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Ben Rogers

What Made Me Believe in The Sleeve?

  1. The incredible shrinking Nate Newton
  2. The incredibly impressive Dr. David Kim

“I’ve battled weight my entire life. In Peewee football, I was an offensive lineman. Seriously, that’s where they typically place the pudgiest kids who merely take up space and the disoriented kids who try to look out of their helmet’s ear hole. Early on, I was a biggun.

In little league baseball, I played the role of the chubby catcher. My plump little frame was a perfect target for pitchers trying to learn how to aim and throw at something.

I was always slow. For the most part I was always “big boned”. Being more insulated than my peers was just a part of my childhood. It was a part of my adolescence. It’s been an even bigger part of adulthood for me.

I’ve tried many different diets… the pound-of-bacon per day diet, the teaspoon of shark meat for every meal diet, the diet of the week. I’m making jokes, but I’ve tried them all. I even experienced some moderate success on some of them in the initial stages.

But inevitably, each time I would quickly reunite with my lost weight. It was as if that weight had hidden a LoJack on me somewhere. It always knew exactly where to find me.

And so I floated along. A personal trainer here and there. A prolonged attempt to eat healthy here and there. Years adding up here and there. Mostly I worked hard at my job, did a horrible job of planning my meals and ended up eating only the unhealthiest options. I behaved as if I was making a run at the career cheeseburger consumption record.

Because of my terrible eating decisions and inconsistent workout habits, I’ve dealt with high blood pressure, over-sweating, too-big-for-my-seatism and all of the anxiety that comes with being a BIG. Chest pain that could be caused by just about anything always put the worst thoughts in my mind.

To complicate matters, in the past few years I’ve added some foot and knee issues to the mix that have hampered my exercise options to some extent as well. It’s been a long, downhill fall and in the back of my mind I suppose I’ve always tricked myself into thinking that I’ll be able to miraculously self-rescue myself before the you-know-what hits the fan.

When I learned that I was going to be a father for the first time, I promised myself that I would get my health in check before my first son’s arrival. I then made a similar promise when my second son was on the way. My oldest son is about to turn five and I have yet to fulfill any form of that promise to myself.

I was turning 40 years old and my wife and I were expecting our third kiddo, a baby girl…at 40!

I keep getting older, my health keeps getting further from target and my responsibilities to the people I love the most in this world continue to grow – as they naturally do for all fathers.

As I floated along knowing that I needed to do something, I continued to do nothing.

Then one day at work I was blindsided by an NFL lineman. Three-time Super Bowl champion Nate Newton didn’t have to make physical contact with me to get my attention. All he had to do was walk by.

The first time I saw him after he returned from having Dr. Kim perform his gastric sleeve surgery, I was blown away by the transformation. He looked like a different person. The weight was falling off of him. It was all we could talk about at work. We all watched in complete awe.

Then as the weeks went by I watched his amazing progress continue like a stalker or something. I’d catch up with him in the break room at work like a groupie and I’d pepper him with questions about his amazing physical makeover.

He was losing weight. He was happy. He was mobile. He was active. He was confident. He was doing it in a very healthy way. He was born again.

One day I had seen enough. I believe I said something like… “Ah, Nate… ah, can you, ah, please give me Dr. Kim’s phone number?”

But I wasn’t home free. I was still full of questions. Full of doubt. Full of guilt. Embarrassed that I let my health get so far out of control that weight loss surgery was even a consideration. Nate Newton gave me all the hope and inspiration I needed to make it to Dr. Kim’s office. But that only got me half way. One bad vibe of any kind from his office would’ve sent me scurrying into the woods like scared deer at the sound of a leaf falling.

That’s when something extremely significant in my journey happened. I immediately connected with Dr. Kim. I felt remarkably comfortable with him in a very short duration. I felt no pressure to do anything at all, but I knew very quickly that if I elected to proceed down the route that Nate did, that I would be in extremely capable hands with Dr. Kim.

In the weeks that followed I had some deep, meaningful, heartfelt talks with him. Some long. Some short. Some about me. Some about fatherhood. Some about life in general.

I researched. I talked to Nate. I talked to Dr. Kim. I talked to my wife. I soul searched.

After all of my data gathering and emotional exploration efforts, I came to the conclusion that this procedure was right for me. On Monday, I had the procedure. Today, I’m back at work.

It’s a victory for my health. It’s a victory for my family. It’s a victory for my life. I guess you could call it my “new” life. I have far to go and much hard work to put in to keep my side of the bargain (exercise-and-diet-wise). But I believe I’m equipped with the tools, the plan, the motivation and the doctor I need to help me achieve all of my health-oriented goals.

Here’s to the next chapter of my life. May it be healthy, happy and full of wonderful memory-making moments with my sweet family!”

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Ben's Weight Loss Journey

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