You may ask yourself, how did I get here? I was born in 1974, the second of three children. I have always been heavy. I have never been particularly fond of exercise. When I was made to go to soccer practice or play kickball with the neighborhood kids, what I really wanted to be doing was reading National Geographic or the encyclopedia. Did I mention that I am a bit of a nerd? My mother had me in 'nutritional counseling' before I reached high school. She often told me I was pretty, but I would be so much prettier if I could just lose some weight. Now, I wasn't really 'fat' at this point, but I was usually the biggest kid in the room. In grade school, I played soccer and basketball, and was on the swimming and cheerleading teams. In high school I played volleyball my freshman year, but was relegated to manager my sophomore year after the coach called me into his office and told me I was too fat to play on his team. My sister and brother were both elite level athletes in high school. I just wanted to be in the spring musical. I wanted to go to theatre camp. I was sent to volleyball camp. That really worked out, didn't it?
Don't get me wrong. In the grand scheme of things, I had a wonderful childhood. My parents are amazing people and I have a great relationship with them, aside from the weight issue. The kids in the neighborhood, most of whom I am still good friends with, never made an issue of my weight. I can only remember two instances of being teased at school, once in grade school, once in high school. By the time I went to college, it was kind of a non issue for anyone but my parents. In graduate school I managed to take off a fair amount of weight, even with the binge drinking and diet of cheap chinese and chicken wings.
It wasn't until I moved to Alaska that I really started packing on the pounds. After twelve years of life in the Last Frontier I had ballooned to my highest weight, much closer to 400 than any two people should be. I thought about having surgery while I was up there, but my insurance had limited coverage for bariatric procedures. Plus, I was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and wanted to give myself five years to make sure I was 'cured' before I looked at any more life changing surgeries. It was not until I rather unexpectedly moved to semi-rural Kentucky that I finally started looking into getting 'banded' in a serious way. I started the process of getting insurance approval in October of 2009 and was finally 'banded' on December 8, 2010.