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Dr. David Kim Kim Bariatric Institute

The Embarrassment I Felt is Gone, The Gloom I Felt is Gone

You know that feeling you get at the beginning of a vacation?  Or maybe how you feel when you get off of work on the Friday of a three- day weekend?  That’s how I feel when I wake up every day.

It’s what you might call “sleeve-induced cheerfulness”.

I compare it to the beginning of a vacation because my weight loss journey has only just begun.   I’m extremely happy right now of course
— but even happier about what lies ahead for me.

My entire world is changing for the better.  In the now, my clothes no longer fit.  They’re all too big! What’s even more fantastic is that it doesn’t make sense for me to buy new clothes that do fit right now because I’m about to lose so much more weight that any news clothes I might buy won’t fit in the near future.  Don’t go throwing me a pity party for my wardrobe troubles – I couldn’t be happier about it!

My heaviest weigh-in was 346. I’m already 45+ pounds lighter than that.

Each day, a coworker or friend looks at my new, slimmed-down face in semi-astonishment and compliments my progress.  It’s such a wonderful feeling.

When I think back to what was going through my mind when I first visited Dr. Kim’s office for my initial consultation, I now realize that I’ve gone through a mental transformation of sorts as well.  In hindsight, I recognize that I was lugging around a suitcase of negative energy with me.  Being so overweight was just bad mojo for me, mentally. Beneath the surface, I was consistently brewing up a fresh pot of gloom. It wasn’t just the stress of being too big, it was also the realization that all of the diets and workout regimes that I had tried over the years had all eventually failed.  I had failed.

Closing in on the age of 40, having unsuccessfully managed my weight for several years, it was hard for me to admit that I needed help of any kind to get it under control.

Frankly, I was kind of embarrassed to be in the waiting room of Dr. Kim’s office.  I kept my head down. I didn’t make eye contact with anyone. I didn’t generate any conversation with his staff. I just stared at the ground as my mind raced. Thoughts of bolting for the door kept creeping into my mind as I waited for my name to be called.  Finally, they called my name and I reluctantly took what at the time I mistakenly considered to be my walk of shame.

My mind was pummeling me. “Hi, my name is Embarassment, and I’ve failed miserably at getting my diet/weight under control. Speaking of control, because I have no self control or self discipline, I need the help of a surgeon to turn my life around.” Man, I was really down on myself.  As I waited for Dr. Kim to arrive in my room, I texted my wife nervously, wondering if I was doing the right thing. Part of me wanted her to text back, “Get out of there! Run!” Luckily, she didn’t. She supported me like a champion as she always does. So I nervously waited…

Finally, I was in a room moments away from meeting Dr. Kim. What would he be like?  Would he judge me?  I mean, beneath the surface, would I detect it?  Will he have people skills?  Will I be comfortable?   Is he an evil robot?   Is there a window I can climb out of?

Five minutes after meeting Dr. Kim I knew that my life was about to change forever.

I felt so comfortable with him right off the bat.  He seemed to know everything that I was dealing with.  Somehow, I went from being ashamed to optimistic in about the time it takes a racecar to go from zero to sixty. If you’re 50 or more pounds overweight, I hope you get the opportunity to have a meeting like that with Dr. Kim someday.  It will turn your dread to hope very quickly – no matter what route you opt to take to get your weight under control.

He wasn’t selling me on a procedure. We just talked.  No matter the direction I would choose to take following that meeting, I felt that he truly wanted the best for me, nothing more.  For years my weight was a forbidden topic for me. Yet somehow I was immediately comfortable talking to him about it.  I left not knowing exactly how I’d proceed in my battle vs. my weight, but I left that office with some serious pep in my step after what was a very liberating discussion.

I called my wife on my way home and raved about the experience.  She heard the excitement in my voice and we both knew at that moment that my life was about to change.

My enthusiasm during that phone call was fueled by hope.  My enthusiasm now is fueled by reality.  Going in for my consultation with Dr. Kim is one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made.

The embarrassment I felt is gone.   The gloom I felt is gone.  The weight I’ve been unable to successfully shed and keep off for years will soon be gone too!

Now when I walk into Dr. Kim’s office for a routine check-up, I might as well be skipping. I hang out with his incredibly friendly staff – some of which, like Shelley, have had the procedure too.  I crack jokes with Dr. Kim’s on-site dietician David Kellenberger as we discuss my diet plan.  I hug Pam.  I hug Dr. Kim.  I hug strangers.  I’m a runaway hug machine.  To think back on the anxiety I felt the first time I was there is downright funny to me now.  It was all in my head.

What fills my head now is hope and happiness.  Both for the present… and the future.  First day of vacation, baby.  Gotta love it.

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