Hello, all! I've been reading all over the site and looking at inspirational before/after pictures. I imagine I'll be spending a lot of time on this site in the coming year or two at least . . . I have just begun my journey and don't have an operation date yet. I'm always surprised when I see pictures of myself--I don't think of myself as being as big as I am. Maybe that's good in ways? However, I have a variety of health issues the surgery/weight loss will very likely help: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, GERD, and so on. None of those things made me consider this surgery seriously, but I've developed arthritic knee pain, and that does it. I'm not going to end up in a wheelchair if I can help it, and I'm not going to take massive amounts of drugs that either don't get rid of the pain or leave me barely awake . . . none of these are good options. I may need knee replacement eventually, but the ortho doctor won't do it at the weight I'm at now, and losing weight may allow me to put if off for years. Win-win. I'm aware of many other benefits--haven't shopped for other than plus-sized clothes in decades!--but it's all about the knee pain for me. Well, and probably living longer, there's that.