Before & After RNY with Jackie S

Before & After RNY with Jackie S., down 109 pounds!

September 29, 2020

Before & After RNY with Jackie S.

Before & After RNY with Jackie S. - Why I Decided to Have WLS

It’s July 2015 and I’m sitting in my orthopedic doctor's office fingers crossed hoping I can get a date for the first of my two knee replacements, after a year of intense knee pain, (the worst of my many ailments), and exhausting my share of cortisone and gel shots. To my horror, the doctor says “no, you need bariatric surgery. Lose weight and come back.”  I said, “isn't that surgery invasive”? And he replies “And you think knee replacements aren’t?” At that point, he sent me away with no future appointments. That's when bariatric surgery came into my life because I was obese.

At 62, I was older than most patients. In my 30’s I was overweight, in my 40’s I was obese, and in my 50’s and 60’s, I was morbidly obese. I did consider weight loss surgery at 54 but my hospital had a 55-year-old limit, so I considered the procedure off-limits.

In August of 2015, I went to my first weight loss seminar given by CRIAS, (Christiana Institute of Advanced Surgery). By the time that seminar was over I was all in.  

In September 2015, I met my amazing surgeon, Dr. Caitlin Halbert. She advised me that due to my acid reflux the Gastric Bypass procedure was my best choice. After my first meeting with Dr. Halbert, I knew I was in excellent hands and after four years of her guidance, she is an important component of my success.

Then it was time to go through the grueling six-month process to meet the insurance company's requirements. While going to the nutrition classes, seeing the required doctors, and taking the necessary tests it was time to do my research. I read books and Googled bariatric websites, but it was the personal stories I gravitated to, such as here on ObesityHelp and YouTube. I was hooked. Yes, I knew they were personal stories and not facts. At some point, I felt I could share my story also.

Before & After RNY with Jackie S.

Name: Jackie S.
Date of Surgery: February 8, 2016
Total Weight Loss: 109 pounds
Surgery Type: RNY
Surgeon’s name: Dr. Caitlin Halbert

My Surgery and Post-Op Life

Yes, I wanted to be a normal weight. I did not want to be obese any longer.  I was told that a 25 BMI was the Holy Grail, so I was totally overjoyed when in August 2017 that I was 145 or 25 BMI. Be careful what you ask for because once I was there I was not happy with the way I looked. I was too thin. My preferred weight was 153, 101 pounds weight loss. I was happy there because I was at a size 8 and could still say that I was in the 100-pound club. 

Before & After RNY with Jackie S.

However, my weight of 153 but that was not meant to be. In 2018, I stayed between 153 and 159. In 2019, I went up as high as 171. That was unacceptable. I worked at eating healthy and now I maintain a weight of 161-163. So be it, but I still want to get back to 159. I hear you guys saying it's only 2 to 3 pounds, but somehow those two or three pounds have seemed to elude me. 

In January of 2016, I started my YouTube channel, (thenewJackie33), sharing my story. I've told how I really felt about being “fat” in a way that I've never shared with anyone else, not even family. I'm an introverted person that had never even talked in front of a group of people, was sharing my life, having taste tests, dancing, creating fairy tales, and having so many interesting experiences on social media.

Special Milestones / Non-Scale Victories    

  • I started this process at 62 years old, weighing 254 lbs, wearing a size 24 pants & a 20 dress. My initial goal was to be 175 lbs and a size 14.
  • My number one reason for surgery was to get rid of the pains in my knees. Additional goals were to take lots of pictures because I rarely took pictures since I was overweight.  I wanted to be comfortable in my skin, AND I wanted to be a foxy old lady.
  • Now at 67, have I met my goals? Yes, the number one goal is that I do not need knee replacements. I'm sure the problems with my knees still exist but I have no pain. I went from a person that walked past treadmills without even looking twice, to a lady that exercises at least three times a week for at least 1-1/2 hours.
  • I no longer have sleep apnea, so I do not need that oh so sexy CPAP machine. My acid reflux is gone and my ankles are not swollen. I can walk up and downstairs and get out of cars and sit on toilets without pain, (TMI). 
  • I've entered many 5K races. I no longer have blood pressure problems and no longer take medications except thyroid medicine.
  • My shoulders don't hurt and I do not get dizzy either. I can cross my legs, fit in my spot in an airplane seat, without worrying about seat belt extenders.
  • Through YouTube, I've had many experiences that I would not even consider doing and made friends from all over the world.
  • And last, to my total joy, I weigh less than my husband by 50 pounds. I used to weigh 50 pounds more than him. No regrets, never had them, even when I was not losing as much as I wanted to or when I was dumping, (when you get sick from eating too much fat, sugar, but not always).

This surgery has truly turned my life around 360 degrees. I am truly happy, I’ve rediscovered my joy. I did not realize how unhealthy and unhappy that I was. Needless to say, I was probably depressed. Being overweight, weighed down my body and just as important, my soul. 

When I walk in the room now I do not care who's looking because I feel good in my skin. Vacations are more fun, restaurants are based on quality and not quantity.

I dance like no one's watching because I just don't care. I'm willing to take chances with new experiences, such as zip-lining, 5k races, and I FLY.  After 4 years, I still have my stomach's restriction. 

Before July 2015, I thought I would be “fat” forever. I never saw bariatric surgery in my future. Life for me changed literally in a minute. Would I do this again, 100 times yes?  My only regret is I did not do it earlier. I now live my life, not merely exists. My life is truly blessed.

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