Lisa's Diary reveals the emotions and day-to-day experiences of a real patient in Fort HealthCare's Bariatric Program.


November 28, 2010

Greetings, all!

Yesterday I ran into someone who is thinking about LAP-BAND® surgery, and it reminded me to check in with all of you. I’m still holding at a total weight loss of 60-64 pounds, depending on the day. I’ve made a goal to lose 10 pounds by Christmas and, come hell or high water, I will do it. I’ve been coasting for far too long.

We are just wrapping up Thanksgiving, which was no big deal because the food didn’t thrill me. Yes, I know, I must be crazy! That’s not the first time I’ve heard that, and I hope it’s not the last :)

I’ve never been a big fan of turkey and all of the trimmings — with the exception of warm rolls and butter (which, if you’ve been reading my blog, you know that bread in general was not in the equation this year — it’s just not worth the pain). I had some mashed potatoes with butter, a small portion of dressing, some corn and a very small piece of dark meat.

I didn’t have pie for dessert, but a small dish of ice cream made me happy. That was that; I had made it through the first big “food holiday” since my surgery. Woohoo!

I am still walking my dogs every day, but I’ve been slacking on the treadmill. I wish there were something that could inspire me to exercise more. I don’t want to hear about “endorphin rushes” and all that — it doesn’t happen for me. Oh, and anything that someone says you’ll “learn to love” is usually something I have an intense dislike for. I guess I’ll just keep plugging away…

As for the person I ran into, when he asked me if I would do it again, my immediate response was, “absolutely!” When he asked about the hardest part, I was honest: Giving up bread and not having beverages before, during and after meals. Don’t get me wrong — I still think this is a great tool for losing weight and maintaining weight loss, but it’s not magic. A lot of people still have that misconception, and for them, it probably wouldn’t work.

That’s all I’ve got for tonight… see you minus 10 pounds in December!

— Lisa

July 28, 2010

Wow, this summer is flying by! Wish I could say my fat was flying off… but it’s not. :(

I had more saline injected into the band last night, and my official weight loss is at 47 pounds. Not too bad, considering the amount of time (about four months) since my surgery.

However, if you’ve ever dieted and lost weight quickly, only to come to a standstill, you know how frustrating it is. I’m keeping my head up, though.

I haven’t gained weight, so I’m doing OK.

I went to a family reunion last Sunday, and had a GREAT time! There were about 100 people there, and TONS of food! I have to admit — I ate some pretty decadent stuff. Had this event been a year ago, I’d probably still be there eating. I was careful and ate slowly. One plate of food with about a tablespoon each of three or four dishes, and a cut up brat (no bun, of course). After that, I was totally stuffed. My brain wanted to eat, but there was no place for the food to go.

The whole “no liquids before and after meals” thing didn’t work so well, because I always had a beverage of some kind in my hand — it WAS a party, after all! I did ‘fess up to Dr. Erickson and Patrice, and they didn’t seem to be too concerned about it — this time, anyway. It’s not like I do that every weekend!

The people who knew about my surgery kept asking me if I had the band let down for the party — of course that’s a big, fat NOPE. It wouldn’t have made any sense; this isn’t a tool of convenience. If you have that kind of expectation after all the education you go through, then this probably wouldn’t be the weight-loss solution for you. It’s a commitment that needs to be taken seriously.

Speaking of commitments, I have to be truthful with you regarding WHY I’m not losing a lot of weight. I am lacking in my ambition to get off my butt and exercise. I’ve kind of taken a little (OK, big) break from all of that. Just last week, I got back on the treadmill, not as much as I should — but baby steps, right? (Say, “yes!”)

My newest goal is to lose 20 pounds by October 1. An unlikely goal? Perhaps, but it’s worth a shot.

I previously mentioned that I got more saline, and it seems to be making a difference already. Usually it takes a couple days for me to feel the effects, but I really have to concentrate on chewing well — otherwise things don’t want to go down, or it’s a little painful. Not bad, but just a reminder of why I had this done. It’s exciting when you can feel that it’s working, but it can sometimes take a while to reach the correct fill. I’m hoping this is the last one for a long time.

That’s about all I’ve got for tonight.

Oh, wait! In other news, my 16-week-old puppy went from 19 pounds to 34 pounds in ONE month. I finally found someone who can gain weight faster than I can! ;)

I’ll check in again after five pounds. Hopefully, that will be soon.

— Lisa

May 25, 2010

HOLY MOLY, be careful what you wish for!

Three days ago, I had more saline put in my band — bringing the total to five milliliters. It wasn’t until two days later when I felt the effects. I was on-call for work and got out of my last case at 4:00 p.m. Since I’d had an early lunch, I was pretty hungry. On our table in the lounge (anything sitting on the table is free game), there was a big basket of chocolate, cookies, brownies and Rice Krispies Treats. After perusing the bounty, I decided that the Rice Krispies Treats had the lowest calorie count, and proceeded to slam it down. I say “slam” because up until now, I haven’t really felt any noticeable restriction, and thus have gotten lax in taking small bites and chewing thoroughly.

Bad thing to do.

I developed discomfort in my left chest area, and it felt like the food was at the back of my throat. I waited a couple of hours and had some pasta for dinner, and I just got more uncomfortable — but still felt hungry. This definitely kept me from having a snack last night.

The discomfort was still there this morning — but it was tolerable — so I had yogurt for breakfast. No problems with that, but it’s a strange feeling — the top part of my stomach can hold no more, but the bottom half feels hungry and growls!

I had probably a quarter of a Lean Cuisine–type thing, because that is all that would go down. I did talk to Patrice, and she suggested eating softer foods for a couple of days and, if I still felt residual food in there, some saline should probably be taken out. Of course that’s not what I want, because I’m finally like Pavlov’s dog — When I get uncomfortable I stop eating, which is the whole point of the surgery. However, I’m not sure how uncomfortable it should get before I do something. Patrice says I’m like every LAP-BAND® patient, because I’m sure I would really start to lose weight if it was left this way.

I decided that since I’m writing this diary for all of you to enjoy, I should take all the precautions that were explained to me to set a good example. I’ve already proven that I’m not unique with the bread thing! There is also another possible explanation as to why I’m having some trouble — those dreaded “female issues.”

Oh, by the way, I lost two more pounds… so my total weight loss = 35 pounds!


— Lisa

If you want to learn more, leave a comment below and we can discuss.