One woman's journey is shedding light on this common misconception.

By By Christine Carter as told to Faith Brar
Advertisement

In 2015, I stepped on the scale for the first time in years and was shocked to see the number staring back at me. At 5 feet 5 inches, I weighed 275 pounds. And it wasn't just my physical health that was suffering; I was also utterly depressed, had no self-esteem, and was headed down a path of total self-destruction.

That number on the scale motivated me to take control of my life and my health. Over the next year and a half, I underwent gastric sleeve surgery (a permanent procedure where doctors drastically reduce the size of your stomach), hired a trainer, and lost 175 pounds-something I've maintained for the past two and a half years.

I'm not going to lie: I'm damn proud of my hard work, dedication, and commitment to regaining my health. That's why I've shared my progress on social media: to help others who might be in my shoes. While I get a plethora of positive and heartwarming messages, I receive a lot of negativity as well-mainly surrounding the fact that I've had weight-loss surgery and plastic surgery.

Just the other day, for instance, I had someone write explicit body-shaming comments on over 200 of my posts. That's right: 200. The common theme? That I'm a "total phony" and don't have the right to show before-and-after pictures because I took the "easy way out" through my surgeries.

But here's the thing: There is no easy way out when it comes to extreme weight loss. Yes, I've had surgery-which is something I'm very transparent about. But I, like most women who undergo these kinds of procedures, learned the hard way that surgery only works if you do. (Related: The Ripple Effect of Weight-Loss Surgery)

From my gastric sleeve procedure, I lost 60 pounds in two months. Not because I changed my lifestyle, but because I had to go on a liquid diet for about three weeks before the surgery and for three weeks post-op. News flash: Any person who does that (regardless of their size!) is going to lose a considerable amount of weight.

What most people don't know, however, is that once I was able to eat normally again, I gained almost all of that weight back because I didn't make any changes to my lifestyle or eating habits. Sure, I couldn't go and binge on my normal portion sizes (because my new, smaller stomach wouldn't let me), but I still found new and creative ways to eat my feelings. Within the next two months, I regained 45 pounds and was basically back at square one.

It was humiliating. Even though I could only eat about four ounces of food at a time, I was still gaining weight. How? Well, what some people don't know is that even after gastric sleeve surgery, there are still some foods that can "slide past" your sleeve. While I couldn't eat a lot of bread, fried chicken, steak, and other high-volume foods, junk food like chips, popcorn, frappuccinos, and sugary drinks "slid" right past my sleeve.

Regaining so much weight even after weight-loss surgery finally made me realize how desperately I needed to change my horrible relationship with food. I sought out a trainer and nutritionist who understood my situation, and it was through him that I learned how to choose what I want most versus what I want now. I had to learn that when I "messed up" (because we all mess up) it didn't have to become a pattern and that I could get right back on track. (Related: 25 Experts Reveal the Best Advice to Achieve Any Goal) Like any other person going through extreme weight loss (surgery or not), I had to practice those things every single day to finally lose all the weight and keep it off.

Along the way, I've gotten a tummy tuck and breast augmentation-but not only for aesthetic reasons. I had a lot of loose skin in those areas that kept getting infected. If I really wanted to restore my body to its original shape, I could undergo four or five more surgeries to remove loose skin around my butt, legs, and arms, but I'm perfectly okay having that extra skin as a reminder of what I've been through. (Related: 10 Women Who Seriously DGAF About Their Stretch Marks and Cellulite)

At the end of the day, weight-loss surgery is only a tool that works if you put in the effort. I know the work, blood, sweat, and tears that went behind my transformation. By no means was it as simple as saying, "I had three surgeries and look at me now!" It was a complete and total evolution of my mindset, my approach to healthy eating and fitness, and my desire to be healthy and strong.

Today, I follow a strict ketogenic diet, spend half an hour at the gym five or six times a week, and live a pretty active lifestyle overall. I've maintained my 175-pound weight loss for over two years. But still, every day has its ups and down. I have to watch what I put into my mouth because if I slip up for an extended amount of time, I know I'd gain all the weight back pretty easily.

Without that weight-loss surgery, I would have never regained the weight, never hit rock bottom, and never made the changes I desperately needed to regain my health. Even with the surgeries, the road was painful and difficult and will continue to be for the rest of my life.

So for all you haters out there: I did not "take the easy way out." I fought to be where I am today and that's something I refuse to be ashamed of.

Comments (22)

Anonymous
March 23, 2019
Hi, my name is Kate and I would like to share my story. Up until about 2 years ago, I was 30 pounds overweight. Over the years I had followed many different diet plans, but failed every single time. I was "blessed" with a pear shaped body and no matter what i did, I always retained lots of stubborn fat in my lower body. Everything changed when I found the right diet program. My story is here ==> http://bit.ly/mydietstory
Anonymous
March 15, 2019
Losing weight is not so difficult with the right guidance and methods. What worked for me was this amazing guide: https://bit.ly/2QvsWDd Explains the science of losing weight, right foods to eat, foods to avoid, tips and tricks to lose weight quickly and stay healthy.
Anonymous
February 27, 2019
A breakthrough Yoga Program that melts away flab and reshapes your body in as little as one hour a week. https://bit.ly/2S3Fk9s
Anonymous
February 6, 2019
A Fool proof, Science-Based System that's Guaranteed to Melt Away All Your Unwanted Stubborn Body Fat in Just 14 Days. Watch the video here: => the2weekdietnow.com
Anonymous
November 21, 2018
This controversial method can make you lean fast: https://bit.ly/2DmMBxk
Anonymous
October 13, 2018
The Secret to Losing Unwanted Weight Fast and Keeping It Off: https://bit.ly/2pRzPPy
Anonymous
October 5, 2018
Lost 41 pounds and 4 dress sizes. I am in the best shape of my life. Wish I had seen this amazing video earlier: https://bit.ly/2xZoIIy
Anonymous
August 25, 2018
As weird as it sounds but eating cake for breakfast can help you lose weight. Check this out: https://bit.ly/2NeMdD5
Anonymous
August 21, 2018
I am sharing my experience, Myself and my husband used Brain Diet weight loss guide it helped us to reduce more than 16 kg within few weeks, It’s working for both men & women. It’s really awesome one!!! No words to say about it. Watch the video here: https://weightlossin3weeks.com
Anonymous
August 20, 2018
36-year old mother of 3 Reveals The French Weight Loss Solution That Helps You Naturally Slim Down Without Exercise: https://bit.ly/2KOb2Ee
Anonymous
July 31, 2018
The simple secret to lose weight quickly, safely and permanently without starving yourself or stepping foot in the gym. https://bit.ly/2vfKoOH
Anonymous
July 27, 2018
Every woman who wants to lose weight should watch THIS now: https://bit.ly/2mLKSZ1
Anonymous
June 11, 2018
Discover The #1 Detox Tea That Melts Away Fat EFFORTLESSLY: https://bit.ly/2Laaysp
Anonymous
May 24, 2018
Did you know there’s a “deep detox” you can do first thing in the morning to burn more fat? And the good news is It only takes 13-seconds! Here it is: https://bit.ly/2x45lQy
Anonymous
May 24, 2018
My life is totally transformed after I followed this diet.https://bit.ly/2safCoC Have Lost 27 pounds in last 1 month and feeling great about myself.
Anonymous
May 3, 2018
This is the natural weight loss program which got me crazy amazing results. Worth reading - https://bit.ly/2HNue8o
Anonymous
April 24, 2018
If you want to know how to lose weight really fast take a minute and read what I did to lose over 10 pounds in two weeks ..... http://bit.ly/2G4Gr6T
Anonymous
April 24, 2018
I've lost exactly 30 Lbs in 2 months! The best part is knowing that I did this myself. look at the method I use to lose weight here: http://the2weekdietnow.com/lose-weight
Anonymous
April 23, 2018
I gained 40 pounds and lost it. NOW i have regained again. I am eating less and walking more. I want to have cosmetic surgery this year. Such an inspiring story!
Anonymous
April 17, 2018
I am really surprised with the huge great articles on this magazine,and I believe lemons should be an important staple in every diet.I used to have big problems with weight loss tips, but am getting in better shape now. Here’s a good program I found that really helped. It gave me great methods and and showed me what I was doing wrong before…there’s even lots of free articles on the site - https://bit.ly/2GRnwdE
Anonymous
April 17, 2018
Since I turned 40 it has been increasing harder to lose weight. I have tried every diet, watch what I ate etc., nothing worked. One day my husband came home and told me about this system, I thought why not. Three months later I lost 34 pounds and 3 sizes. Now that I’m on the maintenance part of the system I lost a total of 38 pounds and now down 4 sizes…. This system works. It really had me change my eating habits. I have learned valuable nutritional information to ensure I keep the weight off and look great. Three months later I lost 34 pounds and 3 sizes, just following this system:http://leanbellybreakthrough1.club/lose-weight-fast
Anonymous
April 6, 2018
I am sharing my experience, My wife and I used 2 weeks diet guide it helped us to reduce more than 16 kg within few weeks, It’s working for both men & women. It’s really awesome one!!! No words to say about it. Most of the people using this product for natural fast weight loss refer the product here: bit.ly/2GA8Xy0