No one ever said weight loss was easy. Some women whittle their waists by going on a strict diet, while others transform their figures with rigorous workouts. But for some ladies, a weight-loss surgery like gastric bypass can be a crucial step to living a healthier lifestyle.
Gastric bypass involves creating a small pouch from the stomach and connecting the pouch directly to the small intestine, according to Mayo Clinic. After the procedure, swallowed food will go into this pouch and then directly into the small intestine, bypassing most of the stomach and the first section of the small intestine. Along with helping people shed extra weight, gastric bypass can also help improve a person's overall quality of life.
Many folks who've had this surgery have taken to Instagram to share their gastric bypass journeys and a supportive community has formed. It's clear that these folks are eager to show the world what gastric bypass means to them. One woman, Brandy, told FirstForWomen.com about her personal experience with gastric bypass. "After reaching an insane 350 pounds, I decided I had to do something different, something permanent," she says. "Surgery has been an incredible tool for me. However, I’ve made complete life changes to go along with it. I follow my nutritionist's plan — high lean protein, low fat, no sugar — and my personal trainer's workout routines very strictly. I work out five days a week — gym, outdoor, or kickboxing."
She adds that she allows herself to indulge from time to time, but it's not the same as it was pre-surgery. "Most things one would want to indulge in have a tendency to make me extremely sick, which is part of the surgery — part that I’m very thankful for, to be honest," she says. "This keeps me in check and makes me want to avoid the things I would once go way overboard with. Getting this surgery and making all of the changes has by far been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. None of it has been easy, all of it has been beyond worth it."
If you think you might be a candidate for gastric bypass, talk with your doctor about your options.
Scroll down to see some of the most inspiring gastric bypass before-and-after photos.