Love My Lap Band!

Everything you want to know about life and weight loss with a Lap Band!

Archive for the ‘Lap Band Before and After’ Category

Fab Lap Band Blog With Awesome Before and After Pics!

Posted by Lori on July 23, 2009

:: {she shrinks} :: – I can’t believe I’ve never found this Lap Band blog before. She has a series of side by side pics taken month by month. It’s so easy to see what she looks like as she loses weight. In her last post, she’s laying on her side in a bikini and she looks good. How many of us can do that?As to the beginning of the journey, she has her surgery in September of 2005, so you can go back in her archives to trace the whole process.

Here’s a link to the picture page: “a visual companion to She Shrinks, a weight loss surgery journal”. I’d post one of the pics here, but I can’t upload photos for whatever reason without crashing my browser. Bummer. So you’re going to have to conquer your link-o-phobia and just go to the blog.

You’re going to love this.


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Fabulous Lap Band Blog With Great Before And After Pictures

Posted by Lori on July 21, 2009

I’ve just found one of the best Lap Band Blogs ever – Chronicles From Lap Band Land! Catherine, the proprietress, is a smart, pretty, 38 year old attorney living in NYC and she can write. One of her blogs posts is a question and answer session with a friend of hers about food. Her answers are wonderfully informative.

My very good friend, Christina, just sent me an e-mail with some great questions about eating with the band. I thought I’d post them here, along with my responses. . .

What do you eat when you go out?
It varies a lot. If my band is feeling tight, I try to order something like soup or something mushy that will be easy to get down. Fish also is a great option, since most varieties are relatively soft in texture and easy to chew.

When you posted about sushi, you said that you didn’t eat the rice — why is that?
I was thinking of the rice as empty calories, and I wanted to be able to eat more fish, so I saved room by not eating the rice as well. I did eat a bite or two of it though, and it went down just fine.

What would you order in an Italian restaurant?
I went to a very nice Italian restaurant on Sunday night . . . Babbo (it’s one of Mario Battali’s places). I split an arugula salad with Erika (I just had a few bites) and ordered a small plate of gnocci with braised oxtail. It was DELICIOUS!

What would you order in a French restaurant?
Hmm. . I haven’t been out for French food recently, but fish is always good and is generally very easy to eat, so that would be one good option. I can actually eat most things, so there is never a problem finding something good on the menu.

How about Mexican?
I go to a Mexican restaurant for brunch most weekends. No problems there. I can have guacamole with a chip or two (not more because I get too full, plus, it’s fattening) and usually get either a quesadilla or carnitas (tacos with grilled pork — I only eat the pork and leave the tortilla).

Do you think you have already changed your eating habits?
Yes. Working with the band is not hard for me at this point — it has just become what I do.

You wrote what you do for breakfast, but what about other meals?
For lunch at work, I either bring a soup or I order food for delivery. I usually wind up getting soup, but sometimes I do sushi (would do it more, but it’s expensive), and I even get a salad once in a while. A few times, when I needed to get in more protein, I’ve ordered a tuna salad wrap and just ate the tuna. I keep my office door closed during lunch — that way if I get stuck, no one else has to know about it. (I kept my door closed during lunch before the surgery as well — that’s pretty common in my office.

Dinner varies a lot. If I’m home, I might make a scrambled egg (one egg. . a bit of cheese and some spices) or even have a low-calorie microwaveable dinner. If I’m feeling more festive, I might poach a piece of fish or cook some scallops.

Babbo’s gnocci with braised oxtail. I am drooling.

Do you ever fight against hunger?
No. I still get hungry when it’s time to eat, but I get satisfied pretty quickly. I eat whenever I am hungry, which is usually 3 times a day. Also, unlike before I was banded, I can’t really overeat anymore. I mean, I could, if I wanted to spend an hour or two trying to get down more food than I should have, but that’s a big time investment! 🙂 Before the band, I would often eat whatever was on my plate without stopping until I felt full (and by that point, I surely was overly full). Or I’d finish something because it was delicious, even though my hunger was totally satisfied. So, I was frequently overeating.

Do you think you really need the band to eat and live like that or is it mostly a mental help?
I do think that I need it to keep me on the straight and narrow. I think that if I did not have it, it would be very easy to slip into my old habits without really thinking about it. In some ways, the band is a mental help, but the biggest help is that it physically limits me from overeating and from eating whatever I want without thinking about it (how it will go down, whether it is what I want — given that I only get to eat a small amount each day, etc.) first.

I thought these were great questions — and hope it made for an interesting post!

Every single post of hers is informative and has substantive information about life with a Lap Band. For those of you who are still contemplating having surgery, and for those of you who are newly banded, this is a goldmine of comfort and information.

Her friend asks her if she “needs” the Lap Band. The answer to that question is that Lap Bands do more than simply limit the amount of food that you can eat. When you diet, your ancient body, fearing that you’re in a famine situation, turns down your metabolism so that more of the food that you eat is stored as fat. That’s why so many dieters find it necessary to cut back further and further on the food they eat to lose weight. In addition, your body will flood you with hormones that make you want to eat. You know that moment when you’ve been losing weight and feeling great about it, but now find yourself in front of the refrigerator stuffing down the left over chicken parmagiane that you were planning on having for lunch tomorrow? Pop psychologists will tell you that’s a moment of emotional weakness – that you’re sabotaging your weight loss because you’re afraid of success and need to get to the bottom of why you want to be fat. Bullshit. It’s hormonal and it’s normal. Inconvenient. Frustating. Infuriating. But normal. It’s a hormonal tsunami designed to get a starving cave man out of the cave to hunt down some fattened prey and it is almost as powerful as the need to drink water. It has nothing to do with your last lover or how your parents treated you.

BTW, Catherine had her Lap Band surgery in Mexico. For those of you who are contemplating the trip to Mexico, and for those of you whose family is discouraging you from making the trip, this is an incredibly valuable blog. Being able to afford a cash payment for surgery here in the US is very difficult for most people. And why spend $20k, when you can spend $8k and have surgery performed by someone who has literally done thousands of surgeries? There are lots of first rate medical facilities in Mexico, as Catherine demonstrates, and they have modeled themselves to attract American consumers.

Here’s the link to her first month of blogging and covers her pre-op routine as well as her surgery. I’d encourage you to read all the way through. You’re going to know a lot more about life with a Lap Band when you get through.

Posted in Lap Band Basics, Lap Band Before and After, Lap Band Bloggers, Lap Band Weight Loss Stories | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Jaime’s Lost 50 Pounds In Just Over 2 Months!

Posted by Lori on May 11, 2008

Nice blog update. Jaime, of Jaime’s Journey, went to the doctor the other day and has officially lost 50 pounds! She started off at 350 and her doctor is now teasing her that she’s just melting away. She has before and after pictures up as well – pre-surgery, 1 month post and 2 months post.

Lise the Loser came back from her weekend at Langley, Washington to discover that she has officially lost 30 pounds and now weighs – dun da da da! – 199. She is in Onederland to stay!

Achieving Me has bought herself a fabulous black ruffled dress (it is dreamy) for the Winter Ball she will be attending this July! She got it in a size 8 (12 for our Aussie friends) so that it fits in a few months.

Lastly, I think Gwen has some new photos up of herself in her photo carousel.

Happy Mother’s Day to all. A documentary I co-produced a couple years ago on the training of opera singers is being screened for the board of the organization we worked for tomorrow night. I’m excited about that. My darling 29 year old son may, or may not, be aware of Mother’s Day but you know, a mother’s hope springs eternal.

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Lap Band YouTube Blogger Ashley’s Amazingly Well Documented Before and After Lap Band Story

Posted by Lori on May 5, 2008

I’ve had Ashley’s Lap Band blog, The Band In Me, linked on my blogroll for several weeks now. She’s a twenty-something Lap Bandee in Seattle, Washington who has amassed a pretty amazing series of videos on YouTube. She starts 1.5 weeks before surgery. She weighs 235 and has just lost five pounds.

Cut to a year later. Here she is two weeks ago, talking about her progress.

The amazing thing is that she has a total of 51 videos online in addition to her blog. Here’s the link to her channel at YouTube where you can see all of her videos. Ashley certainly doesn’t pull her punches on the complications of a Lap Band but talks about how worthwhile she has found it to be.

FYI, she had her surgery done at Northwest Weight Loss Surgery in Everett, Washington. These people have a great site with a lot of information available to prospective patients although a lot of it is applicable to everyone regardless of where you’re having surgery. Here’s their page on how to approach your insurance company for coverage. They have an active study going on about adolescents and Lap Bands and accept teenagers for surgery starting at age fourteen. They have offices in Yakima, Bellingham and Spokane as well.

There’s a lot of information here. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Posted in Lap Band Before and After, Lap Band Bloggers, Lap Band Weight Loss Stories, Teens and Lap Bands, Video Blogs | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

PBS Documentary On Obesity and Weight Loss Surgery

Posted by Lori on April 29, 2008

I just watched FAT: What No One Is Telling You – a PBS documentary about obesity and weight loss surgery. They interview Dr. Lee Kaplan extensively and it’s always good to hear what he has to say. He does discuss just how complex weight gain is and states, for the record, that only 5% of people who have gastric bypasses get all the way down to a normal weight. Very interesting. They also interview Dr. Michael Gershon who talks about the gut being a second brain for our body. He even composes poetry to the intestine.

From the Press Release:

As a young man, Michael Gershon, professor of medicine at Columbia University, went against the wishes of his father and the advice of his professors who urged him to study the brain. Instead, he set off on an exploration of the bowel. Intrigued by some long-forgotten 20th century scientific discoveries about an independent nervous system in the gut, Dr. Gershon’s research uncovered how this sophisticated physiological wiring functions essentially as a “second brain.” The gut, it turns out, has a mind of its own and plays a major role in deciding when and how much we eat. When the brain in the head says eat less and in moderation, the “second brain” in the gut can override the brain in the head and propel us to eat more and without restraint.

Obesity expert Dr. Lee Kaplan and his team at Massachusetts General Hospital compare the body’s hunger drive to the human body’s response to running up six flights of stairs. You can force yourself to breathe slowly for a few seconds, despite this exertion, but ultimately your body will demand more oxygen and you’ll breathe faster. When it comes to decisions about how much to eat, a similar battle occurs between your conscious will and your subconscious. And if your subconscious brain wants more food, it wins and you eat more.

A study of gastric bypass surgery has led Dr. Kaplan to a compelling discovery about how the body regulates food consumption, and the hope that someday surgery can be avoided altogether. Dr. Kaplan has found that weight loss in surgery patients is not just a result of making the stomach smaller. The surgery actually reduces the feeling of hunger by cutting some of the nerves in the bowel, which changes the signals that flow between the gut and the brain. It also alters the way the hormonal system gets its information from food and sends it to the brain. “By manipulating the gut, even in a small way, we end up changing the communication to the brain and the brain acts differently to manage our weight and metabolism,” says Dr. Kaplan. His goal now is to completely replace surgery by developing medication that alters these intricate circuits in the same way that an invasive operation currently does.

They follow a handful of people who are losing weight – one of whom has a gastric bypass and loses 150 pounds over the course of the shoot.

A familiar face on television, actress Mary Dimino’s battles with food and dieting are the hysterical heart of her stand-up comedy. As the documentary opens, we see Mary sweating through one of her daily three-hour gym sessions on the treadmill. Acknowledging that it’s a lot of exercise, she explains, “I have to work just as hard, even harder, just to maintain this level of chubbiness.” Like many people who struggle with weight control, Mary has persistent fat cells in her body that were added during years of overeating. Now the weight may come off, but the cells remain — always hungry — constantly crying out for more calories and defying Mary’s willpower.

“There was something haywire,” says Rosie Delhi, whose words confirm the suspicion every fat person has from trying and trying to lose weight. A retired school principal, her bariatric surgery was, until now, a secret from everyone but closest family members. “You can’t believe how awful it is,” says Rosie, who yearned to play on the floor with her grandchildren and be able to get up again. “If I didn’t make a change, I was headed for a death sentence.” The rewiring effect of the bariatric surgery, which Dr. Kaplan has identified, seems to be helping Rosie to sustain her weight loss by helping to suppress her hunger impulse. Now her disciplined effort to maintain a healthy weight has a shot at success.

As a senior in high school, Rocky Tayeh utilized his budding talent as a journalist by producing a radio documentary on his battle with obesity. Raised in Brooklyn, Rocky laments the everyday temptation of food available in his neighborhood. “If I’m hungry at 4:00 in the morning, I just have to walk a block down,” says Rocky. “There’s a Dunkin Donuts here, a McDonald’s here, a fast food restaurant here, a Chinese restaurant and they deliver.” Despite the disapproval of his family and his own doubts about “taking the easy way out,” Rocky makes a decision to have surgery, loses 150 pounds and faces the prospect of a new life in college without the embarrassment, shame and stigma.

Carla Hurd has gained about 120 pounds over the last twelve years in her job as a marketing executive at Microsoft. Carla and her overweight husband David signed up for a comprehensive weight management program funded by Microsoft. Even with the no-holds barred support of all the best personal trainers, doctors, dieticians and psychologists and a profound motivation to get pregnant, her success in the battle to lose weight is elusive. In videotaped diaries, Carla tracks her uncontrollable urges and her struggle to resist the comforting temptations of food that calms her stressful life.

Public health nurse Pat Lyons, who describes herself as a professional fat woman, knows there is very little justice or sympathy for fat people. Pat’s mission is to uncouple the idea that physical fitness and activity is only useful in regard to losing weight. She believes everyone should be active, regardless of size, aiming to be as healthy as possible whatever weight you are. “There are happy, healthy people of all shapes and sizes,” she points out.

It’s broken up into little clips. The longest is about 10 minutes and the shortest about 4 minutes long. It’s easy to get through.

Posted in Lap Band Basics, Lap Band Before and After, Lap Band Weight Loss Stories, Weight Loss Surgery | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lorraine Kay’s Lap Band Weight Loss Story Finale

Posted by Lori on March 29, 2008

In some ways this is my favorite clip in the entire series. The interview was over and we were packing stuff up to leave, when I finally remembered to ask Lorraine about her career change. She talks about becoming a script supervisor and how she never would have done that when she was heavy. And she also talks about her life as a professional musician and performer and how that has changed with her weight loss.

Here is the link to Lorraine Kay’s MySpace page where you can hear some of her music:

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Great Lap Band Blog

Posted by Lori on March 29, 2008

I just stumbled on Gwen’s WLS Journey blog this morning. She’s an RN who is studying nurse anesthesiology. She’s been banded for a year and she’s very thoughtful about the process and her relationship with food. Her entries aren’t short so if you’re looking for pithy little blurbs, she’s not your writer. Her slide show with different images of herself at different stages of weight loss is really nice.

She has a new physician who is advising her to increase her protein intake. I haven’t read anything quite like this before:

So anyway, I see Dr Pennings, at last. He didn’t seem super impressed with my weight loss at 1 year, but he saw I was within 20 lbs of goal. He liked how much I am exercising. They did a Tanita body composition thingie and determined that I had 120 lbs of lean mass, and he used that number with his personal number of 1.5 gm protein per kg lean body mass to determine that I need 90 gm of protein per day now. Um, what? How am I going to do that, without protein shakes? I think 75 gm might be more doable. My “people” at the Portland office told me 45-52gm, which I have been going by for the past year. Pennings believes that my weight loss will pick up again if I get 90 gm protein in per day. I believe he might be full of crap. But anyway, I’m trying to increase it some.

One useful tidbit he did give me was the calories-per-protein-gram rule. He told me to check labels on foods, and “gravitate” towards foods that have a ratio of 15 calories or less per 1 gm of protein. This seems reasonable and simple to do

Anyway, check it out, if you’re interested. I’ve added her to the Lap Bandee blogroll so you can always find her.

Posted in Lap Band, Lap Band Before and After, Lap Band Bloggers, Lap Band Weight Loss Stories | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Great Lap Band Before and After Story

Posted by Lori on March 23, 2008

Quick link here – this is a promotional video from the Detroit Medical Center interviewing Dr. Mohamed Gazayerli. The woman who is in the first part of the video looks so dramatically different, it’s hard to imagine. She looks like a little bird afterwards! Very fine boned. Dr. Gazayerli has had a lap band procedure himself. Always nice to hear.

I hope you enjoy it. I love the before and after images.

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