ARE YOU HUNGRY... OR HORMONAL?
If you've ever tried to shed fat, you've probably followed conventional wisdom about dieting.
But then you got hungry...
When you're hungry, trying to lose weight can be torture. You constantly think about food and obsess over your next meal or snack. Eventually you give in to your urges and binge on something that sets you back.
If you ever want to lose weight permanently (and without sacrifice or denial)... you need to understand hunger and where it comes from.
In previous Healing Gourmet messages, we've talked about physical hunger (a growling empty stomach when your body is low on fuel). Most of us rarely feel this kind of hunger anymore, with the next meal or snack around every corner.
Then there is nutritional hunger. This is the body's innate cry for nutrients... often, because all it is getting are refined, processed, nutritionally depleted foods.
Finally, there is the most insidious form of hunger... the one most responsible for irresistible cravings, binges and unhealthy emotional eating. We call this hormonal hunger...
Hormonal hunger comes on suddenly. It often has nothing to do with mealtime. In fact, it can strike right after a big meal. Hormonal hunger can cause strong emotional cravings for specific foods - especially carbohydrates. It causes mood swings and low energy and creates a near continuous desire to eat.
Your body utilizes an entire fleet of hormones and neurotransmitters to regulate your metabolism. These chemical messengers control whether you burn fat... or store it. They can also send your brain the "I'm full" feeling... or they can stoke your appetite like an out of control wild fire.
Hormonal hunger has little to do with a real need for food. It is primarily caused by eating too much sugar, grains and starchy foods that put your hormones and blood sugar on a roller coaster.
In this message, we focus on the three most important hormones when it comes to hunger and the metabolism of fat:
By controlling these three messengers, you can master your entire hormonal chain of command.
Feeding Your Cells... the Right Way
Blood sugar is the most basic form of "energy" for your cells. And one of the jobs of insulin is to escort this blood sugar into your cells. Without it, the nourishment your cells need would never arrive.
But hormones can be "double-edged swords." Too much or too little can both cause problems.
When you frequently eat high-glycemic foods (bread and bagels, pasta, cereal, chips, sweets and candy, sodas, fruit juices, etc.) your body repeatedly sends more insulin into your bloodstream.
Over time, however, your body becomes less responsive to insulin. You must secrete more and more to get the same job done - a condition known as insulin resistance.
If this continues, you will become fat, tired and headed for chronic disease...
The rapid release of insulin can also cause your blood sugar to crash - just as quickly as it spiked. This sudden drop of blood sugar causes powerful cravings for the same foods that spiked your blood sugar in the first place.
If your body becomes accustomed to burning sugar for energy, it will start screaming for it just as soon as it is shuttled out of the bloodstream. You may become edgy, depressed and weak until those cravings are fed.
Hormonal hunger perpetuates a vicious cycle: you frequently crave foods that raise your blood sugar... which stimulates insulin... which generates more cravings... and the roller coaster continues.
But you should also know that insulin is balanced by a hormone called glucagon.
The Insulin Balancing Act
Insulin is a fat-storage and blocking hormone - Insulin lowers your blood sugar by transporting glucose into the muscles and liver. When too much glucose is present, insulin blocks your body from burning fat for energy. It also turns excess glucose into fat.
Glucagon is a fat-burning and unlocking hormone - Glucagon can actually raise your blood sugar by converting compounds in your fat cells into glucose. Glucagon tells the body to release stored fat to be used as fuel.
There have been many research studies which illustrate the effects of these two opposing hormones. One of the simplest was featured in the Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology. In that study, researchers injected one group of rats with insulin and another group of rats with glucagon.
The rats that received the insulin injections gained body fat and ate more. The rats that received the glucagon injections lost body fat.
The important thing to remember is that insulin promotes fat storage and it keeps you fat by blocking access to your fat reserves. Glucagon, on the other hand, is essential for breaking down body fat and burning it for energy.
So How Do You Stimulate More Glucagon?
Insulin and glucagon are like a see-saw. When insulin is high, glucagon goes down. You can stimulate the production of glucagon by reducing carbohydrates in the diet.
You can also stimulate glucagon directly by consuming protein! This signals to your body that the "hunting is good" and that it is safe to shed excess fat. Of course, protein also provides a long-lasting feeling of fullness.
But there is one more hormone that plays a powerful role in your feelings of hunger... in fact, it has even been called "the hunger hormone."
Leptin - Your Hunger Hormone
Leptin was discovered in 1994 by researchers who were studying a genetic line of mice that continually consumed food until they became morbidly obese.
The scientists discovered that these mice were missing a particular hormone. When the researchers injected this hormone into the animals, it curbed their appetite, stimulated their fat-burning metabolism and restored them to a normal body weight.
They called the hormone leptin, derived from the Greek word for "thin."
We have now come to understand that leptin is a powerful messenger that performs countless functions (several of which are extremely beneficial when it comes to hunger and body fat):
Leptin is the primary messenger to your brain that you are full. This shuts down your hunger mechanism.
Leptin tells your brain how much energy you have and how to use it. When your energy is low, leptin tells your brain to increase your appetite so you'll start eating. When you have enough energy, leptin tells your brain to stop eating and start burning fat.
Leptin can even alter the ability of your taste buds to taste sweets. When you have too much leptin in your system, your sensitivity to sweetness goes down and you may tend to overeat sweet foods.
When all of these signals are working properly, you stay feeling full for longer. You don't have uncontrollable cravings for sweets. And your fat is burned for fuel, helping you to stay slim. But just like your body can become resistant to insulin, the same thing can happen with leptin.
Are You Resistant To Leptin?
Leptin is produced in your fat cells. So the more fat cells you have, the higher your levels of leptin. This helps suppress your appetite and stimulates your metabolism to burn fat. The end result should be a return to a healthy weight.
But when too many fat cells build up, a protein called CRP sticks to the leptin stifling your ability to burn fat. The end result is leptin resistance, which can prevent your brain from getting the "I'm full" signal. Leptin resistance is also highly correlated with obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Here are four things you can do to improve the ability of leptin to function properly:
Avoid large, gluttonous meals
Reduce your consumption of carbohydrates
Never go to bed on a full stomach
Eat protein with breakfast
Outside of your diet, the most important thing you can do is to exercise at a high level of intensity several times per week. You don't have to exercise for long periods of time. It is the intensity that is most important.
You will never beat your appetite into submission with willpower, especially if you are eating the wrong foods. The key to permanent weight loss is to make choices that put YOU in control of your hormones.
"The Real Meal Revolution" - Noakes, Proudfoot, Creed.
So excited, my book arrived yesterday via "Booktopia"!
(I am already au fait with doing low carb, high fat and in fact am underfat and bordering underweight for my age, so don't need to lose any more weight!)
But the recipes!!!!
"The only thing in the book that irks me past anything in this book is calling koalas 'bears', and lumping them into the bear family.
The koala is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia. It is the only extant representative of the family Phascolarctidae, and its closest living relatives are the wombats. Not only that, the insistence that they eat eucalyptus leaves is that is because that they have always done. Hmmmm, they also have rudimentary canine teeth, which hints to me that in the past they may have in the past at least been omnivores. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koala (and this is by-the-by: No, koalas do not get *stoned* on eucalypt leaves. Eucalypt leaves are very low in energy, hence the koala is not particularly active and sleeps a lot. I used to work with these gorgeous creatures.)
For a book written by a scientist, they should have got that right!!"
And made me go "oh-oh, if this is wrong what else have they got wrong?"
Anyway, I digress:
Sugar and carbs and fat - who's right?
There is a definite 'medical' row on at the moment. Things don't get much bitterer in medicine than they are at the moment - and it's about food guidelines.
Here's the summary.
The USA food guidelines are being rewritten at present and will be the recommendation for the next 5 years. This affects the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the USA and around the world as many countries including Australia take their lead from the USA.
The recommendation that currently stands is to pretty well continue on recommending sugar, carbs and avoiding saturated fat. As far as I am concerned this is nonsense and I am not alone. The British Medical Journal has allowed this piece from Nina Tiecholz to be published and they are backing her all the way.
The BMJ has been quite vocal from an editorial aspect for some time about flawed research findings, particularly from the US journals, and is questioning several established practices.
Not surprisingly the backlash from the US is there and is getting quite ‘colourful’ on Twitter. Who is funding the associations being quoted? ‘Big food’ and ‘Big pharmaceutical’. I am sticking with the British underdogs on this one.
The BMJ article http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h4962
The other side http://linkis.com/cspinet.org/new/3DEUW
Just discovered this site - and hopefully this gives those of us who have excess skin from weight loss as opposed to post-pregnancy (different Medicare items) hope:
I am going to see a plastic surgeon tomorrow (!) re my saggy, baggy, wrinkly tum and my arms - I'm not just talking "tuck shop" or "bat wings" or "ta ta's", I am talking the upper ie visible surface of them on the upper arm - BAD crinkles. (I seem to have lived the last 20+ years in 3/4 length sleeves *sigh* to hide my upper arms. ALWAYS had big arms )
Dr Sam Cunneen, West Perth.
I am also having a nurse consult at another practice next week - this is the practice that my bariatric/hernia surgeon is affiliated to, so I guess that if he is affiliated to them, and if they give me a GOOD discount, then I'm going to have it done while I still have some Medicare and top level Medibank rebate, 'cos when I move back to NZ (whenever that may be) - I would NEVER be able to afford it there.
On full Disability Pension now too,
And I have already gone above the "Safety Net" for Medicare this year, so should get more back as rebates, hopefully.
Dr Hanh Ngeyen, Nedlands.
Will keep you posted..
MONDAY, Sept. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages can seriously damage heart health, a new review finds.
The added sugar in sodas, fruit drinks, sweet teas and energy drinks affects the body in ways that increase risk of heart attack, heart disease and stroke, said review author Vasanti Malik, a nutrition research scientist at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
Consuming one or two servings a day of sugar-sweetened beverages has been linked to a 35 percent greater risk of heart attack or fatal heart disease, a 16 percent increased risk of stroke and as much as a 26 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the report concluded
WOW! What a year it has been.
It's just ticked over to my 1st fit-versary - a term I coined to celebrate the anniversay of the day I decided to get healthy. Here are some accomplishments I've achieved since September 2014....
- Running: I joined my school's running group this year. If you had told me last year that I'd love running I would've laughed at you!! So far I have completed 3 races!! 2x 5km runs (local run and Orroroo) and then 10km in the Gold Coast. Planning is underway for 2016 so stay tuned.....
- Sports in general: This year I have tried to give everything a good go, leading to my first Grand Final ever playing AFL in Broken Hill. I've also dabbled with social basketball, gotten back on my bicycle, bushwalking and finally getting good use of my gym membership.
-My buddy the band: We have a love-hate relationship at times, it certainly hasn't been easy and it really is a tool not the solution. I'm still learning to live with it, I make mistakes and get frustrated but I am committed to never going back to where I was.
- Most importantly, I feel in control of my life, I'm so healthy and really am very happy!
Picture below: Left:Footy Ball June 2015 @ 66.9kg Right: Basketball Ball Sept 2014 @101.8kg
Other photo: stoked to have completed the 10km Gold Coast run 2015
I have been wondering to myself where I might blog about my depression and I know it's not directly related to WLS I figure this is a good a place as any.
I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and it's something I've suffered with most of my life, I became aware of it about 13 years old when I tried to take my own life. However, it took me a long time before I started to understand is. I mostly have it under control now, I see a psychiatrist, take medication & try to keep doing things that I know can work such as exercise & letting people know when I am struggling. It has taken lot of adjustments & changes to try & get my medication right, & even when we have it right we have regularly had to up the dose because after being on something that works for awhile the effectiveness starts to lessen & my depression starts to rear it's ugly head.
One of the things I really struggle with is the lack of understanding of what it's really like. So many people think they know but I think what people often don't understand is even when they think they know what it's like, they don't, not really. People seem to have a lot of misconceptions & others don't even believe it's a 'real' illness. I have found that even though some people in my life have either experienced depression themselves or have seen others go through it - they think they know what it's like for me. What I know is that EVERYONE is different, & everyone experiences depression differently. I hate to make it sound as though my depression is worse than others, I know my own dad was experiencing depression and he has said that the doctor put him on anti depressants for awhile, and after that he was able to come off them & he is fine. I appreciate that no matter what level depression affects a person it is a horrible disease to deal with & I would never try to minimise what someone else has been though or is going though.
For me, what I experience is repetitive thoughts wishing for, and fantasising about suicide & self harm. My outlook is bleak and all I want is to isolate & hide away, all the while knowing that I am making myself worse. I question whether I really am experiencing depression and blame myself for being lazy & incompetent. These are just some of the things I experience. I know there are many others out there who go through this but it truly feels as though I am completely alone. There was a time where the other way I dealt with my feeling was to use drugs or food to mask the problem. And drugs were a problem for a long time, it took me a lot to dig myself out of the hole I had created, and where I am today is unbelievable when you consider my past. I have fought tooth & nail to come back from the edge, & I know it is still something I have to fight against.
I hope this post isn't too dark for anyone who reads this. I know it is sort of off topic to what this website is about but I really need someone to voice my feelings about my experience & reality.
And maybe, just maybe there is someone else out there going through something similar & they will know they are not alone.
Back to my uni work.. Blah!
So I have had my band for about 3 & 1/2 months now. I have had reasonable weight loss. 16kgs, & I want to lose approx. another 32kg.
My diet can be pretty good however, binge eating is something I have struggled with for many, many years (along with depression & a range of other thing which exacerbate binging) anywho..after 2 days where I binged on chocolate and ice-cream (went to the shops after a cross-fit session & was starving & went a little crazy, of coarse, once I had all the crap in my house I could help but eat it all) I decided a good way to try get the scales to move again would be a 2 week diet. I am not a big fan of diets because overall I think they are bullshit, I believe that healthy eating needs to be a lifestyle thing, but I have to have some balance because sugar is my thing. So optifast is VLCD, its what dr prescribes pre op so 2 weeks should be good, and with the band my hunger is a million times more controllable than in the past so I figured I should be able to get through if I stay focused, Well I made a shake or dinner tonight (no time like the present + tomorrow never comes) and I COULD NOT BELIEVE how absolutely DISGUSTING it tasted!! I do not know how I drank it before but there is NO WAY I can continue to drink them, they are going straight in the bin. I am loathe to spend any money to buy more either, I don't think it's likely I will find any I like.
So back to square one to figure out what is going to be a good 2 week kick started...I have started making protein shakes with plenty of healthy added extras but I don't know if I would be getting enough of what my body need to use this as a meal replacement.
Well bye for now <3
This is what it's like to have food stuck in my lap band. It hurts so much that I go into a bit of a panic sometimes. I talk about what causes food to get stuck and ways to avoid it. I also talk about how I deal with this problem.
I'm not sure why I was smiling during this video cause the stuck food was hurting like a bitch ... lol. I think the pain was making me a little hysterical.
"Whole body vibration activates the muscles in a way that induces improvements in strength and power performance, these improvements being similar to those observed with strength training, Cardinale and Bosco have shown in a paper published in 2003 in the journal of Exercise and sport sciences reviews.
In a more resent study, vibration training was found to increase flexibility in patients with metabolic syndrome, being a safe and time-efficient alternative to conventional workouts for this group of people.
The study that will be discussed in this article was published in the journal of Rehabilitation Research and Practice, and used an oscillating platform with an initial frequency of 5Hz. The vibration bouts lasted for 1 minute, and amplitude varied between 2 mm and 7 mm. Several rounds of WBV movements (standing or sitting) were performed, frequency increasing with one Hz in each round, until it reached 14Hz.
This wasn’t the only research paper to prove the efficiency of vibration exercises in improving flexibility, but deserves special attention as in metabolic syndrome patients, flexibility and the overall physical performance tend to decrease as a result of a sedentary lifestyle.
Although not all mechanisms that lead to the improvement of flexibility in patients with metabolic syndrome are understood, it is believed that the suppression of the central nervous system that results from a decrease in motor neuron excitability, as well as the decrease in pain sensation and in muscular stiffness may be involved in this favorable effect of WBV.
Metabolic syndrome affects one’s health in several ways
A collection of conditions that occur together, increasing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the metabolic syndrome affects one’s body in profound ways. It leads to an increase in blood sugar levels and blood pressure, favors the accumulation of excess body fat around the waist and leads to an increase in the levels of cholesterol. Increased thirst and urination, fatigue and blurred vision, as well as an increased waist circumference can signal the presence of this syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is caused by inactivity and obesity, being linked to insulin resistance. When the body no longer responds properly to insulin and sugar can’t be transported to cells for energy production, it remains in the blood stream, resulting in increased blood glucose levels. This can trigger both metabolic syndrome and diabetes, if the body becomes unable to produce enough insulin for keeping glucose levels within the normal range.
Still, note that having only one symptom or one of the mentioned conditions doesn’t mean you have metabolic syndrome. It just means you are more likely to develop it, and to experience its unpleasant complications.
The damage of the blood vessels may lead to heart disease and stroke; the increase in triglyceride levels makes one more prone to cardiovascular diseases, and the altered insulin production can lead to diabetes, eye, nerve and kidney problems. Consequently, an impaired kidney function can cause high blood pressure and increase the risk of stroke.
These unpleasant health effects can be prevented by staying active and practicing physical exercises on a daily basis, as well as by keeping blood sugar levels under control and watching your waist circumference."
Saturated Fat Consumption Not Associated With Mortality
(Note: The below mentioned Seven Countries' Study was extremely flawed and biased research trying to 'prove' that fat was bad for you.
This study was behind the totally wrong low-fat movement).
Just been published in the prestigious BMJ.
Consumption of saturated fats is not associated with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease (CHD), ischemic stroke, or diabetes. In contrast, however, consumption of trans fats is associated with all-cause mortality, total CHD, and CHD mortality, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. However, the authors caution that the results are confounded by heterogeneous evidence and methodological limitations.
Russell J. De Souza, ScD, RD, from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues published their synthesis of observational evidence online August 11 in the BMJ. They focused their review on apparently healthy adults. The underlying studies tended to rely on food frequency questionnaires, 24-hour recalls, or 7-day food records.
The investigators note that the findings from prospective cohorts were consistent with the findings from case-controlled studies.
The researchers attempted to both synthesize and quantify the literature in the field. To that end, they focused their attention on studies of similar design that measured comparable outcomes. They then used the grading of recommendations assessment, development, and evaluation (GRADE) approach to evaluate the quality of the body of evidence in a way that was able to quantify the presence, strength, and direction of the effect.
"Very Low" Certainty for Saturated Fats
Based on the GRADE approach, the investigators labeled the certainty of association between saturated fat and all outcomes "very low." Overall, however, the investigators noted that they were unable to explain the tremendous heterogeneity present in most of the analyses of saturated fats.
When they synthesized the results from the studies, they found no association between saturated fat intake and all-cause mortality, despite inclusion of positive data from the Seven Countries' Study. They note, however, that they were unable to effectively combine the positive association found in the Seven Countries' Study with the associations from other studies because of differences in methodology.
Although saturated fats were not associated with total CHD, there was a trend for an association between saturated fats and CHD mortality. Specifically, when the investigators pooled prospective cohorts with nested case-control studies, they found a borderline significant association between saturated fats and CHD mortality
There was no association, however, between saturated fat and ischemic stroke. That said, studies in Asian countries revealed that the relative risk for stroke in the highest quartile of saturated fat consumption was 18% less (0.82; 95% confidence interval, 0.69 - 0.98) than the risk for stroke in the lowest quartile of saturated fat consumption.
Although some researchers believe saturated fats compromise insulin sensitivity, the small randomized trials that tested this hypothesis yielded inconclusive results. Dr de Souza and colleagues confirmed a documented inverse association between dairy products and type 2 diabetes. In particular, the odd-chain saturated fats associated with diary intake were inversely associated with incident type 2 diabetes.
Stronger Associations for Trans Fats
The investigators labelled the certainty of association of trans fats with CHD outcomes as "moderate."
Dr de Souza and colleagues found "reliable and strong positive associations" between intake of trans fats and CHD and CHD mortality. In contrast, the association between trans fats and ischemic stroke was less clear, and the researchers found that the two prospective studies on the subject yielded inconsistent results.
Although there was no association between trans fats and type 2 diabetes, the data suggest trans-palmitoleic acid (found in dairy fat) may be able to protect against type 2 diabetes.
The systematic review revealed striking differences between industrially produced trans fats and ruminant trans fats. The investigators note, however, that it was difficult to distinguish between consumption of specific trans fatty acids (industrial vs ruminant), especially when individuals eat only a small amount of ruminant trans fats relative to high volumes of industrial trans fats.
The authors propose, then, that the association between consumption of trans fats and mortality may thus reflect a higher intake of industrial trans fats, as opposed to ruminant trans fats. Future studies will be able to address this issue better as industrially produced partially hydrogenated oils are phased out of several countries.
Until the phase out of industrially produced trans fats is a reality, however, the researchers suggest that currently available data support the hypothesis that industrially produced trans fats, but not ruminant trans fats, are associated with risk for CHD. In contrast, both industrial trans fats and ruminant trans fats appear to have similar effects on low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
Limitations of the Studies
The investigators note that observational studies can only document associations; they cannot demonstrate causation. Moreover, the measurement error in epidemiologic studies of diet and disease is often significant. These measurement errors often bias the associations toward the null, making it possible that health effects are being missed.
The authors also call attention to the implications of their findings for nutritional recommendations. They suggest that dietary guidelines that call for the removal of saturated fats and trans fats consider the health implications of the macronutrients (carbohydrates and/or protein) that will be used to replace the fat. Such a consideration is especially important in light of the current systematic review, as well as new data on the health effects of carbohydrates.
The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
BMJ. Published online August 11, 2015.
On the weekend my niece asked if I wanted to go to the athletics track with her so she could practice for her upcoming athletics thing at school. I was already dressed to go to the gym and thought, well, it won't kill me to do something a little different and do a few laps with her instead of my usual routine, so I went along. I don't think I've ever voluntarily gone to an athletics track in my entire life.
Pre-banding/weight loss the walk from the car to the gate would have been enough to exhaust me ... all 50m or so of it. Then we had to go through one of those turnstile thingies. Pre-banding/weight loss I just wouldn't have fit in it. I would have had to watch her from the outside. I fit in it just fine now.
We got in there and did a warm up walk around the track (400m according to my niece.) Then she wanted to run a lap and I told her I'd run too, but that I'd be slower and have to alternate with walking. She was fine with that, and encouraging. I managed to run halfway, walk a quarter of the way, then run the last bit. She timed me at 2.52 minutes. She was excited for me. I was excited to have done it and not died ... lol. Then she wanted to practice some long jumping and I told her I wouldn't be able to do that because I was afraid of injuring myself. So I went over with her to watch her. She did her first jump and something just came over me and I wanted to have a go ... injuries be damned ! I hadn't long jumped in over 30 years ... I couldn't even remember how to do it ... but do it I did. I didn't jump from the line because I was worried I wouldn't be able to clear the concrete, so just ran and jumped from the end of the concrete. OMG. I ran, I jumped, I threw my whole body forward and ended up flat out face down in the sand and full of joy. OMG. All covered in sand and laughing and wanting to just do it over and over and over. I must have done at least a dozen jumps. My niece cheering me on each time.
We followed it up with a sprint ... again, cheered on by my niece. Then we finished with push ups and planking and lunges and other exercises and stretching. I was like my nieces personal trainer for a little while and she loved it.
In ye olden days I would never have done anything like this and not just because I couldn't but because I never even wanted to. My life is so different now.
ps. Two days later my thighs are still screaming at me and I've re-injured my shoulder quite badly because of an awkward landing in the sand but you know what ... it's worth it because I can do stuff !
Anyway ... have a giggle at me hauling my jiggly body at the sand pit and jumping all of about 2m ... lol.
When I was at my biggest I’d go into Autograph, pick out a pair of size 26 jeans and head to the changing rooms, only to be disappointed each time because I couldn’t get them past my knees. I’d hate myself that I was that fat that I couldn’t even get the largest jeans I could find to go higher than my knees. What an awful feeling. Knowing that if I could only get a pair of jeans, in any size, that it would give me that illusion of at least being not so fat because hey, I could wear jeans, and I couldn’t even accomplish that. Too fat for the fattest jeans. The ultimate in fatness.
When I began losing weight I gradually was able to wear jeans I’d tucked away and slowly slowly they all became too big on me. I was winning. I was fat, but not so fat there weren’t any jeans for me. Then came the day I ventured into Jeans West to try on regular jeans. I can’t remember what their biggest size was but I got into them with all my belly fats spilling over the top and my arse threatening to burst the seams. But I got into them.
Then came the day that I took a pair of my son’s size 38 jeans out of the dryer and thought, I’ma try these on and I got them on … with plenty of belly fats spilling over the top and unable to breathe AND move in them. It was one or the other. But I got them on and he let me keep them.
Over time those jeans have become so baggy that I just shouldn’t wear them any more, but I do. They look awful on me. All baggy and shapeless but they symbolise how far I’ve come and damnit, they’re so comfortable and I swear I can feel my son’s love in them every single time I wear them.
I got to a size 18-20 and started trying to find a new pair of jeans but every single pair I tried on gave me this bloody awful moose toe because of my saggy belly. Not an attractive look. I eventually lucked upon a size 16 pair of stretchy jeans in Kmart that look great sans moose toe that I wear to death … along with my son’s old jeans. I’d given up on trying to find decent jeans pre tummy tuck but then today, buoyed by a positive appointment with a plastic surgeon, on a whim, walked into a Jeans West store, walked straight up to the counter and asked for a range of low rise jeans in a size 18 to try on. There was no, “Really, are you sure you can fit into an 18,” or “Maybe you should try a plus size store,” attitude from the sales assistant … she just went and got me what I asked for. Two pairs of jeans in and I had to ask for size 16’s. I couldn’t believe it. The size 18’s were just so ridiculously big on me. Like, handfuls of fabric on the thighs too big.
I tried on a pair of boyfriend jeans in a 16 and they looked great. No moose toe. Just normal middle aged fat belly. I felt amazing. I just stood there in disbelief checking myself out thinking, whoa, is this happening ? Me ? In a normal girl size 16 in a regular jeans store ? I’m normal. I’m a normal size. A normal (age appropriate) shape.
Later on, because I neglected, regretfully, to keep a pair of my largest jeans for comparison, went on a stealthy excursion to Autograph and tried on a pair of size 26 jeans … over the top of my regular jeans, to see how far I’ve come. I couldn’t get over just how massive they were on me. They made me feel tiny.
I’m 2 and a half years post banding and have been maintaining at my goal weight, or within cooee of it, for almost a year now and this shit just never gets old. I’m still constantly surprised and delighted by how much progress I’ve made. Every single day is so so hard, and I know it will be for the rest of my life. There’s no cure for obesity … all I can do is manage it but the delight I feel from these little things … like discovering that my moose toe is gone and I can wear size 16 jeans from a regular jeans store (when I can afford to buy them) is my new reality … that will never ever get old. I love this new life. I love it !
I’m including some photos of my excursions into my new jeanery reality today. I apologise for the crap quality but I had to be sneaky sneaky as it’s often frowned upon to take photos in change rooms. (Certain conversations are also frowned upon like the one I had whilst sharing a changeroom with my daughter once that went along the lines of, "No, no, your boobs have really dense breast tissue. Here, feel mine. See how they're not so firm." To which my daughter replied, "Oh yeh. They are quite soft. Feel mine." To which I replied, "Yep, see. Yours are nice and firm." ... We were asked to leave ... lol ). (Please excuse the Mary Jane’s with long black socks. I promise it was a good look with my other jeans … lol.)
6 MONTH CHECK-IN !
Weight 70.4 kg
46.5 kg, loss 23.9 kg (+ 4 from New Years Eve = 27.9)
% body fat (in am) 42.5
23.6, loss 18.9 %
Individual thigh (each)