How Weight Loss Surgery Saved My Life

by sandi on October 26, 2010

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Our New Book – Is Lap Band Surgery For Me?

by sandi on October 26, 2010

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

Visit us at www.bandedliving.com

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Twelve Years After Lap Band Surgery And Living My Best LifeI am in Portland OR Making A Difference With The Weight Loss Surgery Foundation Of America, and then I will be taking a few days to hike and explore the Columbia River Gorge, Mt.  Hood, and whatever else calls to us in that beautiful area.  Since on 5/28/17 I will be 13 years post op I thought this was a great article to share with you.

On 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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Is Bariatric Surgery The Easy Way OutIt still infuriates me when folks think that having bariatric surgery is taking the easy way out.  HA!  I wrote this years ago and it still says it all for me.  How about you?  More and more seriously overweight  people are turning to weight loss surgery to assist them in taking off and keeping off the excess pounds that are causing or exacerbating other medical conditions and interfering with their quality of life. Many people worry that they will be criticized for taking the easy way out.

Is this the easy way out?

Here are some views on both sides. You can reach your own conclusions.

Weight Loss Surgery Is The Easy Way Out

  1. Some say it’s easy because it is the only choice that makes sense for them. These are people who have failed multiple times over many years of dieting, people who may have other medical conditions that require them to lose weight in order to stay active, productive members of society.
  2. Is Bariatric Surgery The Easy Way OutIt has been compared to the “ease” with which a cancer patient chooses chemotherapy. While this may be a bit harsh, it makes the point. It’s easy to choose something that may cure you over doing nothing and letting the disease take over.
  3. It provides hope, where none existed, for a significant population. Many of those who are exploring weight loss surgery have tried every diet out there, had some minimal success, but could not sustain that success. The possibility of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight provides a light at the end of a tunnel that has been very dark.
  4. It confirms that rather than a moral failing, obesity is a medical issue that can be addressed with a medical intervention. This is significant. The obese population has been discriminated against in every area of their life and the recognition that medical intervention is necessary offers another ray of hope.
  5. Is Bariatric Surgery The Easy Way OutIt is easy because it works. This is true, at the beginning of the journey. Once the surgery “starts working” the patient can learn the behaviors necessary to keep it working. Weight loss surgery is a tool. Screwdrivers work, but only if someone is on the other end of them, turning the screw in the direction we want it to go.
  6. It is easy because the patient, often for the first time in their life, gets the opportunity to physically feel full. The general population cannot begin to understand what it is like to finish a meal and be hungry again two minutes later. Weight loss surgery provides a “stop” that will allow the patient to recognize being done eating and to actually feel a sense of fullness or satiety.

Weight Loss Surgery IS Not The Easy Way Out

  1. Is Bariatric Surgery The Easy Way OutMaking a decision to have major surgery is not easy. Think about an obese person undergoing general anesthesia. This is not a simple decision. Risks are involved and benefits need to outweigh the risks for those who make that tough decision to go forward with surgery.
  2. It is difficult to make the choice to not use food for comfort or reward. This is probably the first step in permanent lifestyle changes that needs to be made.
  3. It is difficult because it requires permanent life style changes in order to lose the weight and keep it off. The surgery is only a tool and the patient is the one that chooses their food and chooses when and how much they are going to exercise. It takes years to undo the years of poor choices that became regular behaviors.
  4. It is difficult because most weight loss surgery patients have to give up some foods permanently. There are some foods that are physically uncomfortable for weight loss surgery patients to eat and they may actually be among their favorite foods. Again, a hard choice to make and stay committed to.
  5. It is difficult to learn all over again how to eat – to take small bites, chew food thoroughly, and eat slowly. Our culture is one of on the go all the time. Weight loss surgery patients need to learn how to take time out for each meal and pay attention to it so as to be able to avoid mindless eating, or mindless overeating. Drive through would become a thing of the past.
  6. It is difficult to suddenly change a lifetime of behaviors and stay committed to a lifetime of these changes. How long did it take to learn how to sit in front of the TV or computer instead of going for a walk? How long did it take before grabbing something on the way home became the expected meal. It will take years to make the new behaviors part of a standard routine that is as habitual as grabbing a coffee on the way to the office.

Is Bariatric Surgery The Easy Way OutWhat surfaces here is that people who choose weight loss surgery as a means to an end, that end being a healthy, normal weight, have to commit themselves to a lifetime of behavior changes- food choices, portion sizes, exercise, etc, in order to achieve their goals. Nothing about the decision to have surgery, or those changes is easy. The remotely easy part of this process is the knowledge that there may finally be hope for those who have failed year after year at trying to achieve and maintain a normal weight with diet and exercise alone.

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Non-Scale Victories Keep Me Motivated I am often asked how I keep doing it after almost 13 years… how do I stay motivated, inspired, and on point?  First of all I have to admit I am NOT perfect.  I have never been, nor do I ever expect to be PERFECT…..  To me perfect means flawless, without fault, quintessential, best, ultimate.  I am the best me that I can be each day; however that is not flawless by any means

When I blog, when I post on Facebook, when I share in a support group I am doing it as much for me as to pay it forward to anyone who can takeaway something valuable to help them on their journey to health.  That’s how it all began.  I began blogging my thoughts, feelings, learnings after my surgery in 2004.  I am still doing all of that.

Non-Scale Victories Keep Me Motivated One of the major things I had to learn on this journey was how to love and care for myself.  Loving and taking care of me was a new behavior.  I had to practice it, and am still practicing it every single day.  My thighs are big.  They will always be big.  I had to learn this, acknowledge it, decide that it was just fine and dandy, and be okay with it.  I had to learn to love my thighs.  Silly, isn’t it?  Not really if you think about the reality of me looking in the mirror, seeing my thighs, telling myself they were too big and then choosing to live the day based on my too big thighs…What a downer!!!

Non-Scale Victories Keep Me Motivated Now if I learn to love my thighs because they support me and help me stay active and allow me to move in this world, and I look in the mirror and see Sandi – the entire person, not her “big thighs” I am sure to have a better day.

Learning to love ourselves – acknowledge our progress, our successes, and accept who we are in this Universe as enough is a new behavior for many of us.  It takes practice.  Keep practicing!

Non-Scale Victories Keep Me Motivated I suggest that every day you look deep and find something that is a victory in your life that is not a number on the scale.  Were you able to hang on the treadmill for 1 more minute, did you fit in all the rides at the amusement park, was there space between your thighs with your jeans on, did you ride a bicycle for the first time since you were a kid, did you do 2 pushups, did you shop in the regular sizes, did you receive a compliment from someone you haven’t seen in a while?  Whatever it is, find something whether big or small to acknowledge yourself for each day and smile.  You earned the smile and the victory.  You are worthy of self-love.  Be proud of your accomplishments.

I remember the first time I stepped into the pool and swam one length of the pool.  One part of me was mortified because I was out in the public eye in a bathing suit, and the rest of me was jumping up and down laughing like a child screaming “You did it, You Did IT!!!!” Ever felt that way?  That good part was what brought me back to the pool day after day.

Non-Scale Victories Keep Me Motivated My victory, my success for today was holding a wall squat for 2 minutes (without crying).

Are you ready to share your progress and success with me?  I hope so.

 

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A Weekend Just For YOU Can Lead To Long Term Weight Loss Surgery SuccessI recently returned from a weekend in Tacoma Washington with 16 wonderful women.  We laughed, we cried, we painted pictures of Wonder Woman, we walked along the water, we worked hard together, we got fitted for new walking/running shoes together, we ate all of our meals together.

We listened to a bariatric surgeon speak and asked him a lot of questions, and got all of our answers.

A Weekend Just For YOU Can Lead To Long Term Weight Loss Surgery SuccessWe worked on making ourselves a priority, catching ourselves doing something right, flipping the switch to get ourselves back on track, and creating a world of food we loved to eat.

Most of all, we worked on sharing, caring and creating an atmosphere in which everyone is heard and acknowledged so that it was a safe space to share our concerns and ask for help.

All of this leading to us living our BEST lives.

THAT is the key – learning to live our BEST lives.

A Weekend Just For YOU Can Lead To Long Term Weight Loss Surgery SuccessThis was the 5th weekend that we, as WLS Success Matters, offered and the most frequent comment on our post event evaluations was – we want more.  Oh, and more than half of the attendees have already registered for the next one.  The rest are clearing their schedules.

Alone this journey to health can get pretty scary and motivation is sometimes hard to find.

Together we can inspire one another, talk freely and openly and find resolution to issues we may have believed were insurmountable. 

The energy in the room was nothing short of amazing.  I felt it coming from every person who was present. 

How would you like to participate in an event like this?  Would it help you focus on your journey to health? 

A Weekend Just For YOU Can Lead To Long Term Weight Loss Surgery SuccessRemove yourself from your daily environment and plan to spend a weekend at the beach – Hermosa Beach, California to be exact.

When?  October 13 – 15, 2017

Oh, and if you register before the first day of summer, you can use EARLYBIRD as the promo code and save $100.

A Weekend Just For YOU Can Lead To Long Term Weight Loss Surgery SuccessWhat’s not to like?  A weekend just for YOU, at the beach in CA and come away refreshed, reenergized and ready to be your BEST YOU every day.

Here are the details, we invite you to join us at our next Fall Into YOU Weekend.

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Fitness Success After Lap Band SurgeryIt will be 13 years in another month.  On 5/28/04 I had weight loss surgery, lap band surgery to be exact.  After that my life changed in so many wonderful ways.  Making exercise an integral part of my life has been one of them.

Getting started was HARD!  My doc wanted us to move 30 minutes a day.  Before surgery my movement was getting to and from work, and then planting on my rear in between.  That’s how I grew to be 424 pounds – that and eating my emotions, happy or sad, feeling good or bad, angry or mad – it was all an excuse to eat.  That way I didn’t have to feel.

When I went into surgery I committed myself to doing what was necessary to get off some of this 424 pounds and also be able to get off the new blood pressure meds that had recently been prescribed for me.  I don’t like taking pills.  I committed to do whatever was necessary to make this happen.  Well I got my water up to 64 oz per day, I got my protein up to between 60-80 ounces per day, I got the portions on my plate reduced to the point where my caloric intake for 3 meals was 1000 – 1200 calories; but I still wasn’t doing too much in the exercise arena.

Why no exercise?  What a great question and here are some of my excuses:

  • I didn’t have the time because I was running my own business, and helping my single daughter with the 4 kids, and on, and on;
  • My knee hurt too badly;
  • I was out of breath too easily
  • I got headaches if I moved too much
  • I was losing weight without exercising so why bother

Fitness Success After Lap Band SurgeryNotice that I said EXCUSES rather than reasons… that was intentional.  Yes I had lots of my time committed to other things, yes my knee hurt when I walked, yes I got short of breath and my heart started pounding quickly, yes that created headaches, and yes the weight was coming off rapidly because I was following all of the other rules 99.9% of the time.

For the first year, as I dropped a little over 100 pounds – I considered walking at the market, the big box store and the mall my exercise, irregular though it all was.  I was moving more, right?  This certainly had to count.  It did, I continued to lose weight, but then I had lots to lose.  I knew that I needed to follow ALL of the rules, not just some of them because I had already exceeded my doc’s expectations for weight loss and I liked that it kept coming off.  I was going to see how far I could go.  We never set a real goal weight for me because neither of us knew how far I could/would go with my lap band.

At about 100 pounds lighter it was time to start some exercise program.  I thought about what I liked to do most exercise wise and started that- it was swimming.  This soon became 1 day, then 2 days, then 3 days, then 5 days, and then 7 days per week.  I even took a few lessons to get my breathing in sync with my body.  It was worth it.

My swimming took me to the point of being fit enough at almost 60 years old to have a lower body lift (11 hours under anesthesia), and then I was back at it once the doc released me (about 10 weeks for me) swimming again.  Boy was it hard to stretch my body with my ab muscles having been pulled tight.  I reclaimed my fitness level and started adding some treadmill along with swimming to change it up.  This didn’t last long since in order to raise my heart rate I had to put so much incline into the ‘mill’ that it hurt my knee.  I graduated to the elliptical and then added strength training.  I wouldn’t do any of the strength training without a trainer because I have scoliosis and didn’t want to injure myself.  All of this was being done with a knee that still hasn’t been replaced and lets me know it is there frequently, however I was building core and leg muscles to better support those parts of my body that ached.

I still swim 3 times a week, I lift weights and do other strength and balance exercises for an hour twice a week and I “run” on the elliptical for 45 minutes twice a week.

Fitness Success After Lap Band SurgeryYou know the phrase “Set A Goal That Makes You Want To Jump Out Of Bed In The Morning”?  Well staying fit and healthy is my goal because

I CAN JUMP OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING!

Truth be told, had I not incorporated fitness as part of my daily lifestyle habits, I would not be enjoying the life I have created for myself quite so much.  I know my energy and my emotional state would be different.  An hour at the gym, or riding my bike, or hiking or just strolling on the beach can make everything shift to a brighter, lighter, happier day for me.

How about you?

 

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Eating For Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryWhen I had surgery almost 13 years ago I progressed from liquids to mushies and then to solids as prescribed by my doctor.  Once I was into solids my menu began expanding except for breakfast and lunch.  I ate the same breakfast and lunch for 2+ years and boy did I ever get bored with it.  I spent untold dollars on” bariatric foods” – pudding mixes, protein bars, and other highly processed items.

It worked though.  I shed my weight, began my new life of living healthy, eating healthy, getting in my fitness and loving life.  I soon began to realize that there were other foods besides tuna for lunch and chicken for dinner.  I also realized that with the limited real estate in my stomach I wanted to eat food that tasted good since taste is related to emotional satiety so I began experimenting with different spices and creating WLS friendly recipes from old favorite comfort foods.

Next was feeding these foods to my family to see if they would enjoy them as much as I did.  Guess what, they did, from my youngest grandchild through my husband of 49 years all were happy eating my food the majority of the time.  They often asked for seconds too.  I was encouraged so I kept doing this.

Eating For Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryWorking and being a WLS patient and feeding more than just myself it became apparent that I needed to plan meals so that at the end of the day:

  • I had the ingredients on hand
  • I didn’t have to wonder what was for the next meal
  • Food became the fuel necessary to keep me healthy that also tasted good
  • I would avoid drive through at all costs and restrict take out and in restaurant dining to once per week

This paid off for me, made my life easier and kept me on track, and saved a lot of money too.  I wasn’t perfect all of the time, sometimes I didn’t make what was planned and there are ALWAYS those times when life steps in the way of the best laid plans.

Eating For Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryFor those “life interrupted” days I kept a protein bar in my purse and in my car, individual jerky packets in my car, and 2 extra liter bottles of water in my car.  There was no reason I would be so hungry or thirsty that the drive through or convenience store would win.  This also worked and is still working most of the time.  I do wander off plan.  I am less than perfect, just like the rest of you.

Initially I depended on my protein bars and jerky a lot, sometimes having a snack just for the sake of having a snack.  I look at them differently now.  Jerky or a protein bar are my emergency food supply and I have to be pretty darn hungry to reach for them.  I’d rather eat REAL food…..a healthy protein source like fish, shrimp, chicken, pork, turkey, beef, and veggies prepared in ways that bring out their flavor as well as seasoned making them international delights.  For example, last night’s shrimp was a stir fry with broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, and sweet red pepper in a home made tamarind sauce over a little bit of cauliflower rice.  It rocked!  Tonight it’s going to be turkey Bolognese (that I had portioned in the freezer) over zucchini noodles (zoodles) topped with some fresh grated parmesan cheese.  I choose to eat like a foodie – why?  Because I am a foodie.  I love delicious food and have learned that it’s not macaroni and cheese or loaded baked potatoes or chicken fried steak that tantalizes my pallet, rather it is a new and tasty sauce, or maybe just a chicken or turkey burger seasoned to be Greek, Italian, Mexican or Thai flavored. 

It’s not rocket science.  We still repeat meals around here frequently.  That’s what meal planning is about.  Your Meat Loaf Mondays and your Taco Tuesdays and Fresh Fish Fridays are still safe.

What might happen if you tried one new recipe each week?  If you were excited about what you were preparing and eating instead of being bored by the same old thing?  How might that help serve your journey to health?

Eating For Long Term Success After Lap Band SurgeryFind your recipes wherever you can- be sure to weigh and measure everything so you know what you are eating- calories, protein and carbs if you need to count them.  Make big batches and freeze the leftovers in portion controlled containers or use them for lunch, and maybe even add the little bit of leftovers to an omelet for breakfast.  The possibilities are endless.

I offer you the opportunity to have many, delicious, simple to follow recipes with nutrition information (calories and protein) at your fingertips in the cookbook I recently published with Wendy Campbell.  It’s called Eat Your Way To Success And Learn How To Control Hunger and it can be purchased through Amazon.com or direct from my business WLS Success Matters.

Wherever you find your recipes have fun in the kitchen and learn to enjoy food in a new, healthy, and wonderful way.

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Being Complacent Doesn’t Support My Healthy Lifestyle One dictionary definition of complacent is:  Satisfied with the current situation and unconcerned with changing it, often to the point of smugness.

Well I am not too sure about the smugness part, but I do know that any time on my journey from 424 pounds to a healthy life that if I became complacent, I soon found myself in trouble.

Take for example when I decided I didn’t need to weigh and measure my food because I was pretty much eating the same things each day – so I knew their calorie and protein count?  This happened to me for the first time about 6 months into my journey and then again at various times along the way.  I was either losing weight with textbook regularity or maintaining my new weight.  What happened was simple- my jeans began to feel tighter, my joints began to hurt a little more AND I found myself hungrier throughout the day…..oops, backslide, back to weighing, measuring, and tracking my food.  And then the jeans fit properly again and the scale was my friend in many ways.

How about the time I stopped keeping track of how much water I had drank in a day?  What happened then?  Well, once I began keeping an eye on it and I realized I was barely squeezing in the 64 ounces my doctor “prescribed” for us, and some days less than that I found that perhaps the cause of my headaches, muscle weakness and fatigue and all over malaise and achiness could be traced back to my lack of hydration, not to mention the constipation that the lack of hydration caused, or the fact that I was hungry all the time.  Hmmm – easy fix, set up a plan for getting in the 80 ounces of water minimum that my body likes.

Being Complacent Doesn’t Support My Healthy Lifestyle Then there is fitness.  For the first year+ my only fitness was walking into and around first the grocery store, then the big box stores, and finally the mall.  I was slow as a snail, but I was doing it.  I totally ignored my doc’s recommendation of 30 minutes per day and just did what “I could”.  Then the weight loss started slowing down and I didn’t like that.  The solution was obvious even though I chose to ignore it for many months more.  A regular fitness routine.  Mind you I was still over 3oo pounds, and my joints hurt so I decided to get into the water and within 6 months built up my swimming laps from 1 lap to swimming for 30 minutes to an hour 7 days a week.  As the years went by I added first a little treadmill and some strength training to my routine, and now I strength train for an hour 2x weekly and elliptical for 45 minutes those same 2 days and swim 5 days a week for at least 45 minutes.  I work out with a trainer so I am constantly challenged there, and I challenge myself on the elliptical by “running” high intensity intervals.  It took me several years to work up to it and now I am running at least a 5k (3.11 miles) in 45 minutes on the elliptical.  At 68 years young I am proud of that.

Being Complacent Doesn’t Support My Healthy Lifestyle What’s my point here you ask?  My point is simply that I take nothing for granted.  I KNOW what it takes to be a successful weight loss surgery patient and to reach my goal and maintain it, that is the truth.  The not so apparent truth is that unless I CHOOSE to take the actions that fit my new healthy lifestyle the majority of the time I cannot, and will not, maintain my weight and my freedom of movement and my health at this level that I enjoy.

My question to all of you on your journeys is simply – Have YOU become complacent?

If your answer is yes, What are YOU willing to do about it?

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How I Put My Support Systems In Place For Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

April 5, 2017

I had weight loss surgery on May 28, 2004.  That is almost 13 years ago.  I went into surgery terrified, afraid I would fail at this last-ditch effort to shed some of the 424 pounds I was carrying around that were killing me slowly.  I woke up after surgery in pain and still terrified wondering […]

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My Mindful Eating Tips – For Long Term Lapband Success

March 29, 2017

I sat down and wondered what I wanted to share in this week’s newsletter.  I’ve been thinking a lot about mindful eating as I have eating a little too fast lately and paying the price.  I re-read this blog and thought – “It makes the points I need to make for myself and the entire […]

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Where I Go For Motivation – Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

March 22, 2017

  So it’s Monday morning, my sinuses are congested, my knee is screaming at me, my hip aches from my hike yesterday and it’s time to get ready for the gym.  The way I see it, I have only two choices – to go to the gym or stay home.  So let’s look at both […]

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Success – How Do I measure thee? Let me count the ways

March 15, 2017

Success after any weight loss surgery begins as a number on the scale for sure; and it is important to weigh ourselves regularly so we stay in touch with the number we declare as our goal and maintain our weight in a reasonable range.  The scale does have a place in our lives.  Rest assured […]

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Relationships Are Like Potato Chips – Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery.

February 22, 2017

I have a problem with sleep.  I don’t get enough.  I get to sleep with ease most nights, but wake up after a few hours and often can not get back to sleep.  I have tried all the known remedies from melatonin, calcium and magnesium to chamomile tea, sleep masks, warm baths and everything in […]

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I Love Food!

February 15, 2017

I love food, I love to eat, and I love to write.  My love of food has transitioned into a way of being since I had my Lap Band surgery in 2004.  That love has resulted in our newly published cookbook, Eat Your Way to Success And Learn How To Control Hunger – A Weight […]

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Fabulous Breakfast After Weight Loss Surgery – Protein Packed Flourless Ricotta Pancakes With Blueberry Syrup

February 8, 2017

Folks often ask me what I eat and when I tell them they then ask for the recipe.  Today I will share a recipe with you step by step for an amazing breakfast.  Try it and let me know what you think and remember, soon you will be able to purchase a copy of WLS […]

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Long Term Lap Band Success – All Is Well With My Weight Loss Surgery AND I Have Pizza Back In My Life

January 25, 2017

This has been a very positive couple of weeks.  First of all I had my annual endoscopy on Friday and my bariatric doctor gave me a green light – my stomach is free of erosion, my band is in a perfect place, and all is right with my weight loss surgery world.  THAT is always […]

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A Morning At The Gym In January – Living a Life Of Long Term Success After Lap Band Surgery

January 18, 2017

Mornings at the gym in January are frustrating.  First of all, the parking lot is full of all of those New Year’s Resolutions people.  I look around and wonder who will still be here in March and April.  I know, after 12 years, that it will be less than half of the folks currently trying […]

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Long Term Lap Band Success – Just Doing It!

January 11, 2017

My body acts as a barometer.  Any time there are weather changes coming I know because I get aches and pains in places I didn’t even know I had places.  This is not a complaint.  It is a fact of my life.  I have had to learn to live with it, and I have. Last […]

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