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Down from 275 lbs to 165lbs, diet/exercise and lap band

I began my weight loss journey in 2009 when I...

I began my weight loss journey in 2009 when I decided to peruse Lap Band surgery through my insurance company. Getting approved by insure was no easy task, I spent a lot of money visiting countless doctors and jumping through hoops doing more tests than I have ever experienced in my life, like 6 months of nutritional counseling ($100/ session), a psych evaluation ($250), a written letter stressing medical necessity by my general practitioner, getting cleared for surgery by a cardiologist and pulmonary doctor, passing a sleep study, doing a stress test (even though I was only 20), and finally an echocardiogram to top it all off. Luckily, I got approved the very first time I sent in my packet for evaluation, so my surgery was covered and all I had to pay was a hospital fee.

I got the lap band in June of 2009 at Centra State Medical Center in Freehold, NJ. I weighed 275 lbs at the time. It was a pretty painful recovery, difficult to sleep and move after, but luckily it didn't last very long. The worst part was the pain in my back and shoulders that I couldn't even stretch or crack to relieve, which I can only guess was from laying on the operating table for so long. The first year, I was very unsuccessful in my attempt to lose weight because I didn't change my diet after I healed and I didn't start exercising. I found that if you drink fluid with anything I ate, it essentially washes the food right through the part of your stomach the lap band is constricting and I was able to eat more. By the time 2010 had rolled around and I was 1 year post-op, I had only lost about 25 lbs. In August of 2010, I decided that enough was enough and started going to the gym 5 days a week and eating healthier. I currently weight about 180lbs and have lost just shy of 100 lbs to date. I think the lap band is a good idea in theory, but I know that I could have achieved this goal by myself if I had just started eating healthy and dieting like I do now. The lap band isn't going to be effective if you're still eating pizza, macaroni & cheese, and chinese food, like I was. I wish I hadn't gotten the surgery and could have made that connection sooner.

It also didn't help that my doctor didn't see me for over a year after my surgery. I was only seen for fills by nurses and physician's assistants in the office, which I found a little impersonal. I was given no help with diet or exercise plans, as I was told was part of the "program". It was as if everything they said they offered as part of the Lap Band System was out the window after my surgery was done and I was on my own after that. I had complications with adjustments and haven't been back in at least 9 months to get a fill because I'm pretty sure they just want my money. Every time I leave the office, they either put too much fluid in the band, or not enough. Its not a pleasant experience, either, so I have decided not to go back for a while.

I don't know how helpful this is to anyone reading, but feel free to message me if you have any questions or thoughts!

I weighed 174 lbs today. Officially at 101 lbs...

I weighed 174 lbs today. Officially at 101 lbs total weight loss. I can't believe it…

=)

Down to 166 lbs. now, and I was down to 162 lbs at...

Down to 166 lbs. now, and I was down to 162 lbs at my lowest. I am shooting for 147 lbs as my final goal weight though. Im happy I have been able to maintain my weight for so long and that Im still in this healthy frame of mind. Once this semester is finally over and I have more time, I am going to head back to the gym 5 days a week and start up weight loss mode again. Can't wait :)
Dr. Morris Washington

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
2 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
2 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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I've been thinking about getting surgery... but I've been wondering if just eating healthy and working out would do it... I'm glad I found your article. I'm definitely going to try it without surgery. I'm 290 and want to get down to 155 at least. I was curious if you had any issues with baggy skin after losing all that weight? I'm kinda nervous about that. Thanks for sharing your story!
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Very inspiring story...I have surgery July 11 would love to hear more from you. I am too from nj....I want to loose about 80 pounds..did you find that you had a lot of extra skin?
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Hey, how are you feeling after surgery? Yes I did have a lot of extra skin. See my other post about my tummy tuck. http://www.realself.com/review/nj-tummy-tuck-weight-loss
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So glad I heard from you... Down 17 pounds so far. Day 1 was awful and I was put on Tylenol with codine. Gas pain too was rough for a good week. Finally was able to sleep on my sides two days ago. Overall I feel great. Still have a little puffiness in my belly but I feel less bloated and puffy. How long after did you do tummy tuck? You truly look amazing and are an inspiration. I'm so excited to see what I will look like in a few months!
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Ouch... Looks like it really hurt. That had to be worse than lap band. Looks like its worth it though in the end but that's a huge cut!! Yikes. Glad you're doing well and you truly look amazing. I'm not far from you... Lbi area
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How funny, I'll be in LBI the week of the 10th! I'm glad you're doing well and down 17 lbs, good for you ^_^ Lap band wasn't nearly as painful as a tummy tuck, but the tummy tuck was definitely worth it. Most excruciating pain of my life, but the pain is only temporary and I love having a flat belly more than I could ever possibly put into words. I got lap band in May 2009, and the tummy tuck in December 2011. I just booked my surgery date for a breast lift and augmentation for December 30th 2013!
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How long was recovery I for tummy tuck? I need to lose 50 pounds right now and right now I have just a little jiggle and hardly any stretch marks do you think ill have a lot of extra saggy skin? Do you know the average range of weight that causes a lot of extra saggy skin?
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I don't think there really is an average range of weight that causes sagging skin. Everyone carries their weight differently, people's skin elasticity is different with age and genetics… theres really no great way to tell. I carried most of my weight in my belly and my boobs though, my arms and legs were never really that big. I knew I was going to need a tummy tuck if I lost a lot of weight because of how strange my belly looked when I was heavy, it was already hanging a little then. It took me a pretty long time to recover. Probably like 2 months before I could even stand up perfectly straight, and even still it feels strange to lay on my belly and stretch out my torso. The swelling took about 6 months to go down, and the scar is still in the process of getting lighter. I was out of the gym for 3 months and returned doing only very light activity.
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If you don't mind me asking but what do you do? Did you have to take off work and stuff? We're you open about everything with friends and family?
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I'm 350 lbs and I'm getting a lap band tm and I'm excited ive talked to several different ppl about the surgery and everyone is different . Your story is amazing and I hope my surgery goes smooth
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You look great! !
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You look great! I am wondering , due to your experience, that if you had to do it all over again, would you get the band? Do you think you could have reached this place on your own?
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Hello, I weigh 191 lbs and I'm searching for a provider who will do the surgery on me. This is the heaviest I've been and can't seem to lose the weight on my own. Do you have any advice on you eat healthy?
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I went to a nutritionist for 6 months and she was a big help because I was able to come back every month and tell her what worked for me and what didn't. I am still pretty much about to eat whatever I want, but for the most part I eat much healthier on a whole by mostly cutting out foods like fast food, soda, sugary drinks, velveta shells & cheese, Chinese food, and Ben & Jerry's. I've learned to ALWAYS go for the healthier option, low fat/ no fat/ reduced fat everything, fresh vegetables rather than starches, baked or grilled chicken and fish. Low calorie protein shakes are awesome too. You should go find a nutritionist to sit down with and go over your diet so you know what kind of foods you eat too much of and what you could substitute them with.
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You look fantastic!!! Way to go!!
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I just want someone I can talk too about this, I don't want to go through this by my self, any out that is willing to talk with me.
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Hi. I am currently researching the adjustable gastric band. I am going to an information session in a few days. I would love someone to talk to.

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Hi KayKay,

Are you having a Lap Band yourself?

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Kay, I had lap band surgery 12/20/12. I had a great surgeon (recommended by my Dermotogist and Primary Care doctors). She and the office staff are wonderful and very accessible. If you do some homework (check w/ primary care dr for recommendations), you should find someone you will want to do the surgery. I was 253 @ my heaviest and close to doing insulin as well as diabetic meds. I am down from 2,000 miligrams to 500 a day). I am only 4 11 1/2 so I was obese. I am currently @ 204.8. I love to cook and eat and have had some trials and tribulations as habits are hard to break. Food is an addiction!!! I plan to join a support group which should help plus your friends will encourage you to continue. It is worth it. Please PM me I am going in for my 3rd adjustmt next week and will ask the office for a good dr reference where you live. PS-Even joined a gym - hate exercise, but it helps!!! Good luck! I am still glad I did the surgery ~ Carole.

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Thanks for the info. You look fantastic so bravo to you for succeeding.
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thank you! :)
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I had lapband sugery 4 years ago at 62 years old. My insurance had no problem coving it. They also covered my tummy tuck, breast reduction, pendalectomy and lipo on my upper legs because of the rash I had under my belly and breast. I took pictures of myself with the rash and I was approved 12 hours later. Best thing I ever did. I have lost 152 lbs and feel like a new woman.
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My insurance wouldn't cover a tummy tuck or breast lift, unfortunately. I got the tummy tuck anyway, but paid a pretty penny for it.
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what insurance did you have?
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wow that's amazing, im trying to get the lap band, your story was very helful as im 58 and thinking I might be to old. now I no im not thankyou.

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