Do You Get Full?

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, July 27, 2010 Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I think I have restriction. No exclamation point after that statement because I realize! I tend to abuse! this particular! punctuation mark!

Also, I refrain from being excited about said restriction because I'm still in the 'getting used to it' phase.

On Friday I met with my doctor's P.A., Lisa, and I explained my frustration with my fill level and my concerns about whether the band is ever going to work with me. She was empathetic for the most part but also said a few things that gave me a little heartburn.

After explaining to her that I was following the banded 'rules' about 90% of the time, working out A LOT and truly felt that my lack of weight loss (only 4 pounds over the last month) was not user error, she reluctantly gave me another 1 cc, bringing me to 7.25cc in a 10cc band.

One of the things I explained to Lisa during my visit was that since being banded, I've never really felt 'full'. Satisfied, yes. Knowing I should stop eating and I should be full? Yes. But never I-ate-so-much-I can't-fit-in-another-bite FULL. Even after my Greek food binge. Even after eating 2 cups of tortellini, bread and salad. Even after eating an ENTIRE HORSE. Since being banded, I've never been totally FULL.

Now, there are a few schools of thought – all of which I'm contemplating – on WHY I've not felt really 'full' since being banded: 1) I'm using willpower like any other past diet and thus, haven't let myself get to that overly-full point 2) It is rare to feel 'Thanksgiving” full and most people (including me) naturally stop eating way before that point 3) My brain simply doesn't register when its really full.

#3 is the one Lisa brought up and gave me the aforementioned heartburn and the one I've been running through my head over and over and over again and getting a little more freaked out every time I do.

Yet, when my head is on straight and I'm in a good place mentally, I tend to think that the reason I haven't been feeling totally 'full' is a combination of #1 and #2.

With regard to #1, I AM using willpower. I've not had any restriction until Friday so it is safe to say that most of my weight loss thus far has been at the hands of willpower.

With regard to #2, I don't LIKE being that 'full' and pre-band, rarely let myself get to that point. Where my brain starts hurting is when I start thinking that since I DO have a band, shouldn't a surprisingly small amount of food MAKE me feel that disgusting level of fullness? Shouldn't 6 oz of steak, a pita bread, hummus and ½ cup of salad make a banded person 'Thanksgiving-level' full? Should I not be 'full' after most meals?

So back to Lisa's panic-inducing comment about my brain simply not registering when its 'full'. Is that possible? Have any of you ever been told this or been told this is possible?

90% of me does not think this is my problem. I have felt full in the past and I have turned down dessert after a big meal because I was too full. But 10% of me wonders if it is possible that my brain simply doesn't register the full feeling that often and perhaps I am overweight because of this. Its kind of scary.

The good news? For the FIRST TIME EVER I felt some level of restriction as I was doing the barium swallow post-fill.

For new or soon-to-be banded, some doctors (like mine) prefer, after a fill, to do a videofluoroscopy of your band/pouch while you do a barium swallow. This allows them to see a thick liquid moving through your pouch and, in their minds, have an idea of whether you are “properly restricted.” Personally, I find this frustrating because they want to believe what the video tells them, not what the patient tells them (i.e. I looked like I had 'perfect' restriction but felt nothing). Its also adds quite a bit of cost to your fill. In my case, its about $600/visit and I end up paying about $85/visit after insurance.

I AM eating less and feeling stuck more often. Not 'stuckety-stuck' (to quote many of you) but I definitely have to eat slowly, chew better and stay away from dry meats and doughy breads. Bascially, I'm thinking I am where I'm supposed to be!

Now its just getting my head to a space where I don't go for slider foods and battling the head hunger when goldfish crackers and yogurt raisins are looking at me.

If you are banded, did you find that once you got to a good restriction level you had a learning curve of finding comfortable, filling foods vs. slider foods?

Anyway, that's where I am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15 Response to "Do You Get Full?"

Theresa Says:

Well, I do get full, I mean full. If I eat one bite too many, I get uncomfortably full, hard to breathe full. However, I'm not staying full for long, I get full and sometimes in an hour I'm starving. I don't know, the band is weird.

Jen Says:

So much to think about! Very interesting and thoughtful post Sherry. I can say that 99% of the time, I do not get that 'full' feeling since being banded. The only time I get that feeling is when I eat something like thick soups (chili) which slide through my band and I can keep eating and eating. Otherwise, when I'm eating foods that are restricted by the band - I know my pouch is full because a) I've eaten 1/2 c. of food or b) I can just tell that my pouch is full which to me, means not being able to take another bite or I'll pb it up. (Something I try to avoid at all costs!)
For me it makes sense that my 'old stomach' is not going to be FULL off of 1/2 a c. of food, but my pouch is. The nice part is, I'm satisfied with 1/2 a cup, I'm not Thanksgiving full, but I'm not hungry and I'm not searching for food until the next meal.
I know the full you are talking about because I used to ALWAYS stuff myself pre-band. If I liked something, I would just eat and eat and eat. It took a lot of food to make me full. I ate like a starving lumberjack. My whole family does. We had huge appetites.

Jen Says:

I can remember being "Thanksgiving full" twice in the last 14 months. I remember saying to my husband 'BOTH of my stomachs are full.' lol

Amy Says:

I am too lazy to go find my posts, but I've written some of the same stuff! I really have not felt full since being banded. It's frustrating for sure. My pouch feels physically full, but there's no sense of satisfaction from it. I will tell you, 8 months out, I am adjusting to those new feelings, and it's getting less and less frustrating. I still crave that satisfied-full feeling every now and again, but it's becoming less and less.

All this to say, hang in there. You will come to terms with how your band works, and it'll work the way it's supposed to for you! I promise. XOXOXO

-Grace- Says:

I hope this restriction sticks around!! I abuse exclamation points as well! They are my fave! ;)

Janelle Says:

Yes, it took me some time to realize what foods I need to eat to be full. I was eating healthy foods but was still hungry and I realized that if I ate a good solid piece of chicken, I would get full sooner. So, over the past month or so, that is what I do, find foods that fill me up and eat only those.

As far as the full feeling, I DO get full now, but it is nothing like the "full" before having the band. I get a feeling that I haven't seen other describe (I could have just missed it). What I feel is that there is a backup of food and if I eat anymore, it will be sitting in my throat, because the pouch is full. Sometimes I take an extra bite and can feel it in my throat, until it goes down.

This feeling used to feel like "stuffed" but not necessarily "full" but now it does make me feel more of a "full" feeling. I think I have gotten used to it and now recognize it as "boy, I am full".

To me, it was a whole new experience and took me a while to figure out, I think you may be the same way. And if you can eat a lot of food like you were, I think you DID need a fill. You are only at 7.25cc, I think is what you said. I am at 9.3! Believe me, there is a ton more room for more fills if you need them, don't worry about getting too much, some of us just need more! I want us all to get to the place where our band is helping out just as much as our willpower! I will choose the healthy foods, the band can help me eat 1/3 of the portion I used to!

Good luck!

Amanda Kiska Says:

I love exclamation points too!

I have two thoughts about being "full". I think years of dieting teach us to ignore our body's natural signals of hunger and satiety. We eat what, when, and how much the diet says, regardless of how we feel. Eventually we don't listen to our body anymore. Satiety and hunger are forces to be dealt with by an external force - the diet - not our eternal senses. So you may truly be struggling to recognize this signal.

For me, since I've had proper restriction, there is absolutely zero question when I've had enough. If you are not there yet after this fill, I would say you are still not at proper restriction. It is frustrating to go through the hoops to get there, but so worth it!

LDswims Says:

Before the band, I could achieve "full" and it took a lot of food to do it. I used to confuse "full" with "satisfied". Now I feel satisfied much sooner.

I've noticed that putting the fork down between bites, especially as the meal wears on, helps my stomach to get the signal to my brain. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send the signal to the brain after you've had enough. You can, not should, can eat that entire time without knowing it. I guess the stoma and it's inability to hold all the food I could, not should, could eat is what's helping the whole thing.

I also notice that some foods are better than others - chicken goes through better than beef or pork, fish is another good option, and when I decide it's a beef night...well...satisfied doesn't happen before stuck. But with my stuck...the food eventually goes down, it's just super slow. And it's frustration that makes me stop eating, in the case of beef, not "full".

It's all weird stuff.

I think I'm a tad too tight right now...but there has definitely been a learning curve involved since my last fill - middle of June. I'm slowly but surely understanding my situation more and more...

Gilly Says:

At my clinic, they told me from the get-go that most patients do not get a "full" feeling. And they were right...I don't. Not ever. I can tell when I've eaten too much because I get a little stabby pain in my shoulder/heart area, but since surgery I have never ever felt the old sensation of feeling FULL like I used to get.

That said, I do know what my new feeling of full is. Do I eat past it sometimes? Yep. Every time I do, I panic about stretching my pouch, but I feel like I follow the rules so much I try not to worry TOO much. But my body has never rebelled...never sent any food back up and out because I'm a pig. So...sometimes it's an effort to hold back when something is SUPER awesome and my head wants to eat a bucketload of it.

I hope this is the level of restriction that works for you and that you've been looking for!!!!!!!! (see what i did there?)

Gen Says:

Totally still at that learning curve...I gravitate toward the sliderish stuff (soup, oatmeal, some chips/crackers, nuts) because I get tired of "fighting" my food. But low and behold, when I do what I am supposed to do - eat a small amount of protein - it works. Like I ate maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup of tuna salad for lunch and I was full! Different kind of full though - more the "I better not eat more or I will get stuck or be uncomfortable" kind of full. It is a different feeling.

This really could be it for you - 7.25 is a great level (I am at 7.6 but once I got in the 7 range the sweet spot was right around the corner). Hope this is it!!!!

Sumer Says:

Great post! I don't want anyone to take offense to this, my intentions are the best....
I wonder if that "full" feeling is what got us to the point of needing/wanting a band in the first place. it feels good to feel full and satisfied. I wonder if you craving that "full" feeling is your head messing with you and your inner fat girl more eat more. I have only been banded a week so I can't say much about restriction, except that during the last week when I am "full" it's a much different "full" than I had pre-banded. Hopefully this recent fill well help you recognize your new full feeling and it won't have to be such a willpower thing on your part. Good luck with this fill!

Cindylew Says:

So happy to hear of your new found restriction...I'm still not there and have another fill (#4) in 2 weeks.
What I can tell you is that the "full" feeling for me is quite delayed with the band on the rare occasions when I over indulge. It won't hit for about 30 minutes afterwards and then I get kind of cranky and uncomfortable and just want to lay down. But when I eat a small amount ( 1 C.) of food, I may be somewhat satisfied but definitely not full.

Band Geek Says:
This comment has been removed by the author.
Band Geek Says:

I rarely get full, and when I do it is fleeting. I was just whining about this. However, I think I am where you were before your most recent fill. I want that full feeling, just so i know I will have that sure-fire check and balance. I fear that using my will power to say "stop" will not last forever, and that I will somehow fail. However, from what I have read, this is not the case, so we will be JUST FINE!

lori Says:

i dont get full the way i used to pre band. my belief is that it is because the food stays in the pouch. so i get pouch full, whereas before i got my entire belly full. on the rare occasions i started to feel my belly get full was when i needed a fill.

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