WLS and Me

I have been overweight all my life and morbidly obese for my entire adult life.  I was always the chubby child, but I played sports and ran around and dating was far from my mind.  Enter puberty.  I started to slim down but remained chubby.  That slimming down was mostly due to a growth spurt and when I reached adult height, the weight started coming back rapidly.  I still played sports through Junior High, so while overweight I was still athletic and healthy.  Still, I was too big for any boys to notice me.  Looking back on it, I laugh because only a 13 year old girl would want to deal with 13 year old boys.  But I digress.

I stopped sports in high school and began to grow, horizontally not vertically.  I went to an all-girls' school where I got a fantastic education; however I was separated from boys and the typical high school experience to "look good."  I didn't watch what I ate because boys and dating were not a huge part of my life, and I was comfortable.  I could still jog, I could go up stairs, I could do what I wanted.  Besides, who wants to go hiking or rock climbing or horseback riding anyway?  Why would people want to be outside wasting time when they could be indoors reading and enriching their brains?

I started at The University of Arizona in August of 2000.  By this time, I was in a size 22/24.  My first week in Tucson was awful.  The heat was too much for me.  I didn't own any shorts or tank tops because I thought I was too fat for them.  Also, I couldn't eat!  The heat made me intolerant of anything other than salads.  Anything heavier than a salad made me sick.  And ZOMG the walking!  I had to walk everywhere.  I didn't even have a bike (bought one after Christmas).  Still, I was away at college for the first time and having a blast.  In one semester, I actually LOST weight.  No Freshman 15 for me.  I came back to Ohio for Christmas wearing a size 18 and missing my double chin.  Ok I wasn't missing it... I was glad it was gone.  Har har.

I would have probably continued in my weight loss if I hadn't driven my car to AZ over Spring Break of my Freshman year.  After that, I had little incentive to walk anywhere except on campus.  I didn't ride my bike or take the bus anymore.  I drove.  Everywhere.  Then I moved off campus and had to drive.  With exercise becoming less common and my body becoming accustomed to the heat, my old eating habits returned and I gained weight again.

I fluctuated between a size 22 and a size 28 for the 6 years.  When I worked in retail, I was a 22.  When I worked in an office, I went up to a 28. In 2007 I got married, and easily gained another 100 lbs during the marriage (And in the grand tradition of weight loss surgery, my marriage became a statistic when it ended in 2011 shortly after my surgery).

Then, sometime in late 2010 I realized I was miserable.  I wasn't able to do anything.  I wasn't able to keep my home clean.  I wasn't even able to walk my dogs.  I couldn't even go grocery shopping without coming home exhausted and with an aching back. I figured that when Fatty is too fat to buy food, Fatty needs to do something about it.

In December 2010, my mom and I attended an information session on weight loss surgeries and Flagstaff Bariatric Center.  I had some relatives who had had a gastric bypass surgery and I saw the amazing results.  I was ready.  I was tired of everything having to do with being fat.  I was worried I might never have children.  I knew I couldn't even take proper care of myself.

On January 6th, 2011 I had my first appointment with my surgeon, Dr. Berger.  We discussed surgery types, my motivation for surgery, and reviewed my weight and other things.  I was shocked to see the scale read 460 lbs.  SHOCKED.  Although a tiny bit relieved it didn't read over 500.  From that day on, I began a rigorous pre-surgery program.  I had to meet with a bariatric doctor once a month for 6 months to prepare me medically for surgery.  I met with a nutritionist, a psychologist, and a physical therapist to prepare me in other ways.