I first remember talking about needing to lose 5 lbs when I was in 4th grade with my best friend. By the time I was in junior high, I really had a few extra pounds on me. My weight then continued to be a problem for me until this past april 3, 2007. I had an open roux-en-y by Dr. Marymor at the Barix Clinic in Langhorne PA.. By the time I went for my first surgical consult in January, I was taking medication for high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol. Until my preadmission testing, I apparently had recently developed type 2 diabetes per my lab work. AT 207 lbs, 5feet, 2 inches, I felt like a stuffed sausage. I was constantly tired, short of breath with exertion, and felt that I would have a stroke or cardiac problems within the next 10 years. I felt desperate.
Could I spend the rest of my life eating very restricted amounts of food? Could I give up forever ice cream/candy/desserts? Unlimited quantities of spaghetti/pizza/popcorn/crackers? Would I be able to be learn to cope with stress and boredom without reaching for food? I lived on diet pepsi at work. Give up soda? I was 48 years old. Needless to say, my habits were more than a little entrenched.
I felt lousy all the time. I was living my life on the sidelines. The script that ran through my head was " when I lose weight, x number of pounds, then I will participate in ....whatever". I didn't feel that I desrved to be happy, to be engaged in fun activities. I felt like a failure. Growing up in an emotionally abusive and sometimes physically abusive home, self esteem was not cultivated. I was regularly given the message that I wasn't good enough a person as I was. I have struggled with depression since at least high school.
I am a critical care rn, working in a community hospital, caring for among others, open heart patients,. I have always worked night shift. For the past several years, doing 12 hour shifts 3-4 times each week. There is always junk food around. Snacking all shift long has been a way of life for me. I truly felt if I didn't do something drastic, I would end up being my own patient, so many of which ended up needing heart surgery do to the accumulated effects of poor eating and lifestyle choices.
I thought long and hard about gastric bypass surgery. I had been through every diet, many of them several times. I never succeded in keeping weight off, and always regained additional pounds. I was afraid of being a failure again. But I was afraid of dying way too young even more. After my initial consult with Dr. Marymor, it only took a few weeks for my insurance to approve me. I got on the internet and tracked down quite a few books on wight loss surgery and the subsuquent lifestyle changes that it entails. I really did internalize the fact that it was my stomach and not my head that was being operated on. From all the books I realized that my head/habits were going to be my biggest challenge.
I had my surgery on April 3, 2007. I weighed 196.6 lbs at the time of surgery. Today I am 140Lbs. I have bounced around the past 8 weeks with apx. 5 lbs lower or back to 140. I realize this is due to inconsistant exercise and I haven't been keeping a food diary or planning out my meals. So, my current goals are to get back on track with the food diary and an exercise log. I have found that attending support group meetings, staying in touch with thw weight loss community via this internet address, and reading 2 different surgical weight loss journals is helping to keep me focused on what I need to do. I don't expect perfection in myself, but I do know that I can do better at staying on program. I know this is a program for life, not a temporary change, I didn't go through this surgery to become lazy in my habits and abuse the tool I now have, which has restored me to normal health. No more meds, normal lab work results. More energy. The joy of moving without such effort, feeling and knowing that I look normal. I have kayaked many times this past fall with great pleasure. I plan to learn how to rollerblade this coming spring. The joy of owning regular size clothing.
I have watched others eat candy/soda/chips/dessert. I have learned to live without these temporary treats. I can't say that I have lost all desired for these foods. I make the choice for better foods hour by hour some days, but the struggle is worth it!