Welcome to my Fatboy series. This is a chronicle of my journey after weight loss surgery in January at the University of Texas Medical Branch Center for Obesity and Metabolic Surgery.
Mainland editor TJ Aulds once topped the scales at 421 pounds.
After undergoing surgery, he hopes to drop to 280 pounds by the end of the year.
Nine months after my gastric sleeve procedure at the University of Texas Medical Branch’s Center for Obesity and Metabolic Surgery, I’m actually a few pounds away from what is supposed to be my end-of-year goal weight.
It’s not about the pounds lost, but how I look and feel. I’m feeling great. People tell me I’m looking great.
Heck, people I’ve known for a long time recently told me they don’t recognize me. Which begs the question. Why the hell didn’t I do this sooner?
This process hasn’t been a breeze, by no stretch. There’s hard work, focus, pain, tears, emotional roller coaster rides and self-esteem issues. But for the most part it’s been a rewarding experience.
I’ve told many people, if I knew I would feel this good and have this much energy I would have done this much, much sooner.
I talked about getting on a program more than four years ago. I found reasons not to do it then.
Three years ago, I looked at weight loss surgery. I think that time the excuse was, my insurance wouldn’t cover it. Two years ago, I looked at it but convinced myself that my dad’s cancer battle was the priority — which it was.
Then came the night last summer when I thought I was having a heart attack. It wasn’t a heart attack, by the way, just a very bad case of indigestion. Still four days in the hospital, dozens of tests and seven different prescriptions (my heart was fine, but the rest of me wasn't) convinced me I no longer had valid reasons not to get serious.
Changing one’s life takes a commitment to actually change. Sure, there are areas I don’t compromise. I still smoke cigars. I still drink from time to time (although right now I am on the wagon). I don’t eat only healthy food.
But when I seek excuses not to go to my early morning workouts at TransforME/Body By Frances, I fight with myself and get out of bed and get to the workout studio.
When I could easily stop at Whataburger at midnight, I just drive home — most times. When I could drive the two blocks to the store next to my office, I walk. When I'm tired, I still walk at least three miles through the streets of Bayou Vista.
Thing is, we all find excuses or rationalize why we “can’t” do something that changes our lives even though we know deep down we need that change.
So, I’ve adopted a motto about change: Change isn’t easy. Change is hard. Change is rewarding. Change will change you inside and out.
What’s stopping you from your change?