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It All Began With Five Little Words...

..."if only she were thinner". Those were the words I overheard a boy, who I had the biggest crush on at the time, say to one of my best friends when she told him how much I liked him. He started off by saying how I was "cool to be around" and "how nice and sweet I was" but ended with "if only she were thinner". Neither of them knew I was listening from the hallway that night and to this day I haven't told them.

I was 15 at the time and that was the first time I experienced the feeling of discrimination. It was at that moment, with those five little words, that I realized I was not viewed in the same category as my "thinner" friends. With my spirits crushed and my self-esteem deflated, I went home and cried myself to sleep. The next morning I started the first of MANY failed diets.

After high school, and after the birth of my son, I buried my lack of self-esteem into a series of bad relationships (and I mean BAD). I thought that if I acted a certain way or said "yes" to every favor that I would be accepted and loved. I became obsessed with doing more for others than for myself but only ended up deeper in depression (and deeper in debt). Those five little words were screaming at me every day.

In 1997, I went to see my doctor about my weight and he prescribed Phentermine and Pondomin (a.k.a. Phen-Fen). I lost 75 pounds in four months and I never felt better about myself. Those words were not echoing so loudly in my head. My self-confidence was riding high until the FDA pulled the Pondomin from the shelves six months later. The reason the drug combination worked so well is the Phentermine sped up your metabolism and the Pondomin tricked your brain into thinking you weren't hungry. The weight came off so fast and I was so caught up in it that I didn't teach myself how to eat properly. I didn't get the chance to ease off the medication before it was abruptly seized and over the course of four years, I gained it all back plus an additional 40 pounds. I have carried that weight ever since.

I was a sophomore in high school and at least 50 pounds overweight when I first overheard those five little words. Flash forward to more than 20 years later (and more than 100 pounds overweight), those words still haunt me. I hear them every time I walk into a board room, get on a plane, or get on a ride at Disneyland. I felt them when I was trying on my wedding dress, when the arm rest of the stadium seat was digging into my thigh leaving a bruise, and I see them every time I look into a mirror..."If only she were thinner..."

It is time to focus on myself so on Thursday, February 24, 2011, I will finally embark upon a life-altering journey of weight loss. I need to rid myself of those five little words that taunt my every move and with the help of a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, I pray that my self-esteem will be exonerated and I can be free from their bond.

I wanted to share this journey through a blog because most of my friends and family have no idea just how much I am falling apart on the inside. Some people view weight loss surgery as a short cut or the easy way out but I know that this will ultimately save my more ways than one.

I hope you'll come along for the ride.


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