For Bobbi, being overweight became just a way of life. “I had been overweight for as long as I can remember. It really began in adolescence, where I learned to use food as a form of comfort to deal with life's struggles.
I was never happy in the body I lived in but never seemed to be able to successfully find the right tool to help me achieve my goal of keeping the weight off and leading a healthy lifestyle. I felt as though the weight stifled who I really wanted to be and kept me in a prison of shame.
When I was 20 years old I was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder call Psuedo Tumor Cerebri. My brain reacted as though I had a brain tumor but there was actually no mass. I was losing my eyesight due to extreme pressure in the brain. I suffered through many years of managing this debilitating disorder and eventually underwent eight surgical procedures to have shunts placed that kept the brain fluid drained to a near normal level.
Being overweight contributed to the cycle of medical roller coasters that I lived on. Having the extra weight did not cause my Psuedo Tumor but it also wouldn’t allow me to be completely free from it. When I was facing another surgery in 2005, my neurosurgeon approached me with new medical evidence that if I significantly reduced the pressure in my abdomen, I would have a great shot at keeping my brain pressure down.
After careful thought I agreed to have gastric bypass surgery at Orange Coast Memorial. My life changed completely the day I had the surgery and the pressure on the tumor was relieved. I lost all of my weight in one year and finally had achieved what I never could in the past.”
With Bobbi’s life and health restored, she considered even more opportunities to live her life to the fullest; including the possibility of having a family. “I have always dreamed of being a mom, so with my new life on track, my husband and I decided to start a family. On July 7, 2007, we welcomed a very healthy and happy baby girl, Emma, into our lives. I gained 25 pounds with the pregnancy and have since lost the weight without a problem.”
Bobbi credits her success to a strong support system of family and friends. “I faithfully attend the hospital’s support groups to keep me on track and do my best to stay on the program. There are no easy roads when it comes to regaining control over your life. I have to make decisions every day about how I am going to keep the weight off and choose to live a healthy lifestyle. I am proud to say that I have not had any problems with my brain pressure or eyesight in nearly three years and I no longer struggle with back or knee pain and I no longer fear that I will be judged for what I look like versus the person I am.”