Weight Loss

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's Mental

This morning, I am:
  • knitting a blanket
  • sitting at my (old) new kitchen table
  • looking out at 1.5 inches of snowfall (the perfect amount)
  • drinking coffee
  • listening to an old This American Life podcast
This is what vacation looks like for me. It's not bad. It's a bit lonely--I don't see many people during my vacation, but I don't try very hard either. But it's restful, and I am doing some things that I won't be able to do much of for the next 6 months, once studying for boards begins in earnest. I've done a bit of reading, but not as much as I wanted--I ordered about 5 books in anticipation of all this vacation time, but didn't read very much of it.

The kitchen table I finally got yesterday off Craigslist. We have a breakfast nook in our new house, with windows on two sides and a built-in china cupboard. It's right in the entrance from our back door, which is our usual entrance to the house, so I wanted a table big enough to spread my anesthesia books out on to study, but not so big that it would block this entrance. My hubby was really against putting a table in this space, but I really wanted it. I just did. I wanted to be able to sit here with coffee and my books, I wanted to be able to make breakfast and not eat it in the dining room, I wanted to be able to sit and chat with hubby when he was cooking. So I finally found a table that met my requirements. It's not the greatest table but it's not the worst, the price was right and so was the size. And we're both happy with it. I'm really enjoying being able to sit in this spot with some natural light, drink my coffee and have my quiet morning.

We didn't have a white Christmas, which we usually seem to in this part of the state, but we got a little snow last night. Not enough to create any real problems, just enough to look nice. We are supposed to get more this week, but I don't think we are expecting huge amounts. I'm preferring this milder winter to the past two years of major dumpage. For the record, I really don't care for snow. I grew up in an area that rarely got snow, and when it did it was never more than 1". I don't like cold weather or snow. But now I live in Spokane, so snow it is. I'm dealing with it.

I've lost 3 pounds, yippee. Mainly I have been running every other day (even though I usually feel like I am dragging an ox behind me when I do), and not snacking. I am back to "only eat when you are hungry" aka the 3-year-old diet. I realized that I had gotten to the point that I was used to feeling full all the time. My restriction is fine, but I've always been able to eat even after I feel full (with no PB or barfing) and I'm sure this is stretching my stomach. I'm trying to reverse this trend now and actually use my band the way it's supposed to be used. The thing is, I've gained a net of about 5 pounds this year: I started the year at 177, lost to 165 (mainly through stress), then slowly gained to 183. That doesn't seem like too much in the grand scheme of things. But if things continue this way, I will regain back up to my previous weight--it will take time, probably years, but it will happen if I don't do something about my intake. The point of the band is to stop hunger so you can eat less, but I'm not hungry ever, and I'm still eating. That is madness.

So, I had cottage cheese for breakfast, and coffee. I'm not going to be draconian about this. I'm just planning to use the band. Eat a small meal when I am hungry, stop when I am full. Try to get my target amount of protein each day. If I'm not hungry but still feel like eating, I either chew gum or drink water. Pretty simple. Add in exercise, and hopefully get results. If I do this and feel like I'm getting hungry too soon, first I'll evaluate my meals to see if they are suitable to keep me satisfied, then if that doesn't work, go in for a fill.

This is all mental work. The band is a simple device, and it does one simple thing: it makes you feel satisfied after a small amount of food, and keeps you feeling that way for 3-4 hours. It doesn't have any effect on emotional triggers for eating, the desire to have one of those cookies sitting right in front of me, the choice of meal I make when eating out, how well I can resist my hubby offering me food when he is eating and I'm not hungry, my ability to get myself outside to run, or how I see myself in the mirror. All of those other things still matter, and they still have to be addressed. The longer this journey lasts, the harder this gets.

So, nearly 3 years out, there is less and less to write about this "journey." It's not as interesting as losing weight every week as in the first 18 months (your mileage may vary). But this is where that annoying phrase about WLS being only "a tool" comes into play. There are a lot of ways to fail at this, and just assuming that the band will do all the work seems to be the biggest factor in most of them.


Snippety Gibbet said...

That's interesting to read. It isn't something I have seen before, but I wondered about. So, you if you are at a good weight, you don't have to go in for regular fills unless you feel you need them?

This will be an interesting part of the journey to read about. Good luck to you. jan

Dinnerland said...

Hi Gwen: I feel like there might be so much more to write-- b/c you are at a unique point.
I don't know what to say other than maybe a review of former goals and setting NEW goals might really help?

What do you really want to do now that is different than when you started?

The journey is different, but it is never over. I know the novelty is worn off-- but if you can find a new challenge-- that might reinspire you.

Have you considered a triathlon, even a marathon or some sort of sporting event? Learning the trapeze? And then tying that to a weight goal to reinvigorate.

I am totally rooting for your success b/c you are ME-- just you are 3 years ahead of me... so I wish you the best.

One more thing: what was your original goal weight? Was it 163 or something else? Maybe a newly invigorated blogging of daily challenges would help you get down to your original goal?

Just my thoughts, I hope it helps... Vanessa

Barbara said...

Hi Gwen.. just found your blog and plan to read back through your journey. I think it's great to read where you are at 3 years out.. there are alot of blogs in that first year, but it is good to read what the bandster think and feel after a few years pass.. be well.