My name is Kiara, I am 24 and I live in Buffalo, New York. I have been overweight pretty much my whole life. In the second grade I was wearing a women's size 12-14. I was raised in a home where u eat everything on your plate, if you were thirsty pepsi and root beer where the answer. My mother worked and I was home with grandma and grandpa who where famous for their southern style cooking which equals to meat cooked in lard...veggies cooked in lard.....desserts made with lard.....lard lard lard!! Before my mother knew it her once averaged sized kid was wearing the same sized clothes as she was!. I was oblivious to what was happening to my body until I hit Jr. high. Nice cute clothe were hard to find for me but I still never considered losing weight I just had to find the right store! High school was the same way and fast food was how I choose to feed myself that's when I was my highest weight ever at 315 and in a size 24.
My weight never bothered me until I had my first "real" boyfriend when I was 19-20. I started working out here and there and eventually dropped down to a size 20-22. Shortly after I gave up and stopped going to the gym. I started a new job in the spring of 2010 and it was a very physical job...power walking for 12 hours a day in a 90 degree warehouse. I lost 20 in my first month there! That gave me motivation to keep it up, I started going with my brother (who has always been thin and worked out and who also worked at the same place). Over the course of a year I lost 50 lbs and was now wearing a range from 14-18 depending on the clothes. another year passed and I couldnâ€™t lose another lb due to my eating habits but I was ok with that considering where I started. I still worked out to just maintain my weight.
In February 2012 I was laid off from my job (after I just bought a new car) and I fell into a state of depression. I stopped going to the gym and ate whatever I wanted. Eventually I found a job working at a gas station where snacks and goodies surrounded me. I gained 20 lbs in a blink of an eye. I didnâ€™t want to go down that path again of have to dig out my old bigger jeans so I began to eat better and started going to the gym again. I was working out 4-5 days a week and I cut out all junk food. But I couldnâ€™t lose any more weight than what I had lost before! I was stuck in a size 18.
My grandmotherâ€™s health took a turn for the worse the first of the new year. She was hospitalized for 2 weeks with pnuemiona. This lead to the discovery that she was going through kidney failure and need to start dialysis. She was only home for a month before another health concern popped up. She lost feeling in her right leg for 2-3 days and didnâ€™t let anyone..It ended up being a blood clot and doctors thought they were going to have to amputate. Fortunately they were able to dissolve it but the process sent her skin into shock and her skin begun to shed from the foot up to her knee. She spent months in rehab for wound care and had to learn how to walk all over again. Then in July she had to undergo quadruple bypass on her heart. The stress and worry was enough to kill us both! I lived in the hospitals and rehabs eating fast foods when it was convenient.
I didnâ€™t want to stay at a gas station for the rest of my life so I decided to go to cosmetology school. I started July 2012 I loved every second of it! But with juggling work and school I found myself working overnight at Kwikfil sleeping during the day and school at night. I was all messed up and so were my eating habits. I had no energy and stopped the gym once again. But this time my good eating habits stayed with me. I joined weight watched and only lost 10 lbs over 6 month even thought I was following a strict meal plan avoided fats, sugar and carbs.
I got very close with all the girls I went to school with even the teachers! We would go out for drinks and lunch. We always made an excuse to feast! July 2013 we found out that one of our very own was battling stage 4 Ovarian cancer. It hit everyone very hard! I ate for comfort! We all did! We organized benefits and fundraiser and did anything we could for her and her family November 2013 she passed away. It hurt sooo bad and it still doesâ€¦.
When I graduated school I was back up to a size 20. I had to get a physical done so I can be licensed to be a cosmetologist and the day of the physical is where my weight loss journey begun! My primary doctor of 10 years looked me in the eye and said â€œWe are friends right Kiara?! And as a friend I donâ€™t want you to be mad with me for whatever I may say. Will you me mad at me?â€ I already knew where this convo was going as every appointment with him has ended the same wayâ€¦I need to lose weight â€œI need to lose some weight I know I knowâ€ he said â€œNO I think itâ€™s time to talk about weight loss surgery for you. You are older now and in your profession youâ€™ll always be on your feet, itâ€™s not good for the joints. Whatever progress you have made over the years has not been permanentâ€ I wasnâ€™t mad hearing this but I did get a little sad and even cried a bit. Over the years my mother always asked if weight loss surgery was right for me but he never thought I should. He always believed that I could do it on my own. I felt pathetic. But I knew in the end this could be the tool i needed to lose and keep the weight off.
I went home and told my family and it was a split reactionâ€¦.My brother the fitness guru was very harsh saying that I donâ€™t need to do that, I just need to hire a personal trainer and eat clean, â€œthey just trying to make some money off youâ€. My mother was resentfulâ€¦over the years she packed on a few lbs and wanted to surgery too but our doctor denied herâ€¦.. and my grandmother was happy for me.
After doing my own personal research and watching youtube videos and talking to my closest friends about it, I made my decision to have a LVSG.
P.S sorry this is sooooo long but there were many factors that have affected my life and there for my body and the way I eat and I guess I felt like I had to share because its all part of my weight loss journey lol.
Height: 5 feet 7 inches
Starting Weight: 288 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery: 247 lbs
Current Weight: 219 lbs
Goal Weight: 165 lbs
Weight Lost: 69 lbs
Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 01/10/2014
Surgery Date: 03/27/2014
Hospital Stay: 2 Days
Surgery Funding: Insurance
Insurance Outcome: 1st Letter Approval