Not The Biggest Loser

I just want to be…

Browsing in Nutrition

Finally…I had a fill a couple of weeks ago. Nearly 4 weeks ago actually. She put in another 1ml giving me about 10ml total. I was surprised as I thought they only took 10ml but she said she has a girl with 14ml in hers. Interesting. Anyway I noticed the effect immediately. Eating is hard work. My portion sizes shrank immediately and I take a long, long time to eat now. I lost 1kg the first week without even trying. Yay! I got a bit excited and hoped that the 1kg a week loss would continue. Why do I always think that it’s going to work without me making an effort? The following week I put on the 1kg I lost and last week I stayed the same. The thing is that if there is a loophole I will find it! If I’m at home and have lots of time then although initially I can’t eat as much I can eventually finish the plate over a matter of hours. For instance I was still serving myself my usual serve of breakfast – not as much as it would’ve once been but more than I should be eating with a lapband in! I’d eat an initial amount – put the plate on the bench and come back over the following hours and finish it bit by bit.  Admittedly before the fill I would’ve eaten that breakfast and probably snacked on extra things but still…why do I cheat myself like that?

So this week I got strict again and have been using my lapband plate to serve my food so I don’t have the opportunity to come back and ‘finish’ leftover food. That’s beenworking well. Will be interesting to see whether that’s made a difference weight wise. I even managed to fit in one Jillian Michaels workout dvd.

However I have a new tactic…I can’t believe I’m about to write this…I got sucked in by the Bodytrim ads on foxtel! Can you believe 2 years and thousands of dollars later I’m buying diet products again? Sigh…anyway I’ve watched 2 of the dvds and read some literature and I’m actually quite impressed. It’s actually not a diet and sounds like a really reasonable way to eat for the rest of my life…It is low carb (not no carb but low) and I’ve never really been sure about this approach before but this guy really makes sense.  He says that if your diet is high in carbs that the carbs are the first thing your body will burn and it will never get to burn the fat stores if there’s lots of carb stores there. Which kind of explains why I keep putting on so much weight. My diet has always been really high in carbs. He also believes that food is 70% of the success of weight loss and just plain old walking is 20% and strenuous exercise is 10%. I like this concept. It explains why the weeks I’ve killed myself exercising 6 or 7 times a week at high intensity that I don’t lose weight! I like the fact that despite the fact he owns one of the most successful personal training companies in Australia he is not advocating strenuous exercise for weight loss. He just wants you to walk 10,000 steps and follow the food plan. Of course walking 10,000 steps is still a challenge for me but I hope to work my way up to it.

It’s funny because I really fight the structure of a ‘diet’ usually. I hate being told what to eat. But clearly just eating what I want isn’t working and I’ve been really feeling the need for some structure. On the bodytrim weight loss plan (there’s also a weight maintenance plan) you basically eat 6 small meals a day of which 3 are protein snacks.  The rest of the meals are primarly protein and veg however for breakfast you can have one serve of  starchy carb or fruit. You also have one protein only day a week and one ‘free’ day a week where you can eat what you want but they recommend you still eat your protein snacks. It seems like a good balance to me.  From what I’ve researched people seem to be having a lot of success with it.

I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and I used to be quite anti protein diets but for some reason this one appeals. Maybe I’m desperate!

Anyway it kind of fits in with what I’ve been thinking about doing for awhile. Now that Carys is on solids I’ve been wanting to change the way we eat. I’m following the Baby Led Weaning method which means no purees, mushy baby food etc. The principle is she should be able to eat appropriate food off our plates.  And of course anything with added salt or preservatives is not recommended. We eat lots of canned and packet sauces etc. So I can’t feed her what we’re eating! I’ve been steaming veg etc for her separately which is not ideal.  So I’ve been slowly going through all the sauces we have in the cupboard and have been planning to get back to more ‘real’ foods and this is a great opportunity.

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So much has happened since I last posted. Every day I sit down at my computer and tell myself I should update, but for some unknown reason I’ve not been able to.  I’ve been a bit down and a bit unmotivated to do anything and then the last week has been an absolute write-off.

In my last post I was going back to basics. I did that during the week but then did my usual thing and allowed myself a little bit more freedom on the weekends and inevitably ended up overdoing it and found myself with a little or no loss on the scales. I was feeling frustrated but was determined to keep trying and just keep getting better. But as they say Insanity is doing the same thing you’ve been doing and expecting different results.

In the middle of all this “Insanity” I had another frozen embryo transfer. Two embryos this time (same as the first).  After the transfer I started to panic about this time not working. I was doing some reading on a pregnancy forum I participate in and I came across a post about accupuncture and IVF. I remembered that I’d been referred to an accupuncturist by a friend of a friend who had a terribly hard time falling pregnant and she now has twin boys. I found the email with this accupuncturist’s website in it, clicked on it and began to read.  After browsing her site for awhile I sent her a quick email asking her if she thought she could help me. I told her my story briefly and told her I’d just had a transfer today and was it too late to help, as I’d read a lot of people have accupuncture leading up to the transfer and also the day of transfer. I received an email from her very early the next morning asking me to call her which I did.

We spoke on the phone for at least half an hour where she talked about all her beliefs about fertility issues and problems with quality of embryos etc. She asked me to stop consuming caffeine immediately (I hadn’t yet bought my morning coffee!). For me this meant not only giving up one of my favourite things in the wordl – my 2 flat whites every day, but also meant no more Coke Zero at home and no chocolate! I didn’t think my coffee consumption was too bad, but then I never really thought about how much caffeine I had by the time I drank 1-2 large glasses of Coke Zero and ate chocolate during the day.  She told me to come see her that afternoon after work which I did. Hubby came with me, as she is a firm believer that both the husband and wife must make changes to their lifestyles to produce good quality sperm and eggs and therefore healthy, perfect babies.

Hubby and I turned up and both had accupuncture.  I had experienced accupuncture before for my plantar fasciitis, however he had never experienced it before and was a little freaked out to say the least. It didn’t help that I had really only told him about the whole thing earlier that day by email and he warily agreed knowing he didn’t really have any choice. She even put Moxa on the end of the needles and lit them. It was all very weird for poor hubby.  She also did some deep tissue massage which was so painful!

She explained to us the changes she wanted us both to make to our diets. No caffeine, no alcohol, no sugar, no gluten, lots of fat! Yes, you read that right…lots of fat! This one is a hard one to come to terms with after buying low fat everything for the whole of my life, but she assured me that I was no longer allowed to buy skim milk, low fat cheese or in fact anything that said low fat. She assured me that our bodies need fat to make hormones and we need hormones to make babies.  So though I wasn’t looking forward to the prospect of no coffee or chocolate or bread, I was looking forward to enjoying a big glass of full cream milk – a luxury I never allowed myself. (Let’s forget the fact that I was diagnosed with a dairy allergy for now shall we? More about this later).

Of course we talked about the fact that this change in eating would definitely cause some weight loss for me, which of course was an excellent thing. She promised me that if I was pregnant this time that if I continued to eat this way that at the end of the pregnancy I would be smaller than when I started. Something I dreamed of doing last time, but instead put on 10kg thanks to hormones and crazy cravings.

Of course none of these lifestyle changes would guarantee the health of our remaining embryos  – the 2 inside me now and the 2 still frozen. She pointed out that  due to our poor nutrition at the time of egg pick-up and egg insemination, we could have a ‘bad’ batch of embryos that may never produce healthy babies. Something that Dr Read suggested many months ago.  She suggested that this change of lifestyle and working with her would help the embryos to implant and for me to remain pregnant, but would not guarantee perfect babies. This fact still bothers me a lot…If I am pregnant from one or two of these embryos, it will be so hard for me to relax knowing there’s a chance there could be problems with the quality again.

Now I must admit at this time that much of what she told me was very close to what Dr Read told me many months ago. The problem was that I just wasn’t ready to hear it back then. Also there was a slight difference in her approach. She did say if this transfer does not work, that we should stop IVF for a few months (there’s a difference there…she gave it a timeline and a short one at that) and concentrate on changing our lifestyles and becoming healthy during that those few months. She suggested during that time that we may even become pregnant naturally due to both of us producing better sperm and eggs. As much as I wanted this transfer to work, I like the idea of preparing our bodies to make the best babies we could make and that maybe it could happen naturally. So though I’d be devastated if i wasn’t pregnant, I also see that waiting for a few months while we get our bodies better would not be such a bad thing, and I’d be hopeful that we may even be able to do it on our own!

After our accupuncture and massage she started pulling bottles of tablets from her shelves like there was no tomorrow. You should’ve seen hubby’s eyes. I thought they were going to pop out of his head. She pulled down about 10 bottles for me and then said “Right now it’s your turn” and pointed to him and proceeded to pull down several more bottles for him. I think he thought that he’d gone through the pins being stuck into him, strange things being set on fire on his back and that it was finally all over, but now he was being told he had to drink strange, foul tasting chinese herbs and take handfuls of tablets every day? Impressed he was not! Especially when he heard the cost of it all.

We had a bit of a fight that night, as I think he felt a bit railroaded and of course he just never expected to have to do all this. I reminded him of everything I had been through with IVF and that he better damn not complain!

So I went about my new lifestyle with much enthusiasm. Of course I got the mandatory 3 days from hell with the worst headaches I have experienced in my life. Ever. By the 3rd day I could hardly open my eyes as I was in so much pain and all I wanted to do was go to bed. Not only was I in pain but I was exhausted. My body must’ve been working overtime to get rid of all the toxins in it. I knew I loved my coffee and I suspected I was addicted to Coke Zero, but seriously…those headaches shocked the hell out of me. I never realised just how hooked I was on them.

Anyway I lost 2.8kg in 5 days! Can you believe it? FinallyI started seeing some change in the scales and it felt so good. It was about this time that hubby started telling me how excited he was about starting this new lifestyle (he started a few days after me). Amazing, after all that resistance that he finally started warming to the idea.  Interestingly he did get some mild headaches once he started, but nothing as severe as what I went through. And every day he comments about how good he feels. I have to admit I do too. I still crave sugar and bread and coffee. No doubt about that. But because I keep myself full with protein, veg and rice, it’s easier to resist the stuff I used to fill myself up on.

It’s been 11 days and I’ve lost 3.2kg now.  I’m determined to get back to where I was back in March before I started IVF. Only 8.6 kg to go!

Of course she made it very clear she didn’t agree with the lap-band at all. She said she has patients that have put on weight with the band. I explained to her that I was desperate and really felt out of control and felt the band was my last hope. I still stand by my decision to have the band, as I know that without it I wouldn’t be 11kg less than I was when I had the surgery. I’d probably be 11kg heavier if not more. I also know that I would not be able to survive on the ‘small’ 6 meals this new lifestyle calls me to eat.

One of the lessons I keep coming back to is that the band isn’t a miracle cure and that yes 12 months after my band I’ve only lost 11kg and I’m still struggling to lead a healthy lifestyle and make the right choices about food. I still struggle with emotional eating. The band was never going to cure that.  I’ve started reading this really amazing book which the accupuncturist recommended to me. She said it was the only ‘weight loss’ book that she ever read and 100% agreed with and actually recommended to her clients. It’s funny because I’ve seen this guy’s books advertised before, in fact he is advertised EVERYWHERE on the net, and I once came very close to ordering it, but then decided not to waste my money on anymore fads. It’s the Gabriel Method by Jon Gabriel. You check out his story and order the book on  his website http://www.jongabriel.com.au/

What I found interesting is that Khaliah Ali who I wrote about here, after reading her book also recommends Jon on his site. It sounds to me like she used his method in conjunction with her band to lose her weight. I find his book really interesting as he talks about the fact that a fat person’s ‘fat programs’ are switched on. And a thin person’s are not.  He says that if your ‘fat program’ is running for whatever reason, you will never successfully lose weight and keep it off. Your body wants to be fat. You are fighting a no-win fight with your body if you are trying to lose weight while your ‘fat program’ is switched on.  Your body will always win.  In some ways this was really comforting to read.  My whole life I have felt guilty and stupid and lazy because no matter how hard I tried, no matter how many gyms I joined, no matter how many personal trainers I paid, no matter how little I ate, I could not lose weight and keep it off.  To be told my body wanted to be fat and the only way for me to lose weight was to make my body want to be thin was a really refreshing message to hear.  He explains the many different reasons for someone’s ‘fat program’ to be on which include stress, survival, protection etc.

Did I mention this guy lost 103kg and this book is about how he did it? He does not believe in diets. In fact, he says diets make you fat. I’ve been saying this for years!  He only asks you to do 3 things:

  1. Never go a single day without adding the nutrients your body is starving for (he talks about what these nutrients are in his book)
  2. Listen to the CD that accompanies the book as you are going to sleep at night or spend at least 10 minutes a day practicing the visualisaton techniques he talks about in his book
  3. Listen to your heart and your body

I am loving his ideas and I’m hoping that with the help of my accupuncturist and Jon Gabriel’s book I will not only lose weight and feel healthier, but to be a Mum in the very near future.

P.S I have a higher than normal temperature. I am tired. I have sore breasts. I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet (not normal for me). I have had 4 positive home pregnancy tests. I am praying for a positive blood test at the doctors on Monday.

I decided to go back to basics and brought out the plan the dietician gave me many, many months ago. I had a much improved day. I didn’t get it 100% right, but did better than I have been doing.

The plan is:

Breakfast: 1-2 serves of carbohydrates, 1 serve of dairy

Snack: 1-2 serves of carbs

Lunch: 1-2 serves of carbs, 2 serves of protein, vegetables

Snack: 1 serve of fruit, 1 serve of dairy

Dinner:  2-3 serves of protein, vegetables

Snack: 1 serve of dairy, 1 serve of fruit

So tomorrow I’m trying this:

Breakfast: Porridge and skim milk
Snack: 1 piece of toast
Lunch: Chicken and salad sandwich (wholegrain bread)
Snack: Fruit and skim cappuccino
Dinner: Steak and steamed veg
Snack: Fruit and low fat ice-cream

I’m going to try and get my eating in order this week and hopefully begin some exercise next week.

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On a positive note, although I still haven’t weighed myself, I do feel and I think I look like I’ve lost weight. Some of my clothes feel and look more comfortable and I saw my hairdresser on Saturday after only seeing her on Tuesday and she said “Look how skinny you’re getting, your face looks so much skinnier”. So that confirmed how I’ve been feeling which is nice.

My exercise last week included:

Monday:  30 minute Personal training session and 40 minute walk

Tuesday: 30 minutes cardio at gym

Wednesday: 30 minutes kickboxing

Thursday: 1 hour cardio at gym

Friday: 30 minute personal training session

I’m really happy with my exercise at the moment and feel so much better physically than I used to.

My food has been interesting. I’ve been trying to mainly stick to porridge for breakfast and soup for lunch. I’ve really been struggling with some foods such as chicken breast, hot chips, steak, sandwiches or burgers of any kind and after struggling one night for over an hour to eat a quarter of a chicken (breast), I decided I had to stop eating dry, hard kind of foods and switch to softer more mushy foods. I’m really tired of struggling to eat and I know I should be able to make some better choices if I’m sticking to softer foods. This was a good point for me to come to, as up till now I’ve been stubborn and have just struggled my way through these difficult foods. So I’ve declared no more hot chips which is a really big weakness for me, but they are just so hard to eat, that I cannot do it anymore!

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I thought I’d photograph tonight’s meal to give people an idea of the ideal meal size that I should be eating. Actually the meat probably wasn’t the best choice, as it does have some fat on it, and some stuffing kind of thing in the middle, but the majority of the time I’d have a lean piece of steak, chicken or other meat… The plate is a bread and butter sized plate and I felt quite satisifed after eating that!

I spent an hour at the gym today and burnt 550 calories and about 35 minutes doing kickboxing yesterday and about 300 calories there. Hoping to make it to the gym again tomorrow! I’m actually quite enjoying it!

I had a bit of a bad weekend with a small bingeing issue where I ordered a Pizza Hut pizza Sunday afternoon for lunch and continued to eat it the whole afternoon/evening, so it became both lunch and dinner (as well as some mini Magnums). What on earth was I thinking? I clearly wasn’t. I had a bit of an emotional weekend, so I think it was related, but still…these things just aren’t supposed to happen anymore! So the exercise I’m doing is hopefully having some damage control there…

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So I had my follow up appointment with Dr Read on Friday. It was very interesting, just as I thought it would be. There were all sorts of interesting finds from my tests, but the most important was the proof that I was low in zinc and high in copper as Dr Read suspected and then the results of my 40 food allergy test. It turns out I have allergies to every food they tested me for! The 2 strongest reactions were to Cow’s milk and citrus mix (orange, lemon, grapefruit), however I also showed allergies to:

  • Corn
  • Oat
  • Rice
  • Rye
  • Wheat
  • Egg White
  • Egg Yolk
  • White fish mix (Cod, Haddock, Plaice)
  • Shellfish mix (Crab, lobster, prawn)
  • Soya Bean
  • Bean mix (Haricot, kidney,pea)
  • Mustard mix (Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower)
  • Potato
  • Apple/pear
  • Berries mix (Raspberry, strawberry, blackberry)
  • Nut Mix (Almond, cashew, Hazelnut, Peanut)
  • Yeast (Bakers & brewers)
  • Chicken & Turkey
  • Pork & Beef

More info on the allergy tests I had can be found here: http://www.arlaus.com.au/sub.php?page=allergy 

Doesn’t really leave me with much to eat there does it? Dr Read suggested I cut out the most common troublesome food groups and still keep eating the meats, vegetables and fruits as I have to eat something! So for 3 months the main things I need to cut out are all grains, cow’s milk, eggs, shellfish and white fish, soy, citrus, nuts and yeast. For anyone who knows me well bread and coffee are 2 of my favourite things. I love my vegemite toast and my 2-3 cappuccinos a day. It’s now been 2 days without toast and cappucinos and I tell you it is hard!  This afternoon I craved my cappuccino so much! I’ve switched to a short macchiato in the mornings now which is an espresso coffee with a tiny dollop of foamed milk on top and I add a little bit of caramel syrup to it to make it drinkable. It’s not as good as my usual cappuccino but it gives me an impressive hit of caffeine and does still taste good, albeit a lot smaller! So the last 2 days my diet has consisted of:

Breakfast: Fruit salad

Snack: tin tuna

Lunch: Chicken or tuna salad

Snack: tin 2 fruits

Dinner: Lamb and steamed vegetables

Both nights I’ve caved in and had some forbidden sweets after dinner, but that will not continue!  I plan to stick to that basic meal plan most days with only some small deviations when eating out or on weekends. I suspect this should get my weight loss going fairly quickly. Still haven’t lost any weight but after my 2nd fill today I’m hoping that will help!

I was supposed to get a fill with Dr Read on Friday, but he had trouble locating the port. It was a little bit painful as he did have several attempts of sticking the needle in and jiggling it about to find the right spot, but in the end it was just too difficult and I was freaking out a bit. Dr Read has done quite a few fills, but not as many as Dr Layani or Dr Jenny Duncombe who also does fills for Dr Layani, so I booked in for a fill today with Dr Jenny Duncombe at the Wesley hospital. The fill was quick and relatively painless and I now have 7ml after Dr Duncombe added an extra 2ml today. I feel the restriction already, but ate dinner without any issues. We actually went out for dinner and I ordered an entree size chicken pasta and didn’t even get to eat half of it! Yay! So strange that I delight in eating so little these days! So I expect to be into the low 120′s and into the high 110′s in the very near future and I can’t wait. I’m hoping once I move next week that I can start exercising again to really move it along.