieting, the weight I am at is just fine.

Deep down, I guess I know that I want to get to 65 kilos and it is just laziness (exhaustion) telling me that I should stop at my current weight of about 75 kilos (165 lbs).

I think if my body wasn’t so distorted by my excess stomach skin and my weight was more evenly distributed over my hips, bum, boobs and thighs that 75 kilos would be a good weight. Unfortunately for me, at this weight I still can’t fit into most clothes, and even if they do fit, they cling around my stomach and are completely un-wearable.

I know that even if I get to 65 kilos that I won’t be happy with my body until I get the excess skin removed because I just can’t see past it. It really is becoming more of a physical and mental barrier every day and as soon as I pay off my debts and save the money I will be getting a tummy tuck.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to have the excess skin and will happily take this problem rather than weighing 130 kilos (286 lbs)!!! It is just really confusing in terms of setting weight loss goals and working out a good weight for me. I guess I don’t trust myself to know what is best for me anymore… Can you tell I am confused?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Size 16 Jeans

Well the title kind of says it all. I bought these size 16 jeans back in November and thought they fit... then I nearly ruptured an internal organ wearing them one day and I decided they needed to be put away for a little while. When I got to 75 kilos (165 lbs) last week I tried them on again and they fit. Finally...

I was a little nervous wearing them for the first time because I had a very long day ahead of me and I have a bad habit of choosing uncomfortable clothes at the most inopportune times. That day I was catching a train to the country, spending all day/night at a music festival and then driving back to Melbourne in the middle of the night. A very long day for tight jeans!

AJ knows me too well and he had no faith in me at all. When he picked me up at 1.00 am he bought along a loose dress in case I needed to get changed before our car ride home. There was no need though because I was perfectly comfortable. Well, I did undo the top button of my jeans by about 2.00 am, but that's normal right?

I have to say that I cannot believe it took getting to 75 kilos to finally get into size 16 jeans. Back when I started this whole weight loss thing I thought I would be in size 16's when I got under 100 kilos, little did I know just what a long slog it would be. I'm bloody exhausted!

Of course I have photos of my first day wearing my size 16 jeans. Though I might need to fire my photographer because they are terrible... I will give him leniency because it was very early on a Sunday morning.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Progress Pictures

I don't have any rule on when I take progress pictures (I am too lazy for that), I just wait until I feel a change in my body and take some snaps to see if it is noticeable. Since I got under 80 kilos (176 lbs) I am noticing changes each day. I am constantly finding new bones and muscles that I didn't realise existed. Poor AJ must be sick of me exclaiming about the muscles in my thighs and my hip bones, like I am the first person to discover the human body! It truly is exciting for me though because I have been fat since I was a baby (literally) and I have never felt bones in my body before.

You will see from my progress pictures that I have the dreaded apple shape body, so there is still a lot of fat around my stomach and I am all roly poly. I would kill for some curvaceous hips, bum, thighs and boobs, but oh well... I now have a tremendous amount of hanging skin around my stomach too that can only be repaired by surgery. I am dying to have a tummy tuck, but that won't be in the cards financially for a long time!

I am really happy with my progress so far, especially looking at the bottom photo that shows the comparison from where I started to where I am now. I won't ever forget how difficult life was for me at my biggest and I am so grateful to be where I am now. I do still have a way to go though!

Click to enlarge- if you dare!

1. 129.7 kilos (285 lbs)
2. 107.1 kilos (235 lbs)
3. 94.8 kilos (208 lbs)
4. 82.8 kilos (182 lbs)
5. 74.9 kilos (165 lbs)

129.7 kilos (285 lbs) - 74.9 kilos (165 lbs)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cutting Down Carbs

My weight loss has been quite stalled lately and I guess I knew a big reason was because I needed to cut down on the amount of carbs I eat. I have PCOS and my body does not cope well with carbs, even if they are low GI carbs. I also knew that I needed to make a greater effort to increase the amount of protein I eat, so I felt that these two ideas would work well together because cutting carbs seems to naturally lead me to increase my protein.

Over the last couple of weeks I have made a big effort to monitor the amount of carbs and protein I eat and it seems to be really working so far. Interestingly, my calories are remaining the same, it is just the carbs and protein that I have changed. My weight has really started to drop, but I'd prefer to wait out the month and see how I go before I get too excited. I'll be sure to report back on exactly what I have been doing if it works!

So far it has been quite easy and I haven't really felt deprived or like it has been difficult at all. The one thing I do miss is sweet foods, I have developed a crazy sweet tooth since having a lap band, so I knew I needed to find a way to indulge in sweet treats while still keeping my carbs down. AJ noticed a recipe for Lemon Cheesecakes on the back of a bottle of Equal in the cupboard, so we tried it last week and it was easy and delicious. So delicious that I have just made another batch to get me through this weekend!

Lemon Cheesecakes

250 grams light cream cheese (I use Philadelphia 80% less fat)
2 tablespoons of Equal
1/2 cup light sour cream (I use Coles brand)
zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons of gelatin, dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water
6 granita biscuits (I use Arnotts)

Line a deep muffin pan with plastic wrap
In a mixing bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth
Gradually add all other ingredients
Pour six equal amounts into the prepared muffin pan
Top each with a granita biscuit
Cover with foil
Refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight
Invert the cheesecakes onto serving plates

Per serve
170 calories
10 grams carbs
4.7 grams sugar
5.5 grams protein
(sorry, I didn't calculate the fat, it's not something I am that worried about)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A Walk In The Park

It is no secret that there is no love lost between me and the gym. I continue to go because I know it is a major player in helping me lose weight and get fitter. Generally on my weekends I try to find ways to keep active and get moving without stepping foot in the gym and this weekend I really stepped it up a notch and I had a lot of fun.

Since I have lost weight, the main thing I enjoy doing is walking everywhere instead of getting public transport or driving. To me it is a novelty to have the ability to walk places, especially given it was difficult for me to even walk around the block when I was 130 kilos. I used to live in fear of a casual comment from friends or family saying "let's just walk to the restaurant" or "should we walk instead of getting the tram?". Nooooo... Now I get off on the high of finding new ways to challenge myself and what I think I can do.

On Saturday I was going to do my regular river walk, which depending on the track I do, is between 4-6.5 kms. I decided to push myself and do a bit extra and ended up walking 9.2 kms (5.7 miles). I really enjoyed it and I was tired by then end, but not exhausted. I guess next time I'll have to try for the full 10 km!

Then on Sunday AJ and I decided to try the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk in the Dandenongs. It is 1000 steps, so I was nervous that I wouldn't have the fitness to complete it, but I figured I would just turn around and go back if I had to. It turned out to be really not that hard and I enjoyed the challenge of walking up the steep incline. Don't get me wrong, it was tough going, but the main difficulty was dealing with the steep and slippery steps coming down. I was petrified I was going to slide right down on my arse and make a fool of myself. Thankfully I remained upright, and it was a great relief to reach the bottom safely, though my legs were shaking for a while!

I would love to hear from you about your favourite walking spots, I am always looking for new places to try.

Kokoda Track starting point

Me excited to get started...

Me at the end dripping in sweat and slightly disheveled!

Sunday, March 06, 2011


While not much is happening with my weight loss, I will distract you pictures of me in a new dress. This isn't 'the' new dress that I am using for inspiration that I mentioned in my last post. I bought this dress in November last year and I just haven't had the confidence to wear it. It is so short and light that I felt naked wearing it. Every time I tried it on I would freak out and put it back in my wardrobe.

Last weekend I was going out for dinner and I wanted to wear something different and with summer just about gone for another year I thought I better wear my un-worn dress before it gets too cold. I mean the dress is called 'watermelon', I had to wear it while it was still warm. I have to admit that I did still feel a little naked in this dress, but I got a couple of compliments so I started to loosen up a bit by the end of the night.

Me posing awkwardly, mid-step, because I have no idea how to pose without feeling stupid.

A close up. The camera doesn't really capture the style of the dress, it just kind of looks floppy, but it is nice in real life.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

March Weigh In

March 1st Weigh In: 78.6 kilos (172.9 lbs)
Weight Lost In January: 0.7 kilos (1.5 lbs)
Total Weight Lost:
51.1 kilos (112.5 lbs)

Well this hasn’t been a very good weigh in for me this month. I’ve been to the gym consistently and kept my calories under 1200… except for those days I binged and ate thousands of extra calories… and it shows. I’m quite disappointed at myself because I know that 95% of the time I did really well and worked really hard, but it’s that other 5% where I ruined all my hard work. To be honest, I’m just glad to see a loss at all, it could have quiet easily been a gain.

I haven’t had much fill in my lap band since the middle of December, so I decided it was time to go back to get a top up to try and stop me from eating 6 slices of pizza at a time (like Sunday night). I enjoy being able to eat normally when I go out and not having to worry about food getting stuck, but my desire to fit into my size 16 jeans is stronger. I got .2 mls put in my band yesterday and I think I am now at 5.7 mls in a 10 ml band. I woke up this morning feeling starving, but my fruit and yoghurt went down VERY slowly at breakfast, so I can definitely feel the difference.

On the weekend I went to Myer and stumbled upon a cute Cooper St dress in the clearance rack for $30 (reduced from almost $200). It was a size 14 and the zip won’t even do up, but I thought it might be good to have an inspiration dress. I find clothes are the most inspirational tool for me in weight loss and most of the time when I am battling on the treadmill I am thinking of pretty dresses to get me through. I don’t have a picture of the dress because it must be last season and not on their website anymore, but hopefully one day it will zip up and I’ll be able to post pictures of me wearing it. One day…