Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Soy Marinated, Wasabi Deviled Eggs

On a naughty weekend away a few years ago in Paris, we had the most amazing deviled eggs over cocktails with our best man (and my adopted brother) Matt. I have been meaning to try to recreate these beauties for a while now, and a Xmas potluck this week gave me the perfect opportunity.

These little puppies are low in fat, high in protein, and oh-so moreish! I dare you to eat just one!

Postscript: You are probably wondering why the photo at the top is a sketch and not a pretty image of the following recipe. My piping bag exploded all over me and the table as I was filling the eggs. I managed to salvage enough to spoon fill the eggs, and they in turn were consumed before I thought to take a picture!

12 eggs
375mls soy sauce
60mls hot water
2 tablespoons of siracha
4 tablespoons of white sugar
4 tablespoons of mirin (rice wine vinegar) + 2 tablespoons extra
1/2 cup of reduced fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoons of wasabi paste
2 green onions (scallions), minced


  1. Hard boil the eggs - if in doubt, place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water to an inch above the eggs, bring to the boil, stick a lid on them, turn the heat off and leave for 13 minutes. Drain and place in a cold water and ice bath to cool. When cool, peel and set in a glass bowl.
  2. Make the marinade - whisk together the soy, water, siracha, sugar and 4 tablespoons of mirin until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the marinade over the eggs and leave covered in the fridge to marinate for 4-24 hours.
  3. Devils in the detail - slice the eggs in half when ready to serve, scoop the yolks out into a separate bowl and mash with the extra 2 tablespoons of mirin, mayonnaise, wasabi paste and green onions. Pipe or spoon the yolk mixture back into the egg whites. Sprinkle with green onions and or thinly sliced red chillies and chill until ready to serve.
Makes 24 halves, about 50 calories each (as you don't actually eat the marinade, according to MyFitnessPal).

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Facts and Figures - 12 Week Stats

Seasons Greetings Festive People!

What a crazy year it has been....contracts all over the country, singing on stage, this surgery, and another year with my beloved, all gone by in the blink of an eye.

The last few weeks have included closing two bids, a week in Cornwall with a friend from Oz and her squidget, a week soaking up the sun in St Lucia (god I needed some sun this year!) and now Xmas is upon us, and we are readying for a week in Scotland in a secluded cottage, just the two of us,

Food consumption has been good, getting most of my liquid targets, and whilst I haven't started at the gym yet, I have been walking a lot (usually lugging a heavy backpack!)

So onto the nitty gritty...

Height: 5'10" (this really will never change!)
Weight: 125.1kg/275lbs (a loss so far of 21.6kg/47.6lbs) - I got a bit excited earlier this week thinking I had hit the 50lbs mark, but I just can't count!

Stats: A total of 69.5cm lost since surgery. 

15-Sep-15 01-Nov-15 19-Dec-15
Arm Left 46 44 42.5
Arm Right 44 44 42
Calf Left 56 55 54
Calf Right 57 54 52
Thigh Left 89 84 80
Thigh Right 86 80 77
Bust 116 112 108
Natural Waist 109 105 102
Hips 160 148 136

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Please Sir, I (Don't) Want Some More

One of the things you find after having had gastric sleeve surgery is that your need for portion sizes diminishes drastically. For the rest of my life, I will only ever eat a quarter to half a cup of food per meal.

Now, when cooking for myself at home, this is easy to deal with - I just serve myself a fraction of what I give the Hussyband (and then usually push what I still couldn't finish off my plate to him at the end as well!)

But eating out causes a whole other dilemma. The scenarios I have encountered so far include:

  1. The Incredulous Server: who cannot fathom that a person of my size could possibly ONLY want a starter when my dining companion is having three courses. Not forgetting "Oh the horror!", that I do not want wine, as I am unable  to drink 30 mins pre-, during- or 30 mins post-eating. I mean, you are taking a valuable seat in our establishment and not spending more than £5-25 (depending on the quality of said establishment.)
  2. The Disappointed Chef: when no other options are available for dining portion control (or the starters fail to entice my taste buds) and I am left with ordering a main size meal, there is the inevitable kerfuffle when the server clears my plate after I have finished dining, and 80% of the meal is still on it. My entreaties of "Of COURSE I enjoyed the meal, I just can't eat that much food!" are usually met with looks of disbelief as their judging eyes roam my (quickly shrinking) frame. 
In both these cases, I find myself having to explain my surgery to justify my eating needs. Now, I am obviously out of the surgery closet, but it does get tiring having to explain it to complete strangers, what I have already taken great pains to explain to my nearest and dearest (and those of you who I have also never met, but take the time to read this blog!)

I almost wish there were little cards like this that I could give to staff at restaurants, it would save me a lot of stress and reduce tears on bad days....

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fun Times

The PQQ for HS2 went in and looks promising, sadly the ITT has been pushed out until April-ish, and they don't want to pay for staff to sit there doing nothing for 5 months, so us loyal, hardworking contractors got stood email, at 9 pm on a Thursday night, while I was on holidays. C'est la vie.

It has been a crazy few weeks, the last 3 weeks of the bid were manic and long, with weekend work and 12+ hour days not unusual. I had planned the week post-submission to be spent with friends from Oz, Nancy and Myf. We met up with them in Wales and spent a few days down at Little White Alice, an old friend of a holiday stay near Redruth in Cornwall where we have stayed previously with my parents as well as just the Hussyband and I when we need a recharge and escape from life.

Slightly stoked!
While in Cornwall we laughed, got adopted by a cat who would not leave our side (or maybe it was just that it knew we would spoil it...), soaked in a wood burning hot tub, ate well, and decompressed. Myf got to meet all the animals, visit a seal sanctuary and had an amazing pony ride which is still being talked about.

The day before we went away, my passport came back from the Home Office after a six-month holiday while it was processed for my Indefinite Leave to Remain. To celebrate, I got approval for a second week off (dont know why I bothered as a few days later we were stood down anyway!) and booked us a week in St Lucia for some much-needed sun. Sun is something you miss as an Australian living in London!

But first we had to get back to London. It was a loooong drive. We stopped off in Plymouth for lunch (I still dream about the mussels from The Samphire Bush) and an aborted attempted at finding the Beatles Bums sculpture on the Hoe. We flew past Stonehenge and could just make out the outline in the fast-falling dusk (next time Nancy!)

Kew at night!
The Thursday night saw us going out on a Girls Night, with Gerry staying home to study while we ladies (and the wee one) went to view the Christmas Lights at Kew Gardens. I highly recommend the excursion if you are in London - it is still on for a few more weeks!

Friday we said goodbye to our guests, who I still miss, hearing Myf giggle with my mother-in-law was priceless!

Heading out and looking in
dire need of sun
Early Saturday morning (way too early for a Saturday) we headed to Gatwick Airport for our flight to St Lucia. The flight was only 9-hours but felt so much longer as we had been up since sparrows. We were met by Gerry's cousin and godmother Marie and her husband Mike who took us to our resort Ti Kaye and then for dinner at The Hideaway (which you had to take a floating gazebo to get there!)

We had a glorious 5-days at Ti Kaye, swimming, snorkeling, lazing, sunning and laughing.  We took a guided tour and swam under a waterfall, walked through an active volcanic caldera and ate local food. Our last 2-days were spent with Marie and Mike, shopping, swimming, sunning (are you noticing a theme) and chilling out.

Coming back to London has been hard - not only due to the 20°C difference in temperatures, but I had picked up an 8-day contract that started (and with it long hours and working this weekend!)

And we have had Sleeve Wins while away (I have saved the best for last in this post)!
Say cheese!

  • I am 400 grams away from having lost 20 kgs (that is 44 lbs for you non-metric people), I seem to be averaging 1-1.5 kgs a week now) - on track for being 125kgs by Christmas!
  • I did not have to use the seatbelt extender on the flights
  • I wore a bikini (OK - I like swimming naked, but St Lucia is not one of those countries where I can do so)
  • The guys doing the renovations at the hotel liked watching me in the shower (OK - that was a win the first time, weird the second, then it just got creepy)
  • I did not drink my holiday away - just a pina colada or rum punch a day and I was happy
  • I smiled the entire holiday.

Stats and pics next week - I might have to break out a silly season jumper in honour!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Long Hours and Old Habits

Out in the real world, I work as a freelance Bid Manager - basically I sit at a desk for hours at a time, writing, doing graphics, arguing with engineers, editing, re-editing, more arguments, herd a few cats and bash my head against a wall. Most of the time this is a normal eight hour a day job. But at the pointy end, when we are about to submit a tender, it gets crazy. 12+ hour days, weekends, not seeing my beloved for more than 10-20 mins a get the idea.

Now THOSE days mean that I sit at a desk, and don't move. I forget to drink enough, I don't go the loo enough. Eating habits are bad. In the past, that would also have included pizza at 9 pm as you could eat with one hand and type/scroll documents with the other.

Last Thursday I submitted a tender, well a prequalification for a tender, which is almost as painful. The last two weeks were long and grumpy, and well...long and grumpy.

The company I am doing work for at the moment is full of an amazing team, mostly Spanish, and they bring in LOTS of snacks...biscuits, cakes, tarts, tortes, Ohh carb filled treats of badness! But I have avoided them. OK, I did have one small bit of a gluten free brownie the other week...but, all things considered, that was nada!

But, I kept a stash of miso soup in my drawer, I made sure I went for walks, albeit brief, at lunch to get something to eat, mid-morning and afternoon to clear my head. And I managed to hit the majority of my liquid requirements (some days were better than others, but I have learned not to beat myself up about it).

Yes, some days will be better than others on our journey to losing weight. But if we took every setback as a fail, then we would lose hope. I know I would. Now I see bad days as just that and start each day afresh.

This is the first submission I have ever done where I wasn't drinking a bottle of wine almost every night to get to sleep nd shut my brain off. Win. I didn't resort to junk food to keep me fed. Win. So what if I didn't get 2-litres of water in a day? I got 1.5 litres in, and I did it agan...WIN.

Now as I write this I am sitting in a gorgeous cottage deep in the heart of Cornwall, with my Hussyband snoring upstairs, friends from Oz in the other bedroom, and I have just scoffed a hard boiled egg instead of giving into the temptation of the Coco Pops on the table. WIN!

Now let us just hope we win the prequal as if we do that has me set for work for the next 12 months!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

I Almost Forgot....6 Weeks Post Op Pics!

My beloved is up and I have made him take pics. So here we go, six weeks post-op pics...can you see a difference?

Facts and Figures - 6 Week Stats

Morning Ladies and Gents,

Sorry I have been so quiet of late - not much to say. I get up, schlepp into London, work, schlepp home, eat, sleep and repeat. Bleurgh.

I have been stalled for the last two and a half week, not getting enough water, and not enough fibre has meant I have been seriously constipated. As a result my body has gone into starvation mode. I think I have managed to address that the last few days - been getting my two litres of liquids last three days, and have stopped having a protein bar for breakfast on the Tube (gone back to Weetbix). Movement has returned on both the scales and my bowels (thank fuck!)

Last weekend we went to Bath for a belated birthdaversary (my 44th birthday and our 8th wedding anniversary were on the 13th of October). I caught up with a school friend who I have not seen for...well, a lot of years. And it was great to spend time (albeit too short) with her and her partner. Gerry and I had lots of soaking time in hot baths, massages for him and facials and manicures for me.

But we are not here today to talk about what I have been up to. Today is all about the without further ado.....

Height: 5'10" - well that should not, and has not changed!

Weight: 134kgs (295lbs) - so far I have lost 12.7kgs (28lbs)
Measurements: I have lost 34cms in total from various body parts. I see a distinct difference in my face, neck and boobs - I would say that I have dropped a cup size, and am now on the last hook on my bras. Also see a difference in my ankles - my winter ankle boots sit nicer. I think I am losing from the top and tail - everything is squeezing into my bottom! cms gone from the hips which is AWESOME.
My energy levels have been low, but I am getting through. sleeping like a log. I am managing to eat a quarter to half a cup of food at lunch and dinner...will add half a protein bar in  on the Tube home in the afternoons to see if I can keep my protein high, whilst not going overboard on calories. I am also finding a pint of milk a day helps both in getting my liquids in and not letting my calories drop too low.

Some foods are easier to eat than others, and I find I am getting sick of smoked salmon. But will post later this week on foods.

Stay well peeps - this tool is a journey, and the road is long and twisty with hills and valleys.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Baby It's Cold Outside...and Inside Too!

As the UK dives into one of it's two seasons....oh you didn't know we only have two? There is the season known as Cold, and the season known as Not-Quite-As-Cold-With-Occasional-Sunny-Periods. We are currently moving into Cold.

So, as I was saying before being so rudely interrupted, as the UK dives into the Cold, I am feeling every tingly, breezy, chilly bit. And we are still having tops of 12 during the day! At night it is dropping closer to zero, you can see your breath as you struggle to the Tube and of course when you get on the Tube you boil as you have so many layers on to battle the Cold.

Post weight loss surgery you will feel colder, your body is not getting as many calories, and you are burning your stores of body fat. Sadly, we are unable to hibernate like bears as we need to earn livings (and even I can't sleep that much!)

So now it is time for layers. Not too many that you look like the Michelin Man walking down the street, but not so few that we get chill burns either. The bright side is we get to accessorise with all the gorgeous hats, scarves and gloves that start to flood the market now. I am loving the cape coats that are popular this year, as they leave my arms free to bash unsuspecting commuters out of my way whilst keeping my core nice and warm.

I have a stash of reusable hand warmers for my pockets for when things get really nasty - I mean, it MIGHT snow again this year!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Guest Post from the Hussyband

When my wife first mentioned that she wanted this surgery I was shocked. My initial reaction was to say there is no way you are having major surgery to fix this. Like most people I had this idea that it was the easy way out, and comparing it to smokers saying they want to quit but not totally committed.

I remember trying to use logic to argue against it. "You are going to have surgery to stop you eating and drinking, so why can't you just do that without the surgery?"

My eureka moment was when discussing with my counsellor. She challenged me by saying what is the difference between taking medication and having an operation. There are many methods of treatment and the only thing that matters is that it works for that person. What works for one person may not be suitable for another.

Once I had my change of mind I was determined to support Elisa 100%. I made sure to look at the different options and understand why this one was the right one for her. I also looked around some of the forums to find advice for me to help support her for her journey. I found there wasn't a lot of support for me because most people seem to take this journey alone.

When it came to the day of the operation, I left work early to get home to take her to the hospital. I tried to stay calm to help her as she was already starting to get nervous.

We got to the hospital in plenty of time and Elisa was settled into her own room. Once all the paperwork was completed and the anithatist arrived, Elisa was taken down to the operation room and I went to the pub next door for dinner and the wait.

When I got back to the hospital she was just coming back to the ward and although in discomfort and very groggy she seemed fine, so I helped her settle as best as I could and headed home.

I got into the hospital the next day and Elisa was up (she hadn't much sleep as she had to keep walking around to help the gas disperse) and apart from a failed attempt at taking blood and a mixup with the cab Elisa was discharged without too much hassle.

Once home I did the best I could to make her comfortable and l had taken most of the week after surgery off so I think that helped. I was conscious of letting her do as much as possible so she would be able to cope once I went back to work.

The second week went by without any major issues and by the third she was heading into Central London to start a new job! We celebrated her birthday and our 8th wedding anniversary by going to the theatre and I gave her a necklace that I think she likes - no fancy restaurants this year, so I had to think of something different!

I am so proud of all the hard work and the pain that my wife has been through and will try and support her on her journey.


Note from Elisa: I love my necklace and my husband. Not necessarily in that order!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Level Up - Phase 1 Complete

Sorry for the radio silence - settling into a new job left little energy for anything else the last week.

Thank god Phase 1is over. I feel like I need a gold crown and an animated facsimile of myself jumping up and down to celebrate.

Phase 1 was hard. The first three weeks post-op were liquids and purees the consistency of custard. For excitement, I could have chocolate mousse made with skim milk - whohoooo. I am so rock and roll baby.

Things that got me through Phase 1 included:

  • Nutribullet - for turning chunky soups into smooth ones
  • Set of scales for measuring food
  • Measuring jug for liquids
  • Measuring spoons - tablespoons were my most used, but I found the smallest measuring spoon was perfect for eating with the first week!
  • Small/Medium plastic storage containers (for example breakfast was generally three tablespoons of Weetbix - I would squash two to three Weetbix up in a tub at a time, that lasts me just over a week, in the storage tub I keep a small 1 tablespoon measure so I don't have to go hunting,)
If you are UK based, the following foods will help give you some variety:
  • Tesco Diet Chocolate Mousse (3 tablespoons was about 2/3 of a tub)
  • Tesco Crab Pate (also the Smoked Salmon or the Mackeral) - half a container was one meal
  • Ambrosia My Mini Custard - perfect serving size!
  • John West Infusions Tuna - the chilli and garlic is best, half a tub plus a small dollop of cream cheese and a squirt of lemon or yuzu juice was amazing - throw it all together in a mini blender and pulse until smooth
  • Lighter Life ready to drink shakes from SuperDrug - they give you 20g of protein per serve, perfect for drinking on your way to work for breakfast.
Foods that anyone would find useful that are generic:
  • Miso soup - packets of instant miso, make as directed and just don't eat the chunky bits
  • Flavoured Teas - I have been, and continue to, struggle with getting my 2 litres of liquids a day. Flavoured teas help. My current stash has all sorts of stuff - jasmine green tea, mixed berries, apple and mint.
  • Speaking of Mint. Fresh mint, leaves only steeped in hot water. You can drink it hot, cold, luke warm. You can gargle it, You can even wash your face in it. It is fabulous, great for the inevitable gas that lurks like an unwanted guest at the end of a party.
So, now onto Phase 2. Adding texture, slowly increasing portion sizes and flavours.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Back to the Grindstone

I have been lucky, as a freelancer I was able to take time off not only post-op, but pre-op as well, so it made my 2 week liquid diet a bit easier to bear (no biscuits, rounds of tea, trips to the pub, stinky get the idea).

Today I started a new contract in Central London working on a large bid for a consortium of companies. I was dreading taking the Tube into town, it is notoriously busy, crowded, full of cranky bastards who care for no one else's comfort bar their own.

In anticipation I had a chat with my lovely local station guards, and they gave me a "Baby On Board" badge, I had asked for a "I have just had major surgery so give me a seat you bastard" but they don't exist (yet! A niche market though.)

I got into town OK, coming home tonight I had to stand for about 10 minutes as the train was heaving with people and their noxious body odours, thankfully I had to stand near a door, but you try holding yourself and your breath for 5 mins!

Work was good, Nice people, and I have told them what I have done, so they are really helpful with things like lifting heavy objects, plugging in power cords at floor level and making sure I left a meeting to get my food as per schedule.

Knackered now....wonder if I can get the Hussyband to cook for himself tonight?

Friday, October 2, 2015

I am No Longer a Hermit - Eating Out

Today I ate outside the house for the first time since surgery two weeks ago. I was desperate for a bit of normality, so after getting my hair prettified I met up with a friend at one of my favorite local pubs.

Don't worry - I didn't drink!

I had a chat with the manager, and he brought the Chef out to see me. We went over what I can eat, the amounts and textures, and he went off to work his magic.

It was really nice to be out of the house, with a friend, in a pub. OK I wasn't drinking, but I didn't mind her wine, I didn't even ask to stick my tongue in it (the wine you filthy perverts).

The Chef pulled together a lovely chicken and artichoke mousse quenelle, together with a mashed carrot one. Both tiny and perfect.

I was daunted about going somewhere where I knew I would have to order off menu, but the staff were brilliant, curious about what I had done to myself, and a little shocked as I am known for liking my food and booze.

If you are worried about explaining to strangers what you need and why, don't be. Everyone I have had to explain this to over the last few weeks have been supportive and understanding. It is a tool for us to transform our lives, and by talking about it, we demystify the procedure. If people understand it, they will understand us.

Baby steps people. Try it somewhere you used to go to and know the staff. If you don't want to talk about in front of people you are dining with as they don't know, call and speak to the chef/manager in advance.

Just because we have undertaken this procedure, doesn't mean we need to be restaurant and social hermits.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Peeking Through A Keyhole

Most doctors now do gastric sleeves through keyholes - it is far less invasive and quicker to heal (and hurts a hell of a lot less!)

I was lucky - I had four keyholes, one of which was tiny, the other three have 4-5 staples sealing each, together with surgical glue.

Most people have between three and five keyholes, some a few more if they are also having their gall bladder removed or hernias fixed.

Fixings vary - from staples, dissolvable stitches, glue and steri-strips - you could have just one, or a combination deal, all depending on the tastes of your surgeon.

I was lucky - I had four keyholes, one of which was tiny, the other three have 4-5 staples sealing each, together with surgical glue. I have hardly any bruising, which makes me very grateful to my surgeon.

Yesterday I had the staples removed - it was quick and except for a few bits where the healing skin had caught, painless, and the little bit of pain was just a pinch. So don't worry.

Now I pushed myself yesterday, I went to a meeting with a client at 8am in town. That meant taking the Tube. In peak hour. My worst nightmare. Walked about a mile to get between stations office and home. Then I walked to the doctors - about another mile round trip. By the time I got home, I was knackered and had a little nap.

When I woke up I checked my stationery-less stomach and noticed that two of the keyholes the skin had split from each other again - well, not so much because the skin split, but the surgical glue did. I am now repatched with steri-strips and waterproof patches for another few days (all these years of having a Senior First Aid certificate have come in handy!)

Spoke to my GP, it is totally normal and I don't need to freak out. Just need to take it easy for a few more days.

On the plus side....being on a moving jolting train was like being burped - I let out a ton of gas yesterday!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Self Love

Ha - tricked ya! This is not a post about masturbation - it is about pampering yourself post-op. You lot really do have filthy minds.

In the last few days I have felt more like my "normal" self. This has been helped by doing little things to cheer myself up and pamper my poor battered body.

I have given myself a lovely manicure so that my fingernail are bright happy pink, gotten a massage and pedicure, and used nice smelling Body Shop products to moisturise my skin (well the skin that I can reach that is!)

Now, these just sound like nice things to do, but they have added benefits.

The massage and pedicure helped to ease my gas pain - I could actually hear the air escaping and it eased the muscles that are tense from sleeping strangely and from surgery. Additionally it helps general circulation, especially when you are not moving much yet.

The Body Shop coconut butters hydrate the skin, as I am struggling to get my 2 litres of water in still, and the oils in them soothe the soul (I do love jasmine).

If you have just had surgery, you feel bleurgh - it is good to do little things for yourself in this first week or so to pep yourself up a bit, and they are things that you can control.

Hell, it is good to pamper yourself any time - why should we need an excuse!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Timing Is Everything

As part of my post-op routine, you have to aim to drink 2 litres of water a day I am struggling to do this, as you are not allowed to drink for 30mins pre- and post meals, as well as no drinking WHILE you eat...and some "meals" can take me 30-60mins to get down!  Did I mention I am having to do six small meals a day*? Urgh.

When all you can do is sip sip bloody sip, it really is a struggle.

Timelines seem to work, and I am using my alarm to prompt me to sip away. An example is what today is planned out to be...

0800 - 0830: Breakfast - 3 tablespoons of Weetabix mixed runny
0830 - 0900: No liquids allowed
0900 - 1015: Liquids
1015 - 1045: No liquids allowed (took a shower - bliss)
1045 - 1130: Snack - 200mls of semi-skim milk sipped
1130 - 1200: No liquids allowed
1200 - 1330: Liquids
1330 - 1400: No liquids allowed
1400 - 1500: Lunch - 330m Lighter Life meal replacement shake
1500 - 1530: No liquids allowed
1530 - 1700: Liquids
1700 - 1730: No liquids allowed
1730 - 1745: Snack - 3 tablespoons of low fat runny custard
1745 - 1815: No liquids allowed
1815 - 1900: Liquids
1900 - 1930: No liquids allowed
1930 - 2030: Dinner -  Lighter Life meal replacement shake or soup
2030 - 2100: No liquids allowed
2100 - 2130: Liquids
2130 - 2200: No liquids allowed
2200 - 2230: Supper -  3 tablespoons of pureed peaches

This is bloody exhausting! Would write more, but my alarm wont shut up.

* Note: One meal is 2-3 tablespoons of puree, or 200mls of soup or a meal replacement shake.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Scatagorically Speaking

After any form of weight loss surgery there are some things you are told up front to expect - gas being the main one. You are told to keep moving, get lots of liquids and focus on protein consumption ahead of everything else.

Getting two litres of liquids in is hard. I am now five day post-op and I still cant get past a litre in a day, let alone up to two but I am trying. It is all baby steps.

And everything post surgery really is baby steps. Putting clothes on, walking more than a few metres, having a shower (oh my first shower was so good I cried!), burping (hurt), farting and yesterday my first dump. Yes a bowel movement. My first in almost a week - liquid diets don't leave much behind.

But yesterday I had the best dump I think I have ever had. Better than any post bog grog (especially if I had been on scotch and cokes!). Better than the "why did I have a curry at 2am" poop. Better even than getting into the loo before your significant other does a shit that would would burn the nasal hairs off of a sewerage plant worker.

Now...I have to admit. I got a little excited. I giggled, called out to my beloved, crowed and bayed to the moon (well, the well risen sun, but that has not got the same poetry). And then I had a thought.

A very sobering thought.

I have 15 staples in my belly, and had to twist to wipe.

Only one words explains what was going through my mind.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Post Op

Well, it is done.

Surgery was put back a few hours, so I didn't actually get to the theatre until about 6pm on Thursday night. The surgeon was happy with how it went and I was home less than 24 hours after arriving at the hospital.

Post Op - I am gassy, tired and achy. No really bad pain since coming home, I have taken one soluble paracetamol the first night, and one anti-nausea, other than that not needed anything pain wise. Minimal bruising as well.

I am having daily Clexane injections by my beloved (he has gotten good at that over the years!), and wearing my stockings, walking as much as possible, and I even managed a shower at the neighbours (as I need a walk-in shower for a few weeks rather than the one in our bath).

I am slowly getting protein in, and my liquid consumption is increasing daily - still not at the 2 litres a day, but only a few days away from hitting and maintaining that goal.

Taking it easy, resting lots and will be back on my feet in no time.

Whoever said weight loss surgery is the easy way out though has obviously never HAD weight loss surgery!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Stats and Pics - The Night Before Surgery 16 Sept 2015

Twas the night before Surgery, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, there better not be no fucking mouse!
The stockings were packed in the overnight bag with care,
In hopes that Thursday morning soon would be there.

The Hussyband is nestled all snug in our bed,
Where visions of martinis dance in his head.
And the MIL is watching TV downstairs, and I upstairs in my den,
Had just settled in to watch a cute comedienne.

When out on the street there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sofa to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The light from the lamps on the sparkling wet street
Gave the lustre of mid-day....oh fuck this shit it is just another bloody urban fox.

So tomorrow is S-Day. Surgery. I am booked for theatre at 2.30pm GMT so think of me.

This is the first on what will start out to be fortnightly, then monthly stats updates. They say the first three months will see the most dramatic only time will tell right.

Height: 5'10"

First Appointment - 13 August 2015: 146.7kgs (323 lbs)
Second Appointment - 8 September 2015: 145.1kgs (319 lbs)
Third Appointment - 15 September 2015: 142.8kgs (314 lbs)

Arms: 46cm (Left) / 44cm (Right) - measurement taken 10cms up from inside the elbow
Thighs: 89cm (Left) / 86cm (Right) - measurement taken 23cm above knee
Calves: 56cm (Left) / 57cm (Right) - measurement taken 13cm below knee
Bust: 116cm - bra on
Waist: 109cm - natural waist, just below ribs
Hips: about 160cm - it's all about the base.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Packing It

No, I am not shitting myself (yet) but with three sleeps until I go to hospital I am starting to pack my bag...and unpack...and's like going on holiday, without the resulting tan and hangovers!

Based on what I am reading on the forums, my essentials for the bag will be as follows:

  • My own pillow (also helps shield your belly in the car on the way home)
  • Nightie/pj's - now I usually sleep nekkid, so just wearing loose yoga pants and a cami
  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers/slip on shoes for walking around the wards and to wear realistically - I will wear thongs to the hospital and wander in those....
  • Toiletries - shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush/paste, body wash
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Hairbrush and bands
  • Phone + Charger
  • Kindle fully loaded with books
  • Ipad + Charger + clamp to use it as a screen so I don't have to hold it
  • Headphones
  • A power board - as there are never enough power points
  • Undies, bra and something to wear home that is loose and comfortable
  • Lip balm
  • All my meds (inhalers and vitamins....)
  • Eye mask and ear plugs (hospitals are noisy places any time of the day and night)
That should cover it I would think.

Anything you have ever wished you had taken to hospital with you my friends? Other than someone else to get stuck with the needles of course!

PS: Still hoping my gastric sleeve plushie pillow will arrive in time! 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Bone Broth - It's Just Stock For Fuck Sake

So there is a huge furor over the last year or so about Bone Broth being the next big thing in healthy eating. As part of my pre- and post-op diet I have to drink clear liquids - water, tea, broth.

Let me get this straight. There is NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BONE BROTH AND STOCK. Yes, this may get me stoned by some hipster gods and goddesses, but come on, I am an Aussie, and I call a spade a fucking shovel.

I am doing a mixture of store bought clear soups/stocks as well as making a batch a week each of chicken and beef stocks. It is dead simple, especially if like me you use a slow cooker as you can just bung it all in and forget about it for 24 hours.

Hint: Make friends with your local butcher - especially if he breaks down his carcasses (not all do these days) - they will be free or very cheap.


  • 2-3 kgs of beef bones (or 2 chicken carcasses) - Note: the beef ones I like to roast them for an hour or so at 180 degrees to get some colour into them which brings a bit of depth to the stock - Oh, and you can also use lamb/mutton for variety, or a mix
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 leeks, white part only, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, bashed and peeled
  • A splash of apple cider vinegar (optional - but it helps break the bones down)
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper, to season to taste as you go
Bung all the ingredients into your slow cooker, or a stock pot, and cover with water - ideally about 2 inches above the bones. Turn it on high (slow cooker) and then go and have a life for 24 hours. Seriously, you don't NEED to touch it. You can skim the foam from it every so often if you want, but it isn't essential. If doing it on the stove, bring to the boil, then turn it down to a simmer and treat it with the same indifference for 12-24 hours.

Allow to cool fully before straining through a fine mesh sieve, or a thicker colander lined with muslin, throwing out all the bits. Season to taste and refrigerate. Once it has cooled, remove the solid fats from the top of the bowl.

You can keep the stock in the fridge for up to 3 days, or a couple of months if you portion it up and freeze it like I am doing. I am portioning in 1 litre lots but go for whatever works best for you.

The plus side of this is that when I can move onto thin soups (strange how that thought excites me!) I will have a ready stash of good home-made stock as my base to ensure healthy nutrient and protein rich meals.

Tell me my friends, what are your favorite soups?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Last Supper(s)

Last Friday, I started my pre-op diet. I ended up deciding to go the meal replacement options as it would remove the temptation of snacking and start getting my head into the place of not having just a little bit of something.

The nutritionist had originally recommended Slimfast, but I found that they only did sweet shakes, no savory options. So after clearing it with the doctor I started using Lighter Life replacements - a combination of shakes, soups, bars and noodle pots (they also have pasta options, but I know from previous experience that they just made me gag!)

There is a thing, that people who are about to start a radical diet tend to have last suppers of fabulous food. In the three weeks prior to starting pre-op, I had a lot of last suppers. Dinners, cocktails, lunches, high teas, more name it I went nuts!*1

Now I don't know if this made starting the pre-op easier or harder as now I just think..."Damn, I forgot to have schnitzel" or "fuck, wish I had had another bottle of champagne". But it was fun, and for me food has always been about the people I am sharing it with; the sounds, smells, laughter and memories we created together.

Now, in the past, I would have blogged these meals, with pictures, but I don't need to do that here as I have my Instagram memories. I will, however, give you some highlights as I am a little bit of a masochist, and the chance to relive some great nights is too tempting to ignore.


  • Le Boudin Blanc in London: foie gras, amazing fish, delightful desserts and wine that was the nectar of the gods, all enjoyed with my beloved husband a few days after I booked the surgery
  • A good  BBQ in my back garden with friends: there was tuna, steak, wine, homemade ice cream and Cards Against Humanity hands that had us shrieking
  • A simple curry in a friends garden playing with their daughter and wondering where the hours had gone (and more Cards Against Humanity)
  • Taking the Hussyband for his first "proper" high tea - not for the tea as the food was nice, but waaaay overpriced, but for the look on his face that required a vast amount of cocktails elsewhere to remove later in the evening
  • Peruvian feast at Andina in Shoreditch with Kelly - the scallop ceviche is still bringing tingles when I think about it....followed by more cocktails...on a Monday no less!
  • Al Boccon di Vino - an Italian restaurant in Richmond that has no menu, you get an Italian feast for a very reasonable price with amazing service (with my wonderful cousin Leanne and her squeeze Gorm)
  • A weekend in Liverpool with my niece, showing her around eating felafels and not too much booze as I was doped up on antibiotics
  • Vietnamese in Soho with Anna and Chris followed by shenanigans in Compton's.
Now all of this fun and laughter was leaving me exhausted, but there was one night left to come. I had been on the wait list for Dinner en Blanc for 3 or 4 years, it has been a while since it was held in London. The day after I decided to book my surgery the invite came out, so I planned my surgery date to be 2 weeks after the dinner.

The food was ok, the wine was ok...but the company was fantastic as was the atmosphere. Everywhere you looked a sea of white, the tables, decorations, the assembled cast of party goers. 

In color psychology white is the color of new beginnings, wiping the slate clean, so to speak. It is the blank canvas waiting to be written upon. While white isn't stimulating to the senses, it opens the way for the creation of anything the mind can conceive.

An auspicious way for me to start this new journey don't you think?

Note 1: I do not recommend last suppers, but lets face it, we all do it in some last drink, one last is hard to draw that final line in the sand!

Note 2: The Fat Nutritionist has written a fabulous post on "The Last Supper Syndrome" - you should check it out!

Friday, August 28, 2015

What Are You Having Done?????

Today we have a serious post. In the lead up to my surgery I have been meeting with friends (or having skype calls/emails) to explain what I am having done and why.

Understandably, there are questions, sometimes lots, sometimes a few. But the one question asked repeatedly is "What are you having done?? Is it like a band?"

The gastric sleeve is not like the band, the following table shows the main differences:

Comparison between Gastric Band and Gastric Sleeve 

Treatment is carried out under general anaesthesia in an operation that takes between 60 and 90 minutes. The procedure is performed via 5 small incisions in the abdomen. A stapling device is used to remove up to 80% of the volume of the stomach, leaving a slender tube that maintains the natural openings to and from the stomach.

The gastric sleeve works in three ways. Firstly, it is a restrictive procedure, meaning that it achieves weight loss by restricting the amount of food that can be eaten. It also works because it removes the part of the stomach that produces the hormone Ghrelin, which is the hormone that stimulates appetite and hunger. The elimination of Ghrelin results in a significant reduction or loss of appetite. In addition, rapid transit of food from the ‘new’ stomach into the small bowel releases incretins (hormones that work to increase insulin secretion) that inhibit calorie intake.

Because no surgery is performed on the intestines, the digestive system functions normally. Unlike patients who have had the gastric bypass, gastric sleeve patients do not suffer from severe vitamin deficiencies, food restrictions or malabsorption.

Gastric sleeve patients require little in the way of follow-up, unlike gastric band patients who require band adjustments. As there is no implanted device there is nothing to malfunction in the future. The gastric sleeve is ideal for people with busy lifestyles and for those who are less mobile.

As the stomach functions normally after a gastric sleeve most foods can be eaten, just in smaller amounts.

Note: The technical information from this post has been sourced from The National Obesity Surgery Centre website, who I am having my procedure performed through in the UK.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015



  1. Biology. a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism, as from the caterpillar to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly.Compare complete metamorphosis.
  2. A complete change of form, structure, or substance, as transformation by magic or witchcraft.
  3. Any complete change in appearance, character, circumstances, etc.
  4. A form resulting from any such change.
  5. Pathology. A type of alteration or degeneration in which tissues are changed i.e: the fatty metamorphosis of the liver; the resultant form.
  6. Botany. the structural or functional modification of a plant organ or structure during its development.
It was mentioned to me last night, that when I referred to Wilderness Festival as a metamorphic event this year it was so in more ways than one.

Yes, it was my impetus to make my ass smaller. But it was also a place of change reflection for others.

Festivals are places where you go to not be yourself. You dance and laugh and eat and sing. You dress up and be someone you are not normally. You also experience ideas and thoughts, emotions and revelations. And smelly toilets. I hate festival toilets!

Change 1: For my WifeJac (@sushi_junki) it was a place where she has finally committed to going back to university to get her masters. In Australia. She will see my parents more often than I do!

Change 2: Her course of choice? Entomology. The study of bugs. Now I hate bugs, but she loves them.....she is a little freaky that way, but I love her like a insane younger sister. 

Change 3: The Friday night headliner was Bjork. A woman who I have long admired musically. This album didn't really do it for me though as it was a breakup album. And what is a breakup all about? It is another metamorphosis.

Change 4: The Hussyband (@GerryLondon) shaved off his glorious sideburns. This change I do not like at all as it makes him look younger than me (yes, he is anyway, but he doesn't have to LOOK it!) AND I now have nothing on his face to grab onto. This is a sad thing. OK, and a first world problem.

Some people see change as a bad thing. But if we don't change we don't grow. And if we don't grow we just end up really fucking boring. So come on people. It is time to embrace change!

Note: Hulk image sourced from

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How Did I Get Here?

I was an active child and teenager. I loved singing and karate. OK, I initially started karate because there were boys - going to an all-girls school I was somewhat boy crazy. But I liked it at first, then I got better at it and started to love it.

I moved through the ranks and started competing. I wasn't bad, I wasn't the best, I always came second or third, never first, but I loved the adrenaline. I competed on the NSW Karate Team for about six years.

When I was 16, I caught glandular fever off one of the many boyfriends. I went down to my lowest ever weight at my current height - 61kgs. I was like a walking skeleton. The picture (right) was taken about 12 months after I was cleared. I had no boobs, and those curves were a bustle built into the dress.

When I turned 17, I moved into the Senior Women category in karate tournaments. Under 17 I was a Colt, and there were no weight categories But once you got over 17 you became a Senior. The three categories were Light Weight (<50 kgs), Medium Weight (50-60kgs) and Heavy Weight (>60 kgs). I was a Heavy Weight at 17, but I only weighed around 65kgs at that stage. Now you tell me that doesn't play with a teenager's head.

And for me I think that was the turning point. Here I am now more than double that size, but still see and carry myself the same way. I don't want to be  Heavy Weight anymore. I just want to be healthy.

So how did I get here? I work in a sedentary job - I can sit at a desk for 12-14 hours without even realising it. I skip meals, but I love good food and good booze. But at 9 pm when you are working on a client submission, you go for the easiest option to get fuel into to keep going, and that s usually junk food.Pizza, crisps, chocolate and soft drinks. I had a serious Red Bull addiction ten years ago - that stuff gives you wings alright - bingo wings!

Heck, I even love bad booze. But not green chartreuse, I draw the line there. That stuff is pure evil going down, and even worse coming back up.

I learned to play the happy fat girl. The wing woman. I am always the first to make a fat joke to beat other people to it.

Over the years, there have been injuries, illnesses, every time I make a few steps down the weight ladder something happens, and I bounce back up it again.

But now I am looking forward. Dad has Type 2 diabetes. As my Mum puts it I got the worst genes from both sides of the family - she was big, my Nan was big, my Nans sister was even bigger (even having to get rescued from the bath by firemen once!)

So how did I get here? A combination of genetics, poor life choices, and a fucked up sense of body image all contributed. I don't want to be big anymore. I want to be healthy. Changes are coming - surgery is in just over three weeks. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Big Changes

Ahhh, the first post on a new blog. It is not quite as satisfying as cracking open a new notebook and writing on that first blank age, but it is pretty close.

I have been thinking about having weight loss surgery for a long time - way before I met my beloved Hussyband. A friend in Tasmania had it and it worked wonders for her. But I wasn't ready then. I was having way too much fun being the happy drunken party girl. Yes I was big - but it never stopped me from having fun, and by having fun I mean picking up lots of strange men for gratuitous fun of course! Think Trainwreck - I know when I saw it last week I thought that it was a biographical movie of my 20's and early 30's!

The last 10 years have been a rollercoaster of:

  • Diets: Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Lighter Life, Cambridge - meh - the last two are not sustainable and made for a very grumpy me,
  • Pills that made me jumpy - and lets just say that drinking red bull after having legalised prescription speed is a great way to get sent home from work early
  • Gym Memberships - you start out with good intentions...but the treadmill of life is more exciting than a treadmill in a gym! I even had a personal trainer for the better part of the last year and a half....I broke his finger, he helped me tear my calf (all is fair in love and war!)
I keep injuring myself - a sprain here, a tear there, ass over tit in the shower (twice) this year ding significant soft tissue damage to my knee. With every injury my weight just crept back to where I started. Indeed, at the moment, post 2 knee injuries this year, I am back to the exact same weight I was when I started with my trainer in Feb last year. 146.7kgs. 323 lbs. 23.1 stone.

Kinda depressing all that hard work just going to ruin.

So, a few weeks ago I was at a festival. And I was lucky enough to sing with an orchestra on stage - it was fabulous, I worked the crowd and I had fun. Then I  got home, and I watched the video and I was like....that can't be me. I don't see myself like that. But it was. And I am. And things now need to change. This is me - ignore the camera work - my cheer squad had been drinking since breakfast!

So, I made some phone calls, did some follow-up research and 4 days later I had an appointment with my consultant Mr Yashwant Koak. Hussyband came with me, and we both feel confident with my choice,

I opted for the surgery to be a few weeks out to give me tie to explain in person to friends what I was doing and why and to answer their questions. This involved good food and lots of drinks which I will be off for the foreseeable future. But I am OK with this. A year off booze and restaurants will pay for the surgery the way we go out!

So - I am now a few weeks out from surgery. This blog will be updated as we go. There will be photos, videos and text blogs. Guest appearances from the Hussyband who will talk about what it is like from the partners side of things, You can ask questions, give constructive comments or just lurk in a corner. Meanwhile, sit back, ensure your tray tables and valuables are secured and fasten your seatbelts - this is going to be a bumpy ride!