“I was pre-diabetic and had a mild heart condition of a leaky valve. Now, after my bariatric surgery, they are no longer an issue.” -LESHIA | Doctor Neil Floch

“I was pre-diabetic and had a mild heart condition of a leaky valve. Now, after my bariatric surgery, they are no longer an issue.” -LESHIA

On September 25, 2017 I had Gastric Sleeve bariatric surgery, also known as VSG. My starting weight before surgery was 240 lbs. On my surgery day I weighed 218 lbs. My overall weight loss currently is 94 lbs, having lost 146 lbs. I now weigh 146 lbs.

Between my mild heart condition of a leaky valve, and pre-diabetic diagnosis and frustration with losing and gaining 20 lbs never really reaching my goal, I realized it was time for a change and I needed help in some way. These medical issues before surgery are no longer an issue. Before surgery I spent most of my adulthood after birthing my only child as an overweight adult. I tried to eat right. I even worked out, but somehow I would lose a little; anywhere between 15-25 lbs. and then gain it back, or more. After time I gave up and didn’t care what I ate. I hated shopping, because trying on clothes was highly uncomfortable. I was not happy with what I saw even though I had confidence.

Now, after the surgery I am so active. I love what I see. I learned so many new ways to cook things to the point I actually enjoy not eating the same thing, or just testing my limits in the kitchen with new foods. I love that I learned how to eat and what works for me. I learned so much about things I thought I couldn’t do, but now do.

I decided to have Dr. Neil Floch perform my surgery because of his seminar and reviews, as well as my primary care doctor’s recommendation at that time. Dr. Floch and his team have been so helpful and encouraging.

I don’t tell people I had the surgery because there’s so much stigma and judgment behind it because people think it’s the easy way out. I beg to differ. This journey in the last three years was the best choice I could have made for myself, but it is by far not the easiest. All the prerequisites necessary before getting approved for surgery, especially if your insurance is paying for it. The mental mindset you need to be in every single day of your life to not revert back to old habits is challenging. Although I know I am in the best shape I have ever been, I still struggle with body dysmorphia every day. You see who you used to be every day and fear you will go back there just by one slip up, and the fact that when you eat something your body isn’t used to, and it tells you is also difficult. I work out 6 days a week, 1hr and a half and never miss a day even when traveling, vacationing, whatever because it takes that much work when you are a bariatric patient. Meal prepping every Sunday for my week to come and stuck in the kitchen for hours just to stay on track. This is what any person living a healthy lifestyle will do but for us bariatrics, we have to work just a little harder and people don’t see that. They just see, oh they cheated. The truth is if you don’t get some help you know you need, then how much do you care about your health? I needed this to jumpstart me because all this surgery does is assist you. It is a tool not a fix. You must do the work. I have been working the last three years because I vowed if I was given a second chance to get this health life right, I wouldn’t take it for granted.

My lowest weight last year, April 2019 was 134 lbs. Around August 2019, I went up to 145 lbs. and was devastated, but realized I put on muscle and my nutritionist told me that would happen so I struggled even more as I continued to lift weights. But, in the last year I have maintained that 145 lbs. and haven’t gained. I have been in the fluctuation maintaining zone for the last year of a low of 140 lbs. to 146 lbs. in the last year so the scale is pretty stable. I don’t judge my success by the scale anymore because to know I went from a size 22/24 jeans to a 6 is a great feeling and I have been in a size 6 for the last two years.

I thank Dr. Floch and his team for their amazing work and support, and my previous primary care doctor for referring me and helping me get this surgery approved. It has changed my life in so many ways.


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