Two years ago, I made a life-changing decision. I was 40 years old at the time, and I was tired of feeling exhausted. I was on one prescription medicine for high blood pressure and another for migraines. Every morning when I got out of bed, I felt as though I was walking through quick sand. I was gaining more and more weight and feeling worse and worse all the time. So in September of 2011, I had made the decision to have Gastric Bypass Surgery. I can honestly say that having that procedure was the best thing I could have possibly done for myself.
As people started noticing my weight loss, I would often get asked “What are you doing to lose weight?” I’ve always been an open book and was very honest about my weight loss method. But every time I told someone about my surgery, I would get “the look”. As if they wanted to say “Oh, so you did it the easy way.”
Let me be perfectly clear, there is nothing easy about having Gastric Bypass Surgery. There was nothing easy about the choice to have the procedure, nothing easy about the recovery process, and certainly nothing easy about the fight to lose over 90 pounds.
When the hospital staff rolled me into the operating room on the morning of my surgery, I was a single mother of a child with Cerebral Palsy, I was overly stressed, and I was an emotional eater. After surgery I still all of those things. The only physical difference was that my internal organs were manipulated in a way that made over eating more difficult…not impossible, but definitely more difficult. In fact, last winter I reverted back to some of my old habits and re-gained about 30 pounds. I was suffering from a case of the Seasonal Blues and all I wanted to do was curl up in bed, drink Starbucks coffee and eat bowls and bowls of macaroni and cheese. Old habits absolutely die hard.
I soon realized that I was spiraling out of control again and I said to myself “Enough!” I did not put my body through such an invasive procedure only to gain back every pound that I had lost. I re-focused on my goals and became more active. I bought workout DVDs, found the ones that I enjoyed and did them consistently. When the weather warmed up I started walking and eventually jogging. I watched what I ate and read labels for portion sizes. Still, there were times when I would fall off the wagon and ate way too much of the wrong things. I still eat when I’m stressed or sad or lonely. But I never beat myself up when I have bad days. I shake it off and continue to fight as though my life depends on it.
This process has been anything but easy. There are days when I want to go to lunch with my co-workers, but instead, I go for a jog or long walk. After I put my son to bed at night, I stay up late so that I can do workout DVDs. I don’t leave home without my walking shoes and I try sneak in a walk whenever I can. It would have been nice to wake up in the recovery room two years ago with Halle Berry’s body. That would have been easy. But unfortunately, being healthy doesn’t work that way. It’s about choices and lifestyle changes. It’s about fighting for a better you.
I am so proud of myself for all I have accomplished. Gastric Bypass Surgery was a tool. It wasn’t a magic wand. I had to put in the work…hard work! I know that I will always struggle with food and with my weight. But after losing more than 90 pounds, I know that I can always get back on track if I should ever stumble off course again.
Follow my continued weight loss journey: