Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Real Women

Privileging one body type over the other — no matter which it is — perpetuates this concept that all women must conform to one figure and that, depending on the decade or culture, the alternative is “gross,” “unattractive,” or in this case, “not real.”  

I know we are all sick to death of the 'real women' debate. That whole crazy thing where some people started declaring that curvy women are real women and skinny women are somehow not as real. Obviously that is ridiculous and we are all real women it doesn't matter what your size or shape is. This says it all a lot better than I ever could.

More and more women are reclaiming their curves and I feel like every day I am reading or hearing about some woman and her spectacular rounded breasts, hips, thighs or bums. We all wants curves like Kate Winslet or an arse like Kim Kardashian or breasts like Salma Hayek because apparently this makes you more womanly and sexy. Of course skinny women are saying that this isn't fair and they are beautiful and womanly too.

The thing about this debate that has really irritated me from the start is that it completely ignores those of us who are bigger, but aren't curvy. It goes without saying that society says that thin women like Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron and Reese Witherspoon are beautiful (and I agree). Then everyone jumps up and down and says what about the curvaceous women like Adele, Christina Hendricks and Nigella Lawson, so then we all agree that they are also beautiful. So what happens when you are neither skinny or curvaceous? You are left feeling bad that you have failed at being thin and failed at being curvy.

I have grown up my whole life being so envious of my friends who complain about their hips because I just wanted to know what it would be like to have hips, waist or breasts that are defined in anyway. The only part of my body that is rounded or defined is my stomach because it sticks out further than any other part of my body.

When I was at my biggest I couldn't fit into most plus size clothes because they allowed for hips, thighs, bum and breasts that I did not have and looked ridiculous on me. Now that I have lost weight and should fit into 'normal' sized clothes, I still can't because I don't have a waist and my stomach pops out further than my breasts. So clothes shopping ends up being just one more avenue for me to feel less than womanly because of my shape.

Can we all just please agree that beauty has nothing to do with size or shape?


Monday, January 30, 2012

Body Lift Costs

On Friday night I received the written estimate for my body lift surgery from my surgeon. They had given me a preliminary figure of $12,500 so I was feeling pretty good about that amount and I was making plans to go ahead with the surgery.

Unfortunately the actual figure for the surgery has turned out to be more than I expected and is in excess of $20,000 out of pocket. I don't know the exact figure because they couldn't quote me on the anaesthetist. So it was quite a big blow when I got the letter and I must be honest and admit that my eyes did well up with tears for just a few seconds. I obviously will not be able to raise that kind of money and I just can't see when I ever will be able to raise that amount of money.

I know that a lot of people will tell me to just keep saving and I'll get there, but in order to fully disclose why this is not possible I will let you know that I am currently in the process of applying for a home loan to buy a house for my mum in the country. She will be living in the house and not able to pay rent as she is on a disability pension and does not have any money (it is a long and complicated situation). I am her carer so this is something I want to do for her, but it will be a massive expense for me on top of paying my city rent. At the same time, I will be taking a $20,000 pay cut at work next month due to the contract on my current role finishing. So as you can see, there is literally no way I can raise the money.

I guess I am just extra disappointed because when I thought the surgery was a possibility I realised I wanted it even more than I thought I did. I spent the week fantasizing about wearing normal sized clothes, doing yoga without my stomach suffocating me and not being mistaken for a pregnant lady every week. Not to mention all the less savoury problems that comes with having an apron stomach, which even I am too embarrassed to detail!

I am frustrated at myself for so many reasons, but I am mostly disgusted that I caused so much damage to my body that I require such extensive surgery. I wish that I could just get over the excess skin problem like so many other people that have lost weight, but I can't seem to do that right now. The only thing I can do is cancel my private pity party and focus on the fact that I have lost 50 kilos and my life is immeasurably better already. Oh, and buy lottery tickets!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Not Hiding

I am feeling quite chunky lately after gaining about 5 kilos from my happy place of 77.5 kilos. Generally when this happens I don't want to talk about it, or god forbid, take any photos. Well, I am trying to break the cycle and not be a complete hermit while I enjoy my own fat little pity party. So here are some photos of a lovely (alcohol heavy...) night out I had with my family last weekend. Of course I still reserve the right to only post flattering photos of myself!

Me at home getting ready- note the bag of donuts to the right of the photo, oh the shame!

AJ on a ferry from Williamstown to Southbank looking like he is about to be run down by a cargo ship

Me and my younger brother after AJ tried to make us pose like we are a happy family

My older brother and his gorgeous partner at dinner

Me, AJ, my brothers and their partners on Southbank

Me and my younger brother's fiance (they are getting married next month!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Plastic Surgery Consult #2

I had my first consult with a surgeon about skin removal a couple of weeks ago and was told that I wasn't suitable for a tummy tuck and I would need a body lift. This was a massive blow because I knew the body lift was a far more serious and expensive surgery. So today I went to see a surgeon who came highly recommended to get information on a body lift.

Anyone not familiar with what a body lift is exactly, here is a photo from a US surgeon's website showing a fantastic before and after result. You can see how it differs from a tummy tuck because the incision goes all the way around the body in order to remove the apron stomach and the side and back fat and skin. I would be thrilled with results half as good as that!

Body lift before & after example
FYI this is not me: image taken from this website

The surgeon I spoke with was great and I would feel completely safe in his hands, so if I decide to go ahead, I will definitely choose him. He specializes in reconstructive surgery after massive weight loss and, by all accounts, he is the expert in the area.

He put me at ease right away when he congratulated me on being able to get my BMI under 30. He said that most patients he sees who had a BMI over 45 (like I did) are unlikely to get their BMI under 30, even with surgery. He didn't mean this in a discouraging way for those of us who have/had high BMI's, he just understands the complexities that come with being morbidly obese. I wish my lap band doctor was this understanding...

The surgeon said that I am an excellent candidate for a body lift and he felt he could get good results for me. The surgery would involve him cutting all the way around me and removing a band of skin that is about 10-15 cms wide. The cut would start on my pubic line and go up over my belly button and then pull down the skin and stitch it together. This would also pull up my bottom and thighs to smooth them out a little bit too. This works better for the outer thighs though and I don't have much (if any) excess skin or fat on my out thighs because I have a body shape like a man! He also body sculpts with liposuction to create a waist and remove any excess fat.

What makes my surgery a bit more complicated is that I not only have the apron stomach and arse shelf to be removed (oh, how attractive that sounds), but I have hanging skin around my middle roll of fat too. Apparently this skin has actually sagged down from my chest and is creating a short torso and long chest appearance. This won't be rectified by a body lift and he will have to do additional surgery to fix this problem. This is called an upper body suspension and is a technique he has pioneered where he attaches mesh to my chest wall and stitches the skin to it to hold it tight and smooth. If he doesn't do this he won't be able to achieve smooth results around my torso.

We spoke about a breast lift and he felt it would be best to wait until after the stomach and chest surgery to see how my breasts finish up. Apparently I don't have droopy boobs (yay!), but it is a matter of seeing how they look after the body lift.

I asked him if I should try and lose more weight before the surgery and he said that it wouldn't make any difference. I was so happy with that answer that I could have kissed him!!! He said my stomach muscles were tight and to just continue doing what I am doing now.

One little piece of information he gave me was to stop taking vitamins. Apparently a lot of them can cause bleeding and other complications so he has a blanket rule of no vitamins before surgery. The funny thing is that I had finally decided to take my vitamins properly in an effort to get more energy. I can't say I am too disappointed because taking vitamins is so annoying...

For those of you who are interested, I'll list some of the information the surgeon gave me below in dot point:

  • Operation will last approximately 5 hours
  • Hospital stay would be 4-5 nights
  • I would need anywhere between 2-6 weeks off work
  • Medical certificate will be given
  • Risks are uncommon
  • All revisions or complications are covered by Medicare 
  • No vigorous activity for 6 weeks
  • No driving for 2-4 weeks
  • 6 weeks before I can take an international flight
  • 6 months before all the swelling will go down completely
  • 12 months for the scar to fully heal
  • Will lose 5-7 kilos of 'tissue' (fat, skin, fluid)

OK, so now the million dollar question... how much will it cost? Unfortunately I don't know yet because they have to put together a special quote for me. All indication I had from my research was that I was up for a minimum of $20,000 out of pocket. If this is the case, I will obviously not be having the surgery because it is an unrealistic amount of money for me to find. The assistant at the surgery said something about a provisional quote of $12,500 plus hospital costs... fingers crossed that the figure is close to this because that doesn't seem as completely impossible. I may not be able to do it this year, but hopefully one day...

Just knowing that the surgery was possible and that it could help me has already made me feel so much better. Today I felt hopeful for the first time in my life that I could have a normal body and stop feeling like I am disfigured-- I truly hope that doesn't offend anyone because this is just the way I feel about myself, no judgement of anyone else.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bridesmaid Shoes

On a much less whiny note than my last post... shoes! We went bridesmaid shoe shopping last night and all decided on these glitzy little numbers to match the dress. The best part is that they were only $30, I was so excited because I never get bargains when I shop and was fully expecting to fork out about $200.

OK, so they about 4 inches higher than I have ever worn, but they aren't too bad. Certainly not as bad as some of the massive stilettos the girls were trying on and saying were comfortable. I admit to having a mild panic attack at one point when we were trying on barely there 6 inch stilettos, I tried to hide my nerves, but the bride noticed and was patting me on the back saying 'it'll be ok'. All I can say is thank god for wedges!

I modeled the shoes for AJ last night when I got home because I think he was skeptical about my ability to walk in them. He was shocked and literally exclaimed that they made my legs look so long and skinny... well therein lies the reason women wear high heels. I might just become a convert!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bitching About The Band

I honestly don't think I will ever understand how to live life happily with a lap band. I read so many blogs by people who have had a lap band and seem to be just killing it with weight loss and healthy lifestyles. I just don't know if I will ever get to a place with my band where I feel satisfied by small meals and don't obsess over food and at the same time that eating out isn't a complete nightmare.

I have just had almost 3 weeks of my band being so tight that even liquids were difficult to get down (no, I didn't lose any weight). There were many days where I just wanted to cry and scream with frustration and rip the stupid band out of my body. I knew the tightness was brought about by some crazy stress I was having and would only be temporary so there just wasn't anything I could do. I probably should have tried to get fluid removed, but trying to get an appointment and time off work to get to the clinic is near impossible for me. Now my band seems to have loosened up and I want to eat crazy amounts of food. I am so incredibly hungry all day and night that I am eating pretty much non-stop.

This has pretty much been the story of my lap band, either too tight to get normal food down or I am hungry and obsessing over food. Even when the band is being 'normal' eating out is very difficult and there is always the chance the band will decide to close up and I'll waste $30 on food I can't eat. Not to mention how uncomfortable it can make your dining companions when you take 6 times longer to eat your meal than them or need to leave the table if food gets stuck or you just can't eat at all.

I did manage to lose a lot of weight in first 12-18 months after having my band but that was primarily due to motivation. I can tell you that I still counted down every minute before my next meal, went to bed hungry, thought about food as soon as I woke up and spent many hours tormenting myself over food I wasn't 'allowed' to eat. Doing this and going to the gym a minimum of 4 times a week helped me lose a stack of weight. As anyone knows, motivation is fleeting and I just can't be bothered being hungry all the time anymore.

I have been to the lap band clinic many, many, many times but none of the doctors ever really help. They tell me the same stock standard advice that they tell everyone, but I don't think they really understand that people have different problems with food and eating and it isn't just about trying to address the hunger. They look at my notes and tell me what I said last time, which is normally a direct contradiction of what I am saying this time, and give me skeptical looks like I am lying or making excuses.

ME: I think I need some fluid out of my band because I am too tight
DR: You said last time you wanted fluid put in the band because you were hungry all the time and always looking for more food
ME: Yes, but now I find eating normal foods too difficult so I think I might need a bit less fluid because I can't eat vegetables or lean meats
DR: But you have gained 2 kilos since you last came in, do you think having fluid removed will help?
ME: (desperately wanting to tell him to fuck off) I don't know, but right now I am finding eating difficult and I would like to be able to eat
DR: *audible sigh* OK, how much do you want removed?

I often wonder if I made a big mistake getting the lap band and I should have looked into getting the Vertical Sleeve instead. I think the band is perfect for some people, but it is difficult for those of us who have struggled with eating disorders our entire lives. The band relies on your brain cooperating and not actively self-sabotaging you every step of the way and I just seem to be making this much harder than it should be.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tummy Tuck Consult #1

I had my first consult with a surgeon yesterday to have abdominioplasty. I was really nervous and hopeful at the same time, but unfortunately I didn't come away with the answers I wanted to hear.

Early on in the consultation I had to strip down to my knickers so the surgeon could examine my bits and pieces. This really wasn't that bad, I have had so many surgeries and examinations that I am used to this sort of thing now. Right away the surgeon advised that it was his opinion that I was not a good candidate for abdomnioplasty and I would need a full body lift.

So instead of just having my stomach chopped off, I would need the full body circumferential cut like the picture below. Ouch.

Now what is doubly unfortunate about this is that this particular surgeon I went to see does not do body lifts. I am so disappointed because this surgeon was fantastic and I absolutely loved him and his staff and I would have no hesitation to book in with him if I could. If anyone wants a tummy tuck or boob lift/job in Melbourne I highly recommend that you go speak to him (email me for details). For reference, a tummy tuck with him is $7,000 out of pocket and a boob lift is about $5,000 out of pocket.

Despite the fact he couldn't do my surgery, the surgeon still spent over an hour with me discussing my options and giving his thoughts on my breasts, arms and thighs. He is a 'breast expert' and advised that it would be pointless for me to get a lift because he didn't think it would make a major difference. Likewise, he didn't feel like I would get huge results from getting my inner thighs or arms done. He really thought I would benefit from putting all my money toward my middle region and getting the full body lift.

In terms of assessing my stomach, he thought that I would be a good candidate for the body lift because I had mostly skin and minimal fat around my middle. He actually thought my stomach was pretty flat and I had good stomach muscle tone, which means I shouldn't need to have my muscles re-stitched.

So now I just need to wait until the end of the month for my consultation with the next surgeon who does do body lifts. I am hopeful about this guy because the surgeon from yesterday recommended him and so did my GP and lap band fill doctor. I found an article by a Biggest Loser contestant who had a body lift with him at the beginning of 2010 and she paid $18,000, which sounds about normal for this kind of surgery from what I have read. I don't know what I'll do if the surgery is more than $15,000 because that just isn't a realistic amount of money for me to come up with, but I'll decide what to do once I have all the information.

I guess it is clear that I am disappointed that I need a body lift because obviously the cost will be extremely prohibitive to me and it is also a much more serious operation. I don't care about the scarring or the pain levels, I worry more that I will need to impose on people to help me out at home and also take a chunk of time off work. I'll just have to wait until I speak to the surgeon to find out how serious these issues will be and if I'll be able to work around it.

If anyone has wants any further information or has any advice to offer please leave a comment or send me an email!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Tummy Tuck Consults


I knew when I had weight loss surgery that if I manged to lose a good amount of weight that I would need to have plastic surgery to deal with my loose skin. As someone with an apple shaped body who has been obese since I was a small child, there was no possibility the skin would go back into place. I have had the 'apron' stomach since I was in my teens and the only way to fix that is with surgery. No amount of exercise or moisturising would ever help!

I have now lost 50 kilos (110 lbs) and kept it off for over a year but the loose skin and apron stomach have a big impact on my confidence. I am so happy to have lost the weight and would take the loose skin over obesity any day of the week, but it does make life very difficult. It is very painful on my lower back to carry such an excess amount of skin on my stomach. Not to mention that shopping and exercise are not pleasant and being mistaken for being pregnant constantly isn't much fun either.

I have whinged and moaned about wanting abdominoplasty for the last couple of years, but have dismissed the idea because of the cost. I have found it hard to find much information on the surgery here in Australia, but I have heard people say it has cost anywhere from $5000 - $25,000. I can't seem to get any clear information and it seems depend on the state you live in and who you select as your surgeon. I have decided it is finally time to investigate this for myself and find out if it is in any way affordable and if I am even a good candidate for surgery.


Ideally I would love to have abdominioplasty, a breast lift, inner thigh lift and an arm lift, but I would be happy to just get abdomnioplasty if that is all I can afford-- which is the most likely outcome! Maybe one day when my finances are a little healthier I can go back and get my arms, thighs and boobs done.

So I am seeing a surgeon for a consult next week and then another two at the end of the month. This is going to cost me approximately $180 per consult (getting $75 back from medicare), so I am already stressed about the cost! I have put together a list of questions to ask, what do you think? Am I missing anything? Does anyone have any experience or advice to share? Feel free to email me if you don't feel comfortable leaving a comment. I will be sure to report back with all the information I get for those who are interested.

Please wish me luck, I am terrified the surgeon is going to tell me I am delusional and too fat for surgery and I will be completely embarrassed. I know I should be more worried about the cost involved or the actual surgery, but of course I am just worried about the humiliation factor!

Some of these questions taken from here.
  • Are you a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons?
  • Were you specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery?
  • How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
  • Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure?
    • If so, at which hospitals?
  • Am I a good candidate for this procedure? Is there any reason why I wouldn’t be a good candidate?
  • What will be expected of me to get the best results?
  • Is there anything I can do now to help me prepare for surgery?
  • Where and how will you perform my procedure?
  • How many abdominoplasty surgeries have you performed in your career? How many did you perform last year?
  • What surgical technique is recommended for me?
  • Would you recommend liposuction to enhance my results?
  • Do you expect me to get good results at this weight or should I lose additional weight before surgery?
  • How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
  • When can I expect to look and move normally again? (ie. when will swelling go down)
  • What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
  • How are complications handled?
  • How long will the surgery last and how long will I be under anaesthesia?
  • What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my tummy tuck? Who will cover any revision cost?
  • How many revisions have you had to perform?
  • Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure and what results are reasonable for me?
  • What medications are prescribed for pain relief after surgery?
  • If I need anything outside of normal office hours post-op, will I be able to get in touch with you or your staff?
  • How long would I expect to stay in hospital?
  • How long would I expect to take off work?
  • Will I get a medical certificate for sick leave or will I need to use my annual leave?
  • How long until I can take an international flight after surgery?
  • How much will surgery cost in total? What about extras?
o    Hospital
o    Anaesthetist
o    Post-op garments
o    Post-op check ups
o    Additional medication
  • What, if any, of this surgery is covered by medicare?
  • Does this surgery have an item number for my health insurance?
  • How long would I typically wait once I decide to book surgery
  • Would it be best to have arm/stomach/breast surgery done at the same time or in separate surgeries?
  • What cup size would I expect to be if I had a breast lift?
  • How many kilos of skin would you expect to remove from me during surgery?
  • Will my lap band need to be moved during surgery?

Thursday, January 05, 2012


Despite banging on about how I was going to lose weight over December, I was a big fat failure and gained a stack of weight. Shocker! I spent my holidays sitting at home and eating like it was my full time job and the scales reflected these poor choices when I weighed in on January 1st 2012 at 82.5 kilos (181.5 lbs). Ouch.

This is number is interesting for two reasons. Firstly, it is exactly what I weighed on January 1st 2011. Secondly, it is the highest I weighed on the scale all year (apart from on the 1st day of the year of course). What a way to end the year!

So I am choosing to take the positive from this and recognise how fantastic it is that I maintained my weight for the whole year. It is the first time in my life that I have neither lost or gained weight in a year, so that is something to be happy about. Of course it would be better if I was at goal weight and maintained, instead of 15 kilos away from a healthy weight, but we can't have it all.

While I am trying my best to see the positive in the way I maintained my weight all year, I am not so delusional that I can't see that I made a lot of mistakes. I spent the entire year on some kind of diet (or breaking my diet) only to lose and gain the same 5 kilos all year. I could have saved myself all that pain and heartache and just eaten a balanced diet instead of killing myself with diets and exercise for no result.

Not only that, but if I had just eaten normally and moved slightly more and eaten slightly less junk I could have not felt deprived and lost even just half a kilo a month. Half a kilo a month would obviously be 6 kilos (13 lbs) lost in the year and much better than the big fat zero kilos I lost.

So the lesson I am taking from this year is that the dieting has to stop. I know I have said this many times before, but I really mean it this time. Right now I feel fat and bloated and my clothes don't fit me and I would love nothing more than to starve myself down a few kilos until I feel more comfortable. These behaviours have to stop because 2011 proved that it doesn't work and it is a miserable way to live.

I have to be a bridesmaid in a beach wedding in just 7 weeks and I want more than anything to plan a massive diet and try and lose 7 kilos before the wedding. It pains me to say that I am not going to do that. I am going to eat sensibly and I certainly won't eat perfectly, but if I eat well enough to lose a kilo over the course of the month, than I would hope that is a kilo that will never come back again.

I would love to be able to finish 2012 and say that I lost between 5-10 kilos over the course of the year and I didn't feel deprived and I didn't have to diet and I can keep this weight off forever. I just need to reverse 25 years of dieting mentality first, so this may be easier said than done, but I am going to try.


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Thank God That Is Over


After all the bragging that 2010 was the best year I have ever had, I have to say that 2011 was the worst year ever. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. I don’t want to dwell on the misery by doing a recap or going into the details, but I am hopeful for a better 2012. So rather than bore you with the reasons 2011 was a shitful year for me, I am going to talk about some of the great things I did that made life much happier for me this year

Laser Hair Removal
I tell everyone I meet that having laser hair removal was completely life changing. I am not exaggerating when I say that it has been just as amazing as losing 50 kilos. For those of you with PCOS that have the hair issues you might understand what I mean. For the last 5 years I have had to shave my entire face every day due to hormonal hair growth that comes with having PCOS. Of course I tried waxing and plucking for many years before I succumbed to shaving, but there was just too much hair and ultimately it had to be taken care of every day. It even put me off travel and staying at other people’s houses because I would panic if I didn't know I was able to shave at least every 24 hours. Let me tell you, the 24 hour flight to London was a nightmare! This year I have had about 8 sessions of medical grade laser hair removal and I haven't had to shave my face again. Not a single day went by when I didn't feel humiliated and ashamed when I had to shave my face like a man so I feel like a changed person.

I deleted my facebook page and it is definitely the best thing I could have done and I honestly haven’t missed it at all. I really find facebook to be quite toxic with all the drama, whinging and attention seeking. It was truly making me dislike my friends because I was learning way more about them than I ever needed to know. Apart from all the boring stuff where people brag about their kids or husband, whinge about work or talk about what they had for breakfast, the main issue for me was the attention seeking made me feel really uncomfortable. People would write dramatic or ambiguous statements for attention and it made me cringe.  If one more friend updated their status with “needs a hug” I was going to slam my face into my keyboard. It also made me feel insecure to see people talking about their amazing lives, friends and families and I couldn’t help but wonder if my life was lacking in comparison... are other people’s lives as exciting and glamorous as they make out? I know I miss out on a lot of news, photos and invites now that I am not on facebook (not to mention almost all my friends and family forgot my birthday this year), but my close friends and family still make an effort to keep me in the loop and they are the only ones that actually matter. I know facebook works for a lot of people, but it just wasn't for me and I am a much happier person without it.

Debt Repayment
It is a little hard to be entirely sure exactly how much I paid off my credit card debt because I have shifted things around and consolidated my cards. I do know that I paid off at least $12,000 and I didn’t add to my credit card debt (except for my wisdom teeth surgery which I am still paying off). Sorry if that shocks you that a person could have that much credit card debt and I am deeply embarrassed that I let things get so bad. I have to say that I had many a sleepless night worrying about debt and money this year, but I do feel good knowing that I am making progress. It was stressful budgeting every cent and treats were few and far between this year. My favourite fantasy is thinking about what I would do with my paycheck if 90% of it didn’t go to rent, bills and credit card debt re-payment… I am still not in the clear with my debt and I have some big expenses this year, as well as the possibility of being out of work, so my sleepless nights are not quite over yet!

I finally bit the bullet (pun intended) and got all the dental work I needed done. Prior to this year, I had only been to the dentist twice in my life when they had come to my primary school for free check-ups. As I got older I became terrified of going to the dentist because of the shame of how bad I knew my teeth were and the financial cost to have them fixed. More than anything I was scared because of my fat person phobia. I can't really explain why exactly it was such a big fear, but it was just one of the many things that scared me when I was obese. In the end I had to get 6 fillings, fix a broken tooth and get all 4 wisdom teeth removed this year. It cost a bomb, even with private health insurance I was out of pocket about $5000.  I am so glad I did it though and it is such a relief having my teeth healthy for the first time and knowing that I conquered a big fear.

How sad that these boring things were my highlights... but as AJ said to me, 2011 was a consolidation year. I don't know what 2012 will hold, as usual I will just be doing my best to be better everyday, I am not sure I can do much more than that right now.

Now, here is a photo from my trip to Mt Beauty in April that holds very happy memories and makes me feel calm and peaceful-- I guess 2011 wasn't all bad!