About fjgallagher

I'm a writer and communications professional who lives and works in Portland, Maine. My writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including ObesityCoverage.com, the Maine Cyclist, The Advocate, and many others. This blog is a personal blog about my experience as a bariatric surgery patient.

A Bariatric Come-To-Jesus Moment In A Motel Room In Bangor …

simpsons bikeI am holed up tonight in a motel room in Bangor, a scant few hours on the back end of BikeMaine 2018.

In one sense, there’s not much to it: a warm shower, a clean bed, and some time alone – all of which I desperately and critically need right now. Continue reading

Frequently Asked Questions About Bariatric Surgery, the Gastric Sleeve, and the Gastric Bypass

Frank Gallagher and Bill Green

Frank Gallagher, Communications Director for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the publisher of BariatricBoy.com, talks with WCSH-TV6’s Bill Green about bariatric surgery and the site.

Yesterday at around 7 a.m, I did a live shot with WCSH’s Bill Green in front of the chow line as all the BikeMaine riders tanked up for the day’s journey, talking about my weight loss, my decision to go with bariatric surgery, and how my bicycle fits into all of that. Continue reading

With this surprising new survey, scientists confirm: fat discrimination is real

fat guy, chair, waiting, nervousThere are a lot of things that change in life after a person has bariatric surgery, and today – 13 months out and 165 pounds down, and weighing in at a normal BMI for quite literally the first time in my life – I’m only now beginning to realize how much of life I missed out on, hauling around all that weight for all those years.

Turns out, one of those things I missed out on might’ve been a job.

Continue reading

Three Surprising Things I Can Do After Bariatric Surgery – And You Can, Too! – Part 2: Parenting

Balancing-Baby-Laughing-with-dadBeing a parent takes a lot of energy because you’ve got to be there, in the fullest sense of the word, for your kids. It’s not exactly a spectator sport. You’ve got to be engaged, full on.

When I was fat, that was hard. Damn near impossible.

At 340 pounds, I didn’t have a lot of energy to begin with, and what I did have was almost entirely consumed by the tremendous effort it took to simply move through the world in a body of that size.

Sure, we’d go out and do things, me and the kids, but more often than not, those outings were to places where they could run around and get their ya-ya’s out – the park, or the beach, maybe – but also someplace where I could sit down while keeping a watchful eye.

The key phrase there is, sit down. Full and active participation on my part was usually not on the agenda.

Continue reading

Three Surprising Things I Can Do After Bariatric Surgery – And You Can, Too!

Run A Mile

When I was in junior high school, which is what the kids know as middle school these days, every year in gym class we had to take something called the President’s Physical Fitness Test. We had to do chin-ups, sit-ups, the 50-yard dash, a shuttle run, and a mile run, all of it measured and meticulously recorded so your results could be posted on the gym wall alongside those of your classmates, where they remained for weeks for everyone else in the school to see.

Thankfully, the President’s Physical Fitness Test – developed in the ‘50s during the Eisenhower administration – is no longer a thing; it was replaced in 2013 with a the President’s Youth Fitness Program, which aims to boost overall fitness instead of dealing out a healthy dose of crippling public shame. 

But this was not the case when I was a kid – and the fat kid, at that. Because I was the fat kid, I was always dead last, or pretty close to it, in every event. I couldn’t do a single chin-up. My 50-yard dash time was pathetic. I don’t remember what it was, but it was not good. Likewise, the shuttle run. I could squeeze out a few sit-ups, but I finished at the bottom of the pile there, too.

The worst by far, though, was the mile run: four laps around the old cinder track out behind the school. I couldn’t do it.  Continue reading

Three Things You Need To Do To Lose Weight With Bariatric Surgery

48053083 - vector illustration of vertical sleeve gastrectomy vsgJust about a year ago, on July 5, 2017, I had bariatric surgery, a vertical sleeve gastrectomy. Last week I had my one-year follow up with the surgeon.

The surgeon was stunned when he saw me. Flipping through my chart, he said I was one of the best – if not the best – outcomes their practice had seen, ever. And they’ve done literally thousands of these procedures.

Here’s why:

Continue reading

My Path to Bariatric Surgery, Annotated For Your Enjoyment! Plus, New Pictures!

It’s been five months since I had gastric sleeve surgery, and things have gone far better than I could have imagined.

No complications.

A pain-free and rapid recovery.

Amazing results.

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