Perceptions

So here we are nearly two years down the track!  I can scarcely even believe that I’ve been on this journey for that length of time!  It feels like two minutes!

But man oh man!  What a ride…  LOL!  There’s been so many ups with just a few downs…  Right now I think I’m on an upward incline… not quite at the top but certainly better than my last post when I was on “Struggle Street”…  (As an aside I need to say a very big “thank you” to all of you… You, my very own Cheer Team!  You lifted me and stood me back up on my two legs again!  ❤  You ALL rock!)

Interesting though how my “not always positive” “mind chatter” sways my thinking…  I look in the mirror and of course can see significant change…  Yep…  I have collar bones that were never there before and I think my arms might look a little skinnier… Oh and I have a skinny neck…  But that’s about where I finish my skinny stuff…  I still feel (and think!!!) like a fat chick…  I don’t see myself as slimmer even though the numbers on both the scales and the tape measure tell me that I am in fact significantly smaller…

It is only when someone else says something that I get a twinge of belief and I want to say “oh really???”…  Not in a sarcastic, smarmy way but genuinely and truly hopeful…  “Is that really what you see?”  I have had two occurrences recently where this has happened… and they both took me by complete surprise cos I just don’t see it!  LOL!  And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that my spirits were lifted high!!!  (Kylee and Lynda… Thank you… xx)

How strange it is when that frumpy fat girl and the “skinny minnie” are one and the same and it’s only the perceptions that differ…

“Struggle Street”

Well hey there!  Remember me?  I’ve been a little absent of late…  And why?  What good reasons have I had?  Well…  not a one except to say that I have been on “Struggle Street”, and I’ve been there for a little while now…   And my particular “Struggle Street” has lots of lanes and pathways branching out in all manner of directions resulting in chaos and mess!  Enough is enough!  I’m gonna spew it all out there and then action the clean up!

I have been wanting to continue blogging but have struggled to find the motivation to actually sit down at the computer and write.  A good portion of my daily employment involves being on the computer so to repeat this when at home of an evening is often NOT what I choose to do…  Especially when our phones are so interactive and user-friendly…  And my armchair is so very comfortable…

My diet has been horrible!  I can kid myself and pretend that it hasn’t been “that bad” but I have been allowing old habits to sneak their way in and they are getting way too comfortable, and once again become ingrained into my daily “norm”…  I have ceased keeping my daily food diary and whilst not always necessary this did ensure that I could track my food… I could make sure that I had the protein, the carbs, the vegies…  When it’s not written down you don’t notice that that last meal really wasn’t overly nutritious, nor was it very satisfying either and that would be why you’re now up scrounging in the fridge for a little “something, something”…

I’m not gonna be a total “Negative Nancy” here!  My exercise regime has been good!  But it could be better!  I probably walk five out of seven mornings but for several months now I have been thinking that I was ready to get back into some sort of “resistance” training…  I don’t have that yearning to rejoin a gym nor do I want to get back to “busting a pfuffer valve” at every workout!  However I do want to rebuild some of the muscle that I once had…

My relationship with the scales is not a harmonious one presently… I don’t like what they say!  Not one little bit!  Their numbers are telling me that I have gained a little weight…  It’s not much but it terrifies me!!!  Really T E R R I F I E S me!!!  I am still under a significant number, and to everyone appear slim, but I weigh more than I did a couple of months ago…  And this is so NOT OK!

I think the biggest problem though is that my head is just not where it should be!  I am so pleased that I am able to recognise this.  My daily walks have given me the space to see this and to also see how all of the above is as a direct result.  I have written previously how I have a liking for “Wonder Woman”…   I like that she is strong and determined; ready to accept the challenge and battle through.  I WAS like that in this weight loss journey of mine but of late this determination has waned…  I have allowed my concentration to lapse…  And I do NOT want to fail in this journey…  I WILL NOT!

So…  time to get this “S*^t” sorted!  This journey is not easy!  The struggle is real and ever-present…  You really cannot ever take your “foot off the pedal”…  This “teeny, tiny tummy” I now have is a tool to be used sensibly, and with love and care…  Time to channel my inner “Wonder Woman”!!!

Last Saturday Neil and I attended a boot camp!  I think it was good!  LOL!  I struggled to walk for a couple of days afterwards so must have used some muscles that haven’t been used for a while!  The plan is to continue with this weekly session as we can…

Beginning tomorrow I will resume writing my daily food diary…

And this post finishes the “blogging holiday” !!!  My desire to continue to share my story has been re-ignited…  Watch this space! xx

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… ♥♥♥

 

Blogging!

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…