BROKEN HEART

Last week was one of the worst in my life. One of my kids was in hospital with a heart condition and omg nothing can make a parent feel worse or more helpless! Covid restrictions meant that we couldn’t visit and it was awful!! He is home now recovering but that part of the process has reminded of myself last year and last year something terrible happened in our lives. On that day I felt like I would die. I thought “come on girl, that is a bit dramatic – pull yourself together” and I tried. I tried so hard but something felt wrong. I cried more than I have ever cried in my life. I felt sick to the pit of my stomach and my heart hurt. I mean it hurt like it was actually breaking and the fact is it was…. I had Broken Heart Syndrome.

https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cardiomyopathy/what-is-cardiomyopathy-in-adults/is-broken-heart-syndrome-real

The link above is the condition that I was diagnosed with. My heart was quite literally broken. It was behaving in an incredibly scary and erratic way. Only medication, rest and an extensive hospital stay put it right again. That experience changed my life.

After that, for the sake of my physical and mental wellbeing, I put certain boundaries in place and they are totally non-negotiable. There are people and situations that I will not be involved with. I cannot be around certain types of drama. I have been called heartless ( ha ha if only people really knew ) and cold and you know what – I am. I won’t apologise for being cold to certain things. I have had to learn to be! The most honest fact is that I simply cannot take on the hurt of everything and everyone like I used to. Some people feel things very deeply and I am one of those people. I have, through a series of painful lessons, finally learned to guard myself.

Drama, and drama filled people who enjoy involving themselves in others lives and that exist to gossip and rip others apart are not in my life. I protect myself and my family from that. I have learned that normal people, people that are just trying to do their best and help others, they are my kind of people. I love to hang out with the dreamers. With the doers, with those who know AND passionately love their purpose and aren’t derailed from it.

I am thankful for what I learned during that week in hospital and for all that I have learned since. I am thankful for a kinder, softer and gentler life. One with my boys, my dogs, my family and friends.

Ps how cute is my baby girl Hela!!

Transformation Tuesday

I don’t think I will ever comprehend not being thrilled for others when they are happy in themselves and have achieved something transformative in their lives! I am so fortunate to meet incredible people on a daily basis. Women and men that have decided their lives simply had to change, so they have made that happen. When you are around that kind of motivation day in and day out, it becomes infectious! I love talking about hopes and dreams with people! I love watching passion and purpose come alive in someone because I remember how it felt when it came alive in me!!

One of my favourite parts of each week is Tuesday! In the weight loss surgery community in Australia because it is affectionately known as Transformation day or Transformation Tuesday and what a wonderful thing to do!! Who doesn’t love a good transformation. I know I do!! It is just a fact that in life we really must learn to clap for ourselves!!!

One of the things that quickly became apparent to me after my weight loss surgery is that not everyone will cheer for us. Some people will watch from the sidelines and give you the once over every now and again, some will watch just waiting to see what happens and if you actually make it, some may even try to actively discourage you under the guise of “I’m just so concerned for you” and still others may just be blatantly opposed. The best and most valuable lesson that I think I have learned in life is that it IS NOT the voice of every external thing that matters! It is my response to those voices and my ability to advocate for myself, know who I am, what I want and deserve in life! It isn’t up to other people to give me those things. They aren’t found externally – self worth and self belief is something that bubbled up inside me when I eventually found the courage to drown out other voices!! When I looked at myself 4 years ago trying to wear a graduation robe that didn’t fit me, I saw a woman so filled with potential but also with so much frustration! It was exactly what I needed to see in that moment and that woman looking back at me in the mirror had achieved something on her own, with no help from anyone and right there I started to imagine that if I could study, be a mum and work full time then SURELY I could lose weight.

It was a painful road to be standing here!! The sacrifices have been steep! I am thankful for the lessons, for the learning, for the highs and I am also thankful for the lows. The painful times don’t cause me to self destruct anymore!! I care about my health and my life too much for that! But I will, without hesitation, question or even a parting glance, remove from my life, people who try to make me feel bad about myself or who are destructive to the self worth of those I love.

One of the keys I have found is in community. I have learned so much from some really fabulous people. It is in relationships with like minded people, people that have gone further than we have. I am continually inspired by some phenomenal human beings that have lost more weight than me, who do life beautifully and who practice the same types of behaviours that so value!! My friend surround yourself with a cheer squad, surround yourself with those who will celebrate you, love you for who you are and will be there for you every step of the way! People who walk beside us are precious!!

These days I have learned I can wish people well but that doesn’t mean they are up in my circle! I hope that the people who have tried to bring me down, one day see how toxic their behaviour was but it’s not my job or responsibility to do anything about that! It’s not even my business what they think of me just like it’s not their business what my opinion is of them!i have finally learned that I must choose my own mental health and wellness over the comfort of someone who does not have my best interests at heart. You deserve the best and so do I so let’s practice kindness to ourselves and celebrate ourselves each step of the way!

Protein Satay Sauce

I get asked a lot of the time how to use tasteless protein in meals and also the powdered peanut products. Tonight we are having satay chicken but I don’t like to put myself at the mercy of pre-made sauces. This is the how I make my Satay Sauce with added protein. I find this is an excellent way for me to increase the amount of protein in my day to day diet. Links to any of the products that you may not commonly have can be located here 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻

The Tasteless Protein is fabulous and safe to cook with!

https://costpricesupplements.com.au/tasteless-protein-collagen-500g-by-feel-good-protein/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=tastless40scoops_googleshop&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIodrDiZeY8QIVUamWCh3Nfwg0EAQYASABEgLjpfD_BwE

Macro Mike is a powdered peanut product. I am a fan of it but you can just use peanut butter.

https://costpricesupplements.com.au/macro-mike-pb-powdered-peanut-butter-180g/


Blueberry Protein Balls

I have a little thing for protein balls!! I find them an easy way to keep myself going if I happen to be busy and on the go! But I have found that not all protein balls are created equal and some are very very sweet. About a year ago I started toying around with recipes of my own to make protein ballsde and this is one of my favourites. I love it’s chocolatey taste combined with the blueberry! This recipe is “me” friendly – that means it doesn’t cause dumping and because it is based on a VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet) shake these have far fewer calories than their traditional counterparts!!

I use 2 feel good Choc shakes,

1 cup brown puffed rice,

3 teaspoons of Pure Botany Purveyor blueberry powder,

1/2 a cup frozen blueberries,

60 grams of cashews,

2 scoops of Tasteless Protein powder

Approximately 80 mls of water

I put all the ingredients into the food processor and let my machine work its magic adding the water a little at a time until the mixture balls up.

This mixture made 18 balls that I rolled in coconut to coat and then I store them in an air tight container in the fridge.

These are the products that I personally use 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻

https://costpricesupplements.com.au/feel-good-shake-by-feel-good-protein-one-week-supply-14-satchels/

https://costpricesupplements.com.au/tasteless-protein-collagen-500g-by-feel-good-protein/

Pure Botany Purveyor Blueberry – 50g

Magical Unicorns

HAPPY Hump Day – I am hoping, for the sake of family and friends living in Melbourne, that tomorrow night will mark the lifting of the lockdown that they have been living under for these past couple of weeks. Covid strategy in Australia is very much a suppression game until enough of the population is vaccinated for things to return to “normal” whatever that may be. But standing on the other end of this 4th lock down, I do have to wonder what will be left after all of this is done. One thing I do know that will be left behind is the incredible and resilient spirit that I have come to love about Victorians. When we moved here ten years ago I was struck by the fact that come rain, hail or shine they will be out doing things on the weekends. That kids will play sport on frosty grass in winter and think nothing of it and that they will use ever opportunity to enjoy the glorious natural vistas that surround us. I love that about living here and I can’t wait to see everyone getting back to doing that again. In any case I feel at least a little hope in my heart that we may be able to see loved ones again soon, travel interstate, have family come for special events and hopefully get back to doing the things that make up our usual life. We aren’t asking for magical unicorns, simply to be able to play sport, go to the gym, go to work, school or university, see our friends, and just generally live our lives.

Yesterday I saw my plastic surgeon. My right arm has two seromas in it and both arms remain very swollen. This is a combination of the liposuction and the skin removal and this swelling may take up to 12 months to totally subside BUT, and this is so flipping exciting to me, I have clearance to go back to the gym!!!!!! SO FREAK’EN HAPPY!! Apparently the contraction of the muscles from working out will help with swelling so as soon as I am able to go back to the gym, that is where I will be. My tummy is great, healed beautifully but there is already excess skin again. We knew that would happen and truthfully I don’t care at all. When your body is covered in damaged skin the results aren’t going to be perfect but they will be okay and I am so happy about that. I am sitting here writing to you thinking about the fact that I do not own a single set of activewear but that I will be able to go and get some and for the first time in my entire life I won’t have to worry about my arm skin, or my stomach skin! I am trying to imagine how that is going to feel and to be honest – I can’t! I am just excited to get back to living. I also cant wait to post a whole lot of gym selfies. Yes I will be that person. HAHAHAaaaa!!!!

Pain

I want to be writing a wonderful post about how fabulous I feel. But it is unfortunate that I am not yet able to do so. I have had a couple of days of feeling okay in these past few weeks, but overwhelmingly life has been quite painful. . My body hurts and a lot of that is just simply swelling in various places that are still swollen from surgery. I don’t want to feel like this but the fact is – I do!

Recovery has been complicated. I think, to be honest, that is just what happens after surgery 🤷🏼‍♀️. Recovery is long, arduous and when you happen to have a snap covid lock down in the middle of it …. well it takes the fun out of everything – if there was any there to begin with. Obviously all is not woe is me! There has been wonderful moments and I am thankful for all of those.

I can be totally transparent here and say that I don’t think I have ever tried so hard to do nothing at all in my life. It goes against my nature as a person but there we have it, I have been, or at least feel like I have been a sloth! I don’t do well doing nothing. It’s the sitting about the house for days on end, watching dust gather or looking at the shower screens knowing that they need cleaning, that truly gets to me! I bore easily and I hate feeling like I am not contributing in some way to the running of my household. Now, at 5 weeks post op I can contribute more than I was – however my body is sore.

My stomach incisions are beautifully healed and I couldn’t ask for better. I will probably have a small amount of excess skin again in time and I am sure that my mons will sag once again but hey – I’m 44 years old. I have had 5 kids and lived a life so my body is doing it’s best. I am thankful that I have not had any wound break downs and I am thankful that my body feels more able to do the things I require of it on a day to day basis now that I have less skin hanging from me. My right arm is great too. All healed and doing well. My left arm, however, has been painful from the very first day. I wondered about it from the day of my surgery – the drain that was in it in hospital never produced much of anything and yet it was extremely sore and tight and painful. That feeling has persisted for 5 weeks. I have not particularly made much of a drama about it but WOW – PAIN!!!

SOOOOOOOoooooooooo last Monday when I woke up my arm was double its usual size and that felt like it was probably something that I should tell my surgeon. I had no reply until very late on Thursday afternoon as his nurse was on days off. In any case I had to have an emergency scan on Friday to rule out blood clots. Thankfully I was clot free but not drama free. I have once again made some seromas. This time I have two, both in my left arm. Both where I have had intense pain from the very start of this process. Thankfully I was not imagining it or overreacting – years and years of having ones concerns brushed aside as a big person still linger and scratch away at the corners of my thoughts. My Surgeon was in theatre on Friday afternoon so nothing could happen then and was away in a different area today so nothing could happen today but I am going in to see him in his rooms tomorrow morning. So I suppose we will see how things play out. I have become good at speaking up for myself and making it known what I will and won’t be okay with.

Emotionally the last few weeks have been very tough. Honestly I fell into a bit of a hard time because a couple of my children just did not cope with me having surgery again. Truthfully they have been through hell over the past year. There has been situations that children should never have to endure and I am just thankful for the resilience the kids continue to show. However, even though things seemed okay for me to go in for surgery, it was just one thing too much. For the anxiety that I added to their lives, I will always be sorry. I am just thankful that everyone is now in a good place and happily moving forward. Incredible things are happening.

I am thankful for the goodbyes in my life over the last 12 months. On a personal note – if you have ever called my mother names, spoken to her with disrespect or broken her heart, just stop reading my blog and leave us all alone. And yes, I 💯 mean it from the bottom of my icy heart.

Things I never thought about with Plastics.

Identity – It’s who we are right? It is woven into the fabric of our lives. For me, well my identity has been a complex evolution over the last few years. I feel like I was content with who I was for a very long time. I totally identified with so many limiting beliefs that I had placed around my own life. I pigeonholed myself and put myself into a box and it took me nearly 2 decades to realise that it was okay to want things for myself. It took me nearly two decades to say “It is time for me to step into what I want for my own life.” Allow me to explain.

I have been very very fortunate. I have a deeply loved, authentically genuine family. I wanted things for my children, for my husband, for my parents, my siblings, etc. I lived my life to achieve that end and I hoped to please everyone. I lived my days to do the things that I felt would add up to a good life. I approached everything, my relationships, my health, my financial future and work with all of the naivety that my young soul possessed. I jumped, head long into the adult world and I believed that I was ready. I was thoroughly convinced that the belief system I had placed around me would serve me well. I was convinced that my values were in line with what would lead to a good and happy life. Even when things didn’t seem to work, I would hold, unswervingly to the things that I believed to be true. I did not question things, that wasn’t encouraged. That questioning was a lack of faith. To question was to be hiding a rebellious heart and that would lead to more problems. So further and further into brokenness I fell.

Lets be clear about something – I don’t blame any one person or thing for finding myself in the state that I was in. I accept responsibility for my own life and the choices that I have made. I have been asked over and over again “have I lost my faith” – “what do I believe now” and other questions like that. Well if there is a need to ask that then you don’t know me and I don’t wish to answer 🙂 But there are certain things about me that have shifted in massive, life shaking and dramatic ways.

Thankfully there ARE some things that are true and that I will

I now question things, okay okay….. now I question everything. I constantly seek to learn more, to understand things better and to be a better version of the person that I am today. I have let go of things that I didn’t want to let go of, my life has shifted in a dramatic way and I choose to be thankful.

Right now I am sitting on my bed thinking of my grandparents. Fondly remembering the love and kindness that they showed to me and to others throughout their lives. There has been a shitstorm take place in our family over the past year and changes have happened that will never be undone. They will never be undone because I don’t want them to be and I have zero regrets about that. I have learned to walk away. My heart is thankful for the memories that live on in my heart. For the time that I spent. For the things that no one can take that are tucked away in my heart. They are good and happy things.

Plastic surgery caused me to consider how I want to live my life going forward. Who I am and how I want to interact with the world. It has changed my life once again. I couldn’t be more thankful even if I tried. I am so very humbled and grateful for the opportunities I have had to make a better tomorrow.