Daniel Fluharty, a weight loss surgery patient, describes his experience and life after surgery.
My name is Daniel Fluharty, and I teach both high school and college, and I adore teaching.
Growing up I was always fat so—no matter what—I was fat in my head. I was never good enough. If someone were laughing [I assumed] they were laughing at me because of my weight. Even though it had nothing to do with me—they could be telling a joke to a friend—I saw it as me. As a teacher, if kids were talking, they were talking about me.
My highest weight was approximately 342 pounds. One of the health issues that I really had to deal with was high blood pressure and some of the medication caused weight gain. I was also pre-diabetic. My family has a very strong history of diabetes and I was close to a heart attack or stroke.
I have used weight watchers. I’ve done lean cuisine meals. I’ve been a member of TOPS—Taking Off Pounds Sensibly. When I realized that I needed to do something for myself—I just couldn’t deal with dieting—I thought maybe I should look into gastric bypass.
Right now, my weight is approximately 200 pounds. The moment the surgeon who did the surgery said to me, ‘Dan you are at the healthiest you have ever been, you are at the weight your body should be at for your age and your height’— that was it.
There’s such a major change. I’m more confident than I was. There are things I’ll do now that I wouldn’t have done before. I have gone cave tubing. I have rock climbed. I’m going to go hot air ballooning. I’ve got a sky diving opportunity. I am as far from being diabetic as you can get. I haven’t had a real headache in seven years.
I am a firm supporter in gastric bypass. If I could have, I would have done it years ago. I recommend it, but I’m not going to say I encourage it, because you need to find out first if diets work. But if you feel that you’re ready for it, go talk to the physician. See what you need to do to be eligible and then go for it.