Before & After VSG with Corinne, losing 70 pounds & 50+ inches!September 19, 2017
Why I Decided To Have WLS
I always knew that my body shape was different than anyone else in my family, but I never thought my weight or my body image would become an issue for me.
I seemed to mature (develop) at a younger age than most girls in my elementary classes. It wasn’t until about the 6th grade that I realized (with my mom’s help and guidance) that I needed to do something about my weight.
Weight Watchers was the best option for me so my mom took me each week to the meetings and I did lose weight. I even became a “Lifetime Member” with aspirations of someday being a leader at Weight Watchers meetings. I maintained my weight throughout high school, although for some reason, I thought I was overweight.
After high school, I went about living my life. I took one year of general education studies at a junior college in my hometown and worked several jobs. During that time and up until 2005, I yo-yo'ed my way through diet after diet with no permanent results.
In 2005, before my wedding, I lost 30 pounds and managed to keep it off for a while. Then, like a lot of other people, I slipped back into my old eating habits but continued to be very active. I would walk, hike, workout at the gym or participate in other physical activities, but that wasn’t enough.
I remember at one point thinking about my mom and her family history of heart disease. I knew that I needed to do something about my weight in order to decrease my chances of getting heart disease. That thought came and went. I was going to try a “heart healthy” diet and make the changes I needed to, but like every other diet plan, I didn’t succeed. My eating was still out of control and it led to the place I was in 2014 when I made the decision to try WLS.
I remember thinking about WLS on and off, but I always came back to the thought that I could do it on my own and that I wasn’t “heavy” enough for that.
I was getting my nails done one day and the lady (who is now a very good friend) was explaining to me that she was going to have Gastric Bypass surgery. She was attending the classes that were required for surgery and she had a surgery date. I didn’t think she was that overweight, but the more she told me about it, the more I thought that maybe I needed to look into it.
I went home that night and spoke with my husband about it. The next day I made an appointment to see my PCP to get her thoughts. My original thought was to get the Lap Band surgery. After doing some research, I decided that wasn't the best option for me.
At my doctor’s appointment, she agreed to give me a referral to get the process moving forward. I began my health education classes in October of 2014 and was determined to complete those and all of the other requirements I needed to have the VSG surgery by June of 2015.
Before & After VSG with Corinne
My Surgery and Post-Op Life
I remember how excited I was about my weight loss surgery; a little nervous, but overall excited to start my “new life.” The night before my surgery I had my husband take pictures of me and measure me.
I was the first weight loss surgery of the day. While waiting for Dr. Scharf, the anesthesiologist and nurses came to take me to the OR, but I still don’t remember being nervous. I was so content in my decision and determination to succeed that I knew, hands down, this was the best decision of my life.
Everything went smoothly; no complications and I had done it. The one thing that stuck in my head was the evening of my surgery walking up and down the hallways with the nurse and seeing all of the other nurse’s stations with Starbucks drinks on them and thinking, “what the heck did I do?” It was a quick, brief thought that left my mind as soon as it had entered. I had started my new life!
On June 22, 2017, I celebrated my 2-year surgiversary and couldn’t be happier or more excited about the things that have opened up in my life. Six weeks after my surgery, and with Dr. Scharf’s permission, I began working out with a personal trainer and still work out with her to this day. I think it is so important to note that not only did I lose 70 pounds, but I lost 50 + inches.
My husband Tim, my biggest cheerleader, would measure me every two weeks and take weekly pictures of me until I had lost all of my weight. It was so encouraging to see the inches falling off and the results in the pictures. Currently, I am 46 years old and am in the best shape of my life.
Last July, I made the decision to take online courses to get my certification in Personal Training. I will be receiving that certification very soon. Never in my life did I ever think that would be something that would interest me.
I was fortunate enough to have my surgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, CA and have been able to work with and have the support of the entire bariatric staff. They have become a part of my family and have afforded me many opportunities.
I have been asked to represent them at conferences at their bariatric booths to tell my story. They provided a ticket to me so I could attend my first ever ObesityHelp National Conference in 2016, be a mentor to current patients that have had or are considering bariatric surgery, created a video telling my story that was shown on their Facebook page and will be on their website. Recently, I was asked if I would be interested in being certified as a Bariatric Support Group Leader. Of course, I said, “Yes!” I truly feel like I have found my niche.
Milestones and Non-Scale Victories
A lot of my NSV’s I mentioned above i.e. Personal Training and Bariatric Support Group Leader certifications, telling my story in a video and hopefully becoming more involved in the marketing aspect of the program at LLUMC.
In December 2016, I was approved to have panniculectomy surgery. I was, again, so excited for this surgery and do not regret this decision either. I have a flat stomach! I don’t think I’ve experienced that since I was little enough to not know any different.
On my 2-year surgiversary, I bought a 2 piece swimsuit (the kind that shows your midsection) and I actually think I look pretty good in it. I am more confident to tuck my shirt in my pants/shorts and wear a belt. I also have the thought in my head when deciding what to wear for the day that “I have to look cute.” I mean I didn’t do all of this hard work to look ugly, right??
How ObesityHelp has been a part of my Journey
I had not even heard of ObesityHelp until the staff at LLUMC Bariatric Department bought me a ticket to the 2016 ObesityHelp Conference. What an event! Not only had I not heard of ObesityHelp, but I didn’t know all they had to offer. When the conference started and the emcee was talking about the OH website, I immediately went to the website and registered. There is so much information that can be gleaned from their website and the conference that they put on once a year is beyond amazing. I left the conference on Sunday feeling like I had found “my people, my tribe” and I can’t wait to go to the 2017 ObesityHelp National Conference in Long Beach.
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.