I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t overweight. In preschool, at just 5 years old, I weighed 90 pounds.
At 8 years old, when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (a condition which slowed my metabolism), I wasn’t surprised. I had been through child health bootcamps and never lost weight from them, so my hypothyroidism diagnosis just confirmed that losing weight was extra hard for me.
After my diagnosis, I thew myself into as many sports as possible, and tried as many diets as I could, in an effort to do more to lose weight. Sometimes, it worked; I’d lose 20 pounds, but then I’d plateau, and gain it back.
I also have four sisters—including my twin—who are all thin and tall, so I constantly compared myself to them, which didn’t help with my self esteem.
The only difference was this time, I’d actually see results.
The swelling happened because my body and mostly my legs had to support my weight all day. I came home crying one day and immediately went to my doctor for another gastric bypass surgery referral—this time at 298 pounds.
Three months later, I went under the knife, and it turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made.
Before surgery, while I never binge ate, I frequently ate Mexican food, I snacked a lot, and served myself large portions. But now, so that my stomach doesn’t stretch back out, I don’t eat meals larger than the palm of my hand.
I also track my macronutrients using MyFitnessPal, I meal prep, and I’ve found alternatives to my favorite foods, such as burrito bowls made with lean ground turkey and zoodles. But still, I’ll have a few bites of cake for dessert of I’m craving it.
When I eat at home, a day of meals might look like this:
Breakfast: Chobani flips or cottage cheese and fruit with coffee Lunch: Salad with either chicken or ground turkey or lettuce wraps Snack: A ONE Almond Bliss protein bar or hummus and vegetables Dinner: Zucchini pizzaSince my gastric bypass surgery, I’ve lost 150 pounds.
I go to the gym five days a week and try to incorporate a mix of cardio and strength training (I also spent some time in the sauna after every workout to relax).
Now, I feel like I’m finally happy and confident with myself and my body.
I know gastric bypass surgery isn’t the best choice for everyone, but it was the right choice for me, and it definitely wasn’t the “easy way out.” It not only helped me see results I never thought were possible because of my health condition—but it has also helped me stay healthier by keeping my weight in check.