Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Struggle

I see you out there. You're struggling. You've had your band a while, but it's stopped "working."

Has it? Or have you?

I found a list of "rules" for the weight loss surgery (specifically, the band)... there are ten.

Here they are:

  1. Eat only when you are hungry, and no more than three times per day.
    • Your stomach is only supposed to 1/2-3/4 cups of food. You now also have a stoma which is the area above your band that "feeds" the food through to your lower stomach. You should only have 1 bite of food in there at a time, allowing each one to pass through before you continue to the next bite.
  2. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly.
    • Take your time - eating is not a race! All "stuck" episodes are user error. There, I said it. If your band is too tight and that's the "reason" you're PBing constantly, that's your fault, too. You can ALWAYS go in for an adjustment somewhere. I don't care how much it costs, because you invested in this surgery; you allowed yourself to be put under anesthesia and sliced open for this, and YOU have to keep your body healthy. There is always a way. Yes, I PB once a month or so... and it's always MY fault for eating something and not chewing thoroughly.
  3. Stop eating as soon as you feel full.
    • I say stop BEFORE you feel full. You don't NEED to be feelin' full, because that leads to uncomfortable bloating with me, and I assume I'm not alone. By the time my mind catches up and I'm "full," it's already too late. Eat until you're no longer need to eat to function, for me that's 4-6 oz of firm protein like fish, chicken, or beef, and usually some vegetables.
  4. Do not drink while you are eating.
    • You know what? I'm guilty of this too when there's alcohol involved, but other than that? I do not. Do you know why? It allows me to eat more! It flushes food right past my stoma, through my band, and into my lower stomach. This doesn't give me satiety signals the way I'm used to feeling them after almost 4 years, and leads to overeating and discomfort!
  5. Do not eat between meals.
    • I cannot speak to this rule. I snack. Usually less than 200 calories per, but it happens.
  6. Eat only good quality, nutritious food.
    • Sliders? Ain't nobody got time for that. Sure, I'll indulge every once in a while and have 4 ginger snaps (which are only THREE Weight Watchers points for the brand I buy), but other than that? Firm protein, an occasional protein bar, more protein... I don't eat crap. I don't eat things out of a box, and I don't eat frozen dinners. Fuck that. I want things that will fuel my metabolism and my body, not slow it down.
  7. Avoid fibrous food.
    • I keep my fill level at a point where I can eat some fibrous foods... that doesn't mean that occasionally a piece of broccoli doesn't get stuck (again, because I don't chew each bite 1,678,945 times)! However, things like potatoes mostly do NOT work with my band (Fries? FORGET IT!), even after being chewed 30 times, this stuff is still too thick and it doesn't want to move through. I rarely eat it. Pick your battles, know your band and your body!
  8. Drink enough fluids during the day.
    • Drink water! I drink anywhere between 8-12 cups per day, and that's pre-workout. I can drink 5-6 cups while exercising. I can't get enough! Don't slip back into drinking sodas or having Starbucks every damn day. Fuel your body with things it's made up of: WATER!
  9. Drink only low-calorie liquids.
    • This comes back to #8. Drink water!
  10. Exercise at least 30 minutes per day.
    • That's 210 minutes per week. There are 10,000+ minutes every 7 days, 210 is only 2% of your allotment of minutes! Make YOURSELF a priority. Take the kids to the gym play room, leave them with a friend, take the dog for a walk... walk in place in your living room, if you have to. Just do SOMETHING.
Are you doing 10/10 of these? Because I'm doing 9/10, and I'm rocking it. I was 273 lbs almost 4 years ago, and today I weighed in at 158.1. I'm going to be 145 lbs, and I'm going to be successful in maintaining it. Believe that. Because I give myself my own accountability, I don't rely on outside forces to keep myself motivated.

I was talking to Lori today, and she told me she had been scared she was giving up. But she's back on the horse. (LITERALLY!)

I told her she wasn't allowed to be a statistic. I've heard too many damn advertisements on TV and the radio lately, "Did you get the lapband, but not have the results you were promised? Come see Dr. [Whoever], an experienced bariatric doctor who performs revision surgery!"

I'm not going to be a statistic, because I work every damn day. And she won't be either!

What are you going to do to make sure you're successful? That you stick with it? That you win this fight with obesity?


  1. Thanks for this Ronnie! You are a Bad Ass!!! Just what I needed to read!

  2. This is exactly what I needed too, thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Unfortunately I think it's been a pretty reciprocal problem for me. My band stopped working (medically speaking) so I stopped working it. But I'm so ready to make changes. I need to quit these pre-revision food funerals NOW...

  4. I think my original comment got eaten. Probably by me because that is what I do. Eat things. Anyway, I know the answer for me. It is time to do something about it.

  5. This is definitely what I needed. I'm doing 0/10...for sure. :(

  6. Great post. However, after talking with my own family doctor (not revision doctor, who also does lapbands) feel revision is my best option. Not that the lapband doesn't work. I just realize now, it wasn't for me - the right choice. And I've seen it work for others. And this post... is good in general for those who are post-op for whatever WLS.