My Story

I was a skinny kid, average teen (a little on the chubby size but I could fit into abercrombie, the obvious benchmark of late 90’s ‘cool’) and then I hit my 20’s. One bad relationship where I gained 40lbs + and I was just used to being heavier. It never stopped me from dating so I never thought much about being “bigger.

Around 2009/2010 I realized I was not feeling any kind of good about my body. I hated getting dressed, changing outfits 20 times to feel “skinny”. I could never just grab something and go. I started feeling really self conscious and hating to go out. I would be late to events because I felt ugly in every single thing I wore. It didn’t help that food was comfort and fast food was easy, cheap, and delicious. I ate crap, loved sweets, and always ate the free bread at meals along with a desert. I was a Ranch dressing addict and always wanted the potato, not vegetable options. Every choice I made was the unhealthy one and I never thought I ate bad. Sure chicken with broccoli is a great dinner but ranch to dip both in does not a healthy meal make.

My immediate family are all average weight, no obesity, mostly average with a small propensity for chubby at times. My mom works out a bunch, loves pilates and learning about healthy eating. She always offered advice, help, encouragement, and anything she could think of to help me to healthy weight. My Dad had became really fit and what is known in the gay community as a “bear”, working out and watching his diet so he’s a big muscled guy with a goatee. No matter what they were saying to me, until I really felt ugly and unhealthy, nothing stuck in my brain.

Around the time I met Joey, when I felt my worst, I tried a personal trainer. After a few months with little results, I gave up. I was just sick of trying so hard and not seeing results. I finally realized I needed real help to kick start a healthy lifestyle before I turned 30. I just didn’t want to enter the next part of my life heavy and unhappy and unhealthy. I talked to my mom and we started looking into my options. After a long process, we decided that lap-band surgery would be a good option. We looked into Chicago area doctors and found Day One Health.

I can really say that with Dr. Elli and the Day One staff, my life changed. I had my consultation, they handled the insurance and all the paperwork. I waited 6 months, learned healthy eating tips, saw a therapist and got ready for my life change. I did the 2 week liquid diet and had my outpatient surgery. The picture from August 2009 about was about a month after the surgery and 20 lbs down.

Lap band is not a miracle cure. It does not make you skinny by doing nothing. It is a tool but many people don’t use it correctly and only lose a small amount of weight. Some gain it back and some stay stagnate. Lap band is a tool that helps you feel full faster and longer. You can’t drink when you eat and junk food is much easier to digest then healthy food. When I lost the first 20 lbs I was inspired. It made me want to lost more. Over the course of the first year I ate less and ate better, I lost another 25 lbs or so but I still was starting to plateau. Then I realized hey, eating well and working out will get me healthy, toned, and feeling great. Duh Tiffany! I re-activated my LA Fitness membership and started eating Paleo. Through my excellent job I started taking the free Yoga class once a week. I also take CorePowerYoga classes which I love!

Another 25 lbs later and here I am. Toned, happy, healthy and fitting in a size I haven’t seen since I was 15. It feels amazing. It feels good to eat healthy and good. Besides my cheat day s’mores blizzards I don’t eat fast food. I never go to Wendy’s, McDonald’s, BK, etc. When I’m hungry in a pinch I can grab a quick steak or chicken to grill. If I’m out to eat, chicken or salad with lemon and salt for dressing is my go to. I love avocado and eat with with all my meals pretty much. When I want a free ice cream from work, I eat it knowing my workout later needs to be harder/longer. I eat for fuel and taste buds.

Fitting into a pair of shorts that a few years ago wouldn’t have gone up past my knees is huge. I work out 4 days a week, eat well, and love that I have changed my life. I am happy, healthy, and feel great knowing I can grab anything clothes I own, throw it on and leave the house. Did I have a toxic friend or two that didn’t want to help and would constantly try sabotage me, yes. Did I drop them along with the weight? Absolutely. Did it suck really liking someone that I finally understood never had my best interest at heart? Yes but did I gain when I lost (har har har), I sure did. I love investing in myself and my health.

Loving my body isn’t about what other people see, it’s what I see and how I feel. Loving my body is giving it what it NEEDS, not satisfying wants. I love my body and want it to feel great and function well. It’s an investment in my future self. I was fat and it was my own fault and I changed it. Fat isn’t a bad thing but it was unhealthy. I don’t need to be a size 2 and I am still fat to some I’m sure but I know I’m healthy.

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