Anyway, since I haven't had time to post, I've decided to occasionally start sharing some of the recent email questions I've had...the ones I think may help others (don't worry, no personal info. from you will be revealed). So here's my little 'Dear BG' (or now that I'm Lap Band Groupie, I guess there's a small 'l' there...I know, I'll always be BG to you!) advice column (OK, who am I, the self-proclaimed non-perfect Bander to give advice...maybe it's more like an 'opinion' column LOL).
Oh, and I switched to a new email/GMail account (in sidebar, or HERE)
Love your blog! I know you have pretty much found your sweet spot and have managed your FAB weight loss for some time now. I received a fill about two weeks ago and am having a difficult time determining if I’m too full or still adjusting to my new fill.
I can now only consume approximately ½ to 1 cup of food and it takes me about 45 minutes to eat. I also find that I have to sip my water now – before I was able to sometimes chug it. I find that if I’m not paying attention I can get stuck pretty quickly.
You thoughts and time are greatly appreciated. Thank you!---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi, and thanks!
As long as you're not PBing/vomiting, or have any other red flags of being too tight (bad uncontrolled reflux, eating only sliders, etc.) I would give it another two weeks and assess things then. It can take up to four weeks or so for a fill to 'settle' in for some, meaning some don't get the full effect of their fill until then (some get tighter, some loosen up, mine was pretty much the same as the fill day). Between now and then, really focus on meeting nutrition needs and eating without getting stuck (after each fill I've had to 'relearn' how to eat...chew, chew, chew...and you're already taking it slow, which is good, like you said 'adjusting to your fill'...don't worry, I've gotten faster at it over time). Every time you get stuck you're inflaming your Band area/new stoma and this will increase your restriction...you need to end the stuck episodes so that you can get a true assessment of your restriction (it takes up to a few days for the swelling to go down). At the four week point the questions to ask yourself is simple; am I able to get in all my nutrition needs (count your protein and water, and calories if you need to) and follow the eating rules without getting stuck or PBing, and am I hungry between meals? And let me point out that means the ability to eat solid proteins, not sliders.
I'm tightest in the mornings and I can only sip my coffee in the morning for a few hours (gurgling following a fill is my signal that restriction is there). Breakfast is a very thick slider (oatmeal w/protein powder), which I have to eat slowly (I think a slider for breakfast, even a protein shake is fine as long as you're not starving by lunch). By lunch I'm able to get in the 1/2-1C meal with solid protein, but some days I really have to take it slowly and pay attention to my chewing. By dinner, like most Banders, I'm looser and can get in about 1C (of solids) pretty easily, but I have days I can still get stuck if I'm not paying attention or going too fast. Most days I couldn't chug water, even by dinner (although I can drink pretty normally by then). All that sounds like a huge pain, but it's now just about second nature to me...my new 'normal' (and when I say 'pay attention', I'll tell you that I really don't have to think about it much anymore).
The Sweet Spot/Green Zone can be a tightrope and the advice I'd give is to really take this restriction you have and treat it like a fragile gift...appreciate it (work on that 'head hunger' so you can tell and appreciate if the real hunger is gone), and really try to work things the way you're supposed to so that you don't get stuck (take your time, relearn to eat). Not paying enough attention got me stuck, and not taking the right actions after a PB got me a major unfill and a long wait for a refill (and weight gain). Also, how tight you want to keep your Band is totally a matter of choice...something they don't tell us...there's some 'wiggle room' in that Green Zone, and sometimes the tiniest fill or unfill can make all the difference (.1cc even).
Keep asking questions and let me know how you're doing (and most importantly, how the Weight Loss is going LOL)!