Luz: Weight Loss Success
Whether you have surgery or not, success comes with treating obesity as an addiction and not as a diet.
My name is Luz and I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I have not known any other way of living but being fat, so I am no stranger to the teasing in childhood, and to the shame and physical struggles as an adult. I have lost weight in the past, and as it usually happens, gained it all back, and a whole lot more. I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2001 and my list of medications was very long and included insulin the last four years.
The deciding moment for me came at the beginning of 2010, when I had a very honest talk with myself and realized the rest of my life did not look very promising. When even the simplest daily tasks require so much effort, one starts to wonder if life is worth living. I knew that if I didn’t take action, I would soon be totally dependent on other people to take care of me, and that was a very scary thought. I had read about the surgical options to lose weight, and I was convinced it was the only way I would achieve my goal and take control of my life once and for all.
I had my first visit with Dr. Cywes on February 17, 2010, weighing in at 341.5 lbs. It was the first time I heard the word addiction associated with carbohydrates. I never thought I was addicted to anything, but somehow it made sense. I began the approval process to get the Lap-Band®, and by the time of my second visit with Dr. Cywes, I had lost about 50 lbs. I was certainly feeling good about my progress, but knew there was a long journey ahead of me. My surgery was approved and scheduled, and it’s at this point that my story is a little different. Talking about the upcoming surgery and how well I had been doing, my sister Maria gave me the ultimate vote of confidence ( and the greatest challenge), when she said I was doing so well she didn’t think I needed the surgery. After really struggling with the decision for a few days, I decided to cancel the surgery and keep trying on my own. I was afraid to lose the support I had received from Dr. Cywes’ staff by cancelling, but that didn’t happen. On the contrary, at this crucial time in my life, Jody offered her support, regardless of my decision, and I continued with the program. Fourteen months after first meeting with Dr. Cywes, I have lost a total of 145 lbs, I am no longer on any diabetes or hypertension medication, I feel in control of my life and I’m enjoying every step of the way!!!
This has truly been a lifestyle change for me. I have learned that the fact that I did not get the Lap-band does not matter. I follow the same guidelines, face the same challenges and enjoy the same rewards as any other patient in the program. My journey continues, but this time I have the support of my family and friends, I feel welcome and “accepted” by fellow patients at support group meetings and I have the best team of professionals to guide me through it all. If I start gaining the weight back, I will then have the LAP-BAND® procedure done. Thank you Dr. Cywes, KaLoni, Kristi, and Jody for the New Luz.