Why I chose Gastric Bypass Surgery vs. another Diet and Exercise Plan

Decision Making

Decision MakingMaking the decision to have Gastric Bypass Surgery did not come easy at all. It was probably one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make for myself. Gastric Bypass Surgery is not the easy way out at all and you have to know that going in.

I have struggled with my weight for ever and have been on most diet plans. I know what I am suppose to do and eat and how important exercise is. It is a no brainer, BUT for me I have never been able to focus long enough to get to the point of maintenance. I would lose the weight to where I started feeling good and thinking – hey it is ok if I eat this donut and the rest is a downward slide each and every time. Something tells me you know exactly what I am talking about, right?

Yup I lack drive and motivation and on top of it all I suffer from depression. I noticed as I have gotten older it has gotten worse – almost as though I have given up altogether and maybe I had for awhile – at least that is what it felt like. Gone were the days of turning heads and getting whistled at cause I looked good to not wanting to leave the house cause I felt like a fat cow. It was my new reality, but deep inside I did not truly want to accept that. I have always felt like a beautiful butterfly inside, but I am stuck in this thick cocoon (aka – FAT) that I want gone so I can fly again.

I had never thought I would ever be making a decision to have Weight Loss Surgery. I was always one to think that surgery was a cop out and I had always heard such horror stories about it. Back in early 2010 I had an appointment to see my regular doctor and we were talking about my health and weight. He brought up to me that I should consider Weight Loss Surgery because my weight was getting out of control and I was over 100 lbs overweight. I was shocked for a moment – Really? Surgery? He gave me some information about going to a Weight Loss Surgery Seminar to just listen to what it was all about.

I thought about it that day and all the stories of people having complications and dying from it (that was what you would hear back when it was new and it stuck with me). Could I put myself through that? I have a family. What if something happened to me because I chose to take an easy way out to lose weight. What would people think… Well I never went and just put it in the back of my mind and continued doing what I do – comforting myself with food.

In November 2010 we took a family vacation to Florida to visit family and friends (oh and to celebrate my 40th birthday). I can remember the plane ride and how excited I was to not have to ask for a seat belt extender like I did on a prior flight. Well it was a different airline and I think the seat belts were a tiny bit longer and it was super tight, but I made it work. And why do they make those seats so damn small and narrow – I mean really. So my vacation was getting off to an uncomfortable start already.

We did a lot of different things on vacation and every day my weight was an issue. One of the things we did was go to Universal Studios and visit the Harry Potter section. My kids were super excited to go on the ride in the Hogwarts School. So hubby, me and the kids waited on line for over an hour. My hubby was gonna go with my son and I was gonna go with my daughter. So we get to the ride finally and my hubby and son go in their seats and my daughter and I go in ours. This ride had the bars that came down above you and I pulled mine down, but it would not snap in. All of a sudden I heard a buzzer go off and the next thing I know is a worker stopped the ride and came and told my daughter and I we had to get off and go through a door he pointed at. I felt like the bad egg from Willy Wonka – it was so humiliating. I think the worst was having to explain to my daughter what just happened. After that I just broke down, that was horrible.

During our trip we went to visit some old friends we made when we lived in Florida who we had not seen in years – Pete and Yvette (love them!!). When I saw Yvette she was just a 1/4 of the person I knew – I was like where the hell did she go – she looks AMAZING. Well I always thought she looked good, but we were always battling our weight and doing all kinds of diets back in the day together. Funny when you look back and to think that we thought we were so fat, but honestly I would give anything to go back and be as fat as I thought I was then. To think of the days when losing only 30 pounds was the goal to now when it is more like 150.

Anyway – Yvette had never announced she had Gastric Bypass Surgery to anyone and being I only saw few pictures on Facebook over the years I had no idea. It took me quite some time to scrape my jaw off the floor after seeing how thin and beautiful she looked. And here I am double the size I was when she last saw me – talk about feeling like a cow- Moo Moo.

Yvette came clean to me about having the Gastric Bypass Surgery and talked to me about it for hours. She told me everything she had gone through – the ups, downs and in betweens. She made me see the surgery in a much different way then I had ever before. Having the surgery is not a cop out at all – it is a lot of work, it is a tool to help get your life back. I had told her that my doctor had mentioned it and wanted me to consider it, but I was too afraid. Yvette gave me the confidence to take the first step to getting my life back.

When I got home from that vacation I made an appointment for the next Weight Loss Seminar that took place December 2010. Hubby came with me too and we sat listened and asked questions. Weight Loss Surgery has come a long way from the things I knew about it. I left with a much different feeling about it all, a good one. Yes I could chose to continue Yo Yo Dieting which had obviously never worked for me in the past from my history or I could be given a tool that will help me get to a much healthier weight. The risks of the surgery to me were minimal compared to the risks of my health being the weight I was and could potentially get to.

Now don’t get me wrong I worried for months and continued to question my decision up until the day of the surgery, but again the surgery for me always won the battle.

I want to thank Yvette from the bottom of my heart ♥ – if I had never gone to see my old friend I may not have ever taken the steps to my new life. That is what friends are for !!! Yvette still continues to be my inspiration and support and I cannot wait to go back and see her again – this time looking thin and smoking hot myself !!!

How I got to be almost 300 Pounds – Yikes

How I got to be almost 300 Pounds – Yikes

So how did I get to be almost 300 pounds? Ok obvious answer here – I ate too much and I ate all the wrong things. Now I was never actually 300 lbs., but I was pretty damn close at my highest weight of 297 lbs. back in January 2011. I have battled the bulge for as long as I can remember.

I think it became evident I was getting a bit chunky at around age 8, not where I stood out but you can tell I was thicker than most other kids my age. That is the age when I lost my mother due to Cancer. So I wonder if at such a young age I turned to food to comfort myself. Very possible.

Heck my life revolved around food growing up. I come from a big Italian Family and food is what brought us all together and lots of it. And yes when I think about it I do drool a bit, just sayin’. Food made us all feel good and especially me – I love to eat. Back then there was no portion control, well at least not in my house.

I honestly feel that my biggest problem with food has been the comfort factor. Food makes me feel good when I feel bad and that is the same with most of us who are overweight. I was always amazed when my sister would get upset and she would not be able to eat – really??? For me I get upset and I cannot stop – so it is funny how we are all different when it comes to that.

I can remember all the diets I have been on starting in my tween years such as Weight Watchers, Nutri System, Jenny Craig, Cabbage Soup Diet, Starvation Diet (that one never lasted too long), Atkins, Fen-Phen (yup did those too), Richard Simmons Tapes, Alli, Gym Memberships, Nutritionist and many many more. I know if you are reading this you can relate and can probably make this list even longer. I did have success on some of these plans, but of course it was always short lived. My lowest weight ever hit was after doing Jenny Craig – I think that was in the late 80’s. I believe I got down to about 127 lbs.

The time in my life when my weight just went out of control was after I had my son in 1998. I gained a ton of weight during my pregnancy (it was an extra excuse to eat) and after I had him I was never able to take it all off. At that point I was around 180 lbs and I swore there was no way I would ever be over 200 lbs. I did pretty good with my promise to myself until I got pregnant again with my daughter. After having her in 2000 I was 220 lbs.

I can remember a time after having her picking up one of her fitted bassinet sheets thinking it was my underwear – at that point I knew my weight was bad. I sat and waited for Richard Simmons to call me, but the phone never rang. So what did I do? I ate of course. He should have called !!

I stayed close to that weight for awhile until I tried the Atkins Diet after moving into my new house back in 2002ish. I dropped a bunch of weight from that and I actually really liked that diet plan cause you can eat a lot of food, until bread won the fight. Well that was the end of that and the weight slowly but surely crept right back on. A vicious cycle we all know too well. Yo Yo Dieting – Urgh !!

So the years went by and more diet plans were tried all with the same results – lose some weight, feel good, eat and gain it back and then some. But in 2007 my husband had a work injury that was pretty bad and the stress from that really took a toll on me and I turned to food. Well look where it got me – to 297 lbs.

Now why could I not get comfort from hugging a Teddy Bear, think of the money I could have saved all these years.

I can stand up with no problem and say “Hi I am Nicole and I have a Food Addiction”

That is the first step right?

Stay tuned for my post on Why I chose to have Gastric Bypass vs. another Diet and Exercise Plan.