By request, I thought I would answer this question: What is your secret?
Every so often, someone suffering from SAFW (pronounced Saf-wuh), also known as slow and frustrating weight loss...asks me how or why my weight loss has been on the high side. I have been thinking about my answer. What I have decided on is that half of my weight loss is due to determination. The other half? Luck.
But, that is not a helpful answer...so we will try this....
What I Think Has Contributed to My Weight Loss With the Band
-I have a fantastic doctor who let me decided how often I wanted to be filled. My first fill was six weeks post op. After reporting I could eat a sandwich, bread and all, with no problem, he gave me 4ccs. Two weeks later I called back and said I need more restriction...and I got right in. ONE week after that, still with no restriction, he let me come in again...and finally I felt something. If Dr. Friedman had been slow with his fills, or made me wait until my official appointments, I would not have gotten restriction so early in the game, and while I can't be certain of this, I do not think I would have lost as much weight without it.
-I drink lots of water. I strive for 100 ounces a day. Sometimes I get more. I find when I am head hungry, or even physically hungry, that I can fend off snacking if I drink 20 ounces of water.
-I try to avoid grazing. When I do snack, I try to stay away from salty snacks.
-I have a great support system in Tracey and from this blog. Tracey doesn't bring tempting foods into the house. He works out with me. He encourages me. That makes a difference! I can't imagine how hard it is for those of you who have kids or hubbies that require tempting, junky food. And this blog...I have said it before but you guys keep me going. I want to have good things to report and this blog helps me be accountable.
-When I am eating, I try to do protein first. I don't drink with my meals. I rarely eat fast food.
-One of the lessons the band has taught me is that there is a difference between real hunger and head hunger. When I want to eat, I can now stop and ask myself "Amy...are you really hungry?" And if the answer is no, I try not to eat.
-I set mini-goals and I meet them. I don't set unattainable goals, but I don't set low bar goals either. I am a procrastinator...and without mini-goals, I lose focus.
-I do not track or record my calories. But I do try to keep a rough, running estimate in my head. I like to stick to around 1100-1200 calories a day.
-Exercise I know this is not a good thing to say, but I don't do it on a regular basis. I just don't. Right after surgery we started walking. I decided I would do a 5k a few months after banding and so I was motivated. I started walking one mile a week, added half a mile every week until we got to 3 miles. We walked at least 3 times a week. Sometimes Tracey and I go to bootcamp here at work. When we are on that kick, we go twice a week. But we haven't been since Corey got sick. Exercise is the one thing that I have not truly embraced yet.
As any regular reader of my blog knows, I have weeks where I am the model bandster, and weeks where I am the model do-not-do-this-bandster. The weeks where I don't lose, here are the behaviors that cause me to maintain or gain (sometimes up to 5-7 pounds in one week!). I drink a lot of soda/pop. I eat candy. I eat lots of salty chips and peanuts. I graze. I don't drink as much water. I sneak food and resort to old habits. I go shopping and buy whatever I think will slide through my band. I lose sight of my goal. I just don't care.
And that brings me to attitude. Sometimes I think it is natural to wallow in the "I just don't care" place. You can vacation there, but you CANNOT live there. To get out of my funks I ask myself what I want. I look in the mirror. I take one day at a time. I choose water instead of Sunkist. I hide the peanuts. I look at before pictures. I read my blog. I think of you guys and those of you rocking the band! I think of those of you sooo close to goal, those of you shattering that stupid "40% of your excess body weight statistic". And I also count my blessings and remember how lucky I am and how I can do this. I know that if I do what I am supposed to the majority of the time, the scale will move. My pants will get looser. My fat will start to pack up and leave. It will. And it has.
I think so many variables can determine how quickly we lose weight. I started at 327 pounds. I think that those of us who started bigger can potential lose faster (at the beginning) then those who started lighter. Genetics, environments, doctors...all play a part. That is why comparing can be so dangerous. The real important part is are you doing what you need to (most of the time anyways). If you are...then that is all you can ask for! And if not...I bet you know what you need to do to reach your next goal. And if you need to refocus, you don't have to be "perfect". Set one mini goal for the week. And accomplish it!
For example, I have had 3 weeks of "good girl" behavior. Typically, I would go wonkey this week. But my goal is to stay the course. Make more good choices, then bad. Drink my water. Don't eat salty peanuts all day. Keep my January 27th goal of 120 pounds lost in sight. And I know that this week will be full of "good girl" behavior!