I'm Ready to Start Living for ME! - Nashville, TN

I have been over weight my entire life. In fact, I...

I have been over weight my entire life. In fact, I cannot think of a point in my life when I was not obese! I am blessed with three beautiful children and a wonderful husband - but my adult life has centered around them: soccer, karate, basketball, fishing trips, etc. and I allowed that to become more important than my own health.
Both of my parents and two of my siblings have heart disease; suffered from heart attacks and were very close to my age when they first showed symptoms. I am cruising right along in their footprints and have no doubt that I will suffer the same fate if I cannot get my health, weight and eating habits under control.
I am 35 years old. My first visit to a new primary care physician was November 19th, 2013, and when I stepped on that scale I cried. I weighed 307 lbs. This is the highest my weight has ever been! I was already aware my mobility had decreased significantly over the past year as my girth expanded - I'm short of breath just walking through the parking lot of a store. Just two and a half years ago I joined the local Weight Watchers program and within 8 months I lost 50lbs. But as soon as I stopped going to the meetings and holding myself accountable to what I was eating the weight came back on with a vengeance - all 50lbs plus ten more.
This isn't the first time I have lost-then-gained back. In fact I have been in a weight fluctuation for 15 years and have tried every 'diet'/shake/program/pill/shots that have been available. I actually checked in to a gastric bypass seminar six years ago but was too scared to go forward with it.
What has not stuck is a consistent healthy eating habit that focuses on me - instead opting for a quick cook meal from a box for my family. I started a low carb - high protein diet that same day I left the doctors office and my weight is currently at 284. I have scheduled my first office visit with Dr. Clemments for next week - 1/14/14 for the sleeve gastrectomy consultation and I look forward to meeting the whole staff.
I have been reading all of the reviews that each and everyone of you have posted since November and you all have given me such confidence and strength to go forward with this decision! Wish me luck and pray that my insurance sees this as positive as I do!!

5 Comments

Welcome and thanks for sharing your journey with us!

Good luck with your first appointment and your insurance process. I hope it all goes smoothly for you! Please do keep us updated with your progress.
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Thank you, Kirsty! I will update tomorrow and add images.
That's how I was at the begining I thought that my insurance wouldn't covered it but it did just have faith lol
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Step 1 - completed

Tuesday finally arrived. I wasn't nervous like I expected to be. A very nice nurse called me from the waiting area and took me back to an exam room where she took my blood pressure, height, weight, and a little background information. I was then taken to a conference room where eight other women who were also interested weight loss surgery waited. This became a group consultation with the nurse practitioner, nutritionist, psychologist, insurance specialist, and surgeon - giving their speeches one at a time. This took about three hours. Then we were able to meet with the surgeon one-on-one. Dr. Clements suggested that I choose either the bypass or the sleeve surgery (my choice!), that other than being obese I am in good overall health, he applauded my efforts in controlling my diet since mid November and - he thinks I may have sleep apnea. Next I met with the insurance specialist. Here is the road block: I must have a six month doctor supervised diet before insurance will pay for the surgery. I also must participate in a group counseling session (which I think everyone has to participate in), sleep study for the apnea, and an approved psych review.
So it's not what I wanted to hear - a six month wait before I can have the surgery. But, I'm not upset about it. This will give me the opportunity to focus on new eating habits and healthy choices. I also went to my PCP on Tuesday after the surgery consultation - he was very pleased to see that my weight has continued to drop! As of today (1/21) I weigh 279 lbs! That's 28lbs that I've lost on my own in two months! I'm not getting carried away here - I expect the weight loss to plateau and settle around a pound or two per week (depending on my eating and exercise choices), and I'm completely ok with that, too.
I'm already feeling a difference in how my clothes fit me which is such a blessing! My 'fat' clothes were getting tight on me in November, now they fit comfortably. Here's another apple to add to the bushel - my husband has lost around 30lbs on his own!!! I would never ask him to join me in a weight loss plan or meals, but because I am no longer buying his snacky-poo's and sodas when I'm grocery shopping he has no other choice than drinking water and the healthy dinner I make for the family. He was laying on the bed the other evening and showed me that he was able to feel his ribs again.
I have pictures to add later this afternoon!

2 Comments

Is this self pay price or with insurance? I'm trying to find a place in the US that is in my range of price without going tomMexico. Not to impune Mexico just my choice to stay closed to home that being Wisconsin! No insurance my range is 5.000. Plz help any ideas?
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My total out of pocket expense with my insurance is $4,000.00. No matter what other procedures I have or tests run - that is my total expense. Without the insurance the cost is somewhere between $18,000.00 - $24,000.00 (in Nashville at Vanderbilt Hospital). You can go onto the Vanderbilt Center for Weight Loss website and look at the estimated costs without insurance. I'm sure that costs will fluctuate based on state or region. TN and the lower US have a higher percentage of overweight residence and it appears the doctors and hospitals are using that to their advantage (just my opinion) and keep the price of procedures higher than other regions.

Step 2

I am down another 5lbs to 274 as of today. I had my blood work done and received the results that everything is good. My thyroid count is 2.33 - blood pressure is at a very good range. I am having problems scheduling the sleep apnea consultation. Every date that I have available their office is closed or booked - frustrating! However, this is a requirement that must be completed before I can get the OK for the surgery.
I am still on the high protein - low calorie diet. I am averaging 600-800 calories per day and adding light exercise three times a week. Next on my list of things to do is attend a counseling session and psych review.

4 Comments

You're doing so well already! Those six months will fly by, the way I see it is the more we lose pre op the less we have to lose after :) good luck and best wishes
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Thank you, Allie! I'm working hard on it everyday!
Sounds like you are doing great. The 6 month supervised diet that insurance requires is very common and actually a good thing. It gets you ready for what you are going to have to do after the surgery, which you have already started doing. Cooking well for you and you family! Congratulations on your decision!
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Step 3

My recent check-in at the pcp was on 2/14/14 - I'm down another 4lbs to 270! Still having problems scheduling the sleep apnea consultation, but I'll call every few days to see if they have any cancellations. I am averaging right around 800 calories per day and started a 'Couch to 5K' app program through myfitnesspal.com! This has been great!!! I have walked several 5k races in the past but this app trains you to jog the 5k within 8-12 weeks. There will be a GloRun in Nashville in early July. I did this last year with my daughters soccer club - I completed the race but I was extremely slow. Everyone was waiting on me at the finish so they could go home. This year I want to finish in better time. I don't expect to beat anyone, but I don't want them to wait 45 minutes on me before they can go home!! I got a membership at the local gym and have been working on some of the weight equipment. I figured that I've lost 10% at this point just by changing my diet, so now it's time to start toning up the bod. LOL!
I did receive some bad news. After 11 years with my company I am loosing my job on February 28th. My husband will be able to pick up the insurance, as he works for the same company - but we are concerned that he will only be able to continue work for a short time after I leave. So, I will continue to check in with my pcp and try to get the sleep apnea test in before the end of this month and keep my fingers crossed that everything will work out for the best!
Starting weight: 307
Current weight: 270
Total lost: 37 lbs!

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0 Comments

Step 4

I was finally able to meet with the neurologist on Wednesday - and it turns out that the issues I had that prompted Dr. Clements to seek the sleep study have dissipated. At this point they do not see any reason for me to pursue the sleep study or need a CPAP machine. I've lost 10% of my original body weight, so they feel most of my issues were caused by that and just loosing the first 10% will promote healthier sleep. It is also helping that I'm working out several days a week at the gym. Good news!!
Yesterday I met with the nutritionist who is very pleased with my progress! She is happy with my food journal, my daily water intake and multivitamin use. Here's the things that I must work on:
Sipping 64ozs of water a day (OMG!! SIPPING the water when it is right in front of me! This is HARD, but I know after surgery I will have no other choice.)
Calcium - I need to get the extra calcium in my system now
Protein - I need to reach 60g of protein per day. Right now I'm averaging around 40 with a protein shake after I work out. I think I will start having a protein shake (whey protein isolate- 1 scoop with 1 cup of skim milk and ice) for breakfast in the mornings to try and get that extra 20g in.
AND - I've lost another 3lbs as of my weigh in yesterday!!! Whoo-hoo!! I have new photos to upload today as well!
Starting weight: 307
Current weight: 267
Total lost: 40 lbs!!! Whoo-hoo!!

2 Comments

Great job!
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Thank you Debb!! I'm working hard every day!

Updated photos 40 pounds loss pre-surgery

Here I am at 40lb loss - pre surgery!

4 Comments

aww congrats ur doing great! im in the process as well, do u have a surgery date scheduled? I have my psyc elval this wed. and my follow up with nutritionist and my surgeon for my EDG he performed last week. I'm very excited and good to see other women on here with the same struggle our weight! :) i will be following wish u the best of luck! :)
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I have my psyc eval tomorrow and I'm also going to get my group council session in as well. I don't know if it is required to have the EDG, I will find out closer to the surgery date. My insurance requires a six month supervised diet by pcp before they will cover the surgery - so we are looking at July. Thank you and good luck to you too, LatinaCurves! Do you have a date set for surgery?
Good luck Nashville!! I'm right down the road in the Boro. :) Loved your story and are looking forward to seeing more success from you. My surgery is March 27th.
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Step 5

It's been a while since I last updated, but a lot of things have happened. Lost my job on February 28th, but have been on afew interviews. My weight loss was stalled for a while and had to look over my food journal to see that I haven't been getting enough protein and not eating the right foods. So I'm back on track!
Yesterday I went to the group councilling session at the 100 Oaks Vanderbilt Center - this is available to anyone! Whether you are pre or post surgery - no matter which doctor you use for your surgery. It was a great session - got to meet several post surgery patients, and meet up with some of the ladies from my very first doctors appointment. Tomorrow is my psyc eval - it was rescheduled from last week; this will be my final step other than checking in with my PCP for the monthly weigh ins. I got on the scale at the doctors office yesterday: 260! Whoo-Hoo!! 47 lbs lost!
Starting weight: 307
Current weight: 260
Total loss: 47lbs!!!

2 Comments

Great work. So happy for you!
  • Reply
Thank you, Lady!

Step 6

Psyc Eval was today and went by great! Ok all - I have completed all of my requirements and just have to finish the six month weigh-ins with my PCP. July is just around the corner!!!

5 Comments

Wow lady - it's right around the corner! Keep me updated with everything you're going through. I will be watching your progress amd praying everything goes great!
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awesome congrats!!! were on the same boat! lol except mine is 3 mo. visits. have my 3rd one for april 4th! yay for us!!!
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Thank you! Do you have a date scheduled, Mommy1558?

3 - 28 - 14

Hello All! I haven't updated recently just because nothing has changed. Still working out at the gym 3-4 days a week, keeping my calorie intake at around 800 per day, drinking lots of water. So I went yesterday for a weigh in a was SO EXCITED - I weighed in at 252.6!!! I'm finally past the 50lb mark!!!
I hope everyone stays incouraged in your journeys - hold tightly to your faith - and don't give up on yourself.
I'll post new pictures soon!
Starting Weight: 307
Current Weight: 252
Total Loss: 55 pounds!

8 Comments

You'll get there, I felt just the same before I had a date. The difference is you're losing and I am gaining. It will be here before you know it.
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Keep up the good work and keep us posted on your great progress! How exciting!
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You are doing great! Love reading your post. Keep on being active and the recovery will be a breeze. I am so excited for you!!! By the way, you look so familiar to me.
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4-22-14

Hello friends! It's been a few weeks
since I checked in with you, but I hope you all enjoyed a blessed Easter holiday! Life has been busier now than ever getting my two oldest boys ready for high school graduation, my daughters travel soccer season has started and my youngest is full-on karate.
So - have you ever gone to the doctor's office and got on the scale to find a HUGE difference between that number and the number that shows up on your home scale? That's what happened last week with me. According to my home scale I've been stalled at the same weight for a few weeks, but the doctor's office showed 248lbs. I don't know which one to believe! So I'm going back this Thursday just to hop on the scale because this is really bothering me. Am I really under 250???? Is my home scale not working (it's digital)?
I'll check in again with you and let you know how it turns out.
Starting Weight: 306
Current Weight: 248?
Total Loss: 59lbs? (Fingers crossed!)

2 Comments

Omg awesome!!!! Keep us posted
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Thank you!

4-24-14

Sure enough - just weighted and I'm at 248.2!!!
I will make it to 60lbs loss!

3 Comments

Keeler...You are doing fantastic! You have the mind-set to make this journey a success!! Keep up the great work and keep us posted!
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You're doing brilliantly, I think you've set yourself up perfectly for after the op, all those great habits you already have. You're a beautiful lady, inside and out, (I know this because you spoil your dog too :))
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I will - thank you!!!
Dr. Clemments

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