Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Diet Like A Man *Long Post*

**Side note about pictures of NOLA*** My desktop has gone kaput and sounds like a 747 taking off when I turn it on.  I have to download some software to put pics on my laptop and as soon as I do, I will post some pics here because blogs are always better with pictures!

Anyhoo - I've gotten some questions about how my doctor reacts to a weight gain.  Apparently, some lapband docs can be a little judgemental or harsh when dealing with this and some even use fills as a reward for doing well.  So if you don't lose that month, you don't get a fill because he doesn't think you're working hard enough or something.  This sounds totally counterintuitive to me.  I don't think Dr. Simpson is like that but seeing as I don't have a band yet, I can't say for sure.  I can say that he was very understanding with my gain last week, simply saying that these things happen and that if I had perfect willpower, I wouldn't need the band to begin with.  He also said that weight loss shouldn't be about deprivation and shame because it just leads to a vicous cycle.  He said do your best to PLAN when you're going to have a treat so that you're still in control and can make adjustments leading up to it so that it doesn't completely derail your efforts.  So that's that. 

In light of that conversation with the doc, my husband found an article online that goes into why men lose weight easier than women.  Aside from all the biological differences, there are just some basic psychological and ideological ones that play a big role too.  The full article is here but I'm going to include some excerpts and then my comments in blue...if you care to know what I think about it. LOL. 

1. He doesn't crave sweets

Both men and women have cravings—but his work to his advantage.
While your comfort food is more likely to be sour gummy bears or double-chocolate chip bars, his is a thick, juicy steak. A Cornell University study found that women seek out sweets to ward off the blues but men turn to meat when they want to indulge. Why this gives him a weight-loss advantage: He's eating protein, which will help fill him up (and curb overeating later) far better than your coffee cake will.

Duh.  I know we all know this which is why protein is so important in the bandsters' diet.  Not going to harp on this.

2. He doesn't get upset when he screws up
To avoid this diet-busting mentality, apply the 80 percent rule. "Most guys avoid anything that even smacks of perfectionism," and that applies to dieting, too, says Prevention adviser Pamela Peeke, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "When women start a diet, they go from zero to 100—they become 'perfect' overnight, which is a hallmark of failure. That's why I developed the 80 percent rule: Hit your weight-loss goals 80 percent every single day you can.

It goes on to say sometimes you'll be at 100% and perfect and other times, not so much, but as long as you average out to 80%, you're probably OK.  From what I have seen from successful bandsters' blogs, I believe this holds true.  I know I get too down on myself when I don't do what I need to do and I think this is something I definitely need to work on.

3. He lifts heavy weights
"When a guy goes to the gym, he'll usually pick an exercise that allows him to use the most impressive-looking weights," says Lou Schuler, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and author of The New Rules of Lifting. The result: muscle building in less time, and working a range of muscles at once instead of one in isolation. "A woman, on the other hand, will go for light dumbbells and do an exercise that allows her to use perfect form but will do the least amount of good." To wit: The laborious but ineffective 12 triceps exercises women do to try to rid themselves of underarm dangle, says Schuler.

I've heard this time and time again about the strength training.  My husband made me go into the weight room at the last gym we joined.  I was so intimidated by the machines and hated being the only woman in the free weights area.  However, I lost the most weight when I made sure I spent a good 20 minutes doing weight training than if I spent another hour on the treadmill.  They also turned out to be my favorite workouts because I really felt stronger when I left.  Highly recommend this one. 

5. He acts out his anger
Guys are more likely to do something physical to dissipate their negative emotions, like go for an extra-grueling run or pound nails in the garage. Women on the other hand, tend to swallow their feelings—sometimes with an entire row of Oreos. So when you get mad, get moving. Take a Spin class, say, or go for a head-clearing walk. way, this one bugs me.  Go to a spinning class...Ummm...yeah...unless you're a member of a gym, that's not really possible.  But I'm all about the walk and my personal favorite is a punching bag.  We used to have one and while I didn't use it often, it really was a great way to let off steam.

7. He doesn't give up favorite foods
When women diet, we deprive ourselves of all those luscious "forbidden foods" until we can't stand it any longer.

Then we fall like starved dogs on year-old Halloween candy stuck to the back of the freezer

This goes back to what my doc said about how a diet can't be about deprivation.  If you feel you're being deprived, you're making yourself a martyr to the point you think you DESERVE the cookie...not just want the cookie.  This always happens to me at Lent (for noncatholics, this is 40 days where you make a sacrifice as Jesus sacrificed himself for you...ending at Easter with a great big feast. Yum...anyhoo).  I can't have meat on Fridays.  Is that a big deal?  No...however, it's always on Friday that I want a big bacon cheeseburger and I don't even like cheeseburgers!  It's just because it's off limits.

This last tidbit is my favorite -
And choose something fun to distract you when cravings strike. "So many times women are told, 'If you feel like you're going to overeat, distract yourself by cleaning the house,'" says Sass. "That's like torturing yourself." No man in his right mind is going to do chores to keep himself from overeating.

Duh!  I have been told my countless articles, trainers, nutritionists, and "diet experts" that distracting yourself when you're just head hungry is the best means of fighting the craving.  And their suggestions are ALWAYS like the one above as if cleaning the house is what we, as women, do for FUN!  Yeah right.  This is why I'm taking up scrapbooking.  Hopefully, when I feel the need to mindlessly eat, I can work on that hobby as opposed to growing my waistline.

Overall, I think this article makes so much sense!  I think I've been way too hard on myself so until my next weigh in, I have given myself some fairly commonsense rules to stick to (remember..can't lose TOO much because of insurance. argh!) but if I stray, I stray.  I'm not going to beat myself up and I'm also not going to give myself a free check to keep on cheating just because I messed up once. The rules also apply mostly during the week because the weekends are harder to plan.  The rules are as follows:
  1. No SODA!
  2. 64 ounces of water daily
  3. Starbucks allowed once a week!
  4. Lunch out is allowed once a week but must still be a good choice.
  5. 2 hours a week of activity - walking, hiking, cleaning, SOMETHING to get moving
  6. Most of all, just making better CHOICEs
Easy enough, right?

Friday, March 26, 2010

4th Weigh In = Gain

Gained 2.  SIGH.  Oh my hero, Scarlet O'Hara, would say...tomorrow is another day...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm back and off to the doctor's

Hey!  This just a quick post to say I made it back from New Orleans safe and sound.  I'll post a full everything-I-did-and-include-food-porn-pics post tomorrow.  I have been milling about and getting caught up on the blogs.  I haven't been able to comment on most as I have been at work and trying to catch up with THAT has taken more time than I thought it should.  I have my 4th weigh in today with Dr. Simpson.  I'll be honest.  I don't feel good about it.  I never did get back on track (but I felt I did OK on vacation) but it was just too tough of a month for me diet/exercise-wise.  No, I don't have a good reason and it wasn't anything of biblical proportions that kept me from doing what I needed to do but it is what it is.  If I show a gain today (which is a very real possibility), I will be disappointed...not only at the scale but at myself for letting it happen.  However, I am going to try to stay positive and not get too upset and not believe that it's going to totally derail my efforts to get banded.  It's possible that I'll have to start my 6 months all over again (please God no), but what I'm hoping will actually happen is that at the end of the 6 months, this month will be merely a blip.  It will merely prove that I need the lapband to stay on track.  It will merely show the insurance representative that while I tried my hardest, I have weak spots and March was one of them but that I rebounded (please God yes) in April and May and finished strong.  If I gain, I gain.  There's nothing I can do to change that number in less than an hour so there's no point in having a breakdown about it.  I'm asking for good thoughts.  Warning may see pictures of an Amy-like fit tomorrow if I gain but then I'll let it go.  I promise.

Side note: Once I get my pics downloaded to my laptop, I'll do my NOLA post.  Had a great time!  Happy Thursday everyone and it's good to be back and caught up.  Looks like I'm not the only one struggling and I'm sorry to say (does this make me a horrible person?) that it makes me feel a little bit better knowing I'm not alone. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Off to NOLA

Just a quick post to say I'm off to New Orleans for a mini vacation!  As for the wagon, I'm being dragged by it.  Not doing absolutely terrible but not doing great.  Will come back from Louisiana renewed, rejuvenated and remotivated.  At least, that's what I'm counting on.  I want to thank you all for your support in my last post.  I don't know why I'm struggling so much right now.  I have a theory but will have to post about it another time.  I will see y'all next Tuesdays with pics from trip! 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Anyone seen a wagon around here?

1 shiny red wagon full of healthy food, moderate exercise and a motivated attitude.  This wagon was last seen a couple weeks ago racing a beginner-jogger to a 5k.  Lots of people are on the wagon -  working out, eating right, doing pilates and boot camps and Zumba.  If you spot the wagon, please give me a holler so I can climb back on.  Thanks!

Yes, Ladies and Gentleman (men? As far as I know I only have one male follower but I would hate to make assumptions), I have fallen off the healthy wagon.  I haven't worked out in weeks.  I'm eating all kinds of crap.  I had fried potatoes for lunch yesterday...FRIED potatoes.  Egad.  I have been desperately trying for the last couple days to get my motivation back.  It hasn't happened.  I'm getting Starbucks every morning and fast food for lunch and then it's out-to-eat for dinner.  I've been having COKE!!!!  No...not the illegal druggy kind, but the syrupy, sweet, just-as-addictive kind.  It is downright pitiful.  To make matters worse, I feel I am derailing my husband's efforts.  That makes me feel guilty and then I want to eat.  I can think of lots of excuses.  It's been rainy in Arizona the last couple weeks (off and on...not enough to really pose a problem).  My little girl has been sick (right...she's sick...not me...).  I got a bad haircut (it was absolutely awful...can't be seen attempting to jog like that). devoted posse...I'm looking for my wagon. I'm ready to jump back on and hold on tight.  No more excuses.  I don't know what got in to me but it's unacceptable.  I have exactly 1 week before my trip to New Orleans and I refuse to use an upcoming trip as a reason to let it go for another week!  I am going to walk every night this week...even if it's just around the grocery store.  I am going back to my work coffee with fat free creamer.  I am bringing my lunch.  I am going to USE MY KITCHEN (and not just for girlscout cookie storage)!  And when I go to New Orleans, I am going to try whatever I want to try.  BUT I am not going to gorge myself just because I'm on vacation.  I will taste everything but try not to go nuts.  I will USE THE HOTEL GYM!  I will relax my body, my mind and my soul because I will know that I am on the road to moderation.  I have 2 1/2 weeks until my next weigh in with my doctor and I absolutely, under no circumstances, can afford a gain.  I will not allow it. 

Here wagon, wagon, wagon....where are you?????

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sunshine Award!

Special thanks to LDSwims of A Journey to Embrace fame for giving me the Sunshine Blogger award.  While I do think it was something of a pity vote seeing as I was left out of the Beautiful Blogger Award (WHATEVER), I'll take it!  I really like what the Sunshine Award is all about...positivity and providing support and inspiration to fellow blogsters.  While I'm not sure I'm as positive as I should be, you can bet I'm supportive as hell of all of you and what you're trying to accomplish.  With that in mind...the rules as you all know them by now...

1. Post the logo on your blog.

2. Pass the award on to 12 fellow bloggers.

3. Link the nominees

4. Let nominees know they have won this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to the person you received this award from.

I know some of these are going to repeat but what can I say?  I'm saying you're inspirational for a reason and if you get nominated by 8 different people, you should try to not be so witty and charismatic...and the winners no particular order...
Joey at Volume Control - She's just too funny!
Catherine at Chronicles from Bandland - Talk about inspirational!  She's done absolutely amazing with her band but also shares all her exciting NYC tales.
at Fat Bastard Banded - He's still in preband land but you gotta admire anyone who would take on the pre-op liquid diet without being told too in hopes of early surgery date.  He also cracks me up.
Sarah at Losing Weight and Gaining Tons - Even on her grouchy days (see today's post), she's optimistic and peppy.  How does she do it?
Carla at Loving Lucy Lapband - She was one of the first to comment on my blog and she always has something supportive to say. 
Katie at Me vs Myself - She's overcome a good bit of personal stuff to get where she is which always puts things in perspective for me.
Robin at My Journey into a New World - She is doing fantastic with her new band!  She's not shy about her life or asking questions and many of them are the same questions I have. 
No list is complete without Amy of Once Upon a Time... - Never fails to make me smile.
Cara of The Dash - One of my very first followers and even though she's SUPER busy right now, she still follows, reads and comments and you couldn't ask for anyone more supportive.
Lynda of The Band Saga - Another super supportive, always has something to contribute.
Thinspiration at The New Me - While she's had more obstacles than most...including broken legs, fingers, name doesn't seem to get her too down...she even can't wait to EXERCISE!
Tully at You Would Be Pretty If... - She won my heart when she quit her job.  Taking 3 months off to travel the world!  Can't beat that...
So there they are...Please go by and pay them a visit if you don't follow them already.  Truly great group of people.  Thanks again LD!

Friday, March 5, 2010

MandaPanda Pants and the Friday Funnies

Obviously, I have a thing for pandas and my mom sent this to me to brighten my for your Friday afernoon, killing time before you can go home for the weekend pleasure...

Mum? Can you come and get me down now?

I'm not coming out. You'll have to come in and get me.

On the count of three.... lift!

Betcha can't see me.....

Oops! Slight miscalculation.

You go. I'll just stay here and rest my head a little bit.

It wasn't me! I didn't steal this bamboo shoot!


I'll give you 2 seconds to get off me or I'm calling Mom.

Da r n paparazzi! Could we have a little privacy please?

Dear Martha Stewart:

I have this brown stain on my nice, white, fluffy butt...

Shhhh! I'm reviewing...


I cannot believe that I'm stuck in this tree again.

What is the matter with me?

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned...


Absolutely nothing accomplished.

The perfect day for a panda...

Have a great weekend everybody!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Forum vs Blogs?

Okay...I'm going to start this blog today with this confession...I am obsessed with all things lapband.  It is all I can think about these days.  I'm researching like crazy.  I'm reading blogs and forums and signed up to get my surgeon's newsletter.  I've already read one basic lapband book and now have ordered a book recommended by my doctor to attack the psychological issues that come with overeating.  The very wise Amy addressed this in her blog not too long ago about whether or not the obsession is healthy.  At the time, I believe I commented that for me, it is healthy but now I'm not so sure.  I keep going back and forth on this and now that leads me to why.

I frequently stop by and read through the pre-op, post-op and general discussion boards there.  I have the hope that if I see what everyone is going through in their process that I won't be too surprised when these things happen to me (i.e. slim to no weight loss during bandster hell).  I'm sure I'll still be surprised as hell when I have my first PB or worried that I did something to mess up my band the first time I work out but I'm confident that I am going to be as prepared as one can possibly be when (not if) my surgery date finally arrives. 

Here is my issue, it seems to me that the people I read on the forums have a lot more issues than those who write the blogs I read.  My husband and I have been trying to figure this out and we have a few theories. The first is that people who are having issues are more likely to post in the forum than those who aren't.  People who are doing great with the band don't feel the need to post about it in a forum because they're busy living their new, wonderful, thinner lives!  The second theory is that perhaps people who blog are somehow held more accountable for their progress so they are less likely to fall off the wagon too badly.  They'll keep up with their fills, etc. because they don't want to pubicly admit that they are failing.  I know being banded isn't all sunshine and roses and I see the struggle in the blogs I read but it seems that there is a light for the people who blog.  They know they'll overcome whatever obstacle they are met with and be successful while the posters on the forum seem to have an air of hoplessness about them. 

I find lots of reasons to rationalize why this poster or that poster isn't doing well with the band (and believe me, I realize how ridiculous it is for me to pass judgement seeing as I don't even have a band yet, but I digress).  It seems the most common thing I see is, "I've had 2 fills and it's been two years and I've only lost 10 lbs!"  Well, my question to them would be, "Do you really think 2 fills was enough?"  Then I see, "I was too ashamed to go back to my doctor."  While I can sympathize, it seems like after going through surgery and all that, you would want to be holding the doctor just as accountable as yourself for your progress and whether or not you're reaching good restriction.  Another one: "I can't keep any food down so all I eat is ice cream and candy."  Ummm...ok...seriously?  I mean...I guess for me, it's that old saying, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."  After months of not losing weight doing what you're doing, wouldn't you try something different?

I know this post is coming off as judgemental but I guess I just really want to understand.  Most of the blogs I've read (and I admit I haven't read through all the ones I want to yet...darn work gets in the way) are full of positive thinking and successful weight loss stories...even if they haven't reached goal weight yet.  But the people on the forums seem to either just be starting out like me so they're just really excited or have been banded for quite some time and just aren't losing weight.  It's seriously driving me crazy because I go back and forth between the positive light that are the bloggers and the negativity that seems to haunt the boards.  I want to be one of you delightfully witty, successful bloggers but I worry that I am going to be posting on the forum 3 years from now,15 lbs lighter, wondering where everything went so wrong!

So my question to you, my faithful followers of the blogosphere, is which is a more accurate representation of those with a band?  Do more people fail than succeed?  Why do you think there is such a discrepency between the struggles those anonymous people on the forum face vs the successes of those in blogville?