Let's talk about Body Dysmorphia for a moment. While it's talked about - I don't think it's actually TALK TALKED about as it should be in the Bariatric Community. I see over and...
I am Anna
I started my bariatric journey in November 2021, and had my vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) surgery in August of 2022.
I know what it feels like going at this almost completely alone. Even with family support, they don’t know or understand what you are going through.
I would love to tell you that I’m some awesome weight loss guru who has all of the answers because I went to some fancy school and earned a fancy degree, but I can’t, because I didn’t.
But what I can tell you, is that I am absolutely going through exactly what you are going through.
I have done a lot of research and here I will be sharing what I have learned plus my opinions and thoughts about the different types of surgery, benefits, side effects, and what to expect before, during, and after the surgery.
No matter the struggle, the success, or the stall – I am here to cheer you on every step of the way!
During the Covid-19 pandemic, I learned how to kayak. My biggest struggle while learning was the kayak kept taking on water because I was at its highest weight limit, causing me to have to learn how to center my weight better in the kayak.
Bariatric surgery can be a tricky subject to discuss or even consider. If you’re considering bariatric surgery, it’s important to do your research and make sure you are making the best decision for your health.
There are a lot of options out there, and it’s important to find the right fit for you. But even if you’ve already had bariatric surgery, or are in the beginning stages, there’s no need to be embarrassed. As always, check with your primary care physician before starting any weight loss journey to make sure it is the healthiest long-term strategy for you.
So whether you’re just starting out on your bariatric weight loss surgery journey or you’re well on your way, I hope you’ll find this site helpful. And remember, you’re not alone on this journey.
My blog will offer you inspiration, encouragement, motivation, & tips from my real-life bariatric weight loss journey. My goal is to keep you as informed as possible about things that have worked for me, not worked for me, worked for others, not worked for others, as well as tips that my personal bariatric doctors and nutrition team has provided to me.
You’re doing what’s best for your health
– be proud of that!
Frequently Asked Questions
Before starting on my journey I think I asked a million questions of my doctor. Once he referred me to my surgeon’s office, I asked those same questions to the coordinator. I still ask questions, because if I don’t, how will I ever know the answer?
Am I A Candidate For Bariatric Surgery?
That is something you will need to discuss with your family doctor. Only they will be able to refer you to a Bariatric Surgeon.
The FAQs are that for most insurances in order to qualify for bariatric weight loss surgery, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- BMI of 40 or higher (about 100+ pounds overweight)
- BMI of 35 – 39.9 and at least one medical condition caused by being overweight. These conditions include: diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and others
- Have already tried several different methods of weight loss (medications, restrictive eating diets, etc.)
*If you have a significantly elevated BMI (over 75), you might be ineligible for weight loss surgery immediately because of the higher risk due to your current weight. Consult with your primary care physician and bariatric surgeon for assistance in this situation.
What Are Benefits of Having Surgery?
When you lose weight, your health improves dramatically. Bariatric surgery is the only type of weightloss that has a significant and positive outcome for a lot of people.
I have 4 friends who have gone through 2 different types of surgeries and all have seen vast improvements on the following.
- Sleep Apnea
- High Blood Sugar/Diabetes
- High Blood Pressure/Hypertension
- High or Elevated Cholesterol
- Bone and/or Muscle Pain
- Arthritis Pain
One of my friends has even been able to stop a couple of the medications they were prescribed for cholesterol and high blood pressure.
How Long Does it Take To Get A Referral?
Every insurance company is different. Some make you go through 3 months of meetings, others are 6 months, while others you may get approved right away. It really all depends on what insurance you carry.
A few of the things that I had to accomplish before even meeting with my surgeon the first time was:
- Hit your goal of a certain % of weight loss
- You have to meet with a nutritionist for clearance
- Attend Nutritional classes every month
- Have a Sleep Study
Once I did those, I was then able to schedule a couple of the bigger milestone appointments and meet with my surgeon to discuss options.
What Are The Different Surgeries?
Currently, in the United States, there are 8 different types of bariatric surgery.
- Gastric Bypass
- Sleeve Gastrectomy
- Robotic Bariatric Surgery
- Revision Surgery of Previous Weight Loss Operations
- Endoscopic Repair of Digestive Complications
- Duodenal Switch
- Intragastrical Balloon
- Aspire Assist
I will be going over each of these different surgeries and explaining the difference, pros, and cons.
How do I Keep Weight Off After Surgery?
Long-term weight management requires a life-long commitment to healthy eating and physical activity. Weight loss surgery is a powerful, proven tool to help ensure long-term success. This is why we offer a community of like-minded mentors, patients, etc to help you keep your weight off.
What's The Hardest Part Of The Journey?
Honestly, for me, it has been watching my family eat whatever they want and however much they wanted and that's just the FAQs.
I have been really good about following the plate method, but sometimes, I do forget. In month 4, I had a really rough week with my husband and it completely threw me off. I ended up gaining 3 lbs back.
It happens, but I moved on, got back on track, and continued to lose because I can't be my best self, without taking care of myself.
Going out to eat is also one of my hardest things. Looking at the menu, getting overwhelmed but asking for the nutritional FAQs of the menu has been a savior for me.
*Hint, you can find nutritional information online or in the restaurant's apps*
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Having Trouble Finding Nutritional Balance?
I will be the first one to tell you that I will grab that handful of chocolate morsels, eat a whole pint of ice cream, half a package of cookies, and don’t even get me started on Twizzlers.
I am on a mission to help people find the easiest and most sustainable way to eat healthily. I understand that maintaining a balanced diet is difficult when you’re busy, so I will provide easy-to-follow bariatric recipes, meal plans, and tips for living a healthier lifestyle.
You’re Not Alone. I Still Struggle – A Lot!
This is me at my heaviest in early Fall 2021.
This was taken just a couple of months before I finally had enough and decided to talked with my doctor about other options.
I talked with a few of my friends who went through the gastric sleeve and asked them for their opinions and they all said that it was the best decision they made. They did explain to me some of the rollercoasters they have had over the past few years since their decision, but still explained that they were able to finally get their life back. I called my doctor and asked for a referral.
That was the start of my new life – my better life.
It’s hard doing this alone.
Even when you have friends going through a diet, they don’t know or understand exactly what you are going through. They will never understand the struggle of watching them eat anything they want, knowing that while you are waiting for approval, you can’t eat it, or you have to eat a quarter of what they are.
Going through a bariatric weight loss program is nothing like going through Whole 30, Ketogenic, Paleo, Vegan, etc. I’ve done every single one of those diets in the past, but this is definitely different. While we use aspects of each, no one diet is one size fits every person going through this type of program.
What Will You Find Here?
I wanted to create a place where others who are going through the bariatric weight loss surgery journey can receive inspiration, motivation, and tips from real-life bariatric weight loss surgery success stories. Stories from people who have been there and know what it takes to succeed.
Become a Badass!
It Was Time For Me To do Something About Being FAT!
This site is 100% opinion-based.
If you have any questions, concerns, etc., you should ALWAYS talk with your bariatric physician, your certified nutritionist, and/or your primary care physician.
Join The “A Bariatric Journey” Group!
You don’t have to do this alone – Join and find an accountability partner so you can succeed in ways you never thought was possible. I want you to succeed, because I know you will.
My phrase for my journey is:
“Even with I fall and fail, I learn. Therefore I grow and I will have success.” – Me (Anna)
This phrase was something I came up with because I used to get so hung up on failing, thinking that I would never succeed. Until one day I realized that each of my failures were a success. I learned what not to do, what to change, what to do differently, and what to try just one more time.
It has been proven that an accountability partner makes you more likely to succeed as well as stick with what you have set out to accomplish.