Follow Me In My Determination To Change

I thought if I shared my journey I would be more likely to succeed.

Friday 29 April 2011

I did IT

So this was my big challenge, to learn to dive. I set myself the challenge  back last August before I had my surgery, I took the first step with Dan in January when I took my Discovery Dive in Chicago, but today I became a certified PADI Open Water Diver.

Graham & Uwe
I was going to keep it a secret and not tell people until today, but actually it was great to have them encourage me all week, and my facebook page and Twitter accounts are full of friends encouraging me. Thank you to everyone.

I specially need to say thankyou to my instructors Graham and Uwe and the Divemaster Brian, for a fantatsic week and their patience. I am not their most skilled or pretty diver, but I am one of their most grateful.

When I first told Dan I was going to learn to dive to celebrate not being Fat, he told me a lot of big people dive sucessfully. I know that I couldn't have done this 6 months ago. Where we dived in the Cabron Marine Reserve, I would never have got down to the sea, and definatley never got back up again.  As it was, my buddy and instructor Graham was always on hand to help.

Thursday 28 April 2011

More About The WEIGHT

So today I dropped 1 whole Kilo and am down to 12, but did better with buoyancy so tomorrow am trying 10!

When I arrived at the dive shop today I took the opportunity to lay out 32Kg, my weight loss to date. It is a lot! I still have a few to go somewhere between 5 and 10 but no hurry or big issue. Feeling great.

One of the exercises today was to take the weight belt off at both the surface and underwater and refasten it. The instructor said it seemed unfair on me as I had so much more weight to carry. I didnt tell him but I had been carrying a lot more excess weight than that for 30 years!

Wednesday 27 April 2011


Today was day 2 of the big challenge and I am 50% through it. Still loving it despite the physical exhaustion.

The theory is fine, I am a consultant and as long as I stay one chapter ahead in the manual, all is OK :)

The breathing is great, thanks to Dan in the pool, and to think the first two attempts I thought I would never do it. My Instructor Uwe says he also likes the fact that I pause, think through a drill and then do it. Many people rush into it and then panic. I surprised myself at breathing underwater when changing regulators etc, and clearing and removing masks.

I still have two issues, one is actually swimming! I have only ever mastered breast stroke and so the swimming with fins and straight legs is so foreign to me. Uwe has suggested tying my legs to broom poles tomorrow. But I wont fail on swimming, and today I swam far more than the 200 meters needed on the surface, what I really needed was directions. They had to stop me before I reached the Spanish mainland!

My biggest issue was buoyancy control, I am almost there but they had to keep adding weight!!! Typically you need 10% of your body weight. I am now about 86Kg and yet I needed 13 Kg of weight before I could get to the bottom. That is not fair, it appears although I have physically lost the weight, no one has told my body!!!!

Monday 25 April 2011

The Biggest Challenge

In January I shared my big project, the challenge to take on diving. Well I would have loved Dan to be my instructor but logistics and time don't make that possible. Time slips away so quickly and it was beginning to look simply like a good idea or a pipe dream, I had to take it in hand and just get on with it.

I realised that this week would be ideal, in N Ireland we have Easter Monday and Tuesday off (we work Good Friday), and then we have another day Friday for the Royal Wedding. So I went on the PADI web site and searched for course this week. A few ideas came up and I selected one in Gran Canaria (Spain). I spoke to the divemaster Brian and he was really, really helpful. The upshot is, I am now at Gatwick airport flying this afternoon.

My dive course starts tomorrow morning and all being well I finish lunchtime on Friday, returning to London on Saturday. Four days between me the coward and achieveing something I would never have dreamed off. I wasn't going to tell Dan but in the end, couldn't keep quiet about it, so noww I HAVE to pass.

I am really, really nervous, haven't read enough of the manual, have a sore throat caused by tiredness, but I will do this, I will. I will.


Apologies I haven't posted in a few weeks. No issues, no sudden falling of the diet, simply too busy. However I hope to be better today.

Weight hasn't dropped for a few weeks but I am used to that now. But I still feel great and look good, lots of great comments and giving away clothes i only bought a few months ago, so still on the right road.

I have had to postpone my 6 month check up and will explain in next posting, but wanted the doctor to know it wasn't because of any issue.

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Never thought I would be telling you a story like this!

Today I went to the gym really early, at 0530 as it was my last day in Orlando, I needed to work, pack, exercise and be ready for my 8am presentation. It should have been fine, except the gym I thought opened 24 hours a day, didn't open to 0600. I was just about to leave very frustrated when someone turned up with a key, and said he was starting work and if I wanted he could let me in early.

How cool is that?

Monday 11 April 2011

What a Difference 6 Months Makes

6 Months ago on October 12th I had my surgery.

This first photo was taken about 6 weeks before when I was on vacation with 3 very close friends. It was posted on facebook by one of them, and I hated it; I hated it because I looked so big. Not only am I really fat, but I am so much taller than them I felt like a giant in all directions.

Note, however the wrap I am wearing. Today I spent a little time at the pool, in Orlando where I am speaking at a conference. Same wrap. Only in the first photo, it just ties under my arms, in the 2nd, it is wraped around as a halter neck.

Saturday 9 April 2011

This will make you laugh.

Many years ago I bought a pair of trainers. Very cheap, no point buying expensive ones to do nothing. For my birthday this year my daughter bought me a new pair and yesterday I had to throw away the old pair because they split! Wonders will never cease!

Moving on Down

Bought some trousers in January. Size 16 UK (12 US). Elastic waist, as that is still the problem area.

Now I am more than a size smaller, and loving it. Bought my first pair of Treggings and love the look.

Did I get rid of the pair I first mentioned, no, now I can sew again, I altered them, taking 3 inches, or 11cm out of each side. 

And have you noticed I post more photos now?

Not My Most Positive Post

Most of my postings are positive, and I am having a great time, but occasionally I get disheartened as the weight loss is very little day by day, or even week by week. But I can manage that, I feel good and look good.

However I had a bad time a few weeks ago and again earlier last week, with a mild case of dumping syndrome. At first I thought it was a bug, but once I realised it wasn't I was able to as it says, quickly learn how to avoid it. In my case I think it was beer and then chocolate, and it is a pretty good reason not to eat too fast or too much carbs.

Not my nicest posting but I did promise to share everything. However there is a laugh in it, when I lived in Germany I learnt the word for this 'durchfall' and I have to say, literally translated means 'straight through', very descriptive. 

For obvious reasons, no pictures on this post.

Unexpected Health Benefit.

This weight loss challenge was meant to improve my health, and it has, I have so much more energy, get out of breath less often and if I do, recover so much quicker, and I have so much more energy. A few years back as a massive Home and Away Fan I climbed to the lighthouse at Stewarts Point outside of Sydney and it nearly killed me. Not convinced I could run up there but my I would to try it again.

But I have had one health benefit I didn't expect.  Several years ago I broke my wrist, in a coffee shop in Amsterdam ( but that story is not for this professional blog). Thanks to an amazing surgeon and a phenomenal, if sadistic physiotherapist I regained more movement than either expected. However when using my wrist, I did get aches that lasted all day. Swimming was particularly bad, and I had all but given up dressmaking which was a hobby I loved.

Not sure why, Perhaps my wrist is not so tight now and that is the reason and I don't have anymore movement just a lot less pain.