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The Commitments or How I changed my Slimband story

When I started this blog, it was to share my Slimband story. Well, it’s been nearly 4 years and things here at the Digital Diva Blog have evolved a bit. I do still share my Slimband stories but I find myself focusing more on how my life has changed as a former fat chick (now I’m just a bit chubby) with a greater self confidence. That means that most of my posts are frivolous and feature an assortment of topics ranging from plus size shopping/fashion to crossfit/general fitness to food choices to dating in a digital world yet still maintaining relevance to bandsters and chubby chicks. However, the frequency of my posts isn’t much to be admired.

2014 Goals

Now, I don’t often make resolutions as I believe them to be doomed from the start. So, instead I’m going to set a goal, a commitment, if you will. A commitment to keep a consistent level of communication and keep my followers better informed of my fitness and weight-loss goals (as well as my dating disasters) throughout the first quarter of 2014. I will strive to provide at least one post per week for the next three months. And since my 4 year bandiversary will be coming up shortly after said quarter ends, I’m hoping I’ll have more to say about my band than I have recently.

So, here’s to sharing too much information about my life in the most entertaining way I know how!

Wha? That’s me!! – I’m Definitely a ‘Big Girl in a Skinny World’

Very excited to hear about the new You Tube series from the good people behind Big Girl in a Skinny World from Marie Claire. It certainly sounds promising…I only hope they show a few more ‘Big Girl’ style icons in future episodes. I’ll be keeping my eye open for sure.

I certainly enjoyed Episode 1. Can’t wait to see the rest!

UK Fashion, I <3 You!

Seriously, this Fashion Therapy article from Liz Jones really highlights the plight of plus-size fashionistas.

As seen on Adele – the dresses that may be the answer to every curvy girl’s prayers

We really don’t suffer lightly when it comes to poor fit and quality so it’s amazing to see some fantastic new fashions hitting the runways these days. I just wish the Canadian fashion industry would jump on the band wagon and give some of us curvy gals some gorgeous glad rags made right here in The Great White North!

In Those Jeans or How Ottawa Plus-Size Shopping Sucks

Got a phone call from Jody at Slimband yesterday to arrange my ‘next appointment’. I’ve had some food and fill related chats but other than that, it’s the first time I’ve heard from them regarding healing and surgical followup since Day 5 post-op. Haven’t had a chance to ring them back yet but suspect it’s going to be a 3-month followup appointment at their offices in TO.

bluesfestNormally I’d be super excited at the thought of returning to Slimband’s clinic and spending some fun time in TO but I’m more than a little busy in the next couple of weeks what with potential job ops (YAY!) and family fun time.

To top it all off, it’s Bluesfest here in the Capital and I’d rather spend my time tearin’ it up there than driving to Canada’s Big Smoke. It is indeed a rare occasion for THAT occurrence!

In other news, if there’s one thing for sure about my journey from the fatness to the fitness, it’s that there’s a lot to think about. Sometimes it feels like the one thing I know for sure is that having a lap-band is going to get me to my goal this time and I will indeed be healthier within 12 months. And other times it feels like that’s the escapist fantasy of convicted food offender.

Sometimes this blog reflects that very sentiment but most times, I try to focus on the positive parts to keep me motivated. When that happens I mostly think about what my life will be like when I get to my goal. I keep hearing about all the wonderful things in store for me and all the endless possibilities for my future. So, I dare to dream more often than not. But it certainly is a challenge to keep my head in the clouds.

This is especially true when I accompany my aunt (henceforth referred to as The Wallet) on her shopping expeditions on an almost daily basis. Not only does the woman have a whopper of a wallet, she also wears a size 10. She’s not a trendster but she’s glamourous and fairly fashionable so I frequently envy her purchasing power. But I wouldn’t buy what she buys even if I could…she’s 58!

Although this is yet another example of how my London life has spoiled me, I dream of one day dropping my dough on my very own perfect pair of designer jeans. I can certainly find them here in a smaller size because Ottawa’s skinny shopping is pretty sweet. But I couldn’t find a fabulous pair of plus size jeans in this town if my life depended on it! Let alone something suitably glunge for me to kick it in da’ club.

boom boom jeansEven plus size retailers here in the Capital can’t believe I would ever disagree that their duds are just that. Some of them actually believe in the stereotype that plus size women want to hide their hides. I’m not a big chick that likes to regularly rock the bodycon (I’d certainly wear the sexiness pictured here though!) but I do like my clothes to cling to my curves and they just don’t do it in Canadian plus-size fashions. Seriously, if I could draw I’d design the best damn denim for babes with a booty this country’s ever seen.

In the meantime, I found a pair of skinny/straight leg jeans while with The Wallet at Winner’s this week. They’re from Boom Boom Jeans! and I just love them! They’re actually tight on my calves and they hug my bum just so. I love them so much I’m thinking I might get another pair! Gotta go back to Winner’s though cause I can’t get ’em anywhere else in Canada right now. Figures!

Stay Positive

Well, it’s high time for a turn for the better!! I’ve just weighed myself and much to my delight I’ve found that I’ve lost another 2.6 lbs. That certainly doesn’t sound like much but I’ve been stuck at the same weight for an entire month and boy does every little help!

Yippee! Happy personThings seem to be taking a turn for the better right now. I’m socialising a bit more with friends, I’ve got a few very promising job prospects and now the scales start to shift. It’s about effing time, I’ll tell ya! It just goes to show that mental health most certainly does = physical health. So, I’ve really got to stay positive.

That being said, I’m struggling to eat as frequently as I’m supposed to. Every 2-3 hours just doesn’t seem to fit with my fun and fabulous lifestyle of job applications every morning followed by afternoons of shopping and carrying my aunt’s bags and driving her around in her pretty pink Escalade. We’re running around so much we don’t have time to eat!

But I do get the calories…and nearly none of them are good ones! Shame on me, I know. What’s the point of spending all this money on surgery if I don’t eat well, right? Well, I can’t eat as much as I used to  so it’s still an improvement if only a small one.

And I do get the regular walking in every day. I’m even hoping to start light jogging in my lovely neighbourhood very soon. It’s a dream of mine to someday be one of those fit-tastic people that rises every morning and runs a couple miles. I shall henceforth be attempting to make that dream a reality.

Now, little job fairies, work your magic while I work mine and most certainly our positive vibes will send me the job of my Ottawa dreams.

Freakum Dress

Cannes Film Festival - Rose McGowanOkay, I’m such a sucker for a beautiful ball gown! Check out this divine D&G vintage ball gown worn by one of my favourite witches Rose McGowan. She wore it back in 2008 to Cannes but it’s vintage and oh so timeless. I would most certainly say yes to this dress!!

My entire life I’ve never imagined myself in a designer dress. I’ve had to take the time to discern designers providing plus-sized options of their gorgeous gowns. There are far more plus-size vendors in Canada now than there ever were when I was a teen trying to choose my attire for the profusion of formal events in my educational career. But most have yet to include the edge that enables me to make an outfit my own. Most of the time, if I don’t buy what’s on the mannequin it’s pretty tough to fashion trendy togs from the outdated accoutrement on display in most big-girl shops.

Cannes Film Festival - Rose McGowan - Closeup

Having the band gives me hope about the shopping expeditions I’ll be able to SHARE with my friends and family in the future. And I wanna get married in a dress like one day. It’s absolutely perfect! The colours, the cut. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Who needs white to make me blend into the background. I mean, officially I’ve been out of the white dress category for more than half my life anyway. Now, for the perfect fella…

Cute is What We Aim For

A beautiful messBeen surfin’ around the ‘net this evenin’ and found myself a cutie pie site full of things for me to spend my food money on. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Red Velvet Art by Elsie Flannigan. There’s prints, clothes and some oh so kitch accessories. When fits, I shall be snapping up some of Elsie’s wonderful wares.

She’s also a Bloggie Award nominee and for very good reason. If you HEART art and design you’ll love what she’s got to say on A Beautiful Mess. She’s a Typepad blogger though so no nifty Blogger Buzz shortcuts. BUT she’s also a nominee for a Bloggie Award so she’s definitely worth a butchers.

Oh! Oh! It’s Magic!

Hooray for mushies!! Seriously, what a pleasure eating has been today. Started the day with a tasty treat: some instant oatmeal made with skimmed milk.  For lunch/late supper I puréed some of Mom’s chicken stew and although it was pretty good, I’m fairly certain she used chicken stock as the base and right now I’m over chicken stock in a way only my fellow bandsters could understand! It was pretty good though.mushrooms

So, I took it slow while eating both and kept them down with ease. I’m hoping it stays that way. According to my reading materials, physically I should be feeling pretty close to normal by now and that’s a pretty fair assumption.

Food-wise, I’m feeling almost normal. It’s easy to swallow things, the tiny bubble burps have dramatically decreased and the pulling on my esophagus/diaphragm when I yawn (most likely a side effect of the hernia repair) is minimal. I’ve still got the occasional pain in my port site but other than that I’m feeling good.

I also cooked up one of the mushie recipes provided by Slimband’s own creative Chef John. The vegetable soup is a treat. It’s like minted pea soup only A LOT better. Judging by the meal plan I don’t think I’ll get to eat much of it despite the army-sized pot I’ve produced. If I’d known I definitely would have halved the recipe so I stuck some in the freezer.

Went for a wander to Winner’s with my auntie again today and found myself trolling through the handbags, shoes, sunglasses and hats AGAIN. I didn’t even go near the clothing department. Now, this probably makes sense to most people because I’m supposed to be losing weight and any clothes I do buy probably won’t fit me for long, right? Well, that would be true, if I did’t ALWAYS spend my time looking at handbags, shoes, sunglasses and hats.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love me a gorgeous handbag, some fabulous shoes and sexy pair of shades. But I’m fairly certain nobody’s ever wondered why. Well, it might have crossed their minds…but contrary to popular belief, it’s not because I’m secretly a shopaholic bag lady as well as a foodaholic.

I mean, yes, I do spend a lot of money on them. But it’s a whole lot easier to explain than an addiction. It’s simply because shoes and bags will ALWAYS fit. I’ll never try them on, look in the mirror and frown when the fabric hugs my chub a tad too tightly. They’re never smaller than they were the last time I tried them on. And they don’t fall apart the second time I wear them. In fact, when I pick up a classic bag or a timeless pair of shoes, they pretty much go with everything and can last for years.

I don’t mind spending a pretty penny on something I know is going to bring me joy every time I wear it. But that so rarely happens with clothes when one is a larger lady. I seriously can’t wait until the day I have a beautiful bag in one hand and a huge pile of clothes in the other and I can choose the clothes knowing that each and every item in the pile is on-trend, may or may not have been worn by one of my style icons and will only ever fit me perfectly. Oh, what a day it will be!

PS Weighed myself today and I’ve gained 1 lb back on the ‘full liquids’ stage. Total weight lost to date is 11 lbs. I’m told it’s highly likely I will gain most of my losses back before I get my first fill but things seem to be going well so far so we’ll just have to see about that!

Hot Stuff

Woke up feeling pretty fine today. I opted for a hot water bottle on my shoulder rather than drugs in my tummy but honestly, I didn’t really need either. I didn’t feel much in the way of pain at all last night so I was pretty pleased. That being said, I had a toasty top half despite the significant drop in Ottawa’s temperature last night!

One thing’s for sure though, if I’m gonna be using my little orange provider of warmth and comfort again anytime soon, I’m gonna need some help from Liliana the Hottie designed by Montreal’s own Janice Yan-Yan Wu. I absolutely adore her! Not only would she be soft and cuddly, she would most certainly help me keep the stink of cheap rubber from rubbing off on my 400 TC sheets. And with eyes like hers who could resist??

Pre-op Day 2-5

Been doing okay so far. Been following along as I should. Broke the diet on Saturday for a birthday party but didn’t really stray too far…unless you count the two cupcake tops and the copious amounts of alcohol I jammed into my system. At least I only ate the tops of the cupcakes right? Well,  I went straight back to the restriction the next day and have been following it to a tee since then. It’s definitely been a challenge.

I’m pretty much hungry ALL THE TIME. Today, was the hardest day so far. It honestly didn’t matter that I’d just eaten, I’ve been absolutely ravenous. I mean, hunger pains worthy of chewing off my own arm. I’ve also been pretty shaky and I can’t seem to concentrate so I’m pretty sure it’s the withdrawals I was expecting from all the fat, sugar and carbs I’ve been gorging on for the last six months. I remember it from when I did the Body Doctor program last year (I even had to take a day off work then).

But I’m sticking to it. It’s my health we’re talking about here so I gotta make sure I do what I’m supposed to do.

I’m even getting adventurous with the barrage of bland that I’m entitled to indulge in. I cooked a chicken breast in some chilli flakes, garlic and ginger to top off my spinach salad and it’s actually quite good.

That being said, the diet is pretty strict: pretty much greens with some kind of protein with a splash of balsamic vinaigrette. BUT I’m allowed protein shakes as snacks if I get too hungry. As such, I’ve been hunting around town for a protein shake I can actually stomach and I gotta say there’s a HUGE shortage of tasty protein drinks in Canada. I’ve search all over the net but can only find American brands that come recommended for taste. The two I’m most interested in is Nature’s Best Isopure Low Carb and Whey Gourmet. Both have a variety of flavours but they don’t seem to be widely available in Canada.

I’ve done some digging and apparently the Isopure isn’t here mainly due to a change in Canadian legislation a few years back regarding the term ‘low carb’. Apparently our government took action against this term in reaction to the low carb fad diet trend of the last decade. I think it sends a pretty strong message to the public but it’s also sending a strong message to American suppliers. Either they spend the money on separate labelling for Canada or lose the market. Many have simply chosen to pull their products from the market as with Isopure.Shopping

Although I agree with the sentiment, we are living in a global marketplace these days where products are generally available across borders and this only created another barrier to be broken. In this case, it’s a shame because it really only gives Canadians another reason to run to the border to do our shopping in the US… Especially now that our dollar has been reaching parity so often! I mean, I’m all for supporting Canadian merchants in tough times but if we can’t get it here I’m happy to jump on a plane or take a road trip to get the goods I’m after.

Junk in My Trunk

Weight Loss Help ScaleTo the people I know and love, I’m overweight. To just about everyone else in the Western world I’m a fat girl. When I’m shopping in a store that couldn’t possibly stock my size, I’m a fat girl. When I’m shopping for a bra in one of Canada’s largest (and I don’t mean cup size) lingerie retailers, I’m a fat girl. When a stranger sees me chowing down a cereal bar in public, I’m a fat girl. When I’m eating right, working out, and actually losing some of the junk in my trunk, I’m a fat girl.

It doesn’t matter that I’m shopping in the skinny store for some stylish accessories or a fashionable gift for a friend. Or that there’s only a handful of lingerie stores in the country with holders to support my boulders. Or that I’m devouring said cereal bar in an effort to recover from my 3 times per week 2-hour torture session with my hot shot celebrity trainer. I’m still a fat girl.

But I’ve never been one to let my physical fitness level stop me from climbing to the top of the social ladder. Or hate myself for my big body’s imperfections. Quite the opposite really. I’ve always maintained a large social circle and my youth was lightly peppered with my fair share of beautiful boys despite my size. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always had a larger than life personality to complement my curvy configuration. Or perhaps it’s been the oh-so-pretty face I’ve been hearing about all my life.

I’m not entirely sure what it’s been because my “pretty face” never stopped the old ladies from sending a scoff in my direction whilst squeezing into the seat beside me. My “pretty face” never made it any easier for the crabby carnie to squeeze my sizeable derriere into the seats on the Behemoth. My “pretty face” never stopped the kids from mooing at me on the Underground. It seems my sizeable appearance has always bothered everyone else but me.

That being said, not a day goes by that I don’t feel a scratch from the green monster at the thought of my smaller sidekicks and their frequent shopping expeditions through NYC and LDN. Oh, what I’d give to visit a city and pound the pavement with my girls without having to investigate the whereabouts of the most conveniently located big girls boutique. Hmph.

So, where am I going with this? Well, after spending the better part of two decades living the larger life I’ve decided to do something drastic. On April 16th, 2010 I’m having weight-loss surgery at the Slimband clinic in downtown Toronto and I can’t wait!

Friday marks Day 1 of the Pre-Op diet. It’s super strict! It’s designed to defeat my addiction to the bad stuff and help me take my portion sizes from super size to mini meals in preparation for the big day.

A Shopping Story

LOVE this article by Lisa Grant from the Guardian.

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