I have been overweight all my life. Then after a very traumatic year in 1996, my life changed, and the pounds started really coming on. Before I knew it, I was 260, had hypertension, borderline diabetic, no energy, and had constant acid reflux, back and knee pain, and couldn't even fit in a seat at the movies. I was a paramedic for 7 years, and I am also and autopsy technician. I have seen first hand what obesity does to a body, and I realized I was slowly commiting suicide with each oversized portion I ate. So I decided that I needed to make a change. After one attempt to qualify for WLS, I was approved and ready to go, then lost my insurance. It was 4 more years before I was again able to make the journey, and now here I am. I will find out in 5 days if this lifechanging surgery is going to take place, and then the real struggle will begin. I have slowly been coming to terms with what life post WLS will be like. I mourn for the loss of one of life's greatest pleasure, sugar, alcohol, cakes, cookies, ice cream, cheese curds, but I also celebrate that I will be alive and energetic, and "normal" in the eyes of society again. I realize that each day will be a struggle, each meal that other's eat that I cannot will be another small tragedy, but I also realize that it took me 29 years to get here, and I have the rest of my life to learn new pleasures, like riding bike with my daughter, or going shopping with friends and not being embarrassed because nothing in the whole store fits me, or having my husband look at me and see an attractive body to fit the personality he fell in love with. Looking at those possiblities, my love of food will become a distant memory, and more a process rather than an experience.