Weight Loss Surgery- It Wasn’t Exactly The Easiest Decision

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Of the various options for weight loss surgery, I chose to undergo the Sleeve Gastrectomy.

I first heard about weight loss surgery after the birth of my oldest son back in 2004. I watched his godmother transform from 400+ pounds to like 180 something over the course of a year and half. She has managed to keep the weight off for well over 18 years now.

 A few years later around 2009, I watched my husband’s mom have gastric bypass surgery, and gained if not all then most of her weight back.

It was not encouraging at all.

It caused me to rethink my feelings towards bariatric surgery because I felt like, it was a waste of time. Why would someone go through all the troubles of dealing with insurance issues, getting the run around from the doctors, getting an approval changing your diet, and all this other stuff just to get a surgery and not do the work it takes to keep the weight off?!

What was the point?

The Struggle

Weight loss for me didn’t become a struggle until after I started birthing children. After every birth the recovery was the same thing. Eat right, workout, breastfeed, lose a few pounds then stall. I did that for all 4 pregnancies, over a 15-year span before deciding to have weight loss surgery.

I lost the most weight after the birth of my 3rd son. I was back to my pre baby weight by the time he turned 10 months old. This birth was a big deal because it was the first time I hit 200 pounds during a pregnancy. I was livid! I used a combination of Zumba, jump rope, treadmill, healthy food options, Slim Fast and breastfeeding. I went through the many trials of fad diets, supplements, workout series, partner workouts, Liquid Lipo and so much more.

I saw multiple doctors over a 10-year span that never could explain my weight issues. It was always “I can’t find anything wrong; you are very healthy.” or “Aside from Anemia, I can’t find anything to explain your inability to lose weight.” or “All your results came back fine, I’m not really sure what could be causing the problem.”

I had my blood analyzed many times. I was tested for various blood disorders. I had all my hormone levels checked thyroid checked, estrogen, testosterone, THC levels, blood counts done, glucose, kidneys, liver everything.

I felt like I hit a wall with my health. I got fed up and was running out of options.

The Seminar

Sometime in 2017, I attended a weight loss seminar where they discussed each surgery, the pros and cons, the benefits, side effects and everything in between.

The gastric sleeve felt like the best option for me because, I was looking for a permanent solution that also provided me with the quickest recovery and least amount of surgical error.

The seminar was very informational. They had a speaker who was over the 400-pound mark, that had gotten the Duodenal Switch Surgery and had these amazing weight loss results. Her surgery was much more complicated than the Gastric Sleeve. It involved cutting the intestines and rearranging organs, which was more than I wanted to sign up for.

At this seminar It was explained to us that…

During VSG surgery about 80% of your stomach is removed. Leaving you the ability to hold about ½ to 1 cup of food during a meal sitting. It causes your appetite to decrease drastically. Which in turn helps you lose weight.

The physicians stated you are supposed to lose about 50-60% of excess body weight over a two-year period, following proper dietary restrictions and instructions given to you by your doctor. You also have to remember to add in at least 20 -30 mins of exercise daily to aide with maximum weight loss.

The sleeve stuck out to me the most because, honestly, it was the most efficient surgery to have that could aide in the weight loss process without taking too much time off work. The sleeve had little to no complications, a quick recover, also fewer restrictions with the sleeve than the other surgical options. Within my hospital system my surgeon had an excellent track record. This was very important for me because, at the end of the day you are still putting your life in someone else’s hands.  The main goal was for my life to remain as normal as possible following weight loss surgery.

My husband and I had previously discussed the surgery in 2011. At the time, the doctors in Miami refused to give me the surgery because my BMI was not high enough and I didn’t have any comorbidities.

Shortly after the discussion, we decided to try for another baby and the weight loss surgery kind of just fell on the back burner.

After the seminar I went home and had a talk with my husband. We did a little more independent research and went over the information that was given out. We outweighed the pros and cons, all the reasons why and the reasons why not. My husband agreed that the sleeve was the better option in his eyes. He backed me with 1000 percent on whatever choice I decided to make.

It wasn’t exactly the easiest decision to make.

Years passed by before I finally made the decision to go through with the weight loss surgery. I just kept saying to myself, “I can get this weight off without surgery.” My body slowly started having more and more issues associated with obesity. So, I decided to make the change.

What Is It About Date Night?

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Date night is suppose to be exciting and full of fun. Thrilling to say the less for those who enjoy adventure.

I have always been a little iffy about going on dates because… well it was always a struggle trying to find something to wear, or doing my hair, or trying to find comfortable shoes.

I would find everything to complain about.

I have been married for almost 20 years so it’s not like my date is unaware of my physical appearance. But, for some reason my comfort levels were never there.

I was always worried about looking wrong or off to other people. My anxiety and worries about my appearance or the thoughts of something going wrong always predetermined my feelings towards date night events.

Covid

Covid 19 threw a real wrench in everything. After the quarantine caused a major shut down over the entire world, we had to figure out when and how to make date night happen.

It was important because I had just had surgery and we were in the midst of repairing our marriage. Surgery had me feeling confused about everything going on with my body.

All of the precautions the doctor gave me for walking, driving, and eating had me stuck. I got use to being a homebody, I mean it’s not like I went out a lot anyway.

This whole Covid era is crazy.

I have had a hard time adjusting to this because I am very picky about Covid and germs especially after working in the hospital. You have to be so cautious these days, everyone is not on the same page about health and safety as you are.

Date Nights 2021

Now that the world has opened back up again, of course the hubbs suggested date nights should resume regularly. I have been trying to avoid date night by all means possible because I’m freaked out by the corona virus. I mean “What Is It about Date Night?”.

The hubbs planned a date day for us. He made sure to check the time so there would not be a lot of people there.

I was in a full blown panic, “What If I catch Covid?”, it was literally all I could think about. The way my anxiety is set up I knew “no” was the only answer coming out.

I had to evaluate myself and my feelings towards the whole Covid thing. I had to remember that this was part of bettering myself, coming out of the box, doing things different and improving my marriage.

Dave & Busters

So, 3 years ago was the last time I played this game called Hot Shot Basketball. The endurance needed for that game is ridiculous especially when you are 270 pounds.

After playing this game I would be totally wiped out. The amount of energy exerted is wild. Winning or losing that game would kick my butt.

Since we were returning to Dave and Buster’s I said why not. It was REMATCH TIME! Now was time to see how well the bariatric surgery has increased my activity stamina.

I had an AMAZING TIME!! I played HOT SHOT amongst many other games and didn’t feel defeated or drained. It’s the small things that make the biggest difference. Watching myself play, interact and be involved with my husband is a wonderful experience.

Since having VSG I have had an increase in my overall health. In my ability to play, laugh, dance and feel great. All pros to having bariatric surgery. Longevity added to my lifespan has been the highlight of this entire process.

I look forward to having more date nights. It felt so refreshing to get out the house…I won’t lie.

Of course I documented my entire night. I have to keep track of everything, every accomplishment, every victory.

He warned me it would be horrible!

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You know how the doctor always gives a list of instructions after surgery, it usually comes with a no no list?!

So he explained that carbonation is not good for the belly after surgery. It causes irritation to the stomach and the gases stress the pouch out.

Even if you try to go for one of the low to no calorie ones. Soda contains a lot of sugar and the sugar content can cause your body to react in negative ways.

This can include things like nausea, diarrhea, and slow healing. (Hint the NO NOs)

I followed this list to the T for the first 4 weeks. On week 5 my husband thought it would be a good idea to have me taste one of those Mango Rita thingies.

First I was like, “Heck no, because it’s going make my stomach hurt”. Then, he started with the…”just a little bit. I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be that bad”.

Why? Why did I let this man talk me into this?

I hadn’t had any sugary drinks in over 3 months. But, I was so not ready for what I was about to endure.

It was the most disgusting thing I had ever had in my life. The amount of sugar and syrup that hit my mouth on the first sip. Ugh It was horrible.

Almost immediately afterwards the bloating, cramps, and gas pains started.

It was soooooo painful. It literally was on of those “I told you so moments” My brain was like SMH

The gas pains were ridiculous.

I knew I should’ve listened to myself and just said no!

I wanted to call the nurse but, I refused to because I felt like I deserved a spanking.

I felt like everything I was going through was exactly what I needed because karma said so.

After about 30mins my stomach was able to settle itself. The nausea calmed down and things returned to normal.

That day was the first and last time I had a soda. It has been almost 2 years and I still refuse to drink any kind of soda or carbonated drink.

The Rita was only a “sparkling beverage”….they all are the same to me.

I knew going into the surgery that I would have to let go of some of the things I use to crave and have on a regular basis.

I use to drink a 32oz Mountain Dew daily. The sugar intake from just that beverage alone was disastrous.

I can’t imagine how things would’ve turned out if I would have continued down that path.

I have learned to take charge of my nutrition and the types of things I put into my body. Yes, I have some days where I may have a bag of chips. I’ll have it then detox after.

It’s never easy going through challenging things. But, how are we suppose to teach others if no one ever makes mistakes.

I use my voice to tell my story. Hoping to encourage anyone that discovers it.

I made a change to better myself so that I may live a long and healthy life. And that’s what I intend to do.

They Were The Reason

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My kids have been such a critical part of this new foundation. They are my strength, my reasons for being, they are the motivation.

When I began having children I didn’t think my weight would ever become a problem. I worked out, I ate right, everything. But, I soon found out that it’s more to having children than just dealing with the physical aspect of growing a baby inside of you. My hormones, stress, lifestyle and mental health along with other things all played a role in my weight journey.

Weight loss didn’t become priority until after my family and I relocated to Orlando.

All of the kids had gotten to an age that required lots of “mommy time”. They wanted to go outside more, they wanted to do more active things and I was never up for the task. Between work, and juggling 4 kids while my husband worked in Miami, things got pretty hectic.

Outside was hot, the playground was far, and I didn’t always want to drive to a park. I felt like it took so much energy from me. I was always so exhausted and I continued to gain weight with no explanation from doctors. Despite me going from a sedentary to an active lifestyle there was no decrease in my weight.

2016

We bought our house and got a backyard. I started off doing pretty good with the new house. We completely gutted the trees in the back… it took weeks. We planted a garden, ripped up and replanted all of the grass and, put a new fence, we kicked ass. My activity levels were crazy high for about a year. That changed nothing!

Here I was thinking that I was going to loose all this weight doing this outdoor work. Yeah….no.

The kids were so thrilled about all the fun things they were going to be able to do. They eventually got a basketball goal, a trampoline, skates, jump ropes , you name it they pretty much had it all. They love the outdoors and that is a trait I know they get from their father.

Anyway, they wanted me to participate in all of their outdoor fun and I hardly ever did. It got to a point where they would be like “Can you come outside and play with us?”, “Can you come jump on the trampoline with us?”, “Can you come ride the bikes with us?” The answer would always be “no” or “go ask your dad”. Eventually It turned into “well, we always ask dad because you never want to come outside with us.” and “we know if we want to watch movies and do chill stuff then we come to you.”

I didn’t want to be that mom. I didn’t want to be boring , not fun, uncool, out of shape. I wanted change. I wanted to prolong my life not waste it away. I wanted to grow with my kids not just watch them from a distance. I didn’t want to grow old and not be able to play with my grandkids. I was ready for something different.

VSG Decision

My children and I share a special bond. The last thing I wanted to think about was life for my children without me. For so many years I was on the rope about having bariatric surgery. I was terrified of the thought of dying on the table. After experiencing multiple health issues with my feet, my back, my uterus, my breathing, my blood pressure etc, I decided to seek help.

When I had my first appointment with my surgeon he asked “Why did I want to have this surgery?” I explained that my health was important to me so that I could be here to experience life with my children. I wanted to eliminate the biggest problem that I saw every time I looked at myself. Which turned out to be my body weight.

2019

I finally threw in the towel and decided I’d get the surgery. It was the only option that provided me the best and healthiest outcome In the end. I was already in a state of depression, and the only way I felt I could truly come out of it was by starting over. I deserved to give myself and my family at least that much. I put all my fears to the side and started my journey.

Stay tuned……

Where My Heart SINGS

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Creative words make for creative experiences. I tell stories, I write poems, I create lyrics. I sing with my heart. When my pen meets the paper….A new world begins. Welcome to My Poetry Corner.

POETRY IS WHEN AN EMOTION HAS FOUND ITS THOUGHT AND THE THOUGHTS HAVE FOUND WORDS

Entry for Today:

JANUARY 6TH, 2019

Another night slowly passing with thoughts of you running through my mind. 

When I think about what my life could've been, where I'd be right now?!?!??? 

You cure my insomnia taking me to a place, a place of piece, serenity, joy, wholeness, purity. 

You calm my soul, ease my spirit 

Your words, your touch, penetrates my existence 

A universal soul snatch To a galaxy beyond your 
deepest satisfactions 

The rarest form of air I've ever breathed

 A passion so raw and uncut 

A shift in the skies and the stars align because when our souls are intertwined 

Time stops, lakes freeze, and showers of bright lights fill the skies

-Yello Diamond

The Woman In The Mirror After Bariatric Surgery

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The main thing I’ve noticed is how much I see myself now. I don’t mean just physically, but emotionally and mentally.

I use to dread walking past a mirror, I hated the image I saw.

It represented so many negative things in my life. Childhood trauma, emotional abuse, mental abuse, lack of self – worth and confidence. Lack of self- love and forgiveness. Self- esteem was almost non existent. My trust in people and society was totally twisted.

I never really understood the value of the words self – love!

I had to relearn to love myself, to value myself. My weight defined me for so many years of my life.

The biggest road block I faced was that image that reflected back at me.

Bariatric surgery helped me to put that image in focus!

instagram.com/iseeyouchachi

You get so use to allowing other people to control how you feel about yourself, about life, about certain situations and the choices you decided to make in reference to your life. You spiral into a whirlwind of depression and then you feel like there is no one there to help you out.

Then life itself rips you to shreds on the backend while you are already fighting so many battles on the front end. Advice from those close to you becomes little to none and unless you are dishing out your entire soul….. no one wants to hear anything. Everybody wants the tea but can’t stand to lend a hand or an ear. Letting people drain you becomes overwhelming until you shut down.

Confidence

Self love

2021

That smile tho’

I would always look at myself in the mirror and wonder if there would ever come a day when happiness existed. If there would ever come a day when I would love looking at the woman looking back at me.

Since having bariatric surgery I’ve learned to love, trust, and rely on me. Especially on the personal aspect of things.

When I talk about the reflection of self I tend to focus on me.

I am able to focus on me because I have an amazing support system between my husband and my children.

They make sure I get time outside, that I’m always laughing, they try to aide in me keeping my stress levels down. They are always constantly there and I love that. It motivates me to become a better human. I preach a lot of self love and self confidence to my children so I can’t not lead by example. This surgery was for me but bigger than me.

Everything has changed for the better and I am in love with it all.

Bariatric surgery is merely a tool. Literally you have to change your thought process, your eating habits, refocus your energy and everything. I understood the assignment and went in with every intention to come out and be different.

For more updates follow me across my social platforms.

Journey of self discovery, empowerment, and inspiration after bariatric surgery

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