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I have been heavy my whole life, even as a child, but I was also very active. I played baseball, basketball, and was always on the go – but could never really lose weight. When I worked in a casino I would walk miles all day from one end of the casino to the other and always stayed at the same weight. Then in 2005, I moved to northern Nevada to work in the mines and the weight really started to pack on. It got to the point that I could not do things around the house or walk for long periods of time without huffing and puffing. The weight even affected my intimacy with my wife.
I’ve struggled with being overweight all of my life. I’ve tried all the fad diets, weight loss clinics, pills, etc. All it ever did was result in yo-yo dieting with weight gain as the end result. Finally, when I reached 290 pounds, I decided to try weight loss surgery for a permanent fix. I chose the lap band procedure because it is less invasive and reversible if necessary. I now weigh 160 pounds and have kept it off for over two years.
I had surgery on December 20th, 2011, and really, it was a life defining moment for me. I spent a long time researching surgical options and selecting a surgeon before making this decision (a couple of years!). It wasn’t something I went into on a whim. I knew that if I was going to make this decision, it was going to be life altering. I think at the time, however, I was just thinking about all the things I would be giving up – not necessarily the things I would gain.
I was never really heavy until I was in my mid twenty’s. I have EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) which has caused my knee caps and other joints to dislocate ever since my early teens. In my early twenty’s I had surgery to tighten the ligaments in my knees to help them from dislocating. They had tightened the first knee so much it took over a year before I had a near normal range of motion. Due to my knee problems, my weight continued to increase over the years, as high as 340 lbs.
My decision to have weight loss surgery began about a year ago. I had been diabetic for 20 years, requiring insulin for the past 10. I had sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and severe back problems. My quality of life was just not good. I wanted to be able to spend more quality time with my children and grandchildren.
I have been overweight for my entire life. My first memory of school was the other children calling me names. I tried my first diet when I was in high school and successfully lost 35 lbs. I felt slim for the first time in my life. However, this was short lived (approximately 2 years). I then gained that weight back, plus more. I continued dieting during my 20’s.
When I was younger I had no problem losing weight, but somewhere along the line I started to gain weight and could not take it off as easy, thus began the yo-yo diets. I was diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, flat feet, and have had 2 total knee replacements. In 2010, I had the lap band procedure, but this did not help me to lose the weight I needed. In 2011, I relocated and found Dr. Cottam to do my band adjustments.
I was always athletic and fit throughout high school and the first few years of college, playing multiple sports and spending at least an hour every day in the gym. My third year of college, I was in an unhappy relationship and struggling in school and with life in general. This is when I started gaining weight. I was overweight when I started working night shifts as an RN and over the years the crazy shifts and long hours caused me to gain even more weight as my diet was awful and I never wanted to exercise or do anything active. I ignored my weight and made excuses for almost 10 years as I gained some and lost some.
I am so happy that I had a gastric bypass. If I had to go back I would do it again in a heartbeat! This was a life changing experience and I am so grateful that I did it! I have lost over 120 pounds and I will never go back to my old lifestyle. I love working with the team at BMI and I know I made the right decision to have my surgery with them.
My average weight was about 165 lbs and I’m just about 5’8″. I put on weight over about 4 years until it was discovered that I was hyperinsulimic; my weight was at its highest – 297 lbs. My body produced too much insulin and no matter what I ate my blood sugar would get incredibly low. Because weight loss surgery is so successful at stopping diabetes, my doctor and I figured it might be my only option to turn off this hyperinsulinism.