Two Years Out

Two years ago I changed my life completely. I did something drastic. I had gastric bypass surgery. This was an incredibly hard decision for me at the time. I was very aware of all the possibilities that could result from having this surgery. I was completely aware that I could DIE.

I still chose to do it. Many people couldn’t understand my reasons for voluntarily risking my life. Rather than explain it to people I chose to evade the reason I was having surgery. This was an incredibly personal decision. I still feel very vulnerable when I discuss it. People often have very strong opinions about this.

Heck, I was watching the Today Show and they were talking about how people lost weight with diet and exercise, and not surgery. The tone of the piece was that surgery was a bad thing. I don’t think weight loss surgery is the answer for all overweight people. It was the answer for me at that time of my life.

Let me explain further, I weighed 280 pounds when I made this decision. I have always been heavy. I was a fat kid (not by today’s standards), then a fat teenager, and I grew up into a fat adult. In college I at one point dropped 75 pounds. I looked pretty good through my 20’s. I wasn’t thin, but I wasn’t really big either.

Then I got pregnant. I had cravings for Whoppers with cheese and watermelon. (The second time it was biscuits and gravy from McDonald’s.) My children are only 11 months apart so my body never really lost the pregnancy weight. After my second child I struggled with trying to lose weight. I tried Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, exercise, and was making some progress.

Then my back went out. When I was in my early/mid-thirties I developed a herniated disc. For a short time I could only walk with a walker. I had a terrible time. I could hardly walk at all. I put on weight. I couldn’t lose weight, because I couldn’t move. It was a vicious circle.

I decided that my children needed a more active mom, and that a decade of being overweight was enough. I couldn’t even walk on my treadmill for 5 minutes at one mph without severe back spasms. This was ridiculous.

It was two years ago, January 2nd that I had surgery. I have lost 115 pounds. I can easily walk two and a half miles in 40 minutes or so. (OK, so I don’t do that everyday. I’m much better in the summer.) I have went from a size 30 to a 12.

I can honestly say that although my activity level has certainly increased, my personality has basically stayed the same. (Suzanne can attest to that.) I’m happy about that as I’ve seen others lose weight and their minds at the same time.

One misconception though is that surgery is the easy way out. There is nothing easy about weight loss surgery. I was certain to lose weight, but not keep it off. I had a version of every side effect that was listed. I still do. I have to be very careful about what and how I eat. Pop makes me ill as does ice cream and cereal with milk. Breads don’t taste the same. Meat doesn’t always agree with me. If I eat too fast (say I’m talking) I will be in severe pain.

Even with all of that and more for me this was a very good decision.
cassie-before        spring-2008-046

Before                                                                             After

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6 thoughts on “Two Years Out

  1. Thank you sharing your story! I like the before and after photos. You look healthier and happier in the latter. I’m sure your boys enjoy having a more active mom.

    Your post makes me think of the teacher that I student taught under. I remember how much the students resented the fact that I actually walked around while teaching. They had gotten used to the fact that she could not circulate because of her weight. They used rthis time to cheat, sleep, and virtually do whatever they wanted because they knew she could do little about it. I always thought that it was a sad that her weight kept her from being a more productive teacher.

    She had the same surgery after she retired and is enjoying her retirement tremendously because of it. As you mentioned, she still has to work very hard to stay healthy and practice good eating habits. But she accepted the drawbacks and has embraced the positive aspects of GB, such as having an improved quality of life.

  2. I don’t know how to classify this. My initial reaction was to label it “funny”. That said, in my mind you have ALWAYS looked like your after picture. I don’t actually see you as looking different (save for the hair).

    I’m pleased that you’re living your life the way you’re meant to live it. Losing weight, no matter what system, is hard. There are ALWAYS comments, opinions, and judgments. It’s good that you’re not letting that “weigh” you down.

    Keep up the good work! 🙂

  3. Morocco, Thanks for your kind words. I’ve known teachers like the one you describe. I didn’t want to be that teacher or that mom.

    Suzanne, You don’t see body, so much as my heart. We have traveled this weight road up and down ( a few times) together. Thanks for ALWAYS being there and being my support. 🙂

  4. I see only you Cass. The pictures are very revealing but I only see you and you are wonderful and beautiful. I guess now I can finally relate to my husband when he says he can’t tell when I loose wieght or get a trim. Maybe I will ease up on him. Maybe I won’t.

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