Amanda Stottlemire

We all start our journeys at different places, I started mine at a very early age. I’ve always been the biggest in the room and even 170 lbs later, I still feel the same way. About 5 years ago I started to realize that the cycle of diets, starvation and fads did nothing. I’d lose 20 or 30 pounds then stall – get frustrated and cheat. The cheating would cause the cycle to swing the other way. Pretty soon, I was staring down 400 pounds and wondering what I should do about it. I had a totally unhealthy cycle of mental thought that kept me pinned to the weight and climbing. I wasn’t worth what everyone else was. I wasn’t capable of doing some things that my friends were, and that was ok. I just told myself it was just because we were all different. But, that’s not what it was. I was holding myself back.
In September of 2016, at 436 pounds I knew that all had to change. I started the process to qualify for surgery. I worked through my surgeon and insurance company’s qualifications. Even with all that said, I was still woefully unprepared for the changes in my life. February 2017 I had surgery, everything went like clockwork. I hated prep, but I survived. After surgery things seemed – dare I say, easy. I had no complications, but stuck as close to my surgeons rules as humanly possible. If I could give people one bit of advice it would be that. FOLLOW YOUR DOCTORS DIRECTIONS.
In truth, things can and do happen, but you can make life a whole lot easier if you do. About 2 months post op, I hit a wall. I was angry and anxious all the time, snapping at nearly everyone – mostly my husband. When I went in for my physical with my primary physician we had a very frank conversation and determined the best option would be to try some anti-anxiety meds and counseling. You cannot underscore the importance of your mental health on this journey. If you need to find someone to talk to along the way – PLEASE make sure you do.
So let’s talk about Family. Let’s talk about the most open and giving community I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of. Because it is. We are truly a family, we curse – we laugh- we cry, but through it all – we have each other’s back. We are a support system. A safe place to vent, to cry, to find your inner power. I don’t know what I would have done without family. I can’t talk about my surgery journey without talking about it. I hope no matter where you are in the process you find the best path for you. We are here. We welcome you. #OhanaStrong

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