Weight Loss Surgery was not a “magic pill” for weight loss as Anitra thought it might be, but she made the lifestyle changes necessary to see lasting weight loss. Her story illustrates the ups and downs that even people who’ve had surgical weight loss procedures face. Read about her journey to learn more…
My name is Anitra Bell-Robinson and I would like to share my weight loss journey with you. In January 2004, I had weight loss surgery. Years of emotional eating and yo yo dieting finally resulted in my weight ballooning to 315 pounds. I spent many nights visualizing how my new body would look. Needless to say, surgery was the jumpstart I so desperately desired. The problem was that I totally depended on the procedure I had undergone to do all the work. Although I got down to 167 lbs, I had no desire to truly change my lifestyle so that would maintain my weight loss. I found ways of snacking that let me avoid the “dumping syndrome” and did not exercise much at all. Yes, I guess you could say I thought I had found the “magic pill” that would sustain the weight loss. That year, I got married and in 2005 had my daughter. My weight slowly but surely increased to 226 lbs.
Desperate and depressed, I said “What else is there to do?”. Half of my stomach is cut out and I failed at reaching my goal. It was not until an elderly lady pointed out my weight gain that something snapped in me. (I sure didn’t appreciate her remark at the time). The following summer I started going to the YMCA. I remember being jealous of a fellow coworker who could exercise on the ellipitical machine for what seemed like forever. When I got on it my thighs burned so badly that I could not make it more than 2 minutes. However, I was determined not to give up! What other choice did I have? By the end of the summer, I had built my endurance up to one hour on the machine. I returned to school 50 lbs lighter! Back to school means hard work, juggling schedules, and eating on the run. I gained about 25 lbs back by the end of that school year.
During the fall of that same year, a YMCA was built about 5 minutes away from my house. I started with Zumba. I was so out of breath… but I stuck with it. Eventually I began attending more challenging classes such as Boot Camp, kickboxing, circuit training and added weight training. I also made a deal with myself to change the way I looked at food. I started with just portion control which was how I change my eating habits after my surgery in the first place. That’s when the weight started coming off and staying off. I then started feeling so good that I took another look at my diet. I decided to eat less processed foods and less fast foods.
Today, I weigh 162 pounds. My goal is 150 pounds, but I would secretly love to be 140 pounds (in my mind). I love my body now and I’m often amazed at what it can do at 46 years old. People ask me all the time how I do it and I am very honest with them. Yes, I have tried the cabbage soup diet, the Beyoncé lemonade diet, and anything else you could think of. It was not until I had my mind, body, and spirit aligned that I understood that the body God has given me is precious. It has allowed me to have two beautiful children and I want to do all I can to live a healthy lifestyle for them and my husband. Oddly enough, my husband wants some more meat on my bones. Don’t get me wrong, I love my curves but I don’t miss the pain in my knees, feet, and back due to carrying excessive weight. I no longer feel guilty about going to the gym 6 days a week. That is my time carved out for me. I encourage anyone that is struggling with their weight to take the first step and that is get your mind right. It takes time and it is a journey, but it is a journey worth seeing through to the end. I thank God for this revelation and hope to keep inspiring others.