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Sunday, November 21, 2010

in a slump

I've been in a slump.

I haven't been filling out my food journal.  Even on days where I eat right and have everything to be proud of, I just don't write it down.  I don't know why.  Sabotage?  Laziness?  Stubborn?

Part of me knows I should do this to be successful.

And then the other part of me feels I shouldn't have to.  "Normal" people don't have to write down everything they eat---so why should I?  (That little voice answers---"because you're not normal").


I feel like I've been white-knuckling it, hanging on to the edge of a cliff....so I made an appointment to see my PCP before I let myself fall into the abyss.

I saw her a few days ago to talk about my weight.  I told her I was hungry ALL THE TIME.  I described this ever-present hunger and how I'd managed to conquer it for the past 3-4 months but that I couldn't hang on any longer without help.  I told her I'd started the six month "Lifestyle" diet change THING at Magee Hospital and that I'd lost 20 pounds.

By "conquer" the hunger I mean to say that I've LIVED WITH IT.  I've accepted it as part of my existence.  But I just can't do it anymore.

Anyway, she said, "That's great!  You're losing it by yourself!  You don't need surgery!"

I lamented that it was a Catch-22.  If I lost some on my own, some would say, "you don't need surgery," and that if I didn't lose anything beforehand, people would say, "you're just relying on surgery."

She said, "People are going to perceive you how they want to perceive you."  That was a good point---actually, that was about her only good point!

She said she'd support me if I decided I wanted LB but she discouraged me in so many ways.  Let me list them for you.

1.  "You'll gain it back."  She went on to say she had many patients who lost it all, only to gain it back.  My surgeon has this chart that shows how, over time, LB patients keep off an average of 60% of their excess body weight.  I relayed this information.  She said, "Well eventually they gain it back."  She didn't offer any research to prove her statement.

2.  "You'll lose your hair.  You don't want to lose your hair do you?"  No, of course I don't want to lose my hair.  As far as I know, hair loss can be caused by a major loss of nutrients, like in gastric bypass.  But it comes back right?  Right?  I don't know.  I need to research this further.  Off the top of my head it seems like the 1-2 pounds of WL per week on LB won't cause hair loss but....I'll check into it.

3.  Regarding not feeling full:  "Eat more fiber.  Eat more protein."  Duh.  I've been doing that.  I actually binge on raw carrots, broccoli, grilled chicken, and black beans.  But I'm still hungry.  I'm tired of being hungry.  Why is that hard to understand?

4.  Regarding hunger:  "You're bored."  Ummm, no.  No, I'm not.  I have a 2.5 year old and a six month old.  We have passes to the Carnegie Science Center, the Children's Museum, and we get out of the house every single day to do something whether it be errands or just plain fun.  I am not bored.  She suggested I get a hobby.  I have several actually.  I love to scrapbook and knit.  Unfortunately I don't get to do these things everyday.  Why?  Because I'm BUSY!!!  She even suggested I go back to work.  (I'm an occupational therapist.)  I don't want to.  I'm sure I'll miss it eventually, but I don't right now.  I just enjoy being a stay at home mom and I'm really thankful I can be with my boys at this stage of their life.

5.  She said I could "binge on candy" if I wanted to.  Like if I wanted to eat M & M's, she said I could eat the entire bag as long as I didn't eat anything else.  Really?  Because I'd still be hungry.  That was her example!

6.  I mentioned one of the reasons for wanting LB was so I could keep up with my kids.  She said, "No one can keep up with their kids!"   She wasn't trying to be funny when she said this.  She was serious!   Okay I will confess this to my audience of zero----there were times when I was pregnant and 250 pounds that I just didn't have the energy or motivation to go upstairs to our only bathroom to pee.  So I peed in a styrofoam cup in the kitchen.  Perhaps I should have cited that as a reason for needing to lose weight.  I mean, if you can't summon the energy to walk upstairs and pee like a normal human being, then something is seriously effing wrong with you.  And now I'm making a mental note to never post a picture of my face on this blog after making this confession public.  :D  

7.  She said, "Write down 3 good things about your day."  I'm pretty sure she stole this idea from Oprah.  The gratitude journal.  And I'm not laughing.  I don't think that's a stupid idea.  I just don't think it will help me.  Why?  Because I have so much gratitude in my life.  Scrapbooking is gratitude.  It's love and sunshine on sparkly papers and.......

At some point in all of this, I got teary-eyed because I felt like I was putting myself "out there," being vulnerable, and for what?  For nothing.  Because still, no one understands.  I hate it when I cry!!!!

Let me reiterate.  I am HUNGRY.  All.  The.  Time.

Did she hear me?  No..........no.  

She did, however, say one thing I will agree with.

After telling her how I took my kids to the water park over the summer but felt left out sitting on the sidelines wearing my clothes (not a swimsuit), she said it was clear I had a self-esteem issue.  Okay that's true, but I sat there wondering if she'd want to go to Sandcastle wearing a bathing suit if she weighed 220 pounds and would suffer skin-to-skin contact from her crotch to her knees.  What would her self-esteem be?  LMAO.

If there's anyone out there reading this, I'd love a comment or unsolicited advice or insight....anything?


  1. Hey Sweetie. I was reading the comments from Band Groupie's recent post and saw yours which then led me to your blog.

    Here are some thoughts I have:
    1. get a new doctor. honestly, just get copies of your records and find a new one. It sounds to me like this doctor is not LISTENING to you at all. Even if she is agreeing to support you by 'signing off', you need a doctor (primary care) who will support you through this lap band process.

    2.Hair loss. Well, I'm 8 months out and yes, I lose a little more hair on a daily basis than I did pre-band but it is nothing significant. I follow upwards of 40 lap band blogs and I can tell you that not one of the people I follow has lost enough hair to worry about it.

    3. Hungry. I'm glad you recognize that there is a difference btwn head hunger and real hunger. With or without band, it will probably exist within you forever. I think most people, even thin ones, get head hunger. What keeps us from giving in is constant examination of our relationships with food. If you aren't already seeing a therapist, I'd recommend getting with one now. Having someone you can tell even the worst stuff to is so important for this process.

    All that said, for your pre-op my recommendation is not fiber but protein! Any bandster out there will tell you that eating a cup of turkey chili or ground chicken with tomato sauce or tuna salad, etc. will stave off hunger better than a fiber laden apple. Start protein loading girl and I bet you see a difference. Beans, while decent in terms of protein, aren't as good as meat, cheese and eggs. Many new bandsters turn to hummus but early on I found that 2 tbsp hummus only has 2 grams of protein. Not so great.

    4. Keeping up with the kids. What your doc said is total BS. Just today I initiated a dance party with my 2 year old. When she got bored with that after 15 min we played hide and seek for 30 min. I can tell you that getting off some of this excess weight has made a world of difference in terms of me keeping up with my toddler.

    Finally, keep trucking. Even with the band, weight loss isn't easy. There are weeks that I wonder if I did this all for naught. But at the same time, I know deep down that it wasn't the dieting that was hard for me to do all of these years, it was keeping off the weight for good. The band is helping me to do that.

    Good luck to you and get a new doctor!

  2. Well Sherry said it so well!
    - Ask Magee for their paperwork on WLS or go to one of their seminars (if you haven't already).
    - If you're planning on using insurance (you may know all this already): I believe it was on Magee's paperwork, that they actually wrote something to the effect of losing only 5-10 pounds on the 6 month diet. You're expected to be a failure on the diet, but do NOT gain even a pound (over the entire 6 months, it's OK if you gain in a month). And do NOT go under the 35 or 40 BMI (whichever threshold you are). There are monthly forms that have to be signed by a physician at Magee. And Exercise has to be a part of the monthly program.
    - Do EVERYTHING Magee wants you to in order to be approved for surgery...if that means keeping a food log (not sure if they require that for their WLS patients or just the lifestyle ones?), then do it. They need to see that portion control is really your issue, NOT committment.
    - I was actually laughing at all the things your Doc was saying...things we've all heard in our attempts to diet (there's that four letter word again). My Doc wasn't exactly behind me either, but I found that the CRNP at his office was, so I went to her for my 6 monthly visits. I agree with getting a new doc, but if you end up keeping the same PCP, give her Magee's 'sample letter' that the ins. needs from the Doc and tell her you want to pick up her letter yourself...make sure it's written correctly and that she recommends you for this procedure in the letter. That way you have control over seeing it before you turn it in...and you can go back to your Doc if there's a problem. Sometimes we just need to educate our Doc's on the real benefits and stats on things.
    - Yes, I had a little hair loss. For banders it's only because of the anesthetic from surgery (I've had the same loss after other surgeries). It comes 3 months after surgery and 3 months later it starts growing back in. We don't have 'malnutrition' hair loss as some gastric patients (even some very restrictive dieter's) have, because we don't have malnutrition issues.
    - Keep blogging...it will be your gratitude journal soon (yeah, I tried the Oprah kind one LOL)...because you will be SO grateful for your Band...and for that monster I call HUNGRY being gone. You're on the right path.
    - Oh, and take a peek at my pics page on my site...there's one of me sitting next to the pool watching the kids (actually after I got the Band, but only had about 1/2 the weight off), and one of me playing with the kids on the beach this year. Not being able to keep up with my kids WAS my moment of deciding on the LB.

    Hey, we're neighbors!!! Send me an email (on my site) if I can help with anything!
    ((hugs)) -BG

  3. So, I didn't read the comments above me, and I'm sure they covered what I'm going to say, not to mention that this was posted over a month ago!!! Anyway, you do not need to go back to this doctor, at least not for weight related problems. I feel like coming out there (where ever there is) and making an appointment with her just to address some of these things! First of all, there is not any evidence that most LB patients gain all the weight back, in fact, LB hasn't been around long enough to support that anyway! And the whole purpose of the LB is for people who can lose the weight on their own, but not keep it off! The hair loss comes from not eating enough protein, not the weight loss itself. So, if you make protein a priority like is stressed through both the doctor and nutritionist (at least mine) you shouldn't have this problem. I could go on and on, but I'm sure it was all covered above, or you have researched it already, being as I am a late commenter! Point is, don't let her discourage you! Merry Christmas!