I got pregnant young, I was 17. I was stupid and immature I was drinking underage, and smoking when I found out. I was also homeless and living off the kindness of strangers eating maybe a snack wrap a day. I got pregnant by a man that later became my husband and then ex-husband. He helped get me in off the streets and i quit drinking and smoking right away. I also went from not having meals to having a kitchen full of meals even though they weren’t healthy. A mixture of having food always available, no longer smoking or drinking made me gain 120 pounds while I was pregnant but I had a very healthy child.
NAME : Brittany
BEFORE WEIGHT : 299
AFTER WEIGHT : 232
POUNDS LOST : 67
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? After I had my baby I found it hard to get around. I lost maybe 10 pounds once I had her. I was always out of breathe and didn’t want to walk anywhere because of that so we drove. As time went on I gained more weight instead of losing it, being a poor couple with a new baby means the food choices we made where awful. I got passed by for promotions at work, no one found me attractive anymore not even myself, and my child father started flirting more, becoming more aggressive, and uncaring towards me which made me just want to eat more to comfort myself. I also hated having pictures taken of me, and hardly ever wanted to go out in public.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? After 8 years of an abusive relationship, my daughter inspired me to find myself. I filed for a divorce and kicked him out of my house. My best male friend of 3 years proceeded to tell me he had always loved me, and we started dating. I was so worried about my looks, how could he find me attractive? I was always afraid I would wind up in the same situation I got out of but a year passed and that never happened. He proposed to me on Pi day of last year, and we both committed to each other that we wanted to be around each other for as long as possible. That is when I knew I needed to lose weight if I actually wanted a happy long life.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I got started by changing the way I ate, we got rid of junk foods, snacks, and other bad foods. Bought more veggies, lean meats, and fruits. I started walking more, and driving less. Lucky for me he was right by my side helping me along and working on himself at the same time.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I had slow weight loss and kept giving up after weeks of no progress. I started seeing a doctor and nutritionist who helped set up diet plans for me, as well as goals. I ate the diet plan but never met my goals. Finally I decided to take drastic measures and got set up for a Vertical Sleeve Gastronomy surgery. Once I had this surgery and stuck to their plan the weight started coming off daily.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? Well with any major surgery I had un-supportive people in my life (though my fiance and close family supported me) that thought I could do this on my own even though I have proved I couldn’t. Then the lack of funding from insurance, they covered the procedure but I had a max out of pocket expense of $5000 and that type of money isn’t pocket change in this house.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? Right after surgery I thought “omg what have I done?” I just wanted to eat food and they have you on a very strict diet. For me it was liquids for 2 weeks, purees for 2 weeks, soft foods for 2 weeks, then you can eat normally again. I wanted to give up, I sat in my car crying my eyes out more then once because I had passed a grocery store, or fast food place. I joined Instagram and started following others that had the surgery and were successful and I used them to keep me going.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I had surgery about 10 weeks ago. I have hit 3 plateaus mostly around my monthly. I wanted to murder my scale, I sat and cried feeling like I was doing something wrong and this wasn’t going to work for me. I finally talked to my doctor who told my plateaus are normal and expected you didnt gain weight steadily you wont lose steadily, think stairs… periods of downs, then flat. She did tell me to up my fluid in take and increase my exercise.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? I have lost 67 pounds so far since my highest weight. 42 pounds of that since surgery. I am about half way to my goal weight.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? My favorite NSV was going to universal studios in Orlando with my family. We are pass-holders but there were rides I couldn’t fit on (being kicked off a ride cause you don’t fit is the most embarrassing thing ever) 4 weeks after my surgery we went back and i said screw it and tried the ride again. When the light went green and I fit I just burst into tears with happiness.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? My daily diet now is hugely different then before. I used to eat 3/4 slices of pizza, 3 breadsticks, wash it down with a soda, then have dessert. Now we eat a high protein low carb diet. Lean meats, steamed veggies, and cheese has taken over my life.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? When I was heavier I could hardly walk without having to sit down and catch my breathe. Now I can walk 3 miles without getting out of breathe, and bike 6 miles. I workout about 3/4 times a week now when before I would hardly ever.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Exercise ~ It sounds stupid but diet along will not make you lose weight, you need to get your heart and blood pumping
- Diet ~ Give up carbs, seriously. I always try to stay under 50 grams a day (thats 1.5 slices of bread for comparison)
- Find your inspiration~ Maybe its a celebrity that lost weight, or someone on a reality show, or a friend, Instagram person, or a stranger on the street. Find that person that makes you want to better yourself.
- Always know that you are worth it. Losing weight is hard.. no matter if you are doing it naturally or you had weight loss surgery. Make sure you always focus on yourself, keep your mind in the right place, as well as your health (never jeopardize your health for weight loss)
- Multi Vitamins ~ This is a huge one for me. I felt so tired and depressed changing my eating and working out. I started using a multi vitamin patch (Dr Patch) daily, well I would put them on at night, and remove after 8 hours. This made me feel alive again, and back to my old self. My fiance even uses them now to feel just generally better.