He was unmotivated, heavier than ever, and close to giving up. He had tried it the old fashioned way – with diet and exercise – and failed. "There was no way in hell I was going to do that again," he said. "I needed something new and I needed accountability."
Sean attended a weight-loss information session at GBMC, met successful patients from the Comprehensive Obesity Management Program (COMP), and was inspired to change his life. "The info session debunked every single myth I'd heard about weight loss surgery. It gave me the confidence to move forward," Sean said.
Now, two years after surgery, confidence is something that Sean is feeling a lot more of. He's in the best shape of his life and living out experiences that are possible only because of how comfortable he feels in his own skin. "When I physically transformed, my goals felt more in reach," he said. "Even just being able to dress in nicer clothes at work made me more confident in the job, which resulted in a promotion. It translates to every aspect of life. I'm not afraid to go after things I used to be shy about."
One of those things is a relationship that makes him feel great. In fact, it was posting about COMP on Instagram that connected him to his partner. "We bonded over our shared weight loss journeys," Sean said. "I would never have thought (before surgery) that I could attract a fit, muscular partner and feel like an equal in the relationship. It feels like I'm living a dream."
In the past, Sean's weekends revolved around pizza and the remote. "I used to spend entire Saturdays catching up on all my shows," he said. "Food was my main joy. I spent time thinking about the next thing I was going to eat – mozzarella sticks, Chinese food, ice cream – and I didn't go to the gym, the beach, or parks, because I just wasn't comfortable and didn't feel like I fit in."
After his transformation took him from waist-size 52 to 32, he started feeling at home in the gym and even tried something new on the weekends: theater. He's currently rehearsing for a local production of Into the Woods. "I can sing, but I never had the confidence to be on stage, due to my size. Roles would have been a lot more limited, and I never thought I was any good."
That kind of thinking is in the past for Sean, as are weekends on the couch. "I barely even have time for TV at all anymore," he said. "I'm out living my life."
Sean says he owes a lot of his newfound self-assuredness to the doctors in the COMP program and the members of the private support group. "I couldn't be this successful without the support of Dr. Bello and Dr. Dovec, who are both so kind and helpful, as well as the friends I've made through the program," he said.
Now, as a veteran of the COMP program, Sean has been surprised to find himself acting as an inspirational role model for others. "People now look up to me. It's radical the impact this has had on my psyche," he said. "I tell people that I don't have wishes anymore and I don't make excuses. If I want it, I can achieve it, and they can too."