My road to health and wellbeing started when I entered a 12-step program for drug and alcohol addiction. As anyone who has gone through the program will tell you, the eighth step requires making a list of all the people you have harmed in your life. I thought about and realized addiction had been manifesting itself not just in drugs and alcohol but also in food. I was very young and hadn’t yet gotten diabetes or heart disease, but I knew those and other diseases would come. At 350 pounds, I was already taking up two seats on the bus.
So I put myself at the top of my own list, having done so much harm to myself through my weight.
The ninth step in Recovery is to make amends to those you have harmed, and the only way to make amends to myself, I knew, was by getting outside help. Recognizing this led me to schedule an appointment at the Weight Loss Surgery Center at The Brooklyn Hospital Center.
I’m glad it did. The surgeon and his entire team were extremely nice and they always kept me informed. We discussed my surgical and non-surgical options and together decided on minimally invasive gastric bypass surgery. Now I weigh 180 pounds, and I know I’ll keep losing even more weight if I continue to work hard. Bariatric surgery can help you lose a great deal of weight, and if a good diet and exercise will help you lose even more.
I had a lot of good reasons to lose weight, but wanting to be healthier for my kids was at the top of the list. Prior to getting a lapband at The Brooklyn Hospital Center I had everything from high blood pressure and high cholesterol to sleep apnea. Because of the sleep apnea, every night I slept wearing a mask that covered my mouth and nose. It fed me oxygen automatically when I needed it throughout the night. The mask was uncomfortable, partly because you can’t move around too much once it’s on. I knew I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life this way.
Neither did I want to spend the rest of my life too tired to keep up with my kids. At 270 pounds, I often had to stop for breaks all the time, not just when playing outside but even during day-to-day activities like shopping at the mall.
But then I had the lapband procedure and everything changed. In just the two weeks I lost fifteen pounds and was able to quit my blood pressure medication. In the first year I lost almost 100 pounds and my sleep apnea went away. I put away the respiratory ventilator mask for good.
The weight is still coming off, thanks to the lapband and my own hard work exercising and watching my diet. The best part: now I have so much energy my kids have to keep up with me instead of the other way around.
Getting a lap band procedure at the Weight Loss Surgery Center was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. My biggest challenge before the procedure was a lack of mobility. At 280 pounds I just couldn’t get around very well. Getting my kids dressed and ready for school was exhausting. Even driving to work was a problem. My legs would tighten up after a twenty minute commute to work. They felt so fatigued, as if I had finished running a marathon.
Getting fitted for a lap band at The Brooklyn Hospital Center was a wonderful experience. My surgeon and all the nurses and staff were compassionate and helpful. Two years later, I still feel comfortable calling the Weight Loss Surgery Center any time when I have a question or need advice.
I’ve lost over 60 pounds and kept it off, which is something considering how hard I had tried through years of diet and exercise. Losing those pounds has given me the energy and mobility I need—for myself and my kids—and I’m able to shop for great clothes now! There are too few choices out there for a size 24, but a size 14 can pick so many different styles. In that and so many other ways, a whole new world has opened up for me.