Before and After VSG with Kristin from Bariatric Mindset

Before & After VSG with Kristin of Bariatric Mindset, losing 199 pounds!

October 10, 2017

Why I Decided To Have WLS

My weight gain started at the onset of puberty. Sadly, I felt like it defined me. I wanted to hide the shame of my weight, and as a result, I would feel "less than" because I wasn't as thin as the other girls my age. Throughout my pre-teen and teen years, I always felt fat and like I didn't fit in. I felt like my bubbly personality didn't fit my body.

I remember being young and using food to soothe me when I was upset, hiding Oreos and eating bags of Cheetos to satiate my emotions of "not good enough". The food however made it worse because it fueled my cycle of obesity as it would continue to justify how "not enough" I was.

In my early 20's, the scale climbed higher from 225 pounds up to the 300's. Constantly living on a diet was horrifying because I would lose and then gain. The "not enough" continued as I ended up with a partner in my 20's who belittled me for my weight gain and continued to confirm the tape playing in my head that again, "I wasn't good enough" over and over.

The food comforted me, yet the use of the food and the resulting obesity was just a symptom of my internal pain.

I would lose and then gain, lose and then gain. It was a vicious cycle because I could never lose what I really needed to and it always took so much work and effort. If my life was not revolving around what I was eating and how often I was exercising the weight would not budge. I was a gym rat even when it hurt my knees and feet to walk. The pain led to being more sedentary because I would swell when I tried to exercise.

I tried to control food intake, tried hypnotherapy, tried weight loss medications, over the counter diet pills, took hormone shots, starved myself, did cleanses and fasted, went to OA (Overeaters Anonymous), saw a nutritionist, went to therapy, and even saw a leading eating disorder specialist who just wanted me to "focus on the food" and put me on a diet. I knew there was a better way. This is why I decided to have WLS and it has completely changed my life.

Before and After VSG with Kristin from Bariatric Mindset

Before and After VSG with Kristin

OH Username: Kristin
Total Weight Loss: 199 pounds
Surgery Type: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
Surgery Date: 10/14/2013
Surgeon: Dr. Matthew Crouthamel

My Surgery and Post-Op Life

My surgical experience was amazing. I loved the fact that my surgeon was a post-op himself and this made me feel very hopeful.

My surgeon was very honest and told me that I had to do the inner work and to change my habits because, without the habit change, it would be difficult. I really listened and took in what he had to say.

The best thing he told me was that if I wanted to I would still be able to get in 3000 calories a day and that I really needed to be conscious with my sleeve and to make conscious choices about my food intake by following the post-surgical guidelines (no grazing specifically!). This was HUGE for me.

As an initial post-op, it was a long road. I struggled with stalls and getting in my exercise as most people do. However, I persevered and really stuck it out by following the guidelines that my surgeon's office gave me. This, in addition to doing a ton of mindset work, helped me to build better lifestyle habits so that I could keep the weight off.

Life today is amazing because I can chase my son around and I can move very easily. I enjoy my life and feel that I have so much more freedom. I now enjoy kayaking, and stay active in the gym. I love working out because it makes me feel so good.

Special Milestone / Non-Scale Victory

Of course losing the weight and hitting 199 pounds down from my very highest weight has been an amazing milestone, however, my biggest lesson was that it wasn't about the weight, but what I've gained as a result of my loss.

The most amazing milestone was when I was able to go to a restaurant and push the plate away feeling satisfied and not needing more. Another special milestone has been changing my relationship with food. I see food so much differently now due to the mindset work I've done regarding my relationship with food. It's no longer something that has control over me, instead, I have a positive relationship with the food that supports and nourishes my body.

How has been a part of your journey?

I love the message boards and hearing everyone's stories. Everyone has a different path and OH has helped me in remembering that we all have different journeys. I also love that the community is so supportive and willing to help one another.

Share Your Before & After Success!

Celebrate your own Before & After WLS Success, milestones, non-scale victories, and inspire others! The OH team wants to hear from you to share your weight loss surgery journey. Visit our Before & After Submission page for details.