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?
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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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. 🥰
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.
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 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽
Food Info⚠️ . I am almost 13 months post op and I’m still learning things about myself and this new tongue that I have. Okay, so this is typically how my mornings go especially when I’m on the run. I usually grab fruit and yogurt or coffee. This morning I decided to try a Nutri-Grain bar 🤢 . I stopped eating sugary and processed foods back in January 2020 in preparation for surgery. Every now and then I may have a popsicle or something but I’m more into savory things and such. I opened the package and tasted a crumb and gave it to my husband. 🙊 I CAN’T DO IT!
I’m not saying everyone will loose certain cravings and tastes for all things sugary. But for me it’s a no go. I opted for the banana and I was still only able to finish half of that. . Listen to your body folks….. your stomach will remind you later. . #vsgblogger #vsgfood #healthyeats #vsgjourney #vsg #vsglifestyle #breakfast #bariatriclife #gastricsleeve
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.
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…..
IT IS A BIG DEAL.
Whoohoo 🎉🎉🎉🎉 NO SCALE VICTORY FOR THE WIN🏆
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These before and after photos make me smile! This is the true motivation….I take photos to document because most days I don’t see a difference. But when I put on something that I’ve snapped a photo in and compare the two I am so proud of myself everyday for making the decision to get my VSG.
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.
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
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.
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.
These past few weeks have been crazy.🤯 For the first time since surgery I have gained 😢 I lost focus and regained 5lbs.
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💪🏽!!
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.