04 October 2007

The Toughest Months

October, November and December. Is there another three month stretch during the calendar that is fraught with so many opportunities to eat disasterously as these three? I went to the grocery store on my way back from the airport yesterday because I knew I didn't have much food in the house and there was an entire aisle full of freaking Halloween candy. Good grief! Now, I'm not much of a candy person, I was never one to indulge in it pre-op and have zero desire for it now, but man, the sheer amount of it is a little disconcerting. Yes, I can successfully avoid it at the store, but there were already two bags of it at BP's house and I can imagine she ain't the only one who has decided to celebrate Halloween a little early. Then there's the big holiday season...the weather starts to turn, more people turn to comforting foods, and then from like mid-November to the end of the year, incredibly delicious, yet bad for my DS foods abound. What to do, what to do?

I need a strategy. Who am I kidding? I want and fully expect to indulge in some of those goodies, but I don't want to fall into a trap of swimming in the stuff. I remember last year at support group, one of the ladies there, B, who I admire greatly, said that Halloween is one day, Thanksgiving is one day, Christmas is one day. Enjoy all that stuff on those days, not the 3 or four days before and after. Such good advice. Between now and the end of the year, besides my Barbados trip, I don't anticipate having too travel too much so that's probably good. I basically ignore Halloween (just not something I get into). Thanksgiving, I can see maybe that day and maybe the day after being problematic and Christmas this year is on a Tuesday, so I am looking at maybe just Christmas Eve and Christmas being issues. New Year's hasn't been a big food day for me so I'm not worried about that.

Right now two things are competing as most important as I go down the homestretch of weight loss and look toward maintenance. One, is to lose the freakin' weight and get to goal, wherever "goal" might mean. I want to be a success at this. I don't want any regrets about not getting to goal. Wrapped up in that as well, is not wanting to "diet" after I get to goal. Two, I want to learn how to maintain and build those habits that will maintain my success long term. What I have learned is that I can tolerate a lot more carbs than I initially thought BUT eating more carbs means I am eating far too few protein grams. Not eating enough protein also affects how I feel. When I get my protein in, I feel better, I feel more energy, I feel more alert and ready. Eating carbs makes me feel sluggish and tired. Ditto with water, the more water I drink, the better I feel. I get dehydrated easily, seems to have gotten worse the more weight I lose. I get dehydration headaches and/or get dizzy if I don't get my water in, it's crazy. That was something I wasn't anticipating at all. It's a little surprising, to tell the truth, because I knew water was good for me in and of itself, it helps your kidneys, it helps to flush the fat, etc., etc., but I didn't anticipate the quick-acting negative effects of not drinking enough water. Not fun. I tell ya one thing though and this is sort of a tangent, but I am so, so very glad I gave up full sugar sodas/drinks years ago. That crap is probably the most detrimental thing to a post-op there is. At some point you can get full on cake and cookies and shit, but you can chug full sugar drinks like there is no tomorrow. That crap is the #1 way you can sabotage your surgery and your success. You can really pack in the sugar and pack on the pounds drinking that stuff every day. I don't touch the stuff, not at all and I strongly advise any and everyone to avoid it like the plague, there is absolutely nothing good about sugary drinks, nothing. What's scary about it is that there is little feedback (besides "unexplained" weight gain) that you are getting too much sugar. There are no "I'm full" signals being set off so you keep drinking it and drinking it and the next thing you know, you've gained 40 lbs and blame it on the fact that your surgery failed. Nuh-uh, not even worth it. I have learned to prefer diet drinks and although they too have little or no nutritional value, at least they avoid the big giant negative of sugar.

Anyway, I am looking at the next 6 months or so as a time for me to really learn how to practice good long term habits. I don't want to be high maintenance for the rest of my life. I just need to define what my minimum requirements are (nutrition, water, supplementation, exercise) and be able to easily meet those requirements for the rest of my life.

There is only one thing I miss about being 500+ lbs and that is the ability to pop my back. When I had much more bulk than I do know, I could stand up, put my two fists in the small of my back, anchored on my roll of pudge above my butt, arch my back and pop the vertebrae all the way up to relieve tension. It felt soooo good and I can't do it now and it's driving me nuts. If I can figure out another way to get this accomplished, I will be a happy camper. I saw this apparatus in the SkyMall magazine on the plane ride the other day that I think might work so I may have to check it out. It was sort of like a 1/2 moon thingy that you lie down on to arch you back, but it does give some support. Must look into it.

Weight this morning: 289.6 lbs. Grrr.

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