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Gastric Sleeve Kelly

“It finally got to a point where I knew I needed to make a change for myself....”

What do you remember about weighing 317 lbs.?

You try to live a normal life as much as possible. When you get to parts where’s its limitating such as flying in an airplane. When I got to my heaviest it got to the point, I could sit in a normal airplane seat but I had to get an extension for my seatbelt which is embarrassing. You feel shame and you want to hid that. Also just not being able to be as active. I’ve always been an active person, hiking and things like that, water sports or zip lining – adventurous stuff that I would love to do you just can’t do it. The other big thing is shopping. Shopping for clothes – there’s options but there’s always limitations as well.

Did you realize how much weight you were gaining?

I’ve always been a person to put myself on the backburner, and I have always loved to take care of other people. I’m always there for family, friends – just focused on other people, and I just let myself go. Never did I realize that it got to that point. I’ve gone through depression, a lot of family stuff was going on throughout the last few years and the pounds just kept adding and adding to the scale. It finally got to a point where I knew I needed to make a change for myself.

What prompted you to consider weight loss surgery?

I’ve been thinking about it off and on for seven years at least. It’s not something I feel like you can just jump into, because again I wanted to be 100% successful afterwards. So I did everything I could preop, even before meeting with Dr. Basa.

What surgery did you select and why?

Gastric sleeve was the one that I felt was best for me. The bypass was a huge concern with my parents when I originally started talking about it a few years ago. It’s my ten year anniversary this fall hopefully, but I’m actually a cancer survivor and so the bypass – there’s certain medications or certain things that that prevents so the bypass was kind of ruled out for me. Because of my parents and my other doctors but also talking to Dr. Basa it was just ruled that there’s certain medications, and certain things you can’t do after bypass that I can with the sleeve. I also felt like I didn’t need to go that severe on the weight loss and go that route. I just felt like I needed just enough push that the sleeve could give me.

What did you notice first after surgery?

I’ll take two or three bites and I’m full. My protein shakes and water, because I try to get a lot of water in at work, just drinking all that it’s like oh wow I am completely full. You’re just satisfied so much quicker. I haven’t been able to figure out how to balance groceries and the food yet; I waste a lot of food. It’s just because the portions are so small. It’s nice to be fulfilled with that and also get that with water and protein shakes and things like that. So the biggest thing was doing it you know three to five times a day, eating, but after that I really can’t – it’s like maybe three times a day. Maybe a snack in there. But the portions are so small. Eating out, I’m usually a cup of soup type of girl or if they have a healthy kids menu or light menu. Platters or plate that I used to be able to eat, or that regular people can eat in one sitting – I went out a couple of months ago with my family to our favorite restaurant. I got veggies, chicken breast and what not, and that meal lasted me like three days. You know it used to be one meal for me, so it definitely saves me money.

What ingredients are needed for success?

Support I feel is very important no matter what you do. When I made this decision I was hesitant of how certain people would act or take it, I knew I would probably have a lot of push back. You know some people think it’s an easy way out, it’s just people do it and continue the lifestyles they had before. That’s not the case for me. So I didn’t tell a lot of people pre-op, and I’m still you know slowly telling people now. But I think its huge to build a support group, so I told my closest family, my closest friends and it was great. They checked on me while I was in the hospital, they helped me when I was going through my emotional rollercoasters of you know changing and the transformation as I call it. And it’s great because I have it now. The support group that we have through Dr. Basa’s group is amazing on a monthly basis. A lot of friendships and mentorships have evolved out of that support group. It’s kind of a pay it forward type of program. We all help each other with clothes and food. It’s great you know when you have that support group of people who are just there like your family and friends, but that you also have a support group that are people that completely understand all the feelings and emotions that you’re going through, or going to go through after surgery.

What do you tell people considering weight loss surgery?

I just want to make sure people do it for them. Don’t do it for anybody else but yourself. I think the program that Dr. Basa and them have set in place, Jessica and everybody has been so awesome. Just taking the resources and tools they give you, the binders, the food ideas, the support groups you know those are going to lead you to success. That’s the biggest thing I tell people in the support group or people that I’ve kind of taken under my wing. It’s just like don’t rush it, take it day by day and its going to change your life.

As of this morning I’m down 117 lbs.