it's been ages since I've posted here, and it seems like everyone around are 'new faces'. I was banded October 2008, and had a really bad erosion and had it removed March 09, and during that my doctor tried to sorta give me a sleeve. Its not much. Anyway, I've been doing pretty well since surgery, fighting the usual battles, but I had a bit of a break through and I wanted to post some of my thoughts in case they help anyone. Specifically, I wrote about two things that have really helped me lately be in control of my weight loss.
1. Calorie counting, done honestly.
2. Fitbit! (more about that below)
anyway, hope this helps someone :) good luck with your journeys
I told myself that anytime I hit 190 was considered "Panic mode" and I needed to do something- anything- to get back down to the 180-185 range that's now my comfortable habitat. Well, after a slacking semester where I didnt frequent the gym a lot, and a long, celebratory holiday season, I returned to Gainesville and hit the scale. 190.3. So, I bought some protein powder, re-instituted the calorie count, and didn't buy any more of the things I eat that are more caloric (namely nuts, my cheese- though its reduced fat, and occasionally ice cream). Seems like any other diet, right?
Well, this time it wasn't. One thing that I had never really acknowledged was how unreliable my calorie counting was. Sure, I'd do plenty of days where I'd stay within my 1,200 calorie limit. I loved charting then. But when I strayed? 50 calories- probably gonna chart it. 2000 calories? No way in hell. That first week I decided, "No matter what, I'm going to chart it. I'm not gonna let the shame of being in the red control me." The night after that, I was bored, tired, and reallly hungry (and I had almost nothign in my kitchen). I ate almost an entire bag of baked tostidos. I rationalized myself saying, "Well, at least they were baked, so they're healthier than the originals" but I definitely felt beyond full eating them. and then I went and charted the calories in them.... it was astronomical. It was such a shocker. It was more than I'd eaten the entire rest of the day and then some. But, I didn't let it beat me up. I just said, "Fuck that, next time if I want to binge I'm getting cheesecake, that wasn't worth it!" It has totally helped my awareness when I am mindlessly consuming food. If I think, "I just have to keep track of how much so I can write it down." then it just makes me so much more aware than I ever was that I'm eating, I'm consuming these calories, and I want to. I've been on this a few weeks and guess what? I go over my weekly amount more often than I stay on it. It's set at 1100 and my actual average is about 1560. But I've still lost weight. Really lost weight.
That realization has made me acknowledge- okay, yes, my body is stubborn. Yes, my metabolism is slow. but no, its not hopeless. a lot of the reason why I couldnt do it before was because I couldn't face the reality when I went off the plan. So those days get uncharted, I tend to not dwell on them, and suddenly I'm saying, "WTF. I'm eating 1,100 calories a day and I'm not losing any weight." No, I'm really not.
I HIGHLY recommend the calorie counting method to anyone who's having trouble. its a feat, to be honest with yourself. but even if you do it for a few weeks and then not for a long time, it provides you with so much valuable information if you're willing to look honestly. Look at your choices. I have eaten PLENTY of junk in these last 3 weeks without regret- tons of jelly beans, chocolate cake, at least half a dozen cookies, alcohol. I've lost 6 1/2 lbs anyway. And knowing I have the power to do it is more important than any of this other stuff, because that's really where it all matters. That thought has enabled me to get up early to go to the gym, to pass on some food I think I want, and to work toward my goals.
One other thing, besides Daily Plate where I chart my calories, that has been incredibly helpful is my fitbit (bless that machine). Fitbits are these clever little bugs that you stash on your body (I clip mine to my bra cause I lost a few on my pants) and they monitor your steps throughout the day. I don't care what people say about not needing someone to cheer them on, I KNOW for me, when my fitbit notes that I take the stairs all the time, there's recognition there. I can gloat that I've made goals and met them, that I've been reasonably active, etc. It also tends to kick me in the pants when I haven't been getting adequate sleep.
Fitbit recently added a weight loss/calorie O'dometer of sorts to its site. This means, based on your current stats, it will tell you about how many calories you can eat to lose at a certain rate. thats no different than livestrong, or many other sites out there. the things that are unique to fitbit, that I appreciate are: 1. its a range, not a number, so I feel less discouraged by it and more flexible 2. most importantly, the range is automatically adjusted to the amount of calories you burned that day. well, livestrong does that too- you plug in the exercise you performed, and it subtracts. What's the difference? Fitbit is taking your calories into account without you doing anything, and its way more truthful than just what you did at the gym. take the stairs? park a little farther away? fitbit will give you more calories. sit on your butt after you did your hour workout? probably not as active as the day you were running errands. boom. go over my calorie limit? walk to the grocery store, instead of drive, and when I check it again I'm automatically back in the green zone.
All that to say, I've had an incredibly productive few weeks, and the diet is the easiest one I've done in a long time. Sustainable. not awful. the frequent and accurate help that I get from fitbit and livestrong have made this an actual possibility for me. they said I'll reach my "goal" of 158 by April 24th. I don't know if that's really what I'm aiming for still, and I know during spring break I will certainly set myself back, but I'm really glad to feel equipped and powerful to make my body look and feel the way I want it to.
As someone told me lately, everyone deserves the chance to fly!