I have been thinking about what I have learned in the past 6 months with my band. It is funny because the past 6 months have gone by so fast. But, I have also made so many changes in that time. I still have LOTS of struggles but also many successes. I have not lost as much weight as I dreamed I would. But I have also lived my life in a way that I could enjoy myself and not feel constantly deprived. I have made some really good choices, and some really bad choices.
The first and most difficult hurdle for me was the pre-op liquid diet. Mine wasn't even that long, only one week. I swear there was more then one day when I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it. If any of you are going through this now... know that you will make it. Know that it is so worth it. My liquid diet just happened to fall on my anniversary. That was really hard. I was already starting to mourn food and that felt like an additional slap in the face. During my pre-op faze I started seeing a therapist. That was a huge help. He made me see what some of the real issues were, helped me with what felt like a death of a friend (food).
The second tough spot for me was my port revision about a month after my surgery. I was so upset when I found out my port had flipped and that I needed another surgery. My surgeon was so kind and scheduled me for surgery the same week so that I could get on with things. The surgery was relatively minor but the recovery was more painful. I had pretty much no pain when I had my lap band installed. I had a lot of pain with the revision. I also had serious issues with the wound healing. It took much longer that time around and was so frustrating.
All these problems made it impossible to get fills, but at that time I was determined to lose the weight and nothing was going to get me down. I never experienced bandster hell like some folks do. I did really well without restriction for a long time. Now I am struggling a little more.
I have had 5 fills and have decent restriction but still am not staying full as long as I should be. I have another fill scheduled for next week and hope this is the fill that will bring me to that special place.
What I have learned so far is:
This isn't easy... you still have to do your part. No matter how many times I was told that I still thought it would be easy. It isn't easy, but it is manageable.
Chewing and taking small bites leads to good experiences. Not doing this leads to sliming and pbing in the work bathroom... not fun.
I am still dealing with the mental factors of my eating issues. My band doesn't help me with what is going on in my head.
I have good weeks and I have really bad weeks but as long as I keep trying I keep making progress. I have often felt like I was doing the whole 2 steps forward 1 step back. My therapist insists that this is very normal.
I must make healthy new life long habits. The more I do them the easier they are.
Exercise is not an option, you must do it in some form. To keep the weight off that is essential.
It is not all about how I look but more about how I live.
Low carb is not the only way. Unless your doctor says it is.... you can have carbs and you will not stop losing weight. It may be a little slower of a loss but you may be happier and find the journey easier. I know I did. ** My doctor totally supports eating all kinds of food but in the correct way, protein first, healthy carbs, and sweets and treats in MODERATION.
And lastly, and most importantly to me... my eating can not determine my social life. I know some people talk about how they will avoid social events so they don't have to eat. That is the kiss of death for me. If I feel like I have to stay home I get sad and will not continue making good food choices. Instead I try to work on good choices at these events. They are not always possible so you make up for it at the next meal if that is the case.
Good luck to all on this journey no mater what stage you are at. We are all in this together and we will all make it to the end. It just might take some of us longer and that is okay.