- HEALTH TRACKER
Before & After
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Dr. Helbling, the bariatric staff and St. Alexius hospital crew were and are absolutely amazing. They made the process as seamless and effortless as they could for approval. Surgery was a breeze and Dr. Helbling is a skilled surgeon. He has a great bed side manner and has always been willing to answer any questions that I have and has not once made me feel stupid about any concerns. I would recommend him to anyone.
While sorting through photos my mother had, I came across a chubby little girl with brown hair, her face covered in chocolate frosting as she was attempting to frost cupcakes. My mother took the photo from my hand and smiled telling me that was my 4th birthday. Not that I didn't know it was me but this was the first picture where I saw that I was beginning to have a weight issue and every picture after showed me growing larger and larger. Now I come from a family with 4 children, I have two older brothers and one younger and yes I am the only girl. As a child I was extremely active and never stopped moving, even in the dead winter of North Dakota I was bundled up outside digging in the snow and chasing friends. I didn't eat any differently than my brothers did and yet none of them had a single issue with weight. So, for my mother it was hard to understand what was going on, she took me to doctor after doctor trying to get explanations for why I just kept putting the pounds on. No one could help us, they put me on strict diets starting at the age of 7 where I only at 1000 calories and extremely low fat. I remember watching my mother measure out single servings of pasta and sauce for me as my brothers filled their plates with food they could never put away. They ate bowls loaded with ice cream while I had horrible 1/4 cups of frozen yogurt (you all have to admit frozen yogurt has come a looooong way from when it first hit the markets,) large pieces of birthday cakes while mine was a sliver. I spent many nights crying myself to sleep hungry and depressed.
At the age of 9 something in my hips decided it was time to screw me over and I ended up with a double slipped capital femoral epiphysis (which is a separation of the ball of the hip joint from the thigh bone (femur) at the upper growing end (growth plate) of the bone) And it happened in both of my hips in a 24 hour period. After years of surgeries, being bed ridden and stuck in a wheelchair the weight didn't stop. By 11 I was over 200 pounds and miserable and was eating my feelings as my parents fought and argued because the stress was taking its toll on them. Then at the age of 12 my father passed away from a heart attack, he was only 35. This only further pushed me into depression and eating which continued for many years. Then at 15 I had a total hip replacement in my left hip and my right hip was functioning correctly and I began to walk again, I developed a social life rather quickly but I was already sitting at 290 pounds and wanting to be thin so badly I turned to a not so healthy way of losing weight by abusing a prescription that I took for ADD and other non legal substances. For almost 3 years I kept this lifestyle up, only eating when I absolutely had to and only eating enough to get by. I got myself down to a size 12 from a 28 and was basing my happiness on the size of my jeans and the guys that found me attractive. Then at 18 I began dating my now husband, high school sweethearts if you prefer. I kept up my lifestyle until we moved in together right after graduating high school in June and he took away everything I was doing and began controlling what, how much and when I ate. He did this out of concern because in the 6 months we had been dating he had seen me eat twice and we were inseparable so he was well aware that I hadn't eaten much more than that. But being teenagers with low paying jobs and little sense, food options weren't the best and with him dishing up my plates and not allowing me to leave the table until the food was gone, the weight came back on quickly. So quickly that by August I was back in a size 24 jean and struggled into my size 22 wedding dress that same month.
I must also say, my husband when we first started dating weighed a whole 140 pounds tops at 6'2". He has never really had to struggle with his weight until these last few years when he got to 230, but with the changes made he was quickly back to 180. But I didn't weigh myself again for a very long time, I had become used to eating the portions that he dished up for me and began dishing them for myself. Once we moved to Florida shortly after turning 19 the food choices didn't get any better actually probably only got worse. Then late 2003 I stepped onto a scale for the first time in years and watched as the numbers reached 323. I wanted to cry but it didn't seem to change anything, I began working out but my food choices weren't changing. I had gotten into a pattern of eating what I wanted when I wanted and liked it that way. Then in 2005 I I stepped back on the scale only to find it sitting at 380 and this is when I began to do the Fat Loss 4 Idiots, eating 4 times a day and eating whatever was on the menu that was produced by choosing the foods I liked. This worked for awhile, but not being a big sea food fan and countless meals of cottage cheese derailed that after a 30 pound loss. Then I started curves in 2006 with my MIL and started cutting back on what I ate and was slowly losing inches and pounds but stalled rather quickly. After visiting my doctor to figure out what was going on he told my I was hypothyroid.
Now I in no way blame that for my weight gain, I honestly don't know what did it when I was younger, I wish I did but I don't. However I know exactly what caused the weight gain after I moved in with my husband, I am not stupid. But I did have that AHA moment where I thought that taking thyroid medication and continuing with what I was doing at curves and eating was all of a sudden going to make me this size 12 hottie again; but of course I was quickly kicked in the ass and actually started gaining weight. Then just a short few months later I became pregnant, something we didn't think could happen but then found out that my thyroid was causing my infertility and miscarriages. This pregnancy stuck (yay!) but with it came an aversion to anything green and anything vegetable. I tried, I tried so hard. Everyday I fought to get down salads, cooked and raw veggies. I tried veggies I normally hated and veggies I loved and every time they came right back up. I couldn't cook a meal without getting sick either, none of the foods I made could I keep down and eventually was left only able to eat fruit in the morning and new york style pizza for dinner. These were the only things I could get down and keep down and I supplemented with Ensure. But pizza not a skinny waist does make. By the time I had my son I was a revolting 398 pounds. I got back down to 355 within 3 months by eating dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner and keeping myself busy with my son as I stayed home to take care of him. But in June of 2008 we decided to move back home to North Dakota which once we returned it was summer and there were cookouts and old friends over and the weight quit coming off and I hung around 350 for awhile and then in 2009 I was pregnant again. This son didn't allow me to eat at all for the first few months, everything came right back up. But about 6 months in he settled down and I lived on salads and schwans spicy chicken breasts. But the weight started coming on quickly and by the time I had him I was 406 pounds.
406 pounds... how does this happen!? I didn't even understand how it happened, I had healthy pregnancies, no gestational nothing so why so much weight gain? My OBGYN couldn't explain it either but I didn't stay there for long with in two months I was back down to 360 and shocked my OB by it when I went for my check up. Then between my sons birth and now a lot of things happened that caused my weight to go up and down. Then a little over a year ago I quit taking my thyroid medication and I purchased a scale and found myself sitting back at 394 and got angry. I completely over hauled the way I ate, I switched my family to organic foods, cut carbs and sugars from my own diet and began cardio and strength training and got down to 320 in the matter of 3 months. Sadly that was short lived and from October last year to May this year I stayed at 330; then I started back on my thyroid medication and in a little over a month ballooned to 365. After talking to my doctor we agreed it had to be the thyroid medication causing the weight issues because I didn't change anything in the way I ate and actually had begun working out more since taking it. I am now on something different and the weight is slowly coming back off but it is frustrating.
I am scared, when I weighed in at my surgeons office I was 350 and was told I had to lose 15 pounds from that weight, so I actually now have to lose 25 pounds before the surgery September 5th thanks to my thyroid medication. I am afraid I won't make it but I guess time will only tell. But I am so excited for this chance at a new life. To get back into the jeans that sit in my closet from when I was a size 12. I would be happy there again, I have a large bone structure so I feel a 12 would be most comfortable but I wouldn't mind smaller if I can of course. But I am ready for this, ready for the changes and all that will be accompanying it.