Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stop the Presses—I’m NOT Perfect!

I have been in a bit of a funk the last few days and was trying to get my head around it. As I stepped out of the shower, it hit me—POW!—I’m not perfect. The last few days have not been stellar eating—a chocolate bar here, cookies there. What happened to all the “this time I’ll be a winner, this time I’ll do it, this time is different”, now that I have the band. I have more or less been a good girl for two months. As I thought more I remembered that on most other diets I would generally give up after two months (guess what—I started the pre-op diet on January 26th—two months ago). I would usually lose about 20 pounds, feel good and then give up, only to gain the weight back. Well I’ve lost 25 pounds give or take a couple of ups and downs this week. I think my inner voice/conscience/whatever was goading me into submission that of course again I am a failure. Might as well give up and resolve that you will always be fat and will never succeed in losing this weight for good, that you will never be perfect. Then I started looking for the blame or excuse. It wasn’t me, it must be some other external force that I can’t control. I’ve been back to work for two weeks and it isn’t a happy place right now. Not one person has commented that I look thinner—which means maybe I haven’t actually lost any weight. They are morons anyway. My son is leaving on Sunday for his trip to South Africa. He has been house-sitting for the last 6 weeks so I haven’t seen much of him and I miss our talks. He is coming home for dinner, but then I won’t see him for another month. I haven’t seen many of my friends for a long time since I was sick last week and haven’t felt like going out. So don’t you agree, I have my list of excuses for quitting this diet, which is really a non-diet, which I was never going to succeed with so why did I waste all this money and time. Eat the cookies, eat the chocolate—it’s not my fault!

Then a few thoughts started filtering through which made me stop the downward spiral. Some of the blogs I am following were posting similar insights. Then my best friend who is on this weight loss journey with me (without the band) sent me this e-mail:

“Today the scale finally showed 189. Well that is unbelievable. I have not sat at this weight for years. This took from the time I returned to school (last September) until now to lose 12 pounds. I can tell you that now that I have crushed the threshold I feel like there is a renewed sense of energy. I have a new goal—to be under 180 by the end of June. I have not been there in years so if it takes three months to get past the 180 mark so be it. I have decided it is little bites at a time so I do not feel overwhelmed. When I count down what I want to lose altogether I feel overwhelmed and discouraged but when I do it like this and the goal is reasonable I don’t get discouraged. I think when you are discouraged you beat yourself up. Sandy, keep up the good work too, do not discouraged because everyday is a new day.”

Reading this I started to feel that maybe I need to start working on me. The last 3 months have been a whirlwind of research, preparation, surgery, recovery. I am feeling a bit lost now, 6 weeks post surgery, as to what am I supposed to do next. I love analogies and liken getting the band to the feeling of getting married or having a baby. We research and plan like crazy for months. The day happens—wedding day or birth of babe—the honeymoon phase hits and then the real work begins. The excitement is over and the day to day stuff still has to happen whether you feel like it or not. You have to work at a marriage. You have to work to raise a child. Well now that the excitement of having the lapband is subsiding, I have to work to lose the weight. Too bad it couldn’t have had a wire attached to our brains to reprogram our thoughts.

Which led me to the conclusion, that I’m not perfect. I will never be perfect. I am a great believer in inspirational quotes and when I opened another e-mail, there was the weekly inspirational newsletter from the Doctor from the Weight Management Clinic I go to. This is the same doctor that does my fills and who did my unfill (or is it a defill?).

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.”—George Bernard Shaw.

If you want to read the full newsletter click here. Also in the newsletter, my doc made the comment that INNER POWER must be cultivated. You must work on this constantly, and never give up trying. Success in weight loss, success in achieving fitness, means working to understand and accept your feelings. You must learn to accept yourself. You must learn to see the good you have. Don’t concentrate on lost possibilities (real or imagined). Accept yourself, and then seek solutions to control eating even under tough circumstances. Don’t make excuses.

Which means I have some inner work to do. All these “excuses” or circumstances that are happening right now are just missed opportunities to go forward. The wedding is over. The baby is born. The honeymoon is paid for. Now life goes on and with it some insights and struggles—our “Why’s & Wherefores”. It’s taken me a while to figure out what the expression actually means. So I did what I always do when I need to know something—I Googled it. And here is what I got.

Few people these days, in truth, can be quite sure what wherefore means. As a result, one of Shakespeare’s most quoted lines is often misunderstood. When Juliet asked, “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”, she wasn’t checking to see if he was on the ground below her balcony but asking why he was the person he was, a member of the hated rival Montague family. It means “why”, not “where”. The usual meaning is a bit more than just that of the individual words, which is why the apparent redundancy has survived — as a way to emphasize that what’s needed is not just a reason, but the whole reason, or all the reasons.

This post is just one of the “Why's & Wherefores” I will be working through in my blog. Sorry if it is really long and disjointed. It is how my brain is working today. And yes, it is a new day. And so will tomorrow and the day after that.


Marie said...

Hi Sandy,
I think what you are going through is so normal. With this band comes a lot of changes. That is what our nutritionist told us -- to expect a lot of change and not just with the weight. Changing attitudes towards food, others and ourselves.
Your comment that since no one had noticed that you had lost weight meant to you that you hadn't lost it! But you have! 26lbs is a lot of weight to lose and you don't have as much to lose as most. I wonder if they are a bit envious? Who knows and who cares. You know that you are 26 lbs healthier!!
Take care

Jacquie said...

Hey Sandy,

It sounds you are having post=band depression! Seriously, I am sure it is absolutely normal what you are feeling and going through right now. I know Amanda posted almost the same thoughts the other day. It does sound like you are working it through in your head though. Please figure it all out because I am right behind you sister!

Can you imagine if you'd had gastric bypass? All the changes that we go through as bandsters have got to be nothing compared to our bypass cousins. My friend had the bypass, lost 130 lbs. in like 7 or 8 months and was miserable the whole time....throwing up, diarreha,you name it. She didn't have a change to get her head wrapped around it and I honestly do not know if she was ready for such a drastic change, time will tell.

You are one of my hero's around here and you have kicked ass in 6 weeks girl! You'll get through this, I promise!

Camille said...

My husband always says "slow and steady wins the race." It's true you know. Short bursts of extreme success with long intervals of failure describes every diet I have ever tried and the gaining in between. Just keep up the slow and steady progress because this time it is staying off!!

Jess said...

I'm so in the same zone as you. Ugh. It'll pass, for both of us, I can feel it.

Kristen said...

One my favorite things to say to myself ..when I'm having a hard mommy day..

*we're not perfect we're parents*

I heard it on TV one day and it just stuck..

And I think the same thing has to go for the band..(even though I'm not there yet)'s not a perfect fix and we that choose to operate them are not perfect either..

But it will keep us from slipping back to our "old weight" quickly as it used to come back after stopping a d-i-e-t!! :0)

You are doing great and this was a great post..

THE DASH! said...

I would have to agree, Sandy. What you are going through is almost par for the course. This will pass - I really believe it. You've been so focused for so long (months really) and now you've hit that spot where you usually turn back. Well girl, there's no turning back this time. You will keep forging ahead and just keep dipping lower and lower. I believe you have the power within you to do it.. now you believe it too. xxxx

Gen said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Sandy. I do think you are right exactly at the point where the "inner work" is essential. You have to work through it - and understanding that you will NOT fail this time is a big part of it. If you know you are not going to fail, you can have a cookie once in a while, or a bad eating day now and then, and understand that this is just life. You are still going to lose if you do what you need to do 90% of the time.

I think most of us are emotional and/or stress eaters one way or another, so recognizing those behaviors and working on them -- but not punishing yourself or telling yourself mean things like "I am so bad today, I am always such a failure". Try looking at yourself as a detached observer - not judging, just observing and learning.

You can do this. You have already proven that you can! And working through everything will absolutely ensure your success. Feel better. :)

Girl Bandit said...

Thanks for sharing Sandy. I had some funks around the 6 week mark more about how I was getting stuck into the wine and feeling like I was letting myself down. I then set some little goals for myself to work on...just 2 things a month and I also decided that this was not another diet but a lifestyle and that works for me. I am sure you will find what works for are working on it now. You have not had the easiest of runs be kind to yourself and focus on the good stuff you do and go from there

Bianca J said...

It's an ongoing process and we have to be kind to ourselves and remember to celebrate along the way. A few bumps along the way is bound to happen but it won't derail you, you're still moving in the right direction. Great post.

Bonnie said...

Sorry you are going through a hard time. Thanks for sharing because it definitely helps those of us yet to be banded to know some of the roadblocks that might be ahead. I can certainly understand how you can be in a bit of a funk right now. It's kind of like that post Christmas let down. You are so excited about getting the band, doing all the prep, you get the band, you have to recover from surgery and then the work really begins - living with the band. And not having people notice your weight loss doesn't help either. You said it - what a bunch of MORONS. Although, sometimes people are afraid to say anything about weight loss because they don't want you to think that they thought you needed to lose weight. So they think they are being polite by not saying anything. Hang in there. 25 lbs is a great loss.

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