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Old 06-13-2017, 09:02 AM   #1
Jesse
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Reflections on my 5 year wls anniversary

Today is the 5th anniversary of my weight loss surgery. I first learned about the gastric sleeve on this forum. Every year I like to post a reflection, in case there are any lurkers like I once was who could benefit from hearing my story.

In these 5 years I am still overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude for this surgery. I was 50 years old when I got my sleeve. I lived as a morbidly obese woman for about 20 of those years. I put considerable effort into weight loss attempts. Occasionally I was successful. When I was 40 I lost 55 pounds low carbing, moving me from morbidly obese to obese. Even if I could lose weight, I could not maintain a loss for more than 2 years, ever.

So how do I know weight loss surgery is a viable treatment? Because here I am, 5 years later. I am not morbidly obese, I do not weigh 293 pounds. 5 years have come and gone and I am still maintaining 130 pound weight loss. (Which is 10 pounds higher than my lowest). I. am. normal. I am normal. I buy clothes ranging from sizes 8 - 12 (with an occasional vanity sized 6 ), I can sit in any seat in any venue, walk for miles, dance like a fool, enter a room with confidence….. I had a good life before surgery, but my excess weight was hindering me. It was stealing my mobility, my self worth, and probably was going to shorten my life. Now my good life is even better. My career, my relationships, my health, my confidence, even my finances, all of these improved due to my weight loss.

I am grateful and I am proud that I had the courage to take this step. The biggest barrier was probably my sense of shame that I couldn’t solve this problem on my own. I have long since set that emotion aside. 5 years later I have confirmed what I knew the day of surgery. I am not weak or lacking discipline, or willpower. I have a disease. Weight loss surgery is the treatment that helps keep my disease in remission. I have to fight regain, (but it appears that most of my normal weight friends are fighting that battle too), I have loose skin, I take a daily dose of antacids to control any reflux, I have to measure my food, record what I eat, not drink with meals…. All of these are tradeoffs I happily accept.

This year’s greatest NSV was a long dreamed of trip to South America. When I was 18 years old, I was an exchange student for a year in Brazil. It changed me profoundly. I adored my host family. I visited again in my 20s and some friends were able to visit me here in the States. Then came mortgages, and kids, and all sorts of other obligations that made a trip to Southern Brazil out of reach. Until this spring. My husband and I traveled to my city in April. There were people waiting in the airport with signs and noisemakers. My host mother, 93 years old, and as lively as ever. Portuguese like music in my ears and on my lips. Tears and hugs and laughter. And profound joy. So much joy after so many years of longing to be reunited. And how different this trip would have been if I was still morbidly obese. The journey alone with layovers took 20 hours. I don’t know if my morbidly obese body could have endured the flights, let alone kept up on the whirlwind of sightseeing and visits, and dinners, and parties we crammed into 10 days. But my normal weight body and soul did it all. Every perfect minute. And if this was the only NSV I ever achieved, the surgery would have been worth it. But it doesn’t stop there, there have been victories both large and small, small moments in ordinary days, and extraordinary moments in once in a lifetime events. And I know they will continue. I my sleeve.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:39 AM   #2
shelby'snana
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reading this I'm very very happy for you
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:43 AM   #3
JayLynn
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Contratulations! and thanks for the wonderful post. I love hearing such beautiful success stories. Your trip sounds amazing. I hope you have many more!
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Old 06-14-2017, 12:42 AM   #4
1Life2Live
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Thank you so much for posting this. I am working on stage 2 of my insurances requirements so I can qualify for surgery. Reading stories like this gives me hope. Hope for a better life and a happier life.
Congratulations on 5 years!!!!
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:21 AM   #5
Jesse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Life2Live View Post
Thank you so much for posting this. I am working on stage 2 of my insurances requirements so I can qualify for surgery. Reading stories like this gives me hope. Hope for a better life and a happier life.
Congratulations on 5 years!!!!
I remember that feeling of hope. My post surgery life is even better than I hoped for. You'll see
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:48 AM   #6
Lucky21
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Thank you

Thank you for posting this! I am at the end of my wait (and hopefully weight!) as my surgery is scheduled for the end of August. I know it is a huge committment but I am willing to do whatever I need to. I want to be healthy and be around for my husband and daughter. I am ready!
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:32 PM   #7
Jesse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky21 View Post
Thank you for posting this! I am at the end of my wait (and hopefully weight!) as my surgery is scheduled for the end of August. I know it is a huge committment but I am willing to do whatever I need to. I want to be healthy and be around for my husband and daughter. I am ready!
Best wishes for a successful surgery and much joy in your changing and evolving life!
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