Archive | November, 2010

7.4 kg’s in 12 days…

30 Nov

(Heather’s Perspective)

Yep!  Another few kilo’s down… and now, a total loss of 7.4 kilograms (16 pounds) in 12 days.  But – can I just say:  it has NOT been easy!  I’m smack in the middle of December party season… and I’ve been going off to all of these wonderful events…

Our book club year end function (with sizzling boerewors rolls and slabs of chocolate strewn all over the coffee table!)

A dinner party with friends (including home-made quiche, crusty breads, salads with mountains of feta, crispy chops on the braai and a giant chocolate cake for dessert!)

A year-end picnic with our church (and a table groaning with home-made potato bakes, braaied meat and freshly baked cheese muffins!!!)

And tonight: a business meeting at Cafe Fullstop – a place that makes my favourite pasta dish off all time!  And tomorrow night:  another dinner party in aid of Word AIDS day.  And on Thursday night: a birthday party at a restaurant for a friend. And on Friday night: a get-together at my house with some colleagues. And on Saturday: 2 birthday parties – one after the other!  And on Sunday: my daughter’s 5th birthday party at our house…. and FINALLY…. on Monday: the surgery!

Of course… during all of the events mentioned above…. I have been, and will continue to be… sitting in front of all of the yummy, tempting food… whilst sipping reluctantly from my modest little bowl of warmed up canned soup (no chunks or noodles allowed!).

Were it not for the motivation of lapband surgery on the 6th – trust me, I would have quit this awful liquid diet LONG ago!  In fact, I would have quit it on the very first event… when I was confronted by those wors rolls at book club!

At least… in exchange for my pain & suffering (and the continual awkward-moment-ness of being asked why I’m eating canned soup when there’s so much great food around)… I get the very pleasant reward of losing 7.4 kilograms in a really short period of time.  So… watch this space…. change is happening!!!


An ode to diets

29 Nov

(Heather’s Perspective)

I thought that during my countdown to my surgery date (on the 6th December)… (just a mere week away)… that I would celebrate my exit from the World-of-Diets by documenting just a few of my awful dieting experiences on this blog.  I’m pretty sure that Soo will have much to contribute towards this topic too, since she has also embarked upon dodgy diets too numerous to mention, in order to stay thin!

I have been on, literally, hundreds of different diets during the 30 years that I have struggled with my eating disorder… but I will mention only the most… uh… colourful… in the next couple of blogs.

First… let’s start with that staple dieting classic:  The Milkshake Diet.

Soo documented her take here.

Where can I obtain these Diet Milkshakes?

There are a number of variants of Milkshake Diet.  You get ready-made shakes in a can (like Slim-Fast)…  or you can buy powdered versions (like Shape)…all readily available on the shelves of your local supermarket or pharmacy. However, you may want to sample the pyramid scheme versions (from bright, eager salespeople in your suburb) – like the Herbalife shake.

How will I spot a Milkshake Diet?

Milkshake diets are all marketed in the same way… with images of creamy shakes (almost always in chocolate and strawberry flavour – but sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get banana too!).  These creamy-looking shakes are always displayed in large parfait glasses, usually embellished with a display of fresh strawberries propped neatly next to the glass (or blocks of chocolate, or slices of fresh banana – depending on your flavour choice).  A candy-striped straw is usually propped up in the glass too (upright, so the ‘thickness’ of the milkshake seems appealing).

The manufacturers of said diet-milkshakes always promise that the shakes are “delicious”… and “creamy”… and that they are filling and satisfying… and wholesome… and healthy… and that the milkshake diet is easy-to-follow.

What are the Rules of Milkshake Dieting?

Oh, easy-peasy!  (apparently).  You simply swap 2 meals per day for the shake… and you eat a 3rd, moderated diet meal (usually skinless chicken breast with a few lettuce leaves and a cocktail tomato).  Weight is thus bound to come off quick-quick!

What are Heather’s experiences of the milkshake diet?

Well firstly…  FACT # 1: The milkshake diets NEVER-EVER-EVER taste “creamy and delicious” (like REAL milkshakes taste!).  The best way to describe them?  Vile, grainy, watery concoctions!

This is the type of image you'll see on milkshake diet advertising and packaging!

This, however, is more of an accurate depiction.

The worst would probably be the Herbalife version.  You don’t mix it with milk, you mix it with water – and the powder doesn’t dissolve.  I remember retching every time I drank it.  It also had a very off-putting smell:  the smell of your burp after you’ve taken a multi-vitamin on an empty stomach.

FACT # 2: You are never “full” or “satisfied” on a milkshake diet.  Ever.  Soo will testify to this.  You are continually starving.  From day 1.  You continually feel hungry… deprived… depressed.

FACT # 3: The longest I’ve managed to stick to a milkshake diet (due to the above factors) is probably 6 days.  A milkshake diet might work for thin people (like Soo) to shift 1 – 3 stubborn kilograms in a short period of time.  But I don’t see any evidence… anywhere… of ANY obese person… who has managed to stay on a milkshake diet indefinitely!!!  I also haven’t seen any evidence… anywhere… of seriously overweight people who have lost weight on a milkshake diet – and who have kept that weight off long-term!

Verdict of Milkshake Diet? Fail!

It is with enormous relief and pleasure that I can state today:  I shall NEVER embark upon another Milkshake Diet… EVER in my life… or sniff again the contents of another tin of Herbalife!

#$%@! Google Adverts!!!

25 Nov

Heather here.

I can’t help feeling incensed and extreeeeeeeeeemely annoyed at the Google adverts that are automatically generated for this blog!!!  I write a gut-spilling article about eating disorders… and how revolted I am at quick fix “miracle cures” (like special fat-blocker capsules and vile, watery shakes)… and how disturbed I am by the multi-billion dollar Diet Industry…. and lo! at the end of my article – google will have automatically generated an advert (working off the tags Soo or I added to our blog) which trumpets:  “Shrink yourself!! Lose 10 kilograms in 5 easy steps with our special programme!”.

I don’t want these #@%^! google ads on our blog!!!!  Especially ad’s that directly contradict everything I write!

Soo… I think we’re going to have to share the costs and update this blog (a yearly fee of $29.97 to remove google ads completely)…  I feel like these automatically generated adverts are contradicting everything I’m writing in this blog!   Another alternative is to remove all “diet” or “weight” related tags – so that google doesn’t latch on to that info.

I’m hugely annoyed.

It's ad's like this that make me want to gnaw my own arm off in frustration!

Throwing out the first batch of “Fat Clothes”…

24 Nov

(Heather’s Perspective)

Some of you may have read my post here about the awful, awful options of clothes available to the fat and the frumpy.  With great glee, I can report that I am throwing out my first batch of disgusting fat clothes!

Today’s batch to-finally-be-rid-of:

... plain black, long, frump-a-lina skirt... to be worn at funerals and other dark, depressing events... like tupperware parties.

Faded pink gingham granny nightie with purple rose print. I would suggest that it become a dish rag in it's second life... but there may be somebody out there who finds the design rather fetching.

Brand-New... Only-Been-Worn-Once.... golf shirt... foisted upon me at a corporate event. Any takers?

Stretchy, animal-print design with bow behind back. Maybe could be fashioned into a scatter cushion for a game lodge?

And... my personal favourite... a giant, bright, floral kitchen curtain... (In my defense, I was desperately overheated when buying this, and the thin fabric seemed.... cooling).

4.6 kilograms – gone forever!

24 Nov

(Heather’s Perspective)

I couldn’t resist stepping on the scale this morning.  Tomorrow, I will have been on this pre-op liquid diet for 7 days… and I was curious to see how much I had lost.  I was delighted to have my scale tell me that I’ve lost 4.6 kilograms (10 pounds)!  I stepped off the scale… then stepped back on, just to make sure!

As I’ve mentioned before when I explained my eating disorder in in detail (here), I’m perfectly capable of losing weight on my own.  I’m not struck down with some mysterious disease that keeps me fat even though I nibble modestly on lettuce leaves all day long.

Nope.  I’m fat for one reason:  I eat too much.

I eat too much, because I am addicted to food.

I am addicted to food because…. well… unfortunately, and in spite of many attempts, I’ve yet to find any rhyme or reason as to ‘why’ I am addicted to food or ‘how’ I might become un-addicted.

I don’t blame hormones, my busted up metabolism, a cryptic fat-making disease or my ‘propensity to store’.

There’s a person I know who insists that she’s utterly blameless for her obesity.  She can’t understand why she’s fat when, she says, she eats exactly the same as her thin friends (personally, I think she’s in denial.  I know what she eats, and it’s certainly not the same as her thin friends).

So, I am not that person.

I don’t feel like I have been unfairly wronged and I never, ever say: “It’s not fair!  My sister got the thin-gene… I got the fat-gene!  We both eat the same amount of food – but Soo is thin and I am fat… it’s not fair!”.

Nope.  Soo is a normal-weight person because she manages to control what goes in her mouth (although that control is often implemented in unhealthy, unloving ways). I am a fat person because I don’t (can’t) control what goes in my mouth.  I am utterly addicted to food.

Now… somebody may point out (and rightly so)… that if I didn’t have any self-control with regard to food…. then why have I managed a week of consuming only fruit juices and smooth soups?  If I was so out-of-control around food… then surely this wouldn’t be possible?

OK… let me fill you in.  And perhaps this blog can be helpful about making the disorder part of the eating disorder more understandable to some.

Easy answer?  It just doesn’t work like that.

You’ll notice a sentence, a few lines above this one, that I’ve made bold.  Perhaps a better way to write that sentence would be like this:  “I am a fat person because I don’t (can’t?) control what goes into my mouth… indefinitely”.

Currently, I have the willpower of an Everest Mountaineer.  Seriously!  I know that I need to stick to this pre-op liquids-only diet for only 17 days (6 already gone!).  And it’s been a year since I’ve made the decision to have a lap-band… (and only now that I’m able to afford it).  A year of dreaming and hoping… and now, finally, the op is scheduled for the 6th December.  The motivation-levels are just way too high for me to even consider ‘cheating’.  I’m lowering my surgery risks by sticking to this very dull diet… and, of course, I’m also losing weight.

Also – I consider these my Final-Diet-Days… and the last time I will be feeling constantly hungry and deprived (as one does on a liquid diet)…. (as one does on most diets, mind you).  The big, big ‘plus’ of the lap-band, is that it makes you feel very full – even after a really small portion of food.  Feeling like I’ve consumed a 3 course meal after eating only a side-plate of food?  Music to my ears!!!

If you had to take away the ‘motivation’ of me having surgery in just a few days…. the motivation of knowing that this is my last-ever constantly-feeling-hungry-and-deprived-diet-experience… if it was just another try-to-get-thin attempt…. I would probably have lasted on this liquid for… maybe… 3 days at a push?

I certainly would not have been able to shift all of excess weight by remaining on this diet for many months (in fact, I wonder if anybody would be able to do that – much less a food addict!)  And even if, by some miracle, I managed to stick to a strict diet (like this one) for the 12 (at least) months it would take me to lose the weight…. then what?  What would happen once the diet was ‘over’?   Well, I can already tell you (because it’s the same thing that happens every single time I have lost weight)… I slip right back into the usual patterns of eating too much…. and back-to-fat I get!

That’s the problem with this damn disorder (although, perhaps I should call it a disease!)…  you obsess… obsess… obsess about food… food…. food… for your entire life.  Now – if weight-loss-surgery (WLS) can give me some reprise from this life-long struggle… then dang! – I’m going for it!!!

4.6 kg’s down…  another 59.4 to go!

Onwards and upwards! (or downwards… depending on the way you view it!)

This is what a lap-band is…

23 Nov

Reasons for the pre-op liquid diet…

22 Nov

(Heather’s Perspective)

Some people have asked me why I have to go on a liquid diet before the surgery.

I looked it up…. and this is what I discovered:

The purpose of a pre-surgery diet is to:

  • Reduce body fat around the stomach and liver, as well as shrink the liver itself.  If the liver is too large, the surgery may have to be postponed.
  • Improve surgical outcomes and recovery.  By reducing fatty triglycerides from around the liver and spleen, it can reduce potential surgical bleeding.
  • Increase protein intake, which will help preserve and protect muscle tissue.

So there you go….