55

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Dear mum,

I can’t believe you are 55 today. I still vividly remember planning your 40th and then 50th birthday celebrations like they were yesterday. It’s the third time your birthday has passed without you here now. I don’t think it gets any easier. Dealing with the constant feelings of loss and sadness just becomes a new normal.

You have missed so much this past year. There have been so many changes in our little family! My little brother and his wife moved all the way to Sydney for work, I started building a new house, I was made redundant from my job, my older brother became estranged from our family, I got a new job and I bought a new car. So it’s been a good and bad year. I know it would have been a lot easier to cope with it all if you were here.

The biggest thing that has happened to our family is that you are expecting your first grandchild. No, it’s not from me! Your youngest son is expecting a baby with his wife in October. I am so happy for them, but it has been really hard news at the same time. I know how badly you wanted to be a grandmother and so it just breaks my heart into a million pieces that you aren’t here to experience it finally.

There is no one is the world who wanted to be a grandparent more than you did. Ever since I was a little kid I can remember you talking about being a grandmother. You had us kids so young that you decided that you would probably make a better grandmother than mother. So you talked non-stop about “when I have grand kids” all the things you would do better. I wish I had bothered to tell you that you were actually an amazing mum and that you had nothing to make up for. I’m so sorry that your grand kids won’t have you in their life.

I’m at home in bed sick today and I have no doubt that if you could, you would be here making me soup and cleaning my house so that I could rest. That would make you happy on your birthday. You loved to be needed by your kids. Instead, I will go and buy your favourite white flowers and think of you.

I want you to know that you are so, so very missed.

Love ya mum.

xxoo

Read 54 here

 

 

 

Resetting Goals

This year I set myself a ‘realistic goal’ for weight loss of 78 kilos (171.6 lbs). I weighed myself last week for the first time in months and discovered that I had already reached this goal. I am not saying this to brag, instead it has made me realise that my body has changed and I need to re-define my goals.

Before I had body lift surgery, 78 kilos was a good number for me. My face, arms and legs thinned out and I had a well defined collar bone. But since I had the excess skin chopped off I now need to reset my expectations when it comes to weight on the scales.

I had about 6 kilos of skin and fat removed in my body lift surgery, so I guess that means that if my past goal was 78 kilos, it probably needs to be 72 kilos (158.4 lbs) now. I don’t feel bad at my current weight and I am thrilled with my progress, but I want to keep going.

Here are some photo of me from before my body lift surgery where I weighed slightly more than I do now. I can clearly see how much thinner I look in these photos than I do now. When I see these photos, all I can think about is how happy and carefree I was back then in 2010. Boy do I wish I could go back in time and tell this girl a thing or two…

Weight Update

I don’t weigh myself much anymore, which is something I have gone on and on about in the past. However, I do like to check in every few months or so and see how I am tracking, because I am actually trying to lose weight (though it often might not seem like it).

My clothes have been fitting me well lately so I thought it was time to check in on my numbers and see if I had lost much weight. One problem with not weighing yourself very often is that you just have no idea what to expect. I have a bad habit of letting my imagination run wild, but even I was pleasantly surprised to see 77.6 kilos (170.7 lbs).

2016 Weigh Ins
5 February: 86.1 (189.4 lbs)
4 May: 82.3 (181 lbs)
3 August: 77.6 (170.7 lbs)

So far this year I have lost 8.5 kilos (18.7 lbs). I am stoked with my results! But obviously the weight is not exactly falling off me. My nifty little scales app tells me that I have averaged a loss of 0.33 kilos per week (0.7 lbs). The old me would have been so, so, so frustrated by those results.

Not weighing myself much has given me the freedom to stop relying on the numbers as motivation to lose weight. Instead I can focus on my goals to be healthier, fitter and feel better in my skin (oh and to look hot in clothes too of course).

Here is a horrible photo I took of myself the morning of my weigh in. Unfortunately I was wearing a baggy sweater dress and my outfit was blending into the rug, so it’s a bit hard to get a proper idea of where I am at size wise. Also, this was taken before work so that’s why I look miserable.

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Valium and Netflix

I just realised that I have been in my ‘new’ job for 8 weeks now. It feels like 8 seconds and 8 years at the same time.

I’m not sure if I have ever worked as hard in my life as I have in this job. Or maybe I am just feeling old and tired? Actually, I think that might be it.

I don’t know if I have the energy to establish myself in yet another job. I just feel tired and like I have lost the drive I once had around my career. I was so happy during my 2 month period of unemployment and I miss that feeling a lot.

I think that being made redundant in my last job kind of changed me. I don’t feel bitter or angry about it, but I guess I just find it hard to trust that my hard work will be rewarded or even valued. It makes me wonder why I am killing myself in yet another job and where it will get me. See, I am getting old and cynical!

All of this work stress, even though it’s mostly been manufactured in my own head, has left me feeling particularly anxious lately. I feel overwhelmed by simple tasks (OMG I have to wash my hair…), I’m being snappy to AJ (Close the effing fridge door!) and I’m protective of my personal time (What do you mean you said we’d babysit your sister’s kids all day Saturday?). Thank god for Valium and Netflix.

Despite all of this, I have managed to stick to my healthy eating goals (for the most part). I find that often when I am in the eye of the storm I can stay focussed on eating well. The adrenalin from my anxiety keeps me going. It’s not until everything slows down that I completely crash and burn into a pit of chocolate wrappers. I am determined not to let that happen this time. I’m on high alert!

I should mention that there are some perks to my new job. My company has ties to my favourite football team, which has meant I got to spend some time with these nice guys (and a few others). Swoon.

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Me with Mitch Duncan and Tom Hawkins from Geelong Football Club

I Can’t Wait…

When I was recently reflecting on 7 years with the lapband, I found this post from my old blog talking about all the things I can’t wait to do when I lose weight.

Wow I had really forgotten how much I hated myself and just how scared of life I used to be at 130 kilos. I thought that I still had a lot of issues now (and I probably do), but I can really see just how far I have come in the past 7 years.

Reading through this list I felt so sad for the old me, but also grateful for the life I have now.

Strap yourself in, it’s a long one.

Here is what from 2009 couldn’t wait to do when I lost weight:

~ Shop, shop and shop some more
Shopping is definitely easier, but it’s still not something I enjoy much. Those change rooms are still tortuous. Is shopping fun for anyone?
~ Give myself a pedicure without damaging my internal organs when I bend over
LOL! Yes, I guess I can do this now, but I’d rather pay someone else to have to deal with my manky feet!
~ Have awesome, long, crazy sex in all sorts of positions
Ummm… this is a bit TMI! Obviously I thought I was going to become Samantha from SITC when I lost weight… Well let’s just say that I am still a bit lazy in the sack.
~ Wear jeans without an elastic waist
Yes! Just last Thursday night I stopped by the shops to get some new jeans from Just Jeans in a size 14 and they weren’t even stretchy. That is a big achievement for me!
~ Run into old friends without wanting to hide
Oh God no, I still hate running into old friends, but that is mostly due to my anti-social nature.
~ Go on hikes with my family
I did do a bit of this, especially while travelling in Canada in 2010. In fact next weekend I am going on a walk with my (ex) sister-in-law. Anytime I am in a situation when I am walking or hiking with friends I always feel grateful that I can do it now because I remember how hard it used to be and how much it scared me.
~ Fit into everything in ‘normal’ shops
Nope. Not even close. I can fit into skirts and and pants normally, but not dresses or tops because I am still quite big across the top. I do get lucky sometimes and can fit into an oversize top or dress. It’s still sooooo much easier than it was before.
~ Zip up killer knee high boots
I have done this, but they are normally still stretchy boots, my calves are still a little chunky.
~ Sit on any seat without fear of it breaking
I don’t think I will EVER lose the fear of breaking seats. I have PTSD when it comes to flimsy seats.  Just the other day I tried to make AJ swap seats with me at a restaurant because I thought mine would break, but I forgot that I actually weigh less than him now, so I had to take the dodgy seat.
~ Eat in public without getting those looks
I forgot about those looks! I haven’t stressed about being shamed for eating in public in a long time. Unfortunately I am still very likely to spill food on myself when eating in public. I’m still a grub.
~ Go to the hairdressers and be able to look at myself in the mirror without disgust
Oh this makes me sad for past me. I remember how hard I found it to look at myself in the mirror at the hairdressers. How much I hated myself. I still curse myself for going to the salon and not wearing makeup or my double chin caused by those unflattering capes, but it doesn’t upset me.
~ Shop in designer stores
No, can’t do that, but that’s OK.
~ Fit comfortably on a massage table
Yes, I love getting massages now. I remember how much I hated my first massage when I was at my biggest. It was physically painful to be on the massage table and I hated every second of it.
~ Wear stupidly high stilettos
Ha ha… no I still can’t manage high heels. Probably never going to happen because I have foot issues from plantar faciitis and I am not coordinated.
~ Have a summer where I don’t get so hot and sweaty
I actually love summer now and rarely feel overly hot and sweaty. If anything, I tend to be too cold most of the time and will even wear tights and coats through summer. What a difference.
~ Ride a bike
I am shit scared of riding bikes in the city! I have ridden a bike when I went to Lombok a couple of years ago and it felt amazing to ride around the island and to the beach on a bike. If I lived in a smaller town I would definitely buy a bike.
~ Have beauty treatments without feeling fat and disgusting
I thoroughly enjoy having beauty treatments now. I would do it every day if I could afford it.
~ Stop defining myself by my weight
Well that is something I still strive to do every single day. I am getting better, but I am still a long way from being successful.
~ Wear sexy (and incredibly uncomfortable) lingerie
No, I simply can’t be fucked…
~ Have a flat stomach
Thanks to my body lift surgery I have a pretty flat stomach (but lumpy back)
~ Be fit enough to participate in a team sport or a gym class
I haven’t really done this because I am not really a sporty kind of person. I am not motivated by team sports or gym classes, but I could probably keep up enough so that I didn’t make a complete fool of myself. I have semi-regularly attended yoga and Pilates classes over the years without too much embarrassment.
~ Use public toilets comfortably
Oh yeah, I forgot how difficult those small cubicals could be to navigate. Especially when they wedge in a huge sanitary napkin bin right next to the seat. Now my only issues with public toilets are that I am a germophobe. I still can’t really hover either, I do not have the strength… I should do more squats!
~ Be able to walk anywhere without getting tired
Yes I can most of the time (except for issues with my plantar faciitis). I am so grateful for having better physical fitness and stamina.
~ Have more confidence in myself and my appearance
An hour ago I would have said no, but after reading this list I have realised how much my confidence has actually improved. So this is a yes!
~ Sit on someones lap
I regularly annoy AJ by sitting on his lap and tickling him or interrupting his iPad games.
~ Dance in clubs without looking ridiculous
Noooooo, I still look ridiculous!!!!!!!!! I probably look more ridiculous because I will attempt to drop it like it’s hot or be all sexy and I cannot pull it off.
~ Get up off the floor without using my hands
I can do this, but will normally use my hands because it’s easier.
~ Have the energy to do anything I want on holidays
I do have the energy to do anything on holidays now, but I very often choose to relax and do as little as possible. Since losing weight I have had some amazing adventures on holidays that involve hiking, helicopters, beaches, canoes, bikes, dancing, boats and all the things I didn’t think I could do before.
~ Not worry about dying from obesity related diseases
I don’t worry about this anymore.
~ Get on a plane and be able to do up the seat belt and pull down the dinner tray
Yes, it is such an amazing moment when you can do this for the first time after being overweight for so long. What a feeling.
~ Go to Disney World and ride any ride I want to
I did this on a trip to the USA in 2010 and I had an amazing time. I think I was the happiest person at Disney World that day!
~ Stop blaming my problems on my weight
I don’t think I do this anymore??? I do still eat my feelings, but that is a seperate issue.
~ Wear a bathing suit with confidence
Was I thinking that I would be a swimsuit model when I lost weight? No I don’t think I feel confident, but I am much better than I used to be. Just last weekend I went to the Mornington Peninsula hot springs and walked around in my bathers just fine.
~ Get a bit of male attention when I go out
This doesn’t happen too much, but that’s OK, I probably wouldn’t know what to do with it!
~ Wear shorts without them bunching between my fat thighs when I walk
Ha ha, this still happens! I don’t really wear shorts very often for that reason.
~ Go to job interviews without worrying about my weight
Well I just went through this after being made redundant and I have to say that I didn’t feel like my weight was a factor in any of the job interviews I had.
~ Get out of the shower and wrap a towel around me
I think I could do this, but I normally just dry myself and get dressed, I don’t really prance around in just a towel.
~ Go to the beach with friends
I am sure I have done this, but I am not really a beach person, I prefer to swim in pools. Or just sit by the pool with a cocktail.
~ Be able to see my vagina again
Oh wow, I forgot how honest I can be. Thanks to that body lift surgery my vagina is back in full view!
~ Feel normal
Well normal is a very loaded word. I am going to say that I do feel normal enough, especially in comparison to how I used to feel.
~ Go to the gym without feeling like an imposter
Yes, but I still hate exercising in the gym (because I am lazy).
~ Have someone be able to lift me up
AJ does often pick me, but I am not exactly a lightweight, he can only pick me up a few feet off the ground.
~ Go to any event and not worry about how I look and what I’ll wear
I will never stop being neurotic about how I look and what I wear at events. Even if I was a size 8 I would still stress about how I look. I am about 90% better than I used to be though.
~ Be able to do up my bra from the back
I haven’t actually tried, maybe I will try tomorrow morning. Does it even matter?
~ Go to the footy and feel comfortable in my seat and going through the turnstile
Yep, I have done this many, many times. I never take it for granted though.
~ Feel young, pretty and carefree
Wow, that is a strange thing to say. I can’t say that I have ever felt that way, but maybe I was expecting too much from weight loss?
~ Be able to wear the robes at fancy hotels
I love doing this now.
~ Run when I want or need to
I frequently run for the tram, but that’s about it!
~ Have girly days with my girlfriends and feel comfortable
I often have girly days at spas, wineries or the races and don’t feel like my weight is an issue (though I don’t think my friends ever felt like my weight was an issue, that was just me)
~ Have a defined waist, hips and chest
Not as much as I had hoped, but a huge improvement on what I used to be when I was 50 kilos heavier. Spanx helps!
~ Wear skirts in summer without chaffing
Generally this is OK, but I still have the occasional chaffing incident. Ouch.
~ Meet new people without wondering if they will hate me because I am fat
Yes and no. I have mixed success on this, I still often think I am not attractive enough to be liked or accepted by people.
~ Not be scared of new things
I am much better at this, but my nature is still that of a scaredy cat.
~ Not feel limited by anyone or anything because of my size
I don’t think I do let my weight hold me back from too much these days. I still have my issues with food and self confidence, but I am doing OK.

This is a photo of me taken today at the build site of our new townhouse (about to fall off that plank of wood into the mud). I don’t know exactly what I weigh, but I am feeling better in my skin.

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The Hunger

Well I have almost finished up my first three weeks in my new job… and it only feels like three years… I think it’s safe to say that I am not one of those people who would choose to work if they didn’t have to. Obviously those people are insane.

Anyway, all this hard work has given me THE HUNGER. I just want to eat and eat and then eat some more. Why does thinking make me so hungry?

It’s not exactly unusual for me to turn to food when I am stressed (or happy or sad or excited or depressed or bored). So I am just trying to make good choices and not worry too much about weight loss. If I can get through my first few months in this job without gaining a stack of weight, I will call that a victory.

Exercise has not been a priority for me right now. I am working fairly long hours and it’s the dead of winter, so let’s face it, who can be arsed? I am walking about 25 minutes each way (a slow walk) to my tram stop to get to and from work, so at least I am getting some movement in most days.

I have to say that I am not exactly loving life right now, so I am just going to channel my inner Britney.

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I feel better already!

First Day

Is there anything worse than the first day at a new job? Well, lucky me, I kind of get to do it twice. I started my new job on Monday and had off-site training with my new boss all day Monday and Tuesday. So now my first day in the office and meeting my team is tomorrow (Wednesday).

I was so nervous about starting work that I spent all day Sunday concocting a plan to escape. I worked out that it would be cheaper to live in a pool villa in Bali than in my little Melbourne apartment. So it would only make sense for me to move there right? Or I would also happily move to a little house in the mountains and spend my days working in a winery. They can even pay me in wine, I am totally OK with that arrangement.

I obviously sucked it up and started work on Monday and so far it has gone pretty well. I overreacted as per usual… As much as I love not working, I also love spending money, so work is a necessary evil that I will just have to deal with.

Now I just need to find out the most important thing… how soon I can start having my online shopping delivered to work.

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Elevator selfie on my first day of work