Yesterday I went to see my weight loss surgeon for my annual flouroscopy.

If you aren’t familiar with the LapBand procedures a flouroscopy is like an x-ray but instead of just being a still picture it runs continuously allowing you to see objects movement through the stomach. It’s really important to make sure that everything inside is doing what it’s supposed to be doing and that everything is working properly.

My surgeon, and I agree 100% with this, insists on doing a flouroscopy any time saline is added to the band. Some doctors do it blind, but seeing the barium come down from the esophagus and move through the upper stomach, past the band, and into the lower stomach tells you so much about what’s going on in there it seems invaluable to me.

In the first few years of having the band I was getting it adjusted every three or four months, but once you reach your goal weight you really only need one yearly vizualization to stay on top of things.

My band has been really full these last couple of years and last year at my annual flouro my doctor suggested taking a little bit out. Of course, last year I was struggling so much that I panicked at the idea of taking any out. This year, however, I’m at my goal weight and feeling confident about my ability to stick to my food plan so we wound up taking some out.

See, with the first barium swallow everything looked fine, except really tight and it was taking the barium a really long time to get through the band. After a couple of more swallows of barium it was backing up a little bit into my esophagus even though I couldn’t feel it happening. My doctor and I agreed that since I’m at my goal weight it wasn’t worth possibly hurting my esophagus to keep the band at maximum capacity. So we drained it all, and started over testing out what level of fullness wouldn’t cause a back-up. We finally landed at about 3/4 of the level I went in with.

Last year I would have left in a panic. But this year I left feeling positive about the choice. I’m choosing health and protecting myself over fear of failure. This is an important change for me. Last year I would have been convinced of my own failure to stick with a plan and would have looked to fall back on my band as the thing to save me from myself. This year, I see the band as one of many tools that I use to help me stay healthy. If there is a little less fluid in the band, oh well, the band is still there and I still have just as much of a chance of succeeding in my goals going forward.

This is the confidence that this food plan has given me.

This is the confidence that helps me succeed.

This is the confidence that lets me be the best I can be.

This is another reason I am grateful today.