Before & After a Revision of Lap-Band to VSG with Maegan, down 82 pounds!August 18, 2020
Why I Decided to Have WLS: Before & After a Revision of Lap-Band to VSG with Maegan
Growing up, I was a fit, active child. I grew up riding horses and doing gymnastics competitively. Weight became an issue for me around 10. I stopped being as active and found myself eating very unhealthy foods.
This issue only got worse and my weight continued to increase my entire life. I would try all of the fad diets, including WW and diet pills. When I go out to eat and reflect on how much food I used to put in my body… it literally scares me.
Getting the Lap-Band Surgery
Finally, about 10 years ago, I decided to self-pay for the lap-band. I choose to have the band because it was the new, “best” option at the time. I think in my mind the option of it not being permeant was what really sold me.
I hated being fat and the fact that there was a noninvasive option really opened my eyes. I wanted so bad to be thin and confident in my own skin. Everything about the band seemed great when the surgeons were explaining it.
Now, looking back, I wish I would have never made that decision for a lot of reasons, but mainly because having a ring around your belly isn’t a good long-term option. I really don’t remember my exact weight when I did this, but my BMI didn’t qualify for my insurance to cover the surgery.
I decided that I was so tired of being overweight, I would just pay cash to have it done. From the first day, that band was the most miserable decision I have ever made. I was ALWAYS throwing up and developing horrible eating habits. On days I could eat, that is all I would do. It was always a gamble and so embarrassing going out to eat and excusing myself to throw up because the food was “stuck”.
I truly forgot what it was like to eat normally, some days I couldn’t even drink water.
I started experiencing pain from the band and heartburn. I went to see Dr. Roshek for a consultation to have the band removed. At this appointment they were able to tell that my band had slipped and was causing my esophagus to dilate, it needed to come out. Thank you, Jesus! I was honestly so excited to get this out of my body I had grown to hate.
At the consultation, Dr. Roshek explained that a lot of patients with the band just convert over to the VSG in the same surgery. I asked a lot of questions, and he patiently answered them all. (This is where I want to brag on what an awesome Doctor he is).
Dr. Roshek never made me feel rushed and answered my questions with honest and straight forward answers. He understood my concerns and why I was so hesitant to have another WLS. I hated the band so much that I was honestly terrified to have another experience similar. Another experience to make me feel even worse or continue to have issues with eating; even bigger fear, more weight gain than loss.
After thinking about it for about two months, I was at my heaviest and had a one-year-old son. Honestly, not being able to be fully active with my little one and hating all the photos with him made my decision a pretty easy one. I wanted to be there, and be an active parent with my son… I wanted my life back.
These weight issues didn’t just affect me physically, but emotionally too. I didn’t feel like I could be my happiest self. Now, I will say, this is by no means the easy way out. Eating disorders and food addictions are real and I still struggle with it daily. I always tell myself “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” LOL but it works for me!
Getting the VSG Surgery
I ultimately decided on the VSG because it has great results, allows you to live a normal life and had an easy recovery period. Being a mom, I couldn’t be out of commission as long as the bypass would have needed me to be.
I am now over year out and I'm at my smallest that I can remember in life. I have never been a size 6, never until this year!
I run, yes for all my friends reading this, I RUN! I started working out as soon as I was cleared to do it. I started with walking outside, pushing my son in the stroller, and slowly worked up my confidence to go to the gym, because that can be imitating.
I stayed strict on my diet and didn’t eat any breads, pasta, rice, or sugar for the first eight months. I did not allow myself to “cheat” until I had a handle on my issues with food. Now, when I make poor (delicious) food choices, I don’t consider it cheating. Eating clean is my way of life and if I want to treat myself, I can.
Before & After a Revision of Lap-Band to VSG with Maegan
A typical day for me starts out with a fast until around 9 or 10 am. I then start the day with a Premier Protein shake. Depending on the day, I will have a boiled egg or some form of protein-dense, low-calorie food.
For lunch, I usually eat a baby spinach salad and a protein, sometimes just another boiled egg because it is easy! Dinner is sometimes whatever I make for my son in a small amount or a protein and veggie. I have learned that keeping it simple is the way to go!
Water intake has been my biggest struggle since having surgery. Prior to my revision, on a good day I wasn’t throwing up, I would drink around 100-120 oz of water. Now, having to drink slower, I get about 70 oz on a good day. This just takes focus and dedication. There are so many great alternatives to bad food, Quest cookies for example!
I can remember my first NSV, going to a weight loss surgery meet up and not dreading the poolside event. Never once in my life had I been to a pool and not felt like everyone was staring and thinking “what is she doing in a bathing suit.”
I think I was about two or three months out when I connected with a great group of girls on Instagram in the weight loss community. Some of these girls have now become my best friends and we have shared our journeys and continue to. It is so nice to find people who literally understand what you have been through and what you are going through; and, to be there supporting you along the way!
For me, the support groups aren’t really my thing. For some people, they are great, and I am active in The Nicholson Clinic Facebook group. (A great option for post-op care that a lot of surgeons don’t offer.) I have done a live with them to help explain the pros and cons of having a revision and really what the process is like. I think that for me, the Instagram community has acted as my informal support group. It works and I love seeing all the positive support that the weight loss community has on Instagram.
It is an easy option that isn’t time consuming, because like most people I have a full-time job and a son to care for as well!
Mental changes, my oh my! The struggle is real. Struggling to realize that you are not severely obese anymore. I look in the mirror and sometimes must tell myself that I am no longer considered obese and am smaller than most Americans.
I would say that about 90% of the time, I am so happy with what I see. It is so important that you can recognize your progress and be PROUD! Prior to surgery, I took medication for anxiety. I am now completely off all medication! Talk about a NSV! Understanding what hunger is and not bored eating is still real. The VSG doesn’t fix your brain's need to snack or use food as a coping mechanism, but that is something you can totally do, I did!
Special Milestones & Non-Scale Victories
Let’s talk NSV’s… My favorite!
- My absolute favorite thing is being able to do anything with my son! We go to trampoline parks, and I last longer jumping than he does, haha! I climb through jungle gyms, chase him everywhere and just have fun living life with him!
- A huge NSV for me was running a mile straight through. This is huge because I have literally never done this in my entire life! I used to hate working out, really sweating in general. Now I have found that not only do I feel so much better, but it is a huge stress reliever for me.
- Who hates going to any event with stadium seating? I know I sure did. I used to dread going to concerts or my favorite team games because the standard seats were “so small”. Now, I go and am not embarrassed because I fit just perfect with some room to spare… not spilling over into the person next to me.
- I can remember the last vacation I went on in September of 2019, my airplane seatbelt had so much slack in it I took a picture. Now, that might be my favorite NSV. No, I changed my mind, my all time favorite NSV is how great I feel about myself. The self-confidence when doing anything is the best feeling ever.
- I love walking into a meeting and having the confidence to run the meeting without worrying if people are looking at my ugly fat clothes or how uncomfortable I used to look in general!
Who am I kidding, all NSVs are my favorite. Really, every single piece of this journey has been my favorite!
I cannot tell you how happy I am with my decision. I love my life and who I am. I love how I look and my fitness goals. Most importantly, I love all the pictures I take with my son! We stay active and live a healthy lifestyle because I never want to go back to the miserable place, I was in.
I can go out to eat and eat “normally” (in smaller potions of course). I get to shop at any store I want now and don’t have to go to the biggest size immediately.
Most of all, I love how overall happy I am. I have found myself again and you can too!
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