I am closing in to almost 4 years with my band.
I know some have had their challenges with striking just the right "sweet spot" in managing and living with the band.
And believe me I have had my learning curve as well.
But here is what I know for sure:
1. Realize that the band is not a magic wand. Having the surgery does not mean your challenges are over. The band provides a means to manage and gate your food choices.
2. To avoid being "stuck" you need to realize that your choices and method for Eating need to change. And even more important accepting those changes. For example, most food choices can be eaten, but you must chew chew chew the foods that are fibrous. If you don't proceed with caution in eating foods that don't slide or melt in your mouth you may be facing a dreaded PB.
3. Eat when you have the time to eat. What do I mean? Eating should not be a race nor an Olympic event. Eat when you can take the time to properly plan, select and eat your food. If you know you are going to be pressed for time have protein shakes on hand. I am not suggesting to skip meals but rather to not rush through by just grabbing something that may cause havoc. I have learned to keep protein drinks, yogurt, and cans of soup/chili on hand. We all have crazy schedules. We need to plan for the unexpected.
4. Your band has down time and tight times. Know your band. I personally can not jump into breakfast every morning. Here is my routine to wake up my band: hot coffee, then a protein shake, a softer fruit, mango, small berries, a fruit smoothie. I have cheese and reduced fat wheat thins for lunch, or tuna salad and tomato slices for lunch, and dinner could be salad, thin sliced chicken sautéed with garlic or other spices, grilled fish, even some meatballs that are made with finely ground meat. The point here is that I need to work up to the heavier foods through out the day. And the heavier the food the more I need to chew chew chew.
5. Be conscious of your protein gram consumption. Protein is key to weight loss. For one, protein stays with you longer and it's essential for proper metabolism.
6. Take a daily multi vitamin. I can not state this strong enough. Here is my personal story. I did not take any supplement at all for almost 3 years. I believed I could get all my nutritional needs from food. WRONG!!!! I was seriously challenged with my vitamin D levels. I mean bad!!! I had such incredible bone pain that I was convinced I had some other critical illness upon me. I have been on prescription strength vitamin D pills. It's been 8 weeks of treatment and the change has been remarkable. I would have never associated the terrible pain with my very low vitamin D levels.
7. Let go of your fat clothes. They are history. If you hold on to them you are doubting your success. Divorce the fat you. Things will change with your body. Embrace the new you.
8. Get sleep. I know what it is like to push yourself. When you constantly push your self you forget what rested feels like. Get enough sleep
9. Perfection is not realistic. Learn from your mishaps. Keep track of what is working.
10. When you feel like things are out of control. Go back to basics. Plan plan plan.
So there are just a few of my lessons learned.