Nobody probably noticed, but I “left” all my social media, as Haley back in 2016 so I could focus on myself! But being social media obsessed, I did open a new Snapchat, Instagram, and I started a YouTube in the name of @thinninghaley so that I could communicate with others that had made the same decision in their lives that I was making.
I have lost nearly 200 lbs. since 10-29-2016. Let me start from the beginning. I have been overweight my ENTIRE life. I was the token fat chick. You get it. Little Debbie’s, little exercise. The whole thing.
Well fast-forward. I’m 20. I live on the gulf coast w/ my parents after leaving the small town I grew up in. I love my life & everything about it, but my anxiety, worrying about my father’s health, was something that would keep me up at night. He has heart disease & had a heart attack in 2014, so I CONSTANTLY worried …until the day my mama said something that shocked me… something to the tune of you know your daddy worries about your weight, right?
It hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m sitting here worrying about him, yet I am the reason he is stressed!! And why wouldn’t he be? I am 20 years old & basically on my way to the casket. When you weigh over 400 lbs. life is miserable. Taking a shower takes every oz of energy you have.
The question of do you want to go to the mall is the equivalent of do you want to do 600 sit ups to a skinny person. When you weigh over 400 lbs.; nothing is easy. Showering, getting dressed, grocery shopping, getting the mail, washing dishes… every single every day activity is pure hell when it hurts just to move. I was so far past uncomfortable. So overweight & so far past diet & exercise. I was out of control & needed help. Real help.
I was determined to do something about my weight, once & for all, for my dads’ sake. I started researching weight loss surgery, in my area. I went to a seminar & after that I started applying for every loan you can think of, as I do not have health insurance and surgery in my town was upwards of 15 grand.
Declined, declined, not at this time. I was so hopeless. I was 20 years old w/ no credit. What did I expect? Then my mother says, “Sam’s niece had weight loss surgery in Mexico, ya know?” MEXICO?? Are you for real?? My exact response to her was “I don’t think it’s worth the risk”
Her response floored me! “…risk?? Like risk of heart disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, & death? You mean risk like that, Haley??” I brushed it off after that. Mexico? Who does she think I am! I’m not stupid. A couple weeks go by & I decided I would just look at it. Just see what it was all about. So I reach out to Sam & find out he knows SEVERAL people that went to Mexico, to different cities/companies. So I ask him to get me the info on everything from his friends & family. And off I went.
Research article after research article. Asking people thousands of questions, looking through the archives, calling each company… I was like the FBI, y’all. And finally I decided. Not only did I decide I was going to Mexico, but I picked a company. I will explain more about what company I picked and why at a later time.
So… much long story short, I did it. In December 2016, Mom and I flew to San Diego, CA and were taken across the border to Tijuana, MEXiCO to have weight loss surgery. I chose the Vertical Sleeve Gastrostomy (VSG).. A lot of people have heard of the Gastric Bypass, but this did not appeal to me, as they reroute your intestines. With the VSG, they remove 80% of your stomach, leaving a “sleeve” of a stomach. causing you to eat less at one setting, slowly, & get full faster.
I can eat about 4 oz. @ a time. For a visual that’s about 4-5 regular people bites. But they do surgery on your tummy. Not your head. I learned this QUICKLY… everything is Mexico was a breeeeze! I arrived in Mexico on Sunday for pre op testing, had surgery around 10am Monday, and flew home Friday evening. I was on clear liquids for one week following surgery, which meant chicken broth, water, and PowerAde Zero. That was it.
Then week two was FULL liquids, which basically meant protein shakes. Protein intake is a HUGE deal after surgery because you are getting in so little food. Week 3 was puréed. Basically baby food. And so and so forth. The first 3 months were fine. I was eating very little and working out twice a day. I was losing an avg of 4-5 lbs. per WEEK. But something wasn’t right mentally.
I was struggling. I was “full” or “satisfied” after 3-4 bites of food, but my brain was not happy. Long story short I started therapy, and on May 1st, 2017, I was diagnosed with an eating disorder. BED; Binge Eating Disorder. You have probably heard of anorexia and bulimia. And you’re thinking what is bed… while similar to bulimia in the way of binging, I don’t purge. Not in the way you would guess.
I may purge by working out for 2 hours or by not eating for 2 days … you see…explaining an ED to somebody who does not have one is nearly impossible but to try… before surgery I was probably eating twice a day… but in excess- 3,000 calories or more at a time. $10 worth of dollar menu food. I was binging & didn’t realize that was not healthy food behavior. So my “thing” was eating large amounts at one time, very quickly in a mindless “binge”… scroll back up… what did I say VSG did? “causing you to eat less at one setting, slowly, & get full faster…” so I took the very thing that gave me joy in life and helped me cope w/ life in general and literally ripped it out of my body.
I knew surgery and weight loss was going to be difficult but man did I have no idea just how difficult. I see the top Eating Disorder (ED) therapist in the state; who SPECIALIZES in treating ED. She is a member of my shield against ED. Another member is my nutritionist, or dietician. She and my therapist have been so so so beneficial to my recovery.
I am taking one day at a time and learning to love life, love myself, and become the best version of me in every single way. I will keeping everyone updated here from this point forward! Stay turned for lots of pics to be posted! Be sure and sign up to be notified when my blog is updated! There is a email sign up on the right of this page.Come with me as I continue to attempt to figure it all out.
@thinninghaley on Snapchat, Instagram, & YouTube. Xo.