Behind the wheel again after 3 years!


What a week this has been. On Friday we finally found our new (used) car after doing so many online searches that I dreamed about cars the night before. A SUV that we both can get in and out of without struggling, and best of all………………..


Okay, so that might not be a big deal to the rest of you who think nothing of jumping behind the steering wheel of your car and driving somewhere, but I have not driven a car since 19th March 2016, the day my daughter got married. Yep, 3 years. Why? Because I couldn’t fit behind the steering wheel of our old car. The steering wheel would be wedged so tightly against my stomach that everytime I exhaled the horn would go off, lol. And turning the wheel was really hard as my stomach was getting in the way.  Kind of like this poor persons.


So why not push the seat back you ask? Well yes I could, but I then had the problem of not being able to reach the pedals, which is a bit of an issue when it comes to driving. Using the tip of my right big toe is probably not the safest method of accelerating or braking in a 6 cylinder sedan. So as a result I have only been the passenger which means poor hubby has to do all the driving, and with his job being a courier driver, he gets enough driving during the week with his work. When we drove to Newcastle in November 2015 for my son’s march out from infantry training at Singleton he was stuck with all the driving the whole time.  Not just that but not fitting behind the wheel meant I was housebound.   He was worried that if for some reason I had to go out while he was at work (eg if I received a phone call from my daughter who lives an hour away and I needed to get to her asap) I would have to get him to come home first which could be difficult. Or if he became sick and couldn’t drive then life could be difficult.

Here’s our new wheels. Mitzy the Mitsubishi.



So here I am now, the part owner of a Mitsubishi Outlander Activ model (2011). Nothing flash but gets us from A to B and has ample room for our Golden Retriever Ollie. However fitting behind the steering wheel is one thing, it’s actually driving again that was making me nervous after all this time. But I did it!


Today I drove for about an hour, nervously at first, then gaining more confidence. After years of sitting on my lounge chair and only steering my wheely walker around the house it felt very odd being in the drivers seat and driving again. I couldn’t keep the smile off my face. This is one of those ‘Non Scale Victories’ that I had been anticipating since I started my diet in November last year. A major victory/goal reached. I am now mobile. If I need to get someone urgently I can get in the car and drive there myself. Okay my walking ability is still not the best, but that will come in time as I build up my stamina and lose more weight. I’m pretty chuffed with myself. Paul, my partner, says he could see me smiling as I gained confidence behind the steering wheel after years of being a passenger. Heck, I didn’t even mind stop/start traffic or roundabouts.

And the good things didn’t stop there. As I’ve mentioned before I have a son in the Australian Army and he’s currently based in Adelaide (which is 2,000 kilometers from where we live in Brisbane for the benefit of my US readers.) He was recently doing a brief stint on board one of our navy ships and on Friday I received a message from him saying that he was docked in Brisbane and had weekend leave. So we were able to pick him up from the wharf and have him home with us for the weekend. That was indeed an unexpected and very welcome surprise.  I wasn’t expecting to see him again till December so it was an early Mothers Day present.  As he wasn’t sailing back to Adelaide with the ship (flying back on the Sunday evening instead) he had some of his Army kit with him, one being the bullet proof vest that they wear. Or tiered body armour as they call it I believe.  I picked it up and was amazed at how heavy it was. It’s similar to this photo.


When I asked my son what the weight was he said approximately 7kg as it was, before adding the things they do when they are out field. 7kg seemed so heavy to me, and yet it was just a small part of the weight I had lost. That really helped me realise how far I had come since I started my diet. No way would I be able to put on that armour and walk around with it all day and yet I had been carrying  6 times that amount on my body before Optifast.

I had the weirdest dream last night. I was out with Paul and we had stopped at a take away food shop across from a beach and I was eating a large serve of battered whiting and hot chips. I swear I could taste every mouthful and yum was it delicious. I remember waking up and actually feeling guilty because I had eaten all those calories and thinking that no way would I be losing any weight this week because of that.  It was just so vivid and real. And of course today all I have been thinking of is those beer battered whiting fillets, all crunchy and golden, with a serve of hot chips.  So I will just have to look at a photo of it instead, because I am not going out to buy some to eat. Maybe I will have it as one of my planned ‘days off’ in a couple of months.


I was thinking back to all the diets and weight loss gimmicks that I have tried over the years and they make a pretty formidable list.  Here’s a rundown:

  • Weight Watchers in 1975, back in the days where you had to eat liver at least once a week. Yuck!
  • Israeli Army Diet. That was 2 days of eating nothing but apples, followed by 2 days of cheese, followed by 2 days of chicken and then 2 days of salad. Supposedly a quick way to lose weight.
  • Atkins diet.
  • Acupuncture. Not just the small needles they insert into various parts of your body in the treatment room but one part was a small staple or something that was put into your ear and every time you felt hungry you were supposed to rub it or something.
  • Hypnotherapy.
  • Limmits weight loss biscuits. They came in different flavours and you supposedly could eat these instead of a normal meal and lose weight.  The picture below is from the 1960’s but gives an idea of what the packets were like and the different flavours. Also a link to an old TV ad is found here: Limmits TV commercial 1980’s.


  • More Weight Watchers.
  • Duramine tablets which were essentially speed. You couldn’t sleep, your blood pressure would go up, you’d be jittery and unable to sit still. It’s still being used today.
  • Gloria Marshall. She was a lady who had her ‘salons’ all over the place. You’d be given a diet to follow but the main thing about going to a Gloria Marshall figure salon were the machines that supposedly would sculpt and tone your body. This video clip shows what I mean.   Gloria Marshall exercise equipment
  • Gastric stapling in 1985. I was almost 130kgs when I had it done, and before starting Optifast last year I was 229.3kg. So did it work for me? Not long term no. I did initially lose weight, getting down to about 75 kilos, but following the birth of my kids and my bad eating habits the weight piled back on. I’m sure the staples have popped or my stomach has stretched because I can eat normal portions of food now, not the small amounts I started off with.
  • Normal dieting, and eating healthy foods. After a few days or a couple of weeks I got pretty bored with it and would sneak in cheat days which became cheat weeks which became cheat months……….you get my drift? In other words I gave up. It just got too hard.
  • Weight watchers again. (fingers crossed, 3rd time lucky. Guess what? It wasn’t.) I would go to the meeting hall, weigh in, cringe when I saw I’d not lost anything or even gained weight and leave again. Rarely stayed for the meetings. I must have spent a fortune on membership and weekly dues, not to mention buying their scales, cookbooks and other Weight Watchers items.
  • Another weight loss group in a small town I was living in. This was around the years 2003 to 2005.  I was not successful with them either. Lost some weight, but put it all back on again fairly quickly after I got sick of turning up every week.
  • Tony Ferguson weight loss shakes. These were very popular around 2006 or so, available in lots of different flavours. They weren’t too bad but really the only thing that got lighter was my purse.
  • 2012 to 2014 I joined a local weight loss group. They weren’t as regimented as Weight Watchers and didn’t really have a diet plan as such. You’d weigh in, have a cuppa and chat and then the meeting would start. Sometimes there’d be guest speakers, once a month there was taste testing of ‘healthy’ foods and of course around Christmas time there’d be the end of year Christmas party where diet food was definitely not really included. The first time I joined I was so heavy that it was suggested that I be taken down the road to the local produce store to be weighed on their scales! I refused to do that, how humiliating to be weighed on the same scales used to weigh chaff and produce on. However they were able to find a set of scales to cater to my weight so I could weigh in without the world seeing. With them I lost some weight, but then I’d put on weight too. Same old story, turn up, weigh in, go home. Or just not turn up for a few weeks, then get to feeling guilty, so front up again, face the scales, accepted the weight gain and so on and so on.
  • 2015 was one year I should have really stuck to my diet plan because in the January I ended up in hospital due to an incarcerated hernia that required surgery. I was by that stage about 215kgs and I had to wait for a special ambulance, (bariatric ambulance with heavy duty trolley) to transfer me to a larger city hospital as my local hospital deemed me too much of a anaesthetic and surgical risk to operate on me there. Luckily I made it through the surgery okay, even though I was sent to ICU overnight for observation.
  • Over the next 3 years from 2015 I attempted a few diets again, weight loss shakes, sensible eating, but the same old bad habits just kept cropping up.
  • Late October 2018 was the proverbial kick in the pants that I needed. A health scare and the fact that I was by then housebound and very limited with mobility was exactly the spur to get me onto Optifast. And here I am today.

And week 24 of my being on Optifast has come.  I’m assuming my blood tests were all okay as the doctor has not contacted me to advise me otherwise. Usually if there’s any reason for concern I would have received a phone call and asked to come in to see her. So I shall be continuing on intensive with my added extra protein for another 12 weeks.  Weigh in today revealed a 1.3 kilogram loss, not a huge amount but it has now brought me to a total weight loss of 45 kilograms. That’s just over 99 pounds for anyone who goes by the old imperial measurements. Pretty stoked with that result. Remember, I don’t really do any exercise other than walking around the house…….and running to the toilet because of all the water I drink.


And that’s it for another week.  Went for another drive this morning, it felt so good being behind the wheel again.  Thanks again for reading.











2 thoughts on “Behind the wheel again after 3 years!

  1. Wow! I know how much you love driving !!! You are so free now to get around and help Paul out . Love your new car ! Keep up the good work ! You look great in the photo xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Cathy. My walking is still not the best, and I am scared when walking on tiles because they are usually slippery and I feel as though I’m going to slide and fall over. I think I need new shoes, with better grip on the soles. Will have to have a look see.


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