Gastric Bypass: How I Lost 180 Pounds In 1 Year
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
I have been overweight my entire life. I was always the “chubby” girl, the fat friend, you name it. Growing up I always played sports and was very active, but my diet was extremely poor. I played softball through college, and when I finished school all the fitness that balanced out all the years of bad eating went out the window. After several years I gained A LOT of weight. I was eating fast food, sugary coffees, eating out every night, and lived a mostly sedentary lifestyle. After 6 years and 2 kids later I was a horrifying 310 lbs.
I couldn’t keep up with my boys, I was exhausted 90% of the time, I dreaded leaving the house, and I wasn’t happy. When I found out the hospital I was employed at offered weight loss surgery and our insurance covered 100% of it, I knew this was the best choice for me. I have tried every diet under the sun, you name it I did it; weight watchers, keto, calorie tracking, intermittent fasting to just plain not eating.
I failed at every diet I tried. I knew I needed something done for my health and my family. On October 22nd, 2019 I had gastric bypass, and it has hands down been the best decision I have made for myself!
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
In the beginning days after surgery, I mainly walked. My husband and I would go on an evening walk for about 30 minutes each night. Over time I felt comfortable enough to go to the gym. I would switch between walking, the elliptical, and the bike as my cardio and arms/legs/abs. I would workout 5 days a week at the gym but always made sure to get my steps in even on my “off” days.
I am a firm believer if you move your body you will be successful. Not everyone will have the same workout routine, but as long as you show up and move your body good things will come.
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
In the beginning, the main focus was protein. My goal was always 64g, with lean meats (chicken, ground turkey, and pork) as the focus. I followed a low carb, low fat, high protein diet for the first year to maximize my weight loss.
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I ate a lot of Greek yogurt, chicken, light cheese, eggs, ground turkey, built bars, protein shakes, etc.
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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
You are never going to be motivated 100% of the time. What helped me was making sure I had substituted for things I craved. For example, if I craved something sweet in the evenings I would eat sugar-free pudding, sugar-free popsicle, or strawberries with whipped cream.
Knowing this was probably my last and only chance to make sure I am here long term for my kids and my family was the only motivation I needed. I permanently altered my body, I wasn’t going to mess it up like I always had before!
When did you start to notice progress?
For me, noticing weight loss was always tough. When I look in the mirror I still see the old me. My clothes fit better, I’m in smaller sizes, and I feel great, but it’s hard to really comprehend that I’m no longer 300+ lbs.
Times where I really notice it is walking by a mirror in public, or when someone takes a picture. Most of the time It’s like “that’s me?”
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
Yes! I tracked every bite of food I put in my mouth. It became second nature and was something I enjoyed doing. It kept me accountable and on track. I used the Baritastic app which is specific to people who have had weight loss surgery.
As for my workouts, I wore an Apple Watch that calculated everything but I didn’t track more than that.
Are there any other fitness products that you used frequently?
Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
I don’t think there are any “hacks” when it comes to weight loss, just consistency. I didn’t eat out, I made every meal at home with fresh whole foods. I moved my body daily, I always made sure when I was going out to eat or to a friends house for dinner I planned with checking the menu/bringing a side dish I know I could eat, always having a substitute for cravings.
For example, if I wanted tacos, just do a taco salad, or if I wanted Chinese, do sugar-free Teryaki sauce with chicken over cauliflower rice. Also, researching new healthy meals was huge for me! Opening up my mind to new foods and keeping me on my toes so I didn’t get bored was key.
What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
Stay consistent! I had always started a diet and gave up after a week because I would cave, and thought “well I just ruined that diet let’s go get Taco Bell”.
What’s important and took me so long to learn is getting right back up and keep going! I got a tattoo representing my journey “every day is a fresh start” and it is so true. If I make a bad choice I look forward to starting fresh the next day.
Where can we find more about you?
Find me on Instagram: @Kendal.rnylife
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