When I first began to consider lap band surgery, the very first thing I did was attend a seminar at a local hospital. For me, picking a surgeon was the easy part. I already knew Dr. Wellborn by his stellar reputation. He is a pioneer in the weight loss surgery field, and one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. What I didn't know at the time though, was that his office staff is equally awesome and how much I would come to rely on their expertise.
The next thing I did was to scour the internet for lap band blogs. I found Karin, Catherine, and Amy and devoured every one of their blogs like a novel. Yes...I am that person that read EVERY, single post. I wanted to learn everything I could from these ladies and figure out what had made each of them SO successful.
One of the themes that seemed to resurface again and again, was the importance of good aftercare. It's IMPORTANT. Surgery is just the first part. I now know that the care you receive days, weeks, months, even years afterward is going to play a huge part in your ultimate success, or unfortunately, failure.
And that is where these two ladies come into the picture. Look at them...aren't they just as cute as they can be?
midnight because I was so nauseous I was throwing up. I had never been more thankful for her than I was in that moment. Shannon has a lap band herself and has been ultra-successful. Obviously. Oh...and did I mention she also has 3 small children? Seriously, people. Superwoman is in the building.
The cutie on the right is the fabulous Gae. My weight loss soul sister. Gae is one of those unique people that has the uncanny ability to make you know that everything is going to be alright. Just her voice alone. Seriously...she could be the Time and Temperature lady. It's just so calming! I call her my weight loss soul sister because her starting weight and my starting weight were verrrrry similar. And look at her now. She is where I want to end up someday. I mean...talk about real life inspiration. Gae is a Bariatric Nurse and also the Nutrition Coach for the clinic. I love her approach because she is a realist. Let me explain. I've been to nutritionists before that never seemed to realize that we don't exist in a world of rice cakes and fresh fruit. Gae is not like that. She KNOWS that Mexican food will be had, parties will be attended, and, dammit, sometimes cake needs to be eaten. She just tells us the way to do that wisely, carefully, so that we don't feel like we are missing out.
Both Shannon and Gae run the monthly support group at Dr. W's office. It's always a fun time and I always learn something new.
The saying "it takes a village" is most definitely true when it comes to a long-term commitment like weight loss surgery. I think back over the past year and cannot BELIEVE how many people have helped me get to this point. I'm so happy that Shannon and Gae live in my village. I wish every WLS patient could have this kind of support.
Have a terrific week and thanks for reading!