Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Struggle and Successes of Maintenance

Wow, it has been a while!  In fact, it's been just over 4 years since I last checked in.

I come back to Blogger, as I have in the past, to journal about my ongoing weight and health changes, to hold myself accountable when things aren't going well, and to rededicate my efforts to live a life consistent with what makes me happy.

Where I've Come From:

In 2010, I had lapband surgery to treat my chronic morbid obesity.  I had just turned 35 and my highest weight was 289.  I went into surgery at 274 after my presurgical diet.

My weight loss period, in retrospect, was a breeze.  I lost consistently and I didn't have very frequent side effects.  As I look back on it, I realize that my band was never all that tight but it was certainly doing what it was best at- curbing my hunger.  I was also committed-- I followed a low-carb diet and I didn't drink much at all.  Within about a year, I was down to my low weight of 155 lbs.  I remember at the time that I went in for a plastic surgery consultation and I insisted I wanted to lose another 10 lbs, even though my bariatric surgeon and the plastic surgeon both thought I was at a good weight.

I bounced back up to about 160 within the next few months, and I stayed there pretty consistently for the next several years.  The thing is, it was easy.  I didn't have to try hard at all.  I went back to eating "regular" food.  I still had problems with bread getting stuck (still do!), but rather than avoiding it I kept pushing it.

I also started drinking wine.  Pretty much every single night.  Wine is easy down the band!  And it's "healthy", right?  I had heard about the concept of "addiction transfer" but it never seemed to apply to me.  I wasn't drunk, I wasn't having any problems, and I was living a  very full, rewarding and active life.

Then, last year, I experienced the most stressful (and also exciting) time in my life.  I made a massive career change and moved across the country with my husband.  And at the very same time (literally, as we were packing the truck), my mother became homeless and disabled and I moved her in with us and took over the insane mess of her finances and health care.  At the time of the move, my weight was at 170.  It was a gain, sure, but after so long doing so well maintaining, 10 lbs didn't seem like a big deal.

Over the past year, my weight steadily crept up and yesterday, I weighed in at 197.  I have been 100% aware of every pound.  I know exactly why I gained them all (alcohol and eating out more times than not- both at the same time). I just felt too stressed and overwhelmed to do anything about it but berate myself every night when I went to bed. But interwebs, that's changing!

Where I'm at Today (well, Yesterday):

It's over-- I'm not going to lose Onederland for behaviors that don't add meaning to my life.  Yesterday was my first day on Ideal Protein- I'm making the push to get back to my low-carb eating and that includes not drinking calories in the form of wine and beer.

For now, I'm going to leave my band relatively unfilled (because, yeah, see how I moved across the country away from my surgeon?).  If I need to hop on a plane for a fill in the future, I'll do it, but I really think I'll be ok.  I'm going to blog about some of the things I think I need to change in maintenance and I'm going to blog about the successes that my recent weight gain can't take away.