A compulsive eater since the age of 14, Debora shares her experience with the gastric band weight loss surgery and how it helped her resolve yo-yo dieting and a serious sugar addiction.
I’ve been compulsively eating since I was 14. I’d go up and down, up and down and then as I got into my 40s it became to a point where I couldn’t move as far as I had a knee injury, and I was having trouble walking because of the extra weight that I had on my body. And my knee just hurt all the time.
What was your experience with food?
I felt horrible because I’m a hardcore sugar addict. I mean I was going to AA to treat, because that’s pretty much liquid sugar, and so I was going to AA to try and help the mental part of it. And even attending support groups myself for compulsive overeating, because I just couldn’t get rid of that sugar addiction or treat it in my mind. Cause I couldn’t get away from the sugar, because if you’re in the middle of an addiction and your still using then you’re still chasing that high you don’t have a clear head to be able to get away from it, to realize how much better you feel without it. So I came to visit Dr. Baptista and I said this is where I’m at with where I’m feeling and physically, and he explained to me about lap band and I just kind of knew that that’s where I wanted to go. I liked the fact that it’s something that’s not permanently done to my body as far as it can be, the fluid can be taken out of it and I don’t have restriction so I like that part of the lap band surgery. Since I’ve done a lot of the mental work behind it I kind of knew that this wasn’t going to be a quick fix that I would, I have the capability I just needed something to help me stop eating all the bad carbs and sugar. After surgery it’s fairly easy to stay away from the carbs and the sugar because you’ve been through a traumatic event, so it’s a great opportunity to kind of get yourself clean so to speak. The hardest part is usually before, right after the surgery and before your first adjustment because that’s the area where you’re not completely restricted so you don’t feel the restriction. It’s not necessarily the restriction it’s the satiety, so the band is geared to create satiety so that you’re not really hungry, and so you eat smaller portions and you don’t feel the hunger as much.
Dr. Baptista in his practice aftercare is like one of the biggest things for him is you’re his patient for life, because he knows it’s not about putting the band or surgery it’s about what’s going to happen after that. And that’s what I was really attracted to. And he saw all the work and I told him about going to overeaters anonymous and different groups for support, so he knew I comprehended the mental part of the healing that needs to go along with the physical part. It was just a unique process because it forced me to really be accountable. Being someone who have impulse control issues obviously with bingeing, this was a way that I could kind of say I’ve altered my body so I need to honor that. So I did what he said. After the first… I’ve been lap banded for about three years in November.
What is your experience with weight loss surgery?
I’m almost getting emotional because it’s really changed my life in that I just feel more secure about myself. I just don’t worry about the food anymore other than, and its freeing it is so freeing because I know what I can eat and what best suits my body. It’s just very freeing because I don’t think about bingeing. I just feel like my inner self is starting to come out so much more, and it was hidden down below the fat. To know that I was like suffering below my extra weight, and now that I’ve lost weight I just feel so much better and I can feel myself being more authentic with people. I always tell Dr. Baptista I’m so grateful for him and that he saved my life, and he says no you saved your life. Because it takes the whole mental and physical thing to get through it.
What do you tell people about weight loss surgery?
If other people were considering weight loss surgery, and I see this a lot, there’s some trepidation about what other people would think of them if they chose to do weight loss surgery, and I say be to known thy self be true. You know don’t listen to other people, and check out your physician. And if it’s something that feels right and you know that you can work with this I would say you know go for it, because I didn’t listen to anybody else and I still don’t listen to people monitor my food about how much I am eating or how much less I eat. I just make sure to take care of myself. I’m down about 75 pounds* now, so nice to be in an airplane seat and you don’t have to worry about hitting the next person.
For More Information on Weight Loss Surgery.
For more information on bariatric surgery, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Baptista, please contact Florida Surgical Physicians today.