Category Archives: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

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😊

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

Support Is Key With Bariatric Surgery

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Going through something like bariatric surgery really affects you internally. Before going through with it, make sure you have a good team or person behind you. I have a girlfriend who has been through this entire journey with me before and after VSG. We have a lot in common and that’s probably why we’ve been friends for so long.

We have various similarities like our food choices, how we used food to cope with emotions and stress, our thought processes are similar, so it’s nice to have a person besides my husband who understands.

For me it was great to have a person I could vent to about any and everything. She was the one I called when I had a mental breakdown during the liquid phase of my diet.

My doctor and therapist warned me about the mental aspects of the diet but they didn’t really go through how deeply this surgery affects even your thought process once food is taken away from you.

The Breakdown

I had hit rock bottom with the liquid diet and I was so over the protein shakes and the yogurts. I craved salt and savory foods. But I didn’t have enough knowledge on the food recipes to get through every phase. I mean sure they give you a list of foods you can and can not have but no meal ideas to put together. If you don’t research these things prior to surgery then you fall into a whirlwind of repeat food and it’s so aggravating.

I went off on my husband because he couldn’t figure out what I wanted to eat. I know it sounds crazy.

He kept asking me “what did I want to eat?”

I was unsure because I was totally over everything in my refrigerator.

So I made him choose.

He must have gone through 3 or 4 different options. Broth, yogurt, Jell-O, protein shakes, protein yogurt everything was sweet.

Nope, nope, nope, nope…..

I exploded.

Realizing the Issue

I told him “he didn’t care about me”, and that “he wanted me to be hungry”. I blamed him for being in pain. I called him a bad caretaker, I was an emotional wreck. None of it was true but I was reacting off hunger emotions, stress and depression. I couldn’t think straight because I couldn’t satisfy the craving I was having for food.

I felt like he wasn’t doing a good enough job with helping me. Even though he had nothing to do with why I was feeling so angry, confused and hurt.

My girlfriend talked me through why I felt the way I did and I came to realize I was HANGRY. The lack of food choices, mixed with the inability to help myself, and the pressures of dealing with all the stress without packing down donuts or cookies to cope with the changes was killing me.

It was breaking me down because I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. Having her there to go through that situation with me was easier to handle BECAUSE I had someone to talk to. Someone other than the person I had just went off on.

After she and I talked, I realized that I had treated my husband horribly. All he did was try to help me. He was there, he supported me, and took my brutality while I processed my everything. I couldn’t have been more grateful for the time he took to make sure that I was okay.

I didn’t realize how insane I would become just because I couldn’t eat. It’s not like it happened a lot either. But, it was during that time I understood that although food was not my main problem with my overall health it was still a problem nonetheless.

This particular situation with my husband and how I felt about my entire recovery during the liquid phase really kickstarted my mental health evaluation.

If it wasn’t for the two of them I don’t know where I would be mentally with my recovery.

I often hear people talk about how they have gone through the surgery and have difficulty with recovery because they don’t have support or they are surprised at how many people turn their back on you during a time of need like this.

My suggestion, get a therapist. If you don’t have anyone or find yourself struggling especially mentally seek a specialist, find a support group and just vent. Don’t sit in a cloud of confusion and depression because you feel some type of way.

You will never improve if you don’t fix you first.

Sometimes All I Can Do Is Smile

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“Happiness is a choice not a result. Nothing will make you happy unless you choose to be”.


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This journey is one FULL of emotions. It is hard.

It really makes you evaluate yourself, your choices and decisions.

My mental health has been my TOP priority since the beginning of 2020.

Let me tell you it makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE!


The way you see life and everything it stands for improves on levels of every kind.


This smile I wear today is and forever will be my best and biggest personal asset.


LIFE! 🥰😊


Sometimes all I can do is smile. No words needed.


Be encouraged, Stay motivated, Positive Energy Only💪🏽

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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.

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 ⬇

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🥳

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

My Life changed forever on this day

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I had my surgery performed in Orlando, Florida at Orlando Regional Medical Center; part of the Orlando Healthcare System. I can’t say anything but great things about my experience. I was really scared after making the decision to go forward with bariatric surgery. But, I got over it and embraced the change and everything that came along with it.

Doctor T was suggested to me by a girlfriend of mine after her bariatric surgery experience with him. We talked about her surgery over the course of a few months. I asked many questions about her experiences before, during and after surgery. I wanted to make sure I considered everything. She said that he was “very good, especially with bedside manor.” She had mentioned “how she felt very comfortable with him, that he made it easy to talk to and he answered every question.”

he was very good, great beside manor and easy to talk to

I did attend a seminar prior to my new patient appointment as a requirement to understand the types of surgeries that were offered, its risks and the expected outcomes.

After careful consideration I decided to have Doctor Teixeira perform my surgery. I had my new patient appointment a few weeks later. After meeting “Doctor T” for the first time I felt more relaxed more comfortable and at ease. We had a patient interview to discuss why I felt like I needed surgery?, what surgery did I think was the best option for me?, what did I plan to change and do different?, and what lifestyle changes I was going to make to ensure I had a successful surgery and post surgery experience?.

January 29th 2020 – Surgery Day

On the day of surgery, everything was pretty quick and easy. I waited for them to call me back into the preop area which only took about 20mins. The wait in preop took a little longer, about an hour. The preop area is where they helped me get prepared and ready for surgery. They had me change my clothes, switch over to my hospital gown, remove all of my jewelry, they got all my IV’s and fluids started, I received all of my pre surgery meds with the anesthesia crew, and met the fellows and attendings that would be assisting/attending my surgery.

ORMC
2020

ORMC Check-In Surgery Day 2020

Surgery Day 2020 All Prepped

Surgery Day 2020

Shortly after, I said see you later to my husband and I was rolled away to the surgical suite. The trip down that hallway was so cold and so white. LOL everything about that little journey was creepy (I watch a lot of scary/weird/dramatic movies) I’m sure I was freaking myself out more than necessary. I mean it was a critical turning point in my life🤷🏽‍♀️. Once we got into the surgery suite I was given my sleepy meds and off I went into dreamland😴.

The surgery itself was less than an hour long, and the doctor kept my husband updated through and app called EASE. He said it gave him a piece of mind and he really enjoyed being able to communicate with the doctor as the surgery was going. After the surgery was completed I was taken to my recovery suite on the bariatric floor of the hospital.

Dr. T showed up multiple times throughout my 3 day stay at ORMC just to check up on me, see how things were going and to inquire about any questions or concerns that I may have had. We went over my fluid intake and what was expected, my medications, moving and walking around and life after discharge. On day 2 we re-visited my fluid intake because it was hard for me to get any fluid down. Every time I tried to swallow anything, it came right back up. Trying to take my meds was the absolute worse. Apparently, I was experiencing the side effects of Gastritis. My stomach had swollen shut from the trauma of the surgery making it hard for me to get anything down.

Once I tried the broth things begin to get a little better. The swelling started to go down and I was finally able to get some food into my system. I began to walk around and get things moving back to normal. I was given a certain amount of laps I had to complete daily in order to be discharged home. So I tried to get up and get moving as soon as I felt comfortable to stand unassisted. By the time discharge day came around I was able to compete 8+ laps at a time.👏🏽

Room 22 That’s Me 🙋🏽‍♀️

Doctor T was very passionate about making sure I had a great support system at home. He discussed with my husband my care routine including meals, assisted moving, monitoring my meds, my dressings and how to care for them. What was to happen once my husband returned to work and I had to care for myself. He was very thorough. I really appreciated the time he took out to make sure everything was understood. Dr. Jawad also made an appearance, he is the lead surgeon (I think🤔 … pretty sure) at Orlando Health Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery Institute – Downtown Orlando. He stopped by just to make sure everything was going ok for me.

Check-out was a breeze! They didn’t rush us out of the hospital at all. They offered us lunch before we left because it was close to lunchtime, they walked us out of the hospital and everything. The staff was perfect the entire time I stayed at the hospital. I honestly had no complaints about any part of my experience at ORMC.

Doctor T exceeded my expectations as a surgeon. He provided me with a very comfortable and unique experience. His staff was also extremely welcoming and helpful. I love that Orlando Health offers support group meetings, and regular nutrition classes to aide in bariatric weight loss. They have an on call nurse that you can speak with for major concerns like constipation, and dizziness.

“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!💪🏽

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.

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.

🏁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

“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

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