My journey began back in 4th grade when I remember being picked on for my weight. As a teenager I begged my mom to put me on diet pills. (She wouldn’t – way to go mom!) After getting married and having 3 children, my husband and I joked about “being fat and happy”, but I wasn’t happy at all about how I looked. I attended a wedding reception in Florida not too long ago and did not want to dance because I felt so ashamed of how big I was. The next day everyone was in bathing suits at the beach, but I was in jeans and a top because I was so embarrassed. I felt like it was time to make a change.
When I got home from that trip I contacted a friend who had weight loss surgery with Dr. Tallal Zeni and she gave me information about MBI (Michigan Bariatric Institute). I went to their very next seminar and scheduled my Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy or VSG that summer on June 22nd. I was able to lose the weight from this procedure, but I still had so much excess skin that clothes didn’t fit great. It is one thing to get smaller with the weight loss surgery, but I definitely didn’t feel like myself carrying around all the extra skin. I decided to tackle this obstacle next and was referred to Dr. Hing for body contouring. When I first met Dr. Hing, I really liked him. He was so helpful explaining everything he did with me to my husband. We left that appointment and my husband agreed that body contouring with Dr. Hing was the way to go! I had my excess skin removal surgery June 25th, exactly 1 year and 3 days after my VSG. I think I was a bit nervous, but honestly I was just so excited to have this procedure done that I was just really looking forward to it!
“Now I feel strong, happy, healthy, pretty, confident and finally…myself.”
After my VSG I felt more like myself and more different at the same time. After my excess skin removal I felt like the “me” I should have always been. I felt beautiful and sexy for the first time in my life.
I couldn’t have gone through this whole life changing process without my husband. The logistics of having 3 kids and 2 dogs and knowing that I would be out of commission for quite a while was a lot to plan for and a lot of stress for him. It is nice that he is a bariatric patient as well. There are some feelings and experiences that are hard to put into words after having lost so much weight. He “gets it!” Also it is such a blessing that he loved me big, he loved me smaller and deflated looking and now he gets to love a much more attractive looking me!
My life today
I now look people in the eye. I used to be ashamed of how I looked and realized now that I seldom looked people in the eye before the weight loss. I am so much happier today. My family of 5 is so much happier. We eat healthier and are more active. I actually ran a 5K. When I finished I was in disbelief. I truly NEVER thought that I would be able to run a 5K without stopping. I feel so much more confident, assertive and stronger. I am proud of my accomplishments. I am proud of the women I am, the wife I am and most importantly the mother I am.
There are still moments when I will look in the mirror and see my “old self” the 200+ pound Kelly, but I do actually think I am pretty now.
Meet Dr. David Hing and the CPRS Team
The first word that comes to mind when I think of Dr. Hing is kind. He gives off an air of peacefulness and calm assurance. He was always sure to ask if I understood everything and was quick to explain anything I wasn’t sure on. He was willing to draw pictures and explain until I understood what he was talking about. The entire CPRS team treated me with respect, patience and care. I felt like their most important patient when I was at the office.
I would tell people considering skin removal surgery after weight loss that this is not something to be taken lightly. The recovery is long, but I am ecstatic with the results! This procedure gave me back myself. I had my 1st surgery to become a healthier me, I had my 2nd surgery to become a happier me.
“AHHHHHH!” Is that a feeling? At the photo shoot I was very overwhelmed, excited, nervous and humbled. I am proud of the way I look, and worked hard to get here. However, it is taking some getting used to the idea that I am being recognized for my looks when I’ve always tried to hide my body. It is surreal to be celebrating it now.
There is a publicity aspect to my life now. I was on TV as one of the featured patients in a Discover Remarkable special on channel 7 with Lila Lazarus. I’m on a billboard on I-96!!!! How crazy is that? As overwhelming as all of the attention is, I really feel blessed that I can help others by sharing my story and being an example of a “success story”.