My name is Gayle, 52 years old, almost 53. I have struggled with weight since I had my first child back in 1986. I continued to gain after my second child in 1988 and then when I had my last child in 1992 I had a caesarian and I was doomed to being obese (in my mind). I tried Phen-Phen diet, Orlistat (Rx diet pills), alternative bypass diet (eating some gel in order to fill my stomach up), joined Curves, weight watchers, any fad diet that came to my attention, I was on it in hopes to lost that precious weight that just continued to climb on the scale. I was depressed, feeling insecure about myself in more ways than one. All aspects of my life became very depressing. I would put on a smile to try and cover how insecure I was about my weight.
I continued to try all types of different diets and even joined my company fitness/wellness program. I would join in as many 5k’s as possible, wore fitbit to track steps trying to motivate me and would participate in the healthy eating programs offered at work. I’d lose maybe 10-15 lbs. and that would be it…I’d plateau and then gain the weight back because of the state of mind I was in. I couldn’t get out of my funk. I didn’t know how I was going to get the weight off, I didn’t want to grow old and not be able to enjoy my grand-kids and be able to move and enjoy activities like I did when I was younger. I would cringe whenever someone would want to do pictures of any type.
I traveled with my last company and would have to use an extender seat belt in the planes. It was more than embarrassing. I went to China on a work audit in August of 2016 and was with a co-worker and we went to a few facilities, and looking back at the pictures and seeing just how heavy I allowed myself to get was frightening. We went on a gondola ride through the Zhujuajiao Ancient Town outside of Shanghai China; as we were going along, a resident Chinese man looked at me and blew his cheeks out and made a motion with his hands like I was huge…I was…I didn’t know how to react but it just validated the fact that I was heavy and I needed to do something about it.
We returned and I started considering weight loss surgery and my daughter’s mother-in-law had just had the procedure done at Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians (RMAP). She was losing weight left and right. I needed and wanted this done, like NOW. I was at my wits end. I practically begged doctors to give me weight loss pills and all I would get is “Your just not trying hard enough” or “This is something you have done on your own and I will send you to a nutritionist because there’s no way you are eating properly.” I left the last doctor’s office in tears…I knew I was either going to have to accept that I would live with sciatic pain and knee pain and go home and lay down because I was to blame and weight loss was not in my future. I actually had decided I was fat, and that’s all there was to it. Dreams of hiking, riding bikes, running and playing with my grand-kids was no longer something that I believed would ever happen. I walked around and went to work with a fake smile and simply got through each day the best I could. I knew it would only get worse. I wasn’t making any headway on my losing weight. I was treated differently and with very little respect.
I started a new job still feeling insecure and I don’t know if it was coincidence or not but they offered coverage for the surgery and I jumped on it and contacted RMAP to get the process moving. I contacted RMAP in September 2017 and had the surgery on November 22nd, 2017 and I will tell you what…my life has changed in so many ways. I’m more confident and so much more so that my co-workers come to me saying that they not only notice the change in my weight but also in the fact that I walk and walk with confidence and a new found glow. How awesome is that?! I didn’t think it was possible, just a year prior I was sad, and had to seriously force motivation. Here I am today and feeling like I have a new lease on life. I run with my grand-kids, I am up cleaning my house, not feeling like I should stay cooped up in my home not being productive. Before the surgery, it was hard to get motivated to do anything. I hid away and buried myself in my own “self-pity.” “I’m a victim world.” (Yeah, in my own mind.) I have been given hope and I am only two months out and feel completely different. I didn’t realize the extent of my depression and insecurity until I actually have a desire to be active and go out and do things. I don’t think anyone really does. It’s work and the kind of tool that was right for me. I am working hard and I am down fifty pounds and look forward to reaching my goal weight.
I went on a cruise in January and enjoyed it so much, I was only 30 pounds down but what a difference that amount makes. I went parasailing (which is something that I would never have done). I don’t want to miss out on things now and I want to experience all that I can. I may be 52, almost 53, but I have so much to live for and the work that Dr. Paulk and Becky, Jasmine and Jessica and all the office people have done is incredible and have helped me get to where I am and will continue on this journey I am on…it can only get better!!!!!
I have learned so much in just a short time…I have learned compassion for those who are carrying more weight than is healthy. I don’t think I will ever change how I feel about people that struggle with weight. I am one that has struggled for so many years and it affects your self-esteem, motivation and self-respect and how you carry yourself. I hold my head up high because of the new lease on life that I have been given. I have a long ways to go and if I could use my weight loss journey to even motivate one person to want to improve their health or even help them and encourage them on the same journey I am on, then that would be the icing on the weight loss…lol…I appreciate so much of the support and help and guidance that I have received from the RMAP office staff. I see a lot of blogs from people in other states and they seem lost and not really knowing where to turn so they ask medical questions and things that should only be directed to their physician and they are looking for people out on Facebook to help them. I am so grateful for all the tolls that we are given and I look forward to coming into the office for my checkups. It is amazing how wonderful this feeling is.
Day my journey began, November 22, 2017
My class before surgery, November 2017; Size 20
Feb 1st 2018; Size 12
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