Sunday, October 20, 2013
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
1. R is for Reading – learn to read your body’s signals about hunger, satiety, and restriction.
I’ll illustrate this with an example from a frivolous but always fascinating aspect of life: hair. I have straight, thin hair, and not a lot of it. I wish it were thicker, curlier, shinier, but it’s not. With the help of my hairdresser, I can make my hair look better, but agonizing about it does not do a single thing to make my hair curl. And I’m not going back to my 1980’s poodle perm, thank you very much.
Similarly, I have an inborn intolerance for idleness and am easily bored, especially when it comes to food and exercise. I wish that weren’t so, but it is. With the help of my dietitian, food magazines, and cookbooks, I manage to plan and prepare healthy, delicious, interesting meals. With the help of my fitness instructor, I manage to participate in a wide variety of fitness classes that are never boring.
If I don’t pay attention to the data, I can’t evaluate the quality of my food intake, but I’ve been logging about 1200-1300 calories a day without taking the time to notice some major inconsistencies in my macronutrients, especially protein. I need to pay attention to my protein intake not just because my body needs good-quality protein to repair the muscles I stress during my daily workouts, but because low protein intake often represents maladaptive eating. Rather than slow down and eat carefully so that solid protein doesn’t cause me problems, I take the easy way out and eat the easy stuff, almost always in the form of carbs that don’t offer much satiety value.
Friday, August 16, 2013
The bad news is that I still miss my band and I'm still finding it hard to live with my sleeve. But in a way, that doesn't matter. I've said in the past that if gastric bypass was the only bariatric surgery available to me in 2007, I would've had gastric bypass surgery despite the risks and compromises it might involve. Similarly, if I was considering WLS for the first time today and the sleeve was the only procedure available to me, I would have VSG surgery, even knowing what I know now. I feel very lucky that I was able to have Lap-Band surgery. It set me on a path to a life of health and mobility that's more wonderful than I ever could have imagined.
Saturday, July 27, 2013
What do you think?
The other thing I keep focusing on is my turkey neck. Fortunately the bossy pose minimizes that!
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Monday, July 8, 2013
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Saturday, May 25, 2013
When I first talked with him about weight loss surgery, many years later, this highly intelligent and (by then) well-read man said, "Wow! So, you have the surgery, and then you eat anything you want and you still lose weight!"
Well, no. Not really. In fact, nothing like that.
During the 6 years of my weight loss surgery journey, I have (over and over and over again) witnessed bariatric patients who came out of the operating room after surgically successful procedures still wondering why they couldn't eat anything want and still lose weight. Their disappointing weight loss was and is a perpetual puzzle to them because somehow they had not grasped that behavioral change is required for weight loss success.
It's easy to label those patients as stupid or ignorant or deluded, or to blame their bariatric team for failure to properly educate those patients about what would be required of them both pre- and post-op. All of those things could be a factor.
In March 2012, almost 6 years since the start of my own WLS journey, I attended 2 sessions of a required pre-op nutrition and education class. My BMI then made me obese, but not morbidly so. I had gained weight after a complete unfill and was preparing to say goodbye to my beloved band due to medical problems aggravated by my band, planning to revise to vertical sleeve gastrectomy in the same procedure.
The dietitian leading the class was a perky, pretty 20-something girl, adorably pregnant, who had clearly never struggled with her weight before. Her slightly condescending attitude was hard to take, but about halfway through the class I thought I could understand her attitude. She had just named a long list of foods we should not eat after surgery (fried foods, candy, baked goodies, soda, alcohol, salty snacks, etc.) when I heard a woman nearby say bitterly, "I don't know. That seems like an awful lot to give up."
Since I had known the before and after of WLS, I was strongly tempted to respond to her, but I held my tongue (wisely, for once).
I don't know just why so many people think that WLS is magic, that you can eat anything you want and still lose weight, that you don't have to give up a single food or behavior or attitude in order to succeed. Maybe we can blame that attitude on the media, or maybe we can blame it on the deeply-entrenched denial that tends to go along with obesity. But the fact is, you can't eat anything and still lose weight unless you're dying of cancer or AIDs or some other fatal disease, and probably don't want to eat a single bite of anything anyway. And I'd trade dying of cancer for WLS sacrifices and success any old day.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Okay, here goes. Are you a victim? Really, truly, a victim?
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Sunday, April 14, 2013
It is hard to really make someone who hasn’t been there yet believe that is does get better.
Most people get to the first few days, think it is too hard and therefore they are doing it wrong and just give up. Well, it IS hard. Sorry, I know that is not the answer you want, but it is the truth.
You just have to remind yourself that the habits you are trying to break are ones that you have had for years – do you really expect to break them overnight and for it to be a piece of pecan pie?
I can tell you though that it is so, so worth it. Once you get past those first few weeks and you are feeling amazing and loving the changes your body is going through, you will look back and thank yourself for pushing forward.
You just need to start. Set small and realistic goals and make one change at a time.
The main reason you should be doing this is for yourself and for your health. There are going to be negative people no matter what you do. Well sadly you can’t stop them having that opinion, but who cares what anyone thinks.
Make the right decision for you and I wish you all the luck.
The first line of this entry is very powerful: It is hard to really make someone who hasn't been there yet believe that it does get better.
It's also hard to make others understand that weight loss requires hard work (with or without surgery), but that all that hard work is so worth it. VA's Before and Now pix will give you visual evidence of that. The change in her physical size is amazing, but even more amazing is the avalanche of changes going on inside this wonderful person. You're right, VA, it is so worth it.