Well, the one in the all black is me in my fat suit Halloween costume. OK, not really, but I seriously couldn't resist. (I have a weird sense of humor.) This is me at 234 lbs.
Starting weight: 234 lbs
Current weight: 138 lbs
Overall loss: 96 lbs
Lbs to goal: 0
BMI: 21.0 - (Normal weight = 18.5-24.9)
Clothing size: 6. Sometimes even a bit loose and end up in a 4.
How many fills have you had?
- 1st fill – 1.2cc
- 2nd fill – 1.8cc
- 3rd unfill - was just too tight - went to 1.4cc
- 4th unfill - dilated pouch - complete unfill
- 5th fill - .6cc
- I think I went up some from here to about .8cc; then unfill to about .4 cc; then another to .2 cc - that's where I remain. There is .2 cc in my band. It's pretty much empty.
Are you going to stay at your current fill level?
Work on my "mojo". I need to set some new goals and figure out how to maintain my motivation.
What size clothes are you wearing?
6 pants/dress (sometimes a 4).
What do you eat in a typical day?
I always start with weight control quaker instant oatmeal with 1/2 oz of dried blueberries or cherries for breakfast. (Good source of fiber. Keeps me full without being too substantial to feel uncomfortable.) 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 entirely. 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 some days. Dry meat of any kind is a problem, but as long as what I eat is chewed well and within the amount I am supposed to have - I don't have any issues. (Update: Same answer as last year, but I have added more fruit to my diet.)
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. Other than the gain of 15lbs that was totally MY FAULT and choice (via bad choices and not working out) I have remained the same weight or lost a bit. It was worth every penny and I was self-pay. (Update: Keeping this one the same as well. I need to go back and read that post about the 15 lbs.)
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 you can now see a lump from it when my shirt is off and FEEL it. Feeling it is the grossest. I am considering getting it fixed. I have also had some problems with pouch dilation. People being too tight is BAD. The other thing is that your portion size is also very important. It can also lead to stretching of your pouch. Signs? Eating more than you used to and getting heartburn (aka - reflux). (Update: I haven't gotten my port fixed. I might, but I'd rather have some new boobs - lol!)
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 irritation. Be sure to follow your surgeon's instructions for when this occurs. I find that I get very tight (swollen and irritated) and need to follow the instructions. I'll stay on fluids for a number of hours and then depending on how bad it is (believe me you get to where you know) I'll put myself on self-imposed soft foods for a day or two. Usually within a day I am totally back to normal. (Update: I'm not sure, but I'd guess that I've have 2 episodes in the past year.)
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. (See the side.) (Update: Since my band is essentially empty, I focus on good choices and eating the *right* amount. If I eat hard foods like I am supposed to, guess what - full. If not, I have a little snack.)
Do you have loose skin?
Surprisingly, I'd have to say no. I wear a bikini and look pretty damn good for my age. Over time since I hit goal and continued to workout, I'd say that I even look better. Now, that being said, I'd like to have a boob lift. I don't think that has anything to do with the band though. Just age and gravity. Believe it or not, my boobs are THE SAME size they were before banding. (Update: my boobs are smaller. Seriously. I'm essentially the same weight, but I'm smaller - less fat I figure. So, my boobs don't fill the bra cups like they were. Me wanting new boobs is getting higher on the list.)
Do you 'diet'?
I guess most people would say yes. I'd say no. The bottom line whether you have a lapband or not is you have to make good food choices. I roughly follow Weight Watchers that my friend gave me all the scoop on. The daily points with the flex keeps everything in check. I have journaled my food and exercise since I was banded - except for the time that I put on the 15lbs. This is very successful for me. Conscious eating is critical. (No Update)
So what is all this about this 15lbs you gained?
Well, for about 5 or 6 months, I didn't work out, log my food, or make good choices. The good news is that I only gained 15 lbs. In the past, this would have been much worse. I also avoided the scale, so it was my clothes screaming at me that they were tight that woke me up. There were a whole lot of factors that contributed to my not caring - work stress, break up, just not caring - in fact, I think I was in a bit of a depression. Well, I kicked myself in the ass and got things under control. That is what you see referenced in the past 12 weeks or so. In those 12 weeks, with dedication and effort - and following all the rules - I lost 15.5 lbs. (Update - huh, guess this is what happened. It's funny how you forget things and how a blog can help you remember.)