Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday & Lapband Timeline's Tuesday.  So the weekend was good.  Saturday morning was spent cleaning the house as is most Saturday mornings in my house.  Saturday afternoon, we dropped the girls off at my mom's and headed to Hubby's boss' house for a barbecue and fight night.  I admit I was a little nervous...not just because I'm shy but because it's Hubby's boss, meeting him for the first time and we really want Hubby to get hired on permanently at this job so we want to make a good impression.  I was also nervous because Hubby's friend works there too and had already may have said some things to the affect of how I'm uptight until you get a few drinks in I felt they already had some preconceived notions.  Anyway, we went, we ate, we watched the fight and yes, drank...and I feel all went well.  Sunday morning, we were up bright and early to get the bulky stuff out of the garage - we finally got rid of the couch, chair and bunkbed and I can now park the minivan in the garage!  So freakin' excited about that!  We picked up the girls, did some grocery shopping and hung out at home.  Must've eaten something spoiled as stomach started protesting Sunday night and spent most of the night going back and forth to the bathroom.  Called in sick yesterday to let the stomach settle down and here we are.

So where is HERE?  Here is a new day, a new week, a new chance to start over on the healthy train, no matter how far we may have fallen.  I have a theory...I don't think it's new...pretty sure I read it on someone else's blog and I'm just expounding but I'm sorry I can't remember where it was to link back.  But I do believe that all bandsters kinda hit a timeline obstacle with the battle of the bulge.  The first year is great.   You're frustrated the first few months because you don't have great restriction yet and then the weight seems to naturally fall off.  Notice I didn't say FLY off...I said fall off.  For some of us, it falls off slower than others.  But it comes off with fairly little effort for most of us. This is when you MUST work your ass off to get to goal.  The most successful bandsters have hit their goal the first year.  They incorporate exercise and fitness along with great food choices and get it done.  And lucky for them that they do because if you go into Year 2 of banding NOT at's a long, lonely road.

Year 2 when you're not at goal sucks.  The newness has worn off.  The motivation has waned and, chances are, so has the support you got at the beginning.  Everything you HAVE been doing isn't working anymore because you really haven't been doing enough to begin with.  If the 13 months of exercise didn't become a habit (and trust me, for some people, it just DOESN'T), chances are it's going to be a struggle to get that activity in.  A certain amount of contentment with your new body sinks can shop at regular stores, fit in booths, not worry about airline seat belts...and a certain part of you thinks "this is enough."  Everyone's used to seeing you "thinner", so the compliments slow down.  The newer, thinner you is now the fat you.  Discontentment grows but so does the fact that you FEEL you should be done by now.  You feel you should be at goal.  You realize that it's going to take a lot more effort on your part to get there and if you're like me, the thought of that is exhausting.  You've been obsessing about losing weight your whole life and now that you're "acceptable," a break may sound like a pretty good idea. It is my opinion that THIS is why lapband statistics cites people lose 50-65% of their excess body weight with the band.  Generally, they track 2 years out from surgery.  Well, folks...I've lost 70 lbs.  That's 70%.  I'm right in line with the statistics.

Now, don't get all hopeless.  I'm not saying EVERYONE'S story is like this but looking around Blogland and the view here in Candyland, this is norm.  It's time for the good news.  All is not lost.  Do you know why?  Because we've got this tool.  Unlike gastric bypass where if you stretch your pouch, you stretch your pouch...with the band, it's sitting there...just waiting for you to use it.  Waiting for you to recommit (REALLY recommit - not just say it, not just use words like "back on track" or "on the wagon" but REALLY ready to make that commitment that prompted us to get surgery or get healthy in the first place).  If you KNOW you're not at optimum restriction (let's review:  Does 1-1 1/2 cups of food keep you satisfied for 3-4 hours) go get a fill.  Are you worried your doctor will be mad at you because you haven't lost weight?  Oh well.  Suck it up and take your medicine.  Your doctor WANTS to see you if you're struggling.  If you're a self pay and think it's too expensive, I want you to put aside a jar...and every time you go to eat something you KNOW isn't going to help you get to goal, put a dollar in it.  Every time you think negative thoughts about where you are (even though you've already been a lapband success), put a dollar in the jar.  Every time you think an unkind thought about your body, put a dollar in the jar.  You'll see that for all the time you spend thinking about this weight and agonizing over it, you can afford your fill within a month.  You EARNED it.  If you're at good restriction but eat until you're "full" instead of "satisfied," start listening to your body again (raising my hand). We all listen very carefully in the beginning because we're terrified of breaking our band.  As time wears on, you see there's no rhyme or reason to why some people must lose their bands (there are a few of you floating around here in Blogland that have had the band removed through no fault of your own and others who abuse the hell out of it and face no repercussions).  If you're eating fast food and crapfood (again, raising hand)...just less of it than you used to, it's just not good enough. If you know you're too tight but think you can starve yourself thinner, think again.  Go get that unfill.  Slider foods do not help us lose weight.  Period.

My 2nd Bandiversary is in August.  That gives me the whole summer to make my second year a better year than it's been so far.  I know I can do this.  I know what I want.  I want that healthier lifestyle.  I WANT to be that annoyingly active family that goes bike riding together, kayaking, camping, hiking, rock climbing and all that stuff that most families don't do.

So if you're like me and not at's what we're going to do:
If you're in your first year, take full advantage.  You CAN shock your body into losing weight.  Throw yourself into that new lifestyle.  Look to the superstar bandsters for inspiration and see how they did it.  Almost all of them exercise (there are exceptions).  ALL of them eat right MOST of the time (no, not all of the time).  This first year is really your best chance to get to goal because trust me...after gets A LOT harder.  No excuses.  "But I'm still so big to exercise..."  No, you're not.  You're too big to run a marathon.  You can go for a walk, go for a swim, sit on your couch doing leg lefts, walk around Target.  Get up and MOVE.

If you're in your second or even third year (I don't mean to ignore you, I just don't have experience in that area yet) and still struggling with making goal, reevaluate.  Do you need to adjust your goal?  Is your goal still realistic?  Once you decide, make it happen.  Get your fill, adjust the diet, adjust the activity level just do it.  I know I made that sound simple but let's face it.  It IS simple.  From a physical perspective, it's as easy as pie.  It's the mental one that's tough.

We can do this.  I have no doubt.  Will I reach my goal weight by August 15th?  No.  I won't.  Could I have?  Yes, absolutely but what's done is done and I can't go back and right those wrongs.  What I can do is move forward from them and start doing the absolute best by myself.  I've earned that.  So I'm starting with a modest weight goal...I'm going to lose 12 lbs by August.  I'm putting up a ticker and we're going to do this.  I challenge anyone who's been stalled like I have...playing with the same 3 lbs for set a goal of 12 lbs by August.  It's do-able.  It really is.  That's less than a lb a week.  Just because we didn't make it in a year doesn't mean we can't make it in 2 or even 3.  WE CAN DO THIS.


Grizzlyrider said...

Did you crawl into my brain during the night? I am right there with you. I will be coming up on my 3rd bandiversary August 31, down 96 lbs but have been there since the end of year 1. Everything you list I have been doing. I have a lovely pile of new clothes for spring/summer and I am only 10-20 lbs from being able to wear them. I'm going to do it and I thank you for this eye opening blog!

jennxaz said...

great are not the first that has told me to make the most of my first year and your right I think exercise has been key for most successful banders!

vickyd said...

Awesome post!! You are so right and I hope this motivates the newbies to hit it hard right from the start and motivates those of us who didn't reach goal in the first year to not give up!

Anonymous said...

Long time reader (seriously since my band in November 2010) but first time commenter. This is my story! Amen sister. I'm in the challenge
Tray from Nevada

Kristin50 said...

You hit every nail directly on the head here!

It is ultimately up to you to make the band work. I find it funny when people tell me that they have gone back to drinking soda, eating fast food burgers and fries and high calorie laden foods, ie. candy chips and ice cream, and wonder why in the hell they have not reached their goal.

The statistics for the band are 40-50 pounds!!!!!!!! So those who surpass this are superstars in my book.

My surgeon always was quick to remind me that the band pounds loss is usually somewhere between 40 and 50 pounds on average.

I always thought I would be at goal long before now as well. I am 4years and five months out from my band surgery. I am one of the ones who recently lost their band to no fault of my own, except that I was too tight for too long, and did not get unfilled.

I know you can do this, and you are right as long as you have your head in the game, you can still WIN!!

Grandma Bonnie said...

I am retyping this ( got lost somehow) cause I want you to know how inspiring your post was to me. I was banded in August 24 2010 and have lost 80 pounds. Great! I feel wonderful, off all meds, active etc. You have given me the drive to go ahead and lose another 10-15 pounds. I have kind of given up, thinking 190 was easy to maintain, normal clothes etc.
I just booked a scuba and whale shark swim in Cozumel for June and will lose 7 pounds before.

Deb said...

Two things to comment on: first, AMEN! Everything you said was so sensible and a very accurate description of my own journey...1.5 years out, 74 pounds lost, 34 to go...I exercise and have recently started logging calories to see where I am too high or too low. I'm still figuring it out.

Second, one of our problems is that people like us, while being so inspired by your post, get to the part where you say, "From a physical perspective, it's as easy as pie," and we think, "Mmm, pie!"

CeeJay said...

So spot on with your blog post today. As some of the other commenters did you know exactly what I was feeling. Thanks for the insight. Love learning on the blogs and nkowing that others deal with the same issues! Good luck!!!

♫ Drazil ♪ said...

Amen got this. We're right beside you!

Sandy said...

I'm in too. Getting a fill May 2nd and hope it clicks in. My weight hasn't gone up but neither has it gone down in 18 months. Ready, set...

~Lisa~ said...

Excellent post, lovely lady!! You've given me some mo-jo that I've been needing lately!!

Thank YOU!!!

InWeighOverMyHead said...

Love this post. I think it true for most WLS.