Transformation of the Day: Marcia lost 220 pounds, going from a size 36 to a size 20/22. She is a proud mom and grandmother who’s motivation was to use be healthier, mind, body and spirit. After experiencing heart problems, her doctor recommended weight loss surgery and she used it as a tool to take back her life. Check out what she shared with us about her transformation.
Hi my name is Marcia M. and I had weight loss surgery 8 years ago. At my highest weight, I didn’t have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc… However, I did start having chest pains which led to a Cardiac Cath. Once that heart issue came back to normal, my cardiologist looked at me, asked if I had children and asked if I loved them. Looking back at him with my raised eyebrow and I said that was a stupid question and of course I do. He said, “Well, if you do not have surgery you will be dead by the following year. Your call.” and walked out of the room.
Well, I had the gastric sleeve procedure and I could kick myself for not doing it sooner. A lot of people feel that surgery is a quick fix. That don’t realize that its a tool to help you get to a point to were you can exercise on your own and train yourself on how to eat right. I feel that my success comes from not going into this process thinking that I was going to be thin. I went in thinking I wanted to be healthy and alive. Fast forward to 2016, I have lost 230 plus pounds and I feel wonderful (height: 5’6″). Next phase will be dealing with the excess skin. Now, I can enjoy my children and my grandchildren.
When you have any type of gastric surgery, your eating habits change. I had to cut out sodas and some fried foods, which are my favorite. I had to get use to eating more protein. I found these New Whey protein bullets (3oz) that contain 42 grams of protein. What I do is drink half in the morning and half in the afternoon. The protein gives me energy and curbs my appetite. I tried to add friut which I love, but my sleeve, “Gladys“, doesn’t like fruit. I would get really bad pains everytime I would eat fruit. I’m like “really!!” Since I’m so far out from having the surgery years ago, I can eat more things these days, but only in moderation. For example, I love fries but I know my limit is 3, and I do mean 3. I just wait until my kids have some, eat 3 and I’m done.
My workout routines were weird due to my work schedule. I working 12 hour shifts maintaining a 32 bed critical care cardiovascular unit for children was a workout by itself. I would literally put in anywhere from 12,000 to 15,000 steps per shift. When I was off, I started going to the gym but I didn’t like being around a lot of people because I felt like that was “my” time. I decided, with the help of a special person in my life, to walk around the neighborhood, which I was terrified to do. We started with walking from my house to the stop sign, which was 4 houses down and back. Every day we went a little further, and before I knew it I was walking around the entire neighborhood without fear of running out of breath. I could walk and talk without breathing hard, lol. My walks became so important to me because that was my time to reflect on a lot of things in my life. It was a time to cry and release my anger towards situations and also have talks with God.
The advice I do give to other people who decide to have surgery or do it naturally on there own is that there is no quick fix to losing weight. When I was told either have the surgery or die that was enough for me. However, the most important thing I did for myself was to have a mindset of getting healthier, not being skinny because that may never happen. When I hear people who are well into the 500 pound range or higher state that they will have the surgery and will be a size 2, I think, “You are setting yourself up for failure.” I wanted to be able to fit in chairs and booths comfortably, be able to go on amusement rides with my kids and run (walk really fast) after my grandchildren. I wanted to be able to travel and not have to worry about getting an extension for the seat belt.
People look at me now and see that I’m not a size 2, but if they only knew where I started that would be amazed. I was wearing a size 36 and now I’m in a size 20/22. It blows my mind. So, my advice to others is please go into your journey with the mindset of getting healthier; mentally, physically and spiritually. That was the thing my surgeon told me on the day of surgery. Normally, you are wheeled to the O.R., but my doctor makes you walk and right before you get to the doors he says to turn around, look, waive to your family and also say goodbye to the person that walked down the hallway because once you turn around you are starting your new journey to a healthier you. That is why my FB page and my instagram are named Starting a New Journey. That is what I did and it is a tough journey, but when I look back on were I came from all I can do is thank God that I am here. A healthy and a better me.