In life, there are many adventures we would love to experience and goals we would like to achieve that we never think are possible. Just a few years ago, I would sit around and let my life pass me by, and now, here I was 10,000 feet in the air, about to jump out of a plane! Looking out at Philadelphia, New York City, and the Delaware Water Gap, I was nervous yet excited at the same time, and all I kept thinking was I was making the impossible…possible. All this was thanks to the surgery that I believe saved my life.
Being overweight most of my adult life, I always dreaded traveling. I felt like I took up too much space in an airplane seat and dreaded having to ask for a seat-belt extender. It was too embarrassing to bear so I lost out on attending a variety of events like birthdays and other special occasions. I was scared of how people saw me and I felt terrible about myself. I had zero confidence, and after struggling to lose weight all my life, I was basically giving up on the future. Things got even worse when my husband passed away, when the feeling of hopelessness overwhelmed me. I was not motivated to do anything and life was passing me by. My kids had lost their father and I realized that my depression and anxiety was causing them to lose their mother too. I couldn’t do that to them. I had heard about bariatric surgery through a friend who had the procedure done. I felt positive this was a step in the right direction – the first thing I had felt hopeful about in a long time.
In 2016, I had the gastric sleeve procedure. I took everything the doctors and staff told me to heart. I was not going to let this opportunity pass me by. I worked hard at changing the way I ate and my relationship with food. The monthly support group meetings were a tremendous help. Having a knowledgeable and helpful dietitian there to answer questions and give you new ideas is invaluable. I always learn something new.
At my one-month follow-up I had lost 11 pounds! At my 2-month follow-up visit, another 13! By the time I had my six-month visit, I had lost enough weight that I told the doctor my weight loss goal was to wear clothing in “non-plus sizes.” I finally felt it was a goal I could achieve. And you know what my other goal was? It was coming true as I looked out of a small plane over New Jersey about to jump.
I purchased the skydiving experience for my son two years ago. He is my daredevil, but he knew it was a dream of mine as well. Do you know what my sweet, thoughtful boy did? He waited for me to lose enough weight so we could do it together! He thought who better to experience it with than me! I am so thankful that he waited for me so I was able to achieve something I have wanted to do for 35 years! In a world that used to be hazy and uncertain, I now see beyond the clouds to a future that I know is very bright! I am happy now and look forward to every new day as another adventure as I continue to check things off my bucket list. The sky’s the limit!