A happy Memorial Day to you all, especially those who serve in our armed forces. I extend this to everyone, not just Americans.
I'm enjoying a lazy Monday holiday. Hubby is still sleeping, I have coffee, and most of a day yet to determine how it will be spent. We went out to see my brother's family on Saturday and came back last night. I haven't seen anyone in my family in a very long time; we were supposed to go there for Christmas, but then the Great Blizzard happened and I couldn't go anywhere, and my hubby barely made it to our home from Portland, at 10am Christmas morning. So it has been a long time. It was nice seeing everyone, especially my nephews, who are getting big and sassy. It's a long drive, about 5 hours if you take the correct freeway and don't misunderstand the street name on the phone. My brother moved last year so I hadn't been there yet. But the drive was beautiful and enjoyable. We spent yesterday afternoon playing frisbee in the park with 4 kids, 3 frisbees and several adults. My legs are mysteriously sore today.
My weight remains undeniably higher than the beginning of the year. I have some good reasons/excuses, but still, I want to get it under control before I am writing here about regain and complaining that the band doesn't work. I am approximately 5 pounds higher, on average, than I was six months ago. Looking at my stats (which I keep on my running log), it seems that it started around March. This isn't terribly surprising given all that has happened this year, but again, time to fix it. The crisis is past, we are living our lives the way they are going to be for at least the next year, and I want to get closer to goal, not further away.
There are some obvious things I need to fix. My eating is great in the morning and during the day, especially when I am at the hospital for the day. I rarely have anything I didn't pack, and I pack well for the most part. The trouble comes when I get home. I tend to graze for sweets. I've tried my old tricks: have a protein snack, have tea, brush teeth. Sometimes they work. Unfortunately my hubby has been eating sweets in the evening as well, which he never used to do, so we often unravel each other's intentions. I know on my part it is emotional eating, stress relief from the day or the like. Because it isn't only my own behavior and a lot of it is subconscious, it's not easy to fix this. My hubby tries to support my efforts to get back on track by trying to block me from eating something, which just pushes my buttons and makes me angry. I know he is trying to help, but I feel parented and it makes me feel worse. So it's something we'll have to work on together.
I think probably increasing my running mileage again could help. I'm running less than 10 miles per week, as opposed to last summer when I was running 12-15. This could help some, but isn't going to be the magic bullet here.
I have tended to think that the answers lie in my own "working the band" rather than in getting a fill, but now I am starting to think that I do need a fill. I haven't had one in a very long time--maybe since last September or so? I don't even remember. No, I just checked my stats: it's been since early May of last year. Over a year. I have ALWAYS been able to eat more than I should be able to, and have never tried to get such a tight fill that it forced me to eat a tiny amount. But I tend to get hungry in about 3 hours after a good band meal--solid protein, then veggies or fruit, no liquids. This is especially hard in the OR, when I don't get a break for a long time (or like last Friday, at all). My original band surgeon told me that often when you find yourself grazing a lot or thinking about food when you aren't eating, it can be a sign that you need a fill. I'm paying out-of-pocket now for fills, so I have to have about $200 to get one, and we still have no source of income other than unemployment and student loans, so I do hesitate to spend money on a fill. But it's probably a good idea to do it, and check in with the surgeon since I haven't in over a year. While I am at it, I should go back to my NP and get some labs done--nutritional status, esp Vit D which I am sure is low.
What I really notice more than anything is that my old eating habits have come back since my stress level has increased this year. I eat less mindfully, and I eat more foods that produce good feelings for me: mostly sugary stuff, which triggers endorphins and such. When I talk about stress being higher this year, I am not only talking about my hubby. Yes, his difficulty in finding work, his legal troubles, his recovery as well as mine and ours together as a couple, have been stressful, but school has been at least as stressful as that as I became a senior. I have more freedom in the OR, but with that comes a constant level of stress that wasn't so great or noticable when I was being directly supervised. I don't know the docs as well as I knew the CRNAs so I don't really know what to expect, and I'm in a lot more situations where I'm out of my comfort zone. This is how it is supposed to be, and I'm learning a lot, but it really ratchets up the stress. So when I talk about "stress" that is not code for my personal life. It's interesting to me how old coping mechanisms get triggered by emotional situations, and we don't realize it consciously until it has been going on for a long time.
I guess I'm still on the WLS journey, and while I've done pretty well so far, at 2+ years out I'm still not at goal. I am a few pounds less than this time a year ago, a few pounds more than six months ago, and I'm right where my surgeon predicted I would be after my surgery. But I think I can do better, and I know what to do. I just need to do it.