Lost 85 lbs
With Gastric Sleeve
My name is Mindy, and I chose to have the Gastric Sleeve procedure to give me a powerful tool to help me lose weight that I could not shake. My weight had been steadily climbing and I had tried to get motivated repeatedly and it just felt overwhelmingly impossible. I felt like I was stuck in quicksand and that quicksand was my body. I’m 5’5” and when I saw 250 on the scale at a primary care provider appt., I felt a sense of self-defeat that pushed me to choose; was I OK with my weight climbing or was I going to try to take charge. I chose the latter and it was a long journey before I finally chose a surgical intervention. I tried prescribed medication to reduce my hunger, I tried anti-depression medication thinking if I was happier that I would be motivated to lose weight and be successful. I went another 18 months while watching close friends that had the gastric sleeve procedure recover and start their journey. I watched diligently for the pitfalls they may experience that all the naysayers talk about. And while there were a few setbacks for them, I realized that setbacks are part of everyone’s life and the gastric sleeve is only ONE tool and I told myself I was going to do it and be successful, even if I had setbacks; I AM WORTH IT!! I gathered all my information (knowledge is power) and as other patients have mentioned, I found my bariatric “tribe” on the website www.bariatriceating.com. There is a link to their Facebook group on the website as well as great products they sell that cater to bariatric patients. They also have a recipe section that uses some of their products that is super helpful. This group is NO NONSENSE. I love the honesty they give me and came to realize that I NEED it to be successful. You can ask questions and they will give you answers. Many of them have maintained for a decade or more and many of them had regain and lost it all. They are a treasure trove of PRICELESS information!! Everything in moderation is not true for everyone, I personally consider myself a food addict and I have triggers that I must avoid. I learned those over the past year and I urge you to be present in your head when you make choices that you suspect might not be good for you and ask “Why?” That answer will help you stay on track and understand how you got to the point that you felt surgery was the best option. Find something to do that makes you feel proud of yourself; a class at a gym, a hobby that is physical, running, walking, Zumba, gardening; ANYTHING. But make it YOUR TIME. Use that time to concentrate on what your body can now do that you either forgot it could do or maybe it has NEVER done for you before. Enjoy your new gifts of physical ability and non-scale victories; fitting in an airplane seat comfortably was HUGE for me. VITAMINS!!! Please take your supplements (a bariatric multivitamin, regular multivitamins will not provide enough nutrients for you post-op) beginning the day you schedule surgery!!! I have never in my life been as vigilant about taking care of my body. You may have to try different ones. Don’t get a large amount until you are sure YOUR body is absorbing them. Start biotin a month before surgery and plan on taking it, AT LEAST through 6 months post-op. It will help with keeping your hair and nails healthy while your body is going through some drastic changes. Take additional calcium, you don’t want to healthy looking but have teeth falling out or break a bone the first time you try a new sport and fall. In closing, I will reiterate what almost everyone else that has had the surgery will tell you; it has COMPLETELY changed my life. I’m the same person but I don’t feel trapped like before and it feels so liberating to my mind and body. I don’t linger in self-doubt like I used to, I embrace challenges more actively and am not afraid everyone is looking at me waiting for me to fail. In fact, I don’t care if they are or not. My weight no longer defines me though in my mind, I will ALWAYS have a fat girl brain and I will work hard to not let her lure me back to destructive behavior with tempting thoughts of foods that are now NONE OF MY BUSINESS. Those foods aren’t worth it but I AM and SO ARE YOU!!