My name is Tracy Stevenson. I have maintained a 130 pound loss for 12 years. On July 24, 2000 I had Gastric Bypass surgery, specifically RNY weight loss surgery, it changed my life…. well it gave me the tool to change my life. And this blog is about how I use that tool everyday. I fondly call my new stomach, My Tiny Tank.
Today I am a wife, mother and working woman. Back in the 1990′s I was a gregarious, career oriented single woman. Always ready for a challenge. Even though I had been overweight my entire life, I was a healthy, active woman who took on all challenges.
But at the end of the 1990′s I was starting to see some changes. I had become obese. For the first time in my life, my weight started to limit what I was able to do. I also started to have some health changes. Not only was I struggling with sleep apnea, but doctors had found a large cyst on my liver. The cyst was removed laparoscopically in a long, difficult surgery. It was not a secret that the surgery was difficult because I was obese.
A year later in the summer of the year 2000 the cyst was back. It was at this time the doctors decided to remove part of my liver where the cyst existed and this would completely remove the cyst which they had not been unable to do laparoscopically the year prior. It was at this time that my surgeon mentioned gastric bypass to me. My liver surgeon suggested that the gastric bypass could take place at the same time the liver cyst was removed. The liver surgery would be an open procedure, no more laparoscopic surgery.
I did some research about gastric bypass and things moved quite quickly once I told my surgeon I wanted to move forward with the RNY.
Unlike others, my pre-op RNY appointments happened in a matter of weeks. This was because my liver surgery needed to happen soon and both surgeries would occur at the same time. I took a medical leave from work due to the pain I was experiencing from the cyst and I waited to have surgery.
On July 24, 2000 I had Gastric Bypass surgery, specifically the RNY procedure at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Some of my numbers:
- On the day of my surgery I weighed 325 pounds. I am 5’3″ tall.
- My lowest weight was 157 pounds on July 5, 2002 my wedding day. A total loss of 168 pounds.
- In June of 2003 after almost a year of being married I became pregnant. I weighed 172 pounds. A gain of 15 pounds.
- On March 1, 2004 I gave birth to my son my top weight was 198 pounds.
- Since child birth I have played with +/- ten pounds. I have not focused on myself but have focused on my child and family.
I believe completely that we are all in control of our lives. That we make choices everyday and in fact many of us are very unclear on the fact that we can live the way we want to. We are in charge of what we do. If we really want to change we can.
After the honeymoon period of weight loss surgery, more changes will come. For me it was marriage and child birth. My Tiny Tank has served me well over the last 11 years. And even though I had not followed the rules as I should have my tiny tank kept me in “check.” My weight did not return to its starting point but in fact stuck in one area for 7 years. Phew! I consider myself very thankful for this.
In October 2010, I had a reunion with my tiny tank. I had tried since 2004 to loose the weight I had gained during pregnancy using some well known diet plans but those conventional diets were not working for me. One night my husband suggested that perhaps these diets wouldn’t work for me because my stomach wasn’t like the average persons. This statement made me rethink everything I had been doing for the past 7 years.
I started scouring the web for others who had gastric bypass more than 10 years ago. I didn’t find too many people. But what I did find was the 5 day pouch test by Kaye Bailey. This was a turning point for me. I have always known that when I don’t eat carbohydrates I tend to loose my head hunger and that in fact I tend not to get hungry when I eat a protein rich diet.
In fall of 2010 I made an appointment with my weight loss hospitals director and nutritionist for a 10 year check in. It was a good way to start my recommittment. I was received with surprise and welcoming. I was told I was among the few who check in. I was told that I had done well in keeping the majority of my weight off. I was surprised to hear this, I was expecting to here the same thing my head says to me everyday. Why aren’t you still at your lowest weight?
So where do I stand now? I am currently working towards losing my regain. I’d like to get down to 160. I am adjusting my life back to a very controlled protein driven diet. I’m not perfect, but I am making changes. This blog chronicles my journey.
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