There is a difference between motivation and desperation.  I needed the desperation, I just did not know it.  I have good health insurance, and the ability to have lap-band or bypass surgery is a real option.  I work with a guy who had it and lost over 100 lbs. in the first year.  His out of pocket for the surgery was about $600 (for $30,000 surgery).  Since then three other people in the department have had the procedure, and they are all looking great.

In October, I had decided to get serious about losing weight.  I began a diet and exercise, much like the one I am on now (but I wasn’t taking in nearly enough calories).  After about three weeks, I had lost some weight, and it was Halloween night.  I had not eaten all day, and was feeling pretty tired.  I was carrying the baby Trick-or-Treating when I stepped on an uneven piece of concrete and fell like a stone.  I had enough sense to make sure that I did not fall on the baby, and that she did not hit the ground, but in making sure she was alright, I let the rest of my body take the brunt of the fall.  I hurt my left hand, elbow and head, but worst of all, I landed full on my right knee.  I messed it up pretty good and could barely get around for the first two weeks, and it was a good two months before it was strong again.

This was the diet killer.  There is always something, it seems.  I could not walk, the weight stopped dropping off, and I allowed myself to get depressed and gave up.

In December, I talked to the guy at work about the surgery.  He had a lot of good things to say about it.  He would do it again, but he didn’t sugarcoat it.  It is not just a lifestyle change, it is a life change.  He encouraged counseling with the physician before even considering it.

I talked to my wife and mother and told them what I was thinking about.  Neither was too crazy about the idea, but they agreed it was better than the alternative I was currently giving myself, an unhealthy life, and an early death.

I decided to target the summer in order to build up my leave, and also because my mother does not work in the summers, and she would be able to help with the baby while I was recovering.  At this point, I was as big as I have ever been (359 lb.).  I began to consider a diet.  I would give myself one last chance to do it myself.  I had about six months before I could realistically get the surgery anyway, so why not see if I could lose the weight on my own before then.  As I began the diet, I began to think of the surgery as a “Sword of Damocles” hanging above my head.  I had to lose the weight, and if I did not, I had to get the surgery.  This diet was (and is) going to be my last chance to lose weight on my own.  Losing weight is optional.  Failure here will lead to a permanent life-change (surgery), and I use this desperation as another way to keep me motivated.

I also failed to mention that I have high blood pressure and a history of Diabetes in my family.  At nearly forty, being overweight, included with these risk factors, leads to scary conclusions.