Before & After VSG with Millie

Before & After VSG with Millie, losing 97 pounds!

October 31, 2017

Why I Decided to Have WLS

I changed my life. I wouldn’t say it was something I decided to do immediately but when I did make the decision, I didn’t expect to feel so liberated. When the day arrived to have the gastric sleeve surgery on Dec. 8, 2016, I was anxious…scared as hell would be more accurate. My bariatric surgeon, Dr. Piotr Gorecki, asked me one question on my first visit…DO YOU TRUST ME TO HELP YOU CHANGE YOUR LIFE? Without hesitation, I said yes.

At the time, I weighed 253 pounds, after starving myself to be a bit more presentable. Prior to my decision, I had been eating one meal a day, thinking the less I ate, the faster my metabolism would run. Despite losing several pounds during this torturous attempt at losing weight, I was always tired and in pain. In my head, I felt like I was achieving something before I embarrassed myself in front of another doctor who would chant the same thing "be more active, eat less of this or that" at another doctor appointment.

During this stage in my life, I was a single mother of three teenagers and a full-time student. Honestly, I was a trend diet jumper. Whether it was low carb, high protein, no meat or dairy, high fat, or no fat, I was determined to lose something.

I felt trapped in a fat suit that I couldn’t get out of.

I put in so much effort to lose weight but my body would betray me. I became the woman on public transportation that no one wanted to sit next to. Everyone I love had some advice for me “get it off” even when I didn’t ask. One of my relatives asked me, “Millie, why don’t you audition for one of those weight loss television shows” as a suggestion. Those moments confirmed how much my weight bothered others. I found myself hiding behind my kids when taking pictures, always conscious of what I ate in front of others and becoming increasingly depressed and angry. “Why me?” was my slogan.

Before & After VSG with Millie

Total Weight Lost: 97 pounds
Surgery Type: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG)
Surgeon: Dr. Gorecki

Having Surgery and Life as a Post-Op

Before & After VSG with Millie

On June 2, 2016, I graduated college but was unable to walk due to exhaustion and chronic pain. I was devastated but managed to convince my family that I was okay with not walking to receive my bachelor’s degree. After an emotional and physical breakdown, I finally called Dr. Gorecki’s office. I cannot express how Dr. Gorecki made me feel. He asked me if I wanted to change my life or change my life for others. This was something I didn’t even consider at the time. He made this experience personal.

As of today, I am 97 pounds down and 88 pounds since my surgery. I have been in the fitness center (YMCA) since the second week after surgery working to lose my excess weight. I watch what I eat and strength train (lift weights). I am 10 pounds shy of my goal weight. This journey hasn’t been easy but I research everything before I jump in head first. I love this process and the energy that I have so much that I now work at the fitness center that I train at.

I would like to acknowledge the emotional process as well. I went from the big invisible woman with the occasional "you have a pretty face" to the "omg what did you do, you look amazing" statements from many people I know personally and some that I don't. I thought I was secure in the support system that I had but did find some not as happy for me when they saw me.

Many did not expect me to blossom through the process. What mattered more to me is how I feel. I feel amazing. I breathe easier, I walk more confidently and sleep peacefully. I no longer worry about a stroke or heart attack.

If I had to give anyone seeking help or any advice, I would tell them to do your research, ask yourself why you want to have any gastric surgery (whether sleeve, lap band or bypass) and if you really want to change your life for you. As Dr. Gorecki would say, “walking around with all that excess weight only proves you are strong, let’s make you stronger.” I am alive, energetic, optimistic and adventurous. As I sought to better myself, I hope the same for you. Peace and positivity to you. Learn about yourself on your journey and you will love yourself too.

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