- HEALTH TRACKER
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Well, well, well. An opportunity to tell my story!
Here it is:
I suppose my journey began back in 1999 when I injured my back. It seemed that the next 5 years I could not stop gaining weight despite the efforts of my doctor or all the programs I joined. I wont bother listing all the weight loss programs or crazy diets because you have probably already tried them...LOL
My adult weight had been sitting at about 220, however in those 5 years I added another 76 pounds making my all time high of 296 by 2004. I felt frustrated and a failure despite my other accomplishments in life, this one failure defined me, depressed me, consumed me and almost destroyed me.
My mom and my sister and I went to a seminar on weight loss surgery. It was then that I realized this was what I needed. My primary doctor was very supportive, since she had been struggling with me to find my answers and referred me to Dr. Callery.
Dec 27, 2004 I had an open RNY surgery. 15 months later I had gone from 285 to 168. (I lost 11 pounds prior to surgery).
After surgery, I realized that I was very unique among my family and friends. I knew very few people who had gone through what I was going through. I felt so isolated and alone, except for the Thinnertimes forum, where I started to develop some good friends. We began getting together outside the forum and before I knew it, we had started a support meeting in my home with some seasoned vets as the leaders.
As time went by, the leaders moved away, and by this time, the group was a comfortable mix of peers and we continued with the meetings religiously every second Tuesday of the month. I still hold those meetings in my home and now I am also leading Dr. Callery's meetings.
I also work as a Bariatric Program Assistant at a Bariatric Center of Excellence hospital.
For me the experience has not only given me the success of losing weight but it has afforded me the opportunity to guide and support others through this journey. After losing my job after 15 years in the Interior Design field, I decided to pursue training in my newfound passion. I have been actively educating myself in Nutrition, health and wellness. I am certified as a Bariatric Support Leader as well as board credentialed Health and Wellness Life Coach.
I ahve recently begun making youtube videos and a producer has been filming cooking segments of me so I can spread the word on healthy foods!!
The journey has not always been easy. 9 months after surgery I had a complication of incisional hernias. I had the hernias repaired at 15 months post op and received a partial body lift at that time. I had also become chronically anemic, with iron absorption issues.. I required blood transfusions and several years of iron infusions. After discovering I was also copper deficient (which presents as iron deficiency) . I am happy to report I am not longer anemic.
Now, over 7 years later, I have beaten the odds, and have maintained my weigh loss. I occasionally go up and down about 10 pounds. I am diligent in following the recommendations for healthy living. My appetite for food is still there, and so are all my old habits. But I try to replace them with good habits and forgive myself for the times I am not perfect. But most importantly I have learned to obey myself, love my imperfections and trust my instincts.
I know that I must always be mindful in my food choices. I must force myself to the gym and I need to accept that above all I was just as valuable at 296 pounds as I am now. It is critical to feel love for myself, as much as the people in my life who love me. Because they never loved me less, only I did, and that attitude is what made me gain 130 pounds.
I know it sounds like a cliché’…”you just need to love your self” but the reality is, if we loved ourselves as much as some one else loves us, then we would be more likely to care about how we ate, how we worked out, how we felt.
I discovered self-love was not “selfish” love,. The first step was making the BRAVE decision to have weight loss surgery. Now that you have done it, what are you going to do with it??
That’s my story and if I can inspire one person in my life because of my experience then I feel I have done well.