Tag Archives: Bariatric Surgery

My body just won’t let me be great!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

POST SURGERY  

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

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

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

It was entertaining if I must say so myself.

HERE’S MY PROBLEM WITH CLOTHES

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

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

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

Anyway…

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

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

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

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

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

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

A girl likes what she likes😊

The Great Bra Struggles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ll keep you posted.

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

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

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

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

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

SMH…anyway.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outfit Details Below:

Fedora from AMAZON

Accessories from Rainbow Shops

¾ Leather Shirt by JLO  Rainbow Shops

Fleece Lined Leggings Rainbow Shops

Chunky Platform Ankle Boots AMAZON

Hair by Me

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

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Review: The Vortex Bar & Grill (Midtown)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was like “oh lordy, I’m done for”.

Our Menu Selections

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

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

We ordered the MAC ‘N’ CHEESY-CHANGA.

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

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

Pay attention to yourself…

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

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

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

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

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

Where are the bariatric friendly food experiences in Atlanta?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What made me want to create a food segment?

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

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

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

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

Here’s the problem with the eating out thing…

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

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

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

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

I need to remain as normal as possible

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

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

Trial and Error is a must

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

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

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

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

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

Quick and Easy Salmon Sweet Potato

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So remember the sweet potato thing….

I tried my hand to make this copycat recipe of this sweet potato dish we had tried at this restaurant called SPUDZ. The first time I did it we baked the sweet potatoes in the oven and then finished them off by layering them with the rest of the toppings and placing it back in the oven.

The second go round I didn’t want to wait for the potato to cook in the oven, so I decided to do everything via microwave. We steamed the potato in a bowl covered in plastic wrap. While that was cooling we steamed the broccoli and the salmon in the microwave. Layered everything popped it back in the oven to melt the cheese and Voila.

The dish is good either way. The convenience of being able to make this in the microwave makes it even better.

Enjoy the recipe

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

VSG and Fashion stepping out of the box

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You attract the energy that you give off. Spread good vibes. Think positively and enjoy life.

I never thought fashion would be a thing for me. Especially after losing 95 pounds. But all I do is crave new style, new flare, new fabrics, and sex appeal since becoming this new me. This bawdy is giving me life. There is hardly ever a day that goes by when I don’t want to be cute.

Why is this important you ask?

For so many years I hated my body. I hated looking in the mirror, I hated trying on clothes, I hated shopping because nothing ever fit right. Even being a “shapely” big girl, I could never convince myself that I was happy in my skin or with the body I was living in.

Confidence had dropped beyond low. Motherhood had taken over, marriage was shitty, depression was high. Time felt nonexistent sometimes. Days bled into each other one after the other and I slowly started to fade away internally.

Comfortable, uncomplicated, easy. That was my dress style. Most of the time I wore leggings, big t-shirts, with quick and easy shoes, which were normally sandals of some sort. I hated standing out, I hated being the center of any kind of attention. I wanted to remain as invincible as possible.

The lack of attention I gave to myself only changed if my husband mentioned date night or if there was a particular event we had to go to.

I hated all shoes with heels over 4 inches tall. It took too much to wear shoes that required me to focus when I would wear them. For most of my adult life the majority of my clothing, my style, my character was BLAH. Because that’s how I felt.

One of the promises I made to myself when I started this journey was to love myself more, give myself more attention. Focus more on my health both physically and mentally and reenergize my soul.

Honesty and truth play a big part in the recovery aspect of this surgery in all regards and forms. Not just physically. Learning to love myself has been key during this entire process. Once I hit about 6 months post op my confidence levels shot up through the roof.

All of me felt good.

I wanted to try on anything I could put my hands on. All fabrics and types of clothing including multi piece and crop top outfits. I had a pair of boots that were cute but of course flat, well when I tried them with one of the new outfits I hated it. I wanted the shoes to be just as spicy as my outfit, so I ditched those and bought a new pair of boots with a heel. I lasted all day in those shoes and have been obsessed with all things fashion since.

I never really thought about fashion becoming an actual thing for me.

But, I like it.

No. I love It.

Fashion has allowed me to blossom into this woman that I am so proud of. Overflowing with personality, bright, spicy and full of life. I’m learning to allow myself and my environment to reflect my energy.

Take risks, especially with things that require me to love all over myself and take time out for myself.

VSG is a lifestyle. It affects every part of your life especially post op.

I am so glad that I awarded myself the opportunity to live again.

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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Before & After VSG

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A little progress each day adds up to big results.
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270 ➡️ 175
Sleeved: 1/29/20
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Follow my blog to keep up with life before and after VSG.

Link in the bio

#weightlosswednesday#vsgfashion#blackweightloss#blackhealth#vsgcommunity#gastricsleeve#bluehair#fallfashion#bariatricsurgery#bwlw#weightlosssurgery#curvy#transformation#vsgbeforeandafter#beforeandafter

But You Said It Works!?

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It works kinda worked!

Why did I end up getting VSG you ask?

When I tell y’all I tried 90% of the weight loss fads that have been out🤣🤣🤣

I remember back in 2012, when the IT WORKS WRAPS were hot. I had a girlfriend that use to sell them, and I just so happen to be one of her first clients.

The hype was real! She gave this whole spew about how the herbs and contents of the wrap would dissolve the toxins in your belly therefore helping you to lose inches around your waist.

So, the way these worked

1. You had to clean the area where you were going to apply the patch.

2. Then you would unfold this thin sheet covered with this insane amount of cream.

3. Place it on the area you want to “detox” then let it sit for about 45 mins.

Saran wrap was used to keep the wrap in place if you were going to be up and moving around. It held the wraps in place pretty good to me. And it’s cheap to buy so yeah.

There was this one time I had wraps all over my arms and belly. My whole top body looked like a saran wrap mummy.

Now granted it did work, but it was water weight. Literally! The moment I got parched that was it weight back on.

What I did enjoy was the scent of the infused cream it was very relaxing. Green tea and Rosemary are just a few of the ingredients that are in the cream mixture.

However, the wraps got a bit expensive after doing so many sessions. Back then I think the wraps were like $79. I had 6 people living in my house at the time on a student income and I had just had a baby. So it was crazy, and I was not willing to spend unnecessary money for the process the wraps took back then.

If I had only a little detoxing to do I would’ve just kept going until I got to my ideal size but that wasn’t the case.

The wraps took off water and inches, not pounds of weight.

This was just one of the many FADS.

Check in regularly to find out what other FAD weight loss antics I tried.

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

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

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

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

It was not encouraging at all.

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

What was the point?

The Struggle

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

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

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

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

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

The Seminar

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

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

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

At this seminar It was explained to us that…

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

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

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

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

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

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

It wasn’t exactly the easiest decision to make.

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

What Is It About Date Night?

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

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

I would find everything to complain about.

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

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

Covid

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

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

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

This whole Covid era is crazy. ⚠

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

Date Nights 2021

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

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

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

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

Dave & Busters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He warned me it would be horrible!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The gas pains were ridiculous.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They Were The Reason

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

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

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

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

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

2016

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

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

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

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

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

VSG Decision

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

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

2019

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

Stay tuned……

The Woman In The Mirror After Bariatric Surgery

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bariatric surgery helped me to put that image in focus!

instagram.com/iseeyouchachi

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

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

Confidence

Self love

2021

That smile tho’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more updates follow me across my social platforms.

These leggeings make an outfit themselves

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

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

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

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

Safety Restrictions On My Birthday…Boooo!👎🏽

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

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

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

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😁

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.

It’s A Birthday Celebration!

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I promised myself this year would be different.

The only person i need to compare myself to is my yesterday self

90lbs⬇

Last year for my birthday I was recovering from surgery. I was only able to eat soft foods and I was very restricted with movement and everything.
I promised myself this birthday would be one for the records.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEE😁💜😁💜😁💜😁
🎉
Officially 90lbs ⬇️
🎉
#rockstar #birthdaygirl #birthdaybehavior #piscesseason #pisces #birthdayseason #vsgjourney #sleeved #vsglifestyle #weightlossstory #inspiration #motivation #vsgcommunity #extremeweightloss #success #surgery #blogger #transformation #weightlosstransformation #blackgirlmagic #celebration #bariatricsurgery #melanin #weightlossblogger #turnup
https://www.instagram.com/tv/CLkKDJqhA7e/?utm_medium=share_sheet

Here’s to 36 🎉

One year later….I’m a whole snack in these streets😁

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Beautiful are those whose Brokeness gives birth to transformation and wisdom

January 2019 vs February 2020

I remember this day like it was yesterday. These photos were the morning before surgery. We had just parked the car and was getting ready to walk towards the hospital doors when I looked at my husband and I said “alright, take a picture. This is gonna be my last fat girl picture.” 📸

I was smiling on the outside but fear was slowly taking over me internally.

I walked into those doors and did not look back. Standing there to check in was one of the most emotionally filled moments of my life. I felt everything a person could feel in that moment. But, fear was the biggest feeling of them all. I promised myself “If I wake up from this surgery, LIFE WILL BE DIFFERENT! I WILL BE DIFFERENT.”💘

I was so scared about going into the surgical area. I had butterflies throughout my whole body.

One year later….I’m a whole snack in these streets 😜😋🥰

😍My confidence is through the roof

⚡Energy like crazy

🌞Smiles are as real and bright as the sun

😂Laughter happens daily

💄Self love and self care is amazing

🦋Life is freedom

💜I gave myself another chance at life and let me tell you, it was totally worth it. I feel so crazy sometimes thinking about how much of a big deal I made just thinking of VSG but I’m so glad I came to my senses. Best gift I could’ve ever give myself. 💋