“I never believed I was allowed to smile or be happy because no one was ever nice to me.
Around 17 years old, I met Mega Man, who was nine years older than me. He mentally and physically abused me because ‘I’m fat and ugly.’ Who would ever love me?’
I tried everything. Diets, the gym, working out, coaches, nutritionists — heck, I even did the lap band in 2011. It never worked. No matter how hard I tried, for months and months and years and years, I still remained fat. My highest weight ever was 358 pounds.
In 2015, I met my forever. He showed me what it was like to really truly be loved and to really love yourself and know your self-worth is more important anything. I decided it was time for me to love me. I did exactly that and the love of my life found me, thankfully.
I went from 330 some odd pounds up, to my highest at 358. I was uncomfortable. Things hurt. It was hard to walk, let alone move up and down the stairs or carry my children.
In 2017, one night not long after giving birth to my youngest son, something happened that made me scared I was going to lose my life. I went up the stairs and as soon as I hit the top of the stairs, my heart started racing. I started sweating and felt like I just ran a mile. It didn’t stop. The more I walked, it got worse and worse. I sat on the end of the bed, clenching my chest because everything hurt. I told my oldest daughter to please watch the kids and went to the bathroom. I knew, stupidly, I should have called 911 but I called my husband. I told him I loved him and something was wrong.
I called 911 that night. My daughter went down and got my neighbor to watch my kids for me so they didn’t have to see what was going on. Paramedics and EMTs showed up and clocked my heart rate at 240 BPM.
If I would’ve not called or allowed it to continue, I would’ve passed out or maybe gone into cardiac arrest. My heart was fighting just to get back in rhythm.
Prior to this, I was having issues slightly less than what was going on and we could never catch it. We finally found out I had SVT (Supraventricular Tachycardia) due to weight and some cardiac issues that I was born with and are triggered by many common reasons.
After that night, I had four more attacks. I was told they would get worse and I’d wind up passing out on the floor, helpless. I needed to lose weight. It was time.
Every time I had one of these attacks, my mother and father-in-law had to come from an hour away to make sure the kids were watched.
In 2017, I had a Catheter Cauterization in my hip done to fire off any abnormal rhythms and destroy them before they got any worse. We decided to make the decision in 2017 to pack up, sell the house, and move upstate where family was able to help us.
That same year, I started looking into bariatric surgery. I started my journey in September 2018.
I did the diet restrictions to try and lose some weight before my surgery date. I did counseling, I did all the dietitian meetings — everything. When I went back in April, I got my surgery date in May, six days before my birthday to give myself a great birthday present.
May 20 of 2019 was the day my life changed forever. I had gastric bariatric surgery. It was, at the time, the worst decision of my life. I had buyer’s remorse. I wish I never had done this but I kept strong. I told myself it’ll be worth it in the end. I know it will just take faith.
Currently, I am 108 pounds down so far. It has been a very long and stressful road. I no longer have back pain or tachycardia issues. I’ve been running after my kids a lot more and much happier than ever.
I honestly thought for a very long time, just because I was fat, I wasn’t unhealthy and nothing like this would’ve ever happened to me. ‘There’s no way. I’m invincible.’
The thought I would have to leave my kids — never be able to see their beautiful smiles in the morning or possibly never tuck them into bed or tell them a good night story — killed me. I had to make a choice. It was either me or my body. My body was not going to win. I was.
Big is beautiful but when is it too much? When does it become a health concern? When is it a problem? Obesity is on the rise in America. We need to eat to live not live to eat.
If you’re on a journey of your own, know you’re doing great and just keep pushing.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Elizabeth Papili, 31, Wilmington Delaware. Follow her journey on Facebook here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories from Elizabeth here:
‘On the night of our honeymoon, I saw the DARKER side of my husband. My heart was beating out of my chest. He crouched down and whispered in my ear, ‘You… are NOT going to tell me what to do.’: Woman overcomes domestic abuse, meets man she deserves
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