Does this get easier?

It has been about 5-6 weeks since I had the Gastric Sleeve procedure. I started at 388 pounds and I am now 345.4 pounds as of this morning. I have lost 43 pounds so far and I should be thrilled right?! That is more than a pound a day and I know I should be grateful and more than thrilled! Well yes and no to the elation. Yes because I know that I am on the road to being healthier and living longer. No because this journey is every bit if not more difficult than doing it the “normal” route ( diet, exercise, no surgery!). People look at me now and will ask what have I done that’s different. My usual answer is nothing  and sometimes the answer is I’ve lost some weight. We went to a wedding this past weekend and when I didn’t partake in the appetizers and drinks I was asked with shock in one of the guests voice asking why I wasn’t eating? Like it was a shock that someone wouldn’t eat these yummy tidbits. Or maybe it was shock that someone my size wouldn’t eat these things. I’m not sure which of these it was. I know it has only been 5 weeks but I wish the weight loss was more dramatic so I wouldn’t have to tell those who know me it would just be obvious.

I am finding there are so many more things to deal with than I bargained for. The first couple weeks it is really hard to sleep because of the general aches of recovery from surgery. There have been random aches and pains that I don’t understand and there is no medical explanation for. I have had random abdominal pains, sharp unexplained pains in my chest, numbness in my mouth and lips. I’m slightly dizzy all the time.  I’m tired most of the time and feeling fatigued and stressed. My body had started to shift some and I’m between sizes. Some of my old clothes still fit ok but others won’t stay up or they look like a tent. In some ways this makes me pretty happy and in other ways I feel like an awkward teenager trying to find herself.  I’m feeling way more self-conscious than I ever did when I was at my highest weight which is weird and hard to figure out.

There is also the emotional side of this process. I can’t turn to food when I’m stressed or frustrated.  Food isn’t used as a means of celebration any longer or a means to gather and have fun. I’ve realized food was a huge part of who I was. My husband and I did so many things that revolved around food. I don’t think I even realized how much until we couldn’t do the same things anymore. Not only am I feeling like an awkward teenager but I feel like I don’t know who I am as a person and where I fit into my circle of friends and family. Food has always been a bit part of my social network. It was what we did. We would go out to eat, have people over to eat, go wine tasting, meet friends at beer flights. We used to take trips that always involved finding great new places to eat. I enjoyed it so much and now it’s gone. Not only do I not eat very much but I just don’t like to do it anymore. I find eating a necessity now instead of a pleasure. If I didn’t need it to survive I would likely skip it all together. I find it hard to eat and drink all that I am supposed to in a days time. I no longer really enjoy cooking which is a huge shift in who I am and what I valued. I have been cooking since I was a child. Food has been a huge part of my family and all of our events. With the holidays coming I have to say I’m a little nervous.

Part of my nervousness comes from the fact that a lot of my family doesn’t know I’ve done this. I haven’t told everyone for fear of their disapproval or  judgment or maybe because of my own fears and insecurities. One thing this process does is drags up all the old hurts, insecurities, doubts and fears and forces you to look at them. I find I cry at some point everyday. All of these emotions and feeling can be overwhelming and because I think I need more support  I have decided as part of this process that it is time I tell those I love. As my mom says  I won’t be able to hide this forever. People are going to know something has happened and I’m not going to lie about it. I lied to myself long enough about my weight. Not owning this process and all that it has taken me through and will take me through isn’t fair to me and it is selling my friends and family short. If I can’t tell the people I love and who love me than who can I tell. It is easy to tell strangers but so much harder to be honest with those you love. Judgments from those you love hurt so much more I think.

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Lime Jello Anyone?

Day two of my hospital stay was traumatic for my dignity. I had suffered the indignities of bathroom issues, failing to taking care of myself, having to ask the person I love the most for help and suffering the fears student nurses have.  I was to be released at the end of day two and I had one more hurdle to overcome but not sure I could handle it if it didn’t go well. Eating or should I say drinking was the last thing I needed to do prior to going home. I would be on a liquid diet for a few more weeks. The thought of putting anything else through my digestive tract was something I was really struggling with. After the barium episode I was now the one scared. I was now like that poor student nurse who didn’t know how to unhook me or help me in my time of need.  I didn’t want to go through what had happened earlier in the day but I also was ready to go home. By later that afternoon on day two I was more myself, managing the pain a bit better and  I was up walking. Perhaps trying to walk away from my embarrassing earlier moments but medically walking to avoid blood clots and all that can come with major surgery.

I had slept through my first food tray delivery and woke up as the second one was being delivered. The tray consisted of an artificial packet of dried broth to be mixed with water, a popsicle and lime jello. I was being encouraged by my husband, med students, nurses and even the fella who delivered my liquid treats to try to take in as much as possible. The man who delivered the second food try had also delivered the first and looked hurt that I hadn’t touched it. Ok, well I have to do this and like all the rest of the hurdles I had to overcome I decided it was best to just dive in.

Where to start? With a level of fear sitting in the pit of my new half the size stomach I tried the popsicle. The treat I had loved as a child surely would go down easy. It was slightly melted and I thought this was good. I put it in a Styrofoam cup and gave it a try. One tiny little sip/1/4 of a teaspoon full of grape popsicle  felt like needles sticking me in my stomach. The pain was awful. Perhaps it was the coldness of the half-frozen popsicle. My sweet husband terrified he would never get his wife back suggested I give the opposite end of this treat tray a try. He suggested the broth. I mixed the broth with the luke warm water and gave it a tiny sip and had the same result. Pain! What had gone wrong? Why wasn’t I able to get anything down? Was this a HUGE mistake? Fear set in and then another tray along with the fella who brought the first two came walking through the door. OH NO! Already!

The new tray was delivered as my surgical medical students came walking through the door on rounds. Frustration and fear had overcome me. The results of day two as a whole had come crashing down and I was completely overwhelmed by it all. This wasn’t going as I had planned. The decision to send me home was in the hands of these surgical medical students and my nurse. There was no way I was going anywhere if I couldn’t keep myself hydrated. I explained my pain and frustrations to these young ambitious surgeons to which they explained and felt my inability to hydrate myself may have been a result of the barium.  By this point the barium had won the day!  By this point in the evening I knew I wasn’t going home, I was exhausted, a little depressed, embarrassed and frustrated. This was my first moment that I couldn’t turn to food to deal with my feelings. I had to deal with this another way. I cried. I cried in front of them all. This was the moment the doctors had told me about. This was the moment the psychologist said would come. I thought I could handle all these feeling and keep them in check as I always had in the past but I couldn’t. I just cried.

The next morning I woke up ready for a new day. I told myself it had to be better than the day before. In came the same nice guy who had delivered the food trays the day before. Somehow he looked more hopeful for me. It may have been my own hope I saw on his face. How did I get so lucky to have all these people cheering me on. All these people were strangers but yet they all gave me words of encouragement and hope. The tray sat there looking at me. As hopeful as I was I was also filled with trepidation. The day before hadn’t gone so well. The popsicle was a disaster and the broth was no better. I decide to start with the lime jello. I took a small spoonful and I have never been so grateful for half a spoon of jello in my life. I celebrated my victory with a walk around the hospital floor. I was going home and would be ok.

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Did I sign up for this?

It took hours to move me to a room as the hospital was waiting for a room to clear out. It was all good as long as I was in recovery. I was somewhat uncomfortable but I had no idea what was to come. Once I got to my room everyone who came to see me stressed how critical it was to get up and WALK. WALK – really? Just hours before I wasn’t sure who I was or what anyone said to me. How could I possibly walk? As the anesthesia wore off the reality of what I did to myself set in. I wasn’t just uncomfortable anymore I was miserable. I couldn’t easily adjust myself in my hospital bed. The five incisions across my abdomen, which I was so excited to get, now were my enemy. The incisions felt tight and painful, my insides felt like someone had removed them all and then changed their mind. Then there was the gas! Oh the gas. The surgeons fill you with air so that they can see better as they work. Good for them and bad for me. A person wouldn’t think this would be as painful as it is but WOW is it painful! Might even have been worse than the actual incision sights. I felt like a helium balloon filled to the brim! The only solution for this pain is to let your body work through it which meant walking. OK – anything to easy the misery.

As I tried to get up my enemy worked hard against me. Punishing me with every movement. I was finally up and out of bed. I looked like Jack Nicholson in the movie where he is in the hospital after a heart attack and his backside is hanging out as he walks down the hall attached to his IV and Diane Keeton is there to see him bear it all. I was attached to all sorts of machines and IV’s and didn’t care who saw what. I was so miserable I just wanted to get done what I had to, to somehow ease some of the pain. That’s how it is when you come from having some sort of major surgery. The pain and drugs take away all levels of self-consciousness and you no longer care who sees what. Thank GOD my husband was there to save some of my dignity. Prior to heading out on my long walk down the very short hospital hall he made sure everything was covered and in tact. I made it about 30 steps. This was my big success for the evening.

The next day came with its own set of challenges. When you are in the hospital there are lots of mile stones that need to be overcome prior to going home. I was slotted for two days in the hospital pending I reached all my mile stones. The goals included – going to the bathroom and keeping liquids down and getting the AOK from radiology after an upper GI. Three small little things that come so easily for most. Easy enough right?  OH MY WORD – Wrong! The first hurdle I faced was the upper GI. I was told it would be simple and I couldn’t try to drink anything until this was done. Off to radiology I went ready for my first hurdle.

I just had to drink some chalky liquid and they would check my new stomach for leaks.  I was wheeled down to the moment of truth, handed a cup of the MOST DISGUSTING LIQUID EVER CREATED ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH and was told to drink it all. A WHOLE STYROFOAM CUP of this gross and indescribably disgusting liquid ( Just thinking of it now causes me to shiver with disgust)? They had to be kidding. As I stood between the x-ray machine slabs, gagging this really awful stuff down, I watched as my stomach appeared and all looked contained. I begged the techs to at least let me rinse out my mouth and as I gingerly got back onto my bed I knew I was in trouble. The bubbling and sick feeling was consuming me. It felt like the reaction baking soda has when added to vinegar. Good Lord, they had given me an explosive, bubbling mixture of misery and how could I possibly maintain any form of dignity with this misery raging inside my stomach! They wheeled me back into a waiting area and gave me a button to push in case I needed anything. The button could not have been large enough or brought someone quick enough for me. Within a minute of them leaving I felt the barium coming back up and I pushed the button maybe 1200 times in about a two-minute time period. The tech walked back in and immediately she knew we both were in a desperate situation. Mine was the terrible feeling bubbling up inside my tummy and the tech’s situation was the clean up on the floor and possibly on her if she didn’t get me something to throw up in and quick! The risks to us both were rising by the second. She quickly returned with help and only a small amount of this evil cursing liquid came back up.

As I was wheeled back to my room I knew it wasn’t over. The curse of barium was upon me and had only reeked part of its havoc. It didn’t take long before I knew I needed a trip to the bathroom. At least one of the hurdles was soon to be over. I hit the call button for a nurse to help me and who walked in but a male student nurse. Lucky me. As I told him of my desperate situation the deer in the headlights look on his face grew in intensity. He was scared! There is nothing worst than a scared student nurse who has no idea what to do or how to help you when you are desperate to get to the bathroom. The barium was now raging and wanted out. I pleaded with the student to unhook me so I could get to the bathroom and the adrenaline and urgency within me was help me get myself unhooked. The last hurdle was the damn  bed rail. As I was pulling the connector from the EKG machine the scared deer was trying to get the bed rail down. HOW HARD CAN IT BE TO GET A BED RAIL DOWN?!? I was all unhooked and on the edge but unfortunately not on the edge of the bed. The student realized he wasn’t able to get the bed rail down and went for help. A second actual nurse comes in and she wasn’t any more help. She had no idea how to get the rail down either. I must be in a one of a kind, newly made, nurse proof bed. I was starting to sweat. Though the day before I didn’t care who saw what or what happened by this point the drugs had worn off and my desperation to keep a little dignity was hanging on a balance and tipping quickly in the wrong direction!

It then happened. My nurse finally made it in to let the bed rail down but it was too late. Dignity zero barium 1. This wasn’t the end of it. Barium would score more points before this was all over. No one ever told me that along with the indignity I just suffered I would have to suffer another. Because of the incisions and their location it is impossible to clean yourself up. Something so mundane as wiping my own bottom was now impossible.  The student nurse was left to clean up my bed but I would be damned if he was going to clean me up. He couldn’t get a bed rail down how could I trust he could handle this terrible situation. In the bathroom and desperate for help the student nurse kept coming to check on me. The deer in headlights look was still in full force and he was really hoping he would not have to help me. I didn’t want him to help me and there was only one other choice. This situation put my wedding vows to the test. It was not for better but for worse and it was defiantly in sickness. The real pro in this situation took over and he was my hero!

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Wait! Is that another pizza commercial?

All the pre-op appointments, Cardiac Echo’s and blood draws had been done. It was 10 days before surgery and I had to commence with nothing but a liquid diet. Liquid diet means nothing but water,clear broth, crystal light  (if you drink it), and liquid protein. NO SOLID FOOD, no carbonated water, nothing with sugar! Easy right!! Well not exactly. The first few days were really hard. I missed food. Why did I have to do this!?!?I stuck with it because I wanted to do it right and felt following my doctors orders was the best way to go. After all I was trusting this person with my life so felt I should do what he asked. I have to say  I would have given an arm for even one noodle in my broth after day 3. By day 6 I was so disgusted with my options I would have rather just not had anything. I wasn’t really hungry anymore until I watched TV. Every second and sometimes third commercial on TV was a food commercial, someone making food choices or something that shows people eating. Eating is a huge part of the American Lifestyle. People can’t just stop eating. It isn’t like a drug or alcohol addiction though I imagine those addictions are equally hard to overcome. I can’t say I’ve never had a drug or alcohol problem just a huge food problem!

While watching all of these commercials I saw only one vegetable commercial and it wasn’t really for veggies but the dressing you can cover them in to mask the entire taste of the vegetable itself. The rest of the commercials showed me crispy fresh fried chicken, hot cheese topped pizza, or one of the many other fast food restaurant choices we have on every other block. About a week into the liquid diet I swear I could smell the food as the commercials showed me chicken sandwiches on huge delicious pretzel rolls with beautiful green lettuce and summer ripe tomatoes topped with a delicious and amazing sauce that tied it all together. As  I watched these commercials I got angry. I was angry at my myself for falling for this and craving the food they showed me and angry at the marketers for putting out these commercials when we all know what you get when you go through the drive thru restaurant of your choice. It looks something like a week old limp bun with either an under or over cooked piece of meat in varying shades of what it should actually be, wilted lettuce and a piece of tomato that just barely passes for ripe and is usually mealy and inedible. The whole thing is usually put together haphazardly and served lukewarm. I can only hope you have had better luck with your orders but I bet not. After the anger set in I was more determine than ever to not watch them. I turned the channel , choose movies, read more, played games and just found something else to do. It really is no wonder there are weight and health problems for a large portion of this country when food is in your face ALL THE TIME! And not just any food commercials but the food commercials that promote unhealthy living and fatty eating. I can’t blame these commercials and restaurants  entirely. I know I made the easy choice to go through the drive thru in the past. I’ve order more than I should and eaten it all. I take responsibility for my part in this but these food commercials remind me of the cigarette commercials that used to plague  the airwaves when I was a kid and did so until it was determined that cigarettes are killers. Hmmm, maybe that HUGE FRIED HAMBURGER matched with a huge order of fried potatoes is equally as dangerous and the fast food chains equally guilty?

The day of the surgery arrived. We were up early and ready to go. At the hospital by 8 for a 10 am surgery. As I waited to be called back for surgery I wanted to run. Yes, I had worked hard to get to this point. I had endured hours of humiliation taking about my weight and downfalls in life, months of dieting and liquid diets in preparation. I had felt frustrated, anxious, excited, thrilled, scared and every other emotion known to man at one point or another leading up to  this day. Really in preparation for this day. As I sat there waiting and wanting to run I need to take a deep breath and really think about why I wanted to run. Was it because this was a huge mistake? NO WAY! It was because it was unknown. I didn’t know what the outcome of this would be. How I would feel, would it work, what my friends and family would think. I didn’t have the answers and it mattered more than I thought.

People can tell you how you will feel during,  afterwards and while telling others but until it happens you don’t REALLY know. I can only share my experience and it will be different for everyone I’m sure. I remember the day I told my mom I had made the decision to have the surgery. She was the only one in my family I told. I was scared. Would she judge me and think it was a bad idea? What would I do if she did? It mattered to me what she thought and how she felt about it. When she was thrilled for me I was so relieved. Same with one of my dearest friends. I waited till a week before the surgery to tell her. I was terrified of the judgment but I didn’t get that at all. She also was thrilled and excited for me. So much so she cried. WOW, I never realized how much these folks worried about me and this weight I’ve been carrying. People who love you and care about your feelings don’t really say to you “hey you are really fat and I’m afraid something awful will happen to you if you don’t drop the weight, love you and good luck with it ” This doesn’t seem to be the conversation people have with you at all. For a long time I walked around not realizing I was as large as I really was. Thank God I finally got it!

So, I was called in for surgery prep, weighted and all my vitals were taken. My husband was given a pager so he could track my progress once I was in surgery and he followed me in. I was 13 lbs down as a result of the liquid diet and BP was through the roof of course but I was ready to go. My anxiety was pretty high but I was moving forward. It was like walking through a haunted house not sure what was around the next corner. As all the doctors and nurses came in to see me I can’t say my anxiety lessened.  I learned about what was about to happen to me and it took all I had not to cry ( I cry when my anxiety is really high, frustrated, happy, oh heck I’m a crier).  I learned  about  the process of being put to sleep, what would happen during the surgery and after. It was then time to go. With an IV in tow I was being wheeled to THE ROOM. I was given something in my IV to make me relax ( thank GOD) and when I arrived in the operating room all was right with the world. Whatever they gave me worked and I was thankful!

I woke up in recovery with a nurse saying something to me. No idea to this day what she was saying  but all I know is I was agreeing. She could have asked me to sign away my first born or more and I would never have known.  There were other people coming into recovery who seemed to be a lot worse off then I was but really everything was out of context as I was out of context. My pain was being managed by this wonderful person who seemed to hold this magic liquid that made the world wonderful. I was grateful!  I spent the majority of the day in recovery as I was waiting for a room in the hospital to open up for me. I was uncomfortable as the time passed but not really in terrible pain. Little did I know what was to come next.

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Can I have the supersized plan?

When a person decides to have Bariatric surgery there is quite a process you have to go through before the insurance will cover the surgery. So unless you are a multi millionaire or can easily afford a 2-3 night stay in the hospital, all the cost of the surgery and all the visits you have to go through prior to surgery I suggest settling in for the long haul.  There are lots of appointments to keep and people to see. Everyone needs to verify you are sane and capable. That should have been my first warning. Now in hind sight I think yes they were checking to see if I could follow the instructions and do what I needed to do to not kill myself through starvation but I now think they were also checking to see if I was of sound mind because I wanted to cut out half my stomach, cause myself pain like none I’d had before and suffer the embarrassments that come with a stomach carved into a banana.

Once I left the surgeons office and decided I was ready I didn’t want to lose momentum so I immediately set myself to task. I needed three months of documented weight loss, three visits to a physical therapist, three visits with a nutritionist and a visit to with my friendly local, recommended therapist. I scheduled all the appointments and commenced to getting them done. All was going great. I was determined! I saw all the docs I needed to and was moving forward. I wasn’t losing any weight mind you but I sure gave it may all. Then, all of a sudden WAM! It was time to see the therapist. I went into her office prepared. I had spent a lot of time working on myself, feeling like I finally knew who I was and had forgiven those who had hurt me including myself. I had done the work as they say. As I sat in her office and she began asking me questions my past flooded me and all the hurt I had thought I had dealt with resurfaced and I felt all those awful feelings once again. WHOA, wait a minute! How is this happening?!?! As we talked I realized it wasn’t that I hadn’t done the work it was that I needed to accept these things would forever be part of who I was. All the abuse, hurts and self-esteem killing moments in my life wouldn’t ever just go away. I couldn’t just be this brand new person with no past. It was at that point I made yet another movement forward in my life. Not forgetting my past but learning to live with it and move forward was the way to go. After talking with the therapist and doing hours worth of psychological testing I left her office exhausted but hopeful. Hopeful not just for the surgery’s sake but for my own well being and mental health.

What followed was frustrating but necessary. I continued my doctors appointments from May – August 2013 didn’t lose any weight but didn’t gain any either. It was a wash in my mind but enough documentation had been gathered to be sent to the insurance company to say “Hey look, she really needs some help with this weight loss process”. The time had come. The moment of truth was upon me. The most stressful part of this process had just reared it ugly head and I had just realized it. It was time for the insurance company to  approve me or deny me. The nurse called me and told me she was sending all the paperwork to the insurance company. All the notes and comments about how fat I was, how much I had tried, what I had learned and why I was ready for this change was sent over in a few minute fax. I felt my future life and health was about to be decided by someone who had never met me. By a person who didn’t know my life or who I really was but only knew what was written on some forms. This person was going to determine if I was worthy of help or not. This person was going to determine if I was good enough to make the cut. I was terrified. What if they said no. I limited who I told about the surgery because of this fear factor. What would I say to people if I told them I was going to do this and then I was turned down?

The paperwork was submitted and that afternoon, perhaps the quickest turn around in the history of insurance responses, I was approved to move forward with this major change in my life. Wow, this was really going to happen!

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Where does the beginning start?

I decided to create this blog to help people, document my path and share my experiences and maybe help someone else decide If weight loss surgery is for them or not. I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. As a kid my father would yell at me about eating too much telling me I would get fatter. I remember one night at my grandparents house I wanted a second piece of bread at dinner and with all of my extended family there my father told me I was fat enough and couldn’t have the second piece. I remember this like it was yesterday. I was embarrassed and humiliated.  I was around  6 when this happened and it wasn’t limited to just this one time.  My paternal grandmother constantly told me how fat and as a result ugly I was and after years of being told this after awhile a person begins to believe it and live it. I never felt good enough, pretty enough, thin enough.  I think I was 8 when our family doctor told me if I didn’t lose weight I would never have kids and his question to me was “didn’t I want to be a mother?”. In school I was made fun of for not only my weight but my height.   I was the tallest and the largest person in my class and these feelings added to my  already awkward pre teen and teen years and set the stage for me to try to find some comfort somewhere. I say all of this not for sympathy but to explain my journey and weight issues. I don’t know if my issues are that much different from others but I know they are mine and I now own them. I am not a therapist but I personally feel weight loss isn’t always just about fewer calories. I think it is about knowing how you got to the point of obesity and figuring out how to deal with the things that helped you get there.

My own low self esteem and family issues impacted the decisions I made through my teens, twenties and early thirties. I used food as a comfort and as a crutch in my life. It helped me celebrate and was the thing I turned to when I was sad.  I have spent years working through my esteem issues, insecurities and all the typical things people say have affected their weight. I have talked with a therapist, I have watched and read self help books, I have had many life experiences that have made who I am today. Not perfect but better. I finally have taken responsibility for myself and feel I deserve better in my life and for my life. I want to live and be here for my family, my husband and to see what the future holds for me.  I gained this weight myself and now I have to fix it. It isn’t that I haven’t tried every diet out there, hired personal trainers, counted calories and more because I have. I have spent thousands of dollars, spent countless hours and even injured myself ( a knee injury from working with a trainer) trying to lose the weight but to no avail. I would lose 20 or 30 pounds and would plateau and lose no more. I would feel like I was starving and depriving myself of the things I loved. I was depriving myself  but depriving myself of a long and healthy life. I didn’t see it that way at the time as I ate the things I felt I needed and that made me feel better.

The least I ever remember weighing was 220 lbs as an adult. At my highest I weighed 388 lbs. A few years ago I first looked into weight loss surgery. I was scared! The thought of not being able to eat what I wanted to terrified me. How could I possibly do that? My relationships seemed based around food. I went out to eat with my friends. That was how we socialized. When I saw my family it was about cooking and eating. How would I relate to the people I loved if I couldn’t sit down and share a huge meal with them? What would I do when I was stressed out or depressed?  I didn’t think I was ready for such a change. I went to the appointment but couldn’t move forward. I didn’t have the courage. In April 2013, after a physical with my family doctor, I was told I was on the verge of high blood pressure, my cholesterol was high and if I didn’t watch my sugar intake I could become diabetic. I had been told these things before but for some reason they really sunk in this time. Perhaps it was because I have spent the last few years, since that first visit to the surgeon, looking at who I am, what and how I eat, and why I was put on this earth. Perhaps it is because I have a great person in my life who loves me and I believe it and feel I’m worthy of it. It might be because I feel I owe it to myself to continue living for not only myself and all the things I want to experience and do but for the life I have created and because my husband is so good and struggles with his weight as well. Maybe it hit home this time because I was finally really ready to hear it. I don’t know why but I know I am grateful that it finally scared me and made sense to me. I feel I am ready to be the example and live my best life being my best self.

The time had come for a change and in April 2013 after the conversation with my primary care doc I decided to look once again into weight loss surgery. In May 2013 I went to the appointment that has brought me to this point. I started the process required by my insurance company and the surgical group. I made the decision and recognized I was worth it and I had the courage to do it.

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