Name: Jonairis L.
Before Weight: 252
Current Weight: 165
How did you gain your weight? I started gaining weight after I gave birth to my son, I was in a unhealthy relationship and I was so unhappy. I hid my pain eating all types of food at any time of the day/night.
This was my escape from the miserable life/relationship I was in. I didn't notice I was gaining so much weight (or maybe I was just in denial), in my eyes I was still the same, but many people approached me and told me about my weight. Most of the times I ignored it, until I decided to go clothes shopping and I saw myself struggling to fit in jeans size 11. I ended up fitting in a size 18--this really made myself esteem go down the drain, and if I was already feeling bad about my life, at that very moment, I started feeling bad about myself.
What made you change your lifestyle? One of the main reasons was my son. I wanted to be healthy for him, to be able to run around and enjoy play dates with him. The second reason was my health, at the age of 24, I had diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea. Never in a millions years did I visualize myself in this position where I had to take pills and sleep with a machine because I had problems with my breathing. Also as an asthmatic person, I was struggling with daily activities such as long walks, going up and down stairs or something so simple as just standing up. Being overweight was hurting and affecting my daily life.
How did you lose your weight? Well, I lost weight by getting surgery, after trying so many times to lose weight (diets, programs, even not eating)-- nothing worked, my doctor was concerned about my morbid obesity and the fact that because of the extra weight I had developed all these health issues. She recommended to get a gastric bypass surgery. After a year of thinking, group meetings, appointments, treatments, I decided that I was going to give it a chance. On April 25, 2012, I went under the knife and got the (sleeve gastrectomy) different from the gastric bypass. I chose this type of surgery because you get to keep 30% of your stomach (which now looks like a banana) and the weight loss is slower than the gastric bypass.
What was the hardest obstacle in your weight loss journey? One of the hardest thing was being judged by my close friends because of my decision. Everyone was saying that I took the "easy way out" to lose weight. It is easy to judge someone when you don't know the struggle that the person is going through. Another obstacle that I experienced was all the pain I went through physically and mentally. One memory that comes to mind is the one that happened just weeks after my surgery, I was sitting alone in my living room and I was so hungry, but my stomach was in so much pain even just drinking a sip of water used to be hell for me. As I was sitting on my sofa I broke down and started crying, and called myself "stupid and an idiot" because of the decision I had made. Just knowing what could happen if I ate something that I wasn't suppose to-- used to keep me away from food. Honestly, it is not the easy way out. The strong pains I get if I eat something that upsets my stomach are no joke. These pains known as the "dropping syndrome" will literally knock me off my feet. The only thing that will relieve the pain is throwing up, but just the pain along is horrible. It has been really hard, but I'm still getting used to it, it is a life changing experience.
Any advise you would like to offer to people that are starting this journey? My advise is that no matter what your situation is or what others might think of you, - YOU have to do what's best for you, even if this means surgery or just simply doing it yourself by eating well and exercising. Never give up!!! If surgery is your choice go ahead, it is a painful experience, but in the end, it is worth it because you don't only go back to being healthy, but it is life changing. The doctors say, getting the surgery is the first step to help you, but it is up to you to maintain your weight and your diet. People don't know that if you get the surgery, and after the two years-- you start eating again the way you used to, you are going to gain the weight back! So it is up to you and your discipline to keep your self healthy.
Do you have a FB Fan page, IG, and/or Blog? I have an IG account, and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions. @miiss_smiiles
Editor's Note: I don't know Jonairis personally, but I do follow her on IG. I have found her to be inspirational and incredible strong and resilient. I want to thank her for not only sharing her story, but opening up for us to get a glimpse of how hard this procedure is- it is NOT an easy way out. I have said it before, and will always say it - On this journey NOT one size fits all. Our main mission remains the same and that is "HEALTH' - to be able to improve our lifestyle to live a longer and stronger life. Thanks again Jonairis, wishing you and your son many years of health.