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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On Being Thankful - Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryOK, so it’s a week after Thanksgiving. That doesn’t mean I can’t be grateful, thankful, appreciative – of all the benefits that have come to me as a result of having Weight Loss Surgery in 2004. Here are a few of them, and believe me, each one comes from heart and soul:

  • I have a life – before surgery my life was getting smaller and smaller because I couldn’t do so many things;
  • I can swim – yes before surgery I floated very well and now I can actually swim laps for 45 minutes to an hour and feel great when I am done;
  • On Being Thankful - Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryI can ride a bicycle – I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was about 12 until several years after surgery. Thanksgiving morning I got up and took a 30 minute bike ride to get my blood going;
  • I can walk – Across a room was difficult and painful for me before surgery now I rode my bike Thanksgiving morning, set the table, got the dinner for 12 going and then walked down to the beach and enjoyed sunset with family members without pain;
  • I can complete a 5K on the elliptical in under 45 minutes – when you consider I am 68 years young and have been obese and out of shape most of my life I will take that as an accomplishment;
  • On Being Thankful - Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryI can lift weights and develop muscles and maintain the muscles – again I could barely lift myself out of a chair let alone get to a gym and do any strength training with weights;
  • I can do push ups;
  • I can do pull ups;
  • I can dive;
  • I can snorkel;
  • I can walk the entire mall with my teenage granddaughter or hike in the mountains with my husband

On Being Thankful - Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryYes, I have a life, and I do all of these things not only because I enjoy them; sometimes just because I CAN – and for that I am thankful.

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Guide To A Healthy Thanksgiving First and foremost Happy Thanksgiving to all!  I am grateful for each and every one of you who reads my blogs and takes away something to use on their journey to health and well being.  I am grateful to all who share my blogs with others.  I am grateful for this opportunity to share my journey from 424 lbs in 2004 to my healthy life today.

Now how do we navigate this incredible food fest and make it through the other side, to Black Friday and a shopping bonanza without triggering sugar cravings and having to unbutton our jeans?

This is my plan of action and you are welcome to take from it what will work for you:

  • Wake up at my usual 4:30 am and try to go back to sleep until 6
  • Put on my sweats and head downstairs to begin hydrating and preparing for the 12 guests I will have for dinner
  • The hydration occurs as I slowly let my body wake up – I have 2 cups of herbal tea for 24 ounces, and then I allow myself 1 cup of coffee
  • OK, I am almost fully awake and my body is ready to move.
  • If it is not raining I will head out for a 30 minute local bike ride – if it’s raining I will head to the gym for their 8 am opening and get 30 minutes swimming done
  • When I return I will have another cup of tea to bring that hydration to 36 ounces, my goal is to have at least 64 ounces in before my 5 pm dinner and then to continue sipping through the evening
  • Time for some protein for me after the 36 ounces is down
  • I prep my sides the night before so all I’ll need to do is get the turkey in the oven and set the table and bring the sides to room temperature so they cook quickly later.
  • My turkey is 15 pounds, and figuring 20 minutes per pound stuffed I need 5 hours to cook it.  To come out of the oven at 5 and rest while the other dishes are warming the bird goes in at noon
  • My sides are mashed garnet sweet potatoes with pecan topping, chestnut stuffing and green beans with orange and almonds.  I am also making pumpkin soup. 
  • Guide To A Healthy Thanksgiving After the turkey goes in the oven I will start sipping on my water, taking my vitamins, setting the table (my place setting is a small dessert plate and generally fussing about putting the kitchen, dining room, living room in order.
  • I have olives, cheese and 34 degree crackers for munchies as my guests arrive.  My goal is to munch on a few olives with my trusty water bottle at my side.
  • Time to shower, dress and get ready to greet my guests.
  • My water bottle comes upstairs to the shower with me and I continue sipping.
  • At about 2 pm it’s time to pick up my granddaughter from work, head home and get the olives, cheese, crackers and wine ready to serve at 3 pm
  • My guests arrive and if it is sunny out they may want to take a stroll down to the beach after having a snack (a short block away) which I will encourage for the added movement on my part.  Sunset is at 4:48 PM so I may leave them there so I can take the turkey out of the oven at 5.
  • All this while I am sipping water and by 5 I should be through at least 64 ounces, if not more.
  • NOTE – before I sit down for dinner I have done my fitness for the day, had my minimum water, had protein at least once, possibly twice depending on my personal hunger levels that day.
  • Guide To A Healthy Thanksgiving Now I serve dinner and on my plate I already plan to put one small slice of turkey breast no skin, 1 tablespoon stuffing, 1 tablespoon sweet potatoes, a nice serving of green beans to fill my plate.  All of this comes after about ½ cup of pumpkin soup.  My eyes may want more, my taste buds may want more, but I am sure my tummy will be totally satisfied and my band will say NO.
  • I will get up and help serve seconds, and begin clearing the table, serving more wine, water, etc.  I will not sit and linger with a plate in front of me.  That could spell disaster in the way of grazing for as long as I sat with my company.
  • Once everyone is done and the table cleared and the food put away I am bound and determined to at least walk around the block to get everyone, myself included moving.  Whether I can pull this off or not is soon to be determined.
  • Then comes desserts and a movie, some games, chatting, etc.  There will be pumpkin pie, pecan pie and my very own perfect protein pumpkin bars along with tea, coffee, water, hot cocoa, and dessert wine.  I will be ready for an herbal tea for more hydration and when that is done perhaps a bite of pie and a pumpkin bar.
  • As the evening continues and my guests begin to leave they take with them any leftover pies, stuffing and sweet potatoes.  I keep the protein and produce.
  • Oh, I almost forgot.  I will probably have a glass of wine that I sip on throughout the afternoon and evening, before it can be refilled I require myself to have a glass of water

Guide To A Healthy Thanksgiving I am looking forward to Thanksgiving, seeing all of my family together, catching up on what everyone’s been up to, having our typical agreements and disagreements and just enjoying each other’s company.  I am grateful that part of my family lives close, and one of the things we will do when everyone arrives is to make that call to those who are living 3000 miles away to share part of the day with them.

I am a weight loss surgery patient and with a plan for the day I can keep to my program of fitness, hydration, protein first, and not overindulging.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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MEAL PLANNING – UGH, RIGHT?

What do I eat for long term success We spent x years before weight loss surgery going through life, often from one drive through to another or from the pizza place to the Mexican restaurant to the Chinese restaurant.  Some of us actually cooked – what did we make?  Big pots of mashed potatoes, rice and beans, lots of breaded meats and fish, lots of bread period.  Crunch was critical, with sweets, and lots of them for dessert.

Then we had WLS and we are told we can’t do this anymore.

What happens next?  We look to other people we know, listen to the doctor, the nutritionist, anyone who has been successful and try to repeat what they did.  Then we realize – wait a second, this liquid phase is going on for way too long.  I am 3 months or 6 months post op and I’m still relying on my protein drinks to get the required protein.  Guess I’ll be doing this forever.  Oh well, sometimes you have to give up things to get what you want so I’ll just give up food and I’ll be skinny and fit and be able to buy all of the clothes I want wherever I want.  Who needs food anyway?  Right?

What do I eat for long term success OR – you find 2 or 3 foods that work- protein drinks, Greek yogurt, tuna, and maybe even chicken.  So you prepare these foods and eat them the same exact way day after day.  This works for a while, but then the boredom sets in and you find yourself thinking – hmmm, this wasn’t supposed to be a diet but it sure does feel like one.

What do you do next?  If you’re like many you start allowing some foods back into your life that may not be the best choices and what happens?  Your weight loss stalls, or worse yet, you start gaining weight.  Panic time, right?  So you go searching for the diet that’s going to work for you this time.  What is it?  Is it the 5 day pouch test, is it going Paleo or doing the Weight Watcher’s counting or maybe it’s Nutri-system and their prepared meals.  Whatever it is, it’s a DIET.

I don’t know about you but I swore I would never diet again after having weight loss surgery and you know what?  I don’t need to and neither do you.  Remember at that pre-op seminar and all those meetings with the doc, the PA, the NP, the RD when they said it’s about changing your lifestyle and using your tool?  I do.

What do I eat for long term success So what does changing my lifestyle mean?  It means I do not diet for a month and then go back to eating anything I want.  This didn’t work before WLS, why would it work now.  It’s a short term Band-Aid with NO staying power.  Lifestyle change regarding food means that I am accountable for choosing protein rich foods and low carbohydrate vegetables that will keep me full and satisfied AND taste good.  If they don’t taste good I am not going to ever be satisfied.  Furthermore, I plan my meals for the week, sometimes exactly, oftentimes loosely so I have adequate supplies in the fridge and freezer and cupboards to throw together something tasty and healthy.

After my first year of eating a 3 oz can of tuna for lunch every day I vowed I would only eat delicious food and that’s how it’s been for the past 11+ years.  I have taken some of my favorite foods and incorporated them into tasty recipes that meet my nutritional needs in terms of protein and calories and I have learned to use vegetables in ways I never would have imagined 12 years ago.  Who would have thought that 25 calories worth of cauliflower “rice” would ever be able to replace 120 calories of steamed white rice?  And that is just one simple example.

What do I eat for long term success I challenge you all to create tasty meals, using your food scales, measuring cups, measuring spoons, Google and reading labels.  You’ll find that as you educate yourself you too can prepare tasty meals that everyone can enjoy.

While you’re learning you can sign up for a month of WLS Success Matters Menu Planning Service for some great ideas.  Stay tuned because we’ve got a cookbook that will be published and available before the end of first quarter 2017.

Go ahead and play with food, play with some recipes, and share your successes with us.  I too have had a few epic fails I rarely talk about.

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Making It Through The Holidays Again This will be my 13th holiday season since I had weight loss surgery in 2004.  Every year is a little bit different because every year I am a little bit different.  There are a few constants that remain for me so I thought I would share them and see if anyone else feels the same way.

First I invited via email and text, 9 other folks to join hubby, granddaughter, and I for Thanksgiving Dinner.  Thanksgiving is traditionally my holiday in the family.  Last year I went to Hawaii and did not cook.  It was an interesting experience that brought me back to wanting to cook this year.  So, the invite went out and everyone except a couple of relatives have responded.  So now I will plan for them to be here when I size my turkey, plan my sides, etc. and if they don’t show up it’s just more leftovers for everyone else. 

Making It Through The Holidays Again Next comes the menu.  I’ve been doing this for a lot of years so I pretty well know what everyone would like to have, and guess what?  I am not making it.  I am preparing a delicious dinner that will give me the time to enjoy my company instead of being exhausted by the time they walk in the door.  I am also not cooking for an army.  I will cook to feed 12 and that doesn’t mean 10 pounds of stuffing.  I have done this year after year, made huge portions of turkey stuffing plus yams and frozen it and saved it for Christmas dinner at my daughter’s house.  We’ll cook again next month and it will probably not be the same foods.  I actually bought throw away foil 13 x 9 x 2 pans for the stuffing and the yams to make my life really easy.  Oh, did I tell you this all has to be gluten free?  I have decided to make the following for dinner:

  • Turkey
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Gluten free chestnut stuffing (last time I made regular and gluten free)
  • Yams whipped with some maple syrup and butter and topped with pecan crumble
  • Green beans with orange and almonds
  • Dessert will be a tray of my perfect pumpkin protein bake and whatever pies anyone decides to contribute.
  • I’ll serve wine, sparkling cider for the kids, water, and later – coffee and tea with dessert.

This is so much less than I have made in years prior that I am bound to get some raised eyebrows.  Fact is, nobody needs more food than that.  Most don’t even need that much.  I will have turkey and a spoonful of everything else, and of course, a glass of wine.  I will spend my time and energy visiting with my company, enjoying as we go around the table sharing what we are thankful for and just visiting, as we haven’t seen each other for several months.

Holidays are about people, enjoying each other’s company, not being annoyed, and not worrying about food.

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How Exercise Has Shaped My Long Term SuccessIt’s 6am.  I am sipping a cup of black coffee in my sweats and it’s almost time for me to get dressed and leave for the gym.  Today my schedule is 30 minutes on the elliptical, then an hour working with my personal trainer, then 15 minutes more on the elliptical.  Then home to start the rest of my day.  I’m often asked how and why I am so regimented about my fitness time, and where the motivation comes from, and this morning I was thinking about it and here is some of what has come up in those thoughts.

How Exercise Has Shaped My Long Term SuccessThe year is 2004.  I wake up and have to prepare myself for the chore of getting out of bed.  As I turn I begin to feel the pain.  My knee hurts, my back hurts, and oftentimes my head hurts.  I lift my 424 pounds out of the bed, get up and struggle slowly to the bathroom.  I head downstairs, make my coffee and get ready to push through my day.  Getting up from the chair at the dining room table is difficult and I must again walk upstairs to get dressed for work.  I do that slowly, in pain, and text my assistant to pick up some coffee and a pastry on her way in to work.  This is after I have had breakfast at the dining room table.  I get to work and my day progresses much the same way.  At about 11 it’s time for us to decide what’s for lunch.  While I think about it I make a round trip to the restroom and across the parking lot to get some sort of snack to tide me over.  I’ll get enough to make it through the afternoon as well – so I don’t have to make that difficult walk across the parking lot to the convenience store.  I actually plan this.  My life is about physical pain, emotional pain and stuffing it all with high carb, high fat foods.  Oh, I do drink diet sodas – to keep the calories down. 

Now let’s go grocery shopping – I make a list, head out with my husband, hand him the list and stay in the car while he goes and gets whatever is on the list, and always brings me back a treat.  It’s too difficult for me to navigate all of the aisles at the market or the big box store, it’s hard to breathe, my body hurts so I might as well hang out and wait.  THAT was my life.  A cycle of me being able to do less, to move less, my world slowly becoming smaller and smaller.  I was miserable and made everyone around me miserable as well.

Then I had a high blood pressure crisis in my doctor’s office.  I finally decided I needed to do something about my health.  I chose Weight Loss Surgery, Lap Band to be specific because that is what suited me.  I began losing weight, I began being able to move with less pain, my high blood pressure resolved, I could breathe easier, life seemed to have a new sunny side for me.  I was learning that food didn’t resolve my emotional pain, it was fuel to keep my body going and I didn’t need nearly as much of it as I had been consuming.  Physical hunger went away for hours at a time when I followed the program – firm protein first.  For several years I had to give up some of my favorite vegetables like broccoli (really, I love broccoli) and asparagus, and ground meats didn’t go down no matter how I cooked them.  There were other quirks, other foods I needed to change around but this was ok and not nearly as important as feeling good, improving my health and being able to move more freely through life, both physically and emotionally.

How Exercise Has Shaped My Long Term SuccessWhat does all of this have to do with fitness and my routine you ask?  Well I liked that feeling, wanted more of it and began (finally after a year) trying to do exercise on a regular basis.  I swam because it didn’t hurt my body.  I also walked, but that hurt and swimming didn’t so I began swimming more and more.  I tried afternoons, evenings, and finally found out that heading to the gym first thing in the morning worked for me.  it set my entire day up for success.  It began my day by putting a smile on my face (frequently not until AFTER I was done) and a spring in my step.  I was feeling good.  I started developing muscles in my arms, my legs were becoming stronger and the weight continued to come off.

How Exercise Has Shaped My Long Term SuccessNow, more than 12 years after surgery, I have a routine that is working for me.  Monday through Friday when I am home I am at the gym first thing in the morning to get my fitness in.  Fitness now includes swimming, weight training, and the elliptical.  On weekends I often take bike rides, and on vacation I continue and add hiking, snorkeling, diving, and more to the mix.  There are NO excuses.  I set the rest of my day up around my fitness time.  Why, you ask?  Because 12 plus years after surgery, at 68 years young I like feeling good, I like getting out of bed in the morning with ease, I like keeping my arthritis pain under control, I like being able to move, I like how my clothes fit, I like feeling my muscles instead of feeling like a blob, I like knowing that my metabolism is cranking all day long burning calories, I like hearing from my doctor that I am probably one of her fittest patients!  I love hearing my husband compliment me, and I love being alive!  That’s reason enough to make a schedule, develop a routine and keep at it.  Fitness is as much a part of my life as brushing my teeth.  And, it all began when I got out of that car and went into the grocery store instead of waiting while someone else filled my basket.

Don’t wait for the right time to start fitness, start now – just do more than you did yesterday!

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The Tools of The Trade That Work For MeI had weight loss surgery on May 28, 2004.  That is 12 ½ years ago.  I had Lap Band Surgery so I was required to learn from Day 1 what I needed to do in order to get the weight off, improve my health and stay that way long term.

There are some things that I do most of the time (not all the time for I too am a human being and not perfect) that serve my health, my weight loss and help me use my weight loss surgery “tool” to the best advantage that I can.  These things that I do with some consistency are no secret; I heard them all from my doctor at the informational seminar I went to in March of 2004, and he still speaks them all today in his informational seminars.  I have written about them numerous times while blogging my journey from 424 lbs then, to today, – between 154 and 165 pounds.  Over the years I have been listening for the most frequent “whys” as to how these things that I do fall out of the daily life of so many.  I have a few observations to make on why folks stop practicing the weight loss surgery rules:

  • They reached goal weight in a flash and became complacent
  • They never reached goal weight and perceive themselves as a failure
  • No matter how tiny the surgeon makes their stomach they are still addicted to sugar
  • They have eating disorders that need psychological intervention
  • They are tired of having to do “it” (whatever that means) every day
  • Their lives are too busy
  • They don’t have the time
  • They do not honor, respect and love themselves and they do not celebrate their successes.
  • They suffer from depression

Several of these require medical/psychological intervention that I am not qualified to provide.  If you need help, please go get it.  Start with your bariatric surgeon. 

The Tools of The Trade That Work For MeFood addiction, and sugar addiction in fact are real.  I am a food addict and once I begin with sweet things I quickly become a sugar addict.  I quit smoking cold turkey 25 years ago and that’s the same way I approach sugar every single time I let it back into my life.  I stop it HARD and fast and deal with a little bit of withdrawal.

The conundrum with food addicts is that we have to eat to live, so no matter what, food is a part of our life before and after surgery.  What I failed to learn at a young age was that food is fuel for my body not comfort, not a way to stuff my feelings, not a reward for good behavior, good grades, or something that heals those hurts when I fell and scraped my knee.  It’s not something you celebrate with.  It is fuel.

Food is the fuel that nourishes my body; food provides the essentials necessary for me to wake up each day, stretch, think, exercise, love, cry, sing, dance, hug, work and everything else I do.  Food doesn’t make me happy or sad or right or wrong.  It keeps my motor running at optimum speed when the fuel I provide for it is of the highest quality.

As a weight loss surgery patient I have found that the high quality fuel begins for me with firm protein.  That means chicken, eggs, fish, turkey, shrimp, lobster, steak, pork and any of this ground as well.  It then goes on to vegetables.  My mainstay food choices are simple- Protein and fresh produce.  I like a colorful plate (small though it may be) loaded with pretty colors and delicious food.  I can manage this with some forethought and planning, whether it be an entire week’s worth of meal plans, or a few solid ideas to get through the week.  Either way, my refrigerator and freezer are full of these choices so I can make them with confidence and ease.

It takes less time to plan a few easy meals or have some ideas in mind before grocery shopping then it does to stand in front of the refrigerator and freezer day after day wondering what’s for dinner.  For me, opening the refrigerator when I am hungry and have no plan = disaster.  I will start picking at food and get grandiose ideas about what I need for dinner like high calorie/high fat/high sodium take out or I will run to the market and come home with a meal planned plus chips or cookies or ……

But that’s me, it may not be you.  Planning has been my savior so you will always find fish, chicken, beef, shrimp and turkey in my freezer than can be quick thawed as well as spinach, cauliflower “rice”, peas, garlic, chopped onions, chopped peppers, green beans and corn.  In the frig there is typically fresh spinach or kale, cucumber, jicama root, mini bell peppers, cheeses, eggs, yogurts, salsa and nut milk as well as other fresh veggies like zucchini, carrots or whatever is in season.  In my cupboards there is always protein powder, whole oats, black beans, pasta sauce, thai green curry sauce, lots of spices and other sauces/marinades that I use.  On my counter you’ll find a lemon, a lime, some sweet onions, the squash of the week (spaghetti squash, acorn squash, yams).  I can put together something pretty tasty in less than 30 minutes on a typical day.

Besides the planning comes the portion control.  Okay I have great protein sources in my freezer.  Does that mean I’m eating enough of them or maybe too much?  The ONLY way I can truly know what I eat and what it takes for me to either lose or maintain my weight is to weigh and measure my food, and I do, 90% of the time.  Without this information I am living in a world of maybe’s – maybe I got my 60 – 80 grams of protein today or maybe I didn’t.  Maybe I had a reasonable number of calories, or maybe I didn’t.  I think I did, or not.  It really doesn’t take that much time or energy to be in full awareness of what you are eating.  It is something I can control in my life when so many other things are not in my realm of control.

With the holidays coming this becomes more important to me since sugary treats, high carbohydrate foods and lots of fats abound in much of the traditional holiday foods.  I personally take a challenge to create delicious holiday meals that are protein first and healthy.  It can be done and I can enjoy the company MORE than the food.  After all, holidays are about friends and family, right?

The Tools of The Trade That Work For MeRegular exercise and enough water are two of the other weight loss surgery rules that get tossed aside with time.  I will talk about these in another article.  Today I wanted to focus on knowing what we are eating to fuel our bodies.  I challenge each and every one of you to track your calories and protein for 1 week and tell me what you’ve learned about yourself.  For me I know that if I want to lose weight I need to restrict my calories to 1200 maximum and my protein to 80 grams minimum and the weight drops off.  I can do this eating REAL food that is delicious and fulfills my need for flavor, texture and high quality fuel.  Tracking, journaling, weighing and measuring are some of the tools of weight loss surgery that continue to serve me 12 ½ years later.  When I know what I am eating before it even reaches my fork I can make the choices that keep me in the best of health.  It really only takes a moment and you are worth that moment.  Show yourself some love and caring and see what’s possible.

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Never Stop The Celebration Of YOU!Time marches on.  You have lost 100 pounds, or more, or less – at any rate you have lost a significant amount of weight and now you are living life as you choose, free from the burdens of obesity.  You are no longer sidelined because you can’t _________ (fill in the blank – fit on a roller coaster, in an airline seat, hike for a few miles, ride a bicycle, play tennis, scuba dive, tie your shoelaces…….).  You are traveling, playing, participating 100% in life when suddenly you notice your jeans are a little bit snug, or the top button of your favorite shirt is pulling a bit too much for your taste.  What you do next can alter the tenor of your life for the next days, months, or even years.

Here are some of your choices as I see them:

  • Ignore it – it must be water weight since you ate out last night
  • Blame it on everyone around you – spouses, friends, co-workers, bosses, moms, dads – after all they put all that food in front of you
  • Get extremely sad, cry, and carry on like a two year old, blame it all on your surgery – it just isn’t working any more, right?
  • Get depressed, fall into a funk and stew on it, but do nothing
  • Face it, get on the scale, own the number, and figure out what comes next

The last is the most difficult to do and alas is the only one that will give you benefits in the long run.

Never Stop The Celebration Of YOU!So what does come next?  Do you start belittling yourself for gaining weight, calling yourself names, identifying yourself as a failure?  This stinking thinking will get you nowhere but to a higher number on the scale because once you have decided that you are a failure, that’s exactly what you’ll be.

Let’s look at what’s going on through a different set of eyes.  Let’s go back to the beginning.  You have lost xxx pounds.  You have regained xx pounds.  You have kept off a significant amount of the original weight you lost.  GOOD WORK!  Take out those pictures from the beginning of your journey and take one today.  Do you see the difference when you put them side by side?  YOU ARE A SUCCESS first and foremost.  Never lose sight of that, and you are ready to figure out what you need to do to get back into those jeans and that favorite shirt.  Look at what happens next as just another day, week, month in the life of a weight loss surgery patient.  Another page or chapter in your journal.  You still have your weight loss surgery tool, you still have your brain, you still know what actions to take to get to where you want to be. 

So what’s been missing and where did that extra weight come from?  Complacency, stress, lack of planning, eating your feelings, choosing to put yourself into a carb coma to escape from your day to day.  These are all of the same things that created your need for weight loss surgery in the first place.  Those nasty little habits are slipping back into your life.  STOP RIGHT NOW!  What can you do?  Many things starting with:

  • Make an appointment with your doctor for a check-up and blood work to make sure there is no medical cause like being low on a particular vitamin or supplement or to see if any of your meds need to be adjusted;
  • Make an appointment with a counselor or psychologist if you are feeling down or anxious much of the time.  There is absolutely no shame in asking for help
  • Take out your food scale, measuring cups, measuring spoons and food journal and begin planning your meals, prepping them and keeping track in your journal of everything you eat and drink and your feelings.
  • Get out and get some exercise.  This doesn’t mean 3 hours at the gym.  It could mean beginning with walking for 5-10 minutes a day at your break and working up from there.

Never Stop The Celebration Of YOU!The one thing I know for certain from my own personal experiences is that when I forget that I am a weight loss surgery patient first and start acting like I did, before I had surgery, regarding food choices, etc.  I begin feeling like I did before I had surgery, which is not very good.

Take 5 minutes each day and “catch” yourself doing something good.  What did you do today that has supported your health and well-being?

Come on up out of the dark side and step into the light.  You can do it!  You’ve been doing it and have done quite well.  Never forget that, and never give up!

 

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Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery – The Holidays Come Earlier Every Year

October 12, 2016

Is it just me or do the Holidays actually come earlier every year?  By that I mean Labor Day is barely gone, the weather is still summer hot, and in most Big Box stores Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are already in full swing? I don’t know about you, but I have a hard enough time […]

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Obesity Health 2016

October 5, 2016

This past weekend was the 2016 Obesity Help conference in Garden Grove CA.  Friday began with my not being able to drive down there from home, with all of the horrible traffic on the 405.  My rotator cuff is still giving me grief and holding the steering wheel for 2 ½ hours would only make […]

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Long Term Lap Band Success – Making My Choices Count

September 21, 2016

As I was sipping my coffee this morning I checked my messages as per my usual routine.  My trainer had texted me to let me know she was dealing with a flooded bathroom and wasn’t going to make it in to the gym this morning.  My mind took off in the following directions at high […]

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Long Term Lap Band Success – It’s My Birthday and I Celebrate Life!

September 14, 2016

As I begin the 68th year of my life, I am looking back and looking forward at the same time.  As I look back 12 ½ years to my decision to have Lap Band Surgery I know from the depths of my very soul that this was one of the best choices in my life.  […]

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The Saga Of My Shoulder Continues – Long Term LapBand Success And Recovery From Injuries

September 7, 2016

I always say that I have been put on the earth this time around to learn patience, and right now, just before my 68th birthday I am being forced to be patient, not with others, but with myself.  I am following my Doctor’s and my Physical Therapist’s orders on what exercise I can do, and […]

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Long Term Lap Band Success – Modifying My Daily Actions Due To Unforeseen Circumstances

August 24, 2016

About 6 weeks ago my right shoulder began kind of hurting, a dull ache every once in a while, and occasionally I would feel a “catch”.  Oh well, just getting old I thought – keep right on pushing through is what I told myself.  I did, and low and behold, the dull ache turned into […]

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Taking Some Time Off For Me And Still Learning – Long Term Lap Band Success

August 17, 2016

Last week my husband and I escaped for a few days up the coast to Cambria and San Simeon.  We stayed in a really lovely little Inn right in downtown Cambria and did our first ever tour of Hearst Castle.  The Inn had no fitness facilities and they frown on visitors using the pool at […]

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Food, Fitness, Water – Living My Life As A Long Term Successful Weight Loss Surgery Patient

August 10, 2016

Here I am, 67 years young, working through my 13th year after Lap Band Surgery and my only real complaint is that I wish I had done it 20 years earlier.  Was it easy to lose 270 pounds? NO! Is it easy to maintain that weight loss? NO! The one certainty here is that it […]

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Dealing With The Challenges Of Sugar/ Carbs For Long Term Success After Lap Band, Or Any Weight Loss Surgery

August 3, 2016

I decided to ask folks on Facebook what the most challenging part of their journey has been.  The #1 answer was sugar or carb addiction.  So is sugar addiction real?  It is for me.  This is how it works in my body.  I eat a cookie or a cupcake or some ice cream, and within […]

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Planning To Be A Success – Setting Goals For My Health After Weight Loss Surgery

July 27, 2016

As you read this for the first time I will be 12 years and 2 months post-op from my Lap Band surgery.  Oh, and did I mention 270 pounds lighter?  I thought about the progression of everything it took to get me to where I am today, a fit, healthy, 67 year young woman enjoying […]

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