I was the chubby girl for all long as I can remember. Always the fattest kid in the class. I was an overweight teen and gained even more through my college years. There were lots of reasons. I'm still working through all those. I dieted of course but I'd gain it all back and then some. At 35 I found myself Size 28 (tight), on 8 medications, being treated for - severe GERD Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (my Dad died at 67 of sleep apnea related heart failure), High Blood Pressure, and the aches & pains of carrying around an extra person of fat. I wasn't able to walk the length of the mall without taking breaks. That was just the physical stuff. Here's some of the emotional stuff (I'm sure some can relate.)
I had thought about weight loss surgery a few times throughout the years but I had two big "straw that broke the camels back" wake-up call moments. The first was my Dad dying at 67 years old. His official cause of death was congestive heart failure and sleep apnea. He was a big guy. I knew I needed to make some changes or I was more than likely doomed to the same fate and maybe even earlier.
The second "straw" happened while watching the news coverage during 9/11. I remember listening to Charles Gibson on Good Morning America reporting that people who worked in the towers were having to evacuate the building, that some had to walk down 86+ flights of stairs, trudging down floor after floor, in single file, having to squeeze past firefighters in full uniform carrying hoses and emergency equipment on their way up to help those on upper floors. He said with no cabs, subways, or buses running to the area the workers were walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. I remember thinking... I can't walk the length of the mall without needing several breaks, there is NO WAY I could do that at this weight. It took 5 more years till I had weight loss surgery but the horrific events of that day and that news report was definitely was a major factor in my decision to change my life.
I was insured through my workplace, had a BMI of 54 (super morbidly obese) with several co-morbidities - severe GERD Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea, High Blood Pressure, and a host of other issues related to obesity, all of which WERE being treated and costing my insurance company and myself thousands and thousands of dollars. I was repeatedly denied any weight loss related treatments: no weight loss or fitness programs, nutrition classes, pharmaceuticals, therapy, nothing related to the treatment of weight loss was covered. I was denied weight loss surgery even though I was told by my doctors that many of the painful, debilitating, and life threatening conditions impacting my health would be potentially relieved and that having weight loss surgery was the best option.
As I got sicker and sicker, I worked through the hellacious insurance maze and also began to research the option of self paying for weight loss surgery. My research led me to some medical tourism options and I ultimately decided to self pay in Mexico for Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. The 158 pound weight loss I achieved resolved all my co-morbidities, I am off all 8 medications I was on prior to surgery, I have not been to the doctor for anything more than routine check-ups in 5 years - all of which are a considerable savings to my insurance company. I hope to continue to live a healthy life and am happy with my decision to self-pay thankfully I was financially able to but I should never have had to go out of my country or decimate my savings in order to get treatment.
Having weight loss surgery was the best decision of my life. *It's not a solution for everyone* but it was the right one for me. It was the HEAD START I needed to change my life and I want to stress it goes hand in hand with HEALTHY EATING, DAILY EXERCISE and MOST IMPORTANTLY (and the hardest part IMHO) working on the head stuff... the why's of why I got fat. This is a lifelong war versus obesity and having surgery was just one battle... everyday I wake up and fight. “Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town.” The FIGHT is FOREVER.
Was I afraid of having weight loss surgery? Sure but I chose a Surgeon I had faith in and I let the expert do his thing. I also made peace with the fact that I could die. I just figured I was a ticking time bomb that was eventually going to die from one of the many co-morbidities I had and frankly even when I was living fat I was "dead" because I wasn't making the most of my time on earth. I was trapped. So I made peace with the fact that if God wanted to take me he would and that was that. I'd rather die fighting for life then passively kill myself which is what I was doing... committing suicide by knife and fork. Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.
When I was researching my weight loss surgery options I went on a few message boards and I didn't feel comfortable posting my 300 pound before picture so Eggface was born. It stuck.