I want to offer a special thanks to Tammy
Richards. Here is her story:
I would very much
like to share my success story with all of you. I am a 36 year
old mother of two. I graduated high school 5'6 and about 130 pounds.
I was not bad to look at and had my choice of guys to date. I had my
first son at 19 and went from a size 5 to a 7. My second son when I
was 22 left me at a size 22. I really packed on the weight and
couldn't seem to remove it. A heavy family, bad eating habits, and a
lack of desire to exercise by myself all didn't help. Then I had a
hysterectomy and gained more. Later down the road I quit smoking and
within no time I found myself over 250 pounds.
I had health issues
such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and no
energy. I was unable to walk up a small hill or up a few steps
without being horribly out of breath. I had no self confidence or
self esteem what so ever.
You know, when I was
skinny I could never understand why you would meet some heavy people
and they would smell like poo. When I became 270 pounds I knew why.
I could hardly reach my own butt. Reaching to shave my legs was
enough to take the wind out of me. And I wondered why department
stores seem to think because you are heavy you want to wear cloths
with giant flowers or paisleys on them? They must believe that
because you are heavy you have no sense of style what so ever!
The shame I felt at
that weight was horrible. I talked to a fellow heavy friend who had
been heavy all her life. We worked at a portrait studio together and
were expected to go around the store and talk to people to get them
into the studio. I asked her, "When we walk towards people they
lower their eyes like they are afraid we might speak to them.
will even go in a different direction. Sometimes they even give us
looks of disgust. If you smile at them they will look at you and
look away pretending they didn't even see you. How do you deal with
it?" Her answer was that she has been heavy all her life and had
never really even thought about it. It made me wonder. I used to be
thin so I saw the difference very drastically. Is it just a way of
life for people who have always been heavy?
I went to my son’s
musical and saw a guy I had dated in the earlier years who was crazy
about me. He looked at me and I saw the recognition in his eyes and
he just turned and walked away. He went out of his way not to look
in my direction again. I cried all the way home. How had my life spun
so out of control? I felt like a young woman in an old heavy-set
woman's body. Another low point was when I went out with my friend a
few years younger and someone asked me if I was her mom.
I started looking
into gastric bypass surgery. I went to the first group meeting at
the hospital that told you of the different procedures and options
you have. They addressed how so many of the health problems I had
would go away with the weight loss. I have to say in this room
crowded with other heavy people like me, I felt at home for the
first time in years. It was the first place I had been where I felt
people understood and weren't judging me. I almost cried in
Now with the idea of
weight loss surgery in my head, I knew I was going to have it done.
Then I started eating like a horse. I wanted to eat as much as
possible before I couldn't eat anymore. Don't make that mistake.
I was approved for
surgery by my insurance company. Then at the first of the year, my
insurance company changed and weight loss surgery was excluded. And
here I was weighing 287 pounds.
I went into a deep
depression feeling that hope for getting my life back was over. I
just didn't want to live like this anymore and I had to make a
change one way or another. Thank god my father loaned me the money
and I paid cash for the surgery. Not everyone is that lucky. So
again I urge you don't go haywire with food for fear of never eating
it again. Besides it was a silly notion because after time you can
have a bite or two of your favorites if you don't start making it a
habit. And if you get into a depression seek help and never, never
give up! There is always hope.
Now it is one year
and two months after my surgery. This is what I have learned along
the way for those of you who are getting ready to have the surgery and
are seeking advice. First of all you will probably have fits of
depression after your surgery. You may feel like you can't eat
anything and break down crying in frustration, especially when one
of your friends or family comes in eating a frosty or something. It
will pass. I promise you. It is very discouraging at first not being
able to eat much but it is good in that you see your sizes getting
smaller and smaller. The longer you go on the more you will find you
Make sure even though
you are feeling down that you go walking. I go to the gym 3 times a
week and regardless of what the plastic surgeons say it has helped
with my skin shrinking somewhat.
Sometimes when you
eat you will feel a pain at the top of your stomach or like
something is stuck and it will make you sick. The key to not having
that is to chew, chew, chew. I personally find that if something
makes me sick if I lie down and sleep it off or at least rest for
half an hour then I feel fine again. If you are eating and it is
giving you hot flashes or making you tired you better check the
sugar content. And finally I can tell you it is the best thing I
have ever done for myself. I totally encourage anyone with the
health problems that come with obesity to have gastric bypass
surgery. It will change your life.
My life now is
energetic. I have no health problems at all. I have a confidence in
myself I don't even think I had as a skinny young teen. The only
pills I have to take are my vitamins. I told my doctor he truly is
my hero because he saved my life.
I ran into that guy
who shunned me at my son’s musical. Boy, he was friendly and
welcoming and wanted to talk. I took great pleasure in blowing him
off. And I always make sure to give big smiles and be friendly and
never overt my eyes because someone is heavy.
Thank you all for
listening and God bless you on your journey,