40 Years Old, 3 Teenage Children, Ready for Change - Voorhees, NJ

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For the past 15 years I have struggled with my...

For the past 15 years I have struggled with my weight. I have used Weight Watchers numerous times, hired personal trainers and nutritionists, exercised, tried different nutrition "techniques" (intermittent fasting, high protein diets, low carb diets, cleanses, etc.) but every year I continue to gain weight. I always said that since my physicals were good, that I was fine. That's until I looked in the mirror and realized my efforts weren't working. My confidence started to decline and that only made matters worse. About a year ago, my annual physical was no
longer as good as it had been before. My cholesterol was high, my BMI was well over 40 and I had developed Sleep Apnea. My primary care physician and I decided I should try Bariatric Surgery, in particular the Gastric Sleeve.

Currently, I do not have a date for my surgery. My insurance requires 90 days before I can schedule. I have completed all of my health screenings and will have my final nutritionist visit this month, which will be my 90 days.

I am really anxious and would like to get the surgery done and over with so that I can begin my journey back to health and wellness. I know that this will be a complete lifestyle change, but I am excited and determined.

I am looking forward to sharing this journey with all of you and cheering you all on as you journey forward as well. LET THE JOURNEY BEGIN!!!

Surgery Date Scheduled

Today, I met with my nutritionist/dietician and nurse practitioner. I have completed my testing and today we got a surgery date...MAY 24!!! I'm excited and nervous and hopeful! Tomorrow, I'm going to my first support group meeting. I am looking forward to hearing everyone's experiences and gearing up for what lies ahead!

I'm excited!!!!

Surgery Date Change

I got a call from my doctor today. They hospital can't fit me in on May 24th so I am scheduled now for May 31st. I was concerned because my sons have Senior prom on June 2nd. My boys told me that they want me to get the surgery as soon as possible and miss prom as opposed to missing their graduation or postponing for a month or more. It's so awesome that my kids are my biggest cheerleaders and support system. It has been just me and them for 17 years (twin boys and a daughter) and we have been through hell and back together. They are excited as I am and I love them so much! So, May 31st!!! It's going down!!!

Surgery Rescheduled Again

I am back to a May 24th surgery date!!! YAYYYYYYYY!!! The surgeon had a cancelation and I am basically ready to go, so they offered me the earlier date and I took it. Mainly because my twins have prom on June 2nd and now I will be able to be there and take pictures and do my favorite thing in the world...be proud of them. It also means I will be further along in my healing process for their graduation on 6/16. Since I got the call late yesterday. My liquid diet starts today. I just woke up and will have me a protein shake and some other clear liquids. I see lots of water, Gatorade, and jello in my future...LOL I am excited and massively nervous. I want to make sure I follow all of the instructions and have great results!! 11DAYS AWAY AND I WILL BE SLEEVED!!!

Pre-Op Diet Not So Bad

I was concerned that this pre-op liquid diet was going to be rough, but I only have 2 days left and then surgery. I made it through with no cheats or cravings and I've loss 11 lbs. Who knew that a person could eat jello, broth, and protein shakes for 12 straight days and not go absolutely mad!!! LOL! Surgery will be Tuesday! They still haven't given me a time yet. They won't call me until Monday. I am nervous and excited all at the same time! Starting Tuesday, my life will change for the better!!! REINVENTING MY SEXY!!!

The Past 8 Weeks

Hey everyone! I have not updated since before my surgery, so I have a lot to catch everyone up on.

The surgery was very successful! When I woke up in recovery and needed to sit in a chair, I had no pain or discomfort, with the exception of gas and acid reflux. I didn't need the nurse's help much at all. I did have a few vomiting issues right after surgery but none by the time I got home. The most amazing thing is that I have NO VISIBLE SCARS!!! My doctor was awesome. He actually removed the stomach thru a vertical incision that is basically inside my "belly button cave" (as I like to call it). I was up and walking the same day of surgery. This surgery was rather easy for me. Thank god!!!

The difficult part after surgery was the acid reflux. There were nights that it woke me out of my sleep. Luckily, the doc prescribed Pepcid and told me to take chewable TUMS which were very helpful. This discomfort lasted for about 2 weeks. I haven't really had a problem with it.

Right now, I am at 8 weeks post-op. The different eating stages were rough. Trying to get used to eating immensely small amounts of food while still trying to get 60g of protein and 64oz of fluids when you have a very busy job and life have been my biggest challenges. I am saving a ton of money because I bring my lunch every day, but it is definitely a challenge.

At 8 weeks, my docs want me to eat 3 full meals a day with no snacks unless I am really hungry. That actually makes my life a lot better. When I am not eating I can drink so the mandatory macros should be easy now!

The advice I have to give is:

1) Don't forget to take your supplements. They will give you energy and make you feel better
3) Don't go back to smaller portions of your old habits. The surgery is a tool, not a fix...so be ready to make a life change

Oh...I am down 50lbs. I walk 3 miles about 3-4 times a day and I am back in the gym, lifting, trying to regain all the muscle I lost after surgery. This has been the best thing I have decided to do for my health and I am so happy!

4 months after surgery

Hey Everyone! I know I have been MIA, but with the twins starting college and baby girl starting senior year and work I have been BEYOND busy!!!

So, I am finally broken the 200lbs plateau and am at 193lbs. My stomach is flattening and my waist is visible. I haven't felt this confident and happy in about 10 years!!

I hired a trainer and am working out at least 4 days a week. I am fitting into a size 14/16 (down from a 20) and have lost 62lbs!!

This was the best decision I ever made for my life and my health.

8 months post op - 79lbs lost

I am so thankful and happy about the results of my gastric sleeve. I have never felt healthier or happier.

At this moment, I am spending 3 to 4 days in the gym lifting weights and doing cardio (which I hate). I am eating a protein rich diet and also sticking to the vitamin supplementation protocol.

I did hit a few plateaus. I was stuck at 205lbs for about 3 weeks and then at 184 for about 6 weeks. I realized that I wasn't eating enough or drinking enough water, so I started meal prepping and making sure to pack my food everyday. I also went out and bought a 32oz water bottle that has encouraging words to make feel good when I meet drinking goals.

So far, this has been a very satisfying journey with very few bumps in the road. I have had great doctors from Cooper Hospital in Voorhees and Camden, NJ who continue to make this journey worthwhile.

I encourage anyone who is thinking about the surgery, to go ahead and do it.

If you have any questions about what I have done over the past 8 months, feel free to message me. I am happy to share what has and hasn't worked for me and to encourage you along the way.
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