Thursday, March 31, 2011

ho hum

37.9kgs lost

I had a little bit of a moment. My first lapse in eating. (I think?)

I have been feeling a little down for some reason.
I'm not sure if it was "emotional eating" or just genuine hunger,
but I was starving and *nothing* appealed to me.

I was looking at cakes, biscuits etc. In the end I had a large bowl of cereal.
(this was in between lunch and afternoon tea)

I paid for it on the scales the next day and I've since worked it off.

A small hump along a very long road. Just goes to show how easy it is to get sidetracked. (kinda scary)


Blood pressure - still LOW.
Even though I've halved my dose of BP medication, I'm getting the lowest readings ever.
I'm not feeling dizzy.....though I wonder if that could be what's making me feel a bit ho-hum.
I've been quite tired.
I didn't think to ask how long the higher dose would be in my system for.
It's been over two weeks though (on the lower dose)
I've got an appointment next week - will ask some more questions then.


Out of the mouth's of babes and all that......

Aria (3 years) - "Why is your tummy wobbly Mummy?!?!?" LOL

Ah, just when I was feeling good about it :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

what's to eat...

I cooked fish. For the first time ever. Feeling very proud of myself.
I bought some fresh Barramundi and grilled it, then crumbled it over a salad. It was lovely!

Trying not to be so scared of cooking fish :)

Mum, Aria and I were out for lunch on Saturday. Lots of burgers, breads, chips etc.
We opted for a Whiting Salad with a mango Aioli. Mmmmmm....
(hmmm, their presentation looks slightly better than mine LOL)

I'm definitely eating waay more fish than I used to.


I feel a little bit like "Wilson" in this photo LOL (tell me you know what I'm talking about :) )

click to view

Eyes are looking pretty good. My right pupil is still smaller.
Mainly noticeable in low light, but probably only to myself....or an eye doctor LOL
This is probably what I'll have to live with now.
(effects of Horners Syndrome can decrease, but are pretty much non-reversible)
It doesn't look anywhere near as bad as it did when I presented to hospital last July.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weird...but true

My belly button is less cavernous :P

37.8 kgs lost

I only exercised once this week (real lack of energy, bit headachy)
so I'm happy that I still managed to lose a little bit.

Plan to go on a long walk this afternoon and take the kids out to dinner somewhere.

Back to routine next week!

Friday, March 25, 2011

100 calories

This has been doing the rounds on Facebook.
Pretty sure it means to do the whole thing, not just choose one :P :P


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

more photos....

First a reminder of the before....
I weighed more than this....but have no evidence of it :(
I know this as my rings (which I'm wearing in this photo) no longer fitted me.

December 2010

Sadly, the photo above was taken when I was already 4-5 months into my weight loss journey.
Wow....just wow.

Sometimes it's hard to feel like I'm making progress. Maybe it's because I still have a long way to go?
It can be a little....daunting sometimes. One of my doctors has just told me to take it one day at a time.
Just keep doing exactly what I'm doing and one day I'll have reached the goal.

I see photos like that one and even I can SEE how far I've come (me, with my warped view of my body :/ )
It's a good feeling.

More recently (last weekend)
Mum, Peta, Baby Jones and myself :)

edit - haha, I just clicked on the photo and Peta has her eyes closed LOL (sorry Sissy!)


One thing that the "new" Rachel Richter has been doing - swimming lessons!

Aria Beth and I have joined a class once a week. I get into the pool with her.
This is a HUGE deal for me. (no pun intended :)
Previously, there is no way that I'd even consider wearing anything swim-related.
Now I wear my board shorts and rashie shirt and have no hesitation in getting into the water.

Monday, March 21, 2011

my story....

37.5kgs lost

Vascular Specialist today at the hospital.
When I showed up to the appointment, I discovered that I wasn't actually supposed to be there.
(appointment had been re-scheduled, but I hadn't received a cancellation)
I had taken the day of work, rushed around like a maniac to get the car in for a service and the kids at school/kindy.
Borrowed a car from my Dad so I could get to the hospital.
Thank goodness they found room for me anyway. (I've been so impressed with this Doctor and his staff)
He's very happy with my BP (he's in charge of both of my blood pressure medications)
and he's happy that I'm now on 1/2 dose for one of them.
He believes that I can get to the point where I won't need medication (or a greatly reduced dose)

He's referred me to a Urology Specialist within the PA to follow up the cyst on my right Kidney.

Found this sign in the stairwell at the PA Hospital today. I read it and kept walking.
As I replayed it in my head, I turned around and went back to take a photo.

The story of my life.

Friday, March 18, 2011

a dress.....

This is the dress that I fell in love with for our family photos.
Eek. Totally unlike anything I've ever worn before.

I'm going to try and find something similar to try on before I buy it. (it's from an online store)

The sleeve length make me nervous as my arms are the part of my body that I am most unhappy with :(
They look quite short, don't you think?

Things I've learned....

As I get closer to 40 kgs lost, I've picked up some tips along the way. I do NOT consider myself an expert by any means. (LOL)
I'll be the first to admit that I'm still learning heaps about my body.
I have made a LOT of mistakes in the last 4 years though, and I'm willing to learn from them.

Basically, I think about everything I used to do.....and now do the complete opposite :P

** I don't like aerobic exercise. There. I've admitted it. I don't like being out of breath. I don't like feeling like I'm going to throw up. I don't like "have to" "guilted into" I don't like being sore or pushing myself to the limit.
I've gotten this far by walking (mostly). Perhaps as time goes on, my body will decide that I NEED to do more "heart pumping" exercise, but I've lost almost 40kgs by WALKING. I try to go every second day at least. Usually only 25 minutes or so. On weekends I walk more. My stride has gotten faster. I cover more distance than I used to. I try to jog occasionally (but to be honest - I feel too awkward)

** Make everything exercise. I park my car further away. I always try to take stairs and when I can, I run them. If I'm on an escalator, I WALK the stairs....I don't just stand still. I am constantly dancing in the loungeroom with Aria (she loves it)
If I'm at the sink or cooking dinner, I put music on and dance while I'm doing it :)
Every little bit counts.

** I've said it before. Eat, eat, eat. Don't let your body get hungry. I eat every 2.5-3 hours. Even if it's just a piece of fruit at the snack times - it takes the edge off your hunger. If I'm out and have forgotten to pack crackers/fruit in my bag, I will choose the lowest fat muffin I can find (or something along those lines) and eat some of it with a cup of tea.

I am better off eating some of something that's not an "ideal" snack and then having a healthy lunch than I am starving myself (and increasing the possibility of overeating at lunch)

** It's okay to leave food on your plate :) I won't eat a whole muffin. If Sushi is sold in a three pack, it's okay to leave one of the serves for later. I order fresh noodles a lot. One of those serving's is HUGE. (even though the noodle box isn't so big)
My dietician told me to tip the contents into a bowl. I have about half a noodle box per serve.

** Do NOT eat until you are full. This is a big one for me. I used to eat and eat until I was completely full. (and because I was starving, it took a lot to fill me)
I eat a normal serving size and STOP. Let your meal settle in your stomach. You will not feel hungry.

** I don't eat bread anymore. I've cut way back on the carbs and rarely have anything "carb" for dinner. (I have carbs at lunch time)

** Sleep well. Sounds obvious. But really.....get good sleep. I've given up stimulants like diet coke and coffee. I limit to tea intake to morning/lunch. If I feel like something at night, I'll have a decaf coffee (but don't even like the taste of that anymore)
I try to be sensible about my bedtime at night. If I wake up feeling rested, I'm more likely to get moving.

** Fluids. Water, water, water. We all know it. Drink 8 glasses etc, etc, etc. I have my drinking vases which definitely helps with the water intake. I drink a lot of sparkling water, just because I like the fizz. I squeeze fresh lemon or lime or use a diet cordial sometimes too.

I'll keep adding more as I think of them.....but would love to read any tips that you've learnt along the way to a healthier you?

Thursday, March 17, 2011


37.1 kgs lost. 40kg is my next goal, so I'm getting there.

I halved my BP medication.....woah, didn't realize exactly HOW lightheaded I was feeling
until I wasn't anymore.

I'm on the lookout for something for me to wear in my upcoming family photos :)
I'll come back tomorrow and share some links of dresses I've found.
(I've decided to wear either a dress or a skirt :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I really should stop being so slack and get my real camera out.

Craig and Kaden painted the undercoat on the walls yesterday :)

I have some lovely floaty, white textured curtains for the large window, but am unsure about the little window?
I never know what to put there? Do you put long curtains, short curtains, something else??????

JUDY - I've been browsing the REAL SIMPLE DECORATING website....oh, wow! Gorgeous :)

Loving this chair....


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

crap results...

The legacy of my over-weightness (I can make up words if I like) lives on.

I have a very large gall stone that was picked up on the renal ultrasound.
It's too big to pass on its own. It may become inflamed - especially if I indulge in fatty foods. (I won't)
I've been referred to another Dr to consider options for the future. Surgery maybe.
Definite follow-up ultrasound in 3 months to see what it's doing.
My current diet is most certainly helping to keep things under control.

I have several small cysts on my kidneys. Also referred on. Also follow up ultrasound.
I have no idea what that means and forgot to ask when I was there yesterday.

Hearing test wasn't the best. I've been referred on to an ENT.
(not seeing my Neuro for 6 months, so we're going to look into it in the meantime)

*sigh* So there you have it. Extensive testing means that no (gall) stone is left unturned.

Danielle said - "How did the boobie results go, and was the light headedness from low blood pressure as you thought? and the bp medication, where you allowed to reduce?"

Thanks for making me think Danielle. YES, I did get good news, but focused on the bad :/
I felt a bit sad last night when I wrote this post.
She was very happy with my weight loss (particularly the photo of Jonah and I)
Breast ultrasound was all clear. Not sure what they were seeing on the CT scan, but nothing breast related.
Yes, I can now start halving one of my blood pressure tablets :)

Monday, March 14, 2011


Doctor visit tomorrow. I'm SO looking forward to sharing my current weight with her :)
Now that's a sentence I never thought I'd say!

I'll be receiving results for the Breast Ultrasound, Renal Ultrasound and Hearing Test. Fingers crossed the good news continues.
(Renal results have me a little nervous as it'll mean invasive testing if they're no good....but no use borrowing trouble.)

I've been lightheaded on and off for a week. (when I bend over and when I get up from standing)

Low Blood Pressure related I'm positive. I believe that she'll give me the go-ahead to halve one of my blood pressure medication.
HALF - that's so exciting. Today's reading was 110/63, so I'm on the low side of Normal....or on the upper side of Low. (get that? LOL)


I tried my Vermicelli bean noodles. I don't think I soaked them long enough? (I'm too impatient LOL)
Will try them again and leave them to soak.


My new bedroom has begun :)

I've bought new linens, new curtains, PAINT and have a couple of crafty things I want to do.

We've lived in this, 14 years and the main bedroom has never been completely finished. There was always something else that needed doing first.
We also had the cot squeezed into our room as a side-car as we co-slept for so many years, so we're rediscovering what it's like to actually have space in our room.

Here's some before photos (this is as bad as sharing my "before" photos LOL)

My little assistant. I'm bored with the timber bed frame, so we're "shabbying" it up.
It looks awesome already and I'm not even anywhere near finished.
Craig's coming tomorrow to paint the walls, so I'll have to get it done before then. (so he doesn't critique my painting :P)

We intend to paint the floorboards white too. Might have to leave that job for Craig.

I kid you not. This has been my wall colour for um....over a year at least LOL
It was originally two tone purple with a wallpaper border running around the centre of the room.
We ripped that off and then couldn't decide on a wall colour. Craig painted a light taupe colour to give me an idea of how it would look. That's as far as we got LOL

A sneak peek at the new bed cover. (white - despite the way it looks in the crappy photo)


Saturday, March 12, 2011

food again

Peta reminded me that my raw Spring Rolls had "Vermicelli" inside them.

I thought Vermicelli was a pasta/noodle type ingredient, but the ones I found are actually made from bean shoots?
I googled and found that that the most common form is RICE Vermicelli.

Now, I'm kinda nervous to try these LOL

What is your experience with Vermicelli?

Also, I'm a big fan of Avocado, but I do tend to overeat on the portion size (just because I hate seeing it going brown) and it is SO hard to get nice, ripe avocados at the moment. I found this new product yesterday at Woolies.
Not so cheap, but the equivalent to two avocados.
They had plain, seasoned and also a spicy type. (which is what I got)
I was able to squeeze a small amount on my crackers and back in the fridge it went!

Tastes okay, but not sure I'll get it again. (I like the chunkiness of real avo)


Friday, March 11, 2011


Me, Peta & baby Jones (34 weeks) and Trina


My sister is trying to kill me......

Peta cooked me a Roast Pumpkin, Feta, Garlic and Balsamic Vinegar meal last night. It was delicious.....but man, oh man - INDEGESTION!!!!
I barely slept last night and it was still burning away this morning. I found some TUMS in the back of my pantry, but was too nervous to take them without checking with Dr Dan first. (Dr Google proved useless in this case)

I got the text message around 9.30am - "Tums Away!" :) I took three straight up...a little better.


If you read my Facebook, you know that I had a monumental Doctors appointment yesterday with my Specialist. (Ophthalmologist / Neurologist)
There was a 2 hour wait, so my nerves were shot before I even got in to see him.
We talked about my medication first...
"Are you off your medication?"
Ahh, no. I've tried three times and each time the headaches return. (The medication is easing the pressure / swelling in my head)
"Hmm, how long since your last Lumbar Puncture?"
Heart stops. Cue tears. No, no, no, no :( It was July when I was in the hospital, I whispered.
"What was your pressure"
I have no idea?? (Am I supposed to know stuff like that?)
He checked my record and it was "quite significant"
My heart is thumping, thumping, thumping and I'm wondering how I can talk without crying.

"Let's have a look at your eyes"

Then the words I've been waiting 8.5 looong months to hear. "Your discs are flat. They're on the verge of bulging, so only just.....but they're flat"

At my last appointment in December they were still bulging - especially my right eye.

This is good news, right?
"This is great news" he answered.

The stress of the appointment. The realization of what had just happened. came out. I shed a lot of tears when I left that room yesterday. Happy tears for a change :)


WICKED was wonderful :) I was so tired and my eyes were really sore from the appointment (and from crying too no doubt LOL) so I probably didn't get as much out of it as I could have, which is a shame :(

I felt really comfortable in my clothes....well except for my new shoes, but that's only because we RAN to QPAC (long story LOL)
I have the blisters to prove it.

I was home on my own, so no one to take a photo of me. I took a couple with my very crappy mobile camera just before we left.

36.6kgs lost


Thursday, March 10, 2011

hospital today...

Catching up with my Ophthalmologist / Neurologist.

I attempted to drop my dose of medication three times since I saw him last (three months ago) Each time without success. (Pretty much instant headaches when my body misses a dose) Not sure what the plan will be. A little bit (okay - a lot) nervous about seeing him again.

36.5 kgs lost......powering along nicely.


WICKED tonight with my Mum and sisters. I bought a black dress, but actually went back and exchanged it for a smaller size on the weekend. I hope I look okay - I still don't have much clue on how to dress my new body shape. I'm going to take Kathryn W's advice and go and see a stylist to get some tips.
I'm so used to wanting loose and baggy clothes (that do nothing for me).

Did I mention I bought a new bra? Donna took me along to an INTIMO party after a few girls suggested it. I was still wearing my old bras on the end clips *blush* I was properly fitted and measured - I dropped 4 bra sizes and a cup size LOL
I tell you what - the girls certainly stand to attention now LMAO :P

I bought one bra (feels amazing) and a body smoothing top (feels delightful) I'm having my own party next weekend (Saturday) to stock up on some more bras, so if you'd like to come along (Brisbane Southside) let me know - I'll even make some Sushi rolls :)
(no pressure to buy anything)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I've been challenging myself to try new recipes at home and after I tried something along these lines at a Sushi place, I decided to make some for myself.

The version I had was avocado, bean sprouts and chicken. Since this was to be my main meal, I added some extra vegetables in as well.

Bean sprouts, avocado, capsicum, red onion, grated carrot, zucchini strips
This made 5 good size rolls....actually mine looked more like rectangles, but not bad for my first time :)
(The ingredients are in a cereal bowl, not a dinner plate)
I dipped them in sweet chilli sauce and they were YUM!

and the sight that greets me every few days.
Love that my Wii me is losing weight with me :)

(don't be impressed by the number of days.....the board sat unused for a long, long time LOL)


Monday, March 7, 2011

bedroom overhall

It took me a while to sleep in my bedroom again once I came home from the hospital.

Mainly it was bad-associations with the Ambulance coming.
My whole family there - Mark, Mum, Dad, Trina...all the kids.
I have never felt
I couldn't talk to anyone. I couldn't move.

Just horrible.

Once I was home, I tried sleeping in the bed a few times, but I lay there all night long, unable to get to sleep.
The anxiety and panic attacks had taken over my life.
I feared that if I went to sleep, I would never wake up again. If I was going to have a Stroke, I wanted to be awake for it.
(Why I don't know?)
When I would finally drift off from pure exhaustion I would wake gasping for breath. (like a type of sleep apnea)

I can remember speaking to Trina on the phone in tears, telling her that the thought of going IN to my room filled me with dread.

I would lie on the couch and be thankful if I fell asleep in front of the television for a few hours.

We thought of re-doing my bedroom at the time - new Doona, new curtains, new pillows etc. I couldn't bring myself to spend the money. I knew I had to refund a LOT of deposits and at that stage, I fully believed that I would never work again.

With medication and time, I was able to sleep in my own bed again and now I feel like it's time to make some changes.

I've been compiling some ideas in my head and I'm finally ready to put them into action.

We're going to paint the walls (well Craig will when I beg him :P) the floor boards and the bed. I'm going to get new bed covers etc and I can't wait to get started!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New photo

Maybe my most significant photo yet?

36 kgs lost.

Here I am pictured today with Jonah. Have a guess how much he weighs?
Go on, you'll never guess :)

Jonah weighs 36kgs.


Friday, March 4, 2011


A couple of things that have made me laugh recently.....

When I was having my kidney ultrasound (still don't know the results actually), the technician was speaking out loud to someone she was training. She moved the doppler around on my stomach and exclaimed...

"Isn't that a pretty bladder!" LMAO!!

What do you say to that? "Um, thanks. I try to keep it in tip-top shape and I've looked after it all these years" *snort*
Beautiful on the inside, that's me :P


I was weighing myself earlier this week and was a bit puzzled by a dramatic INCREASE in weight. It was only when I turned around that I realized a certain 3 year old had her FOOT on the back of the scales. Little rat :)

We'll have three metres of organza.....and your mirror too! :P

I found this mirror while we were fabric shopping today for Peta's Wedding :)
It was a GOOD mirror LOL
Not sure if it was the angle or some trick lighting, but I loved it LOL
(you know how some mirrors are just plain BAD)
C'mon, tell me you know what I'm talking about :)

35.5kgs gone.

(click to view)


Thursday, March 3, 2011

looking back

Found another old photo of myself.....hard to look at.

October 2009. Blissfully unaware (naively unaware) of how different my life would be 12 months later.

It's such a conflict to look at photos like that. I don't like them. I don't like how I look. I look sad.
BUT I still mourn for how things used to be.

I LOVE that I'm 35.3 kgs lighter than that photo, but I hate that something as "simple" as a headache or a pain in my neck can now trigger a panic attack.

I'm "hyper-aware" of any changes to my neck, head, ears and eyes. Maybe that will decrease as time goes on *shrugs*
In the meantime, I've been taught lots of coping exercises to calm myself down. (and I have medication if I need it - I haven't for a while, which is good)


When I'm feeling down/low I've realized that I don't feel like exercising. If I manage to push through and force myself to exercise I actually feel better afterwards. Something to make note of and keep in mind on the days when I feel like I couldn't be bothered. (yesterday was one of those days :/)

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