I started out my journey when I saw how remarkable one of my co-workers looked after losing 250 lbs. He stared out at over 500 lbs. and lost his weight within 18 months. In 2003 Because of mobility problems I had decided to have a panni. I lost 50 lbs. but never any more and during the course of 2 years gained it back until I was well over 490 lbs. I stopped going to Weight Watchers as I could see the pity in the people's eyes. I stopped going because I wasn't working the program. My life consisted of getting up, taking care of my animals, getting dressed, in what ever I could fit into and going off to work. I work in Center City Philadelphia and park my car in a lot 2 blocks from my building. The walk was horrible, I would have to stop at least 4 times to rest. I would do nothing but cry on the entire drive home. I knew that if I didn't do something I was going to wind up immobile and have to be sent to a nursing home. Of course, I fast forwarded that nightmare but the ending still scared the he!! out of me. One day I started to get dressed up again. I always had beautiful clothes and being as I once kinda hot I knew how to work it. I started to put my makeup on and just in general started to feel better. The walk still killed me but I looked good. It was in October 2005 that a light bulb hit. I really looked at my co-worker and decided I want to have the surgery. As with everything in my life I wanted to fast track the process. After Thanksgiving I made the appointment. I had decided on Pennsylvania Hosptial because that is where I had my panni and I loved the care. I made the appointment in early January. The initial consult was interesting. I was given a list of things that I had to do. I am really bad at going to doctors and have to get a steam rolling to get started, so I did nothing the month of February. In early March I got a letter from the surgeon saying that in June my insurance was going to require a 6 month supervised diet. You never saw a fat woman hustle like I did. I got all of my pre-surgery stuff done and then I just sat on pins and needles. In early May 2006 I was told that my paperwork went in and that I just needed to wait. What they didn't tell me was that, I was already approved and I just needed to be scheduled. I figured I would have a least a 6 week wait. On May 19 at 3:00 I got the call that I was scheduled for surgery on June 14. Talk about fast. I cried and all of my co-workers were so happy as they could see my struggle. I was on my way.