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Geoffrey Wilcox, M.D.
Hope Bariatrics rocks! The staff are friendly and supportive. They have support groups available on a monthly basis.
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Well, let's see. It seems that I was always the chunky kid. I was chubby, but not really fat, although I didn't realize that. I did get some taunts from classmates and it seemed like all of my friends were skinny. I was a studious kid and an avid reader, much preferring to sit in a corner and read a book than to run or do cartwheels (which I have never been able to do, not that I actually tried). My parents did not allow us to eat a lot of junk food or candy, but we did on occasion. We were a "meat and potatoes" family, though, and vegetables usually consisted of corn or over-cooked broccoli and cauliflower. Basically, we ate the kinds of foods that most families seemed to eat in the early 70s. Most of my weight issues were probably more related to lack of exercise than anything else. I was the one who loved school but hated gym class (anyone else have nightmares about always being picked last?).
I remember getting pneumonia in 9th grade and losing a great deal of weight. Finally! I was 130 pounds and bought a pair of Calvin Klein jeans in a size 10. Never mind that I had to use a coat hanger to zip them up! I used to wish that I would get pneumonia every six months so that I could maintain my weight loss. I remember looking in the 3-way mirror, seeing myself from the back with ribs poking out of my skin. I still had larger hips and thighs (classic pear shape), so that didn't matter. Of course, the weight would slowly increase. At 140, I (stupidly) asked my boyfriend if he thought I was fat. He said, "Well, kinda". So, off I went on a Lean Cuisine rampage. I also tried to do as many sit-ups as possible. I guess I maintained the 140 to 150 range through high school. Again, I saw myself as fat compared to my super-skinny friends. Looking back, I would have to say I looked pretty good! Too bad I didn't realize that.
By 19, the weight had gone up somewhat and I was wearing a size 16. I got married. My weight steadily increased as did hubby's. I kept setting limits..."If I ever get to 180 I'll....", "If I hit 200, I will DEFINITELY do something", etc. After 13 years, I was at 268. Inactivity combined with a love for peanut M&Ms and Pepsi surely contributed. Hubby and I separated and in the divorce process I lost 50 pounds due to stress. Now, I was not eating healthy...I was just eating very little (this tidbit became very important in my WLS decision process regarding choosing the RNY). Gradually, the weight returned and settled at 242. At that point, I met the man who would become my current husband. He was also considerably overweight, so we understood each other's pain. We married and my weight slowly increased to a maximum of 272. I was so ashamed. My husband's weight increased to a maximum of 394. We began to discuss the option of weight loss surgery.
Now, my husband would have had surgery the day of the seminar! I was not so convinced. After all, it was still surgery and I had never had surgery for anything in my life. My husband Shayne had the RNY gastric bypass in November 2006. I had the same surgery in May 2007. It has been extremely helpful that we have to follow the same nutritional guidelines. Shayne now weighs in at about 178 and, as of this morning, I'm at 148. I remember thinking that if I could just get below 200! Or, if I could only wear a size 14 (I'm wearing 8s).
We have both been very fortunate. We have not had any complications or major issues due to surgery. I will assume that part of that is God's providence and that the other part is our commitment to following a healthy lifestyle. We both take our vitamins regularly and eat a WLS-friendly diet. Have I ever messed up? Sure, but only occasionally and I hop right back on the healthy train. I admit, I do weigh myself daily as a way to help stay on track, but I realize that weight will fluctuate slightly due to various factors.
I always welcome questions about my experience and am committed to helping others navigate the WLS waters. One day at a time baby!