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Surgeon TestimonialRODRICK D. MCKINLAY, M.D., F.A.C.S.My first impression of Dr. McKinlay was that he looked about 18 years old! (I think he's actually closer to 40...) Everything I had read, including other patient testimonials, was very positive, so this didn't bother me at all. I found him to be a very good listener. He addressed every one of my concerns, and is genuinely interested in his patients' well-being. There were a few very specific things I wanted him to be aware of going in to surgery, and he made me feel completely at ease. After surgery, it was very apparent that he is a master at what he does. I had very little discomfort by the 2nd day, and my pain has been so minimal overall - I assume it's because he takes great care to do everything possible to make his patients comfortable. I felt well educated going into surgery and have plenty of educational reference materials to sustain me through my new lifestyle. I can't think of anything I dislike about him - his surgical competence and bedside manner were both fantastic. I would highly recommend him to anyone seeking surgery in the Salt Lake City area.
- Dogs - I have 5 (My heart is pretty big when it comes to animals)
- Musical Performance - Can't wait to fit better into those tiny seats at all the venues!
- Needlework, Knitting & Crocheting - I have been crocheting since 8 yrs old & love it! (I know - I'm like a granny!)
- Parenting - Hoping to have children after getting my weight off!
- Walking - I don't have much endurance at the moment, but that will soon change :)
- Singing - I took vocal training in my early 20's and have sung since childhood
- Cooking & Baking - I enjoy cooking & baking when I have the time and energy!
- Jewely Making - I LOVE making jewelry & currently sell on eBay (ID: queen_beads)
- Married - I've been married for 12-1/2 years to my husband, Erwin
- WLS in your 30's - I'm 35
My One Year "Surgiversary" - What a Journey!!! on July 16, 2009 8:45 pm
One year and 2 days ago, I changed my life forever (July 14, 2008). I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dr. Rodrick McKinlay of Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians, who truly saved my life. I had my one year post-op visit with him today, and am happy to report that every single item in my lab work came back perfectly normal, or even in the "optimal" range. I couldn't be more pleased with what I have accomplished this year, and if I had to make the choice to do it all over again, I would do it in a hearbeat - no regrets.
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I have included many highlights of my journey in previous posts, but here are some of my favorites:
* I have gone from a size 34/36 (5X) to a 14/16 (I am now among the "average" sized women in America!)
* I have gone from a a 54" waist to a 35" waist
* I am proud of who I am and feel completely comfortable in my own skin (not to say that there isn't plenty of it that could stand to be removed, but I truly am happy with how I look)
* I am no longer "Super" or "Morbidly" Obese
* I no longer need special accommodations when seated in a theater, restaurant, airplane, amusement park ride, etc.
* I have so much hope for a happy and healthy future
Here's to another wonderful year, and to helping others who have struggled just as I have. If I can be a source of help or inspiration for even one person, my struggles will have served a greater purpose. While I still have a bit of work ahead of me to accomplish my ultimate weight loss goals, I wanted to do a quick recap of my journey to date... I have so much to be grateful for!!!
For My Aunt Shelley... on June 20, 2009 7:21 pm
Last weekend I watched as some of my family members did a 5K for Breast Cancer. Since I hadn't know about it in time, I wasn't able to participate. So... this morning I got up and thought I should do one on my own, in honor of my Aunt Shelley. I forgot to clarify how long a 5K is, in terms of miles, before getting on my treadmill, so I figured if I did 3.5 miles, that ought to more than cover it. (I now know that it's actually 3.125 miles, so I exceeded what I had set out to do.)
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I have struggled a bit with committing myself to a regular exercise plan since having my surgery. I always want, and intend, to do more than I actually end up doing. Ever since I was much younger, I've never really found that "love" for being active, but I am slowly coming around, and have had many reasons to be inspired lately. All of my previous efforts at walking on my treadmill usually end after 2 miles and about 35+ minutes. Between my lower back, knees and hips hurting after much more, I generally just call it quits at that point. I decided to try using the sports compression shirt and capri pants that I got just before Orlando (but had not used yet). I got these because of all the extra skin I have that kind of gets in the way, making exercise a bit more of an ordeal than your average person. I had also gotten some new running shoes recently, that needed to be broken in. It was amazing to me how much more endurance I had this time around by having some better "gear" to keep me going. All-in-all, I completed 3.5 miles in 56 minutes at a 1% incline and 3.8 miles an hour. This isn't exactly "terrific" by anyone else's standards, but for me, it was a huge victory. In the end, that is what counts, because I'm really only competing against myself.
Eleven months ago at 353.6 pounds, there is not a chance in this world that I could have ever accomplished this, and I really am proud of myself. Although my hips are pretty sore right now, I feel energized, and want to do this again and again, and I know in time, it will eventually get easier. I may not always have a full hour to dedicate every day, but I'm pretty sure it's worth the adjustment in my schedule to feel healthy like this as often as I can. I know that if I can keep this up, there is no stopping me from achieving my ultimate weight loss goals. If all goes well, and I continue to drop my last 40 pounds or so, I'm hoping to have a bit of plastic surgery this Fall to get rid of the "bat wings" underneath my arms. That alone will make a huge difference in the way my clothes fit, and will also get me one step closer to looking on the outside like the way I'm beginning to feel on the inside... What a great journey this has been!!!
A Little Bit of Inspiration:
If ever you feel like giving up when life or challenges seem insurmountable, check this out for a bit of perspective... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QbgOGnbxDo
Where I've Been... on May 25, 2009 10:26 am
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I started another blog that I have been posting to more regularly. If anyone is interested, the site is:
A Belated Update from Last Weekend in Orlando... on May 25, 2009 10:17 am
On Thursday, May 14th, I left on a bright and early 7:10 am flight from Salt Lake City to Orlando. I had a layover in Phoenix, where my brother, Jeff, joined me for the remainder of the flight. The last time I was on an airplane, I had no problem getting the seatbelt buckled, but there wasn’t much extra left over. This time, I felt victorious – there was an extra 6 – 8 inches of extra seatbelt left after pulling it tight. Never again will I have to ask for an extender belt or worry about the person sitting next to me being annoyed because I was spilling over into their space!!!
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Jeff and I were greeted with pouring rain, heat, and intense humidity when we arrived in Orlando. Jeff was just a little nervous that it would continue through the day of the race. Fortunately, it eased up later that evening, so we ventured out and bought a few groceries to stock the refrigerator at the hotel. Our brother, Dan, was scheduled to arrive the following afternoon from Fort Worth, Texas. Being on an airplane most of the day left me pretty tired, but I had decided to get up early and make the most of my unexpired Disney World Park Hopper Pass from 10 years earlier. A year ago, if you had asked me if I would ever do something like that by myself, I would have said you were crazy. Today, 10 months after surgery, I have a completely different mindset, and have no problem at all feeling comfortable in my own skin. I am certainly not at my ideal goal weight, but I have matured in so many ways emotionally, that I love where I am in this journey. I now feel like I blend in more with others I would consider to be a more “normal” weight, and I don’t feel self-conscious, or that anyone is staring at me. I can just be “me”.
The next morning, I had Jeff drop me off at one of the Disney resorts, and took the Monorail to the Transportation & Ticket Center, where I boarded a ferry to the Magic Kingdom. I was so excited just to be there! I spent about 5 hours there, then took a bus over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where I spent the next several hours. The lines were short, and I went on every single ride I had wanted to go on – some even several times! It was such an amazing feeling not to worry about fitting on any of the rides – it just wasn’t even an issue!!! By the end of the day, I was pretty exhausted. Just for kicks, I had decided to wear my pedometer to count the number of steps I took that day. The goal is to try for 10,000 steps – that day, I had over 24,000! I guess I burned a few calories between the walking and the heat…
While I was at Disney World, my brother Dan arrived, and was with Jeff to greet me when he picked me up after my adventures of the day. It was so good to see him! He and Jeff had already been to pick up their race packets for Sunday and had done shopping for supplies they needed to fine-tune their bikes. The next morning, they had to take their bikes to the race site, so they would be ready to go the following day. We got up early and parked at the Magic Kingdom, where we parted ways. They headed to the Fort Wilderness Campground (the race site), and I headed back over to the parks. This time, I took a bus to the Animal Kingdom and spent several hours there, then headed over to Epcot for the rest of the evening. Again, the lines were short, and I was able to do everything I had wanted to do. I put some serious miles on those Disney Passes and definitely got my money’s worth! Jeff and Dan picked me up that evening, and we headed back to the hotel. They had so much nervous energy, since the race was the next morning. I don’t think one of us got more than 2 hours of sleep, since we had to leave the hotel at 3:30 AM to get them to the race site and ready to go in time.
The sun was barely coming up when the National Anthem was sung and a cannon was fired to start the race with the first wave of professional athletes. Altogether, there were 24 waves, each starting 3 minutes apart with the swim. Jeff was in the 21st wave at 7:04, and Dan was in the last wave at 7:20. There was such a feeling of excitement among the family and friends of the athletes who were there to cheer them on – it was truly an amazing thing that I had never experienced before. One of the things that inspired me the most was a group of disabled athletes that were in the 3rd or 4th wave. Many were missing limbs and were assisted into the water without their prostheses. It really started me thinking about my level of commitment to being more physically fit. For so many years, I have made excuses for myself because my back would hurt after exerting very little energy. What excuse do I really have, if people with far more challenges than I can do something so much more intense than I would ever dream of doing?
The day continued on with the end of the swim and the beginning of the bike ride. I watched as each of my brothers came out of the water and headed to the transition area to get ready, and as they finished their ride and headed in to the transition again to get ready for the run. I was so proud just to be there and to cheer them on. It was nothing like I’ve ever experienced before, and I was so thankful that they had invited me to be there.
I made my way over to the edge of the course for the run, so I could get some pictures when Jeff and Dan came around from the first of 3 laps.
By that time of the day, it was about 89 degrees and 90% humidity. I was miserable just standing there, and couldn’t imagine what those athletes were feeling, after so many miles of hard work! While I waited, I was again struck with awe as the athletes with physical challenges would pass by, wearing their prosthetic limb, and giving all that they had to complete that race. What I really loved was that the crowd showed so much support – even when they didn’t know that person from anyone else. There was such a feeling of camaraderie that’s hard to explain without being there. By the time I thought Dan should be heading toward the finish line, I made my way over, to make sure I didn’t miss that moment. He finished in 6:15, and was physically exhausted and in pain. His knee had decided to give him trouble during the run, and he had finished 45 minutes later than he had anticipated. No matter – just finishing the race is an amazing accomplishment, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Having lost 200 lbs in just over a year, and now being an amazing athlete in that amount of time, should be an inspiration to anyone.
Once Dan collected his finisher’s medal and got something to eat and drink, we sat down and talked for a while. He told me that he had met up with Jeff on the run. Jeff was discouraged with his progress, and was in a tremendous amount of pain, as he had sprained his ankle 5 days prior. Dan had spent some time with him, rather than racing ahead, and had given him some encouragement and support that he had needed. He could have easily given up, but instead, walked a good majority of the run until he finally finished. His time was about 7:45, and was physically spent. Even so, they are both tremendous athletes, and I can’t wait to hear about their training and results when they both do a full Ironman in Louisville, Kentucky in August.
Shortly before Jeff finished the race, there was a single athlete that came through. The announcer stated that he was a 6-time cancer survivor, and that it was his 70th birthday that day. I couldn’t believe it! I have not yet committed myself to training for such an extreme sport, but just being there and witnessing that event made me more determined to get fit. If people with disabilities, missing limbs, and cancer survivors can do it, I can certainly challenge myself to do something more…
Jeff and I set a goal of losing our last 45 lbs. by the time he competes in the Ironman at the end of August. If I increase my exercise to even a fraction of what he is doing, and commit to eating what I know works for me, there is no reason I can’t accomplish that goal. So… Here’s to recommitting myself and testing my limits to get physically fit!
One last thought: Between myself, Jeff and Dan, we’ve lost a combined total of 500 pounds. Here’s to keeping the success going and inspiring the rest of our family to be healthy...
I'm Going to Disney World! (A Belated Update from... on May 25, 2009 10:15 am
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I'm so excited! I got a call earlier this week from my brother, Jeff. He and my brother, Dan, are scheduled to compete in the Ford Ironman 70.3 (Half Ironman) in Orlando, Florida, next Sunday (May 17th). They were planning to take their wives and young babies, but with the recent Swine Flu scare, they decided it was better that they stay home. Sooooo... that left them with no one to come along and take pictures of them during the race. Jeff had some frequent flyer miles and an extra hotel room already booked, so he offered to cover those expenses, if I'd like to come. Ummmm, hmmmm - let me think about it... OF COURSE!!! I'm leaving this Thursday morning (May 14th), and coming home Monday evening (May 18th). It's a quick trip, but I couldn't be more thrilled to go...
Jeff and Dan were worried about me being bored, since I'd have to spend most of the time there by myself, while they were gearing up for the race. The funny thing is, I couldn't be more excited! With my new found confidence and greater spirit of adventure (in my smaller body), I have so many things planned to do on my own! I have one day left on a 7-day park hopper pass from 10 years ago, when Erwin and I took a vacation to Disney World. I fully intend to use it!...
The best part of the whole trip, though, is the chance I will have to see both of my younger brothers compete in the same event, and to just spend some quality time with them. Since Jeff lives in Arizona, and Dan lives in Texas, I never really thought I'd have an opportunity to see either one of them race, let alone BOTH of them at the same time! I'm really looking forward to that the most, because they have worked so hard to get to this point (and so have I). I don't know that I will ever develop the kind of drive to exercise that they have, but you never know... I just might find myself completely inspired, and change my mind. I'll keep you all posted... :)
FYI - A Half Ironman Consists of the Following:
- 1.2 mile swim
- 56 mile bike ride
- 1/2 marathon (13.1 mile run)
9.5 Months Out & Down 136 lbs. (A Belated Update... on May 25, 2009 10:09 am
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Every day I continue to be amazed at how drastically my life has changed in such a short period of time. While Gastric Bypass Surgery has not solved every challenge in my life, it has truly given me my life back in so many ways. If I had to sum up in one word why I’m grateful to have gone through this experience, it would be HOPE.
I can remember a time in my life while I was suffering with tremendous back pain, as well as obesity, when I literally felt I had no hope for my future. It was all I could do to just make it through the day, let alone dream of what the future might hold... I truly could not see a light at the end of the tunnel when I would be able to go through a day without significant pain, without feeling low self worth because I couldn’t seem to lose weight and keep it off, or even consider the possibility of having the children that both my husband and I desperately wanted. When you get into this cycle of hurting, depression, and inability to exercise to make the first two better, life sometimes does feel hopeless. It has taken many years, a back surgery, gallbladder surgery, therapy, and gastric bypass surgery, for me to get to the place I am now, but I truly am grateful for these experiences, because I have been slowly refined and conquered obstacles that I once thought to be insurmountable.
When I stop and think about all of the positive changes that have taken place since beginning this journey, it compounds my gratitude for life, and increases my hope for a better, richer future. This is just a small sample of the many lessons I’ve learned, and milestones I’ve achieved, over the past 9+ months:
- I have confidence that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to
- I truly appreciate what feeling healthy means
- I no longer feel hungry all the time
- I want to experience life to the fullest
- I now have the ability to exercise, where I physically could not before losing this weight
- I feel more mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy
- I live relatively pain free now, which was something I once only dreamed of
- I am no longer ashamed of my appearance
- I’m not afraid to be photographed anymore – in fact, I kind of enjoy it!
- I no longer worry that I won’t fit into a booth at a restaurant, or that I’ll break a chair because of my weight
- I no longer have to use the handicapped stall in a public restroom because I can now fit in a “normal” stall
- I no longer have to ask for a seat belt extender on an airplane, or worry that I won’t fit into my seat without infringing upon the space of the person next to me
- I can fit on amusement park rides without fear that I will be asked to exit the ride, as other guests watch my humiliation
- I can sleep at night without a CPAP machine
- I can cross my legs again
- I can sing better. My lung capacity has increased, and I’m able to support my breathing better.
- I can sit on the ground or get back up without my knees and legs being in excruciating pain
- I can go shopping and not be so concerned about getting the closest parking spot, because I can now make the walk more easily
- I no longer have to take medication for acid reflux, PCOS, or chronic pain
- I can now walk a flight (or more) of stairs and not think twice about being out of breath
- I now have a slender neck, only one chin, and can see my collar bone!
- I am now able to buy clothes in more of the normal size clothing stores. I currently wear a 14/16, rather than a 34/36 or a 5X.
- I have severed all ties with my larger sized clothes, because I know I will never need them again! (No more hanging on to them “just in case”…)
- I can walk with my head held high because I have more confidence and self-worth. I deserve to be healthy, happy and successful, and there is no one who can make me feel otherwise.
If there is anyone reading this who wonders if weight loss surgery is right for them, I would offer the following advice:
- Make sure that you are willing and ready to make both the physical and emotional changes that are necessary for your long-term success. This is not a decision to be made lightly.
- Follow your doctor’s advice implicitly, and invest the time in learning everything you can before having surgery. Do your homework!
- Never stay too far away from personal accountability. Go to regular support group meetings, and surround yourself with people who are willing to walk along-side you through this journey. It is not an easy one, but it is definitely worth the investment in yourself.
- Know that you will likely need to participate in more than just monthly support group meetings. Going to counseling does not make you “less than” anyone else – It just means you need a little more refining to become the person you know you were always meant to be.
- This surgery is a tool – not a cure. Be willing to use this tool to attain your long term health goals, then work hard to maintain your success.
Very Proud Sister... on March 26, 2009 8:37 pm
I've mentioned my brothers in previous posts, but I couldn't be more proud of their success and determination to walk away from obesity - it has actually become a family affair now, and I'm so glad to be a part of that as well...
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If any of you receive OH magazine, please take a moment to read the article on page 45 - It features a story on my brother, Dan Benintendi (dancbjammin on my friends' list). He has had such tremendous success since his RNY, and has truly been an inspiration to me and so many others. He has not only lost 200 lbs. in 14 months, but is now competing in triathlons, marathons, and will soon complete a full Iron Man this summer - it's truly remarkable... For more information, his website is www.trimywill.com.
I will post another update on myself, since it is long overdue, but I wanted to give credit where credit is due. I'm so proud, and I love you, Dan. You continue to inspire me every day!!!
6 Months Out and 119 lbs. Gone Forever... on January 15, 2009 5:03 am
It's completely mind-boggling to me how the past 6 months have flown by since having my RNY, and how many positive changes I've seen with my health. What an amazing gift to have my life back, to feel like a normal person again, to be happy with the way I look and feel, and to have a new-found confidence... I am so grateful to be in this place right now, and to know that my goal is within reach - I'm 2/3 there already!
Looking back at my original list of goals, here's an update on my progress:
- Crossing my legs (Yes!)
- Shopping in a "normal" size clothing store (Almost there...)
- No swollen feet and ankles (Long gone...)
- Having a neck again! (Yes!)
- Fitting in an airplane seat and not having to ask for an extender belt (Yes!)
- Not having to worry whether or not I will fit in a booth at a restaurant (or break a chair!) (Yes!)
- Being able to fit on rides at amusement parks (Haven't been yet, but based on the airplane thing, Yes!)
- Swimming in public (Not quite yet...)
- Riding a bike (Haven't tried yet...)
- Not being out of breath all the time (Yes!)
- Ditching my CPAP machine (Yes!)
Last night I attended a support group meeting at St. Mark's Hospital where Dr. McKinlay was the speaker. We discussed reasons why we eat when we aren't hungry, which was a great subject... There were so many things that applied to me before surgery, and even fewer now, so I'm grateful for that. We also discussed how to make better choices when we do eat things that we probably shouldn't. All of the cravings that an overweight person has don't completely go away forever with surgery, so learning how to bridge the gap between making the best and worst choices was a great topic for discussion.
I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, and one of the greatest things I've come to realize about myself is this: From a psychological standpoint, I had always been of the mindset that food and dieting for me were always "All or Nothing" - there was no gray area in between. I would either be 100% on my game, or 100% off the wagon. Either I was really focused and feeling good, or if I slipped up a bit, I had completely failed and might as well give in completely. It was almost as though I would punish myself for failing, under the guise of eating whatever I wanted, which made me happy for a moment, but ultimately left me feeling like a miserable failure... What I have finally learned is that I'm human - I do still want some of the things I shouldn't, even though my ability to eat them (thankfully) is much less than before. In those moments when I feel the urge to eat something "off my normal plan of action" in a typical day, I find myself now making better choices overall. I have come to realize that there is some middle ground between the "all or nothing" approach, and that I'm not a misearable failure if I slip up a little. The real battle in this game of weight loss is truly a mental one, and the real test is learning to retrain a lifetime of skewed thinking about food. I'm so grateful for the many lessons I'm finally learning!
Here's to another AMAZING 6 months of weight loss, self discovery, and good health... I wish the same for you - all of my OH friends and family...
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Did I Mention That I'm Seriously Going Bald? on January 6, 2009 11:08 pm
I knew the reality of significant hair loss following my RNY surgery in July was a definite possibility, but I truly didn't expect that it would be as dramatic as it has been. I started losing significant amounts of hair just before my 3 month mark following surgery. I am now almost 6 months out, and can safely say that I've lost more than half of my hair. Take a look at my pictures - they don't lie!
Every time we've vacuumed my house over the past month, my poor husband has had to completely take the vacuum apart to remove the clumps of hair that have wrapped around the rollers and burned the plastic. Each time I have washed or brushed my hair, there ended up being a huge pile of hair in the trash can. I kept thinking, how much more can I really lose without going bald???
After feeling depressed and throwing my own "pity party" while in California, I decided to chop about 5 inches off the length, in hopes that it would make things look a little healthier, and allow me to hide some of the gaping scalp that I've been seeing more and more of in the past several weeks. Realizing that it just didn't look that great still, I decided to go a bit more drastic in less than a week since my last haircut. My cousin, Heather, worked some serious magic last night, and I am feeling so much better now. I still have a very thin head of hair at the moment, but I think we've done a pretty good job of disguising it now. Here's hoping that the new stuff starts growing soon! I really don't want to have to buy a wig...
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I've been doing a lot of soul searching for the past several days, trying to piece together a lifetime of thoughts that have all contributed to the position I find myself in today. Needless to say, my emotions have been very close to the surface, and I've shed more than a few tears. There is no mistaking that this is going to be a very emotional journey, and I'm preparing myself for a bumpy ride...
If I think back to my first recollections of having issues with food, I would have to say it began somewhere around 8 years old. I'm still not entirely sure what brought it on (it could be any number of things), but I do recall feeling guilty for sneaking food that I shouldn't have, and being a major closet eater (it was always sweets). I was always taller than the other girls my age, which of course meant that I was also bigger than they were, in proportion to my height. I don't think I ever considered myself, in my mind, to be "normal" like everyone else because of this. I was always shy, and probably didn't know how to express myself well, but food was always my friend, no matter what. I don't think it was until the past several years as an adult that I've come to realize I wasn't abnormal - I just couldn't see that when I was younger.
My first diet that I can recall was at 10 years old - I was just under 5 feet tall, and weighed 112 pounds. My next diet was at 12 years old - I was exactly 5 feet tall in 6th grade, weighed 135 pounds, and wore a size 13 jeans. My next diet was at 14 years old. I was 5'4" and got up to 175 pounds and a size 16. Over the summer before my freshman year, I lost 30 pounds and grew 4 inches. I tried out for the drill team in high school and made it that next year, and felt really great about myself for a change - like I belonged. For the majority of the rest of my years in high school, I was somewhere between 160-170 pounds. Being 5'8", I still felt larger than all my friends, so it was hard for me to feel "cute" or "petite" like the rest of them.
After high school, my first year as a freshman in college was met with a knee injury 5 weeks into my first semester. It took 2 months for the doctors to figure out what the extent of the damage really was until they did exploratory surgery, so during this time, I lost all the strength and muscle I had built up in my legs from previous years. By the next year, I was up to 190 pounds, and crossed the 200 pound threshold, all the way up to 260 pounds the following year. When I met Erwin (my husband), I was at my largest, and he still loved me - imagine that! (Just a funny side-note: He thought I looked like Wynona Judd when we first met - funny, huh?)
I decided to go on a medically supervised diet before we got married, and lost about 40 pounds. After that, I just remember the scale climbing, and was devastated when I hit 300 within the next year and a half - I guess I just got way too comfortable and complacent. At 25, just over 2 years after we were married, I started having major back problems. They continued to get worse over the next 3 years, and I finally had to have back surgery in May 2001. This became a major source of depression in my life, living with constant pain for so long. About 5 months after this surgery, I decided I was going to reclaim my health and lose weight again, after basically sitting on my rear end for 3 years (since that was about all I could do). I went on the same medically supervised diet on and off for the next 2 years, and lost a total of 120 pounds. Wow - did I feel great, but I started having major anxiety and panic attacks. It took me a long time to figure out that that's what I was experiencing. I thought I had everything from MS to other neurological disorders. Had I known how powerful the mind-body connection really was, I would have gone to see a psychologist to work through the many emotions and physical changes I had just gone through. Instead, I turned back to my good friend - food - for comfort. I remember feeling like I was having an identity crisis - I knew I looked good, but I didn't recognize myself. Within a year and a half, I was right back to where I had started, and continued to climb from there. I had gone from a size 26/28 down to a 14, then right back up again, but now to a 30/32, and somewhere between a 4X-5X. Can you imagine the wardrobe I have laying around? I have never parted with any of my smaller clothes from this recent journey, because I know I will have a reason to use them again very soon (plus, I won't have to buy anything new as I lose this time!)
I know how important it is to be emotionally ready to lose weight, and I have finally come to that point in my life again, but now it is nearly 5 years later, and the damage has been done. I am now 350 pounds, and can't believe I'm actually making it public knowledge. I guess it's probably not a big surprise though, looking at my pictures for what they really are. The nice thing is that I do know my goal is within reach, and I know what I will look like in the very near future - I have some awesome pictures and "skinny jeans" to use as motivation, because I've done it before. The great thing this time, though, is that I know I can actually look forward to maintaining my success.
One of the things I've discovered about myself as I've contemplated my thoughts and emotions lately, is that I know I'm capable of achieving anything I set my mind to. I've been blessed with many incredible talents, an awesome family, and a few really amazing friends, who I know I can count on to be there for me through this journey I'm about to take. The only thing, which is actually REALLY huge, is that I've never allowed myself to believe I was worthy or deserving of the good things that have come my way in life, so I've always found a way to sabotage them somehow. That is something that I'm just going to have to get over, because it is obviously not a healthy way to think or live. I know I have great potential, and there is purpose and meaning for my life. I DO deserve to be healthy, happy and successful!
What an amazing journey I have waiting for me - I'm ready for it to begin!!!