Why did you want to lose weight?
I've actually been fighting obesity since I was 6 years old. At the age of 10, I was alone for the first time for a 6-week treatment. Multiple, short-term stays in the intensive care unit due to cardiac arrhythmias really affected my thinking. I thought: "That's it, you're not going to see your daughters grow up and you'll never get to know your grandchildren." I've already managed to lose 65 to 100 pounds several times through dieting and exercise. Why not again? This time without the dreaded yo-yo effect!
"You don't have to change your life. You have to live your changes!"
When I landed in the hospital with an umbilical hernia, I met Sam. He had lost around 60 pounds through a sleeve gastrectomy.
My family and friends were in the opinion that this could be my last chance. Since I had already been treated at an obesity center 3 years prior, I went there again to get help. Several doctors ensured me I would be able to lose 45 to 65 pounds with a balanced diet and regular exercise. Chances didn't look good for me since I was carrying 240 pounds of excess weight, but with my heart, I couldn't afford to lose any more time!
What did you want to accomplish on your journey?
My goal was to get rid of the extreme excess weight I was carrying and simply lead a normal, healthy life. Of course, I wanted to get into better shape so I could do more things with my kids, like jumping on the trampoline. I wanted to be able to go shopping wherever I felt like it, not just in plus-sized stores. Looking back, I've also realized how great you can feel when you're not 240 pounds overweight.
How did you reach your goals?
I started with 3 months of nutrition consultations and exercise. I walked a quarter of a mile and increased the distance each day. With this, I lost 53 pounds. With my gastric sleeve surgery and balanced, small portions as well as 5 to 10 workout sessions a week, I've managed to lose 147 pounds.
These days, I exercise 5 times per week for 90 to 120 minutes. Whether in the gym, out in nature or at the swimming pool, exercise has become an essential part of my life. I've adjusted my diet so that protein is an integral part of my meals and then fill the rest with the other macronutrients.
A big sign of progress is that I haven't had any cardiac arrhythmias for over a year now and, if it stays this way, I'll be able to completely stop taking the medication for it.
How did YAZIO help you?
I started tracking my foods so I wouldn't lose sight of my daily calories and macronutrients. After 2 week trials with three different apps, YAZIO won me over and I stuck with it. The app gives me a good overview and sense of security, as I can always consciously control my calories.
Did you have setbacks?
I haven't had any setbacks so far. Since I started, I've weighed myself every Thursday and have never plateaued or gained weight. Even during times that I want to maintain my weight, I still try to lose around 3 ounces per week. This is just to help myself remember that I'm in control of my weight, instead of my weight having control over me.
What advice do you have for other users?
Always keep going, even if you exceed your calorie goal from time to time. Just eat healthily and balanced the next time! In the past, if I ate a pizza, I would end up eating unhealthy for several days because I figured I had already failed anyway.
What are your future goals?
I want to maintain my weight and continue toning my body. I recently saw a plastic surgeon who said he had never seen someone's body look like mine after having lost 200 pounds. That motivates me to keep going and pushing myself harder.
Why do you want to tell your story?
The more attention and awareness I can bring to gastric sleeve surgery, the better. There's no shame in accepting help to lose weight! It doesn't mean you're taking the easy way out with surgery. You need to have just as much discipline as someone who doesn't have the surgery.