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"What has changed"



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I am going to preface this post by saying that everyone on this site has or had an Obesity problem. None of us are perfect. It has been recognised that Obesity is a complex disease and that the solution is a complex one.

Now one would think that this would be a safe place and a supportive community but so often people come across as "holier than thou". If someone is struggling the finger of blame is pointed at them - it is their fault, it is never the surgery , or the tool. They don't seem to recognise that sometimes what was once thought of as a fabulous new innovation that could help so many people may not be the great solution that it was initially thought to be.

We get told that "luck" has nothing to do with our success. We also get asked "what has changed" or "what are we doing differently". So that set me thinking about what has changed for me and what I am doing differently.

I got banded 9 years ago. At that time my daughter was away at uni and my son was still at school. I was working casually - now both kids have left home and I am no longer working. That means less time playing Mum's taxi and less time cleaning the house as it stays a bit tidier so I probably get less incidental exercise.

When I first got my band I did a Bollywood class once a week. Other than that I did no formal exercise. I still do no formal exercise. I do belong to a bushwalking group and we do a bushwalk every fortnight. At weekends if the weather is nice I try to get out with my husband and or daughter and go for a bushwalk. I recently went on holiday to Vietnam where we spent 2 days trekking. When I'm at home I don't sit watching TV I sit at my sewing machine and am forever getting up and down to the ironing board and back again. I also enjoy taking my camera out and about to new places and taking photos.

I am older, I have had a hysterectomy and my metabolism has probably slowed down.

When I got my band I was happy to eat small portions and they would satisfy me. I found it easy to ignore foods such as chocolate . For example a steamed dim sim or a small tin of tuna with a couple of crackers would fill me up for lunch. I couldn't eat raw carrots or celery , corn was a major issue and there have been a number of occasions when I have been stuck on a lettuce leaf. Now I can eat a much bigger portion of tuna, a salad including lettuce, raw carrots and celery and still be hungry.

If I went out for lunch with friends I might choose cake instead of lunch, these days I try to behave and eat the "proper" food. It is generally a case of either or - I don't do a main and dessert except on rare special occasions.

When I was first banded reflux wasn't a problem for me. Now I am very sensitive to fills and the teeniest bit too much ( I have hardly any fill in) has me waking up at night choking on acid. The level of fill I have is so negligible that it may as well not be there, it certainly does nothing for my hunger.

When I first got banded it freed me from the tyranny of trying to work out what diet I should be on. Lo carb, no carb, cabbage Soup etc. Now I am back on that cycle of not knowing what works and what to do to lose the weight.

But it is not just me that has changed. Research and science has also changed.

When I got my band I was told that the pouch held the food for 20 minutes or more and that it trickled slowly through to the stomach. We now know that this is not how the band works.

Surgeons have discovered that bands over time can cause oesophagal failure due to the oesophagus having to work so hard to push food through.

Research has also shown that consciously or subconsciously people choose softer foods because they are easier to eat. That is a no brainer - if steak won't go down and makes you end up in emergency why would you eat it. But the problem is that those softer foods do not give the same levels of satiety.

Research has also shown that for the majority of people bands are not a successful long term solution. If a person is one of the minority that is still having long term success then whether they admit to it or not there is a certain amount of luck involved.

So yes we should all recognise what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong

but we should also refrain from being so judgemental to others because we are not

walking in their shoes and we do not know what they are experiencing

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More kindness and compassion in all aspects of life, it would be so nice.

Great post.

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And a little " There go I except for the Grace of God, if I hadn't done this Bariatric Intervention!", don't have to PREACH it, your life, actions and weight loss should be sufficient! And All 💘 from Central Ohio and ME!

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