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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

GOAL!!!

GOAL!!!!


I've wanted to write this post for so long.  I can't even tell you how excited I am.  I never imagined that in less than 10 months (44 weeks) after surgery, I'd have lost 100 lbs. (45.4 kg.).  My weekly average is 2.3 lbs. (1.04 kg.), although those weeks of big losses that I experienced early on are long gone!  It feels surreal to be sitting where I am today. 

December 2009

To begin, some stats.  I started this process at 280 lbs. with a BMI of 42.8.  I now weigh 180 and have BMI of 27.4.  I wore a size 24 pants and 3X shirts.  I am now in a size 14 pants and medium/large shirts.

Here's the picture of me in my old jeans.  Hard to believe I used to fit into them! 

Me & my youngest daughter in the size 24's

So what have I done to lose the weight?  In no particular order, here's the "skinny":

#1 - I exercise every single day, but I never go to a gym.  I walk my dog each morning for at least 30 minutes.  I go rain or shine, snow or sun.  I've completed two 5K fitness walks.  I also ride my bike to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I look for other opportunities to ride during the week as well.  It is certainly easier when it isn't dark by 4:30 PM and pouring down rain, but I even ride in the rain and dark.  In the summer, we did a fair bit of hiking.  A few times a week, I lift free weights while watching TV.

#2 - I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full.  I do not count calories, carbs, or anything else.  Having said that, however, I must  report that real hunger is pretty unusual these days.  The lap-band definately diminshes the sensation of hunger.  So maybe a more accurate statment is that I eat at the conventional meal times with nothing in between.

#3 - I've had two fills (and one unfill).  I have 2.3 cc's in my 4 cc band.  I would recommend the smaller bands to EVERYONE if you have a chance because it takes no time at all to get to your "sweet spot".  I've been at mine since May or June.

#4 - I typically eat three meals a day.  I don't eat snacks or dessert on a regular basis.  If I am hungry between meals, I'll have a cheese stick or something, but I don't get hungry at all much so that is fairly unusual. 

#5 - I eat at least 50 grams of protein a day.  Okay, I know I said I don't count, and I don't officially count anything, but I tend to eat the same things day after day and I know the protein counts for most foods so I am pretty confident I hit this mark each day.  I know many of you eat a whole lot more protein than that, but I am a vegetarian so 50 grams can be a stretch.  Some of my favorite vegetarian high-pro (doesn't that sound like dog food?) foods are Greek yogurt, Nile Spice Black Bean soup, eggs, cheese (cottage, regular, string cheese, etc.), and vegetarian meat replacement items (sausage patties and links, chicken patties, "facon", "not" dogs, etc.).
#6 - Speaking of food, I shun sugar-free and fat-free foods.  I eat regular butter, cream in my coffee, and full-fat cheese.  When I had ripe zuccini in my garden, I went on a deep-fried zuccini kick that lasted about a month. I believe a small amount of "real" food is more satisfying than any amount of light mayonaise, fat-free butter or sugar-free pudding.  I also worry about the chemicals that are typically added to foods to make them sugar-free or low/no-fat.  Look at the label of a tub of margerine.  I'm just sayin!

#7 - If I had to guess, I would estimate I eat about 1,200 calories a day.  Early on in this journey, I did log all my food and I generally fell somewhere around there.  Nowadays I occassionally run a tally in my head, especially if I am eating out or eating unusual foods or quantities. 

#8 - Sugar.  I have discovered some interesting things about me and sugar.  I used to indulge in a sugary treat and 20 minutes or so later, I'd want something else.  Usually what I wanted was crackers spread with butter and peanut butter or cheese.  I thought at the time that when I gave myself permission to eat sugar, it sort of opened the flood-gates to the desire to eat more.  What I realized after I was banded was that the carbs were causing my blood sugar to spike dramatically and then plummet shortly thereafter.  The intense cravings were a desire to "regulate" my fluctuating blood sugar.  This was coupled with the fact that I usually ate these things at night so I was also tired and had the general lack of energy (and my body's natural desire to eat when energy wanes) thrown into the equation.  So I've had to be careful with sugar, especially pure sugar foods like candy.  I typically eat one or two servings on weekends and avoid them during the week.  I still feel sort of compulsive about eating them, but having a better understanding of the physiology has really helped.  I seldom want to eat again after having something.

#9 - Satisfaction is really important.  I ate for years, often binging on whatever fat laden, high calorie item I desired, and was seldom satisfied.  I finished eating and felt ashamed and fat and like a failure.  I often ate when I wasn't hungry and kept eating way beyond the point of being full.  Something changed in me when I was banded and I am so grateful.  I felt like I was "doing something" about my weight problem so I didn't feel like a failure anymore.  Since I was losing weight even though I was continuing to eat the foods I'd always loved, I came to realize that it wasn't the individual foods that was the problem.  The problem was a combination of too-large portion sizes and eating when I wasn't hungry.  When I added the bad feelings of shame and loathing toward myself, it was no surprise that I didn't let myself enjoy food.  So now I enjoy the foods I eat.  I never consider a food "bad" or "good".  I never beat myself up for eating something that isn't especially nutricious.  I try to eat well most of the time, but I do so because I want to be healthy and not to lose weight.  And if I really want something, I have it.

#10 - I don't drink when I eat.  I do drink right up until I eat (because Band Groupie said it was okay), but I wait at least 30 minutes after eating.  I am not a big rule-follower so I must confess that drinking when there is food in my stoma makes me puke.  I also don't drink much soda and, again, it isn't because of the lap-band prohibition (for the record, I was never told not to drink soda).  The carbonation just doesn't feel good in my stoma.  I now drink water, one cup of coffee a day and iced tea.

#11 - I think restriction is really subjective.  I am pretty sure many of you would not be content at my level of restriction.  I know lots of people want to be so tight that they cannot eat breads, pizza, etc.  I want to be able to eat all foods in moderation.  The only thing I've officially given up is tofu.  I also like to be able to take decent bites and I don't want to eat super-slowly.  I definately take much smaller bites and eat more slowly than I did pre-band, but I am not crazy about it.  I don't offer this information to say that my way is better than your way.  I just want to suggest that there are many different ways of getting this job done!

So that's pretty much all I can come up with for now.  What's next, you might wonder?  Well, I am still 17 lbs. (7.7 kg.) from a "normal" BMI so I am going to keep losing.  Other than that, I don't know.  The truth is I'm not really "doing" anything special to lose weight.  So I am guessing that I will keep losing until I reach a healthy weight for me, whatever that is.  I will also be posting near-nudie picks very soon so stay tuned!  I do know that this blog and all of you have been a big part of my success and I appreciate each of your support!       

38 comments:

Ginger aka Gidget said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I cannot wait to hit that 180 lbs. I've had my band for a little over 8 months now and I am PRAYING that I see the 100 lbs by a year. We started out at the same weight so thank you for giving me the inspiration! :)

tessierose said...

Amanda, I can't say enough how impressed I am with you and your incredible success. I like your attitude and approach. And, I really appreciate all of the support that you have given me in my journey. How lucky we all are to have you as a role model and mentor. Way to go!

Sarah G said...

Congratulations Amanda!!!! You are a rock star!

Island Bandit said...

What a FABULOUS christmas present you've given yourself. you look amazing and i'm sure you feel amazing! how exciting! so happy for you!!!!!!!

Jen said...

Whoo Hoo! Congratulations!

I'm going to re-read this...you have great tips!

Lap Band Gal said...

WOW!!! Congrats!

Bonnie said...

You have done so great and this is such a wonderful post. Lots of great tips and I'm definitely going to check out the Nile Black Bean soup. I assume you just get it in the soup section of the store?

Amanda said...

Fantastic. Way to go! What an inspiration especially in a liquid diet phase!!

andy said...

you have done so great!!!!!! you look amazing!!

Jen said...

That is amazing!!! Great job!

~Lisa~ (Mrs C) said...

Congratulations!!! What a terrific post!! Such good insight and plenty to think about!

I'm so proud of your hard work and your achievement!!! Way to go!!

Mary said...

Congratulations!! That is fabulous!!!

Blossom said...

Congratulations! That's awesome and I'm envious. But happy for you too!

Kelly said...

Congratulations! That is awesome! You look great!

LDswims said...

Congratulations!!!!

Great post!!!!

Rachel said...

Amanda, I lov eyour big news. You look beautiful. Thanks for all your support~! I appreciate you so much.

Jacquie said...

Congrats Amanda! You looke and must feel, fantastic. From one Mexican Bander to another....you rock my friend!!!!!

Libby said...

Amanda, that is terrific news! Congratulations! You are such an inspiration and I really appreciate your tips and advice. You totally deserve to go out and celebrate this milestone. I hope you buy yourself something pretty or get a massage.

Pie said...

This is amazing! I'm almost in tears I'm so happy over this post! I'm so so so happy for you, you look amazing, and more importantly, you shared some really incredible wisdom with your fellow bandsters. In my opinion, you are the ideal bandster - you worked with your tool and never against it and you understand what it's designed to do and what it's not. I wish I could print this out and give it to everyone I know!!

Annie said...

You are awesome! Congratulations, and thanks so much for your tips. I feel so happy for you- way to motivate all of us!
xoxo

Maria said...

Congratulations, Amanda! I love what you have to say here, and I've always though that THIS was how an ideal band journey would be. Kudos!

Linda said...

Amanda - I'm so impressed by what you've accomplished. You should be very proud.

Sandy Lee said...

Yeah for you!! Go shout it from the roof tops. I am so happy for you.

Jen from Oregon said...

YAY! for meeting goals! that is a great post and I am so happy for you!

Janice said...

Way to go! 100 lbs. is amazing! You look wonderful in the pix! Thanks for sharing the tips that have worked for you! I will have to try the Black Bean soup. Looks good!

Heather said...

Congratulations! That is so awesome and you look great. Thanks for sharing how you got there.

Shrinking Mommy said...

amazing!!!!! wow. you look (and sound) great!

Read said...

Congratulations!!! Woo-freakin-hoo! I'm so excited for you I just about can't stand it. This is a fantastic post with lost of great information and the pictures are amazing as well!!! Great job!

Barbara said...

Amanda this is FANTASTIC.. I mean it is like the readers digest version of HOW TO DO IT.. I love your attitude and approach.. and YOU DID IT.. you are at goal.. . (I thought for sure the big secret was you were pregnant) .. hopefuly you are beaming .. cause you deserve to be.. congrats to you

Susan said...

Congratulations!!! So exciting - you can hear such peace in the words you write.

Dizzy Girl said...

Congrats Amanda!! What a huge success!

MandaPanda said...

Congratulations!!! I'm so excited for you! I think all of these observations are really important. I agree about the "eating real food" part and also about the level of restriction you have. It seems so many people try to work the band and end up so tight, they can barely eat. I don't think that's ideal. Really great job! You should feel so proud of yourself!

-Grace- said...

Congratulations!!!

Janelle said...

Congratulations!! SO proud of you, you are GREAT!!

carla said...

Congrats!! You look and most importnatly must FEEL amazing!!!! You are glowing from the inside out

Kathy said...

Amanda, congratulations. I am so happy for you. I hope I can finally get to my goal weight in the future also. I am unfilled right now for the second time and hopefully I will be able to be filled again and start losing again.

MLM said...

congrats and what a great post....so awesome!!!

Sarah said...

Hi there! just came across your blog and I have to say I really could relate to your approach with your band/eating. I also came to the same realization regarding sugar/really carb-laden food! Keep up the great work! :)