I don't know how to say this any other way....I was in the morbidly obese category. I am not sure how I got here since nearly 75% of my life I have been fit and athletic. I grew up on a farm slinging hay bales, cutting and housing tobacco, and picking fruits and vegetables. All of the meals I ate consisted of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in our fields.
During my teens and early twenties I was very active. I enjoyed playing at least 1-2 hours of basketball EVERY day. I also enjoyed running, where I usually ran between 3-5 miles a day in college and could run 10 miles at a time with no problems. I lifted weights, played intramural sports, and was a member of my high school and college marching bands. At 5' 11" tall, I weighed between 165-185 pounds during my "lean" years.
Growing up I never recall being tired, short of breath, or having joint or back pain, but at some point that all changed. I started packing on the pounds due to various physical and emotional reasons. I could no longer walk to the mailbox without back pain. I could no longer walk through a store without growing tired and winded. And of course, I could no longer play basketball or run.
I tried countless diets, exercises, pills, and weight-loss fads. I have tried eating less and exercising more, but to no avail. The number on the scale kept rising. I don't know what clicked...maybe it was being diagnosed with the beginning stages of Congestive Heart Failure...but sometime during the middle of 2010 I realized that my life was not over. I realized that I have a lot more living to do. But in order to do that I needed help. So, I had Lap-Band weight loss surgery on November 3, 2010. I worked hard to lose the weight with help from the Lap-Band, exercise, the support of my wife, friends, and extended family, and the strength from Almighty God. I started at 343.2 lbs on November 3, 2010 and got down to 225.8 lbs as of October 26, 2012.
Unfortunately, the weight loss didn't last. I began to develop ulcers and other gastro issues and began to gain weight back (even though I had good restriction). I eventually had to have the band completely emptied...which resulted in me gaining all of my weight back (and more).
It took me a long time to admit that I needed help, so after talking with my wife we decided I needed to have the Gastric Sleeve revision surgery. But what makes me the most happy is that my wife also decided to have the Gastric Sleeve surgery, so we get to do this together!!! I had my surgery on November 20, 2015 and my wife had her surgery in Mexico (since her insurance wouldn't cover it) on December 7, 2015.
I have already lost almost 50 pounds (as of today, January 9, 2016) and seen tremendous improvement in my mobility. I can now walk up to 7 miles with no back or knee pain and no longer become winded. We also plan to start going on hikes, walking 5k and 10k's, go snowshowing, etc. I am also looking forward to riding in airplanes (and not having to buy an extra seat) and buying whatever clothes I want (and not be limited by the poor selections in Big & Tall sections anymore). I am so grateful to have this opportunity to become healthier and more active. It has definitely changed my life.
Height: 5 feet 11 inches
Starting Weight: 356 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery: 338 lbs
Current Weight: 266.4 lbs
Goal Weight: 225 lbs
Weight Lost: 89.6 lbs
Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 03/30/2015
Surgery Date: 11/20/2015
Hospital Stay: 2 Days
Surgery Funding: Insurance
Insurance Outcome: 1st Letter Approval