Friday, October 28, 2011

The Truth About Low Carb

You can bet that any time my jeans get a little snug (or even split at the seams) I start buying eggs in bulk. I just can't help but go back to low carb eating to rid myself of those extra kilos... no matter how many times I try and fail with it! It is like an abusive relationship that keeps promising that we can make it work... if we just try harder...

Things I have learned from eating low carb… the good and the bad!
  • I can lose a phenomenal amount of weight if I follow a low carb eating plan
  • I need carbs to fuel my body and it doesn’t like to get out of bed in the morning without them
  • If you write ‘low carb’ on a product it will cost you 3 times as much money
  • Fat doesn’t make you fat
  • Life isn't worth living without ice cream 
  • Wine is low carb- thank god!
  • Fibre is your friend
  • Ketosis makes your breath smell
  • Low carb food substitutes are NO substitute!
  • Sugar withdrawals cause massive headaches
  • If you tell someone you are eating low carb they will give you a really boring lecture about how unhealthy it is to eat that way
  • Bacon is amazing
Most importantly…
  • Do not underestimate the warnings on low carb bars that state ‘May cause laxative effect’!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

True Measure of Success

I was reading fellow lap band blogger, Dinnerland, the other day and some things she said really got me thinking. She spoke about all the amazing things in her life that she successfully controls, but that the one thing she hasn’t been able to control without the help of weight loss surgery was her eating. Which, by the way, she has done phenomenally and is a real lap band success story!

Anyway, the reason this struck a chord with me was because it made me look inward and see that maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself all the time. I have put together a pretty nice life for myself, I have a good job, a nice place to live,  great friends and I work hard to support and care for my family and I even try to be a nice person most of the time. So why is it that I let the one thing that I don’t do so well (controlling my eating) rule the way I value myself and my success in life?

I place no importance on the appearance of others or what size clothes they wear or how they eat, so why do I hold it as the ultimate indicator of success in myself? No one I know cares how much I weigh or is even interested in such a mundane topic. Yet I continue to use it as the way to measure my success and happiness.

Unfortunately it isn’t as simple as identifying this logic and fixing it. Almost 30 years of being overweight and hating myself can’t be erased over night. I will certainly work on it though because even I am sick of hearing myself talk about this crap!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

The time to go bridesmaid dress shopping for my soon-to-be sister-in-law's wedding finally arrived on Saturday. Of course I had planned to have lost weight by now... big shock that didn't happen. As much as I was looking forward to the girly fun of bridesmaid dress shopping, I was nervous that my weight would be an issue and I would embarrass myself and make life difficult for the bride. Instead of getting too stressed about it, I just told myself to be grateful that I am no longer a size 24 and have fun.

Our first stop was a fancy, appointment only, boutique that made me a little nervous. They didn't have any sizes larger than a 14, so I just had to try the dresses on and not zip them. Let me tell you, fat spilling out of taffeta is not a good look! Lucky I wasn't the only one with this problem because even the other girls were struggling to get zipped into their dresses-- those designer brands run very small.

We didn't find anything we loved, but just as we were about to leave the shop assistant pointed out a dress on a mannequin that we should try. The dress on the mannequin was the only one they had left and it was a size 12. Given that our group consisted of sizes 10, 12 and 16 this was going to be a little tricky. Weirdly enough when we all tried it on it looked amazing on all of us, even though it didn't zip up on me or the size 12 girl. It was just like the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants!

We found out that the dress was $460 and wouldn't arrive until a week before the wedding, so we decided to keep looking. We moved onto a much cheaper area that had multiple shops to try and spent hours drowning in chiffon and satin. I still struggled to fit into many dresses because most shops didn't stock above a size 14, even though they said they could be ordered in all sizes up to 24. WTF? Am I the only fat bridesmaid in Melbourne? Nonetheless, it was still fun and here is one photo I managed to get of me with two of the other bridesmaids (another one lives in the UK and couldn't come) trying on dresses before we were told off for taking pictures.

Holy crap, that is what happens to your arms when you stop weight training and don't see the sun for 6 months. I have a lot of work to do before the wedding!!!

So after many hours of shopping the only conclusion we had come to was that we should hit up the internet and look at ordering a dress online. It seemed that most of the dresses were being ordered from China anyway, so we decided we should skip the middleman and order directly. A few of us spent hours looking through dress sites on Saturday night and one of the girls managed to find the original dress that we all loved and for $400 less too!

What do you think?


The colour is still to be decided once we order a colour swatch and a sample dress to check for quality. I really don't mind, I am just happy we have decided on a dress that isn't tight around my fat stomach. Phew. The wedding is at the end of February, so now I just have to work on toning my arms and getting my fake tan happening!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Polly Dolly Bridesmaid Challenge

I always enjoy reading fashionista blogs Polly Dolly challenges but I have never played along because it looked too hard for my basic interneting skills.This week when Danimezza posted a bridesmaid challenge (given my impending weekend bridesmaid dress shopping expedition) I knew I had to play along.

The challenge is:

What would your bridesmaids wear?

Polyvore Bridesmaid Challenge

Wow, looking at what other girls have posted, my taste is very boring, I need to be way more edgy! I also need to learn how to design a page... I told you my internet skills were bad.

I must admit that I am probably the only girl I know who has no desire to ever get married, so this is as close as I will come to dressing my bridesmaids. Even if I did get married I certainly wouldn't choose a dresses for my bridesmaids to wear... maybe I would just give some strong hints!

But, if I did turn into a bridezilla and get all controlling over what the bridesmaids wore, this is what I would choose. In fact, I want this outfit so bad it hurts. Damn you to hell Zimmerman for only making this dress up to a size 12 (and damn me for not fitting into a size 12)!!!

If you haven't been to Polyvore you should check it out, but please don't blame me fore the hours you'll waste drooling over the beautiful clothes! Let me know if you create any nice looks to share.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Back To The Drawing Board

Over the past year I have made no progress with my weight loss, in fact I have gone backwards and gained weight. Maybe I needed that year off to adjust to life after losing 50 kilos, but mostly I just wanted a break from dieting and deprivation.

I am still not really weighing myself, which is so freeing, I highly recommend it! Unfortunately I don’t need the scale to tell me I have gained weight. My clothes are tighter, my face has pudged up and I can really feel the extra weight on my torso. So with summer coming now is the time for me to nip this is the bud before I wake up and find myself weighing 130 kilos again.

The other day I found myself silently praying that the top I was planning on wearing would still fit me and it gave me all sorts of flashbacks from when I was morbidly obese. I miss the feeling of putting on clothes and knowing they will fit me perfectly or even that they will be too big and I need the size down! Avoiding half the clothes in my wardrobe is not fun.

This year I have tried all sorts of ways to lose the last 10-15 kilos. First there was low carb, then intuitive eating and then back to general healthy eating (fruits, veg, nuts, grains, lean meats) and nothing has given me results. Low carb really works for me, the weight loss is amazing, but I find it too hard to stick to long term. There is no way my demented emotional eating head is ready for intuitive eating, it just sees it as an open door to eat a whole tub of ice cream. Healthy eating is great for maintenance, but I just can’t lose weight on it because having PCOS and insulin resistance means that for me to lose weight I need to minimize my carbs and calories. Back to the drawing board.

I was musing (whinging) about my weight loss woes to AJ the other day and he came up with a simple solution… men can be so damned practical. He said, ‘Why don’t you just go back to doing whatever you did to lose the first 50 kilos?’. Oh yeah, why didn’t I think of that? So basically I need to go back to exercising 4 times a week, keeping my calories around 1000 per day and limiting carbs. The only problem with that plan is that is obviously no fun!  

I keep waiting for life to get easier… when work isn’t so busy… when I am sleeping better… when family shit isn’t hitting the fan… when it isn’t so cold… when I have more energy… Well I need to remember that there is never a perfect time to get started and I just need to toughen up. I am going bridesmaid dress shopping on Saturday so I am sure that will terrify me into ditching the chocolate and putting on my runners!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sticky Situation 2

I'm lucky that I have had my lap band for a good couple of years now so most of the time I know which foods to eat that are 'band appropriate'. I do still get stuck on food occasionally, usually because I try to eat too quickly, but I can often go weeks without incident. This topic comes to mind today because I had my usual quiche for lunch at work, but managed to go too fast and had to make a dash for the bathroom to get rid of it. I couldn't remember the last time this had happened to me at work, which got me thinking about a rather embarrassing incident that happened earlier this year...

I had managed to get something I was eating stuck while eating my lunch at my desk (probably quiche again), so I went to the bathroom to remedy the situation. I checked that the bathroom was empty so none of my colleagues would overhear me and then went about my business. It was one of those rather violent and loud episodes that goes on and on. I finally emerged from the bathroom stall and was horrified to come face-to-face with a colleague who had overheard the whole thing. She had come into the bathroom to do her make-up and I hadn't heard her arrive over the noise of my heaving!

We both looked at each other and quickly looked away and then she scurried out looking extremely uncomfortable. Obviously she had come to the (seemingly logical) conclusion that I was bulimic. To say I was embarrassed is an understatement. I go to a lot of effort to be extremely professional at work, I rarely talk to colleagues about my personal life, cause any drama, or god forbid, cry. So this was mortifying for me.

The problem is that, despite the fact that we see each other in the hallway or lift at work every day, we don't actually know each other and I wasn't even 100% sure of her name. So I didn't feel comfortable explaining the truth about the lap band to her and, to be honest, she doesn't give off a very friendly vibe. Now every time her name comes up at work I blush furiously and wonder if she has told any of my fellow colleagues about what happened.

Then there was the time I had to vomit into a rubbish bin in very busy St Kilda beach... I had something from lunch stuck, but stupidly decided to eat gelato while walking on the beach, which obviously made the situation much worse. It was the middle of summer and the queue for the public toilets was really long and I just couldn't make it. I am a very squeamish person and I struggle when other people talk about gross things on blogs, but let me just say that it was like vomiting up a jelly fish. Slime everywhere and not delicate at all.

Strangely enough, even though the second incident took place in front of hundreds of people, it is the first one that still makes me cringe when I think about it.

Please tell me I am not the only lap bander that has publicly embarrassed myself like this!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Yarra Valley Weekend

I love heading off to the Yarra Valley on weekend day trips to try new wines and indulge in delicious food as much as I can. I have always wanted to stay over and spend the whole weekend and really relax... and not have to worry about anyone driving home! In fact, my poor neglected '30 before 30' list includes:

16. Spend an indulgent weekend at B@lgownie Est@te in the Yarra Valley

Recently I was able to purchase a weekend at B@lgownie on one of those cheap email deals so I snapped it up and began planning a very indulgent long weekend!

We headed to the Yarra Valley early Friday morning, but only minutes into our first adventure, hiking through the rain forest in Marysville, my camera battery died. So you are spared from dozens of holiday snaps... but I have included a few blurry ones taken on my iphone. They were a nightmare to upload and blogger was not cooperating, so sorry for the crappy post!

It was a blissful weekend of wine, cheese, restaurants, walking, markets, breweries, movies and sleeping. Perfection! As per usual, now I just want to start planning my next weekend away...

Walking through the rain forest in Marysville

Keppel Falls

AJ beer tasting at Hargreaves Hill Brewery

Me helping out with the arduous beer tasting task

My new favourite drink!
Delicious pie
Hargreaves Hill Brewery
B@lgownie reception area

Restaurant at B@lgownie

The view from my room
AJ in the spa
Walking (stumbling) through the fields to get to our next winery

AJ sampling wines

Mandala winery
My new favourite cider from Punt Road Winery
One of many, many wines I tasted
Drinking wine by the fire at the restaurant at B@lgownie
Me with my sparkling pear wine purchased from  Badger Creek Blueberry Winery

TarraWarra Estate

TarraWarra Estate

AJ enjoying the sun and the views

AJ tasting wine at Train Trak winery

A wall of corks at Train Traks
Wine and cheese tasting- bliss!

Me on the balcony

Friday, October 07, 2011

Show Time

More pictures!!! Can you tell I am getting bored while I am on enforced bed rest this week? Not that I am complaining because eating ice cream in bed and watching TV is pretty much my favourite thing ever.

The day after our grand final celebrations we were on such a high that we decided to go to the Melbourne Show, especially considering we live just around the corner from the showgrounds and the sun was shining. I hadn't been to the show in many years, but when I was growing up it was a massive treat any time we were taken to the show. Of course being overweight my whole life I was always too scared to go on any of the rides, instead I stalked out the show bags and spent all my pocket money on the bag with the most chocolate. Well, not much has changed, I still spent all my money on chocolate! I'm no longer scared of the rides, but I didn't think it was a good idea for my hangover to be spinning upside down so I stayed grounded and instead spent my time in the food arenas!

Buying Geelong 2011 Premiers stubby holders from the AFL booth
The crowds were crazy, I'll never go on a weekend again
Connie and Juanita experiencing their first show day 
Dagwood dogs of course!
AJ captivated by the wool... he is still a country boy...
Juanita patting a sheep
Onto second lunch (of 3 lunches that day)
Some of the amazing cakes
Dog showing, as boring as it looks...
Waffle on a stick!

Salted caramel ice cream- yum!!!

Examining the loot in our show bags!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Happy Day

I think I have made it clear on this blog that I am a big Geelong supporter here, here, and here. I was super excited that we had the opportunity to play off in another grand final and even better, all my family were back in the country to watch together. I'm not sure if I mentioned it yet, but my brother and his fiance moved back from Canada and rented a house practically next door to me. So we all went over to their place to watch the game and enjoy a few drinks...

Me making cupcakes for the game at home
My Geelong (Cats) themed cupcakes
Yum, these were delicious!
Me organising the games for the big game, we all got players and won prizes depending on who scored first goals, free kicks, Norm Smith etc
The players I drew
Blue jelly shots!
Me and my brother's girlfriends before the game
The jelly shots began after the first quarter to settle our nerves
I hid behind the couch because I could barely stand to watch because it was so close, which Connie thought was weird and came over to make fun of me
Half time and things were not looking good, so it was time for some STRONG blue cocktails
Saying a prayer to the football Gods with our blue cocktails
AJ taking a mark at half time
Ashton and Connie having a half time kick
Shannon and Juanita watching the game
Stressful times!
Connie making another round of cocktails
Shannon and Juanita celebrating Geelong coming back

OMG we might actually win!
Woo hoo, Geelong wins!
Me obviously getting drunker...
After the siren when we won!!!
Me celebrating
AJ celebrating

Singing the Geelong theme song!

End of game footy kick where I jarred my finger badly and just about everyone managed to injure themselves

Things got more and more crazy as the evening wore on, but I passed out pretty early and then woke up at 1.00 am with a kebab in my hand and a lot of pain from my finger (which I thought was broken) and a massive bruise on my back from where I fell between the toilet and bath. It was an awesome day!

The bruise on my back, but I can't turn the photo the right way, my stripey pj pants should be at the bottom of the photo. Apologies for the roll of fat!