Jenny's Weight Loss Progress

Maree's Weight Loss Progress

31 December 2010

Happy New Year!

9.30 pm on New Year's Eve and I'm rapidly fading - once again I'll be in bed before midnight. Since I had kids staying up until midnight has lost its allure - knowing there'll be a 7.00 am wake up call no matter what. We've had a great night with old friends from out of town and their kids - and now we're winding down and cleaning up. Just wanted to wish all my blogland friends a great 2011. I don't have any big resolutions -but I would like to lost a last 3 kilos to get to goal - and if I stop all the holiday treats, I know I can do that. Peace, everyone - and bless the band!

21 December 2010

I'm on holiday!

I finished work today - just taking a break from packing to go away tomorrow. Presents are all wrapped and in the locked suitcases (nosey children!) and I think we're nearly ready. As always I have a few lists on the go - love me a good list. The girls and I are booked to fly at 11.15 tomorrow while the darling husband drives the sleigh (well it's a stationwagon but I prefer sleigh) the 360kms to my hometown. But the airport we're flying into has been closed with low cloud most of today - so fingers crossed for us. I have seen the website and flights have gone in and out tonight so here's hoping. Otherwise we'll all drive but a 50 minute flight is more fun with two 7 year olds than 5 hours in the car.

On the band front, I cancelled a fill appointment last week - I'm definitely in the green zone and didn't want to be too tight over Christmas as they're not back in the office until 17 Jan (everything closes down over Christmas in New Zealand - it's the big summer holiday). I haven't been making great food choices - too many treats but haven't put anything on (yet) - haven't lost anything either!

Best wishes to everyone in blogland for a happy Christmas. It certainly feels good to be another 15kgs down since last Christmas.

16 December 2010

On the 4th day of Christmas....

I bought myself a new dress. Not traditional and not planned but the best gifts are the ones you buy for yourself, right? It's a tunic (another one) - gorgeous indigo blue - here it is in purple (not on me but I am just as hot as this model, IMO -and also very modest!):
I'll wear it with some 3/4 leggings and heels, can be worn with or without the belt. Best of all I tried it on when I bought my dress in Auckland and decided I couldn't justify two (this designer is not cheap). Today I was walking past her Wellington shop and was magnetically drawn in to find a half price rack with this dress on it! It was meant to be. And in a NSV I had my size and the shop assistant asked me if I was sure I was that size because SHE THOUGHT I WAS SMALLER THAN THAT. Sorry for shouting but that is a first in a designer shop - yay me! Yay the band!

I have also decided not to have another fill before Christmas. I was hungry at first after my unfill and I'm still .1ml down from my pre-drama volume but I'm eating small amounts and I'm not hungry so don't want to risk another drama over the holidays.

The kids finished school today for 7 weeks!! Give me strength...

03 December 2010

Blogging after wine - good idea or not?

In the old days when I was able to eat large volumes of food I was also able to drink significant quantities of alcohol. Now, not so much. I've just had a glass of Marlborough sauvignon blanc at the neighbours' on this beautiful summer's evening - just one glass - and I feel quite impaired. Impaired like no way would I drive. On one glass of wine. In the old days that was just a start - now it is the end of tonight's drinking. Is this good or bad? You be the judge...Anyone else find their alcohol tolerance impacted by the band? And is it just because we eat less or also because we weigh less??

01 December 2010

New followers and I'm hungry

I see we have some new followers, which is great! We always try to follow you if you're reading our blog so if we've missed doing that, please leave a link to your blog in the comments and we'll follow you.

Also, I need my Friday morning fill - hungry in the morning which is not a good sign for me - think I might ask for .2 mls as I had .3 mls removed when I felt I was in the green zone (before the sudden tight episode) and I'd like to get back to that so I can lose these last few kilos to get to goal.

Hope everyone is having a good week. I'm enjoying the first official day of summer - it's been great weather for over a week, and I'm loving the new clothes I've had to buy since last summer.

29 November 2010

Forgive me bloggers for I’ve been missing….

It is 4 weeks since my last confession… I mean blog!
And what an amazing 4 weeks it’s been. First there was the 1 year Bandiversary…. And what a fantastic year - 25 kgs lighter than last year and feeling great. Getting closer to my goal weight and lapping up the compliments.
Then we went to the U2 360 concert last Thursday and it was fantastic. They are my favourite band in the world and their live concerts are amazing! Even better I had splashed out and bought 8 of the top priced seats and shared the event with my husband, my 2 sons, my niece and her boyfriend, and of course my wonderful sisters Maree and Susan. It was such a great night… sang and danced and worshipped along with 60,000 fans and we were soooo close. It was awesome!!

Then to top off a busy week, on Saturday I conquered my 40km relay leg of the cycle challenge around Lake Taupo. The whole event was a huge buzz… 10,000 people riding between 160km all the way round the Lake to 40km legs of the relay. It was a sunny and hot 30 degree day and the heat off the road was outrageous but we cycled our hearts out and DID NOT get off and walk - even up the 3km long hill climb even though there were plenty who did! It is such a thrill to set a challenge goal and achieve it. Next year I am going to do 80kms!!! You heard it here. And in the meantime there are some other cycle events my husband and friends are planning to enter.

On the band front, I had another 0.1ml fill last Monday (that now takes me to the total I tried all at once way back in early September when I had a horror overfilled week) and I finally seem to have some control over the hunger I’ve had for a long while. The combination of that and the calories I burnt off on the ride mean I have been able to post another 1kg loss! Yippee! Rocking the band – mine and U2!

Great concert and new dress

The U2 concert was fantastic - they were everything I hoped for and it was great to see them with family, including my two wonderful sisters.

The next morning I had some free time before I flew home so went shopping - was meant to be for Christmas presents but I ended up with a dress for me. Here I am in the toilets at work today (lovely background of the basins!):

And in other good news, despite the unfill, I had a new low on Saturday. All in all, a good week.

24 November 2010

Hungry again after unfill

Well, the unfill I had last Friday has completely fixed the problems I developed last week with PBing and acid reflux BUT I am now hungry again after months of not being hungry (except if I'd gone a loooong time without eating). Amazing what a difference .3 mls can make. I have an appointment for Friday 3/12 for a fill but may see if I can get in earlier. I can't go this week as I'm going away tomorrow for a night to see U2 - so excited! I had a ticket to see them in 1989 and couldn't go (showing my age now!) so 21 years later I'll finally see them. Can't wait!

19 November 2010

First unfill

Just back from seeing the nurse and having .3mls taken out of my band. I haven't had a fill for over 2 months but in the last couple of weeks I've had a "full" feeling at night as well as lots of gurgling with drinking. Yesterday I had a bad PB at lunchtime on a fairly innocuous meal (chicken frittata). Last night I woke at 1.30am coughing and with acid reflux - hideous experience. I got up for an hour then went back to bed and slept with my head up on pillows. First thing this morning I got an appointment for an unfill - we're trying .3mls - I live 5 minutes walk away so I'll see how I go with fluids today and go back this afternoon if I need more out. *Sigh* - this is my first "issue" so I hope I've got onto it quickly and the unfill and a day or two of fluids and mushies will get me back to "normal" (whatever that is with this band!). I've also got another appointment to see if I need a small fill in a couple of weeks.

13 November 2010

Happy Bandiversary to us!!

A year today since Jenny and I were banded! It's been a fantastic year and I have no regrets at all about becoming a bandit - except that I didn't do it sooner! I'm at a new low again today, which is great, and only 3 kg (about 6.5 lbs) from goal. I've never lost for as long as this, and have never lost as much as this, in all my previous efforts. I'm now buying clothes in "normal" shops, not expensive fat ladies shops, and I don't have to pick the largest size and hope it fits. I don't think I have any secrets of how to succeed with the band - I haven't counted calories or protein but I have concentrated on protein at each meal and on reducing portion sizes - and I think it's the amount I eat, rather than what I eat, which has led to my weight loss. I don't ever want to diet again and so I still eat small quantities of the things I love - cheese, ice cream, chocolate, chips and cake - but as the quantities are small, and not every day, I've still been able to lose without feeling deprived and wanting to eat lots of those things. It's worked for me. I'm still learning about this band and how to work it but I look forward to getting to goal soon and staying there.

Rocking the band for a year!! Yay us!!

05 November 2010

Work Schmirk!

I know I have been absent for a while... work just seems to be taking up so much of my time.... it is highly overrated as far as I am concerned. Of course I need the cash I get from my job but sometimes I just wish it was only for a couple of days a week and the rest of the time was mine! Actually a couple of days a month would be even better... oh well.. work schmirk!

On the band front - I can hardly believe it is almost a year since Maree and I joined "the bandits". This time last year was pre-op diet optifast time and I was in equal parts feeling starving and also excited that it was my last diet. I actually lost an incredible 8kgs during that 2 and a half weeks - which was a fantastic kick start to my goal. And the goal is getting closer.... I'm inching slowly down toward it.

I've had 2 tiny 0.1ml fills in the last 3 weeks following my fill/unfill disaster 6 weeks ago. So I'm now making progress again. And after 3 weeks of inactivity after surgery to strip a nasty varicose vein from my leg, I am back cycling training for my 40km ride on Nov 27th.

So next week is a big milestone week. It's been an amazing journey so far and it's great to have been able to share it with you all out there in blogland and hear from so many of you as well.
Bring on the celebrations!

04 November 2010

Nearly one year on and still making mistakes

What was I thinking? I just went to the supermarket to get some lunch - didn't have a plan which is always a mistake for me. I ordered a toasted ham and cheese sandwich!! Really? What was I thinking?!? I can't eat bread (unless it is a thin piece of toast so crispy it's almost charcoal). But I thought I could eat just toasted, doughy white bread? Duh!

The good news is I got back to my office, took one look at that baby and reality set in. I knew I could never eat it, so I took out the ham and cheese and ate that in small bites and threw the bread away. A lucky escape from a very bad PB, I would say!

But where was my head? Did I forget I had a band? What an idiot.

30 October 2010

Losing again - getting close to goal

I've made a concerted effort this week to eat what I need rather than what I want -you know, use the band rather than try to eat around it. Starting with stopping my post-dinner every night chocolate treats - that's the way to plateau, isn't it! So I'm down 400 grams on my lowest, but more importantly 1.5kg down on the bounceback from that low nearly a month ago. Only 3.7 kg to goal now - and I will weigh what I did when I was 17. It's a year on Monday since I started my pre-op diet and I do not ever want to drink another Optifast again in my life - I was sooo hungry at the beginning of that diet - thank goodness it was only for a couple of weeks. And it was all worth it to read my operation notes which said I had a "nicely floppy" liver - a strange compliment but I'll take it!! I have my one year follow up with my surgeon on Friday - a week early. Had blood taken yesterday. I don't expect too many surprises as I was surprisingly healthy even at my highest weight - never had any problems with blood pressure or cholesterol or diabetes but I think all of that was in the post if I'd continued on the way I was. Anyhow, life is good - our girls went to a birthday party this morning so the darling husband I got to go to brunch together, which was great, just like the old days. I had half a serve of scrambled eggs and a piece of bacon - yum.

Hope everyone is well out in blogland.

04 October 2010

New photo

We've just been visiting Mum and Dad and Jenny & family during the school holidays so we took the chance for a progress photo session. Our new profile photo was taken yesterday and shows an amazing change - here is our original profile photo:

What a difference a year makes. I can't get over how much healthier and happier (not to mention slimmer!) we both look.

23 September 2010

New dress

Disclaimer: photo taken by 7 year old and sorry, no toe pointing!!

Here I am this evening in the new dress I bought today. Please excuse the whiter than white legs - it's the end of winter here and I haven't yet started the fake tan regime! Also it's been 12 hours, a couple of meetings and taking the girls to swimming since makeup application so please excuse my less than pristine condition. The collar looks weird because one side is open and one sort of closed - that's not how I'll wear it! I'm happy with the dress which has a really cute belt (not something I would have worn before!). And even better it was 25% off today only although it's new stock. One of the best things about this weight loss is shopping!!! I bought another dress and a top as well - will model those ones another day.

21 September 2010

Fill dramas and an Un-fill needed!

I have been reading Gen's "Emergency Un-fill?" blog at and I totally sympathise with her - I have just had a very unpleasant week myself following a fill. It's been almost 3 months since my last fill and I had lost very little weight and could eat almost anything, as well as feeling more hungry so it was time for a fill. Like Gen I live about 5 hours drive away from my surgeon's rooms so I usually try to work in a visit when I fly there for work. In case you don't know, I have already had one over fill episode at Easter this year when I had 0.5ml put in only to have to take 0.3 of it out again 5 days later after not being able to eat or drink (or even have any chocolate) over the Easter break. Since then I have only had 0.1ml put in at a time which has been fine.
You would have to wonder then, why the nurse and I agreed that she would put more in this time!! We must be mad! It was Thursday morning when I was at the clinic. When I described how hungry I was and what I had been eating she suggested a 0.2ml fill. I also asked her to check the total I had in there already (6.9ml) and also check for air as I had had some serious tightness and shoulder pain when flying due to air expanding at high altitude. She did find some air and because of that she suggested I have 0.3ml put in this time. Go for it I said - I couldn't wait to not be hungry all the time again. The water test was fine so I headed off. In fact all was well for the next 30 hours or so - definitely tighter but no problems drinking or eating small amounts - I even had dinner out with Maree which was great.
BUT by the next night (Friday night) things were starting to tighten up... I had to slow the drinking down but still able to get it down. Saturday was worse again... I could only sip drinks and any more than a couple of sips and it would start to back up... I did some lovely "decorating" and "watering" of a few gardens I was walking past during the day! I guess I should have tried to get an un-fill right then and there... before I flew home. But I figured I had been fine for a day and a half and perhaps I was just a bit inflamed/swollen and if I was careful I could just ride it out (and lose some weight in the process). WRONG!!!! What followed was 6 days of over-filled hell! It was taking me all day to get down a glass of water or a protein shake or a bit of soup. I felt full and nauseated all day and the gurgling noises I was making all the time were seriously embarrassing. My drain hole was well and truly blocked!

After seriously contemplating my own attempt to unfill my band with the syringe and needle I have for emergencies – I flew back to the clinic for an un-fill on Friday. Make that 2 un-fills actually. She took 0.2ml out at first but a couple of hours later I went back for the other 0.1ml to be taken out as well. She even suggested she should take out a bit more as I was probably inflamed… but I was not keen to be looser than I had been before this all started.

I have to say that first glass of water after the unfill was the best drink I have had in a long time. I was pretty dry by then obviously. The 4 kilos (8.5 lbs) I lost during the week was a bit artificial but I have managed to keep off 2 of them in the last 4 days since my unfill. My main problem now that all has settled down is that I am back to where I started before the fill… feeling hungry. What a drama! I think I’ll wait a couple of weeks now and then go back for a 0.1ml fill. I will NEVER get more than that at a time – EVER AGAIN! It just doesn’t work for me.

17 September 2010

A loss at long last

Yay! After a month of a plateau I've lost a kilo in the last week. Jenny and I have been keeping each other on the straight and narrow eating-wise and it's taken nearly 3 weeks but it's working. I'm now at my lowest weight as an adult (last time I weighed this I was 19! - which is when mobile phones were bricks and shoulder pads were very large). I'm feeling good. It's Friday night and I'm relaxing with a vino (okay, it's my second). Need to get the kids into bed - if I wait long enough will they just go on their own? Hmmm, I think not. Anyway, I've been a bad blogger but I have been reading your blogs. Very jealous of everyone who's going to Chicago next week but an 18 hour flight is just a little bit ambitious!

10 September 2010

What's for lunch?

I'm getting bored with my work day lunch choices. I've been having tuna and cottage cheese most days - bored, bored, bored. I have a fridge and microwave at work. What does everyone else eat for work lunch? I would love some inspiration!

31 August 2010

Back to Basics

I know - it's been a month since I wrote last... I've had nothing to report.... same old same old. I guess the main thing to tell you now is that I have made a conscious decision to go back to the basics this week as far as my eating goes. I know that the "invisible barrier" I wrote about last time is actually very visible if I line it up on the kitchen bench and it's made of crackers and cheese, cashews, corn chips, the odd bowl of ice cream, piece of cheesecake or bar of chocolate etc etc etc which I have been "snacking on" over the last couple of months. Nothing really drastic as far as quantities go but enough to keep me at the same weight for quite a while now. So it's time to get myself under control if I want to get nearer to my goal. Back to Basics - 3 sensible band sized meals each day and no treats for a bit. And so far - 2 days in - it's going OK but I do feel a bit cheated that I am having to restrict myself.

I did expect that my days of dieting were over when I got the band.... and so it's a bit of a shock that these 2 days have felt like a diet of old. But in some ways perhaps it is what I needed to get back into losing mode. I know I can maintain my weight while still allowing some treats and eating pretty much what I enjoy. And I know I can control my eating now and not gain back all the weight I have lost in the last 10 months but this journey is not over yet so I need to exercise a bit of self restraint.

I'm hoping this sounds familiar to those of you out there who more seasoned bandsters and that you will reassure me that you've been here as well. I'm also very hopeful I will be able to report a new low on my weight loss ticker very soon. Fingers crossed - and more importantly - mouth closed!!

24 August 2010

Slow but not steady

That's my weight loss - ah, well, at least I'm not gaining. I've never lost weight for 9 months like I've been able to with the band so it's important to focus on that huge positive. Also I now weigh what I did at the end of my first year at university (and that is a long time ago, when hair was big and so were shoulder pads!).

Today I managed to make it back to the gym (again - that's about my 4th attempt at kickstarting my way back to regular exercise). I did a pilates class and I enjoyed it. It was nice to spend some time concentrating on me. We've had sick kids tag teaming each other with new illnesses for the past month and along with being in the middle of a dismal winter, I am tired. I had forgotten how much you concentrate on breathing in pilates and did get a little lightheaded at one point - think I may have been exhaling more than inhaling! Anyway, I feel like I need to do some toning so pilates is a good entry point for me.

10 August 2010

Very restricted

It's been ages since my last fill - sometime in June - but I keep feeling more and more restricted. Today I had a coffee, then 1/4 cup of yoghurt, another coffee and then at 1.30 I was at a lunch meeting. I felt hungry but there were only filled rolls - I ate one thin piece of ham and one small slice of cheese out of a roll - and what followed was an hour of feeling uncomfortable followed by sliming and a PB - delightful - difficult to contribute at a meeting when I was trying not to regurgitate!! Just got home and managed half a protein shake. Very strange, this unpredictable band - just hope this will have an upside of a loss - it's been over a month since my last loss and I am rather tired of this plateau.

31 July 2010

There must be an invisible barrier currently halting my progress...

It's true! It seems there is some sort of invisible barrier at my current weight which is ensuring that I cannot go lower...! I feel like I have been on the same weight for so long it is making me frustrated. And just so you know, when I say I'm on the same weight - I only post a new weight when it goes down to a new low... I don't bother recording the ups and downs over a kilo or so that we have on a daily basis. But, I have looked back at my weight loss graph and this is not a new thing or the first time I seem to be stuck on the same weight but I am impatient and I don't like things to take too long. Hopefully my trip to the gym for a 2 hour endurance spin class this morning will start the ball rolling again. I must have been mad signing up for that class... and it started at 8:30am on a Saturday! Actually I really enjoyed it once I was there and I feel really good this afternoon - especially knowing I have burnt so many calories.

My friend Carolyn (who booked me into the class with her) and I plan to do a big cycle ride in November - it is 160km (about 100 miles) around the beautiful Lake Taupo here in NZ and we will ride as a team with me hopefully doing 60km so today's class was a great kick start to the serious training we need to do before that. My husband will again do the whole ride - he's a cycling nut - and we will be on the road with around 12,000 people. It's an amazing event and it's good to have a goal in mind to focus my training. I caught the cycling bug last year and Carolyn and I did our first cycle event in Januay this year - see my post from 1 Feb about that one.

With some extra exercise effort and focus I know I will see a new low number on the scales very soon!

19 July 2010

Return to the gym

I've just got back to my office after my first visit to the gym in a loooong time. I did day 1 of the couch to 5k programme - I'm not a runner (although it is easier 20 kg down) and my aim is spin, pump and pilates in combo but I figured I should do some exercise first before killing myself on the bike. I'm feeling the post-exercise high at the moment while trying to eat some lunch. I've been tight the last few days. So far today I've had two coffees and then at 11 I managed a cup of porridge. I'm trying some tuna and crackers now - have had two (about 25g tuna and two small crackers and am full) - but still hungry. Will leave it for now and try again later. Not a bad thing to be a bit tight for a while (I'm not PBing - unlike my sister! see her post below!!- not yet anyway).

15 July 2010

Throw-up Thursday - not a day I want to repeat again!

You would think I would have learnt by now about what I can and can’t eat with my band…. but it seems I am a slow learner even after 8 months. I had a horrendous evening last Thursday because I forgot to follow the rules! I was away from home on one of my frequent business trips and spent the day in a workshop where you don’t get to leave and the food is provided – but as is often the case, it was not really band friendly food – lots of bread etc which I find very difficult. I had already eaten my emergency protein bar the day before so by the end of the day I was starving and once back at our office I rummaged around in the kitchen to find something to eat. I found a bag of potato chips/crisps which are “slider” foods for me and began stuffing my face with them. They tasted great although I probably went a bit fast but they seemed to go down ok. They were salty so I followed them down with a gulp of water…. BIG MISTAKE!!! Water and potato chips are not a good combo – imagine wallpaper paste plugging the hole. Almost instantly I started sliming… not good.

By this time the office had emptied out and it was almost time for me to head to the airport for my flight home – after 5 mins hanging over the basin I decided it was OK to leave. I locked up the office, got into the lift and pressed ground… I’d only just got to the foyer when I knew I was going to have to throw up. Only then did I realise that since this isn’t my home office and I didn’t have an after hours access card for the lift I couldn’t get back into the office. Holy crap – now what… nothing but 3 artificial plants in the foyer – within moments one of them had been fertilized!! Dear oh dear – I hope there are no security cameras in the foyer.

Out into the fresh air… feeling a bit better… the sliming has abated somewhat. Time to get on the bus to the airport. I figure I’ll be able to hide anonymously in the back even if I do feel bad. But, just my luck, as soon as I get on I hear my name and an old work colleague from my home town is also on the bus heading to the airport and for the same flight. She has a spare seat and insists I sit down with her. Within a few minutes I’m feeling pretty bad again… sliming and looking in my bag for something to throw up into. I’m trying to decide whether to get off the bus and find the nearest rubbish bin or just spit into my dirty clothes in my bag. I have to confess to my neighbour that I am feeling sick and she rummages in her backpack and produces a plastic bag for me. She hopes I can hold on, I can’t! How embarrassing! I make up a story about eating something bad… well I did but it’s not food poisoning!

We make it to the airport and I run away… but she finds me again in the airline lounge and brings me a drink of water. Hmmm… no thanks – even that is not safe. Our plane is delayed so we are there for ages. I am finally feeling better after an hour or so and because I haven’t had enough food during the day, I am still hungry… Here is where my stupidity really kicks in… I feel a bit better so I risk a couple of pieces of cheese and a rice cracker! What was I thinking…. now that is stuck too – here we go again!

They call our plane to board… help… I’m sliming all the way and clutching a wad of serviettes to my mouth. The plane is full of people I know, all of us regular travellers and the flight attendant I know well. I have a mercy dash to the tiny plane toilet at the front of the cabin – yes everyone can see me! Small spit in there but it is not enough… and I have to be seated for take-off… oh my goodness! By now I’m clutching a sick bag and my neighbours are averting their eyes… probably wishing I could be moved to somewhere else. Just as we take off I finally throw up the offending cheese and cracker… blessed relief. The rest of the flight is spent trying to pretend I was asleep… just let me get home! Once there, I finally get some sense and have only some water and a protein drink – slowly!

Lessons learnt – eat slowly; don’t drink water after potato chips; always carry a plastic bag with you; if you do vomit/throw-up/PB – take it easy for the rest of the day – just drink fluids cos everything can be swollen; and most importantly – remember these lessons!!

11 July 2010

Long time, no post

No real excuses, just lots of lame ones - we were away for 5 days, it's winter and I'm cold, the dog ate my homework...really the reason I haven't posted is that I feel like I'm in a good space with the band and eating and weight and I don't really want to obsess about it - and blogging a lot can feed that obsession. I've had another loss (now less than 6 kgs from my goal and at a weight I haven't been at for 20 years!!). The band feels good - not too tight but tight enough. I'm reading and enjoying everyone's blogs, though. The only thing I'm still slacking on is exercise - I walk every day (to work, to the supermarket etc) but I haven't got back into regular sweating-type exercise - I must try harder!

30 June 2010

Patience is a virtue

I know I need to be patient but I am tired of this plateau - make it stop!! I've been eating fairly well, although the band isn't as tight it's definitely at or close to green zone most days. But still no losses - I think I need to get into exercise. I have been very sporadic in my exercise effort lately so once we get back from our brief break in the middle of next week I will get back to pump and spin - I've written it down now, so I'll have to do it!!

It's full-on winter here (a high of 9 degrees Celsius today) and I am colder this winter than I remember being before (admittedly it's 20 years since I weighed what I do now for more than a day). I kept complaining that this was the coldest winter ever and then realised it's not the winter - it's me! So I keep on piling on the layers...rather slim and cold than warm and, um, "not-slim" (or is that "fluffy"?).

26 June 2010


I see we have 47 followers - exciting! Thanks for Debi at for the mention!

I am following the pattern of a week of small losses followed by a plateau but it's all good - I'm down 21 kilos - that's 46 pounds (which sounds like more!!). I definitely have restriction - now I need to work with the restriction by not trying to keep on eating when I'm feeling full - I know it's a head hunger thing so I'm working on that one.

It's 11.45 am here and so far today I've had a coffee - and I'm just starting to think I may need something to eat - maybe some scrambled eggs, which I love and are definitely a go-to food for me when the band is tight.

It's a bleak winter's day here so we're having a quiet family day at home - may head out later to grab some food for lunch tomorrow (we're having friends over) - trying to decide on something band-friendly.

Hope everyone is having a good day out there in band-land.

24 June 2010


I am still amazed at how unpredictable my band can be. For the last month or so I have been getting a bit hungrier and I have been able to eat a bit more of almost everything. I am seeing the nurse tomorrow and was planning to have a teeny tiny 0.1ml fill (no more big fills for me after the nasty Easter way-too-tight experience..). So just when you think you know how much restriction you have - along comes a day like yesterday! After being able to eat a butter chicken curry (not the rice) and a cheese naan for lunch on Tuesday, I could barely eat a thing yesterday... I seemed to have trouble with almost everything all day even protein bars.. it's so strange! And of course I was at an all day workshop with 20 other people and we were supposed to have a shared working lunch... I nibbled some bits but could feel the sliming start... not good. I managed to not deposit any of my nibbled lunch on the table but it was a bit touch and go for a while.

I am still planning to have the small fill - it's been 2 months since my last one and apart from yesterday I feel it is the right time. My weight loss has been very slow - 100grams at a time. It would be nice to see a big drop all at once but I guess as long as the trend is down it is fine.

On the plus side I have had heaps and heaps of comments from people recently about how "fabulous I am looking"..! It always brings a smile to my face.. I am sooooo happy about this band! It's amazing how many of them really think it might just be a new haircut which has made me look different! Still perhaps it is good that they didn't immediately think that I used to be a whale and now I'm more of a sealion!

It was great to see Maree last week and we had fun doing some clothes shopping as well - feels great to be able to buy clothes in a "normal" shop. And there seems to be lots of things that fit... so as Maree kept reminding me, these days there's no need to buy it just because it fits - there'll be plenty of choice elsewhere!

In keeping with the trend of unpredictability - after keeping my band fairly private and secret for the last 7 months, I seem to be telling almost everyone about it lately. They comment on how well I am looking and ask how I have done it - and I just can't seem to help myself - out it comes "I've got a lapband - best thing I have ever done!" As I have said before, I want people to know that it is not that I have just been lazy for the last 20 years or that I haven't ever tried to lose weight before, but I couldn't do it without this tool! Some are clearly surprised, some want to know more (and some really really need to know more!) and some seem shocked - again some of the reactions are unpredictable! Makes life interesting anyway!

18 June 2010

Random thoughts on a Friday

Friday morning and I don't have any coherent plan for this post so here are my random thoughts:

1. On the way to work I stop and get a coffee (regular flat white - an antipodean coffee speciality with a strong shot and milk - not fluffy though, more like a latte but stronger) - I love the smell of that coffee and as part of my aim to try to enjoy each day, when I get to my desk I take off the lid and just smell the coffee (literally, I am "waking up and smelling the coffee" - I am soooo funny).

2. I also love that the baristas at the coffee place know my order and my name - we are all members of the community of coffee addicts.

3. Last night I met Jenny for a wine and dinner - she was here for work. We had a great time. She is looking fabulous and we're both feeling great. When I say "dinner" I may be stretching the definition - we both ate half an entree (that's an appetizer, not a main meal - why is that different in the US?) then shared a dessert.

4. Today we're going to meet with the architect (again!!) to try to decide the scale of our renovations. The quotes for our first plans were crazy high so we're scaling back the plans - all a little unsettling and I just want to magically be finished and have the house as it looks in my imagination.

5. I have had some small losses this week so it's good to get the scale going again - also had another small fill yesterday (.1 ml) - feeling pretty good about where the band is right now.

6. I am at work so better actually do some work...

10 June 2010

Plateau again

I am on one of my usual plateaus - but I know it won't last and I'm not gaining so I'll just keep with the plan and trust that things will start moving again. I'm concentrating on eating protein and not carbs - have discovered Atkins Endulge bars with only a few grams of carbs if I need a sweet fix. Otherwise life is trucking along - winter has hit with a vengeance - it's rained 28 out of the last 32 days here!! Sick of it. Would love a warm mid winter holiday to look forward to (Fiji appeals) but that may be unrealistic if we go ahead with our major renovations (which of course have skyrocketed in price) - ahhh, decisions, decisions - a garage or sunshine?!

Chicken drumsticks and vegetables for dinner tonight (and rice for the rest of the family). Smelling good in the oven...

I see we now have 40 followers - exciting!

07 June 2010

I hope the hair loss stops soon.... I don't fancy being bald!

Every morning for the last few months the bathroom tiled floor has resembled a hairy carpet.... my hair! It's very disturbing - I don't think the bald look will be very flattering on me. I have searched lots of your blogs for other people's stories about their hair falling out when they have lost weight and it's comforting to know that it is not just me (or Maree) - but I'm still concerned about how much hair seems to come out each day. I'm almost scared to brush it and washing it is even worse! Several people have said it lasted till 9 or 10 months post surgery for them... cripes that means I still have another 2 or 3 months to go! I can see a wardrobe full of headscarves and hats coming if it goes on that long. I went to the hairdresser the other day for a regular cut and she noticed my hair was very dry and fragile.... she even recommended a special shampoo and conditioner made for "mature and fragile hair". She said it would "plump up my hair" - not something I usually want to do to any of my body parts! And of course I bought it - at an outrageous cost compared to my usual supermarket products - but I now have old lady's hair... and I'm a bit freaked out about that. I guess I am lucky I have always had lots of hair, it has always been very thick, because otherwise I suspect there would have been shiny patches of scalp showing through by now! I hope all of you out there in band-land can reassure me that this is just temporary.... my hair has usually been the one part of my body which has not failed me before. If not, perhaps you can point me to some websites with a good range of hats and wigs!!

05 June 2010


1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be - and why?

As we're going into winter (and have had two weeks of rain) I'll say anywhere warm, near a beach - but only if my family can be nearby!

2. How old were you when you got drunk for the first time?

My parents read this blog! Mum and Dad - skip to the next question - I was 17 (not so young) and I'm not sure I was drunk - but definitely tipsy (at a party after a school ball).

3. What was your favourite toy growing up?

Um, I was more of a reader than anything else so I'll say books. If I had to pick a toy it would be a big doll my Mum and Dad brought back from Fiji when I was about 4 - but I used to use her as a patient in my hospital (including putting needles in her arm as a drip - I am a frustrated doctor).

4. What's your favourite season and why?

Easy, summer - love the warmth, swimming, barbecues, sitting outside drinking and chatting....

5. Which blog or comment spoke to you most this week?

Catherine's post about her holiday in New Mexico - just to read how happy she is in her own skin is an inspiration.

30 May 2010

Birthday photo

What a difference a year makes - the bottom photo is me last night ready to go out for my birthday dinner. Above that is me in the same spot and in the same dress (nothing like a little comparison) on my birthday last year - I had a fabulous night on my birthday last year but this year I definitely feel healthier and better about how I look.

23 May 2010

20kg down!

As of today I've lost 20.3 kg since starting Optifast. I know it's only a number on the scale but YAY!! This feels good. Also some nice NSVs this week - "you've lost so much weight" from a woman I hadn't seen for a few months, along with the code "you're looking well" which I've learnt means "you've lost so much weight".

I've been a slack blogger but have been reading everyone's blogs with interest. I have nearly 6 months to go until my bandiversary now and am confident I'll be at goal by then - I'm losing an average of 2 or 3 kgs a month (even with the frustrating plateaus) and only have another 8 kgs to go!!

16 May 2010

Focus focus... Moving on from Planet Plateau

I am working hard to keep my focus on the goal and moving on now that I have been stopped here on planet plateau to smell the roses for a while. I'm trying to be a bit more disciplined in the last couple of weeks - fewer treats and keeping up with my gym classes. Seems to be making small but satisfying downward moves on the scales. I was doing well till I was away for the last 5 days for work and I didn't keep the focus so much. Of course I can blame it on long work days, different time zones and arduous travel itineries but in reality it was probably just the gin and tonics and red wines I added to the end of my 15 hours work days which have halted my progress temporarily. I'm home now for a few days and back to focussing - I've booked in for the RPM (cycle spin) class tomorrow and will watch watch I put in my mouth as well.
I had a tiny (0.1ml) fill 10 days ago and it seems that I am in the right zone but I still need to keep a lid on my "head hunger". Focus, focus, focus!

07 May 2010

Are you there, green zone? It's me, Maree

With apologies to Judy Blume - I think this is the green zone. Since my fill 8 days ago I am definitely not getting as hungry and can eat a little and feel satisfied. Also, as anyone who read my last post will have seen, I have to be careful what I eat and how I chew. And, best of all, I've had a decent loss - now only 9 kilos to go to goal. I went to see the nurse today but didn't have a fill - just a long chat as usual with everyone at the office (hello everyone at SOS!). Feeling positive and happy about how things are going - bought a new tunic dress yesterday (at Max, a "normal" shop) and had to go down a size! That felt great. Here's the tunic:

Wearing a lot of tunics, leggings and boots as we move into late autumn. I am really enjoying shopping this season where I pick what I want to wear instead of what fits and can buy cheaper things at "normal" shops.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Friday afternoon here and I'm feeling relaxed after taking a half day and having a massage and facial. I had a voucher from my birthday last year which was about to expire so it was a good excuse for some pampering.

05 May 2010

Worst stuck episode ever!

I went to lunch today with a group of friend - none of them know about the band (although I am thinking of outing myself to a select group - that will be another post, I think). I chose laksa on the basis that soup is easier to eat than solids. Mistake! Well, the mistake was eating the half a boiled egg on the top of the laksa - sliming while still at the table. Nasty - went to the toilet to try to get rid of the offending item but no go - just lots of nasty slime. I went back to the table and we finished and went to pay. While in the queue I was still sliming and knew I needed to get to a toilet again. Felt silly about that given I'd just been - my friends will think I'm bulimic! - threw my money at a friend said I needed to get a tissue. Off to the toilet again - still just sliming. Walked back to the bus stop but on the way spent 10 minutes in a cafe bathroom sliming some more - feeling awful by now and late to get back to work. I had to get on the bus but, you guessed it, had to slime AGAIN - I looked around and couldn't see what to do. Luckily the bus was quiet and I was the only one at the back. I searched my handbag and now I understand the "carry a ziplock bag" instruction - of course I didn't have a ziplock bag. I emptied a tin of breath mints and, wait for it, this is really gross - I slimed into the tin - with my head bent down behind the seat so noone could see - disgusting!!!!! I then got off the bus, threw the tin away and went to work where I PBed the egg and felt much better. 45 minutes of nasty painful sliming - I am an idiot to eat the egg white. I've got some restriction since the fill last week but I'm used to being able to eat whatever so I think I got complacent about food selection - never again!!! Sorry for the gross post but the episode did have some black humour about it!!

03 May 2010

A postcard from restriction city

I had another .2 ml fill on Thursday for a total of 7 mls and I think this is the green zone - at last! For the last 3 days I haven't been hungry in the morning and definitely need to chew well and eat small portions. And I've had a whopping great loss as well (2 kgs! - which can't be real but I'll take it for now!). After two months of very slow losses with bounces up and down this is the good result I needed. Yay!!

01 May 2010

BYOC via Drazil

1. What’s your favorite smell?

Clean laundry (especially sheets) straight off the washing line - they smell of sunshine - and then sleeping in newly washed sheets. There's a reason my family laugh at my laundry obsession.

2. What is your all-time favorite movie and why?

Hmmm, not a huge movie fan (if they're longer than 90 minutes I tend to get bored. Why are so many 3 hour movies being made? Do they really have that much to say?). Anyhow, Love Actually is a favourite - we watch it every Christmas Eve (well the girls do, anyway) before midnight mass.

3. What’s your trigger food?

Carbs - biscuits (cookies in the US), chocolate, scones.

4. When someone you love is going through a difficult time – what are your go-to words to make them feel better – in just a sentence or two?

Depends on the situation - but sometimes just saying "I don't know why this is happening" or "I was so sorry to hear your news" is better than a platitude.

5. This one is always the same. Who is your nominee for the blog of the week for YOU? Which blog OR comment touched your heart, spoke to you, stuck with you all week?

So many great blogs this week but definitely Roo's was very emotional - and brave.

29 April 2010

It's not maintenance time yet so I WILL STOP treating myself!

I've been staying around the same weight for a month now since I recovered from the "too tight" epsiode over Easter - but as you will see, I shouldn't be surprised there has been no movement on the scales. I am pretty pleased with my overall efforts since surgery so far and have been enjoying all the positive comments from friends and acquaintances (a family friend told me last night I was looking 'skinny' - frankly I think that is taking it a bit far but it still felt good!) - so much so that I have been rewarding myself and allowing myself some extra treats every day - a bit of chocolate here, an ice cream there and an extra few slices of cheese thrown in as well. It has not got out of control and reached the weight gain stage and as Maree says it is showing me just what I will be able to do when I reach my goal and I am ready to "maintain" a healthy weight. But - right now I need to stop the extras and get back to my loss regime - I still have a way to go yet!

As I said last time I have been travelling for work a lot lately and I know I need to watch the food extras that come with that... airline meals - eaten from boredom not hunger, dessert with a work dinner, extra glasses of wine etc etc. So I am home all week this week and I have taken control again... and I've manged a few more trips to the gym as well. I'm feeling much better for it and have finally seen a very small downward movement on the scale - long may it last!

Thanks for following us on this voyage of discovery... Discovering what really makes me eat, as well as discovering my inner thin person! Great to see all of your comments, posts and progress as well... for those of you who have been "with the band" for longer than us, I would imgaine that this "extra treats" stage is not new to you... For those still to get this far - beware the little extras which will slow you down. For now - I'll keep the food treats to once a week rather than once a day!

24 April 2010

BYOC questions

Saw these on Drazil's blog (and now see they're on others too) so here goes:

1. Name a career you would NOT want to do and tell why.

Vet or vet nurse - I know everyone should love small fluffy animals but I just don't get it and this would be a nightmare job to me (I would love to be a doctor for people though and actually think I am medically trained because I've watched every episode of ER).

2. What’s the best present you ever received for your birthday?

A red ten speed bike for my 13th birthday. My parents had warned me the week before that I wouldn't be getting a bike as it was too expensive but on the day there it was - I was beside myself with excitement and can still remember the moment of the reveal.

3. What do you hide behind?

Hmmm, I've always been a confident person but if anything I'd say humour ("umour" for the Oz and NZ Kath and Kim fans). Better to make a joke first before anyone else can.

4. Where were you born?

New Plymouth, New Zealand.

5. A little twist on this one..usually we ask – what blog spoke to you the most, stuck with you, had the most effect on you this week? This week I’m adding to that which comment may have affected you greatly? Sometimes a blog can lead to amazing comments and they deserve their own claim to fame here in this question.

I can't pinpont one comment - but I'm always happy when there are comments here - shows that someone is reading!

23 April 2010

New readers and yet another fill

I see we now have 33 followers! It's nice to know there are some real people out there in blogland. If you have a blog I've added myself as a follower - if I've missed you please leave your blog address in a comment so I can take a look.

I went for ANOTHER fill today - I feel like I'm getting close to the sweet spot/green zone/nirvana - whatever you want to call it! .2mls for a total of 6.8 mls now. Definitely able to eat less before I get the "you're full" messages. Slider foods of course are no problem at all and willpower needs to be called on for that! For me slider foods are biscuits (cookies in the US), potato chips, crackers and chocolate - all the good stuff! I try to allow myself a little of those foods every now and then so I don't start obsessing. The scale has started moving again (slowly) so that makes me happier.

Friday afternoon here - yay! Off to see Miss Saigon with a friend tonight which I'm looking forward to. I've seen it a few times and love the show, although I always find the ending heartwrenching. Happy weekend everybody.

22 April 2010


I was just sitting on the couch watching TV (as I love to do in the evening when the kids are in bed and all is quiet) and I reached up to touch my chin for some reason and my hand was snagged by my incredible sticking out collarbone! I am not exaggerating (would I? moi?!). Okay so maybe not snagged but definitely a sticking out collarbone and when I hunch my shoulder forward a bit it really really sticks out and then I can feel the whole collarbone and it's not very big and how does it not break?!!! aarrrggghgh - anyway that is my small collarbone sticking out freaking out moment. Thank you for reading my rant. I'm sure there will be more such sticking out bone moments as this weight loss continues...I'm sure you can't wait!

19 April 2010

Crowning glory

Isn't that what hair is supposed to be? I've always been fond of my hair - it's thick and wavy and shines. But it's falling out! Arggggh! When will it stop? Every morning I have to clear our my hair brush and put a big clump of hair in the rubbish bin. And washing it?!! Hair everywhere! I'm glad I have lots of hair or I would worry about going bald. But when will it stop? I lost some hair after I had my girls - but not this much! I was going to take a photo of the morning hair loss but then I thought that was gross! So you are spared the hairball picture.

18 April 2010

Busy Busy Busy

Life and work have been crazy busy the last couple of weeks - haven't had a chance to ride my bike, go to the gym much, catch up with friends or write a blog! Last week I had was working in Sydney, then back in NZ in Auckland and Hamilton all in 4 days and tomorrow I am off to Melbourne for most of the week. For anyone who travels for their work they will agree with me that the travel always sounds much more fun than it actually is!
I am managing much better since since my band overfill drama at Easter - not too hungry now and eating reasonable meals and having small losses. I still need to learn that my stomach is not as big as my mind thinks and to not overdo the portions I serve myself... and to stop as soon as I feel I have had enough. Sometimes that last mouthful (cos it really tastes good..) can make me feel really uncomfortable for 15 mins or so.
I have started to have lots of comments about my weight from all sorts of friends and acquaintances in the last couple of weeks... Most say "you look great, how have you done it" - and I mostly say "eating much less!" - which is true. But I am feeling more able to talk about my band now that I know it is working and I have actually told quite a few people about it - especially those who struggle with their own weight. It will be interesting to see the reaction from my work colleagues in Melbourne this week... most I haven't seen for a year or so. Will keep you posted.

17 April 2010


I just noticed that Jenny and I both have 11.1 kg to go to goal! How random is that? And how long will it take us? Since my first big two months I've lost slowly at an average of about 2 kilos a month - I would love it to be quicker but at that rate I'll be at goal in about 5 months so abut 10 months post-surgery which would be great by me. I would then weight what I did when I was 17!!! Seems possible now.

Saturday morning

A beautiful autumn Saturday and I'm up doing housework - washing etc - before getting out and about with my girls (that sounds strange, I do mean my actual female children, not my "girls" - they're always with me!). Had another fill yesterday - .4ml for a total of 6.6mls. And a small loss today for a new low so I'm feeling good. My back is improving slowly and I'm keeping on moving. Really not much else to report - I'm enjoying reading everyone else's blogs and love any comments you leave here. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

15 April 2010

I will go to the gym. I will go to the gym. I will...

You get the idea. I went to a pump class on Monday - first time at the gym for ages and I enjoyed it. Tried not to go too hard but I have been a bit sore - am planning another class tomorrow but last night I hurt my back carrying a big box of books into my book group - stupid. I hope I feel okay tomorrow as I want to keep on with this gym thing. Once I get back into the routine I'm great at going to the gym, but it's always hard to get started again. I've taken some voltaren left over from after surgery and am trying to keep moving gently.

Anyhow, apart from that I have had a blah eating week - needing bigger meals to feel full and definitely keen on a fill when I see the nurse tomorrow. I'd like to try a .5 ml and see how I go - although I want to avoid Jenny's tight experience. But I do live and work about 5 minutes walk from the doctor's office so not a big deal if I need to go back in. We shall see...

11 April 2010

New photo and back from Easter holiday

Finally Jenny and I managed to get a new photo together showing our new post-op-but-still-in-progress photo! Here is the old one taken a few weeks before surgery:

I can definitely see a big difference. And I feel different too. This week we've been on holiday with the kids and it felt good to be in togs at the swimming pool and feel like I'm on my way to slim - and dragging 17 kilos less out of the pool is great, too! I went on a hydroslide for the first time - not that weight had stopped me doing that before - just nerves - but I LOVED it -can't believe I wanted until I was 40 to do something so fun. We had a great holiday in Taupo (geothermal area for those not in NZ). Here I am at the Huka Falls (it was cold - hence the hat!):

Back to work tomorrow - yuck! But also an opportunity to get back to the gym...think I need to ramp up the exercise to keep this weight loss moving and stay toned. Hope everyone is doing well.

07 April 2010

Tight - Oh so Tight!

I had a .5ml fill on Thursday before Easter taking me to 6ml in my 10ml band.... and it had been 5 weeks since my last fill. The glass of water at the doctors rooms went down fine and so did coffee, and crackers and cheese later that evening and I wasn't hungry... so I was pretty happy. BUT - the next morning was a different story. My band was so tight... I could not even get a cup of coffee down before it went cold. At first I thought it was just the "tight in the morning" issue but as the day went on it didn't get any better. Everything was a struggle - a glass of water took an hour to pass through my band... with plenty of weird gurgling noises accompanying this. I spent most of the Easter weekend struggling to swallow enough fluid to keep hydrated and some protein shakes to get some nutrition in. Had several bouts of near vomiting and lots of regurgitation - was very unpleasant and uncomfortable!! Not even chocolate or ice cream seemed to want to go down - so I knew things were not right!

I did contemplate trying to get a local doctor or nurse to remove some of the fill over the weekend but noone here in my hometown has the knowledge and as I was managing to keep hydrated I hung on until after Easter. I did have a non-cored needle and I used to be a nurse and I seriously considered doing the deed myself... I was pretty desperate! Luckily sanity prevailed and I waited for the experts to save me! The clinic receptionist was fantastic yesterday when I rang with my sorry story, I did a mercy flight to the big city and she hastily arranged for the doctor to come in and sort me out...! I had .3 of the fill removed and felt an instant relief and then snacked on her lunch crackers, water and juice - Big thanks to the clinic angel! It's amazing how such a small amount can make such a difference.

What have I learnt from all this....
1. I now only need a very small amount to make a difference - might be .1ml fills for me from now on
2. You can feel fine straight after a fill but be too tight the next day... weird but true. I might stay overnight in the big city next time I have a fill - just in case
3. You can lose 3.5kgs in 4 days if you only manage to swallow 1 optifast shake in a day - I am fully expecting to gain a fair bit of this back in the next fews days as I make up for lost time
4. I did not eat (well did not keep down) any hot cross buns or chocolate this easter and the world did not end!

04 April 2010

Easter eggs are a slider food

Easter Sunday and I am chocolated out - have had half a medium sized egg and about 8 belgian praline chocolates and I don't want any more (well now yet anyway!!!). I had planned to eat some chocolate today so I feel fine about the chocolate consumption. My theory is that it's better to eat it all on one day and be done with it than spread the evil chocolate over a week.

We're having a relaxing Easter break - have seen lots of family friends and had some nice "you're looking good" comments but I am wondering how much to tell when (if) people ask how I've done it. So far I say "eating less" and move on - but I do feel a little guilty that I'm not telling the whole truth. Hmmm....

Jenny and I are still to get a decent photo for this blog - but we are going to replace the current one where we are pre-op and less than gorgeous.

31 March 2010

Frustrated - Going around in Circles!

I'm feeling pretty frustrated with my lack of progress. I've sat around the same weight for the last month - just watching the scales go up and down over the same 1.5kgs but never getting past my lowest point from 4 weeks ago. My band was feeling really tight after my last fill 5 weeks ago but it is not now and I'm hungry again. And when I am frustrated I start making poor food choices, start adding a few snacks and treats to give myself a boost. Nothing too drastic yet but I know it is not a good thing for me to go down that road....! Time to re-focus and also time to get another small fill.

I guess it is a natural plateau that we all reach sometimes during our weight loss journey. And it is interesting that Maree and I are both experiencing the same thing at the moment. Maybe it is just time for our bodies to adjust for a bit but I don't like waiting. I'm hoping the fill tomorrow will get rid of the hunger again and kick start a new weight loss phase. I was going to wait till after Easter but have decided that might not be a good idea given how my food intake is creeping up. I probably should have gone for a fill in the last couple of weeks but since I don't live in the same city as the clinic it takes a bit more planning. Anyway, I am making a flying visit tomorrow and then home in time to enjoy a family Easter weekend.

Thanks to all of you bandster/blogger followers for your comments and support. I love to hear from you and am following your progress as well. I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend.

30 March 2010

And yet another fill - is this a record?!

Third fill in 10 days this morning - I posted about the .1 ml fill where I think I lost at least that, then last Tuesday I had another .2ml fill. This morning I had yet another .2 ml fill as I am still HUNGRY. Interestingly I should have had 6.7ml before today's fill but the nurse took out all the fluid before she started and I only had 6.0 ml - strange!! So I have 6.2 ml now in a 10 ml band so still a way to go. She said she would like to give me a bigger amount (say .6 ml) but as Easter is coming up and she's going away and so am I, she didn't want me to be overfilled and not able to get in for an un-fill. I'm comfortable with that - I certainly don't want to be in the red zone and although I'm frustrated that I haven't had a loss for a month, I realise this is a long term game so I'm trying to be patient.

Only two days of work until we're all off work and school for a week (then the girls have another week of holidays - they'll go to a holiday programme). We're heading up to see family (Mum and Dad and Jenny and her lot) on Friday - will be nice to have a break. I'm keen to go shopping and get some new clothes - though I don't want to spend too much as I hope these clothes will be too big soon as well - but I have hardly anything to wear and I think rotating the same three outfits has gone on long enough! I'm also going to eat some chocolate on Easter Sunday - only the good stuff and only one one day - hopefully that will limit any damage!!

24 March 2010

Another fill

I managed to get an appointment yesterday and saw the new nurse again - told her I was HUNGRY (and that I'd eaten a whole bagel the day before with no problems) - she gave me another .2 ml - here's hoping that one takes the edge off - I feel like I'm so close to the green zone but keep dipping back into yellow. I have another appointment for next Tuesday so we'll see how I'm doing then.

Thanks for your nice comments about photo - how funny that Tamati looks like the Rock! He is definitely not a wrestler! A lover not a fighter I'd say...

Just noticed that Jenny and I definitely need a new profile photo - that one is horrid. I'm seeing Jen next week for Easter so we'll try to get a better shot then. It's also time for more comparison shots (no holds barred, in our underwear arrrrgghhgh!!). We took some pre op and at Christmas so it'll be interesting to see how the current shots compare - and no, those are not on this blog!

22 March 2010

Getting impatient

I really want to start losing again - had another small fill last Friday but it was a new nurse (again!) who seemed really nice and was supervised by one of the surgeons (as apparently my port is so easy to find because I "don't have much abdominal fat" - strange but still nice NSV!). The fill was .1 ml and as she took the needle out "some" fluid came out - so they put the .1 ml in again but I wonder if I've had a net loss as I'm feeling hungry and today I ate both a bagel and some rice (I know, I know) - I have another appointment for next week but think I'll try to make one sooner.

Otherwise I had a great weekend - went to the races (horses that is, not cars or whatever else races) on Saturday with a group of girlfriends - a whole day out without the kids or husbands - and we cut loose. We were in a "girls day out" tent for lunch etc with fashion parades and competitions as well as the horse races. I won a $200 shoe voucher - great score! And tried Zumba and salsa - a few wines definitely helped! All in all a great day. Here I am looking a little crazed with the MC for the day (a minor celebrity here in New Zealand - he's a TV weatherman - very nice guy, although I think we look like we're in a toothpaste ad!).

16 March 2010

Plateau time...

I am on a plateau - well more of a repeat of the same steps up and down over and over - but the result is getting nowhere. After feeling good last week, this week I'm a little blah - but that's probably the TOTM - never good for the attitude! Trying to keep on track knowing that will work in the end. *Sigh* - that's me feeling sorry for myself for no good reason...snap out of it, Maree!

12 March 2010

Adjusting.... me and my band!

It's 2 weeks now since my last fill and my band has often seemed really tight since then... especially in the morning and even through to mid-afternoon. I know from Maree and your blogs, that most bandsters have that 'tight in the morning' sensation but before the last fill I didn't really notice it. Now though I am having to adjust my eating pattern and I'm finding it more of a challenge than I had imagined. I think it is just getting my head around the fact that just my beloved flat white coffee first thing in the morning will actually be enough for me to not feel hungry till I can comfortably eat something later on. My head is still saying 'you had better eat some breakfast' - after years of learned diet-habits, to ensure I always ate 3 meals a day especially breakfast, as skipping meals was always seen as a bad idea!

The end result has been that horrible uncomfortable tight/stuck feeling every morning and often at lunchtime as well. And then I haven't eaten enough during the day which means I am hungry and I snack all evening - it has to stop! The last day or so has been a little better as I have tried to work with the band a bit more instead of using my head for signs it is food time. I did wonder if my band is too tight but it seems OK in the evening so I'm not sure that is the problem. I'm a bit frustrated with myself and of course because of this and my poor food choices, I am not losing anything.

So as I said - time for an adjustment - but this time it is me who needs adjusting not my band. I am sure I can get this right... I just need to listen to my body and not my head!

10 March 2010

Business as usual

I feel like I'm ticking along quite nicely at the moment - I'm still losing, not quickly, but the scale is moving downwards every week - I still have about 12 kg to go to my (first) goal weight but nearly 4 months into this lap band journey, I'm getting to know how to work the band. I still struggle with some old habits, but on the whole I am soooo pleased with the decision I made.

I went to a training course yesterday - lunch was wedges, pizza and pasta salad. Not very band friendly. I ate a couple of wedges (in very small pieces), the salmon off a piece of pizza and the roast vegetables out of the pasta salad - I doubt anyone else noticed, but if they did, they must have thought I was the slowest and pickiest eater in the world!

A NSV today when one of the other mothers at ballet commented that I'd lost "a lot" of weight - it's nice to get those comments since noone at work has said anything - 16.5 kgs down (that's about 36 pounds for our non-metric friends) and not one comment - weird (also weird that I can't spell weird, just took me 3 tries to get that right and it still looks wrong!).

04 March 2010

Eating like a slim person

At lunchtime today I went to a cafe with a friend. Looking for something band-friendly I spotted a smoked chicken wrap in the cabinet and ordered that (it was about 10cm long). Turned out it was two wraps - in the old days I would have eaten it without a thought - today I automatically said to my friend "that's too much for me - do you want to share?". I ate like a slim person - yay me! Even stranger were the words which came out of my mouth afterwards "both would have been too much" - and I meant it! Pre-band I would have been eyeing up the slices afterwards. This is definitely a NSV for me. AND I've lost a kilo in the last few days - at last the scales are moving!

02 March 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Greetings from "Birthday Central" where is it all about me today since I am the Birthday Girl! I'm 47 years old today and feel better than I have on most of my birthdays for the last 20 years.. I'm certainly lighter and feeling pretty good about myself. I've taken the day off work and have been socialising with coffee dates and a birthday lunch date with friends... I'm loving ME day! I am a little concerned about how many wrinkles have now appeared on my face... see my self-photo taken just now on our new home computer!

I didn't actually eat much at my birthday lunch - I finally had a fill on Friday of 0.5ml - and now my band seems very tight - maybe too tight... I am in 'wait and see' mode as I really felt I needed it but now I can't seem to get much down at all and I am feeling hungry cos I am not eating enough. This really is a balancing act isn't it.

More birthday celebrations are planned for tonight with a couple of friends dropping in for a bubbly later and my boys and I are going out for dinner. Yes - food and drink are still a big part of my social life and celebrations... but the best part is that this year I know I won't be 2 kgs heavier when I get up tomorrow!

I'm so looking forward to the year ahead... and being healthier and slimmer. Lets hear it for the Band!

01 March 2010

When will the scale move?

I'm getting sick of seeing the same number on the scale every morning - I know that it will move if I keep eating the right food in the right amount but sometimes it's hard to believe it - I've been at this weight before and part of me wonders if this is as good as it gets - I know that doesn't make sense but I'm getting frustrated - arrghhh! I've never been good at waiting!

So I'll try to find some positives - we took the kids swimming in the weekend and I caught a glimpse in the mirror in the changing rooms while I was in my togs and I can definitely see a difference - so that was good to see! And in non-weight related news, I managed to teach one six year old to float in the pool - so that was a definite positive (her twin sister had worked it out already this summer and was doing her best fish imitation!). It was great to see how proud they are of themselves as they learn to swim...I spent years swimming (training and competing) and I'd love it if my girls enjoyed the water as much as I do.

26 February 2010

A teeny tiny fill

Went for an appointment today and ended up with the teeniest fill ever - .1 ml! I feel like I'm getting close to the green zone and have another appointment in two weeks so let's see how this goes. I was down 1.1kg in two weeks - slower than I'd like but still a loss.

24 February 2010

Recent photo

We've been a bit slack about photos and the one on our profile is fairly unflattering! But here is a photo from 10 days ago which isn't my best shot but when I saw it I thought "I don't look too bad" - definitely slimmer than my own image of myself. Will try to post some more photos some time soon!

Conspicuous non-consumption

The scene: lunch at a Malaysian restaurant with 3 workmates (we're friends but I haven't told them about the band). My food arrived first (chicken with peanut sauce, rice and salad). I started and was STILL eating when they had all finished their meals - plates wiped clean. My plate still had 99% of the rice (I'd moved it around a bit but not eaten it), almost all the salad and a little bit of the chicken..noone said anything but it was kind of obvious that I wasn't eating "as normal". These girls have known me for 10 years and I doubt I've left anything on my plate in that time!! Now two lunches in a row I've been last to finish and not eaten everything. Do they think I've got an eating disorder? Do they not care and I'm the only one who notices? I wonder how long it'll be before someone says something...

22 February 2010

To fill or not to fill...

I have an appointment to see the nurse on Friday for a possible fill - not sure if I need a fill or not - I've lost a kilo in 10 days since my last fill and I feel fairly restricted sometimes, but at others I could keep eating (like now!). Hmmmm - not too sure whether to go for a small amount (.2 mls?) or wait another week or so...I live and work really close (5 minutes walk) so it's no big deal to get there. I don't want to be too full but I want to keep losing....ah, the dilemma!

19 February 2010

And finally the scale moves.....

Yes - after me moaning last time I wrote that I was really frustrated at being on same weight for nearly 3 weeks, all of a sudden the scale dropped 1.2kgs - overnight - well over 2 nights actually. Hallelujah! But it really does illustrate that it is not all about what you eat one day or how much exercise you do that day either - it is a cumulative effect and eventually the scales will catch up! I know we all know that is true but we are still surprised when it happens to us.

So of course the NSV's are even more important... and I have finally had some comments lately from people I am seeing that I am "looking great" and one yesterday who said "where has the rest of you gone?" That put a big smile on my face!

And they all ask - what are you doing? My standard response is "not eating much" - which is true of course but not the whole truth but some people just don't need to know and won't understand. However, I have told a few of my friends who are also in a constant (losing) battle with their weight about The Band. I think they deserve to know that there is no other way to do it.... no matter how hard you try to "diet and exercise" - it is not about having willpower. And I have encouraged them to do some research themselves. I know I am preaching to the converted but this band is fantastic!

I'm looking forward to my weekend.... I will be off to see my 21 year old son on stage in "Grease", soaking up some sunshine hopefully and will enjoy some bubbly to celebrate 22 years of wedded bliss to my husband and best friend, Greg. And it's time to get back out on the road on my bike after a couple of weeks off... can't wait!

18 February 2010

Me and my band

It's nearly a week since I had my last fill and it's taking me a while to get used to this new volume. This week I've been hungry at lunchtime and in the afternoon and then tight at night - tonight I ate about a 1/4 cup of chicken and 1/4 of a potato. Not sure what is going on as I can eat at lunchtime - anyway I'm not hungry but I have had an after dinner treat (frozen yoghurt last night, some chocolate tonight) and that is a bad habit - I can justify it on the basis that I hardly ate any dinner - but I know that way lies weight gain (or a plateau at least!). So here I am on record to say I am going to cut out the after dinner empty heard it here.

17 February 2010

Non scale victory!

A NSV today - went to Max (one of my favourite clothing stores) and tried on a pair of size 16 trousers (they only go to a 16 and I wouldn't normally go near their trousers) - and they fitted perfectly! Here's the pair:

That is not my bottom half, however!! I didn't end up buying them but I was very happy! One of the best things about losing weight is being able to buy more clothes as the "normal" ranges are cheaper than the fat ladies' shops (apologies if the name offends anyone but Jenny and I have always told it like it is!!.

16 February 2010

Evil corn

Second PB tonight - last week I ate corn on the cob - delicious late summer treat. After my .3ml fill on Friday I ate corn again tonight - about 1/8 of a cob plus one chicken kebab stick and OUCH - sliming and PBing (without much to show for it) for half an hour - nasty, evil corn! I know it's one of the fibrous foods I was warned about but as I hadn't had a problem last week I didn't anticipate one tonight - oh so wrong! Still, at least I know the fill did something!

I need a fill..... NOW!

I am in desperate need of a fill I think... I am hungry and stuck on the same weight (or going up a bit) for almost 3 weeks! Yikes - I am having to use willpower and as we all know that is hard for "people like us"! I have only had 2 fills since surgery almost 14 weeks ago with the last one being on 15th January and I can't wait til next Friday when I see the "fill angel" here in my home town. We had our surgery in the "big smoke" which is a 5 hour drive from my home but as I travel regularly for my work I can get to follow-up and fill appointments when I visit the city for work. This has worked fine but next week the nurse is visiting my part of the country for a fill clinic so I am seeing her then. I know when I look at the overall stats - 17.4kgs in 16 weeks since I started the pre-op diet I know I am doing well - but I'm an impatient kind of girl and I just want the scales to get moving again!
Anyway, welcome to all our followers - as Maree says it's great to know that you are all out there! I'm loving reading your stories as well - Go Girls!

15 February 2010

New followers!

We have 17 followers - that is fantastic - and even better you're not all family and friends. Welcome! And I will look at your blogs as well - haven't had a chance as we were away in the weekend and then I was at work today. Also went out tonight as Jenny was in town for work. We congratulated ourselves on how fabulous we are (!!) and ate very little! It is weird going out to dinner and ordering a small plate of food and being satisfied. Anyway, just wanted to say a quick hi - must go to bed, I'm VERY tired and it's only Monday...

12 February 2010

Friday, Friday

I love Fridays - and I love fill Fridays even more - had a small (.3 ml) fill this morning for a total of 6.3mls - all very smooth. I'd lost 1.5kg since my last fill two weeks ago which is okay - had been more but I bounced up a little when I got hungry again this week and moved out of the green zone...have eaten very little today but did have a small chocolate bar (for medicinal purposes only LOL - well my period is due!!) which I savoured and really enjoyed - first chocolate since Christmas - yum.

Just getting organised for any early flight tomorrow morning - we're only away for one night so I'm trying to pack as little as possible.

On a bad note, and taking the "sisters together" thing a little too far, I had my first PB this week - on the same day as Jenny - spooky!!! I got over confident and ate some crusty baguette (tasted so good - the first time anyway!) - then had that awful pain followed by a PB, which was horrible but a relief. That was a lesson learned!

10 February 2010

Beware the Conference Lunch

I am an idiot! I had a very nasty experience today while sharing conference lunch with a whole room full of clients we had been trying to impress all morning. Let me set the scene - it is almost 4 weeks since my last fill and for the last week or so I have been able to eat pretty much anything, have not lost any weight and have been hungry as well, so perhaps in my head I thought I could eat as I had in my pre-band life. The conference lunch menu was bread rolls, french bread with ham, tortellini or stir fry chicken and noodles. I decided to avoid the bread but had a couple of mouthfuls of tortellini and dished some stir fry as well. I thought I had chewed the tortellini well but I now know that it still ends up in a gluey plug blocking the band. 3 mouthfuls in, I had a nasty stuck pain and could not even swallow my saliva. To make matters worse, while eating I was cornered by the course facilitator who was giving me an animated speech on something - no idea what as I could not concentrate! I was desperately trying to get away while wondering if I was going to make it to the bathroom. I was waiting for a break in his speech but eventually just had to blurt out that I had to go... and made a run for it. Just in time I got to the Ladies - my first PB (Productive Burp) - a horrible experience and one I hope doesn't happen again anytime soon - especially not in a hotel toilet cubicle with other people listening to my retching! The stuck pain was a bit better after that but still lasted another half hour or so and I felt very uncomfortable.

So to all you new bandsters out there.. think very carefully about what passes those lips even if you think you are not very restricted. Fresh white bread and fresh pasta ALWAYS turn into a gloopy lump which just does not want to go through the band. I was warned about this, and I already knew this from a minor stuck episode in the early weeks with some white bread but I still thought I would be OK. What an idiot! I have learned my lesson... and hopefully I will be more sensible from now on.

Fill #4 due in 2 days

I'm booked to see the nurse about another fill on Friday. At first I didn't think I'd need it but the last few days I've definitely moved from the green to the yellow zone, thinking about food soon after meals and eating bigger meals. My weight loss has not only stopped but turned into a gain (small but still not happy). So I think I'll see about a small fill on Friday and see how that goes. I'm also premenstrual this week (sorry if that's TMI!) - and that always makes me hungrier. Anyway, I'm reminding myself that this is a long term game.

I did have a NSV this week, after complaining that noone had noticed my weight loss. Met a (thin!) friend for coffee. She said "something is different about you" - I suggested I'd had my haircut, "you've lost weight, you look great!" - it was good to have the loss noticed, even if it did take 14 kg!!

06 February 2010

Stuck! Really, painfully stuck!

Ouch! Ate a small piece of fish last night then remembered I hadn't drunk the water my doc says we should have before a meal to move any mucus plug in the band (nice thought). Gulped half a glass of water, forgetting the band, and OH MY GOD - such pain, I thought I was going to pass out, had to keep walking around, trying to burp, to do something to move whatever was STUCK. Took about a minute and some delightful sliming and the fish (which I guess got moved into the band with the water) moved - the relief!! But I never want to experience that again. The darling husband tried to see if I was okay, and I could just croak out, "leave me alone" before I struggled out to the garden. Didn't want the kids to see me in pain. Anyhoo, that taught me a lesson.

The good news is that I've lost 2 kg since my fill 8 days ago - hoorah!!!

03 February 2010

Is this thing on?

I have more restriction after the last fill (5 days ago) - but it's hard to know if I'm starting to get hungry or just think I'm hungry...this is a learning curve. I've been eating slowly and taking small bites and haven't had another stuck episode since Sunday (phew!). I'm still losing (slowly but surely with a few plateaus and some bounces up and down) - but still haven't had many comments, which I find strange as I've not only lost nearly 14kg but also 13cm off my hips and the same off my waist - is it because I'm still wearing the same clothes (although they're getting loose?).

Jenny mentioned the issue of whether to tell people or not about the lap band. So far I've only told family and a couple of friends. I think my reluctance to disclose is not because I think there's anything to be ashamed of in weight loss surgery but a combination of fear of public failure ("she had surgery and she's still fat") and denial (if I don't tell people maybe they won't notice I was overweight - LOL). I'm definitely more comfortable telling people who could be interested in lap band themselves, always-skinny people just can't understand what it takes to get to the stage where surgery is the best option - or am I just prejudiced against skinny people?! - probably LOL.

01 February 2010

What a Ride!!!

Yeeehaaa! What a buzz..! I did it - the bike ride was so much fun and I am so pleased I set myself the goal and achieved it. I definitely have the bug now...looking for my next adventure on 2 wheels. My friend Carolyn and I rode the 50km in 2 hours and 03 minutes - which was faster than we expected. It was 30 degrees plus and the heat coming off the road was fierce but we had plenty of water to drink and with our husbands and family as support crew cheering us on from various stops on the course it was a fantastic experience... And I'm sure it was made easier that I had 17 kilos less to carry around than 3 months ago!

As promised - here is a photo of me just before we started our part of the ride... (Please note this outfit is only for riding - not my normal Saturday outfit!)

I am on the left, and Carolyn on the right. She is one of the people I have told about my band already and she has been so enthusiastic and she says also a little jealous. More on telling people - or not - some other time. Right now I am still on a high.

31 January 2010


We went out to dinner tonight - and I had my first real stuck episode - ouch! I was eating edamame (soy beans) and a gyoza (dumpling). I thought I was taking small bites and eating slowly but clearly not small enough or slow enough. I had pain in the centre of my chest and back - went for a walk and had my first "sliming" moment (that word makes me think of snails!) - but then felt a LOT better and was able to SLOWLY eat some small bites of chicken. So apparently this last fill is giving me some restriction! Must. Eat. Slowly. And. Take. Small. Bites.

In good news I've lost 1.2kgs since Friday - hooray! That's 13.1 kg down now since I started Optifast on 2 November.

29 January 2010

Fill number 3

Another fill this morning - 1 ml for a total of 6 mls. I haven't been hungry today - some "head hunger" - my brain is wondering why I've only had a drinking yoghurt and cottage cheese to eat. I ate some fish tonight and a few fries (very slowly) with the family (Friday night takeaways) - felt a bit of a stuck/indigestion feeling but that passed when I sat up straighter. Will be interesting to see how this fill changes things for me. I am eating takeaways occasionally - I don't want to see this post lap band life as a "diet" which I'm on until goal and then I can start eating "normally" again. Apart from the odd chocolate or potato chip indulgence I was a pretty healthy eater, but volume was my issue. My plan is to eat "normal" kinds of foods (within the bounds of the band re bread etc) but in smaller volumes. Am I dreaming? Or will this work? Watch this space...

Hi there - and a bit about me....

It's so great to know that people other than Maree and I are actually reading this....!

I'm Jenny - the one on the right of the unflattering pre-band photo at the top - but then all my pre-band photos are unflattering...! Isn't that why we have done this?? Hell yes!

I'm 46, I work full time for a hospital and health software firm and do quite a bit of travelling around the country. I usually fly somewhere for a day or 2 each week from my home office in New Plymouth, New Zealand. I'm married with 2 sons - the oldest turned 21 last Saturday and the younger one is almost 15. My "boys" (that includes my fabulous husband) are my biggest supporters in all that I do. I'm involved in the local musical theatre scene and I love to sing and entertain.

Here's my version of the Q&A Maree did below...

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:43am - had a sleep in as I've been away for 2 days for work and had 5:30am starts. And it is still school holidays this week so no need for me to rush to get anyone to school. I work from home so travel time to work is approx 3 seconds!

2. How do you like your steak? Medium rare - but not sure I will try it anytime soon.... don't fancy it getting stuck!

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Julie & Julia - with my son and my Mum - loved it.

4. What is your favorite TV show? ER has been my favourite for many years, closely followed by Boston Legal - sadly both now finished! I like Survivor, MasterChef, and I love watching sport especially the Olympics.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Somewhere where I can be in the sun by the sea all day and go to shows each night.

6. What did you have for breakfast? A flat white coffee made with freshly ground beans and silky smooth frothy milk - made by me just the way I like it - and a piece of wholegrain vogels toast with butter and vegemite.

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Probably Indian - but I like lots of different foods.

8. What foods do you dislike? Olives, oysters, mussels, cucumber are top of the Yuck list!

9. Favorite place to eat? Anywhere my family and friends are.

10. Favorite dressing? Aioli.

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? The "P Mover" - that's a Mitsubishi Chariot 7 seater People mover... it is just a way to get from A to B and is in need of replacement - was good for transporting lots of boys.

12. What are your favorite clothes? 3/4 length pants... in stretch fabric - comfortable and flattering. Hope to be able to buy lots of fashionable clothes more easily soon.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Would love to go back to Italy. And I'd like to see Spain, India and Ireland.

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? Always half full -unless we are talking about drinking something unpleasant like ginger ale!

15. Where would you want to retire? Here looks good so far - it is my hometown and I have lots of family and friends close by.

16. Favorite time of day? Weekend mornings..... freshly made coffee in hand and a whole day with no work stretching ahead of me.

17. Where were you born? New Plymouth, New Zealand.

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Rugby.

19. Bird watcher? You have to be joking! Why?

20. Are you a morning person or a night person? I like the mornings and don't usually stay up much past 10:30 at night... I work best on a regular sleep pattern or else I can be grumpy anytime of the day.

21. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? Can't think of anything right now...

22. What did you want to be when you were little? A doctor - but actually went nursing when I left school.

23. What is your best childhood memory? Camping holidays and swimming everyday in summer.

24. Are you a cat or dog person? Not really an animal person but we have a cute cat called Luci-fur we got from the SPCA last year.

25. Are you married? For almost 22 wonderful years.

26. Always wear your seat belt? Definitely.

27. Been in a car accident? Minor reversing incidents mostly - the P Mover is not a great car for seeing behind you!

28. Any pet peeves? Probably too many to mention - sweaty men at the gym who don't bring a towel is one...

29. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Pepperoni, mushrooms peppers...

30. Favorite Flower? Ummmm..... not much of a garden girl... maybe roses but not in my garden they're too much work.

31. Favorite ice cream? Espresso

32. Favorite fast food restaurant? Any fresh fish and chips - NZ classic takeaways

33. How many times did you fail your driver's test? Passed first time - just a few weeks after my 15th birthday - the process was much simpler back then.

34. From whom did you get your last email? Just got one from the gym where I go regularly to workout.

35. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Home theatre, electronics and furniture store probably.

36. Do anything spontaneous lately? I'm about to do something challenging - a 60km bike ride tomorrow - does that count??

37. Broccoli? Yes - love it.

38. What was your favorite vacation? 6 weeks with my boys - we went to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, LA, Disneyland, London, Paris, Rome, Durham UK and Hong Kong - awesome family adventure.

39. Last person you went out to dinner with? Work colleagues from Wellington and Melbourne, 2 nights ago while I was away for work.

40. What are you listening to right now? Sounds like a chainsaw - the neighbour is building a shed.

41. What is your favorite color? Green

42. How many tattoos do you have? None.

43. Coffee drinker? Hell yes - a coffee addict actually.