Rebecca's Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Journey

Follow Rebecca's Bariatric Surgery Journey

Click here to register for a free bariatric surgery weight loss seminarWeight loss surgery can be a difficult decision to make, with many questions along the way. Rebecca, a Port Huron Hospital Bariatric Center of Michigan patient, has allowed us to follow her journey from the difficult decision to have gastric sleeve surgery to today. Come back regularly to follow Rebecca's journey.

Rebecca’s Journey

“I have been overweight my entire life. Ten years ago I looked into surgery but didn’t qualify. My doctor suggested Medical Weight Loss. I was successful and lost 70 pounds. Then I got pregnant and gained weight.”

A Port Huron resident, Rebecca is 36 years old. She and her husband, Scott, have four children, all boys. They range in age from eight to 15 years old and are involved in a number of activities including running and the marching band.

Overweight most of her life, she suffered from migraine headaches, ankle problems, borderline diabetes and high blood pressure.

March 2012

“I felt comfortable with Dr. McFarlane being a woman. I thought she could understand my struggle.”

Thinking about surgery again and seeing billboards for the Bariatric Center of Michigan at Port Huron Hospital, Rebecca attended an informational seminar led by Dr. Karen McFarlane. She liked the fact that Dr. McFarlane performs both of the surgeries she was researching. She found the seminar to be very encouraging.

After deciding to have gastric bypass surgery, she found that her insurance company would cover the surgery but there would be a six month wait. During the six months she continued to compare bypass surgery with the gastric sleeve surgery. She had concerns about mal-absorption with the bypass. In July, she changed her mind and decided to go with the gastric sleeve surgery. Her surgery was scheduled for September 10.

Rebecca - Before Bariatric Surgery

September 2012

“I sweat a lot and I was looking forward to less of that. I looking forward to feeling full and no longer craving food.”

Rebecca was ready for her surgery on September 10. Her goal was to lose at least 80 to 90 pounds and she was anxious to start her journey. She was looking forward to outdoor “stuff” – running with two of her boys who are in cross country, swimming and hiking. 

        

November 2012

“I can now tie my shoes without my holding breath. I can bend over to tie them and I don’t have to get down on the floor. I’m down three sizes and fitting into clothes from the bottom drawer that haven’t fit for a long time.”

Down 30 pounds, a third of her weight loss goal, the changes in Rebecca are definitely noticeable and she is getting a lot of compliments.

At school she finds that people are more willing to talk with her and be social during breaks. She isn’t afraid to sit down with others now and feels like others take her thoughts and comments more seriously. She is making more friends. She has a lot more energy and finds it easier to concentrate on the work, rather than being worried or concerned with when the next break is coming.

Sometimes she feels like she is dragging, but it’s usually when she hasn’t eaten enough protein. She makes adjustments within her eating plan to accommodate more protein.

She is doing much more with her kids. Instead of standing at the start/finish line, she walks the cross country course to cheer on her boys. Her kids are taking her example and are becoming more active too.

Feeling like a teenager again, at Halloween she dressed up and walked house to house with the kids instead of staying in the van while the kids got out.

She is finding that her body adjusts very quickly to exercise routines, so she changes things up regularly. Right after surgery, she went to Meijer every morning and walked the perimeter of the store two to three times. Once that stopped being beneficial, she started a dance routine. She switches between dance and rigorous walking every two weeks.

She is right on track with her weight loss, but really thought she would excel quicker. She’s finding her weight plateaus quickly and she has to keep adjusting. 

 

Rebecca 2 months post-op.2 months post-op

May 2013

“I can’t believe I participated in my first 5K! That is just the beginning. I walked most of that one, but my goal is to run the entire distance before the end of summer!”

Rebecca is down 64 pounds and now weighs 149 pounds. She still has 20 to 30 pounds to go to get to her goal weight. Her weight loss has slowed in the last few months. But, she expected it to happen. As she gets closer to her goal the pounds come off much more slowly.

She is excited to shop again. She started her journey in a size 20. She is happy to report to now be in a size 10!

She started running very short distances. She participated in her first 5K, walking most of it with small spurts of running. After talking to a nutritionist, she realized her workouts were only cardiovascular focused, she needed to add in weight training for muscle development. She doesn’t want to look like a body builder, but knows that some muscle mass is good. She has introduced pull-ups and abdominal work into her routines. Each morning she does a yoga stretching routine. She is continuing with the dance exercise videos and loves them! She is considering a membership to a local gym that has a pool. She is interested in starting to swim laps to again change things up. 

       

June 2013

“When we go out to eat, I now order off the appetizer menu. It is more than enough food. I allow myself one bite of the entire meal, then I pick it apart and avoid the carbs and bad foods. I’m learning to pick and choose, but not deny myself a taste. Really, it’s all a learning process.”

She is down 72 pounds and the end of the weight loss journey is nearing. Once she gets to her goal weight, she will work on maintenance to avoid gaining extra pounds.

Not only is Rebecca running between the activities of her four kids, she is also earning her Bachelors of Accounting degree. It’s finals time and it can be stressful. She used to be a stress eater – not anymore! She simply doesn’t have the urge to eat like that anymore. Her desire for sugar has changed, she rarely craves it.

Part of her success is due to always being prepared. Due to her smaller stomach size, she has to eat smaller meals more frequently. When busy, it can be hard to prepare all these meals, and fast food isn’t an option anymore. She always has a fiber bar with her, just in case she gets hungry. She typically eats about a cup of food at a time and tries to focus on vegetables and protein – the good stuff!

As she looks back at photos during her weight loss journey, she sees the weight loss initially in her face. It did take awhile to see everywhere else. She is preparing for her goal weight, and the surgery that she will need to remove the excess skin. She is excited that her waist now measures 31”; her hips are now 39”. At the start of her journey, her hips measured 50”.

Rebecca 9 months post-op
     9 months post-op