Kristin Szilagyi Transforms from Obesity to American Beauty, Part 2 - My Bariatric Life

Patient Expert

Kristin went from a size 32 to a size 2 after bariatric surgery. ** Be sure to read Part 1 of this interview.**    ** Interview, Part : Why was gastric bypass the right solution for ending your obesity?**

A:  The only other option at the time was having a Lap-Band inserted. It was too new a surgery for me. I wasn't sure about having that inside me and at that time there was not a lot of long term information out there regarding it. One of the myths back then was its only good if you need to lose less than 80 lbs. Well I needed to lose a lot more than that If I was going to do this it was going to be drastic. I felt I needed restrictiveness of the Roux-en-y gastric bypass. I knew my ultimate success would not be up to me and my willpower alone because my willpower had failed me time and time again. The surgery is a tool. It's given to keep your weight under control, but it's not a magic pill. It is an incredible tool which I used to help me reach my goal.

Q: You also had body contouring in 2005. Please tell us about that.

A: The decision to have body contouring was an emotional roller coaster ride of emotions for me; my body repulsed me now more than ever. I had even questioned why I had wls surgery. I looked better round and full rather than 100 year old woman. I had a bunch of undesirable skin hanging around. I would get terrible rashes and infections no matter how much I tried avoiding it.  I found this plastic surgeon (whose father is a wls surgeon, who better to go to!) who did what is called a "lower body lift". It included a butt and outer thigh lift and an abdominoplasty. Last year I also had laser-liposuction done on my knees and my mons pubis. I have nothing to hide ha ha. That was very easy recovery. Now I can wear Bermuda pants and long shorts without my legs looking wrinkled stuffed sausages! I would still like to get my arms and breasts lifted and an inner thigh lift, maybe in the future.

Q: Did you have any complications during or after either of the surgeries?

A: Thankfully none! The lower body lift you go home with 6 surgical drains, 3 on each side of your body to remove fluid which accumulates within the incisions. I could not sleep on my back. I was sleeping in a recliner for almost 6 weeks. I started to be able to stand up straight at 4 weeks. The plastic surgery was not an easy recovery but was well worth every penny I spent!

**Q: Please tell our readers about the impressive results you achieved.  **

A: Looking back to my own personal transformation I am still amazed. I went from a size 32 to a 2! My bra size went from a 48 HHH to a now 34 DD!  I was a little thin in the beginning but I am steadily maintaining a healthy size 4/6. Gone away is high blood pressure, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, joint pain. I can stand on my feet more than 2 hours without my feet and back hurting. Results are not just a size for me but having quality of life is. I welcome having the energy and want to enjoy life, self-esteem, grateful that I can wear high heels and cross my legs! I embrace the new lifestyle changes, yo-yo dieting is over, having a normal BMI, do things I never could do before ( I became an EMT), I can go horseback riding (they have weight limits!).

Q: What were the keys to your success in the near-term after WLS? How have you maintained success over the long-term?

A: I can't say it enough, attending support group! I was already attending a support group a year before my surgery. I feel I had a better understanding and advantage of what to expect after surgery. There is a limited amount of time to lose as much weight as possible. I made that a priority and did what I had to do, which was to follow the instructions I was given to utilize my new tool to reach my goal. I still follow the same practices today and simply they are; never eat and drink together (that is by far the most important rule for anyone wanting to lose weight), eat low carb and high protein foods, avoid carbonated beverages, take vitamins/supplements, eating protein first, then veggies and then starches and fruit, I try and get in 100 grams of protein a day.  I would say exercise but I would be lying if I said I did it faithfully hahaha.

Continue to the final  Part 3 of this interview.** Living life well-fed,**** MBore shareposts from  MyBariatricLife on HealthCentral** ** Follow  MyBariatricLife on Twitter**** Connect with  MyBariatricLife on StumbleUpon**** View my  Grains Make Me Fat! recipe cards on Pinterest**