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 😉

No More Wallowing

There are a couple of things that have been on my mind lately and as always I am wanting to open up a dialogue about them. I can remember when I was first contemplating WLS again back in 2017. This was after my failed and horrendous lap band fiasco at the hands of a surgeon in QLD. I had my doubts that WLS was really going to be a good idea for me and I also wondered how effective it would be in the long term.

I do not jump into things without truck loads of research first. I read medical journal posts, I read the Monash studies, I read the US medical pages, I read THOUSANDS of posts from sites all over the globe (yes I am the info lover)!!! I read posts from normal people, like you and me, who typed things like “60lbs gone forever” “70 kilos gone for good” and I used to wonder, “wow is that true? What makes that true? I know people that have had WLS and regained……. so what is the difference? How do we define success?” On and on and on my questions would go. That rabbit hole does have a bottom but it probably isn’t always popular to talk about.

Eventually I got past asking my 56 billion questions because I was so tired of my life becoming more and more limited by my ever growing size! I also realised that no one, no surgeon, no matter how spotless their reputation, no WLS guru, no body could tell me that I was going live a complication free, thin life for the rest of my life after surgery! I wanted, for years, to not be responsible for my outcome. I was actually looking for some kind of reassurance that bypass or The Switch would be my “golden ticket” and I would be able to keep up my unhealthy relationship with food – just eat less of it. If I am honest, and it is only in the last few days that I have been bold enough to admit that my TOTAL reason for delaying having WLS again after my band was because I was frightened that I would have to change my relationship with food and I didn’t want to.

Finally I got to the point where I decided that any weight loss, however small, had to help! So in June of 2018 I bit the bullet, jumped up onto the operating table and had RNY. Since then I have learned a lot of different things! One of the most frustrating is that there isn’t a standard “one size fits most” approach in the way to walk the journey after WLS. Everyone has different thoughts and opinions – this makes it so interesting but it also can be very scary and frustrating at times. What I have learned is that I cannot eat the same diet I used to have and expect that my results will be good in the long term. What I eat has changed and will never be the same again. I have learned that for me – changing my relationship with food would transform my whole life.

I have learned that food is not my comfort, my treat or my friend, it’s just a tool to fuel my body and I have learned that I have to face my emotional shit and I hate that part!! I don’t eat my feelings anymore. This has been harder than I bargained for but I know it will pay off in the long run. I have also learned that sometimes their are complications that we just have to work through!! I didn’t plan to get as thin as I have so that has taken some adjusting to. But I am grateful for an amazing team and brilliant friend here that support me.

It is not about being a certain weight or a size for me. It’s about knowing how to work with my body, giving it what it needs to be healthy and how to be resilient when the challenges come. It is about keeping in mind the reason that I did this and understanding that I am not a powerless victim of circumstances. I decide how this story plays out so if I am knocked down then it’s on me to get back up. I have been knocked down for a few months now but I am back up again 🙂 I didn’t want to get back up. My heart has been broken and I wanted to stay down and stay hurting. What woke me is I have seen the way that my kids have been broken. The tears of my boys are the fuel that drives me and they NEED to see me get up, so I am! It’s okay to feel a bit lost at times, and it’s okay to say “I need help” it is also good when you can finally see clearly again. We got this guys and I refuse to wallow anymore.

On The Table

Motivation Monday! If you haven’t danced like a crazy girl in a pink wig on a table top and don’t have a rainbow wall and a disco ball in your dining room have you really lived ?? 🤣

You know, this isolation business is hard but for me, it’s the safest thing for me to do. That kick arse, beyond terrified of failing – but still brave enough to do it anyway, tired of being downtrodden, bigger version of me went through far too much to be here in this moment, for me to waste even a single day! I lived a shell of a life for the best part of two decades and I used my size to sideline myself from the fun, the crazy, the silly and the things that I wanted to do! It is hard right now but don’t let our current circumstances suck every bit of joy out of life. You are worth celebrating right now! You have breath in your lungs! You have the power to decide to make the very best of today. I may feel heart broken and I might be struggling but I will not let those things rob me of the joy of living in the moment. Life is full of mountain tops and valley experiences and if you are in a valley – well get on the damn table with me and let hope fill you up. Better days ARE coming xx

Inspiration and finding things we weren’t looking for

This morning I woke up thinking about all the things that I have found on this little walk I have taken towards health. Most of the things that mean the most to me now, I wasn’t even looking for, and I certainly didn’t expect to find. I was reading something today – a story I have read a lot of times before and I was struck by the fact that the Hero in the story, the person who did not give up, even in the face of horrific circumstances, was actually motivated to a very large extent, by anxiety. Suddenly I could relate to this story in a whole new way! I had one of those light bulb moments because I saw myself in the story – I have viewed much of my life through the anxiety filter also.

I could tell you lots of tales about all of the reasons why I ate. I have a good many sad and truly devastating things that have gone on in my life. No one that knows my past hurts and pains would think the worse of me for becoming a very large person. Except that fact that I refuse to allow myself to be the product of my hurts! All of those stories begin with the actions of others – but guess what – others don’t live my life, I do. Others didn’t open my mouth and put the food in it, I did. Others don’t determine the trajectory of my life, I determine that. It’s only really in the last few months that I have started to understand the very great power that we give “others” when anxiety runs unchecked.

My life was a product of continually making choices that empowered my dysfunctional coping strategies. Anxiety was and is a horrible task master and my “go to” response was EAT!! I, by no means profess to have mastered this old enemy of mine, however, I am working on it because I refuse to allow myself to be a watered down version of what I could be. I don’t want to hold myself back because of fear or disqualify myself before I even start. What would we dream for ourselves if we truly believed we were worthy and deserving? I have asked myself this over and over in my grateful moments and oh how that story has changed over the last 2 years.

When anxiety started to lose its grip on me I booked in with an incredible surgeon. I also started to make small changes in my daily life to give myself room to grow and change. I am that proverbial “old dog” and I needed to learn new tricks! The first thing that I did, and still do now, is practice being grateful. Every day I used to wake up thinking of food and how I would fill the empty feeling in my heart that day with whatever I was planning to eat. Now, I wake up and I don’t move until I remind myself of at least 10 things I am grateful for. Repetitively practicing this caused a shift to happen in my thinking and by the time I was about 8 weeks post op, I realised that I had other things in my life besides food.

From when I booked in with my surgeon until my op, I had 6 months. For 6 months I had no idea that arguing with myself in my bed every morning and being grateful – not looking at recipes and planning menus, feeling anxious and out of control, was going to change my whole outlook on life. Learning to feed my anxiety monkey a banana has been a revelation! I found a tiny little answer in my gratefulness exercises. I hope you celebrate your little answers too xx

From the start to the middle
January 2019 – September 2019

A whole lot less obnoxious

In the last 14 months I have learned a lot of things. Not all of the lessons have been fun to learn! One of the most heartbreaking lessons is that I used food as a coping mechanism 100% of the time for 40ish years of my life. Everything that I did revolved around food. I didn’t mean for it to be that way – but it doesn’t change the fact that it was that way. I have so many regrets that I have had to deal with. Making birthdays, holidays, important celebrations and Christmas about food and not about people. This was so wrong and my heart breaks when I think about how I lived, how I didn’t realise how sad it was and the fact that I can’t get back those lost years with my kids. In all honesty, I fucked up in some pretty big ways.

Weight loss has deconstructed my fatness and my arrogance at the same time. I am heart broken for my mistakes but hopeful for my future. I have learned that facing your demons is easy when you just look yourself in the face and see yourself for who and what you are – the good, the bad and everything in between.

Day 16 Post Op – HANGRY

Day 16 Post Op – in a bad mood 😑 Am I just Hangry? Is this my inner bitch breaking free of her pain induced silence? Could it be that I miss food? I suspect it has to do with struggling to eat much of anything and a bit of a blood sugar drop. Or at least this is what I am telling myself! I Only managed about a 1/3 of a cup of tomato soup for lunch and 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée with Kefir for dinner. I’ll try some protein powder in Kefir in a little while.

You know I’m not generally a procrastinator but I can be from time to time. I was a huge procrastinator when it came to dealing with the weight issue! I really wanted to pull the pin on the whole thing and eat a big burger or 3 the night before 🤭 – Oh food my love, how I miss you and the way that you warmly caressed my insides as you slid down into my plenteous belly hahaha!

In all seriousness though – I am glad that I went through with gastric bypass and I have just started looking in to the next phase. The fixing of the stomach – the removal of the mesh and removal of what I am guessing is going to be a whole LOT of loose skin! I guess now is the time to mention that I may need to sell my own soul to pay for it 😩 I got a quote from the specialist that I want to use today and it’s not going to be a cheap or easy fix!!

The Beginning

May 6th – 2018

I have decided to be honest with myself. Honest about where I am at and why I am where I am. It’s nearly impossible to change if you aren’t honest with yourself. So here I am – 50 kilos over my ideal weight. I have tried everything to bring my weight down, and have had successes in the past, only to find myself back at this point again. But I refuse to be a victim of circumstances, shitty “fat gene” genetic mumbo jumbo, or my own bad choices any longer. I have decided to heed the medical advice that has been given to me and surgically deal with my obesity. I plan to take my life back one kilo at a time.