First ever “Transformation Tuesday” post and I am super, duper excited! WHY, you ask? Because transformations and weight loss is very near and dear to me! I have my own personal story that I will tell once I have completed the weight loss portion of it. But for now I am focusing in YOU! I want to showcase your achievements, your dreams and how you got there. Everyone’s story will be different. Everyone’s journey will be different. That is okay to be different. We are all different and what works for one person does not necessarily work for another.
This first “TT” post is all about Robyn’s story, and while unique to her, I hope that you all can see yourselves at the finish line just like she did! I hope it inspires you, whether you have 10lbs to loose or 100lbs to loose.
So here is Robyn’s story…
“My name is Robyn and I am 40 years old. Like millions of others my weight has fluctuated over the years. Severely fluctuated would be a better word for it.
I am the mother of 18 year old twins and a 16 year old. For their entire lives I focused on them, of course, they are my babies! However, I also used them as an excuse or a crutch when it came to explaining or reasoning why I still had “baby fat” after almost two decades. Sad but true. Then on July 16, 2012 I had a picture taken of myself and my daughter’s boyfriend. When that picture was given to me a week later I literally burst into tears. I could not believe my eyes. I knew my weight was back up. I own mirrors and I know what the size of my clothes were but somehow I had blinders on and never truly saw what everyone else was seeing. Let me tell you, that picture was a rude awakening and my eyes were opened! I knew I had one year until the big 4-0 and I was NOT going to have that birthday looking and feeling the way I did.
The very next day I called Grand Health Partners, after being up most of the night doing research, and signed up for their next available informational meeting. They are a wonderful group of doctors that help people, medically and surgically, battle their weight issues. Three days later, husband in tow, I went to a meeting. I was so intrigued by all they had to say but I knew that after so many great successes (80# or so at least three times) always followed by failures, that I needed to be extreme. I decided a Gastric Sleeve was going to be my extreme tool to get me, once and for all, to the person I knew I was meant to be. After meeting with doctors, working through insurance approvals and figuing out work schedule, I had my surgery date set.
I went through all of the classes that GHP offered. I met with a Behavioral Specialist, met with the Surgeon, met with a Nutritionist and went to a couple of support group meetings. I wanted to make sure I had all of my bases covered and follow all of their suggestions to make sure I did not “fall off the wagon” ever again. Finally, 2 weeks before the surgery I started the Pre-Surgery diet, very low calories, food that was pre-packaged and available through GHP. By the morning of September 5, 2012 (yes I fast tracked) I was ready! So excited about my future that my nerves did not even matter. On a side note, I had decided to keep my surgery a secret from almost everyone. My immediate family, my parents and 2 people from work were all that knew. I knew that I had to be mentally ready for the changes that I had already started and the new lifestyle that I was getting with the help of surgery and I did not feel strong enough at the time to explain my decision to anyone. There is such a negative response, often not always, when people find out that someone had weight loss surgery. It is wrong, unfair and not true, but I knew I was not prepared for those debates at that time.
My surgery went beautifully, I had no complications during or after. I had a very smooth transition into my new lifestyle. I credit that to using all of the tools that GHP supplied me with. I was up and walking every hour for 10 minutes the day after surgery and I have not stopped since. In fact, I have become an exercise junky! I started by walking, walking and walking some more. It was slow going at first but by November I was bored and ready for more. I joined a gym, with the whole family and started jogging and then running on a tread mill. We played tennis, worked on weight and elliptical machines. I couldn’t get enough. I was seeing tremendous results and had never felt better in my life. Finally spring arrived and I did the unthinkable, I started running outside for all the world to see! I was not a runner, I thought runners were crazy! I love it! I cannot let a day go by without lacing up my shoes and hitting the road. Some days may only be 2 miles others 6, I just never know.
I am now 1 1/2 years from my surgery date. I started out at 267# and a size 24 pant. My ultimate goal for myself was 150# and a size 10. Today I am 117# and a size 2 pant! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would achieve all that I have. I attribute that to a wonderful staff at GHP, a fabulous family that cheered me on every step of the way and an unwaivering dedication to follow all of the rules. I do not “cheat” on my eating or exercising. There is nothing to “cheat” on. I am not on a diet, this is my lifestyle. I have certain food, calories and grams that I must reach every day to keep my body fully fueled and I do that. I do it for me. I had to be a little selfish in the beginning and realize it was okay to take me time. I felt guilty for not always eating with my family or making their meals, my family stepped up, because sometimes it was hard to be around the food (now I eat with them). Not because I missed it, I do not, but because the smells were difficult for me to handle. That was the hardest thing to overcome. Nothing smells the same now. A movie theatre makes me nauseous, the popcorn “butter” is not a good smell for me and my new stomach. But these were small things and in a short year I have been able to work through it all. I am now a healthier and happier, wife and mom.
As a reward, I treated myself to the second best ever gift to myself. I underwent a full tummy tuck and breast augmentation. After loosing all of that weight you can imagine the loose abdominal skin and the deflation of my breasts was hideous (especially after 3 kids). So again, with the support of my husband and girls, I had another surgery on November 25, 2013. It was rough to go through another couple of weeks of recovery, but oh so worth it! Everything is back in its place and my new clothes have never looked better. After 6 weeks I was back in the gym too!
The most important thing I can say about this journey is to be true to yourself. Surgery of any kind is not a cop-out. Surgery is difficult! There are many things that can go wrong and it is not a cure all. Weight loss surgery will make you loose weight for up to a year without you having to do too much work. However, it will NOT keep the weight off. It will not get you healthy. You have to do that. With or without surgery, your weight loss journey is for you to decide and to determine. No pill, plan or surgery will cure your obesity. Faith, love, determination, dedication and a great support system are all that can do that for you. And YOU, YOU are the most important component.
Good luck and God bless, ~Robyn”
For more information about Grand Health Partners, please visit their website.
Thank you to Robyn for being brave to tell her story and to help inspire others. I am so happy for you and your new life!
If you would like to be featured and share your own story of weight loss, whether it be 20lbs or 100lbs, please fill out this link. You will be automatically entered into a drawing to receive a free “Transformation Tuesday” makeover session. Contact Roxanne for more information!