Before and After VSG with Sharvelle

Before and After VSG with Sharvelle Down 135 Pounds!

January 9, 2024

Before and After VSG with Sharvelle Down 135 Pounds: My struggles with weight have been a lifelong journey from being underweight as a young kid to becoming overweight as a teen. I used food as comfort. I learned how to cook from my Papa, watching and helping him in the kitchen at a young age. He taught me everything I know. After his unexpected passing. I started to take my health more seriously. I was struggling to lose weight on my own.

After seeking help from my PCP, I found out that I was battling a thyroid disorder. I spent two years trying to get that under control with the medication, causing me to gain even more weight. I was seeing a dietitian and exercising. I stayed at 295 lbs for a year and half and I just couldn’t drop the weight. Then, in early 2019, I was diagnosed as prediabetic. After it was suggested by my PCP and inspired by a friend who was successful with VSG, I decided to pursue weight loss surgery.

Before and After VSG with Sharvelle

OH Username: SharvelleD
Total Weight Loss: 135lbs
Surgery Type:  VSG - Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
Surgery Date:  May 7, 2020
Surgeon: Anthony D. Terracina, MD

My Surgery and Post-Op Life

Within my pre-op journey, I took classes on nutrition and learned so much. I started meal prepping for me and my husband. After completing all the requirements, I had the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) on May 7, 2020. I continued to meal prep and share this newfound understanding of food. In a year and a half, I was able to lose 135 lbs, going from 295 lbs to 160 lbs. I am no longer prediabetic and my thyroid function has improved. My reasoning for this surgery was to save my life. The passing of my Papa really put things into perspective; Your time here is not forever, but if you are taking care of your health, you can extend your life.

My surgical experience was a lot different from most. After finishing all of my requirements at the end of February 2020, I was approved and scheduled for surgery for April 16th, 2020. The day after I received my approval letter, the world shut down due to Covid. I received a phone call telling me that my surgery was canceled and they would contact me when the surgeries opened back up. After about six weeks, I received a phone call to reschedule my surgery for the firstt week of May, giving me about nine days to prepare. With Covid now a factor, I had more requirements to finish before surgery. Luckily, I was able to finish all my new requirements on time. There were new rules and regulations to follow because of Covid. I wasn’t allowed to have anyone with me. I was released within 24 hours after surgery and all my follow-ups’ appointments were virtual. So having surgery for me was very scary because this was the first time that I was going under general anesthesia. Plus, I was alone before and in the 24 hours of recovery in the hospital. I was scared, but my medical team handled me with so much care as I expressed my fears to them. They never left my side!

Before and After VSG with Sharvelle

Once I was released, of course, I had to adjust to my new lifestyle. Having the world on pause because of Covid helped me as a new post-op patient. I spend a lot of the time doing more and more research on how to make this new opportunity in life the best that it could be. Learning more and more about good nutrition. What foods benefit me the best and what activities will make me successful. So, I’ve been sharing my tips and tricks to maintaining my weight loss and building muscle with my meal preps and weightlifting. I have put on 15 lbs of lean muscle mass while my body fat percentage has continued to drop.

Sharing my meal preps during this whole journey has grown into a successful business with a wide range of clients that I meal prep for. (Powerlifters, body builders, bariatrics, weight loss or bulk, or just for convenience.) With constancy, focus, and understanding of nutrition, you can elevate your life in ways you could never imagine. My love of food hasn’t changed, my understanding of it has! I have found a way to still honor my Papa with the skill he taught me in a healthy way!

My Non-Scale Victories

There have been so many milestones and non-scale victories, but I think my favorite one was when I was 3.5 months post-op and down almost 60 lbs. It was 1am Friday morning and I couldn't sleep. My mind was trying to figure out what we could do as a family that was safe (Covid) to get out of the house before the virtual school year started for our daughter. I guess you could say I was stir crazy. I started to look up things to do that would be Covid safe outside. Go Ape (zip lining & trees obstacle course) was a place I always wanted to try but never could because of the weight restriction. I found myself on their website looking for the restriction details. To my surprise, I was now under the maximum weight, with room to spare. Immediately, I booked us to go on Saturday morning. Even though I mistakenly booked us for the Delaware location (4.5 hours away), I just decided to make a whole weekend out of it. Getting there to see how high it was made me nervous, but knowing that I had not lied about my weight versus the restriction on the sign and knowing that the harness and cables could hold me made me feel better.

Other milestones: Being able to climb up ladders, cross the ropes, zip line down and do swinging obstacles gave me the feeling that I could conquer anything. Being able to show my daughter that she can do anything was such an amazing feeling! Since that day, I've taken on this journey like that obstacle course. There have been moments of self-doubt, nervousness, and hesitation but I had to trust the process like I trusted the harness and the cable knowing that it would hold me, but I would only get so far if I didn't do the work myself. Remembering both how my daughter and husband supported me at any of those obstacles made me hesitate or nervous to just move forward and eventually you'll make it. They are the reason I've made it this far and am currently training for my first powerlifting competition in 2024!

ObesityHelp is a new part of my journey for support that I’m excited to have now. I really appreciate them acknowledging my journey this past year at the conference. Even though I was there as a vendor, I was invited to participate in the fashion show to highlight my journey. Which meant the world to me! I met so many great people and made so many connections. ObesityHelp will forever be a part of my story now!

Before and After VSG with Sharvelle

Celebrate your own Before & After WLS or Medical Weight Loss success, your milestones, and non-scale victories like Sharvelle. Your journey can help to inspire others! The OH team would love to hear from you! Visit our Before & After Submission page for details.