Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Church of the Evangelical Lapbander

I am feeling exceptionally and uncontrolably devout about my lap band. I just feel so exhilarated and pleased, excited and peaceful all at the same time. This all has to do with the band and my perception of it. It's taken me a while to process the last 3 or 4 weeks. I went to Slimmingworld to weigh in after having a massive 12th Wedding Anniversary Party with a Bollywood theme. My wonderful friend Rhuta helped me cook Butter Chicken, Vindaloo, Chole, Dhal and dips, popadums etc for 40 people and we had a blast. Loads of people dressed up in Saree's and it was a colourful event.

I stayed the same weight that week. I didn't know how that was possible, but put it down to one of those things and ran with it.

Then as our Anniversary present to each other we went off on holiday to Crete. On returning I had ONLY put on 2 teeny weeny pounds. I was surprised to be fair, but also very very chuffed because I had tried hard to make healthy choices and eat 'band-wise'. Why did I try to do this? I have thought about it, and I think the reason I chose to eat this way was not actually because I was thinking 'weight loss' but primarily because I didn't want to keep rushing to the toilet to puke. I also didn't want to get a band swell in the heat and not be able to drink. I guess to a lesser degree I didn't really want to come back with too much baggage to lose, but kind of thought I would anyway - I usually do don't I.

So when I found only 2 pounds came back, I was so thrilled - shocked -pleased - proud - inspired - add infinite synonyms

Then to spend this week being pretty darn ill, but managing not only to eat pretty much OK, save the ocasional Ben & Jerry's, get a 0.5ml fill WITHOUT port pain afterwards, keep an eating record AND LOSE 6.5 POUNDS made me also so happy and proud of myself that I am managing to get things together now. I am wondering if maybe this fill #13 is THE ONE. I am wondering - could fill #12 actually have been the teetering edge of the lapband pool of bliss?

So as recommended by my lovely Wendy, 3 days of fluids helps the pouch shrink back down and get ready for the next phase of weight loss. She was confident that I could easily lose 2 stone by Xmas. Well, I have never been able to stick to the liquids after a fill for more than a day. Never. Ever. Ever. I try, but hunger and also inquisitiveness get the better of me. I normally end up being quite sick after a fill just because I am still trying to eat the same quantities or textures prior to that fill, and just do not adjust myself to the new restriction. I guess I want to test it out, then forget I am testing, and get stressed by not being able to eat and end up in the vicious cycle of eating/puking/self hate/eat/puke/loathe etc.

Well, today is my 3rd day on liquids. Its 12pm and I am not hungry. I have had my coffee and a slimfast and am quite content. Yesterday I had 4 slimfast, some gravy from the stew I made for the family and some custard and watery stewed apple. No lumps, bumps and all the consistency of soup. FULL.

Yesterday I spent almost entirely on the computer. Why? because I was researching Protein shakes. It has come to my attention that most bandits use protein shakes in some way. A lot use them as Meal Replacements for breakfast and lunch and I got to wondering. I have never used Protein powder or shakes whilst on the band. I have had slimfast after initial surgery, but not as a regular thing. I would much rather eat something else. Why haven't I done this? I honestly don't know. Could this be the key to success? Obviously in the UK slimfast or Tesco's own version are the most readily available. Everything else looks like Bodybuilding stuff that instantly makes me steer clear because I want to LOSE weight not turn into the Hulk... Well, I didn't realise several things.

Bodybuilders or Fat strippers (people who want to strip fat, not fat stripers!) use protein shakes IN EXCESS of their normal meals.

Slimfast is low fat (1g), high carb (46g) LOW PROTEIN - it has 35g of SUGAR in every 8oz shake and only 7g of protein.

Interesting. So I did a bit of digging. Now, Slimfast is about £5 a tin give or take where you buy it and the offers the store has etc. These other scary pots with muscle men on them are more expensive. But slimfast means ingesting 70g of sugar a day if you only have 2 shakes! I had 4 yesterday thats HORRENDOUS. I don't fancy a dose of diabetes thrown into my mixture thanks.

I think the most expensive I found was MET-RX. Its a bigger shake at 11 ounces, has 170 cals, 2.5g of fat, 20g Carbs of which 8g are sugar, and 20g of protein. The cheapest place to buy this was eBay for about £1 a shake but you have to buy such VAST quantities like 60 sachets for £60. Frankly I am not prepared to do that and find it tastes gross. Also 60 of the same flavour will be hard going man.

But I dug a bit further and came across other varieties. Some were really high in Protein but had no vitamins or minerals and not suitable as MRP's or too low in calories to be equal to a meal so also not suitable.

I came across another generic Protein shake on ebay but I have to say the packaging put me off. It looked a bit cheesy and rubbish - very basic and like a cheap supplement that costs you a fortune, taste crap and doesn't work... It reminded me of the time I bought Crushed Shrimp Shell Tablets or some horror for about £40 "Shed weight or your money back". You read the blurb, get hypnotised (i am sure that's what it does) and hand over your card, wait for 6 months for it to arrive and open it to find a plastic tub with "pills" stamped on it like a home made potion. This protein powder, if it is ever going to get off the ground and be bought, will need a packaging makeover. It also didn't have any nutrition information on the page, so I emailed the person selling it. He obviously doesn't know much as he sent this back:

Per 100g powder: Energy - 348cals, protein - 42g, carbs - 42g, Fat 3g.

That was all. I had explained that I needed an in depth nutritional analysis, but that's all I got. Not even a hello or thanks for asking. Its called MEALtime. So how much of it is sugar, I don't know. How many calories are in each shake I don't know as he's just put the Nutrition info for 100g of powder not how much per serving. Not useful. Usually there is 50g of powder to each shake, but sometimes less. So its impossible to know if this stuff is good or not, but it was tempting as it was only £13.99 a pot. But something I hadn't noticed is that there is no quantity on this listing either. I hadn't noticed that before. So you could be paying £14 for 100g, 500g or 4kg... who knows. So because its a bit too vague and smacks of quack... I didn't go for it.

As a little aside, it just goes to show how we make decisions about things doesn't it. Because the packaging was crud, I didn't like the look of it. I didn't actually think that I was swayed by this sort of thing. But then again, I didn't buy any protein powder before now because the packaging was scary with muscle men/women on all looking fierce. Hmmm interesting.

I went with USN Diet Fuel. Wow, what a title. I looked into this box of tricks and its by far the best nutrient ratio for keeping a bandit 1.) FULL 2.)Vitamin rich 3.) Energised 4.)Low fat/low carb/high protein and also doesn't rob you blind.

Per serving (50g) It has 180 calories, 25g of protein, 15 grams of total carbs and 1.5g of fat and also 5g dietary fibre which a lot of the others are low on. It also has a full spectrum of Vitamins and minerals. Comes in Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla and you can have 2 or 3 servings every day and its £17 for 1kg = 20 meals. That makes it about 85p per shake, or just about double the price of slimfast.

DH is still going to stick with Slimfast as he is completely happy on it, losing weight and able to control himself - the swine! I need something better and that will hopefully keep me topped up with protein as I am not a great meat or fish eater.

So that was yesterday. I am off to Tesco now to get a couple of shakes to see me through until my delivery comes tomorrow. I am really happy with myself and in a great place to have a good go at this. I feel that the window of opportunity has actually opened and I might be on track to finding my weightloss expedition at an end.

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