Thinking back to my childhood, I remember the day that I realized I was bigger than all the girls around me. A friend of my parents had been calling me Miss Piggy and I started crying when it hit me what it meant. I was always one of the girls that others called chunky or big-boned or whatever else in attempt to describe what I looked like. But as you get older, you start comparing yourself to others around you. You develop all these ideas about what you should look like and you think you don’t measure up. I just wanted to be like all the other girls. But I didn’t know how to achieve that. As a child, when you were served a plate of food, you didn’t get up from the table before finishing it — even if you didn’t want it or like it. I remembered my parents limiting snacks and other food in attempt to get me to stop eating poorly, but we never went to a nutritionist or anyone else to help with my weight.
I don’t think there was a single event that made me decide that I wanted surgery. It was more like a series of events that pushed me into the right direction. I wasn’t able to keep up with my teenager and toddler. Being slow and out of breath all the time took the fun out of pretty much all activities.
Now after losing 83 lbs. with the help of the surgery and the doctors and dietitians at New Jersey Bariatric Center, I have a new outlook on life! I loved working with my RD. She really understood the challenges of being a mom and working full time. She’d remember specifics about my life and would coach me on things like what I should be eating while on vacation. I could go on for days about the changes this surgery has brought to my life! I have never felt the way that I do now. I finally have pep in my step! I work two jobs and still have energy to come home and get some little errands done. I’m able to keep up with my kids and my hubby. The feeling of being able to shop in “regular-sized store” and try on a dress that I love is amazing! I look at myself in the mirror and say “Wow, I did it! I finally did it!” I never thought I lacked confidence in the past, but I didn’t realize how passive I had been because of my weight. I look at things differently when approaching a challenge. I am positive. I think of options. I am not sweating the small stuff. I am speaking to my teenager more about his health and teaching him to make good food choices. My life at work has changed too. My newfound confidence makes me feel like I can do anything! I feel stronger and invincible. But most of all, I love that I can share my journey with others and pass on all that I’ve learned.
*According to national studies, bariatric surgery results in an average weight loss of 55-80 percent of excess body weight. Excess weight is the amount of weight one needs to lose in order to have a “healthy” BMI of 25.