**This is a personal story/review. Scroll to the bottom for surgery info** June 8th, 2010. That was the day I decided I needed to change my life. I weighed in at a whopping 425lbs, and stand at 6'9". I was a large man. At 21 years old, I didn't want to go through my 20's as the "fat guy" anymore, even though my friends and family never made my weight an issue. I was always big growing up, and it was mostly due to a diet that had zero eating discipline and a sedentary lifestyle of video games, fast food, and TV. I was content mostly in my own little world, but that all changed when I met somebody that would change my life forever. The beginning: I'll be honest, this is a pretty cheesy story. I met a woman who lived across the country, who for some reason or another, had a huge effect on my life. All my life I was uncomfortable with my weight and my lifestyle, but I never had a reason to change. Not even the warnings from my doctor of an early death, or the tests I went through for heart disease, or the high blood pressure meds I was put on. None of that made me change. It was the woman who lived 3000 miles away who triggered the "fat switch" in my head to turn off. I won't go into great detail about it, but long story short, it was a girl who gave me the inspiration, fiery determination, and perseverance to see it through. How I did it: Very, very simple. I reversed what I was already doing. I started slow with just learning about my diet and what I ate. Then, I substituted. Instead of plowing through an entire pizza pie, I would eat 3 pieces and a salad. I cut soda from my diet and drank water or seltzer. I learned about BMR, TDEE, and all those funny acronyms and formulas to figure out my daily caloric needs. Little things like that had a huge result. I lost 90lbs in 4 months. Then once I got the diet down, I started to exercise. I would do some sort of cardio for an hour, 5 days a week. I would strength train for 3 days a week. The combination of diet and exercise was huge for fat loss. By July 18th, 2011, I had reached my goal weight of 215lbs. Why I chose to have surgery: Loose skin. EVERYWHERE! I had a large amount of skin hanging from my abdomen, thighs, hips, butt...basically everywhere below the belly button sagged. Thankfully my upper body shrunk back nicely with the weight loss, and no procedures were required. Surgery was the last and final step of my transformation to a new person (losing 200lbs yields a new body and a new personality). I went to 4 surgeons to make sure that the skin was only fixable by surgery, and they all agreed that my skin healed as much as it would on its own. The remaining needed to be excised and tightened. The surgery: I am only two weeks into recovery. I couldn't be happier with the results of the surgery. I elected to have a Lower Body Lift, which included a full Abdominoplasty. My incision stretches around my entire waistline due to the nature of the procedure. My stomach is flat, my hips are tighter, and I am completely blown away by the results. The surgery itself took about 4 hours, and I have had a pretty routine recovery: drains are draining properly, swelling is common in the midsection, the scar is intimidating (but I know it will heal), and my stomach is somewhat sore from the muscle stitching. Again, I am still in the early stages of healing, so my experience is limited. Bottom Line: The surgery is a must for people that have gone through massive weight loss. I have never had a flat, tight tummy before; always a hanging mess of skin and fat. I can't believe how different I look after the procedure. For people that lose so much weight, you have to finish the journey. To lose 50% of your total body weight and be left with loose skin is a real let down, and can quite honestly increase the likelihood of a person rebounding. I actually gained some weight due to the condition my body was in before surgery. This truly was the end of my transformation, and the beginning of my new life.