Transformation of the Day: Sarah lost 166 pounds. She wanted to live an active lifestyle and enjoy things like traveling and hiking with her husband. So she decided to have gastric sleeve surgery and began the process by changing her eating habits six months before surgery. She shared with us the insights she’s gained and how her journey has evolved.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going, even when you wanted to give up?
My motivation was my health and my husband. My husband has always been a very active person. In fact, he served eight years in the military. I hated that I couldn’t be active with him. He enjoyed going on hikes and traveling, but at 371 pounds, I simply could not do that.
I wanted to be healthy not only for myself but to do things like traveling and hiking with him. I wanted to be able to go to an amusement park and not be afraid I wouldn’t fit on the rides. I was more than halfway through my 20s and could not live my life like an average twenty-something because of my weight.
How did you change your eating habits?
I ultimately decided to have Gastric Sleeve weight loss surgery in November 2021 under the advice of my doctor. To prepare, I started to practice some of the habits I knew I’d have to be diligent about after surgery;
- making sure protein was my number one priority when I ate,
- waiting 5 minutes between bites,
- and chewing 20 times.
I did this for about six months leading up to surgery. I also cut out fast food and soda, which I was very addicted to.
Now I eat pretty clean. I meal prep every week and plan my meals the day before to ensure I am where I want to be: calorie, protein, and carb-wise. Meal prepping is so helpful when it comes to keeping myself on track. I also use My Fitness Pal!
What is your workout routine? How often did you work out?
I worked with two trainers when I started my journey. I began working with the first one in May 2021. We focused more on cardio and HIIT workouts. After I had gastric sleeve surgery, I wanted to focus on muscle building, so I worked with a different trainer on that for about three months till I felt comfortable and confident in my ability to formulate my own workouts every day.
Now I go to the gym about 5 -6 times a week, and I do cardio for about 30-45 minutes and about 2-2 1/2 hours of weightlifting.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 371 pounds in May 2021. My current weight is 205 pounds.
What is your height?
I am 5’7″.
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I started my journey in May 2021. I would say I am still very much on my journey. I have accomplished most of my goals as far as being more active. I’ve gone on many hikes. I’ve traveled to New York and Vegas. I’ve gone kayaking.
Currently, I am looking at plastic surgery to remove my loose skin. Also, I have signed up for a Spartan 10k next October to celebrate my skin removals and how much more I’ll be able to do without the loose skin getting in my way.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
Body dysmorphia is SO real. Despite losing almost half my body weight, I still look in the mirror most days and see a nearly 400lb person. I never thought it would be this way.
What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
Take pictures and videos NOW. You don’t have to show them to the world but have them for YOU! In 6 months, a year, or two years from now, you will be so happy. You will look at those pics and videos and see how far you’ve come. Most days, those pictures are the only thing that helps me see how far I’ve come when I look in the mirror and can’t see it myself.