Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Catching Up

It's been a busy couple of weeks for me and I must admit that healthy eating and exercise have not been a high priority for me (any excuse). Sometimes there are just better things going on to worry about calories! Last week I had my beautiful cousin's wedding, then my younger brother and his fiance arrived back home after 2 and a half years living in Canada, then I had my mum's 50th birthday and then on Monday I started my new job.

I ended up getting way too drunk at my cousin's wedding and vomited on myself on the car ride home. Yes, I'm still classy at 30 years of age! I had to endure a pretty bad hangover the next day when I was supposed to be baking for my mum's birthday. Lucky AJ came to the rescue and picked up my slack while I lay on the couch eating chips and watching the Real Housewives.

Later that night we went to pick up my younger brother and his fiance from the airport. I had only seen them once in the 2 and a half years they had been away, so it was very exciting. My mum didn't know they were coming home, so at her party the next day she was shocked and excited to see them. We were even scared she would have a heart attack when she first saw them!

Then yesterday I started my new job and it is fair to say that I feel completely exhausted and overwhelmed right now. I guess that is what the first week at a new job is like, I just have to get used to using my little brain again. It'll all be worth it on pay day!

Here are a few photos of what has been happening... I hope my family don't mind me posting pictures of them...


My dad and step mum at the ceremony

My cousin, the beautiful bride

My older brother and his fiancee at the reception

Me and my another gorgeous cousin at the reception


Me and my brother's fiance frantically getting the party ready while my mum was having her hair done

My older brother putting up the decorations

AJ doing the final touches on the baking

My younger brother and his fiance hiding as my mum walked in

Vanilla cupcakes, peanut butter and chocolate pretzel balls, caramel cashew popcorn, fairy bread, chocolate crackles, home made strawberry coconut marshmallows, lemon cheesecake slice and of course lots of lollies and chips


The savoury food, just to balance off all the sweets

My mum when she first saw that my brother and his fiance had arrived back home from Canada

Me pouring the champers for a toast

My mum opening her present

Me, my mum and brothers posing for a family picture

AJ showing his usual level of maturity

The cake (the 5 was butternut snap with honeycomb crunchie bar cream and the 0 was a chocolate ripple with mint areo bar cream)

AJ bringing the cake out

Action shot of my mum blowing the candles out

A busy, but amazing week of family, food and fun!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Food For Thought

I had a conversation with a good friend the other day about my end goals for weight loss. She has been a big inspiration to me by losing almost 70 kilos (154 lbs) and having plastic surgery to completely remodel her body after weight loss. She has recently gained about 25 kilos back after having a baby and adjusting to a new life, but she still looks fabulous and doesn’t look to me like she needs to lose weight. Unfortunately she has been completely miserable about the weight gain and she is really struggling to be happy at a heavier weight (which I completely understand).

I told my friend that if I could maintain 75 kilos (165 lbs) I would be happy to have plastic surgery to have my excess skin removed and live comfortably in the mid-to-low 70’s range. I know I wouldn’t be considered a healthy BMI at this weight and I wouldn’t have the perfect body, but I would be happy at that weight. I feel fit and healthy so I think it is more important that I get on with my life and stop obsessing about weight loss. It is just ridiculous to me that I let a few kilos get in the way of my happiness and I don’t want to live like that anymore.

When I told my friend this I could see that she really couldn’t see where I was coming from. She even told me that if I got my plastic surgery done at 75 kilos I would still be unhappy with my body and I would focus on my love handles or some other part of me to hate. She does have experience in this because she had her first lot of plastic surgery at this weight, she still wasn’t happy, so she lost more weight and got more surgery done.

I probably felt the same way as her about 6 months or a year ago, but my focus has really changed lately. I care less about the way I look and more about my health. I have to admit that as much as I used to think I was doing this for my health, my main motivation was really just vanity… Don’t get me wrong, I am still as vain as the next person, but my appearance is no longer a priority for me in losing weight, it’s more about being happy and healthy.

I don’t want to be patronising and say I felt sorry for my friend, but I did feel for her because I have been in the same place. More than anything it highlighted how much I don’t want to be stuck in the cycle of dieting and hating my body forever. I just feel like there is so much more to life than having the perfect body and, the more I focus on my weight and my body, the less interesting I am as a person. I am so grateful to be starting my 30’s with the new perspective on life.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What A Relief!

What a week! I got a fill last Tuesday and I knew it felt quite tight immediately, but I thought I should give it a few days to settle. By Friday I knew that this fill had to come out because I could only ‘eat’ yoghurt and pudding cups. Sometimes I couldn’t even get water down and would spend the afternoon vomiting up freaking water. The horror.

Of course by Friday it was too late to get any fill taken out before the weekend, so I had to suffer through the weekend barely able to eat or drink anything. I was having a girls night with some friends on Saturday night and was worried about how drunk I would get drinking alcohol when I hadn’t eaten anything all week. I actually had to purchase low alcohol wine so I wasn’t a hot mess. What a flake.

I finally got in to see my fill doctor yesterday and asked him to remove .4 mls from my band, leaving me at 5.7 mls in a 10 ml band. While I only had .2 mls put in the week before, I decided that I wanted to have extra fluid taken out so that I can eat more normally again. I was previously trying to increase the fluid in my band so that I could get this ‘satisfied’ feeling I have heard people talk about with the lap band. I’ve given up on the idea that lap band will help curb my appetite and will go back to eating healthy whole foods and using good old fashioned will power. At least I should have less embarrassing moments in restaurants now that I have less restriction.

I must admit that I was proud of myself for not resorting to eating chocolate and ice cream last week when I was overly restricted. Instead, I thought I would take advantage of the weight loss that would come with enforced starvation and stick to healthy liquids, but would you believe I didn’t lose any bloody weight?! After a few days the scale showed that I lost 2 kilos and then, for god knows what reason, those pesky kilos came back on the next day. This is why I don’t usually weigh myself, scales are ridiculous.

I am feeling so much better now I can eat again and I enjoyed a nice Indian feast last night to celebrate. I’m back on the straight and narrow today and just appreciating that I can eat fruit, sushi and oats again. Tonight I am making a big spinach, walnut, cranberry and feta salad for dinner and I can’t wait. The simple things in life really are the best.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Good & Evil

I wanted to share a couple of recipes I made last weekend that I thought were delicious and worked really well. I would love to know if you have any favourite recipes that you would like to share!


I try to make a pot of soup every week or two to get all my veggies, lentils and legumes in. Soup can be so boring and I find myself dreading eating soup for dinner again… but this Bacon and Vegetable Soup I could eat every day for lunch and dinner. It was rich, wholesome, filling and delicious and I am sure I will make it again.

Bacon and Vegetable Soup
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 leek, trimmed, halved, washed, thinly sliced
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 rashers middle bacon, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 400g can crushed tomatoes
  • 6 cups salt-reduced chicken stock
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook leek, onion and garlic, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until leek has softened. Add bacon, celery, zucchini and carrot. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until bacon is golden.
  • Stir in barley, tomato and stock. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 40 minutes or until barley has softened.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add basil. Stir to combine. Serve.
Recipe taken and amended to my taste from: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/22905/bacon+and+vegetable+soup


Warning: this stuff is like crack. After I made it I couldn’t stop eating it and when I finally ran out, I couldn’t stop thinking about making it again so I could eat more. It is now one of my all-time favourite recipes and is also the perfect recipe to make for friends and family as a gift (if you are as mean as me).

Caramel Popcorn


  • 1/2 cup popping corn
  • 125g butter, chopped
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped


  • Line a tray with baking paper.
  • Pop your popcorn using whatever method you use (I used a popcorn machine).
  • Transfer to a large bowl, discarding any unpopped corn.
  • Make caramel: Combine butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until sugar has dissolved.
  • Bring mixture to the boil. Boil, uncovered, without stirring, for 5 to 8 minutes or until light golden.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in pecans. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and stir until popcorn is coated.
  • Spread over prepared tray. Set aside to cool. Break into pieces. Serve.

Recipe taken and amended to my taste from: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/8051/caramel+popcorn

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

I Give In

I am having some serious binge eating problems. I know, what’s new? I eat well most of the day, exercise a few times a week and then in the evenings I come home and dedicate my night to eating as much as humanly possible. Since I have a lap band, this can take me all night. I told you I was dedicated!

Sometimes eating normal food slows me down so I just eat ice cream. I ate 3 tubs of ice cream over the weekend… Burnt Fig, Caramel & Honeycomb on Friday night, Caramel, Date and Pecan on Saturday night and Honeycomb and Butterscotch on Sunday night. For your reference, the Burnt Fig, Caramel & Honeycomb was the best.

In my over-eating spree I have discovered a nifty trick for lap banders. When you eat too much and get food stuck, if you lay on your right side the food goes down. This was discovered after I ate way too much and had to lay on the couch to recover and magically my food popped right on down. I have tested this theory many times now and it almost always works. It’s just not really appropriate for those sticky situations at work or in restaurants!

So I decided to get a fill in my band yesterday in the hope that it will help me slow down my eating frenzy. I got .2 ml put in my band and I now have 6.1 ml in a 10 ml band. This is by far the most I have ever had in my band and boy can I feel it. Food is going down very, very slowly. I can’t tell if it is going to help with my hunger because I have not been able to get down enough food to actually feel full yet. I hope once the post-fill tightness wears off I’ll be able to eat my small bandster portions and feel satisfied. I have been hoping that for the past 2 years and am still yet to achieve it…

I know my binge eating problems are really nothing the lap band can solve, so it is up to me to do the work to try and get my eating under control. I have known for a while now that I should see a psychologist specialising in eating disorders, but I wasn’t ready to do it. I knew that I wasn’t willing to let go of the binge/starve cycle I have been living for the past 25 years. I thought that I would never lose weight if I couldn’t starve myself, but I can finally see that in order to ensure I am never obese again, I need to learn to eat normally.

I have lost and gained the same 5 kilos for almost a year now and I just can’t do it anymore. So I will let my doctor know that I am finally ready to see the shrink she has been urging me to see and hopefully learn some strategies to stop this vicious cycle.