Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
Weight was a constant struggle for me starting in my early years, but it got worse as a teenager. Food was my coping mechanism and when things got tough, I ate to stuff down my feelings and anxiety. I ballooned up to 400 pounds in my 1st marriage due to abuse and generally being very unhappy - was very isolated and it was the only constant "friend" I had. I tried multiple diets and gimmicks but nothing ever really worked for long. I started researching WLS several years before I was even able to have my surgery and knew that it would probably be my only saving grace because I just knew I was literally going to eat myself to death or develop common co-morbidities like HTN, diabetes, and have a stroke or heart attack.
What was (is) the worst thing about being overweight?
Feeling like I was always on the outside looking in and not being able to enjoy my life .... that and the whispers, looks, hurtful comments, and disdain I felt from others because I was so morbidly obese. I was absolutely miserable; physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I felt like a failure because I couldn't control myself or couldn't/wouldn't stop the behaviors that got me to 400+ pounds. I couldn't stand for more than 5 or 10 minutes without being in pain. I couldn't work because of my weight and the physical limitations the weight put on my body. I felt unlovable and that I was disappointing others, including myself because I wasn't able to participate or be a "productive" person. I was ashamed of myself and who I had become and of how I looked.
If you have had weight loss surgery already, what things do you most enjoy doing now that you weren't able to do before?
I am living my life again and enjoying it. I get to comfortably move around, walk, work, and play. I no longer have to have a seat belt extender in my car or on an airplane. I actually had to buy two (2) seats on an airplane to accommodate my size when I flew for my initial surgery in 2007 - that was humiliating (and still is). I ended up having a revision of my VSG to a RNY last year because of regain and I am thrilled with the results and do NOT regret one moment of the journey or having the revision. I am in ONEderland for the first time since I was a teenager. I don't have to shop in the "plus-size" or "women's" section anymore and it's easier to do just about everything. I'm happier, not afraid to walk around with my head held high and look others in the eyes because I'm no longer ashamed of myself or how I look.