Weight loss surgery

Friday, August 31, 2012

Controversial? Yeah, probably. Any time I read an article or something about it, there are loads of comments where people say fat people just need to exercise and eat less. Funny, I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT :/ I wish it were that easy, really I do. Being overweight isn't something people tend to enjoy. Often it goes hand in hand with self hatred or self consciousness, and even if one manages to find an acceptance and love of themselves with "extra" weight, they're still subject to a society that ridicules, denigrates and abuses them. So, let me tell you, if it was so easy, if we could all just stop eating and exercise, we would. There are lots of reasons it's not and I won't get into them because I don't think I could cover them all, ever.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about surgery. It's pretty much a last resort for those that decide to go ahead with it. Whether its a lap band, a gastric sleeve or a gastric bypass, there's risk. It's a major operation and every major operation comes with a risk. It's what put me off for years, I was terrified that the risk of surgery was too great. Surgery on an overweight person already increases risk, ya know? But someone once said that your weight is rarely the same on a 12 month anniversary, and mine was only ever greater. I got heart palpitations and had to wear a holter monitor (they were harmless but I was terrified it was weight related), I got terrible reflux that was agony, and I ended up having all sort of investigations to try to resolve it... It was weight related. I realised things were only ever going to get worse for me. I hated my reflection, I hated my body, I was scared I would die young and not see my children grow up. I had to do something, I was desperate. Absolutely desperate and terrified.

Now, I still have to shake my head and ask myself, 'did I really have my stomach chopped out?!' It blows my mind that I was so extreme, that I had to be. I feel disappointed that it came to that, but grateful I had the option. The option to essentially save my life. My confidence, my self esteem. All these things were saved. I am currently 9 months out from my gastric sleeve operation and I have lost 37kg. Imagine how much lighter my body must feel to carry around every day. Have you ever lifted 37kg? I encourage you to do so. I paid for the operation upfront. $15,000 that happened to come our way and could have been used for a home, for debt reduction, for so many better things. I still feel guilt about it. But, it's a second chance at life. And I feel like I am really living now. I feel like suddenly, I have a future that I never saw before, that I never truly believed I would get the chance to see, and now I do. I cannot tell you how powerful that is. I am so grateful to J who gave me the money to do this, and sacrificed his own dreams to let me live. It's not something I can ever fully express gratitude for. Such an incredible gift to be given in so many ways.

It's hard not to compare my loss to others who have had the same operation and are faring so much better, but I am trying to focus on my own journey, and for me, it's a big deal and a massive improvement. So maybe surgery is controversial, but for me it was the only way I could have done this. I have not a single doubt in my mind about that, because I see how much I still struggle not to overeat, to exercise, to change the mind as well as the body. It's hard, really hard, but it was the only way I could save my life. Drastic, not the easy way out by any means, but grateful that I could do it. It's time to shine not only an awesome Kell on the world, but an awesome confident Kell. Bring that on.

Food, glorious food.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Transitioning to vegan eating is an ongoing challenge for me. I don't miss meat or eggs, or even milk, but some dairy based products and cheese are my downfall at this point. Substitutions are often costly, and hard to source rurally. So for now, I plan a fortnights meals and try to make them predominantly vegan, with a smattering of vegetarian amongst them (ie with cheese) and it's good progress. 

This fortnights meals are: 

Chickpea, marinated vegetable and feta salad
Vegetarian lasagne (I wanted one without eggplant, not an aubergine fan so it's zucchini based)
Fattoush salad
Refried bean tacos
Thai green vegetable curry
Vegetarian burgers (still trying various recipes to find the best)
Leek, potato and feta puff pastry pizzas
Green bean and chickpea sesame salad
Gratin dauphinoise w wild mushys and salad (a permanent fixture these days - vegan win)
Chilli sans carne
Asparagus, broccoli and cheese pasta
Vegetable and peanut salad
Spiced onion naan with lentil salad
Cauliflower and chickpea curry

I get these recipes from cookbooks, from the web, all over the place. Rarely are they my own creations.  I've been thinking that my diet needs some work. Given I can eat so little these days, I need to be really far more aware at what I am eating. Lunch ideas came down to half sandwiches with varied toppings - 

grain bread
sprouts avocado hummus cucumber
lettuce tomato cheese corn relish
pineapple cheese lettuce
capsicum tomato cucumber olives feta
cream cheese, carrot, raisins

And better breakfasts wouldn't hurt either. Enough junk. More water. The obvious... Anything catch your eye for a meat free meal? :) 

Book happy

Monday, August 20, 2012

I have read some great books recently, so thought I'd drop the names so those on the hunt have somewhere to look!

Firstly, I read Red Queen by Honey Brown. It's an Australian book, which always gets bonus points from me, and not a bad one at that. It's about 2 brothers, hiding out in the bush after a virus is wiping out the world, and how their hideout is infiltrated by a strange woman...

Next up, Room by Emma Donoghue. Have been meaning to get to this for months and months and finally nabbed it. I loved this book, just so well written and with such beautiful characters.

Nora Roberts - The Witness. I like her stuff, dead easy to read, sort of chicklit crime mix. This was another good read, and this was her 200th book. 200. That blows my mind. I guess she's doing something right!?

I also read Jodi Picoult's Lone Wolf. This was a while ago and I can't remember if I mentioned it or not, it was not bad. Typical Picoult, but nothing out of the box for me.

My new favorite author - Jojo Moyes. I mentioned in an earlier entry her book called Me Before You and because of it's power, I tried another by her called The Last Letter From Your Lover. She has a way of writing that just takes a simple story but crafts it into something more. They are not just love stories, they are truly poignant and lovely. Just beautiful writing. I adore her work.

Allen & Unwin again asked me to take part in another read-a-long with Bree. This time the book was called The Unfinished Journals Of Elizabeth D by Nichole Bernier. I loved this book, I tried to stop at the first break for the discussion but I couldn't put it down, I had to keep reading. I identified with the exploration of an individual as opposed to their role as 'Mother' or 'Wife' and that wanting something more, and what was going on... The characters were so real, they had flaws, they were uncertain, they had more than one dimension. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Another of my favorite authors has a book out and I didn't realise so I quickly grabbed it on kindle when I found out. Liane Moriarty's The Hypnotists Love Story is just as good as her previous works that I also love. Another Australian author, her writing is so easy to get lost in. I loved this book, amazing that I could empathise with all the characters, even the whacky Saskia. Love lost and relationships starting... all relevant to me and so I enjoyed that about it too.

Also mentioned in my last post was Jennifer L Armentrouts Lux series. Book 2, Onyx, came out last week and I immediately got into it. I really love Katy and I like where things went with she and Daemon in this book. I love that Katy is independent and strong for a YA female protagonist. We need more like her! Mind you, my kindle told me I was at 93% and just as it got super exciting... The End. The rest was a sample chapter etc. I almost cried! Now I have to wait until December for book 3! GAH!

Finally, last night I finished If I Stay by Gayle Forman. This was pegged as an emotional book that would have me in tears. Nup. I actually felt a bit robbed to be honest. I felt like there was opportunity for the author to really get into an emotional place with this and ravage the emotions... But she didn't get there for me. Not a bad book, simply okay.

That's a wrap!

Picture credit: http://weheartit.com/entry/35296248#

Harry Potter party

Saturday, August 18, 2012

So the boy asked for a Harry Potter themed party for his 9th birthday. The internet is a trove of ideas for such an event and I nabbed some fab ideas from all over the place and set about making them into a reality. I started several weeks before the event and pottered about making fel ties, bertie botts boxes and wands long in advance. The party went off without a hitch, and there were some very happy wizards about the place.

Yes I made butter beer. It was like a spider, sooo good!

The sorting hat sorted each kid (thank you iphone app!)

The entry to the party! I made this using an old sheet, a square sponge and some brick colored paint. Nothing flash but looked effective.

A collection of creepy things! On the end are wands made using dowel and hot glue gun and paint. Each has a tag stating what it is made of (eg elm with phoenix feather), felt Hogwarts house ties, and gross things... Bloodworms, hippogriff gizards, blind cat eyes, gillyweed etc (spaghetti in tomato sauce, smoked oysters, cocktail onions, weeds in green water!)

The polyjuice potion and Elixir Of Life bottles were filled with water for those not wanting butter beer. My funky broomstick is a Martha Stewart knock off!

Finn made the Wizard Collector cards to go with these himself!

I wrapped truffles in gold foil and attached white wings to each for snitches. So cool!

These were chocolate coated licorice sticks, dipped in melted white chocolate then sprinkles.

Wizard hat cupcakes.

Cheeseymite scrolls.

Hogwarts house cupcake tower

Each child took home their wand, one of these fabulous cookies from Crumbs of Yum, a spellbook and a Bertie Botts box of beans. 

It really was a fantastic success and a lot of fun!

Happy 9th Finn xx

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I was just reading an old journal of mine...

They lifted him straight onto my tummy and I burst into tears and just said "my darling boy.. oh my god..." and then i said "it IS a boy isnt it?!" It was and Josh cut the cord. Josh and i just looked at each other and at this squeaky little creature. They suctioned a bit of fluid from his mouth and he crid a bit but my god... he was just beautiful. Looking up at us.. words cant describe how i felt at that moment. So happy and in love and relieved and thrilled. All of that and more. We were in awe completely...

Who would believe that was nine years ago today? 9 YEARS. It has gone so fast. This child of mine, he is amazing. He is sensitive, sweet, kind and so generous. He is smart and funny, and he has the most divine heart. He could change this world. The world is so much better off for having him in it. I cannot believe he is mine, that I am responsible for such an amazing child. I don't know how. I take no credit, it's just who he is.

Before him, I was just me, just Kelly. After, I became Mama. A whole new element to my being, and one I cherish every single day. As he gets older, we relate in new ways. We still have that closely connected almost freakish bond, but instead of it being purely emotion based, he can now articulate things, and it takes on an even cooler dimension.

He is a lot like his dad, in nature, and in personality. For example he is mad on Dr Who and Star Wars. I totally claim the Harry Potter obsession, though! He is great at maths and can read something stellar. I cannot imagine where he will end up someday, all I know is the world is his oyster. He can easily do anything he wants to. His talents are so broad.

I absolutely adore him, my darling mooey. Proud doesn't begin to describe it. So much love on your birthday moo, I love you. ALWAYS. No matter what.