100+ Pounds, Female, Weight Loss Surgery

VSG Surgery – How I Lost 165 Pounds in 2.5 Years (Interview)

Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?

I remember finding out I was pregnant for the third time, and not knowing how I was going to physically be able to keep up. Growing up I was diagnosed with PCOS, and knew becoming a mother was out of the question. In 2009 I decided I didn’t want to be 319lbs anymore. I had the lap band surgery here in Beverly Hills. I did not know that this was a tool and that I needed to make a drastic lifestyle change.

I was able to lose almost 90lbs and get pregnant with my first child. Right after birth, I began regaining all my weight back. I was back up to 300lbs within a year. I was working, I was always tired. Fast forward to birthing my third child, I told myself this is it! I have three little humans to look after that need the best version of their mommy. When Viviane turned 2 months my journey began. I have not looked back and have used my vertical sleeve gastrectomy as a tool.

What did you do for exercise when you started? Did you change it up throughout your journey?

I always advise everyone to start slow. I remember committing myself to do an hour walk two times a week. I did that for a couple of months and then started doing it three to four times a week. The more weight I lost the more energy I had. My body craved more and more! Now I enjoy working out five times a week.

I joined the gym and got a personal trainer to teach me all about muscle gain. I absolutely fell in love with the progress! It’s going to be a year in March that the gyms have been closed down here in LA. But I’m still working out as much as possible focusing on cardio endurance.

What did you do for nutrition when you started? Did you change it up throughout your journey? 

Throughout my 34 years, I’ve read so many diet books and had tried all the things. I remember feeling really great while I was doing the Paleo diet. I decided to start with the basics, counting calories in and out. I downloaded MyFItnessPal. I started dissecting every label at the store. I focused on consuming protein and veggies first. Then a natural carb-like grains, brown rice, sweet potatoes, bananas. 

I stuck to eating about 1250 calories in the first year. Now that I’m in maintenance I stick to intuitive eating. Eating when I’m hungry, and having a balanced meal. I literally have salads every day. It’s a no brainer for me and I truly enjoy them. I call myself the “Salad Queen”. I really listen to my body and how I feel after eating certain foods. I take a multivitamin daily. I used to drink PremierProtein to meet my daily protein goals. Now I just eat my protein. 

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How did you stay mentally strong when it was tough? Did you ever give up? How did you recover?

I feel like I slip up every month! My hormones and body feel ravenous days before my period. It’s extremely hard to control. But it’s over after a couple of days and I try my best just to move forward. I also find myself very aware of when I’m emotionally eating or if a binge episode is starting up. We don’t get to be obese unless we have had some type of eating disorder. And that’s what the biggest obstacle will be! It doesn’t go away, you must work daily to overcome it. 

What motivates me is the feeling of waking up full of energy and feeling stronger than yesterday! Nothing beats that feeling.

Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?

I absolutely love my Fitbit Versa! It tracks all my daily activities and lets me know how many calories I’ve burned.

When did you start to notice progress?

I noticed my face looking slimmer at first! Then my clothes fit a little looser. I started taking pictures and comparing as well. I noticed after about 50 pounds that it was really happening. When I reached my initial goal of being in “wonderland” I was so excited but knew I could go for more! I will always say you will never be done with this journey.

Do you have any fitness “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?

I drink 34oz of water before breakfast or coffee. Drinking water is one of the most important things our body needs! I love being hydrated, my energy level is always great.

What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?

Start right now with your next meal! You won’t haven’t all figured out at the beginning but you will get the hang of things. Listen to your body and figure out when you need to speed it up or slow things down. Nobody is perfect! Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s this is all yours! Love yourself every step of the way 🙂

Where can we find more about you?

You can find me on Instagram! @sandyislosingit

Would you like to share YOUR story on How I’m Fit?

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