Blog Before & After RNY with Tiffany 2

Before & After RNY with Tiffany, down 207 pounds!

November 24, 2020

Before & After RNY with Tiffany - Why I Decided to Have WLS

Before & After RNY with Tiffany - I was not a case of someone who gained weight after having kids or after high school. I had been overweight since I was a toddler. I remember being over 70 pounds when I was in kindergarten and 108 pounds in second grade. At a time in my life when I should have been focused on having fun and being a kid, I was already labeled as the fat kid and hated myself.

In high school, I was diagnosed with PCOS, which contributed to my issues with weight. Despite taking Metformin for insulin resistance, trying CrossFit, jogging, the Atkins diet, Slim-Fast, working out at home on the numerous machines my father purchased to help me, I could not lose weight. By the time I was 18, I was around 350 pounds. I remained at that weight until around the age of 25 when I started gaining weight again. On my own, the most weight I could lose would get me down to around 330 pounds, but soon after I would just gain it all back.

At my heaviest, I was 377 pounds and terrified that I was not going to be able to stop gaining weight. I was horrified when I got to 300 pounds, but the thought of hitting 400 pounds made me realize I was not far away from seeing myself on a reality show for morbid obesity.

I was so uncomfortable in my skin. I was at the point that I could not even find pants that would fit me at specialty plus size stores, so I was forced to wear skirts. I would break a sweat simply walking around an air conditioned mall. I had begun limiting myself from going to certain restaurants or sporting events because I knew I wouldn’t be able to fit into the seats.

I was in chronic pain, and I could only stand for a few minutes at a time without needing to sit down because my feet hurt so bad. I was getting arthritis in my back from carrying so much weight for so long, and I had been diagnosed with prediabetes.

It was at this point I knew this was more than just about how I felt about myself, but that my life was becoming at risk. I knew if I didn’t do something, I was never going to get control of my life again.

I had gone back and forth with weight loss surgery in my mind for a few years, but I always thought I could do it on my own. It had become apparent that I could not, and I needed help.

Before & After RNY with Tiffany, down 207 pounds

Before & After RNY with Tiffany

Your Name: Tiffany
Total Weight Loss: 207 pounds
Surgery Type: RNY
Surgery Date: 08/07/2018
Surgeon: Dr. Fredric Pieracci

My Surgery and Post-Op Life

My surgical experience started way before I was on the operation table. First and foremost, it starts with a conversation with your primary care doctor. At this point, you speak to a dietician and begin attending mandatory support groups. I mention this because to me this was crucial to my success.

What I tell everyone about weight loss surgery is that it is so much more than a physical change. You have to be psychologically, mentally, and emotionally ready to change your life. I had a few opportunities to have weight loss surgery over the course of my life, and I always backed out because I was not up for it. I did not want to change.

Like someone with a substance abuse issue, you have to be tired of your addiction. For me, I wasn’t ready to stop eating the way that I was so, I didn’t. It wasn’t until I went through this process that I was sick and tired of being fat and was ready to part ways with my issues with food.

I was required to lose 15 pounds prior to having surgery, and the only reason I was able to do it was that my dietician was holding me accountable. If I didn’t lose weight, I wouldn’t have surgery, simple as that. I ended up losing about 23 pounds on my own, which was a huge milestone for me. I didn’t do it by starving myself as I had in the past. It was merely by walking every day and tracking my calories on a phone app.

Again though, I attribute my success to being held accountable by my nutritionist, psychologist, and support group.

My post-op success I can also attribute to my amazing bariatric program. I was very fortunate to have a surgeon who seemed to have mastered the art of a nerve block, and I honestly was not in a lot of pain at all. I didn’t even use the pain medication they prescribed to me, I just stuck with children’s Tylenol.

After healing, I had a lot of follow up appointments with my doctor during the six weeks that I had been allotted to heal. Again, this accountability made me successful. To this day, I still see my nutritionist and go to support group as often as I can. For someone who had never been accountable for their weight their whole life, this was vital for me. If I knew that someone would be weighing me every six weeks, I knew I had to stay on track. Almost two years later and 186 pounds down, I would attest that standing by my support team has made me the success story I am today.

A Special Milestone / Non-Scale Victory

Most people within the bariatric community are familiar with the terminology, “Onederland.” For anyone new, this is a term we use for when someone reaches the 100’s range rather than weight over 200 pounds. This was a milestone for me, and so was what I deemed, “Terrific Two’s.”

On My Fitness Pal, it allows you to take photos, so every time I updated a new weight, I would take photos. These two milestone weights mean so much to me, and our reminders that I never want to weigh over 200 pounds, much less 300 pounds again.

As far as non-scale victories, I keep getting new ones all the time. I would say that my first NSV was being able to wear pants. As I mentioned before, I had become so big, it was almost impossible to find pants that would fit me, even as specialty stores.

A favorite non-scale victory was when I flew for the first time after having surgery. The year before, I required two seats and a seatbelt extender. Not even a year after surgery, I could fit comfortably in one seat with no extender. If I were to fly today, I probably would have absolutely no issue even sitting in the middle seat. For anyone overweight or obese, flying is one of the most anxiety-ridden things you can do. This alone made this journey worth it.

Another few notable non-scale victories I had was being able to go to an amusement part for the first time last summer. I had not been able to fit into rides since I was probably 11 or 12. I also attended the ballet this summer, where I had not been in over ten years. I remember not being able to fit into the seat, and needing to leave. Sitting down with people next to me, without having my thighs cramp anyone else was amazing.

My most recent and final non-scale victories were being able to hike for the first time in years. The last time I had attempted hiking may have been around 2010, and it was so humiliating and difficult that I remember crying. I never wanted to hike since that experience. This summer, I conquered my fear and found that it was incredibly easy for me. I now have a new hobby that I love and enjoy.

Lastly, for the first time in my life, I can shop without crying. I pretty much know that if the tag on the shirt or pants is a certain size, it’s going to fit. Before surgery, trying on clothes was such a horrible experience. Even the biggest sizes often times would not fit. Every time I tried something on I agonized wondering or not if it would fit. If you have never been overweight, this is something that you just can’t understand and are able to take for granted.

How has been a part of your journey?

At my heaviest weight, I had begun researching weight loss surgery. I remember visiting ObesityHelp and would hover through the articles and forums, but I never joined or made a profile. I saw all these success stories, but I just wasn’t ready to commit to having surgery.

I attribute my initial curiosity and hope for changing my life through ObesityHelp. Post-surgery, I find that a lot of my Google searches about post-op challenges and diets are routed back to ObesityHelp. It’s fantastic knowing that there are resources and a sense of community at my fingertips even being a post-op patient.

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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.