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I Never Knew What Living Was - Glastonbury, CT

Being morbidly obese most of my entire life (since...

Being morbidly obese most of my entire life (since age 5), I was used to be being teased, harassed, bullied and ignored by family, classmates, teachers and parents. I kept to myself and with most people in this situation, food became our best friend and emotional outlet.

Not knowing that a different life existed outside of my "world", I had little in the form of expectations after the Lap-Band surgery. I knew that I needed it...for medical reasons and that was my primary single reason for having weight loss surgery. I needed to be alive to watch my children grow up. But what happened after the surgery, aside from losing pounds was incredible. After surgery, I was incredibly motivated to lose weight and jumped on the exercise band-wagon immediately. I researched proper eating and options for high protein meals. I was 110% invested in myself.

My husband and children were supportive however I never received the support from other family members that I had hoped for. But that didn't get me down - I focused on ME and soon began seeing results physically. Soon after the physical results started, I started feeling emotional responses to my metamorphosis. I began feeling empowered. For the first time, I was in control. Many times however, I became scared of failing - those ghosts of the past haunted me often - calling me names and reminding me that I could ever succeed. I had setbacks, sure - but I learned from them - I learned my triggers - I practiced different techniques and responses. Everyday I experienced something new. Everyday was a learning experience. I learned so much about my 44 year old body and what it was capable of. I was in awe of myself!

Within 18 months of my surgery, I stepped on stage and competed in a natural bodybuilding competition! Within a months of the show, I was contacted by Allergan, the maker of Lap-Band to become one of their Spokesmodels! I could not in my wildest dreams ever think that an international company would WANT me for anything - how could this be? People wanted to be associated with me. People were treating me different. In retrospect, I'm not sure if people were treating me different because of my outward appearance or my inner beauty. You see, during this time, not only did an external transformation occur, but also in internal transformation took place. I learned to love myself - I no longer felt "empty" - I was full of life and love for myself and for everyone around me. I no longer walked around numb. My eye were opened to doing new things, meeting new people and opening myself to opportunities. I continued to be given new opportunities and appeared on TV and Radio shows. I also went on to compete in several other physique shows.

Even now, turning 48 this year, I am in training to compete nationally next spring. I have continued to give back to the community and am humbled to be a sought after resident expert on exercise for the obese/former obese/WLS patient, I have been told I am an inspiration and motivation for others. I cannot imagine where my life would be today if I didn't have WLS, but I do know that there is so much more to experience and I can't wait to do it!

I just realized I didn't post my weight - I am...

I just realized I didn't post my weight - I am very used to NOT focusing on the scale but rather focus on body comp (muscle/lean mass v fat). My starting weight was 242 (Im almost 5'7) and my lowest competition weight in the pic above is 133 (10% bodyfat). I added bodyfat here because people are so focused on the scale # and I want to show people what 133 looks like with higher lean muscle mass. I was a size 2/3. Off season I range from 155-162 - 25% bodyfat and size 4/6.

Prior to surgery, I was on 2 BP meds, cholesterol...

Prior to surgery, I was on 2 BP meds, cholesterol meds, cpap (for severe sleep apnea), borderline diabetes, severe anxiety (and meds), metabolic syndrom, resting heart rate of 102! Now, at age 47 1/2 - I am disease and drug free!
Dr. Papasavous

Dr Papsavous is extremely supportive and knowledgeable about all forms of WLS. The staff is awesome and specializes ONLY in WLS.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (6)

Wow, what an amazing journey. Continued success to you!
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You and all the others are an inspiration. I took the first step and called the insurance and will be seeing the Dr. soon. I need to get well and off the handfuls of meds I take everyday and that step is weight loss. I'm facing my fears and look forward to writing my own review soon.
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Thats great I am very happy for you. Your story really touched. I cant think of a time I ever loved myself I hope if I get the lap band someday I can love myself.
  • Reply

Welcome and thanks so much for sharing your journey with us!

You look awesome and you've obviosuly worked very hard to get to where you are today! If you don't mind me asking, what was your starting weight and how much did you lose?

If I can do half as well as you (I'm getting a Gastric Sleeve), I'll be very happy!

  • Reply
I just realized I didn't post my weight - I am very used to NOT focusing on the scale but rather focus on body comp (muscle/lean mass v fat). My starting weight was 242 (Im almost 5'7) and my lowest competition weight in the pic above is 133 (10% bodyfat). I added bodyfat here because people are so focused on the scale # and I want to show people what 133 looks like with higher lean muscle mass. I was a size 2/3. Off season I range from 155-162 - 25% bodyfat and size 4/6.
  • Reply

Wow, you really have done well, that's an awesome achievement! You look good at both weights, very healthy. It's awesome that you get used in Allergan ads as well!

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