Patient Spotlight: Michelle Bartley

April 23rd, 2018 - Posted to Weight Loss

In January 2016, Michelle Bartley made a decision which changed her life dramatically.

By choosing to have bariatric surgery, she embarked on a journey of rediscovering herself and regaining her self-confidence.

Michelle is now in control of her weight, lives a healthy life and is happy to share her experience with other people who consider undergoing weight loss surgery.

Tell us about your biggest success thus far

I am very proud to say that today, 20 months after my sleeve gastrectomy, I weigh 150 pounds less and I am still losing weight. I haven't been this fit in more than 15 years and I do my best to stay in shape. I work out with a personal trainer on a regular basis and on weekends I like to go hiking. I've been wanting to learn something new for some time so I might even take some boxing classes.

What has been your biggest challenge?

The weight loss surgery comes along with the need for an equilibrated diet, otherwise it's all for nothing. People may think that once you've done the surgery, you can eat whatever you want but the truth is that you have to choose your meals carefully and this can be time-consuming. Even so, I am very happy with my new life and I regret nothing.

What has been your motivation during this journey?

It might sound stupid but I have always wanted to be able to wear regular-sized clothes. This is what motivated me to do the surgery in the first place and what motivates me to stay in control of my weight in order to avoid going back to that awful weight of 309.7 pounds. My next goal is to start dating again. My trainer has already challenged me to try some dating apps so we'll see how it goes.

What are some of your favorite go-to healthy meals?

I always have hardboiled eggs in my fridge. I like to have one every morning, after drinking my coffee. Another breakfast option that I like is overnight oats with protein powder. I always keep slices of meat and cheese in the fridge for quick sandwiches and as far as main meals are concerned, I like to meal prep and store already portioned containers with chicken chili, Bolognese or pork carnitas in the fridge.

What advice would you give to someone considering weight loss surgery?

First of all, you need to realize that this is your chance to make a change in your life and improve your health because once the surgery is over, it's all on you. You set the pace of your progress with your exercising program and diet.

In order to make things easier, before the surgery I started educating myself on post-surgery diets and made my own recipe book and this has helped me a lot. You can also join support groups and connect with people struggling with similar situations.

Second of all, don't let disappointments destroy your enthusiasm and optimism. There will be times when your scale will show the same weight for several days in a row or even weeks. Your body needs some time to accommodate to the changes.

The truth is that undergoing weight loss surgery is a challenging thing. It takes a lot of determination and work to achieve the desired results but it's definitely worth it.