HI! My name is Kim and I live in Gardner, KS a town south of Kansas City. I am a single mother of a 18 yr old son, who is graduating from High School this year. My son has been my life and my pride and joy and without him I do not honestly believe I would be here. He has been the one thing that has kept me going even when I wanted to give up. I knew he needed me and to give up would be teaching him the wrong thing to do when things are tough. Our kids see us totally different than others do, and no matter what we feel about ourselves or how we look, we are their heros, their mentors, their role models and our job as a parent never ends, regardless of their age.
I have struggled with a weight issue for years ( at least 20 yrs) and as the years went by the weight became even more of an issue and more difficult to control or to even lose. I have tried anything and everything out there, some probably not the safest or the smartest things to do. I was desperate to get my weight under control and no matter what I chose it would only work for a short period of time, letting me lose 40-50 lbs and then my body would take over and refuse to lose another lb, causing me to get even more depressed and frustrated. As my weight continued to climb higher and higher I became a completely different person than who I was before.
In my teens and early twenties I weighed approx 150-180 lbs and was very outgoing, full of life, energetic, happy and healthy. It was after I got married my lifestyle changed, no longer as active, started cooking for the new husband and slowly the weight started creeping on. Before I knew it I had gained 100 lbs and started having problems losing any weight at all. It seemed every time I would try to lose, I would gain what I lost then some, hence the vicious cycle of the yo-yo dieting began. After I had my son, Matt I did very well and lost 100 lbs (not sure how, other than I was so excited about having my baby that it just happened, plus maybe having a C-section probably helped too). I kept the weight off only for a short time, I had gone back to work and before I knew it I had gained the 100 lbs back plus 20. I could not for the life of me get the weight off, no matter what I tried.
It seemed the more I tried to lose the worse it got with being a failure. I steadily climbed the scale with the numbers getting higher and higher and I will never forget that evening when I joined Weight Watchers for ONE of the last times and they were not sure if they had a scale that would be able to weigh me accurately. I was mortified! I remember going to the hospital and being weighed on the freight scale (YES, I said the Freight Scale) I tipped the scale at 476 lbs and I couldn't believe it, I remember that evening when I got home, I just sat there and thought ... OH MY GOD.. I am as large as a COW.. I almost weigh 500 lbs. No wonder I hurt all the time, no wonder I can' t breathe, no wonder I feel so bad, no wonder I can hardly walk, no wonder my back and knees are giving out on me.. NO WONDER...
I tried like heck to follow the program and lost a little bit and again gained it back plus some and decided that I would never go on another diet again. I could not afford to gain another lb. I knew then my only option was surgery and that is when I started researching my options for surgery. I had thought nothing could be worse than feeling like a failure but I was wrong. My ex-husband was killed in 2002, leaving me as the only parent for our son, and then I lost my job in 2004, the only income I had. I had literally hit rock bottom.. and felt like nobody, I couldn't get a job, noone would hire me, due to my weight, ( high risk). I became very depressed and had gained so much more additional weight it became difficult to stand, to walk, to do anything. I would get extremely exhausted trying to do anything. I had become disabled and had to have help doing the simpliest of things.
I had hit the bottom and I started losing my identity, became reclusive (not leaving my home for wks at a time- literally, yes!), lost any confidence I had, felt like a failure to myself, family, friends, and my son. I started thinking of death, that I was gonna die if I didn't do something. I was scared to go to sleep at night, afraid I would not wake up in the morning. I started worrying about how I was gonna take care of my son, who was actually taking care of me instead, what a horrible burden I had placed on my teenage son. I had no choice but to rely on others to help me and I felt like I was disappearing, being erased, slowly killing myself with MY WEIGHT.
Being Morbidly obese literally consumes you, everything is about weight, people treat you different, you're ignored, people judge you and assume that you are lazy, smell, and that you shovel food in your mouth like you have never eaten before. I have had some pretty bad things happen to me by complete strangers who think they have the right to insult me, mistreat me, harrass me, and hurt me all because I happen to be overweight. SOCEITY is hung up on being thin, perfect, and pretty, especially for women. I reached a point in my life where I can not deal with the idiots out there mis treating me any longer. I have a right to be just like anyone else, regardless of my size. I will be the same person inside regardless of my outer shell. I want more than anything to be able to be NORMAL and to feel NORMAL and to do NORMAL THings again. To not feel like a freak and to have people stare at you or to make fun of you. It still hurts even with 20+ yrs of being overweight, to hear someone insult you, laugh at you and mistreat you.
I reached my top weight of 538 lbs and I cried like a fool that day after I stepped off that scale in Dr Kaniewski's office. I was so afraid she would tell me. sorry we can't help you, you are to heavy. I knew if I could not have surgery then I would probably not be here in 5 yrs. I had now resorted to using a wheelchair to get around, since it was to difficult to walk any distance or to stand any lenght of time. Here I am 5'4 and weighing 538lbs, holy crap! I am so thankful that GOD opened the doors for me to have this surgery and to save my life, otherwise I would not be here. My son now can go off to college and not worry about leaving me. I did not realize how much of a burden I had placed on him and others inmy life with my weight problem. Everyone in my life was worried about me. My life changed the day I had my surgery and I will forever be thankful to the facility, the staff, Dr K and everyone else who has taken care of me. THis is the beginning of a new life for me and I look forward to this journey. KIM