Dione Spears

Today, I weigh 155 pounds, wear a size 10, from a size 20/22, and no longer require my CPAP, blood pressure medicine, triglyceride medication or have acid reflux.

Like every other weight loss story, mine begins with…I’ve always battled my weight. The ups and downs…the lose 30 only to gain it plus 10 back, etc…

My earliest memories of worrying about my weight come from Junior High when I was called a “cow” and then later on in High School either overhearing or being told straight out… “… a pretty face but needs to lose weight.”

In 2002-03 I was 189 pounds and exhausted all the time, falling asleep and poor performance at work, not sleeping well. at all, when I went to a sleep study for a sleep apnea test….Well, I had it, bad! So before age 35 I was on a CPAP machine, triglyceride medicine, blood pressure medicine, prescription strength omega-3, cholesterol medicine, acid reflux (due to a hiatal (sp) hernia), clinically diagnosed with depression, but I refused to take anti-depressants for long because they “made me gain weight”.

Tipping the scale at 199 pounds I finally met a man in 2000 and married him when I was 32 in 2004, who saw past the weight and loved me for me. Of course, once comfortable and secure in my domestic life, the pounds just kept coming (Eating foods my husband and I enjoyed and going the most convenient route with our schedules…pizza, fast food, sodas, etc.. My husband, who has always been able to get his weight under control, it seemed, just by cutting out 1 thing for a month - grrrr; and me, quite simply, loving food and finding the “comfort” from it when I was down or stressed.)

In 2007 I weighed 229. I saw my primary care physician – he prescribed all the miracle diet pills known to man, and I would lose wight only to gain what I lost and plus some.

When I saw the scale at 242 within the next year, I thought I had hit bottom. Surely it can’t get any worse than that….WRONG… I reached 248 pounds – again going to my doctor for the diet pills, only to lose about 20 this time – even the pills weren’t working like they used to…now what?

There were six factors throughout my weight gain that came to mind to make me desperate to lose weight.

  1. And foremost, I was too young to be on so many medications; I wanted to be healthy & live a long life
  2. This seems like a strange thing, but I wanted to be able to cross my legs
  3. When I had to buy an outdoor collapsible chair that would “hold over 250 pounds”
  4. When I purchased an elliptical machine and I was 2 pounds from the weight limit
  5. When my best friends little brother asked me why I wear “old lady” clothes
  6. I was embarrassed to go anywhere socially with my husband and our friends because the other wives looked normal and dressed in stylish clothes when getting together.

I had heard of a couple of friends who had the gastric bypass surgery. I thought about it for a split second, until I lost a friend to it.

Finally I found 3 friends who had the LapBand and had lost almost 100 pounds. I was in awe of their results AND the fact that it was reversible and a less invasive procedure as the bypass or sleeve. My insurance I had with my job at the time did not cover the LapBand procedure; but I still researched it and looked into the pros and cons and eventually planned to save the money to have it done…eventually.

I was offered and accepted a new job in November of 2010. My supervisor, along with 3 co-workers, also have the LapBand. I questioned them for months about their LapBand experience. None of them regret having it. All four of them used South Texas Surgeons, 2 of which were patients of Dr. Wright. I made my call in January 2011 and the LapBand advocate made the necessary phone calls regarding my insurance coverage. To my “nervous” delight, the advocate called me back to inform me that because I had what they call co-morbid conditions (mentioned above) as a result of my weight; I was a candidate for the procedure and it was covered by my insurance.

After 6 months of working with the True Results dietician and trying to lose some weight on my own, I finally received my Lapband on September 13, 2011 at 229 pounds.

Today, I weigh 155 pounds, wear a size 10, from a size 20/22, and no longer require my CPAP, blood pressure medicine, triglyceride medication or have acid reflux. I lost the weight gradually, and for this I am glad because while keeping with my follow-up appointments I wasn’t “cut-off” immediately from the world of food I once knew, like with other weight loss surgery. I was gradually able to tell when I was full and what a good food choice would be. In the times I would emotionally over eat in the past, I began to listen to my “gut” literally and push the plate away.

Since the LapBand and weight loss, I have more energy, I’m a pleasant person to be around, I’m more outgoing and socially active. I am able to do 5K’s for breast cancer and other causes. I’m happier in my marriage – my husband loves to buy me clothes. I can wear jewelry without feeling like it’s suffocating me (necklaces). I’m more confident at work and in social gatherings; I don’t hide from cameras or people. I’ve learned to LAUGH again!

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