I may have dwelled a little too much on the potential downsides of the lap band yesterday, so I wanted to put together a list of things that I love about my band.
1. It is adjustable. I can have it "loosened" if I have a pregnancy, go on a long trip, or have plastic surgery. (This is often recommended for PS.) Likewise, when my restriction starts to decrease, I can get a fill and be back on track.
2. I can eat out in restaurants. I never have to make special arrangements or have any strange requests for the servers, because I've always been able to find something on the menu that will work for me. Even if I go "off plan" doing this, I'm not eating a lot, and I usually don't have to "pay for it" later in a weight gain. (And if I do, it comes back off with a couple days of being careful.)
3. Sharing meals. I am blessed with a hubby who doesn't like the huge portions at restaurants, and enjoys sharing an entree with me. We both get the smaller portion that we want, and we save a lot of money.
4. I seem "normal" to everyone else. I'm lucky that I haven't ever had issues with barfing or PB'ing, which sometimes "outs" people to their friends or acquaintences. To anyone I am eating with, I seem normal, just not eating a lot of food. People usually don't pay that much attention to what you're eating, especially if you're having good conversation.
5. My "sagging skin" issues are minimal. I do have them, but I think it would be worse if I lost weight more quickly, and hadn't been working out all along.
6. I'll be more likely to have a normal pregnancy. I can have the band adjusted according to my nutritional needs, and I'm more likely to stay healthy and have a healthy baby if I'm not obese to start with. Also, I hope to be able to control the weight gain to a reasonable amount, and lose it afterward.
7. I'm working, but not suffering. This process takes a lot of work, but it's not like dieting where you're hungry a lot and really feeling the misery. I usually can just forget that I'm losing weight, my eating habits are fairly well ingrained and I can go a good period of time before I get hungry.
8. Thanks to my weight loss, I can run, which I love.
9. If I fall off the wagon at some point, I can always get back on. There's no "window of opportunity" for weight loss like there is for the non-adjustable surgeries. I can go back for a fill, start following the rules again, and start losing weight again. The only real variable is my own commitment.
10. I'm not at risk for all the complications that can happen with malabsorptive surgeries. I absorb my nutrients just like I did before surgery. I do have to watch to make sure that my more limited diet is nutritionally complete, but I don't have to compensate for a variable rate of malabsorption, and I don't have to worry about things like Wernicke's encephalopathy, reactive hypoglycemia, or other problems that patients with malabsorption have had to deal with. There are other complications that can happen with the lap band, but they aren't as scary to me, I guess because they are fairly easily treated and reversible, as the band is itself.
11. I'm not afraid of hunger anymore. I know it will be okay if I do get hungry, and it doesn't take much food to make me satisfied when I do eat.
12. I feel like I'm in control of my body again. I no longer have that panic that I'll just keep gaining weight no matter what I do.
Do you all have any others to add? There are so many I'm forgetting. Feel free to add more!