Today’s guest post comes from Jill Williams. Jill is a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and owner of JC Williams Consulting. Jill and I belong to a LinkedIn discussion group that is part of Obesity Action Coalition. Obesity Action Coalition provides resources for obese people who are considering weight loss surgery. Jill and I connected after she commented on my discussion. Many people believe that medical weight loss is the easy way out. I personally know people who have had weight loss surgery, and know that is not the case. Today, Jill shares her story of how medical weight loss can be a great tool, but not a cure.
My story began 15+ years ago, at 330 lbs, lots of health concerns and feeling that I was too young to have a life filled with nothing. I had diabetes, high blood pressure, slept with a CPAP machine to keep me oxygenated.
My life revolved around work and food.
I isolated, worked hard, actively participated in my food addiction to simple carbs and had more bad days than good. The problem was that I was 43 and had too many years ahead. I was contemplating suicide. I did not know HOW to live! My humor, my intelligence, my creativity, were all buried deeply under layers of fat, and my “fantasy” of unzipping the fat suit and stepping out was just that – a fantasy.
In late November 1997 I met up with a woman I had not seen in years. Last time I had seen here she too was hovering around 300 lbs, and when I saw her she was around 175. As we discussed her transformation she told me about obesity surgery, and I thought – well, it might be worth researching.
That started me on a three month path to learn about the available types of surgery, the long term success rates, who did which surgeries locally, etc. During all that a tiny flame of hope got ignited. I knew that I could die in the operating room, I could die from surgical complications, and I could regain weight. I knew all that, and I realized that I was worth the risk.
Now I am 130 lbs. Sometimes even I can’t believe it! I physically recovered well, lost 140 lbs my first year, and underwent the start of several plastic surgeries. My weight went from 330 – 190, and it stayed there with some fluctuations between 160 and 209 over the next 12 years. My largest weight gain occurred in the months after my father died, and I realized that emotional eating was back in full force. All the while, in the back of my mind, was the thought that “I was not finished”.
In 2011 I decided that it was time to formally write my next life chapter. I had entertained being a personal fitness trainer for years, and never acted on it. So, I enrolled in the certification program, went back to the gym and changed up my eating. I now follow a Paleo eating style. I went from my 190 down to 130 in 6 months.
The 100% lack of simple carbs and sugar took away my triggers to overeat. It turns out I am missing the “off” switch when it comes to portion size with these types of food. Now that I no longer eat them, I no longer crave them! So simple!
I started to move away from my 25 year career in human resources management, and returned to school for coaching credentials. And, I started RWL-SUCCESS in conjunction with a local fitness facility to help other post-ops ensure their long term success. The weight loss surgery is a great tool, it is not a cure!
As a Personal Coach, Executive Coach and Personal Trainer – I am blessed to do what I love every day – and I wish you the same!