Rachel's Weight Loss Journey
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Nothing could stop this determined young woman from living her best life.
Rachel struggled with weight her entire life. One day, something “clicked,” and she knew it was time for a change. Learn more about Rachel’s journey, in her own words.
Tell us a little bit about your health before deciding to get weight loss surgery. How did you feel physically? Emotionally?
[My weight was always a struggle]. I can't remember a time where I wasn't "on a diet." I saw nutritionists and worked with personal trainers, but time and again I would lose weight and regain weight. At my highest weight, I was 340 pounds. Lucky for me, my health, besides being morbidly obese, was never an issue, but I struggled with confidence and often was sluggish and tired and just uncomfortable in my own skin.
How did you make the decision to have weight loss surgery?
I remember the moment so clearly. I was getting my annual physical and my doctor said I was in good health but I needed to lose weight. I said to him I was glad I didn't have diabetes or sleep apnea or any of the other health conditions often caused by obesity and he said that he was glad, too, but it wasn't a matter of "if," but rather a matter of "when." Something clicked for me. I realized that I needed to get this under control now.
How was your experience with the Stamford weight loss surgery team?
I absolutely loved the Stamford surgical weight loss team. They were so supportive throughout the entire process. They answered all my questions and got me the support I needed to be successful. My insurance company had a lot of requirements, but they worked with me and my insurance to make sure everything was in order. I loved how everyone in the office knew my name and would cheer me on whenever I came in.
How do you feel now?
This surgery was the best decision of my life and my only regret, honestly, is that I didn't do it sooner. I am 3.5 years out now. I have lost 175 pounds and I have kept the weight off and I am still losing.
Every day, I work hard to make healthy choices about my diet and exercise, and I know this surgery gave me the tool I needed to get on the path I am now.
What advice would you give others who are facing a similar situation?
It’s important for people to hear it isn't all smooth sailing. I had to form new eating habits and it was hard on me initially to make drastic lifestyle changes while dealing with some short-term temporary side effects. But it all just fueled me to keep bettering myself and to keep getting stronger. My relationship with food, for example, changed from being a source of addiction to a source of energy and strength.
[Then, the little victories came.] Shopping in any clothing store, fitting comfortably in a movie theater seat, not having to ask for a seatbelt extender on an airplane, not having to be anxious about whether someone would fit next to me on an airplane, not worrying about weight restrictions at amusement parks, no longer wondering if people are staring at me because of my size, not being anxious about being asked to be a bridesmaid because of the dress I'd have to wear....
The list of these "non-scale victories" is endless, but most importantly I have my health and my happiness now.