Kelli's Weight Loss Journey
|After LapBand |
I want to start this story
by first telling you the facts about who I used to be and who I am now. In August
of 2006 I was a 36 year old female, married for 15 years, with 2 children. I have
a master's degree in speech therapy and work in healthcare management. I weighed
more than 220 pounds, with a BMI over 40, and I wore a size 22/24. I dealt with
the following health problems: diabetes, knee pain, amenorrhea, esophageal reflux,
hip pain, hypertension, and urinary stress incontinence.
As I write
this in February of 2008, I am 38 years old, I have been married for 17 years,
and have 2 children. I am 5'2'' 138 pounds, and I now proudly wear a size 6/8.
I am fortunate to no longer suffer form any of the above mentioned medical issues.
I had the LapBand surgery performed in September of 2006. I told one or two
very close friends that I was having surgery. I didn't tell my family, with the
exception of my husband, and I took off of work for "vacation" time. My mother
lives out of state. We talk every morning on my way to work, and she had no idea
what type of struggle I was dealing with, because I had become very good at hiding
it. I was hiding from others and from myself. I was embarrassed to be looking
into weight loss surgery, and even more embarrassed when I was told I was a candidate
for the procedure. I am an ex-college basketball player and couldn't believe that
I was at that point in my life.
My health was slowly deteriorating -
diabetes and high blood pressure had crept up on me. My knees were hurting, but
I didn't realize it was from the extra weight. I thought I had an injury and just
needed knee surgery. I didn't want to play with my small children because I was
always tired. My relationship with my husband struggled; he definitely deserved
more than I was able to give him at the time. I married an extremely supportive
man who was really scared for me to have the surgery. I had become very moody
towards everyone. I was depressed just to look in the mirror, but felt a duty
to maintain the facade of being a good mother, a good wife, a good boss, a good
employee - but what about the concept of being a good ME? I had completely left
myself out of the equation.
I had researched different surgical weight
loss programs, and struggled with finding the right one for nearly a year. Finally,
I met Dr. Raja at a Bridges seminar I attended with a friend. Incidentally my
friend had surgery the same day as I did. One of the best things I did was research
different programs and select the doctor/program I felt most comfortable entrusting
my life to. Dr. Raja and his team had the same vision for my life that I did,
and I felt that I could trust him to take care of me. I hadn't taken care of ME
in a long time so, this decision was my first step in doing so. One of the main
reasons I chose Dr. Raja was because he was more focused on my health, than on
my new physical appearance, which by the way, is just an added bonus!
I now enjoy my life each day, and I have learned to take time out for ME. I am
now fully participating in my life as a great mother, a great wife, and a much
better manager to my rehab team. I have given myself permission to live a full,
happy life, and the universe is a better place for it.
In church last
Sunday, it was said that time passes no matter what we do, but it is our choice
to decide how we pass that time. I now choose to pass my precious time in a more
positive environment and by looking at myself in a much better light. I have to
thank Dr. Raja and his team for helping me live my life the way it was meant to