Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nothing Compares

One of the biggest barriers I had to face while trying to lose weight was comparing myself to others. I was constantly left feeling confused, frustrated or like a failure because I compared myself with other weight loss bloggers. There was always someone who seemed to have a better method of losing weight or was able to do it much faster than me. Of course I get a great deal of inspiration from other bloggers, so it not all bad, but I just couldn't help listening to the devil on my shoulder telling me that I just didn't measure up.

Now the tables have turned and I find myself constantly comparing myself with 'skinnier me'. I have gained at least 20 kilos (44 lbs) this year and I can't stop comparing the way I feel now, with how I felt when I was thinner.

It has been over 3 years since I weighed over 90 kilos (198 lbs) and so it has been a huge shock to the system. I honestly forgot how much harder life is for me when I am bigger. I find everyday tasks more difficult, I don't like to take up room on public transport, getting up the stairs at home is harder, my thighs chaff, my feet and back hurt and I just feel like an obese person again.

Obviously one of the main ways I feel inadequate to my former self is in my appearance. I hate to be shallow, but well, I am going to be! I have not received a single compliment since I gained weight. Now don't get me wrong, I don't need compliments to feel good about myself, but they are an indication of what others are thinking of your appearance. In fact the closest I came to a compliment was when a friend said 'you have a pretty face' to me the other day. We all know what a slap in the face that statement is to a fat girl.

I found the first photo of myself taken in January and the second photo taken in July (I actually got bigger than this). How on earth did I let myself gain so much weight in such a short period of time? I can't even imagine what sort of denial I must have been in to gain 20 kilos and pretend it wasn't happening.

January 2013
July 2013
The silver lining is that I now look back on the girl in the first photo and think she looks great and that was an awesome weight to be. Of course at the time I still thought I needed to lose a heap more weight and could not be happy with myself. So this weight gain has bought with it a new perspective that I obviously needed and I really hope I remember this if (and when) I get back to being the girl in the first picture.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Meet My Elliptical

True to form, I have come up with my latest 'get fit' plan and, as usual, it involves spending way too much money. I have purchased (well AJ did) a fancy new elliptical machine for my apartment.

This is not the first time I have tried to buy an elliptical for the home, the last time I bought a cheap model online and it was such a piece of crap that I could never actually use it and I got rid of it in hard rubbish collection two months later. So this time I knew I had to go to the shop and actually try before I buy. AJ and I went to a couple of different fitness shops and both fell in love with this one. We had set a budget before we went shopping and this was twice our budget... but we couldn't go back after we tried this one. We are such suckers!

This is my lovely new torturer:

It was delivered last Friday and it took AJ about 3 hours to put together, but he had a ball doing it, he loves doing things that involve tools! We put it in the spare room, which is now 'the gym' and have it all pimped out with our weights, fitball, yoga mat, TV, music and even a water filter. I did have photos, but blogger is being a shit and just refusing to upload photos right now.
I was away all weekend looking after my mum so I didn't get to have my first session with the elliptical until Monday night. I got myself dressed for a big work out, put on my music, got on the elliptical and started going for it... and then 3 minutes later I was done. Holy crap I was absolutely stuffed!
I am just shocked and appalled by how unfit I am right now. I managed to get back on after I had a break and do another 3 minutes, but it almost killed me. So much for striding away on the elliptical while I watch an episode of Mad Men... I'll be lucky if I can make it through an ad break!
This is the most unfit I can remember being since I was at my largest weight. I really feel like I am back at square one again. It is quite discouraging, but I figure I can either sook about it and eventually weigh 130 kilos again or work hard and eventually weigh 75 kilos again. Obviously I am aiming for the 75 kilo option! 
So I will keep exercising in my little 3 minute (and even 2 minute) increments until my fitness builds. I certainly won't be smashing out any 500 calorie workout sessions, but I am doing this for fitness and toning, not for weight loss. I find it best to separate exercise and weight loss in my head because otherwise I play mind games with myself like:
  • Lazy brain: This work out will burn 300 calories, so I could just skip lunch and then also skip the workout and it evens out
  • Obsessive brain: This workout is only going to burn 300 calories, I need to do it twice a day, 7 days a week to achieve anything
Instead I am trying to find the balance and work out for reasons other than to lose weight. Don't get me wrong, I REALLY want to lose weight, but I will do that (hopefully) with the food choices I make.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Working the Lap Band

I went back to my doctor to get another fill in my lap band on Monday. I have decided that I am really going to try and work this lap band... before it inevitably needs to be removed!

Fill details
Pre fill level: 6.1 mls
Fill given: 0.3 mls
Current fill level: 6.4 mls
Band capacity:10 mls

I was reading the Australian lap band forum recently, Banding Together, and got inspiration from everyone talking about how little they can eat and how long they stay full. I realised I have never really pushed myself to get the lap band full enough to have that satiety. I was always too scared of the limitations it would put on me socially and also fearing embarrassing stuck moments at work. So maybe if I keep getting fill put in my lap band I will get to that sweet spot that lap banders always talk about.

There is just no point having a lap band if I am never going to feel full so I just have to accept that eating out is going to be difficult and embarrassing situations may happen. Even when I have my lap band quite empty I still have trouble eating out because I get nervous and the band closes up.

I know there are plenty of people out there who have the lap band and have been able to reach the 'green zone' where they can eat healthy foods and feel satisfied and rarely get stuck. Those of us that have not ever reached that point end up feeling like a failure. I have had the lap band for 4 and half years and during thate time I have fallen into one of two categories:

1. The band does not have enough fill in it to help me feel full. I can eat chicken, salad, red meat, rice and bread and McDonalds...
2. The band is too tight and the only foods that will go down comfortably are chips and ice cream and there is no chance of eating a normal healthy meal

Apparently there is a magic third category:
3. The band has the right amount of fill so that I can eat half a cup of normal food and feel satisfied for at least 3-4 hours

I am determined to try and get myself into this elusive category!

This is now the most fill I have ever had in my lap band. Right now the band still feels very tight and eating is quite difficult, but I find that fills can take a couple of weeks to settle into place, so I will wait and see how it goes. I am mourning food a little bit, thinking of all the restaurants I want to eat at and all the fun summer time adventures that are sucky with the band. I guess I just need to learn how to have fun without it revolving around food. Ha ha!!!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Very Sticky Situation

I have had a lap band for about 4 and a half years now and yet I can still surprise myself by how poorly I can manage it. After getting a fill last week it has been a bit tighter than I am used to, but I haven’t had any issues yet… that is until yesterday when I managed to have the grossest moment I have ever had with the band. I don’t blame you if you want to stop reading now.

I have read on a few blogs that people keep little bags with them in the car in case they have a bad ‘stuck’ moment while driving. I didn’t think this applied to me because I am an anxious driver and don’t normally eat and drive anyway. I really should have been more prepared!!!

Yesterday afternoon I was leaving my mum’s to drive the 90 minutes back to Melbourne to go home. I decided to eat a slice of cheese to tide me over because I hadn’t eaten all day. I could feel that it was sitting a little funny, but it felt like it was going to slide down ok so I got in the car and took off. As I was driving it got worse and worse and then it started hurting more than I have ever experienced with the band.

I was growing increasingly panicked because I just didn’t know what to do. I was driving in extremely strong winds (Melbourne and Geelong readers will know what I am talking about!) and it was pouring rain so I was already total white knuckled on the steering wheel and freaking out about the driving conditions. I knew I needed to pull over, but I just didn’t feel confident in pulling off the freeway and then trying to get back on in heavy traffic with poor visibility. So I just kept driving and hoping that the cheese would go down the band.

I was out of luck. Over the course of the next  45 minutes I PB’ed* on myself in the car 5 times. People that have a lap band will understand just how revolting that is. My only saving grace was that the day before I had accidentally smashed a glass jar of salad dressing all over the floor and while I was cleaning it up I used all of the paper towel. So when I had gone to the supermarket for my mum I picked up more paper towel to take home with me and it was in the backseat of my car. Thank the lord!

It was one of the worst (in terms of volume and pain) PB experiences I have ever had. I know you probably don’t want to hear about it, but it was so outrageously bad that I just have to talk about it. After I got home I had to clean the car and then strip off and have a shower… I was a slimy mess. I will never get into the driver’s seat again if anything is even remotely sitting in my band!

* PB: Productive Burp- When something you eat can't go down the lap band and it comes back up (with slime and foam). It’s gross.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Lap Band Fill Time

I am still trying to lose weight after my massive gain this year. I can't say that I am having much success... but I am trying! I know that I will never give up so I have full some confidence I will get back to where I feel comfortable. The problem is that I am not feeling very patient at the moment. I want to go to sleep and wake up 20 kilos lighter in the morning. I feel too overwhelmed by life right now to worry about what I eat... but it is now or never. I certainly don't want to step on the scales in 6 months time and have gained another 20 kilos!

One of the main reasons I am struggling right now is because of the back pain I am having. When you gain 20 kilos in a few months and most of it goes on your chest and back, you are lumped with quite severe back pain. Ah, I am so frustrated at myself for getting into this position. There are only so many neurofens I can take every day... ultimately the only thing that is going to help is losing some weight.

So last week I made an appointment to see a lap band doctor at a local clinic (not my surgeon's office because they are too hard to get to during business hours). The doctor was lovely and didn't make me feel like shit, so that was nice. He gave me 0.3 mls, which takes me to 6.1 mls in my 10 ml band-- which is the most I have ever had in my lap band (I think).

Prior to getting this fill I was able to eat anything and everything. I could eat a whole pizza, a Big Mac, a Whopper burger... and not feel satisfied at all! I had been reluctant to get a fill though because I struggled to ever get food down when I eat out. Then I realised that I have got stuck on food almost every single time I have eaten out in the past 12 months... so why bother worrying about that anyway. I just have to accept that I can't eat out for now. Losing weight is more important than my social life (which is pretty non-existent right now anyway).

I really hope this latest fill in my lap band helps me get some of this weight gain off. So far I have found that I am pretty tight, but it still takes a lot of food for me to feel satisfied. So I guess I need to keep trying and see if I can get my lap band to a place where it can give me a bit of a helping hand help when I need it most.

While I am talking lap bands, I found out today that a good friend of mine's lap band has eroded. I find it scary how many people I know who have had their lap bands flip, erode, or leak. Aside from the difficulties in using the band correctly, the complications with the band mean that if I was choosing weight loss surgery today, I would not choose the lap band. I guess I should try and get mine to work while it still can!