Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fill Time?

My weight has been up above 200 again for a few days (I swear it hit 199.6 for the 30 seconds I was on the scale the other day and has not been back there since! I have been wildly going back and forth in the mornings from 204 to 201. #$%$#@# scale :). My restriction has been all over the place but with one consistency. I am eating more, faster and more often. Together these signs say..another fill. Tomorrow I will call and get an appointment. I know it will take at least 2 weeks before they can fit me in and maybe 3 so I will have plenty of time to really sort out whether I am correct or not.

This reduced restrictions makes me feel relieved a little bit as I have been worried for some time that the huge help I get from the band and restriction is going to run out and I will be on my own again having to do this or failing to do this.

The pattern of bandiness I have gradually come to see during this year and a half is this:

early in the band days: Get a fill, eat using my old bad habits. Most of the time things went OK but sometimes something would be too big to get through the slightly reduced hole and I would pb. Occasionally something, like steak, hamburger or roast beef,would get stuck (really stuck) because I chewed it but not enough. These were not pretty experiences. I could drink carefully during a meal.

Middle band days: Though my early band experience I learned to chew better and food was slowed down. I could feel food fill my pouch but during a meal I could wait 10 minutes or so (sometimes less time) and feel the food go through my band and eat some more on top of that. This slowing down process made it so I ate less but still plenty. Soup, ice cream and smoothies were all easy foods to get down and I could really eat as much of these as I liked (not such a good thing). I could wet my mouth during a meal and drink 20 minutes after freely.

First sweet spot: No more sipping on a drink or even a sip to wet my mouth during a meal. I could eat a yogurt and it stayed with me for about 20 minutes. Ice cream and smoothies could only be eaten very slowly. I could eat 1/2 cup of solid food and it took about 30 minutes to pass through my band (with a burp). This satisfied me for 4-6 hours between meals. Chewing was was during this period that I gradually stopped trying to eat bread, lettuce, ground beef (switched to ground turkey).

Refined sweet spots: This is the place I have been at and refilling to, since about last May (I have been here for 6 months off and on). Over this period I have refined my chewing ability, food cutting ability (it is really second nature now most of the time). I have been able to start eating roast beef, steak and bread again but not lettuce or ground beef. During this period I think I have refined my ability to sense when It is time to stop eating. To judge whether I need a fill I use three criteria (that I have come to know my surgeon also uses)..the weight loss test: have I stalled? The quantity of food test: How much can I eat at one time? can I eat more than 1/2 cup? and the How long between hunger test: Am I seeking snacks between meals?

I hit 199 but then launched back up in weight-possible check mark
I ate more than 1/2 a sandwich today for lunch and another yesterday (tuna on David's bread which is not the easiest bread to get down) big check mark
Yesterday I did not snack yesterday but the day before that yes and today a big yes! Calling it a check mark for now

So my worry has been that there will come a time when I stop losing weight but my restriction stays solid. I don't know if I will be able to go on my own and keep losing or if this will be my sign that it is time to stop and start pursuing the tummy tuck I am going to need or what??? I am hoping to at least get out of the obesity scale by then....that 200 mark was it. 170 I would be happy with..160 and I would be ecstatic!


Nawlinz Lady (Dee) said...

That was such a helpful post for me. I have only been banded 4 months and I love your explanation on fills or no fills. Congrats on your success!

THE DASH! said...

Eating more than half a sandwich is usually the telling point for you, isn't it? Def sounds like your on the way to a new fill - though great news you have been going strong since May! Monitoring whether we need a new fill or not is a pain - don't you wish we could just stay in that sweet spot forever (BIG SIGH!!)