Before I made the decision in 2018 to have VSG, I had already been dedicated to my weight loss journey for 3 years. I had lost 100+ pounds on my own, through changing my habits and relationship with food, and falling in love with fitness.
The problem was…my body felt like it always WANTED to go back and live between that 320-360lbs range…no matter how much I lost, or WHAT I seemed to do.
Every time I eased up off the gas pedal, my weight would jump back up, and I would immediately lose momentum and have to make myself start over again.
I continuously battled trying to breakout of that lose/re-gain/lose cycle, without feeling defeated and giving up.
The option of surgery felt “shameful”.
I mean, it was the “easy way out”, right?
The stigma around it all was disheartening.
But one thing that helped change that for me, was when I learned that bariatric surgery had metabolic and hormonal benefits independent of just weight loss.
A major one being a hormonal re-set (via the body’s homeostasis being disrupted and restored) which made me realize that the VSG procedure really was a tool that could actually serve me in KEEPING all of the results I had been working so hard for…instead of inevitability remaining stuck in that same old loop.
So, despite the fear of failure and judgement, I made the decision to give myself that chance.
The current statistics show that weight regain is observed within 24 months after surgery in approximately 50% of bariatric patients…and the stats get worse from there.
The truth is, the behavior change that I desperately needed to adopt in order to achieve long-term success with my surgery, had been set in place long before I had ever made that decision.
All the work and time that I had put into myself was not in vain. Working hard in the gym. Re-learning how to eat, and digging deep to figure out all my inner s*#%, had NOT been wasted time because of my struggle with weight regain!!
I wasn’t failing my “grind”.
I wasn’t lacking discipline, determination or drive.
It wasn’t that I “didn’t want it bad enough to do what it takes”.
I learned that there were additional factors beyond tracking calories and logging workouts that were contributing to the way my body was adapting and responding to my efforts.
Turns out hormones play a HUGE part!
Mental health, emotional intelligence and spiritual well-being also plays a HUGE part in anyones health journey, especially due to the impact it can have on the central nervous system that governs almost everything within.
The freedom I felt when I allowed myself to accept these truths allowed me to release the fear of judgement and pressure of “weight loss” being my only fervent goal.
It helped me to shift into letting myself off the hook- and just pursue feeling better.
Feeling capable, and worthy of the life I was building for myself.
In fact, those three years of struggle before my surgery helped to set me up in the BEST possible way to have an empowered (and ultimately easier) transition into the lifestyle change required of someone who chooses a serious medical intervention (like the one I chose) to help change their life.
It is not a decision to be made lightly, and I can assure you…it was certainly NOT the easy way out.
It is also NOT the right choice for everyone.
It is not the “magic fix” some think it is.
It has still been hard. There have still been setbacks, periods of regain, fluctuations and stalls that have forced me to go back to the basics of all I’ve learned and refocus again, and again.
I also want to acknowledge how very fortunate I’ve been to have an incredible support system of family and friends that have supported me on my journey.
The truth is, some people do NOT have that. Some people face constant sabotage and discouragement from those around them that make it almost impossible to endure, which is why support is so crucial!
It’s been a privilege for me to learn all that I have about health, wellness and fitness from some of the best fitness people on earth, who have never wavered in believing in me.
I am so grateful for all of the invested time, love, energy and coaching that I was blessed with over the years to help get me here…and I intend to continue to find ways to pay that forward.
I finally went back to see my doc today to have a long over due follow up. After not being in there since 2019, I finally got to take my official before/after pic for thier office. I prefer to call it: before and during…as I am not done yet.
Here I am, almost 4 years out from surgery, and still finding ways to keep beating those statistics!
As you can imagine, it was a WILD day of reflection for me!
There’s a lot more that I see here in these pics than you might think.
The obvious change, is in how different I look…but when I really look at these pics, I can also see how differently I FEEL now.
How differently I now show up for myself.
I see a change that initially began years ago as a way to repair the damage I had done to my outside…but instead, this journey has birthed an entirely new and whole person, from the inside out.
Making this decision was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself, even though it came with many ups and downs.
I have no regrets, and would encourage anyone who is considering WLS to begin that MOST important work within, to build a healthy new relationship with themselves, those around them, their body, and food before taking off.
Start with slowly creating new habits and routines that just simply make you feel good (regardless of results) to start!!
At the end of the day, it all comes down to trusting that eventually the results will come, as consistency and confidence builds, no matter the route you take to get there.
Including routes that others might not agree with or approve of. You simply cannot allow others judgements or suggestions decide your outcome or what’s best for you. And, you cannot shame and hate your body into one that you will someday love and care for…it has to start now.
Finding gratitude for that body you’re living in.
This is something I will still have to remember and practice forever, no matter how many different forms my body will take on in this lifetime.
I now have new goals that I’m chasing that are forcing me back into the discomfort of becoming the NEXT, even newer version of myself…and I’ve realized that there is no end to this process, and that no longer bums me out! It excites me! Im excited for the future, and whatever is in store for me.
Using every tool that I come across to keep me, and those alongside me on their own journeys, moving forward towards our goals! (Even some new tools and opportunities that I will be excited to be able to start sharing with you soon!)
Because, after the next goal…
there will be a new, next goal.
And, another after that…
until I’m dead and gone.
And hopefully, having left behind me a legacy of authenticity, audacious persistence, and a steadfast resistance to burpees and hiking.