Who am I, and what is this blog site all about?
My name is Lian, I’m a 40 something year old Business Consultant and Lean Engineer, the ‘lean’ bit, is I hope to be by both name and nature. I am currently something like 40 kg over weight (Christmas Eve, 2011).
I have struggled with weight for the whole of my life. I have tried every diet going, these include some of the most fantastic diets like the Cambridge diet – gained 6 lb in 3 weeks, I gave that up after 3 months. I then moved to the Rosemary Connelly Hip and Thigh Diet, I didn’t gain any weight on this program, so I stuck with it for 6 months, but again eventually gave up when I didn’t lose anything. This continued throughout my adult life with other bizarre diets like the cabbage soup diet, a stranger diet from the states, I can’t remember what it was called but basically it was all about eating ‘off meat’, that way, you ended up with a very slight form of food poisoning and basically lost weight, unfortunately it wasn’t permanent and as soon as you were well again, the weight came back. I also suffered from the ‘Pharaoh’s Curse’ after a trip to Egypt which lasted for 6 weeks and I lost half a stone, god did I want to go back to Egypt to get some more that lovely Nile water haha.
However all this ridiculous dieting culminated in me paying £8,000 for a gastric band to be fitted in August 2007 Yup, you read that right; I paid £8,000 for yet another waste of time!
When I went to see the surgeon to see if he would do the deed, the consultation lasted for less than 30 minutes; this included him asking me what I ate on a daily basis, I told him that I was eating one meal a day and mainly living on coffee and that I had drastically reduced the calories I ate on a daily basis and that I was somewhere around 1000 kcal per day. Needless to say, he didn’t believe me, he did say however, that although a gastric band was ONLY £8,000, he believed that gastric bypass at a mere £15,000 would be more suitable for me, this would stop the food from even being digested at all and would effectively be removed from my body undigested. Knowing what I know now, I am so pleased that I didn’t have the spare change to pay for the gastric bypass, that and the fact that I didn’t have the time to take 6 weeks off work for something as ridiculous as weight loss, after all, I am a very, very busy consultant. So I took a week off work and had the gastric band fitted, straight after that I was off again to Dublin and back to work – that was hard, having just had an operation on my abdomen and having to carry a suit case with a months’ worth of clothes! When I started this journey with the gastric band I weighed a dramatic 132 kg
So gastric band fitted – weight loss, no, didn’t happen… well, in truth, I did lose almost 2 stone, the first 1.5 stones was in the run up to having the band installed, that was the weight I had just gained through stopping smoking in the 6 months prior to having the band installed. The latter 8 lbs took me the next 4 years to lose. For those of you who don’t know what happens when you have a gastric band fitted, they basically section off your stomach Sorry, can’t paste a picture here… but I will have a blog concentrating on gastric or bariatric (bizarre spell checker only comes up with barbaric for this haha), surgery with all the pictures and gory details you could ever need.
This basically gives you a stomach the size of a shot glass, this means that you can ingest very little with each meal. You are advised never to drink with your meals; this reduces the amount of food you can actually consume. I must admit that I used this as a method to reduce the amount of food I did eat when I still wasn’t losing weight. The band also encourages bulimia and when all else fails, it’s easy to eat steak and just throw it up again! That was becoming my new lifestyle until Easter this year (2011).
I had already joined a gym in January, engaged a personal trainer and started a new low-fat diet of around 1100 kcal a day with loads of fruit. This was working a bit, I had lost a little weight but I had hit the usual plateau and the usual deep depression had set in. I was just about to give in again, then I searched the internet and found Martin MacDonald of Mac-Nutrition, he was hiding right around the corner from where I live! On paper, this guy was the business, he works with celebrities (not the deal maker), he works with the Olympic teams as a lead nutritionist, he also writes for many, many sports magazines and other publications, he is a University Lecturer and publishes loads of stuff freely on his website, Facebook and twitter, not to mention the fact that he also publishes peer-reviewed stuff too. That was the clincher for me; did I say I am a serial student? I have an MBA, MSc, MA and many other professional qualifications, far too many to name. Therefore I feel that I am a fairly intelligent person, however, when it comes to nutrition, health and fitness, I know NOTHING, in fact, I am quite ignorant.
I am where I am today with the patient help and support of both Martin MacDonald and my new Personal Trainer Andy Angell. As of today I weigh 109.2 kg, I cannot thank Martin enough for getting me to this position and for his patience and support through some of the darkest days of my life. Through a process of elimination, he has diagnosed me with hypothyroidism (currently being confirmed by the Doctors too) and he also says that I am metabolically resistant, whatever that means… But he also said that with a lot of determination and on-going support I can lose the 40 kg I still wish to lose, although without Thyroid meds, that will take years!!!
So, this is the start of my journey from the Gastric band to Fitness, I hope it helps others out there to realise that there is a better way than surgery.