|I am completely
out of success stories. Please send in yours along with before
and after pictures. It is your way of giving back for this free
newsletter. Thank you so much!
I want to offer a special thanks for this story. Normally I do
not accept success stories without pictures, let alone anonymous.
But the author of this story wants to retain her anonymity and there
is a special message for us all.
This is my version of a success story. At my heaviest, I weighed 288
pounds. I struggled with making the decision for surgery for one
entire year. I felt that I had “failed” because I could not lose
the weight on my own and that I would be taking the “easy way out.”
I was also afraid the surgery wouldn’t be a success. For these
reasons, I decided that my surgery would only be shared with my
closest friends and my husband.
Once I gave myself permission to have surgery, it took another 6
months for insurance approval, and then I got the call to schedule
my surgery. The date I was given was my birthday. I saw this as a
rebirth and a chance to start my life over, and on what better day
than my birthday? So on my 45th birthday, I had my Roux en-Y
procedure. It seemed like the beginning of my new life.
While getting ready for my procedure, I lost some weight, so I
weighed about 255 pounds on my surgery day. I had no complications
during my surgery and my weight plateaued at 188 pounds. My goal
was 150 pounds and then to have a tummy tuck.
Then my mom was diagnosed with cancer and died within 6 months.
The first month she was diagnosed, I was out of town with her at a
Cancer center, and I lost an additional 10 pounds. I was at my
lightest weight in about 20 years. I was almost 3 years post-op,
down to a size 10 and thought I was close to the finish line. That
is when things changed.
During my mom’s illness I turned to candy to ease my wounded
soul. I did not eat any candy or drink diet soda the first 8 months
after my surgery. Once I started to eat sugar, it never made me
sick. I turned to candy for consolation and once ate 20 Mallow Cups
within a 24 hour period. Terrible, I know, but grief is an
emotional roller coaster, and food for most of us is comfort. I
stopped walking and obeying the rules of my pouch. I sit here today
almost 5 years post-op and my weight is 215 pounds.
I struggle every day to make the right food choices, and as of
one month ago, I vowed to stop eating candy. During the last 30
days I have only had one piece and am very proud of myself. I have
started walking again, and am trying every day to keep my eating
I read your success stories every month and am glad for
everyone’s success, but also feel sad that my surgery wasn’t as
successful, and that I haven’t respected my “tool” as much as I
should have. I hope my story will educate new surgery patients to
respect their pouch, not re-start bad habits, such as eating sugar
and drinking soda, and, most of all, to follow ALL of the rules for
the most significant weight loss. I also hope that long-term
post-surgery patients who are struggling with their food intake and
exercise will see that they are not alone in their struggle or
journey to health and fitness. I am hopeful that I can move forward
, each day make better food choices, and incorporate exercise into
my daily routine. I know I am much healthier having had my surgery
and losing weight. I will continue to strive every day to respect
my pouch, live my life in a healthier manner and to make better
choices. I know my journey is far from over.
Your message, that we all need to be diligent in respecting pouch
rules, is very important and I appreciate your taking the time to
provide this reminder. I know there are thousands of people who read
this newsletter who do not consider themselves successful. They need
to know they are not alone in how they feel.
You are taking very important steps, such as vowing to stop
eating candy and starting to walk. As long as you don’t give up
trying, you are truly a success.
And please be very proud of the 73 pounds that you have lost.
Remember, if you were at a Weight Watchers meeting and you announced
that you had lost 73 pounds, you would get a standing ovation. You
are much more of a success than you give yourself credit.
Very few people reach their goal weight. It is important to
strive for that, but at its best, those who have gastric bypass
surgery lose between 70% and 80% of their excess weight. Those who
lose 100% of their excess weight are extremely rare.
The quality of your life as well as your health has improved
since your surgery and that is the most important aspect of weight
loss surgery. Those of us who have had surgery are no longer on a
fast train to an early death.