I’ll NEVER be a Statistic!
NAME : Marianna
BEFORE WEIGHT : 280
AFTER WEIGHT : 156
POUNDS LOST : 124
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I started gaining weight slowly here & there when I quit smoking 29 yrs ago but my weight gain was increasing every year & really started taking notice of it about 10-11 yrs ago.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
As I was gaining weight, I still loved myself & didn’t see it as a big problem & although I was at my heaviest, I would always try to watch what I ate & I’d always go to the park & walk the track & exercise on a regular basis UNTIL I got to the point that my feet, ankles & knees would hurt intensely even while I was just walking!
I knew I had to do something drastic or I’d keep gaining & gaining & I wasn’t getting any younger. If I could NOT exercise to get the weight off, what was I to do!?
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
At my heaviest, about 11-12 yrs ago- I was working full time at a hospital & that was when weight loss surgery was becoming more & more popular but it was still new & I was very intrigued & knew in my heart that IF I did something so drastic like this….that this would be a jump start & that the tough girl in me would successfully keep going & live a whole different lifestyle! I just knew that! I just needed that jump start! I just needed to survive it & then I’d take over from there! But I mostly heard all of the negative aspects of weight loss surgery! “You might die”, “You’re taking the easy way out”, “what if something goes wrong” “I know people that have that surgery & gained their weight back & then some” That was all the type of things I heard! But I, ME was NOT going to be a statistic!
My mentality was, “hand me the ball & I’ll show you what I can do with it”! 🙂
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
Since I worked at a major hospital, I scheduled a consultation with a Bariatric Surgeon (who I was referred to by my own clinic & primary care physician) & was well known as one of the best Bariatric Surgeons in the country (which was extremely important for me) I had the consult & then did one full year of psychiatric counseling and went to weekly support groups- before even scheduling the surgery!
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
I had my surgery on 4/3/06- I survived! Despite all the negative comments- I survived!! But it was a long road ahead & the journey is never ending!
I saw results within the next 6wks, I was morphing into a whole new person!
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
The challenges I faced were the “immediate ones”, the pain & soreness, the cravings of food after a few days of the surgery & all I could eat was jello, carnation drinks (for protein) & mashed potatoes! I was told to walk as soon as I felt up to it because of shaping my body while losing & because I was young & the elasticity of my skin was healthy & good- that I knew if I started walking & slowly exercising- I would see a big difference!
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
No! Never! not once! I did NOT do this major, life changing surgery for Nothing! I knew once I survived, it was on from there! That’s why I say “I’ll never be a statistic” I refuse to be “that girl that had gastric by pass surgery & gained it all back”
My husband (although he was just my boyfriend at the time) & he never once told me to NOT or TO have the surgery-(I was going through the classes when I met him but I already had my mind up) But he is the one that kept me going- he pushed me & accommodated my “good” eating habits by eating whatever I cooked & never complained! He walked with me & was always a positive force/support in my life!
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I did hit a plateau about 5yrs ago I gained about 20-40 pds along the way, here & there, up & down & then I moved to Tx & didnt follow my eating habits like I was doing, BUT & this is what Im most proud of, I enrolled in Weight Watchers when I moved here (which Ive been a member previously) & within the last few years started walking & then this past year, I started clean eating & walking more & more & then something hit me, I just started “loving” being healthy & started very vigorously walking every day 3-5 miles & some days- 7 or 8 miles! It’s increasing every day!
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
It took me 2yrs to lose most of it & 8 yrs to keep it off (with the bumps in the road here & there) but its been 10yrs 4/3 since my surgery & life just keeps getting better! I feel the best Ive ever felt & Im definitely NOT a statistic! 🙂
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
Definitely! There was weeks where I weighed in at Weight Watchers & the scale wouldn’t move or I’d just lose .5 or something really low but then the clothes that didn’t fit me last month, now do! or I could cross my legs for hours at a time without any pain!
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
My daily diet is very different from 10yrs ago. I eat low carb, high protein, low fat meals. I don’t eat sugar or white starchy foods or processed foods. I eat mostly chicken or fish as my meal with veggies & some good carbs. Im a snacker & a chip-a-holic, so I have to watch that! I substitute chips for handfuls of crunchy skinny popcorn or grapes or some days, If I want them? I have them! I just make sure I work it off the next day! In general my diet is much different but I create flavorful healthy meals & Im always trying something new!
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Well- I still walk (without the feet, ankle & knee pain) I walk very intensly EVERY day anywhere from 3-6 miles regularly & increasing it all the time! I always challenge myself- I feel so much lighter so I keep going! 🙂
I also do zumba- which I love!!
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Eat a great breakfast every morning;
Veggie egg white omelet,
oatmeal with fruit,
healthy smoothies, something!
That will give you rocket fuel to help in having a great healthy day!
- Water! Water! Water!
From the minute I get out of bed, I drink 2 cups of water with lemon before drinking my morning tea (I cut out coffee last year)
I drink half my body weight in water every day. So whatever you weigh? divide that in half & that is what you should drink in water every day
- Walk! Its free, easy & does more than you think! Slow & steady wins the race!
Blast your favorite music or a favorite audio book in your ear- it will help keep you moving!
- Sugar & Salt (sea salt in sprinkles for flavor is ok)
I try to make sure I have things with low or no sugar! I substitute sugar for stevia & apple sauce in place of sugar for baking (which I dont do much)
Im a savory eater (thats why I love chips) so I use a sprinkle of sea salt when I need a bit of flavor
- Throw out the old “fat” clothes!
Dont save them for “If I gain my weight back” its a deterrent!
Instead I bought new smaller clothes & loved it! but my tip? Buy off the clearance or inexpensive stores or thrift shops) so you don’t waste money! I was buying expensive work out outfits & then a month later, they’d be too big! Shop low cost clothing until you reach your goal weight!