07 Jul Robin Duff
My whole life I have been considered severely obese. When I say my whole life, I am not speaking of just my adult life, but my childhood as well. Growing up I can remember having multiple blood test to see how I could gain weight so easily. I can remember going to Nutri System in fifth grade and losing weight only to gain it back, plus more, within the same year. My whole life has been a continuous rollercoaster of losing some weight, only to gain it all back, plus more. At the age of forty years old, I made a decision that I wanted to LIVE. I don’t mean I was going to die right away from my weight, but my quality of life was like a ninety-year-old woman. I want to truly live the life I was meant to live!
I am a nurse who was injured while caring for a patient when I was 38 years old. At the time the injury occurred, I was 278lbs and within that year, my weight reached 311lbs. Due to my back injury I lived in daily pain and was very inactive. I was constantly tired, hurting and depressed. Then I had a physician tell me there was nothing he could do to help my back injury because I was just “too big”. I will never forget leaving his office feeling completely defeated and hopeless. For over a year, I went through a terrible bout of depression and truly just wanted to give up. Then my specialist spoke with me about having bariatric weight surgery. Of course being a nurse, I was hardheaded about the option, but ultimately, I knew something had to change.
The last week of January 2015, I started the process of undergoing the bariatric sleeve surgery. At this time, I began eating the diet that would be required for me to eat several weeks before the surgery and the diet I would need to follow for the rest of my life to obtain and sustain a healthier future. I also incorporated myfitnesspal into my daily routine. (Myfitnesspal is an app that provides an easy way to maintain a daily food diary. This also aids in keeping an eye on your daily intake of proteins and carbs after surgery.) Before my surgery in July, I lost 55lbs. Looking back now, I am so thankful that I changed my eating habits prior to the surgery because it made the process easier to manage. Any surgery is a shock to our bodies and already having adjusted to a high protein diet allows our bodies to heal quicker.
I am now a year out from my surgery date and have lost a total of 128lbs. The surgery has been a huge tool in helping me control my portions and be more aware of what I put into my body. I am now very active and walk/workout daily. Please understand this has been a process. It has taken lots of dedication and self-control to get to this point. I started about three months after my surgery walking at home for just five minutes at a time. I used small weights and bands to exercise my arms and legs. Again, this has been a slow process. After several weeks, I then increased my walking to 10 minutes a day and then several times for 10 minutes a day. I can now walk 30-45 minutes without stopping. I still have back pain, but my knee pain is completely gone.
I am amazed at all the wonderful things I was allowing “food” to cheat me out of. I have also been amazed at the first time experiences that have excited me so much. For example, the first time I could fit into a normal size MRI machine, sitting in a booth at a restaurant, not having to wait for the larger handicap bathroom stall, watching a movie in a theatre with my son because now I can fit in the seat, being able to walk up a flight of stairs without having difficulty breathing half way up, setting in a vehicle comfortably, not having to worry if a chair is going to hold me, actually being able to find clothes to fit me and so much more. And the health benefits (which is what’s most important) have been amazing….. I no longer have to take several medications I was on daily, including my diabetic medication. At 41 years of age, I am feeling stronger and healthier that I can ever remember. There is nothing that compares to truly living. I want to be healthy and most of all, I WANT TO LIVE!!!!
Never give up on living a healthier life for you and your loved ones. Never let anyone tell you cannot succeed a being a healthier YOU. If I can do this, anyone can. There will be ups and downs in life, but you can meet them as a healthier, stronger YOU. And remember, nothing tastes better than living a healthier life. Start today living the life you want to LIVE!!!
Results may vary. Specific results are not guaranteed and are a result of the individual customized weight loss plan for each patient, along with exercise, diet, and lifestyle changes.