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From fit to fat and back again…a Canadian’s tale.

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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  • #30242

    I have always had a love/hate relationship with food.
    I love it. It hates me.

    Of course, it didn’t used to matter.
    When I was 6, I started Highland Dancing.
    When I was in high school, I did the dancing plus every sport I could find.
    I was fit. Likely about 130 pounds (approx 9 stone), exactly the amount of weight
    I’ve lost. I gained and lost an entire teenage girl. Amazing.

    I know it was my tenuous relationship with my Mother that led to self-medicating with food.
    I always had my Nanny, of course, she was my rock. But when I lost her, I seemed to lose
    all my self-control as well. She lived until my daughter was 3 years old, but she suffered
    terribly with dementia. It broke my heart.

    I married at 30, and had my daughter straight away. I chose poorly, of course. A person who
    can’t love herself and who is convinced she’s worthless won’t ever choose anyone good for her.
    He had an affair with my best friend 2 years into the marriage. I stuck it out another 6 years, and
    by then I’d eaten myself into 330 pounds. Making good choices was a long process. I got rid of
    *him* first. Then I got myself into therapy. THEN I tackled my weight.

    In January of 2008, I was referred to the weight management institute at our local hospital, here in Ottawa. It was full of amazing people who understood that sometimes, you just can’t do it alone.
    Dr Robert Dent looked me full in the face and told me it wasn’t my fault. A combination of bad genes
    and lifelong habits had overwhelmed me. But, he could help. The first step in the process here in
    Canada is to do the “Optifast” diet. From what I gather it’s very similar to your “Milk” diet, just a
    different format. Nothing but protein shakes, 4 times a day for 13 weeks. I thought I was going to
    starve to death. I wound up losing 60 pounds, and by week 14 we were easing back into one meal
    a day. Then, in May, I started having abdominal pains. They came suddenly, lasted a short time,
    and then went. At the end of May, I was hit with a pain so severe I couldn’t breathe. I started to
    vomit, and pretty much spent the entire night throwing up and in severe pain. Having old school
    Scottish Grandparents, I grew up learning to “suck it up” and carry on. But when nothing had
    changed by the next morning, I figured I’d best head to the hospital. I sat in the waiting room from
    6 am until 11 am. I’ll never forget another patient looking at me and telling me I should just go home
    and call an ambulance, and then I’d get to go in. I had sort of reasoned out that I had gallstones, by
    this point. I just wanted some nice pain meds so I could go home and sleep. Naturally, that wasn’t
    to be. I had a stone stuck in my common bile duct, and had developed pancreatitis. My pancreas
    was digesting itself. I was admitted and spent a week on intravenous fluids. Nothing by mouth.
    No food, and at first, not even any water. It was horrid. The surgeons told me they wouldn’t take
    out the gallbladder until my pancreas had healed completely. I went home on a Wednesday, and
    by Sunday evening had passed another stone, which proceeded to get stuck, and back I went.
    Another week in hospital, and finally they felt so sorry for me they agreed to take out my gallbladder.
    That was surgery number 1.

    Naturally my hospital visit threw me totally off the program. I had just paid over three thousand
    Canadian dollars, and couldn’t finish the program. When I felt better, I ate. Pretty soon, the 60
    pounds were back. I felt like a total loser.

    That’s when Dr. Dent told me about gastric bypass surgery. He told me that Canada was pretty far
    out of the loop where it was concerned, but that he knew of a surgeon in New York state, that was
    making real strides. I only hesitated for a second. I need to get approval from OHIP (our health
    care system in Ontario), letters from my family doctor and psychiatrist. I had to see the dietician,
    and have my heart and breathing checked. THEN, if it all looked good…I was on my way.

    I had my gastric bypass on January 11, 2008. It was about 3 months from the time I met Dr. William Graber to the day of my surgery. We -do- have a hospital in Toronto that does gastric bypass surgery, and the wait is about 18 months to 2 years. Very sad. I have to say that they treat you
    like royalty in American hospitals. They’re used to having to pay for everything themselves. OHIP
    paid for my surgery, and in total I only spent 5 days in the US. I had to be there the day before the
    surgery (which was a Friday) and they let me go back to the hotel on Saturday. I saw the Dr. on
    Monday morning in his office, and by Monday night I was in my own bed. That was surgery number

    I didn’t have any complications. I felt pretty darn good afterwards. I followed the diet to the letter.
    I drank my water. Sometimes I felt like crap, some days I had no problems at all. Time passed, and
    I kept losing weight. I’d plateau once a month during my period, and then go back to losing. I was
    probably just like all of you are now. It took a while for my ‘mental’ hunger to really fade, I mean
    after all, that takes a lifetime to acquire. I went from thinking about food almost 24/7 to now, where
    I hardly give food a second thought. I found that the best way for me personally to eat, was to have
    many small meals more often. I still eat about every 2 hours, and make sure I have something in my
    stomach before I go to sleep. Sometimes, if I go too long between eating, my blood sugar really
    drops and I feel a bit shakey and light-headed. If that happens, I have a drink of juice and then some
    peanut butter on 12 grain bread and I’m back to normal fairly quickly.

    Well, that’s about it for me.
    Life sometimes hands you lemons. For the longest time I would eat those lemons…
    Then I learned to make lemonade.
    Thank you to all the people that taught me how.

    Ms Ellie

    Maggie wow! a great read so glad you have joined us xxx


    :clap2: What a fantastic and inspiring post Maggie, and one that we can all relate to at some point or another. You really seem to have turned your entire life around. I bet your daughter is thrilled with the fact that Mum has such a positive outlook on life 🙂



    Great post, inspirational and love the lemons/lemonade metaphor.

    Welcome to the forum!



    Maggie love what post – very moving. I too love the lemons metaphor.
    I am only one week post bypass and hate looking at myself in a mirror or photo etc.
    I caught site of myself in the mirror today and thought “Oh my god how horrid do you look … fatty….
    I wonder even if I manage to loose lots of weight if I will ever be able to love me for who I am xxx
    Who knows xx



    What’s made you feel like that? You wait until the day you look in the mirror and think my lord who is that beautiful woman, it will come believe me. xx


    Well will be 50 in few months so have been waiting for a long time!!! Husband left after he had affair with a friend who apparently was a perfect size 10 = I found the receipt for the new underwear he had brought her!! Very nice. What can I say – thought my marriage was for life but he obviously did not think so and made sure I knew what he felt about my weight. Thought we married for better or worse etc etc. Now even though everyone thinks I am confident its just a show.
    Enough said, time for bed I think!!! 🙂

    Ms Ellie

    Brains…. 50 soon thats when life will start for you my love so pick yourslf up girl cos we are all here for you sweetcheeks xxx



    Firstly Brains ………. I think most people here on the forum can relate to the confidence thing … everyone says to me, but your so bubbly and confident and blah blah blah …… but again its a front … something that I think we hide behind to get us through. … and soon my lovely, that front will be gone … we will be oozing with confidence. Also, being overweight throughout our lives I do beleive, has taught us so much and made us all the caring and loving people that we are, so once we are slim, we will not only be blessed with the healthier look, but we will have the hearts that some people could only ever dream of having, and as a bonus we also instill that goodness into our children too. So he might have gone off with his ‘size 10’ but she will never be able to offer what you have, because you will have it all ….. sooner than you think!! :kiss: I am proud of myself because I know, just like all of you on here that we are lovely lovely people with so much to give. So look in that mirror and smile at yourself, and be proud. Because beleive me, there are a lot of people out there without us realising that look at us and think, if only I could be like them.

    My hubby had an affair 8 years ago, I was devastated and I kicked him out. She was also a size 10, and I still to this day have not forgot what hurt he put me through! From that day he has been a different person, he has never stopped punishing himself for what he done, and our relationship is stronger now than it has ever been. I gave him another chance and he took it by the horns and turned our lives round. He always says that he only has 1 regret in life, and thats his regret. I trust him more now than I ever have, and we get on really well. People say once a cheat always a cheat, but there are exceptions in life.

    Maggie, your story was lovely to read, I had gall stones and I also had Pancreatitis, OMG the pain, I have never felt anything like it in my life. I was also hospitalised and was literally on deaths door, what an awful experience that was. I also now have no worries of that, I am Gallbladder free too!! So glad that you joined us, its great reading everyones life experiences, you learn so much.

    Much love to everyone
    xxxPrecious xxx :grouphug:


    I am going to confess something to you now.
    When I met you I felt really jealous. You are so pretty and have a fantastic complexion. Your skin is flawless. I really thought you were in your 30’s. You have lovely thick hair and in all honesty I wondered why you were having the surgery. You sure didn’t seem to be huge to me.

    Your life is going to change one heck of a lot and I can’t wait to hear about it 🙂
    Take care


    What a lovely, lovely bunch you are! Honestly, I can’t believe it.
    When I first became involved in the process, I was directed towards some forums on a board called ‘Obesity Help’. It was supposed to be my support system, the place where I’d find comfort and help and understanding. Let me tell you guys, it was anything *but*. It was horrible, in fact. I don’t know if you’re aware of the other surgery being performed in North America? It’s called a duodenal switch,
    and works primarily by malabsorption. In the Ontario boards, which is naturally where I went, there was an entire group of people who had had the DS instead of the RNY. Everything became about which surgery was best and why. They fought. They said rotten things to each other. It was really endless.
    When I tried to voice my opinion I was told off. To me, it wasn’t support in any way, shape or form.
    Of course there were decent people, who genuinely tried to offer good advice and give support, but
    they were always overshadowed by this endless need to make their surgery better than yours. In the
    end I just left. I used to come away from there in tears most of the time, and I realized I’d rather try
    and cope on my own, than have to be made to feel so insignificant.
    Here I am, over 2 years later, and I finally feel like I’ve found a place where it’s not about which surgery you had, but who you are. Thank you all, so very much.
    Brains, let me tell you this luv, it’s been a long time since surgery, and I still wear the same clothes I wore at 330 pounds. There are moments where I still feel like that person, and I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I really am 130 pounds lighter. We become that person, and somehow, that is our comfort, and letting it go is very hard. Just try to remember that anyone who didn’t accept you for who you were outside, isn’t worth knowing you on the inside.
    Precious, I’m so sorry to hear about all you’ve been through. I know from experience that it hurts,
    emotionally AND physically. But you hit the nail on the head when you said that being fat has taught us to be kind. One of my favourite things to say is that one can always lose weight, but one can’t
    stop being ugly, inside or outside.
    You are all beautiful.



    For the record…
    I have seen Brains and she is a little stunner……

    We (fatties) take knocks all our lives, why knock ourselves???
    Dont even go their Brains…..

    Your a pretty little twinkle…..

    Buzz xxx


    Brains I can’t wait to hear & see the new you. That size 10 waif who had the nerve to let you believe she was a friend will never have what you’ve got, and what a shallow Hal your ex is. You watch, as soon as you’ve lost the weight he’ll be creeping back as he knows what he’s missing, also as Lorraine has pointed out, you are beautiful, with a youthful look and complexion so you’ve got a head start there honey. Just imagine the pleasure you’ll get when that ex husband sees you slim and on the arm of a handsome young man in the not so distant future!! As for being 50 its great, the amount of people who tell me I look in my mid 40s is plently and guess what…I’m 52! You know the old saying girlie, you’re only as old as the man you feel!! It won’t be long before you’re doing that too…how very saucy, apologies if I’ve offended. Lots of hugs and keep looking in that mirror and telling the person that looks back that she’s bloomin gorgeous. xx


    Hey Buzz, you back from China now or are you posting from the East?
    Maggie it’s about time you had a bonfire girlie to burn your big clothes, you’re not going back to that previous life and having that bonfire will help you realise you are like a Phoenix rising from the ashes! You are much slimmer now than you were and I know sometimes it’s hard getting your head to accept the slimmer version is the one staring back from the mirror, but this is what we’ve suffered and strived for. You have come some way on your journey and it’s time to reap the benefits.
    Precious, you’ve been through the mill too and thanks for sharing that. Life’s so hard sometimes but as you said we’re all very caring and I’d have to say very strong and we’ll all be much stronger but life’s experiences no matter how hard they seem at the time shape us into the lovely people we are. xx


    Gosh what can I say to you all. I wrote my thoughts that I never voice because Maggies post was so wow….
    I feel I have found true friends at last. Thanx to you all you are all winners. :Kiss: xxxxxxxxxxxx

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