Weight Lost: 75 Lbs
Estimated weight loss %: 50%
Procedure: Gastric Sleeve
“A lot of the other places are kind of like chop shops. You don't even know what surgeons are going to be doing your surgery until the day of because it's this massive group of surgeons that just all sort of take a crack at it. And I didn't really feel comfortable with that.“
Life before it was difficult. It's difficult when you’re. A twenty something and you're out of breath at Austin City Limits Music Festival and your friends are already across the field and you can barely keep up.
And you're getting heat exhaustion and your feet are swelling and you feel like you're about to pass out and you're 27 years old. I mean, let's not even talk about the health aspect of it. I had sleep apnea. I was diabetic. I. Had PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). I had a very difficult time restricting calories enough to lose weight. It was basically just not possible. I was faced with this really difficult decision at 28, 29 years old and I have the health of someone 20 or 30 years older than I am. And it's not going to get any better. It's not going to get any easier. I'm not going to wake up tomorrow and suddenly be a healthy person. And I was doing everything I was supposed to do. I was taking my vitamins, I was taking supplements. I had cut a lot of those bad foods from your diet my diet and nothing was happening. My health was getting worse. My cholesterol was through the roof.
And over the course of about two years I did a lot of research. I did a lot of looking into what I wanted and I decided the bariatric surgery was the way I was going to go. I wasn't willing to live the way that I was for the next 50 years of my life.
In April of 2011 I turned 30 years old and I always had an idea of what my 30th birthday would be like. I would wear a fabulous outfit. I would be surrounded by my friends. I would dance all night long. We probably do karaoke because I like karaoke. And it would just be a wonderful experience and I would feel nothing but pride. Looking back on those pictures of that night and that didn't happen. I was tired almost instantaneously. I couldn't find an outfit that made me feel good about myself. I look back at those pictures and I'm not all that happy with the person that I see. I know that person was happy. But I also know that that person was really tired and was sweating profusely and had to reapply her makeup multiple times that night. And I was 30. I was not old. I was not. I was not at a place where I thought that was appropriate. I should not be exhausted within two hours of my birthday. And I was. And for me that was really probably the last straw. I didn't want to live like that anymore.
My research process was that I read everything I could find on the Internet. Google was definitely my friend. I read about every surgery that they were doing, experimental surgeries that were happening in Europe. I read about every surgeon in the state of Texas. I really didn't want to travel. I wanted to recover in Austin. I wanted to be close to home. So I read about a lot of the surgeons in Austin. I read a lot of reviews. I actually have three friends who have had surgery with Dr. Ganta and I asked them they were. They have always been very open with me about their surgery and I asked, why did you go with Dr. Ganta, of all the surgeons in Austin and all the surgeons in Texas. And they said he knows his stuff; he's the best here. And I started to realize that the more research that I did on my own looking at surgeons in the Austin area. A lot of the other places are kind of like chop shops. You don't even know what surgeons are going to be doing your surgery until the day of because it's this massive group of surgeons that just all sort of take a crack at it. And I didn't really feel comfortable with that. I didn't really feel comfortable with being anybody's guinea pig or not having a face not knowing who was going to be literally altering my life. I wanted to know that person; I wanted to be able to look them in the eye and trust them. I met with quite a few surgeons in Austin and there was only one that there really seemed like he knew what was going on. He was up on the latest surgical techniques; I could ask him about something and he'd say, ‘oh yeah, I was reading about that and I've done that with several of my patients.’ And that was Dr. Ganta. So it was it was pretty much a no-brainer me. I had three friends who had had very successful surgeries with Dr. Ganta and I wanted to be a fourth.
What I feel now is, I feel young. I know that's kind of ridiculous for a person who's 32 to say I didn't feel young. I felt old. I felt like the oldest person in my friend group. And I wasn't the oldest person in my friend group. But I felt like it I felt tired. I felt run down. I didn't have any energy.
And now I'm the person saying ‘No no no. We've got two more hours. The bar isn't closed yet. Come on you guys, let's go dance let's go out. Let's do this 5K, it looks fun. There's costumes. Who feels like driving out to the whole country?’ We went to Six Flags a couple of weekends ago and I fit every ride; that would not have happened two and a half years ago. My husband has a partner again; he doesn't have a person he has to take care of. He doesn't have a person whose health he has to worry about in 5,10,15 years. He doesn't have to take care of me anymore. I keep up with my friends at ACL. I beat them to the other stages as we're running trying to make a show. I do South by Southwest with my friends. We walk around all day downtown and I'm still the person at the end of the day that's like, come on guys let's get some Red Bull; let's keep going. I'm the person that has the energy. I'm the person that's rallying my friends now. I have a style sense now. I didn't I used to; I’d just sort of wear whatever fit; you know, whatever you can get that fits that's halfway appropriate for work. And in the summer it was long, shapeless dresses. I've had the ability now to find a personal style. And that sounds kind of superficial anyway. But I think it's really important to be able to express who you are through your clothing. Somebody shouldn't have to actually have a conversation with you to know who you're about. They should see you from across the room and say, I want to talk to that person. And I think my clothing does that now. I feel. Much more confident and much more at home in my own skin.