The Cost

Let’s talk for a minute about the Cost of Bariatric Surgery. Many of us pay quite a sum just to have our surgery in the first place. But the costs that are ongoing are something that we don’t really talk about a lot. That’s not to say that WLS isn’t one of the best descisions I have ever made because it is!! But these are things I didn’t think of beforehand. Some of the things that I have replaced because of weight loss surgery include the following.

  1. My mattress – I was in pain from lying in my “big me” sized mattress hole.
  2. All my shoes – I am now 2 sizes smaller
  3. All of my underwear 4 times over as I found out the hard way one can’t wear undies that are too big and not risk them falling off in public – yep it really happened 🤦🏻‍♀️
  4. My car seat – this is a weird one and I upgraded my car because it needed an upgrade anyway BUT the drivers seat was broken because of my bum and my weight.
  5. My lounge suite because I broke it 😔
  6. My dining chair – I am going to have to replace the set but am making do for now.
  7. My entire wardrobe because going from a size 24/26 to a size 4/6 means that nothing from bigger me fits me anymore.
  8. My supplements and vitamins ongoing but for me the cost of my weekly food and vitamins and supplements is still less than what I used to spend per week on my food (I ate a lot).
  9. Skin removal surgery – this shot of me there with the excess skin is current. That is after my radical tummy tuck – obviously I require revision surgery because my surgeon thought that a radical tummy tuck would be enough but it wasn’t. When you have as much excess skin as me it is unpredictable how it will respond.
  10. New glasses coz the old ones fall off my face 😳
This is me now

As for the plastics, I don’t disclose how much my surgery cost, but the following is a rough guide per area of the body and what you might expect to pay (after private health insurance and Medicare covers the hospital costs and a small payment to the surgeon and the gas doctor) THESE ARE AUSTRALIAN PRICES
$1k-$7k is considered low cost.
$7k-$11k is mid range.
$12k and over is high range.
That is the gap payment as plastic surgeons will charge you a gap fee even if skin removal is deemed medically necessary. The gaps vary from surgeon to surgeon. My recommendation is ONLY USE a PLASTIC SURGEON. If you have private health insurance are in NSW or don’t mind traveling, google ‘The Access Program’ if you want a lower cost option.

Would I do it again? Heck yes! Over and over!! I have a life now and I am so grateful for it.

Me yesterday and me a lifetime ago
My dangly skin before I had it chopped off

ET and I are mates 😉

6th of May 2020 🌟🌟Warning GRAPHIC SURGICAL PIC🌟🌟

We are approaching the 2 year mark! On the 18th of June, it will be 2 years since I had RNY – Gastric Bypass. It has been a strange time. The changing, the growing, the turning into a different version of me. Dealing with the demons in my past and letting go of things and people that I didn’t want to let go of. In short – life is very different. But different, I am learning, can be a gift – it all depends how you look at it. The wonderful thing about choice is that we get the chance to move ourselves from where we are and position ourselves to have every possible chance to make life long changes.

2 years ago, wow, there is absolutely no way that I imagined that I would be where I am at right now. Getting to be an Australian size 4-6 was NEVER ever part of my plan. I had thought that it would be wonderful to be perhaps a size 12-14 if possible. I have enjoyed so many wonderful and unexpected blessings along the way to being a healthier me. Over the last 7 months I have noticed marked changes. Those who know me best can attest to this also. I have tried to put my finger on what triggered it. I have tried to work and reason it out, mostly without success – until I was chatting with one of a hand full of people that I consider to be part of my inner circle. That circle has 6 people in it. They are the people that I trust unquestioningly and that I know, like I know that I know that I know, love me, without judgement and that I talk to nearly on a daily basis. Here is what has come from our talk.

I realised that I have not allowed myself to process AT ALL, the fact that I was on deaths door when I had my plastic surgery last year. I had a radical tummy tuck with mons lift and muscle repair and a breast lift, reduction and fat grafting. Now I know that we can’t dwell on things because that isn’t healthy, but I am damaged by what happened to me and not dealing with that trauma isn’t healthy either. I need to talk about it so here goes.

I guess I knew it, like……… I knew that I was very very sick. But in truth I didn’t want to admit how close I came to not being here anymore. I didn’t want to have to think about any of it!!! I tried to avoid it, however I can now see that it has changed me in the most profound ways. When I was lying in the ICU, surrounded by doctors trying to get lines in to me and keep my oxygen levels from dipping any lower than they already were, they were asking me “Who should we call for you, do you understand what is happening, you are very very calm, are you sure you understand what is happening”. I am scary calm under pressure. When I was young this was NOT the case. But years change people and I don’t get loud or dramatic now. I go stone cold ….. but this wasn’t that – I was awake to what was happening!

In that moment did I understand what was going on? Yes of course I did. I was fully informed of my risks prior to my surgery. I knew that the massive blood vessels that used to feed my fat had not shrunk and that I had an increased risk of bleeding because of it. I knew that I had internal bleeding. I knew that they had to stabilise me before they moved me to the icu and I knew that the nurse looking after me stayed well past the end of her shift to hold my hand until they moved me. She had caught my head the second time I fainted and when I woke, lying in a crumpled mess of blood and my own urine she was still holding me. (Fun fact, when you pass out, if you need to pee …. well you just do.)She also carefully cut my blood and pee soaked night gown off me – it was too far gone to be kept. She reassured me that she would stay with me until ICU had me and she did. So I knew from those things that it wasn’t good. I have had a lot of surgery, been in hospitals a lot and I knew this was not a “usual” thing. Nurses are incredible people, they see that type of stuff on a daily basis and remain caring and thorough in their care. But she was going far beyond normal.

Pec muscles with skin hanging under it
After surgery with fat transfer – 7 months later all of the fat is gone, my body has eaten it all!!!

After the ICU stint and additional surgery was over, I eventually came back to the ward days later and found that my story had preceded me. One of the nurses that had been responsible for my care on the day it all happened, came, found me, hugged me and told me she was so glad that I was alright. I remembered her on sight and called her by name. She said “oh you remember!” I said “Yes, the doctor told me to focus on your faces and not let myself float off!” So that is what I did. There was a long period of time where they couldn’t get my blood pressure to read or find a pulse. That was not great. This was during the time when they were trying to stabilise me. I kept wanting to shut my eyes and sleep but they told me it wouldn’t be sleep if I did that so I had to stay awake.

Those pin cushion times

I knew what that meant. I fought to not let myself float off and tried so very hard to stay with them. Loud shoutings of my name brought me round time and time again. Multiple failures to locate veins because my body didn’t want to cooperate didn’t even bother me, I was being jabbed with needles and I didn’t care. I was fading away and I knew I was. In that moment I made some decisions. I did decide that if I woke up after the emergency surgery I needed to stop the internal bleeding, I was not going to live my life afraid of what people would think of me anymore. I wasn’t going to wear any type of face to please others and that I was going to be kind and assume the best of people no matter what.

So did I understand what was happening? Yes, I absolutely knew and I told the very lovely doctor that yes I understood, and as she held my hand she made no promises – which I appreciated! I loved the fact that she didn’t say to me “oh don’t even worry, you will be fine!” Because I was bleeding out on the inside and I wasn’t fine! I like real and value it when people don’t bullshit me.

An early look at how much excess skin I still had after my tummy tuck – it is worse now. My boobs are empty again and don’t have that amount of fullness as my body has consumed the fat that the doctor put into them when he did the reduction and lift.

No one of my contacts that the intensivist called were answering – it was 1 am so naturally people were asleep, but they were anxious to let someone know that I was not okay. In that moment my mind was drawn to the person that I knew would not answer me and as tears rolled down my face and my heart broke a little bit more than it had before, I knew who would answer me, I called my Dad. When I was a kid and was hit by a car he knew something was the matter and was frantically trying to get info before anyone knew what had happened. The phone rang once and he answered with “hello baby are you okay!” The intensivist was holding the phone to my ear as I said “no Dad I’m not, please keep calling Steve, try to wake someone up. They are taking me back to theatre, I love you Dad I have to go” and with that I ended the call. The doctor finally managed to get my Aramis to answer and he spoke to the doctor and went and got his dad. Steve ran into the ICU as I was being wheeled through the doors to go to theatre. Do they call families in to the hospital at 1:00 am very often? Well I already know the answer to that. They don’t. They had told me that I may be kept sedated – it would depend how things went. I don’t really remember waking up but I know it was hours later and I know that Steve was there all night waiting for me. Then he had to go, after sitting up all night waiting for news of me, to get the boys and drive them to Melbourne to the airport to catch their flights.

When I saw Steve’s face at around 11am that day the look of exhaustion and concern was so evident to me. He had arrived back from the airport to sit beside my bed in the ICU. I just wanted to cry for him. I know what it is like to sit in one of those rooms watching machines and listening for alarms that were going off very frequently. No family nearby to help him and carrying the weight of everything on his shoulders. Thankfully my Dad made provisions to take time off work and flew from the Gold Coast to Geelong to be with Steve and I. Our boys were being loved on by family in QLD and I got to rest, heal and think about all of the ways I would rewrite my story. I was going to really live! No more bench sitting! And most of all, how I would stop pulling my punches. So in that spirit let me tell you that the skin removal and tummy tuck surgery has changed my life and it was worth it BUT it was really fricken hard and many tears were shed over the process of my recovery! I didn’t know I could cry so much or that I would emerge from this so changed.

I am excited for the next chapter of my story. I am looking forward to how the rest of 2020 will unfold. Let’s face it – the first part has been less than ideal but I am getting ready for a comeback story! I am dreaming of days with family and friends, living with intention and purpose, being kinder and more open, taking less and giving more. Xx

POST WLS BOOBS

This is my pre WLS boobs and my post WLS boobs before I had a breast lift and reduction

Let’s talk about post WLS boobies for a minute. In my pre WLS life I sure didn’t take a lot of pics of my chest. It was gigantic, I breastfed 5 kids and they were just the big ole saggy fun bags! Heavy as lead and because of their sheer weight I lived with migraines, sore shoulders and a permanently sore neck and upper back. After my bypass the first thing to vanish was my boobs. They shrunk smaller and smaller at a really rapid rate. In the end, after 97 kilos and I parted ways, I literally had totally empty skin with a nipple attached to the end. My pec muscles were clearly visible and my excess skin flap that was once a breast, hung underneath it. It was depressing.

I had a breast lift, breast reduction and fat grafting in September 2019. Unfortunately my body has eaten 100% of the fat that was grafted and I require additional surgery to rectify a shocking amount of side boob. It would be really easy to feel upset about how my breasts look now I guess (No I’m not posting a current picture of them) but to be honest I don’t care. If I was younger, if I was interesting in what someone else thought of my body then I guess I may care but the fact is, even though I am never going to have perfect boobs – they no longer give me migraines from their weight, they don’t flap when I exercise, I can run for the first time since I was 9 years old and I am not in pain anymore. In a push up bra I look fabulous and out of my bra my nipples don’t point down, so I’m happy. Am I settling? Hmmm I guess perhaps some would say that but I don’t want implants so I am content with what I have. My plastic surgeon wants to put implants in and laughed at me when I said I felt I was too old to have the worry for that. But hey it’s a personal choice and one that I am not comfortable with.

I would NEVER discourage any woman from pursuing her dream rack …. and as long as it’s her dream it’s worth it! I will never do anything to my body because someone else thinks I should. No opinion from anyone else will ever factor in to my decisions because they don’t have to live with the changes – I do. The biggest change that I have had is the one that I did worry about prior to my reduction and lift. My nipples don’t work like they used to. I have one that is ULTRA sensitive now. What I once enjoyed in terms of nipple stimulation in my intimate life now causes excruciating pain. Only one side is like that – it’s disappointing but I knew it was a possibility. If I had taken that risk because of someone else’s opinion or wants then I would probably now feel as resentful AF but I don’t because I did this for me and me alone.

Steve (husband of nearly 25 years and let’s be honest and say that things have been hard for a while between us) believes that it is my body and my choice – I feel like that for him too. When we spoke of breast implants he had no opinion other than it is my body and my choice. The thing I have learned through my WLS journey is that all of the changes don’t necessarily make us happy unless we can learn to really love who we are on the inside. The work we do on that is the most important work of all.

I think I want wls …… now what?

I was incredibly fortunate when I was starting out on my journey. I have siblings that have had gastric sleeve, I had a failed and removed lap band and kind of figured that gastric surgery would require a similar preparation and post operative care to what I had the first time round. But it was still super scary. How things work in Australia for someone with Private Health Insurance and covering the out of pocket surgical expenses themselves without accessing superannuation.

Way back in the day
  1. I made sure that my private health insurance covered weight loss surgery – we increased our level of cover and I commenced the year long wait for my top level cover to kick in.
  2. Joined Bariatric Support Australia on Facebook – I love that group 💕
  3. 7 months later I went and saw my GP and he confirmed that “Yes, that is a reasonable thing for you to want to do at your size!” My BMI was over 50. In Australia most surgeons operate on people with a BMI over 35 but some will operate on lower BMI patients if they have other co-morbidities.
  4. My GP asked me if I knew who I wanted to be referred to for my surgery. I did know because I had done a LOT of research on Gastric Bypass and Sleeve surgeons in my area. I knew that Mister Darrin Goodall-Wilson (AKA god of gastric surgery) was widely considered one of the best surgeons in Victoria so it was a no-brainer choice for me.
  5. I left the GP’s office that day, referral in hand and called the surgeons rooms straight away. I had a 4 month wait to get in to see the surgeon so I booked my appointment.
  6. I went and saw the surgeon and we spoke and he determined that gastric bypass was going to be the best course of action for me considering my medical history. We booked my surgery on that day for 5 weeks from that date 😳😳😳😳 and I handed over the out of pocket cash for the surgery…..that part hurt……a lot. I took home a referral for a barium swallow test, blood test and ecg and a referral to the dietician. The dietician appointment was one week after my first appointment with my surgeon and all of the tests had to be conducted at least one week prior to my surgery date in June of 2018 😊
  7. OH NO – I grew a cyst in my face – above one of my front teeth and had to have emergency surgery to remove the cyst but I also look like my husband has beaten me – this is a very bad look and also an expected set back. I had to be operated on in the hospital because I was too fat to have my surgery in the day stay at the dental hospital – embarrassing much 😩😩😩
  8. I started doing the optifast (optishits) diet 2 weeks prior to my surgery and I lost 11 kilos. I think I poo’ed out my soul during those two weeks. When ole mate Johnny was singing about the burning ring of fire, he WAS talking about me.
  9. Surgery day arrived. My anaesthetic doctor is the rudest man I have ever met in my life and I tell him so. “I knew as soon as I saw you you were going to be impossible to cannulate at your size” yeah thanks for that MATE!
  10. Wheeled in for surgery having said goodbye to my family just in case I didn’t make it.
  11. Wake up in recovery EXTREMELY agitated and in a LOT of pain. I was crying for my kids and wouldn’t settle down because they wouldn’t bring them to me so they had to knock me out again 🤣🤣🤣 – This Mumma can fight the knocking out drugs off a time or two for her kids.
After cyst in face surgery 😳

Two years later I am 97 kilos lighter than I was at my highest weight. It has not been easy but my goodness it has been worth it!

Me today 💞

Living at Goal Weight

Well that was a big title! What do you mean that no one is joining in my overflowing excitement that I am no longer plumpy me!?! All I can think when I say the word ‘Plumpy’ is of Moto Moto from a kids movie that I absolutely adore. I’ll try find a clip so you can see what I mean.

Annnnnnyway I am not sure what I was expecting to happen when I reached my goal. I think I was probably feeling like I would suddenly self actualise, all would be well in my universe, all of lifes bigger questions would be answered and BANG, just like that, things that had sucked would no longer be sucky and I would live in a state of perpetual bliss. WRONG. This sounds extreme and it is, BUT the bones of it are true. Numbers don’t fix things, smaller numbers on the scales may fix some health problems and give you a longer life but they will not remedy any inherent misery that you happen to be experiencing unless you actually work on those things.

My Nan was one of the most influential people in my life for the years that I was fortunate enough to have her. She was a bigger person for most of her life, and along with her bigger size, came her great big personality, her kind, generous heart, wicked baking skills and her stories. It is safe to say that I adored her – I always will. One day she was in considerable pain with her tummy apron. Her skin was excoriated, bleeding and causing her so much discomfort. I asked her if she would consider going to the doctor and she said “for him to tell me that I need to lose weight again! No thank you, I could go in there with my head dangling by a thread and that doctor would tell me that it would be fixed if I lost weight”. Guess what, Nan was totally correct about that attitude AND she was also correct that ole mate the doctor, would have told her to lose weight and her rash would go away because her apron would shrink. I know this because I saw the same doctor, for the same thing and that is what he told me! I can emphatically call bullshit on that notion!!! In losing all of the weight that I have lost I did not lose the tummy apron and the skin rashes and tearing only became worse not better! The only thing that worked for me and would have worked for my Nan, is the unceremonious removal of the offending apron. I didn’t really expect that my reward for all of my hard work and weight loss was going to be a body that resembled ET. Those smaller numbers on the scale were meant to fix everything right?

My Nan and Pop 💗 Nan is no longer with us. Poppy is our last living treasure ♥️

I also didn’t expect to find it so different to find my way in the world. I spent so much of my life obese, that I was comfortable with my role as an often disregarded, second class human. I actually didn’t want to believe that I was treated differently to anyone else. With that denial of the obvious firmly in place, I decided that I wanted a change! So in 2016, tired of working for myself, I decided that I was going to go in a different direction. Over a period of 2 years from 2016-2018, big me applied for in excess of 90 jobs and went for MANY interviews. But guess what, there was always someone better suited to the role. One lot of feedback I received from the recruiter was “the employer would love to stay in touch with you and said you are just the kind of person that would be in her friend group!” 🤔 What even is that? I am never opposed to making new friends but I went for a job interview. Fast forward 8 months – because I was tired of continual rejections, I went for no more job interviews until January of 2019. Imagine my shock 😒 when I was offered two jobs in one day from the first two interviews that I went for post weight loss surgery. I WAS STUNNED! Am I suddenly a more acceptable human being? Apparently I am. I was filled with rage. I know that rage is a strong term, but it is befitting the storm of emotions that I felt. I was NO DIFFERENT, still the same person – except that I was 50 kilos lighter at that stage.

That was a low point for me. It should have been a wonderful high point right? But it wasn’t – As the kilos continued to come off I realised that living at goal weight was something that I was spectacularly unprepared for. I believed in myself, I was losing weight for the right reasons and yet I was frightened of all of the changes that were happening. It is odd to go out and be hidden in plain sight. I don’t look like I did so I can accept that people do not recognise me. But it takes time to form a new image on the inside of yourself of who you are and where you fit in the world. These are my hot tips for living at goal weight. They are my must do’s and they have given me so much courage to take the road ahead.

Yeah yeah possibly getting a bit thin but I am doing all I can to stabilise my weight 🙌🏻 helpful comments are great. No one likes a Captain Obvious kind of comment 🌟💗🌟

Here is my LIST OF GOAL WEIGHT MUST DO’S

  1. Celebrate yourself and what you have achieved. Most people won’t truly get it – they may be happy for you, some will be sick of hearing about it, some will be downright jealous, some will not see what the big deal is – all legitimate and valid points of view so celebrate yourself!
  2. Make friends with your flappy bits. If you have lost a lot of weight then you are gonna need to make friends with your excess skin. I am friends with mine. Sure if I had unlimited spare dollars I would go and get a few other things sorted but right now I’m okay with me. My arms are still waving bye bye to people three minutes after I stop waving and that’s okay!
  3. Get regular check ups from your GP – its so worth seeing the way that our body heals itself when it is given what it needs to do so. One of the most gratifying parts of this life change for me is the fact that I no longer have high blood pressure and I am no longer pre-diabetic. Mwahaaahahaaa take that genetic pre-disposition!!!
  4. Learn that there are some jealous mofo’s out there in the world. Not everyone will be happy for you. In fact, there will be people who will give you the stink eye at every opportunity. Thats okay, all that squinting will make them wrinkly AF. On this matter I believe that Jane Austen said it best via Elizabeth Bennett when she penned this phrase “I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.” In other words – there opinion doesn’t matter – you just do you and let them be a squinty mess – who knows, you may even inspire them!
  5. Keep track of your eating and your weight. That doesn’t mean be obsessive. That doesn’t mean go and jump on the scales 3 times a day. That means check yourself that you are staying on track. Enjoy good, nourishing food and drink. I stay within my calorie guidelines on a daily basis and when I do go over I do so because I am choosing to do so. Goal weight does not mean that we are dieting forever. It means that I am mindful of what I eat so that I stay within a 3 kilo tolerance of my goal.
  6. Living at goal weight means that I am no longer restricted like I once was in terms of my physical activity so for me it means getting out and moving my kick arse body a whole lot more than I used to. Who knows I may even do a pole class soon 😜
  7. Talk to your psychologist, see what I did there – I made an assumption that you have one because massive weight loss = massive mental shift and that needs support. It requires more support than I could give to myself or than my usual support system could give to me. Our mental health should not be an after thought.
  8. Have fun. Don’t sit back and find another excuse to not live your life. I try to do something that scares me every single week. Its amazing what cultivating a culture of breakthrough will do in your life.

Love Tash.

When You See How It Was.

WARNING GRAPHIC POST SURGICAL PIC

Today I met with my plastic surgeons nurse. I love going in and having chats with Natalie. She is just genuinely a good human being. She has been so honest with me from the start. She did not blow smoke up my arse when I said that I thought I was going to need a revision surgery because of the excess skin. She has been supportive of me from the first time that I met her and I am grateful for that.

When you go to plastic surgery follow up appointments it is an odd thing to start with. I have taken my clothes off in front of this woman so many times now that I truly think nothing of it anymore. This morning, as I stood semi nude again, we were able to see that the seroma I had seems to be resolving or resolved, as the big bump that I had on my right hand side over the scar has significantly dissipated. My incisions have healed beautifully and basically I can get back to life. I wish that my energy levels were better but hey things are what they are and we just have to work with what we have, so I am.

The other thing that was wonderful about today, is that Natalie gave me the photos of my surgery! They are graphic but they have helped me to come to terms with what has happened to me. I can see why my surgeons thought that they had taken enough skin. Those photos have gone a long way to restoring my trust and confidence which is a very good thing.

Taken by surgeon

Cats, Pigeons and Brutal Honesty

I was not always one to just say it like it is. I would think it, I might whisper it quietly to my partner and to my close family …. but I rarely said it and if I did, it would come out in an explosion of zingers that were both cutting and, at times, extreme. Isn’t it good that age, life, and a genuine desire to be a better human being can cause us to change. And there is the word that I want to highlight today – CHANGE! Sometimes loving ourselves means that we have to acknowledge that change is needed and we should seize the opportunity to do it!

The last 2 years of my life have been full of that word. I have changed and realise that I have to say things sometimes, even if it is hard to hear. We walked away from toxic situations, I decided that I was absolutely fricken worth the heartache and struggle to take a big risk on myself and finally get my weight and life under control and I CHANGED. I stopped looking for all of the reasons that I shouldn’t improve my life and started to focus on all of the reasons that I needed to do something different. The definition of insanity ” doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. For years I tried all of the diets, all of the fad eating ‘lifestyle changes’ I exercised and thought that I was just destined to be big for always. But there was something that I didn’t do.

What I didn’t do was take full responsibility for my obesity. I don’t mean that the reasons that I ate were all my own fault! Seriously tragic things have happened in my life but allowing myself to stay bound to them gives those things the power over my future!! I mean that by not taking my life in hand and realising that only I could change it, I was staying stuck in an unhealthy, disempowering cycle. I was fat, I was miserable and I wanted to unstick myself from the crappy situation that I felt trapped in. Weight loss surgery was not THE ANSWER, weight loss surgery is A WINDOW IN TIME – ME CHANGING IS THE ANSWER. Weight loss surgery will be as effective in the long term as you are educated and disciplined – I didn’t want to hear that but my surgeon told me that and when he did he put the cat well and truly amongst my pigeons! I wanted to believe it was going to be simple. But life has taught me that NOTHING worth having is ever simple. It isn’t as simple as having surgery and waking up and you will then just magically be skinny. Success is found in the details. It is in our daily routines.

Weight loss surgery removed a part of my stomach and in my case a part of my intestines (RNY) but without using the incredible gift that WLS is to its maximum advantage, it would be possible to gain weight. It is possible to sabotage yourself. For years I convinced myself that I was eating really well. After all, my kids and hubby aren’t big people. I knew what a healthy diet looked like right? After all I had been on enough of them!! The fact is that NO, I did NOT know what a healthy diet looked like. I did not understand moderation ….. How could I think that I did? I did not become an 163cm tall 140 Plus Kilo woman by eating in moderation – I ate like someone who weighed 140 plus kilos!

When I had WLS, brain surgery was not performed at the same time. I wasn’t suddenly endowed from ‘On High’ with the ability to know what “normal” was in terms of my eating. And I didn’t understand what moderation was either. I knew that I had restriction and I knew that dumping syndrome, which in my case is terrible, would condition me to avoid certain foods, BUT I had to educate myself. I sat down and cried and cried because I realised that I had been completely deceiving myself for years about my understanding of food. And so began the process of educating myself.

For me, I wanted to maximise the 12 months after my bypass. I wanted to make the most of that period of time when weight loss is supposed to be the easiest. I had to learn what a serving size actually was. I had to learn to read the labels on the food that I was eating. I had to understand how much protein I needed to consume a day and how many grams of carbs. I wanted to understand the best way to give my body nutrients and how many calories I should aim to consume. I found that while I had a fairly good understanding of the types of foods I should be eating, I had NO IDEA about serving sizes. That had to change and it has! It may have taken 6 months for me to wrap my head around it all. But those were months well spent. Weight loss surgery opened up a transformative window in time for me. I choose every day to take advantage of it.

Self love and self care in my life looks like this – giving myself grace to learn, grow and change. Love Tash x

Every time I think of me believing I ate well I think of this line 🤣🤣

Day 7 Post Op

So today is day 7. I have had a long hard kind of today today. I feel overwhelmed and sore. My body aches from being in the same position for long stretches of time and my back hurts from maintaining the hunched over position that is required to not put strain on the muscle repair that was done inside my tummy.

Over the past few days I have been trying to come to terms with what happened to me last week. This time last week I was fighting for my life. I was bleeding internally and I would head back to surgery to repair the bleed. I think rather than trying to go into too much I will just post the link to my youtube video because it all feels a little overwhelming at the moment. Just grateful to be alive. So very grateful.

Tomorrow is the day that I get to go to the surgeons rooms and they will change the dressings. So tomorrow I will post a little bit of a photographic timeline for you all!

Flappage Be Gone

Tomorrow is the day! Oh my word – the nerves abound. I feel anxious in ways that I didn’t think were possible. My ole mate, the wibbly wobbly excess tummy skin is about to be removed AND my breasts shall be gravity defying chin pillows! I am quietly hopeful, expectant, excited and ready for the next step.

This moment has been 16 months in the making, but honestly it has been coming for years. I actually wondered if I would ever get to this point. When I was finding it impossible to curb my bad eating habits I wondered if I would even live to see my 40’s – and yet here we are! I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to have had weight loss surgery. I am grateful to my husband, children, extended family, friends, church family, school community and the the Gastric Sleeve and Bypass Support Australia page on facebook for the encouragement, love and kindness that I have been shown on the journey.

I am also grateful for the negative parts of my journey, I am thankful for the struggles because they have taught me lessons that I will never forget and that I am a kinder, less judgemental, more compassionate and humble person for having experienced. It has not been easy, and the price paid has been steep – but the comeback is going to be outstanding.

New Body Loading in 3, 2, 1 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………