Saturday, 16 May 2009

The oldest and slowest slimmer in town

I now have 8 ml in my band - a half ml increase on last month. And yet, and yet... I still feel I haven't quite got there. The weight is coming off a tiny bit faster, though you can all rest easy, I'm in no danger of challenging any of my fellow bloggers.
The pattern quite suits me: I've never been one to want to eat very much before early afternoon, when the Munchy Monster awakes, and the restriction is quite strong in the mornings. With no vending machines to tempt me at work, I stick to coffee taken in a thermos, two or three Bath Oliver biscuits (cream crackers, only denser and tastier, 50 cals each), and from about 12ish I'm eating my soft brown bread cheese sandwich very slowly. I always take two with me, because my "old" head can't believe I can get by on just the one, as the bread is small sliced, but I'm invariably surprised to find I really don't want the second one and it gets recycled on the following day. I do get hungry during the afternoon, but most of the time I get by because I'm too busy to think about it. Our stationer sometimes brings chocolates along with the stationery delivery, and I rarely resist them I'm afraid... unless my bosses are around (two ladies) who are very supportive and do their best to stop me from having any.
At home I have a snack (either Special K cornflakes without sugar, or plain yoghurt with too much), and dinner is either another snack or a meat-and-two-veg when I have a good deal more than a teacup full. Psychologically, for this to work I can't tell myself I'm dieting and I'm afraid I don't virtuously choose the low calorie versions of what I realise I ought not to be having, and John saying "use your willpower" just brings on the anxiety and sense of failure. The fear of having to be sick is (for the moment) doing the job.
However, this evening I did roast lamb, slow cooked with lots of gravy and steamed vegetables, and the familiar happaned - first two mouthfulls much too fast, got stuck, miserable half hour, food gone cold, then finished the meat and the root vegetables over the next hour, but unable to have the leafy ones. Enjoyed it in the end, but would have preferred it to be hot... Some crystalised ginger as a sweet consolation afterwards. I thoroughly recommend ginger: it satisfies a sweet craving but it's not that wonderful, and it burns your throat anyway, so you have to stop after a couple of pieces. You don't binge on crystalised ginger...
There are less good days such as last Wednesday when we were home late from somewhere and it was easier to get a takeaway - and despite John's disapproving eyebrows (they join up at times like these) I got what I wanted: half a portion of chips and two fried eggs cooked at home. Lovely, but I knew I was swallowing a lot of oil. In the shower the following morning and still feeling full - didn't dare weigh myself - I couldn't help thinking that too many evenings like that and this whole effort to change my life is just going to take too long. I don't want to be a slim old lady, I also want to be a slim middle aged one too.
This litany (are you still awake?) is to say that I feel I'm eating more or less they way I always have, within what the band will allow. I can't help but heed the regular reminders of its presence, and provided I'm careful not to abuse it very much, the weight is coming off without my feeling too "deprived".
To the bloggers who feel angry that the band isn't actively stopping them from eating what they want, I would say cautiously that you can, within certain boundaries...
(a) After a certain level of restriction, which varies from person to person, so you're just going to have to be patient till you reach that point;
(b) Once you've learned how to avoid the blockages and the PBing by steering clear of certain foods and consciously making the effort to slow your eating right down, and by
(c) Contributing only one bit of purely personal effort, in choosing not to have in the house - or eat - the very high fat addictive foods such as chocolate, crisps & ice cream.
I can only claim to be trying to achieve them some of the time, and do so in a very imperfect way, but I can see now that this is the most painless way to get it to work.


Reddirt Woman said...

Caroline, you are not dieting. You are eating to live better... does that help?

I truly think that you are doing a wonderful job of helping other banders, heck, other people banded or not, by telling about your experiences and how you are trying to deal with things.

My baby brother is a doctor. When he had his clinic he had a sign over his scales that said: "Pretend it's your I.Q." Of course we measure in pounds but if you weigh in stones or whatever, convert it to pounds U.S. and have a good chuckle.

Keep it up, we're all rooting for you.


DocSly said...

Caroline, I can so relate to your honesty. I don't want this to be a diet and I don't want to feel deprived. I think you have hit on how the band can work for us if we modify our choices and attempt to keep our cravings in check! You are doing it the right way, be patient!

Tina said...

I think you have pretty much hit things on the head with this post. I don't think the band is the be all magic bullet but it is helping us a little bit at a time to shift and get there. I was a carb girl before the band and if anything has changed for me is that I have cut huge amount of bread out (sometimes after a big slap on the head) and increased my protein intake at every meal to help keep me satisfied and with energy before i got to the next one. I have noticed though that the stuff I used to turn to when I was seriously dieting I can no longer do because they are on my list of foods I just can't keep down any more (salads, dry chicken breast, fresh fuits etc)

Instead I have to eat some sauces in order to soften the dry protein. like For example Chicken Tikka Masala. I have to cook my vegetables and have canned or cooked fruit.

Isn't it going to be cool when all of use lapbanders are all skinny things!



Lonicera said...

You're right Helen - I never want to hear that wretched word again. I love your brother's sign, I'm going to make one to put on my scales in the bathroom (they're old fashioned manual ones with a metal weight that moves back and forth, you know the type)!

Sylvia - I think "patience" should be tattooed backwards on our foreheads so that every time we look at ourselves (disapprovingly) in the mirror we're forced to remember that it took us all a long time to get into this mess, and getting out of it isn't going to happen overnight..

Tina - I know, I think about sauces much more these days.

I just can't imagine being slim, or really believe it - I just take a day at a time, grateful that I'm 30 lbs lighter today than I was in November...

Thanks a lot for all your comments.


Dawn said...

Hi Sweetie,

It's weird really, I have had to rethink my 'diet' cos of the gallstones. But I have found foods that I like eating... I can still eat huge amounts, maybe I will take a picture of my next meal to show you, cos I think you will be very surprised. I eat five times a day, every day - even if I'm not hungry. I still have the occasional lapse, a chocolate bar, crackers, a 'bad' food choice, but that's today, tomorrow I go back to my five a day and I forget about today. I think I've found my combination, my band isn't fully restrictive, but doing what I am seems to be working for me. My 'diet' is mine, my food choices are mine, my exercise is mine - You will find yours, your band will work - don't worry about the amount of food you are eating, just make sure that that food is good for you.

And Caroline... don't forget, you have still lost 30lbs, over 2st. You have put 105000 LESS calories in your body to do that. You ARE doing fantastic.


Shaggs said...

Love the advice - if oonly I could be so optimistic and energetic - I just might follow it!

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