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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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About LovinSoul

  • Rank
    Guru in Training
  • Birthday September 24

About Me

  • Biography
    Born South Jersey, College through 2 masters, divorced and remarried, one daughter, 3 grown steps, 7 grandchildren. 30 years in public ed, Retired early 2011. Now: livin' the good life!
  • Gender
  • Interests
    Books, Film (especially vintage), gardening, birding, the Jersey shore, travel when I can ($)
  • Occupation
    Retired public educator (HS counselor)
  • City
  • State
    New Jersey
  • Zip Code

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I am a retired high school counselor, mother, and wife.  I've always been a bit on the serious side, read a lot, but have a great sense of humor.  I've also always been intuitive and insightful when it comes to most things and people.  Most people would probably say I've always had "average good looks" if that means anything to you, but most of the positive feedback I've ever received was about my intelligence, compassion, honesty and insight, which is okay with me because I value those traits.  
I have battled obesity since I was a very small child and grew up in a family with no other obese members.  This has been my greatest source of pain and low self esteem and it has colored my every choice and decision.  In high school I weighed up to about 180 lbs.  By my early 20's I weighed 200+.  When I became pregnant I weighed 230+.  After my daughter's birth my weight continued to increase until I reached my top weight of 318 lbs. in May 2014.
Throughout my life I tried to get control of my weight and eating habits.  I succeeded in losing 40+ lbs a number of times using various eating programs (most notably Weight Watchers and the Atkins diet).  However I never exercised much.  As I reached my 40's and 50's I watched my health "numbers" become worrisome.  I developed chronic hypertension, sleep apnea, and atrial fibrillation.  My liver enzymes were indicating "fatty liver".  I had both hips replaced and was developing joint issues everywhere in my body.  I felt like I was slowly dying.  I could barely walk 10 yards without having to sit down and every step was painful.  It was finally then that I decided to make a permanent positive change and to choose life over death.  I went to see my surgeon, Naveen Ballem, and began my journey toward weight loss and having a vertical sleeve gastrectomy.  
For the three months leading up to my surgery I lost 28 lbs. through changing my eating habits drastically.  Since the surgery date (9/30/2014) I joined a gym with my husband and have tried to get there 4 or 5 days a week.  That has been the biggest change in my life to date and seems to possibly be the most significant one after the surgery.  I have lost another 68 lbs. and continue to work hard at it and have lost a total of 96 lbs. in 14 months. I am hoping to reach a goal weight of 160 lbs. but try not to make the number too important.  
My developing physical strength, increased energy and new found hopefulness, pride in my success, patience with inevitable setbacks a the best parts of my experience since surgery. There really haven't been any bad parts except that some of the emotional hurdles that come with literally changing into a different physical being can be challenging.
I have been a member of other popular online fitness sites that helped me quite a bit to focus on food intake and exercise but am hoping that BariatricPal will connect me with other people who understand my journey, a much different one than the journey of someone who has never been obese and made the big decision to undergo surgery.  I'm looking forward to reading your posts and getting to know some of you in the forum!

Height: 5 feet 7 inches
Starting Weight: 318 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery: 290 lbs
Current Weight: 214 lbs
Goal Weight: 175 lbs
Weight Lost: 104 lbs
BMI: 33.5
Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 06/18/2014
Surgery Date: 09/30/2014
Hospital Stay: 1 Day
Surgery Funding: Insurance
Insurance Outcome: 1st Letter Approval
LovinSoul's Bariatric Surgeon
Clara Maass Center For Advanced Bariatric Surgery
1 Clara Maass Dr
Belleville, NJ 7028