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I just got my 18 month survey from the OCC last week. I am very happy with my band and the OCC overall. The band is just a tool, I still have to work hard on my emotional eating habits, especially when I'm under stress. I have been a yo-yo dieter all my life, and got lucky getting my band before my weight got way up there yet again. I am absolutely sure I would weigh at least 70 lbs more than I do right now if I had not gotten the band.

I think the band has helped me in three major ways: made me more mindful when I am eating, it helped curb my binges (and I can't eat 2 huge plates of food for dinner anymore), and it gave me hope when I was feeling pretty bad about myself for failing at weight loss one more time. It did not automatically stop my food addictions or help with the emotional eating. I have other help for that and am still working on it. I will probably be working on that the rest of my life.

I would like to be wearing a size 8 in pants, but my size 10s are comfortable now and I could be happy staying here - I am really happy with where I am honestly. My band is not super tight, but I definitely know it is there. I spend a lot on vitamins, but our grocery bill has also gone down quite a bit. My husband used my surgery to change his eating habits and of course he lost all his weight in the first few months. He was the one who encouraged the surgery, and I'm glad he did. Honestly I think it added about 20 years to my life because I don't think I would have had the emotional strength to try to lose a lot of weight one more time.

One thing I have learned from my counselors and coaches is to be realistic in my expectations. The band won't make major food issues go away, but it can be a tool to give you hope and help control some of the bad habits. We have to be willing to change, and that might be the hardest part. I highly recommend the book Four-Day Win by Martha Beck. You can get it for next to nothing on Amazon, and she has all these great ideas for dealing with change and all the crazy things that come with food issues. I reread it every 6 months or so because I keep getting through deeper layers of my stuff with food.

This may have been way more than you were looking for, but I am really happy with my decision - and would highly recommend the OCC to anyone. They know what they are doing, and I think everyone there really cares about us patients.

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