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Yesterday I walked into the gym for the first time in …. let’s not even go there. And I’ve spent time in the gym before, I know a few moves, how the machines work – but fuck me, I was nervous as all hell!
I actually played dumb. I let her guide me around and show me how to use the treadmill, leg press, chest press, seated row – even how to do a bloody crunch! If you know me, you’ll know thats not normal me behaviour. But how I went in doesn’t matter, its how I came out that does.
Next week I have my six week post-op appointments. I’ll be seeing my surgeon, Dietician, Therapist and I also have a Physiotherapy appointment. During the physio appointment they will work with me to come up with a training plan however I couldn’t wait til then.
I’ve been walking a bit, trying to get up to a consistent 7,000 steps a day and I’ve been swimming too. It actually blows my mind how much extra zing I have (only after about 9 o’clock though – don’t even talk to me before then).
Getting the steps up isn’t hard because of my racing stripes (the surgery scars) or anything. In fact 26 days later, they have retreated into little cat scratches. My energy levels seem to still be wavering around a bit. My nurse suggested a Berocca (dissolvable tablet with additional Vitamin B12) and that helps quite a lot.
I still have my lazy moments. Today is one of them. I’m putting it down to having worked my butt off at my job for the last 3-4 years and suddenly my body has gone ‘woah, we’ve got a break time, let’s use it’.
Its quite windy and Nix is home from daycare and I’ve just lazed around in my pjs reading and snuggling up to her. 7,000 steps today, hah! I laugh!
But I know exercise will be a part of who I am in the coming days, it has to be otherwise what was the fucking point?! I just can’t properly explain what its like to try and heft around 150kgs and be happy about it even though you are gritting your teeth so people around you don’t think of you as the sweaty grumbly fat chick.
So you wanna know how I came out of the gym yesterday?
Shattered. Sweaty. Proud.
And just like that, I am into my final week pre-op. I think I have done almost everything that I need to do – in the next couple of days I’ll order some of the bariatric meal replacements (rather than relying on Optifast), I need to pack my hospital bag and the day before I need to get a final round of blood tests.
I’m full of nervous excitement.
Last night we went to the movies and as we were walking back to the car, the movie theatre is in a large shopping complex, I walked past a store I have never ever ever been able to shop in. I caught myself wondering “would I be able to wear that?”.
Whilst the previews were on before the movie, there was something on the screen that made me think of the Tongariro Crossing, an adventure I haven’t even been able to consider doing and I thought to myself “one day I could actually do that”. So I added it to Blondie’s Goals.
From now on these will be my victories – and my rewards. Not on the scale wins, but non-scale victories.
I’ve met my goal weight loss for the surgery and in four more sleeps I will be in that operating theatre ready for a whole new chapter in my life. I can’t believe how fast it has come around. Or that the pieces have all fallen in to place.
Let’s just have a quick look at private weight loss surgery in New Zealand;
- Visit your GP and discuss with them whether this is the best option for you. You need their referral.
- Check your medical insurance. I’m with Southern Cross on the WellBeing One plan, I’ve been with them for three years so they could cover up to $7500.
- Get an appointment with the Surgery team – individual meetings with the nurse, surgeon, dietician and psychologist. The team will meet and discuss your case and decide together whether to schedule your surgery.
- Costs are approximately $20,000 for the surgeon and the hospital. This includes 12 most post op care and support.
- Medical procedure finance is available – Nova Medical Finance is often recommended. Their process is slow and you must have all the paper work exact else it takes ages and can get very frustrating.
- Optifast (for the pre-op diet) is available instore at Life Pharmacy or online at Pharmacy Direct. Alternatively, even though its been out of stock, ams nutrition.co.nz has the Celebrate range which is supposed to be a hundred times nicer. I’ll let you know when I finally get my hands on it.
Wanna know the biggest issues I have come across to date?
I can’t stop buying water bottles. Eco friendly, fruit infusion, squeezable. I think I have a problem.
Time has absolutely flown by and all of a sudden, here we are.
Less than 2 weeks to my bypass now and I am into the 2 week pre-op diet. Its actually not too bad – and not too hard. Sure having 2 shakes a day is pretty boring but I’ve already met the weight loss goal that my surgeon set for me so now I am playing a game of “how low can it go?”
My starting weight was 154.5 kilograms and todays weight is 146.1 kilograms.
One of the questions, or sections of questions, that I was asked on my initial patient profile were around my relationship with food.
- Do you eat in the car?
- Do you choose not to eat in front of others?
- Do you eat when you are sad?
Oh no I thought, not really in the car. I’m okay with eating around other people. Sad, not me!!
Woah – how bloody wrong was I? And I started realising these things even before I entered the two week period. I ate so much – and much more often than I even realised. I felt quite deflated after this realisation, and quite scared and sad. I ended up texting my Mom and laying it all out – even though I had admitted it to myself in my head, I wasn’t quite ready to say it out loud. And then Mom gave me one of her talking to’s, which is exactly what I needed, and reassured me that I wasn’t making a mistake, this anxiety would pass and that she was proud.
So here we are – my surgery is in 10 days and I think I am organised. I’ve met my goal weight loss, my final approval has come through from Southern Cross so they will cover the full $7500, I have my hospital pack and a new shiny Nutri Bullet blender. I think I’m ready to go! Am I missing anything?
As I write this its actually more like 4.5 weeks until surgery and my excitement isn’t waning.
Whilst I haven’t lost a lot more, probably only a kg or so, the number one rule that the nurse gave me was not to gain any more weight. So we are doing alright on that front! I haven’t been swimming but I have upped my steps and finally gotten around to replacing the battery in my Fitbit. Cos everyone knows those steps don’t count unless they are logged on your Fitbit – am I right?
Now that my dates confirmed, I haven’t been shy in telling people. I figure that they are going to work it out pretty quickly once my body starts changing but its really surprising the amount of people that think its okay to give me their opinion on what I should be doing – and that eating the proper foods and exercising should be all I need to do.
Yea, cheers, thanks asshole. If that was all it took do you think I’d be putting myself and my wallet through this?
Apparently surgery is the easy way out.
As far as I’m concerned, both them and their opinions can take a long walk off a short pier. Dick heads.
Even now, I can feel my self confidence returning, I’m wearing makeup, coloured clothing, I feel a change in the air.
My gastric bypass surgery is in 6 weeks and whilst my official pre-op diet is another month away, my own preparation starts today.
After the surgery, carbohydrates WILL NOT be my friend and so because I’ve had some success with paleo eating in the past, I’m going cold turkey on bread & pasta, all added sugars and processed foods.
My boyfriend and I had a huge chat about our meals and how big they are so we’re both cutting down to around 120-150g of protein per meal and increasing our vege count.
In the last couple of days I’ve made an effort to drink lots and lots of water, pay attention to those meals and exercise and I’m down about 5kgs. I must have been bloated or something on the day I weighed in with the nurse!!!
Now that I feel comfortable with my decision, and now that I know my date, I am a lot more comfortable with telling people. I never care all that much about what other people think but I’ve discovered something. A LOT more people have had some form of weight loss surgery than I ever imagined! And now I’m doing it too, they are all in my corner. And thats pretty awesome.
IT’S REAL! Tuesday 10th November.
The team agreed – I am a great candidate and I will benefit from this immensely. I currently weigh 154.5kg (or 330 pounds/23 stone). If I had to set a weight goal, it would be to live under 100 – but the nurse says 75kgs is more what I should expect. OH MY GOD!
They are going to perform a gastric bypass on me, its keyhole surgery, I’ll be walking around a couple of hours afterwards and now I need to call my Mum!!
And tell my Dad. Holy shit!
I start my two week pre-op diet on the 27th of October but the changes start now.
About a month ago I went to see my Doctor – for one reason. I desperately needed/wanted some help with my weight. I’ve had some success with just about every weight management plan out there. But little by little, even after all the losses, I get bigger and bigger.
And here I find myself. I’m 40. I’m frustrated.
I want to live a life of activity (I enjoy being outside, I like moving) – and I don’t want to create medical issues because of this body that I take full responsibility for creating. I know my portion sizes are too large, I like eating. I know carbohydrates are my nemesis, I often eat easy instead of taking a few more moments to prepare something. And its not like I don’t know which are the better foods to be eating! I can read food labels, I even grow a mean vegetable.
So I asked my Doctor for help. I asked him for a referral to a Weight Loss Surgery Specialist. And he gave it to me.
In this moment I am sitting in my car, just down the road from the Surgeons office crying into my KFC popcorn chicken.
I am well aware of how stupid and sad this is. Believe me, I’ve told myself not to be so stupid – treat this as a real good introduction into my life, into my brain. Hopefully today will be the beginning of a journey that will change all of this.
My surgery (IF the team agrees I’m a good candidate) will be through private healthcare. WLS (Weight Loss Surgery) is available publicly in New Zealand however there is no guarantee of me being accepted. My medical insurance covers a significant portion and I’m more than prepared to pay for the rest.
So today I see the nurse for a consultation and then the surgeon. Tomorrow the dietician and the psychologist – and then? Fingers crossed!