Weigh-Ins are on MONDAYS - Updated July 3, 2017

Surgery Date: October 20, 2009:


Here are questions that were submitted by readers. 

If you have a question, please email me at lapbandgal@yahoo.com


What is my favorite brand of protein shake?
I tried a lot of different brands of protein shakes when I was pre-op.  I enjoy the taste of the chocolate flavor Unjury brand.  It is medical quality protein.  I sometimes question the quality of the protein that is in the cheaper shakes available at Costco and Wal-Mart.  Check out Unjury.com

What vitamins do I take? Which brands?
Bariatric Advantage: Iron chewies, B12, Calcium Citrate chewies
Opurity Multi vitamin
B-1 sublingual

What are some good sources of protein when you can't do eggs or meat?
If eggs and meat were not an option, I would choose dairy (milk, Greek yogurt, cheese) and most definitely protein shakes.

What are your "go-to" favorite foods:
-Greek yogurt
-Taco Bell beans/cheese/chicken
-Subway kids turkey/egg white sandwiches (i eat the bread)
-Chicken salad
-Cottage Cheese
-Pretty much what other people that I'm with are eating, just smaller portions.

How many meals do you generally eat per day and at what times?
3 per day. 9am, 12pm, 5pm


What would you say is the most important lesson or lessons you've learned about eating since you've been banded, and how has this contributed to your weight loss?
The most important lesson for me was learning that I can always eat more than the recommended 1 cup of food at a time. But just because I CAN eat more than 1 cup, doesn't mean that I should. That's why I depend on EXTERNAL tools to help me: small serving plates/bowls and my trusty food scale. These tools keep my portions in check and I know that when I am done eating my portion/serving, then I am done. No more food.

How are you sustaining your motivation to continue forward?
I get a lot of motivation from my daily blogging and keeping my Lap Band Gal Facebook page updated with my latest food choices or exercise. It keeps me accountable and motivated. I also have that thought of the $16K+ that I paid for my band. I guess that I am financially motivated to make this weight loss stick.

If you've experienced any discouraging set back moments, how did you deal with them, how long did they take to pass-- and what sort of specific strategies might you suggest that could work?
I haven't really had any set back moments, however I still struggle with the idea that there is no "done" in this journey. I often wish that there was a "done" or a "finish line" and I hope that this doesn't lead me down a path of poor food choices and lack of exercise one day.

What is the most difficult thing about having the band and what makes it worth it anyway?
The most difficult thing for me is that I totally know that the band is not the quick fix or "easy button". I still have to do the work to reap the rewards. I could eat thousands and thousands of calories each day...my band doesn't stop me from eating those calories, I DO.

Have you ever worried about being a complete failure at the band, and then gotten over that worry-- if so: did you tell yourself certain things that helped or do certain activities that reassured you?
This was never something that EVER entered my mind. I guess I have had the mindset from the beginning, even the pre-op days, that the only option was to be a success with my band...no ifs, ands, or buts about it.


What is Zumba?
Zumba is latin aerobic dance class that usually lasts 60 minutes. I started Zumba'ing at 220 lbs. It takes a few sessions to get the hang of it, but it is an amazingly fun way to burn tons of calories. Go to Zumba.com to find a class near you.

Was there a time when I hated exercise?
YES. The trick to being successful with exercise and stick with it is to find something you ENJOY. If you don't enjoy it, you won't keep doing it. I didn't exercise until I was about 2-3 months post-op.

Do you exercise, and if so, about how much? Do you think exercise has been pivotal to your weight loss?
Exercise has BEEN SO PIVOTAL to my weightloss and key to maintaining my goal weight. I had to find something that I loved, luckily I found Zumba and Jazzercise. I hate gyms. I call the treadmill the 'dread'mill...i want to poke out my eyes and run away from those things. I need a group class environment to make me exercise. I Zumba/Jazzercise 5 times a week for 1 hour each time. That's 300 minutes of exercise for the week. The recommended weight loss surgery rules say at least 210 minutes per week (30 minutes/day). I figure I'm ahead of the game on the exercise.


Do I have any problems with excess skin?
Yes, watch this video.


What is the proudest accomplishment you've made relative to your band journey thus far?
Getting off of my high blood pressure medications and resolving my borderline high cholesterol. I have always said from the beginning that I lost the weight for improved health.

What are you looking forward to doing next in your journey?
MAINTENANCE. I will continue the daily struggle and successes that come with maintaining my weight below 145 lbs. I look forward to also reducing my body fat percent.

Where do you see yourself 1 year from now and how are you planning to get yourself there?
I see myself at GOAL. I will keep doing what I've been doing ever since surgery: measuring my portions, drinking tons of water, taking my vitamins, EXERCISE, and attending my surgeon's support groups.

What sort of goal setting do you do in general, and how do you motivate yourself to keep going towards those goals?When I was losing I set 10 lb goals for myself. I celebrated every 10 lb loss. Now I just focus on being under 145 lbs.

Given the choice, would you be too tight or too loose and why? How would you handle either situation if you couldn't get in to your doctor for 4 weeks?
It's no secret that I keep my band on the looser side...I have never vomited or "PBd" since before surgery (Oct '09). I have about 7.5 ccs in a 10 cc band. That's what I like about the band, we can each use the tool as we want to. I also have read up on some various online medical sources that sometimes a too tight band leads to erosion and slips. Food for thought. I also like to be able to eat anything I want to (bread, etc). I don't like to be limited. For me, the band is ONLY about being satisfied/full for a longer period of time.

Am I embarrassed to have a Lap Band?
NO Way! I love my band. Read more about it HERE.