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Lauren_Dew

LAP-BAND Patients
  • Content Count

    165
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About Lauren_Dew

  • Rank
    Expert Member
  • Birthday 04/02/1981

About Me

  • Gender
    Female
  • City
    Falls Church
  • State
    VA

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  1. Lauren_Dew

    So mad at myself for regain

    Great post, Danny Paul! Ultimately, that time when it's easy is when we have the chance to build our healthy habits and for anyone who kept their weight off for a while, you know you had a bunch of healthy habits built up! After almost 13 years of maintaining my weight, i have more years living as a healthy-eating, healthy-weighted adult than i did living in a cycle of on-again off-again yo-yo dieting before I had WLS. Sometimes i get off track, and that's when i have to remind myself what healthy eating looks like, and work to rebuild my consistency with my habits. I really do believe that regains are a part of this journey and they're something we will all face throughout our post-op lives. Our tool is still there for us though, and with some mindset changes, and some structure, we can get ourselves back on course. It's never easy though, and it's not something your average person can understand which is why it can be helpful to seek support from other WLS vets. Here are a couple of things that have worked for me and a couple that haven't. Keep fighting the good fight guys!! My Good Habits: Eat Meals (don't graze) - don't skip breakfast, even if it's small Eat Real Food, not processed slider foods like chips and sweets STOP eating after 7PM - get away from the kitchen after dinner. Evenings have always been my toughest time and so i make myself a cup of decaf coffee, take it upstairs with me, and don't go back to the kitchen under any circumstances. Focus on Food - 80% of weight loss comes down to food Cook Your Own Food, but keep it simple - make sure you have meal options available in the fridge or ready to make at a moment’s notice. Move for Mental Health - aiming for 10K steps works for me and calms my urge to stress eat Talk to someone about mental health - overeating for me is a sure sign that's i'm heading on a downward spiral and the weigh gain and guilt and shame associated just makes it worse...see a doctor, find a medication that works for you, find your way back to a good mental health state Things i that have NOT worked for me: Liquids / Protein Shakes - it's not sustainable (and really hard for even a few days...how did we do it pre- and post-op?), it makes me unbearably grouchy, and the minute i stop the weight comes back on. Counting Calories - that is a trigger for me after a LIFETIME of dieting and i don't want to go there! Starving - if I’m starving, I won’t be able to do it for long and the rebound will be bad! Excessive exercise - it's too hard to outrun a bad diet with exercise and getting hurt would be a sure way to halt my progress.
  2. Lauren_Dew

    Weight regain...I don't know where to start.

    I'm almost 13 years out and have faced my fair share of regains (including 2 pregnancies along the way) but have managed to nip them in the bud in the 10-15 lb range. I honestly think regains are just part of the process and we all face them to some extent and i'm sure i'll face them again in the future, so this post is a good reminder for me as well! So here are my go to moves to get rid of regain: My go-to moves are: Eat Meals (don't graze) - don't skip breakfast, even if it's small Eat Real Food, not processed slider foods like chips and sweets Stop eating after Dinner - get away from the kitchen after dinner. Evenings have always been my toughest time and so i make myself a cup of decaf coffee, take it upstairs with me, and don't go back to the kitchen under any circumstances. Focus on the food, not exercise - 80%+ of weight loss comes down to food Move for Mental Health - aiming for 10K steps works for me and calms my urge to stress eat Talk to someone about mental health - overeating for me is a sure sign that's i'm heading on a downward spiral and the weigh gain and guilt and shame associated just makes it worse...see a doctor, find a medication that works for you, find your way back to a good mental health state Things i that haven't worked for me: Liquids / Protein Shakes - it's not sustainable (and really hard for even a few days...how did we do it pre- and post-op?), it makes me unbearably grouchy, and the minute i stop the weight comes back on Counting Calories - that is a trigger for me after a LIFETIME of dieting and i don't want to go there! Excessive exercise - it's too hard to outrun a bad diet with exercise and getting hurt would be a sure way to halt my progress. One more change that has truly been life altering for me is something i did after my last regain in 2018. My weight creeped up to 161lbs. That was 20lbs over my usual set point of 140lbs, which i had maintained for 10 years post-op (i'm 5'2" and started my journey at 200 lbs). It was starting to scare me and i knew i needed to do something. I went back to all the things I listed above but i also did something i never had done before, i started eating plants for protein. I cut out the meat first and then the dairy (which seemed overwhelming until i found all my own plant based substitutions), and i started focusing on vegetables! I didn't think about portions (after all, i'm a WLS patient, how much could i really eat) and i found myself shedding weight effortlessly! Not only did i lose the 20 lbs i had gained, but for the first time in 12+ years post-op, i hit a new set point of about 122lbs which i've been maintaining with ease for the past year! I didn't start a diet, i didn't ever go off a diet. I just focus on plants and i feel great and have never been lighter! And i know what you're thinking...where do you get your protein??? But there is more than enough protein in plants for anyone who's at least 6 months post op! The funny thing is, i eat more than i have in years, but i finally feel like i'm living the healthy life i wanted and it's easier than i ever though it would be. Anyway, sorry for the long post, i'm just so happy with how this has been working and i know it can work for others too! Feel free to message me if you have questions. Keep fighting the good fight!!
  3. Lauren_Dew

    Going Vegan After Sleeve

    I'm almost 13 years out from lap band and going strong! I've had my band since March 2008. I've been maintenance maintaining for the past 12+ years (which included 2 pregnancies and a my fair share of fluctuations along the way). In the past year i have made some more habit changes that have included a change to a Plant Based diet, that led me to drop another 20ish pounds leaving me at about 120-125lbs at 5'2". I spent so much of my journey never seeming to have room for veggies and always spending too much time grazing. These days, i eat meals filled with veggies, fruits and grains. I eat healthier meals than ever before and i don't feel the need to graze. I eat protein first...i just get my protein from plants!!! I am so overjoyed to have some others to share this with from the perspective of a bariatric patient!
  4. Lauren_Dew

    Vegan & WLS

    Thank you PollyEster for that response!!! What she said! And also thank you to Patricia Campana for a great response as well and for recommending Chuck Carroll's podcast! Can't wait to check it out!!
  5. Lauren_Dew

    Whole-Food Plant-Based Nutrition Resources

    Can't neglect to thank PollyEster for starting this thread with awesome info!!! I'd love to hear more about your own journey!
  6. Lauren_Dew

    Whole-Food Plant-Based Nutrition Resources

    DeletedMember, i felt the same way!!! I'm almost 13 years out and absolutely love my band! I've had my band since March 2008. I lost the majority of my weight in the first 6-9 months (from 200lbs down to 140lbs, i'm only 5'2") and managed to stay within a maintenance range for the past 12+ years, which included 2 pregnancies and a my fair share of fluctuations along the way. In the past year i have made some more habit changes that have included a change to a Plant Based diet, that led me to drop another 20ish pounds leaving me at about 120-125lbs at 5'2". My husband and my father both were dealing with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes (AIC scores of almost 9!!) which lead me to start researching, which led me to DR. GREGER and How Not To Die. it changed my life, and i hope someday it will change theirs. While my dad has been resistant regarding making this kind of change, i couldn't go back to eating the way i was eating knowing what i now knew about a plant based lifestyle. The changes for me and my husband have been incredible. I am so overjoyed to have some others to share this with from the perspective of a bariatric patient! PS...MotoZen, you are TOTALLY setting yourself up for SUCCESS with this positive change! So impressed. Wishing you the best on your journey!
  7. Lauren_Dew

    Calling all vets- where are you

    I'm almost 13 years out and absolutely love my band! I've had my band since March 2008. I lost the majority of my weight in the first 6-9 months (from 200lbs down to 140lbs, i'm only 5'2") and managed to stay within a maintenance range for the past 12+ years, which included 2 pregnancies and a my fair share of fluctuations along the way. In the past year i have made some more habit changes that led me to drop another 20ish pounds leaving me at about 120-125lbs at 5'2". It's hard to see so many people suffering from complications with their bands, but i know that that has been the reality for many. I worry sometimes that even after 13 great years complication-free, that something could just go wrong! Honestly my biggest worry is that if something went wrong, i would no longer qualify for a revision surgery because i am at goal. I don't want to think about what it would be like without this tool! I used to post a lot in the beginning of my journey, but recently came back. So often it feels like i'm on this journey all alone, but being here makes me realize that's not the case. It makes me so happy to hear from some veterans (and to actually be one this time around). Please keep posting and i will try to do the same!
  8. Lauren_Dew

    Anyone pre-plan to only have lapband a year?

    I've had my band for almost 13 years and i love it! I had my surgery in March 2008 and lost from 200lbs down to 140lbs at 5'2" which i maintained ever since (including through 2 pregnancies and a few fluctuation along the way. In the past year i have made some more habit changes that led me to drop another 20ish pounds leaving me at about 120-125lbs at 5'2" with a BMI of around 22. I wouldn't recommend planning to have the band removed after a year for 3 main reasons: 1) It's a surgery and going in expecting to have 2 surgeries within a year doesn't sound like the best idea (but that's between you and your husband and the doctor) 2) The band is CRUCIAL TO MY ABILITY TO MAINTAIN MY WEIGHT - for me personally, the lap band (and weight loss surgery in general) has always been about maintenance. I had yo-yo dieted my whole life and wanted off that roller coaster. In fact, i knew i could lose the weight (even if it wouldn't be easy) but why bother if i was just going to gain it back like i had ALL THE OTHER TIMES BEFORE. That hurt more than anything and i just couldn't do it again. And i was right, the band has been EVERYTHING to me in my maintenance journey! I would never have been able to do this without it and the habits it allowed me to build...which leads me to #3 3) HABIT CHANGE TAKES TIME - your husband needs to give himself the time to adjust to his new lifestyle both during his losing period and after. One of the advantages of not losing weight at epically fast speeds is that your body and more importantly mind have a chance to adjust with you! In order for your new habits to stick, you need to give them time to develop and teach yourself that you can conquer the inevitable bumps in the road. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to permanently change your anatomy and some people like that the band is not permanent. But it is no small life change. For me it has been THE BEST DECISION I EVER MADE. Happy to talk to you more about it if you ever need any support or perspective! There are still a lot of us successful veteran bandsters out here who might have some useful perspectives if you are considering a gastric band. Hope that helps some!
  9. Lauren_Dew

    13 years later and - I Love my band

    Another quiet and happy bandster here! I'm almost 13 years out and absolutely love my band! It's hard to see so many people suffering from complications and i worry sometimes that even after 13 great years complication-free, that something could just go wrong! Honestly my biggest worry is that if something went wrong, i would no longer qualify for a revision surgery because i am at goal. I've had my band since March 2008. I lost the majority of my weight in the first 6-9 months (from 200lbs down to 140lbs, i'm only 5'2") and managed to stay within a maintenance range for the past 12+ years, which included 2 pregnancies and a my fair share of fluctuations along the way. In the past year i have made some more habit changes that led me to drop another 20ish pounds leaving me at about 120-125lbs at 5'2". It makes me so happy to see some positive bandsters out there sharing their stories as there are definitely still a lot of us on this band journey. Please keep posting and i will try to do the same!
  10. Lauren_Dew

    Band fills

    Hi Sue73! I just did a quick google search for Lap Band Fills in Central Florida and found this one https://saynotoobesity.com/weight-loss-procedures/gastric-band/There were more listed. I hate that your practice is leaving you high and dry! Lap bands require follow up and you are smart to try to find a new place! Best of luck!!! Don't quit until you find a new place! It will be worth it and plenty of places that don't do lap band surgery anymore still serve lap banders in need of follow up! I'm almost 13 years out and below my goal and i still try to connect with my practice regularly for support groups and so that i maintain my connection to them and keep my band in good shape. Even if most of the patients there are now sleeve patients, we still have similar struggles and i value their support! Sending good vibes your way!
  11. Lauren_Dew

    nothing really happening prefill...

    Hi Native NY'r! Former Jersey Girl here. Unfortunately it's the dreaded "it depends" answer from me too! I don't remember an exact number of fills, but i remember what i was going for! I not only looking for physical restriction, i was looking for my hunger to subside - that precious "sweet spot" i heard so much about. That definitely took multiple fills for me and then once i hit the sweet and started to really lose weight, i'd end up losing the perfect restriction and needing to go in for another adjustment! Follow-up is the name of the game in lap band world! The good part is that every time i got a fill, i'd go easy for the first 3 days or so and inevitably it would kick start my losing anyway. So even if it took me 3 fills to get to the right fill level (baring in mind that my fills were covered by insurance and provided at my local practice, so there was no downside to going every 2-4 weeks in the very beginning), i'd have the added bonus of having been a eating carefully with each fill which helped my ultimate weight loss goal anyway. Ultimately, if the tool is adjusted properly, and you are eating properly (aka, not eating around the band or overeating and making yourself sick), it really really helps!!! So keep going back for follow up to get to the point that you know your band is helping you! That's some advice from an old bandster who still loves her band almost 13 years later! Here is you need anything!
  12. I am so happy to see some fellow lap banders out there still fighting the good fight and sharing some positive stories. I've had my band since March 2008. I lost the majority of my weight in the first 6-9 months (from 200lbs down to 140lbs, i'm only 5'2") and managed to stay within a maintenance range for the past 12+ years, which included 2 pregnancies and a my fair share of fluctuations along the way. In the past year i have made some more habit changes that led me to drop another 20ish pounds leaving me at about 120-125lbs at 5'2". I have didn't have a physical adjustment (a fill), to get me there, as i've had good restriction for the last few years, but it was a mental adjustment that got me there for sure! I can totally relate to the feelings you're having about going back in for an adjustment, and especially to the situation where a lot of the members of my old practice had left. But the thing is, the lap band is ALL ABOUT ADJUSTMENTS! That's how our tool works! Going back in and checking on your band and seeing if you need an adjustment is the best thing you can do for yourself! And you know what, it will probably take more than one adjustment to get you to the right spot! And that is just fine! That's how it works with the band. In fact, they'll likely do a full check (complete with barium swallow) on how your band is looking and how your restriction is looking and that is a good thing too! We need to take care of our tool. An adjustment is probably just want you need...but don't forget to make it more than just a fill! Bring back some of the behaviors that led to succeed the first time around! Best of luck and hope to hear an update on how you're doing!
  13. Lauren_Dew

    Big Weight Drop After Fills?

    Molly, What you've described sounds really interesting to me. I have always lost in big clumps usually following a fill so i was really intrigued by the idea of getting those little fills (.15cc) to keep you at your sweet spot and "bump" up the weight loss. I'm so glad you posted this topic because it led me to your blog which i found really great motivation for me. I have always kept myself on the tight side and have loved the way my band helped me "break up with food" as you or someone else mentioned. I am in the best position to lose when my band makes certain foods (namely bread, Pasta and rice) undoable and allows me to focus on Protein and veg. I have not been interested in dieting or tracking like i used to do in my years of yo-yoing. Now i can finally accomplish this elusive "moderation" i've heard so much about. I am 3 years into my band journey and I love my band. I lost the majority of my weight in the first 6 -9 months and was comfortably maintaining at the high end of my healthy weight range. And when i say comfortably maintaining, i mean EFFORTLESSLY! It was great. I always figured i'd make another push to get to the middle of my healthy weight range, but i was just so happy with my body that i didn't mind where i was. Then about 1.5 - 2 years into my journey, my husband and i decided to start and family and i got pregnant. I had an awesome pregnancy and kept my fill (with a few slight unfils). I only gained about 20 lbs and lost it all within the first month or so after my son was born and went right back to easily maintaining my healthy weight. Then i decided it was time for the "big push" to get to the middle of my healthy BMI and i got a fill and then next thing i knew i had heart burn and night cough but felt like i had practically no restriction. Very weird. So i went back in and got a floro and it turned out that i had a slight dilitation which meant the pouch was big, but the band was tight (hence the night cough). Well, end result is that i had to have a bunch of liquid removed from my band (2/3 of it which is much more than i had ever had removed before, even counting the pregnancy) and now i am getting back to a good fill but have picked up a few pounds (ok, 10 lbs) in the process that have to go. I am really enjoying reading all these helpful posts from you and others to remind myself what i have to do again.
  14. Lauren_Dew

    Band Tightness During Pregnancy

    I've had 3 gradual unfils during my pregnancy. I had my first at 8 weeks which really helped, and then i had another one about halfway through. I was so scared by how wide open i felt and i literally thought i was going to start gaining uncontrollably, but eventually that fill started to get tighter and i settled back in. Then in the 3rd trimester i was too tight again, and back i went for my third unfil and that seems to have done the trick too. I've had very good success with this gradual unfil method. My weight gain has been very reasonable. I'm 35 weeks and have gained around 15 lbs which my doctor has been just fine with (my BMI before pregnancy was just a tick over the healthy range). This gradual unfil method has also worked for me because all my adjustments are 100% covered by my insurance so i have no pressure to limit the number of visits i have. I know others have to pay quite a bit or travel long distances so that effects their decisions. Anyway, i'm not exactly sure why my band has gotten tighter throughout, but i have assumed that in the beginning it had to do with the hormones, and now it's just the baby slamming my organs around and messing with my band. I'm curious to see what happens when i deliver. Part of me thinks that once the hormones die down a bit i might just be wide open! But i'm not worried, b/c i'll just go get a slight fill. My doctor and i are happy as long as i'm able to eat enough to nourish myself and my baby. Just wanted to share my experience with everyone. I've had a fantastic pregnancy with no morning sickness (if i had been throwing up i would have had to revise my unfil strategy for sure!) I'm just about in my final month and now everything is harder, but i feel like having controlled my weight gain has really helped me to feel good during this pregnancy (but maybe it's just been luck, who knows!) Good luck ladies!
  15. Lauren_Dew

    How much weight did you gain?

    Congrats Cindy! I am in my 27th week and so far i've gained just under 10 lbs. I've had 2 slight unfills so far. The first was at 8 weeks (-0.3 cc) and the second was yesterday (-0.5 cc). I've been happy with my weight gain and my OB has no problem with it either. I know i will start to gain more in the home stretch so i didn't mind putting too much on in the beginning. I was also lucky and didn't have any morning sickness to worry about. Enjoy your pregnancy!

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