Tug's Weight Loss Success Story

Tug, Before
Looking back at my old school pictures, I guess that I would have to say it was probably around second grade that I started getting chubby. I hit 200 pounds before the end of eighth grade and had not seen a number below that for over three decades.

I was an active teen, a 2-3 sport athlete in high school and college. I considered myself, “fat but fit.” My weight tracked up and down, but mostly up, and ballooned with my age. I spent most of my 20’s in the mid to high 200’s. I hit 300 in my 30’s and by the time I reached my 40’s, I had crested the 400-pound mark.

At the age of 41, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It wasn’t the typical slow descent into the disease that most people experience with a gradually increasing A1-C. I went from a June 2012 blood glucose of 106 to an ICU stay in January 2013 with a blood sugar of 590. Almost overnight I was suddenly a morbidly obese, insulin dependent diabetic.

As I had so many times before, I lost a bunch of weight (60 pounds or so) and got my sugar under better control; and just like it always had… the weight came back. In my life, I have lost and regained at least 300 or 400 pounds with every diet plan under the sun. Of course, as the weight came back, my A1-C crept back up and within a few years I found myself tipping the scales at around 450, with full blown diabetes, high blood pressure, degenerative disc disease, and sky-high triglycerides.

I was unhealthy, barely mobile and while I had a great, loving family, wonderful kids, and grandkids, I was inwardly miserable. I hated myself for what I had allowed myself to become. I shame ate in secret, hiding food wrappers and fast food bags under the seats of my truck. I resigned myself to an early death. I remember thinking at one point, “I hope I die before I lose a foot, or a leg.” 

In 2015, I started having some conversations with friends who had some very positive outcomes with bariatric surgery. I began to consider that as a serious option, but I was without health insurance. I had family members and friends who had had surgery with varying degrees of success and I didn’t want to do this unless I knew that I was going to succeed.

I did not want to be a negative statistic. I knew, however, I knew I had to do something, I had children who were going to need their father, grandchildren who deserve to know their Papa and a life that I needed to live.

Fortunately, at the end of 2016, I was hired into a full-time position with health insurance and on April 5, 2017, I met with my doctor and made the best, life-changing decision I have ever made for myself. I began the process at 390 pounds, was down to 369 at my first appointment and on November 24, when Dr. St. Jean performed my gastric bypass, I was 318 pounds. 

Today, just over a year later, I weighed in at 202 lbs. I have gone from a 5XL to a M/L, a 56-inch waist to a 34. My A1-C is 4.5 and I am on no medication. Nothing but vitamins now.

Since I started this journey, I have lost roughly 250 lbs, I have lost a half dozen different wardrobes, I have lost eight prescription medications and most importantly, I have lost that resignation; I am no longer resigned to an early death.

I am happy, I am healthy, and I am looking forward to a long life surrounded by my loving family. I thank all of those who have supported me in this process, the great folks at our Waterville support group, and the fantastic staff at Northern Light Surgical Weight Loss. Thank you for helping me to get my life back!

Tug, After