Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Old Habits Die Hard. . .

When I was born, I weighed 8 pounds and 8 ounces. So I was a pretty good sized baby. But as I grew, my weight evened out and I became a normal sized kid. We lived out in the country, about a mile off the main road where the bus would let us off after school every day. The only way home was to walk. And of course, there were no video games, no cable t.v., and no computers so we entertained ourselves by playing outside. Besides my mom and dad, there were three of us kids and my mom didn't work until my youngest brother started school. And then she only worked part time because my dad didn't really want her to work to start with. So money was not plentiful and we didn't get a lot of junk food to eat. We ate what was fixed and put on our plates, or we ate nothing at all.

So weight issues never plagued me. Ever. Until I got married for the first time at the age of twenty-one. I guess I felt like I didn't need to worry so much about watching my figure, I mean after all, I had snagged my man so I wasn't on the lookout for another one! And then my marriage fell apart and I was alone again. When I looked in the mirror, I didn't like what I saw. So I dieted and lost about 25 pounds. I was looking good again and I felt good too!

Then along came husband number two. The father of my son. He swept me off my feet with his good looks and charming personality. I got pregnant right about the time we were married. I was shocked! Because hubby #1 and I had tried unsuccessfully for over two years to conceive. So I thought I couldn't have a baby. Wrong! During my sixth month of pregnancy, hubby #2 decided he didn't want to be tied down in a marriage with a baby (he already had three kids before we met). So he left. I was devastated to say the least. So I ate. And ate. And ate. I gained about thirty pounds during my pregnancy. Not too bad, but not too good either. After my son was born, I lost maybe twenty pounds. I was a smoker before I got pregnant but I quit when I found out I was pregnant. Well, when my life didn't magically go back to being perfect after the baby was born and my hubby didn't come running back to me and our beautiful baby boy, I started smoking again. Bad, I know. But I did. And I lost thirty more pounds.

We moved to North Carolina when my son was almost two years old. This was in late 1994. I bought my first house in 2000 and vowed not to smoke in it because it was brand new and I didn't want it to smell like smoke or for the white walls to be all yellowed and all. So I quit smoking. Easy peasy. And it really was easy. My mom always said that I could do anything I set my mind to and I guess she was right. Quitting smoking was easy for me. But then I needed something to replace it. So I started eating. And eating. And eating. (Are you sensing a pattern here yet??).

By 2007, I weighed 309 pounds. Yep. On a 5 foot 7 inch frame. I was miserable. I hated myself and everybody in the world too. So I decided to do something about my weight. I opted for gastric bypass surgery. So in July 2007, I had the RNY procedure. That's where they section off your stomach to make a smaller "pouch" out of your upper stomach and attach your esophagus and your colon to the pouch. The remnant stomach is still inside you, it just doesn't function anymore.

Anyways, I lost weight. A lot! And fast. I went from 309 pounds in July 2007 down to 164 pounds in April 2009. Here's some pics:

July 2007 at 309 pounds:

April 2009 at 164 pounds:

Now, some people say that I took the "easy" way out. And I guess you could say that. If you consider having your guts surgically rearranged, having to pay $3,300 out of pocket to have that done (my part after the insurance paid their part), being willing to possibly give up eating some of your favorite foods for the rest of your life, having to take vitamin supplements everyday for the rest of your life (this is a malabsorbtion surgery so your body doesn't absorb all the nutrients it needs just from food), and risking major complications from the surgery itself not to mention possible complications like low blood sugar, etc. later down the road as taking the "easy" way out. I will admit, it was super easy to lose the weight. It literally fell off me. And I haven't had any complications. I'm very lucky. Until now. I have gained back 25 pounds and more will follow if I don't get myself back on track and do what I know I am supposed to do. This surgery is not a magic wand. After about eighteen months, the weight loss stops. And if you don't follow the rules, the weight will come back. Old habits die hard. . .

Which brings me to the point of this post (finally!). I am putting all this out there so that I can be held accountable for my actions. I am responsible for what goes into my mouth. Only me. And I am going to do that. I am not going to let all that I've gone thru during the past three and a half years be for naught. I deserve better. And only I can do that for myself. And I will. Because I am worth it!

Until next time. . .


  1. I love LOVE THIS POST! You are human and you have done what many of us have done... you go up and down and up and down. Stresses and heartache certainly don't help. My sis had Gastric bypass 3 almost 4 years ago... and was fine with it, unitl it gave her a 3rd hernia. After the 3rd hernia and 6 mos prego and having to have the hernia removed... her health has just turned into a nightmare, its just horrible. I never know if she is going to survive a day or not! and she is my VERY VERY BEST FRIEND! The list of her problems are endless. Everything she eats causes her servere pain. She either runs to the toilet because its coming out her mouth or out the bottom. Its terrible. I don't know for certain if its from Gastric as much as it IS FROM Gastric causing her "HERNIAS"... ugh. Its rough. Anyway, I say to you to stay strong. You can do this and be very mindful of what you put in your mouth. Its hard, I battle too. We truly can all fight the good fight and if we work really hard at it and continue at it there are rewards. Results will follow! I wish you the best luck, and thanks for being open and sharing this with many of us. Hugs, Jen

  2. Donna,
    I'm proud of you. You're story is awesome.
    I follow the Weight Watchers program. It's the only one that worked for me. It's sensible, and works.
    Hugs to you!

  3. What a beautiful write & share Donna. You are just gorgeous. I am sure you will get back on track since you sound very positive about what you have to do. I am proud of you ...

    ~ Pop over for our CSN Giveaway, if you haven't ~
    Have a beautiful New Year ~
    TTFN ~

  4. Good luck Donna! I'm pulling for you! I could lose about 15 pounds myself...maybe we can support each other and cheer each other on!

  5. Donna just a touching post.. I wish you the very
    best staying on track with your eating..
    Remember you can do it.

  6. Donna, I am So proud of you for this post! For holding yourself accountable! I too just decided to hold myself accountable! I need to lose 30 pounds ASAP! Today... I joined a Gym for the first time ever and I loved it! I can't wait to go again tomorrow! Prayers for you to stay strong and be accountable!

    Carmen and the Primcats

  7. Wow Donna,
    Way to Go Girl! You Rock!
    I wish the Fledglin' Daughter was home right now..
    She was born six weeks early and by sixth grade weighed 210 lbs. She has managed to get down to 140 lbs at age 20 but it has been a tremendous strugggle. My heart goes out to you. You are an insperation to many! and you deserve a huge hug! Keep up the good work.
    Cheers to you dear!

  8. Donna, let me just say that even at the high wt. you were beautiful! But for health's sake I'm sure the loss did wonders and you look awesome, best wishes to you keeping yourself on track! And just think, as hard as it was on you, had loser-husband #2 not left, you would have never met your wonderful soul mate you now have:) You are so awesome girl, I know you will maintain the weight and you are an inspiration to many! thanks for sharing with us, love ya:)

  9. Way to go girl!
    I wish you all the best in hitting your goal.
    You know that you can do it because you've done it before and if you truly put your mind to it then you will achieve it.
    Good luck and keep us posted!

  10. Bravo for your strength of will. Now you have to remember what your mother told you and do it again. We count calories and add up points at my house. It's similar to weight watchers. You can do it!

  11. Donna,
    Keep the faith and you can do this. I too, should join you too, as I need to lose weight too. I say that every year and every year a few more pounds creep on and STAY!!!! We're all here to support you. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!
    Lois L.

  12. Amazing Donna, just amazing!
    You should be so proud of your accomplishments!
    Winter seems to be such a hard time for losing weight! I seem to crave carbs constantly right now! I will join you in the weight loss program. I want to lose about 15 and it will be good to have a buddy!

  13. Its hard to face our demons sometimes Donna but you have done that. You sound like a very strong and determined woman and I really admire that. You have taken charge of your weaknesses and you are now in control. I pray for many blessings upon you in this coming year. Stay focused and you will achieve anything you set your mind to.

  14. Congratulations on your resolve to break this pattern. I know you can do it; remember how you quit smoking. You are very brave to share your story so publicly. This kind of sharing inspires others to achieve great things.

  15. Donna you are an inspiration!!! I'll join along with you on the journey. I'm just sick and tired of being sick and tired!! We all can encourage each other!

  16. Good for you! I'm sure you've inspired many with this wonderful post. I'm rooting for you all the way!

  17. I think you should start a weight loss/maintenance group with all of us blogging buds....even once a week, being accountable to eachother? I had three kids in 5 years and gained lots of weight. In the last year I changed my eating habits and did Jillian Micheals 30 day shred and the weight melted off. Back to it though after all the holiday foods!! Keep up the great work...your beautiful!!!

  18. Donna,

    I admire your determination and transparency in sharing this! I think you look great! Prayers your way that you accomplish your goals!

    About a year a half ago, I set my mind to losing some weight and lost 30 lbs....I've picked up about 7 of them back since China...but am determined to shed them again! Thanks for your words here....they helped me with determination again too!

    Hugs & Blessings,

  19. Wow girl! I just love how you lay it all out there on the line like that. Being real, being honest takes a lot of guts. You had me on the edge of my seat all the way through your story then when I got to the end, I had a huge smile on my face! Donna, YOU do deserve better. And only YOU can do that for yourself. And I know YOU will. Because YOU are worth it! Awesome post girl, thanks for sharing of your heart!!

  20. Wow! Thanks for sharing your story with us. I am so proud of you for losing the weight and keeping it off (even with a little help). I know I am struggling with eating and exercising right now. I am really working on it...I want to be here for a long time and try to be a hot momma as well. LOL

  21. WOW is right!! I agree with all of the ladies...the transparacy you showed thru this post is awesome. And you have NO reason to feel that you took the "easy" way out. So, don't even listen to the people saying that. To me you sound like a very STRONG, not to mention very BEAUTIFUL(inside and out!!)woman. You took the bull by the horns and did what you needed to do. And for that you should feel very proud. I too never had a issue with weight until I was about 21, as well. Now, I need to lose about 30, if you like we can hold each other accountable. :) Because God knows, I could use all the help I can get...HA!!Hang in there girl...and remember you are not alone!!

    BIG hugs!! Carrie♥