Category Archives: Weight loss

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.

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

Thank You!!

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GRatitude and attitude are not challenges ; they are choices

I am so very grateful and thankful for this amazing year that I have had. Last year for my birthday I didn’t know where I would be or how I would feel. It has felt like such a long journey to happy. But, I finally made it and I don’t plan to go back. Lack of #selflove nd #selfcare played a huge part in how I viewed myself and my surroundings. #depression was crazy. My #VSGsurgery saved my life. Best decision I ever made.

Thank You!

All of the texts, emails, phone calls, video calls, group chats etc. The #birthday love was greatly appreciated.!

My journey isn’t for you it’s for me. For those who elect to have weight loss surgery it’s still a challenge. There is no easy way out. #wlssurgery takes a strong individual to make the decision and follow the lifestyle.

I APPLAUD ALL OF MY FELLOW VSG SISTERS AND BROTHERS

-February 21, 2021

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.

Listen to YOUR body folks

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VSG EDUCATION & INSIGHTS

Please listen to your body folks. I don’t know how people manage to re-stretch their stomach after #VSG.

In 1 year I have overindulged twice and the first time was on accident.

1st time: A seafood binge on my birthday, I had just got onto soft foods and I was a little too excited ( almost 3 weeks post op)

2nd Time: Drinking and eating at the same time and over filled my belly (like 2 weeks ago)

When you have Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy you are informed that you should not to eat and drink at the same time (it prevents overwhelming your stomach). You are encouraged to eat slow and take small bites. Thoroughly chew your food until it is basically mush (helps to digest better)

Guys please make it easier for yourself especially during your first year of recovery. This photo displays the usual amount of food I can eat in a setting before I FEEL FULL! I have learned to listen. Right now I am 1 year 2 weeks post op. I eat a lot of small meals throughout the day and I am completely satisfied.

On another note @starbucks hit the nail on the head with these egg bites. OMG they are lite and fluffy, and sooooooooooo good I’m saving the other one for midday snack

“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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VSG and ALL the Pretty Colors

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Sometimes all you need is a little splash of color

One thing I can say about weight loss surgery is that you definitely feel brighter. Because of that you tend to dress brighter….at least that’s how it happened for me. Weight loss has increased my confidence levels so much. I have found a new love for shopping clothes, shoes, accessories any and everything. I’ve always had a thing for shopping but it was mainly therapeutic. Prior to surgery my closet didn’t know what colors or patterns were. If I had any colorful items in my closet before VSG it came from the hubbs.

190 pounds

Last Year before surgery i would have never

Last year before surgery I would have never!

I say that about a lot of things now. Colors usually attract attention so I was never one who wanted to wear colors and bright things. After about 6 months post-op the self confidence skyrocketed. I found myself shopping and buying all kinds of stuff. I begin to test out colors and patterns trying to get out of the boring and plain.

The hubbs actually gifted me a shopping spree for meeting one of my weight loss goals. I walked into a clothing store and walked out with 4 overstuffed bags of clothes. I started collecting shoes and all! I actually get excited nowadays about trying things on. I won’t wear things that don’t have some form of color on them. I feel like my personality on the outside should match my personality and how I feel inside.

Personality

“Behind the Scenes” These 2 are always entertaining All I wanted was a picture. LOL #Momlife

I have already broken my closet shelf and had to have it re enforced. At this rate I’m going to need a new closet system. But that is a problem that I do not mind having. I am enjoying the benefits of weight loss. It’s a whole new level of self care.

The weight of all the new clothes and shoes brought it down!!

“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