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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Taking Care of Me First - Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryI had a revelation yesterday while I was at the orthopedic doctor’s office.  I meal plan, I weigh and measure most of my food, I get in at least 200 minutes of fit living each week, I see my bariatric surgeon on a regular basis, I take my vitamins and supplements, I drink my water.  Yes, I am a rule follower for sure.  That’s how I lost, and am maintaining the loss of, 270 pounds since my surgery in 2004.  Good on me, right? 

If that’s case why did it take me 2 months to realize that the increasing pain in my knee was because it had been over 6 months since I had seen my orthopedist for my semiannual injection of hyaluronic acid in my knee?  Why was I sleeping poorly, waking in pain, not being able to find a comfortable spot in bed for my leg, and generally being a grouch during the day because my pain level was up and Tylenol didn’t do anything to relieve it?  Having a lap band I choose to not use any of the NSAIDS (like ibuprofen or Aleve, etc.).

Taking Care of Me First - Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryLast week, June 15th, I finally called the orthopedist and had the receptionist look up my last appointment date since my insurance would only cover the injections every 6 months.  To my surprise I was told that October 15th was my last visit.  Oh My, now I knew what was going on.  Of course, at that point I wanted to see the doctor that very next day, and that was not possible.  I scheduled an appointment for the first week in July and asked to be put on the cancellation list.

The angels of cancellation were watching over me and I got to see the doctor and get the first of my 3 injections yesterday, June 21st.  Almost immediately 60% of the pain was gone.  This morning I noted that I was able to get out of bed without limping, and my workout at the gym was with very little notice of my knee.  And that’s only with the first shot.  I am hoping for more relief over the next two weeks and more, since all of my reading indicates that it often takes up to 5 weeks for the full effects to be felt.  This is great news to me.  I suffered needlessly for 2 months.  Here’s a link to read about hyaluronic acid injections in arthritic knee joints if you’re interested that I found on the Arthritis Organization website http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/medication/drug-types/other/hyaluronic-acid-injections.php

Taking Care of Me First - Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryIf you are suffering with knee pain and avoid exercise because of it – I cannot suggest too strongly that you go see an orthopedic doc and find out about alternatives.  Personally, I have been able to put off my knee replacement, which I do not look forward to, for the past 12 years with these injections.  I am NOT a doctor, and I am NOT recommending anything but going to see a specialist to find out the possibilities.

My point in this blog is simply that we may think we are putting ourselves first with our food/water/fitness, but be aware there is more to look at in terms of making yourself a priority and you are worth taking the time to think about YOU and how to make your days and your quality of life the best it can be.

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Long Term Success After Weight Loss SurgeryThere seems to be two schools of thought within the Facebook Weight Loss Surgery Community. 

The first think that celebrating success, sharing meals, sharing fitness, and “selfies” is a statement of lack of self-esteem.

The second believes that sharing all of this on Facebook is just that- a celebration of how far we have come, where we began, and part of the process of learning to love who we are in the moment.  Each of us works very hard for every Non Scale Victory be it being able to tie our shoelaces, fitting on an amusement park ride or shopping in the “regular” section of the clothing store.  Why not share it and celebrate it and motivate yourself to continue on your journey, a journey that is hard each and every day as we make the choices for our health?  Why not share it with the hope that if it helps and inspires one person in addition to yourself you have paid it forward?

Long Term Success After Weight Loss SurgeryI love hearing folks tell me that, as they were trying to blow off their fitness time on any one day, they heard my voice in their head encouraging them to go, and they did.  I helped someone.  If I can get fitness in regularly on a schedule with the craziness that has been my life since 2004, so can anyone else if they choose to.  After all I AM 67 years young and in the gym 5 days a week and running a business (or two) and helping my single daughter with my grandkids and on The Board of Directors of the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America, and, and, and…..  If I can lose 270 pounds and maintain the loss, so can anyone else, if they choose to.  What I am doing is showing folks how I get done.  Am I a saint of some sort because of it- NO WAY! 

Long Term Success After Weight Loss SurgeryFacebook is also one of my personal accountability tools and I am honest when I’m having a bad day, when I eat crappy food, when I make choices that are not in the best interest of my health.  I am human, I am a work in progress.  I have had regain when my tool failed me, and regain when I failed my tool.  I have blogged about both.

I feel a personal connection, and yes, even a responsibility to the folks who follow my journey on Facebook for whatever reason.  I want to help everyone see that they too are possible.  I have learned much these past 12 years since I have had weight loss surgery, and I believe I have much more to learn, and even more to share.

Long Term Success After Weight Loss SurgerySo rest assured, despite those who don’t like seeing my selfies daily (they can just unfollow me) I will continue to post my fitness, my food, my victories, my setbacks – My personal journey to a healthier, happier life. 

I do hope that YOU begin sharing some of your personal victories with me.  I LOVE a good party, so let’s celebrate life together!  YOU have earned those bragging rights, cause this sure ain’t easy folks!!

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Long Term Lap Band Success - Five Pounds May Not Sound like MuchSo there I was in the pool, swimming my laps, on another June Gloom day at the beach in Southern California.  I had not seen the sun for several days and it was really starting to affect my mood.  I got in my 45 minutes and headed for the hot tub to soothe my achy joints.  June Gloom with its humidity and barometric pressure changes has me aching in many places.

Long Term Lap Band Success - Five Pounds May Not Sound like MuchInto the hot tub I went, over to a corner to let the jets run on my neck, since my right shoulder and deltoid muscle were giving me some grief.  I noticed two others in the hot tub pretty much doing the same thing- allowing the jets to hit particular places on their bodies.  I commented that the heavy marine layer causes some aches for me and off the conversation went.  Before I knew it we were discussing weight and it turned out that the 50+ gentleman in the hot tub began his swimming this past week in his effort to lose 100 pounds.  When I asked him if he was changing anything else about his lifestyle he changed the conversation.

Being the persistent person that I am, and recognizing that I was being deflected to another topic, I then asked if he knew that I had previously weighed 424 pounds.  He was shocked and amazed as so many are when I tell my story.  He listened intently to my story and I shared with him my fitness routine, and then proceeded to talk about food choices. 

Long Term Lap Band Success - Five Pounds May Not Sound like MuchSince he was not a bariatric surgery patient I pointed out that you can’t work off poor food choices no matter how much time you spend at the gym.  He didn’t quite understand that, so I continued explaining that the swimming (that’s all he was doing) would burn calories, build muscle and help him speed up his metabolism for sure; however that alone wasn’t going to disappear 100 pounds (it was really about 150, but I didn’t point that out).  I told him how great it was that he has begun a program for his health and asked if he had thought about just reducing his portion sizes by 1/4th at each meal to help jump start his weight loss.  He looked at me again like I was crazy.  I gave him my spiel about diets working for the short term, however in the long term 80% of the dieters gain back their weight, often with a few pounds extra.  He got that since he watches all of the weight loss shows on TV and pointed out that he had been reading about the folks that lost massive amounts of weight as they participated in the TV show but proceeded to gain it back over time.  Great I thought – point made.

He then told me his wife was one of the exceptions- that she had done Nutri System to lose 25-30 pounds that were annoying her and has kept it off for over a year.  We talked about exceptions and how wonderful it was, and that the difference between 25 and 100 pounds was significant.  I think we were making progress.

I suggested he Google – “can reducing portion sizes by 25% result in weight loss” and read what came up.  We left the hot tub to our respective locker rooms congratulating each other on our accomplishments.  I felt like I had possibly broken some new ground for him and that he would educate himself a little more to further his journey.

Long Term Lap Band Success - Five Pounds May Not Sound like MuchThen I thought about what I had said – You can’t exercise off poor food choices.  True that!  I remembered that I had been traveling, at barbecues, weddings, other events where my food and alcohol choices were not always the best and my weight was up around 5 pounds.  So I followed my own advice and Googled- “How much added stress does 5 pounds put on your knees” – The answer was – Every pound of excess weight exerts about 4 pounds of extra pressure on the knees.  BAM!  Right there was more of a reason for my achy knees than the weather, and I knew exactly how to deal with that and disappear that “little bit of weight” that was having my knees feel like I was 20 pounds heavier.

Long Term Lap Band Success - Five Pounds May Not Sound like MuchFinding the answer to my own reality was right in front of me and all it took was a conversation with someone else.  Real food, fish, chicken, etc., and good fresh produce are definitely in my meal plan this week, as is no alcohol and lots of water.

How do you deal with a small weight fluctuation?

 

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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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Long Term Lap Band Success – Some of Why I Exercise Besides Losing Weight

April 27, 2016

For 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 […]

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How To Love Yourself In Three Simple Steps – Say What?

April 20, 2016

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 […]

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Water, Water Everywhere – Staying Hydrated For Long Term Weight Loss Surgery Success

April 13, 2016

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 […]

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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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