How I Defeated Obesity and Diabetes
Former processed food junkie turned bariatric e-patient living an organic, grain-free lifestyle.
My Battle with Weight Control before Gastric Bypass
I’ve battled with my weight since early childhood. I was obese throughout elementary school and junior high. In high school I joined a gym, became an avid swimmer, took diet pills and crash dieted. I got down to a weight of 120-lbs. That wasn’t long-lived, but for years I did maintain my weight at 140-lbs.
My weight began to balloon up again in my early twenties. I was a processed food junkie and by the time I reached my thirties, I had developed diabetes, celiac disease, depression, acid reflux, asthma, and hypertension. I ended up hospitalized for diabetes. I was morbidly obese and on ~10 prescription medications. Clearly my life was in jeopardy.
At the time, Al Roker was in the news for having had gastric bypass surgery. I saw him on the cover of a magazine while on shopping excursion with some very beautiful co-workers. I grabbed it off the shelf and told one of the girls that I had thought about getting this surgery. She said, “You should do it.” And in that moment of truth, I decided to have weight-loss surgery. In July of 2003, I had gastric bypass surgery.
The Worst Thing about Being Obese
It is important to recognize that obesity is the most pressing public health issue facing America today. It has reached epidemic proportions and is even harder to treat than the diseases/health conditions it causes. The low treatment success rate associated with obesity is likely because people need to commit to changing patterns deeply woven into social fabric, food and beverage commerce patterns, personal eating habits, and sedentary lifestyle.
For real change, individuals need to get past the crash-diet mentality to a lifestyle plan of healthy eating and increased physical activity for the whole family. People need tools that can assist them in making these changes and patient education is critical. Weight-loss surgery is one such tool but it does not eliminate the need for eating healthy.
How I Eat Healthy
I follow the Bariatric Diet and the Pouch Rules, and the principals of the real food movement, Paleo/Primal, and Weston A. Price Foundation. Click thru the linked text for in-depth information on each.
I do not eat processed or factory-farmed foods, red meat, refined sugar, or grains. As much as possible, I eat organic, locally-grown, in-season produce, poultry and eggs raised on pasture without hormones or antibiotics, wild caught fish, raw and/or organic dairy, and healthy fats (almonds, coconut, avocado, olives) and natural sugars (stevia, honey, maple syrup).
Upon the recommendation of my bariatric nutritionist, I eat 100g or more of protein balanced with 50 g carbs (2:1 ratio at every meal), 80-100oz of water (spring, mineral, coconut), and keep calories to ~1300 daily. A typical lunch might be this Easy Mediterranean Salad with Chicken, Spinach, Feta and Mint.
I take a lot of nutritional supplements.
Why Gastric Bypass was the Right Solution
Gastric bypass surgery was the linchpin in my decade-long success in defeating obesity and obesity-related illnesses. I have lost 105-lb and have gone from a size 24 W to a size 8. All of my health issues have been resolved and I’ve been off 9 of those 10 prescription medications – including insulin injections - for 10-yrs and counting. Never could I have achieved this success with diet and exercise alone. Today, I'm a size medium and living life larger than ever!
My hope is that others will heal themselves and live a life they love. Weight-loss surgery was the right solution to get me on the path to wellness. Learn how another HealthCentral writer took a different path to defeat obesity and diabetes. Read David Mendosa’s account of "How I Defeated Obesity and Diabetes."
Living life well-fed,
My Bariatric Life
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Published On: June 15, 2013