Our Patients submit letters and photos, sharing with us their weight loss journey, what has led them to seek out bariatric surgery, and why they wish to change their life.  While the paths are many, the underlying hopes, dreams, and desires are much the same. 

Dear Surgeons...

"I am a mother of five beautiful children, four girls and one boy. I’ve been married to my best friend for 15 years. I want to tell you about my journey. I have been overweight for 10+ years. I have tried diets that don’t work. I’ve tried diets that worked a little then stopped. I have been unhappy with my weight for a while now and I’ve tried diets to pills and fasting but nothing works.

This year I started a great job, my dream job, the job I said I wanted when I got to this age. Well, guess what happened. I started having stomach pains and chest pain. It got to the point that I was leaving work early or not coming in. I was miserable and did not know what was happening. One day I was at my desk and my left arm started tingling, my chest was tight, and my vision was blurry. I got scared. I went to the doctor and was told my blood pressure was sky high and put on meds. I knew stress and weight was an issue after that. I went back to work but I was told “we love your work, but we want you healthy.” My choice was get fired or take leave, so I took the leave.

My heart was so heavy. My doctor told me that it was my weight causing all the problems so I started dieting again. I lost eight pounds only to double it back up. Then my friend told me about this program. I decided I deserved a better life and so do my kids… that it was time to evict this second person who moved into my home, this stranger trying to kill me. I am putting my foot down and taking Rosa#2 to court (the weight loss program) to get her evicted. I want to be comfortable in my home again. I want to live and I want to see my kids grow. I don’t want to tell my nine and four year old “No, mommy can’t play with you,” or “mommy doesn’t feel good.” I want to be able to chase my kids and enjoy my life. I want to be able to fit in my clothes and not feel embarrassed of what I let happen. It is time for me to take action. I want to be healthy, happy, and have a normal blood pressure like I used to and no need for a c-pap machine when I sleep. I want to be able to work so I can do what I love best. I ask that the court considers my plea to evict this person! I am ready for the fight and I know I can win. I refuse to lose."

"I met the man of my dreams and now husband when I was a size 4 and weighed 130 pounds. Ed has loved me at every stage and has never hesitated to let me know that he thinks I am beautiful. I know he is being sincere and I think he honestly believes it. I just hate my body so much that I get mad when he says anything like that because I disagree so strongly. It has come to the point that I don’t even want him to touch me. I am so hyper aware of every roll, every imperfection and every pound that when he touches me that is all I can think of. Then I get upset and it comes out as anger. I should be able to let him touch me without having some sort of hour long inner monologue telling myself that it is OK and that I should relax.

The older I get the more I am convinced that this is the avenue I must take. My mom has been overweight ever since I could remember. I remember being teased about her weight as a little kid. Maybe teased is not the proper word. Kids tell the truth and how they see it. So, I guess kids were just being honest when they said “Your mom is fat.” Nonetheless, I would go on the defensive. I felt sad for my mom. I saw her try diet after diet with no success. Now I see myself on the same path.I have a three year old son named Jack. A lot of people think their kids are adorable…I mean it! Jack is the most adorable, energetic, fun loving, sweet boy! I do not want my weight to be anything that he has to deal with. I don’t want other kids telling him that his mom is fat, I don’t want him to have to take care of me because I am fat, I don’t want to say “I can’t do that with you” because I am fat. He loves to run and ride his bike. I want to ride and run with him! I want to be able to be a healthy, fit and active mom for him. I want him to think of me and think my mom can do anything!"

• • •

"I was a young widow of 32 with two sons, five and seven years old. My husband never asked me to lose weight but on his dying bed asked me to get healthy so I would not leave the boys orphans. I want my body to match my outgoing personality. I want to wear a normal size bra. I want to ride my dirt bike, my snowmobile, and my Jeep without looking like a circus act. I want to wear a normal size bra. I want to be here to spoil my grandchildren if I am lucky enough to have them. The bra thing. Less back pain would be nice. My kids think I am a cool Mom and I want to be able to do things with them that my weight has limited. I want my parents to see me in a smaller, healthier body. I want to feel like my mind thinks…not what my age is. I want my body image to match my smile."

• • •

I have thought about this decision for several years now. I began thinking more seriously about it after watching my mother die a very miserable, painful death 3 years ago. By the time she made a decision to seek bariatric surgery, it turned out she was too sick for her body to deal with the surgery. During my mother’s last days in the hospital she begged me not to end up in the same condition. To be honest, I assumed it would probably be my fate anyhow. What chances did I have, when this is my family make-up?

Currently I am healthy, but I know all too well what lies ahead if I do not seek life-changing methods to take back control over medical issues that may be preventable for me. Thirty-five years old was much too young to be without both of my parents. I have two young boys who deserve to have their mom around for a really long time, and who also deserve to have a healthy example for their own lives.

These months in the Sparrow Weight Management program have encouraged me to make changes in my life that I honestly haven’t had the courage to do before. I absolutely still have challenges, and I know these challenges will not go away with surgery, but I feel this surgery will give me the leg up I need to continue to make these life-long changes.I am grateful for the respect shown by your staff…who have encouraged me through what I expected to be a very humiliating process. It was very humbling to ask someone to help me with my weight issues, but I can see that this step has been very important in beginning to feel successful and able to get on my way to a healthy life.I am looking forward to many more years of overcoming small failures, knowing I have what it takes to get through this ting and to feel like I can win over this disease that haunts my family.

• • •

I am over weight. I’ve tried the Adkins diet, Grapefruit diet, Cabbage soup diet, South Beach diet, Herbalife, exercise programs, and Billy Blanks’ workout DVD’s just to name a few.

I had been very active in sports and extracurricular activities as a teen until that sad day of January 25, 1992 when my Dad died. I fell into a depression. No more sports, extracurricular activities, or hanging out with friends.

I decided to get a job at a local Mexican/Pizzeria restaurant. Looking back, that was a bad decision. I should have worked in a furniture store (laughing).

Bariatric surgery and continued weight loss will improve my quality of life. I have severe sleep apnea, heel spurs, acid reflux, and joint pain. I also have borderline high blood pressure. By losing weight with the help of bariatric surgery, I could possibly get rid of sleep apnea. Not having to wear that machine at night would be wonderful! My fiancé and I joke about him sleeping next to “Darth Vader.” I would be able to get on the floor and play with my grandkids. I have 3 by the way, 2 girls and 1 boy. My ultimate goal is to run a 5k. NOT walk it, RUN it!

To be completely honest, I want this surgery more than anything. I am to be married this year, and I want to look and feel beautiful in my wedding dress. At the size I am right now, I have put off our wedding. My fiancé is supportive of my decision. He loves me the way I look right now, but I don’t.