Weight Loss

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Rockin' out with the Band

Dropped again, folks. I am 7 lbs from goal now. Yay!

My recent increase in weight loss seems to correlate to a few things:
1. Less stress from classes + clinicals (now it's just clinicals)
2. Drinking alcohol--I'd pretty much abstained until recently.
3. Running a little less.

I'm not drinking a lot--but I've had 3 nights where I've had alcohol, which is almost unheard of since my band surgery. Each time has been followed by weight loss--which could be explained by dehydration, except that I don't regain after rehydrating. As for my running, I never did run THAT much, but I've gone from 15 or so miles per week to about 10-12 since starting full-time clinicals. These things may or may not be related to the increase in my weight loss, but they correlate. (Remember kids, correlation does not equal causality!)

But I wanted to take this moment, post-run and pre-shower, to tell you a bit about my band. I have a 4cc Inamed band; my surgery was about 1 month before the newer AP bands were released. (I think they are 10cc and 14cc, but I can't recall since I don't have one.) Currently, I am somewhere in the vicinity of 2cc fill. The last time I was filled I was at 2cc and they filled me to 2.5cc, but the time before that, I was also 2cc and filled to 2.5 cc. Don't know where the 0.5cc goes, but no matter. I'm not what most bandsters would call "restricted"--if I want I can eat nearly as much as I could preop. (Although this would probably result in dilating my pouch and/or esophagus, so I avoid this.) Nothing ever physically forces me to stop eating--I don't "PB" or slime or barf, I don't get "stuck". I never have. I DO get full, though. I don't always stop eating right when I get full. I try to, but it doesn't happen every time.

The biggest thing that keeps me on track is that I stay satisfied between meals for about 4 hours. I also don't eat "preventatively" anymore--that is, eating when I'm not hungry because I'm afraid I'll get hungry and won't be around food when I do. I'm not afraid to be hungry, because I know it's not that bad, and it's not hard to fix when I am able to eat again. I'm not using the band so much for WHEN I am eating as I do between meals, I guess. Of course, in addition to all of this, I run every other day, and eat a healthy diet.

I wanted to point this out to let people who are new to banding know that it's possible to be successful with the band without reaching this magical, elusive level of "restriction" that a lot of people talk about. The rates of band erosions and slips are rising, and a lot of band doctors and educators believe it is due to people getting and maintaining too-tight fills for too long.

I know some people feel that they need that behavioral "force" that keeps them on the straight and narrow. And my weight loss is slower than a lot of people would be happy with. But, I should be at goal in the next few months--knock on wood-- which is well ahead of the 2 year mark. (Next month is 18 months post band.) I don't have much loose skin to deal with--it's there, but not as bad as many people have. And I've never once barfed, gotten stuck, or had reflux. Plus, I can eat out anywhere, and no one ever knows I'm banded unless I tell them. So for those of you who are new to this, or if you are researching the band, know that it is possible to do this without a lot of the problems that you hear about bandsters having. Some people don't seem to tolerate the band very well, but that seems to be a minority. And I am a big advocate for keeping as little fill as possible while still losing weight. I want to keep my band until I am dead, and that should be a pretty long time from now.

This isn't to say that I'll never have a band complication, or that I'm some kind of band poster child. And I'm not better than anyone because of this. But I just wanted y'all to know that it can be done without suffering. Really!


Thinspiration said...

Congratulations on only being 7 lbs from goal!! What a great accomplishment!! I know that for me I have really been pushing myself because of all the stress that the dr's put on losing it within the 1st 18 months. It's like I think there is some magical "switch off" at 18 months. That's why I keep restriction. However, I am glad to know that you have been successful with as little restriction as possible. You should be really proud of yourself (we are)!

Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying reading your blog. I'm still in the "research" phase here, and I have so many questions. I appreciated reading that you're diet isn't quite so restrictive and you're able to tolerate more foods than others seem to be able to tolerate. This is definitely good to know.