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Monday, March 22, 2010

To fill or not to fill?

Ah…the weekend. 48 hours of bliss, more or less. Now that I am back at work (and working hard, can’t you tell?), I miss those unstructured hours so much. Why can’t my whole life be one long weekend? Is that too much to ask?

I need to decide if I’m going to have a fill this week. Friday is six weeks post-op for me and that is the time I was told to have my first fill. The thing is, I don’t know if I’m ready. On one hand, I am doing great. I am following a food plan and have lost 24.4 lbs.. On the other hand, I do not have much restriction. I have noticed that I can eat larger portions (I am still sticking to my 1 ½ cup of food per meal rule). I haven’t had any issues with foods getting stuck, even when I don’t chew as thoroughly as I should. So my band is ready for a fill, but am I?

I am not really worried about having a bad experience or anything like that. Maybe I like not being careful about chewing and eating quickly. Maybe the addict in me is setting myself up for a binge by allowing me to get into a situation where I can get into trouble (i.e. little restriction, few consequences for bad behavior, etc.). I kind of think that I shouldn’t trust myself here because I haven’t proven myself trustworthy in the past. Does that make any sense at all?

On a related note, we had a family dinner and birthday party yesterday. In times past, these events have really spelled trouble for me. I would normally snack so much prior to the meal being done that I wouldn’t be hungry when it was. But then I’d go ahead and eat the meal anyways. This time I waited until dinner was ready and dished myself small portions of everything I wanted. It is so satisfying to eat this way! I don’t know how I didn’t realize this before. I even had a piece of cherry pie and some ice cream, but I didn’t feel even a little bit bad about it because I knew that my food choices had been spot on for the entire day!

Today I am eating high protein, low calorie and focusing on my staple foods that are sort of boring, but don’t require a whole lot of thought. I will avoid sweets today so I don’t get in the habit of eating them every day. And I will make a decision about the fill.


Stephanie said...

I think you should have the fill. After all, the purpose of going through the surgery is so we would have this tool to help us. If you are doing great without a fill, awesome, but at the same time, if and when that binge comes along, your band will be there to help prevent the overeating.

That being said, I am going in for another mini-fill on Wed after getting a small fill on this past Wed. I have a total of 3.7cc's but I am not staying satisfied or full and it is taking major self control NOT for me to eat the wrong foods and overeat. I want the band to help keep me in line...if you feel you are doing good on your own, don't put yourself through the trouble, but at the same time, don't you want all the help you can get?

Carmen said...

i can't wait to get my first fill!! your 24.4 lbs is great! was that since surgery or before and after?
i'm with steph, i would do whatever i could to make sure that tool was doing all it could! if we are going to "cheat" (i hate that word!) let's make it harder for us to do it! LOL

amandakiska said...

Carmen - I didn't have any sort of pre-op diet, but I did lose 3 lbs. pre-op and the rest post. I think you are both right. I don't know what the hell is wrong with me lol.

Jenny said...

If it were me, I would get the fill. I would be worried about the binging since its only 6wks out. Just my opinion.

Good Luck!!

Dinnerland said...

Wow-- this is a first, a bandster questioning whether to have a first fill (at least the first time I am reading this...) Well, good for you and I suggest that you discuss your feelings with your doctor. You and s/he can decide what is the right thing to do.
Great job so far!!
Congrats... Vanessa

Sandy Lee said...

I think you should speak with your doc too. I had 3 cc in my band at surgery and had a first fill because I hadn't lost any weight. I was getting a bit of restriction but I was starting to overeat and eat junk. I think if you can control any overeating you could just go along until you stop losing weight. My main goal for getting the band was to help me lose the weight but more importantly I knew it was the tool that would help me keep the weight off for good instead of regaining like in all the past attempts. I wouldn't be too concerned about a timetable for a fill. I know a few people who only had the fill from surgery and went for months without their first fill.

Oh, and don't read anything into the problems I had with my first fill. It was just a fluke and I hope to get back on track in a few weeks.

Bonnie said...

I don't have a band yet, but I think you are the first person I read that wasn't suffering through bandster hell counting the seconds until that fill. If you skip the first fill, do you have to wait a month to schedule another one or can you call and schedule sooner? You might want to pass on first fill and just get when you stop losing weight or your willpower leaves you. But if your willpower leaves and you have to wait another month to get the fill, that would suck.

Niki said...

What's a fill??? =)
I haven't had the surgery so I'm sooooo incredibly lost reading this =(
Maybe I missed something somewhere?
And CONGRATS on the weight loss! That's awesome! =D

Gen said...

Fill!!!! Once you get to your sweet spot (which takes a while) you will be amazed at how easy this whole thing is. You don't even need to think about food, nor will you really want to. Why get the band and then rely on dieting behaviors? Fill er up!

amandakiska said...

Niki - I have a lap band (gastric band) for weight loss. The band is impanted "empty" but is designed to hold up to 10 cc's of saline to increase the amount of restriction and decrease the amount I can eat. Bonnie - I can schedule my first fill whenever I want. My surgeo said 6 wks. My fill doc say 6-8. Sandy Lee - I read about your experience of needing an unfill and that is part of why I am wondering if I should wait, but my band is completely empty.

Niki said...

I knew you had the lap band, but I was soooo confused about "fill" =D
Thanks for explaining! =D Good luck with everything sweetie!

THE DASH! said...

I understand your fears. I honestly think the best thing to do is book an appointment with your doc and he can allay any worries you have regarding things changing.
Getting that fill really is just the first step to really stepping up that weight loss. You sound like you have a massive amount of control and congrats on what you've lost already. That must feel amazing. Good luck with whatever you decide.
PS If it was me - I would opt to start the fills. Get the ball rolling and the weight loss dropping. :) Just tell the Doc to go easy - small and steady is the way.

Tina said...

The beauty of the band is you are somewhat in control of the fill process. You decide when you want one or need one and thus you decide to a certain extent on the speed at which you work with the band. ..this control thing can be a bit of a slippery slope. You have to be ready to sacrifice food volume, some foods. You have to be ready to change chewing and eating speed habits. It is a lot to handle and getting gradual fills helps that process change slowly.

Feeling ready for a fill means that you are ready to get the party going but also ready to start changing. I think that is scary and I am impressed you are processing that.

If you aren't ready you will slow down your weightloss but if you arent ready and get the fill anyway you can fail at the whole thing by damaging your band.

So it is really up to often do you get a fill? How ready are you to change your behaviors? How serious are you today about moving forward and not doing more than a glance back at what used to be.

I can tell you from the other end of the changes and fills that it is totally worth it. spending more time on a bike seat and my feet than on the couch. Enjoying food but only a little. Wearing regular sized clothes instead of women's sizes. Having energy to go go go. I wouldn't change a thing.

Michelle said...

I agree with the previous posts. If it were me I would go for the fill. Otherwise why have gotten it... I hope you figure out what you want to do.. Keep us all posted...

Deb said...

Amanda how about not filling on such a high volume? If your like me and can go back as often and as freely as you like with your doc why not take it easy to start with.

I am intending to do this, my first fill is 6th April, 8 weeks post op. I am big into taking it nice and easy - it isn't a race. If you have a doc you can go to as you feel you need adjustments all the more sweeter.

Happy decision making ;-)