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!
I visited some relatives over the holiday who do not have my problem saying no to starch. They have an entire pantry full of foods that haunt my dreams: donuts, cookies, pastries, chips, crackers... it would have been a disastrous weekend had it not been for these wires. They saved me untold amounts of misery and self-loathing.
My weight is now 173 - a 12 pound loss since starting on August 1. I am having some pretty intense cravings this week, but that's just due to my monthly cycle. I stopped doing the intermittent fasting over the holiday, and still haven't started back up again. But I truly think that's part of why I lost almost 5 more pounds since getting rewired. I'll try to wait till 7 today to eat, but damn! These cravings are making it hard.
I am already pretty tired of the taste of protein shakes - what I am craving madly is some REAL PROTEIN! A burger with cheese, baked chicken with crispy brown skin, hell - even a hot dog sounds good right now! That's probably the hardest thing about being wired: your protein has to come in the form of a powder or liquid, which means it'll most likely be something SWEET. I have been making beef bullion and melting some butter into it, just for that kind of rich, hearty flavor. I've never been a big fan of soup, but I may have to make an exception while I'm wired. I love lobster bisque, but of course I have to strain it so it's smooth. Sigh. I miss so many flavors, it makes me wonder if I will want to go crazy eating when I'm finally unwired. I'm a little scared about it.
I barely even know the wires are there. Speaking is no problem at all and the brackets are not rubbing the inside of my mouth the way they were when I was unwired. My mouth is very comfortable the way it's set, and again, the only thing I'm finding difficult is coughing and clearing my throat. I am prone to allergies in the autumn months, so it could get ugly, what with having to clear my throat a lot. Hello liquid Benadryl!
I think I have a slight milk intolerance. I mixed some with a protein shake and hours later my bowels were telling me they didn't like it. Odd, because I can eat pretty much anything else that's dairy: cheese, ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese... just drinking the actual liquid itself was the problem. I guess I'll just have to stick with heavy cream and water in my shakes.
I have way more energy this month than I did when I started. Losing even 10 pounds makes it feel like I'm so much lighter! I no longer trudge up the stairs panting, and I even started working out a little. Ug, but I still haven't done any real cardio. Why can't I make myself get on my treadmill?? I would rather do squats and lunges than do even ten minutes of walking. I know I need to start doing it regularly, but maybe I'll take baby steps - a couple weeks of weight training to get me in the right frame of mind, then I'll ease into a treadmill routine.
My clothes are ever-so-slightly more comfortable. I was busting out of them when I started because I refused to buy anything bigger than a size 14, and at 185, I was certainly not a comfortable size 14 anymore. I will be delighted when I get down to 165 because that was the weight that eluded me every time I started dieting in the last couple years. I was stuck between 167 and 170 for so long, then the bingeing really started and I soared up to 185 really quickly. I have a ton of clothes that I miss wearing. I'm really tired of the same frumpy crap I've been wearing since I had a baby almost 2 years ago.
My face is thinner and my rolls are smaller. It's quite disheartening to realize you have major back fat. I tried with some success not to notice it in my mirror, but I couldn't help seeing it in full color in a picture taken during our July vacation. Gross. Embarrassing. But soon to be gone.
My husband should have been an orthodontist! He did a great job rewiring me and I am very comfortable with the wires on.
I still weigh 177.5, so I am going to switch things up a bit as I was hoping to have lost a little bit more by now. My new plan: slightly higher protein and slightly lower fat, carbohydrates will remain about the same. I will also be implementing something called "Intermittent Fasting (IF)". No, I'm not going to be starving myself, I'm simply going to abstain from ingesting anything caloric for 24 hours at a time - so 24 hours of no eating, followed by 24 hours of eating. This is done by eating once in the evening on day one, then on the following day eating up until the same time I started eating the day before. 7pm each day I will either start or stop eating. That way I never go to bed with an empty stomach. (Please check out the links I provided on the right side of my blog to learn more about the benefits of IF.)
I will also be revising my calories a bit: I will be eating a total of 2600 calories over the course of the two days (an average of 1300 calories a day). Perhaps I could still stick with 1600 a day and lose weight, but it's not that much fun to drink protein shakes in mass quantities, which is what I'd have to do while I'm intermittent fasting.
I'll get into specifics next time - we are going out of town for the holiday and trying to pack with a toddler around is next to impossible!
I am still unwired, thanks to my head cold (which thankfully is finally going away), my chronic shingles problem (for which I finally got a liquid anti-viral med. for) and lastly, a bladder infection that popped up a couple days ago. Yes, I am falling apart. I of course have to wonder if all these ailments are somehow linked to my high-fat/low carb diet. But no, I don't think so. The cold was inevitable because I catch whatever illness my daughter has without exception; the shingles is inevitable thanks to my development of it in 2005 - I have had to take Valtrex on a weekly basis ever since then to keep it at bay; and it seems to me it borders on impossible to get a bladder infection from one's diet. SO, I persevere in the name of low carbs!
I have officially been unwired longer than I was wired, and I won't be able to get the wires back on until I am done with the antibiotics for my bladder infection. I'm planning to have them replaced on Monday the 25th. I can tell you, my resolve is beginning to slide. I have weighed the same for almost a week, and that bums me out enough to contemplate a naughty snack more and more often. Apparently in my fuzzy little addicted brain, weight loss equals focused determination, and failure equals giving in to the demons! But I'm okay so far - hanging on by a few thin threads. I'm going to fast today so I can see the number change on the scale - hopefully that will steel my resolve once again.
I have done well on my diet, though once I did have a couple deep fried chicken tenders (the breading is the evil part for me), and another time I had 2 servings of ice cream instead of the one serving I budgeted for. Overall, I feel pretty successful, considering I have not touched a single cookie, cracker, pretzel, donut, or piece of bread. Those are the things I know would put me over the edge and lead me to an all-out binge, face-down in a box of Krispy Kremes.
So, yes, I am still quite happy I got my jaw wired. I wouldn't be where I am today without it, and I look forward to further success once I get re-wired: success in weight loss, and more importantly, success in vanquishing the binge-eating demons!
Whew! I lost half a pound from yesterday. That makes me feel a little better. I was beginning to worry when my weight didn't change for 4 days.
What I am MOST happy about is that I have been able to stay on track with my diet, ie: not a single bite of anything made with wheat or grains. I was cutting up a breaded chicken tender for my daughter and that was definitely tempting, but I resisted. I feel really good that I was able to avoid that. One of the hardest things for me is to throw food away, and of course there are always going to be little tidbits leftover on a toddler's plate. I really have to MAKE myself throw everything out.
I'm looking forward to getting the wires put back on. Having them on really did help me through that initial phase of getting over my food addiction, but I am by no means "recovered". I strongly recommend having this done if you're like me and simply CAN'T resist the food you are addicted to. I know from many past failures that I'm having success ONLY because those wires were in place.
Arg! My daughter is determined to bring every illness at her daycare home with her. She's already developed pinkeye and 2 cold viruses - all since starting there 5 weeks ago! Husband and I had discussed this: if she got more than 4 colds in the first 4 months, we were going to seek alternative plans for her care. Well, here we are, 5 weeks in and already 2 colds caught! I am a stay-at-home mom, so we don't need the daycare, it was more so I had a couple set hours during the week kid-free so I could run errands, and so she could have fun with some kids her age. But I guess I didn't realize just what a germ fest daycare really is! It makes sense, though... 12 toddlers sneezing on each other and wiping their hands on their faces, then touching everything and everyone. The teacher told me she had just gotten over her last cold less than a week ago, and here she is once again, sharing in the virus du jour.
So I'm kind of glad I'm not wired right now, since I can't breathe through my nose. I have been eating more solid foods, as my cheek healed somewhat. Still sticking with my original commitment: high fat, adequate protein, low carb. I have noticed, though, that my weight loss has stalled. I wonder if that's because I dropped the first 6 so quickly, or if it's because I started eating solid food. It has me a little concerned...
I had to grocery shop today, and as I was going down the cookie/cracker/chip aisle, I suddenly realized I had walked right past my favorite binge food (Keebler Fudge Sticks) and hadn't even given it a thought! Yay for me!
SO... is it "starve a cold/feed a fever" or the other way around? I need to look that up...
I had to remove the wires on Saturday because I needed to take a medication that I wasn't able to crush and I don't have the liquid version of. These pills are for a chronic condition I have, but since I hadn't needed them in a while, I guess I got cocky and didn't bother to have my doctor prescribe LIQUID medicine, knowing there was a chance I'd need it while my jaw was wired... bad idea. Predictably, my illness popped up late Friday afternoon, when the doctor's office is closed for the weekend. Whatever. I can only be mad at myself... that was totally dumb on my part not to be completely prepared. If you read this and think you might get your jaw wired someday, learn from my stupidity and get all the medications you rely on in a drinkable form before you proceed.
I'm not too upset. It's nice to be able to brush my teeth and talk normally. I tried to eat some scrambled eggs and it's pretty hard to eat with these brackets on, so I think I'll just stick with the liquid diet I've been on. I've lost 6 pounds in 9 days, so I'm pretty happy and don't want to mess that up.
One thing - these brackets are freakin' uncomfortable! They were a little annoying a few days ago - one part of my cheek kept getting caught on a bracket, and you know how that sort of thing goes: once you bite the inside of your cheek, you KEEP doing it because it's swollen. But with no limitation to my jaw movement, the rest of the brackets are really scoring the inside of my mouth -I guess now that I can talk normally, the scraping is much more noticeable. I have resorted to molding a piece of gum over those brackets - instant relief! But it doesn't last. I have to keep remolding it on there. Another lesson: have dental wax on hand... Interestingly, this is all happening on only one side, the other side feels fine.
So... I'm still happy I did this, and am not having any problems with the diet except boredom and mild heartburn a couple times. I've heard a high-fat diet can cause heartburn, but I figured I would be writhing on the floor with the pain of it, considering all the fat I'm ingesting in LIQUID FORM. But nope. Just a couple times, and I simply eliminated the possible culprits from my diet until I have the wires off - 85% cocoa and more than 4 ounces of coconut milk at a time.
What I'm not looking forward to is finding out how much my husband is NOT cut out to be an orthodontist - he's the one that has to rewire me. Dr. Ted made it look totally easy, but he's done it a few thousand times. Oh well. I'd rather have my hubby at least try it before we throw in the towel and have to drive back to Dr. Ted's.
Today is the start of my second week with my jaw wired. I've gotten quite used to it, and I am adequately comfortable. Sometimes the brackets feel a little rough on the inside of my mouth, but I guess I could get some wax to put over them if it gets too annoying... I wonder where to get that kind of wax?
I've lost 5 pounds so far. Of course I'm doing this for weight loss, but my main goal is to try to get over my food addiction - if I can conquer that, I'll be thrilled. Sometimes it's hard to see food commercials or to watch my husband eat a succulent meal, while I'm only able to sip a thin liquid through my teeth, but I am prepared for that discomfort. I mean, I've been eating whatever I wanted pretty much all my life - surely I can handle a few months without!
My other strategy (besides having my jaw wired shut) is that I am doing this without starving myself. Dr. Ted recommended a 1000 calorie a day diet, but I know from past experience as well as from ample weight loss statistics that going too low on calories only produces a major weight rebound when you start to eat real food again. My plan is to eat (or drink) approximately 1600 calories a day and keep the carbohydrates LOW. Not on any day since I started this have I gone over 50 grams of carbs in one day, but I've never gone below 1500 calories - so where are my calories coming from?
FAT. That's right. And the more saturated the better. Here are the stats on my diet...
Daily Macronutrient Averages:
- FAT: 130 grams (81 grams of it saturated fat) 72% FAT
- PROTEIN: 65 grams 16.5% PROTEIN
- CARBOHYDRATE: 45 grams 11.5% CARB
CALORIES: 1595 per day (average)
I am drinking heavy cream and coconut milk with protein powder mixed in, as well as beef broth with added butter, homemade tomato soup with added cream, butter and spices. I even budgeted for a half-cup of ice cream every other day. Oh, and I blend 2 egg yolks into my shakes every day for the extra nutrients. No, this isn't the easiest thing to stick to, but thankfully I was never a fan of soda or juice, so I didn't have to work hard against an inclination to just turn to those items, which would take much less time to crack open and pour than it does to prepare a shake or strain liquified canned tomatoes through a strainer.
Why oh why would someone try to kill themselves with all that fat??
Because I believe that fat is my body's preferred energy source - not carbohydrates. It may not be true for some people, but I'm willing to bet this works for me. I've always felt out of control around carbohydrates - the more I ate, the more I'd want. I could be stuffed to the point of nausea and I'd still feel compelled to shovel more carbs in my mouth. It was a never-ending cycle and I never felt satisfied. However, after one week of eating high fat/ low carb I feel pretty darn good. (I know I'm not over my addiction yet, though, because my baby's Goldfish Pretzels still do taunt me so - thank goodness for these wires!) The true test will come when I am able to eat real food. If I stick to this eating plan (high fat/low carb) and am able to maintain my weight loss (or even keep losing!) once I start eating actual food again, I'll have proved that fat is not the enemy after all.
So do you want to learn more about this way of eating? That's what a lot of those links are for on the right side of this page - just go into the article about the Homo Optimus diet and read up on it. And maybe visit the blog called "Hyperlipid" - that is some high-tech writing that I find fascinating (though sometimes a bit too high-tech for me).
I know you're scared, but it's okay. It's only fat.
My jaw is wired in a somewhat relaxed position, not completely closed, which is infinitely more comfortable than having your jaw clamped tight. I can sneeze fairly comfortably, I can even yawn (or half-yawn). I am finding coughing the most difficult and uncomfortable action. I never realized how important it is to be able to open my jaw to cough or clear my throat. I am having a very minor discomfort in my right TMJ today.
Overall, I am extremely glad I went through with this - of course, this is only the fourth day. But right now I know that if I took the wires off I'd be diving head-first into a giant blueberry muffin. It really is the answer for me - I no longer have the agonizing choice of whether to binge or not because that choice has been taken away and is no longer my painful burden.
The procedure itself took a total of about one hour in Dr. Ted's chair. He is very friendly and helpful and he made sure my husband and I knew how to unwire and rewire.
But is it comfortable? Not exactly... but it isn't unbearable, and I'm able to speak and be understood. I definitely miss brushing my teeth and tongue properly. You can't really see the brackets unless I smile big (see picture). I confess, by the end of the second day I was already thinking about revising my commitment to the duration of my jaw wiring. I originally said I would commit 6 months to it, but I think I might not be able to deal with it quite that long. But, as Dr. Ted said, the first week is the hardest. I am going to take it one day at a time and focus on my goals: to break my addictions and to lose some weight.
I got my jaw wired shut at Dr. Ted's office in Brooklyn, NY on 7/31/08. Why, you ask? Because I have gained 35 pounds in 3 years due to a binge eating pattern that has lately gotten quite worrisome - in the last 4 months I've gained 15 pounds! That scared me enough to do something as drastic as having my jaw wired shut. I have actually spent the last 18 months (ever since I gave birth to my daughter) trying and failing at many different diet plans. Is it just an utter lack of will power? I have punished myself with that very criticism for years, but after doing extensive research on the topics of nutrition, diet, and bingeing, I have come to a conclusion: I may be addicted to wheat - possibly sugar as well. Sound questionable? Trust me, I thought it sounded crazy too until I read these articles about food addiction. Apparently, it's not only possible to be addicted to certain foods, but it's actually a fairly common cause of many people's suffering.
And so I start the journey to break my addiction. I consider having my jaws wired akin to entering a rehab clinic - I am physically unable to binge on the foods I am sensitive/addicted to. This is my fourth day wired, and so far the hardest day was yesterday: I had a bad headache and slight nausea, and my mind kept telling me I NEED some crackers or pretzels or pasty, thick pancake batter (a favorite binge food). Not at any point have I felt physically hungry - I've been drinking enough calories to keep me satisfied - yet I've felt almost frantic a couple times, my mind SCREAMING to me that I NEED A FIX. Hello withdrawal! My body (my mind?) is used to a steady stream (and the occasional glut) of wheaty carbs and sugar - this could be a long, hard road.
That's why I got wired. I already knew from past experience that unless it was impossible for me to binge, I would inevitably fail at any eating plan. My addiction was too strong for me to say no to. It controlled every thought in my head - from the time I woke up in the morning to the time I went to bed. Even while I lay in bed late at night, thoughts of food would be foremost in my mind. I would count the hours till I could be alone with my box of donut holes or the brownie batter I was planning to devour. It made me hate myself because I felt so out of control. The only time I felt good was when I was bingeing. The rest of the time, self-loathing and savage, desperate hunger ruled every thought. Is this how heroin addicts feel?