Weight Loss Progress

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Women's Health Magazine- 20 Scariest Food Facts- Wow!!!

Scary Facts about Food in America

Here is the link to the article, but I have summarized some of the scariest to me! What is our food system doing to us!!!!

Don't let this happen to your food, buy organic food as often as you can, eat whole foods as much as you can, buy from local sources and farmers/farmer markets as much as you can, demand from your grocery store that you are told where your produce is from, support stores that promote healthy laws and practices, and contact your local politicians about Agricultural food laws and nutritional informational laws in America.

Good whole food is more expensive than processed food. But you do not need processed foods to live. You can survive very nicely on whole foods- meats, grains, dairy, vegetables, and fruits.

2. Nutritious food costs 10 times as much as junk food.
I believe this, but I also believe it is possible to eat healthy foods that are locally and responsibly grown if you eat seasonally, plan, and prioritize- you don't need the Nature Valley Granola Thins, buy the locally grown apples instead!

3. Grocers don’t have to tell you where your produce comes from.
This is wrong and needs to change. Demand that your grocer tells you wear your food is from or shop elsewhere. Local is best!

4. Fruits and vegetables are losing their nutrients.
Our lands soil is getting depleted because of irresponsible farming practices and too much emphasis on planting of subsidized government products like corn and soy!

6. Chicken today contains 266 percent more fat than it did 40 years ago.
Cramped farms and irresponsible practices result in fattier chicken and livestock with less protein and healthy nutrients. Getting the general theme yet????

7. Milk contains hormones that may cause cancer.
You should drink organic milk or find a dairy alternative. I try to do this but with WLS I currently have to prioritize protein and calories, so when I get to maintenance and have some calories to spare I will fully switch to organic milk. 

8. Conventional supermarket peaches can be coated with as many as nine different pesticides.
I learned this one the hard way from eating a peach without washing it!! And I was even at a local pick-your-own farm. Now I know! No hives/rashes for me please.

9. You’re probably eating trans fat without knowing it. 
Sickening, the government allows for up to .49 grams of trans fat to be in a product and it can still use the "Zero Grams of Trans Fat Label". Our government allows this! The key is to make certain your food does not have any 'hydrogenated oils' in it!

11. Commonly used food dyes can alter your kids’ behavior.
And we wonder why we have so much ADD and ADHD with our youth. No Skittles for my kid!!!

13. Forty-two percent of raw supermarket chicken is contaminated.
Say que? Wow that is a really scarry one!!! Cook it well, cook it well!

14. Gulf Coast Oysters carry E. coli.
Note to self, make sure you are buying New England or Northern oysters. I do love me some oysters on the half shell, they go down easier for me than cooked. 

15. The USDA is allowing your meat to be “cleaned” with ammonia—and they’re hiding it from you.
Glad to see the USDA has our best interests in mind! WTF!!!!!

16. Aluminum cans are lined with a hormone-disrupting toxin.
Damn BPA! Now how am I supposed to eat my beans? Cook them myself from scratch. Damn!

17. Roughly two-thirds of bottled water doesn't comply with FDA standards.
Tap was is better, see my other post for more info and talk on this subject. Ashley's Water Post.

18. We drink twice as many calories today as we did 30 years ago.
No surprise here with coffee drinks, smoothies, soda, etc. Put that in your diet pipe and smoke it!!!

20. There are crushed bugs in your food.
"Carmine, a vibrant red food colorant, is actually the crushed abdomen of the female Dactylopius coccus, a beetle-like African insect. Not only is the thought of eating bug juice gross, but it also poses an ethical issue for some vegetarians and vegans. Look for it in red-colored candies and juices."
Wow that is totally disturbing. I am now checking all foods I eat for carmine, who would have thought it as a part of a beetle. Ewwww! Ewww. Eww.

Ashley's Concluding Thoughts and Remarks

Well that was nice and disturbing to read. 

But the fact of the matter is that we in America need to stand up and find out what we are eating and if we don't like what we find out than we need to take action! 

Take action by contacting your politicians or take action with your pocket book/wallet by not buying the stuff but rather buying from local/organic/natural/healthy stores or farms or whatever. 

Be the change that you want to see in the world!!! We all can make a difference. 

Till tomorrow. <3

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bottled Watered May Not Be So Good For Us Afterall

What The Studies Say on Tap Water vs. Bottled

According to Men's Health latest Eat This, Not That  on Bottled Water the verdict is seemingly still very clear that bottled water is often just municipal tap water that has a few minerals added to it with a bunch of clever bottling and marketing attached to it- oh yeah and a price tag of at least $1!

The findings further show that often the bottled water is not as sanitary as the water right from your own house and the chemicals from the bottles can easily leach into your water if stored for a long time or in high heat. Never mind the environmental ramifications of what to do with all of the plastic bottles one the consumes are done with them!

Now, in a way I have been "blessed" with a cheap, or should I say frugal, wife. Josie does not like to waste money. So, I have a very large collection of Nalgene bottles (because owning ten of them at 15 dollars a pop still saves money over buying bottled water ;-p) and on a daily basis I fill it up from our house or the water fountains at school or at the gym. Drinking tap water does me just fine!

My bottle, with me every day! Work, Home, Car, Gym! We fly together.

I will admit that on a daily basis I do usually have one bottle of SmartWater that I buy in cases at BJ's- but this water is filled with Smart stuff, like electrolytes and stuff. Hmmmmmm, wonder if I am just buying into their marketing ploy....but I do think the water tastes good....and it's only one bottle per day. This may change after reading this article. Sisters gotta be smarter than the SmartWater marketing team!!!!

Don't fall for the hype and marketing. City/municipal water is what you are buying with maybe some added minerals. Take a multi-vitamin, buy a Nalgene or Sigg water bottle, and stop making Coca-Cola(Dasani), Pepsi(Aquafina), and SmartWater richer while we get poorer!

Water out of the tap is better than that bottled crap! 

Hey, I think I just coined a new slogan! Yeah, me!

Laters. <3

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How Quickly 160 Days Go By

A few days ago I was updating my previous post, The Golden Rules & Summer Goals, and I had to count out the days that I am carb free and the weeks post op and I am 162 days refined carb (table sugar and flour) free and 21 weeks post-op today.

In 23 Weeks (I did the 2 week pre-op diet) I have lost a little over 92 pounds and I have totally changed my life. I am happier. I am healthier. I have no real cravings for carbs, breads, sugar shit. I am good. I like exercising. Clothes shopping is fun, not depressing.

I am seven pounds away from being my lightest weight of my adult life (and really the lightest that I can remember, I know at some point I weighted 125 pounds, but I can't remember when so to me that doesn't count. But in 2005 I was down to 185 pounds for a brief fleeting amount of time, so to me that is the lowest weight that I have been, and I am close to that!).

I am so thankful for the opportunity that I had to have this surgery and change my life. I thank Dr. Neil Floch. I thank Fairfield County Bariatrics. I thank Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield of CT. I thank Dr. Lubna Pal for motivating me to look into weight loss surgery again. I thank Josie for being supportive and fully embracing what some may call an extreme lifestyle change. I thank my parents for being so supportive and loving- like always. I thank my sisters, Tiff and Tamara for their love and support and continued interest in my blog. I thank Helen, Cindy, Steve, Sharon, Kristen, Nicole, and all my followers of the blog who help support me. And I thank all the bloggers and vloggers out there to help keep me motivated, because I need it!
Thank you all! I love you guy!!!!

At times it seems like I am not losing weight fast enough, but then I have to shake myself and realize that it has only been 23 weeks since starting the pre-op diet, 21 weeks since surgery, and I have lost almost 100 pounds. That is amazing! Simply amazing. It may seem to Josie and me (at times) that we have been eating like this and exercising forever, but it has only been five months. And we have come so far! I'll say it again, AMAZING!!!!



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Calorie Counting, WW Points, BMR, and Cooking with Ashley

Ashley and Calories Counting

I have fear regarding eating food from a restaurant and the unknown factors that go into not knowing exactly what is in what I am eating. I like to know the exact ingredients, whether the turkey I am eating is 99% fat free or 97% fat free (as this does make a differeence in my calorie consumption for the day), and whether something was sauteed in oil or the chef used pam and water to keep the calories low.

A Brief Aside on Sushi Houses 

The only restaurants that I do like to go out to are Sushi Houses. There I know that I am getting lean protein that is minimally processed and usually when ordering sashimi or Tuna Tartar or Ceviche has not too much fat laden items added to it. I like sushi, typically when we go out I order tuna tartar or tuna ceviche with one order of sashimi on the side. Very little carbs, very little added sugar, but lots of protein. My favorite! Because we eat less of it, we can go out to a higher quality sushi house and order what we want for under forty dollars. Holla! 

Ashley and Calorie Counting Continued

I need to know this information, I get nervous and wonder if I am sabotaging my whole day's progress with one meal. I know I can start anew the next day, but I don't like not knowing if what I am ordering and thinking is healthy is actually a heart attack in disguise.

I think it is part of my success, but others can think that my tracking borders on the side of obsessive. See, I have gotten into the habit of recording my food on LoseIt as I am eating a meal. I do this because it gives me something else to do while I am eating and therefore helps to distract me and slow down my eating. I also track because the little bites add up and when you are only eating 800-1000 calories per day taking a few bites of food that add up to 100 calories really throws a kink into my planned caloric day.

Ashley and the Points System

That is one of my pet peeves with Weight Watchers, I do attend meetings but currently do not track using their Points system. This is because the Doctor and my Nutritionist are interested in the actual calories that I am eating- not the points. That is why I use LoseIt on my iPhone and their online site to track my calories consumed and burned each day. After researching and listening to Jillian Michael's podcast on Plateaus (Debunking Plateaus, May 6, 2011) I realized that tracking calories is far more important than tracking points. Weight loss for the most part is a formula; eat less than you burn and you will create a calorie deficit. You create a 3500 calorie deficit than you will lose one pound of fat. And besides a few monthly fluctuations and the occasional sputter this formula remains true always (we have to remember that our bodies to occasionally need time).

Ashley and BMR 
Everyone knows about BMI, Body Mass Index, but not everyone knows about BMR, Basal Metabolic Rate, or the number of calories that your body burns per day doing basic bodily functions (ie, what you would burn sitting on the couch). With your BMR you know how many calories you need to eat to stay and maintain your weight, my BMR currently is 1667 calories per day. Since I eat around 900 calories per day that means I create an approximate 700 calorie per day deficit. Multiply the 700 per day by 7 days per week and just by what I eat I should lose 1.4 pounds per week, not including exercise or my daily activity (which might I just say that since school started I can easily walk 12,000 steps per day before I even get home and go to the gym!). <It is important to remember that as you lose weight your BMR will change and your calories needed each day will go down.>

I would never be able to calculate this without looking at calories consumed and lost during the day. If I was using points consumed vs. points earned for activity then I would not get to use the math behind weight loss. Now eventually, when I am in maintenance maybe I will be able to look at points and be content, but right now I need the cold hard facts and numbers associated with calories burned compared to calories consumed and my BMR. Call me crazy, but it makes me feel content and that is what matters!!!

Ashley and Cooking

I do enjoy cooking even more now and I am getting sort of inventive with the ingredients used and how to make recipes or foods that are healthier and higher in protein without the carbs or sugars. I have found a lot of resources from other bloggers (Truth In Change), vloggers (BandedWendy on YouTube- I love her), websites (Weight Watchers, Cooking Light, Hungry Girl, etc) with awesome recipes and inventive takes on foods I like.

  • Protein is always my first concern when cooking. That is what fuels my body and that is my first focus. 
  • I use Chobani Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt in a lot of my recipes in place of sour cream, mayo, or when the items just needs creaminess. This adds protein and taste/texture to my food.
  • I use a lot of spices to make my foods pop in terms of flavor. Usually calorie free and what makes my dishes taste good. 
  • I've learned to use other vegetables in place of carbs (radicchio or endive in place of chips, cabbage or Boston lettuce instead of tortillas, and turnips in place of potatoes for french fries). 
  • I've learned to cook without much added oil, using Pam and water to saute vegetables. Only using oil when needed and very small amounts of it. 
  • One of my favorite things to cook right now for dessert is a Baked Apple in the microwave. --> core one apple, fill core with apple or mango, cinnamon, one packet of  Truvia, a bit more cinnamon, add a 1/2 teaspoon butter spread, and a bit of water to the bottom of the bowl. Microwave for five minutes. After five minutes microwave for two 30 second rotations each time stopping and basting apple with cinnamony water at bottom of the dish. When done the apple should be soft and room should smell like apple pie. Top with two tablespoons of Chobani Greek Yogurt mixed with Splenda and Cinnamon to taste. 
  • I have made Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls using protein powder, PB2, Cocoa Powder, and water. Combine all ingredients in muffin tins and freeze for one hour. I got that recipe from Oxygen Magazine. They are really good, even though my Mom made fun of me!!!!
  • I have made my own frozen yogurt using my ice cream machine, 2 cups Chobani Plain 2%, 2 Cups Chobani Fat Free Yogurt, 1/4 cup Truvia or Agave Nector, and one cup milk. Let mix in machine until to a smooth consistency- it is of vital importance to make certain the ice cream machine bowl is completely frozen, if not the consistency of the frozen yogurt will be just cold yogurt and not frozen yogurt. 
  •  Using Chobani Plain FF Yogurt, Truvia, and Cocoa Powder I have made a nice topping for berries. 
  • I have used ricotta cheese as a base for a chicken dish, but now my personal favorite is mashed cauliflower! OMG! Delicious. 
  • Spicy Chicken Salad using a rotisserie chicken, Chobani ff greek yogurt, and Siracha hot sauce. 
  • Dijon Chicken Salad using a rotisserie chicken, Chobani ff greek yogurt, and dijon mustard. 
  • Egg salad using eggs, Dijon mustard, and Chobani ff greek yogurt. 
  • Dill Chicken using chicken breast fillets, Chobani ff greek yogurt, and dill. Then once cooked broiling one half slice of Fontina Cheese on top. Delicious! I modified this recipe from a version I had at a party over the summer, the original was breaded and fried, but both versions turn out awesome. 

Overall, there are a lot of things that you can do to make dishes in the flavors that you like using ingredients that are healthy and having an overall emphasis on protein first, veggies/fruits second, carbs third if you are still hungry! Healthy options are all around you, you just have to consciously take them.

Ashley's Concluding Remarks

Well, there is some food for though. LOL. To summize, I believe that calorie counting is important, that keeping detailed track of what you eat and how much of it is vital to your overall weight loss success, and that healthy cooking can be easy and fun- if you want it to be.

Till tomorrow! <3

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Georgia State Employees & Teachers Losing Weight Loss Surgery Option

Obesity Action Coalition has posted a site for people to support the continued coverage of Weight Loss Surgery for Georgia State Employees and Teachers. This benefit would soon be taken away from these state employees and teachers in Georgia.

How in a state that has an obesity rate of 29.6% in 2010 (one of the highest!) would they think of taking this benefit away from their state employees? Did they miss the memo that Weight Loss Surgery can eliminate patients diabetes and high blood pressure?

I had high blood pressure and diabetes before surgery and now I do not have either condition! Within five months, actually it was three months I was cleared of these health issues.

The cost of Weight Loss Surgery and maintenance is far cheaper than the cost of continued medication and care for diabetes and other obesity related illnesses! There is no reason a state should be eliminating this benefit, even if the economy is the reasoning, because in the long-term(and short term, because three months is how long it too me to be diabetes free and that is pretty short term) you will save money on the cost of medications and operations/hospitals stays due to obesity related health conditions. I hope the politicians in Georgia are thinking long-term!

And if it is the health insurance company doing this than I don't know what they are thinking either. Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield of CT has been nothing but supportive and helpful in trying to ensure that I lose weight and get healthy so they do not have to pay for my medications or obesity related problems. And that is how an insurance company that is thinking long-term should be!!!

The idea that a state or insurance company would be eliminating the option of weight loss surgery to its state employees is ridiculous and infuriating all in one little headline. There are other ways to cut costs, this is not one of them!

Stand up for your rights and the rights of others. Let your Representatives and Senators and whoever else know that it is not right that Georgia or any state would ever consider taking away the benefits to Weight Loss Surgery!!! Especially with today's obesity epidemic. Contact your representatives or Georgia's and give them a piece of your mind, that is what they are here for- to serve the people!!!!

Wake-up people! WTF!!!


The Golden Rules and Summer Goals

I found this post today, September 13, 2011 under saved drafts. And to think all this time I thought that this was posted. Damn. I sucked that one up. LOL. Anywho, I have decided to read through and mark in red how my summer progress actually went compared to how I wanted it to and then I will publish. So yeah, just be aware that this was first written in end of June of this year, about three months ago. 

This is my first official week of summer vacation!!! Woot woot!!<Damn, summer is over and here I am again!> 

I am psyched. I have ambitious but realistic goals for the summer and my weight loss/physical fitness.<Yup!>

I want to lose 25 pounds by the end of the summer. I think this is realistic, but with weight loss we will have to see how my body reacts. Currently my body is reacting very well, we will see. <By the time school started I had met my goal of being below 200 pounds, unfortunately I plateaued there for two weeks but eventually I have averaged out to two pounds per week now>

I have decided to take a break on the C25K program until I lose 25 more pounds, I think the running was a bit too much for a few of my screws and I need to lose a bit more to reduce the stress.<I think I made the right decision and will try running again when I am lighter. Maybe 160ish, I am thinking of biking and yoga more now for exercise other than my usual elliptical or ARC Trainer.>

So, I have decided to try biking again. I am getting my bike a full tune-up this week with a new tire, rim, hand grips, and Tush Cush seat. I left my bike outside for a month a few years ago and then I broke my tailbone in November 2009, after that it took a while for the thought of biking on my broken tailbone to not seem like volunteering for waterboard torture. I will take it cautiously, but I think my tailbone in ready and biking is easy on my other joints until a lose some more weight and can try running again.<Josie will kill me, but I got the bike fixed and only rode it one time. I was just too busy...doing what I can't tell you right now, but I always felt busy or it was too damn hot out! So I will modify my goal to now start biking more since it is getting cooler, I am also thinking of doing some of the Fundraiser Bike Races in 2012 (the Smilow Cancer Center at Yale had one this year, Closer to Free,  just this past weekend that I would like to take part in next year)>.

I am also fully adapting the Four Golden Rules of Lapband by Dr. Kelly M. Fitzpatrick. This is pretty much what I am doing already, but now I have something to call it.<Rocking this! Every day!!!!>

The Four Golden Rules

1.  Protein First. Veggies and Fruits Second. Carbs last, if still hungry. <I added this rule, not Dr. Kelly Fitzpatrick> 
2. Avoid white flour and white sugar products
3. Avoid any processed food.
4. Avoid any food advertised on TV
5. Avoid Fast Food chains.

Just to let you all know as of today I am 83 days free of refined carbs! I feel sooooo much better.<As of today, September 13th I am 160 Days refined carb free! Holy Shit!>

I also want to fit two physically active things into every day, ie going to the gym in the AM and biking/walking/kayaking at night. It will increase my physical activity for the day as well as letting me enjoy the outside and nice weather.<I would often fit in two things per day, but I did not do it everyday. I can say that I went to the gym every weekday (even on vacation) and/or did something physical outside everyday! I am proud of that, so 50/50 tie on success for this one.>

I also am going to give yoga a serious try this summer, I found a Bikram Yoga Studio in Glastonbury, CT and am going to start next week. They have an unlimited special for ten days for $20, normally a class costs $18, so this is a good deal. Then if I really like it I can try to go two times per week or so.<I failed, I am starting yoga now. I have my Zen/Workout room and am going to try to go to a studio once per week (I have found a few around that I want to try before committing to one studio).>

Tomorrow I go for my second fill, I am going to ask for a very small fill (1cc at most). I do not want any complications especially when on vacation in Texas at the end of the month (where it is very hot and I have read the heat can affect the tightness of the band b/c it causes swelling). I will take a more aggressive fill again in August, but overall I want to take it slow after my first fill experience.<Well, as of today September 13th I am still fill free. I was scheduled for an appointment for tomorrow with Dr. Floch, but because I now teach a class on Wednesdays until 2pm I had to reschedule and the next appointment in my time frame of after 3:00pm was for October 12th. So, that is when I may get my next fill- if I need one. We will see.>

Well, I'm off to the gym for workout one of my Tuesday!<I did go and I will go again today, so yeah for me!>

Peace and <3 to you all.

Motivational Pictures

Mohegan Sun Casino, December 2010

Josie sent this to me last week, she had found it in her cell phone and wanted to help me see how far I have come in the past five months. 

Holy Shit! I am so proud of my progress and Josie's progress in our Weight Loss Journey. 

I know that I am very lucky to have such a supportive wife and family in this process. My Mom and Dad always make sure that Josie and I have special dinners on Sunday (usually fish or chicken) and that there is a healthy vegetable side. Josie doesn't yell too much when I come home with a new food scale that I had to have because I am anal and must accurately weight and measure all my food. 

And I am thankful for all my other friends, family, and co-workers who support me and read my blog and care about my progress. 

Thank you. 

I will always love me, I am a great person and I would love to be my friend if I wasn't already myself, but I know that I was not as happy as I could be in that picture. I was not as confident and happy as I am now. In that picture I was Ashley1.0. I am currently Ashley1.5 and I can't wait to be Ashley2.0 in March when I should be at my goal weight. I am always evolving and changing as a person and will continue to do so, but now my future is so much brighter and I look forward to knowing all of the future me's. 

I am Ashley, version 1.5, I like me, and I am an awesome person.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Weight Watcher's 50 Pound Coin & 16 Week Charm

Weekly Weight Watcher Bulletin w/ 16 Week Charm & 50LB Coin
My 50LB Coin from Weight Watchers Up Close and Personal

One Pic, of Sexy Ash- Just had to!
A few pics to keep my adoring fans happy. Lol. Just kidding, I am very proud of my 50LB coin, as some of you may know I started WW in May so I had already lost 40+ pounds, so in total (as of today) I have lost 92 pounds from my highest weight of 284 pounds. I am pretty close to 100 pounds lost and when I get to 99 pounds lost in total, 185 pounds, I will no longer be morbidly obese or obese even, but rather just overweight! Oh, the events that will coming up in the next few weeks! I can't wait. 

Life is Good! And I'm looking good!! LOL. JK. Sort of....;-)

Support Groups & Seminars: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

On Tuesday September 6th I went to my monthly support group for patients less than one year out of surgery at Norwalk Hospital. I love this support group, it is small, so I have created a bond with the other people in the group. Often I text a few of the ladies from the support group to see how they are doing and overall it is a great time, if this group met twice a month I would drive to Norwalk twice per month just to attend. I always leave this support group feeling better and with renewed focus on the mindfulness that is needed in this weight loss journey.

That was the good.

Now for the Bad & Ugly.

On Thursday September 8th I drove to a special seminar being held at Fairfield Country Bariatrics other hospital, St. Vincent's Hospital in Bridgeport. This is a seminar entitled, Life After Lapband, and it is held twice per year. I had to pre-register for the seminar and I did so hoping that the seminar would teach me a little more about successful strategies for eating and cooking and dealing with various lap band related issues that I may or may not know anything about at this point.

So, I arrived ten minutes early and signed in and got prime seating (I am such a dork, I know!). I looked through the packets of information and saw that there was a PowerPoint, a basic "what to eat at what stages" packet, and a pamphlet on St. Vincent's Hospital Bariatrics Department. I was beginning to get a negative impression of the seminar. Also, as I was signing in the woman ahead of me told the Physician's Assistant that was running the seminar that she hopes this seminar helps because right now "things aren't going well and all I can eat are potato chips and ice cream". And my negative impression was growing....I was beginning to hope that this was not going to just be a giant bitchfest.

As the PowerPoint began and the seminar progressed my fears were found to be true. I was told that drinking out of a straw is OK (although I have experienced first hand the gas pain that you get from drinking out of a straw-strike one), that eating popcorn is OK (alright, we are told right in "what to eat at what stages" handout that it is not, strike 2), and we spent over half the presentation going over possible complications (strike three and I was mentally checked out!) Then people started asking questions and it was clear to me that the people at the seminar were of a particular group of LapBanders.

Not to be mean, but I have found that there are three types of Lapbanders out there. There are Type 1 LapBanders, these are the LapBanders who understand that this is a lifestyle change and that the LapBand is a tool that will assist you but that you will need to be an active participant in the process; follow the LB rules, exercise 30min daily, and see your doctor often to get check-ups. Type 1 LapBanders will be successful and lose at least the 50% of excess body fat that is projected, but most likely more.

Then there are the LapBanders who are Type 2- this type follows the rules of exercising most of the time and eats less but firmly believes that as long as they are eating less they can still eat what they want. The Type 2 LapBander will see the doctor occasionally and will have the projected 50% of excess body fat loss.

The Type 3 LapBander missed the memo that they will actually have to do work in the weight loss process after surgery. Type 3 LapBanders believe that the band should do the vast majority of the work and that exercise can consist of a "little more than before" but that with the LapBand they will be eating less so they shouldn't need to exercise. Type 3 LapBanders will go for fills all the time as they are still "hungry" and with the band to them that shouldn't happen. When they get filled to the point of overfilled they will remain too full, even if it means that all they can eat are slider foods (ice cream, cookies, chips, all crumbly or melty foods that go right past the band). Then Type 3 LapBanders will complain on online forums, at seminars, and basically to anyone that will listen that the LapBand only causes them pain, that it didn't work, that they wish they never got it, and that they are not the only ones to feel that way- how there are full online communities that have the same experience as them.

The Type 3 LapBanders are not wrong in that they are not alone. There are many of them. These individuals may have been better off getting bypass where the surgery does most of the work because of the mal-absorptive aspect of that surgery,  and where the surgery will allow you to lose over 80% of your excess body fat. But these individuals chose the LapBand for their own personal reasons. Now though they complain about the LapBand a lot, while not following the rules and then when there are complications they complain and badmouth the band even more. Now, I fully understand that there are potential problems and complications, but that is clearly a potential with any surgery. Statistics show that the LapBand does have much lower complication rates though than other form of Weight Loss Surgery. The primary difference for Type 3 LapBanders, in my opinion, is that they wanted and expected  the weight loss results of having Bypass or the Sleeve while not even following the rules of the LapBand.

Now, I am generalizing but overall I have found that these are the three primary Types with the LapBand. Some people will not fit into any category or may blend a few of the categories, but the majority of people will fit into one of those three LB categories.

And on Thursday the 8th I was sitting in the Seminar with a room full of Type 3 LapBanders. Who wanted to know why they weren't successful after two years of having the surgery. And the fact of the matter is that they were most likely not successful because they didn't attend the type of meetings that I attended on Tuesday (the Behavioral support groups) or the group I will be attending this Thursday the 15th (the Nutritional Support Group) at all during their weight loss process. When I attend the Behavioral or Nutritional Support Groups there have been between 6-10 of us and the surgeons at Fairfield County Bariatrics probably do that many surgeries in a week. Where are the people? Why don't they attend, at all? Do they not realize that you do not get to be 250lbs or more without there being some behavioral issues that need to be addressed in order to be successful? The support is vital, seeing the Nutritionist, going to the Support Groups, going to see the Doctor, making an individual appointment with a Behavioral Psychologist when necessary...these are all things that need to be done in order to be successful for many people. There is no shame in asking for help or seeking mental/emotional assistance. You need to change the cycles and thinking that you had previously in order to move forward. Or you will not reach your full potential.

This has been a long ranting post, but the support groups are so important in my opinion to help us address the issues that plague our psyche. I did not get to 284 pounds without some issues that needed and still need to be addressed on a regular basis. Weight loss, no matter surgery type or no surgery at all, Weight Watchers or whatever, is a mind game. We are constantly facing external stimuli that will send us running back to our old habits, but we need to find ways to address the stimuli without food. To find new ways of thinking so we are not always perpetuating a negative self image and inflicting more self hatred on ourselves. Then there are issues of self destruction, of fearing what will happen when I am thinner, and self sabotaging your success either through negative thoughts or actions. These are all issues that have been brought up at the Support Groups. And if you had not gone to any of the groups how would these LapBanders deal with these topics? How would they deal with falling of the LapBandWagon? What would they do?

Most likely they would show up on an online forum complaining or at the Seminar I went to on Thursday the 8th.

Weight loss surgery patients, and all individuals who are trying to lose weight and are obese or morbidly obese, need to address the psychological and behavioral issues during the weight loss process or they will backtrack or fall of the LapBandWagon, or quit. Weight loss is a mental game and you must be in it to win it!

Amen! Now, I step off my soapbox!

<3 and I promise my next post won't be as preachy!