Thursday, February 18, 2010


I am going in for my long-debated and now long-awaited fill today. As is with any doctors appointment as soon as you make the appointment whatever is wrong seems to right itself. Yesterday and the day before i was quite tight. I am positive it was PMS related bloating that did it and today things are much better.

It is funny how fills work. in the beginning we chase a little restriction. waiting for each feeling that food is getting caught, that we are feeling fuller on any amount of food. I remember saying to myself. Just give me something. Most of my errors or mistakes were from lack of chewing then. Eventually I had to give up bread and many vegetables because they would always get stuck. Finally I learned to chew and of course then needed another fill because the food slipped through when i did my job.

When I reached what I would call real restriction chewing became much less of a problem but it took me forever to figure out what full was. In the beginning I frequently though I was getting stuck when in fact I was just plain old eating too much. Eventually during this period I figure out that pain and frequent runs to my kitchen garbage disposal meant a stuck episode. In contrast to this copious amounts of spit, or the feeling that food was building up in my throat and perhaps a single run to the sink meant that I had over-eaten and I needed to get a grip on listening to my stomach and chest (because i feel it up there) that eating time is done.

Was I done here...oh no. Since my first real restriction I have refined my chewing and food choice and meal size skills.I can eat some of the foods I gave up at the beginning (like small pieces of bread, and roast beef) I have, of course also lost more weight. I would say about 55 pounds of it was after i reached various iterations of restriction. I really do not believe there is a sweet spot as so many talk is more of a sweet spot for now.

Anyway this refining thing. I look at it like exercise. There is a point when if you do the same exercise over and over that you learn efficiency and end up burning less calories than you previously did doing the same thing. I think with our band two things happen. We lose a bit of weight and the band loosens a little bit. We learn what to eat, when to eat it and how to get things down more easily because we are efficiency driven humans after all!! This combination of losing a little and efficiency means that at some point the fill we have comes to a slow halt. I gain and lose the same three pounds over and over (going from loose to tight and back and forth until my brain finally registers (usually at least a month) that it is time to go in and fill some more.

So we have come to today-approximately 8 fills from the beginning of things almost exactly 1.5 years from my band installation. I am going in for fills that are between .2 and .5 cc's now. The surgeon always says that these are approximate because the syringe and the pulling out of fluid are fickle and not finely calibrated. I am sitting right around 200 pounds. This is in the middle of my up and down cycle from 198 to 203. I hope this one allows me to get some distance away from 200 and perhaps into the 180's. I also hope that I have a few more fills in me. I really think part of this is the kick up the backside the change of a fill brings as much as it is restriction itself.

At some point I am really afraid that my efficiency will kick in before the band room does and I will not have room for a fill but can eat more than my metabolism will burn. There has to be some end to the physical capacity of this band I think. Will that capacity be used up at goal? or will it happen before then? I have 30 pounds until I reach my original goal weight and what I weighted in high school. I have 45-50 pounds to reach the BMI goal weight for myself. At some point I have shifted my goal to that BMI goal and away from the high school weight. I think I can do it. I do know the band has given me the confidence that I can. There is however a little voice of fear in the back of my head that my behavior vs fill space equation will balance and behavior will rule. I hope I get to the end of the trail before that happens!


Gen said...

I know what you mean Tina - about the sweet spot "for now." Some people do seem to keep their sweet spot for quite a long while, but many of us keep chasing it...

Anyway, you have done great so far and I am sure your band will keep working for you with tiny little adjustments.

Linda said...

I feel really similarly about always having to re-adjust our eat when getting a new fill. I feel like I'm finally adjusting to my last one - slowly.
How much total fill do you have in your band? Just wondering because I have tons in mine and I'm still 50-60 pounds to goal. I have about 1.5 cc's of room left which my Dr. thinks will be fine to get me to maintenance.

Tina said...

I just found out today during my failed fill...I will post more later. I have 6.5 in an 8cc band.

Girl Bandit said...

Sorry to hear it failed. Thanks for that post...I found it interesting as I have only had 1 fill. Do you think that if I am not super hungry and still losing off my first fill I should not have a second one till either of these things change??? Would love your opinion being so much further down the road than me. Thanks

TracyZ said...

I just found your blog today and this post was so great! It is such an interesting way to look at the fill process. I had been really anxious to get restriction and now am going for an unfill so I can stop burping up every bite of food I eat.

I think seeing it as a marathon and not a sprint to the next fill is so smart. If there is an end to what my band can do I shouldn't be in such a hurry to reach that max!

Jennifer said...

Hi! Just found your blog from a comment you left for Debi.
This is a great post and very helpful! I'm going to go back and read more ASAP.