That Blog Thing

Life Altering

“How you doin’, Butch?”

My standard reply: “Not bad for a middle-aged fat man!”

Well truth be known, I am not doing that great physically these days.

I am 333 pounds.   Yeah, that is a whole lot.

60 of those pounds have come on in the last two years.  I’m a really fat guy now.

If the term ‘fat’ bothers you, use your own synonym that makes you feel better: Plumpstoutoverweightlargechubby,  portlyflabby, paunchy, potbellied, beer-bellied, meaty, of ample proportions, heavyset, obesecorpulentbig-bonedtubbyroly-polywell upholsteredbeefyporky, blubbery, chunky, or pudgy.

All of them mean the same thing: I got a lot of extra Butch to get rid of.

So, sometime in the next month or so I am going in for a procedure called a sleeve gastrectomy or gastric sleeve surgery.  I did not come to this decision lightly.

Lifelong battle

For most of my life, I have had issues with extra weight.

I believe my weight issues are primarily caused by the following:

  • Genetics
  • Food addiction
  • The way I was raised

Genetics – My mom’s side of the family has the genetics that tend to a large body type and extra pounds, as many of my cousins can attest.  Most of my aunts and uncles were big people.

Food addiction – So, along with my genes not wanting me to be skinny, I also have a food addiction. Food is my drug of choice.  I eat when I am not hungry, when I am stressed or just out of habit.

The way I was raised – My parents loved people with food.  Not kale chips or skinless chicken breasts with steamed broccoli. No, it was good ol’ Southern food. Basically deep-fried and covered with gravy. Served with a potato of some sort. Probably fried in a skillet or creamed with extra butter.  Extra helpings were offered and expected to be taken. And the veggies? Probably green beans or purple hull peas cooked in bacon fat.

When I was about 8 years old, the pounds started coming on.  From the age of 8 until 12, I was a chubby kid.  Then, I started swimming on the Hendrix Aqua Kids swim team and started reversing the trend.  I then got involved with athletics from 7th – 9th grades.  Because of my activity level, I was basically a normal sized young man in those days. I was always moving.  I didn’t drive yet and in our neighborhood we were spaced out pretty good between houses.  To see some of my friends, it was a mile or more to walk or ride a bike.

In high school, I started putting on weight again after I got my license, and went on a starvation diet my senior year and graduated at 175 pounds.  From there it has been a cycle of yo-yo dieting.  Sometimes, I would get down to a good weight, but I could never keep it off.

I tried it all.  Shakes, Weight Watchers, Deal-A-Meal, Atkins, South Beach, starving it off, and a doctor prescribing what was basically speed.  All worked to get the weight off, but none was successful long term.  Weight Watchers was the best of these by far, and my favorite.

So… I am. I am 51-years-old.  I have two boys with special needs that really need me to be around as long as I can be. I have a wonderful wife who has loved me, literally, through thin and thick and thin and back again.  She says she likes having me around and I like being around her.

This is why I am doing this surgery where they remove about 90% of my stomach.  It is not about vanity now like it was when I was younger. It is about being there for my wife and boys. It is about being a better husband who can do things like travel, walk, ride all the rides in Disney World, not be embarrassed at the beach, fit in a restaurant booth.  It is about helping my boys in life for as long as I can.  It is about feeling good again.

In the near future, I will probably be asking for prayers as I get ready to have the surgery. Prayers that all goes well before and after. I would sure appreciate them.



About brenfroe

Butch Renfroe is a professional nerd with over 20-years experience with all things Inter-netty. He knows PHP and is not afraid to use it. He also knows MySQL and what a LAMP stack is. He also knows other techy sounding words like HTML, CSS, FTP and stuff like that. He is married to Debbie and father to Brad and Ryan.
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