Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Questions and answers - part 1

Here are some questions that I have sent to me over the last few months. It’s taken me a bit of time to get around to answering them but, better late than never! Some of them I didn’t answer as they were just crude and unnecessary and there are a few questions that I have answered that may have a bit of a shock factor but, I’m open and honest about my whole journey. I know some people may have a problem with it but I am not ashamed or embarrassed about anything I have written. I apologise to those who I offend in advance.

Can you feel your lap band?
Short answer – no. Not when I am sitting, walking, swimming, sleeping, talking, working – you can’t actually feel that there is something inside you wrapped around your stomach. You can however feel it when you eat or drink something. When you drink something, you can feel it go down the through your stomach slowly (especially when the drink is cold!) and when you eat a meal, you feel a lot quicker a lot sooner than what you would if you didn’t have a band. You can also feel ‘blocked up’ if you haven’t chewed enough or if something is stuck in the band. A sip of fizzy drink will help you burp (and possibly vomit) which helps bring up the food that is stuck.

You mention a lot of things you can’t eat, what are the sorts of things you can eat?
I can eat anything so long as it’s of the right texture and consistency. Soups, milkshakes, fluids (non fizzy), drinking yoghurts, normal yoghurt, steamed or mashed vegies, some pastas, salads and fruit goes down well. Unfortunately, some of the easiest things are also the worst for you – chocolate, ice cream, thick shakes, sugary milk drinks, alcohol, juices and mouses go down without a hitch. And they don’t fill you up as they have no bulk to them. So, if I really wanted to, I could sit here all day and eat ice cream with chocolate sauce! But, no. I choose not to. I can eat almost anything put in front of me – if I can’t, I just push it to the side and continue on :) meat is pretty much a no no unless it’s totally mashed up.

This question had 2 parts – were people shocked at how much you weighed?
Yes, people were shocked at my weight. I was nearly 250kg. The weight of a some motorbikes. I was shocked at how much I weighed. It just crept up. I didn’t notice it. And when I say that, I sincerely mean it. I was DISTRAUGHT when I found out how much I weighed. I remember crying. The kind when you hyperventilate. I was so upset. And some people said I was in denial. That is not the case. I just didn’t realise how far I’d let it go.

As for part 2 of this question, aren’t you embarrassed or ashamed?
Yes, I was embarrassed. No, I wasn’t really ashamed. I was embarrassed as I wasn’t able to do a lot of things that I am sure a majority of people on the earth can do. Here comes the TMI bit – I couldn’t wipe myself after going to the toilet. May I point out that I can now (woohoo!) but, I spent at least an hour one night googling what to do. Do you know how many pages are dedicated to those who can’t wipe themselves after going to the toilet? It’s not just overweight people who have problems, it’s people who have severe back problems, the elderly or those who have some other kind of disability stopping them from doing something that stops them from wiping properly and funnily enough, those from Europe where they have those funny washing thingys find it hard to stretch backwards (or forwards – which ever way you do it) as they’re not used to it. I actually ended up having to buy a pair of tongs that I used to keep in my handbag so that I could wipe when I was out as having a shower at work just wasn’t practicable. I told a few of my close friends and family but I also ended up telling my Team Leader as about my issue as I had 1 or 2 days off work sick when I had a sore tummy and had to go numerous times. As I knew it was going to change, I had no shame in saying it. And I have much delight saying that now, I have no problems in that department at all! Wooo!

I love your blog and I am so proud of you. You are amazing and so inspiring. Are you family proud of you?
Yes, they are! They are quite amazed at how well I am doing. I know some members of my family aren’t as ‘public’ as what I am and they are uncomfortable at the fact that I share so much information about my journey but, I am striving to help other people who are in the same position as me. There are a lot of people who are struggling with their weight and have tried everything. By sharing my story, I am able to show people that it is possible. It can be done. I’ve come so far and am so proud of my success.

Do you notice a difference since you’ve lost your weight?
Yes, I do. I have a lot more energy. That is probably the first thing I have noticed. I have noticed that my body is changing shape. I have a lot of ‘wobbly bits’ that weren’t as wobbly. I don’t like those bits at all!

How many people read your blog?
Well, my blog has just hit the 15,000 hit mark. I have an average of 100 hits per day, more on blog day. It’s funny to look at the stats on ‘non blog’ days as people still come to check to see if I’ve written something! I also have data on the words people have searched for in Google but have then landed here, reading my blog. Some of the funny ones are ‘fataphobic Doctors’, ‘personal narrative of overcoming obesity and fast food’, ‘angry client exercise’ and ‘fat person planking’. Most of my readers are in Australia followed by USA, UK, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Germany, Japan, Sweden and Russia.

What weight do you want to get to?
I want to get to 85kg.

What food do you miss the most?
Every bandit can have different foods. Some can have bread, some can’t. Some can have steak, others can’t. But, I can’t have Chicken. And that shits me!

I have read you have Children. What are you doing to make sure that your Children don’t end up in the same place you are?
I have copied and pasted this question for what it was. I haven’t taken it personally but, it did hit a bit of a nerve! I am setting an example. I am getting them to stop and look at what they’re eating before they eat it. I get them involved in menu preparation of the food and we limit take away to once a fortnight (sometimes week – depending on how busy we are). When I say the above, I am not saying that my Parents didn’t do this with me. I have lived out of home long enough to make my own decisions about food, what I eat, what I don’t eat and how much I consume of what I choose to dine on. I would never wish this on my kids. It’s been a hard time being overweight. It has been hell. And they are experiencing it now to a certain point and it breaks my heart. I no longer go to the Callum’s School as he gets picked on when I do. he hasn’t asked me not to come, I just don’t want him to go through the crap that he has to go through when I do attend. It’s sad but, it’s how it has to be for a while.

How did you pick your Surgeon?
I found him by chance. I went to my Doctor asking him to refer me to a lap band surgeon and he looked up in the area who was around. Doctor Winnett was local. I didn’t meet with anyone else – just him. I know that some people shop around but, I was comfortable with him from the moment I met him. I made the right choice.

How did you weigh up the risks of having the Surgery?
I believe that it’s 1 in 1,000 that don’t make it through the Surgery when you’re the weight that I am. It was something that played on the back of my mind but, I kept thinking that it’s either I stay like this for the rest of my life or I ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. I am happy I did. I did prepare for the worst (just in case it did happen). I wrote a will, I planned a Funeral, I recorded messages fro my friends and family – I wasn’t sure if it would happen but, if it did, I was prepared. I know I made the right decision.

What are your tips for someone who is thinking of having the Surgery?
Do you research. As much as you need to , in any way that you need to. Books was my tool of choice but I know that other people prefer going to Seminars. Talk to other people who have had the surgery – go on lap banding forums. Read the factual scientific negative things however, try and steer clear of people’s horror stories. Listen to a few, sure but, as you know yourself, once you have your mind set on something (positive or negative), there is no changing that opinion. No matter how hard someone tries. Check that all your health insurance is in order and research accessing your Super (to fund your surgery if you need to) way ahead of time before booking your Surgery ( . Let the different emotions come and go – you’ll feel scared, sad, nervous, apprehensive, happy, excited – lots of things.

How much did your Surgery cost?
I was out of pocket around $3000. I can claim some of this back at tax time. My health insurer is Medibank Private and I have top cover. I did have things that I had to pay for that weren’t associated with the surgery such as my CPAP machine (for my sleep apnoea). You need to factor these sorts of things in.

Phew – that’s it for now! There are a few more there that I’ll get around to tomorrow. I’m shocked that I managed to get through this many! If you have any questions that you want to ask, Email me at and I’m happy to answer anything (well, almost anything).


  1. Thank you for your honesty. I am almost 300kg and can't do a lot of things normal people do. You inspire me and show me it can be done.

  2. Youare quite amazing.

  3. Does the band have to be replaced?

  4. Hi there,

    Yes, the band does need to be replaced from time to time. They say every 10 - 15 years however, as technology changes, so will the amount of time between having the band replaced.