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Interview With Robert: Life After Gastric Bypass Surgery |

Interview With Robert: Life After Gastric Bypass Surgery

My Interview With Robert

My Interview With Robert

So today I am thrilled to share an interview I did with a local gastric bypass patient and friend Robert. Robert’s Mother and I have been Facebook friends for years and I had heard a little bit about his own personal journey but was thrilled that I could interview him and learn even more. Recently Robert has started a Go Fund Me Page to help him earn money towards getting skin removal surgery, which as many of you may or may not know is not usually covered with insurance. Which to me is awful as those of us whom have lost lots of weight then have to suffer with saggy and baggy unwanted skin. Not only is the skin unsightly, and helps to only make a person feel so uncomfortable but it can also be painful. Excess skin can develop painful rashes, sweat a lot and can be embarrassing.

The hardest part for me is that we work so hard to lose the weight, to work out to help tighten and tone those areas we know will problem areas for us, and then we are left living with the shame of loose and sagging skin. Not only are these areas depressing to look at, but does nothing to improve our self esteem and in my opinion should be covered through our insurance. Below is my interview with Robert, I ask one thing of you if you are reading this please share this story for others to read on your Facebook or Twitter accounts and also share Roberts Go Fund Me page to help him out.

Robert Before Surgery

Robert Before Surgery

Q. What do you think was the reason your gained weight?

A. I definitely ate my emotions. I was an athlete in high school and was used to a large diet to keep my energy, so some of my weight was gained to help me in athletics (football). Late high school and early college, though, I really began to balloon quickly because I didn’t know how to deal with the things happening in my life at the time.

Q. What the hardest part of living your life as an obese person?

A. Just like any other obese person my weight got in the way physically, but most of the damage it caused was mental. The bigger I got the more my confidence suffered, and it wasn’t that great to begin with. It got to where I didn’t like social situations at all because I felt constantly judged due of my weight. I never felt I was good enough. Time to find a new job? Why bother, no one will hire me… Find love? out of the question, who’d want me…

Robert Before Surgery

Robert Before Surgery

Q. What was the deciding factor that you knew that you had to take control of your life and get gastric bypass surgery?

A. The suffering self-confidence was the biggest reason I wanted to pursue the surgery. I wasn’t moving forward with my life because I was afraid of being rejected. I was afraid to try.

Q. After having your surgery what did you find was the hardest part to deal with?

A. After my surgery the most difficult part for me was not allowing other people’s diet habits to affect mine. I was very good about staying on diet and getting to the gym daily. I worked hard and did what I was supposed to do and saw the weight just melt off. Soon though, as I began developing relationships, I began wanting to eat the same things as the people I was with even though I knew I shouldn’t/couldn’t. Not much else with the surgery bothered me. I invited the pain and the self-denial and the hard work as part of the process toward a better life.

Robert Prior to Surgery

Robert Prior to Surgery

Q. Did you find that after surgery dealing with your life without using food as a coping mechanism difficult?

A. I don’t think I’m far enough post-surgery to answer that question. Right after the surgery the weight was just falling off and everything was hunky-dory. I could see the gains I was making and was happy. I was then able to form new relationships which only increased my happiness, so I’m not sure I ever felt the need to cope with food. Now though, as the loose skin becomes a problem and some other things are happening to affect my life negatively, I could see where that would be a struggle. I’m fighting it hard by putting more work in at the gym and refocusing on diet/exercise, but the next few months will tell me a lot about how I’ll cope without food… Maybe focusing on the diet/exercise will become my way of coping.

Robert After Surgery

Robert After Surgery

Q. What advise would you have for someone thinking of having gastric bypass? What advice would you have for a newbie whom just had surgery?

A. For someone thinking about surgery, do your research. It’s a lifelong commitment. Understand what you’re getting into. For those that already had it, definitely listen to your doctors. If you’re told you need certain vitamins daily then take them, don’t just assume you’ll be okay. Your body doesn’t absorb things the same as before and there’s a reason those things are ordered. A small thing not done now can cause major problems down the road.

Q. What has been some of your greatest accomplishments since having surgery?

A. Losing 200 pounds in less than a year was what I was most proud of, but there were so many countless small victories along the way. The first time I reached an hour on the treadmill, when I began to be able to shop at certain stores again, when I saw that I could wear a size medium (down from 5XL) in the dressing room at Walmart and then texted everyone a picture, when I found love… it’s all just small steps toward one large goal of living a fit and happy life.

Robert After Surgery

Robert After Surgery

Q. Biggest ways your life has changed since losing your weight?

A. When I look in the mirror I don’t hate myself. I still have my confidence issues, but they’re not crippling and they continue to get better. The harder I work the better they’ll get. I believe that surgery for skin removal is another major step in that direction.

Q. Any down falls or problems you have run into?

A. I do still fight depression, especially now, but that depression before would have caused me to shut down. Surgery isn’t a cure-all, I still fight a lot of the same battles within myself. My biggest pitfall is telling myself that if I gain a little weight it’s okay because now I know how to lose it again. I can sometimes talk myself into cheating a little too much. You have to work hard at staying on track or you could come off those tracks altogether.

Q. What is your hope for your future on your new journey?

A. My biggest hope for the future is to find someone to spend my life with. I thought I had found that person for several years, but just recently plans changed. That caused me to reexamine things and renew my zeal, but I still struggle with my confidence in that area daily. I still feel judged. I still don’t feel good enough at times. Skin removal surgery will HELP that, but it’s still up to me to continue making strides and realize that I CAN find love.

Robert Today

Robert Today

Personally I want to thank Robert and his Mom Pat for allowing me not only to share his story, and personal journey with others but allowing all of us a personal glimpse into what our lives are like. Surgery is a wonderful tool that allows us to live a freer life, but in the same token it does not erase all the problems in our lives. In addition it can cause other new problems to arise such as excess skin, depression and more. Please take a few moments to read over Roberts Go Fund Me page and think about making a donation NO matter how small, every dollar will help Robert towards his goal of having skin removal surgery.  Please leave your comments below to show your support for Robert, and thanking him for sharing his personal story for us, in the hopes that will help and maybe inspire others.

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About Angie

Single Mom of two girls on a journey to get healthy by losing weight and learning to love herself again!

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