I had Gastric Bypass Surgery April of 2012. At that time, I had to sleep on a breathing machine and had so many prescriptions that the side effects themselves were interfering with my life. My confidence was low and though I would make sure to walk for 45 minutes every other day, climbing stairs would wind me. Not to mention the embarrassment at work when I couldn’t even get to the second floor for training without wheezing. I committed prior to weight loss surgery to exercise and diet, but my nutritionist and my personal trainer couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t losing weight. I finally decided to have gastric bypass surgery. It was difficult at first, with the liquid diet, but as I healed I continued with my commitment to exercise and diet. Finally, I started getting the results I was unable to get before.
As the weight came off, I found out how much I loved being active. It has enabled me to run my first 10k in October of last year in Portland, Oregon. This is after doctors told me I would not be able to run because of the damage I suffered in my knee from my weight. Now I don’t need the breathing machine or any of the medications I relied on before. Gastric bypass surgery literally saved my life. My doctor told me that I would die within 5 years if I didn’t make changes in my life and lose weight. Now I can do things I have never been able to before. My nephew had a birthday party last Saturday and for the first time as an adult, I was able to go down the water slide. Little victories like this have been a huge relief for me and I have stopped surviving and started living life.
Compared to how I was living before, I am so happy with the changes. I am a lot more active and I have a lot more energy. My confidence has increased and I am doing the things that I never wanted to before. For example, next month I am going on my first cruise. I wouldn’t have wanted to fly since I may have been asked to buy two tickets due to my weight. Not to mention being seen in public in a swimming suit. I found a love for running that I forgot since high school, as well as a love of travel. I still enjoy reading but instead of curling up on the couch with a good book and a bag of potato chips, I read while jogging on a treadmill. It is a small difference but one that has large and long lasting consequences.
I have always loved cooking, especially for large groups of people. Now I cook healthy and love to take a recipe and see how healthy I can make it without causing the taste to suffer. It has become a game for me. My family will give me a recipe they love and I will adjust it until I find a healthier version that everyone can eat, including bariatric patients. For example, instead of making egg salad with mayonnaise, I use avocado and mustard. This has actually helped my parents lose weight. From eating the food that I share with them and following me to the gym, my parents have lost 12-15 pounds each. My cousin was inspired from the Run of the Dead, which is a 5k benefit for cancer research that I participated in last October. She is now training to join me this year dressed up as a running zombie. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have those I love decide to make healthy lifestyle choices. We have all benefited my decision to have this surgery.
This group of doctors at Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians (RMAP) and the support they provide has been invaluable to me as well. In particular, the support groups that we have once a month is almost a necessity for me. This has helped me stay on track as well as realize results that I never knew I was capable of. If you had told me a year ago that I would fit into a size six top next year, I would have laughed. Now here I am in my beautiful size 6 top and talking to you about this amazing journey that I have traveled. I couldn’t be happier with how my life has changed and this is all thanks to RMAP and Dr. Rodrick McKinlay.
Thank you all for letting me share my story.
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