New to the forum, here is readers digest of my story.
I am a 47 year old Caucasian male. I am on my third career. One kid to graduate HS this year, one to graduate in 2 years. Married 21 years. And I'm pretty good at lying to myself.
I always told myself I was really good at dealing with stress. Never recognized I was a stress eater the entire time. I spent 15 years in EMS right out of college, 3 as an EMT, 12 as a Paramedic in a high performing urban 911 system. Then I went into the labor union world for another 10 years, negotiating contracts and working in workplace disputes. Now I work in Medical Insurance as a teacher/trainer/adult education specialist, teaching others how to handle appeals and complaints.
I have some unique abilities that helped lead to me being 364 lbs (6 foot tall) in December 2020.
I remain fluent in the 7-11 diet. I can look at a hot dog on the roller and tell roughly how long it has been on it. I consumed up to 2 liters of soda per day for many years. My partners all used to smoke, but I watched my grandfather die of COPD from smoking as a kid and have never touched a tobacco product. So in essence, I replaced cheap ass convenience store food and soda for smoking during my EMS career. My metabolism changed around age 30 and I just couldn't keep the pounds off anymore. And, this is important... I DIDN'T CARE.
I was pretty burned out, crispy as a medic. I got a job offer to move into the labor union world, negotiating contracts and representing other EMTs and Paramedics around the country. I moved my family (wife and 2 young kids) to another state to work for a startup labor union. I took it. And I stopped exercising as I tried to conquer a new career field. What they don't tell you about labor work is that it is also high stress work. I cut soda out during those years but drank a lot of sweet tea and despite what my doctor, family, and friends would say.... I DIDN'T CARE about my size.
The union I worked for went through an old fashioned union labor coup. My life was threatened and people intentionally harmed me personally and professionally. At the same time, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. The union I worked for was absorbed by a big national union player. I signed on with the big national player because I needed the insurance for my wife. We weren't in a good place, survival mode. I spent the next few years traveling for the new labor union, in order to have the insurance to pay for my wife's cancer treatments.
When my wife was well enough (she still is chronically ill, years later) to travel, I moved our family back to our home state of Oregon. The labor union I worked for (who had approved my move) promptly laid me off. So back into survival mode, I became a statistic. Middle aged man, laid off, starting a 3rd career. I was hired by a Medical Insurance Company that paid very little, but jobs were scarce and it was what I had. I took a second job at a local grocery store and worked 60-70 hours per week for a few years. There's no such thing as dietary control when you are working that much and are that tired, and frankly....I DIDN'T CARE about my size.
Over a few years, my financial situation has improved and while we are not well off, I no longer work 2 jobs. My PCP asked me 3 years in a row to look into bariatric surgery. I finally looked into it, and this is important... I CHOSE TO TAKE THIS PATH. The choice is important. The surgery is just a step to get there.
It was time for me to grow up. I'm 47 years old, Life is damn hard and I need to start taking care of myself... I already have several other medical conditions associated with middle age. I frankly still don't care what I look like physically, but I can see the road ahead and don't want to go down that path (obesity gets worse, diabetes, HTN, Stroke, High Cholesterol, Heart Disease).
I did this to myself by not being disciplined. So to make this lifestyle change, I need to be as disciplined as possible. I was ready. I CHOSE. IT IS TIME TO GROW UP.
December 2020 - 6' tall - 364lbs
RNY Surgery December 2021 - 316lbs
I am 4 days post surgery writing this today.
And I worked my ass off to change my relationship to food.
That's my story... For what it is worth. I finally decided to grow up.