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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Loving the band!


I've been thinking a lot about my lap band lately. Specifically I have been wondering if I could have been as successful with weight loss without it. Not that I am regretting it or anything - quite the opposite actually. I guess I am just curious and I want to understand this process and why it works for me.

I have noticed that the lap band sort of mimics some of the healthy habits that "normal" eaters utilize. For example, the lap band encourages a person to chew thouroughly and eat slowly. This reminds me of some of the diet advice that I've heard over the years, but I believe that most people without food issues naturally eat slower.

The lap band also gives clear signals when a person has had enough to eat. I think this is one of the innate skills that a lot of people with weight issues lose the ability to recognize. Actually what I think is that years of dieting kill this ability. Diets tell you when to eat and how much to eat, but they don't encourage you to listen to your own body's signals.

I did Weight Watchers for many years with varying degrees of success. I don't neccessarily think WW is a bad program. It is probably a good program as far as food plans go. I bring it up because I can remember a few times getting to the end of the day and having "points" left. So I would eat more even though I wasn't hungry. This is what I mean by diets encouraging a person not to listen to their body's signals. I wasn't hungry. I'd had enough to eat for the day. But I had "points" left! So I ate some more.

For me the lap band has given me back something that diets could not. It has returned to me some of the natural skills that we are all born with to recognize hunger and, conversly, to recognize fullness. I am quite sure that withought the lap band I could have gone on a diet and lost weight for awhile like I've done in the past, but I don't believe I would have regained these abilities.

I had two family get-togethers in the last two days, went to the movies and ate out once. All of these situations could have been problematic for me, but they weren't. The restaurant I visited was Burgerville, a gourmet fast-food restaurant in the Pacific Northwest. They don't have one of these restaurants in the city I live in - the nearest one is an hour away in Corvalis. So I don't go there much (In fact it was one of the places that I didn't hit on my tour of "last meals" pre-band becuase of the distance.). But since we were traveling through Corvalis on the way to Vancouver, Washington, we chose Burgerville for lunch. Since my girls and I are vegetarians, we usually get cheese sandwiches there with their special sauce. They also have a couple of Garden Burgers on the menu, but the cheese sandwiches are better. Pre-band I would have ordered two sandwiches for me and fries and a cup of sauce to dip the fries into as well as a diet soda. I had to really think about ordering two sandwiches this time. I tried to talk myself into it (We NEVER come here, I won't get one again for who knows how long...), but I decided one would probably be enough. I did get the fries and dipping sauce. I ate the whole sandwich, but there was no way I could make it through all the fries. I probably had half of a small. My meal wasn't even the size of the kid's meal. If I had been on a diet without the band, I know I would have eaten more, but I physically couldn't.

So I guess the point of this post is that I love my band! I am so happy that I have it. Deciding to do it wasn't easy, but I can now see that it was the right choice for me. The other point of the post is that Burgerville is YUMMY, but listening to my body is BETTER!

17 comments:

Mary said...

Great post!!!!!!!!!

DawnB said...

Congrats! Great post :)

Jess said...

Congrats! I am right there with ya, I wouldn't change a thing!

Amy said...

I agree. When people say the band is cheating, I say it's just resetting my brain and body to react to food like it's supposed to. :)

Jenny said...

I feel this way too. Sometimes I think I just didn't get in line when God was handing out certain skills. lol.

carla said...

Great post.....Would nto change a thing either and it def has had me listening to my body more :-)

MandaPanda said...

Thanks for posting this! As a prebander, I sometimes wonder the difference between the band and just stronger willpower...being able to listen and TRUST your body's signals...is a big one. Great post!

tessierose said...

You have such a way of articulating what most of us are thinking. Thank you for that!
Excellent post.

workinprogress said...

That's fantastic - you are doing really well :-)

Carmen said...

:-)
for me when i think about if i could do it on my own, i KNOW the answer is no. i'm 35 and i know all the "rules" of dieting but it was so easy to cheat, now, i have a backup, a security guard if you will, so that when i cheat the security guard stands up and say WHOA sister, i don't think so!! :-)

tessierose said...

Amanda, thanks for the sweet comment on my blog today!

Michelle said...

hey this is lori's addy

www.ldswims-journeytoembrace.blogspot.com

Tina said...

Great post Amanda-I would add something my surgeon told me. He said that we have a very strong starvation mechanism and somehow people who have weight issues have a thermostat that doesn't work correctly. Our body actually fights back to keep itself fat. It makes us hungry or crave things or lose energy. The band somehow overcomes comes that.

Stephanie said...

I agree with a lot of what you are saying and I was a Weight Watcher too. The one thing you said struck a chord with me, was that when you did WW you didn't always eat all your points. That is one of the keys to WW success, as you have to eat those points otherwise your body doesn't get enough calories. It's sort of like when our weight stalls a lot of the time we are told to up our calorie intake to jumpstart our losses. It does work. I guess it is all up to each individual, but I will say that the band has helped me, if not 100% physically, as I have just gotten another fill and don't know if I am getting full restriction, but I know that psychologically it is working wonders for me!

Gen said...

YES! So true, the band encourages good, "normal" habits, like listening to your body. I think WW sucks, honestly. For this very reason - it is all about the points, not about what you want to eat or whether you are even hungry. I have done WW a million times! So glad to be done with that!

Great post, thanks!

Jen said...

Oh man I LOVE Burgerville! I actually had my first job at BV waaaay back when I was 16. I wish there was one up here near Seattle. I only get to eat it when I visit my family in Oregon. I usually order a kids meal if I go there now, I love their fish. mmm. I'm hungry now! Good job resisiting extra food, I know how hard it is b/c it is so amazingly delicious there :)

-Grace- said...

I totally agree that diets wreak havoc on that natural instinct that lets us know whether we are hungry or full. I did the same when I was on the Foodmover--if I had more left to eat I would despite fullness.