The first time I can remember weight loss being on my radar was my senior year of high school. I had known that I wanted to join the military for years, and my Army veteran Dad told me that he’d only allow me to join the Air Force. The next day, I visited the brutally honest recruiter. In order to join I had to lose between 5 and 10 pounds and be able to pass the PT test. It was 2001 and I weighed 165 pounds.
I always skipped working out and was amazingly good at going to PE class but not exercising at all. Exercise wasn’t a part of my family’s routine and none of us had weight problems. Mom had great metabolism and Dad worked very physical jobs which kept him in shape. For the first time in my life I began to run and got into decent shape, losing those 5-10 pounds fairly easily.
Once through basic training and into technical school I started skipping PT (physical training) again. To be honest I’m not sure why I hated it so much…but it was a quiet rebellion of sorts. Throughout my 9 year Air Force career I would fail the PT test, then barely pass my re-test in order to avoid disciplinary actions. I had 3 kids in the military and gained quite a bit of weight over the years.
weight loss on my own TERMS
When I left the military weight had been on my mind for years. I figured “Now I’ll lose the weight on my own, in my own way instead of the military forcing me to do it their way”. Obviously their way didn’t work for me…I hated exercise and felt shame for not being within their standards. Never mind the fact that most of the time when I did work out, I half-assed it. I resented the military for trying to make me workout.
I started going to Planet Fitness and worked out when the kids went to sleep. That was exhausting with two kids under the age of two, so I started working out at home, and lost about 60 pounds. I hadn’t changed my eating, and regained all that weight and more.
Weight Watchers seemed like a good popular program and I tried going to meetings and then did it online by myself. I did lose some weight but not all of it and coming up with points for foods was a lot of hassle when I could count calories a lot easier. So I started tracking just calories. I regained a lot of my weight because it was a new way of tracking for me and I had no idea what I was doing.
Then I heard about juicing from the documentary on Netflix. So I went all in and bought a juice machine. I did an all juice fast for a total of 30 days. I adapted quickly to the caloric exhaustion. After the fast was over I regained all the weight and then some.
Fast forward several years, I tried weight watchers online again, went to several gyms and even saw my family doctor to get prescribed weight loss pills. Although I had great spurts of weight loss, I would always revert to old habits and regain the weight. The biggest consistency throughout the years was hunger. I was always hungry, even after I ate dinner I would want more.
At my worst I was eating a full meal from Burger King in secret, in my car. This meal was in between lunch and dinner. I ate quickly, in shame, and felt completely out of control.
Considering weight loss surgery
Then in 2013, I went and saw my family doctor again, who told me that she felt I should get weight loss surgery and gave me a referral. I went to my car and cried because I wasn’t ready to give up. Weight loss surgery was for quitters and for the lazy who couldn’t do it by themselves, right?
Fired up and determined to show my doctor that I was going to defy the odds and lose over 100 pound by myself, I went to work. I tracked and measured food religiously, learned about proper ways to lower calorie intake and really worked hard. The hunger was constant but felt it was normal and that it was a small price to pay to finally get healthy.
Fast forward again another 3 years. I was still fighting my weight and was quite depressed. I felt like a miserable failure. Why couldn’t I just lose weight and be like everyone else? I had friends who were fit and thin who ate much worse than I ever did. I went and saw my doctor again and told them I wanted to get weight loss surgery. That was in August of 2016.
I didn’t care anymore if people thought weight loss surgery was a quick fix for quitters. I wanted to finally stop fighting myself and feeling hungry constantly. At 263 pounds I just couldn’t keep up with my kids at all. I made a choice to take full control of my health no matter what it took. Nutrition classes, exercise classes and seeing a great psychologist became my new routine. I putt in the work needed to get surgery and then some. I read at least six books regarding weight loss surgery before I decided on the gastric bypass.
Gastric bypass surgery
My surgery was on November 1st, 2016. It hasn’t been easy at all. I have problems digesting food unless it’s very moist, so things like chicken breast and tuna are really difficult. Although a lot of people with the bypass have problems with constipation, I have chronic diarrhea. It can be hard for me to leave the house at times. Sometimes I have unexplained abdominal pain, and I have nutritional deficits. I am working very closely with my surgeon to fix those deficiencies and get healthy.
So far I’ve lost 80 lbs and weight 182 pounds. My surgeon would like to see my weight around 140 pounds, which I can’t imagine at this point. I am proud of myself for taking control of my health no matter what it took. Urges to eat unhealthy food still happen very often but the fact that I’m not hungry helps me resist temptation. I still see my psychologist and have a much better understanding of emotional eating now. If you are looking for a gym, I highly recommend Gold’s Gym. I am enjoying riding a bike and lifting weights for the first time.
I share this with all of you so that you can take charge of your health. Weight loss surgery isn’t for everyone. I’m not encouraging you to get weight loss surgery because it’s so insanely difficult. My body will never be the same and if I ever revert to old habits I can still regain the weight. My only regret is wasting so much time not taking my health seriously. Learn from my mistakes and make life long sustainable choices in order to get healthy. You know I’m here to help in any way I can.
To read about my 4 month struggle click HERE.