Before & After RNY with Melissa

Before & After RNY with Melissa, down 200+ pounds

April 26, 2022

Why I decided to have WLS

Before & After RNY with Melissa, down 200+ pounds: No one wakes up and thinks, “I’m going to have weight loss surgery.” That was never on my radar. Like many other people, I struggled with weight my entire life. I was always the biggest kid in class. I was the biggest out of my six siblings. I never seemed to lose my “baby fat.” Once I hit high school, the weight really started to pile on. I was gaining at least 20 pounds a year, consistently. Even through college, I gained steadily.

Once I reached over 450 pounds, I stopped getting on a scale because most scales didn’t go past 400. I was taking so many different medications and was on a CPAP machine. I don’t even know the exact amount of pounds I was at my heaviest because I tried to block it out.

I tried many weight loss programs and failed. I was able to lose 20 pounds but gained all of it (plus some) back.

It was January 2014 when I had a bad reaction to a medication I was taking. I remember laying in bed thinking, “There has to be more to life than this. I feel like I’m over 100 years old, and I can’t do this anymore”. That’s when my aunt mentioned a seminar that Rex Bariatric was having. I went to a seminar, and that was when my life changed. I knew that bariatric surgery was the tool that I needed to succeed. On June 30, 2014, I had gastric bypass. 

Before & After RNY with Melissa

Before & After RNY with Melissa

Name: Melissa
Total Weight Loss: 200+ pounds
Surgery Type: RNY
Surgery Date:  6/30/14
SurgeonDr. Lindsey Sharp

My Surgery and Post-Op Life

When I look back, my surgery was a breeze. I would re-do it in a second. Was I a little sore? Sure. Uncomfortable? Yes. But the benefits from surgery outweigh the uncomfortableness by far. surgery

Post-Op, I felt like a completely different person. I call my surgery date my new birthday. I feel that my life truly began the day I had surgery. I felt like I was trapped in someone else’s body for so long. I didn’t feel like “myself.”

Before surgery, I wanted to be able to talk with someone that went through many of the struggles that I did and had weight loss surgery. Cathy Arsenault has been my mentor and friend for over seven years. She is a part of my support team. 

After surgery, I committed to having a personal trainer (Cheryl Kidd) that I trained with every other week at the gym. I wanted to not only lose weight but to learn how to lift weights and build muscle to tighten my skin.

Within the first two years after surgery, I ended up losing over 120 inches around my body and over 200 pounds. To say I feel like a completely different person is an understatement.

There are simply no words. I am so grateful to everyone that has supported me throughout my journey. I can do so many things that I couldn’t do before. I am more active now than I have ever been in my life. 

But there’s another side to weight loss surgery: keeping the weight off. I have a food addiction. I have a disease. So I am not “cured” of anything. Every single day I have tough choices to make. It’s not easy. My goal is to stay connected with my support team.

For the past seven years, I have attended support groups and met with my dietician (Mary Gray Hixson), my surgeon (Dr. Lindsey Sharp), and my therapist (Dr. Clinton Bolton). No matter what, I always go to my appointments. I have to stay connected to continue to lead this new life that I have. I have learned so many new things since having surgery.

I have learned that I am in control, not food. I have learned that I am eating to live, not living to eat.

Since having weight loss surgery, I married my best friend, Philip, in 2017. We love to travel and spend time at the beach. This past summer, we had a healthy baby boy named Finley. We started a new journey of parenthood together. If it weren’t for having weight loss surgery, I wouldn’t be a mother right now.

The new challenge that I am facing is learning how to continue living a healthy lifestyle AND being a mother. Having weight loss surgery not only gave me a new life…it saved my life. And for that, I am forever grateful. (I would like to thank God, my family, friends, and support team for supporting me thought my entire journey.)

Special Milestones: Before & After RNY with Melissa

  • Being able to put my hand around my wrist
  • Not needing a CPAP machine anymore
  • Slowly getting off all of my medications and take vitamins
  • Exercising and working out 
  • Being able to sit in a movie theatre seat 
  • Being able to buckle the seat belt in a car without an extender
  • Being able to tie my shoes 
  • Walk up a flight of stairs
  • Flying in a plane for the first time
  • Being able to sit on the floor with the kids in my classroom
  • Doing my first 5k
  • Being able to shop at a regular store and try clothes on in the dressing room
  • Completing a half marathon
  • Trying on wedding gowns
  • Getting married on the beach
  • Riding some rides at Disney World
  • Riding a Segway and a bike
  • Getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy 
  • Having a baby
Before & After RNY with Melissa

If you like this Before & After RNY with Melissa article, you can 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.