Before & After RNY with Kathleeng1112, losing 178 pounds!May 15, 2018
Why I Decided to Have WLS
For my entire life, I’ve struggled with my weight. I remember being in the fourth grade and having to get a note from my pediatrician granting me permission to start Weight Watchers. I did cheerleading throughout middle school and high school so that kept me in shape for the most part but I was always “bigger.”
When I turned 21, life threw me for a loop and I found myself struggling with depression and anxiety. My coping mechanism was food and I developed a binge eating disorder. I gained 100 pounds in one year and was sitting at 325 pounds on my 22nd birthday. I was stuck in a constant cycle of daily binging for two years and then occasional binging for another year before I really got control of my disorder.
I was eating anything and everything. I was eating fast food for every meal and enormous quantities each time. If I went to McDonald's, I would order a number 2, number 4, and number 9 meals. It was never just one meal. I was embarrassed by my size, and what I was doing, so would often tell the workers at the window to bag each meal separately because they were for different people.
I think one of my lower points was sitting on the kitchen floor and crying hysterically because my Chipotle bowl had fallen on the floor and my meal was ruined. My mom tried to calm me down but I was inconsolable. Looking back now, that moment makes me so sad because that’s how bad my addiction to food was.
I chose weight loss surgery because I felt like I had tried everything and didn’t have the willpower to lose the weight on my own. For some reason, weight loss surgery is seen as “cheating” or being weak, but for me, I found strength in being able to say “I can’t do this on my own. I want to be healthy but I need help”. I will always respect someone for asking for help when they need it, and I will be forever grateful to myself that I was able to ask for help.
Before & After RNY
My Surgery and Post-Op Life
The process leading up to the surgery was a lengthy one for me. I had to do about six months of appointments with specialists and then six months of doctor supervised monthly weigh-ins. Once the insurance was approved, everything moved super quick. I arrived at the hospital at 5 am on the morning of my surgery and after about six hours in the OR, I was settled in my room by 4 pm. Vidant in Greenville has a bariatric wing so my nurses were phenomenal.
I was feeling a lot of gas pain after surgery and they were great about helping me to manage it. I started on liquids the day after surgery and was sent home my third day. Thankfully, I not only had an amazing support system at home, but Dr. MacDonald and his staff were with me every step of the way. Every question I had post-operatively was answered in a timely fashion and I never felt alone.
I struggled a lot mentally with not being able to eat the first two weeks after surgery. I knew I was addicted to food but I didn’t realize just how bad that addiction was. I felt like I was having withdrawals.
I followed each stage of the post-op diet to T. I measured everything that I ate and was very strict with what I did eat. I made a mental shift in those first two weeks, I told myself that I had put myself through too much to fail at this. I was determined to make this work. My total weight loss is 178 pounds.
I lost 20 pounds in the months leading up to my gastric bypass surgery and my weight on the day of my surgery was 311 pounds. My surgery was on June 9, 2016, and I had lost 100 pounds by October 31, 2016. I hit 199 pounds on December 7, 2016, and I weighed 158 pounds on my one year “surgiversary” on June 9, 2017. My goal was 165 pounds and I've surpassed that. I’ve been maintaining around 150-155 pounds for the last 6+ months.
My favorite quote is by Iain Thomas and it says “Everything has changed and yet, I am more me than I’ve ever been.” This pretty much sums up my life post op.
This process has been a roller coaster. Physically I felt great because the weight and inches were melting off. I felt this incredible sense of confidence that I had totally forgotten about. Even after losing only 30 pounds, I felt amazing, both because of my appearance and the way my body was able to move.
I could comfortably shave my legs, walk up a flight of stair without getting out of breath, lift a case of water from the bottom shelf of the grocery store; all of these things that caused so much stress on my 300-pound body became so easy. I was amazed at what my body was capable of.
Obviously, with the surgery, the amount of food that you’re able to eat decreases drastically. I think that was probably the biggest diet change for me. The second was that I will never eat fast food again. I stay away from soda and super greasy/fried foods altogether. I love salads and colorful dishes so that’s what I usually lean towards. Whenever I’m pressed for time, I make a smoothie in my blender to take on the go.
A Special Milestone / Non-Scale Victory
It honestly felt like I was reaching some kind of milestone or NSV every single day in the months following my surgery.
One of my favorite days was the first time I fit into a pair of “regular” sized jeans. My size 18W’s were falling off my hips so I tried a 16W’s that were just as big. I ventured out of the plus size section and soon found myself staring at a mirror in complete disbelief because I was wearing a pair of size 12 jeans and they looked GOOD. I sat in a dressing room crying happy tears and reminding myself that I deserved to be this happy.
Some other great NSVs included being able to go on rollercoasters at an amusement park without the anxiety that I wouldn’t fit in the seat, and also riding on an airplane in an economy seat and not having to ask for a seatbelt extender.
How has ObesityHelp.com been a part of your journey?
ObesityHelp.com was a source of inspiration and hope for me. Just knowing that I was not alone in my struggles gave me so much hope. Post-op was an emotional rollercoaster for me; much more than I was expecting. On days that I was feeling low, reading other people’s success stories kept me inspired.
Share Your Before & After Success!
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