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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Easing our way out of September......

and into October.
(our beautiful campus at the height of it's color in October..)

Before I jump feet first into the glorious, colorful and eventful month of October, I wanted to spend the rest of the month's blogging opportunities to pause and answer a few basic Lap band/diet/food related/weight loss related questions that have come my way via email over the past few weeks.......
In the interest of time and just in case there are others who may want to know the same things, I decided to do them all in one full swoop and share with everyone!
Let me preface my responses by saying that this is how things are for ME on my own person journey.....your mileage may vary.

Let's start with....
The Basics....some general questions....
*How long did it take to lose 100 pounds?

It took almost 2 years to lose 100 pounds

*How old were you when you got your Lap Band?

I was 48....August 10, 2007

*Where you ever successful on any other diets?

Yes, in 1986, I lost over 80 pounds with Weight Watchers.
Yes, in 1987, I lost over 40 pounds with Weight Watchers.
Yes, in 1989, I lost over 50 pounds with Jenny Craig.
Yes, in 1991, I lost over 60 pounds with Weight Watchers.
Yes, in 1993, I lost over 50 pounds with Jenny Craig.
Yes, in 1994, I lost over 40 pounds with Weight Watchers.
Yes, in 1995, I lost over 60 pounds with Bariatric Weight Loss.
Yes, in 1996, I lost over 30 pounds with Weight Watchers.
Yes, in 1997, I lost over 40 pounds with Bariatric Weight Loss.
Yes, in 1998, I lost over 80 pounds with Bariatric Weight Loss.
Yes, in 2000, I lost over 50 pounds with Bariatric Weight Loss.
Yes, in 2001, I lost over 20 pounds with Jenny Craig....
Yes, you get the picture....

*Did you tell anyone about having Lap Band surgery?

Yes, I told anyone and everyone who would listen.
If I didn't tell them, my father did.

*How hard was the recovery?

It wasn't bad. Sure, the first few days were not fun. After all, it is surgery.
But, within a week, I was out test driving new vehicles, I went to a party and I even went shopping! You can go all the way back in my archives to see what I was saying back then!

*What was the hardest part of getting the Lap Band?

The months leading up to it--I was completely panicked about giving up my beloved Diet Coke and Gin and Tonics (no fizzy stuff) and depressed to the point of shedding lots of tears about never eating pasta or bread again. I was extremely worried about not ever being able to use a straw. I was abnormally transfixed on what I couldn't have and I had myself convinced I would fail because of those things. I wasn't worried about too much else---not even the pain of surgery! I wasn't even concerned about any risks or complications. It was all about the fizzy drinks, the straws, the pasta and the bread.

*Did your insurance cover the cost of the surgery? And, if so, did you have any trouble getting your insurance company to approve it?

My insurance covered all but $900 of the surgery (not sure why!). My insurance company approved it on the first try. In addition to jumping through every hoop that they required prior to getting the surgery, I have to admit that I went over board on giving them more information than probably any Lap Band patient in the world. They probably approved me in self-defense!! I put together a huge binder that cost me over $12 to mail!!! I treated getting approved as if it were a job--I left no stone unturned. I provided extremely detailed documentation about my weight loss history---I itemized costs and efforts and results and exact time frames. I'm not much of a data person but I can proudly say that with the help of technology and some smart friends--I did pie charts and graphs and spreadsheets! I solicited all of my medical records and I had several of my doctors write letters of reference and recommendations. I provided quite a bit of family history ---especially about the weight issues family members have faced and the outcomes of their obesity (illness, death, quality of life). I even told them what every person in my immediate family weighed! I wrote quick stories about how my obesity impacted my life, my marriage, my parenting, etc. I sent them pictures too!!! I even told them about how my own mother succumbed to some crazy diet--getting daily injections of pregnant women's urine and only eating 500 calories a day (a diet that is still out there!)---only to soon be diagnosed with intestinal cancer that took her life in less than 2 months--leaving behind 3 young girls. Yes, I pulled out all the stops.

I am not suggesting anyone go as over board as I did but what I am saying is that you have to put in the time and effort to get the result you want. Some insurance companies may just have policies that won't permit the surgery. Mine permitted it but they also made it clear they would not approve it for everyone! So, I made damn sure they would approve me!

Come back tomorrow and I'll bore you all with my answers to some food-related questions I received.....

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