Here's how I lost the weight and became a new man...
The weight loss procedure I chose was the vertical sleeve.
My name is Daryl. It’s been six months since I’ve had surgery, and I’ve lost 77 pounds.
Well, before my weight-loss procedure you know my life was good, but I was sad; I’d be down inside. I know I was a good family man, but there was that weight, not the physical weight but the weight in my heart and just how bad I felt about myself.
There were physical challenges with not being able to do my job as easily that were weighing on me; I could not work like everybody else around me. Mentally I’d feel terrible about myself, and I’d mask it with humor, but you know some people could see right through it. And now that I look at my “before” pictures I can see though it, I see the pain in my eyes.
I really can’t believe the changes. Before weight-loss surgery I chewed tobacco, and I would live to eat – it seemed like everything was centered around food. In our western culture here in America, we use food for entertainment; I was good at being entertained with food and that was an unhealthy way to live.
The moment of change for me, after years and years of comments from people and realizing there were certain things I couldn’t do, was when I found out that somebody that I looked up to very much in our community had the surgery. I saw the results and I was like “I have to find out what this is”. This person that I know is a police officer whom I looked up to greatly, and when I saw that they had it done I thought, there’s no question I could have it done now too.
My wife Stephanie was with me then, and I remember that when I told her, I think she got excited but she didn’t want to sound too excited because she loved me no matter what size I was. I was at my heaviest since we got married. I remember telling her “I think I want to do this; I want to look into it”. I thought about it for days and days, and I finally told her about it and you know she positively influenced me and supported me. She knew it would be good for me.
I first met Dr. Naik when he spoke at my nutritional class one Friday afternoon after he had finished doing his other work that day. That’s how I knew I wanted to have surgery with him, because he was willing to go speak on a Friday afternoon after finishing work I knew he cared when he didn’t have to. He has been very supportive; he’s become a friend. I have had no problems whatsoever with the office staff. Having a surgeon in Bakersfield has been very helpful because it’s local and we work somewhere near or the outskirts of Bakersfield so not having to drive 2-3 hours to see the doctor has been paramount to this working out.
Out of all the options out there I chose vertical sleeve, I guess because it’s less invasive; it being less invasive I also felt it would require effort on my part. I have run between three to four hundred miles since my surgery and I believe the surgery is really a tool. It’s what you do with that tool that enhances your success.
Like I said before, it was one day during my nutrition class that Dr. Naik was the guest speaker. And when he spoke, it seemed like he cared. Even talking to him afterwards, I knew right then and there that I wanted him to do my surgery. It was easy to get qualified with my insurance I think because obesity is such an issue here in America.
Since the procedure – gosh you know I have so much more energy. I run probably seven to ten miles every other day and there’s other things that I’ve never experienced before like biking, hiking. I had a surgery to take away part of my body, but still I have to stay active at this point. You have to make those choices to go and do those fun things for this to work, which has been so life-altering. Yeah, I’m more active, and I have more energy, like I was 15 years old again.
After I had the surgery it took me like two or three weeks to recover; I went ahead and took another week just because I wanted to hang out with my wife. What I can do now that I couldn’t do before – I can cross my legs the way my granddad and my dad always did; and I can’t believe how comfortable I feel now. I can walk out the front door right now and run nonstop for ten miles. I can enjoy playing with my kids. I can do things vertically – I can stand on my feet now. I can take the stairs.
My eating habits have changed; you want to eat everything but you don’t have a lot of room, so everything you eat has to count so there’s no empty calories. You have to have your protein. There’s different foods you have to have now, or not. I don’t eat as much red meat as I used to. I always read the food labels.
If I had to do it all over again I would do it, and I would do it exactly the way it’s been done for the last six months. What advice would I give to people? I would say do it and hang on. Because the changes that come about are going to feel like, you have no idea – in a good way.
As a man, you know we were brought up to get things done on our own and be a hero; all my life there were athletes in my family that I would try and try and try to keep up with, and I just couldn’t. I knew that I would get big quick, it was easy for me to gain weight and have all the other stuff that comes with that. But yeah, I think partly the macho thing kept me from getting the surgery for so long. I’m more of a man now than I was before, period. Somebody considering surgery should just do it, and hang on because it’s a good ride. I wish I would have done it sooner.
Sincerely I hope this helps with your decision,
*There's no guarantee of specific results with weight-loss surgery and results can vary.*