I got my band to KEEP weight OFF. I've been thinking lots about re-gain after losing with my band. Then I remembered something... I am a professional dieter. This is my third major weight loss. In 1995 I started on a 160lb weight loss. In 2003, an 80lb weight loss. Of all my weight loss attempts, I've added up over 400lbs in weight LOST. I'm really very good on diets. It's the keeping the weight part OFF I'm obviously not so hot at. This time around, I KNEW I could lose the weight... my main concern was KEEPING it OFF. That's where my band came into the picture. I decided on my band as a performance enhancing tool. I've been stingy with fills because I want the restriction NOW that I've lost quite a bit of weight. In January, I had my largest fill to date, and have a grand total of 3.75cc's in my 10cc band. So, the band is only ONE tool for KEEPING the weight OFF. There are two other things I've done differently this time around as additional tools to keeping my weight in a more normal range. Here they are for your consideration. Everyone needs to find their own personal strategy to keep weight off, I am merely sharing my thoughts as someone who has lost a ton (well, almost half a ton) of weight.
1) TALKING ABOUT IT
I have never, in all my weight loss, discussed one ounce of it. Now it's different. I am blogging which is a fabulous way to get all of the stuff going around in my head into a form that I can analyze and make sense of. It's been very enlightening for me. I would blog if not a soul were reading, because it's so fantastically therapeutic. And for the first time, I am getting therapy. While I'm not talking about weight in my sessions, I am getting to know myself better. When I understand where I'm coming from (and surprisingly, I really didn't), I know where I am and why. This helps with everything in life, including my food intake and weight control. I'm still very far from where I need to be in this talking process, but it's a dramatically different approach from all the other times I've lost weight.
2) MAKING SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE CHANGES
This is not a diet. I repeat: this is NOT a diet. We all know that about our bands. However, we need to make lifestyle changes in order to lose weight, and also to keep it off. So, the first sustainable change I've made is to NOT diet with my band. I have decided to lose weight on foods that I will be willing to eat for the rest of my life. I've previously lost weight on diet foods, and then, when the diet is over, I have no idea how to keep it off, so... weight gain! I'm losing weight on burgers, pizza, candy, ice cream, organic food, crappy food, gourmet food, homestyle food, REAL FOOD. That way, when I'm to the maintenance phase, my only change will be eating slightly MORE FOOD. I can do THAT for the rest of my life for certain, and hence maintain my weight? That's the idea anyway.
The second sustainable lifestyle change I've made is to NOT lose weight through exercise. Yes, I know there are many health benefits from exercise. And during periods of my life, I've been a very avid long distance runner. For me, it's an addicting activity. However, there are many other periods in my life where I simply don't have time for it. It's not an excuse, or that I'm putting myself second, it just is a fact. So, it is obvious that I can live my life WITHOUT EXERCISE... however, I can not live my life WITHOUT FOOD. Not a day goes by for me without eating food. Keeping that in mind, it makes sense then for me to control my weight through what impacts me daily, which is food. Portion control. Calorie control. My first weight loss of 160lbs I got down from 280lbs to 120lbs. How? Running my ass off, literally. But when I stopped running and burning all those calories... I gained weight. I will exercise for the HEALTH benefits, but for me, it's not so smart to exercise for the WEIGHT LOSS benefits. Additionally, running makes me drop weight very FAST, and I want SLOW weight loss, because I'm under the impression that the more slowly you lose weight, the more likely you will be to KEEP if OFF. And, that is my goal.
I love my band. It's helping me to feel much more confident about my goal of keeping weight off for good. I have no desire to be ultra skinny or to do the crazy, unstainable things that are necessary to get there. I want to get to the upper end of normal weight for my height. And, I want a tummy tuck for sure. I also want to have a happy and full life full of the things I love, including food. This time around, losing weight is different. And, hopefully with some effort, this weight loss will be for good.