Before After Duodenal Switch DS with Holly

Before & After Duodenal Switch (DS) with Holly, losing 220 pounds!

June 15, 2017

Why I decided to have WLS

I was never considered skinny and as a young child was constantly teased about my ample booty (this was well before Jennifer Lopez made that a good thing lol), thick legs, and all-around curvy figure. Thin was in and I was anything but! I seriously started putting on weight at age 14 when my mother died in 1989 of a drug overdose. It was at this point that I learned to ‘eat’ my feelings away and food became my automatic coping mechanism.

My life was certainly full of other ups and downs and with each obstacle or tragedy, my weight continued to escalate until I was age 40 and nearly 500 pounds (480).  I experienced that common roller coaster of overweight people where you try a million different diets only to lose a little and gain it all back plus some – over and over again.

In 2016, it all hit me like a ton of bricks. My asthma was out of control and I had sleep apnea and high blood pressure. I realized I was the age my mother was when she took her life. I was about to have sleep apnea surgery (removal of tonsils and so forth) and I hit a major low point where I honestly thought perhaps my husband and dear child might be better off without me.

My life was such misery as I struggled even to walk 10 feet. You truly can’t imagine how horrible life can be when you have completely let yourself go like that and then feel like all hope is lost and you don’t know how to find your way back.  I knew it was completely my own doing but try as I might, I couldn’t dig myself out of this great hole.

My sleep apnea surgery went very well and I was less fearful of surgery and learned of a friend who had undergone the duodenal switch surgery with great success.  I had contemplated weight loss surgery on multiple occasions and had gone to some seminars on it but had always opted out due to fear of surgery and recovery thereof.

I’m so glad I changed my mind! My life changed completely in ways I could not even imagine.

Before & After Duodenal Switch (DS) with Holly

Total Weight Loss:  230 pounds
Surgery Type:  Duodenal Switch (DS)
Surgery Date:  8/10/15
SurgeonRodrick D. McKinlay, MD

My Surgery and Post-Op Life

I think everyone is terrified of surgery, but I tried to have faith and be calm.  It helped me to know I had a great doctor and that they perform these surgeries on a daily basis so I knew I was in good hands.  I was also well-prepped and knew what to expect.

Learning the new food to eat was a challenge for sure. Carbs were a big addiction for me so I really had to switch my focus on what I COULD eat and not what I COULDN’T eat.

But I found a lot of online support and discovered that I could eat my favorite foods, but I had to adjust things. So in other words, when I want spaghetti, I can still have it, but I modify it so I have fewer carbs. I still have burgers, just without the bun. I’ve learned how delicious and filling food is and discovered I don’t need all those crazy carbs.

It is still a struggle for me sometimes but I just have to stay focused. I found the best thing was to collaborate with others online. Pinterest and the low-carbs recipes have been a godsend!  Finding fast snacks with no prep (like protein bars and slim jims) are life-saving!  It is doable and WORTH it!!!

I will not lie and say it has been easy but I look in the mirror and I’m happy! I can do so much more now – I can walk easily.  I can swim and go on roller coasters and don’t have to worry about not fitting in chairs.  IT IS AMAZING!

Now I can’t lie – I have a lot of floppy bits now on me but hey there is always more surgery and I would never go back to that miserable me who felt horrible and was so immobile!

A Special Milestone/Non-Scale Victory

In September of 2016, my family went to Disneyland! Because I had almost been 500 pounds, I hadn’t been to any amusement park in over 20 years so this was a HUGE milestone for me! I was thrilled beyond belief to also share my daughter’s first time at Disneyland (she is 5) at the same time.  It was a very special vacation for my family.

Other amazing milestones have been:

  • Going to plays, movies, etc and fitting in ALL seats
  • Fitting in a booth at a restaurant
  • Crossing my legs! (it’s totally the little things that make the biggest difference sometimes)
  • Buying 2X clothing at ANY store is so wonderful (instead of having to special order 6x items online)

How has been a part of my journey

This is an amazing website with SO many resources!  I love being able to see other people’s experiences.  It is awesome!

Share Your Before & After Success!

Do you have Before & Afters, special milestones and non-scale victories from your journey that you’d like to share? The OH team wants to hear from you! Visit our Before & After Submission page for details.