I honestly don't think I will ever understand how to live life happily with a lap band. I read so many blogs by people who have had a lap band and seem to be just killing it with weight loss and healthy lifestyles. I just don't know if I will ever get to a place with my band where I feel satisfied by small meals and don't obsess over food and at the same time that eating out isn't a complete nightmare.
I have just had almost 3 weeks of my band being so tight that even liquids were difficult to get down (no, I didn't lose any weight). There were many days where I just wanted to cry and scream with frustration and rip the stupid band out of my body. I knew the tightness was brought about by some crazy stress I was having and would only be temporary so there just wasn't anything I could do. I probably should have tried to get fluid removed, but trying to get an appointment and time off work to get to the clinic is near impossible for me. Now my band seems to have loosened up and I want to eat crazy amounts of food. I am so incredibly hungry all day and night that I am eating pretty much non-stop.
This has pretty much been the story of my lap band, either too tight to get normal food down or I am hungry and obsessing over food. Even when the band is being 'normal' eating out is very difficult and there is always the chance the band will decide to close up and I'll waste $30 on food I can't eat. Not to mention how uncomfortable it can make your dining companions when you take 6 times longer to eat your meal than them or need to leave the table if food gets stuck or you just can't eat at all.
I did manage to lose a lot of weight in first 12-18 months after having my band but that was primarily due to motivation. I can tell you that I still counted down every minute before my next meal, went to bed hungry, thought about food as soon as I woke up and spent many hours tormenting myself over food I wasn't 'allowed' to eat. Doing this and going to the gym a minimum of 4 times a week helped me lose a stack of weight. As anyone knows, motivation is fleeting and I just can't be bothered being hungry all the time anymore.
I have been to the lap band clinic many, many, many times but none of the doctors ever really help. They tell me the same stock standard advice that they tell everyone, but I don't think they really understand that people have different problems with food and eating and it isn't just about trying to address the hunger. They look at my notes and tell me what I said last time, which is normally a direct contradiction of what I am saying this time, and give me skeptical looks like I am lying or making excuses.
ME: I think I need some fluid out of my band because I am too tight
DR: You said last time you wanted fluid put in the band because you were hungry all the time and always looking for more food
ME: Yes, but now I find eating normal foods too difficult so I think I might need a bit less fluid because I can't eat vegetables or lean meats
DR: But you have gained 2 kilos since you last came in, do you think having fluid removed will help?
ME: (desperately wanting to tell him to fuck off) I don't know, but right now I am finding eating difficult and I would like to be able to eat
DR: *audible sigh* OK, how much do you want removed?
I often wonder if I made a big mistake getting the lap band and I should have looked into getting the Vertical Sleeve instead. I think the band is perfect for some people, but it is difficult for those of us who have struggled with eating disorders our entire lives. The band relies on your brain cooperating and not actively self-sabotaging you every step of the way and I just seem to be making this much harder than it should be.