Monday, November 22, 2010

One Year Bandiversary

I'm two days late. I have a good excuse...I have come down with the plague. I've been absolutely miserable, but I'm starting to come out of it.

So! Onto the show!

Saturday was my one year bandiversary.

Looking back, this process has not been what I had expected. It's been MUCH more difficult. If I could go back knowing what I know now would I still have the surgery? YES, but with a few tweeks.

My story in a nutshell:
In summary: Girl is self-pay, girl gets banded, girl gets fill, girl gets another fill, girl finds out job is transferring her 1000 miles away, girl gets another fill, girl moves, girl is stressed and sad, girl can't eat, girl pays $1200 for an unfill, girl can eat, girl STUPIDLY decides to get a $600 fill, girl can't even drink water, girl gets $400 unfill, girl flies back to surgeon to get EVERYTHING taken out, girl gains almost 30 lb, girl gets small fill, girl gets another fill, girl starts slowly losing again.

A Year Ago I...
I would have thought that on my one year bandiversary I would be at or very close to goal. I would have thought I would have had no problems with my band. And I would have thought I'd still be in Atlanta.

Oh how different reality is. Before my pre-op I was at 264. On Saturday I weighed in at 215. That's a loss of 49 lb in one year. I'm happy because that's 49 lb. that I probably could not have lost on my own OR if I did lose the weight, it's 49 lb for me to regain. The disappointing part in all of this is that on July 1 of this year I was down 69 lb. To tell you the truth, I'd be much happier writing this year-in-review post if I were down 69 lb. However, I'm not. I've lost 49 lb and I pretty much have 49 lb to go. So, I'm halfway there.

Things I wish I would have known before getting surgery:
-not everyone is the same. Someone with the same number of cc's in their band might be much tighter or much looser than you. Someone's green zone (sweet spot) might be different than yours. Some people may be able to eat things you can't.
-Blogs are great reference tools, but are not the bible. Similar to above, this is YOUR personal journey, you will not have the same experiences as a fellow blogger / bandster. A bandster might be able to eat eggs, rice, and toast, but you may not (I certainly can't).
-it's expensive. I'll be paying for this sucker for another 4 years, not to mention my one year of free aftercare is up so now I have to pay for fills & unfills.
-it's mentally challenging. I have to look up menus online before I go out to eat to see if there are foods I can have. I get a little sad when people tell me what they are eating for a meal and I know I can't.
-everyone says it and it's true: the band is not a solution. you can still eat around it, you can even gain weight.

Happy things:
-blood sugar is normal (I was pre-diabetic prior to surgery).
-triglycerides are now normal. Prior to surgery, they were so high that they couldn't even be measured.
-I have energy. Prior to surgery I was so sleepy all the time, took naps any chance I got, and was really unmotivated to do anything. Now, I can't take a nap even if I wanted to. My body will not let me.
-I look better. Not as good as I looked in July, but that's beside the point.
-I can wear normal clothes. Prior to surgery I was a 18/20 in pants and an XL (maybe bigger, but I wouldn't buy anything larger than XL). Now I'm a 14/16 in pants and a solid L.

Sad things:
-my mental state is not where it needs to be. No, I'm not saying I'm going off the rails of the crazy train or anything. I'm saying I still think like I'm fat. I still think about my next meal before I'm done with my current one. I still think about how much I would LOVE to scarf down a mushroom pizza with extra cheese.
-my eating habits are not wonderful. I still avoid vegetables at all costs. It's almost the same case with fruits.
-Eating is not a pleasurable experience for me. Generally speaking, it hurts to eat anything solid. It feels like a brick is on my chest until the food passes through my band. Yes, I'm chewing well. Yes, I'm taking small bites. No, I don't PB. This is what eating is for me and because it hurts to do it, I try to avoid foods that cause this feeling. Hence, I eat slider foods.
-I don't like that I have this part of me hidden. Aside from 3 friends and a handful of family members, no one knows that I've had this surgery. So, when I sit down for a meal with friends or co-workers, my eating looks kind of suspicious. I've told everyone how much I hate sandwiches when really, all I want to do is scarf down a 6" po' boy! However, I have to suck it up and get over it b/c I'll never be able to do that again.
-Beer = OUT. No more beer. Ever. It hurts to drink it. Therefore, my bar tabs are significantly higher than my friends b/c I drink liquor.

Over all, I'm happy (although this post makes it sound like I'm not) and I'd go through all this again, I'd just think longer and harder about it next time. You have to be completely committed to this band for it to work. You must become one with the band and don't fight it.


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