Before & After VSG with SassyItalian, losing 125 pounds!December 17, 2019
Why I Decided to Have WLS
All of my life, I've struggled with my weight. I started eating to cope during my adolescent years after my parents' divorce. I was always so much taller and bigger than the other kids, and gaining weight intensified my feelings of awkwardness. As a pre-teen, I became so embarrassed of my weight that I would not eat lunch at school in front of others, and would wait to eat the entire day until I got home.
I was able to slim down in my teens but ballooned to 260 pounds in my early twenties, a size 20-22. I hated myself. I hated being overweight. I was tired all the time, my feet ached from plantar fasciitis, my back hurt. I couldn’t shop for cute clothes, and I felt terrible on the beach. I avoided social situations because of my weight.
I tried everything to lose the weight over many years with exercise gimmicks, nutritional plans, supplements, boxed food service. I worked out with a trainer religiously and was so proud when I dropped 50 pounds, only to gain back 60. Nothing worked for me as a permanent solution.
Eventually, it all boiled down to one thing for me - I desperately wanted to go back to school to be a veterinarian, but I knew that standing for hours doing surgery and all of the other demands in that field would be impossible if I was still morbidly obese.
I met a woman at work, and she looked normal and healthy. I was shocked to find out she had weight loss surgery. She and her husband had gastric bypass years before, and she was very open to sharing her experience. Weight loss surgery seemed SO extreme at first, and so out of reach for me. She suggested I join ObesityHelp and “do my research.” This opened up a whole new world for me. I was able to read about others' experiences, learn what to expect, and learn how to be successful.
Before & After VSG with SassyItalian
My Surgery and Post-Op Life
First and foremost, again, I have to credit ObesityHelp for truly shaping my weight loss journey. When I first joined, I was going to have a Lap-Band. The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) was a relatively newer procedure and seemed very extreme to me. But through my months of research, reading posts, and what others were sharing, I decided the VSG was right for me.
I went to my first bariatric surgeon to discuss it, and he refused to do the Sleeve on me. He said the Lap-Band was perfect for me. We had a long discussion, and I decided to find a surgeon who was open to hearing my concerns. I met Dr. David Wernsing, and I cannot tell you how open and wonderful he has been. We discussed the Sleeve, and he agreed that we could go forward. I was fully prepared in my mind for surgery. I poured over every post about post-VSG life, eating phases, the best drinks, and shake mixes.
My friends on OH were a lifeline for support and information. I remember being wheeled in for surgery and my father begging me right beforehand not to go through with it, that he would pay to send me somewhere to lose the weight. But I KNEW that I needed this ‘tool’ to change my life and be successful in the long term. Truthfully, I don’t even remember the recovery. I don’t remember the pain. I don’t remember the struggle. I do know immediately post-op I struggled to get my liquids and ended up having to go in for IV fluids twice.
But really, I remember very little because my life has been nothing but changed for the better. What I do remember are all the amazing experiences I have had at a normal weight. Being able to live a normal life is amazing. The VSG was my first step to changing my life, to put myself first, and to reach for my dreams. I applied to veterinarian school, I got in, and I've never looked back.
Weight loss surgery is what you make it - if you put in the work, follow the rules, and commit to a healthy lifestyle with exercise and eating well, you can achieve your goals!
A Special Milestone
One of the most significant victories after VSG was when I was on clinical rotations in vet school. One of the specialists in orthopedic surgery was trying to assess a dog’s gait. She handed me the leash and instructed me to run the dog up and down the hallway. I ran with the dog for several minutes while several of the doctors huddled around discussing it. In the back of my mind, I was saying, “Thank you!” because this is something that never could have happened without the surgery. I would have been so embarrassed to tell them I couldn’t because of pain, or being out of breath.
How has ObesityHelp.com been a part of your journey?
ObesityHelp has been a key part of my journey, and I truly would not be here to tell my success story without it. In the early days, it made researching each surgery easy and condensed in one place. I was able to read about the experiences of other people with each different procedure. I was able to see the real, live pros and cons, to exchange VSG friendly recipes and food ideas.
On OH, I was able to seek encouragement and vent about frustrations. OH even helped me decide what procedure was right for me, and be firm in that conviction. I would not have achieved the success I have, if not for OH support during the most critical time in my journey.
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.