Greatest Gift Ever Given to Myself!

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This is a story only half way written...I have...

This is a story only half way written...I have been working over a year with my team of bariatric doctors and surgeons to even get to a point to where I qualified for surgery with their program. Unlike so many offices, they have BMI guidelines that one must fall into before they will agree to operate..I did not fall into those guidelines...not even close..

I started this journey, last year in May.. May 9, 2009. That evening I went to the free seminar with my mom to investigate what they had to offer. The year before, in June of 2008, I had suffered a stroke, at the age of 38. At that time, I was already at 300 pounds. within that next year, from June 2008, to May 2009, I had gained another 100 pounds...Yep, I was now weighing in at a grand 409 pounds...I was a BIG girl...the weight had come from my inability to move, not from eating, as you cannot eat what you cannot get to, and I had been paralyzed for eight of the last 12 months. I had never been a binge eater, or a sneaky eater. I just ate the wrong kinds of things, at the wrong times, and did so for a long time. I had worked a lot of nights for a long time, so my dinner time, was late, then wanted to eat late at night then go to bed on a full belly...not,not,not,...a good idea...I also had a raging full time battle with a box of crackers and a bottle of soda. yep, you heard me, crackers...not cookies..not ice those little cheese them still, just don't eat them now.

After meeting with the doctors at my bariatric office, they decided that I needed to be placed on a supervised diet to lower my bmi, before I would qualify for surgery. WHAT? so you want me to lose weight, before you will give me the surgery to lose weight.. this made absolutely no sense to me what so ever...none...I needed help...and y'all want me to do what? ~~sigh~~ but this is their rule, and they will not bend it. not for me, not for anyone. My bmi was a 59.8. It had to be no higher than 55. that doesn't sound so bad right? but that meant I had to lose down to 356 pounds to get to a bmi of 55. Oh my dear Lord...

Well, this was in May...From May to October, I struggled. Nothing was happening. Nothing. I was getting really frustrated driving over there every week, to see nothing happening. what was the problem...Am I just wasting my time? It is an hour's drive one way...well, the problem was me. I knew it but didn't want to admit it, and had not been ready to do anything about it. Then, in last October of 2009, I went out to go to my best friends house one day, and when I got into my van, my belly was rubbing the steering wheel the whole ride there.~~and the seat was pushed as far back as it would go~~~ something inside my head got the message. Quietly I knew..I said nothing to myself, I just knew. I never bought any more soda, I never drank any more caffeine period. I have given up tea, coffee, juice, everything except water and skim milk. Period. I had already lost the salt in my diet from when I had the stroke, but now it was time to buckle it to the backbone.

I utilize the protein shakes they want me to, I use the protein bars once a day they wan, at least til surgery day in September, I do not eat anything white including my beloved pasta. I do have a serving..LISTEN A SERVING...THAT IS A MEASURED SERVING of whole wheat pasta, no more than once a month, because I think it may be a against the laws of nature to not have pasta at some point. but I skip the rich cream sauces..oh how I miss you, but choose veggie rich marinara instead..just as good..with a sprinkle of low fat part skim mozzerella. good to the mouth, good protein, with a good fiber. all of which I need.

I drink enough water each day to refloat the titanic...a minimum of 64 ounces..that is a minimum.sounds like alot, but in reality it is just 4, 16 ounce bottles, which I freeze. Ice cold water not only tastes better, but your body burns more calories when it has to warm it up to use it. I have a water bottle with me at all times. it is the single most important thing I do for my body I think. People say to me, "But I don't like water" That is just ridiculous. I tell them "you may not like to drink water because it is not full of sugar, and it is not sweet to your tongue, but your body is made to like water. It is built to have water. your brain, and muscles depend on water to function." The only time I have ever had water that was just too nasty to drink, it was contaminated...and was orange from the pumpkin also had 16 other contaminants in it. we could not even use it to wash dishes...

There have been days I have struggled with hunger. My doctors say that is normal at first, while your body dumps all the sugar, and the crud from it's systems. they tell me you have to be hungry for a little while, but you eventually get use to it...And you do..What you think you need, and what your body actually need, is entirely two different things. Alot of times your body just needs a drink of water, not a handful of cookies. Trust me on this...The fat girl knows.

At first, they had me just get use to the new diet, no exercise...then after several weeks of this, I started walking. remember I am a stroke patient, so the gym is kind of out of the question for me. But I can walk, so I do..I also do stretching exercises, and have recently started a low impact cardio program that the fitness expert has developed for me...since I recently passed her assessment with flying colors...I even amazed myself that day! HA! It had been 28 years, but I did 10 whole push-ups all by myself...I was so proud...and ready to stop.. but the treadmill test went smooth, and my heartrate was amazing, and I have a cholesterol level that makes even my cardiologist jealous. (125) yep, you heard me right..125. she told me yesterday at my cardiac clearance that she couldn't believe that not only had I had a stroke, but that I had ever been a smoker.(quit that 2 years ago also) they took 4 different blood pressure readings in various positions and the highest they got was 99/63. they kept asking me do you feel okay? are you dizzy? are you weak? sit up slowly.. I felt like a million bucks... she said my insides(heart and lungs) looked like that of a child they were in such good shape. TAH DAH!! Not bad for a fat girl.

So now I have lost 90 pounds of the 232 I want to lose. My surgery is September 15. I start my all liquid Pre-op diet on September 1st. I have even chosen to forfit my birthday cake for a bottle of Benefiber...quit laughing, trust me, it's needed more than the cake.

I am so well prepared now, I am educated beyond belief. I have all the necessary tools I need to make sure my surgery is a grand success. I am now grateful to my team of doctors for making me do all this crazy hard hard work to get here. Because now I know without a shadow of a doubt, that I will succed...oh and by the bmi today is a 50...and dropping like a hot rock...and my weight is melting like butter at Paula Deans' house... Living my life at last and loving it... Elizabeth Roberson. only only 142 pounds left to go.

Charlotte Bariatric Surgeon

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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