[size=5][font=trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif][color=#FF0099]Started writing my Weight Loss Journey story today. My inspiration comes from the notes I have been saving from over 2 years ago, when I started this roller coaster journey from fat to fabulous.
This is for all the haters who think I gave up and chose Weight Loss Surgery over Diet and Exercise. This is for those who thought I was lazy and I got the easy way out. I am here to tell you, WLS isn't the easy way out. From my personal experience overall, it's just as hard or harder to keep yourself eating clean, as you would if you just cut calories and exercised every day.
WLS doesn't cure the cravings. WLS doesn't cure the emotional eating. WLS doesn't cure the the way we mentally see food when we get stressed out. You still have to control your feelings with something other than food just like any other day with or without surgery.
So what's the point? the point is,, WLS teaches us how to control our eating by portion control.
I am still very happy with my decision to go with the WLS. If I could do it all over,, I would do it !! BEST decision EVER !!
My name is Barbie Ann Hancock-Capehart. I am 35 years old,, and I live in Chattanooga, TN. I have recently accomplished one of my many goals. I have lost over 105 lbs. with the RNY Gastric Bypass Surgery,, Eating clean,, weight training,, and walking. I know many of you,, are thinking,, yeah,, okay,, you got the "easy way out" because you chose the surgery as your weight loss option. I am here to tell you,, it's NOT the "easy way out" !! It takes just as much hard work and dedication to prepare yourself mentally,, psychically,, and emotionally for this new way of life.
As a young lady growing up, I soon realized I had a weight problem. Not only was I overweight, but I was also taller than most kids my age. I have always felt like the "Big" kid among my peers. I can remember the first time my mother sat me down and discussed dieting with me. I was 13 years old. And this was the beginning of my weight loss journey. My weight loss journey is like many others. A lot of happy times,, and a lot of sad times. But,, mostly a lot of disappointments in the first few years,, leading up to my weight loss surgery.
It seems like I have spent my entire life on dieting and exercising !! It all started when I was 13 years old,, with walking,, running,, and biking. Then later on,, in my twenties,, I joined a gym in my hometown,, and became a fitness freak !! I worked out every day,, 2 hours a day !! but,, no matter how hard I worked on my body,, the weight just seemed to linger.
I have tried it all.
Weight Watchers.. L.A. Weight Loss.. Phen-Phen.. Redux.. you name it !!
I lost weight,, but it would always find me again.
I have tried many,, many weight loss programs and every kind of diet pill known to woman. Nothing ever seemed to help me much,, after I developed Type #2 Diabetes at age 29. After finding out I had Type #2 Diabetes,, all my hopes to be skinny went down the drain. No matter how hard I exercised or how I ate,, Diabetes was determined to keep me from accomplishing weight loss.
What I didn't know back then,, is that I suffered from being a metabolic body type person. I suffered from extreme abdominal fat. No matter how much I exercised and counted calories,, the weight was impossible to lose. And we all know what happens to a person when he/she gains weight in the abdominal area,, he/she is a good candidate for Type #2 diabetes and high blood pressure as we age.
And that's exactly what happen to me. I developed Type #2 Diabetes at age 29. Along with high blood sugars,, I gained an excessive amount of weight. my insurance company did a health evaluation of me and to my surprise,, I failed. My A1c Levels were 14%. I was told I had the body of a 65 year old woman with heart disease. I wanted to die. How could this be?
After many years of failed diets and countless gym memberships,, I just gave up. I started to emotionally eat myself to my death into an obesity graveyard.
I started investigating the whole weight loss surgery idea. I did a few months of research on the internet,, and read a few articles by CBS NEWS and ABC NEWS on the reverse effects of diabetes from weight loss surgery.
And I was shocked and amazed over the fact that so many people who had type #2 diabetes were no longer on their medicine after the surgery. Surprisingly,, There's over 86% resolved Type #2 diabetes after the surgery.
My friend recommended that I attend one of the Weight Loss Surgery Seminars offered through our local medical hospital. I gave it some thought,, and decided to sign up to check out my options. I attended my first weight loss surgery seminar on my birthday 02/02/2011. As I look back now,, this was definitely a sign that everything was going to finally work out for me. I gathered a lot of information and signed up for a free consultation with a surgeon.
Later the next week,, the office called me for my first meeting with my surgeon. I was thrilled that I could get in so quickly! The first meeting was scary for me. I was extremely nervous and I was shaking from head-to-toe. The nurse weighed me at 275 lbs. with a Body Mass Index of 48%. The surgeon came in,, and introduced himself. He immediately started pressing hard on my belly and looked me in the eyes,, and said,, you have a metabolic body. I can do surgery on you,, but you will need to lose 40 lbs before surgery. Do you have a problem with that? I was like,, no,, not really,, I will do whatever it takes,, sir.
I started on the insurance process the next day. My insurance would approve me if I would attend weekly support group meetings and educational services offered through the hospital. I am so grateful for these classes and meetings. You learn so much about the surgery,, nutrition,, and a lot about you. I learned so much about myself. I learned that I was an emotional eater. I would use food for comfort whether I was happy or sad.
It was a lot of hard work done on my part. Teaching myself how to control my emotions without using food to comfort myself was a challenge. But,, loosing the 40 lbs was the absolute hardest of all. Especially,, when you are insulin resistant,, and your blood sugars kept you from losing weight anyways. Within 12 months,, I lost 35 lbs,, and I was approved for weight loss surgery,, but later denied,, due to circumstances unknown. I am not sure why my insurance turned me down,, but I think it had to do with the fact,, that it took me so long to lose those 40 stubborn pounds before surgery,, and I missed my 12 month deadline after approval.
I was furious !! but then later,, I was sad and depressed. All my hope was lost and I thought my life had ended. I contacted my insurance through an appeal letter for Weight Loss Surgery. I explained in great detail,, why I must have this kind of surgery. Along with my letter,, I mailed pictures of me throughout my weight loss journey to show a timeline of where I was today with the excessive weight and the Type #2 diabetes. With a few calls and another doctor push,, a few weeks later,, I was APPROVED once again,, but I had a DEADLINE. I had to get the surgery done within 90 days of approval letter. I was so excited !!
I visited my surgeon to set up an surgery appointment the following week,, to only find out that he wanted me to lose a few more pounds before surgery. WHAT?!?! I don't have much time left,, I need to get an appointment for surgery ASAP !! Why are you doing this to me?
I agreed to lose a few more pounds,, because I wanted the weight loss surgery. I got my surgery appointment and left the surgeon's office. Feeling anxious and somewhat worried about whether or not it was worth all this hard work,, I sat down and prayed for God to bless me.
And He surely did. With a lot of hard work and dedication,, I lost the extra weight within 30 days.
My surgery was scheduled for May 9, 2012. Weeks leading up to the actual surgery was absolutely terrifying to me. This was my first ever surgery,, and I was afraid of dying. I joined a online forum for weight loss surgery patients and quickly gathered all the information I could before surgery. I prepared myself,, along with family,, with everything needed before and after surgery. I had everything packed and ready to go !!
The weekend before my surgery,, my hubby and I went for a Sunday stroll on the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga, Tn. And I ate my last REAL meal that day. and was preparing myself for the liquid diet the day before surgery. It was sunny and hot. All I could think about was the surgery and how much healthier I was going to be in the following months. It was always a struggle for me to walk the ENTIRE length of the bridge without gasping for air. And I couldn't wait until I could walk the ENTIRE length of the bridge without having a stroke.
The morning of my surgery,, my surgeon popped in the room,, and said,, are you ready for the beginning of your awesome new life? It begins today,, ya know? With tears in my eyes,, I said,, yes sir,, I am ready.
I don't remember much about it. I remember the nurse and surgery techs praying for me before surgery,, and the nurse holding my hand to calm me down,, but not much after that. Other than the fact,, my surgeon waking me up,, screaming you made it through surgery !! hahahahahahahahahahaha !!
Within hours after surgery,, I was up and walking down the halls. I was extremely sore in the abdominal area. my stomach felt like I had done 2,000 burpees/crunches. My first meal was lime jello and a banana Popsicle. yummy ! It tasted like pure heaven.
My surgeon let me go home the following day,, because I was doing so good with walking,, eating,, and drinking. When I got home,, I continued my walks every 10 minutes with sips of water. It is very important to get as much water as you can,, so you don't have to return to the hospital to get a feeding tube. I was determine to stay at home,, so I would get up very early every morning and start my water intake process.
Within 3 weeks,, I had already lost nearly 30 lbs. I had so much energy !! and the best part of it all,, I was completely off my Type #2 diabetes medicines,, and I was controlling my blood sugars by diet and exercise. Within 6 weeks,, I was back on my workout schedule with walking and light weight lifting. I hired a personal trainer to help me smooth over the rough spots in my workouts by weight training 2 days a week with interval cardio training. By the end of August of 2012,, I had already lost over 60 lbs. And by the end of December 2012,, I have officially lost over108 lbs.(including the 40 lbs. I lost before surgery). My pant sizes were a size 20 and now I can say I am a size 12.
I have been controlling my Type #2 diabetes with diet and exercise for almost 8 months now,, and I feel absolutely amazing !!
I only take Vitamins/Supplements daily for keeping my immune system up and active.
My hubby and I went back to the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga, Tn a few weeks before Christmas 2012. I was amazed over the fact I could actually walk the entire length of the bridge,, and I could also walk a few blocks downtown and back without feeling extreme pain. It was awesome !! I competed in my local fitness club's "Holiday Hustle" this past December of 2012. I didn't win top prize,, but I feel like a winner in many other ways !!
As for 2013,, I am looking forward to sharing my weight loss journey with others who are considering weight loss surgery as their alternative to losing weight and learning how to eat to live,, rather than live to eat. I don't think of weight loss surgery as giving up and choosing a procedure to lose weight,, I think that weight loss surgery is a gift from God,, when He sees we are worthy of learning a new way of living. I had weight loss surgery for my health,, not for cosmetic reasons. Sure,, who doesn't like to look good in a new dress,, or feel confident in ourselves? I know I do. But I would rather have good health over a new dress anytime. This surgery has taught me portion control along with eating clean.
And eating clean is definitely the answer !! You can't consume very much sugar after weight loss surgery,, or you will get a condition called the "dumping syndrome". And believe me,, You do not want to eat too much sugar or greasy foods,, or your new stomach will get very angry at you !! I usually consume 1,000 calories daily,, with at least 70-100 grams of protein daily. You would be surprised how small your new stomach is,, and how you can fill yourself up with only a child's plate. I always eat my protein first,, and then my vegetables. Protein and liquid intake are the most important after weight loss surgery. But,, it can take a person up to a year,, to be able to eat all that protein in a day. I drink protein shakes in between meals,, so I can get my requirements in.
As for weight training,, I train with a personal trainer twice a week. I have been weight training for almost 15 years now,, but never realized my full potential until I hired my own personal trainer. She keeps me motivated and helps me believe in myself. I never feel alone and helpless when I am training with my personal trainer. And I have met so many people along my journey who inspire me to be the BEST I can be always. When I train,, I think about how good it feels to accomplish a simple run on a treadmill and how good I'm going to feel and look after the workout. Words cannot express the happiness I have now.
It's almost like a dream. I have accomplished SO much in 8 months !! I am thankful every day for the "tool" God gave me to accomplish these goals I have made for myself.
Now,, I want to train even harder !! I know I will never be a fitness model or whatever,, but I would like to accomplish my goal of competing in a 5k and maybe a bench press competition in the near future. I never want to give up ever again[/color][/font][/size].
Height: 5 feet 7 inches
Starting Weight: 250 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery:
Current Weight: 175 lbs
Goal Weight: 150 lbs
Weight Lost: 75 lbs
Surgery: Gastric Bypass
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 02/15/2011
Surgery Date: 05/09/2012
Hospital Stay: 2 Days
Surgery Funding: Insurance
Insurance Outcome: 2nd Letter Appeal Approval