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Peter C. Rantis, Jr.
When I first met Dr. Rantis, I was a little unsure, because he was very, very serious and I tend to joke around a lot. Now that I have been through surgery, I think he is one of the kindest people I have ever met. He was so nice to me during my surgery and held my hand and told me to think of nice things until they put me to sleep. I would definitely recommend him to anyone who is considering bariatric surgery. I had tried the bariatric program and the University of IL first, but they were very cold and impersonal. The group at New Self Bariatrics in Elk Grove are very kind, and easy to work with, and my stay at St. Alexius Hospital was excellent.
Latest Surgery Support Comments
HMMM..... My story.....
Well, I've been overweight as long as I can remember. As a child my parents would describe me as "chunky" and I was taught early that being fat was a reason for embarrassment and shame. I've been ashamed of being fat since I was 5 or 6 years old, but when I look at pics of me at that age, I really don't see a fat child. I guess I may have been a few pounds heavier than I should have been, but I really don't understand why I was referred to as "chunky" as a child. As I got older, I definitely started to gain the weight and by the time I was a teenager, I was probably 50 pounds overweight. Then the diet roller coaster began. Weight Watchers has always been the diet I have preferred to fail on. I would join, lose a few pounds, go to the meetings for awhile, then after a few months of total deprivation and hunger, I would go crazy, eat like a maniac and gain it all back and then some. I have always been heavily influenced by my parents and I always seek their approval. While dieting, they give me lots of praise, however, if I'm not actively dieting, I get silent disgust from them. My mother is also overweight and sometimes she would attempt to discuss my weight problem by commiserrating(sp?) with me and talking about how we would diet together. This never happened. I remember when I was 12 or 13, I overheard my parents talking about me. My father was telling my mother how embarrassed he was by how much weight I had gained and that "something has got to be done about her weight and should have been done years ago." Somewhere that day, my mom got ahold of a dietician's printout of a "1200 calorie diet." That night, she handed it to me and said, "This is the diet we are going on." I don't know if I was supposed to take that and read it and figure it out myself, or what, but that was the end of that. I guess I'm still mad that I was made to feel so disgusted about my weight, but no one ever actually made an attempt to show me what to do or to actually help me make healthy food choices. I was packing my own lunch every day by the time I was in 3rd or 4th grade. I took a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to school every day of grade school. After school, my father was often home but for the most part, I spent the afternoons and evenings watching TV and eating. I was pretty shy and didn't have a lot of friends, so food was my friend. I have an older brother who had lots of friends and he was generally embarrassed by his fat sister, so I didn't hang out with him either.
When I was 18, I had just started college, but was still living with my parents. I was a good 100 pounds overweight by then and had some general self esteem issues. I was completely uncomfortable around men, since I had the belief that my ugly, fat body was an embarrassment and un-attractive to men. I had some very close girlfriends and was making new friends in college. My weight was a taboo topic at home. It wasn't discussed openly, although occassionally one of my parents would make a point to tell me that I was too fat and should do something about it. One day, my father decided to sit me down and have a serious discussion with me. He told me he was very concerned about my weight problem and that I had to do something about it. He told me I was living my life vicariously through my friends since I couldn't have my own life because I was too fat. He told me I would never date or marry a man because no man would ever find a fat girl attractive enough to date or marry. That discussion still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. It set in motion years of self-destructive behavior. My father, who I loved so much and looked up to and wanted nothing more than to make proud of me, felt I was undeserving of the love of any man. So, off I went to Weight Watchers. I dieted. And dieted. And dieted. Then I'd have a bad day and eat too much, so I'd make myself throw up. Anything to loose some weight. Then I got sick and had to have my appendix out. Shortly after that I moved out of my parents home and into the college dorms. That was the end of dieting. I gained back all the weight I'd lost and then some by eating college cafeteria food. I did however make a group of fun friends and learned how to get past my shyness and be a little more assertive. I still had no ability to talk to men and went through college without a boyfriend. After college, I started hanging out with a new group of friends and began to do the bar scene. One night, late, I met a guy who was actually flirting with me. I almost didn't know what to do with myself, I was so excited to think a man would find me attractive enough to flirt with me. I must say, that although I felt like a huge, disgustingly fat embarrassment, when I look at pics of me then, I was pretty cute. I was about 100 pounds overweight, but I have always carried my weight well. "Big boned," I guess. I looked heavy, but not terrible and I always had pretty hair and a nice smile. Anyway, that first night of flirting opened up a floodgate. I suddenly discovered that as a female, I had a lot of power to attract men despite the weight problem. Thus began a period of about two years when I was regularly sleeping with a variety of men. None of them wanted to date me, but they were all willing to sleep with me anytime, anywhere. I wanted to have a boyfriend who loved me, but I honestly believed that I didn't deserve to be loved by a man because I was too fat. I felt proud that I was considered attractive enough to sleep with and I craved the attention I could get by flirting and basically being a slut. After about two years of this, one of the guys started to grow on me and I started to fall for him. We saw each other regularly a couple of times a week, although usually it was just for sex. Finally, I broke down one night and told him I loved him and needed more from him. He wanted nothing to do with that and basically told me he couldn't seriously date an overweight woman. He stopped seeing me after that. I was really devastated. I was 27 years old and had a list of lovers who didn't care about me. I was lonely and sure I would spend my entire life single, childless and alone. I went back to Weight Watchers and seriously dieted. I dropped about fifty pounds in three months. Then I met my husband. We got set up through some mutual friends at a bar one night. His first reaction to seeing me was to say "She's too pretty for me!" Imagine that!! I was too pretty for someone. Needless to say, we hit it off. For the first time in my life, I was in a relationship with a man who didn't care one tiny bit about my weight. He thought I was pretty. In the first part of our relationship we spent a great deal of time going out to eat, staying in to eat, eating here, eating there.... you get the picture. I started to put back on the weight I'd lost and then some. And guess what? He didn't care. He still thought I was pretty. He was PROUD of having me as his girlfriend. He was NEVER embarrassed by my fatness. He looked forward to introducing me to family and friends and boasted about me. His family thought I was great too. He never, not for one fraction of a second made me feel bad or uncomfortable about my weight. He never said a word about the weight I was gaining and I honestly don't think he ever even thought about it. He was in love with ME. My body was not a factor. This still amazes me to this day. So we got married. After a couple of years and some infertility issues, I got pregnant and had twins (my beautiful Abby and Danny who are 3 1/2 and I love, love, love them!!!) And I've been happy. After eight years with my husband, I can honestly say I don't feel disgusted by myself anymore. I have put on a lot of weight. I am now a good 200+ pounds overweight and I'm wearing a size 32 or 34 which is HUGE!! I've heard it said before that once you reach 300 pounds, the weight starts to add on very quickly and I can verify that this is true. I've gained 100 pounds since I had my children.
So here I am. I'm 35 years old. I've done everything I've wanted to. I went to college, got a Master's Degree, and my career is right where I want it to be. I got married, had children and I live in a nice house in the suburbs. I'm close to my parents (who have many more issues with my weight than I do!) and I live a happy, satisfied, love-filled life. I don't really care about my weight in regards to my appearance any more. I am, however, very concerned about the health aspects of my weight. I've developed type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. I can't play with my children the way I want to and I realize that if I continue to gain weight I am putting my children at risk of losing their mother. I do not want my weight problem to affect them and they deserve to have a healthy mom. So, I have chosen to undergo lap-band surgery. My surgery is scheduled for 11/27/2006 and I'm ready to begin a healthier phase of my life. I wouldn't change my life for anything. All of the experiences I've had have made me who I am and I have a pretty damn good life. I'm ready to take control of my weight so that my life will go on for a long, long time!