Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Dad

People often ask me about having weight loss surgery, and my reason for not having the surgery is that my dad passed away from complications of his weight loss surgery when I was one year old. My dad's name was Thomas Vinson, and he was born on July 31, 1944. He was overweight his entire life, and after getting up to approximately 750lbs, his doctor put him on a strict diet in preparation for an intestinal bypass surgery. When he got down to 475 they performed the surgery, but after seven years he started to have issues. A second surgery was performed to reverse the intestinal bypass and to staple his stomach to reduce its size.

He never recovered from the surgery. An infection developed after the surgery, and nine days later he passed away due to toxic poisoning(Gangrene).

I don't remember my dad because I was so young when he passed away.

Here's some interesting stuff about my dad:
* He was in the Navy
* He loved to cook and was a New Orleans Chef, then moved back to Birmingham to manage concessions at the brand new Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center.
* He was a good-looking, outgoing guy like me :-)

Here are Pics of my dad and a newspaper article about his death (click on image to view larger size): (Do you see the resemblance of my dad and me?)

Grandad left, and my dad on the right.

Mom and Dad

Dad and Me

Dad and Me (Nice butt)

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  1. Wow, that is so sad about your dad. He definitely was a good-looking guy and apparently battled with his weight as so many people do. The great thing is that nowadays we know so much more about what to do, I do not think surgery is the answer. It's really about simply changing your habits.

    For instance the waffles and cream cheese and honey is so carb heavy! That's just gonna make your insullin levels soar...that is a throw back to your old way of eating. So it's a new day, henceforth new ways of looking at food and healthy eating. It's all about retraining yourself. Life is for learning. You are doing great. You are doing what your dad could not. Children should always do better than their's the natural progression of things, so make your dad proud, Stephen!

  2. More fresh fruit in the mornings would be great and a cheap way to add variety. You could make smoothies using fresh fruit, non-fat yogurt, and a teaspoon of honey.

  3. Very touching and personal. Thank you for sharing with us all. Keep doing good!

  4. I went as far as the operating room table to have the lap-band before backing out. I had regretted that decision for a long time. Now I am on a path that will take a little longer, but I think I am really trying to change the underlying factors that caused be to be fat. That is the only way for me.

  5. WOW! Thank you for sharing. You should be really proud of yourself for taking the iniative to fix your weight through healthy eating and exercise. It's a long hard road but don't give up. There are many people out there rooting for you. :)

  6. My father was a huge influence onwho I am today and can't imagine not having him in my life. I think this is a testiment to your mother and your strength as a person. You are an amazing individual that more people then you realize look up to and admire. Keep up the good work!!!

  7. At the first of this year, I had a smidgen over 100 pounds to lose to reach a "normal" weight for my height. I won't say that I never thought of having the surgery, because I saw friends have great (and "easy") success with it. But some are already "eating" their way back up to their former size because they really didn't learn how to change their relationship with food and their bodies. I've shed 40 pounds of my 105 so far this year, and I am confidant that I made the right decision by not having surgery. You always hear the success stories, but no one ever talks about the other, tragic side of weight loss surgery.

    Stephen, I have to tell you, I am a fairly hard-hearted individual, but your post brought tears to my eyes and that doesn't happen often. I can't imagine how different my life would be without either of my parents still here with me. I am so sorry for your loss, but I know you are very motivated to lose the weight and I do see you as a "success story" even right now!!

  8. While advancements have been made in bariatric surgeries and research, I still would rather do it all on my own. Not only because of the risks of surgery but also for the ultimate satisfaction that comes from knowing I did it all on my own with only better food choices, portion control, if I eat out getting a doggy bag, etc. That's nothing against anyone else who decides that's the way to go. I don't have as much weight to lose as others even though my ultimate goal is to lose 250. I can use my legs and walk so that's square one!

    My dad had congestive heart failure AND diabetes and died of a heart attack at home at age 56 back in 98. I wasn't as young as you were, I was 20, but that's still young on both our parts...his age and my age. I plan on making it to at least LEAST!! not most.

    There's something to be said about the culture and possibly the genetics of obesity looking at your family photos. Some might think that those who have obese parents should be so repulsed and racked with embarrassment that they themselves would never become obese so they and their own kids wouldn't feel the same. And yet, here we are.

    Thank you for sharing this with us!

  9. My applause to you for NOT doing the surgery. The surgery is NOT a quick answer. It is very much so life threatening, it's also not a "way of life". Many who go through it suffer great lengths only to gain most of all of their weight back after only a few years.

    I'm not saying it should never be an answer, but I think too many are too quick to think it's a quick, cure all to being fat. It's not, you have to change your lifstyle and be healthy in mind and body both.

    You're doing it right! Keep at it.

    I'm so sorry you never got to experience your father's love the way you should have. He's not the first I've heard of dying after complications. The surgery doesn't seem to be half as dangerous as the "after surgery" issues.

    You keep at it! We can do this together!