Allow me to introduce myself

Weight Loss Surgery Timeline Profile Pic

My name is Jaime, but everyone calls me “Pandora” – it’s a nickname I was given and it stuck. Stick that information in your pocket and do nothing with it. I hate being called Jaime, so if you ever meet me, don’t do that.

When this blog began I was 33 years old; 5’5 weighed just shy of 400 lb. I had been trying to have weight loss surgery for 4 years.

My entire life story was about being overweight. I was the chubby kid in grade school and I was the big girl in high school. Four years after graduating from high school my number on the scale was over 400 lb. I was 22 years old. Misery was my companion. I suffered from chronic depression. I was suicidal.

Obesity was effecting my health.

At the young age of 22 I was already suffering from several co-morbid conditions due to my obesity. I was suffering from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, edema, and was already an insulin dependent diabetic.

I had spent my entire life using my weight as a self-defense mechanism.

Truthfully, I was using obesity to keep people away from me. Suddenly, I met a man I didn’t want to hold at arm’s length. Unfortunately, my weight became an issue in our relationship. I was distraught. In reflection, even though we always have that first heartbreak as a teenager, that’s not the one that hurts, the one that hurts, is the first one when you are irrevocably in love with someone and they can’t love you back.

Knowing that the reason someone can’t love you back is because you suffer from morbid obesity, is a harsh reality to endure. You sit there every day telling yourself “If someone doesn’t love me just because I am overweight, that is their problem, not mine.” But, these internal conversations you have with yourself to make you feel better about the situation don’t help. Deep inside, you still have that voice that says, “I did this to myself. This is my fault. I should be able to lose this weight.” Additionally, whether you want to admit it or not, there is also that helpless question of “If I don’t love myself enough to change this, how can anyone else love me?”

Then, my weight became an issue in my next relationship as well.

I became obsessed with losing the weight. So, I began following the Atkins diet and exercising religiously. At 27 my entire life was focused on losing weight. I was intent on getting the guy this time around. Suffering from obesity wasn’t going to be the reason I didn’t achieve that goal.  After losing nearly 200 lb. and achieving an all time low weight of 225 lb., I got the guy. We got married. Then I had a hysterectomy due to advanced endometriosis and in the aftermath I managed to gain back 125 lb.

At this point I was considering weight loss surgery.  But, my husband had seen me successfully lose the weight on my own. Confident I could do so again, he talked me out of the surgery. His belief was that it was too risky. The chance that I might die on the table wasn’t a chance he was willing to take.

I became the queen of fad diets, yo-yo-weight loss, on and off gym commitments.

Because it was embarrassing to be in the gym with all the “skinny people”, I would go in the wee hours of night when there were only a handful of people there.

I considered bariatric surgery again in 2006 when I got on the scale and saw that I weighed 375 lb. again. But my insurance would not cover it and cash pay wasn’t an option for me. I couldn’t qualify for a loan to pay the $35,000 cash pay price tag on a Gastric Bypass.

In 2009 my Father came to me and told me that he was experiencing concern about my health. Worrying about the fact that he was going to leave world without the security of knowing that I would live a happy and healthy life was causing him distress. This bothered me. I had come to terms with the fact that I was probably going to die before I saw forty. In all honesty, I was ridiculously comfortable with that ending. But, I wasn’t comfortable with the anxiety my elderly father was dealing with as a result.

Wanting to ease my Father’s concerns I made the decision to try to lose the weight again.

Just a few weeks after that phone call with my Father, my insurance company sent me a letter saying they were going to begin covering bariatric surgery. Receiving that letter compelled me to make a big decision. Despite anyone else’s wants or desires, I was going to choose the course of treatment that I was most comfortable with. It was a decision to treat my obesity aggressively. I was going to have weight loss surgery.

I saved up the $10,000 that I would need for my part of the surgery. In the process of doing that, I began researching life after weight loss surgery on the internet. I was searching for answers to questions like. “What will I eat?”, “How much will I exercise?” I was trying to figure out how quickly things would change and what foods would make me sick? There were so many questions. It was exciting and it was scary all at once. There was so much I wanted to know. I wanted someone to walk me through it, talk me through it and guide me.

Not having any luck finding what I was looking for, I decided to create it.

Thus began Desperately Seeking Slender.

The site is an archived diary of the good, bad, pretty and ugly accounts of my weight loss journey. There has been a whole lot of all of those kind of moments. I can promise you that.

Desperately Seeking Slender takes you from the moment I chose to have weight loss surgery and began playing the waiting game with the insurance company in regard to getting the approval [ The Waiting Game June 2010 ] all the way through my experience with reconstructive plastic surgery and starting a new career as a personal trainer. Not to mention the 40-something half marathons I ran in the process.

The mission of hasn’t changed much.

When I began Desperately Seeking Slender the front page of the site said, “I’ll be sharing every part of my journey I possibly can here. I invite you to join me. Comment on my blog posts. Email me. Send me links to your sites. Together we can help each other be successful and ease the pain of defeat in the times we fall short of our dreams.”

Eight years later, my mission with this blog is the exactly the same. To share tools and information and experiences that might help you be successful in your own journey.

You are NOT alone.

That is the one thing I need you to know without a doubt no matter what page of this blog you are reading. You are not alone in the fight against obesity. No matter where you are in your own journey, I am confident that you will find something within the archives of this site that will help ensure that you know that without a doubt. You are not alone.

I have shared some of the ugliest truths I’ve faced in my weight loss journey with openness, honesty and transparency so that you know, you are not alone. I have share some of the biggest success I have had and celebrated them, so that you know that you are not alone, I will celebrate both my successes and your successes with you.

People have asked me why, after all of these years, after successfully losing my weight this site is still called “Desperately Seeking Slender.” Many have suggested that I drop the word “Desperately” because they feel like it somehow diminishes my own accomplishments.

I’ll tell you why I don’t change it.

Because if you are here and you are reading this, the chances are that you are walking in my footsteps. That you are searching for your plan of attack in the fight against obesity. The chances are that you are desperately seeking slender and looking for answers. So long as people like you exist, which I expect will be longer than my own lifetime, this site will always be here for you to try to find the answers that you are searching for or to ask the questions that you can’t find answers to in your pursuit of “Slender”.

This is the story of – my story, shared in hopes that it might help you in the fight against obesity.

I hope you enjoy the blog.

Warm Regards,

Pandora Williams