Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Sunshine, on my shoulders...

Man, driving six hours in the country with no airconditioning is not what it used to be, let me tell you.

We recently spent a long weekend in Mildura, Victoria, which was bought and paid for back when I was working full time, and could afford to take time off work. Now, with public holidays and the like, I had to forfeit 2 days pay...ouch.

But, I digress. Yep, Thursday on the way home from said work, the airconditioner blew up. Miffed, I was! I had been telling Him for sometime that something was wrong, but no, it must have been something I was doing. So, when he found out he phoned the garage, who said they would look first thing in the morning. There went our early start. All preparations stopped as did all packing, as we probably weren't going. Won't drive in the heat...

However, after discovering it was going to cost over $1000 to repair (and deciding it really wasn't that necessary to have airconditioning...) we were off. Well, by the time we got to Mildura it was after 3.00pm, and the hottest part of the day. Sun blazed, sweat soaked and tempers flared.

But you know, through it all, Jr Her sat watching her portable DVD player, playing with her Bratz dolls and generally being an alien sent to confuse her parents. We were expecting all sorts of complaints (she is not the most patient person...) but she was on her best behaviour. Thank heavens for small miracles!

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

It'll be the death of me...

What is it about chocolate that makes it so attractive? Is it the smooth, creamy taste upon your tongue, or the velvety texture as it slides down your throat? Or is it some chemical additive guaranteed to make us addicted?

Whatever it is, I am in serious trouble! I have still only lost a single kilo, despite the hour long walks on Tuesday and Thursday, ten pin bowling Wednesday, the exercise bike for half an hour most other days...or playing basketball with Jr Her and Him. I tell you, it's very frustrating!

We spent a 4 day weekend interstate (that is for a whole other story another day, let me tell you!) but all I seemed to eat was chocolate. Almost every meal got stuck in my band, making it very uncomfortable. It was just easier to snack on chocolate. Although we did walk a lot, as you do on holidays, we certainly ate well too it would seem.

Positive note though, I didn't gain any weight, which I surely would have previously. Although it does depend on what time of the day I weigh myself. In the morning I can say I have lost a kilo. The evening is a different matter...

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Christmas, every dieter's Nightmare!

You know, there is something to be said for a quiet Christmas at home, just me, Him and Jr Her. The big baked dinner always comes out, but there is no social life, nibblies at parties, cake at morning tea. Only the bowl of lollies put out to nibble on through the day, and the lavish helpings of custard on the Christmas pudding for the next 3 days.

But when you are visiting family there always seems to be something. This time, Jr Her stayed at mum and dad's for the week, so Him and I got some valuable "us" time. We ate out every night (except for a bbq Christmas night at the out-laws, and a wonderful ham, chicken and salad dinner with friends on the Tuesday). We had lunch at the only eatery at the shopping centre a few times, and generally spent a lot of time walking around hand in hand like we used to ten years ago.

It is quite hard to find low fat food when you are away from you safety zones. And when you have to be careful what you eat, such as lots of moist gravy, no bread, small portions, it can be very difficult. For example, I once ordered just a small portion of roast pork smothered with gravy. She charged me the whole $6 cost of a sandwich, gave me way too much pork and drizzled the gravy on top. It was so dry I couldn't eat more than a few forkfuls. Pity.

And Christmas Lunch arrived so late I had just about eaten an arm before it was served. It was roast as well, thankfully done to perfection, but I could only eat a small amount because it was so dry. The dessert was shared with my mother (who didn't order any). Poor Him came down with the flu and we had to rush off anyway. But after painkillers and a little rest he bravely spent the rest of the day at his parents. What a trooper! His brother, future sister-in-law and 6 kids were there, as well as another brother, his wife and two daughters. It was quite a full house, but there was plenty of food flowing, and plenty of pavlova afterward. Two huge meals, lots of dessert, and lots of nibblies in between...

I think we will spend Christmas by ourselves this year...seems the safer thing to do...

Monday, 12 March 2007

This is harder than I thought...

Well, the weeks are flowing by, and you are cruising happily along. Mind you, you can still consume quite a large amount of food! Christmas means a trip north to warmer climes to visit family and you can't wait to show them how good you look.

But as the days fly you don't feel quite like you should...those pants still fit exactly the same way..oh dear...

Wonder if the new temp job at that confectionary company has anything to do with it. You know, the one that leaves chocolate samples on the desk behind you, on the reception desk, in every office...even on your desk regularly...

You know, they make a really yummy peppermint cream that just melts in your mouth, and unfortunately is very moreish! As you pop that tiny delight into you mouth, you close your eyes, sigh at the exquisite taste, and vow that this will be your last...And it is, till the next one!

Then for Christmas you receive a 36pack of sugar free softdrink (you made sure you at least chose sugar free), and a HUGE ham your family of 3 couldn't hope to get through in a month, and a stocking for Jr Her. Add said stocking to the Chrisco Hamper of chocolate, chips and softdrink that arrived a little while ago, and you are all set...nothing like a bit of temptation to challenge any fat chick.

Just before your Christmas holiday you have another appointment with the doctor. This one you are dreading...those pants are not getting any looser. With some trepidation you step up on the scale, shaking like a leaf, making jokes to distract the doctor.

The verdict is in. While you didn't put on a single kilo, you also didn't lose any. A verbal smack across the knuckles, another ml of fluid injected into your band, and you are on your way, tail between your legs, up to visit family for the Festive Season.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Positive Results - Its All Worth It!

Wow, can you believe you have been doing this for six weeks now? You feel great! And people are starting to notice - those pants are falling down in public a lot...

At your next visit to the doctor, you find you have lost 15 kg. Fantastic! You have not had any problems with the band, and you can tolerate pretty solid food now. Time to inflate the band. Oh dear, you didn't realise it wasn't inflated, did you? Well, up on the doctor's couch, and do a half sit up thing while he pushes against your belly, which I may add is still a little tender...

If you open your eyes now you will see this long needle, with that drop of saline hanging off the tip. You quickly shut your eyes again...

The port to inflate the band sits just below the skin of your abdomen. It stings a bit as he pushes the needle in to isn't too unpleasant. Four mils he injects this time. No worries, up you get, drink that cup of water to make sure it goes down okay, and pay your bill.

15kg. Wow! That is incredible and gives you so much hope...false hope....

Monday, 5 March 2007

Custard and Ice Cream! Yum!

Well, I was munching on a leftover frozen meal recently and remembered that it was from when I couldn't eat anything. I was reminded how painful it was to only have a dish of custard while my family tucked into a huge bowl of spaghetti...funny, I didn't mind too much at the time, but after a couple of weeks, I was longing to eat food with flavour again.

So, after about two weeks, you start to salivate at the smell of a cooking steak. You are advised that you may never eat red meat again - some people can't after having a band inserted. You also can't eat most bread products, seeds, grains, and a variety of other strange foods. But man, that first taste of mashed potato and gravy is heaven.

Of course, you have to vitamise everything. Bring out the old food processor again! Also, you have to eat smaller quantities, and for a few weeks actually do. I used to divide my normal evening meal into two parts, one for tonight and one for lunch tomorrow. That way, I knew I was getting a good balanced meal. So, into the food processor. I asked the dietician if you could liquify a burger...she thought I was serious....

I discovered one of my favourite meals at the time was vitamised Corned Beef, mashed potatoes, vegies and white sauce! Everything you eat is covered in gravy, which helps it blend better. So, there you are once again, standing in the kitchen, while everyone else is eating, blending up your dinner. Yay, you finally get to sit and eat, dam, you have to warm it up in the microwave...sigh. What a hassle!

Never mind, at least you feel like a grown up again and not like you should be wearing nappies...

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Soup, Soup and More Soup

So, once you get home, you are forced to drink soup. The homemade kind. Which means you either prepared some earlier in anticipation, or you stood in the kitchen, feeling sorry for yourself, hurting, hungry, and alone, wishing you were back in hospital being looked after.

I was lucky and had a great friend who picked me up from hospital and took me home, saw me comfortably in bed and rushed off to make some pumpkin soup. What a gem! Later that day she dropped in said soup, with a good luck wish and vanished again.

So, at least you get a couple of days grace before standing at the food processor...But you need rest, lots of it. Because you are not eating you are very weak. If you are lucky you have a Jr Her to help out, put the washing on, hang it out, berrate you for bending over...

Your first shower in your own shower is, well, fun. The sight of the black spots on the sticking plaster makes you queasy, and you have to wash your feet. Forget it, you aint bending down that far! Gingerly you touch the sore bits, wincing at the pain (or perhaps the thought of it). Nothing too bad. But man, you are tired! Back to bed you stagger. Not even a good show on telly. Bugger!

However, as it is still quite cool you are so cosy under the blanket, and the cat comes in to keep you warm so its not a total loss. What do you have for a snack? Cold soup because you drink it sooo slllooowwwwwllllly.

Luckily I had a birthday a few days after my hospital stay, and top of the list was a cup to keep my soup warm. I got one - a 1 litre thermous! Excellent!!! It sat proudly beside my bed all week.

Now its time to make your own soup. You have to make it yourself because it has more nutrients. Plus the fizzy vitamin you have to endure every day (those things ought to be banned as a health hazzard). So you are standing in the kitchen, pot at the ready, chopping pumpkin, peeling chicken, and cutting carrots. It all sounds sooo good, your mouth waters.

Once its cooked, you put it through the food processor till it is liquid, then through the strainer. Oh joy, what a mess! But it still smells so good. Doesn't it? Well, it does smell a bit funny. But it will tast great. And you are so hungry that anything will taste good.

About a week later, and so much soup you are orange, you stand dispondantly at the freezer, wondering which variety of soup you will warm up for lunch, and suddenly you realise, you really hate soup. You don't care if you never see a tub of soup again! Time to introduce thicker fluids. Go for the custard! Bring it on!!!