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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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About ForeverLabradorFan

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  • Birthday 06/14/1984

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    Stephen James

About Me

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    Reading, gaming, researching
  • Occupation
    Life Student
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Hello! My story is fairly generic, really. From the age of 11, I started gaining weight due to personal issues regarding my self-esteem and my disabilities. It also didn't help that by the age of 14, I had transferred to two different schools and ended up in a district two towns over where I knew absolutely no one, going through puberty, losing my first dog to a tumor, and coming to terms with the fact that I am gay with no one I could talk to or trust. All of this pretty much happened over a 4 month period and caused me to wall up and stay home. Stay home where all the food is, of course. 
I ate when I would read, play games, read some more, or watch movies. I never really ate when stressed out or sad, I just ate because I was home and the food was right there. No one really stopped me, they'd just bring more home. As I got older, I went out and socialized less and less. I'd leave the house to go to the bookstore or the mall to visit electronics boutique/gamestop. I did join a program for teens, but I didn't really try to make any friends. I was still afraid to be myself around others. It's something I used to regret. I had to stop with regrets because once something bad has happened, there is no point in wishing it hadn't. You just have to shoulder on and do what you can. Something I recently learned and took to heart.
I initially looked into getting surgery about 6 years ago, but I didn't follow through because, honestly, I was afraid I would die on the table. I thought to myself, "I'd rather be big and alive, than dead trying to get help." No matter what anyone said to reassure me, I was fixated on that extremely low chance. I wasn't budging at all.
So, what changed? Why did I get the surgery last May? I wrote a list of everything I wanted to do, dreamed of doing. I then wrote alongside why I wouldn't be able to fulfill that dream. The reason for nearly all of them was the same; because I am freaking fat. My obesity was what was keeping me following through, keeping me walled up. The longer I stayed fat, the longer I could use that as a crutch, a reason, for avoiding social interactions and events. Over the years, being fat became a unhealthy safety net, providing me a reason to stay home. No one would fight me on because they either didn't want to be seen with a fat man, or they knew that I would be extremely self-conscious and unable to enjoy anything. Maybe a little of both. I don't want to ask them that question.
My heaviest weight was 420 pounds. I never SAW myself as that big. I rarely had my picture taken but the ones I have of me around that range, I am stunned I was. My clothes from that period, the shirts are like tents, and my pants....I was mortified with what I saw. With how fat I was. My shirt size was approaching 4XL, and my waist was about to go over 60. I look at the clothes, and I see now how horrible it was.
I'm currently down to wearing XL shirts, but I go for 2XL so as to not worry about shirts shrinking and getting tight. My waist is about to reach 38. I am extremely happy and I now actively enjoy the mens department in clothing stores because a lot of style varieties has opened up to me. I'm currently planning a real vacation to go to Busch Gardens and actually be able to ride all the rides. I've changed my outlook on life, and all it took was for me to accept the fact that I was fat, and that I needed help. Some things you can do to help yourself, but there are some things where you have to ask for help. There is absolutely no shame in it.
I am grateful to my surgeon for being kind, supportive, and considerate. I am grateful to be given a chance to come out of my walled up self and enjoy what the world has to offer. 

Age: 36
Height: 5 feet 10 inches
Starting Weight: 416 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery: 396 lbs
Current Weight: 257 lbs
Goal Weight: 175 lbs
Weight Lost: 159 lbs
BMI: 36.9
Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit:
Surgery Date: 05/11/2016
Hospital Stay: 2 Days
Surgery Funding: n/a
Insurance Outcome: n/a
ForeverLabradorFan's Bariatric Surgeon
Danvers, Massachusetts 1923