Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
I was always "lush" - "curvy" - no skinny-mini for me. I look back at pictures of myself, and I was NOT fat, but I was constantly TOLD I was overweight, and my parents constantly had me on "diets". I was 5'9" and weighed between 140 and 145 most of the time. But my relationship with my parents was not the best, and I ran away from home at age 16. Ended up being kidnapped, raped, beaten and held hostage until I believed that I deserved to be where I was. Took me nearly a year to get out of that situation, and only then because he killed two of my pets. I was so afraid of him that I left the state, made some bad decisions, ended up pregnant, and had to come back home to my Dad and Stepmom's. I had the baby, and then to prove to my Dad that even as "damaged goods" I could still find a decent man to love me and give us a good home... I ended up marrying a good man that I didn't love. I thought if I didn't love him, he couldn't hurt me. All I did was hurt myself. We bought a house very near to my kidnapper's parents, and I was so paranoid that I would run into him or them that I began to gain weight as a shield against that possibility. It was also because I was miserable in my marriage, and didn't want to be attractive to my husband, either. We finally moved out of state, but my marriage continued to disintegrate, and fianlly we divorced. I saw a therapist for several years, and we worked through the weight problem, peeling off all the layers of reasons for becoming fat. I have healed all that now... and now, it's just a question of getting the weight off. I've tried all the diets, lost 50 pounds TWICE on Weight Watchers, but gained it all back with interest both times... did really well on Dr. Atkins until I developed a fat intolerance, did Richard Simmons, NutiSystem, South Beach, you name it, all the fad diets, I did them. Nothing was working.
What was (is) the worst thing about being overweight?
The worst thing was that my knees became very arthritic, and climbing stairs or walking was very painful. It was also painful to get up and down off the floor, as in playing with my grandchildren, or to pick them up and carry them. And slowly, my back has deteriorated until I have degenerative disk disease, and severe arthritis of the lower spine and severe stenosis, causing excruciating sciatica that requires pain medication and physical therapy.
If you have had weight loss surgery already, what things do you most enjoy doing now that you weren't able to do before?
Walk without stopping every 100 feet to huff and puff, stand without it hurting my back too badly, exercise without pain, get up and down off the floor without too much trouble, and wearing clothing that shows off my figure now, instead of loose, long, baggy shirts and stretch pants.