Ticker to Goal

Sunday, 29 July 2012

London 2012

I cannot even begin to describe how excited I am and how proud I am to be British right now. Every single place I go is brimming with excitement, suspense and hope.

Did you watch the opening ceremony? I know it may not have meant a lot to people from other countries but I hope they could appreciate the show nevertheless. I loved it and cried actual floods of tears.

The forging of the rings - a tribute to the steel industry.

I think it celebrated some of the many things that makes Britain great (see what I did there ...)

The NHS - it may not be perfect but it is the best healthcare service in the world.

The child catcher - a tribute to British children's literature.

Her Majesty the Queen and James Bond
Passing the torch to the athletes of the future
The lighting of the Olympic Cauldron

Team GB has already had some disappointments and some real achievements. I have been a gymnastics fan for as long as I can remember. I watch the nationals every year and all the televised other competitions I can. Sadly that isn't many.

Louis Smith on the Pommel Horse
Beth Tweddle on Asymmetric bars
There are many other exciting events to come too over the next few days, including

Rebecca Adlington - 2 gold medals in Beijing
Tom Daley - World Champion 2012 diver
Tomorrow, I am getting up at silly o'clock. Picking up my friend Louise and driving round the M25 (which will hopefully not be in car park mode) to Windsor. From there, we will catch the shuttle bus to Eton Dorney, home of the Rowing events. I am too excited to describe. Rowing is a major sport for us Brits where we have won many a medal in the past. We aren't going to see a medal event but Team GB will be featuring in the heats and a few of the repechages.

Mens Coxless Fours
Are you enjoying them as much as I am?

Friday, 27 July 2012

New Research

You would think that in a lapband weight loss blog, band news would preside over laser hair removal but apparently not ...

So as a part of my dietician appointment on Tuesday, I was given a whole new set of rules and advice by my clinic. Sadly it's a hard copy but I am trying to get them to email it but all the people I need to speak to aren't in until next week. **Mari, I think they're giving them out so call and hassle your liaison person to get them to send you a copy**

Based on some new research done by Paul Burton of the Centre for Obesity Research and Education, the whole idea of how lap bands work has been rethought and rules adjusted. Then main rule now is 20, 20, 20 ...
20 chews for each bite
20 seconds to put your knife and fork down between bites
20 minutes eating only

The oesophagus plays a greater part in the satiety we all need more than originally thought. It is that the does the work squeezing food past the band into the stomach and stimulating the sensors in the top of the stomach to give that full feeling for longer. The pouch has a minimal holding effect because it's capacity is too small (just a couple of tablespoons).

The no drinking with meals and for x ... rule has been amended to leave at least a minute between eating and drinking and many surgeons now believe that fizzy drinks will not cause the pouch to dilate or stretch as it was previously believed. Good news for the soda junkies amongst us. My clinic have lifted the ban but did stress the importance of diet and sugar free drinks and drinking slowly. Still no change on the gum rule nobody else has though.

Please remember that I am a Primary School Teacher and patient not a certified medical professional, I am just sharing information I was given. If you have concerns or queries, the links are above if you want to share them with your medical experts.

7 hours and 20 minutes until the opening ceremony!!!! Yay for London 2012. Go Team GB!!!


For my 100th post, I am asking a really important question ... who knows how to change my settings so that the comments I make on other peoples blogs can be replied to. I have tried so many different settings since I realised I was a noreply@blogger person and nothing works. I reply to most of my comments and am fairly sure others must at times.

I have a comments sections of the settings and my address is entered there (correctly) but it also says
"You can enter up to ten email addresses, separated by commas. We will email these addresses when someone leaves a comment on your blog." but it is responses to my comments on other peoples blogs I am trying to fix.

Also did you know the Olympics are starting in less than 19 hours!! So excited. It only seems like 5 minutes ago when on 6th July 2005, the IOC announced London would hold the games and now they are here!!! EEEEEEEKKK! I can't wait to fill you in on all the exciting goings on. Go Team GB!!!!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Not so uptight

It's silly o'clock now but I just wanted to stop by and thank everyone for their hilarious responses to my hair removal stories. I am all recovered now and back to going to the toilet quite happily. I had a crazy day today and ate some naughty things but the 0.3 ml has helped hugely. I cannot remember the last time I had a not coffee drink for breakfast and didn't have to persuade it down. I had a lovely chicken salad with 1/2 pitta lunch and then came home and tried the recipes for my first pampered chef party tomorrow. If they weren't so damned tasty I definitely would have stayed on track better. D'oh.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Do you want to know what I did today ...

First things first, I am having trouble setting it up so I can be emailed back from comments I leave on other blogs. I have changed something else on my settings in the email and mobile settings bit and would love it if someone could let me know if it has worked.

Ok ... so I got up this morning and headed off to see the dietician. After filling her in on my antics of this weekend she was practically rolling on the floor laughing. I expected her to be mad but she wasn't. She gave me a little lecture on not eating naughty stuff just because I eat small portions. I really felt like yelling at her "What do you not eat cake and ice cream on your birthday?" but I had a sneaky suspicion it was more to do with the chips I got stuck on. I said I thought I needed a tiny bit out. I've been on the very tight side since the stuckisodes (thanks Michelle) and although I am confident it would settle down, I have a manic few weeks before Disney in 18 days!!!! and a little easing off to help the transition would be handy. I had 0.3 ml removed (which was put in last March) and I am much more comfortable and have only head hunger to deal with today. Yay. Fingers crossed it stays like this.

Then I drove back, past my house and on to Cockfosters, where I climbed aboard the tube ...

For the first time ever, it was deserted. I am guessing a combination of the beautiful weather we are having this week (it was 30*C ), the Olympic torch doing the rounds of London or the fact it was 1pm. I got to Kings Cross, did a little shopping at St Pancras International, had a coffee and then went off to get my lady-bits lasered!

Those of you with sensitive natures may stop reading now.

Yep, you read that right ... I hate pubes. I found a groupon and they are going ... for good ... all of them. Yes, again, I do mean ALL! I hate shaving almost as much as I hate pubes so I do it but it is just downright dangerous. And I know I can wax, but I don't like the stubbly grow back, so I saw my chance to get rid permanently and I grabbed. I went for the patch test on Friday, no problems, no pain to speak of so back I went. Well the lady who was performing said procedure warned me it would be a little different today because it would be a bigger area in each go. Holy crap, I was practically climbing the ceiling to get away from her. She had to reduce the level down 4 from the patch test because I couldn't take it. They tell you it is like being flicked with an elastic band but it's more like static shocks. Hundreds of them. All over your lady-bits. One after another after another. Each individually is over in a second, recovered in 10-15 but there is no break, no downtime, nada. Just a very nice, friendly woman with a sado-masachistic torture device pointed at your crotch. I haven't been to the toilet for the last 9 hours because I think, subconsciously, I am a little scared to take my knickers off again. In all fairness when I begged for a break she gave me a minute and then counted down the last few doses like a personal trainer counts down exercises for you. And it did hurt less than my eyebrow waxing ... but I have a deformed eyebrow and that makes me cry every 3 weeks so it's not saying a lot. There are 5 weeks before I have to go again. She said it will hurt less because I will have killed off some of the hair by then. I hope so.

Monday, 23 July 2012

A new beginning ...

Forgive me fellow bloggers, for I have been rubbish. Real world rubbish took over and I have barely had 2 seconds ... and then when I did, I wallowed in self pity.

My leaving do from work went well. I went to the venue early (4 pm) had a drink and was on my second by the time others started to arrive at 5 pm. My friend I went early with had to go at half 5 and I left about 15 - 20 minutes after she did. Thankfully the head had not arrived by then and I was just handed a nice little present and some cards. I cried a little but mostly kept it under control. I was gracious and polite but snuck off into the sunset like I wanted.

Thursday I had dinner out at Nandos with my friend Janet. She is the deputy head and for the last 4 years has stayed with me during the week. She is SUCH a good friend that I am really sad she has found a new home which is a commutable distance from work even though I am genuinely happy for her at the same time. I don't know if Nandos is as big in the US but basically it's a grilled chicken restaurant. It comes alone, in burger, pittas, wraps, with or without sides, with or without a variety of marinades. It is a great bandster meal. I had a 1/4 chicken (in mango and lime marinade) with coleslaw and a few fries. Twas seriously yummy.

Friday I worked out, had a protein shake, was busy all day (getting a match test in London - see tomorrow's blog) got chips for tea from the fish and chip shop and then, after 3 bites, proceeded to get the most stuck EVER!!! After 2 hours of being sick and laying on the bathroom floor, I knew I was going to have to be liquids only for a while. I made some soup about 9 pm. That came back with half a bucket of slime to boot.

Saturday was my birthday. I stayed in my house, in my pjs and wallowed in the misery of being 31, single, childless with a terminally ill mummy. I don't get desolate very often but I knew I would and had made arrangements to stay away from the world. I had bought a cinnamon swirl while I was in London specially to have for breakfast. Can you guess what happened next? Yes even more stuckness and crying on the bathroom floor. I walked to the supermarket (no credit here, it's a 5 minute walk) and bought myself a birthday cake. That went down just fine. Yes bad Sarah ... but it was my birthday!!!

Sunday, I spent sorting to, or beginning to sort, all the stuff I brought home from school when I left. I acquired an awful lot of stuff in the past 7 years. I also started organising the Pampered Chef stuff for my first party next week. Eeek so exciting but scary all at the same time.

Today I have caught up on blogs, emails and personal errands. It took a while and I didn't comment nearly as much as I should but the summer is here and for the next 6 weeks, I am going to be a bandster queen. With the possible exception of my Disney holiday because that is going to be HARD!!!

Tomorrow I am going to see my dietician and then I am back off to London. Look out for tomorrow's blog to find out what I've been up to.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

I love my band but ...

Sometimes I just want to ...

drink something cold and fizzy

eat stir fries, preferably chicken with sweet chilli sauce.

eat a sandwich with fresh soft bread

eat a whole Sunday dinner.

eat out without fear of getting stuck.

not have to think about how much I am chewing a particular piece of food.

not have to spit out bits of food because they are too tough.

chew gum because mints don't give me that fresh breath feeling.

be able to wallow in self pity occasionally and eat crap all day.

And then I remember

I paid a **** load of money for this

because although I sometimes want to do those things,

I want something else even more.

Before the band, I had bad days more often.

They turned into bad weeks or even months.

I would turn it around again

but it was just such a constant battle.

The battles post band are different.

I still battle for good choices over bad.

I still battle to stay away from the naughties that I know will go down nicely.


Today I didn't win the battle

but I am going to win the war.

Thank you band for helping with the fight.

You are the difference between the failures of my past

and the success of my future.

I count on you to not let me do the things I want to sometimes.

Even if I appear ungrateful

Even if I test you sometimes

I love you more than you can ever realise.

Thank you.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Overdue apologies ... epic post alert

I had to go to a funeral yesterday. Nigel was the manager of the bar at my university. I hadn't seen him for several years but having done my shifts behind the uni bar and in front of it for 6 years, I knew him well. He was a father figure to all the students who turned up around 18, giving us advice, jobs and drinks as we all needed. He was a great man and I felt very privileged to have known him. I will never see an old chipped teapot, a mug badly tea stained or a dalmatian without thinking of him.

Events like these are hard for me. I don't see many people from these days (more to follow in the next point) and whilst funerals are never fun, I was really working myself up into a state about this one and the people who were going to be there too. It was therefore crucial, I looked my very best. Unfortunately with a funeral you can't plan for it and loose weight in preparation so it's a good job I've been a good girl of late. I slipped back into the dress I bought for my granddad's funeral in January 2010  and with a little help from the people at Spanx. I would be willing to say I looked like the dogs bollocks! Felt like them too.

Sorry about the blurry pic. The self timer button doesn't always get the focus right and I was short of time. Plus I wasn't convinced I should be taking photos of myself going to a funeral.

Anyways ... a big chunk of a reason, I see or speak to very few people from this time in my life is a nasty situation back in 2005.

Dan and I with friends January 2005
Dan and I were in this weird, twisted relationship/not relationship/friendship mess. Nothing was official but we were inseparable and we had talked about our wedding, our kids, our future. A lot of the time it was all very secretive but everybody else was very aware we were a couple. Confused, yes me too. I did say it was a mess. We both had a friend called Louise. She worked in the uni bar, which Nigel (see above) managed and we hung out in. She was nice. We got on and had a laugh together. I started full time work and couldn't go out as much. (I would aim for one night in the week and weekends around his work schedule.) Dan didn't like it and other than a few snidey comments here and there and a few rows, he seemed to get on with it ok. He and Louise were spending more time together and then the next thing I knew, I found out (because I overheard girls gossiping in the toilets) that they were together, had been for weeks and there was a big, don't tell Sarah conspiracy. I was devastated, humiliated, hurt, angry, etc. I confronted Dan and he admitted it. Supposedly we were going to still be friends. (fat chance of that) Sadly, since Louise was working at the bar and he went there most days, I didn't feel like I could go. It was the seen of my humiliation and I certainly couldn't face either of them. "Friends" were unable/unwilling to make the effort to come see me away from the uni bar, either because they didn't understand my feelings or because they didn't care and all but the closest of us lost touch.

Fast forward to yesterday. I think you'll all agree I have changed considerably since those days. It wasn't really surprising everyone kept saying how great I looked. The uni folks ended up in a 2 camp split. Me, with my wonderful long standing friend Tarquin, Maz and a few of their good friends on one table and the Dan and Louise (now married) on another with a few of the former "friends". Next to each other but worlds apart. Many of them could barely even look at me. I swear I could feel daggers in my back. I wanted to leave. A few years ago, I probably would have left but I had T and my dogs bollocks dress so I held my head high and stayed the course.
Me and Tarquin, May 2012
 By 7 pm, the numbers had seriously dwindled, Dan and Louise were the only ones left in their camp so the two camps became one. It was fine. Surely we could carry on politely ignoring each other for the sense of occasion. No such luck. I made an effort, I made nice comments on their general group conversation because it was polite and T said I had to be nice. Then a grand exodus to the smoking area, left Louise and I alone. Whether she was fueled by the drink or not, I will never know. She said I looked well. I thanked her politely and then she apologised for "that business before". I said it was fine, I had moved on, I was glad they were both happy etc. I put on my best fake smile. Conversation progressed from there. Dan came back, bought me a drink. We had to relocate to a different area of the bar and got wedged in a corner together. Conversation carried on. Old friends, what have we been up to etc. Dan and I barely talked but exchanged comments on the general conversation which showed we had a lot of history. He hasn't forgotten it. Every so often, I escaped to the ladies to text my friend Helena that I was going insane and wanted to bash her round the head with a chair. T gave me lots of reassuring glances. They finally left. Dan hugged me and blew lots of kisses but she had the sense to just say goodbye. I had my first real drink in months. It wasn't strong because I was driving but I toasted Nigel and hoped he was proud of me. I was proud of myself, I survived and didn't kill anyone.

Now the silly cow wants to be friends on facebook. WTF!!!!!

I don't want to add her *stamps feet and pouts childishly* but if I don't, it looks like I am still all bitter and twisted. I'm not but I don't really want to connect myself with them. We have mutual friends and now this is no longer painful for me, I would like to make it easier on them. I thought about writing her a message to say that while I wish them all the best and enjoyed catching up, I think being friends is a bridge too far and would rather leave it. What do you think? Should I just suck it up since it's been the best part of 7 years or am I still justified in not poking at old wounds?

Sunday, 8 July 2012

A weekend in pictures

These are my new 13 jeans (because I'm in the 13 stone bracket now!) I am beginning to see a difference when I look back at the old photos (and since I am hideous at seeing change in myself, it must be fairly noticeable by now).

I went off to the school "summer" fete. Due to the atrocious weather, it got moved inside at the last minute. After I did my stint on the jolly jam jar stall, I headed off for my promised hot date with myself.

I needed to drink coffee, eat something sensible (a cinnamon swirl counts as sensible right?) and reapply my make up before heading off on an errand to my favourite shop.

Yes I saw fish shop guy. Yes he still makes my tummy go all funny. We talked as much as anyone can when one of you is working.

Despite the naughtiness of my starbucks lunch, I woke up to find ...

In stones

In pounds

In kilos

I'm really thrilled!! I love it when the scales decide to be my friend.

Then I headed off for this once in a lifetime experience. In true British spirit I waited for well over an hour in the rain. As you can see I wasn't even right at the front but I am so glad I went.

A brief moment of clear skies, just in time ...

Then I even made it home in time for the beginning of the Wimbledon Men's Final. Mari wants Federer to win but I am just hoping Murray puts up a good fight. First British man in the final since 1938! Whoop whoop! Go Andy. Shame you're a bit of a smug twit and nobody likes you that much but beggars can't be choosers and all that. However this is my Wimbledon celebration.

Shame this tiny little bowl is the vast majority of my days calories but I skipped the Pimms.

As I am about to post this, the roof has been drawn over centre court. Federer and Murray have a set each and Federer leads 3 games to 2 in the third set. Murray's doing well, holding on and making Federer work for it.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Unlucky for some ...

So this week has been really hard. I have been battling a lot of emotions about leaving my job, not having another one and since my job share has returned from her maternity leave this week, my salary will be down 40% from now! Tough times. I had made it clear to the deputy head (my friend who stays with me during the week) that I didn't want a leaving do. I don't like being made a fuss of and since I have a lot of mixed emotions and not a lot to celebrate about leaving (apart from escaping the crazy head teacher) I told her I would rather just leave. The sign up sheet went up on Tuesday. I was told in the middle of the staff room (when throwing a tantrum and restating my reasons for not wanting one wasn't really an option) that it had been arranged and that I didn't have to stay all night or have dinner but I'm getting one. I sulked. I came home and got upset. When my friend came home, I asked if I hallucinated the conversation about no leaving do and she said everyone else had told her I had to have one but I could think of it as an end of term thing. She offered to cancel it but I thought that would look really tantrumy. I haven't signed up to say I am going though. ;o)

Then on Wednesday I found out that one of my close friends and her husband have had to terminate their pregnancy as their son was terribly ill with no chance of survival. My heart is breaking for them. This news has completely floored me and I cannot even begin to comprehend their pain. There are no words of comfort for them. They are in all my prayers, for now and the foreseeable future. They are good people. They are strong and they will survive but for now please pray for them.

However the weigh in week has ended on a high. After struggling since Monday to get my number back under control, today I was rewarded with a new number :o) and I am especially excited about this one ... so Mari, Justine and unidentified person from York, I give you ... the thirteens!!!! Whoop whoop!!!

In stones

And in pounds

For some reason the scale/camera couldn't get it on in kilos this morning but it was an even 89.0

With 4 weeks to go until Disney, I am unsure whether I shall make my target but I am determined to be at least in the 180's even if I have to liquid diet it for a week!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Yesterday was a bad day ...

I don't know what set it off but Saturday was good, I worked out, treated myself to Chinese in the evening, PBed a little (ok quite a bit) in the evening and yesterday I woke up with a view to eat and eat and eat and eat.
I did too. A whole packet of biscuits and all the leftover Chinese food. It scared me. I got on the scales this morning and unsurprisingly, they are up. Not out of onederland but up too much. Today I will be good. I will stay on plan. I will eat solid protein first. If I get stuck, I will not push it. I will exercise and tomorrow the scales will be down again.
Oh the things we do to ourselves.