Sunday, December 2, 2012

Birthdays, Meals and a catch up.

So, here I am back from Conference, and time is whizzing by and it is getting close to Christmas. 

We have had a strange couple of months with both our jobs having some sort of review process. Mine has been going for about 2 years, and the latest they have told us is that our siet with have a continued "voice" presence, which basically means that yes it is likely that it will continue to have a call centre of some shape or form. So that is good. 

Si's has been a lot more uncertain as to if and what shape his job would look like, and that is not yet 100% certain, so I won't say alot. However, as part of the process Si has now started studying as well, good news is that with a qualification (in a couple of years) it will offer more job stability.

This years conference was down in Christchurch and it was great to hear from the Southern Obesity Services team and Kate Berridge from Counties-Manukau DHB. There were some things said that I didn't want to hear, but that is normal for me and I usually go away and process.

Most of the attendees at the 2012 WLS Conference

I had been needing to hear some reality as my weight got up to 132.8 kgs just before conference, and I was "being good" maybe 75% of the time, however my skin specialist is extremely unhappy with me for not following a Gluten Free diet like I am supposed to to help with the Dermatitis Herpetiformis, (I saw him the Thursday after the conference) and he put me back on another steroid to help (for a limited time), so back up to two oral steroids and a topical one.

I decided to get back to program and concentrate on portion sizes, protein and not drinking with my meals, and on the Weight Loss Surgery New Zealand facebook page, I put up my plan, which I was excited about, and then got a reminder from my Bariatric Nurse and good friend that I was still having a heap of carbs....sure they were Gluten Free, but still carbs...such as cereal, corn thins, fruit and some of the more starchy veges. She pointed out that for me, these are fine if I was wanting to maintain, but that these in reality were the things making me hungry. and why I was wanting to snack.

I had a bit of a pity party about it at the time, since it was such a big step from where I had been, but honestly, the next day I went back to my higher protein/low carb (virtually none) and I have been satisifed for hours upon hours. There have been a couple of moments of weakness (more mind than hunger) but I have recognised it and stopped and moved on. 

I thought I would show you the pics I have been taking of my meals,most of which are on portion controlled plates. 

Two Eggs Scrambled

Chop Chop Chicken Salad

Grilled Pork Chop with Zuchinni, mushrooms and Asparagus

2 Egg Omelet with Bacon and & Mushroom

Spicy Chilli with Sour Cream & Cheese (1 1/2 cups)

Bariatric Advantage Orange Creme Protein Shake

Rotisserie chicken salad

Big Breakfast

So, I will be weighing normally on Monday's but since I have posted all of this I may as well use today's weight as my weigh in. I was at 127.7 kgs. That is a drop of 2.2 kgs since Igot back on program. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Torani Sugar Free Syrups

I am so excited, but I have found the New Zealand Importer of Torani Sugar Free Syrups.
A fabulous Company in Christchurch called Simply Syrups & More them, and whats more they have stockists around the country.

The following are the flavours you can get here in New Zealand:

Black Cherry                    
Brown Sugar Cinnamon
Caramel *
Chocolate Macadamia Nut
English Toffee
Irish Cream*

Now, why am I excited about this, well there is an amazing women called Michele Vicari (Eggface) who has some of the most amazing recipes, but most of them include the use of Torani Sugar Free Syrups and I have been unable to find an alternative. 

If you want to checkout some of her recipes you can here. Here is a couple of pics of her creations using Torani Syrups.

The other amazing thing is that David at Simply Syrups & More is keen to have a stand at this years conference which means that we get to try samples of the syrups............and looks like the is going to be one of the Conference Sponsors as well as a possible on going sponsor of Weightloss Surgery New Zealand.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Curves and measurements

So, here we are 4 weeks into my 9 week challenge to myself to lose 9 kgs, and I hit my heaviest weight yet. Over the last two weeks I have slipped on the eating big time. I actually hit 130 kgs on Friday, and it scared me senseless. 

So, on Friday I started doing something that both is exhausting but invigorating all at the same time.....back to Curves it is for me. The only work out that I truly enjoy.
I was shocked to see in just over a year of not going, that my measurements were all so much higher, and I have alot of work to do.....just to get back to where I was a year ago, let alone where I was at my lowest.

Taking it very much 1 day at a time.......this is not a race, but if I just go each day and do my 30 mins, I am adding in some vital exercise, coupled with following a good post op eating plan, will help me get back down to where I should be!!!!

I am going to put my measurements below to show you the comparison from July 2011 to now.......the only one I am not sure was right was my arms.....I think they under measured back in July 2011, with the loose skin it can be hard to measure it properly.

 So as you can see I am not a happy camper and I will be going to curves 4-5 days a week as well as riding my bike at least 1-2 time per week.  I also have to just get over myself and eat what I plan. So today I am going back to eating the small can of tuna on two corn thins, with a piece of fruit. It is boring, but hell, I need to get myself back on track and I have to remember I should be eating for fuel not for enjoyment. !!!!!!!!!

 I have also included a new shot of my blood tests. Even with the new drugs things are not going in the right direction. So will be discussion again with specialist. He mentioned that if this didn't work he would have to refer me to a specialist in Auckland. Just click on the picture to make it easier to read.

Click on picture to make larger


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

On track (Mostly)

So I am mostly on track which is super cool and I knwo this post is a day I did lose 1.3 kgs this week, taking me down to 127.2 kgs. So I was happy about that. I am working on doing a program via a website in the USA called . It is for anyone who wants a personal trainer but not haev the huge cost per visit. Erin works out a program for you and then you keep in touch with her.

She is actually having a free trial for anyone who is interested at the moment.

The other cool thing happening is that Weightloss Surgery New Zealand is now an official trust and we are in the process of getting charitable status as well.

So, anyway off to have my lunch......tonight is going to be rushed as I am going to a support group that my surgeons team are running, it is the first night of Success Habits of Weight Loss Surgery Paitents. Will be interesting.

Still need tow ork on water intake, and a little of the snacking on cheese and crackers....but otherwise I am pleased with how things are going. Oh and to keep the tracking up. It is easy to miss out a day here an there.

Monday, September 24, 2012

So to keep me accountable

I am going to track via myfitness pal and for those of you who are interested you can go to the link here and if you want to view enter the password WLS2012.

I have tweaked things so I am eating under 1500 calories. ideally as a WLS patient I should be eating under 1200.

I was planning on the idea of just having meal replacements such as protein shakes and the optifast bars, but one really downside to these is that the optifast bars have wheat in them and I prefer the shakes with yoghurt and milk, which ups the calories alot. 

So tomorrow, I am going to do things a little differently. I will start with my yoghurt and cereal in the morning (which is gluten free) and does not have some of the other grains which should also be avoided. At lunch time I am going to make myself an omelette with mushroom, bacon, cheese and onion. 

Will see what happens - It certainly looks like I am going to eat way less calories and judging  by the amount of food, heaps fuller.

9 kgs in 8 weeks

So keeping it real - that week was a write off. The Monday went well and the rest of the week I completely ignored what I was going to do. 

The only good thing to come of starting to get a handle on the regain is that Simon has come on board and he won't let me put really bad things in the trolley. So, that means I don't have them in the house. Now to stop buying them at work.

So this week I am taking a different approach. I am going full detox on it. Protein shakes for breakfast and meal replacement bars for lunch. Let's kickstart this weightloss.

Actually if you think about it, it was exactly 5 years ago that I was starting this journey. 8 weeks before my surgery I went onto a pre op diet and lost 14.5 kgs in that time. I think maybe I just need to "reset" my pouch and break the carb addiction.

Here is a reminder of where I never ever want to be again

Monday, September 17, 2012

9 kgs in 9 weeks

So here we go, I need a bit of a challenge and to break up this battle up. It is going to be like a trilogy int he "Battle of Regain: Janine's Journey"

I looked back at what I did on my pre op diet - Hell I managed to lose 14.5 kgs in about 8 weeks without this operation and without being able to really exercise effectively. Okay sure I had two meal replacements, but as long as I plan, follow the pouch rules and limit my choices I should be able to create something similar. I am going to be pulling out my good old George Forman Grill and Steamer I think.  Time to clutter the bench again!!!

So my plan is to lose 9 kgs before my 40th birthday and get much closer to the 101 kgs I was before getting sick.  If I lose the 9 kgs in that time  it will mean that by my birthday I will be back to 119.5 kgs, and 1/3 of the way to getting back to where I was 3 years ago. The final weigh in will probably be just before I go away to the WLS Conference in Christchurch on Nov 16th rather than on the Monday. 

One of the things I think I had forgotten to mention on here was that I finally finished up the nasty horrible steroid prednisone on the weekend. A couple of weeks ago while I was having an iron infusion, I got a call from my specialist to tell me that the special authority funding had been approved for me to go onto a different steroid, that does not have as much of a weight gaining or appetite stimulant side effect. I am so hoping that it makes it a little easier...and that I finally won't feel hungry all of the time. 

Anyway - time to hit the shower and get off to work. But it starts now. 

Breakfast today was 

40 gms Vogels Gluten Free Cereal with 1 small tub of Meadowfresh yoghurt. 

Lunch will be a LSA wrap with ham and salad. 

Dinner is going to be grilled pork chop and steamed veges. 

Water is aiming for 1500 mls and exercise today is going to be a lunchtime walk. (I am on hr lunches)

Okay - Lunch time and the wind is blown and my throat is getting raspy from being back on the phones at work so not going to get in the walk today. Have managed 1 litre of water already today, and no snacking. I have had 1 cup of white tea with equal in it. Just about to have my lunch - It is the LSA wrap.....Will try and update with more later....will see what happens this evening after dinner as that is where I am finding the need for something sweet!!!


Friday, September 14, 2012

I read something today

That made me think about my decisions and my choices. It was on my friend Janie's facebook page. She is one of the lovely ladies I met in Las Vegas, and we shared some special moments together.

“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It wont happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.” ― Joel Osteen-
The other thing that has really made me think over the past week (while I have been home sick with the flu) is a Post op and a Doc webinar I logged into on Thursday. It was all about motivation, and at the end of the day, there is no motivation tree, or it is not just going to sneak up on me, I have to make a decision, and by seeing that through the motivation will grow and develop, especially as I see results.

I also had a look back to when I was at my lowest (just before getting sick) and what was I doing, I was blogging and doing you tube updates a lot more regularly than I am today, and that in itself motivated me to get out and do more. I have the resources to do this, including my bike (although with being sick I have not been on her for a while).

So what am I going to do.

  1. Get back to basics water, protein, low carb and correct portion size.
  2. Do some form of exercise every single day. 
  3. Have my supplements every single day.
  4. Get support - by using my blog and you tube and sharing what I am doing.
  5. Get some professional help to sort out some of my head issues. 
One of the other things that has played on my mind this week, is from a clip of Michelle Vicari from The World According to Eggface. She is extremely well known for her WLS recipes and to most of the WLS world she comes across as very confident. So it was a shock to hear that she still has issues with accepting who she is and how she relates to people. So that leds me to trying to get in touch with who I am, and what do I believe about myself. How do I relate to the world? I think I need to take my surgeons offer up to do some work on this area and to see the counselors.

Since I am going to be putting myself back out there in the public eye again, I would love to have some feedback, so please just post a message to help me along with number 4 - Get support. If you don't normally comment, please this time, comment (even if you don' t have a blogger account - just choose anonymous in the drop down box) or send me an email with your thoughts

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Drinking whilst eating for a WLS person

The following video by Rob Portinga from Former Fat Dudes explains this so well. I had the pleasure of meeting Rob in Las Vegas at the Weight Loss Surgery Meet & Greet. 


Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 3

Day 3 of Bike ownership and I have gotten out for a ride every day. I only started off with a short 2km ride to get a feel for it, and then the next day we did about a 3.5 km ride. 
Today however since I don't start work till midday I decided I was going to ride to the river path and then make my way to the bridge. I got there and it was about 3.5 km, so I decided to go on till I had done 5km and then  I turned around and came home. So in total today I rode 10 kms!!!!!!! It felt fantastic and I know it has be on a high for the rest of the day. Now to get ready for work and to get dinner in the crockpot so it is done when I get home.

Here is a picture of my bike. We spent ages getting the right bike....and I think it is wonderful. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dear Food

Last night as I went to bed I was reading Connie Stapleton's book Thriving - Triumph over Trauma, which is the fundraising book for the WSLFA. I am about two thirds of the way through and here I am 3 hrs after going to bed not being able to sleep as I have been 'editing' the following in my head. This is completely unedited and just how it tumbles out so please ignore spelling and grammar mistakes especially as it is 1am in the morning.

Dear Food, 

You and I have been best friends for such a long time. I used to (and sometimes still do) think that you have always been there for me and have never let me down. I used to think that I you tried to help me become friends with other people, but really they were only my friend so they could get to know you and that is what you wanted. You wanted me to feel let down when those friendships didn't work, or when I was hurt and lonely. That way, I would come back to you and wallow in self pity.  You are one of those friends who I need but who I know is bad for me. The trouble is I know that I need you........but on my terms, but how do I make you see that? You remind me of that childhood friend who when she came to my house we had to do things her way because she was the visitor, but when I went to her house then we did things her way as it was her house.

I hate the way that you always manage to pop into my head, sometimes you are the first thing on my mind and you manage to find a way to make me change my mind on how I want to be or what aspects of our friendship are acceptable. You seem to have a control over me and some days I am dazed under your spell and my intentions of choosing to hang out with the healthy version of you gets pushed to one side. 

You remind of the ad about how stopping drinking (leaving your mates at home). For me it is like I don't need "chippies food" or "chocolate food" or "processed food". I would however like to get to know "real food" and "healthy food', so can you please let me spend some time with them.

I know I still need to have a relationship with you to exist, but I am struggling to find how to put you in your place. It feels like sometimes you are my only friend. Sure I have friends online and I know people, but I don't feel connected to anyone. Now I am not sure if that is due to my relationship with you, but somehow I think that due to the hold you have over me I have trouble forming those other somehow manage to draw me back it. 
 I actually don't remember a time in my life where I have ever had a good relationship with you. every day of my life growing up I was always around the not healthy versions of you. and I found ways to get more of that relationship. I even stole money to be able to buy more of you (even though I used to give most of it away to others in order to try and make friends with them).
The other thing I find amazing is that I believe you over everyone else in my life, even over health professionals who have tested my skin and blood and told me that I can't tolerate being in a friendship with "gluten food". I have even asked  people  to cut me open to give me tools that can help with my relationship with you but somehow you have managed to creep back in there inch by inch and take what some days feels like a stranglehold and others feels like a security blanket.

Well, this is the way it is.......THIS IS MY HOUSE, and I NEED to do this on MY terms. So Food, that means that things have to change. I need to take control of you. I am still working out what the terms of our relationship will be, but for now I need to spend time with "Real" and "Healthy Food" and I need to make other friends outside of our relationship......I know that means you will want to show your face (possibly unexpectedly).......but for now I need to put plans in place to deal with you. I need to build a normal relationship with you and not one based on fear and insecurities.

I am sure this will not be the last letter I have to write to you, but hopefully the next one will be explaining how pleased I am that our relationship is changing. 

Wow, some of that did not come out as I expected (or imagined when I was lying there trying not to get up to do this), but I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep until it was done. So to update everyone. I am still on the steroids, but the specialist is looking at putting me on a new one (not funded so need special authority) which is a non appetite stimulant and apparently non weight inducing one......My weight is up to 126.9 kgs (279 lbs) and I have put on 25.9 kgs (56.98lbs) since my lowest.

I am in the process of buying a bicycle to help with the exercise my body needs and as you can tell, I am struggling with the food. I need to update more, an online friend pointed out to me recently that I must be struggling as I have not updated. So here is to getting the regain off and re-establishing my relationship with food.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The rest of the WLSFA Conference and the Billboard Music Awards

So wow - this Vegas trip sure is being stretched out due to my lack of updates, what was less than a week has suddenly become over 2 months.......So I will speed things us as I really need to get to blogging about how I am doing and to keep myself motivated. 

So I will try and some up the rest of the conference in this post and in the next couple of days I will do the  final Vegas part and then Colorado.

So after the main day of the conference, we had the Gala Dinner, which turned out not so much of a gala dinner. We ended up getting our own dinner and rushed back to the event as I was told I was getting an award for having traveled the furthest distance. That didn't happen. Actually I was not really acknowledged officially. Sure some people knew there was someone from New Zealand, but as for htem "making a big deal about it" like they told me they were going to.....just didn't happen, so unfortunately alot of missed opportunities to connect with alot of people, simply as they didn't know who I was. 

Here is a couple of pics from the event. 

A couple of us headed up to one of the girls hotel rooms and we ended up chatting till about 1am. The thing about Vegas is that you hardly need to sleep.I am sure they put something in the hotel air conditioning to perk you truly is a 24 hr city though......always something happening. Amelia had some of the largest strawberries I think I have ever seen.

So the next day was the final morning of the Meet & Greet and it was just breakfast, a photo and goodbyes were to be had. Unfortunately by the time I got to the buffet they had run out of breakfast. They decided to also do the photo an hour earlier than advertised so some people missed out and some of course had already left town. The photo only shows about 1/2 of the people who were actually there. They also didn't publicly give away the items I had taken over from Eatme to giveaway, I believe that they had an issue with the name of the company, although they didn't actually tell me that. So another let down really. All in all I don't think I would go back to the Meet & Greet, well certainly not for the event itself, but to catch up with some of the wonderful people I met.......absolutely. 

After the conference ended there was just enough time for a rest and then it was off to the Billboard Music Awards. We had to be seated by 4pm as it was live on television and due to the timezones it started at 5pm. We didn't get to see anyone famous up close and actually for most of it I watched through binoculars.....mind you the sound was soooooooooooo amazing, and I can say that I have seen some amazing stars, Kelly Clarkson, LMFAO, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, The Wanted, Justin Beiber, Chris Brown, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Alicia Keys, Katy Perry........was pretty amazing really. I would pay to get seats closer next time. 

After the awards I went out to dinner with some of the people still in town after the Meet & Greet. Man - The turkey I had so was succulent and tender. I wish we had turkey here more often and we knew how to prepare it. 

So next time I will move onto my last day in Las Vegas spent with amazing people.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

The WLSFA Conference - Katie Jay and the vendors

Sorry for the lack of updates. I misplaced my journal that I had recorded details of my trip to Las Vegas in, but I just found it this week, so I can continue with summing up how things were on my trip. 

I was up to the main day and recapping the speakers. The other speaker I managed to catch up with was Katie Jay. It was so good to see her in Las Vegas. I managed to get some time with her the day before the conference began for a 1/2 hr catch up before racing off to dinner with some of the others.

Katie was on just after lunch, so the numbers to start with were quite, low, but people tricked in and I heard from others that they thought her talk was outstanding. 

Anyway, Katie was speaking about - "Playing the odds after Weight Loss Surgery"  and Why following your gut instincts can sabotage your success. Like always with Katie, I get so enthralled in what she is saying I forget to take notes, but I did manage to get some key points down. 

To give ourselves the best chance possible are having weight loss surgery we need to:

  • Embrace Liminal Space, - get out of our comfort zones. We do not grow by staying where we are. 
  • Be curious - Curiousity is the most powerful thing you own. 
  • Dive Deep - Katie reminds us of the pearl divers who have to keep diving deeper and deeper to find the pearls.
  • Get enough of the Right kind of support. - Stick with the stickers. 
  • Have a safe person - whom you can share anything.
  • 100% - We are precious 100% of the time. 
I know there was so much more that Katie shared in the very short 45 mins we had her for, and some I know she shared with us when she was here in New Zealand. 

There were quite a few vendors at the conference, although only 3 that really stood out to me while there. They were Bariatric Advantage who were amazing with samples they were giving away and the guys were super excited that BA is now being sold in New Zealand. If you are interested in checking out their products go their website.

Another company that really stood out to me was Bell Plantation a company that manufacture a powdered peanut butter and peanut butter chocolate spread which is so much healthier (85% less fat) and can be used in a huge variety of ways. They are really keen to get into the NZ market and gave me some samples to bring home, which our local support group have had. I do find it a little bitter, but would think it would be great in baking.

The last company that stood out to me was Slimpressions, which manufacture shapewear. They were so busy and are so open to new ideas. At the moment they are looking at developing some new ranges to help hold things in place.They often have big discount weekends so check out their FB Page for discount codes etc.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Main day at WLSFA Conference: - the first two speakers:

So the conference kicked off at 8am on the Saturday and I stopped by all of the Vendors and Exhibitors till 10am when the speakers started. I only ended up getting to see 3 of the speakers: Connie Stapleton, Cari de la Cruz  of course Katie Jay.

Each speaker only had 45 mins and no notes or anything were provided, so I have tried to get as much information written down as possible so I can share. 

So let's start with Connie Stapleton. She was discussion Addiction. Now she talked about the criteria for something to be an addiction, and after reading this list I can certainly see that food is definitely an addiction for me. 

The Addiction criteria was as follow: 
  1. Too much or for too long
  2. Desire to stop or cut down - the yo yo effect
  3. Spending a lot of time to obtain food or recover from it
  4. Important activities are given up because of food or obesity.
  5. Have continued to use in spite of problems (health, mobility, diabetes etc)
  6. Tolerance
  7. Withdrawal
 Positive (yes) in 3 or more = a Dependance or Addiction. 

She also highlighted that there are a couple of reasons for addiction to any thing:
  1. Biology - hereditary predisposition, Brain chemistry etc
  2. Environment - Children learn what they live.....then they live what they learn. 
She also highlighted that the age at which is develop the addiction is basically the age that we get stuck at. For example, for me, I started rapidly gaining when I was 9 years old and reflecting on how I deal with food, I am like a 9 year old. 

She also talked about Addiction transfer and how this is where the game of whack a mole addiction can come into play. This is where we whack one mole (addiction) on the head with the mallet just as another mole (addiction) raises it's head. Before you know it you could have a whole range of moles all vying for attention. 

She stressed the need for obtaining support and also supporting others -
'Get support......and then give it away as this will re-enforce your commitment to yourself'

The second speaker Cari de la Cruz is the other 1/2 of Post Op and a Doc a partnership of Connie Stapleton and Cari de la Cruz.  

Cari's topic was Kicking it with Cari and how to get a Kick out of life. This presentation was in true Cari style and she got her message through with fun!!!!!!

She asked the following questions:

What keeps you from Kicking it into gear?
  • Stress/Worry 
  • Bad Habits
  • Work/Money
  • Kids/Family
  • Injury/Exhaustion
  • Gaining Weight
  • Fear of regain
  • Fear of Failure
She said to remember that LIFE is a 4 letter word sometimes but to get out there and make the most of it and if you have any of the above things you need to learn to Kick it to the Curb.

What keeps you from Kicking Butt?
  • Stinking Thinking
  • Saboteurs - don't always mean to , but might just say something like "oh you could just have a little right?"
  • Jealous friends
  • Bad/Old Habits
  • Addiction
She says - you have to choose to Kick it to the Curb - to change your thinking. 
If you think it's too's never to late to use the TOOL.
If you are marinating in Self Pity  " Welcome Pity Party for one - your table is ready" you have to kick it in the pants. 

She reminded everyone about the Gotta do ems (Not Oughta do ems) that Connie Stapleton mentioned in her book Eat it Up.

  1. Make consistently healthy food choices (protein first)
  2. Maintain Portion control
  3. Exercise Daily 
  4. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but not with meals
  5. Eat Breakfast
  6. Plan meals and follow the plans
  7. Keep food and exercise journals
  8. Get plenty of sleep 
  9. Utilize a healthy support system 
  10. Use group/Individual therapy. 
Cari reminded us that we need to live life on life's terms and that life comes at you fast and sometimes life is a 4 letter word and can be challenging.She said we may feel like we have been
  • Kicked in the teeth
  • Kicked in the gut
  • Kicked while we are down
but life happens and we can't just Kick it under the carpet ....but we can give it a Kick Start!

Next time: Katie Jay and the vendors