Category Archives: Before and After

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

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. 🥰

Let Your Light Shine ✨

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Let Your Light Shine so brightly that others can see their way out of the dark

I want to be the best inspiration I can be to others on the same journey. It’s a challenging road to travel but I’m proof that you can do it.

12 months 3 weeks 3 days post #verticalsleevegastrecomy

270 ➡ 180b ⬇ 90 pounds

I love me some meeeeeeeeee🥳

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.

Lakes, Photos, Beautiful Smiles & Self – Appreciation

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Omg we had not taken professional photos since my daughter Cassidy was a newborn. I was so extremely excited about getting these photos done. This was a combination shoot for family growth, Denim’s 13th and Cassidy’s 5th birthdays.

Back then, most of the time hubbs and I did the shopping. It use to take too long getting 4 kids ready to go to the mall for 30 mins. This time we got to go shopping as a whole. 😁 I greatly enjoyed preparing for this photoshoot.

We were looking too cute in our matching outfits.😍 We hardly ever match unless it’s a family event. We picked out this beautiful park in Jacksonville called The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens. We had a blast, this place was filled with so much greenery. The lakes and bridges throughout the park were gorgeous. There were plenty trees so It gave a very picturesque nature vibe.

The lakes and bridges throughout the park were gorgeous 😍

The kids had such a great time. My photographer was able to catch so many precious moments. I loved loved loved every minute…….

Until we got them back of course. 😑 {key in the dramatic music…bumbumbuuuuuum…did it help with the suspense?? No…ok nevermind….it felt like it went}

Anyway…

Let me start with the fact that I truly loved how the photos came out, they were fabulous and my photographer did her thang! 

Now on a personal note…

We as people are always our own worst critic. When I laid eyes on these photos I think I picked out every negative thing on myself that I could think of. I had a problem with the way I looked in every photo. My face/cheeks, my belly, my butt, my arms, my boobs, my legs EVERYTHING. I hated how I saw myself. Although I knew the pictures were amazing, my viewpoint of myself was horrible.

Since having VSG I have come to appreciate these memories. They remind me everyday to never let myself go to that negative mental space again. Over the course of this journey I have learned to love this skin that I’m in.

So after I got over it 🤦🏽‍♀️ I went on to order an extra large canvas to display my gorgeous family.

No matter what trials I go through I will always remain grateful that I had these moments to experience. These moments helped to create this amazingly beautiful woman I am learning about daily.

If given the opportunity to meet one’s past self, I would hug her and tell her “you got this, It will get better”. The amount of pain hidden behind the smile was crazy.

“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

💪🏽”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.
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This is my journey😊

2019 taught me self love is the best love💜

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In less than 24 hrs🕥 I will be finishing the last chapter in one book. And starting a new beginning in another. I have always had a love hate relationship with this body of mine. 😍😫 2019 taught me self love is the best love. 2019 is the year I decided to start over. Reset….begin a new step forward with nothing but positivity and confidence.

I can point out a million things wrong in every one of these photos but I won’t. This is me saying goodbye to old ways, negative energy and every hurtful thing attached to the person in these photos. I hid a lot of pain behind the smiles but I found new reason to want to do better. New reason to want to smile more, be healthier, and live the best life I possibly can.

I hid a lot of pain behind the smiles…


2020 is my reset and I plan to make it all worth it. This is my first transformation Tuesday of many to come. Hope you enjoy this ride as much as I will

“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.

♠♥Harley quinn Who?♣♦

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🎃Happy Flashback Friday🎃 these takes are always fun. The excitement of “What am I gonna look like now…” always takes over. This shirt was perfect for a quick little costume. Throw some basic facepaint on and voila. Easy Harley Quinn fit.♦️ Realized after my move that we left my mallet. But you get the point😜
🎃

9 Months Post Op

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***Update

October 29th marked 🗓 9 months post-op🔪. The picture to the left is the day before surgery. At this point I had already lost 10lbs. But it didn’t really make a difference. Fast forward now I stand 85lbs lighter📉. 38 total inches lost in the last 6 months📏. That’s a total of 53 3/4 inches gone since surgery. It feels so unreal that I lived in that body for so long. Everyday I wake up feeling achieved, alive, happy and grateful that I chose me. I chose to start over and it was thee absolute best thing I ever did😁
💜

Keto vs VSG who wins the incredible 20 pound battle?

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This 20 pounds down looks very different from the “20 lbs lost” with keto.

Don’t get me wrong now! I was definitely on the keto train and I was very serious. I did have some moments with a few girlfriends of mine at work where we tested out “lazy keto” but we still followed most of the rules. 🤣 And this was back in 2016 .

I wanted to lose weight for this wedding. So I was like “why not give keto a try”. My girlfriends and I came up with a work challenge to stay on track. I completely overhauled my entire kitchen. We were recipe swapping and everything we were on a roll.💪🏽

6 months and 20 lbs later and yeah…..I didn’t really see a huge difference.🤷🏽‍♀️

There was change for sure but my energy levels weren’t so hot. I was completely bored of the food.  And getting into and staying in ketosis was insane. I swear I never drank so many versions of bullet proof coffee.

The second time I tried was recently before surgery in 2019. Myself and another group of girlfriends attempted keto. I think that time I had only lost 10 lbs and 20 bucks on top of it🤣

I have had my share of keto ventures. But, I must say getting VSG has been by far the most worthy journey I’ve embarked on.

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!


“How to Survive 10 Weeks Post VSG Operation🤢 “

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10 weeks Post OP

Couldn’t let friday pass without a flashback!! Happy #flashbackfriday. The past few months have been very trying. There are a lot of days that I forget my stomach is tiny🤏🏽 but my body quickly reminds me🤢. Portion control🍽, no soda🚫, limited sugar🍨, lots and lots of protein🦐🍤🍗🍳with tons of water💧, vitamins everyday💊, 4oz meals🥙…….it’s a process. But when you look back at the progress 📉it is so worth it. I’m not where I want to be yet but I’m getting there😁

I lost focus and regained 5 lbs😭

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These past few weeks have been  crazy.🤯 For the first time since surgery I have gained 😢 I lost focus and regained 5lbs.

For the first time since surgery I have gained

Forgive me for the lack of updates.

Refocusing has been my main goal. I have 3 more pounds to lose to get back on track. These are my weekly lost files from the past few weeks. ***** Although I haven’t posted, I still keep track because ACCOUNTABILITY is a big thing for me.

I want to be transparent throughout my transformation because I know others are going through things as well. It’s hard….but I know what I have to do. This is something I wanted and I will achieve this goal💪🏽!!

#weighinwednesday #weightcheck
#vsg #sleeved #vsgcommunity #wls #weightloss #goals #gastricsleeve #motivated #beforeandafter #bariatricbabe

surgery update: 1 week post VSG operation

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I am exactly 1 week post op. I have a follow up this Tuesday I am 10lbs down, no clue how many inches yet. Although I am still in recovery I am so glad I made this decision. Can’t wait for my first monthly weigh in.


#weightlosswednesday #wcw #weighinwednesday
#vsgbabe #sleeved #vsg #newme #iseeyouchachi #blackwomenlosingweight #vsgbag #vsgsupport #lovinglife #vsgswag #vsgmom #vsgjourney #selflove #postop #postoprecovery #melanatedvsg #bariatricbabe #weightlosstransformation #healthylifestyle #vsgfamily #vsgwife #vsginspiration #bariatricsurgery #wlscommunity #vertcalsleevegastrectomy #bariatric #weightloss

70 POUNDS GONE. What a difference 1 year makes

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1 year difference!!

This photo on the left was July 4th. I swear it still feels like yesterday. This has always been one of my favorite bathing suits and now I love it even more.😍 It always covered everything perfectly and was still cute.

I am in shock every time I do these before and after shots. So grateful I made the decision to change my life.

#vsgbabe #transformationtuesday #lovinglife #vsg #weightloss #bariatricbabes #wow #throwback