Monday, 15 March 2010

When no news is bad news

When you haven’t heard from a bandit blogger in a while, I’ve learned that it’s probably going to be for one of three reasons.  (I’m assuming the bandit is female, because a high proportion of them are – and I can’t speak for men.  Never been able to, come to that…)
It could be that something has happened in her life that has made it too difficult for her to share her news – too busy or too sad, and all you can do is visit her blog every so often waiting for her to come back to life.   (I follow some Chilean blogs, and I was worried for a week or so when they didn’t blog after their terrible recent earthquake.  Such a relief when they returned to cyberspace.)
The second comes from a reluctance to own up - her weight is becalmed and she’d rather blog when she can report on something positive.    
If she’s gone into reverse and is gaining weight, then this is the worst for a bandit.  She lurks in the shadows, reading the other blogs – she’s hooked after all, and wants to know what her virtual friends are up to – but feels increasingly inadequate as she notices they are leaving her behind.  Run to catch up?  No, it was ever thus before being banded – no good at keeping up with the rest of the crowd, that’s why she got into this mess in the first place. 
(If only she just carried on telling us about other aspects of her life which are alright, and understood that bandits can’t afford to be competitive.   To mangle a good old-fashioned saying, there but for the grace of the lapband go they.   Take their band away and they’re as weak a new born kitten as we are.)
For the moment my case is the middle one – I’m drifting, with weight more or less level (ish).  Two weeks ago I had gained a kilo, and Taunton Hospital considered this enough of an emergency to leave me to the tender mercies of the dietician for a good pep talk.  She reassured me that keeping level is not bad anyway, and suggested a food diary.  So in addition to eating the biscuits I shouldn’t be eating (at work – I don’t buy them myself), I’m having to write down in a little notebook that I’m having them, for her to look at and wag her finger next time.  Double punishment.
I draw the line at putting in the calorie values – I did this for years when I was busy zooming up and down in weight… little rows of bright blue A6 sized notebooks lined my windowsill, choc full of lists, recipes, exclamation marks, self-loathing or jubilant comments, my weight written precisely in the top right hand corner of the page, and “P” for ‘period’ every so often – as if that made much of a difference… 
I’ve SO had it with treating the process as a project.  Sorry bandits, I’ve done this for too long, and I find the subject immensely, utterly and crashingly boring - there are so many other topics with which I would rather be occupying my mind.  All I can do is try to follow the main precepts (which I'm clearly not at the moment):  buy wisely, take my time eating, chew thoroughly, stay away from the high calorie foods… and read the other blogs to know I’m not alone.  And of course it’s important to encourage other bloggers – I know well what a difference a good comment can make.
Thank you so much Robin (My Journey into a New World) for your Sunshine Blog award – I will try to deserve it.  I wish I could be more inspirational – but all I can say for now is thank you so much to the followers and blogger friends.  Please keep faith with me and continue to read me from time to time if you can stand it.  I always check out new followers to see what they have to say, and often join their lists of followers.
This I know – and I speak for myself alone:  there’s no point being slim when you’re old.  Please help me be strong, be brave, be resolute.  Before it’s too late.

Photo Finish
– from Lonicera’s non-digital archive
Spring, a time of hope and renewal

I took these two at Glastonbury Abbey some years ago.  When the slides were returned from the processor, they were very underexposed and I could barely see the subject. Disappointed, I left them to one side.  I’m so glad I didn’t throw them away, because today thanks to digital technology, I’ve been able to transform them by lightening them, and to observe with surprise that they’re reasonable images.  If only other aspects of my life were as easy.


amandakiska said...

Thank you for the update. It sounds pretty frustrating. I have been writing down my food too and I kind of have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it is very helpful, but on the other it feels like a diet.

On an unrelated topic, I've wanted to tell you too that I visited Argentina as a teenager. I was in Buenas Aires and a few other places. It was such a great experience for me. It is truly a beautiful country.

Lonicera said...

Thanks for telling me... It's such a big country, and yet I don't often meet people who've been there, and if they have, not ventured far outside Buenos Aires. The city is big and exciting and colourful, but the rest of the country is so different according to where you go. Wish I could visit more often.
Thanks so much for your comment. (I enjoy reading your blog too, by the way - I like you sense of humour!)

THE DASH! said...

Hi Caroline,
Yup I too have spurned writing things down... like you, been there, done that and it sucks. Hows that nutritionist's form - talking to you like you were five. I'm sure you were aware that eating the biscuits was not going to help - but well, sometimes hang it.. we just need the touch of sweetness.

I also nominated you for a sunshine award. :) Chin up x

Lonicera said...

Cara - I can't understand how I missed that - and posted last Thursday! I always 'pop in' for a read, and clearly I haven't this week. Thanks soooo much for nominating me! I'll comment on the next post. So typically sweet of you.

Sandy Lee said...

I'm still here. Don't go. Wondered where you were but will still listen. It isn't the "perfect" bloggers I want to hear from but from those running into some roadblocks. We really aren't judgemental--we won't jump out of your computer screen and wag our fingers at you. We've all been there whether with the band or without. I am still learning what this little ring can do for me. I think everyone has that fear-will it work for me. I detest writing down what I eat and yet can tell you the calorie count of 99% of the food in this world. Didn't help me lose weight.

So we are here when you want to share with us. Just like the pictures you were able to restore, so let it be with you.

I haven't been to South America, but my son was there Jan 2009. He wasn't fond of BA but loved the southern areas and of course the Andes and Chile. He wants to go back but first he is off to South Africa. It is so exciting to travel and enjoy the world. And we aren't old. Unless we let ourselves be old.

Hope you have a nice week.

Lonicera said...

Sandy Lee, you're a pal, and thank you for your kind words. I so need this lapband to work. Today restriction has been absurdly tight, and I've felt unwell most of the day, though it's meant I haven't eaten much. It always seems to be one extreme or the other...
Thanks again for your message.

Lonicera said...

...and I forgot to comment about your last bit - that though I love returning to sample the delights of the exciting city that BA is, I grew up in it, and on the whole, much prefer the interior and the places visited by your son. For living, I prefer peaceful to exciting, thank you very much!

Band Groupie said...

Caroline- GREAT blog. Gave me a LOT to think about. I always get so sad when bloggers disappear...I'm always afraid they're gone just when they need the community the most. I know those are the times I've needed the support most. I've also learned the most from people's struggles. Keep blogging, it's great!

Fat Bastard said...


For the past months, I have wondered on this very topic. When I have lost all my weight and simply "living," will I continue to blog? Then I remember, as I hope you will as well, that "living" situation is the wrong mindset and attitude - relative to past behaviors that I have struggled with since early childhood. We are all recovering from the insecurities and anxieties that caused us to overconsume. "Living" because we have lost the weight implies that this weight loss is a diet and therefore temporary. Use your blog pals by discussing the new topics you mention that are not boring, but then relate them to the psychology of over-consumption. This may cause a few realizations in your psyche and allow you to either skip the biscuits or maybe compensate for them with 15 minutes of exercise. Granted, this is what my strategy would be and we all know how different people are, so I apologize if all this seems unrealistic. But what ever you do, keep the faith and keep exploring.

DocSly said...

Oh Dear Heart, we have a kinship that is everlasting. I feel you are my soul sister as what you have written is so how I feel. We must keep the faith and remember we are good inside and our outside is the best we can be at the time. I so know how you are feeling. Take care, dear friend.

caroline @ patagonia gifts said...

Hi Caroline,
I found your blog through Simone's and I'm glad I did! I live in Patagonia, Argentina and sell Celtic Irish jewelry through I loved your blog. Happy St. Patty's day!

Lonicera said...

Thank you.
BG - I won't disappear: the therapy provided by writing and the interaction with other bloggers is very important to me. "Coming out" about it all is the most important thing I ever did for myself.

Jordan - what a lovely long reply, thanks. Relating my other "non-boring" activities to understanding my eating patterns for me only means one thing: distraction. Getting interested in photography, writing in my blog - two examples of how well the distraction factor can work. I get so wrapped up in them that they become more important than food, and suplant the head hunger. (Not exercise, sadly!).

"we are good inside and our outside is the best we can be at the time" - Sylvia, what a wonderful phrase, I so agree with you. For years I used to say to myself, like a mantra "I want to be a good person" - and then one day I realised that as far as "good" goes, actually I'm not too bad. Now I say "I want to be strong, I want to be slim", in the hope that it might work! Thank you for such a sweet message.

Caroline - I've known your blog for a while, and was quite sure you'd find mine one day! Please tell me where in Patagonia you are, your blog (I think) doesn't say. What beautiful jewellery.

Thank you all for such supportive messages.


Shaggs said...

Caroline can I just say here here here! You are such a STUNNING writer you are wasted on discussions of weight loss and bands and kilos and recipes! Your description of this blogging subject being "crashingly boring" just soooooo sums it up for me and couldnt have been better said!!! I love blogging and I love reading blogs but man, sometimes this whole weight loss thing is just plain old tedious!! Blog about anything baby I'll be an avid reader regardless I do just LOVE your writing style, your phrases, your way of expressing those ideas that have never quite made it into words in my life. Thank you my love, you may be bored but I'm thoroughly entertained!!!

Lonicera said...

Wow Shaggs - thank you! It's wonderful to be told people read and enjoy your blog rather than race down the screen using the side bar to get to the pictures!! You're doing wonders for my self-esteem. I admit I was a bit nervous about introducing non-band related matters, but the writing process is so good for me that I decided to risk it.

(I've introduced links to old posts that might be of interest, in the hope that new readers might enjoy seeing them - I'm curious to see if it'll work.)

For my part, I love your witty style and uncompromising attitude towards things that annoy you.
Thanks so much for following...

Jacquie said...

Hello Lonicera...I just found your blog and look forward to following your journey. I am being banded next Wednesday in Mexico and would love for you to stop by my blog and say hello. I can use all the help and encouragement i can get!

Tina said...

Im popping in late but want to send a supportive comment your way. All you can do is the best you can do for now. Who knows what will trigger your next round of forward movement but look at it this way. Your little band is going to hold you steady instead of sliding back in the mean time.

We may all be bandsters..well some of us anyway..but we are also just plain old people and like to read whatever you write! Heck we have one common piece of plastic but a lot more in common as well.

By the way--the gig with my picture thing is that I am asking anyone who reads my blog to take a picture outside where they live to document March. If you post it on your page and say..this is for Tinas March project I will download the pic, post it on my blog and link it to your page. Give me a caption too.

We are looking for airplane tickets now..I will be bugging you for a coffee meet come June.

Lonicera said...

Jacquie - hope you saw my message, and thank you for your support. It's a brilliant community, isn't it?
Tina, you command, I obey (well, in a minute that is). Would love to see you in June... give me enough warning so I can organise my life to take a day off, sort out the annexe if you need it, etc.

Beth said...

I see you already got one, but I also nominated you for a Sunshine Award. :)

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