Sunday, March 13, 2011

What's the band give you?

I struggle with this.  I'm analytical by nature; just plain curious too.  I want to understand things.  I want to really figure out how things work.

I've not experienced the band's G-Spot (from Sandy Lee a cross between the Green zone and the sweet spot).  I believe it exists.  I'm not sure I believe it exists for everyone - that answer is yet to be discovered.  When I was too tight for about a week a few months ago - I truly didn't think of food - it just wasn't on my radar, not even a little bit.  It was very, very odd and it's why I believe it exists.  (Did I mention I'm a doubting Thomas too or in a more positive light an experiential learner).  However during that time, I really struggled getting water down before early afternoon so it wasn't something I could sustain and thus not any kind of G-Spot.  But, I've still managed to lose 45 lbs (I'm going with my ticker here, damn it) and I'm feeling pretty confident with some hiccups here and there, it's gone for good.

I struggle every day with same food demons I have struggled with my entire life.  Nothing's changed about that.  Maybe it will some day, maybe it won't.  I've been toying around with the idea of therapy for a variety of reasons and the fact that I believe concretely that my weight is 100% rooted in mental issues and not in eating issues is certainly one of them.  But the point to my post is... what is the band giving me?  What about the band has me losing some weight and feeling confident about it?

And for me - I think the band does not help me lose weight.  I think the band helps me not gain weight.

I truly believe that fat people on the whole are more nutritionally educated then the general population.  We've read zillions of books, listened to lots of people, read articles, tried a variety of things for a variety of reasons.  So it's not as if we didn't know what we should do.  How we should've eaten, how often, what portion sizes we should have had.  How often to exercise, what kinds we should do.  What things help metabolism, yadda, yadda, yadda.  It's the actually doing it consistently, day in and day out - that is where we got/get hung up.  For me it was always about self sabotage - as soon as I'd be in a good sustainable groove my evil self would notice and quickly run to the kitchen an eat a bagel with butter and cream cheese - or maybe two.   If I could find some chips and cheese and make a plate of nachos as well, well all the better.  The only times I ever ate nachos or bagels was during these times, well I suppose I've eaten a few bagels in my life for breakfast, but very few and very far between.   But as soon as I inhaled all that food, phew, I'd go right back to eating the sensible, good, real, healthy food that I truly enjoy.

I could honestly say that for the most part - my breakfast, lunch, and dinners were on the whole good healthy things - and have been for years.  Things that I could eat for the rest of my life at a perfectly normal weight.  It was just the in between times - the times when I wasn't hungry, but afraid of succeeding that kept me way overweight.  (It's that whole fear of succeeding thing that is rattling around thinking about therapy).  But... The band doesn't let me eat a plate full of hastily created nachos (though just typing this is making me think I should give it a try god damn it) or two quick bagels (or really two quick anything).  So - I can eat how I normally eat.  Relatively well - even better I think as there was a period after the Johns Hopkins program where I was eating a lot of protein bars and I've definitely gotten out of that habit.  But fear or no - I can't eat the things that I used when my evil side needed to step up and freakin say - no way Jose! to getting to my goals.  I can still eat a bunch of shit when I'm afraid - melted chocolate and peanut butter are no match for the band - but it's just not the same.  The band keeps the sabotage from really, truly working.  It keeps my progress excruciatingly slow, but it doesn't reverse it - and that's a very beautiful thing.  I sort of feel like I'm going to hop from one good willpower place a place where in my past life I would have lost a bunch of weight (and I will in my current life too) to just sustaining (especially if I keep my weights posted publicly) when in the past life I would have gained and in the current life I'll just maintain.  And I think I'm more than okay with that.  If at some point I discover that I too can experience this mythic G-spot - well maybe that will play a role too.

So... I'm not sure what the real point of this is - other than I guess I wonder, what does the band give to you?


adorkbl said...

GREAT post. I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately on my band.

The band forces my your hand in not making quick, unhealthy choices.

I can still eat poorly and not exercise, and therefor not have success.

I am choosing to make healthy choices and exercise. With or without the band I would have had the same success. I am just not as concerned about gorging my success away with complacency.

Lyla said...

I think the band gives me a reality check that I didn't have before.

Before, I would think "I'm starving!" and cram my face (late afternoon after getting home from work was the worst).

Now, I really do know better. I know I'm not hungry. I have this thing inside me that does a good job regulating that. So if I want to cram my face, I have to straight up own up to myself that I'm choosing to binge/eat more than I need and stop lying to myself about being hungry.

I don't know if that makes sense, but I do know that when I'm bored, I often want to eat and I just don't allow myself to do it anymore because of the band.

Kiki said...

This post really speaks to me. And it's kind of just what I needed to see to help me refocus today.

I'm with you in that while the band has certainly helped me lose 40 lbs... mostly what it's doing is helping me not gain.

I feel like it gives me that extra minute I need to think about what I'm doing before going on auto-pilot and mindlessly stuffing myself with food.

Because right now, with the band, I can do that for about 2 minutes and then have to put on the brakes.

My hope is that eventually I'll be able to stop myself before it even starts, but at least now I can stop myself before it gets out of control.

TheCurvyCat said...

Thanks for this post! I've been doing a lot of the same thinking on my band and what I'm getting out of it.

For me, I really think it is going to be a FANTASTIC tool in helping me maintain. However, as a weight loss tool, I find it lacking.

Whenever I hit restriction, it restricts me from eating the things I need to eat more than the things I don't need to eat, so I start making bad choices just to get something down.

So, having a very low fill level is a must for me, it seems. That doesn't help with my portion control, so that part is still all on my willpower. And that's always been my weakness. In that regard I'm pretty disappointed with the band.

However, even at a low fill level, the band helps me to feel not-hungry for longer periods, which makes it easier to be satisfied with smaller portions (provided I can put the brakes on manually). And, I still have enough of a fill that I have to eat conciously, chewing well and slowly, or I'll get stuck.

So... it appears I'm going to be one of those bandsters that really has to work the willpower on the way down, but will have a lot of flexibility come maintenance time.

It's so interesting how it works differently for each of us!

Gen said...

Don't give up on the G-spot! Its like when you were too tight, but you do not need to be that tight to experience it. IMHO when the band is quite tight, but not so much you can't drink and eat SMALL amounts, the G-spot is possible. If you are not there, it probably will not happen. Which is not the end of the world - as you said, the band will still help you maintain at your current restriction, but not lose.

As I blogged about recently, the band gives me freedom from food obsession/addiction. But ONLY if it is quite tight.

Keep the faith!

Theresa aka Tessie Rose said...

Great post, I just answered you in my blog!

Jess said...

This was a great post. I think the same thing about the band. I thought I was at my sweet spot before my last unfill but I realized constantly being stuck and STILL eating away through the pain was NOT a sweet spot. I would just suffer through being stuck until whatever it was dislodged and then I could eat anything. What's sad is that I was most annoyed with the fact that I would have to expect to sit and wait at the beginning of the meal until the food went through. Then I was FREE at last! ha

I do know though, that even though my weight loss has been agonizingly slow, I have never gotten back to the 190's which is where my weight hovered at for years before the band. I truly believe I will never see those numbers again.

amandakiska said...

Whenever I find myself thinking that it's all me and the band isn't doing the hard work, I eat and find I have to stop after a small quantity and then remember, "Oh, yeah. THAT'S why it works!". I feel like all the stuff I've always done (like exercise and generally eating well) work really well with the reduced portions. Like you I think that most overweight people know a great deal about food and diet and exercise.

Anyways, great post! Very interesting!