Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Strange, But True

OK, I am about to say something I never thought I would say. I love Pilates. I think I have well documented my hatred of exercise, and especially group exercise classes, so I am as shocked as anyone.

A girl at work encouraged me to join them in the lunch time Pilates class that they run every week. I thought it would be a good way to get to know some new people in my building and be social, but by this morning I was wishing I had never agreed to it. The nerves really kicked in… I was literally repeating a mantra to myself all morning: you have a strong capable body, you have a strong capable body, you have a strong capable body, you have a strong capable body…

I had a very unfortunate experience doing yoga at a past job a few years ago when I was bigger, so that played on my mind a lot. You can see how nervous I was from the panicked email I sent to AJ before I went in for the class:
TULLY: Pilates in 15 minutes… great… can’t wait… pray for me. I am shaking from nerves… or cold… not sure. Maybe it’s just because I feel weird wearing a tight singlet top at work. Why do I get myself into these things?
Alas, I did suck it up and attend the class and I enjoyed every second of it. I felt challenged by the moves, but I didn’t ever feel like I couldn’t do anything. I knew I would have struggled with most of the moves if I was still 130 kilos and I would have felt embarrassed by my size and my restricted abilities. NB. This is not to say other people that size or bigger couldn’t do Pilates, I had fitness and confidence issues that held me back.

I feel like if I keep up Pilates it’ll help make my body stronger, more balanced and more coordinated. I must admit that I didn’t have a chance to focus much on the breathing and meditation side of things because I was just trying follow what we were doing, but that is another area I would like to improve on eventually. I’m really looking forward to continuing and (hopefully) getting better as I go.

Email conversation between me and AJ when I got back from Pilates (for the conversation to make sense, you need to know that I am currently obsessed with eating oats):
TULLY: OK, so this is going to be hard to believe, but I actually loved it! I have never found an exercise I enjoy at all, but this was great. It was just toning, stretching exercises and challenging, but I could keep up. Can’t wait for next week! Might be sore tomorrow though!

AJ: Wow, that is very very cool!!!  I am really proud of you!! Could you imagine doing it at 130 kilos?

TULLY: Never, I couldn’t have even done the basic stretches because my body would have been in the way.

AJ: Between the oats and pilates you are a regular “Mari Winsor”!!!

TULLY: Oh no, next thing you know I’ll decide to do a half marathon…

AJ: LOL…I think it’s organic food, then half marathon!!

TULLY: Oh no, sounds like being a health douchebag is going to get expensive…

Saturday, May 28, 2011

2 Years Banded

About a week ago on 22nd May I notched up 2 years with my lap band. AJ made me a delicious jam and cream filled sponge cake to celebrate my 2 year bandiversary. He did have a little trouble with his writing on the cake (below), but it was delicious and we polished the whole cake off within 24 hours. Aren't I a great example of a dedicated lap bander...

I know I whinge and moan all the time on this blog about how hard I have found it to lose weight and keep it off, but I really shouldn't complain so much because I am happy with how far I have come. If you had told me 2 years ago that I would lose and keep off 50 kilos (110 lbs) with the help of the lap band, I would have thought it was better than winning the lottery.

I think I tend to forget how far I have come and just how much my life has changed in the past 2 years...
  • I forget that getting up from the couch used to be difficult
  • I forget that I struggled to sleep with the pressure of the weight on my chest
  • I forget that I used to fear every new chair and wonder if it would hold my weight
  • I forget that a 5 minute walk would leave me breathless
  • I forget that normal size towels and bathrobes wouldn't fit around me
  • I forget that I was too heavy to use standard exercise equipment
  • I forget that I was too fat for amusement park rides
  • I forget that I couldn't support my weight to crouch down
  • I forget the horror of eating in public and the stares I would get
  • I forget that I couldn't cross my legs
  • I forget how much I hated to travel because it was a mine field for me
  • I forget that I was too scared to have a seat on public transport because I took up too much room
  • I forget that the biggest sizes in the plus size stores were no longer fitting me
  • I forget that the seat belt on the airplane didn't fit me
  • I forget how hot and sweaty I felt all the time
  • I forget that I couldn't reach my toes to paint my nails
  • I forget that I couldn't fit in a booth at a restaurant
  • I forget the looks of sorrow on my family and friends faces when I struggled because of my weight
  • I forget the constant fear and self-hatred I lived with every day



Thursday, May 26, 2011

One Day At A Time

I feel like I have a lot to say and nothing to say at the same time. My life hasn’t been too interesting lately, but I have a lot going on in my head. I’m constantly trying to work out how I can get back to losing weight? What worked for me for the first 50 kilos? Why can’t I get back to that ‘losing’ head space?

For most of this year I decided to try getting my lap band tighter and I thought if I did this it would help me lose weight without having to diet. After 5 months of trying this, I still can’t seem to get the balance right. My band is too tight to eat anything except for soft foods during the day, but I am still hungry all the time. I am still counting down the minutes until my next meal and always thinking about food. Does this mean I need more fill or less fill in my band?

More alarmingly, despite not being able to eat a lot of foods, I am gaining weight. I am eating the wrong foods because it’s easy and I just don’t seem to care. I seem to be dedicated to failing right now. I will literally spend hours picking away at foods like pizza that are difficult for me to eat because I am just determined to get that bloody pizza down. If only I put this dedication toward weight loss!

I have to admit that I sometimes wonder if getting the lap band was the right choice for me. I have only been able to make it work for me by working very hard at dieting and exercise, which I don’t seem to be able to keep up long term. I wonder if one of the more drastic weight loss surgeries would be better for people with serious emotional eating problems? I guess I am just terrified that one day I am going to gain back all the weight I lost. The longer I have the lap band, the less confidence I have in it and myself to keep the weight off.

I am still trying every single day to do better though. Yes, I may be failing some times, but I know I won’t give up.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wrong Way, Go Back

I am really trying to give up my ‘dieting’ ways, but unfortunately it seems I only have two speeds: losing weight or gaining weight. So in trying not to diet, my clothes have been getting increasingly tight and I am feeling uncomfortable in my body again.

It is amazing just how quickly I can feel weight gain now my body is smaller. I swear I could gain 10 kilos when I was my heaviest and I couldn’t tell the difference and now I can feel a kilo difference. I can easily zip up my jeans on a Sunday and then not be able to get them on by Friday. I finally understand all those magazine covers that claim you can lose a size in a week!

I really don’t have a huge amount of weight to lose (in comparison to where I started) but I just don’t seem to be able to get myself in the right head space to do it. I seem to have lost my ability to just suck it up and do it anyway. I just want to come home from work and put on my flannelette pyjamas and eat chocolate. When your mind isn’t in the right place for weight loss it is such an uphill battle.

I guess I wouldn’t worry so much about losing more weight if I didn’t want plastic surgery, but I have a hideous apron stomach and I’m in desperate need of a tummy tuck. I know the photos I put up on this blog don’t really show how big my stomach is (which is intentional!) but it is quite bad. I don’t want to be dramatic… but it makes me feel disfigured. I just won’t feel like I have lost 50 kilos until it’s gone.

In order to get good results from the surgery I know I really need to lose some more weight. I just seem to lack the motivation to lose that extra weight because I know I can’t afford the surgery for a long time. I feel like I’m stuck in a vicious circle of hating my body because of my stomach => eating because I feel hopeless => gaining weight and being further away from having stomach surgery => not caring because I can’t afford the surgery anyway => feeling even more hopeless.

What to do… what to do…

Friday, May 06, 2011

Band Land

A few weeks back I decided I needed to get my lap band tightened up because I was binge eating like crazy and my poor little band was being punished… not to mention the weight gain! I now have 5.9 ml in a 10 ml band, which is more fluid in my band than I have ever had before. Back when I had more motivation and dedication I could happily sit at 4.5 ml in my band, but that just won’t cut it anymore because apparently I eat like a pig.

I think I am probably slightly too tight for my own comfort, but for now, I need the extra tightness to stop me eating a whole pizza and a tub of ice cream. For the most part, I can really only get soft foods down during the day like oatmeal, yoghurt, soup… but that is OK because those are the foods I tend to eat on work days anyway. Though the other day I ate a whole take-away container of Nasi Goreng at work with no problems, the tightness seems to change every day…

It has become apparent that I can no longer attempt to eat proper food at restaurants for breakfast or lunch with this restriction. I have had a few sad moments recently where I have stupidly ordered some delicious food at lovely restaurants and haven’t been able to get anything down. Lucky for me it is coming on winter here and delicious soups will be on the menu in most cafes and restaurants.

I stole some advice that a lovely commenter left on B’s blog once (and I am badly paraphrasing) that you should have your band tight enough to cope with when your band is loosest. So for most of us lap banders, we are quite loose in the evening and can eat pretty much anything. What a cruel joke that our bands are loose at the time most of us over-eaters want to binge eat… So my band is now tight enough to slow down my evening eating.

The tightness of the band really suits the way I am trying to live me life now. It means that I can eat whatever I feel like and not be on a diet, but eat smaller portions. I was hung-over at work the other day and felt like potato cakes, so I went and bought 3, but could only eat 1 and I felt satisfied. I don’t stress at all now when AJ wants to order a take away or if I am going out to dinner with friends because I know I’ll only eat a healthy serving.

I know that I won’t keep my band this tight for too long because food and eating out are my favourite things in life and it is no fun with a tight lap band, but it is helping me for now while I am dealing with my emotional over-eating.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

New Toy!

So I have vowed off gym memberships, but even I know that exercise is a necessary evil if you want to keep fit, so I went and purchased an elliptical machine. I still don't love exercise, but I also don't want to lose the fitness I have developed while slogging it out at the gym the past couple of years. I enjoy walking outdoors, but it isn't always practical and I am the first one to proclaim it's too wet/cold/hot/windy/dark... so now I have no excuse.

I have to admit that I didn't intend to purchase this machine, it really was an accident. I was considering buying an elliptical and my friend recommended I try ebay, which I have never used before, and all of a sudden I had put a bid on and won this machine. I know that probably seems unbelievably stupid, but I don't really have mad Internet shopping skillz. This wasn't even the one I wanted to buy, but it was $800 less than the machine I was going to buy, so I guess that is a good thing...

I tried out the elliptical properly for the first time last night and it wasn't the most enjoyable experience I have ever had. It was a bit squeaky and creaky and one of the foot pads fell off mid work out-- but that wasn't the worst bit... Even though there are supposedly 16 different levels, it felt like it was stuck on the hardest level the entire time I used it. It was seriously like trying to walk through cement. I have used many different ellipticals over the years and I have found them all to be quite different in terms of difficulty, but this was pure torture.

I could only *just* manage 5 minutes before I had to stop for a break. I did some boxing, hand weights and sit-ups while I got my breath back and then tried to get back on the horse. I managed another 5 minutes before I cursed the stupid machine and collapsed on my bed. AJ insinuated I was being a touch dramatic, so I challenged him to 5 minutes so he could get a better feel for the torture I had endured. By the end of the 5 minutes he was drenched in sweat and suitably apologetic for his lack of sympathy.

I am now thinking I should have forked out the extra money for the better machine...

The mean machine.

I had a gorgeous white chaise lounge from Ikea picked out for that spot under the window... so sad to now be filled by such an ugly torture machine...

Set up right in front of the TV. I'm thinking I'll work out while I watch the new series of MasterChef, better than eating while I watch it...

Testing it out in my slippers... apparently there is no way to take a flattering photo while exercising.

Monday, May 02, 2011

No Weigh May Day

For the past couple of years I have been posting my weight on this blog on the 1st day of the month so as to keep a record of my weight loss (or gain) since having the lap band. Yesterday was the 1st of the month, but I won’t be posting a weigh in because I am not weighing myself right now. This isn’t because I’ve gained weight (though, I may well have) or because I am too obsessed with the scales and need a break or anything like that. I just don’t feel the need to get on the scales and see what I weigh.

I always knew that defining myself by the number on the scales was ridiculous, but I was never able to stop weighing myself… and then beating myself up because I gained weight or didn’t lose enough weight. Things have just clicked for me this month and I feel a calmness about not needing to get on the scale because it just doesn’t matter what the number says.

I have lived my whole life being obsessed with losing weight, and in doing so, I created a lot of bad habits. I have been on every diet and failed and then tried it again 6 months later… I have slogged it out at the gym and then not moved from the couch for weeks at a time... I have weighed myself and defined the way I feel about myself by the number on the scale… I don’t want this life anymore and I am slowly working toward finding the balance.

Lately I have been looking to my friends and family with healthy weights and healthy relationships with food and trying to learn from them. I have noticed that when I am with my friends and family that don’t have weight issues I am the only dull person that will obsess about weight, calories and exercise:

I am the one who will guiltily announce I have gained weight and they’ll look at me blankly and say they don’t even own a scale and wouldn’t have a clue if they have gained weight.

I am the only one that will sigh about needing to go to the gym the next day and they will make a comment about never having owned a gym membership.

I am the one who will mull over the healthy options on the menu and refuse any dessert while they enjoy the foods they want to eat.

For god’s sake, I wouldn’t want to be friends with me either!

This doesn’t mean I will never weigh myself again; I’ll just do it when I have an interest in seeing what I weigh. Right now, it's not of any importance or interest to me.