Category Archives: health

My Body Is Amazing

Dear Body:

You are incredible, and I am so amazed by you!

We had surgery just over a week ago. You were cut open, had organs shoved around, implants put in and incisions sutured. After that you were bombarded with drugs and had nothing but liquids for sustenance. What a trial to go through!

But today, today you amazed me! Actually, every day since surgery you have amazed me. We recovered so quickly, I am astounded.

Today I took the steri-strips off the incision sites expecting to see some sad looking stitched up scabby things. Lo and behold I have only small little marks where the skin was cut open! Nothing gross or heinous, no mottled bruises or anything!

I feel like a stronger version of my old self. Every day we get a little bit better, with more stamina and endurance. The pain is ebbing, systems are returning to normal functions and we can finally sleep in comfortable positions again!

You are so incredible, and you deserve a reward.

The reward is my undying love for you.

I love you body, and I am so proud that we got through this together. You are healing so fast I can hardly believe it. I am so thankful for your amazing abilities.

Thank you for being my amazing body, and I look forward to many more healthy years with you!

Love & kisses,

Ginger

The Most Heavenly Coffee: Recovering with Slimband

Update: You can find all weight loss/Slimband-related posts under the Weight Loss category or by clicking here.

I am having what is probably the most delicious coffee drink ever to be created. A small Second Cup “Canadian” maple latte with skim milk.

Heaven.

I don’t think it has anything to do with the brand or even the flavor, but more that I haven’t been able to drink coffee, caffeine or anything with milk in it since my surgery, and it has been hard indeed!

I always enjoy my morning coffee, the taste, the mouth feel and the comforting ritual and warmth. I don’t need something fancy, just a regular cuppa joe will do me fine.

But what I really wanted to talk about today was my recover so far.

Two Surgeries

It’s been tougher than I imagined, but probably not the worst ever. It’s been a little more complicated since I got basically two surgeries for the price of one: the Slimband insertion as well as a hernia operation.

Regarding the hernia: During the operation the surgeon found a hiatal hernia and had to correct it before he could place the Slimband on my upper stomach. According to MedicineNet.com: A hiatal hernia is an anatomical abnormality in which part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm and up into the chest.

On the 30th I went into Slimband’s Toronto clinic to have my operation. My mom tagged along and was there to help me before and after. They took some before photos and my weight, etc. so we would have a record of my progress.

After the surgery I went home to recover. Thankfully my family was very accommodating and put up with my sour mood—I was in a lot of pain and discomfort from the gas they pumped into my abdomen and it sure made me snappy!

That day was pretty rough. I slept most of the time and was hopped up on painkillers the rest of it. It was not a pretty sight. I could only have tiny sips of water that day, too.

The following 4-5 days I improved rapidly. While I understand the importance of the post-op diet, it sucked! I could only have clear liquids which meant that I was restricted to exactly: water, clear juice, jello, clear broth, herbal tea. Nothing else. Believe me, it got boring super-fast.

I suppose I have been recovering well all things considered, but it has been really tough on me. I am impatient to get on with my life and don’t enjoy all the restrictions that are currently in my life. Of course I am following and respecting doctor’s orders…but it doesn’t mean I have to like it!

Limitations

I can’t carry anything heavy, or even bend over. If something falls on the floor it either stays there or I need someone else to get it… so my apartment is looking rather dumpy this week! It has been hard being so helpless… definitely not my natural state. My poor father had to put my socks on for me, by golly!

Due to the hernia sutures, I have been having a lot of difficulty breathing. The first 2 days I could barely talk, walk or anything as my breathing capacity was greatly reduced. It is getting better but I still have trouble catching my breath after movement of some kind. I also have general abdominal and chest pain to deal with as everything heals.

I tire easily (not enough sustenance from the liquid diet. I am losing weight but also my stamina!) and can’t burp! Oh man that is the worst so far! As I sip my drinks I am taking in too much air. A normal person would just burp it out, but my stomach opening is swollen and can’t let the gas through. Now every time I need to burp it presses up against my band and it hurts like crazy before subsiding. Then… well… let’s just say it needs to find another way out!

Speaking of which, my bathroom habits have been nuts. Due to the general pain and discomfort I’ve been in this past week, I haven’t been able to tell when I had to go pee, which is a weird thing indeed. I spent most of my time outside of bed and the La-z-boy on the toilet. Not to mention that I had some diarrhea that also kept me running… (sorry, TMI moment). This all added to my troubles as my mobility has been severely limited. *sigh*

Back to the coffee

Anyway, I am super happy to be on the next phase of recovery. Some of the pain and swelling has subsided, I have lost some weight and can now finally eat things that are closer to real food. Yay! This has helped with the digestion issues and a plethora of other things. I feel more human now.

But after a week of clear liquids only, limited movement, pain and embarrassing TMI moments you can see why I am so happy to have a coffee!

I am really looking forward to eating real food again and not having to deal with pain and discomfort. I know it’s only temporary and I am trying to keep my eye on the prize.

One day left…

Well, I hope everyone had some nice holidays!

I’m not going to bother listing anything I received this year–most of my “gift” was $3000 my parents gave me towards my surgery. Speaking of which, I’m going under the knife this Thursday, so I may be out of commission for a while!

I’ve been trying my best not to think of it, especially with the holidays and everything going on. I’m definitely nervous and not looking forward to the recovery process, but I hope it works out.

I definitely still want it–I had the misfortune of seeing some photos of me from the past week, and I am a freaking WHALE. I didn’t realize it was getting so bad… so I’m really glad I’m going through with this. I like to fantasize about what it will be like to be a reasonable size and attractive in a few months.

As a follow up, a lot of you were curious to find out how I am paying for all this.

Well, I managed to jump on a December promotion and get the price down to $15k overall. $3000 was gifted to me by my parents, $350 from my grandpa, $100 from my brother and $6600 was loaned to me (with no interest but I have to pay it back over the next 8 months) by my granny. The remainder I used from my savings.

I also got a $500 Christmas bonus from work, so that will certainly help me keep my cash flow for the next few months.

I have to pay back my granny $825 per month for the next 8 months. My roommate will also be moving out in the spring (a mixed blessing) and I’ll have to pick up the extra half of the rent, too. It’s going to be tight for a while! But I’ll keep doing the Airbnb bookings and once the roomie is gone I’ll be able to book as many as I want and keep all the profit.

Lend me your strength! The detox saga

Update: You can find all weight loss/Slimband-related posts under the Weight Loss category or by clicking here.

It’s my first day both at work and on my pre-op detox diet, and man, is it HARD!

This morning we got several chocolate deliveries as well as a large box of mini gourmet cupcakes from some fancy shop.

Pure torture.

At least I’m not alone in this, after death by chocolate (a whole afternoon sampling the entire menu at MoRoCo in Yorkville thanks to work!) on Friday, me and several of the other girls are on detox and other diets. But the temptation is still there… and so easy to fall prey to!

Only one of us was able to abstain from the adorable mini cupcakes (hint, it wasn’t me).

I really need to do better with this diet though, because it directly impacts my surgery. I am hoping that the first day is the hardest and subsequent days will become easier.

The detox diet I am doing is to help reduce the fat around my liver. The smaller my liver is, the less the surgeon has to root around in my innards to install the Slimband. My diet is full of veggies and spinach, and a little low-fat dairy and protein. I’m able to sub in protein/meal replacement shakes at any point, so I picked up some Slimfast to help me out.

I wish there was a better time to do this… The Holidays were definitely NOT my first choice! But I’ll work with what I’ve got; at least it should be pretty quiet and easy up until Christmas Eve (my family is doing a big gathering up north). I’ll have to deal with that when it comes.

Does anyone know how I can spice up spinach salads, low fat cheese, yogurt and chicken breast? What about canned tuna?

It’s day 3 overall and I’m already running out of ideas!!!

Surgery Payment Problems

Update: You can find all weight loss/Slimband-related posts under the Weight Loss category or by clicking here.

I write this post at the risk of getting a lot of flak and coming off as an entitled, ungrateful princess.

But I need to write it anyway.

Secretly, I was counting on my grandad to come through with all or most of the money for my Slimband surgery. My mom (who knows him best) was convinced that he would be generous; he’s old, has no other family has loads of money and doesn’t do anything with it. He was there at my birth.

Generous is not a word I would use to describe my grandad at this point.

I don’t know what happened. My mom and I thought that he would give at least $1000 to help me out (if not more!). His daughter was a 500lb obese woman who recently passed away. He knows what it’s like to see someone suffer due to their weight.

Instead, I got $350 from him.

My parents didn’t even call to tell me because they didn’t know how to process this. We’re stunned.

I mean, don’t get me wrong; I respect the fact that it is his money and his choice, and I am grateful for anything that he is willing to give me… but at the same time I’m just stunned that the amount is so low, when he has so many reasons to give more. I can’t fathom his reasoning. Personally I suppose I am more of the helping-mind, I am always trying to help others, make or give them things. Especially family, I would go to the ends of the world for them. If this were me, I would have given a substantial amount to my family member.

I’m so conflicted. I’m happy for the $350 but not, you know what I mean? I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth.

I was just really expecting more (whether that was right or wrong to do so). $350 isn’t even a drop in the bucket when I’m looking at $16,000.

So now I’ve got to find another way to pay for this procedure. I’ve already made a $3000 non-refundable deposit so I’m committed now.

I think I can afford another $3000, and in light of the grandad situation, my parents have decided to give me $3000 also. So I only need about $6600 more to cover it all.

I have the option of borrowing from my granny, but (what is up with rich old people? Are they all miserly like my family?!?!) I would have to pay her interest. Can you believe that?

So now I’m off trying to research interest rates for personal loans. I’ll take that info and negotiate with my grandmother and try and get a better rate. Like a bank. Not like family.

How sad, and cold.

I seriously think my larger family is fucked up when it comes to money. We know a lot about it but our attitudes are bizarre; where is the balanced, happy medium in life???

Coming Soon: A New Me

Update: You can find all weight loss/Slimband-related posts under the Weight Loss category or by clicking here.

Have you ever wondered what you would look like if you made some kind of big change to your body? Maybe breast implants, rhinoplasty or liposuction? Got rid of your acne, changed your hair colour or had your teeth straightened?

In the coming year I’ll be completing the final step in my journey of self-improvement and I’ll finally know what “the ultimate me” will look like.

For the past 10 years or so, I have been undergoing some changes, both physical and mental. I was a real ugly duckling and filled with self-hate. Through the process of fixing my outside, I have been repairing my insides, as well. Hopefully by the end of it I will look like the beautiful swan I feel like inside.

There are several major (to me) items on my “list” to make improvements to, which I have touched on in previous posts (click here )  and I think it’s time to update them.

Ten years ago, I was:

  • Snaggle-toothed
  • had terrible hair
  • a sloppy dresser
  • had awful skin
  • bespectacled
  • had a whiny voice
  • FAT

Being afflicted in those ways cost me a great deal in terms of self esteem, and probably in other ways I haven’t even discovered yet.

I wasn’t happy. So I did something about it.

  • I had braces & orthodontic work. Now I’ve got a killer smile
  • I grew out my hair & learned basic hair care techniques and styles. My hair is one of my best features now
  • I learned about fashion, style and makeup application. People come to me for tips and advice and I model for photographers
  • I took Accutane and finally cleared my skin up to an acceptable level
  • I had laser eye surgery twice to get rid of the glasses. I’m now 20/20
  • I took voice lessons, sang in choirs & recorded CD’s, giving me a smoother and more evenly pitched voice. Apparently people like to listen to me speak now

And Now

I’m finally tackling the last item on my list. The fat.

How?

Weight loss surgery.

Yup, I said it. I’ve come to terms with my fatness and feel like I’m finally ready for a permanent lifestyle change. Diets don’t work (we all know this) and I’ve just got too much fat to lose to spend all my time counting calories.

I’ve done a TON of research and have decided to get the Slimband procedure done over Christmas. It’s not a miracle solution, but it will be an incredibly valuable tool for me to have.

The band will be wrapped around the top of my stomach, making me feel full a lot faster. This will help me eat less and eventually become satisfied with eating less. In addition, there is a 4-year period of support from the clinic, I’ll be working with professionals to help me deal with my emotional issues surrounding food, learn about proper nutrition and fitness, and basically learn how to eat again, the right way this time.

I chose this form of surgery because it is less invasive, more gradual, adjustable, reversible and I can still keep my band and have a healthy pregnancy in the future. My mom had a gastric bypass years ago and not only is she unable to support a pregnancy, but she also can’t absorb nutrients properly, will be on supplements her whole life and had her stomach butchered. Oh, did I mention she gained back all the weight she lost just a few years later? I don’t want any of that.

You’re Giving Up!

Some of you may think that I’m giving up, taking the easy way out, whatever. But 1. I don’t care what you think, and 2. This isn’t the easy way out. This is my choice after numerous diets and exercise regimes since I was a child. What kind of life is that to live?

This will be difficult, I have to learn a whole new way of approaching food. My body is going to undergo some drastic changes. In a year I’ll be losing around 100lbs. I’ve never been thin before, so I don’t know how I’m going to react to my dropping dress size. So many things are going to change in my life.

For the better, I hope.

A Fat-Free Life

In my ideal fat-free world, more people will smile at me instead of frown as I walk by. I’ll be able to buy the clothes and shoes that I really want, and not be stranded when my bag is lost on a flight. People won’t make fun of me, make snide comments under their breath or even out loud about the way I look. I’ll be able to fit on all the rides in Wonderland! I will be judged less harshly.

Most importantly, I’ll be doing a great service to my mental and physical health. I will be reducing my risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and heart disease. My knees won’t hurt as much and I’ll be able to run and swim and fight like I have always wanted to. Being lighter and healthier will help my state of mind, help heal my depression and wounded soul and attract more people to me.

It has taken me a long time and a lot of soul-searching to come to this point. Taking part in fat-friendly communities and blogs has been a real help, and it feels weird to know that in a few years I won’t even qualify to take part in these sites anymore. They were key to helping me accept myself as I was, learning to love myself and be proud of who I am.

I think loving myself more was needed before I could make a life-altering change like this and have it stick.

I wasn’t ready before, but I’m ready now.