Update Nov 2016 – Joy wrote in to let us know that she’s lost 9 more pounds for a total of 139 pounds gone. Read about how she lost the weight below.
I’m happy with my results, but have a few more pounds I’d like to loose. My goal is to be at 185 pounds and I currently weigh 228 pounds. The best part about this journey is that my health has improved tremendously, I’m very happy and I feel great. Now, I am working on toning my body.
I have maintained my weight loss by being conscious of what I eat. I eat three small meals and two healthy snacks daily. I drink water with lemon and I do not drink soda at all. If I need a little taste of something other than water, I will drink 4oz of gatorade. I’m not perfect. Here and there, temptation gets the best of me. I might snack on some sweets, but it’s not often. When I do have sweets it’s in very small portions and in moderation.
My weight loss was stagnant for a while, because I stopped going to the gym. I finally started going back to the gym this summer and I have lost a few more pounds. I think I’ve lost more inches than pounds, which is just as good to me. What I’ve realized is that exercising is very important. Even after reaching your goal, exercising is important for maintaining your weight. It’s also great for your health.
There was a time whenI felt discouraged. I didn’t think I would be able to make it this far or maintain my success. I had to learn to stay positive and be patient. This is not an easy journey for anyone, but it is a possible one. You have to change your way of thinking, stay positive, change your eating habits and set goals. Work very hard towards your goals everyday. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Stay focused and motivated. Surround yourself with SUPPORTIVE… let me say that word once again because it’s very important… SUPPORTIVE family and friends and you will be successful in your journey.
There may be a time when you do everything you can do and the weight just won’t come off. Do NOT get discouraged. I’ve spoken to many people and at some point we all have had this experience. Stay positive and accept that challenge. Keep pushing, work even harder and stay motivated. The scale will eventually start going down again and the inches will come off. When it does, it’s one of the best feelings that you could ever have. I’m going to keep working hard towards my goals and I hope you all do the same. I believe in you, so believe in yourself.
Nov 2015 – Weight Loss Transformation: Joy lost 130 pounds. This proud mom was facing a number of weight-related health issues, including sleep apnea, high blood pressure and diabetes. Emotional eating and depression after the loss of her grandmother was a major factor in her weight reaching over 300 pounds. She opted to have gastric sleeve surgery and she’s shared with us her journey to making that choice and how it’s impacted her life.
I have been a thick girl all of my life. During my teen years I was at my smallest, 142 pounds. After I had my daughter at 18 yrs old, I started taking Depo-Provera and within a year and a half I gained 80 pounds. That was the beginning of the end of my small frame. During my 20’s, my weight fluctuated a lot. At 28, after I had my son, I lost 52lbs and was able to get in a bathing suit after 10 years.
Then, in 2010, everything went downhill. My sweet love, my grandmother, passed away and her death nearly killed me. I didn’t know how to handle it. I fell into a severe deep state of depression and from there a series of unfortunate events happened that put me in an even deeper state of depression. Food became comfort and it’s not that I ate a lot. It was what I ate and the times that I ate. That emotional eating routine went on for several years. Also I wasn”t exercising, so the pounds just pilled on.
Some time after came the health issues; diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, anxiety and panic attacks. I stopped breathing 38 times a night while I slept and a sleep study diagnosed me with sleep apnea. I also had a bad back, knee pain, insomnia and thyroid issues. I mean there is just a list of issues I developed by being overweight. It was a nightmare. I lived in a doctor’s office and was taking more medication than anyone my age should have been on. I was just so depressed, still in morning, sad, and unhappy with life.
Depression will sink you so low, but while you are going through it you don’t realize that. Looking back, I wish I would have taken my doctor’s advice and talked to a specialist to help me get through the pain I was going through, but no I had too much pride. Then I got to the point where I didn’t care if I lived or not. I never thought about suicide, but I use to cry myself to sleep praying to God that he wouldn’t let me wake up the next morning. I was tired, just tired of being in pain and hurting.
One night I woke up from an anxiety attack, sat on the side of the bed and watched my children while they slept. I thought about my life, their life, and how I needed to get myself healthy, mentally and physically, so that I could be here for them. I knew I had to make a change and do something. A few days later I started seeing a doctor to help me with the pain of my grandmother’s death. I also went to the 5th consultation regarding having bariatric surgery. I was most comfortable with the last doctor I’d met so I choose him to do the surgery and the process began. He suggested that I get the gastric bypass procedure, but I felt that procedure was too invasive for me. Granted, I would have lost a lot more weight faster, but, that was not my concern. I decided to have the gastric sleeve.
I had surgery on June 25, 2014. On that day, I literally lost it to the point where the doctor gave me a sedative to calm me down. I was so scared and nervous that I was about to get out that bed and walk out that hospital. Before they put me under, I told my daughter that I was doing this for her and her brother. I told her I was also doing it for my health and for a better quality of life. My poor baby got so upset she just broke down because she was scared too. Waking up from surgery, I thought I would be in alot of pain. Shockingly, I had no pain, just discomfort and I was groggy from anesthesia. It took approximately 2 weeks to recover and I was back to work.
I have lost a total of 130 pounds within 16 months. The day I went into surgery, I weighed 367 pounds and today I weigh 237 pounds. The only thing I regret is waiting so long to have this surgery. I no longer have sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes or back and knee pain. The only pills I take are vitamins and supplements. Surgery is it is NO EASY FIX, I promise you that. You have to work at it. It takes hard work, discipline, exercise, and a healthy diet. The only quick fix I can think of is lipo, tummy tucks, etc, where the reaults are immediate after the swelling decreases, but those surgeries are more cosmetic. The first 50lbs are the easiest, but after that it takes effort and discipline. I could have lost more weight, but I’m human. I slip up from time to time and snack on junk food. I was stagnant for a while now, but the eliptical has became my best friend and I’m back on track. I have a little more weight to go before I reach my goal, but I’m almost there.
Before surgery, I was never conscious of what I ate. I ate what I liked such as pastas, fried food, fast food, bread, high sugar food, buffalo wings, pizza, etc. I didn’t eat a lot, but what packed on the pounds was the high calorie intake and the time of day that I ate, which was usually always late at night. I barley ate any vegetables or anything low in calories. I also drank a lot of soda and juice. After surgery, all of that had to stop. Actually before the surgery, because the doctor recommended that I go on a liquid diet pre-surgery. That was tough.
Now, I am very conscious of what I eat and I count my calorie intake faithfully. After surgery, I could not eat any of those foods listed above if I tried. My stomach is so much smaller, so sensitive that it’s not healthy, and it just defeats the purpose of having surgery. After surgery, you must stick to the diet that the doctor gives you. All foods must be high in protein, so smoothies are great with protein powder and spinach. Currently, I can eat most foods, but the portions are very small and I must chew my food up very fine before swallowing. If not, it will get stuck and that can be painful.
Exercise: I haven’t had a consistent routine for exercise. I do walk a lot more than I ever have and I use the eliptical 3 to 4 times a week for 30 minutes (however, sometimes I skip a week). It took time for my body to get use to exercise because of pain, so now I’m working on a routine to get my body sculpted.
I came a long way and I’m so proud of my weight loss success so far, but I’m still under construction. I have 50 lbs to go until I reach my goal.