❤️Learn About Me❤️
Hey there – Anna here!
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.
Nice to meet you! I guess I’m supposed to tell you a little bit about who I am and I am not someone who talks very much about myself.
I’m a wife and mother of two young adult sons. We have 2 cats (Apollo & Chi) and 2 dogs (Loki & Luna). I love all things Supernatural, Harry Potter, elephants, sunflowers, coffee, and online shopping. I have a slight post-it note hoarding issue. I’m a bit “woo woo” as my co-workers call it, also.
During the Pandemic of 2020, I started to adopt plants. What started out as a slight hobby has not turned into a huge obsession. I now have over 15 plants, and I’m not showing any signs of slowing down. My husband says I have a problem, but I just see it as collecting beautiful things that make me happy. Plus, they help to purify the air in our home, so it’s really a win-win situation.
I’ve been blogging since about 2012, but it’s only been in the last two years that I’ve taken it seriously. I started working two years ago for an Affiliate and Performance Marketing Agency, and currently work as the Lead Outreach Recruiter. My boss is to blame for relighting my blogging flame – she’s really pushed me to do better.
While yes, I have been blogging – though mostly been half-assed – I haven’t really done much as I should have. But that’s all changing now! – Thanks, boss.
Okay, now on to why I created A Bariatric Journey…
Picture it Sicily. . .
Okay, not Sicily – instead picture it…
…NorthEast Ohio – the early 1990s.
I guess this is where I’m supposed to tell you I’m some awesome weight loss guru who has all of the answers because I went to some fancy school. I wish I could tell you that, but I can’t. But what I can tell you, is that I am absolutely going through exactly what you are going through.
I had struggled with my weight since I was about 11 or 12 years old and being told that I was fat repeatedly by several kids I was in school with and family members. They were always commenting on my weight. I remember being told that no “real man” would ever love a fat woman. It stuck with me well into my 20s.
When I was about 17 years old, I weighed about 130-140lbs at graduation and was told constantly I was fat, overweight, “thick”, etc. While “thick” was supposed to be endearing, to me it was disgusting. It just fueled my need to force myself to throw up constantly. I would eat normally with my family, excuse myself, then spend time in the bathroom ridding my body of the food I just ate. It was disgusting.
Between graduating and giving birth twice to handsome boys (who are now handsome young men) I struggled a lot with postpartum depression, my weight spiraled out of control, which did not help my depression or anxiety at all. I ended up gaining at least 80lbs between my pregnancies.
Into my late 20s, almost every person I dated would comment or poke fun about my weight. From grabbing my “love handles” to slapping my “thick” thighs. They thought it was cute or loving, but it made me just more depressed and wear clothes to hide my love handles or thick thighs.
It wasn’t until I met my now-husband that I started to have a bit more confidence in myself. When we first started dating, he was the best at making me feel like who I was meant to be.
In December of 2013, I miscarried my third child. That is when I started to gain the last 100lbs, putting me over 319lbs within the next 8 years. My depression was horrible. I didn’t want to do anything, didn’t want to work, and barely left the house to get groceries, if I did I was only wearing pajama pants, a tank top, and an oversized hoodie to hide my weight.
During the Pandemic in the summer of 2021, I started to take both of our dogs for walks and was winded just going around ONE block. It was bad. I was in tears because I barely walked halfway around the block and my feet, knees, and back was all screaming at me.
JUST ONE FREAKING BLOCK!!!
That’s when I knew, it was time. This is the last time I was going to feel this way. I have attempted countless “diets” such as Ketogenic, Paleo, weight loss pills, weight loss meal delivery programs, low carb, etc, and struggled with my weight for almost 30 years.
Change is hard. Especially a change as big as talking to your doctor about weight loss surgery. I know what it feels like going at this almost completely alone.
Even with my husband and both of my son’s support, it is very hard sometimes, because they don’t understand what you are going through. While they are sitting there eating whatever they want without a care in the world, you are weighing, measuring, counting, and writing every single thing down to make sure you are getting the nutrients you are supposed to.
Why am I telling you all of this About Me?
This is why I wanted to create a place where others who are going through the journey can receive inspiration, motivation, & tips from real-life bariatric weight loss surgery success stories, who have been there.
If you have already gone through every single diet out there, started to think about weight loss surgery, are in the process of being approved, already had the surgery, or have gone in for a revision, this is the place to start.
I discuss the differences between the types of surgery, benefits, side effects, and what to expect before, during, and after the surgery.
What Will You Find Here?
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?
What Are The Different Bariatric Surgeries?
Currently, in the United States, there are 8 different types of bariatric surgery.
- Gastric Bypass
- Sleeve Gastrectomy
- Robotic Bariatric Surgery
- Revisional Surgery of Previous Weight Loss Operations
- Endoscopic Repair of Digestive Complications
- Duodenal Switch
- Intragastric Balloon
I will be going over each of these different surgeries and explaining the difference, pros, and cons.
What Are The Benefits To Having Bariatric 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 Before I Can Have Surgery After My 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.
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.
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.
How Will I Keep The 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 Is The Hardest Part Of The Journey?
Honestly, for me, it has been watching my family eat whatever they want and however much they wanted.
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.
How Can I Help You
Look, I know, dieting sucks! No one likes to do it, but for some of us, it is a neccessary thing to do when your quality of living just isn’t where it’s supposed to be. I don’t know about you, but I want to live to be as old as possible. I want to watch my kids get married, have kids of their own, and I want to be able to play with the grandkids.
Making the decision to have bariatric surgery can be a tricky subject to discuss or even consider.
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.