I am about 2 weeks past my one year anniversary of my Lapband surgery. I am trying not to think about where I hoped I would be by now. Instead, I am thankful for where I am now. I have lost 45 pounds. I know that is not comparable to other Lapband patients, but my struggles and successes are my own and no one else's. I have struggled with my weight my whole life. Previous blogs have detailed my history. I guess I expected the band to make losing weight seem effortless. Although that is the case with some people, that has not been my experience. I have learned a lot about myself during this past year. The most important thing I have learned is that my struggle with food is much deeper than hunger. Over the years, food has become my friend who comforts me after a stressful day at work or in an uncomfortable situation, who celebrates special occasions with me, and who brings peace to my life. The Lapband has provided me the opportunity to get control of the physical reasons that I eat so I can deal with the other emotional and spiritual reasons I eat. It has not been easy. Many of the comfort foods I often go to are foods that go down easily with my band. It took me about six months to get my band adjusted to where my meals are the right size. Then I struggled with eating only my meals. I often justify an ice cream on the way home from work because I have barely eaten anything all day, especially during certain times of the month when my band is tighter. I am learning to carry those temptations to God as well as the emotions that cause the cravings. I am not successful all the time, but it is getting easier to make the right choices the more I turn to God and rely on Him. My eyes have been opened to the magnitude of the hold food has had over me the past few years. It is an addiction. I came to realize this after the many times that I have committed to seeking God before I eat for the wrong reasons only to find myself asking for forgiveness after I had finished eating. I realized that the food was coming before God if I couldn't even think about God and come to Him before making the decision to eat. It was always afterwards when I was feeling guilty that I considered my commitment. I have made significant progress in my journey, but I still have a long way to go. Spiritually, I want to love God more that anything else and be able to show that by totally giving Him my food choices. Physically, I have about 60 more pounds I would like to lose. However, I am thankful for how far I have come and thankful for my Lapband that has helped me get this far.
I am about 3 1/2 months post-op. I guess I thought that I would have lost more weight by now, but I am happy with the progress I have made. I have lost about 25 pounds since my pre-op appointment with the surgeon. I have had two adjustments to my band which now has 5.5 cc in it. I have been struggling with the same 3-5 pounds for a few weeks now. I knew going into this that I lose weight very slowly. I think that I have just been on so many diets over the past 25 years that my body really resists losing the weight. I guess it's thinking "why bother, she's just going to gain it back anyway". But I am dedicated to this process. I still struggle with what I eat, especially on the weekends. It is definitely getting easier to make good choices though. I exercise 6-7 days per week and that is now a habit. I really feel great each morning after I exercise. I know I have more energy throughout the day and sleep better at night. It's still the food that is my problem. I am improving, like I said, but I often allow myself to eat things that are not that healthy on the weekends because I am feeling deprived. I have got to get over that and instead feel empowered by the process of saying "no" and developing discipline. I have got to stop looking at food as a reward or comfort. I go for my third fill Tuesday, and I really hope it helps me to feel saitsfied on less food. I am ready to start dropping 2 pounds per week. I do feel my clothes are bigger today, and some people are beginning to notice. At least they say they notice, but so far everyone who says that knew about my surgery, so they are really looking for it. I am co-facilitating a Celebrate Recovery step-study class on Sundays. I am hoping that I will really deal with my food issues while helpiing other women with their hurts, addictions, etc. If this process can help someone recover from addiction, divorce, grief, etc. then surely I can recover from my food issues. I have to keep fighting this battle until it is won. I have no other choice!
Well, I am 7 weeks post-op as of today. I had my first fill yesterday. I was a little worried about it. We are leaving Saturday for a mission trip with the youth from our church. I was afraid that I would get too much and not be able to get it fixed. The nurse told me to come back Friday if I had any problems. So far everything seems OK. I'm not sure how much she put it. I am on liquids for a few days then I transition to pureed foods before moving on to solid food. I was really excited because I had lost 4 pounds since my last appointment which was 4 weeks ago. I though that was really good with no fluid in the band. It has been a long time since I have been able to stick to something consistently enough to see results like that. I hope that it will only get easier now.
I have been working really hard to establish some good healthy habits. I get up at 5:00 through the week and about 7:00 on the weekends to exercise. Most mornings I walk for 30 minutes, but 3 days a week I am following the couch to 5k program. I am on week 4 of that. I really feel like I am accomplishing something when I am finished with running even though it is only for a few minutes at a time right now. I hope to progress to running 2 or 3 miles at a time several days a week. I know I need to give my body a time to rest, so I just walk in between the days that I run. I have had problems being consistent with my exercise in the past, so now I don't let myself skip a day without doing something. I have only missed one day of exercise in 5 weeks . That was the 4th of July. My dog and I went out for a walk that morning and she got attacked by another dog. I never went ahead with my walk because I was taking care of her. She had one pretty bad bite that had to have stitches, but since it was a holiday the vet recommended that we wait until the next day if we could get the bleeding to stop. She is all better now, but I am still scared to carry her with me. That dog is back in its 6 foot fence, but I am worried that it will get out again.
I am really trying to eat right also. I keep up with everything on MyFitnessPal. Everyday is not perfect, but it is a lot closer than it used to be. Weekends are still a struggle because there is less of a routine to follow. Even those haven't been that bad though. I pray that these changes will be permanent and become a part of who I am. I need this struggle with my weight to be behind me. I have spent way too much of my life worrying about it. It is time to move on! God has other things for me to focus my attention on...things that serve a bigger and better purpose.
It has been 1 month since my lapband surgery. I am really feeling great most of the time. I am trying to stay around 1200 calories and exercise every morning. I am down about 12 pounds since my presurgery visit. I started the Couch to 5K running program this week. I did that Monday and today and walked yesterday since I am only supposed to do the running program 3 days per week to let my body recover. This morning I was finished with the running portion and was in the slow walking part to cool down when I almost balcked out and became weak. My heart rate became very rapid. My husband was about to leave for work, but he saw that something was wrong so he helped me in the house and got me something to drink. Now I have had this type of episodes since I was about 18. Usually, my heart will race for a short time and then go back to normal usually after I have taken several very deep breaths or tried to hold my breath for a few seconds to kind of reset my heart. Only one other time about a year ago, I had to go to the emergency room and get a shot to slow my heart rate. I was really worried that time that something was bad wrong because it had never lasted that long before. I recognized that this one wasn't going away easily, so I let my husband carry me to our local ER. They did the same thing and now I feel great. Both of these bad times, I had been running early in the morning before eating or drinking anything. I think it could be what is triggering the episodes. Maybe dehydration or low blood sugar? They told me I have PSVT which is not life-threatening, but could be corrected with a type of surgery. Since it had only happened that once bad enough to go to the ER, I never saw the specialist. Now I am wondering if I should go, but I still am not ready for another surgery right now. I have researched PSVT and the only triggers that I can find are caffeine, smoking, alcohol, and illicit drug use. Caffeine is the only one of these that could have caused my 1st bad episode, but I stopped that before I had lapband surgery a month ago. So that is not the problem. One doc told me that it could happen without any particular trigger. But I am convinced that it has something to do with strenuous exercise before eating or drinking. I just have to figure out what I need to eat or how much I need to drink before exercise in the mornings to prevent this from happening again. I would be interested to know if anyone else has experienced this, and what I might do to prevent it. I am really trying to make changes to my lifestyle to finally get this weight off for good. I don't want to stop exercising in the morning because I find too many excuses in the afternoon. Plus I have more energy for my day exercising in the morning.
I get my first fill in 2 weeks and I hope this helps me to be satisfied with less food. I am hoping that combined with the exercise will help me reach my goals. I would like to be down 50 pounds by Christmas. I know it is possible if I will stick to my program.
Today is one week since I had my surgery, and I came back to work today. It hasn't been bad, but it is still early in the day. I just have to remember to have someone help me lift boxes for a while. I am an auditor, and we carry our workpapers around in boxes. Since I am a supervisor, I carry them from one courthouse to the other quite often. I am trying to remember to let someone else do the heavy lifting at least until I get my stitches out. I don't want to mess anything up. It is hard to keep from being hungry when I am active and can only have liquids, but I am trying to keep filling things with me. I can already see that I did not pack enough today.
I am feeling a little guilty being at work today because my Dad is in the hospital. He had back surgery yesterday and seemed to be doing fine when I visited him. He was supposed to go home today, but his tests showed some problem with his heart. I ask for your pryers for my Dad. His two older brothers passed away from heart attacks, so this really makes me worry. My Dad is my rock. He keeps me grounded most of the time. There is a lot of drama in my family usually related to my sister. My Dad and I can talk about these things and help each other through it. I am keeping in touch by phone and plan to see him this afternoon.
Well I have to get back to work and try to be productive on my first day back.
I had my surgery yesterday. I had to be at the hospital at 6:00 am and my surgery was at 8:00. We arrived and they took me back within 10 minutes. I had to change into the hospital gown and put compression hose on my legs. They asked me some questions and tried twice to get my IV in while I was in this room. Apparently, they only try twice and then let someone else try in the holding room before surgery. I got a shot to prevent blood clots and then they took me to the holding room. There I met the anesthesiologist and some nurses. They were able to get my IV in this time and gave me something to relax me even though I thought I was relaxed already. My doctor came in and prayed with me. That was nice. I had been praying already, but to have the surgeon pray with me was comforting. I don't remember much after that until I woke up in the recovery room. I remember wondering if it was over because I wasn't really hurting. Then I heard the nurse say that she already gave me something for pain because she saw my face wincing before I woke up. They carried me to my room where my husband was waiting. I had a great nurse while I was there. She checked on me quite often. I was never on a pain pump, but she gave me a pain pill that she broke in half so I could swallow it easier. I slept on and off for 1 1/2 hours then went for my swallow test. I guess I passed that and came back to my room. After this I was really hurting from the gas pains. I was very uncomfortable. I got up to go to the bathroom and realized that I felt so mucg better standing up. My husband pushed my IV bag around while I walked around the room first and then around the nurses station. When my nurse saw me walking on my own, she began getting my discharge papers ready. The 45 minute drive was painful because of the sitting. The whole thing really hasn't been as bad as I expected. I only lost 3 pounds on the pre op low carb diet. I didn't cheat at all, but I'm sure my portions were too big, I am ready to get the scale moving, I know it will be a few more weeks though.
This is really happening! I saw my surgeon yesterday and scheduled my surgery for May 31. That is 2 weeks from today! I didn't expect it to be that soon, but I was hoping. That week will be perfect for me since I have a long weekend coming up to recover. I have a holiday the day before surgery to get my house clean and get ready. Then I have the following Monday off also. I start the pre-op low carb diet on Saturday. At least I don't have to do a liquid diet until after surgery. The doctor asked me if I was ready. I first replied that I thought so. I guess because I have a few fears left, but I know that I have to do this. I am all in now! My surgeon told me that he would ask me if I was ready before I went into surgery, and if I wasn't ready, we wouldn't do it. But I know I am ready. I guess if I didn't have some fears, I wouldn't be normal. I have researched and prayed about this for a while now. It seems like God has really opened up doors for me to have this this time. I know it is right. I have also been preparing my mind for the changes that are to come. I know my previous relationship with food is about to come to an end. But while I will those my friend of food, I will gain my heatlh and confidence. I even paid my copay to the doctor, so no turning back now. I am slowly beginning to tell people that this is happening. At first, I didn't want to tell anyone. I had to tell my parents because I will need help with my daughter, and they would never forgive me for not telling them. Of course, my husband knows. He helped me make this decision. I have told some friends at work and was surprised at how supportive they were. I know some never tell, but I am a member of Celebrate Recovery. There we learn to be transparent as a pathway to healing. I feel like I have to tell them, but as of now I have only told my accountability partners. I could find some great support there if I only share this. My fear is they will think I should be able to do this without surgery. We help alcohol and drug addicts to recover through a relationship with Jesus Christ and our support. However, I need the Lapband as additional support. I hope they understand this. But if they don't now maybe they will when they see the results. I have to do this for me!
I am eating lunch at work. For once this week, I ate in. I have been struggling with my eating and exercising since I knew that the pre-op diet and surgery are coming up soon. I have been thinking a lot about what I am eating and why. I am beginning to be more aware of my choices, but right now, I am choosing the wrong things. I am ready for the changes to come, but something inside me says that I don't have to start that now.
I was approved to have the surgery by BCBS of Alabama within 2 weeks of submitting all the paperwork. I did not have to do a supervised diet first. I meet with the doctor Monday. When they called me from the office, they said that this would be my last visit with the doctor. I have only seen the surgeon once after the seminar I attended on February 26. Since then I have been working on getting all the necessary appointments and paperwork necessary to submit to the insurance company. I was told that I will also receive some kind of teaching after my appointment on Monday. I hope the surgery is scheduled, and I am instructed on the pre-op diet. The nutritionist only discussed the post-op diet, so I dont' know what my surgeon requires pre-op.
I am ready for a new way of life. I don't think that all my problems will be solved by the weight loss, but I do expect to enjoy my life more and be more comfortable in my own skin. I am tired of being the biggest person in my work environment, in church, etc. I don't want to be skinny. I just want to be a normal healthy weight. I have always been overweight and struggled with food issues. I am ready to let that go. I know it will be hard to change the way that I have always thought about food, but I accept that I have to do this. I am doing this for me...my health, my confidence, my future. It is scary to think that I have come to the place where I am choosing to have surgery, but I have come to believe that this is what is best for me. I am thankful for this opportunity to change my life.
Well, this is my first blog post. I have been visiting this site for the past 2 months studying and researching the Lapband procedure. I am a Christian who knows the healing power of God. I went through a divorce 7 years ago after a 10 year marriage. The main reason for the divorce was my husband's infidelity. However, through the recovery process, I accepted my part in the whole thing. This was mainly co-dependency and putting my husband before my relationship with God. Through Celebrate Recovery, my church and family I have recovered from my divorce by giving God control of my life. I was able to forgive everyone who hurt me, and I have remarried to a wonderful godly man. We adopted our daughter after her family fell apart. She is about to turn 14.
However, the one area that I have not been successful giving to God is my issues with food. I have been overweight all of my life. I started dieting in high school and lost a significant amount of weight with diet pills. I was still bigger than my friends, but I would love to be that size today. My weight fluctuated within about 50 pounds until my marriage got really bad. At that time, I see now, that food became my friend. I was lonely and often uncomfortable in my own home. Food became my escape. Now I am about 100 pounds overweight. I am 39, and my health is beginning to suffer because of the excess weight. My Mom has type 2 diabetes and multiple other problems and complications mainly caused from an unhealthy lifestyle. Right now my only problems are PCOS, infertility, and painful knees and feet. I have to make changes now to avoid my Mom's fate.
About 3 years ago, I began praying about having lapband surgery. I was in a different place in my life wanting different things. At that time I was desperate, but not really ready to make the necessary lifestyle changes to be successful. I didn't know this at the time, but God did. He did answer my prayer then - with a "No." I then signed up for Weight Watchers again. I was determined to do it. I spent 2 years on the program and only lost about 18 pounds. At least I did not gain over that time. During that time, I did learn that my relationship with food was a problem. I would stick to the plan for a period of time. Then I would have a bad day, special occasion, etc. and lose control. On those days, I never really got full. I undid all the good I did in a few weeks in one day. I prayed for help and started each day fresh, vowing to do better. When I did have these weak moments, I usually didn't realize it in time to ask God for help. I had usually done the damage before I realized it.
In October, I attended my 20 year class reunion. I found out that one of my good friends from hgih school had lapband surgery. This really got me to thinking about it, but I still wasn't sure it was right for me. In February, I began praying for God to show me if I should have this surgery. There was a seminar on my anniversary at the end of the month, and I planned to attend unless I felt God telling me "no" again, which I fully expected. Surprisingly, it seems like God has opened up doors since then. I went to the seminar at the end of February and had my first consultation with the surgeon that day. I began the process of seeing my primary care physician, nutritionist, psychologist, etc. All of the paperwork was submitted to the insurance company on April 21. I have talked to the insurance company who said that I have met all the requirements and my letter was in the mail. I hope that means that they will be paying for the surgery. I think I will be responsible for about $1,300, but I have saved that much in preparation for the surgery. I have an appointment with my surgeon on Monday to hopefully to set my date.
My big concern now is will I be able to make the necessary diet and exercise changes permanently. I hope that the band will be my backup system. By that I mean, when I get into the situations I described above where I tend to overeat, that the band will be my constant reminder. I have been trying to prepare myself emotionally to let go of food as my friend and escape. I am trying to learn to bring my emotional issues to God (and maybe I can vent them here also) so that I won't need food to comfort me. I so want food to be only nutrition to me. I understand that (at least for me) I have to completely change the way I think about food. I hope the band is the tool that I need to make that change. However, there is also a fear inside of me that says, "I haven't been able to make changes before, can I really do it now?"
I guess that is enough about me for now, but I will be back. I have never been one to keep a journal for very long, but I feel like I need to log this journey to be successful. I think it will help hold me accountable.