Monday, January 28, 2013

Saddlebag Success

I did a massive closet clean out after I had my body lift surgery and so I am pretty low on most basic wardrobe staples. I am trying to wait until all my swelling goes down before I spend much money on new clothes, but some coolish weather this weekend had me dashing to Target for a pair of cheap jeans to wear to an Australia Day party.

Yeah, jeans shopping when you are in a hurry can be not very fun... the only thing worse would probably be swimsuit shopping. Lucky for me, most of the jeans Target had were all sorts of crazy bright colours, so my choices were limited. I am all for coloured jeans on other people, but I am not ready to go there just yet. So I picked up the only pair of normal blue jeans in a size 14 and said a little prayer as I walked into the fitting rooms.

It was actually a really weird experience even trying them on. As soon as I got them up to my calves I thought they were going to be way too small, they just didn't feel right. I am used to having to buy jeans that are really big around the waist to get around all that loose skin on my stomach and that are consequently way too big around the bum, hips and legs. So finding that I had to wiggle my way into jeans was bizarre. Even weirder was that once I got them up they actually fit me perfectly in all the right places and no muffin top. I finally understand why people enjoy wearing jeans!

When I got home I showed AJ my new purchase and marvelled to him how they fit me so well around my legs and waist. His comment, while pointing at my thighs, 'Is that what they call saddlebags?'. Lucky for him that I am so excited about my new curves that I am the only woman in the world who doesn't mind being told she has saddlebags!!!

Me in my new jeans (a terrible photo that makes it hard to even see the jeans, I need to fire AJ as my photographer!)

About 9 hours of sangria later I pass out on my brother's couch, but at least my jeans are comfortable!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The 'No Diet', Diet

I hope I wasn't misleading on my last post when I talked about finally learning to love my body the way it is now. I do love my body how it is, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to try and lose a little bit of weight...

You see, after my body lift surgery I spent November and December eating like it was my full time job and I did gain some weight. Due to the body lift surgery and liposuction the weight has come back onto my body a little unevenly. I still have a flat tummy, but my back, arms and thighs have really chunked out and I feel like I look a bit out of proportion. I really just want to lose enough weight over the course of the next year so that I can fit comfortably into my size 14 clothes and have a fit, toned and well-proportioned body.

I don't know how much weight I need to lose in kilos because I don't actually know what I weigh, and (for once) it's not because I am in denial, it's because I just don't feel like the number on the scales will mean much to me. My body changed after my surgery and my old goal numbers no longer hold the same meaning, so I took this as an opportunity to start fresh and not worry about the scales. That doesn't mean I won't weigh myself occassionally, I just don't want to do it regularly and attach my self worth to the numbers I see. I will know I am where I want to be when my clothes fit again.

So I am feeding my body good foods and exercising most days, but nothing extreme, I am just focussed on taking it slow. It is really hard though because I automatically want to cut all carbs, starve myself, allow no treats and beat myself up if I miss exercise for a day. I know that this sort of behaviour gets me nowhere, but it is a pattern that is hard to break. I am going to Thailand in about 7 weeks and normally I would want to switch into full diet mode and try and lose as much weight as possible before my holiday. So I am making sure that I don't start dieting again by remembering all the reasons why dieting is evil:
  • I gain all the weight back immediately
  • It is not healthy for my body
  • Being hungry sucks
  • Eating diet food is miserable
  • There is nothing wrong with me the way I am
  • Being on a diet makes me a boring person

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013- New Year, New Me

It's about time that I catch up with all the other bloggers out there and start talking about my goals or resolutions (or whatever you want to call them) for 2013. Most years around this time I am excited to be getting my healthy eating back on track after the holidays and looking forward to finding new ways to lose weight and keep it off. I'll be going carb-free, doing meal replacement shakes or proclaiming I will create a balanced healthy lifestyle... while at the same time continuing to binge eat and then starve myself in punishment.

This year is going to be different. No, seriously, it really will. I feel like a different person after my body lift surgery. Not only did the surgery change my body, it changed the way I think about food and my body. I can honestly say that I am quickly learning to love my body. I no longer feel ashamed and disgusted by how I look. I look in the mirror before I shower and marvel at my body- imperfections and all. I know that some people might think it is crazy that I had to have surgery to achieve this, but those who have had masses of excess skin might understand how I felt.

So now that I am loving my body for the first time in my life, I feel a strong urge to treat it kindly and fill it with nutritious foods that make it feel strong and healthy-- even fruit and legumes, which my old carb conscious self would never eat. The urgency to diet and lose weight has gone and it just feels natural to me now to eat well. I look at the foods in the chart below and want to eat them so that my body will feel good and look good (let's not forget that I am still vain!). That doesn't mean I don't still want to eat pizza and ice cream sometimes, I just don't feel the need to eat it all of the time.


It is the same with exercise, now that I don't think of exercise only as a torturous way to lose weight, it doesn't seem quite so awful. With the excess skin gone I can see how exercise changes my body, so it makes me want to do toning exercises to see the muscles in my body and get a tight bum! Being able to see and enjoy the results of exercise makes it seem worthwhile. Not to mention that filling my body with nutritious food makes exercising much easier, I have more energy to get up in the morning and workout.

This change in thinking doesn't mean that I have gone to the other extreme and become an exercise and healthy eating machine. I want the changes I am making to be sustainable and for me that means they have to suit my lifestyle and be enjoyable. So I am back to getting up and doing a quick 20-30 minute toning session in the morning before work with stretching, weights, bands and floor exercises (the exercise ball too once my back swelling goes down). Then (weather and time permitting) I will walk part way to and from work, which is 2.2 km each way. Mix this up with walking my brother's dog in the evenings occasionally and I have enough exercise to keep me fit and healthy, without it having to be a chore and ultimately something I will give up.

So far this all feels quite natural and I am enjoying it, but I am aware that it might get harder once the excitement of my new body dies down and I start picking new flaws or once winter sets in or once I start getting sick of quinoa... Not to mention that I have 32 years of disordered eating to contend with so I know it won't always be this easy but I am committed to treating my body with love and kindness.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

10 Weeks Post Body Lift

Like I say most weeks in my body lift surgery posts (am I getting repetitive?), I am feeling better and more normal this week. I think it helps that I am back in the swing of work, exercise and developing a routine again. I do still have swelling on my lower back (I hope it's swelling, otherwise I will need revision surgery), I am tender on my hips and I am numb around the scar. This is all pretty normal at this stage of my recovery, I have to remember that I am only 10 weeks out from a major surgery and everyone recovers differently.

The big excitement for me this week is that I finally started to cut back on wearing my compression garments. Last week I stopped wearing them to bed and this week I also felt ready to stop wearing them during the day too.

Best things about not wearing my compression garments:

  • I can wear a bra again- no more mono boob
  • Also, wearing a bra means I am having less awkward 'headlight' moments... if you know what I mean...
  • I don't have to wash and dry that sucker every day
  • I don't have to dress like I am in a conservative religion now that I don't need to cover my full length garments
  • It gives me an extra 5 minutes in the morning now I don't need to stuff my sausage body in that tight contraption and every extra minute is precious in the morning
  • Less chaffing. No, not thigh chaffing, lady part chaffing. The opening the suit had for going to the bathroom caused some major chaffing issues when I was walking any distance. TMI?
  • I don't feel like a sick person anymore and mentally that helps
Of course the less fun part about not wearing the garment is that I don't have anything sucking me in and making me look skinnier. I guess that part is up to me now!

Me a couple of weeks ago in my compression garment

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy 2013 (Finally)

I think this picture taken of me as the new year began really sums up my 2012... one sparkler aglow, the other fizzled out...

2012 was filled with many life changing and crazy moments that were both good and bad. I don't want to bore you (or me) with a long recap, but the short version of my year is this:

Listing my year in dot point like that makes it all seem so much easier than it was!

It was a big year and I can safely say that I am happy to see the back of 2012 and excited about what 2013 is going to bring. So far on the horizon for 2013 is:

  • A two week holiday to Thailand
  • Enjoying my new body without the loose skin
  • The completion of the home I am building
  • Looking for a more fulfilling job
  • Lots more fun times with friends and family

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

9 Weeks Post Body Lift

Dare I say it... I am feeling a little bit more normal this week. I have even started back with some light exercise, nothing major, just some light walking. I tried to jog a couple of times when walking with my brother's dog, but it really felt uncomfortable on my outer thighs where my surgeon must have done some lipo. It kind of felt like someone was hitting my thighs with a bat, not pleasant at all.

I have also started sleeping without my compression garments. It has been so hot that one night when I woke up dripping in sweat I decided to take my garments off. Ever since I stopped wearing them to bed I haven't had any night sweats and I have been sleeping better. Next thing will be weaning myself off wearing them during the day, but I am not quite there yet...

I know I haven't posted many before and after pictures of my body lift just yet (apart from these). It is obviously a hard thing to do and I would feel more comfortable if the 'after' pictures I post have me looking a little more awesome than I am looking right now. In the meantime, here are some photos taken on Monday night. You can really see the swelling on my lower back and the weight gain on my upper back and chest. I am hoping now that I am back at work and in a better routine that I can gradually lose some of the post-surgery weight gain so my body will be better proportioned.

Monday, January 07, 2013


Right before I had my body lift surgery life got really busy and I didn't get a chance to post some photos that I had put together in a draft. I know we have moved onto a new year now, but I still wanted to post them because I use my blog as my own personal diary to remind me what I did in each year. These are photos from the month before my surgery and some of the funnest times I had in 2012!


It was my sister-in-law Connie's 30th birthday so I organised a private little family food and wine tour of the Mornington Peninsula to celebrate. It was such a fun day with lots and lots of good food and wine... and silliness of course.

The early morning bus ride to the Mornington Peninsula, maybe too early for some of us...

The first stop was a goat cheese farm, everyone (except me of course) was more interested in playing with the goats

Me and my two sister-in-laws at the first winery (they are the blondes)

AJ (left) and my brothers looking a little less enthusiatic about the picture taking

Our group enjoying lunch

Our group being photo whores out the front of a winery

Another winery, another tasting...

AJ and Juanita pretending to know about wine

Enjoying the scenery

Connie doing god knows what to that suspicious looking grass sculpture

We had drunk enough wine by this stage to play games on the bus

AJ at a cider tasting this time

Slamming down the cider tasting- yum!

Oh my god, the best strawberries ever at the strawberry farm

We all got an ice cream included in the tour, I think I ate mine and everyone else's too...


In late October AJ and I went on a long weekend break to Hobart. We had been to Tasmania last year and enjoyed it so much that we wanted to go back and explore some more. We had another lovely and relaxing trip and we are already planning the next visit!

Being the good Catholic that I am, I had to visit the oldest Catholic Church in Australia

Then the excitement continued with a look at the oldest bridge in Australia...

Finally the fun began when we hit some wineries

Then to our gorgous hotel to get settled for the weekend

AJ sitting on the patio of the hotel enjoying the wine and the scenery

A trip to the Salamanca markets

At the top of Mount Wellington

AJ climbing on rocks... as usual... the wind was so strong up there it literally knocked me over when I tried to climb up

Drinks at a cute bar called Side Car

Before having dinner at the famous Garagistes

A morning walk through the rain at Tahune Airwalk

AJ showing off on the air bridge...

Enough with the walking, time for some cheese tasting thank you very much

I so wish I had bought this sticker!

A delicious dinner at the hotel

Later AJ demonstrated that he has no class-- cannot take him anywhere!

A sad goodbye to our lovely hotel

Breakfast... probably the only thing I ate all weekend that didn't involve wine or cheese!

The main reason for the trip... MONA (Museum of Old and New Art)

Out the front of MONA

Sampling the wines at MONA before heading to the airport


I have only been to the races one time before and that was with work, so not much fun... Seeing as we live so close to the racecourse we decided that we had to attend one of the big races in 2012. We chose Derby Day because it is on a Saturday and it would mean we would have the Sunday to sleep off our hang overs. Plus, it is traditional to wear black and white on Derby Day and we all know that black is slimming!

Getting ready at my place where AJ was the official hair dresser/bartender

Walking into the races and our shoes were already hurting our feet

I don't gamble much, but I picked a winner and won $64, this was as exciting as winning a million dollars for me!

Me trying to be classy and drink champagne out of the bottle

Connie and Juanita (sister-in-laws) trying to undertsand how the betting works

Me and my high school BFF, Katie, laughing when we were trying to pose for the camera

It took about 20 photos to get all four of us in this selfie!

As you can see I had another 'big win' as I display my winnings (and arm flab)

It was a long day in the sun with a lot of champagne and I promptly fell asleep on my balcony when I got home... at least I crossed my legs...

The others partied on regardless and the boys even joined us (they didn't see the fun in dressing up and paying for drinks at the races when they can drink in their shorts at home for free. Boys...)

Later on AJ grabbed me from the couch and somehow underestimated how light (???) I was and threw me head first into the bookshelves by accident. It was baaaaad... I had to have an ice pack for the rest of the night and a bad bruise and lump for the week after! I had my body lift surgery a few days later and the nurses kept asking me what was wrong with my head.

The girls getting their singing on

We headed out to a local bar to dance and were pretty much the only people there, but it was still hilarious. AJ took this photo of us walking down the street and I love how his cigarette smoke covers the lense, how very mysterious!

The aftermath the next day... fascinators, vodka bottle, a high heel, hair spray, band aides, fake tan... what a night!

Catching AJ eating cold pizza in his underwear behind a tower of empty booze

Katie was not feeling it the next day!

Me, being the neat freak that I am, had to clean everything before I could even shower