Mindful vs Mindless

So prior to surgery I’m not even sure that I had ever given these words any thought spaces whatsoever!  I guess I knew their meanings and in what context that they would be used however they just weren’t words that would be used in my everyday speak…  My how things can change…

“Mindful” – attentive, aware, or careful (usually followed by ‘of’)

“Mindless” – without intelligence, senseless

I would now describe my thought processes in relation to food as being, nearly always, “mindful”…  (There’s a key word in there!)

For the most part I am mindful (attentive, aware, careful of…) my food choices and the impact of those choices…  I think about what food groups they fall into, when I am going to consume them, how I am going to consume them and what outcomes can expect to be achieved…  When I am mindful I am in control; I am powerful!

Alas there are times when my thinking is not of a mindful nature…  Old eating habits beckon and require little to no effort!  The main problem (and I am so thankful for this reminder!!!) is that not much can fit in my “teeny tiny tummy”!  So for the times when I am “mindless”, when I am not concentrating, not thinking about the actual process of eating, not thinking about the nourishment that is required or just being stubborn and believing that I CAN eat a whole big packet of Twisties(!!!), my beautiful tiny tummy reminds me with a few key indicators… nausea, hot flushes, bloating and a general feeling of discomfort!

It is then that I remember that is good to be mindful!!!

So I shared my story…

So last night I spoke at the Patient Information Evening…  There were about 50 people (potential patients plus their support persons) present and I was really very nervous although I don’t think that many people would’ve known that…  I summoned up all my performance skills learned way back in my “theatre days” and put them back into use! #deepbreathandimaginethemintheirundies

If you ask me what I said then I’m afraid I can’t tell you…  I have absolutely no recollection of what I said!  Though I do remember retelling a quick story of a time in the early days after surgery when I had eaten too quickly…  And in hindsight perhaps me spewing in the gardens at Harbourtown shopping Centre wasn’t the best story to tell!  LOL!  It did get a bit of laugh when I explained the whole scenario and how Drew, our youngest son who was 19 at the time had said to me “Just spew in the garden Mum, that’s what I do!”  Good grief!

Whatever I said, I think for the most part it was well received!

Jump forward to today and I feel strangely emotional…  Quite teary in fact.  Hmmm…  Could this just be as a result of being in a “highly charged emotional state” last night fuelled by my nerves and subsequent adrenalin rush?  Probably!  #soundlikeIknowhwatimtalkingabout

I think I actually enjoyed sharing my story last night and, yes, I hope to be asked again although maybe I won’t share my spew story!

This surgery, the subsequent journey, and even the pathway to get there in the first place, has been life changing for me and I am so keen to be honest, open and up front to ANYONE who thinks that maybe it could do the same for them…

Soooo… if you have any questions, come at me… ♥♥♥



Well Hi there!  I’m back!  Not that I’ve really been anywhere…  I’ve just been kind of busy!

And I have had mixed feelings about my tardiness with my blog…  How slack to start something and then just not devote time into it!  But this week two things have happened that have prompted me to begin again…

This week just past I attended a revisit consult with my dietician…  Now I haven’t mentioned this amazing woman very much before and again I am not going to say too much about her, purely because I think that I want to devote a complete blog post to her in the not too distant future…  So for now I’m just going to tell you that I had an appointment with her that I was feeling a little anxious about…

And why the anxiety you may wonder?  I wasn’t too worried about what the scales were going to say…  I reckoned the numbers were going to be about the same, perhaps a little lower but not much…  What I was concerned about was that I had been very slack in my record keeping…  I had several half started, not fully complete, really quite inadequate food diaries to show for nearly four months’ worth of eating…  I should have had something like 16 pages; I had five!  Eeek!

Now my dietician isn’t the type of chick to rebuke me, nor would she have given me a scolding.  However I did expect something along those lines…  (That little negative voice in my head is quick to jump in still!)  What I got took my by complete surprise!  It seems I have achieved a level of “sophistication” where my choices and preparedness in relation to diet are becoming second nature…  Ha!!!  Whoever would’ve thought that I would be described as being sophisticated!!!  Not me that’s for sure!  #wheresmyfeatherboaandelbowlengthgloves

That was one thing that prompted me to begin blogging again…  The next thing is yet to happen but I am already soooo excited!

On Monday evening (it’s now Saturday afternoon) I have been invited to share my story at an information evening for folks who may be considering weight loss surgery as an option for themselves…  Just quietly, I really think I have been ready to do this since about four months post op!

I feel so very privileged to be in such a position and hope that my story encourages, inspires and excites!!!  I have overwhelmingly felt the love and encouragement of soooo many, as a couple of my “before and after” photos have appeared as advertising for the event…  Thank you one and all for your support and most beautiful words… xxx

As Monday night approaches let’s just hope that my nerves are kept in check and that my words reach through to the ears and hearts that need to hear them, so that those people too can experience this newly found health and happiness…

Stay tuned… I’ll let you know how I go!


Those “significant” dates…

We all have them…  Those “significant” dates that we remember…

Some of our dates are for those truly wonderful and magical moments that give us such joy that we smile inwardly (and often outwardly!) just by remembering them.  Then there are those dates which remind us of sadder days and times we would prefer to forget…

Whether a positive or a negative, we all have them and to each of us they are “significant” and usually kinda special!

Today I am adding another “significant” date into my list!  And this one is indeed VERY special…  (Well, to me it’s special!)

It is twelve months today since I underwent my Sleeve Surgery!  Insert shocked face!!!  Hard to believe hey?

My now “teeny, tiny tummy” is celebrating its first birthday!  LOL!

Never, ever did I think I would get to where I am now!  And I probably wouldn’t have, had it not been for the surgery!  But I AM here and loving every single second!

And what are my results to date?  I have lost 34.8kg and 272.5cm!!!

Do I hear a “Woop! Woop!”

You betcha!!!



My “Shrink Lady”

As part of the preparatory process for surgery, my medical team had me visit with a “Clinical Psychologist” or in Rowena speak, a “shrink lady”!  I have to admit that I did feel a little daunted by this prospect…  I had never been to see anyone in this field before…  Some of you (this would be my very rude friends!!!) might well say that this was a visit long overdue!  Hmmm…

Anyhow it was not scary at all!  It was just like having a chat with a friend… the only thing missing was a coffee cup!  As part of my first consultation (I had two…), I was required to complete a very long questionnaire…  This had been designed especially to be used for bariatric patients with answers fed into a computer program which would then spit out any “warning triggers”… I was pretty impressed with this and did not really anticipate hearing about anything that I wasn’t already aware of…

Jump forward to post surgery and my follow-up consult…  How was I tracking?  Yep good…  How was I feeling?  Yep awesome…  Did I have any worries…  Nope, none really!  Well here are your computer results…  Your responses indicate a “binge eating mentality”…  Say what???  I would never, ever have classed myself as a binge eater and I was quite taken aback…  Of course my “shrink lady” was just beautiful and settled me straight away…  No I wasn’t one of “those” binge eaters…  but “Row, if there is an open packet of lollies can you stop at just a few…” Ohhhh….  (insert a light bulb here…) OK… I get it now…

Our heads are tricky things and when we are in the right space we can be unstoppable…  The trick is to recognise when we are going down a more destructive pathway and to stop and turn ourselves around…  To not follow through with what is often a more familiar (and easier!!!) route…  To be mindful… At every step, of what we do, what we eat and how we go about the “day-to-day”…  And to realise that when we fall off the wagon we just need to get back on…  Not stress over the fact that we fell off!

To date I haven’t felt the need to visit with my shrink lady again but it is such a comfort to know that such a resource is at hand should I need to…


Wonder Woman

Many of you will know that I love Wonder Woman!  What some of you may not know is that I have never ever seen even one episode or read one comic featuring her!  Funny hey!  So how did this penchant for all things “Wonder Woman” come about?

Here’s a bit of a history…  In my previous employ, I was often the “go to girl” to get things done…  As my desk was right opposite the entrance door to the office I was often the first person of contact so it was possibly more out of convenience rather than any area of expertise!  With my desk being so close to the entrance door it also meant that everyone foraged through it to source their own stationery needs…  Mostly in my absence!  We had about 15 people on staff with the office utilised seven days a week…  One particular day my stapler went AWOL and I had to order a new one…  When the new one arrived it was kinda groovy…  It was made from clear perspex and as such was “see thru”…

One Monday I came to work and yet again my desk drawer had been raided…  Sigh… To my surprise somebody very clever had “NAMED” my groovy see thru stapler…  It had been named “Wonder Woman’s Stapler”!   After all “Wonder Woman” always travelled in a see thru aeroplane… apparently!  My stapler never went missing again!  And Rowena, the “go to problem fixer girl” started to get the nickname of… you guessed it “Wonder Woman”!

Jump into the present day…  I am NOT a “Wonder Woman”!  But I do feel like one!  I don’t have any super powers or special bangles…  I do have an amazing network of friends, family, work colleagues and supporters!  I have been gifted with all manner of “Wonder Woman” memorabilia which surrounds me both at work and at home… I adore it all!

My previous employment was as an Admin Assistant… my current position the same…  “Assistant” is the key word here; it’s my job to help others!  Follow through with that thought process and it’s really a “no brainer” to share my weight loss experience…

Perhaps my story might just move that one person to act… someone who previously may not have been “strong” enough…

Who knows?  It may help them to find the “Wonder Woman” (or “Superman”!) within…




So the journey had begun…  My surgery date was set and I was in the midst of my “pre-op” diet.  This diet was not really anything different to what I had been eating for the last few months anyway… a shake for breakie, a shake for lunch and then a “normal” dinner at night…   (The pre-op diet really wasn’t a biggie for me at all!)

At this stage I hadn’t actually told too many people of my plans… There were perhaps about a half a dozen close friends who knew what was going on.  I happened to mention to my boss one day that I wasn’t sure how to go about telling people once “I was done”…  I was a mixture of emotions… guilt, embarrassment, excitement, nervousness…  Was it a cop out?  Was I cheating?  Or was it just the next natural step in a very long road travelled?

She, I have come to learn, is one very wise woman!  She offered one simple piece of advice:   “Own it!”     Ummm…  ok…  Insert slightly nervous half smile… 

What on earth did she mean?  Own it?  You mean I should tell people that I’ve had weight loss surgery?  Yikes…  What would people think?  Would they think I was a cheat?  Did I really want to deal with any possible judgements or negative comments?  Of course not!  (That was an easy question to answer!)  But it certainly did give me food for thought…  And think on it I did!  I see-sawed in my thought processes…  And in the end the “pros” far outweighed the “cons”!  To own it was the “safest” option!  I’m not good at telling a story if it’s not the truth…  If I fibbed to someone and they later discovered this fib then my integrity and relationship with that person would be forever damaged…  And that would not be cool at all!  Ok…  So what if I was judged?  Was it going to hurt me?  Nope!  Was it going to change my mind?  Nope!  Was it my worry to have to deal with?  Nuh!  Finally I had reached a decision which, in the end, was an easy one and honestly a “no brainer”!

By “owning  it” I have been gifted with THE MOST EMPOWERING TOOL EVER!  (Besides the actual surgery of course…  that was pretty life changing!)  I “owned” my surgery whist still in hospital, using a post on social media…  And I continue to own it!  I haven’t hidden it away as a “secret”; I have fessed up and been open and honest about the path chosen!  I have no fear of “tripping myself up” and I have been buoyed by the love and support shown.  I welcome folks asking questions!  And ask they do!  Constantly!

For anyone else considering surgery, I think you too should listen to my boss!  She knows stuff!!!