Nora posted today about The Purpose of the Band and I realized I haven't thought much about what the band does for me for many many months. Maybe that's a good thing but maybe it's time to see how things have changed for me since being banded in February 2010.
So how do I "work my band". I think it is the habits that are ingrained after 18 months.
Right now I can eat anything and everything but I still stick to the 1 cup of food at any one time. That doesn't mean that I don't eat another cup of food 2 hours later if the hungries hit. And sometimes I have gone back for seconds since I am such a good cook but that is maybe once a month!
I don't drink with meals. I will drink a full glass of water just before I eat. I try not to eat between meals and try to stick to 3 meals a day plus one snack. I chew the bejeesus out of every scap of food that goes into my mouth. It still amazes me how fast most people eat, as I merrily chew, chew, chew. I stick to solids as much as possible, even in the morning when I can eat eggs and toast without problems. I had some pretty impressive stuck episodes the first 6 months and what they think was esophageal spasms where I could only eat two bites of food before giving up. That seems to all be resolved, as I said, I can't think of any food I can't have. I even had corn on the cob this summer. I was out to dinner with our Barbara in Montreal on Monday night (I had the bestest time) and only finished half the salmon on the plate. Consciously thinking about portions is the way to go. My DH happily finishes what I don't eat most of the time.
What I still need to work on is getting enough protein. I've been drinking a strawberry protein smoothie a few times a week with 30 g of protein. (I recreated the St@rbucks recipe). I've always been a carb addict and I know if I could reduce those, I'd maybe see some further weight loss. The other issue I see is that I still enjoy wine and beer (and LIIT in Chi-town!). I'm not an alcoholic, nor do I drink to excess, but a glass or two every week is part of life. I'm not sure I want to make that change just yet. And I have been really really bad about any type of exercise. Don't chastise me. All these things will come.
I have been a bit surprised how little fluid I have in my band. Right now, I have 4.6 cc in my 10 cc Lapband. I started with 3 cc at surgery and have not had the best time with getting that sweet spot. But I've had it. That lovely spot where you don't even think about eating. Many unfills, refills and tiny little fills of 0.1 cc. I have fluctuated at the same weight (170-174) for the last year. But I did lose and keep off 40 pounds and hope that I will drop another 10-15 pounds in the next year.
But I am in a holding pattern right now. You see I am flying to Europe at the end of October and I have problems with my band when I fly. I will warn you that I am in the absolute minority with this. There are so many others who fly without having problems but all the times I have flown this last year (3 times), my band has clamped shut. The clinic thinks there might be an air bubble and for some reason it moves and presses the band shut. I don't know. So to avoid being in a strange country and not being able to swallow my spit, I am getting a defill next week on my way down to Chicago. They told me they wouldn't take out all the fluid but will probably take me back down to 3 cc. I'll have three weeks once back from Chicago to see if it is enough.
I don't think I will gain any weight back. In my past trips I am so active I usually don't see any weight gain. And it isn't like I'm doing this to eat outrageously at the buffet on the boat. I plan to walk all over the towns and cities we are stopping at and bring with me all the tricks that have become second nature like eating small quantities and waiting and carrying good protein snacks in case lunch or dinner is delayed. I know if I get too hungry, I feel like crap and then eat a lot of junk.
Did anyone notice that I said I was getting the defill/unfill on my way down to Chicago? I could have easily booked the appointment on my way home on Monday. I ordered the full meal for the Saturday dinner. Big hunks of meat. Protein, that's what it is. Protein. And I do remember the Huev0s R@ncher0s at the little restaurant beside the hotel!
I think I will just have to book a fill appointment when I get home on November 10th. Til then I still work my band. I paid too much to let it all go to waste.