Before & After VSG with Wink, down 185 pounds!April 20, 2021
Before & After VSG with Wink: Why I decided to have WLS
I was 45 when I decided to make a change in my life. On June 8, 2018, I had the gastric sleeve procedure. Like many people, I have struggled with my weight my whole life, even though I was active.
During my early high school years, I did Nutri-System and lost 75 pounds, but by the time I started college, I was back up 100 pounds. Then I tried Fen-Phen. I lost 100 and gained back 125 pounds. Later my fiancé and I did Atkins, then we tried a lifestyle change with the South Beach diet. Every time I lost weight but put even more back on.
Fast forward to 2018, I was up to 380 pounds and rapidly headed toward 400. I needed to make a change so I would be around for my family. My wife and I have a daughter, and I want to see all the milestones, graduations, weddings, and possibly grandkids.
I had looked into the surgical route about 15 years prior and decided that it wasn’t for me. My gastroenterologist had me on Prevacid and blood pressure medication and suggested I take another look at surgery.
I went to Dr. Quilici with trepidation. I had concerns because I travel for work and spend a minimum of 75 nights each year in a hotel, not including regular long-day trips. After meeting with his team, Jacqui, the nutritionist, and Dr. McCoy, the phycologist, along with attending some of the support meetings, I decided to change my life and be healthy.
Before & After VSG with Wink
My Surgery and Post-Op Life
The surgery went smoothly. The nursing staff at St. Joseph took care of me, and I was up and walking within a few hours. After that day, my life did change. I am off all medication except for my daily vitamins. Our whole household has changed the way we live, and we now all eat healthy. Pre-Covid, my wife, mother, and I were at the gym five days a week. On the weekends, I was coaching my daughter's softball team or out on hikes.
Almost three years later, I still follow the rules. I weigh out my portions, take my vitamins and get plenty of water. I’m not getting the level of exercise I would like, but that will soon change. Currently, I’m maintaining at 200 pounds, which is lower than my freshman football weight.
Special Milestones / Non-Scale Victories
NSVs are some of my favorite things. I took weekly photos and measurements to access the change. I started with a 60-inch waist, and now I’m at a 36-inch waist. When I fly, the flight attendant doesn’t need to offer me a seat belt extender. I also no longer see the fear in the other passengers' eyes of “Oh Lord, please don’t have that fat guy sit next to me.”
We have season passes to Universal Studios Hollywood, and since the new Harry Potter area opened, I had been too big to ride any of the attractions. In front of the Harry Potter ride, they have a seat to check if you will fit on the ride. You have to pull down the lap bar, and the light has to turn green. We are at the park, and I was down just over 100 pounds.
We decided to wander over there and see how close I was to ride versus sitting on a bench at the exit waiting for my family. I convinced myself that I probably didn’t fit yet, but on our next visit, I could probably ride. I sat in the seat, pulled down the lap bar, and the light lit up green! I was excited and probably over celebrated. The ride operator was looking at me, and I explained the situation. She said congratulations, reached in her pocket, and gave me a skip-the-line pass.
Another time I was working in New York and forgot to pack a belt for my suit. I was flipping out. Where was I going to find a big man shop open at 8 in the evening? After a quick Google search, my wife said there is a Banana Republic around the corner. I said, “They don’t carry anything big enough for me.” She had to remind me, “You are not that size anymore. You can shop anywhere.” That was a revelation I had to wrap my mind around. I had always shopped in the plus section from childhood when I wore husky cords to school every day.
I’m thankful for all the support from my family and Dr. Quilici’s team, and the healthier life we are living.
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