I tend to focus on what I've gained since having my surgery in 2003. My new life truly is wonderful. And so I try not to think about all the years that were wasted and the many things that I missed out on being morbidly obese. Those memories are painful. But I will share them in this post so that others who are considering weight-loss surgery can see that a wonderful life may await them, too.
My life before weight-loss surgery was a sad life. It was out of control. Much of my spare time was spent eating or shopping. I was a "consume-aholic." I could never have enough food or enough clothes. I was depressed and nothing filled the emptiness inside me. I ran up credit card debt when I should have been saving money for my child's education.
I bounced around from one psychiatrist to the next, one therapist to the next, one prescription (or more) to the next. I cried a lot. I slept a lot. I lost a lot of jobs. No one would hire me so I had to do temp work. My relationship with my family was strained.
I had several obesity-related health conditions that landed me in the hospital. There, the doctors informed me that my BSL was 375. I had diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. I felt like I was dying. The reality is that I was.
Not so long after that hospital stay, I scheduled my weight-loss surgery. That was 8-years ago this month. It was the best thing that I ever did for my health. Since then my health and my life have completely changed.
I lost a total of 100 lbs. and halfway through that weight loss, my diabetes was controlled better than it ever was with insulin and oral medications. My hypertension was gone. I got off of five medications including insulin injections.
I expected those health conditions to be resolved with losing weight. What I did not expect was that my depression would be lifted. I still take an antidepressant but I never sink down to the levels of despair that I once felt on a regular basis when I was obese and on several medications for my depression. I haven't seen a therapist or psychiatrist in years. My primary care physician monitors my medication.
Immediately after losing weight I was hired into a position making more money than I'd ever made in my life. For 8-years I struggled to get a permanent position. I never knew it was my weight that had been preventing me from being hired. Since that time, I have changed jobs a few times and have never had a problem getting hired.
No longer do I fill my emptiness with buying clothes. It took me years to pay off my credit card debt and get money into the bank, but I did do it. That would not have been possible as my former self. No longer do I fill my emptiness with empty calories. Every time I go to the supermarket, I cringe at the site of all the processed foods that line the shelves, and which I used to consume in great quantity.
Nowadays, I fill my time with meaningful activities that enrich my life and the lives of others. I find meaning and purpose in life rather than just going through the motions. I grow fresh fruits and vegetables or I buy them from an organic farm. I don't eat red meat, and I very rarely eat processed foods or grains. I laugh a lot. It truly is a wonderful life.