At almost 300lbs I decided to take control of my health and my life by having weight loss surgery. Not only did it change my life, but it definitely saved it.
Deciding whether or not to have weight loss surgery is not an easy thing. I mulled over the idea for well over a year, doing a lot of online research and even joining support groups on Facebook to see other people’s progress. My biggest struggle with making the decision was admitting that my weight gain had come to such an extreme. You see, I was never overweight. At my biggest I was a size 8, and I wish I could go back in time and kick my own size 8 butt for thinking I was fat at the time. I started gaining weight after high school, as most people do, but I never stopped. I remember the exact moment I crossed the 200-lb mark when I was 23 years old, and I remember thinking, “Okay, this isn’t so bad — I just won’t let it get worse.” But, it got worse.
At 31 years old I found myself slowly but surely creeping up on 300lbs. Over the past nine years I had tried every diet in the world, I had an on-again/off-again relationship with the gym, but nothing was working. My breaking point came just before Christmas in 2015 when I stepped on the digital scale at my dad’s house and saw that I was about to cross into the 300’s. I sat on the floor and cried for a number of reasons: shame, guilt, embarrassment, etc. I felt disgusting and I didn’t want to feel that way any more, so I made an appointment with my regular doctor to discuss the idea of weight loss surgery. She was immediately on board, and although the process was excruciatingly long, almost a year later I was checked into the hospital and ready to get the gastric sleeve. It was the best decision I ever made.
My surgery was on November 18, 2016 and as of today, August 17, 2017, I am down 77lbs. The first few weeks after my surgery were rough, as expected, while my stomach healed and I stuck to a mostly liquid diet until right before Christmas. Once I was back up on my feet and back at the office in January, I felt lighter — and not just in a physical sense. I could walk the three avenues to my office without needing to stop or slow down because everything hurt. I could take the steps without fearing my knees were going to snap underneath me from all of my weight. My lower back, which features one very not-so-awesome herniated disc, slowly stopped hurting all day, every day. I was losing weight, working out, eating right and could feel the changes as they were happening. I felt alive again. I no longer wanted to sit home and watch TV because I was too tired or embarrassed to go out. I even found the confidence to start dating again, which was something I never thought would happen!
But it wasn’t just the weight loss or the confidence that changed my life for the better. My health is improving by the day in ways I never thought possible. I’m no longer on the border of becoming a diabetic, nor am I even at a high risk for diabetes. I’ve started strength training at the gym and can now keep up with my nephew, who is about to be one years old. My body is stronger, but so is my mind, my focus, and most importantly, my inner strength. As a 30-something woman zeroing in on 300lbs, I experienced a preview of what my life could have been like if I didn’t snap out of it and take control back. I never, ever want to be that girl again.
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