Monday, April 16, 2012

What is different for you?

Hi all. 
I am a lousy bandster and it shows in the 15 lbs I’ve gained in the last few months.  I’ve never had an easy time with my band, but I don’t blame my band – it certainly doesn’t make me want to run out and have more surgery as seems to be the trend when someone has a hard time lately.  I blame me.  Let me say, I know a few people who had legitimate problems with their bands and honest to god needed medical intervention and I am sorry they had to go through another surgery, but am happy there were options out there for them.  I don’t think that explains this larger….. interest out there in revision surgery – but that’s a whole other story.
I still believe my band is a wonderful tool designed to help me lose weight, but I just haven’t figured out how to use it yet.  After my last fill/overfill/unfill event where I ended up .25cc more filled – I can now eat absolutely anything; bagels and eggs in the morning through French fries in the evening.  (I’ve not been gorging on these things at all, but I have tested them all out because it seemed even the couple of dietary limitations I had were gone and they are.)
I am a believer that ideally with the band there wouldn’t be foods you ‘couldn’t’ eat, but I also believe there is something I still haven’t figured out.  When I have been overfilled, I can feel a definite difference about my thoughts about food. I am just not as hungry, and I just don’t think about food in the same way, or as often.  I haven’t yet found that when I am able to eat solid food.
I asked some of my friends what it means when they say – you have to “work your band” or “use your band”.  And the answer I got was it means you have to listen to your body.  That when you have a band your body will tell you when it’s time to stop eating and you have to learn to hear how your body communicates and when your body is talking to you – and then you have to learn to listen and stop eating at that point – even if you want to keep eating.
So… now I’m asking my broader group of friends… I know it’s different for every person, but I am clearly missing something.  I want to understand better what is different now than before I got my band other than the scars on my stomach. 
How do you use your band?  How to you work your band?  Are your thoughts on this different than then the first answers I’ve gotten?  How does your body communicate to you?  What does your body tell you?
Thanks in advance for your feedback and I hope you all have a great week!!


Fluffy said...

Great post, appreciate your honesty and perspective on the band. Have you tried measuring? If you haven't, it might be worth giving it a whirl. Measure out the amount you are supposed to eat and then eat until you are full. Try to stay conscious (can't think of a better word or maybe "engaged" might be a another) while you are eating and limit distractions. If you end up eating it all, fine, but no more. If you don't also fine. At times you might legitimately still be hungry, wait an hour or so and if you are have a small healthy snack to tide you over until your next meal. Happy to throw other ideas around with you if you'd like.

Gilly said...

Omg! This is a great post! I'm wondering the same things! What I can tell you about 'working' my band is this: when I'm actually working it, I really do listen to my body...when I'm really hungry, like hunger pang hungry, it's so rare that I almost get a little panicky. I have like a mental 1-10 chart I use about is not hungry at 4 would be head hunger...6 would be that 'I could eat' feeling...and 10 would be 'I would eat my children' kinda hungry. When I'm working my band, I have one cup portion dishes, and I eat that much and walk away. Period. And then I time it out until I feel actual hunger again, like level 8 or higher.

This last week has been a blur of beer and pub food. I haven't gotten on the scale, but I don't feel too great about my choices. This week I'm less busy, so I'm going to be focussing on me and good choices.

Love you, Camelush!!

vickyd said...

I totally agree with Fluffy. Even now, 16 months out, I still weigh and measure my food and log it each day but for me the biggest part of working my band is to make good food choices and eat consiously. If I eat slowly, with few distractions, I can "listen" to my band and stop eating when my band gives me my "soft stop" signal (hiccups). Also, if I'm hungry between meals I try to drink something first and really think about if I'm REALLY hungry or just want to munch on something because I'm bored, stressed, etc.

Kelly said...

I don't have a band, but I can say that listening to my body is something I still struggle with. I fight constantly with my mind over wanting to eat something I know my body will rebel against. Does that make sense?

CeeJay said...

You and I are sooooo at the same spot right now! I am two years out from surgery, having gained back 25 pounds and knowing exactly why--the same reasons you said, I ate things like I didn't have a band, when things were "loose".

I have found that I have totally had to get back to basics and be vigilant again; measuring portions, listening to the soft stop signale, etc. And I have had to break old habits like cleaning my plate. I have also had to clean out the fridge and stop being around trigger foods. Back to the basics. And it's NOT EASY!! It's an every day, every minute choice.

Everyone else has had great comments and suggestions...I don't have a great answer but just know that you are not alone in this feeling. I can so relate to your struggles. We just need to keep thinking positively and doing the things we know work--we have seen success and we can do it again!!! :)

Sandy said...

I don't have a tight band. Nor do I ever want one again. Been there done that. I can eat anything and everything now. Well liver won't go down, but then again I would never cook it or eat it anyway. Bleh!

I eat 1 cup of food 3 times a day. Solid protein (fish-chicken-eggs-meatballs) usually with a little sauce of some kind. No more than 1 cup. I use a small plate and know how much 1 cup of food is (I occasionally measure to make sure I haven't gone over). I eat it all. I chew every morsel to liquid. And yeah, the food tastes good and I want more but I have to force myself not to eat more. If I eat more than a cup, I get an ache either around my band or in my left shoulder. It just means I ate a bite or two too much. Then I am more worried about stretching the pouch. No sense in having two stomachs to fill!

If I am hungry after waiting 4 hours, I know I need a fill. If I am hungry after 2 hours or 3 hours, I eat, which is why I end up eating 4-5 times a day and not losing. I also have not gained. Sure I will have ice cream and chocolate but I really need a fill to take away the hungries. Not head hunger, but actually stomach growling, lightheaded hunger. I average about 1400-1600 calories a day and NO food is off limits. I don't lose unless I am under 1100 cal/day. If I said no chocolate, or no sugar, or no bread or (god forbid) no wine, my head would revolt and I would probably stretch my pouch by stuffing my face. I believe limiting the amount and chewing well keeps the pouch fairly empty and at no risk to stretch. I'm a slow eater. I know others say no distractions but I usually eat in front of the computer or TV or I get bored staring at the plate, knowing my detention will be at least 20-30 minutes before I am done.

I haven't been stuck, PB'd or vomited in over a year. My band has had a lovely vacation since September to relax as I had some fluid taken out and not put back in to get me through my trips last fall, my surgery in February, my trip in April and another trip next week. Flying and my band are not happy and it took me a lot of pain to discover that. Since then I have had a slow re-fill routine (0.1cc each time). I fly for the last time next week and May is my push month to get my green zone after a year of not losing. The funny thing is last week in Punta Cana (after flying) I barely ate. I would take a bite or two and stop eating. Just didn't feel like eating. And it was a huge buffet all day and night. Get this--I ate one little chocolate egg. There were lots in front of me and I only ate one. Didn't even think about having another one. I think the band was swollen from flying. That's the green zone--that lovely place that normal people have and we lack.

This is really long but just know the band can help. I know some who keep the band really tight so they can only eat a bite or two or only mushies. That's their choice and if it works for them so be it. I get so hungry only eating a few mushies so it isn't for me. I got it so I wouldn't pig-out and gorge myself constantly. My drug/food of choice was chocolate. The little pain I get when I eat or drink too much is just a reminder. I do not agree with running for revision surgery. I don't think that is a solution for all. Plus I already paid for this band and can't afford anything else. The eating routine is still the same. Small amounts of food throughout the day keeps the calorie count down so we lose weight. Following a specific diet like Weight Watcher, JC or even Atkins for a few weeks isn't a bad thing either, if it gets you back on track.
See part II below

Sandy said...

Part II as I was over 4096 characters above:
And don't let anyone tell you it is just will-power that you need. Because it ain't gonna work. Never has and never will. I know you have a new clinic/doctor. Make them work for you before you discount the band. I truly believe we can all have the success we want. We just have to decide what that success is. If weighing 250 or 225 or 200 or 175 or 130 is what you claim as success then don't let anyone else tell you differently. My number is 164, only 9 pounds away.

I have no idea if I answered your question or helped you at all. It's like hearing about sex in your teens. Wondering just what that orgasm is supposed to be like. But you'll figure it out.

If not I'll tell you about an orgasm.

Tina said...

I am struggling here and i supposedly already learned these things..(not).

I agree with everyone to a certain extent. With a good fill level those hungry's are greatly diminished but from day to day, week to week and month to month it all seems to change a bit and you have to relearn it or learn it all differently. I suppose that is a life lesson in general.

I do know that I had to sacrifice stuff to get to goal. If/when I was willing I had to pick what those sacrifices would be. I opted for only a small amount of food but pretty much what I wanted in small doses. I had to exercise more than usual but not kill myself. I could have opted for more weight and more food or more exercise but I found the mix I could live with.

You have to do the same would be my guess.


Kristin50 said...

I am sorry you are struggling it seems with the band. As someone who had a huge regain with my band two years after getting it I know what you speak of first hand.

It is so easy to become too tight and eat around the band. I do not believe there are quick fixes but I do believe that you can do some things to assist in turning the freight train of regain around.

Log your food
Measure and use small plates utensils
Only drink water and skim milk or coffee if you must
Do not let your calories fall below 1200
Eat 60+ grams of protein daily, use a supplement if you have to.
Drink over 120 ounces of water daily

There is no set plan that works for everyone. You do have to listen to your own body. If you cut your calories so much you may lose weight but you are burning muscle not fat! This is not healthy.

Strength training will help to recharge your sluggish metabolism. You can do things at home to strength train if you are not in a gym environment.

Eat more often, just keep within your calorie range for the day. You can eat 5-6 very small meals if you must.

I certainly hope this helps, and we are all here for you!