Well hello there, As you can see by the title of this post, Wednesdays will now be known as Weightloss Wednesday.  It is where I will talk about my journey to health through the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Challenge.  Her system has come under some fire I know, but honestly, all the research I […]


Dear Diary It is nearly mid way through February and I had almost forgotten about my word for 2015 being Health.  Well, actually, perhaps it wasn’t so much forgotten as ignored. On January 1st I weighed a staggering 107 kilograms.  I wept. So my word for the year became HEALTH.  That encompassed mental health, but […]

A heart thing, alcoholism + the need for weightloss

Heart and weight

Last week I was in hospital.  I went in for a “small” “procedure” that was meant to be an in and out job, but I ended up staying a week.

The procedure (which really is surgery in my opinion) is called an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography involving a tube being put down your throat until they reach your bile duct and pancreas and then having a good look around.  I also had to have a Sphincterotomy as it was discovered that I had Sphincter of Oddy dysfunction which is where the sphincter isn’t working properly.  

As bad luck would have it, I ended up getting pancreatitis, which resulted in my admission.  Just as I was about to be sent home after a couple of days, however, I got a palpitation in my heart and before I knew it, I was admitted to the cardiac ward.

For over 18 years I have suffered with palpitations of the heart.  They are very intermittent (about 8 – 10 a year).  They start with a massive thump, then the heart palpitates like crazy, and then they end with another massive thump.  I am usually breathless, dizzy and have to lie down.  Most of the time, I think I am having a heart attack.  Over the years I have been to the doctor a number of times, but because the palpitations have usually stopped by the time I get there, I have always been told it is just a minor palpitation thing, quite normal.

Except, it turns out, it isn’t normal.  Whilst in hospital, they managed to get one of the palpitations on the monitor that I was forced to wear for 24 hours a day.  They happen so rarely that it really was lucky to get it at all.  Transpires, I have idiopathic non-sustained ventricular tachycardia.  Try saying that fast!  This is where a rogue electrical impulse fires off, interrupting the natural rhythm of the heart, forcing it to go into palpitations – like a lone ranger looking for attention!

Thankfully, it isn’t all that serious and I am more likely to be run over by a bus than fall down dead from a heart attack.  It requires periodic monitoring as I am now at risk of developing heart damage, but all in all it’s a good heart condition to have.

Except it isn’t really all that good at all.  Whilst my heart is strong it was pointed out to me during my cardiac stress test that I am considerably overweight and extremely unfit for my age.  I loathed the guy for saying it, but the truth is the truth hurts – like shit.

I’ve been home for five days now pondering my options, whilst stuffing my face with chocolate – my drug of choice.  I have been on every diet known to man.  You name it, I have done it.  Yet the motivation to lose weight, even under the threat of death by heart attack bus, eludes me.

Why is this?

I have no bloody idea.

I do know that I didn’t start putting on weight until I was 32.  I mean, I thought I had a weight problem before then but it transpires I didn’t – I was a very healthy weight for my height.  Go glossy magazines and unrealistically skinny models for a dose of body image issues!

My mom moved in when I was 32.  She had temporarily left my dad and moved in with me.  She loved to drink wine from around 4pm almost every night.  I didn’t want her to drink on her own, you know, because I am altruistic that way, so I drank with her.  Within 18 months I had put on 20 kilos.  I actually weighed more than when I was 9 months pregnant.

Mom only lived with us for a few months before realising she actually missed and loved my dad, but I kept the drinking thing going.  I never lost the weight, instead I continued to gain.

My drinking increased, I gained a bit more and so it went.  I started to notice that my normally outgoing personality started to change.  I hated going out, I hated having my photograph taken and I hated my body even more.  Suddenly, in a relatively short space of time, I had become a recluse.

My drinking took on new proportions.  I prided myself on the fact that I never started to drink until after the kids went to bed.  This was my way of kidding myself that I did not have a drinking problem.

I tried every diet going.  Of course, each one required me to restrict my alcohol intake.  Yeah right!  So I drank, and became more lonely, more obese and more sad.  So I drank some more again.

Four years ago, I became sober.  I stopped drinking, expecting my weight to miraculously drop off.  It didn’t.  I replaced alcohol with chocolate.  I have been known to become a raving lunatic if there isn’t chocolate in the house.

So I ate chocolate, and became more lonely, now in a new country, without family, and became more sad.

I really don’t want to give up chocolate.  My cardiologist (yes, I now have a cardiologist) asked how much chocolate I eat.  I told him – two bars a day.  He gasped.  He actually gasped.  I don’t think that’s all that bad.  Okay, it is.  “That has to be knocked on the head immediately,” he said, once he’d composed himself.  I said okay, but the truth is, I have had those two chocolates every day since I left the hospital.

They don’t taste as good.  It’s true.  I know I’m damaging/poisoning my body.  That knowledge fucks with your taste buds.

Today a friend of mine whom I haven’t seen in a while posted a photograph of herself having lost 20kgs.  She puts it down to being completely happy, living her truth with a bit of modification of the diet.  I stared at her photo for ages. And secretly I was as jealous as hell.

I want to feel comfortable in my own skin.  How on earth am I going to do this.  I’m not wanting to lose weight for vanity.  I NEED to  lose weight.  I am 30 kilos overweight.  My heart and its mischievous impulse might not be so tolerant of my size in the future.  Reason tells me that this is not a good thing.

I wrote in my diary a while ago that I need to lose weight.  I wrote it and then forgot ignored it.

So, I am going to try to do this thing.  I can’t make promises.  I know, I know – if I am going to achieve something I am meant to say I CAN do it and then set myself the goal to actually do it.  Truth is, all I have, all I can do is try right now.  But by writing to you guys, perhaps I can hold myself accountable.  It will be like the gazillionth time I have tried, but hey, never give up, right?

Did I mention I am really not a fan of Twiggy?

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Til next time,

SHW Signature



Dear Diary {the weightloss chronicles} #1

Dear Diary

Depression is a bitch!  It saps you of any semblance of sanity.  Your view of the world becomes so distorted.  Like the woman in The Yellow Wallpaper, you imagine things that are simply not there, you descend into a pit of hell.  It is indeed Hades on earth.

There are days that I feel so lonely, so alone in this self imposed pit of despair, I feel so powerless to dig my way out of it.  Yet I must.  This is no way to exist.  No way to live.  This is not living.  This is breathing, with no colour.

I long for simplicity and calm.  Peace of mind.

I need to start digging.  One messy clump at a time.

I’m overweight.  I hate that.  Technically I am clinically obese.  Who makes up these charts anyway?  The irony is that I don’t even really like food.  I don’t like to cook, though I wish I did.  I eat purely to fill the bottomless void that constantly tugs at my soul.  Food: my friend, my nurturer, my executioner.

We have booked a holiday.  In the sun and sea.  I am dreading it.  I don’t want to dread it.  Lord knows, we need a bit of sun on our pale, exhausted skins.

I need to take control.  I need to feel like I am not a victim in my own circumstance, need to feel that I am not just a bobbing, rudderless ship on a merciless sea.  Grab that rudder, place your hand firmly around it’s girth, look into the distance, know your path.  Steer.

Losing weight will be my first step to being the captain of my ship.  It isn’t easy.  Food is a sly mistress.  A siren that calls you when you least expect it, when your defenses are down.  She sings her eery call and submitting to it brings such sweet relief.  From the pain, the yearning.  She has you in her grasp, she knows it and you know it too.  Life is slowly ebbing away from you.

Control.  I need to take it back.  I can do that.  I CAN do that.  I will do that.

One day at a time.  Start today.  One step at a time.  One muddy clump at a time. Not a diet, but a lifestyle change.  Find a community.  A lifestyle community.  Found it.  Now start it.  Plan, eat well, exercise, be well.

You can do this.  I have faith in you.

I love you,

SHW Signature