Saturday, July 27, 2013

My Third Lap Band Fill

Hey Everyone, 

Yesterday my sister, Gillian and I took a two hour trip to Toronto so that I could get my third lap band fill. Despite already having had two previous fills I was extremely nervous and worried that the people at the clinic were going to judge/scold me for not having lost (and possibly having gained) weight since my last fill. Before getting my surgery last year, I met with the surgeon, a nurse and the patient co-ordinator. While they were all nice, each made a few stereotypical 'fat girl' comments like "You're going to have to stop eating at McDonald's" (I actually hate McDonald's food) and "You're going to have to listen when your Mom tells you not to go back for seconds" (believe it or not, I have never been a really big eater and I rarely go back for seconds) which really bothered me. 

The first thing they did when I got to the clinic was weigh me, and while I am always somewhat annoyed that their scale says I am 3lbs heavier than the scale I use at home, I was surprised and happy to hear that, while I hadn't lost any weight since my last fill, I hadn't gained any weight either. The nurse who did my fill then asked me about what I had been eating, my portion size and whether or not I felt satisfied for at least 2-4 hours between meals. I told her that while I had been eating much healthier than in the past, I found the allotted one cup of food at meal time wasn't satisfying and that I was feeling true hunger an hour or so after some of my meals. Based on that information and the fact that my previous .4cc fill was too tight, and my .1cc fill not tight enough, we decided I should have a .2cc fill this time around. 

To fill the band, the nurse sticks a large needle into my lap band port via my stomache. While the procedure looks somewhat gruesome (according to friends and family who have seen it being done), it has never really hurt, and while yesterday's was a little more painful  (the nurse had a hard time getting the needle into my port), it's nothing worse than getting blood taken. 

After receiving my fill, I was asked to drink a small cup of water to make sure it would go down properly (when my band was too tight, it was hard to swallow the water). The water went down perfectly, and I was sent home with instructions to eat soft foods for the remainder of the day (eggs, soups, smoothies, etc). 

The best part of the appointment was finding out that the clinic has decided to send a nurse to my city every 2 weeks to do at home fills. Having to travel two hours to the clinic and two hours back has always been difficult especially considering my fibromyalgia. The fact that I can now get fills in my own city will, hopefully, aid me in my weight loss. 

While I don't feel any difference today in terms of feeling more full and/or not being able to eat certain foods, the lap band fill can take up to 2 weeks to kick in. I am really hoping this fill will help me get to the 50lbs weight loss mark. 

As always thanks for your encouragement and support. 


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Weight Loss Update (Let's Make These Regular)

Hey Everyone, 

I realize it has been far too long since I wrote a post for this site. After having my surgery just under a year ago (can you believe it's been almost a year?!), I really wanted things to 'get back to normal' and neglected writing on this site because, at the time, I felt like it would be a daily reminder of how different my life would really have to be. What I didn't realize at the time was just how beneficial having this blog could be. Having to be accountable to to not only my family and friends, but also my amazing followers will definitely keep me on the right path. It is for that reason I have decided to start posting WEEKLY updates on this blog. Below are a number of updates to catch you up on my life with a lap band. 

Weight Loss: 

Before starting my two week pre-op diet last year, I tipped the scales at my highest weight ever, 278 lbs. As of this morning, I weigh 235 lbs. While I am happy to have lost 43 lbs thus far, I would be lying if I said I wasn't somewhat disappointed I'm not further along. I have been losing and gaining for what seems like the last 3-4 months and haven't been able to reach that magic 50lbs weight loss number. 

Food Consumption: 

After first receiving my surgery, I was a lap band superstar. I ate the foods I was told to eat (high protein, low carbs, low calorie, low fat, etc), ate very slowly and was sure to chew chew chew every piece of food that went into my mouth. The first time I got stuck was scary. I could feel the piece of food pressing against my chest and knew I wasn't going to be able to swallow it no matter how much water I drank to flush it down. Luckily the process of 'throwing it up' wasn't as bad as I had been told and, eventually, I became less cautious when eating knowing that I could easily 'flush' or 'throw up' any piece of food that got stuck (a very bad mind set). While it felt nice to be slowing losing weight, it also felt nice to be able to eat some of my old favourite foods (ice cream, pasta, etc), and I slowly got out of the habit of eating well. Fast forward to last month when I got on the scale and realized I had gained 8lbs since my last weigh-in. Not wanting to disappoint my family who paid for my surgery or be embarrassed the next time I went to my surgeon's office for a weigh in or a fill, I decided to change my eating patterns. Realizing that I am not someone who will ever be willing to give up the foods I really enjoy (this is not supposed to be a strict diet but rather a lifestyle change), I decided I needed to start cooking myself much healthier versions of my favourite meals, snacks, etc. From green smoothies and chia seed granola to homemade low calorie strawberry ice cream, I've been cooking up a storm, and while I honestly haven't seen much weight loss (I think I've lost 3lbs total), I do feel much healthier and, am hoping a lap band fill later this week can help get me back on track when it comes to losing the weight. 

Filling the Band

Since having my surgery almost a year ago, I have had two lap band fills. While I should be having fills more regularly, the fact that the surgeon's office is 2 hours away combined with the fact that I have been having a horrible year when it comes to my fibromyalgia, has made it very difficult. The last time I went for a fill was back in March. After telling the nurse that I was feeling quite hungry between meals and had eat more than a cup of food per meal to feel satisfied, she decided to give me a 4cc fill. After receiving a fill you are asked to drink a couple of sips of water to ensure that band is not too tight. After receiving my 4cc fill, I found it was somewhat hard to swallow the water and had to have a de-fill. In the end I ended up with only a 1cc fill (not sure why they didn't leave it at a 2cc or 3cc), which unfortunately did nothing for my hunger or weight loss. This time I plan on asking for a bigger fill and am hoping for no swallowing complications. 

The Future

As I said above, I really want to get back to posting regular updates on this site. I also thought it might be fun for if I shared pictures of/recipes for some of the healthier foods I have been eating. My goal is to hit the 50lbs weight loss mark by the end of Summer and I am hoping with your encouragement and support I will be able to do just that.