Weight Ticker

Sunday 2 January 2011

New Year...New Me!

Happy New Year to all my Blogger buddies out there.  I know you are all convinced that I've forgotten all about you and have left you languishing for news on my ever exciting life...yeh...I'm sure.

Well, I've finally and belatedly put together a pattern of behavour that should have been self evident after it happening every year for goodness knows how long! My annual girly weekend to Center Parcs is TOXIC...every mid November a group of us mums get together for a weekend of drinking wine, Sing-Star, watching XFactor and basically letting our hair down with no-one to worry about but ourselves...no kids and no hubbies...sooo good.  Oh yeah, did I mention that we drink wine? Lots of wine!

The trouble is that once I come back I'm in total decadent mode! I basically start the Christmas excesses from then! drinking 2-3 nights per week, eating chocolate and other goodies that I've avoided all year and basically putting on copious pounds!

Last year I put on a lot of weight between November and New Year.  This year, whilst it certainly did set me in an out of control phase I was able to manage a much more modest gain, but a gain none the less!

Over this Christmas season I've done a lot of reflecting and I've come to some pretty major conclusions which have been gradually forming themselves in my mind over the course of this year and they've formed the basis of some serious New Years Resolutions

1) No more Center Parcs for me
2) No more drinking for me~EVER
3)Get serious about getting my focus firmly back on my weight loss
4)Get a proper exercise schedule in place
5)Be a less selfish/self-centred person
6)Adopt a more positive attitude and try and FORCE my hubby to as well
7) Consciously try to learn a few more social skills.

I'll address these resolutions in a little more detail tomorrow for your reading pleasure, but in the meantime I hope you are all feeling really positive about the year to come and have lots of self motivation to move forward with your weight loss goals and any other personal goals you may have.

Happy New Year everyone!  xx

Monday 1 November 2010

Bladder weakness!

Can I just say that this chugging of water for the challenge is doing my bladder no favours...I do have a problem with urge incontinence since having the babies...and my pelvic floor doesn't hold up well to excess water consumption!

When I'm busy at work and sitting on my butt I don't always notice right away that I need to go and with the large drinks it seems to filter through all at once and it's a mad dash for the loo!  Just so's you know...I'm suffering for my weight-loss hear guys!

(I know it's worth it tho and I'm feeling really good...my work pants that I haven't had on for about 3 weeks are getting loose!!!  So exciting to start a Monday with such a good NSV!)

Saturday 30 October 2010

I'm a happy bunny...

After being super good and banishing all alcohol and food related goodies from my diet in an attempt to take this seriously for a change...let's face it...my weekends were sabotaging my weeks good behaviour on too many occassions. I've been forced to face the fact that as much as I don't want it to be true it is...A bottle of red wine on a Saturday night is just not a substitute for one of my '5 a day' (not sure if they have that slogan in the US or Aus...it's fruit and veg if not)...it may be colourful, but I can't pretend it's beetroot!...anyway getting to the point...I had been looking at a very stubborn scale up until yesterday.

I woke up, shed all things which may add weight and stepped aboard...1lb off...finally! Another good day followed on the challenge...then Friday night came...well! how boring! No red wine...Nothing! Just sugar free squash...great! Husband snoring his head off on the sofa from 8pm because the muscle relaxants he's on have relaxed one too many muscles! What an exciting bloody life I lead.

This morning again I shed all my possible non body related sources of weight and jumped aboard...I didn't expect any change as it'd taken me 4 full days to lose the first pound...OMG another pound was gone! That has gotta be my reward for having such a bloody miserable Friday night no?  So today I've seen my new low of 179.2!  I'm officially in a new decade.


Sorry, I was a little excited there. I'm now all the more excited to get to the bottom of this one.  I was actually thinking this morning...'It's a shame I have that girls weekend coming up in the middle of November...that's gonna slow me down...' and 'Maybe I should put off my trip to Australia until the new year...I'd be able to lose more weight before I went then...I haven't bought my ticket yet'. 

Anyway, I will be going on the girls weekend...fortunately they are always watching what they eat anyway...it's the drinking that'll be the killer.  I will have to take it easy anyway as I'll be very rusty and don't want to get a hangover as I'll be staying off it now until then. 

I may however put off my trip to Aus as it's going to be tricky to pay for the ticket at the moment...as you know we've recently bought a derelict farm house which needs full renovation and we are yet to sell our house so funds are a little tight as we had to offer more than we could  comfortably afford to pay in the end...but a couple more months should see things loosen up slightly.  Also, as I'll be going on my own and staying with family it's really just the airline ticket price I need to find...now where did I put it?

I do think we have it much easier over here at this time of year by the way than you poor guys in the US...here Halloween is very low key...our street is full of retirees and we very rarely get anyone trick-or-treating so I do not buy in sweets etc for them and we don't have Thanksgiving to contend with either...just good old Christmas which makes it easier...also, I don't have a big extended family, so a lot of what I'm exposed to at Christmas is up to me. So I can fairly easily make good choices there and I'm planning to put that choice power to good use this year...no doubt I will have some treats, but I'll try to keep it within the realms of good sense.

Have a good Halloween weekend all...don't ya just love those puppies in their Halloween costumes? Yes, that fast food is really that scary! xx

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Curried Cauliflower Heaven...just sayin'

I just had to share the triumph that my improvised cauliflower soup was this lunch time! It was utter heaven and totally filling.  I've priced it up calorie-wise for you also, so if you think it sounds good you can give it a go.

Calories per 300ml serving= 122.25

I had mine with a dessertspoon sized scoop (around 20g) of 0% Fage Greek yoghurt stirred in (10.4 cals)
and 15g grated mozzerella cheese sprinkled on top (43.5 cals)...it tasted totally decadent!

All measurements are approximate and you can vary according to your tastes or the amount of soup required...this recipe produced around 1200mls of soup or around 4 servings...I ate two for my lunch.

400g cauliflower (chopped) = 140 cal (35 cals per 100g)
180g onions (chopped)= 63 cal (35 cals per 100g)
1 mid-sized potato (peeled & chopped) mine weighed 280g raw so was 224 cals - eek! (80cals per 100g)
2 chicken (or veg) stock cubes = 62 cals for both
mild curry powder to taste...not sure about these cals as no info on tin...only used a tblspn so can't be many.
1 tblspn granulated sweetener if you feel necessary...it shouldn't taste sweet, it's just I sometimes find curry powder can be a tad bitter.
1/2 tspn dried chilli flakes
salt & pepper to taste
boiling water to cover

Once the veg is soft I just used a hand blender to whizz it to the desired consistency and simmered until it was the thickness I wanted...it couldn't have taken more than 30mins actual stove time (although I must admit I didn't time it).

See paragraph 3 for my preferred serving suggestions...the greek yog & grated cheese made it to die for..well almost...not even chocolate's that good!

Bodies just don't always co-operate do they???

Ok...this is day three of the challenge and not only has my weight not gone down yet...it's gone UP by 0.4lb.  OK, it's only a tiny amount, and I know I've followed the protocol, so I know I haven't caused this to happen.  I'm going to put it down to natural weight fluctuation and move on.  Yesterday I was at least 300 cals below my maximum allowance so I'm happy  with that and I got my fluids in.  I was pretty sedentary as I was working from home, so on the laptop all day without even the usual exercise of travelling to and from work.  My calf muscles were pretty stiff this morning from Zumba on Monday night though, so you never know...a little fluid might be helping to mend those muscles...I'm banking on it anyway!

I'm planning to do an exercise class tonight at the gym as my usual tennis lesson is not on and I've bought a ton of fresh veg and I plan on making a cauliflower soup today for lunch and chicken chow mein for our tea tonight...I'll stick to tons of beansprouts though instead of the usual noodles for myself to keep the calories low and get some extra nutrients by way of veg.

It's getting so chilli here lately that the salads I've been doing for tea are just not appealing, so I'll definately be making a few fresh soups over the next week or so...I'll eat some and freeze some to take to work for lunches.

Sorry this sounds just so dull! I'm just a bit of a tunnel vision sort of person and not much of a multi-tasker...I tend to find when I'm running to and from work, making sure the kids are organised for school and the house isnt' falling to rack and ruin and everyone has clean clothes to wear for the week, I can't be creative and organised in the kitchen and tend to fall back on freezer foods & quick options...then when I'm focused on cooking from scratch healthy, inventive and low-cal meals and prioritising getting my exercise then the washing pile gets larger and larger and the house starts to look like 'Stig of the dump' moved in!
CAN YOU EXTRAPOLATE THE HEIGHT OF MY WASHING PILE AND THE AMOUNT OF DETRITUS AROUND MY HOUSE AT THE MOMENT? It's not good! I've cleaned the kitchen this morning...which of course I do everyday, but it never seems to look like I do for very long! And I'm planning a break from the computer mid afternoon for a big super energetic cleaning blitz...I'll also squeeze in a few loads of washing throughout the day as I did yesterday.  Hopefully I'll feel better about the state of the house after that and get some activity into the bargain.

Fingers crossed the scale co-operates tomorrow or I may be tempted to get 'Med-evil on it's ass!' (quote from Pulp Fiction my fave film...I've typed it as he pronounces it not as it's really spelled in case you were worried about my spelling abilities :0).

Tuesday 26 October 2010

First day of the challenge is behind me...& Zumba

Okay, the title says it all...So far so good on the challenge.  I like this challenge because it's do-able so it's not gonna scare me off.  I usually try to come in below these cals so as long as I stay away from the bad treats like chocolate and red wine I shouldn't struggle to keep below the sensible calorie target. 

So this feels achieveable, but sneakily it's helping me to commit to stay away from those naughty things entirely for the next two weeks...by making a conscious decision with a deadline it feels do-able, but it's also a set commitment.  Also, it's got me logging what I'm eating and checking calories and portions by weight...which I know a lot of people don't like to do.  I don't mind it, but I find it somewhat tedious.  It is a good thing to do periodically for me though I think because it's good to know you're being reasonably accurate with your guesstimates (which is how I usually work).  I'm also getting my water in, which I usually don't...in fact I've felt slightly dehydrated recently so this was a good thing for me to do to actually understand exactly how much water I should be drinking...it's not something I've done before as there isn't as much focus on recommended water intake here in the UK as there seems to be in the US.

I have my Slimming World weigh in tonight, but I know I've got a good couple of pounds off this week, so I'm pleased with that (after a couple of slow weeks I have to add). I'm aiming for another 4lbs off over this two week challenge to be entirely happy.

Another bright spot is that I've finally gotten back into some regular exercise...I was so slack in the last couple of months and it's only really last week that I feel like I've done enough to be even remotely satisfied...hence why I crashed and burned in the 'go-chica-go challenge'...I enrolled and then was never heard from again! 

I've started a Zumba class on Monday nights with a friend and last night was the second time we'd been.  The first week I had mixed feelings, but I enjoyed it far more last night as I was more familiar with the moves and could put a lot more ooomph into it...hence loads more sweating!

Wednesday is tennis night and it is very vigorous for the hour that we play...I end up very out of breath, sweaty and red faced so I know I'm doing something right... although i'll have to come up with a replacement activity this week as it's half term and the tennis is only on during term time.

Anyway it's all good this week for a change.  Motivation is up! Better go look after my family...my son has a scouts halloween party tonight and wants some help with his scary face paint!

Monday 25 October 2010

Doin' the Double Dog Dare Ya Challenge...

This is perfect timing for me, so I'm Double Dog doin' it.  No social engagements on the horizon for the next two weeks to tempt me off my resolve, no excuses.  I'm on it! I've already given myself a target to lose at least 14lbs before Xmas (bearing in mind a two week trip to Australia will be coming before Xmas does, so I can't really rely on losing those two weeks although I am intending to try). 

I only saw this challenge today, but fortunately I had weighed myself this morning so I can report my start weight and I've been super good with my eating so no problems with the calorie limit for today...the only thing I have to catch up with is the 64oz of water requirement for the challenge which I first had to get home and find out how many mls or cups were in 64oz as I'm definately a metric girl when it comes to fluid measures...

Start weight 25th Oct: 181.2lb
140lb x 11 = 1540 cals per day max

I also started back doing a lot more exercise last week which has really helped to get my moods stabilised and obviously burn some more calories and help with the toning.  Gotta keep it up now that's all.

I hope everyone else is charged up to start the new week with lots of motivation to get some pounds off.  Have a good one...

Saturday 9 October 2010


Hi girlies and boys...so lovely to see all you boobies having such a brilliant time.  So many of you managed to go...fabulous...I'm definately up for it next year...I don't care where it is I'm there.  I think it was just a little early in my journey to make the committment despite the fact that I really was already feeling a strong bond with you all.  Next year I'm so there!!!!! So glad you all had such a fun time!!!

Wednesday 6 October 2010

First official Weigh In & Odds and Sods

Hi All,

Thip picture is utterly pointless...it's just darned funny.  It's the look in that cat's eyes...so human. 

I thought I'd update you all on my first week back with Slimming World (SW) which has gone well.  It's helped me to focus on the good habits I already know and get me back to meal planning and cooking from scratch which is really SO important!

I was really pleased when I hopped onto the scale and I'd lost 3 pounds this week and I can't say I was hungry at all...I just made better choices...WHO KNEW??  Kidding of course...we mostly all know what we SHOULD be doing, but the self discipline to follow it through is where we tend to fall down.  I know you can all appreciate how that happens.  I have No self-discipline...I usually need a man with a big spiky stick standing over me in order to get my ass into gear.

Also, I have a post in editing which is in response to an award I've received from two lovely blogger's and it's long overdue...which is very rude I know.  My excuses are that I've been so busy I seriously struggle to get any blogging time these days, especially in private...I don't like my family reading over my shoulder, especially whilst I'm trying to compose something meaningful and my work blogging time is virtually non-existant.

I've got a bit more time of being overly busy ahead, but I'm hoping to see the light at the end of the tunnel for a little while at least quite soon.

Until of course we receive an offer on our house and then it'll all kick up a notch again.

In answer to Barbara's question on my recent post regarding my farm purchase, render is a concrete-like substance that is sometimes put on the exterior of houses over brick or stone and then usually painted.  It goes on like plaster and is often used to cover cosmetically unattractive surfaces...we recently had it applied to our house as the brickwork was very chipped and badly done.  I imagine you have the same thing in the US but it obviously goes by another name.

Our house has yet to sell, so we've decided to push things along with a price reduction as now that we have the farm we really could do with the money to do the work on it! Fingers crossed that the new price has the right effect.

Friday 1 October 2010

We've bought the Farm....te he

Hi guys,

Yes, all the paperwork has finally been processed the t's crossed and the i's dotted and we are totally and utterly 'skint'.  But yesterday, on the only bright day with a blue sky in the last two months, we completed on our derelict farm house.
As you can see it needs some work...well a lot of work.  It'll look a million times better by just knocking off the render as it's pretty old and is built of lovely stone.  I think the render was added to make it water tight at some stage.  It does need some redesign and is in a sorry state, but it is nestled in acres of green belt land which will never be built on and the view is just so lovely from any direction.  We have one near neighbour and there are other farms dotted about in the distance, but yet we're only 3 miles from the nearest town which is where we live now.

Now all we need is to sell our house...should be a piece of cake, um not.

Thursday 30 September 2010

Taking Control

Following on from my last post, you'll be happy to hear that I've gained control...I don't quite know how, but the out of control bit has settled down and I've decided to rejoin Slimming World after a break of almost a year.  I thought something more structured would help especially the support group and weekly weigh in aspect as I've lost my monthly surgery support group which has stopped running due to such low attendance rates.

The SW group meets on Tuesday evenings and from Monday I've felt as though I'm back in the saddle and not the demon of food and wine.  My appetite has been rediculous lately, I'm hungry an hour and a half after eating which isn't right, I suspect it's caused by my recent overeating and I'm sure it will settle down once I get myself used to more healthy eating patterns.  I'm not going to go in for a fill because I otherwise have very good restriction and really would not want to be any tighter.

I have found in the past that when I do lots of cooking from scratch using the healthy recipes from the SW magazines I am more successful...the difficulty is the time consuming nature of all this fabulous cooking and the fact that my youngest son has a real issue with many many types of food and I usually end up cooking two meals! I'm not going to think negatively though, it won't get me anywhere.

I've already lost a couple of pounds so I'm sure I'll be rewarded next Tuesday on the scale.

I know there will be those who will be wondering if I've told the group about my band...the answer is no.  Some people I'm sure will feel this is wrong, but I don't agree and here are my reasons:

a) This is a public class, open to anyone.  Ya pays your money, you get to do the programme...nowhere does it specify you must bear your soul to a room full of total strangers.

b) Each person is on their own journey and must do there own work to lose weight.  The programme works as long as you follow it and if people don't lose weight they normally know why.  My weight loss is always slow and steady (even with the band), so I won't be losing any faster than anyone else who sticks to the rules.

c) When others lose weight in class it is motivating and inspiring, not depressing and demoralising...that's the whole point of the 'support group' to motivate one another and be encouraged by the success of others, so if I am successful it should encourage rather than discourage others.  The fact that I have extra support in the form of a medical appetite suppresant is irrelevant and doesn't negatively effect anyone else in the group.  I won't be spouting on about how I do this and that and how easy it is...so no-one will think 'Why does she find it easy when I'm finding it hard?'...as if any kind of diet is easy anyway...even with the band!  I love chocolate, crisps and wine just as much as the next obese person and all those slide on down past the band with no trouble at all...so it still requires some self-discipline and will power to lose weight, if that weren't the case the band would have a MUCH higher success rate!

I know this probably came off as some kind of lecture or rant...it's just that over the months since I've been reading posts & blogs about banding I've read a lot of comments on how going to slimming classes with the band is cheating and somehow hurting others unless you tell them all up front...you may have guessed that I don't agree with this take on things... These classes are for anyone who needs to lose weight and are not a competition.  Everyone who is overweight struggles to lose it and we need to access whatever support we feel will help us. End of Lecture...P.S. I'm always happy for people to disagree with me as long as they are respectful of my opinion, so I'm stating my case, but not trying to shove it down your throat. :0)...would you like fries with that?

Friday 24 September 2010

Catching up with you all

Hi Guys,

I hope all the BOOBS are having a wonderful time at this weekend...I wish I could be there. 

I haven't been keeping you all up to date with my progress because, to be honest there has been no progress of the scale variety...that is no-ones fault but my own i know...I have been behaving like a complete fool and eating in a way not conducive to weight loss.  The reason is mental and I can't seem to conquer the mental issues and refocus on losing weight.  I know I am finding it very difficult at the moment as I'm working longer hours, my eldest son has just started at an expensive private school and for the first time ever he has homework every night and expected to be responsible for himself.  To be completely honest with you he is a very bright boy...but he is a very lazy boy!  I spend every evening nagging him to start his homework and chasing him around to ensure he's ready for the next day along with all my regular jobs looking after my family, plus getting up an hour earlier to get my son on his school bus.  I know a lot of people seem to find this transition easy, but I tend to find all change difficult and stressful.  I honestly do feel a little out of control...

On the plus side, I do have to acknowledge the successes, mainly as a result of having the band and actually this proves the very reason that I decided the band was right for me...My recent pattern was to lose weight and then to gain weight...unfortunately the overall trend was up!!!  The battle was getting old!!!  The wonderful thing about having the band (although I am far from happy with what I see as my abuse of it!) is the fact that when I go through my 'mental' phases and overeat, I can maintain my weight rather than rapidly gaining.  This is due to the fact that I can not eat the same large quantities.  Also, I've been focusing on gradually increasing my exercise again, which had dropped off during the work I was putting in to get our house ready for the market.  It is hard to get back into doing the exercise again once you make the mistake of stopping...I actually felt scared to do it...like I didn't believe I could! So I've slowly stepped it up and I'm now doing something about 4 times a week.  I'm planning on adding in some exercise dvd's and also gym classes...I do love it once I'm doing it.

The other good thing that I've noticed is that by just maintaining this weight, and doing some exercise my body shape is actually to my surprise improving! I know that's weird, but I have purchased two new pairs of trousers for work which didn't fit me enough to start wearing and last Saturday night I actually wore a pair out...the tighter pair!!!! I hadn't lost any pounds and yet they were a waay better fit. 

I'm not being complacent, I know I'm letting myself down by not putting the effort in and I need to find a way to combat the mental challenges that come with losing weight...but it is nice to see that even by maintaining my weight I can improve my body if I keep up some exercise. My goal there is to get back to loving exercise as I once did when I was fit...and doing it every day...because I CAN. I'm lucky, I don't have as much to lose as some people so I have the luxury of being able to take the scenic route (just as well), but to be honest as I've gotten to know all of you guys, I feel that I'm dishonouring the effort that you are putting in, by not giving it my all.

That is why I've been too ashamed to confess my transgressions here on my blog...also, by confessing, it puts pressure on me to change...I can't confess and continue to fail, it's too pathetic.

I don't usually pray anymore...it's been several years since I prayed with any regularity...but today I prayed to God to ask Him to help me gain control of myself and my eating decisions...it actually helped I think even though I was sitting in the middle of an open plan office at the time so concentration was a little more effort.  I need to find the key to gaining better control over my subconscious in order to achieve my goals...it's really a big mental game we're all playing.

Wish me luck people as I wish it for you.  xx

Saturday 4 September 2010

Big School

I think I mentioned recently that my eldest child started high school yesterday.  It was a really big deal.  we'd agonised over what to do for the best and eventually decided to send him private which is costing a small fortune and takes him away from his primary school friendship groups.

We've changed our minds ten times over the last year about where to send him.  He's bright, but likes to be cool and I was worried based on my own high school experience that this could be a real road block.  He had to pass an entrance exam and an interview and was accepted into the best school in the area I believe and it seems such a positive place, that I feel really excited about what it can offer him and what it can do to develop the best side of him.

When he came home from his first day yesterday he was very very quiet and very very tired.  I think he was daunted by the newness, the size, the number of pupils and the expectations placed on them.  But he set off this morning for his first morning on the bus in a positive frame of mind and came home much more energetic and positive.  More prepared to describe his experiences at school.  I was a bit stunned by some things, but also pleased.  Manners are expected at this school!!! In fact a high value is placed on them??? Who'd have thought...teenagers with manners???  That makes me really happy. My son told me he thought he might have to get in quick at his next English lesson and apologise to his teacher for not tucking in his chair at the end of the lesson to pre-empt getting told off...also, he said his history teacher expected them to wait to be invited to sit down at the start of the lesson...I know this may sound a little drackonian...but in this day and age of teenagers with no sense of manners it is quite wonderful I think.  Also, they are expected to wear blazers at all times, except in lessons where they can hang them on the back of their chairs.  Raising galant young men I'd say!

He was desperate to attend the first rugby pre-season session tomorrow (Saturday) and I've spent the day running around trying to get his rugby boots (black) with kite marked safety studs! and his reversible games top which is imported from Pakistan and is delayed due to the highly inconvenient floods! I was fortunately able to convince him  that the top was unlikely now to arrive in time for next weeks session either and to not go based on it not being available was not a good plan and I'm pleased that his need to fit in has taken second place to his desire to take part...result!

It has been a pretty emotional week for me I have to admit and this morning when I saw him off on the bus for the first time did make me shed a tear.  He was so nervous and had no clue what to do as he'd never caught a bus in his memory...never mind on his own...also, he didn't want to be seen with me so I had to sit on a bench seat several feet from the bus stop and pretend not to know him....but it was all worth it once he was confidently seated on the bus and gave me a lovely smile from his seat. Aaawww, reminds me of Toy Story 3 which I streamed with tears through!

Okay, it's nearly 1am and I've just spent an hour trying to upload a fully uniformed photo from a bluetoothed zip file...wouldn't have a bloody clue...will add the photo when I get the idea...In the meantime I'm going to bed...I'm supposed to be at Rubgy by 9am and at swimming with my youngest by 10 am about a half hours distance appart...might have to envoke the spirit of the husband to take over the dual role post... that should work....Ihope you all have a joyous weekend...ours has definately picked up weather wise...just in time for the kids to go back to school...

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Oooh Too Deep

I hope I didn't scare you guys off with my last post...it was very late at night...you know how that can be.

I do feel like I need to get some deeper meaning into my life...but I'm not sure at the moment whether this is a chemical thing that needs treating (I have suffered with depression in the past and took meds for a couple of years), or a life challenge that's missing.  Although having my own business was bloody hard and stressful, it was incredibly rewarding and I loved being my own boss and calling the shots and I was incredibly proud of what I'd achieved.  I think this could be why my work now just doesn't cut it.  It feels totally pointless...is this it? Is this why I get up  in the morning? To push paper for someone else? Obviously raising my boys is a very important focus, but the way I've been feeling, I ask myself 'am I raising my boys so that they too can run the treadmill of pointlessness? Wow it sounds gloomy inside my head doesn't it?

Lately I just can't be bothered to put myself out at work and really achieve to my potential...but that just so isn't me that I think that may be what's been making me unhappy...the trouble is now, I'm so much wiser as to the stress of being a business owner that I'd be very wary of doing something like that again.

My eldest starts high school tomorrow and my youngest is back at school next Wednesday.  I'm going to have a little plan to get some more exercise and keep busy in the evenings once things get back into a routine, that's the time that I find the most tricky and maybe I'll find that helps  Also, I'm going to have a think about what I could do career wise that I may find more rewarding. 

Anyway, thanks for listening.  I know it's not the most inspiring topic, but it helps to discuss these things. xx

Monday 30 August 2010

The Meaning of Life

I've been following Chris's blog for a few months now ('A Deliberate Life') and I always find it to be thought provoking and very meaningful.  I don't know how she does it to be honest...she's busy, but she always finds the time to think and to share something of meaning...

Tonight I was catching up with the last weeks posts and I felt a great appreciation for her insights, but then when I read her most recent post and played the clip I found it really was timely for me in my life and it resonated also with our weight loss journeys.

Firstly her post was religious in nature...now I'm hideously cynical...especially around religious evangelism...do not come to my door preaching, or accost me in the street...I'll be polite always, and respect your views, but I have barriers erected to your message.  It's probably only that I have a lot of respect for Chris and her non-judgemental approach to life that I could lower my barriers so much.

I saw a man in the street this weekend with a huge sign saying basically 'the end is nigh' I walked the long way around him, even though in the back of my mind I agreed with his message that we should be ready and always live our lives as though the end was nigh, basically getting our priorities right and being the best human being we can be.

I was brought up as a strict Catholic.  I went to church every Sunday, I read at mass regularly and was involved in my parish.  It wasn't until I reached my 20's that I started to question the doctrines laid down and decided that many of the rules were arbitrarily laid down by an evolving church based on money and power across medieval times and someone who couldn't see into my heart was judging me by these very ridgid and often socially inappropriate rules.

It wasn't that I stopped believing in God, but I did feel that I just wasn't sure anymore what to believe in.

For years I haven't practiced any structured faith system. I've gotten along just fine, thank you very much.

But, for the last few years I've felt a hole...something is missing and I couldn't work out what it was. I had my  own business for a few years and that was great, but the stress was killing me so I sold it on.  Following that I was definately empty and nothing has materialised to fill that void.  Eventually I got a job to make me forget that I was empty...that has worked for a couple of years...kind of.  But lately I've been feeling sad.  Why?  I don't know.  I shouldn't be sad.  I have 'a great life'.  A wonderful husband, two wonderful boys, a job, a great house, two great cars, a farm house to do up.  All I could think of was ways to strive for more stuff....this must be it right???  No...it means nothing...it's all hollow and empty.  All the good stuff means nothing. My brain has been gradually coming to the realisation that all the physical stuff is worthless and our lives mean nothing if that's all we achieve.  I can't say I've yet decided what to do about these scary thoughts...in fact that's why I related them back to dieting and weight loss...We go to the doctor, we read the literature about the health risks of obesity, but we don't want to compute what this may mean to our lives...the discomfort of making changes...making sacrifices and making effort to change.  UUUuuuugggghhh.  That's just plain scary and it's a message we may not be ready or willing to hear.

I listened to the clip of the preacher that Chris had posted on her blog and tears were streaming unconsciously down my face.  I normally would block that kind of thing as extremist clap-trap. But this time I realised it was true.  We should feel passionate about our love of God and our love of our fellow man and our need to do right in the world.  Not luke-warm...but passionate.  This was uncomfortable stuff to hear...because I knew it was right and I had known it ever since I had my first son.  He was a tiny baby in my arms and I watched the footage of the famines in Africa...mothers unable to feed their own babies and I felt true guilt.  How could I sit there and watch that kind of suffering whilst I had money in the bank and do nothing.  It was just plain wrong!  It's wrong whether you believe in God or not...we should have passion for other human beings.

The clip said that 'God is not a yuppie accessory' He's not something to add to your already perfect life once you have the right house, car and job...those things are meaningless.

I'm not saying I'm going to ditch those things and become a missionary...heck by next Sunday I'll probably have managed to push those uncomfortable thoughts aside in my busy day...but it made me think today...and it added to the thought I had yesterday.  I even had a discussion with a colleague at work about how we can make our lives more meaningful just last week.  The fact is at the moment, I'm just not ready to make any real changes to my life. I'm still in the denial stage...like the people who go to see their doctor complaining about their weight, but full of excuses about why they can't possibly do anything to change it...food for thought.

Saturday 14 August 2010


Well...I needed to share with you that I've seen a new low on the scale this morning...it's all good. I'm now 8lbs from the lowest weight I got to with Slimming World at least three years ago...so that's definately going to be a significant milestone for me when I get there. :0)

Friday 13 August 2010

I get so much out of this

I just wanted to say how much I get out of this experience of blogging.  It's so inclusive and open which in the real world is very rare.  I am very open and honest in my relationships, I often speak before I think because I'm honest and up front and sometimes I don't think about how what I say may be perceived by the more strategically aware folks and many times I feel this leads to my being judged by others. 

Here all I feel is supported and embraced.  I love that.  We all have certain common ground where we can come together and share our secret lives, that which we usually cover up with a veil of publicly acceptable veneer.  No-one really wants to hear that you are going slowly mad when they politely ask 'How are you?'

I just wanted to let you all know that the time you spend reading and commenting on my blog means a lot to me and has a really positive impact on my daily life...sometimes we don't let people know enough how much their input means to us.  So, thanks guys. xx

Wednesday 11 August 2010

WOW...I got an award...so exciting.

Thanks to Kerri from Just Me and My Band for this lovely, thoughtful award. It's my very first one so I'm pretty impressed.

Here are the rules for this award:

1.Thank the person giving the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 newly discovered blogs.
4. Let your nominees know about the award.

1. I was born in Papua New Guinea and lived there till I was around 4 years old. I’ve never even been back for a visit...it’s definitely on my ‘bucket list’.

2. I have two little boys, one 9 and one 11 just starting high school in September...they are both completely different and both completely wonderful.

3. My father is an alcoholic who no longer drinks...he gave up about 9 years ago, but it definitely defined my childhood...a post for another time.

4. I am the eldest of three sisters.

5. Last year my middle sisters youngest son was run over and has lost the sight in one eye. :0( He’s adjusted better than his poor mum.

6. We’re just in the process of purchasing a dilapidated farm house on 20 acres and will have our hands full making it some kind of home over the next year or two. We should complete on it this month...fingers crossed.

7. I’m going back to Australia for a two week visit on my own in November to spend time with my family. We can’t afford to all go unfortunately this year, but I haven’t seen my family since the accident last year and it’s well overdue. Can’t wait to see my niece and nephews and my lovely sisters and mum and dad too. Miss them. :0(

I am passing on this award to the following 15 amazing bloggers...I'm not sticking entirely to the rules as they're not necessaril 'new' blogs, but I'm picking some of the bloggers that have inspired me on some level. Hope that's okay.

1. Yvonne, My Journey Back to Life She's done so well with her band and has just had a baby and is now trying to get her bandit mojo back and get back into her journey. 
2. Barbara, My New Life Rules!! A great person who always puts so much support out there for everyone
3. TracyZ, One Foodie's Band Quest Tracy's a really supportive blogger who shares a lot about herself in a very generous way.
4.Sandy-Lee, The Weightloss Rollercoaster Sandy's super suportive and has done some great posts recently that I think many can relate to.
5.Sally, Sally's Lapband Journey Sally's two years out and is at goal now and maintaining. She's a great example of a successful bandster and gives lots of good advice on how she got there and perhaps even more important...how she stays there.
6.A-Z, Words of Weight A new bandster and a new blogger. I love her take on things, I could really relate to what she was saying and her last post made me smile.
7.Sherry, Two Sticks or a Lighter Sherry needs an award for her blog title alone. I only just found out exactly what it means...'weightloss surgery is like giving someone a lighter instead of two sticks to rub together' beautiful! Plus she's a witty, insightful and entertaining writer.
8.Lori, Journey to Embrace A straight talking common sense girl who is really supportive.
9.Alison Alison's Banded Adventures Always offering support, thanks Alison
10.Amanda, Deep Fried Pandaisms Really glad you've got your date! Whoop Whoop
11. Cheeseburger Girl, Can't resist that title...& the 'check out these buns' te he he.
12.Work in Progress  Gives loads of support to others.
13.Gilly, Something, Something, Something Fat Chick Irreverently funny, witty and clever...what more can I say?
14. Grace, Grace's Fat Chance Full of empathy and support for others, a good writer who shares of herself fully.
15.Ameyinidaho, Does This Donut Make My Butt Look Big? Amy shares tons of good stuff about herself and it makes a rip-roaring read. She's also very supportive to her bloggy buddies.

There are so many great supportive bloggers out there who I really enjoy getting to know...I really could have given each and every one of you guys an award.

Thursday 5 August 2010

Keeping on track

Feeling pretty good today. I really can't get much down early in the day, which is fine, I'm not fighting it.  My weight is slowly dropping on the scales and that's a great reward. 

I'm happy eating really small portions and I'm listening to my appetite more which is what I was hoping to achieve and learning to take things much slower.  A very small amount on the fork and then chewing much more thoroughly than I was.

I'm also finding catching up on blogs of an evening is distracting me really well from any snacking or any feelings of dissatisfaction. I'm pretty hormonal at the moment so my state of mind leans toward the grumpy, argumentative, glass half empty at these times so the distraction is really really welcome.  Can't wait to get past it and move on.

Can I just add that the weather here is super-shitty and cold as hell and raining non-F***ing stop...it's July for goodness sake!!! Were's my frickin' sunshine a**hat???  Did I mention I was hormonal?

I'm currently locked out of CareBear Land for using bad language...

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Reporting in following my recent fill...

Hi guys,

I've been so busy trying to catch up on everyone's blogs that I haven't really allowed time to keep in touch with you...I've never fully caught up since my holiday, but I refuse to mark any as read that I haven't actually read in case I miss something crucial...of course along the way people give shout outs to new blogs that I simply have to check out and then they are alway so good I have to follow them...you see the mess I'm getting into.  Don't worry...I'm finally winning the war and last night when I came home all fed up and bored and wished I could gorge myself or drink a bottle of wine as a pick me up I read blogs instead and it wasn't too long before I was feeling full of the joys of Spring. Thanks for that.

I recently had a fill as you may remember...this was the fill which was supposed to turn my attitude around, give me a kick in the pants and get me back on track.  Well it has worked pretty well. I'm feeling pretty motivated at the moment. The fill is SUPER-TIGHT...which I like. I need it as a less obtrusive wired-jaw type device at the moment. I know, sounds bad.  I know many of you would just hate that, but I just really feel I need it at the moment.  I can explain it as being like a reverse Pavlovian response.  Remember the episode of the Simpsons where Lisa sets up a school experiment where she wires up a cupcake to an electric circuit so the every time Bart tries to take it he gets an electric shock?

 I'm a bit like Bart at the moment and I believe this fill will help me change that.  I don't know what it is but because I don't feel restricted unless I actually eat...I just seem to forget that I have it.    I'm trying to make my eating much more conscious and believe me being tight helps me do that.   I need to learn to automatically dish out smaller portions, automatically stop trying to eat foods like bread that I just can't eat. It takes a long, long treck to change the habits of a life-time and my subconscious can't yet quite accept that things have changed...Get used to it brain!

I really needed to kick that interminable plateau.  I eat for enjoyment a lot of the time and was often eating because something looked pretty tasty rather than because I was hungry, (Gee why was I stuck in a plateau?).  Well now eating is such a chore that I may soon get the hint that IT ISN'T A PLEASURE, SO DON'T BOTHER UNLESS YOU'RE FREAKIN' HUNGRY! Also I fill up so quickly now that I'm actually learning NOT TO PICK WHILST I PREPARE THE FOOD, because otherwise I'm already full before I put any on the plate.  If I can make these good behaviours habits and stop constantly thinking of food when I'm not hungry then I won't even need to be so tight forever.

My long-term plan is to lose the weight whilst I gradually make exercise a regular part of my life, (better get back onto that bit) and then once I'm where I want to be, loosen off the restriction a bit so that I don't get stuck and pb, but that my portion needs are still very reduced. This will mean a very normal life and maintenance for always.  Of course I'll have to monitor my weight and make the odd correction, but it should be so much easier.

I think a big part of my inability to remotivate following my holiday was caused by missing my support group in June and that always sent me away motivated. July was the last support group though as the group was poorly attended so they decided to do an online one instead.  I had a think about what this would mean for me and since I have a years aftercare included in my package I asked if I could come in monthly to weigh in and have a chat.  The NP said of course and made me an appointment for August.  I wish I'd thought of that before because I think that type of contact with the hospital and accountability makes me much more motivated than if I do it all myself from home.  I now have in my mind that appointment date as a mini-goal to try and impress her with my progress.  I'm not going to set an amount to lose as this actually increases my self-sabotaging behaviour...I'm a psychological minefield aren't I???

Anyway the kids have started their summer holidays now and I don't have anymore social events coming up to trip me up, or holidays away (I don't count camping in a tent), so I'm really planning to make a bit of a dent in the weight loss this month and when the kids start back at school I want my clothes to feel that bit looser. 7lbs for August'd be nice. Yeah...I think SO! Happy Hump Day everyone! xx

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Just a quick one...trying to avert some emotional hunger pangs **Edited**

Hi Guys,

I've just arrived at work...I'm all on my own as the rest of my team is either on hols or out of the office...I've had a row with my hubby and am feeling pretty down and now all I want to do is fill the emotional void with snack food...Luckily I have nothing with me but soup and slimfast...still on my post fill liquids.

I decided the best thing to do was to get on here and post it out there so I would feel that at least you guys know how I feel even if no-one else does.  I tend to need to verbalise...

I have had a nice text from hubby, but sometimes the damage is already done in terms of my low mood...but reading your comments from yesterday has already helped and I'm starting to feel a bit more positive and supported.  Now I'm going to get on google reader and catch up for 20mins or so.  That should have sorted me out before the lunch lady comes shouting her wares and presenting temptation in weak moments...I know I won't succumb...I saw my lowest number yet this morning (188.6) and I don't want to compromise that. 

Thanks for listening. xx

**Go Me...We have a new Starbucks which has opened up in our building and staff keep wandering around our office with free samples of various fattening stuff...I just said NO!! to something yummy looking which appeared to have soft-serve ice cream poking out the top of the cup...I didn't even let the girl with the tray get close enough to see what it was, I just smiled and shook my head...OMG...I have nerves of steel...sometimes.  There is hope for me yet! Feeling way better now...xx

Monday 26 July 2010

Born Again...

Hi to all my banded buddies...and any as yet to be banded alike.  I have now been reborn as a newly formed bandster who is going to get that scale moving again.  Enough already with the stagnation that I've allowed to take hold since my now distantly remembered holiday!

As I mentioned a few posts ago I had made an appointment for another fill, which I had on Sunday.  The fill wasn't strictly medically necessary truth be told, but I needed it for my brain! I have 12 months of inclusive aftercare, so I figured that even if I then decided I was too tight and went back for a slight defill later the extra face time at the hospital was going to be a real motivator to keep me going in the right direction. I've recently not only been overeating, but also not exercising and so it really only was a matter of time before the scale became upwardly mobile...in fact I think that I was actually starting to lose muscle and gain fat (hence the scale staying stable, but my jeans feeling snugger!).

I am including a picture here that I took just now (had to lie down on the kitchen floor to accomplish it as I couldn't see what I was taking it of and my hand and camera were blocking the light...the lengths I'll go to to get a little sympathy).  I mentioned after my last fill that my port had moved and tilted and the surgeon struggled to get the adjustment done, but with his experience he knew what he was feeling for and it didn't take him very long to do it...I'd forgotten that and this time I had the nurse, who try as she might was unable to locate the port and tilt it in the correct direction. After much struggling and a change of needle she called in the surgeon and he had to do it. Mostly it wasn't too painful, but there were a few periods where it did hurt and sting quite a bit and I was relieved when it was all over and more than a bit tender for the rest of the day!

Anyway without further ado...

Nice isn't it???? You can even see my lovely little tummy button scar from my surgery. Cute hey? Sorry about the minging black sticking plaster mark I'll have to get some cream or oil onto it to get it off...I have showered honestly! Oh..Hold the phone...I just managed to scratch it off...caused I believe by my brown linen trouser fluff sticking to the glue residue according to my deductive reasoning...not much gets past me!

The surgeon said to the nurse...'This is one of those non-sutured ports...we've had a couple of these' hmmm, not sure I'm thrilled with that, but as long as they can access it that's what counts right?

(Wow, that really took some doing to get this photo loaded up too...my iPhone is playing up and I had to bluetooth it to the laptop using an iPhone app, then Blogger couldn't open the file, so I had to upload it to Snapfish and then copy it back to my laptop!!! At least I managed it though it's the first time in months I've worked out a way of getting my photo's off my phone...somewhat laborious though...this things going back to the shop just as soon as I have a spare two and a half hours to do it in.)

I'm sticking to liquids now for a few days and then mushies.  I've been pretty good, with about 800 cals yesterday and I'd had two cappuccino's (with skim milk) by 1 o'clock today, then a can of mushroom soup and a slimfast shake...then it went slightly wrong as I felt really flat (I think from the low cals) and the headhunger kicked in about 4:30 and I did then consume about 300 or so non-liquid cals! Not a calorie disaster as I'm now done for the day, but I felt like a guilty binger none the less.  'Bless me Father, for I have sinned' that's how I feel...I give myself a MUST TRY HARDER mark on my report and a do-over.

Wish me a bit of extra will power as I'm obviously running a bit short...

Saturday 24 July 2010

Bye Bye *~D~*...Sorry you had to go...

Hi everyone,

It's a bit of a sad story that our friend *~D~* from 'A Fat Chick Gets Skinny' has left us and withdrawn her blog...she felt unloved and unsupported and generally as though we didn't love her enough.  That is so sad and I think she's made a big mistake in leaving us...because now I'm worried that she's going to be all alone. She's just moved to a new part of the country and doesn't really know anyone, she has real financial pressures and hasn't yet found a job, her hubby is in the armed forces and is away a lot, her dog is really sick...she's just been having an awfuly tough time lately and (I suspect due to the summer time meaning we are all out and about so much more and not up to date with our blog reading) she has been getting very few comments on her blog. Well yesterday I read her post saying 'bye bye' to us all and that she obviously just wasn't entertaining enough to be accepted and today her blog is totally gone!

I just mention it because I read her posts late and didn't comment because there were already newer ones, but she didn't even get one comment about her dog very nearly dying and I just thought...no wonder she felt hurt! She won't even see this as she doesn't follow my blog...'Hey! maybe I should be sulking about that!' but I just hope that she realises that she was a bit hard on us and comes back to the fold...not for us really (although I did like reading her blog), but for herself...the times when you are on your own are the times you most need the non-judgemental support you get here. 'Come on ~D~ I for one pledge to try harder if you come back.  xx

Friday 23 July 2010


Hi Guys,

Just to keep you in the loop...our offer was accepted on the farmhouse! Yay, we are now soon to be farmers!! As long as the paperwork is all in order of course...Just gotta sell our house now so we have some money to do the work on it. We must be a bit mad as it really is a big mess, but the views are to die for and it's the dream of rural life that we have with 20 acres to go at! Really, really happy! Thanks for all your support. xx

Friday 16 July 2010

Warning! Warning! Danger Will Robinson! Excessively long post...

Hello...I guess I was a bit squiffy the other night...I even forgot I posted...hmm, I did have a nice night out though.

I don't know what I was thinking promising to tell you funny friend stories??? It really is only funny if you know the people in question and the back story is sooo long you'd have fallen asleep before I got half way through it so I won't give you the blow-by-blow. No thanks is necessary.

Anyway, on to a  far more thrilling topics...I mentioned a couple of posts ago that we were all stirred up about a derelict farmhouse that had come up for informal tender...well the offer deadline was today.  We have our house to sell and it is now on the market, but we decided that as we wanted this farmhouse so very badly we would approach a bank manager that my hubby has a good business relationship with and they have been doing business deals for years and years so there is a history of trust and knowledge of our business position there. He yesterday, after checking over our papers agreed to finance a bridging loan at a very good interest rate (interest only) so that we could put in a cash offer today.  yay, that makes our position a lot stronger than saying we will give you X when we sell our house.

Last night I just felt sick with knots in my stomach about what we would decide to offer today and whether it would be enough, or whether we would offer our utmost when we didn't really have to...

Last night we sat down and decided on a three offer strategy. One amount in cash now, or two a higher amount after our house sells, or three an even higher amount to include an extra parcel of land that is also up for sale - again when our house sells...then this morning lying in bed I was thinking to myself, what if they think...'lets take the higher amount and put a time deadline on the house sale, which then reverts to offer 1 if the house isn't sold...which disincentivises us from selling quickly...then in say six months the interest rate has gone up and it all goes to heck! I thought by offering a higher amount and giving them a fall back position we were encouraging them to be greedy and take the higher offer with a belt and braces safety net of the cash offer on the back burner...I obviously don't want to pay more than necessary as the more we pay the less we can afford to borrow to renovate it! I decided that it would be smarter to stretch our cash offer to the limit and just put that in.  I told hubby my thoughts and he confessed he'd been lying there thinking the exact same thing! Synchronicity!

So we were in complete agreement about what to offer...we put the offer in and then before close of business today we phoned and sounded the agent out on our chances.  It looks pretty positive as he said we were a front runner and we'd put in a strong offer. We need to wait till Monday when the offers will be discussed at a Board meeting (the property is owned by a trust) and we may know something...although in all likelihood it will be a case of verifying our position first and then waiting for others to verify theirs. I suspect we may be the best cash offer, but there may be higher offers conditional on sales of other properties. The vendor has been through the experience of accepting offers and waiting for sales which never came and then being back on the market twice before getting to this point...so they are not going to be mad keen on going there again...it may mean that they decide 'a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush'. Fingers and toes crossed.

Now I'm really annoyed because I've had so many Blogger glitches while I've been trying to type this post!!! I've  now lost a load of paragraphs twice!!! aaarrrrgggghhh!!!

I was saying something about my iPhone malfunctioning in about 3 different ways! one of which being that I can't download my photo's! I use PC's and none of the programmes on which I can download photo's will recognise my iPhone! Only iTunes can recognise it, but of course iTunes cannot be used to download photo's.  I'm going to try and get my phone replaced under warranty as soon as I get a chance (it runs out in September). Once I do that I'm going to be able to post photo's relevant to the posts I'm doing which is always good, I might even post pics of myself! I probably won't get rumbled being anonymous, but using pics. If anyone does rumble me, they are more than likely interested in being banded or are banded anyway which I won't even mind! I think it will be good as it helps to feel more involved with people if you know what they look like. My husband will not approve of this idea as he is VERY private and is especially paranoid of the Internet and any info that is out in cyberspace which I can definitely appreciate...but I don't usually do what I'm told...(neither does he for that matter!)

I love you all and I have been working hard to catch up on all your blogs which I find frustrating because there are so so many thought provoking posts that I want to comment on...but it's too late! Hey! Catch up! That was two weeks ago!!! One thing that is good about being behind is that i tend to go on Google reader and see who has the highest number of unread posts and read them in order...it gives you such a good feel for the person...much better than reading one at a time interspersed with 120 others.

Oh! Another great thing about today! My boys got their school reports today...I'm so so proud of them! My eldest is just downright clever. He's gotten into a very selective private school, but I still worry because he is soooo lazy and so easily distracted. I just hope he rises to the challenge because the level of work will be a lot harder than at the local school. They study the International level examinations rather than the regular kind as they have a high number of students who get into Oxford and Cambridge and apparently the regular level GCSE's are not at a high enough level to equip them! Scary.

And my youngest in his first three years at school struggled with an undiagnosed condition known as 'selective mutism' I had never even heard of it, but I knew there was a problem and the teachers knew there was a problem. One of the side effects was that he felt too self conscious to express himself in any creative writing exercises and fell behind in school especially in this area.

In this report although he was well above average in his maths and reading and science, the thing I was most proud of was that he was AVERAGE in his writing. I know this has been a massive challenge for him to 'put himself out there' in his writing and I nearly burst with pride to see that he had worked so hard at it and covered that lost ground.  At the end of last year he was quite behind in his writing, so this showed a big move forward for the year and a really special achievement.  His brother was criticising his result as it was less than he'd gotten in the same year, but I said I was most proud of that score of all of them and I could hear in my sons voice that it meant a lot to him too.  What a wonderful moment as a mum.

I do feel so very lucky today, my boys mean everything to me and I just want everything good for them. I want to try and circumvent every bad experience and the thought that I can't do that does cause me anxiety.

Thank you to those of you who have managed to persevere to this point...I'm actually having an eye twitch now and jumpy vision, so I've probably gone on for too long now...I've got my second viewer on the house tomorrow...I don't know what's going on, is my house not as great as I think it is? Only two viewers in a week! I thought I'd be inundated!

Ciao for now! xxxx

Wednesday 14 July 2010

Happy Anniversary to me...

Hi Guys,

I've just come back from a lovely night out for my 13th anniversary.  I may be slightly drunk...I'm not entirely sure.,,

My son thinks I may have been a little too backward in coming forward when he realised we'd been dating for 7 years before we got married...I told him I didn't want to rush into anything....

Had a lovely night anyway...and I even got flowers...hmmm not an everyday occurance.  I'll fill u in tomorrow on the funny friend stuff that';s  been going on today... quite humorous.


Monday 12 July 2010

Drifting along...

Hi guys,

I haven't really posted on my band progress in a little while now...as we all know when that happens it's usually because...nothin's happening. Well this time is no exception.

Ever since I came back from my holiday, I've mentally been like I'm still on holiday and I'm eating just anything and everything I fancy with no real ability to say no! The only positive in all this is that I haven't been putting on weight! The reduced portions and extra filling qualities of fatier food has meant that I have been wavering within the same two pound region now for weeks and weeks. I just have not been focused on weight loss at all. It's as though I've forgotten all about my little bandy friend. Funnily enough though, because I've been fairly active and I've managed to maintain I've actually felt quite positive about it. I'm following my normal ebb and flow routine mentallity of dedicated dieting followed by complete lack of regard for good food choices and this time I'm not piling it all back on.  That my friends is to me a huge NSV!

I've been pondering getting a small fill now for over a month, but I know in reality I do have enough restriction that if I actually made better food choices I'd lose weight, so I've held off having a fill.

Today I phoned and booked a fill...Sunday 25th July. The real reason I've booked this is because I know it's the only way to get me physically and mentally back in touch with the fact that I have undergone surgery and spent 8,000 hard earned Pounds (of the cash variety) to lose this weight and my non-cooperation with the process is not going to do it for me in a reasonable time-scale. I know I will comply with the three days liquids, three days mush following the fill and then I will in all likelihood try very hard to get down below 13 stone (182lb). This will mean I'll be very comfortably in all my UK size 16 clothes, many of which are currently just that little bit too snug. I'm currently wavering between 189-191lbs.

Sometimes I feel like I might not be too worried about doing this nice and slow, and waiting till I feel the real need to get my weight moving down again, but part of me is a little scared that we never know how long we will be able to keep these bands for and I'm worried that I may be unlucky and have mine fail before I've achieved my weight-loss goals. That's really why I've decided to go in for a small fill and kick start my motivation that way. I figure I've got a years inclusive aftercare, so I can always get some removed if necessary. The more contact I have with my provider I find the more focused and motivated I am, it really engages me with the process...I think the fact that I missed my last support group meeting was a contributing factor to my not getting back on track. Also, the house move possibility and all the work that's created has been a real distraction...whilst it's kept me active it's also kept me out of the gym and away from blogging.

Sorry if this 'navel gazing' is all a bit dull to read...but I know you all appreciate that this kind of self examination is a necessary part of unpicking our behaviour sometimes. Thanks for listening. xx

Saturday 10 July 2010

Where to start???

I've been so busy this last couple of weeks I literally haven't had a moment to myself.  I mentioned in an earlier post I think that my husband is determined to live on a farm in a rural location, close to where he grew up.  This isn't as bad as it sounds as the area is only a 10 minute drive from our current home and civilisation. 

Well...for the past two years we've had an ongoing relationship with a derelict farmhouse and land in a lovely location that we've wanted to buy. Initially we tried to buy the farmhouse and a converted barn, the two lots are part of the same property and both come with land (the vendor wouldn't sell them separately), but the bank decided to up the interest rate it had initially offered us and put us on less favourable terms (due to the recession biting) so we had to pull out...I was relieved as I had felt that it was going to be a stretch for us and we would have no wriggle room if things went wrong in any way.

We again suggested that we would buy the farmhouse & land lot, but were again told they were not going to sell them separately for fear that if their was development work going on next door they wouldn't be able to sell the barn conversion!

Anyway...low and behold two weekends ago a brochure comes in the post for the self same farmhouse! The vendor has now sold the barn and is asking for informal tenders on the farmhouse! How annoying! Now instead of negotiating a price with the vendor we have to go in blind with our top offer, possibly paying far more than we would otherwise have to as we will have no idea whether there are even any other offers never mind how much they might be.

Since receiving this brochure we have put our house on the market and have spent the past two weeks painting and refurnishing the childrens bedrooms (which was desperately overdue) in the hopes of making these two quite small and slightly dark rooms look light spacious and airy!! (It's actually worked if you can believe that...amazing the amount of clutter that builds up over the years).

I've also spent an enormous amount of time organising and decluttering our office...I'm a terrible one for keeping every receipt from anything I've ever bought...every instruction manual...every little treasure ever brought home from school. I also ran my own business for a few years so I have mountains of that paperwork to store.  It took a super-human effort...but I did it.

My husband is the sort who despises deadlines in his home life...I think they stress him out, so his way of coping is to think...well it's not important so I won't worry about it...well we had our very first viewers booked in this morning...a couple who have nothing to sell was all we knew about them. So I decided that the deadline for decorating the bedrooms and sorting the office was Friday night so that I could do a good old clean this morning. Well hubby thought...'naaahhh, not gonna be possible, not enough time'...so guess who did most of the work ME! I wasn't too pleased with the non-cooperation but we got there in the end and I've never worked so hard and sweated so much or moved so fast as I have this week...but by 10:45 (viewers arriving at 11:00) It was all done. Phew!

The viewers walked up the front path...a retired couple...the lady was hobbling badly with a cane and was quickly out of breath...our house is definitely more a family home than anything else and it is on a large plot hence lots of mowing and gardening.  The lady was out of breath long before she reached the bottom of the stairs and I was quite worried as to whether she was actually safe to go up as she wasn't at all steady on her feet...needless to say I'm not expecting an offer! Oh well...at least it spurred me on to finish the jobs and the house is so squeaky clean now I don't know for the life of me what to do with the rest of my day!

Kidding...I just gave myself a very pampery pedicure and painted my nails...unfortunately I think I did them too thick as they aren't setting and I've already trashed one nail removing my toe spacers...I had to take them off as they were causing a lot of discomfort by that stage!

The due date for offers on the dream property is Friday 16th July...so I'll let you know how that goes! I'm quite hopeful as I've always had a feeling this was THE HOUSE, but this time around circumstances seem to be aligning themselves quite serindipidously (if that is an actual word)...soooo fingers crossed all. xxxx

Saturday 26 June 2010

The Aftermath...

Well, since coming back from my holiday I haven't been able to convince myself that the holiday is OVER! The sun has been shining here and my garden is looking beautiful...just filled with flowers and all I want to do when I get home from work is sit out in the last of the afternoon sunshine with a glass of wine and chat with my hubby...trouble is this is baaad for calories as it usually ends up at half a bottle rather than one glass and it makes me snack at night which I don't normally have a problem with.  As a result I'm up 5lbs from my lowest weight (2 of them went on before my holiday) and the other 3 in the two weeks since I got back.  I haven't been game to weigh myself since I knew it would be bad news, but this morning I decided it was time to face the music.  I knew I'd gained as I could literally see it on myself.  Anyway it gave me the kick up the butt I needed to get back on track.

On the plus side, I have been pretty good at exercising this past week and I've been out for a long walk, been to the gym twice, played tennis and taken a spinning class...but it's not going to work if I'm swilling copious amounts of wine and scoffing rubbish along with it!

Today I've been super good and had a protein shake a couple of chicken breast kebabs (the on a stick kind) a pear and I'm making veggie stir-fry with beef strips for tea.  I've pulled out a diet magazine with lots of great healthy recipes in it and I'm going to try and meal plan this week.  I've not been eating anywhere near enough vegetables lately that is for certain!

Also, since I had the surgery and had been eating soooo healthily my fingernails had gotten really strong and were growing out of control and not breaking, but now they are dry and brittle and cracking up...sure sign something's amiss.

I hope I can maintain the momentum for at least a month and get another good slab of weight off before I lose my way again...I do know myself...the good thing this time is that the band means any weight gain is minimal during my out of control phases...usually the damage would have been far, far more severe!

I hope you're all having a lovely relaxing weekend...I'm going to try and catch up on my blog reading now whilst the tea is in the cooking.  xx

Friday 18 June 2010

Back from my hols...

Hi guys,

Hope you haven't missed me too much.  I thought I'd have plenty of time to blog whilst I was away and make you all jealous of my lovely holiday, but do you think I could get near the laptop???? No chance, not with the kids and husband hogging it...in any case you can't see the screen in the sunshine and that's where I've spent the majority of my week...reclining by the pool in a sunlounger with a wine spritzer in my hand...it's such a hard life!

I've been to Gozo (a little island off the coast of Malta) with my family for a week in a traditional farmhouse...of course our traditional farmhouse had a lovely pool and sundeck overlooking an incredible view of the nearest bay/beach.

I haven't loaded my photo's up yet, but I'll pop in one from the web which was somewhere that we did visit and it's very beautiful.  It's called the Azure Window for obvious reasons.

One thing which I did notice whilst I was away that you may find interesting...or you may already have clocked it...when you drink alcohol your band gets tighter...yes...you heard it here first...or maybe not.

It is something I had already noticed on each other occasion that I'd had a drink or three, the following day my band would be super tight.  But what with the holiday atmosphere I drank every single day I was away...so I'm really pleased I decided not to have a fill before I went away! As it was I did struggle and got stuck and PB'd at the start of each and every meal.  The result was that despite all the excess wine that was consumed I did not gain a single pound...you can hate me now if you wish and I will fully understand. The one slight concern is that it probably isn't great to think that alcohol irritates your stomach as much as it obviously does! It may help to explain some of the wide variations people report from day to day in their restriction.  It may be that there are other food types that irritate some peoples stomach's also and cause this effect...worth thinking about if this sounds like you.

The only problem now is trying to get back into my fitness/exercise mindset...I'm struggling at the thought of it at the moment and I was so gung-ho before I went away.  Gotta get it back as it's the secret of success for me I'm quite sure.

I hope everyone's doing well on their own personal quests and I'm wondering how I can possibly catch up on all my backlog of blog reading.  Ciao for now...

Sunday 6 June 2010

Thank you all so much

I just wanted to say a special thank you for the lovely supportive comments on my last post...you know who you are! They were all soooo great you really made my day.

I posted my forum comment and my blog post last night after the best part of a bottle of red wine and this morning woke up feeling a little paranoid as to whether I should have kept my mouth shut...whether I was lighting the blue touch paper as my hubby says (an old chemistry reference). I've had an uncomfortable feeling in my belly all day as to whether I was stiring up trouble...but...I've had nothing but positive and supportive comments from both my bloggies (you guys) and a really lovely comment on the forum from Hatty who had obviously also been equally incensed!

Soooo bullies beware...I won't take it lying down. They are all shivering in their boots I'm sure. LOL! ;0)

Saturday 5 June 2010

Really, Really Cross!

Hi All,

I've been so cross about something since Wednesday night, I've done my usual evasion technique and tried not to think about it till today when I was much more sanguine.

This is quite funny because I've always been so emotive, I'll just fly off the handle if you let me...but over the years I've started to develop my avoidance tactics! init funny how we can turn things around just using our minds if we want to?

I'm a regular on a uk gastric band forum group and funnily enough one of the principals of my surgery provider has become a member of this group occassionally posting self promoting posts under the name of 'Juicy Janet'...watdaya reckon...juicy janet??? It's cute isn't it?  Anyways, this week he...yes he...posted about the SILS (single incision lapband surgery) procedure they do asking people to comment on their experience with this procedure...which I did as I have had it. I posted a couple of lines on the fact that even my kids didn't know I'd had the op and they wouldn't notice anything if I got changed in front of them as I had no obvious scars.

Following my post a long term bypasser posted saying she 'didn't wish to offend anyone' (I have my doubts), but that she really resented the 'cosmetic surgery' angle of wls and felt that SILS really played to this angle. She then was very scathing about the fact that she was honest with her family concerning her surgery and was proud of her bust to belly open surgery scar. I have to say I did feel judged, which annoyed me as my post was so short how could anyone get a real understanding of my reasons for my decisions.  I read the post just before going to bed too so i did spend a sleepless night about it. I then avoided thinking about it for a few days and just now responded. I was glad to see someone else had also responded first in defence of my position which was nice.

I did put forward a really good considered post I think in the end which I hope will make NHS (National Health Service) patients understand their private counterparts a little better.  It's probably really hard to understand this for the US patients, but the system here is that you only receive funding if you have a BMI over 40 or 50. Depending where you live the criteria can vary enormously to get funding for your surgery. A large number of people have to pay for their surgery privately and virtually no private medical insurance will pay for wls.

At least now that I've said my piece I do feel a lot better than I did. Don't you find it amazing how much weight someone's opinion whom you've never met can have on your life? If you want to see the posts, I've copied them below and you can let me know what you think. Don't hesitate to let me know if you think I'm being neurotic!

I had SILS in Manch thru HW 4 months ago and I'm really pleased with the result. I could wear a bikini (if I had the figure for it yet) or get changed in front of my kids who don't know about my surgery and no-one would notice a thing. An excellent result.

by phejolou » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:54 pm

I just wanted to put another side across and sorry if i upset anyone here.

People often talk about people having wls for vanity reasons and i feel that this SILS plays to that audience. For me personnally i had my bypass for health reasons, i wanted to be fitter and have a better quality of life for me and my family.... cosmetics did not come into the equasion at all. I knew from the onset that my surgeon only performs bypasses via open surgery....did i sit back and think.... oh my god a scar? a huge scar from bra line to just above the belly button? nope not for one second.

After all i am a mum of 3, have a bikini line scar from an ectopic pregnancy, i am never gonna have firm enough skin for a bikini. I look at my scar which has faded quite significantly and it reminds me what i have been through to get where i am today... how lucky i was to have had the oppurtunity of loosing the weight that i detested so much...you know what? it keeps me on track. I call it my zip cos you can see faint puncture scars from the staples. I had a dream when i was a kid, that at 18 my real parents (not that i was adopted or ought) would come and find me unzip me and out would come this gorgeous size 10 perfectly modelled person. It sorta come true cept i kept my lovely parents, became a size 10-12 but with a lumpy bumpy body that i love... my hubby still finds attractive and that my kids do not even batter an eyelid if i walk around starkers. To me that is far more important than worrying about whether i have a few tiny lap scars, one huge line scar or just a mere tummy bitton piercing. If we all have sufficient weight to loose to warrent something as drastic as wls then saggy skin is gonna happen.... and where does surgery stop?

I haven't hid my surgery from anyone, especially not my immediate family, we believe in being open and honest, they know that i have problems with weight and food as i believe it is vital for them to have an understanding for when they get older, they also know that their dad doesn't, but hopefully i have sorted this early enough in their lives so that food is not an issue for them... there is no right or wrong way to go about it but secrets grow and grow and get messy.

very interesting thread.

Again sorry if anyone is offended, but i get very defensive when vanity is bought into wls.

I'll shut up now Juliexxx (site moderator)

Bypassed 15/07/09 @ 21st 7lbs

weight today 28/04/10 11st 11lbs


This is an interesting thread and whilst i agree that health is paramount i dont think its 'vanity' to want a healthier fitter body WITHOUT the scars if the procedure is just as safe and effective as open surgery. I love my body for all its flaws but i'm 22 havent had kids yet and would be unhappy with big scars over my stomach area, i love wearing bikinis and scars would have been one more thing to worry about. The procedure is just as safe so why not?http://www.TickerFactory.com/weight-loss/wY26SN3/

Banded at Dolan Park 10/04/10 by Dr Siggurdsson

Hi Hatty,

Open surgery is far more dangerous than laprascopic procedures in actual fact and has a much higher incidence of death, infection, clots and other problems, so it really is a very serious consideration for more reasons than any scar issues.

I agree with phejolou in as much as if your weight is causing you a major risk to your health and lifespan then that risk becomes worth while and I can understand that she has very passionate feelings about what her surgery means to her and dislikes it being referred to as 'cosmetic'.

I think all of us who have been down this road understand that this is no easy option (bandits in terms of the slog to get the weight off even with the band and bypassers/sleevers for the extra risk associated with a more major procedure) and many many people on this site do feel extremely vexed by the misconceptions of the general public that this is the 'easy way out' or a cop-out to losing weight 'the right way' which it isn't. This is one of the reasons why i chose to keep my surgery private, because I realised that the band is not a cast-iron guarantee of success or speedy weight loss and I can personally do without the pressure put on me by ignorant (understandably so perhaps) people wanting to know how much I've lost so far and why i haven't lost more. The months when I lose only 2lbs I am relieved that I don't have to explain this to anyone else and have finally after all these years of obsessive dieting learned be kind to myself and take a long term view of this process.

I personally believe that there is too much focus on whether this is a 'cosmetic' procedure or not. In some cases it's life saving; in others it's just sanity saving...who is anyone to say that my sanity is not worthy of surgery to save it? In my case i don't qualify for NHS funding and some on this site will sneer at me and say I'm not worthy of having the procedure and I've done it out of vanity. I'm not going to spell out my life experiences to those people, but to give a short version, my weight had affected my confidence in my self worth to a degree where I was fearful of going out, was avoiding being intimate with my husband and felt worthless as a person. This may seem ridiculous to many at less than 16 stone, but it's how I felt. To me £8,000 was worth it to get the chance to change my life. It was coincidental that I happen to live in Manchester, and had already chosen HW to have my surgery with and they happen to only perform the SILS procedure in Manchester. I was more than happy with this coincidence, but would have still gone through with the procedure regardless. Also, I have battled and battled to lose weight for years and was only increasing in size year on year. My father has had the same problems and now at 69 looks 89! I could see the writing on the wall and had given up all hope of succeeding on my own and was slipping into depression. I knew what was in store for me and felt that by acting now I could try and salvage some of my youth and give myself a much shorter battle than waiting 10 years till I did qualify for NHS funding!

I'm 40 years old and I haven't worn a bikini since I was 21! But I hope I can post a two line post about being happy with the outcome of my surgery without fear of being judged and sneered at by people who know nothing about me!

I chose not to tell my children I was having surgery because 1) I thought they'd be scared and 2) because it's not fair to expect primary aged children to keep my private details to themselves...just as we don't share our salary details with our kids because we don't want it broadcast across the flippin' playground...not because we are dishonest!

I will happily share this information with my children when they are old enough to respect my decision to keep this private and not before.

I hope this might help people who see a flock of private patients coming through with comparatively low BMI's to understand that we are not taking this lightly and we can have serious issues with our weight other than medical ones.

I wish all of us success and joy in our journey's and ultimately a happy, contented life.

Sparkler xx
I just wanted to clarify that I'm not upset or angry with Julie's comments...I did initially feel that she was judging me especially in relation to my not telling my children about my surgery, but on re-reading I felt that her comments where not as harsh as I'd originally felt they were.

It did however highlight for me a chasm that seems to exist in some cases between NHS patients who sometimes have life-threatening comorbidities and private patients who often don't and who often have less weight to lose (althought not always thanks to the post code lottery which is the NHS).

Sometimes I think we private patients are viewed as being the 'cosmetic' element...although I'm yet to meet a recipient of a nose job who had to relearn lifestlye behaviours. I mean I've joined a gym and am actually doing regular exercise...ME!!! and I'm enjoying it for the first time since I was 21.

I would just like to point out that we all want the same thing out of this process, which is to be healthy and happy in our own skin and it would be so nice if we can all be supportive of each other in our differing journeys as I know we all try to be.

I'm starting to sound like a bad version of Julie Andrews...as if she weren't bad enough!!!

Who'd have thought we could raise this much hubbub about a different way of performing wls???? No hard feelings.

Sparkler xx

Anywho, I'm feeling much more positive about everything, I was mentally kicking up a storm Wednesday night and Thursday,,,much more so than necessary once I re-read the offending post...it was much less offending! Maybe I just over-reacted from start to finish!<3