I don't really know how to describe how happy I am that I chose to have gastric bypass surgery. I thought I was living before I had surgery, but looking back I was just existing and not really living. I was 26 years old and had been trying to lose weight for 10 years. I wasn't always heavy. I was active all growing up, but after high school I started to put on weight through the years. During this time I would try and lose the weight. I would lose some weight and then gain it back plus some. I was unable to modify my behaviors and habits long term.
My primary doctor suggested to me 3 years ago that I should look into gastric bypass surgery. I thought to myself, "Are you kidding?!? I am not that big! I do not need that surgery." I dismissed his suggestion and continued on with my life (and gaining weight.) Fast forward three years from that and I was heavier than I had ever been. My BMI was 39 and this led me to start researching different weight loss options and surgeries. I wasn't sure I was even going to do anything, but I wanted to learn more. I started researching having lap-band surgery and met with a few different surgeons to learn more.
During my research process, I went on a trip with my family. During that trip I made up my mind that I was ready to take my life back. I was tired of not fitting in seats, making people wait for me when we were walking, being tired, and just feeling too big to lead a normal life.
After returning home from my trip, I dove back into researching the different weight loss surgery options. I attended a weight loss seminar put on by the weight loss surgeons at St. Mark's Hospital about the different surgery options. After meeting with my surgeon and finishing my research, I decided gastric bypass was the best option for me.
My surgery was July 17, 2012 at St. Mark's Hospital. This day changed the rest of my life…for the better. It has been a lot of hard work, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. I am now nine months out and down 140 pounds. I feel alive. I am doing things now that I didn't think I would ever even want to do, let alone do them. I feel like the real Michelle now. The person I am now is who I was on the inside before, but was hidden by all the extra weight and insecurities.
I am now living the life I want to live. I am healthier, have more energy and am more confident. I am proud of myself and what I have accomplished. I am proud that I have chosen to take care of myself and that I invested in myself and my future.
I have been upfront and vocal about my decision to have gastric bypass surgery. Acquaintances and people in my life have been curious about my decision to have gastric bypass and the process following the surgery. What I have told them is that I chose to make a lifestyle change. I had gastric bypass so I could have a tool to help me regain my life by changing my habits and lifestyle. I am so happy I made this decision to better my life. I feel empowered that I have taken control of my life by modifying my lifestyle with the tool of gastric bypass surgery.
I am excited to see what my future holds and my ability to live my life to the fullest.