I have struggled with obesity for as long as I can remember. I have always been the "fat kid" in the class and heaviest in my family and have heard repeatedly how pretty I would be if I just lost weight. I was a candidate for the surgery many years ago but shyed away from it because I always thought that if I was ready to make changes because of a surgery, then I could do them on my own without having it. As you can guess, those changes were never made. I also thought that the surgery was the easy way out. I then had a friend get it done, immediately get pregnant, go back to eating fast food, and is a growing plus size again. Her results scared me...I actually thought the doctor may have done something wrong. But a few years later, here I am. I am now seeing the results of my weight on my body. I have back pain daily, my knees hurt, etc etc...After talking with the people at the initial orientation, my thoughts have totally changed. My surgery is scheduled for October 8, 2007. I am going in prepared to make the lifestyle changes I need. I am also heading into this realizing that it is a tool and not just an easy way out. I know this is going to be hard, especially with the holidays coming up, but I am ready...I can't wait!!!