My struggle with weight began when I was about 5 years old. We had been living in California and moved to Michigan the summer before kindergarden. With a new setting and a colder climate, and with living in a neighborhood that my parent's weren't comfortable letting me run around in, I began to put on weight at a very young age. From that moment on, I was teased and reminded of my weight by just about everyone I knew. I was told things like "It's a lot harder to loose weight when you're older!" and "If you don't loose weight now, you'll grow up to be a Blimp!" starting at about the age of 9. Being so young, these things became engraved in my brain. I soon identified myself as the "fat girl" and found very little pride in my appearance.
My struggle with weight continued on through high school. The summer before 8th grade we moved yet again, throwing me into a new school system. I was a size 16 by the time I was in 8th grade and was now being teased by classmates for my weight issues on top of being the "new girl" in school. All these factors added up creating a low self worth in myself. I tried every diet I could read about. Some worked.... for awhile. I went through the medical weight loss system which was successful. I lost 65 pounds and was feeling great! I had control over my eating and loved what I looked like, but still wasn't anywhere near a healthy weight for my height. This caused me to be discouraged because I was still "obese". I fought myself every day about making choices for food. I was hungry from the moment I woke up until the time I went to sleep. And then came the Sleeve....
All my life I have been very active. After graduation from high school, I realized that I enjoyed running. I wasn't any good at it, but I enjoyed it. So I started doing it.... a lot. 2 different times in my life I had significant weight loss from exercising like a mad woman. Due to that, I now have hardly any cartiledge left in my knees. This is why my doctor finally suggested looking into having a weight loss surgery. He stated that I could no long over-exercise but that I had to loose a significant amount of weight with eating right.
After a year of jumping through hoops for insurance and for the doctor, as well as putting the fears to rest in my head and in those who love me's heads... I finally had the sleeve performed on August 18, 2011. The experience wasn't bad. The only pain I ever felt was from the gas pains directly after surgery. Within 4 months after surgery I had lost 100 pounds, and within 9 months after surgery I had lost 17 inches off my waist, 14 off my hips, and a whopping 120 pounds. I am now spending about 3 hours at the gym 3 times a week and LOVING it. My body feels better, my mind feels better, my attitude is DEFINITELY better! I have so much gratitude for Dr. Jeff Gawel and his team of nurses and staff that have helped me through this important transition in my life.
Having the sleeve was the single most important decision I have ever made. It is the best thing I have EVER done for myself!!!
Height: 5 feet 10 inches
Starting Weight: 300 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery:
Current Weight: 185 lbs
Goal Weight: 175 lbs
Weight Lost: 115 lbs
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 02/11/2011
Surgery Date: 08/18/2011
Hospital Stay: 1 Day
Surgery Funding: Insurance
Insurance Outcome: 1st Letter Approval