SANDI LOST 250 LBS
“At 55 years old, I had life-changing, and life-saving, LAP-BAND® surgery. Within 28 months I had lost 250 pounds.”
LAP-BAND QUESTIONS TO ANSWER – Sandi’s story
- Why I chose LAP-BAND
Even though I grew physically larger with every birthday I avoided weight loss surgery as something that wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to be cut open, replumbed and put back together again. It scared me, and at 54 I wondered about the ability to take any necessary medications and having them adjusted because of my surgery as I aged. Nope, wasn’t going to that. Then in early 2004 I started reading about LAP-BAND and how it was minimally invasive, required no replumbing, was adjustable and reversible In March of 2004 I had a blood pressure crisis in my PCP’s office that scared me into thinking about surgery for me. I went to an informational seminar, sat there with my arms across my body trying to discount every word that was being said, but I couldn’t. LAP-BAND was the least invasive of the surgeries, and the data showed the results were significant. I made an appointment to see the bariatric surgeon and he tried to talk me into a Gastric Bypass on the premise that at 424 lbs I had to be doing a lot wrong and bypass would put an immediate stop to all of that. Nope, my head and heart were set on the band and I was ready to do the work. If a surgery was going to do it for me for 12 -18 months first I then ran the risk of getting too complacent, and regaining too much. If I had to make the changes from day 1 to learn how to use my tool, by the time 12 months rolled around I would be an expert, and that is exactly what happened.
- How LAP-BAND changed my life
I have been fighting the fat war since I was 4 years old. I finally won the war, leaving only small skirmishes that crop up regularly. My friends tell me these little battles are what a “normal” person always deals with.
In 2004 I was 424 pounds, had arthritis in my right knee, and had trouble walking across a parking lot. I rented a scooter to be able to take my grandkids to Disneyland. I let my husband go into the market while I waited in the truck. People looked fearfully at me when I was getting on a plane, hoping I wasn’t sitting next to them. I had no life. In March 2004 I had a hypertension crisis that got my attention. To this point, my arthritis, asthma, reflux, and sleep apnea had not yet been enough to make me take notice. Going to work each day was a chore. I didn’t have a lap for my grandkids to sit in.
On 5/28/2004, at 55 years old, I had life-changing, and life-saving, Lap-Band® surgery. Within 28 months I had lost 250 pounds. Now, more than fifteen years after surgery, I am maintaining my weight loss and loving it. I am off all my medications and move freely and vigorously through my new life. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to travel worldwide. I have been to French Polynesia and snorkeled with sharks and rays, bicycled down a volcano in Hawaii, caught a marlin off the coast of Baja Mexico, (I released it) made several diving trips in the Caribbean, and did hike a glacier in Alaska.
I have found a second mini-career in coaching other Weight Loss Surgery patients not only to their goals, but to their continued success, something I value dearly. At 71 years young I still view life as a gift that was given back to me by my band, my bariatric surgery team and my willingness to continue learning and growing every day.
- What changes did I have to make to work with the LAP-BAND?
The first and foremost change I needed to make, and NO SURGERY was going to do it for me was a mindset and perspective change. I chose before surgery to “follow the rules of the band” and not make up my own. I left the diet mentality behind me once I was eating full solid foods after surgery. No longer would I diet, lose 100 pounds and then go off the diet and gain it all back plus more. I would create NEW HABITS to serve this new life I had chosen. I would make moving my body on purpose a part of my new lifestyle and by the time I was 60 I became a bit of a gym rat. I learned that I could create delicious recipes, foods that I loved using ingredients that met my nutritional needs. This took a lot of time and patience back in 2004 and 2005 as there was not much in the way of books or recipes to choose from so I started creating my own and found that I could be just as satisfied at the table with a 300 calorie meal as with a 1500 calorie meal. I put the fork down between bites and learned to chew that bite until it was liquid in my mouth, swallow and then pick up the fork for the next bite. I learned to savour and enjoy my food, tasting it instead of shoveling as much as I could down as fast as I could. I learned to stop hiding in loose, baggy clothing and began shopping for clothing that fit me well to allow myself to walk tall and truly FEEL my new confidence instead of hiding. I had to learn to be honest with myself and journal what I ate and drank to have the true understanding of what worked best for my body.
I also realized that I had to stay connected with a community of folks just like me- I needed the support of a strong community, and constant education.
Making these changes gave me back a full life. These changes actually gave me back, life because without surgery, and without making these changes I am sure I wouldn’t have seen 60 years old.
- Why I know I made the right choice.
I wanted the least invasive surgery and was ready and willing to do the work, and once the results were coming in I was ready and willing to continue the work. Here I am almost 16 years later living a life I never dreamed possible 17 years ago. I am active, I travel, I have a 2nd career helping people live their best lives and I have enjoyed watching my grandkids grow into young adults. I look forward to tomorrow, I am a happy, positive person fulfilling what I do believe was a calling I couldn’t recognize trapped in my obese body. Best part, my tool is still there helping me. I LOVE MY LIFE.
Results and patient’s experiences may vary.
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
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.
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, who are unwilling or unable to comply with the required dietary restrictions, or who currently are or may be pregnant.
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.
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. Most common related adverse events include: Band slippage, pouch dilation, stoma obstruction, gastroesophageal reflux, esophageal dilation, cholelithiasis, incisional infection, abdominal pain, gastroenteritis, 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.
Important: For full safety information please click here, talk with your doctor.
CAUTION: Rx only.