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!