Thursday, November 25, 2010

Jean's Band Story - the short version

I've been writing this blog since May 2009. I'm a quick (some might say impulsive) decision maker. I just jumped in blogging my band stories...full speed ahead. When I began it, I wrote a short bio for one of the "gadget" blocks on the left hand side of the blog, but I don't think I ever posted anything more detailed than that. So let me rectify that now.

Today I'm 57 years old. I'm 5'2-1/2" tall, weigh 135 pounds, wear misses size 10 clothing and a size 7 shoe. Aside from a chronic pain problem, I'm disgustingly healthy. I enjoy exercising 5 days a week, work a part-time job as a bra fit specialist at JC Penney, plan and eat healthy meals about 90% of the time, and will do almost anything for a laugh. Born in Massachusetts, I now live in Tennessee with 10 dogs, 5 cats, and a sadly neglected husband.
I've written four books and published two so far: a novel, No Ransom, and Bandwagon, a self-help book for adjustable gastric band patients. I'm working on several Bandwagon follow-up projects and also publish a free weekly e-newsletter, Bandwagon on the Road (to subscribe to it, click on the envelope image in the brown box at the left side of the blog page).
I'm also a collage artist with an online gallery at: There aren't enough hours in the day for me to accomplish everything I want to do. My chronic pain makes it impossible for me to sit for longer than 5-10 minutes, but so far, that's not a big problem because I'm so busy running around and catching up on all the things I missed out on when I was a morbidly obese couch potato.

Yes indeed, I used to be a fat girl. When I turned 50, I weighed 221 pounds, wore size 3X clothing and size 8 shoes. I had a BMI of 40.5, Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol & triglycerides, joint pain, stress incontinence, sleep apnea and a glamorous but extremely demanding job as a designer and buyer of decorative home accessories. My hobbies were eating, cooking, reading (with a dog or two on my big lap), eating, cooking...and did I mention eating? I was fat, depressed and miserable.

In September 2007, at age 54, I had Lap-Band surgery. Since then I've lost 90 pounds, regained 25 after a band slip and flipped port in 2009 (it was a bad year anyway - my mom died that November). My band slip was cured by a complete unfill and rest period, my flipped port was fixed by outpatient surgery in April 2010, and I've re-lost 22 of the pounds I had regained. In the course of all that, I've learned a lot about the adjustable gastric band, and a lot of stuff about myself that I'd really rather not know, but on the whole, I'm the better for it.

As my 60th birthday marches relentlessly towards me, I'm determined to make up for all that lost time - all the years I wasted on overeating and self-loathing. Perhaps those years weren't really wasted - I think I had to survive all of that in order to arrive at my current location. Sometimes you can go around the mountain, and sometimes you just have to climb up it. And the climb was worthwhile, because the view here is marvelous.

1 comment:

Gayle Johnston said...

Jean - Your book was recommended to me two days ago by a behaviorist at an increasingly well-known weight loss surgery center in Lansing, Michigan. He put your book in front of me and said of all of the books I have seen regarding lap band surgery, this one, in my opinion is the most helpful and I suggest getting a copy for yourself. I am attending with plans of the lap band surgery. I just ordered one and I thought you might like to know what an influence your book has obviously had on people to have such a high recommendation.