Transformation of the Day: Amber lost 414 pounds. At 25 years old, she had a mini-stroke, and that was her turning point. Her beloved mother passed away due to a heart attack and always encouraged her to embrace a healthy lifestyle. With gastric bypass surgery, a low carb/high protein meal plan and lots of exercise, she has truly transformed. Check out her journey.
My journey started in November 2015 at 25 years old. I’d just finished eating, and I started to feel different. My heart was beating super fast, and my body had a tingling sensation all over.
I went to an emergency room and found out I was having a stro Transient ischemic attack aka. a mini stroke. When the doctor came in, she took off her doctor coat and had a heart to heart talk with me. She said, ‘Amber, you are so young. You are 25 years old, and this weight is not good for you.’
That was my wake-up moment. I said to myself, ‘I can’t do this to my brother.’ He has already lost his mom. I got custody of my brother when our mother died. We lost our mom on 03/30/2013 due to a heart attack. After that loss, I did a lot of emotional eating, but I have been morbidly obese my whole life.
The same day that I left the ER, I got online and found an insurance plan that covered gastric bypass. I knew that if I did not do anything about my health, I would end up dying at a young age . It’s sad to say it took something life changing to get me to want to be motivated. I had the surgery on 12/14/2016 with Piedmont Bariatrics.
Inspiration: Before my other passed away, she always wanted me to lose weight and encouraged me to do better. My mom was very sickly and overweight. Whenever I wanted to give up, I would read a letter my mom wrote to me or I would stare at our pictures. I know in my heart that my mom is in heaven shouting and praising me for having the determination to lose weight.
Secondly, my brother is my inspiration as well. I did not want to put a burden on my brother. If I would’ve continued to live the unhealthy lifestyle, he would’ve lost me too. Losing our mom and then me would have been hard on him.
Eating habits: For bariatric surgery, you have to lose 50 pounds on your own before you are considered a candidate for surgery. I started a low carb/high protein diet. I avoided sugar and starchy foods, like bread, pasta, rice, beans and potatoes. I cut out all bad foods period. No chips, candy, fast food, alcohol, carbs, pasta, soda, or juices with high sugar. I start eating things I wouldn’t have considered trying prior to surgery, such as greek yogurt, devil eggs, tuna, hummus, cold cuts, quinoa, string cheese, protein shakes, and hard boiled eggs.
I follow the gastric bypass pre-op meal plan my nutritionist gave me. I eat smaller portions now of course. I eat 3 times a day, and all my meals include something high in protein.
Exercise routine: I get up and walk for an hour before work and after
work. I walk an hour or two, three to four times per week. I recently purchased a gym member that I can’t wait to use!
Biggest challenge: My biggest challenge has been adjusting to my new body. Emotionally, I still feel like a 565-pound person. I always have to remind myself that I can do this or I can do that. I look in the mirror, and I still see her. When people recognize me, I am not used to this much attention. It is a rebirth for me.
How life has changed: My current weight is 150.4 pounds at 5’7″. My life has changed in the best way possible. I feel like I have a second chance at life. It is the rebirth of Amber. I am getting out in the world. I am learning to care about Amber and take care of myself first. Somtimes, I have to do a reality check: ‘Amber you lost 414 pounds!’ That’s where I am at now, taking it day by day and soaking it all in. Who would have thought back in 2015 that I would be here saying I enjoy life?
Biggest lesson: I’ve finally learned how to LOVE my self. For 26 years, I hated myself inside and out. I learned to put AMBER FIRST and do what makes AMBER HAPPY. I learned how to LIVE and ENJOY LIFE!
Advice: It starts with your mind. If you are not mentally ready for change, then of course everything else will fail in the process. Once you are ready MENTALLY, just watch how your journey will take off!