if you’re considering banding, or doing the pre-op work, it’s a must-read.
i found myself doing one of these:
i had a LOOOOONG conversation recently with my nutritionist about this very thing. and if you’ve ever attended a seminar, you know what i’m talking about.
you go in thinking “this is it. this is what i’ve been waiting for. it’s amazing. it will solve all of my problems. why didn’t i find this sooner?”
and then you do it. and things are pretty cool for awhile. you lose some weight, look better, feel better. and you’re all like:
sans drumstick of course.
and then you hit a wall. a plateau. a dry spell. nothing happens. nothing moves (except for you, five to six times a week at the gym). and you wonder what happened between the seminar and real life.
well, it’s all there and black and white folks. the truth.
thanks, jen, for putting it all out there.
you’ve just made my monday all…
no. not that kind of diet (though i do plan on making some modifications to my regularly scheduled breakfast, lunch and dinner).
a spending diet. as in, watching my spending like i watch my waistline.
i’ve been reading dave ramsey and perusing my checking account and the verdict is in: i’ve been spending too much (mostly little bits here and there, but all in all, too much).
if you knew what i was like ten years ago, heck, even five, you would know how far i’ve come. but since many of you didn’t know me then, you probably wouldn’t understand the enormity of the change in my financial outlook over the past decade.
generally speaking, i’m a thrifty gal. i never pay for shipping, i coupon and pay my credit card balance every month. i have an emergency fund and a 401k and utilize my health savings account (pre-tax dollars baby!). i shop when stuff is on sale and rarely pay full price for anything.
regardless of all of these things, i still am spending too much money. not living-beyond-my-means spending, or i’ll-be-broke-by-the-end-of-the-month spending, just. TOO. MUCH. and because money can be such a huge issue in marriage, and because i don’t want it to be an issue in mine, i’m going to re-examine the way i look at – and spend – money.
also, and this is a big thing, i’ve come to realize that some of my spending is bordering on transfer addiction.
Psychologists call this phenomenon “addiction transfer.” People who struggle with compulsive behaviors (such as compulsive overeating, alcoholism, smoking, compulsive gambling or shopping, promiscuity, workaholism, Internet or video game addiction and drug addiction), often find that they overcome one addiction only to develop another months or even years later.
(you can read more about it here.)
you see, i can’t eat like i used to, or devote my time to coach-potatohood (yep. i just made that up.) or smoke. sidebar: i smoked for 10 years and quit before being banded. after banding, my desire to smoke (even after having not smoked for a year) is greater than ever. it doesn’t even make sense to me.
post-banding, i am addicted to exercise (not a horrible thing) and as of late, spending money. shopping, hoarding random crap like wallflowers and candles because i’m afraid i’ll miss out on something and not be able to get it again. like serious messed-up, addictive (hoarder??) thinking.
so come january 1, i am starting a serious spending diet. and i’m basing it on this chica’s spending diet, with a few necessary modifications.
The Spending Diet:
- make list of my needs: shelter, phone, food, utilities, rent.
- from my needs list, determine what can be costs can be reduced (i’d say eliminate, but they are supposed NEEDS).
- stop spending $$$$$$.
- spend money on needs, because, hey, they’re needs.
- because this is a spending diet (not a fast), i am allowing myself a $100 limit on “non-needs” for the month. stuff like: clothes, make-up, entertainment, dinner out, other random “non-needs” stuff. this does not include wedding-related expenses, as those are pretty much unavoidable at this point (deposits, fees, dress, whatnot). that’s a completely separate budget – YES. I HAVE AN EXTREMELY DETAILED (AND THRIFTY) WEDDING BUDGET THAT I UPDATE ON THE DAILY.
- i’ll keep a running monthly tally of the money i’m spending on “non-needs” and once the $100 is done, so is my spending.
the implications of such a task are not lost on me. and subconsciously, i think my ability/inability to cut my spending is directly related to my ability/inability to lose weight.
this will be particularly challenging, given that it falls right during bath & body works’ semi-annual sale and end-of-the-year clearances (damn wallflowers!), but i will be strong. and i will save.
and i will be a better (and richer) person/partner/bandit for it.
i’m on my snow bunny steez.
happy saturday friends 🙂
“Horrific story!! I’m actually glad that you told it, because it makes me think twice about what my plan is if I get stuck and need immediate help. What would you do differently next time? Would it have helped if you had something explaining the band system with you? Just curious…”
1. “what would you do differently next time?” first, i would have called friday when i got stuck, so that i could have avoided the $100 ER copay and nineish hours of hellish vomiting/discomfort/all-around misery. now that i look back on it, my band was too tight and i knew it. i should have said something sooner. secondly, i would have asked that the doctor meet me at the office and not the ER. in fact, i’m going to bring this up with my surgeon at my appointment next tuesday. it’s crazy to have endure all that testing/trauma when all i needed (and knew i needed) all along was an unfill. RIDIC. finally, i would have not eaten eggs. and i won’t!
2. “would it have helped if you had something explaining the band system with you?” doubtful. they were pretty intent on (CAT) scanning/poking/prodding/not listening to me. i told them right off the bat that i needed an unfill and had something stuck. what did the tests show? why, a blockage! it’s likely emergency room protocol (and greed) to go through all that ridiculously expensive testing rather than listen to little old me and page the doctor on-call, but i knew my stuff. i did have my card on me, but no one wanted to see it (or would have cared). ironically, later that night i found an emergency room cheat sheet for WLS patients. might be nice to have this in case i’m incapacitated for any reason, especially since this time, i could barely talk due to the frequent vomiting and pressure on my esophagus.
it was definitely a learning experience – one i hope to never repeat.
run – DO NOT WALK – to your surgeon if you suspect you’re too tight. do not ignore that voice inside your head.
three days later, still traumatized. and still not eating eggs 🙂
in the craziness of my return to reality (ugh), i missed one very important date: my six-month bandiversary!
that’s right: i’m six months banded (though it feels like forever, since, if we want to get technical, it was this time last year that i was just beginning the six-month supervised diet and the many other pre-op hoops i wound encounter before being approved for surgery).
in these past six months, i’ve done and learned a lot, including:
- losing 38 pounds, at least 30 inches (at last count), and six points (?) off my BMI.
- discovering that eating in the car is a really bad idea, especially when it comes to breakfast sandwiches.
- going hard on the food-front helps, but going hard in the gym is what makes all the difference – at least, for me.
- learning that doctors don’t know everything. what they think is right for me isn’t always what’s right for me.
- conquering my fear of bathing suits. up until this summer, i don’t think i’d worn one in public in more than three years.
- getting back to (and having now surpassed) my pre-PCOS diagnosis weight.
- realizing that surgery wasn’t like putting on a bandaid – it was like taking one off. a lapband didn’t fix the problem; instead, it opened up old wounds and everyday issues that forced me to finally deal with my weight and emotions – and not by eating or sleeping my way into oblivion. i never considered myself an emotional eater until eating was no longer an option to avoid dealing with my emotions.
so i cried.
yes. i am the type who, when truly angry, unleashes the tears rather than the curse words (those come later).
i lost (according to their scale) 4 pounds since my last visit, for a total of just under 30 pounds loss (again, according to their scale – i have consistently weighed myself on my scale under the same conditions from the get-go so my weekly weigh-ins reflect my own scale).
when he started in on my portion size and exercise, i could feel the anger bubbling up.
“are you exercising?”
“yes. it seems as it’s all i do.”
“well, you need to do more and learn to control your portions. you should be losing much more. if you don’t start losing, we’ll have to unfill your band.”
this is where i lost it. unfill my ‘effin band? what good would that do?
so i started crying and yelling. some highlights….
- i’m not going to come here and be charged for a consultation when it’s a tongue-lashing or unsolicited advice.
- maybe people come in here and lie to you about what they eat and how much they exercise, but i’m not one of them and i’m not going to be made to feel as though i’m not doing anything but my best.
- (to his comment that i should have spoken up if i didn’t like what he said) i’m telling you right now.
- (to his comment that i can call him anytime to ask questions if i don’t know what i’m supposed to be doing) i don’t have any questions. i’m doing what i’m supposed to be doing.
- (to his comment that his patients are like his kids and he just wants the best for me) you certainly aren’t like my parents. my parents are proud of what i’ve accomplished.
- (to his comment about me needing his validation) i certainly don’t need your validation, just as i don’t need your condemnation. i don’t come here to hear that i’m a failure.
- (to his comment that i need to keep my morale up) it’s hard to when i come in here and am made to feel like i’m being anything but honest.
- i’m doing my part. when is the band going to start doing its part?
- i’ve lost 30 pounds and 30 inches. i’m not sure why i’m not supposed to feel anything but happy about that.
- i have PCOS and insulin resistance. i lose slowly. i always have. i always will. that’s not going to change.
that’s basically it in a nutshell. there was more but it’s a blur of tears and glares. i wasn’t my most mature, but i never am when i’m truly that upset. i hope that some day i will be able to communicate my anger/upset without crying.
so he gave me 0.5 ccs (for a total of 5.3 in a 14-cc band) and told me to come back in two months, that i needed to keep my spirits up. it was a long walk of silence to the front window, let me tell you.
i don’t know what to do. maybe i’m being super immature about the entire situation, or maybe i just need some perspective. bottom line: he doesn’t determine my success or failure, so he needs to stop having an affect on my attitude. point.blank.period.
any advice for me? should i look for a new doc or stick it out and gain some perspective?
i have an appointment with my doctor in the morning, so i’m gone above and beyond to ensure i don’t blow up on him by preparing for my appointment like a weight-loss champ. (backstory here.)
1. i did the elliptical for 30 minutes on saturday and sunday (a feat in itself – i hate the elliptical!) and lifted saturday.
2. i did zumba pump for an hour today. after i was done, i rode the bike for 25 minutes.
3. i tried to eliminate carbs (as much as i could) from my diet today.
4. i drank crystal light and vitamin water like it was going out of style.
5. i took progress photos. even if i’m going to get a verbal beatdown from my doctor tomorrow, i thought i might as well go ahead and see what’s really going on. the camera doesn’t lie. (gosh, i look better with clothes on. and gosh, why aren’t my arms getting smaller? gosh, i look the same?) and yes, that’s my laptop on the bathroom counter, because i also was…
6. …updating my monthly(ish) measurements. down 28 inches, sucka! when he tells me i’m not losing enough (5 lbs in 6 weeks is good for a gal like me), i can hit him with the “i’ve lost nearly 30 inches, jerk.”
i predict that all of this was in vain and i will still get a scolding, so i have about 12 hours to prepare.
prepare for the best, prepare for the worst, prepare to hold my tongue, prepare to give him a piece of my mind.
who knows what will come out my mouth? i suppose a lot of it depends on what comes out of his.