Before & After VSG with Katherine, down 147 pounds!March 24, 2020
Why I Decided to Have WLS
Since I can remember, I've been heavyset. In the 5th grade, I wore a size 12/13. In 7th grade, I weighed 167 lbs. and was 5'5" tall. No matter how active I was as a child, I was always bigger. In my freshman year of high school, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which was a reason why the extra pounds would never go away. In college, I reached a size 14/16, even though I was constantly on the move, walking around campus and going to the gym with dorm mates. I think I plateaued somewhere around 185 lbs. around this time.
After college, life took over, and I let my weight spin out of control. My weight yo-yo'd for years while I was in my 20's. When I was 25 years old, I weighed 265 lbs. I decided to overhaul my diet and incorporate walking into my daily life. I was successful at first and dropped down to 218 lbs.
That triumph was short-lived. Within just 6 months, the pounds started to creep back on as I once again lost control of my diet and stopped walking as I had before. Then again, when I was 27, I was able to lose 40lbs on my own; however, the weight always seemed to come back faster plus more each time I lost it.
My relationship with food and myself was also horrible. I found during stressful times, times of sadness, or even happiness, food was always there for me. My busy schedule made the excuses easier, and I was constantly eating unhealthy foods, including a diet heavy in fast foods.
Food wasn't my only problem, though, as I found myself consistently in unhealthy relationships and allowed myself to be treated poorly due to lack of self-love. In November of 2017, I had finally started to realize that I was worth more than I was giving myself credit for.
Before & After VSG with Katherine
Total Weight Loss: 147 lbs.
Surgery Type: VSG
Surgery Date: September 4, 2018
Surgeon: Dr. Nick Nicholson
My Surgery and Post-Op Life
I had a great career as a nurse, was single; however, I was also morbidly obese. I kept telling myself that I was going to "do something" about the weight. In January 2018, I had my first consultation with the Nicholson Clinic. My 29-year-old self weighed in at 298 lbs. with high blood pressure and borderline high cholesterol. The office staff was friendly, and Dr. Nick was warm and funny with an amazing bedside manner.
Unfortunately, insurance wasn't going to cover the surgery, so I had to save for the cash price. During the time of saving and working towards my surgery goal, I went up to 302 lbs, had zero energy, and could barely stay on my feet during my 12-hour shifts without my knees killing me at the end of the day. No one knew the severity of my pain physically or mentally as I went through this.
In May 2018, I went on a trip to New Orleans with co-workers. The plane ride, although short, was extremely uncomfortable as I refused to request a seatbelt extender out of embarrassment and chose to force that lap belt to close and deal with the pain.
The plane seatbelt situation was the last reality check that I needed. My weight was out of control and holding me back from living life.
I chose to have the gastric sleeve with Dr. Nick from the Nicholson Clinic on September 5, 2018, and I have zero regrets. My surgery was a breeze. I took every bit of advice that I had read or heard, made sure to be sipping water continually, and walk, walk walk. I never had any nausea, the gas pain was minimal, and the soreness was completely gone within two weeks.
By following the guidelines, including diet and exercise recommended by Dr. Nick, I've been able to lose 144 lbs. in one year. The bariatric eating plan was my main concern at the beginning of my recovery. I weighed and logged every morsel I placed in my body. About 8-9 months after surgery, I started getting more serious about increasing the activity level in my life.
Special Milestones & Non-Scale Victories
- I live a very active lifestyle now that I would have never even imagined doing before my surgery. Hiking, camping, kayaking, weightlifting.
- In February 2019, I was able to comfortably fly to Alaska to visit my brother and his family, whom I haven't seen in 6 years.
- I've also met an amazing man who is very supportive and encouraging of all my goals, which has made this process even more rewarding.
- My blood pressure and cholesterol are down, my knees no longer hurt, and I'm happier than I've ever been.
- I've also learned to love myself during this journey, as I've slowly become the person I feel like I was always meant to be.
To celebrate my one-year surgiversary, we went on a camping/hiking trip to Big Bend National Park. The sights were absolutely breathtaking. The experience was something I could never have imagined doing just a little over a year ago.
With the sleeve, I was able to get my life back. I'm very grateful to be a patient of Dr. Nick and the team at the Nicholson Clinic for Weight Loss Surgery. I've recommended them to other people considering weight loss surgery.
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