Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Well, I came out here a couple times and thought about posting, but then realized there isn't much to post. Today I thought it might be a good idea to share my thoughts on my less-than-what-it-was-fill.

I had been a little bit concerned about having so little in my band. But ultimately when you get to your goal - which I am confident everyone will - you are in a different place than where you were. You don't want to be too tight or too loose, but I do think looser than when I was deep in the battle is good. I am sure - just like everything else - that there are a bunch of perspectives and that ultimately we all have to figure out what works for each of us.

Bottom line though - you still have to make good choices. This is true throughout the entire journey. You can eat around the band, you can make bad food choices, you can still sabotage yourself. You must make behavioral changes. The band is only a tool. It will not get you there without all the other components (working out too is also important).

So, am I happy with my fill. Yes, some days it still feels tight even with the little fill. But what is key is that I am maintaining my weight. I am getting a bit hungry in between meals (3 a day), so I have some almonds or something healthy to take the edge off. It's working, so I am leaving it...and I am down another 1/2 lb. (Remember - Ideally, I'd like to be at 134, but if I don't I am also good with that.)

Official weigh in stats:
Starting weight: 234 lbs
Current weight: 145 lbs
Overall loss: 90 lbs (wow)
Lbs to goal: -5 lbs

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Yes, I went back to the doc. I was totally stressed out. This has never happened to me at the doctor. They couldn't tell I was until they hooked me up to the blood pressure do hickey. I actually found it to be pretty funny. They of course asked what was wrong and I said I am not sure. Everything in this room is stressing me out and so is this machine!!! I eventually got over it and all was good.

I have really bad allergies, so I couldn't figure out if my throat was sore from that or reflux. I did stick to soft foods, which totally sucked, but wanted this resolved. I also said that I don't want a fill right now. Just see if I am fixed. I will come back if I am hungry or start putting on weight.

Did the fluoro standing up and voila!!! Itty bitty pouch. I even said, "oh look how cute. A little itty bitty pouch. I love it." They cracked up!

Official weigh in stats:
Starting weight: 234 lbs
Current weight: 145.5 lbs
Overall loss: 89.5 lbs (wow, almost 90 lbs)
Lbs to goal: -4.5 lbs

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Here I Go AGAIN!!!

So, it was that time of the month. Figured that was why I was tight. This is very normal for me. So, liquids and soft foods for a couple days. Well, NOT the case!!! I started getting reflux from everything. And my throat is 0(*^*&^ sore! I went in today and no surprise I was too tight. AND because of the tightness, my pouch was a bit dilated. I was at 1.0cc and was reduced back to .5cc. I am fine with this. Liquids for 3 days and then soft foods for 3 days and back in to be checked again. Learn from me PLEASE go in if you are feeling too tight. It will save you from dilating, pain, and liquids/soft foods!!!

Official weigh in stats:
Starting weight: 234 lbs
Current weight: 146 lbs
Overall loss: 88 lbs
Lbs to goal: -3 lbs

Friday, August 17, 2007


I had no idea that it had been so long since I posted. I'll have to get caught up on everyone's blog too!

Thanks everyone for the congratulations. I have managed to maintain, but did go in for a bit more of a fill. I only had .6cc and went up to 1.0cc. So, still less than before, but seems to be working out fine. I am a little paranoid that I have dilated my pouch again, but then I am loser so it may be that. Who knows. The only way to find out is to go in for fluoro. At 150 bucks a pop, I will save that for next month.

So, the skin question from Leah. I am very fortunate. People can't even tell that I have lost so much weight. I take that as confirmation that my skin is OK. I would like my arms to be a little firmer, but can accomplish that by lifting weights. I just need to be more focused on it. I have no idea why, but am guessing it is all the practice my body has losing the same 80+ lbs. Historically my problem has been keeping the weight off. But no more! YEAH!

I hope everyone is well!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Yep, I did it! 1 year and 8 months later I have done it. I am so proud of myself. Sounds vain, but I am. It has been a long haul. I plan to hang at this weight for a bit, but am honestly thinking of taking off 9 more lbs. Here's some specifics for those that are interested:

Official weigh in stats:
Starting weight: 234 lbs
Current weight: 148 lbs
Overall loss: 86 lbs
Lbs to goal: -1 lbs

BMI: 22.5 - (Normal weight = 18.5-24.9)
Clothing size: 6 or 8! Most of the times a 6! (Yipee) Shirt: S/M

I answered the questions below before and thought I would do it again. If anyone wants to know anything, please feel free to ask in the comments. No question is off limits as I hope people get some value out of this. (Some of the answers remained the same as last time.)

How many fills have you had?
  • 1st fill – 1.2cc – 12/21
  • 2nd fill – 1.8cc – 1/25
  • 3rd unfill - was just too tight - went to 1.4cc
  • 4th unfill - dilated pouch - complete unfill
  • 5th fill - .6cc

Are you going to stay at your current fill level?
Yes for now. I am going to go in and get things checked out in the next couple of weeks. I have not been particularly hungry and have even lost a few pounds so will stay here for now. I am actually thinking that I was still a bit too tight prior to the unfill and am thinking that may have caused the dilation. I don't know for sure, just a feeling.

What are you going to do next?
I am going to maintain for a bit. If I lose, I lose. I don't plan on consciously trying to though - at least for now. Then I may go after the 9 lbs.

What size clothes are you wearing?
Generally, a 6/8 in pants. Shirt - S/M (boobs still remain. Yippeee)

What do you eat in a typical day?
I always start with a venti non-fat latte from Starbucks that I sweeten with equal for breakfast. It helps loosen me up, I get protein, and a good calcium fix. For lunch, pretty much whatever. If I'm tight - which you can tell over time - I'll have something soft. For dinner, I'm loosest then and eat pretty much anything. I pretty much stay away from pasta and bread. When I do eat some, it might be a bit of pasta or crackers---pasta always has a lot of sauce. Dry meat has to have sauce. Chicken breast is tricky. With current fill - I am looser, but for the most part doing the same thing. I am still very careful about dry meat.

Was it worth it?
Yes, it was. I stress though that I would only recommend it as a last resort. I felt I was there. I could get the weight off, but just couldn't keep it out without exercising and watching what I ate ALL the time. Now, I live a life of moderation on everything and the weight stays off. I have consistently remained the same or lost weight. It was worth every penny and I was self-pay.

Have you had any problems?
Yes. You'll see in the beginning of my blog that shortly after my surgery I swore my stitches in my port popped. Everybody told me no way and not to worry about it. When I went in for my fill, it had. So it is on it's side. I still have not had it fixed, but if I lose the 9 lbs I will likely have to. At certain angles, you can kind of see a bump right now. Then of course there is the most recent dilation.

Have you pb'd?
Yep. When I was too tight, a lot. Now, I pretty much know how and what to eat depending on the tightness of my band. When/if I have problems, it is around my period. I have learned sometimes it is best not to fight it and let it happen. This seems to work for me and then does not lead to repeated pb's or irritiation. With the current fill level, no pbs at all. (BTW - What is a pb? Simply put - throwing up. It seems to be a nice way of saying it for bandsters.)

What rules do you follow?
Eat slowly. Take small bites. Don't eat first thing in the morning. When I feel full - stop. Don't drink with meals. No soda. That pretty much sums it up. There aren't a lot of them. These are pretty much the standard bandster rules. The latest addition is the first bite rule. I am sure to chew well and make sure it is small. There is some suspicion that not doing this may have contributed to the dilation. Again, no one knows for sure.

Any questions? Please let me know.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

It's WHAT?

My BMI is well within the normal range. I guess that milestone just past by without me noticing. I was talking to a friend and it came up. I am at 22.9!! That is pretty exciting. If I can lose this last little bit I will finally be at my goal weight too. (started out at 35.6)

BMI Categories:

  • Underweight = <18.5>
  • Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight = 25-29.9
  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

Dilation and and Slippage Info - Received from Dr

What is a normal pouch?
The gastrointestinal tract is made of smooth muscle which streches and constricts to pass food along the tract and to accommodate different sizes and consistencies of food. The lapband is surgically places a the gastroesophageal junction where the esophagus wides and becomes the upper part of the stomach. When the band is tighteded, it narrows this area creating an hour glass appearance and a small pouch of stomach above the band. It is the small pouch that aids in your weight loss by limiting the amount of food you can eat at one time. Once it is stretched, you will feel a fullness or slight pressure in your chest area. This is a signal to stop eating. (Some people also experience hiccuping, runny nose, and other things.)

What happens when a pouch is dilated?
The pouch can be overstretched by overating, eating too fast, taking bites that are too big, eating foods that are uncomfortable, vomiting, or having your band too tight. If you continually overstretch your pouch, you can cause your pouch to dilate or "stretch out" and then it will hold more food. You may notice weight gain or that you can eat larger portions of food. If you continue eating the larger portions, it worses the problem by further stretching the pouch.

What is a slip?
Slippage occurs when the stomach below the band 'slips' up through the stoma (the opening inside the band between the pouch and the rest of the stomach), causing a prolapsed or herniated pouch. This herniated area can hang over the edge of the band causing food to be stuck in the pouch and preventing it from passing through the stoma to the larger stomach. This is what causes heartburn, regurgitation, vomiting and pain that can be associated with a symptomatic slip. In severe 'slippage' circulations to the stomach can be compromised requiring a second surgery to repair the slippage or to remove the band if there is too much scar tissue to repair the area. It is believed that vomiting is the biggest cause of a slip, so go to the doc if you are experiencing ongoing vomiting.

What should I do if I think I have a dilation or slip?
Although these complications are not common (I think they are more common than they are reported, but that is my opinion and not in any way based on fact.) they can be serious. Summarizing now...Follow the rules. If you think there is a problem, go get it checked out. Don't wait.

What will happen if I am diagnosed with a dilation or slip?
For most dilations or slips the first non-surgical step to treat the problem is to remove all fluid from the band to allow the system to rest. This will relieve some of the stress on the pouch which has led to dilation and hopefully allow the pouch to regain some of its tone so that it can again function to limit portions. (Translation - back to liquids.) In a slip, removing the fluid enlarges the stoma, increasing the chances that the stomach which slipped above the band can slip back down.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hungry! - and some thoughts...

My hunger has been a bit of a struggle. I find that now I have had my band so long I am way more in tune with hunger and food. I say this in a good way. I can now tell when I am hungry and it is real hunger. I also have learned that it doesn't take a lot of food to stop that feeling.

I say that because right now I only have .6 in my band. I am 'able' to eat much more food, but have (for the most part) stuck with my 1/2 - 3/4 cups of food and when I am truly hungry I have a small snack. (A few almonds, a yogurt, or something healthy.)

The other thing is that the things I couldn't eat because of the band - which for me is mainly bread - I just continue to not eat. Overall, I am pretty proud of myself. (I have also kept my butt away from the soda.)

If that wasn't enough, I am now only TWO pounds from my goal. Bottom line - slow and steady wins the race and you have to hang in there. You have to leverage what the band provides you, but it is still YOU at the end of the day.

I know someone that also got the band. Generalizing, in the beginning as the band gets adjusted correctly, the weight comes off without a lot of effort. BUT as time goes on it gets much harder. You HAVE to make good choices and most people HAVE to exercise. She has put on 20 lbs of the weight she lost which I think was around 60 lbs. How? Making bad choices - eating around the band and not moving.

A little word on exercise - in my experience - you don't have to become a gym rat. 5 days a week at 30 mins or 3 days at 60 mins has worked out well for me. Walking is great. Just get moving.

I think I am having these thoughts because I am so close to goal. I will be glad to get there and at that point might even think about taking off a few additional pounds. Will see how it goes.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Where did all the bandsters go?

It seems that there were many bandsters that were blogging, but over time they stopped. I wonder what happened? Did they hit their goal and get focused on other things? Were they having problems? I finally cleaned up my Blogrolling and deleted the blogs that had not been updated since last year. I go through slumps where I don't post either, but decided that 6 or more months was the cleanup line. I sure hope that they made it and are happy with their decision. But dang it, I sure wish I knew!!

I ran across a Blog on someone else's that is a bandster seeking out bandster blogs. But wouldn't you know it, I can't seem to remember where it was or the Blog on which I linked to it from. I am also on the hunt for other bandster blogs. I find them to be very helpful. Maybe helpful is not the right word, maybe it is supportive? Regardless, I like them. So, please if you know of any that I am not linked to, please share!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Went Shopping

And I Am now solidly in an 8 in Misses and a 9 (which is a bit big) in Juniors. I will definitely be a 6 by the time I lose the last bit. The 8's will be too big. Who would have thought? hee hee. If you read back in my blog I thought I'd be an 8 by the end. A 6 is defintely small enough considering how tall I am. My friends think I am thin enough now, but let's be real they don't see me in the shower and I know there is more to come off.

I do wonder about sizes though. I swear that sizes are much bigger than they used to be. I know I am not as small as I was in college, but yet I can wear a 6 it is just tighter than I like it to be. Vanity sizing - I think that is the culprit. (And the 2-3% spandex in everything.) I still think I would wear a much bigger size in Europe. But oh well, right? I don't live in Europe.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Paranoia Remains

Well it has been a week since I got my band refilled. It has been difficult not to continue to stress every time I eat or drink and that when I go back in a couple weeks I will find that I have a dilated pouch. It is actually quite annoying! I think it is going to take going back a time or two and seeing that everything is OK.

As far as what did it - They don't know. I had not been in frequently enough that it could be pinpointed. I guess there are a lot of ways it can happen - which in my experience - they kinda tell you but more importantly they tell you it doesn't happen very often. I swear this is what I was told, but now it seems I am told that it happens quite often. I am tending to believe that the things I hear now are probably nearer to the truth.

Did you know there is a new band? It is my understanding that it is wider and is a continous circle. It turns out that all other bands have a little tiny spot where the restriction breaks. It seems to me that this wider band will further reduce the chance of slips and I was told that is what they hoped. Interesting stuff.

Anyway, that's my update for now. Trying to adhere to all the rules, but with a little fill I am getting hungry between meals. C'est la vie, right? ;)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Doc Visit Results

Mostly good news. My pouch had shrunk almost down to normal. So, I did get refilled, but only .6!!! My first fill was all the way to 1.2. 2nd fill took me to too much (can't remember what it was) and was backed off to 1.4. It was only .6 because she wanted to be conservative and see if my pouch will shrink the rest of the way. That is all fine and dandy, but now it will take another $150 to get the next fill. (A little frustrating! as I would have preferred to be filled to 1.2 and continue fluids for a bit longer. Anyhoo...)

On soft foods today and then back to real food tomorrow. Have to ENSURE that no more than 3/4 cup is eaten (6 oz.) at a meal. Doctor's orders, but bandster rules anyway. The problem may be that might not keep me full because my fill is not much. I was given the permission to snack. This could be a slippery slope, so going to try to not do that unless I am desperate.

I seriously cannot believe that I am only 4 lbs from goal. I am thinking that I might lower my goal weight another 10 lbs. But honestly, if I get the additional 10 off, then I will likely add the last 6 to get to a full 100 lbs lost. Just don't know. Depends how I look.

That's it for now. I go back in another 3 weeks. Will post again then at the latest.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Tomorrow morning I go to the doctor for another fluoro. I have stuck to full liquids since I was there and was unfilled. I have actually been really stressed and nervous about whether or not my pouch is shrinking back into shape. I am concerned that nothing has happened and that it will still be the same. Other stupid thoughts I am battling:
  • Any little twinge or anything is something going on with my band.
  • Wondering why I am not starving.
  • Even though I am unfilled and on liquids that when I have the liquids that I am stretching my pouch.
  • Why aren't I more hungry?
  • Why am I getting full on liquids?
  • Will the weight I lost really stay off when I go back to solids?
  • Will I be able to get a fill back to where I was before without additional visits at $150 each
  • Should I go to 1.2 instead of 1.4 fill in case the stretching was caused by being too tight
  • And a zillion others!

I will report in tomorrow after the doctor's visit. Stats follow. Really close to goal weight!!!

Official weigh in stats:

  • Starting weight: 234 lbs
  • Current weight: 153 lbs
  • Overall loss: 81 lbs (Broke 80 lbs!!)
  • Lbs to goal: 4 lbs

Monday, June 04, 2007

Anyone out there? Band Update

I temporarily blocked my blog, so not sure if I lost all the people that used to drop by...thought I'd update what is going on. I think it is important stuff for others with a band---or for me in hindsight. (I have found going back and reading old posts to be very helpful.)

I was having some reflux at night. I have been eating my portions, etc. and generally being a good bandster. I did notice that I was eating a bit more, but weight was good, so didn't think much of it. The reflux is what got me. I knew there was something up.

I went to the doc and had fluoro. The band was still in the right location --- no slip. So, that was good news! But, yes there is a but, my pouch was stretched. Yep - you know it...UNFILLED!!!

They unfilled my band and I am on a liquid / then soft food diet for 14 days. The hope / plan is that my pouch will go back into shape. It is supposed to. 7 days (this Thursday - June 7) and I go back to see how things are going.

So, there has to be something that caused this right? Reviewed my journals, etc. and voila. I swear it was the soda that I had read so much about people enjoying. That is the only thing that I had that I shouldn't have. Keep in mind - I was stirring it to get the bubbles out. Maybe this is OK for some, but definitely NOT me. Bottom line: I am self-pay and I need to stay within the rules.

Another thing - GET YOUR BAND CHECKED!! It had been a year since I had been in. Probably could have caught this earlier. So, now going to go every 90 days for a while and then switch to every 6 months. Costs $150 a visit, but $600 a year is worth it to keep my band in shape.

Official weigh in stats:
Starting weight: 234 lbs
Current weight: 156.5 lbs
Overall loss: 77.5 lbs
Lbs to goal: 7.5 lbs

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Fill Remains the Same

Well, it had to be that time of the month that tightened my band during Christmas coupled with holiday family stress (just in case anyone wondered).

I have not been actively trying to lose the rest of the weight. Planning to kick it into gear mid-April. Will have to see how it goes though.

I am trying to think of anything monumental to report since the last time I posted. You would think there would be something, since it has been so long, but I can't think of anything.

Official weigh in stats:
Starting weight: 234 lbs
Current weight: 163.5 lbs
Overall loss: 70.5 lbs
Lbs to goal: 14.5 lbs