“My wife April and I are in a crowded Las Vegas casino, and she’s lost sight of me.  The funny thing is, I am right in front of her.  But she doesn’t notice me because over the last three months I’ve lost 70 pounds since I had weight loss surgery.

At the age of 30, I had become a Champion of Excuses, not the title you want when you’re a husband and the father of three great kids, but that’s who I had become.  It happened over the last 15 years.  As a kid I loved sports, but by the time I reached high school I stopped playing soccer, hockey and baseball, and became the guy who hid behind the camera.

I started dieting in high school and over the years tried Atkins, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, South Beach, and even joined a gym.  Some worked better than others, but none long-term. I finally had to face the fact that my weight was killing me, not only physically but I was losing hope for my life.  I knew I needed to make a change no matter what it would take, and I was ready to make the commitment.

I began researching weight loss surgery because I believed I had exhausted all other options.  While searching YouTube, I found a childhood friend who had weight loss surgery.  He told me about the process, which surgery he chose, and how it completely transformed his life.  He had no regrets. After three years of research I was mentally ready to commit and made an appointment with my doctor.  He told me I was morbidly obese and had high blood pressure.  Initially he wanted to refer me to a dietitian, but after learning that I had already been dieting for 15 years, he agreed to refer me for a bariatric surgery consultation.

During my years of research, I discovered a few surgeons I would consider for my surgery.  When the time came I called my insurance company and told them I wanted to be referred to one of them.  They told me I did not have a choice as I have an HMO.  I was disappointed but not for long.  Two weeks later I received a referral to one of my choices, Dr. John Yadegar.  It turned a great day into an incredible one knowing I would have a trusted and skilled surgeon taking care of me. 

Dr. Yadegar was very thorough as he reviewed all surgical options with me. I never felt rushed or pressured into a decision as he took time with me at each visit.  My wife April was still worried about me having surgery so I invited her to my next appointment.  On the ride home she told me how much she loved him and how he put her at ease about the surgery.

I had the Sleeve Gastrectomy on February 21, 2012 after my original surgery date was postponed three weeks earlier for medical reasons. When I awoke in the recovery room, I was greeted with smiles and knew that my life was forever changed for the better.  Once I got to my room, I spent only a couple of hours in bed before I started walking the halls.  I believe my early and consistent walking helped reduce my pain and helped release the gas from surgery.  I remember the head nurse being amazed as she counted my many laps as I passed her desk.  After spending the required two nights in the hospital, I was happy to return home to my own bed.  Dr. Yadegar asks his patients to take two weeks off from work & regular activity to get much needed rest and get accustomed to a new way of eating and drinking.  During my second week I was able to do some work from home as I am a software developer, and I also began walking around the neighborhood. By the end of that week I was at the gym.

I wanted to maximize my weight loss results so with Dr. Yadegar’s okay, I worked out as much as possible.  On my two-month Surgiversary, I ran my first 5K Mud Run!  Words cannot explain how that felt, when only a few months earlier I could barely walk to my mailbox without running out of breath. Today, only five months after surgery, my blood pressure is normal, my Body Mass Index is down 20 points to normal, and I feel incredible! 

Choosing to have weight loss surgery has been without a doubt, the best decision I have ever made for myself.  It is a tool that serves as a constant reminder of where I have been and what I have done to get my life back.  I no longer worry that I won’t see my children grow up or meet my grandchildren.  In my career, I am much more confident at meetings and my coworkers have acknowledged an improvement in my overall performance.  Instead of being exhausted after work, I look forward to getting home so I can hike or swim with my family.

I have three beautiful children, Charisma, Cameron & Caleb.  I had already missed so much with them because of my weight: swimming, horseback riding, and amusement parks- so before I had surgery I told myself that when I reached my goal weight we would all go swimming together.  On June 23rd, I swam with my kids for the first time in their lives.  The joy it brought to them was priceless.  Later this year, my wife and I will celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary with a renewal of our vows on Laguna Beach.  Just a year ago, I did not have the confidence to plan such an event.  But now the possibilities for my life are limitless.”