That's amazing, Hi565. I probably wasn't in the 160's when I was a freshman in high school.
The surgery creeps me out. One of the biggest spurs for me was going to have my hernia checked and having the surgeon give me pamphlets for their bariatric program. I just hadn't thought of myself as being so fat that people would think I needed surgery to fix it. I thought of myself as "a big guy." I knew I carried a lot of fat, but I figured I was big and strong. But there's just not much difference between a very strong 200-pounder and a very strong 400-pounder where it counts, truth be told.
On the other hand, I have a good friend in one of my shooting groups, great guy, history teacher, works part time in a gun shop and leads a WWII re-enactor's group. But he weighed over 500 lbs. the year before last on a MUCH smaller frame than mine. He was huge and appeared to be approaching total roundness. He had the surgery.
Now he has a lot of loose skin around his midsection that still gives him a pudgy appearance, but he's getting there, and he's a shadow of his former self. His heart numbers are all better, and he doesn't use a C-Pap to breathe at night anymore. His life was literally coming to an end before the surgery.
Yes, maybe he could have done without, but who knows? He knew the risks and he chose to take them. But I don't think I could do it. I don't think I'll have to. I feel like the things I'm doing now, I can do for as long as my health holds out. And once you did it, you could never undo that fact. You could never go back and make it so that you didn't give up and take the easy way out.
That's for people who don't absolutely need it, though. I don't think I absolutely needed it. I needed what Magnuson said in Heft on Wheels: I needed to have my ass kicked.
I swam in the lake with my sons yesterday, and it was fantastic. I can really feel the difference, and it's not just the weight lost. My endurance is way up and I don't have the aerobic death swimming used to give me.