100+ Pounds, Female, Weight Loss Surgery

How I Lost 170 Pounds In 2 Years With Gastric Bypass Surgery

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

I struggled with my weight after the birth of my oldest son in 2010. Shortly after his birth, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and the weight piled on no matter what I did. I tried every diet out there, intermittent fasting, keto, paleo, etc. None of it worked, nor did I feel like it was sustainable long term. 

When I was bullied by other adults for my weight, I fell into a deep depression and was hospitalized for suicidal ideation. It was after starting therapy, that I knew something had to change. Shortly after this incident, I found out I was pregnant. After having my son in 2018, I reached out to my doctor and inquired about weight loss surgery. And that’s where my journey truly began.  

What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?

My workouts consisted mostly of running. I did a couch25k program and did indeed end up being able to run a 5k. I now do cardio and strength training. I work out 5-6 days a week. Cardio 2x a week and strength training 3-4x. It was important to me to do both because both are equally important to weight loss and fat loss.

Cardio burns calories while your heart rate is accelerated. Strength training burns calories up to 39 hours after the end of a workout. More muscle means a better fat loss rate.

What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?

My nutrition is the most important part of my journey. I do enjoy strengthening my body with fitness, but feeding my body properly is so important. Not to mention, weight loss happens in the kitchen. 

My main focus is always getting in my protein. I aim for 90g minimum a day. I stuck to healthy fats and unrefined carbs. I do not believe in any diet that eliminates a food group. Let alone two, as keto does. I fully believe that moderation is key, and as long as you remain in a calorie deficit and maintain an 80/20 diet (80% wholesome/20% whatever else you want) then you can be successful. 

A small break down of my daily eating is as follows:

-Wake up and have a protein coffee (coffee with a Salted Caramel protein shake as creamer/sweetener)

 -1.5-2hrs later, 1 sunny side up egg on a lightly salted rice cake, topped with avocado and everything bagel seasoning

-1.5-2hrs later a meal prepped lunch (typically a salad eaten with a Skinny Girl dressing)

-1.5-2hrs later a snack (string cheese, quest chips, fresh fruit, etc. Something filling and light)

-Dinner is typically a small measured out portion of whatever we are having. Always eating protein, then veggies, then carbs. 

-Sometimes I’ll have a before-bed snack, like a Chobani Flip yogurt or Built Bar. 

-I do not track my food. I simply believe in putting good into my body 80% of the time and allowing myself the freedom to indulge if I please. I did track in the beginning. I calculated my BMR and aimed for 200-300 calories less than that. For instance, my BMR is 1500ish, so I ate between 1200-1300.  

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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?

Motivation is 100% mental. Yes, I slipped many times. But I’m only human. I am not perfect. Nor is anyone else. We all have our kryptonite. Sometimes I miss soda, candy, all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets. And whereas my surgery prevents me from overeating these things, they are still not good if I eat any of them, let alone spend an entire day indulging.

But sometimes I would get so caught up in what I couldn’t have and have a day of bad choices. It doesn’t happen often. But I do have my moments. But when I do, I remind myself of how far I’ve come. Then I get right back to it.

My biggest piece of advice is, to be honest with yourself. Do not make excuses for yourself. Be. Honest. Do not blame poor habits on stress or a long day. If those are your go-to excuses, then you need to find a healthier way to cope with problems in your life rather than running to food for comfort. 

When did you start to notice progress?

Since I had gastric bypass, my weight loss was pretty obvious pretty quickly. But there were a few moments I’d feel really down on myself so I’d do a comparison picture and be like “man.” I can’t believe I’ve really come this far.” Take pictures. Take measurements. They are so so important for moments where you can’t see it for yourself just looking in the mirror.

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

I used a smart scale and MyFitnessPal, to begin with. Now I just eat what I want, following the 80/20 rule and I use a regular scale. I also used the couch25k app to track runs.

Are there any other fitness products that you used frequently?

 My favorite fitness brands: Quest Nutrition, Skinny Girl, EatMe Guilt-Free, 3D Energy, Built Bar, RealGood Food, BariatricPal.

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

Take pictures and measurements to track your progress. Stop basing your self-worth off the number on a scale. 

Keep showing up. Every day. Show up for yourself. Because no one else will do the work for you. You have to want it.

Make moving your body a priority. Not something that you have to find time to fit into a busy schedule. Make it part of your schedule. Even if it’s just a 30-minute walk or jamming out and dancing while cleaning your house. Get up and move. 

Drink your water. SO MUCH WATER. I drink a gallon a day.

Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?

Girl, Wash Your Face” is a great self-care book. I highly recommend it. 

BariatricPal is a great Bariatric-friendly website and community for Bariatric patients.

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

Make sure you are mentally prepared and do not think of this as a diet and workout routine. 

This is a lifestyle change. Remember that you need to change your LIFE. Your mindset. Your relationship with food and fitness. Once you’ve done that, you’ve set yourself up for success.

Where can we find more about you?

You can find me on Instagram: @bariatricbeast_, Facebook: A.Marie: Bariatric Beast, TikTok: @_prettyinink, or LinkTree.

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