“Dom, you have your father’s genes”
Apparently I had my father’s genes and was seriously growing out of my actual “jeans”. My father (who passed away when I was 2) was a hefty kid who resorted to taking diet pills as an adult to lose weight. Unlike my father, I didn’t wait until I was an adult to take diet pills. By 8 years old I already had taken my first ride on the “fad weight loss” train, including diet pills. I grew up in a household where food was a sign of love. If my grandmother cooked something special for you, that was a sign of love. Everything was made from scratch – from biscuits to butter (Yes, we churned our own butter). I was a hefty kid. At 10 years old, I was 3 pounds heavier than my aunt. By the time I was 17, I tipped the scale at 250 pounds. By the time I was in my early 20’s and graduated college, I was 400 pounds. High blood pressure? Check. Bad knees? Check. Can’t walk more than a couple steps without being out of breath? Check. Fad diets – tried them all. Atkins, grapefruit, cabbage soup, done it.
My first dose at actually getting “serious” about losing weight was when I was told by my OBGYN to “get a lapband and lose weight” because I was “too fat to treat”. Embarrassed and by this time 425 pounds, I found a Dr. who for $50 per visit would give you a month’s worth of weight loss pills and a diet plan. Cool. I lost 100 pounds in 6 months eating pringles, a hamburger and fries, and cherries. Awesome! Then came the heart valve damage, and upon stopping the medication, 60 pounds back on.
A co-worker told me she was having weight loss surgery and encouraged me to look into it. I was 34 years old with the quality of life of someone over twice my age. I talked about the risks with my husband and made the decision to go forward. After meeting with a bariatric surgeon, I was more encouraged than ever that WLS was right for me. I read books, and joined the Bariatric Eating Support group before my surgery (it was listed as a good resource in my paperwork). July 15, 2015 is when I had the gastric sleeve procedure.
Because of the support I received in group, the tough love (I had a tortilla virtually “slapped” out of my hand by an ADMIN), I have managed to drop 275 pounds and I am officially in maintenance mode. I went from someone who was super morbidly obese with my own mortality staring me in the face to someone who loves fitness, working out and enjoying healthy food.
For the first time in my life, I am actually LIVING and not just EXISTING. I was given a second chance to live life and I hope to inspire others to do the same.