In the past, every time Josh lost weight he’d gain it back plus some. He had severe sleep apnea, hypertension, back pains and his quality of life suffered. He made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and keep it off. He attended an information session to learn about bariatric surgery and the rest is history. After bariatric surgery, Josh’s quality of life has improved dramatically. Read Josh’s story from his point of view.
I am a 34 year old husband and father of a daughter (7) and son (4). My journey began about a year and a half ago after getting on the scale and seeing a number that I never thought I’d see. It was just after Christmas and I decided to make a New Year’s resolution to get thinner. The problem is, I had done this before and never had satisfying results.
Every time I lost weight, no matter how much, I would put it back on plus some. I was “relatively” healthy for my size, but I did have severe sleep apnea, hypertension, back pains from the weight and was always exhausted. I knew that my health would not continue if I stayed at my current weight.
For me, health wasn’t the biggest issue, it was my quality of life. I found everything to be difficult. People do not understand how normal tasks and interactions can become so difficult unless they are obese. Tying my shoes, walking between aisles at stores, playing with my children, sitting in a restaurant booth, reaching down to pick things up, being involved in my kids’ activities – all became impossible to do.
The hardest thing I ever heard was at a field trip for my daughter. She came up to me and said that one of her friends just told her that her Daddy was fat. It wasn’t what her friend said, I knew I was fat, it was that my appearance began to affect my daughter’s life. The look of sadness on her face as she told me that made me realize I needed to make a permanent change. But, how would I do it?
I work at the hospital and starting seeing Dr. Mitchell’s notices for the weight loss information session, and decided to attend. At this point, through diet and exercise I had already lost 25 pounds, but I was still the biggest in the session.
Again, I had always been able to lose weight. It’s the keeping it off that has been the problem. After attending the session and seeing where my health was going, diabetes, heart disease, etc. I decided weight loss surgery was the best solution for me and my family. The process took time because I wanted to do it right, there was no room for failure this time. While following Dr. Mitchell’s guidelines, I lost about 50 pounds. The surgery was easy. Dr. Mitchell, his staff and the hospital staff were fantastic.
My journey began 15 months ago, but my surgery was seven months ago. I have lost 130 pounds thus far and continue to lose. Life has changed dramatically for me. My blood pressure has dropped, my pains have gone away and my sleep apnea is improving. But to me the quality of life has been the biggest improvement.
I can tie my own shoe without having to sit down and prop up my foot. I can buy clothes in regular department stores (size 4X to XXL and size 54 to 40 waist). My belly no longer hits things when walking between aisles and my energy level has dramatically improved. I have run a mile for the first time in 15 years. I played rugby for the first time. I help coach my son’s t-ball team. I’m riding bikes in the park and walking the bridge. I’m enjoying life and my family again. My confidence is improving. And best of all, I know that my weight will never again cause heartache for my children.
I want to be clear that my life has dramatically improved because of weight loss surgery, but I also want to be clear that weight loss surgery is only as good as what you put into it. I follow Dr. Mitchell’s guidelines and I work out 4-5 times a week. But now that I’m thinner, working out is fun. So next comes running a 5K, joining a local sports team and more healthy vacations. Another benefit to my good habits is that I am inspiring others in my family and hopefully my kids will learn the right way to eat to avoid my lifelong battle.