Before I met Dr. Rodrick McKinlay, I never thought I would be the girl who had weight loss surgery, especially being only 25 years old. I always thought that people who had any type of weight loss surgery were lazy and took the easy way out. Even more, I never thought that I would weigh almost 320 pounds, because of the poor eating habits I picked up and health issues that came up. BOY WAS I WRONG!
I wasn’t always obese; I grew up with a family who was very active in sports and was a very active girl all through school. The health bump on the road growing up was being diagnosed with a thyroid problem that caused me to gain a little weight. Exercising and watching everything I ate helped me some, but after I graduated high school, started working and going to college full time, I had no time for exercise. I never thought anything about it, especially since I loved myself and didn’t think I was overweight. Because of being on the run nonstop, I also started eating a lot of fast food, and snacking all day. It got to the point that I would eat more than 3 times a day and eat for no reason at all. I remember getting on the scale, noticing I gained 5 pounds and saying, “Eh, I will start eating better next week and lose them.” Eating was my way to deal with stress and emotions, even if I wasn’t hungry I would snack on whatever I could get my hands on for no reason at all.
By the time I turned 22, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, insulin resistance and high blood pressure. That lone would scare people into wanting to eat healthier and exercise, but it didn’t. My turning point was when I went into my primary care doctor because I was having irregular periods. She told me that it was because I was morbidly obese and that I would never be able to have children if I didn’t get my weight under control. She also told me that within less than 2 years I would have diabetes. This was my wakeup call. I started researching ways to lose weight. I asked friends who had weight loss surgery, but I was still uneasy about going through with it.
Then my primary doctor recommended I check out Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians (RMAP). I called in, set up an appointment and watched the online informational seminar. After doing all of the prerequisites, I finally picked Dr. Rodrick McKinlay. He made me feel very at ease with everything and truly cares for his patients. I had narrowed down two either having gastric band surgery or sleeve gastrectomy. He gave me the pros and cons to both and even took the time to check my medical history to help me decide on the sleeve gastrectomy. I also started to really diet and exercise in January 2014. Before my weight loss surgery, I lost 21 pounds coming down to 299. I had sleeve gastrectomy surgery on April 14, 2014 with no complications, but that was just the start to my journey.
I didn’t realize how much I depended on food as my way to cope with stress and emotions until I was restricted to what I could eat. Dealing with stress went from eating chocolate to exercising my frustration away. Not being able to drink coffee the first few months, turned into now drinking more water and not missing caffeine at all! In the first month out of sleeve gastrectomy surgery I was able to get off insulin; my sleep apnea went away after two months and dropping 50 pounds, and my menstrual cycle regulated by the 3rd month.
Being almost 6 months out from sleeve gastrectomy surgery, the 320 pounds funny girl who hated walking now is 4 pounds away from being under 200 pounds! I enjoyed my summer by hiking, going to Airborne and being under the weight restriction, and fitting on all the rides at Lagoon! I can buy clothes in the regular section and don’t have to hide behind huge hoodies. I am so grateful to have supportive family and friends who have helped me cope with the new life I live.
Looking back, I thank God for the whole journey that brought me to this point. I know that with the amazing support I have around me, from Dr. McKinlay and the RMAP staff, I will get to my ultimate goal.
Read more patient stories here.
Interested in learning more about weight loss surgery? Learn more information here.
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.