The weight started to pile on when I found myself pregnant at the age of 17, September 2003, with my first child. I was 5’9, 165 lbs then, a very athletic teen. When I had my son in May 2004, I was up to approximately 230lbs. I have yo-yo’d since, losing 50 lbs here and there only to regain. Aches and pains, health concerns, surgeries, 5 miscarriages and medications over the years really overshadowed any kind of lasting success.
NAME : Sara
BEFORE WEIGHT : 296.6
AFTER WEIGHT : 202.2
POUNDS LOST : 94.4
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I was diagnosed with PCOS after my second child was born in 2009. I had ballooned up to 260 lbs when I gave birth. Shortly after she was born I experienced my first miscarriage at 14 weeks. We tried to get pregnant for several years afterward and went through 3 more miscarriages before a DR told me flat out that my weight was prohibiting me from carrying a successful pregnancy.
Depression led to a lot of crash dieting but getting the weight off even temporarily allowed for a new DR to work with me and try out fertility drugs. We had one more (our 5th) miscarriage before having 2 more children. Complications from that 4th pregnancy led to a cancer scare and a complete hysterectomy and diagnosis of endometriosis. Emotional eating and side effects from medications piled on the weight. My son was diagnosed with Autism, my marriage started to crumble and it was about then that I felt like I had no other options. I reached out to my DR in March 2016 who suggested Gastric Bypass.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? I had stared seeing a counselor in June 2015 regarding my marriage. My husband and I had stopped being intimate and we fought all the time. It was then I learned he’d had an affair and the emotional eating really spiraled out of control. Medication for the depression was putting me into a fog and I felt incapable of being a proper mother to my kids.
In March 2016 after feeling an all time low with my husband and personally with myself, I reached out to my DR and explained how helpless I felt. That the medication was making me feel worse and though I had no desire to end my life, I pictured it at times. He had a surgeon friend who was able to expedite the process through my insurance and I was approved 5/1/16 for Gastric Bypass.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I stared the pre surgery diet 5/14/16 and then had gastric bypass on 5/26/16. I started taking vitamins 2 weeks post op and then working out at a gym 3 weeks post op. I was able to return to running 4.5 weeks post op.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I started losing weight almost immediately after getting out of the hospital. However, I don’t feel like I started to see true shape of my body until June/about a month after. In August when I started doing more side by side photos I was able to truly see my hard work was paying off.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? I didn’t have a lot of support from friends/family when I announced I was having weight loss surgery. When my husband and I started to fall apart, I really didn’t feel a lot of hope for the relationship and felt absolutely alone. We agreed to give it one more shot after my surgery.
When he deployed in July we initially thought the deployment would last for 6 months. It was daunting, the idea of single parenting again (this was our 5th deployment) and having to relearn/set goals etc while caring for their needs as well. He ended up coming home halfway because our son was in the hospital so that was a lot of added stress.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? I regretted my decision immensely after surgery! The pain was horrific and I had a lot of set backs with a couple of incisions. Once I started seeing the scale going down and I was able to get off pain killers and start getting active again, I felt so much better.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I’ve hit one recently. My DR says its normal and that its my body playing catch up from such a huge weight loss initially. I’ve also struggled with trying to find balance again between working out and my husbands return home/my sons aftercare from the hospital. I’ve still stuck with it and changed up my exercise some. I know eventually the scale will move so that’s whats keeping me going at the moment.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? About 40 lbs came off pretty quickly between the surgery date and July. However, a vast majority of the inches I’ve lost came off from August-October because I started lifting more.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? All the time! I can climb a set of stairs without being winded (unless it was leg day at the gym, LOL). I went from a 3-4x to a size LARGE. I picked out a size 12 dress yesterday! I’m completely out of the plus section. I went from a 44DD to a 34C! My belly doesn’t look like I’m 9 months pregnant anymore or hit the steering wheel when I drive. I can chase after my kids. My energy level is a complete difference from where I was 90+ lbs ago. I sleep better. I’m completely off ALL medication except a few vitamins.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Its as different as night and day. I no longer hide in the bathroom or closet to stress eat. I stop eating after 7PM. I eat smaller, more frequent meals vs BIG plates of food several times a day. I no longer eat as much dairy or carbs, chips, junk. My diet now is high in protein.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I’m going to the gym 5-6 days a week. I do explosive, functional exercising. I enjoy weight lifting and recently dead lifted 200 lbs! There’s no way I could’ve done that before. I’m also training for my 3rd half marathon and planning my first full marathon in May 2017.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! IF you think your hungry between snacks/meals, reach for a glass of water first and drink it. IF your still hungry after that, reach for something SMART.
- Get moving! Even if your just walking, getting your heart rate up is so much better then sitting around.
- Meal planning and prepping has helped me SO much! If you prepare for success and have it all ready in the fridge, theres not a lot of room to eat anything that isn’t on the plan (especially if your NOT buying it!)
- Don’t reach for food after dinner/last snack of the day. Even if it means showering and getting into bed at 8PM. At least your there and not in the kitchen puttering around.
- Believe in yourself. I didn’t have a lot of support initially besides my husbands and doctor. I relied a lot on myself and my faith to get me through these last few months. You have to learn to appreciate what you see in the mirror, encourage yourself, high five yourself because there isn’t always going to be someone there to say “good job!” It helps a lot to focus on the mental aspects of the change to remain successful.