Monday, August 8, 2011

Six Weeks - Hypnosis and the Hypothalamus

I've been on my new lifestyle plan for six weeks now, and this week I weighed in at 134.4 kg - close enough to ten kilos lost! I'm happy with that, although I know I could have achieved more had I decided to do some exercise...

Somehow I have to get the energy up to start using the treadmill and bike. Gorgeous Jon (my weight loss surgeon) has referred me to a haematologist for an iron infusion as my iron levels are still very low. Hopefully that will hake place in the next month or so and it should have an instant effect. It entails sitting in hospital all day attached to a drip so it sounds pretty boring - but man, will it be worth it if I can get my iron levels up. The oral supplement has done bugger all.

Six weeks complete means I am halfway through the Optifast Intensive Phase and can start introducing protein in another six weeks. I see the dietician in a couple of weeks and depending on what she says, I may finish Intensive earlier. I need more energy and without red meat I am struggling. I think if I have my Optifast, two cups of vegies and one lot of protein every day I will still be well under 1500 calories and therefore should still lose weight. I record my food every day on Calorie and they recommend I have 2000 calories every day (obviously a LOT more than Optifast and vegies).

I saw Beverly a couple of weeks ago - she is the NLP/hypnosis specialist. She was awesome, and really helpful, and I feel like I am getting my binge eating and screwy attitude towards food under control. She gave me a self-hypnosis CD that I've been listening to at night, which is aimed at resetting the hypothalamus and it's registering of when I am hungry. Apparently it gets put out of whack by regular binge eating and eating when not hungry (emotional eating, etc). I need to start listening to my body and eating at the proper meal times rather than just pigging out whenever I feel like it.

Overall, I am feeling confident that I can continue losing weight. I have only been doing 10 - 30 mins of medium pace walking every weekday (to and from the bus stop), and I know I can do more than that.

My 1st goal is to lose 24kg by the end of September (the end of the Intensive Phase).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Current weight loss stats are: 5kg lost in 19 days.

I am managing to stick to the Very Low Calorie Diet fairly easily, the Optifast shakes, bars and desserts seem to fill me up and the evening salad or steamed vegies give me something to chew. It's hard to imagine doing this for another 9 weeks, but I know it's possible. I chew a lot of sugar free chewing gum and drink as much water as I can.

I am hoping to start doing more exercise this week, even just an extra ten mins a day on the treadmill. Eventually I plan to be able to run on the treadmill. I've always wanted to run and never been able to - it's on my bucket list which I am putting on

Check out my Bucket List of things I will do during this lifetime AKA 43 Things.

Since I last wrote I've been in hospital with a gallstone attack - ultra painful! The irony is, the main trigger for a gallstone problem is eating a fatty meal. Hello...optifast!? Weird. It happened the day I saw Gorgeous Jon, my weight loss surgeon. He was lovely, and so forgiving. I hadn't seen him since two weeks after my operation (November 2007!!!). No wonder I kind of went off track. He said out of 500 plus sleeves he has done, there are only a few that haven't worked. Not that there are a lot of us "long term" patients yet. He said that one option for me may be the gastric bypass but not until the end of this year or the beginning of next. Apart from the necessity for him to train in doing them, I will be $6,000 - $8,000 out of pocket so will need to organise a loan or savings. Hopefully it won't be necessary.

Gorgeous Jon seemed uncertain about whether the sleeve could be stretched as much as I say, and also whether it would "stretch back" now I am on a VLCD. Neil and I went out for our one year anniversary and I managed to eat quite a lot. But it does seem as though there is less room in there...

Monday, July 11, 2011


This morning I weighed in at an even 140kg. When I started I was almost 144kg so I'm counting that as almost 4kg lost in just over a week! Go me!!

I had two stressful moments on Saturday, both of which I navigated without eating crap. I did, however, binge - on four cruskits with low fat cheese slices. The calories were negligent but I was very conscious of, and annoyed at, the way I gorged them. I was stressed out over a visit we'd had with Neil's mum (who is so negative and depressed, and her energy always affects me and makes me feel low). During the visit we took her McDonalds for lunch, and I had a garden salad. I had to watch Neil and his mum eat cheeseburgers, nuggets and fries! I was so proud of myself, and really didn't miss the junk food that much. Except for the emotionally calming effect it may have had on me for a few minutes.

I am trying hard to eat more slowly and mindfully. To chew my food properly, and enjoy the taste and the sensation of eating. My nightly salad or vegetables are wonderful, I really look forward to them after shakes or bars all day.

I see my weight loss surgeon this afternoon for the first time in about three years. I want to update him with my progress, or lack thereof, and talk to him about maybe getting revision surgery next year. I'm hoping it won't be necessary, and that I will be able to shrink my sleeve/stomach back to its small size and make some better food choices, as well as get my binge eating under control. But if my current plan doesn't work, I want to know what my options are. I read that in the US some doctors are re-sizing people's sleeves via endoscopy, so you don't even need to have keyhole surgery. I guess the fact that this, and other revisions, are occuring, mean I am not the only person to stuff up their sleeves and not lose the weight. Which does make me feel better.

Currently, this is the status:
800 calories a day (3 x meal replacement shakes, bars, soups or puddings plus two cups of vegies plus the occasional non-wheat cracker and cheese)
At least 8 cups of water a day
30 mins easy walking a day (to and from the bus stop, so I have to do it!)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Binge Eating May Be a High All Its Own

I've copied this interesting article from Jennifer over at BPD in OKC

By HealthDay

The next time you indulge in a juicy steak or a hot fudge sundae, consider this: The high you get from eating all that fat may be related to the one you might feel if you smoked marijuana.The same mechanism that gives pot smokers the "munchies" -- that is, a nearly irresistible desire to eat -- appears to help explain why people like fat so much, according to a new study involving rats.

The research offers insight into how your body forces you to eat and could eventually help lead toward treatments designed to calm food cravings, said study co-author Daniele Piomelli, a professor of pharmacology at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) School of Medicine."When we reach into a refrigerator, and we take that pint of ice cream, there [are] a lot more things happening than we think, and a lot deeper," Piomelli said. "Unraveling them over time can be helpful."At issue in the study are chemicals in the brain known as endocannabinoids, which scientists think are crucial to regulating things such as mood, anxiety and appetite, explained Piomelli, director of the UCI Center for Drug Discovery & Development. Fat appears to activate the chemicals, as does marijuana.It makes sense that appetite and pot-smoking would be connected, Piomelli added. After all, besides helping people relax and feel less anxious in many cases, marijuana can trigger the "munchies" -- a desire to consume food, especially junk food.

In the new study, Piomelli and colleagues from Yeshiva University in New York sought to determine how food affects the endocannabinoid system and which particular aspects of food set it off.The researchers came up with an experiment. They fed the rats different kinds of liquid solutions -- with fat, sugar or protein dissolved in them -- and monitored what happened. And since they didn't want to keep track of the whole digestive system, they created a way to keep the solution from getting all the way to the rats' stomachs.They found that only fat appeared to turn on the endocannabinoid system by a signal that traveled to the brain and then to the intestines via a certain nerve bundle called the vagus, and that happened early in the process of digestion. The endocannabinoids, in turn, trigger a craving for more fat."The fat hits the tongue, the cannabinoids kick in and more hunger follows," Piomelli said.The system appears to be a product of evolution's interest in making sure that animals eat lots of fat when it's available, he said. The problem comes in modern life, when the animals known as humans often have plenty to eat."In modern life, fat is everywhere," Piomelli said. "There are McDonalds and Burger Kings. But before the invention of the refrigerator, fats were hard to find."

What to do with this new information? Piomelli said it provides more support for finding ways to manipulate hunger -- particularly your desire to eat more than you need -- by disrupting how the endocannabinoid system works.The problem, he said, is that drugs designed to do just that have made people irritable, depressed and anxious. "That's why they're no longer being developed," said Piomelli.The new study was supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies.Tim C. Kirkham, a professor of experimental psychology at the University of Liverpool in England, said the challenge is finding a drug that affects the endocannabinoid system but doesn't enter the brain and cause the psychological side effects.There's still hope, study co-author Piomelli said: "Imagine being able to block this mechanism so that when you reach for your pint of ice cream, you have one or two spoonfuls and that would be fine."

The study appears in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sucky Scales

I don't know how many times I've been told to NOT weigh myself more than once a week. But it's hard to resist. I wish I hadn't weighed myself yesterday afternoon as the scales said not only had I not lost more weight, but I had gained! So I had a bit of a hissy fit. "Let's make pancakes" I say to Neil (boyfriend). "No, babe," he replies. I sulked a while and eventually went to bed, hoping that when I do weigh in (have decided Saturday will be the day) I will get good news.

I started stressing out about the scales, which are Neil's. How old are they? Do they work? I've never used them before now. Maybe they're not accurate, and if that's true how on earth will I cope?? It's all about the numbers. It takes such a long time to lose enough weight to notice in clothes, so there's no point in trying to fit into my jeans. I need to buy a tape measure and start measuring my vitals. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow so I will ask him to weigh me (if his scales will fit me, the last doctor I went to only weighed up to 130kg!)

One of my plans for the weekend is to start writing down some goals and rewards. I figure saving $15 a day at the work canteen can be put towards some 5kg rewards (-: Not to mention all the money I'll save not getting McDonalds on the way home...

I was thinking about my sleeve this morning (the vertical sleeve gastrectomy is the weight loss surgery I had in October 2007). If I look at how I sabotaged it, mostly its in terms of McDonalds. Started out with a tiny cheeseburger, and I could barely finish it. But then, next time added a small fries and if I ate slowly, wow I could fit it all in. Then on to a double cheeseburger. Then add a medium fries. Even though I was told by my surgeon to not drink while I was eating, I added a small coke. Low and behold, the sleeve is sabotaged. I stretched it slowly, surely, over time until I could eat what I wanted. Add to that my terrible food choices for snacks and meals, and no wonder I've regained 25 kilos (50 plus pounds).

I'm so damn ANGRY at myself, even though I know there's no point. Even when I read my blog when I was still losing a little bit of weight, I was snacking on chips and chocolate - just cause I could. I didn't address any of the emotional issues I had around eating, so as soon as things got hard I turned to food for comfort.

I have to keep telling myself that it took many, many years to put on 100kg (200 plus pounds) of extra fat. So if it takes me ten years to lose it, then that's okay. That's fine. Especially because the weight loss is going to come with permanent mental and emotional changes. It has to, because otherwise the fat is just going to come back every time. I know that.

To see Gorgeous Jon, my weight loss surgeon, and lay it all on the line for him. See if he thinks I need a bypass, or a sleeve revision.

To make an appointment with a psychologist who specialises in eating disorders and binge eating.

To make an appointment with Beverley, a hypnotherapist who also does neurolinguistic programming and has proven success with binge eating.

To keep on with the Optifast and walking half an hour a day and hopefully start to lose weight!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Prodigal Daughter

I'm back, and so is this blog. I need to get back on track, and to do so I'm using Optifast. Day One was 1st July, and in the 5 days since I've already lost 3kg.

My starting weight for this part of the journey is 144kg.

Can you believe it?

25 kilos heavier than my lowest weight (Jan 2008).


Anyway, I am tired of looking back and regretting and I'm tired of eating to excess.

My eating is out of control, well it was until a few days ago. I'm finding Optifast as simple and useful this time as when I did it before my surgery. I'm on the intensive phase, which is three shakes/bars/soups per day plus 2 cups of non-starch vegies. It lasts for 12 weeks.

My main goal for now is to reach 125kg by the time I go to Melbourne on Sept 1st.