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Everything posted by DebWS

  1. I'm starting this thread on the post-op site, hoping that November 2010 Bandsters will post their responses and comments here. My procedure is tomorrow, November 3, and I'll try to hang out here. Would welcome company! Deb WS
  2. I wanted to lift up the problem of emotional eating for all of us. About ten days ago, my husband and I returned home from taking our younger daughter to college - in New Orleans. I won't spend time here talking about what it is like to leave your child in a city where a Hurricane is about to strike, and driving away (far away)...but suffice it to say, it's huge. In the short time we've been home, I've realized that many of the emotional triggers that would have me sneaking in the kitchen at odd hours in years past, to snarf chips or a cookie, are gone. I adore my child...but we have had a stormy relationship for the last several years. And now that she is out of the house, I'm very aware of how much emotional eating can be a trigger response to conflict or stress. I'm realizing, too, that those grapes and pears look pretty tasty -- more so than the chips or pretzels. And that being ready to eat is much more tied to what's going on in your stomach than what is going on in your head. Does this resonate for anyone? Best to all, DebWS
  3. I wanted to chime in again. First, I don't think anyone on this board needs to be - should be - in the position of judging anyone else. I think people come to their own decisions in their own time. It might not be our time, but it's their life. So I wish MarketingDude well and hope that your decisions serve you well, now and over the long term. Second, I want to say how strongly I resonate with Diane's (LovetheNewMe) posts, particularly about the emotional adjustments that have to be made. The band is a tool. It reminds me when I'm not chewing, when I'm eating too quickly, when I'm not paying attention. Paying attention is key: what does my body ask of me, now? What can I do to serve it, and serve me, well? Those are questions of mindfulness, and it takes time to learn how to listen, and how to respond. I think that is what Diane's talking about, and what this surgery is about, as well. If anyone is looking for a 'magic bullet,' this isn't it! My two cents, Deb WS
  4. I have been really enjoying "Love the New Me"'s posts. Thank you for sharing so much of what you have learned with us. I thought it was time for another update from me. I was banded in early November, 2010, and spent a lot of time 'stuck' after a 30 lb weight loss. I suspected that the fact that I was getting no exercise, due to a very bad knee, had a lot to do with this situation, and I believe I was correct. On February 16th, I had a total knee replacement (right knee). It hurt for weeks, recovery was tough, but now I am nearing the end of my Physical Therapy sessions and starting to take up the exercise opportunities I have. I have lost an additional 8 lbs. since surgery and expect this to increase as I'm able to walk, stationary bike, do water aerobics (first time this week) and so on. I completely agree with the reality that you have to change your eating habits and let go of the behaviors that drove them. This is an evolving process for me: realizing that, as I walk into the kitchen at 9 PM, I'm really NOT hungry and therefore don't need to be there...finding things that are crunchy to satisfy me, that aren't chips and dip. It all takes practice, and time. But it does happen. My husband and I have found that when we go out, it really does work for us to get an appetizer, a salad, and an entree (and maybe a dessert) and share them. I have a few bites, he eats the rest. It works (and saves money, too). When I was thinking about having this surgery I could never believe that such a plan would satisfy me. That a serving of protein the size of a deck of cards would satisfy me. But it's true, and it does. It takes time. But oh, is it worth it! Best wishes to all, Deb WS
  5. Yesterday was my one year anniversary. I spent the day so busily that I didn't stop to remember and reflect...but I want to now. As I have said before, I regret not one minute of this decision. I feel better, look better, am happier, am healthier. I have not lost the weight I wanted to -- it is very slow to come off and until I get my knee replaced (Feb. 19) I am not likely to be very active...but my eating habits and my relationship with food are much, much healthier than they once were. I hope, in the next year, to lose another 30 lbs. If this could happen, very gradually, it would be wonderful. But I will try to be patient and be content at being the tortoise in the race, rather than the hare, knowing that getting there is the ultimate goal. Meanwhile I continue to focus on healthy lifestyle and eating, I add things to my list of "no thank you" that make me feel ill or unhealthy, and find that, increasingly, fresh fruits and vegetables are my friend in every sense. On November 9th, I will turn 60 (how did this happen, I wonder?). I have much to celebrate: a wonderful family, the blessings of life. And I will also celebrate the gift for a LONGER, better life that have been given to me by having this surgery. Happy anniversary, November bandsters. May we all be well. Deb WS
  6. DebWS

    DebWS's Before and After Pics

    My Before & After Photos!
  7. Friends, I just got a "happy anniversary" message from the operators of this forum. And that set me to thinking: it's a year for all of us, I think. And what would we wish when we blew the virtual candles out that Celebrate that year? So I thought I'd pose this question to you all: - In the year that has passed since you had surgery, what is the SINGLE biggest learning you have had about the surgery, the process, food, etc? - As you look toward the year to come, what is the ONE WISH that you would make for yourself? I can't wait to see your responses! (And I'll post mine on the actual anniversary day of my surgery!) Deb WS
  8. JaGo, Thanks for posting this. I think it's hard to adjust expectations (particularly, expectations, pre-op) to realities...of life, of weight loss. It sounds like your mini-retreat, to re-focus your head and your expectations, will be just what you need. I am in a somewhat similar situation, since (as I have noted on this bulletin board) my knee - which needs replacement -- has precluded me from participating in a lot of exercise options I would ordinarily seek out. And I found myself stuck at the same weight loss point. I can say that my 'solution' was to get another .5 fill (I am now at - I think - about 7 or 8 ccs) and to focus even more on my eating habits. I have finally seen the scale go down. Not dramatically, as I'm seeing about a pound a week. But I am very grateful and happy for that...that is progress, even slow. I also have some food that I can't eat any more. Most Thai food, for some reason, is off my menu (not chicken coconut Soup, although that would be a treat); probably not satay, but Pad Thai, Crazy Noodles, even Masaman Curry are all off the list - I feel ill when I try to eat them. Maki Sushi (the rolls) are off as well. And long Pasta (spaghetti, buccatini, linguine) are gone as well, and in fact many pastas are a 'danger zone' for me. One big learning is about eating slowly. If I start to feel queasy, I put down my fork, sit, and WAIT. If the feeling passes, I resume. And if not, I'm done. I've also learned that eating a yogurt instead of a rushed meal is always better: eating fast is a prescription for illness. Better to wait till there's time to really sit there and chew. I hope that you find your own ways to get back on track. My sense is that it is a matter of trial and error, and all of it, a journey. Best, Deb WS
  9. Hello, all, again. I will say that I remain very encouraged that finally things are moving again. I routinely get on the scale every morning, and once again, I was greeted by a 2 lb. drop which just thrilled the heck out of me! Soda pop (with sugar) is definitely a trap, so for those who still drink it - if you can switch to something with splenda in it, I think your scale readings will show the difference. For now, I am eating less and enjoying it more, and that is a great feeling! Best to all, Deb WS
  10. G Rose, Let me just say that I would be SO happy to lose 3 pounds in 2.5 weeks. Truly. I will say, for myself, that I may have finally hit the right point. I have to be very careful of what I eat, and how I eat. And there are some new things that are on the "can't do that" list: fettucine or any long pasta, including Pad Thai and the like, are off my menu. Ditto the sushi (maki) I mentioned before. And definitely tougher meats as well as very fibrous vegetables (I chewed on some killer sugar snap peas the other day that I just could not chew enough - finally gave up on those!) Despite the fact that I have had a number of 'stuck' episodes since my last 1/2 cc fill, I believe that I am at the right place. The scale has finally started to move again, and I am grateful, even elated, over this. I also decided that I am ready to get my right knee replaced (this is what keeps me from much exercise) and will have this done in mid-March. I believe that this will really help me to be more active and can only help speed weight loss in the end. I have not yet investigated water aerobics classes in my area, but thought this was a very good suggestion! Best, Deb WS
  11. Thanks for this great idea. I suspect that either our local pool, or the Y in the next town, has such a class! Other ideas/suggestions most welcome! Deb WS
  12. Friends, Here is another question. Since we know that exercise has a lot to do with weight loss, and since I have a bad right knee and bad left foot, I'm move to ask you for advice. I will need to get a right knee replacement, soon, I suspect (I'm thinking about early spring, 2012). The left foot issue is dicier: arthritis in the foot, fallen arch, half of the foot numb, can't really be fixed. But if the right knee is fixed, the prognosis improves. Meanwhile, it's really hard to find exercise that is possible and will work. I do Zumba once or twice a week in season. What else would any of you suggest? Best, Deb WS
  13. Thanks, Jeannette, for this and to all of you who have posted as well: (more commentary/thoughts below quote): I am struck by the fact that a number of us talk about being stuck and yet we have all lost weight...in a number of cases, lots of it...just not as much as we had hoped. This is certainly true for me, too. I feel much better, I look much better. I just wish that I were able to move forward, and that is the challenge. But to be clear: through all of this there has not been one moment -- not even one -- where I regret my decision or have wondered if it was the right thing to do. That, to me, is proof enough that this is a great thing. What I do keep trying for, though, is the sweet spot moment of just enough/not too much. And that is what has been a struggle, and an unfolding process. Since my last 1/2cc fill, I am finding that it's taking much less to satisfy me. I also find that I really don't want to drink much with a meal -- and that I do want to always have something to drink with me during my day. These are definite changes. I'm also experiencing less hunger throughout the day. And so I am hopeful that finally the sweet spot may have been achieved. (I will say that having a colonoscopy during this last week has also helped...in that I had to be on a clear liquid only diet for a day, then nothing for much of another day. That refocuses things pretty quickly)! I hope more of you will write as we share where we are right now! Best, Deb WS
  14. I haven't seen new threads here in quite a while - nor have I posted. That is, I suppose, partly because I haven't had a lot to post about! Ten months past surgery, I have been mostly 'stuck' at a 35 lb. loss. I go to my doctor monthly and (with the exception of one month) we've been in this tweaking process, where I get a 1/2cc fill or skip a month to see how it goes. Last week I got another 1/2cc, and am now at 8.5 cc's. I have to be very careful of what I eat and mindful of how I eat, although this is a good thing - paying attention is something that all of us probably can benefit from. I would love to hear from those who have hit the "sweet spot" that I keep hearing about. Is this it? Does the sweet spot mean that sometimes food gets stuck and you feel uncomfortable but that, mostly, you find that you are able to eat modest amounts and lose steadily? What have you not been able to tolerate? My "no thank you list" currently contains maki sushi (the rolled kind) and most Chinese food - which is either too stringy (mushi) or tough (orange beef, for instance) for me to be happy with...also I've heard that rice, in general, is difficult to deal with. I'd love to hear from more of you as to how you are doing and what your experiences have been. Best to all, Deb WS
  15. OK, good folks: the last time I wrote, I said I was encouraged that the 'sweet spot' had been hit and loss would crank up. Nope. Here is what I am experiencing: it's quite easy for things to get 'stuck' for some period of time. I have to eat slowly, deliberately, carefully, But I have not lost. I am still pretty much where I was about three months ago. I'm concerned that if I have another fill I will be at a point where I can not eat much except soft stuff. On the other hand, if I don't have that fill, I'm not sure I will lose any more weight. I've had about 7.5 cc's, I believe, and I've lost about thirty pounds (my goal was 100). Advice?? Thanks, Deb WS
  16. I have been most coasting since the surgery...dropping a few pounds, then going up a couple, then down...verrryyyy slow progress. During my last visit to my surgeon, 1/2cc was added to the band (which brought me, I believe, to 7.5 cc's). I had reported that I felt some restriction, but that I still got quite hungry after a few hours...and I felt that I wasn't getting full enough, soon enough. The nurse practitioner has been very encouraging, telling me that I would "hit the sweet spot" soon. I think -- not sure, but think -- that it might have happened. I find that I do have to be more careful about things getting 'stuck'...no fast eating, no big bites, no failing to chew. But if I follow those rules, and take it slow and easy, I find that I'm filled up with very little. And I am losing again. So -- I think I have to wait another couple of weeks to know if what I am seeing now really holds up. But I am encouraged. Deb WS
  17. My sense is that my nutritionist's advice -- eat more Protein -- is helping. I am less hungry, less likely to cave in to 'head hunger,' than I was. I also am more aware of feeling full...and have had a couple more incidents of things getting a little 'stuck.' I try, when this happens, to be calm, wait, sip Water, and just breathe. Generally, that does the trick. But it's always a reminder to me to slow down, savor whatever I have, and THINK before something goes in my mouth! I see my surgeon tomorrow and expect another 1cc fill which will -- I hope -- mark the 'sweet spot' that people keep talking about! Best to all, Deb WS
  18. It's great hearing from a lot of you -- I have missed you! I went to the nutritionist on Tuesday and, interestingly, she suggested something that I saw reflected in the discussions here. She thought that I was not getting enough Protein, and suggested increasing that, rather than adding more veggies or other carbs. I made sure that I had a Chobani yogurt today, crabmeat salad along with raw veggies and homemade tomato Soup at lunch, and a little cheese with veggies for a snack. So far, it's working. You are a great community and are wise folk! Deb WS
  19. Ape, This is stressful! I would suggest exercise. I have to say that I love my Zumba class, and that might be appealing...or something that is not just treadmill routine, but distracting and fun. Best wishes with getting your records moved...and please let your husband know that I thank him for the good work that he is doing! Deb WS
  20. The growling stomach part is exactly what I am experiencing, and what moves me to eat. I'm pretty good at not eating "just because" -- the times when I find it hardest are late afternoon -- which is also when I get the growling tummy stuff...and late evening, when I see my husband going for the dessert and dammit, I want something. I'm not big on sweets, generally, but a little cheese with a few crackers is pretty appealing. I think I'm going to try having a Laughing Cow lite cheese and apple or pear ready and see how that does...other suggestions welcome! Deb WS
  21. Hello, November folk! I, too, have been out of touch with this group for too long. I just read posts over the last few months and am glad to reconnect. I have had three 'fills': the initial fill of 5 ccs, and 2 other fills of 1 cc each. I see my surgeon in another week and expect to receive one more cc, which is -- he tells me -- the point at which I should start to notice restriction. I have had slow weight loss since the surgery, but recognize that my health is much improved, and my fitness as well. I have been doing Zumba 2-3 times/week, yoga whenever I can, and have been really delighted at the way clothes fit these days. On the other hand, I find that I get absolutely FAMISHED after about 3.5-4.5 hours...as in, MUST eat. My stomach starts rumbling, and if I don't have a healthy snack ready, it's anyone's guess as to what will go into my mouth! I am trying to focus on healthy Snacks...yogurt, SF Jello, fruit with 1T. of Peanut Butter or 1 oz. low fat cheese...would be interested to hear others' experiences in this regard! I am continually reminded that the surgery is a tool, not a solution. We have a large role in whether our weight loss is successful. Best to all, Deb WS
  22. I haven't posted in a while, and I can relate to topazz's 'grr.' I have never been quite so aware of how much food there is, everywhere, during the holidays. While I managed to mostly stay within reasonable limits, I gained 2.5 lbs over the holidays and now am trying to get rid of it! I am confident I'll prevail, and grateful that it was only 2.5 lbs where it could have been 5-8. Still...it doesn't feel ike progress. I was also interested in recent posts about fills taking up to 2 weeks to 'kick in.' I had a fill in mid-December. I felt essentially no effects from it, but about 8 days later I was gobbling down a couple pieces of sushi (I find that I am absolutely famished at about 10:30-11 AM and need a snack then to hold me till about 1:30 PM). I wasn't thinking, I didn't chew enough, but reverted to the old way of eating. It got stuck. It was NOT fun...so not fun, that I vowed never, ever to repeat the experience. The sushi did go down, but it put me off of sushi, perhaps indefinitely. Just a reminder that sometimes, things are working, even when you think they aren't! Best, Deb WS
  23. Great to hear from you! I have to say: I lasted on a liquid diet for two meals...and then, partly because I was in the middle of catering a large cocktail party and not able to stop at all, I had a small amount of cellophane noodles with peanut sauce and a couple of small chunks of chicken. All chewed slowly and thoroughly...but still, it wasn't liquids!!! I half-expected there to be a problem, but there was no problem at all! (My doctor did not put any saline in the band during the surgery, so this fill - 4 cc's -- was the first one for me). Last night I had a small (less than 2 oz.) serving of pork tenderloin, 1/4 c. mashed potatoes, and a couple of pieces of glazed carrots.. What I have noticed is less hunger...less appetite. What I have not noticed is discomfort, or anything getting stuck (thank goodness!). I don't know if this is because I am intent on not 'pushing it' with food, or for some other reason...but so far, it seems to be working, and I've dropped another 2 lbs. since the doctor's visit! As far as I'm concerned, Christmas has come early this year. As I keep saying, "all I feel is gratitude." Best, Deb WS
  24. Well, I'm relieve to know I'm not the only person who isn't completely crazy about the 'new' posting system! I had my fill (4 cc's) today. It was not bad...a little stick when the needle went into the port, but otherwise no biggie. I'm on liquids for a couple of days, then mushies, and so on...just to give my body time to adjust. The doctor was very happy with the weight loss so far, but I would love to have a little more restriction headed into the holidays, as you note, so from my perspective, the timing is good. My daughter commented on how careful I've been in eating...and it's true. The nutrition lessons have helped...I take much smaller portions and eat slowly...I've fallen into the chips and dip bin (my Achilles Heel) a couple of times, but much less than before surgery, and when that's happened, I've eaten many fewer chips than I would have pre-surgery. So I feel like it's all working...one step at a time. Best, Deb WS

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