A lifelong struggle
I've been overweight all my life. I can remember trying many different diets throughout the years: Weight Watchers®, physician-monitored diets and a variety of others that would work for a short time and then it would all come back. In my mid-twenties, I was diagnosed with Graves disease and from there I'd teeter back and forth between hyper- and hypothyroidism, making losing weight even harder and causing me to lose my motivation quickly. Then I would get discouraged.
Growing up in Lancaster County, I was a meat and potatoes child and I never liked vegetables. Exercise was only done in gym class or playing in the backyard. I'm hoping as I go through this journey trying new foods and making exercise a priority will come easier.
Family support is key
I had been thinking about bariatric surgery since our son was born in 2005, but I really started thinking more seriously about it over the past year. I wasn't getting any younger and losing weight was going to be harder as I got older.
After attending an information session with my husband, Rich, we sat down and discussed the pros and cons of the surgery and what we wanted out of it. I told my immediate family what my plans were and asked for their support. Then, we sat down with our kids and explained it to them and told them that our meals are going to be very different from now on. They were excited! Once I knew my family was going to be there for me and support me, the decision was easy.
The right choice for me
As soon as I met Dr. McPhee, I knew he was the doctor for me. He was very easy to talk to and very friendly. (We have run into him outside of the practice and he's been just as nice.) The entire program has been great. They really give you a lot of information to help you succeed at your weight loss. My classes were broken into three nutrition classes and three exercise classes. Rich and I learned about reading nutrition labels. After that, we spent a LONG time at the grocery store just looking at the labels on our "regular" foods. It was an eye opener.
Adjusting to a new life
Shopping is now a favorite of mine. I am still actively losing weight, so I am buying used clothing until I hit my goal weight. I also enjoy exercising; I love my Extreme Deep Water Aerobics. I go twice a week and it's my "me" time. Best of all, we are making our lives better with healthier eating. Our kids are young enough to change their habits and learn the correct and healthy way to eat. They often ask, "Mommy, is this healthy?"
I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of Rich…and of myself. This whole journey is not "the easy way out" like some people think. It has been a roller coaster of emotions. Some days it is hard and I wonder if I made the right decision. But, as I see the changes in my body, I realize the end result is greater than the urge for some fast food. I know that I am a healthier person and that my quality of life is better. I want to be around for my kids; to see them graduate, get married, and have kids so I can spoil my grandkids. I also want to grow old with Rich and this has given us a second chance for a long, wonderful life.