Sunday, 28 July 2013

Challenging myself

I have officially finished work for the summer YAY!

With that, I gave myself a couple of challenges.

The first challenge:
Keep on my eating plan after having ALL THE FLUID REMOVED from my band!

Yes, I finally decided that the band was being more of a hindrance than a help these days and as my eating is under my own control and has been stable for a year, that it was time to bite the bullet and have a complete de-fill.

I was also a little worried about erosion. It can't be a good thing to have something squeezing your tummy permanently. I haven't really considered this before, or even in the few years that I was trying to get the band working. I have been thinking about it a lot recently though.

My eating had been being hindered by my band to such an extent that I was being sick a lot, or having to drink very hot green tea before a meal to loosen things up etc. Now, I hear you saying " that's not what you should do!" but that IS what I should do. That is what I needed to do to eat a full meal and you just don't need to do that kind of thing if you get rid of the fluid and find enough will power. I haven't been using the band to help me lose weight for over a year... in my opinion the only thing it's done (and that only marginally) is stop me feeling hungry. Once that window of opportunity is gone, the only thing we can do is move more and eat less.

I was finding that the band was stopping my enjoyment of my meal and making me a social outcast as I went everywhere with my tea pot and it was impossible to plan meals out etc. It didn't stop me eating the meal - it just slowed it down until it was stone cold and everyone else was thoroughly pissed off with me.

So I had 5mls out on Sunday 14th July.

I don't know if any of you get this feeling, but when I have a fill or a de-fill, I get a hot flush and funny woozy dizzy feeling. It is so strange and this one was a biggy. It just shows how sensitive our body is and how we need to be careful about these things. I was worried that the constant aggravation of the nerves at my band site would or will cause me some issues with my health in the future, so having it loose will hopefully lessen the impact it has. I don't know quite what I am worried about - cancer mainly, or erosion or something really unpleasant. I just hope it's enough.

When I had the fluid out, I felt amazing. I was by no means tightly filled, but I would definitely have to 'plan' meals. I couldn't just drink a big glass of water straight from the tap if I was thirsty. I couldn't just have a coffee whilst out shopping. Everything was pre-thought. Everything had the "ok... here we go... how does the first mouthful of this feel.... blimey I hope this is going to go down as I don't have a cup to throw up in handy" it was always that kind of mental process going on. Being able to drink a cup of coffee and have no ill effects by no means meant that a second would go down either. Being able to eat half a dinner by no means meant that the rest would follow suit. I was just fed up completely with it's fickleness.

It just annoyed me too much. When it got to the point that I couldn't go to the gym one day because for the previous 2 hours I had been standing in my kitchen trying to drink something (start with a hot water, then a green tea then get cooler and cooler until BINGO! We are off!) that's when I decided quite frankly I had had enough. I had been faffing around trying to drink something to get things moving that I had used up all the spare time I had anyway. How can you go to the gym and not refresh yourself? Impossible. I found I was stressed and dreading eating/drinking at all times.

That people, is no way to live.

Now, this is my experience, and I fully know that I seem to have had a completely different band experience than anyone else on the planet, but there you go. That just shows you that it is not always the miraculous answer to a prayer. It has been the bain of my life to be honest.

Anyway, the fluid was out, I immediately downed a pint of water at record speed - or basically like a normal human.

It was lovely. I ate normally and I drank more cool drinks that I had for a couple of years and even had ice in a G & T! Delish!

Having my fluid out didn't mean I ate more, I have been able to keep to my plan and feel that my eating habits are more in line with a regular person these days and that I have successfully conquered this overeating nightmare for the time being. I am by no means being smug here either... I mean, who knows what will happen in the future, but for now - we are cooking on gas!

I still don't feel hunger, but I do feel a weakness that wasn't there when I had my fluid in. This I have found disappears if I have a pint of squash or water. I was always under the impression that you feel weak because you are starving or have low in blood sugar or something and need food. Well I am eating exactly the same way, and only spotted this feeling since the un-fill. This suggests to me that this purely psychosomatic, especially as it disappears so easily.

A struggle that I am having is not to gulp food. It is so lovely to be able to take a big bite of sandwich and know that its not going to be gurgling down the sink 30 seconds later, that chomping food down fast is something I have to watch.

To curb this I am trying to eat with a pastry fork and or teaspoon. This has helped. I have kept my small plate and I am still using Livestrong to keep track of my nutrients and my calories.

Keeping to my eating plan will remain my permanent challenge, but knowing that I can eat more and exercise more is a great tool. It's something I find I quite enjoy... the play off.

The second challenge:

Exercise enough to burn of 1000 calories per day

This is a personal fitness challenge. I can easily manage 1000 calories, but it's usually the time that I have available that dictates the amount of exercise I do. I usually manage 4 days a week and usually I burn between 500 and 800 calories a time.  If I have more time, and a great book, I do 1000.

Now it's the summer hols, I have decided that I am 100% committed to getting rid of the last 2 stone and I am going to try and manage 1000 calories each day. I am sure there will be days that I can't do this, but so far so good.

To give you an idea, 1000 calories takes me 1 hour 20 minutes on the treadmill at level 18 doing random hills at 5.3kph (or a brisk walk).

I have a good book on my iPad and prop it on the screen of the treadmill and plug my ears with foam to deaden the ghastly boom boom thump of the power music on the sound system that all gyms seem to think we all want to listen to, when in reality everyone has their own ears plugged with their own music on their iPod.

I can be completely engrossed and I get a kick out of knowing that 2 meals are being walked away under my feet. It also means that I can enjoy about 2300 calories a day and STILL lose 2 pounds a week! How awesome is that. I just don't feel like I am on a diet. In fact, I guess I am not. I can pretty much eat anything I darn well please and get a smile back from the scales each morning.
For instance yesterday I had a big bowl of granola for brekkie, tuna mayo sarnie for lunch and as I couldn't be bothered to cook a meal, we just settled for Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato (with butter!)sarnies for tea, a big back of Thai chilli crisps and 3 Gin and Tonics and I was STILL under my cals for the day! Like... who wouldn't love that??  

So there we go. My 2 challenges.

Happy summer everyone!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Absent friends

As is usual when I don't post for a long time, I have normally fallen off of the waggon, gone back to bad habits, drunk too much wine and had too much life than is necessarily for my 'inner big girl' fighting to get back out.

However I didn't fall off the waggon into a pit of donuts... but I did actually fall. Before Easter.

I tripped up, then tripped over my feet which were stumbling to gain purchase on the pot holed main road that runs through our village and fell smack hard down on the pavement.

It resulted in an immense amount of pain, loss of skin and savage weeping that could not be covered.

There was absolutely no skin on the the whole of the underneath of my knee, it was constantly weeping too. I covered it with plasters, but they fell off because they soaked through, so I went to the doctors where they gave me these mad dressings that were made of a rubbery material...

But as you can see by the towel underneath my leg and the vague right hand ooze shot - this bandage could not contain the beast either. The bandage - called a hydrocoloid dressing - is supposed to be permeable and the oozy stuff is supposed to bubble up like a blister beneath it and gradually get absorbed by the dressing and evaporate... Well mine was so epic that it just burst and soaked me in my sleep. We left it till morning with a towel under my leg... but basically it was back to the top photo where I attached some cotton wool underneath as a drip tray.

After leaving it open to the air, a crust formed across the lavarous wound... this would crack and kill me all over again on a minute by minute basis with each step or movement.

The above is after 3 weeks. Yes 3 WEEKS! I don't take to healing very well having lupus and all kinds of other crap, so its always a waiting game. The above shows the crust on top trying to form me a new knee cap... I was quite worried about in growing hairs or something like that. I know that's funny, but I really was! haha!

But after 5 long weeks, the savagery had subsided and new skin was formed over the hole...

5 weeks of hobbling and cursing brought me to this... still extremely painful to bend my knee and walk about, but much better. The purple part is scar and the scabby bit is the deepest part of the wound.

I hadn't needed to worry about ingrowing hair as the hairs here fell out of the follicles and even today 8 weeks on, there is no hair growth in the scar at all. At least I gave myself a bit of free hair removal - although I wont be recommending it as an alternative. I think electrolysis would be far less painful!

Now, I am left with a purple version of the above and a numb, hairless knee. The achey pain has gone too and I dont 'feel' my knee all the time as some alien waiting to escape so it must be healed. 8 weeks was a long time for such a silly little stumble.

Why have i told you about the above... well 8 weeks injury meant 8 weeks out of action at the gym... What do you think might have been the result of sitting on my butt, feeling yukky, sorry for myself, in pain, not doing any exercise a year ago?

Weight gain. And a lot of it!

What did it result in this time?

Weight MAINTENANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes! What a result!

I kept within my limits, but I did indulge my sadness and poorlyness. I just played poker with food. I played them all off against each other and managed to get through what could have been a diet disaster ditch, and instead climbed up higher that my wildest dreams.

I have realised that this last year 1st May 2012 to 1st May 2013 I have accomplished what I never ever ever thought was possible:


And I have aced that class!!

In the last year I have lost 25 KILOS
25 KILOS - 55LBS - 4 STONE

I am exceptionally proud of myself, because I did it ALL BY MYSELF!

So for the last 10 days, I have been going back to the gym. I started with 3 minutes gentle walking, then upped it to a bit faster and longer. Then gradually I have built back up to hills and fast walking at lvl 13 yesterday for 70 minutes and I am fine.

Today I am off to have a go at lvl 13 random hill for 90 minutes :) 1000 calorie burn is back baby!!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Past bite

I have been pushed into a hurricane of emotional carnage today because people are so thoughtless.

A friend of a friend added me on facebook today.

Let me set the background. My privacy settings are on lockdown as I don't like people looking me up like for example:  'Jane Smith used to go to playschool with you in 1979 and wants to add you as a freind' or 'Bob Builder liked the look of your legs when you were 14 so thought he would add you'.

In my opinion most of those adds are just nosiness or fakery to see how bad (hopefully) you are doing in life and how fat you got. I prefer to add people I know, see, trust and love. I share things with them that are the real me and I am happy to do so, even though I know a lot of people would not even do that.

It has irked me somewhat that you cannot stop friends of friends adding you, even if your name is unsearchable, but I have always been pretty sure that none of my friends friends are a particular issue - lets face, I know them not their friends! I just thought it would be quite nice if you could customise your settings to only have direct contact with people of your choosing... but that's not social networking is it... there has to be a catch somewhere.

So I happily share my life and times with my friends - not many - and a couple of colleagues and life goes by.

Until today. The world is a small place after all.

A friend of a friend clicked the little plus button and put my world into a horrible horrible place.

There was his face (aged badly I was quick to note!) and the faces of 3 children.

No message, no intro, no sorry I was a bastard, no nothing.

It's made me feel so shit it's unreal. I haven't got out of bed until now (2pm) and I should have gone and got my son, who's working with DH in the shop today, but I haven't been able to.

I am hovering under the surface of a vast pile of misery that I can't even spill out onto my dearest love in the world because no one, not one person, can understand how I feel. Except perhaps him - he wouldn't understand, but he would certainly know why I feel so bad.

Here's the dirt, not all, but an overview as its too gruesome to get everything out:

I was 16 when I met 'him'. He was an ugly spotty 16 year old. But he was different. I could have had any boy in our group but he had this suave way of carrying himself. A smooth talker, a liar and a massager of massive truths building a little castle for himself. He was an accomplished thief even by this time, and devastatingly persuasive. Dressed like a preppy rich kid, he interested me. In a little over 18 months he managed to break me in a way no one ever will again.

I watch these dramas on TV about housebeaten wives; simpering and tragically humble and weepy. That's not what it's like. I was powerful too, but not in the right way. I could answer back for myself, and did! I fought back, had the opportunity to walk away countless times and had the full support of my family - they begged me to dump him! But I couldn't. It's like a role. It's not you. It's an avalanche that has to reach the bottom. It's not what you want but you have no idea on earth how to stop it until someone comes along with the key to your personal dungeon.

Because no one knows where the lock is, not even you, let alone the key! You are powerless until that lock is found by that key, or you die.

I had been beaten, my leg smashed with a crowbar, stabbed with scissors, my emotions played like a harp, been on the receiving end of endless mind games, left in dangerous situations, humiliated in front of my friends, degraded in ways I won't share and so worn down that I was a valueless, snapped little girl.

He had cleared and weeded out my real friends and replaced them with his own - 'our friends' - so I was alone with a whole host of people around me; none knew me, or I them. they were party people who we hung around all the time, but were not really personal friends. After time, I knew absolutely that there was no one who would want me. There was no one who would ever think I was intelligent, or pretty, or useful, or fun ever again. I'd got above myself and he made sure that he told me how wrong I was. I was dumb, stupid, ugly, wore the wrong clothes, had the wrong type of blonde hair, was getting fat, didn't have enough money for him and couldn't get any more credit cards for him to use for me to pay off and I had stopped funding his drug habit and wouldn't be a stooge when he was nicking stuff.

But the worst crime he ever inflicted on me was getting me pregnant and laughing at me because my life was over.

That is a scar that has never, and never will be healed. I terminated the baby. I killed it. I can't think of it any other way even now, when I know from losing my subsequent 6 craved for babies to early miscarriage and still birth through Lupus that the little mite probably was doomed to begin with.

He told me to get rid of it, if I didn't I could forget him being around. He told me to go home and tell my parents and he would tell his. I thought that this was a good idea as then we were both facing it together, but he never told his parents. He left me to do it on my own. My Mum told his parents in the end as she said that he should pay for half the operation. She wanted it done quickly and privately off my medical records.

He didn't really need to be so horrible and aggressive about me terminating our baby because somewhere deep in me I knew that if I had that baby, even gave it away, that he and I would be tied to each other forever, and I couldn't let that happen to an innocent life. Mine was already a nightmare and I wasn't about to give him any one else to hurt.

All through the relationship - which is what it was, even God and Satan have a relationship - he would say the right things, smooth me over and make me fit for public, be kind in ways that were so numbing - flowers, jackets, dresses, shoes, rings, earrings, toys, champagne, love letters EVERY DAY, mix tapes, romantic dinners and get aways. He managed all this and was only 19 when we broke up!

It's practically impossible to believe it even happened to me!

One day, he made a mistake though. He'd done a good job on me and I was pretty resigned to the fact that I had made my bed - and it was flea infested - but was prepared to lie down in it, when we had a huge row.

It was the summer when Oasis and Blur were battling for #1.

Showing us for the stupid kids that we were, I wanted Country House by Blur to win as I thought it was just the best song ever created. He wanted Oasis. I can't remember the title of that song, but he wanted it to get the #1 spot. We were half drunk on tequilla sitting in a field in next to our tent on the sussex coast, smoking and sunning ourselves. The atmosphere was relaxed, the radio was blaring. My brother and his mate were down the beach and we had the place to ourselves. On moments like that - of which there were many - I felt lovely and happy and at peace. A friend of mine was supposed to be coming over that afternoon to chill with us and it was all good.

Blur won the #1 spot.

He went MAD at me. It was of course my fault - disgracing him by dancing around half naked (bikini) in a field and he belted me across the ear. My ear sang like a gun had gone off, I am guessing he nearly broke my ear drum, and the blistering pain bubbled up so much I couldn't speak.

He was on top of me, spitting in my face that I was a f'ing slag acting like that and that his ex girlfriend would never go on like that. She was so much better than me. Why was he still here. He was going off to get a proper shag. I could sit here and baby sit the kids (my bro and his mate) and think about how I hurt him every day and how if I wanted to be with him I needed to grow up.

He kicked me in the back and left. He had borrowed his mates car to get to the camp site, did not have a driving licence or insurance (obviously) and was intoxicated.

I was left in agony in a field without transport, money (in the car!), and therefore access to food or a payphone.

I opened up and cried myself to sleep in the tent waiting for my brother to come back. I had forgotten that my friend from work was supposed to be coming over.

At about 4ish I heard a car and was instantly getting myself together ready to apologise and win him over and when I came out it was my friend from work. He had brought some home made pizza and some chicken to BBQ, beer, wine and fags!

He saw my dishevelled state and was an instant balm. I told him most of what happened, leaving out the punches, slaps and spitting and that he might be back soon, but I didn't think so.

I didn't believe he was going back to his ex girlfriend's - they had broken up 2 years before and it was a schoolkid thing. It was just something he said to make me jealous, which in fact it never did because I didn't think this girl existed anyway - none of his Friend's remembered him having a girl before me... so....

I actually thought, and was correct, that he went to his mates who he'd borrowed the car from, got high and then passed out for a couple of days.

So. Me, my friend from work and 2 hungry teenage boys spent the night in the tent. My bro and his mate went to bed and my friend and I chatted for ages and ages. The following morning we went to the beach, my friend phoned in sick so I wasn't alone and we had a blast. We went driving and doing handbrake donuts on top of a hill, we picked up a hitchhiker at 3am who was an archaeologist excavating a prehistoric human find and had a fascinating woodland picnic with him in the moonlight showing us around the site.

That night my friend told me that he was deeply worried for my safety and asked why I would stay with someone like that.

I said it was because no one else would want me. He said, he did.

He found the lock. He had the key. It unlocked my hope.

The following morning we went to the phone box, he rang his girlfriend and told her it was over. It had been on and off for a while while they were at Uni, and he hadn't seen her for about a month but he said it was only fair to tell her immediately. He didn't want me thinking he had kept something from me.

Then I dialled 'His' number and I left a message with his Mum, because he refused to talk to me, that he and I were through. She was very very upset.

The next few days were an absolute whirlwind. I was showered by the creep with flowers and mix tapes of unending love, then spiteful late night phone calls calling me every name under the sun, then begging messages (my mum bought an answer phone because of it) pleading to take him back.

I was still just barely clinging on to my college course, so had to bump into all 'our friends' and try and avoid him. I stayed late in class as he was outside waiting for it to end - stuff like that.

In the end I bagged every bit of stuff that he had ever given to me - even flowers that I had dried that he'd given me - in dustbin liners and Mum and I drove them round to his house. There was no one home, so I found the key to the garage in the usual place, unlocked it and dumped it all inside. I then popped a note through his door telling him he was welcome to it all and I never wanted to see him ever again.

I quit my college- it was hardly worth the sham of attending any more. He had put paid to my education so well that I needed to start over any how.

Over my 2 years at college, I had done 8 A level courses.
I started the first year doing Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Maths. Yes I really did. I quit at the end of the year as I had missed so much work because of 'Him' and his dramas that I decided to start over.
The next year I did History, Film Studies, History or Art and Art. I dropped this a week into my second year when I dropped the bags off at his house.

Nowadays that would count for 4 full A levels, but then it was worth nothing. He ruined my 2 year window of opportunity. I did later complete courses and things, but all whilst juggling a house, new husband and a little baby.

After the bag dumping we came home in my Mini listening to the Foo Fighters.

Big Me is the song of the break up. You would think it would be Country House, but I can still listen and enjoy that song. Big Me is the one that cracks me, that opens those jaws again and everything I lost in that 2 years.

He took my friends
He took my innocence
He took my trust of men
He took my education
He took my first baby

All of those things he took from me. And more.

I can't begin to list all the horrible things. All the little snippets like news paper clippings running through my mind. They are far to vast to catalogue.

Then today the supposedly innocuous website Facebook, has brought so many bitter questions up that have probably brewed there for years, but just hadn't fully formed in my mind.

I've told you what happened, but the emotional pain is not raw because of that. The past affects me sometimes when particular dates roll by. November 30th 1994 in my diary reads:

Went in for my little operation. Unfortunately had to be alone. Mum and 'Him' in waiting room - I was so frightened. 'Him' bought (stole) me 5 CD's. Bjork, Lemonheads, Pearl Jam and 2 others. He had to work this evening so coming over tomorrow. I love him
He did sit in the waiting room, I guess I can give him that, but he didn't even bother to take the evening off to comfort his girlfriend on the murder of their child.

It was the worst experience of my entire life. I was spared the NHS as my mother paid for a private 'purging'. However a ward in Brighton, full of tired hard prostitutes on their 5th or 6th ridding, talking about their punters across your bed holds a deadly sickening and kidney splitting shame.

When I looked at his profile picture, little girl of about 7 sitting on his knee with a boy of about 4 and one of  about 2 playing at his heels a vivid blast of coming-around in the recovery room staring at a prostitute's tattooed arse flashed into my mind. Sickness, anger, hate and deep sadness.

Did he think of me when he was trying to get his wife with child? Did he think of the one he killed when his wife told him she was pregnant? Did he wonder if it would live throughout the pregnancy? Did he feel like he didn't deserve to be given a child after what he did? Does his wife know that he killed one of her kids brothers or sisters? Do other people who've gone through this think about this shit?

No, I doubt it. He's got 3 beautiful children. He's married to his ex girlfriend - the one I thought was imaginary.

Gravida 8 Para 1. That's my story. I have 8 children, of which 7 are dead.

I feel like he added me on facebook to torture me. Rational me would be like "Nah, he's just nosey and wondering if you got fat like everyone else" But I feel like he's done it to show me what he's got. Fuck! It's 18 years ago. Why should I care? Why is this so bloody and raw?

I bet he doesn't even remember the date. Over the years I have gradually forgotten the date, but for some reason I wake up feeling low and tearful and my husband, god bless him, will say "Yeah, it's your sad day". I had found peace, to a certain degree, in knowing that Lupus took all my babies, and it would have been the same for that little one had it gone on a week or two more... but all the same. I still had to go through the trauma of his abuse and threats to leave me if I didn't sort it. Telling my parents and ruining their image and dreams of me that will forever be etched on their minds. Going to that awful place where the doctor that signs you off afterwards gives you a brown package and says

"Pee in this in 2 weeks and send it in for testing"
and you say "What?!?!? After all that I could still be pregnant"
and he said "It happens. Goodbye, I hope to never see you again in my entire life".  


That speech is etched on my mind. I can see his office, feel and smell his minty breath on my face and hear the heating fan in the background. See the rubber plant and the books. I can see myself walking out of there numb. Shock.

I want to accept it. I want to click "yes, I'll be your friend" and devour his pictures and see what his life is like now because there is no way it can be as good as mine is now. I want to shove it to him so he can see what he abused and threw away like rubbish, how well I have done despite his efforts.


I clicked block instead.

Even though you think no ones connected, we all are in little tiny threads of ways. I know which friend he knows, A distant old friend from school. It would seem they work together at a Food Superstore. I got rid of them too, just in case. They won't notice I have dropped off their feed as they are one of the many with too many threads - an impossible 1000+ friends.

It just shows me how little we look at things, I hadn't checked their profile for years probably, and he's now working on the fish counter and delicatessen of the same food store as 'Him'. If I had checked, it might have rung an alarm bell or two as that's where he worked as a teenager. That's where he is still working. That actually made me quite happy :)

The big dreamer is still having to dream, but it was always within me to realise mine.

I might have to entirely re-think being on facebook. But then again, it would be such a shame if he's ruined that too.

What a dilemma.    

Friday, 18 January 2013

Photo updates

Hi all - nothing really to report other than I have been away on Holiday to spain for 2 weeks of indulgence and come back THE SAME WEIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can't freaking believe that, and to celebrate (and a after a prodding from Jen)I have put some new photos up on the Photo Gallery to the right hand side, or click here --> PHOTOS

I am in my smallest clothes I own and have had to go and buy some - OFF THE PEG from Marks and Spencers.

I am now a size 20 in everything from Marks and Sparks which is FAB! I currently weigh 96.6kgs and am a very happy happy bunny!

I wish you all a happy evening from Snowy Cambridgeshire.


x Bunny x

Then & Now