Transformation of the Day: Mia lost 100 pounds. She tried for years to release the weight, but nothing brought lasting results. Tired of seeing how the pounds affected her work life, her family, and her confidence, she decided to have VSG surgery.
The physical weight and the emotional weight of obesity have been lifted from my shoulders due to my decision to have bariatric surgery. Before having VSG surgery, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t not enter a room and visually assess the chair situation. If there were folding chairs, I knew I’d have to stand because I could not trust the flimsy rivets that held the chair together. In my lifetime, I’ve broken three chairs, two beds, and a plastic stepping stool I had no business stepping on.
Being obese hindered me in so many ways. It hindered my ability to take on new responsibilities at work. It restricted my activities with my children. Over time, it chipped away at my confidence to the point that I’d shrink away from all attention, anticipating the prejudgment that was likely not even there.
For years I tried various diets, sometimes losing a few pounds but always gaining back double or more. I re-started this journey in July 2018. My weight ballooned to 275 pounds by the time I walked into the bariatric surgeon’s office for my first consultation (my heaviest weight being 283 pounds). Once I completed all the steps over the course of six months, a visit with a dietitian and a hospital tour were two of my last steps before having Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery.
Post-surgery, I was required to adjust my portion sizes, cut carbs to nearly zero, and increase my protein and vitamins.
I work out three days a week. Initially, my exercise routine was just walking. I’d attempt to achieve 10,000 steps a day. After about four months, I joined the YMCA, used the treadmill, starting taking hip hop and Zumba. My next step is to begin weight training to tone up.
If I could offer someone considering this route, I say:
- Document your progress! I started documenting my journey on social media (Instagram: @bellybum.vsg), which provided me with supportive feedback and encouragement that I didn’t know I needed.
- Take lots of before pictures. You’ll be so amazed at the side by side photos once you start losing weight.
- Look, but don’t compare. Let other people’s journeys encourage you rather than be a source of comparison. Results vary!
- Take some time for self-care. It’s important to let your body heal after surgery and beyond. Make some time for yourself. Journal, make a bucket list, read that book that’s been on your shelf for months, etc.
- The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to make myself a priority.
This experience has changed my life for the better. The “non-scale victories” such as the ability to cross my legs, having slack on an airplane seatbelt, fitting a small size shirt for the first time, are just as exciting as watching your number drop on the scale. My current weight is 183 pounds at 5’6″ One hundred pounds, gone forever! The journey continues.