If You Can’t Do it for The Rest of Your Life…

027So around 2-3 months ago I had a little meltdown in the kitchen when I opened the cupboard door and it fell off…again.  We have more wood putty holding our kitchen together than we have wood.  So this combined with my hissy fit prompted a much needed kitchen reno.  Now his last name is not the only thing Scottish about my husband.  He is notoriously, how do I put it delicately as there is a slim chance he may read this…fruuuuugal (I’m saying that with the Scottish brogue :)).  Henceforth we are in the midst of a DIY kitchen reno and I am trying my very very best to see past the clutter, the dirt, and the chaos to appreciate what the end result will be (‘patient’ ‘talented’ meticulous’ are all words I would use to describe Rob…’speedy’, not so much).

So what does this have to do with Lap-bands?? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I JUST NEEDED TO VENT!!!  Naw I’m kidding (sorta).  Its a bit of a preamble to how this blog started.  This morning I was standing in the disaster zone trying to figure out what masterpiece to create  for dinner (i.e. thaw and nuke) when my youngest son started asking me about all the various diets out there.  Cal is not quite 16 years old 6’4″, eats like a horse and complains daily because he can’t gain weight…how much do you think his sister hates him?  We started trying to list the diets we’ve heard of and came up with Jenny Craig, Herbal Magic, Raw, Wheat Belly, and of course the crème de la crème Dr. B.  Cal wanted to know if these diets ‘worked’.  Well the answer is a resounding ‘yes they do’!!  They work beautifully, especially Dr. B.


FACT: You will definitely lose weight on all those diets if followed correctly, and probably a lot more quickly than you will with the band.


A couple of small hitches though.  With Jenny Craig be prepared to pay for the cost of your program and for the cost of the food FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.  Herbal Magic is fantastic…you can join now for just 12 weeks and lose up to 25 lbs!  (Hopefully you have a spare $250/month weighing down your wallet as that is what the supplements will cost).  Raw diet is awesome if you enjoy, well, raw food (your food must be uncooked, unprocessed, mostly organic and raw…warmish is apparently ok, but have a thermometer ready because you’re kicked out of the commune if the temperature of your food goes above 118 degrees aaaand you have to wear socks with your Birkenstocks at all times).  Wheat Belly!  My hubby did that for about two weeks.  After that it became a bit annoying trying to find grass-produced meats for him and he really started to miss his bagel and peanut butter (no cereal grains or legumes allowed!).  And of course my personal favorite Dr. B.  Perfect for the masochist who enjoys being emotionally abused and a weekly needle in the arse (please note: “the opinions expressed in this blog represent my personal opinions only and in no way are representative of the employers for whom I work”…just making sure I kick any potential defamation lawsuits to the curb ;)).

I’m not professing to know a whole lot about any of those diets and I know I am being a bit flippant.  But a piece of ‘dieting’ advice I once heard that stuck with me was this:  IF YOU CAN’T DO IT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE DON’T EVEN DO IT FOR ONE DAY.

I think that this is one of the primary reasons that ‘dieting’ doesn’t work. The problem with going on a ‘diet’ is that for most people the changes that need to be made to ones lifestyle are tolerable for short periods of time, but long-term they are just plain unrealistic, not to mention often unhealthy.  Sometimes when I discuss with a frustrated patient changes that they may need to make in order to live successfully with a Lap-band they will throw at me “that’s the same as a being on a diet!!”

The thing with the band is it is not about ‘dieting’, it is about healthy living.

The key actions that a banded individual should incorporate into their lifestyle to live successfully with their band, be healthy and lose weight are:

  • choose a variety of healthy solid foods
  • eat smaller portions
  • take small bites
  • chew well
  • eat mindfully
  • stop before you feel full
  • incorporate physical activity into your daily routine

Now this varies dramatically from what a NON-BANDED individual needs to do to live a healthy lifestyle and lose weight. A NON-BANDED individual should:

  • choose a variety of healthy solid foods
  • eat smaller portions
  • take small bites
  • chew well
  • eat mindfully
  • stop before you feel full
  • incorporate physical activity into your daily routine


HOLD THE PHONES!!!  Is it just me or did that sound repetitive??  (My daughter has recently started referring to me as Alice from the book/movie ‘Still Alice’ whenever I repeat myself, which is apparently often…should never have stopped taking those little pills 21 years ago…). These are healthy living principles that EVERYONE should embrace as a part of their lifestyle not just banded individuals!  This isn’t a diet!! Nowhere do I see listed above ‘take a whack of expensive supplements daily’, ‘eat only food that is cooked below 118 degrees and/or still moving’, ‘warning:  if your urine tests negative for ketones you will be publicly humiliated’.

What I’m getting at is, having a band is NOT about dieting.  It is about eating small amounts of good food slowly (Dr. O’Brien’s 8 word mantra and another blog), moving daily, and perhaps embracing rather than resisting change.

Bottom Line:  Diets Don’t Work but the Lap-band Does.  Sometimes living successfully with the band requires a minor change in lifestyle, sometimes it requires a major overhaul.  Sometimes it takes just a shift in attitude to see what changes need to be made to see success.

Yours in Health, Happiness and to getting my sink back,


About BodyWell Fitness

I am a Registered Nurse, Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor, and Lapband Education Coach. I have worked since 2005 with the obese population and over 5000 lapband/gastric banded patients helping them to understand life with a gastric band, eat well, lose weight, get physically and mentally fit, become healthy and stay motivated. It is my goal to provide information, share knowledge and motivate people to help them reach their hopes and dreams.
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