Thursday, September 10, 2015

Journey Of A Lifetime - This Is Not The Easy Way Out

For as far back as I could remember I had always been heavy, as I grew older I continued to grow heavier, until I was about 23 years old and weighed well over 360lbs. I was the size of three normal sized adults, that was pretty scary, especially considering the fact I had a son to think about, what would happen to him should something ever happen to me? It was time for a change! I began researching; I read countless articles, watched YouTube videos on other people who have gone through the same thing I was living now. Finally, I made my choice I would have weight loss surgery. Oh yes, the “easy” way out as some like to call it, let me tell you when you try dieting and exercise for over 15 years there is NO easy way out, especially when  you are talking about a major surgery.  After completing all the necessary pre-op tasks, six months had passed and I was more than ready to start my new life.

The day of my surgery came, July 25, 2010 and I found myself sitting in the pre-op waiting room a little past 6:00 in the morning, waiting. The nerves had set in and I was a wreck, scared about what if something happened to me? What if I failed at this like I had on all the diets I ever tried? What if the surgery doesn’t work and I don’t lose anything? A million valid and justified questions needed answers, but they would have to wait. It was time, the nice nurse with the warm smile called my name and led me and my new husband (we had only been married for 2 months before this point) walked back that long hallway to my bed. 

This bed would be the last place I saw until my surgery was over. It seemed like it took forever to get the IV in and set up, get the paperwork in and ready, meet the surgeon for that good morning, pre surgery pep talk, but finally the time arrived I had to kiss my husband goodbye and pray things would work out and I would see him again in a few hours. Apparently the surgery went well, it took a few hours and I was in recovery, sore as could be but thankful to have had a successful surgery with no complications. Now, it was time to begin my new life. This was my second chance and I was not going to blow it. 

Beach trip before surgery
My journey began only a few short hours after surgery, I was assisted in getting up and out of bed. The lovely nurse, Luce would be my best friend for the next three days and I waited to be released from the hospital. She helped me up, through my tears and begging she remained strong and encouraged me. Eventually I was standing on my own, and preparing to walk. It was no easy task, but I managed and I managed without pain medication. I knew I wanted to do this and do this well, so I walked…and walked…and walked…over the next three days I felt like Forest Gump who did all that running, only I was a walking machine. I would tire easily and would need breaks but I would not give up, I would not lose this second chance at life, at this second chance of being “normal.”
Over the next 11 months I continued to stay strong, I cut out all sugar, fast food, grease. I ate small amounts, veggies and fruits, and I was faithful in taking my vitamins and exercising.

Beach trip after - 1 year post op
 I lost over  180lbs in those 11 months. I went from 350lbs to 151lbs in 11 months’ time and I felt great! I was wearing a size Small to medium in juniors and size 10/12 in jeans. Coming from a size 3XL and 30W pants this was quite an accomplishment. I still have that old paid of size 12 panties and size 30W jeans to remind me of where I came from. It was a journey I would never forget. Here I sit writing this personal account up to share with the world and it has been a little over 5 years since my surgery day and I have since had 2 pregnancies and am pregnant again, and have only gained a total of 20lbs that I have yet to lose to get back to my “pre-pregnancy” weight of 155lbs. I have learned so much about myself, I know my limitations and I know what I need to do to get back to my goal weight. While I am nowhere close to where I began I am not happy where I sit at the moment, so once this little baby arrives I will be using my tool (my gastric bypass) to help me get back to the 155lbs that I want to be. 

So, many people out there call weight loss surgery the “easy way” out but let me tell you those who have the surgery work just as hard if not harder than those who lose weight without it. There is no easy way out when you are obese and want to regain control, there is only dedication and a life style change and that is what it boils down to. You have to want to change and make the change an entire life change, diets don’t work, they are meant to fail you need to have it in your mind that this is going to be your new life, healthy foods, home cooked foods, and exercise and that is the only way you will be successful.

I share my story not for attention but to show every other person out there battling obesity that you CAN change, you CAN take back control of your life, you just have to be willing to grab it and take it! Weight loss is not easy no matter which route you take you have to be ready to make the change for YOU!

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