Friday, 24 September 2010

An award and a reflection on 'failure'

Tina is a pal. 

She's nominated me for another blog award, for which I'm profoundly grateful.  It's lovely to get recognition if people like what you write - or in my case if they like the pictures I include. 

I think my blog comes under the category of modest, enjoying as it does a modest following of loyal readers and regular commentators.  They seem to be a mixture of bandits and people who like pictures, which suits me very well:  I love blogging because it enables me to write and share pictures, but fundamentally I really and truly need the contact with people who are going through the lapband process. 

I read as many blogs as I can, the bandit ones because I feel less alone on this difficult journey.  I'm not that good at losing weight even with the wonderful help of the band, and it really does help to know that there are other people out there who can

(1) succeed and inspire, like Tina and her meteoric rise to slimming super stardom;
(2) those who are plodding on like me, some of them writing painfully on how they feel they are failures. 

Sometimes as I read these I confess my eyes fill with tears, and if I saw them I would give them a hug and tell them that everybody fails (or succeeds) at something, we're all a mixed bag of good and bad.  There are no rules written above our cribs when we're born that we must succeed at the stereotypical roles assigned to us.

It would be far worse if our addiction was for example hard drugs, where the consequences would be even more devastating than merely being stared at in the street for being overweight.  If you were one of these unfortunate people, wouldn't you long for people to say 'ooh isn't she fat' instead? 

So if you're reading this and you're feeling very low because like me you haven't lost any serious weight for nearly a year, consider what it would have been like if your lapband had been removed a year ago - would you be at the same weight now as you were then?  Of course not.  The band is still doing it's job, it's helping you tread water till you're strong enough to start swimming again. 

So be patient.  Keep reading bandit blogs. Keep commenting, however briefly, because bandits sorely need evidence that people are reading and understanding them.  As the blogger, acknowledge the comments you get - they too need evidence that you appreciate their attempts to make you feel better.

There are bigger battles to fight, though you may not think so.  What's worse than feeling ugly and fat?  I'll tell you.  Feeling unloved, unrequited in love, rejected, unnoticed, being bullied, treated like dirt... and being slim won't prevent them from happening.  These things are worse, because you often have no control over them.  But this you can control, you just have to keep on trying.

Above all remember that you're not alone, and that in being part of the blogging world you're in a unique position to tap into the best therapy there is - the concern and affection of people who are suffering just like you.


Photo Finish:
From Lonicera's non-digital archive



Tuesday, 14 September 2010

A bunch of flowers... thank Debi from Hawai Bound Bandster and Tina from Tina's Weightloss Journey for their kindness in nominating me for this blog award -

 and most of all for their warmth and friendship - what a wonderful world this blogland is.  From the recent number of these blog award pictures on my favourites roll of honour appearing to the right of this text I know that many have already received this award, so I'd rather just say that bandits have the biggest hearts and the greatest understanding for those of us who are struggling.

Ten things I love (other than people, and in no particular order):

1.  The colour green - specifically on spring foliage with the sun shining through it - I'm absolutely mesmerised...

2.  Blogging - a new means of expression, the pleasure of which has taken me almost completely by surprise.  (By the way, have you seen my new blog?  Shameless plug top right of this blog...)

3.  Banjo and Rusty - my affectionate, sweet cats.  They comfort me when I'm sad, they have me feeling livid with them for scratching at my armchairs (for about a millisecond), and when I get up in the morning barely able to move from stiffness, my eyes red from lack of sleep - because they've plonked themselves in the way of my legs - or my face -  and I can't quite bring myself to shove them off me because they purr so.

4.  Horses, those beautiful spirited creatures, which when treated right are gentle, noble and true, and a joy to watch. 

5.  The wonderful, gorgeous, gentle rolling countryside scenery of the United Kingdom.  Lose yourself in that green, imagine yourself lying down in it, looking up at the swaying branches overhead, or the blue sky... if there is one.  (How do you think it stays so bewitchingly emerald?).  The picture below was taken in the Usk valley near Talybont in mid Wales.

6.  The space of Patagonia, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the wide open skies and the Southern Cross at night,  and the warmth of the people who live there.


7.  Languages, and our will to learn at least one other apart from our own.  The ability to communicate on the same level with people from another culture and really understand them.  In understanding their anger from the inside - or if they understood ours - there would be less conflict.

8.  Music - Joseph Haydn and George Handel, for composing music which for me transmits the feeling of joy like no other, and lifts the lowest of spirits; the guitar, my companion since age 10, the sound of which blends so perfectly with the human voice.

9.  Water - the delicious feeling of swimming in clear cool water on a hot day, particularly when you let yourself sink under the surface and feel the cold on the top of your head, cooling you down instantly.

10.  Ice Cream, God help us all...


Photo Finish
From Lonicera's non-digital archive

Fauna & Flora

Spanish type bluebells

Peaches in Valencia, Spain




Thursday, 9 September 2010

Come in Sweet Spot Number 2!

Have you ever climbed a hill and thought that you could see the top because you were straining your eyes so hard that you imagined it – and then realised that there was more than one mountain top, and that you just had to keep going?

It’s been dawning on me that when you have a lapband there isn’t a sweet spot – there are two.

It turns out that it’s not just a question of reaching your optimum fill level, when small quantities of food satisfy you and enable you to lose weight steadily.  That’s SS1 - Sweet Spot № 1.

Then there’s the mental sweet spot, that nirvana when you’ve reached this perfect restriction - SS1 - and you have been able to achieve the fine balance of being able to eat vegetables and high protein (tasty) foods comfortably and feel good enough about yourself that you can resist the high calorie sliders and perhaps even manage a bit of exercise as well.  That’s SS2 - Sweet Spot № 2.

SS1 is between your own judgment and your doctor's, SS2 is down to you.

My definition of what makes the lapband work as a successful tool to lose weight – SS1 + SS2 =

The right restriction
which allows small but sufficient
quantities of protein and fibre through the band
to give a feeling of early satisfaction and to keep healthy,
in balance with
the will of the bandit
to avoid undermining its effect
by resisting high calorie sliders.
The degree of success
and the speed with which it is achieved
can be improved by exercise.

I think… cautiously… that I’m at SS1, but SS2 eludes me most of the time because due to other external factors my will comes and goes.  In the two years since I was banded I’ve lost 50lb odd – 3.5 stone, 23 kg, I haven’t binged, or piled weight back on again – and that for me is a modest achievement in itself. 

But I long to be within the normal range, to feel happy in jeans, to wear pretty dresses unselfconsciously, and that longing must translate itself into working towards SS2, or I shall never achieve that which I have joked about in the past – to be heavy or old, but not both.


Photo Finish:
From Lonicera's non-digital archive

Flowers and butterflies
(late addition:  apparently they're moths... thanks Tina!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...