Before and After VSG with Anita 2

Before & After VSG with Anita, losing 206 pounds!

August 21, 2018

Why I Decided To Have WLS

Growing up in a household where all of my immediate family were overweight and dealt with poor eating habits. Partially due to the fact that we never made the effort to pursue a healthier lifestyle as a family. Coming from a family with Caribbean and southern roots, my meals were very heavy, full of carbs, salt, and sugars.

When I was 11, my father died of a heart attack and that was devastating for me. My mother took over the household and made ends meet. By the time I was a teenager, I had reached 320 pounds, I began working and making my own money so I began to buy fast food every day and often times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

My eating habits were out of control. I would have bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches for breakfast, lunch was whatever place delivered the fastest, and dinner would be things like Philly cheese steaks with french fries and two 20-oz. sodas. There wasn't ever a day that went by without me having sweets as well. Ice cream by the pints and cakes to go with it. This was happening every day and late at night as well for all of my teenage years into my late 20's.

As a result of my uncontrollable habits, I began to rapidly experience the effects of gaining weight. I began to experience chest pains that would wake me up when I was asleep, constant headaches, shortness of breath while simply walking, swollen ankles, poor blood circulation. Day to day activities like traveling on public transportation was embarrassing and uncomfortable. I'd have to stop mid-way up any flight of stairs to catch my breath because I felt like I was going to pass out.

I worked as an emergency certified first responder in a high school. Every day was a struggle tending to emergencies and by this time I was 385 pounds and felt like if I didn't take action I was going to die before I turned 30. I went to my doctor for a routine physical who had been mentioning weight loss surgery for years. But I felt it was too drastic and that I, like many, could lose weight on my own.

Before & After VSG with Anita

OH Username: Anita_Marie
Total weight loss: 206 pounds
Surgery type: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
Date of surgery:  August 20, 2013
Surgeon: Dr. Scott Nguyen

My Surgery and Post-Op Life

Later that month, after getting blood test results, my doctor informed me that I was pre-diabetic. He gave me the information to see Dr. Scott Nguyen of Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, New York, and I shoved it in my bag and left. The next day at work, my co-worker, who is a nurse practitioner, came to me after knowing me for nine years, asked if I could take a look at something. It was an email she received from one of her hospital colleagues about a bariatric weight loss seminar.

With tears in my eyes, I took it and attended the seminar. I began the process for my Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. I was so afraid, but I was even more afraid of dying, not having truly lived my best life, if I didn't do this for myself.

On August 20th, 2013, I had my VSG surgery done. Little did I know that my life was changed forever. After the surgery, I  stayed in contact with my medical team and followed every instruction I was given. I lost 206 pounds in 2 and 1/2 years.

Before & After VSG with Anita

Non-Scale Victories & Special Milestones

One of my special milestones after surgery came after losing my first 100 pounds. I was able to cross my legs like a lady for the first time in my life! I could not believe what was happening to me right in front of my eyes, and how much of myself was coming to the surface.

A non-scale victory I loved was when I began to see my neckline and collarbone. I would look in the mirror and touch my neck in amazement. Haha. I loved to see those changes and I still do!

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.