Transformation of the Day: Clarissa lost 90 pounds. She was faced with being pre-menopausal and pre-diabetic and taking 2 blood pressure medications. Feeling miserable and knowing that she had to take action to improve her health, she decided to get the Lap-Band surgery. Surgery has not been a quick fix, but instead a tool for change. Check out her journey.
I have been heavy all my life, but it wasn’t until I turned 32 years old that I decided to make a permanent change. On July 3, 2015, I underwent Lap-Band® weight loss surgery. I didn’t share this information with anyone outside of my family and close friends. At the time of my consultation I weighed 350 pounds, but weighed 329 pounds on the day of surgery. To date, I am down to 260 pounds and counting. (Height: 5’2″) I was miserable and depressed that I let myself get so big. Everyone thinks surgery is a easy fix, but trust me it is not. I have to watch what I eat and exercise as well. My lap-band is just a tool to keep me in line when it comes to eating.
What inspired you to keep going when you wanted to give up?
I have been trying to lose weight since I was a teenager. My wake up call came at the age of 31 at a routine doctors appointment. The scale read “350 lbs.” and I was so ashamed that I cried right there in the office. That moment of weakness has been my motivation ever since.
How did you change your eating habits?
Before surgery, I decided to try a low carb/high protein diet. I mainly ate chicken and veggies and stopped drinking sodas cold turkey. I went from 350 pounds to 329 pounds on my own, before getting my Lap-Band. That diet carried over into my post-op life. Now, I cannot drink carbonated drinks and I had to learn strict portion control. I cannot eat more than 1/2 to 1 cup of food at a time and I’m not suppose to eat longer than 15-20 minutes. I have to eat at least 60 grams of protein a day as well as veggies. If I eat carbs, it is in the form of brown rice or wheat wraps, but it’s hard to eat those things with a band. My doctor does tell me to steer clear of those foods, but I can have a small portion if I want too. I stop eating when I’m satisfied, not necessarily full, and that has lead to my great results today.
What did your workout routine look like?
Prior to my Lap-Band, exercise was non existent for me. Now, I work out 3-4 times a week. A typical gym day for me is 20-25 minutes on the elliptical, 50 squats with 25-50 pound weights and once around a circuit of exercises.
What advice do you have for others who want to lose weight?
My advice is don’t put off starting your journey! I said every Monday that I would start my diet. That day never came until I was morbidly obese, along with being premenopausal and pre-diabetic. On top of that, I was taking 2 blood pressure medications before I turned 30 years old. Focus on your health and eating habits. Focus less on the scale. Take pictures and then take more pictures. I cannot stress that enough! Seeing how my body, as well as my mind, has changed gives me the strength and courage to keep pushing to get healthier.
I don’t mind encouraging others so please feel free to follow me on Instagram at @bandedbabeingeorgia. We have to help each other. Thanks for reading my story and I hope it inspires someone.