Before & After VSG with Bsinspirationhcandmore, down 205 pounds!April 7, 2020
Why I Decided to Have WLS
I have been overweight all of my life. I tried to diet, and nothing ever seemed to stick. I tried working with my primary care physician. Even as I worked with my doctor, I wasn't successful because it was never the right time for me, nor did it have the right type of program to be successful for me.
I lost some weight in college from just walking, but when I came home, I gained all of it back plus some. A few years after coming home from college, I discovered that I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, aka PCOS, which I would blame for most of my weight gain.
The truth was that I was eating horribly and not taking care of my body. I was depressed, and food was my comfort. I had always hidden behind food my entire life. Being depressed, I didn’t care if I lived or died, and I didn’t have the energy even to do a workout or focus on healthier food choices. I would swing by a drive-through every night on the way home and sit when I got home after sitting all day at work.
I got to the point that my gut was telling me every day that something was wrong. I ignored all of the signs, no matter how miserable I was. I was pre-diabetic for a few years, and I didn’t even care. It was the day that the doctor told me that I had crossed the diabetic threshold that something changed for me. It was then that I knew that I needed a change, and I couldn’t do it alone. When she told me that I was diabetic, all I saw was myself as my mother, who had severely unmanaged diabetes and was bed-bound. I didn’t want that life as I was already living a very sedimentary lifestyle.
I am very close with my nieces, and I was tired of telling them to slow down that their aunt was fat and slow, and I hated how that made me feel. I had seen a few of my friends, cousins, and my aunt being successful with bariatric surgery and thought this might be the thing that I need to help me. And so I began my journey.
Before & After VSG with Bsinspirationhcandmore
My Surgery and Post-Op Life
I had an amazing surgical experience. I think having a team that is truly invested in you makes all of the difference. Dr. Daigle was amazing from the first day that I met him, and he always made sure to explain things in a way that I understood.
I worked closely with the nurse practitioner in his office, Amy Laktash, and she was amazing and made sure that all of my pre-op procedures were scheduled and supporting me afterward. She was always very caring and took her time.
I also worked very closely with the registered dietitian, Chelsey Ludwiczak. Chelsey was a huge part of my success; she would host monthly support group meetings and was always available to answer any questions I had. It wasn’t just the three of them in the office that made it feel like this was achievable. The entire staff made me feel that way from the moment I walked in the door. The team in Dr. Daigle's office was genuinely invested in my success.
I remember in my first post-op visit that Dr. Daigle told me it was “time to get the shirt sweaty” and that I needed to start adding cardio into my routine. When Dr. Daigle told me this, I laughed it off because I was honestly only going to focus on my diet and whatever happened, happened.
When I went back to work, my employer had opened a fitness center right down the hall from my office. I had no excuse at this point to skip the gym. I went to an open house, remembering the words that Dr. Daigle had said. I looked around and felt lost, and I had never really worked out before in my life.
One of the trainers in the gym approached me, introduced himself, and began to talk to me. He quickly put me at ease, and I had explained I was about six weeks out from bariatric surgery. I told him that I knew I needed to start adding in exercise so that I could get the best results possible, but I didn’t know where to start.
I signed up that next day to start personal training with him, and I honestly believe he’s what has made a world of difference for me. He has always been there to support, motivate, and encourage me. He was always excited about my success, which made me even more excited! I started to see my body transform in a way that I didn’t know was possible. My life was truly transforming in every way possible.
I had a friend that made me a shirt that said “Surgery Day,” and after surgery, she put the word “Post” on it so that it would read “Post Surgery Day.” One of my favorite things the first year was to put that shirt on the 4th of each month and see how my body was changing. I would take a picture for a timeline and track my non-scale victories. I learned over the first year that as much as I was focused on the number on the scale change that I also needed to celebrate the things that I could now do.
One of my first NSV’s was being able to paint my own toenails! It made me realize that this journey was about so much more than just seeing the numbers on the scale change. I was becoming a new person that was stronger, more confident, happy, sassy, fit, energetic, tough, proud, beautiful and inspiring.
I started meeting new friends, that in every way were inspiring me as much as I was inspiring them. I’ve always told everyone that the key to my success was having a great support system. Surrounding myself with the people who encouraged me, cheered me on, and believed in me was the biggest motivation for me.
My life today is so different than it was just a year and a half ago. I love going to the gym; it’s the place where I go to get my mind right. I was told that I would replace my food addiction with something else, and I believe that is the gym. I’m in the gym at least an hour to an hour and a half a day, five days a week. I also try to compete in at least one 5K a month and am working towards completing my first Half Marathon this year.
My body is able to do things that I never knew I could. I eat whole foods and only foods that benefit my body. I am stronger, healthier, and happier than I have ever been in my entire life. I am back in school to become a Health Coach and Personal Trainer so that I can pay it forward. I want to be able to work with others to transform their lives the way that I have.
I am so proud of all of the changes that I have made and the “new” me!
Special Milestones & Non-Scale Victories
I had so many NSV’s as it was important for me to focus on. Some of my favorites are:
- Filming a health and wellness commercial for my employer
- Improved my time on 5k’s and getting them down to 37 minutes
- Being able to do total-body exercises such as pushups, pull-ups, and planks
- Being able to share clothes with my sisters for the first time in my life
- Putting my diabetes into remission
- Being off all medications
- Being able to sit with my legs crossed
- The one thing that stands out the most to me is that I learned I wasn’t just getting physically stronger but emotionally and mentally stronger.
My journey took a sudden turn in July of 2019, and it was a point that I very well could have given up, and I chose to keep pushing on. I was almost abducted for sex trafficking, my dog passed away, my mother passed away, and my trainer and I were no longer working side by side. All of these things happened within just a short 20 days. Emotionally, it was the hardest month of my entire life.
My mom was one of the biggest reasons why I started this journey, and to watch her die broke my heart. My mom had begged me for years to lose the weight with the fear me ending up exactly like her, and she was so proud that I had finally done it.
I remember at my mom's funeral; people didn’t even recognize me. I was surprised by how many people said, “You finally did it, you lost the weight. Your mom used to worry so much about you and would say, “My poor Becky, she’s going to end up just like me, and I don’t want that.”
That was something that I never knew. My mom told me on her death bed that she was proud of me, and I made a promise to her that night before she passed that I would never give up and that every drop of sweat, tear, ache, pain, frustration, victory...etc. was all for her now.
My angel keeps me going and motivated now, and I know she’s right here with me. I could have given up that month, but I had and still have the determination to keep going. The “old” me would have laid down in bed and given up. The “new” me woke up, dusted myself off, and said, “LET'S GO! YOU GOT THIS!” And to me, that’s one amazing victory.
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