Hi, my name is Heidi and this is my story. As far back as I can remember I have always had an issue with weight. In fact, in high school I was surprised when I made the Drill Team being 5’7” and weighing in at 162 pounds. I was considered the “fat one” on the squad. When I got married a few years later, my aunt had to make my wedding dress because nothing would fit. My weight was 185 pounds by then. Little did I know that would be the smallest I would be for the next 36 years. I kept a journal for all these years and almost every entry focused on dieting. I tried every diet out there with no will power to stay on them. With each passing year and four children later, I blossomed to a robust full body woman. Finally when I turned 40, I decided that I shouldn’t be this tired at just 40 and went to the doctor. The only time I had seen a doctor was to have my children so this was a new experience.
My doctor took one look at me and said I probably have diabetes. What?? So tests were run and Type 2 diabetes was the verdict. I immediately was sent to a nutritionist and put on Metformin. I was told I also needed to exercise and so with my mind made up to improve, I headed to a gym. Because I am a social person, I found the gym to be a much needed social group in my life. Over the next 7 years, I watched what I ate and exercised on average 6 days a week for an hour and a half. I also joined Weight Watchers and was sort of successful in losing 50 pounds over that time frame. It also helped that I was the Health and Wellness person at my work and was in charge of many successful programs focusing on good health. I thought all was well even though my weight fluctuated between 250-270 pounds.
At a wellness check up with the doctor in the spring of 2007, I was told my sugars were out of control and I needed to start taking insulin as well as Metformin. With the added insulin my weight ballooned up to 290 pounds even though I was doing a 12 week boot camp regimen at the gym. Disheartened, I gave up telling myself why bust my butt when it doesn’t do any good. The next 6 years my weight would rise to 335 pounds (probably more) and I was on cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes medications. For those of you who know about insulin, I was taking 80/20 mix of 180 units per day and 1000 mg of metformin twice http://nygoodhealth.com/product/xenical/ daily. That is a lot!
In April of 2013, I was inspired by my cousin who had weight loss surgery in December 2012, and I started chatting with her online. She explained what she had done and gave me the name of her doctor, Dr. Sherman Smith. I talked this over with my primary care physician, who was very supportive and said she knew of weight loss surgery and had patients that were very successful, especially with Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians (RMAP). So I made the appointment to go to the free Risks and Benefits seminar. I was shocked to find out that the American Diabetes Foundation put their seal of approval as a cure for diabetes.
With the help of RMAP, I was approved for the surgery through my insurance and had the life-saving procedure on June 26, 2013. WOW! My life has definitely changed over the past year. The day before my gastric bypass surgery I took my last cholesterol and blood pressure medication and most importantly, my last metformin pills. Six weeks later I was totally off the insulin and no more sticking myself with a needle!
The weight loss was a great side effect! To date I have lost 145 pounds and have maintained that for 5 months. I still would like to lose a little more but am so happy at the results the gastric bypass surgery had on my life. I am 53 years old and fell like I am 20. I am so thankful for the support I receive from others who have gone through this on the RMAP Facebook page. It is so inspiring to express our strengths and trials to each other.
I have my bucket list of things I want to do now that I would have never even attempted before. Little rewards since having gastric bypass surgery: I went to Disneyland and was able to fit in all the rides, fit in the airplane seat without a seat belt extender, sit in booths at restaurants, hiked up to Delicate Arch, fit in a regular stall in the bathroom, get out of bed without grunting, fit back into my wedding dress, buying new clothes in the regular section of a store instead of online, save tons of money on food, and most importantly—play with my grandchildren without being tired! I am so grateful for having an opportunity to really live!
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If you would like to share your weight loss surgery story with others and on Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians (RMAP) other social media outlets, contact Jessica at Jessica@rmapinc.com.
Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians
1160 East 3900 South, Suite 4100
SLC, UT 84124