Tony’s doctor told him that his weight was going to shorten his life. He knew this but didn’t know what to do. At 591 lbs he had to eat 7500 to 8000 calories a day. He had tried dieting, limiting what he ate, but he got so hungry. You can't go from 7500 to an average diet of 1200 overnight. He also tried exercising, but at his weight, just taking out the garbage seemed a monumental task. When he would diet he would lose maybe twenty pounds and then gain thirty. He knew he had to lose more but wasn't sure what to do.
Tony then suffered a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that by-passed his heart and splattered into his lung. It took ten days for the blood clot to dissolve and a very close call with death though he did not realize how close he was. At his follow up doctor’s appointment, Dr. Miller looked at Tony and said, “I know your stubborn, but I want you to look at this,” handing him an article about Gastric By-pass surgery from the New England Medical Journal. “No way, no one is going to cut on me,” said Tony. “You won’t even look at it will you,” said Dr. Miller. Tony responded, “No, I will look at it.” Tony put the article in his car.
Two weeks later, Tony cleaned out his car and found the article. He looked at it like he promised Dr. Miller and put it in the trash. The next day was his oldest daughter’s sixth grade graduation. Tony could not sit in the stadium seating, he was too big. He also couldn’t stand through the hour long ceremony. He missed his daughter’s graduation. He called his doctor and asked what he needed to do to get the surgery.
When he woke up from surgery, he was in extreme pain stating, “Someone has ripped out my stomach.” After he was given some pain medication, and was able to start to walk encouraged by his surgeon, he walked and walked and walked up and down the aisle, pulling his I.V. stand with him. The nurses encouraged him to take some breaks since he just had surgery. He stated he didn’t have time.
When Tony got home, he had support from his mother to make food he could eat. It was emotionally painful as he could only eat small cups of protein drink and some soft foods as he watched his friends and family eat Thanksgiving dinner. He had to watch everyone eat the foods he loved to eat. They would come over and apologize, but Tony would tell them it was okay as his emotions churned like his stomach as they both tried to heal.
“I am a man with a plan. I am strong and have experienced many difficult things in my life.” he said, Tony grew up in a very poor part of Cincinnati after his father left his mother with six boys to raise. He had to learn how to survive the projects of Cincinnati. He got himself out of the projects so he could raise two beautiful daughters. If he could overcome those obstacles, he could overcome the difficulties of gastric bypass surgery.
His surgeon states that the surgery is only a tool, and is easy to shed about seventy five to one hundred pounds. However the rest of the weight you have to work at. You have to change how you eat, how you exercise and your attitudes toward eating. The most difficult part is the social part of your life, because so many of your friends want you to go out and eat and do the things you used to do. Tony couldn’t do that anymore, he had to change his eating and exercise habits, therefore his social habits as well. He lost a lot of people he thought were his friends. But with every new journey, there are new people to meet, new experiences and memories and new friends.
He is now a Certified Personal Trainer, started a support group, does public speaking to schools, non-profits groups and business. Tony is not a doctor or dietician. He does have personal experience, knowledge and motivation. He has helped others lose weight including this author and live a healthier lifestyle. Go to his Website www.myownweightlossnow.com to learn more.