How Weight Loss Surgery Saved My Life

by sandi on October 26, 2010

My friend Gloria and I in my old pants. Can you believe it?

 

I have been fighting the fat war since I was 4 years old. I finally won the war, leaving only small skirmishes that crop up regularly. My friends tell me these little battles are what a “normal” person always deals with. 

 Just five years ago, I was 424 pounds, had arthritis in my right knee, and had trouble walking across a parking lot. My asthma forced me to stop and catch my breath several times across those parking lots. I rented a scooter to be able to take my grandkids to Disneyland. I let my husband go into the market while I waited in the truck. People looked fearfully at me when I was getting on a plane, hoping I wasn’t sitting next to them.  In March 2004 I had a hypertension crisis that got my attention. To this point, my arthritis, asthma, reflux, and sleep apnea had not yet been enough to make me take notice. 

I have succeeded at most everything I have tried in life — I have a wonderful marriage of more than 40 years to my soul mate, a great daughter, four awesome grandchildren, and a successful business I built from scratch over 20 years ago. But I could NEVER get a handle on my weight for longer than five minutes. 

On 5/28/2004, at 55 years old, I had life-changing, and life-saving, Lap-Band® surgery. Within 28 months I had lost 250 pounds. Now, more than five years after surgery, I am holding at 175 pounds and loving it. I am off all my medications and move freely and vigorously through my new life. 

 With the help of this tool and a great support team I have reached a place where it is fun to go anywhere and try new things, and I actually enjoy looking at pictures of myself (well, most of the time). 

 If you are struggling with your weight, you may find some useful information and solutions here. I have created this blog because something like it would have made a big difference to me when I was going through the decisions and the process myself. 

 As the old saying goes, information is power. If you are struggling with your weight, I want you to have the information you need to answer the questions you have so that you can make the best decision possible for you to have a richer life. 

 I hope you find this useful. I look forward to hearing from you.  

Take a look at some of our Gastric Banding Tips —  Here

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Our New Book – Is Lap Band Surgery For Me?

by sandi on October 26, 2010

Our new book is now shipping on amazon!  Read an excerpt here.

Visit us at www.bandedliving.com

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Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best LifeOn May 28th 2004 I never expected that when I woke up on the other side of my bariatric surgery that THIS is the life I could have. My reasons for having surgery were to stay alive, get off some of my medications and be able to just “live”. I was slowly dying, getting heavier every year, having more illnesses (all due to obesity) show up at each doctor’s visit. I wasn’t living. I barely existed. It could only get worse. At 424 pounds I was pretty restricted.

Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best LifeThen I woke up on the other side of my surgery in pain, afraid to move, terrified that it wouldn’t “work”. I had all of these thoughts about failure swimming around in my drugged head.  Today, 12 years later, I still think that failure may be imminent. That is negative thinking and while it may appear in my brain and try to pierce my heart I choose not to allow those thoughts to remain for long. I hear them, I acknowledge them and then I literally breathe through them and tell them NO, often out loud while looking in a mirror. Am I crazy? Perhaps, but it works, it has worked for the past 12 years and I plan to continue using this methodology as long as it continues to serve me well.

Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best LifeTHAT seems to be the key to the mental game after weight loss surgery. WHAT is serving me well? What is not serving me at all, and what do I have the power to control? When I look at life without my rose tinted (I want it all perfect) glasses on it became apparent that I am the ONLY thing I can truly control. What can I do about the weather? If it’s raining when I want sun or cold when I want hot I cannot change the weather. I can however move ME to somewhere where it may be sunny or warm or whatever it is I am looking for. Eating a cookie or a bag of chips will NEVER Change the weather. Nor will it change my grades at school, or my child’s behavior, or the way my boss or significant other treats me. Eating a cookie will not clean my house, or finish the project my boss wants or make me feel better when my  ________ (sister, brother, best friend, husband, wife, lover, teacher, boss – you fill in the blank) says something hurtful or is in an emotional upheaval of their own that I want to be able to fix THAT is not in my control.

So what can I control you ask? I can control my actions, my words, and to some extent, when I allow myself to feel them so I can identify them, my emotions. Let’s look at a few examples:

Words:

  • Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best LifeI can say I am fat and will always be fat no matter what or I can say I am in the progress of working on changing my weight and it is a process that takes time and that’s ok;
  • I can say I can’t afford to eat healthy food or I can say I am going to get creative eating simple foods that are in season to improve my health;
  • I can say I don’t have time to __________ (again fill in the blank) or I can say I will schedule ______ (fill it in) on my calendar so it gets done;
  • I can start many sentences with I hate – cooking, exercising, water or I can say I wonder what might happen if I chose to ________(cook, exercise, drink water)  3 days this week.

Actions:

  • Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best LifeI can get up and go to the gym or stay in bed and feel like a lump all day.
  • I can pack my lunch the night before or do it while I sip my morning coffee
  • I can meal plan and grocery shop based on the plan
  • I can park in the lower 40 of the parking lot for a few extra steps or I can drive around wasting time and waiting for a closer spot
  • I can surround myself with support people who understand my journey

Emotions:

  • Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best LifeI can feel disappointed in myself for a choice, acknowledge that it was not the best choice and move on without sabotaging myself any further
  • I can eat when I feel physically hungry.
  • I can feel anger and breathe through it, acknowledge it and then let it go since a donut will definitely not help me be less angry.
  • I can feel lonely and breathe it in and choose to go for a walk or phone a friend or relative and not feed loneliness chips since chips don’t make the lonely go away.
  • I can go to bed when I’m tired instead of creating a second supper to help me stay awake to watch the end of the TV show. It’s being DVR’d anyway and I can watch it tomorrow.
  • I can have a cup of tea or a bottle of water when I’m thirsty, food doesn’t quench thirst.
  • I can acknowledge stress, breathe deeply and exhale it knowing that keeping it in and stuffing it with food will just create overwhelm.
  • I can try to switch out of “worst case” thought patterns that bring stress and fear with them by using the reasoning portion of my brain and taking things one day, one action, and one choice at a time.

I can control MY BEHAVIOR. I cannot control anyone else’s behavior

These are possibly some of the biggest lessons I have learned over the past 12 years. It is not the world against Sandi. It’s how Sandi can use the world to her advantage and thrive in it, instead of just surviving.

All of this, along with a strong desire to win, and as the weight dropped off, one pound at a time feeling encouraged and using that encouragement to move me along to my next is how I have managed these past 12 years to get the weight off and not only  stay there, but find a way to be more.

Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best LifeI found it wasn’t enough for me to just get to a weight. Now I had to figure out how to stay there and decide if this was it…It wasn’t. I keep working on my fitness level which is critical to keeping the weight off and keeping this 67 year young body feeling good. I keep working on creating new and healthy recipes that both families and bariatric patients will love. I keep providing support and coaching wherever I can. Is it easy? NOPE. Some days are more of a struggle than others. Am I always perfectly on point? NOPE. I am human and just try to do my best each and every day, whatever that might be.

My gifts to you are words you hear and see every day:

  • It’s about progress not perfection
  • Live your best life
  • Never give up!

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WLSFA Nashville 2016I was at the WLSFA annual Meet & Greet in Nashville this past weekend, and then meeting with friends we haven’t seen in 16 years.  It was a fabulous weekend all around and I hope you all join me in Portland Oregon next May for the 2017 WLSFA Meet & Greet.

How I Get It Done - Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryThat all being said, I realized that I have shared my tips and tricks for traveling with snacks like jerky, Miso soup, protein bars, individual packets of almonds, instant protein oatmeal, etc.  What I haven’t shared with you all is how I travel and keep my exercise going.  So that’s what I’d like to chat with you about today.  If I have left out any tips you have found to be helpful please share them.

When I make my hotel reservations I try to make sure there is a pool that I can use.  If I’m staying with friends/relatives I find out where the closets pool and gym are before I get there.

 

How I Get It Done - Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

How I Get It Done - Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryWhen I pack my bags I ALWAYS pack:

  • My sneakers and socks
  • At least one pair of work out pants
  • At least one work out bra
  • My latest play list
  • Bathing suit
  • Bathing cap
  • Swim goggles
  • Sweats to wear down to the pool

When I have both workout clothes and swim clothes packed I get to choose what I am going to do each day for exercise.  This is important to me because there are some brands of elliptical that my hips hate because the stride is off and they create pain for me.  I try to avoid those, but sometimes they are all I have to use.  I am limited; walking outside on hard pavement doesn’t work.  I can hike; somehow this is not as hard on my knee.  I don’t argue with my body, I do what I am able to do without extended pain which means modifying my exercise to fit my needs, not hurting myself physically to get exercise.  This doesn’t mean I don’t push myself hard.  I can do a 5k on an elliptical in less than 45 minutes with no pain, but doing the same outdoors on pavement would leave me struggling physically for a week. 

How I Get It Done - Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryBack to vacation workouts.  At home each evening I put together my workout bag and put it in my car.  I also lay out my workout clothes for the morning- be it pants/bra/shirt/socks/sneakers or bathing suit/sweats and flip flops.  I am ready before I go to bed.  I do the very same thing when I’m on the road.  It’s even more important when away from home because I get up hours before my husband and don’t want to wake him by turning on lights and rummaging through suitcases looking for my gear.  I also have the coffeemaker in the room ready to go the night before so I can hit the switch, go get dressed and sip away as I get my day started.  Then it’s off to the gym/pool with me.

 

How I Get It Done - Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

How I Get It Done - Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryAt the Meet & Greet this weekend my workdays began at 8am.  That means I had to be in the shower in my room by 7am to get down to the meetings in a timely fashion.  That also means I needed to be in the gym/pool by 6:15am at the latest to get in at least 30 minutes of fitness.  It was also in a different time zone making it 2 hours earlier for me.  Did I think about skipping fitness?  You bet I did, and that’s why I had everything laid out the night before.  I would not have been down at the pool had I needed to rummage through the suitcases and the drawers putting everything together.

My friends/family (they are family to hubby and I) arrived Sunday afternoon, and Monday we left for the airport at 3PM.  Did I use every waking minute to be with them?  Nope, I still chose to swim Monday morning and follow the same schedule as I had Friday and Saturday morning.  I got my exercise in.  Then I came back to my room, showered, got dressed and packed while visiting with everyone.

How I Get It Done - Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryWhy did I bother since I’d be walking through 2 airports you ask?  Because when I begin my day with exercise it gets my blood flowing, my metabolism cranked up, my mood elevated and I can get through my day much better with fewer aches and pains.

This is how I get my exercise while I’m on the road.  It takes planning.

Do you have any tricks or tips to share?  I’d love to hear them.

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Regain After Weight Loss Surgery I am getting ready to head to Nashville for the WLSFA (Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America) annual fundraiser which we know as the Meet & Greet.  I have been selected to facilitate a panel of weight loss surgery folks who have successfully dealt with regain.  This is both an honor and a challenge to me.  I will be sitting there with a group of folks who have had surgery, achieved their goal weights, regained some weight, and now have taken it off.  Does this sound like a familiar story?  I too was among those who had significant regain – 25 pounds – 10% of my total loss and I managed to get back to my original lowest recorded weight and then take off some more.

I am challenged to sit in this group because my story is a bit different than theirs.  I had a Lap Band that was not holding fluid, there was a leak, and it wasn’t just coming from the port and the port tubing.  It took us almost 18 months to figure this out, and a significant portion of this time it was me not recognizing that my hunger came from a change in the fluid level in my band, as well as my own personal food choices.  Which came first?  I’ll never know but I do like to “think” that I began making some not so great food choices when hunger was back in my life, and the fact that those choices just increased the level and frequency of my hunger… doesn’t matter, my tool was not giving me the help I needed, and I was making poor food choices.

Regain After Weight Loss Surgery Once my doctor and I figured this all out we removed my band, replaced it with another Lap Band.  Additionally I also chose to have a stomach plication.  I made these choices because I knew I wanted a Lap Band, not any other surgery, and I had the stomach plication because I also knew my doc was not going to give me a fill for at least 3 months after surgery and I wanted the help.  This went well for me.  Step one for anybody dealing with regain is to check in with your bariatric doc and make sure everything (include your blood work) is in order.  Do NOT be ashamed to go in and ask for help.  Shame has NO PLACE in this journey to health.

The others on the panel will tell their stories, and we should be able to view them as videos on the website eventually.  I am the lone Lap Band patient on the panel.  The panel members and I, have had numerous conversations as to what triggered their regain, and about how they got control of their lives and health again.  A few themes run through everyone’s answers:

  • Complacency – when we are losing weight without seemingly making a lot of effort we get complacent and can begin to test our limits- oh those chips will not matter, or just one cookie or two glasses of wine can’t hurt….  Well one cookie and that handful of chips and those 2 glasses of wine keep growing since sugar, processed carbs and alcohol are the nemesis of many of us.
  • Consistency – when we all began our journeys we knew daily what we were putting into our bodies- calories/protein/water….we counted it to make sure we were getting enough and not too much of anything.  As time goes on we let this new habit slide and if you really examine your plate you’ll see the portions have grown a little larger and we become unaware of how much food we are really consuming.
  • Exercise – each of us have included regular exercise; sweat equity, into our daily actions.  Whether it’s planning and training for running 5k’s or marathons, or just moving our bodies on purpose daily we each have taken exercise seriously as part of our lifestyles.  When we stopped, whether for medical reasons or not, the end result was weight gain.

Regain After Weight Loss Surgery Whether our regain was 10 pounds or 70 pounds each of us dug deep and found that when we tuned up our tools – our weight loss surgery tools and our heads, we were able to deal with the regain. 

It’s not easy- it takes planning, consistency and perseverance; and each of you is definitely worth the time and energy.  I was, and I am.  I am a weight loss surgery patient for life, whether or not I like it, and need to be conscious and aware of what I choose to put in my body.

 

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Keep That Post-Op Lap Band Weight In CheckHere I am, approaching my 12th “surgiversary” and I continue to learn new things about myself, and what I need to do to keep the consistency in my journey and my weight stable.  Some days it’s a breeze and others not so much.

I don’t know about you, but when I am busy – eating is not forefront in my mind.  I don’t think about food until I start feeling hungry.  Those are the easy days, as long as I feed that physical hunger and don’t allow it to grow to the point where I am short tempered, headachy and acting “hangry”.  Those are the easy days.  Eat when hungry, busy the rest of the time.

The not so breezy/easy days are those when there doesn’t seem to be a lot going on, or when I decide that I am going to just have a “me” day that includes little more than sitting on my rear.  Those days just don’t work for me anymore.  I may enjoy sitting in the sun, listening to the birds and reading a book, sure, but I seem to get “bored” and start looking for things to munch on.  This can turn into a disaster since healthy food choices or not, grazing all day means too many calories consumed.  To top off those days there is no movement to kick start my engine.

Keep That Post-Op Lap Band Weight In CheckI go to the gym Monday- Friday mornings and have a great exercise routine.  I have managed to crank up my metabolism from the sloth rate when I weighed 424 pounds, and that is great.  Now to make sure that my head follows my body and doesn’t instantly forget who I am today and go back to who I was 12 years ago when it came to my relationship with food.  This is certainly a process for me.  How about you?

Here I sat last Sunday deciding to take a lazy “me” day and boy did it backfire on me.  I made a great breakfast for hubby and I, cleaned up, prepped some food for the week, even did some laundry and sat and read the rest of the day.  Never got out of my PJ’s until I showered just before dinner.  Sounds delightful, right?  What’s missing that made it not so delightful were my forays to the cupboards and the refrigerator at least every hour for something else to munch.  It was all healthy, there were some carbs involved in the gluten free “tortillas” that I microwaved to crisp and topped with cheese for my very own version of healthy nachos.  That’s okay you say?  It would have been if I hadn’t done that 3 times throughout the day, and the yogurts, and the cheese rounds, and the apple in between, all in addition to breakfast and dinner.

Keep That Post-Op Lap Band Weight In CheckI felt awful, that day and the next.  I didn’t sleep well – who could with all that food rumbling through their bodies…….

What was different about this Sunday from other Sundays you ask?  I did virtually NOTHING all day.  I was a sloth.  Typically we bicycle to the Farmer’s Market shortly after 10am, grab some veggies and then a cup of coffee or tea at the coffee shop, bicycle home and then figure out the rest of our day; or, if the weather is nice take a bicycle ride somewhere, or go for a walk on the beach, or go visit a friend or relative.  This past Sunday it was nothing but read a book.  Even when I hang out at the beach and read I frequently get up and walk the shoreline.  I am no longer the person who sits home, reads a book and EATS.  Good to know, right?

Keep That Post-Op Lap Band Weight In CheckWhat happened inside my head as I played sloth for a day was that all of my concerns about myself and others became worries in the forefront of my mind.  I felt helpless to “fix” much of it and began the downward spiral into feeling sorry for myself and blaming myself for the behaviors of others and generally feeling depressed.  Who was that woman?  She shows up every now and then and I am typically able to deal with the feelings… work through them, categorize what is and what is not in my control, create an action plan for what I can control and let the rest of it go to that place in my head and heart that knows I may want to “fix” certain things, but I can’t because they are not mine to fix.  That’s the place where my self-confidence blooms, my stress melts away and I can breathe through those feelings as they try to take hold of me.

Keep That Post-Op Lap Band Weight In CheckWhat was missing last Sunday?  EXERCISE!  Yes, I am shouting because you’d think by now that I knew this 67 year old body and mind well enough to put in a little movement every day.  Apparently not.  I am still a work in progress.  So much further along than 12 years ago when I would have said I was eating because I was hungry, but certainly not perfect yet.

Two additional benefits of exercise for me are clearly self-confidence and stress relief.  How about you?

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Some of Why I Exercise Besides Losing WeightFor the last few days I have been wondering what I was going to blog about.  This morning, it hit me when I was searching the internet for some information around exercise to share with our Weekly Weigh-In Groups.  Lifehacker has a great article, with links to other articles talking about the Top Ten Reasons To Exercise Besides Losing Weight.  I thought it would be fun, as well as educational for me to review them one or two at a time and explore for myself how each of the reasons apply to my personal life.  My hope there is that you too will find something in what I have written that resonates with you and your life.  Here goes:

  • You’ll improve your memory
    • After a workout I definitely notice that I am able to think more clearly.  This is the result of my brain getting more energy and oxygen.  Here’s what Scientific American has to say about that :
      • Some of Why I Exercise Besides Losing WeightWhen you exercise, you increase your blood pressure and blood flow throughout the body.  This includes the brain, so, when you exercise, your brain gets more energy and more oxygen.  That’s not all though; as the Scientific American article points out, it’s also about more long-term effects:

        Another explanation for why working up a sweat enhances our mental capacity is that the hippocampus, a part of the brain critical for learning and memory, is highly active during exercise.  When the neurons in this structure rev up, research shows that our cognitive function improves.  For instance, studies in mice have revealed that running enhances spatial learning.  Other recent work indicates that aerobic exercise can actually reverse hippocampal shrinkage, which occurs naturally with age, and consequently boost memory in older adults.  Yet another study found that students who exercise perform better on tests than their less athletic peers.

    • This means that I can keep my brain size larger as I age and you, who may be younger than my 67 years can keep your neurons firing allowing you to perform better.
    • I say if you get foggy in the mid afternoon, even a brief jog or a walk can help clear your mind.  What do you think?
  • Some of Why I Exercise Besides Losing WeightYou’ll have better posture
    • Regularly exercising your abs, backs and other muscles can go a long way into fixing your posture, both sitting and standing.  For example, today was core day at the gym, and as I sit here at the computer I just noticed that I am not hunched over the computer, I am sitting straight in my ergonomic chair with my head held high. 
    • Studies have also shown that the way we move our bodies affects how others see us as well as our own moods and habits.
    • Dutch behavioral scientist Erik Peper has done extensive research into this area, as well.  He regularly makes participants in his classes stand up and stretch, for similar reasons

Here are three fascinating things that happened once our posture changes:

  1. For example, when we sit up straight, we are more likely to remember positive memories or think of something positive in general, according to this experiment.
  2. Another insight was that if we skip during breaks, we can significantly increase our energy levels.  A slow, slumped walk on the other hand, can do the exact opposite and drain us of our energy.
  3. The study also found that those who were most affected by depression before the study found their energy drained more than others.

I notice that when I stand or sit properly I keep muscle aches and pains and headaches and tired eyes to a minimum.  I also feel more self confident, and therefore more positive. 

A study by researchers from Columbia and Harvard Universities showed that body language symbolizing power can actually affect our decision-making, subconsciously.  The researchers measured the appetite for risk of participants in either expansive, powerful poses, or constricted poses (occupying minimal space, keeping limbs close to the body).  Those in the powerful poses not only felt more powerful and in control, but were 45% more likely to take a risky bet.

Plus, the study used saliva samples to prove that expansive postures actually altered the participants’ hormone levels—decreasing cortisol (C) and increasing testosterone (T):

So clearly, our posture has more to do with our minds we might have thought.  And in fact, it seems like our bodies come first—when we alter our posture and body language, it subconsciously influences our thinking and decision-making

When I sit or stand straight I notice that I am more alert, more focused in the moment, and more aware of myself and others around me as well.  Could this be the result of the decrease in the stress hormone in my body?  What are your thoughts?

Some of Why I Exercise Besides Losing WeightI find this topic fascinating to explore and I hope you find some nuggets to take away from this blog.  If you find this as fascintating as I do I will continue the series until I have covered all 10.

I will continue my exercise regimen because it not only keeps my weight in check but also has multiple other positive “side effects” on my body and my being.  How about taking a 15 minute walk today?

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How To Love Yourself In Three Simple Steps As I thought about what I wanted to share with you all today I was at a loss.  I just spent a wonderful weekend with 20 women all working on themselves and putting their authentic selves out on the line for everyone to see and hear.  It was amazing; incredible doesn’t even begin to describe the positive energy generated by this group.  How do I describe what occurred over the 3 short days we were all together:  Exercising, eating, shopping and working together as a group to lift each other up to the point where we walked away knowing we had made a difference, not only in our own life, but in the lives of others.

As one of the facilitators of this group a common theme as we dug deep into why we self-sabotage our weight loss surgery journeys was “I don’t deserve it”, “I am unworthy of it” and statements to that effect.  “It” being whatever we saw as our ultimate vision of who we wanted to be. 

How To Love Yourself In Three Simple Steps I hear this time and time again throughout the weight loss surgery community as well as in every other area of life.  To me, the big secret is learning to love and believe in ME first, in my ability to do it – whatever it may be, and in the knowledge that when I put myself first I can and will attain the goals I set for myself AND have enough left over of ME to provide and care for the others around me.

It has taken me years to acknowledge that I really am worthy of loving myself, just as I am today.  Until I was willing to begin, in a tiny voice, to tell myself that I deserved to be happy, I deserved to be healthy, and I was the only one capable of making that happen nothing changed in my life.  Well, one thing did change- I just kept insulating myself from reality by putting on more pounds of protection.

It hasn’t been easy to let go of that insulation, it hurts sometimes, really hurts.  The other side of that pain for me has been FREEDOM…the amazing freedom that comes when you shed hundreds of pounds of excess baggage both physically and metaphorically. 

How To Love Yourself In Three Simple Steps I now can step out of the shower, look at my body in the mirror and choose to see the imperfections and self-criticize or choose to see the amazing changes I have managed to create with my hard work day after day after day for the past 11+ years.  It’s really not much different than choosing what to eat for dinner.  The results are the same.  My choice of attitude either propels me further on this incredible journey that is my life today, or like eating a bag of potato chips creates chemical changes in my body that will leave me feeling poorly physically as well as emotionally.

There are days that it is difficult to have that positive attitude; however I must say that they rarely occur on the days I begin with looking in the mirror and smiling and then getting my fitness on, and they linger now, not for weeks and months, but merely for hours.  I am truly enjoying my life day by day, making each day the very best one it can be.

How To Love Yourself In Three Simple Steps Oh, so you want to know what the 3 simple steps to loving yourself are:

  • Start each day by looking in the mirror and finishing this sentence out loud – I love you today because _________.
  • In the middle of the day look in the mirror and finish this sentence out loud – I am worthy of love today because_____________
  • Finally, at the end of the day, look in the mirror and finish this sentence out loud – I showed myself love today by __________.

This may not be the answer for everyone, but it sure is a darn good start for anyone.  Remember, YOU MATTER!

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Staying Hydrated For Long Term Weight Loss Surgery Success
Staying Hydrated For Long Term Weight Loss Surgery Success

Here I am almost 12 years post-op Lap Band Surgery and I still have to track my water every single day.

  • Why?
  • What happens if I don’t track?
  • Isn’t tracking a huge pain in the butt?

Here are my answers:

  • If I don’t track my water I tend to slack off, and guess what happens then?  First, I think I am hungrier and tend to ingest more calories.  We don’t feel thirst until we are becoming dehydrated, it appears to us first as hunger.  If I am hungry I need to try drinking some water first, waiting 15 minutes and seeing if the hunger still exists.  If it does, I am probably in need of protein.
  • If I don’t get enough water in my body, my body is not kind to me.  I feel tired, sluggish and my digestive tract gets sluggish also leading to the dreaded constipation.  When I have enough water daily, along with physical movement, my flax seed meal and some greens either on a plate or in my shake I have no problems in this area.  If I allow one of these items to get out of balance I pay the price.  It’s discomfort, bloating and a general feeling of ickiness.
  • Tracking is definitely a huge pain in the butt if I choose to look at it that way, but then, so is balancing my check book, or cleaning house.  When I decide to look at tracking in a different light- the light of keeping me healthy, it’s not such a pain anymore.  Besides, the more I do it, the more habitual it becomes so I don’t have to think about it.

Staying Hydrated For Long Term Weight Loss Surgery SuccessMy doc told me 64 ounces of water minimum per day, caffeinated or beverages with calories don’t count towards these totals.  I feel my best, and eat my least when I am at 80+ ounces a day.  It’s not that hard if I break it down:

  • Two 12 ounce cups of herbal tea to kick start my brain and my body in the morning before the gym
  • Another 12 ounces after the gym and before noon
  • Then it’s a 33.8 ounce bottle between meals and noon and 5PM.  If it’s hot, or I am thirsty, it could be more.
  • Lastly a 12 ounce cup of herbal tea after dinner while I watch TV

I am a planner.  It works for me.  I plan my meals, my water and yes, my exercise.  I track my calories, protein, water and exercise.  I am almost 12 years post-op and am maintaining my 270 pound weight loss.

That should tell you something.  I alone am responsible for my successes and my failures.  Personal accountability in ALL areas is the key to the kingdom of Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery.  

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Pushing Through The Hard Parts for Long Term Lap Band Success

April 6, 2016

It’s been tough getting out of bed this week for some reason.  I am awake at 4:30 am, that’s not the problem.  I just want to sleep more and I can’t.  Probably still on vacation time.  Oh well, there will be another vacation soon, please! This morning I got up at 4:45 am and limped […]

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How A Change of Perspective Can Create The Success You Seek After Weight Loss Surgery

March 30, 2016

I thought about what I wanted to talk about today in my blog/article and realized I wanted to share some of the paradigm shifts, some of the changes in perspective I have been undergoing for the past 11+ years as I traversed my journey from 424 pounds to 154 pounds.  Let’s begin by defining perspective […]

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Enjoying Life After Lap Band Surgery

March 23, 2016

I spent the last week on the Big Island of Hawaii.  I am fortunate that we were able to go there for a vacation.  My week just reinforced for me how right having weight loss surgery, following the rules so I could lose the weight and get my body into great physical shape was.  It […]

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Success After Weight Loss Surgery – Eat This, Not That!

March 16, 2016

When you all read this I will be lounging in the sun on the Big Island of Hawaii and getting ready to take a night dive with the Manta Rays.  Last time we were there we saw no rays but did get to see lots of fish, sea snakes dancing on the ocean floor, and […]

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Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery – Beating The Odds

March 9, 2016

It’s now the end of the first week in March, and Spring is just around the corner.  While I’m still getting up in the dark, daylight and I soon will be on the same schedule.  I can’t wait! I am at the gym Monday – Friday by 7:30 AM the latest.  I have noticed a […]

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Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery – How I Buy Girl Scout Cookies and WIN!

March 2, 2016

It’s that time of year again.  Every time you head to the supermarket, or the hardware store, or the mall, or answer your doorbell; here stands an adorable child dressed in green selling to you, a Weight Loss Surgery patient, COOKIES.  For years I would fall prey to the selling tactics of just too darned […]

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Long Term Lap Band Success – Chasing Winter Blues Even in Southern California

February 24, 2016

Every year with the coming of the short days of December, January and February I have to work intensely to keep my spirits up and not fall back into the old habits of soothing with food. It’s tough for me, even on those days when we have pure sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s. It […]

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Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery And Head Spins In the Water

February 17, 2016

Last week our Santa Ana winds started blowing, and blowing, and blowing.  My nose starting running, my head got stuffed up, and as the heat wore on – so did my symptoms.  Friday I got my 30 minutes swim done and then off for a 2+ hour round trip drive to see my brother in […]

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CPR For Long Term Lap Band Success – Consistency, Persistence and Resiliency

February 10, 2016

As I look back over the past years (11 years, 8 months to be exact) since I had weight loss surgery, I often think about where I started and where I am today, how I got to where I am, and how I stay here and continue to improve. This reflection brings me to the […]

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Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery Means Facing My Fears As They Arise

February 3, 2016

This past month has been quite significant for me on many fronts.  I realized that if I was going to live my dream any time soon there were some fears I needed to confront and get through.  Most of them dealt with physical issues because avoidance and denial had not been working well.  Here’s a […]

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