1 day before surgery

I have my first ever surgery tomorrow. I’m nervous yet excited. The pre surgery diet has been ok. When I was in Melbourne 2 weeks ago for a conference I slipped up and I didn’t stick to the diet completely. Part of me feels like a failure for needing to rely on surgery to get on top of my health, it feels like I didn’t care enough about my health to want to do anything about it. But a few months ago, I tried a liquid food diet with the idea of , “if I can keep this up, I don’t need surgery” but I couldn’t keep it up and that was a realization for me.

I’m an emotional and experience eater. When I’m upset I often want to eat my emotions, I didn’t sleep very well while in Melbourne and I was a bit pre menstrual. So we can say my emotions were running high. I also find it hard to walk past a new experience, one of my undoings on my road trip was wanting to try all of the country towns pies. If I’m surrounded by a feast of food, I want to try everything at least once.

other than the slip up in Melbourne I’ve been ok with the diet. At least I’m not a boredom eater or an over obsessive clean eater. What type of eater are you?

Most. Stressful. Day.

Let me tell you a story about a stressful day that I had today. I think it’s the most stressed I’ve ever felt. This story actually started a few weeks ago. I was riding my motorbike from Sydney to Cairns. I get up there with no problems. On the way back on Friday the 30th of September I stop in the Gold Coast for a few days to catch up with my siblings for my brothers belated 18th birthday celebrations. I found a nice Airbnb in Miami, I got to my Airbnb half an hour early and I decide to go for a quick swim before checking in. By the time I get back to my bike, I can’t find my key  and I discover I’ve got a flat tire.

Panic starts to set in. I backtrack my steps but I can’t find it. I think someone stole my key from my jeans while I went for a quick swim.  I ask the local pub and surf club if anyone has turned in a key. No luck. I leave my contact details in case it turns up.  I then report it to the police.  I tried calling a few locksmiths but because it was a long weekend and they couldn’t help me until the Tuesday. I needed to be in Melbourne by Tuesday for a conference.

I end up deciding to tow my bike to the airport and park it there for a fortnight and come back later with my spare key. The tow truck guy was at least able to fill up the tire before dropping it off. I was hoping it was just a leaky valve because I couldn’t find a puncture.  At least I got to spend an extra day on the Gold Coast.

Now this is where my stressful day starts.  Before flying to the Gold Coast today I had a pretty tough conversation at work that left me in tears for quite sometime, so I was already emotionally worked up.  I get to the Gold Coast airport and I start walking in the wrong direction for the parking.  I call the parking guy and it turns out my tire is still flat and there’s a guy in a shuttle bus waiting to take me to the parking.  Here starts my second wave of uncontrollable tears.  I eventually get to my bike and the shuttle bus driver was really helpful, he was trying to offer suggestions and what not. I decide to wheel my bike out and have a shot at some roadside assistance.  I give my insurance a call and it turns out, I’m not covered. I start crying on the phone. The insurance lady was lovely she offered to help me with Googling businesses  and what not but it was something I was able to do with my phone and most of the local businesses would be shut anyway, this was around 5pm Queensland time and 6pm New South Wales time.

I’m feeling lost and stranded in the Gold Coast. I panic and I end up giving a random Tinder Gold Coast guy a call that I had gone on one date with 2 weeks ago when I was last in the Gold Coast. I then start googling some near by motorbike repair stores and trying any number I can get my hands on. No luck. Then I hear another motorbike startup, turns out the workshop next to the parking was still open and a guy was starting up his dirt bike. He gives me a bit of air and we discover a puncture. It’s leaking air. I had enough air to ride it to the nearest motorbike store, the store opens at 8:30 tomorrow morning and I hope they can help me. I’ve checked into a motel in Tweed Heads and at least I’ll try to sort something out tomorrow. I know I had family that I could have called but I was already a blubbering mess and I really don’t like crying in front of people, especially people I know.

I guess I have another travel story to share now, this one isn’t that pleasant though.

Fatness and You Can’t Ask That

I was watching an abc iView episode about fatness on a series called You Can’t ask That and I thought I would also answer their questions. So here goes it.

Why Are you so fat?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been fat. As a kid I was encouraged to eat everything off my plate, had asthma and loved playing video games. As an adult I’ve struggled with depression and I’ve had some bad behaviours around food develop.

Do people treat you differently because you’re fat?

Yes, I was always bullied as a kid for being overweight, it’s not as bad now but I have been called a whale on dating sites before. there is also an unconscious bias towards fatness, it signals laziness, disregard for health, overeating and poor lifestyle choices. This bias impacts fat people’s access to health care and earning potential. I’m concerned that during my career someone will judge me as lazy and recognize the hard work I’ve put in. I tend to over compensate by over committing and ensuring I’m heard.

How do you wipe your butt?

I don’t, lol that’s not true I wipe my butt with toilet paper. If you really want to know, I wipe from the front because of easier access. I know this comes with higher risk of bacteria infections. I once had someone ask me, “How big is your shit?”, how does someone respond to that?

How do you feel about the word “Obese”?

Feel? it’s a medical term to classify fatness. I don’t have any feelings towards it, is indifferent a feeling? I know I’m obese, just like I know I’m fat.

When was the last time you were skinny?

Maybe when I was 3, before I had proper memory so I don’t remember. I have lost weight before but I’ve never been skinny.

Why don’t you just eat less?

I have mental health issues, if it was just that easy than I wouldn’t be this fat and we wouldn’t be talking about the impending obesity epidemic in developed countries. That is a simplified understanding to a complex problem that is different for everyone. Diets aren’t sustainable, those industries don’t want you to keep the weight off, also we are constantly being bombarded/tempted with food. Alcoholics are told to avoid alcohol, I can’t exactly avoid food.

Are you worried about your health?

Fuck yes, that’s why I’m going through weight loss surgery next week. I want to try to mitigate some of health risks that come with long term obesity.

How do you feel about airplane seats?

They aren’t designed for comfort, it’s always nice when you get an empty seat next to you or get the emergency exit rows with a bit of extra legroom. The first time I had to ask for a seat belt extension was nerve racking but after that it was ok. The first time I struggled with my seatbelt brought on a depressive episode, when the seats start to feel comfortable again it’s a little boost in confidence to show me the progress I’ve made. I always try to strike up conversations with the people I travel with and I’ve met some interesting people this way.

Do you exercise?

Yes, I need to do more but the fact that I have more weight means I use more energy just moving about. It’s great in winter but horrible in summer. Once I’ve recovered from surgery I will be getting back into a good routine.

Is sex difficult when you’re fat?

In my experience, no. I’m not exactly going to be doing standing 69ers really easily, but where there is a will there is a way. It might require a bit more prep and a bit of rope but I could still do standing 69ers if I really wanted to. Also if someone doesn’t like my weight, I’m not forcing them to sleep with me. I try to find non judgemental people to sleep with anyway.

If you could weigh less tomorrow would you?

Yes. This is like asking, if you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you spend it on? In the abc iview I really like the quote, “I could take a dump and I’d weigh less in 5 minutes, if you like”. I would prefer to focus on my health rather than some arbitrary weight number. I could weigh less if I went to the moon. My health is so much more than my weight, there’s physical, mental and social health.

3 things that pissed me off while riding my motorbike from Sydney to Cairns

Let’s have a whinge about travel, I feel like everyone loves sharing the good bits but hardly share the annoying bits. Let’s celebrate all elements of travel.

I’ll tell you 3 things that have been pissing me off the most on my most recent motorbike road trip (I rode my motorbike from Sydney to Cairns and back):

1) having an itchy ear underneath a helmet and not being able to scratch it without stopping, sometimes it feels like a bug is crawling around in my helmet.

2) this heat. I’m just not use to this warm weather. Last night the air conditioning in the hostel automatically switched off at 10pm and switched back on at 7am, probably to save power but it meant I slept fitfully waking up constantly in my own sweat. Heat + fitful sleep make me a not so happy camper.

3) bugs; them hitting my helmet at 110km/hour sometimes shocking me like a bullet would and leaving smears of gunk on my helmet visor. I find myself flinching at butterflies because they are really loud when you hit them, they never seem to get out the way quick enough and you see them before you hit them. Most bugs you don’t see until you hear them smash against your helmet. And bugs hitting exposed skin, I don’t have much exposed skin but I’ve been hit on my neck just under my helmet and when I’ve had my visor up for airflow I’ve been hit on the checks and forehead. It stings like a {insert appropriate swear word} and makes me flinch something fierce, I can even feel the stings under my jacket and thick riding jeans

So it’s not all sunshine and lolly pops like my previous posts would lead you to believe.

Here are my other annoyances on this trip (in no particular order of annoyance) :
4) highways that aren’t the most fun to ride that seem to stretch forever

5) a noisy helmet that feels like I’m causing damage to me ears (fixed with a scarf or earplugs but the earplugs contribute to the itchy ear and have contributed to a mild ear infection)

6) a glaring sun that gives me a headache by the end of the day (I left my prescription sunglasses at home, I got a cheap pair of sunnys from a pharmacist that I’m wearing over my normal glasses)

7) feeling like I have to constantly go to the toilet because of keeping my fluids up

8) Feeling a little socially isolated but that comes with traveling alone and it’s by choice, I did want some me time

9) Getting sunburnt on the small of my back between my motorbike jacket and my jeans because of my sitting position on my bike

10) Shoulders aching from the days of riding (got a massage in cairns to help release some of the tension)

11) What felt like RSI developing in my right wrist from holding the accelerator on the bike (the 2 days rest in cairns helped)

12) Traffic because damn it, I’m on this trip to be on the open road

13) Road works because damn it, I want to feel the wind and not crawl to a stop in the sweltering heat with all of my motorbike gear

14) Not having enough time to do all of the exploring that I want to do

15) Losing my motorbike key in the Gold Coast – grrr this was annoying and an expensive thing to fix

16) trucks; either getting stuck behind them or the shock of their tail winds as they rush past in the opposite direction

17) Camping and getting eaten alive by mosquitos

18) Not being as well rested as I thought I would be and having high expectations of travel

Despite all of these annoyances though this trip has still been totally worth it, I should write a post of what I’ve been grateful for after this

//end rant

On a side note, I can argue that all of things are both positive and negative because they are all related to the experience of traveling

When traveling, what has pissed you off the most?