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"Hi, I'm Jabbers!"

Let me explain a little about my life so anyone reading will know how I've gotten where I am today. My name is Julie, I am a 31 year old single mom of a beautiful 9 year old named Alexis. I am 5'4", and weighed in on April 15, 1997 at 210 lbs. This was the first day I found Gail's Weight Loss Page while surfing the internet. This is where my journey begins.

On March 10,1996 I weighed my heaviest ever at 220 lbs. It was my 27th birthday, but I didn't want to celebrate because of my weight. I went to a Bariatric clinic and they introduced me to the weight loss medications called phen/fen. The medications weren't as well advertised as they later became...I had never heard of it before. They had a very strict program: 500 calories a day/ drink 4 quarts of water daily/ potassium & vitamin supplements/ Daily Food Diary/ Weekly Group Meetings/ and the medication. When it was first presented to me, I almost laughed when they said I'd be on 500 calories. I could down 500 calories in a candy bar and coke, and barely even taste it!! Having nothing else to lose (except the excess weight), I decided to give it a try. To my surprise, *IT ACTUALLY WORKED* Some nights I had to "force" myself to eat a handful of carrots just to reach the 500 calories, but I wasn't even hungry for it! For the first time in my life food was no longer an obsession. I didn't crave sweets, in fact the thought of anything fatty or sweet left a bad taste in my mouth, so to speak. The weight fell off so fast...25 lbs the first month, 20 lbs the second month.

Within 6 months I weighed 136. My goal was to get to 120-125...but even at 136 everyone said I looked great and didn't need to lose anymore. I can't even explain what it felt like to put on a size 7 pair of jeans and have it feel LOOSE! I cut and colored my hair, and especially enjoyed going places I knew I'd run into someone from my past, just to see the shock on their face when they didn't recognize me.

The new skinny Jabbers was short-lived, however. In October '96 I fell at work; twisting my right knee. I could hardly walk, spent 4 weeks in physical therapy, but no improvement. Right before Thanksgiving the doctor said he'd have to do surgery. I guess the pain, the depression of not being able to keep up with my exercise program, and the holidays all combined to totally blow my entire program. My body was only used to 500 calories a day and at least an hour a day of cardiovascular exercise. My metabolism was so whacked out and I laid around the house using food to comfort myself from the pain I felt in my knee. December came and went, and still my knee wasn't healed despite surgery the month before. The day after Christmas I moved from Texas to Southern California, and spent January and February having one big pity party because I was still hurting and homesick for my friends and family.

I spent all of 1997 ballooning up and up and up. To read more about how this happened, check out my 1997 Year-In-Review section. It wasn't until May 1998 that I finally got the kick in the butt that I needed to stop the upward spiral I've been in the last 18 months. Its been a long up and downhill journey the past two years, but I'm ready to end this horrible cycle forever. My highest weight of all time was 300 lbs hit in Sept 99. In three years I gained 170 lbs. My goal weight is 130 lbs which means I'll need to lose more than half of my current weight. I made the decision to have weight loss surgery, if you read all the different diets and programs that I tried over the last four years, maybe you'll understand that this is just my last hope. My surgery was November 1, 1999. As of February 1, 2001, just 15 months after my surgery, I have lost 110 lbs. Every day I thank God for guiding my surgeon during my surgery. This has literally saved my life. With Gail's Weight Loss Group, prayer, determination, and just a little bit of luck, I will reach my destination.

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