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September 15, 2009
How the band has changed my life:
My husband died a victim of AIDS after a blood transfusion at the Lincoln Medical Center and left me with three boys and no life insurance in 2002. He was just 39 years old. He passed away on the evening of Valentine's day dating his death date as 2-15-02.
Over the 7 years that he was ill, I just kept eating in replacement of many other things. In the year 1993 I already had 3 children and my weight was a steady 135 pounds and I looked great. Over the terrible years when my husband was sick and dying, I went from 135 to a whopping 226, from a size 7 pants to a size 22, from the petite section to the women's section of Macy's. It was horrible. The worst was that I didn't see that my husband was dying of AIDS and I was dying of obesity. I was so focused on his illness that I was unaware how sick I was and more importantly that my 3 boys were definately going to be left without a parent and I was doing nothing to ensure that it wasn't to be orphaned because I was killing myself with food.
I was suffering with acid-reflux and a hypo-thyroid, dumping syndrome and my favorite the undercover depression. It was horrible.
Everyday, before my husband died I was worried about all the medications he needed and all that my three boys needed to survive and make it through another day, never stopped to think of what I needed.
In February 2002 my husband passed away and I was left to care for my boys alone.
I don't remember, but I know that eating was a lot of fun. Then dieting was a tremendous mess.
I tried everything, Weight Watchers, Nutria System, Jenny Craig, Slimfast, personal diet plans, friends and family gym sessions. I could no more loss weight than I could go to a young fountain and start over.
All I remember is salad with my friends and cake and donuts near my bed. Food was my joy.
Family picnics were great until my own family expressed that I should stop eating. After comments like these were being tossed around like a logo, "Is Zulma coming if so, make sure you make more food."
Family gathers became my nightmare and I decided no more, I'd rather stay home.
After 6 years of not recognizing my problem was a real problem, and 6 years of wearing black clothing to look slimmer, one day I woke up and saw an advertisment for weight loss at NYU. Being already part of NYU I signed up for the seminar.
I went to the seminar all alone, in fear that this would be yet again another failed attempt to lose weight and I wanted no part of my family and friends' slurs.
Right there, at that very moment I decided, I'm going to get a lapband and I'm going to lose the weight.
Dr. Ren, my savior, operated on 10-08-2008, I didn't want my family to worry so I asked a friend to accompany me to the surgery, but he didn't show up.
Thinking I would die in surgery I wrote a little note to a few friends and family to my 3 sons and granddaughter and updated my life insurance documents.
Crying, fearful of dying I stepped into the waiting room to wait for my turn at a chance at a new life. I took several pictures with my iphone of the very last moment when I would be fat and 'unwanted'. (See link.)
I asked the receptionist to mail out these letters to my family and to wish me luck. I hugged the nurse because there was no friend or family member there to say good-bye to in case anything went wrong. One long pause..., it didn't matter if something went wrong, after years of crying in the mirror because I didn't look good and certainly didn't feel good I was already dead on the inside so who cares, I thought. I need this for me and I'm not going to die. I'm going to be a success story and most important I'm going to be skinny, beautiful and happy.
Here I am almost 2 years after surgery, at a size 3 and sometimes 2 from 22, 39 years old and feeling 25 and happy!
I could say so much more, but the tears fill my eyes and I'm so excited to be able to write about this.
I weigh 144 pounds, my goal weight was 145 pounds.