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August 11, 2010

Lap Band Thoughts

When I first suggested to Sandra that I wanted to get information on the Lap Band surgery, the financial portion was our first major concern.  As I've talked to many more people over the past six months about it, usually people talk about the finances, what steps were necessary and how much weight would be lost.  No one really had anything bad to say about it.  This past weekend, my friend Tammy mentioned some things about post-surgery eating that got me thinking.

Anyone knows that after you have surgery to physically limit the amount of food you can eat, you are forced to eat smaller portions.  The part that you don't really think about is about what happens when you get together with friends.  We all went to a dinner theater to see a show.  After surgery, I physically wouldn't be able to eat but a very small portion of the plate I was given.  To hear Tammy mention that I wouldn't be able to do dinners like this made me stop and think a little over the past few days.

I love food.

It is a simple statement, and more likely, I'm addicted to food is the better statement.  I eat completely based on my emotions and have a very difficult time listening to when I'm actually hungry or full to determine when and what to eat.  If it sounds good, I'll eat it.  If I'm sad, I eat.  When I'm happy, I celebrate with food.  When good things happen to my friends, we like to celebrate with a nice meal or dessert.  What does that mean for me after surgery?

I can't eat much food in one sitting, and when I do eat, it probably needs to be things that are going to keep me nourished.  The consistent statement has been that I need to eat lean proteins first and vegetables if possible.  Sandra's family has friends who did this surgery and can only eat about half a taco at a time before feeling full.  For the first time, that seems a little scary for me.  Knowing that people can easily get depressed when they are deprived of the food option to deal with things means I need to find another way to deal with it.  Do I play drums?  Listen to music or read a book?  I'd like to learn mandolin...maybe that's an answer.  I don't really know.

What I do know is that I need something to change with my weight and I have not been successful in any meaningful way on my own.  The surgeon did a presentation last week talking about physiological changes to a person who gets a BMI over 40, and how it is nearly impossible for them to lose weight without some sort of intervention.  It is possible, but extremely difficult.  I know people who have lost weight on their own...some as little as 20 pounds and others as much as 75 or 80 pounds.  None of them started as overweight as I am and certainly none had a BMI over 40.  I'm ready to have the surgery and if everything goes how I'd like, I'll be having it in mid to late October.  These are just things I need to process along the way.  I need to work on coping mechanisms now, and wrestle with what role food will play in my life when this is all said and done.