What I Have Learned After 13 Years As a Weight Loss Surgery Patient

by sandi on May 31, 2017

13 Years As a Weight Loss Surgery Patient
13 Years As a Weight Loss Surgery Patient
13 Years As a Weight Loss Surgery Patient
13 Years As a Weight Loss Surgery Patient
13 Years As a Weight Loss Surgery Patient
13 Years As a Weight Loss Surgery Patient

May 28, 2004.  That was the day I was reborn.  I was given a second chance to salvage my adult life, my health, my relationship with myself and others, and to find my WHY.  Many begin their journey knowing their WHY – they want to get rid of meds, cure obesity related diseases, fit into single digit size clothes, play on the floor with their kids or grandkids.  I wanted all of this, and at the time of my surgery never knew I wanted more.  I never knew I could have more.

I had a successful business, a loving husband, a great daughter, wonderful grandkids, but never felt like I was enough…  I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, successful enough… well you get the picture.

Suddenly, after surgery I had to focus on ME FIRST.  I had to do all sorts of uncomfortable things like counting calories, measuring foods, writing down everything I ate and drank, moving my body with consistency and yes, stepping on that scale in my doctor’s office.  I was terrified that even in this I would not be enough.

Somewhere along the way, as I followed the rules, weighed and measured my food, tracked my intake, learned to move my body, and sort of like it, I suddenly realized that I had become MORE….More than what you ask?  More than I ever thought I could be.  Confidence started building inside me that had been absent before.  I walked taller (even though age was shrinking me), I began helping others getting started on their journeys and I continued to follow the rules.  I started spicing up my foods and cutting back on buying “bariatric puddings, soups, etc” and began creating some tasty foods that everyone in my family could enjoy.  I just enjoyed it in smaller portions.  I expanded my food choices and stepped back into a daily life where I no longer prepared something for me and something for them.  I wasn’t on a diet.  Finally I realized that I was changing my lifestyle habits.  When we traveled my husband and/or the grands could have some jerky or some almonds right along with me.  I could order a single scrambled egg or a small egg white omelet for breakfast out, an appetizer of a shrimp or crab cocktail for dinner and be happy, satisfied, and continue to lose weight.  I also made sure that the facilities we stayed at while on the road had a swimming pool because that was my fitness for the first several years.  Why only swimming?  Because it didn’t hurt my knees, I enjoyed it enough to do it over and over.  I was developing muscle and losing weight.  It was working.  Later the treadmill and then the elliptical and then the weight lifting came into play.  I’m glad I began it all because at my age creating and maintaining muscle takes consistent work, and it is keeping me healthy.

So my journey was about my relationship with food and how it impacted the people around me as well as my personal choices, my relationship with fitness,  how it impacted my choices, my journey, and my relationship with myself.  I had become ENOUGH.  I wanted to share that joy with others so I began writing articles, sending weekly newsletters, speaking at support groups and other events.

I then took courses on becoming a bariatric coach, educator, and support group leader.  Today I continue to share that knowledge through our FREE Telephone Support Group calls as well as through the classes and programs I teach.  I travel around as a guest speaker for support groups all over CA, and have been fortunate enough to be invited to speak on panels and do presentations for both the Obesity Action Coalition and The Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America. 

I have co-authored a cookbook to share the joy of eating delicious foods as a weight loss surgery patient.  I share my days on Facebook and Twitter.  I hike at 10, 000 feet in New Mexico, 6000 feet in Oregon, 7500 feet in Colorado, glaciers in Alaska, and barely above sea level in California.  My current “fetish” is chasing waterfalls when I have the time.  I teach, I coach, I cook, I live my life to the fullest each day.  I share all of this with friends (some virtual, others in the flesh), family, and anyone who wants to take the time to listen.

I am no longer hiding on the sidelines of life.  I am living my BEST life each day.  Bottom line here is:


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth Mansfield July 2, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Great story. I am 3 years post sleeve gastrectomy and struggling with re-gain and taking off the last 40 pounds (not including the re-gain).

Kathy October 3, 2017 at 8:15 pm

Wow,I’m over three years out and feel like a need a complete reboot.
I get sick really easy, but pretty sure my band isn’t ok. I’m over eating.
Lots of junk,I want to get my head straight.

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