Sunday, March 13, 2011

Back to Basics—How I'm Doing—Too!

I read Dinnerland's post today and thought it was interesting to review our so called band "rules". Here is what Dinnerland wrote:
"I've decided to return myself to the band basics and give myself a grade. There are 10 band rules, and if each 1 is a point, then 10/10 would be perfect, 9/10 would be an 'A,' 8/10 would be a 'B,' etc..."
Sandy talking again: I'm not a big rule follower. I've always been one to more or less buck the system (except for anything against the law, like murder, drinking and driving, stealing). But the band needs some rules just like any other body part. You wouldn't walk on a broken leg or put yourself into a diabetic coma by not taking medication or run up a set of stairs during a heart attack. I look at managing with the band but all these "rules" are part of that. If we stray, in my case, I have pain and agony. And who wants that! So here goes my assessment (and thank you Vanessa!).

Rule # 1: Eat 2-3 small meals a day only; eat only when hungry, and skipping meals is OK.
  • I eat Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Now post unfill I can actually eat in the morning, enjoying eggs again. My favourite to take to work is ham wrapped around cheese slices. I wouldn't say I experience any signs of hunger. I never have. It's a tough one so I just eat every 4-5 hours but rarely skip meals. I rarely drink Protein drinks. Where I fall down is nibbling on chocolate or having some wine on the weekends. All calories in.
  • Score: .5/1
Rule # 2: Eat slowly (wait at least 30 seconds between bites) and chew thoroughly; the goal is masticate food until it is almost liquidated in your mouth.
  • I have mastered this one. It probably takes me at least 30 to 60 minutes to eat my small portion. I chew the crap out of my food and it is masticated to pure liquid when I swallow. This one has always surprised me when I get stuck on liquids. I also have TMJ in my jaw joint so when I chew it crunches. One of the reason's I have had to go to softer foods is to prevent further deterioration from the excess chewing needed to get a steak eaten.
  • Score: 1/1
Rule # 3: Stop eating as soon as you feel full
  • I agree with Vanessa that this rule is a bit ridiculous for people with eating issues. I portion out my food (1 cup) and just eat that amount. I have felt "full" by getting a small ache in my upper left shoulder which I believe is just an iritated nerve being stimulated by the band. But I could still eat if I wanted to. When the band is too tight, nothing goes down or only a few bites.
  • Score: Not able to assess.
Rule # 4: Don’t drink while you are eating
  • I am a star with this one. I drink lots of water during the day. But stop about 10 minutes before I eat and then wait for at least 30 minutes after eating before I drink again. Now this isn't 100% of the time. At some meals on the weekend, I will sip wine during the meal but it wouldn't be more than half a glass.
  • Score: 1/1
Rule # 5: Don’t eat between meals
  • FAILURE! When I am at my sweet spot/green zone I forget about eating all together so would say I rate an A. But I'm an emotional eater and the brain seems to take over even when my band is crying out in pain. So chocolate and ice cream are my go to foods to soothe the brain. I'm not really hungry. This one isn't the band's fault, it is my wacky brain's fault to eat because of emotions and not hunger. I will also add, this is why I got fat in the first place. I know what to eat and I know the portion size to maintain a low weight, but my brain just doesn't get it. It's watching while my inner demons take over my body as I lose control. I feel helpless and disgusted. This is why I blog. To make sense of the why.
  • Score: Not able to assess until my brain gains some control.
Rule # 6: Eat only fresh food
  • It took me a bit to figure this one out so I'll reword it to say. Don't eat fast food, junk or processed food. Put good stuff into your body. This I do about 85% of the time. Pre-band, my tastebuds got so used to eating fast food that I didn't enjoy the foods I cooked. I was addicted to salt and fat and high fructose corn syrup that my body couldn't figure out food. I now cook a lot, freezing leftovers for my lunches. I still use convenience foods from the freezer and a few frozen WW meals but overall, I have busted the fast food addiction. My band just doesn't let me eat salads or raw veggies so mostly I cook them or make them into soup (ie roasted asparagus, broccoli soup, added to chili). I rarely eat protein bars or store bought cookies But I had a donut the other day and I still have chocolate. But I also ate fresh strawberries. Thankyou Florida for growing these whilst those of us in the North still have snow on the ground.
  • Score: 0.75/1
Rule # 7: Avoid extremely fibrous foods
  • Ha. Ha. See #6 above. I love, love, love roasted asparagus. No problems ever but I do avoid raw veggies unless they are chewed to a pulp. I only have celery cooked in stews or chili. I think everyone is individual on how certain foods affect them so I'll give myself top score. If I can't chew something to liquid, I spit is out. But that goes for a chunk of beef or sausage too.
  • Score: 1/1
Rule # 8: Drink enough water during the day; avoid carbonated beverages, which can give you gas pains.
  • I am a superstar here! I drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water throughout the day. Always have, always will. I think I have had, at the most, 4 cans of Diet Pepsi in the year since being banded. It just doesn't taste the same. I don't really drink anything else except skim milk and black coffee. My pee is pale yellow though.
  • Score: 1/1
Rule # 9: Only drink no-calorie or very low-calorie drinks
  • I don't like the latte's or creamy drinks from Starbucks or other coffee shops. I'm a purist with my coffee. Strong, black, no sugar.
  • Now here is where I lose points. I like wine and beer. I've been told to cut out all alcohol and I would lose all the weight I wanted. So to speak to that "someone" who told me that yesterday (and you know who you are and I still love you dearly-VCM), it's not going to happen. And if any of you think I am turning into a raving alcoholic. Not.
  • Having the band didn't stop life. I am about 10 pounds away from a weight that I know I can maintain for the rest of my life. As I've said in other posts, if I get there I'll be happy, but if I stay at my current weight, I'll be happy too.  And my life includes  a glass or two of wine or a few bottles of beer when I want. Just following health guidelines for including these in our diets.
  • Score: 0.9/1
Rule # 10: Exercise at least 30 minutes a day
  • I'm working on this. I've been walking 2 km per day for the last two weeks and striving to make that 4 km per day by the end of April. To actually get fit, I need to return to the gym for a few classes and some weights. It will also redistribute the bulges of fat that are hanging around. This part is a work in progress but routine is what keeps it going so I have plans to get this routine into my life over the next few months.
  • Score: .5/1
Total Score: 6.65 out of a possible 8 (#3 and #5 not able to grade at this time)

I guess that is a 83.125%. But it's just a number. I could easily bell the curve to make it better or worse depending on how hard we all mark ourselves. So I'll just plod along following the "rules" as best I can and listening to my body.

Doing this brought back a memory from years ago when I was playing Super Mario on my Gameboy (the original one). You had to get through different levels and if you messed up at a level, you had to start the game again. Each day I would play it for hours trying to get to a higher and higher level, til I got to the end. I don't know what I expected, maybe a few million dollars or something, but all it did was display a few fireworks in green and a big Congratulations written across the screen. The levels were so easy when I finally knew what to do. But each time the end was anti-climactic. I played it a few more times til I got bored.

Maybe these band rules will be the same. Living with the band will just become part of our everyday lives. I don't think there will be a big fireworks display or a huge "I Did It" tattooed on our forehead when we reach our elusive final level. Just like playing Super Mario, we will get bored with doing the same thing over and over again and it will just become part of our lives.


Read said...

I really like both your and dinnerland's posts - I think I'll be doing it as well and I won't be doing as well as you guys!

Dinnerland said...

Good job assessing yourself-- and I love stats and numbers, so enjoyed your interpretation.
What will be really interesting is to check back in a week or so and see if just reviewing these rules has had an effect.
Good luck!!

Barbara said...

GREAT job and you get an A as well (and I am taking notes)..

Jen from Oregon said...

I like your comparison to the game. How it becomes so anti-climactic once it becomes such a part of every day life in band land.
I think it sure can't hurt to do a check in and note where we need to refocus.
I love that you are so close to your maintenance weight but are happy where you are too.

Andrew said...

I like and agree totally with you answer to rule 9 .

Gen said...

I've never met a rule I didn't try to break! :) I hate rules, and I try to go mostly by common sense. Also, different band practices have different rules.

But thanks for your answers! You are doing great.

Ronnie said...

Love this, it's great you're so honest. I would have given myself all 1's and pretended I was perfect. ;)

Pamela E. Williams said...

I like this post. It makes me know that I need to get back to basics myself. Thanks for this one.

tagyourit said...

I love this post! I did not do so well on it!

Alison said...

Hope that you have a wonderful day!

~Sandi @ This one time at 'band' camp... said...

Happy birthday Sandy...we share the same date!!! Hope you have a great day!

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