How I Lost 85 Pounds With Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
In 2007 I had a gastric lap band put in which was fantastic for me. I then moved from Melbourne to London and I lost roughly 30kgs (66 pounds). But I didn’t change anything about my food or lifestyle. Fast forward to 2019 when I had put all the weight back on and more and with two young boys, I knew I needed a kickstart.
I followed Simone Anderson on Instagram for years and seeing her weight loss journey with a gastric sleeve knew that was what I wanted to do. I got my lap band removed in November 2019 and had my sleeve surgery in July 2020.
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
I work full-time with two young children so find it hard mid-week to fit in workouts so on weekends I walk. I get up first thing rain, hail, or shine and walk between 6-10km (3-6 miles) every Saturday and Sunday. I also do a reformer Pilates class on Saturday after my walk and try to get in two late-night pilates classes as well.
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I just love walking, it’s my alone time to just zone out and listen to music, it’s also really low impact and great for when you start moving your body and start weight loss. One day you can only walk 1km (.6 miles) the next, you’re doing 14km (9 miles)! The reformer pilates is great for my core strength and back from sitting in a desk job all day long and it’s great fun.
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
I am limited in what I can fit in my stomach given it’s so small, but I always start the day with a coffee and my vitamins consisting of zinc, magnesium, B3, and hair skin and nails, I also add fiber and collagen to my coffee.
Breakfast on weekdays is a high-protein bowl of yogurt and on weekends a slice of bacon and an egg.
Lunch is 3 crackers with cream cheese and tuna or 1 ½ sushi rolls. I am loving bagel seasoning at the moment on everything!
Dinner is just a smaller version of what my family is having but I will substitute the pasta for zucchini or add more salad instead of chips, I just make little healthier alternatives.
I don’t measure my food, count calories, macros, or anything, I will always go for the protein option though.
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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
Yes, I slip up all the time. Mindless eating is the killer. It’s really hard to stop bad habits creeping back in again. I don’t deprive myself – if I want the ice cream I will have the ice cream. The difference is, I am not eating the whole tub as I used to, and I am so focused on moving my body now. Previously, I wouldn’t have done any exercise.
I have come to a plateau at the moment, it’s not dropping off as quickly as it was early days but I still have another 20kgs (44 pounds) I would like to lose so I feel I am going to have to change my routine soon to mix things up and kick start my loss again.
When did you start to notice progress?
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Within 1 week my face was less puffy. I think having a gastric sleeve you are always at an advantage, but it’s really just melted away. I have wow moments all the time but going shopping recently and realizing I could shop in normal-sized clothes stores was really a proud moment.
I always tell everyone it’s just so much easier now to get up from the couch! A girlfriend of mine commented recently that even my fingers and feet were skinnier too!
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
My Apple Watch, could not live without it, first thing in the morning it goes on my wrist and I am constantly watching my move and stand goals, and on the weekends my exercise. I love that I get notifications from friends who have completed a workout and it spurs me on to do more.
Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
I swapped the chocolate after dinner for sugar-free cherries, it’s enough to take the edge off my sweet tooth while getting hydrated. I also enjoy a collagen bar or collagen hot chocolate.
What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
Surgery isn’t the easy way out and it has honestly saved my life. I don’t miss out on anything, I can still live a great life, eat yummy food, and I definitely enjoy a nice wine.
Where can we find more about you?
You can find me @itsaboutamara on Instagram!
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