A Heavy Topic: Why I’m getting Weight Loss Surgery

I’ve been considered morbidly obese for most of my adult life.

I have struggled with my weight since middle school. I was always a skinny child, but once puberty came knocking, the pounds added up. It started slowly, but continued on through the years.

A Heavy Topic: Why I'm getting Weight Loss Surgery

I lost some weight here and there, but it always seems to creep its way back. Diets, exercise, supplements- all seemed to work temporarily. The lightest I’ve been as an adult is when I was nursing my youngest son and was also dairy-free at the time. Once I stopped nursing, the pounds crept back.

My frustration built because it felt like I would work so hard and not see the scale move. There was a point in time, when I was over 200 pounds, where I dropped almost all processed food and was running several miles a week.

I lost a measly five pounds over four months.

I would see other people at my size do what I did and drop 50 pounds in six months.

After discussing it with my primary care provider, we determined that one likely cause of the weight gain (and subsequent stubbornness to come off) came from PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). I’ve also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. All of these conditions make losing weight hard. After several more years of trying to lose weight, we finally settled upon an answer: bariatric surgery.

To be more specific, I’m getting a vertical sleeve gastrectomy done laparoscopically done soon (when these surgeries are allowed to resume!) To help myself get the tools needed to hopefully lose and keep weight off, I am getting about 80% of my stomach removed.

Getting ready for surgery

Now, this has not been an easy decision or process. To get approved for surgery, I had to meet certain criteria laid out by my insurance company. I also had to follow certain checkpoints set out by the program I am getting my surgery through.

For the past four months I have had to keep food logs, meet with a nutritionist monthly, develop an exercise plan, lose weight, pass a psychological evaluation, and be approved by the surgical team and insurance. I had to show that I understood the lifestyle changes that would be necessary to be successful following this surgery.

Not only do I have to change how I eat but change what I eat.

I have to make sure that I stay on top of a vitamin regimen for the rest of my life, or face becoming vitamin deficient. I’ll be on a liquid diet for about a month total (two weeks before and 2 weeks after), then pureed and soft foods for another month and a half. Even once I’m on normal food, I have to be careful to limit what I eat, as my new stomach will only be able to hold a few ounces at a time. This is a serious commitment.

But, I now know that this is the best choice for me. Women with PCOS have found success in this surgery. Many find improvement with their insulin resistance. This can act as a hormone reset for me. I’m not looking for a smaller pant size (but it would be nice!). What I am looking for is increased energy, less joint pain, and the ability to fit in seats and chairs more easily. I’ve started running 5k’s in the last year and I would love to continue those without as much knee pain!

My biggest why though, are these two little guys:

I want to be around for them for a long, long time. To be able to run around with them with abundant energy.

I’ve taken the first steps towards my new beginning, and I’m so excited to see what will come next!


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Courtney likes to describe herself as a lover of lists and post-its, all things nerdy, and as an all-around pretty awesome person. She lives in Marion with her husband, Jon, their two sons, and their two crazy cats. Both of her boys are rainbow babies, with Everett arriving in December 2013, and Hendrix in March 2016. Courtney is a Penn State graduate, and currently works as a team lead for a state agency. Aside from attempting to be successful at this parenting thing, she likes to go on adventures with her family that includes trying out all the local parks and ice cream stops. Courtney also likes to binge watch Netflix, attempt all things from Pinterest, and can be occasionally be found on her couch doing both