Wednesday, August 11, 2010

1 year bandiversary ;(

Soooo I've really been dreading doing my 1-year bandiversary post because I haven't been as successful as I hoped.

Last year, I envisioned myself having lost 125 pounds by this point. But given where I am now (12 or so pounds down from my highest), I was completely prepared to do this post and officially declare myself a band failure. On the blogs, we see lots of examples of those who have been successful and I was prepared to put myself out there as an example of those who aren't. Especially for those considering the surgery to see a complete, honest picture of the lap-band experience.

I was thinking of myself as a band failure because I weigh more now than when I had the surgery. (The weight I lost was in the pre-surgery fast). And let me tell you, it feels super crappy to write that. Knowing that, I had been thinking of it as just one more diet i failed at.

I can't say I regret having the surgery. And everything I read and heard in advance about it was right. It's still hard work. The band is not an easy fix. My general practitioner warned me, "you can eat right through this thing." I can now officially say, he was correct.

Maybe the fact that i think of having had the surgery as no big deal is indicative. The band isn't intrusive, and I often forget I have it. Maybe if I'd paid a huge amount of money and sacrificed to have it, things would have been different? Honestly, I'm guessing not.

When I look back on this year, I realize I really only lost in the pre-surgery fast and then in the first 2 months. After that I just went back to my normal eating habits and didn't work at it. The band will NOT do the work for you. At the time, I pointed to all these things that happened in my life as excuses. And while I did have CRAZY upheaval this year, it doesn't matter. I choose to live a life where I encourage change and challenges and am often super busy or traveling, so I can't let that stop me from living a healthy life.

Everyone says it, but it's true. The band isn't a magic pill and it doesn't make it easy. It just reinforced that I really have major food issues and the band has in some ways brought even more to light my disordered eating. Like the fact that it doen't matter that french fries get stuck, I eat them anyway and just suffer through a bit of discomfort. The fact that sometimes I eat and feel crappy (whether physically or mentally) and I eat anyway. Or KEEP eating. The fact that I make poor food choices like sugar and caffeine that I know will make me feel bad in a couple of hours, and every day, I do it anyway.

If anything, since the band, i almost feel more compelled because I have to work harder at getting my fix.

I'm definitely eating liquids and sliders and chips, drinking liquids with meals, and making choices for types of food that will allow me to eat more or just taking a break so i can continue eating in a bit or just not listening to my body and eating anyway when I'm full. What I've learned is how to cheat which is just lame. I can still be "normal" at a business dinner and I can still eat the foods i like. I was so afraid pre-band of being a freak to people who didn't know. So I seem to have proved to myself that I can still eat like before.

If I listen, I'm full, so I haven't gone in for another fill. In that way the band is absolutely, 100% working. But eating literally has nothing to do with being full for me.

So with all of this in my head, I was very touched to read Catherine's comment on my last post. She clearly could tell some of what was in my head and I found it both touching that she would reach out and thought-provoking that I have another option than just saying it didn't work. It's a choice after all right. For whatever reason, I keep making the wrong choice when it comes to food, but I dont have to do that.

I consider myself to be a very competent, successful person. I've had a wonderful, adventurous life so far and have achieved every major thing I've set out to do. I even lost 100 pounds before. Of everything I've done in my life, that was by far my proudest accomplishment. But I gained it back and sort of lost myself after that. And now it's interesting because I feel really happy in my personal and professional lives, but when it comes to my self identity, I'm starting to simply accept myself as middle-aged and overweight. I guess officially declaring the band to not have worked and closing this blog (yes, I thought of that too) would mean giving up on myself.

I'm a bit fed up with all of my declarations and failed follow through. However, i know that every day I have a choice to make. And today, I will choose not to give up on myself.


  1. I really feel for you and admire you for writing this blog. This is NOT a get thin quick scheme that's for sure. I truly feel you do have to make the band work for you but you have to want it to. I'm only about 5 months out and I haven't lost as much as I thought I would and I feel pretty good restriction. I know I don't eat nearly as much as I used to but the band is very fickle. Some days I can eat a lot and others I can't eat much so a lot of times it evens out and I don't lose weight.

    I'm wondering if your fill level is right. I know from my own experience and reading others' blogs that it is very hard to get to the sweet spot. I know I am way too full right now and am going to get some taken out tomorrow but I don't know what is the right amount for me. I felt too loose before - I could eat 3 pieces of pizza at one sitting. I didn't think I should be able to do that with the band, but you know what, maybe we can and we just have to decide that one piece is okay. This is not easy.

    Hang in there Heather.

  2. Thanks for writing this post. My "Bandiversary" was 8/4 and it passed with no celebration from me. I too am not where I envisioned myslef to be a year post-op. Your post could have been written by me. Everything you said is ME! I am a true sugar addict and a year later I was truly hoping I would have a handle on it....not so! I feel like a failure. I lost 43 pounds which is great and I am happy with that but I need to lose 43 more and I wonder if it's really possible? Besides the sugar struggle I am not motivated (nor do I have time with working and raising a family) to work out! AARRRGGGGHHHH!!!

    I haven't even been really reading everyone blogs lately but today happened to sign on and see yours....and I'm glad! Keep your chin up and if you figure out a way to RE-jump start this thing please share it with me! Again, thanks for your honesty. I was feeling so alone.

  3. I am so proud of you not giving up on yourself or this journey. Please know that we are here to support you!


  4. You are recognizing your issues - that is a great thing. As everyone says - the band is only a tool and will do nothing when comes to issues with food. I am so sorry that this year has not been great for you, but as Catherine said in your last post - you can have this band for years and years - you can continue to be successful. Don't look at this as a new start, but as a continuation with a fresh outlook.

    It's good to see you blogging again, this is also a great tool. We are all here to support one another and most of us, I believe, have or have had food issues at some point in their lives. Put this blog to good use, we are happy to help you out! <3

  5. Thanks for sharing and being honest, especially with yourself. Don't give up, though, it's always just one day at a time . . .

  6. such am amazing post....and an amazing lady for NOT giving up! you can do will happen.

  7. Thank you very much for sharing such personal thoughts. I am new to the blogging world, about to be banded in a week's time. What you have described is what I fear will happen to me because of my sugar addiction. I think what you have pointed out, that banding is not a quick fix, but a tool that you must work with in order for it to be successful, is so important for someone like me to understand.

    One question: have you considered a gastric sleeve? I'm not sure if they are widely done in the States, but here in Australia they are becoming more common. The procedure seems drastic but apparently its safe and works for people where the band hasn't. Because you've only got a stomach that will fit half a cup of food it, you can't cheat. One of my doctors told me he had a patient with hypothyroidism who still lost 40 kgs (80+ pounds?) in six months after having the sleeve.

    Anyway, I just thought I'd pass that on. Thanks once again for your honest words.