Bariatric surgery: Journey from CPAP to trail races

I first reached an unhealthy BMI in my 20s. My husband and I suffered through five years of infertility before conceiving our older son through IVF. The years of hormone injections and emotional eating, added to two pregnancies in under three years, left me with borderline obesity. By the time I fought my way through post-partum depression and the infancy of a second son with health challenges, I was morbidly obese with multiple comorbidities including asthma, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, GERD and pre-diabetes.

I reached my tipping point in the summer of 2016. We were on a family vacation to an amusement park and every time I approached the front of a line for a ride, I was afraid that I would not fit into the seat and my son and I would have to make a walk of shame back to the entrance. I had been to an informational seminar with Dr. Sanborn almost a year previously, but that day in June was when I decided to truly start the process.

At my heaviest, I weighed over 273 pounds on a 5’7” frame. I set several goals for myself as my surgery date approached. I wanted to lose 90-100 pounds, I wanted to be able to run without chronic shin splints, and I desperately wanted to be able to sleep without my CPAP. I also brought an old favorite pair of jeans in a size 14 out of storage to use as my “goal jeans.”

I had Roux-en-Y on September 13, 2017. I measured all over my body and took pics the day before. I continued to measure and take photos each month on the 13th for the next year. At 7 months post-op, I ran a Ragnar Trail Relay with a group of girlfriends — almost 18 miles each in three legs over about 30 hours! I had never felt so strong and had already checked off one of my major goals!

I’m sure that my almost compulsive rule-following helped my weight loss stay slow and steady. I ate my protein, limited my carbs, drank my water and exercised often. Having a great at-home support system with family and friends and attending group support meetings (with a close friend) regularly keeps me on track. At Dr. Sanborn and my primary care doctor’s urging, I had a repeat sleep study and am off my CPAP machine and can sleep freely every night. At my one year appointment, I had lost over 110 pounds and have been maintaining that loss for the last two months. I am down from a size 22/24 to a size 8 dress. My goal jeans were donated long ago. And when we went to Orlando for our family vacation, my only worry was how my family was going to keep up with me!