In January 2019, I had reached my breaking point! I was tired of my everyday life causing me so much pain. I knew I literally couldn’t live the way I had been living anymore, I needed a change. On the rare occasion I actually did go out and do things, the pain I felt was so intense and everything on my body hurt so bad. It would take 3 or 4 days before I was back to my tolerable “normal” pain levels. Things had to change.
I knew the first thing I could start with was what I actually could control; my diet. I started by practicing portion control. I bought a kitchen scale and began weighing and portioning out everything I planned to eat. I gave myself a limit of calories I would allow myself to consume each day. I started with a maximum of 1,800 a day. This proved to be very difficult, but I knew in my heart that this what was I needed to do to be able to live the life I wanted to live. After some time and serious discipline, I eventually worked my way down to about 1,100 calories per day and was comfortable with that.
The next thing I wanted to address, once I had the food portion of my transformation in motion, was my physical activity. Being a large man and having dealt with some very big insecurity issues with my image, there was no way I was ready to jump straight into a gym routine. Sometime in March I bought a couple of small dumbbells from Amazon and started trying to work out at home. This was not as easy as I had hoped. I was using parts of my body that hadn’t been used maybe ever. A lot of painful days followed when I began trying to exercise. After pushing through the pain and my comfort zone for a few weeks, it got easier and easier. I worked my way up from just a few minutes once every couple of days to working out at home 3 times a week for about 45 minutes to an hour at a time. I even got to the point that I looked forward to my workouts. Pushing through the pain of the beginning workouts, and seriously watching what I was putting into my body with my reduced calorie diet, I was able to cut the first 160 pounds all due to my own strength and perseverance that I didn’t even realize I possessed.
Around the same time in March 2019, I started researching gastric sleeve surgery. I had attended a seminar about weight loss surgery a few years prior to this and discovered that the insurance I had did not cover bariatric surgery and the surgeon in Boise I had been in contact with seemed like an ass-bag on top of that. A few quick Google searches later I discovered medical tourism and the possibility of having the VSG (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy) done in Mexico. My first thought was, traveling to Mexico for surgery was scary and sketchy as hell. The more research and reviews I read, the more comfortable I became with the idea.
Between March and June, my doctor and I contacted Obesity Goodbye Center (now V Bariatric) in Tijuana. I spoke with the patient coordinator there a couple of times via Facebook messenger and text messages. After just a few conversations with him and some research on my part, I felt comfortable with the staff and doctors at Obesity Goodbye Center. It definitely helped that my doctor here in Idaho already had a good standing relationship with Obesity Goodbye and was familiar with the personnel and knew the head surgeon very well. The fact that she had previously sent other patients of hers down there, really helped to calm my nerves.
Since beginning this journey in early June, and continually after, I had proved how serious I was about my weight loss with my own success I had thus far. My doctor then helped get me approved for Gastric Sleeve surgery to help reach my ultimate weight loss goals and overall health goals. I scheduled the surgery and the trek down to Mexico. I was very nervous, but also very optimistic about my future. Surgery was performed successfully on June 26th, 2019. I had a quick and painless recovery. I noticed immediately that I couldn’t eat very much right after, nor did I want to. I stuck with the after-care procedures of diet and physical activity and ultimately got back into a good, everyday routine.
After surgery, and with my newfound confidence, I joined the Caldwell Idaho Fitness Factory in mid-July and started working out 3 days a week. It felt good. I even started documenting more and more of my journey through social media. I posted about my workouts, my struggles, my diet, and even just how I was feeling every day. I felt it held me accountable every day, but just maybe I could encourage one person to not give up and keep on, keeping on, and it would be worth it. I’m up to 5 days a week now at the gym and feeling great!
February 2019, to give a little perspective as far as size; I was wearing a size 70 jeans that were stretched to the breaking point, my shirts were 9x and should have been 10 or 11x. I’m currently wearing size 48 jeans and 4x shirts, both are feeling very baggy this week. I’ve bought more clothes in the last year than I have in the last 20 years to keep up with my continually shrinking body. Being able to get clothes almost anywhere is so cool! I’m feeling more and more comfortable in my own skin lately. Speaking of skin, I am currently doing research on the next chapter of my journey, which would include some form of extra skin removal. I am not positive on what exactly I would need or if I want to go under the knife again, but I am doing my due diligence with research to find out and still working closely with my doctor so I can have that professional and medical opinion I need to make that ultimate decision.
The Ugly Numbers:
Starting weight – February 9, 2019 – 660 pounds. I had to use a truck scale to weigh myself.
Surgery weight – June 26, 2019 – 503 pounds
Current weight – August 23, 2021 – 257 pounds.
Goal weight – 250ish.