Monday, 24 May 2010

Sweet-ish, Green-ish Spot?

Could it be? Have I found my (sort of) sweet, (sort of) green spot? Since my fill on Wednesday I have absolutely definitely noticed that I have restriction. And, best of all, I've actually lost 1lb -
sound the trumpets

unfurl the banners

buy myself a new handbag as a treat

(don't tell hubby)

it's the first time I've lost weight in weeks!

16st 9lb - 233lbs - BMI 38.8
I'm so pleased. And relieved.
Now, I just need to get my head round the fact that I really, really cannot eat as much as I used to, or as much as my head wants me to, or as much as my head thinks I need to. I've got over the whole thing about having to clear your plate because leaving food is wasteful - we have chickens and they eat a lot of our (non-meat) scraps, so that doesn't worry me too much. Plus, I'm a great believer in using left-overs for future meals. What I am having trouble with (and I know, I know this can be solved by serving up smaller portions but, again, that's easier said than done when you have been eating overly-large portions for years) is feeling that I haven't actually finished my meal, and therefore can't possibly be sated, until all of the food has gone from my plate.
How do I get round this?
1) serve smaller portions on smaller plates
2) if there is food left on my plate when I feel full, take the plate away so I don't have to sit there looking longingly at those final few mouthfuls that I just couldn't fit in (easier at home than in a restaurant)
3) remind myself that just because I didn't eat all of the yummy food at that particular meal, doesn't mean I can't have more later/ever again in my entire life
4) repeat, repeat, repeat until my head catches up with my teeny tiny tummy

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Full, Fuller, Fullest

This afternoon I went for my fourth fill; the surgeon gave me another 1ml taking me to a total of 7mls in a 10ml band. He told me that usually after 6mls he only goes in 0.5ml increments, but clearly he felt sorry for me (or something) and I got double the dose!

Prior to the fill and while we were having our little chat on how things were going, I mentioned that I didn't think that I had yet worked out how to tell the difference between being stuck and being full. Clearly, when I have eaten only one or two mouthfuls of something (especially bread or meat) and things get uncomfortable, then I know I'm stuck. BUT, if I've eaten say six, seven or eight mouthfuls and I get a feeling that I think is stuck and I pop to the bathroom to 'relieve' the feeling am I actually full and by bringing up some of the food and then having room for more, am I defeating the object of having a band?

So, in an attempt to help me differentiate between stuck and full, the surgeon carried out a little experiment on me - he filled my band to its maximum capacity of 10mls so that I could see what it feels like to have complete restriction (and to reassure me that there really is a band in there!)This had to be done standing up, so that I could take a drink of water while he still had the needle stuck in me (in case he needed to pull out some saline in super-quick time; luckily he didn't!) I was a little nervous at first of drinking the water in case it came straight back up and all over him (how embarrassing would that be?) but it was all fine. I drank about half a cup, in four mouthfuls, at which point I could feel it pooling at the base of my throat. As the surgeon said 'And that's just water, imagine if you were feeling like that with solid food.' So, I think I know now what it feels like to be full when you have good (or perhaps too much?) restriction, as opposed to being stuck.

The surgeon then made me take another small sip so that I could feel what it's like to be too full and it started to feel a little bit odd - not painful, but like I had to keep swallowing to keep it all in. At that point he started pulling out some of the saline and asked me to tell him when I could feel that the water had gone down. It happened at 7mls, and that is where he stopped.

Since being home I have had a small bowl of pumpkin soup, a caramel creme dessert pot (same size as a yoghurt) and 8 Cadbury's chocolate buttons (sucked to within an inch of their existence.) Interestingly, my surgeon suggested that going straight to purees after this fill was fine 'as long as they go down ok', but to then stick with that consistency for a couple of days. I'm fine with the liquids for tonight and will probably stay on them for breakfast and lunch tomorrow, but them move to purees/mushies for dinner (if all goes to plan.)

So, that's fill no.4. Let's hope I get the restriction I've been hoping for and that the weight starts to come off again.

Monday, 17 May 2010

I Can't Decide Whether to Give Up

No, not with the band! I know it's a (life) long journey to get where I want to be; it's a journey that started off like the proverbial hare and has now slowed to the pace of a tortoise who has decided to go into hibernation.

What I'm toying with giving up is the daily weigh-in.

Reasons for giving up:
1) it's very disheartening to wake up feeling thinner and lighter and jump on the scales expecting great things only to discover that you actually weigh the same as, or maybe even more than, the day before
2) actually that's the only reason

Reasons for not giving up:
1) it sort of keeps me on the straight and narrow and reminds me what this is all about - losing weight!
2) I have 'given up' the scales before; I'm sure you've all read of these amazing people who proclaim "Just as soon as I stopped dieting and threw my scales in the bin, the weight dropped off". Well, I've tried it; it doesn't work (for me.) As soon as I've stopped dieting and decided not to use the scales in the past, it's like some sort of extra excuse to eat whatever I like because, apparently, that's the best way to lose weight!

Anyhoo, I decided to give the scales up for a few days as a trial run; I thought perhaps I'd have a weekly weigh-in on a Monday. So, today being Monday, I stepped on to the scales with high hopes as I felt that I had been (fairly) good since I last weighed myself. Well, guess what? I'm 2lbs heavier. Great.

Fill no.4 on Wednesday afternoon. Dear gods and goddesses of the band, please let this one work!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Getting Bored Now

So, I thought that perhaps the restriction I feel when I eat "proper" food might have led to a little weight loss when we got back from our holiday. Ha. More fool me for thinking something positive might have come from my ability to feel full after not eating half as much as I used to. For, my wonderful blogland buddies, the scales registered 16st 12lbs the day after we got back. That's an increase of 2lbs since my all-time low. Admittedly, it's now down to 16st 11lbs, but still - it's just not good enough! But, I know full well that I have no one to blame but myself, and here's why:

I have a sweet tooth. No getting away from it, I love cake, biscuits, desserts and chocolates. Not so fussed about sweets, jellies, etc, but those others, I just can't get enough. And, unfortunately, all of those naughty, calorie-laden, high fat bits of scrumptiousness slip on through the band like it doesn't exist. Actually, that's not strictly true - I have noticed that I can't wolf down cake like I used to as there is definitely some restriction with that, but all of the other things slide their greasy way down my gullet and straight on to my hips/thighs/stomach/behind.

So, the band is helping me to stop eating gargantuan quantities of "proper" foods but I keep scoffing away at the "bad" stuff. Is it wrong of me to still expect to lose just a little bit of weight every now and again? Am I really eating that much bad stuff that my calorie in/calorie out ratio is exactly the same, week in week out? I have been at this weight now since the end of March. I lost 27lbs in the 64 days between being banded on 20th January and 25th March; in the 49 days since 25th March I have lost nothing. Well, ok, I lost 1lb very fleetingly, but the scales haven't registered that 1lb again so I don't think I can really count it!

So, here I am in Self Pity City, wondering if perhaps I should have gone for the gastric bypass option...

Friday, 7 May 2010

Day Trip to Dunster

Today's holiday outing was a day trip to Dunster, a gorgeous Somerset town full of wonderful buildings dating as far back as the 15th century.

The Yarn Market at the top of the High Street dates back to the 16th century and parts of the castle which overlooks the town are mediaeval.

All in all, it's a very pretty little place and, the icing on the cake, are the lovely shops dotted along the High Street!

Dinner this evening was courtesy of the mobile fish and chip van which comes to the village where we're staying once a week. I ate a whole piece of fish and about 10 chips; the fish was absolutely sublime; I wonder if we can come back next week for more?!
Here's a sort of view of the village from the barn we're staying in. I think you can just about make out the church tower among the trees on the horizon!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Band-Friendly Holiday Food

That went down a treat!

This is me and my ice cream walking along the promenade towards the pier at Teignmouth, having just taken the small boy for his first ever trip to the beach. He wasn't impressed - every time his hands or feet touched the sand he would start crying; no holidays in the Caribbean for him anytime soon...

At least the ice cream went down well; I've had two PBs (on bread and meat) so far and had to sneak behind a beach hut to "relieve" myself of the first one - classy, eh?! Otherwise, all is going well. I'm eating so much less than I was and definitely have restriction; I may actually cancel the appointment I have for a fill on 19 May, although I have no scales here so I will wait til I can weigh again before making that decision for sure. But, compared to any other holiday I've been on (because we all know holidays = eating more and eating worse) my eating has been really good. Long may it continue!

Here's a typical English scene of picnicking on the beach, all wrapped up in our coats!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The Longest Plateau in the World?

So, a few days ago I was doing the happy dance because my scales showed I was down to 16st 10lb, making a total loss of 28lbs, or two stone. Well, guess what? Ever since then I've not even seen 16st 11lb, let alone 16st 10lb. No sirreeee, I've been back at 16st 12lb. Sheeeeeesh! Give me a break food demons.

I think the real problem is... drumroll please..... huge, show-stopping revelation here....


Who'd have thought it, eh? Obviously I'd like to blame the band and say 'Wah! Woe is me, my band doesn't work', but it does work. So many of you out there in BlogLand are showing me that being banded is a great tool for weightloss, but my problem is that I haven't yet grasped the fact that it is a TOOL, and not just a magic pill that I swallowed to instantly and painlessly shed the pounds.

The trouble is, I was spoiled when I was first banded - the pounds were dropping off and it felt like I didn't have to do anything to help, the band did all the work and I just sat back and let it get on with its job - hell, that was what I'd paid nearly £7000 for!! But I've been at this same weight for five-and-a-half weeks now, despite having two fills.

So, what conclusion have I reached? Well, it's this: yes, the band is helping me to eat smaller portions at mealtimes (probably not yet small enough, hence I have another fill booked for 19 May), but I now need to help the band - a little bit of quid pro quo so to speak (wow, all those years of learning Latin at school have finally come in useful!) If, as well as a regular day's meals, I eat seven biscuits (cookies) in one sitting, having a cake with my afternoon coffee, a dessert after dinner and a chocolate bar later in the evening is that me helping the band? How can I complain that 'it isn't working' when I am doing my best to cancel out and sabotage the good things that it is doing?

So, now I need to really knuckle down and get this weight moving in the right direction!

In other non-band news: the small boy is now standing up and starting to cruise around the furniture, which is bringing a whole new dimension to his world and ours. Yesterday he was playing with the back door keys and now we can't find them so hubby has to change the lock today as tomorrow we are off on holiday to Devon (scones and cream tea, anyone?!) We are taking our laptop so I may be able to blog while away; if not, I look forward to seeing less of you all when I get back!