Slimband update: 2 years later

This has been on my mind quite a lot lately. Weight loss, getting healthy, getting happy. The emails keep coming in from readers regarding my lap-band procedure. I’m currently in talks with a different clinic for some additional post-op care (yes it’s been 2 years but I still need help!) and I wanted to review my past posts, emails and comments about the process before I sign anything.

For a list of all other Slimband related posts, please click here

Here are some of my previous posts on the subject, and the comments are oh so juicy! The most recent posts are at the top.

Slimband Update: 7 weeks in
Reader Question: Life with Slimband?

The Most Heavenly Coffee: Recovering with Slimband

One day left…

Coming Soon: A New Me

I also wanted to post some of the questions that I get emailed to me (and my answers) in the hopes that this is helpful for anyone who is looking for some answers and perspectives from someone in my position.

Ginger,

I’m thinking of booking a consult for this after four years of thinking about it.  Now that you’re sort of healed up from your surgery, how are your days?  Do you really think of food less or turn to it less when you’re upset?

7/28/2011 – No, my thinking and feelings towards food really haven’t changed that much since the surgery. In fact things are going much slower than I thought they would. I think I need another fill to get to the right restriction, but I can still eat any kind of food I want, just less of it. I am also struggling with a unique situation… I am not eating ENOUGH food throughout the day, which is hindering my progress. Sometimes that can happen with the band.

However what they don’t tell you is that the Slimband is secretly a diet. If you don’t eat your boring chicken breast and cottage cheese and exercise daily, you won’t really lose much. That’s what I’m encountering.

I eat similarly to how I did before surgery. It’s not perfectly healthy but it’s not junk food all the time either. I’m down about 12lbs. since December. I am also struggling with a unique situation… I am not eating ENOUGH food throughout the day, which is hindering my progress. Sometimes that can happen with the band.

What I would suggest is that you go and get your consult since you don’t have to sign anything there. Just keep in mind that the band is not a miracle. If you don’t eat your rabbit food and exercise you won’t lose the weight. If you do, then it will come off faster. Only you can decide if something like this is right for you.

At this point I am not certain whether I would recommend this procedure or not. I need to check in with Slimband and see if they can help me some more. For now I remain neutral.

Hope this helps and feel free to ask more questions.

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Hi Ginger,

I found your blog via google when looking up gastric banding surgery. I am considering getting banded at slimband. I noticed you haven’t wrote about your experience past week 7. I was wondering how you were feeling one year + after surgery. Would you do it again?

I am about your age and would be paying for the surgery myself, so I am trying to get as much research done before signing the checks!

Thanks,

KM

16/05/2012 – Thanks for writing in. I definitely encourage doing your research! It is a HUGE decision to make!

I have mixed emotions about my surgery. I am currently down only 30lbs since the surgery which is a bit disappointing. On the other hand, the weight is staying off and slowly coming off, and I also wasn’t following their eating directions. I assume that if you actually do what they suggest, your weight will come off quicker.

One thing I have also pondered is that having the band wasn’t really a massive change to my eating anyway. I was already eating small portions and trying to eat frequently and healthfully throughout the day. Having the band didn’t make a big difference.

However, a friend that I met through Slimband had pretty bad habits before the band. She could eat enough for 4 people at each meal and had an addiction to wine and coca-cola. Now she can’t drink fizzy things nor eat as much as she used to, so she dropped 100lbs in a little over 3 months. One more variable to confuse you even more is that when they did the surgery they found she had a perforated stomach (or something) that was allowing her to eat that much. When they fixed it, I think that played a large role in her weight loss as well.

I don’t really know if I would get this done again. I think my food issues are a lot bigger than I originally thought, and even a band isn’t going to solve them. Keep this in mind when you get the surgery. The band is only a tool. If you don’t work with it and change your lifestyle, it may not be as effective as you hope.

Now I am trying to refocus my efforts on getting healthy. I have reached the sweet spot on the band and am working with a personal trainer/food coach (she is awesome, let me know if you want her details. She’s lost 80lbs the hard way!) and also doing yoga so I hope to jumpstart things again.

I think eventually I’ll reach my goal weight, but its still going to take a long time!

Hope this helps & let me know if you have other questions.

Ginger –
Thanks so much for writing me back – your timing was great as I have decided to go through with the procedure and I am dropping off (gulp!) the check today.
I had have just moved to Toronto from the states and had been seeing a medical doctor for help with weight loss who was amazing – with his help, I had lost about 25 lbs over two years, but since I have been back in Toronto (10 months) I have gained 20 lbs back.  Seeing how dramatically my weight has increased without the medication has made me think that I need a more permanent solution – hence Slimband.
I am doing my best to go in to the procedure with my eyes wide open, but I am concerned that I am going to spend ALL THIS MONEY and then end up up in the same place.  I have never been able to eat for nutrition sake only, so I am hopeful if the band is in place, I won’t be as hungry and therefore won’t eat so much.  I would like to lose about 30 lbs (that would take me to a BMI of 26), and it seems like so much money for 30 lbs, but I do not think I will ever to be able to maintain that weight loss without help.
It is also difficult to get feedback from the message groups.  It seems as if everyone LOVES their band or HATES it.  It was good to get  a little perspective from you.  It is hard to trust the slimband people as it is a business to them.
Thanks again, and if you have any more thoughts, please feel free to send them my way!
KM
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