New York City Mayor Knows How Big Your Drinks Should Be Better Than You Do.

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Oversized drink container

So is this what it’s coming to? Government telling us what our drink size should be? Or at least what it can’t exceed.

New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg recently proposed and the New York City Board of Health approved a ban on sugary drinks, teas, and sports drinks sold in food service establishments in containers over 16 ounces. The ban would take effect in about six months.

I suppose that would give enough time for the fast food industry to train their staffs NOT to ask “Ya wanna super-size that?”

Lap band and other weight loss surgery patients already know, or should know, that sugary drinks of any size must be avoided. The NYC Mayor’s proposal to ban over-sized sugary drinks is based on fact that residents of The Big Apple and Americans in general are becoming increasingly super-sized ourselves.

But do we need government to protect us from ourselves? What’s next, politicians telling us that we can’t consume (fill in the blank) number of calories per day?

“Sorry ‘Bro but you gotta hand over that burger. And the fries. Calorie Central sensors indicate you’ve had enough for today…”

The thing is, we have to take personal responsibility for what we drink and eat. And what should the after lap band patient be drinking?  Read More…

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Lap Band Surgery for Teens?

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obese_teenagerAs the number of obese teenagers grows the question arises: is lap band or other types of weight loss surgery appropriate for teens? What are the physical side effects?

Can adolescents deal with the emotional toll of submitting to surgery to control their weight. How are they going to cope with a new restrictive diet?

I found this article sheds quite a bit of light on the topic and is a must read for any parent who is in a conversation with their teen regarding lap band or bariatic bypass surgery to lose weight:

Weight-loss surgery for teens?

“The obesity ”epidemic” is now old news, but it is scaring the heck out of medical practitioners since we know that the very heavy children we are now seeing will …www.philly.com/philly/blogs/healthy_kids/158628915.html”
http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/healthy_kids/158628915.html

 

The study confirms something we know in our heads but is a difficult hurdle to overcome. That is understanding that lap band or any other type of weight loss surgery is one TOOL in our weight loss arsenal.

Our relationship with food has to change. Healthy eating in small amounts is crucial. Regular excersise is very important. Figuring out ways to still over-eat or fill up on junk food after lap band is just self-defeating.

You are better than that!

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Lap Band Surgery With One Very Small Scar

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After lap band surgery, part of the recovery process for many patients is the scaring left by the procedure itself. The standard lap band procedure may use up to six incisions in the abdomen through which the surgical team slide their tools and instruments to perform the operation.

This leaves up to six areas, (usually four to six) on the outside of the belly that can cause some pain and need to be watched and treated to prevent infection.

Well, there is now a relatively new technology that allows surgeons to place a lap band or do gastric by-pass through one incision in or near the belly button.

It’s called the STARR method, which smacks of Hollywood, but actually stands for “surgical tiny access and rapid recovery.”

After Lap Band Surgery – Only One Scar

The STARR method, a trademark of TransEnterix Inc, uses a set of surgical tools from the Spider Surgical System, that allows the surgeon and the team to place the lap band through a single and very small incision, about the size of a dime.

lap band surgical tool from spider

The potential benefit of this type of lapband surgery is a quick recovery time and rapid return to daily activities with a scar you’ll hardly notice. This same minimally invasive procedure can also be used for gastric bypass surgery.lap band and gastric bypass surgery tools

Again, this method of weight loss surgery is relatively new and there may not be a surgeon in your area using the STARR method just yet and you may need to travel to take advantage of the procedure. But it is another option to consider if lap band surgery is on your radar as a tool for reaching your weight loss goals.

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Living Life After Lap Band Surgery in The Neighborhood

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There is a freelance health writer in Evanston, Wyoming named Kaye Bailey who specializes in writing about weight loss surgery. She writes about WLS from the patient’s point of view, having had gastric bypass surgery herself.

She has developed a website called  Living After WLS. I think you’ll find some good stuff there. There’s a library of video and articles, a recipe section. Another thing I think you’ll like is an on-line support forum called “The Neighborhood.” Could she be the Mr. Rogers of the after lap band neighborhood?

Ms. Bailey has written a book about the 5 Day Pouch Test in which she offers a step by step guide and plenty of encouragement. She followed up with “Day 6 Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test.” It’s aimed at those who tend to slide back into unhealthy eating habits and re-gain weight, defeating the purpose of the weight loss surgery.

The 5 Day Pouch Test is basically going back to eating the way you did right after surgery, then progressing through the 5 days back to regular food. Most people lose weight during those 5 days, but a more important point is that you take back control over your eating habits.

You can get the books and other items at the on-line store.

One of Kay Bailey’s philosophies is that we all need to take personal responsibility for our own health which includes what and how we eat and our level of commitment to losing weight and keeping it off once our goals are met.

On her website you will also find links to her blog (that dates back to 2005), links to other blogs written by weight loss surgery patients, links to more articles and a place to sign up for her monthly newsletter.

If you are having trouble with your eating habits or trouble in general with life after lap band surgery or any other type of weight loss surgery or are thinking about having the surgery and wonder what you’d be getting into, then check out Living After WLS. You’ll find help and encouragement there.

And be sure to drop in on The Neighborhood.

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Eating After Lap Band – Today is Your Day

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new day sunriseToday is a new day. Today you have the power to create and inspire change in your relationship with food. Your lap band or gastric bypass surgery is only a tool in meeting your weight loss goals. The power to make it work is in your hands.

Really, today is the only day you have such power. Yesterday is gone. Your power over yesterday and what you ate and how much you exercised (or didn’t) has disappeared. Any regrets about yesterday are a waste of your time and emotions.

Really, today is the only day you have power over food. Tomorrow is just beyond your finger tips. It has yet to arrive. But you can make tomorrow better by what you do TODAY. So, what will you do about today?

You’ve been given the power to free yourself from the bondage of food addictions. You have immeasurable strength today to work with your lap band and not against it. You didn’t go through the pain of weight loss surgery to suffer the denial of you goals. You are stronger than that. And there are plenty of WLS support groups on-line to inspire and help you focus the power within you.

Will you throw your hands up in defeat today? No, you will not. Today you are not a victim or slapped down by the victim mentality. Today you have the power over food. Food’s power over you is diminished. Today, you are in control.

You know what to do. You know what and how much you should eat. Your lap band surgeons or gastric bypass surgeons gave you nutrition plans and dietary advice or certainly should have. Most do.

If you need to re-set the way you eat, you have strength to do that today.

Today is the day to follow doctor’s orders. Today you’ve been blessed with tremendous power to eat the way you know you should. Use that power to enjoy and embrace the after lap band diet and meet your goals that much sooner. You can do it, you have a mighty power inside you, and you will use it.

Then do it again tomorrow, for it is just the next today.

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Lap Band-The 5 Day Pouch Test

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While reading through some on-line forums for post-op lap band and gastric bypass patients I kept noticing a thing called the 5 Day Pouch Test. What the heck is that?

It’s turns out to be a useful (for many) technique to hit the re-set button on your way of eating when you’ve reached a plateau in your weight loss, you are kind of stuck at a certain poundage or have started to re-gain weight.

The 5 Day Pouch Test is a way of reminding you and your much smaller stomach pouch what it feels like to feel full with a very small amount of food.  It’s re-visiting the diet guidelines provided by many lap band surgeons.

What tends to happen for many after lap band or gastric bypass patients is to get used to eating more than you should and eating the wrong kinds of food. It is so easy to get back to eating those processed carbs that put the pounds on in the first place.

It’s also easy a few months after weight loss surgery to eat “slurries.” Eat some chips, cookies, or white bread and wash it down with sugary drinks. You can get more of that kind of food through the lap band than solid proteins like chicken breasts.

Eating After Lap Band

Remember how you ate right after WLS?

You started with a liquid diet for a period of time, then moved to soft foods (the mushies) then to slightly firmer foods, then to every day solid foods. The emphasis was on proteins, proteins, proteins. Eat those first and then if you had any room left, add fruit or veggies.

And, you did not drink anything for thirty minutes before or after the meal.

The 5 Day Pouch Test recreates that way of eating in just 5 days.

The first 2 days you have a liquid diet with plenty of protein. Stock up on power shake ingredients.

On day 3 move to the soft foods keeping the protein content as high as possible. Soups, beans and such. No processed carbs, no sugary drinks.

Day 4 have some firmer proteins like canned tuna, canned chicken, maybe a little ground beef.

On day 5, enjoy firm food proteins like some baked boneless skinless chicken breast. Remember to eat slowly and chew thoroughly.

Lap Band Success

If you find you can’t eat that much of it without feeling full, then you know what? The 5 Day Pouch Test was a total success for you!

The 5 Day Pouch Test is a way of getting you back in touch with your smaller stomach pouch that was created during your lap band or gastric bypass surgery. It’s also a way to remind you the importance of eating good quality proteins, fruit and veggies while staying away from the junk foods.

Here’s to your weight loss success! May the lap band surgery help you reach your goals.

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After Lap Band Surgery – Support Groups Can Help

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struggling_lap_band_patientOne quickly finds out that lap band or gastric bypass surgery is only a tool designed to help with weight loss. The patient has to do his or her part of the program. But for many, it’s still a difficult thing:

“I am having a problem with snacks. I start out with a planned snack such as yogurt and I end up grazing for an hour or so. I need the snacks to get enough protein, but once I start eating I don’t seem to be able to stop. I’m open to any suggestions.”- Joanne

Getting Back on Track After Gastric Bypass

“Okay, a question…what is the first thing you do when you’re so far off track that it’s hard to get back? I’ve slipped something serious for a very long time now and I’m working in therapy about not validating what I do and view it for what it is, but I’m struggling getting and staying on track. I have NO willpower, so people telling me to use that…uh yeah, no.

I’m a severe food addict that doesn’t dump. I wish I did dump something fierce so I would be deterred so I need some ideas on how to get on track and stay on track. I’m 75 pounds from goal and have maintained my weight for a year or two now. Any suggestions on what works for you would be appreciated. Maybe you do something simple that I just hadn’t thought of! Thanks for any help you can offer me in advance!”- Hanna

Small Towns, Small Minds

“Ok is this just me? I live in a pretty small town and when people see me out and about then say  “OH you do eat.”

Well, yeah, just cause I had weight loss surgery doesn’t mean I don’t eat. I just don’t eat like I use to and no seconds unless it’s veggies …. So FYI we do eat after surgery. So my question is do other people get this reaction and does it bug you like it really bugs me? And even more so when I’m in public?”- Krystal

Weight Loss Surgery and Exercise

“I haven’t exercised in a long time. Anyone with advice on how to begin and what to do? I live in Orlando so I can always walk. My apartment is very small so no room to exercise to a video. I’m starting out this week with no bread rolls, my weakness. I can tolerate a couple of rolls but a piece of chicken or pork feels like I’m eating razor blades. I do better if I slow way down and chew my food to death though. I’m trying to increase my protein/veggies/fruit and staying away from breads/sugars etc.

I had RNY gastric bypass 3 years ago. Lost 100 lbs. and have gained back 45 lbs. Boo…I know. Lots of emotional eating.”- Jennifer

These are the kinds of struggles common with those who are fighting obesity with WLS. And you can see why it is so important to find a support group either in person or on-line. Most lap band surgeons can point you to support groups or one-on-one counseling.

Just remember that there are plenty of people who have been down the same path you are on.  They have dealt with similar problems and are there to help you. Take advantage of support groups after your gastric bypass or lap band surgery.

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Internet Mentoring After Lap Band and Gastric Bypass Patients

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after_lap_band_and_gastric_bypass_surgery_mentorHer name is Barbara Thompson and she had weight loss surgery 11 years ago. She was tired of being obese, tired of not being able to do the things she loved, tired of being an embarrassment to herself and her family. (Her words.)

She knows firsthand what it’s like to deal with doctors and hospitals from the perspective of the obese person. She knows the after effects of gastric bypass weight loss and the struggles that can go with it.

What Barbara didn’t know was that she would go from patient to educator,  author, and public speaker who speaks regularly both to patients and the medical community. And runs an on-line mentoring program for patients on her website.

Her goals are to provide inspiration to those considering weight loss surgery and also to those who have had either lap band or gastric bypass surgery. She understands the struggles many patients still have with diet and eating habits. She knows that WLS is a tool, not a cure in the fight against obesity.

In her research before undergoing surgery, Ms. Williams discovered that most of the writing about weight loss surgery was by doctors for other doctors, like the patient wasn’t even there. She resolved to change that and her book “Weight Loss Surgery-Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You” was born. It’s a book even recommended by surgeons.

“…fills a critical void for patients who have had or are thinking about having weight loss surgery… a superb, comprehensive guide…”
Phil Schauer, M.D.

Journal of Laparoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques:
“I consider the information in this book to be an essential complement to a consultation with a bariatric surgeon and would enthusiastically recommend this book to all patients considering bariatric surgery.”

Arif Ahmad, M.D.

You can order the book from her website, and this new fourth printing includes more information on lap band surgery.

Barbara also publishes a free newsletter that you can subscribe too. She also has an on-line mentoring program to help guide you through the ups and downs of life after lap band or gastric bypass surgeries. She can help with recipes and dietary issues, give you exercise tips, and perhaps most importantly, provide you with emotional support when you are feeling down and out. She understands, she’s been there. And she wants you to succeed.

I would definitely check out her website, blog and newsletter. You may find some of the support you need after lap band.

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After Lap Band Support Forums for Australians

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Banding Together is a good forum for adjustable gastric lap band patients living in Australia. I was really touched by the outpouring of encouragement and support offered by the members of this on-line community.

Topics are broken out in a familiar style. You’ll find the introduction area for newbie’s and those considering the lap band procedure.

There are frequently asked questions where members are encouraged to share advice about the process in general, how to prepare for weight loss surgery and tips on living life after lap band surgery. The discussions are lively and in most cases helpful.

Other discussion topics include information for those who are considering the procedure and could use some advice from those who have firsthand experience.

Another good discussion thread on Banding Together is one intended for family and friends of prospective or current lap-band patients and how to live with them. It’s not always easy at least at first.

There is a photo gallery where members can share photos with each other to help track progress on their weight loss goals. There is also a general chat area called The Bandit Lounge where you can talk about pretty much anything.

The recipes section is thoughtfully broken out into pre-op recipes which also includes various opinions of OptiFast which some dietitians urge their patients to go on prior to the lap band procedure.

Then there are recipes for the liquid diet that patients are put on for the first 1-2 weeks after lap band surgery. That’s followed by recipes for the very soft food diet called the “mushies” phase. And then recipes for regular food.

Then there are discussion areas for specific areas of Australia. Some patients are living in quite remote and isolated towns and find the local discussion threads quite useful. The geographic areas include Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South and Western Australia, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

Overall, I think Band Together is a very informative and encouraging lap band forum dedicated to Australians. Other weight loss surgery forums based in the United States or the United Kingdom have branch forums for those “down under” but Band Together is Australian all the way.

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After Lap Band–7 Good Rules About Eating

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Following any kind of weight loss surgery, your knife is your friend. Cut your food into (oxymoron alert)extra small pieces then chew each one 15 to 20 times. Doing this will make it easier for the food to pass through the constriction of the lapband and into your new smaller stomach pouch. No need to rush, take your time. Eating slowly will have the effect of leaving you more satisfied with smaller amounts of food than before. You’ll also feel full sooner. Sweet!

  • No Eating Between Meals. It’s all about behavior, isn’t it. The relationship we have with food. What emptiness in our soul it fills besides nutrition. Why do we feel we just have to eat something when we really don’t need to. Grazing between meals is a behavior thing and a habit that we have to break for us to succeed in our weight loss journey. If you’ve gone through all the trouble, pain and expense of going through lap band surgery, let the procedure do its job, and carefully follow your doctor’s dietary plan. Then, you will lose weight!
  • Make Your Meals Count-Excellent Quality Only. Considering that you only get to eat 3 little meals a day, it’s only reasonable to choose the most nutritious foods you can stick your fork to. No junk food any more. Think fresh vegetables and fruit, fish, chicken breasts, lean cuts of meat in very small portions. Stay away from foods that are high in sugar and fat. And while this next thing goes contrary to most nutritional advice, you as the after lap band patient must avoid fibrous foods. Bad things can happen with, as an example, asparagus. This fibrous stalk can clog the passage way restricted by the gastric band. Also, your much smaller stomach pouch has less time and a more difficult time dealing with such fiber. But if you really love such foods and feel you should have some now and then to keep the plumbing moving then cook it until very tender, whack it into really small pieces and chew it well. You might even treat it to a spin in the food processor or blender to make it easier on your banded tummy.
  • Do Drink Lots of Liquids During the Day. But not right before or after meals. In between those meals keep the fluids coming but make sure they are high quality, low calorie. No sugary drinks that will just put weight back on you. Water and tea is fine. 6 to 8 glasses a day. Coffee is fine as long as you avoid the sugar and cream. Take heart in the knowledge that by following these simple steps your weight loss surgery will work for you and you will achieve your weight loss success!

 

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