Taking Back Control of My Life
In hopes of inspiring others, this is Natalie’s own story (in her own words) of how she took control of her life, lowered her weight and improved her diabetes.
Being from the largest city in Mississippi, the poorest state in the country, I grew up overweight since the age of 5. In the 80s, processed food and fast food was up and coming and a quick & cheaper way to provide meals for families. At the age of 25, I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Instead of putting me on a diet and exercise plan, my doctor put me straight on medication with no plan in place. I did make several attempts at different weight loss programs such as: WW, Nutrisystem, Medi shakes, weight loss injections, Herbalife etc. I would lose the weight but would gain it back plus more.
As the years went by, weight loss surgeries were starting to become a thing. Lap band was popular at one time, and I considered having that surgery. I reached out to a doctor, but my insurance would not cover the procedure. I got disappointed and said to myself, it is just not meant for me to have any weight loss surgery. I continued with the fad diets that were out there and to no avail, the same pattern happened where I would lose weight and gain it back.
At the age of 40, I made a promise to myself to start making changes in my life. I started getting into Personal Development to help with my insecurities and help improve my mindset. I wanted to be healthy and be able to ride amusement park rides without being uncomfortable or embarrassed because I couldn’t fit. The following year, I got divorced from a 11-year marriage that wasn’t going anywhere and started on my journey of fulfillment. In 2019, a business in Seattle, WA found me on LinkedIn offered a position to me that I couldn’t resist. I went ahead and took the “Leap of Faith” and moved across the country to start a new chapter in my life. Had a good job, great salary and started “living” again. I also found Polly because I was interested in doing a Keto Diet and that is how I became her patient. She gave great guidance, but I still had issues keeping the weight off. After a while, I said enough is enough! I was determined to find a way to get this weight off me. In 2021, I revisited the Weight Loss Surgery option. I opted for the Gastric Sleeve surgery. The coordinators made sure to properly educate me on the procedure and what to expect. They also made sure to inform me this procedure was not a quick fix but a tool that is used to help you save your life.
It has now been a little over a year since my surgery. I’m down 86 pounds! My A1C dropped from 10.1 to 6.2. I feel fabulous! I’m more confident in myself and have fallen in love with myself again. I have reduced my medications drastically. I no longer have the diabetic issues I once had before and I’m very close to be totally reversed with my Type II Diabetes with the help from Polly, of course. I have a lot of energy and is more mobile than ever before. I did go on an amusement park ride, and it was exhilarating! Even though I have had success with the surgery, it was no means an easy process. I had to re-learn how to eat with my new stomach. I must make better nutritional choices in food since my stomach is now 80% smaller. I will use this weight loss surgery I had for the “Tool” that it is. It is still up to me to make sure I stay healthy. Counseling sessions helped me to re-teach my mind of how I should continue to take care of myself moving forward. My current goal is to lose an additional 20 pounds and get my A1C to 5.
I wanted to share my story to those people out there that was thinking just like me, not feeling fulfilled with life sick of being sick and tired. To let them know that they are not alone and there is help there. Get over your paradigm and take control of your life. The only regret I have is that I wish I had done it sooner, but I highly recommend the procedure to anyone who needs it. It's been a long journey and it is a tool but still one needs to work hard to improve your relationship with yourself, food, emotional health, nutrition, and lifestyle.
Everyone's path to reclaiming their health is unique. Gastric surgery is a difficult choice that comes with risks but can also be an effective tool that, in combination with a commitment to improving diet, lifestyle and other underlying issues, leads to sustaining health.