We all have our own reasons for losing weight but ultimately it boils down to health and/or vanity. I do believe these two can and should coexist, but I also know it is really hard to resist the temptation to just eat less or do drastic cleanses if it means losing weight faster. One of the biggest lessons I've learned not just through ORBERA but through my post-baby years of trying to lose weight (that's going on 20 years now folks!), is that not eating appropriately actually slows down the metabolism and makes losing weight harder. Forgetting to eat, skipping meals, putting the wrong kind of fuel in the tank all take their toll. I have lost a significant amount of weight in the last 7 months and I know that I am healthier, but as I continue to lose weight the emphasis is shifting from weight loss to increased health. To that end I visited the office of Rebecca Bitzer, RD a dietician our office works with to have some testing done. I had both my resting metabolism and nutrient deficiency tested. You can view more information about these tests here: https://rbitzer.com/services/testing/ My goals for the next six months include improving my metabolism and reducing any vitamin deficiencies and in order to do that I wanted to have a baseline for both. Why make this any harder for myself than it has to be? I also monitor my body fat versus just weight loss. It's something that Kelsey in our office does for our ORBERA patients to give them another measure of improvement, and one that I think is far more valuable than a number on the scale.
During the balloon period, especially in the beginning, I was really limited in what I could digest. As soon as I moved to a full liquid diet I incorporated Isagenix shakes into my routine. I've tried a lot of meal replacement shakes and these are hands down my favorite. They aren't for everyone, but for me they were a life saver. I have a shake after my workout most mornings and it keeps me going until my next snack or mini meal. Even now when I can really eat anything, my preference is to have my shake first and start my day off right. I've also added the Isagenix multivitamin into my routine. I have been vitamin deficient in many areas through the years but haven't focused on remedying the situation. These are a little complicated as they come in a.m. and p.m. packs and the have a daunting number of vitamins in each pack, but after doing it for a week I got the hang of it. I will say they also give me an extra activity that keeps me from eating and forces me to drink a LOT of water, so that's helpful. I'm looking forward to seeing how this impacts my overall nutrition but also how it impacts my old problems like dry eyes and exhaustion that I've been told a multivitamin would help with. Isagenix makes another product I love that would be especially helpful early in the balloon phase, it's called "Greens". These are described on the Isagenix website as:
"Isagenix Greens features nutrition from over 30 vegetables, herbs, and botanicals, such as ginkgo biloba leaf, green tea extract, and grape seed extract, to promote overall health." I blend mine with orange juice and drink it at bed time. My younger daughter, Jenna, who gives me a run for my money in picky eating, loves "Green juice" and drinks it between field hockey and basketball practices in the fall. Again, this may not be for everyone, but for our family it is a great way to supplement our vegetable intake.
I have found that the habits I created over the last six months have transferred well to my post-balloon phase. Believe it or not, the misery of the first few weeks where you are having trouble digesting and not being able to keep down things you don't chew completely really is worth it if your body adjusts to your new normal. You wll detox from things that you avoided initially because you had to. I haven't had a diet coke in 7 months and no longer even want one. You will be so much more mindful of what you eat. Focusing on health versus weight loss also gives you an additional boost in motivation. You really consider each thing you put into your body and enjoy the choices you make when they aren't the healthiest far more than you would if you were eating mindlessly.
My next project is going to be meal planning. I've ordered little portion control containers and have tried to develop a rotation of healthy recipes. I'm not much of a meal planner so I'm nervous about how that's going to go, but luckily I have a high tolerance for eating the same thing repeatedly as long as I love it. The key is to stop repeating lasagna and beef stroganoff and figure out healthier go-to meals.
If you remember, one of my biggest obstacles to weight loss motivation is my exceptionally positive body image. When I saw a picture of myself I was always horrified by how different I looked from when I looked in my mirror! While I'm really excited about my increased flexibility and strength, hopefully reducing my Synthroid dose, and feeling more energetic, it feels pretty good to look the same way in a mirror as I look in pictures for the first time in a long time.
Wishing you all great health and success in your journeys.