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It definitely gets easier! Hehe.

I got my surgery done right before Christmas 2005... Dr Fris appeared to think I could decide when to go on solids myself, so managed to time that alright so I could eat a bit of Christmas dinner. That's when I realised people don't notice much outside of themselves - hadn't told my aunt or uncle and they didn't notice anything different on Christmas day!

Can totally sympathise about the sleeping thing too - whenever I woke up for the first couple of weeks I had to have my mum help me get out of bed. My abs were totally shot. Used to do crunches ALL the time but since surgery notsomuch. Haven't had the discipline to do them as much over the last few years and for a while after the surgery it hurt too much! Should start doing them again...

I think I timed my surgery quite well... It was at the end of my second year of uni which included some bitchy flatmates, so didn't see much of them after that, and new flatmates/friends didn't really notice. One was in that multisport race, the third girl was one I'd been friends with since first year and when I told them neither really seemed surprised. Geez, family telling people without you knowing - totally get that as well. I'm not even sure how many people my mum has told! Ended up having some odd conversations with a neighbour for a while, haha.

Incidentally, that same neighbour had a friend who got banded and didn't lose any weight whatsoever... (She kept being amazed I lost 40kg in under 2 years). Apparently the neighbours friend had been melting chocolate and drinking it through a straw from when she was on liquids!

It definitely makes it easier having someone to talk to though. My trainer at the gym was excellent for that till she moved to Aussie. For a while after that not having anyone in Dunedin I could talk to (family and friends who knew were in Auckland) was kind of difficult. It's just for the mental/emotional support.

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Its kinda funny my neighbours son or sons had it done and they didnt lose any weight eaither. not sure what they did wrong. Im at the beggining of my second year at uni but knowbody knows i've had it done. I started looking into this surgery at the end of 07 i think, but Dr Fris wouldnt do it then cos i was only 17. he gave me the email of a chick to talk to you sound really similar to her???

My mum has been really good,helping me out with shakes and meds and asking me how im feeling. my dad on the otherhand keeps telling me to vacume the lounge and do the dishes.

40kg thats great. yea i saw an artical once of a girl who said that the lap band was the worst thing that ever happened to her she wasnt losing weight and nothing would go down lol turns out the only way she thought she could get food down was by smothering it in melted chocolate. i think she defeated the purpose.

having someone to talk to does make it easier, my aunt had a sleeve a few years back she looks great and she is happy that i decided to go ahead with it. not quite the same talking to her though shes in her 60's so its a bit different for her.

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Woah! I was thinking about the girl I was given the email of when I wrote the last message and was wondering what happened... I know she was turned down because she was too young... Were you emailing someone with an ihug email address? If so this is actually hilarious! Good to hear you were finally allowed to get it - can understand the reasoning for not letting you a few years ago... They don't even let people under the age of 16 use gym machines without a personal trainer (my sister started going to the gym as soon as she was old enough). Suppose they want to make sure the body is settled before they mess with it.

Haha, sounds like my parents. I just kept telling dad it felt like doing about a million sit ups in 30 seconds and that seemed to get my point across. I may have played it up just a little. ;)

Dr Fris and Heather love showing me my 'before' photo... Can't believe how much of a difference 40kgs makes... Especially because I was convinced I 'didn't look that bad' beforehand. Oh well! I've actually found that except for the irritation mentioned above - which generally relates to portions served by people who don't know better, or carbs, I enjoy food even more now because I can only have small amounts... Had a really nice honey-glazed salmon dish when I was back home at a restaurant in Takapuna - was a really small dish, but was the perfect size for me and tasted amazing. Which reminds me, have to try and recreate it at some stage. :)

One thing with getting on to solids... Don't push it when eating foods you used to eat all the time. Take each food as if you're trying it for the first time... I found that some foods I just couldn't handle as well as I expected. I can't eat chocolate coated coffee Beans, for instance... No idea why. And some are surprisingly more difficult to eat than others. Possibly not so surprising is it's still amazingly easy for me to eat Desserts. And icecream. Ahem. (though so saying, Dr Fris' nutritionist told me to eat more icecream so I can get more Calcium - win!) And I can enjoy chocolate without worrying about if I'm gonna gain 5kg now (yay!), but covering everything with chocolate isn't a great way to try and lose it all in the first place!

Good to hear you have some family with inside knowledge. I'm the only one in my family or friends from back home, so always felt like they didn't quite get it, even though they were super supportive. Workmate I told here, her sister had the stomach stapling, but my workmate doesn't think much of the surgery. She thinks it's just an excuse for people who don't want to put the effort in. Funny thing there is my sister is of the same opinion so I'm not too worried. At least she knows what's happened if I fall over complaining of my stomach for some reason... Heh.

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lol i cant remember the email address but its quite funny. yea i look back now and think they were probibly right i wasnt mature enough. yea i remember i started at the gym for the first time as soon as i turned 14(they had let my older brother start when he was 14 so they had to let me).

yea i think if i said that to my dad he would say its good for me. he doesnt quite understand my situation, him and one of my brother are the only 2 in our family that are not overweight. he didnt really approve of the surgery but said he would support me in whatever i decided. he doesnt think i needed it, that i could do it on my own but like i say to him, if i could have done it by myself i would have done it by now.

i think i will come to appretiate food more now instead of just stuffing it down my throat. i said to my mum that i.ll be fine going to a fancy restaurant i will only need to order 1 course cos there tiny and it will be just right for me.

mmmmm ice cream :D yummy.

I think my dad thinks its a quick fix, i try to tell him its a tool not magic i still have to put in the effort.

My brother is morbidly obese and hes taking part in a weightloss show so hes working hard to lose weight, i applied to be on it 2 but i didnt weigh enough so i decided to go ahead finally and im happy i have.

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I know NZ is small, but seriously. :P What are the chances... The gym I went to had a strict 'no under 16 without a personal trainer' policy... And even then they were very unhappy letting 15 year olds do gym work.

Sounds like my sister - we were both around 95kg at our heaviest... And she managed to lose it and get down to her ideal weight. We ate the same food, I worked harder at the gym (that's what it felt like, we trained together quite often and the PT we had always ended up having me running when she'd only walk on the treadmill, having my work at higher intensity... And I didn't complain as much as she did!), she lost all the weight and I went through a yo-yo period. the main thing about Dr Fris is that he hit it right on the head in the first meeting we had - pointing out that he realised how hard it must have been to not lose a pound while my sister was out trying to figure out if she was a size 10 or a size 12 now.

Anyway, the result of that is Dr Fris went up in my estimation and my sister thinks everyone can lose weight by themselves without surgery. She thinks the same as your dad I guess - that it's a quick fix, or cheating, or something like that. Dr Fris explained that sometimes there's a weird chemical imbalance going on that he think might be what was up with me? Not sure of the details there, but now I can eat whatever the hell I like, do the exercise, and it stays off. Or comes off more, if I get too carried away with the exercise. Basically - my body behaves normally now, rather than storing all the energy when it doesn't need to.

Though to be honest I think half of it is my sister is used to being the skinnier one out of the pair of us and she wasn't impressed that I ended up almost 10kg lighter (and two dress sizes smaller) than her. She's a lot taller than me though!

It's definitely not a quick fix. You still need to do the work to lose weight, it's just that now your body will actually do what it's supposed to and energy in will equal energy out, rather than energy in equaling 'omg no energy out!!!' or something like that. My dad came round to it after a little while - reckons it was good for me now. Don't know what my sister thinks, I gave up on her opinion about it a while back. I think she's realised it's not as easy as it looks, but still thinks loosing weight by yourself is better. Which I do agree with her on that. If you can lose weight by yourself, definitely do it that way.

Fancy restaurants totally win! The ones where you pay more to get a smaller portion? Love those. Went to one a while back for a family lunch, I had the exact right amount for everything, my dad was complaining cos there wasn't enough food for him, so I gave him some of my main anyway, but it was perfect. Love being able to finish my meal without stress and enjoy it. :D Usually I end up getting an entree (a couple of times this has included the waiter taking the time to explain that what I ordered is tiny and won't fill me up - have to patiently explain that that's what I ordered so that's what I want), or Soup. Actually, Indian food (shared pots of different curries) works quite well - other people don't notice how little you're eating and you can pick and choose. Hehe. Hmm... I miss NZ icecream... The Netherlands is as much of a dairy country (more, really) than NZ and they have a fair bit of icecream here, but it isn't quite the same. Probably can't play that card much now, drinking so much more milk over here for some reason.

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yea indian and thai yum thats a point my family an i go to this yummy as thai restaurant in ponsomby for like birthdays and stuff ohhhhh its so good. Can you still eat like rice, Pasta, bread carbs like that and meat since you had your band? its good that you drink more milk its suposed to lower the amount of fat your body absorbs if you drink milk after a meal (low fat/skim i would presume). Also that makes me wonder about drinking fluids before and after you eat do you have to wait or do you find that you can drink whenever?

omg my family had burger fule for tea last night it looked so yum.

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HI guys, wow you two have resurrected the thread lol. How funny that you may have met already......I am a bandster too here in NZ but from April 2005, I used to hang on this site heaps but there were never many kiwis around, it is a great site though.

I am a little different from you guys at the moment. I lost around 30 kgs over the first year, felt and looked great, I was never that big to start with and borderline for the op. I have struggled with the weight since and now currently weigh more than I did to start with. I loosened my band two and a half years ago when I met my husband and of course went straight back to eating everything, I was in heaven. I had a baby 6 months ago and have just recently had the band refilled and going to give it another go, I figure I paid enough for it so........

The problems I have had though is I can never find my sweet spot, I was continuously PB'ing and eating out became a social nightmare for me, I dreaded being out anywhere in case I needed the loo quick, had too many bad incidents, salad and dry meats became a nightmare.

When I let my band out I decided I would just eat chicken, fish and salad/veggies, but of course you don't cos you see all this other stuff you want and can suddenly eat. So I am currently back to eating mushies and eating so slow, but still a bit of PB'ing again.....

My mental hold on food is very strong and I am an emotional eater which has caused other problems when my band was tight and I couldn't have that fix. I am glad to see there is a section now for people like me as noone liked to talk about the so-called problems that can arise, especially in the long term.

I do find the band extrememly restricting in life but I am here to give it another go. I have not found Dr Fris office the best, I felt quite abandoned after the op and feel they should be checking on their patients more regularly, this site has helped me with most of my problems and answers more than the clinic.

Thank you for letting me share my little story there.........I think I have to remember this isn't the answer, but more importantly a 'tool'.........

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good to hear your trying it again. i have found that after my surgery (5days ago) i felt as though i wasnt given anough info on what i should be feeling and what i can and cant have. i have figured it out for the most part but i have my 1 week app on thursday so if i have any questions i'll ask then. as far as im awear they have an open door policy i dont know if thats for real or just something they say to make you feel better but i will be using it if i ever need it. I found eating in the morning to much of a bother and i never want to make anything (im to lazy) i've always been like this. So i decided to get some up&go so i have something if i dont wanna make anything. I took my dressings off today not sure if im spose to leave the steri strips on or not??? but it looks gross there is 2 long ones i thought there was gonna be just 1 but thats ok. i went out and about today and did some baking(dont know who im gonna give it to though??? my mum and dad cant eat it all lol. and so cos of allthe moving around today my incisions are kinda sore. i woke up on my stomach this morning it wasnt to sore but im to scared to start sleeping on my front, i think, i think my incisions will open up. i dont know if you guys sleep on your front or what but if you do i was wondering how long it took before you could start sleeping on your stomach again?

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Oooh good luck for Thursday....what time is your appointment. I think now is the best time for losing all that weight, 'cos you just honestly don't feel like eating much. I guess a lot of my battle is that I just damn well like food so much. Hated not being able to eat summer fruit etc, you can get a bit sick of the same diet over and over for years and I am so sick of eating cold meals lol! I struggle with Pasta and meats of most kinds, mince is kind to me, my fave meal is refried Beans with some cheese, avo and sour cream.

You shouldn't take too long to heal, though I found my c-section more comfy than the banding, but that could have been the drugs, did you have it at the northern hospital, they were very good there. It would be nice if there were some support groups here in NZ, I joined one but it wasn't people my own age. I was also single and didn't want people to know I had the band ( I am still a bit like that today) but finally met my husband who supports me in whatever I choose.

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my app is at 3:30 i think.

yea i did have it done at the northern surgical. it seems like there is so many support groups in the USA but nothing here.

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@Laura - Carbs are sooooo sloow. I try and have Pasta meals before floorball training or pasta the night before any big exercise things I do and I can be sitting on it for ages. At the moment for lunch (unless I'm organised and not lazy) I have one piece of bread folded into a sandwich with a spread or ham. So essentially half a sandwich. That can take me half an hour sometimes. Most times... My workmates have given up on me, hehe. If I'm organised and I've got leftovers or salad I try and have it in an opaque container so no one notices how slow I'm eating so little. I made pumpkin Soup at the start of the year and that took me about an hour to get through about a cup of it... Mind you it was really thick... Incidentally, while soup is good, thick soup is harder than thin soup, especially if you're stressed! At least, that's what I've found. Everything is harder if you're stressed, especially about the band. meat varies... I love chicken, but it acts like a carb half the time. Steak is a bit hard to eat too, but fish is pretty good. I get around that by making meals where the meat is cut into bite size chunks and just make the chunks smaller... Works for having friends over to eat too cos then you can fool them a bit with how much you're having. I was in Dunedin at Otago uni when I had this done so was only at my parents place for visits and they never got used to me eating slow (I apparently influenced my ex-bf to eat slower because I ate so slow, haha!), so they'd still rush through meals, but one thing my dad got good at was making sure there were some small chunks of meat for me if he was cooking... :)

Didn't know that about milk! Nice to know, could explain how I managed to lose even more weight since I've been here. And then put it on when I stopped going to training in Feb, probably, but I don't have any scales over here. Ah well. Also took me way too long to figure out which was the skim milk here in the Netherlands, I used to drink light blue without fail in NZ but I've been lazy here and just buying full milk. Should get into 'halve-volle' milk again though.

Argh, my family kept buying Wisconsin Burger for a while... Pure cruelty on their part! Oh, related, used to eat Subway fairly often, I don't bother anymore. Takes like 4 hours to eat a 6-inch if I'm careful and make sure nothing gets stuck.

I tend to sleep on my stomach as well, I can remember being annoyed having to stay on my back... Can't remember how long I did though. I remember a few days after surgery going for a walk to the nearest postbox and back (like 10 minutes return if you're walking slow - took me and my mum half an hour!). And I really can't believe how much I've forgotten about Christmas 5 years ago, think part of my brain melted or something. All those academic papers. Yikes.

@amourette Haha, we try. :D Congratulations on the baby! Why'd you get the band loosened in the first place 2 1/2 years ago?

Yeah, it isn't exactly cheap, which is why I can't understand the 'drink melted chocolate' friend of a neighbour I mentioned earlier... My parents paid for mine and refused to tell me how much it was but I found a bill one day after the op was kinda shocked. My parents complain enough about sending me and my sister to a private school, kind of surprised (and glad!) they didn't complain about the cost of this.

I think I've had a surprisingly easy time of it to be honest. The sweet spot has been kind of easy for me to find, most of the time. I do have days when I rush things or I'm eating a new food and suddenly have problems so I can understand the issues you've had there. I've gotten into the habit of checking out where the bathroom is as soon as I sit down, just in case... I also tend to come up with various excuses - I have a cold, sorry, just need to blow my nose, oh my god contact lenses are annoying, need to go check the mirror... It's taken me 5 years but I'm a bit better with not rushing now, was terrible in the first year. Had one date with my ex when we first started going out and I think I ended up 'checking on my contacts' 5 times... Too much new food I didn't know how I was going to react to. I gave in and told him that night, actually. He was a sports person who never had a spare ounce on him and didn't really understand what it was I had done I think, but he was really supportive of me. And ate most of my food, haha. Actually, since moving here I've been wary of social dinners and stuff, though if there are more people I find I'm more comfy about it because they concentrate on me less. Meeting one or two people for lunch is a bit harder. I've actually given in and told two friends about it because of two situations like that. They were really good about it - seemed like they would be from stuff they'd talked about earlier in the evening at least.

Dr Fris had told me that you can get it removed but that people just go straight back to eating too much... Thought he was joking (never considered removal because of prospect of painful surgery!), but it's a shame to hear the self-control we think we get with the band is really more the band than us. Hmm.

Now I'm worried that I might not know something. I know long term there can be slippage or erosion... Or terribly painful indigestion (fail). Hmm.

Thinking about what you said about the surgical office I think I can see how you felt abandoned... I've always been quite intuitive, so when Dr Fris said that because I was intuitive he'd basically give me free reign to decide when to have inflations, etc, (and Heather deciding I could decide how much) I was a bit surprised, but just ran with it, so I felt ok. They also dealt with weekend phone calls well when I had really bad indigestion for the first time... But yeah, they aren't all that forthcoming with more than the basics I think. I think you need to be proactive asking questions and all that. My problem was I could never think of them and I was coming up from Dunedin for the visits, so... A bit of a weird situation I suppose. (And now that reminds me of after I woke up after the surgery I polished off the whole glass of Water they gave me 'just in case I was thirsty' over about an hour or two and the nurse told me off for drinking too much. Oops.).

Randomly, what kind of salads did you eat? I don't often have problems with salads unless they have too many extras... And yeah, I think the general public forget that it's a tool and think it's an easy fix way too often, which makes it a bit harder for the rest of us with the stigma attached. And that's really good to hear a c-section isn't as painful! I'm not decided if I want kids or not, but at the slight thought of going through all that if I had to have a c-section... Well, I'd do it but I wouldn't be happy about it!

Apparently there's a support group called the Bandits or something? That might have been the one you tried - Dr Fris told me about it but I never joined. I guess that's why they got in touch with me to email Laura when she was thinking about it a few years ago. I think it's a lot more prevalent in the northern hemisphere - from what I've seen here the US doctors seem to allow their patients a lot less leeway (my 'intuitive' weight loss wouldn't have been allowed I don't think), and in Europe everyone seems to know someone who's had some sort of bariatric surgery. Really good to hear you have a supportive husband though! Really helps to have someone close like that who supports you. Good luck with your second attempt :)

Wow, long post. And now someone's trying to tear down my building apparently. Good luck for the appointment, Laura!

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ahhhh i hate uni so many assignments, i have taken three days off uni but i dont wanna fall behind. im feeling pretty good with the band today anyway.

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HI guys, I hope you don't mind me joining in the conversation!!

Kids are great, but gosh they are full on. It isn't that hard but just have no spare time, I love to read but barely read one page at night before I nod off! He is sleeping thru' the night at the moment so that helps a lot.

Maybe I wasn't proactive enough with the clinic, I thought I was, but who knows. I guess I just meant that I thought they would check on us more, I admit Dr Fris has been fantastic when I suddenly couldn't even keep my saliva down one night, and met me immediately at the clinic, it is handy isn't it Laura being so close. Must go for a weigh in this week. I started the gym today, get quite bored easily. Not sure if you are driving yet Laura, maybe we could meet for a coffee before your appointment, or next weeks some time, I am on maternity leave for a couple more months.....Paleokris, I just find the leaves hard to get down sometimes and finding some nice soft Protein. OOooh I just discovered up at the Albany mall at the chinese stall they do chilli tofu it is so nice and soft and I have been able to eat it with my hubby (he has the sweet and sour pork) and no PB'ing!!! The Netherlands must be so nice, I have only been there once and got on a bicycle.....hehe. Will you ever come back to NZ?

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Hi, sorry havent got back to you sooner but i have been bogged down with soooooo many assgnments. yup im driving only restricted though to nervous to go for my full. I cant meet today im a bit to busy but mayby next week we could meet, my brother wouldnt mind coming along aswell he hasnt been banded but he is overweight and trying to lose it. omg i just typed this all on the on screen keyboard cos the real one is playing up, it sux

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LBT forum fail. Wrote out a reply the other day and it wouldn't go through. Stupid interwebs. Life is nuts at the moment, too, which doesn't help. Hopefully this works this time...

Laura - yeah, that's why I got banded at the start of the summer holidays, to give me a month or so to get used to it before I went back to uni. Totally depends on when they have time to do the surgery though I guess! Also depends how much you want to enjoy Christmas dinner, mind you, as my first week eating solids I remember it was still pretty enjoyable, haha.

Amourette, the more the merrier of course! :)

I don't know if it is about being proactive, as I don't consider myself particularly proactive (maybe I am? no idea), but it might be. I had a slightly strange situation as I was studying in Dunedin and flew up for long weekends to visit family and go see Dr Fris, so it had to be pretty compact. They were good about seeing me when I accidentally ended up with an overfilled band though, back in the afternoon, got it sorted, fortunately before I flew back the next morning. To be honest I'm surprised they let me get it done with them as I was based in Dunedin, but it all worked out ok.

Good luck with the weigh in. :) Can sympathise about the gym... I kinda didn't have the motivation to go unless I was meeting my personal trainer... That was solved by her leaving the gym and me following to continue working with her, heh. Might not be the best idea with lack of time because of your baby, but perhaps finding a sport you enjoy might help? Something that keeps you active and is entertaining... Looking back soccer is probably the main reason why I didn't top 100kg at my heaviest... That and I still managed to stay relatively fit (good for putting up with a rather over enthusiastic personal trainer, heh). Even when I was really bored with gym work soccer would get me running around no trouble.

Tofu! I haven't tried that since I got banded... Might check it out if I find it over here, or when I'm next home. Yay for easily edible protein! I'm definitely planning on coming back home... One day. Visits, definitely (if you guys want to have coffee when I'm next home - probably Christmas - we can def. plan something!), not sure when I'll move back 'for good' as it were. Probably won't get to for another 10 years or so - have to wait for a job to come available. Gives me an excuse to see the rest of the world in the mean time anyway. :)

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