Before & After VSG with Michael M 1

Before & After VSG with Michael M., down 260 pounds!

July 7, 2020

Why I Decided to Have WLS: Before & After VSG with Michael M.

At 37 years old, 460lbs, and a father of two children, it was time to start searching for a solution to my problem. This was not something where I was morbidly obese my entire life. This was something that consistently got worse over the span of a decade. When your doctors start telling you there are changes that need to be made now, in order to save your life, you should seriously start to listen.

I never knew about bariatric surgery, until I found out that my uncle had the bypass surgery and saw the amount of weight he lost in an extremely short amount of time. Learning of his procedure, and witnessing his success, I began my several months-long research into what bariatric surgery actually is, the types of surgery available, and (most importantly) how life was after surgery.

As mentioned above, my weight gain happened over a span of 10 years. The lowest weight I could reach was 225lbs. At that time, I was trying to join the military and my heart was set on following my father’s footsteps in the Air Force.

I was not able to make the goal weight and experienced, for the first time, shear embarrassment for weighing too much to be a part of a legacy.

Every male in our family history, with my last name, spent time in the military. Following this point in my life, I noticed a consistent gain in weight. This was something that occurred while maintaining the diet and exercise routine I had to prepare for the military.

As the years passed and the weight continued to pile on, I finally reached a tipping point when I went to a routine doctor’s appointment and stepped on the scale. The scale read 460lbs and I could not believe the numbers I was seeing. This was a huge shocker for me and I immediately made the mental decision to have bariatric surgery.

Before & After VSG with Michael M.

OH Username: Lokey848
Total Weight Loss: 260lbs
Surgery Type: VSG
Surgery Date: August 23, 2018
Surgeon: Dr. Darren Soong

My Surgery and Post-Op Life

Before finding the Surgical Weight Control Center (SWCC) and meeting Dr. Soong, I had been to two other doctors and was completely let down; especially the second doctor I saw. With the second doctor, I had completed every requirement they set and even maintained a consistent weight loss. After being with him for 6-months, it was time to schedule my bariatric surgery.

Two weeks before surgery, I see my doctor for a pre-op follow up and it is at this time, 2 weeks before surgery, I am told I cannot follow through with surgery and my insurance would deny my surgery, due to not having lost 100lbs prior to surgery. This was devastating. This was information that my insurance company denied and ensured me they do not have a weight loss requirement to be eligible for surgery; I could not be gaining any weight.

After my frustrations subdued, I began my search for a second opinion. This is when I found Dr. Soong and his team at SWCC. From my initial phone call to coming home for the first time after surgery, this was an amazing experience. The overall surgical experience was amazing, due to the men and women who had me in their care.

I found this surgery comparable to that of gall bladder removal surgery, which I have experienced before.

I never felt like I was going down this path alone or ever had the sense that surgery is done, now you’re on your own. Dr. Soong and his team have been there from day one and Dr. Soong continues to be there for me, even a year and a half later.

This surgery is something that no one could prepare myself for; even me. I say this with respect to how quickly the weight was “falling” off me. I often joke about being able to sit down and when I stand up, I would leave 20lbs of fat behind. I had lost 50lbs in my first three weeks after surgery. With all my pre-op research, I never knew I could lose the amount of weight I lost and in such a short amount of time. On my one-year post-op anniversary date, I lost 200lbs! I do owe a lot of credit to the amount of protein I consumed for the first year.

From day one post-op, I followed everything my doctor/nutritionist told me about my new eating habits. These are tips and tricks that I still follow to this day.

Before & After VSG with Michael M.

I have a YouTube channel called, Life After VSG, which was created to help inspire other people who are researching or considering the surgery. During my preparations, I noticed there was not a lot of men sharing their experience with their bariatric journey. The ones that were there, were years old; and we all know how quickly technology changes. I created this channel to allow people to see into my life after having bariatric surgery and providing the tips and strategies that I used.

This “newfound” life after VSG is one that I fantasized about for so long. I knew I was not supposed to be as big as I was and I would sometimes wish I could just unzip this “fat-suit” that I was forced to wear. For me, VSG was like pushing the reset button on my life. This is a button I would push a thousand times over if it provided the same results.

Life today is amazing. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed, I move and walk really fast. There are so many changes that took place, which allow me to live my life as God intended; to live a life free of constraints. 460lbs was a major restriction. Being able to run through playgrounds with my kids and go on rides with them at theme parks, is something I have never been able to experience in their lifetime.

To be able to climb to the top of a jungle gym and run through the grass with them, just to simply enjoy life, is something I will forever hold gratitude for this new “tool” in my life.

In order to maintain this happiness, it was imperative for me to have a new mindset with my new stomach. I cannot stress how important it is to listen to your body. Know what your eating limits are. Learn what satisfies and upsets your stomach. This is a very powerful tool and works wonders if you follow it correctly.

Special Milestones & Non-Scale Victories

  • Losing 200lbs in ONE YEAR! (I know it’s supposed to be non-scale, but wow!)
  • Going on rides with my kids at theme parks.
  • Finally taking a family photo (or any photo) where I’m not disgusted with myself
  • Having my COMPLETE confidence back!
  • The positive mental attitude change is unmeasurable
  • Walking proudly into DMV for a new license picture and weight
  • Being able to fit into clothes I could only dream about
  • Attending my daughter’s kindergarten father/daughter dance and seeing how proud of me she is.
  • My BIGGEST milestone, knowing I will have more time to watch my kids grow and spend even more invaluable time with my family.

How has been a part of your journey? has been a great resource post-surgery. This is a community I wish I had known about prior to my surgery. The amount of information found on this site and the people who are willing to give advice is amazing. 

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