My name is Lisa, aka Half-a-Lisa and I, too, am a loyal MM
reader. I am 40 years old and live in
sunny South Florida. I was ‘banded’ one
year ago and whoa! has life changed.
I was born and raised in New York City. I’m from Italian decent, so I bet you all can guess what my first solid foods were? PASTA/MEATBALLS/BREAD/PIZZA/SWEETS – anything carby and/or sweet would do! My mom, grandma and aunts were all of the mindset that food = love. Great in theory, but bad on the body. I was always the cute chubby kid – all my relatives would pinch my cheeks and say, ‘Oh, it’s just baby fat!”. Well if that’s the case, I guess up until a year ago, I wuz a 39 year old baby!!
I don’t think I ever recall a time in my four decades that I wasn’t heavy. My mom always cooked really yummy food and was always baking something delicious. We didn’t eat out much and all my friends would always come over to my house ‘cause we had the best food in town! I was never a junk food eater – my food was the real deal – huge plates of pasta, homemade meatballs, cheesecake, cakes & cookies, fresh baked breads, all kinds of candy. I don’t think I knew what mac & cheese was until my senior year in college!
Once I went off on my own, I focused on my career and tabled my weight issues. As I got more and more successful, I grew bigger and bigger. I avoided mirrors and pictures at all costs. I was in denial that I had to constantly buy bigger sized business clothes. Work – Eat – Sleep, Repeat - was my mantra for about 15 years. My weight never got in the way of my career. I had a fast paced life – had an awesome apartment in Manhattan, ate out in cool restaurants every night, sipped martini’s with my peers and constantly got promoted at work. Behind closed doors, I did the drill…Weight Watchers, Nutri-System, Jenny Craig, Grapefruit, Atkins, South Beach…blah, blah, blah…you know how the story ends.
I moved to Florida 2 years ago to get my MBA and to take a sabbatical
from work. Three months shy of my 40th
birthday (June 2008), I had a ‘come to
Jesus’ moment. When you live on the
beach, you are forced to wear bathing suits.
One day, I saw a picture of myself in a bathing suit and barely
recognized myself. I was at the
heaviest weight of my life (230 lbs and 5’3”) and something inside of me
snapped and I decided that I wasn’t going to live like this anymore! Yeah, it was that simple…go figure! So I went into research mode and devoured
everything I could read on WLS. I was
fortunate to get a referral from a doctor friend of a really great bariatric
surgeon in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. His name
is Dr. Michael Perez – probably one of the nicest guys you will ever meet! After I met him for the first time, I knew
my search was over (jeez – I WISH finding a boyfriend could be that easy). We discussed my surgery options and decided
that Lap-Band surgery was the best option for me. I had less than 100 lbs to lose and my BMI
was under 40. I was a self-pay, so I was
signed up and ready to go in no time. My surgery was August 12, 2008 – the first
day of the rest of my life!
OK, so fast forward the last 12 months. I consistently lost weight post-op – averaging 4-5 lbs every 6-8 weeks. Every check-up I would get a little more fluid put in my band. My total weight loss at the 1 year mark is 65 lbs. I am 15 lbs from my goal weight of 130 lbs (I’m 5’3”, remember?). These past 12 months were not all rainbows and butterflies – but they were also not the worst of my life either. I can’t recall suffering any side effects from surgery other than puking – which is pretty common with the band. I do remember the first few months being freaked out when I felt the port in my stomach and realizing that it’s never going away! Going into surgery I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea. Now, my BP is normal, cholesterol is low and I don’t snore anymore! Before surgery exercise was not even a thought in my mind, now not a day goes by without some sort of activity. I do yoga, kayaking, weigh training and some kind of cardio (elliptical or treadmill). Next on my list is to sign up for boxing lessons and take up tennis again (something I haven’t done since high school).
Keys to my success so far:
- Be compliant – do what your surgeon tells you to do!!
- Take your vitamins
- Exercise – do SOME kind of movement every day
- Drink your water – 3 liters
- Listen to your body – know the difference between hunger and habit
My biggest challenges:
- Eating 3 meals a day
- Keeping solid food down
- Acknowledging I am thin – it’s a mind/body connection
- Eating slowly
- Planning my meals
- Not able to eat carbs
I can only speak for myself, but I think once you have that ‘ah-ha’ moment, the rest of the process kind of falls into place. I’ve never done a 12-step program, but I would image the thinking is similar. I don’t know if I sub-consciously surrendered to myself or just got a grip on my own reality. Granted, I am only one year out and some WLS veterans may say I am still in the ‘honeymoon’ stage. That may very well be true..but my outlook is one day at a time and if I fall off the wagon one day, I pick my ‘skinny ass’ back up the next day!
Here's some ideas for future topics:
- Band Fills - To Fill or Not to Fill…that is the question
- Stress + Lap Band – doesn’t do a body good
- Has your head caught up with your body?
Before - Aug '08
After - Aug '09