I want to offer Pam Tremble a
special thanks for sharing her success with us. Here is her
On November 13, 2007 I had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
surgery. This is the story of my journey to health.
diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which
created insulin resistance and a hormonal imbalance, my body
simply would not allow me to lose the weight I tried so hard
to lose. After years of failed dieting, exercise that made
little difference and the advice of my ill-informed doctor
to “just try harder,” I was at the end of my rope. I
consulted with a bariatric surgeon and realized I needed
medical intervention and that there was a real option for me
to get healthy. I made the agonizing decision to undergo
gastric bypass surgery. The approval process took over a
year which gave me plenty of time to be 110% sure it was the
right decision for me.
(RNY) gastric bypass surgery is a complex rearrangement of
my digestive system. My stomach was remade into a pouch
that, at the time of surgery could hold about 1 to 2 ounces
of food (it has now grown and can hold about 6-8 ounces) -
compared to a normal stomach that can hold up to 16 cups of
food. A portion of my small intestine was bypassed so I no
longer absorb all the calories I eat. Of course, this also
means that I no longer absorb all the vitamins and minerals
contained in food, so I am on a strict regimen of vitamins
and supplements. The restriction of a smaller stomach and
the malabsorption of a bypassed intestine along with
following a strict diet and exercise program is what cause
the weight loss after RNY.
After a quick
recovery from surgery the real work began. Imagine suddenly
having the stomach of a newborn infant and needing to learn
how to drink, chew and swallow food as if you were a baby.
Calling it a lesson in humility and experimentation is an
Within 6 weeks
after surgery I had lost 40 pounds and was off all
medications for high blood pressure, asthma and allergies.
I was finally able to sleep through the night, my chronic
back and joint pain vanished and the symptoms of my PCOS
were slowing going away too.
after my surgery I hesitantly signed up for a 20-week
fitness training program which included completing a 10-mile
race and a 13.1-mile half marathon race held in October. I
signed up with a huge doubt hanging over my head. “How can
a morbidly obese person ever hope to finish a half
marathon?” But even with the doubts, I just put one foot in
front of the other and transformed myself into Walker Girl.
I was walking
an average of 40 miles every month and slowly the hesitation
about my ability to walk a half marathon grew into a
confidence that the finish line was squarely within my
reach. I may have finished near the end of the pack of
4,000 other racers, but it didn’t matter, it was all about
achieving the goal I had set for myself.
joined a gym and am starting a new phase of my workouts with
weight training and yoga. Walker Girl was back again in the
spring when the snow melted.
To me this
journey has always been about more than just losing weight.
Being skinny was never my goal. Being healthy and having
the opportunity to live a longer, happier life has been my
main focus. I have set many other “life goals” that have
nothing to do with the number on a scale or how many miles I
can walk or what size jeans I can fit into. I set goals that
focused not only on my physical health, but also my
emotional, spiritual, financial, intellectual, vocational
and creative health, the health of my relationships and
overall character. Having a written plan and specific goals
for all areas of my life has helped me stay focused on what
is really important and what I want to achieve.
So here I am 2
1/2 years after my surgery, and I’ve lost 110 pounds so
far. There is still a little ways to go before I hit my
goal weight, but when I look at all the other goals I have
achieved I know that I am already a success.