Tuesday 30 August 2011

Fatty Pic and Finance Fail.

So here's another oh so delightful picture of me from mid June when I was in Madrid. I was probably about 10lbs lighter then than I am now just 2.5 months later.

I got an email from the finance company I'd applied to. It's a no go. Not unexpected. They require you to have an income of £1000 per month minimum and be a home owner if you're applying for more than £4k. I barely had a hope that I'd be approved for it so I'm not upset. I was looking at credit union loans with my mum and we were getting hopeful, but then I discovered the the first loan they issue isn't very much and is again income assessed. I expect it's impossible to get a loan without an income. Once I'm back at uni I'm going to try to get a job, but I still won't earn very much because I can't do many hours (due to uni work and my poor mental health).

In brighter news, I've begun to compile a folder of my journey and write everything beautifully in a note book. This satisfies my love of stationary and having things organised. I've written a whole long list of questions to ask my surgeon and patient care co-ordinator at my consultation which is only a week tomorrow. I really hope to have some idea of my money situation by then so that I don't feel overexcited by the consultation only to have my dreams destroyed by lack of immediate funds.

Monday 29 August 2011

Fatty Pic.

Forgive the stupid face. This photo was taken about 6 weeks ago when I went to Wales to visit a friend of mine. I wear a lot of black - I have a kind of basic uniform of leggings and a black vest top that I wear pretty much every day. I haven't worn trousers or jeans for...10 months? And only then it was because I had to wear trousers to work. I don't wear them because I'm short and my belly is very large and I don't want to wear my trousers up to my waist for fear of the dreaded too tight around the crotch problem. It's funny, I've not missed wearing jeans particularly (I love leggings, nothing is as comfy), until the last couple of days when I just wished I could slip on a pair of black skinny jeans to go with a couple of nice tops I have.

I'm starting to hope. This might just happen. I've booked and paid for my consultation - no going back from that. I know that my ideal surgery date is free. My mum has said that one way or another, we'll find the money. I won't breathe a sigh of relief until surgery is booked and paid for though (needs to be paid a fortnight before surgery). Could I really be thin? It's absolutely overwhelming thinking about being at my goal weight. I'm tearing up right now just thinking about it!

Progress = EXCITEMENT!!!

Firstly I must say thank you to Alison for my first comment! I've read your blog from start to finish and really enjoyed learning about your journey with the band - especially as we're both UK based. Thanks again!

Second of all - I spoke to the head patient care co-ordinator at THG this morning. She was very nice and friendly and although it was clear she goes through a lot of these phone calls, I didn't feel as though she was bored or was treating me in any way other than as an individual.

I have booked my consultation!!! On the 7th of September (9 days from now) I will be heading up to the London clinic to meet with my surgeon and patient care co-ordinator. I do wonder whether me choosing this particular surgeon was a bit of an arbitrary choice though. It was partly that he was in the right place at the right time. I really wanted to get an appointment in London (nearest for me), as soon as possible - but I don't think there's any real difference between the surgeon's in terms of qualifications - and he has been working privately and with the NHS for a long time. Obviously if I don't get a good vibe from him on the 7th, then I can change. But to be honest, I don't want to go through all the faff of having another consultation and meeting another surgeon etc. So fingers crossed that he's lovely and brilliant! AND - he is available to perform surgery on my ideal date - 29th October - exactly 2 months from today!! But in order to secure that date I have to pay the £500 deposit - we'll see what happens in 9 days time.

I have suffered an awful lot with depression, anxiety etc and that's been at an all time low this year - but today I feel really, truly excited. I don't think I've felt this excited since Wimbledon was on at the beginning of July (I'm a MASSIVE tennis fan btw). I'm taking steps to change my life. To change the thing that affects me all day every day, affects my decisions, everything. I wish the consultation was today and the surgery a week from now, but I mustn't be greedy. Although gluttony is certainly my most prominent sin!

Oh, and another thing - my surgeon's pre-op diet (not sure how long, 1-2 weeks?) isn't a milk and yoghurt or liquid only diet!! It's a healthy, high protein diet instead. Part of me wanted the liquid diet because it might help me lose weight more quickly, but I know it would be very difficult and doesn't teach me how to eat in the long term. I do feel like I want to start losing weight now. RIGHT NOW. But then another part of me can feel last supper syndrome coming on.

I just can't believe that this might really be happening.

Sunday 28 August 2011


Mega Stress! Went on a nice walk in the woods with my mum and my sister's dog, and, as we usually do when on walks, we discussed my 'issues' (of which there are many). The subject de jour was of course the surgery and how we might be able to afford it. The problem with having to ask others for money, is that you kinda have to tell them what it's for. I don't want to tell my grandparents. I don't want to tell my step dad (he tactless and a blabbermouth), I don't want to tell my Dad (and therefore can't really ask his brother, my uncle, especially as I've only met him once - he's rich though...) I, for some reason, don't mind telling my mum's friend who has quite a bit of money and no family to speak of (she's in her 70s) who has been a great financial help to me over the past year or so, helping me to afford my therapy sessions. Maybe because I feel as though she'd be the greatest help to me in this situation (most money and has openly said she's happy to help with medical or educational purposes). It's like I owe it to her to explain the situation.

So, why don't I want to tell anyone...not because I'm ashamed of the choice to get the band, I'm certainly not. But I do worry that others who know less about it will see it as the easy way out and will think I'm weak and pathetic and lazy...do I think I'm those things and am projecting/transferring them? Perhaps. I long for the day when I don't think so badly of myself. I don't want to tell anyone because ultimately I'd be drawing attention to my weight and thus my eating habits and my slothful nature and the gross things that are sadly associated with being morbidly obese such as chafing, sweating, smelling, misery... I don't want those things to pop into people's heads and affect their opinion of me. Though of course it's silly because they can all see how overweight I am anyway.

It's funny how others perceive you though. I'm pretty sure none of my friends would guess that I'm morbidly obese. One of my closest and dearest friends L is so sweet and has said to me (as has my sister) that they just don't see my size. L said that she couldn't really see the difference between me now and me five years ago when I went from 15st7lbs (217lbs) to 12st1lbs (165lbs). She must be blind! That's 5st (70lbs) difference from my smallest to my current biggest. My biggest ever has been 17st4lbs (242lbs) but that's not far away from where I am now.

Back to finance. I've just applied online for a medical loan through the company connected to my chosen provider. I'm not hopeful. I'm sure they're income assessed (the form asked for income/employer etc) and seeing as I'm a student and have to live on about £6000 a year (that's all my year's money gone with the cost of surgery if I was paying for it myself), it's unlikely that they'll deem me suitable as they have no proof that I'd be able to pay it back. BUT - if they do approve me then I am gonna be one hell of a happy kitty. Mustn't get hopes up. Dashed hopes are like dashed heads - painful.


If (or rather a big fat WHEN) I get my band, the tool I need to build my house of dreams etc - I am going to name her Beyonce. I've seen that lots of people name their bands, I'm not sure how everyone decides though. My love for Beyonce is a fairly new thing. Over the last year I've begun to admire her more and more, and then finally, some time after the event, I saw the footage of her headlining Glastonbury on youtube and completely fell in love. She is AMAZING. Brilliant, inspiring, powerful. I aspire to be like her and I want to love myself that way she does herself. Only then will I have enough respect for myself, my body, to stop treating so badly and really live my life. So as my inspiration, my role model I suppose, my tribute to Beyonce is to name my life changing band after her.

I do hope I'm not jumping the gun...I haven't even had my consultation yet...
Btw...I think it's a sign...If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it...halo...these are shaped like a BAND no less!! It's practically written in the stars!


This isn't my first blog. I started one up about 18 months ago after I got my first rejection from the NHS regarding funding for weight loss surgery. I'd already begun reading hoards of lap-band blogs and thought that even though I wasn't getting a band, that blogging might help me lose weight. It didn't. So I have deleted that blog in favour of this b(r)and (ha!) spanking new one.

Why you may ask!?!

Well, it looks like I just might be getting myself banded. Yup, joining the club of bandsters and bandits all around the globe. I am DESPERATE. I feel like I'm not living. I'm exhausted all the time. I'm struggling to see the point in living without confidence, without self-belief, without the mobility I should have. And believe me I have tried. I have worked my arse off to lose weight and I've been successful to some degree every time. But never enough. And never lasting. I wouldn't go down this route unless it was a last resort (now I've got that Papa Roach song stuck in my head!) However, I'm not currently anywhere near being certain that this surgery is going ahead. I mustn't get my hopes up too soon! About three weeks ago I sent my mum an email telling her that I was desperate, that I felt the only way I could lose weight was with the help of the band and would she please help me. I couldn't say these things to her face. I'm too ashamed. Too humiliated about my size and my failures. The reason I had to discuss it with her is that I need help to put the money together to fund this venture. I'm a mere university student and I don't even have a part time job (yet!). I know she's got only a little money herself, but she believes there are sources that could loan us the money. My grandparents and a wealthy close friend of my mother's. In order to borrow money from these people, I have to explain why I need it. This is one hell of a challenge, bearing in mind the best I could was send an email to my own mother (who I'm very close to) discussing my weight. Now I have to go to people I'm not as close with and ask for money. I feel ashamed. I have been saving and I've currently got enough for the consultation and the £500 deposit (total cost £5950) which is a start at least. Mum thinks she could put a bit of the cost on a credit card and I might be eligible for some sort of finance/credit card (though I'm not hoping for much as they're often income assessed and I have no income). Perhaps it seems wrong for me to be attempting to have surgery when it is beyond my financial means - but if I don't do it now, if I wait for three or even five years until I've saved up enough money to pay for it on my own, I have no doubt that I will be far heavier than I am today and with a good handful of failures to add to my list. I can't go through another failure, as I'm sure anyone with a weight problem will know, the failure of every diet is one of the absolute worst parts of being obese.

Speaking of weight... I suppose I should go for the big reveal...much like whipping your clothes off when skinny dipping (or chunky dunking as I shall insist on calling it whilst there ain't no skinny here!). Drumroll....

17st (238lbs) of chubba chubba, gotta get that down to at least 10st (140lbs) to be within a healthy bmi and much more hubba hubba than chubba chubba! I've never been thin. I don't know if 10st will look best. Might be too big (I'm 5'3") or might be too small (I do have a pair of fabulously heavy fake breasts), I just don't know. So my goal is 10st, but my 'holy shit' goal is much more like 9st so I can be slap bang in the middle of my healthy bmi and not have to worry about slipping into the overweight category.

So...plan of action:
Call The Hospital Group (THG) to arrange a consultation ASAP.
Devise a letter to the people I'm appealing to for financial support.
Speak to the financial group associated with THG to discuss my options.

Ideally (and we do not live in a world of ideals, do we?!) I would have my surgery somewhere on or around 29th October - that's two months tomorrow. I'd be off uni for reading week so would be able to recover with no distractions or commitments, it would be perfect. But I don't know how long it usually takes between consultation and surgery. I would have it as soon as possible if I could. I don't mind missing a few days of classes if needs be, but most likely I'd be able to attend seeing as I'll be living on campus no more than 5 minutes from anywhere I'd need to be!

I will keep you posted! I love blogging and I'm so hoping to get some followers and make some friends on here - I've read close to 60 blogs of bandsters and I can't wait to join the club. x