"I was very large person, and I was at a point where dieting was not working. I was sick and tired of being large and wanted to experience life more fully. I had tried a lot of diet plans - I'd lose weight but gain it all back again. Something had to change.
I was always short of breath. My doctor was concerned because I was a borderline type 2 diabetic. I did not want to have to take insulin for the rest of my life. My joints hurt a lot, especially my knees. I wanted to get my health back.
Post-surgery, a lot has changed for me. I am more outgoing, attend more small group meetings, am more confident in myself, walk with my head up, not down, and make eye contact with people. I can buy clothes that actually fit! I don't mind exercising, and ride a bike and take walks now.
You have to get used to being a smaller person. There are some foods that I could eat before surgery that I can't now, such as steak, rice and soft breads. These are changes, but I don't really look at them being negative, they are just adjustments one has to make.
I am very happy to have had the experience with this group of people. They care about you and they are there to help you every step of the way.
The monthly support meetings are very helpful. They make me feel more informed. I miss one only if I am out of town. I never liked small group type discussions, but have learned to like them more here. There is a question and answer period with either doctor. In the last half, they have a guest speaker. The nurses and nutritionist speak about different things of interest such as vitamins and such. These meetings are great for everyone.
My biggest advice is this: no matter what type of surgery you have, do not think of it as a 'cure all,' it is a 'tool.' It's a tool that will help you lose the weight but you have to work at it too. You have be disciplined. And the other advice I have I learned from my first support meeting. the doctor spoke about a man who was losing weight rapidly, much faster than the norm. The man told him that he exercised 6 days a week. And that has stuck with me - the Lap-Band is a tool and exercise is the key."