Having battled with Depression and her weight all her life, Denise recalled being at her lowest when she decided to have weight loss surgery. “I had to hit my rock bottom and my rock bottom was a miscarriage.  It broke me like I had never been broken before. Deeply depressed. Something deep down wanted to fight. Something in me said “if you fight, it can’t be no worse than I am right now”, “fight in the name of your lost child”. I knew choosing anything other then fighting for a better me, would be a shame on my unborn child’s life.”

She says: “walking into surgery, I was at peace because I knew if I lost my life at the table, it was worth it rather than living life unhealthy, unhappy, alive but not living.” It has been a long process for Denise who following the surgery, became a mother. “I have had, marriage, 2 children, 3 moves, post-partum depression and a complete break down. It has been a good 12 years.”

A common misconception about  weight loss surgery is the idea that it’s a “cop out” and willpower, diet and an exercise plan will work just as well.

This is true in part but, surgery is a tool and not a magic pill that requires the same commitment any other person would require to shed pounds and keep it off. Weight loss surgery is really for those  with a BMI of 35 — about 60 pounds overweight for their height. Additionally, health experts recognize that long term weight loss is nearly impossible for those affected by severe obesity by any means other than surgery. These surgeries are effective in maintaining long-term weight-loss because they help reduce caloric intake and cause changes in gut hormones that decrease your desire for food.

Denise had Gastric Bypass surgery back in 2005 “Some think, having surgery leaves one in a easier position to lose weight but there aren’t any get out of free cards with surgery. Hard work and lifestyle change must be applied. At one point I had gained like 60lbs. I realized a lifestyle changed had to happen.”

So far Denise has lost a total over 200 pounds in 5 years ” I did it in combination with fitness and clean eating. no bad carbs, No white breads, Pastas, rice and no sodas or juice. I worked 6 times a week 2-2.5 hours and I am in better shape then I was when I was a teenage; both physically and mentally.”

“It took time teaching myself healthier choices. Doing my homework on healthier meals to prep for the week. Which consist of 4-6oz of chicken and veggies.. I gathered a lot of my meal ideas via Pinterest. My starting dress size was a 34W. My current is 14/16W”

Courtney’s Story

Courtney is a 27 year old Social Media Manager from Philadelphia, U.S.A. She underwent a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) 2 years ago and is down 100 pounds. ” I had the surgery because I truly wanted the opportunity to reset both my health and lifestyle and I felt this was the best way to do both”

“I had tried diets before, but nothing that I truly would commit to. I feel like having the surgery gave me the tool needed to commit to being different long term and I’m grateful for that more than anything.

Like Denise, Courtney needed to make diet changes and become active to have a positive result.  Courtney shares “So many assume that you just get up from the operating table 100 poumds smaller, and don’t realize that this is a lifestyle change.”

“If you’d told me before that I’d be looking forward to 45 minute sweat sessions with blaring music, doing high intensity cardio on a stationary bike, I would have definitely looked at you like you were crazy but Soulcycle has been amazing for me.”

“The two things I love more than ever post-op are shopping and Soulcycle! weight loss has totally inspired me to take more risk with my style and I enjoy doing just that.

For these two women and many others in their situation, it is far more risky to live with obesity and the co-morbid diseases that they may develop than to go under surgery. This is not to say that surgery doesn’t carry any risks, but they step back and a look the situation for what it is, it’s far riskier for them to stay where they are than to move forward with an operation.

Connect with Denise HERE @200poundsgone

Connect with Courtney HERE @journey_to_courtney