Before & After RNY with TonyaApril 5, 2016
Celebrating Tonya's Before & After RNY Journey!
My weight had been an issue as far back as I can recall. I crossed the line into morbid obesity when I became an adult. I’m 5’3” and my highest known weight was 236 pounds, so that was quite a bit for my height. I lost my father, who was morbidly obese when I was just 4 years old (he was only 30). I saw my sister heading down the same path as my father, and it scared me even more because I was heading down that path also. I was battling food addiction, dealing with various medical issues, and my weight was spiraling out of control.
In 2003, I started researching weight loss surgery for my sister. As things would work out, she didn’t end up taking the weight loss surgery route, however, it sparked some interest in me.
Fast forward to 2009, and my last big attempt (there were many), at making a lifestyle change. It may sound cliché, but I honestly feel like I tried everything up until that point. Yes, I did all the typical shakes, diet pills, fad diets, weight loss plans, etc., but mostly I tried my hardest to do it the “right” way of eating good, healthy foods and exercising.
Not only was I eating healthy, but I was exercising 5 days a week. I was doing strength training and cardio at the gym. In addition to the strength training and cardio at the gym, I was taking spin classes (those are no joke) and aerobics classes. I was consistent, dedicated, and extremely disciplined. So, when I stepped on the scale and saw that I lost only 4 or 5 pounds over the course of several months, I was beyond devastated. I was a food addict, and an emotional eater, so what did I turn to for comfort - Food.
In late 2009, prior to my RNY, the D word (diabetes) was being thrown around by docs. I had been dealing with high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and hypothyroidism, too. I have two children that I couldn’t run and play with. I couldn’t fit on swings or go down slides, and I’d get too winded and achy from running.
On top of all those issues, I HATED having my picture taken. Finding pictures of myself with my children, while I was obese, was rare. I couldn’t make memories with my kids and, because of my own insecurities, I couldn’t even leave them with memories in the form of pictures.
The fact that I lost my father when I was so young, and can’t really remember him, made me cringe at the possibility that I was about to leave my kids in the same boat. I was not about to let that happen.
Before & After RNY
In 2010, I discovered ObesityHelp.com. From ObesityHelp, I was able to find the information and support I needed to move forward. Was I scared of the risks involved with surgery? Absolutely. However, what I was doing wasn’t working and I desperately needed to make a change. I was more afraid of my weight killing me, as it did my father (and in 2012, my sister at age 36 as well) than I was of the risks involved with surgery. I needed to take my life back. I wanted my children to grow up with their mom.
On December 9, 2015, marked my WLS anniversary of five years since I had my RNY. My highest weight was 236 pounds. My weight on the day of surgery was 229 pounds. My lowest maintained weight was 119 pounds. I’ve put on a little muscle, and today my weight is holding steady at 124 pounds.
When you hear that weight loss surgery is a “tool,” it is the absolute truth. The first year following my surgery, the “honeymoon” phase, the weight came off pretty easily. After that, and since then, it has been nothing but hard work, dedication, and discipline. I LOVE working out now, whereas it felt like a chore before. Now, working out is what I turn to instead of food. I may slip up from time to time, but I get right back up and keep pressing forward.
My Milestones & Non-Scale Victories
One NSV came in the form of running; I ran my first 5K (the Color Run) in 2013. It may not be much to some, but that was a huge moment for me.
Other NSVs came in the form of compliments from random strangers, some of which had me laughing (you had to be there).
Realizing I needed to adjust my airplane seat’s belt to make it TIGHTER was a pretty sweet NSV.
Being able to fit in a booth at a restaurant without my stomach touching was another NSV.
One of the biggest NSVs I’ve experienced is my kids being able to wrap their arms all the way around me (and then some) when they hug me. They love it and I do, too!
How has ObesityHelp.com been part of my journey?
What I found within this community was eye-opening. The information I gathered helped to prepare me with a list of questions for my surgeon, so I’d know exactly what I was getting myself into with weight loss surgery. The before and after pictures of people on ObesityHelp, along with their stories, helped to propel me forward and keep me motivated.
Share Your Before & After Success!
Do you have Before & Afters, special milestones and non-scale victories from your journey that you’d like to share? The OH team wants to hear from you! Visit our Before & After Submission page for details.