Weigh-Ins are on FRIDAYS - Updated July 25, 2014:

Surgery Date: October 20, 2009:

Hit my goal weight on December 17, 2010:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

5 Things That I Wish That I Knew Before I Had Lap-Band Surgery

I feel like I went into the process of getting a band with both eyes open.

I knew before surgery that I would have to count calories, proteins, drink buckets of water, take my vitamins EACH AND EVERY DAY.  That I knew.

For me, I pursued weight loss for the sole reason of improving my health.

I was a pretty confident big girl.

I owned it.

I wasn't in it for appearance improvement or to fit into a certain size jeans.

But what unknown things were waiting for me in the land of weight loss with a Lap-Band?

If I only knew.

Here I am two weeks prior to my surgery. My surgeon makes patients stand up against the door for an official pre-op photo:
October 2009
So, without further delay....

5 Things That I Wish I Had Known Before I Had Lap-Band Surgery:

5.  That Exercise is Required.

I thought that I wouldn't have to exercise to lose weight.

I hated exercise.

It wasn't fun.

And why would I waste time sweating when I could be spending my time watching reality TV and camped out on the couch?  Seriously. A no-brainer.

At approximately three months post-op, I realized that I was delusional and would need to exercise.

I am pretty sure that I wouldn't be as successful as I have been with my band if I hadn't gotten down with exercise.

I now know that I have to sweat and work it to see results and to ensure that I do not become a fatty again.

4.   People Would Treat Me Different When I Lost The Weight.

This is one of the issues that I still struggle with.

It bugs the crap outta me.

Most of the time people are nicer now.

Sometimes old friends don't recognize me.

It's weird and awkward.

Because in my brain, I look like that girl that you just saw standing in front of that door.

Not like this:
I've said it before and I'll say it again: the only living being that treats me the same now at 145 lbs as when I was 258 lbs is my cat.

3.  I Thought That I Would Have My Lap-Band Forever and Ever and Ever.  

But I learned about a year ago that most medical silicone devices have somewhat of a limited life span. I had no idea that, for example, women are usually replacing their silicone breast implants approximately every 10-15 years.

I've now know and accepted the fact that I will probably either need to replace my band one day or not have a band at all.  I'm OK with that.

2.  That 80% of the Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Job Would Be Entirely Up To Me.

I learned pretty quickly after being banded that the band will never stop me from making bad food choices.

Ice cream? Sure!

Cookies? Of course!

Taco Bell drive-thru? Yes, please.

Those wonderful yummy things will always go right past my band and into my tummy.

It's up to me to choose lean proteins and veggies.

The 20% of the job that the band does do is keeps me feel fuller longer.

It's a pretty fabulous thing that my band does for me. No more hunger (usually).

1.  THERE IS NO DONE.

Every time that I had lost weight before getting banded, I would lose some weight (about 20-30 lbs) see  results, and then stop losing weight by going back to my old behaviors.  Then I'd gain all the weight back.

With my band, I learned at about the 30 lbs lost point that I would have to count calories, proteins, drink buckets of water, take my vitamins, and exercise every day and FOREVER.

Forevers a long time.

There is no finish line on this journey.

Now at three years post-op and two years at goal, I'll ask the question:

Would I still get a Lap-Band now that I know all that I do?

Absolutely.

In a heart beat.

I love my band.

25 comments:

  1. I really wish that my surgeon had taken the door picture when I first went in! What a great thing to look back at!

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  2. Great post! I didn't know that about the silicone not lasting forever and ever......thats a bit scarey for me...I really really love my band.

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    1. I did not know that nugget either... that it did not last forever. I am going to have to keep it in forever though as I will NOT have this type of money again for the surgery! And my health insurance only covers ONE weight loss surgery in my lifetime.

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  3. I struggle with the "never done" thing too! I was always like before, okay, I have lost some weight, lets stop and eat cookies! Yay! That can't happen now...

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  4. I'm just beyond your '30-pound' realization point - and yeah, it's that whole concept of forever that's challenging me right now. This is a great post - thank you!

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  5. Thank you for this information. I am being lap banded in March, and I have been reading you religiously for the past few months (including reading every post from the beginning of your blog), and although I know all this--hearing from someone who has been there and is so succint with stating it is deffinitely an eye opener. I know that my surgeon wonders why I am choosing the band isntead of regular bypass--and the answer is simple--it can be UNDONE if necessary.

    I need to give this information to the two other people in my class who have the mindset that 1: they will lose weight while not making any lifestyle changes, 2: it's okay to overeat because they will just throw up and learn to not overeat, and 3: this is a magic bullet.

    From reading your journey, I a more prepared to beginmy own. I have prepared myself mentally for the changes that I will need to make, and have taken your advice to heart. I appreciate your honesty and your sharing with us. Thank you! (www.bariatricbellyaching.blogspot.com)

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    1. Your 2nd paragraph hits home. I know two people in my town who had it shortly before I had mine and they have not lost a pound. Their mindset was that it was an easy "out." One still thinks there are no rules to follow and she can continue with her awful "eating too much" life style.

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  6. Great post! I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat, too!

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  7. All of these things are exactly right and things I would make sure pre-band me should know as well. The biggest thing for me was probably finding this community reading your blog and others from the beginning of your journey was so helpful.

    The one on your list that scares me is the possible revision/removal process. I must say I originally thought that I would only have the band to get to goal and then it would be removed. Obviously that thought was short lived with a small amount of research, but the idea that it's not going to last forever makes me nervous about what complications I may have leading up to that point.

    Interesting topic today!

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  8. Let's see, you are going on four years blogging? And you still have something to say! :)

    I really enjoy reading your blog! Always interesting.

    I remember asking my surgeon how long my band would last. He said, I didn't have to worry about it that my band would last as long as I do. Gosh, I hope that means a long time. lol

    But today, I can say, I don't quite believe that like I did when I asked him.

    Either way, I am thankful for my band.

    Thanks gain.

    Sandra

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  9. I agree. I can see now why sooooo many people fail after weight loss surgery. It is a LOT HARDER than I was lead to believe. I believe that pre-surgery, everyone should be made to read/watch a video on #2...that 80% is UP TO YOU. Having my band does NOT prevent me from eating the wrong foods.

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  10. Thanks for this! Loved this post. I have thought about the "forever" aspect of this too. Great habits to build now for a new future! It drives me nuts how people treat others because of their weight. It's disgusting!

    This has been a great decision for me and it forces me to be accountable. I love my band and would do it over and over again!

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  11. Awesome Post!!! Its all very true and today I'm sitting here typing next to my indoor bike and thinking,,,, three months is over, I'm going to have to get back to exercising if I want to keep loosing.

    THank you for this wonderful list.

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  12. I think about the fact that this will not last forever as well... that at some point my band will no longer work. Would I replace it? Would my insurance cover it again if I was at my goal? It's a scary thought. I agree that this is 80% up to me, but my band makes it easier to make those right choices. I know I'm learning habits that will make it easier to maintain if the band ever had to come off, but the idea of not having it replaced at some point in the future is so scary to me!

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  13. Your "after" photo is hot, but I think your "before" photo is pretty dang cute too. I have also been pretty confident as a big woman; my lap band decision came about because of deteriorating knees and rising blood sugar. I am glad to read your "5 Things" list, and I hope in four years I will still be able to say that I love my band.

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  14. I don't have a band, but I so relate to your 5 things. You are so right- It's never, ever done. Glad you were able to do the work that it takes to make it work.

    Totally awesome! Karen P.

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  15. I have also noticed that people are nicer. I am half way to my goal and I have already noticed the sad fact that people smile at me at the checkout or strike up a conversation. Guys at the petrol station have gone out of their way to help me take the petrol cap of my crappy car when 50lbs ago they used to let me struggle. People hold doors open, say hello good morning in the street and so on. Guys AND Girls.

    That is Sad as can be. I never knew that people were socially sidelining me. I never realised at all. considering how many people are overweight in this world that's an awful lot of ingnoring going on.

    No wonder I used to feel disliked, or snubbed or invisible. I WAS!

    In a way it's good to know that I wasn't imagining it, and also that other people notice that it's going on.

    I'm going to have a spread the love day today.

    By the way - you look TOTALLY amazing, whether you were after that particular side effect of losing weight or not. You rock it!
    ;-)

    Hugs

    x bunny x

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  16. Thank you for this list. I was just banded on Wednesday and I'm feeling sorry for myself because of the pain. Reading this post reminded me that I had this operation to take the first step in a very long journey to become a better me. I shouldn't get discouraged so early on. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    P.S. I'm in the process of reading every single post :) love this blog and Chronicles From Bandland

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  17. I am considering getting a Lap Band. I am reading your posts and I have one question..... If it takes just as much will power and determination to lose weight with the Lap Band, why would you still get it?

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  18. mina ali
    lapband 2009 lost 30 pounds. live in Chicago weigh gains in winter
    loose in summer

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  20. thank you for sharing your words of wisdom..

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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