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LAP-BAND Patients
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Everything posted by needtorecover

  1. I have mixed feelings on it myself. On the one hand, I want everyone to feel comfortable in their own skin. I don't think anyone should feel ashamed of their size. Everyone should be able to find flattering, comfortable clothes in their size. We should educate people who have never had a weight problem that obesity is not a choice. We should fight the lazy/clumsy/stupid stereotypes of obese individuals... all that I support. But there is something about it that rubs me the wrong way... I think it's the push to ignore medical advice and tell doctors they're being fat-shamed for being told to lose weight. I'm just curious. Do you think it's ultimately harmful or helpful to obese folks? Discuss
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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!
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. needtorecover

    Scary noises

    I once heard something that sounded like a pair of ghosts moaning "Ooooooooh! Ohhhhhhh!!!! OOOOOOOOOH!!!" It was coming from my basement and it scared me to death. I went down to see what was happening and half expected skeletal ghosts to chase me back upstairs but then I saw my cats sitting at the window with their hackles raised and tails all puffed up, moaning at a raccoon outside. Animals can make some pretty spooky sounding noises!
  18. needtorecover

    Liquid won't stay down?

    No, that's certainly not normal! I hope by now you've called your doctor and gotten some Fluid removed! It is not safe to not be able to drink Water as you risk dehydration, which is very serious.
  19. needtorecover

    6.6 years with band.....

    The majority of the complaints I see on this board about the lap band are usually from folks who get the band placed and then don't see their surgeon anymore. Then they get all defensive when you tell them they need follow-up care. I think that's really the only way to succeed with it. It's likely losing popularity due to updated surgical methods (bypass used to be somewhat dangerous and from my understanding the sleeve is fairly recent relative to GB and LB). It's also losing popularity because of the intensive follow-up that's required (i.e. adjustments and dealing with complications). The lap band works great for me as a volume eater and a Protein lover. I think if simple carbs are your kryptonite it may not be the best option. Last Saturday I had too much to drink at my dinner party and cupcakes looked very appealing. It was shockingly easy to scarf down two of them without any trouble. However, eating 6 ounces of steak and a side salad for dinner kept me full and satisfied until bedtime. There are legitimate complications (like erosion or a slip). But oftentimes folks come on this forum and complain about the band after having it placed for months without seeing their doctor and wonder why it's not working.
  20. needtorecover

    Having Doubts

    I got approved for surgery in 2012 and I panicked and cancelled it. It's very natural to be scared. I was mad at myself for "needing" surgery to lose weight. Felt like a failure to myself and told myself I could do better than that. I was scared I wouldn't be able to have a baby if I had WLS. I tried to lose weight on my own. Failed. Got pregnant and had my baby. Then decided I'm done with trying to lose weight on my own and I am so glad I had the surgery. You need to be ready for it. If you're discouraged because you're gritting your teeth through your pre-op diet, believe me when I say it gets better! You won't always feel like that. WLS takes away a majority of the agony that goes along with dieting. food cravings still happen but they're not nearly as intense as they used to be. I still WANT to overeat, but I don't because it hurts if I try. It's much different than before. If I tried to limit my calories to 1800 I'd be crawling out of my skin after a few weeks and then binge like there's no tomorrow. I'm plenty satisfied with that amount now and usually eat less than that over the course of the day and don't have any trouble. Weight comes off readily. And this is just with the lap band (the gentlest procedure). The sleeve and bypass are even more powerful. Try to keep that in mind because I know it's hard now but it won't always be this hard, you know? Whatever you decide, I wish you well.
  21. needtorecover

    You Can Lead the Charge against Fat Shaming

    This is the most socially acceptable form of discrimination! It's hard to make people understand why losing weight isn't as easy as "eat less, move more." If that were the case we'd all be thin and there wouldn't be a multimillion dollar diet industry.
  22. needtorecover

    Psych Evaluation

    They're basically looking to make sure you completely understand that this is a long-term lifestyle change and that you have realistic expectations. As long as you are committed to making a huge change in your life and you are comfortable with what to expect after surgery you won't "fail" the exam.
  23. needtorecover

    Summer Reading

    I love to read! Most recent book I finished was Girl on the Train. It was decent but didn't change my life. I kind of guessed the ending before I finished it. Complicit and Damage Done are two very good YA thriller books that area solid enough for adults to enjoy. Both had crazy endings I couldn't guess. I'm reading Delirium (another YA but I'm having a hard time getting into it) and listening to Remember Me This Way while I do my landscaping and gardening (thriller). I love thrillers, YA books, and general fiction. Light reading. I'm much too exhausted to try to do any deep reading at this point in my life but I'll get back to it when I'm no longer raising wild animals (i.e. toddlers).
  24. Hi ladies! I'm job searching and if I get called for an interview I have nothing to wear. I didn't realize this until last night when I was scrambling through my clothes to find something appropriate to wear for a Skype interview. Luckily I found a classy sweater and a nice necklace to pair with it but it still wasn't as professional as I was hoping for. Could anyone please recommend a clothing store that sells classy plus-sized ladies pantsuits? Men have the luxury of visiting a tailor with easy to select options to look good at work. Us? Nope. I don't want anything with flare or pizazz, I literally want something conservative, simple, and serious. Any suggestions are welcome! Bonus points if I can actually visit the store in person and try something on!
  25. needtorecover

    Post Your Silly Rant

    This is some great Monday fun 1) Couples who share accounts on Facebook (i.e. StacyJason Smith). Just because you got married doesn't mean you've completely forfeited your personal identity. 2) Close talkers. Especially when they inch forward as I inch backwards. NO! 3) Being reliant on incompetent people to do your job and then looking like a fool when it's not done correctly because Barb from accounting didn't check her internal queue to process a payment. 4) Men riding loud motorcycles. The louder the bike, the smaller the package. 5) People who go to the beach and bring a radio and smoke cigarettes. I do NOT want to listen to Kanye West while I'm trying to enjoy the sound of the waves, and I CERTAINLY do not want to breathe in your cancer smoke! 6) This year's election. 7) Anyone who starts a sentence with "I'm not a racist or anything but..." Yes. Yes, you are a racist and you know it because you had to preface your thoughts with that statement. 8) Someone mentioned this already but I'll say it again: people standing/walking so closely behind me I can feel their breath. 9) Men who get offended when I hold the door for them. It goes back to number 8, I'm super uncomfortable with people walking behind me so I hold doors for ANYONE behind me because I want to walk without the weird feeling of someone watching my backside. 10) Bad customer service. Just in general. Whew! I feel better now!

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