Setting the Record Straight: Gastric Bypass Didn’t Fail Me, I Failed Myself



Over the last month, there have been many articles and TV reports about my 300+ pound weight loss.  It was a roller-coaster of a life so far, that’s for sure.  I’ve been morbidly obese all of my adult life up until about 3 years ago.  I was put on skim milk at 6 months old because I was gaining weight at a rapid pace as an infant.  I was overweight in middle school, high school, and my lllllooooonnnnngggg college career.  by 2003, I was 31 years old and 487 pounds.  When I was let go from my Radio Talk Show Host job, I had an interview to go to in Orlando.  The company paid for one ticket and the airline told me I needed to pay for 2 seats because of my enormous size.  I was a size 62 waist and weighed a quarter ton.  I couldn’t afford the ticket, so I lost out on the interview.  This is when I decided to have gastric bypass surgery which was covered by my insurance that I was paying for with cobra.  

The picture above was from a scare I had with leg swelling and I thought I might lose one or both of my legs.  I had gastric bypass from a doctor named Dr. John Alexander.   The surgery was a success.  I had a small stomach and just couldn’t eat very much.  The only problem I had was that I was told that I could still eat whatever I wanted when my stomach was healed.  It was a couple of months of a mostly liquid diet, but I gradually I incorporated regular food back into my diet.  I was even given a card so I could go to restaurants and tell them to please serve me kids meals instead of adult.  In case you’ve never ordered a kids meal, they mostly consist of CRAP FOOD, especially 10 years ago!  Chicken nuggets, pizza, burgers, etc.  My mentality wasn’t that I needed to change WHAT I eat, but how much.  Now I know that was dead wrong.  The problem was, I didn’t change my mentality. I didn’t think of food as something nourishing my body, I thought of it as something that tasted good and fills me up, pure and simple.  That is the mentality of America for the most part.  We are like cattle at a trough and that’s why there are many of us that LOOK like cattle now too!  I lost down to 300 pounds and gained back up to 400 pounds! Gastric bypass surgery didn’t fail, I FAILED!  It was all on me, not the surgery. I believe the surgery temporarily saved my life and my legs, but it didn’t change my way of thinking.

This is how I look at it now, I wasn’t prepared to make a true change.  I didn’t love myself enough to really look at life and food differently. Even with that picture above, I hadn’t hit rock bottom!  I look at it like an alcoholic or a drug addict, when you hit rock bottom, you are either going to make a change, or you die. It’s actually very simple.  You try to convince yourself that’s not true, but it is.  We all die sooner or later, but do you love yourself enough to make a change to enjoy life?  I don’t know one morbidly obese person, alcoholic, or drug addict that  truly loves life.  They will pretend and say I’m blowing wind out of my ass, but it’s true.  November 2009, I came to the realization that I didn’t have control of my life. I hated my job, I hated my body, and I hated the way I was living.  I was on my way home from work on a Saturday morning and I was just yelling and crying trying to just find an answer.  

I’ve known of a guy named Larry North for years here in Dallas.  I was in the radio business and he works with the media quite a bit.  His philosophy is that you need to cut processed foods and eat as fresh as possible!  Not that you can’t occasionally have a cheat meal, but don’t keep processed foods in the house.  I adopted that. Not all at once mind you, but gradually over the next year I would find things I could cut and only buy fresh and frozen unadulterated fruits and vegetables at the store.  Fresh meats were a staple.  Chicken, pork, and beef, all lean filled my refrigerator and freezer.  The only stuff in a box were brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and steel cut oats.  I flavored my own oat meal with fruit and stevia.  I also started walking my dogs 3 times a day.  Just down the block, not far.  I would then walk a little farther every week.  Then I realized my feet didn’t hurt as much and I was able to walk them over a mile after about 6 months!  I bought some kettlebells and worked out at home.  They are like cannon balls with handles and easy to store at home.  I started adding that to my daily routine.  Just 15 minutes with 10 pound kettlebells. I searched on the internet for exercises and just did what I could.  

In 2 years, I went from 400 pounds to 220 pounds, I was stuck on a plateau.  My skin was hanging almost to my knees and I just couldn’t lose any more weight.  I should have been happy, right? WRONG!  I had an abdominoplasty from Dr Patty Young in Plano, TX (A fantastic Plastic Surgeon that I would recommend to ANYONE!). I truly believe that there is always something we can improve about ourselves because NONE of us are perfect, nor will we ever be! I also found Advocare.  I took the 24 Day Challenge and I got past my plateau!  I did have 10 pounds of skin removed and incorporated supplements into my clean eating and lost down to 175 pounds!  I’m actually using the Performance Elite line to add muscle mass now!  Never thought I would try to GAIN weight, but it will be lean muscle NOT fat!  I’m a lean 185 now!

I’m a Certified Personal Trainer and I spend my time giving those hope who have none. It is possible to get your life back.  I know you want it.  No morbidly obese person WANTS to be that way.  You have to be able to change your way of thinking about yourself and know you deserve it!  You deserve to be happy and healthy! You deserve to love life and look forward to getting up in the morning and taking on whatever the day brings.  You have to do it for YOURSELF!  

When you start thinking this way, everything falls into place.  It did for me!  When I became healthy both mentally AND physically, I quit my job, and now do what I know I was meant to do. Hopefully you can use this to improve your own life in some way.  Love yourself, you are worth it!


Brian Beck 



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