The things that make me happy

Over the last little while I have been working on things that make me happy. Things that bring joy into my life and focusing my time and attention on them. I think I have been doing this to distract myself from the fact that my surgery is just 4 sleeps away – YIKES!!!!! Recently I have been asked quite a lot of times why I need more skin surgery and this is seriously a fair enough question. The fact is that I am only 3 kilos lighter now than I was when I had my skin surgery 18 months ago! Soooooooooooo it isn’t because I have lost a hell of a lot more weight. It isn’t because of what I eat and don’t eat. It is because I was super morbidly obese and this is what my damaged skin looks like. This is my reality and it is just a part of how I am. Something that makes me happy is the thought that after this surgery I will be a little less saggy than I am today. I would like to have just a bit smoother skin – I know I won’t be perfect but a little bit smoother would be very nice. I like to try and imagine what it will be like to be able to fit my arms into clothes without folding my skin into them.

Another thing that makes me happy is looking after myself. I spent so many years locked in a cycle of self loathing and hatred and being cruel to myself that I never ever did nice things for me. Those days have ended and I like to now make myself really nutritious little meals that bring joy to my heart! I find that this has been part of a healing process for me. Finally taking care of myself physically has certainly coincided with losing that level of toxic hatred of myself that used to always simmer away inside me. The things that I like to make the biggest fuss over is breakfast. I think that has probably been intentional on my behalf because I always ignored that meal. I have grown a big love for smoothie bowls and making my food look at taste as appealing as possible is helping me to care on a daily basis about the way I am nurturing myself! Who knew I would ever care about this kind of thing! But I do!! What are your favourite breakfast ideas?

I share a lot more of my food ideas on my instagram which is myweightlosssurgery.life so feel free to follow if you would like more pics and I get my pretty powders from http://www.purebotanypurveyor.com

2nd of January

Today is one of those lazy kind of days. Its super rare for me to have a nothing sort of a day and I am relishing it and just lapping up the moments of quiet. We have been away from home for 19 days now and quite honestly it is only people and my dog that I miss. I have found that when I take stock of my life there seems to be few things that matter to me – the things that are most important are most definitely my loved ones.

The Christmas/New Year break has been an excellent time of reflection and re-evaluation for me. What do I want the most out of 2020. How am I going to become a better version of myself? I am looking forward to the way that I can answer that this year. I am up for the challenge. I am not usually one for change but this year I am going to take a hold of it with both hands and run harder than I have ever run before.

My weight loss seems to finally be under control. I am able to eat a little more these days and that is helping me to feel better. I will have to decide about the revision surgery for my skin removal and come to a decisions if I want to go down that path again or if I will just stay as I am. Lets face it – Being fabulous and looking a little bit like ET is actually okay with me. I am not out to impress anyone and even if I was ….. should my excess skin be the standard by which I am judged? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I am a passionate self love advocate and therefore I cannot even begin to write this with any kind of authenticity unless I am willing to love me as I am and I really do. 2019 was the year that I fell in love with me and found worth in the tapestry of smooshed together, brokenness and splendid imperfections that, thrown together, make me who I am.

I am more than the silver lines that snake down my limbs and across my abdomen, and I am more the pillowy softness of the discoloured skin that resides between my thighs. I am more than the laugh lines that hint at my sense of humour before you even know that I have one and I am also more than the callouses on my work roughened hands. We are all more than we appear to be on the outside. We are born with and infused with the power to chose the path that our lives will take. Sure, there are things that happen to us along the way that are outside of our control, but our responses are always within our own power. Don’t doubt that, not even for a second. You can do this. I lost 95 Kilos and a lifetime of self loathing over the past 18 months. It was the hardest thing that I have ever done. It was horrifying and liberating to finally acknowledge myself as I was and push myself towards who I knew I wanted to be.

I do not feel like I have arrived, I know that there is so much further to go. More mountains to climb and more challenges lie ahead but 2020 is my year to respond rather than react and I am praying that my response to life will wake me up in a way that I have never been woken before. I hope that I am more compassionate, driven by purpose and that I will live out of an authentic place that comes from knowing that I am okay, I am accepted and I am loved. I hope the same things for you too. Lots of love always Tash xx

Blueberry Nice Cream

Here in Australia Summer has well and truly given way to Autumn but we have seen a couple of warmer days that I will stubbornly cling to! During these times, right before the temperatures start to drop like crazy here in Victoria I love to enjoy long walks and prior to my weight loss surgery, it was usually finished off with a lovely ice cream cone with my family. Since weight loss surgery, ice cream is problematic for me. I don’t like being left with dumping syndrome so I started to experiment with a few different options and I have found that this one works very well for me.

Mostly fruit and Collagen Protein Powder, it is a nod to my love of fruit flavours and a practical way to add protein into my diet.

Ingredients

1.5 Frozen Bananas

2 Scoops of Pure Botany Acai Powder

1/2 cup Frozen Blueberries

3 scoops of Tasteless Protein by Feel Good

How To Guide

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the mixture turns smooth and fluffy!

Eat straight away or store in the freezer in an air tight container and enjoy later.

Protein Mini Quiche

These are probably one of the easier things that I regularly make, post weight loss surgery. I need quick, tasty and high protein meals for me to feel like it is worthwhile planning ahead and this meal ticks all of those boxes. I also love the fact that it is super portable. I can wrap these up and they go in my little lunch box for work. If you decide to watch the video please excuse my Kiddos talking in the background and also my doggies do the odd bark here and there. If you try this please let me know how it goes for you!

Recipe

πŸ’“6 eggs

πŸ’“1/2 cup ricotta

πŸ’“1 cup grated cheese

πŸ’“12 pieces of sun dried tomatoes

πŸ’“3 tablespoons chives

πŸ’“3 scoops of Tasteless protein by Feel Good

πŸ’“Salt and pepper to taste

30 minutes in a 180 degree oven

Makes 6

Macros

Calories 208

Fat 11grams

Carbs 6grams

Protein 21grams

Shutting up the inner meanie!

I thought I loved this pic then I realised that I could see my excess back skin creeping around and I started to pick at every single other fault and flaw I could see. I did that for about 5 minutes until I made myself nearly cry and then I just stopped! I just made myself STOP for a minute and gave myself a reality check! I’m a nearly 45 year old woman with 5 children, who has lost 2 thirds of my body weight. I have had 28 surgeries in my life and overcome a hell of a lot of things that others never see so I am going to refuse to allow myself to be put down ….. ESPECIALLY by my own internal voice!! I am never going to be perfect and thank fuck for that, who needs that kind of pressure!! so a great big ole finger to you internal mean girl in my head you can shut up tonight coz I’ll be over here listening to my hype girl! She knows that we have totally got this next phase in our journey! I would love to know what you do to get co trol of your self talk xx

Puffy Muffy

Can we talk about something for a minute?? I wanna discuss post weight loss surgery Puffy Muffy! If you are easily offended this is probably a good blog to avoid 😳

Not sure if I am the only one who had dreams of a nice looking below the belt region? Well I guess when I say nice looking …… being able to see it was my first goal! But I am going to be honest here and say that when I finally could see it, I wanted to just place my fat flap down and never lift it up to look ever again.

Mine has not faired too well throughout this process. I had/have major skin discolouration from the years of sweaty groin and chub rub so that is something that I really dislike but it’s more than that. Tubby Kitty had some major swelling from an incisional hernia, 5 kids and 100 kilos of weight loss it looked like very very saggy balls. My muscle separation continued right down onto my mons with a VERY noticeable division down the middle of the fat pad but I vent after TWO mons lifts but I STILL still have puffy muffy. I feel like I have a bumper pad on me like a bumper car! I still have stretch marks on it and it still looks a bit ding dong dangly.

So my question is, has anyone had a lower incision into your mons where they took a bit more skin to make it smaller. It’s one thing to chop straight across but I feel like it needs a little something more to remove the sheer volume of excess skin in that area. Or am I destined to walk the earth with a saggy fupa πŸ˜†

Ps…… for those who know me in person – I see your eyes go south next time we see each other ……… imma laugh and laugh and laugh!

COVID

The last few weeks have been hard from numerous angles. It is tough at times to be doing life with an auto immune condition, with a strange endocrinological response to certain things and also with need of a surgery to fix a hernia which for some odd reason is classed as elective surgery, but could, at any moment, decide that it is going to go savage and make a nuisance of itself and cause a health emergency, making it very much NOT an elective fix. Over the last few weeks I have struggled with my weight loss surgery life.

So what is different at times like this, and why is it harder when life piles things on and I feel a bit more overwhelmed than I may usually feel? I suppose it is difficult to pick a starting point for the things that have happened in the past few weeks but if we just go from January 30 that will put the last nearly 3 weeks into perspective. My Pop passed away and there are a lot of issues surrounding Pops passing. So many things have broken my heart over and over again but the main one for me is that I LOVED that man. Every single good memory from my childhood, teenage years and much of my adult life has him in it! He wasn’t just someone that I knew from a distance, he was my darling Poppy. My precious memories of him are abundant and are shared privately with my family. He was always there, I loved him deeply and I know he felt the same way about me. I knew when I saw him on Christmas Day 2021 that he was not long for this earth. How do you look at someone that you have loved with all of your heart and know that it is the last time you will lay your eyes upon him in this lifetime? I could see it in the far away look in his eyes. He was somewhere in the in-between. I sat, with tears rolling down my face when he told me that he loved me and he would see me one day. I left the nursing home sobbing, knowing that it was likely one of the final times that I would ever get to hug him and tell him that I loved him and thank him for all that he was to me. The next day Covid restrictions came in to the home where he was and no one could go in and see him and it remained that way until after we had to return to Geelong. We stayed longer than we had intended to stay in the hope that I would be able to see Pop one more time but that did not eventuate.

During this time I noticed my hernia getting worse. Reflux has been an issue to me for 13 years but it returned in a very profound way and as I have had a couple of stomach ulcers in the past I was on high alert for that because it felt very much the same. When we returned home to Geelong I was a few kilos lighter than when we left.

We had not been home for long when work situations ramped up and the normal stress of life started in gnaw away at me a little. It was manageable and okay but the stress was absolutely there! Then two weeks after returning home, on a Sunday morning while sitting in church I felt absolutely sick. I was restless, I had been all morning. It is unlike me to get up and go walking during a church service but I did because I felt anxiety prickling away at my insides and then I looked down at my phone and it was ringing. My stomach dropped straight away because I knew that a call like that would not be taking place at that time on a Sunday unless it was bad news. Pop had been given about 12 hours to live. I think I fell against the wall, I don’t really remember but Steve appeared and very quickly after that we were on our way home. Flights were being booked and I looked at Stephen and said “it’s too late, I won’t make it home to say goodbye, he is gone.” I just knew. Within minutes the phone rang and he had slipped peacefully away.

We continued with our intention to go home, the kids came, we hugged our family, we remembered Pop in our own way. By Wednesday evening we were on a flight back home to Geelong and late Thursday afternoon one of our kids tested positive to Covid. This plunged a lot of things into uncertainty. The kids had been due to go back to school on Jan 31st so had missed 3 days of the first week to be away with the family mourning Pop’s death. The Thursday was their first day back for the year and their last until our isolation period was over. 5 days later another one of the kids tested positive. With ever changing rules around isolation restrictions in the state that we live in we found out that we did not have to isolate a second time with the second case and that we just had to have a negative Rapid Antigen Test on day 6 and we were then permitted to leave isolation on day 8 after the case was first diagnosed. That was a strange feeling. Knowing that we had a covid positive person in the house but being allowed to be out and about because of the 6 of us in the house, only 2 tested positive.

This was a terrifying time. We knew nothing about what to expect but thankfully the kids had a very very mild case and they were back to feeling well within 5 days. During that time we learned that people can truly be incredibly kind. What I also had reaffirmed to me, which I know and have a deep understanding of, is that life keeps on going. I first learned that lesson when our 14 year old was born preemie and fighting for his life. Other people’s lives continue and that is as it should be. At the time I wanted someone to understand that my life felt like it was standing still, that I was sitting with my fear and with my pain and I was angry that things keep going on for others, but hey that is life. So when those feelings of being at a standstill came – well it was easy to brush them to the side.

Then Monday February 14th came, and life started returning to normal. We were back to school and work and life just kept on rolling on. The announcement of further easing of restrictions easing in the state that I live in means that surgery that is classed as non urgent is back on the cards so my surgery for hernia repair has been rebooked. Everyone is working and at school, I am still sad and grieving Pop and a few other things but that’s okay. I am happy to sit with that for a while because I know that with time my eyes will stop filling with tears when I talk about him. There are people that I will forever miss because of how things have unfolded and that is okay too. Life truly does move on. We find a way through it but as this week crept along I found myself feeling pretty crappy by the time my eyes opened this morning. So today I am doing things that make my heart happy.

Over the stress of the last few weeks my weight has managed to drop a little more and that needs to stop so I am just going to have a couple of days to not think too much and just enjoy being a person. I hope you get to have a break this weekend too and that you are doing okay because one thing I do know is that we all, always have things that are going on in our lives.

Written Friday February 18th 2022