Sarah's previous blog posts

Post 1 Post 2 Post 3 Post 4 Post 5 Post 6 Post 7 Post 8 Post 9 Post 10 Post11 Post 12 Post 13 Post 14


Post 1

So it’s the start of a new week for me. Looking forward to it. My plans to try new things is going well, took a first aid course and I passed (yay me). In case you don’t know, I have battled with my weight for 16 years now. It’s very frustrating at the best of times. One thing no one really talks about is food addiction. Yes, it happens. We become addicted to the one thing that sustains our lives. I am a self-confessed sugar addict. I have been for a long while. I know my addiction to sugar is also linked to my emotional state. I know what you are thinking, if I know what my problem is then why haven’t I changed it already and sorted myself out. Well that is the not so easy part. As I said mine is linked to my emotions and being a single mum, well let’s be honest that makes me a tiny bit emotional.
So that is why after diet upon diet and that word has become a swear word in my household, I have decided that I really need to occupy my time better to distract myself from the sugary treats that I love and crave. So after my accident which landed me without a job and a lifelong medical condition I decided to go back to school and retrain for something new. I am just finishing up the first year of university and oh my goodness do I love it. I also get the chance to join in on groups and clubs I would never have had the courage to join before. I am also learning to drive something I never had confidence to do before. Turns out I really like to drive at speed too. I now find that I am reading more books for my course and writing essays galore and it really does take my mind off wanting to eat all the time. I have to get more active though. I have difficulty moving around since my accident as my legs tend to lock and become like marble. This has left me in hospital a couple of times after falls down the stairs and so on. But I really want to see how I can push myself, I know now my problem is keeping myself occupied and knowing I am worth making the effort for.
My self-esteem is growing and hopefully I am changing along with it. Only thing I can do now is carry on and see how far this all takes me. So I start this week with one thing in my mind. Today will not be the day I give in and binge on sweet food.

Post 2

Wow has it been a weird week. I started my week with a visit to the local accident and emergency department. I don’t know about anyone else but I really am not a fan of hospitals, especially when I am the patient. So how did I end up there? Well I am sure there are some of you out there that have gall bladder problems, well I have one too. Unfortunately, it decided to play up a bit and leave me on the floor crippled with pain. This is not the first time this has happened to me but after the first attack last year I tried to cut out fat and sugar from my diet as these are huge triggers for it. So after many, many months with no problems this week has been a painful one. As I said I started the week in hospital on a drip and let me tell you when you are a big woman the hospital can be a humiliating place. I am healthy in comparison to some, especially given that I am overweight. I do not have cholesterol problems, nor do I have diabetes or any illnesses they link to obesity. But that set aside I am still spoken to and treated as if I am a lazy person who just doesn’t care about myself. This saddens me greatly. I am a nice person and I am trying to lose weight but it never seems to be good enough when I am talking to a doctor. We have all been there when the doctor tells us that we just aren’t trying hard enough and to go spend money on slimming classes or expensive gym sessions. I don’t know about anyone else but I really don’t have that kind of money just lying around. I would have joined a gym if I could afford it.
So hooked up to a drip I am given the same speech as last time. Your size stops us from taking your gall bladder out is what I am told. The risks are great when you are overweight they carry on saying, this is usually joined with a head tilt gesture and wave of hands to show me a scale of how big I am. It doesn’t matter that I have been trying to lose weight for over a decade and still can’t achieve the svelte figure that they want me to be. So they tell me I have a choice, I can diet severely or just put up with the pain. Now I have great admiration for doctors and nurses, they do an amazing job, one I know I could not do. I sadly hate coming out from seeing a doctor feeling fat, like my life is not important and that they think of me as less of a human being than others. This does not help me in any shape or form by making me so bad about myself that I think perhaps they are right, perhaps I’m not worth it. But do you know what? I am worth it (yes I know L’oreal owns that saying). I challenged the doctor that it would be nice to just have some help where I wasn’t palmed off to some slimming group like the relative that no one wants to deal with. I am sick of having the same blood tests done each time and they come back with the same results – I AM HEALTHY. I offer the doctor an alternative, perhaps instead of belittling me try and help me with my obvious addiction. This was then met with a steely stare from the doctor who then started writing and didn’t answer me at all. I was then sent home with pain medication and told to return if it happens again. Well what do you know three days later it happens again. I choose not to return to the hospital and deal with it at home.
We have AA meetings and narcotics anonymous why is there not a sugar addiction anonymous? It would be so helpful to have a 12 step programme to help us all lose weight. Sometimes slimming groups are just too intimate to deal with. I am not good with lots of people, an issue I am trying to solve by attending workshops and classes at the university where I know there will be lots of people. But small steps, that’s what it takes, small steps. So here is to hoping I stay out of hospital next week as it’s Easter break and I am looking forward to spending some much needed time with my children ‘cause I just don’t have enough grey hair on my head. Their fighting will certainly fix that.

Post 3

Ok so where do I find myself right? Running around like a headless lunatic. I have end of year projects and exams coming out of my ears, all whilst trying to sort out school trips for my kids and generally try and breathe… you know the other normal day to day stuff. Why does stuff always creep up on us and throw our lives into chaos? My plan to stay healthy has hit a snag. I am an emotional eater so when I get stressed I tend to reach for the first giant sized bar of whatever chocolate yumminess I can find and eat my stress away. I would love to say that I have discovered the secret to not doing this but that would be a massive lie. So I reached for the chocolate and tried to eat the stress away. So as I sat there in the cold light of day with my guilt surrounding me in the form of sweet wrappers and the usual suspects of junk food, I decide to surf the net looking for some inspiration. Now I have stated before that I have a health condition and my mobility is affected by this so my first port of call on google is exactly that. What’s the bet I find a million and one websites offering their magical cure for being fat?
But wait no what’s this I find? Yoga for the overweight!!! Really? How is that gonna work? My questioning mind makes me hit my mouse and send me to the page. I sit there and carefully go through the entire site for well over an hour trying to find the joke. Do you know something, there isn’t one. So I co what any normal sane woman in my situation would do, I click the buy button. Yes, that’s right I will be embarking on a course of yoga that I can do at my size and with my mobility problems. I am excited as today I got an email confirming that my shipment had been made and my disc’s would soon be with me. So what do I do next? Well I call my lovely twin sister and ask her for a yoga mat. She is a fitness instructor (I know the irony is not lost on me) and she can’t wait to hear more about it. I tell her that I have to do the yoga at home and I am going to need her help to make sure I do it every day. So to double my chances of success I am also going to blog my yoga. Yes, I will post a pic of me starting my first day of yoga and everyone can see my progress as I soldier on through this and try to achieve some help with the general state that is me.
So keep tuned and wish me luck I have a feeling I am going to be kissing the ground a lot as I fall over and bang into things whilst trying to bend and stretch myself into some weird and wonderful poses. So hopefully you will enjoy this or at least have a good laugh at my attempts and struggles with this.

Post 4

So my yoga pack has arrived and I’m very excited. I open it will all the glee of a 5-year-old on her birthday expecting the latest Barbie doll. Ok so what is in the pack? Well there are 6, yes 6 DVD’s a wall chart of positions and a book I have to read. I so made the reading part sound like a chore, it’s not. I love to read.
Reading through the book I can see it shows me how to start clean eating and which vegetables and fruits are the best choices to make. That will be tough ‘cause I ain’t known for my fruit and veg consumption. I should be ashamed of that but strangely my sugar addiction has kept be bold about my lack of joy when it comes to fruit and veg. I will have to retrain my brain to enjoy these foods. I am getting towards the end of the book and do you know what? This isn’t some gimmick. There is evidence to back up all claims made in the book such as adult research undertaken to see at what age our bodies start to build intolerances towards certain food groups etc.
Eeek ok it’s time to actually try this out now. Grabbing my not so sexy exercise clothes I decide that now is the moment to try it out. I have spoken with my sister the combat guru and told her I will let her know how I get on with my first attempt it. Oh wow he tells you to use chairs if you are not so stable with standing on one leg and so on. This whole routine is geared to help inept people like me who have hidden away from exercise and treated activities as though they were some sort of disease. Ok seriously I have to get this started…….

OMG I am dying. Yoga is not for the faint hearted. I thought yoga would make me all zen, not the red faced, sweaty mass that is heaving on the floor right now. This is gonna sound slightly sadistic but, I actually feel good. My body feels very alive, also very hot and not in ‘Cameron I just got out of the sea in a slinky bikini Diaz’ kind of way. I do believe my whole body is going to pay me back ten-fold in pain tomorrow but I really do think it will be worth it. Looking down at the chart I have to follow I wince as I see I have to follow the routines every other day. Well at least I will be working one day on and one day off, not a bad pattern really.
Waking up the next day I can see why you get the following day off from the workout. Muscles hurt that I didn’t know I even had. I am also walking like a new born giraffe who sank about 9 Jaeger Bombs. So is it worth it? Let me keep this up for the week and I will let you know.

One week later – Ok I feel really good. My headaches from trying to cut out all the awful food I have eaten for so long, are finally going away. Believe it or not the yoga helps with them and eases them away without having to resort to painkillers. My knees don’t feel so creaky and going upstairs doesn’t make me breathe like a desperate man looking for cheap thrills down a phone line. Ooh and guess what? I am sleeping so much better at night, even after just one week. I am waking up brighter and more alert instead of stumbling out of bed like a zombie in a shot of the Zombie Diaries Films. I am actually excited and happy to be able to continue with this and can’t wait to see how I progress. Watch this space for more news and a before picture of me, oh yes and I will be decked out in my fantastic workout gear. No laughing ok!!! Ok you can laugh a little, heck I do when I see me in it.

Post 5

I have a question for everyone who is reading this. What would you do if you were told when you were going to die? Would you cry? Maybe faint? Hmmm it’s weird isn’t it, you never really think about it. Perhaps you would go through this mysterious bucket list we all assume everyone has and start ticking things off. I don’t have a bucket list, I have never really thought about dying, well not until now.

I had an appointment to see a surgeon. As I have mentioned before I have an umbilical hernia and a gall bladder problem. I walked through those hospital doors expecting the same thing as usual; You’re fat, we can’t help you till you help yourself. Now go away we don’t like looking at fat people. It was strange sitting in that room with my mum. Yes, my mum was with me, I needed the support and she has my back and was not going to let them speak to me that way again. I was weighed etc. and then escorted into the room where the surgeon was. The look on his face told me that I was about to be told no once again and asked to leave. You see I have put up with my hernia for over 11 years. It pops out and I have to punch myself in the stomach to put it back in again. The joys of being pregnant, hernias are kind of a parting gift for the mother. Well it’s getting harder to “pop” it back in so I needed help.

This surgeon was a nice enough fellow, he spoke to me like I was an actual human being which made a nice change. Of course he said to the surgery but, this time he was going to explain to me why. He told me it would be unsuccessful and would be likely to return with greater complications. Yes, he did point out I was fat. He didn’t say it like I should be ashamed though. That knocked me over. I am not use to people looking at me like I am a human being. He said he understood that I have a weight problem and I explained that I am sick and tired of being told to go away and eat healthy and if I get given one more prescription for slimming world I may cry. That’s when he stopped and asked how many times I have been to Slimming World. I have been going back and forth to Slimming World for 14 years. It worked the first time for a while till I had my daughter. After that I couldn’t lose weight, my body didn’t like being force fed food to make sure I was never hungry. I told him that I am addicted to sugar and I need help, real help this time please. We talked about my gall bladder, hernia and my lymph oedema. He was kind, he listened to every word. I was waiting for him to tell me to try something else then see how I get on. HE DIDN’T. He looked me straight in the face and gave me the truth. “You will die in 3 years’ time if we don’t help you”. Yep straight out of the surgeon’s mouth came my expiry date – 2019. I will be 43 in 2019, my children will be 17 & 14 years old. They won’t have been married or had children by then.

His concern for me was that I had been pushed from one person to the next like some disgraced black sheep in the family. Moved along to be someone else’s problem. He dictated a letter to my G.P. while I was there and asked if I agreed to the things he was saying. This surgeon wants me to go to have my surgery. He wants me to have more though. He thinks I should have bariatric surgery and at the same time have my hernia and my gall bladder fixed. He sat there and told me he understood about my sugar addiction. He said that regardless of the amount of exercise I was doing and healthy eating I was not going to be fixed by a simple diet. My body had been taught that it had to be constantly full to be functioning. I have put on 3 stone since my last hospital visit even though I have been doing my yoga etc. What I need to do is not eat. He has asked me to visit my G.P. and tell them to refer me to the obesity clinic in the next county to me.

My mum sat and cried in that room. I couldn’t comfort her, my body wouldn’t move I couldn’t lift my arms to put them around her and crack a joke about the whole thing. I sat there totally numb just staring at the surgeon. I didn’t know what to say or do. I couldn’t think. I had not planned on this. I had walked in there expecting to be scolded by another doctor and left alone. Now I was facing a cold hard reality of my own mortality and it was fast approaching. It wasn’t till later on that I realised I had let those doctors push me around and shuffle me out the door. I should have stayed and told them no they will help me. But I didn’t believe in me so why should they. I looked at my daughter when I got back and she was the most perfect sight to me. I couldn’t imagine life without my children, what would their lives be without me?

I have booked my appointment to see my G.P. so on Monday the 20th June I will be walking down there with my mum (yep I am taking her cause she is my strength) and saving my life for me and for my kids. Come back next time and I will tell you how I got on ok.


Blog 6

Ok first things first. A huge thank you to everyone on Facebook. Your kind words and support were amazing. I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people sharing this journey with me. I promise not to make too many sad entries though. One, they aren’t my style and two, hopefully I won’t be going backwards and reliving a moment like that ever again. I was very scared and upset, I also felt alone. Your comments made me realise I am not alone, so for that I thank you.

Going to see the G.P.
So even with the letter from a surgeon and having previously discussed the issue of my sugar addiction with this doctor, she still wants to tell me that I have to do something other than what the surgeon has asked. I am already annoyed after waiting too long to be seen by her this morning. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against waiting, hell I am British we love to queue and wait etc., but when I am her second appointment of the day and she is running late already this does not bode well in my mind. So I am sat in her little office being made to feel awful once again only this time my mum is here to witness it. Thankfully my mum helps put a stop to it too.

The tiny, thin doctor asks me if I have tried absolutely everything to lose weight. I explain to her again for the third time with this doctor that I have been dieting for over a decade and I can’t lose the weight and keep it off. I also explain that since the hospital thought Slimming World was an option for me I have since gained 3.5 stone as you have to eat a lot of food on that diet. This doctor always makes me feel like I am running in a circle with her. My mum steps in mentioning the paperwork that I had printed off from the CCG and NICE (these gives G.P’s guidelines to follow in how they treat fat people). As she looks at the papers it’s clear she has never seen this paperwork before. I have highlighted all relevant points for her showing that ANYONE who has a BMI of 50> is to be placed straight into Tier 3 if they ask to be and do not have to go through Tier 1 or 2 first. Well my BMI is 54 so I show her I do not have to go through Tier 1 and 2 again. To my anger she still tries to talk me into having a course of diet pills. I then have to explain to her that as someone who has had cholestasis I cannot take the diet pills as they will harm my liver. By the look on her face she is not happy with this. My mum then points out that I need to eat less food and that my addiction needs to be addressed. I am so glad my mum is here and backing me up.

So the doctor says she needs to weigh me and take my blood pressure. I get on the scales and they are broken. I DID NOT BREAK THEM, sorry but I need to stress that for my self-esteem. They were already broken. So right now I am angry, het up and frustrated. The doctor comes back and weighs me. I haven’t gained any more weight which is good. Much to my dismay it’s time to have my blood pressure taken. I know she is going to use that God awful electric machine that never works with me. On the second attempt she gets a measurement and she is not happy with it and then says she wants me on blood pressure meds. Now I have never needed blood pressure meds ever so I am slightly upset she has even suggested them. Hospital doctors know to avoid these machines with me as they never get a proper reading from them with me (I’m awkward like that). So the doctor now asks me to come back in the morning and get a blood pressure machine to take home for the week. She then informs me that as I have insisted so much she will send the referral to the clinic. I explain to her that I need to have the therapy they offer as I feel it would be very beneficial for me, she looks at me as though I should just stop eating and all will be ok. Ha! If only that were true it would solve all my problems. She sternly looks at me and tells me that I cannot stop trying to lose weight while I wait for my appointment from the clinic. Why do they always think that fat people want to be this way.  But me and my mum leave and go book the appointment for the morning with the nurse.

So it’s the next day I went to see the nurse to get the damn machine that will squeeze the life out of my arms. I sat there as she went through all I needed to do at home. Then said she wanted to take my blood pressure to record this morning and write it on the sheet. O.K. now I have said this before, these machines do not like me at all and sitting here pleading with the nurse to take the cuff off my arm as my hand starts to swell and go purple only proves to me they hate me. The nurse starts to panic as the machine seems hell bent on crushing my arm and the screen now reads 326 on the pressure monitor. Yep that’s way too high if you were wondering they normally shut off at around 160. Finally, the nurse manages to get the cuff off me and we both stare at my arms as we actually watch the blood start to flow again. The top of my arm looks awful with lines of blood under the skin where it was trapped in the cuff. I am not looking forward to this week at all as I will have to do this 3 times in the morning and 3 times in the evening. Guess I will have to do it on the other arm as the other one just looks mangled. The nurse assures me that once I have done this for a week and dropped in back in they will contact me and let me know if I need to come back in. Other than that we now have to play the waiting game to hear from the clinic. 

So really after all this I feel good that thanks to the surgeon I am now being referred to specialist who can actually help me, but I am still very frustrated with the way anyone who is overweight is dealt with in their G.P. surgery. It is time for G.P’s to top treating overweight people as second class citizens, they are people who need help and support. I always thought doctors were supposed to comfort their patients and support them, but in today’s society it seems fat shaming has now become the norm. Please everyone remember that people with weight issues may not be the lazy slob the media has taught you to see. They are most likely to be a person dealing with issues that are out of their control and finding it hard to get the help they need and they support they crave.

Post 7

Well it’s been a strange week for sure. I have been poked and prodded by nurses this week. Had to go in for more tests after my blood pressure results were not liked very much by the medical profession. Can I ask a question? Does anyone actually understand the difference between the two numbers on the blood pressure results? I didn’t either. I do now though, well kind of. Mine were not bad the top number was actually lower than normal for my age but the bottom number was higher than they wanted. Granted it might be because I hate having my arm squeezed to within an inch of its life and it makes me really tense having it done. I sat and talked with the nurse after stripping down to my bare essentials and having sticky things stuck to me so they could do an ECG. Also had bloods taken. The nurse was great, we sat and discussed exercise and my size and the problems I have controlling myself around food and sugar. She was the first nurse who actually thought I was doing the right thing. So that is two people in the medical profession who think I am on the right path. It certainly helps your mind-set when the doctors and nurses want to help you. I walked out of that surgery this week feeling much happier about the decisions I was making about my life and how it will drastically change. But as my lovely nurse pointed out to me sometimes drastic action is required to make a measurable difference and what may work for one person might not work for others. For me diets have wrecked me. Swapping from one diet to another has not worked and what I need is to make sure I never over eat ever again and make sure that my whole way of thinking about food changes to a more positive thing. She said there are people who can help so taking action to find that help is the best thing.We sat and talked for an hour about the way addiction affects people and it was one time where I wasn’t judged for loving sugar, chocolate and all the other things that have added to my waistline over the years. She did point out I was an emotional eater and that was something that must be addressed quickly so I can find new coping mechanisms. She is right. I waited a few days and got my results back and everything is completely normal and I am healthy to start tier three of the process.

The other day I was sat with my daughter and she sat there crying saying she didn’t want to see her daddy. Now even though I don’t get on with my ex-husband I have always said that my children must see him and maintain a good relationship with him. Regardless of what happened between me and him it should never affect my children. But this one time upset me, my beautiful daughter sat there crying as she said she didn’t want to hear her daddy call me bad names like fasty and fatso anymore. She said it was cruel and she hates the word fat. She cried telling me that her daddy used my actual name when talking about me to his girlfriend and she didn’t know who he was talking about so had to say fatso so she knew who he was talking about. Now I should be livid that I am being called names right? Well I wasn’t. I am use to that. It’s something normal that overweight people deal with on a daily basis. I was however upset that my daughter was suffering because of me. It’s not till you see your own child crying over something like this that you realise that you have made yourself a victim. I don’t condone my ex talking like that in front of my children but it has opened my eyes to the fact that others around me are affected by how I treat myself. So I sat with my daughter and told her exactly what was going on with me and that I am trying to fix everything although it will be a long journey and a tough one too, it is one I am doing for myself as well as them. So my cheeky little 11-year-old daughter has asked if she can set me challenges along the way. I have to admit I was a bit hesitant at first, she asked if I would video everything. My sister has also said I should do this so I can look back at things and see the distance I have travelled on my journey in this. Plus, I think my daughter wants me to make a fool of myself on one of her musically video’s. But hey whatever makes this journey more fun is great in my book.

One thing I did want to talk about this week is the fact that people think weight loss surgery is cheating. I was accused of taking the easy route out of a problem. Now firstly I have been researching what will happen before and after surgery. Trust me when I say this is not an easy way out. My entire life is going to change. How I eat and what I eat will be forever changed. This was not something I had ever considered and a long time ago I had a discussion with someone about it and I was of the opinion that I would never have surgery. But that was before I was told I would die. That kind of information changes your perspective quite a bit I can tell you. So the idea of having my insides completely changed doesn’t seem so bad after all. Especially if it means I get to live a long healthy life and see my kids grow up and achieve as much as they can


Post 8

It’s that time of the year…. Yes, summer is here and its holiday season. Sadly, I won’t be squeezing into a one piece on the beach as I have a fear Greenpeace will try and put me back in the sea like rescuing a whale that banked on the beach. But I am sitting on a lovely beach enjoying the sunshine and having fun with my kids as I write this blog.
A quick update for you all. I have my first hospital appointment on the 19th Sept to have my bloods done and meet the people who are going to be helping me. I can’t eat or drink anything other than sips of water for 14 hours before my appointment. That is going to suck because anyone who knows me, knows I live for coffee. I am nervous but also excited about this appointment, hopefully they give me great guidelines to follow and a good plan for eating.
Ok back to my holiday (I really want to brag about the beach). The beach is great; I always feel very at peace when I am by the sea. I have started to ponder about a few things though. I went to an amusement park with my wonderful sister and my beautiful kids the other day and I couldn’t go on any rides. This was great for my son as he didn’t have to hold my bags but I desperately wanted to go on the rollercoaster and all the other rides. I love any ride that goes fast and swings you around like a pebble in a jar. As I stood there watching the rides I saw there was no way I was fitting in any of those seats. The bars would dig in and that’s if they actually managed to get them down over my abundant size. I couldn’t risk the shame and embarrassment of being told to leave the ride so I just avoided them.  Like I said this has got me thinking, I wanted to tell you about the things I will not miss about being fat.

10 Things I will NOT miss about being fat

  1. Not fitting on rides – as I have said above, I love them. I love the feeling of my insides rising when the rollercoaster dips down fast and the thrill as you think you are going to fall but instead you are swept away in a fast movement and thrown in every direction. I went on the waltzers last year and asked the man to make sure he spun me and my friends really fast, he laughed at me and said it was going to be the best workout he’d had in years trying to push our carriage enough for it to spin fast (I haven’t been on them since after that comment).
  2. Getting up off the floor – we have all seen us fat people trying to get up off the floor or grass at a picnic. Yep, that’s right we have to do the fat woman roll, grab and stand move. I hate that I have to roll onto my knees then grab the nearest object to pull myself up on before I can get close to standing up.
  3. Seatbelts – This is a huge problem if you are overweight. Lots of cars I can’t even get a seatbelt to fit me. I sit in the back of my dad’s car and pretend I have it on by draping it on my arm. When you can fit one around you then it cuts across your body in a way that makes you look like some alien from sci-fi film that we should all be running away from.
  4. Seats – These are a big issue for most overweight people. I don’t like sitting in between people. I feel awkward and like I am taking up too much room so I try to make sure I get an end seat. It’s awful when someone does sit next to you and they do the weirdest move so they are virtually leaning across someone so they don’t come anywhere near you. Booths in cafes, which I see are now some form of movement in the decorating world. I can’t fit in them, they are designed for thin people and I know people are watching to see if the fat girl will attempt to try and sit and give them all a laugh.
  5. Fat Shaming – This happens A LOT. If you have read my previous blogs you will notice that’s Doctors and Nurses love to fat shame. Not all of them I should point out, but a vast majority of them do love it. It serves no purpose and probably makes the problem so much worse for the person being shamed. It makes me feel worse about myself and brings on a lot of self-loathing etc. I really won’t miss fat shaming at all.
  6. Eating in public – I try to avoid it as much as I can. I hate people looking at me when I eat. I don’t like the way people look at what is on my plate and they do look. I don’t think people realise sometimes how hard it is when you are addicted to one thing you need to keep you alive. I avoid eating out at restaurants as much as possible. I had my 40th birthday a few weeks ago, what did I do for it? Nothing, I did nothing to celebrate it. I didn’t want to be seen out for a meal and I didn’t want anyone to look at me at all, so I avoided celebrating it which I know upset my twin sister as she really wanted to go out but I just couldn’t handle people looking at me and the hideous comments of “Oh you can’t possibly be twins, your sister is so thin and healthy and you are, well you know” or my favourite one over the years “you two are like Danny DeVito and Arnold Swarzenegger”.  I don’t like that my bad image of myself stopped me from enjoying my birthday with my sister all because I hate eating in public.
  7. Tropical Moments – Yes, I get hot flushes. I am overweight so my body responds with making me feel like I am on fire. I look terrible as I sweat (none of this feminine glistening you see in the movies). I literally look like I just walked through a car wash. My hair frizzes and I look like I am having some form of medical episode. It’s not flattering at all.
  8. Pictures – I hate having my photo taken. I always tell people please only take a picture of me from the neck up. I never let people take a picture of me showing my whole body. I don’t like looking at me so why would anyone else want to see me in their photo.
  9. Trainers – I hate them. I miss wearing boots and heels. I can’t risk wearing them or even fit my fat swollen feet in them. Granted my Lymph Oedema has a lot to do with why I can only wear trainers, but that should be a lot more manageable once I have lost my weight. I miss heels so much. I am a short girl so I miss the height when wearing heels.
  10. Frumpy Fat Girl Clothes – Yes these I will not miss. I only wear t-shirts and jeans. I want to wear dresses and bright colours. They really don’t make very nice clothes for anyone who is fat. Shirts are always too short and show your belly off a little. So I tend to buy clothes that are a size or two bigger than me so they don’t show any lumps, bumps or shapes that are just awful.


Each one of these things in the list is pretty trivial to most, but to me they are important. I don’t want to deal with them any longer. I could list a lot more but I won’t. I want each one of these to be a goal. Each time I don’t have to deal with one of these things I know I will closer to my final goal. Those 10 things are my check off list to my healthier lifestyles and my happier days.

Blog 9

Cloud nine, I am floating on cloud nine. I can’t believe the difference it makes seeing someone in the medical profession who actually wants to help you. Ok so we all know I have been waiting for my referral appointment and I went today. I will confess I was scared, but thankfully I had my mum there with me. Yes, I know I am a grown arse woman but you know what? Sometimes you just need your mum and my mum is right by my side. We left my dad in the car. I promise we cracked a window for him (I’ve seen those video’s on youtube of people breaking windows to let the puppies get fresh air) so my dad was sorted. – I would like to point out in case anyone is offended by that it was a joke. My dad was sat very comfortably waiting for us.
The clinic is very small and very quiet and I am given a ton of forms to fill out when I get there. There are lots of questions about my feelings etc. I am not one to really like being asked all that kind of stuff but I want help so I sit and fill it all out.  After 10 mins I am called in to an office by a very smiley lady. I should point out I have not eaten for 15 hours or had anything other than sips of water in that time. This puts me in an irritable mood as I have not had any coffee. But she puts me at ease straight away by saying she won’t do any tests today as she just wants to talk with me and discuss my needs. As we go through my eating habits I am waiting for a look of disdain or for her to tell me that I need to learn more self-control and so on. This does not happen. I know right we were all expecting a little fat shaming but there was none to be found there. She told me she couldn’t believe the treatment or lack of it that I had received from my G.P. surgery. She was very upset to find out that I was not under clinical care for my legs. Apparently I should attend regular hospital appointments for them. I was never given this from my doctors. They just gave me a prescription for bandages and left me to it. She asked me a lot of questions about my moods and how I approach things. It turns out I am high up on the depression scale. I should point out that I do not feel depressed at all. I get annoyed with things but don’t we all? I have seen people with depression and heard how horrible it is for them, that is not me I don’t feel like that at all. She skated over it and said we would look at it again on the next appointment. We discussed my sleeping habits which are awful. I rarely sleep well and will wake several times in the night. So she has decided I need to go to sleep studies. I am to have a monitor on me when I sleep for week to see why I am so unsettled and how many times I move and wake etc. All the time she is writing down the things I need from them she is keeping me at total ease and cracking jokes and generally having a good time with me and my mum. I have never had this kind of experience in any medical setting. My sense of humour when at appointments has got me thrown out of hospitals before (I kid you not I got kicked off a cancer ward a relative was in). I think I am definitely going to like everyone here if they are half as happy as the nurse today.
So next she asks me very nicely to get on the scales as she must weigh me so I have a starting weight for their records. Happy days it turns out I have lost two stones in two months. That leaves me feeling stunned. I was expecting to have put weight on but I have lost weight. What a bonus. She then sits me down and tells me that she can tell me how long I will be on what they call Tier 3, she tells me that I will have to complete 6 months on this, which in all honesty is much shorter in time than I assumed it was going to be. She also tells me my G.P. will not have any say in whether I get to have surgery as it is out of the G. P’s hands now thankfully to new regulations. She also tells me that I must come back on the 2nd November for my next appointment where they will go through what my eating plan will be and that I will be on the Milk Diet for one month. This will be to see what my reactions to cravings etc will be like and to show me how to control them. Everything is explained very carefully to me and I am left not needing to ask any questions at the end of my appointment. 
I won’t have to give anything up at all like I thought I would with the eating plan. Well apart from when I do the Milk Diet. They want me to learn control and to enjoy what I eat but know my limits. I know it’s going to be hard work and they have warned me of this but I am so ready for this. I want this more than I have ever wanted anything. Ooh and she has applied for me to get funding for gym membership as I am a lowly student.  Yes, really they can do that for you, I was shocked too. So for now I am floating on a cloud having received the best help in a long time. I can’t wait to get started and finally get to be who I want to be.

Post 10

I don’t have to do the milk diet. I am so happy about that as I was not looking forward to drinking milk every day and nothing else. I had it in my head that I would suddenly grow to hate coffee and milkshakes as they are the only thing you can mix in the milk while on that diet.
So after sitting down and talking more about my eating habits and discussing whether I am an actual binge eater or not the nurse has kindly informed me that my eating habits are because they have become a habit over many years. She also explained that with the fright I had from the surgeon and so on I was moving in the right direction. So from now until the 16th December I will be on a 1500 calorie diet. I will have to give up my Dr Pepper or move to sugar free Dr Pepper. I think I will just give it up though because if I do get surgery I will not be allowed to have fizzy drinks in any form. I may as well get started with that now and save a headache down the road.
The nurse also pointed out to me that I like having projects to do and that I should build a reward system for myself. So every time I achieve a goal I should pick a reward from one I have written down and put everything in a folder and monitor what I am doing. I have to admit that as geeky as it sounds this really is the way to get me to do things. I like to learn new things and to organise them etc, so doing things this way will appeal to me. So now I need to sit down and figure out what my rewards are going to be and also what my distractions when cravings start are going to be. I know a trigger for me is boredom and since going back to University I have not been bored and kept nicely distracted, but as the nurse pointed out to me I won’t always be in University. Which by the way is a shame because I could easily and happily take on another degree course once I have done this one.
I met some lovely ladies in clinic today too. Both have been on the pathways longer than me and one is post op. It was nice to sit and chat with people who are going through the same thing as me. It somehow puts you at ease knowing you are not alone and that there are others going through this same ordeal. I still get nervous and shaky when I am about to see a doctor or nurse even though I know at this clinic they are so nice and never judge. The downside to them being nice though is that when I have to see my G.P. They seem to be so brash and harsh in comparison.  Which reminds me I need to book an appointment with my miserable G.P. as they won’t refer me to the sleep clinic until I have sat down with them to discuss it. Not sure what needs to be discussed though – the clinic have told me to get booked in to the sleep clinic and that’s all there is to it. But looks like red tape must still be dealt with. Well I am off to Tesco to treat myself to a shiny new folder to put all my diet stuff in and make my food diary and such and yes I am smiling at the thought of shopping for stationary, sad I know. Let’s see if I can manage keeping up with counting everything out and making sure I get the right portions of each food group on my plate every day. Fingers crossed I can get my head around it quick enough.

Post 11

Wow it feels like so long since I last wrote. What have I been up to? Well I had my sleep clinic appointment this week. I am going to be honest with you, it wasn’t fun. I had to take a machine home and use it for the night. How did it go? Well, erm…  not so great. I couldn’t relax enough to sleep properly with the damn machine tied round my chest and then another thing stuck to my finger and then some contraption shoved up my nose. So, after five useless hours of sleep I woke feeling far from refreshed the contraption that was supposed to be up my nose monitoring my breathing was slung round my neck like a noose. I assume I must have freaked at some point in the night and ripped it out. I should point out it was also stuck to my face with tape. The nurses advised that I do this as I can only presume people must pull at it in their sleep, well not me no siree bob, I ripped the thing clean off. The wonderful monitor that was attached to my finger and then had to be taped to my arm and wrist had also been ripped off. I think it’s clear to say that I do not sleep well when trussed up like a turkey. I send my heartiest wishes to the people trying to make sense of the data they gathered whilst I tried to ‘sleep’.

So how has my 1500 calorie diet been going? Not too shabby if I do say so. I haven’t had a Dr Pepper in 6 weeks, yes that’s right 6 whole weeks. This is a major achievement for me as I am a self-confessed sugar addict and Dr Pepper was my drug of choice. I am off to the hospital in the morning to be weighed to see if it has made a difference. My fingers and toes are crossed hoping it has.
I have had an action packed and dramatic time too. I was looking forward to heading off for a weekend teaching course. Yes, I want to teach young and impressionable minds. My university was letting 18 of students learn TEFL for free. Basically, that meant if I passed the course then I would be able to teach English around the globe in any old room I wanted too. So, on the Friday morning I was getting everything ready for my course and by midday had it all packed when the phone rang. I can’t express just how horrible it all got after that phone call. You all know I have the wonderful twin sister and an awesome brother, right? Well the phone call was sister, she was in pain and she was worried. After telling her to ring an ambulance my father rushed me to her flat where I found her in so much pain. After 90 minutes a first responder showed up and started working on her to relieve the pain. He urged the ambulance to get their arses to her flat as quickly as possible. Finally, they showed up, they took my sister to the hospital where she was dosed up on morphine and they started running tests. By midnight they were talking emergency surgery. My sister was in trouble, she had torn a hole in her stomach. This was becoming life threatening as bile was leaking in to her stomach. My goodness she was so brave, much braver than me. I was a mess, when they took her to x-ray I broke down crying to the point that an entire family hugged a wall as they walked passed me to get as far away from the mad crying woman as they could.  By 1am They had decided what was going to happen and I felt awful as I had to leave her alone in the hospital. Our lovely parents collected me from the hospital and helped me try and get some rest before I went off to start my course. I feel awful I couldn’t cancel it and still had to go. I couldn’t sleep all night and walked into the classroom that Saturday morning looking like night of the living dead. I did explain to them what had happened and that my phone would not be switched off. They were very understanding I must say. I spent the next 12 hours learning and practicing teaching techniques. Finally, by 9pm I was home and could find out how my sister was. She had had the surgery and was on the ward recovering. I had messages galore from her friends asking if they could go see her. I will admit I was being totally selfish and told them no, partly because she had just had major surgery and because I was her sister and I wanted to see her first. Yes, I know very selfish, but I do get selfish about my family. But hey they ignored me anyway and went up to see her. I went to my second day of teaching workshop and spent 8 hours with everyone and finally did my presentation lesson. I am happy to say I passed and have the certificate to prove it.

After a very long 10 days my sister was allowed home. I have never wanted to wrap my sister in cotton wool until now. If I could have moved in to take care of her I would have, but she would have ended up killing me. So now we are at the point where my sister is healing and recovering and I am not missing fizzy drinks and had to sleep with a weird thing up my nose. Ok I will be back once I have been to the hospital in the morning with news as to whether me doing this 1500 calorie diet has helped me shift the smallest amount of weight.

Ok here I am back from my obesity clinic appointment. I am shocked and stunned. I have lost 5 kilos or 11lbs if you prefer it that way. So, the next plan is to survive Christmas without stuffing my face full of chocolate and booze and go back in February with hopefully more weight off and getting closer to my goal. Today is a good day. I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas and a fantastic New Year. 



Blog 12

I stop breathing on average 25 times an hour at night while sleeping. 25 times is a lot, kind of a scary number really. Am I scared? No! I don’t like the sleep clinic much at all. I have to go back tomorrow and sit in a room and watch a video on my condition. I don’t like the idea of this at all. So, what actually, happened in my sleep clinic appointment? Well I took my daughter as I had to because it’s the school holidays and she wanted to out and not at home. I wish I hadn’t taken now, she was sat in the room with me when they said I stop breathing on average 25 times an hour whilst sleeping. I didn’t know this was the result I was going to get. I thought they would tell me I was a fidgety sleeper not that I have to stop my driving lessons till I have undergone treatment for two weeks and they can clear me to drive and that I stop breathing so much when I am sleeping. According to the nurse I have had this all my life as my sleep has always been the same (at least I know it’s not because I am fat).

So, at the treatment appointment I am sat down with two other people who also have OSA. Yes, that’s what it is called, because I can’t have normal sleep apnoea. We all sit and watch a dvd of our condition and then and how it affects us while we sleep (our brains don’t get enough oxygen, yes that explains a lot about me). After watching the dvd I am then lead onto a side ward and there I try on a mask and am shown how it all works. I must lie down for 20 mins wearing the mask to feel how it works. Now, this would be fine but you can’t tell a lot about it in 20 mins really. We are all warned that we won’t feel the benefit of this for a couple of weeks as we need to get use to sleeping with the equipment (I will forever be alone as who on earth wants to share a bed with someone wearing equipment to sleep).

So how did my first night go with the equipment? Bloody awful. I woke up more than I normally do because you cannot open your mouth when you wear the mask, if you do open your mouth then a huge rush of air comes down your nose and out your mouth taking your breath away. It is not fun I can assure you. My throat is raw this morning as I seem to open my mouth a lot while I am trying to sleep. I ripped the damn mask off by 1am because it just got too much in the end. The lovely nurse who was helping me says she will phone on Friday to see how I am coping. I think I am going to ask for a different mask because I fear my sleeping is going to get much worse at this rate. My throat is definitely going to be red raw by Friday.

How is my eating plan going? Well obviously, Christmas was difficult but totally manageable. I still haven’t had a fizzy drink and I do feel better for that but I have let my water intake slide and need to get back on track with that. I want to have lost a good amount by the time I go back on February 4th. I don’t want to have put any on, I want to lose more weight. My hernia has been playing up quite a bit though I have noticed as I am trying more exercise. Granted I am not down the gym etc. but I am making sure I walk more and take stairs whenever I can instead of using the lift. I also noticed where I have dropped a dress size my hernia pokes out a lot more too. I am really starting to look like John Hurt in that scene from Alien. If I ever get thin this will definitely be a talking point for people when they see me in the street.

 I tried some protein bars the other day, these are similar to ones I can eat after surgery to make sure I have enough protein and to be honest they are not great. They are not awful either, just something I will have to train myself to have. I am making sure I tick off each food type as I go each day and still weigh out my cereal in the morning and so on. I have to keep doing this so it all becomes second nature to me. Bananas have become my new friend too but I don’t want to eat too many of those. I need to try and keep my fruit intake varied.

My head is so full of information on this and that from various doctors and clinics that I sometimes wish I had never started this. But I want to live a long and healthy life so drastic action must be taken. If I don’t then I won’t get to see my kids make the huge milestones in their lives like marriage and kids or watch them graduate and work doing something they love. I also don’t want them looking at me and thinking I didn’t try to make it better for me and for them.

Post 13

Damn it… Ok having gall bladder pain is worse than natural child birth (which I have done twice and prefer to this). A whole month of pain and sitting in A&E most nights praying that the morphine will take the pain away. I know they said this journey would be hard and painful and they weren’t joking. I thought when they said it was going to be hard following the advice and methods given to me from the clinic that it would be cravings etc. not actual pain, physical vomit inducing pain. I am tired and in pain and I find myself crying and asking if this is all worth it. I feel sorry for my family having to witness me writhing around in pain and there is nothing they can do to ease it. Every night that my gall bladder has decided to rip pain through my body, my mum has sat with me and held my hand trying to ease the pain and my dad has paced the floor waiting to be able to shuffle me in the car to drive me to the local A&E. It’s not fair on them and I feel selfish.

I have my appointment with clinic today to discuss how I am doing and if I have lost any weight etc. I sit there crying again (seriously what is with all the waterworks lately?) explaining about how I have been in pain every night and I am not sure I can keep going if this carry’s on. Trust me when I say I am on my last nerve and want to quit so badly. My doctor is amazing, I cannot praise her enough, she sits and hands me tissues as she listens to how the last month has been for me. She realises I am scared, hurting and need help and support. She tells me she is worried that my gall bladder is going to provide a lot of complications when it comes to the final section of tier 3 of the weight loss procedure to get my hernia, bypass and gall bladder surgery. Even though I feel like telling her I have had enough and I want to get of this fairground ride I find the words leaving my mouth are ‘I want to finish this and get through it regardless of the pain’. My brain is screaming at me as I say this to stop and just give up it won’t hurt if I give up. However, how can I give up now? I have come so far and I have lost more weight thanks to the support, help and advice from this clinic.

They have never once fat shamed me or told me I am lazy and unable to do this. They have done nothing but encourage me and show me how capable I am and it’s then that I realise that there is no turning back. I can sit around and just roll over and die like the surgeon told me would happen or I can take a couple more months of pain to get to a healthier and longer life. So, my doctor decides to put my name forward to the surgeons earlier so that I will sit down with the surgeon by April and have a psychology session to make sure my head is ok with what will happen as soon as the surgery journey starts.

I have lost over 3 stone in the months I have been writing this blog, which is way more than I normally lose. I am happy that I am being looked after and that these doctors and nurses actually care and my eating habits are so changed. I rarely eat anything with sugar in it now. I consciously look at how much fat and sugar are in things and I choose fruit and veg over most things now. It sounds insane that I have to actually think about this sort of thing but it’s not until you address actual sugar or food addiction that you realise how bad we all need help with this. This is not an easy journey at all, even to the point where I would prefer to give birth without any form of pain relief, but I know it’s going to be worth it once I get there. Ok now I am off to dance around my living room to some truly fantastic music and sing so loud that the neighbours will bang on the wall. Have a great day everyone.

Blog 14

Ok anyone who says this is easy is a liar, a big walloping, pants on fire kind of liar. OMG it’s reading week at university which means I get a whole week to catch up on things for my assignments.

I need this break for sure, so imagine my horror that on Monday I start feeling pain in my back and thought oh no please don’t let me have a kidney infection (they warned me I could get other symptoms while finishing off tier 3). I managed to get an appointment straight away at my G.P. surgery (I know, a miracle). So, I popped down there to chat with the doc and see if I had an infection or if it was this damn gall bladder playing up again. Hmm well he poked, he prodded and I nearly went through the roof in his office. He decided it was not an infection but could be my gall bladder playing up and told me to take some pain meds and if it acts up again to go straight to the hospital. I made it as far as the pharmacy before I felt the wave of nausea hit me right at the same time that pain shot through my body. I swear if I had not been in the middle of Tesco I would have thought some wally had shoved a javelin through my side. With tears in my eyes I begged the pharmacist to hurry with my prescription so I could get some painkillers down my neck before I either passed out or vomited on their counter. I managed to get home thanks to my dad and take the painkillers only to be met with more shuddering pain.

Ten minutes later I am in the car being rushed to Accident and Emergency, now I would have been pondering asking for frequent flier miles or some reward scheme clubcard but I could hardly breathe with the pain. My local A&E department are amazing, I am actually thinking of proposing marriage to the whole department, can you marry a department? They made sure I was given strong painkillers and I saw a doctor in under three hours even though it was very busy. I guess me sitting in the waiting room rocking back and forth whilst moaning and wailing in pain is not enticing to watch. The doctor I saw decided that as I couldn’t have the surgery as I am awaiting two other surgeries that I should have it noted that I am to be kept topped up with strong painkillers all the time and that my G.P. should be made aware of this too. He sat and wrote an email to G.P. right in front of me saying how they were to keep a prescription for high medication until my surgery date comes through. I am so grateful to him for doing this as I genuinely can’t bare anymore pain. I have to admit I was close to attempting ripping the damn thing out myself and be done with it all. Pain makes your head think weird things and in the cold light of a pain free day I feel silly for thinking such things. I’m just so tired from it all. They don’t warn you just how hard the journey is, do they!

On a much lighter note I had the courage to venture out for the evening, I know it’s a miracle. Anyone who knows me well enough knows I love political comedy and Jonathan Pie was live at the Junction, I have been an avid fan of the weekly youtube video’s since they started in 2015 so couldn’t resist booking tickets. I dragged my poor sister along with me who is not a massive live comedy fan but she is very supportive of me, so she came along and oh my did we have a good night. I haven’t laughed so much in a long time. I actually had faceache from all the laughing. The support comedian Andrew Doyle was absolutely amazing too. I was nervous meeting up with my sister at first because as I have said before I have kind of locked myself away from the world. I didn’t want people to stare at the fat woman having to move to let people through and so on but as usual my sister made the evening wonderful. We made the startlingly discovery that I have locked myself away from the world for two and a half years. I can’t believe I have kept away from everyone for so long. It was strange to go out and just wonder around Cambridge as I haven’t been there since I was a student there a very, very long time ago, but the night was fantastic and my sister has said I need to take baby steps and get use to going out again.

I shall be venturing out to see people I haven’t seen for years on Sunday. I am saddened that it will be to drink a toast to a very dear lady whom I will miss greatly who sadly passed away but it will be good to see people and try and start to become a bit outgoing and lively like I use to be before the accident and everything went downhill. I admit to being quite scared even though these are people I have known for years. Hopefully everything will be fine. It’s gonna be a while till I go back to the hospital and see how everything is going and give you an update on that so you will have to put up with some insane rambles from me. Ooh and I have job now as well. I will be working as an outreach ambassador for my university. I can’t wait to start that. Well I shall raise my coffee mug right and drink to hopefully a pain free month and me not doing something embarrassing on Sunday when I stick myself in a room full of people for a change.













Sarah is an independant blogger, the views and opinions expressed in blogs are soley those of the original authors and other contributors.
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