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!