Chip’s Amazing Story!
I have always struggled with weight ever since I can remember. In the Navy, I had to join the “Fat Boy” program because my BMI was too high. When I got out of the Navy, I started working in a fast food restaurant. This started a 20+ year career in the restaurant industry ranging from fast food to family dining to casual dining finally to fine dining. As one can imagine, a manager has access to all the food in the building in whichever type of restaurant he manages. Therefore, when I finally moved out on my own, buying meals was never a priority for me. I always just ate at the restaurant. The other part of restaurant management is the long and typically late-night hours. This would usually lead to sleeping in very late and very little to no exercise. My wife and I both worked in a restaurant when we met. We married and with 2 ½ years had two children. After our kids were born, she herself struggled with weight loss. She tried every diet known to man with little success. Her doctor suggested Gastric Bypass and after careful research, she had it done. She lost @180 pounds.
In 2014, I had trouble with my knees. I went to my doctor and she said it would help if you lost some weight to relieve some pressure off of them. We started on some physical therapy, per the insurance, and it didn’t really help. I personally had put off thinking about gastric bypass because of all the restrictions it entailed. Finally, I knew I needed help and decided to go through with it. Giving up alcohol wasn’t a big deal as my wife and I rarely drank. I had already given up tobacco 4 years earlier on my own. I also stopped drinking Diet Coke because it gave my acid reflux really bad. However, sweet tea was probably the hardest thing for me. Once I gave that up, I knew I was all in.
Fast forward to April 17th, 2015. I’m an Enrolled Agent and specialize in taxes, so I had to ensure my surgery date was after tax season. Tax season ended April 15th, Jell-O day (worst day ever-I will never eat it again) was April 16th, and the surgery was April 17th. Two days after the surgery, I had some stomach pains. I was scheduled to meet with Dr. Wegner for post op. I told him of the pains and he ran some tests all day. He didn’t find anything wrong and he determined that the “drainage tube” had irritated my stomach lining. After the tube was removed, it took 2 days to fully recover from that issue and then I never had another one again.
I did very little for two months after the surgery. I was nervous to try anything physical until, in my head, I felt well enough too. After those two months, I decided I was going to run down my street and back. It was a total of @4 blocks total. I ran two houses down and stopped. I couldn’t run any further, however, I was determined. My motto became “further or faster”. So, the next day, I decided to walk around my neighborhood with my kids. We didn’t try and run this time but it totaled 1 mile. I determined this was a better starting point then running first time out. So, I just continued walking and walking then tried running again. This time it was easier and I could go up and down my street. This was 2 months into my exercise training. I finally was able to run for 1 mile without stopping. From there, 1 became 2 and 2 became 3. When I was able to finally run 3 miles without stopping, my competitive juices kicked in and I wanted to run a race. My first 5k was the Arm5k Color Run in Jackson, TN. I completed it without stopping in just under 30 minutes. From there, I signed up for every 5k I could. This led to some 10ks and 5 milers. By running all these races and being from a relatively small town, I started meeting other runners. I decided to start my own Facebook running group page so that we could communicate easier. In one race, I met a girl from Golds Gym that was a Warrior. I didn’t know what it was but she convinced me to come try a class. It starts M W and Fri at 5 am. This really helped me by becoming accountable and working on other aspects of training, upper body, lower body and then full body. I also joined 2 running groups. One group met on Tue and Thurs at a local church and ran 5-6 miles a day and then our local Roadrunners group that ran every Sunday morning, had meetings, and developed training runs. To date, I have run (4) Half marathons and will begin training for my first full marathon in Chicago in October 2018. I have lowered my PR times for the 5k to 24:20, 10k to 58:20 and my half marathon time to 2:04.
Having the surgery saved my life. I posted my journey with my fitness achievements not to brag, but to show someone that there is a better way to live. I rarely go to the doctor anymore for sickness. I eat better and actually love exercising. As of this date, I am scheduled to have a retest to get off my CPAP after 4+ years. It is a journey that is not easy and was completely the right choice for me. I would definitely recommend to anyone that wants to change their life.
This (These) testimonial(s) reflect results achieved by this (these) patients. As each case must be independently evaluated and managed, actual weight loss will vary.