Today we have our first success story with someone who has had weight loss surgery to lose weight. While I personally would not have the surgery I do believe it has helped many people with their weight problems.
This success story interview is with Felicia who has lost OVER 260 pounds! She blogs over at Life Happens, definitely check out her site and what she has to say about weight loss surgery.
Weight Loss Story:
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a very happily married, Proud to be a Stay At Home – Homeschooling Mom of 1 awesome little boy. I love computers, crafting, & doing anything with my son. We live in Montana.
What moment or event started your weight loss journey?
I think I started my weight loss journey back when I was very young. But the final leg of my actually successful weight loss journey started in May of 2006. I had fallen off the diet wagon AGAIN and had had enough. I saw a commercial about weight loss surgery on TV and I called the clinic. I knew that either I do something drastic or I would be that dead 1000lb woman in the papers having to be cut out of her house.
What was your starting weight? What weight are you at now?
My highest weight was 427lbs. I currently weigh 164lbs. I have lost a total ( so far ) of -263lbs.
What would you say is the most important factor in your weight loss? Changed eating habits? Exercise? Changed thinking? Something else?
I think the most important factor was I changed my mind. I had made up my mind that the only way to lose the weight was what everyone said was the “right” want or the “hard” way. I had discounted weight loss surgery for years and years because it wasn’t the “accepted” thing. Thanks to that narrow minded thinking I lost a lot of years I could have spent healthier and smaller. When I finally changed my mind, it changed my day (life). May of 2006 I decided to have Weight Loss Surgery. I ended up having it October of 2006. By 6 months out I had lost 120lbs. By a year out I had lost 150lbs and here I am just over 2 years out and down over 260lbs. I really think we get stuck with how we think we are “supposed” to lose the weight and lose sight of the fact its not how we lose it, its THAT we lose it!.
What is your current fitness or exercise goal?
I don’t have an exercise goal other than to start some kind of routine. I haven’t yet really got into working out even though I know I should. I am on the go so much now that I have lost all the weight that I pretty much use the walking and the busyness of life as my work out.
What methods are you using to achieve your goal?
At the moment lol nothing. I do have a treadmill that I occasionally step on to but other then that I just am always on the go go go now so I pretty much just use life to work out.
Are there any obstacles you had to overcome to begin exercising / keep exercising?
Mental. I am still working on the mental of getting started. I don’t like it. I don’t like to sweat ( thanks to a lot of skin that was left over from the weight loss). To me working out is like dieting was. Awful.
What’s your favorite exercise?
Walking. Keeping up with J. Just moving with life.
How do you deal with boredom in your exercise program?
See that’s the whole issue with it. I spent a lot of years trapped in a huge body which lead to a lot of boredom. So its hard to waste time being bored with anything now that I don’t have to.
I do think working out is important. I just haven’t reached that stage in my journey yet.
Describe the diet or healthy eating plan you’re following. What is the main focus of the plan? (i.e.: cutting calories? Cutting fat? Eating natural?)
I don’t diet. I will never diet ever ever again. I eat what I want when I want it. I do not graze. My average meal is only about a cup full size +/- depending on what it is. There is no possibly of over eating in the sense of what I used to do. I spend more time now trying to remember to eat, that trying to stop myself from eating. Food has become very *eh* in the sense that it used to be such a friend. Now I eat because I have to. I truly eat to live, not live to eat. As for what I eat. LOTS of protein. The rules are protein first, good carbs second and if you have room ( which you never do ) you can have what ever is left. I drink at least one protein shake a day to get in the amount of protein I need ( 75-90 grams a day). But on the flip side I also have a piece of chocolate every day if I want it. I can have 3 M&M’s or 1 bite sized Reese Pieces. That is all I can have or I don’t feel well. To be honest its more than enough and since I have no, NO-NO foods I rarely crave anything more than than. Its about living, not deprivation.
What is one cardinal rule of nutrition you have learned that you always follow or never break?
The rules are protein first, good carbs second and if you have room ( which you never do ) you can have what ever is left. Also NO drinking with meals At ALL!
Are there any foods you outright avoid and DO NOT eat?
Nope! I avoid quanity, not foods.
If you diet, do you allow for a regular reward meal (cheat meal)?
The only cheat is cheating yourself. Once you fall into that “cheat vs good” mentality you fail. I have no “no no” foods. By changing my thinking on this I took back the power that food used to hold over me. We should never allow food to have that kind of mental power over us. By making it “bad” we give it power.
What about supplements? Which if any supplements do you add to your diet?
I use protein drinks for a protein supplement because I just dont eat enough food in the day to get enough protein in. I take a multi vitamin, a b complex, a b12 sublingle, an iron chewable and 3 calcium citrate supplements every day.
Is eating healthy expensive for you? How much do you spend on food in a given week / month?
No not at all. With just the changes we have made since I have had surgery we spend HALF what we used to spend on food. The 3 of us can eat at Wendy’s now for around $10 lol. I would say the addition of supplements and vitamins still doesnt add up to the amount of money I was stuffing in my face before.
What are 3 of your best eating or dieting tips you would like to share?
1. Dont get stuck in a diet rut. Its not about the diet. Its about the life your living ( or not living ) while your on that diet.
2. Tomorrow will never come. What ever you are doing to do, stop right now and do it.
3. Doing your best IS good enough. Remember you can only fall off the wagon you stuck yourself on in the first place. Just remember to make it a little red wagon instead of a 6 foot tall pedestal wagon.
4. Take half of what you want. Eat it and stop there. You can always go back for seconds but most likely you wont want them.
5. Always leave something on your plate. Its not waste, its putting yourself first instead of your stomach.
How did you first become interested in blogging and can you tell us a little bit about your blog?
I started blogging in 2000 when I had my son. I was in the Country Graphics community around that time drawing and selling graphics and building websites. Blogging was brand new “way back then”. It was a great way to make friends. I still have half a dozen friends or so that I met all those years ago.
Has your weight loss blog helped you with losing weight?
I don’t really have a weight loss blog, more of a life blog, since it was only one part of a whole. I am not sure it has helped me in losing weight but it has helped me in tracking my progress. It used to be a great place ( pre WLS ) to voice my troubles and work out problems I had. Now I find ( at least so all the emails and comments say) that its more of a help to others. That thought makes me keep my story out there. If I help one person, then airing all my laundry out there was worth it.
What are your top 5 favorite weight loss/fitness blogs?
OMGosh I have so many let me see…
- Diana’s Body Journey – http://dianasbodyjourney.blogspot.com
- 360 Degree’s of DC – http://dcwatts.blogspot.com
- Scale Junkie – http://scalejunkie.com
- Fabulous @ 50 – http://fab50.blogspot.com
- Fertilehealthy – http://www.fertilehealthy.com/blog
- Counting To Infinity – http://countinginfinity.blogspot.com/
Do you have any favorite sayings, quotes, or anything that inspires you to be better, train harder or be more diligent with your eating?
“Change your mind, Change your day.” – Because with out the willingness to look at things a different way I would never have lost the weight I did.
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting “Holy Crap! What a ride!” – Because we need to spend more time out there living. Otherwise what’s the point?
Always Smile! It makes people wonder what your thinking. – Because a smile can always made a day better. Try it!
If you were to give advice to anyone considering starting a weight loss journey, what would you say?
Be prepared for the downs as there will be more of those than ups. But if you go in knowing that they are not as far down as they could have been. Don’t get stuck in a rut. If its not working, its not the plan for you. Lastly… Remember you are worth it.
What tips would you offer someone trying to lose a significant amount of weight?
Pick a time frame for how long you are going to try what ever the current plan you are on and stick to it. If in that time frame its not working move on. Make it a short time frame as the more time you waste on a plan thats not working the more life you are wasting. My only regret is the years and years I wasted, that I could have been living. Look into alternatives. I am sure glad I did. I changed my mind, it changed my life, literally over night.
(Note: This interview was done in Dec 08 and hasn’t been posted until now – oops – so some things may have changed with Felicia by now).