Date Operation: June 2013
Weight Loss: 98 LBS.
Category: Gastric Sleeve
From the time I was a child in grade school, I was always considered the “big girl” or “big boned” girl. I was always raised to eat everything on my plate and not waste food. I did not eat bad food all the time, however, I did eat a lot of volume. We always had fresh vegetables from the garden, sometimes fried sometimes steamed. We lived close to my grand parents therefore “grannies cooking” was always available and always made from scratch and very delicious! I loved to eat, so that and a combination of emotional eating played a huge part in my life.
Beginning in grade school, I was involved in rec league basket ball, soft ball and riding my horses. I was always active, just never slim. I am taller than average, so I had an advantage, in middle school I played basket ball and ran track…still eating a lot of food for my age. In high school, I continued to play basket ball, run track and cross country and was riding my horses more and more. I remember never wanting to weigh in at my physicals because I was so ashamed that my friends were smaller framed and petite..not me..I was always the big girl, tall and otherwise. After school, I chose work and not college, so i ate out a lot at lunch as an escape, after eating breakfast, I was already worried or concerned what I was going to have for lunch..thinking oh today this would taste good or doesn’t that sound so good..and go eat two meals in one…and dessert.
Of course boys and dating were always a disaster to me, because all of my life I was told “oh you have such a pretty face & great personality” but never got asked out on that date. or to prom or dances or otherwise.
I decided to try weight watchers and it did work, but as soon as you quit “paying to weigh in and make it to a meeting” the pounds came back plus 10 to 20 more each time. Gym memberships were more expensive than they are now, so that was never an option. Walking outside was a great idea, but weather permitting and my long work hours seemed to push that aside.
I always settled in the dating/love department because I thought if I finally found a guy who liked bigger girls (no matter how they treated me) I better keep them or I would never find another. So I did and after years of being overweight and depressed and alone it really took a toll on my self confidence.
I tried the drastic and very expensive HCG diet and had no idea what would happen but decided to try it anyway. Most horrible 30 days of my life!! Crazy hormones and starving myself literally to 500 calories a day..was just not for me, i lost 30 pounds with that and then again it came back plus some.
So one day while I was getting a pedicure venting to the girl who always does my toes, a lady sitting beside me said, “I’m not being nosey, but I did hear you talking about your struggle with weight” well I automatically thought she was going to sell me the latest and greatest miracle pill, when in fact, all she did was show me a picture on her phone of herself 9 months prior to that day. I was in shock! I told her how great she looked and asked her what she had done. She explained that she had gastric sleeve and Dr Stowers had performed it for her. Well, I automatically asked a million and one questions and began my research immediately on my phone googling everything and anything I could find to read. My best friend knew a friend from her work that was a patient of Dr. Stowers too and she actually came to my house and talked me through every step of her journey and was more than pleased with Dr. Stowers and his staff.
I scheduled a consult with him and began to try and find a way to make this happen. knowing my insurance would not cover, Ii was more scared of the cost rather than the procedure.
Without my parents help financially i would not be where i am today. i had a job that allowed me to afford it, but not so much the line of credit to make it happen. They just wanted to see me happy. They loved me just the way I was, I just didn’t love myself.
I knew this was going to be a tough journey, but I was ready, after all I was tired of being the pretty face and just a friend.
I was prepared for the operation. Now, the week of just liquids was rough rough…mentally more than anything. I made it through without cheating, but it was not easy. I cried, laughed and kept looking toward the finish line that I never thought I would cross…My family was awesome…although they were a little unsure of how things would affect me, I told them to go ahead with their normal daily life. cook dinner, eat snacks..I mean after all my struggles had to be won by me, not by what everyone else was doing around me.
I have not had a soda since before my surgery, beer or drank through a straw. i read a lot of blogs and some of the things i was being told to avoid and not do, were never mentioned in the blogs. it seemed to me that other surgeons were not as cautious or attentive to their patients as Dr. Stowers was. I had to have blood drawn every 3 months to monitor my vitamin and protein levels etc. i have spoken to people to this day (1 1/2 years later) that were never held to the standards i was, and have NOT been as successful as me either.
I thank the good lord and my lucky stars above for the opportunity afforded to me by Dr. Stowers and my parents.
Dr. Stowers and his staff do truly care about their patients. I remember I would call with some off the wall crazy question and i would always get an answer or a call back with a solution.
Everyone is different and not everyone’s body responds the same to the surgery. My main reason for choosing the sleeve was that it was permanent and I knew I wanted a true life style change.
You will have those people who say, i can not believe you would do that to those that cheer you on every step of the way and can not understand what you and your body are going through anymore than you can sometimes.
The sleeve in my opinion is the worlds greatest tool performed by the worlds greatest surgeon, Dr. Stowers! Take it and use it to the best of you ability and you will succeed!
At the end of the day you are the only one in your race…own it and make it yours!!! you will not be sorry!