Love My Lap Band!

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

Posts Tagged ‘gastric banding’

Lap Band Success! 21 Pounds in 21 Days

Posted by Lori on October 6, 2009

I had my surgery on September 10th and have done a meticulous job of sticking to the diet. Happily, I’ve only experienced a little hunger. On the 21st day, I finally got my courage together and weighed myself – I’d lost 21 pounds. Wow. This operation is a miracle.

As a result of the weight loss, I’m walking farther than I have in years. Two nights ago, I walked 5.4 miles without having to stop even once and I got it done at a 20 minute per mile pace. Not rocket speed but I haven’t been able to do that in years. If I’d had a better pair of shoes on, I could have gone another 2.7 miles. As it was, my feet were covered in blisters by the end of the walk and it’s kept me home for a couple days now. But now I know I can do it. I used to walk 8 to 10 miles a day, and I’ll be able to get there once again. You can’t imagine how good it is for your soul to walk alone at night time with no voices or music bobbling in your ears. Just me, my dog, the stars and Ventura Boulevard in the late evening.

My clothes are finally getting baggy. I wear stretch jeans and it takes quite a bit before they stop fitting. I think I have ten more pounds max in my current jeans and then, times being what they are, I’ll have to figure out what to do next. In the meantime, I have a Macy’s Wish List for Love My Lap Band, in case any of my readers want to help out with my current dilemma. If so, the jeans are the priority.

I’m still not experiencing much hunger – it’s a very nice thing to have it totally swept away.  My big splurge day was just under 900 calories. I’ve made this decision to keep my calorie intake ultra-low, if I can, until the point where I can fit back into a size 14 and I find myself relating to the notion of 900 calories the way I used to relate to the notion of 2000 calories. But now, because I have a Lap Band, 400 calories,only provokes occasional twinges of hunger rather than a full out assault on my consciousness. I drink a lot of water and that helps as well. I know Dr. Ortiz’s materials suggest having some Metamucil for hunger. I may pick some up just in case.

My compromised computer does not allow me to link pictures right now, so I apologize for how dry looking blog is at the moment. Hopefully, I’ll have a new MacBook Pro sometime soon, and I’ll make this blog a little prettier once again.

I want to say one more time that this operation is a miracle. My life is now under my control in a way that  it hasn’t been in years. I’m not hungry, it doesn’t hurt and no, I’m not throwing up. I’m going to be able to do it – I just know it. Nothing is gonna stop me now. 🙂

Posted in My Lap Band Experience, Plus size clothing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

60 Minutes Clip On Lap Bands And Diabetes Resolution

Posted by Lori on July 15, 2009

I found this clip over at the Centennial Center For The Treatment of Obesity site. It’s two physicians talking about Lap Bands and diabetes. What one doctor says is that diabetes diminishes in Lap Band patients as their weight decreases. Interesting.

If you have diabetes, and have not yet read up on it, the numbers are pretty impressive. A study published in Obesity Surgery, found resolution of diabetes in Lap Band patients was 66% at one year, and 80% at two years.

Posted in Lap Band, Lap Band Studies, Lap Bands And Diabetes | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Where Did My Boobs Go?

Posted by Lori on October 30, 2008

Classic real life thread on the Lap Band Talk Forum.

Where did my boobs go?

Just had to share something funny.The great news is that I’ve lost 60 lbs of the 200 lbs I need to lose. The BAD news is that 30 of it seems to have been lost from my boobs!

What the heck is that? I have a large butt, large belly, and thighs that have their own zip codes, but NOOOOO. I lose half of my boobs. Seriously, I can now put my fist in my bra with plenty of room left over.

Cracks me up! Guess I may have to have implants when I’m all done.

I invite you to share something funny about your weight loss that you never thought was going to happen.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Posted in Lap Band Basics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Motherlode of Lap Band Weight Loss Stories

Posted by Lori on October 29, 2008

I was just speaking with True Results and wandered into their patient testimony stories – whoa! They have a lot of them. I’ve watched a handful, and this one is my favorite. Melissa tells a story of a physician calling her out on her obesity on the event of her mother’s heart attack.

The information here isn’t that dense, but it certainly gives you a very strong sense of how people who have Lap Bands feel about them. My experience, as the title of this page indicates, is that the feeling is overwhelmingly positive. This site came about because everyone I spoke with about their Lap Band said the same thing – I love my Lap Band!

When you have some time, I’d encourage you to watch the video clips. These are obviously smart, sober people who have had their lives changed by their Lap Band. They talk about how long they’ve been banded and how much weight they have lost. One of the women talks about how it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Settle in, learn to eat real food and exercise – you’ll lose the weight.

Posted in Lap Band Weight Loss Stories | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Post-surgery Insurance For Self-Pays

Posted by Lori on October 27, 2008

People who are paying for their Lap Band procedure out of their own pocket are left worrying about how they would finance any repairs or complications. I think for most of us, freedom from obesity is just so important that the risk seems worthwhile. But I wanted to bring you attention to a product that provides some additional peace of mind – BLIS.

What BLIS (Bundled Loan Indemnity Solutions) does is provide insurance to physicians who perform weight loss surgery that covers the cost of any repairs that need to be done in the first 90 days after surgery. The insurance comes through the physician’s office and is part of the cost of the surgery. They have a website that spells out what they do, and offers links to the physicians that they cover. If you’re a self-pay having surgery here in the US, this is definitely something you should check out. I know a lot of people fret about what their options would be if something went wrong – this answers that question.

I’m going to add them to the side bar sometime today. I got a few more things coming up today so check back.

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Jaime’s Lost Over 100 Pounds With Her Lap Band!

Posted by Lori on October 13, 2008

Wow – Congrats to Jaime! In 7 1/2 months, she’s lost 105 pounds. She has before and after pictures up and you can certainly see the weight loss.

Here are her Before Pictures. And here are her After Pictures.

I discovered a new blog tonight that I really like – the never ending search to reveal the one within. Or, Fatty Patty. Scroll down to about the fifth picture of her on the left – that’s what she looked like this past Christmas. The photo at the top of the page is her today. She’s a pretty girl, and I think this surgery has done very well by her.

I’m going to spend the evening catching up on some blogs. I’ll let you know what else I find.

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“They Call This The Thinking Man’s Surgery”

Posted by Lori on October 11, 2008

I was poking around on YouTube to see what kind of Lap Band videos I’ve missed. I found this video from Dr. Kuri in Mexico. I like it for a couple reasons. The woman speaking is a nurse who had surgery with Dr. Kuri and addresses having the procedure done in Mexico. For so many of us who are self-pays, the option of having surgery in Mexico makes it dramatically more affordable but it’s scary going to another country. She’s an RN here in the US and addresses how comfortable she was with the bright, clean and modern hospital she found waiting for her. She also brought several of her friends who are RNs down after she had her procedure done and they were satisfied as well. Anyway, I think it’s one more reassuring video to watch as you contemplate whether this is the path for you.

I haven’t read up on Dr. Kuri but I like his photo – nice eyes.

One other video of note – this is a video with a mom and young daughter. Mom has lost 155 pounds with the band and the daughter, who had surgery at 12, has lost 110 pounds.

Posted in Video Blogs | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obesity Isn’t Your Fault and How To Change It!

Posted by Lori on October 11, 2008

For those of you who are new to this blog and are wrestling with obesity, the first thing I want to say is that it’s time to give up your guilt. I know you’re thinking that if you just wouldn’t have eaten that cheesecake when you were twelve, and if you could cut back on your lunch and not have dessert every night, you could buy oodles of those darling little Stella McCartney frocks and some lighter than air Christian Louboutins, and float around town like the beguiling little waif you really are. But the human body doesn’t work that way – DNA has intervened. Around 75% of your excess weight is caused by genetics – that is what the diet industry doesn’t want you to know. You know those disclaimers that you see in television and magazine ads for various weight loss programs “Results not typical.”? That’s what it’s referring to.

Think about what 75% of excess weight means – if you’re 5’6″ and your ideal weight is 135 but you weigh 195, 45 pounds of that is genetic in origin and your body is going to put it right back on as soon as you take it off. They did a fascinating study in Canada. They put a group of obese women on 500 calorie a day diets and exercise programs. They lived in the hospital so that their food intake could be controlled. No surprise – they all lost weight. Then the scientists upped their calories to 800 per day and kept the exercise going. Guess what? They all gained weight. Your body is more than capable of adjusting your metabolism to keep your weight stable where DNA commands it to be. That’s what you’re up against. Your ancient body has figured out innumerable ways to keep your weight where it thinks you should be.

That’s where weight loss surgery comes in. When you eat food and you’re full, stretch receptors in the top of your tummy are activated and let your brain know that you’ve eaten plenty. If you’re full with every meal, your body will burn the calories and keep your weight stable. But once you go on a diet, those stretch receptors let your brain know that you aren’t full and it starts cranking your metabolism down. Your body will want to conserve calories to keep your weight where it thinks you should be. That’s one of the reasons you can’t keep it off once you lose it. Weight loss surgery though, changes that. Weight loss surgery, because it makes your stomach smaller, tricks your brain into thinking that you’re full – so your metabolism stays steady. You’re eating less food, but you’re burning it just as quickly as you did before so you lose weight, and you keep it off.

I read a heartbreaking post from a young woman a few months ago who had lost 120 pounds and got herself down to 110. Of course, she put it right back on and after a few trips to the psychologist resolved that she was averse to male attention and was thus sabotaging her own efforts. She was determined to own her failure, and no scientific study I pointed her to could set her free. She was totally captivated by her magical thinking. I wonder how many more cycles she’ll need to burn through before she subordinates her ego to double-blind, peer reviewed science?

Of course, you don’t need to have weight loss surgery to lose weight and keep it off. But doing so otherwise requires changing your eating habits, dramatically increasing the amount of exercise, and keeping your calories at diet level for the rest of your life – or until you don’t mind gaining the weight back. that’s a lot of work. A lot of self-discipline. Most people fail.

Also, you can simple decide that obesity isn’t the end of the world and just love yourself as you are. If that’s what you decide to do, you have my full support. Get yourself out there, get your hair done and buy yourself nice clothes – you deserve it. You have children, family and friends who all want you to live a long and happy life. Take care of yourself for their sake, if not your own. Eat right and get out for walk everyday. Buy a dog if you need inspiration for the walk. Or just dance – get a dance tape, find a place you can dance in private if you must, and just move to the beat for a half hour a day. Once you get good at it, do it twice a day.

But if you hate being obese, quit blaming yourself for your genes and move on. If you want to lose the weight, and you’re more than 50 pounds overweight, you owe it to yourself to look into weight loss surgery. Lap Bands are non-invasive, reversible and adjustable. You won’t lose weight as quickly as with a gastric bypass, but you will lose as much and keep it off as long. That’s what really matters.

I’ll be back tomorrow linking some studies to this post and bringing some new stories. I’ve been gone on a project for several months, and I apologize for my absence, but I’m back now and I’m cooking up some good interviews for you. Come back for more!

Posted in Lap Band Basics, Why You Can't (Or Don't) Lose Weight And Keep It Off | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Karen Miller’s Lap Band Story

Posted by Lori on May 30, 2008

I can’t find the first installment of this series, but it’s about Karen Miller, a 26 year old woman, in Bridgeport, Connecticut who had a Lap Band procedure performed by Dr. Timothy Ehrlich. Like most future Bandees, she had lots of different health problems – frightening when you’re only 26. Those have gone away, and now she’s feeling (as a friend of mine put it) down right evangelical.

She said she’s actually had to stop herself from suggesting the procedure to others, for fear of seeming rude.`I don’t want to offend anybody,” said Miller, a law student at Western New England College in Springfield, Mass. “But I want to let them know that this is an option. Before I had the surgery, I didn’t even know it was out there. I wish I had known sooner.”

And her health problems are now better:

Her enthusiasm is understandable, given her response to the surgery. Before the procedure, she weighed 247 pounds. She also had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which led to a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, irregular glucose levels and irregular periods.

The syndrome also made it difficult for her to lose weight, even though doctors urged her to do so.

On the advice of a friend, Miller, who works in the medical records department at St. Vincent’s, decided to explore bariatric surgery. However, she wasn’t interested in the more highly publicized gastric bypass surgery. That surgery, made famous by high-profile patients such as “Today” show weatherman Al Roker, involves rerouting part of the intestine.

Unlike gastric bypass surgery, lap-band is minimally invasive with few risks. Gastric bypass surgery, on the other hand, is a more complicated surgery that carries more risks, including possible death. Another benefit to lap-band surgery is that, unlike the bypass, it’s reversible.

Miller was deemed a good candidate for the lap-band, which is most effective for patients aged 18 to 65 and having a Body Mass Index of 40 or higher. Before surgery, Miller’s BMI – measurement based on weight related to height – was 42. Her health problems also made her a good candidate for the surgery, so she signed up.

One year later, she’s lost 72 pounds.

Since the procedure, Miller has gone from 247 pounds to 175 pounds. That’s obviously garnered a lot of reaction — most of it positive — from friends, family, strangers.

And she finds herself being cheered on.

Throughout the past year, Miller’s life has changed in many ways, but the thing that surprises her most is how supportive everyone has been.

“People are getting more and more cutthroat these days,” she said. “But when people see me doing this, they’re just so encouraging. I’m very happy.

It’s a good story – always gratifying to see someone decent have things go well. In the last installment, she’s about 20 pounds away from her goal weight – and wouldn’t we all like to be there.

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Weight Loss Surgery Radio Today at 5pm PST

Posted by Lori on May 28, 2008

Cher Ewing and Jeff Cadwell are both weight loss surgery patients and Life Coaches. Cher has had a Lap Band and Jeff a gastric bypass. They do weekly 90 minute broadcasts about various issues of interest to weight loss surgery patients. I like what they do because they have first hand knowledge of what the process is and that’s incredibly valuable.

Today, they have, as their guest, Colleen Cook who is a weight loss surgery patient and founder of Bariatric Support Centers International. From the press release on the show:

Join Cher & Jeff as they talk with Colleen Cook about her story. Colleen is a weight-loss surgery patient from 1995.

She is the founder of Bariatric Support Centers International, an extraordinary company that specializes in providing long-term education and support services for weight-loss surgery patients. She is also the founder and former chair of the National Support Group Network for Allied Health Sciences, a committee of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery.
Colleen is a sought after speaker & former host of her radio show, “Obesity’s Surgical Solution”. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed “Success Habits of Weight Loss Surgery Patients“. She has an extensive background in group organization, meeting facilitation, and leadership training. Known as Ms. Enthusiasm, Colleen helps men and women from all walks of life recognize their extraordinary potential and then inspires them to aspire even higher.

Her book, which I linked from my bookstore, is out of print and ridiculously expensive secondhand (not her doing). So, I’m going to spend some time at Ms. Cook’s website and see what kind of things I can learn. We do know, as I remind you so endlessly, that people who have weight loss surgery and attend support groups lose more weight than those who don’t. And this is all about the weight loss.

By the way, Jeff and Cher maintain podcasts of all their shows, so even if you miss one, you can catch up again later.

It’s a beautiful day in Southern California and I have got a lot of running around to do. So, I’m gonna put on my running around clothes and go do it. It even smells good today. The flowers are blooming mad.

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Andrew Lost 260 Pounds With A Lap Band

Posted by Lori on May 27, 2008

It’s always easier for men to lose weight, we know. This is a video from True Results with their patient Andrew S. He’s being interviewed while a make up artist is getting him ready for a photo shoot. Anyway, take a look, guys. At the end of the video, you can see how trim he is now.

And for those of you who haven’t clicked on Robert Morgan’s 250 Pound Weight Loss story, do it now. He’s a sports writer, who weighed over 500 pounds when he finally had a Lap Band procedure.

And I got that way by following the standard American diet. With a busy family and a job that keeps me constantly on the move into the evenings on most nights, I ate a lot on the run – McDonald’s, Chicken Express, Wendy’s and other such food.

I remember there was a time when we ate out more than we did at home. And I remember thinking at one point that I was getting healthier because I switched to Taco Bell. At that point I was getting burritos with lettuce and cheese rather than quarter-pounders. And boy, I thought that was a huge improvement.

But deep inside I knew better. I could not stand the pain shooting up the heel of my foot or that I was out of breath walking back to the car after a football game. Better yet, I knew I was in trouble last April when I was at Odessa’s Ratliff Stadium for the regional track meet. This massive, college-size stadium has no elevator and hauling a wide load up 50 flights of stairs several times a day about gave me heart failure.

I felt doomed to die of a heart attack by the age of 32, but I didn’t know what to do. I don’t overeat so I figured eventually it would all go away. I was certain that putting on a few extra pounds was something that happens to everyone when they hit their 30s.

It hit me like a ton of bricks this year, and I have one immature, rude, disrespectful Decatur High School student to thank for it. I was at my first volleyball game of the season in late August when I walked by the student body section. I noticed in my peripheral vision as I approached the group that one boy in particular kept staring at me. Just as my family and I passed, he quickly turned to two of his buddies and said, “Did you see how fat that dude was? What a freak!”

Well, that would definitely be a wake up call. I got one of my own the other night. A young friend came by and saw a photo on the wall that my husband had taken about ten years ago. It’s a black and white shot of barefooted me in a long dress and denim jacket sitting on a stone bench. My hair is long and fluffy at the time. My hands are folded in my lap and my legs crossed. He looked at it for a second and said, “Wow, that could almost be you only much younger”. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

Savin’ mah pennies. Savin’ mah pennies.

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Lap Bands and Diving

Posted by Lori on May 25, 2008

Oooooooh, this is sooooo interesting. One of the things I really want to do after I get my Lap Band is go diving. I’ve never been SCUBA diving in my life, and living so close to the beautiful waters of Mexico, I really want to at least once. Just once. Maybe twice. Anyway, I found this fascinating article about bariatric surgery and diving. It covers all of the weight loss surgery techniques and the risks to divers from each.

The news for bandees is good:

Adjustable Banded Gastroplasty or “Lap Band” isanother more restrictive procedure which reduces the size of the stomach. Following the surgery, the patient’s stomach may only hold 1-2 tablespoons in volume. This method drastically reduces the amount of food the patient can consume at any one time; digestion continues normally; and nutritional problems such as anemia and osteoporosisare almost nonexistent. The patient does not require as much ongoing medical supervision or dietary supplements.

Patients choosing this procedure must be very selective about the food they eat: since absorption is not altered, any foods high in calories, sugars and fat will have the same affect on the body as they did before the surgery. If a patient consumes too much food or large pieces of food, vomiting can result.

After surgery, some patients experience chronic acid reflux. Reflux and regurgitation of fluid and gastric liquid can present problems for a diver in the “head down” position, such as during descent. Divers can manage problems of regurgitation or vomiting through proper dietary considerations and possibly medications.

The estimation of “1-2 tablespoons in volume” is pretty extreme. In truth, you’ll be eating 6 to 8 ounces of food per meal – or a “half glass” of food as Dr. Paul O’Brien likes to put it. In the real world, that’s the equivalent of a McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger and a small order of McDonald’s Fries. Of course, you won’t be eating at McDonald’s if you want to lose weight, but you can see where a meal of that size would be perfectly satisfying emotionally. And of course, with the Lap Band, you’ll be quite full as well.

So, for me, it’s to Mexico for my Lap Band surgery, and then hopefully, one year later, back for a SCUBA trip. I can’t wait. 🙂 Palancar Gardens – here I come!

Posted in Lap Band Basics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Medicare May Expand Lap Band Coverage

Posted by Lori on May 19, 2008

Well, this is good news. Maybe it will help knock down a few more insurance walls for Lap Bands here in the US. Maybe it’ll help reduce the cost as well.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Medicare program may expand reimbursement for bariatric surgery for the obese, in light of a study that found the treatment can help reverse diabetes, the agency said on Monday.

Recent research found the surgery can completely reverse type 2 diabetes, a metabolic condition spurred by weight gain and suffered by millions of Americans.

Medicare, the government health plan for the nation’s 44 million elderly, “will assess the nature of the scientific evidence supporting surgery for the treatment of diabetes,” the agency said on its Web site.

The agency will decide whether to set a “national coverage decision,” that would set reimbursement policy for all Medicare recipients. It could also decide to not cover the weight-loss surgery for diabetes alone.

The government already pays for the surgery in certain patients, generally those classified as “morbidly obese.”

Both my mother, and my grandfather had diabetes and died at the age of 64 from heart attacks. Neither of them were obese and both of them were quite active. My grandfather was a rodeo photograher – not a job for the unfit. He was taking down storm windows from his home when he died. My mother was digging a ditch and I’m guessing the combination of the diabetes, the smoking and the Arkansas summer heat took her. Still, 64 is awfully young. Here’s hoping that we help keep parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles around longer.

Posted in Lap Band, Lap Bands And Diabetes, Weight Loss Surgery | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lap Bands, Red Wine and Fat Cells

Posted by Lori on May 12, 2008

Dr. Paul O’Brien is right! We do get to have our glass of red wine with a Lap Band! Not that I’m much of a drinker, but I would like to live longer. Being an American with no health insurance, I get scared sometimes.

I was googling “weight loss” + genetics + fat and found this study from researchers at Oregon State University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Ottawa about SIRT-1 – a gene which can reduce the development of new fat cells and increase metabolism. Ooooo la la! Well, it seems this gene’s activities can be increased by resveratrol, a compound found in grape skins.

The study was done with mice as a research model, and a remaining challenge will be to see if the same results are observed in a higher vertebrate model, including humans.
The research outlined the processes of fat formation and usage at a cellular and genetic level. It also analyzed the metabolic function of resveratrol, a polyphenol and antioxidant found at high levels in grape skins.

“When cells were exposed to resveratrol, our studies showed a pretty dramatic reduction in the conversion to fat cells and a lesser but still significant increase in the mobilization of existing fat, or the rate at which the cells metabolized stored fat,” said Mark Leid, a professor of pharmacology in the OSU College of Pharmacy. “This clearly could be one of the explanations for the health benefits that some researchers believe can be linked to moderate red wine consumption.”

And…

n trying to determine the molecular basis for this genetic link to longevity, the new study found that SIRT1 increases the use of fat and reduces the formation of new fat cells – apparently it represses one or more fat-regulating proteins and other genes that drive fat storage following calorie restriction. This may have been an evolutionary adaptation for the body to sense short term famine and counter it by increasing the burning of stored body fat, researchers say.

So, there ya go – I get to have a glass of red wine while I’m blogging and you get to have a glass of red wine while you’re reading my blog. 🙂

One more in my series Why You Can’t (Or Don’t) Lose Weight and Keep It Off. I’ve got more to report comin’ up in the next few days.

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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.

Posted in Lap Band Before and After, Lap Band Bloggers, Lap Band Weight Loss Stories | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »