I do not remember a time when I was not overweight. At preschool, just 5 years old, I weighed 90 pounds.
At age 8, when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (a condition that slowed down my metabolism), I was not surprised. I had already gone through training camps for child health and I had never lost weight. My diagnosis of hypothyroidism therefore confirmed that losing weight was very difficult for me.
After the diagnosis, I jumped into as many sports as possible and tried as many diets as possible, in order to do more to lose weight. Sometimes it worked. I would lose 20 pounds, but then I would cap and I would get it back. I also have four sisters – including my twin – who are thin and tall, so I have constantly compared them to them, which has not helped with my self esteem.
At 21, I weighed 260 pounds, so my doctor suggested surgery.
At this point, I gained weight regularly every year. My doctor talked about gastric bypass without any weight loss in sight. He explained that the procedure would reduce the size of my stomach from the size of a football to the size of an egg and would limit the amount of food I could eat.
I wanted to have surgery that year, but the skepticism of my family and friends about weight loss surgery was "the easy way out" and my fears about surgical complications held me back.
For the next three years, I closely followed the experiences of women who had undergone gastric bypass surgery and shared their stories on YouTube and Instagram.
I also learned that the operation would allow me to control the portions, but my weight loss would still require the discipline I had worked on all my life. The only difference was that this time, I would see results.
I knew that I had to finally have surgery when my ankles started to swell at the end of the day.
The swelling happened because my body and especially my legs had to bear my weight all day. I came home crying one day and immediately went to my doctor for another gastric bypass surgery recommendation, this time at 298 pounds.
Three months later, I went under the knife and that turned out to be the best decision I ever made.
After the surgery, my diet was extremely restricted because my stomach could not hold a lot of food.
I also had to eat a lot of bland foods, just so my stomach would not be irritated – so I was eating small portions of soft foods like rice and eggs.
But now, a year after the operation, I reintroduce my stomach into my favorite foods. Before the surgery, when I never ate, I ate Mexican food frequently, nibbled a lot and served me large portions. But now, so that my stomach does not recover, I do not eat meals bigger than the palm of my hand.
I also monitor my macronutrients with MyFitnessPal, prepare my meals, and find alternatives to my favorite foods, such as ground turkey burrito bowls and zoodles. But I'll still have some bites of cake for dessert, I feel like it.
When I eat at home, a meal day can look like this:
- Breakfast: Chobani flips or cottage cheese and fruits with coffee
- Breakfast: Salad with chopped chicken or turkey or lettuce rolls
- collation: A protein bar ONE Ammond Bliss or hummus and vegetables
- Having dinner: Pizza with zucchini
Since my gastric bypass, I have lost 150 pounds.
While I'm proud of my weight loss, my next goal is to develop more muscles to fill the loose skin that I have now because of my quick weight loss. I go to the gym five days a week and I try to incorporate a mix of cardio and weight training (I also spent time in the sauna after each workout to relax) .
Now, I finally feel happy and confident with myself and my body. I know that gastric bypass is not the best choice for everyone, but it was the right choice for me, and it was certainly not the "easy way out". It has not only helped me see results that I would never have thought possible because of my health, but it has also helped me stay healthier by controlling my weight. .