My Life Before Bariatric Surgery
I led a very sedentary lifestyle and was afraid to engage in any strenuous activity for fear of collapsing. I had elevated cholesterol, a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and pain in my hips, knees and back.
I was so unhappy with myself. I felt like such a failure because of my inability to successfully lose weight and keep it off.
I am a training manager for a medical device company. I could not walk up a flight of steps and give a lecture because I would be too short of breath. I was increasingly self-conscious in front of the class. I dreaded traveling because I did not fit in the airline seats.
The extra weight was like carrying around a fifth grader everywhere I went.
Making the Decision
I considered the lap band, but after doing research I recognized that I needed a 'tool' that would help me control the type of food that I ate as well as the volume of food. As a former operating room nurse I felt that I knew a lot about bariatric surgery, but I did my research anyway. I looked at several programs and decided that Barix was the program with the most comprehensive patient care including both pre-operative and post-operative support.
I wanted a program with good aftercare. The reality of this procedure is that the surgery is the 'easy' part-learning to use your tool successfully is the hard part. You must be totally committed to changing your relationship with food for this to be successful. I still attend support groups meetings. They bring comfort and encouragement towards my continued success.
Making Success Happen
I lost weight faster than I expected. I believe that I have tamed my food demons. I have a much healthier attitude and a more positive approach to food. I work out 4-6 times a week.
When I made the decision to have bariatric surgery, I knew that it would mean that I must be willing to make some difficult changes in my life in order to be successful. Today, I am nearly 3 years post-op. I have maintained my weight loss and feel that I have been given a new lease on life. I will turn 50 in a few months and I can say without hesitation that I am in the best shape of my life. My biggest regret is that I did not have the surgery sooner.
How My Life Has Changed
It is difficult to articulate the profoundly positive impact this surgery and weight loss had on my emotional well-being and self-esteem.
My weight loss has given me the courage to seek out new opportunities with my employer. Now I am never embarrassed in front of the class and often receive positive comments about how energetic I am.
I have so much more confidence and seek out social situations. I never would have done that before.
I tell everyone about my surgery. I keep a 'before' picture in my workout log and show it to people at the gym all of the time.