I am getting very low on success stories.
If you haven’t done so already, please send me yours along with
your before and after pictures. It is how you can give back for
what you gain from this newsletter.
If I used your story in one of my past newsletters,
your updated story and new photos are welcome.
Send your story and pictures to me at
I want to offer Carol a special thanks
Here is her story:
I was a skinny and sickly child. I had a lot of
allergies, rashes, odd swellings, and ear infections. When I turned
18 I decided to join the Air Force and they made me gain 6 lbs before
taking me to basic training.
I became pregnant about a year after enlisting
and gained 40 lbs before I even knew I was pregnant. Unfortunately I
lost the baby and the weight came back off slowly.
I was married and pregnant again a year later. I
gained 100 lbs during that pregnancy, and 60 lbs with the next and
final child. My husband and I divorced, and I continued to gain
I tried every diet, one even landed me in the
hospital! I ate according to how I was told to eat, but I kept
gaining. I developed high blood pressure, then later on low blood
sugar episodes. I developed chronic pain in my early 40s, and I
continued to gain.
I was a geriatric nurse, working long crazy
hours. I ate on the run, usually fast food. After work I'd be so
tired and hurting and I would stop at McDonald's again or something
similar. I'd try to make good food choices but the balance between
fast and healthy often does not go hand in hand when you're talking
One day I woke up and realized that I was in
trouble. I couldn't breathe nor stand long enough in the shower to
clean myself. I had trouble reaching to cleanse myself after bathroom
trips. I weighed 350 lbs.
At work I was in nursing management and part of
that means working when there is no other nurse available, which
became impossible. I had to have a doctor's note on file that
exempted me from that which always made me feel like I was not doing a
whole job. There's a lot of self esteem rolled up in one's ability to
do well on their job.
There was a lady at work who had undergone
gastric bypass surgery here in Albuquerque. She developed a leak,
became septic and died. Those at work were devastated, I was
devastated. A few years later, I knew that I had to have weight loss
surgery myself or go on disability and never work again. I also have
fibromyalgia and that has played a huge factor in quality of my life.
My primary doctor encouraged me to have the
surgery. It became harder and harder to breathe, harder to work,
harder to live. So I started doing research about the various
surgeries and the pros and cons. I learned a lot from reading other
people's stories, I learned we had a local support group and I started
going to meetings. I knew if I had surgery, I had to really change my
eating, thus change my life. I think most folks go into this not
really realizing that it's not just a matter of limiting one's food
intake but it's a matter of learning what our bodies really want us to
be eating. My body had been telling me for years that it only wants
fresh, wholesome foods but my fast food disposable life did not want
to hear it.
I had a heart attack in 1999, two weeks after my
mother died of congestive heart failure at the age of 65. I started
re-thinking my eating habits; but it took hitting 350 lbs and seeing a
photo of how I looked to get me going.
I had gastric bypass surgery because I felt it
matched my needs best. I knew I'd never lose enough weight having the
lap band. Plus with all my allergies, I worried about infection around
the band which is a possible complication. I knew that when I was
hurting, I'd figure out how to eat around the band.
Gastric bypass surgery made me re-evaluate
exactly what my body needs to thrive. I started with only fresh
protein, fresh fruits, and fresh steamed vegetables. About two months
into this way of eating I realized that just plain food really tastes
wonderful! Sugar peas taste so naturally sweet! And I love fresh
steamed tilapia with a little hot sauce.
I had my surgery January 30th, 2006. I
am almost three years post-op. I hit my weight loss goal this past
year on my birthday. My body settled at about 145 lbs. I had plastic
surgery to reduce the breast skin and tummy skin about a year ago. My
blood pressure is normal and I no longer have congestive heart
failure. Fibromyalgia does not care if you're fat or skinny and
that's something I struggle with but it's much better not carrying
around all that extra weight. And I do continue to have the low blood
sugar problem which is becoming a well known side effect of surgery
for some of us. It is bothersome at times. I'm learning what foods
trigger it so I can avoid those if possible.
I try very hard to never eat anything processed
but I know that will be my struggle for the rest of my life. Learning
what my body really wants me to put into it is the most important
lesson I've learned. I'm also learning to only eat enough calories to
offset my own activity level. With fibromyalgia, you don't do much.
Exercise is not in the cards for me due to pain. I have to save my
energy and strength for working.
I believe it's not enough to lose the weight. I
believe we have to go one step further and really learn what our
bodies need not only to survive but to thrive! I believe if I eat
only what my body needs then I will be a lot less likely to regain the
weight, something that unfortunately many of us do.
If I could encourage folks to do anything, it
would be to learn about basic nutrition, what occurs in the body and
what your own needs truly are. Stop listening to generalized
education about our health because one size does not fit all! And
education about ourselves is the key to healthier living.
Highest weight – 350 lbs
Current weight – 145 lbs
Total lost – 205 lbs
Thank you for allowing me to share my success
story with all of you.