Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Today I went back to the surgeon and had my last drain removed. Another step in the right direction! My next directive is to stand up straight! Yes, that is my next "training goal" - things in the recovery world are slow and I have to be patient to say the least. My next visit to the surgeon is in a month's time and I was told that if all things were looking good then I would be cleared to do 15 minutes cardio, such as a light walk. Initially, I was feeling a little horrified, then had to remind myself that I cannot stand up straight now and that by the time I get there, 15 minutes of cardio will be quite the accomplishment.
I think I may be a little less swollen than yesterday and may be able to get a better look at things when I have a shower (yes!) tonight. I really have to remind myself at every turn to be patient with this - I must be starting to feel better, even thinking of moving around!
Usually I don't mention my family much in this blog but I have had such amazing support from DH whilst I've been recovering, all meals cooked, washing and ironing done, girls taken to and from school plus looking after me and helping me shower, getting me in and out of bed and putting my tracky daks on for me and generally treating me like a princess. I really want to do something special to say thank you to him, any ideas?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Power of the Shower!

Today I had my first proper shower in 10 days. As I have been wearing a tight compression garment that I couldn't get off, I have had to forgo a decent shower for little bird baths. The compression garment has a peep hole for being able to go to the bathroom without taking the thing off and all I have been talking about for the last ten days is how much I want to have a proper shower.

It all went well at the doc yesterday. I don't know how his nurse did it but she managed to shimmy off my garment with minimal pain. My drain still has to stay in until Wednesday and the doc checked out my chest and belly before declaring all looked good. The nurse changed my dressings on my incision which is a very neat looking line running from hipbone to hipbone. I also have two thin incisions on the undersides of my breasts which haven't bothered me so far. Still very swollen but amazed by the difference!

Today I'm moving a lot better and ambling around the house a bit. Hooray!

I think when things are a bit calmer, I will post some pictures - nothing too graphic I promise, but if anyone is interested in the whole plastic surgery process, it may be useful.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Back in blogland..

Phew, I'm back in blogland at long last. Even though I consider myself a bit of a surgery veteran (after C Sections and appendectomy), I still wasn't prepared for the shock of walking in super fit and returning as weak as a kitten. The breast surgery was a piece of cake but the abdominal surgery is a different story.

Here's my story:
Day One: Required to fast 6 hours pre surgery - decided to be very sparse with the oats (which was not such a great idea as my surgery got delayed by 3-4 hours). If you know how much I enjoy eating, you know how hungry I would have been by then! A long period of waiting and feeling nervous - met the anaethestist (sp?) who was a bit of a groover, got put to sleep and woke up four hours later in recovery with a pain pump full of fentanyl and being told by the recovery nurses to push the button for the pain. After hearing a lot of advice from others who have had the surgery done to really utilize the pain relief, I went for it. Unfortunately, I started throwing up everywhere and went on a 24 hour drug trip, so I voluntarily ceased it. After my fentanyl experience, I can't understand how some drug addicts find pleasure in a drug trip. I was continually stressing about making my RPM HiPerformance class, writing a novel and other weird goings on.

Day Two: Still so nauseated I could not eat anything. I celebrated with DH by knocking off a Milk Coffee biscuit for breakfast and lunch. I can't see anything, I am firmly wrapped up in a compression garment but look down at my chest and think, "wow".

Day Three: Feeling much better and as my implants were placed over the muscle, think that I can readjust my pillows and become more independent. Try a different narcotic which works much better. Turns out that all the moving around is causing the drains that have been inserted in my breasts and tummy to start producing more fluid than they should. Have strict instructions from the doc to start acting like a chicken and to keep my wings in.

Day Four: Constipated...ugh. Had to be the worst day of my life and had to bring in the troops ie enema to help. The student nurse that gave me the enema was luckily very patient and understanding and once things had improved, had got on to talking about personal training. She expressed interest in becoming a client.

Day Five: Feeling better and ready to go home. Doc thinks otherwise. Tells me to keep the marathon running to my mind only. Swing out of bed, feeling a difference in my abs - a lot more supported with them stitched up the middle.

Day Six: Still not cleared to go home. I am cheered up by a visit from Shannon and John and Deb E from Fitness First. I had been feeling so frustrated and it really made my day.

Day Seven: Finally get three of the four drains removed and get ready to go home. I get a peek of the girls for the first time. Panic that they look massive! Think this is going to take some getting used to . In reality, I'm not quite filling out the post operative 12 c bra, why do I feel so...uh..big? I'm not used to being a girly girl. Finally get the dressings removed from belly. It's rather swollen and angry, but there is not a stitch of loose skin, nary a stretch mark to be seen. It looks incredible.

I am sent home in a new compression garment with strict instructions to rest and then to shower the next day.

Day Eight: (yesterday). DH and I cannot get the garment off by ourselves so we are off to the surgeon to have him and his nurse remove it. This was something I hadn't been expecting. Wish me luck getting the sucker off.

It's great to be home and to catch up with the online world. I am looking forward to being able to move more freely and each day is a step in the right direction. The best part is that I feel like in the passage of time, I will come back really strong with my training. I know that I will probably become out of shape over the next few months, but I can focus on eating well and being sensible for a perfect recovery.

Thanks for everyone's well wishes - I really appreciate them!

I really enjoyed everyone's six word memoirs..

"I'm becoming a million dollar baby"

Friday, April 18, 2008

I'm off

I'm off to hospital shortly. Thank you to everyone for the well wishes, encouragement, phone calls and texts.

We're always reading about such doom and gloom in our newspapers and about how evil people are. I beg to differ. The further along I travel in life, the more I notice the goodness, the kindness and the love in everyone and my surroundings. I have been touched deeply by everyone's support. I feel very lucky most of the time.

As the big man Arnie says, "I'll be back!"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The week is flying by!

Gosh, long time no post!
The week is starting to race by, so I'll do a quick recap of the week.

Monday: teach last RPM class and have a catch up with Shannon. Try to ensure Shannon has a better RPM experience than last time :) It was awesome catching up with Miss Shannon, who is looking great - I always have so much fun with her and we laugh a LOT! I did have to tempt here with jelly snakes to get up the final hill in RPM. Everytime I see them I think of her :)

Then it was off to the physio - looks like I have subacromial bursitis - I don't know how I managed to bring this upon myself but it has been pretty painful. The prescription is soft tissue release, no overhead lifting and plenty of rest. Needless to say I haven't trained at all this week.

Tuesday: Day at home catching up and writing programs etc. Not much else to report.

Wednesday: Have hair cut and colour - I want to be the best post op chick in the hospital and get my admission details etc. Massage shoulder and do soft tissue tennis ball therapy. It's feeling a lot better but nowhere near functional. I think it's a blessing in disguise that it happened this week and I'll be doing a lot of resting soon anyway.

Off now to watch James Bond :) Channel Nine has been showing a James Bond movie every week. I don't mind watching Pierce Brosnan one iota!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Crikey! Take a look at these little beauties!

Child Friendly Chicken Koftas! OR "FUD", if you're a Gary Larson fan...

To make these little rippers, you need

600 g chicken breast mince

1 onion (sliced and diced)

3 tbsp Taylor's Satay Sauce

2 Slices Wonder Higher Protein Bread (made into breadcrumbs)

1 egg white

1 small carrot (sliced and diced)

Mix whole lot together and shape into koftas on soaked wooden skewer sticks (so they don't burn).

Aah, the nutrition stats: two of these little fellas come in at 25g protein, 10g carb, 4.4g fat and 185 calories. That's the fine print.

I also made Ras El-Hanout Chickpea and Tuna Patties which turned out a little smooshy, but eminently edible. That recipe still needs refining before it's blog worthy!

Here's the dish:

1 big tin of tuna, drained , 1 egg white, 120g drained chickpeas, 400g raw potato (cooked and mashed), 150g cooked and drained carrot, 1 big zucchini, Alexandra's Moroccan Ras El Hanout Spice blend (available at - yes, I support those over the ditch :) )

These made 14 big patties. Two patties come in at 160 cal with 16.6g protein, 22g carb and 1 g fat - these would make an excellent post workout meal - I think I am going to indulge in these tomorrow post RPM with a big side of vegetables.

Thanks for yesterday's comments - Lisa, I must say that variety is the spice of life - I started off as more of an endurance type, swung into the strength training and think it may be nice to spice it up with more endurance stuff once I'm better - I just loved the Adventure Race I did in Feb and we were pretty much running or on the road for the 3 hours we were allotted. I just want to experience as much fitness stuff as I'm able to!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Last RPM Hi Performance for a little while!

Today I taught my last RPM Hi Performance class before my big day next Friday. I felt quite emotional telling my class I'd be away for four months. I started off with a handful of participants and this class has grown considerably (full today). I think it's a combination of being a Saturday morning ritual, a good timeslot and hopefully a bit of my teaching ability that's affected the numbers in such a positive way. Anyway, I feel I have been very lucky with the class and learnt a lot from them as well as the other way around.

Had morning tea with Miss S and Andrea and then Miss S came over and we had a look at her in my comp bikini - she looks good, but the bikini top was a bit small - I will obviously have to buy a new suit when I compete again to fit the new additions.

After feeling a sad about having to leave my class, I began to feel excited about all of the things that I will be doing when I'm well again. I turn forty next year and I am having thoughts participating in a full marathon and perhaps a Figure Comp in the Masters Division to mark the occasion! Then there's a triathlon or two to squeeze in - a few of us are already talking about teaming up for Mooloolaba next year - should be awesome fun.

The prospect of recovery and rehab is one that most fitness afficiondos are too comfortable with and I am no exception. However, my goal is to be positive and to take every day one step at a time and celebrate the little achievements. When you become really fit, I think you can become a little bit immune to where you've come from and I will be celebrating climbing the stairs, rather than the great deadlifts I did in training.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Shiny New Spinner Bikes

We've just traded in our old V-Bikes for 35 brand new Spinner Bikes in the RPM studio. I get to teach my last Hi Performance class on a brand new bike. That will be fun. I haven't broken the news to my class that I could be away for up to four months. I feel a little emotional about this. All of my classes are special to me in their own way but my Hi Performance crew on a Saturday just rock! Part of me wrestles with "sooner" but I am going to the true beat of my rehab drummer which tells me that success rests with the "later" option.

Had a busy day taking Miss S to the doctor and having some blood tests done for her. She was so patient and didn't flinch when the needle went in. She is a terrific kid. I was able to squeeze in teaching my 4.30pm Step class thanks to my parents. It's been great teaching more Step - I now know release 71 so well, I don't have to think about it anymore - pressure's off!

Tomorrow I am talking to some of the Fitness First PTs about Krista and Biosignature testing. I am planning on becoming accredited in the future and I am so looking forward to her visit and learning more about Charles Poliquin. I also enjoy Mike Robertson's work so much - you can visit at and read his blog - some great interviews and links to articles he has recently written for T Nation and the like. Highly recommended.

Monday, April 07, 2008

I'm in love...

With Biotest Surge - which is a post recovery workout formula fortified with BCAA's, a high amount of protein and a nice big whack of carbohydrate. You can mix one piddly little scoop with about 700ml of water and it makes this most amazingly delicious chocolate shake. This is perfect for me as I replenish not only carb, but water as well.
I certainly earned my Surge suckdown today - my 700ml of chocolate heaven (I'm not counting the dark chocolate Lorraine :) )~ I taught 3 classes before 2 pm - 2 RPM and 1 Bodystep. I really didn't think I'd have legs for Step but it turned out to be the most awesome class.
I'm looking forward to my next opportunity to really cane things in the gym so I can have some more Surge :)


Saturday, April 05, 2008

swimming..I love it!

I am hoping that when the time is right post recovery to take up swimming again. There's nothing better than feeling like you are gliding through the water.

Today I taught RPM HiPerformance and got to catch up with Miss S, Andj and Miss J and got to have a post workout Surge suckdown. That stuff is seriously tasty! I think that I'm going to have a look at some of their other products as well in the future. First of all though, I have to get through a 4kg tub of Cookies and Cream, chocolate, soy vanilla and the like. I'm sure that Kek will have some fantastic ideas as to how to come up with tasty concoctions with all of it. I tried making Golden Edge Egg White protein pancakes yesterday - they didn't turn out anything like her Phat Camp blueberry numbers, so I'm hoping for some tips when she gets back from Tassie.

The girls I have prepping for this next round of competitions are all doing well. I'm sure they get sick of me telling them how veggies are so good for them, but I know how proud they will be to get out there on stage knowing that they accomplished something that is hard - and it will be the best feeling in the world!

In other news, I am now thirteen days out from the surgery and I must say it is really at the forefront of my mind. I keep flip flopping between "do I really need to be doing this?" to "I think it will be worth it." In the meantime, I just have to keep busy - I'm teaching three classes on Monday, so that should help!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Original post name ..not much going on today. I went shopping today for PJs for my hospital stay. I'm usually the ultimate grunge meister and wear old TShirts to bed but I need to look half way respectable so I picked up some PJs from Target and Sussan (I had forgotten how nice their PJs are), as well as some PJs for the girls. I didn't spend much on these items - I'm looking forward to hitting the lingerie department in due time instead, hee hee.

The most pleasant surprise I've had today is that my Private Health Fund has picked up nearly all of the cost for the abdominal side of things which is just awesome.

I met Lisa for lunch today and wow, is Wonder Woman looking good or what? Lisa is definitely reaping the rewards of the Biosignature Testing that Krista has done for her and the GeneElite profiling that we also did. Lisa looks as if she is about to jump out of her skin, she is THAT good. We are both very excited that Krista Schaus is coming out to Australia. I have had contact with Krista with GeneElite and I'm looking forward to learning more about the BioSignature testing. Krista will be here for about a week, so if there are any Brissy gals that want to learn about this cutting edge testing, let me or Lisa know.

After lunch, we had a look in Lorna Jane and I purchased two pairs of pants to wear post op with a nice stretchy waistband. I tried on a top that really didn't suit - Lisa said "it does nothing for you" - made a mental note to invite her on my next shopping expedition - I just love people to be upfront and honest shopping partners.

Finished the day teaching Bodystep - and am about to haul the old bod off to bed.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

What happens when you pull up a pew..

I'm not one to blog about religious beliefs, but I've had some very enlightening moments sitting in Mass over the years, due to belonging to a parish where the priest doesn't really discuss religion so much and what we should believe, rather he discusses human nature and the challenges we face and draws from philosophy, sociology, current politics and literature, which makes for very lively discussion. Over the years I have seen people take a pen and paper to Mass and jot down notes (yes, I am guilty of this too), it is that interesting to me. And no, I'm not writing this to encourage anyone to change their beliefs or become a Christian.

Last Sunday's sermon was about doing something you know is morally wrong (eg stealing), and the effects of it on your wellbeing in the long term. He spoke about shame and guilt being associated with the event and then he spoke about a term called "concupiscence".

Here is the definition:
The propensity of human nature to actual sin as a result of the original sin, which darkened our intellects and weakened our wills.
Specifically, concupiscence is the spontaneous movement of our sensual appetite toward what we imagine as pleasant and away from what we imagine as painful.
Concupiscence of the eyes is an unreasonable desire to see, hear, and know what is harmful to our virtue, inconsistent with our state in life, or detrimental to our higher duties. An example would be the desire to accumulate material possessions irrespective of the means employed, satisfy our ambitions, or nurture our pride.

In other words - once you go down a path of moral wrong, you are more likely to reoffend as patterns are laid down in your brain (eg through neurotransmitters etc) and this is where challenge lies.

He specifically spoke about eating well and exercising - and said that when you go down the path of overindulgence, you literally set up a pattern or a script in your head that makes it easier for the event to happen again, even though you feel intense shame and guilt at the time. You can FORGIVE yourself but the issue of concupiscence still remains.

Of course this issue pops up repeatedly with my clients - the "I've overdone it" email. You can feel the shame and guilt oozing out of the communication ... "I've let you down, ", "I can't be trusted", "I'm never doing this again" (except it happens exactly a month later - funny how that is with us ladies :) ) . However, to be successful at weight loss and maintenance and to have a healthy relationship with food we must learn to deal with the concupiscence issue - what can we do to short circuit the unhealthy patterns we develop.

The answer is that we need to change our thinking. Don't be fooled into thinking that it's a quick fix - it's the hardest thing you'll ever do. Analysis of my dance with overeating a bit on Saturday led me to work out that I'm anxious about a number of things. What then - you work out whether it's valid to be anxious about said issues and nut the problem out, rather than eat over the top of it. The other issue is that you don't just change your thinking and it's final - you should be always challenging the "stinking thinking" - remember "whatever you think, you're probably right". Make those thoughts work in your favour!

Whew that was deep!

Back to our training diary for today:
1) Taught Bodystep (fun)
2) Taught RPM HiPerformance this evening
3) Tucking into an omelette the size of a flying saucer? Priceless!