Long post and super transparent that is not related to church planting, but my health.
Most of my church family and close friends knew that I would be going in for surgery yesterday (July 11th, 2022) for bariatric surgery, as the surgeon removed approximately ¾ of my stomach. The procedure was done as prevention for my health, you see, I’ve struggled with obesity my entire life. As far back as I can remember, food was something I loved, enjoyed to a fault, and was always a big part of my life. I can remember being really young and on certain weekends I’d go to my Tia Naya’s (RIP) or my Tia Tile’s house and both would always make sure that we ate to the full. Seriously! My Tia Sarita (RIP) would also make sure enough food was always made for 2nds and 3rds. My dad (RIP) during his time being part of a cartel opened up a mariscos restaurant in East L.A. and we ate whatever we wanted, as often as we wanted, as much as we wanted.
Every Friday evening mom and my siblings would go out for dinner or order pizza in to watch TV and weekends were always about having breakfast out at some of our favorite spots. I can’t remember ever having ordered from the Kid’s Menu always adult full menu plates or combos and would even take down what my kid brother and sisters would leave on their plates. Food has always been a big part of my life and I’ve always been obese, weight would come off and then back on, the times I was the fittest and in really good shape were the many years I’d served time both in juvenile and adult correctional facilities and I’m not really tryna go back to jail in order to get in shape.
I’ve been reflecting a lot lately, I’ve hosted funerals for homies I grew up with, heard about homies doing life that are now in prison medical wards dying from poor health and as I’m getting ready to turn 50 years old, I knew I had to do something so that I wouldn’t get diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a host of other sicknesses that accompany obesity. I’ve always had to have hard boundaries to keep me in check, and I can’t think of any other hard boundary in order to keep me from eating more than I should. You see if I can be transparent, I eat when I’m hungry, I eat when I’m bored, I eat when I’m emotional, etc.
It seems like the more I try to work off the weight, ministry is just always full of food potlucks, dinners, and lunch meetings, or coffee meetings that usually include pastries, you following?
For the last 9 months or so I’ve taken educational classes, done full blood panels, heart stress tests, done some psychological tests too, to see if I could qualify as a candidate for this procedure. I found out I had H Pylori, a bacteria in my stomach ,that required medication and retesting before surgery. I also found out my calcium was super low, so I had to take vitamin D and calcium supplements and then retest, I found out I had to stop smoking cigars for a bit and then had to determine which procedure it was I wanted: Gastric sleeve where approximately ¾ of my stomach would be taken out, or the Gastric bypass in which the entire stomach and parts of my intestines would be circumvented.
So, if I’m really about that Jesus life, I had to admit my wrongs, strengths and weaknesses, receive correction and rebuke as needed, that I might better serve my King Jesus and in order to do that for many more years, I felt I had to take drastic measure. I went on a strict lifestyle change for a couple of months and lost about 20 lbs, but then gained it all back and some. I got tired of living like that, my weight has changed my personality to some degree, lost tons of self-confidence, and really changed me many ways. Not bad… but changes none-the-less and I can see the difference, not wanting to dance with my wife at parties, and if I can be super transparent, the weight can affect physical intimacy too.
So yesterday I had the gastric sleeve, and I’ll attach a super short video to demonstrate what happened in my surgery. I write this long post because I know there are many others out there, friends of mine, that struggle as I have too. I’m in pain right now, super sore, and bloated as heck, but I’ve got the best people caring for me, my family. So I know I’ll be ok, but for now, I’m looking to heal well, drop this weight and get back into the gym and running as I used before my knees and back could no longer support the weight. At my heaviest I’ve been at is 325 lbs. I’m hoping to get down to somewhere between 235-250 lbs. but solid. As of today, I weighed in at 308 lbs. Please pray for my continued healing and that I’d rest during this time.