Christina & Marsha

Christina & Marsha

Christina's Journal

Entry #1

I'm a 26 year old who has been on and off diets since I was 10. I've been overweight my entire life. Prior to being banded I could eat and never feel full physically or mentally. I thought I had a stomach 3x larger than a normal persons. I decided to do the LapBand because it was the one weight loss tool I had been missing. Now that I have the LapBand I am able to control how much I eat, and I know what it feels like to be full. I also don't have to restrict myself about what I eat, which used to lead to massive overeating before being banded. I can eat anything just in smaller portions.  I would  always obsess about what my next big meal was going to be, I would literally think about food 24/7. Since being banded  my cravings have disappeared, I now no longer think about food unless it is meal time. My appetite is almost non existent which is also incredible. It is a dream come true, I am so glad I made a choice that will change my life forever.

Banded Dec 8th, 2009, as of Dec 28th I have lost 18lbs.


Entry #2

I went to Dr. Merriman's for my first adjustment. He said I didn't need an adjustment if anything I needed an unfill in my band because I am currently over restricted. Over restriction is characterized by: discomfort when eating, stalled weight loss, night coughing, regurgitation, and poor food choices.  He seems to think some fluid leaked into my band during surgery or that there is still swelling.  So due to my over restriction I have had some trouble with meat. I am suppose to be getting 60 grams of protein/day. I am able to. do around 40g currently. I go back in 2 weeks to see if it is just swelling or fluid in my band. So for right now sometimes I have some discomfort when swallowing, usually the first few bites of a meal. I haven't lost any more weight, but I am definitely losing inches. My jeans fit great and I feel more energetic everyday. I had a cold a few weeks after surgery followed by some sinus allergy problems. However, I am now able to get an exercise routine down with my Wii Fit and my treadmill. Dr. Merriman told me exercise would be how to get the scales moving again. My sinus drainage has affected me keeping food down sometimes, but my allergies are under control now.  I am still glad I made this choice. I am down 18lbs. I would be happy to answer any questions regarding my personal Lap Band journey feel free to email me at


Entry #3

I stay extremely busy with working and going to school full-time. I have class 3 nights a week and 1 online class this semester. This was 2 of the reasons why I chose the Lap Band. I haven't lost anymore weight since my first adjustment. I believe this is primarily due to me being restricted in the beginning and the first adjustment didn't add enough to have an impact. It's okay though I would rather go slow with this than rush it. I'm not expecting to lose the weight overnight, it wasn't put on overnight. I'm really looking forward to my second adjustment this Thursday. The only difference I noticed after the first adjustment was that it took a week or so for me to notice it working. It's hard to describe the feeling. I felt it kicking in a little sooner after a meal, I felt the band physically there after eating. Girl scout cookies are evil..enough said. I also started 2 weeks ago working out at night with my dumbbells working my arms. I have these crazy big flabby arms. I know without a doubt I will have to get plastic surgery done on my arms after I lose some more weight. I'm just trying to tone some of the muscle underneath so when they cut all the fat away it looks decent. I also started doing 50 crunches every night. I know it's not much in the way of exercise, but it's all I have time for right now. I do however work outside in my garden usually all day on Saturday and Sunday. I have a sunburn right now from this weekends gardening adventures. One other thing I started doing recently is marinating a bunch of meat and grilling it out on the weekends so I have meat for my lunch at work and breakfast. I recently bought a panini maker. For breakfast I eat a spinach or tomato basil tortilla (they have 7g protein, don't ask me why a tortilla has protein in it). Dr. Merriman has me on a high protein & high fat diet. Some of my ingredients I use in the wrap are: turkey, precooked bacon slices (saves time and mess), ham, avocado, tomato, variety of cheese. I also eat a lot of Turkey chili and steak, shrimp, chicken, and tilapia (fish). I don't eat burgers or anything anymore, the bread doesn't go down well. I love a hamburger patty with blue cheese on top though. Bread swallows like large fluffy rock so I avoid all other breads other than my tortillas.   I will send another update after my next adjustment kicks in!


Entry #4

I am close to my third adjustment. With my first adjustment I didn't see a difference, with my second adjustment I saw a measurable difference in how much I used to eat and what I eat now.     

So far I am very happy. I had a recent stomach virus that caused me to lose 9 lbs. in 3 days. After I got better I slowly gained most of it back. So my weight loss this adjustment has been hard to measure.  I recently got back from Hot Springs and didn't have any difficulty dining out. I didn't have any trouble with any foods. I have had to start ordering smaller meals, such as appetizers, due to not being able to eat everything on my plate. I get satisfied and it is so much easier to just put my fork down and not feel compelled to eat everything on my plate. I get that full sensation that I have never known until getting the lap band. I like that the adjustments help bring about a gradual change in my eating habits so its a more permanent change and not some fad diet. I have still been working my arms using my dumbbells and doing crunches and leg exercises. I'm still struggling to cut out more carbs such as evil, tasty tortilla chips when we go out for Mexican. Another thing I struggle with is drinking enough fluids during the day. Dr. Merriman wants me on a high protein, high fat regimen.


Entry #5

I had my 3rd adjustment about 2 weeks ago. This is the best adjustment yet. I have noticed a big difference in my eating habits and the scale! I have lost 8lbs in 10 days. I am enjoying eating smaller portions and getting full and satisfied faster. I don't expect the weight loss to stay at this pace until my next adjustment, I expect it to slow down some. Since I feel more restricted this time, I have found it is easier to eat a high protein meal and stay away from carbs. I have also noticed I eat way less and I'm still happy. I have lately been addicted to popsicles, the cheap ones you buy in the bag at Wal-Mart. They help me stay hydrated. I have an LSU sports mug at my desk so I can get my drinking in after breakfast and before and after lunch.  I have also noticed it is easier to not drink even a tiny bit of water with meals after this last adjustment. I have some trouble with some carbs, but it depends on a lot of factors. Sometime I don't have any trouble, sometimes I do. It depends on how hydrated I am, if I'm in a hurry, how big a bite, etc. So it's nice to know I can still have a few french fried every now and then. I have been working on getting my pool ready for summer. This will be my primary mode of exercise for the summer. I am still working with my dumbbells regularly. Other than that I don't have that much to say other than I'm so excited I'm finally feeling good restriction, losing weight, feeling energized and I don't regret any of it.


Entry #6

So I just got my 4th adjustment yesterday. I have come to realize…the hard way…that my band will control "how much I eat" but not "what I eat". So now that my band has given me enough restriction to limit how much I can eat, I have to do my part better and control what I eat. I admit at the beginning of summer I had too much ice cream and too many popsicles. I am now back on track, going grocery shopping today. Nancy the PA at Dr. Merriman's office told me to focus more on weight training than cardio exercises. I had stopped using my dumbbells and started doing more swimming, but now I will do both. I drank a coke the other day and it wasn't that pleasant, it made me really bloated and miserable for a while. I was at a friend's house and when I started to reach for the coke something told my brain no, but I couldn't remember the reason I shouldn't have one….until after I drank it. So that's one lesson learned the hard way. I didn't lose any weight this last adjustment because of my own lack of self discipline. I have gotten my summer routine down now and I started bringing my lunch to work instead of eating in the cafeteria. I have also drastically cut down going out to eat. My body doesn't want to get below a certain weight. I have struggled for years (5-6) to get my body to break below a certain weight. Nancy tells me it's the exercise that will help me get past it. So that's what I am focusing on more exercise and less carbs. I had honestly hoped to have lost more weight by now, but my old habits have so far gotten in my way. This adjustment she only added a little bit, since I have portion control down and I'm not hungry between meals. Now I have to just eat the right things and exercise more. My goal until my next adjustment in 6 weeks is to exercise more with weight training, cut out more carbs, eat more protein and break below where I am stuck on the scales!!!!!!


Entry #7

I went with my mom to the KSLA Hometown Show taping this morning. I am currently on my 5th adjustment being 8 months out from my surgery. I definitely feel restriction when I eat. On prior adjustments I would have restriction for the first few weeks then it would diminish as it got closer to the next adjustment. My next adjustment is next week and I have felt restriction all the way through this time. I will probably not need any fluid added to my band on the next visit. I am so glad to have a full signal. I absolutely do not and cannot over eat anymore. This is what I currently love the best. When I get full I stop eating. Previously I would never feel full, my stomach would never hurt or have that full bloated feeling. I used to think my stomach was twice the size of a normal persons. Most people probably think having a full signal is trivial, but compare it to an alcoholic who can't stop drinking.


 I have just gone through a very stressful time finishing up my masters degree and all the projects required to complete the degree as well as graduation celebrations. I did notice that I was tighter during that time period, the stress hormones in your body will make your band feel tighter. I am also tighter in the morning, lately for breakfast I have been eating a piece or two of sliced American cheese. A typical lunch is a small Tupperware container of leftovers (I was told to stay away from TV dinners, especially the "diet " ones) and dinner if I go out to eat is usually an appetizer. And this amount of food fully satisfies me. I still only drink water 90% of the time, the other 10% is fruit juice (apple, grape, cran-grape) or hot tea. I drink water by personal choice so don't think it's a requirement or anything, was just told to stay away from carbonated drinkes. When I don't drink enough in a day I sometimes feel some pain in my lower left side, but it goes away when I am properly hydrated. I still eat out sometimes, but I almost always get a To-Go box and I stick to meaty appetizers and stay away from breaded appetizers. I  find I get "stuck" (see below for definition) more often in the morning when I try to eat breakfast, hence why I have resorted to cheese. It also may be because I am not hydrated enough before I eat breakfast.


The important message is that the lap band itself it just a tool in the weight loss process. For me the tool has prevented me from overeating. It doesn't magically make me eat healthier or exercise, those are things I must do on my own. I admit I haven't sworn off all of my favorite foods, BUT I do eat smaller portions of them. The band does help me with the amount of food I can eat, but not WHAT I eat. I am currently leaning towards a higher protein & low carb foods. This is not a diet for me. I never wanted to diet ever again, but I did want a full signal and be able to eat smaller portions. My current focus now that I have good restriction is weight training, being more physically active by swimming and getting on the treadmill when I don't have problems with my feet and ankles (I had foot surgery last year). It is too hot to do any gardening, I plan on picking up my outdoor activities in the fall. Also it can take up to 2 years for significant weight loss.  I'm not in the least discouraged, now that I have good restriction I anticipate losing more weight in the upcoming months.

Commonly used terms and their definitions:

Adjustment- adding or subtracting  saline to the band (i.e adjusting the volume)

Full Signal- a physical feeling in my stomach that it is full and I shouldn't/can't eat anymore

Restriction- this means the band is tight enough to where I can feel full with much smaller amounts of food (i.e. restricted in terms of how much food I can eat)

Stuck- the felling I get when food isn't chewed enough or too big of a bite is swallowed. It's like trying to fit food the diameter of a quarter in a hole no bigger than the diameter of a nickel.

**A side note on feeling stuck, the first thing you do is slightly panic, this makes it worse as your muscles tighten up, I relax as if I was closing my eyes to meditate and everything loosens up and the food will pass right through. This happens to me more often on my first bite of food where I am hungry and I don't chew enough or I take a large bite and try to swallow too much at once.


Entry #8

Lately I have noticed that I am losing inches and not pounds. This is frustrating because I like to see the scales change along with looser clothes and more energy. I have gone down 1 pants size recently. I am still feeling restriction throughout the entire 6 weeks between adjustments.

I have opted to get my next adjustment a few days before Thanksgiving if Nancy thinks I need one. I don't care for turkey or pumpkin pie. I'm making baked potato soup so I will be able to eat something that day.

I will admit I have not made time for exercising more here lately. Due to sporadic foot pain (which is way better than chronic foot pain pre-foot surgery) I have had to abandon my morning treadmill routine.  

I still stay active with yard work, house repairs, playing with my 2 dogs in the front yard and gardening. I am still happy not being able to pig out like I used to before getting my lap band.

I have refinanced my Lap band payments switching them from Care Credit to Campus Federal. I got a lower interest rate 15% to 10% and my monthly note dropped from ~$360 to $258. I paid my car off and was able to apply for a signature loan from my bank.

So I pay $258/month which is probably close to how much extra I was spending a month on food. I have decided to wait until I get to 250 to see if I need to consult a plastic surgeon for a body lift. I will also have to pay off my lap band before I pay for that if needed.

I am a little worried because they only pay for your adjustments up to 1 year post surgery. I have 1 more free adjustment then I will have to pay ~$180 for each adjustment in the future if I need one. The restriction I feel right now makes me think I will not need one for a while though.

 I have noticed a change in my food choices. I can still not eat eggs, it doesn't matter how they are cooked. So I have finally given up on trying. I don't care for pizza or hamburgers much anymore due to the bread.

For starters it's not nutritious and I would rather eat something will more flavor than just bread. I don't have trouble with bread if I eat in tiny bites though. I have also never been a pasta person anyway so I'm not missing anything. I do however have a weakness for brownies….

My favorite meats to eat right now are chili, shrimp and anything from Chic-Fil-A. I still eat Mexican food with my mom on occasion, but I eat less chips and salsa. I usually order a taco salad with  ground beef and light lettuce. At lunch in the cafeteria I eat a lot of salads with light lettuce and lots of meat and cheese. I go for small amounts of food that a packed with flavor.

11/16/10 Christina


Marsha's Journal

Entry #1

This year I plan to lose weight and get healthy. Yes, I make this plan at the start of every new year. I'm really good at losing weight but one thing I discovered is that I'm even better at gaining it back.  I am so tired of counting calories and counting points. The thought of eating any more no fat, no taste food is unbearable. This year is going to be different because I've made a big decision for my life and health. I made an appointment with Dr. George Merriman and I'm going to have lap band surgery. I have to lose about 25 pounds before the surgery and I'm half way there. I'm hoping to have the lap band surgery the first week in February. Follow me and see if 2010 is a year for successful weight loss.

Marsha Everett

Entry #2

I have three weeks until my lap band surgery. I am past worrying if this is something I really want to do or not. Lap band surgery is something that I "need".

This week I have started my pre-operative testing. It includes chest x-ray, (EKG) electrocardiogram, lab work and a (EGD) esophagogastroduodenoscopy. Okay I'm not real crazy about having to do the EGD but I do understand the need to look down my throat to my stomach and make sure everything is okay for surgery.

My next step is to make an appointment with the dietitian. I will soon start on my two week pre-op high protein diet. I'll let you know how it goes.


Entry #3

I attended Nutrition class last week. Lisa, the dietician, reviewed the diet plan starting at 2 weeks before surgery. The plan before surgery is a high protein diet that helps prepare your body for surgery. After surgery you start out with liquids and advance to soft mushy foods then regular foods. What I am noticing is this is not just another diet. It is a life style change that requires me to be actively involved. I will be able to eat the foods I like but there will be no more pig out buffets on the menu.

Some of my friends are interested in getting lap band but are concerned about the cost. Some insurance companies will cover the surgery. Mine will not so I am financing the cost. Will I be able to afford it? Absolutely! The monthly cost will probably be less than what I've been spending going out to eat. Besides there are some things worth more than money, like your health. All I know is I am 52 years old and cannot imagine making it to age 80 in this body.

I finally lost the 25 pounds I needed to lose before lap band surgery. My pre-op EGD has not been done yet. I had to postpone it for two weeks because I got sick with some medical problems. So it looks like my lap band will be sometime mid February.

Entry #4

Who Dat!  How about them Saints!

Well if the Saints can win the Superbowl I can win this weight loss battle. I made it through the EGD.  I went in and they hooked me up to so many lines I felt like a piece of stereo equipment. I had IV tubing for fluids, EKG line to monitor my heart, pulse oximeter on my finger for my oxygen level, an arm cuff to measure my blood pressure and the last one I remember was a plastic mouthpiece to protect my teeth. It really was not so bad since I was sedated and don't remember anything else until I woke up with a lot of gas. Can you believe I had them throw in a colonoscopy just for heck of it. LOL Seriously everyone age 50 and over needs to have a colonoscopy to make sure you stay healthy.

Today I spoke with Kim, my Patient Care Coordinator, and my lap band surgery date is now scheduled for Monday, February 15th. Guess this is my Valentine's present to ME.  I have to get focused on the pre-surgery high protein diet. Sometimes I get so dysfunctional. Like right now I wish my Girl Scout Cookies would get delivered before the 15th. Oh well I hear the cookies freeze well. I have an appointment with Dr. Merriman this Thursday to review surgery details. I'll let you know how it goes.

Entry #5

Monday, February 15, 2010 I had my lapband surgery. The night before I couldn't eat or drink after midnight. I arrived at Schumpert Day Surgery at 6:30. It is a very nice hospital and they even have valet parking. I checked in downstairs then went up to the second floor to check in with the Nurse. She reviewed my history and started an IV site. My daughter (Christina) and son-in-law (Adam) were with me. The hospital Priest making rounds came to visit. Pastor Gary and Steve came by from Castaway Ministry to pray with me before surgery. My surgery was around 9:00.

As with everything there are good and bad experiences. Thumbs down to anestheseology. They left me on the ventilator awake and unable to move or speak. I was fighting the vent and could not communicate. Being a Nurse myself I knew what was happening and was still scared. I guess they had a medical reason but all I know is my throat is still sore. However thumbs up to the Recovery Room Nurse. She could not get an approved order to give me anything to calm the reaction. I could see and hear her across the room on the phone trying. I wonder if she knows how much it means to her patients to have her there holding your hand and telling you everything is going to be okay. Compassion is a gift we must learn. Thank you Recovery Room Nurse for your compassion.

Lapband is done laproscopic. So what that means is they only have a few small incisions and then they put gas in so they can see to do the surgery. Good thing about that is you have smaller incisions, heal faster, don't hurt as much and the recovery period is less time. I have four small incisions and they are covered with what looks like Super Glue. It is great not to have a nasty dressing to change. Also you can shower after 48 hours.

I went home that evening around 4 or 5 p.m.  The pain was not severe. I only took pain medicine a few times. Tylenol worked fine after the first two days. Mostly I feel sore and bloated. In other words I look like the Pillsbury Doughboy. Because of the bloating I can't sleep on my side so I slept in the recliner the first two nights. Last night I slept in my bed with a lot of pillows around me so I can slightly sleep on my side.

I'm on liquids, soup and pudding for the first few weeks. I will slowly advance my diet as instructed. I am starting to lose weight. The first day I entered Dr. George Merriman's office my BMI (Body Mass Index) was 60. Now it is 57.9. So far so good. I'll check in soon and tell you how my first two weeks are going.

Marsha Everett 2/18/10   BMI 57.9

Entry #6

It has been 2 weeks since I had my lap band surgery. Every day I feel a little better. My stomach is still a little tender but the four tiny incisions look almost healed. I can still remember when they had to cut you wide open to do any kind of surgery. So to me a few tiny incision with laproscopic surgery is really amazing. The only downside is the pain in my shoulder. This is a normal side effect from the gas they use during the surgery. When I first started getting around a lot it hurt more but now it is less and will go away over time.

I am advancing my diet to "mushies". Soft foods like creamy mashed potatoes, soupy oatmeal and soft scrambled eggs. Protein in your diet is important so you have to take protein supplements. I tried one that was a green liquid and it was totally "gross". So I went to The Vitamin Shoppe and bought Pro-Pudding that has 25 grams of protein and it was pretty good. It tastes kinda like vanilla cake batter. But then I got sick of the sweet taste all the time and I ordered online a new protein shake product called Real-Meal. It has 60 grams of protein and vitamins. This one I like as much as you can like a protein supplement. In other words none of them are super yummy but they are super important.

Water is also important. I discovered if you don't get enough then you get a pain in your left lower abdomen. This is your body's way of saying your bowels are stopping if they don't get more fluids. Prune juice also works miracles.

Now the absolute "BEST THING" is I'm not starving every minute of the day. I eat a little and I feel full. I've stopped thinking about my next meal before I've finished the one I'm eating. It is like my body is talking to me and I finally understand what it is saying. I am losing weight but I don't feel deprived. Let's just hope this wonderful side effect lasts. I go back to see Dr. George Merriman on April 7th for my first adjustment (fill) to the lap band. I'll write then and let you know what happens.

Marsha 3/4/10  BMI 56.4

Entry #7

I just finished week 5 post lap band surgery. I'm eating most soft foods and meat. I still have to think about what I eat. I have some trouble with bread going down but I can eat wheat tortillas. I still have to chew a lot and have not graduated up to harder foods like steak. This is the week Dr. Merriman wants you to start changing your eating habits. Okay we all know how hard it can be to CHANGE anything, but I am trying. What they want you to do is "Eat until full...No Snacking and Drink until full...No Sipping". I am a snacker and I carry around a water bottle like a child clings to their "sippie cup" so this has been a real challenge.

This is a new concept but it does make sense. You drink fluids then don't drink for 1 hour before you eat. They want you to eat until you are full but NO liquids with your meals. Then you don't drink fluids again for 2 hours after your meal. It was very confusing the first part of the week. Day one I didn't drink enough and felt dehydrated. Then day two I drank too much and felt bloated. By day three I was starting to get a schedule going and started to feel like a Hobbit naming my eating and drinking times. Breakfast, Second Breakfast, Elevensies, Lunch, Tea Time...  It's a "Lord of the Rings" movie thing. Anyway by the end of the week I was detoxing from "sippie cup" withdrawal and starting to get the hang of developing a new habit. It is still a work in progress. I am at a plateau with my weight and probably will not start losing much till after the first adjustment (fill) to my lap band. Overall I am so glad I went ahead with lap band surgery. I just want to get healthy and stay healthy.

Marsha Everett - March 21,2010

Entry #8

On April 7th I got my first adjustment (or fill) to my lap band. This is where they inject saline into the band so you will have some restriction. This keeps you from eating too much. Dr. Merriman sends an e-mail with education about each step of the lap band experience. It is called "Emmi" patient education. So I had an idea about what was going to happen at the doctor visit.

Before the procedure I was a little nervous because the needle is so long. But it wasn't so bad. Dr. Merriman does the first adjustment. He injected near my band port a little medicine to numb the area. Just a little "ouchie". Then I couldn't feel the long needle. He put in a some saline and I had to swallow a few sips of water. It was difficult to swallow so he took a little out and had me swallow water again. I could swallow easier so that is how he judged how much to fill the band. I will return in 6 weeks to assess if I need another adjustment.

I really needed to have an adjustment. My lap band was completely healed and since there was no restriction I was eating everything in site. I even started to gain a few pounds. Now I'm back to eating smaller quantities and felling full and satisfied. I do have to time the way I eat and drink. Also focus on high protein/fat/vegetable type foods and not so many carbohydrates. I visited with the dietitian to get nutrition guidelines.

The only problem foods I've experienced is untoasted bread and one incident with a Dr. Pepper. Bread not toasted is "gummy" and when swallowed it feels uncomfortable. Hard toasted bread is no problem I just have to chew it up well. I am not that big on drinking cokes. Since my lap band placement I haven't even wanted a coke. But one hot afternoon coming out of Wal-Mart I saw the coke machine and really wanted a Dr. Pepper. So I put that dollar in the vending machine, got my drink and headed to the car. After loading up the groceries I popped the cap off that Dr. Pepper and took a few big sips. Then I felt this rumbling in my stomach, burning in my throat and belched up a giant bubble. That was gross. So I capped up the drink and decided I really didn't need a drink that is carbonated. Guess if I get that rare craving again I'll let the coke sit for awhile and loose some of its carbonation.

Overall I'm doing great and so happy I got the lap band. I will never have to "Diet" again. Yeeaaahhh!!!

Entry #9

I got my 2nd adjustment on May 26th. Guess today I am in a "Life Sucks" mood. I'm a little down because some days I don't even feel like I have a lapband. It has been a month and I  haven't lost hardly any weight at all.

The lapband is not the complete problem. I know that my focus is not where it needs to be for me to lose weight. The eating and drinking times I do about 80% of the time. Eating the right kind of foods I have not mastered.

Dr. Merriman's office referred me to a Physical Therapist to evaluate for a fitness program. Well looks like I did not qualify for a fitness program at this time. I have a lot of muscle weakness and need to see a physical therapist a few times a week to build up muscle strength.

So the bottom line is I have to get organized with my meal plans and get focused on building muscle strength so I can meet my goals.

Marsha Everett 6/27/10

Entry #10

I haven't written in awhile. Mostly I don't feel like I'm doing as well with the lapband as I should be doing. My 3rd adjustment to the lapband was in July with about 7 ml of saline. I like feeling the restriction in my stomach because I eat less food and feel full faster. That is when I start losing weight. However I'm only feeling the restriction for 2-3 weeks after the adjustment. After that the restricted feeling starts to disappear and I gain back the few pounds I lost. The 4th adjustment is scheduled for August 25th.

Nancy, the Physician Assistant, told me that it will probably be after the 3rd or 4th adjustment before I will see a significant weight loss. So I'm hoping for better results after the August 25th adjustment. She wanted me to focus on getting the behaviors down like eating and drinking at the right times. Also to focus on high protein/low carb meals. I guess you could say I'm about 80% compliant. I am not having any problems eating any kind of food. What I do is eat slower and chew longer. Mexican food has a lot of carbs and it is my weakness so some days compliance can be difficult. I like ordering fajitas and not eating the tortillas, but those chips and salsa sure are good.

A few weeks ago I started going to Physical Therapy. Twice a week I go to Eberhardt PT at 820 Jordan Street before I go to work. First the personal trainer sets me up on different exercise machines to increase my muscle strength. Then I get a massage for my muscle spasms. After that I get Alpha Stimulation on my weak knee. This is a low grade electric current that helps to reduce inflammation in your joints and body. Now I can actually move better and be able to exercise. I can feel my strength returning and my balance improving.

If I look at today and compare myself to 6 months ago I know I feel better and have lost some weight. At this point I am refusing to get on the scales because I'm making the numbers too much of an obsession. I am going to stay focused on getting better at doing the right things and let the numbers take care of themselves later.

Marsha Everett 8/8/2010


Entry #11

It's Labor Day weekend and I feel great! I had my 4th adjustment August 25th. Now I have 9.2 cc of saline in my lapband. Right after the adjustment you go on clear liquids for 2 days, full liquids for 2 days, then soft diet for 2 days. This is the first adjustment when I didn't want to advance my diet faster than that schedule. Previous adjustments by day 2 or 3 I was really hungry and already eating a soft diet.

I feel really good. I am chewing my food better, eating less and finally starting to lose some weight. In the last few weeks I have lost 7 pounds. At least I'm heading in the right direction. I like having that feeling of restriction in my stomach. It makes me think before I eat and really evaluate if I am having "body hunger" or "mind hunger". The body hunger is when it is meal time and I NEED food. The mind hunger is when I WANT something but am not really hungry. You know that vending machine mentality you get just because your feeling stressed out at work.

Today I went to the foot doctor. I have to stop going to physical therapy because my left heel is injured and I have to stay off it awhile. Very strange that I really miss going to work out. Let's just say I've never been a real exercise nut. Guess I fit in the "couch potato" catagory. I plan on returning to physical therapy in a few weeks when my heel is better. After I get my muscle strength built up I may look at joining a fitness center. Maybe they will have a nice personal trainer that looks like King Kong with a whip in his hand and a voice like a military drill sergeant. Let's just say I am going to need some motivation. What can I say. I'm a work in progress.

Marsha Everett 9/3/10


Entry #12

It has been 4 weeks since my last lapband adjustment. That was adjustment # 4 and this one has been very different from the other adjustments. This time I can still feel the restriction. I don't know exactly how to describe the feeling but I can tell my body seems to be changing. I don't have food cravings and I'm loosing the feeling like I "need" chocolate or sweets. Wow! is this even ME talking... My entire life I have been "hungry" but now that is changing. Sometimes at meal time I don't even feel hungry.

I have the eating and drinking times down. When you eat, you eat and when you drink, you drink just not at the same time. The high protein low carbohydrate diet I'm still working on getting right. I eat lots of protein but still have some problem cutting down on the carbohydrates. The quantity I eat is way less than before the lapband.

No real problems except a few times when eating I felt "stuck". It is a creepy sensation where you feel like you just swallowed a golf ball. Sometimes you salivate and have to excuse yourself to the bathroom to spit up saliva. If you relax, take some deep breaths and stay calm it will pass. Both times I was at a restaurant and let myself get too hungry. So what I did was cram in my mouth a giant bite of food without adequate chewing. With a lapband you just can't eat like a pig at the trough. You have to take smaller bites and chew your food well.

My heel is still hurting so I have not resumed physical therapy. I am not getting in the exercise I need at this time. I have considered joining a gym and have been looking around at the different places here in town. I would enjoy doing water aerobics. However, from an emotional view point I just don't want to get my fat butt out in front of other people to sweat and look like Shamu the Whale in a bathing suit. Guess I'll get over it and join the gym anyway. Slowly I am coming around to the idea that it will take an exercise program if I want to get all this weight off and get my body healthy.

9/25/10 Marsha Everett

Entry #13

Happy 2011 New Year! Just like everyone else I am starting out the year with my "I'm going to lose weight" New Year Resolution. In the year 2010 I lost 50 pounds and my goal for 2011 is to lose another 50 pounds. YEAH!!!  I am glad I got the lapband. I have not lost as much as some people do in the first year, but hey it's still 50 pounds less than last year.
People (I don't even know) are stopping me in the hallways and saying they notice I have lost weight. I am down one size in my clothes. The energy level is definitly better. I used to use a riding buggy to go around Wal-Mart. Now I can walk without any problem.
This couch potato actually joined a fitness center. Okay I did join it in October but waited 10 weeks to go for the first time. But now that I started going I really enjoy the water aerobics class. I plan on attending 2 - 3 times a week. After about 6 weeks, when I am stronger, I will get my official fitness center evaluation and start on the machines.
I have about 11 cc in my lapband. Next week I was scheduled to go for an adjustment but I don't think I need one. Sometimes when I am eating I can still feel the restriction and don't want to eat. It is not all the time. I have noticed when I am under a lot of stress it feels more restricted. I rescheduled my next doctor appointment for the first week in February.
So Happy New Year and good luck to everyone that has made weight loss your goal for 2011.
Marsha Everett 1/6/11