Friday, September 23, 2011

Working the Band

Nora posted today about The Purpose of the Band and I realized I haven't thought much about what the band does for me for many many months. Maybe that's a good thing but maybe it's time to see how things have changed for me since being banded in February 2010. 

So how do I "work my band". I think it is the habits that are ingrained after 18 months.

Right now I can eat anything and everything but I still stick to the 1 cup of food at any one time. That doesn't mean that I don't eat another cup of food 2 hours later if the hungries hit. And sometimes I have gone back for seconds since I am such a good cook but that is maybe once a month! 

I don't drink with meals. I will drink a full glass of water just before I eat. I try not to eat between meals and try to stick to 3 meals a day plus one snack. I chew the bejeesus out of every scap of food that goes into my mouth. It still amazes me how fast most people eat, as I merrily chew, chew, chew. I stick to solids as much as possible, even in the morning when I can eat eggs and toast without problems. I had some pretty impressive stuck episodes the first 6 months and what they think was esophageal spasms where I could only eat two bites of food before giving up. That seems to all be resolved, as I said, I can't think of any food I can't have. I even had corn on the cob this summer. I was out to dinner with our Barbara in Montreal on Monday night (I had the bestest time) and only finished half the salmon on the plate. Consciously thinking about portions is the way to go. My DH happily finishes what I don't eat most of the time.

What I still need to work on is getting enough protein. I've been drinking a strawberry protein smoothie a few times a week with 30 g of protein. (I recreated the St@rbucks recipe). I've always been a carb addict and I know if I could reduce those, I'd maybe see some further weight loss. The other issue I see is that I still enjoy wine and beer (and LIIT in Chi-town!). I'm not an alcoholic, nor do I drink to excess, but a glass or two every week is part of life. I'm not sure I want to make that change just yet. And I have been really really bad about any type of exercise. Don't chastise me. All these things will come.

I have been a bit surprised how little fluid I have in my band. Right now, I have 4.6 cc in my 10 cc Lapband. I started with 3 cc at surgery and have not had the best time with getting that sweet spot. But I've had it. That lovely spot where you don't even think about eating. Many unfills, refills and tiny little fills of 0.1 cc. I have fluctuated at the same weight (170-174) for the last year. But I did lose and keep off 40 pounds and hope that I will drop another 10-15 pounds in the next year.

But I am in a holding pattern right now. You see I am flying to Europe at the end of October and I have problems with my band when I fly. I will warn you that I am in the absolute minority with this. There are so many others who fly without having problems but all the times I have flown this last year (3 times), my band has clamped shut. The clinic thinks there might be an air bubble and for some reason it moves and presses the band shut. I don't know. So to avoid being in a strange country and not being able to swallow my spit, I am getting a defill next week on my way down to Chicago. They told me they wouldn't take out all the fluid but will probably take me back down to 3 cc. I'll have three weeks once back from Chicago to see if it is enough.

I don't think I will gain any weight back. In my past trips I am so active I usually don't see any weight gain. And it isn't like I'm doing this to eat outrageously at the buffet on the boat. I plan to walk all over the towns and cities we are stopping at and bring with me all the tricks that have become second nature like eating small quantities and waiting and carrying good protein snacks in case lunch or dinner is delayed. I know if I get too hungry, I feel like crap and then eat a lot of junk.

Did anyone notice that I said I was getting the defill/unfill on my way down to Chicago? I could have easily booked the appointment on my way home on Monday. I ordered the full meal for the Saturday dinner. Big hunks of meat. Protein, that's what it is. Protein. And I do remember the Huev0s R@ncher0s at the little restaurant beside the hotel!

I think I will just have to book a fill appointment when I get home on November 10th. Til then I still work my band. I paid too much to let it all go to waste.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Emotional Energy

My fill doc here in town sends out a newsletter every week and this one hit a cord. He quoted from a book which explained some energy zappers that take away our happiness:

The energy vampires: If someone you know is contributing nothing but negativity, try to interact with them as little as possible and instead surround yourself with more positive people.

Ha Ha! I just switched jobs and know the negative atmosphere had sapped almost all the energy from my life. I used food and drink to deal with it (unsuccessfully). I have also stopped seeing or talking to some toxic people in my life. They aren't that important if they make me feel like crap. I now try to surround myself with those who bring something positive to my life. BOOBS beware. Hugs are coming your way.

The green-eyed monster: Envy eats away at emotional energy. Focus on what you love about your own life rather than comparing yourself unfavourably with others.

I still have the "I wish...". "If only...", "Why not me..." I need to learn to live in the moment and know that I have the life I make for myself. I can never live someone else's dream.

The perpetual to-do list: If you’ve had an item on your agenda for more than a few months, that’s extra weight you’re carrying around. Make time to do it, or let go.

Umm. That would be exercise. Just gotta do it!

The endless worry cycle: Obsessing about problems is like trying to win a race running on a treadmill – you use up all your energy going nowhere. The antidote to worry is action. Every time you worry, do something, anything. Just making a plan to overcome a problem often helps.

I have to FORCE myself to stop thinking about something, especially in the middle of the night. Or I have told myself, I get 5 minutes to "worry" and then I have to move on to something else. It's really working. I used to obsess in my last job on how to fix things which were unfixable. When I get really bad, I know it is time to go back on the anti-depressants.

(from a book called "The Emotional Energy Factor" by Mira Kirshenbaum.)

Here is what she says about Emotional Energy: It's an aliveness of the mind, a happiness of the heart, and a spirit filled with hope. Emotional energy has a specific feel. It's a sense of being up, happy, forward looking, resilient, feeling young, feeling open, feeling your juices flow, being in touch with the loving, creative, generous, hopeful parts of yourself. People who have emotional energy give to the people they love, rise to difficult occasions, and are able to make decisions to change the parts of their life that aren't working for them. Emotional energy means you can ride out any storm and your core of grace, happiness, and strength won't be touched.

You see that girl in the rollercoaster cart at the top of my blog? I want to look just like her and have high Emotional Energy!
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