The first week without my balloon has had a lot of ups and downs, but has given me a lot of clarity as to what the balloon has done for me and what I did for myself.
I started eating normally the day of the procedure and realized at 3 a.m. the next day that that was a huge mistake! I went back to my post balloon insertion liquid diet for the next day and proceeded with caution for a day or two after. That really helped me reset a bit. Most importantly I met with my ORBERA coach, Coach Heather, who I had been studiously avoiding for the last couple of months since my weight had plateaued. I decided that if I really want help losing more weight and keeping off the weight I have already lost I needed to come completely clean to Coach Heather. That can be really embarrassing, especially when you are FaceTiming. I think generally we like to talk about our "wins". Our challenges can be a downer and not talking about them often means not thinking about them. So this time instead of telling Coach Heather about the new spin class I love or my plan to run a 5K (all true) I decided to tell her about what wasn't working. I confessed my inability to say no to pizza and pasta. When she advised me to ask the waiter to not bring bread to the table when I go out to eat I told her how sad the thought of passing up bread made me. There are literally restaurants I go to just for the bread (I'm looking at you Coastal Flats!) She paused for a moment and spoke to me a bit about discipline. I know that having discipline is really important for anyone trying to lose weight (or achieve any goal) but it is also really hard to do if you don't have it. As we talked more about what I mean when I say that I have no control when it comes to pizza and pasta Coach Heather asked me how much of these things I eat when I do eat them. As I told her about my portions I realized that in fact I do have discipline or rather the ability to acknowledge that I am full after a slice of pizza or a few bites of pasta. As simple as this seems, it is information about myself that I did not have prior to this procedure. I also realized that many of the things I implemented because of ORBERA have just become habits. Coach Heather also suggested that I pick one meal a week where I don't limit myself if eliminating cheese, bread, pasta, and pizza from my diet makes me so panicked that I throw out all my discipline. I agreed to that with the understanding that if I don't stick to it, I go cold turkey and eliminate all of these things to break the habit.
Coach Heather then asked me about my exercise regimen. I have been going to a spin class with my friend Maureen once a week OR going for a walk/run once a week. I was very honest with Coach Heather and shared with her that after a good workout I get busy with other things and don't prioritize another one and before I know it a week has passed. She looked at me for a moment and then just said, "exercise four times a week." That's it. She promised me that if I do these two things she asked me to do I would lose 5 lbs. by our next phone call. She also felt confident that I will reach my goal weight BEFORE THANKSGIVING if I keep following through. I find that almost impossible to believe. My goal is a weight I have not been since law school. I will say that I have been following Coach Heather's advice this week, I cut out dairy(which I have a sensitivity to but eat anyway) almost completely, I had my full cheat meal on Saturday night complete with chocolate cake, and I alternate running/walking with spin class twice a week. I made an effort to walk rather than wait between my daughter's basketball games on Saturday knowing that my cheat meal was coming. Early Sunday morning I ended up in the ER with an allergic reaction. It ended up being to a laundry additive, but it is the kind of thing that has historically sidelined me for weeks. I'm on medications, I'm not sleeping well at night, wearing exercise clothes itches etc. etc. However, I know that I can go one of two ways here. I can gain all the weight I've worked to lose back (I've done it before) or I can keep moving. I did take Sunday off, but on Monday morning I completed my run and this morning went to my amazing spin class complete with a Tom Petty tribute. I felt pretty good already, but when I stepped on the scale one week after my balloon removal, I was in for a surprise. I weighed in at 132 this morning. That's 35 lbs. less than my starting weight. I don't quite believe it since I look the same, but surely it could be losing the weight of the balloon combined with some release of water weight. Whatever the case, I'll take it and use it to motivate me to keep moving both mentally and literally.
One of the things that keeps me motivated is having things to look forward to. We are sponsoring a team for the "Scope It Out" colon cancer awareness 5K walk/run in March, the exact date is yet to be determined. I plan to run it. I have never run in any situation before so for me it is quite a challenge. I've started by preparing by downloading a really simple app, Couch to 5K. My sister is joining me in training with the app as is our office manager Tia and we'd love to have anyone who feels they need/want the support to join us as well. As for the 5K, the more the merrier. We are planning a lot of great things around the event and would like to see as many of our patients, colleagues, friends and family come out and join our team. If you are interested send me an email at [email protected] and I'll put you on our update list so we can hit the ground running when the date is released!