Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dizzy and Worried

Saturday didn't go so well. The shakes are going down well but by mid afternoon I stood up and almost passed out which worried me. I should have taken my blood pressure but rode it out.  I finally got up slowly and took a potassium supplement and then had 4 saltine crackers with a bit of peanut butter. I think my sodium is low after 4 days of pee'ing every 3 hours! Felt much better and didn't feel guilty with taking in a bit of carbs.

We were invited to my BIL/SIL for dinner and I told her I would only eat the chicken breast which was fine with them. She's trying to lose some weight too. I brought a huge pan of low carb veges (asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, onions, garlic) with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a bunch of herbs and spices. They started with a bowl of pasta, as I sipped diet Iced Tea and then we had the main course and salad. The salad had a few pinenuts in it but I decided I certainly wasn't cheating. Cheating would be eating the bowl of pasta. Afterwards we went to another BIL/SIL (that I really don't like much) as they had invited all 4 of us for dessert for BIL's birthday. Some sort of creamy pineapplely thingy. I had no problem saying no thanks as it is something I have never liked anyway. It is funny to see everyone's reactions when you say no thanks to something. I was offered all sorts of other things including an apple. You have to realize this was 10:00 at night and I am usually in bed and really never eat past 7:00. So even with these little extras (I refuse to call them cheats) I am progressing well on the pre-op diet. I've dropped a couple more pounds but will record my weight on the Ticker next Wednesday.

Funny, this morning I slept in until 10:30 which is so rare, I was shocked. I am usually awake at 6:30 am! I guess my body is in some sort of denial and figures if I won't feed it, it might as well sleep. 10 days of shakes left to do!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Scales—What is Our Real Weight

I’m sitting at my computer at work chomping on radishes, cucumber, celery and broccoli (all low glycemic veges) smothered in salt, when I wondered how to really put down my starting weight. When I had my first consult with the doctor for banding, I weighed 209 pounds in their office. Before stepping on the scales that afternoon, I had eaten a huge lunch including a large diet pepsi, was fully clothed and what the heck, I didn’t even take off my shoes. So is 209 my “real” weight. I have seen that number in the past so will use it as my starting point. 209 has been sitting there on my Ticker countdown for weeks. Funny how the doctors register only the pounds/kilograms lost and not the other benefits (ie better strength, balance, lower BP, being able to run 5k). To them it always seems to be just a numbers game. But maybe we buy into the numbers too. We get depressed when they don’t go down or don’t go down fast enough! We don’t value that we have added exercise to our life or we have controlled the bingeing or that our clothes are less snug.

From now on I will use my spiffy glass scales at home as I think the most accurate weight is first thing in the morning, stark naked, alone in the closet which is what I did this morning (201.4). I have lost over 7 pounds! My estimate is really 4 pounds lighter but it looks nicer on the Ticker so I’ll take it—no shame, no apologies, no congrats needed. I will finally throw out my old scales which always registered 10 pounds lighter (I never saw a weight over 200—on them I was always in the 190’s). But the reality is that I do want a bit of accuracy from a real scale.

Tonight I look forward to roasting a bunch of low glycemic veges with some onions and garlic for a treat to go along with the shake. 5 shakes down, 37 to go.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

And So it begins…

Day 1 of my liquid protein pre-op diet. First shake was delicious. I must remember this next week when I am gagging on the 35th chocolate shake. I decided to just get the chocolate shakes as the vanilla ones always have a funny taste. I chose this title because I am a huge fan of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. “And so it begins…” was said by King Theoden just before the battle of Helm’s Deep. He is viewing the attacking army of Uruk-hai warriors. All looks lost, the odd's insurmountable, the enemy is butt ugly, it begins to rain, they have little chance of success, BUT they win. Just like I will in this weight loss battle.

This two week pre-op diet is my Helm’s Deep. Oh don’t you just love when you can compare something you are doing to a movie. I know this is called something in literature but my brain is foggy (no sugar?) so can’t think of the English term. I think my fascination with the LOTR is not so much the movies but of Aragorn, the main character played by Viggo Mortenson.

And so it begins…1 down, 41 to go! Wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Copycat WTTC

To begin, I noticed a bunch of new faces under followers. Thanks for visiting. I love to read your blogs and look forward to some inspiration each day. Please keep commenting so I can come visit your blog. I was reading the WTTC post from Gilly at somethingsomethingsomethingfatchick and started thinking about all the things I want WTTC. I'm being a bit of a copycat so I apologize in advance.

When the Time Comes (WTTC) I want to go into my doctor’s office and smile when he shows me perfect blood tests.
WTTC I will walk into Nygard fashions and turn right to choose the cute clothes in smaller sizes and not the big baggy XL and XXL when you turn left.
WTTC I will walk 5km and not have any knee or foot pain.
WTTC I will walk my daughter down the aisle in a beautiful Mother of the Bride dress.
WTTC I will travel more with my hubby and not be exhausted at the end of the day from walking.
WTTC I will eat what I want because I choose to and not because some unseen force is making me stuff junk in my mouth.
WTTC I will strut my new body in front of all those people who said “It Couldn’t be Done!” because it will be done.
WTTC I will cradle my grandchildren and watch them grow to adults because losing weight saved my life.
WTTC I will climb a small mountain because someone laughed at me once when I told them I wanted to do it.

…So what will you do WTTC?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Body Scans

Today's paper mentioned that more and more airports were installing Body Scan machines for passengers and privacy issues are being raised. Just because some guy lit his undies on fire (but I'm so glad everyone else was ok). This got me wondering how far the scan can see through the body and wondered if it could see the band wrapped around my stomach. So I googled some pictures and the first one that came up was called fatty-vs-skinny-scan. This is NOT what the airport scanner will be seeing but I thought it was really interesting. The scan on the left is of a 250 pound person and the one on the right is a 120 pound person. I noticed the "fatty" one had bent ankles. I know I am knocked knee'ed and can't put my feet together, so my scan may look similar.

The other pictures of airport body scanners look like they only see through our clothes and can't really go past the skin layer so I guess our secret is safe. Can you imagine someone wondering why we have this ring wrapped around our stomach? Thank god we don't have to "declare" the fluid as part of what we can carry on the plane, although it is still under the 4 ounces that is allowed on carry-on!

I still have a bad cold, my DH slept on the couch last night but I know I will be getting better soon in time for surgery in two weeks. Trying to stay positive.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm Sick

I now have a full blown cold and my nose won't stop dripping. My DH poked me all night to tell me to stop snoring and breathing heavily. I wanted to tell him to go sleep elsewhere but I was so stuffed up I didn't care. Of course today I am exhausted and had meetings all day at work so couldn't call in sick. I've been taking Tylenol but it doesn't work very well. I need aspirin but can't take it since I am close to my surgery.

OK, the rant is over. One good sign is I don't feel like eating and I still have a few days to binge before I start my liquid protein shakes next Wednesday. So no binge tonight.

All is ready for my surgery. Physical done, bloodwork done, consent faxed to clinic, money transfered to clinic, hotel booked, protein shakes all lined up in the box to start. All ready, just the wait.

I've told DH that he has to come with me to Toronto and given him the date many times. So he calls me this morning to confirm that he has someone to teach his Karate class on February 17th. Problem is my surgery is February 10th. I think when I remind him that we are leaving on the 9th he will still be surprised and ask where we are going. He is behind me 100% so having to remind him every once in a while isn't too bad. Besides when I forget to tell him something, I just pretend it was his memory, and he just forgot! LOL.

Gotta go blow my nose. Sorry TMI.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Doing It!

I'm sitting here reading everyone's entries and love the inspiration. The You Can Do It! post on Sally's Journey today is so uplifting that I know that I am going to Do It!

This past weekend was such fun. We visited with a good friend of mine at their country home. Since she and my DH share a January birthday, her husband and I cooked a lovely dinner for the two of them made even better with the multiple bottles of wine we consumed. I could only tell her that I was having surgery to repair a hiatus hernia (which is partly true) but couldn't fess up to the lapband. She is a tiny little person, about 5' tall and about 100 pounds. She is a runner and it is hard sometimes when we stand side by side and I feel like I am towering over her at twice her size. I added a picture of the two of us last fall but blanked out her face. Mine is real!

We went for a long snowshoe trek through the forest with her 80 year old father. He put me to shame as I lagged behind, but at least I kept going and felt great afterwards. I have had plantar's fasciitis for the last year but have been pain free for about 2 weeks so hope I am finally over it and can get back on the treadmill.

My friend has watched as I have struggled with losing weight but she really doesn't understand completely. She frequently comments that it is what you eat and getting in enough exercise. Surprise-I didn't know that. NOT! She has her own worries right now and she has always been there for me, so eventually I may tell her the truth but I wonder if others ever tell all. I think I will still be very selective as to who I confide in because many just won't understand. Except my fellow bloggers. Thanks for your support

Friday, January 15, 2010

I Have to Pee!

Sorry if this title offends anyone but I am a nurse and a mom so discussing body functions has never been a problem with me. I digress a bit here so stay with me. I’ve been wondering for a long time if food can really be an addiction. I know I crave certain foods. Mine are sugar based. My BFF craves salty foods. Put a bag of chips in front of her and they are gone in a minute. I’ve had a bag of chips in the cupboard for over a month and just noticed my son finished them last night. My food of choice has always been chocolate. Doesn’t really matter the type but I can always find comfort in a big bag of M & M Peanuts or multiple Peanut Butter Cups.

A friend who deals a lot with addicts gave me a laypersons example of what an addiction (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes) feels like. Lets say you have to pee. Usually you can put it out of your mind for awhile but as minutes and hours pass, the urge to pee gets stronger and stronger til it reaches a point where all you can think about is “I have to pee!”. When you finally get to pee, the relief can be overwhelming, you feel better and you can go on with what you were doing until the next urge hits.

So I wondered if maybe that was how I was with certain foods, like chocolate. Sometimes it is all I can think about. I can’t do anything until I have driven to the store, bought the biggest bag or bar of chocolate and stuffed it in my mouth usually in the car going home. The sense of relief is overwhelming. I have my fix and I can get on with what I was doing. But this doesn’t happen with all foods, just some. I know I can easily ignore the urge to binge on liver!

Whether food is addictive has never really been proven. I studied Biochemistry in university and can picture all those little receptors we have in our brain, be it for caffeine, drugs, alcohol, whatever. I like to imagine little M&M receptors just waiting patiently for chocolate to arrive. I do know that if I go cold turkey I don’t seem to miss chocolate so maybe it is just a learned activity. Is it just feeding my insecurities, loneliness, boredom? Like many of you, I have a lot of other issues to deal with besides just losing weight but this blogging helps bring them out in the open. Soon I will be able to imagine little lettuce and celery receptors “craving” to be fed.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend and that you get a really good laugh in at least once. Tonight I’m off to see Jeff Dunham, a ventriloquist and comic. I just love his puppets. For those who want a good laugh, you have to watch some Jeff Dunham Videos (not for kids!). Tomorrow I leave for the wilds of Qu├ębec to visit friends and take in some snowshoeing. At least I will be getting some exercise.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Last Suppers

I’ve been working on getting my “last suppers” in before I start the pre-op drinks on Jan. 27th. It is something I have to do mentally, even though I know I can eat almost anything after being banded. Eating out at restaurants and cooking my favourite meals has always been my prelude to starting any weight loss program. I won't bore you with the various menus but they involve lots of rice and pasta and spice. And beer and wine! This obsession with making sure I get the "last" taste of everything is strange. After being banded, nothing will be off limits, but I feel like I will be going into space and will never be able to eat some of my favourite foods again! I have to get off this dieting mentality and work on the getting healthy with good food, just less of it. I figure if I can eat healthy for 90% of the time, the other 10% will not damage me too much.

My DH has been very supportive but he really doesn’t have any weight to lose. He comes from a family of large people (he is the oldest of 6 boys, some obese) so he is very prone to weight gain. About 15 years ago DH began exercising to lose his extra 40 pounds—he has a 4th degree black belt in Karate, runs 10 km several times a week, lifts weights and rides for hours on his bike when the weather is good. He still eats and drinks whatever he likes and just exercises more but sees that it doesn't work for me. He is also the one paying for the surgery. OK, the money is coming from our joint account but he is the one who knows how to do an electronic transfer from the bank to the clinic.

Last week I received my three week supply of Medifast Protein Drinks. We went out that night to an all you can eat Sushi restaurant for my "last" fill of Sushi. During dinner we discussed how I would be on the Protein Drinks for two weeks pre-op and I asked DH if he would support me by doing 5 days of Protein Drinks with me. I was even going to give him an extra shake each day!

DH thought it was a great idea, then proceeded to tell me how he would have to supplement the drinks with food. I don’t think he really got the purpose of the challenge. I told him that if he added food he wouldn’t really experience how I felt. His reply—“I have to live with you for those two weeks so I am sure I will certainly be experiencing what you are going through". LOL.

So 2 weeks from today, I start the liquid protein (without the DH participating) and 4 weeks from today, I am being banded. I am now getting impatient to start this journey, although I still have a few "last suppers" to get through.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Climb

Don't you just love Miley (and her dad Billie Ray ain't bad either). I listen to The Climb almost everyday and it has become my unofficial anthem for this journey I am taking. The Youtube video is at this link: The Climb by Miley Cyrus

My favourite is the chorus. It speaks to my struggle.

     'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
     I'm always gonna wanna make it move
     Always gonna be a uphill battle
     Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
     Ain't about how fast I get there
     Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
     It's the climb, yeah!

Have a great day!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Big, Fat Cow

Name Calling, Words. It is amazing the effect a single word can have on us. After writing the section on the word obese, I realized how gut-wrenching that word can be. Add an adjective (such as severe, mobidly or super) and it becomes even more of a label. I know a few years ago, jokingly someone started using weight challenged but it still doesn’t change the discrimination we are subjected to as we go through life. In contrast, take the word “skinny”. We can add severely skinny or super skinny and our brains think model, but have you ever heard of someone being described as mobidly skinny. Makes you want to go out and buy a coffin to keep close by.

Another personal word for me is “cow”. Makes one think of farmland, milk, bells (in Switzerland) and mooing. Add the adjectives big, fat and apply it to a person and you get a memory that sticks to me years later. As a kid of about 10, the mother of my best friend angrily called me a “big, fat cow”. To this day, I see her rage and hatred and the beginning of my confusion with weight. Even without the name calling, the looks of disgust we have all felt bore a hole right through to our hearts.

I am a good person, smart and intelligent. But I can be brought to my knees when someone implies I am fat. Or gives me that look of disgust. Ok so I am fat, add adjective-obese in fact. Like many of the blogger’s I follow, I avoided having my picture taken for many years. A few years ago, I started putting together a slideshow of my family and had few recent pictures of me. After that I made a promise to not avoid the camera. I still delete a lot of the really bad pictures but now know I have a history of myself. The one thing I must remember is not to wear sleeveless although I have been able to use Photoshop to my advantage in a lot of pictures. Even removed some wrinkle in one! This is my first posting of a real picture of me. Untouched. My face showing. For all the world to see. And I don’t think I look anything like the big, fat cow above! Her ears are bigger than mine.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Funnel Cakes

I had a funny memory come back to me, when I read a recent post from Girl Bandit (Ramblings from the Other Side…) asking what Funnel Cakes were. 

My first taste of a Funnel Cake was at Walt Disney World in Orlando about 10 years ago. Before I even knew what they were I had a funny experience. We were standing in line for one of the rides and a lovely Chinese family came up to us to ask “did I know where they can get “fornicate”. Please accept my  apologies if any offense is taken, but I had to have him repeat it a few times. Finally a lovely southern man in front of me stepped in and asked if it was Funnel Cake he was asking about. Yes-Yes-Yes-that was it. I stopped staring, the family left to get their cakes and we proceeded to laugh hysterically at my misunderstanding. It was then that I had to track down this lovely treat.

At the theme parks there are Funnel Cake stands at every bench. Or maybe I always chose the bench closest to the Funnel Cakes! They are super delicious, super high in fat and sugar, but if you add the lovely fruit topping they must provide some nutrients. In Canada, they are only available in some of our theme parks. Our national doughy confection is a Beaver Tail. They too are high in fat and sugar and the toppings are usually cinnamon sugar but sometimes maple syrup. They are a good warm treat while skating. When President Obama visited Ottawa last fall, his cavalcade stopped so he could get a Beaver Tail to try. Funny how they are briefed on the different customs of the countries they visit! But we do have healthy food here.

            Beaver Tail                                       Funnel Cake
So thanks Bandit Girl for giving me a laugh for the day. Maybe I'll need to try one before my liquids start in 2.5 weeks. Now don't get me started on Poutine.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Obesity Worse Than A Lifetime of Smoking

The news today broadcast a new study of almost one million people from around the world that showed obesity can trim years off life expectancy.

“Research by Oxford University found lifespan was reduced by 3 years in those who were moderately obese (BMI 30 to 35). Morbid obesity (BMI 40 to 50) reduced life expectancy by about 10 years; this is similar to the effect of lifelong smoking. Obesity increases death rates for some types of cancer, but the main way it kills is by increasing risk of heart disease and stroke.”  Link to the full article:

A couple of years ago, I moved out of the overweight classification and was labelled obese. Even then, I didn’t think of myself as obese. But after I started reading and realized I might die or worse, be disabled by my weight I knew the clock was ticking. When I met a woman who had been banded last year, I saw it as my hope to be a normal healthy weight again, to be there to see my grandkids, to spend a long life with my hubby and to not be a statistic.

Here is a checklist of the risk factors I have that can be reversed if I lose just 10-20% of my body weight:
          High Blood Pressure: Check √
          Type 2 Diabetes: not yet, but getting there!
          Bad Joints (especially my feet and knees): Check √
          High Cholesterol: Check √
          Fatty Liver (which can lead to cirrhosis): Check √
          Increased risk of Heart Disease and Stroke: Check √
I realize now that words do matter. I see my doctor write “Obese” on my chart and I hate the word. Their silence shows how helpless they are to help us. There are studies and statistics and lots of advice but making it work isn’t easy. Just reading the definition (from TheFreeDictionary) made me want to cringe.
I now know I want to see the word Obese erased from my chart. I first have to move into Overweight but at 144 pounds, when I get there, I will take such pleasure in watching them write “normal weight”. It will happen this time.

I also know that adding exercise back into my life will also be a plus in getting and staying healthy. My choice is walking, hiking and trekking. I also plan to pull the shrink wrap off my Wii Active Plus that I got for Christmas and get some of the stretching and balance exercises done.

Maybe then I should take up smoking. Not!

Monday, January 4, 2010

It Couldn’t Be Done

This is one of my favourite inspirations, a poem. It is posted in my cubicle at work and just today I looked at it and realized it applies to my new banded life.

It Couldn't be Done 
by Edgar Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
    But, he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn’t," but he would be one
    Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
    On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you’ll never do that;
    At least no one has done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
    And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
    Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
    There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
    The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin,
    Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
    That "couldn’t be done," and you’ll do it.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Serious Work Begins

I’ve been housebound for the last three days watching tiny little snowflakes accumulate over the foot of snow already on the ground. It has been gradual, doesn’t look like much but over three days we now have an additional 10 inches on the ground. It is sort of the same with gaining weight. A few extra bites here, a little there and before you know it 10 pounds have accumulated. The nice thing about snow is that it melts every spring and the grass turns green.

The extra 10 pounds doesn’t always melt off in the spring and usually more accumulates. February has always been my highest weight of the year, so it is probably good that I am being banded in February. Most years I would spend most of the spring, summer and fall trying to lose those extra 10 pounds without success. Three years ago, I just gave up. Funny, I have hovered around 205 for most of that time. People tell me 205 is my “set point”. Problem is I have had numerous “set points” over the years. I remember being stuck at 139, 155, 166, 172, 176, 194 and now 205. By the time I am in my sixties I was heading to 220…

I have set 144 lb (-65 lbs) as my goal by March 15, 2011 (my 57th birthday). A year is plenty of time to know if I have failed or not with this last straw—the lapband :-( . You see I have tried so many times, like the rest of you, to lose weight, but it is hard to get my head around it finally working this time. I am encouraged by all the other bloggers to think that maybe this time I will succeed so please know that I read and gain insight and strength from those that have gone before me. Remaking a line from Star Trek:

“Banding, the Final Frontier. Its continous mission: to explore strange new ways of eating; to seek out new life and new bodies; to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

I received my sick leave letter from the surgeon (I asked for 4 weeks off and still have plenty of paid leave left). Since I have told no one at work and do not plan to do so, he sent the letter without the office letterhead. I am having surgery at the Surgical Weight Loss Center in Mississauga, outside Toronto. If that was listed on my letter, it would be pretty obvious what surgery I was having. It is really none of their business. Our office thrives on gossip, so almost all of the 200 people I work with would be aware within a few hours. I don’t need the hassle right now.

I notice that a lot of you only tell a few people. I am an RN so many of my friends are in the health care field. When I told one of my best friends who is a Nurse Practitioner, she was not positive and suggested I try the exercise and dieting just one more time after Christmas. I guess after 40 years of starting and stopping diets and exercising like a fiend isn't really enough. Dropping $16,000 on uninsured surgery is something not to be taken lightly either. Don't they get it? This made me think about who really should know. My hubby and kids know but I also told only one of my sisters and my brother and my closest friend since University. I’ll play it by ear as to who else I will tell. The lapband is only a tool to help me lose and keep off the weight. It has no magical powers. I know I have to work with it for it to work for me.

More soul searching to come. This blogging is really helping me.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Raise a Toast to the New Decade—The Past is Past

Nothing seems different today as a new year begins—2010. I’ve been told not to say Two thousand and ten. It is just Two thousand, Ten. I think I will call it Twenty-Ten. The papers listed all the major events of the last decade, 9/11, Tsunami in the west Pacific, Hurricane Katrina, Earthquakes in China, Afghanistan, Iraq… Funny how very little good news came out of the last decade.

But this will now be my decade, 2010-2019. No name to it yet but then we didn’t have a name for the first part of the century either. Guess I’ll call it my “healthy decade”. Just under 6 weeks to go before my surgery. This is my time for a lot of soul searching. I take such inspiration from others who blog about their pre and post banding experiences—some serious insights, some hilarious—that I have hope again.

Funny with little to do today, I started thinking back on all the years (and there are many) of “dieting”. I was always the biggest child in my family of 5 kids but I don’t really remember it being a problem. My sister, 18 months younger was really skinny and I used to hear the comments about how I took all the fat and left her with none. When I was 11, my family doctor (the all-knowing physician) put me on amphetamines and I promptly buzzed off 25 pounds. Funny when they took away the speed, it came back and more. By the time I was 16 I weighed over 170 pounds. By the way, my skinny sister weighed about 100 pounds at that time.

I really don’t remember how I got clothes to fit. I know my mother sewed a lot so I guess she made me stuff and I think Sear’s had their husky section. There were no hand-me downs for me as everyone we knew was thin. During the 60’s we wore dresses to school. NO JEANS allowed. And pants were for the guys. By 1970 in grade 10 there was a mini revolt and girls could wear not only pants, but jeans. I don’t think I did though—those were the Twiggy days and I doubt they made size XL for teens. That year (16 years old) I joined TOPS. I went with a neighbour and I was able to lose 30 pounds, partly because all the old fat ladies made me feel really important and special. I was the second of 5 kids and my mother wasn’t the “I love you” type. In fact it wasn’t until she was in her 70’s that she was able to say those words to us—after practicing for months with my aunt.

I think some of my weight loss happened because I had to walk a mile to and from high school and my mother stopped making my breakfast and lunches for me. I liked to sleep in and didn’t eat more than a piece of toast and a sandwich made with tuna until dinner. Being in TOPS was an experience. When you arrived at a TOPS meeting, you were weighed each week privately. If you lost, you got a badge shaped like a Top to wear. If you stayed the same, you got a green Turtle badge and if you gained you got a pink Pig badge to wear the rest of the night. After making the pledge that you were an “intelligent person”, we would each announce our weight results. If you gained you had to kneel in front of this big cardboard pig as everyone oinked and recite a poem which started out as “Mrs. Pig, Mrs Pig…” but I have forgotten the words or pushed them deep into the area of the brain along with all the other humiliating experiences over the years. If anyone remembers them, I would love to hear the poem again. I’m pretty sure they stopped the practice as I joined another TOPS club in the 90’s and don’t remember that being done.

So in hindsight, speed and humiliation really don’t work that well for permanent weight loss. After all the years (45), all the diets too numerous to list, but you all know them well, the weight loss drugs, the gym memberships and aerobics classes there really is only one answer:

*****Don’t eat so much*****

It really is that simple. Problem is my brain doesn’t get the message until I have demolished an entire pan of brownies or a bag of chips. This is my hope that the band will help me with this part of eating. During the 90’s I was on the Fenfluramine pill (Fen-Phen) and it was the only time in my life that I FORGOT TO EAT! It worked and I didn’t eat very much but when it was banned and I lost my crutch, the pounds returned with a vengeance. I got the fat gene and have to live with that. I can’t eat as much as other people and I have to live with that. Pregnancy fat (baby fat) is no longer an excuse especially since my youngest is 24 years old. I don’t lose weight by exercising but I love to exercise knowing it will probably help keep me healthy and I can live with that.

So today I raise a toast to a new decade and to my new life with the lapband.
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