Broken Bay Writers – Stories of NSW Central Coast and beyond

Scribbles on life, the universe and everything… Woy Woy, Ettalong, Umina and teh Central Coast that is!

Tag Archives: diet

My Partner has a Mistress…What To Do?

I had never imagined that I would be in a relationship where I had to be concerned about a Mistress as I have a lot to offer. I offer him my unconditional love and feel that love back. But it’s not enough to stave away the Mistress. Not only do I have to agonize about her, she has strength and a seductiveness that cannot be matched.
She clutches my man with determination and stamina that leads me to believe she is the devil herself. Her grasp is at times tender, enveloping him, creating a sense of euphoria, the experience…orgasmic. Suddenly, she digs her nails in; the euphoria is replaced with a primal need. Once again, he is under her spell.
She doesn’t make him happy, in fact the opposite is true; she devours his very soul. This is not love, not the kind of love he and I share, yet still, I know that when I am with him, he is thinking of her.
Their relationship is strong, all consuming, racked with guilt. Not from her, the guilt is reserved for him. She is not just a Mistress; she is an obsession, his obsession.
He has tried to leave her…many times. She gently massages him, drawing him back into her clutches, once again. She offers a hedonic experience. An experience he craves, to the point of thinking of no others.
Who is this Mistress who carries so much power?
Her name…Addiction! An all-consuming food addiction!
How do I compete with his Mistress? I believe. I believe in our love, I believe in his strength to overcome, I believe in him and I support him…unconditionally.

Lap Band deviations – attack of the fat demons!

I’m sitting in Sydney airport, a common pastime for me! The smell of raisin toast permeates the peaceful ambience of the Qantas Club lounge.

I suddenly feel I need to eat!!!

Am I hungry? No! Do I need to eat? No! Am I going to eat? Not this time!!!

My Lap Band was tightened further last week. It has been five months since the operation to fit the band and I have never really felt it was in the “sweet spot”. My weight has been hanging around the same figure for most of that time. I feel like it is working when I come home from the Lap Band “fill”, but that wears off after a day or so.

So, is the Lap Band working?

My doctor says he wants to be cautious, he does not want me getting food stuck or to begin vomiting… I’m with him on this. However, I am getting impatient. I want to move on.

After the last adjustment I can eat a lot less. Good! I have to retrain myself on food portions and “the rules” – don’t drink any fluid 30 minutes before and after a meal, eat very slowly and limit portions to about half a glass – is that half full or half empty?!

Six days now after the last Lap Band adjustment, I suspect we are very close or in the zone. I fill up very easily and I am not as interested in food. At last!!! However, demons still haunt my fears of food addiction – stress, boredom and habit.

I find myself picking between meals lately. Even now that the Lap Band seems to be right, I have picked… a little!

The fight now seems to be defeating these demons. After all, the Lap Band is a tool to help me change my eating habits – and my assult on my food addiction.

1) No fluids around meals!

2) Eat slowly!

3) Half a glass of food per meal – which is, as ever, half full!!!

Begone you dreaded demons!!! Roll on slimdom!

The mile high club!

OK, I know what you are thinking – and you are right! I have now joined “mile high club”, those who have taken to the skies with a Lap Band fitted!!!

The pressure in an aircraft at cruising altitude can cause your Lap Band to tighten. This means you should be careful about eating as the narrow opening may cause you an uncomfortable trip. 

We were flying from Sydney, Australia to Regina, Canada. This involves a flight across the Pacific for 15 hours. It is hard not to eat over that time so I had the meals and was careful to choose soft food and chew very well. I did notice the tighter feeling but no discomfort. Yay!!!

Looks like my band is flight tested! I’m relieved as I love to travel!

Are you intolerant, on a diet or just fussy?

Are you on a diet, fussy or are you celiac (gluten intolerant – also spelt coeliac)? I just read an article in a popular magazine. The article was entitled “Society Food Fight, Are you intolerant or just plain fussy?”

Nowadays it is “cool” to eat a wheat free diet. People use sensitivity to wheat or celiac disease as an excuse to diet. Restaurants are frustrated, chefs angry. Should they be? I don’t think so.

Whether you are a diagnosed celiac or just happen to be cutting carbs out of your diet, restaurants, cafes, airlines, whomever is serving food should cater to your needs. You are the customer!

I am a celiac (diagnosed by a doctor). I don’t tend to make a big deal out of it. I used to be the kind of person that preferred not to tell people. I would just say, “I don’t eat bread” or whatever it was I was being offered. I would be invited to a dinner party and take the attitude that surely there would be something I can eat instead of just telling the host in advance that I am celiac.

Nowadays, I make it known. I question everything when ordering in a restaurant. If I do accidentally eat something with gluten (it would have to be an accident because I adhere to my diet religiously) I burp loudly, have terrible stomach pains and horrible bouts of diarrhea. It is not worth it to make a mistake. It makes me so sick that Al (my partner) is just as adamant about my diet as I am.

I don’t often run into people who don’t take me seriously, but there have been a few occasions where the waitperson is fighting the opportunity to “roll their eyes” in disgust as they answer my questions. One of my worst experiences in public was flying business class with Air Canada. I had pre-ordered a gluten free meal. I was served pasta! After explaining to the flight attendant  why I would not be able to eat the meal, he informed me that it was all they had, but he would see what he could do. I was eventually served greens that had been scraped out of sandwiches (resplendent with butter scrapped off the bread). I was left embarrassed and hungry…in business class.  Thanks Air Canada!

It doesn’t matter that I truly couldn’t eat the food and was not “just on a diet” or fussy, it is important for society to get back to serving their customers. It is (in my view) a lost art.

Scars and a very serious muffin top!

G’Day Lap Band Fans and other Voyeurs!

Here is another update on my laproscopic scars from my Lap Band operation. The photos (below) of my stomach are not pretty but what else do you expect for someone who requires this procedure 🙂 The procedure requires four small  incisions (less than a centimeter). These are in an arc across the top of the belly. It also requires one larger incision, about three centimeters long.

The wounds are covered after the operation with a clear plastic dressing that is water proof (see my previous blog). The dressings come off after 12 days and are easy and painless to remove. The only stitches seems to be on the three centimeter incision (and then only two or three stitches). There is no bleeding or seepage after the removal of the dressings after 12 days (not in my case anyway).

The wounds have healed very well. You can only just see some of the small ones and the large one is looking good. The photos below were taken five weeks after the surgery.

I have lost about 25 kg (55 lb) now, and I feel so great! I am walking faster, riding my pushbike even my motorbike has more ‘grunt’. I am not quite half way but feel very confident of getting to a healthy weight. No problems with eating the ‘tricky’ foods (e.g. red meat, corn, bread) and I am glad to see the end of Optifast. Optifast was great but you get sick of the same old thing. I did love the Chicken Soup while I had to be on it.

My partner, Judy, is very supportive and is very innovative with meals, I cook on the weekends which can be a point of risk 🙂 My sons live with me and are very supportive also. Friends and family are wonderful to make you feel good. The strong ‘cheer squad’ is a huge plus!  The right team with your Bariatric Surgeon is also an important success factor.

Al's Scars after five weeks

Al's Scars after five weeks

Al's scars after five weeks

Al's scars after five weeks

Thanks to Stefan for the photos – see his web site, great photographer – especially the wild outdoor stuff – makes your head spin – Stefan’s Photographic Web Site

Share your Lap Band experience with me!

I am writing about my Lap Band and obesity journey. I would love to hear any experiences that you may have. It does not matter if you are thinking about a band, have one or would not have one. If you are a friend of partner of an obese person, I would love to hear you story also. Please make comments here or email me at bigaloz@gmail.com. Everybody has a story and I would love to hear it!!!

A small prick and I’m good to go!

OK, that was easy! I went in for my first service on my Lap Band. I had a “fill” – they jabbed me with a needle into the port on my abdomen – and I am now in full “restricted” mode.

It was only the slightest pin prick, less painful than a flu needle in the arm. You lie on your back with a pillow under your middle back. Do a bit of a crunch and in goes the needle… too easy!

My doctor wants me to restrict intake for a week – one Optifast meal a day, spread over 2 or 3 meals! Yikes! He says I won’t feel hungry.

One weird thing, the port is on my abdomen and just under the skin. I thought it would be under a bunch of fat. Turns out my fat is on the inside, surrounding the organs – the worst kind of fat (dangerous) and well suited to the Lap Band!

One more week and back on solids… with caution! One more check up before winging off to visit family and friends in Canada in July! I hope I can drink again by then…

Lap Band Surgery aftermath… prepare for an ugly sight…

…not the operation incisions, I mean the ugly belly!!!

It has been 2 weeks since I “went under the knife”. Dr Caska did a great job and was glowing in his praise for my preparation. He says obese men are the hardest to operate on for Lap Band placement. He requires a very strict Optifast regime to make my liver “manageable” for the procedure.  I had a BMI >50 so he laid down the law. Two weeks of 3 Optifast meals per day, followed by two weeks of 2 Optifast meals a day. I was allowed a cup of steamed vegies from a list each night. No booze!!! Surely this treatment is banned under the Geneva Convention? I guess the loophole is, the Geneva Convention only pertains to the treatment of prisoners of war 🙂

I did such a great job that Dr Caska put 3 mls of saline in my Lap Band during the operation. I had lost >20kg (45 lbs) on the Optifast in 4 weeks so my stomach had shrunk. My BMI was <45 after that month, my heart, pulse and blood pressure perfect and my Cholesterol was down to 4.4. I guess the Optifast does the trick! Their Chicken Soup was my saviour!

I am now healing very well. The first week I had some nasty times with gas, gout and constipation. All is well now, especially with some help from flax seed and metamusil. I am amazed how quick he scars heal up. 

I suspect the band needs adjustment already (2 week mark) as I have much of my hunger back. I am restricted in how much I eat in a meal, but with the hunger, you tend to pick in between. I have an appointment for a Lap Band adjustment in 2 weeks so I will just have to behave. The adjustment means they jab a respectably large needle into my abdomen. It does not hurt any more than giving blood.

I am on solid foods… no problem so far. I had a glass of red last night and was swinging off the chandeliers – and we only have down lights!

So, here is the picture you have been waiting for, feel free to adopt it as your computer screen background and for your family Christmas card!

 

Al's belly showing the 5 incisions for Lap Band Surgery!

Al's belly showing the 5 incisions for Lap Band Surgery!

 

Note: The plastic is the waterproof “bandages” – they came off after 12 days – piece of cake! Only the big cut had a couple of stitches. Try to control yourselves over that hairy chest 🙂

 

Out of Hospital!

I was operated on for the Lap Band yesterday. I am home the next day and it all went very well. I am very sore (with a nice dollop of gout to keep me off my toes) but feel glad to have that part over. Kitty is being wonderful as are Tim and Ben. I am feeling tired so more to follow later.

Lap Band Day!

A quickie… it is 6:20 on Tuesday May 19, Lap Band operation day! I am off to the hospital in 15 minutes. I weighed in for the last time before surgery, I have lost 39.6 lbs or exactly 18 kgs!!! That loss is from 4 weeks and 2 days on Optifast, I dropped from 3 Optifast meals per day to 2 per day 2 weeks ago.

I have been amazed how well I have handled the tough diet. We have had dinner parties, attended dinner parties, museum openings, fine restaurants and generally been around delicious food for the whole time. Torture!!! I have endured gout and a cold for the past 10 days.

My partner Kitty, and my boys, Tim and Ben, have been a power of strength and support! My friends, family and work-mates (including my bosses) have been wonderful! Kitty particularly had to endure my grumpy moods that came in the last 2 days (exacerbated by the gout especially).

Onwards and downwards!
Stay tuned!