Are you considering weight loss surgery? People choose to have weight loss surgery for many different reasons. Our patient Jenn wanted to have more energy to play with her son. She also missed having more options for activities and clothes to wear. After talking with her doctor, she decided she was finally ready to make the commitment to have Gastric Sleeve surgery. Below, she shares her experience with the gastric sleeve surgery and her weight loss journey.
What made you consider weight loss surgery?
I was a very thin child. I had the perfect figure as a teenager and in my early 20s, but I gained weight in college. I tried other weight loss programs and lost a lot of weight, but I didn’t keep tracking. I thought, now I can relax, and I gained back all of my weight plus a lot more.
I originally started on the path to Dr. Houston when my primary care physician sat me down one day and said, “We’ve taken care of your problem with alcohol, and we’ve taken care of your anxiety, it’s time to talk about your weight.” He sent me to Dr. Houston, where he’d sent a lot of other patients. I also had a friend from work who had surgery with Dr. Houston, and she was very pleased, so that set me on the path.
What was your experience like meeting Dr. Houston?
When I met with Dr. Houston, he explained the different procedures, and we kind of already knew from my doctor which surgery he was going to suggest, and Dr. Houston agreed that the gastric sleeve was most appropriate.
I had the gastric sleeve surgery in December of 2017.
How did Nashville Weight Loss Solutions prepare you for what to expect after the operation?
I had meetings with Dr. Houston and a dietitian, and I had to take a required class where we talked about how our diet couldn’t stay the same because that’s what got us to where we were. They went through looking at different portion sizes and explained what to expect as far as what we would be eating or drinking.
They were very clear that there were lifelong things that you would have to do to be successful. I knew what to expect right out of surgery, and I knew what to plan for the long term. For me, that meant continued tracking of food. Always.
They went over everything so that nothing would be a surprise afterward, and so we had time to prepare for the new lifestyle and change a lot of stuff ahead of time. There was a lot of information given, and they were always available to answer questions.
How was your post-op experience?
I had several appointments close together after surgery to check on things. Was I healing correctly? Was I getting everything in? Did I have any more questions? They did so much beforehand to prepare me that I knew exactly what to do afterward, but my biggest concern post-op was when would I be able to pick up my son? He was a little over one, and they said I could pick him up as soon as I felt comfortable doing it - as soon as I could do it without pain. Pain is your indicator - if you’re drinking too fast, you will have pain - so you let your body tell you. It was probably a week before I picked him up and didn’t think about it again.
How has this surgery impacted your life?
Oh my gosh! My life has changed in so many ways! First of all, I am a much more active mother than I was before. I can run with my son, and I can play with him. If he wants to be hauled around the block, I have the energy to do it. I’m not carrying all this extra weight.
My confidence is back because I don’t have to worry that if I go somewhere, people are going to be looking at me. I don’t have to worry about looking around and wondering if I am the heaviest person there.
I’ve gotten to play around with new clothes and try new things I hadn’t been able to try before. I started jogging and doing things I wouldn’t have been doing before, like dancing to dance videos with my son. A lot of my activities center around my son, and we can both fit in the sandbox these days!
Do you wish you had done this sooner?
Yes and no. Yes, because it was life-changing and made me feel so much better. No, because it needed to be the right time in my life for me to be able to make that kind of commitment. As I said, I had alcoholism to take care of, I had anxiety, and if those things had not been dealt with, I would not have been successful. So I wish I had gotten my whole life together sooner, but it was the right time for this surgery. I knew I was ready to make a huge commitment that would be lifelong.
What would you tell others who are considering weight loss surgery?
I would tell them not to rush because it is a huge commitment. Ask tons of questions and get any information you can get your hands on. Be prepared to change your relationship with food. Give yourself time to create a support system because you have to have people who support you. I have the support of my husband, and we changed the way our household eats in general. We gave up red meat. I would tell people considering the gastric sleeve surgery to take time to ask questions and understand what’s going to be required to get the weight off and keep it off and stay healthy. It’s not like you fix it and you’re done. It is a full, lifelong commitment.
Would you encourage others to go to Dr. Houston at Nashville Weight Loss Solutions?
Absolutely! I was very, very pleased. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and my family!
Contact Nashville Weight Loss Solutions for more information on medical weight loss options.
Are you dieting and exercising on your own, but still not getting the results you want? Nashville Weight Loss Solutions offers a comprehensive range of proven weight loss programs to help, whether you need to lose 20 pounds or 200. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation!