Rewired at last!

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!  


177.5 and holding...

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.


Bad cold, good shopper

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...  


Uncomfortable brackets

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.


Here's what I'm eating...

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. 


What does it feel like to have your jaw wired shut?

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.

Day 4 of Jaw wiring

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?