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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Webster’s Dictionary defines the verb to hope as follows:  “to desire with expectation of obtainment”.

Never Lose Hope - Long Term Lap Band SuccessI don’t know about you, but that is how I went into this Weight Loss Surgery thing.  I had the desire to resolve my health issues by losing weight, using my Lap Band as a tool to reach my expectations.

Along the way, and it has been over 11 years, there were definitely periods of time when I thought that “it wasn’t working”.  Every time I felt that way, I remembered my WHY – WHY I choose to have Weight Loss Surgery in the first place.

Here are some of my reasons:

  • To resolve my sudden high blood pressure
  • To resolve my asthma
  • To help my arthritis
  • To be able to walk pain free
  • To lose weight, look and feel better
  • To LIVE my life and not die of a stroke, heart attack, or any of the other co-morbidities.

Do any of those reasons resonate with you?  I expect each of you can find at least one that is the same, or similar to yours.

Going back to these reasons helped me to push through any crisis of belief in myself and my ability to win this lifelong battle with obesity.  I know we all need to look forward to our goals, to have daily action plans in place to attain them, to have realistic goals and to set time frames to get there; but reality is, sometimes you do have to look back to be able to reach inside yourself, not get stuck in your head and your own negative thoughts and remember not only your WHY, but also to look at how far you’ve come.

  • It may not be in the number of pounds you “want” to lose.
  • It may not be getting rid of all of your health issues
  • It may not be in the size you thought you “should” be wearing

However, it may be that your medical issue is now more easily controllable, you can do things you haven’t been able to do in years, although not EVERYTHING on your list yet.  It may be that you are definitely smaller in the size clothes you wear, and you are able to walk around pain free for longer periods of time. 

Never Lose Hope - Long Term Lap Band SuccessTake a moment and locate yourself in today, look back at where you started, and tell yourself – write it down, share with your friends, your significant others, your bariatric team, your support group.  Shout it out to the world.  Strengthen that belief in your decision to have had Weight Loss Surgery, and your ability to meet your goals, start planning today and tomorrow with a smile on your face, and HOPE in your heart.

That’s what I do every time the journey “gets me down”.  It’s usually not about the journey, it’s typically about me not feeling my own POWER.

Never Lose Hope - Long Term Lap Band SuccessNever give up, Never lose hope.  If you want to reach out for help getting back “in the game”, getting rid of that regain, kicking that plateau to the curb, energizing yourself and your body’s metabolism to begin losing, and to start feeling like you did shortly after surgery – that “ I CAN DO ANYTHING” feeling.  I suggest you find the time and the inclination to be educated through WLS Success Matters BACK ON TRACK 6 week series.  It works. 

I have been using these techniques for the past 11+ years and here I am losing weight once again- solidly in the 150’s when I began my journey at 424 pounds.

YOU ARE POSSIBLE!

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Life After Lap Band Surgery - What I Did On Summer Vacation 
Life After Lap Band Surgery - What I Did On Summer Vacation 
Life After Lap Band Surgery - What I Did On Summer Vacation 
Life After Lap Band Surgery - What I Did On Summer Vacation 
Life After Lap Band Surgery - What I Did On Summer Vacation 
Life After Lap Band Surgery - What I Did On Summer Vacation 
Life After Lap Band Surgery - What I Did On Summer Vacation 
Life After Lap Band Surgery - What I Did On Summer Vacation 
Life After Lap Band Surgery - What I Did On Summer Vacation 

I just returned from 10 days in New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and Colorado.  I am officially in love with the Four Corners area of our Southwest.  What beautiful country, what wonderful people, and what a great experience to be able to move freely hiking, climbing and just living at between 5000 and 10, 000 foot elevation for 10 days and do absolutely anything I chose to do, with no ill effects.

At 66 years young I was worried that I might have some issues being at high elevations for 10 days.  I live at sea level, at the beach as a matter of fact.  Breathing is very important to me after all.  I made sure I was super hydrated (4 liters of water each day) and ate protein first at all meals and had no issues of significance.  If I got a bit of a headache beginning, or a bit of light headedness I quickly sipped my ever present water bottle and if that didn’t resolve it, I had some protein out of my WLS Success Matters Box.  (Jerky and protein bars)

Here’s how the trip went:

  • Day one flew into Albuquerque – elevation 5200 feet
  • Day 2 woke up to catch a balloon ride beginning from the foothills around Sandia peak – elevation about 6200 feet
  • Balloon ride cancelled so we took the tram to the top of Sandia Peak – elevation 10,378 feet
  • At 10,378 feet hiked around and investigated the woodlands and the local flora and fauna and had a great time for several hours.
  • Back to Albuquerque for walking around Old Town and just checking things out
  • Day 3 did 30 minutes on the elliptical in Albuquerque – was slower but finished my 30 minutes – elevation 5200 feet
  • Drove to visit friends in Kirtland, NM and celebrate our 50th High School Reunion – we went to Sheepshead Bay High School in Brooklyn, NY but decided not to go into NY, but have our own reunion instead – elevation 5200 feet
  • Left Kirtland NM for Monument Valley AZ -elevation of the desert floor is about the same 5200 feet.  Hiked around and gawked at the views with ease.
  • Spent the night in Kayenta, AZ – elevation 5300 feet, taught a Back on Track class, and then back to the Navajo restaurant THE VIEW at Monument Valley for dinner.
  • Did 30 minutes on one of the two ellipticals at the hotel in Kayenta in the morning and then headed out for Durango, CO – elevation 6512 feet
  • Walked all over downtown Durango, up and down hills with no ill effects after dinner at Steamworks.
  • Next morning up super early to take the Narrow Gauge Railroad from Durango to Silverton – elevation 9308 feet
  • Walked around Silverton for a bit with no issues- up and down hills and then returned to Durango
  • Dinner at the Dixie Belle Saloon in Durango – what a hoot, they mock up a gunfight in the street, then walking up and down the hills of old town Durango with no ill effects
  • Off to Mesa Verde to visit the cliff dwellings the next morning – elevation 7000 – 8500 feet
  • Walked up and down hills, got to the highest point (a fire lookout) and hiked up to it with no ill effects – elevation 8500 feet
  • Toured the Cliff Palace dwellings described as a strenuous tour.  Cliff Palace, at about 150 rooms, is the largest cliff dwelling in the park.  The one-hour, ranger-guided tour involves 120 uneven stone steps and climbing five, 8-10 foot (2.6-3m) ladders on a 100 foot (30m) vertical climb.  No ill effects – elevation 7000 feet
  • After a swim for 30 minutes, left the next morning for Ojo Caliente just outside of Taos, NM – elevation 6967 feet
  • Got up at 4:30 for yet another attempt at my hot air balloon ride- this time over the Rio Grande Gorge – that one was cancelled too LOL
  • Balloon ride cancelled – grabbed breakfast and then drove to Santa Fe.  Walked all over old town with no ill effects, and had the best chicken mole I have ever tasted – elevation 7199 feet
  • Back to Ojo Caliente and took advantage of all their mineral soaking pools for the rest of the day.  Had a fabulous shared filet for dinner, a couple of glasses of wine, and watched a thunder and lightning storm about 7 miles away while sitting on our front porch after sunset.
  • Up the next morning to soak first and then pack and leave the beautiful New Mexico vistas behind us as we headed home.

I was overjoyed with the level of physical activity of both myself, and my husband.  We worked out mornings when we were able, walked and hiked day after day, and saw some amazing sites, ate some delicious food (my chicken mole came with rice and beans, and I just ordered it without).  Navajo tacos were great, but I left the Navajo fry bread without eating it.  I must admit I did eat one of the blue corn tortillas that my sunnyside up Huevos Rancheros were served on. 

I was active each and every day, moving my 66 year young body, living at elevations up to 10,629 feet with no altitude sickness, no shortness of breath and never stopped till well after sunset with my days often starting at sunrise.  I came home and got on the scale and found I had lost ½ pound to boot.  What a joy.  LIVING, truly participating in my life each and every day instead of standing next to my car watching it all unfold around me.

What a difference shedding 264 pounds (today’s total) can make.  I am grateful each and every day for my Lap Band.

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It all started as a childIt started when I was a child; it continued into my teen years and never stopped until I reached over 400 pounds.  What was it you ask?  It was food as the answer for everything.

If I fell down and got a “boo boo” it was here, have a cookie it will get all better.

If I went potty in the bathroom instead of my diaper it was here, have a cookie, what a good girl.

If I got a good report card it was let’s go get ice-cream and cookies to celebrate.

A’s on particularly difficult tests, and it was what do you want for dessert, even though the day before it might have been a “don’t eat that it’s too fattening, and you don’t need it.”

Confusing, contradictory, you bet. 

Celebration time = Food timeI was raised that you celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, births, deaths, graduations, engagements, weddings, divorces, new houses, and holidays with food.  Lots, and lots, and lots of food.  We never ran out of reasons to celebrate with high calorie food and drink.

Is it any wonder we’re a nation of obese people?  I don’t think it is only the USA that celebrates this way either.  Is it our heritage of being hunter/gatherers, needing to make sure it was feast time when abundant food and drink was available — so we could get through the famine time?  If it was, it is not serving us well any longer.

I’ve had 11 years to change my behavior and certainly have done so significantly, however when my “guard is down” old behaviors can show up seemingly out of nowhere.  I have listened to myself say, “It’s been a rough week, I have earned a skinny margarita, a glass of wine, a cookie, some tortilla chips, whatever.  Mind you, the cocktails, the cookie and the chips are not the issue here.  In 11 years you can bet I have had more than 1 of each of them on numerous occasions.  It is my talk, it is the concept of “earning them” that is worrisome.

What if my relationship with food was such that I could say I am going to have 1 cocktail tonight, or 1 cookie, or 10 tortilla chips, and 2 tablespoons of guacamole?  What if there was no need to rationalize or justify, or feel guilty afterward or feel shame while I was enjoying these infrequent treats?  What if I didn’t use them as a reward for stress, anger, loneliness, happiness, or whatever the emotion of the moment was?  Do you think I might be able to just enjoy the variety of the moment, and NOT eat or drink to excess?  I do, I have, and that is how I have turned around my previous 54 years of living in feast or famine mode.  Since I was a fat child and certainly a fat adult (at 424 pounds), heard mixed messages daily – Don’t have that – you don’t need it, and then have some, you deserve it.  Do you think that might have influenced my choices to not only have 1, or a few, but to eat or drink as many as I could since tomorrow the message would change?  YOU BET! 

Intellectually I know that the wine, the cocktail, the chips, the cookies, or whatever will be there tomorrow – I even know that if I leave food on my plate I will not starve in 2 hours if I get physically hungry again.  My DNA may have feast/famine embedded in it, but my conscious awareness says differently.  Most of the time I have control these days, and all of the high calorie items that I “crave” as rewards are slider foods that my surgery doesn’t really help limit for me. 

I am not a dog – I do not need to reward myself with food.  I have learned (ok, let’s take the dog metaphor one step further- yes this old dog has learned new tricks) to reward myself for goals achieved with non food items, and not feed my anger, stress, loneliness, or any other emotion.  I am not physically hungry at those times.  It is an emotional response, taking me back to the days of being 424 pounds – days I will NEVER again see.  I have found that the best defense for me against emotional eating is to just change what I am doing.  If sitting and watching TV, get up and do something.  If working at the computer, stand up, stretch, and take a walk (but not into the kitchen).  Call a friend, read a book, drink some water, or some flavored tea.  There are many alternatives to eating my emotions.  It’s up to me to choose what I will do.

A Different ChoiceBack to how to reward goals achieved without a slice of mile high chocolate cake.  There are so many ways I have found satisfying.  Here are a few:

  • Buy some flowers
  • Take a bath
  • Get a massage
  • Manicure/pedicure
  • Go shopping for something new that will fit better than all your loose clothes
  • Go to the movies
  • Meditate
  • Take a walk in the countryside
  • Take a drive to somewhere new
  • Plan my next vacation

These are just a few ways I reward myself for mini goals achieved.  How do you reward yourself?

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Fage 0% Fat Yogurt
PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter

I posted a picture of my 6 ounce container of Fage 0% Greek yogurt with a note that the entire container was 100 calories and 18 grams of protein and I just added hot salsa to it for a taste treat.  I asked for everyone else’s ideas on how they used it and thought I would share some more of mine today as well.  We can never have too many ways to use a high protein low calorie food that tastes good now can we?

Here is the list of suggested ways to add to 0% plain Greek yogurt to make it delicious:

  1. Add Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix and use as salad dressing or dip with veggies
  2. Add PB2
  3. Add Hidden Valley Ranch mix and coat boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs and bake
  4. Use instead of sour cream everywhere, especially with Mexican food
  5. Add sugar free jam
  6. Add French onion soup mix
  7. Add fresh fruit
  8. Use instead of mayo in potato salad with a dab of Dijon
  9. Add chocolate PB2 powder
  10. Add sugar free pudding mix for a fruit dip
  11. Use instead of mayo for making chicken salad
  12. Add some taco seasoning
  13. Add some lemon pepper and avocado
  14. Add a tablespoon of Smucker’s sugar free caramel and use as a dip for apples
  15. Add honey and blueberries
  16. Add PB2 and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and nuts
  17. Add PB2, sugar free salted caramel syrup and a sprinkle of grape nuts for the crunch
  18. Add organic honey
  19. Add tandoori paste and marinate salmon in it
  20. Add peanut butter and chili sauce and use as a dip for chicken
  21. Add protein cereal of any type for breakfast
  22. Add pumpkin puree
  23. Add crystal light of any flavor
  24. Sugar free cheesecake pudding mix
  25. Instead of mayo for egg salad
  26. Add sweetener of your choice, some mashed fruit and freeze for an hour – soft ice cream
  27. Add sugar free syrups of any flavor
  28. Add chopped sun dried tomatoes and pesto
  29. Add almond butter
  30. Add chopped cucumbers/garlic/mint
  31. Add mashed eggplant
  32. Microwave a few fresh berries and add
  33. Add mashed avocado and salsa for an even healthier, high protein guacamole

Okay so I didn’t quite get 50…..close enough though.  I have served pumpkin pudding, ranch dip, guacamole to kids and friends and relatives who never knew it was fat free Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and they ate it without a care in the world. 

There are so many ways to use one simple high protein low calorie product and wind up with a sweet or a savory food or condiment.  Which ones are you going to try?

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Long Term Lap Band Success - What Is This “Normal” Everybody Seems to Want?As my 12th year as a weight loss surgery patient begins I think about what I keep hearing day after day on Facebook, in my groups, on my website, at support group meetings from other weight loss surgery patients.  Here is what is said, if not in these words, in words very similar to them:

  • “I am so tired of working so hard on this every day.  I just want to be normal and not have to worry about food”

What exactly does that mean?  What is “normal”, and what does worry about food mean?  Those are the questions I ask, and here are some of the uncensored responses I have received:

What Is This “Normal” Everybody Seems to Want?

  • I don’t want to have to plan my food
  • I want to be able to eat cheeseburgers and fries
  • I want ice-cream
  • I’m tired of worrying about whether or not I got enough protein
  • I want pizza

So those are the first words that come tumbling out of the mouths of folks I have coached to success, to their lifetime maintenance range weights, to health, to happiness, to whatever their vision of success might be.  The next words that come after they are quiet for a moment, and I too say nothing are often these:

What Is This “Normal” Everybody Seems to Want?

  • I guess everyone needs to plan their foods if they want to stay in a certain weight range
  • Ice cream would send my blood sugars all over the place
  • The last time I ate what I thought I wanted it took days for my body to recover
  • Skinny people make healthy choices
  • I NEVER want to go back to where I started

 

People often share very personal moments that bring their thought process to the “why” planning or thinking about food is so exhausting.  THAT is exactly when they let go of the concept.  They remember days when they wanted a cheeseburger as a child but their mothers/fathers/sisters/brothers/teachers/friends told them you don’t really need that – you are too fat, or worse yet, NO you can’t have that, you are on a diet.

What Is This “Normal” Everybody Seems to Want?Remember those days?  Remember how you felt?  Remember how embarrassing it was to be called out in front of other people, or just feel like the entire cafeteria/restaurant or dinner table is watching everything you put in your mouth? 

What if those were the reasons planning your foods based on what you could enjoy that would also meet your weight loss surgery needs is so exhausting and overwhelming to you? 

What if you just sat with those thoughts, allowed them to wash over you, breathe through them and let them evaporate?

What could the possibilities be then?

What Is This “Normal” Everybody Seems to Want?I challenge you to let go of some of your past thoughts, ideas and emotions around food and look at it for what it is- fuel for your body.  It can be delicious and healthy at the same time, if you allow it to be.

Normal – I chose weight loss surgery and on the day I went into the OR I expected that as I was wheeled out I would never again be the person who went in.  If that was normal, 424 pounds killing herself daily with what she put in her mouth, I don’t want it.

How about you?

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Sandi before Weight Loss Surgery
Sandi one year after Weight Loss Surgery

Today, May 28, 2015 is my “Bandiversary”.  On this day 11 years ago, weighing over 400 pounds, I had Lap Band Surgery.  Today I weighed 162 pounds and my next goal is 159 which has seemed so elusive and so hard to reach until my first fill since my new band placement in November of 2014.  That just happened, and here I am, feeling all new and excited again.

As part of the fill process we are asked to drink water to make sure everything is working, and not too tight, before we leave the docs office.  I got 8 ounces down with no problems, enjoying the fact that I felt it go down.  Strange sounding I know, but feeling it go through my esophagus and down through my band into my stomach is reassuring to me.  It tells me not only do I have a Lap Band, but it is doing what it is supposed to do.  At 8 ounces sipped slowly I needed to take a break because I was starting to feel full.

Here I am, back at home, and sipped another 3-4 ounces (working on a 1 liter bottle of Smart Water) and starting to feel too full…..uh oh, better put the lid on the bottle so I have to be mindful about my next sip.  This is exciting!!!  I have been able to sip water easily for the past few months so this is NEW, and also lets me know my band is working.

HERE’S WHAT I WROTE IN SEPTEMBER 2006 ABOUT MY FIRST FILL:

“Once again I am continuing my story of transformation.  The date is September 30th.  The year is 2005.  I was banded May 28, 2004 so I am 16 months post op.  Thank goodness I have my appointment with the surgeon today.  I know I have become his “poster child” for losing weight and getting healthy after lap band surgery, but my hunger between meals is beginning to consume me once again.  (pun intended) I have tried water, flavored teas, both hot and cold, taking a walk, gardening, talking on the telephone, but nothing is working any more.  I thought I had had this hunger thing licked.  I had hoped to never have to face it again.  But wait, then I remember, yes I have a lap band, but NO I have not yet had a fill.  For the past 16 months, as I lost 175 pounds and learned my new lifestyle I have had a lap band, but have never had to have it tightened.  I have had restriction.  I have been satisfied with small meals, sometimes wanting more just because it tastes good, but not needing more to keep my hunger at bay.  I have learned to put only what I intend to eat on my plate, to chew small bites thoroughly and not to drink with my meals.  I have managed to keep my calories to about 1200 per day, my protein to 75-90 grams per day and still get in 64 ounces of water or other fluids.  I am exercising daily.  If I eat too much or take too large a bite, or do not chew my food, my lap band rears its wonderful head.  It “tells” me slow down, take smaller bites, chew your food, don’t talk while eating, eat mindfully.  That is the MAJOR lesson I have learned in the past 16 months:  EAT MINDFULLY.

The next morning I had oatmeal so I would “test” out my adjustment with soft food.  Back to toddler spoon and teeny, tiny bites.  Hmmm, no problem.  That’s good.  Lunch was tuna salad and a few crackers.  That also went well.  Guess what?  I wasn’t looking up at the clock at 10am wondering if it would ever get to lunch time.  I stayed satisfied between breakfast and lunch.  I had to remind myself to start drinking water after lunch and keep drinking because my driving hunger wasn’t there to cue me.  I can do this.  This is good, no, this is GREAT!  This is why I had surgery, so I could eat mindfully and not be hungry all of the time, AND lose weight to get healthy.”

The importance of water after Weight Loss Surgery
After a lap band fill 2015

I can’t wait to see how I do tomorrow with food.  I will do the slow progression:

Liquids tonight, tomorrow morning a protein shake on my way to the gym, and then soft food for lunch/brunch between 11:30, and whenever I actually feel hunger.

Stay tuned as I share my experience eating for the first time after the fill next week.

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Being Invisible And Obese

by sandi on May 20, 2015

Obese and InvisibleThis blog is going to be a bit of a rant.  Last week in the gym I came across the most awful example of how “invisible” we are as obese people.  I was swimming and finished my 45 minutes of laps and was giving myself 5 minutes in the hot tub as a reward.  As I got in and stared off into space my reverie was distracted by a large, yes obese woman who was at the deep end of the pool and had attempted to climb down the ladder and was now sitting on the concrete.  I hadn’t noticed her falling, and she didn’t appear to be in pain, so I went off into my happy place again.

About 2 minutes later she was still sitting on the concrete, and now she was scooting her rear towards the wall.  I thought to myself, “OK she is going to use the wall to try to get up.” Nope, she just sat there.  I remembered what it was like to weigh 424 pounds and find myself sitting in a chair and trying to get up.  Then I thought again, hmmm, I wonder if she is stuck and too embarrassed to ask for help. 

I looked around and I was the only other woman in the pool and hot tub area.  There were 6 men, half of them under 50 and pretty fit and they hadn’t even noticed anything out of the ordinary.  I decided to investigate.

I stepped out of the hot tub, walked the length of the pool to where the woman was sitting, and to preserve her dignity bent over and whispered to her – “Do you need a little help getting up?” She looked at me and said, “Yes I do, I thought I could climb down the ladder but I couldn’t.  I have a neck injury and so my movement is limited.  I don’t want to hurt you so I thought I’d just sit here until the water aerobics instructor showed up.” That would not be for 25 more minutes.  How awful for this woman.  I told her my upper body was pretty strong and I would brace myself on the wall and she could use my arm as a handrail.  She did, she got up and thanked me, hugged me as a matter of fact, and I accepted her thanks, gave her a hug back and went on my way.

Could you imagine if that poor woman, no, could you imagine if YOU had to sit there mortified, on cold concrete, in your bathing suit for 30 minutes waiting for someone to help you get up? 

I have been in uncomfortable positions over the years as a result of my obesity and have this to say to the rest of the world – FAT doesn’t make you invisible.  We are human beings, and if a small woman had been in the same situation I bet all 6 of the guys at the pool would have got up and helped her.

By the way, before I left the woman, I did tell her she deserved congratulations for showing up 5 days a week for water aerobics.

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Long Term Lap Band Success – Transformation Happens Everywhere

May 13, 2015

Here I am, approaching my 11th “surgiversary”, and I am reflecting on how the world around me has changed over these years.  This was brought on by a waiter at The Marriott in Riverside, CA who asked if we wanted bread, rather than just placing it on the table assuming that because it was part […]

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Portion Control Matters After Lap Band Surgery – How I Determine What Goes On My Plate

May 6, 2015

Twice a month as WLS SUCCESS MATTERS we offer FREE telephone support group calls.  This past Saturday we chatted about portion control.  It is one of the basic rules of success after weight loss surgery.  For those of us who do count calories, how we figure those calories is important.  Ponder this, if you do not weigh […]

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Long Term Lap Band Success – Discovering My Realities Day By Day

April 29, 2015

Yesterday I had a visit with my bariatric doctor.  Everything is fine, my weight is steadily decreasing, he is happy with my progress.  We chatted about life, weight loss surgery, following the rules, fine tuning the rules for about 20 minutes, and I went on with my day.  Sounds like a simple easy visit right? […]

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Long Term Lap Band Success – Being Accountable To Myself

April 22, 2015

My journey continues.  My surgiversary as an 11 year veteran of weight loss surgery approaches on 5/28/15.  I can’t believe it has been that long.  Why does my body still think it weighs 424 pounds when I get up from a chair sometimes, or when I am hiking on uneven surfaces?  Will it ever just […]

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Fifteen Minute Chicken Salad – As YOU Like it

April 15, 2015

Fifteen Minute Chicken Salad – As YOU Like it You all are getting used to me finding great and easy ways to use rotisserie chicken that I get from Costco.  It is good, meaty chicken and each one yields between 1 ½ to 2 lbs of meat.  I take this and weigh out 8 ounces […]

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Pastrami and Swiss Cheese – Not On Rye Bread

April 8, 2015

Trader Joe’s once again made it possible for me to enjoy one of my old favorite deli meals – Pastrami and Swiss.  Just how did they do that for me?  They now have uncured pastrami that is as lean as can be, and 2 ounces of it are 100 calories and 15 grams of protein.  […]

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Hippity Hop, Every Store Looks Like A Candy Shop – How I Beat The Easter Bunny After Lap Band Surgery

April 1, 2015

I went into my local CVS Drugstore as I left the gym today to purchase an 8 x 10 frame because it was in the same shopping plaza as my gym.  Easy, convenient, no extra time or gas (It’s currently over $3.00 a gallon again in CA).  It’s a store I don’t frequent often so […]

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Managing Food And Alcohol While Out With Friends Or Family – Long Term Lap Band Success

March 25, 2015

One of the most difficult things I have had to do over the past 11 years is to learn how to eat at family functions and out at restaurants, or yes, even at Happy Hours with friends.  First thing I would like to say is that it is definitely a BIG learning, since regardless of […]

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Long Term Lap Band Success – Shopping Can Be Scary

March 18, 2015

Here I was, almost 11 years after surgery the first time, 4 months post-op from my new band placement and off to shop for a retro outfit to wear to the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation’s Fifth Annual Meet & Greet next month in San Diego.  I am not a one size fits all body so […]

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Long Term Lap Band Success – Stop And Smell The Roses

March 11, 2015

I had the most amazing thing just happen to me.  It’s something that I never experienced before.  I thought, hmmm, I wonder if I could borrow a dress from Angie.  Angie is not only a friend, she does bookkeeping for both of my companies, and she is anywhere between a size 6 and 10 depending […]

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