Wednesday, November 11, 2015
I'm 162! Lowest ever in my adult life!
Then, I get an endoscopy because of my concerns around my persistent long-term acid reflux. One day after the endoscopy, I had a terrible pain and muscle cramp in my stomach. That's when I'm personally certain that I developed my stomach hernia. I know this because my eating changed immediately and has not been the same since. I also lost, for the most part, my hunger pangs. I've been wanting to write something specifically about this, because Amy W has written about this before and I really think she's right. She asserted that the band isn't all about limited how much we can eat, but also about stimulating the vagus nerve and eliminating that "need" to eat all the time. The constant thinking about and obsessing about what we're eating. With this hernia, I just don't think about it. It's not my central thought most of the time and it's much easier to plan how healthy I want to eat. And I've been eating very clean and able to control my calories consistently. I have almost eliminated dairy from my diet because I wanted to see what the hoopla was all about and my stomach feels less bloated, but I'm not convinced eliminating dairy is the reason why. I also consciously choose my calories to be very clean and eat almost no processed foods. I feel better. I look better. And I weigh the least I've ever weighed that I can remember. This hernia has been a real blessing and I am actually grateful for it.
It has made me realize that exercise, running half marathons, and all of that is not going to make me lose weight. For me, limiting my calories and consistently keeping my calorie intake low with higher calorie days thrown in every week to keep my body guessing has been key to my weight loss. Exercise is absolutely necessary - to keep me from losing muscle and because it's simply the right thing to do and healthy for my body. But for some reason, I thought the more I worked out the more weight I would lose. I realize now that limiting my calories was primary to my weight loss. I didn't always eat healthy, sometimes I was weak and ate Chef Boyarde Ravioli, but I still kept my calories low in the 1200-1400 range regardless of what I ate. I made sure I got in 60-100 grams of protein and I also found that because my hernia seems to relax sometimes, I was able to eat MORE than my consistently low calories usually once a week. On the days I ate a more calories after a couple of weeks of consistently low calories, I dropped pounds. Keeping my body guessing on how many calories it was going to get seemed to really make a difference. I track my weight and my food intake religiously and it allowed me to realize my natural pattern for losing weight and when my body holds on to weight, as long as I stay consistent, it's a sign that my body is about to let go of a few pounds. Instead of being discouraged and giving up and blowing it b/c my weight ticked up a little, looking at my weight loss chart made me realize that bump in weight is actually the precursor to my dropping a pound or two.
As for exercise, it is just plain healthy and keeps me toned. And I don't do it as often as I think I should and want to. Instead of exercising always at such a high intensity (so that I would burn enough calories) I've found I don't have to work myself to death daily to lose weight. I exercise so I can be strong and not because I think running will burn the most calories. It has changed my outlook on exercise, removed the pressure, and I actually do the things I like to do and I don't kill myself with crazy intensity and then give up over time b/c I can't keep up the schedule when life happens. I take it easy on myself and walk, bike, do yoga, and I do the activities I enjoy, not the ones that I think will burn the most calories in the least amount of time. It's a completely different approach for me. For some reason, I thought exercise and limited calories had to be equal in focus.
Then this hernia takes away my appetite and limits my calories basically for me. And I've lost 30 lbs! My gastroenterologist watches me closely and agrees that I can continue to wait to have surgery as I'm still able to lose weight and I'm losing it very slowly. It's taken me 8 months to lose 30lbs but wow is it awesome to feel successful finally. And I enjoy wearing clothes. I enjoy how I look in clothes for the first tim. I feel healthier because I am.
I need to post some pictures of myself. It's surreal to try clothes on from last winter and last summer that literally fall off me. All of my tops are droopy. I never conceived that my tops could be too big. I love trying on clothes and the sales person the other day said "you're picking too large a size" NO ONE EVER has told me that. I smile and pretend being smaller is normal for me because I've always wanted to know what that felt like. It feels really great and totally worth it. For those of you struggling to get there, don't give up. It may take you a long time like me, but I'm here and it's pretty awesome!!