Hello! Welcome to my Journey through Weight Loss Surgery. This journey started like so many others. I woke up one day and I could not believe how big I was. I had to go shopping for an outfit and wound up in Lane Bryant, a store I swore I would never go to. Yet there I was. After fumbling around with a few outfits I decided on one that was mainly, all gray light gray top and these dark gray towel like pants, stretchy of course. Sadly they were a size I could have never imagined when I was a teen, not to long ago, but here it was in my hand a size 24/26. I was so sad when we got home from the mall I didnt want to do anything. I had no choice though.
     My friends were going to be at the hotel any minute and I could not hide. After everyone got there I lost some of my self-doubt and started to feel good in my new clothes. That is until we got the pictures back. I could not believe that was me. In my head all I could hear was "you look like Jaba the Hut"  "you look like an elephant seal”. Fortunately, though that set of pictures is what changed my life.
     I began researching plans I could follow, hoping I could find a free one online that was simple to use and it had all the features I wanted. A menu, friends, a chat room, fitness ideas, things like that. I found one but it was for a fee. To start up it was $35.00, not to bad, you may say but we were living on one income and I could not justify spending money on myself. Every month I opened my email and found a newsletter from that site telling me how well people were doing, how great it is on and on. Each month I tried to justify it but could not.
     All of this started in October 1999, finally by January 2000 I made up my mind, and I joined eDiets.  I could not have done a better thing for myself. It was $35.00 and after that $10.00 a month. We could handle that if I cut out the junk food I was buying. For Christmas 1999 my family gave me money for clothes, I went to Lane Bryant and spent every penny and then some. I felt great.
     The clothes I bought were sizes 22-24 and one pair of 18-20's! I felt so skinny and sexy. A few days later I was heading to the mall to meet up with Wendy, feeling great thinking I looked great in my new sweater and size 18/20 pants.  We had a good time. We ate at the Rainforest Cafe and took pictures there. When she sent them to me, I cried. I thought I looked so good and these pictures told me a totally different tale. I was huge. Smaller then I was a few months ago but huge is huge I guess. I had lost about 15-20 lbs. from October to January, my starting weight with eDiets was 280. Ive never been quite sure what my 'official' start weight was but I’d guess close to 300 pounds.

PICTURES ONLY!!!! Start to current!
Dr. Batty sent my PCP his letter of recommendation and she sent a letter on to the insurance, oh the joys of having an HMO.  My insurance is BC/BS HMO of Illinois and my IPA is TriCounty.  During all of my waiting I researched, researched and called my IPA at least once a week, usually twice.  I wanted to make sure I was on track and going strong so I would not be denied.  On January 4, 2002, I called at 10 AM and Kelly told me they just received my request and she would personally walk it over to the girl in charge of reviewing requests.  She told me she had meetings all morning and then she would be back to her desk at 2 PM and to call her then for my approval information!  I called my surgeon's office, asked for a date, and told them I was approved.  The nurse said she would call me back with a date after lunch.  She called at 1:30 and told me my surgery date was January 18, 2002 at 7:30 AM, 2 weeks away!