Monday, August 31, 2009

My free health club membership

I finally found an advantage to having Type 2 Diabetes. The hospital that runs our local health club has a grant that will pay for health club membership for diabetics who get a referral from their doctor and use the club (and have their blood pressure and weight checked) at least once a week. This is such good news. I haven't earned any money (other than a pittance in royalties) for 9 months and I would really hate to give up that health club membership. This saves me $37/month! I had to play telephone tag to chase down the paperwork from my doctor, but the health club manager called me today to tell me she had received it and I can officially start the program tomorrow morning. Hurray!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Exercise & Mood

As my grandmother used to say, I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I had slept for 7 hours but for some reason didn't feel rested and I was just in a bad, pessimistic mood. I had made all kinds of plans for my Saturday but none of them appealed to me any more. I went to the health club as planned for an 8 am session with my personal trainer. About 10 minutes into the workout, I realized that I felt 100% better than I had when I first woke up. When I left the health club after the workout, I was happy and looking forward to the rest of my day.

For me, the main benefit of exercise is not what it does for my weight. The main benefit is what it does for my mood.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The payoff

Before (May 2009) After (August 2009)

When I started working with my personal trainer, and putting extra effort into strength training, I hoped to develop muscles and muscle definition, but I didn't expect to reduce my batwings - I figured that skin was stretched out for good. But when I compared before and after photos of my arm, it looks like the muscle definition has increased and the batwing area has decreased. I realize that my arm is bent at a different angle in these photos, but it looks a lot better to me now. I'm thrilled with this payoff for all my hard work!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Band Failure?

Every single thing I have read (or heard) that was written (or spoken) by a bariatric medical professional confirms that patient non-compliance is the most common cause of band failure. That failure can take many forms, anything from disappointing weight loss to serious medical complications. If you don't follow your surgeon's and nutritionist's instructions, don't return to your surgeon for follow-up visits and fills, ignore negative symptoms, don't change your lifestyle, and don't address the things that made you fat in the first place, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Despite careful patient screening, pre-op education, and post-op education, sometimes the band just doesn't work. This can be a function of unrealistic expectations, inability to make lifestyle changes, failure to participate in aftercare programs, and plain old bad luck. A solution is to revise to a different weight loss surgery procedure, but if you can't or won't do the hard work of following up with your surgeon and changing your behavior, you might be disappointed once again.