JESSICA LOST 115 LBS.
"I needed to change, and I was the only person who could do that."
"My struggle with weight came on after I had children. I think it was the combination of taking care of my kids and the change in priorities. My overall weight gain happened gradually over time until I got to a point where I just wasn’t happy with myself anymore. Every day activities were difficult due to my weight, such as lugging in a load of groceries or climbing a flight of stairs. Even activities with the kids, I would become winded and didn’t have the energy. Everything was an issue.
I was afraid of the stigmatism and the judgment that comes with having surgery because people see it as the easy way out. I now know for sure that it is not. For me it was more of a private decision. I decided that I needed to change and I was the only person who could do that. Now, I’m able to get out there and live life like everybody else, rather than watching it from the sidelines. It almost feels like the whole world opens up because I feel part of if now, and that I fit in as opposed to being an outcast. Getting the LAP-BAND® has been an overall positive experience for me.
The biggest tip that I would give to someone with the LAP-BAND® is to follow the rules as time goes on. Once you’ve lost the weight, it is very easy to begin to let some of those bad habits come back, like allowing sugar back into your life, whereas you wouldn’t have done that early on in the process. It is most important to stick to the rules because the LAP-BAND® is a tool that can help you, but you still have to do the work to get where you want to be."
DENISE LOST 65 LBS.
"I have always struggled with weight..."
"I have always struggled with weight, I was a chubby baby, I was a chubby teenager, and then an overweight adult. I did have some health issues, from sleep apnea to breathing difficulties when I’m moving around or walking. When I would walk to the train station to get to work, I would stop and pretend to tie my shoe so I could catch my breath.
My turning point was the day that I was bringing my children to an amusement park. We were in the seat for the ride and attendants were leaning and trying to get the bar down over my lap. I was trying to suck in my stomach push everything in but the bar would not go down. They told me that I had to get off the ride. At that point, I knew I had to do something about my weight. The most important deciding factor for my lifestyle change was my three daughters. I want to set a good example for them. I want them to make the right choices and have the right relationship with food.
Since having the LAP-BAND surgery, the biggest change of my life has been my personality. When I was at my heaviest at 350lbs, I was an introvert, I felt ashamed with how I looked and didn’t want to socialize. But now, I love me and I love who I am. My health is great, I go to yoga three days a week, I have a personal trainer, and I am even running. The way I eat is also totally different now. As opposed to getting a plate and piling tons of food on it, I eat small plates, take small bites, I stop and chew my food and allow it to go down, which is something I never thought about before."
HECTOR LOST 60 LBS.
"Make the commitment and be sure you want to do it."
"Generally, my health has always been good. The only issue I did have was high blood pressure. It was difficult getting in and out of the car. I tried to be active in my regular everyday work and life, by playing golf and coaching sports, but when I played golf, the weight made swinging the club difficult. As I coached my kids in baseball and would try to teach them to field a ground ball, I couldn’t even bend over to show them how. I tried all different kinds of diets to lose the weight and I would but once I stopped the diet, I would gain the weight back.
My regular doctor told me that I needed to do something to lose weight. Then my LAP-BAND® doctor invited me to a seminar that they have for those considering the LAP-BAND® surgery to learn about the process. They had speakers talk about their previous battles with weight gain and weight loss and how the surgery helped them. Two of my colleagues also had the surgery and they told me to do it and not to hesitate. They said that making the decision to go ahead with it was the hardest part. They were right, but I made the choice to do it.
One of the biggest changes to adapt to is my clothes not fitting, and since I’m still losing weight, I am just making my old clothes work. But one of the best things is that I feel different. When you take a 60lb backpack off of you, it’s much easier to get around. The congratulations and hearing that you look really good has been one of the greatest feelings.
For me the toughest part was making the decision to finally commit and say I’m going to do this. I would give anyone considering LAP-BAND® the same advice that my colleagues gave me, to make the commitment and be sure that you want to do it. Once you do, the rest is easier than the decision to have the surgery itself."
KAREN LOST 145 LBS.
"It drastically changed my life for the better in ways I could never have imagined."
"In early 2000, my weight crept to an all-time high of over 300 pounds. I found myself going through the motions in a lifestyle I didn’t love, living in a body that was weighing me down mentally and physically. There were several indications that had me to realize that if I didn’t make some drastic changes, my future would never match that of what she had dreamed of.
In 2004 I had LAP-BAND® surgery and it drastically changed my life for the better in ways I could never have imagined.
I recently authored a book titled ‘It’s Never Too Late’ A Ten Year Journey With Weight Loss Surgery that shares my battle with obesity and how I overcame it with the help of my Lap-Band®. My journey includes a weight loss of over 145 lbs and a new outlook on life, which I still maintain to this day. I invite others to join me on my quest for living large after weight loss surgery on my blog www.karengillman.com and my social sites www.facebook.com/aftertheband and www.twitter.com/aftertheband. The transformation of my mind and body is a direct result of Lap-Band® surgery. I am thankful for the lifestyle changes it has afforded me and for the people I have met throughout the process. As a wife, mother of two small children and busy Executive, I am glad to finally be off of the yo-yo dieting Ferris wheel and onto a lifestyle I love.
Was every day easy? No way. Was every day worth it? You bet! Do I regret my decision to have Lap-Band® surgery? Not for a single second. - Karen S. Gillman"
TAMMY LOST 110 LBS.
"Be ready for change, and be willing to change"
"My weight was always an issue, I was always the fat kid. From the time I was in kindergarten, I was the tallest and I was the fattest. I never dated and I even went to my prom by myself. All of the things you should be doing and should be learning, as you grow up, I never learned and I never did.
When my doctor said to me, “Tammy, you are 34 and if you don’t lose 100lbs. you’ll never live to see 64. I’m treating you what I treat 64 year olds for.” She scared me enough that I went from just looking at surgery to really investigating. A lot of doctors still have the belief that it’s a character flaw, that being overweight is the patients problem and that its not a medical issue, when a lot of it is a medical issue.
I had my LAP-BAND® surgery and it took about 22 months to lose about 110lbs. I previously had diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and polycystic ovarian syndrome, I was on medications for everything, and almost all of these things will kill you. Now I don’t take medication for anything that will kill me. You’re not just looking for an easy way out, because anyone who tells you that about surgery does not know what they are talking about--come spend a day with me.
The benefit of a LAP-BAND® over any of these other surgeries is that you have control over it and you can go as fast or as slow as you are able to keep up with. I would encourage people to have the courage to consider surgery because no matter what anyone else says, this is your life and no one else is going to live it for you. Life may be passing you by because you’re so overweight, and you have diseases or conditions that limit you, but having surgery will help stabilize all of that. You will be putting the control back in your hands to go build a life again and participate instead of letting it pass you by. Be ready for change. Be willing to change."
DEBRA LOST 110 LBS.
"I wanted to be the best that I could be, and the healthiest that I could be."
"The struggle with my weight came on later in life after I had my children. My health before LAP-BAND® was not good. I struggled with knee pain, shortness of breath; I couldn’t even climb the steps without being exhausted. I couldn’t change a diaper without breaking into a sweat. The reason I decided to have the LAP-BAND® procedure was because I wanted a lease on life. I needed to be a better parent and example for my children and be the best and healthiest version of me.
The support system that I found through NYU was absolutely amazing. I have made lifelong friends and I couldn’t go through my journey without them. They have helped me learn to allow myself to be number one and take care of myself so that I can conquer anything I can come across.
My health today is wonderful. I feel great, I kick box, take spinning classes, go to the gym regularly and am able to be very active with my children. I can even fit into all of my old clothes and then some, which is a great feeling.
The best advice I can give for anyone getting the LAP-BAND® is to take it one day at a time. The weight didn’t come on overnight, and you’re not going to get it off overnight. Life happens in between. It’s been a long journey, it’s been a lot of work, but it was the best decision that I’ve ever made. The LAP-BAND® just a tool, but I made up my mind to utilize it and I am grateful for everything that I’ve been through."
Are you ready to transform your life with LAP-BAND too?
Speaking with a LAP-BAND specialist can help you resolve any questions or concerns you might have. If you are wondering if the LAP-BAND is right for you, find a local specialist today. Your weight loss journey is right around the corner.
Important LAP-BAND® System Safety Information
Indications: The LAP-BAND® System is indicated for weight reduction for patients with obesity, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 kg/m2 or a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2 with one or more obesity-related comorbid conditions. It is indicated for use only in adult patients who have failed more conservative weight reduction alternatives, such as supervised diet, exercise and behavior modification programs. Patients who elect to have this surgery must make the commitment to accept significant changes in their eating habits for the rest of their lives.
Contraindications: The LAP-BAND® System is not recommended for non-adult patients, patients with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or increase the risk of poor results (e.g., inflammatory or cardiopulmonary diseases, GI conditions, symptoms or family history of autoimmune disease, cirrhosis), who are unwilling or unable to comply with the required dietary restrictions, who have alcohol or drug addictions, or who currently are or may be pregnant.
Warnings: The LAP-BAND® System is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, should be used with caution and may contribute to an increased risk of band erosion.
Adverse Events: Placement of the LAP-BAND® System is major surgery and, as with any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body. Band slippage, erosion and deflation, reflux, obstruction of the stomach, dilation of the esophagus, infection, or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required. Rapid weight loss may result in complications that may require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation.
CAUTION: Rx only.