Category Archives: After Surgery

After surgery bariatric updates on my VSG journey to a healthy lifestyle.

My body just won’t let me be great!

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Prior to surgery I use to tell the Mr. that one of my goals was to lose a whole butt cheek. I measured over 54 inches at one point and my hips spread as wide as 51 inches.

Honestly I can’t even tell you if that was the largest I measured either because there were numerous times over the course of 10 years that I dieted, exercised, or lost weight in some form or fashion. I tried to keep up with the measurements of my journeys over the years.

I have always had a big bottom half even when I was smaller. I got the “thunder thighs” label stamped on me in the 6th grade. I’m use to being thicc but things get heavy after while.

Large body parts cause body pains. I don’t care, I don’t care.

It was hard to sleep, aggravating to stand up for too long, difficult to buy clothes that fit right, impossible to run for any long distance, and super annoying to exercise.

2 years post op and I’m still having big ass struggles. I went to try on jeans today because I figured…it’s been long enough that I should go buy some actual jeans and not leggings. Although leggings have always been my favorites because they conform to any shape of body, easy to put on and take off they are super comfortable and very flexible.

As a curvy girl I have always struggled to find jeans…hell any bottom for that matter. I have a tiny waist, large hips, and a huge ass. I get it naturally… I swear its in the bloodline. Me and clothes have always  had a love hate relationship because of my shape.

POST SURGERY  

It didn’t take any time at all to see the changes in the way my clothes fit post-surgery. Within 6 weeks I needed all new scrubs and uniforms for work. I had dropped about 20 pounds and so many inches, I had already transitioned to flexible bottoms only outside of work because nothing fit. 😂

My original post-surgery body goal was to be in a size 10 jeans at the largest, I wanted to drop down to about 155- 160 pounds and get into a size small shirt. I’ve been in a small/medium shirt since about 9 months post op, and a s/m legging since about 8 months post op.

I’m sure I hit my goal in jeans a while ago, but I just never worked the nerve to go try any on until today.

It was entertaining if I must say so myself.

HERE’S MY PROBLEM WITH CLOTHES

My problem with clothes is that they are a waste of time when you’re on a post bariatric surgery journey. Remember you lose weight so fast and drop so many inches so quickly things will not fit for long periods of time.

I held on to a lot of my old bottoms for at least 13 months after surgery. What sense does it make to buy all new jeans, spend all that money to only wear them 1 time before you need to get a new size. Leggings and Jeggings are easy to replace, and they last a long time because they are usually made of some type of stretch material. They grow and glow with you, I love them.

I think I just threw away my last set of leggings I had from my big girl days. That’s only because they had gotten so loose they literally made no sense to wear. They were baggy all over and did nothing for my shape.

Anyway…

The first go round I put everything back. All the pieces that I tried on were fine on my legs but once I got to my booty good lordy. My ass was like HA…YEAH RIGHT!! The struggle was so real, I was in there dancing, jumping, and trying to wiggle my little self into those pants. It was a real work out.

I finally got on a pair- size 9 stretch denim they fit good, but they were tighter than I usually like for my comfort. I still have a good sized fupa hanging in the front of me as well so I have to take that into consideration when I’m buying clothes. I always get my bottoms a size up to accommodate the loose skin.

The last time I purchased “jeans” they were a 2XL pair of jeggings, this time I purchased size 10’s. I haven’t been in that size since I was pregnant with my first kid. I jumped from a size 7 to a tight 9 in 2 months. I had to get size 10’s and 11’s to be comfortable and this was in back in the day, so we’re talking about 18 years ago (he turns 18 in March).

Even after bariatric surgery certain things won’t change, they may just shrink a little or a lot. For me my booty was one of those things. I lost 8 inches off my ass and it is still huge, one of the good things about it is that I’m soft so it’s easy to maneuver and it sits well.

I was super excited about my size 10 jeggings- I felt very accomplished. I didn’t know what to expect honestly, my goal was to get into a size 10 jeans and I have achieved that goal. I guess my ass still gets me in my feelings sometimes because I get so close to fitting certain things and then boom my ass be like…”THINK AGAIN”.

I still prefer comfort over everything so of course I got a few leggings and yoga pants along with the clothing haul.

A girl likes what she likes😊

The Great Bra Struggles

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Cons of Bariatric Surgery….It’s always something 🤷🏽‍♀️

Just when we thought we were getting rid of one issue, bariatric surgery brought a whole new one. LOL.

I was getting ready to go out on a date and I had to stop and notice the difference in my bras. My breast were massive. When I look at the cup difference I’m just in shock that I carried the weight of those humongous jugs for so long.

I was always a part of the “itty bitty titty committee”.

Pre pregnancy I was able to fill out a C cup but I wore a B cup regularly. I didn’t get larger breasts until pregnancy, after the kids started coming it was a wrap.

Prior to VSG my largest bra cup size was a EEE. Before surgery I was squeezing into a 44 – 46 DDD.

I have always struggled with bras ALWAYS. My breasts were very dense and heavy. Pregnancy made it worse because my breasts would inflate and deflate depending on what was going on at the time. I’ll tell you one thing though… breastfeeding had me looking like a pin up. LOL

The thing about big breasts is that everybody wants them until you actually get them. Because of the weight of my boobs (I’m going to keep using boobs from here on out) I had serious back issues.

I would always be in pain in my lower back. My bra straps would leave deep indentations on my shoulders because the support was never good enough. I wore 2 bras every day for over 2 years just to be comfortable at work. I had major shoulder pain and muscles tightness from the daily life of having large and heavy boobs. It was crazy!

After having my gastric sleeve, I noticed a change in my boobs but it wasn’t a huge change. When I really noticed that my boobs had gone to shit was when I had to stuff a push up bra with socks. One that I had previously overflowed. Read about it HERE . My boobs literally looked like they were caving in. LMAO. I was about 14 months post op.

So of course my first mindset was… its time to get new bras. Then I went to measure and realized I have to account for loose skin. It’s very hard to find bras that give you everything you need on the regular, when you have had a major weight loss surgery.

It causes drastic changes so rapidly, one week you’re one size the next week it’s falling off. The first set of new bras I bought lasted all but 3 weeks before I was on the bra hunt again.

Sports bras are always a life saver but sports bras don’t go with everything. They are perfect for at home and on the go comfort.

I have had to try all types of bras wire, no wire, small cup, large cup, skinny straps, thick straps, printed and patterned bras, maternity, plus size, cheap, expensive, minimizers, t-shirt bras you name it.

Right now I’m bouncing around cup sizes trying to see what fits the best. I’ve been sticking around 34 – 36 DDD. But, I think I need a DD cup…it’s the side boob fat…bruh it’s killing meeeeeeeee. My boobs are more full at the bottom, so I love push ups because well….they push everything UP!

I haven’t owned a push up bra since I was a teenager. But thanks to VSG I have a new reason to buy some. LOL.

I’m currently 2 years post op and I haven’t decided when I want to get plastics done so I have to keep fighting this bra battle until I find a great intimate’s line to hold these girls up.

I’ll keep you posted.

Simple, Sexy, Sleek…VSG Fashion 2 Years Post Op

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VSG Fashion for a night out on the town, Let’s hit the streets…

My favorite part of this outing was getting ready. My outfit was simple but stylish…something I never thought I would be able to do. I had recently changed my hair color, so I was feeling all spicy and stuff.

This was my first time wearing a hat as an accessory on purpose and for good reason. LOL! I was able to purchase my first fedora hat from Amazon and it cost me like 16 bucks.

Tonight started off with me wearing an off-shoulder sweater top by Fashion Nova. I go to put the damn sweater on, and the arm sleeve literally split in half at the seam. Sometimes Fashion Nova clothes be pissing me off because you get like 1 good wear out of some of there pieces, store it, take it back out, then boom your shit is ruined.

SMH…anyway.

I did not have time to sew it back together, so I had to go into my closet. Last year my husband purchased this black leather shirt by J.Lo. I had absolutely no reason to wear it, and I didn’t even know how to style it.  Well tonight that was top choice.

I was so frustrated because I actually take time putting my outfits together now. I get throwed off sometimes when things go wrong with my outfit selection. Especially if I’m in a rush.

I decided to pair the top with a set of my cotton lined fleece leggings I purchased from Rainbow for like $5. I’m usually not a color person but since having VSG all I want to do is express myself through color.

The color of choice tonight was emerald green. It matched my hair, my makeup, and gave a very sleek look.

My ankle booties were also purchased from Amazon…that’s where I have been getting a lot of my shoes lately. There and a shoe store in McDonough , GA called Shoe Show. They have really hot and eccentric styles. I wrote about them in another article “Let’s Ditch the leggings”.

During the fall season here in Georgia, you can need a jacket on any random night. Once the sun goes down you need a jacket with anything you put on to be honest.

My bubble jacket is an oldie but goodie, it never fails me. I don’t even know where I purchased the thing from. It was literally the only bubble jacket I’ve owned. LMAO When I was 95 pounds heavier the jacket was always so snug and fitted. Now it’s super big but I can do that whole wrap around effect thing when people get cold. It keeps me warm for sure.

My favorite part is when I get halfway dressed usually at this point it’s only accessories, makeup touch up and hair. I pull out the camera the moment I say “girl you fine, fine”.  Do a whole 50 pic photo shoot then finish getting dressed. Another photo shoot usually follows right behind “Ok, I’m finished… lets go y’all”. 

My brother usually gets my angles, he’s teaching me how to work the camera and the mirror. I never cared from before because I wasn’t happy with myself, but now I am. I love myself so much and I enjoy every moment of exploring this new me. I photograph and document all things my life.

After it was all said and done my sexy sleek let’s hit the streets was in full effect! And off to The Vortex Bar & Grill for date night. (You can find that story here Orgy for your Tastebuds)

Outfit Details Below:

Fedora from AMAZON

Accessories from Rainbow Shops

¾ Leather Shirt by JLO  Rainbow Shops

Fleece Lined Leggings Rainbow Shops

Chunky Platform Ankle Boots AMAZON

Hair by Me

“An orgy for your tastebuds”…they were not lying!

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Review: The Vortex Bar & Grill (Midtown)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Don’t you hate it when you eat something that’s so good?!

We went to The Vortex Bar & Grill in Midtown. This place has such a great vibe, the atmosphere, the people, and the food omg.

The parking sucks, but it’s downtown so it’s expected. We only walked like 5 mins and my feet weren’t hurting so that was great.

On first sight I was like what kind of crazy ass place did this boy bring us to?!  I see skulls, weird statues and sh!t. Once we got in, they were on a whole vibe.

We were seated rather quickly, the staff was great and quite helpful when it came down to the menu and making selections.

Of course, we started with shots the moment we sat down.

I get really big eyed when somebody mentions shots because if I ingest the right thing I am one and done okay. LMAO! My brother asked the waitress “what drinks are your most popular?”

This waitress said y’all should try the $3 shots of mystery (and get this they don’t tell you what’s in it) My brother was all like “yes we’ll take that” before she even finished explaining this secret shot. Then we ordered a round of cocktails afterwards.

I was like “oh lordy, I’m done for”.

Our Menu Selections

The hubbs had the ATLien it was a coconut rum-based drink. He thought it tasted pretty good. He said it was great if you like your drinks fruity and strong. I usually love my drinks strong and fruity but since surgery ½ shot and I’m good, 2 shots and there goes my memory. My new tolerance never kills the fun, the buzz comes quick and leaves just a quick.

We checked out this menu and EVERYTHING sounded good. I still follow a drink and eat waiting period, I don’t usually order a lot of food if I start with shots or any drinks. I give myself 30 mins in between eating and/or drinking. If I try to eat without giving myself time, I go into these indigestion spells where I burp uncontrollably. It’s super annoying.

We ordered the MAC ‘N’ CHEESY-CHANGA.

Listen to me…..that thang was so good. It is basically a deep-fried burrito stuffed with mac n cheese and pulled pork. It was so soft. (stage 3 soft foods) The flavor was so on point. No flavor overpowered the other, the balance was awesome. The cheese sauce was so rich and blended right into the BBQ sauce. YUM!! I wanted to order another menu item, but I was stuffed ½ way into my second piece.

My brother ended up ordering a burger with an egg on it and a side of fries. They were so good, crispy on the edges and soft in the middle. OMG!

Pay attention to yourself…

I enjoy ordering foods that are not hard to digest. I’ve learned it’s better to play as nice as you can with your new stomach taking into account that you may have to make adjustments when you eat.

I don’t take well to beef anymore. It makes me full super fast and I always feel constipated after I eat beef. I always try to opt out the beef with varieties of turkey, chicken, sea food and certain vegan meats.

I try to go for the highest protein rich meat available.

Everyone may not have to adjust their food. I don’t like feeling sick after I eat and I noticed that only happens when I eat certain things. I have also had to scale back on pastas and rice as well.

5 star rating for everything from atmosphere, to menu options, staff, vibe, décor and more. All in all it was a great experience. We definitely plan to go back again. 

Where are the bariatric friendly food experiences in Atlanta?

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These experiences are everywhere as long as you know how to eat.

I created a whole food segment with the mindset that just because you had or are having bariatric surgery doesn’t mean you still can’t eat good and enjoy yourself with a night on the town. Good grub ain’t never hurt nobody. You just have to take it easy.

I was super excited to get up here and get a real good feel of ATL. I only imagined that life would be just as exciting as in Miami. The first year was a little much because of the whole Covid and quarantining thing. We had not gotten the chance to really experience much of the cuisine, or city life.

I didn’t want to lose the ability to enjoy dining out and living life. One of my goals was to experience as much life as I could after going through this life transformation. To do all the things I wanted to do but couldn’t because of my weight issues.

I have always been a foodie. LOL, with all kinds of food too not just fatty ones and sugary ones, but healthy foods, island food, international foods etc.

I love to eat, I love to cook, I love the camaraderie and memories that come when family and/or friends gather together. I am a mother of 4 picky eaters who love to eat good, so I have to practice my skill inside the kitchen as well as out.

I know that my food journey will be something I have to continue and practice for the rest of my life. I also know that I want to still enjoy that journey. Sometimes I might binge on some ice cream. somedays I might want a vegan burger, other days I might want a protein shake, and sometimes I might want a few fries.

The way I see it is…as long as I pay attention to when my body is full, I will be okay. As long as I stick to my 30 minute wait rule between eating and drinking, I will be okay. I always try to remember not to over indulge.

I was told by my surgeon that my new stomach size was 4 oz at capacity. when I think of how small that is I realize that I can’t over eat even if I wanted to. I would be puking before I hit the restroom.

What made me want to create a food segment?

Moving to Atlanta we knew there would be so much culture, life, and history to experience. I didn’t want to skip a beat. So when my husband decided to start working for Uber, we begin to visit a lot of restaurants across Metro Atlanta. From Locust Grove all the way to Marietta. We were visiting a lot of places. Some of the food smelled heavenly while others smelled horrid. Either way we wanted to try some of these places to see what the hype was about.

We all love getting out and having a good time. My husband and I have no social life…..I’m a covid and germ freak especially since working in the hospital. So, I have made it very difficult to start the process of stepping back onto the social scene. (I’m not gonna lie)

I was able to convince my brother and my husband (mainly myself) to have an outing at least biweekly. We all work insane schedules between work, family, and school; it is crazy difficult to get some actual adulting time in.

But, we’ve started with my brother as the spear header and have been having a great time. My brother has lived in Atlanta for a while now so he’s more aware of the hot spots and lit places. Plus, he created this list of things to do and places to go in Atlanta so we started with that. I really look forward to our outings though. It’s literally the only time I get to get all cute and done up.

Here’s the problem with the eating out thing…

The greatest challenge is my food intake of course. To really enjoy my dining experience, I must go in with the motto “A little goes a long way”. I always order way more than I can eat, but some places have large portions with no smaller choices available. Depending on the restaurant if I can’t make up my mind I order options, which means most of the time we take home leftovers.

Although I don’t drink a lot, going out for drinks is a much easier process. I gained control of the liquor method after my first 2 drinks following recovery. My first drink was around 6 months and then not again until after my 1 year surgeversary. 

I got my VSG surgery the same year we relocated to Georgia. No, it was not the plan but it was just where life took me. I was 6 months post op when we finally moved up.

It wasn’t until recently that we started making time to get out.

I need to remain as normal as possible

One of my biggest worries when I got VSG, was how much my life would change. Especially when it came down to my food and my well-being. Eventually after recovery I wanted to be able to return to eating and experiencing everything I love plus more. I didn’t want to lose anything but fat and bad habits.

Challenges are something I expect to run into for the rest of my life because of my weight loss surgery. That’s not to say that all challenges are bad. I’ve found that challenges no matter the state make me better as a person.

Trial and Error is a must

My trials and errors with food started very early on into my recovery. The dislike for all things sweet and sugary was on super strong. By the time I hit full liquids I was in such a state of despair I felt like the livelihood of my stomach had met its ending. And this was only about 2.5 weeks post op.

About a month post op I got permission to return to normal foods as tolerated. It was the as tolerated part that got me.

I had to learn what my body could tolerate and how much it could tolerate. I had to retrain myself on my body’s physical ways of telling me I’m hungry or full. I had to start PAYING ATTENTION TO MYSELF. I still have days when I eat something that’s so good I’m like “just one more bite!” then my intestines start biting me in the ass literally.

I know I’m not the only girl/person trying to maintain my sanity and navigate life after bariatric surgery. I figured why not review and share all these Atlanta experiences for my fellow bariatric folks.

Don’t limit yourself…..adjust!  Let’s Review Atlanta.

Oh, So You Eat Sweet Potatoes Now?!

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One thing I’ve discovered about myself since having Bariatric Surgery is that I can no longer trust my tongue. Things that I use to love, I now hate. Things I used to hate I now love. My tolerance for certain heat levels of food has changed as well.

I have never been a sweet potato fan. I swear I tried to like it, especially considering all the health benefits that come from sweet potatoes.

I did the baked sweet potato thing, the fried sweet potato thing, the powdered sugar sweet potato thing, the sweet potato pie thing, the restaurant sweet potato thing.

 LOL… I promise I tried multiple ways before I said screw it. 

Early on into my recovery I wasn’t given real recipes from my nutritionist or my doctor. I was given a list of you can and can not haves. This does not help when you are a bariatric patient that’s use to eating whatever kind of food you want. Having a few sample recipes involving food other than protein shakes would have prepared me better.

One thing I can say is that, I wish I would have done more of my own recipe research prior to surgery. I would have compiled a booklet of recipes for every stage of the recovery process. It would have definitely helped kill the boringness of protein shakes, yogurt, and soup that was on repeat 24/7.

The soft foods stage has been my ultimate favorite of all things bariatric recovery.

The food on this stage falls right in between not to heavy and just heavy enough. Given the right ingredients every meal can be protein and fiber packed. Mostly everything included in the recipes for this stage of recovery are highly digestible and easy on the stomach.

Accidental Awesomeness

Let’s talk about this accidental awesomeness that is the SWEET POTATO.

Hubby and I had a lunch date at this place called Spudz. It’s a create your own potato place. The menu is crazy. They have a ton of options for every kind of craving. This time around we went with a sweet potato-based meal.

We purchased the menu item called the Yam’N Steak. This potato consisted of steak, broccoli, roasted corn, smoked gouda, cheese, and fresh scallions. I didn’t know what to expect because I hadn’t had a sweet potato since before I had surgery.

But again, I can not trust my tongue anymore.

I dove in and boy was It good. It was better than I expected because the combination of all the flavors mixed so well. After about 3 forkfuls I had to call it quits though. I was super stuffed.

Usually when I try new things and like them I attempt to copycat the recipe so that I can make whatever the dish is anytime I want.

Since having bariatric surgery, the hubbs and I have been looking for meals that are tasty and healthier for the children as well. I can normally create and make dishes that they don’t mind trying and are affordable to feed the whole family of 6.

A few months after the soft foods stage, once I was approved for regular foods. I started noticing constipation picking back up. After researching and speaking with my bariatric coach I came to realize that I had to start paying more attention to my foods.

Then about a year after surgery, I had to readjust my diet again because I noticed that certain foods were making me feel heavy when I would eat them. I had to slow down on red meats and pork, starches, certain grains, certain dairy foods and more. I use to substitute my meats for steak usually because of the high protein, but it was definitely not agreeing with my stomach anymore.

So when I attempted this copycat for the family I used the steak. When I made the quick recipe for myself I used salmon instead and I did it in the microwave vs the oven.

I can say for sure that it was definitely easier to digest with the salmon. It was filling without making me feel sick. I loved it.

Let’s Ditch the Leggings

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I accidentally put this little number together. We were going to an engagement party and of course I wanted to be cute. It was the start of fall, the weather was nice, why not? So originally we were supposed to wear teal and silver.

I couldn’t find the right outfit to speak to me. I was aiming for a natural sexy fall glam. So I decided to raid my closet and pull out all my fall attire. Wasn’t much because I had just started purchasing new clothes

I was at the height of my wight loss around Fall Season last year. I had just joined onederland and I was all about new things. That same time was when I jumped on the Fashion Nova bandwagon and purchased my first few fall items.

The sweater dress was my favorite piece last season. I bought three different ones.

The first time I wore this sweater I paired it with leggings.

Anyhow, once I got everything laid out, I quickly started to eliminate things. I decided to change the color because I figured the couple would be wearing the theme colors and I didn’t want cause any confusion with the bride to be.

I picked the rust color because of course it’s a top-rated fall color.

Next comes the shoes. I’m going crazy trying figure out what shoe style would fit the occasion best. I needed a shoe that would set the mood of the outfit just right.

I recalled I had purchased these faux snakes’ skin printed boots with my husband. They had been sitting in my closet for about a year. They boots were a great match. I had recently braided my hair and changed the color to blue. The blue in my hair and in the shoes were a perfect match. After paring it with a few gold accessories and handbag, I was ready.

I felt amazing. The outfit was very risky, for me.

Outfit Details:

Don’t Cut Me Off Sweater Fashion Nova

Multicolor Faux Snake Print Thigh High Boots

There is another version of the shoe that I found at

SHEIN

All of my accesories

Rainbow Shops

Round Clutch Handbag

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.

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.

These leggeings make an outfit themselves

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These leggings would’ve made a cute outfit all by themselves. 😂

Don’t worry about that emoji…ya’ll just here for the transformation 😂

Mind ya business, I was in my basketball player zone 😂💀🏀

So crazy I was like 10pounds heavier in the photo on the left at the time I took this photo. 90pounds ⬇

Safety Restrictions On My Birthday…Boooo!👎🏽

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Last year I was on a safety restriction and I couldn’t walk without assistance. I was 3 weeks post op on my birthday last year. I had already dropped 35 pounds from my highest weight. I was in a good place even though I was in pain.

My doctor had prescribed me a blood thinner to take after surgery. So I was instructed to take it easy and go everywhere with someone. I was a fall risk until he cleared me. My husband was my right hand man until he returned to work 2 weeks later. 😥

During this time my kids took shifts with helping me do everything. They would take me on walks around the house, cook my food, and change my socks and blankets. 🥰

Choice, Chance, Change

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The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are. The second greatest is being happy with what you find.

I am constantly learning new things about myself all the time. But I am the best challenge I can ever face. Self Confidence became an issue for me a few years after my first child was born. I’ve learned that it is extremely important to practice self love. We tend to let life get in the way a lot. Learning how to balance everyday life including marriage, being a parent, a business owner etc; it can be stressful.

I have to remind myself regularly to take a picture and appreciate EVERYTHING THAT IS YOU!! I worked hard to get here and I will bask in all of the ambience that is me.

I am so in love with myself🥰😍

All these photos have come from the past 6 months. There is so much that has happened including a death in the family, CoVid hospitalizations in the family, all kinds of things that tend to take a toll on my mental stresses. I try to keep motivated by taking photos and writing although it may take a minute to share. The journey through this transformation will never stop. This was a life altering surgery and I will conquer managing the successes of life and this surgery as long as I can.

Nobody ever talks about the scars⚠😬

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Scar Update

After surgery YOU WILLL HAVE THEM. My procedure was laparoscopic, so I was left with 5 small puncture marks and 1 larger one (the hole they pulled the stomach through). When I came home I had bruising and everything. I had a stitch that did not dissolve so I pulled it out (with approval) and it didn’t hurt. It was preventing my healing process. They have healed up pretty good. No more pain or irritation. I am however looking for a scar cream that will fade the color a little so they are more even with my tone.

I heard Maderma oil works great. I should be giving that a try.

“The Cramps😫, Stomach Pains😣, And Hard Stools…Constipation Sucks!”

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Listen to me….This constipation thang ain’t no joke. My weekend was fantastic minus the stomach problems. And I’ve been drinking my fluids just fine. My constipation was so bad it got to the point where I couldn’t eat, or get comfortable sleeping. I had to call the nurse because it felt like I had rocks in my belly. I hadn’t taken a 💩 in almost a week and all the added protein was not helping the situation.

I hadn’t taken a 💩in almost a week

So this conversation with the nurse ended in an emergency trip to 🎯 Target. She explained that the increased protein diet, the amount of water I drink, and the lack of exercise during recovery were all a good mash up for constipation issues. So she recommended a few items that had worked for her and a few other patients.

  • Magnesium Citrate (this 💩 is the devil) It does get the job done but the cramps 😳 so painful and your stools are liquid. The 🍋 flavored one tastes so tart😖 *Success within a few hours, definitely overnight
  • Milk of Magnesia ( one of my favorites) This works great, no cramps👏🏽 stools are normally soft, easy to pass. The texture is very thick and the flavors are limited. I prefer the cherry🍒 flavor, I had the original in the hospital. They all have like a chalky taste. But it gets the job done *Success within a few hours, definitely overnight
  • Benefiber (good for work and travel) I got these to carry for work. They taste great and they are easy to use. You just pour a single pack into a bottle of water and go. I didn’t feel it was as affective as the other options but it was good to have to keep me taking my fiber. *Success is hit or miss for me
  • Smooth Move (Amazing) Of all the products I have tried, this is my absolute favorite. No cramping, the flavor of the tea is a normal herbal taste. It works just as a regular tea bag does. They box says to steep the tea for 15 minutes….for me I keep it until my tea cools down. I found that it is more effective when you let it sit for a while. It helps to drink fluids right after to help process. Before surgery I would use sugar to sweeten it but you don’t need it. I’ve been drinking it with no sugar since surgery. *Success within a few hours, definitely overnight
  • Miralax It works. I feel like it doesn’t move your stool faster than some of the other options. It’s a powder form so you would need to use it like the Benefiber packets. But for the cost of Miralax I prefer to try some of the cheaper options. *Success within a few hours

All items pictured can be found at your local stores.

Smooth Move

I have gone through trial and error with these items. I have been using these products for over a years time. Of all these products the only ones I keep in my cabinet are the milk of mag and the smooth move tea. I use them regularly like every couple days. If I notice that I haven’t had a bowel movement in about a week I take either product for quick relief. Most of the products mentioned will provide you with relief within a few hours. If you choose to take these at bedtime a morning stool is almost guaranteed. Well at least for me it is.

I use to wonder if this was a forever thing I’ll have to deal with or temporary?? This constipation thing does not stop. I have learned that it just makes sense to keep certain types of laxatives around just to take regularly.

#vsgproblems #constipation #help #postopissues #postop #vsg #vsgcommunity #bariatriccommunity

“Well, Well, Well…..Would You Look At That…..🤣😁”

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MY BELLY DOESN’T FOLD ANYMORE

I can not believe I can actually say those words. And to be honest I didn’t think it was going to be that big of a deal. But who am I kidding?!🤔🤷🏽‍♀️ It’s freaking amazing.

I didn’t give myself enough credit for making the life changing decision that gave me a second chance. So I made a promise to celebrate every victory no matter what🏁. I know what it felt like to be on the negative side of things. And I am over that.

Ok, so when you get over a certain weight your abdomen does this inward fold thing. Normally it’s right where your navel is, it kind of aides in the belly fold. The ending result is this kind of stacking effect (hence the “2 stomach” term) Anyway….

I was sitting talking to the hubbs and I looked down and noticed my stomach wasn’t creasing. I was like “babe grab the camera… take the picture” 😂🤣  He’s looking all puzzled like what’s happening?!🤔 I’m like “just grabbed the camera and tell me when you press record.” I had to make sure it wasn’t an illusion. So I sat up and leaned back, then sat up and leaned back and it was still 1 stomach! 😂 I was over the top excited.

Listen…

I’ve always been held back from some of the many joys of being a woman because of how I felt about my body. Even though I had people by my side and in my corner there are moments that you experience alone!

Those are the moments that crush your confidence, that feeds you lies and poison your mentality. Those are the moments when negativity invades. When you’re scrolling down timelines and you want to be happy for the success of others but can’t help but find flaws and compare everything.

When you’re laying up at night and your mind is going 5k miles and hour because you’re trying to figure out what did you do to deserve this?

You start coming up with things and making s*** up in your head.

Why do I have to be the one living in this body that doesn’t look as appealing to me as I want it to? 🤔

Why can’t I give birth and snatch right back?🤰🏾

I wonder what else they’re doing because there’s no way they lost that much weight in that amount of time and I haven’t lost anything in 2 weeks! 😠🤨

Those moments… that feeling.

It’s hard to feel good, sexy, and confident when you’re 100+ pounds over weight. It’s hard to wake up in the morning all energized and take time out to get all done up, when your feet hurt the moment they touch the ground from the pressure of your body. When your back is in chronic pain because its working in overdrive to hold up all your extra weight. When your lungs feel like they are about to explode because you attempted working out to get healthier.

After living in a depressive state like that for so many years it drains you. You tend to lose sight of excitement, you lose sight of joy, you lose sight of self love, and self care. You lose sight of YOU!

I got so low I gave up on everything. I asked myself “what else could possibly go wrong?” 🤷🏽‍♀️ With the way my life was going “What’s the worst that can happen if I just got the damn surgery?” I reached a point in life where I just said “f*** it”.

Boy am I glad that I did 🥰😁😄

I felt so good in this moment. I felt accomplished, i felt sexy, i felt happy.

I don’t care how small, how ridiculous, how cheesy, how lame. At the end of the day…I made this change for me. Everything I had energy to complain about I will celebrate. Today was one of those days. 😁 I felt so good in this moment. I felt accomplished, I felt sexy, I felt happy. I was so happy I had to share…..

I made a video and everything…..

Who is that girl?!🤔🙃

I had to tell myself that this is a big deal.

IT IS A BIG DEAL. 

Whoohoo 🎉🎉🎉🎉 NO SCALE VICTORY FOR THE WIN🏆

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“Why Are You Pulling Socks Out Of Your Bra MOM?!”

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OMG!! The daily weight loss struggles when you’re trying to be cute.

Even though boobage loss was explained…I didn’t think it would be this serious. 😂 Lately I’ve been experiencing what I like to call the “Cleavage Cave-In”. It’s the only way I can explain what is happening to my boobs. They literally look like they are collapsing inward.🤣 I can’t even tell you what size bra I currently wear. Everytime I go to buy a new one the struggles increase, within a few days time it doesn’t fit anymore and/or the support is gone.

They literally look like they are collapsing inward

I’ve never been a fan of bras but they have always been necessary due to how large my boobs use to be. I am one of those “can’t wait to get off work cause I’m taking my bra off as soon as I pull into the driveway type girls”, one of those “unclip the bra and let gravity take over” type of girls. I can’t really say if my problem with bras is naturally developed or if it’s just an annoyance because my boobs were always so heavy. Either way the struggle is real.

Anywoo…..

So the hubbs and I are in the room getting ready. As i’m trying to decide what look I want to wear for the day, I’m like “damn man I really need to order some new bras because my selection at the house is getting slimmer and slimmer”. Meanwhile the hubbs is like “baby just order them now, why do you keep pushing it off” and I simply replied “because I don’t see the point, I can still make some of the older bras work” 🤦🏽‍♀️ I go over to the mirror to see how much magic needs to be done and boom💥

“THE CLEAVAGE CAVE-IN”

At this point I was like 💭there ain’t no way I can fix this. Then it hit me👊🏽💡…STUFFERSSSSS!! Only thing is I never had to stuff a bra before🤷🏽‍♀️ so I don’t even know where to begin. Instantly I started thinking about what girl movies had I watched that taught me about bra stuffing? Now and Then was the only thing I could remember. I didn’t want to use pudding like Teeny (that could turn out messy😲 although hubbs would probably enojy that one🤔) I definitely didn’t want to tape them down like Roberta (skin too sensitive) So I just went with socks. I have hundreds of them so I started packing and stuffing.

Now, I hope the girls from back in the days who had to stuff their bras used way less pairs of socks then I did. I had 7 pairs of socks stuffed in my bra… ankle socks, footies, crew socks, and fluffy ones. The winter socks pushed up the best by the way just saying!🙋🏽‍♀️

I had 7 pairs of socks stuffed in my bra

Voila! Cleavage Cave filled in 😁. I took a selfie to see if it worked and it did, you can’t even tell can you? It was a very interesting process actually.

But,

There was no way I was walking around with that many socks in my bra. As I started to unstuff, in walks my 17 year old with this question mark wrinkle on his forehead talking about ….”what are you doing? Why are you taking socks out of your bra?”🤔 and then he cracks up laughing. 🤦🏽‍♀️ #Teenagers

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

I was like …”listen don’t judge me, the struggles are real! I gotta make adjustments every now and then.” 😏

I took that bra off and into the donation box it went📦 I prefer comfort over look. I grabbed a minimizer 🤣💀

💪🏽”90+ pounds gone in 13 months. My health is the best its ever been and I feel amazing”💪🏽

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Good Morning beautiful. We hope you have a great day today. See you soon. 💜 mommy and daddy

October 2, 2019 (Mirror Messages)

Here’s to another “I see you chachi” moment!🥂

When I tell you that I am my own goals, I am not lying hunny 🥰. I feel so good when I look in the mirror now. Everytime I see a mirror it turns into a full photo shoot. I took the photo on the left about 2 years ago. This was actually a sexy photo for my husband 🤣 go figure. I personally never really felt “sexy” or whatever and I always ended up looking goofy when I tried. “You are always your sexiest when you don’t try” the Mr. would say.

You are always your sexiest when you don’t try…

In all the time we’ve been together HE (keyword people…..HE) has never made me feel any type of way about my physical appearance. I appreciate him for that because people fall under the false notion that someone has to “give you confidence, when you don’t feel confident yourself”. For many years I secretly blamed him in a way for not making me “feel beautiful”, for not making me “feel sexy”, for not making me “feel confident”. I knew deep down that it wasn’t his fault or his job, but it was very easy to deflect my feelings onto him and then blame him for my sadness about it. I created and caused a lot of drama and crazy arguments because of my own personal issues within.

I wish I could say I felt the same confidence in the photo to the left as I did on the right but we know that’s not truly the case. I had curves for days, booty for days, thighs for days, and I was not at all sloppy. But, there were very few days in which I loved the skin that I was actually living in. I would try to categorize myself to ease the pain of accepting the fact that I didn’t love myself or my body. “Thick” became the new acceptance term. As long as I was considered “Thick” I didn’t view my size as a bad thing 🤨 not that it mattered because 🤔 even though “thick” would come from my mouth… pain, stress, pressure, and body aches would speak very loud internally.

Self confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings

before and after extreme weight loss

you are beautiful, you are worth it…

I will never get tired of saying how happy I am that I choose to get bariatric surgery. The entire process from the decision to have surgery all the way to the surgery anniversary was such an eye opening experience. It has affected every portion of my life. My VSG was my second chance at self love, self care, inner peace, and so much more. I have lost 90+ pounds in 13 months. My health is the best it’s ever been and I feel amazing. Another day in the book!💪🏽

VSG Update

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These before and after photos make me smile! This is the true motivation….I take photos to document because most days I don’t see a difference. But when I put on something that I’ve snapped a photo in and compare the two I am so proud of myself everyday for making the decision to get my VSG.

100+ Pounds Of Extra Body Weight Makes you extremely tired

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First of all….wives check them photo galleries 📸 I didn’t even know this photo existed until 2 weeks ago. I was going through the hubbs gallery looking for old photos and came across this picture🤦🏽‍♀️😬. It was from one of our date nights back in 2019.
.
#flashbackfriday



I remember being so tired and exhausted when he took this photo on the left.
I had just beat him in 3 point shootout 🏀 at D&B, and boy was my body telling me. You normally don’t think things like shooting a ball could make a person so tired. But when you’re carrying almost 100+ lbs of extra body weight it does take its toll on the body; on the lungs, on the heart, on the circulatory system, on the bones, on everything!
.

fast forward to today and I can run laps in heels🤣🤣 I can wrestle with my kids, I can dance, I can jump rope, jump on the trampoline and so much more. Without feeling like I’m dying afterwards.
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Take care of your body folks!! You only get one.
.
This is my journey😊

“SELF LOVE, SELF CARE, ME…. That was enough Motivation.”

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MO.TI.VA.TION

The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

the general desire or willingness of someone to do something


Don’t ever let anyone make you feel any type of way because you chose to accept a tool that helps to change your life.
You get one body and one life!!
Looking at this I feel nothing but accomplishment. I 👏🏼AM👏🏼 SO 👏🏼PROUD 👏🏼OF 👏🏼MYSELF👏🏼.
Shame for what, embarrassed for what. LIFE! That’s what happened. For 10 years I struggled with my weight. Not all my life….but 10 years of it and that was enough.

shame for what?EMBARRASSED for what? Life! that’s what happened

2019 sparked a change in ME that I will never forget. I decided then that I would give into my own self doubts and help myself.
Body aches, daily pain, blood pressure issues, confidence problems, fatigue, stress, depression, the list goes on. These were some of my reasons to get #VSG
SELF LOVE, SELF CARE, ME…. that was motivation enough.
So Cheers 🥂 to all of you who have had the opportunity to have VSG surgery and cheers 🥂 to you all awaiting the date. It is never too late to choose you.


I AM MY FAVORITE PERSON NOW. I AM MY OWN GOALS, I AM MY OWN SUNSHINE. I LOVE ME SOME ME😊 That is motivation enough.

🏁Finally made it to Onederland🏆

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🗣I FINALLY MADE IT! 🎊WHOOO

This has been on of the hardest goals to reach. I actually met it a few weeks ago but I needed to be sure **hence the 2 scales** I FEEL AMAZING🥰! 77lbs down.

Nothing can really set you up in preparation for moments like these. You get to a point in life where you’ve given up on everything and you’ve reached a point so low that you feel like you can’t accomplish anything.

I can recall many times saying to myself “oh well, guess I’ll be fat like this forever”. There is no motivation or inspiration when your mentality is in a negative space.

There is no motivation or inspiration when your mentality is in a negative space.

Sometimes with everything going on in life, I fail to properly acknowledge my success. I tend to overlook my own successes a lot. When in all actuality every goal should be celebrated. No matter how small.

#welcometoonederland #vsg #onderland #goals

VSG 8 months later….77 pounds down

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Update: 270 ➡️ 193

I don’t even know where to begin….here’s the latest update. I am down 77lbs! It’s so crazy because I haven’t seen this weight in about 11 years. It’s been 7 months. I am over the top proud of myself. Learning patience while achieving these goals takes so much discipline.

And I am here for it. I am my own goals!! 💪🏽

#newhair #lovinglife #happy #healthy #vsg #goalsetting #goals

44Lbs ⬇ From My Highest Weight… I’ve Never Felt Better💪🏽

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Happy #transformationthursday CAN👏🏼 YOU 👏🏼SEE👏🏼 IT🥰😊 (yes I’m tooting my own horn) I LOVE LOVE LOVE my progress. I hit my 3 month mark yesterday an boy let me tell you. I AM SO HAPPPYYYYYY!! I am so very proud of myself for sticking through with my decision to get a VSG. Clearly I wasn’t excited about this outfit last year. But I’m feeling better about it now.😊 I am 44lbs down from my highest weight and couldn’t feel better. I am just shy of my first major weight loss goal. Next step Onederland!! 

Next step… onederland!


can you say “i’m Feeling Myself”?! 😘

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November 9, 2020

Like Nicki Minaj & Beyoncé said “I’m feeling myself, I’m feeling myself”🎵 I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time taking pictures of myself📸. For the past 9 years I have hated the camera. I always found a flaw no matter how gorgeous I was. I was always so hard and down on myself😔. My VSG surgery saved me.
This experience  has helped me find myself again.

For the past 9 years i have hated the camera….

I am so totally in love ❤ with the woman I see in the mirror everyday😍. Every single part. My mirror and I have a great relationship now. My #mirrorselfie game is on point🤣.
I finally jumped on the fashion nova wagon. My closet was kind of empty after throwing out almost all of my old clothes. I’ve dropped 3/4 sizes depending on the outfit. I started this journey in a 2x scrub, 1x clothes and big ass bra.🤣🤣 (I’m sorry)(not really). I’m now down to a size S/M in everything. 😊


Moving to GA has given me a reason to get seasonal clothes🍂🧣❄ so I stocked up. I was crazy excited about my first fashion nova haul. I treated myself to a very much needed backyard photoshoot. I got so many compliments on both my outfit and makeup which I did myself😁. So I decided to spread my happiness and my love for life down ya timeline.✌🏽💋
#motivationmonday