Success Stories

Robyn Collins

I was in my own little world. I was very dependent on my husband for everything. I was just sitting around and sleeping and getting bigger, but not knowing it, because stretch clothes stretch. I still can't believe I let myself go. How did it happen? Where was I? I was living in a bubble. Then I saw some pictures and I couldn't believe that the person I was looking at was me. I was some kind of freak. How could my husband love me? How could anyone love me? I cried all the time. The more I cried the more I ate. I felt so low. I felt I was going to die soon if I didn't do something and that made me eat more. I'm a food addict. Plain and simple, I will never be able to eat normal. I have to make a life style change. That change will start April 30, 2001.

The worst things about being overweight:

  • Not being able to clean yourself
  • Not being able to play on the floor with your only baby girl
  • Not being able to make love to my husband
  • Not being able to fit behind a steering wheel of a car, or sit in a booth
  • Not being able to tie your shoes
  • Not being able to shop because of the pain in your hips and your back. Wondering what the public thinks of you.
  • Not being able to work because no one would hire you (and do you blame them?)
  • Not being able to play softball
  • Not being able to go clothing shopping.
  • Being a captive in your own home because you know it's a safe place to be, and you won't be caught off guard or be embarrassed by someone or something.

My Decision

When I saw Carney Wilson on TV, I was taking in all the information, and storing it in my sub-conscience. Later on when my husband and I were fighting about me not contributing around the house and with our daughter, I told him I physically could not do anything. The next day I sat him down and told him that I wanted to have gastric bypass surgery. He was really surprised that I would go to such an extreme approach. I felt this was my last shot of having a life. I still don't think surgery is extreme. It may only seem extreme to people who don't understand or who are normal eaters.

I was scared to death, but I kept thinking positively. I kept thinking how my life was going to get better, and that's what got me through. I thought what's going to happen if I don't have this operation? I had an uncle who died last year. We were never close, but I cried for days because I could relate to his pain. You see, that could’ve been me in that bed dying. He was only 48 and died of morbid obesity.

My husband was very supportive through the whole process. My mom, who is very active with overeaters anonymous, was very scared of the risks of surgery. She knew that surgery was not a cure, and that mentally, my cravings would still be there. She was concerned that if the cravings were still there, then how was I going to deal with them? I felt the same way. This surgery is a tool we are given to guide use through are weight loss goals. Once I understood that I would have to mentally deal with my cravings even after surgery, my mom became very supportive. Other people didn’t understand, and it hurt! To be honest, my husband, mom, cousin, and best friend were all the positive support I needed. They were there for me and that's what counted most!

Meeting the Surgery Team

I felt like a child every time I was sick or in the hospital. I look up to doctors as authority figures and feel vulnerable when I am around them. I needed a doctor who could be gentle and not make me feel like a child who has done something wrong. I also wanted a doctor that knew what they were doing. I felt that I had both with Dr. Cooney.

I felt that Dr. Cooney understood me. I didn’t feel judged and wasn’t ashamed. His staff was very helpful. I live 2 hours away, and have been going to the support groups that started just a few months before my first appointment. I was willing to follow up on their aftercare no matter how far I had to drive. I saw the nutritionist regularly before surgery and knew I would have to follow up after surgery as well. They were very well informed on what was to follow. I felt comfortable with them. I felt that they addressed the risks very well. As an overall opinion of the teaching hospital, the doctor and nutritionist, I was very impressed. I would rate them very high. The only problem I had was with the psych evaluation. I felt that they weren't educated about food addicts.

Well it is know a little over a year, and I am planning on getting pregnant, I have a GREAT job, a fantastic relationship with my husband and relatives. I feel like the energizer bunny. I still have 60lbs more to lose and am averaging 5 lbs loss a month now, and I am thrilled!

Robyn Collins