Friday, 20 July 2018

Adding up


Still here.  Still plugging away.  Still a bit confused with what I’m doing.  Essentially doing a calorie counted diet of 1000 calories a day.  Which is not entirely what I signed up for but I guess things will change when I have my first ‘fill’.  I’ll get advice there - as well as a band restriction - so I think it will be useful even if I don’t notice the restriction.  Apparently it can take quite a long time to hit upon what is called the ‘sweet spot’.  This means a point at which you have sufficient restriction to not feel hungry between meals and to be satisfied with a small portion.  Ironically, the only change I’ve noticed thus far, is that it’s hard to get some of my medication down – even cutting the pills in half (or, with one, in quarters).

Mostly, 1000 calories a day is fine.  What tends to cause problems is trying to combine that with any kind of social life – as every dieter ever knows.  Tomorrow we’re going to Wagamama for lunch – I’ve found the lowest calorie things, and I know what I’m having for dinner (chicken tikka masala in the slow cooker – never made it before) so I know what I have left in terms of calorie balance.  And it means no breakfast.  Which I’m sure will be fine.  Difficult but fine.  And at least I know.  

But Tuesday I’m meeting one of my best friends and we’re going to Wahaca.  Their lowest calorie thing is c550 calories – so that’s more than half of my total day’s calories.  And Wednesday I’m seeing a friend who is always keen on drinking.  I’ve suggested a picnic as I can at least control what I eat – and will probably try to have one of those little cans of G&T and hope she doesn’t notice how little I am eating/drinking.  But that one is incalculable in calorie terms.

Now, my social occasions don’t usually pile up like this – last time I met up with a friend was weeks ago (and certainly before the op).  But not being able to be in control and possibly (probably) exceeding my calories makes me feel very anxious.  And I know that being too black and white about it has led to problems before – a kind of ‘oh blow it’ mentality because I’ve ‘spoilt’ it, blotted my copy book - and it’s hard for me to get back to the discipline again.  I guess Wednesday will have to be an attempt to not go mad – and then not go mad when I see the Scales of Doom as a result.  And then pick up straight back on to the straight and narrow.  It’s not as if I can be a hermit – it’s nice to see people and not to see friends because of a diet seems ridiculously self-centred.  In a roundabout way, I’m saying that I need to learn to deal with the odd social engagement.

Anyway, the numbers.  You’ll remember I was essentially STS last week?  Well, I did a  whoosh and lost 3.5lbs this last week (Wednesday to Wednesday).  I guess that may be how it’s going to go for me.  Because since then, I’ve just stuck. SoD taunts me – it briefly flickers, registering a couple of lbs lower, and then settles back up.  It hates me.  I am sure it’s saying ‘take that, fatty’.  We’re in an abusive relationship and I can’t break it off.

Have good weekends everyone.

Monday, 16 July 2018

A grain of truth

I’m still getting my head around what it is I’m supposed to be doing.  At the moment, there is no fill in my band and so I am assuming that it is much like a “normal” stomach – just one sporting a fetching accessory.  I am continuing to use MFP to count my calories and I’m sticking to 1000 a day.  There is information in my booklet though, that talks about several things:
  • A meal should be around 6 tbsp
  • You should eat very small bites, chew very thoroughly and stop eating after 20 mins
  • You must not drink anything with meals or for 30 mins before and after eating
  • You need to eat ‘crunchier’ food to stimulate peristalsis in the upper section of the stomach (yes, like a cow, I now have two stomachs)
  • If you are hungry between meals, you probably need a fill

I have joined a Whatsapp support group which is helpful – the women on there were appalled that anyone would say 6tbsp was enough food (phew).  I am doing the no drinking thing and trying to do the very thorough chewing – the latter is so that food doesn’t get stuck at the entrance to the bottom stomach.  Apparently this is a painful thing – and your body produces lots of saliva to try and wash the item through – but essentially you’re most likely to bring up both the stuck item and all the saliva.  I can live without experiencing this, so best to get in the habit now when it’s less of a risk.

I have my first fill on the last day of this month.  Hopefully I’ll get some more clarification then as I’m not clear whether counting calories is the right thing to do.

For instance, I made a Jambalya at the weekend (more of which later) and portioned it out into 6 portions which were 476 each…. So, tick for calorie counting.  But is the quantity too much?  I have no – what is called – restriction, so can eat more and will feel more hungry.  Is it insufficiently “crunchy” (laughs hollowly, see below…)?  I just don’t know.

The Jambalya.  Remember I said “hey presto”?  Not so much.  I had cross referenced with a few recipes – the one I mostly followed had many comments saying the rice was mushy.  Looking at other recipes, they advised turning the slow cooker up to high, adding the rice and cooking it for 40 mins.  Reader, I did this.  The rice was raw.  I gave it an hour.  It was still raw.  Crunchy… and raw.  Eventually I had to turf it all out of the slow cooker and whack up the heat in a casserole.  It was nice in the end but it was not a tranquil experience.  So, please learn from me: it takes a LOT longer than 40-60 mins to cook rice in a slow cooker.

Friday, 13 July 2018


Still having to try and hold my nerve.  At WI yesterday (I had to make it yesterday because I couldn’t compare with the previous Wednesday because of my STOLEN PHONE), I had lost ¼ lb.  Which I think we can all agree is really a STS.  And whilst STS is better than a gain, it most certainly is not a fair result for the work I’ve put in.  Also I’m stuttering at the point of a different stone bracket – and we all know how momentous that is.

I saw my mad Professor yesterday and told him about the dwindling losses.  He did say that a 5lb gain could result from dehydration – if I was really, really dehydrated, which I am certain I was.  He also gave me the glass half empty news that with my stunted metabolism, the more weight I lose, the harder the weight will be to lose.  I’m trying not to think about this too hard as it’s too depressing.  If I can’t succeed now, there’s no hope for me.

In the meantime, I am sticking to my 1000 calories a day, all entered with the determination of a zealot on MFP.  It does help keep me on the straight and narrow.  As of this weekend, I can start to add “texture” to my diet.  This means food that will stop at the banded bit of my stomach (above the band) and go through it more slowly. I am kind of transitioning towards that by having soup with chunks in it – and I’d made a dhal that was, modesty aside, pretty delicious.  And I have some pasta tonight.  But I need to have things like salad (which, fortunately, I love) and Ryvita (they’re flipping obsessed with Ryvita).  At this stage I need to be mindful of their rules – don’t eat for longer than 20 mins, don’t continue to eat if you’re full (and being full is a different feeling with a band – higher up), chew everything to puree consistency, pause before your next mouthful, bear in mind that some may not go down and don’t drink with your meal or for half an hour before and after (the water tends to swill food down too fast).  I have just eaten some cherries and I can feel that something is stuck – the skin most likely.  There is always the risk (and the worry) that if you can’t get something down, it will, well, come back up.  I’m hoping this bit of cherry skin gets a move on…  And that I can swill it down with water.

Things I’m worried I will never eat again:
  • Fresh bread – not boring sliced bread, but really fresh wholemeal or cheesy bread;
  • Cream tea
  • Pizza

You’ll notice that they are all bready (as well as super-delicious).  Apparently bread can cause a problem for some bandits (yeah, I know).  They’re also things I have very, very rarely – for instance I might have one cream tea a year – or even less often than that.  But it is a shining pinnacle of loveliness and I wouldn’t want to never have one again.  Maybe I’ll be one of the people who can tolerate these things.  They do say that you might try something one day and not be able to get it down, but be able to get it down another time (or vice versa).  Tbh, I don’t really have multiple occasions to have a cream tea…. But there we go.  I’ll find out at some point.

This weekend I am cooking a jambalaya.  I spent a lot of time when I was so ill pinning things on Pinterest – I didn’t even feel well enough to read for long, but I could look at pics.  I pinned a lot of recipes and this was one I can do in our slow cooker.  I am a massive fan of the slow cooker – but we mainly use it in the winter for beef stew or coq au vin.  I have never had a jambalaya but it sounds like a saucy paella (ooh missus).  I need some sauciness to help the food go down (especially the chicken in it – and possibly the peppers and sausage as they (obviously) have skin on them).  I can put it on tonight, we’re going for an urban walk tomorrow and I can come back, warm it through and put the remaining ingredients in it – and hey presto, dinner.

Update on the fall: I can’t touch one side of my face so only one side has make up on (both have eye make up however as that would be weird).  I kind of look like the phantom of the opera but vertically, rather than horizontally.  I do have a bruise but it just looks like I went to sleep on a newspaper – that sort of level.  My left knee is also a problem.  I can now walk okay – it just twinges a bit – but stairs, especially down, are still quite painful.  My commute consists of more stairs than I’d previously noticed. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Things can only get better

 It’s not been a good couple of weeks:
  • Nausea and sickness for a fortnight
  • Weight still going up
  • My phone stolen
  • And then this morning on my way in to work, I stumbled and fell, face first, onto the concrete.  The damage is mostly to my left cheekbone which is busily  growing in size and my left knee.  I’m hoping the knee is just stiff and will right itself.  My right knee hurts- as do my wrists but it’s much more manageable.  I am quite literally falling asleep at my desk and I’m hoping it’s just because of being tired and the adrenalin depletion, rather than concussion .  I hope it’s only that – and I’m hoping that falling onto my left cheekbone means it can’t be concussion.

But if I make a lot of mistakes and/or make no sense in this posting, do please forgive me.

In the past  - the recent past as well as some way back – I would definitely have consoled myself with some chocolate.    But I can’t. Well, I might be able to physically but I definitely shouldn’t.  Especially with my weight at best stalling and at worse going up .  It’s WI tomorrow and it’s not looking good.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Still blipping not getting anywhere

It’s been longer than I wanted to post.  There is no sinister reason… Well, actually that’s not true.  There are two sinister reasons.

No1: I had my phone stolen on my commute to work on Tuesday and it’s taken a long time to sort out a replacement (not to mention a lot of money).  It was quite an old iphone so I cannot imagine why anyone wanted it (other than me) and it was fingerprint protected so I assume they can’t get into it anyway.  But I was really upset – people are just awful.

No2: you know how when people don’t post because things aren’t going so well with the diet?  *waves madly*.  In the last 10 days I have put ON 7lbs.  Hazel, Seren and Lesley: you are all correct – I hope – that this is a blip in a downwards trajectory….  But… I know I’m only on c600 calories a day so I really, REALLY think it’s unfair. 

I tend to go into a slump when this happens.  Not that I can eat anything solid yet – I’m supposed to be on the puree/soft/mushy food from tomorrow, increasing the solidity (is that even a word?) over the next fortnight.  I’m in fact so well after that interminable bout of nausea, I have started to have soup with bits in (you’re supposed to be having only smooth blended, thin soup for the first two weeks).  As I’m on my third week, normally I’d expect to be on the mush stage but did a bit longer on the liquid phase so I’m kind of easing my way in to it.

I am hungry but am likely to be at least until my first fill at the end of July – and even then they’re going to go at a very cautious pace, given the problems I had initially so it might take some time to feel what they call ‘restriction’, which is when I lose most sensations  of hunger and am satisfied with a very small amount of food.  I’m going to keep calorie counting regardless, aiming for 1000 calories a day.  Once I’m on proper food that is, it would be very difficult to get to 1000 cals on a liquid diet without breaking all the rules (ie I could eat chocolate or ice cream which just slips through…). 

Enjoy the sunshine this weekend – I have a dress rehearsal and then a choir performance which will be all of Saturday stuck in a church.  And the music is terrible so it’s utterly unenjoyable. I hope your weekends are more fun

Monday, 2 July 2018

Stuck in reverse

I hate my body.  And it hates me.  I have put on 4lbs (so far) this week.  4lbs.  This is my daily diet at the moment:

Breakfast – nothing (although today I had a coffee)
Lunch – a large glass of V8
Dinner – half a carton of soup and an ice lolly

I worked out I’m having 500-600 calories a day.  And I’m putting on roughly ¾ lb every day.  How can that even be possible?

I’m back at work now.  I feel fine until late afternoon, when I start feeling nauseous – at least I have done today on my first day back.  I can’t be ill any longer or until next summer – I’ve already triggered a warning.  And any medical appointment counts towards the tally of four days a year until it’s a disciplinary matter.  Fortunately I’m allowed to use my flexi time to go to appointments, because I’ll need to go once a month for fills to the band (I haven’t told people what my op was – in fact, most just know I was off sick).  This is why I haven’t been to the dentist for 8 years.  Even taking flexi for medical appointments is frowned upon.  I am not feeling very motivated or very valued at the moment! 

Thursday, 28 June 2018

The weak that was

Another week has slipped by - mostly in the grip of nausea.  That finally seems to be retreating, thank goodness.  I went it to see the nurse associated with the company I had my band through - she took the 'priming' filler out (only 1mg) and that seems to have sorted it.  Or maybe it's time.  One of the nurses thought that the band had been pressing on my vagus nerve - which controls nausea.  Either way, I'm still v weak and feeble but it's such a relief not feeling - or being sick.

As I gradually have fills to the band, I was a bit nervous, but apparently there is no reason why I should feel sick after every fill.  This is doubly the relief as being off from work on 4 occasions (even if each is a day) triggers warning disciplinary action.

So, in another week on water and occasional ice lollies, mostly, I lost 5lbs.  That was of yesterday.  I suspect some of that is dehydration as I had put on 1lb this morning.  I had some soup last night and managed to drink more fluids during the day.  It's still annoying though, as I must be consuming very few calories.  SoD should not be moving in any direction upwards.

I was signed off for the rest of this week - I was pretty amazed as I thought GPs wouldn't really do that any more.  It's the longest I've been ill since I started working.  Shame that feeling ill rather spoils the time off!  Not to mention that I'm concerned I'm missing summer, skulking droopily indoors.

Next week I will have to brave the tubes again.  Given that I'm still at the stage where a shower is exhausting, I'll have to hope that I improve rapidly before then.  The Jubilee line in summer rush hour (or, actually, at all) is enough to make the most hale of constitutions shrivel.