Monday, June 11, 2012

Are You Better With or Without the Band?

I have been reading some of my favorite bloggers this week--they are many of the people I have been following the past two+ years since my surgery. People that I have cheered on and been inspired by these past two years and people I could really relate to--odd how I don't know them in person, but rather know their blog self in a virtual way.

 In many ways we are at the same "stage" in our band life. I have been noticing some frustrating stuff lately (including my own). People who feel they aren't succeeding, people having technical troubles with their bands and just an overall sense of hitting a plateau I guess. I guess we are all at a point in our band life where we are scrutinizing our failures and successes and perhaps our disappointments and dealing with the unexpected.

It made me think about whether I am happy I have a band? Lately it has really been a love/hate relationship and I am trying to get my head focused again. So perhaps it would do me some good to revisit what positive aspects the band has added to my life and perhaps put a new spin on the things that seems to be weighing me down a bit lately. So here goes, a little self-therapy.

What's Good About Life with the Band?
  • I have lost and maintained at least 85 pounds average (sometimes more/sometimes less). I am working on losing again and I am making slow but steady progress.
  • I just bought my first clothes from Old Navy--I never used to get to shop in "normal" stores. I actually enjoy shopping now. I can wear an XL shirt and size 18 pants.
  • I am energetic, and don't dread walking, going up stairs or other physical activities.
  • I don't have fear and anxiety about things weight related, i.e. will I fit in that booth, will I break that chair, do I fit in that airplane seat, can I ride that amusement park ride, etc.
  • I would never have been brave enough to give my phone number to a guy when I was at 303 pounds. (I did this weekend! Yippee, keep your fingers crossed!)
  • Losing weight made my overall health better. My blood pressure is totally normal, metabolic stuff all normal, feminine health normal for the first time in my life (maybe I can still dream about having babies).
  • Tackling my weight issues helped me also tackle some of the other demons in my life. Through therapy and meds I am happier and more emotionally stable than ever. For once in my life I feel good about me. I have self-worth and I know that I am strong enough to handle most anything.
  • I have met some awesome people on the blogs and they have often provided great feedback, shared experiences and provided encouragement. Priceless.
What's Frustrating?...And Ways to Alleviate That
  • It's still a constant battle to lose and/or maintain my weight. Well duh...did your surgeon or other health care professionals tell you that it was a magic surgery? Nope! Guess what, you still have to work at it--but thank God you can say you are not struggling to lose 125 pounds. Instead you can say I am glad that I don't weight 303 pounds. Be proud of yourself!
  • I've never reached my final goal. Um yeah negative Nellie, but what about all those other ones you hit along the way? Losing 10 pounds...25 pounds...50 pounds...75 pounds...seeing onederland (don't worry you will get there again!) Out of morbid obesity into extreme obesity, then just plain old obesity and so close to being just overweight. How many pants sizes are you down? 28, 26, 24, 22, 20 and now 18 and sometimes even an occasional 16. How about shirt size 3X, 2X, 1X and now XL. Don't concentrate on the negative, concentrate on the positive.
  • What about all these extra medical issues--gall bladders, port revisions, dilitations, oh my! Well, you have a tool in your body and sometimes it's going to need some maintenance. Do these little hiccups outweigh the benefits you listed above? Nope, just some things you need to take care of and then move on. Are there things you could do to change them? Yes and no. The gall bladder is gone and you shouldn't have any more problems. So forget about it. The port flip could have happened to anyone, it should be fixed now and good to go. It was a very minor fix in the realm of things. The dilitation--now there's another story. Could you have prevented that? Yes, I certainly could have done a better job of listening to my body and my band. But guess what, I learned something and now I know what to look for and how to deal with it, so it won't happen again. So don't fret about the stuff you have no control over and take action on the things you can do something about.
Ok, do you feel better now? Yep, sometimes I just need to get out of my own head. I am better with a band than without it. So to those of you who are struggling a bit right now, I hope that you can quiet the voices in your head and find your happy place again. Then repeat it over and over and over to yourself.

So if you really, really think it through...what would you say today? Is your life better with or without the band?


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! What a brilliant post. I think I need to write something similar (if you don't mind) to show myself how much the positives quite literally outweigh the negatives.

  2. Excellent post...and very timely for me. Thank you!

  3. Great post. I was banded around the same time as you and have lost about the same amount. There is no doubt that am better off. With or without my goal met....yet.

  4. Another great post, girlie! I just had that conversation last night. My band helped me become "normal". Now I'm struggling with my weight like any other "normal" person. :) As much as I wish that it would have done everything for me, I would NOT have gotten to this point without it.

  5. Great post!! And, I love your decision to focus on all of the many positive things.

    I'm definitely better with the band. I really feel like my band helped me to change my life for the better in a number of different ways. I worry about something going wrong with it, sometimes I have a hard time eating, and I hate that feeling when my esophagus contracts (do you get that?) when I'm hungry, but otherwise it's all good.