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LAP-BAND Patients
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About needtorecover

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    Aspiring Evangelist

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  1. I'd discuss it with your doctor. If there are any abnormalities you should get them checked out and see what's going on. Otherwise, no advice here except to lay off the slider foods
  2. needtorecover


    Yeah, I opt for general movement over rigorous exercise anymore. Gardening, playing with my toddler son, gentle swimming, walking... My primary reason to go to the gym is to drop my boy off at their in-center childcare facility so he has some kids to play with and I can take a break listening to music and watch some TV while I use the equipment! It's great! But simply going on Weight Watchers isn't the solution to morbid obesity. If it were that easy no one would be fat, right? It took a lot of self-control to work full-time and earn my master's degree part-time but it was doable. I had no problem disciplining myself to read articles and write papers, attend (and pay attention to) 3 hour lectures after working 8 hours, and spending my weekends in front of a computer. But for clear biological reasons I couldn't stick to calorie restriction without the help of my band. It wasn't from lack of trying.
  3. needtorecover

    What all changes?

    Same here! I have a gastric band and I know this is bad but there are days when I think to myself "I've been good, I'm going to cheat!" Years and years of conditioning is very difficult to overcome. You know how you diet for a couple months and all you want to do is go to McDonalds and go nuts ordering 2 cheeseburgers, a large order of fries, and a large milkshake? Then you eat it all and still want pizza so you order a pizza to go pick up and take home? That was me. I HAD to fill my stomach until it hurt. Thing is, even if I WANT to cheat, I CAN'T. If I try, it hurts - badly. If I eat too fast, food gets stuck and I'm miserable and no longer enjoy the meal. If I eat slowly, I get full after 6-8 bites regardless of what I'm eating. If I try to eat beyond the "satisfied" signal, I get a stomach ache. And worse, the ache lasts for hours because I'd have distended my pouch and it takes hours for the food to filter into the larger part of my stomach. That's why it works - the satisfaction lasts several hours and the amount of food is small. It's great. But it can suck sometimes if you really, really want a good binge but you cannot do it anymore. It is mostly a blessing, though. No one should want to eat like that.
  4. needtorecover

    Still depressed about the loss of my band

    Will your surgeon advocate for you to get a revision? In my insurance policy, if the band fails I can get a revision (due to the fault of the equipment or malfunction, not failure to lose weight). It sounds like you've already lost the weight but if you need that restriction to keep it off I'd argue for a revision. Have you gained weight since you lost your band? Document it and tell your surgeon. It's his (and his office's) job to speak up for you!
  5. needtorecover

    Think I've finally learned

    I had a fill yesterday. Doctor gave me a half CC to fill me up to 6.75 in my band. He handed me a bottle of Water and I took a big swallow. We both heard a bunch of gurgling and I laughed because literally just an hour before I was able to drink a huge mug of coffee without a problem in a few minutes. Doctor took a quarter CC out to see how I felt and the water went down okay. He declared me "green." I didn't know how I felt about this. I thought to myself "What if it still doesn't work?" I asked the doctor what I should do if I'm still over-eating. And he said "Well, this is your soft ceiling for your fills so from here on out, if you're not losing weight, we'll need to take a closer look at your diet and exercise. It's a tool. It won't lose the weight for you." BOOM. I've heard it a billion times before (the lap band being a tool) but I didn't really think about it. I will be honest. Over the last several months I learned how to eat around my band. Good ways to do this are drink while eating (washes the food right through the band into your stomach). Especially if I'm eating cake or Cookies - a glass of milk will slide those suckers right into my stomach. Drinking alcohol makes the band feel looser so I can eat more. Being one who loves to over-eat, I did this with some degree of frequency. I'm lucky that I didn't make myself gain weight, just maintained where I was (you can only get so many calories in if you're drinking a half gallon of water to get a meal down). I didn't measure my food, didn't really think about it. I stupidly thought my lap band would just magically stop me when I got full. Well... for that to actually work, I have to follow the rules. Now that I am consciously following the rules, it's working great. I thought with the lap band I could get away with not "dieting" for the rest of my life. By "dieting" I mean measuring everything, eating small portions of healthy foods, and skipping sweets. Okay, I know people are probably reading this thinking "What the hell did you expect, you moron??" I guess I expected life to carry on as usual without thinking about food as much. But it turns out this is similar to starting a healthy lifestyle except the band DOES help in reducing hunger. But it doesn't eliminate the desire to binge. That's where self-control comes into play. Without the band, I could try to discipline myself to eat a small plate of food (one cup) and eat tiny bites and wait 20 seconds until the next bite. But I would eat the cup and still be hungry. WITH the band, my little pouch fills up and provides the illusion of fullness (let's be real, it's not actual fullness because NO ONE gets full on a 300-400 calorie meal unless they're naturally 4'10 inches and weigh 90 pounds). For this to work I need to be mindful. I need to follow the rules. And I need to cut the drinking (both alcoholic and drinking water while eating). This is pretty much the extent of the power of the lap band. It's not going to change me, but it makes it possible to change.
  6. needtorecover

    Does anyone follow a specific diet?

    I'm in the "everything in moderation" camp. I avoid alcohol mostly but indulge on occasion. The biggest problem with alcohol, for me, is that it boosts my appetite while lessening the efficacy of my band and that's a bad combination. I always eat my Protein first and then eat bites of anything else on my plate if there's room. I refuse to follow a specific, rigid diet simply because attempting such always backfires for me and I end up binging on what I actually want instead. Of course, traditional binging now is a physical impossibility but during a particularly brutal bout of PMS I did manage to eat an entire sleeve of Oreo Cookies and a glass of milk for lunch. That's all I ate and it kept me full for several hours... Calorically it was in line with what I would've eaten anyway but it was nutritionally void of anything except sugar and fat. I am in no way recommending this, but hey, I have food issues and occasionally I slip. The great thing about the lap band is once the episode ends, I don't just say "screw it" and "go off my diet" because there is no "diet" to exit anymore.
  7. needtorecover

    Banded October 19th

    It's normal to either not lose or gain a little weight during the early months of lap band surgery. It'll take a few appointments/fills before you notice any appreciable restriction. Hang in there and be patient, and don't go too hard on yourself if you're not losing quickly.
  8. needtorecover

    Gas vs. Stuck

    Oh, you're talking about the post-surgery gas in your body! Yeah, I don't know what that feels like because I didn't have any problems with it. My surgeon told me I might feel pain in my upper chest and shoulders and that the solution would be to move around to get it to disburse. It'll pass soon. I don't know how it compares to a blockage but I can say blockages suck and you should do your best to avoid them suck down your shakes and hang in there. Recovery feels like it lasts forever but it'll be over soon.
  9. needtorecover

    Gas vs. Stuck

    If you're one week post-op, you should not be eating anything that would make you stuck... liquids should go right down and you shouldn't start mushy foods until 2 weeks post-op (that was what my surgeon told me, anyway). Getting stuck is very uncomfortable. It feels just like it sounds - like there's something stuck at the base of your esophagus. When this happens to me, it's hard to breathe and my mouth fills with saliva (lap band patients call this "sliming"). Sometimes a good productive burp will get it out and I'll feel better. Other times, I'm not so lucky and I have to run to the bathroom to vomit. Do your best to make this a rare and infrequent occurrence. It'll take trial and error to figure out your limits. It only happens to me when I (stupidly) go too long without eating and basically inhale my meal. Prior to surgery I was a volume eater and my habit was to take large bites, swallow a large amount of food, and quickly shovel another forkful in before the previous bite even had a chance to reach my stomach. I ate that way for years so when I get too hungry now, I'll lose control and think it'll be okay and I'll eat fast. Because it takes 20 seconds for food to hit my stomach sometimes I can eat and swallow 3 or 4 large mouthfuls of food before it reaches my band. When the 2nd big bite hits and puts pressure on my stomach I know it's too late because the next bite or two I already swallowed will make it too full and I will throw up. tl;dr - Don't let yourself get too hungry. When you're very hungry you're more likely to make poor choices, eat too large of bites, not chew well enough, and eat too quickly. This leads to blockages and vomiting. Now gas... that's a fairly normal feeling. A few good burps will clear it up and you'll feel better. With blockages, burping releases a little pressure but ultimately you'll probably need to vomit.
  10. needtorecover

    Getting over the guilt

    There shouldn't be any guilt or shame about being fat. There are plenty of people out there who feel like I SHOULD feel guilty for my weight because I'm supposedly a burden to the healthcare system or they think I'm just plain gross and have no self control and am greedy or whatever. But I know why I'm fat. I know without help I won't get healthy and fit because my body WANTS to stay fat. I feel it fighting my weight loss every day. It's a biological issue, and there comes a point when it's beyond your control. People can say what they want about me - judgments are pretty much restricted to strangers who don't know me at all. I have plenty of loved ones who take me as I am and that helps a lot. I don't have emotional issues about my weight... just physical. I hate not being able to keep up, having this big gut in my way, feeling tired all the time, and the aches and pains associated with obesity. I get annoyed when people tell me I'm fine as I am because I'm not. I'm mentally fine with my body and if I felt good I wouldn't try to lose weight but physically I am quite uncomfortable and fear for my health. So there you go No guilt or shame... just uncomfortable and needing to change!
  11. needtorecover

    Water Weight

    I have bad PMS - mood swings, cravings, bloat, the works. I *always* gain weight right around my period so I try to stay off the scale until the last day of my period or later. Just not worth the discouragement! Also try to consider if you consumed food that was saltier than usual the day before, or if you had a glass of wine. Alcohol and foods high in sodium lead to Water retention.
  12. needtorecover

    Got my date!

    Hooray! I was wondering how you were coming along after debating whether or not to go through with surgery Congrats, and see you on the loser's bench!
  13. needtorecover

    I'll try to be brief....I just need to vent

    I used to be worried about losing my ability to overeat. It felt so good to come home on a Friday night and eat 3/4 of a stuffed crust pizza, drink 3-4 beers and have 2 or 3 brownies for dessert. I thought I'd miss it and spent some time mourning my ability to inhale food. Turns out, I don't miss it nearly as much as I expected! It feels much different after WLS. If only we could show people that. It's really hard to see loved ones continue the self-destructive habits we used to have. I have a friend who does that thing where she breathes hard just by standing up from a seated position. It's really sad. The whole excuse of "eating healthy is expensive" is absolutely not true! I've saved a lot of money on groceries and eating out simply because I CANNOT eat as much as I could've before. Maybe she'll change her mind in the future when she reaches her breaking point. All you can do is serve as a good example!
  14. needtorecover

    My work here is done

    As a newbie, I find the vets' information very helpful and motivating. It sucks when you don't really know anyone else who has had weight loss surgery so I come here to read and ask questions. Or just complain because no one else really gets it. My friends who are fat are happy to stay fat, and my friends who are thin don't understand what I'm going through. I get a lot of "Yay, you go, girl!" type of comments but that's about it. It's a weird mix of "Wow, this is so much easier than dieting!" and "Ugh, why is cake so easy to eat??" Very hard to explain to anyone who hasn't had WLS. Plus we deal with a boat load of ignorance that other people just don't get. There are days when I just say "screw it" and think my lap band will never get me to where I want to be and then I come here and see others who have made it to the other side and I feel motivated again. Just saying. This online community is relatively small compared to others and the loss of good members hurts. Not trying to guilt you into staying, of course, but I hope other vets know they are appreciated and wanted here if they're thinking of leaving due to blatant stupidity.
  15. needtorecover

    Question for veterans - hardest part for you?

    I'm not a veteran (6 months out and just hitting my stride) but I will say buffets suck now. I went to three this weekend (1 wedding, 1 retirement party, 1 work lunch) and instead of just happily loading my plate with any and everything and going back for 2nds (and 3rds and 4ths if I was feeling particularly hungry) I have to take a walk around the food bar and mentally decide what's going to go on my plate and how much I should portion it out. The wedding buffet was at the Golden Corral (don't ask). The adult price was $15. HELL NO I am not paying $15 to eat one single plate of food! I was able to negotiate the kid's price (highly recommended) and I ate prime rib, seafood, and a couple scoops of veggies. I've decided my strategy is to ask for the lowest price possible and select the most expensive and highest Protein options available. Seemed to work out fine but it was still hard seeing all the mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, rolls, pastries, cakes, pies, Cookies, stuffing, and fried chicken piled in enticing heaps all over.

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