Obesity runs in my family- as does Diabetes, hyper-tension, high blood pressure, etc. Fortunately, I was never diagnosed with any of them, only struggled with my weight.
I didn’t really start putting on the bulk of my weight until after my third child. I guess I never thought too much about it before because I always “carried my weight well”; in other words- even though I weighed 300 pounds, I didn’t look 300 pounds. But I felt like I weighed more! I was tired all the time, my knees and lower back hurt. It was awful. I stopped going certain places because I couldn’t fit in the chairs comfortably. I hated taking pictures; I just did not enjoy life.
I started the Bariatric Surgery process back in 2008. I had gone to a seminar and did the weigh-ins as required by the insurance company, but because I didn’t get a clear understanding of the process, I ended up not following through because I didn’t realize that I had to meet with an actual doctor; I thought I just needed to “weigh-in”. When it came time to schedule my surgery, I was told I didn’t meet all the requirements. I got frustrated and gave up.
Two years later my friend Tamela talked me into doing it again. I was leery because I didn’t want to go through it again, but my final breaking point was when I couldn’t get off the couch without help. Tamela and I started the process May 2010. It’s easier when you have someone to go through it with. My highest weight was 301 pounds and wore a women’s 26/28 pants/dress and 3x shirt. I had my surgery at the Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy on November 8, 2011. Currently I wear a size 12 misses pants and a medium/large in juniors’ tops. I feel Awesome!
I’m very thankful for Dr. Schuster and the staff at Banner Gateway. They really made me feel like they actually want you to be successful- you’re not just another patient to them. I wanted Dr. Schuster to be my surgeon because I felt like he was very upfront and honest about what to expect from the different surgeries.. I’ve discovered since my surgery that although I have a lot of people who supported me over the last year, there are some people who actually “frown” at having the surgery and think it’s the “easy way out”. I’ve eaten what I want, when I wanted for YEARS prior to my surgery. After the surgery, I’ve actually had to LEARN how to eat; from portion control to eating healthier. It’s definitely NOT a “quick fix” or an “easy way out” when you are so use to eating a certain way for so many years. It’s a lifestyle change AND you have to change your mindset- Be in control of your food, don’t let your food be in control of you!!!