I decided to go incommunicado for the Christmas period. My whole family and David’s sons being around all the time from 23rd until 31st of December made it impossible to sit down and come up with any constructive thoughts what so ever. I must admit: it was just too much. I mean I LOVED having my family around for Christmas – but maybe a week of it full-time was a tad bit ambitious. Anywho... it’s over now. And I survived. However... there were a lot of things I haven’t done in this period. Here is my confession:
- I haven’t logged any food/calorie intake since 23rd
- I haven’t weighed/measured myself since 23rd
- I haven’t restricted/edited (in a health-conscious way) what I put in my mouth since 23rd (note: more on this later)
- I haven’t exercised since 23rd (apart from occasional dog walking)
- I haven’t been drinking nearly enough H2O since 23rd
I’m not hankering for absolution, I’m being honest.
Today, however, is a new day, a new year, etc. so I’m back on my abandoned track (and at work, huhhh) and started logging my food on MFP from this morning.
I’m buying a new scale on amazon, which will arrive very shortly so I can start weighing myself for the new year on the new scale – it’s all singing, all dancing body composition monitor (report on that as soon as I figure out if it’s worth the £160 price tag...). I’m also getting back to my exercising routine – however, as I drained myself to the last inch of life before Christmas, I believe I must implement some changes on that front. The 8-8.5K three times a week proved to be a step too far for long term sustainability... I’ve got Hot Bod in a Box from Jillian and I also got new Zumba Wii 2 – I will be doing more of those and max 2 long runs a week.
But here is something I haven’t expected to happen: My Band!
I’ve been going on about it feeling a bit tighter well before Christmas (here) but eventually I chalked it up to TOM and stress and general water retention. Well, it wasn’t. It’s been going on far too long to be TOM, stress is well over, and looking at my ankles and finger my water “level” is fine. However, the tightness remained. And what a difference it made to my usual eating habits at Christmas!
You see, when I put food logging and good food choices on the side for the festive period, that was a well thought through action on my side. I knew I will not be able to avoid all my trigger foods (as that’s what my family eats) and that I did not want to feel deprived in any way, I also didn't want the additional stress and loathing I experience when I fell off track with an eating plan. So I had a good heart-to-heart with Me in the sauna after my last workout, and we agreed that we are going to call off the food police and let me run “wild” for a week. I also knew that it definitely will result in weight gain, but I told myself that I’m in this for the long term, so even putting on 5-10lbs will make little difference in the long run (by end of May, I mean). You see: I was prepared both mentally and emotionally for the influx of “bad food” during Christmas and New Year.
And then my Band said “No”.
And said it with such elementary force, that – after I've got over the initial shock – it actually made me marvel over the beauty of it. So this is how it feels relying on your restriction! Ahha! I’ve got it now! I made mental apologies for all those forum users and bloggers who said that they actually relying on their restriction AND get results... That just didn't work/compute with me before. I was doing the hard work; I was doing the food choices; I was limiting my food portions, etc, etc – Yes, I had a band, but 90% of the time I felt I might as well not have it, as unless I create conscious boundaries around food, I can pretty much eat whatever I want, as much as I want. So I made a mental apologies for all those entries I dismissed because their authors swore that they can rely solely on their restrictions.
Well, a little disclaimer here: I still think it’s hugely the hard work of the banded person, and exercise is one of the most important thing in the whole strategy! That did not change. Neither the fact that I am still resolved to make good food choices and measure my food according to band rules. But now I have a new found understanding/compassion for those who let “their band rule” their eating. Might not be the wisest choice, but I can see it working – at least in the short term.
So the Force have been with my Band all the way since before Christmas. I was baking and cooking and serving all the Christmas goodies you can imagine – and it felt great to feed the family – but I just couldn’t get a plateful and eat them myself... I tried, God knows: I did try. Every day. Twice. At least. Nope. Band said “No”. The morning of Christmas day I even sat down with my plate alone in the dining room – everyone else was still sleeping – with all the creamy salads and deep fired goodies we have on our Christmas Eve table at home, I was ready for it, I wanted it – and it didn’t happen. I actually PB’d for half an hour after like 4 small bites of breaded cauliflower and breaded cheese. So I gave up on main dishes. That’s when I turned to Pringles... But still couldn’t work it... Neither any of the baked goodies I made: not even cheesecake or tiramisu went down without complaining and massive pain in the chest, so I could forget about all the proper baked goods, like Finnish walnut crown... I must admit, I was getting slightly worried at the point where I had issues with mashed potato. I still am worried, but I'm seeing my doc on 16th Jan, and he will see everything under the x-ray and will be able to adjust my band accordingly.
Because let me tell you: I was way – WAY – more comfortable with making my own decisions about my food choices than my band being in the driving seat. I know, it’s some convoluted thinking, because why did I have the band if I'm comfortable with good food choices and portions... but then again, I wasn't until I’ve got my band. But now that my band is “forcing” some food decisions on me I don’t like it that much.
However, on the up side: I’m definitely not hungry for a very long time after eating very little. I can still eat – I do not PB with every meal (just that one time during Chrismtas), it’s only that every bite goes down REALLY SLOW, and most meal feels uncomfortable on my pouch. And because I cannot chug my water down, I always end up not drinking nearly 2L a day, as I just simply cannot manage to sip 24/7.
But if we look at all these factually, here is what I've got:
- Being able to eat only small amounts – check
- Not feeling hungry for 3-4 hours after meals – check
- Not feeling the need for snacking – check
Am I at my “sweet spot” then?
Shall I just get comfortable about the extra help I’ve got from the band lately, start chewing my food a little more consciously, taking smaller bites each time and eat slower? If I can do all that it might turn out that I’m really at my sweet spot. The weird thing is: it happened all by itself! My second and last fill was on 5th September... and all this restriction business kicked in mid December... Can that be? Shouldn’t you lose restriction when losing weight?
I have a tiny bit of me who’s a little scared too: what if something “bad” happened, and that’s causing the sudden increase in restriction... I don’t want to think about that option. That’s not an option.
I will definitely ask Doc if he thinks he need to remove some fluid from my band. Or if he thinks we “arrived”. In which case I must work on my bite sizes and chewing skills. And to be fair, I do not know how my weight changed during this period, as I stopped stepping on the scale.
So here it is for a exciting and happy 2012!
Wishing you all the best and that all your dreams to come true!