My Weight Loss Journey – Country Roads Crafts NC

My Weight Loss Journey

My weight loss journey began in December 2009, when I weighed 256 pounds. My family was involved with scouting, and I wanted to join them in their adventures. However, due to a weight restriction for safety and health concerns, I often felt isolated and left out. This motivated me to seek a change.

After researching different weight loss options, I discovered Southern Surgical and decided to undergo a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Before proceeding, I had to undergo a comprehensive work-up from multiple specialists. These evaluations were eye-opening and revealed significant health challenges.

During a sleep study, it was discovered that I stopped breathing 100 times an hour—a startling revelation that underscored the urgency of addressing my health issues. A physiological evaluation further diagnosed me with ADHD and mood disorders, shedding light on underlying factors contributing to my weight struggles. Additionally, hormonal imbalances were identified, adding another layer to the complexity of my weight loss journey.

Armed with these insights, I moved forward with the decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery. With the support of my healthcare team, including my surgeon, Dr. McDonald, my nutritionist, Jennifer G. Elias, RD, LDN, and Dr. David Ahlberg, MD, for my mental health, I embarked on a transformative path. The first six months post-surgery were pivotal as I learned new habits—proper chewing, vitamin intake, hydration, and psychiatric medication management—essential for my recovery and long-term success.

By July 2010, I had lost a significant amount of weight, bringing me down to 137 pounds. Incorporating exercise into my routine was challenging at first, but I started with what I could manage and gradually increased my activity level as my strength and stamina improved. In 2016, I ran a 5K—it felt great and was a testament to my progress.

Key moments in my journey included reaching milestones like losing my first 50 pounds, being able to participate in more physical activities, and feeling a renewed sense of confidence and energy. These milestones kept me motivated and focused on my goals.

I feel like the surgery saved my life. The journey was about changing my brain and adopting a new mindset towards food, exercise, and self-care. I never regret my decision to undergo surgery. The support from my healthcare team and the changes in my lifestyle made all the difference.

Compared to when I started, I now feel healthier, more active, and much more confident. The journey was not without its challenges, but the support from my healthcare team and the changes in my lifestyle made all the difference. I've maintained my weight loss over the years, which is a testament to the commitment required.

My advice to others on a similar journey is to get your support community before you decide to have surgery and keep your nutritionist’s number close. I speak or email her every time I have a small issue, and we update our plan as situations arise. Stay committed, seek support from professionals, find a community support group for you, and understand that it’s a gradual process. Small, consistent changes can lead to significant results. Believe in yourself and stay focused on your goals.

My support group also played a crucial role in helping me overcome feelings of being lost. Their encouragement and shared experiences provided the emotional backing I needed to stay on track and succeed in my journey.

I’ve also found a new outlet for managing stress and emotions—I now paint instead of turning to food during challenging times. This creative activity has become a therapeutic part of my journey, helping me maintain a healthy mindset and cope with everyday stresses. In 2019, I even started a business painting furniture, as I began to think about what I would do when I retire.

Remember, the decision for weight loss surgery is a commitment to change the way you think, eat, exercise, and live.

Holly Miller

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