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.
We've only got one life to live. And it is precious. Don't waste it.
I advocate weight-loss surgery because nothing else worked for me. But I recently met someone whose brother underwent gastric bypass surgery with one of the leading bariatric surgeons at a top medical facility in my state. He had complications and spent what remained of his life between a rehab and the hospital. Weight-loss surgery is not a decision to be taken lightly.
Whatever your decision, I wish you a wonderful life.
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You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and my journey to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.