I want to offer a very special thanks to Dick Thrun. We don’t
often have success stories contributed by men. Here is his story:
I never considered myself fat. I was
larger then most by age 15 but, not fat. At age 18 I was 6" 1" and
235 pounds with a 34" waist.
Over my next 62 years I grew very
comfortable with my weight. But, in March of 2003 I finally
realized that I had a problem with the weight I was carrying
around. I weighed 416 pounds. I was 62 years old and many things
were no longer possible to do. I could not walk over 100 feet
without sitting because my knees ached. I could not dance with my
wife more then twice a night because of the pain. No one knew how
much I weighed except my Doctor. All my life I was big but very
active and athletic. Slowly year by year I added the weight
especially after age 40 as I slowed down and got larger.
I had tried to lose weight trying all
the diets and exercise but I soon would regain it. I was a rewards
eater. To replace love, I used food. I could and would drink a 12
pack of Coke in a day.
I was looking at the possibility of
having both knees replaced. I was approaching the fact that
diabetes would soon be with me as my blood tests were beginning to
show. I had a chronic snoring problem. I suffered all the pains of
seat belt extenders, no booths in restaurants, breaking plastic
chairs, and trouble tying shoes. .
I had 3 great-grandmothers that lived
to be 98, 99 and 100, so my life-long goal was to live to be 100.
At 62, I realized that dream would not be achieved unless I took
action. I had never had surgery in my life but I knew the only way
to fix my fat was to make it impossible to eat so much. I also made
a pact with my self that once given this opportunity I would control
my destiny and follow the rules and not fall in to the eating for
pleasure trap again.I had a good friend that had the Roux-en-Y
gastric bypass surgery and she convinced me it was safe and worked!
I went to all the meetings, had all the
tests, and was told it would be a 6 month wait. In Oct 2003 I was
given a May 24th 2004 surgery date. My surgeon, Dr. Edmund Schute
of General Vascular Surgery Consultants in Minneapolis would perform
the surgery with an incision from the breast bone to the navel. On
my surgery day I weighed 416 pounds, had a 60" waist, a 25" neck,
and wore size 15 shoes. My shirt size was 5X large tall.
When I awoke from the surgery, I was so
happy I cried! The first 2 days were uncomfortable but bearable.
The 3rd day I went home. I walked in the house and had to sleep on
a recliner because all my life I have always slept on my stomach.
It took about 10 days for me to be comfortable enough to use our bed
and get a good nights sleep. But it was worth it!
I never had any complications from the
surgery. My scar healed fast and now you can hardly see it.
As I said earlier I was determined to
use the tools afforded me by this operation and never over eat
again. I started out with soft foods. By the 2nd week I found that
I could keep home-made vegetable soup down if I ate it very slowly
and chewed it to apple sauce texture. For protein I used vegetarian
Soy hamburger crumbles and after a month switched to 93% fat free
ground chuck. I would get up in the morning, made a pot of coffee
and about 11 am I would have a bowl of the soup. I also had one at
3pm and 6 pm. My only snacks in between were a glass of low salt
I have kept this regimen since that
At 4 months I changed my intake to
include home-made chili Mac with the same portions. Now I switch
off after ever batch is gone. I make it myself and put it into
gallon sealed tight jars. I use all fresh vegetables, vegetable
soup stock and low salt tomato juice. I make 2 gallons which lasts
me 4 days. I only drink water, v-8 juice, and in the morning
coffee. I do not eat sugar of any kind. I have kept my promise to
myself if given the chance I would do it right. Every time I feel
good about myself that re-affirms my commitment to keep on doing
this right. I am not sick of doing this or crave to eat anything.
Eating is only for keeping your body fit and energized.
I have kept a log of my weight and
inches lost. One week after surgery, I weighed 389 pounds. At 1
month after, I weighed 357 pounds. At 3 months, I weighed 330
pounds. And on the 6 month anniversary, I weighed 298 pounds which
was a total of 119 pounds lost.
On my one year anniversary I weighed
252 pounds and now in August, 15 months after surgery, I am the size
I was the day I graduated from high school. I weigh 235 pounds. In
15 months, I have lost a total of 181pounds, 36 inches from my waist
and 18 inches from my neck. I have 27 pounds to go to have lost
half of me, which has been my goal.
It has been a beautiful experience. I
have been very lucky to have very little excess skin. As I was
losing weight, I bought clothes at thrift shops. When I grew out of
them I got more. Just last week I went to a department store and
bought $200 worth of shirts, pants, underwear, and a belt. Large
shirts, 36" pants, size 13 shoes and a 17 and a half inch dress
People that have known me all my life
do not recognize me until I talk, and then are shocked and amazed.
My secretary of 20 years did not recognize me until I spoke to her.
I have been married to a wonderful
friend for 20 years. Mary never said much about my weight but has
backed me 110%. She loves the walks we take now and the all-night
dancing. My only exercise is walking. I can do 2 miles but usually
My triglycerides are 75 compared to
160, my cholesterol 125 compared to 190. My blood pressure 110/72
compared to 130/98.
Soon I will change my diet to more
traditional foods and I am comfortable to know I will never be
hungry and I will have a long healthy life.
I recommend this surgery to anyone that
is morbidly obese and who is willing to give up their food
This week I go to my 45th class
re-union. It will be a blast! Over the years they have called me
"Big" guy! I can't wait to see the looks and comments I get this
Prescott Wisconsin and Hood River,
I love good news. If you have good news, a
success story to share, or inspiration,
please send it to me at
Barbara@WLScenter.com so that I can
include it in future issues.