Today is a really special and reflective day for me. On this day four years ago, I was laying on a gurney, ready to go into surgery. I was 326 pounds and miserable. I had gastric bypass on that cold January morning and it truly changed my life forever in more ways than I can list here. Some people may say I took the easy way out, but I know better. Weight loss surgery is not an easy quick fix and if you think it will be, I can PROMISE you you will regain every pound you lose. With that said, this choice is NOT for everyone.
That day changed my life forever and I am never going back to that place of unhealthiness and unhappiness.
Weight loss surgery is a tool and a way to jump-start the process of getting healthy, especially for someone who is a food addict and has tried and tried on their own. It is just like a smoker using a patch to quit. YOU HAVE TO DO THE WORK. And if you do the work, the rewards will be amazing!
It is not about getting skinny, or looking like a swimsuit model, or fitting into a particular size. I am not skinny, I could never model a swimsuit with all of this loose skin, and I will never be a size 6. I am , however, a very healthy and fit person who can really live life now and has become a personal trainer and host of a radio show all about health and fitness and nutrition. That alone is enough for me.
Which of these two women looks happier and healthier? No contest really. The girl on the left is clearly the healthier of the two. There are a lot of changes between the two women that have happened over the last four years. Here are just a few of them for you.
Old Erin’s idea of a workout was getting up a flight of stairs without passing out. New Erin’s idea of exercise is training for a half marathon.
Old Erin’s idea of a perfect date with the hubby was a big dinner followed by several sugary cocktails. New Erin’s perfect date is going for a run at the park ad then coming home and cooking a healthy meal.
Old Erin’s way of drowning her sorrows when things were not going well was to hit up a drive through and try to eat away the pain. The new Erin will hit up the elliptical or the road and run the stress off.
Old Erin’s favorite part of a Disney trip was looking forward to all of the food. New Erin’s favorite part of Disney is running half marathons there!
The photo on the left is from the 2011 Walt Disney World Half Marathon and the photo on the right is from the 2012 Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon. THIS is the best part of Disney for me now. The food is just my way of fueling my body to do these events.
The old Erin dreaded going to sporting events and concerts because the seats were always too small and left bruises and marks on her thighs and hips. The New Erin ADORES going to these events and never worries about the seats.
The old Erin hated flying because the seat-belts did not fit and she would never dare ask for an extender so she just tried to pretend and hold the belt in place and hope the attendants did not notice it was not buckled. The new Erin flies with ease and has plenty of room to spare.
The old Erin lived a sedentary lifestyle and tried to smile and pretend everything was okay and she was fat and happy, but the truth is, most who are morbidly obese are not happy. They pretend it does not bother them, make fat jokes about themselves, and try to be the clown of the group. Deep down, most of us who are formerly obese will tell you we were not happy. We just did not want the rest of the world to know about it so we hid behind a smile.
The new Erin is living a life of health and true happiness with purpose. Life is far from perfect, but it is also far better than my old obese and unhealthy life. Being a personal trainer and helping others beat obesity is such a huge passion for me. Being able to have my radio show and fight the fight against obesity and disease means more to me than I can say. Being able to run 5k races with my family and workout with my husband and be an active person and do half marathons and train others to be runners, has made my life so much more fulfilling and I would not trade this new happy healthy lifestyle for anything in the world.
I could never say enough about what the support of my husband and kids has meant to me and how it has helped me stay focused on this journey as a forever lifestyle change and not a journey with a start and a finish. There is no finish to being healthy as long as you are on this planet.
For those who say their surgery did not work, or did not do what they had hoped, I encourage you to look within and ask yourself if YOU have truly done the work to make permanent changes and stick to the rules. If you do, and you use your tool the way it was intended, your life will never be the same. The LapBand works. The gastric bypass works. The sleeve works. They ALL WORK if We WORK!
Sure you will have bad days and regain and tough spots, but your overall health will be so much better just by not having the excess weight. January 14, 2009 changed my life forever and I am so blessed and grateful and I will NEVER squander what has been given to me.