Before After VSG and Revision to Mini-Gastric Bypass with Tina

Before & After VSG and Revision to Mini Gastric Bypass with Tina

December 5, 2017

Why I Decided to Have WLS

My story begins a little over 10 years ago. After years of crash diets, I was literally eating myself to death.

I was in a very bad marriage and my mother became ill with heart-related issues, diabetes, and kidney failure. I watched her slowly slip away from me and it was the most painful thing I had ever had to go through in my life. I would sit for hours, days, weekends in the hospital by her side with my daddy and family until her passing at the young age 67, after a long 10-year battle. It was ten years of pure HELL. My weight crept up to 320 lbs over that time. By the time I made the decision to change my life, I am sure that number was even higher but I wouldn’t know because I stopped getting on the scale. After my mother’s death, I decided to get out of my verbally abusive marriage, stop my addiction and the love-hate relationship I had with FOOD.

During the course of a day, I would consume enough food for three or four people, especially during those times I sat in the hospital with my mother. I would eat breakfast for two people, a snack a few hours later, for lunch I would have a super-sized meal as well as another snack or two and sometimes even three, then sit down to a full dinner. I would eat as though I was starving and hadn’t eaten for two days, and drank massive amounts of soda on a daily basis.

Did I mention the love-hate relationship I had with food?

I was dying at the age of 37 from fast food, vending machines, and depression. When I regained control of my thoughts, I took a long hard look at my life and realized my children and grandchildren would be placing me in an early grave just as I had my mother. I knew that I was headed down that very same road she had.

It was time to take control of my life! I started looking into options to achieve my goal. It was a three-year process, which included ending my marriage. Every option I had researched included needing a significant amount of money. I had no insurance to help cover the cost, so I knew I would need a loan from the bank. I put my car up as collateral and got the loan. By this time a year and a half had passed and God placed a wonderful man in my life, which has been a huge part of the success in achieving my goals.

Before & After VSG and Revision to Mini Gastric By-Pass with Tina

Before & After VSG and Revision to Mini Gastric Bypass with Tina

OH username: Tina
Surgery type:  VSG Revision to Mini Gastric Bypass
Year of VSG:  2012
Year of Revision to Mini Gastric Bypass:  2015
Total weight loss: 152 pounds
Dr. Sergio Verboonen

My Surgery and Post-Op Life

I came across and had so much support from others that were in the same boat as I was. The wealth of information I got on ObesityHelp was amazing.

I found Sheri Burke with International Patient Facilitators. Sheri was and still is today, my saving grace. She answered so many questions that I had about all the different options in weight loss surgery.  When I mention questions, it wasn't just a few because it was hundreds of them. Every single time I contacted her with more questions, she always answered, without fail. We still today have a very close relationship and I am so thankful!

Sheri introduced me to Dr. Sergio Verboonen with the Obesity Goodbye Clinic in Tijuana, Mexico. Yes, I said Mexico! This is where my life began to change. I had already spoken to many doctors about having weight loss surgery in the U.S. I felt as though I was just another paycheck for them. I didn't feel any compassion or anything else from them. But with Dr. Verboonen, I could write a book on the kindness, compassion and caring heart that this man has for his patients. That care doesn't stop after he has done the surgery on his patients. The surgery support continues for years to come.

I am four years out from weight loss surgery and still can call on him and he is there for whatever I need as well as his staff. Dr. Verboonen is a GOD-send to me and he SAVED my life and has changed my life forever. There is no way without these people any of this could have been possible. I would be dead by now with the path I was taking.

I chose to have the Gastric Sleeve done in 2012 and lost over 100 pounds. I could not get the additional 50 pounds off. In 2015, I had a revision to the Mini Gastric Bypass. I began my journey at 315 pounds and I'm now maintaining between 158 – 164 pounds for more than two years.

After my Mini Gastric Bypass, I really could start to see the difference in my body. I could walk by a mirror and it would stop me dead in my tracks. I just couldn’t believe it was me! It was a pretty easy surgery with very little pain which consisted mostly of gas. I was only out of work for about a week.

Being a post-op was a little challenging for me since I had a food addiction, but I was determined. I was not going to leave my family behind.

I began to go public with my journey with the encouragement of my doctor and patient facilitator. They would share my updates on their Facebook page and people began to Facebook me saying I was such an inspiration. They told me that I gave them HOPE. At first, it was hard to believe I could inspire anyone. I was still losing weight and had not yet reached my goal. But my followers, little did they know, became my inspiration to do even better.

I started a local support group for anyone wanting or thinking about having weight loss surgery and for those that were post-op needing extra support. I shared about my experience in Tijuana, Mexico and told about all of the people there that helped me achieve my goals.

I started a Facebook Support Group called Tina’s Beauties (Tijuana Mexico Bariatrics Support Group). It has grown close to 300 members. I have taken six people personally to have the surgery with Dr. Verboonen and helped more than 30 to go and have it. I am proud to say they all are doing wonderfully. I am here to help anyone I can to achieve their goals with weight loss surgery.

Milestones and Non-Scale Victories

My life is totally a new one. I have a husband who has loved me literally through THICK and thin. I no longer have to stay at home because I don’t want to be seen due to I have gained another 10 pounds.

  • I can play on the floor with my grandchildren.
  • I can go to the movies and concerts without fear of having panic attacks because I was so confined sitting between people.
  • I can take airplane trips without having to purchase a 2nd seat or hiding that I wasn’t buckled in my seat.
  • I can hike without being out of breath and needing to turn back after 10 minutes.
  • My biggest victory was running a 5k race with my daughter only after six months of having the Sleeve and having my daddy waiting for me at the finish line.
  • I came in 18th out of 150 + runners. At this very moment, it still gives me get a lump in my throat to think about.
  • My second victory was getting to go to an amusement park without fear or embarrassment of being told “ma’am you are too large for this ride.” I now fit into the seats and sometimes even worry that I may slide out.

How ObesityHelp Has Been a Part of My Journey

I cannot begin to express the thanks I have to my surgeon, Dr. Sergio Verboonen, to Sheri Burke as well as Last but least, my thanks to my amazing family and close friends who have been my cheerleaders and biggest support team. I love you all and could not have gone from 315 pounds to 163 pounds without each and every one of you.

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.