How I'm Doing So Far

Monday, June 21, 2010

Why do I need the Band?

Ok... so as I've mentioned before, I'm in the really, really early stages of this process. With the programme here, you get started with the nutritionist and personal trainer even before you meet with the surgeon. So I don't have a date.

That said, i've just completed the first week of the eating plan given to me by Dr Patti the nutritionist. Really simple -- 1300 calories, each meal tells me how much of each food group to eat. I've been following it pretty much to a 'T'. Yay me!

Well when I weighed in at her office last Monday morning I was 260lbs (that's 2.5 less than I was at the surgeon's office the Friday before). I did not record my weight at home that morning, but it was about the same on my scale.

Well this morning I'm 251.8. That means I've managed to lose 8.2lbs by just managing what I consume. I've done no exercise because of bum foot (but got clearance this morning to give an easy going power walk a try tonight). I'm thrilled. I can feel the difference in the clothes I'm wearing today and can see it for sure in my upper stomach which is where i tend to lose weight first.

This is fantastic and I've actually also noticed other benefits from eating properly. Haven't been so sluggish due to my adrenal fatigue. Stomach seems happy. Haven't even had to open the box of pills I picked up 2 weeks ago for acid reflux because I've not experienced it. I've been satisfied completely on the eating plan and it's working for me.

So this now brings me back to my question of why I need the Band if I can clearly follow a basic eating plan and lose weight in the process. Part of me knows the answer. My body seems to react really well and work with me WHEN I decide to give it the right foods and treat it well. But for some reason, my efforts are always rather short lived.

I've been very overweight to some degree (currently at my heaviest ever) since I was a teenager and was a chunky kid too. Twice I've gotten down to near goal weight levels - once following ww about 15 years ago and then about 5 years ago doing 6*week*body*makeover. I found that plan so rigid that the moment i eased up, I gained.

But why do I ease up? Part of me just gets tired of having to work sooooooo... bloody hard to do something that to all my friends and family seems to come so easy. I get resentful that I have to count and measure every single bite and choose my foods so carefully so that I'm getting the most bang for my buck.

But if I can do this with a nutritionist at my side forever and ever amen, do I really need the band? Would LOVE to hear from any others of you who've struggled with these issues and thoughts.


amandakiska said...

Thanks for directing me to this post. It is excellent and I'm glad I've read it. I'm not sure I have any easy answers, but I can tell you that with the band, I cannot overeat. In fact, I can only eat pretty small portions. It just isn't possible to go overboard on regular food. I suppose I could down a bunch of Starbucks Frappacinos and consume too many colories, but the band keeps me from overeating. The band also requires that I mimic other habits typically shared by "normal weight" eaters - eating slowly, chewing thouroughly, being mindful while eating, stopping when I've had enough.

For me dieting was a transfer of my compulsion from food to the diet. The obsession never went away. Eventually I would stop dieting and begin overeating.

My last diet came on the heels of my friend having gastric bypass. I watched what she was eating and wondered why she didn't just follow the diet instead of having the surgery. I followed that diet for six months, but as always, I eventually quit. Now I understand why my friend needed the surgery.

Pie said...

I saw your post on Amanda's blog and had to chime in because I think this is a very smart and valid question.

First let me say that if I had to make the choice again, I would still get the band. I'm only five weeks out and I can already tell it's the best thing I've ever done for myself.

That said, with the knowledge I have now, I do think I could have done this on my own. Here's the thing - my idea of what was required to actually lose weight with a diet was completely and utterly wrong. I would diet for five days and splurge for two and think that was okay. I would exercise here and there and think I was doing great. And when I failed to see progress, I'd binge and start on Monday. Over and over and over again.

What I know now is that banded or not, you're trying to reverse years of damage and you have to be 100% dedicated to it.

So in hindsight, yes I could have gotten here on my own if I knew what kind of sacrifice was REALLY involved.


Would I have kept it off??

That's where I think this band is really going to shine for me. I'm doing all the work I can, stacking my deck, counting calories and slaving away at the gym because I have a LOT of damage to undo. But eventually, I am going to be fatigued by this. Am I going to slide back and regain? Without the band, I'd guarantee it. With the band, I'd like to think have to really, really try to sabotage myself into regaining weight.

So there you have it. Yes, you probably could do this all on your own. But whether you can keep it off and buck the incredibly unfortunate statistics is something only you can know for sure. I do know that having that safety net keeps me a zillion times more motivated than I've ever been before.

So good luck with your decision, can't wait to see which way you go!

Carmen said...

Valid thought!!

For me, I was on about a million and two diets, and I lost weight. But I ALWAYS "fell off the wagon" and put the weight back on. I needed help, something that would act like a back up to my dieting & excercising. The band. The band is there as a security system so to speak, it doesn't allow me to overeat. When I do have my lapse and binge, the band only allows me to go so far before it stops me.
So I got the band to help me, because I needed it :-)

TJ said...

I also think it is important to think this through before you make that final decision. You don't want to be 6 months down the road and regretting what you have done. Conventional weight loss has a success rate of only 3% for people with a BMI over 40, but you could be in that 3%.

However, there is just somehting about that band that has made this process easier - even before it starts working. I personally didn't get restriction until a month ago and lost those 65 pounds basically on my own. But it was different. I didn't feel like I was doing it alone, b/c I knew I would eventually get help. When I hit my wall last month I begged my doctor for a good fill and it made all the difference in the world.

Could I have kept going if that band wasn't there? I don't know. I was so done mentally I don't think I could have, but even if I could it would have been sooo much harder. Now with my fill things aren't easy, but my mind knows I have help and it is much easier. If I stick to the rules I can't go too crazy and that is wonderful.

The only thing to keep in mind is that the band doesn't stop me from gain or keep me losing. I do that. If you eat mushies or liquid calories the pounds will go back on no matter how perfect your restriction is. You have to do the work either way. I think the band helps A LOT, but you have to be in the right spot mentally before you have the band installed.

Cindylew said...

It's all about the long haul and for most of us we got the band in hopes of making our weight loss more of a permanent thing. I'm only a bit less than 2 months out and because I don't yet have restriction where some of that work is taken away and placed on the band, I can't definitively say as some have that it's the best thing I've ever done...for that to be answered we need to look 6 months down the road. And as I don't have a crystal ball, it looks like I need to keep working the program.

Jenny said...

I thought about this before surgery when I was able to follow the liquid phase. But for me I knew that I couldn't lead a lifestyle without help. It would be temporary and then I would gain it and then some. Its not an easy choice, you need to do what is best for you.