Saturday, 28 April 2012

Topless - with pictures

Now that I have your attention - check this out. Yesterday I delivered about twenty shirts to the second hand store. Unbelievably, some of the shirts I had worn just once.
Here is the stack

Some of the shirts are pretty new. Quite liberating actually. The second hand shop owner was pleased. I then bumped a friend who has also lost kilos, and he offered me to look at his stash. Needless to say it was a very fruitful day and completely free. I took a large portion of his hand-me-downs and I look all the better for it.

I have come to a conclusion that if I could put my finger on something negative throughout this whole process is the feeling I have when I am in big crowds and everyone is eating. I don't the miss the big portions, I just miss being able to eat a little of what I used to eat. I am coming to the realization that a bit is enough. I am also coming the realization that carbs are of less good to me and should be kept to a minimum.

Last week I thought I was hungry so I put some tuna mousse on a cracker, and I at the whole thing. Not realizing that I have to eat it slowly. Went down quiet well. Came back for a visit. So there is another learning experience for me. Take time when you eat. It's not that I didn't know that, it's just that I forgot.

So I am down a few sizes and looking good. Still exercising daily and feeling good about that too. Some of the uppers in my life at the moment are my work, my family and my exercise. The rest is just falling into place.
This creates an overall general well being and this is good.



Thursday, 26 April 2012

Just before the party...

It isn't everyday that your country has a birthday and today is definitely the day. Today is the day that our kibbutz has a fun park for little kids and then we take out the barbecues and start firing and eating. We have been invited out and I have decided to take a few carbs with me, so that what ever is on the barbecue, I will try and digest. Not all of it...Just a nibble here and there.
Overall, things are good, not sure if I told you all but I have started to take Vitamins and it seems to be helping. Not sure what they are supposed to do, but all is good and well. There is one pill that my son strongly believes is made up of dog food. It is a huge pill and I made the mistake of cutting it up the first few times thinking I couldn't handle the size. Note to self: Some pills should not be cut. Cut pills mean pills can be tasted. That was my mistake. So to cut a long story short, and I don't want to bring any other subject up (if you know what I mean) I now swallow the darn thing whole. Seems to be successful. The other three supplements are bearable.

Tomorrow I will go and test my blood pressure. I am on some pills to lower blood pressure but I think that they are lowering my pressure a little too much. I think that these meds were necessary pre op. I am not sure they are necessary now. Have to check that out.
As for me, I am going to PARTAY (said in the right accent...PARTE'). Israel is 64 and here, yes over here, we are gonna celebrate. 

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

4 more days until my 1month sleeve-a-versary

Weird. The spell checker doesn't accept sleeve-a-versary as a real word. And there I was thinking that...Never mind. So its been one amazing month of self realization, of perseverance and mostly of learning. Like teaching a baby how to handle food. That has been me over the past few weeks. I am feeling so at one with the whole process that I have gone through and will keep on going through. An amazing and worthwhile change.
I would love to say I recommend it, but here I have to say that this change, operation and life changing is not simple and it needs to be a conscious and comprehensive decision. And whatever you do, do not go into this process unprepared. A large part of my success I feel is that I have been working on this process for nearly a year and a half. I spoke to a lot of people and I investigated a lot. I am writing like this as I am part of a forum, and I thunk that several people visit my blog that are considering the op. So in my opinion, it is definitely worth it but just BE PREPARED.
I must have learnt that in my days as a cub scout.
So today we mourn the soldiers that have fallen whilst protecting our country. With two soldiers in the army at present, this day takes on a new meaning and I pray that in the future years to come the whole Middle East will live in peace.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Don't you hate it when...

Today a few people asked me if I am feeling OK? Until then I was feeling 100%. But then you start asking yourself, do I feel OK. Maybe there is a reason that people are asking. SO I check in the mirror and I didn't get any answers. So I begin to think. Yes I am different, I haven't lost my sense of humour and I am certainly not down in the dumps. I am feeling so liberated and in charge of myself;f and what I am doing. Before the op, I felt I had lost control with regard to eating habits and now I feel the exact opposite. So do I not feel well, hell no. I feel great. Yet I am preoccupied with eating well and properly and maybe I am not the life of the party at the mo. But ol me was the life of a party, maybe to hide something. Maybe hiding behind my huge tree trunk. I would joke that I was comfortable with my weight. Was I really or was that a pretense. Now I am REALLY comfortable with my weight. My face might look a little sullen but it is certainly not the feeling inside. Since I started the process I have lost 12 kg. That is about a year and half of finding out about the op. The main drop of weight has occurred over the last few months. I feel terrific and people can see that. So please forgive me if I want to be quiet every so often. Just venting here a little.
Thanks for just being there and listening. I am really fine and I intend to stay that way.

Friday, 20 April 2012

I just couldn't keep away

What did I say. The Israeli page view situation has doubled and I am impressed to say that you are in the lead. This is the second time I am commenting on page views and probably the last time because I really do not think it interests anyone.
So I love it when I make a note to self and complete the task. We have a second hand clothes shop on the Kibbutz and I find myself looking for clothes today.
It works on a give and take system. So I gave old clothes (bigger ones) to the shop and found smaller ones. I have gone down two sizes. Which is grand!!!. I forgot to tell you that at the last meeting with my dietician she told me that I had lost some 20 percent of my body fat. Holy Hell. How did I do that?
OK I have been walking, running and eating minimal.
So my BMI is down to 33 and I am all the better for it.
It is still great to be greeted by friends who haven't seen you around for a while and to hear the gasp and see their tonsils. That is before they cover their mouths.
What amazing weather we have been having despite Wednesdays heatwave that rocked this country with a few tragic events. Not going to go into detail here but it was a sad day with heatwave and wind related accidents that resulted in a few deaths.
If you have a moment and are looking for things to do, watch "Britain's got talent" on YouTube. There are some talented people out there.

So enjoy the weekend and if you live out of Israel, enjoy your Sunday... Singing us out is Geroge W

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

South Africa beat Israel by 1

I am looking at the amount of people that read my blog on average. As of today, South Africa is on 45 and Israel is on 44. Well done my peeps in SA. Thanks for the page visits and thanks for all the encouragement.
It's due to you and your encouragement that makes it just that much easier. So I was walking around the Kibbutz where I live and my jeans literally fell down. I am happy that no-one saw but my wife (Jenny) but it was rather funny. NOTE TO SELF: Go and check out Winter Sales and get some cheap clothing. Or at least new underwear, as the way it's going, people are going to be seeing a lot of my underwear. I could just tighten my belt. Ha ha, I look at the humorous side of it all.
So I sticking to my diet plan and I managed to eat meatball and mash. It was delicious and filling. I am not hungry and it is not difficult to finish 100 grams of cottage cheese in half an hour. It is nearly impossible and I really have to sit for long periods of time and practice the eating process for long periods of time. (it's not like I need to rush for anything)

Now that I am in a routine and back at work, I have decided that from tomorrow I will be writing every so often and not everyday. I promise you that if there is something exciting, I will post it.
So tomorrow we are off to look for cheap clothing.

Today we remember the 6 million Jews that were annihilated in the Holocaust.  


Tuesday, 17 April 2012

To buy or not to buy, that is the question

My pants keep falling down and my belt is at a limit. Now the question is if I buy now, I may need to buy again in a few weeks again. So maybe I should just wait it out for a bit longer. The truth is, it is warming up here and that means a change of clothing anyway. So I need to put the winter stuff away..some of the clothes for good it would seem.
I knew I would be investing a new wardrobe, but not every month. So I guess I am answering my own question. I will stall the buying process until I get to a size that I will stay for a while.
For those of you who are asking, I have lost around ten kilograms since the start of the process.
Feeling very good. Oh I almost forgot, I started soft solids today. White cheese and crushed tomato never tasted so good.
It is late today and I am a little tired. Had a hard day at work today, so today is gonna be a little shorter than usual
Have a good evening / morning

I don't mean to offend

I like going to the obesity department at the hospital. It makes me look small. I met some fellow patients today at the doctor and it was good to compare notes. All three of us are doing well and that was good to see. There are still so many people that are hugely overweight and I am happy that is  behind me. OK, granted I saw some people that are bigger than I ever was, but the fact that they are at the obesity clinic means they are doing something about it and for that I am impressed and I have respect.
The doctor was impressed with my progress and the dietitian has given me a fuller menu that I need to stick to.
I can now eat meatballs and puree for lunch. I am not going to invite you over yet, as my one meatball and three spoons of mash needs to be eaten over 40 minutes. So while you, yes you, are eating your full platers, I will be digesting my food SLOWLY. All is good and it is another stepping stone in the corrective eating plan.

Many years ago I was visiting Victoria Falls on the Zambian side and as it so happens, at the hotel, there was the Strongest Man of the world Competition. They asked me to take.... No seriously. I am going off the point.
So at the end of the competition, I asked to be filmed next to two of the champions at the time. I must have been quite big at the time. By looking at the photo, you can understand what I felt like today and how great it is to be getting smaller and healthier at the same time.

Today I ran a few hundred meters and I walked a lot more. Wow that is a change!!!
The object sticking out of my side was my camera bag. I have since lost the bag, the beard and the balloon

Sunday, 15 April 2012

If only all days could be like today

This is what I thought I heard today as I returned back to school. Picture this, one of the only males on a full female staff. Cheers and whistles. So I ask, how long will it last. It was really great to hear but I mustn't lose site of what is really important...to impress the ladies at work. Sies Ag no man. (Said in a South African Accent)
No, what is really important is that I keep going forward on this path that I have chosen for myself. 
A path of re-evaluating my life to a healthier lifestyle. 
Some of you may be saying that these are only slogans and wishy washy ideas that won't last. And I say that I am out to prove you wrong. I am out to change and be a different person.
Something happened today which hasn't happened to me in a long time if ever. I went for a blood test this morning to check if all is OK so I didn't go for a walk. Around six o'clock, my body was CRAVING TO MOVE. I cannot remember the last time that happened. SO I filled my water bottle and I set out to walk the neighbourhood. 

I have my first doc appointment and dietitian since the op and these are some of the questions I am going to ask
1) When can I start more solid food?
2) When can I start jogging (yes me, I am going to ask that question)?
3) When can I get back on a bicycle?
4) When can I start swimming?

And finally a little anecdote. I returned back to school after a two week break. I arrived early and put my packet of food: Soup, milkshake, water etc in the fridge. Along came some other teachers and said that the fridge had not been cleaned the whole holiday and proceeded to empty out the fridge. I didn't even manage to say "Archibald from Bulawayo" and they were washing my soup containers like I had brought a container of poison. Not a nice way to come back to work after a two week break.
Yet the cheering and the whistles really made my day
To infinity and beyond I say.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

I'm supposed to go back to work tomorrow

I have made it. I am passed the two weeks since the op, my allowed sick leave has "officially" been used up and I am off to work tomorrow. HOWEVER, I am going to take it easy. On the one hand, staying at home for two weeks has been great and relaxing and I feel fine, yet going back to work is a different ball game and I have to be physically and mentally prepared. I do feel ready, but we will have to see how it goes in the school tomorrow.

Looking back, these last two and a half weeks have been tremendous. I am learning to treat my body anew with health with respect. I am eating very little and feeling fine with that. My diabetes is completely under control and I am managing with that two. Change is good, Life is Good  and we move on to the next milestone.

I know this is corny but it suits the moment.

So tomorrow it is off to work we go. Back to the known and the organized, back to the work force and back to life.
Watch out world, Here I come!!!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Is it cold outside?

Not sure why, and maybe someone has a medical explanation to this but it is a glorious day outside and I am cold. Does the losing weight have an affect on the body temperature? My friends would joke with me that I do not have to worry for cold weather, I have enough "padding" on my stomach to keep me warm. (Then it would be accompanied by a tummy pat). Maybe there is some truth in the humour. Maybe the thinner one is, the colder one is. This is not a rhetorical question.
It could be related to the amount of real food that I am not putting into my body. Maybe when my diet changes, so will my reaction to the weather. Yes I know, it will be a lot hotter then.
With regard to the lifestyle change, all is going well.
I walk everyday and enjoy the good feeling and good hormones that are being created to make me feel well. My blood sugar is completely controlled and being monitored. No more pills and no more INSULIN. Almost went overnight. Have to make sure I keep to this goal as this was my main aim of the operation.
Pessach (Passover) is coming to an end for this year and that means that my family can eat bread again and feel liberated. I say my family, becasue I am not at that stage yet.
Wishing you all a great weekend and enjoy the warm weather, wherever you are.


To be well padded or cold - that is the question?
(The people in the picture are not the people writing this blog!!)

Thursday, 12 April 2012

I am feeling so retro now

ret·ro/ˈretrō/


Imitative of a style, fashion, or design from the recent past: "retro 60s fashions"                 

I have just come back from watching "21 Jump Street". What a great movie. Not a very
 intelligent movie and a lot of bad language, but just the what the doctor ordered for a
 good, fun night out with my only daughter. We had a lot of fun together and it was nice
 to catch up and just be ourselves together. She is one of a twin and they are turning
 twenty this year. Where have all the years gone. 

I wish I could congratulate the person who is the mystery 1000 hitter.
 I have had over a thousand views on my blogger and I am real proud of us all. 
Me for writing and keeping it up and you for being out there for me.

So in terms of where I am at: I have hit a plateau with the weight and that is really fine.
 Apparently as the body breaks up fat, it goes through stages as the body becomes
 accustomed to its new way of life. I am fine with a little tangent and I await the next weight
 loss that my body will bring.

I am still bursting with energy, exercising and generally loving it all. A friend of mine said
 something very wise and I wish to quote it here..."remember to motivate yourself because 
when u get down to the correct # u will need all the motivation to stay there and people do
 not say anything anymore which is hard I think.”
I believe he is absolutely correct. My motivation needs to be stable and constant as much as
 possible and therefore I agree with the doctor. Quick weight loss is not as effective as slow,
 continous, monitored weight loss. 
So thanks to all the 1000 people that have viewed and shpwed an interest.
Here is to the next millenium.

The video today is for my daughter, who never saw the original "21 Jump Street"






 





Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Warning: Note to self

When one speaks to me about anorexia, I wave it off. Are you kidding? Me! Look at me! I mention this because in today's paper there a very sad story of a woman who was my initial weight, decided to diet. She went on a stringent diet with all the goodness in her heart. Yet she lost too much and eventually after losing over 90kg she had a heart attack and died.
Now I really do not want to bore you with the morbid details, but there are a few lessons to be learnt here.
Hence the note to self
1) Don't mess around with your health
2) The doctor told me today to be careful not to lose weight too quickly. I heard him and I need to internalize that. The longer the weight loss, the better in the long run. That way I will be able to study and teach my body how to eat.
3) Watch what you eat and be under constant supervision. Don't diss blood tests, don't miss dietitians appointments and don't think you can control what needs to be controlled when you are out of control.
4) Listen to the people that love you and care for you. It's because they love and care for you that they have a valid opinion
5) Love to live and live to Love. Love Life. You only get one chance at it. (Well for the meantime anyway)

Often I use this blog to vent issues that I need to be telling myself, and any other "sleevers" that are reading my blog.

So on the body front, my skin staples were removed today and now I can rub my shrinking tummy without getting caught on staples.
The doctor was pleased with my overall progress. Sunday morning I have blood tests and Monday morning I am due for my two week post surgery check up.
Holding Thumbs - You never know. Still feeling good and very energetic.
Tomorrow my daughter and I are going on a date. Have a good day

Best leave you with a nice video. This is one of my favourite songs of all times. I heard it on the TV today and therefore I thought I would share it with you.


Monday, 9 April 2012

First full day outta house

Yesterday was my first full day out of the house. It was really refreshing to be active all day. Can't say I didn't get tired. Had to remind myself to drink every minute so as not to dehydrate. The old me would have downed a small bottle every so often. It seems so much more logical and healthy in the long run to be drinking small, consistent sips. Well I didn't dehydrate and no headache so I must have been doing it right.
Funny how the head is the big player here. I was out all day at a barbeque where in the past I would so fill myself up on rubbish (chips and fizzy drinks and meat). Yet yesterday I brought my mincemeat shake and that is all I ate. It was plenty and filling. So, I went to my first of many public barbecues and I survived. Should make a T-Shirt - I had VSG and I survived.
You guys that are reading this don't know but I have people from all over the wrorld that view my pages. It is really heartwarming and extremely encouraging. Great to know this. So I have included a picture of th eworld and my following. Keep it up guys. You are in this map...


It would seem that most of the readers are from North America. That is because the the map is tiny and very difficult to spot Israel, the tiny oasis in the Middle East. Israel boasts the most amount of followers: - over 34. Well done guys - Keep it up.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

This my be premature...but it is how I feel

I have been thinking about this video that I watched many years ago. It is an excellent portrayal of what I am feeling right now. No one does it better then Eddy Murphy. Now, a little bit about the video. The movie was a family movie but taken out of context it may be offensive to some and for that I apologize.
Having said this, I suggest you watch until 0:32. For those of you who just can't hold back, watch the whole clip, it is really funny. I tried editing but the internet gave me "The computer says no!"
So, to sum up a good weekend, things are really going well and as I told people today, far better than I ever expected. I even slipped in a quarter spoon of chopped herring today. Ok that is my week point. I did not have an Matzah and I am really behaving myself.
Guess what else, without saying too much, I drank a cup of Prune Juice. Hopefully we will be successful tomorrow. I sure you get the just.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Great News X 2

I am not sure if you can all relate. About two years ago I bought some shirts that were on special. I bought them a size or two smaller so that at the time I promised myself I would lose weight. |Well needless to say, the shirts remained untouched in my cupboard with the price tag on...UNTIL TODAY! What an amazing feeling when I tried the shirt on and all of me fitted in. I imagine this is only the beginning of good things to come (and a new wardrobe). That is the first good news.
Second good news is that I sat through the whole Passover Seder with one cup of soup. I brought my own packet and filled up my cup while everybody were filling their plates at the buffet.
So why is this good news you may ask...Well it was easier than I thought to watch my whole family partaking in a feast and I ate my soup. And the good news is that I really felt comfortable with it.
Got home to find my sugar levels were quite low and I decided to have a little bit of drinking yoghurt with a little sugar.
So hope you had an amazing feast and if it is Passover or Easter that you are celebrating this weekend...Enjoy.
Here is a jazzed version of Who Knows one in Hebrew.


Thursday, 5 April 2012

Oh it's good to be the King rat - ooh lah lah

And how did I become a King...I had a movement, an uprising and a revolution all in one. And yes, I am not full of shit anymore. And oh Life is good.
Back to reality. Life is also good.
It seems that the "hunger" hormone has been replaced by the "get up and do things hormone" and I am so active. I walk twice a day around my neighbourhood and I visit people that I haven't seen in ages.
1) So I can see them because I have missed them
2) So they can say, Wow you are looking good. Have you lost weight?  Duh...
It's really nice to get the compliments and feel really good about oneself.
So for those that are celebrating Passover, please enjoy eating the Matzah. Sadly I will not be able to eat Matzah this year. My stomach would not handle it.
Hopefully you are enjoying the Spring if you live where I live in the Northern Hemisphere.
Back to Operation VSG: I have an appointment with the doctor and the dietitian for mid April which is about two weeks after the op. I am excited for that as I will be able to eat thicker food.
Wishing you all a splendid day /night

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

So much energy today

I walk around my Kibbutz where I live and people cannot believe how active I am after the major op. We chat a little and exchange pleasantries and then I lift my shirt to show my minute wounds. It really is an amazing operation. Today, a week ago, I was the night before, and there was no way I would have believed you if you would have chanted, that by this time next week, you will be going into the local town to see a movie and have lunch.
Let me explain: We went to see "Hunger Games". A great movie.. (No that is not the game I am playing since the op!) And then we went out for lunch. I ordered soup because that is all I am allowed and I have a few sips and that was it for me. My family kept asking me, aren't you hungry and don't you want a bite.
Here is the truth. I am still early stages but this is how it stands at the moment. last week this time, I could have devoured booth the Chinese and the Hamburger. That is not what I did the op for and not what I am about any more.
Now we are in a different time. My long term goal is to be able to go out, order the hamburger and eat a bite or two and that it is. I want the food to be my friend and not my guilt.
So I have a great amount of energy and whenever I have a quiet moment that I would have normally stuffed my face, I now make time to do other things like walking around the neighbourhood and playing music or meditating to the music.
Life has changed and so far so good. As I said in one of the former posts... Change is Good.
What can I surprise you with today:
P.S. I promise you that when there is a bowel movement...you guys will know if not hear me...

Monday, 2 April 2012

I'm tired and I wanna go to bed

Today is day 5 since the op and I am full of shit. Literally and physically. Literally, well so I am told. Physically, because I ain't got no bowel movement.
This reminds me of the children's story of pulling the carrot out of the ground. Each day someone else comes to help the poor farmer pull the large carrot out of the ground. Well if there is anyone out there that has suggestions...NO NEED TO COME AND PULL! Just if you have something that could ease the "carrot out of the ground" if you know what I mean. I could ask Robin Williams, he seems to know his stuff in "Fisher King"

Thank you Robin. Please advise how you got to that situation in the first place.
 Funnily I have so much more energy than usual. I t may be not connected but today I was more tired than usual. Strange... I must remember that a few days ago (not more than five) I was in the hospital for surgery.
Note to self: Howie, please remember that you have two weeks off to relax and relax and get healthy
Tomorrow I am going to see a movie in the morning. Will let you know how that works out. Just so you know how the thought processes differ.

Old Howie
I will buy popcorn and a diet drink. I will probably take the family out for lunch, hamburger, chips and a diet drink.

New Howie
I will take food with me, whatever I can eat (in this case liquids) and I will feel great about it.

 Eat your heart out!!!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

T'ain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It)

Not really sure why this song came into my head. But I think I know why. It's talking about doing things in a certain way and not just doing it for (mossies) as my late Maths teacher would say. You have to do things for a reason. I could just sip soup and yoghurt all day long, or I could do it with a thought behind it. And the thought is, I am drinking to enlarge my tiny tummy for more wholesome food to come. And with more wholesome food comes better eating choices and the ability to "do it" the way I want to do it.
I am starting again and this time doing it right. I made a vegetable soup today and I took out the veggies to make a Puree for next week. The last time I did this was when my children were babies, hence the analogy.
So today was the third day out of hospital and I managed to surpass the 3rd day blues by keeping myself busy. I watched Masterchef from South Africa just for mossies and I decided, if they can cook, so can I. Instead of thinking what food is next (like the old Howie) I decided to get up and make the soup, as opposed to it being made for me. I am doing instead of being "done" upon. I am all about embracing change.


T'ain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It) - Enjoy the song


The best news is that I have passed the third day curse...for this round!!!
I almost forgot - April Fools Day! Will get you next year