Page 2 of 20

The Count Down

Well, here we go! Counting down until I am having surgery 😳😳. Last night I decided to take the pictures that I have been dreading. I sort of felt like I needed to prove to myself that I wasn’t just making a bigger deal of my skin than it actually is. Gosh self doubt can be a horrible thing. These pictures were for me. I mean this in the kindest possible way but no one else’s opinion of my skin will influence or define my thoughts on it. I care about the thoughts of those that will help me to recover post operatively but I am only influenced in this by what I believe is going to be best for my long term health. I have to live in this body and so have to know what is best for it and be responsible for the choices I make.

When I last saw my plastic surgeon a few months ago he said to me “when we do your bum and thighs ……” because they are as wrinkly as my front is …. and I know that he is coming from a place of wanting me to look as good as possible considering the years of abuse I subjected my body to via food! However, I can’t, at this point, imagine that I will reach a place in myself where I will ever want to have those areas of my body done. That is the reality. Reconstructive plastic surgery is a big deal and the recovery is hard. The more I have learned about the recovery etc the more positive I am that the higher the weight and the more weight that was lost the harder the reconstructive work may be and also the longer and more complex the recovery. So that must be accounted for!

In truth I am melted, imperfect and marred by the life I have lived. I look somewhat melted naked but I am pretty fucking glorious in this state. I am okay with how I look – I just want to be able to avoid belly button infections and skin break downs and hopefully not catch my arm skin on things!! So that seems like a fairly reasonable request to me.

Yesterday was Easter Sunday and it was a hard day. I spent most of it outside in the yard. I needed to do something different to stop myself and that seems to be a great strategy for me if I am starting to focus on unhelpful thoughts. Probably the fact that I have been sick for nearly a month has not helped much! I have been feeling quite down and that can lead to feeling a little bit lonely. Often times I tend to forget that I have autoimmune conditions and weird blood sugar dramas! I want to be able to feel like a “normal” person and will push myself to be that, until my body does what it has for the last two weeks. My tipping point is much easier to arrive at than it used to be. That frustrates me! I had antibiotics for two weeks for a condition and just when I seemed to be improving, I think I allowed stress to get on top of me again. So I am staring down the barrel of my 4th week on antibiotics with the addition of an inhaler for 6 weeks for my sinuses and a week of prednisone 😟

So instead of going to church after Easter Sunday Breakfast, I allowed my kids current feelings around that issue to be heard and even more importantly – to hold some weight. So, we sat at home – enjoying time in the back yard together.

As the afternoon went on and I got to thinking about more and more of the situations surrounding some difficulties that I have been facing, it became clearer and clearer why I have been holding back. I have always been my own harshest critic and I have realised that once again fear was probably what has been holding me back!

So I decided to get really clear about my why for this surgery and what I am planning to do after it is over. This enabled me to give myself a kick in the pants because I needed one!!

1. I want to be free of skin related issues going into the future.

2. I want to be able to avoid pain when exercising.

3. I want to be able to look better in clothes rather than always bulgy and bumpy.

4. I want to remove my excuses.

So with all of that in mind I decided that I needed some new pics – here they are. 18 months post ETT with Muscle Repair, mons lift, breast lift, breast reduction and fat transfer.

What is planned for my revision surgery is FDL revision of my Tummy tuck, extended arm lift dealing with side boob skin and fat transfer.

The Day After

The morning after the day before! How are we all doing? I vividly remember how crappy I felt my first easter after WLS. I was nearly 9 months post op, my life on a personal level had fallen apart in a particular area, Steve had just been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, I had just started a new job and I right around that time I fell into the worst depression I have ever had. Looking back on that time I know that my body was a hormonal chemical factory. I was losing roughly 12 kilos a month at that point and between that and the stress that was going on behind the scenes I really had no time to think about how I was going to manage Easter. I sat staring at everyone else’s eggs and I wanted to cry. Carbs over 12 grams make me dump so most chocolate was out, artificial sweeteners made me dump back then so I was seriously limited even in the no sugar chocolate department. In addition to my unfun RNY limitations, I also have coeliac disease, so I couldn’t even enjoy a tiny piece of hot cross bun. I remember sitting down after plastering a fake smile across my face and smiling through the morning for the sake of my kids, and crying my eyes out in my bedroom. I avoided cooking that day, and I just generally was aware of everything that I felt like I was missing out on. This is me being honest about how I felt. I didn’t express these feelings to anyone – I just went on and felt like the most horrible person in the world because in my head I was angry and resentful that everyone else could have the things that I wanted to have and it felt really unfair that I couldn’t do that too. By contrast, yesterday was okay. I have done a lot of work to get past those unhealthy feelings that I had around food. Food is not the focus of my life anymore. It is a great and wonderful way to fuel my body but I don’t think about it day and night. I had two little noshu protein chocolates that I made myself throughout the day and just had my normal meals. I had a couple of drinks and I understand the implications of my food and drink choices these days. The heavens didn’t fall in and I didn’t end up crying in my room over food that I felt like I couldn’t eat so that is a big relief. I don’t use food as a treat anymore. I also don’t think of food as good or bad particularly. I have a certain macro profile that I want to hit each day – its that simple. I make my meals up around that and that has really helped me to have a better relationship with food because, in reality, I now have a better relationship with myself and I understand what food is and what it isn’t. I don’t want to hurt me anymore. I want my body to be as strong and well as it can be so I give it what it needs. I am also really glad that I have not woken up this morning feeling the need to eat every bit of chocolate in the house because I have had years like that too but usually that is because I didn’t let myself have anything on the day so I would then just binge like a mofo for weeks afterwards. There is so much to be said for being kind to yourself. For giving ourselves good and healthy boundaries and ways to navigate important holidays and celebrations. Talk to our teams to get hints and ideas. Talk to others that are journeying well and come up with a plan so that we aren’t blind sided at the time but you know what if you are feeling like you have stuffed up majorly over the weekend DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP. If you had some things you wouldn’t normally have, just start fresh from now. Weight loss surgery and the life that follows is a transformation process and processes take time. We don’t have to be perfect, we don’t have to feel ashamed, we can be proud just coz! You are all amazing. Love Tash

Smoothie Bowl made with @purebotanypurveyor raspberry powder ❤️

Easter

Ugh what can I say. Effort and so much planning but it didn’t really go how I was hoping it would. Oh well – perhaps next year will be better and less vomity.

The day started out beautifully I spent hours and hours outside. Then we had dinner plans and that was where everything fell apart :/ but at least there was a bit of fun in there I guess.

Blue Spirulina from Pure Botany Purveyor

Pure Botany Purveyor

My joy and love for pretty things has hit full force! I am a bit obsessed with smoothie bowls over the past few months and I also have quite a fascination with cute tiny spoons 🤣 I have found that rather than skipping breakfast, if I bother to actually make an effort for myself then I don’t miss breakfast and I want to eat it because it looks so good! Sometimes I make the base from my favourite VLCD shake and sometimes I just blend banana and my fav yoghurt and collagen protein powder together – but whichever way it tastes so good. I have even used the powders in chia pots and in overnight oats! 🤤🤤 I kind of feel like eating stunning blue or purple food should mean that it is full of fake things but it doesn’t mean that at all!!! It is powdered superfoods. I am in love with pure botany blue spirulina and it’s actually available on Amazon 💕 I am also a bit obsessed with their Acai powder!!

When Fears Whisper in your Ear

Hands up if you know what it is like to feel fear? That visceral, consuming, blood gone from your extremities, hyperventilating kind of fear that leaves you wanting to run – but you can’t run because there is no where to go to escape it.

Well that happened to me on Saturday afternoon. My plastic surgery in September 2019 was filled with problems. (Read back in my blog for info) Well my baby sister had her Tummy tuck last week – and we had just picked my mother up from the airport for a visit – the first time since pre covid times, when the phone rang.

Mum went outside to take the call as we were preparing for my sons 19th birthday party, and it was quite rowdy in the kitchen. When mum walked back into the room I knew that something was wrong and she told me what had happened and that my sister was not okay. I felt that fear – I had spoken with my baby sis right before her surgery and told her not to go towards the light – I guess I was trying to use humour as a coping mechanism to mask my concerns BUT I also had a yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach. Anyway as mum was talking to me I tuned out, it felt like she was speaking to me in slow motion and I felt everything about my experience come flooding back.

Hours later my sis was out of surgery again and they had found the source of her bleeding but she remains weakened and will have a longer recovery ahead now. Aaaaaaaand I am meant to have surgery myself in 31 days – and I’m just not sure how I feel about it!

Little Darl’en

Chronic conditions are hard. They really and truly are. There is no way, looking at me, that someone would know what my body goes through on a daily basis and that is probably a very good thing. I am good at keeping things under wraps. On the surface – yes I am thin but there is nothing else that is easily on display. My physical struggles are not out there for the world to know. On the surface I am fine but when you dig a little bit deeper, and look a little more closely there is a tiredness that comes from the continual fight.

When I was diagnosed with reactive hypoglycaemia I was absolutely terrified of what that would mean for me in the long term and if the truth is told … I still am scared of it. Today, once again, I sat in the doctors office, with yet another infection that is a result of massive weight loss and once again I have antibiotics to take and to apply to my body. My blood sugar levels have been incredibly unpredictable again while I have been unwell and I felt very very defeated. I walked into the chemist to have my scripts filled and I just felt lonely. I put my scripts in with the chemist and stood back to wait my turn for them to be filled. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed an elderly gentleman and he hobbled over to me to have a little chat. This happens to me most times when I leave the house, I am not sure why but I really do love talking to old darlings. As he turned to leave he said “thank you for the chat little Darl’en” and I promptly burst into tears in the middle of the pharmacy – talk about embarrassing – but in that moment he sounded like my poppy. That is what he used to call me, either that or little Chicky. By this time the old man was apologising and so was I as I hurried to explain the reason for my tears and also to reassure my friendly chemist that I was, in fact, okay and not totally losing the plot in the middle of his shop.

I paid for my scripts, promptly left and cried all the way home. I cried for the life that I used to have. I cried for the times that I miss and for the way that things were………………..but by the time I got home I was reminding myself that I also have a future ahead of me. Today was hard but giving up hope is harder. I refuse to give up.

The Elephant in The Room

When I was obese I always felt like I WAS the elephant in every room that I went into. I spent my whole life kind of wishing myself smaller so that I took up less space. My dream was to go through life and not be noticed at all. When you are a large person, you know that people are looking and you absolutely know that you are being judged. I am not yet used to being smaller, even though it has now been a couple of years since my weight loss journey began.

My life is so very different from how it once was! but that has really come at a price. When I was 100 kilos heavier my life was limited. I was usually the largest person in any room, I felt self conscious and uncomfortable in my own body. Now, oh now how different my life is!

Prune It

I love gardening. I always have. Our first property had extensive gardens and I have retained my love of them as the years have passed. I love the seasonal nature of gardens and I adore that plants grow well if you give them the right things to do the job and if you have them in the right place. I learned this lesson a few times over during iso with my house plants. A few of my beloved green souls were lost because I didn’t get their location right and probably loved them a bit too hard with the water.

Anyway I was reading an article online about plant health and pruning which made me think about my life. I have recently pruned my life. Actually, I have done some very heavy duty pruning of my life for a couple of years now. I HATE pruning. It’s hard to choose which bits need to go and it’s hard to imagine what the plant may look like minus some of its current bits! However, cutting off the dead parts allows new things to grow. I wish it wasn’t like that but it is and it’s that simple.

Pruning for plant health focuses on removing dead, dying and diseased branches, branches that rub together and any branch stubs so the entire tree continues to grow in a healthy way.

In order to grow in a healthy way I will unapologetically prune myself of my old thoughts and ways that no longer serve me. I won’t keep myself entrenched in the same old things just hoping that everyone and everything else will change. No, that is not healthy – I will look at myself and move forward and change the things in me that need to be adjusted.

A very dear friend, that I love and who I know, without a doubt, loves me and has the permission to give me a telling off here and there said this to me a year ago – “ we are the common denominator in our own circumstances” and oh how that resonated with me. If I didn’t like what I was experiencing then I had to change it. If I wanted to have better health then I had to change it! If I wanted to be able to grow in my work life then I had to make changes. If I wanted to find peace in my own heart over some really sad issues then I had to make choices and I have. I have pruned, closed a chapter or however one terms it but the exciting thing is that brand new pages in this story are unfolding right before my eyes and honestly the best is yet to be!

Community Violations – Nudity

And now that I have your full attention I want to admit that I recently had a video removed from TikTok because I apparently breeched their community standards – Naughty Little Rule Breaker that I am 🤣🤣🤣🤣!!! So after months and months of ummmmmmmmming and Ahhhhhhhing about if I was going to go ahead and do more skin surgery, I finally came to the conclusions that I need to get rid of the excess tummy skin that I don’t particularly want to stay how I am in the longer term. So, of course, It then seemed to be a good idea to get revision on my tummy, my boobs, side boob and to do my arms because they literally wing like in their awesomeness. The excess skin that I have has improved a little over the last 18 months but all in all, to avoid on going infections and skin tears, I do need to sort it. I never had any intention to do more than I have already done but as time marches on I have realised that the skin hurts, pulls, rips and I don’t think it would be wise to stay this way into my older years.

So I have my surgery date, which is April 28 and I am kind of excited about it. Well I swing between excited and full of anxiety and fear. Most of the time I am excited – It feels like a natural next step now that my weight is stable and I am, for the most part, managing my hypos pretty well. I thought “Hey, I could talk about this on tiktok and had been asked by a LOT of people if I would consider talking about it – So I tried. I did a video and as I said above – it was removed for adult nudity. I checked their nudity terms and I cannot see how it breeches them but meh okay! (I will post the video here so you can check it out and see what you think. Personally I think TikTok is body shaming me as a person with excess skin and they can kiss my saggy arse 🙂

So I guess I will stick to good ole WordPress – Perhaps this is better anyway. My words tend to come out better when they are flowing from my fingers and not from my mouth haha!