The Creation of Supercilious Ms T Exhibition Launch @Ort: Weds 22 May

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Tamar PerformsThe Creation of Supercilious Ms T will be showing for approximately 2 weeks at Ort Cafe, from 22 May – 2 Jun.

The launch event is on Weds 22 May from 6-8pm, and will feature a performance by Ms T at 6.45pm.

The exhibition consists of work which had inspired or led to the creation of Supercilious Ms T, a larger than life alter-ego who performs using song, spoken word, storytelling and music. Continue reading

Diary of a Gastric Bypass Patient: Part 1 – Introduction

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My artist’s blog is a place where I write about all sorts of things that inspire me.  As someone who lives with Borderline Personality Disorder, a condition where emotions often feel exaggerated and you tend to have a different outlook on the world to what is considered the ‘social norm’, inspiration comes from many sources, and isn’t just restricted to the work of other artists or artforms.

Strangely, before my operation, I hadn’t really been inspired to blog about my weight loss journey.  I’d written a few related blogs, on participating in the local community games and Poppy, my big pink gay bike, but not about the struggles to lose weight and make a decision about surgery over the last year. Continue reading

Diary of a Gastric Bypass Patient Part 14: The Dreaded Pre-Op Diet

Cake

Diets are hard work. They get you obsessing over food, hungry, irritable.  That’s just a normal diet.  You try an 800 calorie a day diet – it is hell on earth.

As an example of exactly what 800 calories a day is… we are talking 3.5 Slimfasts.  There were a few options that were given.  I could do the diet shake option, or the Milk & Yoghurt diet.  Or count calories.

The diet left me feeling weak, dizzy and absolutely obsessed by food.  Whereas it had been something that I didn’t really think about, suddenly I had to think about every mouthful that passed my lips. Continue reading

Diary of a Gastric Bypass Patient – Part 13: The Date is Set!

Calendar

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the diary, thanks to being busy, working, or feeling pretty rough.  After a quick nose, I realised that the last entry looked at being put on the waiting list for surgery, so I’ll continue from this point.

I soon received a date for an operation.  I had seen the surgeon towards the end of 2012, and received a date in February the next year.  I was pleasantly surprised, but decided I could take the weight loss slowly and steadily. Continue reading

Diary of a Gastric Bypass Patient: Part 12 – A Second Opinion

Second OpinionI had booked in to see a surgeon who did both band and bypass operations to have an unbiased viewpoint on which would be the best option for me.

He talked me through both procedures, and said that with my weight and health, that both would work in my case.

I had one main pro and one main con.  I told him that I preferred the bypass, because the food I ate tended to be more calorific,and the bypass reduced the amount of calories that could be eaten. He then told me that ‘dumping syndrome’ would be a possible benefit.  This is the effect of reacting to high sugar or high fat food moving quickly through the system – the body produces higher amounts of insulin and this can make you feel sick, dizzy, nauseous.  In other words, it’s the best aversion therapy going for keeping you off eating shite.  I have to admit, I was hoping I would be one of the lucky few that didn’t experience dumping syndrome. It sounded nasty.  Bad enough that all-you-can-eat buffets would be a thing of the past, I didn’t want to give up chocolate forever. Continue reading

Diary of a Gastric Bypass Patient: Part 11 – Questioning My Decision For Surgery

QuestionsA rather interesting coincidence made me question my decision over which surgery to have.

I had a glass tile workshop booked at Ort Gallery, above Ort, the creatives cafe in Balsall Heath. I was toying with using a microwave kiln there rather than taking the tiles away to my studio to be fired.  To do this, I would need to buy a ‘hot pot’ microwave kiln, and would ideally need a separate microwave to the one I cooked with.  I only wanted to spend a few quid on one, and I found one locally that was £15 for a rather well-looked after silver microwave. Continue reading

Tamar Performs…?

Tamar PerformsThere is a question mark in the title, not because I’m unsure if I’ll perform at The Brown Lion on 30th January… I’m just unsure of exactly what this may entail!

Over the last year I’ve been waxing lyrical about including performance into my arts practice (as a visual as opposed to music artist). My artwork generally explores what makes us tick – so think emotion, relationships, interpersonal dynamics. The extremes of this that are associated with mental health often feature heavily in this.

Continue reading

Diary of a Gastric Bypass Patient: Part 10 – Gastric Bypass vs. Gastric Band

Gastric Bypass SurgeryOnce my funding was in place, I had a decision to make.  Which surgery should I have?  There are many different types, but the main two I had to decide between were a Gastric Bypass or a Gastric Band.  I looked both up on the internet, and asked to see a surgeon who was an expert on both in order to make the decision.

Prior to the appointment, I had made my mind up that I wanted a gastric bypass, as opposed to a band.  From what I had read during my internet research, this operation had the edge over the band in terms of weight loss. Continue reading

Diary of a Gastric Bypass Patient: Part 9 – Weight Loss Management & Surgery Application

Tamar with sleep apnoea test machineI was still seeing the weight management team regularly.

My sleep apnoea test came back at 5.5, and as anything between 1 and 5 instances of stopping breathing per hour are considered normal, I didn’t need to have a CPAP machine.

My periods started to come back, which had become irregular during my weight gain when I was studying for my degree.  I struggled with the effects of the hormone changes, which were like going through puberty again.

Continue reading

Diary of a Gastric Bypass Patient: Part 8 – Maintaining Mental Health & Weight Loss

Performing at The Yardbird with Derrick D & The BackbonesMy mental health deteriorated a fair bit in 2012, but I was extremely fortunate to have had help from a very supportive mental health team.  I was assigned an excellent care co-ordinator and occupational therapist and I also benefited from a course in maintaining bipolar mood swings.

It is likely that I have a condition on the bipolar spectrum as well as Borderline Personality Disorder, and that both interact with each other. Continue reading

Diary of a Gastric Bypass Patient: Part 7 – An Emotional Trigger to Weight Loss

ObsessingI had begun losing weight gradually at the end of 2011, and had also met a musician who had approached me at a music event.  He kept in touch, invited me to some of his gigs.  He seemed to like me and told me I looked good.

Living with a personality disorder that effects emotional regulation, I tend to cope by avoiding relationships or having feelings for other people.  Something about his nature gradually got around that, and after having a bit of interaction over a few months, and meeting up a few times, I decided I liked him. Continue reading