Best Decision I've Made... Bismarck, ND

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I had surgery in July 2008. I've lost 150+ lbs and...

I had surgery in July 2008. I've lost 150+ lbs and kept it off. The lap band only works if you use it. You need to find your sweet spot and slowly change your diet. It was also relatively painless. I understand not everyone can afford it and maybe some people base their rating on that. However, I was lucky enough that my insurance covered it. I paid my co-insurance of $750 but later got a refund from the hospital. My life has changed so dramatically. I've never been this thin before and I feel great.

I didn't make a very long review but I figured I'd...

I didn't make a very long review but I figured I'd eventually add to it. And yeah, I think the topic of changing your eating habits is a big deal. First off, I have a tiny mouth (physically anyway), so I've always taken small bites. Also, I talk a eating slower and smaller bites came naturally. I didn't really have to change the way I ate. However, prior to surgery I had the worst diet imaginable. Growing up we at lots of fast food, white bread, and things of that nature. I also learned it was perfectly acceptable to eat an entire bag of candy in one sitting. I wasn't a pudgy kid however until my hormones went crazy. From ages 8 (I hit puberty early) until 16 I was kind of chunky.

Then my thyroid went off in addition to my hormones. I started gaining rapidly. In 9 months I gained about 90 pounds. I knew immediately that I needed to get the weight off and keep it off. So I got the LapBand. And I probably did things in the wrong order but it was a perfect plan for me.

Once I started living on my own, I was eating fast food a couple times a day! Thanks college :( I still ate mass amounts of candy and I was eating super fatty stuff. Besides the weight I suffered/suffer from excruciating Acid Reflux. So once I had the surgery, for maybe the first year, I ate the exact same. Just smaller quantities. I lost and lost. Then about a year or two in, I really started cleaning up my eating. Now, I go maybe a few weeks without fast food and when I do get it, I choose the healthiest option. I eat whole wheat things, no sugar/salt added, a lot of fresh foods I'd never touch before. I learned to love fish which I had detested.
I still eat quite a bit of candy...bad I know. But I switched from doing mass amounts of chocolate to sugar based candies. So if I do gorge instead of 1200 extra calories it's at most in the 300 range.

Knowing how I ate before...I really think anyone can do this. You just have to be patient and go at your own pace. I've heard of so many people trying to just drop their old diet cold turkey and they don't do as well and back slide a lot. The most I've re-gained is maybe 10 pounds, which I then would pay attention to why I gained and it usually melted off quickly. After one year I believe I had gone from 270 to 190. Nothing to sneeze at but still a ways from healthy. By the 2nd year I had gone from 190 to about 155. By the third year, I was down to 125 lbs. Even in the last year, I've managed to go down to 113 but my usual weight is around 120-ish. So in my head, it took a lonnnnng time to get to the finish line. But it was worth it. And I hope that by going slow I was easier on my body and made it easier to keep this weight off in the long run.

*FYI, my mother had gastric bypass before I did. She also thinks it was worth it. She was in her mid-40's, with heart problems, and had been obese since she was about 18. She had the surgery about 7 or 8 years ago and has kept off about 150 pounds as well. (Just to give you an idea of someone who was obese for much longer but with the help of surgery and a diet change it can still work.)
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