Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Green Zone, Unicorns, And Other Imaginary Things

 Many of us have heard about the "Green Zone"...this elusive zone we are all chasing after.  When properly restricted with the Lapband, you are supposed to reside in the green zone.  At this point, you feel satisfied with small portions, don't get stuck, make healthy choices, don't snack or think about snacking, etc.  Please take a lookey-loo at the chart below.
I would like to talk about this little chart and where I am right now.  I had a fill scheduled for yesterday, it was my pre-scheduled six month check up.  Tuesday I started to have a mental breakdown about whether or not to go.  This breakdown included tears and irrational emotional outbursts.  Because let me tell you's sumpin.

I can check the yellow boxes AND the red boxes on almost every area.

For example: If you are too loose, you can eat "any amount of bread, pasta, rice, along with protein and veggies".  CHECK.  BUT, if you are too tight you find yourself eating : "candies, chips, ice cream, pastries, pies, soda, soups, protein drinks".  CHECK


You stop eating when the food is all gone but want more (too loose).  You stop eating when the band makes you feel uncomfortable (too tight).  Check mark, check mark.

You feel me?  I find a lot of the things listed in the red column have nothing to do with physical hunger and/ or proper restriction, but so much to do with snacking, head hunger, and old habits.  I can eat an entire plate of alfredo pasta, with peppers and chicken AND a heaping side of broccoli with no problem.  BUT, give me one hot dog and a little potato salad...and that might not work.  My band may be the perfect restriction but I will STILL think about food all the time.

I feel like I am not making sense.  My point is, for me, the band helps with my portion control.  Getting a fill will not help at all with my snacking control.  I eat out of boredom.  I eat junk food because it takes oh so much better than healthy food.  It just does.  My brain is programed for cheetos.  I have to fight that urge. 

And here is why I was really torn about getting a fill.  If the number on the scale sounded better, I wouldn't care if I lost another pound.  I am actually at a really good place with my body.  I kinda dig it!  Yes I have the body of someone who has lots mucho weight, but it's a healthy, fit, size 10ish, 170 poundish, can ski around a lake and do a pull up kinda body.

This is why I am not weighing (and still haven't) this month.  I am so SO sick of talking about my weight.  I am sick of feeling like 171 makes me fat, but 169 makes me thin. 

So I went to my appointment and told Dr. Friedman everything I pretty much have told you.  Aw, I love him.  He gave me a fill (but only bc I said my portions were big), told me I don't need to lose anymore, that I am hot enough.  He also made me stick out my hand so he could slap it (after confessing all my sins).  I told him that I kinda like that, and I may just go eat bad so I can come back today and he can slap me around again.

I met with my nutritionist after that.  She asked me if I ate junk food because it was around...I said NO.  I will go and find it.  I will leave work to go to the store and buy junk.  We talked about healthy snacking options I might like.  I told her I am trying to eat celery.  Told her I am using organic peanut butter with the celery.  She told me I might want to try putting laughing cow on it.  I will try that.  I told her I am trying to eat the 100 calorie cottage cheese and fruit mixers, that I use reduced fat wheat thins to eat it.  She suggested looking at other crackers with higher fiber.  Good point. 

Heather made me make some rules that I am going to try and follow over the next few weeks.  This is one of the times I cried, because I am tired of thinking about it all the time...I just wanna live my life.  BLAH!  But some of the things I am going to try and recommit to our:

Water:  at least 100 ounces a day.  I did this religiously during my first year of weight loss.
Snacking:  When I got's to snack, I am going to have healthy options available.
Crap removal:  If the food I am about to put in my mouth doesn't have nutritional, fiber, protein, etc...I am going to try and reconsider eating it.
Pop/Soda:  I can only have a diet drink after I have drank at least 60 ounces of water.
Beer/Wine:  None for 3 weeks. 

So there you have it.  Nothing groundbreaking.  Just doing some of the things that helped me lose 120 pounds my first year. 

But there was a difference.  At 327 pounds I WAS MOTIVATED.  I was sick of hurting, I was sick of being fat, I was determined to be a success story.  I didnt like where I was.  I had goals and I didn't want to let myself of my fellow bloggers down.

At 170...I'm just not that motivated.  Again.  I like me now.  I don't know if I have what it takes to be determined enough to lose 10 more pounds because I don't really need too. 

And that kids, is my mental block.

Happy Thursday


  1. I find this post very motivating for me...because I am only at the beginning of my journey, have lost 50lbs in the first six months, but now my WL has stalled and I haven't lost or gained in over a month. I read your blog all the time and wonder how the heck you found the motivation to lose all that weight when here I am stuck at only 50lbs down 6 months in....I should have more motivation left.

    So I find it comforting to see you are battling the same battles as me...I like to eat crap and it has nothing to do with hunger. I don't know how to fight that head hunger because I have no will power. So hearing you say this gives me hope...hope that this is still doable for me...the realization that you are just normal, like me, and yet you have this great success...that I so desperately want.

    Thanks for your honesty. I absolutely LOVE reading your blog, it's my favourite. I think you should write a book. You are very funny :-)

  2. Oh sweet Jesus- I am there. I WAS motivated at 300 pounds, now its a battle. I want to lose more, but I'm not super unhappy anymore. Ugh- I need to make the choice. I'm either done losing or I'm not.

  3. Again you remind me of why I love you/your blog. Your head is my head. So if you can do it I can do it. :) And damn I those bagels are still calling my name.

  4. This is just fitting in so perfectly with where I am now. I'm deciding whether or not to have a small fill. I can also check off everything pretty much too. I seek out snacking and lost the first 100 pounds and lost my motivation. I'm getting back on track!

  5. I'm right there with you. I was just discussing this with my BFF! I am right where my doc wants me (within 3 pounds). He says he'll be happy if I stay here because I will be out of the danger Zone for co-morbid conditions. However, I have to ask myself if I'm happy here and if I can accept the new me and STOP fighting with the scale daily.
    I'm also less motivated now that I am in regular sizes and don't have to worry about if I'll fit something or not. Could this be 'it', and if so, is that ok?
    Great food for thought!

  6. You're not the only one, my dear. I've heard others refer to where you are as the "orange zone" because if you mix red and yellow together...well, you get it. I have signs of that myself. I can eat way too much bread or pizza or meat, but if I try to eat bread and meat at the same time...stuck-a-roonie. Sandwiches are a no-go. But if I were to eat the meat and bread separately, no problem. Odd. But yeah...snacks. One of the things that I have found that I really like is cucumbers, peeled and the seeds scooped out, cut into sticks and dipped into lowfat sour cream mixed with ranch dressing powder and hot sauce. That's been really doing it for me lately. Celery sometimes skeeves me out because of all the strings, but that dip works well with celery too.

  7. Amy, just throwing this out there but what happens when you DO "stop thinking about it"? IN the last few months I've really STOPPED thinking about what I'm eating, when, how much, feeling guilty or proud of what I put in my mouth and I'm still losing weight. This is not to say that I don't have days where I eat Cheetos or two bowls of ice cream after dinner but mostly I've stopped worrying so much about it. I do my normal work outs, I eat normally and really try to focus on stopping when I'm full and I.FEEL.FREE. I feel good! I'm only losing about .5 - 1 lb a week at most (and sometimes I go up that amount) but I'm doing well. I went on vacation for a week and threw caution to the wind and came down 1.5 pounds DOWN. And there was absolutely no exercise, and lots of eating, lots of drinking. I honestly believe that there is something in our bodies (corisol maybe?) that makes us not lose weight or gain weight when we begin to stress about losing weight or gaining weight. Have you tried in recent months to NOT think about it?

  8. I am seriously losing my mind....too dilusional to respond to anything!

    Hope this works for you because nothing is working for me! I am getting bigger by the minute.

  9. I don't have much motivation right now either. I was logging my food for a while, but I just don't want to. I even stopped blogging for a few weeks because I was tired of thinking about it and talking about it. I am not a big snacker, but I have been eating more sweets than usual. I wish I had some great answers for you! I think you are doing all the right stuff and that your mojo will come back. It often ebbs and flows. Keep writing!

  10. Hi Amy!

    Please know that you don't have to force yourself to eat healthy snacks that you don't really like...celery would never be one of my snack options, as it's not yummy and does not satisfy me.

    There are plenty of yummy real foods that are great don't have to do fat free everything (in fact, I would advise against it).

    I have healthy snacks that satisfy me AND are yummy...a bit of dark choc and some almonds...carrots and hummus...a giant bowl of salad greens with a bit of chopped up turkey on it with a few sunflower seeds and balsamic vinegar (sometimes salsa on it too)...justins almond butter on a warm toasted english muffin....a nectarine, or apple...banana with small packet of justins almond butter....greek yougurt with a bit of agave and raspberries and slivered avocado with salt and pepper eaten straight out of the skin (my crack)...

    I know that if I have snacks (and meals) that are yummy and healthy, I don't crave the bad stuff as often at all...if I'm forcing myself to eat celery as a snack, then it's like I haven't even eaten anything and all I can think about is the crap that would taste a million times better.

    Sometimes I eat the doritos, or the soda, or the cookies, or the pizza too....but it's the yummy and healthy real food that truly helps to satisfy me in the ways my body needs. I can also overeat the yummy snack foods too, but that's a whole other story (I'm not banded).

    Lastly - if you are happy with where your body is, why do you need to lose that last ten?

    I love love love your blog, keep on workin it girl!

  11. Celery, yuck.

    I don't know if you like dill pickles, but I find those (and big kalamata olives) do a really good job of hitting my salty/crunchy snack urges while doing virtually no damage (other than the salt of course).

  12. It definitely sounds like it's more of a mental block than anything else. I'm pretty sure my snacking is. I eat because I'm bored or because I think it will TASTE good, not because I'm hungry. Can I get a smack on the hand too?

  13. I'm yucko on the celery too. I'd rather have a piece of cheese or a handful of almonds.

    I hadn't seen that chart before, dunno why. But I find it interesting. I hope that those people who haven't seen it pay attention to what it is saying.

    I have a challenge this weekend. To not go off the rails. Liv will be at a friend's house for a sleepover and it's just gonna be me. Gotta keep myself entertained without it including me sticking anything in my mouth.

    Perv. You know what I mean. :P

  14. I could have written your post, WORD FOR WORD! I know exactly how you feel. I wish that I had the relationship that you do with your doctor, I feel like mine never really listens to me and just wants to give me my fill and rush me out the door. My worst time for being snacky is at night after my kids have gone to bed. Then it's time to bring on the popcorn or oreos. Yeah, not the best options... I'm tired of constantly thinking of food and when/what I'm going to eat next. I was hopping I gave this all up when I got my band! Whoever said WLS was the cheaters way definitely hasn't had it done!

  15. Great post, Amy! I'm kinda in the same frame of mind and trying to focus in a production direction. We can do this! :)

  16. Amy, thank you so much for this post. I have been dealing with very similar feelings. Each day is a struggle to follow the "rules." When I do, and make good choices, things go smoother. But, oh how I love snacking! And, when I'm not eating, I'm thinking about what I can eat, when I can eat next, what I shouldn't be eating. Your posts and your journey is such a help to me.


  17. I do not mean that I am happy to see you struggle. But it shows me that a number on the scale does not make problems go away. It does not make it easier. Thank you for your honesty. I really do appreciate it.

  18. Hi Amy,

    Interesting chart. I'm sure I've seen it in the doc's office, but I swear I never read a word of it until now. And yeah, I'm in the orange zone now too. Heck maybe the brown zone. All of the options fit me depending on the day and what I'm doing. Life with the band is always interesting.

    Thanks for sharing where you are. You are totally motivating to me and you've done an amazing job even if you decide to stay right where you are!

  19. I am so glad I read this... I feel like I am sabotaging myself by eating too much or the wrong things... It is very hard to continue this lifestyle knowing how delicious things are... Is there a Amnesia for Ice Cream and Chocolate? If so, sign me up! I miss you so much. Thanx for your wonderful message on my Blog... You are my hero.

  20. Looks like there are plenty of us feeling the same at the moment. I'm still losing a couple of pounds a month, but it would be more if I was actually trying (ie eating healthily and going to the gym). My answers fall pretty much all in the red zone, but I fear having any ccs removed from my band in case I slip straight into the yellow zone!
    And as for celery, one word - YUCK!

  21. I've been a junk food seeker lately too. Motivation, motivation, wherefore art thou!? Just this afternoon, I stopped at Meijer and bought a new workout shirt and a snickers bar. Messed in the head, I tell you!

  22. great post. i am just a newbie w/ the band so I really have no advice. I do think you look beautiful, don't need to lose more, and probably need to have the food item you want BUT in a small portion....celery is fine but I've NEVER in my life craved celery. I just got banded a week ago but for the six months prior to surgery I worked on banding my HEAD. Yep, pretended I had the band already, tried to follow the rules, and work on my issues. I read a book called "Love what you eat, Eat what you love" (or vice versa) by Dr. May. You might find some inspiration in that.

  23. I LOVE the things you are going to re-commit to! I hope you don't mind if I adopt those myself. I am lacking motivation lately and I think this will help me! Thanks!!!