“Working at a fitness company was really hard for my mindset. I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life. When I worked with you back in 2021, I successfully lost weight and learned some great tools. However, I didn’t commit my mind, body, and soul and therefore gave up. I ended up gaining the weight back that I had lost plus another 30 lbs. I’m 5’ 8 and was at my heaviest in July 2022, at 320. I couldn’t do normal things without difficulty, had trouble walking long distances, fitting in stadium seats and was just plain miserable. I hit rock bottom and was only 45 years old. I spoke to my doctor and explored bariatric surgery. Unfortunately, our health insurance didn’t include bariatric surgery, so I explored lots of options and did a ton of research. I took the leap and made the choice to do this for me. Not for anyone else but me.
On October 20, 2022, I got on a plane from Tampa, FL to San Diego, CA. I was greeted by staff from Elias Ortiz and Company and they took me and a few others across the border into Tijuana, Mexico. I had my surgery and spent five days in a nice hotel with nurses nearby checking me every step of the way. I weighed in at 305 the day of surgery.
I used the tools I had learned and tracked everything I ate. I really learned to look at labels when I working with you. Also, to eat whole food. I prioritized my protein and water intake. I moved….I walked a little every day and then a little further. I consistently track my food and have every day since surgery. I weigh every Friday morning and took measurements once a month.
I will be 7 months post op on 5/21/23. I’ve lost 93 lbs (14 before surgery and 79 after surgery). I’ve also lost 45 inches! That’s 17% lost. I still have another 30-40 lbs to hit my personal goal weight. But I’m not letting that deter me because this is a life change. I may have had 80% of my stomach removed, but they didn’t sew my mouth shut! I still have to make good choices and move!
It hasn’t been an easy journey, but I am grateful that I haven’t had any complications. I am losing hair but that’s ok, I have a ton of it! I still have a margarita on Friday night (but 12 oz not 32 oz) and only have one! I still eat chips and salsa but only 7. It’s all about moderation and not depriving myself. I enjoy my few bites and know when to stop and be satisfied.
I know a lot of people are not successful after weight loss surgery. For me, it isn’t about the scale anymore. I have changed my mindset and feel healthier and happy. I want other people to know the fitness industry isn’t just about going to the gym. It’s making your physical and mental health a priority. I believe everything I have done over the last few years has prepared me for this journey. I appreciate all of the support I have received from so many people in our industry. I have never felt judged or that I took the “easy way out”.
Thank you for your continued support. Now it’s time to get stronger and build some muscle back!”
– Laurie Kemp, Partner Integration Manager, ABC Ignite