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ALANOFLINY's Photo ALANOFLINY SparkPoints: (171,119)
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12/24/11 9:05 P

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Hi All,

My apologies for having been AWOL. Got a note from Lita today indicating that quite a few have been asking about me. I'm truly touched. Didn't mean to leave anyone in a lurch. I'm doing quite well though in general. Just been really busy, busting my hump at work because my position these days there is tenuous at best ... a certain downsizable job at worst. And I've been kinda setting up (or resetting up) my Faceook page devoted to health/fitness/weight loss and telling my story. Not that I don't love SP ... the site and this team has always been great to me, but some of the things that kept me here - tracking and the silly points ... I don't really track anymore ... and the Sparkpoints are no longer a fanatical obsession of mine. My intent, when I signed back on here last week with the status of "I'm back (I think)" still holds true. I just have to be more diligent about finding the time to regularly be on SP.

Bandwise, it's actually been an interesting couple of months. My last fill was over a year ago. Suddenly, about 2 months ago, I started getting night coughs and was PBing everything that I was eating. What was weird was that it was usually 3-4 hours after I ate that food was coming back up again - albeit in liquid, mostly digested formal (okay, maybe TMI :-). Worried about a slip, I went to my surgoen, they did an esophagram. No slip, but my band was pretty much closed shut - anything that was going through was going through the band like a very slow drip from an I.V. bag, On the bright side, I had actually gotten down to my goal weight of 164 or so, having lost aout 20 pounds in 3 weeks. Now I know why ... I was starving and dehydrating myself without even knowing it (again, I was eating and drinking and everything was staying down and making me feel full - just apparently the road ended at the band and anything that couldn't get digested in the pouch, came back to revisit my esophagus. So... they took some fluid out .. .I put on about 14 pounts in 2 weeks as I tried to still listen for the signals I was full. With the band emptier that it should be, those signals too much longer to arrive. THat was about a month ago. Went back to have some fluid put back in last week ... and now I think I'm in a good place. In the 180s again, but still going to the gym, still working out, still with a body fat % under 10% ... so I'm not complaining about the weight. I AM complaining about the clothing I bought a couple of years ago when I was steadily in the 150s/160s which I cant wear now. So I am looking to get some of this weight off ... because I do not want to have to rewardrobe myself.

So there you have it. I can't promise I'll be on here that often. But ... anyone who wants to speak with me can email me at alanofliny@optonline.net, call me at 516-456-1232, or find me on Facebook using the link: www.facebook.com/alanfink.wls.succes
s.
story
I'm not even on their as often as I'd like yet, but I'm trying to at least post somethign daily that's useful to at least one person out there in the world. And FB does have their own set of bandster pages that I drop in and leave a word of wisdom or two now and then. Not the same as here on SP - but as long as I am signed into FB, I might as well do what I enjoy doing most - sharing my WLS story and offering advise and encouragement to others.

So... Happy Holidays to All!!! (And I promise I'll at least be back soon enough to wish everyone a happy new year too :-)

Alan

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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DEBBIEANNE1124's Photo DEBBIEANNE1124 SparkPoints: (100,299)
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3/23/11 3:53 P

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Thanks Alan. Also let Jan know I'm doing well. 29#'s down. Woot! Since my surgery I've ahd no arthritis or joint problems myself so o in for an operation, alan. Bwahahaha

Today I am starting on food for first time. Had my water and protein shake for breakfast and m getting ready to ahve 1/2 c. or 1 scrambled egg & 1/2 cup applesauce Can't wait. dinner will be real CRAB chopped and blended with mayo light and sugar free relish. sounds so good.
And chewing it slowly.



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ALANOFLINY's Photo ALANOFLINY SparkPoints: (171,119)
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3/23/11 2:53 P

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Yikes... now the pressure is on to start leaving pearls of wisdom again. I've kinda been in my own little world - worrying about health issue completely unrelated to weight, but more related to age, such as arthritis. Anyway Debbie... never got around to congratulating you on officially becoming a Bandster. So I guess that will be today's amazingly belated thought:

CONGRATULATIONS DEBBIEANNE!!

Alan

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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DEBBIEANNE1124's Photo DEBBIEANNE1124 SparkPoints: (100,299)
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3/18/11 5:24 P

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Well, this has been one interesting Friday finding this thread while searching for recipes. I've been reading up & wouldn't you know I didn't know this thread was here. I'll be apying more attention as Alan has been of msot helpful to me.



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ALANOFLINY's Photo ALANOFLINY SparkPoints: (171,119)
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1/28/11 11:46 A

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Been an awfully long time since I wrote anything on the message boards that I thought worthy of duplicating here (and in my blog). Thanks to a newly banded team member for inspiring this work :-) Hope y'all enjoy it too!
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Sounds like your doctor is a little hard-line about his nitrition views. Let me give you mine. I *never* looked at the band as a weight-loss too; I've looked at it as a "non-weight-regain" tool. To lose weight, it's simple math: calories in must be less than calories expended. No matter what you want to call it, that is a "diet". While it should be close to a "lifestyle", the fact is a "lifestyle" implies something you do for the rest of your life. Well, I know I never plannd on continually eating fewer calories than I expended - when I reached my goal my *lifestyle* was to balance the calories in with the calories out. Which is where the band is so useful. Adjusted correctly, you should be able to eat virtually anything you want and the band will, to a large degree, limit how much you can eat at any one time. Which is why doctors will say it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle, because you *should* be able to eat *anything* within a limited portion size and be satisfied, but physically and emotionally with it. Telling you that you should be ultra-low-carb, may be your docs idea of "lifestyle", but not everyone is going to agree with it. Ultimately, lifestyle is an individual choice: it can be a good eating/exercise style, it can be a bad one. If it is something that lets you stay at the weight you want to be (maintenance), then its whatever works for you. But if you want to lose weight, you still have to make conscientious choices to either a) eat less, b) eat lower calorie foods, and/or c) exercise more. And that, no matter how you spin it, is a "diet" (in the "weight-loss" sense of the word).

That said, I pretty much did weight watchers while I was losing and became the fitness fanatic I used to be as a teenager. And I lost 120 pounds in 6 months. Clearly it was a diet. I then lost another 45 pounds over the next year and a half as I tried to balance calories in with calories out. Took me a long time to get it right, and to realize that I actually *need* the candy and snacks each day to balance out the amount of exercise I do (I still am a fanatic about working out). But that is my lifestyle that works for me. And I know it works because, except for a 4 months spell when I had to get my band completely unfilled and start a slow re-fill process, I've never put on more than a couple of pounds from my goal range.

That said, my daughter (QTJAN5 here on SP) was banded in August. She enjoys food and is content to lose the 1-2 pounds a week - which is the correct amount to lose. She is certainly not on a "diet" with respect to her food choices - she eats what she wants (with the knowledge that certain things, like liquid calories, should be avoided), exercises fairly regularly, and is losing at the 1-2 pounds a week rate. She really is following a "lifestyle" now, but with a "diet" edge to it, because she knows that when she eats high-calorie foods, she needs to be more cognizant of how much she's putting in her mouth. But day-to-day, there's nothing she excludes from her eating habits. And she's as happy with her band and weight loss and approach to it as I am with mine.

At the end of the day - it's your band, it's your choice. Make your choices and see how they work. If you're not losing weight, try tweaking what your doing (a mild change), or consider what your doctor is telling you (a major change). If you choose the latter, remember it's only an "interim lifestyle" change (aka "diet") that is designed to get fewer calories in than calories out. Your doctor should only be concerned if one or more of the following is happening:

- you're not losing weight at the 1-2 pounds/week rate
- you're hungry between meals (i.e. less than 3-4 hours before you're supposed to eat your next meal)
- you don't feel satisfied with the meal you are eating (i.e. you still feel hungry during the meal).

Only under *that* condition should your doctor be critical (and probably giving you an adjustment). Otherwise, you are doing exactly what is expected of a bandster and he should be congratulating you and encouraging you to keep on doing what you're doing.

Good luck. Feel free to peruse my blogs - I take a very "we're human, prone to mistakes, and basically incapable of being forced to do something we don't want to do for extended periods of time" stance. Sounds like the support you're looking for. Use at your own risk :-) (Disclaimer: Your mileage may vary :-)

Alan


"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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LADY-OWENS's Photo LADY-OWENS Posts: 316
12/12/10 10:14 P

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I am mentally preparing myself by starting my liquid diet a week early. This was my official first day and I had 2 shakes (GNC Brand) and chicken broth. The great thing is that I am not ravenously hungry, but my head is hurting like no other. How can i combat this headache during my pre-op liquid diet? Also, did anyone workout during the liquid diet, or was your energy too spent? Thanks for listening. Please advise.;)

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MEINI002's Photo MEINI002 SparkPoints: (8,610)
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11/30/10 11:47 P

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It is supposed to be as close to flavorless as is possible. It can be added to hot (coffee) or cold liquids (water) to thicken them anywhere from a nectar consistency to a porridge consistency.

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ALANOFLINY's Photo ALANOFLINY SparkPoints: (171,119)
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11/28/10 12:14 A

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Thanks for the info about "Thick It". Is it flavorless, because I'm on liquids for a couple of days to try to quiet down my stomach and esophagus which seem to be irritated again. (Not sure why - I'm trying to figure that out before calling my doc, as I want to try and avoid another unfill.)

ANyway, I'm drinking a lot of chicken broth, but I'd love to be able to thicken it up without adding cream or flour or anything particularly caloric.

Thanks again for the tip.

Alan (who really should go through some of my recent replies and thoughts and post them here. OKay, I will over the next couple of days!! :-)

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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GODZLAMB's Photo GODZLAMB SparkPoints: (725)
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11/27/10 8:06 P

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I am responding to Alan's thoughts regarding feeling hungry. When I had my band put in place (June 08), I was in the hospital over night. The next morning they served me chicken broth and apple juice. When I got home I called the hospital to find out what they did to the apple juice that made it taste like fresh applesauce. The nutritionist told me that it was a product called "Thick It". It can be ordered at Wal-mart or you can get it at Walgreen's. That product helped me a great deal through the liquid stage.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26


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XRAYLADY65's Photo XRAYLADY65 SparkPoints: (66,389)
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10/27/10 11:01 A

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Alan.

Ijust read the last couple posts you,,, I enjoy reading your thoughts,,,

But I also wanted to comment,,, I thought I was the only one who liked Tootsie Pops when I am craving something sweet...I carry them with me everywhere

Ann


Cadillac Mi

xraylady65 on yahoo and facebook

maintaining between 141 and 145 with a 100# loss

2013 5k's

DONE
April 20th Cadillac Young Life Spring thaw in Lake City time 34:40
April 27th Harrison 5k time 31:21
May 30 Memorial Day Cadillac Rotary time 36:54 for 3.7 miles
June 8th Cadillac Diaper Dash 30:37

STILL TO GO
July 4th Lake city 5k
July 6th Festival of races 5k in Traverse City
August 3rd Marion 5


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ALANOFLINY's Photo ALANOFLINY SparkPoints: (171,119)
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10/13/10 1:35 P

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How to know when you've had too much of a fill (and how long before you know):
================================
Too much of a fill might be determined immediately (the old "drink the water test") or it can take upwards of 3-4 days. This tends to be particularly true with newer patients, where the band hasn't fully and completely located itself where it's going to stay permanently. (This is not to suggest that a slip is happening, more like fitting a puzzle piece into place exactly rather than ever so slightly off).

In any case, if you find yourself unable to swallow even your own saliva, get back to the doctor immediately. If you're PBing, or having reflux - give it a day or two. Remember the band is fickle, and the stomach/esophagus two of the more sensitive to manipulation organs (and tightening the band is effectively squeezing the stomach around the pouch). If you've still got the reflux or continual PBing after a few days, go back to the office and have a slight unfill.

Finally, if you're just uncomfortable with how much fill you got - as you indicated by a "pretty big fill", feel free to get back your comfort level by telling the doctor you thought it was too much and you're rather get to your sweet spot a little slower if necessary. Being uncomfortable with what the doctor filled you with can cause stress. Stress is one of the primary suspects for making a band feel too tight. There are enough things in life to stress about - don't let your doctor's fill amount be a stressor. Like I've always said - finding (and giving the right fill) is as much an art as a science and while you're doctor gave you a fill based on their experience with other patients ... as the saying goes, your mileage may vary.

Good luck. Let us know what happens.

Alan

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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10/13/10 1:30 P

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Not sure if everyone is going to agree with today's nugget, but it is a reply to a posting on the "Lap Banders" team. Here's the original post by the original poster:
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Everyone has moments when their mind wants something that is against the goal of weight loss. You can desire junk or not to exercise but we know how that will make us feel if we give in to that mind set.

How often does this happen?

Do you win each time?

What do you do to beat the feeling?

If you gave in, what do you think caused it?

How will you stop yourself next time?

Let's keep a count of how many times we struggle and how many times we win or lose that struggle just to see if we are finding ways to change the bad habits and make good habits that will last.

Let's get to goal by getting a stronger mindset. Baby steps but we can and will succeed if we keep trying to find ways to win!

Good luck!
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And here's my reply:
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Great topic and thought for discussion...

... as usual, I'll give my own, perhaps warped, perception on the topic :-)

The keyword I think in the original post was "moments". "Moments" are a lot different than "always"; they signify the exception to the rule.

So, even before I had the Lap-Band, when I used to lose weight (and, unsuccessfully, keep the weight off), I never really worried about "moments" because for the most part, (as my signature says), I was following most of the rules most of the time, and winning the battle. Even "moments" that we all usually give in to, such as Thanksgiving, were just that - a ton of food, definite weight gain (either permanent or temporary), and a feeling of disgusting fullness when done. But it was just one of a handful of days in the calendar when that happened.

With the Lap-Band, I kept that same philosophy. While losing and now maintaining. There are certain things that don't get affected by "moments when my mind wants something" - such as exercise. (It actually takes a physical injury, and even then, not always) to keep me from working out. But as far as the "desire junk" part? Probably 20% of the time my mind is thinking that. Which in part explains the M&M peanuts (or Tootsie Pops, or chocolate) every night for me. But the key point is that I never think of myself as "winning" or "losing" - its just part of life.

Interestingly, it's not necessarily that any food is "junk" or not exercising a cause to worry that our bodies will collapse. The concept of "winning" or "losing" is kind of instilled in us in those people who advocate health, good diet, and fitness in an "all or nothing" manner. How many of us "quit" our diets (e.g. Weight Watchers, South Beach, etc...) after the first time we went off the plan? (And I'm talking now about pre-Band days). We "quit" because we are basically told if we don't stick to 100% of the plan, 100% of the time, we are failing. Bottom line is that we are human, and none of us can do anything (except evertually die) 100% of the time with 100% success. (But then, death is out of our hands - we can just help control when).

Anyway, glad you headed out on a walk for lunchtime today and that you looked at today as beginning again. That's one way of always winning - or at least following most of the rules most of the time - just take it one day at a time, and let each day be a beginning day. If your really into the idea of weight loss, of all those days you start fresh, only a small handful of them will be "moments" ... and the rest will be days that lead to successful weight loss!!

Just my 2 cents (spoken in more than 2 cents worth of words :-)

Alan

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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ALANOFLINY's Photo ALANOFLINY SparkPoints: (171,119)
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10/5/10 3:45 P

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Okay folks, it's been a while since I posted any nuggets of advice here. My apologies, this is what happens when life interferes with the amount of time I have here on SP.

Anyway, this nugget is in response to a question asked about how many cc's people had put in their band when they go for fills. And while most people know how much they have in their band and how much was just put in (or taken out), the bottom line is you shouldn't care. Here's my reply:
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Okay, anyone here who gave an actual number of cc's as a response should hang your head in shame...

... because every single combination of band and an individuals stomach that it's wrapped around means a different level of fill for each person. Ultimately, finding the ideal spot (aka the "sweet spot") is more art than science. But in any event, unless you've had your band for years and really know at what level personally works for you, you should leave it to the doctor to decided how much. They've hopefully been doing this for a long time and know, based on statistics, how much to give a person of a particular build, size, weight, and the size of band put in them. All you need to worry about is being made too tight, which you can *usually* easily avoid by, before you leave the office, drink (slowly) a cup of water. If it stays down, you haven't been overfilled. If you find yourself spitting it back up, don't leave the office without having them take a little of what they put in out. Like I said, art as much as science, and definitely different for each person.

Bottom line: you don't really ever need to know how much fill you have. There are just 3 levels you need to concern yourself with. "Too much", "Too little", or "Just right". Caring about the exact cc's is nit-picking. And besides, the amount of fill that today might be "too little" could be "just right" a day, week, or month from now. It's not only an art rather than a science, but it's also a fickle little piece of equipment :-)

Hope this helps. Just remember - drink the water!

Alan

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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8/16/10 3:18 P

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Another tidbit ... this one a reply to a question about how much food (volume-wise) a bandster can/should eat. The replies that I read before mine were all over the scale (no pun intended) and hence I felt the need to chime in. The key point being how much you can consume at a single meal is a very individualized thing based on a number of factors.

So... here was my reply:

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Yes, a cup of food seems like a very small amount. But ... that is a cup of food that has been chewed up / food processed / etc... So yes, a cup of hamburger meat will probably translate to about a cup of hamburger meat that you can eat. On the other hand, you could have a lot more than a cup of popcorn when you actually consider the size it shrinks to after it's been chewed/crushed/etc...

As for the abosolute amount ... everyone will have a different answer for you. The fact is, how much you can eat has as lot to do with how large (or small) your pouch is and where along the weight-loss journey you want to be. I personally can eat about 8-12 ounces of food at a meal before I hit that "I'm full" sensation. But I'm also at a weight maintenance mode and my band is probably a little looser than it used to be. On the other hand, someone who really wants to be aggressive about their weight loss, might want to make the band tight enough so that they really are limited by how much they can consume at one time (it also makes it much more important to chew extremely well, and eat slowly lest one starts refunding what they just swallowed ;-). Your mileage will vary. But I've heard everything from 1/4 cup (which seems a little too little, even for a hard-core dieter), to 2+ cups. Again, depends on the individual, their anatomy (i.e. how big/small a pouch actually gets created), how loose the band is (determines how slowly/quickly food passes through the pouch, which in turn controls how much you can eat at a time), and again, on the individual's personal goals towards how they want to approach weight-loss / maintenance.

Hope this helps.

Alan

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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WHOZETHERE's Photo WHOZETHERE Posts: 479
8/10/10 2:50 P

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I was delighted to find about a month ago that I could eat a soft, thin crust very fresh pizza. It was my first bread and tasted heavily. (I have never been a big pizza fan.) I didn't try the crusty edge.

Vickie--swimming against the current without progress.

"Where attention goes, energy follows!"


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8/10/10 12:46 P

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Back to some words of wisdom. Today's posting is a copy of a reply from a thread that started out talking about a recipe for fat-free pizza (and if anyone had tasted it) but ballooned into a more general discussion of whether or not a bandster can eat pizza (or anything with white flour for that matter). To which I jumped in with:

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Wow. I finally get a chance to catch up on messages, and I see this thread called "Fat Free Pizza", and maybe a 1/4 of the postings are actually about fat free pizza.

So... pizza can certainly be made fat-free, or nearly fat-free, what with fat-free cheeses, tomato sauce and spices (which are naturally fat-free), and many crusts can be made virtually fat free. And yes, some of them actually taste good.

Now, as to the discussion of whether you should (or can) eat a slice of pizza - fat free or otherwise ... this is the type of discussion that has lead me to refer to the rules and regulations your surgeon (or his/her nutritionist) will give you as "guidelines" rather than "rules."

Because these are not rules where one-size-fits-all. At the end of the day, every person is different and where one person might be able to eat a pizza crust, another person can't. My own surgeon's guidelines indicate that steak and white meat chicken are no-no's for bandsters. I have no problem with either of them. But these "guidelines" came to be based on statistics built over time .. including based on bands that are no longer available or logical. For example, the first Lap-Bands only held 4cc of fluid. That made them small and very unforgiving when it came to food that you did not chew into the smallest of pieces. But that band was around for many years and the statistics built on that (and other) bands said "no way is chicken or steak going through the band." Today's bands provide much more flexibility in how big a piece of food will pass. It becomes a personal decision. The "sweet spot" that I spoke about is very individualized. One person may consider their sweet spot to be something very tight which forces them to not eat the foods they normally consider "cheating" foods. Another person may consider their sweet spot to be a point where they can eat a hamburger - with a roll (but only 1) before they feel full. They may (or may not) lose weight more slowly because they are allowing the band to be loose enough to allow a larger variety (and quantity) of food to pass through, but if they are losing (or maintaining, depending on the individual's point in their journey) and not feelign hungry between meals... well then... good for them!!

So ... you can ask around about eating pizza, you can read your surgeon's guidelines, etc... The only way you're going to know what you can or can't eat is to try it. Just remember to eat slowly and chew, chew, chew. And if you should PB afterwards, well, that might be an indication that a particular food may not be okay for you.

Just remember also, that what goes through the band one day, may not go through the band the next day (and vice versa). It is a fickle thing :-)

Alan
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As for the link to the entire message thread, here it is:
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes
sa
geboard_thread.asp?board=0x537x35904809


Enjoy!!

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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8/9/10 3:19 P

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okay, I admit it - this sticky topic is meant for me to post (and you to read) any words of wisdom, insight (, or stupidity) I might have about the band and/ or living with it. But... since I have been blessed and honored with my own thread, I suppose I can ever-so-slightly abuse that privilege.

So no words of wisdom today. I just want to announce that my daughter Jana is following in her Daddy's footsteps and will be banded 2 weeks from today. AND... she has joined our Sparkfamily lap-band teams. Her Spark name is QTJAN5- so please visit her page, add her to your Sparkfriends, and shower her with comments and goodies and love. LOL I want her to stay on SP but she doesn't listen to me much anymore. So show her how great a team she's joined and she won't have to listen to me tell her to stay. Like her decision to get the band she'll make that choice on her own - with your support.

Thanks... and love to all of you-all
Alan

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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GERISE's Photo GERISE Posts: 2,528
7/30/10 4:50 P

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again you read my mind i am getting fustrated see 198 . but my surgery was 6 weeks ago and i get my 1st fill aug 5th. so i went back to my walking 30 mins every other day hoping this will work and came here to look on some info on what i am feeling and bingo alan you did it a gain thanks

My Favorit quote : Of The Week

Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands--and then just eat one of the pieces.

-Judith Viorst

There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something. <


 
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7/30/10 4:14 P

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Some thoughts about "Bandster Hell" - that feeling of gnawing hunger that newly banded patients have, and the fact that they really can't do anything about it since they are on a liquid diet. Copied from a response to another thread:

========================================
=========
Congratulations TEACHERLOPER!!! Glad it all went well!

Geez... I hope when you say you fasted for 10 days before hand, that you meant you were on a liquid diet. I'd hate to think that you didn't eat or drink anything in that time :-)

Anyway, the good news is taht the feeling of being so hungry will get better. The bad news is that it will probably get worse before it gets better. It's know as "bandster hell" and you're probably understanding why right now. Where it gets worse is that as the swelling from the surgery subsides, you'll feel hungrier, because the swelling of the stomach itself provides a minor sense of restriction, much like the band does before you get adjusted to the right point.

The best suggestion I can make is twofold:

1) Hang in there. "Fill" yourself with as much liquid as you can hold and don't worry about calories or gaining weight during this time. A lot of people really can't stand feeling so hungry and there's nothing you can do about it other than to feed the hunger. Unfortunately for the next 2 weeks you can only feed it with liquids, and it sometimes takes a lot of liquids to "quench the hunger". It will feel worlds better when you get to pureed (aka mushy) food. Your best friend will become a food processor / blender.

2) Based on (1), don't worry about putting on weight. At this point a) what's a couple of more weeks of weight gain or maintenence, and b) once you start getting the adjustments, the hunger will ease. Again - don't expect that you'll suddenly feel completely non-hungry after the 1st adjustment - it usually takes 3-4 adjustments to hit (or get close to) the sweet spot. But with each adjustment, and even as you just get used to the hunger, you will start to feel less hungry. And whatever weight you may put on during the next couple of weeks as you quench the hunger will absolutely come off when the band is doing its thing (and you are doing yours in conjunction with it).

So hang in there. Welcome to Bandlandia, and remember to always drop in here if you need support!!

Alan

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Here are some additional thoughts (already posted to the blog and the thread link below:

So an addendum to my thoughts about protein shakes and being hungry... the 2 are unrelated. Yes, you tend to feel less hungry after eating a lot of protein because it takes longer to metabolize in your body. But, the key point to not feeling hungry is that those nerves/receptors (whatever the heck they are) at the top of your stomach are stimulated enough to inform your brain that you are not hungry.

As protein-laden as some of the protein shakes can be, they are still liquids. And unless you have some amount of restriction, they are going to flow down to the bottomw of your stomach - like dropping a stone off a cliff into a deep ravine - and the receptors at the top of the stomach are going to have no clue that you have had protein, carbs, fat or otherwise - because there is nothing in that liquid (Unless you drink a ton of it) that is getting to those receptors.

So yes, please make sure you have your protein shakes, powder or otherwise. You still need (I think) at minimum 70g each day of protein. That has nothing to do with the band, that's just good nutrition. But don't expect the protein shakes to make you more full than anything else (that's not just plain water).

Like I said - hang in there. It does go away sooner or later. Hopefully sooner :-)

Alan


========================================
=============

And here is the link to the message thread:

www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes
sa
geboard_thread.asp?board=-1x9143x357R>34326


Edited by: ALANOFLINY at: 7/30/2010 (17:34)
"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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GERISE's Photo GERISE Posts: 2,528
7/29/10 9:51 A

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you may not be a doctor but your information sure does help.. when i feel lost or confused i just look you up and i am less confused. thank you so much for being here for me (us ) .. emoticon

My Favorit quote : Of The Week

Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands--and then just eat one of the pieces.

-Judith Viorst

There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something. <


 
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7/26/10 10:21 P

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Here's a link to a reply regarding someone who feels they messed up at their first fill appointment, but not having a fill (and thinking they needed to get their life in order first). I replied, in short, ro relax and celebrate the weight loss so far.

The longer version can be found here (and on my blog):

www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes
sa
geboard_thread.asp?board=0x537x35655029


Happy Bandstering!!

Alan

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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7/25/10 1:08 A

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One more for today, and then it's off to bed. This one is a response to a thread started in the Lap Banders message forums, regarding the possibility of a wrongly-sized band being implanted in a patient.

Below is my response, followed by a link to the entire thread.

Alan

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Sorry to read about the trials and tribulations you're going though. When I had my surgery, I wasn't aware there were different sizes (although only Allergan was okay'ed by the FDA for the use of the Lap-Band). I simply left it to my surgeon to put in a band for me. It wasn't until someone asked me what size band I had that I realized I had no idea. LOL - my doctor didn't rememeber either, because he told me one size, and then upon reviewing my chart on the computer, realized that it was a different size.

But that's not the point I want to make. It does happen, somewhat rarely, that a surgeon will choose the wrong size band for the surgery. My non-medical understanding is that the decision is made at the time the doctor looks around inside you (i.e. when you're on the OR table) and based on statistics and your anatomy, they pick the size they think will fit best. But I suppose it is possible that things they may not see (such as fatty deposits inside the esophagus and upper stomach) could contribute to the wrong size being chosen. Sometimes the realization of the wrong size is obvious and noticable immedaitely. Sometimes it becomes apparent over time. One of my closest bandster friends had her band replaced with a larger one about 4 years after she had the first one put in. Not that the original size was definitely wrong, but even with a minimal amount of fluid in her band, she had reached a point where food was not going down easily, she was putting weight on, etc... all signs that an unfill was necessary, but there was rally nothing left to unfill. SO her solution (agreed to by the surgeon) was another band surgery, where they replaced the smaller band with a larger one). In general, that is certainly a way to go, but unless you can prove some form of negligence in the initial decision for sizing, expect to pay out of pocket for a 2nd one.

Or, as you said, you can try to keep the band as open as possible, lose some weight (which will include losing fat from your stomach and esophagus) and you may find it now fits. (LOL - kinda like buying clothing a size or 2 too small, figuring that you'll eventually fit into it.) You and your new doctor should discuss that.

In any event, there's no justifiable cause from surgical reports differing from what the doctor told you. THat's just unprofessional, and I suppose could be dangerous (if it was a more radical type of surgery). But while surgeons in Mexico are highly competant (I know MANY bandsters who went there for their surgeries), I can't speak to the quality-control of regulatory reporting or otherwise. I just know that Mexico is, obviously, not required to follow any rules and regulations that might exist here in the U.S. But it's really all hindsight now. What's important is that you know the band you have and you now know the fill level it is at. You and your new doctor (and his/her team) should be able to steer you on course from this point forward.

Finally, as for the tilted port ... it's very common. It just happens (I should know the statistics on this, but it's late at night and I don't remember them offhand). The solution is usually an in-office repositioning of the port. It's usually done under local anesthesia. The basically numb you up, open the skin where the port is, detach amd reattach it. While I don't know the details, I do know a number of people who have had that happen and they look and feel fine now. More importantly, they need just a single needle-stick to hit the mark when they get an adjustment.

Hang in there and please let us know how this turns out. Everyone's stories here (lol - not just my long-winded ones), adds value and knowledge to those on this team, and especially helps those considering the surgery hear the good and bad stories about it. So thanks for posting. (It gave me a good topic to reply to :-)

Hang in there!!

Alan
========================================
============
And here's the link:
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes
sa
geboard_thread.asp?board=864x537x356R>13682


"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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7/25/10 12:49 A

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Thoughts and advice for the day (Saturday, July 24). This was my response to a Sparkmail I received asking me if I had any regrets about the surgery, and a followup question about my subsequent open-heart surgery. I've removed the names to preserve anonymity, but the message remains the same :-)

Alan

========================================
=========

Hi Xxxxxxxx,

Gald you took the time to read my blogs and see that you're not alone. Just out of curiousity, how did you find me and my blogs? Through one of the lap-band teams here? Via my position on the SP points leaderboard? Facebook? Just curious, because this is my new reason-for-being: advocating weight-loss surgery and trying to inspire/convince as many people as I can (who need it) to get it done. I truly believe that with these surgeries, particularly the band, obesity is one of the medical illnesses that can be irradicated from the planet.

Anyway, to answer your questions:

- LOL - if i had any regrets, I wouldn't be such an advocate. I do admit, as does my surgeon, that I had the perfect surgery, was the perfect patient, and my body was fortunate to have restriction from day 1, which helped my weight-loss tremendously. It's not that cut-and-dried for most, but the path is the same: a very very safe surgery (as surgeries go), a time to get used to the band and the band to you, and then just living with it as the pounds melt away. Being a former athlete helped a lot. Even the first 20-30 pounds lost increased my stamina tremendouslyand I was just able to up my workouts both in duration and intensity. And while virtually everyone will lose weight with the band, even in the absence of exercise, the exercise and burning those extra calories helps a lot!! I've had my minor hiccups (literally, my apparent 3-years-coming overfill lead to hiccups, vomiting for a couple of months (my bad for not checking that out with my doc sooner), and ultimately a bad case of "pill esophagitis", but that only helped me in my speaking to people about the band and what life is really like with it, as I am now going through the month-by-month (for me bi-weekly) visits to the surgeon and band adjustments to get me to the sweet spot which just came naturally when I first had the surgery, But this comes with the territory, so it's nothing i would get upset or regret.

Let me put it this way: my insurance did not cover the procedure. I had to literally beg and borrow from family members for the funds to pay for it. If I had to do it all over again, I'd do it in a heartbeat. And I'd not only beg and borrow, but possibly steal too :-)

- Speaking of heartbeats .... As for the bypass, yes, last August I had double coronary bypass on my chest. (LOL - makes whatever tiny scars left from the lap-band surgery virtually unnoticeable compared the the long scar that it where my chest was split open. I had developed coronary artery disease while I was obese and had been stented twice before the lap-band. And while the lap-band rid me of virtually every other co-morbidity (diabetes, high cholesterol, blood pressure, sleep apnea, joint pain, etc...), it couldn't unclog the damage that collapsed stents / reclogged arteries caused. They couldn't stent the area a third time, so they had to do the full blown bypass, using my mammary artery as the primary vessel to bypass my LAD, and a vein graft from my leg for the smaller bypass. As you may have read in my blogs, while the bypass surgery probably saved my life, the lap-band surgery saved me from dying on the table during the open-heart surgery. And because the lap-band and the weight-loss occurred me to get in such great shape, I wound up being in the hospital for only 3 days (the normal time is 5-7), and two weeks after the surgery I ran a 1/2 marathon. So yes, there are pics of me with those nice bypass scar on my chest (and a few holes from the chest tube drains), but, like David Letterman likes to say "Nothing's sexier than a man with a bypass scar!" :-)

Hope this helps. Feel free to drop me a line with any other questions you may have.

Alan
---------- xxxxxxxxx wrote: ----------
Alan,

I recently read some of you blogs and sparkpage. I was very inspired by your accomplishments. I too am in my late 40's former college athelete and now wondering how I got here. I just recently went for my initial consultant for getting a lapband, I have been thinking about doing this for the last couple of years because of the frustration of yo-yo diets and now older am somewhat scare that if I do not do something more drastic as this I might not be around much longer.

I have a couple of questions.

Overall what has been you experience with the lapband, any regrets.

I also thought I saw some pics that you had a bypass was this after you lost the weight.

Any insight would help.

thanks

xxxxxxxx

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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QUONNIE's Photo QUONNIE Posts: 287
7/24/10 1:42 P

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I love reading Alan's posts!

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7/24/10 1:23 P

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Laurie - it definitely is a scary place. But I'd like to think an interesting and entertaining one too. So enjoy the mania that is me :-)

Alan

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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NSPLADY's Photo NSPLADY Posts: 1,546
7/23/10 11:53 P

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It's good to have you back!! You are an inspiration to all of us!!!!

Barb

Don't be afraid to go after what you want to do and what you want to be. But, don't be afraid to be willing to pay the price......
Lane Frost


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SYLPHINPROGRESS's Photo SYLPHINPROGRESS SparkPoints: (74,308)
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7/23/10 11:52 P

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Hmm, the mind of Alan. Sounds like a scary place.
emoticon
Laurie

LAURIE, NYC
No one said it would be easy, but it can be easier.

There is substance in glibness and vice versa:
"If you're going through hell, keep going."
-- Winston Churchill, master of both?


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VALDESROSIERS1's Photo VALDESROSIERS1 Posts: 2,050
7/23/10 9:27 P

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emoticon Back Alan

emoticon
Val

11/05/09 highest weight 372
11/05/09 banded ....368
!st fill....1/28/10...6cc's
1/30/10.....345
2nd fill...... 4/7/10...7cc's
5/5/10.....337
9//11 ....... 300
8/21/10-----327
6/07/10...342
7/07/10.....338.5
1/3/11..........328
Got a fill back to my 7cc's Yahhh!!
Didn't realize how long it's been since I updated my weight
11/12/11
293 \o/ out of the 300's
12/19/11 292.5
still in the 290's I have gone to the 280's but bk in the 290'


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7/23/10 7:53 P

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Okay, here goes (and I hope this is along the lines of what people are expecting / looking for). The following link is to a thread/question about damaging the port or band due to an accident. I don't know if the link goes specifically to my reply or the entire thread. If it's the whole thread, it's certainly interesting (and important) to read everyone's thoughts, not just mine. Again, I'm just a very satisfied, and VERY vocal/outspoken, patient/advocate. But just one of many.

Here's the link (I hope - I haven't done this in a very long time :-)

www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes
sa
geboard_thread.asp?board=864x537x355R>93804


Happy Bandstering!
Alan

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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7/23/10 7:35 P

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Thank you Lita, and the rest of the team leaders (and members) for so honoring me with my own sticky topic. I'll try not to disappoint.

I just want to post a quick disclaimer here: I am NOT a medical professional, nor anyone with any formal training / education in the adjustable gastric band and/or other weight loss surgery techniques. I am a very satisfied patient and bandster and have done a lot of my own research into the band from my doctor's to their staff to the Yahoo group SmartBandsters (highly recommended btw). I've become something of a lap-band evangelist, trying to spread the positive words about gastric banding online as well as speaking at the information sessions given at NYU-Langone Medical Center.

But I am not a doctor, and while I assume that everything I say is correct, it may not be. And my opinions of course, are my own. You can choose whether to take them to heed or not.

Anyway, its good to be back. If you are relatively new to these teams (well, within the last year or so) and don't know me too well, stop by my page and browse through my blogs (avoid the ones titled "Not so intereting"). You'll get a feel for my journey so far.

And I'm looking forward to follow your journeys (and you follow my continuing story) moving forward.

Regards,
Alan (of Long Island, NY - one damn happy bandster! :-)

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!"

"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."

My key to success: Follow *most* of the guidelines, *most* of the time.


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L*I*T*A*'s Photo L*I*T*A* SparkPoints: (369,580)
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7/23/10 7:17 P

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ALANOFLINY aka Alan a former team leader on the teams here is back and will be posting his thoughts the good band and ugly re "Band" on this thread from time to time as his time will permit of course.......

i will post his blogs periodically as they can be helpful to us all...........
looking forward to his future posts here........
thanks so much Alan for doing this as it will help so many...........appreciate your continued help and support on the teams.......



below is a link to his most recent blog........

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
ur
nal.asp?id=ALANOFLINY


Edited by: L*I*T*A* at: 7/23/2010 (19:24)

“There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”

When you get to a plateau, think of it as a landing on the stairway to your goal. And maintenance is a lifelong plateau, so a bit of "rehearsal" for maintenance isn't the worst thing in the world

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