Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Calling all new bandsters

I'm not even a tiny little bit of an expert on anything, least of all the band - but after several months I wanted to share one person's thoughts about the journey so far.  The following are some observations I’ve had regarding my band.

-         Comparing myself to others; whether positively or negatively is stupid and unproductive.
-         Listen to your body – it knows best.
-          I feel my band, not my port, every single morning.  I know exactly where the top of my stomach is in my body – it’s kind of weird.
-         Having a support group that actually has a band inside their bodies is flat out priceless.
-         Having a support group of non-judgmental people – whether they have a band or not is equally as priceless.
-         Having a doctor or NP who is ready, willing, and able to work with you; to give you honest feedback and listen to your honest opinions is key to this journey.  If you don’t have that, do what you need to in order to get it.
-         Finding the “green zone” or “sweet spot” is not quick or easy – give yourself time and forgiveness while you get there.
-         The band is not a magic bullet.
-         It’s still all me on the hook for making this happen and getting to where I want to go.

I’m nearly 7 months in and nearly 45lbs down.  I believe I’m in a very good place restriction wise.  I think I could eat anything I wanted to, just in very small quantities – which was one of my goals going in – to not have foods that were off limits.  To a certain degree I’ve dieted my way down 45 lbs.  That’s not a completely true statement because I have certainly not been following any specific plan and I’ve certainly eaten my fair share (or more) of chocolate and ice cream here and there, but I have followed the band rules very carefully at least 5 out of every 7 days – and mostly followed them on the other two as well – and I did this whether I had some restriction or no restriction whatsoever, hunger pains have been my companion at times.

The truth is, I’ve just gotten to this mythical band place that I’d read about in fairy tales where I truly can not consume very much food and eating such small quantities does not create tons of hunger.  And now, I really feel like it’s beginning for me.  Seriously – this is the beginning for me – not 7 months ago, not 45 lbs ago.  It’s now.  I now need to figure out how to live with this thing inside me.  It’s mentally hard not to eat more food than I’m capable of.  It’s a lifetime of habits that I need to break.  It’s just now that I’m dealing with the head hunger vs. the real hunger.  I’m not totally hungry all the time anymore, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think it should be time to eat at certain times of the day, or after a certain amount of time has passed.  Or time to eat more because whatever that was tasted so damn good.

I’m extremely happy with my choice to get the band and am thrilled with my progress so far, but I really want those of you newer to this than I to hear – go easy on yourself.  It’s so easy to compare yourself to others, to get down on yourself – to get lost in the woods of bandster hell.  Read the blogs – we all learn different lessons, and have different losses at different points, you’ll get there!!.

I wish to all of you peace and confidence.  We’ll all get there in our own sweet time.


Dawnya said...

This is so true. I'm only 2 months my journey. Thanks for the insight. Real hunger vs. head hunger is a hard one to navigate. It's getting better for me day by day.

BTW I LOVE your blog. You are hilarious.

amandakiska said...

I can also feel my band. I can actually feel it better than I can feel my port.

This is a great post! Great info for the newbies AND the "old-bies".

Tina said...

Very well said Read...I feel my port all of the time but only occasionally my band...weird eh?


Silverhairedgoddess said...

Just a little over 2 months for me and I think the hardest thing to deal with is the "head Hunger" - after all, the reason why I gained weight was because I would eat when I wasn't hungry.

That's why I am so grateful for the lapband because it stops me from doing this - I tried eating some crackers and cheese a couple of nights ago (mindlessly) - took one bite and got stuck !

Susan said...

Great and helpful post. So hard dealing with head hunger and "big eyes" when it comes to dealing with portions.

Jen said...

Great post!
It's so interesting that you can feel your band. I feel my port, but never once my band.
However...I have felt my mom and my sisters (they are both banded) tubing. (It sticks out on them -ack!)

I think I don't WANT to feel mine.

Amanda said...

Very very well said! Thank you. I needed that. I too can feel my band but not my port.

Rachel said...

Read, I think these are really wise words.

Jacquie said...

Great post! I feel my port a lot and I think I can feel my band but my husband, who knows everything says there is no way that I am feeling my band. He says what I am feeling is a bone. I don't think so!

tessierose said...

Great post! I can't feel my band, that kind of scares me to think of...I can feel my port though.

Bonnie said...

Great post.

Rachel said...

I like your point about comparing yourself to others... in the beginning I did; but after reading a lot of blogs you realize that everyone's metabolism, lifestyle and path is different.

I can't get your intentional spellings out of my head (Prolly). LOL

~Lisa~ said...

Terrific post, Read! As one who is not banded yet, I learn so much from you and all my fellow boggers - Friends! You are all priceless to me on so many levels and I thank you!

Amy W. said...

Excellent post! I agree with everything you wrote in your bullets. I love the last one the best though, it is still up to us to decide where and how we get to where we need to go.


Libby said...

Very timely post for me. It is so hard not to want to compare myself to others. When I first started reading other bandster's blogs I fixated on those that were averaging a 10lb a month weight loss and thought "that will be me". As I got into it and found my weight loss to not match theirs I started looking for others who were averaging 5lbs per month and thought..."THAT will be me". Now, I guess it is just going to be what it is. I'm older, I've f'd up my metabolism with years of yo-yo dieting, I think I am perimenopausal, so it will just come off when it does.

You are so right. In the end, we have to do the work and things will work themselves out. We are in charge of our own destiny.

Jess said...

Awesome post!

FitBy40 said...

great info. Also, I nominated you for the stylish blogger award! Check it out.

Sandy Lee said...

You so have it. The brain thing will take time.

Looks like you found your G-Spot. That's just me hating to condense the “green zone” or “sweet spot” so it's green spot or even shorter G-Spot. I can count on you to blog that one!

Something About Kellie said...

Thanks for this post Read. I have actually been feeling a bit down on myself for the past 4 weeks (scale = up/down/same) but being only 2 months and a bit into this journey I really do need to just except what it is and know that I will get there in due time.

Libby said...

Hi Read,

Nominated you for an award (probably the 10th to do so). It isposted here -

Amber said...

Thank you, thank you! I so needed this. I am only two weeks out of surgery and I was already upset at a 2 lb gain once I got onto full liquids. You made me realize that I have time to work on things like head hunger, but that it is my timing and not anyone else's.