I began struggling with my weight at the age of 19, shortly after my first pregnancy. Over the next 13 years, I would lose weight only to gain it back again. I tried everything to lose the weight and keep it off—fad diets, weight loss groups, prescription weight loss pills. And nothing ever stuck.
Total Weight Loss: 180
Surgery Type: Gastric Bypass
Surgery Date: September 11, 2017
Surgeon: Dr. Michael Blaney
Why I Decided to Have Weight Loss Surgery
At my highest weight of 326 pounds, I had become ashamed of the monster I saw in the mirror. I avoided friends and family. I missed my sister’s wedding because I was embarrassed of how I looked. I didn’t attend my 10-year high school reunion because I didn’t want my peers see me like this. I fell into a period of depression that lead to more weight gain as a result of the medication. I would fall asleep at night wondering if I was going to wake the next day because my weight had seriously impacted my inability to breath.
After several years of letting myself go and not taking care of my health, I realized I could not do this alone. I had tried to lose this weight on my own for 13 years and it had only led to more serious health concerns.
I was scared that if I didn’t act soon, I would not be around for my family.
So, after much contemplation and many internal battles, I decided I needed the help more than ever. And that is when I found Live Healthy MD.
Starting my Journey at Live Healthy MD
I will admit, I fell victim to believing the widespread myth about weight loss surgery—it is the easy way out. But after a lot of research, I came to understand that surgery is not a quick fix. It was the tool I needed for a better quality of life and it takes a lot of continued work, every day, to achieve your goals.
Before I officially began my weight loss journey with Live Healthy MD, my husband and I decided to change our diet, so we gave keto a try. On the keto diet, I lost 50 pounds! Losing this weight propelled me to keep going. So once my insurance change was complete and it kicked in, I moved forward with the steps to get me to surgery.
My Surgery Experience
On September 11, 2017, I changed my life.
After surgery, I felt amazing and was in such a euphoric state.For once in the last 13 years, I could see a bright future for myself.
After surgery, I was not in much pain at all. I got up and walked the hospital halls like my doctor told me to do and I stuck to my post-op diet. I was just so motivated to succeed!
Life After Surgery
I loved everything about my surgery and the results that came with it—I truly enjoyed the journey. Within a year of a half since my surgery, I lost 180 pounds! I felt amazing!
I was very glad I did a lot of research and talked to previous weight loss patients, because I definitely hit some bad periods where the weight loss stalled. But through the research I had done, I knew that this was normal. And regardless of where I was at on my journey, it was amazing to have made those connections with other WLS patients because it allowed me to celebrate in their successes as well as mine.
I knew that after my surgery and after all the weight loss, there was a chance I would have excess skin. And I am not going to lie, I was very nervous of this. The last thing I wanted after losing this weight was to have the excess skin. Now though, I have learned to accept my loose skin, and honestly, I don’t mind it much at all.
I love my new life and am pretty dang happy with myself and where I am at now in my life. I no longer avoid family and friends. I am no longer out of breath all the time and I am not afraid to walk out my front door. My life is mine now.
My Non-Scale Victories
Since my surgery, every day I experience a new non-scale victory. I no longer avoid photos because I am proud of how I look. Now, I can buckle my seat belt and ride roller coasters. I am much more active and will go for hikes.
One of the greatest feelings after having lost this weight is no longer feeling ashamed of myself and the way I look. I enjoy going to work now because I am no longer worried that I
will be judged based on my weight. I don’t live my life ashamed anymore.
And on May 8, 2019, I walked across the stage at Augusta Tech in my cap and gown—in a room full of people! A year and a half ago, I would have been ashamed to stand in front of all those people. But the new me was ready for this celebration of me and my accomplishments! Dr. Blaney gave me my life back.
My Advice to Future Patients
Up until the last few months, my weight loss journey has been great. Recently, the emotional issues I dealt with prior to surgery have come back. I was naïve to think that the weight would cure all my problems which is far from the truth. Old habits do come back. And currently I am struggling with the fact that since I have lost the weight, what do I do now. Do I lose 20 more pounds or do I stay happy with where I am at now?
So, my advice to other patients, and the advice I give myself is to take it one day at a time. I recommend taking photos along your journey to remind yourself how far you have come because it is easy to get caught up in the here and now and forget all the success you have already had.
Even with the small struggles, I am happier today than I have been in the last 15 years. I do not, for one second, regret my decision to ask for help and to have weight loss surgery. If given the chance, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I can’t express how thankful I am to everyone at Live Healthy MD who has helped me get to that surgery date and has guided me the years after surgery as well.