Journeys in bariatric surgery: Mia’s story
Procedure: Gastric Sleeve
Weight Lost: 100 lbs
Disclaimer: individual results vary
My name is Mia and this is my story.
Before vertical sleeve gastrectomy, I can’t remember a time when I would enter a room and not visually assess the chair situation. If there were folding chairs, I knew I’d have to stand because I could not trust the flimsy rivets that held the chair together. In my lifetime, I’ve broken three chairs, two beds and a plastic stepping stool that I had no business stepping on.
Being obese hindered me in so many ways, including my ability to take on new responsibilities at work and restricted activities with my children. Overtime, obesity chipped away at my confidence. I would shrink away from any attention, anticipating the prejudgment that was likely not even there. For years, I tried various diets, sometimes losing a few pounds but always gaining back double or more.
By the time I walked into the bariatric surgeon’s office for my first consultation, my weight had ballooned to 275 lbs. At my heaviest, I was 283 lbs. After this consultation and committing to the surgery, I completed all the steps required over the six month period, with the visit to a dietitian and tour of Providence Little Company of Mary being my last steps. Those last two steps calmed all my fears and anxieties because I was able to learn how to establish a healthy relationship with food, finalize the details of my surgery, ask any questions I had and see the room I’d be recovering in overnight. I was also given a contact number to call if I had additional questions – which were answered almost immediately. This made the day of surgery run very smoothly.
After my surgery, I was so thankful for the care I received in recovery. The staff was responsive to my needs, helpful with my questions and were always willing to go above and beyond to make me feel comfortable as I eased into my new lifestyle. They sent me home with some sample protein drinks and I felt fully prepared to conquer the next phase of my journey. I would not have felt so comfortable and confident going home if it was not for the care and attention I received from the doctors, nurses and the whole team at Providence Little Company of Mary.
If I could offer some advice to anyone considering bariatric surgery, I’d say:
- Document your progress! I started documenting my journey on Instagram: @bellybum.vsg, which provided me with supportive feedback and encouragement I didn’t know I needed.
- Take lots of ‘before’ pictures. You’ll be so amazed at the side by side photos once you start losing weight.
- Look, but don’t compare. Let other people’s journey encourage you rather than be a source of comparison. Results vary!
- Take some time for self-care. It’s important to let your body heal after surgery and beyond. Make some time for yourself. Journal, make a bucket list or read that book that’s been on your shelf for months, etc.
Bariatric surgery lifted the physical AND emotional weight from my shoulders – it changed my life for the better.
The “non scale victories” such as the ability to cross my legs, having slack on an airplane seatbelt, fitting into a size ‘small’ shirt for the first time, are just as exciting as watching your number drop on the scale. 100 pounds, gone forever! My journey continues…
For more information about bariatric surgery, please visit our Bariatric Wellness Center website, or call 844-907-7768.