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Inspirational Words for EVERY stage of your banding journey!!

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Inspirational Words for EVERY stage of your banding journey!!

Ok I stole this from a gastric bypass website but I found it so inspiring that I just had to share it so I altered some parts of it to be lap band applicable.

Newbies- What was I thinking?

It is normal for you to be second guessing your decision in these early weeks as you haven’t lost enough weight to justify the discomfort and misery you may have experienced or are still in the midst of. The benefits have not yet tipped the scales in your favor but all that is about to change if you just hang on and give yourself the time and materials to heal. It usually all comes together and really rolls after the first 6-8 weeks (usually after your first fill).

If you are a 'newbie' post-op you are probably wondering how in the world everyone else manages to eat all of this protein, drink all of that water, and take all of these vitamins and pills when you can barely sip an ounce or two of water before bursting. Well the truth is that none of us jump off that operating room table able to do all of these things. It all comes in time and you don’t need to force the issue if you don't feel good. Too many people give up on protein shakes and put away the vitamins Start off slowly and work up to full amounts over time.

Sliders- Coasting along quite smoothly…

Suddenly your 'fat clothes' are hanging as if they belong to someone else. You have blown past the 45 pound mark and you almost feel as if you never had surgery. Life is great! You can eat soft foods with relative ease, and are dabbling with more normal foods with little consequence.

Now is the time to change your habits and develop a healthy lifestyle. Formulate a plan for protein, and make sure you are not skipping meals. Put a vitamin program in place and stick to it. Contrary to how you may feel, you are not invincible so don't intentionally eat foods with high amounts of sugar. Don't test those limits. We couldn't gain control over our eating before our surgery and having the potential for getting sick hanging over our heads is a good way to force us to modify our behavior. Use this very valuable tool and keep it intact for life.

This rapid weight loss phase after our surgery is a gift! This is coasting downhill… enjoy the ride but understand that there is a fence at the bottom of this hill that you are about to hit.

Stallers- Oh no, I’ve stopped losing weight!

What happened? Do you feel as if the wheels fell off your car while you were cruising the freeway? One minute you’re losing 2-4 pounds a week and suddenly you haven’t lost a single pound in an entire month! Relax… welcome to what everyone calls a ‘plateau’. After dropping a large amount of weight your body is trying to preserve it's comfortable blanket of fat and is doing what it can to stop the massive weight loss.

This is where all the old self doubt creeps in, and we jump to the conclusion that we are going to be the only one who doesn’t lose weight with this surgery. Don’t worry, if you keep on track, getting in plenty of protein, keeping your carb count low, and drinking copious amounts of water to flush your body, you will continue to lose, albeit in smaller but still steady amounts over the next months. Every little bit adds to your total and gets you closer to goal. One surgeon says that the first 50 pounds is his job, but the rest is up to us.

Now is where that plan for high protein, low carbs, and vitamins comes into play. You were supposed to initiate a change in your relationship with food during the last phase, but you can regroup now and pick up the pace. Calculate your protein needs; you need roughly a little more than half a gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight. A woman who should weight about 145 pounds needs about 83 grams of protein a day to maintain good health. (The actual calculation is 'Ideal Weight' ÷ 2.2 × 1.25grams of protein = Protein Needs). If you can’t physically eat this much protein, which would entail eating 10-12 ounces of chicken, fish, eggs or cheese a day, you will need to find protein supplements that you like in order to give yourself that protein boost. If you go for months without adequate protein you will get very tired, have little energy and experience extended hair loss. Stick to your plan and the weight will slowly start to come off again and you will begin to feel strong and very much in control.

Now is also a great time to start moving around and getting some exercise if you didn’t bother while you were losing quickly and it all seemed a bit too easy. Your body can move more freely after dropping such a large amount of weight, and getting your metabolism up and running will increase your weight loss and make you even stronger.

Old Pros- I am almost there!

A year has passed, you made it though the stalls and plateaus and you are within close range of that goal weight or have reached it. You are wearing your smallest size since 3rd grade and complements are flying at you from all directions. You hardly recognize the person smiling back in the mirror. Life in this spot is pretty comfortable and it feels absolutely terrific.

It is very difficult at this stage to keep it together and not get too close to the edge. Resist the urge to push your limits. There is no need to revert back to old habits and food patterns even though they don’t seem to affect your weight loss status… yet. This is the point where you should integrate the eating patterns you have cultivated since your surgery into your new way of life so that you can make those good choices without a lot of thought. Protein first is a rule for life. This is where your post op diet becomes your lifestyle and not a bad word.

Recognize that this is the phase that can make or break you. If you are dabbling in sugar and carbs or have once again embraced them … STOP, or it will bite you. If you have stopped drinking protein shakes yet still cannot physically eat 10-12 ounces of proteins foods a day you need to rethink your plan or you will find yourself growing tired in the middle of your workday. If you slacked off your vitamin regimen or exercise routine... change your attitude or you could find yourself gaining.

Born Agains- Oh no, my skinny jeans are getting tight again!

It is easy to get too comfortable in our new shoes and push our limits. I have experienced that feeling of panic when I pulled up my ‘skinny’ jeans and they were too snug on my thighs. It is hard to grasp that at this smaller weight even 5 pounds can make such a difference, when we are used to 30 pounds at our former weight, hardly making a dent. Don’t get upset or beat yourself up if you find yourself gaining a couple of pounds. We have a surgically inserted tool that will remain intact and work for the rest of our life if we use it properly.

By choosing solid protein foods we retain control over our portion size. It is easy to eat a whole bowl full of smooshy carb comfort food, but even at 4 years post op it is tough to eat an entire chicken breast. By making an intentional choice of the denser protein, we can control our serving size and thus our calories. The bottom line is if we burn as much as we take in, our weight will remain constant. Once this balance is disrupted, something has got to change, we will either gain or lose weight. So either use your band to eat less, or burn more calories through exercise, or use a combination of both.

If you find yourself gaining more than just a couple of pounds… regroup, and immediately go back to the basics that got you to the lower weight in the first place! We can quickly forget how we lost the bulk of our weight. Revert back to protein first, healthy vegetables next, and cut out all the simple carbohydrates such as the ‘white carbs’ of sugar, flour, rice, bread, and potatoes that have wormed their way back into your diet. Start drinking plenty of water again and get some exercise. You didnt go through all of this to gain back weight without a fight!

This surgery is all about control and thankfully we have been given a toll that will give us permanent control but we have to use it.

Winners- Celebrate your success!

We are all winners. We have to remember that our goal was never to be a supermodel, but to be healthy, happy, and fit. If we are never a size 4, but end up a fit size 12 or 14 who no longer needs insulin, blood pressure medications or gets out of breath moving from the house to our car; we are a success story. Compare yourself to real people, the people at the grocery store, not the airbrushed magazine covers. Real men and women have squish at the waistband of our jeans and jiggly thighs and at least a bit of wattle hanging from our arms. No one ever promised us perfection. Focus on how far you have come rather than how far you have to go and BE REAL!

When you are complimented, learn to graciously accept the praise and not go into a list of what is still wrong with you or point out hidden flaws of excess skin. Celebrate your success! This surgery can be the greatest thing we have ever done if we embrace the fact that we have been given the tools to conquer our Morbid Obesity. We are big winners in every sense because we have learned to love ourselves, we recognize that gratitude is an attitude, and that happiness radiates from within.

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I too am a compulsive weigher, so I got rid of my scale and only weigh myself 1 time per week, at work. So far that has been good because I don't see the little fluctuations, just the steady taking off of lb's. I too order water whenever I go to a restaurant and then I just push it to the side. Giving up liquids with meals was tough for me initially, but now I am used to it. I do drink a full glass about 45 minutes after a meal though. Another tip that I have is I always stop before I actually feel full. I tell myself if I am hungry again in 2 hours I can have a small, less than 100 calorie snack, but to just see if this is enough. So far, I have never felt a need to go back. I just hit my 50 lb mark this week and people are starting to notice the weight. Funny it took 50 lb's for people to start noticing. That is when I typically self-sabotoge. I have refused to go down that path because I am in it for the long haul! :)

Thanks Michele for your posts.. I always learn something from them, that is for sure.

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Dear MaMaMichelle,

I just loved this post, it is such wonderful advise, I will take it to heart and use it.

Regarding the scale, I have stopped weighing everyday. My hubby is going to be my scale moniter and weigh me only on Sundays...Thank you John again for your support. We picked Sunday because he works on some Saturdays.

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