Impatiently waiting…

So let me be the first to explain, I have never been a patient person. If I wanted something, I wanted it then and there. And the older I’ve got, things haven’t improved.

And here I am having to be oh so patient and just wait for my name to hit the top of the Bariatric surgery waiting list, and man am I fed up of waiting already. I’ve been on the waiting list about 3 weeks so far and I could have to wait up to 5 months for surgery, or maybe even longer. As you can tell by the title of this post, I am so over waiting already. But alas here I am still waiting.

One good thing has happened though, I have been given the date of my education session. To the best of my knowledge this session is to educate me on what I can eat and when I can eat it after surgery. I assume this explains all about sloppy/mushy food stages. I can tell you now that I wont be blending roast dinners or chicken tikka masala’s like some people. Just the thought of that has made me feel nauseous. So anyway this education session is booked for the early part of June so I wont have to wait long to tick this stage off my list of things I am required to do prior to getting my surgery date. And people who have come through the NHS process with me still don’t have a date for their education session yet. I can only assume that this is because I don’t require any further testing for things like sleep apnoea, nor do I need an Intensive Care bed after surgery.

Anyway I digress, I am sat here impatiently waiting, and I get a phone call on Thursday morning, before 9am from a withheld number, and I know straight away this is from the hospital and it was. It was the bariatric nurse, and I think to myself this is it. This is the call to give me my date and ask me to start the Milk Diet. But nope it really wasn’t, it was to tell me I need more Vitamin D and Iron so can I please start taking these vitamins now in preparation for surgery. So even though this is a positive call and it takes me one step closer to surgery it was a massive anti-climax. I’m still waiting and man is this going to feel like a long summer whilst I do.

I promise to keep you abreast of any developments, and hopefully I will be joining the losers bench soon.

TTFN xxx

The Multidisciplinary Meeting

My dear readers, I apologise for the lack of blog posts in the past month but I didn’t have anything to report, plus I had put on a few pounds so my motivation and self love had hit a big low. But things are on the up and I have news to report.

For those of you who don’t know my bariatric journey, I will be having my surgery on the UK’s National Health Service so I have to go through a certain process before I get on the operating table.

I have completed my 6 month compulsory weight management programme and as a result I have been passed over to the surgical team to prepare and undergo my bariatric surgery.

Once I was passed over to the surgical team I had to wait for an appointment to meet the surgical multidiscipline team. Last week I had my appointment which consisted of meeting 4 medical professionals who will be heavily involved in my care/surgery.

First up was a consultant anaesthetist, this lady was a very serious yet very pleasant lady who is obviously well respected in her field. She was very to the point, but was happy with the answers and information I gave and in her opinion she would be happy for me to progress forward to surgery.

Next up was the Surgical consultant himself, he again was very pleasant and again straight to the point, however he was slightly more personable than his colleague. He looked through all my notes and the result of my liver biopsy and made the decision there and then that I would need and would be having a Gastric Bypass. I was happy with his choice as he knows best, plus as long as it wasn’t a Gastric Band I would have accepted his choice anyway. So he told me there and then that he would be putting me on the waiting list for my Gastric Bypass.

I then had to see a Nurse Consultant, who I still am unsure of what she actually wanted from me, all I remember is that she told me that the weight I was that day is the heaviest I was allowed to be and if I had put weight on I wouldn’t be having my surgery. Talk about pressure right there!! But at least I know what weight I must remain under.

Lastly I met with the surgical team dietician who was the loveliest lady, she was really impressed with the changes that I have made to my life and diet and she told me I was a model patient who had grabbed my chance with both hands and was a pleasure to work with and she wished that others were as dedicated to change as I was.

So that was all of the multidisciplinary team and I am still awaiting my letter to confirm everything that was agreed on the day, but I am not worried about that. I am really excited to receive my call from the Specialist Nurse to tell me to start my milk diet and give me my surgical date.

Its just a waiting game now, and I cant say I am the most patient of people but I know my time is coming and so very soon I will be on the losers bench having changed my life unrecognisably.

Watch this space!!!!

Sugar Free Me

This week I’ve been cutting sugar out of my diary, as I am in a full blown sugar addiction. Its scary to think how easy it is to get addicted to the sweet things, and yet as a world we do nothing to prevent this addiction, for me its more addictive than alcohol, tobacco and drugs. And its so easy for our children to access sugar in so very many forms.

So I’ve put together a 12 Step process which I have followed this week to help cut out my sugar intake.


  1. Stop buying processed foods – If it comes in a packet, a bag or a box, there is a good chance that it will contain added sugars.
  2. Make your own sauces – The amount of sugar which is hidden in premade sauces eg. bolognaise sauces, is absolutely shocking. We wouldn’t add it to our own sauce if making from scratch, so why would we accept it in premade sauces?
  3. Swap fruit juices for fresh fruits – grab fresh oranges and squeeze your own rather than buying bottled juices because as to be expected based on the rest of this post, they contain hideous amounts of hidden sugars. Think of the affect it would have on your teeth too!
  4. Avoid flavoured yoghurts – buy natural yoghurts and add your own fresh fruits rather than the premade varieties
  5. Make your own dressings – to go along with point 2 above, pre bottled dressings also contain hidden sugars. So making your own and this will rid you of sugars that you don’t realise you are consuming
  6. Give yourself a quota – If you need to add sugar to your drinks limit yourself to a certain number of teaspoons or if you want to eat some chocolate limit the number of squares you will eat per day/week
  7. Set rules – especially when it comes to desserts!!
  8. Don’t keep treats or sweets in the house – this is a massive one for me, If its in my house I’m going to eat it, so its better for everyone if I don’t buy chocolate. Because I have literally NO willpower when it comes to chocolate.
  9. If you want to use sugar, consider a substitute – if like me you take sugar in your tea, try a sugar substitute instead. It comes in a powder form or a tablet which goes much better in hot drinks.
  10. If chocolate is your downfall, eat dark chocolate. My drug of choice is chocolate, but I know a massive bar of dairy milk isn’t going to work in my favour so I have will be using a few squares of dark chocolate to satisfy those desperate chocolate cravings
  11. Avoid Mixed Alcohol Drinks – Premade alcopops like Smirnoff Ice or WDK and mixed fruit ciders are full full full of sugar. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if they contain more hidden sugar than they do actual alcohol. If you have to have a drink, ideally a spirit with a mixer is the best option for you. Even our go to wines are full of sugar!
  12. Cut out all fizzy drinks – Even diet fizz contains enough sugar substitutes to ensure a great flavour, and lets not even talk about how much sugar is in a full fat coke!! Even thinking about it has set my teeth on edge. Do you ever drink a fizzy drink and it feels like your teeth a furry? That’s the sugar reacting with your poor teeth enamel.

To help you out, listed below are some of the ways sugar can be listed in the ingredients list of our pre packed foods:

  • Sucrose
  • Glucose
  • Fructose
  • Invert Sugar
  • Fruit Juice
  • Molasses
  • Hydrolysed Starch
  • Corn Syrup
  • Honey

And when it comes to understanding food labels, here is a quick guide to help you judge the sugar levels in your foods.

A food is high in sugar if it contains 22.5g or more of sugar per 100g

A food is low in sugar if it contains 5g or less of sugars per 100g

I really hope that the tips above prove useful and that it helps you understand and also reduced your sugar intake. I am providing many more details of my sugar detox which you can find on Instagram using the handle @babebariatric

I look forward to finding out how going sugar free works for you!!


A Girl Has Options

As some of you may already know, I’m in the process of having Bariatric Surgery. And a part of this process I have to work with my surgical team to decide which form of Bariatric Surgery is for me.

So here are my options:

  • GASTRIC BAND – which is an adjustable lap band which is put around the top of the stomach to slow digestion. This band is inflated/deflated with silicone gel to further restrict the amount of food to be eaten.
  • GASTRIC BALLOON – which is an inflatable device which is placed within the stomach, which obviously makes you feel full.
  • GASTRIC SLEEVE – this is a surgical procedure where the stomach is cut down and removed, leaving only 15% from its original size.
  • GASTRIC BYPASS – again a surgical procedure which can be reversed. The stomach is divided into a small upper pouch which is then connected lower down into the small intestine.

However because I’m having my procedure via the National Health Service (NHS) I am limited to 3 choices.

So what do I choose? Well personally for me I know what I don’t want to have, and that’s the Gastric Band. I don’t like the idea of having a foreign object in my body, I don’t want a port under my skin which would be used for inflation/deflation and I don’t want to keep having to have it adjusted. So for me, I definitely don’t want that.

So that leaves me with either a Sleeve or Bypass. And to be honest I keep going back and forwards between the two in my mind. If I’m honest I would take the advice from the surgical team when I meet them in a few weeks as they will likely have a preference based on my pre existing medical conditions.

However if I had to make choice right now for arguments sake, I’d like the Sleeve, it doesn’t seem quite so invasive and would leave me with 15% of my stomach rather than a pouch and have the rest of my stomach still hanging around.

So hopefully I’ll be able to report to you in the next few weeks just what myself and the surgical team have agreed on.

One Single Thing

As I begin to fill these online pages with my ramblings I feel that you should really understand my main motivator for getting healthy and undertaking the bariatric surgery, and that is my daughter T. My daughter is now 3 and a half but I think to really understand my motivations you need to understand the journey that I went through to become a mum.

I was a pretty late bloomer when it came to wanting a baby, in fact it wasn’t until after I met my current husband that I even considered being in a stable enough environment that a baby could be a part of my life. I made the mistake of marrying my emotionally unstable university boyfriend in my early 20’s and it was very clear that I could and would never want to bring a baby into that dynamic. So really I wasn’t expecting that I would decide that motherhood would be for me.

But a divorce later and I met my Husband Wayne and then suddenly it was like someone had flipped a switch and my biological clock started ticking, and I was desperate for a baby. So much so that when we were trying for T I was boarding on obsessive. At one point I was doing about 9 pregnancy tests a week. I had to stop buying them, as they had become a staple of the food shop.

The day I found out I was pregnant was literally the best day ever. I found out I was pregnant when I was home alone and had to keep it in and to myself all day. It was the best secret I’ve ever had to keep. My pregnancy wasn’t plain sailing however, I had some early bleeding which had to be monitored and then I developed Gestational Diabetes which was insulin dependant and then I was hit with Pre Eclampsia. So when it was decided that I was to have a C-Section and on which date I couldn’t wait. I had never been so excited in my entire life.

And on the 19th November 2014 my daughter arrived. To find out that she was a girl was the most surreal moment ever, I spent a good 10 minutes literally just repeating, ‘ITS A GIRL’ over and over again.

I was not prepared for the bulldozer of emotions I felt as soon as she was placed in my arms, and every moment of every single day since. I could never believe how much I would love my daughter and how literally every second of every day I would love her more and more. And because of this, I had to do something drastic to ensure that my health needed to improve to ensure that I could give T the best life possible. She is my biggest motivator for bariatric surgery. And I know when my surgery is done and my life starts changing, my relationship with my daughter will just go from strength to strength, and I cant wait.

Tasty Tomato Risotto

Have you ever made a risotto from scratch? Well let me tell you if you need help toning up those bingo wings, 25 minutes of continuous stirring will most definitely help!!

But even though it might seem like hard work to make, it really was a lovely dish to eat. And knowing that its super healthy and is a great pre-op dinner makes it one of my favourite meals.

If you’d like to find out how I made this dish, please continue to read this post as the recipe is below.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: To make 2 portions

  • 1/2 White Onion – Chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove – Grated or Pressed
  • 2 Vine Tomatoes
  • Green Beans
  • 3 Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2tsp Dried Oregano
  • 750ml Water
  • 15g Tomato Puree
  • 175g Risotto Rice
  • 1/2tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 40g Parmesan Cheese

METHOD: 40 Minutes Cooking Time

  1. Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 6, Halve, peel and chop the ONION into 1/2cm pieces. Peel and grate the GARLIC (or used a garlic press). Chop the VINE TOMATOES into 1cm chunk. Remove the ends from the GREEN BEANS and chop into thirds.
  2. Put the CHICKEN on a foil-lined baking tray, drizzle on some oil, grate over some LEMON ZEST and sprinkle on the DRIED OREGANO. Season with salt and pepper, squeeze over some LEMON JUICE and massage in the flavours.
  3. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat and add the ONION. Stir and cook until soft, 3-5 minutes. Then add the GARLIC and TOMATO PUREE, mix well and cook for a further 1 minute. Add the RISOTTO RICE and stir to ensure its fully coated with the garlicky mixture. Add in the WHITE WINE VINEGAR and let it evaporate.
  4. Bake the CHICKEN on the top shelf of your oven and cook for 25 minutes. Halfway through cooking sprinkle over half of the grated PARMESAN CHEESE, then pop it all back into the oven.
  5. In the meantime, add the TOMATO CHUNKS and a ladle of the water. Stir continuously until the water has been absorbed by the rice. Continue this process with the water until all 750mls have been added. This should take 25 minutes. Add the GREEN BEANS to the pan for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  6. Once the rice is cooked, stir through the remaining PARMESAN CHEESE and a squeeze of LEMON JUICE. Season with some SALT and PEPPER to taste. Spoon the RISOTTO into bowls and lay the cooked CHICKEN on top.
  7. ENJOY!!!

Tomato risotto .JPG

Introducing Me

Hi everyone I’m Lisa and I live in the South of England with my daughter and husband. I’m 31 and I am not afraid to admit that I am over weight. I’ve decided to start this blog alongside my Instagram @babebariatric to document my journey to weight loss surgery.

This blog will detail everything related to my journey including sharing my experiences both good and bad, as well as including some of my favourite recipes which get me through the hard days. I really hope this blog can help motivate and inspire you on your weight loss journey, whether that’s having bariatric surgery or through extensive dieting.

I will also be detaining all the different weight loss surgeries available and give my opinion on whether I think it would be a surgery I’m considering. A big part of my blogging is to help educate people on the option of weight loss surgery and to help reduce the stigma attached to people who go down the route to surgery. People assume that those choosing to use bariatric surgery to lose weight have taken the easy option, but that is really not the case. You will read throughout this blog that bariatric surgery is merely a tool which needs to be worked with, and not a easy option at all.

My personal journey to weight loss surgery has been helped by the NHS, so some of the things I have had to go through to get to this point aren’t necessary for those who choose to pay for the surgery privately, and in fact by going through the NHS I have had to jump through a million different hoops to even be considered to go through to meet the surgical team. This will also be detailed heavily throughout the blog.

I really hope that you enjoy reading my posts and I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts!