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Rabu, 23 Januari 2008

[DFWBandsters] Re: Gary's journey

I am sorry to hear of your doubts, but heartened by the outflow of
concern as posted by you fellow bandsters. This is a heart felt
attempt from me to help you too. However, be forewarned that I have
no talent or gifts in this arena!

Prior to my own band surgery, I attended a seminar and did research n
the internet and still came to the wrong set of expectations, because
I think I filtered out an imbalance of the multitude of info out
there. My pre-surgery situational awareness was on target in some
areas and off in others. Please bear with me.

I was diagnosed with morbid obesity, which I took to heart as a
dominant factor in my cause of eventual death. I read that only 2% of
the obese population is able to lose and retain weight without WLS; my
own failures placed me in the zero percent success category, I chose
to consider my obesity as a terminal illness if unmitigated, no
different than if an alcoholic. The blessing is that our problem is
easier to cure than that of an alcoholic. I was convinced that I
needed to have a tool. I mustered up all of my will power
successfully follow pre-surgery diet instructions in order to shrink
my liver to make the lap band surgery easier for the surgeon and lost
and in fact lost 15 lbs in two weeks.

Post surgery, the physical recovery was easier than expected, but
after one week, my appetitive returned with a vengeance and I felt a
failure. I ad applied all of my will power pre surgery and had
expected the band tool to take over for the rest of my life. I had
seen lots of the band posts on bandster hell (that period prior to the
3rd to 5th fill which leads to the sweet spot of restriction, patience
to allow for the period of healing and behavior change, that slow
weight loss is healthy, that some folks lose more slowly than others
and even gain from time to time, but still succeed. And yes, that the
behavior challenges and risk of other complications are such that
there is no absolute guarantee of success.

While in my bandster hell phase, and continuing to today, I use lots
of resources to manage my behavior. I read DFW Bandsters and Band
buddies every day. I track my protein, water, calories and exercise
every day and weigh daily prior to stepping into the shower. I
learned that any WLS surgery can be defeated by wrong minded behavior;
milkshakes, cookies, candy, chips and high calorie liquids all go down
easily. I learned different body signals for full and hunger. I
never get full in the old way, but I get a runny nose just before the
bite that makes me PB. I don't get hungry in the old way, but still
crave comfort foods and occasionally feel affects of low blood sugar
when not hungry if short on calories. I am convinced that my
metabolism is very slow as my weight loss was very slow with several
setbacks where I actually gained. For the last three months of my
weight loss, I struggled to lose just one pound per week.

I attend support group sessions offered by my surgeon at least monthly
and attend dinners as posted on the DFW Bandsters calendar. I kept my
journey private from everyone but my wife, parents, doctors and Band
group friends for eighteen months in order to avoid interference with
my behavior management challenges. All of the above has factored into
my own success, but if it had not, I would have insisted on individual
counseling from a professional. However, from time to time the
journey becomes easier or more challenging, a pattern that I expect to
continue for the rest of my life.

I know three women that lost in the neighbor of 200 lbs each with very
little effort. They felt that they were lucky to not be faced with
behavior challenges, hunger, etc. They all stayed at goal for a
couple of years, then later faced the same challenges as I. They
continue to be successful, but now have to work a bit harder.

At the other extreme, bandster friend woman that lost over two hundred
lbs, but it took her 4 years and each year was easier and more
successful than the prior year! Her results were something like 30lbs
in the 1st year and 100 lbs in the 3rd year. I admire her immensely
for keeping on task despite such a slow start.

I am 2 years post surgery and have been in the maintenance phase for
14 months. However, I have had several 5 lb round trips of gain and
loss and two 10 lb round trips. Before and after pictures are posted
on this site.

Good luck to you Gary. If you would like to talk to me directly,
please send me an email with your phone number.

Doug S 5 ft 4 inches

A hapy Bandster is a successful loser.
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