Surgery 2 (or 3..) in the bag..

GUESS WHO IS FOUR MONTHS POST OP?! Me.

AND GUESS WHO IS INSANE ENOUGH TO DO IT ALL AGAIN?! Also me.

Anyone who follows my Instagram knows I have upper back skin, giving the whole “back boob” illusion. IMG_4050Yikes.

A lot has happened in the last few weeks.

I’ve completed a 12,000 word thesis to complete my degree – and received a first class mark for it. I’ve booked my second (or third, if you count my hip re-operation) skin-removal surgery on June 5th, where I will be getting an upper back lift and breast augmentation. But, most importantly, I have reintroduced cheese into my diet. 

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I DO NOT TRUST MYSELF WITH CHEESE. It is the devil. You always want to pile it on, rather than having the recommended 30g, but MY WORD THERE IS A LOT OF SATURATED FAT IN THE STUFF.

Enter my new cheese favourite – eat lean protein cheese. This isn’t an ad, I genuinely just want to sing praises on the stuff. It is a super low fat cheese that is only 3% fat, and 1.7% saturated fat. But what does this mean? IT MEANS YOU CAN PILE ON THE CHEESE AGAIN, FOLKS!

Anyhow, clearly the small things in life make me far too excited, so back to reality.

(Oh my god wait, did you see the sparkly laptop case I hand-made!?)

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Super cute, right!?

AND OH MY, GUESS WHAT I FORGOT TO MENTION TO YOU ALL?!

I REVERSED MY TYPE TWO DIABETES!!

Anyhow..

I am four months post op, and I’m still having issues. 

Since my hips were re-operated on, new scar tissue has formed (and it is solid!!!) and it is preventing the normal fat and swelling to subside, so I have a very annoying half-sided swollen belly lump STILL. But my surgeon is going to fix it in my coming operation – given the skin has relaxed and theres another cm he can remove.

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How cute is my belly button though? Long were the days when I lived with a sagging mass and wrinkled load hanging off my stomach. 

And do you know what the best part is?! I’m at the lowest weight I remember being (other than when I was seven years old and weighed seven stone).. 63kg! Pre-surgery I weighed in at 71.7kg, so I’m super happy with that progress.

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Celebratory naked burrito, anyone?

Henrietta x

8 and a half weeks post-op..

I think it’s about time for another update since the last thing I left you with probably gave you nightmares. 

Yes I am talking about those horrible open wound images. 

I’ve had a lot of proud moments since then! I have a somewhat floppy and wrinkled bikini body! 


I managed to fit into some 28-inch waist super skinny jeans.

 

It’s a shame about my poor taste in socks.

I even managed to fall in love with a dress that I then purchased in a UK SIZE 10 because it fit me! 

I was a UK 22 previously, meaning I am now less than half the size I used to be! 


I’ve even been posting some considerably under-dressed photos on my Instagram account – prompting some rather cringe private messages asking me when I will “remove the heart emojis”. 

Yuck. 


I have never posted these photos to show off how “sexy” I am, I have posted them to show people the ins and outs, ups and downs, benefits and drawbacks of skin removal surgery. I have excess skin still! I have back wrinkles! 


I’m 8 weeks outs and I’m still not sure what to expect after the swelling goes down. 


I love my back boobs and my wrinkles and my sagging breasts (… wait, can I take that back?) but I had little idea that they would exist after my surgery because nobody posted a clear picture! 


I will never love the thighs though. Yikes. 

But damn, am I 100 times better than I used to be! 


Henrietta x



5 weeks post op.. 

So, on Monday, I’ll be 5 weeks post op. It was only 3 days ago that I was re-operated on after both my hips had horrendous open wounds. 



After all the progress I made recovering, I am back at square one. Unable to travel, move, and unable to wear my compression garments. The swelling has come back to unmeasurable levels. I’m in discomfort but I am confident I’ll be okay. 

On the brightside, check out these arms! 



It was never going to be easy, but I’m determined to recover enough to work on some recipes and go for walks at least. 


I can’t wait to see my new body when it eventually reveals itself to me. 

It’s a huge step in my weight loss journey, and it’s a decision I made because I could not have kept the sagging skin hanging off my torso.

Wish me a speedy (-er) recovery! 

Henrietta x 

9 days post-op.. 

I finally had my surgery! 


So, on the 19th December, I had a belt lipectomy and brachioplasty to start my journey in removing my excess skin. 


It seems a lifetime ago that I was 119kg, morbidly obese, and somewhat unhappy. 

If you feel good about yourself being plus-sized then that’s great for you, but I never did. 

How could I? I was bullied, I was often breathless, and I didn’t even want to do anything.

My life has completely changed.


My belly button isn’t a sad face anymore, and my abdomen doesn’t resemble a ballsack! 


They took three kilograms of skin away from me.


Since then, I’ve been happy. No post-op blues, no severe pain, no inability to move – swollen, a little stiff perhaps, but happy. 

I am heavily bruised, especially around the groin. But I cannot wait for the swelling to subside and my body to reveal its true form! 

People say it’s a tough decision, having surgery, and I suppose it is – but the outcome is so much better than you could ever possibly imagine. 

If you’re in the same boat I was… do what’s best for you. There’s no time limit. 

All the best to everyone, whether happy or unhappy, small or large, healthy or not, it’s Christmas. So enjoy. 


Henrietta x 

Past the point of excited..

I literally have 8 days until my skin removal surgery. 

One week tomorrow and I will be leaving the effects of my old, binge-food life behind.

And how do I feel? Beyond excited.


Just like I was when I finally won the 2kg toblerone after three consecutive years of failing.

Obviously I’ve done my research, and I know how much pain I am likely going to be in after having a belt lipectomy and brachioplasty. It’s a difficult decision to make – having surgery. 

I know a lot of people just choose to keep the excess skin, but I’m a strong believer that you then fail to see what you’ve truly achieved when you look at your body. 

I’m 21 years old, I’m 5ft7, and I’m 72kg. My BMI is healthy, But my body looks far from it. I shouldn’t look like this at a healthy weight. My wrinkles shouldn’t have their own wrinkles, and my belly button certainly shouldn’t look this sad. 

Now I’m not very toned, that was never my aim. My excess skin isn’t as empty as some one hiding a six pack underneath theirs, but I’m happy with what I have achieved.



At my heaviest, I weight 119kg. When I started my weight loss journey, I weight 115.6kg. 

I have lost seven stone. I have pretty much reversed my diabetes (it’s not medically official yet, but I really have). 

I’m so unbelievably happy with how far I’ve come. I was embarrassed, upset, and appalled at the way I was. It was horrible worrying about how heavy I was breathing when walking up the road with a friend. I was exhausted at the simplest of tasks. 

Now, all I have to complain about is my arthritic joints and my constant lower back pain. 

I’ll take it. 

Again, super excited for 8 days time. 


There’s that excitement for the toblerone again! 

If you’re reading this, and you’re struggling at all, just know that you got this. It’s a slow process, but every week when you step on the scales and see even a tiny difference you’ve done something huge. You’ve achieved something great and you can keep going. 

Happy health everyone.

Henrietta x 

Wagamama regular.. 

Anyone who know me, or even follows my Instagram, will know the endless love I have for wagamama. 


I mean, come on, just look at it. 

Besides tasting great, my Wagamama favourite dish is actually surprisingly healthy too. 

None of that Katsu curry rubbish, just chilli beef ramen for the soul. 

Well, I have the Wagamama cookbook and I do often make my own ramen, and a few of you have commented asking for the recipe. It is easy to find online but I’ll post it here too. 


I’m a true Wagamama fan, and a few years ago they used to sell their ramen bowls and spoons online. I don’t know why they don’t anymore, but I gathered a collection luckily! If you don’t have the ramen spoon then it might be slightly difficult to slurp the amazing broth, but you can always use a straw! 


Now the chilli sauce that you add to the broth is open to interpretation. I’ve followed the recipe for the chilli sauce before and it wasn’t the same, but I asked someone who worked for Wagamama (dream – free food on your lunch break!!!) and they suggested using sriracha because that’s what Wagamama used to print on their recipe table place-Matt. 

So that’s what I do, and it is so close to the real thing that it’s insane. My only suggestion is that you make your own stock if you can – because using a stock cube or stock from the supermarket makes it taste less authentic. The stock is the only difference I notice when I make my own ramen vs when I eat at Wagamama. It’s such a shame I’m so close to perfection with this dish. 

Anyway, I’m sure the suspense is killing you, so here is the recipe. 


Now if you would like to try and make this chilli ramen sauce then I will post the recipe for that too, but I really do recommend sriracha. 

And if you’re not into steak, you can make the same ramen with a chicken breast. 


The secret to wagamama’s stock is that they use a mixture of chicken and pork bones – so definitely try making their stock if you can. If not, it doesn’t matter too much – but you can taste a slight difference when using supermarket stock. 




Happy cooking! 

Henrietta x

2 months and counting.. 

Today, on the 19th October, marks 2 months away from my surgery date. I have waited patiently. I have had this booked since February and it’s finally starting to feel real. 

So how am I going to celebrate? 

With a recipe post, of course! It’s been a while, so I’m making it a double to satisfy those of you who keep asking for recipes on my Instagram posts. 

Fakeaway chicken (or turkey) korma


Now I am not accompanying this recipe with my baked onion bhaji recipe, as I am yet to perfect the quantities and I would hate to disappoint with what is potentially such a crowd pleaser. 

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 chicken breasts – I sometimes substitute with turkey because it’s slightly leaner (but one turkey breast is plenty for two people!)

100ml chicken stock 

1 chopped onion, diced 

2 tsp korma curry paste (even better if you make your own!) 

200g 0% fat Greek yoghurt (or coconut alpro yoghurt)

1 tsp curry powder (optional)  

Designated coconut (optional) 

Thickening granules (optional)

Method 

1) dice the onion and fry in a little olive oil – I use a spray mechanism to prevent too much oil hitting the pan! 

2) add the chicken/ turkey (cut into chunks) and fry until browning. Once browned, add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. 

3) separately, mix the yoghurt with the korma curry paste until you get a beautiful golden colour – you can adjust the amounts if you prefer! 

4) add the yoghurt mixture to the chicken and stock and mix thoroughly. Let the curry simmer for 10 minutes, adding the curry powder and designated coconut if you would like. 

5) if you prefer your curry sauce thicker, add some thickening granules. You can buy these from most supermarkets. Alternatively, add a little cornflour solution. 


Serve with some cauliflower rice, or basmati rice, and mango chutney! I make my own mango chutney and nothing beats it. 

That brings me on to my next recipe. 

Homemade mango chutney 


Makes 500 ml in total – I fill 4x 125ml jars. 

Ingredients 

  • 4 large mangoes, peeled, stoned and sliced
  • salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 200ml agave syrup
  • 2 baking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 tbsp English mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
  • 600ml/1 pint white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 teaspoons cumin seeds 

Method

1) slice the mango and sprinkle with salt, put to one side.

2) Put the garlic, agave syrup, apples, mustard, ginger, vinegar and cayenne pepper in a pan and, over a low heat, combine. 

3) wash the mangos. 

4) Bring to the boil and add the mangoes. Simmer for 30 minutes until the chutney is thick and syrupy. Add the cumin seeds depending on your taste. Spoon into sterilised jars and seal.

These will last for months if your jars are sterilised! And they go down a treat! 

So to finish my catch-up post (and I know it’s been a while – the final year of university is taking its toll!) here is a progress photo to celebrate 2 months until my skin is removed

Happy eating!

Henrietta x