My Name is Melissa…

hamburger-1349595-mMy name is Melissa and I am a food addict.  I know I have written about this time and time again.  But, I have come to the realisation that I have lost control.  I had my weight loss surgery in 2012.  Following a serious war on fat I raised the flag of victory 18 months later.  I had conquered the demon, never would I allow food to rule my life again.  For the first time in my life I felt like I was in control.  It was a great feeling!  But, in the last couple of months something has changed.  I had a really horrible start to the year.  At one point I thought I was going to lose my house, it seemed as if everything I was falling apart including my mental health. In the chaos of all that was happening around me an old friend showed up to try and cheer me up. In all his glorious calorific loveliness. He let me cry on his shoulder and held my hand when I felt alone.  I should have known better.  But, I thought I was better now, stronger and could handle him being in my life again.  I was so wrong!  What I didn’t realise was that even after all this time I wouldn’t know when to stop and say no.  The aftermath of my lapse in judgement was shocking. I had gained 15 pounds in three weeks.

pizza-2-1364933-mIn my previous body a stone or even two or three was meaningless and honestly hardly noticeable, now in this smaller frame all I see is bulging fat.  That damned F word!  I avoided its use for decades as for some reason being overweight or the extremely overused “curvy” seemed to feel gentler on my delicate psyche. But, it was a lie.  There was no curve, just lumpy, bumpy horrible, jiggly fat.  Curves, more cushion for the pushin and various other colloquialisms only serve to push us deeper into denial. Personally, having hid behind the big and proud agenda for years I don’t believe there is anything empowering about giving up on yourself and accepting a bloated time bomb of a body in an attempt to normalise obesity. This doesn’t mean that as a woman I have to conform to societies so called ideal body shape. But, is more about putting the onus on me to set a good example to my daughter.   The last thing I would want for her is to spend 20 plus years trapped under 350 pounds of flab.  In the years that my addiction to food had its strongest hold I could rationalise my obesity. When I discovered I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome it was as if I had found the Holy Grail.  This was my license to hang all responsibility on a mysteries “syndrome”.  Therefore, from that day forward it wasn’t my fault any more.  It wasn’t the three big macs I loved so much killing me, I had a disease, a ticket to allow my addiction to take complete control of me.  Something happened one day, it wasn’t good enough any more.  All of a sudden it hit me that rather then empowerment, I had rendered myself completely dis-empowered.  The fact is love it or hate it the world is not a nice place to be in when you are fat.  I had to work twice as hard to gain the respect of colleagues.  I had to prove myself everyday to those that looked at me and automatically thought I was the laziest person on the planet.  As much as I ate, I was certainly not lazy.  In fact from a health point of view I was one of those lucky fatties that never had the stereotypical obesity related ailments.  This made hiding behind the bbw flag much easier as I could declare myself fat and hit!  But, underneath I was eating myself to death.  I suppose it’s a bit like the functional junky.  They can rationalise how much smack they do because they still get up every morning and go to work.  It is only a matter of time before the addiction catches you off guard.  But, I digress, this is about me now.  I suppose there is a certain amount of victory in realising I am slipping before going completely off the rails and having a full regain. I really can’t imagine what that would do to the psyche.  I know many people that it’s happened to.  Is there anything worse than being fat?  it is something that you have a certain degree of control over.  So, no there isn’t anything worse than being fat for me.  It isn’t like getting cancer or hit by a bus.  Those are things outside of your control.  Having experienced what it’s like to be thin the idea of being fat again is the stuff of nightmares.

hot-dog-1149854-mI was and am completely responsible for my lack of self control.  I am human unfortunately and as such I have my own set of demons to deal with.  It is so hard!  I find myself upset and ravenously tearing apart the kitchen looking for anything that will sooth my troubled mind.  The high is instant, exhilarating with each orgasmic bite, but then there is the come down. The self hatred and guilt that lasts so much longer than the climax.  Food is a tough one you can’t completely eliminate it from your life.  But, what I need to learn to control is how I handle myself around it.

I need to constantly remind myself that food is not my friend and as much as I desperately want a pizza to cry into some times I just don’t have it in me to “just be friends”.  Maybe one day we can get together and reminisce about all my 3 am binges.  But, for now I need a game plan.  It is all about going back to basics.  Complete portion and calorie control.  I have been incredibly lucky that my blog allows me access to some amazing people and products.  With that I will be putting everything I have into getting my head back in the game.  Food may have one a tiny battle in the last few weeks, but has definitely not won the war.

Freezing myself Thin!

logo-newWe all have that bit of our bodies that we dislike. I am particularly lucky that I have been able to have a multitude of treatments to “fix” much of the damage a lifetime of obesity has done to me.  Although very pleased with the general results I still have pockets of fat here and there that exercise doesn’t seem to be able to shift.  I wish I could be more accepting of my remaining flaws, but I just can’t.  I know this issue goes far beyond what any surgical or aesthetic treatment can cure.  However, I do believe that if you are not happy with your body there is nothing wrong with trying to make it right.  Whether making it right involves diet and exercise or something more invasive than why not?

11267518_10153423392635955_1888581451_nEnter Meadow Clinic in Leamington Spa.  I was invited to the launch of their gorgeous new clinic.  Now obviously they must have been very special as venturing outside of London is quite unusual.  I was shown around by the gorgeous Mica . They offer a range of aesthetic treatments including massage, cellulite/fat reduction, REVIV vitamin infusions, a host of anti ageing remedies and a treatment called metabolic balance for weight loss.  Metabolic balance involves having a blood test and based on the results a tailor made nutritional programme based around what is best for you to aid weight loss and for general well being. I must say I find the idea really interesting and at some point will do a piece about it as I firmly believe that with nutrition there is no one size fits all solution.

11297177_10153423390930955_914372234_oAt the launch I had the opportunity to have a treatment.  As I have an odd pocket of fat on my waist it seemed the perfect solution to get back some symmetry.  Basically, on my right side I have a pocket of fat that makes that side appear bigger than the left.  Due to the due to the massive amount of skin removal, I would be bound to have the odd area that holds more fat than another.  So, following a consultation with the fabulous Jenny we decided that a targeted treatment was the best course of action.

The fat freezing process itself is totally non invasive and just felt like I had a big suction cup stuck on me.  In fact during the hour long treatment I managed to down 4 glasses of champagne whilst lying on the table (no I do not have a drinking problem!  I didn’t spill a drop). Following the treatment I was advised to eat as cleanly as possible and keep hydrated. I should see results after about three weeks as the fat cells die and get metabolised elsewhere. In the weeks following the treatment I saw the gradual reduction in the fat near my waist.  I am very pleased with the results.  Now if I could just find a six pack machine I would be sorted!

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Pre-treatment you can see how my right side has the pocket of fat that bulges slightly.

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Four weeks post-treatment. The appearance of my waist is flush with the other side.

Cereal Killer

Food, food food!! How I love you!!  My long term love affair with the bastard is not a secret.  In fact it is my best friend, lover, confidante and arch enemy all wrapped up into one dysfunctional package.  Due to this crazy dynamic I have to keep myself fully on top of the food situation or literally I can guarantee I would eat myself to death!  So, when someone offers me a free meal and not just a meal but delivers it to me at work I can hardly say no. Can I? Well, can I?  The answer is a big fat juicy no!  But, this is a bit different.  A company in South East London called Bed N Breakfast prepare a gorgeous breakfast tailor made to your dietary specifications, which for me can be quite a vast list.  Obviously, with my main concern around how things are prepared and the use of any fats as minimal as possible.  What I received was amazing!  I chose the veggie breakfast which was a massive portion big enough for me to share with one of my colleagues. The gorgeous Hannah, in between her many media commitments managed to deliver heaven on a plate.  It was gorgeous!!  Everything was piping hot and looked amazing.  As a lover of all things yummy, the fact that I can order something this gorgeous that is also healthy is a huge bonus.  I am literally salivating thinking about it!  For me the commitment to healthy food is something I really value.  As I have to balance my love of all things yummy with the absolute need to keep it clean and healthy this kind of care and attention to the important details is vital.  I would certainly order again, in fact has anyone seen my phone?  I need to put this chick on speed dial.

Detoxing Like a Boss

aloe snipAs you all know I have been through the most epic journey to lose weight.  As much as I try to keep my eye on the ball I struggle each and every day to keep myself on point.  It is a minute by minute battle of wills between me and the nearest pastry.  This is why I firmly believe that I am very much an addict and I accept the fact the urge to purge will always be there.  In the last few months I have been under a huge amount of stress and as a result I my old arch nemesis was straight in when I was at my most vulnerable and sadly I let him straight in.  I admit it, I fell off the wagon and more than that I proceeded to lay in front of that wagon and allowed it to run over me repeatedly.  So, with the taste of profiteroles still wafting from my swollen fingers I decided a detox was in order to reset my fat clock and get me back on track before I did any real damage to my waistline.

I had been reading about a plan called the Clean 9 Detox and ironically had just recently met Dean Johnson, a personal trainer who also  happened to be a distributor of the Forever Living products.  He explained that a large part of the detox was drinking their signature product, the Aloe Vera Gel.

posh fvlForever Living purports that  Aloe Vera has a number of health benefits, such as ; Cleansing and supporting your digestive tract, increasing your energy,  promotes cell renewal, hydrates your skin and supports a healthy immune system.  Dean went through the plan and was very upfront in telling me that
gel did not taste good and it was something I would need to get used to. But, having read that Victoria Beckham had done the Clean 9 and reportedly drinks the gel for it’s other health benefits surely I can do it!

With my box of tricks in hand I set off to detoxville.  The detox itself is broken down into two segments as follows:

Day 1-2

Breakfast

2x Forever Garcinia Plus Softgel (taken 20 minutes before the Forever aloe Vera Gel)
4 oz Forever Aloe Vera Gel (with a minimum of 8 oz of water)
1x Forever Therm Tablet
30 minutes of excersice

Snack:  Packet Forever Fibre mixed with 250 mls of water

Lunch

2 Garcinia Softgels
4 oz Forever Aloe Vera Gel followed by 8 oz water
1 Forever Therm Tablet
1 Scoop Forever Lite Ultra mixed with water, skimmed, nut milks.  (I used almond milk)

Dinner

2 Garcinia Softgels
4 oz Forever Aloe Vera Gel followed by 8 oz water

Evening Snack

4 oz Forever Aloe Vera Gel followed by 8 oz water

Throughout the day to keep hunger away you are allowed a list of free fruits and veg which literally was the reason there were no fatalities during this endeavour.  I had the vanilla shakes which were really lovely.  As you can see much of the first two days is all about the aloe vera gel.  Now as I said Dean was very honest about the taste.  The reason for the taste is due to it being a completely natural and pure product.  I honestly was not prepared for the taste.  4 ounces is more than a mouthful, so the idea of drinking it like a shot was out of the question.  It is hard to describe the taste, which is not helped by the egg white like texture.  It is extremely bitter.  But, determined to persevere I plugged my nose and chocked it down.  It was not easy, but trying to keep the benefits in mind I got through it.  I think trying to get the gel down was much harder then keeping on the “cleanse”.  But, I managed it and survived to see day 3 when I would be allowed a 600 calorie meal.

Days 3-9

Breakfast

2 Garcinia Softgels
4 oz Aloe Vera Gel
1 Therm Tablet
1 Scoop Forever Lite Ultra
Minimum of 30 minutes of exercise

Snack

1 Packet Forever Fibre

Lunch

2 Garcinia Plus Softgels
1 Forever Therm Tablet
1  Scoop Forever Lite Ultra

Dinner

2 Garcinia Plus Softgel
600 Calorie Meal

The 600 calorie meal although stated as a dinner could be eaten at any time of the day.  Most of the time I used the calories for two 300 calorie meals as I found that easier to manage.  The detox itself was not difficult to stick to primarily because of the free foods allowance.  Like any plan that severely restricts your food intake it takes a lot of willpower.  But, my increasing energy levels were a great incentive to carry on.   I never managed to get used to the taste of the gel and I honestly struggled to the last dose getting it down.  As part of this process I did search for Aloe gel converts for advice about getting over the taste.  I had loads of great advice and spoke to countless people who told me that the benefits they have received far outweigh how difficult it is to drink.  Everyone I spoke to when researching the product was happy with the gel and advised that after taking it daily for 2-4 weeks they grew used of the taste.  But, I don’t want to focus on that bit too much because obviously like with everything we all have different tastes and what is not good for me maybe a pleasure for someone else.  The end result is what it’s about.  The fact is there are many people that have had some amazing results with aloe vera gel.  Statistically 51% of the sales with this company come from the sale of the gel as a stand alone product.  Anything that can benefit your health is obviously worth doing.  But, in my own experience I found it challenging.  Keeping in mind I was doing this for 9 days.  Had I been doing a more extended cleanse or taking it for other reasons I may have got used to it.

But, the proof is in the pudding as they say.  After 9 days doing the cleanse I definitely had a marked increase in energy.  I lost 7 pounds and 9 inches over my entire body.  Spurred on by the results I have since been trying to eat as clean as possible.  It was a tough week, but definitely doable.

If you would like more information about Clean 9 you can contact Dean Johnson via Facebook  or on Twitter @ForeverHFL

DeVirgination Part 2

11266633_10153383653705955_1719984422_oWith my foray into botox still fresh in my mind I started thinking about all the interventions available to make you feel and look younger.  What is the thing that makes a particular face look younger?

Obviously, with my collagen banks becoming ever increasingly deficient I went to work in accessing all of the procedures that can make a face look more youthful.  Okay, I hear you!!  Why can’t she accept the aging process as it as and just grow old gracefully?  Just accept who you are and move on…What on earth does all this have to do with the weight loss journey?  Yes, I have heard them all.  But, I do have an answer to this, which may or may not satisfy the curiosity of those who do not understand why the aesthetics side of my journey is so important to me.

I have been fat my whole life, I spent all of the years that any normal young person would have been out having fun inside feeling sorry for myself, feeling sorry for the life I was somehow not entitled to lead because I was so big.  So, having finally reclaimed the body I always wanted is it not ok to long for the youth I was denied by trapping myself under the ultimate fat suit?

So, no I will not be growing old gracefully.  If there are interventions whether nutritional, pharmaceutical, injectable or surgical I will try them.  I will of course share the results with everyone here.  Because, I have a huge amount of time to make up for!

11281107_10153383664275955_880154184_oNow that my relationship with Botox had turned into a full-fledged love affair it was only natural that I was thinking about experimenting with other injectables.  Dr Joney De Souza being the amazing practitioner that he is had done the most spectacular job with my face.  Although the botox was in three areas, his approach ensured that my face was youthful, but also very natural.  This is what you want to achieve, a face that still has some movement. Something you can only get from someone that is a genuine expert in the field.

When I saw him again I expressed that I felt my lips had lost some of their youthful volume in recent years and I would like to have a sexier pout in general. He explained that by using a filler to enhance them I could achieve not just a more youthful look, but it would also give me that full symmetrical set of lips that would enhance my profile as well.

11281577_10153383655690955_125182373_oSo, once again I would be on the receiving side of Dr De Souza’s expert needle.  Like all of us I have seen the aftermath of those who have sadly ended up with the dreaded “trout pout”.  Anytime you discuss having a lip enhancement inevitably you get the usual comments about looking like Pete Burns.  But, this is where finding a good injector is vital.  You need to trust the person implicitly with your face.  Unfortunately, if it is done poorly and without care you will have to live with the consequences.

A good injector is not going unload massive amounts of filler into your lips.  They should inject your lips with a conservative amount of filler in the initial appointment as you will have swelling right after 11281517_10153383654450955_1100907017_oso will not be able to get an accurate view of the enhancement for a couple of days.  In the following weeks they should have you return for any tweaks you may want.  After my first appointment I was floored by the results.  It was subtle yet dramatic at the same time.  Truly finished off the amazing work he had already done using botox.  I am incredibly pleased with the results and would definitely consider myself a convert to injectable aesthetic procedures.   The results that can be achieved are amazing and if you are looking for a procedure that will give you a great result that have lower financial and physical investment injectable treatments are absolutely the way forward.  I could not be more pleased with Dr De Souza’s amazing work.

For more information about the brilliant work of Dr De Souza visit his website http://www.drjoneydesouza.com/