Lap Band: From Size 18 to Size 8 and Lovin’ it!

by Jan
(Springfield, MO)

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I was looking at health insurance quotes online when I came across a “life expectancy” quiz. The first time I took the quiz, I was rather disturbed that my life expectancy was a lot less than I had hoped for.

So, I took the quiz over and over and decreased the reported weight by 10 lbs each time. I discovered that by decreasing my weight each time I took the quiz, my life expectancy continued to increase. This certainly made me stop and think about my husband, children, and grand hildren and at what stage each would be when my predicted life span was over. Although I know that these quizzes lack accuracy, it was still a very scary concept.

In addition to being 75 lbs overweight, I also suffered from a degenerative joint disease and was heading toward full-blown diabetes. I already had one hip replacement and was facing another.

My feet hurt so badly every day that I could cry. My clothes were so uncomfortable; I was embarrassed to wear short sleeves. My facial features were so puffed that it was hard to recognize my old self. In short, I was so sick of myself that I had to make a decision to give in or finally do something serious to make changes.

I had the Lap Band surgery in January 2009. I fought with the Band for a complete year. I refused to eat smaller bites, eat smaller portions, eat slower, drink slower, and limit my intake to healthy, nutritious foods. I had acid reflux when I ate something I should not have prior to going to bed.

The pain I experienced each time I ate was excruciating and I eventually developed a dilated esophagus. I had to have the fluid removed and replaced several times at $250 a pop. Even though I was sick of myself and had the Band in place, I wasn’t mentally prepared to make the life changes necessary to make the Band surgery successful.

And again in January, one year after the Band placement, I made a resolution to stop lying to myself. I admitted that my problem was not the Band… it was me!

After I came to grips with the fact that I had to eat less, eat healthy, take smaller bites, eat slower, eat at the right times of the day, and concentrate on working with the Band instead of against it, I started losing weight slowly, but regularly.

I got serious about weight loss in January of 2010. I did not start an exercise program I knew I wouldn’t keep up with. I wanted to lose the weight and get healthy with a routine that was normal for me, so I concentrated on what I ate. I did not count calories or carbs. My motto was: “Eat lean & green; nothing white, nothing yellow.”

My ultimate goal was to lose my weight by the time I turned 60. My 60th birthday was January, 2012. I came within 2 lbs of meeting that goal.

Knowing that each 10 lbs that I lost was the equivalent of one dress size was my motivator. I weighed once every Sunday; no more, no less. I ate smaller portions of baked, broiled, or grilled lean meat and green vegetables, filling in the empty spots with soft fruits.

When I craved something sweet, I treated myself to a Whey Protein shake made in my blender using low fat milk, ice, vanilla or chocolate Whey powder, and any fruit I wanted. Not only did this satisfy my craving, but the protein powder provided the necessary grams to be healthy.

My journey was at times very painful, but I learned to follow the rules while looking forward. I changed my life and became proud that when we dined out, I usually had less on my plate than anyone at the table.

I became very picky about what I put into my body. I didn’t eat ‘diet food’ or join a weight club or fitness center. I ate healthy food that tasted good.

After about a month, my stomach shrunk to the point that small amounts of food were very satisfying both physically and mentally. Every morning when I looked in the mirror, I felt good knowing that I was eventually going to be in shape and the weight would be gone.

Well, I’m here. It has taken two years, but I have gone from a size 18 to a size 8. My husband of nearly 40 years now refers to me as the pretty little girl he married. I am so thankful that my feet do not hurt; my underwear no longer cuts into my skin, my joints don’t hurt, I can bounce around the house and wiggle to music without being a danger to anyone!!

I am so proud that I no longer shop in the Plus sizes for clothing. I am so proud that I have achieved this goal and no one can take it away from me. I am free and unencumbered. Life is so good. The two years it has taken me has flown by.

Would I have the Lap Band surgery again? You bet I would. In a heart beat. Give it a chance to work by working with it; not against it. And count your weight loss in dress sizes, not pounds.

Related Pages:
Analysis & Cost of Lap Band Surgery (“Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band”) & Whether It’s Right for You
Gastric Lap Band Procedure
Lap Band vs Gastric Bypass
Lap Band vs All Types of Bariatric Surgery

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