Today is a special day for me. On this day in 2010, I was in the hospital having major surgery. This surgery changed my life. Though it was the most physically painful experience I’ve ever had in my life, I would do it again 10 times over. My life is SO much sweeter and I can’t begin to explain how happy I am!
Before you continue, you should know that you’re going to see some pretty disgusting pictures. You’ve been warned 🙂 Continue at your own risk.
I could write a book (what an idea!) on my life as an obese person and how it negatively affected every single aspect of my life. But, I’ll give you the Cliff Notes instead.
When I turned 8, I ballooned into a dangerously overweight child. I don’t know what happened. I went from being the cutest child imaginable to, uh, not-so-much. When I was 9 I weighed145lbs and my weight was something that I would end up struggling with until I was 26.
Bows aside (It was the late 80s, people. Throw me a bone), I was pretty darn cute until I got hit with the ugly stick. My mom refers to it as the “gawd-y” phase… and my gawd-y phase lasted 20 years!
Yes, for 20 years I dieted. I lost weight and gained it all back in never-ending cycles that left me even more jaded than when I had begun. You name the diet or the fad and I tried it twice… I even auditioned for Season 3 of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser“. I actually got a call-back and had a screen test with producers… but, obviously, didn’t make the final cut. I then put my hope in Gastric Bypass. I met all the requirements for that but, irony of ironies, I couldn’t have it because I didn’t have health insurance. I was so heavy that I had been denied by every health insurance company for being such a high risk. I couldn’t win for losing.
So, this post is getting pretty epic. I’m sure you’re wondering what the pay-off is. HOW did I manage to lose weight? I’ll tell you: In 2008, I had my ah ha! moment.
This is a picture still from a video. I was in a drama skit at my church and I was viewing it to see my performance. Needlesstosay, I was shocked! I couldn’t believe I was that big. I mean, when you’re heavy you know it. You know that you need to lose weight… but at the same time you’re kind of in denial about it. You think, “Yeah, I could lose a few but I’m still healthy. I’m still pretty cute. It’s not like I’m 400lbs or anything like that. I’m okay…” Denial. This video shocked me out of my denial.
I’d had enough! The very next day I put my “plan” into motion: Eat right (because, seriously, we know what’s healthy and what’s not. Side salads over french fries; grilled chicken over fried chicken; water instead of coke <–it’s not rocket science). And, I SLOWLY incorporated exercise into my life. I mean, crazy slowly: I’d walk once around my local park twice a week.I didn’t want to burn myself out like I’d done in the past. Slow and steady was my only hope for success.
In 14 months, I’d lost 90lbs.
You’re welcome for sparing you the “underwear” B&A photo 🙂
So, that brings us to June 22, 2010.
Being so heavy for so long did a number on my body. I had loose skin galore. Though I needed (and still need) to have skin removed, I opted to have a tummy tuck and uh, ahem, a “couple” other things worked on first 🙂
Today, is exactly 3 years since having my surgery. Health Insurance (which I have now!) didn’t help with the cost in ANY way, so this is the reason why I’m so poor. I’m still paying for this bad boy and have 18 months left. I find it ironic that if I’d had gastric bypass, health insurance would have paid for my “reconstruction” …seems a bit double standard-ish to me.
In spite of it all though, like I said, I would do it 10 times over. Life is so much better being healthy. I didn’t say “thin” because I’m still not thin, really; I’m healthy. I can walk from point A to point B without sweating or getting heart palpitations. I don’t have to worry about not fitting through a revolving door, or turn style, or theme park ride seat, or air plane seat or etc, etc… I’m not afraid to be seen eating. I don’t avoid social situations because I’m afraid I can’t find anything to wear, or am just plain embarrassed by how I look. The list goes on and on! I’m transformed in so many ways.
This day is, and always will be, a day that’ll live in infamy for me. It’s the day the “other” Laura died and a “new” Laura was born.
Be healthy ❤