While I had thought about weight loss surgery before, I had never really given it serious attention. Then a sequence of events occurred in my life that forever changed me. The sudden deaths of both my uncle and aunt – both at the age of 58 – affected me deeply. Then eight months later, my mother became very ill and passed away. So in 10 months, I lost my mother, aunt and uncle, all prior to their 59th birthdays. I knew I didn’t want to waste my life any longer. I became fed up with the idea of sitting on the sidelines because I was too tired, too heavy, too sore or too asthmatic. I wanted to experience life and not have my family bury me at a young age.
Having surgery gave me hope and allowed me to focus on me. It gave me the tool I needed to help train my brain without my body getting in the way. I learned to choose the right foods and when to stop eating. In time, I could do things that I hadn’t done in years, such as walking up a flight of stairs without being winded, entertaining dinner guests without sweating profusely and rough-housing with my teenage son and giving him a run for his money! These are all things that people had to point out to me . . . I hadn’t done normal activities for so long, I think I forgot they were a part of life. Now, I use those things as fuel to do more! I continue to lose weight. As with anything else, I have to work at it on a daily basis, but I have all of those personal victories with me when I struggle to make a positive choice.
The doctors and staff played such an integral role in my success. From the very first seminar to every appointment, they were welcoming and supportive. I never felt pushed to have surgery, only informed so that I could make my own personal decisions. The nutritionists were so helpful and informative, as was the insurance staff. Once I made the decision to have surgery, I really just needed to follow the steps they laid out for me. Everything else was taken care of for me.
I cannot say enough nice things about the doctors! They have been so helpful, informative, supportive and motivating. I could call them any time I need them and they would be there – you don’t find that very often.
My life has changed so significantly since surgery, I don’t even know where to begin! Although I will always have asthma, I have never had it so well-maintained and experienced so few symptoms as I have since surgery. My self-esteem is definitely greater. The compliments are strange at first and a little tough to get used to, but now I own those compliments when they come my way!
I have much greater confidence to try things that I would have said “no” to before for fear of failing. I have begun to enjoy cycling for fun and for exercise. I always wanted to be that strong woman I saw in others and now she is ME! Prior to having weight loss surgery, I was truly a bystander. Since having surgery and learning my triggers, I know that I will not only reach my goal weight but I will also maintain a healthy lifestyle. I see a future filled with me being in the game, rather than keeping score for others!
*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.