Saturday, November 19, 2011

Six Years, Six Posts: Post 4 - Band Secrets Revealed!

Dear Bandster,

Please find below the secrets to band success...

Oh fine, these are just the things I'd recommend considering for a successful journey, but I thought you might read it with the "secrets to success". Ultimately your journey is your journey. You need to figure out what works for you and go with it. As much as I wish there was a magic band fairy, I've spent 6 years looking and darn it, there just isn't one!!

Portion size = bandster portions. Bottom line for me eating the right band size portions was and still remains a "must do". I had a dilated pouch at one point and I also self-diagnosed myself with portion distortion (ya, I coined the term too, but it has a ring to it). While I think I'm better at visualizing portions than I used to be,  I do tend to measure while I'm at home. (I have these serving spoons that my best friend got from WW and they are 1/2 cup, 1 cup, etc., so while I'm measuring it isn't get the measuring cups out, etc.) While there is hardly any fluid in my band, the band is still there and I believe that my pouch can be stretched by eating too much or too quickly. So, if I don't get full before finishing, I just eat what I'm supposed to and I'm done. If/when I get hungry again. I just eat again.

Eat healthier. While the band doesn't have any mal absorption concerns, I owe it to myself to eat a well balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables. I find that a balanced diet makes me have more energy and reduces my cravings as an added bonus!

Exercise. I'm sure there's someone with a band somewhere that didn't and doesn't exercise and made it to goal, but I've exercised throughout my entire journey. My exercise has evolved and continues to evolve with my fitness improving. I encourage everyone to make exercise part of the journey if you haven't already. It's good for you!

Find an exercise you enjoy and works with your schedule and commitments. It's important because consistency is key . If you hate your exercise you aren't going to do it long term. But also remember, when you start something new, it will likely be hard. Don't think hard = hate. Give a new exercise a chance, you might find that you love it.

Stop the diet mentality / step away from the scale. I think regardless of what you eat, do, etc., you are "on a diet". It's just what makes up your diet. For me what this meant was to stop looking at food based on calories and can I or should I eat this. This was part of my personal retraining and changing my relationship with food. I look at the quality of the food and do I want it. Because if I really want to eat crap, and it's not for emotional reasons, then I do. Ironically, giving myself permission was empowering. Food lost its power and more often than not I gravitate toward healthy food.

The number on the scale is only one measurement, yet it's one that seems to consume most of us and I think it is a key measurement while losing (me = guilty). Personally, I recommend once a week, but there are many successful bandsters that weigh every day. It's whatever works for you. I would strongly encourage body measurements as well though. It is something that I wish I would have done and likely would have helped me through the tough times with the scale---when the *(#&$#* wasn't moving, which I'm sure plenty of people can relate to!

Figure out what makes you feel good. What makes me feel good isn't going to necessarily make someone else feel good, but what I figured out is that I need to exercise during the week and first thing in the morning. It helps me manage a stressful job and just makes me feel good! And honestly, I eat better without even thinking about it on the days I have exercised. Go figure!
Continue to assess and re-assess. I check in with myself periodically. It may sound stupid, but I find that if I don't consciously check in (self talk) that I just keep going on auto pilot and then I project something is wrong some other way. For example, I realized at one point I was returning home from morning camp grumpy. Unfortunately, I was taking it out on my husband now and then (boo me). I sat myself down and had a talk with myself (funny picture, huh?). I realized that my trainer's style was no longer meeting my needs. So I switched to another camp.

Blogging. The intent of my blog was to document my journey as I was asked to "journal" by my shrink, but I had also hoped that it might be helpful to others from a long-term historical perspective as I had wanted to find such people in the beginning and couldn't. This many years later my blog may not be specifically "all about the band", but I'd be a freak if at this point day in and day out it was about it, right?! I've also found it helpful at times to be able to go back and look at past posts. Plus there's nothing like some perspective or opinion from another bandster and opportunity to connect and make friends. I highly recommend blogging about your journey....and please don't blog and then disappear leaving everyone wondering!

In summary, it's a personal journey. Just like the decision to get a band, it's very personal and you have to figure out what works for you. Try not to compare yourself to others, but do try to learn from others or appreciate what they are doing as you might find little nuggets that may also work for you!


Lap Band Gal said...

Thanks! Great tips :)

Cat said...

Such fantastic ideas and guides. And yet again, this is my current favorite of the 6 posts. Each day they are getting better and better. :)

Thank you for continueing to share your journey with us. You are so motivating and inspiring.

I have also recently given up the diet mentality as far as food goes. I really am finally seeing my daily intake of calories (diet) as my life and living it in moderation.

♫ Drazil ♪ said...

Um, I just love you. THat is all.

Anonymous said...

Great posts, Fluffy. Very inspirational.

banded bella said...

Love the insightful.

Kristin50 said...

You did it and you continue to inspire us all. You are the one person I know who has been banded longer than me! LOL

You are truly my inspiration that long term this gets even better, and you can live the life you envisioned in the beginning of this journey!

Thank you

Stephanie said...

Such great tips for all of us!!! :) Thanks so much for posting these pointers for everyone.

MandaPanda said...

Yes, yes and yes! All these tips are fantastic and I agree completely that people need to find what works for them and go with it, regardless of what worked for someone else. And if something stops working, it's time to re-evaluate!

Dawnya said...

Great post. Awesome tips. Finding what works for something I'm still working on. Luckily for me I have PBC. LOL