I am now at -50 lbs, and within 5-15 lbs of my goal weight, depending on what I want my goal to be. I've set a short-term goal of 175 which is only 3 lbs away. That is the BMI-30 point, which is where my surgeon says he is happy for me to stop. He says he won't need to see me at all after that point, unless I have issues or problems. I would be happy at 165-170, personally. Most people who see me think I shouldn't lose anymore, which is nice to hear, but I am not quite ready to be done.
The December running challenge made a huge difference and helped me restart my weight loss. It's funny that all the training I did over the summer changed my body shape but not my weight. I don't think the running was all of it but I do think that it affected my appetite and my sense of well-being, which overall helped with jump-starting things again. After December, I intend to continue running at least a mile most days--not necessarily every day, but close. I don't love running, especially, but I enjoy it well enough once I get started, and I love how efficient an exercise it is. It also really helps with stress relief. I've started running with a friend lately too. I have never run with anyone else before--too self-conscious about how slow I am, mainly. But it's been great. I'm running with a gal I used to work with who I don't get to see much anymore. Our pace is well-matched and we run a route on the river that I don't otherwise run. It's been a lot of fun.
I think I have finally made peace with my sleeve. I spent most of this year overeating by 1-2 bites nearly every meal. Predictably, I would barf up at least a little of my meal each time, which is gross and embarrassing and always made me wonder why it was so hard to stop eating before that happened. The last few months I have finally started to do better. I can eat about 6 regular size bites of food, or up to 1/2 cup. I can eat most foods, although really doughy bread can get stuck at times (not stuck like with a lap band, just not wanting to go down quickly). With the band, it never mattered if I drank during a meal or not--I know it does for most people but it didn't for me. With the sleeve, I can either eat or drink, but not both. If I drink during a meal, I can be sure I will be seeing part of my meal again. It isn't a huge deal for me--I am not super attached to drinking during meals like a lot of people are. The only time it bothers me is when I am out for dinner with friends and I want to enjoy a glass of wine or something with my meal. In fact, I can drink very little wine just because it sort of sits in my stomach. I don't drink beer at all, between the volume and the fizz and the calories it just doesn't seem worth it. I am a very occasional drinker anyway--a couple times a year at most--so this isn't a huge deal for me.
Meals at home have been hard to get used to. I don't have a lot of attachment to what we eat for dinner, because I know I'm only going to eat a few bites of it. In fact, it's better if it isn't one of my favorite foods because I'm less likely to try to overeat. I haven't gotten to the point where I view food strictly as fuel--I will probably never be at that point, and that is fine. But it is less important than it used to be, and less of a coping mechanism for sure. I still try to sit with my family while they are eating-which can be hard because I still tend to pick at food after I am full. If I am mindful and I clear food away from my place, I do okay. I want to keep meals as normal as I can for my daughter. It's weird enough having a mother that eats less than the toddler does.
One thing that I never had with the band that I have with the sleeve is a false hunger. I find that I am frequently feeling hungry about an hour after I ate. Nearly every time, if I drink some water that will go away quickly.
Spending the night in the hospital after my surgery last year was the first, and still the only, night I've spent away from my daughter. It was really hard to be away from her, and taking care of her without picking her up afterward was tough. She's so much older and more mature now--a lot of fun to be with, very funny and clever. I'm glad I am a lot healthier and in better shape now to keep up with her. I hope we can teach her healthy habits and skills so she doesn't find herself eventually in my position, looking at surgery like this. I would do it again--if I had it to do all over again, I would skip the band entirely and just go with the sleeve, but I did learn from both experiences. I find it hard to believe that surgeons are still performing lap band surgery, but I keep hearing about people who are getting banded. I think it's negligent to do this when there is so much evidence that it doesn't work and does harm to a lot of people. But people still ask for the band, so there are still surgeons who will do it. The sleeve isn't perfect by any means, and it's not hard to defeat it if you are motivated enough. But I am pleased with how simple it has been once I have relearned a few simple things and become more mindful of how I eat. I don't really think about dieting at all. I generally eat protein first, then veggies. I do eat treats, sweets, etc. I try not to eat them everyday or too much. If I was more regimented about what I eat, I would probably be at my goal by now. But if I can get there a little slower without having to worry so much, I'm fine with that.
Clothing-wise, I am wearing mostly mediums, some smalls, and usually a size 10. I was recently refitted for bras and am now 34DD. I'd like to get back into my 6s and 8s--last time I wore those I was 165-170.
There you have it, the good, the bad and the ugly. If you are looking at a band to sleeve revision, don't be surprised if your weight loss looks nothing like anyone else's. It probably won't. I find that the sleeve works the way the band was supposed to work, without all the hassles. I do still get heartburn if I'm not careful and I overeat or eat too close to bedtime. Be patient with yourself in learning necessary new habits for success. It doesn't happen overnight, at least it sure didn't for me. Stick with it. Try something new. Challenge yourself. These are the things that helped me. Good luck!