Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
I have been a "bigger" girl my whole life. Even though I was fairly fit in middle/high school, I was always bigger than the other girls and teased. One boy I liked even said "she has a nice face....but the body? no." It got worse when I got to college and stopped doing any type of exercise, then even worse when my mother passed away my senior year. I stuffed my face constantly out of loneliness, frustration, etc. After I got married, we found that we would have to do fertility treatments to get pregnant. We were so lucky to have 3 healthy children, a boy and twin girls. But of course, the stress of treatments made me eat more, despite the fact the doctor said it would be easier if I lost weight. I'm not sure what my "tipping point" was. It may have been when I saw a picture of myself at our local fair and thought, "oh my God, that can't be me!". Several months later, I had decided to go to a seminar at a local hospital, and that day signed up for their program. But it wasn't until I went to the mandatory psychological counseling that I learned what my problems were. I always thought, "I just eat the wrong foods, that's all. I just need to eat healthier, and that's it!" But at therapy, I realized I eat for ALL the wrong reasons, not necessarily the wrong foods! I would eat when I was sad, when I was happy, when I was frustrated, etc. etc. etc. Just facing my emotional eating "demons" made all the difference in the world when I actually had the surgery.
What was (is) the worst thing about being overweight?
Since my parents both died when they were young (early 50's) of obesity related diseases, for me it always felt like I was living on borrowed time, only half-living, really. I couldn't stand the idea that I may leave my children behind and never see their children, never watch them graduate, never see my daughters get married. Also, I couldn't keep up with them! They always wanted to play, to run around, to go outside, and I simply had no energy to do anything.
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 LOVE exercising! I've stuck with it since surgery, and it's my outlet, my calming tool. I also used to love shopping, but dreaded trying to find clothes that were cute AND fit. (as an overweight woman you usually have to choose one or the other). Now I can't wait to go clothes shopping!! It's so nice to be able to go to the same stores as my friends.
I never have to worry about fitting into a chair. I no longer think that people at restaurants are staring at me thinking I shouldn't be eating. I can fly without a seatbelt extender. I don't need to take naps! I don't go out of my way to avoid windows or mirrors. I can get my towels around my whole body. I can keep up with my kids. I can teach my family good habits without feeling like a hypocrite.
My only regret- as LOTS of people say, is not doing it sooner in my life!