Ten long years ago I made the decision to have Roux En Y gastric bypass surgery. In trying to think back on those years, I remember thinking about either having the RNY or the 'band'. My insurance company wouldn't pay for the band so RNY was my only choice. I had battled weight most all of my life. My first diet was the 'peaches and cottage cheese' diet when I was only 12. I lived with my aunt and uncle and their five kids and no one was heavy but me. Then, when I was 15, I lived with my sister and she put me on Weight Watchers. That didn't seem to work either. After that it was just one diet after another and sometimes I would lose and others not at all. And of course, I would always put the weight right back on again.
As I look back, I remember shelling out a lot of money for the famous 'Nutri-System' diet back in 1986. I had a six month old son and had kept on thirty pounds and weighed 185. I thought that was a 'lot' of weight at the time. Before I had him, my highest weight was 155 or so. I was always 'chubby' but never 'fat'. I stayed with the diet for four months and lost 50 pounds successfully. I couldn't believe I was actually weighing 135 and fitting into small clothes! Well of course, that didn't last long. I managed to gain it all back and more over the next four years. I weighed 200 when I got pregnant with my twin daughters. I only gained 50 with them though and lost it immediately after they were born. I tried Nutri-Systems again months later after my divorce and managed to lose 50. And then my weight would vascilate somewhere around 185 or so until I became a secretary and did nothing but 'sit' for three years. I gained from 190 to 230 in those years. I was also a single parent and that was the most stressful time of my life. When I finally did meet my 'soul mate' I managed somehow to gain 20 more and married him at a whopping 250 pounds. I looked like a whale going down the aisle in my white wedding dress. Very sad.....
The following year I lost 70 pounds with Phen-fen pills and following a 'low fat' diet. It felt so good to be at 170 again. My poor face has always gotten thinner every time I would lose weight and it would never 'regain' the fat like the rest of my body would. So my face looks really thin while the rest of my body belongs on someone else. My husband loved me whether I was fat or thin, so I managed to gain back everything I lost and more. I just didn't care anymore about my weight. I fed myself and my poor kids more than we needed at meals and food became our obsession. I topped out at 325 pounds in 2001. It was then I decided that weight loss surgery was my only solution.
I researched the different kinds of surgeries and even I was so excited to know that once I took my 'leap of faith' and had the RNY that my weight loss woes would be a thing of the past. I just KNEW my weight loss surgery would be a success and I would never have to worry about 'self control' and weight loss again! I was thrilled with my decision! I felt like I had won the lottery! There weren't any doctors doing the surgery where I lived, so I had to drive six hours away but I knew it was worth it once it was all over. I knew that there would be 'side effects' of the surgery like anemia and hypoglycemia but that seemed like a small price to pay in order to be 'thin'. I was willing to do whatever it took to be thin like I knew my body was meant to be!
Well, the rest they say is 'history'. You can go back and look at my very first posts to see how my journey took place. I've had good years and bad years just like everyone else. Even though my highest weight was 325 before surgery, at the time of surgery I weighed 315. I managed to lose 135 pounds the first year. Then I got down to 155 by the second year and had a tummy tuck and breast reduction. I think I somehow managed to stay at 155 for about maybe 'five' minutes, but those minutes were a dream come true! Through the years, like the majority of people who have WLS, I have managed to climb up the scales, slowly but surely. Usually, every year, around July or so, I will start eating healthy, just to make sure I get to 170, which is my average weight. This year I just didn't care anymore. I've had so many health issues, that weight isn't my first priority. I've been either out of town for weeks at a time or have had 'out of town' company, so I've been eating out almost every meal lately. As I type this, I weigh 185 and my highest is 190. That may not seem like a lot but for someone who is only 5'3, it's a LOT of weight. I don't 'jazzercize' anymore because my joints can't take it. I don't do cardio at all, because I have a mitral valve prolapse and I get winded really easily. But I HAVE found a sport that I like and that's bike riding! I ride on a 'cruiser' bike and there's nothing more invigorating than riding first thing in the morning when it's cool outside. I only ride five to seven miles at about 7 mph. I'm not doing it for exercise, but because I love to do it.
So, at my ten year mark, I'm not obsessing about my weight anymore. I do try to eat healthy when I'm not out of town or have company. I don't know if I'll ever get back to 170 again or lower. I never got to my goal weight of 140 but I don't beat myself up over it. I'm going to be 53 in a couple of days so it's all about 'health' now and not so much about weight. I just try and enjoy as many days on this earth that I have left. I don't have children at home and my husband and I love to go places together and enjoy every day as though it were our last. We have a 3 year old granddaughter and a 3 month old granddaughter who make our life complete! Life is all about them and being 'grandparents' and loving life!
My advice to those who are considering this surgery are: Before you decide to have this surgery, exhaust ALL other weight loss methods before you do this. Have surgery only as a last resort! The reason I say this is because most of the people who have this surgery gain some or all of their weight back just like those who go on diets. The ONLY way a person is successful with this surgery is IF they eat healthy the rest of their days and exercise. Isn't that what people do that DON'T have surgery but choose a different weight loss method? The end result of having surgery is that you have 'post-op issues' you will have to deal with the rest of your life PLUS you will have to eat right and exercise. If you choose NOT to have surgery, you will have to eat right and excerise also, but you don't have the lifetime 'post-op' issues that sometimes become very serious over the years.
I won't be coming back to this site anymore to post any updates. I figure there are very few people ten years out that even post anymore. I don't even know if anyone will be reading this but I thought for my 10th anniversary, I would at least update my profile. You can email me and I'll be more than happy to answer you! I love to hear from people!
I hope your journey, whatever it may be, will be the right one for you!
P.S. I tried to post some pictures from this year in my albums for you because I know post op pics are important!