Before & After VSG with Elizabeth

Before & After VSG with Elizabeth, losing 157 pounds!

June 4, 2019

Why I Decided to Have WLS

As long as I can remember I have struggled with obesity. In high school, I lost 100 pounds by almost starving myself. I was miserable and eventually gained back the weight that I'd lost. When I was 20, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and struggled with the symptoms of PCOS.

I went on countless diets over the next 20 years. I did Weight Watchers, low-carb, calorie counting, even took Phentermine here and there. I often lost up to 50 pounds but it eventually would find its way back. I lost 100 pounds again in my early 30’s but again gained it back over the following 10 years. I knew what to eat, how to eat healthy, how to lose the weight, but my main struggle was being hungry and portion sizes. I had my fair share of junk food but on a daily basis I ate relatively well, just way too much and I had carb cravings a lot.

I was very skeptical about getting weight loss surgery because of all the negativity surrounding it. But at the age of 41, weighing 315 pounds, a BMI of 44, and a high A1C (pred-diabetic), I knew I had to do something that could help me not only lose the weight but keep it off forever.

I had my last of four children (I have 3 boys and a girl) at age 40 and I wanted to make sure that I had done everything possible to be around and healthy as long as possible for my kids. I was tired of aching, tired of feeling bad, tired of the symptoms of PCOS. After doing some research, talking to some people who went through VSG surgery, and joining some support groups on Facebook, I decided I was going to move forward with the surgery and never look back.

Before & After VSG with Elizabeth

Total Weight Loss: 157 pounds
Surgery Type: VSG
Surgery Date: 11/13/17
Surgeon: David Suh

My Surgery and Post-Op Life

Having surgery was scary but I was very ready to start my new life. When I started my journey I weighed 315 pounds but during the course of my 12-week pre-op classes with Kaiser and my one-month “no starch” diet before surgery, I weighed 264 pounds on the day of surgery.

The surgery experience was as good as I could hope for. After surgery, I did have discomfort in my new tummy but no complications at all. I stayed in the hospital for two days and was released. I did feel weak for a while due to the extreme drop in calories and vitamins, but the abdominal pain was manageable with Tylenol. I always stuck to my surgeon’s protocol for drinking and eating over the course of my post-op time period. I was able to tolerate everything well and continued to have no complications. One thing I noticed was that I was no longer hungry which helped me immensely.

My surgeon does not promote eating bad carbs and I have decided to make this my new lifestyle. No bread, rice, pasta, cookies, desserts, pretzels, chips, popcorn, candy, etc. I stick to that to this day.

After one year post-op, I would say I follow a loosely Keto type diet, eating protein at every meal and as many vegetables as I can. I eat fruit a few times a week but mainly stick to berries or bananas with almond butter. I eat beans and nuts every day and eat cheese and yogurt for snacks. I eat about 5-6 small meals a day. After eating the way I have post-surgery, it has become my new lifestyle. Sugar is unavoidable, but I mainly stick to the rule of under 5 grams of sugar per serving.

My weight came off quickly and my body has settled between 157-165 pounds depending on the day. My weight loss has felt effortless. I am still working on the exercise portion and struggle with having the time to work out. I walk at work during the week on most days.

I feel the best I have ever felt, I feel healthy and I don’t hurt anymore. My A1C is 5.0 which is phenomenal, and my BMI is 23. I have gone through two Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays without feeling miserable from eating the wrong kinds of food and way too much of them.

I have learned that you can still enjoy food that is good for you and you can eat the food you like by modifying them to fit your new lifestyle.

My PCOS symptoms have subsided and I know my hormones are regular now. I used to have tenderness inside my abdomen and now I don’t feel that at all. I believe there was a good deal of inflammation in my body which is now gone. I wish that everyone struggling with their weight would consider weight loss surgery because it’s not as scary as it seems and it can be such a positive tool in getting your life and your health back. I am very happy with my decision to have weight loss surgery and I would do it again without hesitation.

Special Milestone / Non-Scale Victory

The first thing I noticed was being able to climb the stairs at work each morning and not slowing down or being out of breath.

The second thing I noticed was being able to walk around all day without hurting and fitting on rides at amusement parks!

At my recent one year check-up my doctor said, “You don’t need to lose any more weight!” and that was the first time I’ve ever heard that.

How has been a part of your journey?

I first learned about ObesityHelp from the first support group I went to. The members had gone to the ObesityHelp National Conference in 2017 and talked about how amazing it was. Immediately I was very interested. At that point, I created a profile on OH and attended the 2018 conference which was absolutely amazing! I visit OH online to read about the journeys of other people and to get any other information I can.

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.