Weight Loss Story of the Day: Danielle lost 65 pounds with weight loss surgery. This proud single mom and blogger struggled with a number of ailments, including PCOS and sleep apnea, that she has seen go away or get better since surgery. Weight loss surgery was the right choice for her and she knows that it was not an “easy way out” Read her story and check out her photos below:
“Hello. I have taken the step of having weight loss surgery and I am documenting my journey through a blog. I am a 41 year old single mom to a 21 year old daughter and I’ve struggled with my weight for as many years as I can remember. Prior to surgery I struggled with hypertension, pre-diabetes, moderate sleep apnea, high cholesterol and PCOS, most which has been eliminated or reduced since surgery. The blog is losingmyselfin2014.wordpress.com/. So far I have lost nearly 60 pounds.”
What was your motivation?
One of my biggest motivations to lose weight was to be rid of my sleep apnea. I had other conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, PCOS and arthritis but it was the moderate sleep apnea that became the kick in the pants for me. I hated having to put on that darn mask every night because it became my lifeline. I was tired, lethargic and moody for years and didn’t quite know why. Yes, I was a busy single mom but there was more going on so my doctor prescribed a sleep study and determined I would stop breathing over 100 times per night. This made it impossible to have solid sleep or the energy to exercise. And along with the sleep deprivation came the bad food choices. It was a vicious cycle that I needed to get controlled. Having tried for years to get the weight off myself I considered having weight loss surgery five years ago but chickened out but revisited it last year following the sleep apnea diagnosis at 40 years old. I wanted to be around for a long time for my daughter and not have more conditions and diseases added to my body. Learning more about new procedures for weight loss I decided to have the vertical sleeve gastrectomy.
How did you change your eating habits?
Following the vertical sleeve weight loss surgery I had to begin focusing mainly on protein-based foods. My new pouch only allows 4 oz. of food per sitting so I had to shift not only what I ate but how much and how often as I now have to eat 4-6 times a day. My nutritional goals include getting at least 60-80 grams of protein, although I find more success in the 80-100 grams range. I also aim for no more than 50 grams of carbs daily and 64-100 oz of water a day. I look for creative ways to get protein in whether it means choosing a Greek yogurt cream cheese or a protein bar that has at least 18-20 grams per serving. I have also developed a love for seafood. I’ve never been one for chicken but find that I eat it more since it is a great protein option.
What do your workout routines look like?
“I’m enjoying a variety of things around fitness. I have fallen in love with at home workouts such as Dance Central 2 & 3 on Xbox, which have fitness modes to help time your workouts and calorie count. To work on improving my muscle tone I have joined a gym. I also invested in a Fitbit, which tracks my steps and calories burned and syncs with other online tools such as Myfitnesspal, SparkPeople and LoseIt to track my food and water intake and workouts. I also have Zumba and Leslie Sansone walking videos as well as my home free weights and stability ball. Also, I recently completed my first 5K walk in three years and have set a goal to complete one 5K every month this summer.”
What was your starting weight and what is your current weight?
“My highest weight ever was 253 pounds. When I started my pre-op diet for my weight loss surgery I was 242.6. My current weight is 177.2.”
How long did the transformation take?
“My transformation is still ongoing as my goal weight set my surgeon is 137 lbs (I’m not quite 5’ 4”). I had my surgery in early November so it has been just over six months that I have been able to lose 65.4 pounds.”
What advice do you have for others who want to lose weight?
“I would advise people to explore their options and make themselves a priority. I didn’t have weight loss surgery for many years believing like some people that it was a cope-out and that it was an easy way out. My own ignorance on the subject prevented me from having a healthier life for many years. Weight loss surgery is a major commitment and by no means an easy way out. It takes a great deal of discipline and isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but is a valuable tool people should at least check out if to see if it is in fact for them. I would also tell people to make themselves a priority. We all get busy with life and think that we can worry about our health later but today is later. Even if it means finding ten minutes a day to exercise it is a start.”