First I want to say thank you! Without BeLiteWeight I wouldn't be the woman I am today.
My Journey started a few years ago but the monumental stage of my journey began almost two years ago. I have struggled with my weight for years, using excuses of depression, I work too much, I don't have time, to justify my poor choices and how I allowed myself to become 287 pounds. Finally having enough of the knee pain (after 2 reconstructive surgeries on my left knee before graduating high school) and back pain and just being tired all the time I decided it was time to do something about my health... and not just say I was going to do something.
I started doing my research: types of weight loss surgeries, speed of weight loss with various procedures, complications, USA vs. Mexico, surgeons and support groups... so many support groups. I was online one day and started a conversation with a wonderful woman who had used BeLiteWeight to coordinate her weight loss surgery. So I reached out and talked to a representative Sylvia, I love her dearly, she coordinated my surgery and all the needed documents and information to the point all I had to do was get on the plane. After talking with Sylvia I sat down and talked to my husband. I had a very emotional conversation explaining why I wanted to have the surgery, who I wanted to do my surgery and he listened to me. After our conversation it was decided that I would dedicate 1 year to proper diet and exercise. His reasoning was that if I was going to have the surgery I had to start making changes that would eventually become my new lifestyle.
Keto was very popular so I decided that it would be the best for me, I mean after surgery it is a high protein low carb diet so this would be perfect. I also joined a gym and committed to at LEAST 3 days a week. A year and many ups and downs later I had lost almost 40 pounds, frustrated and ready for surgery. For the first time in my life I had a surgery scheduled that I was looking forward to having. Losers bench here I come!
My husband and I flew into El Paso, at the time we were dealing with Covid restrictions so I traveled to Juarez by myself. The shuttle driver was so kind and comforting and conversation flowed from the airport all the way to the hospital. I was escorted inside where I had a meeting with patient services, and then off to have pre-surgery testing done. After testing I was taken to my private room to get comfortable for the evening and surgery would be first thing in the morning. Surgery time came and I have NEVER received such attentive care as I did from the staff at the hospital in Juarez. After surgery I was taken back to my room to rest but shortly after I was up and walking, and walking, and walking. Lots and lots of laps around the floor to help prevent blood clots and get that gas moving. It was the next day I had my leak test done and once confirmed all was good I started the post-op diet and my slow progression back to full lifestyle diet.
The next few weeks were EXHAUSTING for me. I had this renewed energy and drive to do better to be healthy and not waste one moment. Unfortunately in the early stages of the diet after surgery calories consumed are very low and the smallest things drained my energy. But I did what I could as I could: I walked a little bit every hour, I had a timer on my Fitbit reminding me to sip on my fluids. Gradually as my caloric consumption increased so did my energy. The first bite of Ricotta Bake was amazing, I definitely had a new found appreciation for variety in food, spices, and anyway that made it possible to put a new twist on the same old food that I was on for the week. Portions started at a few bites and is now anywhere from 3-4 ounces depending on the textures and density of the foods. I lost anywhere from 1 to 3 pounds a day and I was so excited!
As the weeks stretched into months the weight loss slowed down, I was averaging 1-3 pounds a week and stalls happened as my adjusted and continued to heal. I joined the amazing weight loss community on Instagram and shared experiences, answered questions, asked questions, cheered for people that were preparing for their surgery and made many new friends that have become so dear to me.
Fast forward to a little over a year after surgery, I am down 106 pounds, I have lost inches all over my body from my neck to toes, I have confidence. I wore a bathing suit for the first time in over two decades, I have gone from a XXL to a S/M, a size 26 to a 6. But my biggest achievement to date I love myself. I am Healthy. I am no longer morbidly obese. My body doesn't hurt.
This journey has not been easy every day is a battle to drink all the liquids your body needs, to eat all the protein your body needs, to make good food choices, to eat the right portion, to LISTEN to your body. This surgery is an amazing TOOL that will help you achieve your goals if you are willing to put in the work and the amazing family at BeLiteWeight helped me achieve mine. I reached my goal weight 7 months after surgery, the real struggle to maintain is my current journey. I have learned that it is ok to eat French fries, or cake or all the stuff that we have programmed ourselves to think of as evil... in Moderation. I work out 6 days a week so I can have French toast and not worry that I am destroying all the hard work I have put in. This journey has tested my strength in all aspects of life, physically, mentally and emotionally. The people that you surround yourself with along your journey makes all the difference in the world. Just remember if you chose to have weight loss surgery that you will make mistakes, you will stumble, and that is OKAY, it happens to everyone. Allow yourself grace, take lots and lots and lots and lots of pictures so you can look back at your progress, your achievements and reassure yourself that you are capable and you can achieve your goals.
I am a new and improved me and I give thanks everyday and am so proud of myself for making the decision to me and my health first.
I cannot say THANK YOU enough for all of the help and support before and after my surgery.
Surgeons: The surgical team of Dr. Jose Rodriguez-Villarreal, MD, FACS