Sunday, January 8, 2012

I'm Back - Still Alive and Kicking!

3 months has gone by since my last post.  A lot has gone on in my life since then.  As many say - with such events - the weight loss has taken a back seat although stayed within a 5 kilo range.  A new year though, and time to kick start the weight loss to achieve my goals!

This post is just to sum up 2011 for me.  While there was a lot of positive - there are many things Im glad that I can (almost) leave behind in 2011.  I don't call 2011 a winning year.

Here is the summary:

Lap Band Surgery - Late January 2011

After a failed attempt due to a muscle relaxant allergy - I finally had success with getting banded.  Almost 12 months later I stand between 40 and 45 kilos lost.  Today I was looking at old photos - and I was disgusted on how I was and let myself get that big.  I'm still big even today but shrinking :)  It is not instant - but a journey which requires effort and using the lap band tool to assist the weight loss and improvement in health.  After about 3-4 months my energy levels did pick up and I have noticed an overall improvement in my general health as the year progressed.  May it long continue.

Just before First Op - 2010

December 2011

The School Year

A busy year.  Not the happiest for many staff - morale rather low with building destruction/construction, the threat of redundancies, some losing managment units, and having ERO (the school inspectors) visit - always stressful.  A couple of tough classes.  Events happening outside of school didn't help, but I made it through.  When the Dean position came up for applying - I had got to the point - what have I got to lose?  Nothing!  I applied, and got a fixed term position for 2012 - totally stoked and a fantastic challenge for me.  I was going for less stress this year, but they do say change is as good as a holiday!  I'm excited and get another desk to put my stuff on - wicked!

End of Year Staff Do - 2011


Dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer earlier in the year.  Quite a shock and extremely upsetting.  I am a Dad's girl and while delayed - the effect hit me hard.  He had surgery - got his bowel resected, and commenced chemo.  After about 5 months he was taken off the chemo - the effects were starting to out weigh any good it may have been doing, and the oncologist was quick to stop it.  The chemo was a precaution if any cancer was still remaining.  Since finishing chemo - Dad has improved everyday - back to the Dad I know and love, getting more active all the time.  Im guessing he will go for tests sometime early this year.


A couple of weeks after we returned from Melbourne, I found out that Mum had been diagnosed with breast cancer (two parents in one year - what are the chances).  It was detected early due to Dad nagging Mum to get a mammogram.  A small lump it was removed in mid November through a lumpectomy and she has recovered well.  She will start radiation therapy in late January.

I have spent a lot of time down south in Dunedin this year, and due to go back down for a week during this week.  I'm hoping that this pending visit will be more positive than the few previous ones.

My Bro

2011 was an awesome year for my lil' bro.  He found love with a fabulous lady who is also a designer who has her own line of products including teatowels, prints, etc.  I hope to get to know her better over time. They moved in together in Dunedin in November and seem very happy together - just lovely :)  He is a different person to a year ago. He also took redundancy in his job which was slowly killing him, and started up his own business which seems to be going well with many job opportunities popping up for him in digital/computer design - including designing websites and city council maps.


When my personal trainer sold his business, I was referred to MaD crossfit.  I had never heard of crossfit before, but now will never look back.  It is truly one of those great things that has happened to me.  Using your own body weight and no machines but weights and just the rower, I have pushed myself more than I have ever done in any gym previously.  I have become so much stronger, and on Christmas Eve, I deadlifted 120kilos!  I love the weight lifting aspect, and have also got better at push ups, a scaled sit up, step ups etc.  I have even done short runs now and again - never thought that would happen. I got myself inov8's - barefoot running shoes which actually made running more comfortable for me. The coaches and people who go there form a very supportive community in which I am very appreciative. They also keep us accountable and keep things varied - so definitely not boring!
They adapt the Paleo lifestyle, which while hard to do at times I have stuck with a couple of aspects of it.  Essentially in a nutshell - it descourages eating processed foods, including processed sugar, dairy,  alcohol and grains etc.  It encourages fresh vegetables, and meat along with some nuts and some low GI carbs (eg kumara).  It is a huge learning curve and I am starting a paleo detox for 30 days on Monday.  It is hard to do strict long term, and has been said can take a year to really adopt the lifestyle properly.  The biggest issue with me - sugar - I like the sweet.  With the band - I have little to no bread, dough or rice as it is too uncomfortable to eat.  I call it a bonus as I avoid it now which is good since I used to chow down on the baked goods.  The Paleo does make you feel fab after about the first week of so of getting rid of the crap in the system.  This will be good post Christmas!


Mid-year I found out I had a sister - yep that's right - I was as surprised as you are!  Turns out my mother had a daughter about three years before I was born and before she met Dad.  A dark skeleton in the closet! My brother and I were found via facebook by a P.I they had hired.  Initially and honestly for a while - I was what the?????  My brother approached Mum about it and she is basically a closed book about it and won't talk about it.  To my surprise - Dad doesn't know either - not entirely sure how that is possible but seems to be the case.  So if you know my Mum and Dad - this is NOT a subject you bring up in conversation.  I would hate to think of the fallout from it.  Anyway, I met Sara, her husband and son Angus when we were in Melbourne.  Just a couple of occasions - to the Aquarium and lunch, then drinks and the Casino. I now say I have a sister (half-sister) and when talking to her - it felt like I did know her - definitely something there.  She looks a lot like my Mum and definitely holds herself like Mum too.  My husband found it unnerving talking to her as he siad it was like talking to Mum.  I do aim to find out more about the whole saga - I have many jigsaw pieces - I just need more to start putting more of them together!  Its exciting now.  On a selfish side - I do feel a little ripped off that I have missed out having a sister for 33 years of my life, but at least I have got many years to get to know each other.  Also I got bumped down to middle child (biologically that is) - still oldest by nature though - Im far to bossy.  It's cool to have a nephew too - Angus is pretty awesome :)


In December, after 1.5 years going through the application process (with gaps) we have been approved for domestic adoption.  From here, my holiday job is to make up our profile which gets sent to the biological parents when they are choosing the adoptive parents.  By the end of January - we should be finally in the selection pool and then the wait to be chosen begins.

Friends marriages/babies
Nicky and Jamie

Frances and Isla

Davanea and Caid
Kelly and Riki
Fiona and Sophie
Laura and Hami
Ed and Ava

Michelle and Andy

Engagements, marriages and babies continued in 2011.  My bestie Frances and husband Shane welcomed Isla - a brother for Otis in May.  One of my best friends Ed got engaged to Sarah and in August became parents to baby Ava.  Fiona and Sam had their second daughter - baby Sophie in May.  Laura and Hami got married in February.  Michelle and Andy got married in July.  Mel and Nick had baby Charlie. Megan and Shaun had baby Jackson.  Davanea and Nick had baby Caid in March. Duane and Tash got engaged.  Kelly and Riki got engaged.  Nicky and Jamie got engaged and are soon to be expecting their first child.  My cousin Christine is four weeks off having number 2.  Many work people had babies or are not long off doing so. 2012, I'm sure will be no different.


The trip to Melbourne was fantastic - loved it so much.  Weather was fab, seeing friends and family awesome, and so much to do, see, and enjoy.  Food was fab, and spent a lot of quality time with hubby.  Best parts:  meeting my sister, hiring a flash car and driving the Great Ocean Road, the hotel we stayed at,  the zoo and aquarium and shopping! Could easily go back to explore all the things we ran out of time to do!

Anthony and the dogs

Nearly 4 years of marriage this month.  Anthony had truly been my rock in the past year with all I have had to deal with.  Constantly I get reminded I married the right person, and look forward to more adventures with him.  The longer I am married, the more I understand its importance.  Being married is cool! :)
Our dogs are also cool.  Honey nearly 4 and Layla 2.5 they are dogs now more than puppies, and are fabulous companions, each with their unique personalities.  Don't know life without them.


Lots of things going on, including a Royal Wedding and NZ winning the Rugby world cup!  Good friends and family certainly never keep life dull!

So thats 2011.......bring on 2012!


  1. Wow, great post! I'm sorry about your parents... will be praying that all future scans are clear for the both of them. <3