4 Year Gastric Bypass Update

I have so many things to talk about and pictures to post but I have just passed an anniversary that I want to celebrate so I’m doing that today!

On December 27th I celebrated 4 years since I had gastric bypass surgery.  I had many reasons for the surgery and you can read about them in more detail HERE if you would like.  I also welcome questions.  I know that many of you haven’t been with me for that long.

To give you a brief history;

I struggled with my weight from the age of 14 (puberty) and no one could ever find a reason for the varied medical problems and weight gain I suffered.  The only time I was ever thin was in high school when I suffered the depression of a broken heart and drove myself into the ground.  I married at 190 pounds and as the birth control took effect my health plummeted.  By the time I had surgery in December of 2004 I was 285 pounds, I took 9 prescription medications, I had partial memory loss, high blood pressure, couldn’t have children, and was told that without drastic measures I would NOT see my 30th birthday.

Thank God the military was willing to pay for drastic and I had laparoscope ruen-y gastric bypass surgery.

The journey was hard, the physical effects of the surgery were hard, knowing that this was my last chance has been difficult.  I would not change a thing.

In the past four years I have:

Gone from 285 pounds down to 145 pounds.  I have lost what I weigh.  I have lost a whole person.

I have gone from a size 22 to a size 4.  (9 pant sizes)

I have 0 prescription medications.  Only a few vitamins are on my daily diet.

I have gone from a diagnoses of death before 30 to happy and healthy and WELL on my way to that fateful birthday.

My life is very different than it was.  I’m healthy and happy.

It’s strange how different my life is.  I am constantly amazed at how differently I’m treated, and how differently people relate to me. 

Let me give you one example.

Shortly before my surgery the air conditioning unit on our house went out.  I was there with my mom when the repairman showed up.  He was flirting with us for whatever reason.  He finally said “I’m sorry you two just look so much alike.  Are you sisters?”

We laughed and I said, “No, we’re mother and daughter actually!”

He looked at me with a bit of shock and said, “Well I”m not going to lie!  You do NOT look old enough to have a daughter her age.”  and he pointed at my mom.

It was devastating to say the least. 

I had the surgery to get healthy… to have kids… to have a life!  Though it hasn’t all worked out the way I’d hoped it would it has been an amazing journey.  I may not have all I want in life but there are benefits!  I’ve spent days exploring the streets and bridges of Paris ON FOOT! 

Yes, my life is very different…

It became a tradition after the surgery for me to post before and after pictures as a form of accountability to myself.  I haven’t done this now since my 2nd anniversary and it’s about time to update!  So here you go…

Before and after front shots.

This picture was taken on Christmas morning just two days before surgery.  (I apologize for the horrible quality of the before pictures.  It seems that as a morbidly obese woman I avoided the camera like the plague!)

December 25th, 2004


December 27th, 2008


Before and after side shots.

December 24th, 2004. 


December 27th, 2008


As drastic as the body shots are the head shots throw me for a loop every time.

December 24th, 2004


December 27th, 2008.


It’s been a hard road but one worth traveling.  Through all of the illnesses and the medications, the infertility and the heartache I have become the woman I am today and fat or thin I’m comfortable in my own skin…

I’m grateful every day for the opportunity to live each and every day in health and happiness.  I’m excited to see what the next year will bring!




28 thoughts on “4 Year Gastric Bypass Update

  1. They diagnosed me with IIH in ’04 as well and had my spinal tap at the start of ’05 – and I agree with it being the most scary thing ever to hear them tell you there might be a tumor on your brain.They put me on Diamox for a long, and I disliked every minute of the tinglyness. I eventually got to come off of it and went on Topomax to help keep the migraines at bay and have been on it ever since. Where you talking about Diamox putting the holes in your brain, if so, I’ve never heard of that and will have to do some reading up on it myself!Sometimes the Lord takes us to the extremes to get better, and we’re no exception. 🙂

  2. WOW!!! The contrast in those pictures is amazing!! It brought tears to my eyes. You are a gorgeous girl, inside & out 🙂 Happy Anniversary!! I am just so glad that you are healthy & ready to live a long & full life, how scary to be told you might not make it to 30!! 

  3. that is amazing!  If I didn’t know those before pictures were you i’d never guess it!  Good for you for taking the drastic measures to save yourself!  You were a beautiful big girl, but you are stunning now!!!  Happy ‘Anniversary’!

  4. I love that you shared these pictures with us…you really look amazing!  I know you’ve had a lot of struggles and health issues over the years.  I guess that’s why I feel connected to you 😉  I’m praying that you are BLESSED this year!

  5. Hey, I just wanted to let you know, I have a new blog, michelleanddaveshouseoflaughs.blogspot.com. I’ve pretty much gotten tired of xanga. To many teeny-boppers. I can’t wait until you find out where you might go!! And yes, I’m being a bit selfish because I REALLY hope you go to Ohio with me!! But I know you’ll make the best choice for you, not for me. But a girl can still dream! Hugs!!!

  6. Those pictures are amazing! Wow. I honestly was going..”seriously? that’s her in those before pictures?” you look like a completely different person. I’m so happy that you’re healthy and happy. You’re gorgeous from the inside out!

  7. Happy Anniversary! I knew about the gastric bypass from reading you in the past but I am curious how you do with food. I know your stomach is a lot smaller with the surgery and a lot of people have problems getting their nutrients and whatnot after the surgery due to not being able to eat very much. Is this an issue with you? What is a normal day’s meal for you? Do you have to take any vitamin supplements? If you don’t want to answer you don’t have to but I’ve always been curious about this. 

  8. You are a beautiful girl in all of the pictures but I can see how much more comfortable you are now.I have seriously considered the surgery but my insurance will not cover it.  I’m just a fatty.  Can’t tell you why either but I cannot lose the weight no matter what I do.  I have no medical problems (at this time) so I’m kinda on my own with this one.Congrats on your anniversary though.  The transformation is amazing and you are beautiful.

  9. Thanks for sharing.  And congrats on following through with a lifestyle change.  I work with a person who had the surgery, but hasn’t followed through with any exercise at all.  And the results aren’t even half of what yours has been.  You are an inspiration.  Keep living your life to the fullest.

  10. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!    First… WOW  What a transformation!  I know that kind of change does not come without a lot of work and bumps in the road.  I applaud you.  You are healthier…which is AWESOME!  We love having you around and I’m glad it looks like you’ll be with us for quite some time.  Second… I’m just curious, is gastric by-pass like the lap band surgery?  I know some people who have had that and it really limits what and how they eat.  I was just wondering, you’re always cooking up yummy stuff … how has it affected what and how you eat.  Me… I’m about 25 lbs from where I want to be.  I was closer to my goal weight when we moved back from Germany.  BUT…. not walking 3 miles a day just to do daily errands and not having Maren nurse 9 times a day … well, apparently I didn’t pay enough attention and change the eating habits to coincide with the reduced calorie burn.  arg.  So… now we have to actually put some effort in.  I’m not looking forward to this.  I’m so glad you posted this.  SUCH an inspiration.  The 27th of each month is always a special day in our house because Maren’s birthday is on the 27th.  So… on your anniversary we were saying ‘Happy 16 months!’  27 … good day.Oh…and turning 30 …. not so bad.  It hit me hard … but after about a week I was over it.  Now I’m looking down the barrel of 36!  What in the world.  40 here I come!  lol

  11. Wow!!!  Courtney, I had no idea!  Began to visit your blog because your photos and descriptions took me back to my own, beautiful memories of Germany.  And I have continued because the Lord Jesus put you and your man on my heart to pray for you.  Only now can I see that He chose to deliver you from morbid obesity, the very thing I seek deliverance from myself.  Thank you for posting this.  And I praise God with you for His grace and mercy!  I am so happy for you!  I know this is only the beginning of joys for you!   (I suspected your husband is a wise and perceptive man; but now I am certain of it.  He saw your true beauty before most people could.)Jerry

  12. Happy Anniversary to the new you! Looking at you now, no one would ever know, your GORGEOUS. And I’m not saying that just to say it. God has truely blessed you, one blessing at a time. Stay strong and don’t ever let go of your dreams. *hugs*

  13. @JewelE19 – Sorry it took me so long to get back to you!  Yep I eat very little compared to a normal person.  About a cup of food three to four times a day and sometimes a snack if I really need it.  I count calories and carbs but only to make sure I get enough!  I can eat pretty much anything but fried foods and anything with sugar mixed with milk will make me sick in minutes.  Other than that I’m good to go.  I’m very lucky in that as most people have many more issues than I do.  Also I do take vitamins about a handful a day it seems but it’s a small trade compared to those 9 medicines from before!

  14. @babybooties33 – Sorry to take forever to answer!  I haven’t been around much and I forgot to reply to comments!  Yep my surgery is similar to lap band though mine is much more invasive and permanant.  Lap band simply restricts your stomach by placing a band around a part of it.  My surgery actually build me a new stomach and removed part of my intestines… that part that process sugar.  My surgery was origionally created to cure sever diabetics.  It is not only restrictive buy also doesn’t allow my body to absorb things the same way… It’s because of my insulin resistence.  So yep about one cup of food per meal 3 or 4 times a day and a handful of vitamins.  The cooking is my new weakness!  I have always loved to cook but resisted because I was always trying to lose weight and hated that stereotype about the fat cook.  I was almost 300 pounds and literaly starving to death!  I didn’t need one more thing… But after the surgery I took up cooking again and I have no problem with food.  I almost enjoy cooking it more than eating it!  LOL   Thank you so much for you comment.  I hope you can lose those last few pounds….  Uh oh… I hadn’t thought about the lifestyle change.  I better step up my daily excercise while I’m not walking much (because of the snow) so that when I go home I’m in the habit of doing indoor excercise!  LOL

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