Walk of Shame

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It has been over 18 months since my last post. That is a confession in itself! Life has thrown a number of stumbling blocks my way and like a fool, I let them distract me from discipline.

Last month, I went back to my Bariatric Doctor with my tail between my legs, embarrassed and feeling like a failure. I had reached a weight I said I’d never go back to, ever. And yet there I was, 25 pounds more than my last visit, losing meals regularly and finding foods high in carbs that stayed down. My evening snacking behavior had returned, mostly because I had lost my dinner and was hungry at 8:30pm. The fact that my husband seemed to be able to have evening snacks, including ice cream, made me feel like I deserved it as well.

I had 6 months in PT for severe tendonitis in my right foot. For most of that time I was limited to 10-15 minutes of walking. A far stretch from what I had been doing the year before. I gained 20 of those pounds during that time.

I had a series of viruses, colds, allergic reactions, new diagnoses like Menieres that mean treadmills and ellipticals are forever banned. My Pilates routine was disrupted by the business moving further away and focusing more on meditation and yoga, in which I have no interest. My running is derailed for a while until my foot has fully healed.

Excuses? Well, all these things led to excuses. I’m too tired. There is no exercise I can do. I deserve a break today. And sometime during that pity-party time, I stopped stepping on the scale. Because I cried every time I did.

We had a major remodel of our kitchen in 2015, so food preparation was limited. I started choosing foods that were higher in carbs and lower in protein. Someplace in that time, I decided my tea wasn’t sweet enough and had increased my raw sugar intake as well.

i was not happy with myself. I had failed, when I said I wouldn’t let that happen! What do you do then? How do you motivate yourself to get out of the bad habits? I guess the same way as before the lap-band. You just decide you don’t like the added weight. Your body reminds you of issues like arthritis that you hadn’t suffered for a while. You look in the mirror and shudder. You try very hard to do a selfie without a double chin. You struggle with buying new clothes, and being comfortable.

Sometime last month, things clicked in me and I just couldn’t take the gain anymore. I did go back with my tail between my legs, got some fluid removed so meals could stay down, listened to the nutritionist remind me of good eating habits, and started journaling my food again. What a difference that alone makes! If I’m honest, and journal everything that goes in my mouth, and let my FitBit tell me if I was active enough, my head seems to follow. I’m eating much less. I cut out the carbs of potatoes, most grains and convenience foods. Up with the protein, fruits and vegetables! I’m losing weight again.

Did you hear that? I’m going down again! I’m down 12 pounds since last January! That’s a healthy rate, by the way. A few snug clothes are a bit more comfortable. The arthritis pain is already gone. And that encourages me to move more.

Then life throws in a few changes. Very high heat index. Upcoming surgery. Visits and traveling. How can I stay motivated? How can I keep from being distracted by these changes? How can I increase exercise? Will I ever be able to run again?

I’m not sure I have the answers. I need support from others in the same position. I need to keep my expectations realistic. I need to turn quickly away from a bad habit returning. I need to step on the scale and let it give me the feedback I need.

A healthy, active lifestyle is what I need, with no more than 1200 calories a day. I hope my next blog entry is not so far away, with more admissions of failure. I want to stay accountable, even if no one reads this except me.

So, about 20 pounds to get to where I was, and then another 20 pounds to get where my doctor wants me. At 2 pounds a month, that is 20 months. I need to be in this for the long haul, that’s for sure!

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Looking back, before/after and moving forward

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It usually starts with, “how many pounds have you lost?!” but the story of my journey is so much more than pounds.  I am no longer diabetic.  My arthritis does not bother me anymore. My blood pressure is almost always in the normal or low range.  I can climb, hike, run, jump and not have aching bones, or muscles that are weak. And while my aging body has generated a few new illnesses, they are much more manageable with a lower weight.  So what is the whole story, the bigger picture of being a Banded Becky?

It started with me collecting photos I’d taken or had taken during my Lab-Band Journey.  Then I had to print them.  Then I wondered what the charts would say about weight and BMI. Someone suggested that I take body measurements during my journey, but I had never looked at the story the data told.

The photos:
The camera doesn’t lie- unless you get carried away with Photoshop!  I did two galleries.  The first is as series of full body photos and the second is just my face.  The thing is, when I look in the mirror, I don’t see or remember the changes.  The photo series blew my mind.  

The numbers:
Then I looked at the charts of my weight and BMI:

Again, looking back over my journey, I knew I had lost weight.  I knew I was wearing a LOT smaller sized wardrobe.  But the charts seem to exaggerate the loss over the last thee years.

I’ve been keeping certain measurements- hip, waist, chest, thigh, calf, bicep, neck, and bra size.  How does a total of minus 29 inches sound?  Pretty amazing!  It does explain why I’ve had to get rid of multiple wardrobes!
Going forward, I still have weight to lose.  In the BMI chart I added a projected weight in the future where I would be considered at a “healthy” weight.  Time is not reflected in the graph!  Pounds are harder to lose now, 2.5 years out from surgery.  Another 15 pounds off my bones would be great!
The title of my blog talks about my journey to a size 12.  It seemed an impossible goal five years ago, yet here I am! I have lost about 65 pounds since April 2011, which was six months before my surgery.
But Lap Bands are forever!  I will continue to work to get these last pounds off.  But I’ll tell you a secret- I can fit into most size 12 clothes!  Sometimes a size 14, sometimes a Medium.  But I am almost there!