My Bari-Intentional Life

My Bari Intentional Life 

Hi there, I am Sam 

I believe everyone has a valuable story!! I would like to share a glimpse into mine to give you an insight into why bariatric surgery became the right choice for me.  

I was born in Scotland and immigrated to Canada with my family just two months shy of my seventh birthday. My father had accepted a work position here in hopes of building a better life for us. To look at photos of me growing up, every indication would point to the appearance of me being a normal, happy child. However, that was contrary to the truth. My parents separated when I was nine and the knowledge that my dad would no longer reside with us was very unsettling to me.  With my mom being left to raise us on her own, she faced many challenges; one of which, was to bring overnight care into our home, allowing her to start early morning shifts at her workplace. Unbeknownst to her, that would prove to be a detrimental choice. I was taken advantage of. Being a victim of sexual abuse at a young age presented with a poor self image, distorted core beliefs and an insatiable, obsessive desire to be thin. I recall being fascinated by anorexia nervosa and bulimia and began experimenting with binging and purging. I was four years senior to my sister but wearing clothes tinier than she was.   

At the age of fourteen, I lost my father unexpectedly when he, without warning, died in his sleep. I experienced known depression for the first time. I coped by overeating, and also had suicidal thoughts and tendencies as well as my first significant weight gain. I quit high school and became entangled in a domestic violence relationship that led to a pregnancy at the age of nineteen. My first pregnancy was not without complications but my baby girl arrived safely and would prove to be my saving grace. Years later, I gained the courage to flee the relationship to return to school in an attempt to better our lives. Her father and I remained amicable and in touch which allowed the relationship to begin again and the cycle of abuse to continue; until the fateful day that I received a phone call to inform me that he had unexpectedly died. At the young age of twenty seven, he collapsed on the street, and resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful.  Like I had previously done, I left school to focus my attention on my grieving daughter as well as myself.  Shortly thereafter, I would meet a new partner and early days into the relationship would land in an unplanned pregnancy situation once again.  We quickly came around to the idea of becoming parents and our hopes and dreams for this little girl began to grow with each passing day as she did. Those dreams were abruptly shattered when on the day of her birth, three days prior to Christmas, we lost her just four short hours after she was born. Most definitely, without a doubt, one of my life’s utmost defining moments; enough to take me to the depths of despair, indefinable heartbreak and my eventual rock bottom. Through all of life’s ups and downs, my weight has definitely followed suit with the same pattern: up and down, and has been a lifelong struggle for me. My highest recorded weight came after the loss of my daughter, though, at 335lbs. 

I first considered weight loss surgery and was a patient of the Guelph Bariatric Clinic about a decade ago now after my second son was born.  I had been put on bed rest for almost the entire duration of the pregnancy. At that time, it was a requirement to have successive weight loss at each appointment or face being returned back to the beginning of the program.. I consecutively lost for a total loss of 120lbs and therefore, was asked to voluntarily remove myself from the list since my bmi fell back within a normal range.  As luck would have it, in February of 2015, my health took an unexpected turn resulting in surgery which prompted a return of the weight gain and frustrating mobility difficulties. When you are a mom of three, you can imagine how this interferes with quality and enjoyment of life.  It has never been my intention to be a mom living life from the sidelines. It has always been my preference to be engaged in the action. Fast forward to 2018, I tipped the scales at my heaviest weight ever of 341lbs and decided it was time for a change. This is what motivated and inspired me to reconsider the option of surgery.   I felt it was due time to get back in the game and improve my life drastically.  

On June 6th of 2018, I decided to take back control of my health and life by making the decision to go ahead with the Gastric Bypass surgery.  That date will now be referred to as the one that changed my life..for the better; a rebirth, if you will.  It has been a little over 15 months now. Overall, I have been successful in losing just shy of 150lbs thus far and am still going for more. I have taken up many formerly loved activities as well as many new and exciting things.  I enjoy running, swimming, biking and personal training to name a few, but my absolute, most favourite thing is to be able to now experience all aspects of life with enthusiasm, true happiness and the ability to finally live as genuine ME!!. Basically, I am a gal who has lost a whole lot of weight, and gained a whole lot of life..and I haven’t looked back since!! I am excited to have you follow along in my next post sharing more of my journey and what bariatric surgery has been like for me in the first year!  

Yours authentically, 

Sam xo 

Sam Garland

Sam Garland