Long Term Lap Band Success – Getting That Newbie Feeling Again

by sandi on May 27, 2015

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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