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Thursday, March 25, 2010

This is Why I Quit

For the last seven years, my dieting efforts have been thwarted by a really slow metabolism. I’ve blogged before that after my second daughter was born, I joined Weight Watchers and dutifully followed the program for six weeks. I didn’t lose one ounce. I was so frustrated. Perhaps the worst thing was going in each week for the weigh in and getting on the scale and then trying to explain to the lady behind the counter why the number hadn’t budged. I didn’t understand it myself, but I couldn’t stand the idea that this person was judging me and thinking, “Yea, right.” as she smiled sweetly and recorded my weight on the little booklet.

In retrospect I realize that the pregnancy hormones were probably responsible for the trouble I had. The thing is that it doesn’t work that way for every woman. Lots of women lose weight really quickly after giving birth. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read that woman who breast feed lose weight effortlessly.

I quit WW and didn’t try again for a couple of years. Fortunately my weight loss speed increased a bit with subsequent efforts, but not much. When I was trying to lose weight, I developed a pattern that went something like this:

Week #1 -1.5
Week #2 +2
Week #3 -1
Week #4 -1.5
Net loss 2 lbs.

I wish I was exaggerating, but I am not. I also wish that during Week #2 I’d had a bunch of pie and cookies and fried foods to explain the increase, but, alas, I did not. I would follow the exact same food plan from week to week and diligently follow the rules and eating guidelines. I would also exercise regularly.
Once again I would have to say the culprit is hormones. That second week of the month is about 7-10 days from my TOM. It usually is also marked by irritability and a smattering of pimples. Being a woman is such a joy.

All this is a really long explanation of why I didn’t see good news on the scale this morning even though I’ve been eating consistently well and have increased my exercise in the last week or so. In my head I know that it is hormones and that I am not doing anything “wrong” and that I shouldn’t give up. I know that my lap band really is working and that I shouldn’t add it to the long list of diet failures that I’ve experienced in the past. Just last night, I couldn’t finish my dinner and tossed part of it in the compost. And yesterday I didn’t finish an ice tea that tasted too sweet. I know in my head that I have lost 24+ lbs. in seven weeks, which is a much faster rate than I’ve lost in the last seven years. I also know that next week, I will get on the scale and see the numbers go down again.

It just seems like a really long time from now. I can’t even call it “bandster hell” since I do feel restriction, although not as much as I had a few weeks ago. Maybe I’ll call it “Amanda hell” since it seems exclusive to me.

So, once again, thank you for coming to my pity party. Believe me, I wanted to complain about a bunch more stuff too, but I’m actually restraining myself. I’m going to end by saying STUPID F-ING HORMONES!!!!


Tina said...

Hey!! You are the first other person I know who gained weight after having a baby and breastfeeding! I always gained up to my full pregnancy weight after having each of my kids. You are thinking the right things here..stick it out and don't let the hormones get to you. A slow loss is still a loss over time and one or even two years down the road you will be thin if you can keep your head in the right place.

With regular dieting I had a similar problem..too many weeks of bad feedback from Mr. Scale and I would give up. The feedback with the band has been just enough better to keep me going..and the fact that a food pity binge is just not doable.

Kristin said...

I'm with you and Tina - I GAINED weight while breastfeeding, with all three kids. And then I'd stop at the six-month mark and literally lose 10 pounds without trying. But then it would stop there and I'd be stuck at 240 or 250 and screwed.

Jenny said...

How long ago was you last fill? Maybe you need another? I think our body is going to stall every now and then during the process. But maybe your situation warrants going to your primary and getting some blood drawn for thyroid?

Stephanie said...

I think I may have been a guest at your place in Hell. I've had my thyroid checked and I just have a slow metabolism so it has always been a struggle for me, too. Do you exercise regularly? How many calories do you take in on a daily basis? Do you drink lots of water?

Rebekah said...

I GAINED weight while breast-feeding too!! I was hungrier then than when I was pregnant. GAINED all the way up to my full-term weight within six months while breast-feeding.

I am REALLY impressed at your weightloss so far, though!! I have only lost 3/4 pound a week...that's like 3 pounds a month. It's been the hardest thing to keep my mind positive and to accept that SLOOOOOOW loss...but it is just now starting to get noticible. Keep pressing on. You can do this!

amandakiska said...

Thank you all for your nice comments. It is good to know that it isn't just me. Jenny - I am getting my first fill next Wednesday. I haven't had my thyroid checked recently but I have had it checked three times in the last seven years and it was always working perfectly. Stephanie - I eat about 1,250 calories a day. I walk every morning and 3-4 nights a week. I also ride my bike a couple of times a week.

Camille said...

I gained 10 pounds while breast-feeding. I couldn't get enough food. Have you ever tried regular resistance training like with a trainer a few times a week to start? I say this because I have seen a few clients of my husbands who started out just like you saying that they can't lose weight even with severe calorie restriction. After a month of weight training their metabolism bumps up and they start to see amazing results. You are losing now and I don't think you should beat yourself up. Keep it up!

Sandy Lee said...

Your list of how your weight loss happened on WW could have been mine. After 4 weeks I would be WTF? Plateau my butt. There is something wrong-I even tried the trainer and lots of weights-firmed up, but the scales barely moved. My doc couldn't figure it out. Wasn't thyroid. No reason. But I've now lost 25 pounds like you in about the same time. A gold medal loss since that has never happened on any of the diets, even Phen-Fen.

You are now a success. And you can't quit, because they don't repossess the band. You have to keep it and it will work.

Band Groupie said...

I blame my kids for at least 20 pounds each...and I breastfed too!

The Band is fickle...I'm convinced it's a conspiracy just to mess with us. Weight loss comes in spurts with me. 30 years of yo-yo dieting destroyed my metabolism many moons ago. Just keep doing what you're doing!

Kathy said...

I think a fill is in order. I have averaged 1 pound a week since I was banded. It's slow but it's steady. I just consider myself a tortoise.

Kristin said...

Amanda, your just for today/sarcasm comment has had me chuckling all day long.

Butterfly said...

Ugh, I know the feeling. I stayed the same the weigh-in before last and I was still on the mushie stage, eating hardly anything. Even though you know intellectually that you will lose next week and there is a reason for it, it still gets you down... god, I was sobbing in the shower like the great crybaby that I am... and of course the next week I lost over 5lb. You'll be fine. Keep thinking long term!

WW Weighers are the worst, aren't they? I went to WW for years on and off and my perceived judgement from the weigher was the reason I didn't even go some weeks. How they would just smile and NOT SAY ANYTHING.. unless you'd had a good week of course... I'm glad we never have to go back there!

Here's to the death of the PMS monster!

camilynn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bonnie said...

Sorry I'm a day late, but maybe my story will make you laugh. The worst is when you join WW with a friend and she continuously loses big #s while you lose ounces. Then you need to hear her say in her most supportive tone, "Every little bit counts." Luckily, I didn't hold it against her and we're still friends. Now we're getting the lapband together, so you'll probably hear me @itching about her again. You think I'd learn.

LDswims said...

Ahh...finally caught up on your blog. You have had quite a few very insightful and informative blogs! It was a pleasure to get all caught up.

Sorry for posting a day late on this. I feel you on the hormones. It took me a long time in my life to realize that there is one week for me that no matter what I do, I will gain 5 pounds (water). It literally happens over night. I can not drink water on the day before I know this will happen and I'll still gain water weight. :) So believe me, I know where you are coming from. But once I started to put together that this always happens and it always happens on day x before the TOM actually starts, well, it helped me to just keep going with doing "the right thing". If I do, when I get to the other side of the TOM, then I will see an 8 pound drop. Hang in there. You will get your fill soon. In the meantime, you are doing amazingly well with what little restriction you have. What an inspiration!

Girl Bandit said...

I found it extremely hard to lose weight after my second child and gradually just putting it on. She is 7. I also never lost with brestfeeding but did afterwards. I am also up .8kg (1.76lbs) and my TOM is lean on me....I have a pimple too...and was cranky yesterday. You are doing great

Dinnerland said...

Hang in there-- 24+ pounds in 7 weeks, just think about that-- it is amazing progress.
I agree with the above though, go talk to your surgery practice for support right now and if you need a fill, go!!
You're doing fine..