I want to offer Michelle Harman a very
special thanks. Here is her story:
I've been meaning to write my story but just couldn't sit down and
do it. Now, is the time. It started in 2002. I asked my
regular doctor, a wonderful lady, for something to help me lose
weight. She referred me to the Obesity Clinic at Geisinger Medical
Center in Danville, PA because she just didn't want to hand out
I went to the Center and discussed my weight
with them. They didn't hand out any pills. They gave me nutritional
information and support. They also talked about gastric bypass
surgery but I refused right away. I was sure I wasn't big enough to
need weight loss surgery.
After 2 years I had only lost about 2 pounds.
My highest weight was 261 and I am only 5'1 1/2" tall! I was getting
frustrated. At that time, my Mom was having a rough time. She leans
on me a lot, but I don't mind. She is always there for me. But, I
was spreading myself thin.
I had 2 job interviews and the first guy looked
at me like I was a fat slob and wasn't worth anything. He didn't
say that, but his look and
the tone of his voice said it all. At the end of
the interview he said, “I think we already have our candidate so
keep looking for work elsewhere.” The next woman was at least honest
enough to tell me they were looking for someone with lots of energy
and stamina. I used to work circles around the "skinny" people I
worked with. Just by looking at me she thought I couldn't do the
The next day I had my appointment at Geisinger.
The nurse I talked to was very kind and sympathetic about my
experiences that week, and she said to me, "Michelle, how about that
surgery now?" I said, "Yes, I will do it," and she said, "I know you
will do well because you are hopeless right now." And I was!
I had my surgery April 8, 2005 which was my
father’s birthday who passed away in 1999. The surgeon said he would
reschedule but I said no, because my father always promised me he
would be there for me on special occasions and his birthday was
special. I know he was there holding my hand that day.
I had open RNY surgery and was very sore for a
couple days but after that I had no real major issues. Every now and
then I did something stupid such as not chewing enough, eating one bite
too many, or drinking too fast. But I soon learned my lesson and was
I lost 75 lbs in 5 months. I even got to do a
commercial on the web for BariatricEdge.com. I lost 99 lbs total
from my highest weight. Two years later and I'm still working it. I
have regained about 12 lbs, and am struggling to lose it, but I have
gone back to the basics; protein, water and exercise, which I had
been slacking on. So I have no doubts I will lose again. This is the
best thing I ever did for myself and I wish I would have done it
sooner. But I was not ready for it sooner and if I hadn't been so
hopeless I probably wouldn't have worked so hard at it.
Every day is a struggle but it's not
overwhelming. I have this wonderful tool to help me.