By Lisa Stadler
For much of my life, I have struggled with my weight and body image. I know this seems to be a reoccurring theme in American women, and really it’s quite cliché. That said, I was (am) a cliché. I was chunky for a short stint when I was around 11, and then slimmed out for my teen years. I played after school sports and limited my eating to five pieces of fruit per day, plus dinner. It wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t healthy.
As an adult, I don’t think I felt hunger in a normal way. I sometimes didn’t think about food in an entire day. I literally forgot to eat, often.
Most days, I would at least eat dinner, but I would be so hungry by the time my body registered that I needed food, that I would go for the quickest option, and often I would eat a huge amount of calories in one sitting. More often than not, I would only eat around 900 calories in a day, but they would all be at once, and often quick, simple carbs. It doesn’t help that while some people have a sweet tooth, I have a full set of sweet teeth, so a family size bag of red vines could potentially be a meal…I mean, hey…at least they are fat free, right?? Suffice it to say, I have had trouble maintaining a healthy weight.
Ok, so, I think it’s pretty fair to say that most of us know, logically how nutrition works. We have been reading for well over a decade now…Eat complex carbs, stay away from the middle of the store, make sure you eat 4-6 smaller meals per day. Don’t skip breakfast. Do not eat less than 1200 cals per day or your body will hang on to every single calorie it gets and you will gain weight. At all costs, avoid refined sugar, white flour and other such starchy foods, and don’t drink your calories via juice, and the devil’s nectar known as soda (if I could mainline Dr. Pepper I definitely would).
I know what is necessary to be healthy. My mind and body don’t always cooperate. I do ok when I log my foods. I have been known to set timers through the day so that I remember to eat. I think it wise to prepare food in advance as much as possible and make healthier things easier to reach. I am a decent cook and when I am on my game, I do a good job of feeding my body the way it needs to be fed, even though hunger doesn’t drive me. I don’t enjoy food the way that some people do, and I under eat more than I over eat, but I still tend to stay heavy. I slipped a disc in my back a couple of years ago (oddly, when it comes up, I still say “about a year ago,” but I am pretty sure it’s actually been more than two — I simply don’t want to face the reality of how far from me it’s all gotten), and I packed on a few (a LOT) of extra pounds. I rolled (because now I’m round) in to the New Year with my cliché self, and I made my cliché resolution that I was going to get in to shape ( or a shape other than round). It is now August and I have gained and lost weight over the last 8 months, and I am exactly where I started in January. But now, there is a difference. What’s the difference? Boy, am I glad you asked! The difference is TMS.
About a week into my treatment I started noticing that my sleep has been much better. I was still waking up every couple of hours, but I felt rested. I woke up with energy and stopped taking naps almost completely. It wasn’t uncommon for me to take two naps per day and still sleep at night. My entire existence before TMS was spent counting the hours until I could lay down and zone out on some show, or “shut my eyes for 20 minutes” (20 minutes usually lasted for about 2 hours). I have been swimming, and walking the dog. I have been playing some dance game on the ps4, with my daughter. We just recently made a 44 minute play list, after doing some yoga and crunches. I have lost about 15 pounds and I feel hunger.
Yes, I feel it!!! I don’t have to set a time so that I eat food. I wake up in the morning, hungry. I eat and then two or three hours later I am hungry again, so I eat. Then, I am hungry at lunch time, and snack time, and dinner time.
I have had Dr. Pepper twice in 6 week, and both times it sort of sucked. I have dessert each night, because it has been suggested that we give ourselves something sweet as the last thing we eat each day, as this will train the body that it gets a reward each day and that there will be no more eating until the next day. I have so much work ahead of me before I will be satisfied with my body weight, but oh my gosh, it feels so good to feel hunger. It feels good to have the energy I need to move. It feels like the actual hardware of my body is catching up with the software that is my mind. It feels GOOD!