Ch ch ch changes…

As you know, I had weight loss surgery a year ago. I weight less than half what I did. I can shop in ‘normal’ stores now. Does my head understand my real size yet? No. They say our heads are usually a year behind, so I still see myself as a lot bigger than I am.

I have always had nice clothes, particularly for work. If someone asked me, I’d have said I wore what I liked. Turns out whilst I did like my clothes, they weren’t actually *me* – as in, they weren’t what I would choose if I had real choice! Clear as mud?

I’m being careful not to shop too much, and to try things then make myself wait and go back if I still want something. Why? Because addiction transfer is a real risk after weight loss surgery and I don’t want a shopping addiction. Same reason I don’t touch alcohol.

But I am trying on a lot of different things and, having lived in trousers for years, it turns out I love dresses, and florals. Who knew? Here are some photos – a combination of ‘trying it on in shops’ selfies and new clothes, some second hand (because nothing I kept from last summer fits, even though stuff was tight and I thought it’d be okay).

I’ve included one photo of something I *thought* would fit, so you can see what I mean. The weird face I’m pulling with the floral t-shirt is because it’s a size 12 Charlo and my head was going “well, that can’t be right”…

 

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CMP17 week 32

We’ve had a wee break because the person who runs this had some family stuff she needed to deal with. Now we’re back into it, which feels good. I used Dylusions and Distress paints, various stencils, black Fude ball pen, white gelly pen, SSS ink pad. It’s one of those pages where what was in my head and what happened on the paper are worlds apart, but that’s ok – the fun is in the doing.

week 32

 

 

One year on I’m half the person I was!

A year ago today Ailsa and I were in Wellington and I was recovering from a gastric bypass with Atul Dhabuwala. It’s been a huge year with some major medical dramas, some of them ongoing. Just this morning I received an appointment to see Dr Anderson (the neurologist) as a follow-up to a stroke caused by the lead-up to Aspiration Pneumonia. I have a paralysed vocal cord, which ACC agree is a result of medical misadventure at Base Hospital. It is slowly healing but I sound like Darth Vader! 

In 2010, before we went to Italy for the Legato exhibition, I weighed 139.6kg. I lost 25kg before we left, but slowly regained 22kg. Dad died of a heart attack at 65 years old, and Mum died at 89 having suffered 16 years of ill health related, in part at least, to her weigt. When I discovered I could withdraw my KiwiSaver to fund surgery there was no looking back.

Atul set a goal weight of 75kg for me, based on the average percentage of excess weight people lose. To be a normal BMI I need to be 68kg. I’ve dropped below Atul’s goal; one year on, I have lost 70.2kg and sitting at 69.4kg. So, I am officially half the person I was…

Thanks to my boss Fiona, staff and colleagues, and STDC as a whole, for concern and support. My sister Ailsa for going with me for the surgery and check-ups, for taking me to hospital more than once, for cleaning up and sorting out, and listening. My best friend of 48 years, Sandra, who has cared without fussing, and just recently asked me “are you okay being this thin?” (or words to that effect) and when I said yes, was happy for me and left it at that.

And of course to Tony, who has dealt with a very, very sick wife – he has cleaned up unmentionable messes without complaint when I was at my sickest. He has coped with a shrinking wife, which must feel odd, and smiled patiently as I bought endless rounds of smaller clothes.  

It’s been a hell of a journey and I have truly earned every gram I have lost. If anyone thinks weight-loss surgery is the easy way out I have news for them! It is a battle every day to drink enough, to eat the right things, and to understand my fat brain.

Has it been worth it? Hell yes! I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Have I rewarded myself? Hell yes! I have always wanted an Annah Stretton Flip dress. On Thursday Tony and I went shopping for the day to celebrate his 71st birthday, and enjoyed dinner on the way home.  The photos below tell the story…

 

More card making

I’m still not painting, but I am crafting more, so the signs are good… Today I have made four more cards using my new Dyan Reaveley stamps, Copics, Glossy Accents, patterned papers from the latest Simon Says Stamp card kit, some older Bazzill cardstock and the Simon Says Stamp Uplifting Thoughts stamp set.

New Dylusions stamps

I recently received the latest Simon Says Stamp card making kit, a couple of dies, and some cute Dylusions stamps by Dyan Reaveley for Ranger (it’s the Puppy Dog Tales set). These are smaller than  her previous dog and cat stamps, so great for card making. I haven’t stamped sentiments on them, I’ll do that once I know what I want to use them for.

I made the backgrounds with Tim Holtz Distress Oxides, using the greens and blues such as Twisted Citron and Peacock Feathers, then spritzing with water. The stamps are stamped with Simon Says Stamp Intense Black ink and coloured with Copic markers, then the noses and eyes highlighted with Glossy Accents.

It’s looking a lot like…

Christmas? Yes, I’m making Christmas cards in July. Why? Because I can. Also,  I don’t have the energy for mass crafting yet so but doing a card or two at a time is manageable.

I bought three new rubber stamps recently, designed by Jo Firth-Young. These are only ATC size so the cards will need more than just this image (I think…) I love their hand drawn quality. I tried a couple using Copics but prefer colouring them with pencils.

I’m thinking of torn embossed borders, layers of patterned paper, ribbon, or mounted on plain kraft cardstock maybe? Who knows how these will turn out…

I actually paper crafted!

I have been doing a weekly art journal page, and some knitting, since my last hospital trip but haven’t really had the energy for paper crafts. I miss it and know doing art is good for me – but the thought of packing and unpacking and just *doing* has been too much. Until today…

I only managed three cards, but that feels like quite an achievement. I used my Stampotique stamps on Stampin’ Up cardstock, and for one I used a Distress Oxide background. The hare was originally on a plain background but I stuck some text on, didn’t like it, removed the text and tore the card base. I was going to throw it out, then thought better of it and just kept going – I think it turned out ok. Are they fairly basic? Yes, but a good feeling all the same.