Transformation of the Day: Amanda lost 167 pounds. This mom of 2 was battling diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. She felt like she was headed towards an early death. She decided to attend a weight loss surgery information session in 2013, and her life has never been the same. Check out her journey.
My weight loss journey began about five years ago. I was an overweight mom of two teenagers who was battling diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. I was taking four insulin shots a day along with seven different medications.
At my biggest, I wore a size 32 and weighed 360+ pounds at 5’4″. I was able to lose 15-20 lbs on my own, but never really lost more than that. Because of my size, exercise was not an easy task. Although I thought I was monitoring my eating habits, my portion sizes were ridiculous.
One day, while sitting in bed preparing to give myself an insulin shot, I broke down. The realization set in that I was basically heading towards an early death. All of the health conditions that I was dealing with run deep in my family. I began to think about how I wanted to see my children grow up. I wanted to be a grandmother one day and watch my grandchildren grow up as well. The lifestyle that I was living was not going to allow that.
So, I made up in my mind that I would go to a weight loss surgery information session in October 2013. From that moment on, my life was never the same. I committed to 6 months of weight loss monitoring. The monthly check-ins with my primary care physician helped to keep me accountable. I was able to lose another 15 lbs putting me at 325 pounds on the day of my surgery, 4/9/14.
The surgery my doctor recommended was the Duodenal Switch which is kind of like a gastric sleeve and gastric bypass combined. Having weight loss surgery forced me to have to change my eating habits. I went from being a carboholic to focusing on my protein intake.
After surgery, I started off walking. I would walk for about 30 minutes a day. After that, I started going to the gym . I worked out in the gym six days a week for an hour and a half each day. My workout routine included an hour on the elliptical and 30 minutes of circuit training. Please understand, that it took me some time to build up to that hour on the elliptical (which I called The Beast). I started off only able to do about five minutes and taking numerous breaks. However, within about two months I was able to do a full hour without a break.
In addition to my gym routine and changing my eating habits, I also did things like parking my car farther out in the parking lot and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
During my first year, I lost 125 pounds down from my surgery weight, and 160 pounds from my highest. The second year, I lost another 37 pounds making my total weight loss 162 pounds from my surgery weight and 197 pounds from my highest. At my lowest, I weighed 163, but that was after battling the H1N1 Flu. My normal weight was around 175 pounds. I have since gained about 22 pounds. My doctor says the 20 lb regain is fairly normal once your body begins to level out.
Today, I sit at 193 – 197 lbs depending on whether or not I’m retaining water. I’ve gone from being a size 32 to a size 8 to now being a size 12. The only medication that I take is Omeprazole for acid reflux and my vitamins each day. I am no longer a diabetic. My A1c is 4.6. I don’t have high blood pressure nor do I have high cholesterol.
Having weight loss surgery was not an easy choice, but it was the best choice for me. Every day is decision-making day. I have to make conscious decisions about what to eat and how much to eat. I eat a very high protein, low carb diet. I don’t keep things such as chips or cookies in my house. Instead, I buy a ton of Greek yogurt, cheese,eggs, meats, fish, shellfish, and veggies. I use cauliflower instead of rice and potatoes. I eat spaghetti squash in lieu of pasta. Don’t get me wrong, my eating habits are not perfect. There are times when I will have chips or even a cookie or two. When that happens, I have to physically leave my house and go to the store to purchase it. When I do, I will get the $0.50 bag or the single pack cookies. This doesn’t happen often because honestly who wants to get up and do a late night run to the store for $0.50 bag of chips or a dollar pack of cookies, LOL.
Anyway, I’m probably rambling, but I wanted to share my story. I want to encourage people who feel trapped by their weight or poor health. I want them to realize they have the power to take charge and make a change. All they have to do is seize the moment.
The biggest lesson that I’ve learned in life is that whatever you do it has to be for you. That is the only way you can survive such drastic life changes. My weight loss cost me my marriage (even after 21 years) and a few friendships. Not everyone is going to support you or encourage you, because some people want you to remain just the way you were. You have to know why you’re doing what you’re doing, who you’re doing it for, and believe that you are totally worth it!