Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lap Band Surgery

So, I am taking a poll. I would like to know how many of you out there are terribly opposed to having lap band surgery. I am starting to flirt with the idea after 20 years of fighting what feels like a losing battle. My boys are getting older and are much more active. I am starting to feel like I can't keep up. Instead of feeling motivated, I am slipping more and more into a deep depression.

I am positively miserable and because of this I feel like I am not a nice person to be around. I snap at my kids and bite my husband's head off for no reason. There is just so much anger pent up inside of me regarding how much I hate my image.

I realize many people view the Lap Band as an easy way out. However, I feel that anyone who has that opinion hasn't struggled with the same demons that an overweight person has. I suffer from frequent panic attacks when I think about the fact that there is a good possibility I will continue to lose this battle. That isn't a good attitude to have, and I know that. But, after so many failed attempts, I am so tired of failing.

People suggest therapy and there is nothing wrong with that. But, for me therapy doesn't really help because there are no issues causing me to overeat other than my self image. It is a vicious cycle for me. I have such a poor self image that I overeat. Overeating causes me to feel bad about myself...I am fat, ugly, a failure...so I eat some more. I am sure this makes sense to most of you.

I was never abused while growing up, physically or mentally. Neither of my parents died, they never divorced and I have a strong, large, supportive family. SO WHAT IS MY PROBLEM!!!???


butterfly said...

I wouldn't say it's an easy way out, but I do feel that the first thing we need to work on is what's between the ears. The rest will follow.

I've battled with my weight my entire life. I've done every stupid diet in the book. Only now I have realized that it truly has to be a lifestyle change and something permanent. I have to learn how to control my food intake. I'm no longer a child where I have my mom to slap my hand when she catches it in the cookie jar. Maybe I was reliant on someone else to discipline me? Who knows.

I too panic. I panic at the thought of how I've started something so big and am constantly worried that this drive to lose that suddenly hit me will disapear just as quick.

Something does cause us to overeat, we're just not in tune with the triggers. I had a very normal childhood and I have a fantastic family. It's something more. It truly is emotional eating and getting to the bottom of it and resolving that issue gets the weight loss in check.

I thought about lap band too, but in my mind I sort of thought of it as having my lips partially sealed shut. I don't want to be reliant on a physical restraint to stop my overeating. I want my thought process to be corrected.

I'm cheering for you on any decision you make =)

Nancy said...

Are you able to stick to a diet? What I mean is, if you knew exactly what to eat to lose weight, would you be able to eat exactly that and nothing else, or would you be tempted by just a bite of chocolate, just a handfull of chips, just one drink at a BBQ?

Would you write down a meal plan every week and eat exactly what is on the meal plan, or would you decide you're too tired to cook tonight and stop for fast food on the way home? Would you decide you'd had a really hard week and "deserved" a pack of lollies in front of the TV on Friday night?

If you have stuck to a diet (any diet that is sensible) consistently for a significant period of time (honestly, with no cheating and writing everything down exactly) and still not lost weight, then I'd say you have a medical problem and maybe a lap band is for you.

If you can't stick to a diet, you need to work on that first. I'd reccomende researching cognitive therapy especially the Beck Diet by Judith Beck, or the Thin Commandments by Stephen Gullo. I think a lot about strategies to beat my binging mentality on my blog at www.just-another-diet-blog.comm, you can contact me there if you want to chat about it.

IRJessica said...

The only thing that matters is what YOU think of the lap band procedure. Try thinking: it's two years from now and you are so stinking proud of yourself becuase you buckled down and kicked ass and are down 10-20 pounds more than you'd like, but so close to your goal. How would you feel about a 'fluffy' loved one or friend getting it?

Keep considering your options, and be sure to look into the actual 'typical' results of lap band. Best of luck- my vote was not change my opinion one bit!!

If my thyroid crashes, or I lose control and need it someday- I will consider it too...

15lbs_down_girl said...

i suffer from panic attacks, anxiety, depression all of that and am also overweight because of this, because i binge. please, please, don't do this to your body. your mind will still be the same but your body will have shrunk. i in no way mean to judge at all, i like your blog, and i can relate to so much even though i am at a different time in my life, but i just know this will NOT be the solution to your panic attacks, anxiety, depression because that is a mind thing, not a body thing. as you've already probably heard, once your mind is at peace, your body size will follow. this is so true and even though you are in the pits right now, please don't do this. i would suggest seeing a therapist. '

please at least take my advice or think about it.

from california,

15lbs_down_girl said...

i am talking about the lap band surgery by the way. :) hope this helps and please talk it out some more on this blog before you make any big decisions. i mean, you won't get to enjoy or indulge in food once in a while when you get lap band surgery? it's just not worth it because you have an eating disorder (as I do). to me, it's like, your eating disorder/addiction is telling you to do this. it is like trying to get rid of your taste buds orhoping they'll stop working so you won't want to eat, that is a little different, but trying to cut off a part of you so you don't feel, so you don't panic and binge, that won't change how your mind or brain deals with tough situations. keep blogging.

GratefulHeart said...

I had the Lap Band surgery on October 20, 2008 and for me, feel like it was the best decision for me. With that being said, the Lap Band is only a tool, and just like any other tool, it only works if you follow the rules. You still have to follow the diet, similar to a gastric bypass diet, but it does help curb hunger. For me that is the key - I'm not absolutely starving all the time and I was when just dieting. It's a personal decision you and your doctor have to make based on your own situation. One major motivation for me was having high blood pressure, so it kept me motivated to stick to the plan, especially when it got hard. It is NOT an easy way out, in fact it is harder than Weight Watchers and other programs. But for me it is worth it. I have lost nearly 60 pounds since October 10.

Jodz said...

I do not believe it is the easy way out. My friend had a simalar proceedure and she was told that there are some people who just can't lose weight without surgery. She says it is the best thing she ever did. I too have battled with my weight and I hate it. I would love to consentrate on something else beside the battle of the bulge. I would have the surgery in a heart beat.

carla said...

Im not one to have any fantastic insights EXCEPT, IMO, it definitely is not a cop out. the easy way out.

**thinking about you**


Married to a med student - Marissa Nicole said...

I am fairly new to your blog so this may have been covered before but have you tried weight watchers? Although you may have a support system in your family and friends it is nice to have a support system of people going through the same thing. The other thing is the Weight Watchers is a lifestyle change. The important thing is to realize is that this may be a lifelong journey - even WHEN you get to your goal weight you will still have days or even weeks when you struggle with the battle of food. If you haven't tried weight watchers (not just the technique of points but actually going to the meetings too) I would HIGHLY suggest it. Your thoughts and feelings are things that many many women deal with and are not something you should feel guilty about. Otherwise it is a vicious cycle because you get upset with yourself and eat to make yourself feel better! Trust me you are not alone, and while lap band may be a helpful tool I would suggest trying WW first to try and develop some mental and emotional TOOLS to help you succeed.

Anonymous said...

I have many family members that have had weight loss surgery, though not specifically lap banding. I'm not a fan of it. I think it is prolonging the inevitable--sooner or later the food issues will come back to haunt you because you aren't dealing the with the root problem. In fact some of them have just ended up gaining the weight back. Just my .02, but having said that, I would respect and support your choice.

Sunshine said...

There is nothing about weight loss surgery that is easy and the people who say that arent educated about it enough to know what they are talking about. First, it is a major surgery just like any other. Then there is the complete lifestyle change that has to take place afterward. I just had gastric bypass surgery in Feb. and I am on the strictest diet I have ever been on. The difference is that now, with a small stomach, I can stick to the plan, where before, my appetite wouldn't let me. Lapband wasn't right for me but there are many successful people with it but it does take hard work and an exercise plan.
I wish you the best.

HealthyTeacher said...

Having struggled with weight for many (many) years, I'm not opposed to weight loss surgery. It's a personal choice, neither right or wrong. I am now in the midst of yet another weight gain after a loss, and weight loss surgery sounds rather inviting right now.

Mickey said...

I don't recommend it. This is largely a mental issue, and the sooner you address that, the sooner you'll be able to move on from it. The Lap Band won't provide happiness. It'll provide restrictive diet, which you may not accept. It will provide loose skin from massive immediate weight loss. Depending your weight, you could end up with 20 lbs of skin. It's a reality I don't think people consider. google or youtube loose skin. If it's an image issue, this will not resolve it.

You must find happiness within in order to project it outward.

Sorry if this is harsh, but I don't think it's an 'easy out', I think it's a terrible decision that doesn't provide desired results. Lap Band does not equal Happiness.

Natalia said...

I definitely do NOT think it's a cop out. My opinion is that losing weight is NOT going to fix your self image. So many times I've seen people at their goal weight and they still feel crappy about themselves. My suggestion to you is to learn to accept yourself where you are at right now, learn to like yourself. Then if lap band is still the route you want to take go ahead. So I guess I would suggest that you go to a therapist and talk to them about your self image and why (maybe) you sabotage yourself with food! Hope I haven't overstepped. But the weight is a symptom of something else going on, a bigger issue and if you lose the weight without fixing that bigger issue you could wind up back where you're at or someplace worse!

I'm thinking about you. This is NOT an easy journey. I have made the choice to stop dieting. I have realized that 20+ years of dieting has gotten me to my current weight.

It's made me obsessive over food. I have decided to separate who I am from my weight. Learning that I deserve to feel good about myself and even love myself at my current weight. That doesn't mean I love being fat. But I do love me. There is more to me than my weight.

Ok I'm off on a tangent here. No matter what you decide to do, I'm in your corner!

SlimColaGirl said...

If you're really tired of being on diets that you can't stick to then start researching the lapband. I'm 9 wks post op and really enjoy it. This isn't the easy way out, but it's a way out. I did therapy and it solved nothing. Going to therapy for yrs would have been expensive and may not solve your problems. Everybody has issues and sometimes obesity causes them and create a vicious cycle like you mentioned.

You'll have to learn to eat in a new (band friendly) way and start working on leading a more active lifestyle. The lapband helps you get fuller sooner, that's all.

new*me said...

I feel that any decision to make your body healthier is a good one :) Also, every decision should be a personal one. Put some thought into it ....like everyone said.......every way of losing weight takes some type of plan, guidelines :) so keep that in mind. Maybe it's the structure you need.

Meg said...

I do know someone who had the surgery and failed to loose weight because they did not stick to the dietary restrictions. It is *not* an easy way out, it is just a tool to help you along the way.

I would suggest therapy too, but only because depression is something that no one can handle alone. And honestly? It might not have an obvious source, or it might be entirely related to your weight loss struggles, but a therapist can help you figure out how to deal with the emotions that are holding you back. Trust me on that one, I speak from experience ^_^

Don't give up, and don't listen to people who tell you getting a lap band is "giving up" or "taking the easy way out."

Cammy said...

Chiming in late, but wanted to say that I don't think LBS (how ironic, the initials :)) is a cop out, nor is it easy. And it's certainly not an easy decision, I'm sure.

What struck me about your post was that you said self image is the culprit. I'm not sure how successful the lap band will be in fixing that. It seems to me (an unlicensed, uneducated, nonprofessional advisor) that the therapy would have a greater chance of helping you with that.

Whatever you decide, I'm cheering you on!

Mary Anne said...

I'm a psychologist (and a weight loser, hence why I'm reading weight loss blogs!) and I have done mental health evaluations of people wanting to get weight loss surgery. I have to say I think you're polling the wrong people. This is a decision that needs to be made by YOU, with the help of those who love you and have only your best interests at heart (i.e. no hidden agenda), as well as weight loss professionals (esp. a very good surgeon) who can give you the info you need to make this decision. If you can follow a reasonable healthy diet and are relatively mentally healthy, and if you are willing to accept the risks of surgery (vs. the risks of continuing to be obese), then do it. WHO CARES about the respect issue. This is about YOU respecting YOUR body, and if the lap band surgery helps you do that, then it's for you.

Change for Good said...

I just found your blog. I would research all surgery options before making your decision. I had the duodenal switch surgery.

Deb said...

I agree with what Natalia said in that having the surgery is not going to fix your self-image. It is possible even losing the weight won't fix it. (I, for one, felt just as fat and ugly at 160 as I do now at 340.) Self-image is in our head. There is alot of mental work we need to do to lick this thing. LBS is one tool to help you with the physical part of losing weight but ask any successful loser and they will tell you the battle is largely mental.

In fact, I have lately read several articles reporting an increase in alcoholism and drug abuse in people who have had some form of weightloss surgery. It seems that when some people were no longer able to partake in food for comfort they turned to other things. So it does seem if a person doesn't have their head together before the surgery they could turn to some other form of addiction.

That said, I don't oppose LBS as a tool for weight loss as long as the person goes into it fully educated and with a reasonable expectation as to the range of results they might achieve.

People can have good results, bad results, or no results with LBS. Ask yourself how disappointed you would be if you did the surgery and only got halfway to your goal or didn't lose anything at all. Could you handle that? Or would it deepend your depression? Or would getting halfway there with the surgery spur you on to go all the way on your own?

There was a 300+ pound woman in my WW meeting who lost weight with LBS and then gained it back. She still struggles some days with eathing solid food even though her surgery was over 2 years ago. Due to build up of scar tissue around her band, her surgeon says the surgery to remove it will be complicated and so she has not done it yet even though it causes her such difficulty. I don't tell you this to scare you, only so that you will hopefully be aware you may not get the result you are looking for. It does happen.

So even though it may not sound like I approve of the surgery, I do as long as whoever chooses it goes into it with their eyes wide open.

I wish you the best in whatever you decide to do. I really do know how hard this struggle is. {{{hugs}}}

Liza said...

I don't think it's crazy - I am only a phone call away from Gastric Bypass myself right now (waiting for a date after finishing all my pre-op stuff). I don't know about you, but I am sick of tired of being sick and tired and just want to stop struggling! GP was the right answer for me, but if you think Lap Band is yours, don't let anyone dissuade you. YOU can only know what's best for YOU. Good luck with your journey in finding what works for you!

Aunt of 14 said...

I do not think that Lap Band Surgery is the easy way out if you've been battling your weight all your life. There are many reasons for being overweight, and its hard for a lot of people to believe, but it is not always your fault. I'm not saying its OK to be obese and its never your fault. I'm saying sometimes its genetics... sometimes its the medication you have to be on... sometimes it is like being addicted. Ask a person who has been smoking HEAVILY for 20 years if they could quit. Most say no. Most might try several treatments, but it always comes back to no. So with using the smokers analogy... if they cannot quit or reduce completely, Why would it be easier for a fat person to lose weight than a smoker to quit smoking? It irks me. It is NOT always about being lazy. It does NOT mean you don't care, because you do.

Now, if it was like a child or a teenager who wanted the lap band surgery, that may be the easy way out for them because they've only lived a short time.

One of the requirements of having that kind of surgery... lap band or gastric bypass or what have you... is therapy. You will need to show them that you CAN stick to a diet plan. That you CAN change your habits forever. That you CAN learn something new and stick to it. If you want the lapband to force yourself to stop eating so much, then no I wouldn't do it. You have to teach yourself how to not eat so much first. The lapband is only successful if you stick to a plan. It's much harder than you think.

No, I am not opposed to it, and I would do it if I had a chance. Can you tell I've done a lot of research already, LOL Hang in there.

SeaShore said...

I am very late to this discussion. Just wondering if you read Fabulous a 50 http://fab50.blogspot.com since Kate just has WLS a few weeks ago.

I don't see how anyone could consider a surgical procedure to be the 'easy way' out! As Kate says, it's another weight loss tool.

Catherine55 said...

I'm late to this discussion as well, but wanted to comment. I had lap band surgery on 10/23/08 and am now down 37 pounds.

After trying countless diets, being on Weight Watchers many times, and always gaining the weight back, I finally found something that I can stick with long-term and that I know will help me to keep the weight off for the rest of my life.

With the lap band, you still have to eat correctly. You have to exercise, and you also have to plan your meals. HOWEVER, having this little reminder that never lets you overeat and that keeps you from feeling hungry is, in my view, a total Godsend.

It's not a miracle fix by any means, but it is a very workable solution to help you get off the extra weight and minimize the risk of the adverse health problems (diabetes, heart disease, back pain, foot pain, joint problems, etc.) that come along with being too heavy.

I have been keeping my blog since just before my surgery. Please feel free to check it out. www.chroniclesfrombandland.blogspot.com

All the best,


Mohammad said...

I will continue to lose this battle. That isn't a good attitude to have, and I know that. But, after so many failed attempts, I am so tired of failing.

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