Imaginary Lap Band

Last August I created a mini shit storm when I announced that I was considering Lap Band surgery as a tool in my weight loss efforts. All kinds of people expressed their feelings on the subject, quite a few got up on their soap boxes and shouted to the rafters. πŸ™‚

My outlook hasn’t changed. I stand firm on my opinion that bariatric surgery can be an extremely useful tool for morbidly obese people. If you have a negative opinion to share with me on this, please be advised that I welcome you to tell me how unnecessary this surgery is…if you are also carrying an extra 219 pounds around on your body and have been morbidly obese for many years. If you’ve walked in my wide width shoes, then please…share any negative thoughts you have. Otherwise I suggest you get down on your knees and give thanks that you’ve never had to deal with that much extra weight.

The only issue I have with bariatric surgery is that it does seem to be the chubby’s equivalent of Ritalin for parents. Remember the Ritalin craze when scores of parents were rushing little Ashkyn and Scope (I’m using ridiculous hipster names here) to the doctor for some nice healthy drugs instead of using old fashioned discipline? Some less-than-ethical doctors were giving themselves writer’s cramp signing prescriptions instead of doing their due diligence to make sure the little darlings in their care actually had ADD. Well, I feel that way about some bariatric surgeons and their patients. Ultimately, though, it’s everyone’s right and responsibility to decide what’s best for themselves.

I am not a person who takes this decision lightly – in fact, I wish doing research burned calories. I’ve researched my ass off. Painstaking research led me to make the decision that Lap Band is the only surgery I will consider, as the other procedures are too risky for my taste. With that, I had to painstakingly research my way to a surgeon in order to get a consultation appointment and ask questions…which I did. My insurance requires a mandatory waiting period for anyone considering bariatric surgery, during which time I am required to pass a psychiatric evaluation and undergo several months of supervision by a nutritionist. I went ahead and got that ball rolling just in case.

I’ve spent a lot of time talking to Lap Band patients and asking questions. I’ve enjoyed my appointments with my nutritionist and have actually learned to look at my relationship with food in a healthier way. Even after all this, I still feel there is more research to be done…so I joined some online forums for Lap Band patients and started reading. Talk about an eye opener!!

If you or anyone you know is considering any kind of bariatric surgery, I can’t recommend online forums enough. Reading these forums has made me aware of all kinds of pitfalls, benefits, and side effects that I never would have thought of myself…at least not until it was too late. Nothing I’ve read has scared me away from the idea of considering this surgery, but I sure have a much better idea of what to expect.

As you can expect (and according to the lovely packet my surgeon’s office gave me), if I elect to have Lap Band surgery I will have to begin a pre-op diet a week before my surgery. I will then be required to switch to clear liquids 2 days before surgery. My post surgery diet will be clear liquids for a week, then plain liquids, then softy/mushy things. Basically, I won’t be eating normal food for about a month if I have surgery.

One of the things I see a lot of on the forums are patients who are really struggling with their new diets. In addition to the healing process their bodies have to go through, they’re dealing with the emotional and mental aspects of having their “best friend” anymore: comfort food. Every person is different, every experience is unique, and all of it is extremely eye opening for me.

So…I was hit by an overwhelming wave of sheer brilliance last night: what if I take the diet for a little test drive. What if?!?!?!

I mean…I’m pretty sure I can take the pre and post op diet phases. I can do that. I’m more afraid of the stories about food getting stuck…or the lady who says she can’t eat chicken ever again…or something I’m not even thinking of. But how will I know unless I try it out?

I don’t know what’s going on with me lately…there must be something in the water at the Hot Mess household. Tomorrow is the 2 week anniversary of the day I gave up sugar. I’ve also drastically reduced my intake of Liquid Crack (aka diet soda). I’m on a roll. So when I was reading the forums last night I felt a switch turn on and I thought “What if…”

When I gave up sugar, I was amazed at how easy it was. Until Day 9. When Day 9 hit, I would have punched out an old lady at the grocery store if she had the last box of Little Debbie cakes. It wasn’t pretty. Imagine if I’d waited until the surgery made me give up sugar. Wow. I can’t imagine recovering from surgery and going through those powerful emotions. I’m glad I got that out of the way.

This is what got me thinking…what else can I get out of the way? What else can I try on for size?

Well, as of today, I’m giving myself an imaginary lap band. πŸ™‚

I went out tonight after work and bought everything I would need if I were doing the pre-op diet…and when I wake up in the morning, I’ll be in “imaginary lap band mode”. I just want to see if I can do it. If I make the final decision for surgery, I’m going to have to do it anyway…so let’s see if I can handle it. The only difference is a little piece of silicone around my stomach.

I am highly motivated right now and I don’t want to lose that. Making the decision to have an imaginary lap band has given me a feeling of control during a time when I’m still considering so many options my head is spinning. This makes me feel like I’m doing something constructive.

Wouldn’t it be something if the imaginary lap band was enough to get me started down the right path again? What if? The only way I’ll know for sure is to just do it…so, ready or not, here I come!

It’ll be fun to see how this shakes out. πŸ™‚

18 thoughts on “Imaginary Lap Band

  1. I am very inspired by you!!! I know you can do it!!! I am struggling with losing weight and really struggling with getting motivated and getting started….

    1. Thank you so much, Hannah! It is a really difficult process, isn’t it? In my own experience, it seems like when I’m struggling it’s almost unbearable…but when I’m motivated and “in the zone”, a freight train of Twinkies couldn’t stop me! The older I get, the more I realize that when that motivation comes I need to jump on it and take full advantage.

  2. Hi,
    You caught my attention on Pinterest, so I came to check out your blog! Sounds like you are incredibly motivated in your journey- good for you!! I have struggled with my weight for most of my life!! In the last 4 months I have lost 50 pounds- feels so good!! Just wondering if you have ever heard of or tried the program Take Shape for Life? This is the program that I have been doing. I have even become a health coach, helping others find health! I was recently at a conference in Vegas where there were a large amount of men and women that had lost 100s of pounds on this program and have kept it off, greatly improving
    their health and quality of life. If you are interested in checking it out the website is; – I hope that whatever path you take your journey ends how you would like! Best of luck in the new year!

    1. Kristine, WOW! Congratulations on your 50 lb loss!! I know how that feels and there’s just nothing like it. Keep hold of all that good mojo and don’t let go.

      I haven’t heard of the Take Shape for Life program, but I will check it out – I promise. I don’t usually do well on any plan I don’t create myself (control freak, hello!) but I always like to see what’s new out there and what’s working for people.

      Congratulations again on your big success!

  3. Your writing style is very much like one of my favorite people– Jen Lancaster! It is a pleasure to read your thoughts as you go on this journey. Sugar is my own personal drug too… I have to think of it that way so if it enters my house I can just throw it in the garbage… and not feel bad about throwing food away. I wouldn’t keep a big bowl of meth and coke on my kitchen counter πŸ™‚ Also, there is a great book called Real Food that changed my life. The basic idea is that if the food stems from nature, your body knows how to process it. The author favors butter over margarine and advocates for foods without chemicals. Quit that Diet Coke girl! It took me 3 months of drinking only water to change my habits, but I have a feeling you would write some really great articles whilst going through the worst of it. Don’t just hang in there– do these things for yourself because you are worth it! Happy New Year!

    1. Katie, my Sugar Sistah, thank you! It’s so good to hear from someone who has similar issues with sugar. I love the meth & coke on the kitchen counter comment, too…LOL. That really puts it in perspective!

      Whenever I’m in “good behavior mode” I try to stick as close to whole, natural foods as I can. Gone are the days of diet frozen entrees!

      As for the Liquid Crack, I’d previously reduced my intake…and I cut off my supply all together this morning when I started the liquid diet (and wait till you hear about my morning…lol).

      I’m so grateful for your support. πŸ™‚

  4. You have a new follower! Nice to meet you! Trying an imaginary lap band on for size, now that’s an amazing idea, and like all unconventional things, chances are it’ll work. At least that’s what I hope. I’ll be around to read you, and give support should you need some.
    Go, Princess, go!

    1. Hi Virginie! Welcome!!!

      Thank you so much for following my blog – I really and truly appreciate your support. It’s….12:14 pm here in Texas and I’m 7 hours into the pre-op all liquid diet. I feel like I’ve learned 7 years’ worth of lessons in that time. Stay tuned…LOL. What a morning!

      1. It’s morning here now (I live in France), and I hope things are still going fine for you! I’m staying tuned, I promise!

        1. Oh, wow, Virginie!! I hope to visit France some day…there’s so much of Europe I want to see. I can’t imagine how thrilling it will be to actually set foot in so many places I’ve only ever dreamed of visiting.

          Things are going great here…lots of epiphanies happening in the Hot Mess household. πŸ™‚ I just posted an update on yesterday’s events…go check it out. Have a wonderful day!

  5. Hello to a fellow Texan! I saw a comment you made on Pinterest and immediately knew I wanted to check out your site…(and I didn’t even know you were in Texas yet!) I’m starting the weight loss journey all over again after being on a great (self created) plan that I lost 76 pounds on 2 years ago. I fell off the wagon when I met my now, fiancΓ©. As my best friend and I like to say, love makes you fat. We are both so crazy about each other, our health plans sort of took a backseat to evenings out and lazy Sundays indulging ourselves. Before I knew it, I was back to square one and then some. I’m starting over at almost the same weight you did, and that’s another reason I feel the connection πŸ™‚ there’s just something that people don’t understand after you hit a certain point in regards to losing weight. I found out I was pre-diabetic 2 1/2 yrs ago and that quickly turned into full blown diabetes after a bout with depression and bad choices. So I took control, hitting the gym 6 days a week and eating chicken, veggies, cheese and fruits everyday and indulging only occasionally. The weight took about 3 months to start coming off, but when it did it MELTED off. I was the happiest I’d ever been and I actually still am. I was lucky enough to find my soulmate during all of this, he’s amazing and supportive and familiar with my struggles himself. He actually had gastric bypass surgery 6 yrs ago and went from 500 to 315 (he’s 6’4 so it fits him well). He proposed on Christmas Day, so naturally my motivation is currently through the roof, as I have a wedding to plan for next December now! I’d love to follow you on your journey and hopefully we can trade advice! I also wanted to comment about the lap band…my best girlfriend of 20 years had it done, lost 100 pounds, kept it for a total of 7 yrs and then had to have it removed because the band was eroding around her stomach and causing severe acid reflux and discomfort. She’s since gained weight back as well. If I can say anything, I’d definitely suggest doing it all natural! It’s an amazing feeling to accomplish it all by yourself!

    1. Allison, it’s like we’re twins. LOL. Well, sort of! πŸ™‚

      When I met my husband, I’d just lost 35 lbs of my excess weight and had quite a bit to go…but when we met, I got lost in all the cuddling and snuggles and lazy Sundays…and I stopped trying to eat right and work out. By the time we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, I’d gained an additional 100 lbs.

      Congratulations on your weight loss success and on your engagement!! πŸ™‚ Imagine how fun it’ll be to plan the wedding with the help of Pinterest. Hubby and I married before such a thing existed (and we had a small wedding)…I am so impressed with the ideas I find there.

      Let’s definitely keep each other motivated. I’m so proud and happy for you!

      1. Haha, indeed it does have that long lost twin feel or as one of my very favorite literarary characters would say, “Kindred Spirits” (Anne of Green Gables).Thank you for the Congrats! We’re very excited and I’m eager to start planning! I have snagged several great ideas from Pinterest for our pictures and reception! We will be having a small wedding also, in San Antonio on The Riverwalk in a little spot called Marriage Island. Just us and immediate family.

        I’ll be renewing my YMCA membership within the next 2 weeks, buying a pair of insanely hot pink Nikes I’ve been eyeing since I fell in love with them at Lady Footlocker in the mall while I was supposed to be Christmas shopping and cleaning out our pantry, replacing poptarts with protein bars. I have several recipes I’d like to share in your recipe section also!

        I’m so glad I found your site!

  6. Hello! I found you through pin trust and wanted to share my experience with you! A few moths back my family & I were introduced to juicing! Check out the documentary Fat, Sick & nearly Dead! I highly suggest watching it on Netflix!!!

    1. Hi Heather!

      You know, it’s funny you mention that because I’ve seen that documentary advertised lately and I’ve been curious about it. I will definitely check it out. I’m an girl and I believe I can watch this video for free on my Kindle Fire. Yay!!

  7. Dianne:

    I had LapBand surgery in 2008. I weighed 259 lbs when I went in. Today, I weigh 276 lbs.

    It absolutely did not work for me. I plunked down 15K of my own money and just KNEW it would change my life. Today, I consider it one of my worst decisions, as well as a waste of money and, for all who knew I had it and see that I’ve only gotten bigger, a total embarrassment.

    The reason I believe it failed for me is because there was absolutely no change in my relationship with food. I still wanted and needed it for comfort. Making my stomach smaller didn’t make that go away. Still to this day, I have to eat very slowly, lest I throw up, which I do several times a week. But I still manage to consume more calories than I need, hence the weight gain. You learn very quickly how to eat around your LapBand.

    Like your story about The King, and your family life, my issues with food seriously run deep. I’ve been chubby since I was 8, and even though at times in high school I was just barely overweight, I still was bigger and taller and more filled out than my friends, so I felt conspicuous. And I had a family who focused like mad on my weight, and never ever told me I was good enough as I was. I always knew they would have preferred me much more — that everyone would have preferred me much more — if I were thin.

    I know I will never be thin. I have, at one point, lost 110lbs on my very own, pre LapBand, by cutting out sugar and starches. But that’s hard to maintain, and as soon as I got down to a good weight (for me, 170) I thought, “I’m cured! I’ve got this!” and started eating “normally” again. And here I sit, 106 lbs heavier.

    I have no life. I work all day, and come home to my beloved cat. I am not married, never have been, and have no children, even though I would like some. I am 35 years old and my life is passing me by, and I feel like it’s all because I am not thinner. Every ounce of my self worth is tied into what I look like. I wish that weren’t the case, but for me it is.

    I wanted to share my story with you because it sounds like we have a lot in common and when I find people who are curious about LapBand, I always offer my cautionary tale, not to be negative, but because I wish I had heard something similar before I had my surgery.

    1. Hello again, fellow Texan! πŸ™‚

      I had the most eloquent reply all typed out to you…was almost done with it…and, with one wrong mouse click, I erased it. I can’t believe I just did that.

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with me and my readers. Your honesty is something I appreciate so very much – and your story is exactly the reason why I am afraid that this surgery will not work for me, so it really helps to hear from folks like you who have been down the road and have some experience to share.

      My 24 hour fast taught me that there is more work to be done when it comes to my food demons. It renewed my desire to tackle this in a more natural way – but I still haven’t decided against surgery. I am afraid of what happens when I have a bad day. That’s what the real test will be for me. It’s fairly easy for me to stay on track with momentum on my side…but what happens when I’m derailed by any normal life situation that comes along? Am I going to have the courage to stay the course? I guess we’ll see…because it’s only a matter of time.

      I won’t ever be thin either, my friend. πŸ™‚ I would love to be dainty like Keira Knightly or Natalie Portman, but I’m descended from a bunch of thick, tough Hungarian chicks…that ain’t gonna happen. In fact, that was one of the first body image issues I was handed by The King: I wore a medium when all my classmates wore size small. In his world, that meant I was fat. I wish I’d had the sense to kick him right in the man snatch. My life would have been considerably less dramatic, I’ll tell you what.

      I’ll always be a little thick…but big deal. I can feel myself growing to the point where I’m okay with ME and I don’t look to others for approval. That’s HUGE for me.

      Congratulations to you, my friend, on losing 110 lbs. Yes, I know you gained it back. I hope you’re not beating yourself up over that. If you’re anything like me, I’ll be you are. Stop it. Do you know how many people in this world never succeed at what you’ve already done? The fact that you lost 110 lbs shows what an absolute bad ass you are. And if you are beating yourself up, let me share a quote with you that I’ve found incredibly motivational lately:

      Please don’t judge me for my past. I don’t live there anymore.

      Life hasn’t been passing us by, we’ve been throwing it away. We can both do this – we just have to stop treating ourselves like crap. Have you ever noticed that you would never treat others the way you treat yourself? I’ll bet you have. I understand what it’s like to have your self-worth tied up in your body image. I’m betting when you walk into a room, you immediately check to see whether you’re the biggest person in the room. I know I do. Shame on us. No one else cares about that except for us…and we were conditioned to feel that way long ago by people who should not be in our lives right now. I’ve long since kicked anyone to the curb who made me feel bad about my weight.

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I hope you stick around…and I hope we can inspire each other. You’ve already helped me. πŸ™‚

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