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Bypassing it forward

I sit here in the very back of the room watching the slides scroll through weight loss before and after’s. I am here to give my monthly support to the Bariatric program that saved my life.

Most know my story; after 30 years of dieting, underwent Gastric Bypass, 140 lbs lost, 274 lbs at my highest and 133 lbs at my lowest. 3.5 years later I know despite complications it is still the best decision of my life.

What I haven’t shared was the internal pain or hell I was living in day in and day out. Through the years I would write lists to remind myself why I was trying to lose the weight and at the very end of this journey before my surgery I made sure to capture all that I was dealing with to serve as a reminder long after this hell had become a distant memory. My list includes:

  • Diabetes
  • GERD
  • Hair loss
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney Failure
  • High Cholesterol

I come to speak monthly because I remember being in this audience staring at the surgeon presenting the surgery options with such desperation. Could this work for me? Would I lose the weight? I was so sure that it could not and would not work for me. It was so far from my reality.

In a few minutes I will stand in the front of this room and I will give hope to this sea of desperate onlookers that are wondering if it could work for them. I will tell them that it can and it will.

I do this for them but selfishly I do it for me. Being in the back of this room brings me back to the day I sat here hoping and doubting. Being in the front of the room holds me accountable to the program that gave me the chance to live as I was born to live.

It’s about gratitude, it’s about quality of life and it’s about love. I am grateful to my surgeon and program beyond what I can give back in one hour a month. I now understand how a quality of life can change one’s life so dramatically. And ultimately it’s about love. The love I have for this medical team, the love I have for these people that had the courage to walk in this room tonight and ultimately the love for myself to believe I was worth the fight.

Living my life lighter – L.

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