Warning, this is a bit rambley and ranty…
I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I always thought of myself as fat (even though I was just a normal, chubby kid). I strongly take after my father’s side of the family which is hearty Russian peasant stock (and Romanian horse thieves, if my grandfather is to be believed) and not my mother’s lean western European traits. I always hated that. I didn’t want to be sturdy, I wanted to be lithe.
I remember my father paying me (I think $100) to lose weight in junior high school. I lost the weight, got the money, and gained it back again. I remember dressing up for school one day, in the hopes that the boy I had a hopeless crush on would notice me. He did! But only to point out that I had canckles.
Weight Watchers, Atkins, Cabbage Soup, semi-starvation, I did it all with the same results. I tried a medically supervised liquid diet in 2005 and lost quite a bit of weight but promptly became pregnant and gained a TON. I lost and gain, lost and gained until I was at 290 and quit weighing myself. That is when I decided to get the Lap-Band.
I had my surgery in 2008. Before surgery, I had to go on the same liquid diet again to shrink my liver so I quickly lost 30lbs but just eeked out a pound here or there after the banding. I had a very difficult time finding the right setting for the band so I did not have any of the automatic control that it was supposed to give me.
Less than two years out, we moved to a different state and my new doctor was overly aggressive with my fill. I then began the worst cycle of my life. Unbeknownst to me, my band had slipped and I was experiencing more and more problems because of it. The only food that I could successfully eat without becoming “stuck” were things that were also high carb or highly processed (which kicked of massive migraines). My weight wasn’t budging a bit and, when I tried to exercise, the reflux was so horrible that I had to immediately stop. So I ate crap and sat around a lot. Oh, and was constantly sick. Go, me.
Fast forward to last year. We moved again and my reflux was so bad that I could not lie down at night and I could only eat liquids (but nothing after 5 pm). Around the same time, I switched over to a low carb, whole food diet and began my Couch to 5K program. I was always so tired because of my lack of nutrition but I tried to make up for it by having super protein smoothies and home made bone broth. Finally, almost a year ago, I had that horrible band removed. The doctor who performed the operation said that I would regain all of my weight (and more!) after the surgery. Well, that just pissed me off! I am happy to report that I have lost quite a bit since then – I don’t know the exact number since I threw out my scale (I was letting it rule my life too much). I am also building a lot of muscle and am definitely leaning out my problem areas. I even lost another 1/2″ off from my calves since March! Goodbye canckles!
Why am I sharing this? Because yesterday it was reported that Chris Christie had Lap Band surgery in February and asshats from all over are saying that it shows his “lack of self control” or his desire to take the “easy way”, etc. etc. To them I say “F you!” The Lap Band is by no way the easy way. Even if you work the program perfectly and have no complications, it is still UP TO YOU! It is not a magic bullet! I sincerely hope that Mr. Christie is able to achieve success with the band and is smart enough to incorporate a solid exercise plan into his process. I hope he improves his health and lives another fifty years. I hope that he is able to run and play with his grandchildren to his heart’s content. I hope he doesn’t have any complications (but chance are, he will).
Looking back, I don’t know what I would change. I think my horrible health last year was part of what prompted me to make such drastic dietary and fitness changes. I don’t know if I would have made the leap, otherwise. I just wished that I had realized that I could exercise and be physically active, regardless of my weight, all those years ago. I wish I hadn’t allowed myself so many excuses. I am thrilled when I see a heavier runner at my races. I always shout out encouragement when I see them. Losing weight and maintaining at a healthy level is so incredibly hard and if someone needs extra help, such as Mr. Christie, then more power to them. At least they are trying to make the change! Instead of beating him down, it would be so nice if the peanut gallery would applaud him for making that leap.