Tag Archives: VSG

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

Oh, So You Eat Sweet Potatoes Now?!

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One thing I’ve discovered about myself since having Bariatric Surgery is that I can no longer trust my tongue. Things that I use to love, I now hate. Things I used to hate I now love. My tolerance for certain heat levels of food has changed as well.

I have never been a sweet potato fan. I swear I tried to like it, especially considering all the health benefits that come from sweet potatoes.

I did the baked sweet potato thing, the fried sweet potato thing, the powdered sugar sweet potato thing, the sweet potato pie thing, the restaurant sweet potato thing.

 LOL… I promise I tried multiple ways before I said screw it. 

Early on into my recovery I wasn’t given real recipes from my nutritionist or my doctor. I was given a list of you can and can not haves. This does not help when you are a bariatric patient that’s use to eating whatever kind of food you want. Having a few sample recipes involving food other than protein shakes would have prepared me better.

One thing I can say is that, I wish I would have done more of my own recipe research prior to surgery. I would have compiled a booklet of recipes for every stage of the recovery process. It would have definitely helped kill the boringness of protein shakes, yogurt, and soup that was on repeat 24/7.

The soft foods stage has been my ultimate favorite of all things bariatric recovery.

The food on this stage falls right in between not to heavy and just heavy enough. Given the right ingredients every meal can be protein and fiber packed. Mostly everything included in the recipes for this stage of recovery are highly digestible and easy on the stomach.

Accidental Awesomeness

Let’s talk about this accidental awesomeness that is the SWEET POTATO.

Hubby and I had a lunch date at this place called Spudz. It’s a create your own potato place. The menu is crazy. They have a ton of options for every kind of craving. This time around we went with a sweet potato-based meal.

We purchased the menu item called the Yam’N Steak. This potato consisted of steak, broccoli, roasted corn, smoked gouda, cheese, and fresh scallions. I didn’t know what to expect because I hadn’t had a sweet potato since before I had surgery.

But again, I can not trust my tongue anymore.

I dove in and boy was It good. It was better than I expected because the combination of all the flavors mixed so well. After about 3 forkfuls I had to call it quits though. I was super stuffed.

Usually when I try new things and like them I attempt to copycat the recipe so that I can make whatever the dish is anytime I want.

Since having bariatric surgery, the hubbs and I have been looking for meals that are tasty and healthier for the children as well. I can normally create and make dishes that they don’t mind trying and are affordable to feed the whole family of 6.

A few months after the soft foods stage, once I was approved for regular foods. I started noticing constipation picking back up. After researching and speaking with my bariatric coach I came to realize that I had to start paying more attention to my foods.

Then about a year after surgery, I had to readjust my diet again because I noticed that certain foods were making me feel heavy when I would eat them. I had to slow down on red meats and pork, starches, certain grains, certain dairy foods and more. I use to substitute my meats for steak usually because of the high protein, but it was definitely not agreeing with my stomach anymore.

So when I attempted this copycat for the family I used the steak. When I made the quick recipe for myself I used salmon instead and I did it in the microwave vs the oven.

I can say for sure that it was definitely easier to digest with the salmon. It was filling without making me feel sick. I loved it.

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

I use to HATE taking pictures

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I was doing my little domesticated thing earlier and went to clean the mirror.🤣🤦🏽‍♀️


Boom💥


Photoshoot🥰😛😍

Check how the mom cover up came off🤣
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I use to HATE taking pictures. In 2019 I refused to even look in mirrors.

Now, I can’t walk pass one without stopping to check myself out😂

I love it here! HEALTHY… it’s a fantastic feeling.

I work on this new lifestyle daily. I made promises to myself that I have to keep.💪🏽

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 🎉

Lakes, Photos, Beautiful Smiles & Self – Appreciation

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

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

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

The lakes and bridges throughout the park were gorgeous 😍

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

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

Anyway…

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

Now on a personal note…

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

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

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

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

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

“The Cramps😫, Stomach Pains😣, And Hard Stools…Constipation Sucks!”

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Listen to me….This constipation thang ain’t no joke. My weekend was fantastic minus the stomach problems. And I’ve been drinking my fluids just fine. My constipation was so bad it got to the point where I couldn’t eat, or get comfortable sleeping. I had to call the nurse because it felt like I had rocks in my belly. I hadn’t taken a 💩 in almost a week and all the added protein was not helping the situation.

I hadn’t taken a 💩in almost a week

So this conversation with the nurse ended in an emergency trip to 🎯 Target. She explained that the increased protein diet, the amount of water I drink, and the lack of exercise during recovery were all a good mash up for constipation issues. So she recommended a few items that had worked for her and a few other patients.

  • Magnesium Citrate (this 💩 is the devil) It does get the job done but the cramps 😳 so painful and your stools are liquid. The 🍋 flavored one tastes so tart😖 *Success within a few hours, definitely overnight
  • Milk of Magnesia ( one of my favorites) This works great, no cramps👏🏽 stools are normally soft, easy to pass. The texture is very thick and the flavors are limited. I prefer the cherry🍒 flavor, I had the original in the hospital. They all have like a chalky taste. But it gets the job done *Success within a few hours, definitely overnight
  • Benefiber (good for work and travel) I got these to carry for work. They taste great and they are easy to use. You just pour a single pack into a bottle of water and go. I didn’t feel it was as affective as the other options but it was good to have to keep me taking my fiber. *Success is hit or miss for me
  • Smooth Move (Amazing) Of all the products I have tried, this is my absolute favorite. No cramping, the flavor of the tea is a normal herbal taste. It works just as a regular tea bag does. They box says to steep the tea for 15 minutes….for me I keep it until my tea cools down. I found that it is more effective when you let it sit for a while. It helps to drink fluids right after to help process. Before surgery I would use sugar to sweeten it but you don’t need it. I’ve been drinking it with no sugar since surgery. *Success within a few hours, definitely overnight
  • Miralax It works. I feel like it doesn’t move your stool faster than some of the other options. It’s a powder form so you would need to use it like the Benefiber packets. But for the cost of Miralax I prefer to try some of the cheaper options. *Success within a few hours

All items pictured can be found at your local stores.

Smooth Move

I have gone through trial and error with these items. I have been using these products for over a years time. Of all these products the only ones I keep in my cabinet are the milk of mag and the smooth move tea. I use them regularly like every couple days. If I notice that I haven’t had a bowel movement in about a week I take either product for quick relief. Most of the products mentioned will provide you with relief within a few hours. If you choose to take these at bedtime a morning stool is almost guaranteed. Well at least for me it is.

I use to wonder if this was a forever thing I’ll have to deal with or temporary?? This constipation thing does not stop. I have learned that it just makes sense to keep certain types of laxatives around just to take regularly.

#vsgproblems #constipation #help #postopissues #postop #vsg #vsgcommunity #bariatriccommunity

Can you say dizzy🥴

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Welp! I’m at the ER…..had a crazy dizzy spell this am lasted about an hour. My bariatric nurse instructed me to go into the hospital to get checked out.

I had just finished dropping the kids off to school. I started to drive home and all of a sudden my vision became blurry and my head felt funny. I was only 5 mins from home so I called my husband and talked with him until I pulled into the driveway. I figured it would go away if I laid down but after laying down for about 15 mins it didn’t. Once hubbs got home he took me to the emergency room.

…all of a sudden my vision became blurry and my head felt funny.

Upon check in I discovered that the employee had had a VSG 6 months prior. So of course we spoke about the journey and how much our lives had changed since having our procedures done😊. She did mention that her biggest issue at the time was her fluid intake. She said she understood how difficult it is to drink all the water that is required on a daily basis.

After a few minutes they called us back and finished checking me in. Once I explained my symptoms and told them that I was on recovery from bariatric surgery they quickly ordered blood work🩸 , an EKG📉 and an MRI🧲. Due to the prescription meds that I was taking they had to take certain precautions to ensure I wasn’t experiencing a blood clot or any other surgery related complications. They immediately hooked me up with some fluids and told me to relax.

Dizzy Spell

EKG

Hospital Visit

Some time had passed and they came to get me for the MRI. At this point I was still dizzy but nothing to crazy. As long as I didn’t stand up I was good. I waved bye-bye to the hubbs and off they went.

Rollaway

I’m claustrophobic so this trip down the hall to the MRI machine freaked me out. This machine was closed in as well so it was really creepy. They tried to soften it up with the cool glow in the dark galaxy stickers. But, It wasn’t working😬 The tech was cool about it though, she talked to me the whole time I was in there. It lasted for about an hour. Then they brought me back into my little room.

They tried to soften it up with the cool glow in the dark galaxy stickers. but it wasn’t working…

Once we got my results for the bloodwork they came in and explained that It was dehydration. No clots, blood was fine, scans were good. 😊 They told me to be mindful of my fluid intake and to keep bottles of water with me to sip on throughout the day. I stayed on the fluids for a little longer then they sent me home.

It was a rather interesting experience for me because I don’t usually need to go to the doctors office for anything let alone the hospital. But, since surgery having an on call nurse has been a huge benefit. I don’t ever have to really wonder about anything. I can reach out and get questions answered about food, vitamins, safe exercises, when should I go to the hospital, all kinds of stuff. Not really sure if everyone gets an on call nurse or if that was just a part of my insurance plan. However, it was an amazing perk.


#vsgpostop #vsgissues #vsgorlando #hydration #fluids #ervisit #vsgrecovery

“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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