In early June 2009 I contacted my insurance company about starting the process. Technically, I had contacted them a few years ago, but had never done anything more than get some basic information. At that time I decided I could do things on my own. Since that time, I have had both success and failure. I lost 45 pounds, going from about 300 down to 255 in 2006. By 2009 I had gained back all of those pounds, finding myself back at 300, or the dreaded "OL" on the scale.
Realizing that I had found my way back to 300 pounds and also a visit to my Dr.'s office in early June, got me thinking about weight loss surgery. I was actually there to refill my allergy meds, when Dr. M brought up things about my overall health, like my asthma and high blood pressure, it was 140/92 I think. He said he was willing to support me if I ever wanted to pursue weight loss alternatives. He asked about my history of being heavy and talked about the struggles his sister had. It was brought up in such a way that it was not preachy or negative, but a true concern about my quality of life, knowing that at 303 lbs. I was not living well and was on the verge of a lot more health issues in the next few years.
So from there things just sort of snowballed. While I hadn't been really thinking directly about it, I had been feeling miserable and struggling with moving, breathing and just living. So I got the ball rolling, I called my insurance company, or more accurately the third party company that handles these requests for my insurance company. I made the initial appointments for the three evaluations required to get insurance approval. I had appointments on July 1-2 with a surgeon, a nutritionist and a psychologist. After their evaluations, insurance will either be approved or denied and the surgery may happen either right away or they may make me go through a 12 month weight loss program. So now I wait patiently to hear from HCMTI on a decision.
I was filling out some paperwork and having to document my previous weight loss attempts. I hadn't thought about it but I have really tried several things over the years; swimming, walking, Richard Simmon's Deal-A-Meal and Sweating to the Oldies tapes, Walk Off the Pounds DVD from Leslie Sansone, 10,000 Steps a Day, pedometers, Sparkpeople, 2 different electronic food diaries, walking logs and who knows what else I am forgetting. I looked back at school picture and there was never a time that I was thin, even a a little girl I was that sort of cute cherubic, round kid. Then at about age 8 or third grade the round wasn't so cute anymore and you can see the first double chin. What was it at that time that switched on? Is it environment? Genetics? Is it mental, emotional or physical? Or a little bit of each?
I think at some point you start down a path as a child and that forms your life as an adult. I remember being teased as a child, being called the fat one. Knowing at an early age that I was different, having to shop for different clothes, with names like "pretty plus". Then it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. By the time I was old enough to make my own choices about food, I had always been the fat kid, the chubby one. I craved attention, I didn't fit in and food was the one thing I could count on. I always felt like I wasn't doing enough to be liked by friends, to be noticed by boys or to live up to expectations from parents, teachers and other adults. My self esteem and confidence were always measured by the fat suit I was wearing on the outside.
Now I find myself at 36 wondering how I let my life get here. As a kid you might have an excuse. As an adult, living independently for 15+ years the blame falls entirely on me. Anyway, I am trying to prepare myself emotionally and mentally for the potential changes ahead. It will be interesting to see what's next for me.