DELIVERED “I gotta keep from losin' the rest of me; Still worry that I wasted the best of me” -SZA
Updated: Jul 9, 2022
I recently underwent a weight loss surgery known as the VSG, short for “Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy” in which the largest part of the stomach is removed and you're left with a small portion, about the size of a banana. This drastically reduces the amount of food one is able to consume thus resulting in weight loss. According to medical data, this surgery can have tremendous health benefits including preventing and reversing many obesity related illnesses. Despite being educated on nutrition and spending the last decade as primarily vegetarian (with a few short periods of pescatarianism in between); I have always struggled with my weight. I was a carboholic, addicted to bread, butter, cheese, pasta and sweets my whole life. Ultimately, what led to my decision to get this surgery was my most recent weight gain brought on after a succession of traumatic events that took place over the last few years. In early 2019, I faced an agonizing separation from my best friend of nearly 20 years. Shortly afterwards, I was fired from my Nursing job of five years, under humiliating circumstances. I was already undergoing a spiritual awakening during that time and although I was in great pain, I used that time to draw nearer to God and my purpose. I quickly dove into pursuing something that I had always wanted to do but as a Nurse, never had the time, which was acting. I hit the ground running and was booked over 60 times on various television shows filmed in Chicagoland. When I wasn't booked, I was downtown attending weekly meditations, spiritual research groups and exploring the cities numerous art galleries. I finally had the time to do what I loved and it was glorious! Fast forward to March of 2020. The pandemic hit and all film and television productions were abruptly brung to a halt. Everything was shutting down including my gym, “LA Fitness” which held my beloved biweekly yoga class. Although, most of the major studio productions were shut down, I continued to pursue acting gigs through independent projects and was even working to produce a couple of my own during this time. Regrettably, in August of 2020, I endured a sexual assault which left me mentally debilitated for 18 months straight. My depression plummeted to an all time low and I quickly became a shell of the woman that I once was. This trauma was followed by my Mother enduring a battle with breast cancer from early 2021 until this past February of 2022 when thankfully, she completed her chemo and radiation and is now cancer free, to God be the Glory! However, during this time, I was in such a state of survival and just barely clinging to my own sanity and existence; I could no longer function as a normal adult nor face my adult responsibilities. As someone who started working at age 14 and was long known as a bread winner amongst family and friends; life as I knew it began changing dramatically. ComEd pink slips and 5 day eviction notices suddenly became a routine occurrence. Despite being offered several lucrative pandemic-related nursing contracts, the thought of me putting on scrubs and facing the world felt impossible. Mentally and emotionally, I was just trying to keep myself alive and was in no position to save anyone else. As difficult times often turn so many to drugs and alcohol; I turned to my most loyal, loving confidant and dear friend, my number one drug of choice, FOOD… I packed on the pounds rapidly and could not get them off. Countless times, I’d attempt to do a diet or fast, only to last a couple of days then run right back to the familiar arms of comfort food. After multiple failed attempts of fighting my food addiction, I had finally decided that enough was enough! In addition to restoring and securing my own health and happiness, I realized that there is a window of opportunity for me to obtain the life that I desire and that the time is NOW! As of today, I’m only 11 days post-operation and I’m down 10 pounds. I can't say exactly how much weight I'll eventually lose, or what that'll mean for me moving forward but I am extremely grateful for this opportunity. We get this one life and it's up to us to decide how we’re going to live it. Our health and happiness is paramount and I want to encourage others to make decisions that will promote their mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. Believe in yourself and always be willing to bet on you!
Introducing, Me Again!