It was about seven years ago. I was trying to work on my health and body, lose weight and exercise. I was working with a trainer. And I remember going to see my doctor and being like really proud of myself ’cause I had lost 12 pounds. I was so excited because usually when I went to the doctor, I’d have gained two pounds and it was not great.  

My doctor said it was great and then looked at me and said, “Have you ever thought about having weight loss surgery?” 

I was insulted and angry. My doctor is known for being very blunt and having very little bedside manner, but I was just so upset with her. 

I said, “I just lost 12 pounds. Why are you saying that I need to have surgery?”

She said that a lot of people think that weight loss surgery is some sort of quick fix. They think it’s magic. They think the only people who have weight loss surgery are people who are too lazy to diet and exercise. She said it actually takes a lot of discipline to be successful with weight loss surgery. And she added, “You have discipline because you will exercise and you will eat correctly. So you would be successful with it.”

“Imagine doing all the work that you’re doing now, but not having to start from such a difficult place — being closer to the goal.” She said, “Because right now you’re sticking to the schedule and you’re doing everything that you’re supposed to do. But if your work schedule requires that you travel,” which was what would happen, “are you going to be able to see the trainer if you’re traveling? Will the workouts be the same if you go to the gym? Are your eating habits going to be the same if you’re eating on the road? One little hiccup and this whole thing falls apart. So why don’t you do all of this work and get closer to your goal?”

I listened to her and then I started to do research and I talked to people that had done it. I remember getting to the point of balance where the work that I do is more so to maintain where I am and not constantly be chasing this place that I want to get to. 

I ended up having a lap band — it was suggested because I did have discipline. It was a difficult thing to do. It required a lot of willpower and definitely required exercise. It was in no way, shape or form a quick fix. It was not easy at all. 

I wasn’t concerned with being skinny or having a particular body type. I wanted to be healthier. I wanted to not be uncomfortable. I wanted to walk up a flight of stairs and not be out of breath. I wanted my knees not to hurt. When I did it and I began to lose weight, it was as if the person that I saw in the mirror looked like the person I thought I was in my mind. I would see a person in my mind and then I would look in the mirror and kind of be like, is that really what I look like? I– like I don’t feel like that. I don’t feel like I look like that. And now, when I see myself in the mirror or see myself on camera, that that is what I actually look like. 

I feel like I reset back to who I was. I still take care of myself and exercise, but I’m not consumed every waking minute with what am I eating, how much am I eating, what I ate yesterday, how much did I exercise, how many sit ups I did. I have normal blood pressure and normal cholesterol.

All these years later I haven’t gained anything back. And I’m not a skinny person. I’m still a plus-sized person. But there’s 95 pounds less of me than there used to be.