Invitation

I have been invited to things in my life, I have been uninvited and I have been not invited – I think most of us can relate to at least two of those things and if you are like me, like to speak your mind, have no hesitation about calling things as you see it, then you may have been uninvited too! 🤣 If you have been, “high five” you are in good company here.

So this is my invitation to you. I would love to know what you would like to know about me. I am happy to discuss all things weight loss surgery and skin removal surgery. My family is off limits but I will do my best to answer anything else xx

Puffy Muffy

Can we talk about something for a minute?? I wanna discuss post weight loss surgery Puffy Muffy! If you are easily offended this is probably a good blog to avoid 😳

Not sure if I am the only one who had dreams of a nice looking below the belt region? Well I guess when I say nice looking …… being able to see it was my first goal! But I am going to be honest here and say that when I finally could see it, I wanted to just place my fat flap down and never lift it up to look ever again.

Mine has not faired too well throughout this process. I had/have major skin discolouration from the years of sweaty groin and chub rub so that is something that I really dislike but it’s more than that. Tubby Kitty had some major swelling from an incisional hernia, 5 kids and 100 kilos of weight loss it looked like very very saggy balls. My muscle separation continued right down onto my mons with a VERY noticeable division down the middle of the fat pad but I vent after TWO mons lifts but I STILL still have puffy muffy. I feel like I have a bumper pad on me like a bumper car! I still have stretch marks on it and it still looks a bit ding dong dangly.

So my question is, has anyone had a lower incision into your mons where they took a bit more skin to make it smaller. It’s one thing to chop straight across but I feel like it needs a little something more to remove the sheer volume of excess skin in that area. Or am I destined to walk the earth with a saggy fupa 😆

Ps…… for those who know me in person – I see your eyes go south next time we see each other ……… imma laugh and laugh and laugh!

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!

The letter

I wrote myself a letter before my surgery. I didn’t expect that I would ever share it here but I am doing so in the hope that it may help someone to decide to take the chance and have the surgery. I never wanted to let myself forget why I have made the choices I have made. When I found this last night I ugly cried. So on Thankful Thursday I can’t even begin to explain how thankful I am for the life I have now 💞

June 16th 2018

Dear Tash,

I hope that you never forget the reason that you are about to have weight loss surgery. I know that you are absolutely terrified right now. Knowing you, you won’t forget tonight, but just in case your brain shrinks along with your body – I don’t want you to forget! You are sitting awkwardly at the dining table writing yourself this missive. You know you would usually sit in bed and do this but you can’t right now because there are two kids asleep in your room and you don’t want anyone to hear you crying. You are bawling because of all of the lost years that you can never get back. Your precious girl has moved out and you can’t get back the years with her but you still have a chance to be the mother that you always wanted to be to your boys. Tash please don’t just remember being afraid, remember why you are doing this. Be driven to become the healthiest version of you that you can possibly be. Remember that in amongst all of the fear you feel right now, it’s really fucking hard to reach the table!! Your belly is pressed hard up against it and your little T-Rex arms can hardly reach. You don’t want to live your life like this!

You know that you have to do this. Even though it terrifies you in every single way. You want so much more from life than what you have had. You don’t want to struggle to tie your own shoes or wipe your own arse! You want to be the mum that can run and play with your kids. You want to be able to go on adventures with them. You don’t ever want to hear another kid tease them because you are the “fat mum” ever again. You want a better job, you know you can do more but right now people only see your size. You want to be a better wife and have a better relationship with Steve. You want to be able to give yourself to him totally without always holding back because you feel frightened that one day he will decide that he can’t deal with your self loathing and your binge eating anymore.

But then there are the things that you want just for yourself. You want to be able to wear something that isn’t black. You want to wear pretty dresses and clothes that make you smile. You want to be able to stand to sit at the hair dresser rather than hating your reflection so much that you never go. You want to walk into a cafe and not worry about if the chairs are strong enough to accomodate you. You want to walk into country road and buy straight off the rack. You want to feel healthy and not like you are eating yourself into an early grave. Don’t give up. You want to sing again, you want to dance again. Keep going. Please don’t stop because you were made for more than what you have had up until now. This is all I can do for you. I can give you this chance and it is up to you what you do with it. Please write some wonderful chapters.

Pixie

The last few days have been hard! Who knew that cutting my hair short would trigger so many emotions!! Well I suspected it may but here is what I have been going thru personally. This year has been transformative for me. The heart episode in March was another wake up call!! I am making room in my life for me to become what I want to be. Does that sound kind of crazy? I think it does BUT I have worn a lot of labels in my life. I wore them because they were given to me by others and I just accepted that. As I have lost weight and my life has changed, I have started to examine those labels and the things that go along with them.

I always knew exactly who I was on the inside but I was frightened to be that person. I was scared of not being accepted, so it was easier to just wear the labels I was given by others because if I was never truly me, if I never let anyone see me as I really am, then I would never be hurt.

I remember a few years ago I was told that only vain people wore as much make up as I was wearing on that day and I shouldn’t be trying to draw attention to myself. I was MORTIFIED, I wasn’t trying to draw attention – I was trying to face the day and not feel so ugly. It was a waste of money to get my hair done ….. that money could be better spent on being generous to others. It is frivolous to have more than one pair of jeans because you can only wear one pair at a time. I should just stick to black because it covered a multitude of sins and there was a lot to cover … and on and on and on it goes. Peeling back the layers on my personal transformation has been soul searching and tough!

The most challenging thing recently was my hair. I grew up with certain ideals around hair – and getting it cut short was not one of them. I always wanted to chop it all off but I had some ideals that needed to die before I was ready to wear it how it is now!! When I had my hair cut a number of men commented on it and hinted that men like long hair …. bish please … if you love it that much then you grow it!! And here is the thing – I now do what I want for me because it’s what I want to do. Where I am concerned times have changed – I dress to please myself, I wear what I love, I do my make up how I love it and I have my hair how I want it to be. I will not be transformed into the image someone else has of what I should be. I love my husband but I am not becoming his dream anything – I am becoming the best me that I can be.

For the first time in my life I have realised that it is okay for me to show who I have always been!! I’m a little bit sweary, I love my coffee, the greatest loves in my life are my family, I will be relentlessly authentic and I’m not sorry for that because it’s who I am. I am a jeans loving, converse wearing, little miss doo gooder, with short hair and a big heart!

Here are a few things that I have learned along the way from my plump self down to my slim self.

  1. It is my responsibility. No matter what, no matter the situation or why I feel compelled to want to eat … what I put into my mouth is on me.
  2. No one else can do this for me.
  3. Loving and cheering for myself and seeing the value in myself is ESSENTIAL for my health – both physical and mental!
  4. I am worth it.
  5. I am loveable at any size and so are you
  6. Never ever let something that someone else said about you define you! You have the final say x

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 😉

Where you from, you sexy thang!

Or perhaps I should call this – How Tasha got her groove back? 🤣 In any case I am finding me again. It’s been a long time coming but I am starting to feel at home in my own skin – possibly for the first time in my adult life.

I feel blessed and grateful 🙌🏻💞 Oh and blonder hair is brewing!

Photo Roulette

If you have never played this little gem of a game, you are missing out. We now have a change to the Covid-19 restrictions that we are living with and we are allowed to have 5 people visit our homes. Last night we played this with two close friends – the game is essentially this “guess whose camera roll a picture comes from” and you have a limited time to make your choice. Would you do it? Expose your camera roll to the rest of the room? My camera roll is full of my kids, my family, myself in various stages of transformation, my dog and work related photos. As we were sitting there playing, a photo popped up that I didn’t recognise at all but it was a picture of a large person and photos like that are regularly sent to me by folks asking for advice, so I assumed it was my picture, as did everyone else playing. When that round finished, everyone had that picture wrong – it was from Steve’s phone and it was me! I was totally shaken. How is it possible to not recognise myself??

I sat looking at that picture and it really got to me. If I had known all of the things would happen over the next three years I would have so wanted to find a way to pause or stop time. I would have chosen different outcomes for my family but I wouldn’t have chosen a different outcome for myself. Can you see it in my eyes? The absolute anxiety at being in front of people, feeling horrible about myself and wishing that I didn’t take up so much space in the world? I can see it, it is written all over my face.

This was me – Three years ago to the day. It was two years ago that I had weight loss surgery. That night WAS my defining moment. Not so much because of the double diplomas, but because of the decision I made. I hated how I felt that night. It should have been a celebration but instead I wanted to run and hide. It was the very next day that we increased our health insurance to cover weight loss surgery. I made a life altering decision that night, as I looked out on the hundreds of people assembled, that I never wanted to feel like that again.

I had worked sooooooo hard to stand there, full time mother, working full time, studying as best as I could and fighting through some really crippling anxiety to complete my double diploma. However on the night that I should have felt like I could celebrate my achievements, all I felt was self conscious. My graduation gown wasn’t big enough. It was the largest size that they had. I remember my total embarrassment as tears burned in my eyes. While the gown wouldn’t fit, my humiliation was all encompassing and it wrapped itself around me, cloaking me in feelings of shame and inferiority. I was so conflicted that night. So proud of myself on the one hand and so embarrassed and ashamed in the other. I decided while I was standing in that fitting room, surrounded by strangers, that I NEVER wanted to feel like that again.

Those feelings were the tipping point, the shove that I needed to make the decision to have weight loss surgery.

This is the photo I didn’t recognise

Me Yesterday