Dulce had a sleeve gastrectomy in October 2016 at NWWC.
What is the best part about this journey?
Being able to live life with no additional complications. I’m in my 20’s. There were many activities that I wanted to do with friends. When I would try to do these things, it was harder. I would get tired. Just living is the best part of this journey. I did this because I wanted to live my life.
What has been the hardest part?
The hardest part has been making changes that have actually become a lifestyle. Many times, I catch myself going back to old habits and I have to correct that again. It’s definitely a challenge. Since you want to make this a lifestyle change, you cannot consider it a diet. Before surgery, I spent a lot of time dieting. I spent a lot of time being miserable. Now, I’m not following a certain diet like low-carb or high-fat. For me, it’s more about having balance and being able to live. I track all of my food on MyFitnessPal. I plan ahead if I know I’m going to go out to eat.
What goals did you set for yourself? Have you made progress towards those goals?
One of the goals that I set for myself was to be able to maintain my weight and I’ve been successful at that. I stay in a weight range of about 10 pounds and I don’t go over that. I do that by living an active lifestyle and eating right.
My fitness goals are to build more muscle and stay lean.
I wanted to be able to be active with my friends, like hiking or playing volleyball. I was not able to do that at all before. I would get extremely exhausted. It’s definitely become easier.
What advice would you give those who want to pursue weight loss surgery?
Take it day by day. If you feel like you failed one day, try to do better the next day. We start off the week saying, “On Monday, I’m going to start being healthy. On Tuesday, I didn’t do it so I’ve already failed.” Just forgive yourself and continue. Don’t give up.
Follow your team’s instructions. The surgeon told me, “We are literally trying to brainwash you to have healthy habits.” I took that to heart. My first year, I really did try my very best to follow the instructions. You literally do have to change your lifestyle. You have to make the effort to eat healthier, to pick your groceries more carefully.
It truly is a lifestyle adjustment and it’s all about having a balance. Since I have a desk job, I really do try to get my steps in. During my lunch, I walk one mile. When I get home, I go to the gym but I park my car a mile away so I walk three miles a day. Everyone needs to adjust to their own lifestyle.
When I first got surgery, I didn’t know anyone else who had surgery. I found an Instagram support community that has really helped me to be successful. Join a support group. Find one that works for you. Everyone is different with what works for them. I found people I could communicate with and we cheer each other on.