George Peters: From 420 Pounds to Ironman Competitions
Why Weight Loss Surgery
By George Peters
(shared with permission)
It's one month until my first Ironman in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec and I'm sharing my story of #whyweightlosssurgery:
In 2010, I weighed 425 pounds. I was visiting my primary care physician, and he stated that I would need surgery to have an insulin pump inserted into me to control my diabetes.
My realization was that I would probably be dead by age 50, if I didn’t get my diabetes under control.
Weight-related Health Issues
My diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory problems and circulatory problems were out of control.
I had tried numerous diets to control my weight and health problems, and they always started off with success only to surrender any weight loss, to an eventual failure, and an additional weight gain.
I decided that I would have bariatric surgery for weight loss in January 2011. I had gastric sleeve surgery performed by Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri at Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel.
Sleeve Gastrectomy Success
I lost 125 pounds and started to control my health problems. My weight loss stalled in 2013 and my fear of my health problems returning scared me. I hadn’t reached my goal weight of 240 pounds.
I started running in the fall of 2013 when my daughters convinced my wife and me to have our family run in a turkey trot (5K).
A New Passion for Fitness, Strength and Endurance
I started running and found the workouts to be rewarding. I started cycling again soon after. I hadn’t ridden a bicycle since I was a teenager because I was too big to ride a bike. Soon after my first 10 mile bike ride, I decided to sign up for my first sprint triathlon, in the spring 2014.
During the 2014 year, my performance in three of my four triathlons was affected due to gall bladder problems that eventually led to my gall bladder being removed 5 days after the New Jersey State Triathlon.
Losing Nearly 200 Pounds Sends George to His First Ironman Competition
2015 has been a year of setting goals and working to achieve them:
My goal for this year is to finish an Ironman. I scheduled multiple smaller events to help me prepare for the Ironman.
- I finished the NYC half marathon in March.
- My training continued, and I finished the Raleigh Ironman 70.3 in 9 hours 3 minutes.
- In August, I will complete my first full Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada.
Ironman and Triathlon have given me a bright outlook for the future. I now have a goal of being in Kona by the age of fifty.