I am 38 years old, married 15+ years to my best friend who loves me regardless of my weight and mother of 3 beautiful children who are wondering why I am so preoccupied with the thought of Lap Band surgery.
For as long as I can remember I have been big, heavy, full figured and fat. My fuller frame didn’t seem to fit in well with my family. My mother, sister and father were all rather thin. My mother ate like a bird whereas I preferred to eat the whole bird. My sister seemed to have been blessed with the ability to eat just about anything and keep her girlish figure. My father had wonderful will power and avoided sweets. And then there was me.My mother, as much as I loved her and still do seemed very disappointed in the fact that I was and still am overweight. I remember asking her what my first word was and she laughed and said “food”. She also would tell others about the time when I must have been 5 and was at a friend’s house, they were about to have lunch and as most 5 year olds do I asked for something to eat too- well my friends mother was outraged thinking that my mother must not feed me and called CPS on my mother. When they showed up and explained the complaint my mother had me come to the door in all my cherub cuteness and express that I was in no way underfed, in fact she said I was overfed. Needless to say that stopped their investigation.
I don’t remember when it actually started or why but I started to eat my emotions. I couldn’t get enough sweets. I’m sure that as a kid I stole over a hundred dollars from my mother’s purse and coin jar just so I could get my fix of sweets from the ice cream man. I had a hardcore addiction and would buy as much as I could and rush home and sit in my closet and stuff my face and feel euphoric as the sugar surged through my veins but as soon as the rush was over the guilt would settle in and I would feel the need to eat more.My mother always had the best of intentions; at least I always thought she did. But as an adult and mother I can’t help but be enraged by some of the things she did to try and “help” me lose weight. I must have been about 12 and I remember getting on the scale and seeing 135. I was mortified, I wanted to be the thin daughter my mother wanted me to be and I tried with all my might to keep the scale at that number and for it not to climb… that didn’t last very long.
My mother, bless her heart would try to bribe me to eat better. When she would go for her weekends with the reserves she would promise to bring me a treat for me doing well on my diet and the treat she would bring me was of all things, candy! Then there were the times that she would buy me diet drink aids, they reminded me of Alka-Seltzer but they were fruit flavored. You put them in a glass of water and they fizzed and were supposed to suppress your appetite, they didn’t work very well because when she wasn’t looking I would dig into the back end of a roll of cookie dough.One winter when I was about 13 my mother announced that we were going to take a family trip. This was big because our family didn’t do the whole family vacation thing, but she found a family cruise that she wanted us to take. In order for us to go we all had to do our part and help save money and I had to lose weight… yes, she actually told me that, needless to say we never went on that trip.
She actually bought me diet pills that from an advertisement on TV. You were to take them anywhere from 2- 8 of them per meal with a large glass of water and they were supposed to swell up like a sponge and take up space in your stomach so you couldn’t eat as much therefore making you lose weight. I really hope she didn’t spend a lot on those because I used them and yet I was still overweight.I remember one night waking up and hearing the sound of waves crashing on a beach, yet I was at home in my room, miles from the beach. It was a subliminal weightless tape; she had actually purchased yet another weight loss product off the TV to “help” me lose weight. I was obsessed with it. I would play it in the background while watching TV, doing homework, and of course sleeping and yet the scale kept moving up.
Through the years I have done pills, fad diets, gym memberships, at home videos and more, all of my own doing. Surprise surprise nothing seemed to work- even now I look at the weight loss aisle at the store and think that might work, but I know better- the key is diet, exercise and will power. That is why I am so eager to get my lap band. It is a weapon to HELP me accomplish my fat loss goal not some “magic pill” that will undo a lifetime of bad habits overnight.How I came to wanting a Lap Band… well I actually just wanted a tummy tuck, but honestly that’s not going to help re-train me on proper eating habits. I thought I would be fat for the rest of my life until I went to a Lap Band seminar in the spring of 2012 with my best friend. She didn’t want to go alone so I figured why not- I have nothing to lose right. So we get there and I hand over my ID and insurance card thinking there is no way that my insurance would cover this procedure.
We sat, we listened, we watched the slid show and we left with a better understanding of what it does and how it does it but I knew I could not afford it. The following week I received a call back from the surgery center and they told me that my insurance would cover all but about $2000 ….where so I sign! But before I can sign on the dotted line I had to do all the things required by my insurance company and of the weight loss center so off I go to my primary doctor to get started.I had my first of 4 consecutive monthly appointments with him to monitor my weight and discuss nutrition; I actually lost 5 pounds and so far have kept them off. Next, off to get my chest x-ray then EKG and finally my psych evaluation…I was getting so close the only thing missing was the letter from my doctor clearing me from surgery, so I thought. Finally Last week the weight loss center received –YES!! Then they tell me that as of last week my insurance company is requiring another letter, this time a letter of recommendation for the surgery- NO!!!
So that’s where I am, waiting – I hate waiting…. But I know that once all is said and done I will be banded and on my way to better health, hoping to rid myself of my blood pressure and diabetes medicine and fat and hopeful to gain self-confidence and energy.