(Someone commented on my last post, and I responded, but I cannot seem to copy and paste my response as a "new" post, so for a brief update and a little insight from me on OJW after 5 months, please open the comments section of my last post ("167.5") and read all comments.)
Happy New Year, all! I gained some weight back over the holidays (today I was 173), but I will be resuming the jaw wiring in February. I have a wisdom tooth that needs to be extracted and that will be done on Jan. 29. Yay! No more toothache! I will be glad to be wired again, as I have slipped back into my old ways a little bit - not so much the bingeing but certainly eating more carbs than I should be. This just goes to reinforce the saying that weight-loss MAINTENANCE is the hardest part of losing weight.
It didn't help to be unwired during the holiday season, but that will come every year, so I better learn from this past season and have a plan in place for next year... I have actually seriously wondered if I could keep these brackets on my teeth for years, instead of months, just so I can resort back to using OJW during my "weaker" moments...
Okay, so maybe it was a stomach flu. I ended up being sick that entire day. Not fun.
I am still stuck at the magic number I was stuck at for most of last year despite my attempts at both dieting and exercising some pounds off. 167.5 is where my body wants to stay! I even had 3 pounds of breast tissue removed and somehow, my body retained or else quickly replaced those 3 pounds after my surgery. This would actually be a fascinating phenomenon to me if it wasn't utterly frustrating!
I have noticed that since being unwired, I have only within the last couple days begun to feel a desire to eat both MORE than I need (ie: eat when I'm not hungry) and MORE CARBS (ie: my body wants to increase its fat stores). It prompts me to wonder why... Is it because I'm at the beginning of my PMS cycle?... Or maybe it's because it's finally gotten to feel like winter outside (cold weather maybe makes you burn more calories to stay warm, so your appetite increases?)... Or maybe it's because I'm once again at that point where my body wants to stay (167.5), so it's going to guard against me going below that set point... It's so interesting to consider all the possible reasons - it may be all 3 or none of them. I'll never fully understand what's going on inside my body, but I am determined to find a way of eating that is sustainable for my lifetime and that gets me leaner than I currently am. But am I fighting against my very nature?
I just read a major portion of "Good Calories, Bad Calories" lately, and the part of the book I read talks a lot about how each of our bodies tend to prefer a certain body composition - that's why some of us will always be able to eat mass quantities and still be wiry and thin, while others of us will eat far less than those thin people and (unfairly!) retain pudge. If you are anything like me (ie: if you are having trouble understanding WHY you a.) can't stick to a diet, or b.) seem stuck at a certain weight) I strongly recommend picking up and reading "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes. The middle chapters in particular have really helped me understand what's going on in my body, and that the idiotic "calories in, calories out" approach to weight loss is completely unsupported scientifically. If you've been trying to lose weight on a low calorie "balanced" diet, those chapters in particular specifically address WHY it's not working (or why it might have worked in the beginning, but now your weight loss has tapered off and the only way you see around it is to reduce your caloric intake even lower than you had it).
Do yourself a favor and read that book - not because it advocates a diet similar to the one I try to stick to, but simply for the sheer volume of diet and nutrition "laws" that it debunks by way of ACTUAL SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS. It is truly sickening to me that unsupported nutritional science has become mainstream and is even defended by most of the medical community. Who can we listen to if our own doctors are gobbling up the shoddy analysis and research of biased scientists - scientists who seem biased not only by their desire to prove their own hypotheses correct, but also by their desire to give their funders (those organizations who pay them to come to their often limp and illogical conclusions) the trial outcomes they are hoping (paying?) for?
Read, learn, educate yourself.
It has been exactly 2 weeks since my surgery, and the healing is well under way. A lot of the swelling is gone and for the most part the stitched areas are closed and healing properly. The doctor said he removed a little over 3 pounds of breast tissue (so imagine having 4 twelve-ounce cans of soda suddenly gone from the front of you) - yet here I sit miserably uncomfortable at 5 o'clock in the morning.
Why, you ask? It has nothing to do with my surgery (though learning to sleep on my back has been somewhat difficult). It's all because I "splurged" for dinner last night and ordered something I haven't eaten in months that apparently my body did NOT miss - a pepperoni stromboli. I used to eat these things fairly often - it's the equivalent of a slice of pizza... or more like 4 pieces of pizza rolled up with cheese and pepperoni inside. I didn't even eat the whole thing, which would have been no problem for me before I started to cut way down on grains, but I guess abstaining from that kind of food really WAS a good thing for me. I mean, I feel AWFUL right now. Bloated, nauseated, sweating, even a little dizzy. I hope and pray my stomach takes matters into its own hands soon and decides to forcibly eject its contents because clearly I am incapable of digesting this horrific blob of evil I "treated" myself to at 6pm yesterday evening.
So... could this mean that what I've been reading is true... that some people really can be allergic and addicted to certain foods like wheat or dairy products? Whenever I've told people that, most of them look at me as though I'm just some nutty conspiracy theorist grasping at straws to explain away my weight problem. Yet if you read some of these articles, it doesn't sound crazy at all. In fact, it's something I hope a lot more people like me figure out soon so they can begin their recovery. Just the fact that I'm sitting here about to...
...Ah, yes, success. God, I hate throwing up, but it sure does make you feel better afterward, you know? Well, no more strombolis for me EVER. What a strong deterrent, making someone get sick when they eat something they aren't supposed to! (And I know it wasn't the pepperoni or the cheese that made me sick - I've been eating those for the past 3 weeks on a regular basis with no problems whatsoever.) This reminds me of a time my brother came home drunk from a party when he was a teenager and he barfed all night long after having had way too much peach schnapps - to this day, 20 years later, even saying the words "peach" and "schnapps" in the same sentence makes him turn green.
Ug. Good morning...
Yes, today I finally got my weight back to where I was a year ago. So at this point, it's been about 3 months since I started this journey, and I've lost a total of 18 pounds, making that a 6 pound average loss for each of those months. A very reasonable weight loss, and one that I hope is sustainable.
BUT - this journey was not undertaken for the mere purpose of weight loss. I got my jaw wired in order to give myself a break from the self-destructive act of bingeing. And it has worked to an extent. I notice that my cravings have shifted away from the junk food I used to obsess about and have gravitated to more wholesome foods, but that's probably just because I miss chewing and eating real food! I can't wait to eat a cheeseburger (without the bun of course) and a nice big salad with blue cheese dressing!
I am having surgery on October 29 (breast reduction), and I plan to remove the wires a week before that so I can eat normal foods and make sure I am flush on all the nutrients I'll need in my system for a healthy and safe recovery. I know I'll need to keep the wires off for at least a week following the procedure, so there's a chance I'll be unwired for almost 3 weeks. I think I'll do okay, since I'll be so happy to eat real food that sticking to my high fat/ low carb plan should be easy. I've noticed most of the stuff one can drink on a liquid diet tends to be sweet, so I think I might actually be maxed out on sweetness, which should help me stay away from binge-inducing foods. I'm not sure I can stand another protein shake any time soon...
I went to a nutritionist today, and of course she thinks it's insanity to eat a diet high in saturated fat and low in carbs. She regurgitated the usual "just eat 'healthy' carbs with plenty of fiber in them" and "calories in, calories out" and "too much saturated fat is what causes heart and arterial diseases". Not being a nutritionist myself, but merely an avid reader of new (and sometimes quite old) studies contradicting and refuting the diet mainstream nutritionists tout as "healthy" these days, I couldn't explain in physiological terms why high fat/ low carb is a better choice for me, and probably for a lot of other people out there too. I handed her a couple articles I printed out from the list on the side of my blog that convinced ME high fat/ low carb was the healthiest plan for me, but I have a feeling she won't care much for reading them since they fly in the face of all she learned in nutrition class.
If we look at my issue in terms of an addiction (which unfortunately I didn't steer our consultation toward that topic), then the accepted "treatment" for my addiction is to completely abstain from any substance that will trigger a relapse, right? So how am I supposed to eat a sandwich made with whole wheat bread and NOT expect a relapse? It's still wheat, right? She was going to hand me a diet that consisted of about 1500 calories a day, with probably a macronutrient ratio similar to the Zone Diet (40% carb, 30% fat, 30% protein), and I told her not to waste her time writing it out, because even if I WANTED to follow it, inevitably I wouldn't be ABLE to because that many carbs (whether they are the "healthy, high fiber, minimally processed" carbs she recommends or not) would trigger my eating disorder and I'd be right back to where I started.
Don't get me wrong. I think that diet would work for someone who doesn't have a physical and psychological addiction to certain foods. How could it not? 1500 calories is not a lot of food - of course you'd lose weight following such a plan. But I can't figure out how healthcare professionals can think that "one size fits all". One diet is not going to work for ALL people.
She brought up all the typical favorite mainstream diet/disease corollary studies: the Harvard Medical school study on the relationship between fat and disease, and the Framingham experiment, and the study of all the nurses who recorded their diets for years and years (basically, all the studies that universally concluded that FAT consumption was the problem in everyone's diet) - and like most mainstream medical professionals, she COMPLETELY dismisses the possibility that maybe it wasn't the FAT in their diets, but rather the relatively high amount of CARBOHYDRATES in their diets that made them develop heart disease and high blood pressure and all the myriad health problems they developed over the years which we have been taught to associate with dietary FAT. When there is a study FINALLY done of people who have spent 20+ years following a low carb/high fat diet that shows their health is just as bad (if not worse, which is what people like my nutritionist would assume would happen to such poor misguided souls) as someone who eats all the carbs mainstream nutrition recommends, THEN I'll swallow what they want to feed me (literally and figuratively). For now, I'm skeptical.
Do some reading, that's what I'm doing. Look past what conventional teaching has to say. Question everything. One of my favorite quotes is: A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea turns out to be right - Mark Twain.
I still weigh 171, thanks to my complete lack of enthusiasm for sticking to my eating plan. I am soooo tired of liquid food! In my attempts to get ANYTHING different, interesting or tasty into my mouth, I have abandoned my original plan (high fat/low carb) and just eat whatever the hell sounds good that I can suck through closed teeth. I had made a scrumptious dinner for my husband, and the recipe called for things like bacon, butter and cream cheese, and I was actually scraping the drippings from the pan up with a spoon and slurping them down like a vampire bat! I just couldn't stand the thought of another cold drink for dinner.
That just might be why I'm stalled at this weight. I have been slurping soup, ice cream, and pudding through my teeth - all higher-carb items, might I point out - and not drinking nearly enough protein shakes. I want MEAT! No more protein shakes! Yuck. I was unwired for 5 days when I got that thing stuck in the back of my throat, and managed to gain a couple pounds back, mainly because I was so happy to eat REAL FOOD. How the hell am I going to maintain my weight loss when I'm done with the jaw wiring if all it's doing is making me obsess about food even more than before?? Okay, not more than before, because I was pretty damn obsessed, but still...!
I am toying with the idea of calling a hypnotherapist to see what, if anything, they can "suggest" into my brain that might make this jaw wiring/liquid diet easier to get through, and even more importantly to me, help me through the maintenance phase of this journey (ie: the rest of my life). I need something that keeps me from obsessing about food. I want to be a normal person, who doesn't think about food like it's a "fix". I want to eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full and be okay with walking away from food. Is there a way to desensitize my taste buds? Maybe if I turn my curling iron on high and suck on the barrel for a couple minutes that might damage them enough.... except I don't even think it's the TASTE of the stuff I'm craving that matters. I mean really - I eat some crappy-tasting stuff, but because it gives my body the "fix" it's craving, that sugar-rush that my body depends on that has kept me a junk-food junkie for years, it's all perfectly edible to me.
I wonder if somewhere down the road, some smart person is going to develop a substance that makes a person ill only if they have a huge insulin spike. Seriously, if every time you ate too many cookies you became violently ill, you'd learn pretty quickly how to eat carbs in moderation, right? Genius! I know there's some drug they give to alcoholics that does something similar, so it must be right around the corner... except then doctors wouldn't have enough to do, because that would cut most obesity-related illnesses down to barely anything! So I have a feeling that we'll NEVER see a drug like this on the market, because that would cut into the profits of the medical community.
... in the back of my throat. Ever since eating (or slurping through my closed teeth) a bowl of lobster bisque soup last weekend, I have been feeling a sharp something stabbing me back there. I've been trying unsuccessfully to dislodge it with any number of tricks: from a loud, hacking, Donald Duck-ish-type wheeze, to a bizarre, undulating tongue/throat/head tilt that I'm embarrassed to do even by myself. Alas, I have succeeded in moving the irritating little spike nowhere but perhaps deeper into the soft flesh of the back of my throat. Brilliant.
*Note to others contemplating jaw wiring: STRAIN ALL YOUR LIQUIDS THOROUGHLY.
So I had to cut the wires again today so I could try to retrieve the damn thing with my fingernail, or even just by gargling (have you ever tried to gargle with your teeth together?). No luck so far - I can still feel it, and every time I stick my finger back there to scrape at it I gag. Anyone have any suggestions?
This time I was wired for two full weeks. My jaw is even less stiff than it was the first time - I think because my husband wired my jaw a little more slack than Dr. Ted did.
Today I weighed 172.5, so in 2 weeks I lost 5 pounds. Yay for me!