S: My Incredible Weight Loss Journey By Christina J. Hunker
FC: My Incredible Weight Loss Journey | Live, Love, Laugh | By: Christina J. Hunker
1: For anyone that has lived life as a severely obese person, they know how difficult day to day, seemingly normal, tasks can be. The simple things in life like tying your shoes, taking a bath, standing for long periods of time can be extremely difficult, painful and sometimes impossible.
2: I gradually began gaining weight beginning at age 18 and by the time I was 40, weighed over 325 pounds. | My health started to deteriorate rapidly as the weight slowly began to creep on.
3: I was so unhappy with the way I looked and felt. | I was depressed and felt powerless. | I tried many of the fad "diets" that I heard about. | No matter what I tried, the results were always the same. | I would re-gain all of the weight I had lost and add a few more pounds. | The failure was always humiliating. I lived my life feeling completely hopeless.
4: It was virtually impossible for me to enjoy vacations, family reunions, or simple trips to the store. I preferred to stay at home in isolation from the rest of the world. It was just too exhausting and embarrassing. I hated when anyone noticed me. My health was so poor, I was told by my doctor that I was heading down a dangerous path and the only way to survive would be to loose the weight. By the time I made the decision to have Gastric Bypass surgery, I had developed severe Sleep Apnea, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Acid Reflux disease.
5: I chose to seek help and fight for my life. My decision was to have Gastric Bypass Surgery and I chose Dr. Alfredo Fernandez to perform the operation. | The journey to reclaim my health and life began on August 27th, 2009.
6: Exercise, Protein, Water and Supplements became a part of my new routine. This is not a diet, this is a whole new lifestyle for me. Exactly what I had always looked for when I tried the various "fads".
7: With the guidance of my wonderful nutritionist; Barbara Correll, I learned about appropriate portion sizes and what foods I should be putting into my body. | The weight started to come off and I started to feel healthy again.
8: When I left the hospital after a one night stay, the medications that I had been taking for years was discontinued immediately. No blood pressure pills, not even medications to regulate my blood sugar levels for my diabetes.
9: Gradually, my sugar levels normalized. My blood pressure readings became perfect and my Sleep Apnea vanished. It was more than I could have ever hoped for.
10: At this point in my journey, I still had a long way to go, but thanks to my new tool, I had become aware of how saying “no” to poor food choices and overeating meant saying “yes” to healthier living. This is the secret, to permanent weight loss: Eating only what your body needs.
11: I don't think of my lifestyle as a diet and do in theory give myself permission to taste whatever I want. However, I find that I don't crave "bad" foods. It's amazing what happens when you remove the diet stigma and just make it a part of your lifestyle.
12: The swelling in my knees and ankles began to subside and I was able to start wearing high heel shoes again.
13: I have a new confidence in myself. I love the way I feel healthy and more and more fit every day. I love it when people tell me there is a glow about me that they've never seen before or "OMG you're getting so skinny"! What a rush! I love that my little tool has given me back control over my life. NO MORE FAILURE, ONLY SUCCESS!
14: After a significant amount of weight loss, I decided to reward myself and have a bit of a "Makeover". I wanted a new hair color and style to go with the new me.
15: As the new healthier me began to emerge, I was a happier person. I looked forward to getting up in the morning. | Starting my day with some great healthy exercise and protein became part of my routine.
16: For those of us who choose to undergo bariatric surgery, it's a matter of life and death to avoid sugar, greasy foods, and overeating. Forever. There's no going back if you want to be successful.
17: The change must occur first in the MIND — with an attitude of “I care about myself, so I’m going to take care of this one body I have.”
18: I feel private joy. I feel peace within myself that I never thought possible. I am able to accept my faults and realize I am not perfect, nor do I need to be perfect. My life opened up and I fell in to it, and I discovered the woman I was waiting to become! | For me, weight loss surgery unlocked the prison I was living in for so many years. It unlocked the door and let me out so I didn't have to view the world through a crack in the blinds or see a bit of sunshine from inside my home.
19: After I lost the weight, I was asked to share my experiences with others that could benefit from my story. I was honored to be an inspiration to others and wanted let others know there is hope and help for them.
20: I was asked to create a story board for a women's health expo. I helped run a booth about bariatric surgery options for Brandon Hospital.
21: These shots were taken at a women's health expo in Brandon, FL. My Surgeon, Dr. Alfredo Fernandez, was leading a seminar. It was a great pleasure to tell my story and introduce him. Without the work he does every day, I and countless others, would not have the hope of enjoying life as a happy, healthy adult. I will always be grateful for him and his entire staff.
22: Enjoying life once again, pool time! I had stopped going to amusement parks and would have never allowed a photo to be taken of me in a bathing suit
23: Now I can LAUGH instead of hearing others chuckle. Now I can LIVE instead of exist.
24: Now I am out enjoying life as a healthy, happy woman! This hike would not have been possible pre-surgery.
25: This photo was taken after my first plane trip as a "normal" weight adult. Fitting in the seat without an extender belt was just one of the non scale victories that I now get to experience.
26: I can wear clothing off the rack from a regular store. Something normal weight people take for granted. This was life changing for me!
27: I am not afraid to have my picture taken anymore. I hated all photos of me and didn't want the constant reminder of how I looked.