So I am about 6 months post op. My weight loss hovers between 40 and 43 lbs. I feel like I should have lost a bit more by now, even though this is how I have always lost weight, and it is more than I had lost by this time with the band...It's hard to let go of this idea. I think I am doing okay. Sometimes it is easier to realize this than others.
So where do I stand? How am I doing with the rules of WLS? Let's see. These might not all be "official" rules but they are what I try to stick to.
No drinking with meals: I usually adhere to this. Eating out is when this is hardest, because I usually have a beverage in front of me, whereas at home I just don't have one there. The other exception is if I am trying to eat and get some coffee into me in a short time, or if I eat but I also need to take medication, which doesn't happen too often. This one I do pretty well with.
Eat protein first: Yes, I am good with this one. I still mostly eat protein, mainly because of this rule.
Eat only when hungry: This is much harder than it used to be, for two reasons. First, when I am working I have no control over when my meals occur. In the operating room, I obviously have to remain with my anesthetized patient at all times, unless someone comes to relieve me for a break. Most of the time, you take a break when one is offered, because there are a lot of people who need breaks, and you may not get another chance if you turn one down. So even if I am not hungry, I need to eat or risk not getting another chance and getting too hungry. Second, my child. I am frequently preparing her dinner when I am not at all hungry. I feel badly not eating dinner when she eats; our family meals are weird enough as is. So sometimes I eat a bit when she is eating, but I often regret it.
No grazing: This one is hard, especially when eating with my family. I am the worst at picking at food in front of me after I am full but my family is still eating. This is especially bad when we are at a restaurant. If I (or my hubby) am thinking about it, I'll move the food out from in front of me, or pack up the remains in a box. But many a time I have stopped eating when full, then sabotaged myself with one or two bites too many after I had already decided I was full. This is probably the hardest.
Plan what you eat: I do this well when I am working and I pack all my food for the day. On the weekends I have a harder time. I don't routinely track all my food anymore. I did for 5 months, but didn't think I need to do it forever. There are differing opinions on this. Some believe you always have to track, forever. Others use it as a tool to stay or get back on track. I think the latter makes sense.
Those are the ones I can think of right now. There is room for improvement, but overall I am doing okay.
I think the biggest thing for me, overall, is eating slowly and not eating one bite too many. The two go together. I am a very fast eater, which has always worked against me. It takes a lot of effort to eat more slowly. I am noticing something interesting about satiety for me now that has changed since I was sleeved. If I pay attention, I can stop eating after a small portion of food and feel comfortably full. After about 10 minutes, I frequently feel quite full (assuming I haven't eaten anything more). In another 10 minutes I feel HUNGRY. Like stomach-growling, gnawing hunger. Not the worst hunger feeling, but a feeling that I have always made go away by eating. It seems like a hunger feeling, but if I eat anything at this point I will regret it. If, instead, I wait...the hungry feeling goes away fairly quickly, and I feel satiety. I didn't have this experience with the band, or before. And it's a trap! I can't even tell you how many times I have fallen into the trap, eaten something, and regretted it--either throwing something up, or feeling very uncomfortably full. It has taken an embarrassingly long time to realize this.
So there it is, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I can still reach my goal in the next 6 months. It will have to involve more exercise, though. Right now I am sticking to walks because I can easily fit them in with my daughter. I might try adding body-weight strength training at home for toning.