Thank You x

You guys on here you honestly make me feel like I can do anything and I am so grateful for the support you give to me. I appreciate your likes, comments, messages and every positive thought that you send my way! I am thankful for my family and for their patience as I am changing! This path I have chosen to walk down is changing me. 

I am learning that while I can talk a great talk, say all the right things, and even know all the right things, I have had a shocking lack of self belief. My inner monologue has been bad for the past few days. 

I can appear all brave and bold with the change that is happening. But I haven’t really talked about all the times I have called my Mum, crying in despair at what I have done to myself. I have lost count of the amount of times I have eaten my half a cup of food and thought crap! Why did I have to get this sucky short straw! I have 10% of my stomach and sometimes it’s scary. 

I have messaged my sister and my brother to have huge whinges to them on the days when I can’t eat a damn thing. The other evening I was dumping and I messaged my brother who kept talking to me while I was sick 12 times. I have shared my food woes, my bikini selfies (be glad I don’t share them with you guys) my hatered of my loose skin! On the days when I am sick early in the morning they know that will mean I can’t eat all day. I love them for their compassion and their listening ears. 

I freely admit that I was actively hating on a sweet little thing sitting near me at dinner the other evening – she devoured plate after plate of food and I thought to myself “Cow!” Then slapped myself for being mean and just kind of felt a bit sad. “Why can’t I eat a normal plate of food and not become a whale!” Then I remind myself what my new normal plate of food is. Measure out 1/2 a cup of dinner tonight and see how much more than that you usually eat. I was shocked to see how small half a cup is. 

I felt somewhat brave when I cut my hair, until I felt the cold back of the scissors on my neck and then I had a panic attack! I quietly died a little on the inside because my hair was gone and there was nothing I could do about it. I came home, told Mum I was pretty much bald, told Turie the same thing, and put myself in bed for an hour LOL – first world problems right there 😕 

Let’s face it, in light of the many things that are happening in our world that represent true tragedy, my tiny tummy and it’s evils, don’t rate but I still have to cheer myself on. I am realising that an unshakable belief in my value as a person, not based on appearance or what I can do, is something that I have to cultivate because I haven’t. I should have done it years ago, I should have been as kind to myself as I have been to others but meh, I am doing it now!! 

No longer pre diabetic! That’s a good feeling!

Hair Loss

HAIR LOSS = ALL THE TEARS

So today is the day – yes I look tried as heck – Today I brushed my hair as usual and I noticed a bald patch. I knew that this could happen. https://www.drdkim.net/ask-the-dietitian/understanding-hair-loss-after-bariatric-surgery/ I have had three surgeries in the last few months in addition to all of the usual reasons people that have had gastric bypass loose hair. This was a distressing moment! 

I have lost hair before. As a young person, when I was anorexic and in my dance phase I lost a LOT of hair and had balding on the sides of my head. This time it is in exactly the same place 😳😭 so today I am going in for the chop.

I have a whole lot of anxiety about cutting my hair. I love my hair – it is probably the only part of me that I have actually looked after over the years. I felt like I could somewhat hide behind my hair – yes I know that is not the most rational thought – but it’s how I felt. I hate the idea of my neck and chins being visible LOL and let’s not forget the rather unattractive side effect of weight loss surgery and rapid weight loss – I have a neckgina – ☹️ so today I am cutting off my favourite part of me because it’s falling out and I shall have on display my neckgina and chins. 

Of course there is always an upside!! It’s just hair and it will grow back! Also I won’t have to spend as much time on it, it will be cooler when warmer weather finally comes to Geelong and I might even like it ….. hmmmmm probably not but still, it is possible!!! So until I next update, think of me and think happy thoughts, also send positive vibes to the hairdresser!! Haha!!

My Oldest Son

At my sons school the senior Campus is student free on Student Learning Conference Days (Aka old school – parent teacher interviews) we had a couple of interviews to attended, but first breakfast out together. 

Years go fast and making the most of each moment becomes more important as the years race by. The school years are the charmed years for parents. We are involved in their lives and our involvement is wanted and needed. Those bonds of friendship are forged in the teen years, through quality time – that’s the language all of our kids speak. How fortunate I am to have 5 incredible beings who call me “Mum” (my big boy calls me Lil lady or Mother) 

Aaaaaanyway, enough on our parenting philosophy because who knows if we are even getting anything half way right?? All you can do is love your kids, do your best and pray that they forgive you for the mistakes you will undoubtedly make along the way!! Soooooooooooooooo …. we went out for breakfast. Aramis had waffles and Nutella and I had half a piece of gluten free toast. I didn’t know if I would be able to manage toast. I had no idea if I would get any down but I did!! It was the first time I have had bread in 16 weeks! Yay!! It kind of goes against my new eating rules to have bread. I always eat protein first at every meal but it was okay this morning because there was no protein hahahaha!! No idea what I weigh today because I haven’t stepped on the scales but I am getting close to 94 kilos.

Barrier Breaker

I had a great big barrier in my mind about 95 kilos. When I was 144ish kilos – just 15 weeks ago – I couldn’t comprehend how it would feel to be 95 kilos again. It felt far too far away. Do you know what it is like to look at the same mountain day after day, after week, month and year? Hoping against hope that one day you find a way to get over the mountain? That was me! I was dreaming about a life where my size was not the deciding factor in EVERYTHING that I did. Gastric Bypass has been the game changer for me. Gastric bypass has enabled me to become a barrier breaker. The last time I remember being this small was not long after Justus was born. I was weighed the morning of my dear Aunties Funeral, as I was getting day leave from the hospital to attend. 

My weight did spiral from there. The trauma of Justus’ prematurity, my aunties death, marriage difficulties and a whole host of other things saw me turn to food in the biggest way that I ever had! I am not proud of it, but I can track my weight gain by turning point moments in our lives. I can tell you that June 17th, 2018 was a turning point moment in my life.

This morning when I stepped onto the scales I was in shock. 95.3 kilos. Lincoln has never known me to be this weight in his life time! I can hardly believe it. 49 kilos gone – 😁

When you loose things besides weight!

I learned a long time ago that everyone does not have to understand, approve of, agree with, endorse or even like my choices. Most of us make life changing decisions quietly. But how does a 140+ kilogram woman become a 60 kilogram woman quietly? It doesn’t happen because people are bound to notice! 

I have lost “friends” because of my choices and I am okay with that. I don’t give a rip what anyone else thinks of what I have done or why I have done it. People have told me I took the easy way out. Yep it’s so easy to have your insides re-routed because you are drowning in your own fat and your own body refuses to shed your excess self no matter what you do. I can totally see the logic behind that train of thought. My surgeon said it best – he told me, on the day that I met him for the first time “No one sits in that chair unless they have tried everything else first. You don’t have to justify yourself to me. I just want to help you!” If people don’t have that attitude then they aren’t in my life. Be helpful and kind – cheer me on or be silent because this is still hard work and I won’t have any negativity around me.

I am the one that has to look myself in the mirror every day. I am the one that has to live with me for another at least 50/60 years!! This is why I didn’t ask anyone else what they thought of my decision. No one else has to live in your skin except you and honestly – no one else has to live inside your body. I am happy to be doing something to transform my health. I am no longer pre-diabetic! My blood pressure is what it was when I was 18 (120/60) after being 150-160/93 for a few years! My knees don’t swell every night and I feel good at long last! So do I regret that some people don’t agree with my choices ….. ummmm actually I am very good at never thinking of them. Thank you to those awesome folks that follow along and that love a good comeback story!! The thing is – this time next year I will be staging the kind of comeback that no one will believe. You probably won’t even recognise me. xx

WLS Changes Everything!

t changes everything. Weight loss surgery has changed everything. 

People have said that “we are what we eat” – today that would make me an Vietnamese Rice Paper Roll – but in truth, those words are startlingly accurate. 

I was eating my feelings. Eating my stress and eating my anxiety. I did not eat chocolate, chips and fried food. In fact I would eat gluten free toast and an egg for breakfast, skip lunch and have my dinner at night. That night time dinner would now take me a week to eat. I now know why I wasn’t able to budge my weight. My night time meal was out of control. Even the right things can be wrong when there is too much of them. And not only was I filled with food, I was filled to an excess with toxic pain that I had been unable to let go of. 

I would come home and prepare our evening meal and slowly feel my anxiety melting away. Food asked nothing of me and in return I loved it without reservation. I know that’s pretty screwed up. And working through the issues surrounding food and body image is very confronting when I can’t use food as my way to make myself feel better. 

As the kilos have come off I have been able to associate my gains in weight with times and moments in my life and oh how revealing that has been. I am finding that as I loose weight my confidence is returning. I have also realised that many of the excess kilos I have carried have names that I can associate with them, traumatic events in our life and other things that have happened – I had memorialised my personal pain in fat. I ate my pain and my heartbreak. I ate my anxiety and my fear and with each kilo that comes off I am feeling unburdened. 

The challenge now, is to work out how to live with the new passion and confidence that I feel. Without eating my emotions I tend to write them and I have no doubt that when I am allowed to go to the gym, that I will lift them. Old ways won’t open new doors – so now I am standing at new doors working out how to open them. Look out world 😁

This photo is just a little snap from this morning – when I put on my brand new jeans from a not plus size store – a normal store – a normal 16 and they fit me ☺️😁☺️ my stomach may not be in great shape (tummy tuck in my future!!) but heck YES to cute legs – thanks Dad LOL #wls #gastricbypass

Self Talk

Today I have been thinking about my inner fat girl – can I be brutally honest and just say that she has been that part of my self talk that has screamed the loudest over the years. I am not at all ashamed of her or the way that she perceived life. It’s the part of me that was rejected for a major performing opportunity unless I lost weight – rejected in front of hundreds of people and it was 16 kilos I had to loose ……….. I was 10 years old. 

It’s the part of me that did loose that weight and then ended up with anorexia and then bulimia. The bulimia I went on to suffer from until I was 34 years old. It’s the part of me that couldn’t believe it when Steve fell for me! And then the rumours started about why we were getting married – No I wasn’t pregnant – I was just not thin! 

It’s the part of me that would always come up with a way to blame my size for missed opportunities, and forgotten dreams. The part of me that was terrified of rejection so it was easier to not put myself out there. 

This journey has taught me that I CAN drown her out without eating a single thing! I am hoping that the further along we go, the quieter her voice will become! What would my life be like if I really believed in myself? What would yours be like? Anyway that’s my constant question these days and the more I ask it the quieter the self deprecating voice has become!! 😁

And I posted this picture because I have to remind myself that I am no longer the chic in the black dress! When I opened this shirt today (I got it with an order I did for the boys) I picked it up, looked at it and decided then and there that it wasn’t going to fit. It looked like it was too small and perhaps I would try it again in a few weeks time. But then I remembered that part of me that I didn’t want to listen to was firmly in control of what I was thinking. I ripped the tags off and put the shirt on and it fit! A shirt from a non plus size shop fit me. It’s a good feeling 🤗

Weight loss and Marriage

Someone asked me if weight loss surgery has affected or can affect marriage. So I am going to throw my thoughts out there! And this is A looooooong post!!! The short answer is yes! Of course it impacts marriage. Watching your spouse transform before your eyes has all kinds of possible outcomes but I am not worried about our outcomes at all and here is why!

I’ve been married for a really long time! I was 18 when we said “I do” And that is now a lifetime ago – 23 years ago this coming Sunday. I have been a “Jarrett” 5 years longer than I was a Verner. We have journeyed through some of the most spectacular joys together. Our 5 children, our friends and families, homes we have owned, investments we have had, business we have worked together, a shared faith and a sense of purpose often kept us focused on the great things. Steve is a funny guy to be partnered up with, so we have had a lot of fun and laughs along the way. 

But the thing about life and about sharing your journey with others is that things are not always fantastic. We have not had one of those argument free marriages!! Haha ….. I laugh just thinking about this because we are both snarky people at times, so it would be impossible for us to never disagree, and equally as impossible for me to write some BS that we live fight free! When you marry as young as I was, you finish growing up alongside the person you have married. I am thankful for Steve full stop! However, there are regrets that we have let each other down and hurt each other over the years. In all kinds of ways. Thankfully we are good at forgiving and at accepting that we are going to grow and change and I think that is probably why this weight loss journey isn’t a lot harder on our marriage. We do accept each other how we are, with the full knowledge that we will change!

My weight has always been an issue to me but it has never been one to Stephen. I feel like it is an area that I have let him down in. Please understand that this is absolutely not a needy cry for attention or to be told that I am wonderful and gorgeous and my weight shouldn’t be an issue – it is how I have felt and it’s not up for negotiation. These are the silent “fat girl” thoughts that I have lived with for nearly two decades, and true or not true, I own them because if I don’t acknowledge that something has been in my life, how do I walk free of it!!! 

I know that I am far from being the most unattractive woman on the planet but I wanted to be certain things for myself and my husband physically and I have been, but then the dreaded fat would come back! He has never said anything about my size and NEVER would – it’s how I have felt. However, he has always been the sweetheart that he is, which at times I have struggled to understand. How can someone else love and accept things in you that you really dislike about yourself?? The first hint of the kind of man that I had married came when I was in labour with our first born. 

I remember loosing 20 kilos overnight. And I looked horrendous lol!! I stood in front of the mirror in that hospital bathroom, contracting and exhausted, with a stomach that looked like it had been popped with a pin, hanging in front of me. No one told me what I would look like after my waters had broken and I was horrified! It wasn’t enough to have boobs that were larger than 2 babies heads on each side, a brown line up my belly, hormone patches under my eyes and so many stretch marks……….now my belly was just hanging there………. 19 years old with a skin apron 😑 !!! GREAT !!! Steve came up behind me, shower nozzle in hand and as if he had read my thoughts said, “you know I still love you? You know I will always love you.” I cried, but hey what was he going to say when I was about to give birth to his first born! Seriously though, he meant it! All these years later, he still means it – he still loves me. 

Of course I was excited for our baby, but I was wondering how things would ever go back to the way they were!! Steve was always reassuring but things never did go back to exactly how they were and over time I was totally good with all of that. I came to accept a skin apron, wind sock boobies and stretch marks of epic proportions. I didn’t love them, but they were part of the story of my life. As the years passed, I accepted myself but I still, in the deepest parts of my heart, wanted to rid myself of the excess weight. I tried, my god, I tried so damn hard.

4 more beautiful children came along, 4 ceasers. Yes I wish I had been able to pop them out the ole fashioned way but I couldn’t. (As the years have gone by, I have learned to be grateful for saving my lady parts that trauma 😉) And still my weight has always been an issue!!! It caused me to hold back in so many ways and feel “not good enough” for Steve and “sorry for my kids” because I wasn’t and haven’t been the kind of Mum that I pictured myself being. 

This turn around journey has been incredibly personal one. This is my “come back” story and I share the things that I do because I know what it is like to be alone with my thoughts of inadequacy and self doubt. It’s okay to have weak moments and it’s okay to not be travelling so well from time to time and I believe it’s important to talk all about all of that! Today I have shared about wearing my wedding ring. Not wearing it for the last 15 years has been something that I thought about on a daily basis because Stephen NEVER takes his off. Every time he comes through the front door and hugs me “hello” I see that he is wearing his. Every time we tuck our children into bed, I see he is wearing his. Every day he has that ring on his finger. I put it there 23 years ago and it means something to us. It has caused me a lot of pain in my heart that I couldn’t wear mine. Today that pain is gone!!! That’s a big deal to me and for us! I know it doesn’t make me any more or less married but it means something to Steve to see me wearing it. 

You see I have never been a traditionally romantic kind of girl. I find being made a cup of tea and left to read in peace is one of the most romantic gestures of all 😂🙌🏻🤣 Don’t bring me flowers and chocolates, clean the kitchen or put a load of washing on for me 🙌🏻 now that is romance ♥️ Please don’t watch romantic, soppy movies with me too often – once or twice a year is enough! And walking along holding my small hand in his big bear mit is a crushing kind of experience so we are good just walking side by side! But don’t ever ever doubt the love I have for that man or what I am willing to go through for him. 

Making each other’s lives easier is how we show love. Being there when it’s hard to be, refusing to back off when one of us is being horrendous, explaining each other to our kids when there are misunderstandings, knowing each other’s moods – when to speak and when to head for the hills! I make him laugh and he makes me frustrated, we support each other and somehow it works. It just does. I am thankful that Steve has given me the opportunity to have this surgery. I know he wants me to achieve all of my dreams for my life and not be held back anymore. Who wouldn’t love a man like that. So does weight loss surgery affect marriage – yes it does, but like anything in life – We decide how the changes play out. That cheeky smile doesn’t hurt either 😜 #WLS #gastricbypass

Planet Fatty

Its day Blah Blah after both of the ….. actually let’s just say it’s Wednesday! Happy hump day folks. All I want to do is sleep today. And clearly I am over the word “surgery” don’t even whisper it to me – it honestly feels like you are screaming get f*&^$% right in my face😩!!! Last night my large gallbladder wound decided it would be a great idea to swell up a little more and hurt so that was uncomfortable and kept me awake! 

Today I am giving my water bottle the stink eye – H2Overrated! I don’t want to “sip sip sip” every few minutes! The dietitian makes it sound easy to drink 2L a day. Yes okay tiny little person, who studied at university, to assist me, a member of planet fatty, to join your thin crew. I will just “sip sip sip” the water away. How I managed to withhold my sarcasm and not say “SCREW your SIP SIP SIP” I will never know!! Like most things – sip sip sip is easier said than done. I can drink 50ml at a time 😑 

35 kilos down now. Still keen to crack the 100kilo mark in the next 2.5 weeks – and also to feel a lot better by then! Steve and I are going away for a weekend together 😍 for our 23rd wedding anniversary.  

So everyone, I need to find something to do for a few days while I am still taking it easy! I need suggestions – not reading – I have read so much lately that my head could explode!

The errant Gallbladder!

5 weeks today since gastric bypass. What a journey it has been. I should be excitedly getting ready to go back to work next week but instead I am now in the early days of recovering from yet another surgery. So what happened?

Two weeks post bypass I started experiencing pain in my right side and around towards my back. It wasn’t really something that I had never felt before and because so many parts of me were sore I thought it best to just ignore it and not be a panic merchant. 

My history with weight loss surgery prior to the bypass was not great. Nerves and anxiety have been my daily and unfortunately nightly companions in the lead up to and since the bypass. The very last thing that I wanted was to contemplate that something may have been wrong. Two more weeks pass and I noticed that I was finding it hard to stand for any length of time. The pain in my right side felt worse, not better and my back continued to ache. 

I reluctantly made an appointment with the GP last Tuesday and was sent for immediate X-rays and ultrasound of the area. Wednesday we had the results. My gallbladder was filled, not with stones, with sludge and had thickened and was extremely inflamed. So antibiotics would surely do the trick right? Well I started taking them and OMG. I can’t really explain what happened except that my body responded differently to how it used to. What was once a sensitivity to antibiotics turned into pooing 18-20 times a day. I stopped taking the antibiotics but by then it was too late. 

Thursday morning I arrived to the hospital, at 8:30 am dehydrated and in agony. My weight loss surgeon and surgical specialist was out of the country, so another surgeon, (Mister George K) whom I had already met was called. He called in the infectious disease specialist doctor to try and work out what was going on with my bowel. Was it gastro, an infection, a bacteria, colitis? They called George at 10:30, by 11:00 George had arrived and was standing in the room as I was wheeled out of the CT scan! Yay for my hero Dr. George!! He told me that they were going to have to take out my gallbladder and try to work out what had caused the bowel to be like it was. 

There was no way for me to stay hydrated while going to the toilet so much so I had to have IV fluids and they started treating me for a bacteria that could have been in my bowel. Thankfully it wasn’t that bacteria! But it still meant 3 days on antibiotics that made me sick and, I am still not 100% right in the number 2’s department but at least it’s not 18-20 times a day now. 

What I have realised through this is how important it is to be well hydrated. I didn’t realise how much easier it would be for my body to become dangerously low on fluid post bypass. I am, in comparison to many, very lucky with how much I am able to drink!! 

I also have to face the fact that antibiotics may be problematic for me in the future and getting the balance right for that will be a process of trial and error. I hate trial and error. The antibiotics from the GP for the gallbladder triggered the bowel episode 😞 and I can tell you I never ever want to go through that again. 

I am recovering well, but it wasn’t simple or straight forward. The surgery has caused tummy swelling which has put pressure on my new tummy and made it so that my amounts of food are tiny again. Tiny means three teaspoons and I am full. So I will have to build that back up again and that is important because we don’t want the opening in my tummy to narrow from lack of appropriate food. In short, it’s been hard. I have no doubt that I’ll be fine but nothing about this has been easy.