Hello everyone! I haven't been on the board for a very long time, but I wanted to give an update, and maybe give some sort of a look ahead for new folks contemplating the surgery, or who have just had surgery.
I had my surgery in the Fall of 2010 (lap band). Since then I have lost 160 pounds. Well, really, 140 pounds - I am struggling with this blasted 20 pounds. I would like to lose a total of 30 more pounds for a total of 170 pounds gone. It is much more difficult to lose even ONE pound now than ever before - and I do believe that my metabolism is ticked off at me. I used to get mad at friends who would complain "Oh...I have THIRTY POUNDS to lose - it's so HARD" when I had a couple hundred to lose. But now I know - the closer you are to your new "normal" the harder it is to lose weight. As an aside, I was told by the nutritionist in Bathurst (where I had my surgery) that it's a good idea not to expect to get back to your original "set" weight. The more weight you had on you, the more your skeletal structure has increased (in order to support this weight) and the more muscle mass you have. So, while getting to say 160 seems like a great idea, maybe you'll have to settle at sticking at 200. Or drive yourself insane trying to keep losing. Your new set weight has likely changed. Take a lot of the pressure off, I think, to get to this magical number that really doesn't make sense anymore.
I will say that it has been brutal most of the time. I have never been able to reach that "sweet spot" for long. It is either too tight (most of my experience has been that), or not tight enough. And when it is not tight enough every single adjustment to restrict has proven to be too much, and I need some out. Then I just go up and down in adjustments. Right now I'm not too tight at all, and about 85% of my weight loss efforts is me, and me alone - not the band.
I work out at the gym like a fiend. Trying to build muscle - tightening things up a bit. No doubt there is some flabbage which drives me crazy and upsets me, but I did it to myself, and it's the consequence of my past choices that I have to live with. I walk as much as I can. I keep track of my calories. I remain accountable. At this point in my "journey" I feel like I could benefit in returning to a weight loss group and get weighed "officially" once a week. It's a lot of work now. A lot. I feel that I could EASILY allow myself to put weight back on, but I know that I never will. EVER.
I will say this, though: mental health care is KEY. You need to talk about the implications of surgery and the after effects. People put weight back on all of the time, or lose at a snail's pace because they don't change a THING about their mentality around food and exercise. Talking it out, and finding ways to think about food and health that are more healthy is so very important. I would have to argue that very FEW people put on massive amounts of weight without having some sort of dysfunctional relationship with food. As you read here, and elsewhere all of the time: the band is a "tool." And it really is. There will come a point in your journey that the "tool" may not work as efficiently as it did in the beginning, or maybe you'll need to have the band removed...or whatever. Then what? Take care of yourself - including your emotional/mental health. Also - losing massive amounts of weight in a relatively short period of time means looking at life differently - being treated differently. It can be overwhelming.
Anyway, that is my novel. I hope it's helpful for some people. It has been a rough ride, and many times I wanted to rip this thing out of my body. I'm still not convinced I will not have it removed at some point. But right now I'm better able to make choices MYSELF, rely much less on the band, and make conscious decisions about who I want to be, and how I want to achieve that.
Good luck everyone!!