I was always heavy as a kid, but it was with my first pregnancy at 18 that I really packed on weight – 75-80 lbs in total. I went on a crash diet and lost a good portion of that weight and then a couple of years later with my second pregnancy the weight blossomed again. That time I used the Shaklee protein/vitamin regimen and lost 85 lbs. When I was 35 and diagnosed with pre-cancer cervical issues, it was decided for me to have a hysterectomy. With this, I literally gave up, thought it was all over and gained more weight due to my medical issues. It was a very snide comment from a co-worker that shook me out of my way of thinking, so I went to the Diet Center. This time I lost close to 100 lbs and looked and felt fabulous! That lasted pretty much until things soured in my marriage and a separation and divorce took place. Again, emotional eating returned me to my pre-diet weight. During this time I tried diet pills, LA Weight Loss Center, Weight Watchers, homeopathic treatments, you name it – I tried it. The last big diet was Dr.Bernstein and that worked great! Lost just under 100 lbs but I didn’t follow through with the maintenance program and in the 8 years since, I spent several thousand dollars, and also had to have my gallbladder removed. In the end, I not only regained the100 pounds, but an additional 20-30 lbs, bringing me to my heaviest weight ever of 254 lbs. I was devastated!
We went on a trip with friends to Whistler for a long weekend in Sept. to do some zip-lining. At that point I was only a few pounds below the limit and barely made the cut-off to go. During the zip-line experience, I had a great deal of difficulty climbing to the stations and generally keeping up with the rest of the group. Through the entire weekend, my husband and I were constantly bringing up the rear as I just couldn’t keep up. It got to the point where I would suggest we leave 10 minutes before everyone so we could all arrive at the same time. At the end of the weekend, a group picture really drove home how much weight I had gained and I was very upset to have let myself go so far.
By chance, I ran into a fellow that does work on our car, and was shocked at how much weight he had lost. We started talking about his bariatric surgery – at the time we spoke, he had gone from about 600 lbs to about 450 lbs since his gastric sleeve procedure about 8 months previous. He spoke so highly of his experience that I went home and starting seriously looking into the programs and options.
I looked at both the full bariatric gastric bypass and the sleeve. I think I would have preferred the gastric sleeve, but it isn’t available in Vancouver through Smart Shape and I didn’t want to travel to Toronto to have it done due to costs. Bottom line was the LAP-BAND® was least invasive, had the least number of complications, cost less and can be reversed if required.
I felt comfortable that SmartShape was Canadian-based as I was not interested in taking part in a “medical vacation” and heading to Mexico or somewhere else. I had been to this clinic for other issues and was pleased with the office structure, appearance and service level.
Everyone at SmartShape has been very helpful. I spent quite a bit of time on the phone with the Surgeon from Toronto and he was very agreeable to speaking with both me and my husband and answering our questions. We also spoke with the Vancouver Surgeon, who actually did the surgery. He was the same Doctor that operated on our niece for her lung cancer the previous year and both my sister-in-law and niece were very happy to have him as their Doctor. That alone was an indication to me that the SmartShape staff were truly well-qualified and well-trained and that this was a reputable clinic.
I went back to work full time in January and have used the Aftercare Program for my band adjustments.
I have always been a good dieter – always able to lose weight. The difference with the lap band is a major change in lifestyle, eating habits and patterns. For the first time, I feel that this success will only continue as I am incorporating these changes into my daily life, as a way of life – not just to satisfy a diet.
To see if the LAP-BAND® is right for you, call and speak with one of our Program Advisors now, at 1-888-278-7952, or connect online at http://bit.ly/SmartShapeGastricBand