I have always been a little "chubby" throughout my early childhood life. I wore husky size pants and was a little slower than everyone else. I never really got picked on for being fat though. When I was in high school I decided that I was going to join the Air Force. I enrolled in the Delayed Enlistment Program as a Senior. My height was first measured at 5' 8" and the maximum I could weigh was 184 pounds so I knew during my last year of school before my enlistment date I had to keep my weight down. 

My recruiter left and new one came in. We would talk every now and then, but that was about it. The day came for me to go to the MEPs station (or in-processing) and my recruiter came to pick me up and my mom cried as I left. We swung by his office to get one last check. He measured me at 5' 7.5" which meant that my maximum weight could only be 181.5 pounds, not 184. Well, I was 185. He cussed me out, put me back in his car and took me back home just as my mom had finished sobbing. Later she told me that as we drove up she looked at my step-dad and asked, "What the hell is he doing back here?" She had already made herself ready for me to go.

Anyway, we got out of the car and my recruiter said I had 2 hours to lose the weight and he would be back. My mom was pretty upset at this point. She didn't want me to leave but she was ready for me to be gone. You know what I mean? Anyway, I put a trash bag on and all the winter clothes I could find and got on a stationary bike and rode my butt off. My mom gave me some of her diuretic pills she had to help remove even more water weight. My recruiter came and told me not to eat anything until I got to basic. I was sick as a dog that night and through the next day on the plane to Texas. When we arrived at basic it was late at night. I hadn't had anything to eat or drink for about 1.5 days now. I found out when we got there that since it was so late they could not do our in processing which meant no weigh in until the next day sometime. I finally weighed in at 180 pounds the next day!! Thank goodness that was over. After basic training I still weighed 180 pounds. I ate 2 meals a day, lunch and dinner. I never had a breakfast. For the first 2 weeks I did not have lunch either. When I left basic and went to Technical School we had to walk quite a bit to get to class every day. By the time I left tech school I was 165 pounds and feeling slim and trim.

My first (and only) duty station was Eielson Air Force Base Alaska. I first hated it, but then loved it and would love to go back. I got married up there in 1991 and we are still married today. I slowly gained weight as I neared my end of enlistment term of 4 years. I had no plans to reenlist and my wife was not going to reenlist either. We left in October of 1992 and came back to the states. We both worked convenience store jobs while going to college and I gained even more weight. I quit smoking and gained even more. I finally got up to nearly 300 pounds and had some issues one day that I couldn't explain. They ran tests on me, did an ultrasound of my heart, and all sorts of other stuff. That shook me up and I found a chiropractor that also did weight loss.

I did his plan for nearly a year and lost about 80 pounds and was feeling so good that I quit. I gained it all back in about 2 years and have been struggling with that ever since. I have sleep apnea, starting to get HBP, asthma, not quite diabetic, torn meniscus in my knee, pain in both knees, my right hip needs to be replaced, and both hips are in pain. I have been looking at WLS for over 10 years now. I have been putting it off mostly because of cost and because of pride. Two years ago my employer added insurance that covered WLS. Several employees took advantage of it, but I did not. I have watched them lose that weight and be so happy and put away all those medications and complications. I tried hiring a personal trainer for about a year. It worked to some degree. I was feeling better a little, but I kept having knee, hip, groin, and back issues all along the way which put me out of workouts an occasional week or so until finally the groin issue took me out completely. Or at least I thought it was a groin issue. It turns out that my hips are slightly deformed with shallow/narrow hip sockets. The doctor told me that if I had caught this sooner that they could have done repairs rather than replacements. I told him I wasn't in pain at that point so I had no idea. It was like I had no pain one day and the next I did so I figured it was my groin. When it never got  better that's when I went to see a doctor.

Anyway, fast forward a little and I made the decision (after scheduling and cancelling a few appointments) to do RNY and I have a scheduled surgery for 3/26/2013. I am excited yet apprehensive about it. There are a lot of emotions for me on this as I'm sure there are with most people. The first few appointments I had and canceled were all about me getting over my self-esteem issues about thinking I had "given up" or I'm "taking the easy way out" or I'm "better than this". Whatever it was, I'm over it now. The apprehensiveness I have now are more about the scary things like complications during and after and just the general unknowns. I'm in such a better place right now in my head.